The Poorest Among the Poor in Kuala Lumpur

October 22,2014

The Poorest Among the Poor in Kuala Lumpur

The Poorest Among the PoorWhat is their Future?

I got this from a friend who is living abroad. I can now understand why he chose to make a living overseas. I thank him for taking the trouble to send this SABM article (below) and for reminding me that we have plenty to do to eradicate poverty.

This thread is an eye open opener for all us regardless of colour, race and religion. We have the poorest among the poor in our midst right here in Kuala Lumpur. The pictures you see tell a sad story. Our country which hopes to be a developed nation in 2020 cannot deal with the plight of our poor citizens. See how they live. Sorry to spoil the Divali party.–Din Merican


Haris Onn Hussein: The Chosen One?

October 15, 2o14

Haris Onn Hussein: The Chosen One?

by Din Merican

Lembah Sari Sdn. Bhd with commercial links to Dato’ Haris Onn Hussein, the son of Haris Onn Husseinformer Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Hussein Onn, brother of Minister of Defence Hishammuddin Hussein and cousin to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was recently awarded a contract for the printing of security-labels for liquor and beer from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. The contract is worth some RM77 million.

The Edge Malaysia on September 12 reported that the contract was to design, print, store, supply and distribute banderols (tax stamps) for liquor (including beer) between 2014 and 2019. The company would also supply the department with authentication devices and necessary training. The letter of acceptance from the Customs Department was received by Lembah Sari on July 21, 2014.

With this latest award, Dato Haris who owns Duke Highway now effectively monopolises the security labels for all locally produced and imported cigarettes, as well as beer and liquor, in the country. He is very rich for life.

My initial reaction to this news was one of disbelief but upon some reflection I realise  that  the political elite in our country has been doing this sort of deals for a long time hidden from public scrutiny. You do not need special skills or knowledge to get lucrative business deals. All you have to do is to take full advantage of your connections and you are super wealthy almost overnight.

In Cambridge educated Dato Haris’ case, the fact that his grandfather was Dato Onn Jaafar, his father, Tun Hussein was Prime Minister, and so was his uncle, Tun Razak coupled with the fact that his first cousin is Prime Minister and elder brother is  Minister of Defence puts him in  a very privileged position to receive business offers, directorships  and cushy contracts.

So we can say that without powerful connections, he would not have made it in the commercial world. He is not alone, of course. Tun Mahathir’s sons,  Mirzan, Mokhzani and Mukhriz are privileged ones so are the children of UMNO elites and Cabinet Ministers.

Today, we are a divided nation in terms of rank and status, race and religion and income. Woe betide those of us who are egalitarians. The powerful and privileged will lord over us ordinary Malaysians who are condemned to lead a life of constant struggle for equity and justice.

People like Haris Onn and his kind lead a life of luxury and comfort. They are the chosen ones to whom life comes easy.  Even President John F. Kennedy  said that “[T]here is always inequity in life.  Life is unfair.” That is no comfort. But isn’t the role of government to strife for equity and equality of opportunity.

Najib’s Politics of Gua Tolong Lu, Lu Tolong Gua

October 15, 2014

Najib’s Politics of Gua Tolong Lu, Lu Tolong Gua

by Scott Ng (10-14-14)

Najib at MCAGua Tolong Lu, Lu Tolong Gua

Last Sunday, the Chinese were reminded once again that their welfare and continued success in Malaysia depended on their giving support to Barisan Nasional. The reminder came from no less than the Prime Minister. And right on cue, the MCA applauded while opposition politicians worked themselves into a frothy rage over the idea that for a community to receive the benefits its taxes pay for, it must first show loyalty to a political party.

It’s the greatest show on earth, and it sounds so familiar that we’re sick to death of it. The idea of political patronage benefiting a community is a time-honoured tradition in most political cultures, and Malaysia has it down to an art form. Engage in a weekend of chest-thumping at annual general meetings to shore up the support base for the party, say all the things that you wouldn’t say on a regular week despite the same issue being addressed, wait for the Prime Minister to arrive, let him soothe the party’s ego with sweet nothings, drop a bombshell about how the race the party represents needs to support him, watch the sparks fly.

The past five years of Najib Tun Razak’s administration have seen this occur in a pattern, trotted out during AGMs and elections like clockwork, so much so that it’s almost baffling for the media to continue covering these events. It’s come to the point where the media could almost write a template for the story and just fill in the blanks with the actual quote once the words have left Najib’s mouth. Then add a follow-up piece based on the enraged reactions of the opposition and the general public.

