Ahad, 1 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Is Malaysia university entry a level playing field?

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 12:38 PM PDT


Mr Soh and Ms Hanie both applied to government-funded medical universities 

(BBC) - "The system should nurture talent," Mr Chong of MCA said. "Instead, we are creating generations of people who think that this country is unfair."

Soh Boon Khang scored a perfect mark of 4.0 in his high-school exams.

He was confident that this grade would allow him to become the first doctor in his Chinese family. Mr Soh wanted to become a surgeon, specialising in oncology.

He applied to medical school but did not get a single offer from a government-funded university.

"I feel very frustrated and very sad. I cried three times because I used to believe that a diligent student who excelled at academics stood to get a chance," he said.

Hanie Farhana, meanwhile, who achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 out of 4, was recently accepted into medical school.

She comes from the country's Malay majority, also known as Bumiputera. Some of her non-Bumiputera friends who scored higher marks did not get into government-funded universities, she said.

Ms Hanie felt she was given advantages over other races, such as access to certain scholarships not available to non-Bumiputeras.

"It is stated in the social contract back to independence [from the British] that Malays get special privileges and rights, whereas the non-Malays have their citizenship," she said, but added that she still worked hard and deserved her place.


'Something broken'

Malaysia is made up of 60% Bumiputeras, 23% ethnic Chinese and 7% ethnic Indians, with the remainder made up of other races.

Since Bumiputeras traditionally lag behind in education and business, under national policies, they get cheaper housing, priority in government jobs and business licenses.

Malaysia also used to set ethnic quotas in government-funded universities to ensure that more Bumiputeras had access to higher education, but that system was abolished in 2002. Since then, Malaysia's education ministry has said the system is based on merit.

Ethnic minorities dispute this. The academic year begins this month, and of the 41,573 places in government-funded universities available, 19% were awarded to ethnic Chinese and 4% to ethnic Indians. The rest of the seats were mainly allocated to Bumiputeras.

Senator Jaspal Singh, with the Malaysian Indian Congress, which is part of the governing Barisan Nasional coalition, described it as the most unfair and biased university intake for ethnic minorities in decades.

Mr Jaspal said records showed that the number of Indians who applied to government-funded universities had remained steady, but those who were offered a place had dropped by more than half compared to a decade ago under the racial quota system, where at least 8% of the public university intake were Indian.

Ethnic Chinese representatives report that their student intake went down by a third in the same period.

"This year's intake resulted in many students with [perfect scores] of 4.0 cumulative grade point averages not getting courses of their choice, or worse, not being given places at all," said Mr Jaspal. Something was broken in the system, he said.

Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan was unable to confirm or deny whether the number of Chinese and Indian students accepted into public university had gone down since 2002. But he told the BBC that this year's figures alone showed that the system was based on merit.

"The success rate of the Chinese community in university is the highest in this country," he said.

Mr Kamalanathan said of all Malaysians who applied to universities in the 2013-14 academic year, 76% of ethnic Chinese were successful compared to 72% of Bumiputeras. The success rate for ethnic Indians was 69%.

Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23841888 

‘Undergraduates should study Tanda Putera’

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 12:35 PM PDT


(Bernama) - "The storyline should not be questioned although there are certain scenes which do affect emotions. The film is based on history, but what is important is the lesson (from the history)," he said.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Razali Ibrahim has proposed that the film 'Tanda Putera" be made a topic of academic study by students and academicians at the institutions of higher learning (IPT).

He said the film could be studied from the angle of background, creative work and storyline to give a clearer understanding of how the national leaders in the past solved the problem of unity and endeavoured to develop the nation.

"It is good if it is studied, especially by undergraduates, so they can evaluate and criticise it from various perspectives and the actual meaning of the story," he told reporters after viewing the film at the Golden Screen Cinema, Midvalley, here, yesterday.

Razali, who is also Umno Youth vice-chief, watched the movie with his family and 50 IPT students and members of several non-governmental organisations representing the Chinese and Indian communities.

Razali, who is also Umno Youth IPT Bureau chairman, said he would ask the bureau to study the content of the film, which was produced by Pesona Pictures and the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas).

He said the film, directed by Suhaimi Baba, should also serve as a lesson for the current generation, particularly in understanding important events taking place in the country.

"The storyline should not be questioned although there are certain scenes which do affect emotions. The film is based on history, but what is important is the lesson (from the history)," he said.

Commenting on the action of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who tried to hinder its screening in the state, he said it should not have happened.

On the same issue, People's Progressive Party (PPP) Youth chief Harridz Mohan, who also saw the film, said the historical content in every scene in the film should be lessons to be learned and not politicised.

The screening of the film 'Tanda Putera' starring Rusdi Ramli, Zizan Nin, Faezah Elai and Linda Hashim was held up for almost two years following claims it contained negative and defamatory elements. 

Sang Saka Malaya’ flags a challenge to sovereignty

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 12:30 PM PDT


(Bernama) - The flying of the 'Sang Saka Malaya' flags during the Merdeka Day eve celebrations in the city last Friday was described as a challenge to national sovereignty, by historian and director of Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Centre for Royal Institutional Studies, Prof.  Dr. Ramlah Adam.

"This is about the country, not politics. I feel that the group has challenged the nation's sovereignty," she said.

She was commenting on the You Tube clip circulating on social media sites which showed A Samad Said reciting poetry and an angry man bursting onto the scene and grabbing a few 'Sang Saka Malaya' flags put up nearby, on the eve of the 56th independence day at Dataran Merdeka last Friday night.

The 'Sang Saka Malaya' is a red and white flag with 12 yellow stars set in four columns reportedly proposed as Malaya's national flag by an association in the 1940s.

Commenting on the involvement of national laureate A Samad Said, Ramlah said that as a matured and respected figure, he should have been more sensitive to the struggles of his predecessors who had fought for the country's independence.

She called on the government to take stern action to curb such rampant incidents and commended the man who had been brave enough to grab the flags.

Several political analysts also voiced out that the authorities should clamp down on such activities which attempted to spark tension among the people.

They also praised the courage of the man who was seen grabbing the 'Sang Saka Malaya' flags and crumpling them up while pointing out the massive Jalur Gemilang fluttering at Dataran Merdeka as the correct one.

Universiti Sains Malaysia's deputy dean of the School of Social Sciences assoc prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said a similar incident occurred on the eve of last year's independence day.

"The authorities need to be more assertive in taking action and punish these irresponsible parties, otherwise it will seem as though we are recognising the Sang Saka Malaya flag," he said.

He said those who understood the significance of our history and upheld our sovereignty would not behave thus as the national flag was a symbol of the country.

A similar stance was expressed by Mara University of Technology, Faculty of Media Communication Studies, senior lecturer assoc prof Dr Ismail Sualman who said that the blatant action clearly demonstrated the lack of enforcement by authorities.

"Leaders can change from time to time … but efforts to change the flag is mindless. No country has ever done it, as the national flag is the most important symbol of any country," he said.

Meanwhile, Ikatan Rakyat Insan Muslim Malaysia president Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay said severe punishment should be imposed on those who kept mocking the Malaysian flag, in order to deter others.

"The government should not keep quiet anymore. They should take stern action against anyone who does not respect our flag. Do not allow this situation to spread," he said.

Revoke Samad Said's title

Cheras Umno division chief Syed Ali Al – Habshee praised the brave man and said his action proved that there were Malaysians who dared to defend the flag single handedly in the face of an irresponsible group.

He called on the Home Minister to investigate the incident and arrest the perpetrators and revoke their citizenships.

Whereas, Gagasan Pendidikan Melayu Malaysia secretary-general Syed Anuar Syed Mohamad urged the government to consider revoking the national laureate title conferred on A  Samad Said.

"The government is the one who conferred the title on him, but he (A Samad Said) constantly disputes their policies. He should be a role model instead," he said.

