Monday, August 30, 2010

Time to heed Tunku’s call for courage to change

Time to heed Tunku’s call for courage to change

Time to heed Tunku’s call for courage to change

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 08:00 PM PDT

By Stanley Koh

COMMENT In the 1950s, there was no Google or Yahoo. There were no DVDs. There were not even video tapes. In Malaysia, TV had not arrived. People flocked to the cinemas to watch movies. Comic books like Beano and Dandy were read as books and not on digital devices. They had to fell trees to make the paper on which those comics were printed.

The global scene was also different.

The US economy was on the upswing. And the Cold War was at its frostiest.

Anti-communism dominated the US Congress' political agenda. Africa began to become decolonised. The Korean War was raging and the Vietnam War was beginning. In the Middle East, the Suez Crisis War was being fought in Egyptian territory.

The technology we take for granted today would have blown the mind of the typical 50s guy. Yes, Dick Tracy did have a mobile phone in his wristwatch. But then, he was not real; he was a cartoon. But even he did not have a laptop computer.

The world was indeed a different place in the 50s. And so was Malaysia —or Malaya, British North Borneo and Sarawak.

The Malayan Emergency lasted from June 1948 to July 1960. Many innocent people, including women and children, died at the hands of communist guerrillas. On Feb 23, 1950, communists attacked and burnt down a police station at Kampung Kepong in a siege that lasted three hours.

Anti-communist military operations, shooting practices, roadblocks and curfews were the order of daily life in the 50s.

It was the "hearts and minds" campaign of the early Malayan government which won the war against the communists. With Malaya's independence in 1957, the communists were completely isolated and became increasingly irrelevant. In due course, the Malayan Communist Party finally collapsed.

A 176-word proclamation repealing the 12-year-old Emergency Regulations Ordinance signed by Tunku Abdul Rahman and a 10-minute ceremony witnessed by the entire Cabinet, Police and the Press in the Cabinet Room of the Parliament House formally signalled the defeat of the Communists.

On Aug 31, 1957, the Federation of Malaya ceased to be a British protectorate and Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra became the nation's first prime minister.

It has been 53 years since that night when the Tunku proclaimed "Merdeka" three times and the Union Jack was lowered and the Jalur Gemilang raised, signalling the birth of a new independent and sovereign nation, Persekutuan Tanah Melayu.

Malaysians hailed the Tunku as the "father of independence" as the new nation shed its colonial past. "Wave upon wave of cheers dinned about him," reported the Straits Times in 1957.

Same questions asked

That initial euphoria is gone now. Today, Malaysians are still asking the same questions they have been asking for the last few decades: "Has Malaysia progressed politically, socially and spiritually?"

Have the words the Tunku spoke during the independence proclamation guided our leaders in governance? Have they showed them the way towards progress?

"In the course of human history, no nation, in order to salvage itself, will ever remain static for a long time," he said.

"It will be compelled to decide on one of two directions, to go forward or backward.

"This depends on the ability and adaptability of that nation in facing changes and developments."

The Tunku also warned the nation, saying, "But since human history is the history of changes and developments of making things better and more perfect, this type of self-satisfied nation will be left further and further behind and eventually disappear and remain only to be revealed by future historians."

Today, the nation is still divided by race-based ideologies and communal differences exploited by extremists and rightists, and between the rich and the poor, the governed and the governing, the demands of a more liberal society and the totalitarianism of draconian laws.

Has the Malaysian political culture become a culture of threats and the promotion of fear against civil society?

Are Malaysians facing more challenges against inefficiency, more corruption and more authoritarianism?

Are we prepared to dismantle decades-old anti-democratic and unfair laws that are becoming obsolete while the mindsets of societies keep evolving rapidly--socially, culturally, spiritually?

Meaningless celebration

Race supremacy, overbearing and abuse of executive powers over the legislative and judiciary arms of government, infringement of human rights and liberties are some examples of bad governance going against the grain of the democratic substance in a modern and progressive society.

Political maturity, considerable discipline and a prevailing civic-mindedness are prerequisites of a progressive nation and this has been evidently proven in many modern societies.

In Malaysia, however, there are signs showing a dire need for a Malaysian transformation. But do we have the political will to bring about that transformation?

The celebration of Merdeka is meaningless unless we love this country by showing the fortitude and courage to change the government with a better one, all for a better tomorrow.

"When the people are in a state of complete complacency with their present status they tend to fear anything that may produce changes," the Tunku said 53 years ago.

"They will suspect any move or anybody who comes out with new ideas or inventions."

It is time we heeded his call.

Stanley Koh is the former head of research at MCA.

Re-diagnosing Malaysia’s cancer

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 08:00 PM PDT

By K Pragalath

MERDEKA FEATURE Fifty-three years since independence, Malaysia is fighting a losing battle against the R-cancer. It is also not responding to the cancer radiation programme known as 1Malaysia. Instead this rehabilitation programme has worsened the cancer. R refers to racism that has been permeating into the society through various levels.

What makes it more malignant than the rest is that it is being led by people who are along the corridors of power, entrusted to lead and raise a new generation.

This cancer is worsening as the physicians (read politicians) do not treat Malaysia of its cancer. Instead the physicians are turning up as catalyst to spread racism.

When physicians turn cancer catalysts

An example of this is the meeting between Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein with the cow-head protesters. Yet as home minister he still has the tenacity to tell Malaysians not to incite racism.

In recent times, there are several cases already that have debunked Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's half-past six suggestion for a task force to investigate the case involving school principals.

Muhyiddin's call for a task force is definitely a half-past-six measure as police reports have been lodged against the principal. By calling for the formation of a task force, he simply is dismissing police investigations.

These incidents cannot be "isolated" as said by Koh Tsu Koon if the culprits are school principals and teachers.

In identifying this cancer, many symptoms have been misdiagnosed.

The education system has, by and large, been overlooked as the contents are lop-sided. The minority race groups can understand the sensitivities of the majority but not vice-versa.

Education over-emphasises on the majority without paying due attention to the minority races. For instance, freedom fighter Sybil Karthigesu is a misnomer. Secondary schoolchildren are unaware of this freedom fighter's contribution in Perak.

Religion and cultural aspects of Malaysian minorities are taught like a footnote from a chapter.

There are also certain individuals and media who make racial allegations but are let loose by the authorities.

They act as catalyst through their own mediums. A national Malay daily continuously ensures that the cancer blooms at various body parts of Malaysia.

Despite being "Malaysia's Messenger", it gives prominence to certain colourful characters that openly endorse racial supremacy and contradicts the 1Malaysia treatment programme and belittles the minorities of a multiracial Malaysia.

To add salt to injury, racial groups have sprouted up like laryngeal cancer to further worsen Malaysia's health.

In the spirit of Merdeka, the above-mentioned catalysts must be stopped. Various other cancer eradication programmes, apart from 1Malaysia radiation programe, by all levels of society are also needed.

Tok Guru Minta Teo Lawat Lebih Banyak Surau

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 02:08 PM PDT

NOTA EDITOR: Nampaknya, Tok Guru Nik Aziz bukan sahaja Tok Guru pada orang Islam, tetapi sudah menjadi Tok Guru kepada masyarakat bukan ISlam di MAlaysia.

Ini kerana kalau di awal 80an, masyarakat Islam mulai sedar akan kegagalan sekularisma, di abad ke 21 ini, orang bukan Islam pula mulai sedar akan kegagalan sekularisma.

Baru minggu lepas, seorang pengacara TV terkenal di Amerika bernama Glenn Beck menganjurkan perhimpunan yang berjaya mengumpulkan ratusan ribu orang di perkarangan "Capitol Hill" di Washington DC. Tujuan perhimpunan tersebut adalah untuk memulakan gerakan supaya rakyat Amerika kembali kepada cara hidup keagamaan.

Glenn Beck menyatakan sepanjang 50 tahun Amerika membuang agama ke dalam longkang (yang bermula dengan gerakan "Hak Asasi" yang dipimpin Martin Luther King), Amerika telah membuang agama dari kehidupan sehari-hari mereka atas nama sekularisma. Setelah 50 tahun membuang agama, apa yang rakyat Amerika dapat hanyalah kehancuran dan kemusnahan semata-mata. Amat sedikit yang mendapat keuntungan dan ramai yang merana dan menderita.

MAka di Malaysia pun trend ini menular juga. Rakyat bukan ISlam di Malaysia juga merasa akan kesan dari kegagalan Sekularisma. MAka, dengan tindakan beberapa surau dan masjid serta PAS2 Kawasan, mereka telah menjemput pimpinan2 kaum bukan Islam dari DAP untuk turut serta majlis berbuka puasa atau apa-apa aktiviti surau.

