Tun Hussein Onn: Where is the Original UMNO (1946)?


June 29, 2015

Tun Hussein Onn: Where is the Original UMNO (1946) ?

by Tajuddin Rosli@themalaymailonline.com

Tunku Razak and HusseinMy question is, where is this original UMNO now? The UMNO loved by all Malays, which had united the Malays with other races, which had brought prosperity and tranquility to this nation and its people and which had successfully fought for Independence — that UMNO is no more in existence. It was declared illegal and dissolved by Dr. Mahathir and his friends and replaced by another party named UMNO Baru. If we were to compare UMNO Baru’s form and structure to that of original UMNO, whether from the angle of its constitution or principles, where do we find any similarities between the two? The formation of UMNO Baru is an act of treachery and cannot be forgiven either by the members of the original UMNO or new UMNO. Despite the deterioration in my health including a heart attack, I responded by declaring that I would fight the traitors till the bitter end” — Tun Hussein Onn’s speech to voters in Parit Raja during a by-election in 1988.

Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia’s third Prime Minister led the country from 1976-1981. Hussein Onn shed tears both on resuming the premier’s office after the demise of Tun Abdul Razak and before leaving the helm for Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. While officially, Hussein left for Mahathir citing ill health as his reason, it was later alleged that Mahathir backstabbed Hussein Onn and used his jedi powers to force the latter out.

While we all know that UMNO was founded by Tun Hussein Onn’s father, Dato’  Onn Jaafar and how Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein collectively increased the strengths of UMNO, we forget than Hussein Onn himself opposed Mahathir’s UMNO Baru from the outside. When he was asked why isn’t he a member of UMNO Baru and continuously opposed Mahathir, Tun Hussein replied by saying, “Firstly we are denied membership in UMNO Baru. Secondly, even if we were to be accorded membership, we disagree with its constitution and style of leadership. Thus we have no choice but to stay out and oppose UMNO Baru.”

logo-umno-baru-lama1logo-umno baruUMNO Baru

The 3rd Prime Minister on numerous occasions also expressed despair and heartache at disunity that Mahathir brewed. He once said, “We all want unity. But what is happening now is the worsening of disunity. We want to compromise. We want to reconcile. We want to forget all the differences. We want to return to the right path. But as you all know, all efforts towards unity have failed. Those in power don’t pay much attention to our suggestions. They have turned a deaf ear to our advice. We can all see how anyone who advises or disagrees with those in power will be condemned, suspended or sacked from their position. All efforts from within have failed. That is why we now have to act from outside, as Independents.”

Malaysia’s most loved Prince, Tunku Abdul Rahman walked hand-in-hand with Hussein Onn to oppose Mahathir. While Mahathir only recognizes contributions from the Malays for independence, the man who actually brought independence to Malaya spoke differently. Tunku openly criticised Mahathir for being power crazy.

rMahathir Mohamad-2014The Greedy Man, said Tunku Abdul Rahman

We should be wary of the greedy man who wants to grab everything in this country to satisfy his lust for power. He says it is for the Malays, but in actual fact it is for himself. We must bear in mind that the Malays had never lived in affluence and never had a place in the administration of this country. When this country achieved Independence, we gained power with the cooperation of other communities. We were able to rule our own country. We should therefore, never be arrogant and break our promise to our friends in the other communities who had helped us to achieve independence,” uttered Tunku.

Back then, Tunku kept pleading with the people to reject Mahathir. He constantly reminded, “All power is in the hands of the people, provided the people use the power wisely. Solidarity can only be achieved through UMNO, the original UMNO, not UMNO Baru, which is Dr.  Mahathir’s UMNO.”

Portraying the image of a fragile old man, Mahathir today  quivers and says he is a nobody today and he can only voice his concern against Dato’ Seri Najib as a normal citizen of this country. If memory serves him right, he should be getting flashbacks of what he did to Tunku and Hussein Onn on every occasion Najib snubs him. Mahathir is certainly getting back what he gave others before him. As they say, the globe is round. You are treated the exact same way you treat others.

If you want love, give love; If you want honesty, give honesty; If you want respect, give respect. You get in return, what you give!

Bakri Musa: Get rid of Jakim and Jawi


June 29, 2015

Bakri Musa: Get rid of Jakim and Jawi

by Dr M. Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California

Ramadan brings exuberant displays of piety among Malays, consumed as we are with personal salvation. There is however, little reflection on our salvation as a society.

The Malays are  lazy

Hellfire or the ultimate punishment for us as a society would be to be dumped into the rubbish bin of mankind, dependent on the charity of others while living in a land so blessed by Almighty. The irony, as well as the fact that others thrive in Tanah Melayu, would make the punishment that much more unbearable.

We have ruled this country for over half a century; all instruments of government are in our hands, sultans as well as prime ministers are all Malays, and the constitution is generous to us. Yet we remain in a sorry state, reduced to lamenting our fate and blaming the pendatangs.

This lamentation is heard with nauseating frequency, coming from sultans and prime ministers to pundits and kedai kopi commentators. Seizing on that, some (and not just non-Malays) gleefully trumpet their own sense of superiority or denigrate the Malay culture and character.

