Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Do you realize that simple, mundane words take on a ‘powerful and magical’ meaning once DBP malaynise it? Transformation simply indicates change. Whether it is good or bad transformation is something else all together. BUT, in the Malay language, the way it being bandied about today, it automatically seems to imply good! In a similar vein, the word “reformasi” used to irk me too. Until today, I cannot see any reforms among the people who politicized this word in this country. Unless of course “reformasi” means making someone who missed the boat once the Prime Minister one day.

It is just sad that the word “reformasi” today has the connotation of “opposition”, and “street demonstrations”. Surely that is not what the word “reforms” means? This is the magical power of politics in Bolehland. And I keep observing that English words tend to lose their original meaning when it is malaynised. Wonder what the people at DBP are doing? Did they know English in the first place? But I have digressed.

Now we hear of “tranformasi UMNO”. I think, “Here they go again! Haven’t they learnt anything?”. The UMNO assembly is hardly 2 days old and we hear of transformation on government owned television – and that too from hosts whose capacity for analysis is doubtful. When are they going to learn that it is these kind of out-moded methods of opinion shaping that is just going to push the younger generation away? Why so afraid of critical guests? Why chose hosts who remind you of hosts of “pendidikan programs for secondary schools”?

Sure. There has been “surprises” on who was elected and who was not at the UMNO Assembly. I know personally some that lost and some that won. I had send sms messages of congratulations to those that won and consoling messages to those that lost. Those who lost all responded to my sms. Some that won have, some have not. I give the benefit of doubt to those who have not responded. They must be terribly busy with the business of running the nation. Good. But I am not going to say that UMNO has transformed merely because there are new faces.

Well, Muhyiddin is known as less of a talker and more of a worker. Zahid Hamidi is known as people friendly, grass root person and has a keen listening ear. But to immediately say “UMNO sudah alami tranformasi” is like a poor fairytale. Any conclusion of whether UMNO has transformed can only reasonably be made when we hear and see what comes out of the mouth of those who are elected.

Do they speak like Malaysians and Muslims?

Do they speak the language of unity or racism? (Tun Mahathir Sir, this does not mean that one cannot speak of Malay rights as one can about Iban rights, Indian rights, etc etc where the specific circumstance require)

DO they speak humbly and intelligent or do they sound like some feudal lord from pra merdeka?

What kind of reforms is each of them going to carry? Or are they going to be mere seat warmers?

WE have to observe many such behaviors and ask many such questions before we can conclude that there is transformation in UMNO.

The most important question of course is: transformation of UMNO for the benefit of the Nation or for other purposes?

As for me, I am going to keep calling these new leaders whenever there is a problem and maybe I should report the feedback to you – what do you think?

And why do you not do the same? After all, UMNO leaders claim they are for all Malaysians.


Monday, March 30, 2009

The Three By-Elections - WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The three by-elections at Bukit Selambau, Batang Ai and Bukit Gantang may be indicators of sorts. If the BN wins at all three, then this will be seen as an endorsement of the new BN chief – Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak. Also, it may mean that people are losing confidence in the Pakatan.

On the other hand, a win by Pakatan may mean that they are still cross with BN and they want BN to continue with its promised reforms before they give full support.

Either way, my sources seem to tell me that people are not really happy with the Pakatan (many of their promises never came through too) and still upset with BN. So what choice do they have except use the by-election to send across messages to the politicians?

Peace !

Friday, March 27, 2009


You can get the results at themalaysianinsider.


I think one would be too foolish to assume that merely because the UMNO elections have ended and that the "delegates" have cast their choice, hence all is now well in UMNO. There are already a few new challenges that lay ahead DUE to this election itself - allegations of rampant money politics have dominated the assembly and even the outgoing UMNO Presiden alluded to this in his speech.

There is also a problem that UMNO (and in particular Najib) will face - will UMNO/he be able to "manage" those perceived to be "not above board"? The normal process is that the ones who are elected will be rewarded with ministerial posts almost automatically. To detract from this practice will require the will to make radical moves in the larger interest of the Nation and UMNO itself.

However, if Najib is still confined to dubious "conventions and practices" that had proven not to serve the survival of UMNO itself, then it will only accelerate the death of UMNO. It will be an exact case of "biar mati anak (UMNO), jangan mati adat".

In the light of the warning given by the UMNO Disciplinary Board earlier, even those elected cannot be comfortable that they have won - the Lembaga may just put a "spanner in their dreams" if they find evidence of ethical breaches.

To me the next 35 days is crucial to determine if UMNO really has "new firepower" to radically change and convince the People that, though it is a Malay-based party, it has what it takes to be the backbone of the Government of the People of Malaysia.

Good indicators will be how the new UMNO leadership will determine who makes up the election machinery in the upcoming by-elections. The other being - who will be elected as ministers, etc. Election of leaders based on "UMNO political compromises" may actually compromise its own chances of being relevant politically come the 13th General Elections.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Thanks to for this photo.

Since Pak Lah will be resigning "shortly", many have asked me what is the constitutional position - how is the new government formed constitutionally? YBM Tengku Razeleigh Hamzah has written a simple and clear explanation how a new government is formed. He says:

"In a recent interview I was quoted as saying that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong could appoint someone other than the man nominated by the party. The fact that this was reported as “news” shows how far we as a country have drifted from the principles set out in our Constitution".

Let us understand very clearly the transitional situation we are in".

You can continue reading it at


WANITA - Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil aka Kak Jat won easily against Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz to become the new wanita chief. Congratulations!

PEMUDA - this was making everyone who was following the results last night really nervous. The unofficial results kept changing very fast. Finally, the youth picked Khairy Jamaludin as their new Pemuda Chief. As Khairy himself acknowledged, this time around, he won the Youth Chief post on his own strength and through a contest as should be. It must have been a tough contest for him considering the various circumstances that seemed to be stacked against him after 4 years of what appeared to be blissful living. Many say that this young man, who is now properly voted in, will be able to steer UMNO youth vibrantly. Congratulations too!


VICE PRESIDENTS -? Zahid Hamidi is expected to get the highest votes. While favourites appear to be Khalid Noordin, Shafie Apdal, Hishammudin Onn, Rais. It is difficult to tell at this juncture.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

UMNO UPDATE: Ucapan dasar Timbalan Presiden UMNO YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak

I thought it was a well thought out speech by Najib at the UMNO Wanita, Puteri and Youth Assembly. You can read it at bigdogdotcom..

What really caught my attention was this verse that he quoted from the Quran in his speech:

"Ya Allah yang mempunyai kerajaan, Engkau berikan kerajaan kepada siapa yang Engkau mahu dan Engkau jua yang mencabut kerajaan dari siapa yang Engkau kehendaki. Engkau muliakan siapa yang Engkau mahu dan Engkau hinakan pula sesiapa yang Engkau kehendaki".(surah Ali Imran ayat 26)

I think this is the right verse to begin for anyone who is entrusted with the "power" and responsibility of governing the Nation.

This is also one of two verses that came to my mind when someone lost his position in "power" way back in 1998. Amazing, the coincidence!


Monday, March 23, 2009


By large, even though the UMNO Assembly is yet to be convened and some quarters are even speculating what may happen at the Assembly or prior to it, the results of the Assembly can to a certain extent to be predicted. Whatever the results of the election may be, a few things are patently clear:

1) Come 3rd Of April, Najib will be the new Prime Minister, God willing.

2) He will have to reshuffle the cabinet and possibly even reshuffle various other "segments of the Government".

3)He is not necessarily bound to appoint the victors of the UMNO assembly to the cabinet if they are not up to mark for national service.

4) He may very well appoint several "new and fresh" faces to the cabinet by appointing them as senators - for this he needs courage and tact.

5)He will have to get BN ready for the next general elections.

6)He needs to totally reform the working culture of the civil service by removing dead wood from the top down.

7) He must ensure that the BN MPs are more accessible to the Rakyat and stop behaving like feudal lords.

8) Return the mainstream media to its original function of dissemination of true information and not pathetic spin doctoring - appoint the right chiefs of media.

9)For heaven's sake, get good economic advisers.


How do we judge Judges?

