Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SELAMAT AIDILFITRI

Its the Eid, the month of victory for Muslims all over the world. Here in this peace-loving country called Malaysia, let every citizen - Malay, Chinese, Indian, others - share this festival to symbolise our national integration.

For friends, relatives and the rest of you out there, I beg for His and your forgiveness should I had offended you in whatever manner.

We are all human...

SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI, MAAF ZAHIR & BATIN

Monday, September 29, 2008

MCA to stay, Gerakan to quit?

Again and again, MCA sec-gen Ong Ka Chuan reiterated his calls for his Chinese-dominant party not to leave Barisan Nasional. Instead, he said MCA and Umno and the rest of BN components should work more cohesively to stabilise the coalition government. However, in another scenario, another BN component, Gerakan, has threatened to leave the pact should the government fails to resolve what it termed as 'racial discrimination'. What discrimination? Being a loser in Penang and now left dangling like a puppet on the string, Gerakan under Dr Koh Tsu Koon should find a way to address their problems in the Prime Minister's state that led to its downfall in the last general elections. First, you talked about consolidating the BN and now about leaving it. Even Ka Chuan has suggested for the merging of MCA and Gerakan, which in reality will be good for the Malaysian Chinese. Think about it, will ya.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome, Taro Aso!

Let us welcome Japanese new Prime Minister, Taro Aso, a former foreign minister who will take over from Yasuo Fukuda on Wednesday.

This outspoken nationalist and avid fan of Japanese animation characters, was chosen Monday by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to become Japan's third prime minister in less than two years.

Aso, 68, will replace Fukuda, who quit this month amid lingering economic woes. Aso won in a landslide vote over several other candidates, including Yuriko Koike, the first woman to run for the nation's highest office.

A career government official who studied at Stanford and in London, Aso has shrugged off criticism that he is too hawkish. For Japan's Asian neighbors, his comments as foreign minister brought back uncomfortable memories of the nation's military expansion more than half a century ago.

The grandson of a postwar prime minister, Aso emerges from the same nationalist school that urges Japan to be less apologetic about its imperial past and more assertive about its current global role.

He criticised the verdicts of the Tokyo war crimes tribunal and had been a regular visitor to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including some who are designated as war criminals.

Aso has held four Cabinet posts. Supporters point to his determination: He lost races for prime minister three times, eventually bouncing back to fill important government posts.

An often-quirky character whose nationalistic platform has been popular with young and old, Aso is a former Olympian in clay-target shooting and professes to be a big fan of Japanese comic books, or manga. His cheerleading for Japan's pop culture has brought him popularity among many younger voters.

ISA should be cautiously reviewed

I agree with Rais Yatim when he suggested that the government should cautiously review the Internal Security Act (ISA) which saw Raja Petra Kamaruddin slapped with a 2-year detention today.

ISA, dubbed by many, including those of the Western leaders as a draconian law, may contain too many loopholes and should be amended into something else which is in tandem with present humanitarian context. However, it may take time.

RPK is very unfortunate to be another victim of the law but he still deserves to be punished for what he has done. As to how the government categorise his 'threat' to the country, it is not important as nobody should feel 'too free' to say or write anything that may jeopardise the national stability.

This is not a cowboy country where everyone is entitled for 'a free for all'. We live by the set of law which secures everybody's interest. Should the law contains unfavourable act, it must be reviewed.

Many objected to my earlier posting about RPK's detention but not few supported it. If Malaysians are opinionly-divided over the ISA issue, then the government should do something about it.

I am not talking as a Muslim or a Malay but as a Malaysian who favors a peaceful place to live and 'cari makan' without having to resort to dirty tactics to survive, socially and politically.

Raja Petra DESERVES it!

The news that blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin aka RPK was slapped with Section 8 of the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows the government to detain him without trial for 2 years at Kamunting, did not trigger me any alarm. In fact, I do support the move by the Home Ministry.

Sorry fellas! I am a blogger, too but I am for what is right and against what is wrong. I am living in Malaysia, one of the most delicate countries on the globe. If one tries to incite racial, religious and economic chaos with the intention to bring down the socio-stability of the country, I will be among the first to protest.

