Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Muhyiddin's Bangsa, Agama Dan Negara Recipe For Our Varsities

Universities in Malaysia have been urged to create a new co-curriculum to explain issues regarding the social contract which has often drawn the attention of various parties of late.

Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said explaining the issues to the younger generation especially university students was important so as to avoid confusion.

"The important thing is not to question the social contract but to give an explanation so that they understand what the social contract is all about especially among the younger generation, because not all of them understand the social contract.

"Therefore, giving the explanation with proper methods and linking it with the country's history are important," he told reporters after delivering a lecture on "Malay-Muslim Politics - Crisis and Solution" at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) here today.

The lecture, organised by the Centre of Islamic Development Management Studies and Nurul Yaqeen Foundation, was attended USM students and lecturers.

Besides, he said, university lecturers should play a crucial role in giving the explanation.

"An effective explanation is important because when the students leave and mix around with the community, it will be easy for them to understand the concept of democracy and the constitution that we have," said Muhyiddin who is International Trade and Industry Minister.

He said the social contract issues had been solved long ago and all parties should accept it. (Bernama)

***** As with other government attempts to 'explain' inter-communal issues, you can bet that this social 'contract' co-curriculum hoopla will be another exercise in tilting to one side and the adding of more fiction than fact. If past experience is any guide, as usual some fanatic wingnuts with rabid pro-Malay leanings will be selected and fully expect them to mess up the whole idea by including unsubstantiated 'facts' and unnecessary Umno propaganda into the syllabus.

You can safely dismiss this proposal as just another bangsa, agama dan negara hype.
Consider it as a stillborn Muhyiddin idea.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

BN Leaders Agree With PM Umno Not A Bully

Leaders of Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties today agreed with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that Umno was not a bully.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Umno as the mainstay of the BN had never bullied other component parties and in fact, listened to their views before making any decision.

"This culture does not exist in the BN. If it had, the coalition would have fallen apart a long time ago," he told reporters after attending MCA's 55th annual general assembly here.

PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas said it was not true that BN component parties were bullied by Umno but people's perception that this was happening should be corrected.

Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said this perception was being exploited by the opposition for political mileage.

"When(BN) leaders make negative statements, it will be exploited by the opposition and cause people to believe that there is a bullying culture," he said.

Outgoing MCA deputy president Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy said BN leaders should take the responsibility to correct the perception situation to preserve BN harmony.

Abdullah in his speech when opening the assembly had said Umno had never resorted to bullying its partners in the coalition and allegations that it did were the creation of the opposition in trying to erode the people's support for it. (Bernama)

***** Even after getting the short end of the stick for so long, the slaves of the BN component parties still cannot bring themselves to admit the fact that they have been relegated to second class status. With such a state of denial existing can we honestly expect them to fight for the rights of the average non-umnoputera? Not in a zillion years. Boot them all out at the earliest. They are merely opportunistic, self-serving politicians who don't have the interests of the common man at heart. How disappointing.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parliament: Cops Scared Of Crooks, So Police Beat Base Closed! Malaysia Boleh!

A police beat base in the Chow Kit area of downtown Kuala Lumpur was closed down because it was in a location that was considered unsafe, said Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.

In a written reply to Dr Lo’ Lo’ Mohamad Ghazali (PAS-Titiwangsa), Syed Hamid said the beat base was located in a dirty area where there was a possibility of being exposed to contagious diseases.

The presence of criminals also posed a threat to the safety of police officers, he said.

Lo’ Lo’ had asked why the beat base on Jalan Haji Taib was closed considering the high number of vice-related activities in the area, as well as what kind action had been taken by the police to curb such activities.

Syed Hamid said that the police were looking for a new location to build a police beat base that would be able to give “guaranteed and continued service to the public.”

Lo’ Lo’s was the 30th question in the Order Paper and hence did not get a mention in the House during the daily one-hour Question Time. However, Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) managed to raise it when he interjected during Azmin Ali’s (PKR-Gombak) speech during the debate on Budget 2009.

Dr Mohd Hatta said that if the police themselves felt unsafe in a beat base, then it would be even worse for the public.

“The minister has to resign if he is worried about the safety of police in that area. Maybe it would be better to put the beat base in army barracks,” he said.

Dr Mohd Hatta then managed to raise the issue again during his own debate on Budget 2009 saying that Syed Ali’s response was not rational.

“The police are there to make a place safe. If they themselves are scared and run away, then how can we hope for others to want to be there?