A similar incident involving the 'Sang Saka Malaya' flag took place on the eve of last year's Merdeka Day, following which more than 400 police reports were lodged.

Although some cases were investigated under the Sedition Act, no suspects have been charged so far. 

Ringgit declines most in Asia as Fed seen paring debt purchases

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 12:29 PM PDT


(Bloomberg) - Malaysia's ringgit dropped the most in Asia on speculation that outflows will accelerate on prospects of a reduction in US monetary stimulus this month. Government bonds retreated.

American employers added 180,000 jobs in August, after an increase of 162,000 in July, a Bloomberg survey showed before a September 6 report. The Federal Open Market Committee meets September 17-18 to review the policy known as quantitative easing. Global funds cut holdings of Malaysian government and corporate debt in July by the most since September 2011, central bank data show. The Obama administration is on a campaign to persuade US lawmakers that a military strike against Syria is justified.

"Markets think non-farm payrolls would affirm, rather than subtract from, sentiments that QE taper would be started," said Vishnu Varathan, an economist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore. "They are still watching the very dynamic and evolving situation with regard to Syria."

The ringgit retreated 0.2 per cent, the most among the 11 most-traded Asian currencies, to 3.2927 per dollar as of 10:23am in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in exchange rates used to price options, fell eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 9 per cent.

Foreign ownership of Malaysian securities declined 5.7 per cent to RM216 billion in July, Bank Negara figures show. Overseas investors hold 28 per cent of the nation's government bonds, compared with 18 per cent for Thailand, according to central bank data.

The yield on the 3.26 per cent sovereign notes due March 2018 advanced two basis points to 3.70 per cent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/money/article/ringgit-declines-most-in-asia-as-fed-seen-paring-debt-purchases?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.7IRkGK1O.dpuf 

The other side of the coin

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 09:01 AM PDT


A foreign woman and her child seen in the convenience shop at Ridzuan Condominium. 

The letter from Ridzuan Condo reminded me of all the contempt when people looked at me; of the time I was asked if I was a prostitute because I am African; of all the stories I hear of Africans being arrested even with valid documents and no criminal activity; of people moving away from me, blocking their nose even though I smell like roses; of that look of horror on a girl's face when I tried to help her get to the cashier because she was carrying too much. 

Bonolo Martha Mhaphi, MMO

I remember the first day I landed in this country, so excited. I was so happy to see so many different races and I thought to myself YES such diversity will blend me right in and I will never have to feel like an alien object.

I was even more excited to have a full Asiatic experience. I had only seen Chinese culture through kung fu flicks and Indian culture through Bollywood movies I watched as a child. I was getting a three-in-one cultural expose!

All this excitement came to a screeching halt the day I had my first experience with racism; the day I wept from not understanding what I did to deserve this hate; the day my tears were flooded with seething anger because I know I don't deserve such hate.

That is the day I realised my stay here is not going to be easy.

I am not writing this to complain or get sympathy or pity. This is me telling the other side of the story; the other side of the coin that has never been told; only one that can be told by an African — a black woman — proud of my brown skin and kinky hair.

Writing this was sparked by a letter written by Ridzuan Condominium in Bandar Sri Subang following annual general meeting, ordering landlords who have African tenants to terminate their contracts because they are deemed a "nuisance" and their presence is "devaluing" the properties.

It is not only a highly uneducated view on property value, it is also illegal. This would not occur in an African country; no government there would allow a race to be banned from any condominium or any other living area, and there would be an international outcry.

In the case of Africans living in another country, it is the opposite.

Until this letter surfaced, I had loved Malaysia: I always say I grew up here. This is where I spent the crucial years of my development, learning to be independent of my family and being responsible for myself.

That led me to want to stay here and make Malaysia my second home, all the negative experiences aside, because they taught me to be strong and persevere.

The letter from Ridzuan Condo reminded me of all the contempt when people looked at me; of the time I was asked if I was a prostitute because I am African; of all the stories I hear of Africans being arrested even with valid documents and no criminal activity; of people moving away from me, blocking their nose even though I smell like roses; of that look of horror on a girl's face when I tried to help her get to the cashier because she was carrying too much.

It reminded me every time I walked into a store, I would be followed to make sure I didn't steal anything; of people locking their car doors when I pass by.

This letter brought me back to earth, because it seems I had become disillusioned with the reality that faced me. As far as most Malaysians are concerned, I am just another criminal from Africa.

I will always be defined as just African, despite the fact Africa is a continent of one billion people, 54 countries, with over 3,000 tribes who speak an estimated 2,000 languages.

This does not matter. The compression of culture and such diversity is the order of the day. I will be judged based on a handful of bad apples. It doesn't matter who I am or what I stand for, I am after all just another nameless black face.

The statistics are there of criminal activities, there is no denying that. But the question here is: Are Africans accountable for all the crime in Malaysia?

The Malaysian media has played a vital role in painting the African populace with one brush. Their statistics, however, do not show how many students are graduating, how many Africans are victims of crime, and there are many, including myself.

The excuse often made is Malaysians are not well-travelled or exposed; all they know is the imagery, the stereotypes they see in the media. This is an excuse, a very weak one at that. Not only are there millions of homes connected to the Internet which provides vast amounts of information, there are thousands of Africans

Malaysians can talk to and learn something about Africa, the individual cultural values, norms and lives.

I get disgusted at the thought of bringing my mother here for my graduation knowing she might be subjected to racist slurs like 'negro', 'nigger' and 'nigga'.

Even a happy day is overshadowed by this. The only thing on my mind should be the twinkle of pride in her eyes when I walk up the stage to get my degree.

Some Africans say they are 'used' to the racist treatment, but racism should never be accepted. It should never be tolerated and it should never be allowed to occur in any society.

I would have never known Malaysia existed if the university I attend had not come to am educational fair in my country. I would have never come if I have known I would be subjected to racial segregation. I find this extremely ironic in a country that claims racial harmony.

I am a person who deserves dignity and respect as much as anyone else.


Why would I waste diesel when I can sell it, says workshop owner

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 08:51 AM PDT


Polluted: The blackened oil spill booms used to contain the diesel in Sungai Selangor. 

(The Star) - Mok, 55, said he repaired his own lorries at the workshop on the 1.21 ha of agricultural land, claiming that he was a sub-contractor for the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) where his lorries were used to transport solid and industrial waste.

The owner of the workshop at Jalan Batu Arang in Rawang, allegedly responsible for the diesel spillage into Sungai Selangor, has blamed his workers for the spill.

The owner, who wanted to be known only as Mok, said he had sacked four workers for being "irresponsible".

"Why would I deliberately pour diesel into the river when I could have sold it? This is the first time such an incident has happened in the 13 years since I started operating," he said yesterday.

Mok said he was sorry for the negligence but denied it was a deliberate act.

"I was shocked when I read the news that the diesel spillage was the cause of the water disruption that affected millions," he said.

However, he was sceptical that the spillage was the main reason for the water disruption.

"I feel I have been wronged as the blame has been put entirely on me," he said.

He claimed that the diesel leaked from his lorries and flowed into the drain in the factory's compound.

"When the Department of Environment (DOE) came to check, my workers then unclogged the drain. However, by unclogging it, the diesel flowed into the main drains which seeped into the river," he claimed.

Mok, 55, said he repaired his own lorries at the workshop on the 1.21 ha of agricultural land, claiming that he was a sub-contractor for the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) where his lorries were used to transport solid and industrial waste.

He said he also repaired roll-on/roll-off containers and waste compactors there. He added that the two tankers, taken as evidence by DOE, were actually used to store the diesel that the workers had tried to clean up from the drain.

When asked if he was operating the workshop illegally, he said: "There is no need to apply for a licence as I do not conduct any business activities there. I only repair my own lorries. It is not as though I am running a business to repair lorries."

