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Fighting crime a two-way street

Posted: 06 Jul 2013 12:10 PM PDT!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_454/image.jpg

Police showing photofits of the suspects in Khairy Jamaludin's house break-in recently.

All, including failed attempts, should and must be reported, if only to show the true state of the crime index in the country. Only then can the fight against crime be successful. 

Leslie Andres, NST

In order to successfully bring down crime in the country, all sides need to work together

SO, the Royal Malaysian Police have been saying that the nation's crime index has declined. That, invariably, drew a whole host of criticism from Malaysians,  who are convinced that crime in the country has increased, not decreased.

When Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaludin's house was targeted by robbers, there were many who posted on Facebook and Twitter, predicting that police would act on the report lodged by the Umno man.

They also said in Khairy's case, police could not say that crime was on the decline.

When photofits of the suspects were released, they again criticised the police, saying the only reason the force was being super efficient was because the victim was a VIP.

But one thing that people fail to realise is that crime statistics are just that: statistics.

What this means is that the crime index is merely the number of crimes that are known.

If a crime occurs and the victim lodges a police report, then the crime is counted in the index. It is as simple as that. If it goes unreported, then it does not get counted in the index.

If crimes do not get reported, then the crime index remains low. If less and less crimes are reported, then the crime index will show that crime is on the "decline".

So, just how many crimes out there do not get reported? Nobody can tell you.

Could the number of crimes being committed in Malaysia actually be twice, thrice or even quadruple what the crime index says? Who can say?

There are many reasons why people do not report crimes.

One reason is that they cannot be bothered: it is a waste of time having to go to the police station and filling out the report. No telling how long it could take.

Another is that what was stolen or snatched was not valuable enough.

It could have just been a bag of dirty laundry being carried to the neighbourhood dobi, or a wallet filled with just a few ringgit.

Or, it could have been that the robbery/snatch theft was a failed attempt.

What is the use of reporting something that did not work for the robbers or snatch thieves, after all?

In the case of rape or abuse victims, a sense of shame can also play a part, with many deciding against reporting for fear that they will be ostracised by society because of what is obviously not their fault.

Then, there are those who ask: "What can the police do?"

These people either have little faith in the ability of our men and women in blue or cynically think that the cops are a lazy bunch, intent only on getting their money at the end of the month.

There are also those who believe that every member of the police force or at least, the vast majority, are corrupt. These people, for whatever reason they do not report crimes, are wrong.

All, including failed attempts, should and must be reported, if only to show the true state of the crime index in the country. Only then can the fight against crime be successful.

But success, as they say, is a two-way street.

How many of us have encountered policemen who dissuade us from lodging reports? Not the kind of policeman who actually say we should not lodge the report. Not many of those stories around.

No, the ones who seem to inadvertently dissuade us.

This would be the policeman who tells us things like "there is probably little hope of catching the culprits or getting back what was stolen from you" or "the culprits are probably long gone by now".

To put it mildly, these kinds of statements do not inspire too much confidence in the force.

All it does is to make the victim think twice about lodging a report the next time a crime occurs.

In order to successfully bring down crime in the country, all sides need to work together. And the most important element in this equation has to be the rakyat themselves.

They need to be protected. Most definitely. In fact, it is incumbent upon the government and police force to protect them.

But the rakyat are also important, in that they need to do everything possible to protect themselves and other members of our society, and the least of these measures would be to report any and all crimes.


Slander ‘legal’ if sedition law yanked, says Zahid Hamidi

Posted: 06 Jul 2013 11:55 AM PDT 

(The Malay Mail Online) - Instigators would get away with calumny, baseless allegations and condemnations if the Sedition Act were to be repealed and the police would be hard pressed to rein in unrest, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture) said today.

The home minister reportedly nixed talk that the government would do away with the law that critics and opposition politicians have branded draconian for curbing free speech, saying the controversial Sedition Act was needed to keep the peace.

"Now however they want to abolish the Sedition Act too... I do not think there is a need, because what have we got left to protect the people and the country's peace?" he was quoted as saying by state news wire Bernama today, after launching a motorcycle convoy to Singapore in Kuala Lumpur.

"In addition, when it is repealed, all slander, allegations and condemnations by provocators can be considered legitimate even though our democracy does not require it," he was reported as saying.

Ahmad Zahid also said perpetrators would likely escape the law on some legal loopholes even if the police managed to book them should the controversial legislation be removed.

"In fact, if caught with such allegations, they will find technical aspects to escape and the police will not be able to do anything even though they may have solid evidence," he was quoted as saying.

Ahmad Zahid has been seen to be a strong advocate of preventive laws, which the Najib administration has slowly begun to remove as part of its reform measures.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak initiated a series of legal reforms after taking office in April 2009, introducing a law that allowed peaceful assemblies in public and repealed the much-dreaded Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO), both which allowed for detentions without trial.

He had also promised to abolish the Sedition Act.

But critics have questioned the sincerity of the government's reforms, claiming that subsequent replacement laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 and the Peaceful Assembly Act are still insufficient to safeguard the people's rights.

Ahmad Zahid has previously blamed the repeal of the EO for contributing to the spike in crime.

"When the EO was abolished, many of these criminals were released. Now they are taking advantage of the situation. Laws that are introduced to curb crime should get the co-operation from all parties," he was quoted saying yesterday by The Star daily.

The police have sought to attribute complaints of rising crime to the repeal of the EO, but it is unclear which crimes have been directly linked to the released detainees. 

Muslims urged to defend their faith and child conversion bill

Posted: 06 Jul 2013 11:44 AM PDT 

(TMI) - "What is the point of acknowledging Islam as Malaysia's official religion when a bill which upholds the faith of Islamic children can't be tabled and passed in Parliament?"

Muslims have been urged to make their stand and ensure the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Amendment Bill 2013, now on hold, is tabled and passed by Parliament.

Sukarelawan Peguam (SukaGuam) chairman Datuk Khairul Anwar Rahmat, who called on Muslims to unite and defend their faith on this issue, told Mingguan Malaysia the act of defending the faith was jihad (holy war).

"What is the point of acknowledging Islam as Malaysia's official religion when a bill which upholds the faith of Islamic children can't be tabled and passed in Parliament?"

On Friday, after a flood of criticism from both BN and opposition figures, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the bill had been withdrawn for review.

The proposed tabling of the bill, which allowed for the conversion of minors to Islam by a single parent, had drawn flak from non-Muslims from both sides of the political divide.

Khairul said the unilateral conversion issue had already been explained clearly and at length in the case of R. Subashini v T. Saravanan in Dec 2007. In that case, the Federal court said Subashini's husband, T. Saravanan, had the right to convert their four-year-old son to Islam without the knowledge of the mother.

However, in April 2009, the Cabinet decided that children should remain in the religion of their parents at the time of the latter's marriage if one of the parents decided to convert.

The government also declared that it would ban parents from secretly converting children. This was to ensure that outstanding issues in a marriage would be settled to prevent children from becoming victims of a conversion battle.

However, Khairul's view is that "there is no need for both parents to consent to their children's conversion if one of the parents has already embraced the Islamic faith."

He urged the government to engage MPs, lawyers, Islamic non-government organisations and Islamic scholars to find a consensus on the issue.

"These dialogues are necessary so that the bill can be reviewed and tabled in Parliament again, following Friday's events.

Read more at: 

IRF: Don't give two-thirds to any govt for an Islamic state

Posted: 06 Jul 2013 11:38 AM PDT 

( - The Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) urged Malaysians to never give a two-third majority to any government to ensure the country is not turned into an Islamic state.
IRF's chairman Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa said there was a possibility Malaysia could be turned into an Islamic state if the Federal Constitution is amended of which can be done with a two-third majority.
The academician said this in view of the "creeping Islamisation" into the daily lives of Malaysians, citing "government sponsored activism" such as the breaking up of peaceful forums on human and family rights.
Ahmad Farouk went on to state that the government tolerated and rewarded such acts.
"It is up to us to fight for our rights, not the politicians," he said, stressing that while Islam was the official religion of the country it was "merely ceremonial."
Ahmad Farouk said this at a 'How Secular is Our Constitution' forum at the Bar Council, here, this morning.
The trained cardiothoracic surgeon also accused Umno of trying to "out-Islamise" its political rival PAS, despite the former being a secular nationalist party.
No stone would be left unturned, Ahmad Farouk said, in the pursuit to redefine the meaning and essence of Islam, pointing out that it was Umno who was at the forefront of the Allah issue.

Read more at:


Teachers urged to support BN in Kuala Besut

Posted: 06 Jul 2013 11:37 AM PDT 

(Bernama) - Teachers have been urged to support the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Kuala Besut state by-election in gratitude to the government for championing their welfare.

Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said there was no reason why teachers should turn their back on the government at a time when their help was needed most.

"And the time has come for them to help ensure that the BN retains the seat, as gratitude to the government," he told reporters during a meet-the-people session in Kampung Kemunting near Kuala Besut in Terengganu yesterday.

He said the BN has set the campaign slogan as, "Kuala Besut getting Bluer" and is targeting to increase the majority from 2,434 votes to 4,000 by getting closer to the people through house-to-house campaign.

Idris, who is also Kuala Besut deputy election director, reminded voters there that the opposition will not be able to bring them prosperity.  

