Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When the ship loses its captain.

Its idiotic to think that at this very moment, Malaysia is still very much in the docks. Who is running the country? There is no clear firm image of leadership and this reeks of instability and confusion in the top management.

Abdullah Badawi seems to have called it a day and is only bidding for time. The right time to move along and pass the baton to Najib Razak and Anwar Ibrahim seems adamant he would snatch power cleanly in the very near future. What is in store for Malaysia is either men take the highest office in Malaysia?

The first priority now for the BN led government is not the UMNO elections but rather the failing economy, hasten by the problems America is having with its financial sector. If America cannot fix its financial problems, the whole world goes into a nose-dive. Things get shaken up and everyone stands to suffer. Yet in Malaysia, our top leaders do not seem to bother about this. Instead we get the normal, "We are fine" statements. But all is not fine. The UMNO leaders who effectively head the major offices in government are more interested in safe-guarding their own rice-bowls in the coming party elections.

Several component parties in BN are contemplating leaving and Pakatan Rakyat are having hiccups of their own especially the mess in Selangor over the Hindu temple demolition. The whole seat of government, the bridge where the ship is commanded is in chaos. The captain has left the bridge and everyone had no idea what they are suppose to be doing or they are simply doing whatever they choose.

In recent events it is a tragic comedy to watch several ministers stumble over themselves when issuing statements. Some contradict themselves or each other and some are made tactless. Mud-slinging is common place in Malaysian politics and it's no surprise for MPs to call each other names in parliament. All hot air and the real issues are lost in transition.

I believe the people are getting fed-up and worn out by all these shenanigans and would just want to get on with their lives. We just want to know when the next meal is coming and that we are able to have enough to get us through the month. It is time the captain gets back to what he should be doing and that is to captain the ship and let everyone know he is in charge.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

A fallacy of composition - the immaturity of Malaysian politics

fallacy of composition

noun - the error of assuming that what is true of a member of a group is true for the group as a whole.

Humans are creatures of habit and though change is constant, not everyone would welcome constant. Worst still if change would disturb the established norm and destroy any form of benefits or rewards one would have enjoyed when change was not present.

This is the situation facing the Barisan Nasional government. After 51 years of governance, this group of politicians do not know any other form of life. For those holding the highest position in government, the feel of power is indeed so good, they refuse to let it go even when prompted to do so. Desperate to hold on to power, they use every known apparatus at their disposal to protect their hold on power. The police, courts of law and media are all instruments used to create an image that all is well with the government. While the government goes along the notion, everything is going along well in this country, the discerning public knows better.

In their desperation to stay in power the BN government has lost touch with the very people who voted them in. I am sure, we vote the government of the day because we want to be taken care of. We want a government who looks into the welfare of its people, a government that is interested to see the betterment of its people.

Instead, what we get is totally the opposite. We have a government running scared, detaining people who voice out discontent against them, bent on pulling strings to keep friends and foes at bay, we have politics in our face but no solution for the woes striking the general populace.

Switch on the tele or read the UMNO owned newspapers and what we get is a fallacy of composition.

It may have been a strategy which worked ten years ago but this is 2008 and Malaysians have woken up to the realities of the ruling government. In the 12th General Election, people voted for CHANGE. The people has had enough of talk from politicians only interested to remain in power for financial gain.

We have woken up to the realization that Pak Lah is not all he is cut out to be. All because he has the image of Mr. Clean, does not mean that the whole government is such but the picture is painted in the mass media that everything is dandy and good. The statements coming out of Main Stream Media seems to show that Pak Lah has great support among the UMNO base yet that is not what is evident on the ground.

Only yesterday, we had a collection NGO leaders coming out with resolution warning people not to question the transition plan between Pak Lah and Najib Razak. Looking at the news clip, it is evident that all who were present were UMNO members who were pro-Abdullah Badawi. Where were the Chinese or Indian NGO leaders? Why weren't their views taken into consideration? Even if this group, who say that they represent all NGOs in Malaysia, pass such a resolution, I believe it is not reflective of all NGOs.