RPK is a good writer with thousands of readers and supporters. I like his style and his postings. He got his own class to woo support and sympathy and I personally believe most bloggers, readers and those of the opposition parties are upset with the Home Ministry's decision.

Had he not incite public uproar (especially the Malays and Muslims) over his postings which insulted the religion, the Prophet and the Malays, I would also join the bandwagon that opposes his detention under ISA. The government cannot take him in just because he posted too much 'slanderous' materials on his website. Afterall, there are still many other bloggers, including politicians who also posted similar articles on their weblogs.

I have my own stand and opinion... and I deserve to speak my downrights. When most people in the country, including ministers voiced out their views - some were against the ISA - that the draconian laws must be scrapped, I personally believe that in a country like Malaysia, the ISA is still relevant.

After what happened during the communal riot in Singapore in 1964 (that led to its Independence a year later) and Malaysia in 1969, we cant take chances anymore. Its true that thing were quite okay after that but it is building up again. Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi admitted the fact recently that the 'muhibah' spirit among Malaysians are at its lowest now.

The Malays, the Chinese, Indians and other races have been contributing well to the development of the country. Should there be minor misunderstanding, it should be well addressed by our leaders and their representatives. This has been the best way to manage Malaysia since 1969.

However, this harmonious atmosphere was slackened by some people who either tried to take advantage of a few 'incidents' or for their own political objectives. The Hindraf movement was the result of discontentment among a few politicians. It was then turned into a platform to pressure government and to challenge the law. The Malays were adamant about it but there were few occasions when there were calls by Malay 'leaders' to launch a backleash against the Indians. We are happy when the government (although a bit late in its action) detained some of Hindraf leaders before things went out of control.

And then came the Bar Council - a body supposed to be non-political and most fair to Malaysians - with its Social Contract and Embracing Islam forums, which openly challenged the law and the Muslims for its 'unconstitutional' moves. The organisers, maybe, failed to recognise and consider the sensitivity of both issues to the country, as a whole.

Now, Bukit Bendera Umno division chief (now under suspension) Ahmad Ismail should be the next to be taken to Kamunting for his 'racist' statement during Permatang Pauh by-election. Had he not liken the Malaysian Chinese as 'passengers' and immigrants in Malaysia, the Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter wouldnt be held by the police for her stories.

Calling the Chinese 'pendatang' was like spitting on our own ancestors' grave. As most Malays and Indians, too, are descendents of Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam and some other countries, we cannot simply labelled others as 'pendatang' just because the Malays form the majority of Malaysians.

Malaysian history is very colorful. Almost each and every one of us came from somewhere... few hundred years ago. Let us share the history in our nation-building. At least, we are proud to have such varieties.

I maybe wrong to liken RPK as another Sulman Rushdie but as a Muslim himself (married to a convert Chinese), he should be well aware of his religion and its path. Insulting Nabi Muhammad SAW is the first thing that will spark anger to any other Muslim who hears about it. Unless RPK is a Shiite, then I think... I think... its okay as the Shiites only recognise Saidina Ali and Imam Mahdi as their sect leaders.

Come to think about it again, ISA is still relevant to our country. We cannot let anybody else to cause public chaos that will lead to uneasiness, bloodshed and economic collapse. We should have learnt enough from the past.

Please bear in mind that any issue on race, religion and culture can be very erruptive. We cannot let Malaysia to become another apartheid nation, neither can we allow her to be fall apart under racial and religious riots.

I have observed wars, riots, lootings and killings in some countries. It taught me a lot of mutual respect and mutual recognition of rights. I dont want to imagine Malaysia plunging into racial and political turmoil. Even a political and power struggle is bad enough to put the country into chaos. When there is no legitimate government of power, we will place the nation at uncertainty. This will halt economic development as no foreign investors are willing to come in.

