Culture reinvestigated — or must we preserve age-old traditions?

by Azly Rahman

The festive season brings me to this argument I am having silently with myself: Must core values of a society be preserved, through the rites and rituals and pomp and pageantry of that elusive concept called ‘culture’? Race theorists would call for a debate between the ‘Essentialist’ and the ‘Progressive’ schools of thought on culture.

In looking at the question of Cultural Essentialism, the arguments for and against it, on whether adherence to this concept divides or unites, and lastly to offer my own view on this important concept, I begin with the general statement that “Cultural Essentialism” is the belief that in every civilised society or a cultural group, exists a core culture which governs the ‘life sustaining’ forces of that particular culture.

From the core, moral or religious doctrines are derived, cosmological views or metaphysical conceptions are drawn, knowledge bases are founded, principles and ethos are constructed, and socialising agents as cultural values transmitters are established. So that the core culture can continue to be passed down from one generation to the next in order for society to be maintained of its order and harmony although technological, political, economic, and ideological winds of change may be sweeping seasonally into the core culture’s residence.

African cultural theorist Peter J. Paris called it “religious social ethics” in which whose “goal has been that of providing a framework for a moral theory that fits the relevant historical data.” In summarising his work on the core values of the African people necessary to be rediscovered by the Afro-Americans, Paris called for a systematic transference of essential ideas about the culture; ideas which fit into the definition of a moral theory:

[A] moral theory of virtue requires a set of social conditions that will facilitate the realisation of its desired ends namely, the development of morally virtuous people. In other words, moral development is dependent on a community’s capacity to facilitate it. If for any reason a community fails to provide an environment that is conducive for the development of moral virtues the converse will certainly occur. That is to say, the moral character of the community will be reflected in the moral development of its children.

We can discern through the quote above the Essential tenet of the core culture theory; a grand narrative to be passed down for cultural preservation. Paris’ illustration of the core cultural theory above can also be equated with those of Canadian philosopher of ethics Charles Taylor’s in Multiculturalism particularly in the latter’s view on the “politics of recognition” as in the case of the French Canadians.

This to a certain extent is American culturalist Harry Belafonte’s view and prevalent in the preaching of many an Afro-American religious leader as such as Marcus Garvey and Dr Martin Luther King Jr (above).

Denying essence of ethics

If we construct arguments against Cultural Essentialism, we may be faced with a problematic spin. On the one hand, by rejecting entirely the value of tradition and grand narratives sacredly guarded by the elders, we may be denying the essence of the religious social ethics inherent in them.

On the other hand, by becoming an advocate of this concept, we may deny the ability of our postmodern self to utilise the power of our mind to deconstruct the excesses of traditional values and limit our ability to create newer paradigms; designing our own history and experimenting with personal narratives of the subaltern genre.

In summary, there are positive aspects of Essentialism which can be allowed to survive as much as there are excesses which must be made to die off.

My argument against core culture theory is that whilst values such as honesty, piety, religiosity, industriousness, peacefulness, and harmony must at all cost be guarded and transmitted, the ritualistic, paganistic, and “linguistic gatekeeping’ aspects of Cultural Essentialism must be deconstructed and reconstructed in order for irrational strands in the core values be withered away.

If Cultural Essentialism means taking in faith and practice the ritualistic, ultra-denominational, racist, communitarian, and ideological aspect of religion for example to the extent of breeding hatred against others in the world we ought to share as living space, then the religious/cultural texts or doctrines of Essentialism must be re-analysed and deconstructed.

If core culture means bowing down to rulers and leaders – religious and political – however corrupted they may be, then such Essentialism must be demystified so that rulers as such can be overthrown. If Essentialism means bowing down to man-made objects mistaken as god’s representation whereas worshipping must first be made onto oneself wherein the Forces within reign, then Paganistic Essentialism as such ought to be rejected. Did not god create human beings in god’s own image which means that whatever the image we carry as human beings must contain god’s attributes to be “rediscovered”, “reconstructed, “re-destroyed” and continually reconstructed then?