A former Chief Minister of Terengganu (now Deputy Minister of Education), a predominantly-Malay and oil-rich state, asked how could we who have lived here for centuries, control the government, and are in the majority feel threatened by the immigrants. The fact that he posed the question reveals how clueless he was in addressing it. Alas his is the caliber of leadership we have been cursed with.

The issue is not who is in charge rather what those charged with leading us are doing. The Pakistanis and Zimbabweans are in charge 100 percent and have no immigrants to contend with, yet their people suffer.The Chinese in Hong Kong thrived under British rule while their brethren on the mainland starved and perished under Mao’s Cultural Revolution and other “Great Leap Forward” follies. Being led by your own kind is not always a blessing.

As for immigrants, the French, Germans and Americans are much richer and in full control of their nations yet they feel imperiled by poor and unarmed Africans, Turks and Mexicans respectively.

Leaders betraying their followers’ trust or natives feeling threatened by immigrants are not unique to Malays.

UMNO Baru

In an earlier book, Malaysia in the Era of Globalization, I likened the dilemma we face today to that of the Irish of yore. The Irish then felt overwhelmed by the minority English who dominated just about every aspect of life in Ireland except of course the Catholic Church. The Church meanwhile held a tight grip on the Irish, dictating everything from what they could do in their bedrooms to the schools their children should attend.

As the church banned contraception, they had huge unruly broods, with the fathers busy rebelling or drinking. If there were ambitious Irish parents who dared send their children to the much superior English schools instead of the lousy church-run ones, they risked being excommunicated. More Irish left Ireland than stayed.

Substitute Islam for Catholicism and non-Malays for the English, and we have our current mess, except that we are not emigrating en mass. As for the Irish blight of alcohol and fecundity, we have drugs and HIV infections.

Ireland today is very different nation. The Irish are no longer emigrating and the country hosts many IT giants. Ryanair, the Dublin-based discount airline, once attempted a takeover of venerable British Airways.

We can learn much from the Irish, their recent economic setbacks notwithstanding. We can begin by choosing enlightened leaders, meaning, those who can crystallize the problems and then craft sensible solutions instead of endlessly extolling the mythical values of Ketuanan Melayu or mindlessly quoting the Holy Book.

Ireland’s transformational leader Sean Lemass began by clipping the powers of the Church. He removed schools from its control and allowed contraceptives. He lifted censorship so the Irish could read dissenting opinions and view on their television sets the world beyond their government’s propaganda.

Irish kids studied science and mathematics instead of reciting catechism. With family planning the unruly messy Irish brood was replaced by a more wholesome and manageable one.

We have our share of potential Lemasses but we do not nurture or elect them. Our leaders instead are consumed in a destructive and dysfunctional dynamics of triangulation, with one element attempting alliance with the second to neutralize the third. Earlier, Mahathir co-opted the religious to take on the third – the sultans. Today’s weakened political leadership emboldens the sultans to re-exert themselves by aligning with the ulamas. Seemingly progressive Perak’s Sultan gives free rein to his Taliban-like mufti (Harussani) while Kelantan’s is more imam than Sultan, enrapturing Malay hearts. Elsewhere Sultans could not find enough ulamas to heap royal honors.

These sultans and politicians have yet to learn a crucial lesson. The Islamic tiger, once ridden, is impossible to dismount. You would be lucky if it would not take you back to its den. Meanwhile you have to endure where it wants to go, and right now it is headed for ISIS.

Only the emergence of other pillars of leadership could break this dysfunctional triangulation. A potential source would be NGOs; BERSIH’s considerable impact attests to this. Another would be for “towering” Malays to be assertive, especially those not tainted by politics, religion, or royalty. Consider that cartoonist Zunar and Poet Laureate Samad Said have more impact than the much-touted Group of 25 “eminent” Malays comprising retired senior civil servants. For a Malay to reach the top in the civil service is no achievement; it would be for a non-Malay. Thus those 25 “eminent” Malays, despite or perhaps because of their fancy royal titles, are not effective role models or catalysts for change.

Barring disruption of this destructive triangulation or the emergence of a local Lemass, there is not much hope except to pray. However, as per the oft-quoted Koranic verse, Allah will not change the condition of a people unless they themselves do it (approximate translation). Our Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w.,(pbuh) advised us that we must first tie our camel securely and only then pray it does not escape.

malaysia-women-islamThe Hoods in Malaysia like the KKK in the US

Pray we must, but first we have to get rid of JAWI, JAKIM and hordes of similar and very expensive agencies. I could tolerate them as public works programs for otherwise unemployable Malays, but those authoritarian and far-from-authoritative government-issued ulamas are intent on controlling our lives a la Irish priests of yore.

I would then divert those funds, as well as the billions in zakat so generously donated by our people, to improve our schools and universities. Make our religious schools and colleges more like those in America. Catholic schools there like California’s Bellarmine and universities like Indiana’s Notre Dame produce their share of America’ scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. They also attract outstanding students and faculty from other faiths.

Had that former chief minister dispensed with his Monsoon Cup and ostentatious crystal mosque and instead used the funds to improve his schools, he would have found the answer to his question.

Remembering 1963, the Rulers, and the Constitution


June 28, 2015

Remembering 1963, the Rulers, and the Constitution

by Rama Ramanathan@www.themalaysianinsider.com

Malaysia 1963Malaysia is a miracle nation. When the Union Jack came down in 1957 and Malaya became a member of the British Commonwealth, many thought we would soon fail.

