Snippets – 21 September 2017


(We all are friends when your enemy is also my enemy. Pakatan Harapan in place of Pakatan Rakyat – they are better organised and led by experienced people in the political area but will they stick together when their individual objective clashes? Image source: The Malaysian Insight)

Hi folks, it has been sometime since I last blogged – frankly speaking, I have been spending more time at other places (some DIYs at home, updating my Facebook, watching Youtube, playing games, etc) instead of blogging. But it does not mean I have not been keeping up with the news – unfortunately there is more depressing news on where this country is heading. In fact, this particular post and the title had been on a draft mode for months and had undergone several edits so don’t be surprised if you are reading very old news here.

As the date of the next general election draws nearer, I have to say that political situation in this country have continued to get stupid, weird and illogical. The oppositions have finally decided to ditch PAS (although a lifeline still extended to PAS by PKR) and formed Pakatan Harapan in place of the crumbling Pakatan Rakyat but it still shaky alliance with PAS leaning towards more to BN than PH & threaten a 3 corner fight at the elections and the inclusion of Dr M as one of the leaders for Pakatan Harapan had not gone well with some die-hard PH supporters.

But at least, the Pakatan fellows are a bit more organised than before and with Anwar still locked up, they truly need a strong leader to kick start things and no one could it better than Dr M.

The King’s Speech

Recently, I was attracted to a speech that I heard recently – the speech by His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V in conjunction with his installation As 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong and in particular on his point on unity & good morals:-

As has been proven, people of all races professing different faiths, as well as varied cultures and lifestyles, are able to live together in peace and harmony and have mutual respect for each other.

I hope Malaysians will remain as one in maintaining unity, be tolerant, and collectively assume their responsibilities to the state, because this has been our uniqueness and source of our strength all these years.

I hope Malaysians will continue to adhere to good moral values and ethics. Be honourable, knowledgeable and respectable individuals who are aware their responsibilities to the country.

(Transcript Source)

Re-read what His Majesty have emphasised and let your mind immerse in it for a moment –

  1. Proven that people of all races professing different faiths, as well as varied cultures and lifestyles, are able to live together in peace and harmony and have mutual respect for each other.
  2. An united people of all races professing different faiths, as well as varied cultures and lifestyles has been our uniqueness and source of our strength all these years.

In this country, more often people are divided either based on race or religion and on rare occasion, both race and religion (read Dr M’s – Kafirkah Saya?). This needs to change or we will lose Malaysia as we know it.

That is why I trust that it is a timely advice from His Majesty to the screwed politicians out there who in my mind, lack the will power or the political desire to strengthen the unity among the people and who have often acted opposite of the ideals of “honourable, knowledgeable and respectable”.

And it is a not a big secret that the closer the election gets, the more sensitive decisions will be by those in the power which is based on race or religion just to ensure they get the votes.

Division by Race

The fact that the 3 main political parties in the Government are divided by race says alot about unity of people in this country. Bangsa Malaysia and in recent years, 1Malaysia had remained as a pretty slogans and nothing more.

It is for the same reason why I rather not have Hindraf running for politics and instead work with a more multi racial political parties like DAP and PKR. We don’t need another Indian political party that will only look after the Indians & not the rest of Malaysians – not in the year of 2017.

And talking about classification by race, back in July, the notion of Bumiputera (aka Sons of the Land) was stirred up but from a very unlikely source:-

The government will study in depth the request from the Indian Muslim community to be recognised as Bumiputera, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said last night.

(Source)

The question is why now and why only Indian Muslim?

What about Chinese Muslims? What about other races who are not Muslims who have been in this country for generations and have sacrificed their time, money and blood for the nation? I know for fact that the war against the Communist would not be successful without the brave Chinese special branch officers and the ultimate sacrifices that they made.

What about Orang Asli – the original Bumiputeras – who have been in this country longer than anyone else?

The Beer Festival Fiasco

(To tell you the truth, I was not aware of this beer festival until PAS made it as a big issue. Image source: TheStar)

PAS today called an annual craft beer festival here next month a “vice festival,” warning that Kuala Lumpur could become known as Asia’s vice centre if such programmes carry on unobstructed.

