Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A pathetic Merdeka eve!

No celebration, no countdown and no fireworks. It killed the spirit of Merdeka at Dataran Merdeka. About 30,000 people, including foreigners who jammed the Dataran and the Sultan Abdul Samad building, left in frustration.

Why? Is Ramadan a deterring factor? Does the government want to save money on fireworks? Or those on top have lost the sense of patriotism!

Hey! Come on la Najib! This is Malaysia! Do you know that thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life flocked the Dataran - in a true 1Malaysian spirit - to share one important bond which can bring them closer? The Merdeka celebration lar!

Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs and others were seen grouping together, forgetting race, religion and colors in an event that should augur well in bringing success to your 1Malaysia concept. They are our people, our Malaysians. Do you think its easy to make them as one without an important event like this?

And we are sidelining the historic Sultan Abdul Samad building. Just because we already have Putrajaya and other venues for our National Day official parade, why cant we maintain the annual Merdeka eve celebration there? At least, Rais Yatim's ministry can arrange a countdown to Merdeka celebration and some fireworks there!

Some tourists whom I met there an hour ago was also frustrated. No firework and no countdown like we used to have. Can I suggest that we demolish Sultan Abdul Samad building as it plays no more role for Merdeka celebration?

What is Rais doing? Trying to save money? You expect everybody to go to Bukit Jalil for the official celebration? Please la bro! You are the Minister of Information, Culture and Heritage. What do Sultan Abdul Samad building and Dataran Merdeka mean to Malaysia and Malaysians?

Dont talk about unity if you people up there fail to recognise the importance of such events. When will you ever get the similar chance to see them gathering as one again? Hari Raya? Chinese New Year? Or your birthday?

And did you yourself see how many cars hoisted the Jalur Gemilang this year? So pathetic! Why? Better ask and answer it yourself!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Indonesia issues a warning


Update at 4.40pm - Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to discuss the border dispute in Kota Kinabalu on Sept 6 (read here).


No discount from the Indonesians! Settle all border and territorial disputes or face a 'hard' action - such are the warnings issued by Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur amidst escalating tension that sours Malaysia-Indonesia diplomatic relation.

“The Malaysian authorities should understand that Indonesian people anger has been accumulated for the continuous border dispute between the two countries,” the Indonesian House of Representatives Commission 1 chairman, Mahfudz Siddiq from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday.

He also said that the Malaysian government should have acted wiser before issuing a travel warning for its citizens to visit Indonesia. Such a move, he added, was an over-reaction that could deepen the crisis (here).

Back home, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expressed his disappointment over the incidents at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Najib had expressed his disappointment at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday after he was given a briefing on what had transpired.

"Of course he was very disappointed. He finds it is wrong for them to do that. But he has faith in the Indonesian authority, he has faith in the President that this matter will be settled," he told reporters after receiving a courtesy call by a delegation from the Duta Belia 2010 Indonesia at Wisma Putra, here Thursday (here).

Now, either Malaysia or Indonesia, what are the leaders doing? Just sit tight and wait and see? Or keep on issuing statements and making new remarks? Until when? Until someone dares to pull the trigger?

So, stop making disparaging statements and go to the round table, instead. As far as our cooperation is concerned, it remains intact. What happened should serve as a lesson to both parties to be more serious in managing whatever dispute between them. Prolonging it will not only make the people 'sick' but will adversely affect their spirit of brotherhood.

here is a comment by blogger Ozz in Jakarta, quite interesting:

As a Malaysian in Jakarta, I view those incidents at our embassy as "pukul anak sindir menantu". BENDERA is a body that was set up under PDIP-Perjuangan lead by Megawati, the opposition. Even their headquarter was once PDIP's office in Menteng. Anything that will hurt SBY will be taken as opportunity to condemn him and Malaysia is the victim. Those demonstrators were just paid opportunist that will just feel satisfied with a pack of rice and some pocket money. Opposition politicians are behind all demonstrations held there. Government to government relations are very strong and not easily can be provoked by some political monkeys. Most of my Indonesian brothers and sisters have more important things to think about. I stick to my opinion as Indonesia's politicians always think they are the big brother of ours and arrogantly couldn't accept if the younger brother is much better and more prosper than them.

read also Previous Flashpoints between Malaysia, Indonesia

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Msia-Indonesia: We are still very patience


In Jakarta, President Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono said relations between Indonesia and Malaysia remain strong despite anti-Malaysia street demonstrations by 'a few small groups', and that he didnt think that will sour any bilateral ties.

In Kuala Lumpur, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Malaysia was losing patience over such incidents, and bilateral ties could be affected should Jakarta fails to put an end to such ugly episodes (here).

“I am saddened that the demonstrations still continue, not only in Jakarta, but also at our consulates in Indonesia although we have agreed to resolve the issues pertaining to the arrest of seven Malaysian fishermen and three Indonesian maritime officials,” he said.

Anifah warned that Malaysia’s patience had been tested and would not tolerate the situation for much longer. “They have their own political and domestic problems in Indonesia. But we do not want Malaysia to become the victim."

However, what Susilo said was not in tune with the harsh statement by his Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa that Indonesia can only withdraw its ambassador to Malaysia when all Indonesians return home.

“We can withdraw our ambassador, but after that, we are still going to face a lot of problems, such as our workers who are threatened by dead penalties, illegal logging, and so on,” Marty said during a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission I on Foreign Affairs in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Marty also said there were a lot of Indonesian people working in Malaysia, so cutting any diplomatic ties with that country could give more burdens.

The commission chairman, Mahfudz Siddiq from the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), said he could understand Marty’s view.

“However, for now we cannot only stop by issuing an official diplomatic note as a sign of protest to Malaysia,” Mahfudz said (here).

