Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Politician Education Series – The Mo Zi

Politician Education Series – The Mo Zi


Politician Education Series – The Mo Zi

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 12:51 PM PDT

Politician Education Series – The Mo Zi


This is an attempt to educate our poiliticians on the practice and behavour of a career in politics, Malaysian politicians practices manipulative and rudimentary politics and lack an understanding of integrity and ethics. They try to employ strategem and tactics but is lacking in the knowledge and show a shallow and crude views of the philosophy of politics.

Philosophy is defined as the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct.

This site has much earlier presented an even earlier political thinker of some 3000 years ago in the history of philosophy as in the King Fisher series.

The philosophy of the ancients long ago realizes that strategy is all encompassing and reguires the philosophy of truth and if employed without then the stategy will be one of evil and of extreme cruelty that brings hardship and suffering to the nation at large.

The foundation to a supreme strategy is the philosophy of truth and of realisation of a conciousness of the greater part as in the great of a nation. A strategy devoid of truth is a strategy of evil.

A man who choses to serve must be devoid of self and carry the heart of the people, the man should be icorruptible in poverty and righteous when wealthy, he loves the living and mourns the dead. Such is the moral standard as set out by the MoZi.

Today we would look at the sages of old of the sage Mo Tzu the founder of Mohism and regarded as the first school of teachings.

The Mo Zi

"Any Virtue that does not spring from the Heart will not Remain and any Action that is not aimed at Oneself will not Stay" ~ Mozi

During the warring states era of circa 475 BC to 221 BC which found its beginning in the Spring and Autumn period after the decline of the Chou (Zhou) dynasty was a time of chaos when warlords battles each other for hegemony resulting in the founding of the Qin dynasty of Qin Shih Huang in 221 BC, the warring states era covers a period of more than 250 years until the founding of the first emperor.
This was a period of despotic kings and tyranny, cruelty knows no bounds and many suffers from exploitations by their lords and kings and the battlefield was the venue of work for the men of the despotic states as for many, it is better to die in the battlefield than to die of hunger.

The state of Zhao, one of the major states set out to invades its neighboring city-state of Liang who had only a small army of only 5000 and as the 100,000 strong army of Zhao approaches, the Lord of Liang panic and called for a council of the generals and ministers when a minor official suggested the invitation of the Mohist, a legendary clan of philosophers skilled in the art and science of battle, especially of seige warfare.
As the Zhao army encamp just outside the city of Liang, a lone figure approaches the city gates and announced that he is from the Mo Zi clan, was admitted and brought to the Lord of Liang which was dissapointed as to how one man sent by the Mohist could assist in the defence of the city and was contemplating surrender when the lone Mo Zi cautioned agaist the act of surrendering to an invading army as the city would be plundered and the safety of its occupants at stake.
MoZi was than ordered the task of commandering the small army of the city against the 100,000 strong invaders of the Zhao. Before the attack of Zhao the Mo Zi had a mediation effort with the Zhao commanding general in an attempt for a peace settlement persuadding the Zhao army to forego the city-state of Liang which was turned down by the Zhao general citing the might of a greater state and a force that much outnumbered the small state of Liang. The Mo Zi than set out to create a series of tactical move which resulted in the defeat of the invading army and eventually the death of their commanding general wiping out almost all of the invaders.
This is but an excerpt from the fictional history out of a movie based on the novel by Hideki Mori titled "Mohist Attack", the chinese movie is titled "A Battle of Wits" featuring Andy Lau as the Mohist and would make a most entertaining view with an insight to the Mohist thoughts.

In the recorded history the Mohist school of philosophy was founded by Mo Zi or Mo Tzu and is the lesser known of the four main philosophic schools that eveolved about the same time as Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism. The mohist school known as Mohism was popularly viewed as opposing that of Confucius however the approach should be studied from an angle of inclusive study rather than from an opposing view as there are at the same time great philosophic inclusion especially on the theory of governance.

The Mohist was than the leading influence during that era, much more than the other schools where some modern scholars argued that Mo Tzu was in fact the first teacher and not that of confucius.

More than 2000 years later Mohism was studied and became a theory that interest and influenced the thoughts of Sun Yat Sen, the founder of the Republic of China that led the revolution against the imperial dynasty, Sun Yat Sen employed Universal Love as the foundation for the early democracy of China and later on by Mao Tze Tung of the communist party was largely influenced by the principles of MoZi and are deem to be the earliest socialist thinkers.

Central to the school of MoZi was the practice of "Universal Love" and were known to have created an environment for open debate and expression of philosophical thoughts. Unlike Confucianism and the other schools, Mohism practiced open engagement of their philosophy of rejecting violence and aggression.

The Mohist had a highly structured organization far advanced in their time, the structure consist of a network of local units spread throughout the major kingdoms and some were engaged as advisors to the rulers and lords. The Mohist is not only a school of philosophy but had highly skilled craftmens that were engaged in the arts of defensive warfare through the use of strategic and tactical engineering and the sciences. Therefore the Mohist could take sides in times of battle and usually take on the side of the weaker states. They were philosophical knights skilled in warfare and the arts of battle.

According to the chapter "Gongshu" in Mozi, he once walked for ten days to the state of Chu in order to forestall an attack on the state of Song. At the Chu court, Mozi engaged in nine simulated war games with Gongshu Ban, the chief military strategist of Chu, and overturned each one of his stratagems. When Gongshu Ban threatened him with death, Mozi informed the king that his disciples had already trained the soldiers of Song in his fortification methods, so it would be useless to kill him. The Chu king was forced to call off the war.

The Mohist Universal Love or Impartial Love is a principal of governance and of social relations, as a passage in the chapter on "Self-Cultivation" which states "When people near-by are not befriended, there is no use endeavoring to attract those at a distance."

Also, in the first chapter of the writings of Mozi on universal love, Mozi argues that the best way of being filial to one's parents is to be filial to the parents of others. The foundational principle is that benevolence, as well as malevolence, is requited, and that one will be treated by others as one treats others. Mozi quotes a popular passage from the Book of Odes to bring home this point: "When one throws to me a peach, I return to him a plum." One's parents will be treated by others as one treats the parents of others. In pursuing this line of argument, Mozi was directly appealing to the idea of enlightened self-interest in social relations.

Mohism which was the leading school of thoughts during the Warring States era fell out of favor when Shih Huang Di came to power with the Qin dynasty which was based on the "Legalist" school of thoughts. And it was believed that most written literature of the Mohist were destroyed in the burning of books by the first emperor.

Read More from Wikipedia HERE

Note: The teachings of MoZi is today recorded and many chapters are still missing. The writings of the Mozi are known as "the Mozi" and i would like to caution the students of this text is that they are a compilation over a period and includes later teachings of ontology that includes the realms of the after life of spirits and ghosts which are not of the origin but a later inclusion by the disciples.


Why can't we sue Astro?

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 10:10 AM PDT


My buddy Syed Akbar Ali who just returned from a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam wrote about 100 Astro channels for RM16.00? in his blog, which drew my immediate attention. That's the price the Cambodians have to pay compared with about RM100 for a package of between 15-50 channels in Malaysia.

Excerpts: Cambodia has much, much less infrastructure than us. They need to spend more to provide satellite tv services and yet they are about six times cheaper. And considering that they get about four times as many channels, you can approximately 'compound' their 'cost advantage' and say that they get 24 times more "value for money" than us in terms of paying for satellite tv (6 times cheaper price x 4 times more channels = 24 times more "value for money").

Bro, allow me to add something to it. How many years has Astro been introduced to Malaysians? How many times have we cursed Astro for the time-to-time disruption during bad weather? During the World Cup in South Africa recently, tell me how many hundred times were the 'live' programmes got screwed by just a slight drizzle?

Forget about heavy rain or a storm, Astro's 'service without interruption' warranty is just a marketing gimmick.

I was in Manila few months ago where its satellite TV (over 120 channels) did not show any glitch under bad weather. It was also cheap.

The problem with our Astro is, their service is so bad but they are so good in making you pay your bills. A day late, and you got cut off. Apart from posting the bills, they also call or SMS you as a reminder.

They are complacent. Just because nobody has even taken them to task - such as suing and dragging them to court - they take us for granted. And just because they dont have competitors, they are happy enough to monopolise the business.

The government should consider issuing another license to another provider. Let Astro feels some competition there as to wake them up. This could solve the problems!



Social Contract, Political Contract, or Hit Contract

Posted: 09 Sep 2010 07:29 AM PDT

By NURUL IZZAH ANWAR

Opinion 2010-09-09 02:14

I refer to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's reminder to all Malaysians not to question "provisions in the Constitution, particularly those related to the "social contract."

The prime minister also said, and I quote: "Please remember that it is our responsibility to care for the country for our future generations. Let us not damage what is already in good condition."

If we cannot discuss the "social contract", then can we instead discuss the "political contract", that should be built on a free and fair election supported by a functioning fourth estate, a free media?