We had one of the oddest constitutions in the commonwealth. We defined “Malays” and granted them a special position. We entrenched nine Rulers and at the same time stripped them of powers. We “barred judicial review of some breaches by Parliament of the fundamental rights of citizens” (Shad S Faruqi).

We were beset by internal and external strife. There was massive poverty. Economic activity was race-based. A communist insurgency was on. Many institutions – including the Police Force – continued to be helmed by the British, who also owned vast plantations and most large corporations. Indonesia sought to subjugate us.

Yet despite predictions of failure, unlike many other nations in the commonwealth, we did not tear up our constitution. We merely made over 650 amendments to it.

Some amendments were good. For instance, a special court was established to prosecute the Rulers. Some amendments were awful. For instance, numerical limits on the sizes of electoral constituencies were removed. As a result of this our Election Commission can pretend that one is approximately equal to four. (In the 13th general election, Sabak Bernam had about 37,000 voters while Kapar had about 144,000 voters.)

TIME  Tunku Abdul RahmanOur Constitution has kept us from crashing as a nation over the past 58 years. Due to the role given to the Rulers, governing Malaysia requires more internal diplomacy than governing any other nation. The modus operandi of PERKASA, Malaysia’s crude Malay superiority group, is to interpret everything they oppose as a threat to the Rulers. That is also the politics of the two Malay political parties, UMNO and PAS. They compete to present themselves as defenders of the honour of the Rulers.

TM Tunku Ismail of JohorMalaysian Indians have caught on: a deliberate decision to adopt the modus operandi of the Malay parties is the only tenable explanation for the Police report which 46 “Indian NGOs” made last week against Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for his “we will whack you” rejoinder to the Crown Prince of Johor when the latter criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The NGOs wished to be seen as supporters of the Prince who may one day rule Johor.

I’ve been thinking about our constitution because Malaysia’s Islamist party, PAS, is trying to get Parliament to give the state government of Kelantan the right to legislate on matters which are currently the sole prerogative of the federal government.

Our government has responded to PAS by offering to support Kelantan’s desire if PAS agrees to get into bed with UMNO, Malaysia’s hegemonic Malay-Muslim party.

Four citizens have responded to our government by filing an injunction in court to prevent the tabling of Kelantan’s desire in Parliament. The four citizens have caused the parliamentary tabling of Kelantan’s desire to be put on hold until the court hears and rules on their argument that a fundamental change cannot be proposed without first obtaining the consent of the people.

The citizens’ injunction reminded me of another injunction, filed 52 years ago. In 1963 the state government of Kelantan filed an injunction to stop the federal government from forming the Federation of Malaysia by bringing in Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak as new members.

The basis of Kelantan’s argument was that fundamental changes were being proposed without first obtaining the consent of Kelantan. (The term “basic structure” was not used at that time.) The changes did seem fundamental. The three “new members” would not be equal partners with the prior members. Sabah and Sarawak would have disproportionately large representation in Parliament, would have the right to impose domestic immigration controls and would have the right to impose taxes beyond what the prior members had.

Islam would not have ceremonial pre-eminence in Sabah and Sarawak. (In the interest of brevity I omit Singapore’s privileges.) PAS/Kelantan raised the issue before the court as a challenge of state power by the Federal government. One of their five arguments was, “Constitutional convention dictates that consultation with Rulers of individual states was required before substantial changes can be made to the Constitution” (Johan S Sabaruddin).

The court had to act rapidly, as Kelantan began the action on September 10, 1963, a mere six days before Malaysia day. The court ruled against Kelantan. Malaysia was not aborted. The decision was clear. The Rulers need not be consulted. The people were sovereign, through Parliament. The constitution triumphed. The miracle continued.

The 1963 constitution should be the lens through which we look at the challenges of governing Malaysia, exploitation of patronage and attempts to thwart federalism.

Lee Kuan Yew on Leadership


June 27, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew on Leadership

Lee Kuan Yew is great leader and a role model for leaders in Southeast Asia and China. There can be no doubt about the leadership qualities and brilliance of Mr. Lee as evidenced by the outpouring grief on his recent passing. I have posted a lot of articles and tributes and shared my views about the founder of modern Singapore. Now I will post the views of Mr. Lee himself on this important topic.–Din Merican

Portrait of a Beautiful Mind: George Fitzgerald


June 22, 2015

Portrait of a Beautiful Mind: George Fitzgerald

by J J O’Connor and E F Robertson

George_Francis_FitzGeraldThe function of the University is primarily to teach mankind. .. at all times the greatest men have always held that their primary duty was the discovery of new knowledge, the creation of new ideas for all mankind, and not the instruction of the few who found it convenient to reside in their immediate neighbourhoodGeorge Francis FitzGerald

George Francis FitzGerald was a brilliant mathematical physicist who today is known by most scientists as one of the proposers of the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction in the theory of relativity. However, this suggestion by FitzGerald, as we shall see below, was not in the area in which he undertook most of his research, and he would certainly not have rated this his greatest contribution.