“The hatred of the majority community towards vice activities should also be given attention and celebrated, not only celebrate the desires of some humans that worship their desires,” he said, further warning that there could be “extremist” actions when society is unable to accept the “treachery” and feel under pressure

(Source)

Such rants from PAS fellows are nothing new – they have been making noise on beers all these years but the problem is they often protest based on flimsy reasons and ignore the giants in the room. This is why they lose their credibility. I mean have you seen any protest from them on pressing issues like the flood mitigation in Kelantan (which happens on yearly basis), increase of HIV cases in the state, abuses in 1MDB, Tabung Haji and Mara and the growth of ISIS influences in the region? And yet, they protest against a festival that is held once a year and only opened to non-Muslims (actually it is held more for foreign tourists) and held indoors where Muslims can easier barred from entering.

And if beer festival is deemed a vice festival, then how PAS justify the many pubs, coffee shops and supermarkets that are selling alcohol on the daily basis and since the British days? Pubs that I know are usually jam packed on Saturdays. And how many drunken driving you heard of in the papers on daily basis against other more serious crimes like robbery and snatch thefts? I see more idiots on the road on daily basis who drive as if they are drunk to the core and yet sober – they poses danger to other road users even without any beer festivals.

Although tasting “250 beers from 43 breweries worldwide” was rather tempting, frankly speaking I rather have cold beer at the comfort of my home whilst watching a good movie. Seriously PAS use of religion against the beer festival is certainly misplaced.

I guess this why we have people like this 21 years old in this country who is bend on killing non-Muslims and destroying worship places of the non Muslims. Just like Zakir Naik who often talks bad about other religions so to promote Islam, you cannot call your religion as compassionate & peaceful if you are going to kill others who have different beliefs from you.

So it was not surprised when the beer festival at the end of the day got cancelled.

Festival organiser, MyBeer, confirmed the cancellation with “disappointment” on Monday.

“At our meeting with DBKL [Kuala Lumpur City Hall] officials, we were instructed to cancel our event as there are issues with the licensing,” it said. “We were further informed that the decision was made due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event.”

(Source)

If it had been cancelled due to organisers had not fulfilled the approval requirements, it would have highly understandable but to say that it is cancelled due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event leads back to the notion that an event for the non-Muslims was cancelled due to the protests by PAS. The government had not banned beers or even decided to ban beer festivals so why DBKL is citing political sensitivity now?

Now MCA says that it was cancelled due to security concerns – if so, who made the threats first? Didn’t PAS promised that there could be “extremist” actions if the festival went ahead? Isn’t this sound ridiculous when you have beer sales and parties on a weekly basis elsewhere and it is safe for the patrons but when PAS protest on it, the event becomes unsafe for the patrons? Will we be cancelling other non-Muslim functions / events in the future whenever there is a protest and threat of security?

It is not a big secret that PAS uses religion as their political agenda and often use it to further their political mileage.

And this is more obvious when PAS proposed the changes under RUU355 (Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355)) although it is about amending an existing law had in existence last 33 years. End of the day, we know that it has nothing to do with religion but rather it is politics. This is why the opposition to RUU355 should not be construed as anti-Islam.

Even the Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali sees it as a political move:-

“The purpose and intention of this is to reap political mileage. Have you heard anybody from the public clamouring for increase of powers of the shariah court? No, nobody asking is asking for it, isn’t it?

“To my reading, it is mainly political. He (Hadi) has to satisfy the states that have already established hudud laws.

(Source)

Always remember that united people of all races professing different faiths, as well as varied cultures and lifestyles has been our uniqueness and source of our strength for many years. Don’t change that. Never lose our uniqueness.

Have a great weekend ahead and happy holidays to all

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What We See in Others…


I seriously think that these 2 videos should be shown on national TV on a regular basis (with some minor editing of course). It is direct (ya, what else you expect from Namewee?), truthful and faces up on some of the misunderstanding on what one sees in other race & culture in this country:-

First – What Malay See in Chinese

Second – What Chinese See in Malay

Perhaps Namewee should do another with the Malaysian Indians. ah?