If people cannot have reliable information, exchange opinions or even have their dissenting voices heard through a free and independent media, and vote for their legitimate representatives at all three levels of government — local, state and federal — in a free and fair manner, then what kind of "political contract" have the people be handed with?

It would be more like a "hit contract", where only the people get "hit" with state propaganda and "hit" again at the ballot box through unfair electoral process.

Therefore, I wish to invite the prime minister to participate in an open and honourable discussion on election reforms and freedom of the media, which I believe would complement and assure the success of the New Economic Model (NEM) being proposed soon by the prime minister himself as announced recently.

If we still cannot discuss or debate on our "political contract", then do tell us what can be discussed.

Finally, I humbly await the prime minister's honourable reply

[ Nurul Izzah Anwar is the MP Lembah Pantai].


Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today Lee Kuan Yew was cause of Malaysia’s racial problems,

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 07:23 AM PDT




September 14, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that racism in Malaysia was clearly the result of Singapore's short membership in the country, and not because the island was "turfed out" as suggested by the republic's founding father Lee Kuan Yew recently.

"Can we really believe that if Singapore had not been 'turfed out' Malaysia would have no racial problem?

"While Kuan Yew talks about his belief that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races, he also said that "once we are by ourselves (out of Malaysia) the Chinese become the majority," said Dr Mahathir in a posting on his blog.

In an interview with the New York Times, Lee argued that if Malaysia had accepted a multiracial base much of what had been achieved in Singapore would have also been attained in Malaysia.

Lee, Singapore's longest serving prime minister, claimed that if Singapore had not seceded from Malaysia, the country would have improved inter-racial relations and an improved holistic situation today.

"Now we have a very polarised Malaysia — Malays, Chinese and Indians in separate schools, living separate lives and not really getting on with one another. You read them. That's bad for us as close neighbours," he had said in the interview according to the transcript made available on the website of the Singapore prime minister's office.

The remarks by the two retired prime ministers come ahead of Malaysia Day on Thursday.

Singapore joined newly-independent Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963, but was subsequently expelled in 1965.

Lee's and Dr Mahathir's comments also come amid a heightened race debate in Malaysia, as a result of plans by the Najib administration to roll back some of the country's affirmative action policies favouring the Malay and Bumiputera communities.

In his blog post, Dr Mahathir pointed out that Singapore's population was made up of 75 per cent Chinese and that the community owned 95 per cent of the economy.

"It is therefore not a truly multi-racial country but a Chinese country with minority racial groups who are additionally much poorer," he claimed.

Lee had said in his interview that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races.

This, he said, had been his greatest satisfaction in helming Singapore.

"We made quite sure whatever your race, language or religion, you are an equal citizen and we'll drum that into the people and I think our Chinese understand and today we have an integrated society.

"We will not as a majority squeeze the minority because once we're by ourselves, the Chinese become the majority," he said.

Lee also took a dig at the Malaysian scenario, pointing out that the Singaporean Malays were English-educated and were no longer like the Malaysian Malays.

Dr Mahathir's stand contrasted sharply with that of Lee's. He argued in his blog post that Singapore was a country dominated by one race and not really multiracial.

"Whether the PAP admits it or not, the party has always been led and dominated by ethnic Chinese and have won elections principally because of Chinese votes. The others are not even icing on the cake.

"If Singapore is a part of Malaysia the PAP can certainly reproduce the Singapore kind of non-racial politics because together with the Malaysian Chinese, the PAP will ethnically dominate and control Malaysian politics. No dissent would be allowed and certainly no one would dare say anything about who really runs the country.

"Amnesia is permissible but trying to claim that it is because Singapore had been 'turfed out' for the present racist politics in Malaysia is simply not supported by facts of history," said Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir also asserted that there was less racial politics in Malaya before Singapore joined the federation.

"In 1955, the Malays who made up 80 per cent of the citizens gave a large number of their constituencies to the few Chinese and Indian citizens and ensured they won with strong Malay support. As a result the Alliance won 51 of the 52 seats contested.

"The Tunku then rewarded this willingness of the Chinese and Indian citizens to support the coalition concept by giving them one million unconditional citizenship. This reduced Malay majority to 60 per cent."

He claimed that it was because Lee had subsequently reneged on a promise that his PAP would not take part in politics outside the island that sparked racial tension.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first prime minister, was forced to expel Singapore because racism had taken hold, Dr Mahathir claimed.

This, Dr Mahathir suggested, led eventually to the 1969 racial riots in Kuala Lumpur.

September 14, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that racism in Malaysia was clearly the result of Singapore's short membership in the country, and not because the island was "turfed out" as suggested by the republic's founding father Lee Kuan Yew recently.

"Can we really believe that if Singapore had not been 'turfed out' Malaysia would have no racial problem?

"While Kuan Yew talks about his belief that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races, he also said that "once we are by ourselves (out of Malaysia) the Chinese become the majority," said Dr Mahathir in a posting on his blog.

In an interview with the New York Times, Lee argued that if Malaysia had accepted a multiracial base much of what had been achieved in Singapore would have also been attained in Malaysia.

Lee, Singapore's longest serving prime minister, claimed that if Singapore had not seceded from Malaysia, the country would have improved inter-racial relations and an improved holistic situation today.

"Now we have a very polarised Malaysia — Malays, Chinese and Indians in separate schools, living separate lives and not really getting on with one another. You read them. That's bad for us as close neighbours," he had said in the interview according to the transcript made available on the website of the Singapore prime minister's office.

The remarks by the two retired prime ministers come ahead of Malaysia Day on Thursday.

Singapore joined newly-independent Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963, but was subsequently expelled in 1965.

Lee's and Dr Mahathir's comments also come amid a heightened race debate in Malaysia, as a result of plans by the Najib administration to roll back some of the country's affirmative action policies favouring the Malay and Bumiputera communities.

In his blog post, Dr Mahathir pointed out that Singapore's population was made up of 75 per cent Chinese and that the community owned 95 per cent of the economy.

"It is therefore not a truly multi-racial country but a Chinese country with minority racial groups who are additionally much poorer," he claimed.

Lee had said in his interview that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races.

This, he said, had been his greatest satisfaction in helming Singapore.

"We made quite sure whatever your race, language or religion, you are an equal citizen and we'll drum that into the people and I think our Chinese understand and today we have an integrated society.

"We will not as a majority squeeze the minority because once we're by ourselves, the Chinese become the majority," he said.

Lee also took a dig at the Malaysian scenario, pointing out that the Singaporean Malays were English-educated and were no longer like the Malaysian Malays.

Dr Mahathir's stand contrasted sharply with that of Lee's. He argued in his blog post that Singapore was a country dominated by one race and not really multiracial.

"Whether the PAP admits it or not, the party has always been led and dominated by ethnic Chinese and have won elections principally because of Chinese votes. The others are not even icing on the cake.

"If Singapore is a part of Malaysia the PAP can certainly reproduce the Singapore kind of non-racial politics because together with the Malaysian Chinese, the PAP will ethnically dominate and control Malaysian politics. No dissent would be allowed and certainly no one would dare say anything about who really runs the country.

"Amnesia is permissible but trying to claim that it is because Singapore had been 'turfed out' for the present racist politics in Malaysia is simply not supported by facts of history," said Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir also asserted that there was less racial politics in Malaya before Singapore joined the federation.

"In 1955, the Malays who made up 80 per cent of the citizens gave a large number of their constituencies to the few Chinese and Indian citizens and ensured they won with strong Malay support. As a result the Alliance won 51 of the 52 seats contested.

"The Tunku then rewarded this willingness of the Chinese and Indian citizens to support the coalition concept by giving them one million unconditional citizenship. This reduced Malay majority to 60 per cent."

He claimed that it was because Lee had subsequently reneged on a promise that his PAP would not take part in politics outside the island that sparked racial tension.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first prime minister, was forced to expel Singapore because racism had taken hold, Dr Mahathir claimed.

This, Dr Mahathir suggested, led eventually to the 1969 racial riots in Kuala Lumpur.

