Message from a Friend overseas for 2016

December 19, 2015

Message from a Friend overseas for 2016


Sarawak–The New Political Battleground

I thought I should share this note I got from a dear old Malaysian friend and contemporary after I responded to his message for Christmas and the Near Year (2016). I asked him to tell me what is happening in our country which used to be an oasis of racial harmony (apart from May 13, 1969) and a high-flying geese economy. I wanted his professional views because being some distance away from negara ku tersayang, he can be balanced and less angry than I. Here is it is for your consideration and comment. –Din Merican

Dear Din,

On Politics, Race and Religion

The current scene and trends are troubling. The use of draconian laws to silence everyone who does conform has become most common; nothing shocks anymore. The latest effort to silence Farida of G25 is a step too far. The passing of the NSC bill is a most far reaching action. Its membership establishes Ketuanan Melayu in both name and practice. Najib has essentially staged a coup in order to hang on at all costs. He has bought over the UMNO Party chiefs with presumably the proceeds from the “donation”. They are silenced.


The Pinkees

The NSC composition also sends another message: it is a one race body. It would seem that advocates of Ketuanan and the Ugama purists in JAKIM are  now the hand maidens aiding him to buy over the older generation of rural dwellers. The seduction and co-option of  PAS President Ustza Hadi  Awang further closes the circle.  Nothing now stands in the way of acquiring total power.

I am quite pessimistic about GE 14.  The Pakatan Harapan have blown their chances with their petty squabbles. The so-called strategists in Parti KeADILan Rakyat (PKR)  and Democratic Action Party are going to sell the store by agreeing to further gerrymandering – they are totally naïve in believing that additional seats if created will come way. Here the first time  politician Dr. Ong Kian Meng and his boys are to blame.

This latest cryptic call to plan ahead beyond 2020 is also ominous. It smacks of constitutional changes not of economic adjustment. Civil society is much too weak to provide checks and balances while media have been muted. Those who naively believe that Barack Obama or the United States will apply pressure are mistaken. The US are content to leave the man in power so long as he locks up a few of the ISIS types and indulges in remaining on their side over the South China Sea issues.

The Economy Stupid

BNM Governor Zeti

The fundamentals are strong- What Fundamentals?

Beyond the political mess, there is the problem with the economy. We are once again a commodity producer and thus truly stuck in the middle-income trap. We are no longer competitive in manufacturing; nor do we have any means to move up the value chain as we lack human capital to get into high value added activities.  In any event the GLCs are like dinosaurs  that stifle innovation and are themselves unable to move forward. Their corporate honchos  are quite happy to engage in  rent seeking while enjoying their very generous perks of office. Other domestic investors are unable to lead; FDI is not coming in given the political and economic scene.  In the meanwhile indebtedness is becoming dangerous. The Federal Government debt may be at 55% of GDP with another 30% or so being off budget. To this one needs to add the contingent liabilities— not clearly announced. The corporate sector too has large debt liabilities. On top of all this household debt is of the order of 88%. And yet  that disappointing Bank Negara Governor Dr. Zeti Aziz says: “The fundamentals are strong!!”

Will we get out of this hole that we have dug? The only hope – somewhat dim—is that the Rulers may take matters into their hands. However they will need to be encouraged. They are likely to be responsive to urgings from the middle urban ground (G25? BERSIH, and like-minded groups?). Civil society could play a role in this regard.

2016 may mark a turning point. Perhaps things will get worse before they get better.  Let us prayer that we shall avoid a collapse. Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru to you, Dr. Kamsiah, and all your friends and associates on this blog.–Your Kawan Lama.

My Songs of Defiance-Thanks, Sammy Davies Jr.


36 thoughts on “Message from a Friend overseas for 2016

  1. Message is clear and substantive. Dire situation.

    Under present circumstances, do the people have any better alternative Najib but to re-test his sincerity and competency since completely detatched from his master Mahathir. ?

