Archive for March 27th, 2008

A New Malaysia

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

MARCH 8TH 2008 was a defining day for Malaysia. The voting results clearly sent out messages by the voters.

The first message indicated that the people want


Since March 8th there has been a noticeable difference in society. The people are happier and more optimistic because they feel that change is in the air. They see the changes happening.

The political map has changed. There are now five new states under opposition rule, This is the beginning of a two party system of government, as in advanced countries like Australia, Canada and USA. it is accepted practice in these countries to have states controlled by opposition parties.

The new opposition states have immediately implemented new populist policies like stopping waste of public funds, simple lifestyle for chief minister and mentris besar, ban on application of land by elected DAP MPs and SAs, weeding out corruption.and an amnesty of fines for humble traders and hawkers.

THE SECOND MESSAGE message which is fundamental and show a radical change in the thinking of Malaysians on politics. Read the rest of this entry »


Education – for Malaysians or Races

by Chopin

My concern is always the above. With five children at schools and rising cost of living I find it rather difficult to cope with today’s Malaysia education systems. I find it rather messy, complicated, grade-oriented and so on. Not to mention the teachers’ grumbles and tight red-tapes in its ministry level. Therefor, I would like to line up the followings if Uncle Lim could somehow bring it up or perhaps to YB Dr. Halimah Ali of S’gor Exco in charge of education.

1. Primary and Secondary Education

I would like the education system could emphasise on Child’s Creativity and character build-up rather that grades oriented. It’s a shame that teachers in our Primary education is a Maktab Perguruan graduates with little knowledge on Early Child Education. Even, I found out recently our children as young as 5-6 years old in Kindergarden are having tuitions now! Are we becoming something like S’pore now? Teachers should be a graduate with specialization in early child education or related to that. A master degree and PhD would be better. (There is always a gap between primary school teachers and secondary school teachers and the first is a bit low, so to say)

I strongly feel that with strong foundation in the early education our children would have better understanding of their future and their career path, in a crude word, they should know what they want to be. If a child says that he/she wants to be a lawyer, or a policeman, or an army personnel at least the path for that is always there for them to venture. Read the rest of this entry »


Second Abdullah Cabinet – no signs of “Point made and point taken”

The second Abdullah Cabinet is a disappointment all round with no signs from its first meeting yesterday that it will be reformist and get cracking to make up for the past four years of broken pledges of reform.

Even the promise of judicial reform which was the rationale for the surprise appointment of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as the de facto Law Minister to undertake judicial and legal reforms to restore national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary after two decades of ravages of the cardinal principles of a truly independent judiciary and just rule of law has come up against a stonewall.

Zaid’s proposal that the government should apologise to the victims of the 1988 judicial crisis, which many have regarded as grossly inadequate to address the series of judicial crisis of confidence in the past two decades, could not find support in the Cabinet yesterday, with Zaid making the revealing comment after saying that he had presented his view that the government should apologise to Tun Salleh Abas, Datuk George Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh:

“Well, I am afraid the view has yet to be considered.

“There are many people who are more experienced and who are wiser than me. So we have to wait.”

What Zaid meant is clear and simple – he has not received any support in the Cabinet to take the first step for meaningful judicial reforms, to rectify the wrongs and injustices which had caused the plunge of Malaysia’s judicial system from internationally-acknowledged as world-class two decades ago to its parlous state today. Read the rest of this entry »


Brave new M’sian identity emerging?

by Dr. Azly Rahman

“Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” -Louis D Brandeis (American Supreme Court Justice, 1856-1941).

I do not wish to remove from my present prison to a prison a little larger. I wish to break all prisons. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, American transcendentalist.

The second wave of Independence, achieved with the storming of the “Bastille that is Putrajaya” in March 2008, in a phenomena called “implo-volution” in which the old regime was crushed by its own weight of contradiction and one whose ruins were charted some fifty years ago, present an interesting possibility. It is that of the ethnogenesis (emerging new culture) of a new Malaysian identity. Political will is complementing this philosophical vision. The Internet is aiding in speeding up the process.

The wave is forcing the various ethnic groups to think of defining itself as a ” new nation” when power-sharing of a truly multicultural nature at the state level is becoming a reality. Not only the different ethnic groups are fairly represented in what I call the “yellow” states of “Perak and Selangor” but religious background of the state leaders are also playing a key role in the evolving nature of the leadership.

The yellow states are forging ahead with care – aware of the sensitivities of the different ethnic and religious groups, focusing on the pragmatics and ethics drawn from each cultural tradition. Thus, we saw Penang CM Lim Guan Eng refusing to use thousands of ringgit of state funds to move to a new office, we saw the Kedah chief minister and we saw the continuation of Kelantan chief minister’s commitment to the principles of Islam in governing the state with prudence and tolerance.

What is displayed is Confucianist-Taoist ideas and Islamic brand of ethical leadership – two seemingly radical philosophies that actually complement each other. When it comes to statecraft, both are useful in forming as basis for a philosophy of governance that appeals to the Malays and the Chinese. These ideals are no different that the ones taught in Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and the cultural philosophy of the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and of the Orang Asli.

The “ethics of authenticity” as philosopher Charles Taylor would put it, is universal enough to be a guiding light of this new nation. Ethics by any name is a system of check and balances of the Evil and the Good within. It is the Middle Path of Inner Statecraft. Read the rest of this entry »