Main Stream Media is also painting a picture that if Anwar Ibrahim is flawed then the whole Pakatan Rakyat bunch is flawed. They pump up the image of Anwar Ibrahim as a sodomite yet down play any wrong down by an UMNO member say for instance Ahmad Ismail.

Ahmad Ismail, mind you, has done more damage against race relations in Malaysia than any article Raja Petra Kamaruddin has ever written.

This is the state of Malaysian politics. We are so bent on painting fallacies of composition, all over the place in order to win a vote. There is no consideration of policies that would move the country forward. We elect leaders base on image rather that capacity to deliver. We base voting on a logo rather on the ability of the person to serve his/her constituency. At the end of the day, we have a parliament of career politicians and the sad thing is that we are paying them for sitting in parliament.

It's a fallacy of composition when the idea that only BN can assure us of fair treatment as citizens of Malaysia. Look at the spate of arrest under ISA, where RPK gets sent to detention when Ahmad Ismail is scot free, why? Because UMNO has already slapped a three(3) year ban on him.

It's a fallacy of composition to think that everyone is united behind the idea of detention without trial (ISA) when our everyone knows it is a cruel tool of the government.

It's a fallacy of composition to say this democratic government is mature and on par with other democracies of the world. By saying we practice "Guided Democracy" is akin to saying that Pol Pot's regime was the best government to rule Cambodia.

This government is immature and unable to meet the aspirations of those that voted them in and thus, it is high time for change.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Malaysia's bravest blogger, RPK, sent to Kemunting

The powers that be cannot keep a good man down and so they hit him with the most unjustified form of detention imaginable - detention without trial, the ISA. I hope the Home Minister and every BN member of parliament sleep easy for they have sent an innocent man to jail for the act of speaking out. Sending him to two (2) years of confinement for exercise his right as a free citizen of Malaysia. For speaking out against what is unjust and wrong.

They justified the act by saying RPK had insulted Islam and the government of the day. What else is new? Why can't they charge him in a court of law where the infamous Sedition Act can be used? Or maybe it was because there was nothing to pin RPK with, all charges against could not pin him. Why? Because RPK was telling the truth and had too much up his sleeve for them to counter in a right and just way. The government reverted to throwing a jab under the belt. The more the need to for a change in government. The more the need to restore the rule of Law and not the rule of Lone Nepoleons who sign detention orders and order the use of C4 on people.

What then can the rakyat do? We do what we do best, vote for change. Come the next election or if a miraculous snap-election gets force, vote in a new government. Vote for change. Vote for a system that rids Malaysia of racism and xenophobic politicians. Vote for people who are for the people and not out to fatten their own pockets.

RPK was sure of his fate long before today yet he had faith in the people who believe that change is coming to Malaysia. He trust that this change would be the one that would release him from detention under ISA. It would be this change that would rid Malaysia of ISA altogether.

Something is really wrong when people are detained for speaking out against injustice. Something is really wrong with Malaysia and we can make a change. Remove this government, the people should not be afraid of their government instead it is the government which should be afraid of its people.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Remember the 16th September 1963

The 16th of September came and went and this year it would be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Most eyes and ears were waiting for news of a government take over by the opposition coalition lead by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. It came and went and everyone went about their lives.

16th September came and went and all the people remembered was the politics of the day. Yet for Sarawakians, 16th September is the day Sarawak joined Sabah, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula to form Malaysia.

16th September came and went and it was not even a public holiday. Instead, even the whole issue of a public holiday was turned into a political argument between the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. My humble opinion, it should have been a holiday because on that day a nation was born. A nation we call Malaysia which has been steadily making it’s mark on the world state. There should be no argument whatsoever on the status of the 16th of September, neither should it be turned into a political trump card.

16th September should be remembered as the day Malaysia was born and it came with a price. For when wind of Sarawak’s decision to join the collection of independent states to form Malaysia reached Indonesia, they retaliated with an armed response. An episode in history called The Confrontation. Lives were lost on Sarawakian soil to protect the decision to form Malaysia and this fact seemed lost to most Malaysians. Sacrifices were made and great deeds were sown in order for Sarawak to partner along side Sabah, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula, to form Malaysia.