In such a conception of the Self, should not the case be that one need to worship one’s Inner Self which contains Inner Beauty, Love, Harmony, Peace, and the message of Sages and prophets within culminating in the so-called Image of god? I believe in this postmodern metaphysical concept of essentialism; that there are never-ending cycles and veils of interpretation of the Essence in oneself, the Inner Conscience, beyond any cultural and archetypal symbols to be passed down from one generation to another.

Einstein’s conception

If Jesus is Love and Moses is Deliverance and Adam is the Father, how do we find meaning within these concepts and bring them “closer to our jugular vein” so that we may not merely in the pure Essentialist tradition, continue to believe that the stories in the Torah, Bible, and the Quran are stories of the peoples who live in times uncharted by modern history. We can then find the beauty in the story of Creation as it will be unveiled to us by the day in front of our eyes within our own conscious self in a subaltern narrative form – and not of one story of creation which is at odds with Einstein’s conception of the birth of the universe.

By bringing ourselves to such an understanding of Essentialism thus – one which is beyond cultural domain and ritualistic-paganistic advocacies – we may find that it ought to unite more than divide for the question then, must no longer be differences in some tribalistic “religious moral ethics” but one which is living, growing, and life-affirming within the universe of personal existence called “The Self”.

If there is the belief that we begin with Adam and Eve, we as a family of human beings must return to Perfection. Between Adam and such Perfection, in my conception of Essentialism, must lie the Evolving Self – one which lives not solely in the past nor in the future, but imperatively in the ever-changing present!

  1. #1 by monsterball on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:12 am

    Before religions….humans depended solely on the Rajahs…Emperors…with their wise advisers…of of which are known as holy men.
    Thus the lives and futures of each country’s citizens…depended largely…on a wise or cruel warlords…they chosed .to become… Kings.
    So many histories of the greatness of countries…like..Greece…India..Egypt…China…to name a few..are welknown..where each country have their unique strong cultures…strengthened by few wise men…as time went by.
    Where do all these cultures came from? It’s commonsense…put into as rules and regulations….by wise Kings….with great love for his people.
    Then..religions started by great India….some 5000 years ago…paying respects to humans…that were heroes of that time…died and became “God”..a word chosen…for one..that is extremely good and kind hearted human.
    I will leave the creations of Universe and Adam /Eve…to those that believe in evolution…against an battle it out.
    However….religions were necessary….as humans were cannibals…totally uneducated……and wild.
    What we are actually seeing right now…is only 500 years history…showing humans have evolved into the most cunning animal on earth.
    Thus fictions…have become facts…through decades of brain washing and propaganda work….which the Europeans are .. best at that…with the ulterior motives…to control the minds…plus a very rich business indeed.
    So..while religions are actually good for lost souls…created by smart cunning humans… has now become …a battle ground…who is telling the truths….between the Christain and Islam..for past 300 years and on going.
    Scientists have confirmed…humans have perfected and fully developed now…and next one million years..humans are the same…no more evolutions.
    But will the brain…improve? Yes…it will..and we can see…politicians and religious people..are using it to the fullest…to control the body and minds again.
    Humans are getting more and more cunning….every decade.
    That’s the dander for life….if these humans ..which are polituicians and religious affairs people….are also…greedy and selfish.
    Because humans have become so smart and cunning…..most humans will go for no religions…but let commonsense rule the life….as time goes by.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:36 am

    Dr Azly Rahman will do public good if he speaks in simpler language of common man without bias and contradiction!

    Essentialism by definition is the belief that a entities, groups and peoples share a set of unchanging characteristics or properties in such distinguishing way that without them they are no more that entity, group or people.

    What Dr Azly said, in a nutshell, is that the kind of “Essentialism” that “at all cost be guarded” are the universal cultural beliefs and values of “honesty, piety, religiosity, industriousness, peacefulness, and harmony” in the stead of “ritualistic, paganistic, and “linguistic gatekeeping’ aspects of Cultural Essentialism” to be “deconstructed” and “demystified” (a simpler word, discarded).

    He says the former will be arrived at by the “Evolving Self” with “Inner Conscience” “closer to our jugular vein”, per his in last paragraph.

    Dr Azly’s statement that Essentialism lies in the Evolving Self is an oxymoron and a contradiction because Essentialism by definition is that which is the ultimate if not perfect form that is not susceptible to further evolving in (his words) the ever-changing present!