Bagi saya, pimpinan2 DAP ini mendapat ketengan apabila mereka bersama-sama orang Islam berbuka puasa dan duduk dalam majlis kita. Bagi saya, kalau generasi kaum Cina dan India tidak memasuki ISlam pun, usaha yang kita lakukan sekarang adalah untuk memikat anak-anak serta keturunan mereka bersama-sama di dalam bahtera Islam di Malaysia.

Apa yang UMNO tahu pasal Islam dan dakwah. Mereka hanya tahu menghalalkan apa yang diharamkan Islam sahaja.



Teo: Nik Aziz encourages me to visit more surau
Aug 30, 10 3:20pm

Shrugging off attacks by Umno and Selangor religious authorities over her visit to a surau last week, Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching said she is emboldened to visit even more Muslim houses of worship after being encouraged to do so by PAS' Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

According to a Harakahdaily report, Teo said her 20-minute meeting with the top spiritual leader of the Islamist party today bore fruit in the form of his assurance that there was nothing wrong with non-Muslims visiting and entering suraus and mosques.

"Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) clarified to me that from the viewpoint of Islam, it is not an issue for a non-Muslim to enter a surau or mosque.

"He said that in fact, during the time of Muhammad, non-Muslims entered the mosque (of Medina) to meet with the Prophet," she said about the meeting with Nik Aziz in Kuala Lumpur following the filing of the Kelantan government's suit against Petronas.

The first-term MP drew a firestorm of criticism from Umno politicians, pro-Umno blogs and Malay dailies over her visit to the Al Huda surau in Serdang on Aug 22.

Her critics claimed that she had committed a grave insult to Muslims for speaking in the prayer hall, which is considered off-limits to non-Muslims.

NONEThe Selangor Religious Council said it will issue Teo a written reprimand, while Teo said she plans to write to the Selangor Sultan to apologise and explain her action.

After speaking to Nik Aziz today, however, Teo said she was told it was Umno - not Islam - that was being overly-restrictive on the issue of non-Muslims entering mosques.

According to her, Nik Aziz said Umno had become so desperate and narrow-minded that the party had given the wrong understanding of Islam to non-Muslims.

"He also told me that in Malaysia, Umno uses Islam to scare non-Muslims and has made Islam an exclusive religion, whereas Islam is for all human beings," said Teo.

teo nie qing giving allocation to bangi surauTeo said she will continue visiting mosques and suraus when invited. The parliamentarian yesterday visited the Al-Muhajirin surau in Bukit Mahkota, where she handed RM500 to People Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel.

Unlike her visit last week, Teo wore a head scarf and a loose-fitting baju kurung to avoid a repeat of accusations that she was disrespecting Muslim norms in suraus and mosques.

"I will still carry out my duties as member of parliament when invited. Since the (Aug 22) incident was blown out of proportion, I have received support from the people," said Teo.

When contacted, Teo said further that Nik Aziz expressed the hope that mosques can be more open to non-Muslims in order to bridge the gap between the races.

Asked about whether Nik Aziz had mentioned the matter of proper dressing, Teo said Nik Aziz assured her "as long as the dress is proper... it is enough."

william leong in masjid 290810Asked whether the headscarf is compulsory for her to wear, Teo said: "Nik Aziz told me 'it's okay. But if you wear it, that would be better."

In a related development, Selayang MP William Leong in a press statement today said his visit to the Masjid At-Taqwa in Selayang Baru scheduled for tomorrow morning has been cancelled.

Leong was earlier criticised for his allegedly resorting to the same "ploy" as Teo, bringing financial assistance, as a means of entering the place of worship to deliver a ceramah to the congregation.

what revolution Dr M? first we charge letssee how many Malaysblood in the street for this failed leaderhim

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 02:06 PM PDT

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MALAYSIA'S AUTHORITARIAN RESURGENCE The Malaysian government has applied its Internal Security Act (ISA) in order to protect citizens from the so call imminent threat of . . . bloggers. That's right. The sixty-some jihadi militants, foreign agents and ethnic "rabble-rousers" locked away without prospect of trial in the country's infamous Kamunting Detention Center were joined …Read more

By Shazwan Mustafa KamalAugust 30, 2010

Mahathir: Everyone is thinking about his own race. If I am included it is because I think it is dangerous for the rich to take away what little the poor have.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad predicted today that there would be an escalation in racial tension and division should NEP-style policies be removed, likening the situation to the Communist revolution in Europe.
He stressed that the time was not right to introduce any policy which would "disregard the disparities between races in the interest of equity and merit."

"Take away the minor protection afforded by the NEP and the bumis will lose whatever that they may have. Then racial division will be deepened by wealth division. I don't think this would be good for the country. Remember it was the disparity between rich and poor in Europe which led to the violence of the Communist revolution.

"I may be labelled a racist but fear of the label will not stop me from working for what I think is the good of the country. Nothing will be gained by dividing the people of Malaysia into poor Bumis and rich non-Bumis. The time is not right for disregarding the disparities between the races in the interest of equity and merit," said Dr Mahathir in a posting on his blog today.

The former PM continued his stout defence of the pro-Bumiputera New Economic Policy (NEP) style policies in his blog post, by suggesting an indefinite continuation of affirmative action programmes.

The former prime minister admitted today that he was "not proud" of the NEP which accorded protection to the Bumiputeras, but stressed that such protection was still necessary and that a 20 year-timeline was not enough for Malays to be economically on par with other races.

Malaysia's NEP, put in place in 1971, officially ended in 1990, but many of its programmes are still being continued. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said he plans to remove subsidies and many of the pro-Bumiputera quotas under economic reforms. But Dr Mahathir and many Malay groups are opposed to the removal of quotas and equity targets, despite evidence suggesting Malaysia is being handicapped economically and is less competitive globally as a result of such policies.

"I am not proud of the protection afforded the Bumiputeras. It implies weakness. I don't think Malays and other Bumiputeras like to think that they are inferior in any way.

"But the reality is that in Malaysia the Bumiputeras need new skills and a new culture even. These cannot be had by them in a mere 20 years. The original planners of the NEP were too optimistic," said Dr Mahathir in a blog posting today although he did not provide or suggest a time frame in which the NEP would no longer be needed.

Using education as an example, Dr Mahathir lashed out at critics who have attacked the government for maintaining a 60 per cent quota for Bumiputeras in local universities.

The former PM said that if the current Bumiputera quota in public universities was reduced, more Bumiputeras should be then allowed to enter private universities which he claimed only consisted of 10 per cent Bumiputeras.

"Even the 10 per cent Bumis are there because of scholarships by MARA. Take the scholarships away and there would be practically none.

"Why is it that the focus is only on what is done by the government? If the Bumis in government universities should be reduced, then the Bumis in the private universities should be increased. Or else meritocracy would reduce the number of Bumiputeras getting university education. Or is it the intention to deny Bumis higher education? They are not the best but they are qualified," said Dr Mahathir.

The outspoken politician claimed that there were more non-Bumiputeras in foreign universities than local universities because Bumiputeras still could not afford to pay for private tertiary education, and cautioned that this would inevitably result in the Bumiputeras lagging behind in education.

"Because they can afford it there are more non-Bumis than Bumis in foreign universities. This must increase the disparities in higher education between different races," he said.

Dr Mahathir has been increasingly vocal in speaking out against the New Economic Model (NEM) introduced by Najib, saying that affirmative action must still be carried out, signaling fears that Malays and Bumiputeras would stand lose out the most if the administration were to implement a hundred percent meritocracy-based system.

The former prime minister revealed last week that he had written to the prime minister to offer his advice and let him know what he thought of the New Economic Model (NEM).

However, Dr Mahathir said he did not expect Najib to consider his recommendations.

Citing another case, the veteran politician alleged that even with the existing Bumiputera quotas in government contracts, there was still no guarantee that the contracts would actually be awarded to Bumiputeras.

"As for contracts even with the 5 per cent advantage given to Bumi contractors, many of the Government contracts do not go to them because of their lack of capacity. Even if they do get, non-Bumi contractors get most of the sub-contracts etc.

"Actually construction by the private sector is bigger than the public sector. In the private sector the Bumi contractors get next to nothing. I suppose this is because the private contracts are given based on merit. Or maybe it is not. I don't know," said the former Prime Minister.

In justifying his arguments, Dr Mahathir said that during his tenure as Prime Minister and under the implementation of the NEP, Malaysia enjoyed stability and good economic growth.