A debate steeped in ignorance (part 2)

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 10:05 PM PDT

After speaking to ten different Muslims from ten different parts of the world, you will be so confused as to what Islam really is. You thought you know Islam after speaking to the Malays who form only 15 million of the more than one billion Muslims. However, after speaking to Muslims from all over the world, you will be utterly confused and will scream: WILL THE REAL ISLAM PLEASE STAND UP!


Raja Petra Kamarudin

The next issue that was hotly debated over this last week -- triggered by the conversion bill matter, now withdrawn -- is regarding Islam. In fact, the issue of Islam appears to have been hotly debated since probably back in the days when PAS transformed from being a regional political party into a national party -- and around the time of the 1979 revolution in Iran and the so-called 'Islamic Revival' (I said 'so-called').

Islam, at least in Malaysia, is being debated in the context of the Malaysian viewpoint. And the reason Islam -- and not Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism -- is debated is mainly because Islam is the religion of the Federation of Malaysia and anything concerning Islam affects the country. Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism have no impact on the country so nobody bothers much about these other religions.

So we can understand why the non-Muslims worry and talk about Islam, as they do about many other matters as well (such as language, education, corruption, etc.). And we really cannot blame them for worrying -- and hence talking about Islam -- since it will impact their lives. But they need to know when talking or discussing ends and interfering begins.

This is probably the most difficult part for the non-Muslims to understand. Sometimes the comments by the non-Muslims regarding Islam strays into the boundary of interfering. While the non-Muslims do have genuine concerns -- and Muslims must wake up to this fact and allow the non-Muslims to express these concerns -- the non-Muslims, in turn, need to recognise this boundary and not step over this boundary.

One example would be the religion of minors. It is the obligation of Muslim parents to educate their children both academically and spiritually. And do not those from the other religions do this as well? But for the non-Muslims to preach to the Muslims that the Qur'an says there is no compulsion in religion, and then argue that this means Islam cannot be forced upon anyone, demonstrates utter ignorance about both Islam and the Qur'an. 

And this is what upsets the Muslims when non-Muslims pretend to be Qur'anic scholars and try to teach Muslims what the Qur'an says. In that same spirit I have had many Christians who whacked me when I talk about the Bible and they tell me that I know nothing and am not qualified to talk about the Bible.

Actually I am. I learned the Bible long before I even read the Qur'an. But they assume that since I am a Muslim that means I know zilch about the Bible.

Anyway, the ignorance and confusion regarding Islam and/or the Qur'an is not only a non-Muslim 'disease'. The Muslims, too suffer from this same 'disease'. And herein lies the problem -- when we have both sides to the debate (the Muslims as well as the non-Muslims) debating an issue that both know very little about.

We have to remember that the non-Muslim understanding of Islam or the Qur'an comes from what they hear from the mouths of the Muslims. The Muslims, in turn, make remarks regarding Islam from what they have been told by mainly the Malay scholars a.k.a the ulama'. And the Muslims assume the ulama' know what they are talking about while the non-Muslims assume that what the Muslims are saying is a fact according to Islam.

This is what the Malay proverb refers to as the frog under a coconut shell syndrome. You live in a very small world (which is under that coconut shell) and you assume that the rest of the world is like what your world is.

And herein lies the second problem.

Islam is not 'fixed' -- if I may be permitted use that word for want of a better word. Islam is 'varied'. And it varies depending on what you have been taught, who taught you, where you live and who guided you. Hence to use the Malaysian Muslim (meaning Malay) view of Islam and come to a conclusion based on this view is grossly incorrect.

In short, there is Islam and there is Islam. So which Islam are you talking about? The Malay version of Islam? How do you know this is the correct version? And how can you make a comment and come to a conclusion based on this very narrow view as if this is true Islam and there are no two ways about it?

Let's us go back to the issue of mixed marriages and the religion of the child. Some Muslims are of the view that a non-Muslim partner must convert to Islam before he or she can marry a Muslim partner. This, of course, is the Malaysian view (meaning Malay view). And this is what the Malaysian Muslim will say. So the non-Muslim would consider this is the legitimate Islamic view and will comment accordingly (and mostly in an uncomplimentary manner).

But is it so? Other ulama' will say that a Christian or Jew can marry a Muslim. Some ulama' will say only a Christian or Jewish woman can marry a Muslim man while if the woman is Muslim then the Christian or Jewish man must convert to Islam.

So you see, there are so many different opinions. So which one is right and which one is wrong?  As the Muslim would say: only God knows. Hence no one can claim that he or she is following the right teachings while the other teachings are wrong. You don't really know. You are only following what you have been taught. And how do you know you have been taught the right thing?

There are more than one billion Muslims out of which only 15 million or so are Malaysians. Even the Muslims in East Malaysia are different from those in West Malaysia. And then you go to Indonesia (the largest Muslim country in the world) and the Muslims there are different again.

Then we talk to a Wahabi Muslim and we learn that their view is totally different from those outside Saudi Arabia. Then we talk to an Iraqi Muslim and we learn that they regard the Wahabis as deviants and apostates (meaning, not Muslims). Then we talk to a Turkish or Egyptian or Iranian Muslim and we learn, yet again, that they have a totally different view.

After speaking to ten different Muslims from ten different parts of the world, you will be so confused as to what Islam really is. You thought you know Islam after speaking to the Malays who form only 15 million of the more than one billion Muslims. However, after speaking to Muslims from all over the world, you will be utterly confused and will scream: WILL THE REAL ISLAM PLEASE STAND UP!

So here we have the Chinese and Indians commenting about Islam and trying to preach Islam to the Malays. But then which Islam are you talking about? Do you know? Even the Malays are confused. So do you know whether you are making the correct observation and hence the correct comment?

A Malay once told me that the Hindus pray to cows. I asked this person why he said that and he replied because cows are sacred to the Hindus. This is of course his personal opinion and we can easily say that in a democracy he is entitled to his opinion and therefore there is nothing wrong in him saying that.

Maybe in a democracy he is entitled to his opinion. But if his opinion is wrong then in a democracy I also have the right to correct him and tell him he is wrong. Hindus do not pray to cows. How can I allow him to say that? I would rather delete that comment than allow it under the umbrella of freedom of speech. And because this Malay is ignorant of Hinduism he made that ignorant comment based on the wrong observation just like many of you make comments regarding Islam on the same basis.

Do you know I spoke to one Iranian and he disputed the authenticity of the holy books (all the holy books of Judaism, Christianity and Islam). He then referred to the story of Noah as one example and argued that the story is not plausible. He gave some very logical arguments to support his belief.

After listening at length to his explanation, I must admit that he had a very good point. Now, if you knew nothing about Islam and you heard what this person had to argue, are you going to form an opinion and say that this is the correct Islamic teaching just because this person says so?

And if you believe what this person says and then you post a comment saying that all the holy books of the Abrahamic faiths are bullshit will you not be rubbing Jews, Christians and Muslims the wrong way? Definitely you will be accused of insulting their religions -- just like that Malay who said that Hindus pray to cows is insulting the Hindus.

So be very careful when you debate Islam, especially if you are not a Muslim. You may say something thinking that that is what Islam says (just because you heard someone say it) whereas you may be totally off the mark. And that is when you will be insulting Muslims because in your ignorance you have painted a false picture of Islam.

And that is when I will whack you or just delete your comment.


A debate steeped in ignorance (part 1)

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 08:13 PM PDT

For example, one of the terms of the Agreement was that all Chinese and Indians born in Malaysia would automatically be given citizenship. The Malays, Chinese and Indians agreed to this. However, if we allow unilateral decisions to a bilateral agreement, would that now mean the Malays can rescind that term in the Agreement and now rule that the Chinese and Indians no longer get automatic citizenship even if they are born in Malaysia?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I find that many comments over the last week -- most of which I deleted mainly because they were so off the mark -- are from people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. And this applies to Malaysians from all ethnic backgrounds.

One issue that was hotly debated is the role of the Monarchy. While I can appreciate that there will always be Monarchists and Republicans in any society (even in Australia it is 51% versus 49% respectively), those comments that espoused the abolishing of the Monarchy in favour of a Republic were entirely off tangent.

One 'favourite' comment is regarding the exorbitant cost to maintain the Monarchy. Another argues the low amount of tourist dollars that the Malaysian Monarchy brings in compared to that of the British Monarchy (which earns tourist money).

While to the mainly Chinese readers the issue would centre on how much money the country spends compared to how much it can earn from that expenditure, we cannot always justify something from merely the viewpoint of profit-and-loss. Sometimes profit-and-loss cannot be the criteria or the only criteria to consider doing something.

If it is only about how much we spend compared to how much profit we can make from that expenditure, then there would be many other expenditures we can attack first. In a turn-around exercise, the turn-around specialists would normally attack the top three cost items, which in most cases contribute to more than 50% and sometimes even 90% of the expenditure.

I will talk more about that later.

One issue raised by the anti-Monarchists was regarding the more than RM1 billion spent on the Agong's palace. Who built this palace? Did the Agong build this palace or did he command that the palace be built? Which Agong was it that ordered the palace built? And whichever Agong it may have been, and assuming it was he who wanted that palace built, is he eventually going to live in that palace?

The truth is none of the Agongs wanted that palace built or ordered it to be built. It was the government back in 2006 (at the time when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was Prime Minister and THREE Agongs ago) that wanted to build it. And it was built as a symbol for the country.

I repeat: the idea to build that palace was made at the time when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was Prime Minister and THREE Agongs ago.

