31 Aug 2010, Malaysia is 53 years old. As a nation, we have come a long way, but the life of the Malaysian poor Indians largely remain the same,

August (31.08.10) Malaysia is 53 years old. As a nation, we have come a long way, but the life of the Malaysian poor Indians largely remain the same, or worse than 1957.

To change the current sufferings of the Indian community, Hindraf / HRP was born. Here we list 53 reasons why every Indian should support HRP / Hindraf.

1. For the first time in 50 years (2007), Hindraf created the mass realization of the Indians in this country. 25th November, 2007 rally buried the ‘crab story’ that Indians can never be united! Give them a reason, they will be united. At the right time, Indians will come together to move mountains. Hindraf did exactly that.

2. Since 25th November, 2007, there is no more fear factor among the Malaysian Indians. They do not fear the police, authorities, the UMNO government and this has been demonstrated in all HRP / Hindraf activities to date.

3. HRP is full of fearless leaders, young and old, nationwide. Fear is stupidity!

4. In 514 days ISA detention, Mr. P. Uthayakumar meditated upon and realized the real reason for Indian problems in Malaysia. While many Indians blame Samy Vellu, Tamil movies, and Indian attitude for their failures, Uthayakumar concluded that the real culprit is the UMNO’s racist policies.

5. HRP realizes that MIC / Samy Vellu is a dead horse. There is no point in condemning MIC anymore. All BN component parties have no power. UMNO rules the country in the way they want at all levels. UMNO has well trained Biro Tatanegara graduates to segregate Indians in all aspects of life.

6. HRP realizes that Indians have been systematically segregated from the mainstream development of Malaysia by UMNO’s racist policies and practices. Time has come for UMNO to pay for this karma!

7. HRP understands the real way things work in Malaysia. They realize UMNO’s dirty politics in creating a mandore system and propagating ‘Indian fights Indian’ scenarios. So, they have avoided all ‘Indian vs Indian’ situation to the best of their ability.

8. Mr. P. Uthayakumar realized (in his 514 days in jail) that the only reason Indians were treated badly is because they don’t have political clout and therefore created the 15/38 political empowerment strategy.

9. Hindraf / HRP is bold and courageous. They articulate what should be articulated without fear or favour. They express political ideas in very direct and clear words. They minimize politicking to greatest extent possible.

10. HRP is full of positive energy and good people. Here you see Indians who think and believe that they are crucial in Malaysian politics and have the people power (makkal shakti) to bring change.

11. Mr. P. Uthayakumar’s boldness and character has brought like minded Malaysian Indians and all the forces of good together. Day by day, more and more Indians are attracted to join HRP because of it’s true, bold and selfless nature.

12. Hindraf / HRP have supporters from all over the world. Their message is being heard loud and clear in countries like England, USA, Australia etc.

13. The implications of Hindraf / HRP struggle is for the whole nation, nay, minorities all over the world. All communities and the country will enjoy the benefits of the change that it intends to bring.

14. HRP is a group of political activists with true desire to bring real change. They are absolutely different from the conventional politicians who are self centered.

15. While HRP is at war against UMNO, that does mean to give a blank cheque to Pakatan Rakyat (PR). There will be no more free votes from Indians.

16. HRP says a big ‘NO’ to replace UMNO with a BN clone Pakatan government. HRP wants real and substantial change for the Indian poor which Pakatan has failed to demonstrate so far.

17. HRP is not going to be part of any coalition, BN or PR. HRP will remain as a check and balance, a Third Force in Malaysian politics. This force is crucial to handle race based UMNO politics and vote based PR politics.

18. P. Uthayakumar is a very focused person and does not divert his attention from raising the Indian issues which has no takers at all. If the Malay/Muslim and Chinese MPs speak up on Indian issues, HRP won’t be here today.

19. Hindraf / HRP are not racist organizations. Hindraf / HRP do not deny any Malaysians’ their rights. They fight for the victims of racism (the poor Indians) in UMNO’s 1Malay-sia.

20. HRP realized that the poor Indian is the poorest of all communities in Malaysia, poorer than the Malay, Chinese, or even the orang asli. The sky is the limit for Malays, Chinese have rich community support and new villages and orang asli have their ancestor’s land. While the poor Indian do not have any of these!

21. HRP brings up issues, not a racist agenda. They only want the government to help all poor, and that means not to segregate the Indian poor.

22. HRP fights for the basic needs of the Indian community – land for Tamil schools, Hindu temples, burial grounds, scholarships, etc.

23. Mr. P. Uthayakumar is a super analyzer and critical thinker who sees newspaper reports from an Indian angle on a day to day basis and comes up with conclusions and convictions that no Malaysian has ever done. Refer to www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com.

24. Mr. P. Uthayakumar is a loving and caring person. He loves his fellow Indians especially the poor and feels their suffering as his own. He has renounced his entire life in fighting for the Indians in this country.

25. HRP does not only condemn the government and system but also makes positive criticism towards the government, if they listen it will only improve the government delivery system for all communities. HRP offers practical and permanent solutions that would make any government great (BN or Pakatan), if they listen.

26. HRP wants a permanent and blanket solution for all Indian issues. HRP believes that granting of land (scheme) alone will help solve many of the critical Indian problems.

27. HRP has developed and tirelessly work at maintaining an alternative media, www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com on a day to day basis to champion the Indian issues.

28. HRP is a very objective organization with special concern for numbers – from 18 point demands to 27 issues on HRP website, to 15/38 Indian majority seats. They know what they want!

29. Only HRP has got a workable plan to bring change to the Indian poor. All other Indian parties have no practical solution, even on paper, against continuous marginalization of Indians by both the BN and PR governments. They are lost. Now, Indians have no choice but to support HRP.

30. Consistency is HRP’s strength. They take up issues and go forward till the end.

31. Today, HRP is the authority on Indian issues. HRP website has all the evidence.

32. While HRP points out what’s being done (or not done) by both UMNO and Pakatan governments, their critiques are more interested in the ‘hope’ of a better government for all if Pakatan goes to Putrajaya.

33. HRP is Nike style – they ‘just do it’! They do not wait for perfection, they speaks their minds and do what need to be done ‘now’. HRP’s progress so far is evident of this Nike style of leadership.

34. HRP understands and believes that only change in the government policies and practices can help solve the multi-faceted Indian problems. Like eradication of poverty is the job of the government, not some NGOs or group of individuals.

35. HRP knows clearly how UMNO and Pakatan governments cheat the Indians by giving peanuts and do media politics of ‘telur sebiji riuh sekampung.’ Because of this, both parties find it difficult to work with HRP. Whereas HRP means business.

36. HRP realizes and has demonstrated that only peoples’ power (makkal shakti) can bring change. UMNO is worried only of peoples’ power! Wherever HRP goes they are welcomed by big numbers of policemen.

37. HRP is a productive organization, they are not just talkers like most Indian parties. They are doers of the real work that need to be done.

38. HRP’s continuously reference to the constitution and it’s violation by the UMNO government has given birth to a more informed Indian community leaders nationwide. Now, Indian want their rights, not the mercy of the UMNO government!

39. Mr. P. Uthayakumar and Mr. P. Waythamoorthy are indeed assets to the Malaysians. To put this country in order, all Malaysians and media must take efforts to recognize, appreciate and understand them for what they are.

40. HRP realizes that Indian problems are not their doing, it’s the result of UMNO’s social engineering in bad faith over the years. As we all know no Indian want’s to be poor, no Indians’ ambition is to be a criminal!

Only Hindraf / HRP champion the rights and welfare of the ‘stateless Indians’ in this 53 years old country. Hindraf / HRP boldly says that all those persons in Malaysia who are not citizens, are British subjects!

41. HRP fights for the upward mobility of the poor Indian community. That can happen only through granting equal educational, scholarships, and business opportunities to the Indian poor.

42. HRP realized that Indians have been systematically segregated from the mainstream development by the UMNO government for decades. UMNO’s pro-Malay policies has only helped the Malay and Chinese business communities. This bi-racial business cooperation has further denied Indian of all possible opportunities.

43. Out of 4,000 Indian lawyers, HRP / Hindraf has only a few who are championing the Indian poor issues. Hindraf chairman, Mr. P. Waythamoorthy is in London to continue his international lobby. While Mr. P. Uthayakumar leads the HRP and grooming the future leaders.

44. These two leaders are the God given heroes for the Indian community. So, it’s the duty of every Malaysian Indian to fully utilize them to bring about the change they most desire.

45. HRP realizes that the whole Malaysian politics is about number of racial votes. Struggle for the Malay votes has been the primary goal of the both political divide. The Indian poor’s votes have been practically seen as the least important for any political party to be or remain in power. In such a situation Indians have no choice but to form their own block of political power by creating Indian majority seats. And that’s what HRP is doing. And they have succeeded in Buntong and Sri Andalas.

46. HRP’s fight is based on needs, not race. For example, they fight for the eradication of poverty, of which 90% happens to be Indians. HRP wants affirmative action by the government of day to address serious socio-economic issues related to the Indian poor.

47. HRP fully understands that it were the Indians who opened up this country, which was largely an uninhabited and impenetrable jungle, and thereby opened up the country for large scale immigration of Indonesians and Chinese into the interior. The Indians were the precursors of modern Malaya.

48. HRP fully understands that all those temples, cemeteries and schools should have been granted land and gazetted as such way back in 1957. And the failure to do so by the Alliance and BN governments results in today these institutions are classified as ‘illegal structures’. This is a double cheat!

49. Hindraf boldly says that Britain still has locus standii over Malaysian affairs as the terms of the handover has been breached.

