|Mr. Khir Toyo is one of those in UMNO and Barisan Nasional who suffer from selective amnesia. He should declare his own assets so that the people of Selangor can know what he now has since becoming the Menteri Besar of Selangor following the resignation of his predecessor, Abu Hasan Omar. He would be well advised to look at himself in the mirror and carefully search his conscience before making this call for transparency and accountability.In fact, Mr. Toyo deserves a boom. I have no doubt that Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will take appropriate action once he has discussed the matter of public disclosure with his Exco colleagues and consulted the State Legal Adviser.—Din Merican.|
|Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has challenged his successor Khalid Ibrahim and his state executive councillors to declare their assets.Mohd Khir was responding to Khalid’s recent revelation that there were reservations by some exco members on the matter.“Before the elections, they (opposition parties) promised that they would declare their assets. I want them to declare now… if they cannot, that would be very unfortunate for the people of Selangor,” said Mohd Khir during a phone interview today.In an interview carried by Malaysiakini yesterday, Khalid said that he would “most likely” compel his exco members to declare their assets publicly.However, he added that there were reservations by some exco members who do not want their shareholding information to be made public due to “family reasons”.Mohd Khir said that up until now, neither one of the new state governments had compelled their public office bearers to declare their assets, contrary to pledges made prior to the elections.
“All these opposition leaders should declare their assets and their debts. If they have settled their debts, tell us where the money came from,” he said.
Two figures which Mohd Khir paid particular interest to, in regards to debts, was Khalid and newly appointed exco member Dr Hassan Ali.
Mohd Khir said previously, he and his exco members had to declare their assets to the Chief Secretary to the Government once every two years.
On Khalid’s proposal to implement a RM9 monthly levy for each foreign worker in Selangor, Mohd Khir said such a scheme would come under the purview of the federal government and not the state government.
“The first thing he needs to understand is the different powers of the federal and state governments. He should also thoroughly learn the state constitution and laws.
“He has shown signs of an inexperienced menteri besar who did not investigate matters thoroughly,” said the former two-term Selangor chief executive.
Khalid, who has come under fire from various groups over the proposal, had said that the RM9 levy was for the purpose of weaning employers from foreign workers.
He also proposed that the collected levy, which is estimated to reach RM150 million annually, would be used for skills training programmes for youths as a means of tackling unemployment.
On Khalid’s announcement that the new state government would pursue its predecessors ‘zero-squatters’ policy, Mohd Khir said that it was due recognition of the previous government’s policy.
“Our zero squatters policy was the best in the world. Many foreign governments had sought my help in order to emulate a similar system in their respective countries.
“PKR on the hand were playing politics. It was only after they were in power they realised what we were doing in the past,” he stressed.
In the case of Kampung Berembang, Khir said the state government had provided options for squatters to buy affordable and proper housing.
“Last time they were against the policy. Wan Azizah (PKR president) stayed there and gave tents to encourage the people to go against us. But now they seem to be emulating our policy,” he added.
Asked about the Kampung Berembang issue, Khalid said the state government would “revisit” the issue, adding that he would try to accommodate both the wishes of the squatters as well as the developer.
Developers Perspektif Masa Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with state-owned Permodalan Nasional Selangor Bhd (PNSB), had sought to forcibly remove Kampung Berembang residents to make way for development projects last year.
Residents however are asserting claim to compensation as they have lived on the land since 1960s with consent from the Selangor government as evident in provision of electricity, water and other amenities by the authorities.
On veteran DAP opposition leader and Sungai Pinang assemblyperson Teng Chang Khim, Mohd Khir agreed that he had been sidelined in the appointment of exco positions.
“Teng is very senior and I respect him because he was a very effective opposition leader with lots of experience. In contrast, Ean Yong (Hian Wah) is only 29 years old. Why was he (Teng) sidelined?” asked Mohd Khir.
http://www.malaysiakini.com: by Andrew Ong
Yes, March 8 and the events leading to the 12th General Elections are certainly moments to remember. We tore the 50 year goal post down and sent a clear message to our leaders: Enough is Enough.
Let us embrace the winds of change, support Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR and our associates (PAS and DAP), and together we will rebuild our country so that we can once again be in the big leagues with Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea and our other ASEAN partners.
Wat Siam, thanks. Here is our joint tribute to men and women of our generation. I am sure you will join me in asking them not to despair or quit. Let us soldier on until our work is done. The winds of change that swept the country on March 8, 2008 are unstoppable. Let us build on this momentum for change. Our country can be great again if we demand performance from our elected leaders and representatives.
