Archive for category nation building
(2016 Chinese New Year Message)
Forty-six years ago, on New Year’s Eve marking the end of 1969 and the decade of the sixties, I wrote to the DAP founding chairman Dr. Chen Man Hin from political detention in Muar about the challenges of the future.
I ended my letter thus:
“It is our duty, the duty of every one of our members, branch, state and national leaders, elected representatives, to march in the frontline of the struggle to spread the word of a multi-racial Malaysia to Malaysians of all races, in both the urban and rural areas.
“Let us not shirk from our responsibility and duty to our nation, ourselves, our children and children’s children.”
This is in fact a challenge for all Malaysians for all times. Read the rest of this entry »
Pleasantly surprised to receive a video by very passionate Malaysians and musicians who produced a Chinese New Year: A Cappella Medley, by Kong Xian Ming and Colour of Voices (A Malay cappella group).
What a great and creative way to usher in the celebration of Chinese New Year the Malaysian way.
This is what makes Malaysia different.
We are a nation with a confluence of different races, languages, cultures and religions, where Malaysians celebrate the diverse ethnic and religious festivities not in an exclusive but in an inclusive Malaysian manner.
Just as Chinese in Malaysia celebrate the Chinese New Year together with Malays, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans; Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri together with non-Muslims; Hindus celebrate Deepavali and Thaipusam with non-Hindus and Christians celebrate Christmas with non-Christians – without fear of losing our respective ethnic or religious identities.
This make Malaysians unique and distinct from other peoples in the world!
Let us continue to celebrate Malaysia’s diversity, an asset which could lead to Malaysia’s greater achievements as a people and a nation.
Kudos to Xian Ming and Colour of Voices for blazing the way
The Najib government must demonstrate that it is capable of being sensitive about Malaysia as a multi-racial and multi-religious nation before it talks about widening the scope of BTN for youths and citizenry to become the “eyes and ears” of the state on security threats
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman said last night that the National Civics Bureau (BTN) needs to be revamped given the diverse nature of security threats and that the government needs its citizens to be better “eyes and ears” for the state and for young people to be more aware of such threats.
She said that the government wants the rakyat to be more aware of national security threats, especially youths who seem to be less sensitive of this.
The Najib government must demonstrate that it is capable of being sensitive about Malaysia as a multi-racial and multi-religious nation before it talks about widening the scope of BTN for the youths and citizenry to be “eyes and ears” of the state on security threats.
If the Najib government had been sensitive about Malaysia as a multi-racial and multi-religious nation, it would not have abandoned the 1Malaysia Policy to create a Malaysia where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as a Malaysian first and race, religion, region or socio-economic position second.
Nor would have the seven-year tragedy of Indira Gandhi happened, where a mother is forcibly separated from her 11-month old baby daughter for seven long years with no end in sight because the Cabinet has no political will to resolve the controversy over unilateral conversion of minors. Read the rest of this entry »
Abolish the BTN in the 2016 Budget calibration on Thursday, initiating a study whether BTN can be redeemed and totally revamped to promote national unity instead of fostering racism, disunity, intolerance and extremism in Malaysia
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should abolish the Biro TataNegara (BTN) in the 2016 Budget calibration on Thursday, initiating a study whether BTN can be redeemed and totally revamped to promote national unity instead of fostering racism, disunity, bigotry, intolerance and extremism in the last three decades.
On Thursday, the newly-appointed BTN director-general Ibrahim Saad said that BTN would undergo a rebranding exercise that aims to dispel perceptions it is racist and see its module updated to suit current needs.
The problem with BTN is not about rebranding or that it suffered from “perceptions” that it is racist, but whether the BTN could be redeemed and totally revamped from its ration d’etre for the past few decades – negative, divisive and anti-national role in indoctrinating and inciting racism, disunity, bigotry and intolerance instead of fostering patriotism, unity, inter-racial and inter-religious understanding and goodwill.
Even for former top Malay civil servants in G25 have condemned BTN of being “ultra Malay-racist”.
This was why former diplomat and spokesperson of G25 Datuk Farida Ariffin have joined the growing chorus demanding that the Najib government should dissolve the “anti-national” BTN. Read the rest of this entry »
– Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
24 January 2016
With mega crises on all fronts, (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) and Umno look doomed. But they might just survive politically by creating a “Low Yat incident” every other week.