He denied that he had been collecting waste engine oil and reprocessing it as stated by MPS. He said he would meet with MPS today to discuss the next course of action and plans to lodge a police report to explain his side of the story.

"I will leave the place within three months as I had earlier sold the land," he said.

It was reported yesterday that Selangor state secretary Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi had said they would take the sternest possible action against the culprit responsible for spilling diesel into Sungai Selangor.

He said they were even looking at the possibility of seizing the land (on which the business is sited) if the law permitted it.

MPS president Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain had alleged that the owner had been collecting waste engine oil and reprocessing it, adding that they had seized 20 items, consisting mainly of heavy machinery.

The council has previously slapped the owner with 14 compounds amounting to RM34,000.

Water Crisis: Need for 'Enforcement Ordinance'?

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 08:31 AM PDT


How come the enforcement agencies are blind to these concrete elephants operating in the vicinity of these emergency service areas? The government is concerned about our emergency services enough to ban workers in these services from taking industrial action but somehow is so lax when it comes to illegal operators who pour diesel into the source of our drinking water! 

Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser

Does the water crisis of the last few days call for the introduction of an EO, or Enforcement Ordinance to deal with enforcement agencies which fail to carry out their function of protecting emergencies services such as water supply as well as our environment?

This mocking rhetorical question should not be lost on Malaysians since the government is trying to bring back the Emergency Ordinance, which allows detention without trial because of their failure to deal with criminals.

The analogy is not inconsequential since it exposes the political will and the abject failure of our enforcement agencies and the police in carrying out their job despite the ample arsenal in our statute books to deal with illegal operators and other criminals. Corruption is a prime suspect in all these cases of over sighting illegal activities.


Certainly not the first case of illegal operators

In the latest crisis, diesel spill had resulted in the closure of water treatment plans of Sungai Selangor phase one, two, and three as well as the Rantau Panjang water treatment plan, affecting water supply to Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Gombak, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor and Kuala Langat.

On January 15 this year, the raw water supply in Sungai Semenyih was polluted because an operator had discharged foul-smelling waste into the river, an act that forced operators Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) to close down the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant for almost seven hours.

The Environment minister told a press conference, "We cannot afford to have incidents of this nature. We need to try our best to enforce (the law), and keep pollutants out of our water supply."

The Sungai Semenyih plant had to be closed from 1pm to 8pm on Monday after pollutants were discovered in the raw water supply. Although the plant was fully operational after seven hours, continued use of water during the shutdown period had emptied out the reservoirs in Bangi, Kajang, Sungai Chua and Semenyih, with disruptions expected to last up to seven days in some areas.

Up to April 2012, there had been at least 13 incidents where water treatment plants had to be shut down for several hours due to the high level of contaminants in the water caused by pollution of the main rivers in Selangor, particularly the Semenyih and Langat rivers. (NST, 3 Nov 2012) According to the National Water Services Commission (Span), the contaminants in the rivers were mainly effluents from industrial activities; poultry farm waste, oil spill and sand mining. 

How come the enforcement agencies are blind to these concrete elephants operating in the vicinity of these emergency service areas? The government is concerned about our emergency services enough to ban workers in these services from taking industrial action but somehow is so lax when it comes to illegal operators who pour diesel into the source of our drinking water!


Give us some truth

The reporting of the latest crisis also shows the lack of transparency in informing the public about the truth of the situation. When the crisis first broke out, Bernama reported that it had been caused by a tanker that had overturned, spilling the diesel it was carrying into Sungai Selangor.

It was later reported that the diesel spill had come from a company in an industrial area near Sungai Gong that had a contract to clean trucks, including garbage trucks, and the company had dumped the diesel into a drain, at the river source.


Wise after the event

As in past cases, the authorities do not bring the enforcement agencies to account for their negligence but are wise after the event. It has been reported that the factory in question, 'Muhibbah' had already been compounded 14 times for some RM34,000 but the right question of the factory's existence at the source of the Selangor river itself seems to have escaped the local authorities, Department of Environment, the State Government and the police!

The existence of these illegal operators in the vicinity of the River Selangor had been pointed out to the government officers when the Ministry of Finance facilitated a dialogue with NGO activists opposing the Selangor River dam more than 10 years ago!

Consequently, this gross failure by the enforcement agencies and the police to tackle such criminal activities will be raised if the government tries to justify any legislation that allows detention without trial.

Arab Spring: Death to humanity

Posted: 01 Sep 2013 08:17 AM PDT


If the attack takes place and its results go as planned, many people will say the United States did it for its own interest. If the attacks don't go as planned, then we will blame Washington and never ourselves.

Isn't it ironic that we're so anti-American and yet the first thing we ask for during conflict is American intervention? 

Abdulateef Al-Mulhim, Arab News 

Since the start of the Arab Spring, we have seen men, women and children get killed by stray bullets, tank shells, scud missiles, attack helicopters and fighter jets.

There are innocent people in Syria under attack by chemical weapons, regardless of which side is guilty of using them, and nothing has been done by world communities. So, what are we waiting for? Are we waiting to see nuclear bombs used to kill innocents indiscriminately?
The Arab Spring erupted in many Arab countries, from Tunisia to Libya and from Egypt to Syria.

Yet I have always maintained that the Arab Spring was dead on arrival although I have the highest respect for people's demands for better living standards, social equality, freedom to think and ask questions and to eradicate corruption.

I also have no fond sentiment for Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and his sons, Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, Libya'sMuammar Qaddafi and Syria's Bashar Assad, but I wasn't optimistic about the outcome of their departure.

The Arab and Western media welcomed the changes, but apparently, many analysts don't know the complexity of the Arab world.

When you talk to a Syrian from Damascus and a Syrian from Aleppo, it is like talking to two people from two different planets.

A Libyan from Benghazi is completely different to a Libyan from Tripoli. An Egyptian from Cairo would not be welcome in Egypt's Sinai.

A Yemeni from Sanaa considers a Yemini from Aden his sworn enemy. The simple fact is that these countries are already divided beyond imagination.

Ironically, it was those ousted dictators who held these countries together. Yes, dictatorship is inexcusable, but this is the reality of the Arab world. Just look at Iraq after Saddam Hussein. Who would have imagined that many Iraqis now miss the good old days of Saddam? How can people miss someone who was behind the death of at least one member of every single Iraqi family, including his own?

The answer is easy. Arabs are not ready to be ruled by a democratic system and dictatorship is the norm. Somehow, the Arab world always enjoys having a leader with charisma regardless of what he does or doesn't do for them.

Read more at: http://www.arabnews.com/news/462741 

Forging a unity that transcends tolerance

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 07:01 PM PDT

The words of the founding fathers, in every country, often form the bedrock from which the nation is built. Even as we make great progress in the name of development, the overarching theme of what constitutes our nation remains sacrosanct.

The Star

MERDEKA. Seven times this word was shouted out by Tunku Abdul Rahman, with his right arm raised, on that auspicious day of Aug 31, 1957.

And seven times the crowd roared back, "Merdeka!"

It has been 56 years since that day and many of these initial moments in our nation's history are long since forgotten.

If one were to do a quick survey, not many would get the answer right if asked how many times the Tunku shouted Merdeka that morning.

And how many would know who were the Rulers gathered on the podium, or who represented the British monarch to hand over the instruments of independence to our first prime minister?

What about the Proclamation of Independence and the historic words that heralded the birth of our nation?

Among other things, the Tunku acknowledged that our life as an independent nation was blessed from the beginning because we inherited, from the coloniser, strong foundations like "justice before the law, the legacy of an efficient public service and the highest standard of living in Asia."

But the Tunku was mindful that the road ahead would be tough, reminding us that "Independence is indeed a milestone, but it is only the threshold to high endeavour – the creation of a new and sovereign State."

He declared, "At this solemn moment therefore, I call upon you all to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya: to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty – a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world."