If you ask me, there is no real conflict between the fellow Malaysians from the various race and cultures other than the one that is stroke up by short sighted, manipulative politicians with hidden agendas to keep things tense and people disunited for silly reasons. Race based political party and race based policies will only entrench the disunity and the distrust among all Malaysians. The sooner we kick these outdated and harmful practices, the better the country would be.

After all, there is great men and women in every community – Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. And there are village idiots in every community as well – Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. Well, except for these people – they have caught another Nigerian drug kingpin (damn, when we are going to ever learn and ban these “students”?).

Can Never Trust Them, Eh?


Najib

(We all seriously hope Najib has a concrete financial plan for the country when it comes to empowerment of its people and the economy and not doing for the sake of his own political survival in the upcoming political party elections. As taxpayers, no one want to see their hard earned money down the toilet on short-sighted financial plans. Image source: http://www.antaranews.com)

Sorry for starting with something “international” this week – Malaysia’s political circus show hardly makes a dent on the front pages at where I am in now.

As you may be aware, President Obama and most of the western world have put the blame squarely on the Syrian Government on the recent chemical attacks. David Cameron tried to get the UK Parliament to pass a motion on Syria and failed. And despite that and rather strong opposition from the US Senate, the Obama Administration seemed bent on punishing the Syrian Government for the alleged chemical attacks on its own people (how they effectively going to do it another question). That is until Russia came up with an alternate solution and provided a way out for Obama from a rather sticky situation. The Obama’s proposed shot over the bow is really not effective unless there are troops on ground – something the American public is well aware of and do not want to do after the same blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then this came up:-

Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.

Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra. According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.

If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.

Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.

(Source)

Well, this piece of news may just be a part of an elaborate spin to turn the public opinion against Obama’s stand on the Syrian conflict. But then again, what if it is true? Let’s just hope that this does not escalate into something bigger and cause the world oil price to spike again. It is just the excuse for the “you know who” to reduce the subsidy and take the amount saved into another wasteful adventure. And speaking of “you know who”, it was not a big surprise when Najib, after increasing the petrol price recently, turns around and announces this:-

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a massive economic empowerment agenda for bumiputras while thanking the community for their strong support for Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.

The Prime Minister said: “Based on the support of the Malays and other bumiputras in the 13th general election, the Government has decided to take a quantum leap to implement concrete and thorough strategies and approaches. We call this bumiputra economic empowerment, and it is to safeguard the community now and forever.”

(Source)

Be mindful that Najib is not talking about small fry money here. And it is good that the Government is looking into ways to “empower” the community (which it claims to be still weak and in need of Government help since 1969). The question is will the community get the necessary funding and help lock, stock and barrel or will it trickle down after the various fat cat middlemen, cronies and corrupt politicians have put their dirty hands in it? And what happened to all policies and money that was poured to “empower” the community in the past – money that belonged to taxpayers from various race, culture and religion? Has it gone down the drain or has it quietly went into the pockets of cronies and corrupt politician?

The BN may have announced a series of new race-based measures to boost the economic situation of the bumiputeras, but who is to be blamed for the community falling behind even after almost a half-century of affirmative action?

(Source)

It is time to ask the same question as it seem to be the same thing all over again. The PM had announced the same race based policies before and under the same whistles and bells and in the same name of championing the community but after sometime, nothing much changes and before you know it, the PM announces another race based policies and the vicious cycle starts all over again. The Government says subsidy is bad but throwing taxpayers’ money on the same failed formula and getting no positive result is worse. The BN Government have been recycling the same old policies and re-branding them with new names but be rest assured, it only fattens the already fat lazy cats.

Can you think you can trust the politicians to keep to their words this time around and whatever “empowerment” that should happen do happens? Yes? Well, think again.