The game plan is simple: pit underprivileged kids of one race against another, then they will be so busy fighting each other that they will forget who keeps them poor to begin with. The accusation of “poor Malay cheated by Chinese handphone taukeh” is untrue. Why would a “rich” young Chinese work for a handphone shop for meagre pay?
Can we, DAP, see the shared fate of the bottom 60% of the economy – youngsters who are Malay as well as Chinese and other races? Can we articulate their wishes and aspirations in a single breath?
The even more crucial question is this: do we even actually know them? Do we actually know who the Malays are? What the Malays are? Where the Malays are?
It is sad to note that some of us see the Malays as one single entity with a set of stereotypes. For example, we didn’t even realise that we are being racial when we see most Malays as policemen, enforcement officers, Mat Rempit, etc.
The same is true for others who only see Chinese as rich people and business owners who always cheat Malays. After 50 years, the narrative has stayed the same. This is sad. Read the rest of this entry »
Time for UMNO leadership to consider Onn Jaafar’s proposal 66 years ago for UMNO to open its membership to non-Malays so that UMNO leaders can also be leaders of all Malaysians
The Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak asked why UMNO must open its membership to non-Malays, describing this as a non-issue because UMNO has never claimed to be a multi-racial party.
It is sad and pathetic that present-day UMNO Ministers and leaders are quite proud about their national blindspot and their inability to see or understand what the founding UMNO President Datuk Onn Jaafar saw very clearly and vividly 66 years ago in 1950, which was why he proposed that UMNO open its doors to non-Malays in order to lead in the building of a united nation.
How can the nation have a Prime Minister from UMNO who could also be Prime Minister for all Malaysians when the very ration d’etre of his political existence is to be the champion of one race against the other races?
This anomalous situation may be understandable and acceptable in the early years of the communal politics of plural Malaysia, but it should become increasingly anachronistic with passing decades of Malaysian nation building, especially based on the Rukunegara principles proclaimed in 1970 – which should see the old mould of the politics of race give way to the new mould of the politics of national issues of justice, freedom, good governance, integrity, progress and prosperity for all.
Onn Jaafar have the foresight and vision that we cannot build a united nation out of our diversity of races, religions, languages and cultures unless we go beyond the colonial tactics of “divide and rule” and create a common national identity where there is an overarching common national identity and consciousness, and where what is close to one ethnic community is not only articulated and championed by that ethnic group only but also by other ethnic groups transcending ethnic barriers. Read the rest of this entry »
Are UMNO Ministers and leaders prepared, 66 years after Datuk Onn suggested it, consider opening UMNO doors to non-Malays to become an inclusive Malaysian political party?
The pathetic statement by the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak that fielding more Malay candidates in the next general elections does not make DAP a multiracial party is the latest proof of the narrow-minded and petty mentality of the present UMNO leadership, which is completely bogged down by the politics of race and the failure of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Policy.
Malaysia is a plural society and the racial, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity of the country is a national asset and not a liability.
Malaysians will continue to be Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dayaks, Kadazan-Dusun-Muruts, Orang Asli or Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Taoists, Sikhs but the success of Malaysian nation-building will be measured by our ability to create an overarching common national identity where we are Malaysians first and race, religion, region and socio-economic status second – in othe words, where despite our racial, religious, linguisticm, cultural and socio-economic differences, we accept each other as Malaysians first above all else.
In this context, UMNO Ministers and leaders like Salleh Said Keruak should welcome DAP reaching out to get more Malay, Dayak, Kadazan-Dusun-Murut and Orang Asli support and emulate the DAP example to graduate from Malay to become Malaysian leaders instead of decrying such a development.
Is UMNO prepared to emulate the DAP’s example and reach out to all non-Malays and non-Muslims by welcoming them into UMNO ranks? Read the rest of this entry »
At the Special 40th anniversary commemorative seminar on the death of the second Prime Minister, Tun Razak, on Thursday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak vowed to live up to the legacy of his father.
There are at least five things Najib must do if he is to uphold Tun Razak’s legacy, as there is no doubt that the second Prime Minister would have done completely differently from what the sixth Prime Minister had done on these issues.