Living in souless SINGAPORE is like working in a multi-national incorporated as a share holder but not stake holder

By Magick River
edited by taxidriver
A 45-minute documentary on Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore and one of the world's remaining political strongmen. The film was seized by government officials (on orders of the home ministry) when it premiered at a private screening on 17 May 2008. Directed by Seelan Palay.
Yesterday I viewed this well-researched and passionately produced doco on Singapore's Mr Hyde side, and figured it was high time Malaysians took a good hard look at the unwholesome aspects of Singapore's toy-townish tinsel and glitter image – especially those who express envy when comparing per capita incomes.
Living in souless SINGAPORE is like working in a multi-national
incorporated as a share holder but not stake holder you are in a army camp Values like the ability of its citizens to think and feel and act freely and independently – rather than behaving like well-disciplined ants in a high-rise, multi-tiered, 24/7-monitored colony. Indeed, anyone who has seen The Matrix will easily identify with the predicament of the protagonist Neo after he swallows the Red Pill and begins to see beyond the glossy façade of life in the gigantic discount emporium that represents Singapore's public image.
While Lee Kuan Yew's 31-year iron-fisted authoritarian rule – which, in truth, never ended since he created an advisory post for himself as "Minister Mentor" to the government – facilitated a prosperous, efficiently managed city-state whose dynamic economic growth far outshines all its Asean counterparts, Singapore's impressive status as a developed nation has been attained at an extremely high cost to other far more important human values.
No matter what, Indians never get clobbered to deah under police custody in singapore.
They are merely sued for libel, made bankrupt and had to pay dMalaysia and Singapore, same regime under different clothing. False Democracy, abuse of States resource and Autocratic. There are so many unsung heroes images in the millions and had to work to death to pay for it.
If I am not mistaken, Lee Kuan Yew holds the World Record for arbitary political detention without trial or merits – that of Chia Thye Poh for more than 30 years (37?)
Congratulations Lee Kuan Yew, Menteri Supremo of Singapore.
The Charade Of Meritocracy
By Dr.Michael D. Barr
"The legitimacy of the Singaporean government is predicated on the idea of a meritocratic technocracy. A tiny number of career civil servants play a leading role in setting policy within their ministries and other government-linked bureaucracies, leading both an elite corps of senior bureaucrats, and a much larger group of ordinary civil servants. Virtually all of the elite members of this hierarchy are "scholars," which in Singapore parlance means they won competitive, bonded government scholarships—the established route into the country's elite.
Scholars not only lead the Administrative Service, but also the military's officer corps, as well as the executive ranks of statutory boards and government-linked companies (GLCs). Movement between these four groups is fluid, with even the military officers routinely doing stints in the civilian civil service. Together with their political masters, most of whom are also scholars, they make up the software for the entity commonly known as "Singapore Inc."—a labyrinth of GLCs, statutory boards and ministries that own or manage around 60% of Singapore's economy.
The basis of the scholars' mandate to govern is not merely their performance on the job, but also the integrity of the process that selected them. The educational system is designed to cultivate competition, requiring top students to prove themselves every step of the way. Singapore's schools first stream students into elite classes after Primary 3 and 4. They then compete for entry into special secondary schools and junior colleges, before vying for government and government-linked scholarships to attend the most prestigious universities around the world.
These scholarships typically require several years of government service after graduation, and the scholars are drafted into the Administrative Service, the officer corps of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), or the career track of a statutory board or GLC. The government insists that all Singaporeans have equal opportunities to excel in the system, and that everyone who has made it to the top did so purely by academic talent and hard work. Other factors such as gender, socioeconomic background and race supposedly play no more than a marginal role, if they are acknowledged as factors at all.
On the point of race, the Singapore government has long prided itself on having instituted a system of multiracialism that fosters cultural diversity under an umbrella of national unity. This is explicitly supposed to protect the 23% of the population who belong to minority races (mainly ethnic Malays and Indians) from discrimination by the Chinese majority.
But this system conceals several unacknowledged agendas. In our forthcoming book, Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project, Zlatko Skrbiš and I present evidence that the playing field is hardly level. In fact, Singapore's system of promotion disguises and even facilitates tremendous biases against women, the poor and non-Chinese. Singapore's administrative and its political elites—especially the younger ones who have come through school in the last 20 or so years—are not the cream of Singapore's talent as they claim, but are merely a dominant social class, resting on systemic biases to perpetuate regime regeneration based on gender, class and race.
At the peak of the system is the network of prestigious government scholarships. Since independence in 1965, the technique of using government scholarships to recruit cohorts of scholars into the administrative and ruling elite has moved from the periphery of Singaporean society to center stage. Even before independence, a makeshift system of government and Colombo Plan scholarships sent a few outstanding scholars overseas before putting them into government service, including most notably former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. Yet as late as 1975 this system had contributed only two out of 14 members of Singapore's cabinet. Even by 1985, only four out of 12 cabinet ministers were former government scholars.
By 1994, however, the situation had changed beyond recognition, with eight out of 14 cabinet ministers being ex-scholars, including Prime Minister Goh. By 2005 there were 12 ex-scholars in a Cabinet of 19. Of these, five had been SAF scholars, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. A perusal of the upper echelons of the ruling elite taken more broadly tells a similar story. In 1994, 12 of the 17 permanent secretaries were scholars, as were 137 of the 210 in the administrative-officer class of the Administrative Service.
The government scholarship system claims to act as a meritocratic sieve—the just reward for young adults with talent and academic dedication. If there is a racial or other bias in the outcomes, then this can only be the result of the uneven distribution of talent and academic application in the community. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong put it when he spoke on national television in May 2005, "We are a multiracial society. We must have tolerance, harmony. … And you must have meritocracy … so everybody feels it is fair…." His father, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, was making the same point when, in 1989, he told Singapore's Malay community that they "must learn to compete with everyone else" in the education system.
Yet if Singapore's meritocracy is truly a level playing field, as the Lees assert, then the Chinese must be much smarter and harder working than the minority Indians and Malays. Consider the distribution of the top jobs in various arms of the Singapore government service in the 1990s (based on research conducted by Ross Worthington in the early 2000s):
• Of the top 30 GLCs only two (6.7%) were chaired by non-Chinese in 1991 (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay).
• Of the 38 people who were represented on the most GLC boards in 1998, only two (5.3%) were non-Chinese (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay).
• Of the 78 "core people" on statutory boards and GLCs in 1998, seven (9%) were non-Chinese (and one of the non-Chinese was a Malay).
A similar outcome is revealed in the pattern of government scholarships awarded after matriculation from school. Of the 200 winners of Singapore's most prestigious scholarship, the President's Scholarship, from 1966-2005 only 14 (6.4%) were not Chinese. But this was not a consistent proportion throughout the period. If we take 1980 as the divider, we find that there were 10 non-Chinese President's Scholars out of 114 from 1966-80, or 8%, but in the period from 1981-2005 this figure had dropped to four out of 106, or 3.8%. Since independence, the President's Scholarship has been awarded to only one Malay, in 1968. There has been only one non-Chinese President's Scholar in the 18 years from 1987 to 2005 (a boy called Mikail Kalimuddin) and he is actually half Chinese, studied in Chinese schools (Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College), and took the Higher Chinese course as his mother tongue. If we broaden our focus to encompass broader constructions of ethnicity, we find that since independence, the President's Scholarship has been won by only two Muslims (1968 and 2005).
If we consider Singapore's second-ranked scholarship—the Ministry of Defence's Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship (SAFOS)—we find a comparable pattern. The Ministry of Defence did not respond to my request for a list of recipients of SAF scholarships, but using newspaper accounts and information provided by the Ministry of Defence Scholarship Centre and Public Service Commission Scholarship Centre Web sites, I was able to identify 140 (56%) of the 250 SAFOS winners up to 2005.
Although only indicative, this table clearly suggests the Chinese dominance in SAFOS stakes: 98% of SAFOS winners in this sample were Chinese, and about 2% were non-Chinese (counting Mikail Kalimuddin in 2005 as non-Chinese). Furthermore I found not a single Malay recipient and only one Muslim winner (Mikail Kalimuddin). A similar picture emerges in the lower status Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship winners: 71 (25.6%) of 277 (as of late 2005) scholars identified, with 69 (97%) Chinese winners to only two non-Chinese—though there was a Malay recipient in 2004, and one reliable scholar maintains that there have been others.
The position of the non-Chinese in the educational stakes has clearly deteriorated since the beginning of the 1980s. According to the logic of meritocracy, that means the Chinese have been getting smarter, at least compared to the non-Chinese.
Yet the selection of scholars does not depend purely on objective results like exam scores. In the internal processes of awarding scholarships after matriculation results are released, there are plenty of opportunities to exercise subtle forms of discrimination. Extracurricular activities (as recorded in one's school record), "character" and performance in an interview are also considered. This makes the selection process much more subjective than one would expect in a system that claims to be a meritocracy, and it creates ample opportunity for racial and other prejudices to operate with relative freedom.
Is there evidence that such biases operate at this level? Unsurprisingly, the answer to this question is "yes." Take for instance a 2004 promotional supplement in the country's main newspaper used to recruit applicants for scholarships. The advertorial articles accompanying the paid advertisements featured only one non-Chinese scholar (a Malay on a lowly "local" scholarship) amongst 28 Chinese on prestigious overseas scholarships. Even more disturbing for what they reveal about the prejudices of those offering the scholarships were the paid advertisements placed by government ministries, statutory boards and GLCs. Of the 30 scholars who were both prominent and can be racially identified by their photographs or their names without any doubt as to accuracy, every one of them was Chinese. This leaves not a shadow of a doubt that those people granting government and government-linked scholarships presume that the vast majority of high-level winners will be Chinese.
The absence of Malays from the SAFOS scholarships and their near-absence from the SAF Merit Scholarships deserves special mention because this is an extension of discrimination against the admission of Malays into senior and sensitive positions in the SAF that is officially sanctioned. The discrimination against Malays has been discussed in parliament and the media, and is justified by the assertion that the loyalty of Malays cannot be assumed, both because they are Muslim and because they have a racial and ethnic affinity with the Malays in Malaysia and Indonesia. Current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has historically been a vocal defender of this policy.
This discrimination hits Malay men hard, first because it deprives many of promising careers in the army, and second—and more pertinent for our study of the elite—it all but completely excludes potentially high-flying Malays of a chance of entering the scholar class through the SAF. A Chinese woman has a much better chance of winning an SAF scholarship than a Malay man.
Yet even before the scholarship stage, the education system has stacked the deck in favor of Chinese, starting in preschool. Here is the heart of Singapore's systemic discrimination against non-Chinese. Since the end of the 1970s, the principles of "meritocracy" and "multiracialism" have been subverted by a form of government-driven Chinese chauvinism that has marginalized the minorities. It was not known to the public at the time, but as early as 1978, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had begun referring to Singapore as a "Confucian society" in his dealings with foreign dignitaries. This proved to be the beginning of a shift from his record as a defender of a communally neutral form of multiracialism toward a policy of actively promoting a Chinese-dominated Singapore.
The early outward signs of the Sinicization program were the privileging of Chinese education, Chinese language and selectively chosen "Chinese values" in an overt and successful effort to create a Mandarin- and English-speaking elite who would dominate public life. Two of the most important planks of this campaign were decided in 1979: the annual "Speak Mandarin Campaign" and the decision to preserve and foster a collection of elite Chinese-medium schools, known as Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools.
The SAP schools are explicitly designed to have a Chinese ambience, right down to Chinese gardens, windows shaped like plum blossoms, Chinese orchestra and drama, and exchange programs with mainland China and Taiwan. Over the years the children in SAP schools have been given multiple advantages over those in ordinary schools, including exclusive preschool programs and special consideration for preuniversity scholarships.
For instance, in the early 1980s, when there was a serious shortage of graduate English teachers in schools, the Ministry of Education ensured there were enough allocated to SAP schools "to help improve standards of English among the Chinese-medium students, in the hope that they will be able to make it to university"—a target brought closer by the granting of two O-level bonus points exclusively to SAP school students when they applied to enter junior college. By contrast, neither Indians nor Malays received any special help, let alone schools of their own to address their special needs. They were not only left to fend for themselves, but were sometimes subjected to wanton neglect: inadequately trained teachers, substandard facilities and resources and the "knowledge" that they are not as good as the Chinese.
This account of discrimination against non-Chinese might lead the reader to assume that the quarter of Singaporeans who are not Chinese must form a festering and perhaps even revolutionary mass of resentment. Such an assumption would, however, be a long way from the mark. Non-Chinese might be largely excluded from the highest levels of the administrative elite, but just below these rarefied heights there plenty of positions open to intelligent and hardworking non-Chinese—certainly enough to ensure that non-Chinese communities have much to gain by enthusiastically buying into the system, even after the glass ceilings and racial barriers are taken into account. There are many grievances and resentments in these levels of society but the grievances are muted and balanced by an appreciation of the relative comforts and prosperity they enjoy. For most, any tendency to complain is subdued also by knowledge that it could be worse, and the widespread assumption among members of minority communities that it will be if they seriously pursue their grievances. As long as the Singapore system continues to deal such people a satisfactory hand, if not a fair one, it should be able to cope with some quiet rumblings in the ranks.
While this discrimination is not sparking a reaction that threatens the regime in the short term, the resulting injustices are certainly undermining the myth that the regime operates on meritocratic principles. This is worrying in the longer term because this myth, along with the capacity to deliver peace and prosperity, is one of the primary rationales by which Singaporeans reluctantly accept the many unpopular aspects of the regime, such as the lack of freedom and democracy, the intrusion of government into most aspects of private life, the pressure-cooker lifestyle and the high cost of living.
The rhetoric of meritocracy has given Singaporeans the consolation of believing that their ruling elite are the best of the best and can therefore be trusted almost blindly on important matters, even if they are highhanded and lack the common touch. As this illusion gradually falls away—and today it is already heavily undermined—the trust that Singaporeans have for their government is becoming increasingly qualified. It remains to be seen how long the regime can avert the logical consequences of the contradictions between the myth and the reality."
Mr. Barr is a lecturer at the University of Queensland and author of Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man
Last time, politicians work for the country. Now politicians work for the money. What would happen when he die? This is more interesting



