Archive for December 20th, 2010

How can Najib expect his pitch for moderation to have any credibility when UMNO organ Utusan Malaysia is allowed to preach extremism with lies and falsehoods everyday?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has again promoted the cause of moderation when he spoke in Penang when opening the 43rd International Convention of the World Chinese Language Press Institute this morning.

Najib urged the media to play the role as a promoter of moderation, “to take back the centre” and reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism.

He said the movement of the moderates could marginalise the extremists, and that the media had a significant role to play in this quest.

“With collective determination, we can build a more rational, secure and equitable world. As media messages about the majority who seek peace and moderation spread around the globe, this new world is indeed within our reach.”

Well said, but Najib is not walking the talk.
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1Choice for Malaysia

Mariam Mokhtar
Dec 20, 10

Malaysia’s upcoming general election offers the country its most significant choice for several decades.

The political tsunami of 2008 was an eye-opener. At the second Pakatan Rakyat convention in Kepala Batas, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang acknowledged the weaknesses in the opposition pact and urged party member to unite and remain focused.

The nation faces enormous challenges in the years to come. The economic demands are tremendous. The next government needs to stabilise the economy and stimulate growth in the private sector. It has to deal with its burgeoning debt, cut subsidies and rein in borrowings if it does not want to risk bankruptcy.

Our problems are not just economic. We are faced with a rising tide of extremism from Malay groups, borders which are porous, a rise in Islamic fundamentalism, a rise in racist incidents, problems in our schools and hospitals, the destruction of the police and judiciary, babies being abandoned, high levels of corruption and a weakening of civic society.

These problems demand a robust solution and a strong government to tackle them. The burning question is: Which party is best suited to lead us out of this quagmire? Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan Rakyat ready to rule?

– by Azly Rahman
Dec 20, 10

Just do it.” – Nike slogan.

As a disinterested and apolitical analyst of Malaysian politics I believe that for the good of all Malaysians, democracy needs renewal, either through evolution or revolution all through its inevitable march towards its final solution. It is not political philosophy that is at issue here but the people that translates it into practice.

Except for the allegedly orchestrated bloody racial riots of May 13 1969, Malaysia is fortunate to have seen peaceful stages of evolution although her prime ministers hailed from the bourgeoisie-class of hybridised Malays helming the race-based party that has no clear ideology; a party that is losing its effect in rallying the Malay electorate due to its own poor understanding of the meaning of nationalism and cosmopolitanism in an age of cybernetics and globalisation.

Is the death of Malaysia’s National Front or the Barisan Nasional near? Can Malaysian politics be “gentlemanly” or borrowing Kung Fu Tze’s word for gentleman, “Chuan tze” enough for the 50-year race-based coalition regime to give way for a coalition of multiculturalists such as Pakatan Rakyat to rule for the next 50 years? Are Malaysians ready enough for this gentlemanly act that will give meaning to the evolutionary democracy Malaysian-styled?

Perhaps the nation is ready. An era awaits no nation. It only needs to be cemented by political will. Read the rest of this entry »


Chapter Six: Malaysia: Assets and Liabilities

by Bakri Musa

(Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #45)

Our Plurality An Asset

Malaysians, especially the leaders, have always regarded their plural society as a liability. If only the nation were racially and culturally homogenous, these leaders would lament, many of our problems would be gone. Such wishful thinking! I argue the contrary. That is, Malaysia’s racial plurality, far from being a liability, is actually an asset. And a significant one at that!

Malaysian policies and strategies are constantly being looked at and analyzed in racial terms. Often the implicit assumption is that what is good for Malays must necessarily be bad for non-Malays, and the reverse, what is good for non-Malays is bad for Malays. This mentality is ingrained at all levels. As noted earlier, Malaysia’s racial plurality is another legacy of the British colonial rule.

The country’s multiracial society has indeed been a source of problems, both past and present. In part this Malaysian dilemma results from socioeconomic divisions paralleling racial lines. This is not a uniquely Malaysian problem. With the massive migrations and arbitrary drawings of political boundaries in the last century, many countries have ethnically and culturally diverse populations. Today’s headlines are filled with tragedies consequent to those diversities: the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans; the genocide of Rwanda; the continuing sectarian strife in Northern Ireland; and ethnic hostilities in Sri Lanka. Read the rest of this entry »