Archive for category nation building

Is the 11th Malaysia Plan irrelevant?

Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
7 May 2015

John F. Kennedy’s 1961 vision of putting a man on the moon energised the United States to “catch up to and overtake” the Soviet Union in technological prowess. The Soviets humiliated the US by being the first to put a human in space. Kennedy’s vision spurred the US into action to achieve technological domination.

Tun Abdul Razak’s 1971 vision, in the New Economic Policy similarly energised Malaysia. Razak wanted to eliminate poverty and to eliminate the association of occupation (and income) with race. Razak’s vision spurred the nation to recognise and reverse the effects of race-based choices with inequality-reducing choices.

The NEP reduced the income inequality between the Malay and Chinese communities. It succeeded so well that at the end of the NEP in 1991, the government decided to stop reporting figures for the Malay community. The data was hidden because the government lacked political will to end handouts which increased income inequality.

To avoid making the hard political choice of ending benevolence to rich Malays the government combined “other Bumiputera” with Malays and reported only figures for Bumiputera, Chinese, Indians and Others in national reports. Energising vision gave way to superficial vision. Read the rest of this entry »

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The voters of Permatang Pauh must continue to lead the country to achieve what Malaysians failed to achieve in 13GE two years ago – to bring change through a new Federal Government with Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister

Two years ago, the hopes and dreams of the majority of 11 million Malaysian voters who voted in the 13th General Elections for a new Federal Government and a new Prime Minister in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were frustrated by a undemocratic electoral system resulting in the appointment for the first time in the nation’s history of a “minority” Prime Minister.

On Thursday, on 7th May, in Permatang Pauh by-election, the voters of Permatang Pauh must continue to lead the country to keep these hopes and dreams for change alive and to achieve what Malaysians had failed to achieve in the 13GE two years ago – to form a new Federal Government with Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister in the 14GE.

Malaysia will never become a normal democratic country unless we can effect a peaceful transition of federal power through the electoral process instead of regarding it as a national catastrophe, and there can be no meaningful change of political, socio-economic, educational and whole range of nation-building policies unless there is such a political change.

The movement for change must be based on the formula to unite and mobilise all Malaysians, regardless of race – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans – and regardless of religion – Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs – as Malaysia’s future can only secured and advanced by an inclusive political campaign which has a place of dignity and honour for every Malaysian under the Malaysian sun. Read the rest of this entry »

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Either have snap general election or the present batch of 222 MPs should rise above race, religion and party affiliation to elect a “Save Malaysia” Prime Minister who is committed to defend constitutionalism, the rule of law and moderation

Malaysia is indeed in “No Man’s Land”, never before have the nation been so sick and wracked by so many crises, whether the RM42 billion 1MDB financial scandal; the 6% GST imposed on April 1; the worst racial and religious polarisation in the nation’s history with the unprecedented rise of extremism and intolerance as illustrated by the “cross” incident at Taman Medan in Selangor; the loss of national and international confidence in the Prime Minister; major crisis in the two major political coalitions – Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat; and above all, the future and survival of the Merdeka Constitution of 1957 and the Malaysian federation formed in 1963!

For the first time in the nation’s history, there is open speculation as to who should be the new Prime Minister of Malaysia – by-passing not only the incumbent Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak but also the incumbent Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin!

A former deputy prime minister said UMNO is “imploding” with internal wars tearing the party apart.

Another former UMNO Minister warned of a “Malay tsunami” in the next general election, claiming that Najib’s belief that UMNO warlords are behind him has led him to sign off on unpopular policies which could push the people to turn against him at the polls.

A former law minister has even named UMNO veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the best choice to replace Najib as Prime Minister, by-passing Muhyiddin as “the current number two is unlikely to reform the country and undo what Najib has done in the past few years”.

He believes that if former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir “wants better and more accountable leaders for UMNO in the years to come, and at the same time put an end to systemic corruption and improve the quality of the public institutions”, the choice of successor must be none other than Tengku Razaleigh. Read the rest of this entry »

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Best tribute to Karpal Singh is for all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political affiliation to unite to Save Malaysia to defend constitutionalism, the rule of law and moderation as our national way of life and model for the world

Five months ago on Dec. 8, 2014, a group of 25 prominent Malays penned an open letter asking for a rational dialogue on the position of Islam in a constitutional democracy.

The 19-paragraph statement was signed by prominent people, including former secretaries-general, directors-general, ambassadors and prominent individuals, as they felt that it was high time moderate Malays and Muslims speak out as extremist, immoderate and intolerant voices do not speak in their name.

