Archive for February 7th, 2008

The Malaysia we live in today (case of Dr. Basmullah)

by Palmdoc

Dr Basmullah\'s case

What a sight it must have been. A wheelchair bound ethnic Indian lawyer from a multi-racial (but predominantly ethnic Chinese) party together with an ethnic Malay doctor from an opposition party were in High court to make an application to get Dr. Basmullah out of jail.

This is the Malaysia I like to see. Where it’s not about race but about helping one another, especially when another fellow Malaysian has been dealt with unjustly.

It is most unfortunate that the MMA was not the one seen to apply to bail Dr. Basmullah out. Never mind if he was not a member of the MMA but the MMA must be seen to be a champion of Malaysian doctors’ rights. If not, who wants to join the MMA?

Perhaps there has been too much in-fighting in the MMA of late but now that there has been overwhelming votes cast for Dr. Quek as President perhaps once again the MMA will be of one voice and a stronger doctors’ association.

It also makes me wonder if you give some people too much power, they will become arrogant, they will abuse the power and they will think your, my, our opinions and voices do not matter.

The PHFSA is just one example of such a situation. This is a law which was passed in Parliament despite the reservations and objections of doctors who feared they would be criminalized. Read the rest of this entry »


Wo Men Du Shi Yi Jia Ren

by penarik beca

Gong Xi Fa Chai

Xin Nien Jin Bu (May the New Lunar Year bring us progress).

Wan Shi Ru Yi (Everything is just as what you wish)

Wo Men Du Shi Yi Jia Ren (We are all one family)

Po Jiu Lin Xin (Break the old and establish the new)

Gong Xi Fa Chai, at this blessed moments as “the era of cheap food is over”.

Gong Xi Fa Chai, at this blessed moments as the roti canai gets smaller, Milo and Nescafe gets diluted.

Gong Xi Fa Chai at this blessed moments when our country enjoys a whopping 13 percent spike in violent crimes and the Prime Minister can do no better than asking “Apa yang sedang berlaku? Mengapa tinggi sangat?”

Gong Xi Fa Chai, at this blessed moments as the crime rate shot up by an even more alarming 45 percent in the four years of (Datuk Seri) Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) premiership.

Gong Xi Fa Chai, at this blessed moments when the IGP proudly told us, “Imej PDRM tidak tercalar” [sic!]

Gong Xi Fa Chai at this blessed moments when the Prime Minister told us, “Don’t use crime rate as poll gimmick”.

Gong Xi Fa Chai at this blessed moments when the police force wages a war on peaceful rallies and not crime.

Gong Xi Fa Chai at this blessed moments when we are nowhere to claim there is no acute corruption problem in this country – thanks to the PM unforgiving effort to curb corruption. And, please dont say he has forgotten what his mother told him, “Kerja baik-baik, jangan selalu berbangga diri dan jangan lupakan orang bawah.” Read the rest of this entry »


A Malay view of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’

Azly Rahman

‘O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety. Indeed the noblest among you is the one who is deeply conscious of God.’ – a saying of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him)

‘Malaysia – to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian. This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and … [once] emotions are set in motion, and men pitted against men along these unspoken lines, you will have the kind of warfare that will split the nation from top to bottom and undo Malaysia.’ – Lee Kuan Yew, now Senior Minister, Republic of Singapore

Instead of defining Ketuanan Melayu as ‘Malay superiority’ which is quite meaningless, philologically inaccurate, and philosophically arrogant, I think the word ‘dictatorship’ is closer in meaning. As you read this piece, please refrain from value judgment and from bring trapped in the prison-house of language pertaining to the word ‘dictatorship’.

To dictate connotes to tell, which connotes to narrate. To narrate means to weave a story based on an ideology. To ideologise means to encapsulate. To encapsulate means to be trap. Dictatorship, here might also mean an entrapment. Instead of acknowledging one’s freedom to rule, one is acknowledging being in an entrapment – and to rule out of that condition. This is a form of false consciousness.

Words, as a literary theorist Raymond Williams might say, must also be contextualised/situated within the economic condition they emerge in. Marx’s famous dictum that human beings’ existence is defined by the economic condition they are in and that this condition is already predetermined. This is a deterministic view of human history.

I first read heard the phrase Ketuanan Melayu in the mid-1980s from a book by one Malik Munip. I was reading his work, at the same time reading Lim Kit Siang’s ‘Malaysia in the dangerous 80s’, to get a sense of the argument. I was an undergraduate reading Literature, Education and International Politics.

I also heard that Malay students were discouraged from reading Kit Siang’s work and encouraged to read ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. I love banned books and books that others tell me not to read. There is a sense of intellectual challenge to be able to read banned books. Read the rest of this entry »