George FitzGerald’s parents were William FitzGerald and Anne Frances Stoney. His father William was a minister in the Irish Protestant Church and rector of St Ann’s Dublin at the time of George’s birth. William, although having no scientific interests himself, was an intellectual who went on to become Bishop of Cork and later Bishop of Killaloe. It seems that George’s later interest in metaphysics came from his father’s side of the family. George’s mother was the daughter of George Stoney from Birr in King’s County and she was also from an intellectual family. George Johnstone Stoney, who was Anne’s brother, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and George FitzGerald’s liking for mathematics and physics seems to have come mainly from his mother’s side of the family.

William and Anne had three sons, George being the middle of the three. Maurice FitzGerald, one of George’s two brothers, also went on to achieve academic success in the sciences, becoming Professor of Engineering at Queen’s College Belfast. George’s schooling was at home where, together with his brothers and sisters, he was tutored by M A Boole, who was George Boole‘s sister. It is doubtful whether Miss Boole realised what enormous potential her pupil George had, for although he showed himself to be an excellent student of arithmetic and algebra, he was no better than an average pupil at languages and had rather a poor verbal memory. However, when the tutoring progressed to a study of Euclid‘s Elements then George showed himself very able indeed, and he also exhibited a great inventiveness for mechanical constructions, having great dexterity. He was also an athletic boy yet he had no great liking for games.

Miss Boole prepared her pupils very well for their university studies. She noticed one remarkable talent in her pupil George, that was his skill as an observer. Many years later FitzGerald, clearly thinking of his own youth, wrote:-

The cultivation and training of the practical ability to do things and to learn from observation, experiment and measurement, is a part of education which the clergyman and the lawyer can maybe neglect, because they have to deal with emotions and words, but which the doctor and the engineer can only neglect at their own peril and that of those who employ them. These habits should be carefully cultivated from the earliest years while a child’s character is being developed. As the twig is bent so the tree inclines.

FitzGerald certainly showed that he had acquired the ability to learn from observation, experiment and measurement. He entered Trinity College Dublin at the young age of 16 to study his two best subjects which were mathematics and experimental science, and he was soon putting the training he had received at home to good use. At Trinity College, FitzGerald [8]:-

… attained all the distinctions that lay in his path with an ease, and wore them with a grace, that endeared him to his rivals and contemporaries.

It was not an undergraduate career devoted entirely to study, however, for FitzGerald played a full part in literary clubs and social clubs. He also continued his athletic interests, taking to gymnastics and to racquet sports. In 1871 he graduated as the best student in both mathematics and experimental science. He won a University Studentship and two First Senior Moderatorships in his chosen topics.

The aim of FitzGerald was now to win a Trinity College Fellowship but at this time these were few and far between. He was to spend six years studying before he obtained the Fellowship he wanted, but during these years he laid the foundation of his research career. He studied the works of Lagrange, Laplace, Franz Neumann, and those of his own countrymen Hamilton and MacCullagh. In addition he absorbed the theories put forward by Cauchy and Green. Then, in 1873, a publication appeared which would play a major role in his future. This was Electricity and Magnetism by Maxwell which, for the first time, contained the four partial differential equations, now known as Maxwell‘s equations. FitzGerald immediately saw Maxwell‘s work as providing the framework for further development and he began to work on pushing forward the theory.

It is worth noting that FitzGerald’s reaction to Maxwell‘s fundamental paper was not that of most scientists. Very few seemed to see the theory as a starting point, rather most saw it only as a means to produce Maxwell‘s own results. It is a tribute to FitzGerald’s insight as a scientist that he saw clearly from the beginning the importance of Electricity and Magnetism. Maxwell‘s theory was for many years, in the words of Heaviside, “considerably underdeveloped and little understood” but a few others were to see it in the same light as FitzGerald including Heaviside, Hertz and Lorentz. FitzGerald would exchange ideas over the following years with all three of these scientists.

During the six years he spent working for the Fellowship, FitzGerald also studied metaphysics, a topic which he had not formally studied as an undergraduate, and he was particularly attracted to Berkeley‘s philosophy. His liking for metaphysics and his deep understanding of the topic combined with his other great talents in his future career. He won his Fellowship and became a tutor at Trinity College Dublin in 1877. This was not his first attempt at winning a Fellowship, rather it was his second since he failed to win a Fellowship at his first attempt. At Trinity College he was attached to the Department of Experimental Physics and soon he was exerting the greatest influence on the teaching of the physical sciences in the College.

In 1881 John R Leslie, the professor of natural philosophy at Dublin, died and FitzGerald succeeded him to the Erasmus Smith Chair of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. At the time of his appointment he gave up his duties as College tutor, a role in which he had been extremely successful, to concentrate on his duties as a professor. One of FitzGerald’s long running battles at Trinity College Dublin was to increase the amount of teaching of experimental physics. He soon set up classes in an old chemical laboratory that he was able to obtain for his use, and he gathered round him colleagues who would help in the practical aspects of the subject. As is so often the case in universities, however, he was restricted in the progress he could make from a lack of funds.

In a lecture which he gave to the Irish Industrial League in 1896 FitzGerald emphasised his lifelong belief in practical studies:-

The fault of our present system is in supposing that learning to use words teaches us to use things. This is at its best. It really does not even teach children to use words, it only teaches them to learn words, to stuff their memories with phrases, to be a pack of parrots, to suffocate thought with indigestible verbiage. Take the case of experimenting. How can you teach children to make careful experiments with words? Yet it is great importance that they should be able to learn from experiments.

