Archive for December 31st, 2007

World’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat – call for RCI on misgovernance by all 3 tiers of government

I welcome the statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday expressing the government’s hope that former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat will settle the Mazu status issue amicably without going to court.

He said the government is hoping to bring the Mazu statue issue back to the negotiation table instead of going through the court.

I support Najib’s proposal for an amicable settlement of the proposal to build the world’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat.

It is important however for Najib to understand that the principles and issues involved in the Mazu statue controversy do not just concern Chong as one person, but have become a major public issue of national and even international importance involving not just three million Sabahans but also 26 million Malaysians

I am glad that immediately after my visit to Kudat to visit the site of the Mazu statue, there is now the possibility of a new development.

The Mazu statue controversy should not only be resolved at the negotiation table, I will go even one step further and call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mishandling and lack of good governance in all three tiers of local, state and federal government resulting in the Kudat Mazu statue controversy undermining nation-building and inter-religiousl understanding as well as turning Malaysia into an international laughing-stock.

I have just returned from a three-day visit to Kota Kinabalu, Kudat and Sandakan including a 500-km land journey from Kota Kinabalu through Kota Belud to Kudat and onwards to Sandakan through Marudu, with the Kudat-Sandakan journey taking eight hours through some very treacherous stretches (with 25 km of unsealed portion of the Paitan highway after the Nango junction). Read the rest of this entry »


Ring out 2007 “annus horribilis” and bring in 2008 with hope and change, starting with forthcoming general election

2008 New Year Message

Malaysians heave a sigh of relief at the end of 2007, a year which had opened with such great promise as it is to celebrate the 50th Merdeka anniversary of the nation.

I cannot think of a better term to describe 2007 than to borrow from Queen Elizabeth II in one of her most unforgettable annual messages when she said that the year that had just ended was an “annus horribilis”.

For Malaysians, 2007 had been an “annus horribilis” (a horrible year), a year which Malaysians would not look back with undulited pleasure and pride – but with great foreboding!

This is because 2007, the 50th Merdeka anniversary costing over RM100 million of taxpayers’ money in public celebrations, should be the year where Malaysians can look with pride and confidence into the next 50 years, founded on the fulfillment of the many great pledges which Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had made on becoming Prime Minister and for which he was given the unprecedented electoral mandate of over 91 per cent of parliamentary seats in the 2004 general election.

But 2007 has proved to be one of the most divisive and troubled year in the half-a-century of Malaysia’s nationhood – with religious polarization assuming its most serious dimension in dividing Malaysians, compounding an already difficult problem of racial polarization in the nation-building process. Read the rest of this entry »