The words of the founding fathers, in every country, often form the bedrock from which the nation is built. Even as we make great progress in the name of development, the overarching theme of what constitutes our nation remains sacrosanct.

If we are to forge ahead with confidence, we must recognise all the good things that have been done in these past 56 years, and how our unique multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural nation not only survived but blossomed to what it is today.

But nothing can and should be taken for granted. Where we have faltered, for example, in areas like ethnic and religious relations, let us make the necessary moves to bring things back on course.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his Merdeka Day message, rightfully reminded us that the people must remain united to defend the sovereignty of Malaysia.

"Whatever challenges there are, we must not despair.

"We must move forward to develop the country based on national solidarity," he said.

This year's theme, "My Sovereign Malaysia: My Homeland", reminds us that this is our home.

"We were born in our homeland Malaysia, we grew up in our homeland Malaysia, we make a living in our homeland Malaysia, and God willing, we will be buried in our homeland Malaysia," the Prime Minister said.

Which is why we need to embrace our differences and enhance our similarities to forge a unity that transcends tolerance or compromise.


Beauty of being Malaysian

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 06:56 PM PDT

While our nation is a country of endless possibilities, it is also a land of endless contradictions.

Well, it may be hard for many of us to believe but this is the Land of Countless Contradictions, and the exposure of armpits, mind you, is definitely regarded as "terlalu menggairahkan" (too arousing). We have been lectured on this often enough.

Wong Chun Wai, The Star

IT'S Merdeka Day. No Malaysian can possibly pass through the day (yesterday, to be precise) without a thought for our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

That spellbinding image of Bapa Merdeka raising his right hand and leading the nation in shouting "Merdeka" seven times at the newly built Stadium Merdeka on Aug 31 1957 is etched forever in the minds of every Malaysian.

Nostalgia aside, I also wonder what the Tunku would have thought about the country and us, Malaysians, if he were alive today.

Yes, the slogan "Endless Possibilities" will soon be a buzzword but this is also a Land of Endless Contradictions.

But, as I wrote last week, I love these mind-boggling confusions. Malaysia is surely a more interesting place to live in than the clinically sterile Singapore.

Well, for starters, the Tunku would think we must have gone bonkers if we expect him to pester his Indonesian counterpart for help to ship in Indonesian maids and construction workers to Malaysia!

Bung Karno, as President Sukarno was called, would have freaked out and declared war on Malaysia, and not just a Confrontation!

But here we are, in 2013, and we expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to go to Jakarta, or any place where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is present, to ask him if the maids are coming soon.

Here's the weird part about us Malaysians. We whine and grumble that there are too many foreigners in this country and in the same breath, we complain that the government is slacking by not getting us enough foreign labour.

Now, we are launching a campaign to send the illegals back – and we all know full well that those we send back will return the following week.

We used to blame the foreigners for every single crime in this country and now we are also blaming them for voting the ruling coalition back to power.

So who do we blame for the spike in crime now? The poor Indians – someone has to be the scapegoat, and for good measure we also blame the Tamil movie industry with its violent plots for influencing this 1.7 million minority group in our country to turn to a life of crime.

But the Tunku would have loved the over 100 TV channels available today with most of them showing re-runs of muscular men wrestling with giant catfish and giant snakes.

In his days, there were only two channels although the TV sets came with many knobs to tune in to other channels.

The Sports Toto draw was aired live every Sunday afternoon with Faridah Merican, now Datuk, hosting the "cabutan". Malaysians were so bored then that watching the drawing of numbers became routine on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

But the Tunku would have been perplexed by what is shown on TV these days, though with his open mind, he probably would have cracked a joke or two over it.

Scantily-clad dancers gyrating on Astro's MTV channel are a given but when it comes to the newspapers, the rules are totally the opposite. In print, armpits and navels cannot be exposed, in case the images send some of us into a sexual frenzy!

Well, it may be hard for many of us to believe but this is the Land of Countless Contradictions, and the exposure of armpits, mind you, is definitely regarded as "terlalu menggairahkan" (too arousing). We have been lectured on this often enough.

I am also sure the Tunku would be howling with laughter at some of the ridiculous antics of our politicians.

The golden age of our local cinema movies was during the time of the Tunku when we had P. Ramlee, the Vespa, curry puff hairstyle and the pop yeh yeh at nightclubs. We are talking class here.

But now, we have relegated ourselves to watching local movies of gangsters and hantu (ghosts) while movie makers attempting to make serious, clever movies on history find themselves subjected to threats and bullying – by politicians who have not even watched their movies!

Here's the best part! A movie about a rapist who beats up his wife and visits a nightclub, wins the best movie of the year award, with the leading character being almost hero-worshipped.

And that's not all, the Singaporean actor also wins the best local actor award!

If you are confused, I don't blame you, because many of us are confused, and that's why we keep on doing confusing things.

That's not all - the Tunku was always a football fan. This is the man who turned the Merdeka football tournament into a premier event in the region.

That was the best of the best. It was pure "gaya, mutu dan keunggulan" (style, quality and elegance), as a commercial from back then used to say. We beat the South Koreans, the Myanmars and practically any other foreign team that set foot on our soil.

Now, everybody can beat us. But no one at the Football Association of Malaysia is held responsible, even as the guys from the Maldives, who are trying to save their island from sinking, are ranked higher than us. Macam biasa aje, bro!

And if we talk about freedom, the Tunku would be floored because after 56 years of independence, lovesick Malaysian women are losing millions of ringgit each year to African Romeos posing as handsome and wealthy Englishmen.

It is simply incredible that these con men in Puchong or Sentul are able to convince our gullible ones that they are living in the English countryside and are looking for Malaysian love.

But don't get me wrong! I love this country! I repeat, lest some super-sensitive politician makes an issue out of this column, I love this country.

Well, there's one thing we consistently do very well at every Merdeka celebration – we produce the best TV commercials for these special occasions.

And most Malaysians still can laugh at ourselves, or at least at the politicians. Happy Merdeka Day!


Pas minta pemimpin DAP tonton Tanda Putera

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:41 PM PDT

(UM) - Pas menasihatkan pemimpin-pemimpin DAP dan semua pihak yang membuat bantahan supaya menonton filem Tanda Putera terlebih dahulu sebelum mengeluarkan sebarang komen negatif atau mengambil tindakan drastik menghalang tayangannya.

Timbalan Setiausaha Agung Pas, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan berkata, filem arahan Datuk Paduka Shuhaimi Baba itu merupakan salah satu medium terbaik menyebarkan fakta sejarah kepada generasi pasca merdeka, sekali gus yakin semua pihak yang terlibat dalam pembikinannya melakukan kajian terperinci.

Menurutnya, pihak yang berasakan terdapat kesilapan dalam pembikinan Tanda Putera selepas menonton filem itu boleh membincangkannya secara membina untuk diperbetul bagi kepentingan generasi akan datang.

Dalam masa sama, beliau turut mencadangkan Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia menyiarkan filem itu di Dewan Rakyat dan Dewan Negara atau lokasi khusus bagi semua pemimpin menontonnya dan membuat penilaian.

"Bagi saya filem itu berasaskan fakta sejarah, jadi semua pihak yang terlibat dalam pembikinannya mesti membuat kajian, buat satu cerapan mengenai fakta-fakta yang mahu dipertontonkan sama ada di peringkat penulis skrip, pengarah atau penerbit.

"Saya yakin kajian sudah dibuat sebab jika tidak dan fakta itu salah, maka akan dikritik, ditohmah dan macam-macam lagi kerana kita tahu sejarah tidak boleh diubah. Cuma untuk berlaku adil saya mencadangkan tontonlah dulu," katanya kepada Mingguan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Filem itu sebelum ini mencetuskan kontroversi selepas Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng melarang tayangannya di negeri ini kerana mendakwa terdapat babak yang berbaur perkauman.

