Monday, April 09, 2007

No Malaysian Interested In Commonwealth Sec-Gen Post

Malaysia has not nominated a candidate for the post of Commonwealth secretary-general so far because none of those approached is interested, the Dewan Rakyat was told Monday.

Foreign Minister Seri Syed Hamid Albar said that among the candidates approached was former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam who turned down the offer because he had too many commitments in the country.

"Several candidates have been identified but all were not interested. That's why for the time being we are not submitting a nomination or looking for other candidates," he said in reply to a supplementary question from Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur).

However, he added, if there was an interested candidate, Malaysia would negotiate with the other Asian nations not to submit their nominations to ensure that the Malaysian candidate won unopposed.

Lim, who is also opposition leader, wanted to know why Malaysia has not seized the opportunity to send a candidate when it is the Asian countries' turn to be elected to the post.

Replying to Lim's original question, Syed Hamid said the new secretary-general would be elected at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala, Uganda, on Nov 23-25.

"According to normal practice accepted by the Commonwealth countries, it's the turn of Asian countries to hold the post of Commonwealth secretary-general this time. In this context, Malaysia has been asked whether it has a candidate or is interested in submitting a candidate for the post.

"But so far, no candidate had expressed interest to contest the post.

"I've also been given to understand that till now no other Asian country has nominated a candidate," he said.

The term of the current secretary-general, Donald C.McKinnon, ends in March next year. (Bernama)

***** Rather surprising isn't it that there is absolutely NO Malaysian interested in the prestigious post! I would have thought that at least a few would have lobbied and fallen over each other to be selected as the nation's choice for secretary-general. Did the realistic Wisma Putra mandarins already know that we probably won't stand a chance of having our man selected for the position? It is also a reasonable assumption that the foreign ministry didn't cast its net wide enough to look for truly excellent candidates and perhaps stuck to some tried and trusted 'old formula' where quota, race and religion would have played a major role. Any other guesses for the disinterest shown?

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12 Comments:

Blogger kittykat46 said...

When Kerajaan Malaysia looks for a candidate for a high profile post, the unspoken but critical criteria is often they must be of a certain race / religion and must be politically well connected. This usually excludes straightaway more than 50% of the qualified candidates.
The result is often either "Can't find a suitable candidate" or when the appointment is announced, you would be wondering "Huh ? - couldn't they find anyone more appropriate ?"

5:50 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous San said...

It is the racial division in all facets of the government's racially based policies that has led, and unfortunately, is still forcing non-malay Malaysians to head for overseas for better opportunities in all fields.

I left Malaysia about 20 years ago. I left not because the economy was in a bad shape. It was in a good shape! In fact, I would have done better if I had stayed behind. I left because I was fed up with the divisive racial-based policies of the government that I experienced since as long as I could remember. And I felt there was no way I could change the system.

When I was in lower secondary at a government-aided school, I was wondering why only the Chinese pupils had to buy textbooks and pay the monthly school fees. Some others had it all free. I didn't know the rationale then but could only envy them.

Later on, I was surprised when two malay classmates were selected to proceed to do the then Higher School Certificate (Form Six then) although I had far superior academic results than both of them. I missed the selection.

Every Monday morning we stood shoulder to shoulder at the school assembly and sung the same national anthem with the same gusto and yet we were treated differently. Again, I couldn't understand all that.

I had at great expense to my parents, to do my HSC at a private college before embarking on my tertiary education overseas (you guessed it right - I was rejected by the local universities).

Upon my return, I found to my great disappointment that nothing had changed and that the malay and non-malay concept was still firmly entrenched in all aspects of government policies.

I didn't want my children to compete in such an unfair environment. I wanted them to have 'a fair go' especially in education. For this reason, I left Malaysia. This was the same reason that drove so many well-educated, multi-skilled non-malay Malaysians to leave.

Malaysia simply can't afford to lose so many highly educated, highly skilled non-malays. Other countries will only be too happy to welcome them. Just imagine the benefits they stand to gain without having to outlay any costs to train them.

If Malaysia is to survive competitively at the international level, it has to seriously reassess its racially motivated policies. The polices have failed to uplift the well-being of the malays with the exception of the well-connected elite group.

Admission to all local tertiary courses, the appointments to public office, the tendering of contracts etc, have to be based solely on merit not along racial lines. Public scholarship to higher studies should be likewise too.

Malaysia's future is at stake.

7:08 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous aston said...

My uncle left Malaysia in the 1970s. He graduated from MIT and did his PhD in Yale on computer science. I dare say, that was when computer science era just starting.

He was a very patriotic man, a scout graduated from Royal Military College. He came back to Malaysia after his PhD to serve this country. Looked for a job in University Malaya. They told him point blank, we have openings, but it is only for bumi.

He left for greener pastures in United States. Has been a US citizen for a few decades now. He has contributed widely to the field of computer science and is still doing so.

He never forgave Malaysia for turning their backs to him. And I guess he never will.

7:10 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous romsam said...