We have entered a new era where politicians, especially those UMNO and Barisan Nasional “fat cats”, will be held to high standards of ethics and public accountability. There must be zero bull and cakap kosong. I also have a message to our Prime Minister in particular and his Cabinet colleagues in general. The 50 year honeymoon, especially the last 4 years, we gave UMNO-Barisan Nasional is over. “Kami tak boleh diperbodohkan lagi”.
If you fail to get that message, we will punish you in the next Elections. Work for the people and stop the rot, or get out.—Din Merican
|Mr Prime Minister, if you got the message from the voters and have taken their point and also the call from your own party ,UMNO, then the most honourable stand you can take is to gracefully step down from your premiership, party presidency and BN chairmanship. Please accept full responsibility for the fiasco and enjoy your retirement.—Din Merican|
|Andrew Ong | Mar 25, 2008|
|The plunge in support for the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the recent general election was a strong reminder to the government that it had not fulfilled its reform pledges, conceded Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Abdullah pledged that in his second-term as prime minister, there will be a “bold agenda” to address the people’s concerns.
The premier touched on this issue when delivering his keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.
It was his first major public address since the March 8 polls which saw the opposition taking 82 parliamentary seats and storming into power in four additional states apart from Kelantan.
“The result of the elections was a strong message that I have not moved fast enough in pushing through with the reforms that I promised to undertake.
“I thank the Malaysian people for this message. Point well made and point taken,” said Abdullah who was reading through a seven-page prepared text.
The prime minister said that the new government was already in the process of “rejuvenation” with the formation of his “reform cabinet” last week.
“Half of the cabinet comprises new faces – a number of them are independent personalities appointed to key portfolios,” he added.
With the new cabinet in place, Abdullah stated that his main priority now was to support lower income groups who are suffering from surging prices of consumer goods.
“Firstly, we aim to mitigate the impact of rising world prices for lower income households, and limit the wastage and losses caused by subsidies.
“Secondly, we will review the implementation of our economic plans to ensure that its benefits will touch the lives of those who need them the most.
“Thirdly, we will continue our work towards reducing income gaps between and within ethnic groups, while ensuring fairness for all Malaysians,” he said.
New and renewed pledges
Abdullah also pledged to “drastically” reduce the crime rate, tackle corruption aggressively, support judicial reform and ensure “a fair number of places of worship for Malaysians of all religions.”
“These were the major issues that resonated with voters regardless of ethnicity, background, gender or age,” he said.
While anti-crime and anti-corruption campaigns were part of Abdullah’s election pledges in 2004, his pledges on judicial reform and places of worship are fresh.
Opposition parties have been nitpicking on Abdullah’s previous administration based on these issues during the general election campaign.
Meanwhile, Abdullah also pledged to continue federal-backed economic corridors and signaled that discussion with non-BN state governments were in the pipeline.
“I remain, as I have always been, the prime minister for all Malaysians. Our manifesto has clearly stated our commitment to reduce the gaps between regions.
“Therefore, we intend to have productive working relationships with all state governments to ensure that the corridor plans will be successful,” he said.
Fuel prices to go up?
At a press conference later, Abdullah said details on his policy on low-income earners will be unveiled in due time.
To a question, Abdullah hinted that price control mechanisms may undergo drastic changes. This includes the possibility of scrapping subsidies for certain goods.
“There are limitations to price control (mechanisms). Of course the market would be the most important determinant,” he said.
Abdullah was also non-committal when asked if his administration would maintain present fuel prices.
“We have to live with the present prices. When we make the announcement (on fuel prices), it is hoped that the situation would have change,” he said without elaborating.
New Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Samad had on Sunday called the current price controlling mechanism “a joke” and has signaled sweeping reforms to come.
|Opposition leader Wan Azizah unveils bold agenda|
|March 25, 2008|
|The nation’s first female parliamentary opposition leader, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, today unveiled an ambitious agenda to boost economic growth and fight corruption.Wan Azizah is head of PKR and wife of former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, who rallied the three-party opposition alliance to unprecedented gains in March 8 elections.
The 55-year-old mother of six, who wears a traditional Muslim headscarf, set up PKR after Anwar was sacked and jailed in 1998 on sex and corruption charges. He is not allowed to stand for office until April.
Wan Azizah unveiled a five-point manifesto which focused on anti-corruption measures and equality for the various races in Malaysia, a country dominated by Muslim Malays but with large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
“I will do my utmost to take this unique opportunity to move Malaysia forward towards a new dawn while continuing to safeguard the rights of all Malaysians under the constitution,” she said.
The opposition parties claimed more than a third of parliamentary seats and five of the 13 states in the general elections, their successes giving them a new-found status and authority.
