Archive for category nation building
Former information minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin wondered in his blog what if the roles were reversed in the case of a Malay woman threatening an elderly Chinese man with a steering wheel lock following an accident, how would the “Chinese press, Chinese social media, Chinese parties and Chinese NGOs reacted if the person punished was a Chinese”.
He asked: “Wouldn’t they have considered the punishment to be racist since it was a small case?” he asked in his blog posting.
Zainuddin was commenting on the Kuantan Magistrate’s Court decision to fine Siti Fairah Asyikin Kamaruddin, also known as Kiki, RM5,000 and ordering her to engage in 240 hours of community service.
Kiki landed in trouble after a video of her threatening the senior citizen Sim Siak Heong went viral online.
It is shocking and the height of irresponsibility for a former Cabinet Minister to frame an issue on law-breaking through such racial and even racist lens.
Even more reprehensible and deplorable is his dismissal of “Chinese press, Chinese social media, Chinese parties and Chinese NGOs” as communal organisations utterly bereft of Malaysian nationalism or patriotism.
Zainuddin should first answer whether he is “Malaysian first, Malay second” or “Malay first, Malaysian second”, for it is only when he regards himself as in the former category that it is worthwhile, useful and productive to engage in any discussion with him pertaining to any subject whether concerning nation-building or fostering harmonious and congenial inter-racial and inter-religious relations in our plural nation. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysians must be reminded of motto “United we stand, divided we fall” and should talk the language of unity, moderation, tolerance and justice and not the language of division, extremism, hatred and injustice
Parliament reached rare unanimity yesterday when MPs from both sides of the political divide united to unanimously adopt a motion in an emergency meeting to condemn the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 last Thursday in Ukraine as a heinous and barbaric crime against humanity, killing 298 passengers and crew on board.
The rare unity shown by Members of Parliament yesterday mirrored the unity of Malaysians transcending race, religion, region or politics shown by Malaysians in the past week at the second airline disaster and tragedy to hit the national airline, Malaysian Airlines and the nation in less than five months – the MH 370 disappearance disaster with 239 passengers/crew on board on March 8 and the MH 17 disaster on July 17.
While Malaysians unite in grief and sorrow, extending condolences, support, sympathy and solidarity with the bereaved families, relatives and friends of the 537 victims of the two air disasters, as well as encouragement and support to the MAS employees so that they will be not be demoralised, all Malaysians should pause and ponder why we are only capable of unity when there is disaster and catastrophe but not during ordinary times.
Under the shadow of the two air disasters in less than five months, with the country still reeling from the shock and trauma at being the epicentre of these two catastrophes with world-wide repercussions, Malaysians must be reminded afresh of the truth and power of the adage “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should be a voice of moderation to fulfil the aspiration of our 1957 Merdeka Proclamation to make Malaysia “a beacon of light in disturbed and distracted world”
The call by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in Shah Alam yesterday for unity between followers of Islam’s two biggest schools, Sunni and Shia, is probably the first good news not only for Muslims but also for Malaysians in this year’s Ramadan as the past 12 days of the holy month in the Muslim calender have been dominated by negative voices of unreason – raucous, divisive and extremist – threatening the very fabric of Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious nationhood.
Najib’s message to the Muslim world to learn to set aside whatever differences among the different denominations and coexist peacefully if it intends to guarantee its own future applies equally true and pertinent to the diverse races, religions and cultures in Malaysia if the Malaysian nation is to fulfil its Merdeka promise in 1957 to be “a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world” and not to become a basket case instead in the international arena.
Najib ‘s call for the unity of Sunni and Shia is particularly welcome as Middle and Moderate Malaysia, both Muslim and non-Muslim, had been most upset by a campaign of persecution and vilification of Shia Muslims, with calls at the UMNO General Assembly last December to spell out the definition of Islam as “Sunna waL Jamaah” in the Federal Constitution as well as recent developments in Syria and Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin’s clarification most welcome although taken with a big pinch of salt – calls for BN-PR National Reconciliation Roundtable to check racial and religious polarisation and reach national consensus to end May 13 threats
I welcome the clarification by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claiming that his May 13 remark at a Ramadan event in Pagoh last Friday was “manipulated”, denying that he was making any May 13 threat to non-Malays and non-Muslims as he had merely expressed fear that such clashes could happen if Malaysians do not preserve harmony.
Speaking in Kedah last night, Muhyiddin said it is not wrong to issue such reminders, which applies to both Malays and non-Malays.