Walau bagaimanapun, Guan Eng yang juga Setiausaha Agung DAP kemudiannya menyatakan beliau tidak pernah menghalang tayangannya sebaliknya hanya menasihatkan pengusaha panggung wayang di negeri tersebut berbuat demikian.

Mengulas mengenai arahan Guan Eng itu, Takiyuddin yang juga Ahli Parlimen Kota Bharu mengakui beliau turut keliru dengan kenyataan bercanggah Ketua Menteri berkenaan.

Sementara itu, mengulas cadangannya supaya semua Ahli Parlimen dan Senator dipertontonkan filem tersebut, menurut Takiyuddin, usaha tersebut boleh dilakukan bagi memberi peluang kepada semua pihak menyatakan pandangan dan kritikan.


“Cium Mulut” Najib, Anwar lebih cepat jika Presiden Umno tidak ditandingi

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:35 PM PDT

Dilihat dari sudut logik dan kedudukan Najib serta Anwar, penyatuan antara kedua pemimpin ini memang tidak mustahil akan berlaku. Anwar kini berdepan dengan isu mahkamah mengenai kes liwat dengan Saiful Bukhari dan mengharapkan penyelasaian yang memihak kepadanya supaya tiada lagi titik-titik hitam dalam persepsi umum terhadapnya.

Shahbudin Husin, TMI

Walaupun beberapa pemimpin Umno menolak hasrat dan tawaran Anwar untuk mengadakan dialog atau kerjasama dengan Najib sebagaimana yang diluahkannya dalam perutusan sempena sambutan Merdeka dua hari lalu tetapi episod ini telah menelanjangkan lebih banyak perkara yang terlindung selama ini.

Setelah isu ini timbul beberapa kali sejak berakhirnya piliharaya umum lalu, kini seperti diyakini bahawa kerjasama antara Najib dan Anwar ini akan menjadi kenyataan juga akhirnya.

Dengan beberapa kali isu ini timbul juga, ia seakan mengiyakan bahawa Najib dan Anwar sudah saling bermain mata sebelum ini dan hanya menunggu masa yang sesuai saja untuk menjalinkan kerjasama atau "cium mulut" dalam bahasa atau istilah budak-budak rock zaman sekarang, menjadi kenyataan.

Jika sebelum ini ketika ditemubual oleh portal berita luar negeri, The Edge Review dan Asia Sentinel, Anwar yang mendedahkan tentang hasrat Najib ingin berbaik-baik dan menjalin kerjasama dengannya, kali ini nampaknya Anwar pula meluahkan keinginan itu.

Dan jawapan balas atau penafian Najib mengensi berita itu cukup lembut dan berdiplomasi, tidak terlihat tanda-tanda melenting atau penafian yang keras. Penjelasan yang dikeluarkan oleh Pejabat Perdana Menteri hanya menyebut isu kerjasama itu sebagai rekaan dan imaginasi penulisnya semata-mata dan tidak mengatakan ianya sebagai fitnah.

Berbeza sekali dengan beberapa ungkapan kasar dan emosional yang pernah dilafazkan oleh Najib ketika berhadapan dengan fitnah dan serangan pembangkang selama ini, termasuk pernah menggelarkan "haram jadah" kepada para peneroka Felda.

Tetapi dalam isu dakwaan Anwar bahawa Najib yang ingin dulu memulakan langkah berbaik-baik dengannya, tak peduli sama ada ianya rekaan, imaginasi, fitnah atau sebaliknya, Najib seolah-olah tidak terkessn atau terganggu sama-sekali, bahkan seperti menerimanya sambil tersenyum mendengarnya.

Bahkan, dalam penjelasan yang hanya dikeluarkan setelah hampir seminggu dijaja oleh Anwar, ia juga menyebut kerjasama dalam apa bentuk sekali pun tidak mungkin berlaku selagi Pakatan Rakyat tidak mahu menerima keputusan pilihanraya, bahkan terus mempertikaikannya. Ewah, ewah... begitu berbudi bahasa dan lemah lembut penjelasan Najib mengenainya!

Kini setelah Anwar sendiri meluahkan hasrat menawarkan kerjasama dengan kesediaan menerima keputusan pilihanraya umum lalu, reaksi Najib turut cukup santai. Walaupun ianya dibawa dalam perbincangan MT Umno dan seperti yang disebut oleh Hishammuddin bahawa Najib akan menjelaskan isu itu di lain ketika, Perdana nampaknya sekali lagi tidak terganggu dengannya bahkan kepantasannya membawa perkara itu ke dalam mesyuarat MT tidak lebih menunjukkan keterujaannya dan ingin melihat reaksi daripada pemimpin-pemimpin Umno yang lain mengenainya.

Walaupun Hishammudin, Khairy Jamaluddin, Mukhriz, Nazri Aziz dan Tengku Adnan dilihat memberi reaksi menolak dan skeptikal terhadap hasrat Anwar itu tetapi mereka ini juga merupakan pemimpin yang mudah akur jika Najib menyatakan sebaliknya mengenai hasrat Anwar itu.

Dilihat dari sudut logik dan kedudukan Najib serta Anwar, penyatuan antara kedua pemimpin ini memang tidak mustahil akan berlaku. Anwar kini berdepan dengan isu mahkamah mengenai kes liwat dengan Saiful Bukhari dan mengharapkan penyelasaian yang memihak kepadanya supaya tiada lagi titik-titik hitam dalam persepsi umum terhadapnya.

Meskipun keputusan pilihanraya umum lalu memperlihatkan PR mempunyai harapan yang lebih cerah dalam pilihanraya lima tahun akan datang berikutan pengundi bandar dan separa bandar makin meningkat, pengundi muda dijangka mencecah angka 5 juta dan tembusan internet yang makin meningkat tetapi isunya tempoh empat atau lima tahun cukup lama bagi Anwar yang sudah berusia 65 tahun sekarang ini.

Dengan menjalin kerjasama atau cium mulut dengan Najib serta mungkin disertai dengan kemungkinan kembali menyertai kerajaan, kes mahkamahnya boleh diuruskan dengan baik.

Walaupun ia mungkin menyebabkan Anwar terbantut hasratnya untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri tetapi jika kegagalan itu ditampung dengan penonjolan beberapa orang kepercayaannya menyertai kerajaan seperti Azmin Ali, Nurul Izzah dan Rafizi Ramli, ia mungkin sudah memadai bagi Anwar dan boleh membuatkannya meninggal dunia suatu hati nanti dalam keadaan mata terpejam.



Usaha buang Waytha

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:31 PM PDT

Subky Abdul Latif, MM

Tidak yang lebih tepat untuk dikatakan, luahan beberapa menteri terhadap sikap Timbalan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Waythamoorthy tentang lima orang yang ditembak polis di Pulau Pinang yang dikatakan pejenayah adalah usaha untuk menyngkirkannya dari kerajaan.

Sekurang-kurangnya tiga menteri, Datuk Seri Hisshamuddin Hussein Menteri Pertahanan, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi Menteri Dalam Negeri dan Khairy Jamaluddin Menteri Belia dan Sukan menyifatkan Moothy tidak layak berada dalam barisan kerajaan dan eloklah dia meninggalkan jawatannya.

Moothy telah mengkritik polis kerana menembak mati lima orang keturunan India melalui media. Mereka mengira pemimpin Hindraf/Makkal Sakti itu lebih merasakan dirinya sebagai aktivis NGO dari seorang timbalan menteri, justeru itu eloklah tidak berada dalam kerajaan lagi.

Moorthy tidak menyertai PRU 13 lalu tetapi mengira perlantikan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak ke atasnya dikira mewakili masyarakat India dan mahu membantu kerajaan membela nasib kaum India. Atas andaian dan kapisitinya untuk membentu masyarakat India, maka dua menyuarakan apa saja yang menyentuh India termasuk kejadian di Pulau Pinang itu.