He noted that despite increased talks about "meritocracy," the races in the country are more divided today than ever before.

"For 46 years this country enjoyed relative stability and consequently good growth. But today the races are more divided than ever. Everyone has become racist, talks about meritocracy notwithstanding. Everyone is thinking about his own race. If I am included it is because I think it is dangerous for the rich to take away what little the poor has," added Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir has appeared to be highly critical of Najib and Umno in recent remarks, suggesting recently that the ruling party was weak and mismanaged.

The feisty ex-premier had also mocked proponents of meritocracy last week, calling them racist and decried Malays who supported meritocracy as having misplaced pride.

His comments come after recent remarks by top Malaysian banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak — the CIMB group chief executive and the brother of the PM — who said that the NEP had been "bastardised."

Nazir has been pushing for reforms while Dr Mahathir has been putting his weight behind right wing Malay groups such as Perkasa, who believe Bumiputera quotas were a "right" of the Malays.

Dr Mahathir has also denied that the NEP had been an obstacle to the country's development.

He has also mocked proponents of meritocracy, calling them "meritocrats" who are pushing for dominance by one race in all aspects of the country.

A pathetic Merdeka eve!

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 10:06 AM PDT

No celebration, no countdown and no fireworks. It killed the spirit of Merdeka at Dataran Merdeka. About 30,000 people, including foreigners who jammed the Dataran and the Sultan Abdul Samad building, left in frustration.

Why? Is Ramadan a deterring factor? Does the government want to save money on fireworks? Or those on top have lost the sense of patriotism!

Hey! Come on la Najib! This is Malaysia! Do you know that thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life flocked the Dataran - in a true 1Malaysian spirit - to share one important bond which can bring them closer? The Merdeka celebration lar!

Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs and others were seen grouping together, forgetting race, religion and colors in an event that should augur well in bringing success to your 1Malaysia concept. They are our people, our Malaysians. Do you think its easy to make them as one without an important event like this?

And we are sidelining the historic Sultan Abdul Samad building. Just because we already have Putrajaya and other venues for our National Day official parade, why cant we maintain the annual Merdeka eve celebration there? At least, Rais Yatim's ministry can arrange a countdown to Merdeka celebration and some fireworks there!

Some tourists whom I met there an hour ago was also frustrated. No firework and no countdown like we used to have. Can I suggest that we demolish Sultan Abdul Samad building as it plays no more role for Merdeka celebration?

What is Rais doing? Trying to save money? You expect everybody to go to Bukit Jalil for the official celebration? Please la bro! You are the Minister of Information, Culture and Heritage. What do Sultan Abdul Samad building and Dataran Merdeka mean to Malaysia and Malaysians?

Dont talk about unity if you people up there fail to recognise the importance of such events. When will you ever get the similar chance to see them gathering as one again? Hari Raya? Chinese New Year? Or your birthday?

And did you yourself see how many cars hoisted the Jalur Gemilang this year? So pathetic! Why? Better ask and answer it yourself!

Illogical To Ban Non-Muslims From Mosque, Says Asri.

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 10:17 AM PDT

Former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin advised Muslims today not to use the non-Muslims in mosques issue to win political points. Asri said such an action would only tarnish Islam's image.

"The issue was started by politicians. But in their attempt to attack their opponents, do not misinterpret Islamic teachings," said Asri in his latest blog entry.

"If we want to refuse them entry, that is another matter," he added.

However Asri said declaring a total ban on non-Muslims to enter mosque would cause misunderstandings.

"The Prophet had received (non-Muslims) representatives in a mosque, how can they be banned from entering the mosque today," he added.

Asri admitted that Muslim scholars did not have a consensus on non-Muslims visiting mosques but the majority believed that it was encouraged.

"Majority of Islamic jurists including those who belong to the Shafie school of thought were of the opinion that non-Muslims are allowed to enter mosques if there is a need for it," he said.

"In a multireligious country like ours, the view was not only strong but it also helps in Islamic missionary work," added Asri.

Citing Prophet Mohamad's practice and a decree by the Saudi Arabia government, Asri said mosques' functions should be expanded to become information centres for non-Muslims.

"The mosque should disseminate information on Islam to everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims," said Asri.

Asri said the move to ban non-Muslims from entering mosques would further distance the community from Islam.

"There are already too many Taliban-like fatwas in the country that have made Muslims to turn against non-Muslims and now the space to introduce them Islam has been closed," said Asri.

"The mosque is portrayed as hostile and they are not allowed to come close. But at the same time non-Muslims are inviting Muslims to their places of worship," he added.

"In the end we only perpetuate the animosity and would fail to put a stop to suspicions against this beautiful religion. Which direction are we taking Islam to?" asked Asri.

Asri said that he was worried that the political competition would result in misinterpretation of Islamic teachings.

"Political consideration and assessment in Islam based on knowledge methodology are two different things," he said.

"Truth in Islam is colour blind and non-partisan. It does not matter where it comes from and in whose favour," added Asri.

Malay rights group Perkasa has demanded that syariah laws be created to ban non-Muslims from entering mosques and suraus.

The group's call comes in the wake of controversy surrounding Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching, following reports that she had entered the Surau Al-Huda in her Kajang constituency, during a visit there to deliver aid to the surau.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders including PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat had defended Teo over her mosque visit.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali also accused Nik Aziz of failure to defend Islamic principles by backing Teo.

Another PR lawmaker William Leong has also come under fire from Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia for visiting a mosque in his parliamentary constituency, Selayang.

Courtesy of The Malaysian Insider

At the stroke of midnight...

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 02:01 PM PDT

To safeguard democracy, the people must have a keen sense of independence... Mohandas Gandhi

By Phlip Rodrigues

COMMENT At the stroke of midnight, the story changed. Once, it was all about the white master who held sway over this broad land. Now, the brown man is in charge and holds the destiny of the country in his hand. Once, the orang putih took much of the wealth back to the motherland. Now, the newly empowered natives control the purse string. Once, all the races did not notice their ethnic origins. Now, all live in distinct compartments. Once, there were no special places for anyone. Now, life revolves around percentages.

At the stroke of midnight, the plot changed. Then, the tuan was a commanding presence. Now, a different breed of titled players evoke dread – and hate – with their special status. Then, there was a sense of security even if you did not belong to the majority class. Now, ethnic minorities become the target of harassment and ridicule. Then, all could make light of each other's cultural peculiarities. Now, intolerance and bigotry take root. Then, farmers tilled the land, fishermen made their living off their catch, migrant workers mined the land and tapped the rubber trees – all in peace and amity. Now, gluttonous wheeler-dealers, instant moguls, corrupt officialdom straddle across the toiling, ill-paid masses.

At the stroke of midnight, the economy changed course. Before, agriculture was the main stay, and the country prospered to a certain extent. Today, big industry and big business are the rage but the people are left out in the cold. Before, the forests were left unmolested and the indigenous people could hunt undisturbed. Today, the trees are felled to enrich the few, but the true sons of the soil have nowhere to go. Before, there was no oil to fuel the country and make it richer. Today, black gold gushes out but billions of ringgit had disappeared into the black hole. Before, our natural resources were not fully tapped. Today, they are exploited to the hilt but all the wealth did not erase poverty.

At the stroke of midnight, education wore a new uniform. In yesteryears, discipline, quality, and merit were the order of the day. Nowadays, the spark of dedication is sorely missing and no one is proud of a school system gone haywire. In yesteryears, institutions of higher learning were hallowed ground that produced graduates of calibre. These days, they are a byword for rot and decay. In yesteryears, there was camaraderie all around. Nowadays, the atmosphere in the classes and on campuses is charged with hostility and enmity. Those years, outstanding results were highly appreciated. Nowadays, they are ignored and a pool of talent goes to waste.

At the stroke of midnight, our founding fathers swelled with pride: life would change for the better because we have become masters in our own house. We did not fire a single shot. The white rajahs took their flag down and left our shores in quiet dignity. We hoisted ours and left our past behind while we looked ahead. There were steady hands on the wheels.

But long past midnight, the course of history took a different path. It was not a route intended by the fighters for independence. The freedom we got was soon exchanged for another form of subservience. The homegrown tuans took control of all spheres of life. By degrees, they grew more powerful, antagonistic, spiteful, malicious. In politics, they control the government, and through the barrel of political power, they entrench themselves. It is a new ball game played on an uneven field.

