Anti-S’gor propaganda film pertaining bogus water crisis in the making?

Leven Woon | September 24, 2012
The director says she’s shooting a public service announcement on water conservation.
PETALING JAYA: A local film production company is carrying out an apparently secret project to discredit the Selangor government.
A FMT reporter this morning observed a crew from Reservoir Productions shooting scenes at the Happy Mansion flats, where about 200 actors were asked to carry water buckets and complain about the hot weather while lining up alongside a water truck.
Happy Mansion resident Dr S Paramananthan claimed the flats were being used for the filming of a commercial aiming to highlight an alleged water crisis in Selangor.
Sources told FMT that Reservoir Productions had hired 300 extras, including the flat residents, at RM50 per day.
“Act as if you are frustrated,” a member of the filming crew told the bucket-carrying extras as the camera rolled. They were also told to make a collective desperate-sounding scream.
There was also a two-man team snapping still images. One of them told FMT these were for a print advertisement.
The producer, who chose to remain anonymous, said the filming was for a public service announcement on water conservation.
She would not identify her client or give any other detail of the project.
Asked why her crew was shooting only scenes depicting water shortage and none about water saving, she said: “Sorry, I cannot say anything. There is a contract between the company and the client. We cannot reveal anything about the project until it is screened.”
Paramananthan said he suspected that the project was part of a smear campaign against the Selangor government.
“If they want to do a commercial about water conservation, they should show how people are wasting water,” he said.
“By doing this at our flats, it gives an impression that there is not enough water in these three blocks.
“But in fact, we’ve never had a water problem.”
Free water

He also said the flat residents had been getting their first 20 cubic metres of water free every month.
A representative of Happy Mansion’s Joint Management Board, who wished to be known only as Andrew, said he was told “this is a government project”.
He said he did not know the details of the project and approved it to raise funds for the board.
“I didn’t expect it to be on such a big-scale,” he said. “It is kind of disturbing to the residents.”
The extras were apparently kept in the dark about the subject of the commercial. Many of them told FMT they were participating only for the money.
Yuri Yap said she saw the hiring notice through a website offering part time jobs. Another extra, Lok Kian Long, said he learnt of it from a friend on Facebook.
The federal government has been warning of a possible water crisis in Selangor should the state government block the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant.
The state, on the other hand, has been making assurances that a water shortage will not happen in the near future. It has been insisting on a restructure of the water industry.

SUPP members demand exit from Sarawak BN

Almost all the Central Committee (CC) members of the Sarawak United People’s  Party (SUPP) have demanded the party’s exit from the state BN in order to stop being ‘bullied’ by remaining in the coalition.

NONE“No comment,” said party president Peter Chin (left), who looked sad and tired, when asked to verify that the demand had been made at a meeting yesterday at party headquarters.

He was also said to have been heavily criticised for his ‘weak’ leadership and lack of action against a ‘rebel’ faction led by Wong Soon Koh, who heads the Sibu branch.
“They can say I am a weak president. That is their opinion,” Chin responded when asked.

A CC member, who declined to be named, claimed that the party has been “mistreated, ignored or sidelined” by the state BN led by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, ever since Chin was elected party president last December. 

For instance, Taib had boycotted Chinese New Year events which he had never failed to attend while George Chan was president. 

azlanThe member also claimed that Taib has allowed Wong(left) a free hand to appoint the Temenggong, Pemanca, Kapitan and political secretaries, among others, and that he has not referred such appointments to his party.

“Taib deliberately ignores Chin, who is not only the president of a Chinese-based party, but also a federal minister. Instead Taib gives Wong so much face and the ‘power’ to deal with the Chinese community even though he is not the president of the party,” he said.

Some angry members walked out of yesterday’s meeting when it failed to institute stern disciplinary action against the ‘rebels’, and only issued a warning.

Chin’s inability to act is attributed to the fact that six of them are ministers, assistant ministers and elected representatives.

They are Jerip Susil (Assistant Minister of Public Health);  Lee Kim Shin (Assistant Minister of Sports and Communications);  Francis Harden (Assistant Minister of Rural Development);  Ranum Mina (Opar state assemblyperson); Johnichal Rayong (Engkilili state assemblyperson; and Tiong Thai King (Lanang MP).

Following dissent over the party elections last December, they and Wong have not attended meetings and functions, but have allegedly acted against the party’s interests.

Youth wing secretary-general Wilfred Yap, an observer at the meeting, called for “bold action against those who go against the interests of the party and those who sell their principles and souls”.

Candidates endorsed

The CC adopted five resolutions, one of which was to endorse nominations for the upcoming parliamentary election in the state.

Tan Kai was nominated to contest the Bandar Kuching seat; Lo Khere Chiang and Wilfred Yap in Stampin; Richard Riot in Serian; Ding Kuong Hiing in Sarikei; Vincent Lau in Bandar Sibu; Tiong in Lanang and Sebastian Ting in Miri.

Chin told members that, despite a ‘peace accord’ between Wong and him because of the election, there were signs that lobbying activities had taken place in Sarikei and Miri.

“These activities are still going on even though the CWC has issued a warning to all party leaders and members not to carry out lobbying activities which go against the candidates proposed by the central leadership,” he said.

“To do so will cause confusion to members and the public as to who is responsible for nominating candidates to contest the seven seats allocated to the party. In my view and it is also the view of the CWC members that there is a strong need to maintain discipline on such matters.”

azlanChin also said it is a matter of priority for the party to defend its five seats of Serian, Stampin, Sarikei, Lanang and Miri, and to wrest back Bandar Kuching and Sibu which it lost to the DAP in 2008.

“Many have told me that to perform credibly during the next parliamentary election is a difficult task, one that requires party leaders and members from whichever camps to work together and in unison to ensure that we run the best campaign we can to get our voters to support BN.

“It is because of this that I have been very tolerant of what was said and done by some of our members as well as branch leaders and to refrain from taking drastic steps to enforce party discipline. 

“I would like to caution such members and leaders to think of the future of our party and not to take things too far by saying and acting against (its) interests.”

