Najib is cunning, he does not walk the talk But cheating Malaysians overall

The year 2010, which also marks 21 months of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s premiership, has not been distinguished by any conviction or sense of urgency that Malaysia is “on a burning platform”, “at the crossroads” or “a defining moment” – that the country has no choice but to forge ahead with a paradigm shift in national economic strategy and public policy.

It is the exact reverse. Despite the 21 months of Najib’s premiership, based on his signature theme of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”, multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia has suffered greater racial and religious polarization and loss of social cohesion, with the concepts of unity in diversity and inclusiveness, social justice, excellence, integrity and our international competitiveness receiving one setback after another.

The bad old days of “the government knows best” are back with a vengeance, as illustrated by the raft of developments in the closing days and weeks of 2010, eg:

• Catholic church officials told to remove crucifixes and to avoid hymns being sung when Prime Minister Najib Razak attended the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur’s Christmas tea party last Saturday.

• Controversy over Cabinet decision to make history a compulsory-pass subject for SPM from 2013 when the history text books are antithetical to the principles of unity in diversity and inclusiveness reflective of Malaysia’s plural society.

• The appointment of Tan Sri Isa Samad, who had to relinquish his previous post as Cabinet Minister because of UMNO “money politics”, as the new Felda Chairman, rubbishing the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and National Key Result Action (NKRA) on fighting corruption.

• The ordeal of businessman Chia Buang Hin who alleged that he was beaten and robbed by police over the expired road tax of his wife’s car that he was driving which re-opened anew the question of the efficiency, incorruptibility and professionalism of the police to keep crime low and be the protector of the rights of Malaysians and the crying need for the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as proposed by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission in 2005.

• The brewing constitutional crisis in Selangor over the appointment of the State Secretary, stemming from the refusal of the Barisan Nasional-controlled Federal Government to respect the democratic rights of the voters of Selangor to elect a Pakatan Rakyat state government of their choice.

• The unchecked racist and inflammatory incitement by irresponsible media like Umno’s Utusan Malaysia such as the targeting of DAP MP for Serdang Teo Nie Ching.


These developments are all inimical to the 1Malaysia concept of unity in diversity and inclusiveness propounded by Najib and not calculated to enhance public confidence in good governance and our international competitiveness.

The Talent Corporation is to start operation tomorrow to carry out a more effective brain-gain strategy to attract talented Malaysians and non-Malaysians to contribute to Malaysia’s knowledge-based economy.

But the Talent Corporation is set to become another expensive failure as how could it convince the return of the talented from the Malaysian diaspora when the present government is incapable to arrest the unchecked brain drain from the country.

Have more Malaysians migrated abroad in the 21 months of Najib’s premiership than the previous 21 months?

It is not that Najib does not have the answer. The New Economic Model had pinpointed the problem and the solution when it said:

“We are not developing talent and what we have is leaving. The human capital situation in Malaysia is reaching a critical stage. The rate of outward migration of skilled Malaysians is rising rapidly.” (p.6)

“Globalisation has created a fierce competition for talent, forcing companies and government to recognize that people are the most valuable assets. To compete on a regional and global scale, Malaysia must retain and attract talent. Malaysia must be seen by its people and others as a land of equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and family.” (p.8)

The Talent Corporation is incapable of giving such an assurance – that Malaysia is “a land of equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and the family”.

In fact, the developments of the past 21 months, and in particular in the closing days of 2010,which are completely detrimental to the 1Malaysia concepts of unity in diversity, inclusiveness and social justice, will destroy whatever chances of success the Talent Corporation might have.

Only a Malaysian government, with unwavering leadership and political will, can give such an assurance.

This is the national challenge for Malaysians in the new year 2011 – to unite and demand a government and leadership with the political will to convince Malaysians that they enjoy equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and family life.

Wishing all Malaysians a Happy New Year.

13th General Election (13th GE) Online Campaign - Umno/BN Must Go !

Umno/bn have ruled this country for far too long, 53 long years and we are getting worst in terms of everything. Please spend 10 minutes of your time to watch this video and fully understand why UMNO/BN has to go and help to spread this video.

Can we still trust Umno to run the country?

I am the fourth generation and till today I am still treated as a pendatang and second class citizen. I have seen premier after premier taking reign as leaders with such great promises for all of us but at the end of the day, it remains the same…do not challenge our ketuanan Melayu status. You are here just because we allow you to do so.

I had high hope and expected the current premier to be different from his predecessors, but alas, just like the others he succumbed yet again to the demands of his own team and members. He simply cannot put his plan into action just because he is afraid to lose his premiership. So, he is playing with time, talking about his election date surprises, walk-about to meet the people, which in fact turns out that his security detail has more men than the people he wanted to meet and lately, buying (not adopting) a pussy cat to play with.

He is leaving all important issues to his foreign advisers (who are just copycats from the west) and other nincompoop ministers to run the show. Hence we see all kind of idiotic statements, poor management, wasteful image promotions and contradicting answers.

What the people needed most are not taken care off and not given any priority. Instead they will go all out to defend, fight tooth and nail or even lie to see that all their unnecessary pet projects got implemented and for what! Your guess is as good as mine.

Never had they ever considered and respected non Muslim rights because of their ketuanan Melayu status. They would only quote the term “non Muslim rights” under circumstances that could benefit them.

What I can say and ask of the people of Malaysia is that this country truly needed a real change in order for us to move forward together as proud Malaysians and not about ketuanan Melayu, Chinese, Malay, Indian, Iban, Dayak, Kadazan, Orang Asli…

From my 56 years of experience with “Umno controlled BN” I can safely claim that we are going the wrong way towards disaster if we still allow “Umno controlled BN” to rule indefinitely.

Many will criticise me for challenging whatever the government is doing. It does not matter, go ahead. What I can only say is, because I had seen enough of their promises, slogans, rhetoric, corruption, discrimination and their worst racist remarks to judge that Umno will still be Umno in whatever shapes and forms.

Do you want your generations to suffer like how we are suffering at the moment, would you trust UMNO snakes, do you still want to vote for UMNO @ BN cronies who have betrayed their own races. Do you want your generation to be called as 2nd class citizens forever.

why is this rhetoric against non-Malays at such a high level right now?

It is important to realise that race, religion and political affiliation are difficult to untangle from each other in Malaysia. If you are Malay, you are Muslim; there is no other option available. Thus anything deemed anti-Muslim is also anti-Malay, and vice-versa. Malays are primarily represented by UMNO (United Malay National Congress), the party of PM Najib.

So much of socio-political discourse in Malaysia revolves around one key issue; Ketuanan Melayu, or Malay supremacy, the idea that Malaysia primarily belongs to the Malay majority. Malays are granted special rights (educational scholarships, employment in the civil service, housing assistance) not available to the Chinese and Indian minorities, who have generally been living in Malaysia for several generations. These minorities are expected to be grateful for the kindness of the Malay people for allowing them to live on Malay land. Unsurprisingly, most non-Malays would happily do away with these affirmative action policies, which they claim are discriminatory, do not address actual poverty, and lead to inefficiency by promoting race over ability.

In the last few years, UMNO, the major party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, has faced an unprecedented challenge from Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which promises a move away from ethnic-based economic policies. Pakatan Rakyat's appeal is broad, due to its unlikely coalition partners; the conservative Islamic party PAS, the predominantly Chinese centre-left party DAP, and the centrist PKR. With the government's attempts to discredit Anwar Ibrahim (through corruption and sodomy charges) proving unsuccessful in terms of votes, they seem to have decided that divisive racial politics are the only thing that will save them.