In very recent times, the starting date for the study of Malaysia history in the schools has been conveniently fixed around 1400 CE. It probably coincides with the founding of the Sultanate of Malacca by Parameswara.

Today, Malaysia school children only learn a little bit about the early Proto malays and then are conveniently taken on a historical quantum leap to the founding of Malacca.

Early Indian works speak of a fantastically wealthy place called Savarnadvipa, which meant "land of gold". This mystical place was said to lie far away, and legend holds that this was probably the most valid reason why the first Indians ventured across the Bay of Bengal and arrived in Kedah around 100 BC.

Apart from trade, the early Indians brought a pervasive culture, with Hinduism and Buddhism sweeping through the Indo-Chinese and malay archipelago lands bringing temples and Indian cultural traditions. The local chiefs began to refer to themselves as "rajahs" and also integrated what they considered the best of Indian governmental traditions with the existing structure.

I learnt Malaysia history in the 1950s and taught it in the 1960s and 1970s in secondary schools. All the history textbooks at the time had the early Indian connection specifically mentioned in them. Teachers of that period taught about the early Indianised kingdoms of Langkasuka, Srivijaya and Majapahit that existed from as early as 100 CE.

Anyone can see that Parameswara, the founder of Malacca, has a clearly give away name that points to the Indian/Hindu influence. No one can deny this, and all our children need to know about this. They have the fundamental right to learn about this aspect of our history too.

Why don't our children learn about these early Indian connections today? It needs mention here that this early Indian connection has nothing to do with the much later cheap Indian "coolie" labour influx that the British brought over to man the railways and plantations of Malaysia from the late 19th century onwards.

The malay language as we know it today is already fully impregnated and enriched with many foreign words. This is good. Malay therefore has been a bahasa rojak from early times itself.

Rojak itself (and also cendul) is a Malaysia food developed by an Indian Malayalee Muslim community known as the Malabaris who hailed from Kerala. They were also referred to as kakas. We now wrongly credit the Penang mamaks for this great food.

The very word "Melayu" itself is most probably of Indian origin from the words "Malai Ur", which means land of mountains in Tamil. Singapur, Nagapur and Indrapur are very common Indian names that have similar backgrounds.

The early Indians were probably inspired by the main mountain range that looks like a backbone for the malay peninsula and thus named it Malaiur. The word "Malai" is undoubtedly Indian in origin as is the case with the word Himalayas and we all know where it is situated.

Many malay words, from describing malay royalty (Seri, Raja, Maha, etc) and common everyday terms (suami, kerana, dunia, cuma, bakti), all have Indian connections. The undeniable Indian connection in the word Indonesia is also reflected in the name itself.

The Indian factor that influences even the prevailing malay culture in terms of music, food, dress and certain other everyday practices like betel chewing and bersanding is another thing over which a loud hush prevails. Why?

Such knowledge of the roots of this great country, be they Indian, Chinese, Arab or whatever, can indeed very strongly facilitate the ongoing efforts of the government to make our children think of themselves as Bangsa Malaysia more readily and more easily.

7:12 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous coolooc said...

Semi Value, Najis, Hisppukidin, Bodowi……….all these idiots of the Umno corrupt government - one thing is certain - majority, a very high majority of the public does not believe anything the stupid, lying and corrupt Umno government says anymore.

This Umno government has zero credibility with the people of Malaysia and one of the reasons is the public is more knowledgeable and intelligent than all those idiots in government especially those dumb shit heads in Umno.

7:15 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous reek said...

If we read the Malaysia Federal Constitution of 1957, we will not find the word "bumiputera" - hence some would say the origin of the word is grounded in the political agenda of some politicians to discriminate against citizens not of malay ethnicity.

In short there is no constitutional legitimacy in the use of the term "bumiputera" except for its purpose which is to discriminate for the sake of discriminating.

Some fifty years after independence from the British, the demographic profile of its population has changed. Most of the Chinese/Indians today are no longer foreign born, and through the principle of "jus soli" (Latin meaning "right of the soil") are citizens by birth.

The word "bumiputera" (Sanskrit meaning "son of the soil") which came into popular use after the riots of 1969, is a convenient term not grounded in the science of anthropology but in the politics of race - in other words its use is a convenient invention by malay politicians and malay leaders to justify the policies of Umno which dominated the ruling alliance, which came to be known as the New Economic Policy (NEP).

It could have been called "The Great Affirmative Action Policy" but the architects of the NEP are visionary leaders whose motives go beyond affirmative action.

It is not a coincidence that post-1969 saw the rise of business oriented leaders in Umno and the political demise of the malay school teachers whose hold over power in the party suffered a setback. The labeling is important as events many years later are to demonstrate to us that more is envisaged rather than just affirmative action.

Let there only be one class or let Malaysia be a nation of the "classless". Malaysians do not need a caste system like we find in India.

Enough is enough. The word "bumiputera" creates a class of Malaysians based not on ethnicity but on some dubious criteria with religion factored into it.

