Loyal Followers

Monday, April 26, 2010

What I learned from the HS buy-election

Okay guys. The by-erection is over.

As many of you might notice, I am a history freak. I just love history. I don't know why. But one thing for sure, I like to look at how people behaved or acted before so that I could learn a lesson or two from them in order to enable me to predict how people will behave in the future. I think that's part of the reason why I love history.

What can I learn from the Hulu Selangor buy-election?

First and foremost, this buy-erection teaches me the sure fire way on how to get something done in my constituency. Let's say there are pot holes everywhere on the roads leading to my house. Or there is an old abandoned school project (there are everywhere, aren't they?) which stands like a sore thumb in my housing area which has also doubled up as a drug haunt.

Let's say my kids need a laptop each. And the old folks near my house need some help with their monthly expenditures to make ends meet. Or I need some road humps near my house because there are bloody idiots who drive 80kph on roads in housing estates in their Cayenne or whatever behemoth they drive. And I have been writing countless time to my MP to help. But there isn't anything done.

The trick is to ask my MP to resign. Or to pray that he or she would kick the proverbial bucket.
Then a buy-erection would be declared. And oh my God wouldn't all my prayers be answered instantly! The abandoned school project will immediately be revived. All the pot holes will instantly disappear. My kids will get new laptop. The road humps will suddenly grow on the road in front of my house. Like wow wow.

And I tell you what. If Barisan Nasional wins, I could even get to go to Putrajaya to see the Prime Minister who will see to it that a sum of RM3 million or whatever will be allocated for my mosque, Chinese school or whatever. Fooh...like tawdally simply happenin'.

I also learned from this buy-election that many Malays do not know the difference between a "gift" (for which they should be thankful or grateful) and something which they are already entitled to.

Yes. I am talking about the RM50000.00 each paid to 100 FELDA settlers. That money was not a gift from the government. Nor was it a contribution of any sort from the government. That money belonged to the settlers in the first place because their lands have been taken away more than 10 years ago. That money was long due to them. So there was nothing to be thankful to the government for paying it.

I mean, should I thank you if you had taken my Porsche GT3 (note: this is just an example. I do not have a Porsche GT3 or any Porsche for that matter) about 4 years ago and now you pay me 500 bucks for it?

Yes. But the FELDA settlers could not differentiate between the two. They are owed about a million each for their lands. They are now paid 50000 bucks and they thought it was a gift.
What to do?

I also learned that the Chinese people don't give two hoots to the Barisan Nasional or MCA. To them, the BN or MCA can do or say what they like and they just could not care bloody less. If Pakatan Rakyat had put a chimpanzee as a candidate, the majority of the Chinese people would vote for that chimpanzee. Even if Chua Soi Lek was the challenger.

Then I learned that the majority of Indians in Hulu Selangor however are a predictable lot. They would follow whatever the Barisan Nasional say. Even if UMNO rejected their own party's preferred candidate, the Indians would still support BN. MIC had wanted Palanivel. Local UMNO boys preferred Mugilan. UMNO head honchos put in he-whose-name-is-truly-1Malaysia. And they still supported him.

The next thing I learned is the fact that HINDRAF is now more complicated and dynamic than middle-east politics. They have right winged HINDRAF. Then the left. Then the right-leftist and also the left-rightist. Then they have the true HINDRAF. Also the true right, left, right-leftist as well as the leftist-right. Which makes all the other HINDRAF, whether right, left, rightist-right and leftist-right untrue. Then they have the extreme right, which in other word is known as right-right HINDRAF. As well as left-left HINDRAF.

I don't even know who they support. Or whom they are against. I think they should change their party's name to HUH?DRAF instead.

This buy-election has also taught me that Ibrahim Ali is, at the very least, mildly schizophrenic. One minute he wears an Independent MP hat. In this mode, he is an independent MP who is not aligned to anybody or any party. The next minute, he is the PERKASA leader. In this mode, he fights for the Malay rights, kiss his short Keris in public and wave it about town.

Sometime he fights for Islam, or so he says. Of course he forgets that under Islam, human beings are all equal and the only thing which differentiates people in the eyes of God is piety and how he or she adheres to His wishes.

Then he went to Hulu Selangor and campaigned for Kamalanathan, whom, the last time I checked was not a Malay. On this, Ibrahim Ali said he was in Hulu Selangor not as PERKASA leader but as an independent. Now, if he was an independent who is not aligned to anybody or any party, why was he campaigning for the Barisan Nasional's candidate? Didn't that make him aligned to the BN?

Apart from Ibrahim Ali, I also learned that Kamalanathan is also probably a schizo or a very forgetful boy. When Nasir Safar made some statements which he (Kamal boy) deemed racist, he shouted and screamed on his blog that "the authorities should take the strongest possible steps by charging him with sedition."

However, during the bye-erection, he refused comment when asked about Nasir Safar. Not only that, he mentioned that PERKASA's fights for Malay rights is a-okay by him. And this coming from an Indian, who, in the eye of PERKASA, is "second class citizen." Classicus confuse-ious.

In the same blog entry, he also proclaimed that "I think I am more Malaysian than he is." But when he was asked whether he is an Indian first or Malaysian first, if I remember correctly, he refused to answer. (I stand corrected on this as I am writing this purely from memory).

Be that as it may, I am really proud that YB Kamalanathan has mastered and in fact practised one of the sacred act in the Malay culture. That is the act of respecting our leaders and elderly persons by kissing his or her hand. YB, I am proud to call you a brahder Bro. And you speak Bahasa Melayu well too. Even better than Zaid Ibrahim. If we ever meet YB, I expect you to kiss my hand okay. After all I am older than you.