Because non-Malay voters have deserted BN in droves, BN seems to have decided it doesn't really need them. Instead, they are putting their eggs in the basket of Malay supremacy; trying to shore up the Malay vote by stirring up prejudice against non-Malays on one hand, and championing the special rights of Malays on the other. No doubt it hopes that this extreme Malay nationalist sentiment will lead to the "post-racial" Pakatan Rakyat being seen as a threat to Malay interests.

It is against this backdrop that Malaysian discourse about race and racism needs to be understood.

The authorities do take a firm stand on racism - enacting the draconian ISA (Internal Security Act) to detain without charge anyone seen as inciting racial tension - except for one problem. Inflammatory statements by Malays (or at least Malays who support the notion of ketuanan Melayu) are routinely overlooked, while innocuous incidents by anyone on the other side are seized upon as inflammatory and dealt with harshly. Equally, the authorities are fond of taking a "shoot the messenger" approach; ignoring inflammatory statements made by Malay leaders, but regarding those who report or comment on them as being seditious (such as the cases of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and reporter Tan Hoon Cheng).

The worst recent rulings by UMNO@ BN that non-Muslims are forbidden from using certain words that are deemed the sole property of Muslims ("Allah" being the most obvious example), and accusations that Muslim sensitivities are not being respected, and you have to wonder.

While it is true that the Malays as a whole still lag behind the ethnic Chinese in terms of wealth, their grip on social and political power seems unassailable. So why then do so many Malays feel that they are constantly being somehow downtrodden, victimized and their sensitivities disrespected?

Simple: because their leaders are always telling them that they are. And because it leads to a good political outcome for UMNO. Whether this sort of dirty racial politics leads to a good outcome for Malaysia as a whole is a different question entirely.

Present Malaysia is South Africa 30 years ago ...

Apartheid in the Malaysian context

I would confidently say Malaysia's NEP and NDP are more akin to apartheid than affirmative action not only in their morality but also in the way they have been implemented.

Apartheid was officially defined in South Africa as 'separate development'. But apartheid is really an elite regime with concentration of power in the hands of a few.

Apartheid involves the complete domination of one race over the other – economically, politically and socially.

South Africa is still struggling with the socio-economic sequels of apartheid itself. I do not think one should be obsessed with the physical aspect of apartheid [segregation] but rather be more concerned about its longstanding socio-economic deprivation and mental humiliation of not only being labelled according to skin colour but more factually to your native status.

Many have mistaken apartheid as a form of racial discrimination based on white superiority. It has been well-documented that it is actually a preferential treatment for white Afrikaners (South Africans of Dutch descent) following victimisation by the British colonists during the Boer War where thousands of Boer Trekkers died in wartime.

Umno's Ketuanan Melayu is race-based dominance in a multiracial country and is the exact ideology employed by the single-race National Party which imposed apartheid rule in South Africa. The National Party portrayed themselves as the champions of 'Afrikaner Sovereignty' and 'white supremacy'.

Similarly, Umno's ideological basis for its political struggle has been Malay nationalism and bumiputeraism. Like the National Party, Umno has also imposed a heavily state-guided capitalist economic system.

Parallel argument to claim native status

White Afrikaners's native status was based on the familiar argument that they set up the 'first civilised government' in their motherland of South Africa.

The African aborigines such as the Khoisan and Xhosa people did not set up any 'civilised government' and the others were later immigrants. And hence they were never considered as 'natives' for special treatment by the state.

The exact argument has been deployed by Umno and its Barisan Nasional counterparts to justify bumiputeraism in that the Malays set up the 'first definitive government' in Tanah Melayu - (Dr Mahatir Mohamad: The Malay Dilemma). Thus they are considered as bumiputera despite the historical fact that Orang Asli are the first settlers of this land.

Later immigrants are not considered as bumiputera for special treatment by the state.

False justification for apartheid

As I pointed out earlier, historians have documented that white Afrikaners had been deprived during and after the Boer War.

Apartheid was started out to help 'the poor white natives', meaning to help the white Afrikaners to compete in the job market with the influx of the much cheaper black labour from other parts of Africa.

In Malaysia just after independence, the situation was that while a few Chinese were able to own businesses, the majority of the Chinese and Indians were manual and estates workers.

Statistics even show that the Malays' literacy rate was much higher than Chinese and Indians' at the time of Independence. It was not a question of who was richer than whom.

It was a fact that we were all impoverished, but one ethnic group may have been relatively more impoverished than the others. Nonetheless, this is not a moral ground to justify immoral means such as racial degradation of non-native status.

Historians conclude that under South Africa's apartheid rule, 'race is class, class is race' meaning the ruling elite class was predominantly white notwithstanding the fact that there were collaborators of other races working hand in hand with it to sustain their benefits. Similarly, the BN ruling elite class is composed mainly of Umno leaders notwithstanding their collaborators from MIC, MCA and others.

Affirmative action must be carried out with individualisation and transparency. Affirmative action should be allowed to be challenged in court. Do we have that in Malaysia? On the contrary, the NEP and the NDP have so far been carried out under the umbrella of draconian laws such as the ISA, OSA and the like.

I would confidently say Malaysia's NEP and NDP are more akin to apartheid than affirmative action not only in their morality but also in the way they have been implemented.

One may argue that Malaysia's economy has grown with the implementation of the NEP and NDP for almost a 30-year period. So did South Africa's economy grow for almost two decades without fail under apartheid rule. In both countries, an elite class of all races emerged under preferential treatment but that does not justify the immorality of Umno's and Barisan Nasional's political hegemony.

Third Force’ to help Pakatan campaign in Tenang

December 31, 2010
File photo of Raja Petra Kamarudin
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Despite some awkwardness, the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) led by influential blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has pledged to help the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) campaign in the Tenang by-election.

The vocal editor of the Malaysia Today website has been at loggerheads with PR’s leadership lately but appears to have put their ideological differences on the backburner to focus on their common cause — prevent yet another Barisan Nasional (BN) win in the January 30 vote.

“The PAS Representative Council of UK & Eire, Friends of Pakatan Rakyat, and the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), are jointly helping to raise funds for the Tenang by-election in Johor.

“MCLM will also be campaigning in the by-election,” the London-based movement’s chief announced today in his “No Holds Barred” column.

RPK, as he is popularly called, added the group’s campaign on the ground will be headed by fellow blogger, Bernard Khoo.

The MCLM was registered in London two months ago and is widely seen as a “Third Force” in Malaysia’s fledgling two-party political system.

RPK was silent on whether the MCLM’s two named candidates for the next general elections, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Sreekant Pillai, would be going down to the ground as well.

Malik told The Malaysian Insider he had not been included in the campaign and had no plans to turn up in Tenang to support the PR candidate.

“I’m not in MCLM. I think MCLM can deal with it,” the lawyer and human rights activist said.

But he did not rule out the chance of getting involved later on.

“It’s a possibility,” Malik said.

Khoo — who blogs on the website “Zorro Unmasked” — dismissed the view that existing tensions between his grassroots’ group and the opposition pact would cripple the campaign from the get-go.

“All along, we’ve always aligned ourselves to Pakatan. We’ve always said we’ll back them and we want to go by what we have always said since the beginning,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.

“The main thing is to gear up for GE13,” he added, when asked why PR would willingly team-up with the grassroots’ group that had exposed its biggest weaknesses and provided fodder to its political rivals.

“When the time comes, we’ll talk about it,” he said repeatedly, when asked how MCLM would be able to convince Tenang voters that the PR candidate would be the better choice to represent them than anyone fielded by the ruling coalition.

He stressed that it was “very important to show numbers on nomination day” if PR was to make any headway in Tenang, considered a BN stronghold.