From the stroke of midnight in 1957, the same party had been enjoying uninterruppted power for more than half a century. Logically, with each passing year, every step of the way should lead to better days. By now, the country should be standing taller and stronger than its peers. The script did not turn out that way. Drunk with power, blinded by greed, stricken with hubris, neck-deep in corruption, the ship of state that started out with so much promise and hope long years ago is limping to port. The only political totem pole we knew all these decades has become a detested sight.

At the stroke of midnight 53 years ago, we became free. The baton passed to our hands. We carried the torch aloft. The sun set on the British empire. A new dawn rose. We basked, we sang, we cheered, we cried for joy. Now the mood is muted. Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon. Troubled times are ahead. We wait for change, for democracy, for independence – yet again. If it comes at the stroke of midnight, it will eclipse the Merdeka story.

Phlip Rodrigues is FreeMalaysiaToday managing editor.



Posted: 30 Aug 2010 09:22 AM PDT

Tiga Satu Bulan Lapan Lima Puluh Tujuh ... Hari Mulia NegaraKu Merdeka!

Itulah lirik lagu arwah Sudirman Arshad yang kini berkumandang di semua media elektronik saban hari menjelang sambutan Hari Kebangsaan Malaysia, hari ini 31 Ogos 2010. Mungkin inilah satu-satunya artis Melayu Islam Malaysia yang patriotik. Arwah berpendidikan dan patriotik.

Sekali lagi negara dan rakyat kita menyambut Hari Kebangsaan dan 16 hari selepas ini Hari Malaysia pada 16 September, disambut sempena pembentukan Malaysia dengan penyertaan Sabah dan Sarawak dalam satu persekutuan yang mengamalkan demokrasi berparlimen dan raja berpelembagaan.

Kita Merdeka hanya sekali, pada 31 Ogos 1957 dan sekali kita merdeka tidak bermakna kita akan merdeka selamanya. Ini bermaksud bahawa kemerdekaan sesebuah negara itu tidak boleh diambil secara sambil lewa kerana ia tidak datang dengan sendirnya.

Seperti kata Perdana Menteri Keempat kita Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, mencapai kemerdekaan bagi sesebuah negara itu memanglah sukar akan tetapi tidak mustahil. Yang menjadi lebih sukar ialah mempertahankan kemerdekaan sesebuah negara itu.

Selamat Hari Kebangsaan...Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Gambar Ehsam Rocky's Bru


Posted: 30 Aug 2010 08:52 AM PDT


*26 OGOS 2010*

Pakatan Rakyat sedar wujudnya satu muslihat politik oleh pimpinan Umno-BN
untuk mengapikan sentimen perkauman sempit dan agama bertujuan
memecahbelahkan keharmonian masyarakat. Politik usang bersifat peras ugut
dan memesongkan fakta ini digunakan oleh pimpinan Umno-BN kerana mereka
berada dalam keadaan terdesak untuk meneruskan kelangsungan kuasa mereka.
Demi mencapai cita-cita politik tersebut pelbagai jentera kerajaan seperti
BTN dan media seumpama Utusan Malaysia diperkuda untuk menggugat
kesejahteraan rakyat.

Berhadapan serangan bertali arus itu, Pakatan Rakyat tetap beriltizam untuk
melaksanakan Perubahan demi kemaslahatan rakyat keseluruhannya. Kita
beriltizam untuk memastikan keharmonian dan perpaduan masyarakat dapat
diperteguh serta politik perkauman sempit akan sirna dari negara ini.

Pakatan Rakyat menghormati perjuangan parti masing-masing dalam
Permuafakatan Pakatan Rakyat. Permuafakatan ini sememangnya berlandaskan
Dasar Bersama Pakatan Rakyat yang telahpun disepakati.

Dasar Pakatan Rakyat menyatakan:

"Pakatan Rakyat bertekad untuk menyemai persefahaman dan perpaduan di
kalangan rakyat berteraskan prinsip memelihara kepentingan bersama. Perpaduan
negara mesti mencerminkan kesepakatan, persefahaman serta muafakat sejati
antara kaum, budaya dan agama."

Kita akui sememangnya terdapat perbezaan di antara komponen Pakatan Rakyat,
walaupun begitu kita tuntas menggalakkan perbincangan dan bersikap terbuka.
Ini berbeza sekali jika dibandingkan dengan politik dalaman BN yang mana
komponennya sering bertelagah dan bersikap menyembunyikan segala

Pakatan Rakyat tidak mempunyai keraguan untuk tetap bersatu melawan
kemungkaran dan penganiayaan Umno-Barisan Nasional terhadap rakyat.
Kami  beriltizam
untuk menentukan hala tuju baru buat rakyat dan negara ini. Menjelang 53
tahun kemerdekaan, sudah tiba masanya negara ini meninggalkan politik
perkauman sempit yang seumpama barah merosak masyarakat. Pakatan Rakyat
merasa bertanggungjawab untuk memaknai kembali Kemerdekaan yang berlandaskan
Politik Baru yang lebih matang dan mengutamakan kemaslahatan rakyat serta
negara ini.

Kita percaya antara lainnya serangan ini adalah untuk menutup kegagalan
kerajaan Umno-BN menguruskan khazanah negara seumpama skandal rompakan saham
untuk rakyat termiskin bernilai RM 52 billion. Kita menggesa satu
Suruhanjaya Di Raja ditubuhkan bagi menyiasat kehilangan hak rakyat

YB Ust Nasharuddin Mat Isa

Timbalan Presiden


YB Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim,

Ketua Umum


YAB Lim Guan Eng

Setiausaha Agung


*1. Demokrasi Telus dan Tulen*

* *

*A – Negara Perlembagaan dan Kedaulatan Undang-Undang*

Perlembagaan Persekutuan merupakan penzahiran cita-cita dan harapan rakyat
Malaysia yang merdeka. Di dalamnya hak asasi setiap rakyat termasuk hak
agama, bahasa, kerakyatan dan budaya dijamin sepenuhnya. Justeru, Pakatan
Rakyat beriltizam memartabatkan semangat dan peruntukan Perlembagaan

Pakatan Rakyat akan:

i.                     Mempertahankan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Islam
sebagai agama bagi Persekutuan dan agama-agama lain boleh diamalkan dengan
aman dan damai di mana-mana di negara ini serta melindungi kedudukan
istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan
Sarawak dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain sejajar dengan Perkara 153

ii.                   Mempertahankan peranan dan tanggungjawab institusi
raja berperlembagaan.

iii.            Memartabatkan pengunaan Bahasa Melayu selari dengan Perkara
152 Perlembagaan dan memperluaskan Bahasa Melayu sebagai lingua franca
serantau, melindungi dan memperkukuhkan penggunaan bahasa ibunda semua kaum.

iv.           Memansuhkan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri dan undang-undang
yang membenarkan tahanan tanpa dibicara. Serentak dengan itu mengesyorkan
pembatalan semua pengisytiharan Darurat yang masih berkuatkuasa.

v.            Memansuhkan atau meminda semua akta dan undang-undang yang
zalim serta melanggar hak asasi.

vi.           Menjamin semangat persekutuan serta hubungan yang adil di
antara Persekutuan dengan negeri-negeri, terutama Sabah dan Sarawak.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Sekretariat Pakatan Rakyat <>
Date: 2010/8/26
Subject: Kenyataan akhbar Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat 26 Ogos 2010
To: shabrimi sidek <>

Dilampirkan kenyataan akhbar Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat sebagaimana yang telah
dibuat pada hari ini

Sekretariat Pakatan Rakyat

Best regards,

Ooi Heng

Parliamentary Research Head

KeADILan Parliamentary Research Unit (KPRU)

Office of the Leader of the Opposition

14th Floor, Parliament of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur.


Merdeka -- Worth Thy Rumination...for OUR nation

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 09:01 AM PDT

What are you really celebrating on Merdeka? Print E-mail
Written by Steve Oh


Monday, 30 August 2010 08:06
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"This coming Merdeka will you be writing something about our country?" the unexpected question came in an e-mail from an old friend I hadn't seen for awhile. "Do e-mail me a copy if you do," he wrote.

I feel ambivalent writing on Merdeka. Between the mainstream and online news lies the balanced truth, as Malaysians today go through the angst of political change. The one who uses the pen instead of the sword must draw blood without destroying. And like the surgeon who heals, he or she has to make the incisions.

Malaysia is a young nation. It is still a work in progress. And young nations need the discipline to focus on the vision of the founding fathers and the genesis of their existence even as they adapt to changing times. The danger of not changing is fossilization. And fossilization is the result of being regressive.

