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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Michael Jackson's boyhood home pays tribute

CNN) -- Michael Jackson was the pride of Gary, Indiana, growing up, and on Tuesday his hometown paid tribute to the late entertainer with a memorial and celebration in his honor.
A group pays tribute to Michael Jackson by performing some of his signature moves.

A group pays tribute to Michael Jackson by performing some of his signature moves.

They remembered him as not just the King of Pop or the musician who took Hollywood by storm, but as someone with an unmatched enthusiasm and talent for entertaining even as a little boy growing up in this city of about 100,000 in northwestern Indiana, 30 miles from downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Jackson's first music teacher, Anita Hill, spoke of teaching Jackson to sing "Climb Every Mountain," and remembered him as a "very energetic and wonderful student."

The principal of his middle school remembered how, at Christmastime how Jackson, always jumped up and offered to sing to his class.

Later, when he joined with family members to create the Jackson 5, he performed for kids at his school, the principal said, joking about the bargain that at the time it only cost them 10 cents to see the future pop icon.

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay noted Jackson put the city on the world's map and bid farewell to the star.

"He's going to put on those golden slippers and he's going to dance all over God's heaven," he said.

The tribute at The Steel Yard baseball park in Gary was full of children dancing and singing to Jackson's music, including a performance of "Thriller" complete with the cemetery scene that became so iconic.

Some of the biggest applause of the night came after a video was played of Jackson in Gary talking about his love for his hometown.

"Gary, you will always have a special place in my heart," Jackson said in the video played on the stadium's jumbo screen. "And Gary, you are more than good friend -- you are my family and you always will be."

As a finale, about 700 people holding candles sang "We Are the World," the 1985 song Jackson co-wrote with Lionel Richie to benefit USA for Africa.

Jackson lived in Gary for 11 years before moving to the West Coast after the Jackson 5 recorded their first album in 1969.

His father, Joe Jackson, made a brief appearance after being introduced by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

After being surrounded by TV crews and photographers, Joe Jackson made his way to the stage, thanked everyone for attending and said it was good to be home.

"This is a pleasure to be back to see so many people here," Joe Jackson said. "It's always good to come back home, you know that."

Fans have flocked to Jackson's boyhood home in the days following his death in Los Angeles, California, on June 25. Autopsy results are pending.

Exclusive with Tuan Aziz

Dr M: Full marks to Najib for not sleeping

Why I think Sujatha Was Murdered? - MP Kapar

Well, finally Inquest on mysterious death of Tamil drama actress K Sujatha ended today with investigation officer as last witness.

While, Coroner allow main accused lawyer to question and cross examine witnesses but my counsels was prohibited. They accused that I’m purely moving on hearsay but “No Smoke No Fire” . Just turn back and analyse no of rumors that turned up to be turn.

The following points further reinforce by believe that Sujatha was murdered rather then mishap:

a. How commercially available weed killer “paraquat” enter cough syrup bottle and finally reach Sujatha’s apartment? And how could someone drink such stint smell paraquat unknowingly?

b. The distance poisoned Sujatha was taken from Sentul to Klang General Hospital some 45 kms away?

c. She was treated by main accused cousin whom currently running multi million ringgit private medical center in Klang?

d. Some main witnesses wasn’t called to the inquest , why?

e. No postmortem report despite request from Police , even other medical test results missing or prevented from being conducted.

f. The way Maika CEO acted and conduct rituals during Sujatha’s funeral prayers and it’s him whom took entire ash to India .

g. The delay in commencing Inquest, after almost 18 months.

h. Who bought paraquat from a Hardware shop and why a well managed condo occupant need it?

i. Brothers of death Sujatha working at MAIKA/AIMST and driving luxury cars within months?

j. Relationship between first Investigation officer with main suspect family ?

Previously I had pointed my doubts via blog post titled Sujatha’s Inquest A Done Deal Drama.

Mustapha Hussain: Malay Nationalism Before UMNO

Image

THE MEMOIRS OF MUSTAPHA HUSSAIN, 1910-1957

Politically isolated as leftwing, Mustapha and his KMM compatriots were initially opposed to UMNO, but when all political channels were closed with the outbreak of the communist insurgency in 1948, many of them joined UMNO.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Acknowledgements

This abridged and edited translation of Mustapha Hussein’s memoirs will appear two decades after his passing. This would not have been possible if not for the initial translation effort by his devoted daughter, Insun Sony.

I have edited this translation very heavily, partly to reduce redundancies, and also to make clearer some historical and cultural references that may not be immediately obvious to many English language readers. Clarissa Koh kindly checked this edited translation. If not for Insun’s initiative and Clarissa’s voluntary efforts, this translation would not have been prepared for publication.

Jomo K. S.
University of Malaya

Kuala Lumpur
October 2003

Foreword

Mustapha Hussein’s memoirs present an interesting insight into a sharp, sensitive mind who turned to ethno-nationalism and later struggled for moral integrity, justice and recognition.

Perak-born Mustapha, a cousin of the first President of Singapore, Yusof Ishak, was an armchair, pipe-smoking, leftwing intellectual who taught at the Serdang Agricultural College before the war, but who fell on hard times after the war.

He loved to ride a fast motorcycle. He was an avid reader and a member of the (British) Left Book Club. He might have gone through life as a happy-go-lucky fellow if he had not been discriminated against in the colonial civil service by white Europeans.

Life for him would have remained idyllic, being almost the equal of an Englishman, teaching, reading and doing research, and ‘dressing and behaving like a white man’ on pay-days. But racial discrimination made him a bitter diehard Malay nationalist. Nationalist anger consumed his soul.

