Archive for category Letters


Good evening Uncle Lim,

As a dawn of a new century will begin for Sarawak tomorrow and hopefully on Sunday, I would like to wish you Pakatan Rakyat members – DAP, PKR and PAS all the best and good luck to achieve another politcal tsunami. Although I’m in Australia studying, I’m still keeping track of news back home.

It’s good that all of you are being optimistic of the situation; again a word of caution – beware of the dirty tricks which are about to be played or are already in play. But by the end of the day, the kuasa rakyat or tsunami Part 2 will help to carry you to victory. I can see either the two happening; denying BN 2/3 majority in the assembly or taking over the Sarawak administration. Deep inside, I hope that PR will take both. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s lackluster response to a neighbour in need

Letter by Dr Nicholas Lee

Dear MP Lim Kit Siang,

I have never written to you but I do so now in the hopes of bring to light a small matter.

As you may have read in the newspapers, Christchurch, the second largest city in New Zealand has suffered a damaging earthquake. Within a single day of that report, the world raced to provide aid to the stricken city. Offers of aid came from neighbouring nations such as Australia and Singapore. Form further a field, assistance came from Japan, Taiwan, United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea. Even Thailand made a small gesture to provide some financial aid to the earthquake victims.

As for Malaysia, we took an entire day to respond. And our dear PM only went so far as to offer condolences and to monitor our own citizens (students). Nothing more. This behaviour strikes me as somewhat lackluster for a few reasons. Read the rest of this entry »



By P. Ramakrishnan | Aliran President

My Dear Mr Lim,

This was what I meant to say if I had the opportunity on Saturday which observed your 70th Birthday. Unfortunately, and very understandably, it wasn’t possible. So let me share this with you:

    LIM KIT SIANG: The Legend

YB Lim Kit Siang and Mrs Lim, Members of the Lim family, Distinguished Guests, Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen:

My wife and I are very grateful to the Lim family for extending their invitation to us to be part of this very special occasion. What we are observing today is an important milestone in the life of a remarkable parliamentarian.

YB Lim Kit Siang is no ordinary Malaysian; he is a legend. His public involvement spans over 40 years – a period covering the tenure of six Malaysian Prime Ministers – from the first to the present sixth PM. And he will certainly be there, I’m sure, when a new seventh PM takes over after the 13th General Elections!

This is a record that will not be matched or surpassed by any Malaysian. If he was from Umno, this feat would have gone into the Malaysian Book of records.
Read the rest of this entry »


Sibu Hospital : A sad story of Sarawak

Letter by Mimi

This is a sad story of Sarawak and the Sarawakians.

What went wrong in Sarawak?

From the photos taken at the Medical Ward at the Sibu in Hospital, no one would believe Sarawak is one of the largest contributors to the Federal fund.

End of Dec 2010, I spent some time caring for a relative who was admitted at the Sibu Hospital. From the outside, this hospital looks like a 3 star resort. However, inside the hospital, the story is totally different.

This is 2011. How come there is no air conditioning in the Medical ward (I didn’t have the time to check out the other wards)? During the day, the ceiling fans are merely swirling warm, muggy air in the ward. It’s so hot & balmy that the patients leave their tops unbuttoned (yes, even the female patients).
Read the rest of this entry »


Investigate Why Malaysia Has Attained World Ranking in Illicit Outflows

by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee

I refer to a report by Washington financial watchdog Global Financial Integrity which found that Malaysia lost US$291 billion or RM889 billion through illicit outflows between 2000-2008.

The report written by GFI economists Karly Curcio and Dev Kar, who is a former senior economist at the International Monetary Fund is deserving of attention from everyone in the country – the Prime Minister to the lowest of our citizenry.