Be Outraged But Be Fair Too


ISStoonFNL0924.jpg.cms_

(It is not confined to Islam and Muslims alone. Everyone has a right to protest and be angry if anyone belittle and insults one’s beliefs & faith but there must be a sense of reasonableness and fairness too. Have you done the right things and be fair to others? Image source: http://www.powerlineblog.com)

And whilst I am “enjoying” an assassin-free, revenge shooting news in the morning away from home, here’s something to lighten up your weekend. No matter how far you can be from the beloved “tanah air”, you always be reassured of unfiltered comedy from fellow Malaysians to keep you laughing, at least at the state of the nation that it has come to.

Read this:-

The Malay Consultative Council (MPM) has come to the defence of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in the controversy over his comment on the video showing dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof washing her animals.

MPM chief Hasan Mad said he accepted Muhyiddin’s claim that he had accused “certain parties” instead of “non-Muslims” of having belittled Muslims and their beliefs. Hasan said Muhyiddin’s critics were trying to provoke racial hatred and called on them to desist.

He told a press conference that Muhyiddin, by virtue of his position in government, had the right to issue a warning against those inciting racial disunity. Last week, DAP made a police report calling on the authorities to investigate Muhyiddin for sedition following the publication of reports quoting him as saying non-Muslims were insulting Islam.

Taman Segamat DAP chief Yew Jar Haur, who lodged the report, said police should be as quick to arrest Muhyiddin as they were in arresting Maznah. Muhyiddin has since then clarified that he has been misreported in the media, stating that he had not specifically targeted the non-Muslims, or Maznah.

However Hasan said Muhyiddin had a duty to issue warnings against attempts to belittle and insult Islam, alleging that this was becoming a trend in Malaysia. He said he had proposed to the government to set up a rehabilitation centre for Malaysians caught in attempts to spread religious or racial hatred. This would be better than using the court system against offenders, he added.

Hasan announced that MPM had formed a task force to look for seditious tendencies in the speeches and remarks of figures from the parliamentary opposition. “At the same time, we also urge the opposition leaders to come forward and work together in creating peace, stability and harmony within the country,” he added. The task force has 12 permanent members, including retired politicians, policemen, judges and businessmen.

(Source)

Apparently whilst the rest of the country (amidst the various shootings) has been spending the month of Ramadan in patience and full of reverence and minding their own business, there have been attempts to belittle and insult Islam. And apparently too, such belittling and insult had become a “trend”. And when a politician was reported – opps, sorry, was misquoted to have blamed this new “trend” on the non-Muslims, it has been all easily accepted and forgiven.

And if the same politician now accuses “certain parties” instead of “non-Muslims” (or even Maznah) of having belittled Muslims and their beliefs, then who are these mysterious “certain parties” then? Why these people have not been named and hauled up for sedition?

Oh wait, they did – no doubt that some of them like the 2 sex-bloggers have indeed been hauled up for their insensitive and disrespectful gesture against the religion & culture but does this one or two rare moment “sheer dumbness” can readily be deemed as a “trend”? And since this notion of belittling Muslims and their beliefs somehow escalated with the video of the dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof (a Muslim herself) bathing her dogs on Raya, it’s best to ponder on Captain D.Swami’s “To All Dicks Out There” post:-

Chetz is a good person and she has never, not once, said anything against her faith and religion. To think that a harmless video made over three years ago is being dredged up now, makes one wonder why? Why now? And is the video so offensive that it warrants death threats?

And on a larger scale, this:-

Days after the Miss Malaysia World 2013 beauty contest debacle broke, it was the turn of dog lover, Maznah Mohd Yusof to face the wrath of the sanctimonious men from the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi). Maznah is correct to stand her ground. She has done nothing wrong. Rational thinking Muslims were not insulted.

Jawi claims that there is a long-standing fatwa against the participation of Malay girls in beauty contests. Most people are not aware that a fatwa is just an opinion or guide, to how one should lead one’s life as a good Muslim. Only under syiah rule can a fatwa become a law, without first being debated in, and enacted by parliament.

This ban may have instilled a bitter resentment in Malays, just as the deep sense of betrayal in the non-Malays over the race-based policies they face in everyday life.