He owed his English education to his father, a land surveyor. His socialism he attributed to a few European teachers and to books by Gandhi, Nehru, Edgar Snow and other leftwing writers.

He married Mariah binti Haji Abdul Hamid (formerly Dorothy Aida Fenner) in 1934. She was only 14, he 25. Once the children came, he was anxious to further his (academic) career, but the lack of job promotions unsettled him.

He joined other young disillusioned Malay College graduates like Ishak Haji Muhammad and Ibrahim Yaacob, all angry young men like him imbued with nationalist ideals, to form the Young Malay Union (Kesatuan Melayu Muda) in 1938. He became its vice-president.

“KMM was founded by a group of radical left nationalists in their twenties. Influenced by world history in general, and political events in Turkey in particular, they desired a political body similar to the Young Turks,” he recalls. “One bone of contention was (the) British policy of allowing tens of thousands of ‘others’ into Malaya.”

But he little realized what trouble the KMM would get him into. For, without consulting him or the other KMM leaders, its president Ibrahim Yaacob had contacted the Japanese through their Consul-General in Singapore, Ken Tsurumi. For large sums of money, Ibrahim committed KMM members to serve as espionage agents and guides to assist an invading Japanese army in Malaya.

The Japanese Army attacked Kota Bharu in December 1941. British military intelligence belatedly intercepted a Japanese radio broadcast which announced that a Malay fifth column organization KAME (meaning ‘tortoise’ in Japanese) would assist the invading Japanese Army.

The name sounded too similar to the KMM. Without wasting any time, the British police rounded up over 100 KMM leaders and members in all parts of the country, including Ibrahim Yaacob and Ishak Haji Muhammad, who were detained and sent to Changi Jail in Singapore.

Mustapha, however, was in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment of a nervous disorder. Unaware that there was a warrant of arrest for him, he had discharged himself, gone back to the Agricultural College to collect his belongings, and left with his family for his father’s village in Matang, Perak, to recuperate. Three days later, the war began.

After the fall of Taiping, Japanese troops, accompanied by KMM members, entered his village looking for him. They asked him to come with them. “I was ‘invited’ to attend a crucial meeting in Taiping, after which I would be sent back to Matang (but this turned out to be false),” says Mustapha.

“How could I say no. I remember a Malay adage: jika tiada senapang, lebih baik beri jalan lapang, or ‘if one has no guns, it is best to give way.’ I tried to explain my legs were weak from a nervous disorder but a Japanese officer snapped, ‘Never mind! Four Japanese soldiers can carry you on a chair!’”

Thus, Mustapha’s forced collaboration with the Japanese began. Once he realized that he had no alternative, he began to cooperate. He used his influence with the Japanese to help family, friends, and any Malay in trouble, including captured Malay soldiers who had fought on the British side. This was what he did all along the way down to Singapore where the Japanese troops took him.

Mustapha’s candid memoirs confirm why memory of the war in multi-racial Malaya is so ethnically divisive and sensitive. Recalling Malay wartime roles and experiences tries to play down what he calls ‘collaboration’, conscious of the Japanese atrocities and massacres of the Chinese community or the role of anti-Japanese Chinese guerrillas.

Even before his death in 1987, his memories had been badly scarred by his deep sense of anguish, disillusionment, shame and betrayal brought on by the nightmare of ‘collaboration’.

With no reconciliation between him and Ibrahim Yaacob when the latter returned to Malaysia for a brief visit before his death in Jakarta in 1979, Mustapha did not forget or forgive the ‘wrongs’ done to him and others.

Mustapha, Ishak Haji Muhammad and others accused Ibrahim of not only abdicating his leadership and abandoning his supporters, but also of betraying their struggle in Indonesia for his own self-interest. In Mustapha’s memoirs, he appears as a Machiavellian manipulator, a grasping, corrupt, self-seeking, egocentric personality.

In exile in Indonesia, he became a supporter of President Sukarno, got involved in Indonesian politics, and later amassed a great fortune as a banker. When he died in 1979, he was honoured by Indonesia with burial in the Heroes’ Cemetery in Kalibata.

During the period of Indonesia’s konfrontasi against Malaysia, the UMNO newspaper Malaya Merdeka, of March 1963, described him as a “Malay coward and traitor who managed to fool many Indonesian leaders.”

Unlike Ibrahim who escaped to Indonesia, Mustapha was arrested and detained twice by the British authorities on charges of collaboration with the Japanese. He was only released after petitions were made to the British authorities by former members of the Malay Regiment, whose lives he had saved from the Japanese.

Because of the trauma he went through at the end of the war, Mustapha suffered a nervous breakdown. He endured poverty and ostracism. He was not re-employed into the civil service. To fend for himself and his family, he worked as a farmer, a fruit seller, a noodles hawker, a printer and an insurance agent.

His struggles to defend himself and clear his name engaged much of the rest of his life. Before his death, he was conferred a state award by the Sultan of Perak and received some monetary compensation in lieu of his pension from the Government, due to the intervention of a former Federal Minister.

A heavy tinge of bitterness, therefore, colours much of his memoirs.

Politically isolated as leftwing, Mustapha and his KMM compatriots were initially opposed to UMNO, but when all political channels were closed with the outbreak of the communist insurgency in 1948, many of them joined UMNO.

In what seems like a remarkable political comeback in 1951, his name resurfaced in the crisis-ridden UMNO General Assembly after Datuk Onn Jaafar had resigned as president on the grounds of the party’s refusal to open its doors to non-Malays.

