Archive for category nation building
— K. Haridas
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013
MAY 14 — What would the Indians in the MIC do when they gather? Obviously they would not speak about what they could do to help Malays or even the Bumiputeras out of poverty or help increase their share of the economic cake. The same would hold true for the MCA. To think of helping the Malays or the Indians would be outside their scope and agenda.
Would the agenda be any different for Umno? Perhaps, because they take the lead within Barisan Nasional (BN) they would be even more sensitive about any approaches for a larger slice of the cake from any of their coalition partners. To them the status quo would always remain the best option because this guarantees stability except when the issue is one of survival.
Otherwise, they would be seen as giving in to demands and thus perceived as weak. While there is nothing right or wrong about such approaches these highlight the narrow ethnic context where the focus is on the part and not on the whole. Is it a wonder then that BN has continued to stagnate?
There are no regular consultations at different levels within BN, hence issues often become divisive and a source of conflict. Let us take the case of the use of the word “Allah”. The other component parties of the BN will shy away and leave this for Umno to handle. Yet, when the crisis worsens they all pay a heavy price for their silence.
The same can be said for issues like “body snatching”, conversions, deaths under police custody, to mention a few. BN has never responded by establishing a modus operandi based on justice and fairness. Every issue is viewed from an ethnic context and once this becomes the case nothing further can be done. Everyone backs off and the courts become an avenue to deal with unresolved problems. The judges then just repeat the law or the case is postponed numerous times and the status quo remains.
There is no political will to address issues on the basis of justice, fairness and equity. This is the grave limitation of race-based politics. We have had enough of such injustices. Read the rest of this entry »
— Tih Seong Pin
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013
MAY 14 — The call by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad for the abolition of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools in favour of a single stream school which uses Malay-language as a medium is unconstitutional,backward,impractical,irresponsible and unMalaysian.
To abolish Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools in the country means to deny the roles and contributions played by both major communities since Merdeka in 1957 and this does not make sense!
The UiTM pro-chancellor must not forget it was the joint noble aspirations, efforts and unity of the nation’s 3 major races that won Malaysia’s Merdeka and freed us from the British rule thta made us the master of our destiny!
Malaysia belongs the the people of all races and all our cultural,social ,economic and political rights are guaranteed in the highest laws of the land -the Federal Constitution.
For so long, Chinese vernacular schools have played a tremendous role in developing the nation-economically,culturally and politically fostering national unity by producing many talented and -high-value individuals,among them with people like Pua Khein Seng-who invented the first single chip USB flash controller in the world called”pendrive”in 2001 and Datok Lee Chong Wei,our national badminton star who has brought international honours to our motherland just to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »
Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi
May 14, 2013
I wish to echo the honest sentiment of Azmin Hassan, director of the National Unity and Integritation Department, in urging a cessation of racist statements by the media and politicians of ethnic-based parties and NGOs. As an academic, a father of five children and as a member of the rakyat in this beloved country of ours we must seek a surer solution that such racial riots in 1969 shall not repeat in our future.
We, the rakyat, and I, the civil servant, as well as Azmin must intervene amidst such irresponsible statements by our so-called national leaders as well as a once-respected national daily.
My call is slightly different than others in resolving this racial stalemate. I am now a grandfather at the age of 51 and may still harbour a chance of my witnessing my grandson voting in a fair election hopefully by a more professional and multi-racial based Election Commission without leaders that seem to favour one group above another.
What I would like him to do is to choose a party, any party that no longer carries any race-based ideology or for that matter any ‘religious’ ideology, whether Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism. That is our Malaysian Dream. No more race-based or religious-based political parties.
NGOs who wish to cater to Malays, Chinese, Indians, Dayaks, Islam, Christianity and other religions are welcome to participate in the democratic process within the rules of ‘adab’ or courteous discourse, far from the venom of those spouted by one Zulkifli Noordin. Read the rest of this entry »
— Abdul Haleem Abdul Rahiman
The Malaysian Insider
May 10, 2013
MAY 10 — If you are not aware — there is a NEW MALAYSIA out there. The NEW MALAYSIA with a new generation. Before you think this is the young new generation let me tell you that you are wrong. No, the word “generation” is not an age group defined.