    How could “piety” and “religiosity” be claimed universal or unchanging ????

    His writing in very abstract and opaque language replete with rarefied philosophical references – sometimes obfuscating more than clarifying – rather than in simpler language may well serve a purpose, and a lesson to all of us.

    You will note that “ritualistic, paganistic, and “linguistic gatekeeping’ aspects of Cultural Essentialism” to be discarded, are insinuated by him to be in part derived from the stories of “Torah, Bible, and the Quran” which are but mere “stories of the peoples who live in times uncharted by modern history” – not factoring in contemporary values and thinking…..

    Had he questioned in simplier and more direct language stories of “Torah, Bible, and the Quran” understood by common men – and the framers of criminal charges in the AG’s Chambers – Dr Azly Rahman may end up sharing the same dock as Raja Petra, facing the same charge of sedition for insulting religion! :)

  3. #3 by balapillai on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:39 am

    Religion was designed by humans for humans.

    Religion is characterised by humanforms (eg language) for humans.

    1) What religion does God belong to?

    2) If God was great, he should be able to fix religion right?

  4. #4 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:43 am

    The global financial meltdown is imminent.
    Global recession is a subject more pertinent.
    Malaysia is losing its direction and tack.
    Mahathir is making a vicarious come back.
    And you want to talk about culture?
    Better start writing about vultures.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:49 am

    May be we can look at the effects of global financial meltdown -as it impacts here- on UMNO’s assets and financial resources in maintenace of its hegemony. :)

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:54 am

    There is this argument by Mahathirists : if he could lead Malaysia out of the 1997 currency crisis, would he not be the best person to lead (whether directly or indirectly via proxy) the country in the face of this unprecedented global financial meltdown and to use unorthodox means to mitigate its effects?

  7. #7 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 11:19 am

    Correction Jeffrey. Mahathir never did lead Malaysia out of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. He made it worse. The currency control was imposed AFTER the worst was over – he locked the barn doors after the horse has bolted. As a result, Malaysia recovered more slowly (and never truly fully recovered at all) than those who are much, much more adversely affected like Thailand, Indonesia and Korea.

    He is unorthodox alright – his Noddynomics. In his che det blog recently, he advocated asking traders to use Ringgit as the currency of trade, saying that Malaysia’s trade volume is very big. I posted the response that Malaysia’s total trade is much smaller than the tiny red dot down south, and that ONE single company in the US has revenues even bigger than the entire total trade volume of Malaysia. His sense of Malaysia’s position in world trade is truly astounding.

  8. #8 by Godfather on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 11:24 am

    Cultural Essentialism is alive and kicking in Bolehland. Just look at UMNO. It will fight to the death to preserve its very essential right to steal. Looking at Najis, look at Mike Tyson. They know the meaning of essentialism.

  9. #9 by Godfather on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 11:32 am

    Mamakthir has foresight ? Nah, he recognised that if Bolehland were to pursue the IMF formula in 1998, his cronies and his sons will go into bankruptcy, so he (and Nor Yakcop) cooked up the USD/RM peg. Luckily for Mamakthir, the Asian financial crisis didn’t last long, and the peg wasn’t really tested to the limits.

    Another reason that Mamakthir didn’t want to adhere to the IMF prescription was his hatred for Anwar – and at the time, Anwar was all for the IMF having a say in our economic policies. If Anwar had supported the peg, Mamakthir probably would have done the reverse, just to spite his political nemesis.

  10. #10 by OrangRojak on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 12:30 pm

    If you enjoyed this article, please turn your browsers to:

    But please, be sure to read the note at the bottom of that page.

  11. #11 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 12:49 pm

    Religious leaders are POLITICIANS. Period! GOD had been and is still being made use of for political expediency. Do remember GOD gave man the power to reason not to behave like animals.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 1:02 pm

    TheWrathOfGrapes, well I have never said Mahathir led Malaysia out of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, it’s the Mahathirists (supporters) and himself (you should read his book “The Challenge” he authored in 1986) who did, indeed eulogized his “contribution to the crisis”.

    Mahathirists do so because : when Ringgit plummeted to RM5 per USD, they atribute to TDM’s ‘Noddynomics’/capital controls (fixing capital account transactions at RM3.80 to 1 UD$) as right medicine for ring fencing leveraged NEP assets from immediate fire sale to foreigners – undoing the NEP – if IMF prescription were followed to the hilt.