Tenang is one of two state seats in the Labis parliamentary constituency; the other is Bekok, held by Tan Kok Hong who is also from BN.

The MP is Chua Tee Yong, son of MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The Tenang seat fell vacant following the death of its BN assemblyman, Datuk Sulaiman Taha, on December 17.

Khoo said he had put together a team of 10 people so far who would be focusing to win support from the sizeable Chinese community through house-to-house visits.

Figures from the Election Commission show that the Chinese make up 39 per cent of the 14,753 voter population.

The Malay voters form 47.5 per cent while Indians account for 12 per cent; a minute 1.5 per cent of voters consist of other races.

The MCLM members who are mostly members of the online alternative news community will be busy uploading local news once the candidates are named to counter the news supplied by the mainstream media, Khoo said.

“It’ll be just like in Kuala Terengganu,” Khoo remarked.

The Tenang by-election marks the 14th time voters return to the ballot box since the 2008 general elections. Nomination day is on January 22.

Sivan temple issue cheap publicity for political gains

Politicians should stop seeking cheap publicity and mileage for their own selfish gains. There are politicians who are demanding that the Sivan Temple, Jalan Bukit Gasing, PJ be opened within the next one week.

The Bukit Gasing Sivan Temple was issued a stop work order in 2007 when it was found that the building extension plans were not submitted for approval. It was found that safety aspects was not according to the bylaws. There were fears that the temple structure was not strong enough to withstand land slides that may occur due to heavy rains.

Until the safety of the structural system of the building is guaranteed, the temple was not allowed to be opened to the public. The safety of the worshippers and the residents nearby are more vital than the selfish needs of some politicians. People's life is more important than these political heros. We don want to see another Highland Tower disaster.

However I wish to call on the MBPJ and the Selangor government to look into this issue at the earliest and ensure that all safety features meet the required bylaws so that the temple can be given permission to function for the good of the worshippers of PJ. The temple has been closed for too long a period.

But safety needs must not be compromised for any reasons. Giving due respect to the Hindus I am strongly of the opinion that safety of the public is more important than anything else.

The writer is the PJ representative of the National Council of Hindu Temples, Malaysia.

What is UMNO's 'real agenda' behind native cert freeze

By Queville To

KOTA KINABALU: The state government's reluctance to lift the freeze on the issuance of “native certificates” has come under scrutiny by opposition politicians.

Sepangar MP Eric Majimbun has questioned the real agenda behind the almost 30-year freeze on the “sijil anak negeri (SAN) also known as “native certificate”, which was frozen since the Berjaya government era back in 1982.

He suspected that this could just be an attempt by the state government to safeguard certain individuals, especially foreigners who managed to gain native title land using their new status after they became Malaysian citizens and natives thnrough dubious means.

He cited the case of Kedah-hailed Syed Kechik Syed Mohamed Al-Bukhary, the former Sabah strongman-cum-close aide of former chief Minister Mustapha Harun, who managed to purchase many parcels of prime native lands in the state using his native certificate.

“Among the prime lands purchased by the late Syed Kechik are the present site of Universiti Malaysia Sabah which he later sold back to the Sabah Foundation, and several other pieces in Telipok,” Majimbun said in a statement here yesterday.

He was responding to the statement by State Local Government and Housing Minister Hajiji Mohd Noor on Wednesday that the state government was in no hurry to lift the freeze on the issuance of native certificates to avoid a recurrence of abuses as witnessed prior to the freeze in 1982.

Hajiji said that both the government and people must be rational and not emotional in this matter as the possible consequences could far-reaching.

No interest in natives

Majimbun, who is also a deputy president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), however, said Hajiji was making up excuses given that the BN government had put the spotlight on the issue by deciding to revoke a Sabahan's native status.

He said that it was a fact that the freeze on the native certificate has affected two generations of bona fide Sabahans who were born of mixed parentage.

They included the Sino-Kadazan or Dusun, Indian-Kadazan or Dusun, Sino-Murut, Pakistan-Bajau, American-Murut, English-Brunei, Arab-Idahan, Filipino-Kadazan and similar cases.

Among the common difficulties faced by them are problems purchasing Amanah Saham Bumiputera shares, purchasing or inheriting native land or registering their names on native titles.

Besides, they are also sidelined from educational opportunities meant for natives and economic incentives offered solely to Bumiputeras.

“To say that there’s no urgency to solve this problem shows that the present Umno-led state government does not care about Sabahans born through mixed marriages,” Majimbun said.

He said that it was also worrying that the State National Registration Department (NRD) identified and categorised those born of mixed parentage as “Sino-native” in their birth certificate.

"This is wrong. There is no such race as 'Sino-native” under the state constitution... unlike ‘Sino-Kadazan’, ‘Sino-Murut’ and all those mentioned earlier, Sino-native is not a race..."

Despite being appraised of the mistake last year, the State NRD continues to ignore it, he said.

Pakatan’s 100-day plan almost silent on Sabah, Sarawak

By Joe Fernandez

There is nothing particularly exciting for Sabah and Sarawak in Pakatan Rakyat’s 100-day reform plan, hailed as a Complete Makeover for Malaysia, a National Recovery Plan, a Malaysia Revival Programme or any other such platitudinous expression it cares to articulate.

The plan is supposed to swing into action from Day One of Pakatan’s capture of Putrajaya.

But except for the 20% oil royalty, any other benefit to the Borneo states is purely incidental.

PKR, similarly, has paid lip service so far to the Tambunan Declaration of Oct 7, 2006, under which the party pledged that it was committed towards the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak as per the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. Instead the party, just like Umno and Barisan Nasional, has routinely observed the Tambunan Declaration more often than not in the breach.

It’s high time that Pakatan, and BN too, thought along the following lines when cooking up something that is supposed to be good for the nation: “How will this be greeted in Sabah and Sarawak?” Neither coalition should announce anything until it has asked itself this question. This will spare it the blushes, if not red faces all around.

It’s still not too late for Pakatan to amend its reform plan to include the Borneo Agenda. A start must be made within the 100-day period.

Meanwhile, BN should ask itself how it can better Pakatan in Sabah and Sarawak. It is more than apparent that it cannot be business as usual for the ruling coalition in Malaysian Borneo. However, media pictures of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak screaming his head off, hands raised, does little to inspire confidence. He comes across as one scared out of his wits and needing to put on a show of bravado.

As it stands, BN cannot better its 2008 performance in the two states. At least 10 parliamentary seats each will fall in the two states and this is sufficient to put Pakatan within striking distance of
Putrajaya. Sabah and Sarawak are in a mood to punish BN in Parliament even if they get nothing out of it. It must be remembered that it was the mood-creating effect of Hindraf’s Makkal Sakthi wave that helped take down BN more than a peg or two in 2008.

Bleak spot

In addition, up to a third of the state assembly seats in Sabah and Sarawak will fall to the opposition. All this is assuming that the opposition alliance can get its act together and forge a one-to-one pact in Malaysian Borneo, as in Peninsular Malaysia, to take on BN.

Between Pakatan and BN, it’s more than likely that the former will get a better hearing in Sabah and Sarawak, notwithstanding a troubled relationship so far, especially in Sabah. It’s a fact that the bleak spot in an otherwise bright picture is that de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim has been riding roughshod in Sabah on any number of issues. His pronouncements on the illegal immigrants, for example, don’t augur well for the future of Pakatan in Sabah, if not in Sarawak.

Pakatan should keep on the safe side and rework its reform plan for Malaysia, this time keeping Sabah and Sarawak in mind.

Of particular interest to the two states is why the compliance mechanism for the Malaysia Agreement has fallen into disuse even before it can be implemented.