Hulu Selangor bai-elecsyen had also given me a peek into the Malay Muslim psyche. Alhamdulillah. And that is, alcohol is a big no no. Yea. Nope. Alcohol consumption is a sin. A very big sin. And repentance is not enough to wash you off that sin. Because alcohol consumption my friend, is drunkenly sinful.

You can plunder the country. Commit adultery with children. Commit murder. Commit breach of trust. Have sex with some sex worker from China or where ever. Marry a nice trophy wife without telling your first wife. Lie to your wife. Be a hypocrite all the way.

Yes. But drink alcohol? Wooooo, that's sinful Bro. It is sinful unless you did it when you are in Barisan Nasional. HUaHAHaHAHAHaHa... kayu!

The next thing I learned is that Mirzan Mahathir is very clever. All the board members of San whatever parent company had wanted to diversify into some other business rather than concentrate in the business of manufacturing and selling beer (although why they would want to do so is beyond my comprehension when they earn a hell lot of pesos doing so) but they did not know how to do so or what to do.

They then brought in Mirzan to help them to diversify. Perhaps they had wanted to diversify into car manufacturing la kot. That's why. But then again, Mirzan must have been one of the smartest diversification strategist around. Caya lu la Bro. You make me stand proud as a Malaysian.

The most important thing that I learn from the Hulu Selangor be-elektion is that the Chinese would get to see the Prime Minister and demand 3 million clams only if the Barisan wins.

Hmmm...Saiful whatever is better than the whole Chinese community in Hulu Selangor then.

Why?

Because he got to see the Prime Minister in his house and there wasn't even a bi-erection. (careful, careful, no pun intended, okay...LOL!!!) Oh sorry, I mean, by-election, not erection.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hulu Selangor : death knell for talam-dua-muka politics?

It is now 11.21am on Sunday the 25th of April 2010. The people of Hulu Selangor are electing their new Member of Parliament. It is going to be either Zaid Ibrahim from Pakatan Rakyat or P Kamalanathan of the Barisan nasional.

I have written elsewhere about all the gifts which the Barisan Nasional government was going to dish out to the people of Hulu Selangor. And boy, wasn't I right!

A friend of mine actually suggested that all of us should become a professional "voters". He suggested that we all should move from a constituent to another like nomads. First we should search for a constituent with the oldest or sickest Member of Parliament. Or find one who is most likely to die. Then we move to that constituent. If possible, change our voting constituency too. Then we wait.

When the MP kicks the bucket, hallelujah, (ooops...I am a Muslim, I am not supposed to utter that word lest I would be confused and become a Christian tonight!) the gifts will start raining down like it is Christmas all year round. 

This Hulu Selangor by-election must have had a record in the Guinness Book of Records when it comes to gifts. Just imagine. 50000 smackeroons each for 100 FELDA settlers! 
The thing is this. Does the government really think that the people are all beggars? That the people are willing to sell their vote for money? Like UMNO reps at its General Assembly? Does the government really think everybody in Malaysia is like some of them?

Despite all the money, gifts and all the might of the government, straw polls and survey point to Zaid achieving a famous win in this Hulu Selangor by-election. 

The people are actually tired of the antic of this government. When some of the so called leaders (the Muslim ones) clearly consume alcohol, they were prepared to assassinate Zaid's character by saying that he consumes alcohol and is a gambler. They even doctored a picture of Zaid supposedly holding a bottle of Jack Daniels! That is how low they are prepared to go.
When some of the top leaders of the BN were challenged to declare that they don't consume alcohol, none even dared to utter a single word! 

The truth is that  was a vile attempt at character assassination. And the full hypocrisy of it is nauseating! In Malay that is what we call talam dua muka!

What about the corruption, the abuse of power, the mistreatment of citizens, the murders of human beings, the detention without trial, the statutory rapes and almost every other sin under the sun committed by some people?

Hypocrite, that what they are!

As if to rub salt into the people's already gaping injury, there was also talks that this by-election is about Zaid versus Dr Mahathir! HahahAHAhahaHA... and the grand old man of UMNO, who at first said he wasn't going to HS did go there after all, trying to split hairs over his eldest son's directorship in a beer company. Apparently he joined that board of directors to help them diversify. Wow, how clever he is! He should head Khazanah Nasional then. Desperation breeds inventions I suppose.

And 1 Malaysia? It is not even worth talking about it. This is the mother of all hypocrisy!

Straw polls and independent surveys have shown that the Pakatan Rakyat will win this Hulu Selangor by-election. Even UMNO's top member (who obviously has more brains than all of them put together) has also said so.  

If all the predictions come true, I wonder whether this will be the end of the talam-dua-muka politics that the Barsian Nasional is well known for?
I for one am so tired of being treated like some morons with the brain of an amoeba. When the truth is, I could see through their ugly schemes even when I am asleep!

I am sure Hulu Selangorians are way smarter than they are credited for by the government.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bastardisation of the "Social Contract" - part 2

Even at the outset of independence, there were people who raised concerns on the perceived inequality between the Malays and the non-Malays. The question of whether the respective leaders of the communities were truly representing the community was also raised. Graham Page raised that point:

"It appears that the Reid Commission took one single Indian party as speaking for the Indians as a whole, the Malayan Indian Congress, which had sunk its identity in the Alliance Party. I do not think the Malayan Indian Congress spoke for all, or even perhaps a majority, of Indians, certainly not the business, professional and artisan class of Indian, in Malaya. There were many other Malayan Indian associations which gave evidence before the Commission, but the Commission did not seem to take account of their views, or to pay very much attention to them."

