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Remembering Tun Dr. Ismail the nationalist

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 12:01 PM PDT

It has been exactly 40 years since Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman was called back to Allah s.w.t. His demise was a shock to a nation in recovery mode.

He was a made of principle and stickler to rules and regulations. He tolerated no concession.

Probably because of his training as medical practitioner. He was the first Johoeran Malay who graduated in medicine from Australia.

He was also a staunch nationalist. When Tunku Abdul Rahman accepted the leadership as the President of UMNO upon the untimely resignation Dato' Onn Ja'far in 1951, the former's initial reaction was to work on getting the Johorean Malay support. It was pertinent as many Johorean leaders played pivotal role in the incorporation of the nationalist party.

Hence, Tunku insisted that Dr. Ismail and his brother Suleiman were brought into the side of majority of the nationalist Malays, instead of remain loyal to Onn.

It was  great political calculated move. Johorean Malays' strong support became one of the important pillars of UMNO, to carry on. As such, the unity amongst the Malays under UMNO became its powerful political force. The nationalism cry of "Hidup Melayu" was changed to "Merdeka" there after.


Second Prime Tun Abdul Razak's Cabinet. Tun Dr. Ismail then was the deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister

Second Prime Tun Abdul Razak's Cabinet. Tun Dr. Ismail then was the deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister

Although Dr. Ismail was supportive of working with MCA and MIC to achieve a common political objective, he was very critical when MCA was allocated 29% of the 52 seats Alliance Party was contesting in the 1955 Federal Consultative Council election becuase the Chinese were only 11% of the eligible voters. However when UMNO accepted the need for the Chinese to be represented as part of process to demonstrate that Malayans are united and ready for self rule, there on Dr. Ismail defended that political formula.

Dr. Ismail's steadfast political determination was demonstrated when he dared to challenge then the British High Commissioner Harold MacGillivray. When the British High Commissioner Donald MacGillivray met with the Tunku, Ismail, and the MCA's representative of H. S. Lee, probably out of intolerable paranoia he accused them of playing into the hands of the Malayan Communist Party, which was waging an armed insurgency against the British.

The source of the dispute was that the British High Commissioner had been given the discretion to nominate six seats, in addition to those contested in the elections. Ismail proposed a compromise: the Alliance would support the elections, but only if High Commissioner MacGillivray would consult with the party that won the elections before making his appointments. MacGillivray initially refused, but after finding public opinion against him, backed down.


He was the Minister of Internal Security, a post which had been specifically created for him. In 1962, he was appointed to the portfolio of Home Affairs as well. In these roles, Ismail introduced the Internal Security Act and was in charge of detaining people under the controversial law designed for internal security, which permits detention without trial.

After resigning in 1967, Ismail expressed amazement that he was not "the most hated man in Malaya" for his actions. Although many were critical of the ISA, Ismail believed it was necessary for public order, stating that "Abuse of the Act can be prevented by vigilant public opinion via elections, a free Press and above all the Parliament."

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How to Win Friends and Influence People

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:22 AM PDT

Yesterday the Prime Minister, in his speech at the breaking of fast in Bukit Antarabangsa spoke of the needs to win back the heart of the urban dwellers. He spoke of the need to curb corruption, reduced crimes and providing better facilities like urban transport to the people; apart from acknowledging mistakes and having the humility to identify weaknesses in his party. The speech of a leader.

Contrast the speech with the one we heard from his Deputy a day earlier. There the Deputy spoke of the need to Muslims to be ever vigilant as those insulting Islam are getting more brazen. Muhiyuddin referred to an old video clip and said "the callousness of some towards Islam and Muslim sensitivities could spark disharmony." He then baited the Muslims by asking "Is this a manifestation of the assumption that we (the Muslims) are weak; and that they (the non Muslims) could walk all over us or that we are afraid to react when they insult the sanctity of Islam…"

So if the Prime Minister wants to win back the urban voters; he must have a new Deputy, who is more sophisticated. Urban voters like to hear consistent message from their leaders. Urban voters want the Prime Minister and his Deputy singing the same tune. In fact it's unprecedented that here in this great country the Deputy always sings a different tune from his boss. He has forgotten that he is in the Cabinet because the Prime Minister has selected him. So its time for the UMNO to choose one from the other. The two men of different political beliefs and different leadership style must come head to head for the sake of the urban voters. Living together when there is no more love is painful not just for the parties concerned but for the people.