Many in Sarawak feel that 16th September should be given equal standing as the 31st August. Commemorated for the fact it was the day Malaysia made its debut onto the world stage. The whole process of fighting for independence is alien to a normal Sarawakian for Sarawak in those days did not take part in protesting against the formation of the Malayan Union neither did we take part in an arms struggled against the British. In fact if examined properly, Sarawak was ruled by an Englishman but never was part of the British Empire. Sarawak could be called an independent state much like the city states of ancient Greece. Thus, the decision to form Malaysia along with Sabah and Singapore was made with the understanding that Sarawak would still retain a fair amount of autonomy. This is a fact, in most cases, relegated to a mere footnote in history books.

Sarawak has been in Malaysia a good 46 years and most still remember life before the formation of Malaysia. The remnants of the White Rajah are evident in those above the age of 46 years. I have met pensioners in their 60s who speak impeccable British English. Walk through Kuching city and you will find colonial buildings and mission schools dating to 1843. Fort Magrita still stands guard over the Sarawak River overlooking the Waterfront and alongside the new August House.

46 years of being a partner in Malaysia and Sarawak still has kept it’s identity. Bahasa Malaysia is spoken alongside Sarawakian Malay, Iban, Bidayuh and Hokkien. It is a known fact that Chinese shop-owners plying their trade to the locals can often time be heard speaking Malay, Iban or Bidayuh. This is typical Sarawak where communal respect is very much woven into the fabric of living in Sarawak.

16th September came and gone and this year it was remembered for all the wrong reasons. Focused for political matters and not for the fact it was the day a nation was born. It is the birthdate for Malaysia and it should be commemorated as such. Give credit to the ordinary Sarawakian who is not mindful of the the politics of the day but instead only knows the simple fact, that on the 16th of September our fore fathers decided that for the interest of all communities living in Sarawak, we should join Sabah, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula to form Malaysia. It was a wise and good decision.

Hopefully, due credit will be accorded for the 16th of September in the coming years as we all mature towards a unified Malaysia.

p/s: My article that came out on MySinChew.com and Malaysia-Today.net


Friday, September 19, 2008

A weird week in Malaysian governance.

I had network problems from where I normally connect to blog and this has been a point of frustration to me. But that should not keep a good blogger down, so I have found another location where access to my blog is permitted. It seems, the organization I work for has been running some filtering software across the network with some rather queer results. My workplace seems to be practicing selective blocking where Blogger.Com seems to be unaccessible yet just down the hall at another location, access is super-fast. So its a mystery to me, much like the events of the pass week in Malaysia.

16th September came and went and all we have is a bunch of politicians calling each other liars and the sorts. At the rate we are going, all the members of parliament are liars. Since the 12th General Election, the country has been caught in a stalemate and I think the tortoise overtook the rabbit in the race to normalcy. Our economy is headed for hard times as mentioned by Tun Mahathir in his latest posting on Chedet.Com and I agree with him. I have stop watching local news and instead prefer that abomination of networks - CNN. Yet, at least I can get an almost non-bias look at what's happening in the work unlike the spin on our local main stream media.

The American's having a bad financial crisis with several bail-outs initiated by the government. Much like what happened in Malaysia in 1997 but at a larger scale. A scale enough to send the world into the dumps with Malaysia included. We are heading for a time of high inflation rates as already reported sometime in August which lead to the lowering of the fuel prices in time for the Permatang Pauh by-election. Still, I hope there will be another reduction before the Raya celebrations as the price of crude has dropped below USD100 per barrel.

Abdullah Badawi has swapped portfolios with Najib Razak. Now, Najib has to contend with the headache of reviving a sagging economy. I agree with Tun Mahathir's opinion that if anything goes wrong with the economy at this time, Najib would be blamed. Smart move by Abdullah Badawi and as expected his friends in UMNO all lauded the move as wise or a step up for the transition plan to have Najib Razak as Prime Minister by July 2010. Typical UMNO stuff. Divert attention from the root cause of all our problems. In short Abdullah Badawi needs to take responsibility (Japan style) and resign. Call for fresh elections and get the people to choose who they want in charge. Mind you, not many people are keen on Najib Razak.