Now, whether Malaysia does or does not need such an exorbitant symbol such as a RM1 billion palace is another issue and another debate. However, to blame the Agong for building that palace (and the construction stretched over THREE Agongs: so which Agong are you blaming?) when none of the Agongs ever asked for such a palace -- and then use this excuse as the reason why the Monarchy should be abolished -- is way off the mark and downright unjust on top of that.

So now you know why such comments need to be deleted. It is because you do not know what you are saying and what you said can be blamed on your ignorance.

Now, back to the cost versus income or profit-and-loss issue.

Malaysia (just like all or most countries) spends more on defence than on any other item. And this is a total waste of money. At least if we spend that money on welfare, healthcare, education, etc., it will benefit the rakyat. What benefit do we get from that large amount of money spent on defence?

Do you know that most of the equipment we buy never gets used? Did we ever go to war with any country -- say like Singapore, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Philippines, etc? In the end, because we do not go to war, most of the equipment 'expires' and gets scrapped. So why buy them if we do not need them and they eventually get scrapped?

Malaysia, plus almost every country all over the world, 'wastes' so much money on defence (which is never used in the end) for the security of the nation. In terms of expenses versus income it is a losing proposition.

Hence, as I said earlier, a turn-around manager would normally attack the top three cost items to cut out and defence would definitely have to be that item or one of those items to cut out. But we cannot do that because it is a 'wasted' cost that we need to keep in spite of the 'wasted' money.

Now, while on the issue of defence and security, how would the Monarchy fit in to this? Is the Monarchy merely a symbol (which in a way it is)? Is it a tourist attraction to draw in tourist dollars (which it is not)? What role does the Monarchy play in the bigger scheme of things to justify the cost to maintain and retain it?

This issue can, of course, be debated and both sides -- the Monarchists as well as the Republicans -- would have a valid argument. So there is no right or wrong here. There is only two differing viewpoints or two sides to the argument.

As I said, there is no right or wrong argument. There are only opinions. And I would like to give you my personal opinion, which can be either right or wrong depending on how you look at things.

And my viewpoint is as follows.

When the British decided to give the country independence and create the Federation of Malaya, they had to engage the nine Ruling Houses in negotiations. And one of the terms of Merdeka and the creation of the Federation was that the Monarchy would be retained but would be reduced to a mere Constitutional Monarchy. Hence this is what we call the Merdeka Agreement.

Now, there are those who argue that that was back in the 1950s and times have changed so we must review the Agreement and modify it to be in tune with the modern world where Monarchies are no longer applicable or practical.

Agreed, that is a good argument. Even the illegality of gay marriages, etc., are being reviewed 'in tune with the modern world' in spite of the Bible declaring that gay marriages are illegal or sinful (hence even God is being 'overturned' to keep in tune with the modern world).

However, if we really want to review and amend the Agreement (which is allowed, of course) can such reviews be done unilaterally? Agreements are entered into by two or more parties. So any review or renegotiation must be bilateral. It cannot be unilateral. How can we propose a unilateral review and then tell the other party to the Agreement to stuff it? Is this just?

This appears to be one point that has escaped many people proposing the abolishing of the Monarchy. An Agreement was made called the Merdeka Agreement. If you want to review and amend this Agreement then all parties to the Agreement have to be involved. One side alone cannot do this and then shove it down the throat of the other party.

The danger in allowing a unilateral decision to a bilateral agreement would be that the so many other terms of the Agreement might suffer the same fate.

For example, one of the terms of the Agreement was that all Chinese and Indians born in Malaysia would automatically be given citizenship. The Malays, Chinese and Indians agreed to this. However, if we allow unilateral decisions to a bilateral agreement, would that now mean the Malays can rescind that term in the Agreement and now rule that the Chinese and Indians no longer get automatic citizenship even if they are born in Malaysia? 

And one more point -- which I remind you is my opinion and does not mean it is right and does not mean if you disagree with me you are wrong -- is regarding the role of the Monarchy as the protector of democracy.

Currently, the Agong is the person who declares an Emergency, although on the advise of the Prime Minister (and the Agong can refuse to do that if the Prime Minister cannot justify such an action). Furthermore, the Agong is the Commander of the Armed Forces.

Without an Agong, the Prime Minister can declare an Emergency and the military would report to the Generals (and hence can also rule by Martial Law). Have you seen what happened in Egypt a few days ago? The same thing has happened in many Middle Eastern, Latin American and Eastern European countries as well.

At least with an Agong a certain level of democracy can be maintained. With the Prime Minister and/or the military in charge, anything can happen.

Can I guarantee this will not happen if we maintain the Monarchy? Of course I cannot. Nothing is guaranteed. I cannot even guarantee I will be around tomorrow to continue writing for Malaysia Today. But at least the risks of a military takeover or of the Prime Minister declaring an Emergency are much reduced -- unless they want to sidestep the Agong (which, knowing the Malays, they would most likely never do).


No tradition without representation

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 07:04 PM PDT

Still, though some ugly ethno-nationalist authoritarians hate our Westminster system (one called democracy a "cancer"), the concepts of elections and representation are embedded in our culture. 

Tunku 'Abidin Muhriz, IDEAS

I nipped down to the Dewan Rakyat this week and caught a glimpse of the parliamentary action that has been widely reported in the newspapers. The foyer around the chamber was buzzing with special officers and interns brisk-walking, hands clutching mobile devices and their bosses' bags, hoping that their efforts will make some difference to the country, or at least, enjoying feeling important in the corridors of power. I always gaze up to the portraits of long-forgotten Dewan Ra'ayat [sic] speakers and Dewan Negara presidents, who in their copious wigs oversaw debates in impeccable English enriched by witty retorts.

Reading the Hansard of the sixties it seems impossible that our august house could descend to a level where an MP (or newspaper) could ask a Malaysian citizen to leave the country because of a difference of opinion (or misreporting of opinions). Unfortunately this does now happen; tragically we are unsurprised by it, so routine it has become. Though the general election ejected some thugs, remnants of ugly ethno-nationalist authoritarianism continue to stain the Dewan Rakyat's plush chairs. Thankfully (and finally), now that the election is over, there are at least some sensible voices from coalition partners condemning these immature comments.

One of those asked to leave the country was Tony Pua, who along with Dato' Saifuddin Abdullah kindly launched my latest compilation of uncensored and unabridged articles (Roaming Beyond the Fence, RM39.90 at most bookstores!) on Sunday. I read some excerpts from the book to ignite discussion on issues that will be hotly contested in the next few years, including English-medium schools, subsidies and a lack of trust in national institutions. Their acceptance of the fact that patriotic Malaysians can have different views on policy issues is something that should be emulated by all parliamentarians.

Indeed we have already seen disagreement on issues even amongst the BN ranks at this early stage of the parliamentary sitting. I particularly enjoyed Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh stating matter-of-factly that, if faced with armed intruders at home, he would "ambik shotgun dan terus tembak". He was arguing that the response to the invasion of Lahad Datu was too slow and too tepid – a view that seemed to have cross-party support.

More current is the opposition from two ministers to a clause of the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 that would allow the unilateral conversion of children to Islam. Theoretically, such open dissent should never happen in cabinet government, in which every minister is supposed to support the government in public (or resign, as Dato' Zaid Ibrahim did on the ISA). While questions are raised about the extent of discussion within the cabinet on such important measures, the growing momentum of opposition to a controversial, potentially abused piece of legislation will be welcomed by many quarters. (Still, even if it goes through, matters pertaining to Islam remain decentralised to the states, so this law would only apply in the Federal Territories.)

The doctrine of cabinet collective responsibility notwithstanding, the expressing of independent views from our politicians is a good thing. Our electoral system assumes that MPs are individuals who primarily represent their constituents. The phrase "political party" does not appear once in our Federal Constitution, and the appointments of Prime Minister, Menteris Besar or Chief Ministers are based on the likely support of a majority of individuals in the legislature regardless of party. This may become extremely important in light of the upcoming by-election in Terengganu.

As we have seen though, most Malaysians seem to vote more according to the party logo than the individual: when coupled with undemocratic means of candidate selection, it means good people end up being defeated and bad people end up continuing the stain the plush chairs.

Still, though some ugly ethno-nationalist authoritarians hate our Westminster system (one called democracy a "cancer"), the concepts of elections and representation are embedded in our culture.

On Tuesday the 18th Penghulu Luak of Gunung Pasir was formally introduced to the Yang di-Pertuan Besar at Istana Besar Seri Menanti. As per the adat, he was elected in a three-stage process after the demise of the previous penghulu (chieftain) by the lembaga (headmen) of Gunung Pasir, out of the Tanah Datar clan (not the Seri Lemak Minangkabau clan as misreported by a certain newspaper apparently ignorant of the fact that membership of a suku (clan) is matrilineal).

Each of the five luaks (districts) in the Tanah Mengandung – constituent parts of Negeri Sembilan which do not have an Undang – have their own histories and customs, but each penghulu is charged with upholding the democratic adat and representing their kinsfolk to the sovereign institution. Sounds familiar, no?

Read more here: 


Penang state assembly: Guan Eng apologises for no Q&A

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 06:44 PM PDT

(The Star) - Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has apologised for the lack of question and answer session during the current sitting, saying Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Datuk Keramat) has been appointed to handle matters related to the state assembly.

Lim said Jagdeep would be fully responsible for the state legislative assembly to ensure that matter such as the Q&A session would not be dropped in future.

"Jagdeep Singh's role will be to review the recommendation and advice (from the state legal advisor) to ensure the effective functioning of parliamentary democracy as well as to hold talks with the opposition leader after receiving guidance from the Speaker," he said in his winding up speech at the 13th state legislative assembly sitting.

