Ketuanan Melayu is UMNO’s lifeblood


January 28,2012

http://www.freemalaysiakini.com

Ketuanan Melayu is UMNO’s lifeblood

by Salena Tay@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

“This will be a never-ending game of race and religion orchestrated by UMNO. And you can add in the Hang Tuah card, too, unless the rakyat will put a stop to all these unethical abuse of cards in the coming 13th general election. As it is now, the cards are heavily stacked against Pakatan.”

If both Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat were alive today (alas, they are mere mythical characters!), it would be easy to tell which political party they will support, going by the statements they have made.

This is Hang Tuah’s statement: “Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia” (the Malays will never vanish from the face of the earth). And this is Hang Jebat’s statement: “Aku Jebat, rakyat biasa. Pangkat aku untuk kepentingan rakyat. Bergerak aku untuk membuat jasa kepada rakyat dan aku rela mati untuk rakyat kerana aku mahu keadilan, keadilan. Keadilan!” (I am Jebat, an ordinary citizen. My rank is for the people’s well-being. I work for the good of the people and I am willing to die for the people because I want justice, justice. Justice!)

No doubt about it. UMNO glorifies Hang Tuah in order to cement firmly the support of the Malays to the party as UMNO is all about Ketuanan Melayu or Malay supremacy. And this is clearly epitomised in Hang Tuah. This is the reason why Hang Tuah is glorified in our history textbooks – to imbue young Malay minds to worship Hang Tuah so that these children will grow up thinking that the Malay is the greatest race on earth. This then is the Hang Tuah card played by UMNO.

UMNO and Ketuanan Melayu are Siamese twins. Malay supremacy is the lifeblood of UMNO. Gluing the Malays to the concept of Ketuanan Melayu is UMNO’s trump card and there is no way Pakatan Rakyat can break this stranglehold.

The battle ground is now for the votes of the Malays, especially the rural Malays. But the Malays have always been taught to fear the Chinese while the Chinese have been taught to fear a repeat of an incident which occurred in 1969. The Barisan Nasional federal government thus controls the citizens by using fear as a weapon and what a mighty weapon it is.

Together with the weapon of fear is the weapon of Malay supremacy. So strong are these weapons that even PAS as an Islamic party has failed to counter them. The Malay support for PAS is only about 36 to 38 percent. And not many Malays support PKR either because they think that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has given too much leeway to the Chinese and the Indians.

Has UMNO programmed the Malays to be selfish and to only look after their own interests at all costs? There is no way the Malays will let go of Ketuanan Melayu and opt for Ketuanan Rakyat which is all encompassing and all inclusive. And this is also the reason why Pakatan will never win the general election. It is because the concept of Malay supremacy has locked up the Malay votes for UMNO.

Due to Ketuanan Melayu, the Malays tend to view DAP with suspicion and this has led to them to ostracise DAP. MCA does not suffer such a fate in BN as MCA is merely UMNO’s lackey while DAP is on an equal footing with PAS and PKR in the Pakatan coalition.

UMNO’s bogeyman

UMNO uses Ketuanan Melayu to frighten the Malays into thinking that the DAP is a threat to the Malays. This is, of course, untrue as has been proven in Penang but the rural Malays are unaware of this because they only have access to the mainstream media which is controlled by BN. Therefore, DAP is always used by UMNO as a bogeyman to scare the Malays.

Not only does UMNO play the race card against DAP, MCA does it too. And that is why MCA has been labelled as worthless eunuchs by the Chinese. In addition to the race card, both UMNO and MCA also play the religion card against DAP but in opposite methods. UMNO says DAP is anti-Islam while MCA says DAP supports hudud law. The religion card is used against DAP but played differently to different audiences.

To sum up, this is the way UMNO and MCA woo their respective race groups:

  • UMNO says this to the Malays: by supporting PAS, you will make DAP very powerful; and
  • MCA says this to the Chinese: by supporting DAP, you will make PAS very powerful.

Looks as if UMNO and MCA are still sticking to the old ways of communal politics – back to pre-Merdeka era style of doing things. With the existence of these types of political parties such as UMNO and MCA, how is Malaysia ever going to achieve a clean, vibrant and matured democracy? Therefore it goes without saying that BN must be booted out to put an end to the era of communal politics.

However, as the Malay votes are the deciding factor, UMNO is cunning in cornering the Malay mindset. OF course there are goodies for MCA and MIC too in order for them to toe UMNO’s line and get the votes of their respective communities, all for the benefit of UMNO. UMNO channels these goodies to MCA and MIC to keep them quiet.

This will be a never-ending game of race and religion orchestrated by UMNO. And you can add in the Hang Tuah card, too, unless the rakyat will put a stop to all these abuse of cards in the coming 13th General Election. As it is now, the cards are heavily stacked against Pakatan.