“It is embarassing and that is why the criminals will always be there,” he said.

Dr Mohd Hatta said if the place is dirty, then it is up to the police to organise gotong-royong activities to clean it up or if they did not want to then they should move to Putrajaya or Parliament.

“And what is this about contagious diseases on Jalan Haji Taib? The only kind of contagious diseases that are present there are sexually-transmitted ones.

“Is the minister scared that his charges will contract such diseases? That kind of thing is a matter of choice. In any case, if this is what he is worried about then we are worried that the police are not above this.”

Dr Mohd Hatta added that the police had to be brave people and that they were a different breed altogether when facing demonstrators. He said he hoped that the minister would clarify his written answer in the House as this is not the kind of police that the people want. (The Star Online)

***** A totally idiotic explanation by Syed Hamid. I wonder if he's been smoking anything strong lately. Will the cops agree with his findings? Or are they too busy trying to demonize Hindraf? Or perhaps they simply don't care what the public think of them anymore. Pathetic.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keep Race Out Of Business In Private Sector, Says Najib. What About Government Sponsored Racism?

The Government does not want business in the private sector to be conducted along racial lines.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak however said that all private companies were encouraged to build up a local vendor system to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises.

“So, all big non-bumiputra companies, particularly those which have received licences or contracts from the Government, should give priority towards the development of local small firms, including those owned by bumiputras.

“Goverment-linked companies (GLCs) also have a role in giving opportunities and guidance to all bumiputra and non-bumiputra businesses,” he told Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid (BN - Padang Besar).

Najib, recently appointed Finance Minister, also said that he had recently met with a few small businesses involved in the local furniture industry, particularly those contracted to supply furniture to the Government.

“They have asked for the tender system to be reviewed so that they will be considered later when awarding contracts,” he said. (The Star Online)

***** When will we here from Najib that the government wants to halt race discrimination in the public sector? Not in a hundred years if he can help it. His prescription is simple - "Do what I say, don't do what I do." This man is never going to change. He's just as bad, perhaps even worse than some of the other umnoputeras who have led the country till now. Enough already.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gerakan Will Not Join Opposition Even If It Pulls Out Of BN

Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia will "in no way" join the opposition even if it pulls out of the Barisan Nasional (BN), Selangor Gerakan chief and Central Committee Member A. Kohilan Pillay said Sunday.

He said Gerakan was looking at all possibilities, including becoming an independent entity, but stressed that the party would not join the Pakatan Rakyat.

Whatever decision the party leadership made, it must be acceptable to the grassroots in unison, he said.

"This matter concerns our status and future and it would be dealt with in depth. We don't want to become another SAPP (Sabah Progressive Party) or MDP (Malaysian Democratic Party, a splinter of the DAP), where a crucial decision had caused a split in the party," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Gerakan national delegates conference, here.

After suffering a massive defeat in the March 8 general election, Gerakan saw many of its members quit or defect to the opposition, and this put tremendous pressure on the leadership to take drastic action for the betterment of the party.

Kohilan Pillay said the issue would not hamper the party's efforts at revitalisation.

"Those who quit were disappointed as they could not fulfill their personal agenda in the party. But now the ground sentiment on Gerakan is improving and I believe we are doing the right thing and heading in the right direction," he said. (Bernama)

***** With this kind of half-hearted disposition and lily-livered, cowardly attitude there is little hope for Gerakan in the future. It looks like they are trying rather foolishly to straddle the divide while attempting to threaten Umno and hoping that the racist party would throw a few large size crumbs for the Gerakan leadership to enjoy.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shah Rukh Khan Award Fiasco - Pathetic Lies From An Ambitious Bluffmaster

The Malacca Governor’s 70th birthday title award ceremony here was abuzz with excitement with many expecting to see popular Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan receive his Datukship on Saturday.

However, the international star and heartthrob was not to be seen at the Dewan Seri Hall in Ayer Keroh. Efforts are still being made to get him to come to Malaysia to collect his award.

The Datukship award has been questioned by various parties, including politicians and diehard fans.

Some say the actor did not deserve the award as “he hardly knows where Malacca is” while others say he “promoted Malacca in his songs and movies.”

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the decision to confer the title on the actor was based on a suggestion by former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin to Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob recently as a means to further promote Malacca owing to the fact that the actor had shot a movie scene here several years ago.

He said the movie One 2 ka 4 was shot at the A Famosa Resort in Alor Gajah in 2001.