Access to equal opportunities
Wan Azizah said that on the economy, she will push for measures to encourage growth and attract investors, and ensure equal treatment for all – in a reference to positive discrimination policies for Malays which the opposition wants to reform.
“By continuing to speak out against corruption and wastage, we will continue to help guide Malaysia to a more robust, poverty-free economy,” she said.
Wan Azizah said the opposition will ensure that race relations, which have become increasingly tense in recent years, will be strengthened.
“While we will ensure that the position of the Malays will not be threatened, the access to equal opportunities of Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans and all Malaysians will be protected with equal vigour,” she said.
Wan Azizah said the opposition would push for free and fair judicial institutions to allow democracy to flourish, and that the Malaysian media must be given the freedom to report freely and fairly.
Opposition leaders say Parliament is expected to convene at the end of April or in early May.
Barisan Nasional will have 140 lawmakers in the new 222-seat parliament, against 199 in the outgoing 219-seat parliament. The opposition alliance won 80 seats from just 19 previously, with PKR in the lead.
Imagine there is No Barisan Nasional. There is already KeADILan and Barisan Rakyat. Imagine, there will be robust economic growth, good governance, rule of law, and justice for all. And there will be a free and independent media and democracy in our great country.— Dee Jay Din Merican
Selangor is ready for you, Tan Sri, and your team in the State Executive Council. The state is entering a new era of robust development, transparent and accountable governance and humane leadership. My sincere congratulations to you, Tan Sri, and am confident that the State Exco will give you all the cooperation and support you will need and ensure that the coalition works effectively in the service of the people of Selangor.
Our Exco members must focus on how best to deliver the promises the Barisan Rakyat (PKR, PAS and DAP) made during the March 8, 2008 Elections. The idea of public service must be inculcated in all public officials with the ExCo members leading by example.
For the information of my fellow bloggers, friends and associates, here is Tan Sri Khalid’s Exco Line-Up:
- Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim: Land Development, Finance, Economic Planning Council, Youth and Sports
- Teresa Kok Suh Sim: Investment, Industry and Commerce
- Datuk Dr. Hassan Mohamed Ali: Islamic Affairs, Malay Culture, Infrastructure and Public Amenities
- Yaakob Sapari: Modern Agriculture Methods, Natural Resources, and Entrepreneurship Development
- Rodziah Ismail: Welfare, Women’s Affairs, Science, Technology and Innovation
- Dr. A. Xavier Jayakumar: Health, Plantation, Poverty and Caring Government
- Dr. Halimah Ali: Education, Higher Education, and Human Development
- Iskandar Abdul Samad: Housing, Building Structure, Administration and Squatters
- Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew: Local Government, Study and Research
- Elizabeth Wong Keat Ping: Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment
- Ean Yong Hian Wah: New Village Development and Solution for Unlicensed Factories
I received a telephone call from my friend, Yap Chong Yee in Perth this morning. He told me that he commented on my recent piece about Senator Dato Zaid Ibrahim who was appointed a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and tasked with judicial reform to stop the rot in our Judiciary. With his consent, I am posting his letter to Dato Zaid.
Although Mr. Yap has a personal interest because his wife was involved in this case, I consider it appropriate to give his letter to the new Minister some exposure to the Malaysian public. I do it without malice to anyone. I merely want to highlight the importance of respecting the rule of law, and the urgent need for an independent judiciary.
Let us hope Dato Zaid will not give in to political and peer pressure. He has to do what is right and do it right for the sake of our country. The law is the law and it does not take a lawyer to tell us that our constitution is the mother of laws in our country. Our constitution guarantees the rights of all Malaysians, regardless of race, class, gender, or background. Adherence to its spirit and letter is the only way to ensure that the rights of every community are upheld and protected.
I wish to convey this message to the Attorney-General’s Office, members of our Judiciary, and the Malaysian Bar Council: please, take politics out of the interpretation of our laws, the application of the rule of law and the administration of justice.
To Tan Sri Haidar M. Noor and members of the Haidar Commission, I urge you to go beyond your terms of reference and look at the rule of law and the administration of justice in its entirety. VK Lingam’s conduct— and others mentioned in his video clip—is just the tip of the iceberg. We Malaysians expect a lot out of your report to DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong and want drastic action from the government.