However, practical applications are built on theoretical foundations and FitzGerald fully understood this. In his inaugural lecture on 22 February 1900 as President of the Dublin Section of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, he spoke of how electricity had been applied to the benefit of mankind during the nineteenth century. Behind a practical invention such as telegraphy there was a wealth of theoretical work:-

… telegraphy owes a great deal to Euclid and other pure geometers, to the Greek and Arabian mathematicians who invented our scale of numeration and algebra, to Galileo and Newton who founded dynamics, to Newton and Leibniz who invented the calculus, to Volta who discovered the galvanic coil, to Oersted who discovered the magnetic actions of currents, to Ampère who found out the laws of their action, to Ohm who discovered the law of resistance of wires, to Wheatstone, to Faraday, to Lord Kelvin, to Clerk Maxwell, to Hertz. Without the discoveries, inventions, and theories of these abstract scientific men telegraphy, as it now is, would be impossible.

We should also look at FitzGerald’s idea of the purpose of a university since it was, like his other educational beliefs, the driving force in how he carried out his professorial duties. He believed that the primary purpose of a university was not to teach the few students who attended but, through research, to teach everyone. He wrote in 1892:-

The function of the University is primarily to teach mankind. .. at all times the greatest men have always held that their primary duty was the discovery of new knowledge, the creation of new ideas for all mankind, and not the instruction of the few who found it convenient to reside in their immediate neighbourhood. … Are the Universities to devote the energies of the most advanced intellects of the age to the instruction of the whole nation, or to the instruction of the few whose parents can afford them an – in some places fancy – education that can in the nature of things be only attainable by the rich?

As can be seen from the quotations we have given from FitzGerald’s writing, his interest in education went well beyond the narrow confines of his own department. It was not merely a theoretical interest for, true to his own beliefs, he took a very practical role in education. He was an examiner in physics at the University of London beginning in 1888 and he served as a Commissioner of National Education in Ireland in 1898 being concerned with reforming primary education in Ireland. As part of this task he travelled to the United States on a fact finding tour in the autumn of 1898. As one might have expected, his aim was to bring far more practical topics into the syllabus of primary schools. At the time of his death he was involved in the reform of intermediate education in Ireland and he also served on the Board which was considering technical education.

In 1883 FitzGerald married Harriette Mary Jellett. She was the daughter of the Rev J H Jellett, the Provost of Trinity College and an outstanding scientist who had been awarded the Royal Medal by the Royal Society. It was through his personal friendship with Jellett, and also their joint scientific studies, that FitzGerald got to know Harriette. Although the couple had been married just under eight years at the time of FitzGerald’s death, they had eight children during this time; three sons and five daughters. FitzGerald was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1883 and, like his father-in-law, he was to receive its Royal medal. This was in 1899 when the prestigious award was made to FitzGerald for his contributions to theoretical physics, especially to optics and electrodynamics. Lord Lister, presenting the medal, said [3]:-

His critical activity pervades an unbounded field, enlivened and enriched throughout by the fruits of a luxuriant imagination.

We should now examine the research for which FitzGerald received these honours.

Beginning in 1876, before he obtained his Fellowship, FitzGerald began to publish the results of his research. His first work On the equations of equilibrium of an elastic surface filled in cases of a problem studied by Lagrange. His second paper in the same year was on magnetism and he then, still in the year 1876, published On the rotation of the plane of polarisation of light by reflection from the pole of a magnet in the Proceeding of the Royal Society. He had already begun to contribute to Maxwell‘s theory and, as well as theoretical contributions, he was conducting experiments in electromagnetic theory. His first major theoretical contribution was On the electromagnetic theory of the reflection and refraction of light which he sent to the Royal Society in October 1878. Maxwell, in reviewing the paper, noted that FitzGerald was developing his ideas in much the same general direction as was Lorentz.

At a meeting of the British Association in Southport in 1883, FitzGerald gave a lecture discussing electromagnetic theory. He suggested a method of producing electromagnetic disturbances of comparatively short wavelengths:-

… by utilising the alternating currents produced when an accumulator is discharged through a small resistance. It would be possible to produce waves of as little as 10 metres wavelength or less.

So FitzGerald, using his own studies of electrodynamics, suggested in 1883 that an oscillating electric current would produce electromagnetic waves. However, as he later wrote:-

… I did not see any feasible way of detecting the induced resonance.

In 1888 FitzGerald addressed the Mathematical and Physical Section of the British Association in Bath as its President. He was able to report to British Association that Heinrich Hertz had, earlier that year, verified this experimentally. Hertz had verified that the vibration, reflection and refraction of electromagnetic waves were the same as those of light. In this brilliant lecture, given to a general audience, FitzGerald described how Hertz:-

… has observed the interference of electromagnetic waves quite analogous to those of light.

After his appointment to the chair, FitzGerald had continued to produce many innovative ideas but no major theories. For example despite his ideas on electromagnetic waves he had not followed through the research and the final experimental verification had been achieved by Hertz. The reason for this is perhaps best understood with a quotation from a letter which FitzGerald sent to Heaviside on 4 February 1889 (see for example [1]):-

I admire from a distance those who contain themselves till they worked to the bottom of their results but as I am not in the very least sensitive to having made mistakes I rush out with all sorts of crude notions in hope that they may set others thinking and lead to some advance.

