Malaysia’s Sovereign Credit Rating revised to NEGATIVE

July 31, 2013

Malaysia’s Sovereign Credit Rating revised to NEGATIVE

Credit RatingGlobal ratings agency Fitch Ratings has revised Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating outlook from stable to negative as the possibility of addressing public finance weaknesses has deteriorated after Election 2013.

The news comes as the Malaysian ringgit slid to three-year lows against the US dollar and 15-year lows against the Singapore dollar, making imports more expensive while exports would be cheaper although exports have slipped.

But it affirmed the country’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings at A- and A, respectively.

“Malaysia’s public finances are its key rating weakness. Federal government debt rose to 53.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) at end-2012, up from 51.6 percent at end-2011 and 39.8 percent at end-2008.

“The general government budget deficit (Fitch basis) widened to 4.7 percent of GDP in 2012 from 3.8 percent in 2011, led by a 19 percent rise in spending on public wages in a pre-election year,” it said.

But Fitch believed that it would be difficult for Putrajaya to achieve its interim 3 percent federal government deficit target for 2015 without additional consolidation measures.

“Fitch sees risks even to the achievement of the agency’s 3.5 percent deficit Malaysia's Minister of Financeprojection, as this already factors in one percentage point of GDP of spending cuts.This leaves Malaysia’s public finances more exposed to any future negative shock,” it said.

It pointed out that Putrajaya’s contingent liabilities were on the rise and its debt guaranteed rose to 15.2 percent of GDP by end-2012 from 9.0 percent at end-2008, as state-owned enterprises (SoEs) participated in a government-led investment programme.

“Also, Malaysia’s fiscal revenue base is low at 24.7 percent of GDP, against an ‘A’ range median of 32.8 percent. Fitch has long emphasised two key budgetary vulnerabilities: reliance on petroleum-derived revenues and the high and rising weight of subsidies in expenditure. Fitch estimated that petroleum-derived revenues contributed 33.7 percent of federal revenues in 2012,” the ratings agency said.

“We believe the lack of progress on structural budgetary reform could be due to the general elections, resulting in the government delaying its reform. The situation was compounded by the UMNO general election that has been set on October 5.

“Indeed, the government has since put on hold its subsidies rationalisation, after it last cut its fuel subsidies in December 2010. This was made worse by fiscal transfer in 2012 and 2013 to help ease people’s financial burden,” Fitch said.

It pointed although the subsidies were projected to fall, it remained sizeable and accounts for 18 percent of the revenue in 2013 (+21.3 percent in 2012), which was still uncomfortably high.

“Way back in the early 2000s, the subsidies only accounted for 2.9-7.8 percent of revenue in 2000-2004, compared with an average of 18.0 percent a year in 2008-12.

“We expect the government to resume its fiscal reform once the Umno election is over. This may help to convince Fitch that the government is committed to bring down its budget deficit through fiscal reform including rationalisation of subsidies and implementation of the goods & services tax (GST) to broaden the government’s tax base,” it said.

But it also affirmed the Short-Term Foreign Currency IDR at F2 and the Country Ceiling at A. Despite the weaknesses, the rating house also acknowledged the strengths in the composition of Malaysia’s debt and its funding base.

“Federal Government debt is overwhelmingly denominated in local currency (97 percent at end-2012) and has a smooth maturity profile.Sovereign funding conditions benefit from deep domestic capital markets and from the role of the broader public sector in funnelling savings to the Government,” it stated.

Fitch also said Malaysia’s credit fundamentals were weak by a range standards, as the average income level of US$10,400 (RM33,597) in 2012 was closer to the BBB range median of US$11,300 than the A median of US$18,600.

“Its overall level of development and standards of governance are also considered weak for its A- rating. Fitch’s Banking System Indicator of bbb suggests the standalone strength of Malaysian banks does not weigh on the credit profile.

However, Malaysia’s high level of private sector leverage is a risk from a credit perspective,” it said, pointing out it reached 118 percent of GDP at end-2012, above the ‘A’ median 94 percent.

Malaysia’s household debt also rose from a low of 60.4 percent in 2008 to 81.1 percent of GDP in 2012 and further to 82.9 percent in March 2013 but RHB Research said it was set to rise further given that household loans in the banking system continued to outpace the growth of GDP currently. – July 31, 2013.

Malaysian Citizenship: One Million met the Criteria

July 31, 2013

Malaysian Citizenship: One Million met the Criteria

by S. Sundareson(07-30-13)@

I REFER to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s article on the Chinese dilemma published in the New Straits Times on July 26 and 27.