The TIME at Davos Debate: Capitalism Under Fire


January 28, 2012

The TIME at Davos Debate: Capitalism Under Fire

http://business.time.com/2012/01/25/time-debate-is-capitalism-failing/

TIME International Editor Jim Frederick hosts a panel discussion on the future of capitalism: Can a system that came of age in the 20th century serve the needs of 21st? Joining Frederick tackling this question is:

  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Global Agenda Council on Employment & Social Protection
  • Brian T. Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America
  • Raghuram G. Rajan, Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
  • David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Carlyle Group, USA
  • Ben J. Verwaayen, Chief Executive Officer, Alcatel-Lucent

Noam Chomsky–7th Edward Said Memorial Lecture


January 27, 2012

Noam Chomsky–7th Edward Said Memorial Lecture

There will be no entertainment this weekend. In stead, I have chosen to post some serious stuff for our reflection about life and personalities of great intellect.

Here I present to you Noam Chomsky’s Lecture in honour of his  friend, and  renown public intellectual and scholar, the late Edward Said of Columbia University.–Din Merican

Darwin, Humanism and Science–A.C.Grayling


January 27, 2012

Darwin, Humanism and Science–A.C.Grayling

I have posted a number of Prof. A.C. Grayling’s articles on the blog in the past. He is my favorite Philosopher of our generation. In keeping with that, I thought it would be a good idea if we listen to his lecture on Darwin, Humanism and Science. Below is some background that may be useful for us to understand his speech:

http://ottawa.humanists.net/lifewithoutgod/humanism.php

A.C. Grayling explores the idea of Humanism informed by Science

Humanism is a positive view of life that roots itself in the natural world and celebrates freedom, cooperation, understanding, creativity and compassion. It is a philosophy that allows people to affirm that they are responsible, ethical members of society, and justify it in a way that is compatible with modern science.

Most Humanists reject supernatural explanations for everything, including the most puzzling and seemingly unexplainable phenomena. We don’t, however, dismiss that some things that have traditionally been in the realm of theology deserve an explanation. Some of these important things include: The origins of the universe, ethics and morality, consciousness, emotion, and purpose. The project that is Humanism is to assemble natural explanations for all of these things into a view of the world that is logical, defensible, and most importantly: awe inspiring.

Doubt, Critical Thinking and the Scientific Method

“Take no one’s word for it”

One of the most core values of modern day Humanism is that it advocates the use of critical thinking and the scientific method in every aspect of a person’s life. Doubt is a feeling that is cherished by a Humanist because it has proven to be the great engine of innovation and progress.

Many say that one of the most important discoveries ever made by humanity was the scientific method. Since it has been adopted, the human species has been lifted out of millenia of dark ages and stagnation, and into a brand new world of understanding and discovery.

The scientific method is a self correcting process used for uncovering the nature of our world. Humanists believe that we are far from understanding the anything in it’s entirety, and only by subjecting all of our ideas to deep scrutiny and experiment will we ever get any closer. To a Humanist, nothing is beyond scrutiny and inquiry, not even the principles of Humanism! The fact that we are always open to being wrong, or not quite right is what allows us to move forward and grow.

Freedom, Cooperation, and Responsibility

“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

Take a moment, and try to imagine your life as a hermit with absolutely no interaction with other human beings on a day to day basis. Think of everything that you would be responsible for, and think of how barren a life in isolation would be emotionally. It is a dark thought, but on the bright side, it would be next to impossible to realize in our modern day world.

There are billions of humans on this planet, and millenia ago we had the collective realization that it would be much better for everyone if we organized ourselves and cooperated in societies. Today we have no choice but to play a contributory role in this massive human adventure. Humanists not only accept this fact but realize that respecting our roles as members of society is crucial in maintaining and bettering it.

Unfortunately we have not yet been able to level the playing field for everyone born into this world, and to do so is a mammoth yet extremely admirable goal to which we strive. Humanists value systems of organization and government that encourage peace, freedom, prosperity, diversity, and sustainability.

And how about Richard Dawkins? He lectures on Charles Dawin and Evolution at The Humanist Society of the United Kingdom:

China-dependent Asia could be catching an Economic Cold


January 27, 2012

China-dependent Asia could be catching an Economic Cold

by Laura Tyson (12-19-11)

As 2011 draws to a close, there are growing signs that Asia is becoming caught up in the global slowdown, dashing hopes that the region’s economies would “decouple” from the prolonged recession in Europe and America’s lackluster recovery.

China’s export growth is slipping, owing to faltering demand in Europe, which has surpassed the United States as China’s largest foreign market. Indeed, China’s manufacturing activity is contracting for the first time in almost three years. Reverberations are already evident in other emerging Asian economies that depend on exports both to China-based manufacturers and to the US and Europe.

Decoupling did not occur in 2008, when exports accounted for about 45% of pan-Asian GDP (excluding Japan) and every emerging country in the region experienced a sharp contraction in growth as world trade plummeted. Nor is decoupling likely today, because exports still account for about the same share of the region’s GDP, and about 50% of these exports are still headed to developed countries.

So the idea of decoupling appears to be a chimera. Even if the euro crisis is resolved, austerity in Europe, along with anemic growth or worse in the US, will mean a slowdown in export-dependent Asia. But Asia’s economies can still grow much faster than the developed West if they respond to prolonged stagnation by rebalancing their growth toward internal demand, especially household consumption. The good news is that these economies have substantial room for such rebalancing, as well as the policy flexibility to accomplish it.