Mariam Mokhtar Power is the glue of politics The universal greed, which now inflicts us all,

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 06:54 AM PDT

taib_sewerage_millionsPower is the glue of politics. That is why a government is expected to be in array and opposition generally in disarray. Ideology is a fickle custodian of unity in an age of convenience. Its absence has eliminated the difference between single-party rule and coalition government. Both are held together by individual or sectarian self-interest, which is why they last. Ideology is a differentiator; it makes a partnership untenable even if the partners consider it sustainable. Sentiment is irrelevant to any political marriage. This is true of all democracies where coalitions become necessary. Politicians live for power; why would they invite a premature death?

Before fixing responsibilities let's see how Guru Rabindranath Tagore had identified and warned us about the reasons giving birth to corruption and its devastating fallout way back in 1922 in 'The Robbery of the Soil":…Like mountains, large fortunes and the enjoyments of luxury are also high walls of segregations; they produce worst division in society than any physical barriers.
The universal greed, which now inflicts us all, is the cause of every kind of meanness, of cruelty and of lies in politics, commerce, society and human life…when a passion like greed breaks loose from the fence of social control it acts like that fire, feeding upon the life of society. The end is annihilation. It has been the object of the spiritual training of man to fight those passions that are anti-social and keep them chained. But abnormal temptations have set them free and they are fiercely devouring all that is affording them fuel… mother earth has enough for healthy appetite of its children and something extra for rare cases of abnormality. But she does not have sufficient for sudden growth of a whole world of spoiled and pampered children… In a society where greed of an individual or a group is allowed to grow uncontrolled, and is encouraged or applauded by the populace, democracy cannot be truly realised… then democracy becomes an elephant whose purpose in life is to give joy ride to the clever and rich… organs of information, through which opinions are manufactured, and machinery of administration, are manipulated by a prosperous few."
True. Greed once considered to be a vice is now a virtue. Earlier a stigma, corruption has now been institutionalised. Success is important not means. Just scratch any government department and you would uncover several scams. From distribution of foodgrains to providing flood/drought relief and from purchase of a pin to an aeroplane, even coffins for army — no deal is complete without kickbacks. After independence, the rate of scam was one or two in a decade. The frequency increased in 70-80s. After 90s scams have became a routine




Mariam Mokhtar
Monday, 13 September 2010 19:23

COMMENT All politicians try to keep secrets from the electorate as they attempt to achieve public office. Generous gifts, vote-rigging, intimidation, free food and beer, or the company of girls have been successfully kept away from the public eye, by more than one politician.

Keeping your relatives' secrets locked away is a much harder exercise. Nevertheless, Sarawak Report has unearthed many of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud's dodgy deals and property concerns overseas.

Taib probably believed that his minions would have covered his tracks better and that little information was available, to further embarrass him.

He was wrong.

Either his stooges are bad at keeping people in the dark or else the sleuths are getting better.

Sarawak Report has uncovered a RM530 million contract for Kuching's new sewerage system. It was awarded in 2008 to a consortium of three companies which included Kumpulan Construction, headed by Taib's sister, Raziah Mahmud.

Sarawak Report claims that both Raziah and Taib's brother, Onn, own 87.5 percent of the shares in the company.

Within a month of the government contract being awarded to the consortium of Kumpulan Construction, Nishimatsu Construction and Hock Seng Lee Bhd (HSL), it was declared that the project had been sub-contracted to HSL alone for RM452 million.

Simple arithmetic and reasoning would show that the unaccounted RM78 million would have been left to the two companies, Kumpulan and Nishimatsu.

Last year, Nishimatsu Construction made headlines news when the Japanese authorities arrested its chairman for operating a one billion Yen slush fund. He admitted that this money was for bribes to gain foreign contracts and to make illegal political donations. This information led to the resignation of the Japanese opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa.

So what deal was struck in Sarawak between this scandal-ridden company and Taib and Raziah?

The Kuching Sewerage project was one of several large-scale public construction projects that benefitted Taib's family. The others include the 40,000 seat outdoor stadium at Petra Jaya worth RM105 million and The Senari Deepsea Port for RM160 million.