"In many counsellors there is victory," says an old proverb. The late President John F. Kennedy had the knack of tapping into the brains of those in his cabinet and committees. He always listened and weighed carefully what others said. That according to some observers was his forte.

It is something we all need to do. It is something governments need to do.

There is conventional wisdom that if you want results employ those who are smarter than you. Sadly fear makes people do the opposite. And it is fear that makes people treat their neighbours shabbily and governments take a hard approach when they should be more understanding.

A non-muslim goes to a surau with an olive branch and good intentions. But the Pharisees pick on this hapless politician. A Malaysiakini report says she is going to apologize to the Sultan. Why? What has she done wrong? This is an example of a regressive approach and political opportunism: the nit-picking and making a mountain out of a mole hill to score political points. Sadly there's too much of it.

We reflect on the past that we may be wiser now and in the future.

And as I reflect on the past I am hopeful there is a silver lining in the cloud. Sometimes people can't learn except from their mistakes. It is a painful way when prevention is better than cure. And sadly, some people never learn from past mistakes. Thus the saying 'those who don't learn from history are wont to repeat the mistakes.'

There are many lessons we can learn from our history.

The image of Bapa KeMerdekaan - Tunku Abdul Rahman - raising his first into the air to shouts of 'Merdeka' at the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on that auspicious day 53 years ago has become iconic, and Merdeka and its aftermath offer valuable lessons.

We know the Tunku died a disappointed and disillusioned man - a victim of a nation's history that failed him and its true sons and daughters, and left them with a dashed hope. We can easily forget the sacrifices he and others made to gain for us our independence and freedom because history is often written not in truth but prejudice when politicians hold the historian's hand.

I still remember the day the Tunku came to his alma mater, the Penang Free School, and delivered an awespiring speech to us, mostly Chinese students, during a school assembly. We were all children of the Merdeka generation, full of hope and promise.

"You are the future leaders of the country, "the Tunku said, with a hint of a Cambridge accent, "so you must study hard, be law-abiding, and do your best to serve your country." We did study hard, furthered our studies at home and abroad, and equipped ourselves to serve the nation.

But when we were ready the Tunku was no longer there.

It was the ominous start of Merdeka lost.

What has your country done to you?

They had asked us what we can do for the nation. But we forgot to ask them what the nation would do for us. And more importantly what it would do to us. Those who demanded equity for themselves did not give equity to others. And it has been that way since.

Still in good faith we had done our utmost - for ourselves and for our country.

But they no longer needed someone like the Tunku who was the primeval Malaysian, the original 1Malaysian, the true Prince of Bangsa Malaysia, who was above all -- the leader for all -- and who promised every citizen an equal share in their country's future. He was too Malaysian!

School didn't teach us to dichotomize the nation into 'they' and 'us'. It taught us the opposite. The politicians divided us. And we didn't like it. We still loved our Malay friends and they loved us. Our lives intermingled. We were after all children of the Independence taught to live in harmony with one another.

"Call me Bapa," my Malay friend's father insisted. His family had been like my family. He was the progeny of a British education, had become a school principal, a devout Muslim later in life, and the sort of 'Merdeka Man' that epitomized the Tunku's Malaysia. But our world was changing.

My close Malay schoolfriend would be a bumiputera - a son of the soil - but me - born and bred like he in every way? They would call us non-bumiputra made to feel second-class and outcasts in our beloved country. They are still doing it today - school principals, of all people, bullying innocuous school children under their charge, and belittling them. And 'Bapa' would have been upset.

The yeast of pride and prejudice would grow like a spreading cancer.

Topics the British allowed everyone to discuss freely became taboo, unilaterally classified 'sensitive.' The virus of political racism began to spread but many children of the Merdeka generation were unaffected, protected by a sound education and vaccinated against communalism.

The children of Merdeka were ready to defend their country against Sukarno during 'Konfrontasi.' They were good enough to die but not good enough to get a job. 'For Bumiputra only - non-Bumiputras need not apply' the many job advertisements - I felt cheated and betrayed and bushwhacked.

It seemed unfair. It was unfair. What if there were advertisements that read, "For non-Bumiputra only - Bumiputra need not apply." The problem with those who cite 'offending the sensitivities' of their group often forget about other people's sensitivities as if they had none.

Why should any affirmative action deprive others of the same opportunities? After all - the British colonialists treated all citizens fairly. Whither the justice Merdeka wrought? I thought. I coped somehow like all the other children of deprivation.

Years later the Tunku himself died disappointed and disillusioned as he saw his Merdeka vision disappear and his beloved Malaysia undergo an era of unprecedented racial discrimination, repression and reprehensible double-standards, against his cherished values.

I felt his pain as I regularly signed the cheques for the company he partially owned and that published his articles. His voice was heard in his weekly column 'As I See It' in The Star, then truly a People's Paper, but the Tunku by then was no match for the man who would mesmerize the nation with his grandiose even if flawed schemes.

The people fell hook, line and sinker, and readily gravitated to what 'he' promised, what their itching ears wanted to hear. Poor fools! Today they curse the man - too late!

Tunku had reminded him of the Merdeka principles, of democracy and freedom, of not using the ISA to stifle political comment unfavorable to the government of the day, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

The acolytes of the maverick Pied Piper had sold their souls to the God of Mega Materialism and paid the mega price with their freedom. Many saw their birthright being questioned from time to time yet kept voting into power the architects and engineers of their plight. You can't be more self-destructive and idiotic than that.

But it did not begin with the maverick.

What has May 13 done to you?

Years ago, May 13, 1969 saw the country in a bloodbath. Racial violence erupted. Soldiers shot and killed innocent civilians. Mobs ran amok. And democracy went up in smoke. In his book, 'May 13', Dr Kua Kia Soong postulates the credible conspiracy theory.

It was Merdeka murdered. Merdeka lost.

In the aftermath, the country was ransomed to a narrow nationalism that sent cracks through the length and breadth of the nation to this day. It was the start of 'that' nonsense. We learned to read, write and count, the three positive 'R's' in school and we learned the negative three 'R's' - of race, religion and repression from the politicians. It was the end of innocence.

Nationhood would never succeed when a national leader thinks of his race first and the others as an afterthought. If a country leader is not leader of all, he is not leader at all. It was a mistake - to adopt any policy resembling apartheid, and history bears it out.

In the country, the government scrambled to tackle the increasing racial polarization while feeding the insidious serpent of hate simultaneously.

Vision school was the answer they said but whose vision? Who murdered the Merdeka vision? Who messed up our school system that had produced successful students of all races who though not having seen one another for decades still shared a bond of genuine friendship and camaraderie? Why did they have to reinvent the wheel?

Even as I write there is an e-mail from an old Malay school friend asking his old classmates to pray for another former Malay school friend lying in a coma from a stroke. Pray? The racists have not divided us and never will.

Tun Abdul Razak, the 'ultra Malay leader' had taken over from the Tunku but he didn't foresee the danger of giving a blank cheque to those who are untrustworthy. Good intentions aren't always sufficient in running a nation. Good people, good policies and good systems work better.

He gave birth to the New Economic Policy (NEP) - and made radical policy changes that would alter the country's social and political topography.

After May 13, 1969 the country would see a new type of racism - naked and aggressive and legitimized by emergency powers, political might and tacit militant muscle. Many saw the ominous signs. The country saw its first wave of brain drain. Students went abroad to study and never returned. But I did return and do not regret it. And when I left again, it had nothing to do with the country's politics. If it was politics I would have stayed.

What have the chauvinists done to you?

Razak did what he had to do.

The marriage with Singapore had not worked.

It was his turn to show what a chauvinist Malay leader could do after Lee Kuan Yew proved too much of a challenge to them.

The NEP became a misnomer for Malay Economic Policy in practice. In 1971, it cut a swathe through the harmonious nation of over 10 million multi-racial citizens and divided it. When 'Malaysian' would have sufficed before, everyone now had a new label except they did not put armbands on them like the Nazis did.

In fact 'Malaysian' became synonymous with Malay to the chagrin of the true believers - who felt the country was being re-colonized from within. Economically, Razak wanted the Malays to get 30% of the economy. He said it must be done in 20 years - within a generation.

But was it necessary to superimpose Malay on everything? After all, there is so much in the Malay culture that non-Malays already liked and even the Chinese will swear they are a nice people to relate with - but the ugly politicians had to spoil it. Not content to rely on osmosis, they had to use coercion. And no one likes to be forced to do something in a freed country.

Achieving the NEP was a tall but not impossible or unreasonable order. It would have been ridiculous to have a new country where old wealth dictated everything or were in the hands of a minority. In a time of rapid economic expansion it was achievable.