This NEW MALAYSIA also not restricted by geographical boundaries. A Malaysian, no matter where is he or she based at, be it Australia, the Middle East, North America, North Asia, Europe or Africa — they are and they also surely will be part of this NEW MALAYSIA.
This NEW MALAYSIA no longer intimidated by tear gas or risk of being arrested for participating in public gatherings.
This NEW MALAYSIA will speak up, will stand up and will walk for miles to be heard, to be recognised and to be RESPECTED. Read the rest of this entry »
Dear Prime Minister and all in UMNO
I am, by your definition, Malay. Except it is said that in our family folklore, my paternal grandmother was probably biologically Chinese. And yes, my mother is a former Catholic from the Philippines.
Not that any of that should matter because, as far as you are concerned, I am Malay.
Only, I did not vote for you. And neither did a whole lot of other Malays,despite what you would like to think. Do the math. If 80% of the population voted, then surely, you cannot blame the erosion of your power on the Chinese minority. Or did you fail that subject too?
I voted for the Opposition because as a Malay, I myself have had enough. Not because I necessarily like all the Opposition leaders, but frankly, I just like you lot less. Because despite all your rhetoric about the Opposition being a lying, conniving bunch, I have personally born witness and been on the receiving end of YOUR lies and policies that stoke racial and religious polarity. Not the Opposition’s. Read the rest of this entry »
1-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – Coming-of-Age of Malaysian Dream, with PR campaigning on “hope” while BN campaigning on “fear”
Let the 13th General Elections tomorrow mark the coming-of-age of the Malaysian Dream, uniting Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region, in a common national vision and destiny to build a more united, democratic, free, just, competitive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens.
In my 47 years in politics, I have always regarded myself as a Malaysian first and last. I have never regarded myself purely as a Chinese, but as a Malaysian of Chinese ethnic descent whose loyalty is unswervingly to the Malaysian nation, having common cause with all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region to build a better Malaysia for all Malaysians.
Loyalty to the Malaysian nation is however not the same as loyalty to the government of the day.
It is a complete misunderstanding and misperception of the meaning of “loyalty” for the caretaker Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional leaders to equate support of the government-coalition of the day with loyalty to the nation. Read the rest of this entry »
May 1, 2013
A Gerakan veteran emerged today to back PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, who accused Umno of masterminding the May 13 racial riots in 1969.
Hadi told a political rally in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, on Monday that the bloody racial riots 44 years ago were orchestrated by Umno to cling on to power.
“May 13 was not an ethnic phenomenon. It was a political occurrence,” former Gerakan leader Goh Cheng Teik told Malaysiakini.
“Only those who were members of Umno or associated with it were involved. PAS members had nothing to do with May 13.” Read the rest of this entry »
by Ravinder Singh
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 1 — Actions speak louder than words. BN’s words splattered all over the landscape proclaim 1Malaysia, which people have been made to believe is about all races and religions living as one big family while practicing their own religions and cultures. However, its recent actions show the hidden agenda behind the facade. The ugly head of racism has been put up for all to see.
The appearance of BN billboards with the extremely racist message “Do you want to see your grandchildren praying in this Allah’s house?” is something all peace-loving Malaysians of all racial and religious backgrounds must condemn. I’m sure many Malays too do not condone this racial bigotry of stirring up racial feelings for the sake of winning elections. Read the rest of this entry »
by Ragesh Kumar Lingam
Apr 24, 2013
Malaysia is known as a multi-racial country and we have been promoting that ever since independence.
The current prime minister has long called for nambikei (trust) from the Indian community for BN.
My question is on BN’s decision to field Zulkifli Noordin as BN’s candidate for the Shah Alam Parliament seat.
Zulkifli is well known for his racist remarks towards Indians especially to the Hindus in Malaysia.
This has been proven and everyone is well aware of this. Although we understand he has apologised, what does it matter now. Read the rest of this entry »
— Ong Kar Jin (loyarburok)
The Malaysian Insider
April 18, 2013
APRIL 18 — Sixty-two years ago, Datuk Onn Jaafar took a bold political step forward and proposed that Umno open itself to members of other ethnicities. The United Malays National Organisation was to become the United Malayans National Organisation. Sadly, his vision was far ahead of his time and was rejected.
Since the inception of Malaya in 1957 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the political narrative of our country has been one of race. Campaigns, parties, social movements rely on appealing to ethnocentric sentiments to remain relevant.