Anwar Ibrahim needs to get his act together. If he wants to seriously make a charge to Putra Jaya then do it or wait till the 13th General Election. Honestly, just play the waiting game. Anwar has nothing to lose, since by then the people's trust in Barisan Nasional would have gone south and anything either than BN would be good enough for Malaysia. In the pass few years, BN has really been wrong-footed by their own people. They have no-one else to blame except themselves for all the problems hitting Malaysia now. Anwar should just sit back and watch the show. Maybe whisper a little here and there, point out some funny dealings here and there and just allow BN to implode. Come the 13th General Election and Pakatan Rakyat can safely claim that the rakyat has voted them in.

Yet, if Anwar really wants to claim the government now then push for fresh elections. I'm no politician but I think that is a better move. Get the people's backing and BN would have nothing to say about the matter. The people would have decided and made their voices heard.

RPK and Theresa Kok are still under ISA. In Theresa Kok's case, I find it funny that the police reports were lodge after she was caught under ISA for the very things the police reports were made against. It's as if the whole thing is an after thought. Catch the person first and then settle the procedure later. Catch Theresa Kok and then make police reports base on why she was arrested under ISA. What use is the police investigation now, if she is under ISA which means detention without trial.

It's ironic that the ISA has been compared to the Patriot Act of America by our leaders in Malaysia. Clearly a move to justify the ISA but their comparison is flawed to the max. The Patriot Act's main function is to capture terrorists and to date cannot be used against an American citizen. The ISA is used to capture bloggers, reporters and opposition MPs for stuff that can be charged under the Sedition Act.

So what gives?

Our leaders must get their facts straight and don't simply try to justify when they have no idea what they are talking about.

Yes, it has been a weird week for Malaysia and it will get even weirder in the coming weeks. Things to watch for, reduction of fuel prices, Anwar pushing for a parliament session, UMNO or BN's slandering of Anwar as he deals with his court case, the American financial crisis hitting the Malaysian stock market and more calls for the amendment to the ISA. Something for everyone and the day is still young.


Monday, September 15, 2008

The blame game begins in arrest debacle.

Now a comedy of shorts has begun.

The government via the statement from the Home Minister is saying that the arrest under ISA against the Sin Chew Reporter, RPK and Theresa Kok was purely the decision of the police. The Home Ministry did not make the decision, it was purely and surely only the police. Now, the BN government ministers have jumped up to point fingers at the ISA, obviously sensing that they can now be seen as champions of the people.

I pity the police. They have been left high and dry and are now living to take the blame.

Political Milage is the name of the game and in times of political trouble, such as now, everyone needs any measure they can obtain. Be it the BN or PR, all politicians need to gain it in order to ensure their own political survival. I pity the jokers in Taipei, they miss the party and instead they themselves have been turned into jesters and pawns for the bigger political game to claim the Malaysian government.

This spate of arrest has created ample opportunity for the rakyat to stand up and be counted. I hope the palace sees the injustice being leveled on the citizens of Malaysia and take action. It would be a slap in the PM's face if the palace where to call him in and give him the riot act and I think they should. A leader needs to take charge and if the PM is unable to maintain control over the actions of the agencies under him, then we all have cause to worry. Because there lies the bigger problem.

The government has lapse into a state of internal chaos. Communication between agencies have broken down and I bet you, the PM doesn't know much of what's going on unless someone tells him. I suggest he starts looking around and making sure his advisors are channelling him the correct information because he has no-one else to blame but himself, if anything goes wrong.

The blame game would continue and the matter of running this country would be lost in a swamp of politics. Who is looking after our economy? Who is looking after the needs of the people? Who are raising the issues close to the people's hearts? How to raise, when all this while the politics in the land has be in a state of near-death? Everyone looking out for their own interest and not of the people.