But that was not to be. How could it be?

Dishonest people were robbing the gravy train faster than the Bank Negara could print money and derailing the NEP. Corruption and bailouts had taken its toll on the government's development and coupled with incompetence derailed the train that would deliver 30% of the country's wealth to the Malays.

Of course, the most serious derailments did not occur during Razak's tenure but over time.

So naturally, the statisticians would cry, "Not yet 30%, only 18%". "Not so," remonstrated think-tank economist Dr Lim Teck Ghee, "already more than 30%" he disclosed, but those in power ignored the facts.

They had dug their own grave by not letting those who could help the country play more crucial roles. Instead they elevated the deadwood - they put politics ahead of national interests. They failed to employ people smarter than them.

So today they are still talking about the prolongation of a flawed national policy that spawns corruption, wastage and racism like a blocked dirty drain breeds mosquitoes. The strengthened opposition Pakatan Rakyat promises to remedy the shortcomings if given the chance and indeed they should. It is kicking against the goad when politicians refuse to accept the reality that Malaysia is best served when the best players are in the team.

Ketuanan Melayu - the anti-thesis of the Tunku's Merdeka vision and of true nationhood - became a de facto unwritten law, as if part of the country's constitution. The 'Young Turks' were on the ascendancy and 'The Malay Dilemma' written ironically by the half-Indian new country leader became the manifesto of the nation as Mein Kampf was to the Germans.

Razak died in office five years after the NEP's inception. He wanted to achieve the noble two-fold aim of "eradicating poverty and eradicating economic function with race." He had not intended that the NEP would divide the nation, only its wealth. It is a lesson for all that if a policy is not intrinsically sound and just, it is likely to turn into an uncontrollable beast.

However many Malays got more than their 30% share in the mayhem of the turbulent times long after Razak was gone. Many Malays also got nothing and struggled together with the non-Malays. Their eyes began to open and their whimper rose to a crescendo when in later years tens of thousands of marginalized Indians took to the streets in peaceful protests.

The truth is it never was or is a Malay versus non-Malay contest in the country. This is a lie fabricated by the ugly politicians. It was never part of the Merdeka formula. It had always been a problem of human failing and greed, when those given the onerous public trust of administration short-changed the country and their own people.

The absence of solid good governance stymied Razak's NEP and quenched its spirit as much as any race-based policy would inevitably quench the Merdeka spirit.

Ketuanan Melayu is a flawed and failed doctrine that used race as a pretext to carry out an own selfish agenda. In years to come when demography will make the nation almost entirely Malay, Ketuanan Melayu would stick out like a sore thumb. Again it is a pretext for the corrupt to keep the Malays on a leash so they can elevate themselves as self-appointed champions of race and religion -- a cruel and costly charade.

Secret of our neighbour's success

If you think I am wrong, how then does the well-governed Singapore do it with its own multiracial mix? How does it maintain peace and order and harmony and take care of its minorities? And give every Singaporean a decent chance at life?

This year they will record the highest GDP growth in the world of at least 13%. And when I talk to Malay Singaporeans they don't have any hangups about the way they are treated. Sadly the same can't be said for the non-Malays in Malaysia and an increasing number of Malays. Behind the veil of anonymity, the Internet offers some revealing insights of the pervasive disgruntlement.

The Singaporeans just don't talk about zero-tolerance of extremism and divisiveness - they act - they punish the culprits without fear or favour. Racism is the opium of the brain dead, so they banned it. They want to be a clever country and they are. Meanwhile Malaysia exports its talents and now desperately tries to import them back but in futility.

Today Pakistan a Muslim country appeals to the world to help its citizens in distress. Will the advocates of non-interference still think it is a Muslim problem and only Muslims need bother? Will any government in hardship still think no one should intervene in its internal affairs?

The Pakistani President does not think so and unashamedly appeals for intervention, and rightly so. We are our brothers' keepers and it takes a disaster to remind us. When we learn from one another and help one another we all benefit. But those who use race or religion to divide the country are the Merdeka-wreckers.

Despite the recent Allah controversy it was never a Christian versus Muslim problem either. In fact, remove the political instigation and gratuitous un-Islamic policies and one finds muslims and Christians and followers of other religions share many similar concerns and possess a common desire to live in a moral and upright state. Before and after Merdeka there was religious harmony until the politicians and recently the lying mufti began to stir the hornets' nest.

After Razak corruption had changed the NEP from being the nation's radical economic equalizer into the golden goose that laid the eggs for the dishonest ones. Unchecked power enabled the more ruthless politicians to hold power for decades. They bought mansions overseas while the natives lost their rainforests, homes and way of life.

Merdeka or the Maverick's vision?

The political warlords became self-vested and the nation suffered - especially the underprivileged Malays who joined the Chinese in the community of the deprived. The recent compensation of Felda farmers is symptomatic of the rip-offs.

If Razak were alive today, would he be upset at what happened to his NEP agenda?

Probably yes judging from his own youngest son's recent remarks since politics is also family business in Malaysia. Nazir Razak, CEO of the CIMB group lamented the 'bastardization of the NEP' in a Malaysiakini report. With the Approved Permits (APs), he said the government might as well give them the money. That's what happened and they got more than the APs.

And not long ago during a by-election, elder brother PM Najib Razak reminded the nation that he had to stay true to his late father's NEP vision. Such filial piety is rare these days. But politicians are good at talking not showing. And none more so than the Maverick.

When he was king, the Midas-wannabe wanted what the Chinese had - money, prestige, mansions, posh cars - the lot and more. He wanted them for himself, his family and his cronies - without the sweat and toil and what took a lifetime of sacrifice to achieve. They got it. They lost it. The people paid for it, again and again.

And Barry Wain in his excellent book 'Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohammed in Turbulent Times' which every Malaysian should read because it provides a useful history of Malaysia you won't find in school textbooks, mentions the 'lost 100 billion ringgit' - enough to make many Malays, not only the cronies, millionaires overnight.

Money is not everything. But losing the Merdeka spirit of cohesiveness and unity is more costly than the lost billions. This is the greater loss.

Traitorous - spelt with a capital Tee

It is a joke that Malaysians are charged with sedition over their inconsequential acts when the nation was rendered asunder by far more serious acts that have destroyed the independence of all its public institutions and the one responsible is not held to account.

That anyone can become untouchable or any issue be brushed under the carpet in the name of national security shows the country's immaturity, and that a caveat is placed on the country's rule of law.

The Tunku was unique, the Merdeka spirit is priceless, and it behooves every Malaysian to defend this intangible and cardinal national heritage that is under siege. The Merdeka ethos - every citizen is equal - is the nation's lifeblood; it is the wellspring of all national policies and if people lose sight of it the nation will lose its direction.

Even 1Malaysia and Bangsa Malaysia - pale imitations of the real thing cannot remove themselves from the foundational fact.

If Malaysians are in conflict, it will spell the end for the nation. Yet to an extent conflict is needed to prove who cares for the country and who cares for themselves. But the common thread that binds Malaysians together is their Merdeka legacy. If the lies and brainwashing are stemmed, the truth will set people free.

Many capable Malays are angry because they are unfairly stigmatized and don't need crutches. A discriminatory policy can hurt those it is meant to help. Tun Razak did not intend for the NEP to be a Never Ending Pot of gold for the Malays.

Some anti-Merdeka elements now resort to religion to create disunity and the lying mufti will sell his sullied soul for '30 pieces of silver' like a Judas. But all religionists who believe there is God will not lie because in every religion it is a sin.

How can anyone serve God but act for the devil -- the Father of Lies? Does God teach us to tell lies and act unjustly? Even atheists think it is wrong. Rid the nation of these hypocrites and troublemakers and there will be peace. The corrupt do not care if they hurt their religion, their race, their nation.

Politicians with untold wealth should be asked to share their money-making secrets with their poor and struggling citizens. Why pay tens of millions to foreign consultants when the politicians who have a flair for making money are in our backyard?

Should they not be passing on their knowledge to us all? Their books like "How I Became A Billionaire on a Government Salary" will be instant bestsellers. Even Singapore's million-dollar salaried politicians will be lining up to snap a copy.

Merdeka suffers when some Chinese carry the Ugly Chinaman bug - the sickness that the late Taiwanese author Bo Yang described in his book of the same name. He said that specimens of the minority Chinese in a community had a tendency to betray their own people to ingratiate themselves among the majority rulers - in short- they can be traitorous - spelt with a capital Tee.