Tan Sri Haidar and his fellow commissioners have a national obligation to put an end to a very tragic and long history of political manipulation in the administration of justice in our country, and intimidation of our judges by the Executive Branch of our system of governance. If for some inexplicable reason(s) the Commission does not address serious public concerns about the rot in our judiciary, then infamy awaits our great country.—Din Merican
Yap Chong Yee,
5a Prinsep Road,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
LETTER TO YB Senator ZAID IBRAHIM, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department
Dear YB. Dato ZAID IBRAHIM,
I have been trying over a period of 2 years to publicise the abuse of power by Court of Appeal Judge Dato Zainon binti Mohd. Ali. She adjudicated my wife’s case Re : Originating Petition No. D2-26-41 OF 2001 ; Lim Choi Yin v. McLaren Saksama (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
I graduated in law from The National University of Singapore in 1967 and practised at the Malaysian Bar from 1968 to 1978 before I emigrated to Australia. Therefore, I do have a professional knowledge of the laws of Malaysia.
In 2001 my wife took out a petition in the KL High Court and the said petition was adjudicated by Judge Dato Zainon binti Mohd. Ali. She abused her power as the presiding judge and acted to AID and ABET the three respondents Stephen Lim Cheng Ban, Wong Kem Chen and Kwong Sea Yoon. The respondents perjured in their supporting affidavits applying for security for costs and Stephen Lim in a subsequent (and 2nd) APLICATION FOR STRIKING OUT SAID PETITION supported his application for striking out with documents that were clearly forged but Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali unjustly forbid and refused my wife’s application for leave to cross examine the respondents both for PERJURY and FORGERY on their supporting affidavits; in spite of my wife’s affidavits charging respondents for the said criminal offences and she supported her supporting affidavits with COPIES OF 3 POLICE reports charging respondents with perjury & forgery.
Please take particular note that the security for costs was enforced by respondents and my wife paid to respondents ringgit 60,000 in accordance with terms of court Order; and after payment of said security for costs, judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali went on to approve the respondents’ 2nd application for striking out of petition WITHOUT EVEN AN ORDER TO SET ASIDE THE ORDER FOR SECURITY FOR COSTS.
For the purpose of this letter only because I intend to publish this letter on the internet I will charge Judge Dato Zainon binti Mohd. Ali for having committed the OFFENCE OF MALFEASANCE. Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali is deemed to have committed the offence of Malfeasance because she refused to give leave to my wife to cross examine the respondents Stephen Lim Cheng Ban for fabricating false evidence, perjury, in the case of Wong Kem Chen and Kwong Sea Yoon for perjury.
She also is deemed to have committed Malfeasance when as refused to set down said petition for hearing AFTER MY WIFE HAD PAID RINGGIT 60,000 TOWARDS ENFORCING ORDER FOR SECURITY FOR COSTS. Please take note that the offence of Malfeasance is committed by the act of omission and in this case, the most obvious case is that of her refusal to set the petition for hearing AFTER SECURITY FOR COSTS IS PAID.
I have openly stated that Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali is because the EVIDENCE THAT WILL CONVICT HER FOR THE OFFENCE ALREADY EXIST IN THE COURT FILES OF SAID PETITION’ namely, the 2 conflicting court orders for security for costs and order for striking out said petition existing together and without any order for setting aside of the 1st order for security for costs. I have done this so that it will be a defence for anyone who will publish this letter that he is stating the truth.
Since the unlawful & illegal treatment by Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali I have taken to CAMPAIGNING FOR A DECENT AND ETHICAL AND HONEST JUDICIARY. I also believe that an INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY CAN BE PUT IN PLACE EVEN AS WE SPEAK, BECAUSE JUDGE ZAINON BINTI MOHD. ALI HAD IN THE COURSE OF HER PERFORMANCE ON THE BENCH WHEN ADJUCATING MY WIFE’S PETITION HAD COMMITTED CRIMINAL OFFENCES FOR WHICH SHE IS REQUIRED TO FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES.
I read in Mr Din Merican’s posts that you have written a book of your essays, In Good Faith, that touted the need for judicial independence (although I have not read your book), and I am publishing this letter on the Internet. You have been appointed by the Prime Minister to restore the DIGNITY AND PROFESSIONLISM AND ETHICS OF THE MALAYSIAN JUDICIARY.
From my perspective there is no need to reform anything because the laws of Malaysia is sufficiently adequate to be the basis of a just and law abiding society, BUT WHAT IS NEEDED IS RESPECT OF THE LAW BY HIGH COURT JUDGES AND THE MANDATORY ACCOUNTABILITY TO ENFORCE THE LAW AS IS. In this sense, Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali must face criminal prosecution for malfeasance for the moment and others later.
I need to quote 2 passages from a post in Mr Din Merican’s blog:
(1)”The final test is whether our judges are legal experts. An independent judiciary would be meaningless if judges were incompetent in applying the law. For the judiciary to inspire public confidence, its membership must reflect excellence. Lawyers who are deemed distinguished legal specialists by their peers and the Bench would then feel honoured to have been selected”.