Anwar: Audit report delayed to stifle opposition’s Budget 2013 debate

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today questioned the government’s motive in delaying its release of the Auditor-General’s Report, asking if this was a deliberate attempt to prevent opposition lawmakers from referring to the document when debating Budget 2013.
The opposition leader said this was an “inappropriate” practice as the A-G’s Report should be used as reference when parliamentarians review the government’s expenditure plans for the following year.
“It seems like this is a tactic of the Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) government to prevent MPs from viewing this report.
“The A-G’s Report is an evaluation of the government’s performance over the year. So in order to fairly debate the budget, we need to read this audit report first,” Anwar (picture)pointed out.
The Permatang Pauh MP vowed that should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) take over the reins of Putrajaya after the coming polls, it would ensure that the A-G’s Report is released to MPs before the budget is tabled.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz told reporters in Parliament this morning that the government had decided to delay its release of the A-G’s Report, which had severely embarrassed the government last year when it revealed several financial irregularities in federal expenditure, including the use of a RM250 million loan for the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) cattle farming scheme.
The Padang Rengas MP said the public document would only be released in the House “one or two weeks” after Budget 2013 is tabled this Friday.
“The report is ready but it’s not going to be tabled simultaneously (with Budget 2013) because the audit report may take more news that the budget.
“So what we will do is the audit report will be tabled a week or two later but there will still be enough time for the MPs to debate,” he said.
The A-G’s Report is traditionally tabled simultaneously with the Budget but the government had delayed it last year, despite protests from opposition lawmakers.

Anwar: Dr M, Daim behind forex scandal

G Vinod | September 24, 2012
Referring to the foreign exchange scandal that erupted in the 90s, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said that he instructed Bank Negara to stop speculating in the currency market.
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara got involved in foreign exchange speculation under the direction of the finance minister before me, with the blessings of the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said this at Parliament today.
Anwar served as finance minister from 1991 to 1998. His immediate predecessor was Umno veteran, Daim Zainuddin.
Earlier, Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim told the Dewan that Malaysia lost RM5.7 billion when Bank Negara was said to be involved in the forex scandal.
When Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng asked whether action was taken against officers involved in the matter, the deputy minister told the Penang chief minister to refer the matter to Anwar as he was serving as the finance minister then.
The hall soon erupted and Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin pointed out that on April 27, 1993, DAP MP Lim Kit Siang had said that Anwar must take responsibility for the billions lost.
Anwar stood up to defend himself, saying it was he who instructed Bank Negara to stop speculating on the currency market in 1993.
He also said Kit Siang was right to ask the question at that time and said that he had admitted to the DAP veteran that Bank Negara made some losses in the scandal.
“Then Bank Negara governor, Jaafar Hussein resigned despite not being directly involved in the matter, together with Nor Mohamed Yakcop who was then in charge of the Forex Trading Unit.
“But when I was jailed in 1998, Nor Mohamed was promoted to become a minister,” said Anwar.

Penduduk resah dengan penggambaran iklan air yang menunjukkan UMNO @BN terang- terang tipu rakyat Malaysia

  • Zulaikha Zulkifli
  • 4:07PM Sep 24 2012
Sebahagian penduduk sebuah blok pangsapuri di Petaling Jaya yang digunakan sebagai lokasi penggambaran iklan yang didakwa berkaitan masalah air di Selangor menyuarakan keresahan mereka berhubung langkah itu.

NONEMereka mendakwa penggambaran berskala besar itu mengganggu privasi, menyesakkan kawasan, berunsur politik dan tidak memberikan gambaran sebenar masalah berkaitan air.

"Saya amat yakin ini adalah konspirasi. Bila kami tanya penggambaran ini mengenai apa, mereka tidak beritahu.

"Tetapi mereka meminta penduduk dan mungkin pelakon tambahan, dengan bayaran RM50 mengangkat tong air.

"Ini seperti nak tunjuk yang kita tak ada air," kata penduduk setempat Dr S Paramananthan (atas) kepada pemberita.

NONEParamananthan juga mendakwa, penggambaran itu mungkin bertujuan memburukkan kerajaan negeri memandangkan tiada sebarang maklumat terperinci diberikan kepada persatuan penduduk.

Penggambaran ituhari ini dijalankan secara 'rahsia' di kawasan itu dalam keadaan penduduknya, termasuk beberapa pelakon tambahan memberitahu tidak jelas rancangan sebenarnya.

Pihak produksi pula enggan menjelaskan butiran terperinci rancangan televisyen komersial itu kerana ia didakwa melibatkan kerahsiaan dengan pelanggannya.

'Kami berunding dengan produksi, bukan parti'
Rakaman itu antaranya memuatkan babak orang ramai beratur mendapatkan air daripada lori bekalan air. Mereka juga diminta untuk 'menjerit' dan mengangkat tong air.

Empat lori kontena memuatkan barangan dan persediaan set turut kelihatan.

NONESementara itu, seorang penduduk lagi berkata, mereka hanya dimaklumkan penggambaran iklan "khidmat sosial mengenai air" tetapi tidak dimaklumkan ia berskala besar.

"Ini membuat saya risau kerana mengganggu privasi penduduk. Ini jumlah yang besar. Sebagai penduduk juga kami tidak tahu ia berkaitan dengan politik.

"Sebab kami cuma berunding dengan pihak produksi, bukan mana-mana parti politik," kata penduduk
yang telah menginap di pangsapuri itu selama 30 tahun dan enggan namanya disiarkan.

Sementara itu, seorang lagi penduduk berkata, mereka telah meminta penggambaran itu dibuat di tempat lain tetapi tidak berkesan, malah tenaga produksinya sampai seawal jam 5 pagi.

NONE"Saya dah kata tempat ini tidak sesuai untuk penggambaran. Tetapi mereka kata mereka mahu lakukan kerana tempat ini sesuai," tambahnya.

Seorang warga emas pula tidak berpuas hati apabila berlaku kesesakan di kawasan tersebut sehingga mengganggu kelancaran kehidupan sehariannya.

"Saya dah tua. Sakit kaki. Saya terpaksa letak kereta saya jauh dan berjalan.

"Mereka ini juga dah membuat bising seawal jam 5 pagi dan ganggu saya nak tidur," katanya. 

UMNO @BN membuat Iklan air masalah air S'gor berjalan 'rahsia' di PJ untuk pancing undi di Selangor. Bertapa kotornya politik BN

  • Zulaikha Zulkifli
  • 12:44PM Sep 24 2012
Sebuah penggambaran iklan yang didakwa berkaitan masalah air di Selangor dijalankan secara 'rahsia' di sebuah blok pangsapuri di Petaling Jaya.