Arthur Creech Jones MP noted:

"It may be, and I believe it to be the case, that there are certain sections of opinion in Malaya who are not altogether happy. The fact that most hon. Members have received representations from the Malayan Party and the Pan-Malayan Federation indicates that, certainly so far as the Settlements are concerned, there is still some anxiety about what is likely to happen when the Constitution becomes effective."

For the Alliance, an Alliance Committee was formed to negotiate with the Reid Commission. It consisted of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Ismail, Tun H.S. Lee, Tun Leong Yew Loh, Tun Ong Yoke Lin, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Lim Chong Eu and Tun Sambanthan.

Be that as it may, the Constitution was quite a massive achievement in itself as the task of balancing the rights and demands of various communities was not an easy one to fulfill. The fact that the non-Malays had to also compromise and tolerate the demands of the Malays - as opposed to the supposed absolute sacrifice by the Malays alone - was also recognised as Mr. Arthur Creech Jones, MP for Wakefield noted:

"A number of Members drew attention to the fact that in the working of this Constitution a great deal of tolerance will be required by the Chinese population, and, possibly, by other minorities, for undoubtedly important concessions are made to the Malays with regard to religion, language, land and the public services; but one can only hope that by the practice of co-operation an answer can be found to any deficiencies or defects in the Constitution as it is now presented to us."

It is therefore clear that the compromise entailed "sacrifices" on the part of all the major communities as opposed to the Malays alone. Every major community managed to have some of their demands met while some others were sacrificed for the sake of achieving and maintaining a balanced society.

In a nutshell, the special positions of the Malays were seen as inevitable in order to improve the financial, sociological and educational status of the Malays which were lagging far behind the Chinese.

In other words, there had to be inequality to achieve equality. It was said that:

"My hon. Friend the Member for Crosby asked whether we were sure that the special position of the Malay population was not to the detriment of the interests of other racial groups in Malaya. The answer is that during the very careful investigation made by the Reid Commission there appeared to the distinguished members of that Commission to be no evidence that the special position of the Malays was either to the detriment of other communities or was resented by those other communities. In those circumstances, I think that we can assume that the special position of the Malays is not likely to be an irritant in the body politic of the Federation after independence is achieved.

I believe that, taken as a whole, these long-established immunities and privileges provide the means of ensuring, not inequality between the various races of Malaya, but that those who have had some disadvantages in the past will, as independence comes, have a start which is relatively equal and will achieve the progress, development and prosperity which is already a significant feature of the life of many of the Chinese and Indian communities." (Cuthbert Alport MP)

Notwithstanding, the balancing of the rights and compromise was achieved mainly through the honourable and gentlemanly conduct of Tunku Abdul Rahman and his group of sensible negotiators, whose contribution was widely recognised historically.

Sir John Barlow acknowledged:

"We can congratulate the Malayas (sic) on having found a great statesman to manage their affairs. Much will depend on him (the Tunku) and his responsibility will be great. But those of us who know him have faith in him and we wish him well. He can rely upon our help. I was very glad when last autumn he went out of his way to indicate that British capital in Malaya would be dealt with justly."

The Tunku had apparently promised a just Malaya. And one cannot help but wonders what he would do now or how he would feel now if he was still alive. His honest and sincere deeds have surely been defiled, deconstructed, destroyed and demolished.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies was full of praise for the Tunku when he expressed:

"That is due largely to the prescience and wisdom of my right hon. Friend and also of Tenku (sic) Abdul Rahman, whom I may perhaps presume to call my friend because we were at Cambridge at the same time. As all who know him must agree, he is a wise, humane, just and far-sighted statesman. Malaya is very fortunate indeed to have him at the helm now. I am quite certain we can confidently leave the happiness of all Malayans in the competent hands of Tenku (sic) and his colleagues. They know as well as I know that the Chinese-Malayans and Indian-Malayans can and will contribute enormously to the well-being of their country. Self-interest alone, although there is much more, should ensure that those other races receive fair play and that they are welcomed as partners in the new venture. I would only express the wish that in the near future the Tenku (sic) will feel able to welcome Singapore into the Federation as a twelfth state."

Finally, everyone took comfort that the Tunku was a dignified gentleman who would rule post-independent Malaya fairly and justly. Furthermore, as and when the need arises, the Constitution could always be changed. The Secretary of State expressed his confidence thus:

"The fact is that under the Constitution as it is proposed, that review can take place at any time on the decision by the Head of State and on the advice of the Chief Minister. This is contrary to the proposals of the Reid Commission, but it is better that in a new Constitution which is experimental there should be as much flexibility as possible, and opportunities, at whatever stage is appropriate, of putting right any difficulties that may emerge in practice.

Indeed, the Chief Minister (the Tunku), in winding up the debate in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, said that the Constitution is not rigid and that it can be changed when need arises. I am sure that that fact will give to minorities who have natural anxieties and fears at present some reassurance that, if there is any need for alteration, that alteration can take place whenever the necessity appears to arise and is apparent to public opinion in Malaya."