This resulted in many people visiting Malacca since then. The award is given in recognition of this,” he said after the awards presentation ceremony on Saturday.

Mohd Ali said awarding international artistes was also a good way to promote the state and country as a location for movies.

“Phuket Island is famous as an international tourist destination because of a James Bond movie,” he said, adding that Shah Rukh Khan’s movies have penetrated the European, US and Middle Eastern markets.

He said Daim is making arrangements to bring the actor here to receive the award in a special ceremony. (The Star Online)

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam must take us all for fools. The cavalier manner in which this award was decided upon is appalling. How can he claim to have listened to the words of a known crook like Daim? And the idiotic justification that the actor had shot a movie scene in Malacca several years ago!!

Do you think that the umnoputeras will ever change? And to know that Ali Rustam is on his way up in the party hierarchy is frightening. God bless Malacca, Malaysia and Shah Rukh Khan.

*** Bollywood news - Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan hospitalised

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Anwar Ibrahim Sets New December Deadline To Seize Power. End Of Umno?

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has said that the country's beleaguered Barisan Nasional government could fall by December, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Anwar has insisted he had won over enough defectors from the government to form a new administration. But an earlier self-imposed deadline of September 16 passed and his calls to recall parliament for a confidence vote were denied.

The former deputy premier's move to set a new deadline by the Eid al-Adha festival, which falls on December 8, comes after Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi announced this week he will not stand in a party election next year, effectively handing over to his deputy Najib Razak.

"We have built our base to go forward, if it (taking power) does not happen this week or next week, it can possibly happen before Eid al-Adha festival," Anwar said late on Friday in comments reported by the mass-selling Berita Harian newspaper

"On the way it will be done, I can't say. We will choose the peaceful way," Anwar, who was touring the northeastern state of Kelantan, said.

Eid al-Adha is Islam's most important feast at the end of the annual Haj pilgrimage. In mainly-Muslim Malaysia, the holiday coincides with the last few days parliament will be in session for the year.

Anwar has to get 30 government MPs to walk over in order to have a majority in the 222-seat parliament. At present the opposition coalition, made of Anwar's Keadilan party, the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia and the Democratic Action party, has 82 seats.

"A momentum for a no-confidence vote could build up when parliament starts next week and this may happen during the debating of the budget or any bill for that matter," said Ginie Lim, spokesperson for Keadilan party.

One of Malaysia's best-known political figures, Anwar made world headlines when he was dismissed in the late 1990s by then premier Mahathir Mohamad and later imprisoned on what he says were trumped up sodomy and corruption charges.

He was in court again this week on new sodomy charges which he says is another ploy to stymie his challenge against the government that has ruled the Southeast Asian nation for more than 50 years. (Reuters)

***** Better late than never.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

UMNO's New Clothes

Malaysia's ruling party, UMNO, made a bid to reinvent itself this week, as Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced his intention to resign in March. Party leaders apparently hope that removing their unpopular leader -- who led UMNO to a dismal election performance earlier this year -- will boost popularity and help unify the party.

UMNO's problems are greater than Mr. Abdullah, however. After being in power for more than 50 years, the party hasn't been able to deliver the reform voters want. Efforts to tackle corruption and reform the judiciary have stalled. The party too often relies on racial preferences and fear to maintain its grip on power.

Mr. Abdullah promised Wednesday that before he leaves office he will pass an anticorruption bill and establish an independent Judicial Appointments Commission. There's a lot more he could do, starting with repeal of the Internal Security Act, which allows indefinite detentions without trial. A prominent anti-government blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin, was recently arrested under the ISA; he remains in jail.

But the biggest service Mr. Abdullah could perform for his country is to ensure that the democratic process works. On Monday, Parliament will reconvene for the first time since opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was elected as an MP. Mr. Anwar has said he will use his seat to unseat UMNO and push broad-based reform. UMNO needs to show that it welcomes this challenge and take the opportunity to engage the opposition in policy debate. What happens next week will say a lot about how much UMNO is really willing to change. (Wall Street Journal)

***** I doubt if many in Malaysia realistically expect any meaningful change to come from these very same discredited polticians who have all these years actively contributed to the overt racism and corruption which has taken our country to the precipice. Wolves in sheep's clothing comes to mind.
Image - Source

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reject People Who Don't Respect Country's Leaders:Najib. We Too Must Reject Leaders Who Don't Respect The Country

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today called on the people to reject any form of unruly behaviour towards the country's leaders.