(Source)

Coming back to Maznah’s case, this in fact warrants the question who is really belittling the Muslims and their belief? Maznah or the sick & short minded people who dragged the 3 years old video from no-where into the limelight and making a mountain out of a molehill? Are they using the religion as a basis for something more sinister? After all, it is well know that treading on something sensitive as religion, culture or race will make anyone to lose their sense of intelligence and reasonableness.

What have been done so that there is very little room for anyone to belittle the Muslims and their beliefs? MPM is proposing that the government to set up a rehabilitation centre (I hope it will be a place of education and enlightenment and not a place of brain-wash and forced feeding) for Malaysians caught in attempts to spread religious or racial hatred. They claim that it would be “better” than using the court system against offenders. To be fair, that is a very good idea but why it sounds like it is another excuse to be unfair and as a tool to prosecute the non-Muslims and the oppositions?

And why set-up a task force to look for seditious tendencies in the speeches and remarks of figures only from the parliamentary opposition? What about the BN parliamentary members and politicians themselves? Are you saying that the “other” side has not been guilty of having the same seditious tendencies in the speeches and remarks of figures all these years? You only need to dig Dr M’s past statements up to get a truckload of seditious remarks. Why wasn’t a similar task force set up back then? So why the sudden biasness? After all, seditious tendencies in this country fly both ways and no matter who uttered it or in which manner it was uttered, seditious statement is seditious nonetheless – even the person is DPM.

It is indeed a comedy when you think about it. Have a good weekend and enjoy the back to work after holiday rush next week.

MIC’s Take On One School System


Oh dear, after all these years, they still clueless on why they took a hit in 2008?

(In the picture – MIC on the wrong side of the Tamil schools. No doubt Tamil schools have been the key factor when it comes to MIC and its claim that it is fighting for the community and yes, that they have helped out the schools in the past with financial assistances and others allocations but are they playing the crucial role in the next evolution of the education system in the country by looking at quality instead of quantity? Image source)

From theSun:-

Question: Why are Tamil schools so important to MIC? You yourself come from a national school and the majority of Indians are in national schools.

Answer: Tamil schools are part and parcel of Indian culture – they go to Tamil schools not only to learn Tamil, but also to learn culture and religion. If Tamil schools go away, then tradition and culture will also go.

Question: Why are young professionals shying away from MIC?

Answer: They don’t see MIC as a fun party – the president has plans to rejuvenate the party with younger representation – we have also Putra MIC for the youths. The young must be patient – MIC has only four parliamentary seats and seven state seats.

Question: Is the concept of catering to only one race not attractive?

Answer: Yes and no. But only in MIC one can write, speak and talk in Tamil – but even for non-Tamil speakers, they are not left out as some of the meetings are conducted in English and Bahasa.

Question: How has MIC been preparing for the next general election (GE), especially after the bitter defeat in 2008?

Answer: MIC has stressed that we must win back what we lost and retain those we won. We are doing everything that we can to get the numbers we had in 2004, we know it is difficult, it may not be possible. Compared with his predecessor (Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu), MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is not much in the news. You cannot compare the two leaders. It is not easy to take up the leadership at this time especially after the bad showing in the 2008 election. His style of working is different. We are reported in the Tamil papers. Yes, it is not enough, and we have also put MIC TV available on YouTube and are also communicating with urban Tamils.

I could have just ignored the interview but there was one thing he said that made me stop in my thoughts and wonder.

I am referring to Kamalanathan’s “reason” on why we still need Tamil schools in this country. Kamalanathan is saying that without Tamil schools in this country, the tradition and culture will also go. No doubt Kamalanathan is looking from his point of view as one of the MIC’s leaders but there must be reality check somewhere there. It is important  to understand the role of the school these days. Is it to encourage and propagate tradition and culture? Or is it another means to get good education with a different language as the main base (due to students’ background and mastery of language)?

I think we need to get the priorities right – education & discipline should be confined to schools and tradition & culture (and religion) confined to temples and cultural centers (like the Temple of Fine Arts). The moment you start to mix the both, you going to get in trouble and leave room for abuse and misdirection – certainly not with young innocent minds. It is downright unfair too – what about other races who does not share the same tradition and culture, are we going to built separate schools for them? Surely they want to preserve their traditions and culture as well.