Dr Mahathir said: “Buoyed by the success of the Alliance party in the 1955 elections, the Tunku looked more kindly at the proposal of Sir Cheng Lock that citizenship should be based on jus soli (citizenship by being born in the country). The Tunku did not quite agree but he nevertheless decided to give one million citizenships to unqualified Chinese and Indians.”

the-man-behind-perkasa1 As a former  Registrar of Citizens, I wish to comment on Dr Mahathir’s views.The legislation that conferred citizenship on Malayans are  the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1948,  State Nationality Enactment, 1952 of the various states and finally,  the Federal Constitution that came into force on Feb 1, 1948, Sept 15, 1952 and Aug 31, 1957 respectively.

Persons born in Malaya before February 1948 were regarded as British Protected Persons under the British Nationality Act 1948.   Long  before 1955, thousands of Indians and Chinese (perhaps a million of them)   had  already become federal citizens by operation of law or by application under Clause 124 and  125  of the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1948.

Millions have also become subjects  by registration or naturalisation under the provisions of the State Nationality Enactment, 1952  of the various states.

To acquire citizenship by application, registration or naturalisation under the provisions of the two legislation stated above, applicants had to comply with the  basic requirements, that is good character, intention to remain permanently in the federation, required period of residence in the federation,  elementary knowledge of Malay  and a declaration of undivided loyalty to the federation.

Every application for citizenship  was  checked thoroughly, supporting documents like birth certificate, identity card and passport  verified and the applicant tested by the Language Board  before a certificate of citizenship  was granted. The applications are  kept to this day in the National Registration Department headquarters.

The Merdeka Constitution came into force on Aug 31, 1957. Under  the provisions of Article 14(l) (a) all those who acquired citizenship under the  Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1948, by operation of law or otherwise and under the State Nationality Enactments, 1952,  became  citizens by operation of law of the newly independent federation.

Besides that, Article 14 (1)(b) conferred citizenship by birth  on every person born within the federation on or after  Merdeka Day,  the principle of jus soli was at last adopted under the 1957 Constitution.

However, to prevent  birds of passage from acquiring Malayan citizenship by birth, Article 14 (1)(b) was amended by the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1962 which came into force on  Oct 1, 1962. The effect of this amendment is that only those born in the federation on or after the date became a citizen by birth,  if at the time of birth at least one of the parents is a citizen or a permanent resident.

Those  who  did not become citizens by operation of law under the 1957 Constitution can apply for registration as citizen under Article 15 as wives  or children of citizens. Those born in the federation can apply to be registered as citizens under Article 16 by complying with the requirements stipulated therein, that is,  production of birth certificate, good character, residential qualification,  elementary knowledge of the Malay language and a declaration of undivided loyalty to the king and the country.

Those who were residents in the federation on Merdeka Day can apply to be registered as a citizen under Article 17 by  fulfilling the requirements stated therein, that is,  residential qualification,  elementary knowledge of  Malay.

However, Article 17 was repealed on July 1, 1963.Thereafter, those who wanted to acquire Malaysian citizenship, had  to apply for naturalisation under Article 19. In addition to the normal conditions, the applicant has to have an adequate knowledge of the Malay language (including reading and writing if he was absent from the federation on  Merdeka Day). The granting of citizenship under Article 19, however,  is at the discretion of the Federal Government.

TunkuAbdulRahmanHere again, every application was scrutinised, supporting documents verified   and the applicant tested by the Language Board before a certificate of citizenship was granted. The applications become permanent record and are  kept safely at the NRD  headquarters.

From the above, it is clear that the basic constitutional requirements have been  complied with and the established procedure  rigidly  followed by the authorities  before  the granting of citizenship. In  the circumstances, it is inconceivable how  Tunku could have  given  one million citizenships to unqualified Chinese and Indians.

Japan leads rush into Southeast Asia

July 31, 2013

Japan leads rush into Southeast Asia

Japanese companies on course to match engagement with region of 1990s, but face strong Chinese competition

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a fondness for airborne imagery when it comes to describing his country’s re-engagement with Southeast Asia.

Shinzo AbeOn a visit to Singapore last week, he likened the 10-nation bloc known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan to the two engines on an aeroplane – the aeroplane being a vast economic area that he sees stretching from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

ASEAN, Mr Abe asserted, would also feel the effect of the “three arrows” he had unleashed – a reference to the three-pronged structural reforms that underpin “Abenomics”.

