Archive for category nation building
— Koon Yew Yin
The Malay Mail Online
October 30, 2014
OCTOBER 30 — As the former Prime Minister of the country, Dr. Mahathir — as with former heads of state all over the world — has been accorded much respect. Not only that, he is given liberties as befitting a leader who has served the country for over two decades, and whose experience and advice is thought of as being given with the best interests of the nation in mind.
But the public also knows that Dr. Mahathir is approaching — if not already reached — the stage of senility and dotage that is associated with old age. Threfore he is given some slack — in fact more than is due to any other political leader in Malaysia. His past controversial statements — many found in his blog and others made at public events — would fill up more than a book but they are mostly ignored as the ramblings of an old leader trying to remain in the public eye. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Najib to announce a “zero tolerance” policy for any threat to burn any holy books of any religion in Malaysia to be a role model of moderation for other countries as part of his Global Movement of Moderates campaign
The explanation by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) on Monday on why the Attortney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail has not prosecuted the Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible has added salt to the wound, as it failed not only to win over doubters but have been received with scorn and rejected outright by majority of the critics.
What is worse, it reinforced the perception that the AGC’s arguments that Ibrahim Ali should enjoy immunity and impunity from legal sanctions because he was defending the sanctity of Islam and was protected by Article 11(4) of the Constitution were not only shallow, superficial and cock-eyed but reflects a Public Prosecutor who has failed in his duties to be a responsible and trustworthy upholder of the rule of law and the protector of inter-racial and inter-religious unity and harmony in a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation.
The Monday statement from the AGC said Ibrahim had made the threat of burning the Bible “in the context of an incident in Jelutong, Penang, where copies of the Bible were distributed to members of the public, including Muslims” and “After the context had been studied as a whole, Ibrahim Ali’s statement does not fall into the category of having seditious tendencies”.
Does this mean that there are certain “context” where it is fully permissible to threaten the burning of the Bible? Read the rest of this entry »
By Azly Rahman
Oct 24, 2014
Again, this question of migration has bored us to the point of death and dying and Sartrean nausea (see Jean Paul Sartre’s play La Nausee on the meaninglessness of concepts). Aren’t we all here in this land now, whether you like it or not? We just need to be good thinking and moral citizens and uphold the ideals of the constitution and live by the spirit of it. We don’t need to keep on manufacturing crises to sustain conflicts and produce new ones.
Why fight over whose grandpa or grandma was here first? Who knows what these interpretations of the history of migration should mean, but what is clear is one’s legal status and citizenship and what all of us have contributed and will contribute to the betterment of each other if not for this ‘imagined community’ and ‘nation-state’ of Malaysia.
I fear that these arguments about ‘pendatang’ will turn into us calling each other ‘binatang’, ‘menatang’, and ‘menate’ (as in Kelantan dialect). Not good for human progress.
Each citizen, lawful citizen, must be given the equal rights and privileges as Malaysian citizens, whether they have been a citizen yesterday or 10,000 days ago. There should be no discrimination in educational opportunity, welfare services, housing, or anything – these must come with the reward for loyalty. I hope we have read Rousseau’s idea of social contract, or at least understand how airlines give free miles as rewards.
So, let us quit arguing and move on. To those still producing these over-used and abused arguments, as if there are no intelligent things to argue about, I must say this: You are all wrong in framing your argument and asking the right questions. Read the rest of this entry »
– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
23 October 2014
At Gerakan’s recently concluded national conference, the public was treated to a lone voice from the party who stated his view with regard to the birth place of the various racial groups in the country.
According to Johor delegate Tan Lai Soon, the Chinese and Indians were not the only pendatang (immigrants), but the Malays were also not natives of Malaysia as they had emigrated from Indonesia.
Tan said he wanted to explain the position of Malaysians in the country, as the original Bumiputeras were the Orang Asli and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Except for the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the Orang Asli, everyone else in Malaysia is a pendatang.”
Tan noted that “when Umno members say that the Chinese are pendatang, they obviously forgot that they were also pendatang from Indonesia,” he said.
This view is one which many Malaysians hold – whether in public or privately. But it is one which Umno, Perkasa, BTN and “ketuanan Melayu” supporters do not like to hear about and are trying to suppress as it delegitimises the special privileges that they are addicted to. Read the rest of this entry »
Recent “pendatang” furore not only proof of failure of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy but 57 years of UMNO/BN Malaysian nation-building
The recent “pendatang” furore is not only proof of failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia policy, but the 57 years of UMNO/BN Malaysian nation-building.