They called on the Prime Minister to exercise his leadership and political will to establish an inclusive consultative committee to find solutions to issues which have become more “difficult to address” because of the extreme politicisation of race and religion in this country by bringing together experts in various fields, including Islamic and constitutional laws, and those affected by the application of Islamic laws in adverse ways.

They also urged more moderate Malaysians to speak up and contribute to a better informed and rational public discussion on the place of Islamic laws within a constitutional democracy and the urgency to address the breakdown of federal-state division of powers and finding solutions to the heart-wrenching stories of lives and relationships damaged and put in limbo because of battles over turf and identity.

Although the open letter of G25 which has expanded to G44, drew widespread support from many quarters, including petitions online as well on twitter and FaceBook, it is most regrettable that after close to five months, the Prime Minister, who had travelled the world with his initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates calling for a “coalition of moderates” to reclaim their religion from extremists appears to be either indifferent or impotent about rising extremism at home. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib forewarned that the UMNO “UG” conspirators should not be allowed to continue to play with fire as it could lead not only to the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat, but also Barisan Nasional and even the Malaysian Federation

The month-long Parliamentary meeting starting on March 9 and adjourning in the early hours of April 10 has gravely undermined and damaged both the political coalitions in the country, the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction.

While the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak may rejoice that the “hudud” plot of the UMNO’s “UG” conspirators has succeeded in causing grave damage to Pakatan Rakyat, he should rue its threat not only to Barisan Nasional but the Malaysian federation as well.

Najib had not realised that the “hudud” weapon of UMNO “UG” plotters’ is a double-edged sword, which could not only damage the unity and solidarity of Pakatan Rakyat with its success to entice PAS support with purported UMNO endorsement for PAS Kelantan State Government hudud implementation, it also threatens the unity and even survival of Barisan Nasional and the Malaysian Federation as well.

In fact, the “hudud” plot of the UMNO “UG” conspirators has the potential not only to destroy both coalitions, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, but also the nation or bring about a realignment of political forces in the country.

The warning signals are clear for all who have eyes to see.
Read the rest of this entry »

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When the success of one nation casts shadows on the failures of another

Julia Yeow
The Malaysian Insider
31 March 2015

Not many were shocked at the news that Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew died on March 23, weeks after being in intensive care. But I believe most were taken aback by the overwhelming outpouring of grief that followed. The unending crowds who queued for hours to pay their last respects and the thousands of honest, poignant outpourings of grief and tributes gave those of us who were mere observers a glimpse into the mark Kuan Yew made, not just on Singapore, but on the world.

Almost every accolade given to Kuan Yew has acknowledged his role in driving a tiny nation from obscurity into one of the world’s most successful economies. Article after article, and in every obituary and compliment, the success of Kuan Yew and that of Singapore – the absolute object of his passion – have been laid out for all the world to behold and, for some of us, to envy.

As Singapore’s closest neighbours, both geographically and sociopolitically, it’s hard not to notice the stark contrast between our two nations, especially in the glowing light of Kuan Yew’s tributes. Our two countries share a unique relationship in that we were once one nation that was ultimately separated by the politics of different ambitions. We had a common goal once, and our founding fathers shared the same vision for a unified, successful Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks Dave, always good to feel less lonely in quest for the Malaysian Dream

It is always good to feel less lonely in the quest for the Malaysian Dream where Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region, unite in a common national vision and destiny to build a more united, democratic, free, just, competitive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens.

I refer to Dave Anthony’s Open Letter to me which ended thus: “Saudara Kit Siang, yours may be the lone voice even in the DAP. Never mind, you too step forward and please let your voice ring loud and clear to reach the ears of all Malaysians. You have thrown us a life-line, and I am sure enough of us will take it. Malaysia desperately needs a leader like you.”

Thanks Dave, for throwing me a life-line!

True, what I had raised in the past week represent my personal views and not the official position of the DAP, as it has not been discussed at the various DAP decision-making councils. Read the rest of this entry »

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An open letter to Lim Kit Siang

Dave Anthony
Aliran
28 March 2015

If enough like-minded people agree to associate, you can create a nation where we all have a stake to safeguard, says Dave Anthony.

Dear saudara Kit Siang,

I salute you as the elder statesman of Malaysia who has raised a consistent voice over the years. Today we are in the cusp of a political crisis and yours is the only lonely voice calling for a Malaysian solution.

Pakatan Rakyat, whichever way we look at it, is no longer a viable reality. Anwar had tried to glue the legs of the tripod together but it still stood lopsided with no spirit to level it. We can try ropes and masking tape and splints to hold it together but it will still not stand.