I pray that all Malaysians remember that Malaysia should NEVER be sacrificed as a pawn in a political game.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

The BN government is running scared

It is amazing to watch the BN government lead by Abdullah Badawi stumble over and over again. The recent exercise in arresting a DAP MP, RPK and a journalist is not going to score points with the populace. At a time when they should be busy building bridges with the very people that have kept them in power, the BN government instead has instilled a sense of dread and fear in them. Who would not be outrage at this spate of arrest?

The US government has called the Malaysian ambassador and Anwar Ibrahim will bring up this matter with Abdullah Badawi. International eyes are now focus on Malaysia for all the wrong reason. The BN government has given more proof that a government lead by Anwar Ibrahim is far credible than them. Anwar Ibrahim does not have to do much, the government lead by Abdullah Badawi will do it for him. Anwar does not have to lead a campaign to point out the misdeeds of the current administration, Abdullah Badawi and company will do for Anwar.

It is a mark of a government that is running scared and confused. Instead of nation building, they instead choose to blow up all form of unity. The people are increasingly loosing trust in the administration. How can we trust them, the reporter that reported on Ahmad Ismail's racist comments is imprisoned, the DAP MP is caught on a charge that has not been investigated and RPK is imprisoned for speaking for the people.

The BN government in arresting them, has done them a favor. These three people (minus one, for the reported was released) will become folk heroes, simple folks who stood up against a government bent on maintaining power through whatever means possible. They are not criminals in the eyes of the people, rather as of today, these three have become heroes. Heroes who dared speak the truth and paid the price for it.

I say, Anwar Ibrahim make swift your promise to take over by 16th September. For the rakyat cry out for justice, for a government that is people-centric and a government for the people not one against the people.

Let September 16th be a reality. Let it be!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The fantasy of Malaysian Unity

MCA and Gerakan has severed ties with UMNO Penang. Not a shocker considering the aloofness of Ahmad Ismail who called for Gerakan to leave Barisan Nasional and continues to play the racial card. I am surprise no immediate action by UMNO has been imposed on him, instead they have chosen to meet him talk to him about his allege remarks that have fractured the support of the chinese for the Barisan Nasional.

This incident clearly shows the rhetoric of the ruling government when they talk about Malaysian Unity. In fact, such a term is a fantasy. It doesn't exist as long as we have leaders who think they deserve to lead and should lord over the citizens of Malaysia.

May I remind such leaders that the non-Malays are the people who are paying for the wages of government servants. 90% of government servants are Malays and tax money paid by non-Malays are support he livelihood of these government servants. We should instead be thankful that the non-Malays contribute towards nation building.

Ahmad Ismail is both dumb and deaf and horribly ignorant to the role of Chinese in Malaysian nation building. To utter statements that undermine the support of the Chinese community is equivalent to hara-kiri. The Chinese hold the economic pulse of the nation and it through their efforts the Malaysian business scene has prospered and bloom. The rewards are enjoyed by all Malaysians and it has been so for the pass 51 years, Malaysia has been around. The typical Malaysian Chinese know no other home yet this Ahmad Ismail calls them immigrants.

Its a sad thing, for this man, a leader within UMNO, clearly does not know what it means to live in a multi-racial country.

The Barisan Nasional who has held on to governance all this while is now living in its twilight days. Pakatan Rakyat is looking more attractive by the day and I hope 16th September would change everything.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Cut the crap, we're all RACIST!

Let's not be apologetic. We're all RACIST and it's the truth. 51 years on and Malaysia is still grappling with race issues and its no fault of our own. It's is in fact a collage of problems heap into one and perpetuated by a weak government unable to deal with the tide of transparency hitting the populace.

We have a political system with race-centric parties. We have government policies to "protect" various races from exploitation or from getting too weak. We have ideologies that segregate the haves and the have-nots. So is it any mistake that we all turn out RACIST?

So stop pointing fingers at each other and acknowledge the fact that for 51 years Malaysians have been fed by ideas and policies that promote RACISM. We see it in the politicians who create government policies, we see it in division of education, we see it in the banking systems, we see it in the breakdown of civil servants, we see it in the make-up of the arm forces, we see it in the jigsaw puzzle called the Malaysian economy. RACISM has tainted every strata of Malaysian society.

