Followers

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Historical Facts are taboo? - Ahmad Ismail Dilemma

Datuk Ahmad Ismail's description of the pre-independence non-Malays as "penumpang" and "pendatang" in a speech that apparently was largely directed to a Malay crowd became somewhat the centre of a political controversy. Is ti possible to discuss this objectively? After all, it is touted by various quarters that March 8Th saw the Rakyat's awareness and maturity. So, lets see the degree of maturity of any comments on this posting which will be left unmoderated.

THE TALE OF THE SENSITIVE “CITIZEN”
by a Ceylonese Lawyer

It is an elementary principle in the law of contract, that a contract represents the meeting of minds. It entails the mutuality of obligations and of commitment. It is the law’s means of enforcing a traditional value of “keeping your promise”.

It followed that when one side breached or repudiated his obligations under the contract, it was open to the innocent party to either press for performance or to itself decide to abort the agreement. For those unfamiliar with the law of contract these realities are ingrained in every culture on the premise that one “should do unto others as you would like others to do unto you”.

It is perhaps necessary that the recent statements by Ahmad Ismail be viewed under these spectacles.

In the land of Malaya, there existed a hierarchy of Malay Rulers who governed their citizenry. Across a period of time, colonization rose. With it came new opportunities and new burdens. It opened the gates of immigration and the beginnings of a modern state. The land of Malaya was handed an opportunity and a new challenge, the challenge of dealing with the unknown and the indeterminate. In this time the Rulers came to accept British Advisors in a framework that the Rulers still ruled albeit within limits.

After the war, a reassured Britain sought to exercise its colonial power through the Malayan Union instrument. The Rulers stood in a weak position to oppose it. If they did so, they ran the risk of being labeled Japanese collaborators. While the British were swift to get the Rulers to sign up in time the British government would to learn an important lesson in the art of Malay Statecraft, this took place through the subtle and sustained rise of dissent, clever diplomacy and footwork, ranging from the ulama, teachers, to the common people and ultimately to the birth of UMNO.

There were many facets to the Malayan Union plan, but few will disagree that a key component concerned the grant of citizenship to the migrant races and the curtailment of the powers of the Malay Rulers. In essence, these initiatives would have resulted in Tanah Melayu not being Tanah Melayu. It would have resulted in a situation where the Malays would have been a bare majority in their own nation or even a minority. They would stand with no guarantees in regard to the status, the migrant races who filled the commercial sector and the civil service would stand to rule what was in essence Tanah Melayu.

These experiments are not new South Africa tried to maintain such a status quo of white ruling minority. The colonial masters across history also tried to achieve like ends with a ruling minority reaping the wealth of a nation of the majority. These efforts failed. Thus it became evident that the Malayan Union was likewise doomed to fail. The British acknowledged it. The criticism of the Malayan Union plan rang strongly in England as well, with senior members of the British Civil Service taking a strong position against it.

Learning from this lesson the British moved towards the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948. Let us be clear that this was an agreement. While it retained some of the essence of the Malayan Union Plan, it did impose stricter citizenship requirements and it confirmed the special status of the Malays. It was a case of the Malays agreeing to a dilution of their sovereignty in the land of the forefathers in exchange for these guarantees. There can be little doubt that the right to citizenship of the migrant non-malays draws its origin from this very same agreement which confirms the status of the Malays, the status of the Malay language and of Islam. Prior to this the non-malays did not enjoy any political status whatever, they were not the subjects of the Malay Rulers nor were they the subjects of the British Crown. The 1948 Agreement gave them the legal right to citizenship.

It is interesting that even with the 1948 Agreement the practical effect upon Malay political power remained the same. Their hold on political influence had been diluted so had their share upon the national wealth. Let us be under no doubt, the tycoons that hailed from the migrant races did not rise to riches by inventing and patenting new products for the world market. They wealth came from the domestic economy of this nation and the wealth of this land. Yet the Malays seem to have placed such great trust in these safeguards that they were prepared to give away citizenship to these alien races for nothing more than a written assurance in an agreement and with this assurance they were prepared to sign away what would otherwise have been a complete political dominion of their lands.

When the country reached Independence these safeguards found itself into the constitution which was itself a complex balance of competing interests. When Malaysia was formed the indigenous races of Sabah and Sarawak were accorded the same safeguards and more.

Today we are presented with a vogue euphoria of seeking to have “transparent dialogue” or “a debate” or “a round table” or a desire to “get it all out there in the open”. This is understandably fashionable in this new age of the Coffee Bean Court and the Boardroom of the enlightened ones who seem to place a premium on this vast beauty of openness in the comfort of their ethnically creased linen shirts and leather sandals. This carried us on course to a robust debate on the rights of Malays and Islam in the context of the Sharyiah Court’s jurisdiction. It led to a debate on whether there was such a thing as a social contract between the races. It led to a debate on how Muslims may renounce their faith apparently through a declaration by word of mouth. Placed in this background and in the spirit of openness, in all its beauty, one must appreciate where Ahmad Ismail is coming from. To him if his privileges as a Malay are called into question, then he too wishes to call into question the otherside of the agreement – the privilege of citizenship. Yes it has hurt the Chinese, it has scared other non Malays. But in moments like this we should realize a few factors:

i. we should realize how a Malay feels, when after having made the major concessions of citizenry and the consequent dilution of their political sovereignty in 1948, that they are now faced with these debates as to the standing of the only safeguards they had sought for these concessions;

ii. non Malays must now ask themselves how they feel when another race starts a debate upon a noble aspiration of free speech to question something that they hold sacred.

Much has been said of the arrogance of UMNO. Arrogance is relative, as is opportunism. In 1986 and in the elections that followed, most of the Barisan component parties survived on the wave of UMNO. Gerakan was humbled in Penang by the DAP in 1986, it retained its position then and in a number of succeeding elections with the support of UMNO. The MIC and MCA were no exception. But UMNO kept the faith. Penang remained with Gerakan despite Karpal Singh’s view that the CM’s post should devolve to UMNO. So did the distribution of Ministries. Yet I seem to remember that after one election where, non-Malay votes carried Barisan through, there was a popular rise of “requests” by trade guilds etc as a price for continued support. Yet again this time, in 2008 when Umno’s support slid, we see the rise of opportunism in some component parties. Some of these parties clung to UMNO for survival yet today they open debate disengagement.

If I was a Malay I would see myself in a position of increasing isolation. I would think that unless I was able to anchor sustained Malay support, I would remain at the mercy of fair weather friends. These sentiments exist in the minds of many. But some speak their minds others wait to see where the wind blows.

It is not about an apology and who apologises for whom. We need to make a choice. Either we accept the parameters of nationhood which form the nation’s foundations and build a sustainable future on them. Or we try to reinvest these foundations. If the past is to be an indicator, our country was at its lowest every time we did this. In 1948 – during the emergency, in 1969 – during the racial crisis, in 1987 when Lee Kim Sai of MCA openly questioned the Bumiputera status, in 1998 on the pretext of Refomasi and for the past few years when everything was up for graps, we now ask why is Singapore and Thailand forging ahead and why we are left behind ? The answers should be obvious. Our moments of greatest prosperity lay in those periods when we accepted our positions in society, counted our blessings, accepted the foundations of our nation, respected our differences and made the government work for us and made the government’s policies work for us, this spirit marked the booming 1990s and our rise from the 1997 recession.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brother Jahaberdeen,

Well 3x,such an idealistic and factism comment.

To comfort your details of expressions, I am happy to add this.. "At the end of the day we are Malaysian, we are living in one roof and one umbrella.

I depends how we take it when we digest anyone expression and only GOD knows better about Ahmad Ismail intention.

Let us work together to enjoin good and to forbid evil.

Ibnumubarak.

jahamy said...

Brother Ibnumubarak,

I totally agree that efforts should be towards forging humanity. In the Malaysian context, we should move towards becoming Malaysians.

Such a move requires reflection, thinking and calm discourse. Politicizing or sensationalizing things will not help.

The article did raise an important point - are we to ignore historical facts or can they used to move forward?

Anonymous said...

Malays
By Dennis Hawkins


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Malay originated in Southeastern Asia. It is regarded as one of the pure breeds of poultry from which other breeds are derrived. It was first imported into England around 1830, but was mainly unnoticed by the poultry breeders of the time. From an economic standpoint, it is of little value. It is primarily used for exhibition purposes.

The Malay has long legs and a wide head which make it stand tall with a devious stare. This breed is very rare in America and only a few birds can be found both in America and England. The Black Breasted Red (or Wheaten) variety of this breed was admitted to the standard in 1883, but not until 1981 were the Spangled, Black, White, and Red Pyle varieties admitted. The Malay has yellow skin and lays dark brown eggs.

Anonymous said...

Chinese died defending country, says Ka Chuan

Sunday, 07 September 2008 11:36

IPOH: The Chinese gained citizenship by sacrificing their lives for the country, said MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

Some 300,000 Chinese died defending the country during the Japanese Occupation in the 1940s, he said.

“That was about 20% of the population then. They had joined the Anti-Japanese Army to fight the invasion when the British left us helpless.

“And this was what made the British give us citizenship. It wasn’t gained without any sacrifice or contribution on our part.

“Our citizenship had been exchanged with our courage, blood, sweat and tears for the country,” he said after opening the Perak Wanita MCA convention here yesterday.

Ong was responding to remarks made by Bukit Bendara Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail on the Chinese during the Permatang Pauh by-election.

Calling Ahmad irresponsible and naïve for making the remarks, Ong said the issue should be put to a rest for the sake of racial harmony and unity among the people.

“We are all Malaysians. We need to stand united instead of being suspicious of one another,” he said.

On Ahmad’s demand that Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Chinese community leaders apologise to him, Ong said:

“It is not about who should apologise or who should withdraw from Barisan Nasional but about respecting each other’s rights.”

Selangor Wanita MCA chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said Ahmad’s remark damaged racial relationships and the MCA would have to review its ties in Barisan.

Outgoing Perak Youth chief Datuk Tan Chin Meng proposed that the MCA leave Barisan if Ahmad refused to apologise for his statements.

“The younger generation of Malaysians are born here. What Ahmad said was degrading to the younger generation,” he added.

- The Star

Anonymous said...

Malays (ethnic group)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the Malay ethnic group.

Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the first Malaysian Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Total population
c. 22 million


Malays (Malay: Melayu) are an ethnic group of Austronesian peoples predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands between these locations. The Malay ethnic group is distinct from the concept of a Malay race, which encompasses a wider group of people, including most of Indonesia and the Philippines. The Malay language is a member of the Austronesian family of languages.


The Yunnan theory, Mekong river migration (published 1889)
The New Guinea theory (published 1965)
The Taiwan theory (published 1997)
The ancestor of Malays are believed to be seafarers who are well knowledged in Oceanography, they move around from island to island in great distances between New Zealand and Madagascar, and they served as navigation guide, crew and labour to Indian, Persian and Chinese traders for nearly 2000 years, and over the years they settled at various places and adopted various cultures and religions. Notable Malay seafarers of today are Moken and Orang laut.

Some historians suggested they were descendants of Austronesian-speakers who migrated from the Philippines and originally from Taiwan. Malay culture reached its golden age during Srivijayan times and they practiced Buddhism, Hinduism, and their native Animism before converting to Islam in the 15th century.


In the History of Jambi, the word Melayu originated from a river with name Melayu River near to Batang Hari River of today's Muara Jambi, Jambi province of Sumatra, Indonesia and even a Melayu Kingdom existed from the record of Yi Jing and archaeological research of Jambi, large numbers of ancient artifacts and ancient architectures of the Melayu Kingdom have been found with photo evidence. However further tracing the root of the word, a small town in Tamil district appeared called Malai Yur which means "Land of Mountains" (malai means mountain and yur means land), a reference to the hilly nature of the Malay Archipelago. Other ancient Indian sources , the Purana text, claimed "Malayadvipa" on Sumatra with the meaning 'dvipa' land surrounded by water, while the ancient Sanskrit word Himalaya means 'snow mountain'. "Maleu-kolon" was used by Ptolemy which was also derived from Sanskrit 'malayakom' or 'malaikurram', according to G. E. Gerini that was to refer to Tanjung Kuantan while Roland Bradell claimed it on Tanjung Penyabung, both in the peninsula. (see Tamil place names in Malaysia)

The word Melayu began in use during the time of Sultanate of Melaka, founded by the fleeing prince Parameswara, from the declining Melayu Kingdom of Srivijaya in Palembang. And the word was in popular use in 17th century onwards.

