Archive for category nation building

Has the time come for Sabah or Sarawak to produce a Prime Minister?

The choice of Tenom and Keningau today to launch in Sabah the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana RM2.6 billion?” campaign is most significant.

The campaign is part of a movement to instill in Malaysians a consciousness of their democratic rights and national inheritance so that they can stand up as one people to defend not only their rights but those of future generations.

In Myanmar, voters lined up as early as 3 am on Sunday (November 8) to vote, an indication of how eager the people of Myanmar are to seize a chance for freedom after five decades of military rule.

The latest results showed that Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) has won a landslide victory, winning 78 out of 88 seats for the lower house of parliament for which the election commission has final results. The ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) party has won five.

The road for the return of democracy in Myanmar will a long and uneasy one, as much trouble, trial and tribulation lie ahead.

The democratic and electoral process and experience in Myanmar, despite their numerous weaknesses and defects, hold an important lesson for us in Sabah and Malaysia – that it is finally the people themselves who must stand up to claim and protect their democratic rights and national heritage to defeat the designs of those who want to deny them their basic human rights and legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tun Dr Ismail’s son wants Jakim abolished

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
9 November 2015

There was a time in the country’s history when the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) did not exist, Putrajaya did not tell Malaysians how to practise their faith, and no one batted an eye when Muslims owned dogs.

And the former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s eldest son, Tawfik Ismail, wants those days back.

The main step is to dissolve Jakim, Tawfik said during an interview in conjunction with the release of “Drifting into Politics”, a collection of his late father’s writings during the nation’s formative years, edited by Tawfik and academic Ooi Kee Beng. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tun Dr Ismail would’ve been disappointed with current leadership, says son

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
8 November 2015

Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister, would have been disappointed by the state of the country’s leadership if he were alive today, his eldest son Tawfik Ismail said.

The government is paralysed and the country is “in a mess” because leaders are preoccupied with defending Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over issues, such as 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and his RM2.6 billion donation, says Tawfik in an interview with The Malaysian Insider.

“I think he would have been disappointed with the way the leadership is right now,” said the 64-year-old in an interview in conjunction with the release of Drifting into Politics, a collection of writings by Dr Ismail himself.

It was also the 100th birth anniversary of Dr Ismail on November 4. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet must grapple with many issues tomorrow but the most important issue of all is for Najib to table a motion of confidence in Parliament on Monday to re-establish moral and political authority and legitimacy for him to continue as Prime Minister

The Cabinet must grapple with many issues tomorrow including:

*The Malay Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6 expressing the Rulers’ concern about the state of the nation, with a multitude of national crises, whether politics, economics, good governance or nation-building as the Cabinet had failed to address Malay Rulers’ Oct. 6 Statement at its meeting last Wednesday;

*The twin mega scandals of the RM50 billion 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal banking accounts with the almost daily developments and revelations of these two mega scandals conspiring to put Malaysia continuously in the national and international spotlight as the classic example of a nation with great promise to be the showcase to the world of a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural nation which is also a great economic and political success but is now stumbling and on the verge of becoming a rogue and failed state.

*How to avert Malaysia from falling victim to a “Perfect Storm” with a conjunction of political, economic, good governance and nation-building crises, as evidenced on the economic front by the quadruple sharp fall in the value of the ringgit , the stock market, the international reserves and the exit of foreign capital; on the political front, the spectacle of the government and UMNO in serious fracture, fragmentation and disarray; on the good governance front with the Prime Minister backing out of officiating the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) hosted by the government in Putrajaya for fear of “hard questions” by the 1,000 delegates from 130 countries on Najib’s anti-corruption record; and on the nation-building front, the rearing of the ugly heads of the extremist and provocative politics of race and religion like the racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is Ugly Singaporeans like Bilahari Kausikan who suffer the delusion that they understand the dynamics of what is happening in Malaysia

In the past few days, a top Singapore diplomat had been making waves with his delusion that he understands the dynamics of what is happening in Malaysia, causing him to pontificate on the do’s and don’ts for the Young Chinese in Malaysia.

Bilahari accused the “young Chinese in Malaysia” as being “delusional” if they believe that Malay dominance in politics can be replaced by a change in the system, claiming that this “dominance” will be defended “by any means”, including a possible political alliance between UMNO and PAS.

He said: “It is my impression that many young Malaysian Chinese have forgotten the lessons of May 13, 1969. They naively believe that the system built around the principle of Malay dominance can be changed.

“That may be why they abandoned MCA for the DAP. They are delusional. Malay dominance will be defended by any means.”