This finding of massive illicit capital outflow for Malaysia is the strongest confirmation of sustained capital flight from the country during the past decade, even if one wants to dispute the definition of “illicit” used. What is especially worrying is that the outflow has tripled in the short period of eight years from 2000-2008

There can be no dispute that a major part of this outflow is due to financial gains accumulated through corruption, kickbacks and other illegal means. How much is due to various causes can be disputed and can only be determined by a thorough investigation such as through the establishment of a Royal Commission to determine the extent and the reasons for the outflow. Without an independent panel or Commission looking into this and having access to banking and other financial data, there will be no end to finger pointing and needless speculation as to who are the parties implicated in these outflows. Read the rest of this entry »


“Pornographic” poetry for our teens?

by Mrs. Sheela R

The study of Malay literature for students of the Upper Secondary level features a poem by Raja Ali Haji, a scholar and a prominent literary figure of the nineteenth century. Raja Ali Haji was noted for his numerous literary gems such as the “Tuhfat Al-nafis” (The precious gift) and “Syair Kitab al-Nikah” (The book of marriage).

The poem selected for study at the Form four level is an excerpt from his lesser-known literary work entitled “Syair Siti Sianah”. The foreword written in Malay includes an explanation as to whom the poem is intended for and the purported advice it contains. I reproduce this extract below:

“Syair Siti Sianah pula mengandungi nasihat yang tujukan khas kepada golongan wanita supaya mereka sentiasa menjaga maruah diri, etika dan nama baik keluarga serta tidak melanggar ajaran, norma masyarakat dan budaya”.

(Translation: “Syair Siti Sianah” contains advice which is specially directed towards women to always guard their virtue, ethics and uphold their family name whilst not going against the teachings of religion, societal norms and culture”).

Now, to the poem itself. A total of 11 verses have been selected for inclusion in the text. As an example, I reproduce three verses below with a brief/approximate translation: Read the rest of this entry »


Winners ignored, 5th placers lauded?

by Ooi Chin Wah
Dec 22, 10

The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) is an event for science, technology and education, that brings together youths from all over the world in order to develop their creativity and problem solving skills through challenging and educational robot competitions.

Participating teams need to create, design and build a robot model that looks or behaves like human.

This year the task of organising the competition was given to the Philippines. The Ministry of Education and many private companies in the Philippines jointly sponsored the event.

The steering committee consists of well-known academicians from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Singapore. 250 teams from 22 countries participated. Read the rest of this entry »


Keen To Join “BN Baru” But Needed Answers To these Questions First

by Richard Loh

Very interesting that ‘Umno controlled BN’ is now opening the door for direct membership. To avoid confusion over the many questions that arises with this introduction, let me called it “BN Baru”. There are many confused statements coming out from the various leaders of what this ‘BN Baru’ constitutes.

Fellow Malaysians, before we rush in to sign up, we need to clarify a few things first in order not to get into ‘Umno controlled BN’ entrapment or deceit.

We need to ask these questions and hopefully the cybertroopers can forward them to their master for answers.

Q1 : “Najib said last week that the historic decision to amend its charter is an effort to make BN more inclusive and open to all who share its concept, principles and policies of the coalition.”

Many left ‘Umno controlled BN’ is because they are not happy with it’s concept, principles and policies. So what is the difference in this “BN Baru”? Have we got to endure the same old racist policies, abiding by master Umno’s concept and the principle of ‘ketuanan melayu’?

Q2 : Who will lead this “BN Baru”, Umno supreme council, BN supreme council or members will elect their own “BN Baru” supreme council? Read the rest of this entry »


1Malay(sian) Armed Forces

by Zairil Khir Johari

Being Defence Minister must sit well with Zahid Hamidi, for it has turned him into a trigger-happy man. Now, if only he could move his aim away from his own foot.

In my last post I highlighted his jingoistic call to stand up against the ‘neo-colonial’ government of Penang. And just when you think that such a marvelous statement could not be outdone in asininity, he follows it up with this classic piece of pronouncement:

“The reasons (for the low participation of non-Malays in the armed forces) could be because of a fear towards a tight discipline. It could be because of a low spirit of patriotism. It could be because certain ethnic groups had a negative perception of the armed forces and did not encourage participation,” said the minister.

