Archive for August 29th, 2007

Non-bumis no more?

by Azly Rahman

Sometime ago in a column I wrote the following:

We are in the 21st century. About three years from now, we will arrive at the year 2010. The non-Malays and non-bumiputeras have come a long way into being accepted as full-fledged Malaysians, by virtue of the ethics, rights and responsibilities of citizenship. They ought to be given equal opportunity in the name of social justice, racial tolerance and the alleviation of poverty.

Bright and hard-working Malaysians regardless of racial origin who now call themselves Malaysians must be given all the opportunities that have been given to Malays since 40 years back.

Islam and other religions require this form of social justice to be applied to the lives of human beings. Islam does not discriminate one on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, creed nor national origin. It is race-based politics, borne out of the elusiveness of nationalism, that creates post-industrial tribalistic leaders; leaders that will design post-industrial tribalistic policies. It is the philosophy of greed, facilitated by free enterprise runamuck that will evolvingly force leaders of each race to threaten each other over the control of the economic pie. This is the ideology of independence we have cultivated.

I want to elaborate the point further: Read the rest of this entry »


MCA policy statement on “social contract” blacked out by MCA newspaper The Star

This is most extraordinary and unthinkable — MCA newspaper The Star “blacking out” the MCA policy statement on the “social contract”!

The Chinese newspapers gave front-page headline treatment to the policy statement issued yesterday by the MCA Presidential Council following the shock declaration of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that Malaysia was an Islamic state and not a secular state.

Strangely enough, the policy statement was reported by the Sun but it is also conspicuously omitted in the New Straits Times and the Malay newspapers.

Releasing the MCA Presidential Council statement, MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the Federal Constitution should be the reference to resolve controversies or confusion over the social contract.

The statement said that what had been agreed by the forefathers 50 years ago, especially the principles and the spirit in governing the country, must be preserved.
These principles and spirit were enshrined in the Constitution.
Two questions are in order:

Firstly, why the two-faced treatment of the MCA Presidential Council policy statement on the “social contract” by the MCA — having it published prominently in the Chinese media but blacked out in its own English-language newspaper, the Star and the New Straits Times as well as the Malay newspapers.

Secondly, why had the MCA Presidential Council betrayed the fundamental principles espoused by the early generation of the MCA founder-leaders like Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Tan Siew Sin who had declared unequivocally both inside and outside Parliament 50 years ago that this nation was conceived as a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state. Read the rest of this entry »


FC judge with 35 outstanding judgments from High Ct – why PM only aware after more than a month it was reported publicly?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday that the Chief Justice must answer the allegation that a Federal Court judge had failed to write grounds of judgment in 35 cases since his High Court tenure, covering both civil and criminal cases.

DAP National chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh, has named Federal Court judge Datuk Hashim Yusuf in Parliament on Monday as the judge concerned.

The Prime Minister said it was disappointing to discover that there may be judges who had not performed their functions and duties adequately in the pursuit of justice.

The Prime Minister is right — the Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim cannot continue to keep his silence after he had flatly denied that there was any Federal Court judge who had not written as many as 30 grounds of judgment and challenged for proof to be provided.

As such proof have been provided and the Federal Court judge concerned named, Fairuz should publicly apologise for misleading the Malaysian public and explain whether he is heading a competent, responsible, accountable and professional judiciary.

Will Fairuz take out the Federal Court judge concerned from all current Federal Court cases until he had written up all the grounds of judgments of 35 outstanding civil and criminal cases? Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia and the Dilemma of Assimilation (part II)

By Farish A. Noor

And so it would appear that Malaysia is, after all, an Islamic state.

This was the conclusion that many Malaysians have had to accept after the recent pronouncement on the part of the Prime Minister that the country has apparently been run and governed on Islamic lines all along; a startling revelation to say the least for most of us who were unaware of the fact that the arrests under the ISA, the crackdowns during Operation Lalang, Operation Kenari, the numerous declarations of Emergency, et al. were all done under the auspices of Muslim governance. And are we right to conclude that the innumerable corruption scandals, the weakening of the judiciary, the instances of blatant double-standards in the enforcement of the law, et al. were likewise exemplary moments of Islamic governance in action?

The Prime Minister’s recent announcement must surely have come as a blow to those of us who have been calling for a return to the secular democratic foundations of the Malaysian Federation. But now it seems as if even the history of this country has been appropriated by the government, and written and re-written at whim to suit the agendas and interests of the powers that be. After half a century of existence and five decades of nation-building programmes that have taken us nowhere fast, the goalposts have been moved once again. How can there be any significant, meaningful long-term development in the country when the very rules of the political game change again and again? And if the very foundational terms of political engagement in the country are being changed all the time, we need to ask why and for whose sake? Read the rest of this entry »