During the European colonization, the word "Malay" was adopted into English via the Dutch word "Malayo", itself from Portuguese "Malaio", which originates from the Malay word "Melayu". According to one popular theory, the word Melayu means "migrating" or "fleeing", which might refer to the high mobility of these people across the region (cf. Javanese verb 'mlayu' means "to run", cognate with Malay verb 'melaju', means "to accelerate") or perhaps the original meaning is "distant, far away" (cf. Tagalog 'malayo') with the root word 'layo', which means 'distance' or 'far' in Tagalog and some Malayo-Polynesian languages.


Alternate uses of the term
The name Malay is sometimes used to describe the concept of a Malay race, which includes all the ethnic groups inhabiting the Malay Archipelago and which are not of older aboriginal stock.

The term Melayu (Malay person in the Malay Language), in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, refers to a person who professes Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay custom and who has at least one ancestor from the Malay Peninsula or Singapore.

Kedah and Melaka literature
According to Kedah Annals, Kadaram (Kedah Kingdom 630-1136) was founded by Maharaja Derbar Raja of Gemeron, Persia around 630 CE, and also alleged that the bloodline of Kedah royalties coming from Alexander The Great. The other Malay literature, Sejarah Melayu too alleged that they were the descendants of Alexander The Great.


Deutero Malays
Combination of the colonial Kambujas of Hindu-Buddhism faith, the Indo-Persian royalties and traders as well as traders from southern China and elsewhere along the ancient trade routes, these peoples together with the aborigine Negrito Orang Asli and native seafarers and Proto Malays intermarried each others and thus a new group of peoples was formed and became to be known as the Deutero Malays, today they are commonly known as the Malays.



The Malay ethnic group is the majority in Malaysia and Brunei and a sizable minority in Singapore and Indonesia, and they form the majority in the five southernmost provinces of Thailand which historically made up the old Malay kingdom of Patani. This people speak various dialects of Malay language. The peninsular dialect as spoken in the Malaysian states of Pahang, Selangor and Johor is the standard speech among Malays in Malaysia and Singapore. In the Malay peninsula, the Kelantanese dialect in its purest form is the most difficult to understand. Other peninsula dialects include the Kedah-Perlis dialect, the Melakan dialect, the Minangkabau dialect of Negri Sembilan, the Perak dialect and the Trengganu dialect. In Thailand, Malays of Satun speak the Kedah-Perlis dialect while those in the Patani provinces speak the Kelantanese lingo. Meanwhile, the Riau dialect of eastern Sumatra has been adopted as a national tongue, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), for the whole Indonesian population.The ethnic Malay have had a Muslim culture since the 15th century.[10]

In Malaysia, the majority of the population is made up of ethnic Malays while the minorities consist of southern Chinese (e.g. Hokkien and Cantonese), southern Indians (mainly Tamils), non-ethnic Malay indigenous peoples (e.g. Iban and Kadazan), as well as Eurasians.

Anonymous said...

looks like the melayus also dont know where they came from, maybe taiwan? oh my god are they are part of the chinese race?

Anonymous said...

Mr Jabar,

couldnt disagree with you more:

"The answers should be obvious. Our moments of greatest prosperity lay in those periods when we accepted our positions in society, counted our blessings, accepted the foundations of our nation, respected our differences and made the government work for us and made the government’s policies work for us, this spirit marked the booming 1990s and our rise from the 1997 recession"

comeon lah we have regressed for the past 30 years in terms of intellectual accomplishment.

people are asked to maintain status quo and not question what is happening for the good of the country? where is the democracy in this? those years of boom was because the chinese were happily enjoying their sidelining??

Bulan of Puteras

jahamy said...

bulan,

if you note, you are disagreeing with the author of the piece, not me..:). Just like your own comment was posted on the blog, so is this from a reader.

Anonymous said...

Bulan of Puteras,

With due repect to you, I believed that you you should think outside the circle and then you may be more realistic to comment on this.

Of course in Rapera we have to think like Rapera not as normal citizen and that's why you yourself known as Bulan of Puteras.

Peace!

Ibnumubarak

Anonymous said...

My mother is 85 and born in Malaysia. She went underground to fight the Japanese during the occupation. She cheated death many times and many of her chinese friends perished during the struggle to free the country. She has given her tears and sweat for the country. Now can those self proclaimed Ketuanan politicians go and tell my mother that she is a Pendatang and only tumpang in this country. How many of those politicians who has declared their supremacy have given any real sacrificial deed for this country? Please give some respect to people like my mother!

Anonymous said...

dear mr jabar,

sorry it was my mistake, thanks for the clarification, see saying sorry wasnt that difficult.

thanks


dear mr/miss Ibumubarak,

thanks for the advise which i truly welcome, could you please enlighthen me on how to think outside the circle to fullfill the realism in my comments. would also greatly appreciate which parts of my comments are not real to you? anyways i still have not found the meaning of rapera which i hope you could give directions and my bulan of puteras does not mean anything it was just something i thought off since i could not qualify to be a bumi i might hope that i could be a bulan.

much regards.

Bulan of Puteras

Anonymous said...

``When the policy was first enunciated in 1971 it was meant to help anybody who was poor, irrespective of race ― now it is `respective' of race," bewailed an Indian-born Malaysian professional, who labelled his country as a sanitized apartheid state, not unlike the Afrikaans regime of South Africa in the past.

By David Goliath, The Korea Times


Sclerosis is not a term often used in political discourses, but the medical term succinctly described the sense of malaise felt across Malaysia as the country headed for independence celebrations last week.

As the country celebrated its 51st birthday on Aug. 31 from its British colonial masters who left her to mind her, the independence cry of Merdeka is being heard yet again.

Strange but True

The ``unshackling" this time is independence from endemic levels of corruption, the crippling fear from escalating crime, unemployment, and the bumiputra policy (Malaysia's version of affirmative action) ― all of which are conspiring to give a general set the country adrift within the wider subtext of rising racial and religious tension.

So just what has gone wrong?

Nothing except in just how the country administers its bumiputra policy.

Apart from the oddity, Malaysia seems to be the only country in the world where such hand-outs are given to its majority race ― the travesty of all it, is the steady hijacking of the policy for it to become a wholly Malay-centric policy distinctly favoring only Malays in jobs, employment and business contracts.

``When the policy was first enunciated in 1971 it was meant to help anybody who was poor, irrespective of race ― now it is `respective' of race," bewailed an Indian-born Malaysian professional, who labelled his country as a sanitized apartheid state, not unlike the Afrikaans regime of South Africa in the past.

``We are already living in an apartheid era ala Malaysia. Though we do not have Bosnian-style ethnic cleansing, ethnic cleansing is proceeding apace by the denial of equal educational and employment opportunities [to the Indians]," thundered S. Uthayakumar, a lawyer belonging to the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF).

Along with five other social activists Uthayakumar is now in detention under the country's draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows for indefinite detention without trial and without charge, and importantly without any evidence of the terrorist links he and his group have allegedly been charged with.

And unsurprisingly, with the onset of race-based politics in the place of what rightly should have been performance-based criterion in public service, the social divide in the country has only got sharper.

Racial polarization in the form of ethnic clashes and documented cases of controversial religious conversions got so bad that the state hurriedly introduced a program of national service.

The three-month military stint was not only unpopular ― trainees were arbitrarily picked as the program was not compulsory ― it also fell dismally short of the target of fostering racial assimilation as alluded to by Singapore's broadsheet, the Straits Times, in 2007.

``The race-based paradigm of looking at restructuring society and alleviating poverty must be radically revised," said Azly Rahman, a Columbia University graduate who teaches history and world religions in the United States in an interview with Reuters.

Yet the irony of it all for the administration of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi could not come at a worse time.

Just as when he is vocally advocating the ethos of Islam Hadhari (civilizational Islam) to his compatriots ― whose precepts are about projecting a moderate face to Islam ― his recent defense at denying university places for minorities in one of the country's leading universities ― Universiti Teknologi Mara (UNiTM) ― has hardly been perceived at nurturing the politics of accommodation.

For Badawi, the political challenges cannot come at a more tenuous time in the country's history. The denial of an absolute majority in parliament in the March elections is perhaps only the beginning of an arduous journey.

The larger question is to perhaps set straight a ``broken state," fraught with racial and religious tension, corruption, sputtering economic growth, crime and rightly or wrongly, a weakening of civil society.

From the hard won battles for independence in 1957 to the virtual sense of grief now pervading the country; a sclerotic condition in leadership paralysis is perceived to be descending over the country.And the cause of it all is none other than to the country's pact with its bumiputra policy whose noble aims ``hijacked" in the ignobility of being self-serving is suspected of being the catalyst.

David Goliath is a Singapore-based journalist

Anonymous said...

Ancaman kepada Melayu


Dr. Sham Rahayu, Pensyarah Undang-undang Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Entah mengapa sejak kebelakangan ini sudah timbul ‘keberanian’ luar biasa daripada pelbagai pihak untuk mempertikaikan apa yang sudah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Antara perkara yang semakin lantang menjadi perdebatan atau perbahasan ialah mengenai Perkara 153 berhubung keistimewaan orang Melayu.

Walaupun pihak-pihak yang berbuat demikian amat memahami ia sesuatu yang sensitif namun mereka tidak mempedulikan itu semua.

Sebaliknya satu demi satu hujah mereka keluarkan bagi menggugat apa yang sudah terpahat dalam Perlembagaan. Persoalannya wajarkah perkara seumpama itu terus menjadi pertikaian? Tidakkah ia sepatutnya dihormati memandangkan ia adalah satu Perlembagaan negara?

Dalam pertemuan dengan wartawan Mingguan Malaysia, ZULKIFLEE BAKAR dan NORAINI ABD.RAZAK, Pensyarah Undang-undang Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM), Dr. Sham Rahayu Ab. Aziz secara terus terang menyifatkan, apa yang terjadi sekarang kerana orang Melayu dilihat lemah.

Malah katanya, kegagalan orang Melayu untuk berhujah mengenai intipati apa yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan juga menjadi punca pihak lain mampu mempertikaikan apa yang sudah diperuntukkan.

Selain itu pada pandangan Dr. Sham Rahayu sikap generasi baru yang mahu memperjuangkan kesamarataan antara kaum juga turut menyebabkan segala yang ditetapkan oleh Perlembagaan mengenai orang Melayu semakin ‘terancam’.

Mingguan: Kenapa sejak kebelakangan ini perkara-perkara dalam Perlembagaan terus dipertikaikan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kalau kita mengkaji sentimen sesetengah pihak pada masa ini ia memang menunjukkan mereka mahu melihat apa yang ada dalam Perlembagaan dan kemudian mempertikaikan kewujudannya tanpa mahu memahami kenapa ia diwujudkan. Apa yang sepatutnya orang ramai lakukan ialah bertanya kenapa sesuatu perkara dalam Perlembagaan itu diwujudkan, contohnya dalam soal hak keistimewaan orang Melayu yang terkandung dalam Perkara 153.

Kalau melihat sejarah bangsa kita dan pembentukan Perlembagaan sesetengah perkara itu harus diterima, ertinya tidak boleh dirobek atau diubah semata-mata untuk mengikut perubahan semasa. Bagi saya, dalam demokrasi ada ruang bagi membolehkan perkara dalam Perlembagaan diperbincangkan tetapi bukan sampai ke tahap yang boleh menggugat Perlembagaan itu sendiri. Ini termasuklah perbincangan yang menjurus ke arah provokasi seperti hendak membuang peruntukan Perlembagaan yang sedia ada.