Apart from Sabah, which is a special case by itself, the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, are local-born and 100% Malaysians – a figure which can be as high as over 95 per cent for Malaysians in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.
Whether the ancestors of Malays, Chinese or Indians are immigrants, there can be no cause or justification for any Malaysian to describe another Malaysians from different ethnicity as “pendatang”, especially when the term is loaded in a very derogatory, pejorative and even abusive sense.
This is in fact questioning the citizenship rights of Malaysians, which is entrenched as one of the four “sensitive” rights in the Malaysian Constitution in 197i, whereby it becomes an automatic sedition offence to call for the withdrawal of a Malaysian’s citizenship. Read the rest of this entry »
— Amar-Singh HSS, Lim Swee Im
Malay Mail Online
OCTOBER 20, 2014
OCTOBER 20 — I want to believe in my government, I really do.
I want to believe that they care for all the people.
I want to believe that they are altruistic and want to serve, rather than lord it over the people.
I want to believe that programmes and plans put in place are there to benefit the poor and average person.
I want to believe that they respect and love our country and all the people in it.
I want to believe ….. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
19 October 2014
* Words count for something in Malaysia, then the cloud of pessimism that envelopes the country would long be gone.
But words have a hollow sound here, especially when they emanate from higher the political ladder.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rightly said that political leaders must lead the way with moderation. And then came the letdown.
He said Barisan Nasional and Umno leaders rejected all forms of extremism. Really? Is Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi still a member of Umno? What about Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin?
What about the collection of Umno division chiefs who have pressured the authorities to use the Sedition Act as a dragnet to silence legitimate dissent in “moderate” Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »
Was lack of “tongkat ali” the reason why the Cabinet abdicated from its collective responsibility from taking a stand on Nancy’s parliamentary answer on why Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible?
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in Milan yesterday for the Asia-Europe (Asem) Summit, but this cannot be the excuse why the Cabinet had abdicated from its collective responsibility from taking a stand on the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri’s parliamentary answer on why Perkasa President Datuk Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible.
Had Nancy correctly reflected the common stand of all Cabinet Ministers on the issue binding every Minister in accordance with the principle of collective responsibility, or had Nancy given a wrong, incorrect and unacceptable response, especially with reference to her statements that Ibrahim was not prosecuted because he was defending the sanctity of Islam and his action was protected by Article 11(4) of the Malaysian Constitution.
Has the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility in Malaysia degenerated in practice to mean “that no one is responsible”?
Or, to quote the Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, was the lack of “tongkat ali” the reason why the Cabinet abdicated from its collective responsibility from taking a stand on Nancy’s parliamentary answer on why Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted, as it is inconceivable that Ministers, whether from Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak, who support Najib’s initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates could endorse the answer given by Nancy in Parliament – making them collectively responsible for her answer.
It is no use MCA, Gerakan, MIC, Sarawak, Sabah and even UMNO “moderate” Ministers praising Najib for his recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly against religious intolerance and extremism and even pledging “full and strong support” when as Ministers of the Najib Cabinet, they are not prepared to walk Najib’s talk by refusing to compromise with any form of extremism and religious intolerance, like Ibrahim’s immunity from the sanctions of the law for his threat to burn the Malay-language Bible. Read the rest of this entry »
by Boo Su-Lyn
Malay Mail Online
October 17, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 ― Nearly one-third of Malaysians see religious and ethnic hatred as posing the greatest danger to the world, according to the latest survey finding by Pew Research Center, a concern shared by Indonesia amid simmering religious tensions in both countries and the rise of violent militant Islamist groups.
The Washington-based research group’s Greatest Dangers in the World survey released yesterday showed 32 per cent of Malaysians who cited religious and ethnic hatred as the biggest global threat today.
In contrast, 22 per cent Malaysians surveyed pointed to nuclear weapons, 16 per cent said environmental damage, 13 per cent cited increasing income inequality and 12 per cent highlighted AIDS and other diseases as major global threats.
In neighbouring Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, 26 per cent of its people polled also cited religious and ethnic divisions as the main threat to the world compared to other Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines which are more concerned with environmental issues.