We’re not saying these criticisms are baseless or groundless. But it is the same old song and dance we’ve heard and seen time and time again over the past five years of the Najib era.

An era defined

What will define that era, though? Well, one could argue Najib’s title could be that of Bapa Kemewahan, evidenced by his jet-setting habits, but one could also make the case that Najib’s reign could be summarised in a line he delivers ever so often: “I help you, you help me.”

Observe his comments at the holy festival of Thaipusam in 2012: “If you help me, I’ll help you. You trust me, I trust you. Nambikei (trust) between all of us. Malaysia will prosper, Indians will prosper, all races can go forward.”

Or perhaps Sibu, 2010: “I want to make a deal with you. Can we have an understanding or not? The understanding is quite simple. I help you, you help me.” And, of course, the latest variation is the comment made at the 61st Annual General Meeting of the MCA. “You can’t demand and then support DAP. You can’t demand and then support PR. You demand, you support BN, we will be fair to the Chinese community.”

I help you, you help me (Gua Tolong Lu, Lu Tolong Gua)

The implication is simply this: unless you back BN, do not expect fairness. Do not expect to receive the benefits your taxes pay for. Do not expect to be defended when your race and religion are maligned by extremists who are so good at hijacking a national discourse that we should all be engaged in—the one about where this country is headed and where it should be headed.

But one supposes the majority of Malaysians already know all of this. The question we should be asking now is, how much longer can we tolerate, allow, and accept such language from the “supreme”(!) leader of the country, who is supposed to represent all communities in this beautiful, occasionally haze-ridden land of ours? How much longer do we have to endure this same old song and dance, knowing it will happen like clockwork? How much longer must we be held hostage against our right to prosper in the country we were born in?

To quote Najib himself, “Enough. Enough.”

It is time for a new song and dance to replace the rhythms we have become too accustomed to. The MCA cannot expect to regain the support of the Chinese community when it stands by and applauds these sentiments. It cannot expect the return of the community into its arms when it defends—or excuses—the Prime Minister by saying “it’s lonely at the top” and that the Chinese cannot make the political failure of not supporting the middle ground. This is what MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Chairman Ti Lian Ker says in a blog article.

At the end of the day, the benefits due to the people should be reaped by the people, as the wealth of a nation is built upon the back of the men and women who daily enter offices or step into the streets to ply their trade and expertise, even as the economy and the cost of day to day living break their hearts and spines.

Failed experiment

But the crux of the matter is simply this: the racial experiment has failed. It’s not just the idea of race-based parties that is flawed. The concept of “race” itself is unsound. There has not been a single idea more destructive to the well-being of the human race than the concept of race beyond a simple classification system to denote which region of the world a person originates from, and even then the concept gradually becomes more and more flawed when you consider multiculturalism and multiracialism blooming in all four corners of the globe. One day, monoculturalism will be a rarity. Where then will we find ourselves should we insist on hanging on to this outmoded idea?

Without a radical redefinition of what a “Malaysian” is, we are doomed to this vicious cycle of something stupid being said and someone reacting to it, while we look on in impotent rage, saying to ourselves, “You’ll see come election time. You’ll see.”

It is simply time to look beyond our identities and focus on our common trait of being Malaysian, and act in concert according to that common ground. At the very end of the day, it just boils down to the fact that Malaysians are so very tired of bread and circuses. A strategy that has worked so well since 140 BC is still in play today, and the cycle of cheap food and raucous entertainment (or what is known as “politics” in the Malaysian parlance) will go on till the day we become aware of the excellent play before us and recognise it as such.

Until then, we just have to accept that by this time next year, Najib probably will again say, “You help me, I help you,” or some variation of it.

“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions—everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.”Juvenal, Satire X.

Sarawak’s Nancy is a Spokeswoman for UMNO’s washed-out version of politics

October 12, 2014

Sarawak’s Nancy is a Spokeswoman for UMNO’s washed-out version of politics

by Sandra

“…it comes as a nasty shock that Nancy is now the face UMNO has pushed under the spotlight to meet the firing squad as she explains the double standards and religious intolerance perpetuated by Najib’s administration.”