Apakah peruntukan Perkara 153 dalam Perlembagaan itu keterlaluan melindungi orang Melayu sehingga menjejaskan bangsa-bangsa lain?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kalau kita mengkaji Suruhanjaya Reid, ia mengatakan kalau kita mengambil hak Melayu secara tidak terancang ia boleh meruntuhkan pembinaan bangsa dan negara. Atas sebab itu saya tidak bersetuju jika ada pihak mengatakan bahawa Perkara 153 memberi kelebihan melampau kepada orang Melayu.

Ini kerana sistem tersebut mesti bergerak dengan hak-hak munasabah terhadap bangsa lain. Suruhanjaya Reid merujuk salah satu terma Perlembagaan ialah menjaga kedudukan Melayu dan Islam serta menjaga hak-hak munasabah terhadap bangsa lain, jadi apabila kita menjaga kepentingan Melayu ini tidak bermakna kita mengabaikan bangsa lain. Untuk membina sebuah negara yang aman dan damai serta mewujudkan kestabilan politik kita memerlukan kesaksamaan dan keadilan.

Tetapi apa yang ditonjolkan seolah-olah orang Melayu mendapat segala-galanya sedang bangsa lain tidak mendapat apa-apa?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya berpendapat mengikut Perlembagaan orang Melayu diberi sedikit kelebihan atau keistimewaan tetapi dari segi aplikasinya mungkin tidak begitu ketara. Adalah tidak adil untuk mengatakan orang Melayu mendapat segala-galanya. Cuba lihat siapa yang mengawal ekonomi kita?

Kalau kita mengkaji laporan Suruhanjaya Reid mengenai Perlembagaan, kelebihan kepada orang Melayu diberikan sejak 1948. Pada tahun itu, orang British sendiri tidak pernah menyentuh soal Melayu dan Islam. Ini kerana ia menjadi subjek yang terlalu sensitif kepada British. Namun dalam masa yang sama terdapat terma bahawa bangsa lain tidak diabaikan.

Kenapa baru sekarang semua ini hendak dipertikaikan sedangkan ia sudah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Punca utama kerana orang Melayu tidak pandai berhujah, kita tidak memahami sejarah sendiri. Kelemahan orang Melayu sekarang ialah tidak memahami kenapa diwujudkan keistimewaan dalam Perlembagaan. Atas sebab itulah kalau kita lihat ada di kalangan orang Melayu sendiri menentang Perkara 153.

Kalau kita merujuk pembinaan bangsa, adalah jelas semua rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kaum berhak untuk merasa bangga menjadi rakyat negara ini tetapi ia tidak bermaksud kepentingan Melayu harus dilunturkan. Kita memahami sejarah menunjukkan Malaysia adalah sebuah negara yang dianggotai oleh pelbagai bangsa tetapi kita tidak boleh mengenepikan kerangka asas pembinaan negara ini iaitu orang Melayu.

Seharusnya kita memberi pemahaman kepada bangsa lain kenapa terdapat peruntukan tertentu mengenai Melayu dan Islam dalam Perlembagaan.

Dalam soal Perkara 153 bukan mudah ia ditarik begitu sahaja. Ini kerana ia mempunyai hubung kait dengan peruntukan-peruntukan lain seperti keistimewaan raja-raja.

Kalau soal Melayu hendak ditarik balik apa yang raja ada lagi? Sedangkan institusi raja-raja bertanggungjawab terhadap dua perkara iaitu Melayu dan Islam. Institusi raja-raja dibentuk oleh Perlembagaan dengan tujuan mewujudkan kestabilan politik. Tetapi kalau soal Melayu ditarik dalam Perkara 153, ertinya raja pun tidak akan wujud. Keadaan itu kalau berlaku sudah tentulah akan menjejaskan kestabilan politik negara. Bagaimanapun kalau boleh soal mengenai Melayu ini tidaklah dibincangkan dalam suasana terlalu panas atau penuh provokasi. Tetapi dalam masa yang kita sudah tidak mampu menyembunyikan segala-galanya di bawah karpet. Masyarakat kita sudah mengetahui isi kandungan Perlembagaan. Oleh itu orang Melayu terutama pemimpin kita harus pandai berhujah dan memahami Perlembagaan tanpa sentimen politik.

Kita harus pisahkan antara isu politik dengan isu Perlembagaan. Kita perlu berbincang soal Perlembagaan secara akademik dan intelektual bukan provokasi. Saya lihat dari semasa ke semasa semakin banyak peruntukan Perlembagaan mengenai orang Melayu diganggu gugat. Dahulu ia bermula dengan Perkara 152 iaitu mengenai bahasa Melayu dan sekarang Perkara 153 pula.

Kalau pencabulan ini terus dibiarkan, ia akan menyebabkan porak peranda kerana sistem pentadbiran negara dan kestabilan politik akan terancam.

Dalam soal pemain dalam menjayakan peruntukan sedia ada, apakah ia berpunca dari kelemahan pelaksanaan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya bersetuju kalau orang mengatakan masalah kita bukan dengan sistem tetapi pemain. Bagi saya membiarkan peruntukan-peruntukan itu dibincangkan secara provokatif mendatangkan masalah lebih besar. Dalam soal ini pemain harus memastikan peruntukan itu dijalankan sebagaimana yang dimaksudkan dalam Perlembagaan. Selain itu, mereka juga harus memantau sejauh mana peruntukan itu dilaksanakan.

Para pemain dalam sistem ini perlu berubah dan melihat balik apa yang mereka buat itu bertepatan dengan tujuan atau objektif Perlembagaan atau tidak. Ini bagi mengelakkan Perlembagaan hanya menjadi kosmetik.

Kalau Perlembagaan itu hendak dihormati ia harus dilaksanakan, masalahnya tidak ada penguatkuasaan jika ia dilanggar. Walaupun Perlembagaan bukanlah kanun keseksaan tetapi kita sudah membina satu konvensyen atau adat Perlembagaan yang harus dihormati.

Atas sebab itu kita memerlukan penguatkuasaan yang tegas ke atas pencabulan Perlembagaan. Kalau kita dilihat lemah dalam soal ini sudah pasti ada pihak yang akan melakukan provokatif untuk menolak apa-apa yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan.

Di kalangan generasi muda adalah jelas mereka tidak menghiraukan mengenai pencabulan Perlembagaan ini?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Tidak dapat dinafikan bahawa generasi baru memperjuangkan kesamarataan. Saya setuju dengan pandangan bahawa akibat daripada perjuangan inilah berlakunya pencabulan Perlembagaan. Justeru kita harus melihat agenda di sebalik tindakan berkenaan.

Adakah asas kesamarataan itu menjadi benda yang kukuh? Kenapa kita analogi sistem kesamarataan kita dengan barat. Apa yang ada di negara kita terlalu unik. Sepatutnya kita pergi kepada keadilan bukan kesamarataan.

Saya rasa faktor utama yang menyebabkan kekeliruan ini berlaku kerana orang tidak faham apa konsep keadilan dalam sistem Perlembagaan kita. Kalau hendak bagi semua orang sama rata itu tidak adil. Lihatlah sejarah bangsa mana-manapun sudah pasti ada sesetengah golongan harus diberi keutamaan. Apa yang diberikan oleh Perlembagaan kepada orang Melayu tidaklah melampau. Jadi tidak perlulah lagi dipersoalkan mengenai hak keistimewaan orang Melayu ini. Bagi saya mereka yang membangkitkan isu berkenaan mempunyai agenda politik.

Kenapa orang Melayu selalu dilihat bersalah apabila mempertahankan hak Melayu?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Apologetik. Orang Melayu terlalu berdiplomatik dengan sifat kemelayuan, sedangkan Melayu sebenarnya kuat dan hebat, tetapi sekarang ini kita terlalu apologetik. Sikap apologetik dan diplomatik, sikit-sikit minta maaf menyebabkan orang naik tocang. Sikap ini kalau dilakukan terlalu kerap orang akan bosan. Saya rasa faktor utama mengapa hak orang Melayu di sisi Perlembagaan sering dipersoalkan ialah tidak tegas dari segi penguatkuasaan dan sifat apologetik. Inilah dua karakter yang menyebabkan Perkara 153 dipijak, menyebabkan kedudukan orang Melayu dipijak sehingga orang Melayu rasa bersalah dan malu untuk mengaku kita sebenarnya ada keistimewaan.

Sekarang ini ada pula Melayu liberal yang juga mahu supaya diwujudkan kesamarataan?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kelompok ini yang menjadi racun, saya sebut ini adalah Melayu yang makan Melayu, Melayu yang menjadi racun kepada Perlembagaan. Tidak mustahil mereka yang mencetuskan semua ini. Mereka yang nak jadi juara memperjuangkan hak sama rata, tanpa memahami sejarah Perlembagaan secara semangatnya. Mereka melihat Perkara 153 itu seolah-olah membawa pandangan buruk kepada Melayu, mereka rasa keistimewaan itu macam bantuan kepada orang cacat, benda yang buruk kepada orang Melayu. Ini menjadikan orang memijak Perlembagaan. Mereka ini tali barut yang menjadikan Perkara 153 dan orang Melayu sendiri bencikan keistimewaan Melayu. Kita tidak menafikan perkembangan mutakhir ini menunjukkan wujud dua Melayu iaitu Melayu liberal dan Melayu Perlembagaan..

Kita lihat suara untuk kesamarataan ini semakin berkumandang tetapi ia seolah-olah menjurus kepada bidang tertentu sahaja?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Masalah ini tidak akan selesai selagi kumpulan yang tidak berpuas hati ini menyatakan dengan jelas apa sebenarnya yang mereka mahukan. Kita lihat dalam pengambilan anggota polis terbuka kepada semua kaum tetapi adakah kaum bukan Melayu berminat menyertainya. Kita tidak pasti apa benda dan sektor mana yang mereka inginkan. Kalau nak juga keistimewaan Melayu ditarik balik tunjukkan bahawa keistimewaan ini telah menafikan mereka daripada mendapat hak-hak yang munasabah termasuk dari sudut ekonomi dan politik. Tunjukkan, barulah kita fikir Perlembagaan itu layak diubah.

Adakah Doktor melihat ada agenda lain di sebalik timbulnya cakap-cakap mengenai hak keistimewaan orang Melayu ini?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya melihat isu bukan agenda saja-saja atau demi kepentingan bangsa tetapi lebih kepada agenda politik. Sepatutnya semua pihak mesti membezakan antara politik dengan Perlembagaan. Jika kita lihat kedudukan bukan Melayu terutama dari sudut politik dan ekonominya amat memberangsangkan dan bukan sedikit kalangan mereka yang kaya raya di sebalik wujudnya Perkara 153 ini. Saya tidak nampak apa salahnya dalam sistem itu, cuma mekanisme itu yang perlu dilihat balik dan saya rasa Perkara 153 tidak boleh dikompromi dalam membina bangsa Malaysia. Kita tidak boleh potong Perkara 153 sampai bila-bila pun, kerana bangsa kita memerlukan safeguard (pengawalseliaan) iaitu Perlembagaan untuk mengawal Melayu.

Kita mesti ingat di dunia hanya di Malaysia yang wujud Melayu begini, di Indonesia sudah tidak ada, di Afrika Selatan juga tidak ada identiti Melayu sebegini. Kita yang masih tulen dan mempunyai keistimewaan kalau hendak dilihat Melayu di Singapura apa agaknya yang mereka ada.

Mungkinkah semua ini berpunca daripada kelalaian di pihak pelaksana Perlembagaan itu sendiri?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Saya tidak fikir kerajaan semasa begitu prihatin dengan apa yang terkandung dalam Perlembagaan. Jika diikutkan misalnya Perkara 152 mengenai kedudukan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa kebangsaan tetapi kerajaan memperkenalkan dasar pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris. Walaupun untuk menarik balik dasar itu melibatkan kerugian dari aspek perbelanjaan kewangan tetapi kalau hendak menghormati Perlembagaan kita kena kembali kepada dasar lama. Jika tidak orang akan melihat dasar Kabinet bercanggah dengan Perlembagaan, bercanggah dengan sejarah dan kehendak Suruhanjaya Reid itu sendiri.