I have said publicly that I would be the first to applaud Muhyiddin if he had spoken as Deputy Prime Minister of all Malaysians to all Malaysians on the imperative need to prevent a recurrence of May 13 racial riots and safeguard national unity in a multi-racial and multi-religious society so as to be a model of harmony and solidarity of a plural nation for the world, but this was not what he did.
If Muhyiddin’s Pagoh speech had been “”manipulated,” then the culprit is none other than Utusan Malaysia, the mouthpiece of Umno. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
8 July 2014
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his recent statement “it is not impossible for another race riot to occur again in the country”.
His colleagues are in open support of what he said, i.e. the statement is “a reminder to behave”.
Opposition politicians and many members of the public think otherwise, i.e. that it is a veiled threat to do a “May 13” unless the BN wins big in the next election.
So how should that “May 13” statement be read?
There are always two main parties to any communication – the message creators and the message receivers.
Messages can be straight to the point or have hidden meanings. The receivers of the messages can take them at face value or interpret them according to the orientation of their minds.
One person can make the message, but millions may be hearing or reading and interpreting it. Read the rest of this entry »
DAP and PR will not condone or tolerate any May 13 threat but we are prepared to fully co-operate with UMNO and BN to ensure there will not be another May 13 in Malaysia
Who is the UMNO Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin trying to “rescue” in his naïve but self-serving statement accusing me of manipulating the May 13 remark by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and sensationalising it into a threat – to save Muhyiddin or the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong?
I do not want to waste time on Khairy’s fling with sophistry, claiming that the Deputy Prime Minister’s May 13 remark was not a threat but a reminder to Malaysians to safeguard national unity.
I would be the first to applaud Muhyiddin if he had spoken as Deputy Prime Minister of all Malaysians to all Malaysians on the imperative need to safeguard national unity in a multi-racial and multi-religious society so as to be a model of harmony and solidarity of a plural nation for the world, but this was not what he did.
Instead, Muhyiddin was warning of another May 13 riots if ethnic relations continue to worsen because Malays and Islam were under siege (which was not only biased but baseless), saying: Read the rest of this entry »
No one would expect the three new MCA/Gerakan Ministers will fail their make-or-break test in their first week in Cabinet
No one would expect the three new MCA/Gerakan Ministers will fail their make-or-break test in their first week in Cabinet.
Firstly, no one expected the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to put them in a bind by making his May 13 threat at a Ramadan event in Pagoh on Friday night.
Secondly, instead of reprimanding or at least dissociating themselves from the May 13 threat, both the MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong sought to sanitise Muhyiddin’s May 13 threat by describing it as a “reminder” to Malaysians to stand united.
Muhyiddin was of course not making any such reminder as his reference of another May 13 was solely in the context worsening ethnic relations arising from the Malays and Islam in Malaysia under increasing attack, painting a false picture of Malays and Islam under growing attack by non-Malays and non-Muslims, which is not only untrue but utterly irresponsible coming from a Deputy Prime Minister as there is no basis for such political scenario. Read the rest of this entry »
Abu Hassan Adam
Monday, July 7, 2014
Aku semacam tidak percaya kenyataan TS Muhyiddin Yasin mengenai kemungkinan Peristiwa13 Mei akan tercetus lagi. Aku terfikir takkanlah kenyataan sedemikian boleh terkeluar dari mulut seorang Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Ataupun berkemungkinan kenyataan beliau itu adalah ‘misquoted’ atau disalah tafsir oleh piha media tentang kenyataan beliau itu. Walaubagaimana pun apa salahnya bagi seseorang Timbalan Perdana Menteri memberikan peringatan kepada rakyat tentang bahaya sedemikian.
Tetapi persoalan yang agak memeningkan kepala aku (mungkin kepala aku seorang agaknya) ialah apakah mudah benar bagi masyarakat Malaysia yang kononnya telah mencapai suatu peradaban yang tinggi, boleh mencetuskan perbalahan kaum. Sejarah telah menunjukkan bahawa selepas peristiwa tahun 1969 itu tidak pernah wujud lagi perbalahan kaum yang sedemikian rupa. Maknanya sudah 45 tahun kita rakyat Malaysia sudah boleh hidup dalam keadaan aman dan damai, walaupun terdapat perbalahan-perbalahan kecil di sana sini. Itu biasalah….