Undoubtedly Judges not only play a singular, important role in dispensing justice in the Courts, their decisions (and conduct) also has important effects on the image of the Nation, the economy and public confidence. As a philosopher once said "when justice fails, violence succeeds". Ultimately, if people fail to get justice in the courts, they will resort to it through other means. India is a classic example. I will write my views on this on another day, God willing. Now to share Bar Council's press release

Press Release

How do we judge Judges?

The Bar Council is heartened that the Government has introduced in Parliament a Bill to establish a Judges’ Ethics Committee. The Committee will be tasked with dealing with any judge who breaches any provision of the Judges’ Code of Ethics 2008. However, it is disquieting that the Judges’ Ethics Committee Bill 2008, which is intended to establish the Committee, is scheduled for a second reading in Parliament even though the Code itself has yet to be released.

It is imperative that the Code be tabled for consideration alongside the Bill in order to comprehend proposed revisions to the earlier Judges’ Code of Ethics 1994. It will also allow for a full and informed debate.

The Bill will enable the Committee to enforce the Code. However it is disadvantaged by some key shortcomings.

Firstly, no express procedure for lodging a complaint against a judge has been stipulated, save that the Chief Justice shall make referrals to the Committee for enquiry. It can only be inferred that grievances must therefore be conveyed to the nation’s top member of the judiciary. This may serve to deter potential complainants. It also unnecessarily concentrates the decision whether or not to charge a judge for breach of the Code in the hands of one person. There is no requirement that the Chief Justice be transparent and accountable in the exercise of this discretion.

Secondly, the Bill is silent on the Committee’s roles and functions, and the manner in which the Committee will conduct its proceedings. Guidelines on these, particularly details on the applicable procedural law during the fact-finding and enquiry stages, are essential to ensure clarity and consistency, and, above all, fairness and justice. No provisions have been made to establish sub-committees to oversee the phases relating to preliminary investigations, fact-finding and further findings of evidence. Provisions on who would make representations in the judicial misconduct enquiry are also lacking. Further, unlike the applicable UK regulation and Australian guidelines, the Bill does not provide for the Ethics Committee to inform the complainant of the progress and eventual outcome of the enquiry.

The Bill fails to specify a time limit within which a complaint must be lodged in order to be given consideration. In the UK, for example, the period for lodging a complaint lapses 12 months after the event or matter complained of. There are also no provisions as to the time frame to complete investigations and the hearing of the complaint. Judges against whom complaints have been lodged are also entitled to a quick resolution.

Finally, the Bill should oblige the Committee to produce an annual report that is submitted to Parliament and made available to the public. The report should include, inter alia, statistics and information regarding complaints reviewed during the year. The extent of information disclosed about the disciplinary proceedings or the taking of disciplinary action depends on the need to maintain public confidence in the judiciary, balanced against the protection of innocent judges.

The Code itself should provide a holistic and comprehensive definition of ethical conduct as well as judicial impropriety that, taking a page from the newly-revised Code of Conduct for United States Judges, should not be limited merely to judges’ adjudicative responsibilities. For example, the Commentary to the US Code specifies that a judge “should avoid lending the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others”. It also stipulates that a judge should retain control over the advertising in connection with the publication of the judge’s writings, to “avoid exploitation of the judge’s office”.

The Bar Council urges the authorities to strengthen the Bill and to use this timely initiative as a step forward in restoring public confidence in the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. We stand ready to assist in this process, and would welcome the opportunity to provide our input into the Bill and the Code.

Lim Chee Wee


Malaysian Bar

20 March 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I actually received 4 emails asking me to explain “Puss In Boots”. It is nice to know people still like fairy tales. It is simple actually if you know all the fairy tales or at least the ones in play in my articles.

There was humpty dumpty. Nice guy who hurt no one deliberately. He was just sitting on the wall but unfortunately he had a great fall. He was not left uncared for after his fall. All tried. In fact ALL THE KING’S HORSES AND ALL THE KING’S MEN TRIED. But alas, they could not put him back together again. No point crying over split milk. Fairy Tale Land must move on.

Pinocchio wants center stage but his prolonging nose gives him away so easily. Then there is, Jack and Jill, tom thumb and so on. BUT in all the fairy tales, there is no character so clever like puss in boots who is completely focused over time to serve his master.

He knew that he had to serve his master and to do that he has to be creative, mobilize the people, defeat the ogre and ultimately allow the KING to honour his master so that he can rule the land. Sure, you can question the method puss in boots used to mobilize the people – creating perceptions. Some may even say he was Machiavellian in his approach. But puss-in-boots had a mission – to serve his master. And it knew that the secret laid in getting the KING’s pleasure. That's exactly what he did. With the KING on his side, puss in boots only had to eat the ogre and his master lived happily ever after.



Mengikut budaya dan aturan persidangan UMNO, Presiden UMNO yang baru akan menyampaikan amanatnya. Amanat Presiden UMNO mempunyai peranan yang amat penting kerana UMNO merupakan tunjang parti pemerintah. Maka, amanat Presiden dilihat sebagai menggariskan secara am halatuju bukan sahaja UMNO tetapi kerajaan juga.

Kali ini ada sedikit perbezaan kerana Pak Lah masih Perdana Menteri manakala Najib adalah Presiden UMNO. Saya kira perbezaan ini tidak harus menjadikan Amanat Presiden kurang penting. Sebaliknya didalam keadaan politik kini yang amat bercelaru, saya kira Amanat Presiden itu menjadi lebih penting.

Apabila Najib menjadi Presiden secara rasmi diPerhimpunan Agung kelak, tidak ragu lagi bahawa ia akan menjadi orang yang paling berkuasa dari segi politik serta memikul tanggungjawap yang amat berat. Pelbagai ura-ura mengenai tarikh perletakkan jawatan Pak Lah sebenarnya tidak signifikan kerana dari aspek politik, Pak Lah sebagai ahli UMNO adalah tertakluk kepada Majlis tertinggi UMNO (MKT). Dalam ertikata yang lain, jika diandaikan Pak Lah berterusan sebagai PM selepas Perhimpunan Agung, sebagai ahli UMNO ia bertanggunjwap kepada MKT.

Oleh yang demikian tidak ada sebarang keraguan bahawa Pak Lah akan menepati janjinya untuk bersara dan justeru itu spekulasi mengenai perkara ini membuang masa sahaja.

Sekarang saya beralih kepada Amanat Presiden. Seorang Presiden UMNO bertanggunjawap ketas kesejahteraan orang Melayu serta rakyat Malaysia umumnya. Ia tidak boleh bersikap ala rasis Melayu atau bercakap mengenai orang Melayu sahaja walaupun UMNO bermaksud “United Malay National Organisation“. Lagu UMNO itu sendiri berakhir dengan lirik “untuk Rakyat Malaysia“. Kesimpulannya, Amanat Presiden didalam menyentuh hal-hal yang khusus mengenai orang Melayu wajib menyentuh hal-hal kenegaraan atau rakyat am.

Saya kira amanat Presiden UMNO yang baru ini harus menyentuh perkara-perkara berikut:-

1) Keadaan UMNO kini yang lemah dan berpecah – harus akui perkara ini dan perlu memberi halatuju bahawa satu sekretariat yang khas akan ditubuhkan bagi tujuan mengenalpasti sebab-sebabnya serta mengatur langkah untuk memperbaikinya. Harus juga akui bahawa UMNO lemah kerana pelbagai perkara termasuk keangkuhan beberapa pemimpin UMNO sendiri, tidak merapati hali-ahli, masalah parachuting didalam pemilihan untuk perkhidmatan parti, tamak haloba dikalangan mereka yang tidak dapat kontrak. Presiden harus menyampaikan mesej yang jelas bahawa jangan sangka bahawa menjadi ahli UMNO adalah untuk medapatkan kontrak, nama atau kedudukan. Kesemua hali UMNO harus merapatkan saf untuk memperbaiki kelemahan yang ada. UMNO harus pandang kehadapan dengan nafas dan semangat yang baru.