Saya percaya jika banyak sangat orang persoalkan sesuatu dasar yang ada kait mengait dengan Perlembagaan maka pasti ada silapnya. Semua pihak patut lihat balik apa yang tak kena dan sepatutnya kita pulihkan perkara-perkara yang tidak betul ini secepat mungkin.

Berikut petikan Perkara 153 Perlembagaan

Perkara 153. Perizaban kuota berkenaan dengan perkhidmatan, permit dan sebagainya bagi orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak.

(1) Menjadi tanggungjawab Yang di-Pertuan Agong untuk melindungi kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dan kepentingan sah kaum-kaum lain mengikut peruntukan Perkara ini.

(2) Walau apa pun apa-apa jua dalam Perlembagaan ini, tetapi tertakluk kepada peruntukan Perkara 40 dan peruntukan Perkara ini, Yang di-Pertuan Agong hendaklah menjalankan fungsinya di bawah Perlembagaan ini dan undang-undang persekutuan mengikut apa- apa cara yang perlu untuk melindungi kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dan untuk memastikan perizaban bagi orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak apa-apa perkadaran yang difikirkan munasabah oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong daripada jawatan dalam perkhidmatan awam (selain perkhidmatan awam sesuatu Negeri) dan daripada biasiswa, danasiswa dan keistimewaan pendidikan atau latihan yang seumpamanya atau kemudahan khas lain yang diberikan atau diadakan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan dan, apabila apa-apa permit atau lesen dikehendaki oleh undang-undang persekutuan bagi mengendalikan apa-apa pertukangan atau perniagaan, maka, tertakluk kepada peruntukan undang-undang itu dan Perkara ini, daripada permit dan lesen itu.

(3) Yang di-Pertuan Agong boleh, bagi memastikan, mengikut Fasal (2), perizaban bagi orang Melayu dan anak negeri mana-mana antara Negeri Sabah dan Sarawak jawatan-jawatan dalam perkhidmatan awam dan biasiswa, danasiswa dan keistimewaan pendidikan atau latihan atau kemudahan khas lain, memberikan apa-apa arahan am yang dikehendaki bagi maksud itu kepada mana-mana Suruhanjaya yang baginya Bahagian X terpakai atau kepada mana-mana pihak berkuasa yang dipertanggungkan dengan tanggungjawab bagi pemberian biasiswa, danasiswa atau keistimewaan pendidikan atau latihan atau kemudahan khas lain itu; dan Suruhanjaya atau pihak berkuasa itu hendaklah mematuhi arahan itu dengan sewajarnya.

Jangan prejudis kepada perkara 153
Senarionya sekarang Melayu cuma mempertahankan hak dalam Perlembagaan tetapi pada masa yang sama bukan Melayu menuntut tambahan hak, adakah ini bermakna akan berlaku kesamarataan yang sekali gus menjejaskan hak orang Melayu?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Apa yang kita faham akan sampai satu tahap di mana demokrasi seumpama barat yang menekankan kesamarataan akan berlaku di negara ini. Tetapi untuk proses tersebut menjadi kenyataan tidak diketahui bila masanya. Saya percaya tempoh 51 tahun biar pun ada pihak yang berpendapatan sudah tiba masanya untuk kesamarataan namun hakikatnya tempoh tersebut belum mencukupi. Paling penting untuk kita fikirkan ialah apabila tiba masa tersebut apa akan jadi kepada Perlembagaan kita?

Bukankah ketika itu Perlembagaan akan menjadi kosmetik?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Itu yang saya maksudkan. Kalau sampai ke tahap itu pasti akan timbul cadangan supaya Perkara 153 dimansuhkan daripada Perlembagaan. Mungkin kita akan sampai ke satu tahap di mana orang Melayu sendiri rasa tidak perlu lagi keistimewaan atau pun sampai satu tahap kerajaan kata kita tidak mampu mempertahankan Melayu lagi, mungkin satu kerajaan lain yang akan berkata begitu, maka ketika itu lepaslah orang Melayu macam anak ayam. Apabila berlaku keadaan seperti itu tentunya akan menimbulkan ketidakstabilan politik. Sebabnya saya melihat sejarah, mungkin orang kata apa yang dah berlaku biarkan berlalu, tetapi ada juga yang berkata, jika kita tidak belajar dari sejarah maknanya kita akan mencipta sejarah kejatuhan kita.

Walaupun Perlembagaan kita dikatakan living document, boleh berubah dari semasa ke semasa tetapi sebenarnya kesamarataan itu yang Suruhanjaya Reid mahu. Kalau kita baca semula laporan Suruhanjaya Reid sampai satu tahap tidak akan ada beza antara kaum-kaum di negara ini. Saya rasa ia terlalu ideal. Sampai macam mana kulit saya tidak akan jadi putih macam orang Cina, orang India tidak akan jadi sawo matang macam orang Melayu. Masalahnya sampai ke satu tahap kita bimbang Perlembagaan menjadi perhiasan dan ini yang perlu dimainkan oleh pihak yang menjaga Perlembagaan ini.

Jangan sampai satu tahap sama rata dan itu boleh membahayakan Perlembagaan dan kestabilan politik kita. Kita mencipta satu bentuk sistem Perlembagaan yang unik dan tiada mana-mana contoh Perlembagaan di dunia yang mempunyai ciri-ciri Perlembagaan kita. Cuma Malaysia sahaja di dunia ini ada Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Apabila saya baca laporan Suruhanjaya Reid saya tertanya-tanya adakah mereka faham keadaan di Malaysia ini atau mereka menggunakan minda Inggeris untuk menilai bangsa-bangsa yang ada.

Boleh Doktor berikan contoh wujudnya minda Inggeris dalam Suruhanjaya Reid?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Contohnya mereka berkata keistimewaan orang Melayu untuk substantial number of years – banyaknya itu amat subjektif, adakah 50 tahun cukup untuk membina bangsa kita, adakah 50 tahun cukup untuk orang Melayu matang. Kalau diikutkan sekarang memang orang Melayu itu matang tetapi dari segi keupayaan yang sebenar bolehkah orang Melayu berdiri. Sebab itu Perkara 153 ini tidak boleh dilepaskan kerana menyedari orang Melayu belum sampai ke tahap itu. Saya tertanya-tanya apa sangat yang bukan Melayu hendak sebenarnya. Adakah mereka tidak mendapat peluang pekerjaan, adakah mereka tidak mendapat kepentingan ekonomi, apa sangat yang disusahkannya tentang Perkara 153 ini. Lebih menyedihkan lagi apabila ada orang Melayu sendiri tidak mahu mempertahankan kedudukan Melayu.

Adakah ia mungkin disebabkan oleh kaum-kaum lain percaya bahawa kaum Melayu diberi keistimewaan keterlaluan sehingga hak menjejaskan hak mereka?

DR. SHAM RAHAYU: Kalau hendak kata mereka tidak mendapat legitimate interest (perkataan yang digunakan dalam Suruhanjaya Reid), kita sendiri lihat kedudukan kaum-kaum lain di Malaysia sekarang ini. Adakah mereka tidak diberi peluang sedangkan mereka boleh ‘survive’ malah dalam banyak bidang mereka amat berjaya. Kalau Melayu tidak diberi kedudukan ini adakah Melayu boleh survive, itu yang penting dan mesti kita tengok.

Saya juga tertanya-tanya adakah selama ini negara kita tidak aman dengan adanya keistimewaan orang Melayu. Adakah kita tidak gembira berada di Malaysia hanya kerana adanya 153 ini. Persoalannya apa susah sangat dengan 153.

Dalam buku Chinese Dilemma dan Chinese Contributions mereka bangkitkan tentang peranan mereka, sememangnya kita terima peranan mereka membangunkan Bank Negara misalnya, tapi mereka kena ingat ini adalah negara mereka dan itu adalah sumbangan mereka. Apa yang mereka tidak dapat di negara ini. Sistem pendidikan misalnya kita lihat Singapura hanya ada satu sistem, tetapi di sini semuanya ada. Perpaduan bangsa kita seperti yang dikatakan oleh Syed Naquib Al-Attas umpama jalur-jalur besi yang tidak boleh nak dicairkan kerana adanya prejudis. Adakah 153 menjadi satu isu untuk mereka prejudis kepada Melayu, saya rasa itu tidak adil untuk bangsa Melayu.

Sepatutnya mereka kena tunjukkan sejauh mana benarnya Dasar Ekonomi Baru telah menyekat legitimate interest mereka, kalau Lim Kit Siang kata orang Cina tidak diberi peluang sila perjelaskan peluang apa.

Anonymous said...

If the Muslims, who are the majority, have been good Muslims in all spheres of life – in the neighbourhood, at work, as government servants and as governing politicians, then there will be no apprehension on the part of the non-Muslim fellow citizens. Nobody will complain if they get what is due to them, regardless of who is governing.

....

Religion and race

We are a nation of believers, and the first principle of our Rukunegara is Belief in God. Thus religion plays an important part in our lives. We also have an official religion – Islam, as enshrined in our Constitution, while all other religions can be freely practised.

Some may argue that the Constitution only says that Islam is the religion of the Federation. Since the constitution is an official document, then that makes Islam the official religion.

I have to point this out because there have been many arguments and conflicts over such issues that continue to divide us. If we cannot even agree on the terms that bind our co-existence, we will forever be quarrelling.

What matters most is that the government, being a Muslim-majority coalition, should abide by Islamic principles which include justice, fairness, welfare, equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities, accountability, and other values required by God.

If the secular communities are guided by such principles of good governance as determined by humans, then we as believers should be even more stringent in our standards, as we also have God to answer to. If the government is fair to all, then we need not fear disunity. However, what is fair means different things to different groups.

Religious issues have hit the headlines many times. We dispute over conversions, reversions (often involving Islam), houses of worship and even over the right to call God as Allah. Believe me that these are not easily resolved, as I am involved both as an interfaith leader, and as a Muslim activist.

The government is trying hard to help resolve these wherever possible. Recently the Department of Unity hosted a closed-door no-holds-barred interfaith dialogue. All of us who participated were happy that we could talk about the most sensitive issues.

Even though we could not resolve most of them, it was not surprising, because the Muslims and non-Muslims obviously have different ideas about how we should move forward. The Muslims are adamant that the constitution bestows special rights and privileges to them while most non-Muslims interpret Islam only as a “ceremonial” official religion and should not have special rights.

If the Muslims, who are the majority, have been good Muslims in all spheres of life – in the neighbourhood, at work, as government servants and as governing politicians, then there will be no apprehension on the part of the non-Muslim fellow citizens. Nobody will complain if they get what is due to them, regardless of who is governing.

Unfortunately, the Muslims here are lagging behind in many areas. Even though Islam stresses on learning, knowledge, hard work, faith and virtues, the Muslims here (in general) seem to fail in all these aspects. Hence they have to depend on government help and subsidies. The only way they can recover their integrity, worth, competitiveness and dignity is to return to the wise teachings of their religion.

There are also efforts to forge harmony among the religious leaders. When the leaders are friendly, they can influence their followers not to fight. In May, I was with the leaders of the six major religions here on an interfaith educational visit to China. In October, I will be leading them to attend the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace in Manila.

Hopefully, being together on such journeys will strengthen our bonds such that we can be instrumental in ensuring peace among religions at home.

While race and religion are two separate matters, in Malaysia, the two are intricately entwined. The Malays are almost exclusively Muslims. In fact, by our constitution, the Malay is defined as being a Muslim. Often issues that start off as non-racial and non-religious problems insidiously evolve into racial and/or religious conflicts.