Although FitzGerald is modestly talking down his contributions in this quotation, the comment he made about himself is essentially correct. O J Lodge [9] gives a similar, but fairer, analysis of FitzGerald’s work:-

… the leisure of long patient analysis was not his, nor did his genius altogether lie in this direction: he was at his best when, under the stimulus of discussion, his mind teemed with brilliant suggestions, some of which he at once proceeded to test by rough quantitative calculation, for which he was an adept in discerning the necessary data. The power of grasping instantly all the bearings of a difficult problem was his to an extraordinary degree …

Again Heaviside wrote (see for example [8]):-

He had, undoubtedly, the quickest and most original brain of anybody. That was a great distinction; but it was, I think, a misfortune as regards his scientific fame. He saw too many openings. His brain was too fertile and inventive. I think it would have been better for him if he had been a little stupid — I mean not so quick and versatile, but more plodding. He would have been better appreciated, save by a few.

Finally we should examine the contribution for which FitzGerald is universally known today. There had been many attempts to detect the motion of the Earth relative to the aether, a medium in space postulated to carry light waves. A A Michelson and E W Morley conducted an accurate experiment to compare the speed of light in the direction of the Earth’s motion and the speed of light at right angles to the Earth’s motion. Despite the difference in relative motion to the aether, the velocity of light was found to be the same. In 1889, two years after the Michelson-Morley experiment, FitzGerald suggested that the shrinking of a body due to motion at speeds close to that of light would account for the result of that experiment. Lodge [9] writes that the idea:-

… flashed on him in the writer’s study at Liverpool as he was discussing the meaning of the Michelson-Morley experiment.

Lorentz, independently in 1895, gave a much more detailed description of the same kind. It was typical of these two great men that both were more than ready to acknowledge the contribution of the other, but there is little doubt that each had the idea independently of the other. The FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction now plays an important role in relativity.

Sadly FitzGerald died at the age of only 49 years. Maxwell, whose work had proved so fundamental for FitzGerald, had died at the age of 48 while Hertz died at the age of 36. In fact in 1896 FitzGerald had reviewed the publication of Hertz’s Miscellaneous Papers for Nature after Hertz‘s death. Four years later, in September 1900, FitzGerald began to complain of indigestion and began to have to be careful what he ate. A few weeks later he complained that he was finding it difficult to concentrate on a problem. His health rapidly deteriorated and despite having an operation the end came quickly.

W Ramsay, on hearing of FitzGerald’s death wrote (see [8]):

We should also look at FitzGerald’s idea of the purpose of a university since it was, like his other educational beliefs, the driving force in how he carried out his professorial duties. He believed that the primary purpose of a university was not to teach the few students who attended but, through research, to teach everyone. He wrote in 1892:-

The function of the University is primarily to teach mankind. .. at all times the greatest men have always held that their primary duty was the discovery of new knowledge, the creation of new ideas for all mankind, and not the instruction of the few who found it convenient to reside in their immediate neighbourhood. … Are the Universities to devote the energies of the most advanced intellects of the age to the instruction of the whole nation, or to the instruction of the few whose parents can afford them an – in some places fancy – education that can in the nature of things be only attainable by the rich?

As can be seen from the quotations we have given from FitzGerald’s writing, his interest in education went well beyond the narrow confines of his own department. It was not merely a theoretical interest for, true to his own beliefs, he took a very practical role in education. He was an examiner in physics at the University of London beginning in 1888 and he served as a Commissioner of National Education in Ireland in 1898 being concerned with reforming primary education in Ireland. As part of this task he travelled to the United States on a fact-finding tour in the autumn of 1898. As one might have expected, his aim was to bring far more practical topics into the syllabus of primary schools. At the time of his death he was involved in the reform of intermediate education in Ireland and he also served on the Board which was considering technical education.

In 1883 FitzGerald married Harriette Mary Jellett. She was the daughter of the Rev J H Jellett, the Provost of Trinity College and an outstanding scientist who had been awarded the Royal Medal by the Royal Society. It was through his personal friendship with Jellett, and also their joint scientific studies, that FitzGerald got to know Harriette. Although the couple had been married just under eight years at the time of FitzGerald’s death, they had eight children during this time; three sons and five daughters. FitzGerald was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1883 and, like his father-in-law, he was to receive its Royal medal. This was in 1899 when the prestigious award was made to FitzGerald for his contributions to theoretical physics, especially to optics and electrodynamics. Lord Lister, presenting the medal, said [3]:

His critical activity pervades an unbounded field, enlivened and enriched throughout by the fruits of a luxuriant imagination.

We should now examine the research for which FitzGerald received these honours.

Beginning in 1876, before he obtained his Fellowship, FitzGerald began to publish the results of his research. His first work On the equations of equilibrium of an elastic surface filled in cases of a problem studied by Lagrange. His second paper in the same year was on magnetism and he then, still in the year 1876, published On the rotation of the plane of polarisation of light by reflection from the pole of a magnet in the Proceeding of the Royal Society. He had already begun to contribute to Maxwell‘s theory and, as well as theoretical contributions, he was conducting experiments in electromagnetic theory. His first major theoretical contribution was On the electromagnetic theory of the reflection and refraction of light which he sent to the Royal Society in October 1878. Maxwell, in reviewing the paper, noted that FitzGerald was developing his ideas in much the same general direction as was Lorentz.