Prior to Raziah's takeover of Kumpulan in June 1986, the company was dormant. The scandalous awarding of contracts is shocking but not as devastating to know that these major ventures only record minimal profits. Does Raziah's expertise extend to 'sewerage' matters? Is the money being siphoned away elsewhere?

In 1991, the Register of Companies showed that a turnover of RM8.5 million produced only RM249,474 in profits and a turnover of RM5,811,443 made only RM23,451. For five years between 1986 and 1998 the company actually registered a loss for tax purposes.

Whilst Raziah enjoys the trappings of a corporate existence, Sarawak's poor have to battle floods, water-borne disease and other debilitating factors that a flood brings.

Taib once allegedly said that if the Sarawak people were 'disciplined and focused, Sarawak can be the richest state by 2030.'

Is he unaware that he is responsible for much of Sarawak's woes? With his uncle's help, he dragged himself out of poverty but built himself a fortune by plundering a country that should have boomed with its vast resources of oil and timber.

Taib is a formidable presence in Sarawak business and nothing happens without his approval. Nevertheless, he appears to reward his family well and sister, Raziah, enjoys her brotherly affection.

Thus far, there have been no investigations by the MACC into Taib and his allegedly dodgy deals. So why bother with a democratic form of governance in Sarawak?

Taib craves power and more wealth. He wants to keep it within his family. Maybe it's time Sarawak dispensed with the pretence and just called itself a fiefdom.



The 47 Minutes Of Silence

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 06:54 AM PDT

A quick one, folks.

There has been a call for Malaysians to observe a moment of silence in reflection of what has happened in our nation.

It is held tomorrow and details are as follows:

Date: 15.9.2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 11pm
Venue: KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
Attire: A black shirt/T-Shirt

The silence is going to last for 47 minutes - to mark the number of years Malaysia has come into being.

To avoid the temptation to talk, please bring along material for reading/writing/drawing etc. It is after all going to be 47 minutes.

Do encourage family members and friends to attend.


MB Khalid also wants Anwar-Azizah combo

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 03:39 AM PDT

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has joined forces with a newly formed group of Selangor PKR grassroots leaders in calling for Anwar Ibrahim to be made party president and incumbent president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as his deputy. Khalid made his stand known when he attended a function in Klang this morning, organised by the group which calls itself the Majlis Muafakat Kepimpinan Keadilan Selangor (Selangor Keadilan Leadership Consensus Council). "I am part of it," said Khalid to reporters during a press conference after the function. The group had emerged last week, with its leaders mostly comprising of party leaders at the divisional level advocating for Anwar and Wan Azizah to fill the top two posts.
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马华与华团及华商2011财政预算案交流会 只要实行4条件 华裔对政府有信心

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 06:25 AM PDT

■ 蔡细历主持马华与华裔商会2011年财政预算案交流会,收集华商对财政预算案的意见以提呈政府,左起为蔡文洲、梁家兴、陈耀星、江作汉、蔡细历,冯镇安及曹智雄。

(吉隆坡14日讯)华团与华商认为,华裔对政府有信心,只要政府实行透明、民主政策及减少贪污滥权及不随意更改决定。

马华总会长拿督斯里蔡细历指出,华团与华商也希望政府能够节约开支,有效控制政府开支。

"很多人认为政府开支不断增长,公务员人数的增加也对政府开支造成负担,所以要谨慎处理政府开支,以确保开销与收支平衡。"

蔡细历今日率马华内阁部长与华裔商会代表就2011年国家财政预算案进行逾两个小时的交流会后,在记者会上发表谈话。

冀开放更多领域

至于30%土著股权在新财政预算案是否有新突破时,他表示,华裔商会是希望政府在新财政预算案中,能够开放更多领域及行业。至于土著股权问题则有待首相提呈国会后才知道。

他指出,在交流会上,华裔商会提出多项意见,其中建议政府进一步开放经济领域,以便经济增长率可达致6%,达到高收入国目标。

他表示,政府在之前已经鉴定12个主要经济领域,华裔商会认为政府应该继续开放经济领域,以达致每年6%成长率的目标。

他说,华裔商会也支持首相实行政府工程公开招标的制度,除了国家治安、专业技术化的工程外。

各领域仍需要外劳

他指出,华裔商会也提到外劳课题,他们承认我国有很多外劳,但是各领域仍需要外劳,因此政府不能立即冻结聘请外劳。同时,他们也呼吁调低外劳人头税,以减少雇主的负担。

在消费税方面,他表示,很多工业支持政府实行消费税,但2%至3%是最合理的消费税率。他们也呼吁政府给时间民众适应政策,并教育民众了解消费税。

他指出,马华将会集合所有人的意见,并草拟一份备忘录于明日提呈给首相。

今日共有超过40名华裔商会代表,针对2011年国家财政预算案提供意见及互相交流。出席者包括房屋及地方政府部长拿督曹智雄、财政部副部长拿督林祥才、青体部长颜炳寿、农业部副部长蔡智勇、马华经济局主任丹斯里冯镇安、交通部长拿督斯里江作汉。

出席的商团代表包括,华总、大马工商联合会、大马华人行业社团、大马猪肉商公会、大马禽畜业联合总会、八大华青、中小型工业、的士业者、小贩公会及其他华团。

光华电子新闻 14-09-2010


Time ripe to push hard for equal rights for all Malaysians

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 05:34 PM PDT

From Subash, via e-mail

I refer to the letter 'Finally, Mahathir concedes he screwed the merit system'. Non-Malays have been discriminated against in education for over 40 years.

Each time non-Malays ask for a fair education system, the government, in denial state, said that the current system is fair and nothing needs to be changed.

Some Umno minister even threatened the non-Malays and told them not to question the special right of the Malays and the so called social contract.

Now the father of all racism in our country himself finally admitted, he has done 40 years long injustices in all aspect to Non-Malay.

It is the time to push hard for equal rights for all Malaysians. We desperately need change, if Umno is not prepared for the change , we must throw this racist regime out in next GE.

All non-Malays and Malays should unite to throw out this racist regime. Last month, Human Rights Party submitted 2,000 over bright Indians students denied  every avenue for  higher education and scholarship but the education minister does not seem to care.

The worst hit is the Indian community who for over 40 years have been discriminated against in higher education because 70 percent are poor  and cannot afford to spend for their children.

Read:

Finally, Mahathir concedes he screwed the merit system


Wildlife crime should be dealt with seriously

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 05:32 PM PDT

From SM Mohd Idris, via e-mail

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is deeply  perturbed to learn that Malaysia's notorious wildlife trafficker has been let off with a very light sentence.  

This is indeed disturbing because the penalties for wildlife crime should reflect the gravity of the crime.

Unfortunately, the judiciary is either unaware of the scope of wildlife crime or they do not appear to view wildlife crime as a top priority.

Illegal wildlife trafficking rarely receives the same type of treatment as trade in other contraband or in drug smuggling.

Increasing the severity of penalties for wildlife trafficking and jail sentences to the level of those imposed for other types of illegal trafficking would send the message that governments view wildlife trafficking as a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

With the unwillingness of the court and legal officials in handing down  strict and effective deterrents  to a globally known and convicted wildlife trafficker, what hope does any wildlife have in the country?

It sends the message that states will not punish those involved in this illegal trade.

If the government is sincere  in viewing wildlife crime as a serious violation of the law, extradition clauses should also be included in the national legislation to prosecute organized criminals operating across national borders.

In the meantime, SAM looks forward to more answers to an extensive probe conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment into the illegal activities of a reptile enthusiast who has taken his hobby to a criminal level.

No stones must be left unturned in the investigation which should include raid into his premises, check into his large network trade, syndicates employed,  underground routes, variety of methods used to deceive enforcement authorities, courier connection  and his close connection with one of the high ranking officers from the Wildlife Department.

SAM would also specifically recommend that licences and special permits granted to Wong, his zoos, family members and individuals linked to him be revoked to stop the risk of furthering his illegal activities under the guise of legal businesses still under his control.

We are also equally aware of increasing  trends in wildlife crimes, including traffickers using private zoos and captive breeding facilities and pet shops as laundering facilities.

We need the authorities, right from the ministers down to enforcement officers and others to play the role they have been entrusted with.

As part of the judiciary's commitment to tackle organised poaching and trafficking, necessary steps must be taken to combat a growing wildlife traffickers through  stringent penalties for wildlife crime and to find avenues that would protect the nation's wildlife.

The writer is the president of SAM

Read:

Prosecution officials appeal 'Lizard King' sentence

Constricted by boas – the fall of Anson Wong?


Abdul Ghani menyangkal tuduhan siapa?

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 05:19 PM PDT

Dari Er Teck Hwa, via-email

Ketika dalam rumah terbuka sambutan Hari Raya pada Sept 12 di Sungai Mati, Menteri Beasr Johor Abdul Ghani Othman telah menyatakan bahawa tapak baru untuk mengantikan kawasan pelupusan sampah Bukit Bakri telah dikenapasti. Ia terletak di Singkang, Pagoh.

