Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitr Al Mubarak

July 27, 2014

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitr Al Mubarak

din and kamJuly 28, 2014 has been declared Syawal 1, 2014 in Malaysia. Dr. Kamsiah and I wish all Muslims and other friends Happy Idul Fitr–Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri–and may tomorrow be a modest time for celebrations  as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives tragically on MH370 and MH 17 and their families. Those Malaysians who are leaving Kuala Lumpur to their respective hometowns for the long weekend, please drive carefully.

Hari Raya 2014Hari Raya–2014

We are grateful to all of you for your support of this blog. Dr. Kamsiah and I have learned a lot from your comments, views and ideas and we want you to keep on sharing your thoughts and feelings about developments in Malaysia and other parts of the world with us and your friends.Please do not be afraid to tell us and others who read this blog what you think. –Dr. Kamsiah and Din Merican

Happy Birthday US of America

July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, US of America

To Ambassador John Malott, Dr. Satu Lamaye of The East-West Centre, Dr. M. Bakri Musa, Semper Fi, Mr. Bean,  my friends, associates and former classmates at The George Washington School of Business, The George Washington University, Washington DC.

July 4, 2014



The World Belongs to the Man who spends himself in a worthy Cause

June 15, 2014

The World Belongs to the Man who spends himself in a worthy Cause

Teddy RooseveltI remind myself from time to time of Theodore D Roosevelt’s most famous statement, which I quote:

 “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who errs and comes up short again, but who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”–Theodore D Roosevelt

Four reasons for Malay weakness

May 16, 2014


by Mariam Mokhtar

The key to progress lies with the Malays. The population of Malaysia is 60% Malay. Even if all of the non-Malays were to vote for the Opposition it would still be insufficient to create a change in government. Changing Malay minds and attitudes is essential if the whole nation is to move forward.–Mariam Mokhtar

Why are Malays obsessed with supremacy ? Is it brainwashing or their own insecurity?

Why are Malays obsessed with supremacy ? Is it brainwashing or their own insecurity?

The Terengganu debacle, the 2009 Perak coup and GE13 have one thing in common: Najib Tun Razak. Najib’s fingerprints are all over these important events in Malaysian history. Najib’s involvement proves that Malaysia is a kleptocracy.

UMNO Baru was founded in 1988 and has risen to become a deadly threat to the national security of a multicultural country like Malaysia. How did this cancer spread so quickly?

The political link

UMNO Baru is not a political party. It functions more like a business. It is like the grandmother of all GLCs. It has access to unlimited funds with branches all over the world. Unlike public listed companies, UMNO Baru shareholders (its supporters) and the consumers of this enterprise (the rakyat) have little say.

Money speeds up decision making. It helped the Terengganu trio who resigned from UMNO  Baru, in the infamous Perak coup in 2009 and in GE13.

The true purpose of UMNO Baru is to prolong the political life of its leaders. With political power comes the ability to squander the wealth of the nation. In 1987, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for alleged vote rigging in the UMNO internal elections.

The High Court declared UMNO an illegal party. The original UMNO, which is synonymous with Tunku Abdul Rahman and independence, suffered an ignominious end because of Mahathir.

Humiliated by the courts, Mahathir schemed and plotted to punish the Judiciary. Mahathir did this because they had put him in the awkward position of being the PM of Malaysia but the President of an illegal political party.

With his position as PM in jeopardy he quickly formed a new party in 1988 and called it UMNO Baru. Mahathir transferred the assets of the original UMNO to his creation UMNO Baru.

onnThe Tunku and Hussein Onn withdrew their membership from UMNO and never sought to rejoin Mahathir’s UMNO Baru. Mahathir had brought shame on the party, the Judiciary and the nation.

The Malaysians who praise Mahathir tend to ignore this shameful piece of our history. The irony is that Mahathir was considered by many Malays to be Malay enough to lead the nation but sadly the Malays who try to do things in the interest of all Malaysians are not considered Malay enough.

The Malays

“Malays need protection & Islam needs defending.” These two myths have long been peddled by UMNO Baru but the effect has been to belittle the Malays and demonise the religion.

Few Malays ever ask UMNO Baru: “Why do we need protecting? From whom or from what?” The irony is that Malays need to be protected from UMNO Baru because it is an extremist party. If for any reason Malaysia ceased to exist tomorrow the Malays would still survive but UMNO Baru would be defunct.

If UMNO Baru were to fold up tomorrow, Malaysia would thrive and the Malays would flourish. The most valuable resource of this nation is not so much the natural wealth of the country like timber, oil, oil palm and rubber. Our most valuable resource is the people.

Malaysia would not be where it is today if not for the collective efforts and sacrifices of everyone, including the non-Malays, who built the economy, risked their lives in the two World Wars, the Emergency and the Confrontation.


Islam is not just a religion for UMNO Baru leaders. It is a tool to divide the nation, to bring the opposition down and to control the Malays. Muslims are the most oppressed race in Malaysia.

Everything they do or say is under scrutiny. Even scholars and octogenarians like Kassim Ahmad are treated shabbily. Books and films are banned to stop Muslims from expanding their knowledge.

President Obama did Malaysia a disservice by praising Malaysia for being aBarack Obama moderate Muslim nation. Even as he said it, bibles were banned from hotels in Pahang and extremist groups like Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) and PERKASA were provoking the non-Muslims whilst the authorities stood idly by.

Hudud is used to distract Malaysians from more important economic issues like the GST, and the government’s inability to plan and manage a crisis. The government’s failings were dramatically exposed during the disappearance of flight MH370.