Mustapha’s standing was so strong that he was nominated to stand against Tunku Abdul Rahman and Datuk (later Tun) Abdul Razak for the posts of UMNO president and deputy president respectively. But he lost to both these rivals by one vote each time.

These were contests he entered to please his old leftwing compatriots who were keen to capture UMNO. His energies were almost spent. Even had he won, Mustapha would not have lasted long in his post, given his state of health.

These memoirs make enthralling reading and were dutifully compiled and completed by his daughter Insun after his death on 15 January 1987. Throughout the memoirs, Mustapha’s voice cries out incessantly for justice and for recognition as a Malay nationalist.

In 1974, he had narrated his political struggles to a predominantly student audience at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, then in Kuala Lumpur. The encounter was an emotional experience for both Mustapha and the audience.

“I cried along with them as memories of my bitter and gruelling experiences came flooding back,” he recalls. “Involved in World War II as a Malay Fifth Columnist leader; detained in several Police lock-ups and prisons; taunted and jeered by Malays who saw me hawking food on the roadside; humiliated by people who slammed their doors in my face; asked to leave my rented cubicle in the middle of the night and even labelled as the Malay who ‘brought’ the Japanese into Malaya."

“I left them with a tremendous sense of mental and emotional fulfilment. I had sown in these educated young souls the urge to struggle for justice.”

In writing these memoirs, Mustapha was clearly able to release and assuage the cries of his own tormented soul for justice and recognition.

Cheah Boon Kheng

Translated by Insun Mustapha
Edited by Jomo K. S.


Publisher: Utusan Publications & Distributors Sdn Bhd
No. 1 & 3, Jalan 3/91A, Taman Shamelin Perkasa, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-9285 6577

Foreign Distributor: Singapore University Press Pte Ltd

To mark 100 days, a cut in road toll and a slew of promises

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — To mark his 100th day in office, the prime minister pledged that his government would be accountable to voters.

He also announced a slew of measures, including a cut in road tolls and an increase in the number of individual taxi permits, in a bid to build on his high approval rating so far to win back support for the Barisan Nasional (BN).

In a televised address to the nation, Datuk Seri Najib Razak also outlined the focus of his administration would be in six key areas:

• The prevention of crime;

• The fight against corruption;

• Access to quality education;

• The improvement of the living standards for the lower income group;

• Improvement of rural infrastructure;;

• Improvement of public transportation.

“We must be responsible to the rakyat. It is all about performance now, performance driven government,” he told a special gathering at the KLCC Convention Centre here to mark his 100 days in office.

Despite scoring an approval rating of 65 per cent in a recent poll by the independent Merdeka Center, Najib has come under fire from his allies and rivals alike in recent days, especially over his reversal of the English policy and also the economic liberalisation programme.

He appears to be ignoring the criticism and is now staking his administration on winning over ordinary Malaysians.

Besides offering motorists a 20 per cent discount for those who use toll roads more than 80 times a month and increasing the number of individual taxi permits by 3,000, he also announced:

• The allocation of 44,000 units in public housing projects to be offered for sale to tenants;

• A 50 per cent reduction in license fees for petty traders in the Federal Territories;

• Drastic steps to be taken to combat crime and graft of which details would be announced later;

• A pledge to settle birth registration issues in east Malaysia;

• A pledge to settle citizenship applications in East Malaysia;

• A pledge to build up to 1,500 kilometres of rural roads;

• Efforts to be made to improve water and electricity supply to east Malaysia;

• A reduction in the cost of motorcycle riding courses from RM500 to RM211;

• A new Amanah Saham 1 Malaysia with 10 billion units offered for sale to all Malaysians above 18.

The prime minister stayed on his signature 1 Malaysia message throughout the event and the festivities reflected that.

There was no talk of the supremacy or privileges of any ethnic group.

Instead, the increasingly familiar refrain of unity among all races and putting the public first was repeated several times.

Formalities were noticeably low key, save for the red carpet, and the seating arrangements were deliberately left open to encourage cabinet ministers to mingle with the public.

“Whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Iban, Kadazan, Bidayuh, Orang Asli, Siamese, we are all Malaysian citizens. If we can move together as one team, one people, one nation, we will be greatly successful,” said Najib.

Perhaps to drive home his commitment towards fostering racial unity and acceptance, the printed text of his speech was delivered to him by a symbolic retinue of 11 children consisting of different ethnicities from east and west Malaysia.

The most humorous moments came when Najib reminisced about his walkabouts during the first few days of office, when he visited derelict flats, ate “tosai” in Brickfields, bought fake Louise Vuitton bags at Petaling street and inhaled the stinking pollution at the infamous Pudu bus station so much so that “the smell still sticks till today.”

He noted that his directives to improve conditions at the locales he visited are being carried out quickly, including a makeover of the Pudu bus station and plans for a Little India in Brickfields.

He left unanswered, however, the question of what happens if the prime minister is too busy or unable to do walkabouts?

Najib also extended an olive branch to critics of the government’s human rights record.

“The era of government knows best is over,” he said. “We will consult the public including on the review of the Internal Security Act and this includes consulting the Bar Council and other NGOs.”

In Brickfields, a Najib corners the Indian vote

By Baradan Kuppusamy- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 – At the popular Restaurant Sri Kotumalai in the predominantly Indian neighbourhood of Brickfields a large picture of the prime minister hangs on a wall with the words “Najib’s Corner” printed on the side.

The photograph shows a smiling Datuk Seri Najib Razak surrounded by successful Indian traders drinking tea, an image hundreds if not thousands of customers must have seen since it first went up on April 4.