Concerns about religious and ethnic hatred ranked the highest in Malaysia among Asian countries, followed by Bangladesh (30 per cent), Indonesia (26 per cent) and India (25 per cent). Read the rest of this entry »
Malay Mail Online
OCTOBER 17, 2014
OCTOBER 17 ― De facto law minister Nancy Shukri sparked an outrage when she said that Datuk Ibrahim Ali was not prosecuted over his threat to burn Christian bibles because the authorities had concluded that the Perkasa president was merely defending Islam.
According to her, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had decided that Ibrahim’s alleged call for Muslims to torch Malay-language bibles containing the word “Allah” was in line with Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution that prohibits the proselytisation of other faiths to Muslims.
Malaysian law does not address hate crimes per se; Ibrahim was investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code that outlaws wounding the religious feelings of another.
News portal Free Malaysia Today quotes Ibrahim as saying at a press conference on January 19, 2013: “Muslims must unite to protect their religion. They must seize those Bibles, including the Malay editions, which contained the term Allah and other Arabic religious terms, and burn them.”
The Malay right-wing group chief was purportedly responding to a claim that Christian bibles were being distributed to students, including Malays, at a secondary school in Penang.
The government’s explanation that Ibrahim was merely trying to protect the sanctity of Islam gives the false impression that Islam is under attack in the country, and hence, it is fine to do whatever it takes ― even burning the holy books of a minority religious group ― to defend it. Read the rest of this entry »
– Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
13 October 2014
The hostility and animosity targeted at fellow Malaysians whose opposing views may not be in line with the doctrines endorsed by the ruling elite, is dangerously becoming a standardised template used to instil fear in would-be “dissenters”.
Ironically, just a few weeks ago, our prime minister told the world there was a need to “break the cycle where one group gains power only to wield it against another” and to provide an “inclusive” platform that reflects the “pluralistic society” we live in. His speech was nothing more than yet another lip service to appease and deceive international critics – an ideological dishonesty Malaysians have grown to love and hate.
On October 12, 2014, Suaram and GHAH (Gabungan Hapuskan Akta Hasutan) organised a gathering in Penang to call for the abolishment of the Sedition Act. What should have been a peaceful gathering turned into a whirlwind pandemonium, instigated by none other than the usual suspects – hired hooligans from the far right. Just a few minutes after the event started, a mob of Malay men disrupted the event with overzealous fervour, reaffirming that the threat of extremism is fast becoming a disease that may eventually destroy our country.
The ruling elite saturate our society with fear. They tell us to fear the loss of certain socio-political rights, the Communist threat, the Christian agenda and other creative fibs they conjure in order to remain in power. They exploit the fears of those who are most gullible and uninformed. For the rest of us, we can see through the lies and recognise the price our future generation will pay if we allow the rot to perpetuate further. Read the rest of this entry »
Pak Lah’s inaugural blog most welcome but is he prepared to consistently take up the cudgel to champion moderation against baneful developments like the upsurge of intolerance and extremism and the sedition dragnet which have created a climate of fear
Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s inaugural blog on Malaysia Day yesterday is most welcome, especially as it addressed the biggest issue haunting Malaysia since his premiership – the rearing of the ugly head of intolerance and extremism among a raucous few preaching the politics of hatred and falsehoods, causing the worst racial and religious polarization in the history of plural Malaysia.
As a result, we have the sad spectacle yesterday of the former Higher Education Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM), which is one of the initiatives of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who have to ask for no media coverage of a forum on the country’s future co-organised by GMM because of the climate of fear engendered by the recent selective and malicious sedition dragnet.
Although the “no media coverage” was to protect the participants at the GMM forum from falling victim to the current sedition spree, there is the feeling that even Saifuddin himself may not be safe from the sedition dragnet, although he was former Deputy Minister and hand-picked by the Prime Minister himself to be the CEO of GMM!
It would appear that the only persons who need not fear the sedition dragnet are those who had since Abdullah’s premiership and who have become more blatant in the Najib premiership been inciting racial and religious hatred and conflict through lies and falsehoods, the very people who had succeeded in forcing Abdullah’s early retirement as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
― Ahmad Iskandar
The Malay Mail Online
September 10, 2014
SEPT 10 ― At the formation of Malaysia, its leaders charted a course for a nation where a multiracial society would live within a democratic framework that embodied the spirit of harmony and understanding. On 16 September 2014, Malaysia will be 51 years old. From recent developments, it seems that Malaysia is veering away from the ideals envisioned when it was first formed.