Bravo. As expected, a commotion soon ensued, with denouncements and debates from both sides of the fence. Certainly, such a statement is nothing less than a stinging insult to the countless deeds and sacrifices made by non-Malay servicemen over the course of our country’s history.

Yet at the same time, it does raise a pertinent question. Why does there seem to be such dismal interest in the armed services amongst the non-Malay community (recruitment of non-Malay personnel from 2008-2009 is a paltry 1.2%)? Read the rest of this entry »


A Reply to the Ampas Man

I hate N’Sync

To begin with, lets get something straight – P. Ramlee should not have wallowed in poverty or died penniless. However, the Ampas Man seems to have forgotten that such tragedies are still happening everyday to famous artists all around the world. The author seems to have conveniently forgotten that P. Ramlee signed contracts with Shaw Brothers who produced his films and any royalty from his body of work would have been subjected to the original terms. Recording companies own the right for most of his songs, and till this day, that’s how the way music royalties work. Isaac Hayes, Goo Goo Dolls, TLC, Toni Braxton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marvin Gaye, Run DMC are but some notable examples of multiplatinum artists who have declared bankruptcy or was in financial trouble.

The great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died penniless and left beind a huge debt too.

Some may have rightly noted that the fortunes of our stars (and their profligacy, where applicable) should not be guaranteed by the government, especially since it is also your money as well (if you are a tax payer like myself). However, to insinuate that P. Ramlee made a wrong move to leave Singapore and blame all his subsequent box office failures on the Malaysian government (and the lack of local expertise and “talent”) speak volumes of the author’s lack of knowledge, understanding and misguided imagination about the history of modern cinema in Malaysia. The Ampas Man must have forgotten how the Malay cinema, or cinema in the Malayan region operated at that time. Read the rest of this entry »


The thing about viewpoints

by Goh Keat Peng

As I read a sports commentary on England vs NZ All-Blacks, it becomes quite clear how the view from an onlooker looking down from his seat in the terraces of Twickenham Stadium and that of a player on the field is really very different.

“…a fast flat pass left from Youngs then put Mike Tindall in space on the Kiwi 22, the old battering-ram hesitated, dawdled inside and then threw a change-of-heart pass behind Lewis Moody on the outside. Chances made, chances lost,” writes Tom Fordyce, the famous sports commentator featured on the BBC website.

This to me sums up quite well the difference in viewpoints within the same arena. Both commentator and player were in the same stadium at the same time engrossed in the same game. But one was up there on the terrace able to see at once the entire field and all the 30 men plus three match officials; the other was on the field where the match is in ongoing progress. The two men literally have two very different points of view, not just in terms of sight but also insight. Understandably so.

Almost at once as I read Tom Fordyce’s insightful commentary on a rugby test match between two giant teams, I am brought back from faraway Twickenham to the present-day realities of Malaysian politics.

It becomes for me like a parable as to how we view the going-ons of the national political scene. Depending on which side we are rooting for, we are filled with a mixture of emotions- hope? foreboding? glee? despair? humour? disgust? Just like the team you support in the Premiership, or Super Bowl, or Tri-Nations. Real matches and games are being played out before us (on television) the outcomes of which may send us into ecstasy or embarassment or, as in politics, sedition charges! Read the rest of this entry »


Hypocrisy of Ministers – appeal to rescind PPSMI policy

from Sheela R

I am a mother with three school going children. My children who have greatly benefited from the PPSMI (policy for teaching Science and Maths in English) are alarmed at the impending switch to Bahasa Malaysia.

They have been in school for some years now and the prospect of changing a language midstream is “nothing short of disastrous” to them. (I have quoted them verbatim).

There has been a great hue and cry on this issue but the government has continued to maintain a maddening silence. The reasons for continuing the PPSMI have been well elucidated in other websites and it is not my intention to reproduce them.

Instead, could you please highlight through your blogs or other means, the Ministers and politically connected persons’ children who are being educated at international schools and overseas, who have access to quality education in English? Read the rest of this entry »


I am a Malaysian first, second, and last

by Dr Kamal Amzan

We are a nation that defines race in our constitution. Well, there is nothing wrong with that. But we should know that we are in the league with countries like South Africa and Israel.