The region, with a population of over 620 million, would be “the 21st century’s champion in fostering the vast middle class consumer market”, he added.There is some justification for the hyperbole. Japanese investment in southeast Asia is resurgent, after almost two decades in the doldrums.

Japanese companies are on course to match the level of their engagement with the region in the early 1990s, before Japan’s deflationary spiral and the Asian currency crisis pared their ambitions.

Last year, they invested $6.4bn into ASEAN – mainly Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. That was almost 50 per cent more than in 2005, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

Dealogic says the value of mergers and acquisitions pursued by Japanese companies this year in southeast Asia has hit $8.2bn, surpassing the value of any full-year of M&A in the region by companies from any single country.

Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asia economics at HSBC, sees a “strategic shift by corporate Japan”. Expectations of an ever-weaker yen are making the returns on such outward investment by cash-rich Japanese companies more attractive in local currency terms. The initial thrust into Southeast Asia has been by Japan’s banks buying into insurers, an obvious way to be part of the middle class growth story.

The biggest proposed Japanese deal by value in the region was Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s bid, launched this month, for a majority stake in Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya. In May, a consortium of Japanese engineering companies won a contract to build a metro system in Jakarta. Only last weekend Suzuki said it would invest Y60bn ($611m) in a new small car plant in Indonesia.

Japanese engagement in southeast Asia is hardly new – trading houses such as Marubeni, Mitsui and Itochu have been building power plants, selling rolling stock and trading foodstuffs in the region for decades. But now small- and medium-sized Japanese companies are part of the trend too, lawyers and consultants say.

All this should be a wake-up call to Europe and the US, which makes much of its geopolitical ‘pivot’ to Asia. And the whole engagement, this time, comes with solid political backing. Before he arrived in Singapore, Mr Abe signed a deal with his Malaysian counterpart, Najib Razak, under which the Japan Bank for International Co-operation would guarantee issuance of “samurai” bonds issued by Malaysia’s 1MDB, a government-controlled fund set up in 2009. 1MDB has yet to issue any yen-denominated bonds, but it is ambitious and has the support of the country’s ruling party.

In Singapore, regional headquarters for companies with an ASEAN footprint, the Bank of Japan and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have just agreed a cross-border collateral arrangement allowing banks to pledge Japanese government securities in return for raising Singapore dollars from the MAS, the central bank. Yet for all such efforts, the Japanese will not always find it easy thanks to a new competitor: China. Its companies are fanning out in search of opportunities. Some have already made inroads into infrastructure – a Japanese strength. This month CSR Corporation, one of China’s largest makers of trains, said it would invest $127m in an “Asean manufacturing centre” in Malaysia.

United Overseas Bank, a Singaporean bank, recently set up a unit offering loans to Chinese companies looking to move into the region, including in renminbi. Use of the Chinese currency in southeast Asia will only increase as the renminbi continues its not-so-long march towards full internationalisation.

All this should be a wake-up call to Europe and the US, which makes much of its geopolitical “pivot” to Asia. While there are big US groups with long histories in Asean – such as General Electric, which installed Manila’s first street lights a century ago – it is time for more companies to understand the region’s opportunities, before it is too late.

Jeremy Grant is the Financial Times’ Asia regional corporate correspondent

Time to bring back Peace and Confidence

July 31, 2013

MY COMMENT: It is time for the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to get down to thedin serious business of governance. Talking about bringing back “peace and confidence” is not good enough. We have to deal urgently with crime and corruption; both are working hand in hand to cause a serious breakdown in law and order in our country.

There is no point deploying Police personnel on escort duty for top politicians and VIPs (and they will not need heavy escorts if our country is safe in the first place), and the Special Branch to spy on those who are deemed anti-government. Law abiding citizens who disagree with and are critical of the government are not the enemy. The real enemies are criminals lurking in dark corners throughout the length and breadth of our country, smuggling and peddling drugs, operating gambling syndicates, and engaging in human trafficking, and preying on women, kids and the elderly on our streets and lanes and in our homes.

The death of Banker Hussain Najadi, who was brutally murdered before eyewitnesses, should be serious enough to alert the government that apart from innocent ordinary citizens going about their daily lives, VIPs are not spared from violence and even murder.

UMNO's PDRMWhat is the newly minted Inspector-General of Police doing about setting the right priorities for his Force. We don’t have to wait for new laws to be enacted; that will take time. There must be a sense of urgency. The IGP must make do with existing laws and re-deploy his men and other assets to fight crime and make sure that our streets, homes and public places are safe.