50. Hindraf boldly says Malaysians have a right to assemble, or form associations and parties, and that registration is a mere procedure, and that such procedures cannot inhibit or prevent the forming of an association and dcurb their constitutional rights. Therefore, Hindraf exists!

51. Hindraf / HRP declares that any rights they fight for, is a fight for the rights of all Malaysians!

52. Hindraf became the agent of change in 2008 GE! It electrified the nation and opened the possibility of the opposition parties working together under a single umbrella.

53. Hindraf / HRP declares that BN will be removed from power in the next general election (GE 2012/13)!

Happy merdeka day, HRP will make sure Malaysian Indians also will ‘merdeka’ soon from marginalization !

01/09/10

The struggle for Merdeka: what the Malaysian history books do not tell us

Yesterday, I wrote an article called ‘Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!’ regarding the Selangor Royal Family’s opposition to British colonial rule. Today, I want to publish chapter 34 of the book ‘Malay Nationalism Before Umno: The Memoirs of Mustapha Hussain’ to show that Umno was not involved in the early moves to gain Merdeka for Malaya.

Some of you may not want to read the entire chapter of eight pages (I know Malaysians malas membaca). So allow me to summarise the main points of this chapter.

1. The fight for Merdeka in 1946 was not spearheaded by Umno (as the Malaysian history books claim). It was spearheaded by the All-Malayan Council of Joint Action (AMCJA). The AMCJA was a leftist group (what Umno would call Communist).

2. This was the second attempt to gain Merdeka. The first was in 1945 during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. In fact, Japan had already agreed to Merdeka, which was supposed to have been declared on 17 August 1945. However, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945 (just two days before Merdeka) after the bombing of Hiroshima followed by Nagakasi. If the Americans had delayed the bombing just a few weeks, Malaya would have seen Merdeka on 15 August 1945 instead of 31 August 1957.

3. The 1945 and 1946 moves to gain Merdeka was made by a multi-racial group amongst who were nationalists, religionists and communists. It was not an all-Malay group. And Umno was certainly not in the group. Umno did not talk about Merdeka until about 10 years later.

So that is story of the struggle for Merdeka and don’t let Umno tell you otherwise. And take special note that all the races, not just the Malays, participated in the fight for Merdeka.

Of course, at that time, the British would not consider Merdeka because then Malaya would have become a socialist state (with a Constitutional Monarchy). Instead, the British arrested those calling for Merdeka. The British then promoted and backed Umno, a party of British-trained Malays, to ensure that post-Merdeka Malaya would remain pro-British.














Raja Petra Kamarudin

Why Police investigating Wee Meng Chee for sedition when there is nothing seditious in his latest 3-minute rap against the Kulai secondary school prin

It has been reported that the police went to the Muar house of young Malaysian rapper Wee Meng Chee 15 minutes before midnight on the eve of the 53rd National Day, leading to the following posting on Wee’s Facebook:

“3 POLICE CARS FINALLY CAME TO MY MUAR HOME TO ARREST ME***** this happened 15 minutes before our 53rd National Day Celebration, YES, I’m still here but for how long more, I don’t know … my beloved MALAYSIA, where is our justice system?! (THIS IS NOT A JOKE)”.

This message has attracted more than 4,500 comments in 15 hours.

Johor Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Amer Awal has denied any police plan to arrest Wee, saying that they are still investigating Wee’s case.

The Federal CID chief Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin has however confirmed that Wee was being investigated under the Sedition Act

The question is why the Police is investigating Wong for sedition when there is nothing seditious in his latest 3-minute rap against the Kulai secondary school principal for making racist slurs against students while the school principal is still scot-free for her seditious racism?

Wong can be faulted for being crude, vulgar, abusive and even obscene as his fury was directed at the school principal of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Kulai, Hajah Siti Inshah binti Mansor, for making racist, derogatory and seditious remarks like: “Pelajar-pelajar Cina tidak diperlukan dan boleh balik ke China ataupun Sekolah Foon Yew. Bagi pelajar India, tali sembahyang yang diikat di pergelangan tangan dan leher pelajar nampak seakan anjing dan hanya anjing akan mengikat seperti itu.”

Just because UMNO Puteri chief Rosnan Rashid Shirlin is offended by Wee’s latest videoclip does not automatically make the rap seditious and an offence under the Sedition Act.

Are the youth wings of Barisan Nasional parties, particularly from Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC and all the Barisan Nasional Ministers prepared to take a stand that Wee’s latest video clip may be guilty of being crude, vulgar and abusive but definitely not sedition?

In this connection, the Police should explain the purpose of sending three patrol cars to Wee’s house in Muar just before midnight last night – was it to arrest Wee, to get a statement from Wee or just to create an atmosphere of fear?

If the police had wanted to get a statement from Wee, why was it necessary to send three patrol cars to Wee’s house in Muar 15 minutes before midnight of National Day?

Finally, Malaysians are wondering whether when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently spoke of “zero tolerance for racism”, he was thinking of police action against Wee instead of no-holds-barred action against the real racists and extremists who had made a mockery of his 1Malaysia slogan and policy and blighted the country’s prospects for economic rebound with incessant racist rhetoric.

Lim Kit Siang
01/09/10

Teresa Kok wants Hisham to retract ‘dirty ’ remark

The man you voted for is saying that Non muslims or rather non Malaysia are DIRTY, What an idiotic and arrogant minister would he be.............

KUALA LUMPUR, Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok asked Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today to retract his statement and apologise to Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching for calling her “dirty.”

Kok said the Home Minister’s remarks would only promote racial hatred.

“With that disparaging statement, Hishamuddin is once again fanning the flames of racial discontent like how he openly supported the Shah Alam cow head protestors last September. He backtracked later only upon public uproar,” said the DAP organising secretary.

“Hishamuddin must immediately retract his statement and publicly apologise to Teo Nie Ching or he and 1Malaysia will forever have no credibility in the eyes of the public,” she added.

Hishammuddin had said yesterday that Teo should not have been allowed into a surau as she “was deemed dirty”.

He also said that it was disastrous for PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat to encourage Teo to visit more mosques.

“I question where Hishamuddin received the knowledge and moral authority to judge anyone to be dirty, least of all Teo Nie Ching who entered the surau in sincerity and with an open heart, and only because the surau leaders invited her in. She has already issued a humble public apology to all concerned,” said Kok.

“I shudder to think if Hishamuddin considers Teo Nie Ching dirty because she is non-Muslim or simply because she is female,” she added.

Teo’s visit to a Kajang surau last week drew the ire of Umno as well as Malay rights pressure group Perkasa, with the latter calling for a ban on non-Muslims from entering mosques and suraus.

The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) also claimed that the visit had displeased the Selangor Sultan.

The National Fatwa Council, however, had decided on March 1 that non-Muslim tourists may enter mosques and prayer rooms with the condition that they receive permission from the respective management and ensure that their actions do not violate the sanctity of the mosque.

01/09/10

Tunku's vision poisoned by racism

Tunku Abdul Rahman was born on Feb 8, 1903, in Alor Setar. He was the seventh prince of Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah, the 24th Kedah sultan. A robust and bright boy, Tunku received his early education at the Debsurin School, Bangkok and Penang Free School.

He then went on to study at St Catherine's College in Cambridge University on a Kedah government scholarship, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in law and history in 1925.

During his overseas studies, Tunku experienced firsthand racial discrimination at the hands of the college's administrators, which convinced him to fight for equality and to make his homeland an independent state, free from the yoke of British colonialism.

tunku abdul rahman 290809His flair for leadership unfolded in England. Realising the Malay students there were not represented by any organisation, he established the Kesatuan Melayu Great Britain (Malay Association of Great Britain) and became its first secretary.

In 1931, after returning home Tunku joined the Kedah civil service as a cadet in the Legal Advisor's Office, and then as a district officer in several Kedah districts. He proved himself unpopular among some British officials due to his outspokenness and tendency to introduce reforms in his quest to improve the living standards of the people.

His attempt to complete his law studies at the Inner Temple in England in 1938 came to a halt when the Second World War broke out. He resumed his studies only eight years later, coming home with legal qualifications in 1949.

On Aug 26, 1951, Tunku became Umno president, succeeding Onn Jaafar.

tunku abdul rahman and patrick keith 020805His first mission was to travel throughout the nation to meet people from all walks of life and various races to promote unity. His efforts in overcoming the country's political problems by way of cooperation among the various ethnic groups saw the birth of the Alliance Party in 1955.

In 1956, he led a mission to London for a discussion with the British government concerning Malaya's independence.

The meeting resulted in the signing of the Independent Treaty at Lancaster House in London on Feb 8, 1956 and, consequently, the independence of Malaya on Aug 31, 1957.

On his return from London on June 3, 1957, after finalising plans for independence with the British, Tunku in his first speech, upon landing at the Sungai Besi Airport, issued the clarion call for unity.

“The situation in this country is different from other countries in the world. Because of this, one race cannot take everything for itself. In order to set up an independent government, we must compromise and make sacrifices.”

Racial slurs
Tunku would never have thought that five decades later, things would develop to a point that national school officials would make remarks ridiculing other races. If a headmistress could make such racial slurs, what more ordinary teachers?
I know of many children who tell their parents not to raise a hue and cry over the incidents of racism they experience at school out of fear that they, the students, would be punished. There must be many cases that go unreported.

This not only goes contrary to the concept of 1Malaysia, but against the fundamental rights of human beings.

The government must call upon teachers, students and parent-teacher associations to report all cases of racist utterances and behaviour. The laws are clear and provide ample sanctions against such behaviour.