Other countries have their own definition of race, but very few take pride enshrining it in their constitution.

Whatever your stand on that, let us admit one thing, we are not in the best of companies.

Religion teaches us that God created us as equals, and some even say that we are all related (albeit distantly). Say what you want, twist and cite all the verses in every holy scriptures you can, but the crux of the matter is that we are all the same before Him, we are all related even.

Yes people, that makes us brothers, sisters, first cousins, second cousins and distant cousins if you must.

In my opinion, 1Malaysia was a long and overdue call. A battle cry, after years of trouble. However, being a sceptic that I am, it was a call that sounded too good to be true. Read the rest of this entry »


Broke and broken – should P. Ramlee have come back?

by The Ampas Man

Question: Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti?

Answer: Not in Malaysia

Those who watched the heart-wrenching P. Ramlee documentary on the History Channel on 31st October 2010 must have gone to bed with a heavy heart. It transpires that Malaysia’s one and only film icon had died penniless and shunned by the public including his own colleagues. And the way it was done appears to have uncanny resemblances to what’s happening today in Malaysia, almost 45 years after Ramlee returned to Malaysia.

The documentary, narrated by British actor, Timothy Watson and 12 years in-the-making included precious interviews by some of his friends, actors and actresses who had passed on. The underlying tone was one of profound melancholy.

Ramlee, born out of poverty along Caunter Hall Road at an Achenese community in Penang , had to endure a brutal Japanese occupation whose schools incidentally inculcated a certain discipline in him. In his formative years then, this discipline proved crucial as a founding platform for his eventual brilliance, creativity and innovation in film and music.

He subsequently gained phenomenal success at Shaw Brother’s Jalan Ampas studios in Singapore. His success at Jalan Ampas was the apparent result of the studio’s incredible milieu of experienced film crew, choreographers and directors which the Shaw Brothers had assembled from India, Hong Kong and Indonesia. With the load of management and finance off his shoulders, Ramlee was able to thrive and focus on his talent of creating music, acting and eventually direction, screenplay and editing. Read the rest of this entry »


A Participant’s Perspective Of Kursus Kenegaraan (BTN)

By A Disappointed Civil Servant

It amuses me to note the rapacious back and forth regarding the Kursus Kenegaraan organised by the Biro Tatanegara. However, i notice that remarks defending the program have so far been based on perspectives of certain Government officials, who may or may not have been subjected to the charms of the program. As a serving Government professional of non-Bumiputera descent, I feel it is pertinent that I share my experience of this program, so that some objectivity may be achieved in understanding the isssue at hand.

It is compulsory for all Govt. servants to attend this course once during service. I attended the program in 2006, in a group of 80-odd Malays and 9 non-Malays. We were a mix of doctors, dentists, pharmacists and teachers. On the first day, we had to listen to a series of 4 lectures, all delivered by lecturers from the local MARA University campus. I vividly remember the 1st lecture on Kerakyatan, for it was delivered with such fervour by an obviously inspired lecturer. At times he seemed to go off his script and made several references to ‘other’ races being ‘pendatangs’ and forgetting their ‘place’ in society, and not being grateful for the citizenship ‘awarded’ to them, and other remarks of a similar vein.
Read the rest of this entry »


‘… I am proud of my ethnicity …’

By K Temoc | Letters

I refer to the article titled Behind Perkasa’s pig obsession by your columnist Helen Ang. While I find it interesting I must take issue with her on two points, both related to DAP. Firstly (excuse the pun) it’s about her criticism of Lim Kit Siang’s ‘Malaysian First’.

She made a motherhood statement that the Malaysian First-ers hate to be called ‘pendatang’ and don’t like to be told ‘balik Cina’, but one that lacks relevance because really, which Chinese does?