Parliament is in session again and many an unsavoury character has let fly logic-defying remarks that have wormed their unfortunate way into our media.

Leading the pack of empty vessels was Bung Mokhtar and his unconvincing display of trauma at having his life threatened – all because of a tweet that he should be gotten “rid” of. More fiery tweet exchanges and a police report later, and we are all still reeling from the utter absurdity of the entire episode.

However one development that has refused to die down is that of Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali getting away scot-free after threatening to burn all Malay- and Iban-language Bibles containing the word “Allah”.


Nancy with an Identity Problem

Appearing like a Godsend to offer up a defence in the form of gibberish was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri. Explaining away Ibrahim Ali’s antics as nothing more that his “burning” desire to protect the sanctity of Islam, Nancy committed an even worse sin by saying his threats were in line with the Federal Constitution.

She also went out on a limb, explaining that Ibrahim Ali’s threat only extended to a specific group of individuals and not society at large. Hence the over reaction on everybody else’s part to want the dear fellow charged under the Sedition Act was totally unwarranted.

As the country’s de facto Law Minister, Nancy has taken a beating for those remarks. In the past few days, she has been accused by political leaders and members of the public for practising “double standards”, talking “rubbish” and being a “coward”.

Christians are incensed with her justifications and even some Muslims are stumped at how she has condoned Ibrahim’s bad behaviour by brushing it off as nothing out of the ordinary. But for those who know the real Nancy, she is far from the racist and cowardly politician she is made out to be at the moment.Being a Sarawakian, Nancy comes from a land where racism is a dirty word and religious intolerance is well… not tolerated.

Chinese… Dayaks… Malays… all live together peacefully, respectful of each other’s cultural and religious beliefs regardless of whether they pray to Allah, Jesus or a tree.

Of mixed parentage herself – Scot, Chinese, Iban, Malay, Melanau – Nancy grew up without agonising over whether she was Malay or Chinese. She was just Nancy. And Malaysian.

In an interview she had with online news portal The Nut Graph in 2010, Nancy said that for most Sarawakians, eating at a non-Muslim’s house was never a problem. No one ever asked if the dishes were halal or non-halal. They just ate because “that’s us”.

She also commented that the “Allah” issue the country is currently obsessing over was one Sarawakians chose to remain silent about in Parliament… until now of course, since Najib’s administration has picked her to be the scapegoat, and unfortunate spokeswoman, for its washed-out version of politics.

As one who led Christian hymns in her school days because it was merely a singing activity to her, it is an abomination that she has allowed peninsula-style politics to wrap its hideous tentacles around her once-liberal mind and wring it dry.

Is Nancy merely toeing the line? And if so, is her forsaking all that she has felt passionate about until recently worth the effort?

For someone who once said, “We don’t want anyone from outside Sarawak to come and teach us about harmony or peace or living in unity!”, it comes as a nasty shock that Nancy is now the face UMNO has pushed under the spotlight to meet the firing squad as she explains the double standards and religious intolerance perpetuated by Najib’s administration.

While Najib stands at the world stage preaching his brand of moderation, it is the liberals like Nancy, who should be making a stand to right the many wrongs this nation is committing in broad daylight.

If Nancy, who once said she hoped Sarawakians could be a model of how to live peacefully, has seemingly crossed over to the dark side, do the rest of us even have a prayer?


Dr Welsh on PAS’ 60th Muktamar and the Doublespeak of Abdul Hadi Awang

October 7, 2014

Dr Welsh on PAS’ 60th Muktamar and the Doublespeak of Abdul Hadi Awang

Hadi3The Political Comedian with Ambition to be Malaysia’s Next Prime Minister

COMMENT: With emotional outbursts, walkouts and contradictory statements, PAS’ 60th muktamar last week was more of a confrontation rather than a celebration.

With the PAS President referring to the Islamic party’s Pakatan Rakyat partners as “minor enemies” and its members who stood with ally PKR as “lackeys”, it has become evident that PAS under the leadership of Abdul Hadi Awang appears to be no longer a party that can be trusted to listen to the people and work with other parties to bring change to Malaysia.

There is a sense of betrayal among the public, whose hopes have been dashed by a reactionary faction of conservative ulama within PAS who think they are the ‘chosen ones’ – many of whom who have acted in a manner that is neither in keeping with their religious values nor reflects wisdom.