In Malaysia, so many issues have to be looked into in this complex interrelation between race, religion, politics and economy. We must certainly improve the health of our relationships and build trust between the races and religions.

Politics, governance and economy

I am not a politician, but like most Malaysians, I cannot help but get caught in the recent “exciting” political events, the outcome of which will affect us all.

After the political “tsunami” of March 8, 2008, it is obvious that Malaysians have finally woken up to demand true democracy, fairness, justice, accountability, transparency, zero corruption, efficiency in government services, peace and security for us to live happily in harmony. More so in this difficult economic climate, when there is a smaller cake to be divided among us all.

We have to start somewhere. We are a very rich nation, with rich natural resources, and even richer human capital.

Unfortunately, much has been wasted or lost to other countries (through emigration).

If we get ourselves on the right track again, we can still hope for a brighter future. If the ACA actions are any indication, we are getting “healthier” in these areas. There is hope for Malaysia. Merdeka!

Dr Amir Farid Isahak is a medical specialist who practises holistic, aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine. He is a qigong master and founder of SuperQigong. For further information, e-mail starhealth@thestar.com.myThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

- Dr Amir Farid Isahak, Art of Healing, The Star

Anonymous said...

I would like to tell you story a about my pet dog, she is a shih tzu, arguably the cutest dog in the whole world (probably because i am the owner) if i could post photos of her here i would.

Anyway my wife and me got her when she was hardly 2 months old, at that time she could fit into the palm of my hand.

I tell you my pet dog is the most pampered dog in the whole wide world. She even sleeps with us in our bed. We fed her over the years and she brought to us and still do countless joys and happiness.

She is now almost 3 and half year of age and i must say she is cuter and healthier than ever. We live in a condo, so we had to train her to do her business on newspaper and not to bark unneccesarily. She is perfect now.

She has her own routine of waking in the morning do some streching, play with her toys, we feed her break fast at 9 and then dinner at 7 consistantly. So she is used to the her daily routine.

She is now so dependent on my wife and me that everytime we leave the condo she looks sad and lost and does not know what to. She also cant take to anyone else as she is so used to us. We cant even go on holidays now or travel overseas if she cant follow as well. If we left her with anyone else, she will not eat or do her business or anything, that is how dependent she is on us.

I was thinking to myself the other day, if my wife and me were to perish from this earth (God forbid) what will happen to my little cute pet? How will she carry on by herself?

We have knowingly or unknowingly taken away her animal instinct for survival, if she was left out into the wild to fend for herself, i think she will be dead in a few days, unable to find food the way she should know, as she has been sheltered all her life and has not been given the opportunity to learn the skills of survival. I shudder to think what will happen to her if anything were to happen to us. Anyway i think its our fault being too protective of their own pets.

I guess the symptoms of the problem will be that the pet would not be able to survive on their own. But since they cant think for themselves, I cant blame her as she is almost at my mercy. Basically her life is in my hands.

The problem is why did we put the pet into this scenario of being unable to fend for themselves. Were they genetically of this breed not able to fend for themselves or because they were so used to being taken care off,that, all natural instincts are gone??

Now when i look at the melayu's predicament it sort of draws similiarities to my cute little doggy. Were they being protected all this time because they cant fend for themselves?

Is that why the recent issue of calling the chinese "pendatang" were raised? IS this the real problem or just symptoms of a bigger problem? If the real problem is not being addressed, but are veiled behind other factors such as malay rights, or the rights to this land, where is it going to end? For the melayus i mean.

So what actually is the real problem of the melayus if one wants to know?

We know now after 50 years of NEP the melayus are still unable to achieve the quota and economic achievements of the other minority races. Despite being constantly put down and given unfair treatment, the other races are still able to be more successful than the melayus. Why ah?

Why is this so? So why are the melayus "backward", i mean they must be, as all this protection that is similar to what is extended to my pet are still required for them to survive? at this stage? after 50 years? some fomula must not be working?

Is is true like what Mahathir said in his book the malay dilemma, as the melayus have a tendency to practise cross breeding, they are mentally challenged to actually be on par with other races may it be another 100 years? Can mahathir be right? Afterall he is a wise old man who carried the NEP into another level?

If the NEP was taken away, will the malay race be wiped out economically? Could that be true? Cant be lah i hope, this race must have more abilities to survive than my protected pet?

So what will happen to this country if malaysia did a round of ethnic cleansing, and got rid of all non bumi citizens from this country? No need for NEP anymore? everyone than is equal already, right? no more "pendatangs" mah? Shouldnt the country prosper than? Even though the economic contribution were by all these "pendatangs"? could this happen? maybe suddenly the melayus will develop skills to counter all their shortcomings after the "pendatangs" are gone?

Maybe when all these ethnic "pendatangs" are sent away from malaysia in their boats, they can make a u turn and come back into the country and convert into muslims, and slap everybody with Bin Abdullahs behind their names, such as, Ah Lees, Ah Chongs, Ah Lims, Nallas, Kumars, Devis, Lopezs and so forth and conveniently become citizens of this country and also become a bumi putera status individual at the same time. Isnt that what is happening now?

I mean thats what the indians are doing, thats why they are called mamaks, thats how the indons are doing, coming in here and marrying a malaysian golf caddy, two months latter they get and IC, Malaysian citizenship and a bumi status. And of course these people are not "pendatangs". No lah, sorry bro these must all be lies bro.

What, we are giving foreigners bumi status? Why? Because of religion mah bro. They fit into the right religion mah, thats why. because they will not compete away the melayus standard of living mah. is that correct?

when citizens in this country which were born here, and their parents and grandparents and great great grandparents were born in this country and lived here all their lifes? no lah these people are "pendatangs" only mah, cannot give them any rights, citizenship they should be happy already mah. you just pay tax and pay for everything so the melayus can live life like my little cute doggy and not care about anything else because they are incapable of supporting themselves?

So if every non muslim citizen in this country converts into a muslim by slapping a BIN something behind his or her name she has bumi status, and if that happens, what will happen to the melayus? no more NEP? apa lah dah jadi bro, like that? boleh main guitar lagi sampai larut malam?

Is this the outside the circle thinking you were talking about ah ibumubarak? maybe this is not "real enough" and we are all living in a dream.....

peace to every "rightfull" citizen of malaysia.

Bulan of Puteras

jahaberdeen said...

Readers/visitors,

There has been active discussions going on here and different viewpoints being put forward. The entire event seem to have sparked discussions on race relations AND other related issues. Or course some of it may be considered "sensitive" because probably that was how we we led to think. But so far, on this blog, there has been respect for each other, decorum and a real effort to discuss.

I hope, at least for us on this blog, we can come to some kind of understanding of the issues, probably a conclusion at the end of it that we may want to 1) use a guideline 2) further issues to be resolved 3) a position that may be taken or 4) simply identifying the way forward. {If some of us could do that, it will be useful)

I always believe that ONE "real human" is better than 100 hypocritical Malaysians, whatever their ethnic origin or religious manifestation.

Let's us also give the benefit of doubt that the average person has tendencies towards good. It is usually the groups with vested interests - like civil servants, politicians, capitalists, etc - who thwart well intended policies.

Peace and let the discussion continue!

Anonymous said...

well done mr jabar,

looks like the glass is always half full to the chinese and half empty to the melayus?

Anonymous said...

Bro,

There is a saying that has not yet stopped being relevant : To treat people equally in unequal circumstances is inequality.

To me this is the bane that still haunts us. The Malays are not yet up to speed. Hence the problems here. Why cant everyone realise this?

But many non Malays feel (in their bones) the Malays can never get up to speed. Let them rot. This thinking is wrong.

The BN boys have failed because their policies have failed to achieve this even after 50 years : after 50 years they have failed to bring the Malays up to speed.

But if they are kicked out it will get worse because the non BN boys (DAP esp and many Chinese) couldnt be bothered abt bringing the Malays up to speed. That is what Malaysian Malaysia is all about. We dont care about you slow coaches.

But of course the UMNO boys have also got derailed along the way. The ketuanan issue was just to make sure that the Malay crutches are not taken away.

But they went beyond that. They have denied the non Malays chairs to sit on and space to breathe.

I think the non Malays are getting fed up of this.

We cannot deny the non Malays even a parking space. That is a dosa and a haram thing to do.

At the same time we cannot ignore the Malays who are not up to speed. They need the kid glove treatment. They must be brought up to speed.

As long as we dont do that, we have not done anything yet.

The Messiah, the Saviour, the 2nd Coming, the Mahdi whom we await is the leader, leadership, party or system which can think up an effective method to achieve this and in the quickest time.

jon pour do care said...

Guys n Gals,

What is this ? Pendatang...melayu... Obselete issues la. Let those wanna talk, talk. For 'us', we have gone thru together gather since merdeka and we will move forward together gather for Malaysia.
Let those wanna talk, talk. Adios !

Anonymous said...

Letters sent to Sin Chew

Fed Up

Malaysians are fed up of this type of racial politics. Its exactly what that is : Politics.

People on the ground co-exist happily. Now our politicians have driven a wedge . Don't we need change badly? (By LIN CHUA/ MySinchew)

I Made The Right Decisionon 8 March

The Deputy Prime Minister has apologised on behalf of UMNO for Ahmad Ismail's remark that the Chinese in this country are "pendatang/penumpang." Is that enough? I think not. For the perpetrator remains at large, totally unrepentant, and his party silent with respect to any course of disciplinary action that will be taken against him. And what more, he has the support of all the other UMNO divisional chiefs in Penang.

As a Malaysian, born and bred in this land with full rights of a citizen (despite what Ahmad Ismail and the likes of him might say), what am I to make of this whole situation? I can only think of this: I made the right decision at the ballot box on March 8 and I congratulate the Penang people for the decision they made in throwing out the BN government. This whole fracas has proven to me in no uncertain terms that we did the right thing. (By JASMINE/ MySinchew)

Ahmad Is His Own Victim.

I think Ahmad is just a victim of time and politics in Malaysia. Some politicians still believe that they can remain and hold on to the mentality of pre-merdeka period and collect sufficient support. People have changed and not every Malay likes his way any more. They are more mature now, just wonder how this Ahmad can treat the new generation Malays to be kids or fools. Just pity that his political life is almost over, because he bets on something wrongly. (BY LIM AH BAH/ MySinchew)

Mr Ahmad, Please Step Aside

Upon the witnesses who heard what Ahmad Ismail has said, the UMNO (surepeme) council should take this up seriously because he is rather arrogant and very defiant of his own leadership. If UMNO is not going to discipline this person, I am afraid more people will be vocal in this particular attitude and I am sad to see after 51 years of Merdeka together (actually hundreds of years in History together), we have individual/s who actually think and feel like that. I know they (the UMNO and BN) do not need me to support them anymore. Mr Ahmad Ismail (you don't deserve my respect, so your Datukship is a humiliation to others) please step aside for other leaders in your Constituent who is a true Malaysian at heart.

I am a Malaysian more than you know. (By YH THAM/ MySinchew)

Kudos To Sin Chew

I commend the Sin Chew Media Corporation for sticking by its reporter whose report on an UMNO leader's racist remarks has caused consternation in the community, as reported in The Star (6 September) So let's not fall into the trap of the political desperadoes whose survival depends on playing the race card and creating chaos.

There will always be supporters of politicians who will never concede to the truth and justice of a situation and insist till the last man standing that they are right and others wrong. This stubborn streak is typical of rogue politicians. They are bankrupt of ideas and need to champion race among the equally ignorant and bigoted. But theirs is a lost cause. And the results of the polls prove it.

The death knell has sounded for those types of politicians and we who want to see better management of the country should not have to worry about them much longer. Giving too much attention to those sorts of unprincipled politicians only makes them think they are still relevant.

Instead Malaysians ought to give their support to the new breed of Malaysian politicians who do not need to bank on race to prove their usefulness and capability. These new breed of politicians come from all races and speak with one voice against racism.