At a meeting of the British Association in Southport in 1883, FitzGerald gave a lecture discussing electromagnetic theory. He suggested a method of producing electromagnetic disturbances of comparatively short wavelengths:-

… by utilising the alternating currents produced when an accumulator is discharged through a small resistance. It would be possible to produce waves of as little as 10 metres wavelength or less.

So FitzGerald, using his own studies of electrodynamics, suggested in 1883 that an oscillating electric current would produce electromagnetic waves. However, as he later wrote:-

… I did not see any feasible way of detecting the induced resonance.

In 1888 FitzGerald addressed the Mathematical and Physical Section of the British Association in Bath as its President. He was able to report to British Association that Heinrich Hertz had, earlier that year, verified this experimentally. Hertz had verified that the vibration, reflection and refraction of electromagnetic waves were the same as those of light. In this brilliant lecture, given to a general audience, FitzGerald described how Hertz:-

… has observed the interference of electromagnetic waves quite analogous to those of light.

After his appointment to the chair, FitzGerald had continued to produce many innovative ideas but no major theories. For example despite his ideas on electromagnetic waves he had not followed through the research and the final experimental verification had been achieved by Hertz. The reason for this is perhaps best understood with a quotation from a letter which FitzGerald sent to Heaviside on 4 February 1889 (see for example [1]):-

I admire from a distance those who contain themselves till they worked to the bottom of their results but as I am not in the very least sensitive to having made mistakes I rush out with all sorts of crude notions in hope that they may set others thinking and lead to some advance.

Although FitzGerald is modestly talking down his contributions in this quotation, the comment he made about himself is essentially correct. O J Lodge [9] gives a similar, but fairer, analysis of FitzGerald’s work:-

… the leisure of long patient analysis was not his, nor did his genius altogether lie in this direction: he was at his best when, under the stimulus of discussion, his mind teemed with brilliant suggestions, some of which he at once proceeded to test by rough quantitative calculation, for which he was an adept in discerning the necessary data. The power of grasping instantly all the bearings of a difficult problem was his to an extraordinary degree …

Again Heaviside wrote (see for example [8]):

He had, undoubtedly, the quickest and most original brain of anybody. That was a great distinction; but it was, I think, a misfortune as regards his scientific fame. He saw too many openings. His brain was too fertile and inventive. I think it would have been better for him if he had been a little stupid — I mean not so quick and versatile, but more plodding. He would have been better appreciated, save by a few.

Finally we should examine the contribution for which FitzGerald is universally known today. There had been many attempts to detect the motion of the Earth relative to the aether, a medium in space postulated to carry light waves. A A Michelson and E W Morley conducted an accurate experiment to compare the speed of light in the direction of the Earth’s motion and the speed of light at right angles to the Earth’s motion. Despite the difference in relative motion to the aether, the velocity of light was found to be the same. In 1889, two years after the Michelson-Morley experiment, FitzGerald suggested that the shrinking of a body due to motion at speeds close to that of light would account for the result of that experiment. Lodge [9] writes that the idea:-

… flashed on him in the writer’s study at Liverpool as he was discussing the meaning of the Michelson-Morley experiment.

Lorentz, independently in 1895, gave a much more detailed description of the same kind. It was typical of these two great men that both were more than ready to acknowledge the contribution of the other, but there is little doubt that each had the idea independently of the other. The FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction now plays an important role in relativity.

Sadly FitzGerald died at the age of only 49 years. Maxwell, whose work had proved so fundamental for FitzGerald, had died at the age of 48 while Hertz died at the age of 36. In fact in 1896 FitzGerald had reviewed the publication of Hertz’s Miscellaneous Papers for Nature after Hertz‘s death. Four years later, in September 1900, FitzGerald began to complain of indigestion and began to have to be careful what he ate. A few weeks later he complained that he was finding it difficult to concentrate on a problem. His health rapidly deteriorated and despite having an operation the end came quickly.

W Ramsay, on hearing of FitzGerald’s death wrote (see [8]):

… to me, as to many others, FitzGerald was the truest of true friends; always interested, always sympathetic, always encouraging, whether the matter discussed was a personal one, or one connected with science or with education. And yet I doubt if it were these qualities alone which made his presence so attractive and so inspiring. I think it was the feeling that one was able to converse on equal terms with a man who was so much above the level of one’s self, not merely in intellectual qualities of mind, but in every respect. … he had no trace of intellectual pride; he never put himself forward, and had no desire for fame; he was content to do his duty. And he took this to be the task of helping others to do theirs.

FitzGerald was described by Lord Kelvin (William Thomson) as (see [10]):-

… living in an atmosphere of the highest scientific and intellectual quality, but always a comrade with every fellow-worker of however humble quality…. My scientific sympathy and alliance with him have greatly ripened during the last six or seven years over the undulatory theory of light and the aether theory of electricity and magnetism.