    It is rumoured that TDM got his “unothodox” idea from 21 breakfast sessions of advisers and private think tanks.

    There is doubt there’s anything original, if I am not mistaken, it has been done before in Philippines or may be elsewhere before (???)

    Asian Currency crisis – it’s a big subject, beyond scope here. Its hard to even find a universally accepted definition of a currency crisis or its stages….

    If one looks at causes beyond currency speculators but to multiple underlying factors, both sociopolitical and economic, in Thailand Indonesia Koreas & Malaysia – eg failures of financial regulation, lack of corporate transaparency and cronyism and mega projects and debt leveraging – TDM’s policies might well be one the major causes of the Crisis he claims he solved! :)

    Detractors always say he “locked the barn doors after the horse has bolted”.

    It may well be true. Malaysian economic recovery in the aftermath had much to do with other factors conducive to general regional recovery than and in spite of his unorthodox policies. Korea & Thailand using orthodox IMF prescriptions recovered even better. Malaysia might have recovered even better if it were not for the capital controls have dampening effect on market esp foreign investors’ confidence.

  13. #13 by monsterball on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 1:55 pm

    From India came….Shiva…Murugan and Ganesh…. the trinity ….used as
    “Father… Son..and holy ghost..not three but one ” by Christain.
    From the Buddha’s teachings….came the “Sermon on the Mount” …by Jesus.
    From so call miracles …performed by Buddha….to convince his parents…came the idea of “miracles”…side shows…by special humans…trained to have special ‘power” …but all are side shows..period.
    From the Torah and Angel….came the Islamic faith.
    And both are branches of the Jewish faith…the first of so call ..two religions…born…with now…more than 100 branches…and interpretations.
    So wants to talk religions…or how certain humans morals or cultures derived from…one should study comparative religions…before uttering the cause and effects…for this or that results or actions.
    The greatest moral teacher is non other than Confucious…born 2500 years ago…and 30 years before…Sithatha Gutama…the Buddha. That’s why China is known…as the country…that spread Buddhism…and Sri Lanka..the protector of Buddhism.
    He taught for 45 years,
    Jesus taught for 3 years…and Mohammad had to fight battles to succeed….propagating,,, “The Last Testament”… as against the so call holy bible…or “The New Testament”
    Hindhism and Buddhism are actually one…like Taravadians and Mahayanians…or like the Methodists and Catholics..for Christains…and the Islam is also…divided quite similar…the old and new…as the two main tribes…from Iraq…which escape my mind..sounds like Shi’at and Sudi??
    I put all these out… again….prove…man made religions..and the Almighty is our mind.
    What cultures is Bro.Azly talking about?
    Greed is born from humans..that discarted their cultures… and worships stolen money…giving up morals and their cultures..
    It’s blatant greed and taking advantages to be a bullier with the power….and not to do good but do all bad… enrich themselves. So simple….why analyse this or that…and make is so complicated?
    In Malaysia…UMNO politicians are mostly actors..with not much truthfullness serve Malaysians….just plain greedy for money.

  14. #14 by Godfather on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 2:29 pm

    “It is rumoured that TDM got his “unothodox” idea from 21 breakfast sessions of advisers and private think tanks.

    There is doubt there’s anything original, if I am not mistaken, it has been done before in Philippines or may be elsewhere before (???)” Jeffrey

    TDM got the idea from Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who at the time remained influential with the regional investment banks. HK pegged its currency in 1983 when there was a run on its currency, and it remains pegged to the USD today.

  15. #15 by k1980 on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 2:32 pm

    Not fair one, Shah Rukh Khan received datukship but the greatest malaysian (porn) actor chua toi lek gets nothing one.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 2:38 pm

    Thanks Godfather for info. I thought it was from Phillippines.

  17. #17 by Godfather on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 2:56 pm

    Hong Kong’s peg is against its capital account i.e. the currency remained fully convertible and the government backed this convertibility with its reserves. This gave confidence to all investors that the government is really putting its money where its mouth is.