  2. This is an outstanding analysis. Most of the on-line news portals focus on politics, so I am glad that the writer also included what is happening with Malaysia’s economy: the decline in manufacturing competitiveness, the growing dependence on commodity exports (whose prices are set globally), and the inability of Malaysia to move up the economic ladder because of the poor state of Malaysia’s educational system. It’s not just the political trends — the economic trends also are not favorable to Malaysia’s future.
    Ambassador Malott,

    The concept of alliance or coalition as embodied in Barisan Nasional changed dramatically after the untimely retirement of Tun Hussein Onn. Starting from 1981, UMNO was transformed from a party of school teachers and housewives and farmers into one dominated by corporate interests, comprising Mahathir’s cronies and rent seekers including Chinese and Indian business tycoons like Vincent Tan, Francis Yeoh, and Ananda Krishnan and Arumugam Pillai. As a result, UMNO became financially independent from MCA. It has its own ability to fund elections from monopoly profits of proxy companies created by UMNO Treasurer Daim Zainuddin. With financial power and readily available mega-projects for distribution, it was able to buy MCA and MIC leaders and wrest control of Barisan Nasional. Of course, Najib brought it to a higher level by creating today what my friend called the Ketuanan Melayu administration with funds from 1MDB.

    There is no point for Chua Soi Lek to yell fire and brimstone (in Hebrew גפרית ואש) over the so called UMNO and PAS new partnership to promote an Islamic state based on hudud.It is too late for that. Both MCA and MIC are so discredited by the Chinese and Indians that they have nowhere else to go. They have now to depend on UMNO Malay votes to get elected and be in the money making Cabinet.

    My money is on there being no GE 14, given the economic mess under Najib Razak. What do you think? –Din Merican

  3. ‘Your kawan lama’ has explicitly put down political situation in Malaysia though he is in a faraway land and seemed to be well versed with land of corruption and the rent seekers. Looking at the dim hopes of the future of Malaysia with the present regime, there is no joy to celebrate the New Year 2016. Our thoughts are with the future of our children and how their future would be.

    No amount of pressure from civil liberties expected to turn events to favor the peace loving citizens with the soon to be set up of NSC under Kekuatan Melayu. So much has been said by opposing members of both wings but the grin faced Najib is not deterred neither did he comment other than his stooges coming out in defense of the NSC Bill

    As a last minute ditch to save the nation to fall under the tyranny of certain people or individual(s), the hope lies in our rulers to intervene, failing which the country will become third rated country like one of the states in Africa where civil wars are being torn apart of the livelihood of the ordinary people.

    After making so much of progress since the Independence of Malaysia, do we need such tyranny to rule at this modern and progressive world today.

  4. Din, are saying that you think there will be no GE-14, no elections, and that Najib will use his new authoritarian national security law to declare an emergency and suspend democracy?
    Ambassador Malott,

    It is not rational for him not to do so, if he knows that he may lose GE-14.The question is for him to find the right pretext to activate NOC2 by convincing us Malaysians and the rest of the world that Malaysia is under threat from extremist groups to warrant suspension of democracy. People like Ali Tinju, the ikan bakar seller’s Red Shirts, and other Malay supremacist groups can be used to create tension in the country. Najib needs all the help he can get to survive the relentless pressure that is being piled on him by Mahathir and Muhyiddin, civil society, Sarawak Report, WSJ and social media. Of course, I can be too alarmist to be taken seriously.–Din Merican

  5. Somu,
    Under the present system, there is no way there would be a change. The irish has gone that over past 600 years of subjugation. That is not just the northern ireland only. Hence, rather than asking the melayus over here to fight for your rights which is akin to ask englander to fight for the rights of the irish.
    It’s time that we should fight for our own rights. Because nobody will stand up for you. Not even Din Merican. Ask Malott, aren’t blacks minority in USA? Why have they been so successful as compared to us the nons? They got a President who is currently a black. The days when we have a “non” Finance Minister and a “non” Malacca governor is now over. Even in the land of hornbill, the minority melayus/muslims controlled the apex of sarawak politics and administration.
    Perhaps, we should learn from Michael Collins, Gerry Adam and Martin Mcguiness, why the hell they are so successful? Plus ask Ku Li too. He studied in Queen Belfast University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. I was in UK during the time when IRA is still alive. Even with the might of british army, they can’t stop the little Irishmen.
    Time to stand up in whatever way before it’s too late

  6. A great article and sadly it gives no possible solution to our woes. The EU parliament has today given a strong statement on Malaysia but I am sure it will not ruffle PM Najib’s feathers too much. No, it must be Malaysians alone that can bring change but that will no happen if we have the mediocre performance from the opposition parties and civil society. Much more aggressive action is needed and really people must be prepared to make sacrifices and stand up for their principles. But will they?