Interestingly though, the founder of UMNO, Dato' Onn Jaafar had foreseen a citizenship issue, even for the Malays themselves. And he spotted the potential problems way back in 1950, a good seven years before the compromise was being negotiated and achieved, when on the 20th and 21st May, at the UMNO General Assembly at Majestic Hotel, KL, he said:

"Due to the fact that at present no such laws (citizenship laws) exist, hundreds of thousands of people descended from Indonesia, who have lived here all their lives, or who have the intention of living the rest of their days in this country, cannot be considered "citizens" of this country. Is this really what the Malay people want? I do not understand this myself.....

If one were to consider (the matter) as I do, then one (should realise) that because they are currently no (citizenship) laws, international laws should be applied. At present, there are 1.2 million people of Chinese descent, 270000 of Indian descent, and approximately 45000 descended from other races, who, by virtue of being born within the Federation of Malaya, may claim to be either British citizens, or the citizens of any one of the Malay Rulers."

So, was citizenship to the non-Malays a gift by the Malays as asserted by the proponent of the bastardised social contract? It would appear that even the Malays of Indonesian descent were "given" citizenship as well as the non-Malays. International laws had already recognised their citizenship anyway.

Do we hear loud screams by the "original Malays" about having to "sacrifice" their rights by granting citizenship to these non-original Malays of Indonesian descent? And don't we all know that Malaysia, as a country now, in 2010, is still granting citizenship to some Indonesians?

I would love to hear from Perkasa, Dr Mahathir, Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and their ilks about the position of these neo-Malay-citizens.

The issue is this. They were not citizens. But they were, and are still now, granted citizenship. Their neo-citizenship ipso facto means they get to enjoy the "special positions" of the original Malays like myself and my forefathers, who are "originals Malay." So now, original Malays have to share their special positions with these neo-Malay-citizens. Doesn't that make the special positions of the original Malays less special? Isn't the special positions of the original Malays being eroded this way?

Be that as it may, did Dato' Onn, the father of UMNO cringe and sulk his way to a dark room in the thoughts of the non-Malays were going to be citizens? Did he wear a tengkolok, start unsheathing his Keris, kiss it and wave it like a mad man? Did he kick up a storm and whine like a small kid, demanding special positions and rights and the likes?

No. Because he was a true statesman who loved his country as opposed to himself and even his party alone. His answer to that was stated unequivocally on the 24th and 25th March 1951 (again at UMNO's General Assembly at the Majestic Hotel). He said:

"That is to say the laws that enable a non-Malay to become a subject of the Ruler of the Malay state. If, for instance, such laws were passed, and if other matters that have become clearly apparent to us were also approved, one of which will be discussed by this Assembly this afternoon or tomorrow, and if the issues were approved (by the proper authorities), it is my view that there should not be any objections to opening the doors of UMNO to admit non-Malays."

That was a response by a true warrior of Tanah Melayu. A true statesman. A visionary.

And what did they do to him?

He was kicked out of UMNO because of that proposal of his.

Other statesman have from time to time attempted to implement a fair society as clearly conceptualised by the Tunku and our fathers of independence. Tun Razak, for example, dispelled the notion that the Malays' special positions are meant to make the Malays supreme. He said:

"Many of you must have heard lately of allegations against the Alliance Government, that we believe in the supremacy of one race over the other and that we have not provided for equal rights to all our citizens. I would like to rebut these allegations because clearly our Constitution does not provide the supremacy of any single race or community. All Malaysians of all races are equal under the Constitution and their rights and privileges are zealously guarded.


The Constitution, however, provides for the safeguard of the special position of the natives.

This does not mean supremacy or privilege but rather a special position which requires special attention...It is known to everybody that the natives are economically backward, and therefore, in order to give them a fair chance to compete with other races they are given this special attention in the Constitution or in plain language a handicap. This handicap gives the natives a chance to have a share in the economic and business life of the country." ('Constitution: Equal Rights to All', p 304)

Notice that Tun Razak was very precise in his choice of words. He did not use the word "rights" (as is so popularly used nowadays) but the word as used in the Constitution, ie, "position". He also was careful to say it was the special position of the "natives" instead of the "Malays." How more honest and sincere can a Malay leader be?

He also made it a point to emphasise that the ultimate goal was to have a moderate, fair and just Malaysia, where every race plays a part for the greater good of the country. He expressed his wish thus:

"I ask members of Umno to be loyal to the Party, to the aims and objectives and to the top leadership. To all good friends of Umno of other races, I ask them to help Umno because it is the duty of us in Malaysia today to help strengthen the sensible, moderate leadership which alone can lead this country in peace, harmony and unity towards meeting the rising expectations of our people of various races for a better life and a more just society. If this sensible and moderate leadership were to fail, then the country would veer either to the right or the left. If this happens then I am certain that misunderstanding and misfortune await all of us.

"Let us therefore rally to the help of this middle-of-the-road leadership - the right road towards peace, happiness and stability of our people and our beloved country, Malaysia." ('The Turning Point in the History of This Country', p 386)

The words "social contract" were unheard of by the common people in Malaysia since 1957 (save probably for students of and graduates in sociology and philosophy). Not until 30th August 1986, at least.

This was when Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, the famous MP for Kok Lanas, made his now infamous "Ketuanan Melayu" speech in Singapore. He was perhaps endorsed by the then PM, Dr Mahathir. (Well, at the very least, Dr Mahathir has never ever said that he disapproved of that speech). He said:

"Let us make no mistake - the political system in Malaysia is founded on Malay dominance. That is the premise from which we should start. The Malays must be politically dominant in Malaysia as the Chinese are politically dominant in Singapore....

The political system of Malay dominance was born out of a sacrosanct social contract which preceded national independence....