As we celebrate Merdeka today, our political landscape has worsen from what Malaya was 53 years ago when Tunku declared Independence. At that time, Malays, Chinese and Indians believed in consensus as the basis for how the nation should be ruled.

You did not hear much of non-Malays being called 'immigrants' and compared to dogs or prostitutes. No leader dared to threaten Umno presidents that they would lose Malay support, as Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali has done recently.

In this era of globalisation, we must think as citizens of the world, not as creatures living under a coconut shell. There is no room for racism.

Malays powerless

In his Independence proclamation speech, Tunku said: “We fully realise that (there are) difficulties and problems that lie ahead and are confident that, with the blessing of God, these difficulties will be overcome and that today's events, down the avenues of history, will be our inspiration and our guide.

tunku abdul rahman merdeka declaration 261004“At this solemn moment, I call upon you all to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya: to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty - a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world. High confidence has been reposed in us; let us be united and face the challenge of the years ahead.”

About a month before independence, July 10, 1957, at the Legislative Council, Tunku explained the feelings and aspirations of the three major component races.

On Malays, he said: “Before the First World War, the Malays accepted the intrusion of hundreds of thousands of men and women of other races because they realised that they were powerless to prevent it.

“But in those days, few people were brave enough to interest themselves in politics and our complicated treaties with Britain had given the 'protector' absolute right to do as they liked in this country.

“The Malays had the assurance that the British government would protect their interests and that they would be given time to learn the art of administration and time to develop a business sense, and so they believed in the British.”

Not an easy journey

Reflecting on the early Chinese settlers, Tunku said: “They have been in this country for many hundreds of years. In the early days, they came here to trade and later to like this country and decided to settle down, and they were absorbed by the country and followed local customs and spoke the Malay language, which at the same time retaining some of their own culture and traditions. Later, after the First World War, a large number of Chinese came into the federation to further its development.”

On the Indians, he told the Legislative Council: “The Indians also came to the federation to seek wealth in the country and they found employment in government services or in estates. They, too, have made their contribution for which we are all grateful.

“Men and women of many other races have also come to Malaya, though in smaller numbers, and I should like to make particular mention of the part played by the British people. They have admittedly devoted their lives to the advancement and development of our country. Whatever may have been their fault, they have made Malaya a prosperous and happy place today.”

The road to nationhood has not been an easy journey. Malayans then, and Malaysians now, have endured the trials and tribulations with confidence and patience, calmness and forbearance, with faith in our final goal of establishing a united Malaysia.

Tunku knew that there would be challenges for the co-existence of the various races.

A visionary, he said in his proclamation speech: “Let no one think we have reached the end of the road: Independence is indeed a milestone, but it is only the threshold to high endeavour - the creation of a new and sovereign state.”

Fifty-three years after, Malaysians strive to reach, with great difficulty, yet another milestone.


M KRISHNAMOORTHY is a freelance journalist and local coordinator for CNN, BBC and several other foreign television networks. He was formerly with The Star and New Straits Times and has authored four books.

Malaysiakini
01/09/10

Umno juara fitnah, cetus sentimen agama

(Harakahdaily) - Dewan Pemuda PAS Wilayah Persekutuan (DPPWP) kesal kerana Umno terus memainkan intrumen fitnah bagi memburukkan Imej PAS dan Pakatan Rakyat, walaupun masih berada dalam bulan Ramadhan.

Pemangku ketuanya, Herman Samsudeen berkata, tindakan cybertrooper Umno yang menggunakan nama "PAS Beruk" mencipta dan menyebarkan gambar super impose yang kononnya Lim Guan Eng sedang menyembelih lembu korban untuk umat Islam dengan tagline "Sanggupkah kita lihat jika jadi begini? Dalil apa lagi nak halalkan perbuatan DAP??" adalah keterlaluan dan sengaja mencetus sentimen agama.

“DPPWP kesal kesal budaya fitnah terus membiak dalam Umno walaupun dalam bulan Ramadhan ini. Begitu jauh mereka tersasar dari hidayah Allah,” ujarnya dalam satu kenyataan.

Baginya, demi kepentingan politik mereka, gambar sedemikian dicipta, walhal gambar sebenar adalah menunjukan Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin sedang menyembelih lembu korban untuk rakyat.

Katanya, gambar berkenaan sengaja direka dengan harapan rakyat melihat bahawa kerjasama PAS dan DAP kononnya merosakan Islam.

“Hal sebegini sudah berakar umbi dalam Umno sehingga diwarisi oleh anak-anak muda hingusan yang baru bersama Umno,” katanya.

Sebelum ini, media Umno-Utusan Malaysia memutar belitkan fakta dengan menyebarkan kepada rakyat yang ahli parlimen DAP Serdang, Teo Nie Ching beri 'tazkirah' dalam surau di mana ucapan aluan sengaja ditukar kepada 'tazkirah' bagi mencetuskan polemik awam.

Dua hari lepas, Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin yang juga mantan Ketua Penerangan Umno pula menyebarkan fitnahnya dengan mengatakan PAS mahu rampas harta Cina semasa peristiwa 13 Mei dan PAS kononnya turut menyokong tindakan Indonesia menyerang Malaysia semasa konfrontasi.

“Semua ini adalah fantasi Umno. Kini mereka bermain gambar pula, sama seperti gambar Zaid minum arak yang mereka cipta di Hulu Selangor. Tindakan ini menunjukan Umno semakin kehabisan modal untuk burukkan PAS dan Pakatan rakyat,” katanya lagi.

Sehubungan itu, DPPWP berharap pemimpin dan ahli Umno bertaubat.

Katanya, semakin banyak fitnah disebar, semakin terdedah keburukan Umno, semakin banyak fitnah disebar, semakin meluat rakyat kepada Umno.

“Malulah kepada bukan Islam, malulah kepada umat Islam, malulah kepada Allah kerana perbuatan fitnah ini begitu jijik dan jauh lebih dahsyat dari membunuh. Ianya tidak akan diterima oleh mana-mana kaum dan agama sekalipun,” ujarnya lagi.

01/09/10

Merdeka? Without a free media?

YB Nurul Izzah is reportedly going to apply to the Home Ministry for a permit to publish a Malay daily which is independent called “Utusan Rakyat”.

She’s going to publish this daily, if given a permit, in her personal capacity.

According to a FreeMalaysiaToday report, yesterday, Nurul submitted a letter of intent to Hishammuddin requesting his assistance in speeding up her application for a publication permit.

Now she waits.

Just as we wait on any one or more of the Pakatan Rakyat state governments to take the lead in gifting this nation with a free media.

You see, Nurul, you or any other citizen is required by law to obtain a permit from the Home Minister before publishing, printing and distributing any newspaper.

Section 5(1) of the Printing Press & Publications Act, 1984 requires as such.

Civil society has long called for the repeal of this law.

We know BN will not.

Pakatan Rakyat has said it will.

Meanwhile, Utusan and the other dailies in the BN stable continue to feed the rakyat with lies and untruths.

Worst still, the BN-owned mainstream media attempts to sow racial discord amongst the people.

Is there nothing that can be done before Pakatan Rakyat gets to Putrajaya and repeals the PPPA?

Not true.

Pakatan Rakyat, through one of its controlled state governments, could gift the rakyat with a free and independent newspaper.

Section 25 (1) of PPPA reads : “Nothing in this Act shall extend to the publication or making of any documents or periodical by or for the Federal or any State Government or any statutory body”.

Unlike Nurul, you or any other citizen, any one of the Pakatan state governments would not have to wait for Hishamuddin to issue them a permit to publish a daily newspaper to combat the lies of the BN media.

To be a free media, though, such a state newspaper must not come under the control of the state.

It can be done.

What it requires now is a Mentri Besar and a state exco that truly believes in the value of a free media and has the political will to see this come to fruition now.

01/09/10

Sad 2010 Merdeka for Malaysians, How Can we Be Proud of Malaysia, our country when UMNO is racists and religious extremists?

There has been a lot of fuss as of late about National Day and how it was sampled in a critique of Malaysian government and society. But it occurs to me that amidst all this hubbub, hardly anybody has given the matter of the actual Merdeka any significant thought?

It seems to me that nobody has bothered to think about what the national day (merdeka) means. Nobody has bothered to ask whether we truly have something to celebrate in our nation's 53th year of independence.

Oh, yes, we've managed to somehow not be colonised by any other country for fifty three years. But what good is that if we are still slaves to distant rulers who we rarely, if ever, see?

But how can we celebrate, when there is so much to make one be ashamed of being Malaysian? How can we take pride in having squandered our independence by letting politicians plunder our natural wealth for their own ends, all the while neglecting the needs and wants of the Malaysian people?

The human rights activists of course keep finding reasons to hide their faces. Be it the Internal Security Act, Sedition Act, or simply religious freedom, these people can expostulate at length on how saddened they are that their country is associated with this barbarism.

Those who remember why these laws came into being have reason to be ashamed, too. Malaysians were promised freedom after the end of the communist insurgency, which necessitated temporary precautions, but this promise has been broken. In effect, our founding fathers have been betrayed — they have not bequeathed any meaningful independence to us in our own country.

And yet, these laws have proven to be completely ineffective in fighting the threats facing modern Malaysians.

How can we be proud when all our education teaches us is to be racist what the government has dictated? Now the teachers have joined the crowd to be racists, among one recent case in Johor.

Most shamefully, how can I be proud of my country, when politicians bastardized the policies.......

It does not have to be this way. There is so much more we could have accomplished in 53 years of merdeka which we have failed to do. We might not be in a position where every child in Malaysia knows that if they have the ability, they can be Prime Minister but we would at least not be in a position where only those born into a certain race, a certain class, are assured of a particular future.