But as far as this recalcitrant politician is concerned, let us register our protest and move on. Lingering over his silly remarks only adds fuel to help him burn his fire of insults. His remarks must be taken in the context that his group was in a desperate situation and that making irresponsible and provocative behaviour was all he could do to salvage a lost cause. For all you know he may not even believe what he said. Some politicians like to say what they think their supporters itching ears want to hear.

Don't get mad, vote them out decisively.

In these days of healthy political debate the just cause must prevail. Let us unite regardless of our race and religion and bury the politics of hatred. Our true enemy is the one who spreads bigotry, hatred and pure nonsense, and our just cause is for good politicians to win and reform the country.

Let us not be overtaken by the dirty tricks and silly remarks but overcome them with forebearance, maturity and the wisdom that marks us out for victory. (By STEVE OH/ MySinchew)

jahaberdeen said...

Friends,

I have been following closely the discussion that is taking place on this topic. I have been waiting and waiting but no one has yet touched on it. But maybe I should not be surprised as the matter I am waiting for has not been touched on other blogs too...what is it?

Well, it seem this discussion seems to be centered mainly around Malay-Chines with the occasional Indian or "non-Malay" word thrown in. To me, while many us of "asking for justice" it still seems to be an unconscious biased asking - self centered.

Everyone seems to have forgotten the plight and the rights of the Orang Asli who only make up about 250,000 population. I have brought this up with the current Rural Development Minister, Tan Sri Muhamad Taib some months ago.

Incidentally, he had already incorporated it as part of his program and as I understand it, he has visited them several times. I understand he is serious about their situation. and he some months ago.

And what about the Kadazans, the Bajaus, Ibans, etc of the Sabah and Sarawak.? Hello...can we just move away from the Malay-Chinese mindset please??? While we ask for "equal rights", we forget about others.

Are we saying that Article 153 should be removed and that the Orang Aslis should now compete on a level-playing field too? How many of the lovers of equal rights" have visited or camped at their settlement? I have and I feel they have been largely ignored. Likewise my experince in Sabah and Sarawak left me stupefied. I am convinced these people cannot progress without any preferential treatment. If the model is survival of the fittest, in our current modern economy, their families will be wiped out.

I stand to be corrected of course.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

Bulan of Puteras,

Wow! at least you start to think out of circle but a bit sad you give your pitty dog as an example.

Well, You have shown your own weakness through your story ( give too much face to your pet)even you pointed the issue to other people.

Anyway tq for the sharing, I believed the readers will learn something from your story.

My kind advice, please dont be too emotional when you give your comment as from what I observed people like you were easy to say sorry.

I quote
"dear mr jabar,

sorry it was my mistake, thanks for the clarification, see saying sorry wasnt that difficult.

thanks"

Give factual and academic discussion bro.

Now, I wonder why you can get your bumi because you have stole the puteras.

Last but not lease please....Look at yourself in front of mirror!!!

Ibnumubarak.

jahaberdeen said...

Friends,

In all of these issues like everything else, what is more important is that we discover more of ourselves than the issue itself - as ibnumubarak pointed out, we are forced to look into the mirror.

The society that we live in is a reflection of us as a collective. It is due to this belief that I keep emphasizing to myself that I have start with the self -myself. I have to change.

For those who believe very strongly against racism, go and marry someone out of your race, get your children married out of your race, fight for the justice of one who is not from your ethnic origin.

I want to see the day when the Chinese goes to the streets carrying placards that say "Hidup Melayu" and the Malay carrying a placard that says "Hidup CIna" and so on with the rest. Now, that would be fun, wouldnt it?????...))Such moves should really piss the devil, Lucifer or Iblis!

Peace.

peace.

Anonymous said...

By Adib Zulkapli, The Malaysain Insider
It was supposed to be a press conference for the Bukit Bendera Umno chief, Datuk Ahmad Ismail to diffuse the situation.

What happened instead after the press conference was his supporters tore up in anger a picture of former Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and engaged in a shouting match with reporters.

This happened after Ahmad, while defending his position, urged the Barisan Nasional leadership to expel Gerakan from the coalition.

His supporters also engaged in a shouting match with a reporter from an English language daily that reached its lowest point with death threats hurled at her.

Ahmad had been directed by Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to hold a press conference today to try to diffuse the tensions sparked by his controversial remarks during the recent Permatang Pauh by-election campaign in which he referred to the Chinese in Malaysia as "squatters".

He read from a prepared statement, in which he defended his decision not to apologise for his remarks, and repeated his stand that he had been quoted out of context.

Ahmad put the blame for mounting racial tensions squarely on the shoulders of Koh, whom he accused of being a good actor who was instigating the Chinese.

He also attacked the reporter from a Chinese language daily for misreporting his speech.

"I was only mentioning the facts of what was the situation before Merdeka. Nobody can change history," he said.

He said Gerakan leaders were trying to make him a scapegoat, and that Koh was creating a "sandiwara," which caused tensions to rise.

"I have worked with him for the past 18 years. I know him very well. He is a good actor," he said.

He said the patience of Malays had its limits.

"I want to appeal to the Chinese not to become like the Jewish in America. It is not enough they control the economy, now they want political control."

Ahmad only answered one question from the press, before he ended the press conference.

Ahmad's supporters, who were also present during his press conference last Friday, even took down the picture of former Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, from the wall of the conference room.

"One reporter insisted that I answer one more question from her, she was being a little bit rude, so some people got upset, you know how we Malays sometimes get angry with this kind of behaviour," said Ahmad when contacted.

"I was already in the office when they were arguing," he told The Malaysian Insider.

He added that he came out of the office when he heard the commotion to calm down his supporters.

Ahmad, however, said that the supporters ended up tearing the picture of Koh, as the frame was firmly nailed to the wall.

"Nothing serious happened," said Ahmad who reiterated that he was subjected to unfair trial by the media.

However, according to eye witnesses present at the press conference, some of Ahmad's supporters shouted, "sudah lah (enough)" and "bunuh dia (kill her)," at one reporter from an English daily who insisted on asking one more question.

"Of course she got angry as she was just doing her job, and the supporters were trying to intimidate her," said a reporter who was present at the press conference.

The reporter who was verbally abused by the Umno supporters said she would check with her employer on the next course of action.

On Friday, Penang opposition leader and state Umno secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said that one reporter from a Chinese daily should be blamed for twisting Ahmad's words.

"What was written may lead to a racial riot. If such a thing happens, he is the first person that should be shot," said Azhar.

On Saturday, during the state Umno liaison committee meeting chaired by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Ahmad presented his case and explained that his remark was made in a historical context.

Abdullah later said that Ahmad is not a racist although he did not say whether he accepted Ahmad's explanation.

Anonymous said...

ibubarack,

thanks for the correcting me, sometimes we get lost and we need capable people such as you to bring us back to the right path.

since you have mentioned "people like me" and "emotions" i have gone on a crusade as of today to look in the mirror long and hard to really establish what you mean by "people like me". for the emotions, i have been told by many and also truly feel that i had none. but since you have pointed it out that i had some, maybe i am heading towards the road to recovery. So do you think i should thank my dog for it as it could be something positive i got from it to be able to feel "emotional" now? do you have a pet dog also? but you really should see my dog its too cute.

and hopefully, God forbid i will find IT (people like me).

i will also drop my puteras since i do not need any glory to my name. maybe i already started finding something of myself.

but in all honesty, ibumbarak, your advice is most sought after.

Bulans

Anonymous said...

Mr Jabar,

you are most correct when you say what about the orang asli of this country. and shame on me for not mentioning it. also shame on me for not knowing how many tribes are there in this country.

they are truly the sons of this soil. so are the red indians to america. aborigines to australia. kiwis to new zealand?

i guess everyone else is a "pendatang".

with development and modernisation all the orang aslis are being left behind. that is very true. these people have live all their lifes off the land, and with development, the country and all its pendatangs have encroached on their livelyhood.

we must do something! if you need any assistance in this matter, you know where to find me.

Bulans

Anonymous said...

What Ahmad and his ilk are seeking to do is create enough hatred between the races and hope that groups go outside the bounds of democracy to settle issues. They want street demonstrations. They want mob rule.

The Malaysian insider Commentary
The right thing for the police to do tonight is to lock up Datuk Ahmad Ismail and charge him with sedition when the courts open tomorrow morning.

The best thing for the rest of Malaysia to do is not take the bait of this bigot, chauvinist and scare-monger and start talking about May 13; them versus us; Chinese versus Malays and all the hate-filled garbage that was spewed out by the Bukit Bendera Umno division chief at a press conference in Penang today.

He had one aim in calling a press conference today – his second since he set off a political maelstrom by describing Malaysian Chinese as immigrants on the eve of the Permatang Pauh by-election. It was not to diffuse the racial tension as requested by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi but to incite more anger among the races and stoke the fire of resentment among Malays.

Emboldened because the prime minister and Umno president had not pulled him up and believing even this latest infraction would go unpunished, he set out to taunt the Chinese by telling them that they would never attain political power in the country.

For good measure, he then referred to the black mark of Malaysian history – May 13 1969 – warning anyone against provoking the Malays.

When he completed the task of trying to instill fear, he then attempted to play the role of inciter, urging the Malays to stand firm, not back down and attend a convention in a show of force.

During the press conference, he was flanked by Umno muscle and a sprinkling of party officials who tasted defeat in Election 2008. They cheered him on and even provided a defining moment of the event, pulling down an old photograph of Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and tearing it in a show of disgust against their Public Enemy No 1.

And because a few photographers missed the destruction of the photograph of the former chief minister of Penang, the party musclemen were willing to pose for the shutterbugs.

What Ahmad and his ilk are seeking to do is create enough hatred between the races and hope that groups go outside the bounds of democracy to settle issues. They want street demonstrations. They want mob rule.

Why? Because since March 8, they have become political nobodies in Penang.

No positions. No stature. Zilch. They cannot accept the fact that Pakatan Rakyat rules the state, the beneficiary of support from Malays, Chinese and Indians. They cannot accept the fact that they don't command respect outside the confines of their own party. They cannot accept that Umno is now the subject of ridicule and condemnation.

They want a return to the old days. And they only know one way of achieving that goal – by stoking trouble between the races.

No reason for the rest of Malaysia to follow their game plan.

Anonymous said...

The writer is the daughter of Tun Tan Siew Sin and the granddaughter of Tun Tan Cheng Lock


For some Malaysian Chinese like myself, to be called a "squatter" is an insult. My forefathers came to Malacca in 1771. Even in August 1957, my family had been living in Malacca for 186 years. How many other Malaysians can claim this long period of residence?

IRISH author of Gulliver’s Travels and the foremost political satirist of the early 18th century, Jonanthan Swift once wrote: "There’s none so blind as they that won’t see."

This quotation comes to mind when I read the flurry of statements commenting on Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s multiple claims – that his statement "the Chinese are immigrants" was taken out of context by newspaper journalists because he was referring to time when the community were squatters before being granted citizenship during independence; that he has received tremendous support from Malay-Muslim groups; and that he does not owe anyone an apology.

Regardless of the truth or otherwise of Ahmad’s multiple claims, there are several facts that should be noted by all politicians, regardless of ethnicity and political affiliation.

First, a basic rule in politics is subtlety and nuance. Take for example, the suggestion that Ahmad should apologise for his statement on the Chinese being squatters. As every politician in this country should know, there are two types of apologies.

A person can apologise for the statement made. Alternatively, he or she can express regret for the hurt caused by the statement. This means the person implicitly stands by what was said but apologises if the statement was regarded by some as hurtful or offensive. Provided the person trying to make amends is sufficiently contrite and is seen as sincere in trying to ameliorate ruffled feelings, this apology is usually accepted.

Second, borrowing from the credo of environmentalists, the mantra of a politician who hopes to be successful in a multi-racial country like Malaysia should be this: do no harm. Politicians may feel that so long as they have the unswerving support of their own community, the outraged feelings of those from other ethnic groups are irrelevant.

These politicians clearly suffer from political amnesia. They have forgotten the resounding message sent by voters during the March 2008 general election.