There is thus no two ways about it. The NEP must continue to sustain Malay dominance in the political system in line with the contract of 1957...."

He then split hairs:

"Ours is not a system of discrimination but of Malay preservation which foreigners particularly refuse to understand. Ours is a system of Malay political dominance but not, as is often put across, of Malay political domination."

With that speech, delivered with the obvious tacit approval of the then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamed, all the honest intentions and sincere efforts of the likes of our father of Independence, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, Dato' Onn Jaafar Tu Ismail and Tun Razak were immediately undone.

From thence on, the NEP and the special positions of the Malays and the natives were no more there to alleviate the backwardness of the Malays and the natives. The NEP must be continued to "sustain Malay dominance in the political system in line with the contract of 1957." How time has changed since the heady days of 1957.

Ketuanan Melayu was, on 30th August 1986 (one day short of Malaysia's 29th year of independence), born.

The bastardisation of the "social contract" was, on 30th August 1986, complete.

The seeds of racial disharmony, racial discontent, racial hatred and racial polarisation were sewn that day. What we are seeing today are the trees and fruits of racial bigotry from the seeds sewn in 1986, watered and fertilised from time to time.

Now, may I ask, who had hijacked the "social contract"?

Acknowledgement:

1. All quotations from the British MPs are taken from the British Parliament Hansard

2. Excerpts of speeches of Dato' Onn Jaafar are taken from "Reflections of Pre-Independence Malaya" by Dato' Mohamed Abid : Pelanduk Publications, 2nd Edition 2004.

3. Excerpts of Dato' Abdullah Ahmad's speech are taken from "Off The Edge", February 2010.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Bastardisation of the "Social Contract" - part 1

In "The Social Contract - correcting the misconceptions", I have sought to explain what the social contract is all about.

I do not want to repeat what I had written before. However, I wish to revisit several salient points about the social contract.

Social contract is a legal theory or concept. It does not exist in reality. It is a branch of legal, social or even political philosophy. This theory seeks to explain or rationalise why we, human beings, would band together and form a State.

It also seeks to rationalise why we would then agree to surrender our liberty, freedom and the ability to do whatever we like to the State when we, the human beings, were all born free and by our nature do  not like to be restricted and constrained.

The philosophers surmised that we do so because we by nature are social creatures. We do so because we want to live together as a society. Furthermore, we do so because the State promises us some benefits. In fact we expect the State to give us the benefits that we want. That is why we surrender or agree to surrender some of our freedom, liberty and free will to the State.

That is why, in theory, we do what we do.

However, it is not a one way or unilateral agreement. There is supposed to be an exchange of promises between us, the people, and the State. For example, we promise not to steal and if we steal we promise to abide by the law which would send us to prison. In return, the State promises to protect our property from being stolen by other people.

That is the social contract as a legal theory.

In reality, that social contract does not exist, in writing or otherwise.

Now, the social contract which is so much talked about in Malaysia is a bastardisation of the theory of the social contract. Why do I say so?

It is simple. The theory of social contract postulates an agreement between the people of a State and the State. However the social contract which is so well loved by some people in Malaysia is a supposed agreement between the respective leaders of the three major communities among themselves which happened prior to our independence.

That in itself is the hijacking of the theory of social contract.

Apparently, the three community leaders met to decide the whole future of Malaysia before and after independence. And what they had agreed would bind all of us till kingdom come.

Apparently too, the Malay leader was generous enough to confer citizenship to the non-Malays who were not qualified for citizenship.

The two non-Malay leaders, out of sheer gratitude to the Malays (who were represented by the said Malay leader) for doing so, agreed that the Malays should have "special rights." These special rights were then spelt out in the Federal Constitution.

This brings the oft-repeated argument that the Malays have sacrificed a lot in agreeing to "grant" citizenships to the non-Malays who were otherwise "not qualified" to gain one. Therefore the non-Malays should respect the Malay's special "rights".

Over the years, these special rights were apparently challenged by the non-Malays, and even by some Malays themselves. So, according to some people, this is unacceptable. This is unconstitutional. This constitutes a breach of the so called social contract.

What does history show us about this bastardised version of the social contract?

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd), while debating our Independence Bill reported to the British Parliament:

"There were extreme views on the part of some sections of Malayan* (*I think when he said "Malayan", he was in fact referring to the Malays) opinion which are opposed to any political advance on the part of the Chinese people in Malaya. There were equally strong views held by some of the Chinese population demanding absolute jus soli citizenship for anybody born in the Federation and the complete abolition of any distinction between the races.

The constitutional Commission had to find a solution which would work and which would find general acceptance, and in our view it has fully succeeded in its task. The present Federation Constitution represents a genuine compromise worked out between differing sectors. The citizenship proposals, I believe, are a triumph of good sense and tolerance, amidst widely conflicting views, and I believe that the balance struck between Malay and Chinese has been found to he a wise balance.

There are solid guarantees of fundamental liberties to meet Chinese fears of discrimination, with reasonable arrangements to safeguard the special position of the Malayans without injustice to other races. I am conscious that these two aspects of the settlement arouse particular interest in the House, and I hope that I may be forgiven if I devote a moment or two to those two most important matters.