And why we are continuing to break-up the schools into various sectors and race when it is crucial to have one school, one language for all? If the concern is losing the hold of the tradition & culture, then we should relook into how we can fuse tradition and culture in our temples (we seems have too many of them) or cultural centres (and perhaps with more tradition & cultural segments on public media like TV and newspapers). There are alternatives on how we can continue to maintain the tradition and culture without going through the schools. But please, let’s keep the race, tradition, culture and religion crap out of schools.

The reason for it is rather simple – it defeats the progress to greater unity as reasoned below:-

Historically, the British built separate vernacular schools to maintain racial divide and prejudice to lord over us. It is indeed expedient and shrewd and one of the things that should have been kicked out right after Malaysia gained independence from the British if our leaders truly want to see a united Malaysia turn up without jeopardising our national language, our official religion, our monarchy and our Rukun Negara.

Vernacular schools impede national unity at the primordial stage; there is no room for vernacular school in a multi-racial society.

(Source)

And if the concern is losing the hold of the Tamil language (still remember the controversy on the extra language SPM papers?), this is because not enough attempts made to provide alternative language classes at national schools – all we need is the classes & qualified teachers in national schools (MIC can play a strong role here) and not a whole school with different emphasis, language, structure and funding. At this juncture, I must recap what OutSyed the Box said on the need to have common language (hence different schools in the same country) – it makes more sense than what Kamalanathan is trying to say:-

The time has also come where we must seriously consider merging the school system into just one school system i.e. based on Bahasa Malaysia and English only. We need to abolish the Chinese and Tamil language school system. The Chinese and Tamil language heroes say that if Chinese and Tamil schools are abolished, their language and culture will also disappear. Wrong.

There are 1.5 billion Chinese in China who will make sure that the Chinese language, culture and the Chinese people will never disappear from the face of the earth. The same argument applies for the 1.0 billion Indians in India. This however is Malaysia. It is not and cannot be China or India.

When Chinese, Indians and anyone else migrate to Australia they learn to speak English in a jiffy. No one asks for Tamil or Mandarin to be made national languages in Australia. No one sings the Waltzing Matilda in Tamil or Mandarin in Australia.

The same logic applies to Malaysia. It is high time non Malays in Malaysia learn to speak Malay like a native Malay. Getting straight As for Bahasa Malaysia in the SPM does not mean anything if you still say ‘saya api kereta naik mari’ or ‘saya naik keleta api mali sini.”

It is not cute anymore. Actually it is quite embarrassing. Please, let’s speak the language the way it should be spoken.

Now, coming back to the need for Tamil school – it is not an issue of losing tradition and culture if the Tamil schools are closed down that we need to fear of (yes, there will be some impact but not to the point where the future generations would be clueless on tradition and culture). Just look at the Indians in US and UK who are doing well in maintaining their tradition and culture despite going to a non-Indian language based schools.

There is a greater concern when a politician from a race based political party insists on preserving the Tamil schools – we fear that attempts to breakdown this segregation and forcing everyone to go to the same school and speak the language will be derailed or sabotaged by race based policies and race based political party who hold them as the trump cards to be still relevant. And this is what is happening in our education system – it has been screwed up to a point we are still having different schools in the country.

Surely there will be specific issues that will face certain communities more than others from time to time but we need to consider which one is more critical. If it is on education and national unity, let’s fight for the good of the country and not just for each others communities. Do that and you will earn our confidence and our votes in the next general elections.

Dr M and Racial Based Politics


(Countdown – 326 days to “doomsday”)

Read These First

(Race based policies are as just as bad and cruel as open segregation of society and citizens based on the color of their skin seen here in an early 1930s photo. Image source: http://www.old-picture.com)

Now read this:-

It is better to slow down development than to scrap race-based policies and risk ethnic clashes in the country, Tun Dr Mahathir has said.