Walaupun tahu ia berkaitan masalah air, penduduk yang ditemui rata-rata tidak jelas rancangan sebenar penggambaran itu.

NONEBeberapa pelakon tambahan - sebahagiannya penduduk setempat - juga memberitahu Malaysiakini, mereka hanya diberitahu akan dibayar RM50 dan tidak tahu mesej iklan yang dilakonkan mereka.

Selain itu, pihak produksi pula ketika ditemui enggan menjelaskan butiran terperinci rancangan televisyen komersial itu kerana ia didakwa melibatkan kerahsiaan dengan pelanggannya.

"(Iklan) kempen air. Selebihnya saya tak boleh cakap. Saya harap awak semua hormati tugas saya," kata penerbit iklan itu Cheong Wai Leng ketika ditemui di tapak penggambaran.

Babak beratur dapatkan air
Pemberita juga dilarang merakam keadaan di tempat itu, melaporkan keadaannya dan diminta meninggalkan kawasan penggambaran.

NONE"Tak boleh dedahkan (butiran penggambaran). Kalau tak, kita yang akan disaman oleh pelanggan. Kami hanya bekerja dan kita mempunyai pelbagai pelanggan.

"Ini bukan kali pertama kami membuat penggambaran untuk iklan," kata Cheong lagi.

Tinjauan Malaysiakini sejak jam 7 pagi sehingga berita ini ditulis mendapati, kira-kira 200 orang terlibat dalam penggambaran itu.

Kelihatan babak orang ramai beratur mendapatkan air daripada lori bekalan air dilakonkan. Mereka juga diminta untuk 'menjerit' dan mengangkat tong air.

Produksi iklan itu juga kelihatan membawa empat lori kontena barangan dan persediaan set.

Penduduk setempat bagaimanapun memberitahu Malaysiakini kawasan mereka tidak mempunyai masalah gangguan bekalan air.

"Ini seperti nak tunjuk yang kita tak ada air," kata penduduk pangsapuri itu Dr S Paramananthan kepada pemberita.

Why is that Election date is a mystery in Malaysia? I sthis what Najib calls Transformation and Transparencies!!!

GE-13: Prime Minister Najib Keeping Us in suspense
UMNO President Najib Tun Razak today (September 20) continued to leave everyone guessing on when polls will be held when he said the party’s annual general assembly will take place in November.

“It is up to you to make whatever interpretations you want to make,” he told reporters after chairing the UMNO’s supreme council meeting here.

The Barisan Nasional Chairman also said that party elections, which are supposed to be held at this year’s AGM, will not take place, a move strongly suggesting that Najib is looking at a 2013 date to hold the 13th general election.

But when asked to confirm this, Najib said that he would leave it to speculation, adding that the decision on the polls date is still within his purview.

“Even if I have set a date [for the AGM], I can still postpone it,” he said when asked if the decision to hold the meeting would invite speculation that national polls will be held next year.
“Let them speculate. I like them to speculate,” he joked when pressed further on the matter. Observers, however, have warned the Prime Minister against delaying polls to next year while some have urged him to hold it this year when Malaysia is capable of weathering the global economic storm which has yet to see the worse.

Delay is detrimental
Several dates have been bandied about since he took office in April 2009 and rumours were strong that he would hold it sometime this year, but numerous political setbacks have allegedly forced him to stretch the current term.

UMNO sources speaking to FMT said one of the major hindrances for an early date was the factional fighting over candidates although some of its leaders denied the allegation.

This was said to be one of the major causes behind the ruling coalition’s record losses in the last general election.

Najib, an unelected Prime Minister, now faces the task of restoring Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds mandate, but analysts predict a tough ride for the UMNO’s seventh President as he will lead a split party into its tightest election.
Yesterday influential former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave a gloomy outlook on Najib’s chances, saying he would likely lead a weak government despite surviving the polls.
A recent survey showed Najib’s popular rating hovering just above the 50% mark, but analysts warned that this does not necessarily translate into votes for the current government.

The Prime Minister will also likely use Budget 2013, to be tabled next week, as his final weapon to give his election chances a big push.

For Poltical Survival, Najib dismisses claims about Taib’s Ill Gotten Wealth

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has dismissed allegations that Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud had amassed billions of ringgit. “There are all kinds of allegations, jangan kita layan (let’s not entertain it),” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.

Najib was responding to a question on a report produced by Switzerland-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) claiming that the chief minister, who has been in power for 31 years, has emerged as the country’s richest man with an estimated wealth of US$15 billion (RM46 billion).

It also estimated Taib’s total family wealth to be at a  mind-boggling US$21 billion (RM64 billion).
The report describes in detail the business activities and personal wealth of 20 members of the Taib family in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Britain, United States and other countries.
On a separate matter, the premier declined to weigh in on the controversy that human rights group Suaram was receiving foreign funding.
“The CCM (Companies Commission Malaysia) is the authority on this matter, let them investigate,” he said was his curtly.

‘Suaram to be charged’
On Sept 18, Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said CCM was investigating Suaram for “confusing accounts” and expected the NGO to be charged this week.
However, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had sent back the investigation papers on the matter to CCM, for being incomplete.

Yesterday, Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and Umno-linked New Straits Times and Berita Harian highlighted that Suaram and other groups were receiving foreign funding from international organisations.
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had said that this could pose a threat to national security and the government was monitoring the funds.

Education Blueprint (2013-2025): Quality Teachers, Reintroduce 50, 30, 20 racial quota system which Mahathir destroyed to enhance quality education

The Havoc Education Reform Inflicts: Education Blueprint 2013-2025

Quality Schools Begin With Quality Teachers

[In Part One, I discussed the Blueprint’s failure to recognize the diversity within our school system and the need to have different solutions for different constituents. In this Part Two, I discuss the particular challenge of having competent teachers especially in science, English, and mathematics that is not adequately addressed in the report.]
In the 1950s, the Headmaster of my Tuanku Muhammad School, Kuala Pilah, lived in a palatial bungalow up on the hill, next to the residence of the District Officer. Two decades later, his successor was renting a modest house from my father, a retired Malay primary school teacher. As for that hilltop house, it is now occupied by a civil servant.