In the wake of this muktamar, where the reactionary forces have dominated the bitter discourse, the Pakatan coalition has suffered a serious blow from within. It appears that the opposition coalition is over. This conclusion is understandable but – for now – premature.

Pakatan is clearly deeply wounded, but the intensity of the battle inside PAS reveals an ongoing struggle that suggests that there are many more battles ahead and the fight to develop an alternative political narrative is not over. In fact, arguably, the PAS muktamar reveals the scope of struggles that are necessary to overcome in order to give the majority of Malaysians what they have voted for – a better Malaysia.

In this muktamar, the divide within PAS has come into the open. The skirmishes have been ongoing for many years, repeating historical tensions inside the party and paralleling struggles within Islamist parties globally.

PAS has moved from a pattern of working toward consensus – even this was fragile – to open conflict. Those that are the most insecure, the conservative religious ulama, have taken to the reactionary tactic of destruction, aiming to derail political reform within PAS itself and nationally.

Most of the focus of the discussion has centred on Abdul Hadi Awang. The underlying issues facing the party go well beyond its president. There are three interrelated crises facing the party – identity, leadership and democracy. Let me elaborate these further.

PAS identity – in UMNO’s image?

PAS’ political advantage has traditionally been that its leaders are portrayed as moral and non-corrupt. This ‘upright’ standing has allowed the party to be compared favourably to UMNO. It has underscored the profound respect for spiritual leader Niz Aziz Nik Mat, for example, whose missing moral authority was keenly felt at the Johor muktamar. But PAS’ righteous advantage is disappearing.

Rightly or wrongly, PAS’ response in the Selangor MB crisis has caused many to question the honesty and integrity of its leaders. Double-speak, contradictions and inconsistencies – in direct contrast to the theme of the muktamar – have left a mark on party’s image.

PAS has always had a trust deficit among the majority of the country; it only managed to win on average a third of support among Malaysians on its own. The actions over the last few months have deepened distrust and, for many non-Muslims and Muslims alike, shattered the perception of PAS as the ‘good’ party.

People are asking why PAS leaders have misled the public, visited certain places in the shadow of night and avoided answering questions directly. In the wake of the muktamar, PAS has come off as a party interested in its own power, not listening to the public nor apparently keeping its promises. Has PAS taken a page from UMNO, many wonder?

In fact, while scholars point to UMNO becoming like PAS in its advocacy of exclusionary Islamist policies, there has been another phenomenon, PAS – or at least some within the party – is becoming more like UMNO.

This perception is reinforced by a closer look at the backgrounds of PAS leaders. Gone are the days of humility and humbleness. Today many PAS leaders appear to be interested in securing international positions, wealth and material goods. The sins of greed and pride appear evident.

Observers are asking how religious schools led by some PAS leaders have amassed such wealth, while others secured lucrative business contracts. Questions are being raised about the ties of many PAS leaders with those from UMNO over assets and finances.

Corruption and nepotism within PAS are even being quietly discussed in the sense that some are using the party for position, their families and personal wealth rather than the ideals the party supposedly espouses. Worse yet, religion is being used to justify positions that appear to be more about self-interest rather than actual religious principles.

For decades, PAS has been wrestling with how to promote an Islamist agenda and what sort of Islam it should be advocating. As it engaged in a more inclusive manner through Pakatan, the myopic focus on implementing hudud and syariah laws has been challenged by more inclusive shared religious values of justice, good governance and stronger humanity.

A spirit of humanism and community has been fostered, where greater inclusiveness and appreciation for equality have disputed the narrow-minded thinking of many conservative ulama that see themselves a step above ordinary people.

Many conservative ulama within the party are uncomfortable moving outside of what they know, and in fact have increased their efforts to indoctrinate younger members with their interpreted religious views. They advocate an exclusionary approach that not only divides Malaysian society, but also follows the line of dictating to others.

They just don’t get that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians want to choose how they practice their own religion, and that the majority believe that the country is not ready for hudud.

Moreover, they do not realise that citizens are not willing to turn over moral authority to religious leaders that appear to be acting immorally. PAS’ conservative ulama appear to have forgotten that the means are as important as the ends, and by choosing to adopt practices that promote division and disrespect they are not acting righteously.

Sadly, of late, a path of destruction has been adopted by Hadi and his ulama camp against their professed goals. The message that stands out is not only one of further parallel to Umno in the prominence of arrogance and use of division, but it is also a signal that ironically strengthens Umno as the choice for government over the long term.