Now, a word about the balance achieved between the rights of Malays and Chinese. The special position of the Malays was recognised in the original treaties made by His Majesty in previous years, and Her Majesty Queen Victoria and others with the Malay States. It was reaffirmed when these treaties were revised. It was confirmed in the 1948 Agreement, and reference was expressly made to it in the terms of reference of the Reid Commission. So the Malay privilege clauses in the articles of the Constitution do not, in the main, introduce any precedent, but give recognition in the Constitution to the existing situation. Most hon. Members will, I think, know something of what these privileges are

As I said, I believe that a fair balance has been struck between the interests of Malays and Chinese, and I indicated how the special position of Malays enshrined in the new Constitution did not create a precedent because it had been provided for in very many other treaties and arrangements. I was about to say what form these special privileges had taken. In most States in Malaya, there are extensive Malay reservations of land. Elsewhere in States, there are systems of quota for admissions to the public service, a certain proportion having to be Malays. There are quotas for permits or licences to carry on certain businesses. There is preferential treatment for Malays in the granting of scholarships and bursaries and, generally, in education.

The Reid Commission found very little opposition in any quarter in Malaya to the continuance of the present system for a time, and it made certain recommendations which hon. Members will have read. The Alliance Government—this was accepted by the three parties composing the Alliance—wanted a number of changes, which have been made. They  relate mostly to quotas in the public service, to permits, scholarships, and land reservations. Very generally, the proposal to review the quotas after fifteen years has been dropped. The responsibility of the High Commissioner is transferred to the Head of State, but—and it is a genuine safeguard for other races—the Head of State will act on the advice of the Cabinet, and the Cabinet is bound to be sensitive to the feeling of public opinion at any time."

Yes, there was indeed a compromise by the various communities. And there was, at the end of the day, "a triumph of good sense and tolerance, amidst widely conflicting views." Meanwhile, "the balance struck between Malay and Chinese has been found to be a wise balance."

It should be noted that the special positions of the Malays had always been recognised by the British from day one. These have been specified in various treatises. And there were recognised in the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948, an agreement which preceded our independence.

All that the Reid Commission did was to continue to give cognisant to those special positions. There were no new position or right added as part of a compromise. To say therefore that citizenships were offered to the non-Malays in exchange of those special positions were not accurate. That is because those positions were already there and recognised from day one.

It is also wrong for anybody to say that the granting of citizenship to the non-Malays was a sacrifice by the Malays of their "natural claim to the land of Malays ("Tanah Melayu"). That could not be farther from the truth.

That arrangement, from historical evidence, was a "compromise" which was achieved after intense negotiations between the major communities and the Reid Commission. Being a compromise, all parties - not the Malays alone - achieved certain demands while letting go some of their demands.

For example, not all non-Malays managed to obtain citizenship. On this, the said Alan Lennox-Boyd explained:

"Under this compromise, anyone who is now a citizen of the Federation or who was born in the Federation and is over 18, or is born there after 31st August next, will have citizenship of the Federation as a right."

There was a balance achieved between the demands of the non-Malays and the absolute birth rights of the Malays. That is why it was called a compromise.

The citizenship was not a gift by the Malays. Nor was it a total surrender by the non-Malays of their minority rights in exchange for citizenship as screamed about by Perkasa, Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and even Tun Dr Mahathir. The special "rights" of the Malays was not a concession by the non-Malays. They had always been there in the first place.

The Constitution was drafted to reflect this harmonious co-existence of all the major races in the then Malaya. It spells out all the rights and positions of the various communities who were expected to lead a peaceful and prosperous co-existence. The Constitution was designed to make the yet unborn Malaysia a fair and progressive country.

As stated by Mr. Geoffrey de Freitas (the MP from Lincoln):

"The test for the Federation will be whether it can become a real nation in other words, whether the Chinese people in Malaya can become full citizens and work with the Malays, the Indians and the Eurasians to make a new nation. I hope that they can."

Have we, as a nation, passed the test?

It is also not out of place to mention here that in drafting the Constitution, the fathers of our independence were astute enough to consider each community's services and contributions to this land. This goes towards achieving the balance which I was referring to earlier. In other words, no one community could claim exclusivity towards the country as it was.

Miss Joan Vickers, the MP for Devonport noted:

"We should remember, in considering these different races, the part that they play. The Malayans are the indigenous people of the country, but we have to remember that had it not been for the Chinese the country would certainly not have been as prosperous as it is today. They opened up jungle roads and worked in the tin mines, and the prosperity of Malaya owes a great deal to the Chinese.

Furthermore, we had the Indians who, in a rather different way, as a result, in the beginning, of a contract system between the Indian Government and the Government of Malaya, have played their part in the prosperity of the country. In a great many cases they did not make Malaya their home and returned to India at the end of their contract.

We also owe a great deal to the Portuguese Eurasians in Malaya. Theirs is a very old community. They still keep something of their mother tongue, and very strongly to their own Roman Catholic religion. They have proved loyal and faithful civil servants in a great many of the States. Generally speaking, whichever State they have resided in, they have taken a leading part and have always been loyal to either the British resident or adviser, or whoever they have been serving.

Finally, I hope that in due course, the Orang Bukit will be able to be brought into the community, because I believe that through living in the deep jungles they have very remote ties with their own country, and they could be a source of trouble. I should like to pay tribute to them for what they did during the very difficult period when the Chinese guerillas were in the jungle, when they gave considerable help in tracking the enemy."

As evident, everyone's contribution was considered. And it was all done in the name of accommodating, to the fullest of possibility, every community's demands, rights and positions. Wherever there was a seeming imbalance, a check and balance mechanism was inbuilt within the Constitution in itself.