1A) Sikap beberapa orang Melayu berpengaruh yang sebenarnya menindas orang Melayu itu sendiri dengan pelbagai penindasan, rasuah, tidak amanah tugas harus berubah. Perkara ini harus dipantau. Kita harus sudah berhenti menyalahkan kaum lain diatas kelemahan diri kita sendiri serta perbuatan orang-orang kita sendiri. Orang Melayu berpengaruh harus berhenti darpada mengambil kesempatan daripada budaya Melayu yang menghormati mereka yang lebih berkuasa, lebih tua dengan mengwujudkan perlakuan dan tingkah laku yang berbau feudal. Perkara ini semakin menjijikan golongan muda yang berpendidikan. Jenarasi muda kini yang peka Al-Quran tahu bahawa kesujudan hanya kepada Allah swt dan penghormatan yang berlebihan boleh menjadi penyembahan berhala atau penghinaan.

2) Perpaduan Negara – perpaduan negara harus digubal melalui perpaduan bermakna dikalangan rakyat pelbagai bangsa dan agama. Ini harus menjadi prioriti utama serta asas program pembaikan ekonomi untuk menangani krisis ekonomi masa kini. Langkah – langkah positif serta bermakna, walaupun dianggap radikal dan tidak popular wajib diambil dimasa hadapan untuk merapatkan jurang perbezaan diantara kaum. Zaman kini tidak sama dengan zaman pra-merdeka atau sepuluh tahun selepas merdeka. Kita harus mahu berani melangkah menjadikan rakyat Malaysia mempunyai nilai yang menginsafkan bahawa masing-masing adalah makhluk ciptaan yang Maha Esa. Kerajaan bertanggungjawap diatas semua rakyat tanpa diskriminasi negatif. Kementerian Perpaduan Negara yang serius untuk mengubal program dan strategi untuk mengwujudkan satu bangsa anak Malaysia harus ditubuhkan. Strateji lama dan lapuk yang mungkin ada faedahnya dahulu, kini terbukti tidak lagi sesuai untuk jenerasi baru ini dalam alam globalisasi ini. Perpaduan dalam kepelbagaian harus menjadi teras polisi tersebut.

3) Menghadapi cabaran ekonomi – harus mengariskan langkah-langkah jangka panjang dan jangka panjang yang berkaitan. Peranan sistem kewangan didalam membantu menghadapi kemelut ekonomi ini harus diutarakan. Amaran perlu diberi kepada instituti kewangan yang mengambil kesempatan kepertian rakyat untuk memeras dan menindas. Begitu juga, Kerajaan juga harus serius didalam memantapkan delivery system yang masih ditahap cacat. Amaran yang sekeras-kerasnya harus diberikan kepada sektor awam yang korup atau menyusahkan rakyat untuk mencari nafkah yang halal dari segi kelembapan, ketidakefisienan mereka dan sebagainya. Untuk ini, saya cadangkan tukar sahaja semua pegawai-pegawai tinggi disetiap kementerian yang tidak cekap. Mesti berani berubah, kalau tidak kita harus diubah! Ini juga masa yang baik untuk megajak semua parti-parti politik untuk mengembeling tenaga, bersatu untuk fokus dalam menghadapi cabaran ekonomi ini.

4) Menangani pelbagai bentuk ekstrimisma – langkah-langkah harus diambil untuk menangani kegiatan pelbagai ekstrimisma samada didalam bidang politik, agama dan sebagainya. Langkah-langkah ini harus mengikuti lunas undang-undang yang sedia ada dan oleh yang demikian, pembaikan didalam sistem undang-undang yang ada kini juga perlu dikaji semula dan dilakukan reformasi yang serius. Pada masa yang sama, langkah yang diambil tidak pula harus memberi kesan kepada perkembangan keilmuan dalam negara yang amat kurang membaca dan berfikir.

5) Reformasi sistem pendidikan – Kerajaan harus melihat semula kepada sistem pendidikan secara menyeluruh – sekolah kebangsaan, sekolah vernacular, sekolah agama, tadika dsb. Objektif serta kaedah sistem pendidikan yang lama tidak boleh dipakai lagi. Tetapkan satu objektif nasional bagi pendidikan. Untuk apa? Keluarkan teknorat? Wujudkan modal insan? (perkataan “modal insan“ ini amat tidak sedap kerana diciplak daripada sistem kapitalis tanpa panjang fikir). Ada satu istilah yang amat baik untuk merangkumi konsep pengwujudan rakyat yang berhemah serta mempunyai nilai yang tinggi, rajin berkerja, kreatif dan penyumban pada Negara. Saya harap Najib dapat umumkan penubuhan atau hasrat untuk menubuhkan satu jawatankuasa untuk mengkaji semula sistem pendidikan yang ada. Jawatankuasa ini biar diwakili dengan anggota yang kredible serta daripada pelbagai lapisan.

6) Peranan pemuda-pemudi – Pelbagai tulisan dan ceranah sudah pun diadakan mengenai peranan pemuda sehingga semua menjadi loya. Kini yang perlu adalah untuk mengwujudkan satu polisi nasional yang boleh memberi halatuju kepada pembentukkan pemuda-pemudi dalam jangkamasa 15 tahun. Polisi ini akan mengwujudkan kerjasama diantara pelbagai badan-badan bukan kerajaan, pendidik serta kemeterian-kementerian. Kegiatan melepas batuk ditepi tangga yang kini berlaku harus dikaji semula supaya dana dapat dijimat serta pemuda-pemudi dapat diselamatkan daripada usaha kulit atau suprficial ini.

7) Kedudukan Malaysia didalam rantau Asia, dan dunia – harus diumumkan apa kah visi Presiden baru berkaitan dengan perkara ini.

Perkara=perkara diatas merupakan harapan dan cadangan saya. Saya benar-benar berharap UMNO dibawah Najib nanti dapat menjadi parti yang dihormati rakyat serta dapat memanfaatkan setiap anak bangsa Malaysia. Kalau tidak berani berubah, pasti nanti akan rebah.

Maaf sekiranya ada keterlanjuran.


Saturday, March 21, 2009


One day Ahmad, Raju and Ah Chong were invited to participate as speakers in a political seminar entitled “ People orientated politics for the new Millennium”.

Ahmad spoke first. He spoke about how corrupt the government was. He spoke about how inefficient the government was. [The crowd clapped] He spoke about how the main party government had been hoodwinking the people for years. When he finished most of the audience clapped.

Then it was Raju’s turn. He spoke about how discriminatory the government was. He spoke about how arrogant the main party has become. He also mentioned a few of the main party’s politicians and condemned them as not credible.[many applauded with wolf whistles] Everyone in the audience clapped.

Then it was Ah Chong’s turn. He started by talking about the role of politics in shaping the nation. He spoke on the dynamics of political parties and political supporters. He explained on the mechanics of realpolitik and how the citizens can play their role in ensuring that realpolitik does not override the general interest of the citizens and the nations. [There was yawning in the crowd.]

He emphasized that whatever one’s political inclination may be, the overriding factor is that political activity should not be detrimental to true national interest. He criticized the people’s obsession with politics to the extent that each has, unwittingly become pawns for the politicians from all sides of the divide. He distinguished the difference between the government and ruling party. Finally, he ended by saying that the people must reform the political system and stop focusing on personalities. Some of the crowd clapped lifelessly and formally.

After the seminar, the news papers covered the story.

THE MOON paper – “ Dato Jagung lambasted at seminar on political development” The story covered the speech by Raju.

THE JUPITER paper – “Change the Government – says Ahmad”

THE DOUBLE TIMES paper – “People fed up with main party’s policy – says Raju and Ahmad.

No paper carried Ah Chong’s speech. No one understood and it was not sensational and it required people to think about THEMSELVES!

A man read the Jupiter and was excited. He rushed to his learned friend and said: “Did you read the papers?

“Yes, I did”

“Shocking isn’t it?”
“Oh yes. Absolutely shocking!. How in the world did Manchester lose?”



An interesting discussion took place today. It was something like this:

Raju: I think what is happening after March 8 is good for the country la. Al least we can move towards a two party system.

Ahmad: Yes la. BN and UMNO also very arrogant. Tak sedar diri la.

Ah Chong: Hello friends, what two party system you all talking about?

Raju: Woi, you balik China ka? Pakatan and BN lah!

Ah Chong: BN….ya lah. It is a registered party. They stand for election also using BN logo. But where got Pakatan, a registered party masa March election?