Post-1969, this narrative hardened and played on fears of ethnic violence. To a large extent, it has reinforced barriers between Malaysians, and created a siege mentality of “us versus them”.
The issue of race has puzzled, haunted and fascinated me my entire life. As a child growing up in a Chinese vernacular school, I was shocked to see how some students treated Malays and Indians. “Babi”, “Keling” and other callous words were thrown about by children as young as 10.
All Malaysians have witnessed this kind of blatant racism, whether by eyewitness, hearsay or personal experience. And many of us are guilty of it. As a collective, we certainly are: stereotypes are perpetrated by parents complaining of racism while being guilty of it all the same, careless comments or dark thoughts in our heart of hearts, generalizing or signing off people based on their race. No one race can blame the other and absolve itself of its own complicity.
We cannot wash away our sins in these matters. Race-based political parties like Umno, MCA and MIC survive because of simple economics: where there is a demand, there will be a supply. These parties are both the cause and effect of our divisions: they are borne out of our own tendencies to divide ourselves and exploit them by emphasising how we are different.
Race-based parties imply that only Chinese can help Chinese best, only Malays will properly serve the interests of Malays, ad infinitum. By being explicitly race-based parties, they state they are their race first and Malaysian second. Read the rest of this entry »
On April 11, 2013, I unveiled my Vision 2050 for Malaysia to replace Vision 2020.
I believe that Malaysians need a new vision for a bolder, brighter and better Malaysia especially since the aspirations of Vision 2020 has been tarnished, perhaps irrevocably so, by the actions and words of the very person who outlined this vision, Dr. Mahathir.
I unveiled 10 points for my Vision 2050 which I very much hope can start a national conversation about new aspirations for the country and the course which we must chart in order to achieve these aspirations.
The mother of all election battles which is the Battle of Gelang Patah, where I will face off against the popular Johor Menteri Besar, Abdul Ghani Othman, is more than just a contest to determine the results in one seat.
It is more than just a contest for Johor. And it is most definitely more than just a contest for Putrajaya. It is a contest for the heart, soul and mind of Malaysia.
As such, as part of the 24 day countdown to polling day on May 5, 2013, I want to share my thoughts on each one of these points.
While I most likely will not live to see 2050, I sincerely hope that I will be able to witness our beloved country moving in the right direction. Win or lose, this battle to achieve Vision 2050 must go on. Read the rest of this entry »
23-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – Dr M in his post-PM decade has emerged as the greatest enemy of his own Bangsa Malaysia concept in Vision 2020 and the single greatest threat to Malaysian nation building
Tun Mahathir had no qualms in breaking his pledge to leave politics “completely” when he stepped down ten years ago as the country’s longest Prime Minister for 22 years, and despite his brief departure from the UMNO Baru which he had formed, Mahathir is now so firmly ensconced in the corridors of power that he is undoubtedly the most feared man by all UMNO/Barisan Nasional politicians.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak fear him most as Mahathir has proven that he could make and unmake Umno Prime Ministers, and the last thing Najib wants is to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Tun Abdullah of being toppled as Prime Minister after failing to secure an acceptable winning majority in Parliament in the 13GE.
But the saddest and most tragic aspect of the second rise of Mahathir in the UMNO/BN corridors of power is his baleful and baneful influence on Malaysian politics and nation-building, as he has emerged in his post-PM decade as the greatest enemy of his own Bangsa Malaysia concept in Vision 2020 and the single greatest threat to Malaysian nation building.
In the past week, Mahathir provided two examples of the baleful and baneful influence as the arch-enemy of Bangsa Malaysia and the greatest threat to Malaysian nation building.
Firstly, Mahathir’s sky-high praises for the Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali, elevating the patron of the Malay supremacist group as a “saviour” of the nation and leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that Ibrahim Ali would be the ideal candidate for Mahathir to be Prime Minister of Malaysia!
Secondly, his utterly racist blog yesterday warning of a “race confrontation” if I win in Gelang Patah in the 13GE. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday I completed the series of 100-day countdown of daily statements to the 13GE which I started on 1st January 2013, not expecting to have to complete it as it was then generally expected that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have dissolved Parliament after the Chinese New year holidays in February for the long-awaited 13th General Elections to be held.