  7. rom outside looking in, we’re able to see things more clearly and objectively. To me the current crisis in M’sia has two serious cancers that feed off each other in subtle ways: one center around race and religion; the other around economics and corruption. The crisis lays bare serious institutional weaknesses in the M’sian polity. The long-percolating conflicts have laid bare a baffling lack of clarity on what the constitution and laws actually say. Political interference indicates blurred lines of authority and how encumbered independent checks and balances are. A totalitarian Islamic State of M’sia is in the making. The only to stop Najib is to have the progressive-minded social forces teaming up with the people to start a revolution in the streets, like the one in the Philippines that brought down Marcos. Najib saw this coming and that is what the NSC is for. Yes, the greedy and corrupt Chinese and Indian leaders are as much responsible for the mess, so are the people of all races. You let this happened.

  8. LaMoy,
    It will happen if people like us are not doing anything about it. Plus some people still insists that we should rely on the melayus to do bidding. There is no way they will do the bidding for us. Even if they do, they are in the minority. Especially when these melayus have tasted the benefits and perks, the moral high ground are thrown into the dustbin.
    Hence, I say be like those irish men. Stood up and fight.

    P.S : Martin Mcguiness, IRA top leader and now Northern Ireland First Deputy Minister

  9. Even bigger message has been sent by the EU via its resolution on Malaysia. I am just making this comment having read its contents in full. I hope that those in government will heed and do the Right Thing.

  10. Loose74, I have regarded you as an irrational loose canon, maybe something with your moniker? Your relentless go at ktemoc as well does you no credit.

    However, for once, what you wrote made sense. Welcome back to sanity.

  11. At the end of Mahathir reign, we were swing slower growth and the talk was Malaysia had to adjust to it. Talk of slower growth and middle-income trap started then. Under Badawi, China as a growth engine and the US-led financial bubble started to surprise everyone. THEN, the financial crises happened, the China led growth and the Fed unprecedented actions gave reprieve to slowdown of UMNO’s economic model.

    The favourable external events for us for the last decade or so looks uncertain. The oil price fall could be just a single driver problem BUT the fact is nothing in the horizon looks good to drive our dependent economic model. Furthermore, its Najib’s track record to run out of luck after he has benefited from some.

    We have, like Najib, been running on a lot of luck, maybe even mostly. Look at total debt and investments its clear our internal drivers have not changed much since Mahathir era.

    Luck now is scarce everywhere, globally. Hence it goes we will also run scarce.

  12. loose74: First you have to take off your tinted glasses to see the Melayus as rakyat Malaysia, your brethrens of Malay descent. Martin McGuiness could not have succeeded without English sympathizers.

  13. Dato

    What can we do to prevent Najib from suspending next general election? Are the Royals going to let him do that? Can they stop him? I am always curious if the really concerned about the current situation.

    With NSC Law, Prime Minister Najib has the power to do what he thinks is “right. As Chief Executive, he is under oath to protect the nation. Tun Dr, Mahathir removed whatever little power our Rulers deemed to have had. The fact that he could ignore the Royal advice on 1MDB tells it all.–Din Merican

  14. The dire state of affairs or situation created, is the consequence of the countless scandalous misdeeds of the leaders of the Umno Baru, açcumulated, largely from the period of the Mahathir’s reign.

    The misdeeds are the deeply entrenched culture of Money politics, Abuse of power, Corruptions, Cronysm and Property ( MACCP).

    The eminity of the country is the disenablying or the disruption of the delivery system of the country, fundamentally and mostly due to the deeply embedded culture of the MACCP.

    The solution to resolving the dire state of affairs is to remove the culture of MACCP or bring it down to tolerable or near zero level with the practice of Accountability, Competency, Governance and Transparency ( ACGT) or the likes.