TS Muhyiddin menggunakan rasional dan memberi amaran tentang keumngkinan berlakunya peristiwa pahit itu memandangkan “perbalahan kaum ketika ini sudah menjadi kebiasaan apabila satu kaum mengkritik kaum lain……..Sebab itu timbul pelbagai andaian apabila hubungan kaum sudah sampai ke tahap cetus ketegangan dan hubungan tidak baik. Ini boleh menyebabkan peristiwa tersebut dan saya tidak mahu sebut tarikh itu (13 Mei 1969).
Dalam sesebuah negara demokrasi seperti Malaysia ini kritik mengkeritik antara satu sama lain (ataupun antara satu kaum dengan kaum lain) adalah merupakan perkara biasa, apatah lagi dengan kemunculan media baru yang sudah tidak dapat dikawal dan dibendung ini. Aku tidak mempunyai statistik tertentu tetapi apa yang aku perhatikan yang menjadi bahan keritik media baru ialah mengenai rasuah dan penyelewengan yang dilakukan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO (BN) dan para pegawai kerajaan.
Walaupun seribu alasan diberikan oleh pihak kepimpinan negara mengenai sesuatu ‘penipuan’ yang dijalankan, namun pihak yang terlibat tidak boleh ‘melangsaikan’ persepsi rakyat tentang sesuatu isu itu. Misalnya walaupun diberikan berbagai hujah untuk ‘menghalalkan’ pemberian kontrek untuk membangunkan beberapa UITM baru-baru ini, rakyat tetap mempersoalakan kewajarannya.
Sebenarnya perpaduan kaum semakin kukuh kini berbanding dengan zaman sebelumnya. Yang melakukan kritikan yang berbagai-bagai melalui media sosial bukannya kaum bukan Melayu semata-mata tetapi kebanyakannya adalah terdiri dari cerdik pandai Melayu yang sudah tidak boleh ditipu dan dikelentong. Adalah salah sekiranya diandaikan bahawa yang menentang kepimpinan Melayu dalam UMNO itu hanya terdiri dari kaum bukan Melayu sahaja. Ramai juga orang Melayu yang menentang UMNO selagi UMNO tidak diperbetulkan. Read the rest of this entry »
Is Muhyiddin playing the classic bait of threatening another May 13 to distract attention from his dismal failure as Education Minister in the latest violation of academic freedom in University of Malaya jeopardizing plan to restore its ranking as world’s Top 100 University?
Is Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin playing the classic bait of threatening another May 13 to distract attention from his dismal failure as Education Minister in the latest violation of academic freedom in University of Malaya which jeopardizes the plan to restore its ranking as world’s Top 100 University?
Muhyiddin must answer this question for this is the first time in four decades that a Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister had threatened another May 13 riots – but will any Minister dare to ask Muhyiddin this question point-blank at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday?
Not the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who had virtually defended Muhyiddin’s May 13 threat, describing it as a “reminder” for Malaysians not to take unity for granted.
Liow spoke about the efforts by our forefathers to build and unite the nation, but what he has forgotten is that our forefathers, whether Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin or Tun V.T. Sambathan would never have endorsed, condoned or sanitised a racial riot threat like the one issued by Muhyiddin in Pagoh on Friday night and would have demanded a retraction and apology if not resignation!
If all the Cabinet Ministers are like-minded as the MCA President, who could sanitize a “threat” of a racial riot as a “reminder”, then for the first time in the 57-year history of Malaysia, the nation has a Cabinet which is not fit or qualified to lead Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious nation. Read the rest of this entry »
Wong Chin Huat
The Malaysian Insider
2 July 2014
Where Malaysia is heading, with sensational news from Muslim-only Allah, Hudud for all, body-snatching, wedding gate-crashing, police defying the Common Law Courts, to now Muslims buying only from Muslims?
The common question asked by many Malaysians is either “what have gone wrong?” or “Where have we gone wrong?” The relevant question, to my mind, is neither of these but “when have we gone wrong?”
Yes, not what and where, but when. And my answer is 1946. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
30 June 2014
This is a good day for Malaysia.
Yes, most of us will be sorry that Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman is being forced out of his job at Universiti Malaya.
But this is also a good day for Malaysia. Because the principled stand taken by this gentleman is another sign that there are individuals in Malaysia who will not be cowered or silenced or threatened by insecure Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians aided by supine and morally-bankrupt government officials.
Only a few days ago, Tan Sri Shamsul Abbas, the chief executive officer of Petronas, spoke with unusual candour about the pressure being exerted on the national oil company by rent-seekers. He championed meritocracy, knowing full well the attacks he would invite from those who believe it is their birthright to plunder Malaysia’s resources.