    Mamakthir on the other hand never made the RM fully convertible against our capital account. He made it convertible only at the whim and fancy of BNM and economists have said that if the financial crisis of 1998 had dragged on, we would have gone the way of Zimbabwe – an official exchange rate of 3.80, and a black market rate that would be hundreds of times this figure. [Yes, Zimbabwe has a pegged exchange rate.]

    Anyway, this blog talks of cultural essentialism, and the whole point is that the doctrine of “no change” definitely applies to the Barang Naik coalition.

  18. #18 by Godfather on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 3:09 pm

    The best sign that essentialism trumps over everything else in Bolehland is when a crooked ex President of UMNO tells the next crooked President of UMNO to steer clear of cronyism and nepotism.

    And what does the next President of UMNO do upon receiving this advice ? He skips Parliament for fear of being questioned by the Opposition !

  19. #19 by BrianFong on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 3:49 pm

    I think Dr Azly just wanted to say that the rakyat and the government should adopt change – move away from old practices, custom etc esp those practices that is shackling progress.

    The tradition is the Deputy will take over the premiership but is it necessary so? Why cant there be a contest and the best one should lead? Why force the whole nation to adopt a supposed culture created by a single party?

    The tradition dictates that we should not speak up even if our boss ( i wont want to equate them as leaders …) is wrong – WHY?

    This are the mentality change that I think Dr Azly is trying to inculcate.

    Nothing should be too sacred to be questioned and debated – the rakyat is moving fast forward to be a globalized nation but alas, the Neanderthal group refuses to budge and they are unfortunately piloting the plane.

  20. #20 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 3:55 pm

    The word “essence “ characterizes a substance or a form.

    In philosophy, essentialism is the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess.

    I wish to address with particular reference to the entity called politicians – of both sides of the Divide.

    Here Godfather cites in posting Today at 15: 09.04 that the best example of how “essentialism trumps over everything else in Bolehland” is that “a crooked ex President of UMNO tells the next crooked President of UMNO to steer clear of cronyism and nepotism…And what does the next President of UMNO do upon receiving this advice ? He skips Parliament for fear of being questioned by the Opposition !”

    Yes right. Going forward, may I ask further– why did the Opposition Leader on the first session of Parliament (13th Oct) seek to focus and question the Finance Minister (the next Prime Minister) on his allegedly outdated budget, saying that only “those enslaved and insane would support the budget”, criticising Datuk Seri Najib Razak for being “irresponsible and arrogant” for failing to show up for the debate in this present economic crisis and asking, rather snidely, whether the latter’s failure was because “he was too busy approving mega projects and getting involved in economic scandals such as the latest controversy over the purchase of the Euro-copter”?

    Yes strong and dramatic attack but I thought Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, instead of distracting us with his criticisms of the budget and Najib, was supposed to move for a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister!

    What happened to hullabaloo of previous month when all of the Opposition pressed the PM for a special session of Parliament to move the motion of no confidence on himself and his government saying you cannot wait until Parliament resumed after Ramandan due to the possibility of ISA arrest of Anwar in period before???

    Well Anwar has not yet been arrested (till today) and Parliament has resumed : so where is your Motion iof no Confidence supposedly bnacked by sufficient (30 – 40) BN defectors?

    Not a whisper.

    We have not forgotten.

    I submit to you that the essentialism of politics and politicians is misrepresentation and bull shit, and it maters not whether one is leading the BN or Pakatan Rakyat.

    On the facts I believe this to be a fair comment.

  21. #21 by safeworld on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 4:27 pm

    Let look what a geat man Gandhi’s quotes:
    “As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side.” Think about follow malaysian,

  22. #22 by safeworld on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 4:40 pm

    More quotes from Gandhi.
    1. Gandhi
    The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
    2. Gandhi
    What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
    3. Gandhi
    The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.
    4. Gandhi
    It may be long before the law of love will be recognised in international affairs. The machineries of government stand between and hide the hearts of one people from those of another.
    5. Gandhi
    As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side.
    6. Gandhi
    There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
    7. Gandhi
    We must be the change we wish to see.
    8. Gandhi
    The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
    9. Gandhi
    The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.
    10. Gandhi
    Suffering cheerfully endured, ceases to be suffering and is transmuted into an ineffable joy.