    If replacing Najib can bring about the removal MACCP and start on a clean slate, then we have found the solution.
    But can we, under the present circumstances, where quality leaderships are hard to find?

    Besides,are the people being misled, or mis/disinformed in missing the forest( removal of MACCP) for a few trees ( Najib’s removal and its 1MDB) ?

  15. Some revolutionaries here who are calling for armed insurrection in Malaysia while they themselves maybe living in some foreign lands.In the event of armed insurrections ,there will be horrendous desructions,deaths and injuries of ordinary people who are the ones suffering now from the mismanagements of this country as it stand today and who are going to suffer a whole lot more with these revolutionaries half-baked plans.Most of the commentators on this blog are comparatively well off and capable of running away just like our ruling elites while the ordinary people will be left behind to endure the calamities.Look at Syria you will see what I mean.

  16. Loose74: outside the point, but we often forgot the fact that USA has a half white President, and not a Black one, genetically speaking. But, I agree with much that you have said about America, and the need for ordinary rakyat to stand up for themselves.
    The most effective in my mind is to lepak at home every Monday and Wednesday of the week, no matter what profession one has. Let the Taukeh and 1MPM figure out how to motivate the rakyat to work for them. Just stay at home 😪

  17. looes74

    Diversity of Cultural differences and religious beliefs can make the difference in a country. We are a country, stretching from the territory of Malay Peninsular to the far south of the Borneo States with multiple ethnic communities of their own religious and cultural beliefs. Under such diversities we cannot compare with someone of their past history. Today, it is entirely a different world that we live in to counter oppression. Let’s not bring in the race.

    Even the man you referred to as an Irish Educated, Ku Li seems to sway away from his principals by playing ‘good cop’ to his party, UMNO even after knowing of such corrupt practices do exist at all levels in the party that he is preaching. I cannot understand this man of his principals when our nation is rotting morally and economically with the share market and ringgit taking a nose-dive in the last 10 months this year. Religious bigots are rampant by putting fear with their own ideologies.

    Dissidents are oppressed by the regime to silent them so what are you trying to compare to Irish and their history of some 600 years of their guts? You have to rediscover your opinion when you compare history.

  18. La Moy,
    Sorry, Martin Mcguiness and Michael Collins succeeded because they stood up for their rights. Don’t think there are any english sympathisers. Especially massive bombing going on in the 60s till the 90s (Martin Mcguiness et co activities and not Michael Collins). Ku Li should have known very well.
    Do you know the origin of Special Branch? Google it and you would be surprised.

    HT Low,
    I despised such hypocrises exhibited by people like ktemoc. And I am not alone. One guy who even went to the extent of deleting his comments in blogs. Hahahahaha……….By the way, unlike people like you and others, I am very upfront about myself. I see myself like Gene Hunt……..hahahaha

    The reason why I mention Ku Li is to point out that Ku Li had first hand experience on how dispossessed Irish catholics who finally stood up. Even though their numbers are small, they are able to stood up against the mighty UK. Northern Ireland conflict is termed as UK’s Vietnam War.
    Likewise, instead of relying on the melayus, it’s time to be like the blacks in US. Of course, one can do it through non violence means but it’s a shame that nons are resigning to the fate. Such ending does not look pretty. Just look at what happen to Rohingya.
    These sympathisers can only do so much for people like us. Got it!

    Guys and Gals,
    I am extremely disappointed! After 50 over years of independence, we have no non muslim state governors. One which the majority of them are non muslims. This is not right! In US, the blacks would have gone amok over it.

    Blacks only constitute just 10% of US population. At least, they stood up for your rights

  19. Inche Din, I refer to your (part) commentary on the evolution of UMNO: “The concept of alliance or coalition as embodied in Barisan Nasional changed dramatically after the untimely retirement of Tun Hussein Onn. Starting from 1981, UMNO was transformed from a party of school teachers and housewives and farmers into one dominated by corporate interests, comprising Mahathir’s cronies and rent seekers including Chinese and Indian business tycoons like Vincent Tan, Francis Yeoh, and Ananda Krishnan and Arumugam Pillai. As a result, UMNO became financially independent from MCA. It has its own ability to fund elections from monopoly profits of proxy companies created by UMNO Treasurer Daim Zainuddin. With financial power and readily available mega-projects for distribution, it was able to buy MCA and MIC leaders and wrest control of Barisan Nasional”
    It is equally an outstanding analysis.