The suspicion is that the Malaysia partnership ceased to exist with the departure of Singapore from the Federation in 1965. This issue needs to be put to rest. It appears that the definition of Federation
in the Federal Constitution is as per the 1957 Federation of Malaya and not the 1963 Federation of Malaysia. In that case, both Sabah and Sarawak became independent of Malaysia at the same time as Singapore but were somehow retained illegally as the 12th and 13th states in the resurrected Malayan Federation, now masquerading as Malaysia.

Pakatan must be bold enough to announce that it will study whether the Malaysia Agreement still exists, and whatever the verdict, what’s the best way forward.

Anwar’s oft-cited flimsy excuse in private that “the Malays in Peninsular Malaysia will not stand for autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak” does not hold water. He seems to be almost conceding that Sabah and Sarawak are colonies of Malaya. Even the erstwhile Pakatanco-coordinator, Zaid Ibrahim, who has openly confessed his ignorance, echoed Anwar on the issue. No one is asking the Malays, or anyone else in Peninsular Malaysia, anything about the Malaysia Agreement. They
have nothing to do with the issue. This is an issue between Sabah and Sarawak on one side and the federal government on the other. The only other party which can enter the picture is the UN Security Council.

Pakatan must also include the Philippines' claim to Sabah in its reform plan. It is little known that the Sabah claim does not cover the whole of Sabah, but only the eastern seaboard, which was traditionally under the Sulu Sultanate, now in the Philippines Republic, and the northern third, which was handed by the Brunei sultanate to the Sulu sultanate.

Straightforward case

Sulu transferred its sovereignty over the northern and eastern parts of Sabah to the Philippines. These parts were leased by Sulu to the British North Borneo Chartered Company. The company sold the whole of Sabah to the colonial office in London for 1.2 million pounds after World War II as it was too broke to repair the war damage caused by the Japanese occupation. The rest is a brief British colonial history followed by Malaysia.

Sabah must be kept united and given the right to decide between Malaysia, the Philippines and independence. This will bring closure to the Sabah claim and the Malaysia Agreement.

Sarawak is a more straightforward case of non-compliance on the Malaysia Agreement and its fate will hinge more on which way Sabah moves. At one time, before Malaysia, Sarawak wanted a Borneo Federation with Sabah and Brunei. Unfortunately, Sabah saw Sarawak as a poor economic prospect and rejected the Borneo Federation. Malaysia entered the picture, but Brunei stayed out of the new federation at the 11th hour.

Sarawak was independent for more than 150 years before the cash-strapped Brooke Dynasty handed the kingdom over to the colonial office in London after World War II. As in Sabah, the government was too broke to repair war damage. The British should have returned Sarawak to independence and not force it into the Malaysian Federation.

The acceptance of Pakatan’s 100-day reform plan in Sabah and Sarawak will undoubtedly hinge on the inclusion of the Malaysia Agreement and the Sabah claim and their resolution one way or another.

As the plan stands, there is little to quarrel with it apart from the non-inclusion of the Borneo Agenda.

2011 a year for M'sians to unite and demand equal opportunity

The 2011 challenge of Malaysians – to unite and demand that they enjoy equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and the family

“Malaysia is at the crosssroads.” – 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Road Map (January 2010).

“Malaysia has reached a defining moment on its development path.” – New Economic Model (March 2010).

“We need to see the reality for what it is: we are on a burning platform” – Tenth Malaysia Plan (June 2010).

However, the year 2010, which also marks 21 months of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s premiership, has not been distinguished by any conviction or sense of urgency that Malaysia is “on a burning platform”, “at the crossroads” or “a defining moment” – that the country has no choice but to forge ahead with a paradigm shift in national economic strategy and public policy.

It is the exact reverse. Despite the 21 months of Najib’s premiership, based on his signature theme of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”, multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia has suffered greater racial and religious polarization and loss of social cohesion, with the concepts of unity in diversity and inclusiveness, social justice, excellence, integrity and our international competitiveness receiving one setback after another.

The bad old days of “the government knows best” are back with a vengeance, as illustrated by the raft of developments in the closing days and weeks of 2010, eg:

  • Catholic church officials told to remove crucifixes and to avoid hymns being sung when Prime Minister Najib Razak attended the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur’s Christmas tea party last Saturday.
  • Controversy over Cabinet decision to make history a compulsory-pass subject for SPM from 2013 when the history text books are antithetical to the principles of unity in diversity and inclusiveness reflective of Malaysia’s plural society.
  • The appointment of Tan Sri Isa Samad, who had to relinquish his previous post as Cabinet Minister because of UMNO “money politics”, as the new Felda Chairman, rubbishing the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and National Key Result Action (NKRA) on fighting corruption.
  • The ordeal of businessman Chia Buang Hin who alleged that he was beaten and robbed by police over the expired road tax of his wife’s car that he was driving which re-opened anew the question of the efficiency, incorruptibility and professionalism of the police to keep crime low and be the protector of the rights of Malaysians and the crying need for the establishment of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as proposed by the Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission in 2005.
  • The brewing constitutional crisis in Selangor over the appointment of the State Secretary, stemming from the refusal of the Barisan Nasional-controlled Federal Government to respect the democratic rights of the voters of Selangor to elect a Pakatan Rakyat state government of their choice.
  • The unchecked racist and inflammatory incitement by irresponsible media like Umno’s Utusan Malaysia such as the targeting of DAP MP for Serdang Teo Nie Ching.

These developments are all inimical to the 1Malaysia concept of unity in diversity and inclusiveness propounded by Najib and not calculated to enhance public confidence in good governance and our international competitiveness.

The Talent Corporation is to start operation tomorrow to carry out a more effective brain-gain strategy to attract talented Malaysians and non-Malaysians to contribute to Malaysia’s knowledge-based economy.

But the Talent Corporation is set to become another expensive failure as how could it convince the return of the talented from the Malaysian diaspora when the present government is incapable to arrest the unchecked brain drain from the country.

Have more Malaysians migrated abroad in the 21 months of Najib’s premiership than the previous 21 months?

It is not that Najib does not have the answer. The New Economic Model had pinpointed the problem and the solution when it said:

“We are not developing talent and what we have is leaving. The human capital situation in Malaysia is reaching a critical stage. The rate of outward migration of skilled Malaysians is rising rapidly.” (p.6)

“Globalisation has created a fierce competition for talent, forcing companies and government to recognize that people are the most valuable assets. To compete on a regional and global scale, Malaysia must retain and attract talent. Malaysia must be seen by its people and others as a land of equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and family.” (p.8)

The Talent Corporation is incapable of giving such an assurance – that Malaysia is “a land of equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and the family”.

In fact, the developments of the past 21 months, and in particular in the closing days of 2010,which are completely detrimental to the 1Malaysia concepts of unity in diversity, inclusiveness and social justice, will destroy whatever chances of success the Talent Corporation might have.

Only a Malaysian government, with unwavering leadership and political will, can give such an assurance.

This is the national challenge for Malaysians in the new year 2011 – to unite and demand a government and leadership with the political will to convince Malaysians that they enjoy equal opportunity to earn a good living and provide a secure, happy life for each individual and family life.

Wishing all Malaysians a Happy New Year.

Be afraid, be very afraid of Taliban Umno

Be afraid, be very afraid of Taliban Umno

Written by Jackson Ng

After 53 years of Merdeka (Independence), the Barisan Nasional (BN), especially the MCA, never fails to constantly warn non-Malays of PAS’ strive for the implementation of hudud laws under an Islamic state.

But what the MCA fails to condemn is BN-Umno’s declaration that Malaysia is already an Islamic state.

