Sunday, August 1, 2010

Barricades greet anti-ISA vigils, at least 30 arrested

Barricades greet anti-ISA vigils, at least 30 arrested


Barricades greet anti-ISA vigils, at least 30 arrested

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 11:04 AM PDT

Riot police have barred activists from holding candlelight vigils to commemorate the Internal Security Act's 50th anniversary in eight places around the country. At Dataran MBPJ, Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya, Selangor - which saw the earliest vigil begin at 8pm - members of the Light Strike Force (LSF) began dispersing the 300-strong crowd just as the latter began signing Negaraku. Police officers were also seen chasing some protestors out of the Dataran amid the activists' shouts of "Hidup, hidup! Hidup rakyat!", as other personnel formed a line to block more protestors from entering the square. Full story here: www.malaysiakini.com
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Arrests galore at peaceful anti-ISA vigil

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 12:10 PM PDT

Other than Syed Ibrahim, S Arutchelvan and Badrul Hisham, the other individuals arrested and brought to the Petaling Jaya district police station included Suresh Kumar, Mohd Fiqtriey, Naqiuddin Sahar, Albert Ang Yik Chuan, Yew Hun Ng, Ng Yap Hwa, Tsuing Han See, Enalini Elumalai, Mien Lor, Thilaga Sokiapillay, Kohila Y, Bawani K, Parames E, Sivaranjani, Lee Wei Ni, E Sarawanen, Xavier Sim Yoon Han and Aiman Siew Teck Meng. By around 9:15pm, the police had stopped their dispersal and arrests.
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Time: 09:47 More in News & Politics


蔡细历:仍有贡献岁月 建议60岁退休

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 09:58 AM PDT

(芙蓉1日讯)随着人民平均寿命年龄逐渐延长,马华总会长拿督斯里蔡细历医生建议政府,将政府部门或私人界的退休年龄延长至60岁。

他说,目前只有政府部门将退休年龄延长至58岁,私人界仍将退休龄维持在55岁。

蔡细历昨晚为芙蓉乐龄休闲俱乐部15周年纪念联欢晚宴开幕时,这么指出。

他说,我国迄今都未有业余打工文化,他建议政府为退休人士提供适当的培训课程,让他们在退休后,仍可从事一些业余性质的工作。

他形容,乐龄人士拥有丰富的人生和工作经验,这都是国家的资产。

但他对人民生活方式没信心,因为人民重视吃,却不懂得吃得营养,也没有运动文化,导致近一半人口面对超重问题。

蔡细历也鼓励乐龄人士定期检查身体,每年至少做一次身体检查。

他指出,根据调查报告显示,60岁以上的乐龄人士,有80%人会患上一种长期病症,另有13%人士则患上三种以上的长期病症。

中国报 01-08-2010


When Parliament killed our democracy

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 08:20 AM PDT

D R SeenivasagamWhen D R Seenivasagam spoke out against the passing of the Internal Security Act as an instrument of intimidation 50 years ago, few realised how prophetic his words were, writes Tan Pek Leng.


Mansuh ISA bukan pinda

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 02:47 AM PDT

Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri atau lebih dikenal dengan nama ISA harus hendak dimansuhkan, bukannya dipinda. Inilah pendirian Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) terhadap ISA semenjak ISA diperkenalkan dan dikuatkuasakan pada 1 Ogos 1960. Pada 1 Ogos 2010, ISA  genap dilaksanakan selama 50 tahun. Pelaksanaan ISA sendirinya  sudah memperlihatkan warna sebenar ISA.

 


People first? Practise what you preach!

Posted: 29 Jul 2010 08:05 AM PDT

Should not the the Prime Minister change his government policies to meet the needs of the rakyat instead of forcing the rakyat to change to meet his policy needs, asks Rani Rasiah in an open letter to the premier.

 


Anwar's trial proceeding unfairly: HRW

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 03:34 AM PDT

Government prosecutors in the trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim should turn over their evidence to the defence before hearings resume in order to comply with fair trial requirements, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.