BN sudah punya cukup komponen parti yang mewakili masyarakat India, tetapi ia masih  dikira tidak memadai oleh Perdana Menteri bagi menarik sokongan masyarakat India terutamanya dalam PRU yang lalu.

Seperti terdesak Najib meresui Makkal Sakti, NGO kumpulan Hindraf menjadi parti politik  dan menyertai BN. Kecenderungan penyokong Makkal sakti/Hindraf menyokong BN selepas PRU 2008 dikira sebab BN memenangi beberapa Pillihan Raya Kecil pra PRU 13.Sokongan pengundi India dalam PRU 13 lebih baik dari PRU 2008.

Kerana Najib tidak mahu kehilangan banyak pengundi India, maka ia menawarkan jawatan timbalan menteri kepada Moothy yang dikira mewakili Makkal Sakti/Hndraf.

MIC tidak dikira  denak yang baik sebelumnya. Apakah ia sudah pulih menjelang PRU 13? Apakah benar Makkal Sakti/Hindraf telah menstabilkan sokongan India kepada BN? Apa pun Makkal Sakti lebih meyakinkan Najib dar lain-lain parti orang India dalam BN. Dengan demikian Moorthy yang mewakili kumpulan itu dijadi Timbalan Menteri.

Moorthy tambil adalah untuk membela nasib mayarakat India dan dia membantu kerajaan dalam perkara itu.

Bila berlaku kejadian di Pulau pinang, maka Moorthy tampil menyurakan bantahannya. Lain-lain kerabat BN termasuk MIC tidak kedepan. Moorthy tidak dilihat mewakili Makkal Sakti?Hindraf jika dia tidak menyuarakan hal itu.

Sikapnya itu tidak menyenangkan menteri-menteri UMNO dan telah memalukan kerajaan. Tetapi Moorthy telah menjalankan peranannya sesuai dengan kesukaan kaum yang diwakilinya  dan dia jadi timbalan menteri kerana menjaga nasib dan kepenteingan mereka.

Umno telah menyatakan bantahan kepada Moorthy sesuai daengan apa yang Umno perlukan  dan Moorthy telah menyatakan pandangaan sesuai dengan kemahuan orang yang diwakilinya. Kedua-duanya mewakili golongan masing-masing.

Cuma suara para profesor yang menyalahkan Moorthy mewakili siapa? Mewakili orang akadamikkah atau memang majlis profesor itu mewakili Umno juga?

Bantahan menteri-menteri Umno itu boleh menempelak Najib. Dia mahu memenangi sokongan Makkal Sakti dan India, sedia mengambil aktivis Hindraf menjadi timbalan menteri, tetapi oran g yang diambilnya sudah memalukannya.

Dan jika Moorthy dibuang, ia akan menyebabkan sokongan orang India kepada kerajaan  dan BN akan terhakis semua dan menjadi masalah lagi kepada Najb. Adakah Najib sudah mamuat kesilapan?


13 Mei bukan sekadar Melayu gaduh dengan Cina, kata bekas ketua pengarang Utusan

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:25 PM PDT

Diyana Ibrahim, TMI

Bekas Ketua Pengarang Utusan Said Zahari mengatakan tragedi berdarah yang berlaku dalam negara pada 13 Mei 1969 lebih besar dari sekadar pergaduhan antara kaum Melayu dan Cina.

Beliau mengulas filem Tanda Putera arahan Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba yang mempunyai latarbelakang peristiwa itu.

"13 Mei bukanlah mengenai kaum Melayu bergaduh dengan kaum Cina tapi ia lebih dari itu, ia akibat dari golongan tidak senang melihat keharmonian bangsa dinegara ini," katanya dalam satu wawancara bersama The Malaysian Insider sempena ulangtahun Hari Merdeka ke-56.

"Sewajarnya sejarah harus dinilai dari keseluruhannya dan dilihat dari perkembangannya," katanya ketika ditemui dirumahnya Puncak Alam, Selangor.

Dakwa beliau rusuhan kaum ketika itu terjadi kerana bekas penjajah akan menghalang segala usaha penyatuan kaum di negara ini dengan harapan dapat kembali menjajah.

"Ketika berada dalam tahanan saya bersama rakan-rakan berbincang mengenai insiden itu dan kami merasakan timbul perkara  tidak sihat dalam isu itu," kata Said merujuk kepada penahanannya di bawah ISA di Singapura.

Katanya British sebenarnya tidak mahu memberi kemerdekaan di negara ini namun mereka terpaksa akur dengan kebangkitan rakyat bukan saja di Malaya pada ketika itu termasuk di seluruh Nusantara selepas tamatnya Perang Dunia Kedua.

Kerana itu katanya, para sejarawan negara perlu kembali kepada sejarah dahulu dan meneliti unsur-unsur yang mahu memecah belahkan perpaduan rakyat.

Mengulas cadangan Lim Kit Siang yang mahu kerajaan menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI) bagi menyiasat semula peristiwa 13 Mei, Said menyifatkan ia cuma permainan politik dari seorang ahli politik.

"Tidak ada salah untuk mengkali semula insiden tersebut namun hakikatnya kita kenal siapa Lim Kit Siang, beliau seorang ahli politik hanya mengambil kesempatan atas tragedi tersebut," kata Said.



Dr M: Umno must be cleansed from fortune-hunters, allow the young to move up

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:20 PM PDT

Md Izwan, TMI

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) has called on Umno to be cleansed in the run-up to the party polls next month, saying that many joined the party solely to become rich.

The country's longest serving former prime minister for 22 years also urged that new and young leaders be given the opportunity to lead the party as this was a way to purify Umno.

"It is a perception that Umno leaders at all levels join the party not to protect the race, religion and nation but to enrich themselves."

"Only by giving a chance to the new and young, who have yet to be polluted, the purification of the party will become a reality and accepted by the people," Dr Mahathir said in an interview with Mingguan Malaysian today.

In the interview, the former Umno president also chided the younger generation whom he saw as worshipping the West and their liberal politics but at the same breath depended on the government for assistance.

"Among them are those, including the intellectuals, who feel that Umno's struggle for the race, religion and the nation is irrelevant. They feel the struggle for the Malays were outdated and behind time."

"Surprisingly, this group is successful because they benefit from government policies that were designed to help them," he added.
Although the young group was seen pivotal for the survival of Umno, Dr Mahathir said the  party must be careful with the intellectuals who leaned towards liberal politics as it could deviate the main aim of the Malay based party.

"There is a possibility this group will not struggle for race, religion and the nation but for liberal politics if they join Umno," he said.

"They should be given courses in Malay and Umno politics. However, their entry to the party is important if Umno is to cleanse itself from the negative image," he added.

Dr Mahathir also repeated his stand that all posts, with the exception of president and deputy president, should be contested.

He said the top two posts should remain unchallenged to preserve harmony in the party.



We will not deny people’s right to have electoral boundaries redrawn, says minister

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:15 PM PDT

(TMI) - The redelineation of electoral boundaries by the Election Commission (EC) should be supported by all political parties in the interest of the people, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (pic).

He said this was because the redelineation exercise as enshrined under the constitution constituted the right of the people to have more elected representatives to strike a balance in the number of voters in certain constituencies.

"So, if the imbalance needed changes to electoral boundaries, it is unbecoming on the part of the government to deny the people's right," he said yesterday.

He was commenting on opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's statement that Pakatan Rakyat would not endorse any redelineation of electoral boundaries by the EC with its current leadership still calling the shots. 

Shahidan said it was the opposition's right not to endorse any changes to the electoral boundaries but it should not be associated with the EC leadership.



Tanda Putera falls flat

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:07 PM PDT

Shallow research and shoddy attempt by the producers of the movie did not portray true essence of the May 13 incident.

K. Pragalath, FMT

Shuhaimi Baba's Tanda Putera is a pathetic attempt to create a historical biopic on the life story of our second Prime Minister Tun Razak Hussein and his deputy Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.