Why are we even trying to keep it together? Is it only for the sake of capturing Putrajaya? The DAP and Pas are quite clear where they stand on the hudud issue.

We are not certain where PKR stands. They appear to stand as an observer outside – like a fourth party rather than a third party. They should state their stand unequivocally rather than offer to mediate between the DAP and Pas.

Let me explain why Pakatan seems no longer relevant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on rational and moderate Malaysians to give Cabinet a third and final chance to do what is right on the Ismail Sabri affair – to get Ismail to retract and apologise for his racist statement or be removed from Cabinet

I call on moderate and rational Malaysians to give the Cabinet a third and final chance to do what is right on the Ismail Sabri affair – to get Ismail to retract and apologise for his racist statement calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses or be removed from Cabinet.

Malaysians of good sense and goodwill, regardless of race, religion or even political affiliation, are tired of the cant and hypocrisy of the Ismail Sabri affair – to the extent that it is no more an issue affecting the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister, but the quality and morality as well as the credibility and integrity of the entire 35-Minister Cabinet and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The 35-Minister Cabinet seemed to be very committed in wanting to prove former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathr Mohamad and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin right that it is “half-past six” Cabinet with “deadwood” Ministers – for the Ismail Sabri affair has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that we have the most dim-witted and dishonest Cabinet in the nation’s 58-year old history. Read the rest of this entry »

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An open letter to Ismail Sabri

By Syerleena Abdul Rashid
Malaysiakini
Feb 10, 2015

With all due respect, I am not here to tell you how to do your job nor am I here to criticise you – I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinions but one must be made aware of the consequences it may bring. There is an old Arab proverb which states “Arrogance diminishes wisdom”, and as a leader much like yourself, you must be made fully accountable for the things you said and the people whom you may hurt in the process.

But politics aside, I write this not as a political opponent – not today, but only as a mere Malaysian who has seen how demoralised and worn out most Malaysians have become because of the hatred, fear and lies that seem to perpetuate our country.

It fills me with great sadness that our beloved country is slowly but surely heading down a path our founding fathers fought hard against. When they created the federation, they had a vision where Malaysians could live together in harmony and prosper together.

And here we are in 2015, just five years shy from Wawasan 2020. Can we safely say that we can truly become a developed nation by then? Are we comfortable with stripping away our ethnicity in order to achieve the glorious concept of a Bangsa Malaysia? Are we at ease with each other’s religious differences and are we able to prevent any inkling of religious supremacy? Read the rest of this entry »

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The 35-Minister Cabinet tomorrow will have second and final opportunity to demonstrate whether they are “We Are All Ismail Sabri” or “We Are All not Ismail Sabri”!

The 35-Minister Cabinet tomorrow will have a second and final opportunity to demonstrate whether they are “We Are all Ismail Sabri” or “We Are All Not Ismail Sabri”!

Cabinet Ministers should stop equivocating and end their hypocritical stances, as beating their breasts in public promising to “claim justice for the Chinese community” for the smear by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, against the Chinese community but the astounding revelation later by the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that neither the MCA nor MIC Ministers at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday had asked Ismail to retract his racist statement or resign from the Cabinet. No mention whatsoever about the Gerakan Minister’s role in Cabinet!

Yesterday, after a week of procrastination, the police had finally recorded a statement from Ismail Sabri for his racist call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.

Malaysians are still intrigued and puzzled why the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar insists on wasting police time and resources on an investigation into the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry when the Cabinet last Wednesday had sanctioned, condoned and defended Ismail’s racist call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.

Is the IGP seriously suggesting that the Police will dare to find the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet wrong in sanctioning, condoning and defending Ismail’s racist call, and to submit such an investigation report to the Attorney-General for further action?

Who could envisage the Attorney-General charging in court not only Ismail, but also the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet for sanctioning, condoning and defending Ismail’s racist call on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses? Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is Najib the only one of six Prime Ministers to sanction, condone and defend the totally indefensible rabid racist statement of one of his Ministers?

The rabid racist statement by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses has snowballed from the aberration of one errant Minister to a crisis of an entire errant Cabinet of 35 Ministers because of the extraordinary and outrageous decision by the Cabinet to sanction, condone and defend Ismail’s racist fulminations.

Today is the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s 112th birthday anniversary. I have no doubt that if the Ismail Sabry episode had happened in Tunku’s time as Prime Minister, Ismail would have been made to apologise for his racist fulminations and even been sacked from Tunku’s Cabinet.

This was why in my statement six days ago on 2nd February, I had said:

“If a past Minister had done what Ismail did under the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn, he would have been sacked on the spot immediately after the expression of such racist sentiments, for it would be conclusive proof of his total unsuitability to continue as a Cabinet Minister in a plural society.