A people-centered Police Force is needed, if public support is to be enlisted to deal with rampant crime. The public must trust the Police. That trust can only come if the Police is seen to be enforcing the law with favour to none.

It is time to act and not talk. And let us see if killers of Hussain Najadi  are brought to justice. Hussain’s murder is a matter of concern to our citizens and expatriates engaged by global companies which are investing in our country.–Din Merican

Time to bring back Peace and Confidence

by (Dr.) Ramon Navaratnam, PSM

dr-ramon-navaratnamAll Malaysians will warmly welcome Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak’s  strong call to “bring  back peace and confidence” to our beloved country. The public will also greatly appreciate that the Prime Minister has openly  acknowledged that  most Malaysians and  foreign guests have   has  been  steadily   losing  confidence in  the national will  and  capacity to effectively tackle crime and especially gun related crimes of  murder and  robbery.

Now our society  will want  to know  how  long  it will take before  their confidence  and peace a can be  restored?  Will the Government, the Police and civil society really  move  fast forward or will complacency seep into the  system, soon some time after the  terrible  killings of my dear friend Hussain Najadi and others, has passed?

If we delay tough action against serious crime and crime in general, the public will  lose  even more peace and confidence. Worse still, we will lose faith in our system and hope in our future prospects and aspirations for Developed  Country status  by  2020, just  7 years away.

How then can we bring back peace and confidence as soon as possible? First, the high powered Task Force that has  been rightly appointed under the chairmanship of YB Dato Seri Idris Jala to draft New Laws  for the next  sitting of Parliament in September, has  to consult  all sectors  of  our society  and especially  the  Police  who are unfortunately sometimes  not  adequately  consulted. The  Task Force  could have laboratories like the many successful ones held by Pemandu before, to ascertain  the views  of all stake holders, before finalising the new policies  and laws. After all we are all deeply interested  in peace and stability.

Second, Government  should  be  bold  in introducing tough laws  that  can really  be  effective and ensure  there are  no loopholes for criminals  to escape the rule of law.

Third, ensure the critical balance between providing the basic need  for Safety and Security   for our society, with the legitimate public concerns, to prevent  any Human Rights abuses. But priority should  be given to the  Human Right of the “Freedom  from Fear”, for the  28 million Malaysians  , in  preference over the  2000 hard core  criminals  released after the repeal of the  Emergency Ordinance.

Fourth. Provide the Police and related enforcement Agencies with adequate financial and   material resources. I am disappointed when I hear reliable stories of  the  lack of  legal and financial  support  for  the Police and  other  agencies, to fight  crime and especially  the big time crime mobsters and  syndicated crime.  There are stories of  Police  cars  that cannot  operate for lack of  petrol and spare parts.  The Police also are unable to use  their guns when  they  run  short of funds for ammunition.

Fifth,. Increase the manpower  of  the Police Force  and related agencies. The  new Minister  of  Home Affairs  Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has now  revealed  transparently  that  the  Police Force  is  grossly  understaffed. Why  is  this  so? Why this long  neglect ? No wonder  we  are  having  high and rising  serious crime rates?  The Police  to citizen ratio in Malaysia  is  1: 700 as compared to 1:35 in  New York. It may be difficult to compare the whole of  Malaysia  to New York City, but the  lack of adequate police  manpower resources  shows up. True we can ask for  some re-organisation  of  police  manpower, but this would be a short term measure. We need structural improvements for a bad crime and worsening situation, not  tinkering with  the  system.

Finally, we need much  stronger  Police Public Partnership (PPP). There is no point in  being unduly  critical of the Police. We have to  regard the Police  more and more as  our Protectors and  not  indulge in  any  Police Bashing! No doubt there have been many cases of  Police Abuse, but  where  is  there no abuse at all in every aspect of ours  or  any other society.  We have to seek to wipe out abuses .

The challenge then  is for us all to work closely  together – the Government, the loyal Opposition, Civil Society and the general public as united Malaysians to protect ourselves and our   nation from  all kinds of  crime, especially  the critical crimes.

Now, let us  go all out,  to support  the Prime Minister’s call for new effective laws  and to  give the Police  tougher laws , better and more financial and manpower  resources and  certainly more  goodwill and genuine partnership and cooperation!

Then we will be able to “bring back Peace and Confidence!”

Cooling it in the South China Sea

July 31, 2013

Cooling it in the South China Sea

by Peter Drysdale (07-29-13), Editor, East Asia Forum

There are times when taking an important international dispute before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is either necessary or able to resolve a difference in a way that will leave both parties appeased no matter whether the outcome favours them or not.