Then she argued that though Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah has Chinese skin tone and Chinese facial features, no one has told him to ‘balik Cina’. And the reason is of course that Ridhuan is a Malay-speaking Muslim, ipso facto the ‘balik Cina’ jeer does not apply to him as he belongs here.

Then her logic plummeted when she averred that for Malaysian First-ers to avoid the ‘balik Cina’ gibe, they should emulate Ridhuan who is the model Malaysian First-er. She also quoted a blogger (I believe to be Shuzheng) who also argued that Malaysian First requires doing a Ridhuan Tee. Shuzheng argued that if a Chinese, like Ridhuan, no longer possesses Chinese characteristics, then nobody can ask him/her to ‘balik Cina’.
Read the rest of this entry »


NDM-1 – is it the death knell for medical tourism?


Medical tourism, long ostracized as an evil third world nations with limited health-care resources should not be dabbling in, may have finally met its fatal match. Last week, the British based, Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal reported the emergence of highly resistant bacteria carrying a new gene termed New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) and specifically associated it with medical tourism as the bacteria seems to have originated in patients frequenting India and Pakistan for procedures such as cosmetic and transplant surgery. NDM-1 is actually an enzyme that is produced by bacteria. The ability of bacteria to produce NDM-1 is apparently the result of mobile genes that can readily jump from various different bacterial populations allowing them to incorporate these special genes into their chromosomes.

The danger of NDM-1 is that it can fight against most known antibiotics known to man, thereby rendering the human species defenseless against these superbugs. It was first discovered in December 2009 by Yong and associates who described them in a Swedish national who fell ill with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection that he acquired in India. The infection was unsuccessfully treated in a New Delhi hospital and after the patient’s repatriation to Sweden, the gene was identified there.
Read the rest of this entry »


Postal Hike and Social Problems

By Ganesh

The recent hike in the price of postal services is quite shocking.

The standard mail (up to 20g) tariff has shot up from 30 sen to 60 sen while the rate for letters weighing up to 50g soars from 40 sen to 70 sen. A 100% increase is a huge amount considering Pos Malaysia, for all intents and purposes, is a GLC (see breakdown) and the government should be thinking about the hardships that it would cause to its people with the new heavy postal fees.

The substantial shareholders of Pos Malaysia as at 15 March 2010 are:

  1. Khazanah Nasional Berhad 32.21%
  2. Employees Provident Fund Board 9.59%
  3. Permodalan Nasional Berhad 8.45%
  4. Amanahraya Trustees Berhad Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera 8.18%

Read the rest of this entry »


National Health Financing Scheme…. more money for who?

By Liow Kevorkian

I refer to Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s statement to the New Sunday Times stating that to ensure all Malaysians get adequate healthcare, wage earners will have to make scheduled monthly contributions to the proposed National Health Financing Scheme (NHFS). The self-employed, those who have an independent income as well as employers would also have to contribute.

I do hope the Pakatan Rakyat take their gloves off and beat this guy to a pulp on behalf of us tax payers before this entire scheme becomes another national shark swallowing contributors’ and tax payer’s money ripping another financial hole in our already empty treasury. The current Health Minister who has no significant support from even his own community and his hopelessly inefficient Health Ministry officials must first be made accountable for all the healthcare disasters that have made this country firmly entrenched as a third world nation in healthcare.
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What about permanent residence for foreign spouses of Malaysian citizens?


It is heartening to note that the Government is making it easier for Professionals to get PR in Malaysia, I am even told that International Students excelling in their studies will be able to get PR in Malaysia.

I would like to ask our leaders, what about SPOUSES OF MALAYSIAN CITIZENS?

We are in the country for decades on “Long Term Social Visit Pass” our visas state

“Any form of employment is strictly prohibited, spouse of a Malaysian Citizen”

We are not here for social purposes, but here in the capacity of “Principal Care Givers and Providers for our Malaysian Families”

Spouses of Malaysian citizens face a whole range of challenges with regard to our application and renewals of the “social visit pass” and application for permenant residency, leave alone citizenship. Read the rest of this entry »