He knows that powerful forces want him out of Petronas. The easier option would have been to say that the national oil company’s resources do not belong to him and look the other way as the plundering continued.
Similarly, it would have been so easy for Redzuan to sacrifice his beliefs for personal advancement and pecuniary interests. Read the rest of this entry »
by Zairil Khir Johari
Jun 27, 2014
Zairil Khir Johari draws similarities between Germany and Malaysia but finds how Germany’s system of federalism is efficiently decentralised and embedded with check-and-balance mechanisms at every level.
I WAS in Berlin when I came across Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield. And no, it wasn’t because of his creative space recording of David Bowie’s 1969 hit single, Space Oddity, which generated more than 22 million YouTube views before it was removed recently following the expiry of its copyright term.
Instead, Hadfield, who is also well known for having a keen photographic eye, happened to be in the headlines for a particularly poignant photograph he had taken of Berlin from space.
The now famous shot, taken at night from the International Space Station, illustrates a cobweb of lights with a bright white core radiating from the heart of the city where the government quarter lies.
Sprouting out from that core, the picture takes an interesting twist. The entire western half of the web is peppered with bright white lights, while the eastern half emanates softer, yellow glows. Two contrasting halves: one white and bright, one yellow and dim.
Although 24 years has passed since the reunification of Germany in 1990, the legacy of one of Europe’s greatest divisions could not have been clearer than in that photograph.
The separation of colours as seen from space is not simply the result of two different town-planning approaches, but rather the remains of what was a horrific war and decades of bitter separation.
This historical experience was evident throughout my many interactions during my week-long working visit to Germany. In almost every briefing and discussion with officials and legislators, whether at the state (Landtag) or federal (Bundestag and Bundesrat) level, there was always a sense of a large chip weighing down their shoulders. This was especially true of older Germans.
One of the key aims of my visit was to learn about the German political and legislative systems, as well as the division of powers between the different branches and tiers of government. In these areas, I found that Malaysia and Germany have many things in common. Yet, at the same time, we are also quite dissimilar in the very same areas that we share commonalities. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malay Mail Online
June 25, 2014
JUNE 25 — Let the Allah issue rest, someone said to me. “In the end, when we stand before Him, none of this will matter.”
This is a very Malaysian way of looking at things. Don’t talk about this — too sensitive. Don’t stage a play or make a film about that — too incendiary.
We step on eggshells all the time, trying not to anger that person or this person.
But let us be frank here; there only seems to be one race we seem to be very afraid of offending while there seems to be no problem kicking around cow heads or throwing Molotov cocktails at churches.
We cannot keep sweeping things under the carpet in fear of civil unrest. We cannot keep banning books and films and telling minority religions to stop “threatening” the majority faith. Read the rest of this entry »
Jun 24, 2014
COMMENT For those who knew Bukit Assek assemblyperson Wong Ho Leng, the words ‘brave fighter’ come to mind. When he entered politics over 30 years ago, he joined at a time when being part of the opposition was unpopular.
It was the economic boom years in Sibu, derived primarily from timber, and he chose to stand up to power and urge greater transparency and fairer governance.
Although he contested from 1986 onwards, he first won office in 1996, beating the Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) then-deputy chief minister Wong Soon Kai in Bukit Assek.
His razor-thin majority of 226 votes in his first victory symbolised a political career where he would not only redefine politics in Sarawak but would leave a national legacy. Read the rest of this entry »
by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
10 June 2014
Malaysia is “losing a generation” that no longer trusts the government, authorities and even each other, given the current trend of religious extremism, says Anglican Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing.
Ng, the newly minted president of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), said his greatest fear for Malaysia is a societal break-up due to hate speeches, racial hatred and religious extremism that is not being monitored.
“This nation has begun to lose a generation of people who no longer trust the government, the authorities, the elders, the religious leaders, and more so each other,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Ng said trust and confidence in Putrajaya have plunged to its lowest level with unresolved issues affecting Malaysia’s multi-religious society, including the seizure of Bibles and the controversy over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians. Read the rest of this entry »
Abu Hassan Adam
Friday, June 6, 2014
Aku tidak faham dan ‘bingung’. Seolah-olah telah wujud satu teori yang mengatakan bahawa orang Melayu mesti memiliki perasaan perkauman dan memusuhi golongan bukan Melayu di Malaysia supaya orang Melayu boleh maju. Seolah-olah semacam begitu pemahaman sebilangan kecil penduduk Malaysia yang menggelarkan diri mereka sebagai penganut Islam sejati sedangkan Rasullullah tidak pula pernah mengajar pengikutnya supaya membenci antara satu sama lain.