Having said this, let me declare that I have nothing personal against RPK or Ahmad Ismail or Teressa Kok or anybody else. I still hope for the government to reconsider the decision on RPK as Aidilfitri is near the corner. I am not pro or against the government. I am an ordinary Malaysia who stands by what is right.
What I want to point out here is MALAYSIA'S STABILITY AND PEACE. I still support ISA in some ways. It wont be easy to 'correct' someone with racial and religious hatred to change his/her perception in one or two months. Sometimes it takes many years.

Remember, this is our country. For a country like ours, where freedom of speech and expression is in practise, we still cannot take full advantage of it. Let's look before we take a leap. It wont be easy to mend a broken family. This is a BIG family!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shall we peg the ringgit again?

What does our new Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak got to say about this -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has suggested the reintroduction of the ringgit peg to lessen the impact of the global economic crisis on the currency.

In his support remarks, International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government should study the suggestion to cushion off the impact of the weakening US dollar against other major currencies.

Tun and Muhyiddin are right. The fluctuations in the ringgit value had affected the country's economy and the government should not continue with the managed float of the ringgit. The value must be fixed as it would strengthen the economy and create structural changes without having to depend on the model from western experts.

“If the US economy declines, the country, which is among its key trading partners, will also be badly affected,” Dr M said.

The ringgit's RM3.80 peg against the US dollar imposed in Sept 1, 1998 was scrapped in July 21, 2005 and was operated by a managed float against a basket of currencies. Although the pegging of the ringgit by the government in 1997 is perceived to be different from the current uncertain global economic scenario, it was possible that several mechanisms in the previous pegging of the ringgit could be used again.

Muhyiddin said the uncertain global economy today is due to the sub-prime problems prevailing in the United States which resulted in several major banks in the country to go bankrupt and this scenario is different from the situation in 1997.

The government, he said needed to keep tabs on the current world economic developments and take necessary initiatives to tackle the problem.


Now, Najib... its time to be a good 'money-man'!


Our condolence for Pakistan

THE death toll from a deadliest terrorist attacks in Islamabad on Sunday has risen to 70, according to a diplomat at the Pakistan High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

Rescuers were still pulling more bodies from the shell of the Marriott Hotel. The dead included the Czech ambassador and a second American. At least 250 were wounded when a truck full of explosives was rammed into the hotel gates. “There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came hours after Pakistan's new president, Asif Ali Zardari, delivered his first speech to lawmakers. Islamic militants have vowed to destabilise Zardari's government, which is faced with deepening economic gloom and growing public anger over Pakistan's alliance with the US, especially over American military operations against the Taliban and other Islamic extremists who have set up base in Pakistan,” he said.

Western anti-terrorist officials were fast to point at Al-Qaeda and fundamentalist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi of Afghanistan, said to be stepping up their coordination to attack the Pakistan government in retaliation for efforts to combat extremism in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Remembering Sabra and Shatilla...

I took three days to ransack and go through my old files, books and documents. Not that I have forgotten about it but in order to share it with you, I have to be factual or nearest to it.While other bloggers chose to be ‘very domestic’, I rather stay on the sideline, recalling the memories of Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon, trying as much to hold my tears and emotion as my mindframe suddenly got almost of it.

Sabra and Shatilla are two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon where over 2,000 Palestinians were massacred during three days (Sept 16-18) in September 1982 by hundreds of Lebanese Phalange and Haddad militiamen with the aid and support of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

During the1982 Israeli invasion into Lebanon and siege of Beirut, US Envoy Phillip Habib managed to have a written agreement whereby Palestinian fighters would leave Lebanon, providing a US guarantee to the safety of Palestinian refugees left behind in the camps.

After Palestinian fighters evacuated Lebanon, the Israeli army sealed off Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps and established a command post at the Kuwaiti embassy, a seven-story building over looking both camps. Present at the command post were the primary architects of the atrocity: Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Chief of Lebanese Forces Intelligence Elie Hobeika, along with high-ranking Israeli army officials.

In the early morning of September 16th, the Israeli army allowed bloodthirsty armed militiamen to enter the camps, provided with weapons, bulldozers, and communication equipment. They were also given hashish and heroin to help them maintain ‘courage’. For 62 hours, the militia participated in wholesale slaughter and rape.