And since Malaysia is already an Islamic state, what is there for non-Malays to fear anymore? Unless you are saying PAS and Umno’s Islamic state are different. This is illogical because the Malays in PAS and Umno profess the same religion – Islam.

And Islamic laws are only applicable to Muslims, NOT non-Muslims.

What is very clear today is that Malaysians, especially non-Muslims, must be very afraid of Taliban Umno.

The Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia on Thursday (Dec 30, 2010) continued with its fanatical Taliban-like attacks on DAP’s Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching.

Utusan Malaysia published a front-page story titled “Teo Nie Ching makes trouble again” along with a picture of her performing aerobic exercises with men and women in the Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya compound at the recent Maal Hijrah carnival.

The newspaper accused her of wearing tight-fitting clothes. She is pictured wearing a white T-shirt and track pants, as were the other Muslim participants.

In August, BN politicians and Muslim groups criticised Teo over her controversial surau visit, after Utusan Malaysia published a front-page picture of her, with her hair uncovered, addressing those praying at the Al-Huda Surau in Kajang Sentral.

Such fanatical religious attacks will surely further frighten away both local and foreign investors, but that is of little concern to the Umno-led BN ruling coalition.

Clearly, BN-Umno is bent on retaining ruling power at whatever cost. Its behaviour and continuous tolerance with Utusan Malaysia’s constant and consistent religious and racial attacks speaks volume of its intentions.

It is also timely to point out that the Umno-friendly Malay rights group Perkasa had also demanded that Syariah laws be enacted to ban non-Muslims from entering mosques and suraus.

In its attacks, Perkasa must have forgotten or conveniently left out MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders who have also been entering mosques to attend community functions.

However, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, including PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, had defended Teo over her mosque visit.

Teo was reported to have said that although her act may cost her party Malay votes, she would continue engaging Muslim voters through community functions whenever she is invited by a mosque in her constituency.

The fact that there are Muslims and mosques willing to invite Teo to grace community functions show that there are many rational Muslims or Malays who refuse to ape the ways of Taliban Umno Malays.

There is then, still hope for a progressive and truly 1Malaysia to be realised.

But, do be afraid, be very afraid of Taliban Umno and Taliban Utusan Malaysia.

Mosque says Teo's attire OK but Utusan says insult to Sultan Written by malaysiachronicle * font size decrease font size decrease font size inc

Mosque says Teo's attire OK but Utusan says insult to Sultan

Written by malaysiachronicle

A Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya official said today it had no problem with how Teo Nie Ching was dressed during an aerobics exercise programme recently in the mosque’s car park, even as Umno stepped up criticisms against the DAP MP for her “tight-fitting” clothes.

The Serdang MP was photographed recently in a T-shirt and track pants while taking part in the aerobics session, and this was seized on by the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia to accuse her of violating the sanctity of the mosque for wearing allegedly tight-fitting clothes and not covering her aurat.

“We do not have any problem at all with YB Teo’s attire,” said Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya committee chairman Azman Idris.

“Covering the aurat is applicable only to Muslims. So, the issue of covering the aurat is not applicable to YB Teo,” he added.

The Malay daily published a front-page story yesterday with the headline “Teo Nie Ching makes trouble again” along with a picture of her exercising with men and women at Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya during a recent Maal Hijrah carnival.

Today, an Utusan Malaysia column said females were required to wear clothes which covered their aurat, and not “shorts or sexy clothes”.

Azman, however, claimed that the issue of covering the aurat in a mosque was not explicitly defined in Islamic teachings.

“When it comes to the mosque, it is called an in-house regulation,” said Azman.

“We also did this (exercise) activity in the car park area, not in the mosque. I don’t see any issue,” he added.

Azman also pointed out that some Muslim women, who had attended the Maal Hijrah carnival on December 12, did not cover their aurat.

“Some of them wore tight jeans. But we have no problem,” he said.

“We put up a signboard saying, please cover your aurat. But we cannot enforce it as it is an individual responsibility. We can only encourage,” he added.

Yesterday, the first-term parliamentarian told The Malaysian Insider that she would continue attending functions in mosques if invited, despite Utusan Malaysia’s renewed attacks.

In August, Teo was criticised by Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians and conservative Muslim groups over her controversial surau visit after Utusan Malaysia published a front-page picture of her addressing those who were praying at the Al-Huda surau in Kajang Sentral.

She was lambasted for entering the surau with her hair uncovered.

Women are required to cover their hair when entering a mosque.

Azman, however, said such requirements were not stated in Islamic teaching.

“About non-Muslims coming to the mosques and being required to wear the tudung, that is only an internal regulation,” he said.

“Nothing in Islamic teaching states that it is compulsory,” he added.

Utusan Malaysia quoted the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) as saying that Teo’s “tight” dressing was tantamount to insulting the Selangor Sultan.

The Malay daily claimed that Teo had ignored the Sultan’s previous rebuke of her surau visit in August.

Teo’s controversial surau visit had allegedly displeased the Selangor Sultan and sparked a warning from Mais, who barred her from entering the prayer areas of any suraus or mosques in Selangor without its permission.

However, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, including PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, had defended Teo over her surau visit.

A suicidal 1Malaysia slogan for the BN

Written by Administrator

It seems to me that the more persistently Najib Abdul Razak propounds his “1Malaysia. People first. Performance now” slogan, and the more desperately he defends it, the more damage he does to himself and Barisan Nasional. So naturally I'm 1 big supporter of the thing.

For a start, the “1Malaysia” part of it is so blatantly false that all it does is remind the hearer or reader of BN's long-term strategy of dividing the nation's races and religions, the better to try and ensure its eternal rule.

And this is not just an allegation, but an absolute fact. As evidenced by the BN government's stacking of the civil services with employees of one particular race, through the wildly unequal allocation of government scholarships and contracts, to its supporting the concept of ketuanan Melayu through official economic policies, racist pressure-groups like Perkasa and publications like Utusan Malaysia.

Thus the “1Malaysia” phrase itself is such an outright and obvious lie that the long-running controversy over its originality appears virtually irrelevant. Yet Najib persists in claiming authorship as though his political survival depended on it. Which I fondly hope it does, given that the version of the concept with which I'm most familiar, “One Nation”, was the name of the notorious Pauline Hanson's Australian political party, which long ago self-destructed.

Similarly, as far as I'm aware, other previous 1/One/Satu-style names and slogans proven by no means notably successful in Singapore, Indonesia or anywhere else they've been created. And as for “One Israel”, who knows whether it was dreamed-up by Najib's friends at Apco Worldwide, as Anwar Ibrahim alleges and Apco deny, and who the hell cares?

Staking his credibility

Besides Najib, of course, who appears to be staking his non-existent NONEcredibility on the claim that he originated the thing. Recently, declaring that he felt “slighted” by the “big lie” that the “1Malaysia” concept had been plagiarised from another country, he claimed that “It is my own creation. Other countries may have a one this and a one that but nowhere in this world is there a 1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

As many commentators on this statement have remarked, it would have been very odd indeed if any another country had thought to call itself “1Malaysia”, as Malaysia wouldn't have been its name, and thus the expression would have been even more false than Najib's version of it is.

Having read over the previous paragraph several times, I'm not entirely sure it makes sense. But never mind. Nothing about Najib's slogan makes sense, including his recent remark in its defence to the effect that his government moves forward “on the basis of reality and not any dream”.

“A responsible government needs responsible policies,” he reportedly added, “not promises that are not founded on reality.”

Unfortunately for the case he was attempting to make, “not founded on reality” applies not only, as we've seen, to the “1Malaysia” section of his slogan, but even more so, if possible, to its “People First. Performance now.” segments.