  23. #23 by OrangRojak on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 5:51 pm

    Thanks, safeworld, for posting that, it motivated me to read more about Gandhi – all too easily confused with Ben Kingsley, to my movie-addled mind.

    I think it’s important to base one’s decisions on as much information as possible, from as many diverse sources as possible. Subscribing to a ‘culture’ leads to bias and prejudice. Museums must preserve cultures; people must do what they feel is right and be prepared to listen to voices to the contrary!

  24. #24 by One4All4One on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 6:52 pm

    All of a sudden,there are so many “philosophers” mushrooming among Malaysians. Assuming that these “philosophers” had the benefit of a Malaysian education at certain level(s), may we say that the education system has been a great success, to some extent?

    Those who believe that they can contribute meaningfully and effectively to Malaysia in anyway, be it politically, economically, educationally, etc. etc. should seriously and sincerely offer themselves to take up responsible positions.

    Malaysia need people who can work and not only talk. Rhetoric is only just that, rhetoric. Criticism without affirmative action is just that, criticism. Nothing more, nothing less.

    But then, actions really do speak louder than words.

    Good luck Malaysia!

  25. #25 by cemerlang on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 10:19 pm

    Stimulating deep thoughts. As long as the culture, ritual, custom, religion do no harm, then there will be no harm done. There is a very fine line between what is physical and what is spiritual. What does a necessary evil mean to you all ? If evil is bad, how come it is such a necessity that people have to be evil ? If being angelic is good, how come good people are made to look bad ? Why should ISA be used on the people who speak straight ? Why should not the ISA be used on people who antagonize the others ? A religious book can be like a mulitple choice question. If someone steals your things, a. forgive him, b. hit him on his hand, c. drag him to the courts, d. snatch your things back, e. none of the above, f. all of the above. So, how can a religion be balanced ? At the end of the day, may God gives all Malaysians wisdom.

  26. #26 by One4All4One on Monday, 13 October 2008 - 11:12 pm

    Another possible answer to your question, cemerlang, is :

    It depends.

    It depends on what was snatched. If it is important snatch it back and drag him to court.

    If it is not important, just let him have it, and perhaps slap him on the hand. And laugh at the silly situation. And just forgive the poor guy.

    Again, it all depends…cemerlang…it depends…

  27. #27 by monsterball on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 3:30 am

    Malaysians….especially the Muslims have adopted the great Malaysian Chinese and Indians cultures and way of life….living conditions……into their lives..thus they have developed a strong culture…behaviors…plus keeping their indentities….so clear as Muslims…into their daily lives.
    Muslims love to live in a clean simple house…and their mild mannered…soft spoken personalities…are much to be admired.
    Their sambal balachan…and eating with hands…are their trade marks….part their own…part copied from Indians.
    If one trace back…culture and traditions….Malays have the shortest history …and not recorded as a race at the world book of all races.
    It is a … Malaysian creation….very very short time ago.
    So we can safely say….Malays have no inborn cultures.
    They keep copying and develop into their own.
    But those arrogant UMNO politicians love to trace their ancestors…as Arabs…taking Saudie Arabians as their roots.
    This is sick and thick skinned low class Malays.
    Yes…we have lots of immigrants that came from Arabia to trade and settle here…..but most majorities are purely….from Asia…not from Saudie Arabia.
    This is a classic example…how UMNO wish to distort…history…and why not. They steal….dress themselves with false titles..never feel shameful at all….so what is the real culture….UMNO is showing to his own race?
    I say….UMNO have always brought his own race… into a merry go round..spinning and have no true identities at all.
    That is one reason…Muslims want to vote them out.
    So Bro Azly Rahman better don’t dream…and study facts.