It is smart-alecks and Ugly Singaporeans like Bilahari who think they understand what is happening in other countries and even have the impertinence to prescribe how citizens in other countries should conduct themselves, such as expressing dismay that the young Chinese in Malaysia are abandoning MCA for the DAP, who are suffering from delusion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Information Department to print a million copies of the Rulers’ Statement on Oct. 6 on their concerns about 1MDB, rule of law and national unity for mass distribution to the public throughout the country

This is the fourth day of the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Tuesday, Oct. 4 expressing their concerns about three national issues causing the crisis of confidence battering Malaysia for the past several months – the 1MDB scandal, the rule of law and national unity in the country.

The UMNO/BN Government’s response to the Malay Rulers’ Statement has gone through various combinations and permutations in the past four days, viz:

*from the initial one of shock and attempt to minimise the adverse impact of the Malay Rulers’ Statement by virtually blacking out the statement in the UMNO-controlled media, printed and electronic;

*the daze-and-haze of the Cabinet at its Wednesday meeting where the Malay Rulers’ Statement was not discussed and no reciprocal action plan produced;

*the belated realisation that the Malay Rulers’ Statement was too potent to be ignored giving way to a campaign to defang its most biting and adverse effects;

*the first official response of the government by way of a statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi more than 48 hours after the issue of the Malay Rulers’ Statement, stating on the one hand that the government viewed “positively” the Malay Rulers’ Statement while on the other dismissing the Rulers’ Statement by declaring that the government had already taken pro-active steps to address the issues raised by the Rulers;

*UMNO/BN cybertroopers using the social media to plant various versions to “defang” the adverse effects of the Malay Rulers’ Statement such as the message that Malay Rulelrs’ Statement was not directed solely at the Government but concerned all political parties and NGOs, to a revised strategy to suggest that the Statement was aimed at the Opposition and finally, postings to question the mala fide of the Malay Rulers by alleging that the Statement was solely the work of the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal without consultation with the Malay Rulers and was the handiwork of people associated with former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir.

The Ministers who have commented on the Malay Rulers’ Statement have also done themselves no favour. Read the rest of this entry »

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Great misfortune if instead of being a national wake-up call to Malaysians to rise above personal and party interests and unite to resolve the national confidence crisis, the historic Rulers’ Statement on Oct. 6 becomes a new source of national discord and division

It will be a great misfortune for Malaysia if instead of being a national wake-up call to all Malaysians to rise above personal and party interersts and to unite as Malaysians to resolve the national crisis of confidence, the historic Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6 becomes a new source of national discord and division.

The government has taken more than 48 hours to craft an official response in the form of the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, who said that the probe on 1MDB must follow due process, and should not be hastened or delayed.

He said that any decree by the Conference of Rulers was viewed positively and the government had taken proactive steps to address it.

Such a statement actually says nothing, as it is the classic strategy of adopting a form of language which seems to agree with the concerns expressed by the Rulers while continuing with the directions and approaches which had given rise to the Rulers’ concerns in the first place.

The danger of the Rulers’ statement becoming a subject of national discord and division could be seen from the response of the UMNO Vice President and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who said it was presumptuous to say the Malay Rulers have lost trust in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership when they called for transparency in investigations into 1MDB and for wrongdoers to be punished. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three new and important factors for UMNO/BN MPs to consider what stand they should take in any no-confidence motion against Najib as PM

The Ruler’s historic and unprecedented statement on 1MDB, the thunderous silence of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to the Rulers’ Statement and
the clarification of the UMNO Vice President and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein are three new and important factors for UMNO/BN Members of Parliament to consider as to what stand they should take in any no-confidence motion against Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister.

The Rulers’ statement before the 239th Conference of Rulers on Tuesday, 6th October 2015 is historic because it represented a valiant attempt to save Malaysia from “sleepwalking” towards a rogue state with a breakdown of the rule of law and a failed state because of rampant corruption, abuses of power and collapse of good governance.

What the Rulers said were nothing new, but it had the effect of a thunderclap on the populace because simple truths had been forced underground, patriotic attempts to uphold democracy, justice, accountability, integrity and good governance had been distorted as treasonous efforts to undermine parliamentary democracy and sabotage the nation in cahoots with international conspirators; or simply, white has become black and black turned into white.

The Rulers’ statement is like a pail of cold water splashed on a populace which had been drugged either by power or the threat of the abuse of power and represents a final warning of the urgent need for the country to wake up and return to sanity to deal with three urgent problems plaguing Malaysia today – the 1MBD scandal, the parlous state of the rule of law and the frayed and fragile state of national unity in the country.

