Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Star letter: Wait for next election, Anwar

SEPTEMBER 16 had come and gone. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim failed to unseat Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the Prime Minister.

As a Muslim, Anwar should accept that he can plan, but God decides.

From the very beginning what he did was morally wrong, although politics by a Machiavelian standard is apolitical.

It may be the accepted norms in other developing countries, but Malaysia has come of age and our politicians should show maturity and dignity when clamouring for political power.

Anwar should have the patience to wait for the next general election and let the people decide. He already has control over five states and should concentrate on them by showing to the people how the Opposition governs these states.

In a democracy it is the people who actually hold and wield power and not the politicians. For in the words of Abraham Lincon, “democracy is government by the people, of the people and for the people.”

On March 8, the people decided to cut Barisan Nasional’s two-third majority and yet BN accepted the defeat graciously and respected the will of the people.

When Anwar won in the Permatang Pauh by-election, it was again an indication of the people’s will and again BN accepted it in good faith.

Instead of being arrogant, Anwar should be humble with his victory in Permatang Pauh. Buying over BN representatives runs counter to his anti-corruption campaign.

A man of virtue will not resort to unethical means to meet his objectives and he has indeed lost the respect of certain quarters.

As a member of the public, I call on Anwar to close ranks and work together in the interest of the country.

As a former Deputy Prime Minister and Umno strongman, he has access to Pak Lah and can contribute in terms of ideas etc.

As the Opposition Leader, he can play a constructive role by bringing up pressing issues which affect the rakyat directly.

What the people need is less politicking as there are many urgent matters affecting them, such as illegal immigrants, spiralling food prices, wayward youths, the education system, etc.etc.

I was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a short stint when Pak Lah was the Minister. I had the opportunity to study him at close range.

In all honesty, Pak Lah is a God-fearing man, hardworking, humble and well-liked by civil servants. I believe he never yearned to be the Prime Minister. Tun Dr Mahathir probably saw the good values in Pak Lah and passed the premiership to him to the surprise of some hopefuls.

Being the Prime Minister is not as easy as being a Deputy Prime Minister.

Indeed, heavy is the head that wears the crown,as Pak lah has probably found out.

But as he said at a press conference, ”... being Prime Minister is not main-main and is serious business...”

I believe Pak Lah is a man of his word. When the time comes he will honour his words and pass the baton to his annointed successor Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Meanwhile, let Pak Lah do his job in peace.

Gombak, Selangor.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sheih Kickdefella Arrested

Many have known I am not a big fan of pioneering blogger Kickdefella in my many of my previous entries.

His motion to raise the Malaysian flag upside down during 51st Merdeka was somewhat over the top and I thought he is a Muslim he should not gone overboard as Allah dislike people who are "melampaui batas" and Allah has said it many times in the Quraan. (Semangat Nuzul Al-Quraan 17th Ramadhan)

It is true that the ruling party needs to buck up and kick out corruption, misuse of power, cronyism among others as demanded by the rakyat. What was his purpose to poke fun at our Malaysian flag? Even if the Pakatan coalition was to assume Federal Authority (16 Sept? 17? 18? 25? zzz), I do not think they should change the flag, right?

If you are questioning Islam or the Social contract or the existence of Hindu temples for example, will obviously create racial tensions.

And what did the flag do you wrong for you to play with it? Remember Negarakuku? That's another case where the nation's image was brought to total humiliation where it should be protected and cherished, being so-called proud Malaysians.

As I said many times before, the system is good but only the leaders are misusing it for their greed. For some people, ISA is a draconian system which need to be abolished.

But for me, ISA is important to curb terrorism or extremism or sect movements and the question of politics should never arise. If a BN member was caught creating racial tensions or pose a threat to national security, he also must be detained under ISA. Ahmad Ismail for example.

I feel that the authority needs to be fair when practising ISA.

Then only the people will not question ISA anymore.

Do not condemn the system. Just condemn the leaders when they do wrong.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Singapore: A Confused Nation

I had the chance during the exam week to have a look at the Singaporean Chili Crab festival when I was supposed to be studying. Of course it is simply because the fact that I am an avid fan of seafood particularly arthropods that I chose the festival over CA11 (in all situations anyway). Since the festival was held the day before our nation's gloomy 51st Independence Day, it has brought me to the state of politics (again) and has made me the whole day thinking why was the festival not-so-Singaporean?