Earlier, Lim apologised for the lack of Q&A session for this sitting.

He said traditionally, the first sitting of the first term after the general election would start with the swearing-in ceremony without the Q&A session.

"This sitting is based on the tradition although the swearing-in ceremony is organised with the officiating of the first session of the sitting.

"However, if the sitting is not held together with the ceremony, then the Q&A session will be allowed.

"This happened in 2008 after the 12th general election when the ceremony was held on May 2 while the sitting only started 21 days later on July 5," he said.

His comments were in response to an explanation by State Assembly Speaker Law Choo Kiang who cited "lack of time" on Wednesday for not having the Q&A session.

Read more here: 


NGO leader harassed after exposé

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 06:34 PM PDT

(FMT) - An anti-crime non-governmental group (NGO) leader has lodged a report at the Sepang police station today claiming harassment by several individuals. 

MyWatch chairman R Sri Sanjeevan said he was followed by a group of five men when he was having drink with his friend at a popular coffee joint at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).

"Three men were watching us from the restaurant entrance and the other two monitoring us near an auto-teller machine.

"One of them approached my table but my friend and I immediately got out. However, they kept following us but disappeared a while later," he said.

Recently, Sanjeevan highlighted a case where an ex-drug dealer claimed to have bribed policemen for information on impending stakeouts.

The former drug dealer had claimed that he allegedly paid the cops between RM30,000 and RM50,000 a month.

The man, who is said to have turned over a new leaf, further alleged that some officers are persuading him to go back to his old activities and offered protection.

When contacted, Sanjeevan said the suspicious individuals tailing him earlier today could be linked to the drug syndicate.

"It is obviously linked to the exposé I made regarding the ex-drug pusher," he added.

Sanjeevan urged the police to look into the matter as he feared for his life.

"I have already lodged three police reports on threats against me but no action has been taken. I hope the police will take the matter seriously," he said.

Read more here:

Don’t give two thirds majority to BN or PR’

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 06:23 PM PDT

Calling Malaysia a secular state, an activist said that Malaysia could be turned into a theocratic state if any of the coalition were given too much power the the Parliament. 

K Pragalath, FMT

Malaysians are urged not to give neither the Barisan Nasional (BN) nor Pakatan Rakyat a two thirds majority in the Parliament to ensure Malaysia remains a secular state.

"Malaysia can be turned into an Islamic with two thirds majority. So, please do not give two thirds majority to any coalition, regardless whether they are BN or Pakatan," said Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) chairman Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, at a forum held by the Bar Council.

The forum was titled "How Secular is our constitution?"

Recently, the government received brickbats from various NGOs and BN MPs on the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013, which allows unilateral conversion of a child should one parent converts to Islam.

But on Wednesday, controversial Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria defended the Bill saying the proposed legislation was only formalising a standard practice which was agreed upon "since Merdeka Day".

He also alleged that the Bill was being used by certain quarters to incite hatred towards the Muslim community.

The government subsequently withdrew the Bill citing the matter needed further study.

Ahmad Farouk said that based on historical facts, the Reid Commission drafted a secular constitution for the then-Malaya as people in power during that era envisioned a secular country.

"The report also stated that they should be no discrimination based on race, religion and creed," he said.

Citing court cases, Ahmad Farouk cited the case of Che Omar Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor in 1988, where then-Lord President Salleh Abas ruled that Malaysia is a secular state.

"He ruled that laws need not conform to Islamic principles," said Ahmad, adding that Islamic laws were only meant for to administer Muslim family issues.

Training his guns against the government, Ahmad Farouk criticised the religious authorities for attempting to regulate on how one manages religion.

"How can there be only one version of Islam – the Jakim and Jais style?" he asked, in regards to the government's move to restrict the practise of Islam based on other denominations.



PKR man complains BN workers not investigated over aide’s murder

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 06:19 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - Police have not questioned Barisan Nasional (BN) workers from MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan's Election 2013 campaign on the murder of his opponent's aide during the poll, PKR's K. Vasantha Kumar complained today. 

 "So far, none from BN's side ― no investigations, no statement taken from M. Saravanan," Vasantha told reporters at the PKR headquarters here.

Instead, he said, police have focused their investigation on Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

"I got to know from the Batu Gajah IO (investigating officer) that 22 suspects have been remanded and investigated. The 22 are (K.) Murugan's friends and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters," he added.

Vasantha, who lost the contest for the Tapah federal seat to Saravanan in the 13th general election, also alleged that three ballot boxes containing early and postal votes for Tapah and two state seats ― Ayer Kuning and Chenderoh ― had been removed by Election Commission (EC) officers from the Tapah police station on May 2, three days before the May 5 polling day.

But he conceded that the killing of his aide, K. Murugan, was likely not linked to the alleged polls fraud as the latter went missing earlier on May 1, before the body was discovered on Polling Day in Batu Gajah, Perak.

Vasantha also said that a suspect from BN fled to Indonesia after Perak deputy police chief Datuk A. Paramasivam released a statement last month that police was looking for two men to help in the murder case.

PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli, who was also at the press conference, said the Tapah campaign was characterised by violence and constant brawls between the MIC and his party.

"Vasantha had to have security," said Rafizi.

Vasantha said Murugan had received threatening calls before disappearing on May 1 after a ceramah in Bidor at night.

Murugan's body was found four days later in a disused mining pool in Bemban Industrial Park, Batu Gajah.

Vasantha also revealed several photographs to the media showing men in black shirts with EC logos carrying a ballot box marked Ayer Kuning in the Tapah police station on May 2. He said that the photographs were taken by his aides.

One of them — D. Allapah @ Dr Raja — told reporters at the same press conference that the EC officers snubbed his questions on why they were moving the ballot boxes before Polling Day.

"It's none of your business. We're doing our duty," Allapah quoted them as saying. "They said we cannot snap photos."

Vasantha said six EC officers were involved in moving the three ballot boxes.

He added that the ballot box for Tapah contained 2,195 votes, but was unsure about the other two boxes.

Vasantha lost the Tapah seat to Saravanan who is now the youth and sports deputy minister, by 7,927 votes.

Read more here:

Disappointing wait for FOI implementation in Penang

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 06:08 PM PDT

( - More than a year after it was enacted, Penang's Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment has still not been implemented.

Chief Minister today said the process is still being managed by the state Legal Advisor, who is incidentally appointed by the Attorney General.

Stressing that the state is uncomfortable with the progress, Lim told the Penang State Assembly that legal advisor Datuk Faiza Zulkifli needs to oversee some steps before it can be put into effect.

The lengthy wait is despite the legislation having been approved by the assembly as far back as in November 2011 and gazetted last year.

When it was first tabled in October 2010, it was referred to a select committee for revision.

It was also opposed by Barisan Nasional assembly members who called it unnecessary, maintaining that it flies in the face of the existing (federal) Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.

These steps by the legal advisor include examining the guidelines for implementation, as well as outlining and approving the procedures for the FOI appeals board and the regulations for accessing information.

"According to the Legal Advisor, this enactment will be put into force after all regulatory necessities and related fee payments are gazetted beforehand," Lim, who is Air Putih assembly member, said in his winding-up speech during the motion of support for the Governor's speech.

He stressed that the state is disappointed with the progress made so far.

"The state government still hopes that all the relevant affairs can be settled by the Legal Advisor in early 2014," he added.

He was responding to a question by Wong Hon Wai (DAP-Air Itam) on when the FOI would be up and running.

The Freedom of Information Enactment 2012 would allow Penangites to access various forms of documents, minutes and decisions of the government

Queried further by reporters at a press conference later on the role of the Legal Advisor, Lim said: "You know what the problems are. You can read between the lines."  

The state government had wanted to introduce the FOI since 2008.

However, Lim said that Faiza had advised him and the executive council against tabling the bill because it was considered ultra vires the Federal Constitution. Information comes under the federal government, she had reportedly asserted.

It was only when Selangor tabled its FOI bill in July 2010 and passed it in April 2011 that Penang used that as a precedent in getting around her objections.

Meanwhile, Lim also said the state would consider a suggestion by Teh Yee Cheu (DAP-Tanjung Bungah) that the administration set up a 'Big Data' system where all relevant information of the state government and its departments can be accessed from a single portal, in line with the FOI.

Read more here:

EC approves ballot count coverage, to study existing laws

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 06:01 PM PDT

(The Malay Mail) - The Election Commission (EC) has agreed to Putrajaya's proposal for live coverage of the ballot-counting process during elections but says it needs to study existing regulations before accommodating the request. 

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof (picture) said the idea, mooted yesterday by minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, would help prove the transparency of the regulator's operations that has come under heavy fire since Election 2013.

"We have nothing to hide," he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

But Abdul Aziz also said the EC must check the law to see if government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) can be allowed to place its cameras in the vote-counting rooms.

He indicated that the EC currently has strict rules on those who are allowed to go into the tallying room.

"At the moment, a limited number are permitted in the counting room — candidate agent, [polling centre chief], EC clerks and a few others permitted by the EC," he said.

Despite the restrictions on entry into vote-tallying centres, Abdul Aziz said the matter could still be discussed with the EC, saying: "I don't see a problem with that, we can discuss with them. We have to discuss what's the implications."

The proposal yesterday by Ahmad Shabery, the new communications and multimedia minister, comes even as the EC remains under constant fire for its alleged failure to ensure a transparent and fair polls process.