What is most shameful is that, in the view of many, I have no right to call this country negaraku or my country. As part of the kaum pendatang, I am at best a second-class citizen, who can easily be told to balik tongsan whenever I do not like something about the way this country is run.

Truth be told, I am numb, and I am tired. I may be outraged by all this bullshit, but that outrage is like the pain of a numb limb slammed against the wall — it is felt, but in a disjointed and disconnected way, like it does not belong.

I don't want to say I have given up, because I don't think there are many things in this world worth giving up on — especially not this country.

But these things I say, they tire me. I have read them too many times before, written them too many times before. For far too long, I have heard the same old tripe from the same old bigots and chauvinists — that I do not belong, that this is not my country, that I am not a true Malaysian. I am a second-class citizen, for I apparently have all the responsibilities of a citizen, but none of the privileges of citizenship.

I've found a sort of broken beauty in Negaraku my country that I find, depressingly, not enough people seem to appreciate. Malaysia still carries some sort of poignancy in it, some reflection of the beauty that this nation could be....

30/08/10

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has, of late, become even more vocal in pitting the Malays against the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese.

Mahathir is using the same racist strategy to influence the present leadership to enable it to win the next elections and thus escape being brought to justice by Pakatan.'

As far as we know, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the de facto PM of Malaysia. He is the puppet master behind the PM, so all this talk of giving his opinion is a good 'sandiwara' (shadow play) to 'blind' the people of Malaysia.

Najib still doesnt get it, we want to see :

Mahathir played the race card and became PM. He and his BN colleagues and cronies plundered the country and destroyed the important institutions. His billionaire children and his other billionaire cronies and colleagues (eg, Abdul Taib Mahmud of Sarawak) are testimony to the extent of the plunder.

Now he is using the same racist strategy to influence the present leadership to enable it to win the next elections and thus escape being brought to justice by Pakatan Rakyat. Mahathir's sidelining of meritocracy and promotion of racism resulted in a sharp drop of standards in the education system and consequently in the professions and the public service.

As such, we have sub-standard professionals like lawyer Abdul Razak Musa of MACC and racist head teachers like those in Kedah and Johor holding top positions in the government. The biggest losers are the majority Malays because they get low-quality service, unlike the Umnoputras, who use foreign-trained professionals, doctors and teachers for their families.

Now you know why his sons are among the riches in Malaysia. Ask him how and I'm sure he will say it is due to their own ability (meritocracy). My foot is already laughing.

We have had enough of his (Mahathir's) ideas and many brought pain and damage to this country. The country would like to move on to the post-Mahathir era, and hopefully after the next general election, the post-BN and Umno era.

1. No more racial politicking and slamming other races.

2. We want to see our country 's resources put to full uses for all Malaysians instead of cronies. He should go to Kajang Hospital and see the conditions while the spanking new Serdang Hospital is full of overpriced equipment but limited staff and patients have to go to the cramped Kajang Hospital.

3. We want to see more open tenders so that our taxes paid are made to full use for the country and not cronies.

4. We want the police to be totally revamped and put it back to its past glory with more honest and truthful staff.

5. We want the judiciary to gain back its respect, so again a revamp.

6. We want to see our universities gain back its international recognition by employing good lecturers and administrators and improve the quality of our graduates.

7. We want to see the end of APs, again why gives free money to cronies who dont have to lift a hand?

I have to stop as the list is just too long. BN might as well resign and let PKR takes over, so that my fingers dont ache. At the current moment, any blindman can still be a better PM.

30/08/10

Isu Bukan Islam Masuk Masjid

Bagaikan menahan lukah di pergentingan, UMNO dan para kuncunya tidak habis-habis menerkam apa jua kesempatan dan isu sebagai modal mempertahan survival politik perkauman mereka. Seperti biasanya, bagaikan jerat sudah mengena, UMNO dan para pendokongnya mengambil kesempatan ke atas tindakan beberapa pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat bukan Islam yang telah memasuki masjid dan surau baru-baru ini. Peristiwa Dr. Xavier Jayakumar berucap di dewan utama sebuah masjid di Taman Sri Andalas, Klang pada Ogos 2009 yang lalu, telahpun hampir dilupakan. Kini tindakan YB Teo Nie Ching (Ahli Parlimen DAP Serdang) masuk ke Surau Al-Huda, Kajang dan YB William Leong (Bendahari PKR, Ahli Parlimen PKR Selayang) masuk ke dalam Masjid At-Taqwa, Selayang Baru pula dijadikan isu besar.

Untuk menjelaskan pendirian kami mengenai isu ini, kami ingin membawa perhatian semua pihak kedudukan perkara ini dari perspektif fiqh (hokum Hakam Islam). Sekurang-kurangnya ada empat pandangan mengenai masalah ini. Pertamanya: Mazhab Hanafi yang membenarkan bukan Islam memasuki semua masjid. Keduanya: Mazhab Syafie yang membenarkan masuk kesemua masjid melainkan masjid Haram dan kawasan tanah haram Makkah. Ketiganya: Mazhab Hanbali yang membenarkan untuk memasuki masjidil haram dan lainnya setelah mendapat kebenaran dari umat Islam atas tujuan-tujuan yang munasabah. Akhirnya, Mazhab Maliki yang tidak membenarkan memasuki semua masjid melainkan kerana darurat kerja.

Beberapa peristiwa di zaman Rasulullah juga boleh dijadikan panduan. Baginda pernah membenarkan ramai orang-orang bukan Islam masuk dan tinggal lama di masjid. Rasulullah juga diriwayatkan pernah menerima tetamu Kristian dari Najran di dalam masjid Madinah, malah diizinkan oleh Nabi s.a.w untuk menunaikan sembahyang mereka di dalam masjid dan nabi menyebut kepada sahabat: “Biarkan mereka (untuk melunaskan sembahyang mereka)”
Kepelbagaian pandangan ini menggambarkan keluasan hukum Islam dalam persoalan yang digembar-gemburkan sebagai isu besar ini. Hakikatnya, majoriti ulama silam dan kontemporari jelas mengharuskan bukan Islam memasuki masjid-masjid biasa dengan syarat-syarat tertentu seperti keperluan mendapat keizinan umat Islam atau badan berkuasa Islam, mempunyai sebab yang munasabah dan menjaga adab-adab yang telah ditetapkan.

Oleh yang demikian, kami berpendirian bahawa adalah tidak wajar bagi siapa jua untuk menyempitkan sesuatu yang tidak jelas dari sudut nas-nasnya dan dalil-dalilnya. Apatah lagi jika kita sememangnya berpegang dengan mazhab al-Syafie sebagai mazhab rasmi umat Islam di Negara ini. Lebih jauh lagi, sikap menghalang bukan Islam memasuki masjid ini adalah bertentangan dengan semangat yang diputuskan oleh Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia Kali Ke-90 yang bersidang pada 1 Mac 2010 telah memutuskan bahawa pelancong bukan Islam diharuskan memasuki masjid dan ruang solat dengan syarat-syarat yang telah ditentukan. Continue reading ‘Isu Bukan Islam Masuk Masjid’

PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT

Talk Like A PM for all races and not Walk And Act Like Umno

I have no intention to blog these few days because I thought that I can enjoy the Merdeka celebration but it is not to be so.

The past weeks clearly show that the PM is no longer in control of running the country. The PM is wearing too many hats. The PM is wearing too many hats that he turns out to be the most ugly looking person.

One hat he wore represented him as the Prime Minister that can only talk with all kinds of slogan and rhetoric that contain no solid substance as it will be all blown away once he changes his hat.

Trying to balance his act, he will immediately change to his Umno President hat to walk and act like Umno, forgetting what he had said when he was wearing the PM’s hat.

Wearing the PM’s hat, he talk about zero tolerance for racism but could not take any actions against his own members, civil servants, Umno-controlled media and Perkasa for openly stoking racial and religious sentiments.

Taking off his PM’s hat and slip on his Umno’s hat, he called for the investigation of Namewee’s video that voices out against racism albeit in a slight vulgar manner. This is followed by the Information Communication and Culture Minister’s warning of stern action against those who produce videos which contain racial slurs but both, PM and Minister conveniently left out those Umno’s degenerates that puke out racial slurs to live audiences.

Next, the PM that wears the Umno’s hat is happy to see that his Umno’s army is attacking furiously on all the non issues of non-Muslims trying to harmonise with the Muslims, creating issues out of nothing.

How can we still celebrate Merdeka when we are so troubled by race and religious conflicts that are created solely by Umno?

Can the PM tell the public truthfully in the eyes that he is a PM that can talk, walk and act impartially just like any PM should?

30/08/10

Utusan attacks non-Muslim opposition MPs again

Utusan Malaysia continues its attack on non-Muslim opposition MPs visiting Muslim places of worship during the holy month of Ramadan, after their attack on Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching last week started the ball rolling. william leong in masjid 290810The government-linked Malay daily yesterday trained its crosshairs on Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen, whom the paper laments was given “front-row” privileges at Masjid At-Takwa in Selayang. Headlined “Sanctity of the mosque continues to be blighted”, it complained that what made things worse was that “Malay Muslims” had colluded to allow Leong to enter the mosque prayer room. Adding how “this follows just a day after the nation was shocked” by DAP parliamentarian Teo's visit to the Surau Al-Huda, Kajang Sentral, it repeated the allegation that Teo had offered religious advice (bertazkirah) at the surau. Teo in a statement yesterday explained that she had briefly talked about education opportunities under the Selangor government when asked to say a few words.