The 100th-Day Countdown to 13GE statement yesterday, in which I challenged Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to a series of seven public debates on his 22-year premiership as Mahathir has made the 13GE a double referendum on both the Najib and Mahathir premierships, coincided with the announcement by the Election Commission of 20th April as Nomination Day and 5th May as Polling Day for the historic 13GE.
I am therefore beginning today a new series of 24-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day statements.
I have said that the Battle of Gelang Patah is to kick off the Battle of Johore and the larger Battle of Malaysia for two reasons:
Firstly, to launch off a political tsunami from the south in the 13GE to complete the partial 2008 political tsunami, including winning over one-third of the total of 83 parliamentary seats in the three fixed deposit states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak (ideally, 33 seats from Johor, Sabah and Sarawak) to complete the partial 2008 political tsunami towards the establishment of a Pakatan Rakyat federal government in Putrajaya.
Read the rest of this entry »
Apr 8, 2013
We are at a critical juncture – at a dangerous crossroad of either a peaceful transfer of power or a descent into utter chaos. These few weeks we will see more drama unfolding – the ultimate aim is to win and win and win and kill and kill and overkill our critical sensibility.
We have not recovered from the shock of a Sulu incursion and we are ill-prepared for a general election that is plagued with all kinds of issues from many angles and manifesting in all kinds of dimensions. This is our megatrend of madness.
We have perfected Machiavellianism that lives in our world of Oriental Despotism. We live in a mediated world – of truth no longer can be discerned, in a world of perception management wherein politics is so complex yet cannibalistic.
In our society lies Italy’s Mussolini and Germany’s Hitler and Japan’s Tojo; of hegemonisers, of annihilators, and Asian-looking imperators. In these three-in-one deadly concoction of cultural contradictions lies the icing of the one-dimensionality of Malaysiana and that sloganism of ‘Truly Asia’. The show goes on. Read the rest of this entry »
By Thomas Fann
Have you ever been confronted by a menacing snarling dog who is ready to pounce on you? And for the briefest of moment, both of you glared into each other’s eyes. In your heart you felt sure the dog will sink his teeth into you and you would be his lunch.
But then something arises in you, a courage you never knew you had, and with your eyes fixed unflinchingly on his eyes, you lunge forward towards the dog and… lo and behold, he turned around and ran off with his tail tucked between his legs. Seizing the moment for complete victory, you gave chase, shouting after the terrified beast. Hurray, you have become top dog in your neighbourhood.
Nice thought but I doubt if many of us have had such stories to tell because most of the time we just make sure we don’t ever have to come face to face with such a snarling dog. We would “elak” or avoid such a confrontation by making a detour if we know that the neighbourhood bully dog is lying there.
This article is not about dogs but about fear and courage. Fear is a very human emotion and a necessary one to keep us safe and alive. But when fear becomes the dominant emotion in our life, it paralyses us from doing what is right.
Read the rest of this entry »
2 April 2013
The Sun Daily
THE images on television were horrific. Smoke billowing from the embers in a village in Myanmar and a mob burning down a branch of the iconic Fashion Bug chain in Sri Lanka. These are the results of religious bigotry. Groups calling themselves “religious” have succeeded in manipulating and contradicting the tenets in every religion – moderation and non-violence.
Common sense should remind us that fanatical organisations and individuals have no place in society and religion, when used as a tool for political expedience, the results could be persuasive. In Sri Lanka, Buddhist monks are leading right-wing groups against the Muslims while in Myanmar, a group called 969 is leading the onslaught against the Rohingyas.
Islamophobia and any other forms of religious chauvinism and extremism have no place in modern society. Fortunately for right-thinking Malaysians, we can confidently affirm that acceptance and understanding of each other’s religion has been a major factor in bringing about a strife-free country.
But occasionally, a handful break that confidence by making utterances that are totally deplorable, unacceptable and above all nauseating. Read the rest of this entry »
RK Anand| April 1, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
Bishop Paul Tan is incensed over the video which shows MP Zulkifli Noordin belittling the Hindu faith and demands action from the ’1Malaysia’ government.
KUALA LUMPUR: The video recording of a member of Parliament belittling the Hindu faith has prompted a Catholic priest to question the government’s double standard in dealing with such matters.
Bishop Paul Tan pointed out that the present ruling government had not hauled up any Muslim who uttered seditious words and made seditious gestures against those of other religions while it acted against those who stated unpleasant things about Islam.