The share of consumption in GDP in these economies fell from more than 60% in the early 1980’s to less than 50% today. In China, it is less than 40% – far below the norm for the world’s major economies and for other Asian economies at a comparable stage of development – despite nearly 7% annual average growth in China’s per capita consumption in recent years.

The Asian economies are home to 3.5 billion consumers, but their share in global consumption remains small – much smaller than their share in global GDP. China alone accounts for 20% of the world’s population, nearly 11% of global GDP, but only 3% of global consumption.

China and most of the other emerging Asian economies have strong government balance sheets – the GDP shares of their budget deficits and public debt are relatively small. As a result, they have the fiscal firepower to boost consumption in order to mitigate the effects of declining exports.

True, many local governments in China are saddled with debt, some of which may need to be restructured. But the central government enjoyed a 28% increase in revenues over the last year, and has more than $3 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves. In addition, the moderation of inflationary pressure as a result of slower growth and cooling global commodity markets will allow Chinese and other Asian policymakers to shift their focus from containing economic overheating to rebalancing growth. In China, where inflation is falling sharply, monetary policy has already begun to ease.

Even with significant policy support, however, most of the smaller Asian economies – Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and even South Korea – will not be able to replace external demand with internal demand to the same extent that China can. So, even with rebalancing, exports will remain a significant determinant of their growth, and China is already their major export market.

That is why China’s rebalancing is so important not only for its own economy, but for all of China-centric Asia. Intra-regional trade flows have surged during the last decade, but they have been concentrated in parts and components that go into finished products assembled in China for export to developed countries. With depressed markets in the developed world, intra-regional trade in the future will depend more on exports to satisfy Chinese domestic demand. Again, there is cause for optimism: China’s imports from Asia have been growing faster than China’s exports to the US for the last several years.

China responded to the 2009 global slowdown with dramatic fiscal and monetary stimulus, which fueled a rapid investment-led recovery at home and throughout Asia. Investment, mainly by local governments and state-owned companies with easy access to bank financing, soared to more than 45% of GDP, and, consistent with China’s long-run urbanization strategy, was concentrated in infrastructure and property-development projects.

Over time, much of the expansion in capacity will be absorbed, as an estimated 15 million people move from rural to urban areas each year over the next decade. But, for now, many investment projects are not yet generating enough income to service their debts (some of them never will), and there is significant spare capacity.

Confronted with another global slowdown that could depress its export markets for years, China needs to boost consumption even as it cools investment. And it needs to so in ways that do not rely on excessive credit expansion.

China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, which will take effect in 2012, recognizes these policy imperatives and calls for several measures to fulfill them, including wage increases for urban workers; income support for rural households; enhanced access to capital for small businesses, especially in the underbuilt services sector; and more generous social-welfare programs, which would reduce Chinese households’ high levels of precautionary saving. All of these measures are already underway, and Chinese leaders appear committed to embracing a new growth strategy that will benefit both China’s population and Asia as a whole.

The Asian economies should not count on being able to decouple from the economic woes of Europe and the US in the short run. But there are promising signs that, over time, the advanced countries’ difficulties will trigger a healthy, if belated, shift in Asia’s development strategy, with China leading the way.

Laura Tyson, a former chair of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, is a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She is now with the London Business School as Dean

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2011.
http://www.project-syndicate.org

Get rid of the God Complex


January 27, 2012

Get Rid of the God Complex

A Very Good Morning to you. Listen to Tim Harford’s presentation on the Value of Trial and Error. This video is dedicated to politicians including the Great One  (Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad) and others in Malaysia with “God Complex”, who think they have answers to everything. God Forbid, if they should populate and rule the world. We have seen many of these characters throughout history like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Idi Amin in the 20th century.–Din Merican

 “When a politician stands up, campaigning for elected office and says I want to fix our education system, our health care system, I have no idea how to do it. I have half-a-dozen ideas; we’re gonna test them out; they’ll probably all fail; then we’ll test some other ideas out; we’ll find some that work; we’ll build on those; we’ll get rid of the one’s that don’t. When a politician campaigns on that platform, and more important, when voters like you and me are willing to vote for that kind of politician, then I will admit that it is obvious that trial and error works…”–Tim Harford

Tim Harford (born 1973) is an English economist and journalist, residing in London. He is the author of four economics books (Adapt, Dear Undercover Economist, The Logic of Life and The Undercover Economist) , presenter of BBC television series Trust Me, I’m an Economist, and writer of a humorous weekly column called “Dear Economist” for The Financial Times, in which he uses economic theory to attempt to solve readers’ personal problems. His other FT column, “The Undercover Economist“, is syndicated in Slate magazine.

Harford studied at Aylesbury Grammar School and then at the University of Oxford, gaining a BA and then an MPhil in Economics in 1998. He joined the Financial Times in 2003 on a fellowship in commemoration of the business columnist Peter Martin. He continued to write his column after joining the International Finance Corporation in 2004, and re-joined the Financial Times as economics leader writer in April 2006. He is also a member of the newspaper’s editorial board.

In October 2007, Harford replaced Andrew Dilnot on the BBC Radio 4 series More or Less. He is a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.–wikipedia.