In the 1960s when the Minister of Education visited Malay College he was noticeably deferential to its Headmaster. Today, the threat of a visit by a lowly ministry functionary would throw the Headmaster and his senior staff into a tizzy.
Those are the realities of the teaching profession in Malaysia today. The folks who produced Education Blueprint 2013-2025 see the world of Malaysian teachers differently. They brag about having 38 applicants for every teaching slot, way over the eight in Finland, acknowledged as having the best schools and teachers.
What gives? Just a few lines away and easily missed by careless readers, the Blueprint reveals that over a third of those applicants lacked even the minimal (and very low) current qualifications. Imagine! The perception students have of the teaching profession is this: If you are not qualified for anything else, apply to be a teacher.
The panel wants to tighten the qualifications so only those in the top third could apply. Great, but how? As a mental exercise, I wonder how many of the current applicants would qualify if the proposed higher standards were to be applied. If the panel had done so, it would realize the magnitude of the problem. They would then be dissuaded from resorting to simplistic solutions as merely raising the entry requirements. The challenge is not with imposing tighter criteria (that could be done simply with a directive) but enticing those top students.
The panel’s approach to the teacher issue is reflective of its collective muddled thinking. Its members are unable to look at data critically or know the limitations even when those figures defy reality and common sense. They are easily mesmerized and be taken in by such silly statistics as over 38 applicants per teaching slot.

Yes, there is a glut of applicants, but only from those in Malay and Islamic Studies. They are unemployable elsewhere. The critical shortage is in science, English, and mathematics (SEM). The focus should thus be on this critical and difficult challenge instead of searching for an overarching solution to all problems, or ones that do not even exist, as with Islamic Studies teachers. And some problems could be solved simply through less meddling from the ministry.
Consider another set of figures cited in the Blueprint: Malaysian teachers have comparable pay to and are treated like their peers outside the profession.
Again, reality is far different, as attested to by that headmaster renting a house. Salary figures alone do not tell the whole story, as with that bureaucrat’s house on the hill.

As the Blueprint does not provide actionable recommendations to address this critical shortage of SEM teachers, I put forth mine. First, I would double their stipends during training. To help defray the costs I would simultaneously reduce the stipends for the others, especially those in Malay and Islamic Studies. We already have a glut of them. If that does not attract enough top candidates, I would sweeten the deal. Guarantee them scholarships to pursue a degree upon graduation from teachers’ college. That would also encourage them to enhance their qualifications to enable them to enter university.

If that still does not attract enough top applicants, then try another tack. I would select from the next tier – those just below the top third – but put them through six months to a year of rigorous “prep” where they would undertake intensive classes in the three subjects. Those who do well would then continue on. Again I would pay them during this “prep” year.
While those thus chosen may not initially be in the top third as per ministry’s criteria, but then as noted earlier, our national examinations do not correlate well with international tests. It may well be that those not currently in the top third by local criteria may be the truly smart ones. Another factor to attracting top candidates would be to have superior teachers’ colleges. It is a sad commentary that despite the demonstrated critical shortage, only one of the 27 teachers’ colleges is devoted to training science teachers and one for international languages but not English exclusively.
It is no better at the universities; not one has a dedicated Department of English. That is the gulf between intent and action, between talk and walk.
The Ministry’s perennial training mode is “crash” or short-term culup courses of a few weeks or even days. It proudly proclaimed to have “trained” thousands of such teachers. Ever wonder why our students have abysmal results or why the talented are not attracted to teaching?

Convert a dozen existing colleges into exclusively English-medium for training SEM teachers. This should have been done earlier in preparation for the switch in teaching science and mathematics in English. Had that been done, the initiative would have been more likely to succeed, and we would have spared our children yet another disruptive switch a few years later when we reverted to teaching those two subjects in Malay.
Making those colleges all-English would also help attract top students. Those smart students know that furthering their education in English would expand their career, intellectual, and other horizons. Look at the earlier experiences with Kirby and Brinsford Lodge graduates.

To attract top candidates you also need a first class physical campus and facilities, meaning among other things, not only air-conditioned lecture theaters but also residence halls. I would also give trainees free I-pads or laptops. I would pamper them beyond their college years, as with extra allowances. If they were to serve in rural areas they would get additional allowances that could effectively double their pay. Beyond that I would ensure that they would get first priority for those coveted on-campus quarters and government houses generally.

These tangible recognitions would be far more effective than such things are Tokoh Guru (Champion Teachers) awards and other public ceremonies. Of course it would help if the government were to also recognize outstanding teachers and educators in its civil award lists.
The measures proposed here would produce not only competent SEM teachers but also truly be bilingual ones. And bilingual teachers would produce bilingual students, another stated goal of the Blueprint.
I applaud the Blueprint for advocating greater autonomy and authority for Headmasters. However, it would be difficult for them to exercise both when those bureaucrats at the ministry are paid and treated so much better. The Minister of Education in the 1960s was deferential to Malay College’s Ryan not because he was the Headmaster rather that as an expatriate he was paid so much more than the Minister! That was also the reason why Ryan did not kow tow to those politicians and bureaucrats.

While issues of pay, autonomy and respect are important, those are not the main considerations in opting for teaching. As a former teacher, and as my parents who were longtime teachers demonstrated, the greatest satisfaction is to see the sparkle in your students’ eyes when they learn or discover something new, and the reflected glory you quietly savor on seeing your former students achieve great heights.

Consider that as a physician, the best that I could do for my patients is to restore them to their pre-illness state. For a teacher however, there is no limit to the potential achievement of her students.It is this professional satisfaction that drives teachers. Before they can get to savor that, they first must be treated as true professionals.

Training competent teachers takes time; meanwhile we have an immediate problem in the classrooms with respect to SEM teachers. Specifically for English teachers, Malaysia used to have a big pool of them but we have squandered that precious resource. Attempts at enticing them out of retirement have been marked by incompetence and outward antagonism by those in charge. The reason is obvious. Those retired teachers would put their present colleagues to shame. Thus instead of encouraging them, current headmasters are intent on imposing obstacles.

There is another large pool, native English-speaking spouses of expatriates and Malaysians. They can be trained “on the job” in the manner of the old “Normal” teachers. We need to be flexible and innovative.
One of the Blueprint’s consultants is the former South Korean Minister of Education. I am surprised that he did not recommend for Malaysia to import SEM teachers as South Korea and other (especially Asian) countries are doing. Thailand demonstrates that you do not have to pay exorbitant expatriate pay to recruit them. Malaysia has a small program undertaken jointly with the Fulbright Foundation. I see no reason why we cannot do it independent of American agencies.

