Archive for May 15th, 2013

I have seen the video of Mohd Noor’s speech and it is unquestionably the most divisive, destructive, racist and seditious speech ever made in Malaysia in 44 years

It is reported today that NGOs led by Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS) have come out in support of former Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Noor Abdullah and claimed that Malaysiakini’s coverage of his remarks was “malicious and intended to threaten racial harmony in Malaysia”.

A GPMS statement alleged that the Malaysiakini report was “one-sided and resulted in the readers feeling uneasy, to the extent that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had described (the) statement as racist”.

It said: “It is unfortunate that those who commented in the news portal were not there to hear for themselves and to evaluate the speech as a whole. We question Malaysiakini’s motive in selectively highlighting the speech as well as interpreting it and portraying him as a racist.”

I have seen the video of Mohd Noor’s speech which unquestionably the most divisive, destructive, racist and seditious speech ever made in Malaysia in 44 years.
I feel totally uneasy that anyone, let alone a person of Mohd Noor’s stature as former Court of Appeal judge, could spew such racist and chauvinist poison with immunity and impunity, completely reckless of the grave harm they could do to destroy the fabric of Malaysia’s plural society.

I can vouch that Malaysiakini’s report of Mohd Noor’s speech was neither malicious nor unprofessional, but was in fact a fair and reasonable account of Mohd Noor’s speech.
It was Mohd Noor’s speech which was an abomination of the concept of 1Malaysia, as it was most vile and inflammatory calculated to incite racial distrust, misunderstanding and conflict, totally unworthy of a person who had held the high office of a Court of Appeal judge. Read the rest of this entry »


I am Malaysia

— Jun Watanabe
The Malaysian Insider
May 13, 2013

MAY 13 — I cannot seem to shake off this feeling of grief. Like many other urbanite non-malays I had voted for an non-BN candidate in my constituency, and the indelible ink on my finger was coming off. At 40 I had just taken part in my first elections, fueled by the responsibility I felt as a parent and a tax paying citizen. But I never used to care.

I speak English, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin better than I speak Malay. I was born in a foreign land and look foreign.

I was never educated in Malaysia- growing up in Johor in the 80s it was an easy choice for my parents, and I started at age 7 commuting to Singapore everyday, and later the US.

Like many other stories out there I grew up with prejudices and pre-conceived notions of how the other races were, how the civil service was, how everyone was different, cloistered in my own community, sheltered by something unwritten that you live and let live.

Yet I am Malaysian, strange as it may seem to most. Over the years I have given up the chance of citizenship in another country, permanent residency in 2 others. Like many in forums who recounted that they grew up a certain race but once they were abroad they identified themselves simply as “Malaysian”, I have never felt any other. I feel tied to the land, to my friends and family, to the neighborhood where I live, to my neighbors, to nasi lemak and petai bee hoon, and teh tariks sessions in mamaks. I am proud of P. Ramlee and Sheila Majid and Tan Twan Eng as I am of Lee Chong Wei and Nicol David.

And funny how it is when you “awaken” and you start to care – mine was six years ago the day Maya was born. When it is that you know that you have the ability and the immense power to shape and influence a person’s life, you must experience, in your own time, a myriad of differing but not mutually exclusive feelings, and some of which should be pride, anxiety, helplessness, despair, stoicism, sacrifice. You become acutely aware of your limitations, but the impulse of wanting to protect her and a hand in nurturing her makes you strive to overcome your fears and your imperfections.

For the sake of my daughter I resolved to be a better person. Read the rest of this entry »


Continued disillusion or evolution

— K. Haridas
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013

MAY 14 — What would the Indians in the MIC do when they gather? Obviously they would not speak about what they could do to help Malays or even the Bumiputeras out of poverty or help increase their share of the economic cake. The same would hold true for the MCA. To think of helping the Malays or the Indians would be outside their scope and agenda.

Would the agenda be any different for Umno? Perhaps, because they take the lead within Barisan Nasional (BN) they would be even more sensitive about any approaches for a larger slice of the cake from any of their coalition partners. To them the status quo would always remain the best option because this guarantees stability except when the issue is one of survival.

Otherwise, they would be seen as giving in to demands and thus perceived as weak. While there is nothing right or wrong about such approaches these highlight the narrow ethnic context where the focus is on the part and not on the whole. Is it a wonder then that BN has continued to stagnate?

There are no regular consultations at different levels within BN, hence issues often become divisive and a source of conflict. Let us take the case of the use of the word “Allah”. The other component parties of the BN will shy away and leave this for Umno to handle. Yet, when the crisis worsens they all pay a heavy price for their silence.

The same can be said for issues like “body snatching”, conversions, deaths under police custody, to mention a few. BN has never responded by establishing a modus operandi based on justice and fairness. Every issue is viewed from an ethnic context and once this becomes the case nothing further can be done. Everyone backs off and the courts become an avenue to deal with unresolved problems. The judges then just repeat the law or the case is postponed numerous times and the status quo remains.

There is no political will to address issues on the basis of justice, fairness and equity. This is the grave limitation of race-based politics. We have had enough of such injustices. Read the rest of this entry »


This is what the Chinese want

― Ong Hean Teik
The Malaysian Insider
May 08, 2013

MAY 8 ― The Utusan Malaysia headline of May 7 posed an interesting and pertinent question of what more do the Chinese in Malaysia want. It is a pity that Utusan is unable to see that what the Chinese want is, in fact, what the educated urban Malaysian voter wants, regardless of race or religion. There are three important characteristics lacking in the Barisan of today.