Hudud –A Barbaric Practice

Hudud is a barbaric practice and has no place in the 21st century but many Muslims refuse to say or are afraid to say in public that they do not agree with this crude practise. They are torn between believing in democracy and having faith in their religion.

How often have you been dismissed by Muslims who for lack of something constructive to say will accuse you of invoking God’s wrath? How often have Muslims told the non-Muslim to “stop meddling in our religion, we don’t meddle in yours”? These Muslims forget that children have been kidnapped and dead bodies snatched in conversion cases. Bibles have been confiscated and other insults hurled at non-Muslims and their places of worship destroyed.

Which Islamic country has become completely crime-free and rape-free after the implementation of hudud? How is corruption punished under hudud?

As always some Muslims will say to more liberal Muslims, “You are not a true Muslim,” and terminate the discussion after warning, “Have you prepared your answers for when Allah questions you at Padang Mahsyar?” (The Day of Judgement)

Aversion to change

Despite 44 years of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and various other affirmative action policies, the majority of Malays are very poor, they lag behind in education, they lack confidence, they lack English speaking skills and cannot find employment in the private sector.

UMNO Baru manages to convince the Malays that the non-Malays are responsible for their failures. Ordinary Malays are prevented from achieving their true potential but because of conditioning by Umno Baru, are averse to change.

Malays must muster the courage to confront their leaders and make them accountable for their wrongdoings. Malays should demand that Malays who get rich by corrupt means are punished instead of saying “Takpe lah. Dia orang kita juga!” (Never mind. He is one of us!)

The key to progress lies with the Malays. The population of Malaysia is 60% Malay. Even if all of the non-Malays were to vote for the Opposition it would still be insufficient to create a change in government. Changing Malay minds and attitudes is essential if the whole nation is to move forward.



Congrats to Dr. Kamsiah G. Haider and her colleagues of Klinik Pakar Pergigian Dr. KAM

May 1, 2014

Congrats to Dr. Kamsiah G. Haider and her colleagues and Staff on the 17th Anniversary of  the founding of Klinik Pakar Pergigian Dr. KAM

Dr. KamsiahMy friends,

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Kamsiah (my dear wife) and her colleagues, Dr. Army Ampol and Dr Reginald Cuthbert Sta Maria and the staff of  Klinik Pakar Pergigian Dr. Kam in Taman Tun Dr.Ismail, Kuala Lumpur on the occasion of the 17th Anniversary of the Clinic’s founding.

Prior to joining private practice, Dr. Kamsiah, a graduate of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur and Scotland’s University of Dundee (with a Masters in Dentistry), was a tutor and lecturer at MU’s Dental Faculty for a decade. –Din Merican


Terima Kasih, Malaysia, says President Barack Obama

April 27, 2014

Terima Kasih, Malaysia, says President Barack Obama

Good evening. Selamat Petang.

Obama and King of MalaysiaPresident Barack Obama with The King and The Queen of Malaysia


Your Majesty, thank you so much for those warm words. To you, Her Majesty, Madam Rosmah, Prime Minister, distinguished guests and friends – thank you for the extraordinary hospitality that you’ve shown me and my delegation.

And on behalf of my country, I want to thank the Malaysian people for the wonderful welcome that you extended to us today. I’m delighted to make this historic visit. As some of you may know, it has been nearly 50 years since an American President visited Malaysia.

In his memoirs, Lyndon Johnson wrote of how impressed he was by the “extraordinary vitality and eagerness” he saw in the faces of people here and throughout Southeast Asia. And I’m eager to see that same boleh spirit tomorrow – (applause) – when I have the opportunity to speak with young people from across Southeast Asia at the University of Malaya.

Mr. Prime Minister, I look forward to our work together, and I pledge to infuse our efforts with that same spirit. Tonight, I simply want to express my gratitude for the generosity that you’ve shown us today – a generosity the people of Malaysia have extended to my family since I was elected.

As some of you may know, two years ago, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia hosted an exhibit that showcased some of my mother’s batik collection. Now, my mother loved batik. I remember when I was a boy growing up in Jakarta, she’d come home from village markets with her arms full of batik and she’d lay them around the house and look at them, and make dresses out of them. And I was a young boy so I wasn’t as excited as she was.

And they weren’t particularly fancy or expensive – although later in life, she would get some antiques that were extraordinary – but for my mother, batik wasn’t about fashion. It was representative of the work and the livelihood of mothers and young women who had painstakingly crafted them. It was a window into the lives of others – their cultures, and their traditions, and their hopes. And it meant so much to her and it was part of her spirit, and so I’m deeply grateful to the people of Malaysia for celebrating that part of my mother’s life. It was very kind of you.

And I tell this story because my mother believed, and I believe, that whether we come from a remote village or a big city, whether we live in the United States or in Malaysia, we all share basic human aspirations: To live in dignity and peace. To shape our own destiny. To be able to make a living and to work hard and support a family. And most of all, to leave the next generation something better than was left to us.

These are the aspirations that I believe illuminate a new era of partnership, of “berkerja sama” between the United States and Malaysia. For while we may be different as nations, our people have similar hopes and similar aspirations. And we can draw strength in both our nations from our ethnic and religious diversity. We can draw hope from our history. And we dream of a brighter future for all of our children.

So I would like to propose a toast: To the strength of our relationship, the power of our friendship, the peace and prosperity of our peoples, and the good health of Their Majesties the King and Queen.

Terima kasih banyak. Thank you very much. – The White, April 27, 2014.–

* Remarks by President Barack Obama at the State Banquet at Istana Negara on April 26, 2014, in conjunction with his visit to Malaysia.