The deputy prime minister said the government did not want such behaviour to become a norm because it could undermine unity and security of the country.

Citing as example the unruly incident at the Hari Raya open house of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and other Muslim cabinet ministers in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday, he said such action could cause losses to the country.

"If there are parties with other motives, who don't understand the culture of courtesy, are rude and don't respect the leaders, the people must reject them.

This kind of action cannot become a norm," he said when launching the countdown for the Fei-World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2008 in Gong Badak near here.

Last Wednesday, a group of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters caused a disturbance at the cabinet open house at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) when they cut queue to get into the hall to present Abdullah with a bear and a Hari Raya card bearing 300 signatures calling for the release of Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Najib said the government held the open house to enable the people to meet and greet the national leaders without having to observe protocol.

It was a unique culture which was not practised anywhere else in the world and it showed the peace that the people in this country enjoyed.

"Never in other countries can the the people meet their leaders so easily. (But) this value of peace will be destroyed if certain parties have other motives. This value of peace cannot be ignored," he said.

He said that if such actions persisted, it might not be possible to practise the open house concept in future and that would be a loss. (Bernama)

***** Najib should be reminded that his advice cuts both ways and that there will be no more free passes for our so-called pemimpin to do as they please. They will get the respect if they deserve it. No more kowtowing just for the heck of it and our pemimpin should stop expecting mindless public obedience as their birthright.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Next Malaysia PM Seen Trapped By Race, Economy

Malaysia's prime minister is likely to announce on Wednesday that he will step aside for his deputy, but the man picked as the new leader is unlikely to be able stop either the political or economic rot.

Najib Razak, 55, has deep roots in the main ruling party. He joined in 1978, is the son of one prime minister and the nephew of another and is a staunch defender of ethnic Malay rights and an affirmative action programme that critics say has failed.

He has held the post of deputy to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi since 2004, but will not take power until March 2009 when leadership elections for the main ruling party are held.

That will create a power vacuum at a time when racial tensions in this country of 27 million people are on the rise, the ruling coalition is fracturing under pressure from the opposition and economic growth is set to slow sharply.

Malaysia's export-oriented economy will be hard hit by the coming global economic slowdown caused by the financial crisis that originated in the U.S. mortgage market.

Leading domestic investment bank CIMB on Wednesday cut its 2009 growth forecast for Malaysia to 3.0 percent from 5.0 percent due to an expected slowdown in demand for its exports.

"He (Najib) is seen as a hardliner and Malay chauvinist. His base is from a political party that is in crisis and seriously discredited," said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia expert at Johns Hopkins University.


The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) that Najib will head has dominated politics for the 51 years since independence from Britain, but it has been in crisis since the opposition recorded its best ever result in elections in March.

It represents the near 60 percent of the population that is ethnic Malay and is backed in a 13-party coalition called Barisan Nasional by a host of ethnic parties representing the Chinese, Indian and indigenous population.

Those smaller parties were hammered in elections in March and need to reinvent themselves. Their voters feel they have been betrayed by leaders who have chosen power over their interests.

"This is what I called the Najib's dilemma. He has to democratise, open up, but if he does that he's going to allow for the opening of the Pandora's box," said Terence Gomez, professor at the University of Malaya.

Ethnic Malay voters, who are among the poorest Malaysians, have been hit hard by rising food and fuel prices that have pushed inflation to a near-27 year high. They have also watched well-connected Malays get richer, while they have seen few gains.

Abdullah's promises to end rampant corruption have not been borne out and Malaysia has sunk in Transparency International rankings to 43rd place from 37th when he took power.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy PM who was imprisoned on corruption and sodomy charges, has tapped into that discontent and says he has won over enough government legislators to win power, although he hasn't named names.

His predicted Sept. 16 date for winning power has gone -- along with some of his credibility, analysts say -- and short of an outright surrender by the prime minister, he has few levers to open the path to government.

There has also been renewed squabbling in the leadership of Anwar's Islamist allies, some of whom feel they would be better served by joining the government rather staying in the opposition "rainbow" coalition which includes reformers and ethnic Chinese.


Even though Najib is seen as a stalwart of his race -- who warned in November 2007 that Malay patience "has limits" after criticism of their rights and has called for an extension of Malay ownership of companies -- he does not score significantly better than Abdullah among core voters.

According to the Merdeka poll, he was just one percentage point more popular than the incumbent among ethnic Malays.