Crisis of leadership

Malaysians have been searching for leaders they can respect and put their faith in. More and more have been putting their belief in PAS. But this muktamar has not inspired any such confidence.

Rather than working together to move the country forward, PAS under Hadi appears to want to move the country and his party backward. When Hadi assumed the presidency in 2002, he had difficult shoes to fill following the death of Fadzil Noor. Not only was the former president willing to listen and work with others, he inspired support that brought new people into the party and won additional states to govern.

By any measure Hadi cannot be credited with the same gains, especially in recent months. Hadi’s decisions contributed to the loss of Kedah, Terengganu (twice), Perak and potentially Selangor, and his leadership has weakened rather than strengthened the party.

The future of Hadi’s leadership will continue to play out until the next muktamar when a party election is scheduled. The rally-around-the-leader dynamic of this muktamar was as much a reflection of weakness of Hadi’s leadership as it shows that many within his own party are alienated by his actions.

The leadership problem in PAS is broader than one person. One dimension is the role of the ulama in the party hierarchy. Many in PAS do not agree that the conservative ulama should lead the party. It is a long-standing battle in PAS, and this battle has intensified.

Until this muktamar, the conservative ulama have been losing ground. Conservative ulama have played limited roles in Pakatan, with many of them not even attending decision-making meetings. The ulama leadership in states like Kedah was rejected by the electorate.

The key PAS actors involved in successful Pakatan governance have been those with the direct skills and knowledge to address the country’s problems, the non-ulama. The party delegates and general public understand this. In last year’s muktamar, progressives were elected in the majority for positions, as the delegates opted for more non-ulama leadership.

The conservative ulama fear marginalisation and in this muktamar fought back. They defended the decisions and positions of their teammate Hadi who has increasingly taken on less reform-oriented positions.

The conservative ulama clearly are unwilling to accept a different and more advisory political role. The recent meeting shows that they are willing to do anything to stay in premier positions, even if it means dividing PAS and weakening the opposition as a whole.

Painting themselves as martyrs for the conservative cause, the current ulama are seen to be trying to assure the survival of younger conservatives, many of whom are from the same families of the current ulama leadership. At its root is a reactionary goal – to stop reforms in the party and nationally.

A second leadership problem is that PAS currently does not offer a viable prime minister candidate. This has to do in part with the competition among the more progressive leaders among themselves. It also stems for a lack of grooming and experience of many PAS leaders in government and on the national stage.

For a party that supposedly claims to seek national power, it has a deficit in giving voters an alternative that can not only lead the country but also inspire confidence. While there are many PAS leaders that have potential to fill this role, the current situation and traditional PAS party culture of accepting hierarchy has prevented them from coming to the fore.

If the progressives are to have any chance at all they will need to agree and present an alternative leader. This will require significant reform within PAS, and successful measures involving courage that thwart the reactionary turn.

Moving away from democracy towards theocracy

A third interrelated dimension of PAS’ current crises involves democracy. PAS is grappling with the conflict between different political bodies within the party, namely the syura council versus the central working committee.

It is wrestling also to respond to an increasingly demanding and diverse membership and electorate. In recent months, the PAS ulama leadership has moved in a more authoritarian direction, with decisions by fiat rather than through consultation.

In fact, minority views have prevailed, as the majority were ignored, dismissed and even ridiculed. Clearly, the mandate of the delegates and voters has been ignored. The conservative ulama appear not to understand that dictatorial practices lead to the downfall of Islamist parties, as happened in Egypt. They similarly do not understand that as an opposition party calling for more democracy, their own lack of democratic governance reveals hypocrisy.

PAS, like other parties, wrestles with engaging democratic practices. As Umno and PKR have introduced more democratic internal party elections, allowing members to select the party leadership, under Hadi PAS has resisted opening up. This has not allowed new blood to come into the leadership and different ideas to emerge. It has signaled a lack of respect for the wisdom of its members.

Another challenge has been including women in political positions within PAS. The party leadership’s recent attacks on a politician – although not everyone in PAS – because she is woman, has not conformed to democratic values of inclusion.

Equally important, members in PAS have been supporting decisions that are not in line with the public mandate on who was voted into office and why. Unlike a decade ago where PAS was leading the path toward democracy in the Malay community, the Islamist party has stagnated in expanding democracy. In this muktamar, the reactionary conservative ulama have further resisted democratic reforms.