Abdul Aziz and his deputy Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar are at the centre of allegations of vote fraud, which many opposition lawmakers and civil society activists believe had occurred during the just-concluded May 5 general election.

Among others, they have been put under the microscope for allegedly failing to implement key electoral reform demands effectively, from the running of the polls process to technical matters like the handling of the indelible ink that fell short of its name on Polling Day.

Opposition leaders and polls watchdog have been calling for the duo's resignations, while urging the government to carry out bolder and more decisive reforms to current practices in the polling process.

The struggle has resulted in several massive street protests over the years, many of which resulted in running battles on the streets of the capital and have even been credited for the major electoral losses suffered by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in the last two general elections — Election 2008 and 2013.

Electoral reform group Bersih's Maria Chin Abdullah yesterday said the live coverage would be nothing but "icing on rotten cake" if Putrajaya skips bold and major reforms such as the cleaning up of the electoral roll which purportedly contains numerous discrepancies.

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, president of another polls watchdog Mafrel, had also said the key issue was in the integrity of EC officers in conducting the polls rather than live coverage of the elections.

Tindak Malaysia's PY Wong has said live coverage does not address the alleged lack of public confidence in the EC.

Read more here:


DAP's Distorted Reality: A Master Class Act to Justify the Party's Action and Inaction

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:57 PM PDT

Khoo Kay Peng

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is unhappy that Penang is still unable to enforce its Freedom of Information (FOI) Enactment, which was gazetted in early 2012. He told the state assembly today that state Legal Advisor Faiza Zulkifli was still finalising all the necessary work on it and that he hoped the state would be able to enforce it by early next year.

He said she had told him the FOI would be enforced once all rules, regulations, guidelines and charges had been gazetted. 

Here is another example where policies and public projects in Penang are conducted in reverse order. Why gazette the FOI enactment if the procedures, guidelines and operational process are not yet ready? 

The party leadership has criticized the BN for playing to the gallery when it took a drastic decision to cancel the EO but short of studying its consequences and steps that need to be taken. Is the DAP doing the same for the FOI? It was approved and gazetted because the DAP was trying to shore up support for the last GE?

Similarly, the undersea tunnel was approved and awarded without conducting any necessary studies to justify the project. No DEIA yet but contractors have started to appoint subcontractors but the government is telling us that the project might still be rescinded if 'independent' studies are negative. This is a classic case of DAP's distorted reality.



The Mamak Dilemma

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:52 PM PDT

Another Brick in the Wall

It's our birthday today and it will be celebrated with a quiet dinner with our other half. At the ripe old age of "35" ... sorry for the switch-up, 53, we do not need noisy parties.

However, we can't have our dinner till we get this off our chest. It's a real dilemma occupying the cavity in our ears and head. The dilemma hardly compares with Tun Dr Mahathir's observation in The Malay Dilemma but it is irritating.

It does not matter what many pengampu academician said, but The Malay Dilemma was not a scholarly work. However, we've heard our American professors complimenting Tun's astute observations. It was the premise for his policies for 22 years as Prime Minister. 

Our dilemma is The Mamak Dilemma variant. And, it relates to the appointment of Dato Azeez Abdul Rahim as Chairman of Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH).

Many would comment that it is a clear cut issue, thus there is no dilemma.

True, there is no dilemma and we should agree. We will not dispute the concern of this circulating SMS disputing Azeez's appointment:

..... Bolehkah xxx terima seorang wakil rakyat yang menipu kelayakan akademiknya dan PM Najib tanpa berasa malu telah melantik beliau memegang sebuah Institusi terbesar orang Melayu. Itu bab akademik, ada banyak lagi cerita yang tak enak didengar berkenaan misi misi bantuan kemanusiaan yang beliau kendalikan terutama sekali Misi kemanusiaan Somalia yang mengorbankan nyawa wartawan Bernama. Saya telah terlibat dengan NGO kemanusiaan selama hampir 12 tahun, banyak cerita berkenaan Azeez Putra. What is Najib trying to proof? Its look like he is destroying UMNO n our country. Ikhlas xxx

Not only did we agree that his MBA degree was from a dubious then American University, we were one of the first to take potshots at him during the golden era of Pak Lah and the group of young mamak hypnotising Pak Lah to restful bliss.  

However we will refrain from calling him a cheat and give him the benefit of proving that he had undergone the required coursework and thesis and also the necessary accredition.

If we are chorusing concern to raise issues on candidate choices, cabinet appointments, GLC CEOs with "Dr" Emir Mavani" of Felda Global Venture Berhad being the latest raised and now an ongoing series on Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, we cannot keep quiet on our "now a friend" Azeez.

Is the dilemma because he is "a friend"....?

There was an argument put forward that Dato Anwar Ibrahim himself appointed his inadequately qualified father as Chairman of IOI. It is not a sufficient reply but just returning back the question with another question. [Read MyMassa here.]

It could mean if Anwar is immoral, what is wrong for us to be immoral too. Mampus negara like that.

Someone tossed back PAS's Dato Mahfuz Omar's statement against Azeez by saying that he should be grateful for Azeez's appointment. One day, if PAS ever ruled Malaysia, under-qualified Mahfuz can also be LTH Chairman.

Furthermore, who is PAS to talk when they have the likes of Dato Husam Musa aspiring to be President? Dato Nik Aziz himself was caught helping himself and his wife of land in Gua Musang.
Still not answering. Are we to stoop as low as the oppositions?

Remember that the first Chairman of LTH was Royal Professor Ungku Aziz. There was a high benchmark already set and the position was never filled by politicians. Dato Najib wanted 1MDB to be benchmark of excellence in corporate governance by not having politicians on its Board of Directors.He has to be consistent.

One blogger friend argued that Azeez has the experience from running his own family property business and being on the Board of LTH subsidiaries. Sorry bro, not strong enough an argument. [Read MIK here.] 

We have to be honest to ourself. Having Azeez, LTH will not be seen seriously by the investment community.  LTH is managing RM34 billion worth of assets by millions of depositers saving up to go to the holy land.

This is a sacred trust and depositors confidence is essential. The burden is more than having those with the capability and impeccable integrity but also those "seen to be clean."

MIK rebuted by saying that there is process and governance in LTH. Azeez cannot just enter the office and ask any staff to issue a cheque to his or proxy's name. Mahfuz should better answer for Tabung Memali. [Read here]

That we admit is fair comment from MIK. It could also be a debate clincher but it is only us that is not convinced. It is like evading Azeez reputation or negative perception, which ever we view it as.

He has a past and today's Azeez seemed different. 



Dilema Pemilihan Umno Cetuskan Hipokrasi

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:45 PM PDT

A Kadir Jasin

SEJAK (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad mempopularkan istilah dilema melalui bukunya "Dilema Melayu" lebih 40 tahun lalu, ia telah menjadi kata kunci dalam banyak permasalahan dan keadaan.

Yang terbaru, dilema menjadi kata kunci kepada pemilihan kepemimpinan Umno. Banyak pemimpin, perwakilan dan ahli Umno dikatakan dalam dilema.

Akibat dilema itu, banyak pemimpin Umno telah menjadi hipokrit, bermuka-muka dan lidah bercabang. Minta ampun kalau kasar bunyinya.

Di khalayak dan di hadapan media massa mereka setuju cadangan dua jawatan tertinggi tidak dipertandingkan, kononnya untuk mengelak perpecahan. Di belakang mereka mengomel, mengutuk dan mengata. Mereka bantah cadangan dua jawatan teratas tidak dipertandingkan.

Di bawah peraturan baru pemilihan, calon yang hendak bertanding perlu, secara terbuka, menyatakan jawatan mana menjadi pilihan.

Buat Tawaran Terbuka

Kalau teruk sangat penyakit Koro (baca di sini) yang mereka alami - dalam hati meronta-ronta hendak bertanding jawatan tertentu, tetapi takut membuka mulut - mungkin ada satu jalan keluar, iaitu mereka buat kenyataan umum mengatakan mereka bersedia bertanding mana-mana jawatan yang dicalonkan.

Cuma bahayanya adalah perwakilan mungkin tidak faham hasrat sebenar mereka. Silap-silap jadi kacau. Misalnya, dalam hati meronta-ronta hendak bertanding Presiden atau Timbalan Presiden, tapi dicalonkan bertanding Naib Presiden saja.

Atau mereka boleh kata: "Oleh sebab Umno adalah parti yang mengamalkan demokrasi dan saya menghormati hak ahli, maka dengan ini saya menyatakan bahawa jawatan yang saya pegang boleh dicabar oleh sesiapa saja."

Apabila penyandang berdiam diri, orang ramai mungkin buat kesimpulan penyandang tertentu tidak mahu dicabar atau takut dicabar. Kita faham bahawa yang paling teruk hadapi dilema (kalau beliau dalam delima) adalah orang nombor dua.

Orang nombor satu tentulah akan pertahan jawatannya kecuali dia bercadang untuk bersara. Keputusan hendak cabar atau tidak adalah di tangan orang nombor dua. Dalam konteks pemilihan Umno kali ini, orang itu adalah Muhyiddin Yassin, Timbalan Presiden.

Adakah beliau dalam dilema atau beliau akan mencabar Presiden, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak?

Peranan Muhyiddin Sebagai "King Maker"

Umum tentu masih ingat peranan Muhyiddin dalam gerakan mempercepatkan peletakan jawatan (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yang sekali gus menaikkan Mohd Najib selepas Abdullah mencatat pencapaian buruk dalam PRU 2008.