Women and children were not spared. The Israeli army lit the skies over the camps by firing flares during the nights, and also prevented residents of the camp from escaping. A group of refugees who reached the one of the Israeli checkpoint were ordered by soldiers to return back into the camp - even though they told soldiers that people are being slaughtered inside. This encounter was documented by a Scandinavian news crew.

Ellen Siegel was an American nurse from Baltimore who volunteered at Gaza hospital in Sabra camp. She was rounded up with 20 other foreign medical personal. Upon hearing the radio communications that the butchers inside the camp were ready to execute all of them, an army officer stopped the order and ran back to the camp to rescue Miss Siegel and another female nurse from Holland. The rest were lined up against the wall and executed. Miss Siegel was among 3 Americans who testified in the Kahane Commission, the Israeli official inquiry into the massacre.

No adjectives exist to describe this heinous atrocity. This crime was beyond all human and moral comprehension. However, an American woman named Janet Stevens was among the first people to visit both camps the day after this ugly crime. She wrote the following testimony to her husband Franklin Lamb:

"I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles."

As the news and images of the massacre were broadcast worldwide, shockwaves, anger, and resentment were felt everywhere. In Israel , 400,000 protesters took part in a peace rally in Tel Aviv demanding the resignation of Ariel Sharon and demanded he should be tried for war crimes.

An Israeli commentator denounced Sharon 's complicity into the massacre in a commentary which said in part, "…you can't toss a snake into a cradle, then act surprise when the baby gets bitten."

Meanwhile the Kahane Commission in Israel turned out to be a "kangaroo court" where the outcome was essentially predetermined, and the process was compromised. Several high-ranking military officers were found negligent, got a slap on the hand and later promoted. Sharon was forced to resign as the defense minister, and was barred for life from holding public office. Despite all of this, Israelis elected him in 2001 as their prime minister.

I tried to go to Lebanon a week after the incident but my request was shot down by my editor then. The closest I got to Sabra and Shatilla was in 1984 when I took ‘leave’ and went to Beirut with an Indonesian journalist, Petrus Suryadi of Kompas (wonder what’s he doing now).

As at today, many victims and other relatives sued Ariel Sharon for war crimes in a Belgian Court. But under pressure from US and Israeli governments, Belgium dropped the case as inadmissible. All militiamen who took part in the killing received amnesty from the Lebanese government.

Elie Hobeika was killed in a car bomb in Beirut 20 years after the massacre. Two of his top lieutenants were assassinated in a separate incidents. Ariel Sharon suffered massive stroke in 2006 that ended his political career. Later, Israel 's cabinet declared Sharon officially permanently incapacitated until this day.

However, my heart goes to the 3 Americans who testified in the Kahane Commission, especially Janet Stevens who was killed during the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut. She was pregnant with her first child, a baby boy. Mrs. Stevens went into the Embassy to seek more aid for the Lebanese people in the south and Palestinians in Beirut who were affected by the Israeli invasion and by the massacre. Her hubby, Franklin Lamb is a prominent researcher and author, frequently writing about the Middle East. Siegel continues to write letters, make calls and fight for the victims and trying to promote peace between Israel and Palestine.

A friend of mine, Abbas Kholel, 45, sent me an e-mail two years ago, describing what he witnessed on September 17, 1982:

“It was 11am and I was hiding behind a burned house… they came… chopping of camp residents with axes, disemboweling with knives, shootings with Israeli supplied silencers, hangings, burnings, live burials, and rapes. I saw how 2 Israeli soldiers raped and beheaded by 14-year old younger sister… I was helpless and petrified. For all the killings that took place on that day, I wished I was one of them… just couldn’t bear the nightmares anymore…”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What's the swap for, Pak Lah

The resignation of Zaid Ibrahim has prompted Pak Lah to consider 'revamping' his Cabinet. The best part was, he told Awami Global that he might handover the premiership to Najib much earlier than the stipulated mid-2010.