The former prime minister, in making the case for the continuation of such policies, wrote in a blog posting here that taking away racial consideration when doing business would not necessarily guarantee development.

Writing once in an earlier blog posting in 2010, Dr Mahathir had said: “I may be labelled a racist but fear of the label will not stop me from working for what I think is good for 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.”

The country’s longest-serving former prime minister, who still wields influence in the ruling Umno, continued to stress this point in his latest posting.

“It is true that if the problem of race does not haunt Malaysia, development would speed up.

“But when the distribution of wealth is so wide between the races, there is a large possibility hostilities would occur between the rich and the poor,” he said.

(Source)

As much as we highly respect the 86 years old politician for “some” of the good things that he have done for the country, certainly after 55 years of Independence when people from different racial background and culture called themselves as Malaysians, it is high time we revisit the need for racial based policies. Race based policies have never been good to anyone – still remember Germany’s Aryan misadventures by the Nazis, South Africa’s Apartheid and once upon time, the white-black segregation in the deep south of America?

Dr M may have valid points – after all it will not be easy to scrap race based policies overnight – not when we have been governed by it for almost 43 years. But that does not mean we should harp on the very unfair policies for another 43 years. It has to go away one day and the sooner we do it, it is better in the long run (and we seem to have the first step of breaking down race based policies in 2008 by voting for more multi-race based political parties and sent at least one known race based political party into the wilderness). And in making his case for race based policies, Dr M embarks on 2 arguments. One – it will risk ethnic clashes and Two – all Bumis are poor and all non-Bumis are rich.

Sounds familiar? It is the same old argument (or variations of it) heaped on fellow Malaysians by the same race based political party politicians to keep themselves in power. Even if we were to take the 86 years old man’s words as the gospel truth, the question is what does we intend to do about it? After all, here is an ex-PM telling others that he rather throws national development down the drain for an unspecific period than to scrap race based policies that many have deemed unfair, flawed and open for abuse. The 2 arguments put forward by Dr M may be flawed as well.

Flawed because firstly it is not taking into consideration of changes that have happened locally and globally in recent times. It is no longer 1969 all over again. America for example has a President who in 1930s – 1960s would have been asked, sorry, told to buzz off from white only areas. The Apartheid in South Africa has long gone and buried and in Malaysia, we are no longer seeing prevailing race based industries or sectors – there is still perhaps in sub-sectors but it is not too obvious in main sectors.

These days, generally you can find all races in all sectors – something that did not happen back in a prevailing basis in 1960s. And there seems to be an even more effort put forward by Najib’s administration to liberate economy sectors. So at the point of such liberation taking place, not only in Malaysia and in the economic sector, one need to take a couple steps back and wonder if harping on race based policies is wise.

Secondly, it must be affirmed that poverty is a global issue and affects all races – both Bumis and Non Bumis. You will find both the rich and the poor at both sides of the spectrum. It is a fact that must be taken into consideration if one is to keep saying that race based policies is best for the country. If we were do that, then unfairness creeps in – you may end up leaving a section of society who are poor but at the same time is unable to find the needed relief under the provisions made by their Government. Think about it for a second.

National policies that work on eradication of poverty should never be made on the basis of the colour of the skin or ethnic background but rather must always be based on class of personal wealth. It is fair thing to do anyway. If we are to take the race based policies by it’s’ horn, will it at end of the day risk ethnic clashes? To answer this, we should look back at the basis of Dr M’s contention that it will – the so-called 1969 ethnic riots – an incident from which saw the birth of race based policies such as New Economy Policy.

That was 43 years ago – didn’t the NEP balanced the so-called imbalance wealth to some extent over those years (even with the glaring shortcomings)? One can crunch the numbers from the many sources available on the internet. There seems to be more than enough wealth to be shared and improve the standings of fellow Bumi Malaysians (read this excellent open letter on the issue). But what is not enough is the will-power and punitive actions to severely punish those who abuse the wealth in form of corruption and conflict of interest. And there seems to be an affirmation of abuse of tax-payers money when it comes to national projects or contracts especially after 43 years of the race based policies you still read this:-

The DAP has blasted the Najib administration for awarding a lucrative RM7 billion highway deal, to be tolled for a record 60 years, to a company known principally for making and selling granular and powder-activated carbon.