“We need stronger political actions, which will not only prompt Malaysia to discuss about the border issues, but to also make that country realize that the unclear border disputes have given Indonesia nothing but economic losses."

Well, from my point of view, the issue has been exaggerated and thrown out of proportion. Some parties tried to lucre from it, i.e by arranging massive 'home return' for Indonesians.

Whatever it is, diplomatic settlement is still the best way. As far as relations between our two countries are concerned, it remain as 'we-need-each-other'. Dont our friends in Indonesia think so?

also read Dunia Tiger's SIAPAKAH DALANG SEBENAR?


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Malaysia depends on its Chinese, right?

"IT is generally recognized that the Chinese are the merchants that drive the (Malaysian) economy, the Indians are the lawyers that facilitate the economy and the Malays are the politicians that skim the profits off the economy. Most Chinese and Indians that have the financial ability; leave the country. The best and brightest students all head for Singapore where the playing field is more equitable or Australia. In Singapore, their top students each year overall is usually from either Indonesia or Malaysia and these kids half kill themselves studying so they can be offered residency rather than go back to Malaysia/Indonesia."

No! It didnt come from me. If you read some comments about the Malaysian economy in Time.com, you will come across it. Not sure whether the writer is a Malaysian or not, it painted a 'not-so-right' picture about us, dont you readers agree?

Another one reads: "...the most important feature of Malaysian politics/social life is the NEP and NEP is more importantly based on race rather than economic status. The native Malays or Bumiputera or Bumis for short are given for example 7% discount in housing which other minorities like Chinese and Indians who fall in the low income bracket do not get. All companies listed in the KL stock exchange must have 30% Malay ownership... Government projects must be tendered by Bumis..."

We have heard too many of this but an article written by Michael Schuman has 'inspired' such criticism toward Malaysia.

Who should correct this 'perception-cum-impression'? Dont we have sufficient and efficient counter-mechanism for such attacks?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scrap Lahad Datu's coal-fired plant!


A posting by Rockybru on Friday, Aug 20 about the billion ringgit coal-fired plant in Lahad Datu near Sandakan, Sabah draws my attention. And taking the Q from him, I would like to add a few lines (or facts) about it.

I wonder whether Che Khalib Mohamad Noh is still one of the directors of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd who was also responsible in 'approving' the project. And, is his buddy at Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Abdul Razak Majid still holding similar SEB directorship? (here)

If so, both can give a lengthy asnwer to the progress of the coal-fired plant, which was met with criticism not only from people in Lahad Datu and Sandakan but NGOs and environmentalists alike. And the rumors that it was meant as a 'parting gift' for Pak Lah and his friends (who could they be?) has opened up questions to possibility - that it was a syndicated political project.

However, I dont want to go into its depth. What concerns me and many is the fact that the EIA reports was in favor of such a plant, which has been banned in many countries like most in Europe for its devastating air pollution impact.

What went wrong at the EIA agency? Who got the order to tamper with its originally 'obstructing contents' and gave it a 'clear' for the construction of the plant? If nobody wants to answer this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will have no choice but to set up an inquiry on it.

Something was not right with the site report, either. It was originally proposed some 10km from the shore but it was then agreed that it must be built by the sea as it would accommodate the setting up of a port for ships ferrying coals.

Another burning issue is that, the Bakun Dam project which is expected to be completed in 2011 should be able to supply enough energy to the needs of Lahad Datu and Sandakan.

The argument is simple - the government, via TNB, plans a 676km submarine cables across the South China Sea to connect Bakun and Peninsular Malaysia, when in fact the distance from Miri to Sandakan is only 480km. Besides, the idea to sell Bakun's electricity to Brunei and Kalimantan has to be reconsidered. Why cant we sell it to the people and industry in Sabah and Sarawak first instead of providing it to other countries?

Maybe we could also consider the summary of the EIA reports here and comments by those who have read it.

Excerpts:

Transportation via marine vessels will generate waste oils and bilge water. If not properly managed and disposed, these will lead to pollution of marine waters. Piling and trenching activities will increase the turbidity in the construction and adjacent area. According to the hydraulic modelling results, the suspended sediment concentrations in excess of 50mg/l in the worst case scenario (during the North East Monsoon) are limited to only within about 150m from the piling and trenching sites (on both sides).


I am not an expert. Maybe Rocky and the rest of you can understand it. But my summary is simple: stop the plan, fully-utilise Bakun's supply and leave Lahad Datu's shores clean and healthy. To those who wanted to benefit from the project, you are doomed!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

M'sia ranks 37th, Finland (a country of extremes) is top - Newsweek (or News Weak)

Helsinki, capital of Finland


Newsweek ranks Malaysia as the world's 37th best country and among the best in Asia, just below Japan (9) and Singapore (20) in terms of education and economic dynamism. Top three are Finland, Switzerland and Sweden (here).

I dont know how precise Newsweek's ratings are. Obviously, some Finns didn't agree with it at all, citing the domestic and social problems as criteria to be taken into consideration.

Malaysia is also listed as the eighth best in education among the upper middle-income countries. Singapore ranks top in the economic dynamism category. Newsweek attributed it to Singapore’s 'manageable' size.

The Guardian said, for a country of extremes, Finland doesnt deserve such a rating. "But what about suicides, depression, alcoholism and our cold, dark winters?" many Finns protested yesterday after the announcement by the magazine (here).

"But gloating does not come naturally to us, even though Finland has topped the OECD global education assessment three times in a row. There is an underside to the educational excellence. Two bloody school massacres, in 2007 and 2008, claimed 20 lives," it added.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tops the ranking of the world's best leader. Read the article 'India The Best Place To Fly A Kite...' by Times of India.

The eroding patriotism...


I felt like an alien while taking a drive around the capital city yesterday. So many eyes were on me, as if I was committing a crime. Why? I was (perhaps) the only one hoisting the Jalur Gemilang on my car. A few minutes later, I saw another national flag hoisted on a garbage truck.