The tip-off is that, Najib who is now Finance Minister (while Pak Lah himself agreed to head Defense) will become the next Prime Minister later this year.

Afterall, Pak Lah has been under mounting pressure from Umno divisions and its senior leaders (including Muhyiddin, Hishamuddin, Tengku Razaleigh and Rais) for the power transition to be completed sooner than that of 2010.

Well. This is a move to appease Najib's camp, I suppose but whatever the motive was, its pointing to a single conclusion - that Pak Lah's stand on the power struggle is softening and that, he's trying to woo the 'lost supports' from Najib ballooning starship.

This move will also put Najib in a clearer limelight, and that his supporters can sigh in relief that the supposed-to-be the longest wait will come to an end.

What's next, Pak Lah? Only God knows.

ITS TIME TO STOP, DAMN IT!

Your people up there! As to whether Anwar will become Malaysia's 6th prime minister or not, or whether Pak Lah will succumb to the defection of more than 30 BN MPs to Pakatan Rakyat, we at the grassroot, the layman and the rakyat in general, are only worry about ONE thing - its the ECONOMY.

While the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index closed to hit its bottom yesterday in tandem with global markets, what have you people been doing to at least give assurances that our economy will not get overheated.

You are more concern with the power tussle, just like the ongoings in Thailand, Ubezkistan and Pakistan. In the present scenario, whoever takes over or lead the government cannot do much to attend to our needs, except to safeguard your political interest.

Look! The Dow Jones are taking big beatings from the collapse of America's two largest companies, Lehman Brothers and Merill Lynch. Its impact is not only in the US but throughout the world.

What are your economists doing to weather the onslaught? They are not doing much as they are also helping you people in your political tug-of-war.

Do you think most Malaysians pay attention to this furoe? No! They are busy making ends meet, finding part-time jobs to feed their families, contemplating some other avenues to pay their debts (due to rising interest rates) and of course, making preparations for Aidilfitri.

Do you really care? Either Pak Lah or Anwar, when is this bickering going to last? Until the KLSE collapse? Or until the people got fed-up and launch our own popular thrust to put a halt to all these nonsense of yours!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Malaysia... and LKY

Its Malaysia Day today. For those who has forgotten or never have any knowledge about it (especially our younger generation), read this. It will be useful.



Although it is not a public holiday, Sept 16 is to commemorate the establishment of The Federation of Malaysia in 1963 among Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. Indonesia and the Philippines objected to it. Jakarta was accusing Kuala Lumpur as being a new colonial power in Borneo for trying to lure Sarawak and North Borneo (now Sabah). However, after several consultations, it was settled amicably. Malaysia was also made possible through the introduction of a ‘Malaya Bill’ to the Parliament and, or course, with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Singapore, however, left Malaysia on August 9, 1965 to become and Independence republic.


SELAMAT HARI MALAYSIA!
PS... wishing Lee Kuan Yew a HAPPY BIRTHDAY... also Sept 16.

Not now, Anwar?

So, Sept 16th is eluding Anwar and his team. Nothing happens. The gimmick about the list of BN MPs ready to crossover to Pakatan Rakyat (which he claimed was submitted to Pak Lah) was not very amusing either.
Or, will Anwar choose another date?
However, analysts are turning to 'happenings' in BN into indications that it might happen, if not today, tomorrow or day after tomorrow.
The ISA saga which prompted Minister in the PM Office Zaid Ibrahim to tender his resignation as a protest against ISA and some hard statements from among key Cabinet ministers who also opposed the draconian law, are well associated with 'crossovers'.
Even Hishamuddin's opposing to ISA has been established as a 'link' to PR. Too many parties are sharpening their knives on Pak Lah, it seems but the premier remains adament.
Let's see what's gonna happen next...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The police MUST explain

THE police should explain the rationale behind the detention of Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, who was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Friday (released Saturday), said Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek. He said it would be better if the police explained the detention of Tan, instead of politicians giving their reasons. Shabery said this in response to the statement made by Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar Saturday that Tan's detention was part of the police's swift action to ensure her safety after she received threatening calls. Syed Hamid said police intelligence found the journalist's life to be under threat after she reported about Bukit Bendera Umno chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail's alleged racist remarks made during campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election last month.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dont apply ISA on journalists, please!