Intelligent, courageous leadership

The Chinese comprise only 30 per cent of Malaysian voters, yet Pakatan Rakyat won 51 per cent of the total votes cast. By saying that the election result was because of the Chinese voters, the Barisan Nasional leadership demonstrates an inability to objectively face reality.

Barisan’s acceptance of Zulkifli Nordin as its direct Shah Alam candidate similarly shows a lack of intelligence and courage. Here is a lawyer who does not feel that dialogue and discussion can resolve matters, having forcefully disrupted a Law Society seminar. He has vowed loyalty to, and then turned on his previous political parties. He has publicly belittled an ancient religion with a million Malaysian followers.

Umno making way for Ibrahim Ali to contest the Pasir Mas constituency is similarly bad judgement, showing its acceptance and approval of a crude man who prides himself with using vulgar words in public interviews.

To give them such special honour and credit shows a lack of intelligent reasoning and an inability to stand up against the loud extremist faction of the party.

Attributing the election outcome to a “Chinese tsunami” is illogical in the face of concrete facts and data. PAS won an additional seven state seats in Selangor, all in Malay majority areas.

Lim Kit Siang could not have achieved a majority of over 14,000 votes in Gelang Patah without good support from Malays who form 35 per cent of the electorate there. Read the rest of this entry »


Hello, we are Malaysians

— Tih Seong Pin
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013

MAY 14 — The call by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad for the abolition of Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools in favour of a single stream school which uses Malay-language as a medium is unconstitutional,backward,impractical,irresponsible and unMalaysian.

To abolish Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools in the country means to deny the roles and contributions played by both major communities since Merdeka in 1957 and this does not make sense!

The UiTM pro-chancellor must not forget it was the joint noble aspirations, efforts and unity of the nation’s 3 major races that won Malaysia’s Merdeka and freed us from the British rule thta made us the master of our destiny!

Malaysia belongs the the people of all races and all our cultural,social ,economic and political rights are guaranteed in the highest laws of the land -the Federal Constitution.

For so long, Chinese vernacular schools have played a tremendous role in developing the nation-economically,culturally and politically fostering national unity by producing many talented and -high-value individuals,among them with people like Pua Khein Seng-who invented the first single chip USB flash controller in the world called”pendrive”in 2001 and Datok Lee Chong Wei,our national badminton star who has brought international honours to our motherland just to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »


From ballots to protests

— Khoo Ying Hooi
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013

MAY 14 — In the immediate aftermath of Malaysia’s closely contested polls on 5 May, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim called on Malaysians to protest the results in what he said as the worst electoral fraud in Malaysian’s history. In the 13th General Election, the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional won 133 of 222 parliamentary seats, its worst showing wins since Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957. It won 46.8% of all votes for parliamentary seats in an election with a record turnout of almost 85%, compared with 50.3% for Pakatan Rakyat.

Anwar Ibrahim vowed to lead a “fierce movement” to press on electoral reform and challenge the results of the election. He also urged Malaysians to show their resentment over the state of democracy in the country by wearing black every Saturday, in which some term as “democracy blackout”. Since then, several 505 post-election rallies, “Suara Rakyat, Suara Keramat” have been held in different part of Malaysia and it is still ongoing.

Electoral protests are not unusual

In Venezuela for example, the supporters of Venezuela opposition leader Henrique Capriles demanded a recount after a slim electoral defeat to Nicolas Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez’s handpicked successor. Similarly in Malaysia, that was the closest the opposition has come to power in Venezuela since Chavez won his first presidential election in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »


Hope restored

— Juju Johari
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013

MAY 14 — After having my heart broken the night the election results were announced, I jumped at the opportunity to express my deepest condemnation of the results, arriving at the Kelana Jaya stadium grounds at about 6.30pm. My friend had picked me up, and being very traffic-savvy, he got us there expediently, which is much to be thankful for considering many others were not so fortunate.

I was immediately taken in by the wondrous sights that greeted me, as people poured into the stadium grounds all wearing black, with people greeting each other as if they were old friends, whilst strangers took pictures of interesting sights, outfits, placards and characters that pointedly broke down racial barriers. That night, in and around the stadium, Malays, Chinese and Indians celebrated their diversity and their love for the country and Malaysianness by not only showing up but also expressing, as clearly as day, their desire for a JUST new world.

This was a gathering that will long stay in memory as those who turned up shared a common pain, and to wash away the deep sorrow we felt, and the no longer suspended disbelief that things have gotten so bad in this country we call home. We wanted to continue believing that good will triumph over evil. We wanted justice, but I think mostly what we found that evening was a mirror in each other, a reflection of the goodness of what we strived for, affirmation, a sense of belonging to the true Malaysian identity. In short, we found hope. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our democracy died but was revived

— Chris Tay
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013

MAY 14 — When I reached home in Bandar Sunway after work on May 8, my housemates were already in black and pumped up to go to the Kelana Jaya rally. As tired as I was, I decided to go and show support in the fight against electoral fraud.

We left around 6.30pm from Bandar Sunway and took the Ara Damansara way to try to avoid going through the LDP. Incredibly enough, the jam was as bad as it was raining as well. All cars seemed to be heading to the very place we wanted to go. Finally we manage to park (somewhat illegally) on the highway about 3km from the stadium and started walking.

As we got nearer to the stadium, we were joined by many others who were wearing black. With our umbrellas (it was still raining), we inched closer to the stadium and what I saw were cars everywhere, all parked in the most imaginative way possible. People of all races were all walking side by side to the stadium and some even stopped to buy merchandise like shirts, scarves and the annoying little horns. Read the rest of this entry »

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