To state all the mechanism of check and balance in the Constitution would make this article too long. Suffice if I point out that among others, an independent judiciary (which then includes the right to appeal to the Privy Council), was a part of that mechanism. As stated by the MP for Crosby, Mr Graham Page:

"Finally, I would draw attention to an important safeguard to the minorities. That is in the retention of the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council."

(Of course, some time ago, someone had to dismantle the Privy Council appeal process and the whole judiciary too leaving the government to lord all over the Judges!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is how low they would go...

The Barisan Nasional, especially UMNO is devoid of any usable issue in the Hulu Selangor I suppose. It is also absolutely corrupt of any idea on how to win the heart and mind of the voters.

And so they resorted to character assassination from the word go. That, I suppose, has been their trademark. And we all have come to expect it from them.

How sad. On one hand we want to be a high-income country by whatever year. We want to be a world class country with world class infrastructure blah blah blah. But deep down inside, we are just a bunch of useless, vile, vicious and selfish animals, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting and helpless.

That is what we are.

And so Zaid Ibrahim used to drink. So what? He had said he had repented. At least, he is a Muslim who had even performed the Haj. The BN candidate is not even a Muslim! (I am not being a race or religious-centric here. I am just continuing with the same rationale and theme as theirs).

You want to talk about moral? Hahahahah...excuse me. What about detaining people without trial? What about having sex with under-age girl? What about corruption in PKFZ? What about building a huge mansion from money which apparently came down from the sky?

What about corruption? About sanctioning the torture and death of arrested persons? About paying "commissions" for national purchases? About abuse of power? About pinching a woman's ass? About using the religion for political mileage? About money politics?

Hell, what about being video taped while having sex with a personal friend and later becoming the President of a major component party of the Barisan Nasional?

No. All those are a-okay. But drinking alcohol? Cannot. Only some people can hold shares in a beer company. That's a-okay.

As if that is not enough, just visit this site and look at the picture of Zaid with apparently a bottle of Jack Daniels.

And look at the original picture as compared to the picture appearing on that site. It is sinful!

25452_430086486977_591281977_5452728_6136192_n

How low can one be?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday jottings

#1 The APCO ruckus

Many things have been said and written about the government's move to engage APCO. 

Unfortunately, not much is known about the "services" provided or to be provided by APCO to the Malaysian government. I suppose Malaysians will never get to know the details of APCO's services to the Malaysian government as well as its involvement, if any, in the shaping of policies by the government. I am sure whatever agreement signed between APCO and the government will be classified as an official secret.

However, an online report by Public Affairs Asia of the contract between APCO and the government quoted Paul Stadlen, the Managing Director of APCO's new office in Kuala Lumpur as saying:

“This is a time of opportunities for Malaysia,” said Stadlen. “APCO is delighted to share media expertise and strategic communication services with the Malaysian government and other clients in Malaysia. We are excited about Malaysia’s future and our ability to participate in it.”

Meanwhile, APCO's founder and CEO, Margery Kraus, was quoted as saying:

"(The Malaysian government) "wants to ensure that it is able to provide information to the public quickly and transparently, making use of all relevant new technologies."

“Our team in Kuala Lumpur will include seasoned professionals from many countries, including Malaysia, who are on the cutting edge of new media," she added."

"They will work to assist in strengthening the government’s online and other strategic communication capabilities to speed the delivery of accurate information to the media and public.”

It could therefore be surmised that APCO was engaged to provide public relations services to the government. It is also an image builder for the government. To put it crudely, APCO is the government's spinner, period and full stop.

Everybody in the corporate world will know that a PR machinery is important for branding, marketing, image building and communication exercises. The Malaysian government obviously think so. Hence the APCO contract.

The payment to be made to APCO is also shrouded in mystery. A figure of RM20 million was being thrown about. However, Minister Nazri, in his answer to a question in the Parliament said the figure is actually USD24 million, which is equivalent to RM76 million. 

That, by any standard, is a hefty amount for a year of PR services. 

Minister Nazri, in a MalaysiaKini report, threw some lights on the nature of APCO's services to the government. The report said:

"He (Minister Nazri) said that the government hired the company to not only improve the government's image but also to "get close to the US."

The hiring of APCO begs many important questions. Firstly, why must a government which professes to put the "people first and performance now" need to hire an image builder? Shouldn't a government which values the people first and put performance above all else let its actions to speak for themselves rather than spend millions of tax payer's money to build its image?

Secondly, is it not an abuse of power for a government to actually spend the country's money for the benefit of the government and not for the benefit of Malaysia as a country? Is it not realised that the good image of the government of Malaysia does not necessarily entail or translate into a good image of Malaysia? Is it even realised that the government of Malaysia is a separate and therefore,  different entity from Malaysia as a country?

Thirdly, I wonder whether now all policies are tailored in accordance with the image building exercises or whether the image building exercises are tailored in accordance with the policies? Whatever it may be, there is now a very real possibilities of important policies be influenced by image building exercises. That, in my opinion, does not bode well for a government which values the people first and performance now. 

When we have to tailor our policies to the needs of our image, that could only mean that our policies are influenced by or actually made to satisfy the need to be popular and look good. That does not speak much about the people being first and performance being the top priority.

In terms of the provision of communications of government policies to the people and public relations with the people, is it not the duty of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture ("MICC") to do so? May I quote the Clients Charter of the MICC which I translated from its website:
  • "to deliver current information and government policies to the society....."
  • "to provide public relations services and professional media support to the Ministries/Government Agencies" (translated by me).
This begs the question, does the engagement of APCO to provide, among others, "strategic communication services" and "to provide information to the public quickly and transparently, making use of all relevant new technologies" mean that the MICC is too meek in providing such services to the government? 