The arrests of Teresa Kok and a Sin Chew Jit Poh journalist are follow-ups to Raja Petra Kamarudin's arrest yesterday afternoon. The move - to those who are level-headed enough - should be regarded as a 'corrective' measures for national stability. HOWEVER, the detention of the journalist under ISA (Internal Security Act) was beyond comprehension. I, personally, object to such a move by the Home Ministry. Hope the government will release her soon and treat the case according to normal prosedures.

Friday, September 12, 2008

RPK should avoid another Satanic Verses


(Latest: The Sin Chew Jit Poh reporter whom Ahmad Ismail accused of misreporting has also been taken-in by the police. Waiting for details)

The arrest of Raja Petra at his house around 1.10pm today was well-expected and anticipated. Afterall, he was courting arrest. I dont really support the move if it was anything about the slanderous postings he made as the facts are yet to be ascertained. His accusations towards the government, too, should not be made into reasons for his arrest. However, my personal view is, his arrest under the Internal Security Act (ISA) is 'not proper'. If he was taken in for his 'un-Islamic' postings which insulted Islam and Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, its fair enough. As a Muslim himself, I dont find it amusing at how RPK tried to win the hearts of the 'liberal Muslims' and non-Muslims by doing so. If his intention was to smear the image of Islam, then what he did was worse than that of Salman Rushdie, the author of 'Satanic Verses' wanted dead by the late Ayatollah Khomeini for causing massive Muslim uproar worldwide about 15 years ago. However, I hope he will be out soon and given a fair legal treatment. ISA is not that appropriate anymore.

Blogger-friendlier?

Thank you, Pak Lah for lifting the blockade on 'Malaysia Today' and with the promise that all website and blogs will be 'block-free'. I personally believe the Government is becoming more blogger-friendly as what I have observed recently in an Asian Republic. This friendly approach will, of course, lead to the hatch of more blogs and website about Malaysia - the good and bad ones - but the good ones should be treated as contributary in ideas and feedbacks. Nonetheless, we still need to be cautious over 'unwanted' elements. Being free doesnt mean that we dont have to pay the price for what we write...

A boost for Batu Berendam airport

I am happy. I think the people of Melaka are happy, too with the announcement that the Batu Berendam airport will be upgraded… finally. The last time such an announcement came was in late 90s but due to the economic downturn, it was shelved.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has agreed in principle to the Melaka government's request to lengthen the airport runway by 400 metres to 2,200 metres at a cost of RM40 million.

Chief Minister Ali Rustam said Thursday he had appealed to Pak Lah on the matter when the prime minister attended a breaking of the fast yesterday with Melaka Umno leaders.

The airport is undergoing an expansion. The upgrading began on April 23 last year and is scheduled to be completed on April 22 next year, with the primary objective of facilitating medical tourism.

However, the runway has to be lengthened to 2,200 metres to enable aircraft such as the Airbus and Boeing 737 to use the airport.

For such a historical state, Melaka needs just that. During my student days at Sekolah Menengah Munshi Abdullah in Batu Berendam, the airport was a popular place among students on every weekend. The first ‘big’ airplane we got to know then was the Fokker F28.

Let it be a good lesson

Now that Paklah has come down hard on Ahmad Ismail, Malaysians should bear in mind that politics of racism is not permitted in this country. It is not going to be easy for Ahmad but it WILL also not going to be a leeway for those from MCA, Gerakan, DAP or other political and non-political organisations to make racial statements from now on. Let this be a good lesson. Malaysian politics should stay focus on nation-building and not to tear it apart.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Please act fast on Ahmad, will you Pak Lah?

Ahmad Ismail continues to slur racial sentiment. I dont wanna say much anymore. Hope Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi got 'guts' to impose heavy penalty on this guy.

We cannot let him to go on. As this is fasting month, I should refrain from talking too much.

