Archive for October 8th, 2007

Lingam Tape – has Nazri let the cat out of the bag how to end all inquiry?

Has the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, let the cat out of the bag — that there would be no further inquiry into the Lingam Tape if its authenticity could not be fully determined with the maker of the tape showing and owning up?

New Straits Times front-page headline has put it most bluntly: “NO SOURCE, NO CASE — SAYS NAZRI”

If the whole idea is to stymie any full inquiry into the serious allegations of the Lingam Tape about the perversion of the course of justice concerning the fixing of judicial appointments and the fixing of court decisions, this is as good a stratagem as any.

Of course, even if the makers of the Lingam Tape show up, there is no guarantee that it would be followed up with a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape and the rot of the judiciary in the past 19 years since 1988.

I am completely baffled by Nazri’s reference to the Witness Protection Act (Star, Sun) which he said assured protection to the person or persons who took the Lingam Tape. New Straits Times reported him as referring to the Witness Protection Bill, “tabled recently in Parliament” — which is untrue, as no such bill had been tabled in Parliament.

I had been pressing for a Whistleblowers Protection Act to give meaning to a national campaign to expose corruption, misuse of funds, government scandals, criminal breach of trust and all forms of malpractices and abuses of power but the government had been dragging its feet and there are no signs that the government is ready to present a Witness Protection Bill to Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »


Rukunegara-reciting/Constitution-waving – pathetic proof of impotence and irrelevance of Gerakan/MCA

The 50th Merdeka Anniversary has seen a most unusual political phenomena — the MCA and Gerakan waving the Malaysian Constitution and reciting Rukunegara at their respective meetings in response to the keris-waving by the Umno Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at the earlier Umno Youth general assemblies.

It is a pathetic proof of the impotence and irrelevance of the MCA and Gerakan in the Barisan Nasional, whether at the national, state or local government level, that they have been reduced to waving the Constitution and reciting Rukunegara at their respective meetings instead of ensuring that the Cabinet and the government at all levels uphold the core nation-building principles of the Merdeka “social contract” which have found expression in the Malaysian Constitution and Rukunegara.

Why wave the Malaysian Constitution and recite the Rukunegara principles when MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders are unable:

  • firstly to ensure that Umno and other Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders fully understand, respect and uphold the fundamental nation-building principles spelt out in the Merdeka social contract, the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukunegara; and
  • secondly, to set the example of themselves standing firm, true and loyal to the Merdeka social contract, Malaysian Constitution and the Rukunegara by refusing to betray these fundamental nation-building principles even if they fail to convince Umno and other Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders to do the same.

What is the use of waving the Malaysian Constitution and reciting the Rukunegara principles at the MCA and Gerakan meetings when MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders dare not wave the Constitution or recite the Rukunegara principles in Cabinet, Parliament, national, state and local governments to ensure that every government policy, decision and action is informed by the core nation-building principles agreed by the forefathers of the major communities and spelt out in the Constitution and the Rukunegara? Read the rest of this entry »


Narcotizing the Masses Through Religion

by M. Bakri Musa

In the 19th Century, tiny Britain was able to humiliate the great Chinese Empire and subdue its masses by making opium readily available to them. It was also highly lucrative for the British, with the poor Chinese bearing the heavy burden. To be fair, Chinese leaders from the Emperor on down were fully aware of the dangers, but despite their valiant efforts they were unable to prevail against the British.

Today Muslims, Malays in particular, are being similarly narcotized, not by opium but by an equally potent agent: religion. Unlike the Chinese of yore who were victims of a malevolent foreign power, with Malays it is our leaders who are doing it to us, and with good intentions too. They want us all to end up in Heaven! Touching!

The Muslim masses today, like the Chinese of the 19th Century, were not unwilling victims. They are not to be blamed, just like we cannot blame a patient who is in great pain wanting a powerful painkiller. It may not cure the underlying disease but at least it relieves the suffering. Likewise when your daily existence is terribly painful — the fate of the vast majority of Muslims — you too need immediate relief. It would be cruel and inhumane to deny that.

The familiar official indices readily reveal the targic reality of daily existence of the Muslim ummah: high mortality and low literacy rates, pathetic per capita income, gross abuses of human rights, women deprived of their basic dignity, and oppressive governments. It is obvious to all, except the leaders. Visit the slums and squatters of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan, and the anguished reality of unbelievable depravation will hit you hard even if you try to avoid it.

Muslim leaders should worry less about their followers ending up in Heaven and focus more on the monumental task at hand of lifting the masses out of their current living hell. It may be argued that if religion brings relief to their daily struggle, so be it. That is a delusion; the narcotizing effect of religion is even more destructive. Read the rest of this entry »