Just 10 more days to National Day and it has been almost two weeks since the government launched the 'Kibarkan Jalur Gemilang' to encourage Malaysians getting more patriotic about their own country.

Nope! Things are not like 10 or 20 years ago when Malaysians really took part in it. What's happening here? Are Malaysians losing their sense of belonging or just couldnt care less about Hari Kebangsaan? Or they rather save their money on a RM1 flag but spend a few hundred ringgit on other things (like wine and dine), just like taking a long drive in order to avoid paying a 50 sen toll?

And how many of our kids and the younger generation today can recite Rukun Negara and understand it?

Poor Malaysia! You are being forgotten...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finally, Najib speaks up


Thank you Mr Prime Minister for speaking up although it took you about 5 days after your political subordinates from Umno and MCA got involved in a silly verbal war, which many of us thought it shouldnt have taken place at all (read here).

As chairman of Barisan Nasional, you were right about the needs for component parties to resolved sensitive matters in the spirit of consensus, and not by opening up a 'free for all' bout.

However, it will be proper to discuss whatever differences behind close doors. The new media nowadays are quick at contemplating, some in your favor and some are not.

Your 1Malaysia doesnt need such batterings. If all parties abide to the true spirit of cooperation and tolerance, everybody will be fine.

Umno and MCA have internal problems too. Leaders of both sides must try hard to win the support of their respective party members and not being obsessed by petty issues. Should one party falters, the impact on BN will be disastrous!

So, Umno and MCA - put that ugly episode behind...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BN too is in deep shit...

'Ban PERKASA - This group is only good at making police reports'. Interesting piece written by a Star reader under its Citizen's Blog column. The comment was meant for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

Image from Free Malaysia Today


Among others, it reads: "...Imagine this, UMNO has PERKASA, and then MCA has another "WARRIOR" group, and MIC has "SAMMI CHEN" group. All parties fighthing among each other within BN. All parties making police report against each other. How do you expect Malaysian will support BN in our next general election?"

So, the 'war' rages on. Adding fuel to the fire is Utusan Malaysia which posted a stinging article against MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and MCA. MCA is, of course Chinese.

I am not sure whether it is wise to ban Perkasa or 'Sammi Chen' or other one-race organisations but I am sure of one thing - that Barisan Nasional is heading into the ravine should all this frictions are not resolved by the next general election.

During Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's era, any dispute within the BN was discussed at special meetings. There was always a way out to every problem. The cooperation spirit among component parties remained high.

What happens after his era is really beyond comprehension. Cross-accusation and back biting becomes so rampant since BN 'losses' in the last general election. Nobody wanted to take full responsibility for the poor results that saw Pakatan Rakyat cutting BN's traditionally two-third majority at the Dewan Rakyat.

It went on and on until former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said non-Malays too can become a prime minister of Malaysia, which opened up the 'floodgate' to social-beatings among the three dominant race in the country. To some extent, the Malays accused the Chinese as getting 'big-headed' with such a statement, and as such are working closely with the DAP to realise that dream.

On the other hand, the Chinese were accusing the Malays of wanting to 'rob' what they have achieved thus far, and when Perkasa came into the picture with its 'fight-for-the-Malays' slogan, the friendship gap was widened. With more Umno leaders and members joining Perkasa, the Chinese and Indians felt that they, too must establish their own Perkasa-like organisation.

And when Chua made such a statement during the Chinese Economic Congress last Saturday, touching on the Malay equity and quotas, plus a soft warning about the possibility of MCA 'agreeing' with DAP in terms of the Chinese interests, Umno leaders jumped from their seats. Even Najib's deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reminded Chua not to loose his footing over the sensivities of the Malays.

Adding salt to the wound was the mainstream media, especially Utusan which blasted Chua and the Chinese, forgetting that if BN goes down the drain in the next general election, they would be among the first to face the music. Then came Perkasa, lodging a police report against Chua.

So, where are we heading to? What is there to offer the voters if no simple calculation can mend the rift before the Parliament is dissolved? If more and more people want to become heroes of their respective race and sect, may as well we surrender the government to Anwar Ibrahim now! At least, he knows where and how to screw you people!

I do not wish to add anything. If our leaders read this, I dont think they realise and want to admit their mistakes. Sesungguhnya aku sedang berpuasa...


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hari Raya on Sept 11: American Muslims in fear

Perhaps many of us, especially the Muslims dont realise this - that Hari Raya Aidilfitri (1 Syawal) this year will either fall on Sept 10 or 11. In the United States, the American Muslims are living in fear that the end of Ramadan on Sept 11 will bring no celebration.

Muslims in America, particularly in New York City, are under sustained barrages of attacks. The latest in the salvo, is the palpable fear. Some in America seem to be subscribing to the silliness, that those who are not Christians and not of their ethnic group, are not entirely human.

They are afraid to celebrate Syawal. Thousands are now operating under fear of physical attacks. Many of them have publicly express fears of attacks as reprisal for the September 11, 2001, which has been tied around the necks of the Islam and Muslims, and as such, the fasting season this year ends coincidentally on or about September 11, 2010.

If they celebrate Syawal on that day, Americans will accuse the Muslims of celebrating September 11.

continue reading...

read also an interesting comment in The Washington Post.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Malays must unite, the Chinese must not...

update - The rumble between Umno and its Chinese allies in the Barisan Nasional has escalated, with the Umno-linked newspaper Utusan Malaysia dedicating pages of articles focused on flaying the MCA following its bold calls for economic liberalisation. Read Free Malaysia Today...

earlier posting...

DPM Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday told Chua Soi Lek not to make any statements that are prejudicial to other races, and advised the MCA president to be 'open minded and more concern about the sensitivities of other races' (here).