(Source)

Or this:-

In comparison Petronas has paid RM 3,307 psf of pedestrian walkway – almost SIX times the psf price of a six star condominium in Mont Kiara.

I don’t think it is paved with 916 gold either. And there are no Jacuzzis provided in case the ever increasing number of KL’s vagrants who do populate some of the other walkways at nite, want to take a bath or have a water massage.

Petronas paid RM100.0 million or RM3,307 psf for a 30,285 sq. ft. pedestrian walkway. If you ask me, this type of costing is worse than the lembu condo. Someone had a very early Christmas.

(Source)

And despite Government and the Government linked companies blowing millions of the national wealth instead of pumping it for the benefit of Malaysians living in poverty and to make the industries, workforce and individual income more resilient, comes along an ex-PM defending the race based policies that will only perpetuates abuse and unfairness. It is only a mystery as to how scrapping of race based policies and speed up the effort on corruption and abuse will risk ethnic clashes – especially when the very fight against corruption and abuse is to return wealth back to those who in need the most – poor Malaysians who the bulk comprised of Bumis.

This is why, despite the misgiving that Pakatan Rakyat seems to be projecting, we should give it a run for the Government – at least to stop the leakages in national wealth and abuse of tax-payers money. The new Government should scrap all race based policies and promote more equitable based policies that will address any shortcomings, any imbalances in wealth and power and that is what as recent as 2012, Pakatan Rakyat strives to achieve in the long run. Not promoting fear of ethnic clashes and further abuse of power and national wealth.

And yes, for the time being, we need to ignore the 80 plus year old politician – age may be catching up with him but then again, at the same time, we should not lose focus of continuing to scrap the existing race based policies (and the aged, senile politicians that is tied to it). It has been in the system for far too long and it is not helping the country in the long run.

The Chinatown White Knights


(This is the place where I bought my first true SLR and this is also the place where we used to go for new clothes for Deepavali. Image source: http://www.backpackingmalaysia.com)

If you ask me, it is rather hilarious!…

From theSun’s headline that screamed “Chinatown Saved”:-

About 30 buildings in Chinatown need not make way for development of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project. However, they will have to be vacated for about six months to facilitate underground work.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek announced the news at a press conference today at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) headquarters after a meeting with its chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, its CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal, representatives from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd and members of the Jalan Sultan building owners ad-hoc committee.

(Source)

This reminded me of this post by Patrick Teoh titled “Conspiracy Theory 101” where he said:-

But just the other evening a friend told me, “Hiyah! No need to shout so much la. It’s just a show only. It’s part of Umno/BN strategy to regain some Chinese votes ma.” Huh? How? Simple what. You just wait a few weeks and see. This is how it will happen.

The Chinese flers in Petaling Street will continue to get pissed about things. The PR flers will make more statements condemning the Umno/BN government for not being sensitive to this, that and the other. And then…………

Chua Soi Lek and the “knights” of the MCA will ride in and announce that they have petitioned the government, on behalf of the Chinese community, to re-think the MRT and Chinatown acquisition plans. Then, Najib or Nazri or one of those flers who happens to be not on holiday at the time, will say OK! Then CSL will tell the Petaling St. flers, “See? Only MCA can give Chinese flers good representation in Parliament ma. So vote for us lor. By the way, can give more discount on that gold Lolex ah?”

So, it does look like that prediction came true! And if one is looking for the real savior of Chinatown, it has to be this:-

The government had previously insisted on acquiring all the buildings as the Land Acquisition Act stipulates that property must be acquired before any construction work can begin, even for underground railway development as under the law, ownership of a building includes the land below.

However, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun mooted the idea that the government acquire only the land beneath the buildings and provide the owners with stratum titles to allow the MRT to run below without acquiring the land above.

By the way, MP Fong Kui Lun is from Pakatan Rakyat. Wonder who will end up getting the credit of saving one of the key heritage areas in the city?