'Buying way into mosque'
The article criticised Leong, who is also PKR treasurer general, for using the same “ploy” as Teo, in bringing financial assistance as a means of entering the place of worship “to deliver ceramah to the congregation”. NONEIt claims that the act “belittles Selangor Islamic Council's (Mais) directive forbidding the entry of non-Muslims into the prayer room, and that opposition MPs “continue to insult the sanctity of Islam”. Following the same script, the article alleges the opposition in ignoring Mais was “as if a challenge to the Selangor Sultan as the head of Islam in Selangor”. Meanwhile, Bernama yesterday reported PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat saying that such visits did not contravene Islamic law and that they were "the best way to get to know Muslims better".



Malaysiakini
30/08/10

Police harassment at Hindraf's rally, forum; one arrested

IPOH: Police arrested an activist and allegedly threatened to assault former ISA detainee P Uthayakumar during an anti-forced conversion rally held by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi here today.

Senior Hindraf activist, K Balakrishnan, 53, was detained at 11am when the police attempted to block a delegation marching to the Kinta Palace to hand over a petition on the freedom of religion to the Sultan Azlan of Perak.

It’s learnt that an argument occurred between the police and activists when almost 300 Hindraf activisits, who have gathered at the Royal Casuarina Hotel, some 150m from Kinta Palace, were told to disperse.

The activists, including Hindraf legal advisor Uthayakumar and involuntary conversion ‘victims’ S Banggarma, Rani and Regina, started to gather at the vicinity since 10am.

In the midst of the fierce argument, Balakrishnan, who is popularly known as Capt Bala, was handcuffed and whisked away by the police to the Ipoh city police headquarters.

Hindraf activists also accused the police of assaulting Balakrishnan wife, Shanti, during the commotion.

Earlier police blocked all access roads leading to Kinta Palace to prevent Hindraf activists from handing over the petition to Sultan Azlan.

Following a lengthy heated discussion, the police told Hindraf local leaders that only four activists would be allowed to handover the petition to the palace.

This offer was declined by the Hindraf leaders who wanted the whole delegation to be allowed access to the palace, failing which, for a palace official to be asked to come to meet the delegation.

Police reports against cop

When the police turned down this request, the activists then placed the petition on top of a police patrol car, seemingly requesting the police to submit the petition to the Perak ruler on their behalf.

However, a police officer, only known as Sergeant Major Jamal, took the petition and threw it to the ground.

In the ensuing argument between Jamal and Uthayakumar, the activists saw Jamal threatening the Hindraf leader.

“This is an out-leashing of police terror on a vulnerable rakyat. This is the bloody impunity of the police in Malaysia.

“They can do whatever they please because there has been no accountability for them,” said Perak Hindraf coordinator P Ramesh.

The situation was brought under control after police whisked away Jamal and took away the copy of the petition.

The activists then dispersed from the area and several of them lodged police reports against Jamal at the city police headquarters.

Bernama meanwhile reported that a man was detained for hurling abusive words at a senior policeman during the gathering.

Ipoh deputy police chief Supt Ibrahim Abu Bakar said in the 11.40am incident, the man had used abusive language against Ipoh Tarffic and Public Order chief DSP Rodzi Rejab.

Forum disrupted

Last night some 70 police personnel stopped Hindraf from holding a public forum following the opening of the organisation's Ipoh service centre in Buntong by Uthayakumar.

Some 300 Hindraf activists attended the function.

Seeing the police harassment, Ramesh said the organisers decided to end the function fearing a possible police barge into the gathering, which included elderly people, women and children.

On positive note, Uthayakumar was impressed with the crowd's defiance against police presence.

“There were times Indians would just disperse instantly upon seeing the police. But today (yesterday), they were defiant and ready to stand up for their rights,” said Uthayakumar, also the pro tem secretary-general of Human Rights Party.

FMT
30/08/10

Keep ‘racist’ school head, urges Perkasa

Malay rights group Perkasa have thrown their weight behind “racist” principal Siti Inshah Mansor and urged the government to retain her amid calls from various parties for her sacking.
DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang yesterday gave Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday a 60-hour deadline to prove his “zero tolerance” policy on racism by taking action against Siti Inshah and another school head accused of spouting racial slurs by National Day.

“We urge the Education Ministry to retain Siti Inshah Mansor,” Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali told reporters following the group’s supreme council meeting today .
“What she said has nothing to do with politics or racism. She was just giving advice to the students,” he said, adding that he made the conclusion after talking to teachers and students in her school in Kulai.
Siti Inshah, the school head of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Kulai, has since apologised but various parties are still calling for stern disciplinary action against her, including sacking.
The school principal allegedly said during a school assembly that “Chinese students... can return to China,” and likened the prayer strings used by Indians to dog leashes.
Representatives from DAP, MIC and even Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth have condemned Siti Inshah and called for stiff punishment to be meted out against her if the allegations were proven true.

Ibrahim, however, today accused politicians of “twisting” the issue for political purposes.
“There are people exploiting this for political reasons,” said the Pasir Mas MP.
Perkasa’s defence of Siti Inshah follows a Facebook fan page that was recently created in support of her, which also claimed that she was a victim of political machinations.
The Facebook page titled “Support Puan Siti, a political victim (Sokong Cikgu Puan Hajah Siti Mangsa Politik) has now garnered 1,943 fans since its creation last Saturday, August 21.
Many “fans” believed that the attacks against the school principal were “racial and ethnic”.
Hours after The Malaysian Insider carried out a story about Siti’s support page, a rival Facebook page condemning the alleged remarks of the Johor principal was also created.
Titled “Do not support Puan Siti (Tidak Sokong Cikgu Puan Hajah Siti)”, the page had 454 followers as of August 25.

The police are currently investigating the case under section 504 of the Penal Code for provocation which carries a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine or both.
A total of 20 complaints have been lodged with the authorities.
Siti Inshah had reportedly made the derogatory remarks earlier this month during the launch of the school’s Merdeka celebrations.

“Chinese students are not needed here and can return to China or Foon Yew school. For the Indian students, the prayer string tied around their neck and wrist makes them look like dogs because only dogs are tied like that,” Siti Inshah was quoted as saying in at least one police report.

Last Friday, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told Education Director-General Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom to set up a task force and probe the incidents.
Alimuddin had previously claimed the matter was a mere misunderstanding that has been settled.

30/08/10

Perkasa claims 1 Malaysia not about equality, ither it is about equality or it's an empty slogan designed to stem the loss of support from BN

KUALA LUMPUR, Malay rights group Perkasa today heaped more pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to explain his 1 Malaysia concept, already decried by critics as a hollow slogan amid escalating racial tension.

“The 1 Malaysia concept has been twisted by some who say that it is about equality,” Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali told reporters today.

“We urge the prime minister to explain the 1 Malaysia concept. It is a concept that must be based on the constitution, on Article 153,” he said, referring to the part of the federal constitution which states the special position of Bumiputeras and allows the government to set quotas for educational institutions, government jobs, and permits.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang had also questioned yesterday the effectiveness of Najib’s 1 Malaysia policy given the spike in racially-tinged incidents, with two school heads allegedly spewing racial slurs against the Chinese and Indian communities.

Ibrahim today challenged Najib to submit a parliamentary resolution to remove Article 153 from the Federal Constitution if his 1 Malaysia concept was indeed about racial equality.

“Can he do that?” asked the Pasir Mas MP.

Najib only broke his silence two days ago on the weeks-old furore surrounding two school principals in Johor and Kedah who were accused of spewing racial slurs against Chinese and Indian communities, and said that his administration has a “zero tolerance” policy on racism.

This caused Lim to issue Najib a 60-hour deadline yesterday to act against the errant school heads by National Day, failing which he said it would be proven that his “zero tolerance” policy was a mere public relations soundbite.

The school heads of SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in Kulai and SMK Bukit Selambau in Sungai Petani have since apologised but various parties are still calling for stern disciplinary action against the duo, including sacking.

Today, Ibrahim also slammed the Chinese for calling for the removal of the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity quota during MCA’s recent Chinese Economic Congress.

“This race does not respect the Malays as ‘bangsa ketuanan’,” said Ibrahim.

“They have no respect because of greed. Malays make up 67 per cent of the population. We are just asking for 30 per cent,” he added.

Malaytsian Insider
30/08/10

Perkasa (Malaysian Al-Qaeda / Taliban) wants non-Muslims banned from mosques, suraus

KUALA LUMPUR, Malay rights group Perkasa has demanded that syariah laws be created to ban non-Muslims from entering mosques and suraus, despite Muslim scholars maintaining that such acts did not contravene Islamic law.

The group’s call comes in the wake of controversy surrounding Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching, following reports that she had entered the Surau Al-Huda in her Kajang constituency, during a visit there to deliver aid to the surau.

Former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat have defended Teo’s surau visit, which has been criticised by Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders.

“There should be syariah laws to prevent incidents of non-Muslims entering suraus and mosques,” said Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali today.

Although he admitted that non-Muslims have entered mosques during Prophet Muhammad’s time, Ibrahim said that it was the responsibility of Muslims to uphold the sanctity of Islam.

The Pasir Mas MP accused Nik Aziz of not carrying out that responsibility fully by defending Teo’s visit to the surau.

“As Muslims, ‘taqwa’ (respect) says that we must preserve the sanctity of the mosque. Nik Aziz is a person of faith but ‘kurang bertaqwa’,” said Ibrahim.

The National Fatwa Council, however, had decided on March 1 that non-Muslim tourists may enter mosques and prayer rooms with the condition that they receive permission from the respective managements and ensure that their actions do not violate the sanctity of the mosque.