European NGOs slam Oxford U for inviting Taib

Posted: 27 Jul 2010 05:36 AM PDT

Oxford protest against taib

Eight European human rights and environmental groups have sent a letter to Oxford University's Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, and the Said Business School's leadership, criticising their decision to invite Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to deliver a special address. 


KJ vs Ibrahim Ali vs Khalid Samad

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 07:50 AM PDT

Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin made the most of his Oxford polish in trumping both PAS Shah Alam parliamentarian Khalid Samad and Perkasa chairperson Ibrahim Ali at a forum on the Malaysian political mindset, gaining somewhat favourable ground in the discussion on whether politics of ideology will replace politics of race. Full story here.
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Kebenaran dijunjung, parti sendiri dikelek

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 09:45 AM PDT

Saya dikecam oleh seorang yang saya belum kenali melalui e-mail saya kerana saya memuji sikit-sikit DAP kerana bertindak cepat memecat seorang ahlinya yang didapati menyalahgunkan kuasa sebagai Ahli Majlis Perbandaran Kelang (MPK) dalam posting saya semalam.

Beliau yang saya namakan sebagai Hadi (bukan nama sebenarnya) meminta saya memberikan alasan kenapa saya sebagai ahli UMNO secara terbuka memuji DAP yang merupakan parti pembangkang yang tidak boleh dipercayai.

Hadi terus meminta saya supaya mencerca DAP kerana pengaruhnya sudah begitu meluas dan telah berjaya mendapat sokongan orang Melayu sendiri akhir-akhir ini. Katanya DAP tidak boleh dibiarkan berpengaruh dan Hadi meminta saya menulis untuk menjatuhkan pengaruh DAP.

Kepada saudara Hadi, saya sangat bersukacita untuk memenuhi permintaan saudara bagi saya memberi alasan kenapa saya memuji DAP dalam kes pemecatan Ahli Majlis MPK, Tee Boon Hock 2 hari yang lepas.

Saya memang seorang ahli UMNO, parti yang asalnya ditubuhkan untuk mencari kebaikkan untuk semua dan saya tidak mahu mengulangi isu asas penubuhannya kerana sudah begitu banyak diperkatakan dan ditulis oleh banyak pihak.

Kalau sampai sekarang pun jika ada yang masih tidak tahu asas penubuhan UMNO dahulu maka tidaklah terkejut bagi saya kenapa UMNO menjadi begitu keliru dan sudah hilang hidayahnya.

Umur DAP sudah melampui umur 4 dekad dan parti itu masih wujud dan sedang mendapat sokongan sebahagia rakyat kita terutamanya kaum Cina. Parti itu lebih tua dari parti kita UMNO yang sekarang hanya berumur 22 tahun kerana UMNO yang asalnya sudah dikuburkan oleh orang yang hendak menyambung kuasa setelah dia tidak berkeyakinan untuk mengetuai parti itu.

Lupakan itu semua buat sementara waktu dan saya terus sahaja memberikan jawapan kepada soalan sdr Hadi tadi.

Tindakkan DAP memecat Tee Boon Hock itu melambangkan banyak makna yang tersirat kalau dilihat dan dikaji dari segi 'attitude' dan 'aptitude' serta kemampuan parti itu memilihara integritinya sebagai parti yang serius berjuang.

Bagi sesebuah parti ianya tidak boleh lari dari matlamat perjuangannya serta budaya yang lazim menjadi amalannya.

Pemecatannya itu melambangkan bahawa parti itu mengutamakan ketelusan perjuangannya dan tidak tersepit dengan sentimen seseorang yang didapati bersalah itu. Kalau mereka mengambil sikap untuk memilihara hubungan sentimen diantara Boon Hock dengan partinya itu, beliau tidak seharusnya dipecat kerana jasa Boon Hock terhadap parti DAP bukannya kecil selama ini.

Tetapi walaupun beliau merupakan seorang veteran dalam DAP kesalahan yang dilakukannya tetap tidak boleh diterima dan beliau dihukum dengan pemecatan keahliannya dari DAP: Kerana yang diutamakan oleh parti itu ialah intergritinya.