Ahmad Ismail blames his out-of-context statement on Chinese reporters, Now, at least two(2) Chinese reporters have come forward to say he did say those words. Yet Ahmad Ismail refuses to apologist and he's backed up by the Penang UMNO members, and this goes against the opinion of his boss, Abdullah Badawi, who is himself (the PM) from Penang. What gives?

Everyone is crying bloody RACISM yet no-one is owning up to their mistakes. The government has been at naught in tackling this matter because to do so would mean they are siding with the Chinese and Indians and justifying the notion that they have been practicing RACISM all this while.

Scrap all RACE base parties and just setup a two(2) party system. GOVERNMENT and OPPOSITION. The majority wins the label of GOVERNMENT and the minority the label OPPOSITION. Let the politicians play their game, jump or not jump is totally up to them AS LONG AS the people get what they want. Low cost living, high level of education for our children and the opportunity to fulfill a comfortable life. Equal opportunity by merit. The harder we work, the better the opportunity to gain monetary rewards. No hint of RACISM, no hint of FAVORITISM. Instead, everyone living the MALAYSIAN DREAM.


Damage control BN style - send the MPs away.

The recent actions by the Backbenchers club to organize a study trip to either China or Taiwan is interesting. Smack in the month of Ramadan and over-lapping with the 16th of September dead-line set by Anwar Ibrahim for Pakatan Rakyat to take control of government, the government denies its a way to keep BN MPs from jumping ship.

Of course none of the BN lads would say it is a way to keep their members in check, of course it is a mere study trip, of course Anwar Ibrahim's words are not to be trusted. Yet again BN attempts to insult our intelligence.

It is best for BN to just turn the ship into the storm and ride out the winds. Instead, BN is tripping over themselves and that in itself has proven, to many, that this government is wobbling at the seams. Too many actions point in one direction, Anwar Ibrahim is scaring the wits out of them and totally undermining their credibility as a working government.

At best Anwar Ibrahim has kept them distracted from their role as governors of Malaysia's move into the future. Their is a impending economic crisis and fuel related stress on the ordinary Malaysian citizen which needs managing yet our politicians are busy shifting their sampans about they forget the bigger ship needs a captain.

So while our BN MPs run off on a study tour we are left with a question and answer game. Would those MPs left behind would jump ship and the returning BN MPs would come back to a new government come 16th September? Let's see how the plot twist itself.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Anwar Past and Anwar Present

It is amazing to hear some BN ministers pointing out that when Anwar Ibrahim was the Deputy Prime Minister he failed to fulfill his promises. The latest reminder coming from the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Alfred Jabu who reminded people that Anwar had promised the state funds when he was the DPM and Finance Minister and those promises have gone south. With that argument, Anwar is not to be trusted because he would still promise Sarawak funds and what nots and still not fulfill them.

I am amazed at this reasoning primarily because the failure of Anwar Ibrahim as DPM back then is a failure for Barisan Nasional because Anwar Ibrahim was the DPM under the BN government of the day. Any unfulfilled promised was made within his capacity as DPM for a BN government. Thus, Anwar Ibrahim did not failed but Barisan Nasional did collectively. If those promises were not fulfilled, why was a complaint not launch back then? Why bring up these grouses now?

This seems to be the practice of BN at this juncture of time when all they can do is discredit Anwar Ibrahim. Tell of his failings during his time as DPM yet be blind to the fact that he was (back then) a Barisan Nasional DPM. If he made such glaring mistakes back then, why was it not address there and then? Why wait 10 years to point it out to the populace?

The Anwar Past was Barisan Nasional and the Anwar Present is Pakatan Rakyat. BIG difference. If Anwar failed in the past then Barisan Nasional was the one who failed. Collectively Responsibility? That's a term I heard the PM used some time ago. So BN was collectively responsible for all the failings, Anwar had during his tenure as DPM.