Seolah-olah golongan ini sentiasa mencari kesalahan orang lain untuk meyakinkan tohmahan mereka bahawa sememangnya orang Cina yang menyebabkan orang Melayu mundur. Seolah-olah golongan bukan Melayu (Cina khususnya) yang mesti dipersalahkan yang menyebabkan orang Melayu masih mundur, masih berpendapatan rendah, masih mengharapkan bantuan dan subsidi dari kerajaan, masih mengharapkan belas dan ikhsan dari orang lain sebagai bayaran menjadi ‘tentera upahan’.
Aku agak sedih mengenangkan keadaan orang Melayu yang sebegini, walaupun sudah ramai orang Melayu yang tidak berperangai sedemikian lagi. Maknanya aku sedih melihat ‘saudara-mara’ aku yang masih bersikap demikian. Aku sedih melihat bahawa masih ramai orang Melayu di negara ini yang tidak mengikut ‘rentak’ dan ‘tari’ bangsa-bangsa lain yang jauh lebih maju dari bangsa Melayu.
Tidak dapat dinafikan bahawa orang Cina jauh lebih maju dari orang Melayu ditinjau dari sudut mana sekalipun. Namun apakah terpaksa kita memusuhi mereka disebabkan mereka berjaya di negara Malaysia ini. Apakah golongan bukan Melayu yang mahu dipersalahkan yang menyebabkan orang Melayu tidak sehebat kaum lain di negara ini? Read the rest of this entry »
– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
May 11, 2014
Since my retirement, I have been concerned with how we can solve the problem of the poor through educational mobility.
This has involved putting my money where my mouth is in a programme which helps needy families send their children to university through financing their first year.
Although Forbes, the media organisation has given recognition to me in its annual selection of Asian philanthropic heroes in 2011, I am the first to realise that my efforts at providing scholarships to the needy are modest and a drop in the ocean of need.
After much reflection, I would like to provide a practical and easy solution to the problem of too many deserving poor children having to chase and compete for too few scholarships.
My solution is a two-pronged one. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
May 09, 2014
In the past week, groups like Isma and others in academia have amplified their hatred for a section of the Malaysian population, going as far as to distort the country’s history to make it clear that Malaysia belongs to the Malays.
It does not help that Putrajaya has remained mute, except for some parties in the ruling coalition making some noises and calling for action to curb such talk. But the dominant Umno and its president, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, remain silent.
Also, these parties are not members of the administration and their voices have been ignored and in fact, Isma has even asked them to shut up.
If the prime minister cannot find it in himself to silence these groups that appear to ignore history and harmonious interfaith ties, then he and his government should just apologise to the Chinese and Christians for their inability to do anything about the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
1.Spoke at interesting forum organised by PAS Shah Alam last night entitled: “13 Mei: Rekonstruksi Sejarah n Pembinaan Malaysia Pasca Rasisme”
2. Other speakers MP Mujahid Yusuf whose father Yusof Rawa defeated Mahathir in 1969, Subky Latif and Pemuda PAS leader Mohd Nasaie Ismail
3. Subky was veteran journalist I had known since 60s when he was with Utusan which had not degenerated to unethical disgrace to journalism today.
4. ’13 Mei ‘a blot in Malaysian history. It should not have happened, should not have been allowed to happen and all Msians must ensure there is no repeat.
5. 45 years after national nightmare in 1969, there is no authoritative account of what and how it happened – no Truth and Reconciliation efforts. Read the rest of this entry »
by Jennifer Gomez and Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 08, 2014
A PAS lawmaker has slammed a public university over a religiously-charged seminar which attacked Christianity, and challenged a claim that Christian priests were masquerading as football coaches to proselytise to Muslims.
Parit Buntar MP Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa said the speakers should make a police report over the accusation, and warned that statements made at the seminar were mala fide and dangerous if they failed to back them with evidence.
“The speakers and the organisers of the seminar risk being hauled up for making accusations which could threaten inter-religious harmony in the country which was already fragile,” said Mujahid.
He urged them to provide evidence to the police, and cited Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution restricting the propagation of any faith to Muslims. Read the rest of this entry »