    Can Najib be contained? Yes, I think so. But the initiative has to come from the Rulers and their proxies where warranted. Some steps:

    1 Challenge the Constitutionality of NSC Bill wherein the power to declare emergency is hived off from Agong to Najib (or the Government of the day), if I understand it correctly.

    2 If the Courts, at the end, rule in favour of Najib, proceed with step 3

    3 One Ruler should set the ball rolling by calling his State’s MPs to declare their non-support for Najib. This is to follow-up with 1-2 other States. Johor can start first. When enough number mustered (better if two-third majority secured with Opposition MPs), move a motion of no confidence in Parliament
    Inche Din can perhaps use his influence to persuade Kedah to go this direction. (This entire exercise can also go on simultaneously whilst the case is before the courts and there is indication that hidden hands will engineer it to be dragged for an indefinite period).

    If UMNO under Najib’s leadership insists on self-destructing, the life-line for a true and fairer Malaysia may perhaps come from DAP. People like Inche Din should join DAP and work hard to prop up its Malay membership to a significant number so that its ‘Chinese dominated party’ tag loses currency. The DAP should work in earnest to achieve a target of at least 30-40 % of its CEC members being Malays before the next GE. It has to reassure the Malays and in this respect declare before facing the next GE that if elected to power the PM will be a Malay Muslim and the Defense Minister will also be so.

    The PKR is slated to be reduced to a diminutive role without Anwar. Azmin has tasted power. If he can’t have his way, he will jump ship. No loss actually. DAP with a rump PKR and PAS dissidents, can still rebuild a resurgent pakatan rakyat, to give the knock out punch to UMNO and BN the people want.

  20. “This is not right! In US, the blacks would have gone amok over it. ”

    Are you really comparing the African American experience to those of the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia ?

    Mr. Merican (and observers local and foreign) if you really want to know why this country is in such a screwed up state, it is because of the intellectually bankrupt, morally repulsive , ethically challenged and cynically manipulative nature of the opposition parties and supporters like the one I quote.

    Instead of suggesting armed rebellion against this UMNO Regime why not stop wanking over the Opposition – especially when it comes to DAP apparatchiks – why not demand an opposition that supports the abolishment of special rights in direct contrast to what UMNO, PKR, DAP, Amanah, MCA, MIC , PAS and the host of degenerate political cabals support.

    Or maybe in the world of disingenuous wankers like looes, Indians and Chinese have a history of slavery, lynching, economically and culturally deprivation and a whole host of other criminal indignities suffered by the African American community in the United States.

    Pathetic but I suppose this is what passes for reasoned discourse by Oppo supporters.

  21. I am alarmed by the suggestions of Loose74. The spilling of blood on M’sian streets is not an answer to M’sia’s woes. The armed forces (mainly Malays) will come down like a ton of bricks on all M’sians, making May 13th looks a tea party.

    Loose74, I was in London when the IRA brought the Irish struggle onto mainland UK. Let’s not go there. I am not certain the M’sign authority would deal with the situation as well as the Brit.

  22. Conrad,
    Yes! I felt that the nons are too meek! Seriously have been to UK or Ireland before? I bet you don’t but I do!!!!!! I have first hand on irishmen exert their rights. To tell you the truth, I worked part time in Royal Post Office. These irishmen don’t give a damn. And they got it! At first Irish free state and then shared responsibility in Northern Ireland government.
    You know NUTs about England, UK or even Northern Ireland. I saw first hand how first hand minorities in Northern Ireland succeeded. Serious, I felt that the nons have been too meek for too long