The Philippines former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez points to an image showing Chinese claims in the South China Sea during a rally on 24 July 2013 in Manila. (Photo: AAP)

Some see Australia’s taking the issue of Japanese whaling to the ICJ in this latter light. There are others, such as the maritime and territorial issues in the South China Sea, it can be argued, where taking a dispute to the court will less likely achieve the fundamental interests of the parties nor resolve claims in a way that is acceptable to both parties no matter what the outcome.

In a recent essay for East Asia Forum, Donald Rothwell argued persuasively that the application of the law of the sea through the ICJ was unlikely to resolve territorial claims in the South China Sea in a way that would settle claims over associated maritime resources or easily satisfy any of the claimants in these disputes.

Rothwell pointed out that ‘The decision handed down by the International Court of Justice on 19 November 2012 in the Nicaragua v Colombia case has several implications for the South China Sea disputes, particularly with respect to the status of the disputed maritime features under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’. The Court looked at a range of issues that not only bear similarities to important aspects of the South China Sea disputes but also set a precedent for interpretation of the relevant international law.

Rothwell’s key conclusion was that, in the context of the South China Sea, the Nicaragua v Colombia decision suggested that, even if territorial sovereignty was conclusively settled over disputed islands and associated maritime features, the likelihood that sovereignty over these features would confer vast maritime claims upon the successful party or parties would be compromised. This is either because these features are not Article 121(1) islands, or because they would have a distorting impact upon the maritime boundaries based upon competing maritime claims from continental or island land masses whose status is not in dispute.

This is a vitally important conclusion. Certainly there was little reassurance in Rothwell’s analysis that any of the parties might confidently expect to win extensive claims over resources or other rights through a successful claim of sovereignty over these territories. Rothwell’s assessment is reinforced, it seems, if read in conjunction with the Bangladesh v Myanmar verdict handed down in 2012 by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea where a natural, self-sustaining island with 7,000 inhabitants (a real island not a collection of rocks) was not deemed capable of generating its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (because it blocked the sea-ward projection from coastline of the other state’s EEZ entitlement). The Nicaragua v Colombia verdict is further testament to the ongoing development of oceanic law in favour of commerce and economic interests, and to the relative disfavour of narrower attributes based on sovereignty.

In this week’s lead essay, Sourabh Gupta looks carefully at the likely outcome of the Philippines’ Notification and Statement of Claim at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), seeking to invalidate China’s nine-dash line which encompasses virtually the entire South China Sea.

Gupta interprets Philippine optimism about the success of this initiative to a view that Chinese claims within the nine-dash line are contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a view encouraged by the recent ICJ judgment which refuted the idea that offshore land features can generate claims to vast maritime spaces.

The Philippine action has predictably angered the Chinese and complicated the resolution of conflicting claims, dragging the United States unwillingly into the argument. Gupta says that ‘until China makes clear what baselines it claims, or furnishes an outer continental shelf claim to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (China has partially done this in the East China Sea), its claim to entitlements in the South China Sea will remain legally indeterminate’. The Philippines, he points out, is in a similar position.

While it may be too late, Gupta concludes that, ‘rather than lodge overly-enterprising legal claims, the Philippines should negotiate practical and cooperative arrangements for the joint exploitation of common resources in the South China Sea’. The success of such a cooperative strategy would in turn depend on China’s moving away from ‘its constructionist interpretation of selective UNCLOS provisions’ and accepting the commercial and economic purposes of modern oceanic law. ‘Submitting an outer continental shelf claim that implicitly separates the sharing of sovereign rights from sovereignty disputes over land/geological formations in the South China Sea — and limiting law enforcement activities to the hypothetical median line in the interim — would be an excellent place to start’.

There are practised modes (to which China has been party), in which such interests can be negotiated with the help of the law of the sea and they are likely, as Gupta argues, to lead to more productive outcomes all round.

Tun DrM: It’s Malaysia now, no longer Tanah Melayu

July 31, 2013

Tun DrM: It’s Malaysia now, no longer Tanah Melayu

by Art Harun (02-09-11)

In the last few weeks I have been entertained by two of my favourite people in the world.

Yes. Tun DrM and Lee Kuan Yew. Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison. The pot and the kettle. The men with the plan. The visionaries. The beacon of liberty, freedom, progress, development and oh yes, Asian Values.