Teachers do not operate in a vacuum; good teachers need good schools. My greatest disappointment with this report is its lack of ideas on revamping what is obviously a failing system – our national schools (more on this later). Non-Malays have already abandoned the system; now Malays too are joining them. This failure mocks the Blueprint’s claim to be transformational.

The only innovative idea was liberalizing local enrollment in international schools, but that was done long before this report. Besides, that measure is only the “letting out of steam” to satisfy the elite.

In an earlier book, An Education System Worthy of Malaysia (2003), I proposed charter schools and the decoupling of the identification of vernacular schools with race. Charter schools would get the same financial and other governmental support as national schools but would be free of ministry’s control, especially with respect to the curriculum and medium of instruction. The only stipulation is that their enrollment must reflect the general society and their graduates must be fluent in Malay and English. How that is achieved is left to the genius of the school’s management.

The other is to make Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan China for example, less of a school for Chinese, more one using Mandarin as its medium of instruction and catering to all Malaysians who desire such an education. Meaning, these schools must make serious efforts at attracting non-Chinese especially Malays, as with having halal canteens and teaching Islamic Studies in Mandarin, as they do in China. Along the same vein, I see no reason why there cannot be Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Arab, Inggeris, or even Swahili, supported by the government as long as they attract a broad spectrum of Malaysians.

Having students of all races study and play together would advance the Blueprint’s unity agenda far more effectively than all the other measures combined. As a bonus, diversity in the classrooms enhances the learning environment.

For Malaysia, there is another and very special reason for actively encouraging diversity in the classroom. If we continue with the present trend of self-segregation, we would end up like Northern Ireland. That wretched country has a well-educated populace; alas it is deeply and viciously divided. Malaysia had a taste of its own Northern Ireland not too long ago; we have no wish to repeat that bitter, bloody experience.

George Soros: A Bogeyman for Malaysian Political Problems

Trapping Suaram (Suara Rakyat Malaysia) for whatever reasons is alike plodding on a dangerous path for UMNO and this will further dip Barisan’s hopes in the next general election.
Suaram is a body that is apolitical and operates on the basis of social justice for all Malaysians. Founded in 1989 the aims and objectives are for the protection and promotion of human rights and the development of public awareness in Malaysia.
As reported, UMNO leaders have insinuated that the American non-governmental organisation (Open Society Institute presently called Open Society Foundation) that funded Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is linked to currency speculator George Soros.
To promote democratic government
It was alleged that Open Society Institute (OSI) channelled funds in excess of US$ 180,000 (RM558, 556.92) to Suaram the period 2007 to 2010.By virtue of this – the Soros factor – UMNO is beating the political drum to dupe the rakyat that it is “immoral” for Suaram to accept money from the organisation.
Suaram cannot be blamed even if it has received the funding. The network of Open Society Foundations or OSF (named Open Society Institute or OSI until 2011), is a grant making operation started by George Soros, aimed to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform.
OSF works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses. This is far from any anti-money laundering or pro-terrorism activity that can be classified under the Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001.
Suaram has no record whatsoever of being a body that promotes terrorism. Neither is Suaram in cahoots with Soros to damage the country. Yet, to some UMNO leaders Soros was alleged to have “damaged” the country’s economy in the past.

Soros was never the “devil”
For political reasons, the chorus calling for the demonising of Suaram has included many other pro-UMNO NGOs and also the former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad. They feel that it’s wrong to accept aid from any organisations that are connected to Soros.
Little do these armchair politicians or proponents of virtues realise that Soros was never the “devil” that caused the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis that involved Malaysia. As for Malaysia the real “devil” could have been leaders from among UMNO’s rank and cronies.
Soros was politically perceived by Mahathir as the perpetrator of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. Soros was the individual who sabotaged the country’s economy, so was the allegation by UMNO leaders echoing what Mahathir had said about Soros during the financial crisis.
Both Soros and Mahathir were actually into currency speculation but the former was too nifty for the latter. In fact, currency speculation was nothing new during Mahathir’s tenure as Prime Minister.
The Malaysian economy was actually incapacitated a few times by local currency speculators more than what Soros had done in Asia.
It was bad governance; an economic bubble and the involvement of local currency speculators who made Malaysian economy vulnerable and the country lose billions when Bank Negara started the FOREX business well before 1997. It was known in the forex markets as the “rogue speculator” for its aggressive trading.

Soros is a businessman
Soros is a businessman who knows about the economy and of course the prime interest of any businessman is to make money. Mahathir was a politician who knew little about the economy but tried hard to become a currency expert.
But being economically handicapped at the time he had to depend on some of his trusted “expertise”(Nor Mohamad Yakcop). When politicians and their inept cronies get into business, more often than not they damage the economy.
It was alleged that more than US$6 billion was lost in the FOREX market during Mahathir’s tenure as Premier. Malaysia’s foreign reserve was gambled away in 1992-1993. In fact it was alleged that Bank Negara, during Mahathir’s time, was involved in global speculative activities tacitly as early as in the 1980s.
Mahathir’s penchant for mega projects
Mahathir’s penchant for mega economics projects did not work either. It only exacerbated the situation when investors had low confidence of the nation’s economy. Investors trickled in only for quick gains.
More than RM6 billion was unnecessarily spent to build Telecoms tower in Kuala Lumpur and the high rise PETRONAS buildings that did not benefit the country much.  The multi-billion ringgit national car project went awry and the buying of the RM300 million Lotus racing car plant did not bring much benefit to the national car industry.
The billions spent on the MSC (multimedia super corridor) venture was more hype than accomplishment. The abandoned Bakun project in Sarawak brought colossal loss to the economy.
The bailing out of failed companies and Bank Bumiputera perpetually dented the nation’s coffer at the time. Billions of Employee’s Provident Fund and PETRONAS dollars were used to bail out projects given out to cronies at inflated prices without tenders and all this incurred a big financial loss to the country.

Non-performing loans
More than a billion was lost for the “purchase” of the Skyhawks from the US that was not delivered to the country. RM6 billion was lost in Perwaja Steel Mill. More than RM3 billion was burnt in the BMF scandals. Cronies were allowed to borrow millions from local banks without collaterals that ended up becoming non-performing loans.
More than RM3 billion was lost from the London Tin scandal when the US released their Tin Stockpile. From 1992-93 the country experienced more than US$6 billion FOREX lost by Bank Negara. The list goes on.
As usual, the economic buffer was the hard-earned PETRONAS dollars – without which the country would have gone bankrupt.

