Archive for August 31st, 2013

Agenda kemerdekaan yang belum terselesai

by Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
August 31, 2013

Selama 56 tahun, rakyat Malaysia tanpa gagal menyambut satu perayaan yang cukup besar maknanya. Perayaan yang mengingatkan kita betapa berharganya nikmat hidup dalam keadaan bebas daripada cengkaman penjajah.

Dalam pada itu, umum juga menyedari bahawa penghayatan sambutan kemerdekaan bukan sekadar menggantungkan bendera kecil di kenderaan masing-masing, berdiri tegak di dalam pawagam semasa lagu Negaraku dimainkan atau berhimpun menunggu percikan bunga api pada detik 12 tengah malam.

Sebaliknya, kemerdekaan adalah sesuatu usaha pembinaan negara bangsa yang berterusan. Kemerdekaan bererti bahawa setiap anggota masyarakat memiliki hak dan tanggungjawab bersama untuk menentukan corak dan masa depan negara ini.

Kemerdekaan bererti bahawa pilihan rakyat menjadi pilihan keramat. Kemerdekaan bererti bahawa setiap insan yang bergelar rakyat dimartabatkan dengan kehidupan yang bermaruah dan peluang untuk menikmati berkongsi kekayaan negara ini.

Namun, walaupun sudah lebih setengah abad kemerdekaan, rakyat makin hidup dalam ketakutan dengan kadar jenayah yang kian meningkat. Hak demokratik pula tercabul apabila pilihan rakyat yang lantang dalam pilihan raya umum tidak berjaya diterjemahkan kepada realiti. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tanda Putera imparts no value whatsoever

– Zikri Kamarulzaman
The Malaysian Insider
August 31, 2013

There’s been a lot of talk about Tanda Putera in the mainstream media lately.

I won’t be touching about the controversial bits, or the bad, sometimes emotionless acting (the Mahathir character was spot on, but unnecessary).

I will talk about its value as a movie.

Tanda Putera is a disaster in storytelling, two stories made into one, barely held together by Tun Abdul Razak’s character.

In fact, if you don’t know the subject matter or history, you will be completely utterly lost.

None of the characters were properly introduced in any way whatsoever. You’re just supposed to know who they are.

Same goes for the plot, with barely any background to explain what’s going on.

And there’s so much happening, and at such a fast pace, that you don’t connect with anyone or anything as the movie progresses. Read the rest of this entry »


Not Yet the Real Merdeka

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News

As we prepare to commemorate Merdeka Day this Saturday – notice that I do not say “celebrate” – it would be timely to acknowledge that the real “Merdeka” has not happened yet.

I say this because we are still not free. We are still under the thrall of the masters who took over from the colonial ones in 1957. They are no different in their intent to oppress us. In fact, over the last few decades especially, they have proven to be even more oppressive. And if the British imperialists divided us in order to better rule over us, the current masters have outdone them in this respect by employing the mechanism of religion on top of that of race.

The current masters also continue to use the instruments of power inherited from the British to control us, such as the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Official Secrets Act, and the Internal Security Act (ISA) which was replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and the Public Assembly Act.

In terms of freedom, we have hardly progressed. When I look back on my growing-up years in the 1960s, I find little difference between then and now. People viewed as Communists (even if they were not) or political threats were taken in under the ISA. Youngsters barely out of school were arrested, and some were robbed of their youth for as many as a dozen years. Read the rest of this entry »