Ahmad: Chong ah, you kena fikir, that time of course no time to register as party la. That time is electoral pact. But now they form government already in Selangor and Penang.

Raju: Yes. Pakatan is government now.

Ah Chong: Haiyo! You people real kedai kopi mentality. Where got party registered as Pakatan? Did you check with the ROS or not? How come after one year of saying they are Pakatan, why still never register?

Raju: Legal not important la Ah Chong. There is Pakatan Government.

Ah Chong: You pun satu la Raju. What is stopping them from registering together a party called Pakatan. If UMNO, MCA, MIC, and the other parties berani do it legally, why DAP, PAS and PKR takut? You mean they are still not sure of each other ka? Kalau not sure of each other, how can we trust them? Simple la….just register so that Rakyat can be convinced they are serious.

Ahmad: Raju, that also make sense la. Why they never register until now? One year already?

Ah Chong: ya la. Actually, until now, we don’t have two party. We have actually one party called BN and many other parties like DAP, PKR, PAS and so on.

Raju: No lah brader. BN also made up many parties what? Cannot say they are one party.

Ah Chong: Ya la. I also know that! I mean that when they go to the people during election for votes, they go as one party – BN. They have one manifesto. How many manifesto Pakatan got during the March election? Three right? Now also, BN talk like BN government. Pakatan got like that meh? Kelantan is Pakatan policy ka?

Raju; Susah lah you Ah Chong. Why you still talking about Pakatan must register as one?

Ah Chong: Raju, you know, I wait for one year already you know. Sure lah if you vote for one of the Pakatan pary you want to see whether they can bersatu or not. If they cannot even bersatu as a legal party, how to percaya they can satukan the people la?

Raju; I am sure they will slowly register soon.

Ah Chong: Walao! One year is not slow enough ka? Never mind, I ask you something ok? For youlah Kelantan is Pakatan government or PAS government?

Raju: kena think first…

Ahmad: Even though they are PAS, I suppose we consider them as Pakatan kot? Dunno lah

Ah Chong: Ok lah…can you tell me what is the common policy of the Pakatan group ka? Frankly I don’t know lah

Raju: Organise demonstration ka? Ah Chong, jangan lah marah, I am joking mah..
Ah Chong: People serious la..tell me what is their common policy?

Ahmad: BN cannot be trusted lah. Too long in power already.

Ah Chong: Mat, why you don’t want to answer the question? What is their common policy? Tak ada kan?

Ahmad: tak tau pula….

Raju: Alah Ah Chong, that one all not important. Important thing is must give Pakatan a chance.

Ah Chong: That why I say…do the simple thing first. Kalau berani register Pakatan legally. And I also very confused, why he is still not Keadilan member? Wah, keadilan good for other people but not good enough for him meh?

Raju: Malas lah talk to you. Now you want go somewhere else. Strategy also you don’t understand.

And like all good Malaysians, they had a few more rounds of teh tarik, and watched soccer on the big screen in the mamak restaurant until their respective home ministers called them back to sleep.


Friday, March 20, 2009


Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, when contacted, said he felt things were getting very “funny” lately, reported the Star. Well, he is not the only one. Many of the delegates and some of the candidates I spoke to also have been echoing the same “funny” feeling. In the Malaysian context, “funny” does not necessarily mean comical. It may mean “weird”, “uncommon”, “peculiar”, “something not right” or “out of the ordinary”.

Obviously, even non-UMNO members who have been observing the run-up to the elections have been having “funny feelings from the start. For starters, the election was shifted from December to March – one very long campaigning period! Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was against this from the start and his voice still counts very much.

Secondly, we have MACC and the disciplinary committee also playing roles in the run-up. Some have been charged in court for money politics just before the elections–first time in Malaysian history. Even though those charged are innocent until proven guilty, the practical damage is obvious. UMNO DC have found some guilty with severe punishment and others guilty without punishment. “Funny”. Tengku Razaleigh probably found it “funny” too that the UMNO DC is not making any police reports if indeed they found some members guilty of money politics. He correctly pointed out that it is an offence under the penal code not to report a criminal matter.

Rocky Bru has posted something that many have been having “funny” feelings about for a long time –Mahathir and Daim factor coupled with Sanusi Junid’s comeback for service. A few groups of UMNO members are still trying to stop the election from taking place next week on various grounds – ranging from reasons of money politics to “funny, funny” things. Tengku Razaleigh reportedly said that Ali Rustam can ask the ROS to stop the elections if he feels he is unlawfully deprived of his eligibility for office. The “funny” thing is will ROS even consider the application if one is made?

There is talk of as many as 6 to 10 usul tergempars (emergency motions) that may be tabled at the commencement of the UMNO Assembly next week. Even “funnier” things are being spoken about that is supposed to happen by the time next week is up.

One thing is for sure, “funny” that all these should happen now when it was just supposed to be a smooth transition. Do these “funny” things make UMNO and its current president a joke? Hope not because UMNO is the backbone of the government – otherwise people will perceive the cabinet as one sitcom.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The perception of “madness”

Let’s take a break from pure political discourses. Let’s take a look at “insanity or madness”. Whenever we think of people who are insane, inevitably the place “Tanjung Rambutan” comes to mind. ‘You are so mad, you should be sent to Tanjung Rambutan’. Mad people are not welcome in society. Some of them are considered dangerous for various reasons – they may harm themselves or others if left unguided.

Many times, I suspect we put away ‘mad people’ in an institution away from public eye maybe because we are embarrassed. I had a friend when I was growing up who was considered ‘mad”. I must have been in my early teens and he might have been in his late 40s when I first knew of him. They used to call him “Pak Sheh” and he was well known to all the shopkeepers along Penang Road. He is always in a grey jacket and sarong with shoes.

The shopkeepers used to buy him food. He never asks for money. He used to help old ladies and old men cross the roads. Whenever he wants to shower, any of the shopkeepers oblige him with their toilet or he showers in the nearby surau (those were the days when we did not have slogans of caring society but there was caringness all around!) He does not disturb anyone. However, kids were told to stay away from him. Of course, I being the curious one used to talk to him whenever he was alone without other adults knowing of it. It was easy because he used to sleep on the walkway of our shop at night on a cardboard.

I never really knew why they considered him mad. I thought he made a lot of sense. Well, he does make statements that adults did not understand and they found him very funny.

I suddenly thought of him yesterday when one of my friends was talking about the lack of domestic security in the country. He was referring to break-ins and such. He was concerned for his properties.

In one the sessions with Pak Sheh on the walkway, I asked him why he does not stay in a house. He said, the whole of Penang is his house. Roughly, this is what he said (in Malay):

“ Pak Sheh is not mad. But people say I am mad. Never mind. It makes them happy. Pak Sheh does not have to be afraid of anything. I am safe anywhere. I get food, I get sleep and I got lot of friends. One day, when I die, I am sure somebody will bury me. It does not matter when I am dead. The important thing is, I get to live and do what I came for.”

It never occurred to me to ask him what “he came for” because I did not really understand that part then. But I remember I learned quite a bit from him.

He also said, “Look at the adults. They have chains and locks for their houses. Even inside they feel unsafe. They are always in a hurry as if they are late. You can never be late when your time is up. SO, who is mad?”.




I chanced to meet up with some of the candidates in the forthcoming UMNO General Assembly. I had to ask their views on the disciplinary committee's efforts. Some of them were happy with the committee's serious efforts in curbing money politics within the party. They hope that this will pave the way for "cleaner" leaders.

There were some who were concerned that it is also easy to setup a political opponent as being involved in money politics. All that is required is to create the evidence, whatever that means. Some of the members, however felt that the committee members are above board and they will be able to sieve through the evidence carefully.

One thing is for sure: I could feel that quite a number of the UMNO delegates that I met were really worried about the committee. This is because, even after the elections, the committee can still haul up the candidates who have won on money politics and if justified, punish them accordingly. Why worry if you are squeaky clean? The general feeling is that some of the money politics activity have gone "underground".


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Economy: Tell People the Truth

IN this third installment of the of kopitiam discussion series with several veteran politicians, lawyers and, in this particular instance, a veteran economist, I would like to talk about the economy with particular reference to the upcoming mini budget.