Or is it a case of the MICC not having changed its mode to a more technologically savvy and efficient Ministry so much so that the government has to spend 76 million smackeroons a year to do the very work which the MICC is supposed to do? 

If so, I would suggest that the MICC be restructured. May I suggest that the portfolio of Communication and Information be taken out from the MICC leaving the Ministry to only deal with the Culture portfolio ("MoC" for short).

As for trying to get close to the United State, may I ask why? What for? What has changed since Mahathir's rule - where we quite so often thumped our thumb on America's forehead - that we now so much desire to sit in a room with Barrack Obama, Joe Biden, the CIA et al? Isn't America evil? Isn't CIA evil? 

Isn't anybody who supports the Jew and Israel evil?

Oh, I forgot. Even Dr Mahathir - despite his seemingly uncontrollable hatred of the US and everything that that country represents - paid millions to Mr Abramoff to get close to the United State.

And to think that now, according to his son, the good Deputy Minister Mukhriz, the people of Hulu Selangor should be thankful to his father. 

Welcome to the twilight zone. 

#2 Imam Muda

I received a spam text message from Maxis today. It says, "From Astro - join the talent search program for Imam Muda Astro Oasis at Kompleks Pusat Islam KL, 8am-4pm, 17th & 18th April, you may be the Imam Muda who is being searched for!"

Okay. Confession time. I LOATH and HATE reality TV. Of all the reality TV shows, I hate Akademi Fantasia the most. To me, Akademi Fantasia encapsulates everything that is and has gone wrong with the Malaysian society nowadays. And as usual, I blame Dr Mahathir partly, for that!

Here is a TV show, which hides behind the idea of searching for talent, and feed off the gullible and ignorant public and their hunger for glam which selects its winner not based on talent, but on pure idiotic perception, glam, superficial popularity and hype.

This Akademi Fantasia show, to me, is a bloody crime!

And now we have a reality TV show to search for an Imam Muda. Excuse me, but I just want to bleeding laugh freaking loudly! Like TAWDALLY laugh my ass off!

You see, this is the problem with image building and image builders. I wonder whether APCO is also behind this. I hope not. LOL!

What's next I wonder? 

May I propose a talent search for PM Muda. Or a talent search called Katak Muda.

#3 Hulu Selangor

While the Pakatan Rakyat has settled down with the nomination of Zaid Ibrahim, I note that the Barisan Nasional is in some kind of disarray in terms of candidacy.

Samy Vellu - the politician who refuses to vanish despite being unwanted by all and sundry but himself, and probably, his wife - wants his appointed successor, Palanivel, to be the candidate. This is common sense. Of course Samy wants to justify the position of his appointed heir to his old and rusty throne (although the exact timing of the succession remains a mystery - some say it might take place in 2012, ie, when the world ends!) by making him an MP. 

The problem is, UMNO members in the area seem to prefer a new and younger blood, in the guise of the MIC deputy youth chief, Mugilan. Then there is also Kalimanathan a rank outsider.

But then  again, Prime Minister Najib, as Chairman of the Barisan Nasional, may just say UMNO, and not MIC, should field in a candidate this time. I tend to agree with him if he did that. Because the Malays are the majority there.

It is as simple as that. After all, according to the guardian of our democracy, Dr Mahathir (again!!!), the majority should rule. And when the majority rule, everything will be a-okay. Because the majority knows best. 

I think, even PERKASA will agree with me on this. 

At last, I agree with PERKASA and PERKASA agrees with me. 

See. I don't need an image builder to garner my acceptance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

No joke please, we are TNBs!!!

I read a Bernama report at the Malay Mail online just now. And I almost died!

Allow me to reproduce the whole report.

"KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is upset over a blog where there is continued publication of an article, alleging the power utility giant would sue the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) over the 'Earth Hour' campaign.

It has lodged a report with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action.

In a statement here today, TNB said that despite refuting the allegation previously, the article posted in the Nose4News blog entitled 'TNB to sue WWF over Earth Hour' was still available for public viewing.

"TNB has never held a press conference nor issued a statement as reported in the article. The statement is a fake and fabricated by the blogger."

"What was written in the article was a complete lie because TNB has been supporting the 'Earth Hour' campaign because we believe it can nurture and enhance public awareness on the importance of climate change for the next generation," it said.

TNB hoped that MCMC would take appropriate action against those responsible for the blog."

I must confess that on the morning of 1st April, I did receive an e mail from a dear friend. That e mail contained the article which TNB had found so offensive as reported above.

After reading a couple of lines from that article, I knew that it was a bloody April fool's joke! Who in their right mind would seriously believe that TNB would be suing WWF  for organising the Earth Hour? LOL!

It was, to reasonable people, a joke. A joke which was light hearted in nature and obviously done with a view to tricking people on the 1st of April. And I must say it was hilarious. And quite nicely written too.

But of course the totally humourless people at TNB have to take that article so seriously. And now they have lodged a report against the blog which apparently ran that joke! HahahahAHAHAHa... 

That in itself is a blinking joke!

This will be the first time, I supposed, that an investigation will be done on a joke, which was not found to be funny by some people.

As pointed out by a friend of mine, instead of lodging this stupid report, TNB should and could  have seized this opportunity to make it known to  Malaysia and the world of it's commitment   to the conservation of the Earth.

But of course, TNB thinks otherwise.

I think TNB should just "lighten" up.