Adakah Muhyiddin yang menunjukkan pintu keluar kepada Abdullah yang memenangi 140 kerusi Parlimen terlepas pandang bahawa prestasi Mohd Najib lebih buruk daripada itu?

Soalan yang harus dijawab oleh kepemimpinan dan keahlian Umno adalah masa depan dan hala tuju parti itu. Pemimpin Umno sering mendakwa bangsa Melayu, agama Islam dan negara bergantung kepada Umno – demi bangsa, agama dan negara!

Kalau mereka ikhlas terhadap kenyataan itu dan tidak memikirkan kepentingan diri mereka sahaja, mereka tentu tahu dan berani menyatakan secara terbuka siapa yang layak dan boleh diharapkan untuk melaksanakan tugas berat demi Melayu, agama Islam dan negara.

Mereka perlu berani mengakui siapa yang sebenarnya menyelamatkan Umno dalam Pilihan Raya Umum 5 Mei lalu – adakah Presiden Umno atau penyokong Umno di luar bandar yang bimbang apa akan terjadi kepada orang Melayu kalau Pakatan Rakyat menang dan DAP menjadi parti terkuat?

Apakah yang ditonjolkan dalam pilihan raya lalu – panji-panji Umno, agenda Melayu dan ekonomi luar bandar atau 1Malaysia, "Sokong Saya Undi BN" dan Janji Ditepati?

Siapakah yang diutamakan dan ditonjolkan sebagai penyelamat Barisan Nasional ketika PRU – Melayu, Cina atau India?

Perwakilan dan ahli Umno wajib fikirkan semua ini kalau mereka komited kepada idealisme dan slogan demi bangsa, agama dan negara.

Siapa Pilihan Bukan Melayu?

Ironinya, hari ini, banyak orang bukan Melayu yang Perdana Menteri tuduh sebagai penyebab "tsunami Cina" pada PRU lalu, mahu Mohd Najib kekal sebagai Perdana Menteri.

Tiba-tiba mereka "yakini" 1Malaysia dan sokong Mohd Najib kerana beliau dianggap "Malaysia first" dan transformasi beliau menguntungkan mereka. Sebaliknya mereka momokkan Muhyiddin kerana dilaporkan berkata beliau "Malay first".

Secara tidak disedari atau disengajakan, hakikat yang tidak diperkatakan adalah tidak seorang pun warganegara Malaysia dilahirkan sebagai berbangsa "Malaysian". Kita sama ada dilahirkan Melayu, Iban, Kadazan, Cina, India atau suku-suku kaum lain. Dan sepanjang hayat kita, fakta bangsa dan kaum penting. Sebab itulah Melayu dan Bumiputera mempertahankan keistimewaan mereka manakala orang Cina dan India mati-matian mempertahankan bahasa dan sekolah mereka. 



Khalid: Selangor wants the rights to develop, operate and maintain Langat 2

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:37 PM PDT

(The Star) - The Selangor government wants the rights to develop, operate and maintain the Langat 2 water treatment plant.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said on Saturday the state government had asked the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry to consider its request by giving the rights to its subsidiary companies.

Khalid said the state government, via its subsidiaries, would like to develop the main package of Langat 2, as well as operate and maintain the plant.

This is because the state government has allocated 179ha of state land out of the 400ha needed for the project without getting anything in return, he said.

"Selangor is also the signatory to the raw water purchase agreement with the Pahang state government, and all payments of raw water to Pahang will be borne by Selangor," he said.

He added that the raw water licence will also be issued by the Selangor state government, while the Cabinet had agreed on Jan 16, 2008, for state investment arm Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) to be appointed as the "operating and maintenance company" when Langat 2 is complete.

The RM3bil Langat 2 water treatment plant will receive raw water from Pahang via an underground tunnel, which is almost complete, and can process 1,130 million litres per day (MLD).

On a related matter, he explained that the different figures of water reserve issued by state water distributor Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) and the state government was due to different methods of calculation.

"Syabas claims that the water reserve is less than 1% as it used the current average production of 4,700 MLD compared to its distribution capacity of 4,661MLD.

"The state government based it on the maximum production capacity of 34 water treatment plants, which is 4,832MLD as opposed to the distribution capacity of 4,661MLD. That's how we estimated the water reserves to be at 3.5%," he said.


Malay journalists leader lays out elaborate theory on another community, no guesses which

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:31 PM PDT

Lee Shi-Ian, TMI

Forging alliances with Malay opposition parties and using the democratic parliamentary process has been the cornerstone for the DAP's slow but inexorable rise to power in Malaysia, said Dr Alias Mohamed.

Alias, who is the president of the National Association of Malay Journalists and Writers of Malaysia and the Kelantan Malay Journalists Association, wrote in Utusan Malaysia that Malay leaders were worried that years of compromising with the Chinese would eventually lead to the loss of Malay authority and influence.

"The smooth strategy employed by Chinese leaders, despite their numbers being less than 30 per cent of the nation's 29 million population, culminated in a golden opportunity when they allied with Parti Keadilan Rakyat and PAS in the 2008 general election," Alias said.

The Chinese leaders had learnt from their past mistakes in 1969 when their blatant attempt to wrest powers from the Malay community failed. Alias claimed that during the reign of Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, he was pressured several times into giving concessions and exemptions to the Chinese, including the allocation of additional seats.

"After 1969, the Chinese realised that only through the democratic process could their political ambitions become reality. The same problem plagued the next three Prime Ministers after Tunku, who were pressured to give the Chinese community universities and recognising their language," Alias said.

"The Chinese hope that the opportunity to rule will emerge once the democratic door has been opened for them to seize the chance. Whether it is through demographic changes, opportunities through weaknesses in the democratic system or through allying themselves with Malay and non-Malay political parties," Alias said.

"The Chinese are very well aware that they will not be able to control the country in a short space of time, especially without the support of Malay opposition parties such as PAS and PKR. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng himself admitted before the election that he would be happy if they won 100 of the 222 parliamentary seats up for contest."

Lim, who is also the Penang Chief Minister, is alleged to have said he hoped that there would be chaos within Umno and BN which would point towards a change in the composition of parliamentary seats in the august House.

In this context, DAP calculated that they would rise to power through two methods, one, in the short term, the party hopes that power falls into their hands as chaos in Parliament would encourage BN MPs or other parties to jump ship and join DAP.

Second, in the long term, they hope that there will be a major change in the population demographic due to oversights from the Malay leaders in the ruling party who will continue to press for developments both urban and rural, hence, it will encourage the migration of Chinese communities to these areas.

In the 2008 general polls, with the cooperation of PAS and PKR and exploiting the dissatisfaction of urban voters with BN, DAP conquered Penang and for a short while, Perak. With the same modus operandi, DAP merged with PKR and PAS to rule Selangor.

DAP also won parliamentary seats in the Federal Territory as well. Excluding Perak, in the 13th general polls, they repeated their success from 2008 by winning in Penang, Selangor and Federal Territory where Chinese voters were the dominant force.

On the surface, the Malay votes shifted from PAS to Barisan Nasional. Although PAS returned to control Kelantan and almost snatched Terengganu, but its influence seems to be declining and in the May 5 polls, they sacrificed Kedah to BN.

Alias said the role played by Chinese-language newspapers and magazines in spreading their influence, such as language, culture and the interests of the community in the economy and politics, could not be denied.

In line with their race, whose numbers are increasing, besides the economic interests and political voice, which is getting louder, the Chinese community continues to plan and exploit the various channels of power and democratic instruments to strengthen and consolidate everything they have accumulated since 1957.



Which way for Malaysia after election petition?

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:26 PM PDT

It is too early to talk about the outcome of the lawsuits and what I am concerned about is, would the defeated party helplessly accept the court's decision like Gore or launch a new round of battle, after the court's decision is announced? 

Lim Mun Fah, Sin Chew Daily

The goal of national reconciliation seems still very far away. The Election Commission has so far received 60 election appeals, with some of them having their trial dates set.

It is the people's right under the law to challenge election results. Voters or candidates have the right to file election appeals as long as there is sufficient evidence.

According to constitutional experts, however, challenging election results in court is not easy. The judicial procedures are complicated and time-consuming. Most appeals might not be able to enter the trial phase due to technical problems.

The current political impasse in the country reminds me of the US presidential election in 2000.

The contest was between Republican candidate George W. Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore, the incumbent vice-president.

A controversy broke out over the awarding of the state of Florida and the 25 electoral votes that came with it. Since the votes gained by the two candidates were very close, with Bush gaining only 1,784 more votes than Gore, votes were recounted again and again and appeals were filed.

The intense legal battle lasted for 36 days.

Eventually, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5–4 vote that the Florida recounts could not be completed before a Dec 12 "safe harbour" deadline, and should therefore cease and the previously certified total should hold.

It put Gore in a hopeless situation and Bush won.

In fact, Gore received 543,895 more popular votes than Bush across the whole country.

However, the US President is decided by electoral votes. Therefore, although Gore won the popular vote, he still lost to Bush who gained more electoral votes.

For Gore, it was indeed a painful result.

Despite the Supreme Court's decision being accused of political bias, Gore still showed his respect to the rule of law and graciously accepted the defeat. He said, "While I strongly disagree with the court's position, I accept it."

He called for supporters to accept the finality of the outcome, put the country's interests before the party and unite behind the new President.