The Rulers’ statement is unprecedented both in import and content, which makes the silence of the Prime Minister and Cabinet which met for its weekly Wednesday session yesterday, all the more phenomenal, thunderous and unforgivable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parliament should set aside the first two days on Oct. 19 and 20 to debate the historic statement by the Conference of Rulers on 1MDB, rule of law and national unity

Parliament should set aside the first two days of its Budget session on Oct. 19 and 20 to debate the historic statement of the pre-council meeting of the 239th Conference of Rulers as it encapsulated the three major concerns of all thinking and patriotic Malaysians – the RM50 billion 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, the parlous state of the rule of law and the frayed and fragile state of national unity in the country.

The Cabinet at its meeting today should agree to set aside the first two days when Parliament reconvenes on Oct. 19 for such a national debate on a motion which could be moved by the Prime Minister himself, another Minister or by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The whole nation applauds the Conference of Malay Rulers’ statement asking the government to complete the 1MDB investigations as soon as possible and to take “the appropriate stern action” against all found to be implicated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia is for all Malaysians

— Tan Jin Huat
Malay Mail Online
October 3, 2015

OCTOBER 3 — The recent comments by Mohammed Yunos that have been reported in the press are uncalled for, offensive and not words from someone befitting the stature of a true leader. He was alleged to have said that Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese have the option of leaving for China if they are dissatisfied with their lives here. Further, he asserted that “They (the Chinese) have land or their country of origin China, and if anything were to happen to them they still have a place to rely on.”

I have often asked myself about the motivation behind such comments. What is there for him to gain from such comments? Read the rest of this entry »

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Sack both Tajuddin and Chong as message is long overdue that Malaysians deserve Ministers and Deputy Ministers of some standard and quality and not every Tom, Dick and Harry

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should sack both Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Chong Sin Woon as deputy ministers as the message is long overdue that Malaysians deserve Ministers and Deputy Ministers of some standard and quality and not every Tom, Dick and Harry should be elevated to such positions.

For some time, the caliber of Ministers and Deputy Ministers has been on a relentless downward decline like our football world ranking, which plunged to the worst-ever 171st placing in the Fifa rankings in October 2015 when we were still ranked No. 154 at the beginning of the year in January 2015.

Malaysia was positioned in the Fifa rankings at No. 79 in 1993, 96 in 1996, 107 in 2,000, 123 in 2005, 154 in January 2015 and 171 in October 2015 – embarrassing chart of a nation’s trajectory of relentless decline, also reflected in other sectors of our national endeavor.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed Cabinets formed after he retired in 2003 as Prime Minister for 22 years as “half-past six” while former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers.

Early this year, I had written an Open Letter to all Ministers asking them not to be “half-past six” or “deadwood” Ministers, and for heaven’s sake, “don’t be moral pygmies and political dwarfs” but to take a stand on critical issues of the nation on behalf of present and future, particularly on the great questions of right and wrong in Malaysia.

But my Open Letter elicited no response or change, and Najib post-13GE Cabinet was a great failure and disappointment. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Malay agenda

– Nungsari Radhi
The Malaysian Insider
2 October 2015

The subject of Malay angst is a popular one lately. Not everyone is upset, of course, but there is a segment among the Malays, perhaps driven by a sense of insecurity, who have created mental models that put themselves under siege.

They feel disunited, threatened, and their honour besmirched. This, despite the Malays controlling almost all parts of officialdom in the country and constituting more than 60% of the population.

Many commentators have pointed out the unreasonableness of these sentiments. That this is an imagined reality, propagated for less than honourable intentions – to develop a political constituency among the Malays based on their fears and, perhaps, on their prejudices. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seeking a new vision for Malaysia

Murray Hunter & Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini
28th September 2015

“ … I am indeed proud that on this, the greatest day in Malaya’s history it falls to my lot to proclaim the formal independence of this country. Today as a new page is turned, and Malaya steps forward to take her rightful place as a free and independent partner in the great community of Nations – a new nation is born and though we fully realise that difficulties and problems lie ahead, we are confident that, with the blessing of God, these difficulties will be overcome and that today’s events, down the avenues of history, will be our inspiration and our guide…”

– Tunku Abdul Rahman, first prime minister of Malaysia, Proclamation of Independence, Aug 31, 1957

COMMENT Today’s debate in Malaysia has gone down to the lowest ebb. Discourse on democracy is dead; bludgeoned by the caretakers of the cult of secrecy of the ruling regime.