Beliau juga menberikan jaminan bahawa tapak pelupusan sampah di Bukit Bakri akan dipindahkan dan ditutup secara berperingkat dalam tempoh masa dua tahun. Selain itu, beliau juga menyangkal laporan DAP dimana kerajaan tidak menyediakan lokasi baru untuk tapak pelupusan sampah
tersebut.

Kontroversi isu tapak pelupusan sampah Bukit Bakri bukan dimulakan oleh pihak lain tetapi oleh Abdul Ghani sendiri .

Pada March 17 dan March 29, 2010, saya pernah menujukan isu tersebut kepada kerajaan persekutuan ketika sesi Perbahasan Usul Menjunjung Kasih Diraja. Jawapan yang diterima adalah kawasan pelupusan sampah Bukit Bakri akan beroperasi dua atau tiga tahun lagi.

Walaubagaimanapun, pada April 1,2010, Abdul Ghani telah menyatakan bahawa kawasan pelupusan sampah tersebut akan ditutup secara berperingkat semasa beliau memberi ucapan di Dewan Umum Bukit Bakri. Beliau berkata tapak tersebut akan ditutup secara berperingkat bermula dari Jun 2010 sehingga Jun tahun hadapan iaitu sehingga kawasan pelupusan sampah baru di Singkang, Pagoh beroperasi sepenuhnya.

Pada Julai 5,2010, saya telah mengemukakan soalan tambahan saya kepada kementerian berkenaan ketika sesi jawab lisan dalam Parlimen. Soalannya adalah berkenaan dengan masalah kawasan pelupusan sampah Bukit Bakri.

Malangnya, timbalan menteri Lajim Ukin seolah-olah mengelak daripada menjawab soalan saya dan hanya menyatakan bahawa laporan impak persekitaran (EIA) mengenai tapak baru masih belum diselesaikan maka operasi tapak pelupusan sekarang tidak boleh ditamatkan.

Pada Julai 6,2010, Timbalan Perdana Menteri serta Ahli Parlimen Pagoh Muhyiddin Yassin berkata, pelan mendirikan tapak pelupusan sampah baru di Singkang, Pagoh untuk mengantikan tapak lama di Bukit Bakri masih belum dikenalpasti.

Hal ini jelas menunjukan kewujudan masalah komunikasi di antara kerajaan negeri Johor dan Kerajaan Persekutuan.

Pertama sekali, Abdul Ghani pernah menyatakan bahawa tapak pelupusan sampah Bukit Bakri akan ditutup sepenuhnya pada bulan Jun 2011, tetapi kerajaan Persekutuan pula menyatakan bahawa pelan terebut mungkin mengambil masa dua hingga tiga tahun lagi. Saya pernah mengemukakan
soalan saya kepada timbalan menteri Lajim Ukin ketika di koridor parlimen. Walaupun tidak direkod secara rasmi, soalan saya adalah berkenaan dengan perbezaan tarikh tutup yang ditetapkan oleh kerajaan negeri dan kerajaan pusat, beliau memberitahu saya supaya merujuk kepada kenyataan yang diberikan oleh Menteri Besar Johor, iaitu tapak pelupusan sampah tersebut akan ditutup pada bulan Jun 2011.

Namun begitu, ketika dalam rumah terbukanya, Abdul Ghani telah menyatakan bahawa tapak pelupusan sampah tersebut ditutup dalam tempoh masa dua tahun lagi. Hal ini telah bertentangan dengan kenyataan beliau sebelum ini dimana tapak itu akan ditutup pada bulan Jun 2011.

Kedua, pada Julai 6, 2010, Muhyiddin Yassin pernah menyatakan pelan pemindahan tersebut masih belum diputuskan lagi tetapi pada September 12, 2010, Abdul Ghani telah menyatakan tapak baru telah dikenalpasti, jadi siapa yang jujur dalam perkara ini?

Kini, Abdul Ghani telah menyangkal laporan DAP bahawa kerajaan tidak menyediakan tapak baru untuk kawasan pelupusan sampah tersebut dan menurutnya itu adalah tidak benar. Saya tidak pernah meragui pelan pemindahan tersebut dalam kenyataan saya kerana ia telah diperuntukkan
dalam Rancangan 10 tahun daerah Muar, tetapi apa yang dipertikaikan oleh saya adalah jadual waktu pemindahan tapak pelupusan sampah tersebut.

Sebenarnya apa yang disangkal oleh Abdul Ghani adalah kenyaatan yang telah dikeluarkan oleh Muhyiddin Yassin pada Julai 6, 2010 iaitu Muhyiddin Yassin telah menyatakan bahawa pelan tersebut masih belum diputuskan lagi.

Akhir sekali, Abdul Ghani harus menjelaskan kepada penduduk di Bukit Bakri tentang kesahihan janji yang dikeluarkannya pada April 1, 2010? Dan sekiranya janji itu adalah benar, sejak bila tempoh masa dua tahun itu bermula? Adakah selepas laporan impak persekitaran (EIA)
dikeluarkan ataupun selepas tarikh pengumuman bahawa tapak pelupusan akan ditutup secara berperingkat pada Jun 2010?

Penulis adalah ahli parlimen Bakri


Change & Progress in a Demoracy

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 12:26 AM PDT

I wish to write on the real essence of what we are trying to do in the modern and enlightened world when we deal with the idea of democracy.

In a nutshell, when we talk about democracy, we are really thinking about change. Why?

The truth is that we sentient human beings are often ignorant - about where we are, where others are, and where everything will be - so we must as well own up to our inherent lack of knowledge and wisdom - not matter how much we pretend to think.

The idea of democracy is a fine ideal - of freedom of speech and action when everybody is given the leeway to do or say whatever they like in order to be happy - which we should all strive to achieve but which we know we can never really get. It sounds a bit like heaven and hell - not getting quite the real stuff.

In practice, everything collapses to majority rule, which gives rise to the tyranny of the majority. On the other hand, a small elite must control the majority, which thus give rise to apartheid or totalitarianism. In either case, the outcome really depends on the wisdom and kindness of those in power who have the right to determine who should live and die, and who should be comfortable and who should not be.

In politics, the Greek democratic ideal is reduced to the Roman republicanism which as we know through history can descend further to the monarchy of Caesar. After Caesar, tyrants and chaos.

The real uniqueness of the American Constitution is the limitation of the term of the president. A fool or a wise man can do damage or good for a period of eight years to a nation, and no more. Let the next best person try his hand to do something for the nation. There is nothing like variety.

It is this struggle for change that the freedom of speech has a critical role to play in the nation - that every man and woman who thinks he or she is good enough can stand up and argue his or her case. He or her should have a different point of view of how things should be run, no matter how good or bad, so long as the majority agree to suffer by him or her.

Without the flexibility for the change of the government or the leadership of the nation, freedom of speech is nothing but a beautiful decorative flower that only looks nice and nothing more. There is nothing to talk about, in that case.

By the same token, it is only that the last or previous leaders of the nation, having had their turn to do good, should now keep quiet and let the new prevailing leader do his or her job.

I think its sheer hypocrisy and deep disrespect for old leaders to think that they know all the answers to the problems of the nation when they already have had their chance to ruin it roundly, by being misguided in their policies when they were in power.

It is a fact that this nation has already had tried its favourite policies which have had their fair share of successes and failures. We have been there, and done that. Let us move on and try something new, something different. It may not be the perfect solution, but at least there are other parts of the nation which deserves some encouragement as well, if not anything, but to see whether that sector is still there or alive.

Furthermore, the world has also changed, and if we keep getting pestered by the same old arguments by the same old people, then I don't thing that we are giving the younger generations a fair chance to engineer their own future. The demons of the older generations cannot be inherited by the younger generations.

If indeed this nation wants to transform itself, restructure its society and obliterate race from the economy, then I think the educated young of all races should be conscripted to labour for the nation through their own private and individual interests.

It is foolhardy for any leadership to think that public largesse can be bestowed on private individuals in the hope they will repay the public by huge acts of great success and great generosity. We all know that what goes from the public purse to private pockets will only stay in private pockets provided those pockets do not have holes in them.

I do not necessarily think that the proposals of the current government are perfect and faultless. We do not know. Some of us may not like some of them. The harsh reality is the nearly impossibility to obtain a consensus in public matters. There also must be efforts to scrutinise the policy proposals. But once the time for planning is over and the time for implementation comes, we should just implement them. We shall bear the consequences and move on.

There is nothing like a rigorous debate (for new ideas to do things better. The old leadership may wish to argue that he or she also has a view as a member of the public. Fair enough, then say something new.)


Government pensioners left high and dry

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 03:52 PM PDT

From A retired grandfather, via e-mail

Most pensioners like me were looking forward to the Hari Raya bonus announced by the government. I was relying on it to give duit raya to my grandchildren. The expenses for Ramadhan month has simply escalated, even with a very pared down budget. Every item is just more expensive.