I have been regularly asked to discuss economic issues by those who said they were fed-up with politics and politicians.

COntinue reading the article at Kadir Jasin blog here.



by Lee Wei Ling

In 2007, in an end-of-year message to the staff of the National
Neuroscience Institute, I wrote: 'Whilst boom time in the public
sector is never as booming as in the private sector, let us not forget
that boom time is eventually followed by slump time. Slump time in the
public sector is always less painful compared to the private sector.'
Slump time has arrived with a bang.

While I worry about the poorer Singaporeans who will be hit hard,
perhaps this recession has come at an opportune time for many of us.
It will give us an incentive to reconsider our priorities in life.
Decades of the good life have made us soft. The wealthy especially,
but also the middle class in Singapore , have had it so good for so
long, what they once considered luxuries, they now think of as

A mobile phone, for instance, is now a statement about who you are,
not just a piece of equipment for communication. Hence many people buy
the latest model though their existing mobile phones are still in
perfect working order.

A Mercedes-Benz is no longer adequate as a status symbol. For
millionaires who wish to show the world they have taste, a Ferrari or
a Porsche is deemed more appropriate.

The same attitude influences the choice of attire and accessories. I
still find it hard to believe that there are people carrying handbags
that cost more than thrice the monthly income of a bus driver, and
many more times that of the foreign worker labouring in the hot sun,
risking his life to construct luxury condominiums he will never have a
chance to live in.

The media encourages and amplifies this ostentatious consumption.
Perhaps it is good to encourage people to spend more because this will
prevent the recession from getting worse. I am not an economist, but
wasn't that the root cause of the current crisis - Americans spending
more than they could afford to?

I am not a particularly spiritual person. I don't believe in the
supernatural and I don't think I have a soul that will survive my
death. But as I view the crass materialism around me, I am reminded of
what my mother once told me: 'Suffering and deprivation is good for
the soul.'

My family is not poor, but we have been brought up to be frugal. My
parents and I live in the same house that my paternal grandparents and
their children moved into after World War II in 1945. It is a big
house by today's standards, but it is simple - in fact, almost to the
point of being shabby.

Those who see it for the first time are astonished that Minister
Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's home is so humble. But it is a comfortable
house, a home we have got used to. Though it does look shabby compared
to the new mansions on our street, we are not bothered by the

Most of the world and much of Singapore will lament the economic
downturn. We have been told to tighten our belts. There will
undoubtedly be suffering, which we must try our best to ameliorate.
But I personally think the hard times will hold a timely lesson for
many Singaporeans, especially those born after 1970 who have never
lived through difficult times. No matter how poor you are in
Singapore , the authorities and social groups do try to ensure you have
shelter and food. Nobody starves in Singapore .

Many of those who are currently living in mansions and enjoying a
luxurious lifestyle will probably still be able to do so, even if they
might have to downgrade from wines costing $20,000 a bottle to $10,000
a bottle. They would hardly notice the difference.

Being wealthy is not a sin. It cannot be in a capitalist market
economy. Enjoying the fruits of one's own labour is one's prerogative
and I have no right to chastise those who choose to live luxuriously.

But if one is blinded by materialism, there would be no end to
wanting and hankering. After the Ferrari, what next? An Aston Martin?
After the Hermes Birkin handbag, what can one upgrade to?

Neither an Aston Martin nor a Hermes Birkin can make us truly happy
or contented. They are like dust, a fog obscuring the true meaning of
life, and can be blown away in the twinkling of an eye.

When the end approaches and we look back on our lives, will we regret
the latest mobile phone or luxury car that we did not acquire? Or
would we prefer to die at peace with ourselves, knowing that we have
lived lives filled with love, friendship and goodwill, that we have
helped some of our fellow voyagers along the way and that we have
tried our best to leave this world a slightly better place than how we
found it?

We know which is the correct choice - and it is within our power to
make that choice.

In this new year, burdened as it is with the problems of the year
that has just ended, let us again try to choose wisely.

To a considerable degree, our happiness is within our own control,
and we should not follow the herd blindly.

(The writer is director of the National Neuroscience Institute and Lee
Kuan Yew's daughter (Lee Kuan Yew is the former Prime Minister of
Singapore ).


When I was in Form two, I realized that people around us tend to put us into boxes – you are clever, you are naughty, you are stupid, etc. It is not just the description of behavior, it goes beyond that – they mean it as YOUR characteristic. It is like you are boxed into one category and you are treated as such irregardless of whether you change or not. It was a major challenge for me to ensure that “negative categorization” of me does not impede my progress. If you do not understand what I am saying try to look back to your schooldays – you have the “bully”, you have the boy/girl ho is always “to be bullied”, you have the “smart ones”, you have the “dumb ones”. We label them and then act accordingly to them. I coined the term “victims of categorization” so that I can analyse it in my mind and make sense of the world.

Today, I realize that what happened in school is in fact a normal phenomenon in life. Let’s take politics, for example. You could just be an ordinary member in DAP, probably not even active at all apart from attending some of their ceramahs. The fact that you are in DAP will cause you to carry all the stigma that DAP may have. If DAP is perceived as a Chinese chauvinistic party, you will be categorized as such even though you are a non-Chinese! Likewise, if you are in UMNO, you will carry its stigma too. Even though you are a married to a Chinese and your entire family is multi-racial, you will be categorized as Malay chauvinist and corrupt! This example can be applied to all the other parties. Ordinary members are not spared from being categorized by the other ordinary citizens.

Of course there are die-hard DAP or UMNO or PKR or PAS, etc members. That’s different. I am talking of citizens who want to belong to a particular political party because they feel comfortable with it and find it ONE way to participate in the political development of the country. These good intention people become unnecessarily victims of categorization such that it impedes their contribution to the larger objective of contributing nationally.

Ordinary members are “forced into a corner” into taking up positions they may not want to take due to VOC phenomenon. What do ordinary party members get anyway compared to their political masters? A kiss of their master’s hands? Such a phenomenon is not good for political development and growth of political maturity among the ordinary citizens who are ordinary party members.

I always encourage anyone to join any party so long as the objective is to serve the Nation. I also encourage some of my friends not to join any political party because life is not completely about politics. We need Raperas in every area of life.

This mindless behaviour of boxing people generally into boxes and then limiting their potential and their role to the relevant box does not augur well for the Nation as a whole. To me, this VOC phenomenon is yet another example of the failure of our education and value system. It seems to me, in this sense, that our entire thinking process needs to be reformed!

“VOC phenomenon tends to cause blinkers in the mind and if you do this, you are guilty of “pressuring” ordinary people into becoming pawns of their politicians. Raperas on the other hand are not infected by the VOC virus as they are aware of its operation and effects.

As I said, politics was just an example I used to demonstrate the operation of the VOC phenomenon. VOC phenomenon, however, operates in many spheres of our lives, including in the family. We unthinkingly label a family member as such and such and after that, for the rest of his/her life we treat and perceive her/him according to the categorization that we have put them in. From my informal research and observations over the years, I have seen such VOC inhibit people’s potential for growth.

Think about it.



Quite a few have been shocked and many more surprised at the unprecedented developments in the run-up to the UMNO General Assembly where many UMNO members have been hauled up before the UMNO disciplinary committee for various breaches of party ethics.

There has been much talk of weeding out money politics in UMNO and recent events seemed to suggest that UMNO may be walking the talk. A "Big fish" like Datuk Seri Ali Rustam has been banned from contesting in the UMNO polls while many other were suspended.

On the youth front, Khir Toyo has been found not guilty, while Khairy Jamaludin was found guilty and given a warning. Khairy, however maintains his innocence while Khir Toyo claims that the allegations were fabricated by others.

These allegations of fabrication are equally worrisome as one cannot discount the real possibility of being "set-up" by political opponents. This is an important aspect that the UMNO disciplinary committee must address. It is useless that a mechanism that is intended to weed out money politics mutates into a sophisticated mechanism to kill off opponents.

THe DPM Datuk Seri Najib who is slated to take over as President of UMNO come April has promised to further reform UMNO once he is in charge. "If we don't change, we will be changed. It is no secret we have to change". he said. You can read it here.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

John Edgar Hoover, FBI

Thanks to The Cutting Edge for this photo.