Memang benarlah jika orang UMNO mendengar pujian kepada DAP mereka akan merasakan marah kerana memang sikap kita dalam UMNO ialah sikap 'kita berkuasa dan kita bermaruah dan jangan sesiapa cuba untuk mengkritik kita'.

Kalau kita hendak menyambungnya lagi kita akan dengar ini 'kita telah memberikan scholarship JPA, MARA serta telah membekalkan api letrik dan air maka kita mesti sokong UMNO'.

Nak sambung lagi? Baik, kita selalu mendengar ayat-ayat lebih kurang begini, 'UMNO yang mencapai kemerdekaan maka UMNO mesti jangan diketepikan. Kerana UMNOlah wujudnya Putrajaya dan cyberjaya' dan sebagainya.

Kempen secara ini tidak boleh dipakai lagi. Rakyat tahu yang biasiswa itu datangnya dari rakyat bukan dari UMNO. Rakyat yang bayar cukai. Ramai rakyat yang pergi kemahkamah kerana terlewat membayar cukai pendapatan dan berbagai-bagai cukai lagi.

Putrjaya sebenarnya bukan keperluan yang mendesak. Kuasa besar seperti Britain, pejabat PMnya hanya terletak diDowning Street, sebaris dengan rumah kedai dijalan Downing itu.

Mana-mana kerajaan dan parti mana sekali pun yang dapat memerintah kerajaan Persekutuan kita akan membangunkan negara, memberi biasiswa dan akan memberikan bekalan api dan air kepada rakyatnya.

Mana negara dan parti sekali pun memerintah akan membina lapangan terbang jika keperluan itu sudah mendesak.

Berbeza kita dengan pemimpin negara maju, kita mengadakan projek kerana kepentingan pemimpin dan kroninya untuk mendapat faedah peribadi sedangkan mereka mewujudkan sesuatu projek untuk kebaikkan dan faedah rakyat.

Berbalek kepada soalan Hadi tadi saya tekankan yang DAP bertindak berani dengan memecat vetereb partinya kerana kesalahan yang dilakukan itu tidak disukai rakyat.

Saya bukan ahli DAP tetapi kita wajar mengakui DAP boleh mendapat keyakinan orang ramai dan merasa terpilihara kerana parti itu tidak ada kompromi dengan rasuah setakat ini.

Isu rasuah dinegara kita lebih besar dari penyalah gunaan dadah. Isu inilah sebenarnya yang membuatkan rakyat tidak berkeyakinan kepada parti pemerintah sekarang ini.

Selagi imej rasuah tidak dapat dikikis dari persepsi rakyat selagi itulah UMNO dan BN akan menjadi haru biru yang akhirnya akan membunuh keyakinan rakyat terhadapnya secara total.

Persoalannya, mampukah UMO dan BN mengembalikan keyakinan rakyat dengan pemimpin-pemimpin yang ada sekarang ini? Kalau tidak ada kemampuan, beranikah barisan pimpinan sekarang memberikan mandat kepada ahli UMNO untuk menggantikan semua pemimpin-pemimpin yang ada pada hari ini?

Saya percaya saudari/i boleh menjawabnya.


MCA: Heavier penalty for child rapists

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 08:21 AM PDT

The government should amend existing laws to provide heavier penalties for child rapists, MCA president Chua Soi Lek said.

He was commenting on a suggestion by Bukit Gelugor member of parliament Karpal Singh for the death penalty to be introduced for the rape of children.

"The suggestion by Karpal Singh is good, but it has to be studied first," Chua (left) told reporters after opening the Penang MCA convention here today.

Karpal had called for the government to amend Section 376 of the Penal Code to provide for the death penalty in cases of rape involving children.

The current punishment for the rape of a child under the age of 12 under Section 376 (2)(e)of the Penal Code is a jail term of up to 30 years and caning.