This is just one example of the direct approach that Najib took and is taking after becoming Prime Minister on April 3 to win the hearts and minds of an Indian community deeply alienated in the run up to the March 8, 2008 general election and which had overwhelmingly voted for the Pakatan Rakyat.

Najib’s battle to improve Indian perception started a day after he was sworn in as prime minister on April 3 with his visit to Brickfields which some consider as the heart of the Hindraf and Makkal Sakthi movement.

It was at a huge gathering in Brickfields that Indian voters first heard opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Lembah Pantai candidate Nurul Izzah Anwar, his daughter, speak for the Indian community by offering help and promising to right wrongs.

Nurul went on to defeat Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the then Women, Family and Community Development Minister, and take her place in parliament.

The Makkal Sakthi fever helped many Pakatan Rakyat leaders win but the Indian enchantment with the coalition has now tapered off.

One hundred days since Najib becoming Prime Minister the hearts and mind battle is winning him approval and supporters in the community as a recent Merdeka Centre poll shows.

The poll shows that his approval rating is 65 per cent, up from 46 per cent in mid-May and 42 per cent just before he became the country’s sixth leader.

Twenty-two per cent are dissatisfied with his performance while 13 per cent were undecided.

Some 1,060 selected registered voters were surveyed between June 19 and July 1.

The Merdeka Centre survey shows that Najib’s support is strongest among the Malays.

Some 74 per cent of Malays polled are satisfied with his performance as PM, while the level of support among Chinese and Indians is 48 per cent and 74 per cent respectively.

“Najib has managed to capture the attention of the people with his numerous reform measures,” said political scientist Dr Denison Jayasooria, adding that the challenge now is for him to translate the promises into concrete action.

“He has to do it in the next two years,” he said.

“He provided bold leadership, showed he was willing to make unpopular but necessary decisions and generally convinced the people that he is a leader to be taken seriously,” Dr Denison said.

One area for concern in his first 100 days is the poor treatment of dissenting voices and his commitment to promoting human rights, which were key concerns of Tun Abdullah Badawi.

“It is not so much Najib is lacking in human rights concerns but police and other agencies have been showing considerable intolerance to dissenters and it reflects on his administration,” Dr Denison said.

“He has to improve on this score in the next two years,” he said.

Putting it all together, he said, he is not surprised there is disappointment with the PR alliance and a significant spike in Indian support for the new prime minister.

“Here is a golden opportunity for the MIC to ride back into favour. They just have to ride on Najib’s reform and to consensus emerging around him to win back Indian support,” he said.

However to do it, the MIC has to promote younger leaders under a new face as party leader, Dr Denison said, referring to the refusal of MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu to step aside for a new face.

“This is a major setback for the MIC,” he said.

What if Mikaeel Jackson had died here?

What if Mikaeel Jackson had died here?
Mpmages | Jul 10, 09 2:08pm
As I was watching Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday, we had a discussion at home about what would have happened if he had died in Malaysia.

The memorial service was grandly celebrated showing off his life and his contributions.

But since it has been reported that the King of Pop had converted to Islam in 2008, his death if it had taken place here, would have been very different.

Hospital officials are obliged to inform the religious authorities of whichever state he died about his death. Then the authorities will come to the hospital to claim his body and will most probably refuse the right of his family members to have such a memorial.

They will never wait another day to bury his body unless the family members get a stay order from the court. But again, the religious authorities will go to the Syariah Court and get the go ahead order. They will produce all the papers to proof that he was a Muslim now.

Michael Jackson might have just attended a church service a week ago, but of course that doesn't matter. Whether or not he lived as a Muslim when he was alive is not the question here, he has to be buried as a Muslim because he has converted.

Well, don't ask me what is the rational, because I will be asking the same question myself.

The conclusion here is, the family can't have the memorial service, Lionel Richie can't sing the song 'Jesus Is Love' and the pastor will surely won't have the opportunity to say any prayers.

I believe the readers of this article would understand the 'what if MJ had died in Malaysia' situation if they had been following all the body-snatching incidents in this country.

No Malaysian will be convinced that Najib is serious about fighting crime unless he appoints a new Inspector-General of Police with the primary task t

By Lim Kit Siang,

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, today announced a slew of goodies to mark his 100th day in office, after his image received a tremendous boost with the recent Merdeka Centre opinion poll recording that his popularity rating had rocketted to 65% as compared to 45% a month after he became Prime Minister and 42 per cent just before taking over the premiership from Tun Abdullah on April 3, 2009.

Today’s basket of goodies, with promises of more to come, have not been able however to duplicate the national euphoria and feel good atmosphere which former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had been able to conjure up in his First 100 Days without any Hundred-Day gimmicks and goodies whatsoever.

In the final analysis, the test of Najib’s premiership will not be in the slew of goodies but in his performance and delivery of promises including in the six key areas he cited, namely

  • The prevention of crime;
  • The fight against corruption;
  • Access to quality education;
  • The improvement of the living standards for the lower income group;
  • Improvement of rural infrastructure;
  • Improvement of public transportation.

Conspicuously missing is the centrality of the challenge to make all Malaysians one united people 52 years after Merdeka and 46 years after the formation of Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak.

Even in the six areas cited by Najib, what exactly has the Prime Minister got to offer which are really different from the discredited and past failed policies of the Barisan Nasional government?

For instance, in two long-standing critical areas of crime and corruption, all that Najib has to say is: “Drastic steps to be taken to combat crime and graft of which details would be announced later”.

The message is clear and unmistakable – Najib is just not serious about the overriding importance to combat crime and corruption, which are intimately intertwined with Malaysia’s capability to restore international competitiveness to be a global player so as to become a high-income nation.