It is conceptualized for the convenience of policy makers who rode on the wave of malay nationalism unleashed after May 13, 1969 to maintain their position of power and influence.

The faster we do away with the word "bumiputera" the better it will be. The use of the term "bumiputera" post-1969, I submit, has less to do with affirmative actions but more to do with politicians who see in it the opportunity to maintain their hold over power.

It is time power be handed over to a fresh breed of Malaysians who think less in terms of Malay, Indian and Chinese or "bumiputera" and "non-bumiputera" but more in terms of Malaysians of different ethnic descent.

But let us not lose our perspective. The United States has been independent for more than 200 years but is still today struggling with racism. Malaysia is still politically a toddler learning to walk. Success is about what happens when we fall rather than in the walking.

7:17 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous samp said...

I for another have given up on Malaysia as well. Born and raised but discriminated against in my own native soil. I now pledge loyalty to Australia where I am treated fair and equal.

I had not forgotten my grassroots but what is the point remembering it! All that I ask is equal rights and opportunities being a citizen but as a racist government, it is therefore impossible. Oh well……….Malaysia's loss is Australia's gain.

It is still pretty interesting to frequent the current affairs going on in Malaysia. It is as though one is reading the collapse of the Roman Empire.

7:20 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous kok said...

Well, here is one for you if you think that economic grounds is the only reason for many to emigrate.

I will be leaving this country within the next one year.

If you must know, currently I am earning a five figure salary, living in a luxury condo in the heart of KL, own another landed property in Bangsar and have two kids who are three and five respectively. I also have a maid, who for a mere RM400 a month, helps my wife to look after the home and kids.

Yes, I will be emigrating to the land of the white-man soon. And guess what, I don't even have a job to go to yet in this white-man's land. But you know something? It doesn't matter to me as I know that with my skills, I can get a job there if I look in the right places.

They do not ask me if I am a bumiputera or Muslim before giving me a job. All they look at is my CV which speaks for itself. And I don't need to be connected to a 'Dato'.

I wouldn't even mind taking up a lower level job as long as I can look after my family and at the same time give my kids the option of a better and fairer future. There is no guarantee that my kids will become doctors or scientists. But merely knowing that they have a fair option is more then enough for my family to decide to take this giant step to uproot.

My lifestyle in this white-man's land will definitely be different. But just as I had strived for 10 years in Malaysia to create my wealth from nothing at all, what is there to stop me from doing it all over again? In fact with the same effort, I should be much better off.

To put it bluntly, I am prepared to take the risk of emigration at the age of 38 with my family 'on tow'. The question arises - why should a person in my capacity want to leave when I have all that a person can wish for?

One should stop looking with malice at people like me who make a choice to emigrate for the betterment of our family's future. He might want to do a proper study on how much Malaysia stands to lose from skilled people leaving this country simply because they have had enough of it.

Please crawl out of your tempurung and look around at the amount of money that is being wasted in this country to make the well-connected malays rich. They have nothing to complain about as the government is prepared to give you anything even when in many cases you might not deserve it.

If you want to talk about fairness, then look at the titles that have been given to malays who had not done much at all. The round-the-world sailor who had to be assisted by the Royal Malaysian Air Force with an expenditure of about a million ringgit and the swimmer whose feat is not accredited by organisations monitoring English Channel crossings.

What about the first Malaysians to make it up Mount Everest, where are their 'Dato' titles? Perhaps a title for the medical student who crossed the English Channel in almost half the time of the former 'hero'?

I know of malay students in University Malaya. I know them well. You see, I didn't get the chance to do a proper science course locally and had to struggle to fund my overseas education by begging and borrowing.

You might also want to find out the real reason why the 128 students were not given medical seats in local universities even though they had very high scores. Are you saying that these students are inferior to the matriculation students?

Do you know the pains of studying in order to score excellent results in the STPM? Please, feel free to furnish me facts so that poor souls like me would be convinced that the policies of this country are just and fair.

If you have ever heard of the simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime." you will realise that many non-malays have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the malays.

One day the fish will run out.

7:22 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former British colonies Myanmar, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have never shown an interest in joining the useless Commonwealth. Some of the most corrupt dictatorships in the world, such as Malawi and Swaziland, are members. Most of the poor members of the Commonwealth join for the reason of getting development aid from the rich members. So, it comes as no surprise that malaysians are not interested in the post.

9:52 PM GMT+8  
Blogger johnleemk said...

"Former British colonies Myanmar, Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have never shown an interest in joining the useless Commonwealth. Some of the most corrupt dictatorships in the world, such as Malawi and Swaziland, are members."

Have you realised that some of the countries you have named are among "the most corrupt dictatorships in the world"?

Btw, to the chap who said that the 1957 constitution does not use the phrase "bumiputra", the current constitution also does not use any such wording. Actually, much of what we think about the "social contract" is a lie.

11:47 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chinese play big part in Malaysia's economy, then and now. If that's not a fact, then just for comparision, look at Indonesia's economy where chinese is a small minority race but yet doing well.

1:04 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:13 PM GMT+8  

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