I have been talking about John Edgar Hoover to some of my friends since last September. He is an interesting character in American political and forensic history. History must be read and learned from or we will be condemned to repeat it, so said my secondary school teacher. I remembered that in my mind.

Who is this personality?

On May 10, 1924, Hoover was selected to head the Bureau of Investigation. He was singularly responsible for professionalizing the FBI and turning it into an efficient crime-busting unit, including rooting out corrupt politicians. However, in the long run, it also made FBI and him particularly into a very powerful unit that can influence and shape those in the corridors of power.

The FBI under Hoover collected information on all America's leading politicians. Known as Hoover's secret files, this material was used to influence their actions. It was later claimed that Hoover used this incriminating material to make sure that the eight presidents that he served under, would be too frightened to sack him as director of the FBI. This strategy worked and Hoover was still in office when he died, aged seventy-seven, on 2nd May, 1972.

J. Edgar Hoover became and, for the greater part of his tenure, remained the most powerful man in Washington.

His biography and what can be learned from it is interesting reading.

Read it and you will understand, that is if you want to understand.


Sunday, March 15, 2009


I loved this poetry when I was first introduced to it in Lower Six, not realising how relevant it will be today. "Vanitas vanitatum" is Latin and is often translated as "vanity of vanities". How relevant today.


by: Anne Bronte (1820-1849)

IN all we do, and hear, and see,
Is restless Toil and Vanity.
While yet the rolling earth abides,
Men come and go like ocean tides;

And ere one generation dies,
Another in its place shall rise;
THAT, sinking soon into the grave,
Others succeed, like wave on wave;

And as they rise, they pass away.
The sun arises every day,
And hastening onward to the West,
He nightly sinks, but not to rest:

Returning to the eastern skies,
Again to light us, he must rise.
And still the restless wind comes forth,
Now blowing keenly from the North;

Now from the South, the East, the West,
For ever changing, ne'er at rest.
The fountains, gushing from the hills,
Supply the ever-running rills;

The thirsty rivers drink their store,
And bear it rolling to the shore,
But still the ocean craves for more.
'Tis endless labour everywhere!
Sound cannot satisfy the ear,

Light cannot fill the craving eye,
Nor riches half our wants supply,
Pleasure but doubles future pain,
And joy brings sorrow in her train;

Laughter is mad, and reckless mirth--
What does she in this weary earth?
Should Wealth, or Fame, our Life employ,
Death comes, our labour to destroy;

To snatch the untasted cup away,
For which we toiled so many a day.
What, then, remains for wretched man?
To use life's comforts while he can,

Enjoy the blessings Heaven bestows,
Assist his friends, forgive his foes;
Trust God, and keep His statutes still,
Upright and firm, through good and ill

Thankful for all that God has given,
Fixing his firmest hopes on Heaven;
Knowing that earthly joys decay,
But hoping through the darkest day.

"Vanitas Vanitatum Omnia Vanitas" is reprinted from Poems By Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Charlotte, Anne, and Emily Bronte. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1848.

Friday, March 13, 2009

CrystalBall: Six Little Pigeons

Thanks to this site for the picture.

One little, two little, three little pigeons,
four little, five little, six little pigeons,
why little, why little,why little pigeons,
why didn't you fly away?

One little, two little, three little pigeons,
four little, five little, six little pigeons,
why little, why little,why little pigeons,
one has to be caged away.

One little, two little, three little pigeons,
four little, five little, six little pigeons,
why little, why little,why little pigeons,
see the cat that is coming your way?

One little, two little, three little pigeons,
four little, five little, six little pigeons,
why little, why little,why little pigeons
five will be chased away.

One little, two little, three little pigeons,
four little, five little, six little pigeons,
why little, why little,why little pigeons
being pigeons, cant be eagle anyway.

One little, two little, three little pigeons,
four little, five little, six little pigeons,
not little, not little, not little pigeons
pigeons cause histoplasmosis by the way!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

CrsytalBall: PUSS IN BOOTS

In ding dong bell, the naughty kid who put pussy in the well is Johnny Flynn. We don't really know what happened to him thereafter but it was little Johnny Stout that saved pussy. WE, too, do not know what happened thereafter to him either. But for years one is sung as a hero and the other as a misled kid who could not recognize the contributions of pussy in catching all the mice. This part of the nursery rhyme history will just record the events.

Puss in boots as we know is a cat given to the youngest child of a miller. His other two brothers were given the mill and an ass, which appeared as better assets. BUT, puss in boots was no ordinary cat - it had a crafty mind, creative methods and very diligent in pursuing its objectives to serve its master.

As we know it, puss in boots understood the psychological and economic climate of its times. It was able to create an image for its master, who later came to be known as "Marquis of Carabas". Even the peasants were persuaded to tell the King that all the land belonged to the Marquis. The correct perceptions of power was created. The King was impressed with the Puss's master. But there was still one challenge - the Ogre and the castle.

Puss in boots, however also seem to understand the psychology of the wealthy and the powerful. Using this knowledge and pandering to the Ogre; ego, it managed to overcome the ogre, in fact eat it! Fairy tales are the realm of the impossible. Sound familiar?

And the Marquis of Carabas married the princess and ruled the land.




Do you know I have another blog called "journey to God"? It is HERE

Do visit it sometime..:)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Fairy tales is one of those things that I read when I was a kid. Pinocchio is about a boy whose nose grows every time he lied. It will be easy to recognize liars if Pinocchio phenomenon affects humans beings.

Humpty Dumpty is another story that used to baffle me. Firstly, being fat why was he sitting precariously on the wall? Obviously, the potential of a fall must have been real. Secondly, since he was not doing anything useful apart from just sitting, why should all the King’s men and all the King’s horses put Humpty Dumpty back together again? Did they really think Humpty will change from his predisposed self?

Being an adult, I wonder if Pinocchio and Humpty Dumpty were to get together, probably Humpty may not fall at all. Why? Because Pinocchio is such a liar that he may convince others that Humpty’s sitting on the wall is actually good for the King’s men. On the other hand, if Humpty does fall, he can lie and say that it was done by Little Johnny Flynn – the kid who put pussy in the well. And if Pinocchio can show the King’s men that Johnny Flynn is so dangerous, then Humpty must be put back together again.

But how? All the King’s men and the King’s horses cannot do it. Enters the witch and her magic wand. Swoof! The scene changes. And Pinocchio did it…almost.

But Pinocchio forget about one more creative character – Puss in Boots!

Don’t you just love fairy tales and what they predict?


Saturday, March 7, 2009


I have always loved Bee Gees. The melody is nice. It is also full of meaning if you understand the lyrics. Possibly, I may not be able to blog for a few days after tomorrow.


Friday, March 6, 2009

CrystalBall: Its here.

The hawker is coming to town. He has wares to share from and he is getting is stalls ready from tonight.

If you do not like tau fu or if you have been criticizing tau fu based products for too long, then you better watch out, you better be ready to eat them for long! Next week, there is a campaign on tau fu eating. Those who hate tou fu or tou based products, stay away from supermarkets that serve these!

Funny, tou fu which is soft rhymes with kung fu which is hostile?


Thursday, March 5, 2009


A friend emailed to me youtube showing Karpal Singh being surrounded by some members who claim to be from UMNO youth. I rewinded and rewinded the clip. I could hear Karpal Singh pleading again and again: ‘Please let into Parliament”.

I may respect many of Karpal’s contribution to the development of law in the country but there are many political approaches of Karpal that I completely disagree. I do not even like the many things he says in Parliament or the way he says it. But I could not stop my tears from flowing when I saw the clip. I was sincerely embarrassed, and fearful of the wrath of Allah.


Ya Allah, please continue to have mercy on us, your humble weak servants.

Ya Allah, You, the One who forgives Again and Again, please continue to forgive us for the excesses from among us.

Ya Allah, give us the strength to be grateful for the mercies that You have bestowed upon us.

Ya Allah, please give us the strength to cast aside the Iblis of arrogance and be ever mindful of Your Wrath and pleasure.

Ya Allah, please give us the wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong and to stop calling Your name in vain.