Dr Chua to MACC: Give examples of countries where the Cabinet declares assets

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 08:00 AM PDT

IPOH: MCA has asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to give examples of countries that asked their Cabinet members to declare their assets to the public.

"Even in the United States, they only declare their assets to the president.

They don't go around announcing their assets here and there," MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek told reporters after opening Perak MCA's annual convention here on Sunday.

Dr Chua said this when asked to comment on remarks made by MACC chief Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohammed that he wished to see such a thing in Malaysia.

Abu Kassim, on Saturday, was reported to have said that he agreed with a suggestion by former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan which called for Cabinet members to declare their assets to the public in the interest of transparency.

Presently, Cabinet members declare the assets annually to the Prime Minister.

Asked if he disagreed with the move, Dr Chua said: "It is not that I disagree, I just want him (Abu Kassim) to give me an example of a country where this is practised."-Bernama

THE STAR (Sunday August 1, 2010)


Khalid Samad vs Ibrahim Ali vs KJ

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 06:43 AM PDT

At a forum on the Malaysian political mindset, a session during the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur today, organised by the United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC), liberal PAS Member of Parliament Khalid Samad, Khalid, presented a view that the public is already tired of racial politics and is pushing for a change.
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Islam versus the West

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 07:25 AM PDT

Any emphasis added below is mine (ed).

"Islamism is not a movement to be engaged, it is an enemy to be defeated."


Please, commit that to memory. Think of it every time someone tells you that Islam means "peace" or starts making excuses for the latest chapter in the annals of Islam's war against the West.

For that's what were talking about here: Islam's war against the West. It's not Islam's misuse of commercial airliners, its penchant for sawing off the heads of people they disapprove of, or even its profound lack of sympathy for bacon. No, it's Islam's fundamental, essential  incompatibility with foundational Western values like free speech, the separation of church and state, and equality under the law. Such things are not simply missing from Islam: they are positively repudiated by Islam, a fact that is ingredient in the very word "Islam," which, pace the multiculturalists, means not "peace" but "submission," i.e., submission to the will of Allah.

Read the rest here.


Ibrahim Ali vs KJ vs Khalid Samad

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 05:18 AM PDT

At a forum on the Malaysian political mindset a session at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur today, organised by the United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC), fly-of-the-handle Member of Parliament for Pasir Mas, Ibrahim Ali presented a watered down version of his usual fiery racist posturing with more intellectual demeanour, carefully tailoring his arguments in an uncharacteristic scholarly fashion. His move earned him eventual cheers after a rather hostile initial reception. Unfortunately, whatever points he scored earlier was squandered when his racial rhetoric reared its ugly head. The Independent MP's continual defence of Perkasa as not racist went down poorly with the audience.
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That is what leadership is about!

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 04:56 AM PDT

This is from the MalaysianInsider today:

MCA today asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to give examples of countries which asked their Cabinet members to declare their assets to the public.

Its president, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, said to his knowledge, no country practised such a policy.

"Even in the United States, they only declare their assets to the president. They don't go around announcing their assets here and there," he told reporters after opening Perak MCA's annual convention here today.

Dr Chua said this when asked to comment on remarks made by MACC chief Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohammed that he wished to see the public declaration of assets by Cabinet and judiciary members in Malaysia.

Abu Kassim yesterday was reported to have said that he agreed with a suggestion by former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan which called for Cabinet members to declare their assets to the public in the interest of transparency.

Presently, Cabinet members declare the assets annually to the prime minister.

I support Abu Kassim in this. Since the cabinet is made up of people voted in by the people and is supposed to act as  proxies for the people , there is such a thing called accountability. They are the representatives of the people and by virtual of being paid by the public,  they are public servants. And the public has the right to know about whether they have amassed unusual amount of wealth while in office. If that is so, something must be wrong somewhere and MACC must be given power to investigate.

It is very simple. For a Minister to stay in a house worth tens of millions, like what a former MB's house was estimated to be, there must be something wrong, since even if they saved every single cent while in office, it is just not possible.

