Archive for September 21st, 2010

‘1Malaysia’ – the enemy within

Christopher Barnabas | Sep 20, 10

As the nation celebrated the 47th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia, it is crucial to note that we are a nation divided at unprecedented levels in the history of the country. While political ideologies may differ from both sides of the divide, it is the treacherous levels of racism and extremism that are most disturbing to the common people today.

It was timely that during his Malaysia Day message entitled ‘Our Fight against Extremism’, Najib Abdul Razak took upon himself to warn against the rise of extremism in the country, articulating his sadness that by rejecting the diverse way of life, they are rejecting his ‘1Malaysia’ vision.

Going through some government websites, I came across the ‘1Malaysia’ concept paper, with one key point that stood out particularly clearly: ‘Malaysians, regardless of race or religion need to think and act as one race, that is the Malaysian race, that thinks and acts towards a common goal to build a world that is prosperous, progressive, peaceful, and safe thus enabling it to compete with the other communities in the world’.

Now having read that, let us examine several unsettling incidences since its inception which have resulted to an absolute failure of this vision thus far:

1. The Mahathir factor: The longest-serving former Umno president/PM of Malaysia has been labeled the ‘father of all racism’ by an Umno cabinet minister last year. Not surprising therefore that he appears unconvinced publicly about the ‘1Malaysia’ vision. Recently, he went as far as to conclude that even the newly proposed NEM which supports ‘merit-based’ policies are clouded with a racist agenda, prompting Zaid Ibrahim to diagnose him as having a psychological disorder. Read the rest of this entry »


Question for first day of Parliament on Oct. 11 – why police inaction over spate of police reports for past five years against lawyer brothers suspected of killers in mass murders of Sosilawati and three others

My first question for the first day of the 34-sitting 2011 budget meeting of Parliament beginning on Oct. 11 will be in connection with the gruesome and heinous mass murders of cosmetic millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others in Banting on National Day.

The question directed at the Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is asking for the list of the “dates/nature of police reports lodged against the lawyer brothers in Banting suspected responsible for the Sosilawati mass murders, reasons for police inaction which have gravely undermined public confidence in police professionalism and latest actions on these police reports”.

The new Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar has publicly admitted that Sosilawati’s case could have been prevented if fast action, including proper investigation, had been conducted over earlier reports of missing persons.

He said a task force had been formed to investigate all missing persons reports linked to the lawyer brothers, adding:

“There should be no more slacking. Those caught slacking or ignoring missing persons reports will be severely reprimanded.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Who is the second UMNO/BN Minister who dare to publicly declare that he/she is Malaysian first and race second in keeping with Najib’s 1Malaysia policy?

I am surprised that in the past 24 hours, the other Ministers have not rallied behind the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz who had courageously declared that he is Malaysian first and Malay second.

Who is the second UMNO/Barisan Nasional Minister who dare to publicly declare that he/she is Malaysian first and race second in keeping with Najib’s 1Malaysia policy?

It has taken Nazri more than six months to respond to my challenge in Parliament in March this year to all Cabinet Ministers to declare that they are Malaysian first and race second.
Surely, Malaysians do not have to wait for another six months before another Minister plucks up sufficient courage to follow Nazri to declare that he/she is Malaysian first and race second.

I have given notice to ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak a specific question on the commitment and loyalty of Ministers and top civil servants to his 1Malaysia concept when Parliament reconvenes for the 2011 Budget meeting beginning on Oct. 11.

My question to Najib in the first week of the Parliamentary meeting next month read:
Read the rest of this entry »


An open-and-shut case

Mariam Mokhtar | Sep 20, 10

During the Raya celebrations at his home in Pekan, the Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak, encouraged us to hold open houses and receive guests irrespective of race and religion to foster national unity based on ‘1Malaysia’. He said that an open house would be more meaningful if “we also open our hearts to our guests”.

The PM should also include an open mind. A willingness to listen to other people’s opinions should promote greater understanding and harmony.

If only Najib was aware of the level of intolerance some Malays have for non-Malays and non-Muslims. I don’t expect him to know what happens at the ground level and I doubt if his advisers and close associates tell him the truth.

Fewer Malays visit non-Malay open houses for the various festivals. The issue is not just with food. Some object to visiting places where there is a shrine. A few refuse to eat off crockery and cutlery that has ‘touched’ pork. Others worry about the content of the soap with which to wash their hands. Many Malays are oblivious to how their non-Malay colleagues go out of their way to accommodate Malay sensitivities. Sometimes, even the best efforts are in vain.

When it comes to pot-luck or giving food as presents, non-Malays express frustration that their contributions are refused, even if the non-Malay took great pains to ensure the use of halal ingredients. Rejection of their unappreciated and wasted efforts, is hard to accept.

Official functions are also dominated by Malay intolerance. Recently, the Malay organisers of a parent-teacher association dinner at a school in Malacca arranged for a restaurant which had the ‘Halal’ accreditation, to cater the function. It would have been a halal Chinese dinner. Unfortunately, the arrangement was cancelled as a few of the Malay parents and teachers objected, because the restaurant owner and his staff were Chinese. Read the rest of this entry »