Ya Allah, please forgive this weak, humble servant from invoking Your help for where else do I turn?


P.S. This post is not intended to offend or to support anyone. If I did unintentionally offend anyone, I readily offer my apologies. I also don’t agree that Pemuda UMNO is celaka. As I said before, I know a lot of good muslims there.


8) “Well, we already have the right to vote in every general election, so what’s the fuss?” - This is yet another response I get in my talks or discussions. Actually, this point is so important and covers many aspects that one can write volumes of books on it! I shall try to get across the spirit of the matter. Let us ask these questions:

a) is voting the only right of the citizen as far formation of Government is concerned?
b) Is the composition of the cabinet unimportant to the quality of service to the Nation?
c) Is the citizen voting the candidate or the party? (Need to rethink party voting and consequent formation of Government?)
d) What does “mandate” mean really?
e) What happens when MPs do not perform, must the Rakyat wait another 5 years – Is that not too long here real damage to the nation may be done, especially if the MP is a Minister or someone with important position?

There are many more such critical questions that bother me. These questions necessarily arise under our current political system. Surely, the duty of the Rakyat to the Nation cannot end at voting? If this is so, then we should create the mechanism and the system that will allow that duty to continue.

On mandate. We have heard before politicians use the term “mandate” to justify their every action until the next election. They give a narrow and incorrect interpretation to the word “mandate”. Having won an election, they say they have mandate. To me a mandate is a contract between the elected and the voter based on explicit and implicit terms. The explicit terms are of course all those promises that he explicitly told the voters ie his election manifesto. The implicit terms would include things like upholding the constitution, rule of law, serving the general interests of the Rakyat, etc. Therefore, when the elected MP breaches any of these terms, the mandate is revoked – the voter no longer wants him. He cannot hide behind collective decisions of his other elected colleagues. The mandate was personally given to him.

Under our current political system and thought, mandate is presumed to be continuing until the next election even when the MP breaches all the terms! A mandate is presumed to be a blank cheque to do anything. That cannot be so. This presumption becomes frightening when you consider that even the employment of a clerk is subjected to a three months probationary period. Raperas need to understand this concept and its misapplication in realpolitik carefully.

As to the other questions that I have raised, you may want to seriously think how mechanisms could be legitimately put in place to improve the system.

We need major reforms in this department. You will note that politicians hardly talk about political reforms.


NEXT: Last post on the preliminary points of political thought, God willing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The struggle for power among the politicians ordinarily hurts the Rakyat and if the Rakyat is not careful, it may escalate to extremely painful and dangerous situations. We have to strive all we can to maintain public order and national stability. This is our home; we have to take care of it.

We have to collectively make the politicians realize that NATIONAL INTERESTS are far larger than their respective quests for political power.

As the current situation shows, there appears to be no end. Perak is turning out to be "The Tale of Two Governments" with no benefit to the people. What is happening in Perak will certainly have an impact on the whole country in terms of investor's confidence and business development. Without confidence, there is no investment, no employment opportunities, and hence no incomes. We all suffer. Our families suffer.

How did GOVERNANCE ever get out of hand?

What a price to pay for political scores?



These are interesting and educational times. The "Perak State Assembly" convened a meeting in a car park. Can this be done, putting aside the issue of whether the meeting can be convened without the Sultans' consent? I think the better view is that an Assembly need not take place in a particular building. It can take place anywhere. This must be so or otherwise it may be impossible to convene assembly sessions say, during war conditions where the designated State Assembly building may have been apprehended by the enemy. The "State Assembly" must refer to the proceedings duly convened rather than the physical place.

Likewise, a "court" is not a building either. I have been part of a "court" hearing on a hill where the "court" had to visit the locus in quo ie the place of crime. When evidence taking was going to take place, the judge simply declares that the "court is now in session".

Very interesting times.

Peace !

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


7) “I am not interested in politics” – this is another statement that we hear the majority often say. But what do we mean by that? Do we mean that we are not interested in becoming politicians? If that is so, I too have the same mindset. I am not interested in becoming a politician too because I cannot see how I can serve my nation by being that under our current political system. However, that does not mean that I stop observing political developments and the behaviour of politicians in the country. I have to. This is my home.

I am concerned that when people say “I am not interested in politics”, they are confused with the responsibility as a citizen. These are two different things. As a citizen, our responsibility to the nation is diverse and continuing till we die. This responsibility requires us to evaluate the current political system and monitor the behaviour of politicians in our country. In fact, to influence it if alignment is needed. This is because, politicians are in powerful positions to affect our Nation – they can redistribute resources, they create national policies that determine the direction of the Nation (or lack thereof), they have all the Nation’s tools at their disposal and the potential of abuse is real, etc.

Raperas by definition have to be interested in politics as they are in environmental issues, public order issues, etc. To me, being completely indifferent to politics in the country is an abdication of responsibility and duty to the nation. We happily note that today, there is a major outcry by the People that politicians should stop politicking and focus on the job of taking care of the nation’s interest. These are responsible citizens, who though not in politics, are nevertheless concerned about the ill effects of the politicians’ obsession with politics at the expense of important matters such as the economy, stability, etc.

In summary, you HAVE to be INTERESTED in politics if you want to safeguard the Nation for yourself and the future generation.

8) “Well, we already have the right to vote in every general election, so what’s the fuss?” - TO BE CONTINUED AS ALLAH WILLS.



6) “You cannot bring change without being in a political party” – when you say this, you readily recognize that under the current political system and thought, any meaningful political change is possible ONLY when you are within a political party. Therein lies the crux of the problem. This also gives rise to several aspects that must be analyzed thoroughly (cannot be done here). Of course, we all familiar with the benefits of a political party, the main factor being the advantage of organization.

At the outset, let me say that the biggest fallacy propagated by the politicians is this: political change can only be brought about by political parties and politicians. Developments in political history will testify that this is indeed a fallacy. Changes in political thought and system occurs primarily OUTSIDE the political parties and subsequently due to popular adherence to the new thought, political parties adopt the thoughts. The change comes from thinkers and reformers supported by the thinking public.

Change within a party is almost impossible unless you have a RADICAL leader. The party system, in order to sustain itself has all sorts of mechanisms that will disallow you to depart from pre-set rules and modes of behaviour. There are many such mechanisms – patronage, party whip, permitted and organized parachuting to party positions, etc. Dissent is necessarily disallowed. If you check the Societies Act, you will see that political parties (decisions) are the only society that are exempted from review by the courts of law. All these mechanisms are designed to ensure that the party does not suffer a trauma from any radical change. This is one of the main reasons why you find that political parties self degenerate through time – they fail to be sensitive in advance to changes among the polity.

The major problem with the current party system is that it does not have and does not allow for a proper mechanism for leadership to evolve. This is self evident in this country where you find that leadership opportunities are mainly open to family members of the party leadership. It is almost as if in this country of more than 27 million Malaysians, leadership is incestuous! This is something that must be corrected so that true leadership from among the people can arise. Tun Dr Mahathir the son of a school teacher, a commoner was an exception in our political history.

Worse, the party system may throw up the worst possible candidate for leadership. A foreign example will be George Bush. Malaysians cannot forever wait for changes to come from the very West that we are so fond of condemning.

We have to put our thinking caps on and make efforts to bring about reforms in the political system and develop our political thought. This is not a job that politicians will embark on; they are reactionary by nature and not initiative driven towards change. We need to create a system that will bring about the best leadership possible – this must firstly occur from outside the political arena. This will also include changes to our existing laws.


Monday, March 2, 2009


5) “Stop wasting time, we cannot change the system”- This is a phrase often used by the ordinary citizens. There are many levels of discussing this mindset. I shall attempt at one level. At a certain level, this mindset is understandable – it may represent frustration, helplessness or emanating from a sense of the dubious “after all, who am I?. What I cannot understand is when this is uttered by those who have never a spent a second of their lives considering whether they can make any change for the better. To me, such people who deliberately refuse to think have forfeited the right to complain. They are free riders.