If  they can be clean, I , as a tax payer and their ultimate boss,  do not actually mind to pay them higher salary, like the little red dot is doing down south. I am sure most of you do not mind paying them higher salary so that they can live comfortably as a public servants if only they can be clean and there is no corruptions.

Just because other countries are not doing it does not mean that Malaysia should  not do it, if it is good. We should not follow people blindly.

Just like the chipped passport, which I believe Malaysia is  one of the first to adopt, why cant we be the first to  do something which is good and which is not done elsewhere in the world?

That is what leadership is about!



DAP SARAWAK “U-TURN..??”

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 04:30 AM PDT

Over the past one week MP and ADUN N12 Kota Sentosa Chong Chieng Jen has been battling allegations of DAP Sarawak joining BN Sarawak in the event it manages to win 18 or more seats in the Sarawak State elections. To that he strongly said,"No way,baseless accusations or theoritically impossible

U Turn..?? No,He has been on the move and he took it to tasks on having a dialogue and to carry out a petition to JKR Sarawak as can be seen in the picture attached. Yesterday 30th of July leaflets were handed over to the residents of Taman Riveria in it the leftlet had:-( After completion of the project,those residents who wish to go to Samarahan will have to drive towards Kuching direction and make the turn at the round about after the bridge.This is an extra  6 KM distance,waste our time and petrol )  

audie61 was at this mornigns dialogue to listen and hear the grievances of the residents and mosts of them said,"We just want the authorities especially JKR /consultants/council/to find a solution to the problem."  

audie 61 also interviewed MP Chong Chieng Jen and he said," If DAP can help them save M$60 a month and JKR answers to the peoples needs wouldn't everyone be happy..??.Costs of essential goods have gone up and we do whatever we can to help."

In a telephone interview to a BN ADUN he said," We have look into the matter and have discussed and the authorities concerned has the solution to accomodate all concern. Has the road been completed..??"

A letter written by the ADUN N10 Violet Yong is attached .

U-Turn Solution In Hand.! U knew.. 



'A Sick Country'*

Posted: 01 Aug 2010 02:22 AM PDT


Recently, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah boldly stated that "our race-based party system is the key political reason why we are a sick country."
I couldn't agree more. And I have a strong feeling that more of us from all walks of life than ever before find ourselves agreeing with the above sentiment.
Ku Li's recent address to the 4th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit should give us further cause for concern and reflection. However, we need to go beyond reflection and heed his admonition that it is indeed "time to wake up."


Quite frankly, most of what Ku Li had to impart to the students was refreshing and, from my vantage point, most necessary. For this, he ought to be commended.


Far from mincing his words and delivering stale and old Soviet-style sounding party propaganda, which we have been subjected to by Umno operatives and ideologues through the years, Ku Li did himself (and the country) a huge favour by delivering strong words about the government's direct hand in fragmenting and dividing us, whilst overseeing the decline of our national stature in various facets domestically and internationally.


Perhaps more impressively, he delivered his message with genuine statesman-like credibility and dignity – more than one can say about his contemporaries and successors in Umno and Barisan Nasional.


Trapped in the contradiction
Ku Li, understandably, has a deep reverence for the historic legacy of Umno. It is hard not to admire his passion and commitment for legacy and vision of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Onn Jaafar.


Tragically, it is also at this intersection – between his passion for the vision of Tunku and the machinery that Umno has become - that Ku Li seems to stumble.


Contradictorily, Ku Li seems weeded to an Umno that has, for all practical purposes (as he himself has conceded), buried Tunku's vision. Indeed, few (including Ku Li) would deny that Umno has threaded so far away from Tunku's vision of a progressive, moderate, and inclusive Malaysia that it has practically abandoned that dream.


Despite all the private and public calls for Ku Li to continue to help shape the country in Tunku's vision, he nevertheless seems unconvinced that abandoning Umno and BN is the only real way for him to continue to salvage any modicum of hope for that progressive vision.


Indeed, millions of Malaysians who share his commitment for getting back on the right path yearn for him to be a part of that very process.