So for those minister's who wish to harp on the failings Anwar had when he was DPM should also know that they too were part of the mistake. They should have been responsible enough to point out those mistakes back then and not use it now for political milage.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Knee-jerk Government

It is now pretty obvious the current government is one that is knee-jerking it's way. It's reactive in nature and seems to have no proper direction. We now hear that the government would lower the price of fuel before the onset of Aidilfitri. Remember what can be lowered can also be raised and the trend of the government to lower the price at will seems headed for disaster.

Disaster as it would throw the price of goods into a chaotic frenzy. It takes time for prices of goods to adjust itself to market forces and the strongest force at the moment is the cost of transportation which is passed on to the consumer to bear. If fuel prices bounce around like a ping-pong ball in a box, the prices of goods would also bounce around like a ping-pong ball. Traders would have a hard time fixing prices for essential goods. Though this may ultimately be good for the consumer whereby they can scout around for the best price, in the long run it may even slow the market down. Uncertainty is the root product of such a volatile market.

When people are uncertain about a situation then they tend to react in fear. With the government being uncertain about the price of fuel and with no clear measure on how they would control the price of essential goods, traders would react in fear. They would price goods at a price that they perceive would blanket them from these mad fluctuations of cost. Some goods may be overpriced and remain overpriced over market price in order to cushion the traders pockets. Fair enough, the traders are entitled to protect themselves.

Would the government react to this?

I think they would. This is after all a knee-jerking government, who doesn't seem to know what's going on and worst still, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Gone are the days when Malaysia was a trend setter in Asia. Instead, we now have a government that reacts badly towards whatever situation it gets itself into.

Sure, lower the fuel price in time for the Hari Raya holidays and maybe the price of essential goods would catch on fast enough and everyone would have an affordable raya. If they lower it now, would they raise it again if the price of crude increases?


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ahmad Ismail is the real immigrant.

Najib Razak apologized for the failings of one Ahmad Ismail's alleged racist comments during the Permatang Pauh is baffling to me. Ahmad Ismail is the one who is suppose to apologize not Najib Razak and for the life of me, why did Najib Razak even agree to apologize on his behalf? Apologizing on behalf merely makes the matter even graver, it gives the impression that BN concurred with Ahmad Ismail on the remarks and is now making a party stand. Or is this because Najib Razak was the one heading the BN campaign in Permatang Pauh and as leader he has to make apology for any misbehavior of his BN campaigners?

But apology aside and the fact I feel the response by the Chinese component parties of BN is akin to throwing a wet towel into the kitchen sink, let's look at the point Ahmad Ismail raised that shot BN's support among the non-Malays out the window.

Ahmad had allegedly called the Chinese pendatang (immigrants) and was also reported to have said that “as the Chinese were only immigrants it was impossible to achieve equal rights amongst races” during a ceramah in Permatang Pauh on Aug 25.

Source: Malaysia-Today.net

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines IMMIGRANT as:

a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

Ahmad Ismail's calling Chinese pendatang should not be a surprise because this is the mind-set of those from UMNO who believe Malaysia really means MALAY-sia disregarding the vibrant and colorful history this region has over the millennia. I believe Ahmad has truly forgotten that the Chinese first settled in the Malay Peninsula during the Malacca sultanate with the arrival of the Chinese courtesan Hang Li Po. These were true immigrants in the real sense and their descendants thereafter became citizens of Malacca.

Immigrant status changes with the birth of one's self in a country of residence. One can claim citizenship and be known as a national of the country of birth and thus is no longer an immigrant. For one to call Malaysian-Chinese pendatang (immigrant) is a total farce and also a direct attack on one's right to citizenship in one's country of birth.

The same goes for Malaysian Indians. Indian influences has been prevalent in South East Asia since the dawn of sea travel. In fact the influences are still around until today. It was the flight of one Sumateran prince from a Hindu empire that sparked the beginnings of the Malacca sultanate and thus the beginnings of the Malay states. Indians born on Malaysian soil are not immigrants, they are citizens of the land.

For Ahmad Ismail to utter such labels to the Chinese is mere stupidity and arrogance on his part and the party he represents. Let's push this a little further.