These five things are:
Firstly, stop prevaricating and procrastinating as he had done for the past six months since the Wall Street Journal expose of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts, and to give a full and satisfactory accounting for his RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega-scandals at the Special Parliament on Jan. 26 and 27 convened for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
As Nazir, the younger brother of the Prime Minister, said at the special commemorative seminar, their father was selfless in his dedication to nation-building and feared the corruption of absolute power, and would be disappointed that our version of parliamentary democracy has evolved into one where power is too concentrated and the system of checks and balances have broken down.
One example is the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal. It would have horrified Tun Razak that the whole system of checks and balances have become so decrepit that Najib is the only person in the government and the country who knows the ins and outs of the 1MDB scandal in the past seven years – which qualifies as the “most heinous crime without criminals” – as Najib, as Prime Minister, must approve all the major transactions, deals and decisions of 1MDB. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysia is seriously sick and the only way for the country to be healthy, vibrant and vigorous again and stop being the “Sick Man of ASEAN” is the cure of a change of government in the 14GE
The first fortnight of the new year, 2016, provided fodder for the prophets of doom and gloom for Malaysia, as Malaysia is very sick, afflicted with a multitude of political, economic, good governance and nation-building ailments.
One indication of the seriousness of the Malaysian malady is my six-month suspension from Parliament, not because I had committed any heinous crime or guilty of grave misdemeanour causing Malaysia to be placed in the third ranking of world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015”, but because of my persistence in the pursuit of the question to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak: “Mana RM2.6 billion?”
This is further proof that those who want answers to the “Mana RM2.6 billion?” are punished while those responsible for these scandals continue to enjoy immunity and impunity under our system of democratic governance!
It is sad is that Parliament has again proven its utter irrelevance and impotence when the Najib government could blatantly break its promise to “answer all” about Najib’s twin mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB – on the last day of the 25-day Dewan Rakyat budget meeting on Dec. 3 and there was nothing anyone could do to demand full and satisfactory accountability from Najib and the Ministers for the twin mega scandals.
This is why I am using my six-month suspension from Parliament to tour the country – I have so far visited 66 of the 222 parliamentary constituencies – to feel the pulse of the people about Najib’s twin mega scandals.
What I had found and learnt is that Najib cannot be more wrong when he claimed that his twin mega scandals are “dead and buried” and no more burning issues of the country, for all over the country, in every nook and corner, Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or even politics, age or gender, are demanding answers to the teeming questions about Najib’s twin mega scandals. Read the rest of this entry »
by Gurdial Singh Nijar
The Malaysian Insider
7 January 2016
As we usher in the New Year, it is time to reflect on the state of the nation – our hopes and our disappointments. We have much to be thankful for. After all, our nation is certainly not a seething cauldron of instability.
But at the same time there are disturbing trends, which if left to run their course makes for deep concern.
In this context I was reflecting on a piece by the conservative UK-based Economist magazine (“Stick-in-the-mud”, December 5, 2015). Read the rest of this entry »
Time has come for realignment of progressive political forces to save Malaysia and to keep faith with the vision of an united, inclusive, moderate, democratic and prosperous Malaysia
(2016 New Year Message on 31.12.2015)
Twenty-eight years ago, many DAP leaders and Members of Parliament, including the late Karpal Singh and P. Patto, the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, the Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw and I were incarcerated under the infamous Internal Security Act in Kamunting because we opposed the “shits” (to use the colourful vocabulary of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi) of the lopsided highway privatisation contract which the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad wanted to impose not only on Malaysians but future generations as well.
Today, while railing against these “shits” of the past UMNO administrations, of which the present top UMNO leader were themselves party to but had done nothing to ameliorate, the incumbent UMNO leadership is trying to impose even worse “shits” on the present and future generations of Malaysians through major betrayals of trust like the RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM55 billion 1MBD twin mega scandals.
To fight the worse “shits” of the present, all forces and contributions are welcome, including those who were responsible for the “shits” of the past, like Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
The year 2015 had indeed been an “annus horribilis” for Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Koon Yew Yin
26th Dec 2015
COMMENT Our prime minister is said to have had an “annus horribilis”. He will probably be very happy when this stressful year for him comes to an end.
Malaysians who are not familiar with this Latin term may have dirty thoughts when hearing the term for the first time. They should be excused for thinking of rude or four-letter words when cursing the BN government for making the lives of many Malaysians so hard and miserable.