  28. #28 by monsterball on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 3:49 am

    If history is put sincerely about Malaysia….it is the Chinese from China and Indians from India….that have ample rights and claim Malaysia…as their own.
    It is like the British convicts…claiming Australia…theirs…as against the aborigines.
    Malaysia is lucky..China do not fancy conquering or invading others.
    Admiral Cheng Ho could just claim Malaysia be part of China..with no fights from helpless Rajahs.
    And now…bones dug showing Chinese was here…long before the Rajahs….but Malaysian Chinese are not bothered to apply this proof…as long as the can live peacefully equals.
    That’s the nature and strong cultures of the Chinese….a very peaceful and hard working race…..handed down….more than 5000 years ago.
    What is the culture of Malays…can Bro.Azly tell us more..before he talk about cultures?
    To others…Malays were like monkies..climbing tree tops….while others are civilized.
    So who civilized the Malays??
    British..and for how long ago?
    And who modernized the Malays…Malaysians … Chinese and Indians..with strong roots and cultures or the British??
    Do Bro.Azly supports Malaysians Malaysia or race and religion politics?

  29. #29 by monsterball on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 3:54 am

    I will love to hear Bro.Azly’s history knowledge on Han Tuah and Han Jebat.
    Lets trace cultures and traditions.

  30. #30 by monsterball on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 5:15 am

    But my favourite subject is Chin Peng…the one man…UMNO is most ungrateful and unfair to…inspite of claiming to be such kind religious souls.
    I put it clearly..I agree with his get Chin Peng out….but from Mahathir’s time to now…when Malaysians are so well educated…especially the Muslims..and not to allow our hero of Malaysia to die in his homeland…is just plain dirty politics….against sincerities…and the never admit wrong type of UMNO mentalities…keep playing race and religion sickening and dirty politics.
    Do Bro.Azly know how many Malay lives…Chin Peng saved??
    How many Muslim girls saved from being raped by Japanese?
    Until and unless..the real history of Malaysia is known to youngsters…all said or will be said…are distorted facts..against the Chinese and Indians.

  31. #31 by counsel888 on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 3:47 pm

    Before Dr. George Soros kissed and made up with Dr. Mahathir, Mahathir warned Asian economies of acccepting the imposition of the loosening of monetary policy, the liberalisation of the financial systems that developing countries could not afford because they lacked the sophistication and ability to deal with speculation. Everyone in Malaysia who could not make a buck out of him laughed at him. They had their supporters in places like Hong Kong and Indonesia and flat faced Thailand as well.

    After demolishing the Malaysian Ringgitt Soros and Merriweather went ahead and did Hong Kong after Tung Chee Hwa called on Mahathir to tone down his rhetoric and accept the fact that where the fundamentals were weak the currencies would fall. he then went on to exhalt the virtues of Hong Kongs fundamental strengths and fiscal discipline.

    Two weeks later Soros wiped the floor with the Hong Kong dollar. Tung Chee Hwa is now history. Thailand of course blamed it on an Indian banker. 11 years on the truth is out in the open and flat face is in exile.

    George Soros did admit to creating a disaster for many. he got the Brits by humiliating them and their pound as he found a convenient scape goat in Mahathir and an ally in their anti Mahathir stance.

    Mahathir brought in Dr. Paul Krugman todays Nobel prize in economics recipient. What they did together (a manadate and instructions from Mahathir without which he would not work) the currency was stablised and foreign reserves restored to a more than modest level.

    Mahathir bashing is a Chinese inspired past time. It is the belief of the south east Asian Chinese that everyone else who does not sell opium or pimps on his mother and sisters for a living is an inferior being and therefore fair game for their condemnation. They cannot fathom the intelligence of this man nor the highly unorthodox nature of his manageement. Yet like pigs they grab anything andd everything his “corrupt government” (their words) has to dish out and become filthy rich like pigs.

    Mahahtir did warn of the insolvency crisis of these countries. The US will not be defeated through an invasion. It will simply implode like it is doing now.

    I place a scenario before you now. If as expected Obama will win the elections he is likely to be assassinated. That will split the country into progressives and faggoty rednecks in an armed struggle likee the civil war.

    These are dangerous times we live in. The next hot spot will be China. The US will engineer a conflict with China and Taiwan or attack its economy which has already begun.

    The oil price hike was a phoney by the worlds second largest oil producer the US. Its reserves the third largest in the world is securely in the ground. It instead controls production from third party surrogates like the mid east and controls its distribution and supply routes.

    China is the largest consumer of oil who has a stockpile of foreign reserves which is dangerous to the west. It won’t free float its currency giving it an unfair economic edge in manufacturing. In order to access oil it has had to dip into its reserves and pay huge amounts from its surpluses. Success on that front to the US.