To recite all my charges made against Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali is much too long because I have made too many posts on my own blogg at http://yap.chongyee.blogspot.com; suffice to say that judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali’s knowledge of the law is ZERO.For all my charges that are posted on my blog relating to the total INCOMPETENCE AND ABSENSE OF LEGAL LEARNING OF JUDGE ZAINON BINTI MOHD. ALI I WILL HAVE NO PROBLEM TO DEFEND MYSELF BASED ON THE DEFENSE OF TRUTH.
YB Dato Zaid Ibrahim, you will have no problem if you are truthful and sincere to want to reform the Malaysian Judiciary because the laws the ENFORCE JUDICIAL INTEGRITY & PROFESSIONALISM IS ALREADY IN PLACE, ONLY THE WILL OF THE BARISAN NASIONAL GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE IT REMAINS.
(2) “The second point that I want to make is : Last and definitely not the least is “integrity” and he went on to describe what I believe is lacking in our judiciary: integrity to Viscount Kilmuir, extends beyond not taking bribes but includes more subtle “integrity of the intellect” which means never advancing a dishonest argument,or shirking awkward facts just because they raise difficult problems”.
This 2nd point is self explaining and needs no commentary.
This letter will be sent to YB Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah, Leader of the Opposition designate and YB Miss Fong Po Kuan MP for Batu Gajah.
Copy : The Attorney General, Malaysia, Chief Judge of Malaya, President & Secretary Bar Council of Malaysia, to all legal practitioners randomly.
It may well we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Mov’d earth and heaven, that which we are, we are:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
—-Alfred, Lord Tennyson
New York City
March 24, 2008
‘O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety. Indeed the noblest among you is the one who is deeply conscious of God.’ – a saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
‘Malaysia – to whom does it belong? To Malaysians. But who are Malaysians? I hope I am, Mr Speaker, Sir. But sometimes, sitting in this chamber, I doubt whether I am allowed to be a Malaysian. This is the doubt that hangs over many minds, and … [once] emotions are set in motion, and men pitted against men along these unspoken lines, you will have the kind of warfare that will split the nation from top to bottom and undo Malaysia.’ – Lee Kuan Yew, now Minister Mentor, Republic of Singapore.
Instead of defining Ketuanan Melayu as ‘Malay superiority’ which is quite meaningless, philologically inaccurate, and philosophically arrogant, I think the word ‘dictatorship’ is closer in meaning. As you read this piece, please refrain from value judgment and from bring trapped in the prison-house of language pertaining to the word ‘dictatorship’.
To dictate connotes to tell, which connotes to narrate. To narrate means to weave a story based on an ideology. To ideologise means to encapsulate. To encapsulate means to be trap. Dictatorship, here might also mean an entrapment. Instead of acknowledging one’s freedom to rule, one is acknowledging being in an entrapment – and to rule out of that condition. This is a form of false consciousness.
Words, as a literary theorist Raymond Williams might say, must also be contextualised or situated within the economic condition they emerge in. Marx’s famous dictum that human existence is defined by the economic condition they are in and that this condition is already predetermined. This is a deterministic view of human history.
I first read heard the phrase Ketuanan Melayu in the mid-1980s from a book by one Malik Munip. I was reading his work, at the same time reading Lim Kit Siang’s ‘Malaysia in the Dangerous 80s’, to get a sense of the argument. I was an undergraduate reading Literature, Education and International Politics.
I also heard that Malay students were discouraged from reading Kit Siang’s work and encouraged to read ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. I love banned books and books that others tell me not to read. There is a sense of intellectual challenge to be able to read banned books.
I read Mahathir Mohamad’s ‘The Malay Dilemma’ and Syed Husin Ali’s ‘Malays: Their Problems and their Future’ and Syed Hussein Alatas’ ‘The Myth of the Lazy Native’ at the same time. Again, to get a sense of balance.
I read Malaysian official publications on economic outlook, juxtaposing them with a close reading of analyses on the political economy of the Malaysian capitalist state.
I read the work of Freud and Marx to see where some of the major authors of the Frankfurt School of Social Research are going with their arguments on totalitarianism. I read the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata to see where the arguments on race superiority lie and what the fate of humankind will be.
The idea of social dominance and racial superiority might all be primarily about economics, if we are to read the history of the development of ideologies of superiority. But my question is — who has the right to claim that this or that land belongs to this or that group of people. At what point does culture and citizenship meet and negotiate the issue of egalitarianism? When does ‘the truth of one’s culture’ reach its limit and the question of ‘the truth of citizenship’ dominate?