Actor Rusdi Ramli plays the key role as Razak whereas Zizan Nin plays Ismail. The role of Tun Rahah Noah who is Razak's wife is acted by Faezah Elai. The character of Ismail's wife, Norashikin Seth was played by Linda Hashim.

Though there is no disclaimer that the movie is a biographical motion picture of the two leaders, one could sense it to be such as there are scenes that show actual newspaper headlines.

Tanda Putera opens with  a dramatic scene of an incident where DAP campaign workers kill an Umno campaign helper two weeks prior to the general election then. It further escalates into more clashes in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur after the Alliance party wins the general election with a slim majority.

Surprisingly, even Gerakan party members are featured in a negative role as the DAP members. There is a scene where the Gerakan man says that he would need to seek revenge against the Malays without getting arrested.

The antagonistic nature against the Malays was very evident with cries like "Malays, go back to your villages, Selangor is ours."

Shuhaimi Baba attempted to debunk foreign reports that claimed on the large number of casualties during the clashes. These reports were based on information revealed by foreign embassies, which were made available to journalists.

In a related scene, the character of Tun Razak says, "the opposition and foreign media are playing up the issue that there are nearly 2000 casualties, but our intelligence puts a smaller number."

There is also a scene where journalists are cooped up in one place and "forced to use their imagination" to report the riots; and only RTM television channel disseminated official information.

The director of Tanda Putera also tried to negate the notion by Suaram's Kua Kia Soong who authored the book May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969. Kua had argued that Tunku Abdul Rahman was under house arrest via an internal coup by Tun Razak.

Nevertheless, in the movie Tunku asked Tun Razak to helm the nation following protests pressuring Tunku to step down.



Ahmad Nisfu: Nasib seniman Malaysia

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 03:04 PM PDT

P. Ramlee memanggilnya Pak Besar kerana lubang hidungnya yang besar. Tagline ini yang membuatkan Ahmad Nisfu terkenal. 

Oleh Melati Pusaka, FMT

Sebut sahaja Ahmad Nisfu, semua orang kenalinya kerana dia sering muncul dalam filem-filem arahan P. Ramlee. Tetapi di akhir hayat, beliau meninggal dunia tanpa isteri dan keluarga.

Itulah nasib seniman Malaysia. Kalau di Hollywood, Tan Sri P. Ramlee sudah jadi jutawan tetapi di Malaysia, P. Ramlee sebagai pengarah, pelakon, penyanyi dan pencipta lagu hidup miskin. Kalau pelakon watak utama seperti P. Ramlee hidup miskin, apatah lagi pelakon pembantu seperti Ahmad Nisfu.

Ahmad Nisfu berasal dari Tanjong Tokong, Pulau Pinang pada awalnya ialah seorang pelakon bangsawan dan telah dilamar oleh Shaw Brothers untuk terlibat sama dalam produksi sebagai pelakon filem.

Di sini bermulalah kerjaya Ahmad Nisfu sebagai pelakon filem. Walaupun memegang watak-watak yang kecil, Ahmad Nisfu dikatakan adalah seorang yang sentiasa bersyukur walaupun upah yang diterimanya adalah terlalu kecil.

Hakikatnya, wang saku yang diperoleh digunakan untuk menyara dirinya sahaja kerana Ahmad Nisfu adalah seorang yang sebatang kara, tiada saudara mara, keluarga dan juga isteri.

"Walaupun rupa mu tidak ku kenal, tetapi lubang hidungmu tetap menjadi pujaan hati ku." Ini adalah petikan dialog Aziz Sattar dalam filem Seniman Bujang Lapok yang ditujukan kepada tuan director lakonan Ahmad Nisfu.

Tagline ini yang membuatkan Ahmad Nisfu terkenal. Malah P. Ramlee memanggilnya Paq Besaq (Pak Besar) kerana lubang hidungnya yang besar.

Teman rapat

Menurut arwah Norizan bekas isteri P. Ramlee (dalam satu rancangan tv), Ahmad Nisfu merupakan antara teman rapat kepada P. Ramlee.

Buktinya cukup nyata apabila sewaktu kemeriahan studio Jalan Ampas dahulu, setiap filem arahan P. Ramlee, Ahmad Nisfu boleh dikatakan kerap terlibat sama dan memegang watak agak besar. Gelaran Paq Besaq (Pak Besar) juga telah diberikan kepada Ahmad Nisfu oleh P. Ramlee kerana lubang hidung Ahmad Nisfu yang besar.

Pada tahun 1959, Ahmad Nisfu muncul dalam filem Nujum Pak Belalang sebagai Raja. Dalam filem ini P. Ramlee yang menyindir raja yang zalim yang sanggup menghukum Pak Belalang jika dia gagal membawa pulang mahkotanya yang hilang. Pak Belalang berkata kalau mahu ambil mahkotanya di dalam gua, maka Raja kena masuk merangkak ke dalam gua. Itulah sindiran P. Ramlee kepada raja.

Pada tahun yang sama, Ahmad Nisfu berlakon sebagai raja juga dalam filem Musang Berjanggut. Dalam Pendekar Bujang Lapok, (1959), Ahmad Nisfu jadi ketua samseng.

Beliau bukan sahaja boleh berlakon dalam filem komidi malah beliau juga muncul dalam filem serius seperti Antara Dua Darjat (1960) sebagai bapa Saadiah yang tidak mahu Saadiah berkahwin dengan bukan keturunan Tengku.

Dalam filem Seniman Bujang Lapok (1961), Ahmad Nisfu berlakon sebagai pengarah filem yang pengsan gara-gara P. Ramlee, Aziz Sattar dan S. Shamsuddin yang menjadi pelakon.

Ahmad Nisfu memegang watak kecil dalam Ibu Mertuaku (1962) yang menjadi promoter kepada Kassim Selamat mengelilingi Malaya.

Pada tahun 1964, beliau muncul dalam filem Tiga Abdul sebagai bapa mertua yang mahu membolot harta P. Ramlee tiga beradik. Manakala dalam filem Madu Tiga, beliau menjadi bapa mertua kepada P. Ramlee yang menyokong tindakan menantunya berpoligami.

Kombinasi Ahmad Nisfu dengan P. Ramlee dalam filem-filem lakonannya menjadi. Jika watak itu diserahkan kepada orang lain, mungkin Madu Tiga, Tiga Abdul, Nujum Pak Belalang tidak sehebat mana.



Mahadzir should retract his words or quit

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 01:18 PM PDT


Is Mahdzir trying to tell us that oil spillages had never occurred before which causes the treatment plants to be shut down? 

Stephen Ng, FMT letter

I cannot help but to lash out at Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Mahdzir Khalid when he started playing up the issue of Langat 2 dam again like an old record.

What has Langat 2 dam to do with the oil spillage in the first place? I thought Selangor Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim had said that it was necessary but priority had to be placed on reducing the non-revenue water (NRW), currently at 33%!

Is Mahdzir trying to tell us that oil spillages had never occurred before which causes the treatment plants to be shut down? The oil spillage that occurred on Friday was not as though it was a big crisis as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, that it had to take nearly three months from April to July 2010 to clean up.

The oil spillage in the case of Sungai Selangor, which occurred some 10km upstream, was arrested within 12 hours.

In the first place, the oil spillage was not as what he had claimed. He had said in Bernama that the spillage was due to an overturned diesel truck. Mahdzir, please show us evidence of the overturned truck and where and when that happened.

According to State Exco for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment, Elizabeth Wong, the oil spillage had been identified coming from an illegal factory in Rawang, not from an overturned diesel truck as claimed by Mahdzir.

Even Natural Resources and Environment Minister G Palanivel had confirmed that the oil spill was due to a factory dumping lubricating oil (SW 305) into a drain, which went into Sungai Gong, and a significant amount subsequently flowed into Sungai Selangor, forcing the closure of the four water treatment plants.