I went expectantly to my local bank to collect my bonus  on Sept 9, only to be told it was not available. I was told to check again on Sept 13, that is after Hari Raya. According to the bank they were notified by the government the bonuses would be paid on Sept 6. But it was not available even on the Sept 9.

Who is responsible for this non-payment?  Who is sleeping on the job? The Pensions Department , the Treasury or the Banks? We want answers.

The net result is that many grandfathers like me have their Hari Raya blighted by an insensitive government and its empty promises. We have had such a distasteful experience of 1Malaysia at work.

Am I expected to tell my dear grandchildren to come back for their diut raya four days after Hari Raya ?  


Power to alternative media

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 03:51 PM PDT

From GrowT5, via e-mail

I refer to your well-penned article 'In alternative media we trust'. For the pen is mightier than the sword.

Billions siphoned out of Malaysian coffers used every now and then to garner support of the ignorant folk will not put humpty-dumpty back in one piece in Parliament.

At the minimum, every concerned citizen should do their part and come together to quickly propagate the love for a progressive and just Malaysia.

Distribute such articles for a wake-up call to everyone either locally or overseas. We have no choice and now is the time for us to act in unison.

Together we trample the Umno and their associate mafias (MCA, MIC, PBS, etc.) and walk towards Putrajaya to further our main agenda: True Malaysians at heart!

Read:

In alternative media we trust


Sosilawati Lawiya & 3 others brutal murder case. Hang to death all those @#$%^&*!!!

Posted: 14 Sep 2010 07:51 AM PDT

My heart is wrenched with the extreme brutality that these @#$%^&*! Indian lawyer and his murderous henchmen had carried out the heinous murders, bludgeoned, stabbed and slaughtered the Novelle Visage millionaire, her driver, her lawyer and the CIMB bank officer!


This is the face of the brutal sadistic heartless fiend who has taken the lives of so many innocents all because of his greed and willingness to rob others of their hard earned wealth just to live a life of luxury!


'Dato' PATHMANABHAN A/L NALLIANNEN (NRIC: 690211-10-5525) - The murderous disbarred lawyer who is said to be a DAP member for life and said to have ties with Hindraf.

This is the demon in human form who is said to be responsible for the deaths of quite a number of people ranging from a South Indian millionaire who fell prey to this demon and from whom this @#$%^&*! set up a clinic for his sister, bought several farms and lands which he used as bait to snare his other victims including the Novelle Visage millionaire owner Dato Sosilawati Lawiya and consequently her driver, lawyer and bank officer.




This is the face of his lawyer brother SURENDREN A/L NALLIANNEN (NRIC:720801-10-5773) - who admitted to have burned the remains of Sosilawati to ashes.

Read more: 
ttp://www.bintulu.org/news/2010/09/14/photos-of-brothers-behind-datuk-sosilawati-lawiya-murder.php#ixzz0zVlPfOiP



Millions of Malaysians are demanding justice and asking for the courts to find this @#$%&*! and all the seven others guilty of murders most foul and sentence all these murderers to be put to death!


I'd prefer the Qisas penalty for these @#$%^&*! but knowing the Malaysian justice system's tendencies to let the perpetrators free under the flimsiest of technicalities and legal loopholes, I don't place much hope in seeing that Qisas penalties even come close to these murderers Indians from amongst the citizenry of this nation.


Don't even dream of accusing me of being a racist! Its a bloody fact that most of these murderous Indian crooks are very. very sadistic and heartless in carrying out their crimes against our Malaysian population!


Do you remember how they brutally hacked to death an Ustaz working part time as a Petronas Service Station at Gunung Lang, Kuala Kangsar, Perak?


I blogged about it here.


Indians who commit serious crimes here in Malaysia are prone to be very cruel and heartless in hacking to death their victims. They deserve to be treated likewise! 


Here's the proof of a robbery/murder that took place at a 7-11 in Ipoh, Perak:



I ask that the authorities do not screw up and let these brazen sadistic @#$%^&*! escape from the consequences of their vicious crimes!


Death to these bastards! Nothing else!


On another point, I ask that all Malaysians who do business dealings with people they have yet to really know, to take extra precautions and to employ professional armed to the teeth trained bodyguards who should have no qualms about taking out anyone who poses a threat to their employers.


Better them ~ the murderous crooks than innocent victims like the late Dato Sosilawati Lawiya, her driver, lawyer and bank officer.


Al Fatihah!


* Update : Police have found the murder weapon used in the slaughter of the 4 victims above.


This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

RPK even in exile is hounded by the authorities...

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 11:11 PM PDT

During this Merdeka season enhanced by Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, Malaysians must pause and ponder WHY CERTAIN MALAYSIANS ARE BEING HOUNDED BY THE AUTHORITIES, and THEIR FREEDOM TO SPEAK OUT ARE BEING MUZZLED.

Let's pray for Raja Petra Kamarudin and his family, at home or abroad, as they continue to be icons to all God-fearing Malaysians to stand up and be counted -- above race, religion and gender. Najib Tun Razak's 1Malaysia will remain an empty slogan if law-abiding citizens need to go abroad to "feel safe and secure". In Malaysia, the Home Ministry sometimes uses the ISA to seize Malaysians to put them in detention "to secure their security", in the words of the minister concerned; yes, he's very concerned over a journalist's safety while carrying out her duties.

I hope he shows some sincerity during this festive season of goodwill and independence! ~~ YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual, but seriously spreading the message for a better Mlaysia going into its 54th year of trying to find its own feet, quite misguided by 53 years of BN rule/misrule...
From the malaysia-chronicle.com web portal:




Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Fears about RPK's safety as attacks on Malaysia Today continue
RPK, a two-time ISA detaineenow lives in London
Malaysia Chronicle

It has been nearly a week now but the attacks against Malaysia's most popular political blog run by the controversial Raja Petra Kamaruddin are continuing unabated, raising eyebrows and concern about his safety and his family's.

"Why is there such a concerted effort to shut up RPK? What information does he have that is so 'sensitive' that some people are willing to spend a fortune to just keep it away from the Malaysian public and the world at large?" PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

"It is time to take stock of what is happening at Malaysia Today. There is more than meets the eye. We also feel concern for his safety but we hope RPK will not give up the fight because corruption is the biggest threat now. There is indeed a group of people draining huge sums from Malaysia and the rakyat are going to end up with nothing if the information is kept hidden."

Sucked dry by unparalleled corruption

With his wife Marina
Indeed, it may be silly and also futile to keep blocking Malaysia Today. Already, there are calls for RPK to start in the interim an online magazine in the style of Sarawak Report to expose all the dirt and corruption of the ruling elite.

The 60-year RPK went to school at the famous Malay College Kuala Kangsar and rubbed shoulders with many of Malaysia's leading politicians and civil servants. His network of top-level contacts in the government is vast and there is also no shortage of whistle-blowers who send tips to Malaysia Today, which has been around for 10 years now.

In the weeks leading to the attacks, RPK had begun unraveling the financial debacle at national airline MAS, supplying and explaining the details contained in a 7-page report MAS managers had lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

And when he began naming the people involved in the RM8 billion in losses racked up by former chairman Tajudin Ramli, it must have raised a huge panic in Prime Minister Najib Razak's administration.

RPK blew the whistle not only on former premier Mahathir Mohamad but also his successor Abdullah Badawi – whom Malaysians had at one time thought of as 'Mr Clean'.

Malaysia's ruling elite - Najib, Mahathir, Abdullah
RPK also exposed Najib's "new cash cow" – the national railway firm and how the PM may renege on a Letter of Intent granted by the previous administrations to China Railway Engineering Corp and extend a fresh one to China Harbor Engineering Corp. A new deal would of course imply new negotiations and new benefits for Najib. His close ties with corporate bigwig Tan Kay Hock, the boss at Johan Holdings, was also revealed.

The amounts mentioned are enormous but few Malaysians doubt RPK or think he is exaggerating. MAS' RM8 billion in losses are already on record. The staggering red ink offers a good clue as to why resource-rich Malaysia can face bankruptcy by 2019, and why the government has to go back to the masses for more money by jacking up the prices of consumer essentials.

Tajudin was chairman at MAS from 1994 to 2001. The MAS case is no less shocking than the Port Klang Free Zone financial scandal. PKFZ will be returning to the spotlight soon with several top Umno leaders due to be charged. One of them is believed for be former Selangor Mentri Besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib, with whom RPK had a run-in with in 2007.

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If That 'Mosque' ISN'T Built, This Is No Longer America

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 09:14 PM PDT

OpenMike 9/11/10
Michael Moore's daily blog

I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There's been so much that's been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don't want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that's been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:

1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I've gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a "mosque," it's going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that's already there. But to even have to assure people that "it's not going to be mosque" is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven't been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn't the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.

2. Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan! Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It's been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York's "founder," tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that's a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular -- no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:

"The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy -- a policy worthy of imitation. ...
"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens ...
"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

3. The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. Read about his past here.

4. Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.

5. I've never read a sadder headline in the New York Times than the one on the front page this past Monday: "American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?" That should make all of us so ashamed that even a single one of our fellow citizens should ever have to worry about if they "belong" here.

6. There is a McDonald's two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists.

7. During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame "the other" for their troubles. Lincoln's enemies told poor Southern whites that he was "a Catholic." FDR's opponents said he was Jewish and called him "Jewsevelt." One in five Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don't believe he was born here.

8. Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up?

9. Let's face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O'Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic). Protestants have Pat Robertson and too many to list here. The Mormons have Glenn Beck. Jews have Crazy Eddie. But we don't judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they're Methodists.

10. If I should ever, God forbid, perish in a terrorist incident, and you or some nutty group uses my death as your justification to attack or discriminate against anyone in my name, I will come back and haunt you worse than Linda Blair marrying Freddy Krueger and moving into your bedroom to spawn Chucky. John Lennon was right when he asked us to imagine a world with "nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too." I heard Deepak Chopra this week say that "God gave humans the truth, and the devil came and he said, 'Let's give it a name and call it religion.' " But John Adams said it best when he wrote a sort of letter to the future (which he called "Posterity"): "Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it." I'm guessing ol' John Adams is up there repenting nonstop right now.

Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the "mosque" moved. Enormous pressure has been put on the Imam to stop his project. We have to turn this thing around. Are we going to let the bullies and thugs win another one? Aren't you fed up by now? When would be a good time to take our country back from the haters?

I say right now. Let's each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It's a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and you can donate a dollar or ten dollars (or more) right now through a secure pay pal account by clicking here. I will personally match the first $10,000 raised (forward your PayPal receipt to webguy@michaelmoore.com). If each one of you reading this blog/email donated just a couple of dollars, that would give the center over $6 million, more than what Donald Trump has offered to buy the Imam out. C'mon everyone, let's pitch in and help those who are being debased for simply wanting to do something good. We could all make a huge statement of love on this solemn day.

I lost a co-worker on 9/11. I write this today in his memory.

"The man who speaks of the enemy / Is the enemy himself."
-- Bertolt Brecht


Everyone in M’sia is racist except certain people

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 09:10 PM PDT

Let Musa tell his story

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 12:10 PM PDT

NEW Now that Musa Hassan has exchanged his uniform for civilian clothes, he is no longer beholden to his political masters. But his job is far from over. He has one last task to complete. Musa dropped a bombshell when he spilled the beans about third-party interference in the work of the police force. So his duty to the nation is clear-cut: tell the people what transpired at Bukit Aman when he was the Inspector-General of Police. He levelled serious allegations against his former employers and he must stand in the court of public opinion or law to give his evidence. He has created a storm which will not subside until the truth is out.

However, he will not have an easy time. It is very likely he will be stopped in his track. His ex-bosses are not above resorting to dirty tricks to silence him if they have to. He may face charges of wrongdoings and may end up behind bars – and the "secrets", if any, will never be known. But one would like to believe that Musa will not buckle under pressure. He fought many criminals when he was the top gun; he must display the same level of courage to meet his new opponents who are more powerful, devious, dangerous.

A persistent question that cropped up when Musa stirred up the hornest' nest is: why now? The answer is simple: before, he must obey the government; now, he obeys his conscience. While in uniform, his sole duty was to carry out orders. He might not like what he was told to do, but his was not to argue. He might be armed but the government called the shots. Under his tenure as the top law enforcer, many unpleasant events took place for which he must take the blame. But he could not be acting on his own. Every decision must have the imprimatur of his political paymasters. Musa was a mere cog in the gigantic bureaucratic wheel.

The government may be a potent force but the "most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire". Musa is on fire now. He has hurled a thunderbolt at his former employers in the first shot of what could be a long, bruising fight. The odds are staked against him. Two powerful cousins stand in his way. Two men who could be his undoing. Two politicians who can open or close files at will. Very likely the duo will move fast to forestall the impending attacks. Especially if the former "servant" was privy to some horrible secrets. Shorn of protection, the civilian Musa can expect concentrated fire with little hope of rescue. The only insurance against unfair treatment will be the eternal vigilance of the people.

Was Musa being "ungrateful"? The implication is he should keep his trap shut because the government had been so kind to him. Every month he got his morsel of food on his table, with perks thrown in as befitted his rank. He was well taken care of. He should thank his lucky star that he got the top job. He just had to stay obedient and carry out orders on the double. No questions asked. Down the years, Musa might have exhibited some streaks of independence and might have pushed for some reforms, with little success.

But Musa is probably no angel himself. He was harshly criticised in some quarters who believed "he should never have been appointed the nation's top dog in the first place". Many remembered his dubious role in the Sodomy I trial. Others blamed him for the high crime rate. Some even discovered his purported links with the underworld. He was reportedly miffed at the decision of his boss not to renew his contract for the third time and thus turned sour. Finally, when he had to be put out to pasture, it was good riddance to a "bad cop". Now comes his explosive revelations, with all their ramifications.

The truth is hidden somewhere. Musa has drawn first blood. He must expect a rapid counter-punch from his enraged employers. The fight will be nasty: Musa will not be let off easily. He will be thoroughly discredited. His "criminal" past, if proven, will be his undoing. But if this tough crime-buster stands on solid ground, and can furnish proof that something rotten is eating into the vitals of the police force, it would at least do the country some good. At a time when the image of the law enforcers is nothing to shout about, Musa's last task will go a long way to help make the men in blue a force to be reckoned with and not despised. Musa has a story to tell. Let him tell it.


Loyalty concerns for Singapore

Posted: 13 Sep 2010 12:00 PM PDT

By Maxwell Coopers

COMMENT What is hardly unthinkable in Malaysia is debated with increasingly alacrity in Singapore. And it is nothing more than the decade-old issue of just how much immigrants is enough for a nation constrained by space and cultural compact.

There was hardly any 'relief' when the city-state's population passed 5 million this month.

And there was also any of the relief that could ordinarily have been expected whenever governments roll out tax benefits, as how Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently did when announcing monetary perks for the more than 300,000 members of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), which included regular servicemen and reservists.

News of the premier's announcement coupled with the population increase hardly soothed many of the jangled nerves that have had long festered since the large scale influx of foreigners over the years landing on the nation's shores to service the nation's complex economy and to make up for the population dearth the nation sorely lacks.

Then there was an international report that said that all like other developed states Singapore too, was grappling with urban stress.

Like a bad dream that has the nasty habit of turning true when one suddenly wakes up from a long slumber, the influx of foreigners has without question hardly been welcomed in the way it was intended to be.

And this is despite some of the best of propaganda machinery employed to counter negative perceptions of foreigners from the reining of xenophobia to avidly urging Singaporeans to accept foreigners and the diversity they bring.

As after all the city-state has always stated that as an immigrant society itself, some symmetry in kindred understanding has to be accorded to new comers.

That means not just accepting immigrants in their neighbourhoods but also in schools and workplaces etc even if some of the practices and habits of these immigrants are 'annoying' to say the least.

Singapore's overriding quest

Yet as most of have averred citizenship is rarely a zero-sum game, as some of the writers and commentators to the state-owned and operated news daily, the Straits Times have identified.

"Some Singaporeans are not sure if a PR is really with us or just riding on the coat tails of our economic prosperity. They see loyalty as mutually exclusive, that you can't be loyal to more than one country", wondered aloud Leong Chan Hoong of the nation's Institute of Policy Studies.

With citizenship come not just rights but responsibilities. And in Singapore's case national service – something of a rite of passage for most of the country's young male population - is just what bonds them together in a cohesive mould.

That 'cohesive mould' then translates to make nation building – Singapore's overriding quest - a significantly easier task than it otherwise may seem to be.

Yet there is no denying in all fairness it is a significantly serious undertaking.

That is making citizens out of people who simply have no shared experiences or shared heritages with the people they want to live with, to pledge their allegiances to nation that itself broke from Malaysia over ideological differences.

Those acrimonious moments preceding the split with Malaysia may rightly be fading, which happening as it always does, occurs at every change of the generational guard.

It is perhaps for this and many other instances that loyalty, or whatever that is stretched by its intellectual limitation that concerns about it have abounded over what constitutes Singaporeaness!

It is no secret that Singapore badly needs its people; not just any kind of people but those with both the monetary and intellectual capital to service its ever growing and complex state of affairs underpinned by an economy worth US$300billion.

The hardest task is how to convince someone with a history of shared experiences and traditions from another part pf the world, to take up citizenship and yet not remotely expect him to feel the same for his country of birth?

It is no small feat, but something which the Republic is rightly concerned about.

Maxwell Coopers is a freelance journalist based in Singapore.



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