A dog knows its master but when you forget your own race and speak ill of your own people without justification even my dead dog thinks it is dastardly insane and despicable. Self-criticism is good but not when it is flagrantly destructive and offensive.

And the political eunuchs don't do better either.

Fortunately the trail of blood of the Chinese martyrs tells a different story because while the royal colour of their bygone emperors in ancient history is yellow, they are not. Those who mistake their forbearance for cowardice are wont to rue their mistake.

Today it's turbulent times all over again

'Woe is the nation,' seems to be the rakyat's cry among the many aggrieved.

The country is still wilting under the same 'rotten administration' and 'police state' that came with the 'Islamic state' - the legacies of a former leader whose condemnation of his successor was an unwitting display of self-incrimination.

PM Najib tries his best but how do you repair a boat with so many leaks and you are not sure you can turn your back to those you count on to help you? When you are trying hard to push your 1Malaysia agenda and your right-hand man says, no, "I am Malay first", why worry about the Opposition? Even Brutus wasn't so brutally obvious.

The real enemy of the Malay race is not the Chinese race and vice versa but the depraved, covetous, corrupt and conniving politicians and their cronies and the culpable 'Gestapo' policemen who abet them. The ruthless and desperate will crush all who stand in their way and we have seen the evidence.

Anwar 'black eye' Ibrahim - the renaissance Malay - is the prime living proof. And there are more of their victims. The former chief graft buster was 'scolded' for doing his job properly, and another crime investigator was charged but acquitted for exposing criminal activity.

In many ways it is ironic that the Malays who have so much power also have less freedom compared to their non-Malay neighbours. That was never part of the Tunku's Merdeka plan. It was never his vision to see innocent Malays shot down by the police like dogs, and to add insult to injury, have the police fabricate the stories.

The state decides their religion. The state decides how they are to live. The state is their nanny from cradle to grave. How do you raise towering Malays when you treat them like babies? And the towering ones are cut down to size because they refuse to join the gang?

Much is not well in Merdekaland, the land we love -- our birthplace and the land of our ancestors and Merdeka's children. Let's not pretend all is well and wave the flags if we are not free. But indeed we should fly a billion flags when the nation is truly free. With the diagnosis of the sickness must come the bitter medicine but so far the patient refuses to take it.

The administration is like an old rickety machine with faulty parts and in desperate need of repair and change. It is not delivering the nation what Merdeka and even what Razak's NEP promised. It is a sick machine. It is time for a new model and the country needs one and can afford it.

It is a moral crisis that cannot be resolved with more acts of wanton corruption and selective prosecution and more cosmetic surgery and politicking. It is a rainforest tree besieged by termites whose voracious appetite cannot be satiated. It is a nation in the throes of a struggle for its survival and facing the risk of descending into the abyss of moral anarchy. These are not the rantings of a partisan politician but a saddened son of the Merdeka generation.

But more importantly what are people going to do about it?

Only fools continue blighting their future

What will they do with the the corrupt neo-colonialists - those who strangle the country in the pernicious bondage and curtailment of liberty that Merdeka was supposed to have removed. They not only bully 'lain-lain' but their own. It is simplistic to blame just those in power for the people's plight because where does power come from in a constitutional democracy?

The voters and citizens who prop up the political warlords and pseudo-nationalists must share the blame. They must redeem themselves if they have not done the right thing.

They must stop empowering those who are hijacking their nation. They are guilty of the same crime because they offer and receive the bribes. The corrupt can be found across the political divide. Let us not just heed what people say but judge what they do.

There is a painful lesson to learn. The corrupt have already showed their hand and sabotaged the reform. Their dishonesty will be their downfall.

Our mothers and daughters are already toiling abroad as illegal workers so that they can save for their families and send their kids to finish their studies. Qualified Malays are working abroad because they don't want to be stigmatized or have their freedom curtailed in their homeland. It is not a race problem, never has been, otherwise the mixed-race administration for 53 years has been a fraud.

Everyone has the right to pick their leaders. One man's leader may be another's rogue. But only fools do not know the difference between a corrupt leader and an honest one. Only fools will continue to vote for the corrupt. And only fools give the power to servants to make them masters over them.

A middling and politically mangled Malaysia is the price of blind loyalty, ignorance and obvious folly.

The real relevance of Merdeka today is its reminder to all Malaysians what the Tunku fought for - the right to self-government and individual freedom, the right to a 'clean, efficient and trustworthy' government, and a fair one at that, not hypocrisy and hype, and more corruption that results in hardships for the rakyat.

I dare say every Malaysian will be better off if the leaking boat is allowed to sink with no passengers on board. It is too risky to place your future in the hands of those who promise but don't deliver and have a poor track record, enough to make everyone skeptical. It is far too dangerous to travel in a leaky boat heading toward inevitable shipwreck.

This is what Merdeka is about - our freedom.

Today the advent of an alternative government raises the nation's hopes again. March 2008 proved it can be done but the Perak subversion proves it can be undone. Only the voters can ensure their own decisive future and save themselves. Politicians are impotent without popular support.

Still there is hope for a Merdeka renaissance, a Merdeka resurrection and Merdeka regained - when people put nation before self and reflect on the road they travel. You can't have political reform without personal reform. Those who want to replace the corrupt, are they incorruptible?

Politicians may be good at politicking but can they govern? They may be good at gaining power but do they know how to use it? That is why we need checks and balances. We need free and truthful media to keep the executive honest. Every Malaysian who is not involved in shaping his or her nation is a Merdeka dropout.

Every Malaysian who is not registered to vote is utterly irresponsible and does not deserve to live in a democracy.

A two-party system as many have suggested may be the first step toward the democracy that Merdeka intended. After all that is how the Westminster system works. And a stint in the political wilderness may benefit those who think political hegemony is their birthright.

So what are Malaysians really celebrating on Merdeka Day?

Remembering the late Tunku

The truth is there is only one God, one king, one constitution, one nation for Malaysia. It was decided in the Merdeka Declaration on 31 August 1957 with a written constitution as proof.

If you are not celebrating this watershed historic event that is evident in your country today then what are you celebrating? A mirage? A meaningless ritual?

Without the fruit of Merdeka, all is hypocrisy. In Merdeka is embedded the crucial DNA of the nation. The constitution defining the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of the rulers, politicians and citizens are plain to see. Anything more or less is an abuse of power. What the people have lost they must regain.

Merdeka lost or Merdeka regained, the people must choose.

If in practice we do not see the evidence of the Merdeka declaration, what are we celebrating on Merdeka Day? After all there is Malaysia Day but that is a different story. Empire building is vastly distinct from unshackling your country from one. Merdeka is something else, something special.

A nation riven by race and religion cannot gel as one nation - it is not the Merdeka declaration. Until we learn to love our neighbors as ourselves, we may fall prey to those who entice and incite us to hate. It may not be explicit but implicit in the Merdeka declaration is the commitment to 'unity in diversity.'

Is there a better way? Do we have a choice?

On Merdeka Day, I will raise a toast to the memory of the one who fought to give us a free nation, a nation of hope and justice, a nation of truth that 'unity is strength' and that diversity is a gift of God and bigotry is the curse.

I will remember the late Tunku and all those who shared his Merdeka vision, the gallant ones that sacrificed their lives for their nation, the civil servants, the judges, policemen, politicians, ordinary Malaysians who lost their jobs for doing them and who lost their freedom but left us a legacy of hope for a better and brighter tomorrow - they - the children of Merdeka - are the unsung heroes.

I will say a prayer for the government and the opposition and every Malaysian unfairly jailed under the ISA and all those who still cherish the Merdeka dream for their nation and work toward its eventual success.

We are after all, together, children of Merdeka and we are everywhere. Soon our sun will rise and we will sing 'Negaraku' with a clear conscience and a combined voice.

Merdeka! God bless Merdekaland.

Selamat Menyambut Hari Kemerdekaan

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 08:57 AM PDT

Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka
Kami Semua Anak Bangsa Malaysia

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Posted: 30 Aug 2010 07:46 AM PDT

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My Merdeka - Promo

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 06:56 AM PDT

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What Utusan really reported on Teo Nie Ching

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 07:52 AM PDT

Pix (from Teo Nie Ching's blog): She now wears selendang on her surau visits

Courtesy of Hartal MSM

What did Utusan really say? Its Friday headline screamed that Teo Nie Ching had greatly insulted Muslims.

On SUNDAY, Utusan carried this on page 3:

■Kesucian masjid terus dinodai
(Sanctity of mosques continues to be sullied)
The above story was also blurbed on the front page as 'Lagi wakil rakyat bukan Islam cemari masjid' (Again non-Muslim MP defiles mosque) and said in the article that Selayang MP William Leong "turut menghina kesucian agama Islam".