I have often told my students that “God did not create the brains for pure decoration”. This, however is embarrassing to tell adults. Is it true we cannot change the system? If that is so, are we conceding that we are still using the same transportation system since Merdeka? Surely, highways, monorails and LRTs did not exist then? What about our communication system? Did we not change it in this country? Only a few years back, it is unthinkable that you can send a whole cabinet of files to say, England in a few seconds. Today, we do it through email. If you think about it, the way we communicate today is completely different and unimaginable from just a few years back. That is RADICAL change. I can go on and give examples of “systems” in our lives that have changed.

But I think you get the point. If you do not, try some thinking. The only and major pre-requisite that you need for change is – THE WILL TO CHANGE. That will must be as strong as the will to save your drowning child. It is this lack of will that is still dominant in our society. You can call it by any fashionable word that you want –“comfort zone”, “fear of the unknown and so on. But the basic point is: you do not want to change but think you do and hence you conjure up excuses. Our human failings.

But know this – the academic gurus of the current political thought does not want it to change – what’s going to happen to their glory and years of dedication to failed political thoughts?

But know this – the current capitalists that benefit does not want it to change – what’s going to happen to their profits?

But know this – the current politicians in the game do not want it to change – what’s going to happen to their power and their network? (This is why I have always maintained that NO politician can be an agent for useful change unless they have evolved into Statesman or Raperas).

I cannot go into depth on this blog, so let me share an extreme simplistic example. A Buddhist monk whom I met in my teens told me something that I did not understand then. He said, “There are masters only because there are humans who allow themselves to be slaves”. I thought he must be mad! I was sure nobody wants to be a slave. However, I grow up sadly realizing that many not only live a life of slavery, but they accept it as a way of life! To avoid any misunderstanding of the word “slave”, I mean by it a person who does the every bidding of another person, without thinking, without conscience, without dignity – purely for selfish survival. A slave becomes the property of the master and is no longer human in this sense. That is why slavery is cruel and for the willing slave, it is shameful. A slave is unable to think of change.

Be warned that our society has evolved to higher levels of slavery. I often see slaves honored with honors, wealth and positions. But the fact remains – they are slaves. They have no dignity, no conscience, no humanity. Such are truly lost souls. God forbid, to this day, I have never personally recognized any of these slaves as any other than slaves. This is what I hope Raperas will be able to understand. Do not let wealth, power, positions detract you from recognizing the willing slave as one. If you can, tell him/her so. This will be a catalyst for change.

If you can start to do this in your personal lives, then we are already on the road to changing the political thought and system. Politics, we must always remember is primarily about power in the current political system. It is based on a master-slave relationship. Phrases like “working with the people” are often illusory. Do not be fooled.

If you have been following the above discussion, you must now be able to conclude that there will be resistance to change. Of course. You should not be surprised because the first person that will resist you is YOU with your creative excuses. So why should,nt those who benefit from this system?

I used to tell my student thats if all of them refuse to come to my class, I cannot be a teacher. Understand what I am saying? Change is that easy.

Peace !

Sunday, March 1, 2009


There is clearly a need for a rethinking of current political thought, a redefining of the entire political system. Before I proceed, let me attempt to address a few points that will arise in the minds of some –

1) “Any system is fine, it is the people that matters”. This is a common objection whenever you suggest some change in the system. True, it is always the people that matter as it is the human that has to manage and work within the system. However, one must remember that the effectiveness and the quality of the system that is in place largely sets the standards and the parameters of behavior. For example, under the current political system, we have the “opposition and the Government party”. Under current political thought, you are EXPECTED to be foes of each other to the extent that cooperation between the two is almost forbidden even if it does not serve national interest. Our current political system (based on the perception of so-called realpolitik) is either racial or religious based. Hence, any aspiring politician must be able to tailor his behavior into either of these two categories – the system moulds the behavior. When the political thought itself is premised on racial and religious platforms, the fact that racism and religiosity will be perpetuated escapes the thinking of most. If I am correct, then the thinking that “any system is fine” must be incorrect.

2) “We must be practical, not idealistic”. This is another statement I often hear in my life. My experience has been the speaker does not really understand the full import of what he said. Practicality and pragmatism are two different concepts that give rise to different results. In its “original form”, “pragmatism” was a philosophical tradition that originated in the United States around 1870. The most important of the ‘classical pragmatists’ were Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), William James (1842–1910) and John Dewey (1859-1952). Of course as most concepts experience, this concept too mutated into political and other sciences.

For example, it is practical that if you are alive, you will need to work to earn a living. It may be pragmatic that you earn your living through corrupt means if that gives you more and faster income than though decent means. Racial politics may be pragmatic but certainly not practical as it divides society. “End justifying the means” is pragmatism, not practicality. I believe we keep confusing the word “practical” with “pragmatic”. Is it then any wonder that there is ensuing confusion and chaos in our political world?

It has always perplexed me when I was younger and it continues to perplex me in my adult life that even so-called persons who are expected to be intellectuals fail to see that practicality need not be an antithesis to idealism. My perplexion subsides only when I realize that our education “system” has failed – thinking has low priority in our political thought. Idealism is covered under the next point.

3) “No wonder you cannot be in politics, you are idealistic”. I am sure, even you must have heard this line of thinking. Is it not frightening that collectively we seem to have accepted that idealism has no place in our political thought? This also implies that we accept and elect leaders with no ideals and reject those who have. But do we again know what we are saying? Idealism is the philosophical theory which maintains that the ultimate nature of reality is based on mind or ideas. It holds that the so-called external or "real world" is inseparable from mind, consciousness, or perception. Today of course, the word has, in our society, mutated to mean a “utopian” way of thinking. That is, something of a “perfection”.

Firstly, if we use the word as is rightly understood in political philosophy, are we saying that we want leaders that believe that the “real world” is unconnected to mind, consciousness or perception? This would be frighteningly ridiculous correct?

Secondly, if we use the word as is ordinarily understood today to mean something of a “perfection”, what is wrong with having an objective of attaining “perfection”? Of course perfection by definition may be unattainable but is that not setting high standards? If we reject idealism or idealistic thoughts, it seems to me that we condone mediocrity and mediocre thoughts. Frankly, our political system and thinking to me is at an extremely mediocre level. What is worrisome is that this mediocrity in political behavior and thought has through familiarity been accepted as THE political system. Fools reign supreme because the thinking ones are kicked aside by the rallying cry against “idealism”!

Thirdly, ideals are relative but it seems to suggest “high standards as perceived by the society at a certain thinking level”. For example, to the caveman who is hunting, it will be ideal for him that he can store up food for a certain period that will free him from daily hunting. I can imagine the caveman who speaks of this being brushed aside by his fellow caveman as being “not practical, idealistic”. Today, however, that caveman will be considered a visionary because we have invented the refrigerator. If you understand this example, then you will see that leaders must have ideals for society to truly progress (as opposed to “window dressing progress” - to be discussed another day). Our political thought must incorporate ideals in its philosophy. If you do not understand this, then either a) take your time and b) understand how powerful indoctrination of your mind has been.

4) “I am a party man”. It is our Malaysian malady that we love to say things that we do not fully understand. As I often say, thinking is not a trait taught by our education “system”. What does “party man” mean? Does that mean once we are “Party man”, we stop being fathers, mothers, citizens, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, humans, males, females, etc? Which is paramount and takes precedence – being a party man or a citizen? (To me being a Rapera takes precedence as this word (as I understand it) is comprehensive). Our current political thought forces us into a box. We have to be categorized and once categorized, you cannot behave in manners that may be construed as being outside your respective boxes.

Our current political thinking boxes us into “PAS”, “UMNO”, “DAP”, “PKR”, etc, overriding the more important commonality of being a citizen of the Nation. When I was in form four, I coined the term “victim of categorization” not realizing that this term will be equally useful to explain my views today about current political thought. Once we are boxed into “political party boxes” we, as normal citizens become victims of categorization. We are unable to speak out against our own party when they do wrong and unable to support another party when they do right. While this will allow political scores to be made, as a Nation we flounder. National Interest as a binding force between competing political parties is not permitted under our current political system. This must change, RADICALLY.

Due to citizens compelled to become victims of categorization under our current political thought and system, in the long run, the true losers are the ordinary citizens and ordinary party members.

Should it not be that even after you retire from politics, you must still be a responsible citizen? Only a "party man" has a time span on his responsibility to the Nation.