This is a very complex question Malaysians must answer after 50 years of Independence. We must open up the dialogue on this issue.
Let us look at how the idea of Ketuanan Melayu is disseminated to the young. One way is through indoctrination camps in which songs are used.
Over the decades, perhaps millions of Malay students like me were taught the dangerous propaganda song, ‘Anak Kecil Main Api’(A Child Plays with Fire). One verse concerns the power of the Malays:
… kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa
yang akan menentukan bangsa
hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain
pribumi merintih sendiri…
My loose translation of this 1980s propaganda song by the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) reads:
… political power is what we are only left with
one that will determine the fate of our nation
wealth of this nation flows into the hands of others
sons and daughters of the soil suffer in solace…
I do not think we have a clear understanding of what the lyrics mean. I doubt if the songwriter even understand what a ‘people’s history of Malaya’ means. It is a song based on racist intents; its lyrics penned by one who does not have a good grasp of the political economy of Malaysian history, let alone the latest advances in the field of psychology of consciousness.
The training programes that encapsulate the theme of this song are meant to instill fear of the Malays, not of others but of themselves, and to project hatred onto other ethnic groups without realising who the enemy of the Malays really are.
Using relaxation techniques to bring the brain waves in the alpha and state (conducive for suggestive and subliminal messages), trainees were put under ‘half-asleep’ conditions to get the Ketuanan Melayu message to colonise the consciousness. The technique pioneered by Russian brain scientists Barzakov and Lozanov in the1970s, called ‘suggestopedia’, is used to instill the deep sense of fear for oneself and hatred of others.
History is a complex syntagmatic pattern of interplay between technology, ideology, culture, inscription and institutionalisation not easily reduced to simplistic lyrics as such sung to the tune of pre-war German-nationalistic-sounding compositions.
History is about the complex evolution of the ruling class which owns the technologies of control. As Marx would say, at every epoch it is the history of those who own the means of production that will be written and rewritten. The winners write history, the losers write poetry or study anthropology, some would lament.
Back to the lyrics.
After 50 years of Merdeka (Independence), who is suffering in Malaysia? Who has become wealthy? Who has evolved into robber barons? What has become of our judiciary system, our universities, our city streets, our sense of public safety and security, our schools, our youth, and our entire socio-economic arrangements. How has the idea of Ketuanan Melayu contributed to this state of affairs?
Language of power and ideology is at play in those lyrics. The definition of ‘bumiputera’ is at play. It has become a problematic word in this age of deconstructionism; an age wherein as the poet WB Yeats said, “the centre cannot hold”.
Rock musicians will recall the Scorpions’ famous song ‘Winds of Change’ to serenade the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the breakdown of the Soviet Empire. We have to face the ‘wrath’ of the word.
Put an end to Ketuanan Melayu
For Muslims in Malaysia, this saying by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is familiar: ‘Your descent is nothing to be proud of. Nor does it bring you superiority. O people! All of you are the children of Adam. You are like equal wheat grains in a bowl … No one has any superiority over anyone else, except in religion and heedfulness. In order to consider someone a wicked person, it suffices that he humiliates other people, is mean with money, bad-tempered and exceeds the limits…’
I would say that Ketuanan Melayu is a dangerous concept that is threatening race relations. It is an arrogant interpretation of selective history; of a history that is largely benefiting those who profit from the ideology.
Those promoting this concept are not well-versed in the matters of philosophy of history. I do not think thinking Malays these days subscribe to the idea of ‘Malay dominance and dictatorship’. If there is a ketuanan of one race, then the rest are ‘slaves’ and ‘serfs’ and ‘sub-citizens’, if we are to analyse it from the point of view of ‘Master-Slave’ narrative?
As a Malay wishing to see the withering of and an end to the concept of Ketuanan Melayu and the birth of a new consciousness that will respect the dignity of all races and the humility of all ethnic groups, I call upon Malaysians to continue to be critical of any attempt by any race to project their own sense of false superiority that would only breed dangerous ethnocentrism bordering on xenophobia.
We should work together to deconstruct all forms of race-based political arrangement and work towards establishing a new order based on a more egalitarian economic design that takes into consideration the basic needs and dignity of all races.
We should teach our schoolchildren how to deconstruct such sense of racial superiority, through the teaching of not only tolerance but social egalitarianism – via peace education strategies. We will have a lot to gain for generations to come.
March 24, 2008
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
In the old days it used to be called “The Ugly American”. Today, it is The Ugly Malaysian, at least as far as this country is concerned.
Malaysians, just like Americans, are racists; there is no doubt about that. But while Americans will accept the fact that they are racists, Malaysians will deny it and will instead claim to be very tolerant of the other race or races.
