Archive for November 11th, 2010

Calling May 13, 1969 ‘sacred’ is sacrilegious

by John Baptist
The Malaysian Insider
November 11, 2010

I read with disgust Zaini Hassan describing in the Utusan Malaysia the tragic May 13, 1969 incident as “sacred”. The Oxford Dictionary defines sacred as either “connected with God or a god; considered to be holy” or “very important and treated with great respect.”

From general reading, the incident involved carnage, destruction of private and public property, ruining of families, instilling of fear, the destruction of years of trust between the races built by our forefathers and the maligning of our nation in the eyes of the world, setting us back years in the terms of our economic potential.

I need take only carnage to exemplify that it is prohibited by all religions and hence cannot sit comfortably within the first definition of “sacred” by the Oxford Dictionary. Read the rest of this entry »


Non-Malay patriotism: what is the truth

By Dr Lim Teck Ghee | CPI

Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should be commended for stating in Parliament that the reason Chinese and Indians made up only a tiny proportion of Army recruits was because their “patriotism spirit is not high enough”. This is because he has inadvertently brought out into the open a perception which is shared by the majority of Malay leaders and also possibly by a very large proportion of the Malay population. It is a perception that should not be suppressed – on the contrary, it needs to be fully aired and dissected so that rational thinking and fact-based policy formulation shall prevail.

What has been criticized as a “racially biased, shallow and chauvinistic” statement questioning the loyalty of young Malaysians may in fact be correct. Non-Malays may be much less patriotic than Malays which accounts for their low enrolment in the military and civil service, as well as for their lack of participation in other national activities when patriotism and loyalty to the country are showcased. But it could also be wrong as it ignores other factors that may be instrumental in explaining the low number of recruits.
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Last refuge of a scoundrel

By Kee Thuan Chye | Nov 11, 10

COMMENT “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” So said Samuel Johnson, the famous British man of letters. He is believed to have said that to condemn the false use of the term “patriotism”.

The same can be applied to Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. However, in the Malaysian context, it might be read as “When you want to malign some people, you call them unpatriotic”.

In Parliament recently, this minister said that among the reasons for the small number of Chinese and Indians joining the armed forces was their lack of patriotism. It was so sweeping, so unsupported by evidence, that it could amount to nothing more than a false claim. What was his real motive for saying what he said?

More than that, it is indeed false patriotism to say that if you don’t join the army, you are not patriotic. Nothing could be more ridiculous than that. It is the same kind of thinking that goes along these lines – “if you are not with me, then you are not patriotic”.

Extended further, it is the same kind of thinking that informs the BN propaganda – if you don’t vote for BN, you are not patriotic. This, of course, is the ultimate hogwash.

Patriotism can be expressed in many ways that people tend to overlook. Those who campaign against a government that is corrupt because they want to see reform and the emergence of a better country are patriots. Those who stand up in defence of our institutions and our freedoms are patriots. Those who uphold principles in the work they do daily are patriots. Those who go out daily to do a decent day’s work to earn an income to feed their family and pay their taxes are patriots. Read the rest of this entry »


ASEAN must strengthen UN efforts to bring about peace and justice in Burma/Myanmar

For the AIPMC, the election in Burma/Myanmar was already a foregone conclusion.
We did not consider them an election at all. In fact, we named them a non-election for the country’s people.

Our conclusion was based on careful scrutiny of the facts on the ground, including a strictly controlled constitution-drafting process, a rigged referendum in the midst of the disaster caused by Cyclone Nargis, the use of the election laws and other laws to exclude the opposition, the widespread intimidation of political candidates and the exclusion of significant sections of the electorate from the electoral process.

Today, we are horrified that our worst fears are turning into reality. The counting process of the votes has not been transparent, and complaints about advance voting fraud and other irregularities are growing stronger. Burma/Myanmar’s Union Election Commission now needs to heed the call of the country’s citizens and political parties to ensure a transparent counting process, investigate all claims and refuse to certify any results until these investigations are complete.

ASEAN has welcomed the elections in Burma/Myanmar as a significant step forward in the implementation of the regime’s seven-step road map. The AIPMC does not share this assessment. These elections were a fake. They are not going to bring about a government by the people, with the people and for the people, a government that will wholeheartedly seek the sustainable development of Burma/Myanmar and its people.
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