Far from convincing anyone that Najib himself or the BN government has the slightest intention of performing on behalf of the people, now or ever, it raises countless challenging questions.

vehicle accidents car accidentsLike what has Najib or BN done, lately or ever, to protect the people of Malaysia from the appalling road toll or the police inaction and corruption that enable vehicular slaughter on such a scale? What have Najib or his government done to stem the slaughter of 'suspects' by this same police force? Or to stem the tide of cronyism and corruption that costs the people billions a year in lost and stolen revenue?

What have Najib and his government done, or what do they intend to do to restore the peoples' rights to transparency, truth and justice that have been so comprehensively eroded over decades of rule by the BN regime?

Absolutely nothing. So that, with the single, solitary exception of the word “Malaysia”, which is undeniably the name of the country, every single additional element of Najib's slogan is utterly and obviously false.

However, such glaringly obvious falsehood doesn't prevent BN's indefatigably sycophantic 'news' agency, Bernama and the rest of the so-called 'mainstream' media from reporting it as if it was gospel truth.

Illustration of 'lies, damn lies and statistics'

Just the other day, for example, Bernama quoted Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim as claiming that the 1Malaysia concept “is regarded as good” by 84 percent of respondents to a recent survey.

And in an equally impressive illustration of the well-known expression “lies, damn lies and statistics”, the BN-complicit media recently reported that the ridiculous slogan's self-procaimed author himself enjoys 69 percent support.

azlanCiting a clearly highly dubious phone poll by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, Star announced that “broken down into ethnic groups, the survey found 74 percent of Malays, 54 percent of Chinese and 85 percent of Indian respondents were satisfied with the prime minister's performance, seen as a major boost for Najib as he mulls an early general election next year.”

The fact that these findings were “broken down into ethnic groups” seems to me further give the lie to the fake unity-promoting purpose of “1Malaysia”. But even more significant is the core message these fanciful findings are intended to convey, which is that well over half of the Malaysian people of all races are such idiots as to imagine that Najib's performance as prime minister is satisfactory.

When in fact, as every Malaysian with even half a brain knows, his only achievement in almost two years as premier is the creation of the world's most cynical, self-destructive slogan.

A slogan whose obvious falsehood appears to be working so powerfully in his disfavour that, along with memories of the still unsolved murder of 1Mongolian, it could well prove political suicide for Najib personally, and a fitting epitaph for 50+ years of the BN regime.

Malaysiakini

HRPs’ Top Ten Newsmakers for the year 2010

1) Chakaraguna who torched himself to death to stop PKR Selangor demolishing Puchong hindu temple.

Puchong Temple

Chakaraguna, who set himself ablaze in a bid to stop a temple store demolition in Pusat Bandar Puchong on Nov 8, died in Hospital Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

M. Chakragunasegaran,52, who suffered severe burns to his body and face, died at 9.15am after 22 days in hospital. He leaves behind a wife and five children.

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/11/30/man-who-torched-himself-over-puchong-temple-store-demolition-dies/

2) Hindraf joins forces with indigenous group at House of Common in London

House of Lords (7)Joe Fernandez & Chen Yi Ling (Malaysiakini)
It was a historic first in London on Tuesday when Hindraf joined forces with an indigenous group from Sabah

Continue Reading »

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/03/11/hindraf-joins-forces-with-indigenous-group-in-london/

3) Uthayakumar’s address in Pravasi Bharathiya Divas Meeting & distribute to some 2,000 worldwide Indian Diospara The Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2009

P.Uthayakumar  being interviewed by a local media on Indian Problems in Malaysia

Uthayakumar Ponnusamy from Malaysia. The great Indian leaders, the Prime Minister, and the external Affairs Minister all spoke on business, social and cultural issues concerning the Indian Diasporas. We regret that the Human rights issues of Indians especially in Malaysia, where the Indians are being denied their birth certificate and the citizenship even for the fourth and fifth generation Malaysian Indians. Contineu reading:-

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/01/09/puthayakumars-address-in-pravasi-bharathiya-divas-meeting/

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/01/09/the-malaysian-indian-minority-human-rights-violations-annual-report-2009/

4) 1st Hindraf National Convention demands ‘rights not mercy’, from UMNO led Malay-sian government.

DSC_02791st Hindraf National Convention demands ‘rights not mercy’, from UMNO led Malay-sian government.
K.L 8/8/2010. Hindraf creates another major history yet again after the 25th November

Continue Reading »

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/08/09/1st-hindraf-national-convention-demands-rights-not-mercy-from-umno-led-malay-sian-government/

5) Historic Buntong – First Indian majority seat. HRP on road to Project 15/38.

Signature Campaign Conversion

HRP will otherwise be at PKR, DAP and PAS’ mercy if no Project 15/38. (See The Star 10/8/10 at page N6)
The 1st Hindraf National Convention

Continue Reading »

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/08/10/historic-buntong-first-indian-majority-seat-hrp-on-road-to-project-1538-hrp-will-otherwise-be-at-pkr-dap-and-pas-mercy-and-mandores-if-no-project-1538/

6) Indian stateless elimination campaign at HRP Penang HQ. JPN officers will be present on 26/9/2010

13Today was the happiest moment of some stateless people as clearly seen in the photograph above and these people have every reason to be so. Their applications for a birth certificate which was supposedly issued to them when they were born in this soil were systematically denied by the authorities but however with the interference and guidance of HRP Penang they were successful in submitting their application to the JPN at Bandar Baru Perda on this day.

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/09/26/hrp-all-smiles-on-stateless-people/

7) HINDRAF 18 Point Demands dated 12/8/2007 not fulfilled by UMNO prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

One-malaysia3

52nd year Merdeka (Independence) demands by the two (2) million ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia to Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak Prime Minister

Continue Reading »

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/11/26/hindraf-18-point-demand/

8 ) Complaint to U.N on 2, 237 top Indian students denied higher education in Malaysia

HRPMemotoUNRE: HRP Memorandum ON:-

(1) An estimated 2,237 top and high achieving Indian students have been segregated and denied JPA scholarships, PTPTN loans, Matriculation and University seats.

(2) Indian students in Public Universities systematically reduced from 28% to 0.27% in 40 years. Continue reading:-

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/09/15/complaint-to-u-n-on-2-237-top-indian-students-denied-higher-education-in-malaysia/

9) Memo Freedom of Religion: Malaysian Police insults Sultan of Perak and attempted to assault HINDRAF leader

IMG_4307_resize_resize

You can be forced into Islam when you are seven years old and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, there is no recourse for you – every body gangs up against you – the courts, the police, the administration, the politicians.

When some dare speak up against the injustice in all this, they are brutalized. Continue reading:–

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/09/01/pdrm-insults-sultan-of-perak-and-attempted-to-assault-hindraf-leader/

10) Last Indian village in KL, Bukit Jalil Estate including Hindu temple, cemetery and Tamil school to be “ethnically cleansed” to make way for Malay muslim cemetery.

BktjalilUMNO’s DBKL Kuala Lumpur City Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Fuad Ismail cheated and lied to the poor Indian estate workers that their Tamil School,

Continue Reading »

http://www.humanrightspartymalaysia.com/2010/12/05/racist-umno%e2%80%99s-dbkl-draft-city-plan-2020-bukit-jalil-tamil-school-hindu-temple-cemetery-and-indian-villagesettlements-and-hundreds-others-to-be-%e2%80%9cethnically-cleansed%e2%80%9d-but-al/

Nik Aziz is now the voice of moderation while the UMNO/BN & MAIS apparatus are the voice of extremism.