Asri has also maintained that non-Muslims may enter mosques as long as they do not besmirch the sanctity of the house of worship.

Today, Ibrahim nevertheless called on the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) to take action against the Surau al-Huda committee for permitting Teo to make a speech there.

“This act besmirches the sanctity of Islam,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim accused the first term MP of being politically-motivated in making the speech at the surau in her constituency.

“She spoke without a tudung and did not cover her ‘aurat’. It is so obvious that she has political motivations,” said Ibrahim.

The Pasir Mas MP pointed out that although he had been invited to make speeches at temples as an elected representative, he always declined such invitations to avoid accusations of mixing politics and religion.

“What if I go to a temple or church to talk about politics? Hindus won’t like it. Christians won’t like it,” said Ibrahim.

Earlier today, the Perkasa chief demanded that Mais charge Teo for allegedly desecrating the surau.

He had also compared her to Nation of Islam preacher Malcolm X, who was gunned down at Manhattan Audubon Ballroom by three Black Muslims in 1965.

“In America, Islamic preacher Malcom X, who preached to Christians and entered their churches was shot dead but in Selangor an ‘unclean DAP politician’ was dragged into the surau’s prayer room,” Ibrahim had said.

Teo, however, has denied any political motivation behind her visit and insisted that her presence at the Surau Al-Huda was merely to present a contribution from the Selangor government to fix the fence of the surau and to break fast with the surau’s committee.

She also said she merely talked about the Selangor state education programme after the surau’s committee invited her to say a few words.

Teo has written to the Selangor Sultan to explain her visit after Mais claimed that her visit had displeased the state ruler.

Mais had announced they would send a warning letter to Teo.

Earlier, Teo pointed out that she has yet to be contacted by Mais for any explanation.

“No letter or phone call from Mais yet. I am still waiting,” she said.

Its chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa also said they had taken over the management of the surau.

Malaysian Insider
30/08/10

Racism in malaysia?

The people are sick of the racial cards that our politicians play. If anybody is to be blamed for generating racial hate in the first place, it would be politicians like the former Bukit Bendera UMNO Division Leader Datuk Ahmad who made such sensitive statements. and not forgetting our Big Brother Mahathir, the father of racists, No need to say much about this. I know, you know, we know. Enough said.

While the people are warned not to make statements that may generate hate among the people, the politicians themselves are not matured enough to actually obey such a ruling. And knowing that these politicians would continue to poison the minds of Malaysians, we still vote them into Parliament. So in the end, it is really the people's fault.

Outwardly we portray to the international arena that Malaysians are harmonious people who can live together in peace despite the differences in background, race and religion. But within the country, we see so much politicking and people making seditious remarks that we are already so fed-up.

And as if that is not enough, just look at the policies that the government makes - Bumiputra privileges, racial quotas in universities, and government posts (Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Menteri Besar, etc.). There are certain things that certain groups of people will never enjoy, simply because of the policies imposed.

So, think about it. If the leaders themselves practise racism, how will the people not follow suit?

With regard to this topic, I would say that it's not entirely correct if we blame the leaders for being the prime culprit of racism in our country. Yes, the fact that many leaders are racists may lead to the aping of their primitive mindset amongst the people. And therefore, in some cases they might be the seed of racism in our country. However, don't forget this - in many ways, our leaders are a reflection of ourselves. Even though our democracy is far from satisfactory, essentially more than 50% still voted for BN for the last 51 years. Malaysians supported the BN policies and voted racist MPs to represent them in the house of parliament.

We always say that in a democratic system, people deserve the government that they choose. We often take the word "deserve" to mean that "you get who you vote"; however, rarely does anyone reflect on the deeper meaning behind it - the elected government reflect the people's mentality.

The fact that a country has a racist government doesn't only reflect the effectiveness of the party's great machinery in wooing the people during elections. On a larger scale, it reflects the fact that people themselves choose to endorse racism in these parties by giving them their precious votes. People themselves are in some way racist, so they get precisely what they are - a government manifesting the racial lens from which everyone views the world.

Of course there will be non-racists who are going to suffer because of the majority's decision, but sadly, that's just how democracy works. So next time when you are about to start ranting "why is our government so racist", take a look at a mirror. You can probably see a racist standing right in front of you. It's us, not them. They are us.

True, we cannot blame the leaders for being the culprit of racism in our country, which is why I also mentioned that in the end it is the people's fault. We voted in racist MPs into Parliament, therefore we need to bear responsibilities for that.

Democracy was never a perfect system to begin with. It has a lot of loopholes that can be exploited and abused. Yet, the very fundamentals of democracy are what is agreed and accepted by the people, and I believe that is why we accept democracy.

There are two types of future that democracy will lead a country into. In good hands, democracy will lead us into bright and better future. In bad hands, democracy could cause chaos and economic downfall.

Which is why no votes should be taken for granted, even if it is just ONE vote.

So final question.. When will 'racism' ends in Malaysia? Answer : When the world ends, i.e. when UMNO dies................

29/08/10

Stop feeding rats and racists

Failure to act promptly and appropriately against racism will only encourage more racists in the country.

53 years of Merdeka but frankly, how many Malaysians are in the mood to celebrate? The political milieu is sickening; no thanks to the raving racists and their apologists who help fan the flames of hatred.

It is the season of the Hungry Ghosts when the gates of hell are supposedly cast open for the spirits of the dead to enter the realm of the living, according to believers.

The real scare, however, is not from any such spirits but from rats and the filthy folks among us who help the rodents spread leptospirosis.

The water-borne disease caused by bacteria in rats’ urine has already killed more than 10 people, the latest being a 17 year-old boy from Kedah who swam in a river.

Parks located near rivers and waterfalls have barred to members of the public who have also been warned against wanton dumping of rubbish (which the rats feed on) and wading in flood waters.

But while the threat that the rats pose can ne handled with medication, the other diseases that’s really gnawing at the very fabric of the country – the scourge of racism – is a far more difficult one to handle.

Over the past two decades, our leaders have shown their inability to mend old tears and prevent new frays. The latest flare-up involves two school heads.

The first principal, who is from SMK Tunku Abdul Rahman Putrain Kulai, Johor allegedly called the non-Malays penumpang (passengers) during a school assembly to launch Merdeka celebrations.

The headmaster of SMK Bukit Selambau in Kedah allegedly accused Chinese students of being insensitive to the Muslims for eating in the school compound during the month of Ramadan by telling them “to return to China” if they could not respect the cultures of others.

Politicians from both sides of the fence have called for disciplinary action if they are found to be guilty.

At the directive of Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom has set up a panel to probe the matter, although he initially said that it was a “misunderstanding”.

About 20 police reports have been lodged against Siti Inshah, who is currently on leave and the case is being investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code for provocation, which carries a maximum imprisonment of two years, a fine, or both.

But the Kulai school principal is getting her fair share of support from a group of vocal bloggers who believe that she has done nothing wrong.

She’s also creating a stir on Facebook through a fan page with more than 1,900 people supporting her. A tit-for-tat page against her had more than 400 fans as of early Wednesday.

The strongest response from someone within the government has come from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz. Kudos to him for saying that there should be “zero tolerance” for racist educators, irrespective of where they are from.

“If it had been my teacher, I would have smacked his (sic) face. You are a teacher and you are supposed to be teaching us right things but yet, you talk like this,” he was quoted as saying by a portal.

But as Nazri noted, the Government’s failure to respond quickly and appropriately on racism has only encouraged more of such acts.

However, how can it respond when many government servants and agencies are not sensitive to the feelings of the people and have little understanding of 1Malaysia concept.

As in the case of the rats, we need to stop feeding this source of national debility and discord.

A friend of mine who is known to be a dedicated teacher, underwent a course (it is compulsory as a prerequisite for upgrades in salary and promotions) in June and returned utterly devastated.

She said there was no emphasis on national unity throughout the course, only a sense of intimidation and being “put in her place” through the emphasis of “Ketuanan Melayu” and the unwritten social contract between the races.

In her email she wrote: “The epitome was in the last module where a video was screened with a tinge of racial slurs, depicting the fall of the Islamic empire and the building of churches, Hindraf, communist memorials in Chinese cemeteries and finally a Muslim extremist killing a child. There was a weeping voice-over asking: “What else do you want?”

What right-thinking Malaysians want is quite simple: mutual respect, a sense of fairness and acceptance that all of us belong to this blessed country.
Malaysian Bar
29/08/10

Racial Bias in Malaysia and Racism in General in Apartheid government

There is a big problem with racism in Malaysia, it's mostly in the sense of positive racism and the 'Bumi' status (cheaper houses, lower interest rates, easier academic and lives and so on)..

Malay folks get many easy breaks and advantages solely based on their race, which in turn makes them lazier as they aren't required to work so hard as the other races to acheive the same thing. The sad thing is the policy was a good one initially, it's just too out of date now and it's doing more bad than good..

Jordan Macvay also wrote something interesting about this called Malaysia's Two Solitudes, he also has a leg in each culture, being married to a Malay lady and working mostly with Chinese.

It's mostly like an open secret, it's always discussed, but never openly, always without the same racial group.

Here also I have a diversity of friends, Malay, Baba, Nyonya, Chinese, Sino-Kadazan and Indian (Both India Indian and local Indian), so I also get to hear many sides of the story...

There has also been books about the issue, the most recent one being The Chinese Dilemma, in part this book is a follow up or revisit of Mahatir's famous first work The Malay Dilemma..

The power of the Chinese is exaggerated and the laziness of the Malays is overrated, they still both exist in pockets but apparently the field is more even nowdays..

