Archive for September 22nd, 2008

“What’s Tunku doing in DAP?”

“Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim raised many eyebrows, not least from associates, when he joined DAP in August and was promptly named a vice-president of the party. The co-founder of the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International has no intention of being a token Malay presence in the multi-racial but Chinese-dominated party. He has found a new platform in the DAP to advocate transparency, accountability, justice and equality.

“The Edge Financial Daily caught up with him recently where he spoke about the challenges facing the DAP, especially in reaching out to the Malay community, what ails the country, the spirit of the nation’s founding fathers and his plans in the party. While many would have rested on their laurels at age 74, Tunku Aziz, a former Bank Negara adviser and former group director of Sime Darby, has the enthusiasm of a young man, and is all geared up to help push the ideal of creating a better Malaysia. ”

Read The Edge Daily


We are all class-ed multiculturalists now!

By: Azly Rahman

Growing up in a Malay kampong in Johor Bahru, having been born in a British Military hospital in Singapore, schooled in Kuantan, Seremban, Shah Alam and moving from one realm of cultural experience to the next, living in from one enclave to another in the process of being schooled and in the process of being and becoming an educator, ending up in a town a half and hour’s drive from New York City where I have lived for several years, I sometimes wonder if all these makes me a “cultural construction” of “multi-ethnicity” or a “Malay” still? Or — how “Malay” am I still? Or — what is a Malay”? as I would ask what is an “American”?

Here in the United States where I teach a course called “Cross-Cultural Perspectives” in which trying to engage my students in the works of Edward Said, Clifford Geertz, Renato Rosaldo, and the like, I find myself again, having to interrogate my “subjectivity and objectivity” as a “culturally-constructed being” in my attempt to play the role of Socrates in dialogue with my students in our exploration of the multiple meaning of culture.

Each semester is a learning experience, teaching me newer ideas of what “culture, race, and ethnicity” means. I look forward to the intensive classroom discussions by the “hybrid and hyphenated human beings” in my class — those whose family background present a rich tapestry of ethnicity in a sea of creativity called the human race.

I have had pure Afghans, Colombians, Puerto Ricans, Turks, Greeks, Irish, Australians, Ghanaian, Nigerian, Russian, Israeli, Cuban, Iranian, Taiwanese, mainland Chinese, Australian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Jamaican, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Saudi Arabian, and a hybrid of all many of these. There were Indonesians too. But no Malaysians yet. Read the rest of this entry »


Will 4 MCA Ministers resign en masse if Anwar arrested under ISA?

On Tuesday, the MCA Central Committee called for “a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act (ISA) so that it will apply strictly to cases relating to terrorism and subversive elements”.

Are the four MCA Ministers prepared to take the lead in the Cabinet to make it very clear that any ISA arrest of Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will result in their mass resignation?

This is because the detention of Anwar Ibrahim under the ISA seems to be on the cards after the uncharacteristically belligerent accusation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday that Anwar is a threat to the national security and economy who wanted to “destroy the country and exploit the people’s trust and tarnish the country’s image abroad”, followed by equally truculent statements against Anwar by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar in the past few days.

Are the MCA Ministers and leaders going to make it very clear to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister that the deepening multiple crisis of confidence in the past six months since the first political tsunami on March 8 will take drastic turn for the worse as nobody in his right senses would believe that Anwar should be detained under the ISA? Read the rest of this entry »


Is the MCA Operative who lodged the report triggering Teresa Kok’s ISA arrest a MCA member?

At the SSS (Support, Sympathy and Solidarity) Candlelight Vigil for DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok demanding her immediate release from Internal Security Act held at Ipoh Timor Garden East, Ipoh on Thursday, 18th September 2008 – the eve of Teresa’s seven-day incarceration – I said that a key MCA operative in Puchong had lodged a police report making false allegations against Teresa over the azan controversy on Thursday, 11th September 2008, which triggered her ISA detention the next day on Sept. 12 at 11.18 pm.

I repeated this the next day at Teresa’s media conference on her ISA release at DAP PJ hqrs the next day at 3.30 pm.
Is or was the “key MCA operative in Puchong” a MCA member? Let MCA leaders tell Malaysians.

Suddenly, MCA leaders like its vice president Datuk Ong Tee Keat have become very bold and courageous in throwing challenges wanting me to prove that “police reports lodged by members of an MCA division in Selangor had led to the detention of DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok under the Internal Security Act (ISA)”. (New Straits Times online)

But not a bleat from them when Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar virtually told them to shut up and declared that there is not going to be any repeal or review of the ISA.

The MCA Central Committee met on Tuesday, 16th September 2008 and called for “a comprehensive review of the ISA so that it will apply strictly to cases relating to terrorism and subversive elements”.

Why didn’t the four MCA Ministers formally table this proposal at the Cabinet meeting the next day on Wednesday, 17th September 2008? Read the rest of this entry »