Pak Lah and Syed Hamid, please safeguard the stability of our country by freeing her from any subversive elements. Ahmad Ismail can spill blood...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ahmad Ismail is a time-bomb... EXPEL HIM FROM UMNO!

What happened to you, Ahmad Ismail? What has got into you? First, you created uneasiness among multi-racial Malaysians with your Aug 23 statements. And today, you urged Barisan Nasional to expel Gerakan! You are not so level-headed, after all! What has Gerakan do to you? If you dont share the same views with that of Dr Koh Tsu Koon, call him for debate, discussion or whatever forum that you prefer. Why must you disharmonise the ruling party? What's your motive? What will be your gain should BN expels Gerakan, one of its major component? I dont understand you at all and I believe no Malaysians will do either. Rather than seeing Gerakan off, many would agree with me that you should be expelled from Umno instead! For good! Other means of actions should also be considered. The Prime Minister, as BN chairman must not compromise with this kind of sentiment. As a division chief who must collaborate well with others, such a call can be best described as developing a time-bomb in multi-racial politics. We just hope that Gerakan leaders and members will not take it up too seriously. Ahmad may got his own motive.... September 16, maybe? My calls for all Malaysians, stay united! Any problems, we've got proper channels to voice it out. I am not for Pak Lah or Anwar or anybody else but when our solidarity and stability are at stake, we are ONE!

SPIT ON YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S GRAVE!

I dont want to comment on what Wong Chun Wai and Syed Nadzri wrote. What Dr Mahathir wrote, too, should not arouse sentiment as he (as a former Prime Minister) is very much aware of the whole scenario ignited by Bukit Bendera Umno division head Ahmad Ismail.

As I wrote in my previous posting, the issue of descendants and roots should be put behind us. After 51 years of Independence, Malaysia cant affort another chaos like that of 1969. We have had enough of it. Its time to consolidate, to manage this big house of us.

I have full respect for what MCA sec-gen Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said on Sunday that Barisan Nasional is a big house built by Umno, MCA and MIC as Parti Perikatan after Merdeka. There is now way that any member of this house will leave (to join others) and ruin it.

This is a true Malaysian spirit, the spirit of co-existence, muhibah and mutual respect. Let's not spoil it by making desparaging remarks about our roots - that Malaysian Chinese came from China, the Indians came from India and the Malays have got their roots in Indonesia, Thailand and elsewhere.

Its bad, very bad! For Malaysians to question each others' roots is like what a Malay proverb says, 'Meludah ke langit, kena muka sendiri' (If you spit upwards, it will fall on your face).

Almost 80 per cent of Malaysians, including the Malays, have their roots elsewhere. So, people like Ahmad Ismail should realise this (I think his ancestors are from India or Pakistan or the Gulf).

We actually should leave it to the domain of the individual citizen, irrespective of where their ancestors were from. Even my great grandpas were from Sumatera (my mom's family) and Lisbon (my dad's). Only my late grandpa was born here but my parents were born, bred and brought up in this lovely country, and so did I and the rest of my siblings.

Thinking about it, there is nothing sensitive asking about roots but to politicise it should not be allowed. It is our personal domain. As we have shared this country for so many years now, why should we dig up the history?

Remember how Iraq invaded Kuwait in the late 90s? Because they claimed that Kuwait used to be part of them.

Imagine if Malaysia still hold to similar account that Singapore was part of us... what will happen?

So, if any of you out there wanna talk about roots and ancestors again, go spit on your grandmother's grave first!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fukuda's last e-mail...

I was actually shocked when Japanese premier Yasuo Fukuda resigned abruptly last week. After a series of e-mails, I finally got a simple explaination from him, probably his last e-mail as a Prime Minister.