It is one of the most classic and controversial presidential elections in US history, not only because it is filled with intrigues, but also because it exposed the unfairness of the American electoral system of politics.

It could hardly be imagined that the Americans, who attach high importance to democracy and human rights, would still accept such a flawed electoral system even today.

The 13th General Election in Malaysia has also exposed a flaw in the electoral system.

Pakatan Rakyat lost the election even though it was able to win the popular vote. It has triggered a controversy over the electoral system, while leading to protracted lawsuits.

It is too early to talk about the outcome of the lawsuits and what I am concerned about is, would the defeated party helplessly accept the court's decision like Gore or launch a new round of battle, after the court's decision is announced?


EGYPT UPDATE: At least 26 dead in protests across Egypt

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:16 PM PDT

(AFP/Bernama) - CAIRO - At least 26 people were killed in clashes across Egypt on Friday as tens of thousands of supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi turned out to protest his ouster by a popularly backed military coup.

A coalition of Islamist groups including Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood vowed  further "peaceful" protests in a statement early Saturday, demanding the  military restore the country's first democratically elected leader.

In the restive north of the Sinai peninsula, armed Morsi supporters stormed  the provincial headquarters in the town of El-Arish after a gunfight and raised  the black banner of Al-Qaeda-inspired Islamist militants, an AFP correspondent  said.

 At least 12 people were killed in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria as  Morsi's supporters and opponents fought a pitched street battle, the official  MENA news agency said.

 Police continued to round up top Islamists, announcing the arrest of  Khairat al-Shater, widely seen as the most powerful man behind Morsi in the  Muslim Brotherhood movement.

 A spokesman for UN chief  Ban Ki-moon quoted him calling for a peaceful end  to the crisis. "There is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any  major party or community".    In Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, at least two people were killed when Morsi  supporters traded fire with his opponents, state television reported.

The clashes subsided when the army separated the protesters using armoured  vehicles.

 "We are not taking sides. Our mission is to secure the lives of  protesters," military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali told AFP.

 Four protesters were killed outside the Republican Guard headquarters after  breaking away from a pro-Morsi demonstration, the official MENA news agency  reported.

 The bodies of two people were covered with sheets, said an AFP  correspondent, adding that another protester was shot in the head.

 Soldiers had warned a protester waving a picture of the ousted president  not to approach their barbed wire cordon.

 They opened fire when he ignored them, and shots were then heard from both  sides, an AFP reporter said.

 The Islamists accuse the military of conducting a brazen coup against  Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, after millions called  for his ouster on the June 30 anniversary of his first turbulent year in power.
   Friday's violence came as the supreme guide of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood,  Mohammed Badie, vowed that members of the Islamist movement would throng the  streets in their millions until his presidency is restored.

   Badie appeared at Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque to screams of joy from  jubilant supporters, following reports he had been detained after Wednesday's  ouster of the president.

   "Millions will remain in the squares until we carry our elected president,  Mohamed Morsi, on our shoulders," Badie told the crowd, before leading chants  of "Military coup!" and "Invalid!"

   Violence between Morsi's supporters and opponents also left one protester  dead at Assiut in central Egypt and another in Minya, officials said.
   In the Sinai, where gunmen killed five policemen and Islamists killed a  soldier in a machinegun and rocket attack.

   In El-Arish, at least 16 people were wounded in clashes before armed Morsi  supporters stormed the provincial HQ.

   The armed forces have already sworn in Adly Mansour as interim president,  and he issued his first decree on Friday, dissolving the Islamist-led  parliament and appointing a new intelligence chief.

   Before Friday's rallies, around a dozen low-flying military jets screamed  across Cairo, but the show of force failed to deter Morsi's supporters.

   Morsi, who has not been seen since Wednesday, had issued a defiant call for  supporters to protect his elected "legitimacy", in a recorded speech aired  hours after his removal.

   The military had said it supported the right to peaceful protest, but  warned against violence and acts of civil disobedience.

   Ahead of Friday's rallies, Mansour had called in a television interview for  unity.

   "All I can say to the Egyptian people is to be one body. We had enough of  division," he told Britain's Channel 4.
   Prominent liberal leader Mohamed ElBaradei defended the military's  intervention, saying "the other option was a civil war.

   "We were between a rock and a hard place, and people need to understand  that," the former UN nuclear watchdog chief told the BBC.

   Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Morsi's overthrow on  Wednesday night, citing his inability to end a deepening political crisis.
   Military police rounded up senior Brotherhood members, although two were  later released.

   Morsi himself was "preventively detained", a senior officer told AFP.

   A judicial source said the prosecution would on Monday begin questioning  Brotherhood members, including Morsi, for "insulting the judiciary".    Morsi's rule was marked by accusations that he concentrated power in the  hands of the Brotherhood.

   His supporters argue Morsi was confronted at every turn with a hostile  bureaucracy left over by Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in the Arab Spring-inspired  uprising of 2011.

Meanwhile, Deputy chief of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Khayrat al-Shater, was arrested Friday in Cairo on charges of inciting violence against opponents, China's Xinhua news agency said quoting the official Middle East News Agency (MENA)'s report.    

Also on Friday, the police arrested the official lawyer Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsood of MB, to which the ousted President Mohamed Morsi belongs,and former Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.    

Earlier reports had said that MB's general guide Mohammed Badie had been arrested, but the man delivered a speech to throngs of Morsi's supporters in Rabia al-Adawiya Square in Cairo on Friday evening, denying the news as "fake."    

A number of MB and Islamist leaders have been arrested since the ouster of Morsi by the military on Wednesday and a couple of affiliated TV channels were also shut down.    

Security sources said the actions are meant to prevent the Islamist leaders from urging their supporters for acts of violence against the security forces or the public celebrating Morsi's removal. 


Tazkirah Ramadhan atau tazkirah politik?

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 03:06 PM PDT

Tetapi bukankah politik dan agama tidak boleh dipisahkan? Ajaran siapakah yang memisahkan politik dan agama Islam? 

Zainal Abidin Nor, FMT

Pejabat Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja Malaysia telah menetapkan Isnin, 8 Julai bersamaan 29 Syaaban 1434 sebagai tarikh untuk melihat anak bulan Ramadhan bagi menentukan permulaan puasa bagi umat Islam di negara ini.

Dalam satu kenyataan, Majlis Raja-Raja telah mempersetujui bahawa cara menetapkan tarikh itu adalah berdasarkan rukyah dan hisab. Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-Raja akan mengisytiharkan pada malam itu juga tarikh permulaan puasa yang ditetapkan, melalui radio dan televisyen.

Namun tarikh permulaan berpuasa bukan menjadi pokok perbualan di sini tetapi yang menjadi fokus tulisan ini ialah tindakan Jawatankuasa Dakwah dan Islamiah Negeri (JDIN) Pahang yang melarang semua masjid di negeri itu mengadakan tazkirah Ramadhan sewaktu solat tarawih.

Pengerusi JDIN, Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad dalam satu kenyataannya pada 2 Julai lalu berkata, tazkirah sewaktu solat tarawih adalah dilarang diadakan di negeri itu.

Tazkirah Ramadhan merupakan sesi ceramah pendek yang diselit selepas solat Isya' sebelum solat Tarawih. Ada juga masjid dan surau yang menganjurkan sesi tazkirah selepas solat Tarawih. Masjid dan surau yang menganjurkan tazkirah biasanya melakukan solat Tarawih sebanyak lapan rakaat berbanding 20 rakaat di masjid yang tidak mengadakan sesi tazkirah.

Balik kepada tindakan JDIN, larangan ini dipercayai mempunyai motif politik dan arahan dibuat oleh para pemimpin tertinggi negeri itu. Umumnya mereka ini bimbang dengan perkembangan dan kesedaran Islam dan takut kepada bayang-bayang sendiri.

Memandangkan di bawah perlembagaan negara, urusan adat istiadat Melayu dan agama Islam berada di bawah kuasa kerajaan negeri dan kuasa sultan negeri-negeri berkenaan maka pelaksanaan larangan tazkirah adalah tidak seragam.

Kita ambil contoh Sarawak. Bumi kenyalang itu tidak bercadang untuk melarang masjid dan surau di negeri itu mengadakan ceramah atau tazkirah sewaktu solat Tarawih pada bulan Ramadhan nanti.

Menteri Muda di Pejabat Ketua Menteri (Hal Ehwal Islam) Datuk Ir Daud Abdul Rahman dalam satu kenyataan pada 3 Julai lalu berkata pihaknya melihat larangan itu tidak perlu kerana tazkirah yang dijalankan di Sarawak selama ini tidak mempunyai unsur-unsur politik.

"Kami beri kebebasan kepada masjid dan surau untuk mengadakan tazkirah. Kami di Sarawak tidak ada isu, semua tazkirah di negeri ini berjalan dengan baik, tazkirah juga tidak ada unsur politik dan kempen daripada mana-mana pihak," katanya.

Agama dan politik

Tetapi bukankah agama dan politik tidak boleh dipisahkan?  Ajaran siapakah yang memisahkan politik dan agama Islam?  Kenapa kita mempunyai persepsi yang negatif apabila disebut politik? Kalau mengikut tafsiran Barat memanglah dikatakan politik itu kotor.

Tetapi politik dalam Islam dengan disalut dengan akhlak Al Quran sebagai panduan dan cara hidup maka ianya akan menjadi suatu perjuangan yang murni, noble dan 'sacrosant'. Ini jauh berbeza dengan politik Machiavelli yang mengamal doktrin 'matlamat menghalalkan cara'.