One calls the other, firstly, “little Emperor of a tiny Middle Kingdom.” Then he downgraded the other – two days ago, to be exact – from being an Emperor to just a Mayor. The other one insinuated that his counterpart is delusional. And it goes on.

Dr MNobody knows who is right or who is mightier. One thing which I know for sure is this. Both were benevolent absolutists bent on achieving anything which they managed to conjure up in their respective warped mind regardless of the consequences of their respective acts. Both are old people who really should just stop churning out vitriolic and do some good instead, like by not saying anything about anything.

Latest by Tun DrM is a mind boggling pronouncement that Malaysia belongs to Malays and that the non-Malays just have to live with that fact by accepting the culture and language of the dominant community. He has reportedly said :“This country belongs to the Malay race. Peninsular Malaysia was known as Tanah Melayu but this cannot be said because it will be considered racist.“We must be sincere and accept that the country is Tanah Melayu,”  (The Malaysian Insider)

I am Malay. Tun DrM is my hero. Thank you very much Tun. As dirty talks go, that must have outperformed Linda Lovelace and the whole Dallas team put together.

I do not know why some people are obsessed with the ownership of this country. It is as if this country is full of things which could be owned and are in fact owned. On my last count, Bahasa Melayu is owned by Malays. The word “Allah” is also owned by Malays (who by Constitutional definition is synonymous with  Muslims). There are also “special rights” which are owned by Malays. 30% of the economy are owned – well, actually, are supposed to be owned – by Malays.

In fact, I know of one specific Malay who is going around town owning everything and anything – mostly government projects and monopolised businesses -which are “ownable.” And now this. Malaysia is owned by Malays.

I am so glad to know that. Because the last time I went back to my kampung, I saw countless Malays riding old motorbikes, struggling to pay their water bills and school fees (who say our schools have no fees?), eating plain rice and ikan masin day in and day out, working in leased padi fields with just enough money to buy rice and ikan masin after paying their landlords for the padi field and the rentals for the tractors and harvesters.

Now I suppose, these poor Malays could go to the land office and claim this land, which has been declared as theirs. Nice. The Malay problems are solved. Poverty among the Malays is solved. Declining standard of education is solved. Health care problem is solved. Inability to think is solved.

And with one sentence (or two), Tun DrM has managed to solve the issue which had been ghosting his mind since 1969. Yes folks. THE MALAY DILEMMA IS SOLVED.

Take that Minister (Senior) Lee Kuan Yew! What do you have to say about that huh?LKY You surely have not solved the Chinese Dilemma, have you Minister Lee? In fact, you do not even have a Chinese Dilemma to begin with! How very inferior to Tun DrM you are.

I have written so much on the so called social contract and on how Malaysia gained her independence as well as the thoughts and rationale which went into the framing of some of the provisions of our Federal Constitution, especially article 153. I am not going to repeat them here.

I am not going to argue with Tun DrM anymore. Let’s just assume – and it is really a very big assumption – that what he said is correct. Tanah Melayu belonged to the Malays. Let’s just take that as the gospel (oh, I forget, I am Muslim, and so it should be the “Quranic”) truth.

But is there a Tanah Melayu now? In 2011?TunkuAbdulRahmanThe truth is Tanah Melayu has disappeared from the face of the Earth at 12 midnight 31st August 1957, when Malaya, and later, Malaysia, was born. When the late Tunku Abdul Rahman was screaming “merdeka merdeka merdeka”, Tanah Melayu achieved its independence and she morphed into this new state called Malaya, which later became Malaysia. All her citizens became Malayans, and later Malaysians. They may belong to different ethnicities, different races, different faiths, different tribes speaking different languages and dialects, but they all became Malayans that early morning.

This country belongs not to Malays anymore that morning. This country belongs to Malaysians from that morning onwards.If the Tun’s favourite hypothesis of the social contract is correct, true and accurate – that there was a round table agreement between leaders of the three main races where the Malays have agreed to allow the non-Malays to become citizens in exchange for special rights – then by that same token, it means that the Malays, through that very social contract, have agreed to disclaim their ownership of Tanah Melayu in exchange for some special rights.

I am not making this up. I am saying this based on what Tun DrM has been saying all this while. If ever there was such an agreement – as repetitiously blared by Tun DrM and his ilk –  that would be the natural and legal consequences of that agreement.

If that being so, on what basis, I wonder, is Tun DrM now founding his claim that Malaysia is owned by the Malays?

As for Lee Kuan Yew, you do not have the right to even speak about us, okay. You have not even identified the Chinese Dilemma yet. You little Mayor!