Fed up by the arrogance and uncaring attitude of Barisan Nasional (BN) representatives, a significant number of Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians voted for Malay candidates from Keadilan and PAS. Similarly, disgruntled Malays also voted for the DAP.

Some Penang Umno division leaders may take comfort from their success in retaining their seats at state level. This stance is myopic. Because PR is multi-racial and because two out of three leaders of opposition parties are Malays, no seat – whether Malay-majority or otherwise – is safe. Have they forgotten the roll call of Umno luminaries who lost in the March general election?

Reminding the Malaysian Chinese that they were once squatters – even if this is historically accurate – is gratuitously offensive. It is like tagging the words "college drop-out" whenever anyone refers to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and founder of corporate giant, Microsoft.

And for some Malaysian Chinese like myself, to be called a "squatter" is an insult. My forefathers came to Malacca in 1771. Even in August 1957, my family had been living in Malacca for 186 years. How many other Malaysians can claim this long period of residence?

Third, less than two weeks ago, the whole country was celebrating Merdeka. What some politicians have conveniently forgotten is Independence was won by the leaders of Umno, MCA and MIC working together. Indeed, the British made this multi-racial cooperation an essential pre-requisite for granting Independence.

Fourth, an issue that should be about politeness and political sensibility has assumed an alarming racist overtone. Apart from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib and cabinet ministers like Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Datuk Shahrir Samad, few other Malay leaders – whether from the BN or opposition – have stepped forward to challenge Ahmad Ismail’s stance.

As PR leader, a politician from Penang, and a man who says he will abolish the New Economic Policy and by extension an economic policy based on racial requirements rather than need, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has yet to take a public stand on this issue. His silence is disappointing. It also suggests political analysts who laud PR as breaking the mould of racial politics are deluding themselves. What was heralded as a "new dawn" in Malaysian politics may well turn out to be a "false dawn".

Finally, this issue underscores the belief of some analysts who believe that political change in this country can be effected only by voting out of office politicians – whether from the government backbenches or from the Opposition – who stubbornly persist in being politically blind and tone deaf.

- Tan Siok Choo, The Sun

Anonymous said...

its all about politics lah, not racial. so do you "pendatangs" get it or not, dont worry its not about you people.

THE REAL REASON WHY PM BADAWI DOESN'T WANT TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST AHMAD ISMAIL
DPM Najib says sorry already - Malaysiakini
I just caught this news on Malaysiakini
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Umno deputy president has issued a public apology over a remark made by Bukit Bendera Umno division head Datuk Ahmad Ismail (picture right) during the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election last month. However, leaders of various political parties here said that the apology by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should have come from Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail himself.




Ahmad Ismail himself remains unrepentent. PM Abdullah Badawi (picture above left) tried to come to Ahmad Ismail's defence saying that Ahmad did not mean what he said and added that the remark was made 'in the heat of the moment'. However, the Chinese community and even BN Chinese based component parties were not satisfied. Faced with theprospect of giving up the Federal Government to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat Alliance, DPM Najib Razak has apologized on behalf of Ahmad for Umno.




This Scribe was curious as to why the BN/Umno leadership were so afraid to take action against Ahamd Ismail for his deditious remark. After doing a Sherlock Holmes, this Scribe begin to get the big picture. It appears that Ahmad Ismail is a big time Umno warlord in Penang.
Ahmad Ismail was cleared of bankruptcy by the Insolvency Department in 2006. Ahmad Ismail is the figure linked to the controversial PORR project in Penang. He is the director of Peninsular Metroworks Sdn. Bhd., the concessionaire for the project. Ahmad is an influential Umno divisional leader and former Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon was beholden to him for support. That was why Koh was powerless when Ahmad Ismail a mere Umno division leader could wield so much influence over him and accused him of not paying attention to the Malays in Penang.The CM's former constituency of Tanjong Bungah happens to be in the Bukit Bendera division.




It gets more interesting here, The Scribe discovered that PM Abdullah Badawi was named as a director of Yayasan Bumiputra Pulau Pinang, who owns 34% of the PMW share via two wholly-owned companies, Kumpulan Pinang and Kumpulan Perhubungan. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is linked to the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) project's concessionaire company, Peninsular Metroworks Sdn. Bhd. (PMW) According to corporate information obtained from the Companies Commission of Malaysia, Abdullah (I.C. No.391126-07-5077) was first appointed director of the Yayasan Bumiputra Pulau Pinang Sdn. Bhd. His name is still listed as a director.Yayasan Bumiputra now controls 34.78 percent of PMW through its two subsidiary companies; Kumpulan Pinang Holding Sdn. Bhd. and Kumpulan Perhubungan Sdn. Bhd.




This was a result of restructuring of the ownership equity in PMW. The shareholders areas follows:
Kumpulan Pinang Holding Sdn. Bhd. (222310-D) 10,000 share



Lingkaran Tanjung Sdn. Bhd. (676910-W) 340,000 share



Setegap Berhad (107232-X) 12,750 share



Kumpulan Perhubungan Sdn. Bhd. (60597-A) 1,190,000 share



Nadi Senandung Sdn. Bhd. (381079-U) 1,897,250 share




Setegap Berhad is a construction company listed on Bursa Malaysia.Lingkaran Tanjung (formerly known as Jasminata Sdn. Bhd) was registered on 30.12.2004 and its registered address is at Suite 2.01, Tingkat 2, Wisma K.P.Loh, No 42 Jalan Besar, Kajang, Selangor. There is no information on the nature of its business and its financial standing. Sources said the directors are related to Datuk Ahmad Ismail.




Major shareholder, Nadi Senandung is principally controlled by Datuk Ahmad Ismail via a dormant company, Cedar Heights Sdn. Bhd. (267289-U). From the web of ownership structure and list of directors, it has confirmed DAP's allegation that the PORR project is a classic example of Umno's crony capitalism. Peninsular Metro-Works Sdn Bhd, would be given not just the profitable toll collection for 30-years, but also properties belonging to Penangites amounting to 31 hectares of prime Penang State land (why?). It would also gained 202 hectares of reclaimed land off Gurney Drive. The value of the total package? It's approximately RM5 billion, not just the RM2 billion we've been led to believe.




Nadi group's power structure: Dato Haji Ahmad Bin Ismail > Goh & Foo >> Loo or Chua. If the PORR concession is awarded to PMWSB, Nadi which controls 54.5% of PMWSB will effectively control the Board and the PORR project. But Cedar's Board will make the decisions, because Cedar controls 85% of Nadi. Cedar, in turn, is controlled by Dato Haji Ahmad Bin Ismail (30%), City (29.3%), and Nagasari (20%). Among these three Cedar shareholders, Dato Haji Ahmad Bin Ismail holds the largest power because, if disagreement arises, he only has to forge an alliance or agreement with either one of City or Nagasari to exceed 50% voting rights (To be precise, In the case of an alliance with Nagasari he will need another two shares).






In contrast, if either of City or Nagasari disagrees with him, each will need two other alliances, including one major shareholder, to reach 50% voting rights. Between the last two, City is far more powerful than Nagasari, because of its 29.3% vs Nagasari's 20%, but also because the latter's shareholders are split into two equal-weight of 47.5% (Loo and Chua), while City is owned by Goh and Foo of the same address, which is assumed to mean close relations or associates who would be expected to vote together. City's two major shareholders are also directors at Cedar.




It doesn't matter that the total attributable stake to Dato Haji Ahmad Bin Ismail (13.9%) is smaller than to Goh Choon Aun and Foo Quin Yar (together 21.2%), or Setegap's 25.5%, or KPHSB's 20%. Simply because Cedar will dominate the Board of Nadi, which will dominate the Board of PMWSB, those who dominate Cedar will hold sway.




The State and Federal civil servants will have to answer the questions: How do you expect 20%-shareholder KPHSB to play a more useful role in the financially much more demanding PORR project and Peninsular Metro-Works Sdn Bhd, considering KPHSB's apparent inability to contribute to Jelutong Expressway? And if there is a high risk that Peninsular Metro-Works Sdn Bhd will not be adequately supported by its financially weak shareholders, why should PMWSB be awarded the PORR concession, particularly without an open, competitive bidding process?




That's the reason why PM Badawi, Najib and the rest of the BN/Umno leadership are just giving Ahmad Ismail a slap on the wrist over this seditious remark. Don't be surprised if Liow Tiong Lai, Ong Ka Ting, Ong Ka Chuan Ng Yen Yen, Chor Chee Heung, Koh Tsu Koon, Chia Kwang Chye et al will come and say to the Chinese community to accept Najib's and Umno's apology while heaping praises on the Umno leadership for their 'courage' in apologizing.

Anonymous said...

Mr Jabar,

I want to see the day when the Chinese goes to the streets carrying placards that say "Hidup Melayu" and the Malay carrying a placard that says "Hidup CIna" and so on with the rest. Now, that would be fun, wouldnt it?????...))Such moves should really piss the devil, Lucifer or Iblis!

Mr Jabar your wish has come true, and let that be a lesson and a new begining for this country of ours:



Ask the Malays in the opposition to come out in defence of their non-Malay brothers and sisters and warn the Umno Malays, in no uncertain terms, that they take to the streets at the risk of facing fellow Malays from the opposition who will defend their non-Malay brethren to the last drop of their blood.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Malaysia Today


20 September 1998 was the day Malaysia saw its biggest demonstration in history. That was also the day Anwar Ibrahim was arrested by a SWAT team with faces hidden under balaclavas and armed to the teeth. It was not until a few days later that the world discovered Anwar had been beaten up by no less than Malaysia’s chief of police and left unconscious on the floor of his cell until the following morning -- where an alarmed police officer found him exactly where he had been left the night before, still unconscious.

Anwar spent seven months in jail without bail while he faced trial on various charges of abuse of power and sexual misconduct. The reason they denied him bail was because he was a ‘threat to national security’, an allegation that had nothing to do with the charges he was facing. How Anwar can be charged for one offence and then denied bail for reasons that had no relation to the charge is probably something law students will be arguing about until the end of time. Only in Malaysia can the courts make up the rules as they go along and move the goalposts halfway through the game whenever they feel they are losing the plot.

The abuse of power charge Anwar faced was under Ordinance 22. That is an outdated law that had been repealed and had been replaced by new laws under the Anti-Corruption Act. Ordinances are laws introduced before Merdeka and Acts are laws introduced by Parliament after Merdeka. But somehow someone forgot to sign the papers so officially the law still existed. So they chose to charge Anwar under that law that had been unofficially repealed but officially was still valid since they forgot to sign the papers repealing that law.

Anwar’s lawyers, of course, protested and argued that while the law had not quite been repealed due to an oversight, nevertheless that law can be considered repealed since Parliament had repealed it and it should not have been used against Anwar. The court, however, was of the opinion that it is up to the prosecutor what laws they would like to use against Anwar and since the old Ordinance had somehow been mistakenly ‘retained’, then there is nothing wrong in using that law against Anwar.

In other words, since someone forgot to sign the papers to repeal the law that Parliament had repealed, then there is nothing wrong in still using this law. As long as Anwar is charged before the date the papers are signed then the charge is valid, even if the papers are signed the very next day and that law no longer exists during the course of the trial.

Anwar was found guilty and sentenced on 14 April 1999. In the meantime, he was forced to stay in jail since 20 September 1998, a period of seven months. Anwar was then sentenced to six years jail but the court refused to consider the seven months he had spent in jail without bail. The court decreed that his sentence would commence from 14 April 1999 and not 20 September 1998, as should have been the case.

Normally, your sentence starts from the day you are jailed, or what they would call the remand period. There have been many cases where detainees spend two or three years in jail because they can’t afford to pay the bail and when they are finally sentenced they walk out the day of sentencing because the sentence is shorter than the period of detention or remand. In Anwar’s case, the seven months he was in jail was totally ignored, so his jail sentence was not really six years but six years and seven months.