On his death the Faculty of Science of the University of London adopted the resolution [3]:

That this meeting … having heard with profound sorrow of the premature death of the late Professor George Francis FitzGerald, desires to place on record its high appreciation of his brilliant qualities as a man, as a teacher, as an investigator, and as a leader of scientific thought …

Article by: J J O’Connor and E F Robertson

List of References (11 books/articles)

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/FitzGerald.html

Biro Tata Negara: Close it down


June 2o, 2015

COMMENT: Yes, I agree with Azrul that:

” [T]he continued existence of the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) is an affront to Malaysians everywhere. It dishonours the memory of the founders of this country, the women and men who fought and died to gain independence. It besmirches the struggles of all those who believe that there is a place for all under the Malaysian sun. It directly contradicts and works in opposition to the ideals espoused under the Rukun Negara”.

BTN Chief

rani kulup ahmad maslan

Perkasa

Whoever came up with the idea of using public funds to create an institution  which is designed to “indoctrinate” impressionable minds of young Malaysians of the present and future generations and civil service recruits must have been trained by Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister of Hitler’s  Nazi Germany. That person belongs to Tanjung Rambutan’s mental asylum together with the people who run BTN.

The Nazis had a distorted version of German history and culture; they promoted the idea of the superiority of Aryan race. The Third Reich was supposed to last a thousand years. But Hitler was defeated in 1945 after ceasing power in 1933, and Germany was humiliated and practically reduced to rubble  (e.g. The Ruhr Valley, Dresden and Berlin) due to the  Allied invasion and massive aerial bombing.

It is clear to me that BTN has a similar aim which is to perpetuate UMNO’s rule and protect Malay sovereignty. Like Hitler’s, the UMNO of the Mahathir-Badawi -Najib (1981-2015-?) era is about to come to  an ignominious end. Unfortunately, we will be left to pick up the pieces and rebuild on new foundations.Yes, we must and we can.

BTN cannot be allowed  to poison the minds of new generations of Malaysians. It must be disbanded. We can no longer accept UMNO hegemony. Its divide and rule politics of race and religion,  and rent seeking economics are leading us along the path of  economic decline and moral decay. –Din Merican

Biro Tata Negara: Close it down

by Azrul Mohd Khalib@www.themalaymailone.com

Ask anyone who has ever done their undergraduate degree in Malaysian public universities and quite a few of them will tell you how they were forced to attend and endure the Biro Tatanegara courses.

Each year, hundreds of students join civil servants from various departments, ministries and institutions to be indoctrinated or brainwashed into becoming unthinking, obedient and compliant drones whose allegiance is arguably not towards God, King and Country but more likely leaning towards Melayu and of course, UMNO.

BTN LogoWhat they often produce instead each year are groups of people who are often embarrassed, cynical and frustrated listening to a bumbling group of individuals who have no business being instructors of anything other than potty training.

Many former attendees admit to being shocked and mortified at the content of these courses which are often unashamedly racist, bigoted, and ignorant and Malay Muslim supremacist in nature. The thing is  the attendees are often multi-ethnic and reflect the rich diversity of Malaysian society.

Instead of fulfilling its stated aims which are to nurture the spirit of patriotism and commitment to excellence and good values among Malaysians, and to train leaders and future leaders to support the nation’s development efforts, this government agency which exists under the Prime Minister’s Department has for decades promoted racial and religious discrimination and divisiveness.

In its programming, the BTN has cultivated concepts such as “pendatang” and “Ketuanan Melayu” which run contrary to the values and ideals of the Federal Constitution.

It has been used to stir up animosity and hatred towards those who think differently from the government and oppose the status quo. They have promoted belief that if you are not in support of the government, therefore you are being disloyal to the country.

While so many have been picked up for alleged and imagined offenses which are supposedly seditious in nature, this lot have been able to operate and spread their views through the cover of government national civics courses which are anything but.

As can be seen from recent documentation from the BTN itself, they are even trying to justify the practice of racism as something good for the country. Not too long ago, Malaysia stood by Nelson Mandela’s struggle and together with the countries of the world spoke out and condemned the ultimate expression of racism, apartheid. Today, these people are trying to justify and legitimise institutionalized racism in our country. This is how far these people have lost their way.

These are scared and ignorant people who jump at shadows and create enemies where there are none. In their arrogance, they refuse to learn from others. They expect people to obey and not to think and argue. In time-honoured tradition, they even consider writers, book publishers and even books themselves as threats. Tyrants fear the power of the written word.

I can’t believe that such a Bureau continues to exist under the direct aegis of the Prime Minister’s Department and whose staff and activities are paid for in the millions each year by the Malaysian taxpayer.

The continued existence of the BTN is an affront to Malaysians everywhere. It dishonours the memory of the founders of this country, the women and men who fought and died to gain independence. It besmirches the struggles of all those who believe that there is a place for all under the Malaysian sun. It directly contradicts and works in opposition to the ideals espoused under the Rukun Negara. Based on its actions and words, it certainly cannot be said to support Vision 2020 or even 1Malaysia.

One thing that I am glad about though. It is very clear that these people of the BTN do not speak for us. That their bigoted, hateful and prejudicial views are rejected by most Malaysians. The recent outcry against their “programming” is proof enough that there is no place in a modern Malaysia for cultivating such beliefs and views.

Let us end these attempts which work at cross purposes to nation building. Let us call for the dissolution of the BTN. Let not another day go by that the money from the sweat and tears of all Malaysians is used for such purposes.

Shut down the BTN.