What sparked this off anyway? Hmm shall I just cuss everyone?

I find a lot of Malays in the business world arrogant, and yet they have nothing to be arrogant about, they have no skills, the work they produce is poor, they are in the position due to a family tie, someone they know, and mostly because of their race. Do they realise this? And do they care?

The Tidak Apa attitude still prevails, mostly born from the all the easy breaks the Bumi's get, from the education system, through into the work place. The civil service in Malaysia is a joke and many mostly Malay companies are the same, they work short hours, do little work and when you expect them to do some work they do everything to get out of it. Mostly it's not their fault, it's the systems fault, the government, the establishment, the society, the culture...not the individual, but every individual could work to change it, but due to the problem itself, they wont.
An example is customer service in Malaysia, it's still non-existent, it's still secondary, take the money first, fuck the service, fuck the return business. The big companies are monopolies here so they don't care....

The Malay start-ups only start up when they can get a lucrative government contract that they don't have to work hard on through a contact. It's like the way tenders and proposals are done here for the big companies, generally it's who you know, or how much you bribe, not who does the best work and has the skillset for the job. The whole system still stinks, and it's actually bad for the country..

Most of the talented people in the country leave, because of this exact problem, the smart Malays have two options, they can use their skills abroad, do something interesting, exciting, innovative, or stay in Malayia, learn to abuse the system and their family ties and make shit loads of money.

Many of the late twenties Chinese also go overseas to earn more, and have qualms about coming back.

I can deal with the lack of democracy, the lack of press freedom, the ISA, our inefficient and bureaucratic civil service, our awful manners and even a little corruption. But I cannot deal with racism in my homeland.

The Chinese and Indians have to work much harder to get the same results, by doing this they are also improving themselves, the Malays however can sit back a bit so when they both reach the corporate world, even tho the non Bumi's have been at a disadvantage, they actually end up better of, so in the end the system is hurting everyone.

29/08/10

To unite Indians need a fair and transparent policies BUT that is not going to happen with UMNO in power

MIC Youth has conceded that it can no longer walk alone. Its chief T Mohan said the past three years have been nothing but divisive political opinions.
This, he added, was not beneficial to the community.

“It is time for the Indians to unite… I invite all NGOs to work together to save our future here,” he said.

Mohan said the Indian community needed to understand that if they banded together, it would be most beneficial and “no power in this country can destroy us".

"Our strength is unity. But it is not very easy to unite our society. Our people are mostly divided in two groups -- the rich and the poor," he said.

On the issue of youths, he confessed that it was hard to engage their interest in social causes.

“Youngsters today lack a sense of social responsibility. The graduates are more focused on the economy and establishing a comfortable life for themselves. There is no place for social responsibility,” he said.

According to Mohan, one of the main reasons they refused to focus on social responsibility was priority.

“These students study hard, make it to university and after that it is prioritising their needs. They feel that they must first meet their own needs before they can help others,” he said.

'MIC on the right track'
Mohan said as MIC Youth chief, he is criss-crossing the country meeting young people and is now very much aware of the change filtering through the community.

“On the whole, I see now there is political awareness in society. It's something good that we never ever seen before. We (MIC) are on the right track. We are happy to have worked with youths and groups who have stepped up in the political scene or for that matter in other fields such as education and welfare.

“The point is we must all stand united,” he told FMT.

Asked about uneducated youths, Mohan admitted that this group was MIC’s first target.

"Growing up in deficiency has pushed them into the wrong path. Inadequate education and poor religious guidance have made them vulnerable to gangsterism and drug addiction," he said, adding that the party had already taken up various steps to assist the rehabilitation of these youths.

"But we have a long journey ahead. To build a healthy society in all aspects, each person must give his commitment," he said.

29/08/10

mi1: What MIC did in past hurts Indians especially with MAIKA Fund, look at UMNO with PNB and Amanah Saham Bumiputra, how they achieved the objective and MIC you cheated the poor Indians for more than 50 years and do you expect them to trust you and your bastard party and friends.

Racial slurs and comments in schools can be overcome with fair, firm and transparent administration

P. Ramanathan, a former teacher and former president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), the country’s largest teachers’ organisation, said racist remarks were nothing new as they were common among teachers and pupils and often practised by all ethnic groups.

“This was usually a form of letting off steam due to unfairness in the way the school is administered.

“The use of double standards which favour certain groups also result in such remarks and comments. Some teachers and pupils are taken to task by the headmaster for certain activities while others who do similar mistakes are not punished.

“Things like this, which lead to frustration, result in such remarks,” he told Bernama here today.

“However, the difference is that some say it loudly while many just whisper among their own racial groups,” he said.

Ramanathan said that during his 35 years of teaching and active involvement in the NUTP, there were many such cases which were dealt with within the ambit of the school regulations.

“We never went to the media, and always settled them amicably among ourselves without much fuss,” he added.

Ramanathan was commenting on the case of a school principal in Kulaijaya, Johor, who had allegedly used racist remarks on Aug 12.

He felt that transferring such teachers would not solve the problem because these teachers had their own grassroots support among the staff and students.

He said that from experience, he found that sometimes such transfers would cause more problems than they would solve.

He urged the ministry to carefully monitor school administrators to ensure professional handling of all the concerns of students, parents and teachers.

Parent-teacher associations should also assist in this important task, he said.

29/08/10

Would Najib survive in UMNO?

Najib is facing the same dilemma his predecessors have since the earliest days of Malaysian independence: balancing the perceived needs of the Malays, both political and economic, with those of the country as a whole. At the heart of the problem is the reverse-pyramid shape of the Malaysian economy. Though the Malays and other indigenous peoples, together known as bumiputra in Malay, make up about 60% of the population, they have traditionally been poorer than the Chinese and Indian immigrants, who have long dominated the nation's business and trade. After Kuala Lumpur was struck by race riots in 1969, a shaken leadership determined that communal peace was impossible without economic balance. The result was the New Economic Policy (NEP), introduced in 1971, which aimed to raise the Malays' share of the economic pie. Malays were given preferential access to public contracts and university scholarships. Any company listing on the stock market had to sell 30% of its shares to bumiputra investors. Though some measures have been softened or eliminated over the past two decades, many pro-Malay privileges remain. Certain government contracts are available only to bumiputra-controlled firms, for example. Malays even receive special discounts on home purchases. The affirmative-action program has become so ingrained in the Malaysian psyche that it is akin to a national ideology.

It is also controversial. Critics contend that the pro-Malay program too often benefits the connected few over its intended targets: the poor and struggling. All car-import permits, for example, are awarded to bumiputra-controlled firms, a policy intended to foster entrepreneurs in the community. But government audits have revealed that Malay businessmen with access to the permits sometimes sell them to minority traders who don't — at an instant profit. (The Ministry of Trade and Industry, recognizing the problem, says it will phase out the permit system by 2020.) "Unfortunately, as [the NEP] was implemented over time, some of the zealots, politicians and bureaucrats included, tended to become more racial and emphasized more on the people who have relationships with them," says Razaleigh Hamzah, an UMNO dignitary and former Finance Minister. "That's where it went wrong."

Despite four decades of special aid, 3 in 4 of the poorest people in Malaysia are still bumiputra. Adli Ahmad Ghazi, the Malay co-owner of Malaysian Defensive Driving & Riding, a 70-employee driving school in Kuala Lumpur, complains that the pro-Malay policies do little to help a small businessman like himself. In 2008, Adli tried to get financing from three agencies tasked with supporting Malay businessmen or small enterprises, but got rejected. When he has to deal with the bureaucracy, Adli says, he faces the same red tape as any other businessman. It took him two years to buy a parcel of land for his company from the local government. "The [NEP] rules don't really apply to people on the ground," Adli says. "They say the NEP would help the Malays, but it only helps a small percentage of the Malays."


Comfort Zone

Affirmative action may not be helping the overall Malaysian economy either. Though Malaysia has been among the best-performing economies in the world since World War II and boasts a spectacular record of improving human welfare — the percentage of the population living in absolute poverty has plummeted from 50% in 1970 to less than 4% today — the story is now stuck on the same chapter. Malaysia has fallen into what is called the "middle-income trap." Having elevated itself to a comfortable level of income, Malaysia has been unable to take that next leap into the realm of advanced economies. While growth has slowed, Malaysians have watched other fast-paced Asian rivals zip by. In 1970, the gross national income per capita of South Korea, at $260, was below Malaysia's $380, but by 2009, South Korea's was almost three times larger, at $19,830 vs. $7,230, according to the World Bank. (See pictures of Malaysia.)

Malaysia's struggles reflect those facing Southeast Asia as a whole. The region's economies once seemed among the world's most promising emerging markets, but in recent years, progress in almost all of them has been stymied by upheaval and poor governance. Thailand remains rudderless as its fragile democracy has degenerated into perpetual factional strife. The promise of the Philippines remains unrealized as its feeble government has continually failed to enact the tough reforms needed to turn around the underperforming economy. Indonesia is only now returning to its place as one of the world's premier emerging economies after a decade of political uncertainty scared off foreign investors.

If it is able to change its economic system, Malaysia could show its neighbors the way forward. Malaysia's essential problem is that its growth model — export-oriented manufacturing, often by foreign-invested factories — has become mismatched with its needs. Malaysia must become more innovative if its rapid development is to continue. But that's not happening. Private investment has fallen from a third of GDP in the mid-1990s to only about 10% today, labor-productivity growth has slowed, and R&D spending remains anemic. Instead of developing new products with highly skilled technicians, Malaysia's manufacturing sector still too often assembles goods designed by others, using imported technology and low-skilled foreign workers. "There is a growing realization that Malaysia's relative position compared to other countries that are catching up very quickly is not improving," says Philip Schellekens, a senior economist at the World Bank. "Relative to where they want to be, there is still a long road." (Read "Fortress Asia: Is a Powerful New Trade Bloc Forming?")