Both shared a common desire
Just before the financial crisis economists warned Mahathir that if Malaysia did not manage its economy and finance right, it would suffer the same fate as countries that had observed their currencies tumbling.
In 1992 the battleground between Mahathir and Soros was the London foreign exchange market. Britain’s FOREX market was the focus of many speculators who wanted to profit from the market instability at the time.
Both expected that they were going to make money from speculating on the British pound. Mahathir expecting the pounds to appreciate gave the green light using billions of US currency from Bank Negara’s foreign reserves to speculate on the British pound sterling.
Soros – the global FOREX player – expecting the fall of the pound borrowed 10 billion pounds from British banks and changed the money to German Mark.

Malaysian speculator, Mahathir lost
On Sept 16, 1992, unable to stand the economic and market pressure on its overvalued pound, Britain, instead of floating the pound, officially devalued its currency causing the pound to fall.
Soros, who took the loan from the British banks, repaid it in pounds which was then cheaper and pocketed the difference of more than US$1 billion.
While the Malaysian speculator Mahathir lost about US$4 billion.As reported, later in 1993, Bank Negara again lost another US$2.2 billion in speculative activities. Malaysia’s total loss by this time stood at US$6.2 billion. The actual figures for Bank Negara losses were never revealed, though.
Both the “gamblers” had the same desire – to make money. But in the end when Mahathir failed, Soros made the money. The stark difference here was that when Mahathir used the nation’s money to bet, Soros used his own fund. The latter of course was more righteous in this game of FOREX gambling.
Why then demonise Soros and his charity work? The only reason must be because he was perceived by none other than Mahathir that he was a currency speculator. For political reasons, leaders within UMNO have forgotten and forgiven Mahathir for his past “gambling” habit.

Lack of investor confidence
Soros earned a billion dollar profit from speculating against the British currency in 1992. Malaysia got her fingers burnt.
Preceding the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis the annual economic “growth” rate of Malaysia was reported to be 8.5 percent for 6 years – from 1990 to 1996.
But a lack of investor confidence soon attributed to a wave of currency depreciation in the inflated economies of Asian countries at the time. Soros being a shrewd currency speculator could foresee the economic collapse of a few Asian countries.
In mid-1997, when the Thai Baht depreciated his fund managers sold US$10 million of Thai baht to make a fortune. He did not sell Malaysian ringgit or any other currencies. The depreciation of the Thai Baht was enough to lead to a domino effect on some other Asian economies, including Malaysia.
It only showed that the economies of these countries were not resilient enough.Short-term investors pulled out their funds in droves resulting in the economic crisis in Malaysia. The value of the Malaysian currency fell by more than 50 percent from RM2.50 to RM3.80 to US$. The stock market index dropped and at one point hovered around 300 points.
The “Mahathir factor” too affected the stock market then.  The country’s stock market fell each time after Mahathir spoke against the economic market system.
To Soros, currency speculation is a business. He confessed that he had no time taking part in currency speculation for political purposes.

A serious business
Before June 1997, there were already signs on the wall that Malaysia would face with economic problems but this was ignored by Mahathir citing “sheer jealousy” of western countries as the reason.
During the crisis it was the low confidence level of investors in the country that led to huge capital flights sensing that the economic bubble was going to burst. Even prior to this crisis the economy of the country did not justify to the confidence of markets – a reality that Mahathir did not want to admit.
After being badly mangled, the aftermath of the financial crisis made Mahathir say that currency trading is unnecessary, unproductive and immoral during the IMF and World Bank meeting in Hong Kong which took place in mid-September 1997.
But the same was not mentioned after Bank Negara lost US$6 billion or more in FOREX trading.  UMNO leaders cannot be too naïve not to comprehend this setback to the nation’s economy.
To Soros, currency trading is business and weak governments have to be cautious not to create a bubble burst upon being tested by currency traders.  Managing a nation is a serious business.
Singapore, Brunei and Japan, for instance, were the least affected during the 1997/98 financial crisis because of their economic resilience.

Finding scapegoats
Other UMNO leaders did not dare question or speak up against Mahathir, instead danced to the master’s tune in blaming Soros for the latter’s self-made debacle.
UMNO is always good at finding scapegoats. Instead of opening up the case relating to the Scorpene Scandal the leaders are trying to strike Suaram with the “Soros factor” – exploiting on the fund Suaram received from OSI.
However, the rakyat are not that irrational to buy UMNO’s political ploy. They are just fervently waiting for the French court to reveal the truth about the Scorpene Scandal that involves UMNO, the country’s top leadership and his cronies.

Mahathir’s Operasi Lalang, 1987: Mahathir’s autocracy at its worst

Throughout the Arab world today, autocrats have never looked more pathetic. It brings to mind the Czech diplomat Jan Masaryk‘s quip quite a few years ago that “Autocrats are rulers who always look good until the last ten minutes”.
Over here, Malaysia’s most famous autocrat has been busy in his autumnal years trying to whitewash his record in office by publishing his semi-fictional memoirs. Even before it was published, he couldn’t help but claim in a pre-launch publicity event that Operasi Lalang was not his doing but that of the Police.
This was not surprising since Operasi Lalang was Dr Mahathir Mohamad‘s worst abuse of power during his 23-year rule. The White Paper on Operasi Lalang published in 1988 was itself the worst example of official whitewash to justify the arrests and detentions.
We know that 1987 was a time during his term when he was faced with the biggest threat to his rule, with Team B under Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenging the results of the UMNO elections. A court decision in Team B’s favour would have meant the end of Mahathir’s grasp on power.
In the run up to Operasi Lalang and before the assault on the Judiciary resulting in the sacking of the Lord President and several other Supreme Court judges, the ruling party had orchestrated a tense situation in the country by creating various ‘sensitive’ issues involving the sending of non-Mandarin-qualified administrators to the Chinese schools, the alleged conversion of Muslims to Christianity and even threatened to organise a 500,000-strong UMNO rally in the capital.