I am not so sure what prompted the Umno deputy-president to snub Chua as I dont see anything WRONG with what the latter has said at a Chinese Economic Congress on Saturday, that MCA would not be afraid of sharing similar views with the DAP in terms of the interests of the Chinese community or choose to run away from making a stand.

Why do I think so when deep inside I am also against what Chua has said?

Its all about the Malays and the Malays, the Chinese and the Chinese, and soon Indians and the Indians. Right?

When Perkasa proposed for a 'Malay unity party' comprising of a dissolved Umno and Pas, many Umno leaders came forward to second it. In fact, statements by some Umno Supreme Council members opened the floodgate to racial sentiments - that such an idea was not impossible.

What is Pas to Umno and Barisan Nasional? And what is wrong if MCA is to adopt the same approach mooted by Ibrahim Ali and then being seconded by people like Ahmad Shabery Chik and others?

The Malays are Malaysians. The Chinese are Malaysians... and so are the Indians and other races. So, what is wrong if they work for the common interest of their own race, just like what Umno and Pas are working on?

I rather not call this double standard as there is no 'standard' at all to tell others to shut up when we ourselves keep on talking nonsense.

And on Sunday, the president of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), Bernard Dompok said raising matters that need the attention of the country's leadership is the responsibility of every citizen and should not be seen as going against the government (read here).

"BN should resolve basic issues to strengthen the BN itself...But we don't give ultimatum, we are here. We have always been loyal to BN for more than a decade, and we feel we must do our part as responsible citizens of this country and explain to the leadership of this country how we feel about the issues, how it should be settled, this is what we have been doing all this time."

So, what is 1Malaysia? IMelayu party? 1China party? 1India party?

Think about it, bro!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hisham admits it, what about Najib and the rest?

Finally, Hisham admits the fact that Umno members are actually fed up of infighting and bickering within the party. Whether he really sees and understands the whole situation in Umno, especially in Terengganu, is not important but his approach counts.

I am not sure whether he acknowledges the worsening infighting among Umno leaders, notably at states and divisions level as he himself has his politics in command of him. Whether he will advance further (he used to avow of aspiring to become a prime minister) or getting saturated at where he is now, only God knows.

He is not as friendly as before, so say many of his friends and colleagues. He gets snobbish by the day. He despises bloggers, including pro-government bloggers whom he describes as 'menyusahkan'. In other words, we are just a pain in the ass. But he loves the Press, calling press conferences and issuing statements frequently. Any difference between the mainstream media and bloggers?

Even efforts by his aides to arrange a 'bloggers meet Hisham session' was either called off or rescheduled many times. Afraid, maybe?

Now, does he understands what infighting among Umno leaders is? (read here) What kind of info did he get from Ahmad Said. Does he believe in all the feedback feeded to him by Terengganu Umno? Does he trust the people who gave him such info?

Terengganu is a 50-50 state at this particular moment. Should we call for a general election this year, the state will fall to Pas and the Pakatan Rakyat. Not only Terengganu, Kelantan will remain as a Pas stronghold, Selangor will see almost all Umno state seats fall to the Opposition, Johor will have more Opp Aduns, Kedah and Perlis will go to PR, Perak is a doubtful winner while in Melaka, Ali Rustam himself could lose in his own constituency.

What about the Dewan Rakyat? Barisan Nasional's majority would be reduced to between 6 and 10 seats. Will Hisham survive his?

Umno leaders like Hisham should look deeply into problems plaguing the party. Dont deny the fact that many Umno members have voted for the Opposition in the last general elections, hoping for the leadership to change. They were taught a good lesson.

Sadly, nothing seems to have changed. Umno leaders still love rhetoric, calling on members to continue supporting them. 'Siapalah kita tanpa Umno!' but what would become of the party if more and more members leaving it for Pas or PKR?

We are happy and proud to read news by the mainstream media that more and more Pas and PKR members are joining Umno but at the same time do we notice how many Umno members are crossing over? In Terengganu, situation gets worse each day. Does Hisham know that there are political empires at few Umno divisions in the state? What is he going to do about it? What kind of a picture that you got from Ahmad Said?

Most of Umno top leaders today were born with a golden spoon in their mouth. Najib and Hisham are sons of former premiers while the others are descendants of the rich and famous. They take things too lightly. Whatever happens at the grassroots is none of their business, just leave it to the state or division heads to attend it.

Umno members do not fancy stuck-up leaders who come with dozens bodyguards and luxury cars to their branch or division. As most division heads are also like many Umno leaders - getting rich quickly after being appointed to their respective positions - they only choose their own people to safeguard their interest. They only call on members to 'buy' them in the next party elections.

Some divisions have its own political empires. Apart from being a division head, his wife is the Wanita chief, his daughter as the Puteri chief while his son holds the Pemuda division chief. Umno leadership is aware of this ugly trend but there is nothing they can do about it as the precedent has been set.

So, like it or not, let the members judge the party and its leaders again in the next general election! You may not want to read posting like this but let me tell you this - Umno is getting irrelevant by the day because of its leaders' ignorant game!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Felda, 'Jikiden' dan nasib Melayu...

Malaysia akan menyambut Hari Kemerdekaannya yang ke-53 pada 31 Ogos ini. Ramai yang menganggap 53 sebagai tua dan ramai juga menganggapnya muda. Apa pun, saya sudah lama teringin menulis mengenai hal Melayu selepas 53 tahun merdeka, dan sebab itu juga saya hanya ingin menulis dalam Bahasa Malaysia. Jika ada Melayu yang tidak setuju dengan pendapat saya atau ada pandangan lebih baik, silalah tinggalkan komen atau e-mail saya. Ini semata-mata untuk 'mengusik' minda orang saya, bangsa saya sendiri - Melayu - agar kita sama-sama berfikir.