“I think such a Minister would have been sacked by Tun Dr. Mahathir during his 22 years of premiership although Mahathir may now look for excuses to come to Ismail’s defence or rescue.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tunku and Pak Samad are quintessential Malaysians who must be the models for Malaysians to emulate if we want Malaysia to succeed as a truly developed nation by 2020

This is a “double honour” gathering, to remember a statesman Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia and to celebrate a national laureate, Pak Samad, not just because they share the same birthday on February 8, but because they are quintessential Malaysians, the embodiment of what a Malaysian should be, transcending race, religion and region, representing what is best for decent and civilized human beings, espousing the causes of truth, freedom, justice and dignity for all.

Tunku and Pak Samad should be models for all Malaysians to emulate if we want Malaysia to succeed as a truly developed nation by 2020, as envisaged by Vision 2020.

A quintessential Malaysian is a rare commodity in Malaysia today, although we are in the fifth decade of nationhood – 57 years after Merdeka in 1957 and 51 years after the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities (my Form Four textbook – and it is another sign of worsening times in Malaysia that our students today do not have such textbooks anymore) and how the novel started, which seemed also to describe the national situation in Malaysia today, viz:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

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My lawyers instructed to institute criminal and civil proceedings against an UMNO blogger Syed Akhbar Ali for his defamatory tweet insinuating that I am a communist and racialist who is anti-Malay who caused the May 13 race riots

I have instructed my lawyers to institute criminal and civil proceedings against an UMNO blogger Syed Akhbar Ali for a defamatory tweet late last night insinuating that I am a communist and a racialist who is anti-Malay who caused the May 13 race riots.

Syed Akhbar’s tweet carried a graphic of me in the garb of Mao Tse Tung, alleging that I am “Bapa 13 Mei”, and accusing me of having caused the May 13 race riots in 1969 because of my anti-Malay statements and slogans, with a caption “’MELAYU KELUAR! APA LAGI DUDUK SINI, KITA HENTAM LU, SEKARANG KITA SUDAH ADA KUASA” LIM KIT SIANG (BAPA 13 MEI).

The graphic in Syed Akbar’s tweet alleged that I had made the following statements in the following places and dates:

1. Menggunakan slogan “Malai-Si” bermaksud “Mati Melayu”.

2. “Apa polis boleh buat, kita Raja. Buang sama polis Melayu.”
– (11 Mei 69, Bukit Bintang)

3. “Mati Melayu, sakai pergi masuk hutan”.
– (11 Mei 69, Jalan Bukit Bintang).

4. “KL sekarang cina punya”.
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Open Letter to Ministers an hour before Cabinet meeting – Don’t be “half-past six Cabinet” of “deadwood” Ministers, and don’t be moral pygmies and political dwarfs but take a stand on behalf of present and future generations on the great issue of right and wrong in Malaysia

Only last Thursday, I had the occasion to comment that the Malaysian Cabinet Edition 2015 is probably the worst in the 58-year Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.

This was when the Cabinet failed to repudiate and reprimand the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan for his irresponsible and reckless statement that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarisation in support of the equally bizarre statement by the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that the restoration of the third vote could cause a repeat of the May 13 race riots.

Abdul Rahman is the most irresponsible Local Government Minister in the nation’s history for no other Local Government Minister had ever made such a statement in the past 50 years since the suspension of local government elections on March 1965 on the ground of threat from Indonesian Confrontation.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed the previous Cabinet as “half-past six” and the former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin was no less caustic when he talked about “deadwood” Ministers.

But the Cabinet 2015 seems set on proving Mahathir and Daim right in their condemnation of the quality, character and even work ethics of the current batch of Cabinet Ministers.

The Cabinet 2015 had already totted up several major failures in the first month of the new year, including: Read the rest of this entry »

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Same old racial mindset in 1Malaysia

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
2 February 2015

We have celebrated 51 years as Malaysians but to some people, we are still in the racial silos of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Others. And with that come all the stereotypes of each race.

Mind you, this racial mindset still persists despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia campaign to bring all Malaysians together after the fractious 2008 polls where Barisan Nasional (BN) saw its majority evaporate to less than the customary two-thirds in the federal parliament.

1Malaysia has been hardly heard of since BN’s further losses in 2013 and there is a good reason for that: Najib’s colleagues in his hand-picked Cabinet have not much regard for it.