How can Najib convince Malaysians that he is serious about his duties as Prime Minister or his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” when all he has to say about crime and corruption after 100 Days as Prime Minister is as good as: “Next Change. Coming Soon”?

Najib had been a full Cabinet Minister for 23 years since 1986, serving before that for four years each as Deputy Minister and Pahang Mentri Besar – and he has nothing to announce whatsoever on the two burning issues in the country, crime and corruption after 100 days as Prime Minister?

As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, Najib should realise that no Malaysian will be convinced that he is serious about fighting crime unless he appoints a new Inspector-General of Police with the primary task to roll back the tide of crime in the past five years.

Najib’s credibility among Malaysians that he will stamp out corruption is dangerously wafer-thin. Is he prepared to establish his credentials about his seriousness to combat corruption by establishing two Royal Commissions of Inquiry into two recent high-profile exposes – the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Port scandal and the RM24 million Istana Khir Toyo scandal?

Umno veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh made a very timely speech last night, stressing that the New Economic Policy was a time-limited policy which had expired for 19 years and what is needed is a New Deal for all Malaysians, based on the same universal concerns on which the NEP was originally formulated but designed for a new era to assist 100% of Malaysians who need socio-economic help.

If Najib is prepared make a stand to endorse Razaleigh’s call for a New Deal for all Malaysians and to get over the NEP hangover, it will be more meaningful than all the goodies he could distribute like an early-Christmas Santa Claus.

Catholics lodge report against Al Islam

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 10 July 2009: The two Catholics who lodged a police report against the Al Islam magazine over an article in which the journalist took the holy communion wafer out of his mouth and photographed it, have started a peaceful protest campaign against the magazine.

Joachim Francis Xavier and Sundhagaran Stanley, from Penang, are asking Catholics to make individual police reports and to express dissatisfaction with the magazine's publisher through telephone calls or faxes.

"We are resolved not to allow anger to guide our actions and instead pray that these ignorant will be forgiven by Allah," they said.

magazine thumbnails magazine thumbnails
Click both thumbnails to see full-sized scans of magazine article

The two lodged a police report on 8 July 2009 at the Patani Road police station in Penang over the article "Tinjauan Al Islam Dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad" which was published in the May 2009 issue of Al Islam. The magazine is published by Utusan Karya Sdn Bhd.

In the article, the Muslim journalist, accompanied by another person, went to two Catholic churches in Kuala Lumpur on an investigative mission to find out if allegations that young Muslims were being converted to Christianity were true.

The journalist, whose by-line in the article was Muhd Ridhwan Abdul Jalil, described the holy communion ritual as "upacara makan roti putih" and wrote about how he was given the wafer by the priest. The article also carried a photograph of the wafer with a caption that identified it as the wafer that was placed in his mouth.

scan of communion spat out onto the ground
Communion spat out and photographed for the article
(scan from Al Islam)

Xavier and Stanley in a press statement said they were "outraged that these Muslim men consumed it [the communion] only to spit it out later, have it photographed, and have its image published".

The two Catholics said it was "total disrespect" for what Catholics regard as sacred. "It strikes deeps into our hearts and invokes much anger," they said. Catholics believe that the wafer is the actual flesh of Christ who, according to doctrine, died to remove the sins of people.

"The 'communion' is held with great reverence and cannot in any way be mishandled or [treated] with a lack of respect. Even Catholics are not allowed to take home the 'communion' but are instructed to consume it immediately during the service. Catholics go through an elaborate process of preparing themselves to receive this 'communion' worthily and those who have not done so are advised to refrain from receiving it," Xavier and Stanley said.

They said they wanted the magazine to return the wafer to the church authorities.

Ban "Allah"

The magazine did not name the churches its journalist went to. The writer described scenes of hymn-singing and exchanging of greetings among the parishioners. At one of the churches he went to, the service was in Bahasa Malaysia.

He noted that there were many Malay-looking people, but realised that they were from Sabah, and that there were many Filipinos as well.

He wrote that he did not see any Muslims being converted, but dwelt at length on the use of the word "Allah" in the priest's sermon and in some of the hymn lyrics.

His conclusion in the article was that the ban on the use of "Allah" by Christians was valid because Muslims would be confused as there were differences about God between Islam and Christianity.

Xavier and Stanley said the Muslim journalist and his friend had "violated our sense of privacy to freely worship".

"Would these men tolerate non-Muslims entering the mosque and violating the sanctity and holiness of their worship? All places of worship and the form of worship practised must be respected with the greatest sensitivity and reverence, be they the church, mosque, temple or gurdwaras.

"Entering these premises with the intention to spy and to violate the sanctity of worship only serves to incite anger and hatred that could lead to potentially dangerous consequences that would tear this country apart," they said.

No comment

Xavier, when contacted today by The Nut Graph, said he lodged the police report after reading the article as a "concerned Catholic" even though the incident did not occur in his parish.

Police report thumbnail
click to open full-sized report

He said the Penang police told him that investigations would be handled by the Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur, since the incident took place in the capital.

The Nut Graph also called the Al Islam editorial desk for a comment. Its assistant editor Nor Shamsinor Baharin said the journalist who wrote the piece was on leave. She said she had been instructed not to comment or respond to any questions on the article.

Catholic authorities in Penang and Kuala Lumpur were not immediately available for comment.

Zaid slams Najib’s administration

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 July 2009: In a blistering speech last night, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim attacked Datuk Seri Najib Razak on almost every score of the prime minister's100-day administration.

The former minister and former Umno member said Najib should have acted in his first three months of office "as if he has only 100 days before his reign comes to an end".