Since Malaysia does not, at least then, have a parole system, you are allowed a one-third remission on your sentence. This means Anwar would have served his sentence by midnight of 20 September 2002. But they refused to release him on 20 September 2002. Instead, Anwar only saw freedom on 2 September 2004, almost two years longer than what he should have spent in jail.

Yes, it has been a long ten years for Anwar. He has endured more than what rapists, bank robbers, extortionists, kidnappers, pimps, drug pushers, loan sharks, currency forgers, and other hardcore criminals have had to endure. Even murderers have been treated better and at times even allowed bail, even though according to the law murderers are not allowed bail.

Is Anwar about to finally enjoy the fruits of his ‘hard labour’? Has what he has gone through this last decade been worth it? We have only a few days more to see the answer to this question.

Anwar already has 34 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament ‘in the bag’. The government knows this so they have sent these Members of Parliament to Taiwan for a ‘study tour’. They are supposed to all go study agriculture but they have taken their golf bags with them. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what they are going to do in Taiwan.

While in Taiwan, the government will work on these Members of Parliament to try to persuade them to remain in Barisan Nasional and to not cross over to the opposition. The government knows that these Members of Parliament have already signed their letters and that these letters are now with Anwar. All Anwar needs to do is to present these letters to His Majesty the Agong to prove to the Agong that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi no longer commands the majority confidence in Parliament. So now they are also planning to send the Agong to Saudi Arabia to perform his Umrah. With the Agong out of the way, Anwar will not be able to present these letters to His Majesty.

Umno says there is no way Anwar can form the government on 16 September 2008, which is Malaysia Day. Never mind, they will all come home on 20 September 2008. If Anwar misses the 16 September 2008 deadline because the Members of Parliament and the Agong have all been sent away, there is still 20 September 2008. On 20 September 2008, everyone, the Agong included, will be home to see the new government being formed.

In fact, 20 September 2008 may be a better day than 16 September 2008. 20 September is Reformasi Day. 20 September is the day, in 1998, when the Reformasi Movement was born. 20 September was the day they arrested Anwar and kept him in jail for six years. 20 September was the day Malaysians decided enough is enough and a change is necessary. 20 September was the day that saw the beginning of the end for Umno and Barisan Nasional. So what more apt day to choose to form the new government than on 20 September 2008, Reformasi Day?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been persuaded to rejoin Umno. Tun will rejoin Umno and will support Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in his bid to challenge Abdullah Badawi for the Umno Presidency. Umno is worried. They are worried that Malay political power will soon fall into the hands of the non-Malays. So they want the Malays to unite under a new Umno leadership so that the Malays can retain political power and the non-Malays will fail in their bid to wrest power from the Malays.

Khir Toyo has warned that if Abdullah Badawi does not resign and hand over power to the new leadership, then expect another May 13. The 13 Umno Penang divisions, Abdullah Badawi’s home state, have warned the non-Malays not to ‘push’ the Malays. If they do then they do so at their own peril, warns the 13 Umno Penang divisions.

Umno wants Parti Gerakan to be sacked from Barisan Nasional. There is no need to sack Gerakan. Gerakan has already decided to leave Barisan Nasional anyway. What they don’t know yet is whether they will leave Barisan Nasional and remain an independent ‘third force’ or whether they will join Pakatan Rakyat in the opposition coalition.

MCA is also thinking seriously whether it still has a future in Barisan Nasional. They have thus far ‘severed ties’ with the Umno Bukit Bendera division chief. That is neither here nor there and an extremely weak attempt to demonstrate strength. MCA should severe ties with Umo Penang, like what Gerakan did, and not with just an individual who, after all, speaks not in his personal capacity but on behalf of Umno Penang, Abdullah Badawi’s home state.

Of late there has been much talk of May 13. Umno is playing this issue to the hilt. This is, of course, meant to frighten the non-Malay Members of Parliament into remaining in Barisan Nasional and not leave to join Pakatan Rakyat, a shotgun wedding of sorts. Will this frighten the non-Malays? Will this force them to remain in Barisan Nasional? Or will this, in fact, have the reverse affect and just convince the non-Malays that there is even more reason to leave Barisan Nasional and join Pakatan Rakyat.

If Umno wants to trigger another ‘May 13’ will they have the numbers? Will the military support another ‘May 13’ like it did in 1969? The scenario in 1969 was very different from the scenario today and, as the Malays would say, “Takkan pisang berbuah dua kali”. In English this could probably translate to ‘lightning does not strike twice in the same place’.

Umno has just come out with a new ruling for its branch meetings. The branches are required to have a quorum of 25% of its registered members to convene a meeting. Most branches have not been able to hold their meetings because they can’t get this quorum of 25%. That is all that is required, 25% of its registered members, but it can’t even get that.

And why is this? Is it because the members are not interested in the AGM? Not really. This year is election year and everyone is very interested. In fact, many branch AGMs have ended in fisticuffs, chair throwing and acid attacks because of the intense fighting at these meetings. They are more than interested. They are concerned. But they can’t fulfil this 25% of registered members to make up a quorum because they just don’t have the members. The so-called registered members do not exist. Umno does not have the three million members it claims to have. It does not even have one million members. That is the reality and that is why they can’t even fulfil the 25% members quorum requirement.

In 1969, when you talk about the opposition, that would mean the non-Malays, and when you talk about the ruling party, that would mean the Malays. But that was 40 years ago. 40 years ago when you divide the country politically you invariably also divide the country racially. So, 40 years ago, it was very easy to divide the country by race when you divide the country by its politics.

Today, there are more Malays in the opposition than there are in the ruling party. Umno garnered only 51% of the Malay votes on 8 March 2008. In the Permatang Pauh by-election, 70% of the voters were Malays. About 78% of the non-Malay voters, who represent 30% of the total voters, voted for Anwar. But Anwar won two out of three votes or 66.6%. This means 76%-77% of the votes came from the Malays.

No, ‘May 13 Version 2’ can’t happen. The Malays do not feel that the non-Malays have taken over this country and have relegated them to second-class citizens. The Malays in Penang love their Chinese Chief Minister just like the Indians and Chinese in Perak love their PAS Menteri Besar. Malays in white skull caps wear DAP T-shirts. Indian-Hindu activists wear PAS T-shirts while screaming “Makkal Sakhti” followed by “Allah Akbar”.

“What about the army?” many concerned non-Malays ask. “Would they not be a cause for concern?” The nine Rulers are the Colonels-in-Chief of the Navy, Air Force, Infantry, Commandoes, Artillery, Malay Regiment, Engineering Corps, etc., while His Majesty the Agong is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. No, the military will not take to the streets and murder innocent civilians unless their Commanders tell them to do so. And the nine Rulers and His Majesty the Agong are not about to give that order under any circumstances.

Nevertheless, while Umno may not have the three million members it claims to have and while the military is not about to go on a rampage, we must not discount the possibility that certain irresponsible people who are frustrated that they are no longer in power may attempt to trigger race riots. And Anwar must guard against this. And if it is necessary to delay the takeover a couple more weeks or so just to ensure that these elements can be dealt with before they start their evil deeds then so be it. A delay of one month is no big deal if this can guarantee peace and stability.

This is all Malaysians ask from Anwar and nothing more than that. Guard against anything untoward happening. Only when the coast is clear should you make your move. There should be no bloodshed and loss of life. And ask the Malays in the opposition to come out in defence of their non-Malay brothers and sisters and warn the Umno Malays, in no uncertain terms, that they take to the streets at the risk of facing fellow Malays from the opposition who will defend their non-Malay brethren to the last drop of their blood. I, for one, am ready to stand by my Chinese and Indian comrades. So let Umno be warned.

jabar said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for posting Malaysia-today's article. You wrote :

"Mr Jabar your wish has come true, and let that be a lesson and a new begining for this country of ours":

If you mean by the above that with Pakatan Rakyat in power, that would certainly mean end of racial and religion based politics, I am not convinced. I perosnally like Lim Guan Eng anad have followed his developments for a long time. I have met Nik Aziz long time ago and admire the way he maintains simplicity on his life. All other MBs should follow his personal example.

BUt if we believe that merely by Pakatan Rakyat taking over race=based politics will end, we are in trouble. Politicians, we must remember are always expedient creatures.

Secondly, I also find the call for Malays in OPPOSISTION to stand up for thier non-Malay brothers and sisters smirks more of poltically biased sentiments rather than a sincere humanistic approach. It is as if you are in UMNO, you must be a racist. This overlooks many Malays in UMNO who are not.

For me, I will ask all Malaysians, irrespective of ethnic origins, political or religious choice to learn and believe that God has space for all of us. And we should act accordingly. Defend each other aganst injustice because we are defending God's "children". And always be wary of any politicians even in the party that we belong to.

It is pointless in doing good if in the process you hurt those who are completely innocent. There is no collateral damage in the pursuit of righteousness. As much as I disagree when some UMNO leaders accuse DAP members as chinese inclined racist party, I too diagree when some others call UMNO Malays are racist. If you take the opposition, can we comfortably say that with PAS a situation may not arise where we are then divided into muslims and non-muslims? Too simplistic, misleading and does not help us towards forging a human realtionship. Let's us not get caught up with the political shirts that we may wear.

Repeat, let Raperas always be mindful of Politicians.
Stand to be corrected.

Anonymous said...

Mr Jabar,

quote:"And ask the Malays in the opposition to come out in defence of their non-Malay brothers and sisters and warn the Umno Malays, in no uncertain terms, that they take to the streets at the risk of facing fellow Malays from the opposition who will defend their non-Malay brethren to the last drop of their blood."

i was made to believe that maybe the races were closing ranks now to form a united front for the good of malaysia, where a malay will celebrate the chinese race and vice versa. i could be wrong, but the intention wasnt malicious.

Maaf

jabar said...

Anonymous,

You did not make a mistake in your heart - what you "saw" with your heart was as you said:

"i was made to believe that maybe the races were closing ranks now to form a united front for the good of malaysia, where a malay will celebrate the chinese race and vice versa".

Lets spread that message contained in what you said to as many people as we can, starting with our selves , our families and our friends.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting discussion.

What I find most interesting is the touching stories about the grandmothers that fought the Japanese and the daughter of an illustrious father and grand father who had been here since 1771.

For some reason the father, the grand father and grand mother were content to be non citizens under British or colonial rule. They realised that citizenship would require some further legal step to be taken. They did not support the Malayan Union nor did they challenge UMNO's opposition to it. They did support the federation of malaya Agreement 1948 which paved the way to citizenship, the guarantee of Malay privileges and which ultimately paved the way to Merdeka.

I would think that if that generation had instead indulged in arguments about the blood they spilt or their arrival in 1771, we would have been in deadlock over the shape of this nation even now. In fact the Israelis and Arabs are in endless deadlock of who came where first. The founding fathers of this nation saw past that, came ot an agreement and moved us forward towards nationhood. American soilders spilt their blood for the freedom of the Europe- do they have rights of abode there. Fijians, Australians, Kiwis and Canadians spilt their blood to keep Malaya free of communists- does this give them rights as citizens ?

Our citizenship was borne out of an agreement, we have reaped the benefits of it and we must carry the responsibilities and burden that comes with it as well. Is it wise to now revisit these foundations or is it more prudent to chart a way forward while respecting the foundations upon which the races found their place at the table.

Anonymous said...

to mr anonymous,

i think (correct me if i am wrong) when malaya was formed in 1957, the defination of citizenship then was fair treatment for all malaysian which were citizens.

is it under the malaysian constitution that there are differentiations between malaysian citizens? such as first class and second class citizen status? i think not?

after May 13, the NEP was formed to try and bring the malays up on par with economic reality. actually may 13 was a coup by razak to gain power from tunku if history is right and nothing to do with racial inequality.

but since then till now, the "1st class citizen" still has not achieve the desired results which the NEP intended to be.

i dont think the chinese or indians wants the same "rights" as the "1st class citizens". they are already well off and rich and succesful without it. actually inspite of this, they are still better off than the malays.

just dont ask them to give away 30% of their companies thats all.