The head of the Malacca-Johor diocese was responding to the video of Kulim Bandar Bahru MP Zulkifili Noordin who mocked how statues of Hindu deities could not prevent a flood in Masjid India here.
The video, which was uploaded on YouTube, had since gone viral.
Zulkifli is also the vice-president of Perkasa, whose president Ibrahim Ali had also earned the wrath of Tan when he called for the torching of Malay bibles that used the term Allah.
The bishop recounted how he had in the past called on the government to take action against both Ibrahim and Perkasa patron and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad over this issue.
“What sort of justice is this? It is no justice but bigotry which the Almighty God himself would be ashamed of,” he said.
“God sees, hears and knows everything. In spite of the fact that final justice is rendered by the Almighty God, we humans are not exempt from taking the right means to right what is wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
March 28, 2013
MARCH 28 ― They say ignorance is bliss. And Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon says the Cabinet interfaith committee has deliberately avoided censuring those who spark religious tension in order to prevent giving them further publicity.
The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for unity and performance management said such people would only say “more and more” if the interfaith committee castigated them.
“Very often, ignoring is the best,” he said. “After one day, no more news… We better focus on promoting harmony.”
He has a point there except this strategy has failed miserably. These people are not used to being ignored by anyone and have become more brazen as days go by.
Look at what has happened this year. Malay rights group Perkasa urged Muslims last January to burn Malay-language bibles that contain the word “Allah” and other religious Arabic script.
Columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah allegedly disparaged the Hindu community in an article published in Malay-language daily Sinar Harian on February 18.
All this just a few years after a group of men dragged a cow’s head in Shah Alam to protest a Hindu temple. Cows are sacred in Hinduism, something which almost every Malaysian knows. Read the rest of this entry »
by Anas Alam Faizli
The Malaysian Insider
MARCH 20, 2013
MARCH 20 ― “They are simply lazy”
“His father is a Tan Sri”
“He knows someone from the inside”
“I made it purely out of effort; I worked hard to get where I am today”
These are some typical expressions that are sure to be heard in coffee chats, every time the topic of rich and poor is brought up. People have grown easily accustomed to brushing off the topic of inequality as welfarist or socialist.
This happens even amongst supposedly “middle class” Malaysians, not realising that they are in actuality, most likely top income earners and wealth owners. Households earning RM10,000 a month and above already qualify as top 4 per cent Malaysians!
In fact, while partisan voices continue their discourse in the racial imbalance tone, Malaysia has silently migrated into new battles, concerning intra-racial, income, and class-based imbalances.
It is often argued that the poor and the low income earners are plain lazy and do not work hard; that one earns what one deserves. This is not true. Many are simply unlucky, to be born to parents who lack education or skills to escape from the clutches of poverty.
Some were born with disabilities and diseases, while some others live in flood-prone or hazardous places. On the other hand, we have sub-quality undeserving businessmen linked to political patrons, estate and fortune inheritors, and individuals plainly lucky to be placed in lucrative industries with high economic rent. Accusations like laziness then become hardly the issue. The rich can be lazy too! Read the rest of this entry »
The most probable date for long-awaited Parliament dissolution is Monday, March 25 although it could be later or even earlier
The most probable date for the long-awaited dissolution of the 12th Parliament is Monday, March 25 although it could be earlier in the next ten days or even later.
The automatic dissolution of the Negri Sembilan State Assembly on midnight on 26th March 2013 should under ordinary circumstances be the last cut-off date for the dissolution of Parliament, but these are not ordinary times, and Parliament can be dissolved earlier in the next 10 days or even later, exhausting another 32 days to lead up to the unprecedented automatic dissolution of Parliament on midnight April 27, 2013.
It is precisely because these are not ordinary times that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has put the country for nearly four long years on an election mode ever since he became the sixth Prime Minister on April 3, 2009, spending more time campaigning to get an elected mandate of his own instead of uniting and inspiring Malaysians with an overarching vision and governing the country efficiently and professionally, with integrity and full commitment to democracy, human rights and the environment.
If we are in ordinary times, the 13th general elections would have been held already and Malaysians would have known whether Najib has finally his own mandate to be the Prime Minister of Malaysia or whether Malaysia has got a new Pakatan Rakyat federal government in Putrajaya with a new Prime Minister in the person of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Read the rest of this entry »