Sejak di bangku sekolah rendah, saya banyak bercampur dengan golongan lebih tua. Banyak perkara baik dan yang tidak baik saya timba daripada mereka. Abah saya, Hj Harun Abu Bakar, banyak menceritakan kisah zaman silamn
ya untuk dijadikan teladan kepada anak-cucu. Datuk, nenek, bapa saudara dan orang tua yang saya kenal (ramai yang sudah tiada) turut memberi pelbagai kisah suka-duka sebagai pengajaran dan ingatan untuk generasi akan datang. Antaranya:

1. Apabila kisah mengenai Felda muflis digembar-gemburkan oleh media massa dan blog, saya tertarik dengan cara Felda dibangunkan dan dijadikan sebuah perbadanan yang gah pada hari ini. Duit raya RM350 yang diumumkan oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dua hari lepas turut mencuri perhatian saya.

Ini kerana ramai yang mencemuh duit sebanyak itu. Manalah nak cukup menampung keperluan sebuah keluarga peneroka yang makin besar hari ini, bukannya pada zaman mereka mula-mula jadi peneroka atau ketika anak masih seorang dua. Dalam bahasa Inggeris, ia disebut 'chicken feed', maknanya cukup untuk beri ayam makan saja. Amat kecil dan tak bermakna langsung, kata mereka. Ada juga yang mengaitkannya dengan pilihanraya umum akan diadakan tidak lama lagi. Oleh kerana Felda diletakkan di bawah bidang kuasa Najib, maka beliau terpaksalah mengumpan peneroka.

Saya teringatkan kisah jikiden atau jiki-dan yang dilaksanakan oleh pemerintah Jepun kira-kira sebulan selepas menakluk Malaya pada Perang Dunia Kedua (diceritakan oleh abah saya). Tentera Jepun ketika itu memecahkan lot-lot tanah penduduk kampung dalam seekar sekeluarga dan mewajibkan mereka menanam apa saja seperti ubi, keledek dan sebagainya sebagai bahan makanan.

Tanah ini mestilah diusahakan bersungguh-sungguh dan mengikut jadual yang ditetapkan oleh pengawas yang dilantik oleh Jepun.

Antara tanaman wajib ketika itu ialah pokok jarak. Sesiapa yang ingkar pasti menerima hukuman. Buah jarak ini dikutip untuk diproses dan dijadikan minyak pesawat pejuang tentera Jepun. Ia amat baik dan berprestasi tinggi, mengikut kajian orang Jepun ketika itu.

Pokok dan buah jarak

Malangnya, orang Melayu mengambil masa 53 tahun selepas merdeka untuk mengkaji produk biodiesel daripada pokok dan buah jarak ini. Hanya selepas tempoh itu saja orang Melayu mula terfikir untuk menguji dan menggunakannya sedangkan datuk-nenek mereka dahulu sudah menanam dan mellihat hasilnya. Orang Jepun pasti terkejut dengan 'kedunguan' Melayu ketika ini.

Memanglah Felda tidak diurus seperti jikiden dan pokok jarak tidak pernah ditanam. Felda bermula dengan tanaman getah. Hanya selepas nilai getah di pasaran dunia merosot, ia diganti dengan tananam kelapa sawit secara besar-besaran hingga meliputi Sabah dan Sarawak. Bantuan kerajaan kepada peneroka Felda, Risda dan Felcra hari ini tidak dialami di zaman jikiden tetapi pengurusan Jikiden, pada hemat saya, lebih berkesan dalam memastikan 'pesertanya' benar-benar komited manakala hasilnya memuaskan.

Felda hari ini ditadbir sebagai perbadanan. Ia banyak membabitkan politik Melayu. Oleh kerana rata-rata penerokanya ialah Melayu, mereka perlu dijaga untuk kepentingan undi Umno khasnya dan Barisan Nasional umumnya. Tanggapan umum ialah, Felda patut diletakkan di bawah Kementerian Pembangunan Luar Bandar. Bagaimanapun, Najib mengambil tanggungjawab penuh ke atas Felda kerana ia banyak menyumbang kepada ekonomi Melayu dan negara, di samping fakta ia diasaskan oleh Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak.

Felda turut menjadi lombong emas Najib, kata pembangkang. Pembekal baja, pembekal benih sawit dan kontraktor yang terbabit dengan Felda semuanya perlu mendapat kelulusan Najib dan kebanyakan daripada mereka adalah mereka yang kenal dan dikenali Najib, kata mereka. Kerana itulah Najib meletakkan pejabat seranta dan korporat Felda di Jabatan Perdana Menteri agar ia berurusan terus dengan beliau. Misalnya, mana-mana syarikat yang ingin membekalkan baja kepada Felda perlu menulis surat permohonan terus kepada Perdana Menteri untuk perhatian. Benarkah?

Memang benar Felda tidak ditadbir secara jikiden tetapi sampai bilakah hanya getah dan sawit saja boleh menentukan hala tuju Felda? Tak inginkah kita mencuba pokok jarak dan tananam lain pula? Ketika masalah sosial di kalangan generasi ketiga Felda makin parah, tidak adakah usaha bersungguh-sungguh kerajaan untuk menanganinya? Ketika keluarga Felda makin besar dan rumah mereka kian sempit untuk menampung sehingga dua atau tiga kelamin, cukupkah usaha yang dibuat setakat ini bagi mengatasi masalah perumahan mereka?

Kenapakah Felda dipolitikkan sedangkan ramai penerokanya masih tidak mampu membesarkan rumah atau membina rumah baru untuk generasi kedua dan ketiga mereka? Logikkah syarat perumahan yang dikenakan bagi melayakkan mereka mendapatkan pinjaman institusi kewangan bagi membiayai rumah baru? Tahukah Felda dan kerajaan bahawa masih ramai peneroka masih kais pagi, makan pagi; kais petang, makan petang atau 'kais pagi, makan malam'?