In recent years and months,Malaysians have been relentlessly bombarded with hateful statements from the likes of Perkasa, Isma and other Malay ethnocentric groups. They have questioned the loyalty of their fellow Malaysians and suggested that the majority of non-Malays are a threat to Malays and national unity. Hiding behind the mask of race and religion, they claim to represent the voice of the majority of Malaysians particularly Malays.
Much more worrying are government ministers who pander to these groups. In efforts to gain political mileage and consolidate their waning support, they have made irresponsible statements and sowed seeds of discord among the communities, and behaving in ways unbecoming of those appointed to public office.
Blatant racism such as this has upset Malaysians at home and abroad. Many took to social media to express their disappointment at the current state of affairs. While some have blamed the media for sensationalising racial and religious issues; a portion of the responsibility should also fall on the shoulders of Malaysians for failing to take a united stand and voicing the strongest possible condemnation to these acts of blatant racism. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
10 September 2014
It has been a testy time for the media with the powers that be. In just two weeks, we have had a reporter from an online portal detained for sedition in Penang, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi demanding an English daily retract and apologise for a news report which depicted him as being a chauvinist (which the paper duly did and apologised) and attempts by a lawyer representing a well-connected firm to compel yours truly and a colleague to reveal sources who were quoted in a front page report last month.
On a separate note, there is also the ongoing repartee between the Malaysian Press Photographers Association (MPPA) and the family of a MH17 victim following a fracas at the Nirvana Memorial Park on September 2 when a grieving family member punched a photographer and broke his camera for allegedly invading their privacy.
Meanwhile, colleague Azril Annuar has been preoccupied entertaining the continuous requests from Kajang Police for statements on an article quoting Rafizi Ramli on the reason for the “Kajang Move” that saw PKR leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail contest a vacated Kajang state seat to enable her to throw her hat into the menteri besar ring.
As we now know, Rafizi was charged for sedition on August 28. Read the rest of this entry »
By Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS and Datin Dr Lim Swee Im | MMO
7 September 2014
SEPTEMBER 7 — The recent spate of illogical arrests for alleged sedition has confused many of us. It seems that any simple statement can be viewed as sedition and seems to depend on personal interpretation. In view of this can we suggest that the authorities circulate guidelines as to what constitutes sedition from their point of view.
To aid us some examples are listed below. Which of these would be considered seditious? Please enlighten us so we can be careful not to upset the sensitivities of the government. Please note that we are just quoting what has been said by others or reported in media and in no way are uttering these potentially seditious comments.
Example 1: Describing our national football team as duds?
Many Malaysians have attested to this and it is supported by the extremely poor performance of the team. Most of us just want a good football team we can be proud of, and feel that speaking out would be constructive. But it can be construed that criticising the team is an affront to our national pride of “Malaysia Boleh” and may “raise discontent or disaffection amongst the … inhabitants of Malaysia” as stated under the Sedition Act 1948.
Example 2: Calling non-Malays “pendatang”? Read the rest of this entry »
By Christine Lai | TMI
September 6, 2014
“Even the Chinese like it; they buy a lot”. I looked more closely at the piece of lingerie in my hand. Yes, that’s right, lingerie or in plain English — underwear of the female kind. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. What, now even underwear has gone racist, is it?
I wanted to ask the enthusiastic salesgirl, “So how about the Indians, they don’t like?” But I kept my peace. Who knows, if I open my big mouth and get overheard by some zealous patriot who feels insulted about their ‘rights’ to inner fashion, I might get a slew of police reports lodged against me. Which pity our men-in-blue, they may then have to waste their precious time hauling puny little me in for investigation under the Sedition or whatever Act for promoting ill-will and inciting hatred in society. Look, they already have their hands full with honourable MPs, ADUNs, oh, and don’t forget university lecturers. I should just keep my mouth shut and pray like a good Malaysian.
Which I do. Pray, I mean; though I am not too sure about the “good” Malaysian bit. Nowadays if I listen or read too much, sometimes I wonder. After all, sometime back my ‘kind’ has been called ‘pendatang’ and recently anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-bumiputra and arrogant. And if I voted opposition, for sure I am classified anti-government. That’s a lot of A’s but all not ‘good’. Despite that, I am still Malaysian, right — at least I think so. Last I checked my Kad Pengenalan, it’s still blue and the words imprinted on it.