On the 16th of September, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore along with the Malay States formed Malaysia. It is a partnership in which Singapore pulled out of and subsequently is who they are today. Sarawak and Sabah can also do the same, if they wanted to. So in actual fact, this partnership is much like city-states forming the Greek Empire of old. All can run independently but all are united in defending a singular nation.

Now, if Ahmad Ismail were to step foot into Sarawak, he can be considered an immigrant, if he chooses to stay permanently in Sarawak. But a piece of paper says he is a citizen of Malaysia so we have to accept him. Citizenship of Malaysia entitles him to privileges only citizen of Malaysia can have so he is free to practice his rights as a Malaysian in Sarawak even-though in truth he is an immigrant. These rights of passage are part of the agreement Sarawak and Sabah had with the Peninsula at the forming of Malaysia.

I suggest Ahmad Ismail come to Sarawak and live here a few years and maybe he'll learn from us Sarawakians on how to live with those of different ethnic backgrounds. I have Chinese friends who speak my mother tongue, we have Sarawakian Malays sitting together with Sarawakian Chinese and Sarawakian Indian friends talking over tea. We have Ibans, Bidayuh, Lun Bawang, Melanau, Kenyah, Penans and a host of other groups living together and never have we ever thought of the issue of immigrants. Only in recently has this whole issue of immigrants really played on our minds.

We are bothered by UMNO race politics as they advocate a supreme race doctrine that goes against everything the people of Sarawak hold to. We live in unity. It is all we need.

Ahmad Ismail and UMNO, know one thing. In the not so distant past we all were immigrants to this land. Yet in Malaysia we were granted citizenship and that makes us CITIZENS not immigrants regardless of our creed, religion or backgrounds.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Leaping Politicians - it's the norm not the exception

A lot has been said about leaping politicians or to put it crudely - frogs; in the parliament. As the 16th of September draws near, suspicion clouds the August house as MPs eye each other wondering who would jump ship first. It is amazing that Anwar Ibrahim has been able to do what no other man has been able to do in the 51 years Malaysia has been independent - hold the nation hostage.

Anwar Ibrahim is holding the government hostage and whether they want to acknowledge it or not, Anwar is in-directly controlling their every move. He has the Barisan Nasional running scared as evident in the need for BN MPs to sign a letter pledging their support for Abdullah Badawi, a pledge the Sabah MPs are unwilling to sign.

Shouldn't the MPs loyalty be towards the people that voted him and not to a singular person (the PM)? Why sign a pledge unless you are really scared of loosing these MPs to the Pakatan Rakyat side. Aren't the MPs in the August house matured enough to make their own minds who they want to support for the good of their voters?

Yes, Anwar Ibrahim has the BN running scared and holding hostage the whole government. The BN government is reacting to Anwar Ibrahim's every move, something which will spell doom for them for Anwar can easily maneuver them which ever way he wants to.

As for leaping politicians, it's the norm and not the exception. A politician would always chose the path of least resistance so where he stands clearly is up to him. If BN MPs leap over to the Pakatan Rakyat side than by right they can also leap back if they wanted to. Can we ever stop one from leaping? For the BN to say that all this is unethical then BN should also look at their checkered past where they too have accommodated politicians who leaped from the opposition into their camp and they was not much furore over that. Only when it would hurt BN, would BN erupt into an emotional fit. Desperately trying hard to protect their interests.

Let the politicians leap, let them join whoever they want. It is time for the MPs to be loyal to their real masters. The real masters of the MPs are the people and the people are suffering under the mis-management of the BN government. Eliminate race politics and parties and allow the MPs to affiliate themselves with whatever entity that promotes a one Malaysia.

You see, regardless of whoever becomes government, development will still be given out. It is a given. But the sense of fairness, equality and needs met has to be earn and this cannot be bought with sweets in the form of a "friendly" budget. People need to see leadership in practice not mere promises and sleepy reactions.

So let the politicians leap as much as they want because all this while that's what the politicians been doing. Leaping about gathering personal wealth at the expense of the people who voted them in.


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Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008