An example is the supremacy of the syura council in party decisions. Syura members have the undemocratic power to choose their members and they are not accountable to anyone. Is this the type of body that Malaysians are willing to accept to wield ultimate decision-making power and those who assume positions not from an open election?

Who should have power and whether that power should be accountable to the delegates and ordinary voters has come to the fore.

This involves the difficult issue of legitimacy. Who should legitimately hold power? How should leaders be chosen by the people? What should be the source of legitimate power is right for PAS? Should it be the party constitution, elections from members or archaic practices of a syura council that is neither representative to the party itself or appears willing to respect and listen to the views and aspirations of ordinary voters?

Reforms to the party constitution will be necessary if the party is to move in a more democratic direction. The reactionary push-back in PAS has resisted these democratic pressures. More broadly, the party’s authoritarian turn had been damaging for democracy in Malaysia.

Difficult future for Pakatan


The Doublespeak of Hadi weakens Pakatan Rakyat

The reactionary elements in PAS have been there for decades. In this muktamar, they have come out into the open. The intensity of their responses reflects ongoing struggles over identity, leadership and democracy.

The fact that they have come out as they have, fighting in a no-holds-barred manner, reveals weakness not strength. They are afraid and insecure. They are willing to do everything to stay in control of PAS to maintain their reactionary position.

The use of reactionary politics is sadly increasingly common across the political spectrum in UMNO as well as PAS. Its roots however have to be seen to derive from the increasing democratic pressures and demands from the public on leaders who are neither willing nor able to accommodate them.

The fact that more of these reactionary measures are being used shows that Malaysia is changing and those in power are unwilling to change with it.

PAS is headed for further internal struggles. The more progressive forces in the party may appear to have lost ground at this muktamar, with reactionary forces dominating the discourse. They clearly were not prepared to fight openly against the reactionary forces. But they have survived to fight another day, and the party election in the next muktamar as well as the Selangor issue will be the next battlefields.

The muktamar showed that the internal battles will continue to rage, and that the fight within PAS is far from over. The important decision ahead for the progressives in PAS involve whether or not to stay within the party, the development of strategies that strengthen internal party reform and movement toward offering an alternative leader to Hadi.

What does this mean for Pakatan? Is it dead as many have claimed? No question, the working relationships of leaders and partnerships have soured, and will likely to continue. The opposition coalition may enter a period of decline. As long as the reactionaries control the party decisions in PAS, the Islamist party will not be seen as a trusted partner. This will feed distrust among the opposition parties.

Pakatan’s future will heavily depend on the outcome of the battles within PAS. It is important at this juncture not to completely dismiss PAS and the reality of the difficulty of its internal struggles. Indeed, the battle for democracy in the Malay community is taking place on many fronts.

It also needs to be acknowledged that PAS alone is not responsible for all the troubles in Pakatan and considerable responsibility lies with the folly of the ‘Kajang move’ and inflexibility of other Pakatan leaders in the handling the Selangor crisis. PAS’ Pakatan partners need to look inside themselves to appreciate why reactionary forces in PAS have become so predominant.

Pakatan now enters its most difficult phase and this will decide whether the coalition will survive and the struggle for political reform is a genuine one. It will involve courage, faith and wisdom. One decisive factor ahead will be the willingness of leaders across the opposition coalition to learn lessons from Selangor and set in place measures that offset the damaging cycle that has emerged.

Current conditions suggest this is not yet promising. People are increasingly losing confidence in Pakatan and words will not be enough. What will matter is whether the opposition remembers why it is in office in the first place – to serve the people.

Malaysians want results and solutions to problems rather than politicking that results in more problems. The time now is for reflection, not reaction or ‘reactionarism’, and a return to respecting the mandate that made the Pakatan coalition a reality in the first place.

BRIDGET WELSH is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for East Asia Democratic Studies of National Taiwan University and can be reached at

David Cameron’s Speech at Conservative Party Convention

October 6, 2014

David Cameron’s Speech at Conservative Party Convention: Securing a Better Future

Listen to this superb speech from Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain to his party. Listen also to George Osborne and William Hague. I wonder what our Prime Minister will say to his party members at the next UMNO General Assembly.–Din Merican

David Cameron

George Osborne

William Hague