Among other races Najib is even less popular, scoring three points less than Abdullah among ethnic Chinese voters and 20 percentage points less among Indian voters.

As UMNO cannot govern alone, he needs to rebuild the shattered allied parties and the credibility of their leaders.

Najib has been tainted by allegations he has denied that he was involved in the death of a Mongolian model in a case that has scandalised the nation. He was also investigated and cleared in an investigation into corruption in a submarine purchase in 2003.

With leadership beckoning, discontent over the handling of the economy has emerged as the top concern of voters and Najib, who was recently appointed finance minister, is tarred with the same brush of failing to grasp economic opportunities as Abdullah.

"The economy proved to be Abdullah's ultimate weakness, and it will likely be Najib's as well," Welsh said. (Reuters)

***** "He (Najib) is seen as a hardliner and Malay chauvinist. His base is from a political party that is in crisis and seriously discredited." How true. Najib is really bad news for the nation's future. Can't we have a better alternative instead of the same old warlords like Najib and that other discredited fellow Muhyiddin? Is a party infested with vermin like Khir Toyol the answer to the problems that ail our country?

What about changing direction with Anwar Ibrahim at the helm?

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Umno Handover Will Do Nothing To Reform An Administration Mired In Corruption, Says Anwar

A looming leadership transition in Malaysia's ruling coalition will do nothing to reform an administration mired in corruption, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who led the coalition to its worst ever performance in elections this year, is expected to announce shortly whether he will stand aside next March in favour of his deputy Najib Razak.

'I don't believe that Najib will be able to garner support or credibility, or manage the economy and rid the country of corruption,' Mr Anwar told reporters.

'The leaders must be credible and we are talking about a system tainted with corruption, condoning criminality, and therefore it is important we continue to call for reform and changes.'

Mr Anwar, who has said he has the support of enough lawmakers to topple the government, is also battling a sodomy charge which he says is politically motivated and aimed at preventing him from seizing power.

He has been accused of sodomising a 23-year-old former aide - the same charge that saw him jailed a decade ago after he was sacked as deputy prime minister.

Mr Anwar had a small victory in court Tuesday when a judge fended off a government attempt to move the case to the High Court.

Mr Anwar, who has said he fears the government could fix the trial if it is heard in the High Court, questioned the motivation of Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who he is suing in connection with his earlier conviction.

'I am concerned only about the issue of fair trial. I am finding it difficult to understand why the attorney-general is so desperate, fighting tooth and nail to get the case out of this court,' he said.

The Sessions Court will hear arguments from both sides over the transfer of the case until Wednesday. (Straits Times, Singapore)

***** Chances are that under Najib things will go from very bad to very, very bad. Anwar is the only hope for millions of Malaysians to deliver them from the racist and corrupt regime that Umno has become.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Ronnie Liu Sues Khir Toyol

Selangor state exco Ronnie Liu filed a defamation suit against former Selangor MB Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo on Monday for allegedly defaming his character, including allegedly describing Liu as immoral and being involved in vice activities

Dr Khir had allegedly accused Liu in May of obstructing a prostitution raid at a hotel in Puchong and claimed he was therefore not fit to be in charge of the state’s local government.

Liu said the accusations were baseless and was aimed at attacking his political reputation and tarnishing his name.

He is seeking an unspecified amount of general, aggravated and exemplary damages. The suit was filed at 11.30am at the KL High Court. (The Star)

***** The Toyol deserves it. He got away with it after stirring shit and getting Teresa Kok arrested. At that time Pak Lah was unwilling to nail the Indon immigrant. This is a very good thing that Ronnie Liu has done. Syabas!

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

BN Must Reform Says Najib. The Reality Is Najib & Umno Should Drastically Change

From The Star
Barisan Nasional has to change to meet the aspirations of the people or be prepared for the people to change the coalition, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The March general election showed that the coalition must make reforms and implement policies to meet the expectations of the people, he said.

“It is a clear message that Barisan needs to be proactive to meet the people’s needs and reforms are already taking place as announced by the Prime Minister,” Najib told a Sabah Barisan Hari Raya gathering last night.

“We will continue to be sensitive and open to the needs of the people,” he said, adding that Barisan was still relevant and could deliver the change the people expected.

“If we don’t have the courage to change then people will change us,” he said.

Najib said that among steps needed to be taken were to ensure that the country’s wealth was distributed fairly to all regions and people and to plant seeds of a value system whereby all communities irrespective of religion would work together.

Taking Sabah as an example, he said that despite its multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the people were relaxed and open to each other’s cultures.