Nik Aziz stands by Serdang MP again in mosque row

December 31, 2010

KOTA BHARU, Dec 31 – Islam does not prohibit any exercise activities including aerobics in the vicinity of a mosque, as long as it is not against the syariah, PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said today.

The Kelantan Mentri Besar (picture) said it was also not a problem to have activities outside or in the mosque with Muslims or non-Muslims.

“It is not wrong in Islam if certain quarters want to host activities in an Islamic worship place, because during Prophet Muhammad’s time, there are non-believers who entered the mosque (area) because it became a centre for activities including political ones,” he told reporters after his Friday lecture on Dataran Ilmu, here today.

Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching from the DAP stoked controversy this week after Umno’s Utusan Malaysia reported that she took part in an aerobics exercise session at Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya in her constituency recently.

Teo admitted that although her act may cost her party Malay votes, she said she would continue engaging Muslim voters through community functions.

Utusan Malaysia published a front-page story yesterday with the headline “Teo Nie Ching makes trouble again” along with a picture of her exercising with men and women in the mosque compound during a recent Maal Hijrah carnival.

The newspaper also accused her of wearing tight-fitting clothes. She is pictured wearing a white T-shirt and track pants, as were the other Muslim participants.

In August, the first-term MP was criticised by Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians and conservative Muslim groups over her controversial surau visit, after Utusan Malaysia published a front-page picture of her addressing those who were praying at the Al-Huda Surau in Kajang Sentral.

Awang Selamat, a pseudonym used by Utusan Malaysia editors, in a column today, insisted that Teo’s attire was offensive, after she responded through Facebook and her blog that she had done nothing wrong.

According to Nik Aziz, there are two things that should be rectified on whether the parliamentarian was not properly dressed, or if she did not cover her aurat.

“For sure we need to tell them about things forbidden by the religion when you are in a mosque... have to tell ways and the taboos from the Islam perspective before you enter a mosque,” he said.

The MB had also defended the DAP lawmaker’s visit to the Al-Huda surau in Kajang Sentral in August, that was deemed not proper by some, sparking a major controversy.

Nik Aziz had said that her actions did not contravene Islamic law and was the best way to get to know Muslims better.

He added that the people of Kelantan, including non-Muslims, had contributed material like iron and cement to build the Bara’ah mosque in Pasar Siti Khadijah.

No problem with Teo’s attire, says mosque BUt it is always a problem for UMNO

December 31, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 – A Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya official said today it had no problem with how Teo Nie Ching was dressed during an aerobics exercise programme recently in the mosque’s car park, even as Umno stepped up criticisms against the DAP MP for her “tight-fitting” clothes.

The Serdang MP (picture) was photographed recently in a T-shirt and track pants while taking part in the aerobics session, and this was seized on by the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia to accuse her of violating the sanctity of the mosque for wearing allegedly tight-fitting clothes and not covering her aurat.

“We do not have any problem at all with YB Teo’s attire,” Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya committee chairman Azman Idris told The Malaysian Insider today.

“Covering the aurat is applicable only to Muslims. So, the issue of covering the aurat is not applicable to YB Teo,” he added.

The Malay daily published a front-page story yesterday with the headline “Teo Nie Ching makes trouble again” along with a picture of her exercising with men and women at Masjid Taman Cheras Jaya during a recent Maal Hijrah carnival.

Today, an Utusan Malaysia column said females were required to wear clothes which covered their aurat, and not “shorts or sexy clothes”.

Azman, however, claimed that the issue of covering the aurat in a mosque was not explicitly defined in Islamic teachings.

“When it comes to the mosque, it is called an in-house regulation,” said Azman.

“We also did this (exercise) activity in the car park area, not in the mosque. I don’t see any issue,” he added.

Azman also pointed out that some Muslim women, who had attended the Maal Hijrah carnival on December 12, did not cover their aurat.

“Some of them wore tight jeans. But we have no problem,” he said.

“We put up a signboard saying, please cover your aurat. But we cannot enforce it as it is an individual responsibility. We can only encourage,” he added.

Yesterday, the first-term parliamentarian told The Malaysian Insider that she would continue attending functions in mosques if invited, despite Utusan Malaysia’s renewed attacks.

In August, Teo was criticised by Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians and conservative Muslim groups over her controversial surau visit after Utusan Malaysia published a front-page picture of her addressing those who were praying at the Al-Huda surau in Kajang Sentral.

She was lambasted for entering the surau with her hair uncovered.

Women are required to cover their hair when entering a mosque.

Azman, however, said such requirements were not stated in Islamic teaching.

“About non-Muslims coming to the mosques and being required to wear the tudung, that is only an internal regulation,” he said.

“Nothing in Islamic teaching states that it is compulsory,” he added.

Utusan Malaysia quoted the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) today as saying that Teo’s “tight” dressing was tantamount to insulting the Selangor Sultan.

The Malay daily claimed that Teo had ignored the Sultan’s previous rebuke of her surau visit in August.

Teo’s controversial surau visit had allegedly displeased the Selangor Sultan and sparked a warning from Mais, who barred her from entering the prayer areas of any suraus or mosques in Selangor without its permission.

However, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, including PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, had defended Teo over her surau visit.

“What is this 1 Malaysia? We should all get the same treatment but we don’t. That’s all I want. I don’t feel like I am one with Malaysia.”

December 31, 2010
Though it is the new ‘Wawasan 2020’ or ‘Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang’ and as pervasive, the meaning of ‘1 Malaysia’ was severely criticised by respondents who felt that it did not gel with the racism in their lives. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA SELANGOR, Dec 31 — It’s that time of year again where the media recaps what it considers the biggest events of the past 365 days.

From church bombings in the first week of 2010 to (as of the writing of this article) the Cameron Highlands bus crash, news junkies and the punditry have had a lot to write about.

But just because an event or issue is incisively analysed and expertly commented on does not necessarily mean it matters as much to the public. This explains why stories like “man stabs wife then jumps to death” tend to always edge out political stories on online most-read lists.

So what does the Malaysian public really think of the events that made the headlines? The Malaysian Insider decided to take a snapshot of this collective, ground-eyed view sentiment in the parliamentary constituency of Kuala Selangor.

It is an area that occupies a curious middle ground between what is usually regarded as urban and rural. Its residents insist it feels like a kampung yet it is only about 40 minutes from the metropolitan Klang Valley.

The oil palm estates that carpet Kuala Selangor hide villages where cellphone reception is spotty and yet many youths commute each morning to factories in Petaling Jaya and Klang.

There was a vast diversity in events and scandals that piqued the interest of those interviewed. But despite differences in ethnicity, age, occupation and exposure, they all felt touched by an over-arching national issue that wove itself into their lives and their loved ones.

A brief on the methods

The interviewees were asked to recall themselves what were some of the events of 2010 that really held their attention. If they couldn’t do that, then they would get a list of suggestions.

The list included the church bombings in January, the fatal shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the murder of cosmetics billionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, the Sodomy II trial, the trials of former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo and former Transport Minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik.

The third part of survey was a free-form interview on whether their lives were better this year compared to last year and their hopes going into next year.

A majority of them requested anonymity in order to speak freely. “Tolong aa jangan masuk nama. Nanti silap cakap masuk dalam tau,” replied when one respondent when interviewed.

Of the scores of people The Malaysian Insider met, only five could accurately name the state assemblyman and parliamentarian who were elected to represent them.

The rest either could not even name the parties that represent them at the state and federal level. But they knew their areas were under the “Opposition”. (For the record, the MP for Kuala Selangor is PAS’s Dr Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. Kuala Selangor has three state seats — Ijok (represented by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Bukit Melawati (Muthiah Maria Pillay) and Jeram (Datuk Amiruddin Setro).