The dream of a progressive Malaysia conceived by her freedom fighters and founding fathers and mothers such as Burhanuddin Al-Helmy, Ibrahim Yaakob, Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tan Cheng Lock, VT Sambanthan, and even the much contested heroic figures such as Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin, Mokhtaruddin Lasso, and Shamsiah Fakeh has turned into a nightmare in broad daylight.

If there is a period of decay in destruction of the democratic institutions yearning to grow well this is the time of chaos and anarchy: of Malaysia in the Age of Corrupt Systems.

The challenges of a nation-state today, seem insurmountable not because the idea of a ‘nation’ of many, hybridising with the singularity, sovereignty, and sensibility of the modern state is an impossibility, but because there is no political will to make Malaysia that nation-state be realised in its entirety. In other words, Malaysia has been made to become a neo-colonialist divide-and-rule hyper-modern polity.

The apartheidisation of society is deliberate and necessary a design in order for the political-economic elite to rule. Herein lies our intention to explore the theme of the ‘Malaysian Dream’, and propose explanations to the reasons for the rotting of this neo-colonialist construct and offer ideas towards a remedy.

In doing so, we are guided by these questions: What are the ills of this country? What remedies does she need? How do we Malaysians chart a new world of possibilities? What are our visions? – these are the questions we are exploring in this brief essay on the future of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Fractured Nation: Malaysia At The Crossroads

Channel News Asia
Malaysia Day was an occasion to strengthen unity of all Malaysians. To the ultranationalists however it was a chance to sow discord and disunity. But why did the protests take on a racial overtone?

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What happened in the Cabinet yesterday?

What happened in the Cabinet yesterday?

Firstly, was yesterday’s Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or had the Prime Minister already secretly left abroad for his overseas trip as suggested by some media?

Secondly, did the Cabinet discuss the highly-charged racist and incendiary Sept. 16 Red Shirts Perhimpunan Maruah Melayu rally in Kuala Lumpur, now admitted by the MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the handiwork of UMNO, whose divisions throughout the country bused the some 45,000 people who were at the rally, and paid them with pocket monies and gave them the Red T-shirts?

Did any Minister raise at the Cabinet meeting the subject that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet should make a fulsome apology for their failure of leadership and responsibility in allowing the racially-charged and provocative Red Shirts Malay rally to be held which desecrated Malaysia Day on 16th September and undermined racial harmony, social peace and national unity?

Did any Minister suggest that the Cabinet should take pro-active steps to initiate a series of remedial measures akin to the formation of the National Goodwill Committee after the May 13 riots in 1969 (this time under the leadership of former Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz) to repair the damage done to racial harmony, social peace and national unity?

Did any Minister referred to the Suhakam finding and the statement by the Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam who said the commission was “perturbed” by the “irresponsible and confrontational actions of several participants for inciting lawless and disorderly behaviour by flaunting racially-charged placards and for uttering slogans that promoted racial or religious hatred in our multi-religious and secular society”, and stressed that “such behaviour cannot be condoned and must be appropriately dealt with”? Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Shirts do not represent the Muslims

By Tajuddin Rosli
Free Malaysia Today
September 23, 2015

After Bersih participants were filled with pride. After the Red Shirts rally most are filled with shame

COMMENT

Incidents that took place on 16 September coinciding with Malaysia Day have shamed the majority of Malays throughout the country. For the first time ever, I went to work with my face down, feeling ashamed to be called a Malay. I could sense my non-Malay colleagues looking at me and laughing in their heads to what my people have become. I had to put on a brave smile and pretend nothing ever happened.

But the reality is Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu has shown the world how low some Malays in the country have sunk to.

Please don’t get me wrong. The hooligans who gathered for the rally in no way represent the silent majority of Malays in the country who are civilized. Unfortunately, just as Bersih 4.0 was called a Chinese gathering because the majority who turned out were Chinese, Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu was a dark day for the Malays in Malaysia. Those in attendance did not look like they belong in today’s world. They seemed to look like a bunch from the Period of Jahiliyyah who travelled through time to get here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia does not want to be a battleground of “yellow T-shirts” versus “red T-shirts” as we want all Malaysians united behind the Malaysian Dream for an united, harmonious, democratic, just, prosperous and progressive nation

Last week, Malaysia saw a 4-hour Red Shirts Rally in Kuala Lumpur as a counter to a 34-hour Yellow T-Shirts Bersih 4 overnight rally on August 29/30.

There can be no greater differences between the Red Shirts Rally and the Yellow T-Shirts Rally.