2. Suatu ketika dahulu, ada cadangan menubuhkan Lembaga Daging Malaysia. Sistem lembu pawah amat popular ketika itu kerana ia turut membantu bekalan daging negara. Malangnya, ia terbantut begitu saja kerana sistem pengurusan yang lemah dan pesertanya pula (kebanyakannnya Melayu) kurang pengetahuan mengenai bidang penternakan ladang dan dalam melawan penyakit binatang.

Lembaga Daging tidak jadi kenyataan. Akibatnya, Malaysia masih terus mengimport daging dan susu lembu dengan banyaknya dari Australia, New Zealand dan negara lain. Pembekal tempatan hanya mampu menyumbang tidak sampai lima peratus kepada keperluan negara. Isu gagalnya penubuhan Lembaga ini banyak dikaitkan dengan politik, kononnya ada pihak yang menghasut kerajaan ketika itu agar melupakan saja hasrat berkenaan dan sebaliknya mengaut laba daripada import yang mereka luluskan.

Akan jadi janggalkah jika peserta Felda hari ini diberi kelonggaran menternak lembu secara besar-besaran? Dalam pengetahuan saya, sebuah ladang ternak lembu tenusu di Jengka mampu menyumbang kepada keperluan produk tempatan walaupun tidak sampai 3 peratus tetapi perusahaan itu turut menjadi mangsa politik agensi kerajaan. Karenah birokrasi yang tidak difahami hujung-pangkalnya sering mencemaskan pengusahanya. Di suatu ketika, hasil tenusunya tidak dapat dijual kerana agensi terbabit gagal mendapat hasil memuaskan daripada ujiannya yang turut pincang. Hanya selepas ujian sebenar dibuat, barulah produk berkenaan disahkan bersih dan berkhasiat.

Selepas 53 tahun merdeka, kita masih gagal memenuhi walaupun separuh daripada keperluan daging dan produk tenusu tempatan, sedangkan ia boleh dan mudah dilaksanakan jika tidak kerana politik sesetengah pihak, terutamanya pemimpin dan pegawai Melayu yang tamak haloba. Hanya selepas 53 tahun merdeka dan 65 tahun Jepun meninggalkan Malaya, barulah ada kesedaran untuk berpaling ke belakang. Malangnya, dalam arus kemodenan politik dan sosio-ekonomi yang menjurus kepada pembangunan industri, kita sebenarnya lupa bahawa banyak wang dibelanjakan untuk benda tertentu yang kosnya boleh diselamatkan jika ia dibuat di sini.

3. Saya tidak pasti sama ada getah yang pernah ditanam di kawasan Felda, Risda dan Felcra adalah dari benih bermutu tinggi. Dari apa yang saya dengar sejak kecil, ketika tanaman getah mula diperkenalkan di negara ini, kawasan Perang Besar yang kini 'dijajah' oleh Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur di Sepang pernah menjadi tempat semaian dan pemilihan biji getah mengikut grednya. Mengikut cerita, tauke Cina yang kaya ketika itu mampu membeli benih jenis TG1 bermutu tinggi yang pokoknya tumbuh dengan baik, kulitnya cantik dan susu getahnya banyak.

Orang Melayu yang kekurangan wang pula diberikan benih TG3 atau TG4 yang kulit pokoknya menggerutu manakala hasil susunya kurang memuaskan serta hanya mampu ditoreh untuk 10 tahun sebelum ditebang kerana 'monopos'. Ketika pokok getah milik Tan Cheng Lok ketika itu mampu mengeluarkan hasil selama 15-20 tahun, pokok milik orang Melayu terpaksa ditinggalkan atau ditanam semula selepas 8-10 tahun. Estet getah yang ditadbir oleh Mat Salleh ketika itu turut menggunakan benih TG1 atau TG2.

Pembeli dan peraih getah ketika itu turut dimonopoli oleh orang Cina. Orang India ketika itu kebanyakannya bekerja dan tinggal di perumahan estet getah manakala orang Melayu sama ada menoreh getah sendiri seluas seekar dua, yang lain menanam padi atau menyertai perkhidmatan kerajaan seperti polis, tentera dan pentadbiran.

Sayang, hari ini, orang Melayu mudah menuding jari ke arah bangsa Cina, India dan yang lain kerana membolot apa yang seharusnya menjadi milik mereka. Mereka makin tidak puas hati apabila bangsa lain menguasai banyak bidang ekonomi dan kurang menyumbang dalam membantu meningkatkan pula ekonomi orang Melayu. Mereka marah apabila bangsa lain mula mempersoalkan ketuanan Melayu dalam konteks 1Malaysia sehingga mendorong mereka menubuhkan persatuan dan pertubuhan berjiwa Melayu bagi membela dan mempertahankan hak orang Melayu.

Barulah hari ini wujud kesedaran agar orang Melayu yang semuanya beragama Islam, bersatu dan merapatkan jurang ideologi dan politik mereka. Barulah hari ini mereka sedar akan kelemahan berpuak-puak dan berpecah belah sesama sendiri. Hanya selepas 53 tahun merdeka, barulah orang Melayu mula mengukur tahap mundur-maju mereka.

Saya tidak tahu ukuran apakah yang orang kita gunakan. Terserahlah kepada penilaian pemimpin dan individu Melayu itu sendiri. Tetapi baru pagi tadi saya melihat satu daripada banyak ukuran yang ada - kira-kira 15 tahun lalu hanya orang India saja yang bekerja di atas lori sampah tetapi hari ini, hanya orang Melayu saja yang saya lihat bekerja mengutip sampah; tidak ada lagi orang India!