■Henti cemari kesucian agama
The above story quotes ex-PM Dollah Badawi (who introduced Islam Hadhari to Malaysia) as saying "we (the country) don't want this" (non-Muslims doing things to hurt the sensitivities of Muslims), and we "should put a stop to this".

■MAIS kesal pentadbir masjid terus abai titah sultan
■Nik Aziz kurang takwa – Ibrahim Ali
■Nik Aziz dibidas timbul kekeliruan

■Sultan Selangor murka
Pada Ogos 2009, Exco Selangor, Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, berucap dalam satu majlis berbuka puasa di dewan utama Masjid Taman Sri Andalas sehingga menimbulkan perasaan kurang senang di kalangan Islam.

■Penghinaan yang amat besar kepada umat Islam
Walhal, katanya [pengerusi Majlis Gabungan Pertubuhan Sukarela Selangor (MGPSS) Mat Yasir Ikhsan], orang Melayu sebenarnya telah muak dengan permainan politik sedemikian yang memperlihatkan bagaimana murah dan mudahnya martabat Islam diperkotak-katikkan oleh pihak tertentu untuk kepentingan mereka.

■Tindakan tegas jemput bukan Islam – JAIS
"Orang bukan Islam adalah dilarang memasuki ruang solat kerana mereka ini dalam berkeadaan hadas besar apatah lagi berada di bahagian imam dan menyampaikan ucapan kepada umat Islam di dalamnya." — pengarah JAIS Mohammed Khusrin Munawi berkata.
■Ahli Parlimen Serdang langgar titah Sultan Selangor

Blog-blog politik seperti dan mendakwa tindakan tersebut merupakan satu penghinaan kepada umat Islam serta telah mencemarkan kesucian rumah Allah.

Nie Ching had made front page picture story on Utusan with a turn to the inside pages.

Umno Online lead off its article 'DAP langsung tidak hormati Islam – Shahrizat' with this intro: "DAP sudah melampau, biadap dan langsung tidak menghormati kesucian Islam dan sensitiviti umat Islam di negara ini, kata Ketua Pergerakan Wanita UMNO Malaysia, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil."

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UMNO 'self interest' rather than 'self respect'

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 07:44 AM PDT

Dato' Mohd Ariff Sabri bin Hj. Abdul Aziz, an UMNO blogger better known as Sakmongkol AK47 is in my opinion one of the more balanced political blogger. However, don't be mistaken that he is 'neutral' in his political views. He is a true UMNO bloke who blogs for UMNO's interest, and there's nothing wrong with that. I have in general respected his views.

However, in his latest post titled 'Leadership & Malay self respect', I have to disagree with him in the general thrust of his message. He wrote:

… what Malays feel is no longer just about getting 30% share in listed companies or that Malays control 30% of certain industries. I think, Malays expect much more than just digits and numbers.

I think the fixation with the NEP is the idea behind the NEP. What could be the idea?

The NEP is a symbol of Malay power. it's a symbol of Malay self respect. The NEP represents the Malay amour propre (amoor proper) hence when Malays demand 30% of this and that, those are symbols of Malay self respect. Take that away from a Malay- he flies off the handle.

Today what they see is that this self respect is being denuded with wanton contempt.

Incidentally, amore propre means 'self respect' or 'self esteem', or what an individual believes he is worth.

The part which Sakmongkol says that frightens me, and of course on which I disagree has been his statement (note in particular the highlighted phrase):

Today what they see is that this self respect is being denuded with wanton contempt. They see their self respect being ridiculed. Malays can accept that as Malaysian citizens we are all equal, but we are first among equals. Whether Malaysians think this is unjustifiably so, is immaterial. The Malay public thinks so and expect the world of others to adjust to it. I am merely stating it as it is.

First among equals or primus inter pares!

In a cabinet, the PM is the primus inter pares. In a political alliance like the Barisan Nasional (BN), it's acknowledged that UMNO is the primus inter pares.

There was a recent write-up by a journalist who obviously didn't understand the term when he described PKR as the primus inter pares. This assertion is patently nonsense because PKR is the weakest of the three main component parties.

I am prepared to accept Anwar Ibrahim as the first among equals in the Pakatan leadership but that's quite different from saying PKR is the primus inter pares in Pakatan.

Anyway, while there can be a primus inter pares in an alliance of parties (coalition like BN or Pakatan), committee (cabinet) or group (party leadership) there shouldn't and mustn't be such a creature in a group of races.

Preeminent personality or leader is recognizing the top leader in, say Najib Tun Razak among the BN leaders or his counterpart, Anwar Ibrahim in Pakatan. Preeminent race as what Sakmongkol alluded to in his statement "Malays can accept that as Malaysian citizens we are all equal, but we are first among equals" is virtually equivalent to the Aryan concept of the Nazis or the white Afrikaans, both of whom admittedly took it to the extreme.

But that's precisely my fear, that some UMNO Malays want to take it to the extreme. And it's already manifested in its incessant and aggressive 'ketuanan Melayu' assertion. The Army and Police are already under UMNO's control so all it needs is just that frightening extra step, and we have a de facto Afrikaan-style State [we are not fully there yet].

Sakmongkol claims the Malays are disenchanted with the current 'weak' Malay leadership (meaning Najib) who is seen as allowing the nons too much leeway, as reflected in his statements like "...when the Malay leadership, especially by those in power coming out with stupid nebulous policies and its over-compromising actions ..." and worse "...they see Malay leadership goes around bowl in hand begging for the support of non Malays ..."

He concluded that "... all these combined to lead to a general distrust on the capability and resolve of the Malay leadership ..." and thus "This is why Perkasa has become the spokesman for the alienated and disenchanted. UMNO has forfeited its legitimacy as the custodian and guardian of the Malay soul."

Basically, Sakmongkol sings the same song as Dr Mahathir, namely the weak Malay leadership in Najib, the joke of a 1Malaysia, the greedy and/or arrogant Chinamen, and UMNO leaders bloody well listen to Perkasa (or him), etc.

Regretfully Sakmongkol said nothing about the real truth behind the current divisive politics of hate that have been ramped up by someone using Perkasa as a front, namely the prevalent avarice (greed) that underlines the bigotry and racist chants of UMNO. Its mainstream media lying mouths and of course the tool of some UMNO big shot, Perkasa and Jabba the Hutt are mere supporting actors.

Malaysia is viewed as one luscious gravy train, thus whoever gets to be its chief engineer and conductors gets the first shot at putting their snouts in the rich trough.

That's why there is money politics in UMNO. Please lah, don't tell me people pay to get elected as division leaders so that they can have the privilege of serving their members? They want to be division leaders because that may lead to a ministerial position, a lucrative position, a contract (RM700 million for selling a couple of submarines) or some goodies.

That is why there are two main objectives for UMNO leaders, namely: (1) step over each other or stab each other (including Najib in necessary) to be in a position to jump first on the gravy train, and (2) win the election to be government at all cost (whatever it takes) to have control over the Malaysian gravy train.

And Jabba the Hutt wants to be one of UMNO leaders in time for the next election for precisely this. That's also what some once UMNO–then PKR–and now UMNO again people want – maybe then one will get his RM2 company to run a Penang golf club.

The concept of NEP is all about that, and not because of what Sakmongkol wants us to believe, in the arty farty concept of amore proper or Malay self respect.


Posted: 30 Aug 2010 05:01 AM PDT

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Posted: 30 Aug 2010 04:47 AM PDT

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Posted: 30 Aug 2010 04:45 AM PDT

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Posted: 30 Aug 2010 04:26 AM PDT

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Hasan Ali cadang garis panduan lawat surau, masjid

Posted: 30 Aug 2010 03:51 AM PDT

Exco hal ehwal agama Islam Selangor Datuk Hasan Ali berkata beliau akan mencadangkan satu garis panduan terperinci untuk orang bukan Islam mengunjungi surau dan masjid di negeri itu. Bercakap dalam satu sidang media hari ini, Hasan berkata setakat ini hanya satu peraturan umum yang digunapakai untuk orang bukan Islam mengunjungi rumah ibadat itu. "Tetapi bila kita telah mendengar pelbagai pendapat itu misalnya orang bukan Islam boleh atau tidak boleh (memasuki masjid), rasanya majoriti berpendapat dalam tulisan-tulisan bahawa orang bukan Islam boleh memasuki ruang masjid hinggalah ke ruang solat. Full story here:
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