Under such circumstances, the Federal Department of Environment has the power to prosecute the illegal factory under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) 25(3):

Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both and to a further fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit a day for every day that the offence is continued after a notice by the Director General requiring him to cease the act specified therein has been served upon him

In the past, when oil spillages happened, water could be restored within a short period of time, but what is happening these days to Syabas? Is it incapable of putting the water supply back to normal? Why does it have to take three to five days for Syabas to restore the supply of water to over five million people in the Klang Valley?

Water happens to come under Mahdzir's ministry. Failure to restore water supply at the earliest possible time frame is a reflection of his ministry's own failure, and Mahdzir should resign over the statements that he made which did not augur well with his ministry's role to safeguard the people's interest.

As a customer of Syabas, I find it hard to believe that water cannot be restored within the shortest period possible, if not immediately. Water is a basic need, and there is no excuse for Syabas not to buck up! If anything, its chief executive officer who is receiving salaries in the millions of ringgit should be sacked for Syabas' failure to perform, and the entire corporation should be handed back to the Selangor State Government.

Any form of sabotage would only anger the people of Selangor, and for this, I would suggest that Mahdzir thinks twice of what he has to say. We are watching to see who is doing the job, and who is just shooting out of his mouth. Mahdzir should retract his words, or he is not fit for his post. 

Tell me what else is new

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 01:15 PM PDT


Yes Mahathir is right! We must kongsi. For every ringgit that we make, we must kongsi a percentage with culprits that masquerade as politicians, government servants and their machais. 

CT Ali, FMT 

What we can all agree to is that the leaders we have today are lacking in the values and graces that we would like them to have.

In my view, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has brought himself down just a notch by breaking his elegant silence on the arrogance and the self-serving persona that is Mahathir Mohamad!

There is nothing new in what Abdullah, lovingly known as Pak Lah, has to say on his quarrel with Mahathir in the book 'The Awakening'.

What he does is only to confirm that as prime minister of Malays, he was powerless to put Mahathir in his place – the same problem that the present prime minister, Najib Tun Razak now has.

What does that say about these two leaders? What does it say about Umno? What does it say about the state of politics in our country today?

There is much to be done if we are to put people and country above the needs of an old man who is past his prime, past his use by date in politics and certainly past any hope of redemption in the eyes of many people of this nation.

There was fear and loathing for Mahathir many years ago. Today only loathing remains. There is no need for Pak Lah to confirm this, unless, like all of us, he needed to give vent to all the frustrations and dislike he had for Mahathir.

Like of all us he had his regrets about what he should have done. Like most of us he had no second chance to make right what he thought he had done wrong while in the highest office of this land.

But Pak Lah forgets he can still council his son in law Khairy Jamaluddin. That upstart, too big for his boots, Khairy did much to make us all think just that much less of Pak Lah!

Before Khairy does much more damage to himself, to others and to his potential as a future leader, Pak Lah should do something about it.

I hope this time Pak Lah will make the effort and not again have regrets as to what he should have done and never did. Only by so doing can Pak Lah make Khairy understand the damage that arrogance and corruption do to the very psyche of our people and our nation.

Those of us who have been in business and have worked in Malaysia will know what arrogance and corruption is all about. We all have a heighten awareness of what we have to do with politicians, with government servants and with others who approach us to offer their services to help us in our business.

We look upon them with contempt and loathing and yet we know that without these dregs of society our business will suffer. Their 'expertise' could mean there is food on the table for our family or there is none.

It could mean success or failure to our life, work and all that goes with it – the employment of our staff, education for our children, the well being of our family.

In the early years when I started doing business selling burgers at the hawker's center at Padang Brown in Penang (beside the Penang Prison) I had no problems.

It was only later when I started a trading company in KL and began doing business with the Defence Ministry, DBKL, RISDA and other ministries that I started to understand what the 'kongsi' part of business meant.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/09/01/tell-me-what-else-is-new/ 

Four arrested in standoff over temple demolition

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 12:59 PM PDT


(MMO) - There was no notice, it was a demolition by ambush... they just came in a day after Merdeka and began breaking it down. Negotiation was supposed to be still on-going... and there was no court order permitting it.

Four individuals, including a PKR leader, were arrested this morning following a standoff with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) over an allegedly "illegal" demolition of the Golden Triangle Muneswarar Kuil on Jalan P. Ramlee here.

Temple lawyer N. Surendran also alleged that "three or four gangsters", whom he claimed had come with the council's demolition team, assaulted him when he tried to stop the temple's destruction.

He confirmed that the four arrested were Hindraf-turned-PKR leader S. Jayathas, temple secretary Nalini, temple photographer Prem and a fourth unnamed individual.

"The standoff went on from about 8am to 10.30am when the contractors were brought in and they started work.

"These DBKL officers smashed three deities and took them out. We confronted them and asked for a negotiation but they continued to work until 10.30am until the cops came in and asked them to leave," Surendran told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

He added that the demolition had been a surprise one as negotiation was still on-going when the contractors came in with their heavy machinery.

"There was no notice, it was a demolition by ambush... they just came in a day after Merdeka and began breaking it down. Negotiation was supposed to be still on-going... and there was no court order permitting it.

"It is illegal — that is my position as the temple's lawyer," he said.

Surendran said in the over two-hour long confrontation this morning, several men he labelled as "gangsters" taunted those who were attempting to call off the demolition.

The Padang Serai MP said the "gangsters" roughly pushed him around.

"I will be lodging a report later against them," he said.

Meanwhile, The Malay Mail Online understands the four arrested individuals have been brought to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters for questioning.

More to come at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/four-arrested-in-standoff-over-temple-demolition

Conservatives vs liberals in PAS

Posted: 31 Aug 2013 12:40 PM PDT


There seem to be fear that the ideologies of opposition leaders may split PAS into two factions. "While political observers brand the consequences of 2008 as a political tsunami, I would for one describe it as nothing more than the revitalisation of liberalism in Malaysia. This has unnerved the conservatives, particularly those in PAS."

Hawkeye, FMT

The "two-party system" which took shape after the 2008 general election  triggered a rise of liberalisation values in Malaysia's political, social and religious scenes, says a former state PAS leader here.

This trend in turn has unsettled the conservative movement, which consist of Islamic clerics, academicians, as well as social rights activists, said, Mohammed Hafiz Nordin, who was once the Penang PAS Youth head here.

"While political observers brand the consequences of 2008 as a political tsunami, I would for one describe it as nothing more than the revitalisation of liberalism in Malaysia. This has unnerved the conservatives, particularly those in PAS."

"For decades, Malaysia remains a peaceful country of multi-ethnic and multi-religious composition. We respect each other but now, we see the liberals as forsaking our social contract by demanding that we adopt policies which appear to be forcing us (conservatives) to make more concessions."

Among those was the apathy shown towards allowing non-believers to use a "surau" (Islam place of worship) to meditate at a resort in Johor, Hafiz said.

PAS is a party which prides itself in the constant struggle of Islam, therefore it should not subscribe to any efforts to liberalise or reform its own religion.

The values and convictions of Islam is for eternity, Hafiz said in an interview.

"Islam is perfect, so why must some parties spin it for political gains?"

PAS is split

Hence, there is now a split in PAS, between the conservative movement of clerics and the liberalism faction of technocrats and professionals, who may be unduly influenced by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, he claimed.

This has led to a phase of uncertainty in Malaysia's political future. In the last election, it showed that Barisan Nasional was canceled out by Pakatan Rakyat in the urban areas, whereas in the rural states, it was the opposite, he said.

Fast forward to today, the conservatives are leaning more towards regaining ground for what they see as the "loss of their rights" while the liberals retort back by branding such groups as extremists, he explained.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/09/01/conservatives-vs-liberals-in-pas/ 


Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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