It is safe to say that our prime minister is not alone in his year of disaster and misfortune. Millions of Malaysians are having it worse – much worse.
At least the PM’s personal bank account has increased by RM2.6 billion. But pity him; let’s not forget that much of this money has had to be distributed to Umno leaders, including members of parliament, state assemblypersons, supreme council members, division leaders, bloggers, media experts, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
In his Christmas Message, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak called on Malaysians to celebrate the festive season and welcome the New Hear with a brand new resolution and personal mission to bring Malaysia to the “pinnacle of success”.
It is indeed deserving food for thought for Malaysians in the last week of the year to ponder whether Malaysians are striving after the pinnacle of success or staring at the abyss of a failed state if present national trajectories are not corrected!
I don’t think there are many Malaysians who would regard 2015 as a successful year for the country, bowed and beaten in the past 12 months by a host of political, economic, good governance and nation-building crisis to the extent that astute observers of the national scene are even warning about the coming of the “perfect storm”.
The first step for Malaysia to shake out of this impending “perfect storm” is to end the denial syndrome paralysing the nation’s leaders, making them dream about “pinnacle of success” when we should staring at the the “abyss of a failed state” – as just a year ago, it would have been unthinkable that the Malaysian ringgit would have fallen by a fifth of its value to struggle between RM4 to RM5 to a US dollar, but which has now sadly come to pass. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
24 December 2015
Today is Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday and Malaysia is one of the rare Muslim countries to celebrate the occasion with a public holiday thrown in. Not many celebrate it, let alone gazette a holiday for it.
Unlike Christmas, which is celebrated worldwide except in two countries this year and forever – Brunei and Somalia. It would appear that public celebrations of Christmas and in the case of Somalia, New Year, is inimical to their beliefs.
That is their excuse. And the limit to their citizens’ freedom and rights.
But we in Malaysia are a lot more fortunate. We have the freedom to celebrate diversity, celebrating Christmas and New Year despite the views of a narrow section of public that wishing Merry Christmas is not quite kosher. Read the rest of this entry »
Azrul Mohd Khalib
The Malay Mail Online
December 18, 2015
DECEMBER 18 ― When I first heard of last week’s seminar “Ancaman gerakan pemurtadan Kristianisasi” (Threat of the Christianisation movement), my first reaction wasn’t to sigh in exasperation at the wanton abuse by the administrators of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Lendu campus of the trust and mandate to educate young minds.
It wasn’t my outrage that this is yet another example of how ignorant and misinformed dogma and bigotry have somehow percolated and seeped into the minds of our educators at one of our institutions of higher learning.
I was dismayed that the Police DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) saw fit to attend and present at this seminar. Our women and men in dark blue are supposed to enforce the law, keep the peace and protect the lives and property of all Malaysians.
PDRM’s presence and participation at such an event, while not ― as the IGP rightly points out ― unlawful, sends the wrong message and provides legitimacy and credibility to something that is more suited to the fringe, paranoid and crazy-eyed crowd.
PDRM’s participation in this kind of seminar by virtue of its presence, provides support and endorsement to the idea that Christians, their faith and their actions could, or in this case, should be considered and viewed as national security threats.
I cannot emphasise enough that this viewpoint is not only wrong and malicious, but also that this is actually religious bigotry disguised as righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »
Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
18 December 2015
Those in the corridors of power know that our country is not under any kind of threat.
They also know that a large majority of Malaysians regardless of ethnicity, religion and gender support the liberties bestowed upon us by our great Federal Constitution – even if it has undergone numerous amendments and omitted certain important details which made it rather different than its original intention.
In the midst of calls to foster greater union and camaraderie among citizens of this federation, there are those in high positions who continue to contradict calls for “social unification”. Read the rest of this entry »
The outcome of the UMNO General Assembly over the weekend is that the Prime Minister and UMNO President Datuk Seri Najib Razak has emerged stronger while UMNO has become weaker.
This is good for Pakatan Harapan for the 14th General Election but not good for Malaysia in the next 30 months as the country stumbles from one crisis to another under a government paralysed by crippling denial syndrome and an administration which is fractured, inept and cut off from the realities on the ground.