Though it would be incorrect to blame the pro-Malay policies for the economy's woes — Malaysia did, once, achieve remarkable rates of growth with the perquisites in place — they are nevertheless dampening business sentiment, scaring off talent, curtailing investment and stifling domestic competition. Chua Tiam Wee, president of the SMI Association of Malaysia, a small-enterprise organization, believes relaxing the NEP preferences would create a more level playing field on which the most capable firms could advance, making the economy more merit-based and upgrading Malaysian industry. The affirmative-action policy is "a source of a lot of distortions to the economic system," Chua says. By limiting the opportunities available to minorities, the NEP is likely contributing to a brain drain, in which some of the country's most talented people choose to work elsewhere. The government estimates that more than half of the 350,000 Malaysians working abroad have a college education. Stéphane Garelli, director of the World Competitiveness Center at IMD, a business school in Switzerland, believes that the affirmative-action regulations have made Malaysia less attractive to foreign investors. Malaysia's "bargaining power to put such restrictions on foreign investors is not as big as other nations'," he says.

Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs in Malaysia certainly believe the pro-Malay policies cap their business opportunities. Pardip Kumar Kukreja, the Malaysian-Indian chairman of Grand Paradise Holdings, a Kuala Lumpur — based firm that manages and owns hotels and operates travel agencies, laments that he can't get access to lucrative contracts providing travel services to the government due to regulations that favor Malay-owned enterprises. Removing such restrictions, he says, can act as an incentive to invest. Kukreja recently decided to launch an Internet-based business to sell travel services worldwide because Najib's administration liberalized affirmative-action rules for the tourism sector last year. "There are many things we'd like to do, which we hope we'll be able to do in the near future," he says. "To a small and medium entrepreneur, he wants to make his own decisions."


New and Untested

Najib is convinced the old ways must go. The centerpiece of his economic reform program, introduced in March, is called the New Economic Model (NEM). The plan envisions reducing red tape to encourage more private investment and internal competition, decreasing the state role in the economy and improving the education system to produce more skilled workers. "For us to move up a few notches, we have to address the structural problems," Najib says. "We cannot be in denial." Most of all, the NEM also proposes a major reform of affirmative-action policies to phase out remaining racial quotas and focus efforts on uplifting the poorest 40% of the population — irrespective of race. Says Najib: "I don't want anyone to feel that they've been left out or marginalized."

There are urgent political reasons he feels that way. UMNO, which has ruled Malaysia in coalition since its independence from Britain in 1957, lost ground to opposition parties in a hotly contested 2008 general election, and Najib is faced with the daunting prospect of expanding UMNO's political base outside its core Malay constituency. The NEM is an effort by Najib to turn stodgy UMNO into the party of change and outmaneuver its rivals. Some powerful voices within UMNO are egging on Najib to push his reforms. "We have to be bold and brave to ensure [our] long-term competitiveness," says Khairy Jamaluddin, an UMNO member of Parliament. (Read "Will Sodomy Charges End Malaysia's Opposition?")

Yet Najib has also come under pressure from conservative elements in the Malay community to hold back. "The bumiputra are still lagging behind," complains Ibrahim Ali, president of Malay nationalist organization Perkasa. "If the economy is not balanced, then everything will lead to trouble." As a result, Najib doesn't have full support from an UMNO worried about scaring off Malay voters. Najib's reform program "is a tough sell within the party," admits Khairy. "There will be people who resist the changes."

The split in UMNO reflects the greater divide within the Malay community over the future of affirmative action. Some Malays believe that they still don't possess the skills and resources to contend against Chinese businessmen, making continued affirmative-action policies indispensable. The program "should stay in place and improve," says Rizal Faris, president of the Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce. "What [officials] want to achieve is a level playing field where all parties are able to compete on their merits, but we need to ensure that the Malay community has been sufficiently skilled and pulled up." But others believe the time has come for Malays to step up and compete on their own, without special government aid. Akmal Syahirah, a 21-year-old law student at the University of Malaya, says that affirmative action should be eliminated, even though her family has greatly benefited from it in the past. Her father acquired land to produce palm oil through a pro-Malay development scheme, and her three younger sisters received tuition for extra after-school studies. But now, "I think we need to change," she says. "We can't just let Malays stay in their comfort zone."

Balancing Act

Faced with such contending forces, Najib is trying to please everybody. Affirmative action won't be eliminated entirely under the NEM, but altered to weed out abusive practices, target money where it is most needed and support the most worthy Malay businessmen, all the while trying to open up opportunities for minorities. Najib sees no contradiction in such a strategy. "Affirmative action remains in place, but the way it is carried out would be different," he says. "When it comes to helping the poor and the vulnerable groups, it should be irrespective of race. But there are certain affirmative actions which are still necessary, because the bumiputra are still very much behind and they must be helped. We want to help those bumiputra who are potential winners."

Even as he faces the daunting task of reforming Malaysia, Najib must deal with the domestic and international fallout from the divisive trial of Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition's most prominent leader. In 2008, only months after the opposition's electoral success, Anwar was charged with sodomy, a serious crime in Malaysia. The trial has a déjà vu flavor. Anwar was convicted of sodomy in 2000 (and abuse of power a year earlier), but the ruling was overturned in 2004 and he was freed after six years in prison. Anwar has pleaded not guilty to the latest charge and attacked his trial as a politically motivated attempt to discredit the opposition. The government denies that, saying the courts have a duty to conduct a fair trial. Yet the case has tainted Najib's administration. In a joint essay in the Wall Street Journal, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote that Anwar's trial threatens "all those in Malaysia who have struggled for a freer and more democratic nation."

The biggest test for Najib still awaits. All eyes are watching for the detailed policy prescriptions of Najib's NEM, which could be released in October. Some Malaysia experts expect the final package to be underwhelming. Najib "doesn't have the strength to follow through, whether politically or personally," says John Malott, a former U.S. ambassador to Malaysia. "He's not a transformational figure." Najib insists his critics underestimate him. "I want to transform Malaysia," Najib says. "I want Malaysia to be a 21st century nation and I am determined to do that." Malaysia's future — and new narrative — depends on it.
29/08/10

What the NEP meant and means

WITH all the brouhaha over Malay and non-Malay rights and the relentless rhetoric of race-based politics coming to the fore in the economic arena yet again, it is time to revisit the tenets of the original New Economic Policy (NEP) and separate fact from fiction.

Sadly, the major problem with the NEP is that the 30% equity target for Malays and other bumiputras became the very visible and de facto criterion for measurement of the very success of the NEP.

The other contentious part was quotas for all manner of things and preference given to bumiputra companies and individuals when it is related to procurements and contracts from the Government, often as a means to achieve that 30% target.

Both of these were administrative measures and targets and did not even form part of the policy aims of the NEP.

Very few people, if any, are likely to disagree that the broad twin aims of the NEP, formulated in the wake of the racial riots of 1969, were to eradicate poverty irrespective of race and to eliminate the identification of race with economic function.

The first aim, according to government figures, was very much achieved with hardcore poverty being virtually eradicated. And there have been major strides made in terms of Malays and bumiputras, and jobs with them making major inroads into all areas.

These are achievements of the NEP which no one can deny, although there are valid arguments and concerns such as whether the poverty line figure is a realistic one and whether there is too high representation of Malays in Government services even as they made inroads into the private sector.

While no one questions the twin aims of the NEP — everyone, including the Opposition, is in agreement — the problem is with the administrative measures that have been put in place.

These are being challenged by all sides: some sides want more and some less, some want them to be dismantled and others want them to not only be continued but reinforced.

So, let’s agree on the aims – and move on from there.

Thus, it will not be seditious if someone questions the 30% bumiputra equity target or says the measurement criteria are seriously flawed.

If someone said quotas should be reconsidered given the progress that Malays have made in some areas, that should not be interpreted as questioning Malay rights. Under the Constitution, the Government has the right to undertake affirmative action provided it is justified and it has the right not to.

The NEP (technically, the NEP has expired but the present policy still relies on the original NEP) and its future form will benefit substantially from the right kind of debate about it without emotions clouding the issues.

But there are some bodies and people who are bent on bringing in emotions precisely because it will cloud the issues. They must not be allowed to have their way.

Let’s take the 30% equity target for instance. It cannot be taken as the sole or even the most important part of NEP achievement because there are other things which are far more important – poverty eradication and racial balance in employment to name just two.

There is therefore nothing wrong in asking that this target be reviewed so that we can have better measurement of Malay and bumiputra participation in the economy and to avoid all the perils of patronage that come with this.

The same applies to quotas and bumiputra discounts for high-end property.

It is because the NEP has done so much in narrowing the gap between the races that there is a need to review some of its administrative targets to ensure that the wrong people do not benefit from it.

Bumiputras who have already made it don’t need quotas and affirmative action anymore. But others might.

But we must expect that some of those who will lose their so-called privileges will fight a rearguard action to preserve them, for that’s a way to quick riches when abused. These are the people who will benefit most by obscuring the real issues under a cloud of emotional rhetoric.

The time has come for all Malaysians to see beyond these and do what is right for everyone. Help everyone who is needy and if any particular race is more needy than another, it will automatically be helped more too.

Move to a needs-based system and you eliminate racial posturing and fighting just like that.

29/08/10
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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government

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