So it’s no surprise that only two respondents took notice of the partisan bickering that went on throughout the year in Parliament.

By far, the most commonly remembered event was the murder of Sosilawati (five respondents). Along with Dr Khir getting charged for an allegedly fraudulent land deal (three respondents).

No one was interested as to whether or not Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim “did it” or not with Saiful Bukhari. Neither has anyone heard of WikiLeaks and what the Singapore intelligence agencies think of the court case against the PR de-facto leader.

It all boils down to ringgit and sen

More than 10 respondents had trouble agreeing with any of the choices provided. But when it came to the question of how they generally felt about 2010 they, along with the others, talked endlessly about how frustrated they were with the economy.

Lack of decent-paying jobs in Kuala Selangor, the rise in the prices of goods and the removal of subsidies were at the top of their minds.

“Why is that when Mahathir (fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) was around the economy was OK?” asked a 28-year-old stationery store owner. Six other residents said the same thing.

“Mahathir brought in the factories, there were money and jobs. Everyone after him, Pak Lah ka (fifth Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), Najib ka (current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) everything went down.”

This pining for the golden age of Mahathir is partly tied to the tepid Kuala Selangor economy. The former premier’s industrialisation drive in the ‘90s saw factories sprout up all over Kuala Selangor. The largest was an electronics firm called Sankyu which employed close to 2,000 workers.

When Sankyu closed shop about nine years ago businesses from consumer electronics stores to food stall operators to sundry shops saw a steep drop in sales. No other industry of comparable size has taken its place.

While in the poorest parts of Kuala Selangor, the cycle of poverty and crime replenishes itself.

Subramaniam Ratnam runs free literacy classes for mostly Indian youth in a community hall in Kasawari, Kuala Selangor. He’s only been doing it for a year and half but he keeps finding more and more kids who can’t read or write, some of them in Standard Six.

“Because they are poor, the parents do not have the time or money to ensure that their children retain what they learned in school.

“So if they can’t read or write by time they are in Standard Six, the parents tend to pull them out as they feel that it is useless going to school. The parents feel their kids might as well be put to work.

“Then these kids start hanging out with other older kids and delinquency develops,” says Subramaniam of the Light of Life Welfare Association. The centre in Kuala Selangor currently has about 100 kids of varying ages.

The lack of high-income earners in Kuala Selangor crimps the association’s ability to get donors, says Sabrina Shantini Subramaniam, who also volunteers to teach free classes.

“I was born here. Not in India or China”.

But their gripes do not just stop at the higher price for sugar and the lack of decent-paying jobs.

When it came to talking about depreciating incomes or how hard it is to get credit, two-thirds of the interviewees inevitably started blaming race.

They either said they were being discriminated against in getting jobs, loans and business space because of their race. Or that their race should be wary of trusting other races because the other was going to walk all over them.

Interestingly, like the economy, they felt that racial relations were better under Dr Mahathir.

An Indian Malaysian grocer claims he never got small business loans because of his ethnicity.

“I look at the Malay next to me at the bank and he is getting a loan. Why are they getting and I am not? I am also poor. I was also born in Malaysia not in India.”

A Malay Malaysian woman felt that the supermarket near her roadside snack stall is trying to squeeze her out because the owner is a Chinese Malaysian.

“They park their trucks on the road so I don’t have space. If it was a Malay owner, I don’t think he would do that. Malays are more considerate.”

A Chinese Malaysian businessman explains why he thinks industries are leaving Malaysia for Vietnam, Thailand or China.

“Who wants to do business here when they take 30 per cent from you?” he says, referring to the 30 per cent Bumiputera ownership imposed on foreign companies.

Not one of the complaints was optimistic that the Economic Transformation Plan could respond to their problems.

A national obsession goes local

Ibrahim Suffian, of the Merdeka Center, tracks people’s sentiments concerning national issues. His latest work shows that more and more Malaysians tend to link race with their troubles.

“When we talked to voters in a certain area, they said they felt marginalised because their race does not control the economy,” says Ibrahim when contacted.

In other words, there may have been other reasons for the respondents not being able to further themselves such as banks tightening credit or industries depressing wages, he says, but they decided to blame race.

“It is not surprising given how pervasive the subject of race is in our national politics,” he says.

Indeed, the ruling BN owes its very existence to making sure Malaysians identify themselves first with a given ethnic category. That category will then determine their pecking order when it comes to getting business opportunities, scholarships and loans.

This is the crux of the survey in Kuala Selangor. Many may not have remembered any specific events of 2010. But the raging debate about race and identity, which some have even called for the Internal Security Act to be used, has filtered down to them.

It’s not the individual events that mattered. But the events coalescing together to form a lens with which to perceive the world.

The rhetoric of the Malay ultra-supremacist movement, ketuanan Melayu vs ketuanan rakyat, Malay vs non-Malay rights and debates over Article 153 of the Constitution has seeped into the public consciousness.

It has fused to fuel these individual stories of loans, opportunities and futures denied.

Says an Indian Malaysian businessman who summed up the feelings of his friends.

PKR Indian leaders reject old mindset, to go on 'new politics' tour

Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

In what may mark a major turning point for the Indian community in Malaysia, PKR Indian leaders have pledged to turn their backs on racial politics, announcing plans to go on a year-long road show to explain their message of multi-racial, needs-based new politics.

“I want to make it very clear. We are here today not as some Indian bloc within PKR. We are leaders of Indian ethnicity who will serve the people regardless of race. We do not want to be judged by the colour of our skins and we will not judge others by the color of theirs,” newly-appointed vice president N Surendran told a press conference on Thursday.

"This is the age of new politics and purveyors of divide-and-rule racial policies will soon become dinosaurs."

Baseless lies

Surendran had led a press conference attended by top Indian leaders in the party including Selangor executive councilor Xavier Jayakumar, Kapar MP S Manickavasagam and Port Dickson assemblyman M Ravi.

Their intention was to rebut the torrent of damaging accusations hurled at their party by renegade colleague N Gobalakrishnan, the MP for Padang Serai. Not only had Gobala attacked PKR de-facto head Anwar Ibrahim and Surendran himself, the Kedah lawmaker also accused PKR of not having done enough to help the Indian community in Malaysia.

"This is a baseless accusation. It is an outright lie. We have always contributed to the community and whoever needs help. For the Indian community to move forward, the emphasis is on education. And that's where we have to pour in resources, money into primary education, secondary education and do all that we can in spite of suppressive laws. And this applies for all the races," Xavier said.

New politics tour

The group will begin their "new politics" tour on January 16, 2011 in Johore where the Tenang by-election will be held. Thereafter, they plan to visit one state per month.

However, they also acknowledged it would not be an easy task to get the community to change their mindset after 5 decades of "brain-washing" by Prime Minister Najib Razak's BN coalition.

"This is a works in progress. We need to reach out to the Indians, to explain to them that the old ways have not work. It is time to embrace change and it is the only way for the community to progress," Manickavasagam said.

He was referring to the communal politics preached by the BN coalition, which has ruled Malaysia with a fist of iron since the country obtained independence from the British in 1957. Despite BN calls for racial unity, pundits say the reality is that racial polarization has deepened through the decades.

"We are not going to be like the BN leaders and rely on ethnicity to remain relevant. Not like Gobala. We are not going to use race to remain relevant to the people and spout high-faluting but empty slogans like Najib's 1Malaysia. The prime minister talks about unifying the country with 1Malaysia but during Christmas, the Christians he visited were not allowed to display the symbols of their faith. Where is the sincerity?" Surendan asked.

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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government

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