Take the latest volley from Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who wrote in his Facebook account that the Malays should boycott Chinese businesses, singling out the Old Town White Coffee franchise because of its alleged DAP links. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why silence from IGP on Minister Ismail when Khalid would have tweeted directive to police to investigate DAP or PR leaders under Sedition Act if they had expressed similar racist sentiments?

If a PAS or PKR leader had called on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses to lower prices or a DAP leader had called on non-Malay customers to boycott Malay businesses to lower prices, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar would have immediately tweeted directive to his police officers to investigate the DAP or PR leaders
under Sedition Act or a whole host of other laws.

Why then the unusual silence from the Inspector-General of Police when the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob called on Malays to boycott Chinese businesses to lower prices?

Has Khalid’s twitter account broken down or is Bukit Aman suffering from a breakdown of internet access?

This itself highlights the double-standards which the IGP had been conducting himself, doing a great disservice to the professionalism and integrity of the overwhelming majority of dedicated men and women in blue who had conscientiously and diligently carried out their duties to uphold the law without fear or favour.

I hope that within minutes of this statement going out, we will see Khalid in twitter action! Read the rest of this entry »

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Sad and tragic Prime Minister and Cabinet do not seem to be understand the grave sentiments expressed by Yang di Pertuan Agong that he had never been more concerned about race and religious relations in his 57 years as ruler

It is most sad and tragic that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet do not seem to understand the grave sentiments expressed by the Yang di Pertuan Agong, Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, that he had never been more concerned about race and religious relations in the country since ascending to the throne 57 years ago in 1958 – a year after the country’s independence.

The year 2014 which ended about three weeks ago had been bedevilled by a host of disasters and misfortunes like

(1) the two air crashes of MH370 on March 8 and MH 17 of July 17 with a total toll of 537 crew members and passengers of different nationalities, together with a third air disaster in one year, Air Asia QZ8501 which crashed into Java Sea with 162 victims on Dec. 28;

(2) the year-end worst floods catastrophe within living memory, with close to a million flood victims, evacuating a quarter of a million flood refugees to the various flood relief centres, created the devastation of Zero Ground zones like Manek Urai, Kg. Manjur and Kg Karangan all in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, a death toll of 25 and billions of ringgit of damage;

(3) the burgeoning multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal threatening to become the “mother of all financial scandals” in Malaysia; Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s time we decide the country we want

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
16 January 2015

Malaysians used to be more tolerant than we are today. Once upon a time in a not-so-distant past, we used to visit each other’s open houses freely without worry. The idea of what was halal or haram was mutually understood and we didn’t have holier-than-thou organisations to tell us that we couldn’t mingle with fellow Malaysians who professed different religions because they were a threat to our own faiths. We ate and drank together while some of us even played mahjong until dawn.

But now, our society has swayed from tolerance and respect to antithetical values that condemn logic and defend non-negotiable conservatism. Traditionalists may twist the articulations of conscience to justify their causes but their narratives are often arbitrary and sometimes quite laughable. Consider the controversies that surround our society: for instance, the recent furore over a K-Pop act, school principals not allowing non-Malay students to wear the baju kurung, arguments over “domesticated genes” and so on. The voices of the absurd and the one dimensional are becoming louder with each passing day, only because they have been sanctioned to spread intolerance by the powers that be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Razak’s young Turk talks about his mentor

by Md Izwan
The Malaysian Insider
14 January 2015

To commemorate the 39th death anniversary of Malaysia’s second prime minister and “Father of Development” Tun Abdul Razak, The Malaysian Insider is running a series of interviews with his colleagues and close associates who, with Razak, steered Malaysia through the early days of rebuilding following the race riots of May 13, 1969.

Earlier today, we heard from four of Razak’s sons on his legacy and their personal memories of their father.

In this article, former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam speaks about Razak’s leadership style and of his experience working with the man who brought him back to Umno after his expulsion. Musa had been expelled from Umno after the race riots over a fall-out with the then prime minister and Umno president, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Readmitted to the party by Razak, Musa went on to rise in Umno and also held the post of Minister of Primary Industries in Razak’s cabinet.

Despite the political tension surrounding Tunku’s departure and Razak’s ascension as prime minister, Musa remembers his mentor for his gentleness, patience and consultative approach, coupled with his firmness to see a decision through once it was made. These were values, Musa says, that Razak knew were needed to manage a multireligious and multiracial country like Malaysia.

TMI: What kind of person was Tun Razak to you? As a leader, a friend or a colleague?

Musa: Tun Razak was a national leader in the true sense of the word. He had vision and perception. He understood the priorities of our country on attaining independence. The long term interest of the nation, to him, was a united Malaysian nation based on the principle of unity within diversity. Read the rest of this entry »

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