“I feel that we will not have a problem and the proposed Race Relations Act is not necessary. What is needed is a value system and not a legal system,” he said.
***** It's easy for Najib to speak without showing any proof or intention of changing. He is an umnoputera first, second and last. The truth of the matter is that it's only Umno which has to make the biggest reforms as they have been the biggest culprit in ruining a peaceful country with their racist policies. The other component parties are merely appendages who've had absolutely no clout in the past. Their main fault and weakness was to kowtow to Umno day in and day out, a task which they did to perfection.

It is however the average Malaysian who has forced people like Najib to at least talk about 'reform,' knowing full well that this time around there will be no easy path to victory for Umno if they plan to cling on to that catchphrase of the past, 'demi bangsa,agama dan negara'.

Not many would be convinced by Najib that Umno is capable of reform. It would be better if they just disappear from the scene once and for all. Then we can get down to governing our country properly and peacefully.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

There's Nothing Easy About Pluralism And No Simple Answers

By Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun

Pluralism is difficult and few are more acutely aware of that this week than Jordan Smith, whose jaw was wired shut this week following an unprovoked attack on Davie Street where he was walking hand-in-hand with his boyfriend.

Nirmal Singh Gill's family knows how hard it is as well. Gill was beaten to death a decade ago in Surrey by five neo-Nazi skinheads.

Hate-based crimes are rarely reported in Canada. But fear of difference cuts many ways and people who are attacked often won't report.

Pluralism is something Canadians chose. Canada is a multicultural, multi-ethnic and religiously diverse country and has been since the merging of French, English and aboriginal people.

But Canada is not unique. There's scarcely a country that is homogeneous. What sets countries apart is how they deal with pluralism.

Malaysia, where I spent most of the past month, also boasts that it is a multicultural country. Unlike Canada, the 51-year-old country suffered both race riots and internal guerrilla warfare in the 1960s.

It has an official policy of separation and segregation in dealing with its four major ethnic groups, which are also differentiated by religion in the officially Islamic country. The majority of Malays are Muslim. Chinese and indigenous people are mostly Christian and the Indians are mainly Hindu.

The Muslim Malays (bumiputras, as they are called) are favoured when it comes to jobs, university enrolment and government contracts. The government requires publicly traded companies to have a minimum of 30-per-cent "bumiputra equity." There are separate schools for different races and race-based political parties.

But these policies now appear to be threatening not only the viability of the current government, but Malaysia's peace and stability. And so far, the government's response has not been to amend its policies. Rather, in its desperation, it is jailing its critics.

In mid-September, Ahmad Ismail (a Malay politician from the ruling UMNO coalition) described Chinese-Malays as power-hungry immigrants and "squatters."

Ismail completely ignored the fact that many Chinese-Malays' ancestors arrived several hundred years ago.

Even though Ismail's comments put the fragile government coalition of Malay, Chinese and Indian parties at risk, he refused to apologize. His only punishment was to have his party membership suspended for three years.

But within days of his comments, two journalists -- one from a Chinese-language daily and another from the influential online Malaysia Today -- were jailed under the draconian Internal Security Act, which allows for 60 days detention without trial. Also arrested on the same day was a Chinese-Malay(sian) member of parliament whose alleged offence was supporting some constituents' request that a local mosque lower the volume on the daily calls to prayer.

All three were accused of inciting racial tensions.

Read the whole report HERE

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Depressed Malaysian Policeman Detained After Firing 58 Shots

A Malaysian policeman, who is believed to suffer from depression, was detained after he fired 58 shots into the air, a news report said Thursday. The 22-year-old officer fired the shots near a cemetery early Wednesday, said Abdul Razak Hassan, district police chief of central Pahang state.

"No injury was reported as it is a remote area," he told the official Bernama news agency.

Abdul Razak said the officer, who has been in the force for three years, had taken home his pistol after his shift, which was against regulations.

He said the suspect has been detained to facilitate further investigations.

***** There are mentally disturbed people in every profession but the danger they pose, especially if they come from the ranks of the police or the army, cannot be overemphasised. Needless to say the pressure that the cops face on a daily basis is daunting and more attention should be given to their emotional wellbeing and welfare. However a situation where shots have been fired must and I'm sure will be taken very seriously by the authorities. Unlike that mentally unstable teacher who preached racism in a school in Selangor and was surprisingly rewarded with a transfer to a smart school nearer her home, the police don't have that luxury.


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