"There is a saying that I like very much: Dragons do not have snake scales. A dragon is covered with hundreds of thousands of scales. But if even one of them is a snake scale, then that is no true dragon. It is merely a snake that has turned into a false dragon. My take on this expression is that no matter how excellent a certain policy may appear to be, if it contains a single lie, you will not be able to trick the people into buying into it. I believe that politicians must constantly feel and fear the sharp gaze of the people on them. Unless the people are able to be certain that the political realm is safe, they cannot be reassured. Only when the people feel safe and reassured will they definitely come to place their trust in politics. Safety, a sense of reassurance, and trust. I will say no more. Thank You"

I pray for his success and health in his new undertakings... and I still remember a John Howard's (former Aussie premier) e-mail to me about two years ago... "every leader must subscribe to the right liberty..."

Look before you leap!

Sin Chew Jit Poh will not apologise, neither will Ahmad Ismail. The cracks are everywhere.

Nonetheless, no point to blame each other. No need to apply pressure on Sin Chew or Ahmad to apologise.

The bottom line is, Malaysians should be more careful in making any statement that may incite racial and religious anger. We have been in Merdeka mood over the past 51 years and every citizen deserves every legitimate rights bestowed upon them.

I personally believe Ahmad shouldnt has raised the 'pra-Merdeka' issue in his speech in Permatang Pauh on Aug 23. Malaysians are aware or their roots. If Ahmad wanted some supports for his statements, then he should as well say that Indians came from India, many Malays came from Indonesia and the Kelantanese (some) got their ancestors in Thailand or Kampuchea.

Come on. Be sensible about it. Many Malays, too, are descendents of Java, Maluku, Sumatera and Kalimantan.

Questioning someone's root is okay but to say they are immigrants after they were born, bred and contribute to our nation-building, is not proper. We share the same roof now.

For that Sin Chew reporter whom Ahmad accused of misreporting (if he really did), please subscribe to the prudent concept of journalism, be factual.

We dont want to create any chaos in this lovely nation. We dont want to become like Thailand or Iraq or the Philippines or any countries oftenly plunged into politics of racial and religious sensitivities.

For Ahmad and that Sin Chew reporter, use your brain next time, will ya?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I was in a blogger-friendly Republic...

I was away for 5 days. I missed out the Merdeka celebration and I had my early fasting days abroad, in a blogger-friendly nation about 5-hrs flight from Kuala Lumpur. However, few hundred Malaysians in the capital city brought me some cheers on the eve of Aug 31.

Owing my gratitude to an ambassador, I was there to attend a reunion. I was one of the 30 Asian journalists on a fellowship study in the mid 90s.

Meeting old friends (some already retired) made me wonder how short life can be. In a country like Malaysia, where life expectancy for males is around 72, we dont many more years to go.

I met few dignitaries of whom 2 are ministers and 5 formers. A topic over a dinner session really drew my fullest attention - bloggers!

"We know many bloggers in the country. Some are pro-government while the rest are not. They are free to write anything, from criticising the President to calling members of the Cabinet names and other things.

"No action has been taken because we know they have reasons to do so. However, 2 bloggers were arrested earlier this month for trying to spread communism in their blogs," according to an ex-minister of information.

"There are also pro and anti-government publications. If we need to take action, then we'll have to put to jail some 200,000 anti-government bloggers! The government dont heed to unscrupulous writings... the people know their leaders and government better.

"If we need them to clarify something, they Home Ministry, the Information Ministry or special representatives of the President will call respective bloggers to office."

The President, too, got a blog which carries comments, answers and counter-statements to what were posted by bloggers.

"Its good, you know. We have a special task force that enlists top 30 pro and 30 anti-government bloggers. We call them for a monthly chat. We share ideas over tea or coffee.

"Some inputs on the blogs are very good and constructive. This people are journalists, ex-government officials and other professionals who, at times, would like to be heard, too. And so, the pen down their opinions and suggestions for the government to consider.

"Some are really hardcores but we chose those whom we consider can give and take in our monthly discussion. This is democratic... very, very democratic. But of course this is a one race-nation, unlike Malaysia," he added.

Even the minister said there was no way for the government to monitor, control and block all bad blogs.

"No way! The moment you block one, another 1,000 will come up. So, live with it. As long as they dont try to run down the government in an undemocratic manner, dont incite hatred among the citizens and dont put our diplomatic relations with other countries at stake, then its ok."