You can always tell when a person is a racist from the opening statement when a Chinese says “I have a lot of Indian friends”, or a Malay says “I used to mix with Chinese at school”, or an Indian says “Actually, Malays in the kampong are very nice people”, and so on. This is the Malay, Chinese and Indian way of giving their ‘stamp of approval’ to the other race. Why do you need to emphasis the word ‘Malay’, ‘Chinese’ or ‘Indian’? Is this your way of showing tolerance? Does the emphasis on race mean you are ‘tolerant’ of those not of your race? Is this to give an appearance of magnanimity or generosity on your part? See what a great guy I am. I tolerate the other races— as if I need anyone to ‘tolerate’ me.
Look at Malaysiakini’s latest report on the Selangor State EXCO line-up. Malaysiakini reported that out of the ten EXCO Members, six are going to be non-Malays and four of them women. Who the hell cares whether six are non-Malays and four are women? Are these people being chosen to run the state because of their race and gender? Should they not be chosen because of their qualifications and capabilities? Who are these six non-Malays and four women anyway? Are they the best of the lot? Will they outperform and outshine the previous Khir Toyo administration? Are we going to see Selangor grow and prosper by leaps and bounds? Is Selangor going to be paradise on earth?
Who cares? What matters is that six are going to be non-Malays and four are going to be women. That is what matters and that is what is going to guarantee a great future ahead of us. The calibre of the ten EXCO members was buried in the consideration of race and gender. That is the main focus and that is what appears to be the deciding factor. Woe to this country when race and gender override all other factors.
Are Malaysians ready for an all-women EXCO line-up? What if all ten EXCO Members are women? If all these ten women are the most capable of the lot and none of the men can better their credentials would this be so bad? Should not that be what matters? What if all ten EXCO Members are Chinese, or all ten Indians, or all ten Malays? Would this be so bad as well? No, Selangor is 52% Malay and 48% non-Malay. Furthermore, 52% of the voters are women and 48% of the voters men. So the ten-member EXCO line-up must reflect this racial and gender breakdown. Oh? Is that so? Well, since 40% of Malaysians are non-Malays and 51% are women, how can we have just one Prime Minister who is a Malay man? What about the 40% non-Malay Malaysians and the 51% women Malaysians? A Malay man Prime Minister means that the 40% non-Malays and 51% women are ‘not represented’.
This argument of ‘equal’ representation according to race and gender is ridiculous. This means gays and lesbians plus Portuguese, Ibans, Dayaks, Kadazan, Sikhs, Ceylonese, Siamese, Javanese, Bugis, Burmese, Vietnamese, etc. can demand and should also be given ‘representation’ in the government since they too are Malaysian citizens. If men and women are a criteria, then gays and lesbians should equally be a criteria. And if Malay, Chinese and Indian are considerations, then ‘others’ not Malay, Chinese and Indian should also be considerations. Or are the minorities not important, as Nazri Aziz said a few months ago?
It is most upsetting to read news reports, even by those ‘alternative’ and more progressive sources like Malaysiakini, playing the racial card. It would have sufficed if Malaysiakini had reported that ten EXCO Members (though it was wrong as it is actually nine) had been decided without stressing on the six non-Malays and four Malays (which is again wrong). What is the purpose of bringing to the readers’ attention the race of the EXCO Members and stress on the fact that six are non-Malays and four Malays (which in the first place is wrong)?
This has been what has delayed the swearing-in of the EXCO members although the elections were held two weeks ago. It was because of how many Malays and how many non-Malays should be in the EXCO line-up. Furthermore, the three opposition parties that had agreed to form the new coalition government in the state could not agree on a 4:4:2 or 5:3:2 or 4:3:2 formula. That one extra EXCO seat resulted in a ‘deadlock’ of sorts. Who cares who gets that one extra seat? I don’t! Most of the voters don’t! But the three opposition parties do and what the political parties want count, not what the voters want?
You see, the state is ‘owned’ by the political parties, not by the rakyat. It is the political parties that won the election, not the rakyat. The rakyat do not matter. What the political parties want does. When the political parties came before the rakyat during the election campaign, they spoke about Barisan Nasional’s racist policies. They asked the rakyat to reject Barisan Nasional because Barisan Nasional stands for racism.
The opposition parties campaigned on a platform of non-race-based politics. They argued that we are all Malaysians, one nation of Malaysians, not a nation divided by race. Malays, Chinese and Indians are one, they screamed. Let us unite. Let us look at each other as brothers and sisters. Never mind who you vote for. Never mind if the candidate is Malay, Chinese or Indian. Never mind if the political party the candidates represent is DAP, PKR or PAS. Just vote opposition. Just vote any race. Just vote any political party. But after they win they argue about which race, which political party, which gender, and what the sexual preferences of each candidate is in deciding how to form the government.