But alas, Ku Li seems mired and trapped in the contradiction between the Umno of today and  Tunku's vision. Consider the following.


Ku Li says, "Today we are no longer as united as we were then. We are also less free. I don't think this is a coincidence. It takes free people to have the psychological strength to overcome the confines of a racialised worldview. It takes free people to overcome those politicians bent on hanging on to power gained by racialising every feature of our life…"


Yet, he seems to believe that the way out of this perilous dilemma of a racialised Malaysia is to make BN into a multiracial party.


And this is precisely where, unfortunately, the faultiness of Ku Li's proposal becomes exposed.


To "convert BN into a party open to all citizens" requires, as Ku Li is well aware, for Umno to be capable and willing to set itself on an equal footing with the other subservient parties within BN. More importantly, it requires a leadership within Umno capable of – let alone willing to lead – for such a vision.


Surely, Ku Li can appreciate that the embedded and deeply cemented interests within Umno renders it incapable of such a radical departure from what it has – through a decades-long process of systematic racialisation – become.


Ku Li should also wake up now
Indeed, rather than expecting Umno/BN to set the trend in dismantling the race-based political party structure and system, he stands a better chance of accomplishing this outside of the current BN framework and vested interests.


Despite accusations to the contrary, two of the three major parties currently in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition are explicitly and institutionally non-race-based parties. Indeed, the same can be said of PAS.


The DAP, PAS and PKR are, despite relative racial homogeneity, not by design race-based parties. The same, of course, cannot be said of Umno, MCA, and MIC. So whilst the Pakatan aligned parties could arguably do more to promote greater racial diversity within their respective parties – they are not by constitution or mandate race-based parties.


In fact, to be race-based is in the political DNA of the BN parties. He knows all too well how Umno and BN's cancerous DNA progressively became malignant and regressed into making us "a sick country."


Therefore, while Umno/BN are steeped in a "racialised worldview", on the other hand, nothing about each of the parties within Pakatan  makes them prisoners to the political cancer that afflicts BN.


By this measure, Pakatan is arguably already one major step ahead of BN in fostering a non-racialised worldview. To be sure, I personally would welcome the day when Pakatan can be a stand-alone party, rather than a coalition of three major non-race-based political parties.


Perhaps Ku Li could come around to recognise that the vision that he so passionately adheres to – and the antidote to the political cancer he so aptly diagnosed - is already germinating outside of BN.


In his clarion call to his hosts at the Student Leaders Summit, Ku Li stated that the "waking up can begin…not tomorrow or the day after but today."


Alas, if only Ku Li himself could see just how much more he can still do to shape the life of this nation, by waking up now – not tomorrow or the day after – to the reality that the roadmap to the Malaysia he envisions is being spearheaded by those already practicing (however imperfectly) a non-racialised worldview. 
G. Krishnan
* This commentary first appeared in Free Malaysia Today


Chinese Caligraphy

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 10:41 PM PDT

By the Administrator

These words were carved on a stone depicting the "Nan Hai Association", a Cantonese sub-clan in Penang island.

28072010822


‘A sick country’

Posted: 31 Jul 2010 01:52 PM PDT

By G Krishnan

COMMENT Recently, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah boldly stated that "our race-based party system is the key political reason why we are a sick country."

I couldn't agree more. And I have a strong feeling that more of us from all walks of life than ever before find ourselves agreeing with the above sentiment.

Ku Li's recent address to the 4th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit should give us further cause for concern and reflection. However, we need to go beyond reflection and heed his admonition that it is indeed "time to wake up."

Quite frankly, most of what Ku Li had to impart to the students was refreshing and, from my vantage point, most necessary. For this, he ought to be commended.

Far from mincing his words and delivering stale and old Soviet-style sounding party propaganda, which we have been subjected to by Umno operatives and ideologues through the years, Ku Li did himself (and the country) a huge favour by delivering strong words about the government's direct hand in fragmenting and dividing us, whilst overseeing the decline of our national stature in various facets domestically and internationally.

