Archive for September 24th, 2007

Burma Uprising – Abdullah should articulate ASEAN aspirations for Burma in UN speech on Thursday

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should articulate the aspirations of the ASEAN people for national reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Burma in his United Nations speech on Thursday as any omission on the latest developments in Burma would have rendered his speech quite irrelevant to the region and the world.

Today is the seven straight day that monks have marched in the Burmese capital of Yangon, leading protestors reaching 10,000 on Saturday, 20,000 yesterday and 30,000 today against the military junta over the chronic economic crisis resulting in ever-rising prices of commodities and human rights violations including illegal detentions and mistreatment of political detainees.

There are fears of a repeat of 1988, when the last democracy uprising was crushed by the military and some 3,000 people were killed.

This is the time for ASEAN government leaders, together with the support of China and India, to engage and impress on the Myanmar military junta not to resort to violence but to turn it into an opportunity to resolve the present crisis with the support of all stakeholders, including Nobel Prize laureate Aung Sun Suu Kyi, all political prisoners, the pro-democracy activists and ethnic nationalities, to work out a national reconciliation formula to return Burma to democracy and civilian rule.

While in the United Nations, Abdullah should take the initiative for a mini-ASEAN summit and emergency UN General Assembly debate on Burma.
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Turks do not want Turkey to be another Malaysia turning into an Islamic state

On Friday, two journalists from Turkey biggest-circulation newspaper Hurriyet interviewed me.

I was taken aback when they told me that their prime interest was how Turkey could learn from the mistakes of Malaysia as there is great concern among the Turks of Turkey becoming another Malaysia down the road of an Islamic state.

They wanted to know what were the major and significant events which marked Malaysia turning from its original commitment towards a secular state towards an Islamic state.

Later on the same day, I received an email from a Malaysian enclosing a Turkish media report of Turkish President Gul allaying Turkish fears of Turkey turning into another Malaysia and becoming an Islamic state.

Entitled “Turkey would never turn into another Malaysia”, President Gul answered the question of those who fear Turkey will become a country like Malaysia during his first official trip to Northern Cyprus by responding: “Turkey is negotiating with the EU for full membership. If there are people who still have worries on the scarf issue, then we should fear those people instead.” (SABAH Newspaper)

Malaysians should be aware that Malaysia is already regarded as an example which Turkey must avoid becoming — a nation which deviated from its secular origins and moving headlong towards an Islamic state.

It should be a wake-up call for all Malaysians who hold dear the Merdeka social contract that Malaysia is a multi-religious secular nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state. Read the rest of this entry »


Lingam Tape – credibility of Fairuz’s denial through Nazri zero like earlier case on abolition of common law

Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim has allegedly denied that he was the person that senior lawyer V.K. Lingam was talking to in the now infamous 8-minute Lingam Tape on the perversion of the course of justice concerning the fixing of judicial appointments, court judgment and getting a Tan Sri award.

I chose the term “allegedly denied” as there is no proof that Ahmad Fairuz had actually denied that he was the person Lingam was talking to in the Lingam Tape, especially as some 24 hours earlier Ahmad Fairuz had in “black-and-white” through his special assistant Arleen Ramly written to Malaysiakini to give a two-paragraph “No comment” response to its earlier fax inquiry.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz claimed that Ahmad Fairuz had called him to deny that he was the one talking to Lingam.

Nazri’s claim is full of holes.

Firstly, how is Nazri sure that it was Ahmad Fairuz who had spoken to him by phone and not an impersonator. Has Nazri got proof that Ahmad Fairuz had denied?

Secondly, why did Ahmad Fairuz make such a denial when 24 hours earlier he had directed his special assistant Arleen Ramly to fax a two paragraph “No comment” letter on the Chief Justice’s letterhead to Malaysiakini?

Thirdly, isn’t Ahmad Fairuz capable of issuing such a denial himself and isn’t he aware of the doctrine of Separation of Powers among the Executive, Parliament and Judiciary by conducting himself in such an improper and subservient manner, subordinating the Judiciary to the Executive?

Fourthly, why didn’t Ahmad Fairuz issue the denial in the first 72 hours of the expose of the Lingam Tape by Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday, especially as he had met the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi both on Wednesday and Thursday night, seated at the same table, at the Istana and the Chief Secretary to the Government’s fast-breaking functions respectively?

Fifthly, what was the purpose of the photographs of Ahmad Fairuz and the Prime Minister seated at the same table on both consecutive nights prominently published in the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia?

Is it to send the message that Ahmad Fairuz has the full backing of the Prime Minister, regardless of the nation-wide outcry and outrage over the Lingam Tape?

Sixthly, what is the credibility of Ahmad Fairuz’ alleged denial through Nazri? Is its believability as abysmal as Ahmad Fairuz’ earlier alleged denial through Nazri of his proposal to abolish English common law and replacement by Islamic law – which is zero? Read the rest of this entry »


50th Merdeka – arrest and reverse retrogression if Malaysia is not to lose out in global stakes

Should Malaysians be proud of what the country has achieved after 50 years of independence?

In Parliament, a Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament said Malaysia has great cause to be satisfied with the nation’s progress and achievements in the past 50 years as the country is ten times more advanced than Ghana, which also became independent in the same year as Malaysia in 1957.

This BN MP is right if we are prepared to compare with the worst — but Malaysians must not be content with such low benchmarks and must be prepared to compare with the best rather than the worst, especially as the people are being bombarded every day with the slogan of “Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang”.

We should be concerned as to why the country had failed to hold our prominent position in the region and the world when the nation was second only to Japan as the most developed country in Asia 50 years ago in 1957.

We should ask why we have lost out to South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong with an ever-increasing gap when we were ahead of them 50 years ago instead of the false pride of being well ahead of Ghana.

Malaysia’s 50th Anniversary has highlighted major areas of retrogression which must be arrested and reversed if Malaysia is not to continue to lose out in the global stakes for competition, progress and development.

If those in power and authority in Malaysia continue in their “denial complex”, refusing to come to grips with reality and address the reasons for our decline and retrogression, more and more countries in future will be overtaking us in the international competitiveness and development stakes like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and even some African countries although we will continue to be poles ahead of the failed African states like Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. Read the rest of this entry »