Archive for February 8th, 2010

Malaysia has forgotten Tunku, and Tunku would not recognise Malaysia

By Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Tunku Abdul Rahman was the founder of Malaysia. That has been obscured by an intervening period in which his memory has been brushed out of our national consciousness.

He brought together a Malaysia that had come together “through our own free will and desire in the true spirit of brotherhood and love of freedom”, in a union arrived at “by mutual consent by debate and discussion…through friendly argument and compromise,” and “in the spirit of co-operation and concord.”

This was the basis for Malaysia he worked for and established, and that his life embodied. That basis has been replaced by something alien to it, his memory has been suppressed, and our history revised.

Part of the reason our collective memory of Tunku has faded, and that Tunku would not recognise today’s Malaysia, is that Tunku and his generation built institutions that empowered the people rather than cults of personality to concentrate power and wealth in themselves. They reached instinctively for democratic decision-making. The concepts and precepts of constitutional democracy were part of their natural vocabulary and instinctive reactions. They knew who the country belonged to, and that they lived to serve.

The day of Tunku’s funeral was not even declared a public holiday. It is no accident that the erasure of his memory has gone hand in hand with the erosion of our institutions. Tunku built up a system of good civil service in which ordinary citizens did not need to see so-and-so to get things done. This has been replaced by a domineering style of leadership in which what you get done depends on who you know. Of course the rich and powerful have better connections.
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UMNO leaders in Federal Government should not play with fire and mortgage credibility and success of 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap and Malaysia 2.0 new economic model

UMNO leaders in the Federal Government, from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to Cabinet and sub-Cabinet levels should not play with fire and mortgage the credibility and success of the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap and Malaysia 2.0 new economic model yet to be announced by Najib.

They should be mindful that Malaysians and the world are watching whether they could separate their responsibilities as Federal Government officials from those of Umno leaders, which would have a great bearing on the credibility, trustworthiness and success of of Najib’s 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap and Malaysia 2.0 new economic model which is to be the basis for the Tenth Malaysia Plan to be presented to Parliament in June.

For instance, national and international credibility in the system of governance which plays a very important role in a country’s international competitiveness, would suffer grievously if Malaysians and the international community believe that the Najib premiership is unable to rise above narrow political party considerations to give top priority to national interests as to continue to compromise the independence, professionalism and integrity of national law enforcement agencies.
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Why the prosecution of Anwar Ibrahim matters to the West

The Washington Post

FEB 7 – In the past two years, Malaysia, which has been a one-party state since it gained independence in 1957, has made remarkable strides toward becoming a democracy. That it has done so is mostly due to the efforts and political talent of one man – Anwar Ibrahim.

So the fact that Anwar went on criminal trial last week should deeply concern the democratic world. The outcome could determine whether one of Asia’s most economically successful countries preserves its stability and embraces long-overdue reforms.

A former deputy prime minister in the ruling party, Anwar was deposed and jailed in 1998 by former Malaysian strongman Mahathir Mohamad.

A manifestly unfair trial followed in which Anwar was convicted of homosexual sodomy, which shamefully remains a crime in Malaysia.

Six years later, the conviction was overturned by a court, and Anwar resumed his political career – this time as an open champion of democracy in Malaysia and other Muslim countries.
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Towards A Developed Malaysia – Part 1

By M. Bakri Musa

[Presented at the Third Annual Alif Ba Ta Forum, “1Malaysia Towards Vision 2020,” Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, December 5, 2009, organized by Kelab UMNO NY-NJ. The presentation can be viewed at (search under “Bakri Musa RIT”) or through this link]

Part One of Six: Definition of A Developed State

Thank you, President Shahrir Tamrin of Kelab UMNO-NY/NJ for inviting me again. I still savor the many pleasant memories of last year’s event. To President Arif Aiman of the Malaysian Students Association, RIT, your warm welcome and generous introduction more than made up for the chill of a New York autumn! To Nur Fauzana and her committee, I congratulate you for your grit in holding this forum in December when American campuses are typically gripped with term paper deadlines and final examinations.

To fellow panelist Dr. Azly Rahman, it is good to see you again! I was in Greece recently and imagined you conducting a Socratic-like seminar on the meaning of truth, wisdom, and knowledge, under those imposing columns! To Ambassador Jarjis, it is a pleasure meeting you and your wife again. That was an impressive picture of you with President Obama, a portrait of a Malay hulubalang (knight), fearsome yet elegant, with his tanjak (keris) discreetly tucked underneath the samping. You effectively demonstrated that a genuine hulubalang need not brandish his keris to convey his message!
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