This is why the UMNO General Assembly completely ignored four of the five biggest political and socio-economic scandals in the country this year – Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals; the undemocratic and unconstitutional National Security Council Bill which usurps the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and 13 State Governments; and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) adding to the hardships of low-income Malaysians, already sandwiched between rising costs of living and falling incomes.
On the fifth biggest scandal in the country, there was even an attempt at the UMNO General Assembly to hijack public funds to come out with a publication to glorify the Sept. 16 “Red Shirts” rally in Kuala Lumpur which turned the 2015 Malaysia Day into a “black-lettered” day full of negative vibes of inter-racial disunity, division and disharmony when it should be a day to celebrate the unity, union and harmony of Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region! Read the rest of this entry »
Abdul Azeez should return to Baling to publicly apologise for his “balik tongsan” and other offensive remarks in Parliament or he should be voted out in 14GE as betraying the trust of the Baling electorate
The UMNO Member of Parliament for Baling, Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman made Baling infamous in Parliament when he betrayed the trust of the voters of Baling by making offensive remarks against other races and other MPs, like his derogatory “balik tongsan” remark in Parliament early this month.
Only those who have a narrow, extremist and intolerant mindset, completely at odds with the inclusive 1Malaysia policy, could regard the Chinese or any other ethnic group as inherently “disloyal” to Malaysia, and be so irresponsible as to flippantly hurl the derogatory term “balik tongsan” against the Malaysian Chinese, which was as good as telling them to “return to mainland China”.
Abdul Azeez made the remark in Parliament against DAP MP for Kota Kinabalu, Jimmy Wong, during the committee stage of the 2016 Budget debate on the Home Ministry, causing outrage among right-thinking Members of Parliament and Malaysians.
Although Abdul Azeez, as a result of the protest by the DAP parliamentary whip, Anthony Loke (Seremban), was forced to retract the offensive and derogatory term “balik tongsan” in Parliament, he was never remorseful for his most unMalaysian conduct for he never apologised for it.
Abdul Azeez should return to Baling to publicly apologise for his “balik tongsan” and other offensive remarks in Parliament or he should be voted out in 14GE as betraying the trust of the Baling electorate.
All genuine Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, must be offended by Abdul Azeez’s “balik tongsan” remark, for it shows the utter failure of Malaysian nation-building when an UMNO Member of Parliament could make such offensive and derogatory remark against other races in the country. Read the rest of this entry »
Call for a national roundtable conference of eminent citizens, community and religious elders, political and civil society leaders to brainstorm to search for an exit for the country’s unprecedented quandary and to restore Malaysians’ lost self-confidence to compete with the best in the world
I thank the people of Sabah who have shown unstintingly their support for the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana RM2.6 billion?” campaign in the past two days during our tour of Tenom, Keningau, Kudat and Kota Kinabalu, continuing tomorrow to Tuaran and Sandakan.
The “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana RM2.6 billion?” campaign is not about me, but the future of 3.3 million Sabahans and 30 million Malaysians – whether Sabahans and Malaysians have the right to demand that their elected representatives raise the issues that matter to the people in Parliament and the State Assemblies, like Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM50 billion l1MDB twin mega scandals.
Malaysia is now in unprecedented times and we are in fact in “no man’s land” in terms of our political and nation-building experience.
There have been many strange goings-on in our country in the past year demonstrating that what we see openly and publicly may not reflect the many powerful under-currents flowing below the surface in our political society. Appearance is not the reality, as things may not be what they seem on surface.
I will give three illustrations. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should not have halved Suhakam’s budget from RM10 million but should have abolished the BTN and save over RM50 million
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak showed his true colours of basically unsympathetic to democratic and human rights of Malaysians when he more than halved the 2016 budget of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) from over RM10 million this year to RM5.5 million for 2016.
What Najib should have done is to maintain Suhakam’s RM10 million ringgit budget and abolished Biro Tata Negara (BTN) which would have saved the government some RM54 million budgetted for next year – especially as BTN has continued to be unrepentant and continued its its negative, divisive and anti-national activity of inciting racism, disunity, bigotry and intolerance instead of fostering patriotism, unity, inter-racial and inter-religious understanding and goodwill.
Even former top Malay civil servants in G25 have condemned BTN of being “ultra Malay-racist”. Read the rest of this entry »