Perhaps more impressively, he delivered his message with genuine statesman-like credibility and dignity – more than one can say about his contemporaries and successors in Umno and Barisan Nasional.

Trapped in the contradiction

Ku Li, understandably, has a deep reverence for the historic legacy of Umno. It is hard not to admire his passion and commitment for legacy and vision of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Onn Jaafar.

Tragically, it is also at this intersection – between his passion for the vision of Tunku and the machinery that Umno has become - that Ku Li seems to stumble.

Contradictorily, Ku Li seems weeded to an Umno that has, for all practical purposes (as he himself has conceded), buried Tunku's vision. Indeed, few (including Ku Li) would deny that Umno has threaded so far away from Tunku's vision of a progressive, moderate, and inclusive Malaysia that it has practically abandoned that dream.

Despite all the private and public calls for Ku Li to continue to help shape the country in Tunku's vision, he nevertheless seems unconvinced that abandoning Umno and BN is the only real way for him to continue to salvage any modicum of hope for that progressive vision.

Indeed, millions of Malaysians who share his commitment for getting back on the right path yearn for him to be a part of that very process.

But alas, Ku Li seems mired and trapped in the contradiction between the Umno of today and  Tunku's vision. Consider the following.

Ku Li says, "Today we are no longer as united as we were then. We are also less free. I don't think this is a coincidence. It takes free people to have the psychological strength to overcome the confines of a racialised worldview. It takes free people to overcome those politicians bent on hanging on to power gained by racialising every feature of our life…"

Yet, he seems to believe that the way out of this perilous dilemma of a racialised Malaysia is to make BN into a multiracial party.

And this is precisely where, unfortunately, the faultiness of Ku Li's proposal becomes exposed.

To "convert BN into a party open to all citizens" requires, as Ku Li is well aware, for Umno to be capable and willing to set itself on an equal footing with the other subservient parties within BN. More importantly, it requires a leadership within Umno capable of – let alone willing to lead – for such a vision.

Surely, Ku Li can appreciate that the embedded and deeply cemented interests within Umno renders it incapable of such a radical departure from what it has – through a decades-long process of systematic racialisation – become.

Ku Li should also wake up now

Indeed, rather than expecting Umno/BN to set the trend in dismantling the race-based political party structure and system, he stands a better chance of accomplishing this outside of the current BN framework and vested interests.

Despite accusations to the contrary, two of the three major parties currently in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition are explicitly and institutionally non-race-based parties. Indeed, the same can be said of PAS.

The DAP, PAS and PKR are, despite relative racial homogeneity, not by design race-based parties. The same, of course, cannot be said of Umno, MCA, and MIC. So whilst the Pakatan aligned parties could arguably do more to promote greater racial diversity within their respective parties – they are not by constitution or mandate race-based parties.

In fact, to be race-based is in the political DNA of the BN parties. He knows all too well how Umno and BN's cancerous DNA progressively became malignant and regressed into making us "a sick country."

Therefore, while Umno/BN are steeped in a "racialised worldview", on the other hand, nothing about each of the parties within Pakatan  makes them prisoners to the political cancer that afflicts BN.

By this measure, Pakatan is arguably already one major step ahead of BN in fostering a non-racialised worldview. To be sure, I personally would welcome the day when Pakatan can be a stand-alone party, rather than a coalition of three major non-race-based political parties.

Perhaps Ku Li could come around to recognise that the vision that he so passionately adheres to – and the antidote to the political cancer he so aptly diagnosed - is already germinating outside of BN.

In his clarion call to his hosts at the Student Leaders Summit, Ku Li stated that the "waking up can begin…not tomorrow or the day after but today."

Alas, if only Ku Li himself could see just how much more he can still do to shape the life of this nation, by waking up now – not tomorrow or the day after – to the reality that the roadmap to the Malaysia he envisions is being spearheaded by those already practicing (however imperfectly) a non-racialised worldview.


G Krishnan is a freelance writer who routinely writes online columns about Malaysian affairs.


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