    China now finds itself holding highly inflated US Treasuries and stocks in many of their blue chips which are now seriously worthless. Thats another way the US got the Chinese by the proverbials. It also is a means by which they have had their reserves diluted by the US.

    The next step is to get it engaged in a long term debilitating armed conflict. That I feel will be internal and a combination of Tibet and the Urghurs.

    All in all Mahathir has done well for his country. There are those who believe he should have followed the Chiense or US example and he did neither.

    There are those like Anwar on a Chinese leash who believe Mahahtir should have gone the Indonesian way and even coind a term for it. reformasi. The only reform is achievable by jailing Anwar a pathological looser and tyrant in the making.

  32. #32 by monsterball on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 5:36 pm

    council888 is half right about Mahathir.
    Why so?……because he is either ignorant ….or a blatant liar.
    Who does not know…our ex PM…is one of the smartest politician in the world. Two cooks kiss and make up….does not impress man in the streets at all.
    Mahathir has made Malaysians suffered ..stealing more than a bilions to save his son. He also closed two eyes to massive corruptions.
    This is so welknown…why don’t you talk about him and corruptions?
    So no matter what you say good about this devil…..he is simply a thick skinned actor…that can cry..can forget 14 times in one hour..then can remember…like an elephant.
    But his greatest assets is able to twist and turn….facts to fictions…and vice versa…and apply the art to accuse others…before he is being accused at.
    Now…he is advising the government..against corruptions….which is simply too much for any Malaysians to stomach.
    I am disappointed….you have concluded Obama will be assassinated…if elected President. Are you a Republican supporter?
    As for Soros…he has also made lots of speculastors lost money in stock markets…with his “money makes money” speculations. So… leave these two crooks….to enjoy each others live in hell.
    I am quite sure….you are not a Malaysian!
    Your opinion on Anwar Ibrahim….in your last sentence…is itself pathetic and low class…no need to say more.

  33. #33 by Loh on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 7:13 pm

    ///After demolishing the Malaysian Ringgitt Soros and Merriweather went ahead and did Hong Kong after Tung Chee Hwa called on Mahathir to tone down his rhetoric and accept the fact that where the fundamentals were weak the currencies would fall. he then went on to exhalt the virtues of Hong Kongs fundamental strengths and fiscal discipline.

    Two weeks later Soros wiped the floor with the Hong Kong dollar. Tung Chee Hwa is now history. Thailand of course blamed it on an Indian banker. 11 years on the truth is out in the open and flat face is in exile.///—counsel888

    Soros made Hong Kong government bought out the shares, and Soros must have brought one or more billion US dollars of his own funds to change into HK dollar to wipe the floor in Hong Kong.

  34. #34 by Loh on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 7:37 pm

    ///My argument against core culture theory is that whilst values such as honesty, piety, religiosity, industriousness, peacefulness, and harmony must at all cost be guarded and transmitted, the ritualistic, paganistic, and “linguistic gatekeeping’ aspects of Cultural Essentialism must be deconstructed and reconstructed in order for irrational strands in the core values be withered away. ///– Azly Rahman
    The core values listed are generally considered desirable qualities that members of the society should be encouraged to embrace. They are generally developed through ritualistic means, and unless some practices are found scientifically to be irrelevant to the inculcation of the core value, they should be maintained. Religious belief goes a step beyond the development of core values which are thought to be relevant to living in the present world.
    Medical science provides information on the effect of food on human bodies, and the choice of food should be according to the need and taste of the persons concerned. Food proscription by some religions was initially made for health reasons. But religious persons knowing very well the reasons of the proscription might not be relevant with the advent of modern hygienic standards and facilities would continue to follow the teaching to be accepted as practicing the religion in totality. It should be useful if the people following the rituals are aware of the reasons for doing so. That would reduce areas for exploitation by religious fanatics, such as the opposition to livestock development based on religion rather than environmental grounds.

  35. #35 by Loh on Tuesday, 14 October 2008 - 8:41 pm

    ///Amid all the hype surrounding the presidential campaign, key facts about the origin of the mortgage crisis that led to the financial meltdown have gotten lost. ///–Ken Timmerman:

    Read the butterfly effects. See

You must be logged in to post a comment.