  23. The Prime Minister cannot be constitutionally unseated because decades of tinkering of the Federal Constitution particularly under the thumb of nonagenarian made the position unassailable, methodically stripping any semblance of checks and balances. Thus most of the above comments are wishful thinking. In addition:
    1. The cyclical economic situation is not dire enough to push youth in large and ethnically mixed numbers on the street for a sustained period of time. By any emerging market standard, our middle class is relatively comfortable. Historically this is the precursor of change. So name a mass movement started by a relatively comfortable middle class.
    2. UMNO/BN would not allow this to happen come what may, having learnt all the tricks inside and outside of the book all the while. Nothing and absolutely nothing is sacrilegious in pursuit and maintenance of power. See how they feed on the fear factor of race, royalty and religion.
    3. Najib has been in this trade at the tender age of 23 and like it or not has since acquired the trademark of a master tactician of doing and saying nothing substantive except bidding his time to strike at his opponents both within and without the party. There is no need to give specifics of the modus operandi of this amoral consummate politician as they are plenty. Despite all the scandals, he demonstrates what the power of incumbency is all about. Again thanks to the architect of this power and patronage system, the nonagenarian.

    Judging by the colour of his lips, he continues to sit on the throne for a long, long time than anyone can imagine, no less aided by his skillful hedging of the big power rivalry.

  24. Conrad,
    I think its ridiculous to compare what the African American went through with what the Chinese and Indian Malaysians face in this country.I dont know wether our revolutionary hero realised that the majority of Malays in this country are not doing that well compared to other races although they have billionaires like Najib,Taib Mahmud,Syed Mokhtar,etc.The bulk of the special rights benefitted 1% of Malays while the majority 70% are struggling to make ends meet.Similarly th African Americans despite their struggles and Obama being the President are still not doing well in all spheres of life in USA.They have twice the no of unemployed compared to the whites and still 2-3times more likely to be arrested and jailed for similar crimes when compared to the whites.

  25. @loose74: “The Arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice” – MLK Jr.

    Liberals in Malaysia that seems to be losing the battle for making the world slight more equitable would have no qualm with what you have suggested, except the means to achieve the goal, and for what it is to be done. For myself, as I would re-iterate, walking out of our own job is an effective peaceful mean liken the modern day Salt March. Let’s not a single drop of blood spill for a 1MPM Najib who is mere transitory. Whether he acknowledges it or not, he is merely warming up the seats for the next dictator. But, for the rakyat, or the nons in your parlance, removing Najib is merely a small battle. Let us be on the right side of history, and be cautious than to cause unnecessary pain. CL Familiaris sent link to us that illustrates clearly the story of Afghanistan. I have recently watched the film Bhutto myself. Accomplishing it through the wrong means, would only cause more pain. Yes, meek powerless love is of no use. But a self-coup, and then a blood shed to remove a self-coup which lead to power grab by opportunists would become a worse nightmare.

    In my religion, never forgetting one is a mere pendatang in this world is very much a core message. Perhaps, it is fitting the current Pope decides to pick the name ‘Francesco’.

    Matthew 6:25-27
    “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

    Love maybe a weak force, but it is a force no arms could break.

  26. “You know NUTs about England, UK or even Northern Ireland.”

    And you are a nut who doesn’t know anything, period.

    “Yes! I felt that the nons are too meek!”

    Really ? Meek in terms of what exactly ?

    When you spout your nonsense in the face of the reality that the majority of Non Malays are in a far better position socially and economically than the majority of our Malay brothers and sisters and the Chinese, Malay and Indian disenfranchised of our society are not served or represented by either Establishment or Opposition parties, all your racial blood letting talk to any right thinking rational person is repulsive.

    You know who are on the bottom of the food chain, here in Malaysia ?

    The indigenous people of Malaysia, but you wouldn’t know or care about them would you ?

  27. “….twisted truth”

    Twisted truth is as good as a lie. Looes and people like him have no use for truth. What they do is manipulate facts and conflate issues to advance their arguments. The only protection that free speech requires is people rebutting hateful rhetoric when the occasion demands.

    What is scary is that there is a certain segment of Non Malays who actually secretly believe what he says. Of course they are brave hiding behind anonymity and not being the ones who actually participate in the so called rebellion.

    Many years ago, when morons in the Ceylon Tamil community were raising funds in support of the Tamils in Sri Lanka even though the Tigers were basically narco traffickers and raising (sic) child soldiers, my mother advised those contributing to such funds, that perhaps they should send their own sons and daughters to the battlefield.