Urban voters also like some humility on the part of their leaders; and when these leaders say something obnoxious or otherwise; they must be guided by reason and facts. In this "internet and YouTube days" there will always be incidents that are not meant to insult anyone, let alone the official religion, but are just recordings of statements or conduct which are reflective of the different kinds of human beings living in the country. UMNO leaders must realize that in this YouTube days there will always be recordings that they disapprove of; but there is no need to do a quantum leap and start a religious war over small things that bothers only the small minds. Muhiyuddin is not the kind of PM we need.

When I was young there were some Malay civil servants; and even Malay Rulers, who kept   dogs as pets. If that period in our history was "an internet age" many people would see how they caressed the dogs and even bathed them with loving care. Would the Deputy then say they were insulting Islam? When he alleged that many non-Muslims are insulting Islam he must give us the statistics. He must also define what constitute insulting Islam; otherwise every single action he disapproves of becomes a huge political attack on Islam. I know many Muslims like to buy 4 digits; although the religious authorities think they have made all Muslims compliant with their ban. Suppose someone were to post on the YouTube showing  these  wayward Muslims coming out of the Big Sweep Shops; would the Deputy Prime Minister also say someone out there (in his minds the non-Muslims of course) are insulting Islam? To win back urban voters UMNO must have leaders who use 'reason' more than wild emotions. At the moment for every voice of reason we hear they have plenty who use something else!

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Two Cases per Week on Average for the First Seven Months of 2013: Gun-killings are not merely a ...

Posted: 02 Aug 2013 11:01 AM PDT

Recently, the brazen assassinations with the use of firearms have heightened alarm over the law and order of our nation. Over the years, the safety of society is always the core issue. Robbery, kidnapping, theft, snatching and so forth are certainly not uncommon news that get published on mainstream media almost everyday. However, the widespread of gun violence is not merely a security issue. In fact, think-tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) argues that such cases are the result of defects or demerits that have entrenched in the process of law enforcement and the judicial process for decades in this country.

Besides that, considering Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that government will use the existing legal framework such as the 'Prevention of Crime Act 1959' to fight major crimes, including crimes which involving firearms, as was discussed in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, as well as the former Chief Minister of Malacca, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam should stop pointing finger and blaming the repeal of Emergency Ordinance (EO) or Internal Security Act (ISA) for contributing to the spike in crime, or inciting to call for reviving such draconian acts. Instead, KPRU urged the relevant authorities to review and improve the shortcomings and weaknesses of law enforcement, which including the process of investigations, evidence collection, prosecution and judicial proceedings.

KPRU has compiled the latest incidents or gun violence (see the table of KPRU below) and found that a total of 31 cases of assault or murder involving firearms have happened in just four months' time from April to July of 2013. A total of 43 people were victimized, wherein 23 were shot dead while 20 were injured. Furthermore, Penang Institute's study showed that the gun deaths in the first four months of 2013 alone are far more than in 2012. There are 38 cases in total, on average two cases per week. Therefore, based on the two studies by KPRU (April-July) and Penang Institute (Jan to April), it is clear that the gunshot cases happened consistently during the first seven months this year, on average two cases per week. These high numbers of firearms murders immediately trigger the anxiety and fear in the community.

Nonetheless, we should bear in mind that these cases were premeditated firearms murders, unlike the gun violence in US. The killers first trail the intended victim and when the timing is right, the killers then approach the victim and execute at close range. Thus, the modus operandi (MO) of such crimes is indeed highly organized and motivated by personal issues. Moreover, it can be said that almost all of the cases involving the use of firearms are executed by the hit-man. Also, the seemingly easy occurrence of these crimes is attributed to the availability of firearms on the black market. In all, the discussion on rising crime would eventually sway the issue back to weakness of law enforcement and judicial proceedings.

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