Zaid Ibrahim
Zaid Ibrahim (file pic)

Among others, Zaid said Najib should have enacted far-reaching policies to give back the judiciary its independence, and to reform institutions like the police, Attorney-General's Chambers and the Election Commission.

"He [should have shown] the people he was prepared to sacrifice his neck if that is required of him," Zaid said in his speech titled Preservation of Democracy and the Rule of Law in Malaysia at the Oxbridge Malaysia Dialogue Dinner Series, hosted by the Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia.

Najib was sworn in as the nation's sixth prime minister on 3 April 2009. His 100th day in office is tomorrow.

All equal?

Zaid said Najib should have started his term by pushing through a Race Relations Act to punish racism and racist speeches and writings "from all quarters, even if it's from leaders of his own party and from Utusan Malaysia". Zaid was referring to the Umno-owned Bahasa Malaysia daily.

"The problems in our country are not race or religion-based, but BN has worked very hard to make them so."

Zaid, who was sacked from Umno in December 2008 and joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on 13 June 2009, also questioned the 1Malaysia slogan as to whether is really meant that all Malaysians were equal.

"The acceptance of equality of rights as citizens is central to the success of our Malaysian journey.

"When the PM announced his 1Malaysia slogan, I asked if that meant he would make a declaration that all Malaysians are equal. The answer was not forthcoming till today. All he said was rights must be understood in the context of responsibilities. Another fuzzy reply."

What Najib should stop doing, Zaid said, was to "always refer to the deprivation the Malays suffered under the British. No amount of wallowing in the past can change history". In the same vein, Malay Malaysians should stop telling other races to be "grateful", Zaid said.

He said racist politics was the "single greatest impediment" to Malaysian unity, adding that while different from the kind of racism that involved skin colour, Malaysian racism was "driven more by ethnic distrust and ethnic rivalry for the economic cake".

Zaid also went on the stump for Pakatan Rakyat (PR), saying it was the only viable alternative to the "self-indulgent and delusional sense of self importance" of Umno and Barisan Nasional rule.

Worse to come

Zaid said Najib's push for Malay unity talks between Umno and PAS was merely a way to "strengthen himself" by causing internal difficulties between the PR parties.

At a time of economic downturn, Zaid said Najib had not done enough by removing the 30% bumiputra quota for companies and scrapping the Foreign Investment Committee rules. He noted that these were already being demanded of Malaysia by international and Asean trade agreements.

He said the decision was popular in the short-term but will "come back to haunt" Najib, as many Malay Malaysians were unhappy because Najib had not addressed the larger problem of income disparity.

On Perak, while Najib should "not have started it", Zaid said that since it had already happened, the premier should "have the courage" to hold fresh elections.

"The whole cloak and dagger story of intrigue about the overthrow of the Pakatan Rakyat government gave rise to much suspicion about Najib's style, well before he took office. He could have allayed the fears that he would not be one to resort to under-the-belt tactics in his leadership, by calling for fresh elections. Najib's unwillingness to dissolve the Perak assembly has gotten the country deeper into a political quagmire."

Zaid also believed that Najib would not bother to address people's concerns about the impartiality of the police and judges, and of high-profile corruption cases which had been reported to the anti-corruption authorities.

He added that authoritarianism in government would continue unless repressive laws like the Internal Security Act, Official Secrets Act and the Sedition Act, were abolished. But this would be unlikely as "the elite need protection from their misdeeds", he said.

Zaid also criticised the government for reversing the policy on teaching science and mathematics in English after six years and billions of ringgit. "One wonders if the farcical National Service programme, which is neither a national service nor an education programme, will be scrapped, too."

Umno's cave

Zaid also pulled out the stops in criticising his former party. He said Umno had been hiding in a cave for too long which had caused them to "abandon the idea of a shared and common nationhood".

He said the reason for Umno's, and by extension, the government's authoritarianism, was the belief in "Ketuanan Melayu" and that Malay hegemony was needed to prevent Malay Malaysians from being marginalised.

He said change would only come when Umno abandoned racial politics and when Malay Malaysians understood that "patronage, authoritarianism and nationalist extremism" - "all of which are Umno's leadership style" - did them more harm than good.

"Malay [Malaysians] themselves must break from the shackles of narrow nationalism so that they may realise self-actualisation and independence," Zaid said.

He said if Umno continued to cling on to the "Ketuanan Melayu" mindset, the whole country would suffer from not being able to have comprehensive national policies, because the distrust between communities would prevent objectivity and place ethnic interests over national interests

Massive Gerakan Indians exodus to Uthaya's new party - Malaysiakini

A Penang Gerakan branch leader is set to lead about 5,000 Indian members out of the party this month and join the soon-to-be launched P Uthayakumar's Human Rights Party (HRP).

Batu Kawan branch chief V Sivaperumal claimed the inevitable exodus of Indians from Gerakan would cripple the party at its core.
gerakan penang pc 230609 v sivaperumal
He claimed that eight Indian-dominated Gerakan branches in Penang would 'close-shop' while at least 40 other branches would be starved of grassroots supporters when the Indian members join HRP en bloc.

He also plans to lead a bus load of his supporters to join the Hindraf leader's official launching of HRP on Sunday July 19 in Klang.

"Indians in Gerakan are bitter with the racial discrimination in the party," he said, when asked for the reason for them to hop parties.

Sivaperumal (above) slammed Gerakan chairperson Dr Teng Hock Nan for sidelining and isolating Indian members from mainstream party politics in the state.

He said Gerakan had been using Indians for a cosmetic multi-racial outlook.