When the rakyat chose the government, race, religion, gender, and whatever else, were furthest from their minds. They did not care which party you were from. They did not care which religion you believed in. They did not care whether you are Malay, Chinese or Indian. They voted for you regardless whether you are man, woman, or gay man/woman. Do you think they now want to split hairs over just one seat because the politicians want a Malay, Chinese, Indian, man, woman, etc., majority?
Just form the government and form it quick. While you haggle, valuable information and crucial evidence are disappearing. So what if we get an extra Malay, or extra Chinese, or extra Indian, or extra man, or extra woman, or whether that extra seat is Siamese and gay to boot? Did not DAP, PKR and PAS scream that it does not matter whether it is a white cat or a black cat, the most important thing is that the cat can catch the mouse? Now that you won our votes, you forget about this black cat and white cat crap. Now that you are in power, you are fussy about the colour of the cat and argue about what God that cat believes in and whether this cat comes with a pussy or a dick.
Aiyoh, what is wrong with these politicians? Barisan Nasional and Barisan Rakyat are both the same. At the end of the day, party interest comes first. At the end of the day, your race and religion matter. The ‘one-Malaysian’ and ‘all are brothers and sisters’ is only raised during the election campaign and when they want our votes. After that, they put that all away into the closet, to be raised only during the next election campaign.
My wife and I voted in Subang USJ and we both voted for an Indian man and a Chinese girl. We did not vote for them because they happen to be an Indian man and a Chinese girl. We also did not refuse to vote for them because they happen to not be Malay and Muslim. We voted for them because we support the opposition. And their race, religion and gender did not matter one bit when we voted for them. Why, then, should it suddenly matter now? That is what baffles me about the Malaysian mind.
by Colin A Pereira
March 24, 2008
As we wake up to a new and refreshing political climate in Malaysia, it is bemusing to note that the component parties of the Barisan Nasional that performed dismally in the elections are now considering doing some soul searching and post mortem to ascertain the reasons for their losses.
It is difficult to decide whether one should feel a tinge of sympathy for them or be totally outraged by the fact that the ruling elite were so entrenched in their respective ivory towers that they were unable to ascertain the mood of the electorate.
It amazes one that the BN did not envisage the people being revolted by the Prime Minister’s threat that Indians and Chinese may not be represented in cabinet if the component parties’ candidates were not voted in, the distasteful propaganda against an opposition woman MP, and the constant reminder of the 1969 riots that followed the last time the BN performed so badly in an election.
How could one feel anything but nauseous when a 15-year old heart transplant patient was used to garner support for the ruling elite or when those who have lost their loved ones to, or themselves been victims of crime, are assured that Malaysia is an incredibly safe place. The ruling parties, rather than addressing the concerns of the ordinary person, such as rising prices, rising unemployment, rising crime, racial and religious strife and corruption at every level of society focused entirely on playing the racial game and stirring up fear in the hope that Malaysians could, once again, be intimidated into voting for the classroom bully.
There would have been no need for any soul searching had the government listened to the people’s concerns during the various public rallies that preceded the general election instead of either, ignoring the voices of reason, or suppressing them, sometimes with brute force. It was truly incredulous that the government was unable – or refused – to comprehend the people’s need for safer streets, an incorruptible judiciary and greater personal freedoms.
Malaysians may not have intended to embrace the opposition so overwhelmingly. The goal may have been to rebuke the BN by flirting with the opposition. This flirtation has now turned into a full-fledged affair and it is incumbent on the new state governments to deliver and rise to the challenges, of which there are many.
Primarily, all state administrations must reflect the true composition of Malaysian society. The rot and corruption of the previous regimes must be exposed without fear or favour whilst those who have swindled the country of its wealth, be pursued vigorously. Only then will the voters feel assured that they made the correct choice in opting for change.
The election results show that Malaysians are no longer prepared to be taken for granted We want our streets back, we want our personal freedoms back and we want accountability by those we have placed our trust in. We can no longer be bought with scraps, thrown at us by the ruling elite whilst they keep the nation’s loot for themselves.
Malaysians have spoken with one voice in their desire for change and have shunned the racial politics so loved by those whose political survival depends on a divide and rule policy. We have sent a clear message that we will not allow either ourselves or our fellow Malaysians to be intimidated with threats such as those made by the Prime Minister on the eve of the election.
Race and religion may always be a factor in the voting pattern of Malaysians but at least we can be proud to have finally buried the ghost of 1969.