When I first arrived, I knew it was going to be a lot of liquor bottles (Tiger Beer was the sponsor) and even had glimpses of so-called Malays who were supposed to be Muslims chugging down a few bottles as well. NOT a rare sight in London obviously as few more other awkward encounters of Malays drinking, still fresh in mind, in C&R Bayswater. However, what puzzled me more that day was the settings and decorations did not really depict the so-called multicultural people of Singapore, when only red lanterns were seen hanging, loyally waiting to be blown away by the wind of summer.

I did enjoy the food though thanks to Kiasu who took charge of making the chili crabs, kuey tiaow and mee. The chili crab was excellent but a bit pricey and I blame it on myself thinking there was going to be free food. But hey, the drinks were free! Something so unexpected from the money-minded nation. Despite all this, still no sign of Malay or Indian food.

The Singapore model is more like a DAP model. In fact, the ruling party was actually a parent-party to DAP until Singapore left Malaysia and even had a tie with them for many years. They will make sure of equality among races and promotes harmony among the people. All languages and cultures will be respected and even the Malay language is one of their all 4 official languages English Malay Mandarin Tamil in that order.

The other day I also had a chance to chat with Jonny Hua, a Singaporean facebooker whom I met at a virtual poker table. The first question I threw at him was whether he can speak Malay. He said "No". I then asked him if Malay language is a compulsory subject at school and he confirmed that, adding that the other two would be English and Mandarin.

I asked him whether he can speak Mandarin and of course he could it was only a question made to be fair. However somehow he couldn't speak any of these 'Gorilla language' as once said by a Malaysian blogger.

Singapore adopts the National School system where there is no such thing as vernacular schools. It's a one-school system with English being the language of communication in schools. Bahasa on the other hand, can be said as only a second/third language. I can imagine being like them struggling as I took Arabic and French but so far from being a good communicator in those languages, evidently from a recent trip to Paris when I ended up speaking English instead.

But what I can see that National School system does work in the sense that we need one dominant language to communicate with all. And Singaporeans use English as the medium of interaction. It is a startling initiative to promote harmony but the question now is about identity.

Why I'm saying Singapore is a confused nation? Because I do not know if Singapore is like a Little Hong Kong or China when there were only lanterns and other Chinese decorations in the Chili Crab Festival with performances of Kung-fu and Lion Dance only. Where are the Tamil songs or Malay dances showing how multicultural Singapore is? The Festival did make me feel confused if I was at a Singaporean festival or Chinese festival.

And the fact that English is technically their first language, how can you call yourself a former Temasek once ruled by the Malays until then the imperialist English took over? Should you be calling yourself Little Britain now?

A confused nation would mean a nation with no identity and failing to protect its sovereignty, being raped by the culture not of their own.

The good things that we can be proud of being Malaysians is that we all can speak Malaysian Language well and have three major cultures where all this is performed during Malaysian Nights and Festivals. While Islam is the official language, people are free to embrace any religion they want to practice and religious monuments, buildings and statues are all permitted. We even have festivals based on races like the Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya or Wesak Day. All this might be hampered by the fact that we have vernacular schools which can polarises the people based on races.

However, this might be an act to protect the rights of the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia and to respect the social contract while some of their children are still struggling with the Malaysian Language. But I still think we need to remind ourselves that we do have one official language which is the Malaysian language, a language not just mine, but all of us Malaysians.

This has made our nation being unique.

I wonder what would DAP say if we suggest to them that vernacular schools to be abolished if equality is their agenda.

There are still many areas that we can improve on for a better Malaysia. Eradicating poverty and corruption should be the main agenda. A fairer distribution of wealth while killing off cronies and monopoly should be another way to gain the people's confidence. Closing the economical gap should promote harmony as well so that Malaysians do not see Chinese people as rich people while the Malays, Indians, Ibans, Kelabits are the poor people. The people on the other hand, should work hard and help the people who are in need regardless of races.

These are some of the things that we can do to materialise the Malaysian dream of a developed nation, while protecting our sovereignty from modern imperialism through economic invasion.

There is still much work to do.

Becoming Singapore is not one of them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ramadhan Wishlist (Food)

1. Roti Bom inti kaya
2. Ayam percik
3. Nasi Ayam
4. Kuey Tiaow Taiping
5. Sirap bandung
6. Murtabak daging
7. Roti John Komeng

Selamat Berpuasa. Ini semua... COBAAN....