Uthaya's party an ideal choice

Accusing Gerakan of mistreating Indian members politically over the years, he pointed out that they were not even given a state assembly seat to contest in the last general election.

He said Gerakan's Indian members in Penang have lost faith in their party and the BN coalition to uplift their standard of living.

He explained that Gerakan Indian members did not hop over to other parties even though they were discriminated for years.

huan cheng guan"It was long time coming. Indian members could not find an ideal alternative political party. Now at least HRP provides us an ideal vehicle," he said.

Sivaperumal was among three Gerakan branch leaders who lashed out at the leadership for suspending vice president Huan Cheng Guan (right) for three years.

He also chided the current DAP-dominate Pakatan Rakyat state government for emulating the previous Umno-dominated BN government in marginalising Indians in the state.

He cited the Kampung Buah Pala crisis as a fine example of discrimination against a minority community.

Kampung Buah Pala is famously known as 'Tamil High Chaparral' by locals due to its cowherds, cattles, goats and Tamil traditional way of life.

Lim using media divert attention

Sivaperumal said current Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng cannot go on blaming his predecessor Koh Tsu Koon, BN and lack of federal funding to shrug off his responsibilities in resolving the matter.

He said it was time for Lim to understand that the people voted out BN because they wanted a change in policies and actions.

Therefore, he said Lim should be pro-active in rectifying past mistakes and carry out people-orientated policies.

NONE"He cannot keep on blaming others for everything... it's time for his government to deliver. He's already 15 months in power. He should talk less and work more," he told Malaysiakini.

He criticised Lim (left) of being sluggish and too politically-orientated in his handling of the Kampung Buah Pala crisis.

"Instead of talking to the villagers to understand their plight and resolve the crisis, he is using the media to play politics and divert attention.

"Lim should step aside if he cannot deliver and allow someone more capable to run the show," said Sivaperumal.

High Chaparral: What happened to the trust document?

The Kampung Buah Pala land in Gelugor was once owned by David Brown, a wealthy spice plantation owner during the early British colonial era in Penang who died in 1825.

Title to the land eventually reached one of his descendants, Helen Margaret Brown. For more information on David Brown and his descendants, go here and here.

Check out this copy of the Straits Settlement “Grant of Land” bestowing title to Helen Margaret Brown in 1938:

ss-deed1

A lot has been said about the High Chaparral residents being “squatters” (setinggan). Many of them are actually descendants of workers brought in by the Brown family, who allowed them to live on the land.

On the reverse side of the Grant of Land, we can see the “sub-divided Lot 691 acquired by Crown for housing Trust – vested in Crown on 12.4.(1954?)”.

vested-crown-land


So where is the actual Housing Trust document? Isn’t the Penang Land Office supposed to have a copy? Why hasn’t the actual trust document been made public?

When the housing trust was dissolved in 1976, the land should have gone to the Federal Government.

So how did the previous Penang government alienate the land to the Penang State Government Officers Cooperative? How did they satisfy themselves that they had title to the land? State government leaders then have a lot to answer for.

Why didn’t the present administration, knowing the controversial circumstances surrounding the land following the promises made in the general election campaign, keep a sharp look-out on this land deal and double-check the actual land status before the transfer to the government officers cooperative was effected in March 2008? Was it merely an administrative matter that the present state government could do nothing about? - Anil Netto

Ceramah Perdana DSAI Di Ampang 8hb Julai 2009

Bahagian 1

Bahagian 2

Bahagian 3

Bahagian 4

(semua video ehsan media rakyat.net)

PM Najib Announces 11 People-friendly Measures On 100th Day In Office

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak on Saturday announced 11 "people-friendly" measures in conjunction with his first 100 days in office as the prime minister, among them discounts for frequent users of toll roads, ownership of public housing to those renting them, and a new unit trust scheme.

Speaking at the "100 Days of Najib with the People" function at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here, Najib said a 20 per cent discount would be given to users of the pre-paid Smart Tag and Touch n Go cards who pay toll 80 times or more in a month.

He said this was an interim solution pending the completion of a comprehensive study on the toll rates, which he felt would take time.

Najib said he had come to know that some users of toll roads paid about RM300 in toll a month out of their RM3,000 monthly salary, and added that these people only earned 11 months salary in a year because one month's salary went totally to toll payment.

"I believe this (discount) will come as a relief to the people, particularly those who use toll roads daily," he said to the applause of the more than 5,000 people inside and outside the packed convention centre.

In his 50-minute speech which he began at 11.11am to signify the first 100 days in office as the prime minister following his appointment on April 3, Najib also announced that people renting public housing in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur would be given the opportunity and option to buy the living quarters.

He said 44,000 units of such houses were being offered for sale and that this would enable people of the low-income group to own houses.

Another of the people-friendly measures was the reduction by half of the licence renewal fee for hawkers and petty traders in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Najib said an appeal for the licence fee to be reduced was made at a function he attended with the Federation of Malay Hawkers and Petty Traders Associations of Malaysia in Tanjung Karang, Selangor, last month.

"This will bring much relief. I hope the states will also emulate the example of the Federal Territory. Hopefully, other licence fees will also be reduced," he said.

Perhaps PM Najib should consider conduting a referendum on PPSMI for primary and secondary schools

By Kula's Voize,

The government's decision to reverse the PPSMI for both primary and secondary schools have attracted mixed reactions.

The feedback I have received shows that generally, the reversal for primary schools is accepted by the people , especially educationists who have long insisted that
primary school subjects are best taught in the students' mother tongue.

However, there seems to be some parents of urban schools who prefer that the status quo be maintained for the primary schools, if given a choice.

For the secondary schools, the number of urban parents who support the status quo be maintained for the secondary schools is quite overwhelming.