If I were made of lesser stuff (not that I am great stuff, but just a matter of speech), I would really be very doubtful of my status as a Malaysian. I am supposed to feel good about being Malaysian, especially with all that ra ra ra parade, videos and speeches made just about a week ago, on August 31st. I anticipate being treated to a second round in about two weeks’ time come Sept 16th. More of that “How far we have come as a nation united in diversity” line, blah blah blah. Which apparently for some means that I can only be Malaysian if I do, say or think certain things a certain way, like ‘them.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, age or gender to unite to save Malaysia from the New Despotism
Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, age or gender must unite to save Malaysia from the New Despotism which showed its ugly face on the 57th Merdeka anniversary.
Who would have imagined that the 57th Merdeka anniversary would see a quintuplet assault on Malaysian nation building, democracy, the rule of law, press freedom and academic freedom as illustrated by the following instances:
1. Escalation of the rhetorics and politics of racist and religious extremism with UMNO Ministers, leaders and cybertroopers enjoying immunity and impunity for making the most racist, incendiary and intolerant utterances;
2. A slew of malicious and selective prosecution of Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen on sedition and other criminal charges which could lead to the most number of parliamentary and state assembly by-elections in Malaysian history, resulting from disqualification of MPs and SAs convicted of criminal offences.
3. The most number of selective and malicious prosecutions on sedition and other criminal charges aimed stifling dissent in the country.
4. Malaysiakini reporter, Susan Loone, being investigated for sedition for carrying out her journalistic duties.
5. The first academician, Prof Azmi Sharom, charged for sedition for giving his legal opinions on legal and constitutional developments in the country – which is the most serious attack on academic freedom in recent times.
Patriotic Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, age or gender must unite to save Malaysia from this New Despotism which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has initiated on the occasion of his sixth Merdeka Anniversary.
IGP has single-handedly reduced to shambles in less than 24 hours Najib’s three 57th Merdeka Day messages on unity, confidence and prosperity
31st August 2014 should go down in history as the 57th Merdeka Anniversary for the nation’s independence in 1957 when the country rose from more than a year of drift and polarisation since the 13th general elections in May last year and the unprecedented twin air disasters of MH 370 and MH 17 which claimed a total of 527 lives from all over the world to forge greater national unity and purpose and build a model successful multi-racial and multi-religious nation which is united, harmonious, confident, progressive, competitive and prosperous.
But this was not the case. Instead, 31st August 2014 would go down in Malaysian history as one of its “black letter” days where one man, the Inspector-General of Police, single-handedly reduced to shambles in less than 24 hours the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s three 57th Merdeka Day messages on unity, confidence and prosperity.
Najib tried to create history this Merdeka Anniversary when he broke with the tradition of pre-recorded Merdeka speeches and spoke “live” on Merdeka Eve on Saturday night to make “eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart” connection with all Malaysians to show the spirit of patriotism. Read the rest of this entry »
At the launching of Batu Sumpah movement Keningau this morning, I quoted: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”.
At this morning’s annual routine ceremony for Batu Sumpah, Keningau District Office locked up its compound to prevent public access to Batu Sumpah.
At first Keningau DO gave approval for the routine ceremony. Very flattered that permission was withdrawn/compound locked when they learned that I would be here.
But there’s more than a silver lining for every cloud. The ridiculous lock-up of Keningau Batu Sumpah has inspired a Batu Sumpah movement.
Orang Asal NGOs 1st responese was to produce a replica of Batu Sumpah with the inscriptions of 3 oaths for the ritual ceremony to be performed – outsmart the lockout.
This has led to the idea to place a replica of Keningau Batu Sumpah in every Kampung in Sabah – fantastic step to spread the Batu Sumpah awareness in Sabah.
If there is a Batu Sumpah in every kampung – hundreds, thousands? – come about, must thank person who locked up the Keningau DO compound to block access to the Batu Sumpah.
Allan CF Goh
Malaysia Reborn is full of charms,
With white beaches and tall swaying palms.
The redolent air is fresh and cool,
Blowing with gentle, caressing balm.
Native animals are free to roam;
Forests grow in protected freedom.
Myriad flowers bloom in ecstasy,
Their habitats are saved by wisdom.
This country is a peaceful nation,
Where people live in real maturity.
Each respects the other’s differences,
Celebrating our diversity.
Malaysians embrace creative life;
Citizens live with true harmony.
They pursue fruitful activities,
Undisturbed by vile cacophony. Read the rest of this entry »