Memang orang Melayu perlu menguasai bidang-bidang yang belum pernah mereka kuasai suatu masa dahulu! Yang ada pada mereka sejak dahulu ialah kekuatan politik... itu pun nampaknya makin lemah!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Muslim brothers go to jail for church attacks

Malaysian law today sentenced two brothers to five years in prison after they are found guilty of torching up a church earlier this year in a spate of religious uproar over the use of 'Allah' by non-Muslims. They deserve it, well enough. It shows a Muslim-majority country does not separate churches and mosques.

The January 7 torching of a church in suburban Kuala Lumpur, which sent tensions soaring in the multi-ethnic country, was "appalling and despicable", said Sessions Court judge S. M. Komathy Suppiah.

"You both by your shameful and dastardly acts, you have shamed the country," she told Raja Mohamad Faizal Raja Ibrahim, 24, and Raja Mohamad Idzham Raja Ibrahim, 22. "The message from this court must be loud and clear: Don't play with fire," she told them (read here).

Its time for Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, to put this ugly episode behind them. A multi-racial and multi-religion country like Malaysia must not allow any form of extremism which can jettison our effort to foster closer cooperation and understanding among us.

Some (Muslims) may ask what happens to those who attacked their places of worship as it would not be fair for this two brothers - let me answer on behalf of everybody - SHUT UP and get back to work for a better future!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Najib the 'clown'?

Looks like our PM is still not up expectation to some quarters of the community. They still want to find fault in him, chiding him as a 'clown' and a 'funny prime minister'. I dont know how perfect a prime minister should be to them.

One Richard Loh wrote in the Malaysian Insider that Najib's character gets funnier by the day, and the book about him which was launched on Tuesday was not necessary to explain his policies as his 'clown media' are already doing it for him.

Excerpts from 1 Funny Malaysia + 1 Funny Prime Minister:

For goodness sake, Mr Prime Minister Najib, you are getting funnier by the day. I thought only clowns are funny, they like to talk nonsense a lot to make people laugh and that’s about it, no further action required of them. Are you, Mr PM, going the way of the clown?

You have control over all the print media and they are churning out a lot of glorifying news about your capabilities — 1 Malaysia Concept, New Economic Model (NEM), National Key Result Areas (NKRA), Key Performance Indicators (KPI), efficiency, excellence, meritocracy, bla bla bla — almost everyday and you still find it not sufficient? Do you really need to publish an expensive book to explain further because the public is still laughing from reading what your clown media are churning out?

I dont know the writer but the Malaysian Insider does, perhaps.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hmmmm.... Muhyiddin...

Why all of a sudden? Tan Sri Muhyiddin said on Tuesday that his relationship with Datuk Seri Najib remains strong, and that rumours about a rift were unfounded.

Nobody asked him about it. No reporters asked him to comment on the subject at a book launching ceremony yesterday. But why did he?

I dont wish to write any further as I dont want to add anything to the rumours or to spark anything that could lead to more speculations.

Its the start of Ramadan and I dont want to spoil my day. Anyway, 'takda angin, takkan pohon bergoyang...'

Its Ramadan again!

To all Muslims, wherever you are, let's welcome the holy month of Ramadan al-Mubarak wholeheartedly. Fasting is not only an ibadah but practically a good test against all forms of greed and hunger...



Turn to U-Tube to listen to what Barack Obama tells Muslims around the world about Ramadan.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You say yes, I say no

What a farce. While the DAP is holding on to its view that the rights and privileges of the Malays/Bumiputeras should be abolished, its sparing partner in Pakatan Rakyat thinks otherwise. Pas says such rights and privileges should be retained as the Malays make the major bulk of the poors.

Its president Hadi Awang said what DAP Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua was absurd and cannot be accepted (read here).

In his proposal to the Selangor PKR government, Tony said it is time to abolish the Bumiputera discounts for purchase of houses costing more than RM500,000 and commercial properties costing more than RM2 million.

Looks like the political pact is having some loosen screws. While one says yes, the other says no.

That reminds me much of a Beatles song 'Hello, Goodbye'. A few lines which I remember are 'You say yes, I say no... you say high, and I say low, low low... You say goodbye, and I say hello..... hello hello, I dont know why you say goodbye I say hello...'

Nice song... and I think Kit Siang, Guan Eng, Nik Aziz, Anwar, Tony, Hadi and others should find a fine day for a karaoke session. Hope they like this song...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Umno is in deep shit!

To our leaders, especially in Umno - you dont have to bow to any kind of pressure, including foreigners who try to interfere in Anwar Ibrahim's court case. Dont give it a damn. This is our country and there is nothing wrong with our judicial system.

Similarly, dont also bow to mounting pressure from Umno grassroot members who wish to see major revamp to the party. No need to listen to them because your are the bosses. Just do whatever you think is right and only beneficial to you and your clans. Just sideline the members because they are nothing.

You are proud to make rhetoric statements now and then that 'Tanpa Umno, Siapalah Kita'. May I change that, at least for a point to ponder? Why not this time around we put it as 'Tanpa Ahli, Siapalah Umno' instead?

Who makes up a party and who choose the leadership? Are we denying the fact that Umno wont exist without membership? But the way you people at the top act doesnt reflect your appreciation for what the members had done.

The only thing that Umno leadership does is to keep good contact with Umno state chiefs. Good chiefs are hard to come by these days. Most of them are fighting for their own political survival. Their only concern is winning a general election and that is why they only keep a good rapport with division heads.

Most of this division heads are managing their own political empire. In some cases, an Umno division chief will install his wife as the Wanita head, his daughter as the division Puteri leader while his son leads the Pemuda. What do you call this?