Firstly, the Yellow T-Shirts Bersih 4 Rally transcended race and was participated by hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, gender, age or politics, who came together with one common national purpose – good governance and clean, free and fair elections.

Those who participated in the two-day Bersih 4 Rally never thought there could be any racial clash or confrontation, for that was furthest from their mind as they gathered not for or against any race but for the sake of a better Malaysia for all races.

The Bersih 4 participants were worried that there might be trouble, but not of any racial nature – for their only worry was that the Police might not be independent and professional enough and might wantonly and arbitrarily fire tear gas and shoot water cannons into a peaceful and defenceless crowds. That was why some of the Bersih 4 participants armed themselves with “goggles” and “smelling salts” not as weapons of offence but to protect themselves.

The Red Shirts Rally on the other invoked fear of racial incidents right from the beginning of the announcement of the event immediately after the Bersih 4 overnight rally, and for a fortnight, the country was inundated with highly-charged images of racial slurs, confrontation and even bloodbath, and the objective of the Red Shirts Rally veered from “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” to “counter Chinese Bersih 4”, “Teach Chinese DAP a lesson”, “Defend Najib Razak as Prime Minister” among others. Read the rest of this entry »

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If Cabinet on Wednesday will not apologise for shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for divisive and racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally, will the Ministers step forward to tender separate individual apologies?

A day immediately after the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Malay rally, I had asked the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to apologise to Malaysians for the most shameful abdication of responsibility in allowing Malaysia Day to be desecrated and racial harmony and social peace to be undermined by the divisive, racially-charged and provocative Red Shirts rally.

It does not appear that Najib will be ready to tender such an apology, as he had transformed his “silent blessing” before the Red Shirts rally to active endorsement after the rally, closing his eyes, ears and mind to the racist slurs, provocations and breaches of law committed by the participants of the Red Shirts rally.

If Cabinet on Wednesday are not prepared to apologise for its shameful abdication of responsibility in giving “green light” for the divisive and racist Sept. 16 Red Shirts rally, will the Ministers step forward to tender separate individual apologies?

I still hope that Najib can realise that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians, and not just for Malays, UMNO or an UMNO faction. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deepening Malay Polarization More Dangerous Than Inter-Racial Divisions

Bakri Musa
www.bakrimusa.com
21st Sept 2015

Over 46 years ago a largely Chinese group of demonstrators celebrating their party’s electoral victory triggered Malaysia’s worst race riot. Last Wednesday, September 16, 2015, an exclusively Malay rally in predominantly Chinese Petaling Street of Kuala Lumpur triggered only the riot police’s water cannons.

What flowed on Petaling Street last Wednesday was clear water, not red blood as in 1969. There was also minimal property damage (except for loss of business) and no loss of life. That is significant; that is progress.

Malaysia has come a long way since 1969, the current shrill race hysteria notwithstanding. However leaders, political and non-political, Malays as well as non-Malays, are still trapped in their time-warped racial mentality of the 1960s. They still view the nation’s race dynamics primarily as Malays versus non-Malays.

That is understandable as the horrific memories of that 1969 race tragedy, as well as the much earlier and more brutal Bintang Tiga reign of terror, had been seared into the collective Malaysian consciousness, permanently warping our national perception.

The challenge today is less the risk of inter-racial conflagration of the 1969 variety, more a Malay civil war similar to what is now happening in the Arab world and what has happened on the Korean Peninsula. Last Wednesday’s red-shirt rally illustrates this point. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tolerance of racism in Malaysia

Julia Yeow
The Malaysian Insider
20 September 2015

Malaysia Day has come and gone, and it’s tragic that a day to celebrate unity, interdependence and diversity was instead hijacked by a street rally which achieved little but show the world that Malaysia has become a country utterly divided along racial lines.

Covering Wednesday’s protest for work created a strange disconnect for me, almost as if the words shouted and messages on the banners were meant for, and coming from, people from some foreign, far-away land.

That was until I received a message mid-way through Wednesday’s rally. It was a friend who has been working and living in Malaysia for almost a decade, someone who has grown to love this country almost as much as her country of birth.

She was shocked and angry after having just read on the news that Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali had taken to the stage at the rally and said the following words:

“Dulu kita bukan masyarakat majmuk tetapi melalui rundingan dan tolak ansur kita menerima kaum lain. Kita bagi mereka kerakyatan. Kita bagi kerakyatan, kita ingat mereka berterima kasih.”

(Once, we were not a multicultural people, but through negotiation and give-and-take, we accepted other races. We gave them citizenship. We gave them citizenship, and we thought they would be grateful.) Read the rest of this entry »

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