Autumn for Autocrats
All this was to justify unleashing Operasi Lalang to deal with the so-called “enemies” identified by the state. Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the time in his twilight years, had more perception and integrity than Mahathir in his prime. This is how he described Operasi Lalang: “UMNO was facing a break-up. Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s hold on the party appeared critical when election rigging was alleged to have given him a very narrow victory over Tengku Razaleigh. The case alleging irregularities brought by UMNO members was pending in court. If the judgment went against him he would have no choice but to step down. So he had to find a way out of his predicament. A national crisis had to be created to bring UMNO together as a united force to fight a common enemy – and the imaginary enemy in this case was the Chinese community.” (K Das/ Suaram: ‘The White Paper on the October Affair and the Why? Papers‘, Suaram, Petaling Jaya 1989: 10)
Richard Perle (left), an adviser in the Reagan Administration once said: “Autocrats must have enemies. They must have internal enemies to justify their secret police and external enemies to justify their military forces.”
I was supposed to have been one of those who posed a threat to national security in October 1987. So was Yeshua Jamaluddin, the Malay convert to Christianity, Islamic deviationists, church activists, Chinese educationists, social activists, and MPs, including the leader of the opposition.
Can you imagine the leader of the House of Commons being detained without trial? No, this can only happen in a banana republic where the Internal Security Act is at the convenient disposal of the government-of-the-day ever since its introduction in 1960.
The most blatant use of the ISA by the ruling coalition to cripple its political opponents was the arrest and detention of practically the entire leadership of the Socialist Front, the main threat to the Alliance during the sixties. This sham democracy was the main reason for the Socialist Front’s boycott of the 1969 general elections.

No one safe from ISA
But if you think that you could never fall victim to the ISA, think again! Hilmy Mohd Nor, a company executive working for Shell, never dreamed he could be detained under the ISA. Operasi Lalang was a living nightmare for this completely apolitical Malaysian. He thought the ISA was only meant to be used against the communists.
Or maybe you think that being Malay, he should not have converted to Christianity… but it would take a twisted imagination to view that as a threat to national security.
In his haste to pull the wool over the eyes of those who may not remember Operasi Lalang by blaming it on the Police, Mahathir has overlooked something that is so elementary to the ISA, namely, it is the Home Minister (ie. Mahathir at the time) who signs the two-year detention order after the first 60 days of solitary confinement.
When he signed those two-year orders near the end of 1988, he would have noticed a stark fact – all the detainees were opposition leaders and other dissidents while all the BN detainees had been conveniently released during the 60 days! The IGP didn’t sign those detention orders – Mahathir did. He conveniently omitted such stark historical facts from his memoirs.
The allegations against me in the detention order were so flimsy they would make an autocrat blush:
(i) That I was responsible for drafting the 1985 Joint Declaration by the Chinese associations;
(ii) That I was responsible for publishing ‘Polarisation in Malaysia: The Root Causes’ in 1987;
(iii) That I had called on the people to support mother tongue education;
(iv) That I had questioned the New Economic Policy and National Cultural Policy.
Firstly, the Joint Declaration had called for reform based on democracy and human rights and it was endorsed by 27 major Chinese associations, comprising practically all the Chinese associations in Malaysia. If the memorandum was indeed a threat to national security, shouldn’t all these big leaders of the Chinese community be held responsible rather than the person who was supposed to have drafted it?
Secondly, ‘Polarisation in Malaysia: The Root Causes’ published by K Das was not banned by the government so why should the alleged author be detained for being a threat to national security? In contrast, Mahathir’s ‘Malay Dilemma’ was banned because it was considered unfit for public consumption by the government-of-the-day but he was not detained under the ISA. Such is the inconsistency in the government’s use of the ISA.
Thirdly, even the Barisan Nasional has claimed that they support Chinese and Tamil schools, so why should my call for support of mother tongue education be considered a threat to national security?
Finally, if questioning the NEP and NDP can be considered a threat to national security, should all Malaysians who question the NEP, including Anwar Ibrahim and Khalid Ibrahim, also be detained under the ISA?
The arrest and detention of leaders from the whole spectrum of Malaysian society under Operasi Lalang was indeed the realisation of that well-known quote attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power:
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Former IGP taking credit for torture?
Since Mahathir tried to disclaim responsibility for Operasi Lalang, former IGP Haniff Omar has graciously – if I may say, foolhardily – claimed credit for it. I would say he is foolhardy because he must take responsibility for all the allegations of torture made by Operasi Lalang victims.

The 60 days of solitary confinement are already a gross example of mental torture. Nasir Hashim, Chow Chee Keong, Irene Xavier among others have graphically described being physically tortured by the Special Branch while under solitary confinement during the first sixty days.

This is Yeshua Jamaluddin’s affidavit at his habeas corpus hearing in October 1988: “I was not allowed to sleep for days at a stretch and was warned that I would not get any food if I did not cooperate. One Inspector Yusoff also threatened to disturb my girlfriend if I did not give any information. I was assaulted by Inspectors Yusoff, Zainuddin, Ayub and another officer on a number of occasions.
“On one occasion, I was knocked to the ground and I injured my back. Since then, I have been passing blood in my urine and have been suffering from pains in my lower back constantly. In March 1988 and in July 1988, I was warded at the Universiti Hospital, Kuala Lumpur for treatment of my kidney condition. I have still not recovered…

“On another occasion during interrogation, Inspector Yusoff forced me to strip naked and to enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He also forced me to crawl on the floor in a naked state…

“Another day, a police constable forced me to stand on one leg with both my arms outstretched holding my slippers. He made me remain in this position for two hours. He then called in a woman constable and her young daughter and asked them to look at me saying: ‘This Malay is not aware of who he is. He changed his religion. He has no shame!’”

Torture under the ISA has been perpetrated with impunity by the Malaysian Special Branch ever since it was enacted in 1960. Unfortunately for Mahathir, the principle of ministerial responsibility means that as the Home Minister and Prime Minister at the time, he is ultimately responsible for Operasi Lalang and all the atrocities committed under this dragnet.