    The world is violent enough, no need to advocate violence when the situation does not call for it or it is unwarranted. The Non Malays are as much to blame for the state this country is in as much as UMNO.

    Now that’s a hard truth.

  28. @Conrad

    I am not sure if the Tamil Tigers were trafficking narcotics. Even if they did it it may not be for their consumption (there were no noticeable reports about this then) but for raising funds to their cause by selling it at the black market.

    During the 80’s there were a sizeable number of Sri Lankan Tamils who fled the country and were working in the construction industry in Singapore and Malaysia. Some others were also professionals and academics who were largely Tamil Tiger sympathisers. It was the latter group who were known to have persuaded the workers to remit the money through illegal means towards the Tamils cause. I understand that the Sri Lankan Government was concerned about this fund channeling and requested the concerned Governments to put a stop to such activities. Following this many of them were rounded up and sent out of Singapore with option for them to either return to their home country or to a third country, if they wish and can.

  29. ” I am not sure if the Tamil Tigers were trafficking narcotics”

    “Over the past few years, law-enforcement officials have received reports that terrorist organizations, such as the FARC in Colombia and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, have been constructing semi-submersible narco subs to fund their activities.”

    I cite this article simply because here in Malaysia some years back, funds were being raised for these so called “one man subs”. There is enough anecdotal evidence (to date I have come across no concrete evidence ) to suggest the Tigers were involved in drug running amongst other activities to fund their war effort.

    Speaking to former “fighters” I know that the Tigers were extremely brutal in supressing any drug use in their area but this did not extend to illegal activities that funded their war effort.

    The Sri Lankan refugees certainly were influencing and agitating people to send money back but this also included the greater Sri Lankan diaspora who had resettled in South East Asian countries.

    In this instance I and many other Tamils of Sri Lankan descent were persuaded by the evidence – such as it is – that it would be morally repugnant to support the Tigers even though we were sympathetic to their cause.

  30. @loose74: As ethnic Chinese, we are in a very strange position today.
    I don’t think we are in the same place as per the African Americans, or in the same predicament as per the Irish.

    China has opened up a Green Card policy for overseas Chinese this month.

    ‘Balik Kampung’ for many Malaysians of Chinese ethnicity is possibly a reality. I was working in China for a few months 2 years ago. It is strange, and messy. But, it is exciting at the same time. I have met many young Singaporeans in which they have been encouraged by government to be there in China.

    Yet, at the same time, we the ethnic Chinese is being feared in many parts of the world, of which in my mind, rightfully so, because of current Beijing policies on so many fronts. We (Malaysian of Chinese ethnicity) are in a cross-road of taking on a burden of showing what it meant to be a Malaysian, or anywhere else, and what it meant to be a corporate citizen in this world. Else, we will face a new reality of a world wanting to getting rid of us and wanting to hide one fifth of her population in the basement factory floor again in another generation. We take on a heavier burden, as frankly speaking, as quite a few Chinese are not very lovely. It saddened me to find myself agreeing to the words mentioned in pages of Melayu Dilemma which I have always disagreed.

    But, I share the sentiment that we have been meek. To fight against the two cancers mentioned is a responsible thing to do. It is a duty, acting out from love. Freedom to leave and yet chosing to stay out of love brings forth the true meaning of ‘Tanah tumpahnya darahku’. But, I disagree that we resort to methods you have mentioned.

  31. It is indeed easy to encourage armed rebellion in an Internet forum from the safety of one’s home. It is also too simplistic to talk about an example of a successful rebellion. Perhaps it is more challenging to discuss how and why the Tamil Sri Lankan armed rebellion has not worked out? Or the Chechen? Or Sikh/Punjabi? Or the failures of the Irish and Scottish Jacobite risings in 17th and 18th century Britain? Or even more pointedly, the failed Communist insurgency in Malaya/Malaysia?

  32. Azad of Syria called in Putin when his survival chances sank rapidly. Would not Najib call in the PRC leadership to his rescue from internal and external threats for his survival? After all China is very apt in working with discredited corrupt leaders as shown in Africa to bring in a new world order.

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