Isu tazkirah politik dan kepimpinan yang dibawa ke dalam masjid dan surau sebenarnya amat ditakuti oleh para pendokong dan pemimpin kerajaan yang memerintah dan dianggap boleh mengancam kedudukan mereka sebagai wakil rakyat yang korup.

Mereka bimbang masjid dan surau dijadikan medan oleh ustaz dan penceramah. Di samping menyentuh topik ibadat puasa, penceramah akan menyelitkan isu-isu semasa, lantas perbicaraan tentang penyelewengan dan kepincangan terutama rasuah yang berlaku dalam masyarakat tidak dapat dielakkan.

Tazkirah juga dapat memberi kesedaran apabila Allah SWT mengkehendaki, hati para jemaah terbuka untuk menerima cahaya hidayah dan petunjuk untuk melihat keadilan itu sebagai keadilan dan kejahatan itu sebagai kejahatan.

Apabila para jemaah dapat melihat perkara ini dengan jelas maka kecenderungan politik mereka akan berubah dan persepsi mereka turut berubah.  Mereka lantas dapat membezakan parti politik mana yang betul-betul memperjuangkan Islam dan parti mana pula yang mempermain dan mempersenda Islam.

Namun begitu, umat Islam kini tidak lagi takut dengan ugutan-ugutan oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab yang cuba mengatur kehidupan berpolitik umat Islam mengikut acuan mereka.  Umat Islam kini semakin berani untuk tampil ke hadapan bagi memperjuangkan kebenaran dan keadilan.

Apa pula yang hendak ditakuti jika sekiranya kita benar-benar yakin dan percaya dengan Islam dan janji Allah. Kalau kehidupan kita berpaksikan kepada Allah dan ingin berlari menuju kepadaNya maka tidak ada apa-apa yang perlu ditakuti dan dibimbangkan.

Ustaz dan penceramah yang diundang untuk menyampaikan tazkirah tidak perlu takut kerana PAS pula bersedia untuk memberi khidmat guaman sekiranya mereka ditahan ekoran memberi tazkirah di sepanjang bulan Ramadhan yang hampir tiba itu.

Pengarah Jabatan Undang-Undang dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Juham) Dewan Pemuda PAS Malaysia, Ahmad Zamri As'ad Khuzaimi memberi jaminan tersebut khususnya kepada para ustaz dan penceramah yang menyampaikan tazkirah Ramadhan di negeri Pahang.



No English, no problem: Macau and Hong Kong can do without them altogether

Posted: 05 Jul 2013 12:32 PM PDT 

The talk by some vocal Chinese in Malaysia about the importance of English as an international language is pure propaganda. It has no real basis.


The only reason why they want to use the language as the main medium of instruction in the schools in Malaysia is because they want to obliterate the use of the Melayu language, which they know most of them cannot master.


Mansor Puteh 


However, even if the Melayu are forced to study and speak in English, they will excel more than the Chinese who can never speak or write it as well as the Melayu can.


In Chinese-dominated countries which were also under British rule such as Hong Kong, the Chinese there did not bother to study English and the main medium of instruction in the schools is still Chinese or Cantonese.


Even Singaporeans are speaking in Chinese more than English and all their major television and radio programs are also in this language instead of English.

Most of the Singaporeans speak passable English and not exactly perfect. And if they are interviewed on foreign television programs, chances are what they say has to be subtitled since they do not pronounce English words well.


The demand by the Melayu and other patriotic non-Melayu in Malaysia to have the 'sekolah kebangsaan' as the only school in the country has basis, and if the students are to be forced to master the English language, they can do it within this one education system.


Many workers from Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and other countries speak good Melayu which is a lot better than most of the Chinese despite them not having studied Melayu formally.


The Mandarin and Tamil school systems have also not created Chinese and Tamils who are proficient in English as much as they are in Melayu.


Since many of the Chinese and Tamil students drop out of the vernacular Mandarin and Tamil schools early, the level of their understanding of Mandarin and Tamil is very low.


It is also the same with the Melayu and the others who drop out of the 'sekolah kebangsaan' after Form Five, whose understanding of Melayu is also so low that many cannot write in the language well.


Yet, most of them can still pass their driving tests to get their driving licenses which is given in Melayu.


How on earth did the Chinese and Indian taxi-drivers and petty traders get their driving licenses when they do not speak or write well in Melayu? 


The other reason why the Chinese do not favor sending their children to the 'sekolah kebangsaan' is because of the strong emphasis on Islamic studies and Islam, so they fear their children could be compelled to convert to Islam.

The truth is most of the Chinese Islamic converts are those with the vernacular Mandarin school backgrounds. Check with Perkim and watch their programs at 11.30 a.m. every Friday on TV2.


And if there are parents who can afford to send their children for ballet and piano lessons and excel in them, then surely they too could have sent their children to English lessons.


Why didn't the Chinese parents demand the government also provide their children with those ballet and piano lessons too?  


Hong Kong was returned to China from Britain on 1 July, 1997 and Macau from Portugal two years later after they were colonized by the two European superpowers of the day for so long.


They were under the colonization of Britain and Portugal for 99 years as opposed to Malaysia which was under them for a mere 176 years.


Britain benefited much from the colonization of Hong Kong and all the other more than fifty countries that provided the country with their natural resources while planting their social, cultural and not counting religious biases on the locals or natives.


Portugal on the other hand, was not so smart; while their country remained backward, Macau was able to develop.


Their experience in governing Macau for 99 years had caused Macau to be developed, but Portugal remained backward. And today even within the European Union, Portugal remains as one if not the most poorly developed country in the EU.


At the same time Portugal did not leave much legacy in Macau as did Britain in Hong Kong.

Portuguese may be the official language in Macau as is Mandarin, and English used to be the official language in Hong Kong as was Cantonese, yet, there is no loss for the locals that did not seem to favor these languages.


There was and also still is no clamor by the local Chinese to get their governments to have a single education system which uses only English or Portuguese as the medium of instruction.


The problem is that these countries are Chinese-dominated.

Whereas in Malaysia, the Melayu population is not yet overwhelming with the percentage of the Chinese which is still large enough to allow them to exert any demand on the Melayu who they have by design or by the mistake of the Melayu themselves, have been fractured to force them to be grouped into two or three groups, all of which clamor for the support from the Chinese who they have appointed to be the kingmakers of the country's political system, which is sad.


Yet, at the same time, the propaganda some Chinese have been using to say that English is an international lingua franca which is integral to the further development of the country is nothing but propaganda.


Some Melayu have also swallowed such propaganda and have appointed themselves to be the unpaid and unofficial spokesmen for the British who do not care for their personal sentiments.


The truth however, the Chinese in Macau and also Hong Kong do not care for English.


And on my recent visit to the two countries I found it so difficult to find a Chinese who could speak English.


I was lucky to be able to see some Filipino maids or those working in the travel industry in the hotels who I could approach to seek information and direction.

Even the Chinese staff at the hotel and airport do not speak much English. If they do speak the language they do it in a thick Chinese accent.


No Chinese in Malaysia has ever compared to the situation in Malaysia and in those two countries, to see if English had become too instrumental in the economic development of the two countries.


Even when Hong Kong was under direct British rule for 99 years, the main school system was still Mandarin-based, so those who could speak English were so few. 

And the number of the Chinese in Hong Kong who can speak in English today is even less, with the more Chinese from Mainland China who have come to seek a better livelihood had come to Hong Kong so in the end they are able to overwhelm the original inhabitants of the country who speak in Cantonese so much so that they too have to study Mandarin to be able to communicate with the Mainland Chinese.


Yet, both Hong Kong and Macau are countries which can be said to be developed economically with the people experiencing a modern lifestyle while speaking in Mandarin or Cantonese.


This goes to prove that the mastery of the English language does not automatically allow any country to become developed.


If this logic is good, then why is the Philippines still not at par with Hong Kong and Macau? There are many Filipinos who are able to speak in English although they may do so with a thick Filipino accent which is influenced by the Spanish upbringing.

Being under American occupation for a while after the Spanish left, the Filipinos were able to study English, but their country is still not so developed.


And on a more personal level, why then are there so many African-Americans and also Native Americans who speak excellent English who can be considered to be economically backward compared to the Caucasian Americans?


Even Singapore which had stressed the importance of English has not proven to the world how the language could unite all Singaporeans, especially with the many Chinese who still prefer to use their mother tongue.


And the television programs especially the dramas and travelogues and magazine programs are all in Mandarin and not in English.


If the Singaporeans speak in English, it will have a strong alien accent and not in proper English that we know today, so much so that what they say in interviews is subtitled. And they are not the ordinary Singaporeans, but the professionals such as engineers.


There are not that many places in Singapore and also Malaysia where one can speak proper English.


So even if one can write well in the language, one can still speak in the language with some alien accent.


And it is not just accent which is wrong with Malaysians and Singaporeans when they speak in English; it involves a host of other issues relating to their social and cultural upbringing and historical influences that can cause them to behave like idiots if they confront true English men or women and if they are in England or any other English-speaking country.


So if there are some Chinese and also Melayu in Malaysia who think if the people are excellent in English, only then the country can fully develop, they can go to Macau and Hong Kong and see for themselves how this is not true.


The people of Macau and Hong Kong can do away with English and they can still develop their own countries as much as the other developed countries in Europe and Japan, South Korea and even China which sends their 'taikonauts' to space speaking in Mandarin.   


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