The tortures undergone by ISA detainees during the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties are well known to those who know these former ISA detainees. The following is an excerpt from a hitherto unpublished statement by “political prisoners of Kawasan A, B, and C”, dated May 1, 1969, released from Batu Gajah Detention Camp:
“1. We political detainees have undergone days and nights of endless interrogation which have inflicted a grave toll on the mental condition of many detainees;
“2. During interrogation, we have been handcuffed, had our abdominal parts kicked, our heads bashed against the wall until they bled, and some have had to be hospitalised;
“3. We have had needles stuck in our fingernails and pencils used to squeeze our fingers between them;
“4. We have been burnt with cigarette lighters and hit with elastic bands; some have had nails inserted into their genitals;
“5. We have been asked to strip off our pants and to sit on open bottles;
“6. We have been made to take off our clothing and to stand before fans and air conditioners until we have passed out…”
In recent years, torture under the ISA has been graphically described by victims such as Malek Hussein and Munawar Anees, whose statutory declarations can be read on the Internet.
ISA as an instrument of terror
The ISA has served the Alliance and Barisan Nasional for more than 50 years as an instrument of terror to deter any challenge to its rule. The terror starts from the call to the victim’s house in the middle of the night by Special Branch operatives in unmarked cars. The foreboding terror continues throughout the sixty days of solitary confinement and interminable interrogation.

Then when the detainee is sent to Kamunting detention camp, he or she is faced with the terror of an indeterminate period of internment. When I was first sent to Kamunting, my cell mate was Loh Ming Liang who told me he had been detained for 16 years! Imagine the thoughts and feelings that go through your mind when you face such a prospect! That has been part of the terror of the ISA all these 50 years.

With such a record, the Malaysian government has the temerity to sit on the UN Human Rights Council. With such a record, it is not surprising the Malaysian government has not ratified the Convention against Torture. With such a record, we can see why the Malaysian government and the IGP are reluctant to establish the Independent Police Complaints Misconduct Committee as asked for by the Royal Police Commission set up in 2004.

Malaysians who care about freedom and justice, democracy and human rights in our country should demand the abolition and not just amendment of this vile Act and the other laws that allow detention without trial.
More than 10,000 Malaysians have been incarcerated under the ISA since 1960. We do not, we cannot and we will not accept any amendments to this Indefensible Suppression Apparatus. All fair-minded and freedom-loving people must not condone detention without trial, which has become an addiction of autocrats.

Mahathir's formula is to use race and religion to divide and rule Malaysians

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad may have been aiming ‘a tad too high’ when he likened himself with ‘dictators’ such as Mubarak, Hitler, Marcos and Gaddafi.

“Saya ingin tahu daripada pelawat ke blog saya tentang apakah yang saya telah lakukan semasa saya menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang menjadi bukti bahawa saya adalah seorang Diktator.” – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir in his posting ‘Diktator’ recently asked readers of his blog Che Det, (of which this writer is one) for reasons why he has been unceremoniously dubbed a dictator.

He mentions Mubarak, Hitler, Marcos, Ceausescu, Mussolini, Gaddaffi and Saddam Hussein – all dictators of ill repute, notorious and certainly of dubious prominence but may I humbly suggest to Tun Mahathir that maybe he might be aiming a tad too high when linking himself to these dictators.

Any one of them would easily rate a mention in the top 20 dictators in our lifetime.
Unfortunately Mahathir may, at most, be mentioned as a dictator by the DAP Rocket and few other bloggers.

He flatters himself by thinking that he is in their company. These days he does seem bothered about what people write about him…visions of mortality perhaps.

Let’s start from the beginning – from the time when he was a doctor and had to have the biggest car around and a Chinese driver!
Right from that time in his life Mahathir was already into making it known that he could afford a big car and a Chinese driver!
But then as now, who really cares?
His next memorable work was the writing of his book the Malay Dilemma – and we know what that was all about.

Insecure Mahathir
Then as Minister of Education, the changes he made to our education system has had adverse ramifications until today for the Malays and for all Malaysians.

A very insecure little man who seeks attention and recognition from others with grand empty supercilious gesture that falls short of any real substance.

There are always a few of these ‘Walter Mitty’ types in our midst.
A Walter Mitty is “an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs”

Our tragedy is that this ordinary, ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs became our Prime Minister!
He had grand designs.
This ‘almost a Malay’ used the most fundamental tools – education and all government machinery under his control – to try and establish ‘his’ Malay race as the first amongst equals in our nation.
Ustaz Reduan Tee said even as a Chinese, he stills champions the Malay!

Mahathir, an ‘almost Malay’
The irony of it all must have not been lost on Mahathir because we have this ‘almost a Malay’ not championing his people from Kerala but the Malays because he now becomes part of the ‘Tuans’ in Malaysia.

This daydream of his never became a reality as evident in the situation the Malays find themselves in today – never an equal among the other races and always the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ behind the Chinese.

But it did okay for Mahathir, his family and his cronies. They are rich beyond their dreams – at our expense.
For Mahathir,  his family and his cronies are the proof that his grand design for Ketuanan Melayu has been achieved!  Yes it has Tun Mahathir but at whose expense?
This 13th GE will be a defining moment in our nation but it has a historical before and after.

Umno is now facing the real possibility of defeat at the polls and this is because of the historical before!
The ‘historical before’ of what 22 years of Mahathir rule has turned Umno and Barisan Nasional into – a corrupt, arrogant and isolated political entity that is unable to understand the aspiration of its own people.
The ‘historical after’ is what we are trying to achieve with Pakatan Rakyat – change for the better.

Mahathir still clueless
Even in his heroic daydreams, Mitty does not triumph, several fantasies being interrupted before the final one sees Mitty dying bravely in front of a firing squad.

And all of them have faced their personal firing squad in one form or another. None of them died bravely!
You are in the midst of being blind folded and about to be taken to meet your firing squad – though like your Diktator article indicated, you are NOT going bravely – still protesting your innocence, still clueless of what and why you are about to be sentenced for.

And you’re obviously still wanting assurance from the people that you have indeed triumphed in your personal daydreams. Tun Mahathir you have not triumphed.

Mahathir, while you see Putrajaya, Twin Towers, the North South Highway, KLIA, Petronas Twin Towers as massive business opportunities given to the Malaysian businessmen and it is your legacies to our nation – we see waste, costs overruns, massive debts and mismanagement of our resources and wealth to benefit your family, your cronies and Barisan Nasional.

While you see 22 years of political stability, we see the misuse and abuse of every imaginable public and government apparatus for the benefit of your political agenda to keep you in power for that 22 years.
And we all, together with Umno, now have to live with the consequences of that selfish 22 years that kept you in power.

It will take a long time before our society deals with these failures. Because your government failed, we the people have had to take the initiative of making these changes ourselves.