But, please dont blame them. The top leadership has set the precedent. A useless son of a prime minister or a minister would one day become a prime minister and a minister too, no matter how bad his political performance is. No worry. Umno members are Malays. The Malays are well-known for respecting their leaders and will always make way for their sons and daughters to climb up the political ladder without any task.

And so it goes on and on and on. Dont be surprise if the cycle of Malaysian prime minister will be dominated by candidates from Kedah, Johor, Pahang and Penang ONLY. Other states wont have any chance at all. And dont be surprise if Muhyiddin becomes Prime Minister, his deputy would be a Johorian too.

Umno leaders are actually so proud of their rhetoric. When one starts talking about Anwar's issue, the rest will follow as nobody wants to be left behind and be accused of being 'ketinggalan zaman'. So, everybody talks Anwar. So much so, they dont feel comfortable anymore to discuss problems at their respective divisions.

Back home, the ordinary members are getting fed up and blase. Many division heads are the rich ones - getting one project after another, living in bungalows with a fleet of luxury cars park around it, getting snobbish day after day and only allow those they know to meet them.

Many divisions are having serious cracks. Division heads who were not elected to the State Assembly or the Parliament in the previous general election are at odds with their deputies who are now Yang Berhormat. There were cases during PRU12 when this division heads sent out SMS to Umno members not to vote the party candidate as they (the heads) were not selected.

Those with the idea that BN, notably Umno could notch easy wins should we call for a general election now, should swallow their own tongues. Call it now and BN would only win by a majority of less than 10 Parliament seats!

Yes, Umno is in deep shit. Dont ignore it. Bloggers have conveyed lots of message to its top leadership. Unfortunately, it often falls on deaf ears. The proud ones are still at their belief that Umno is in good shape, in perfect form to kick off Pakatan Rakyat from Selangor, Kedah and Penang.

I am writing this in a very simple language. Is it so difficult to understand? If you dont understand it, its your problem... not mine. Have you forgotten what happened to Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

YES to a Ground Zero mosque

A mosque will soon be built close to Ground Zero in New York, within an Islamic Cultural Complex proposed by a group of moderate American Muslims and seconded by 'friendly' Americans who understood that 9/11 was not about religion.

Whether or not it was a sign of good gesture by Obama's administration towards the Muslim World, what's important is the willingness of some Americans to accept the fact that Islam is not 'a religion of terror'.

New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday against granting landmark status to a Lower Manhattan building, clearing the way for a controversial mosque near the World Trade Center site.

Conducted under heavy police presence in a theater at Pace University in Lower Manhattan, the vote of the nine-member panel decided not to grant protective status to 45 Park Place, the proposed site of an Islamic cultural center and mosque.

The decision allows the building to be torn down to make way for a 13-story Islamic center of US$100 million, which would include a mosque, as well as performing arts spaces, a gym, and other facilities.

read more here and here...


Monday, August 2, 2010

Look who's talking...

About two weeks ago, he suggested for the formation of a 'Malay unity party' comprising of a 'dissolved Pas and Umno'. And yesterday, he talked about the future of Malaysian politics, a racial-based politics (read here). Who is talking here?

None other than Ibrahim Ali, the president of Perkasa, a 100 per cent Malay 'non-political' organisation already branded by the non-Malays as racist. It has led to the Chinese, Indians and other races to establish their own 'racial groupings', with the blessing of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Now, some leaders in Umno and Pas are already taking the 'Malay' unity party as a serious matter. Many lauded Ibrahim's idea as brilliant and would pave the way for a Malay Greater Politics. Should it materialises, there would only be one Malay party, no more Umno and no more Pas.

On a first thought, many would support him but on second, it triggers uneasiness among others. Some comments in my previous posting suggested that such a preposition would lead to a thicker race-based ideology in Malaysia. It would not only lead to racial segmentation of the community but most alarming is a 'Lu Gua' Malaysians.

The Chinese would also want a Chinese unity party too, comprising of MCA, Gerakan and DAP. Of course DAP would second such an idea should a Malay-unity party is formed within the dissolvement of Umno and Pas.

So would the Indians, uniting MIC, PPP and other Indian-majority parties.

What would become of Malaysia? We will have three major race-based parties competing among each other in the next general elections. Should the Malay unity party wins, a Malay will be the Prime Minister and should the Chinese unity party wins, a Chinese will have the Number 1 seat.

No, I personally dont think Barisan Nasional would be relevant anymore and no way for the three race-based parties to unite as their objectives would be centered on only one issue - fight for your own race. Having the ex-leaders of Pas and DAP in such an idea will not augur well for another BN-like integration party.

What about those indigenous in Sabah and Sarawak?

Well, Ibrahim's idea of a Malay unity party is good to some but is also a threat to national unity, for some. While Umno and Pas are considering his idea, I dont think it is practical in multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia. Let's remain our status quo for the time being.

After all, when we suggest something for a race unity, we should remain focus before making another statement that race-based politicis will remain as the bedrock for the future of Malaysian politics.

The more we talk, the more we err...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

DAP sacks Boon Hock

DAP yesterday sacked Klang municipal councillor Tee Boon Hock for alleged misuse of power involving recommendation letters to secure Klang Municipal Council (MPK) contracts. Selangor DAP chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed the sacking but refused further comment.

On Tuesday, an English daily reported that a municipal councillor had allegedly used Selangor Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairman Ronnie Liu's official letterhead and seal to produce his own letters of recommendation to get MPK contracts for his cronies and family members.

Meanwhile, Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said the search done on MPK's office yesterday did not find any letters of recommendation alleged to have been produced by the councillor.

He said although Tee had been called to give his statements to the police, the councillor had yet to do so.

DAP, at least, did not try to defend its 'corrupt' member unlike other parties. The stern action is probably the most harsh ever taken against its member but the MACC is not left with lesser burden in investigating the case, should they want to.

Shall we commend this move by the DAP?