I am therefore not surprised that in the poll conducted by the former PM Tun Mahathir , majority have voted against the PPSMI reversal. Majority of his blog readers are urban parents or voters..

It will be interesting had Tun"s poll been separated into two sections, one for primary schools and another for secondary schools.

Tun Mahathir has asked his readers to answer yes or no to the question-- do you support the government's decision to teach Maths and Science in BM?

Based on his poll result, Tun has said that it seems that the government is not listening to the voice of the people.

May be PM Najib should seriously consider holding a referendum on the two questions:

1. Should PPSMI be reversed for primary schools?

2. Should PPSMI be reversed for secondary schools?

Happy Birthday, Dr M

Marina (from her Twitter) bought him two polo shirts, Tun's friends threw him a dinner, and sang him Widuri. Tun replied:

"It’s not often that a politician is at a loss for words.

“Old generals do not retire but simply fade away.

“Trust me. I’m trying my best to fade away but you keep inviting me,” he said in jest, quoting World War II General Douglas Mac- Arthur.

May you rock on, Tun!

Razaleigh – NEP has expired. Time for New Deal

Speech by Tengku Razaleigh at HELP University College, KL; July 10, 2009

  1. Thank you for inviting me to address you. It’s a pleasure to be here, and to learn from you. You have asked me to talk about Najib’s First 100 Days, and this lecture is in a series called Straight Talk. I shall indeed speak plainly and directly.

  2. Let me begin by disappointing you. I am not going to talk about Najib’s First 100 Days because it makes little sense to do so.

  3. Our governments are brought to power for five year terms through general elections. The present government was constituted after March 8, 2008 and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s tenure as Prime Minister resulted from a so-called “smooth transfer of power” between the previous Prime Minister and himself that took a somewhat unsmooth twelve months to carry out. During those months, Najib took on the de facto leadership role domestically while Abdullah warmed our international ties. The first 100 days of this government went by unremarked sometime in June last year.

  4. Not only is it somewhat meaningless to talk about Najib’s First 100 days, such talk buys into a kind of political silliness that we are already too prone to. It has us imagine that the present government started work on April 2 and forget that it commenced work on March 8 last year and must be accountable for all that has been done or not done since then. It has us forget that in our system of parliamentary, constitutional democracy, governments are brought to power at general elections and must be held accountable for promises made at these elections. It leads us to forget that these promises, set out in election manifestos, are undertaken by political parties, not individuals, and are not trifles to be forgotten when there is a change of individual.

  5. It is important that we remember these things, cultivate a more critical recollection of them, and learn to hold our leaders accountable to them, so that we are not perpetually chasing the slogan of the day, whether this be Vision 2020, Islam Hadhari or 1Malaysia. As PR Professionals, you would see my point immediately. Slogans without substance undermine trust. That substance is made up of policies that have been thought through and are followed through. That substance is concrete and provided by results we can measure.

  6. Whether or not some of our leaders are ready for it, we are maturing as a democracy. We are beginning to evaluate our governments more by the results they deliver over time than by their rhetoric. As our increasingly well-educated and well-travelled citizens apply this standard, they force our politicians to think before they speak, and deliver before they speak again. As thinking Malaysians we should look for the policies, if any, behind the slogans. What policies are still in place and which have we abandoned? What counts as policy and who is consulted when it is made? How is a proposal formulated and specified and approved before it becomes policy, and by whom? What are the roles of party, cabinet, King and Parliament in this process? Must we know what it means before it is instituted or do we have to piece it together with guesswork? Do we even have a policy process?

  7. The mandate Najib has taken up is the one given to Barisan Nasional under Abdullah Badawi’s leadership. BN was returned to power in the 12th General Elections on a manifesto promising Security, Peace and Prosperity. It is this manifesto against which the present administration undertook to be judged. The present government inherits projects and policies such as Islam Hadhari and Vision 2020. If these are still in place, how do they relate to each other and to 1 Malaysia? How do we evaluate the latest slogan against the fact of constitutional failure in Perak, the stench of corruption in the PKFZ project and reports of declining media freedom? What do we make of cynical political plays on racial unity against assurances that national unity is the priority?

  8. It is not amiss to ask about continuity. We were told that the reason why we had to have a yearlong ‘transfer of power’ to replace the previous Prime Minster was so that we could have such policy continuity. The issues before the present BN government are not transformed overnight with a change of the man at the top.

  9. Let me touch on one issue every Malaysian is concerned with: security. The present government made the right move in supporting the establishment of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operations and Management of the Police in 2004. Responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission, the government allocated the PDRM RM8 billion to upgrade itself under the 9th Malaysia Plan, a tripling of their allocation under the 8th Malaysia Plan.

  10. Despite the huge extra amounts we are spending on policing, there has been no dent on our crime problem, especially in the Johor Bahru area, where it continues to make a mockery of our attempts to develop Iskandar as a destination for talent and investment. Despite spending all this money, we have just been identified as a major destination for human trafficking by the US State Department’s 2008 Human Rights Watch. We are now in the peer group of Sudan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea for human trafficking. All over the world the organized cross-border activity of human trafficking feeds on the collusion of crime syndicates and corrupt law enforcement and border security officials. Security is about more than just catching the criminals out there. It is also about the integrity of our own people and processes. It is above all about uprooting corruption and malpractice in government agencies, especially in law enforcement agencies. I wish the government were as eager to face the painful challenge of reform as to spend money. The key recommendation of the Royal Commission was the formation of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission. That has been shelved.

  11. Royal Commissions and their findings are not to be trifled with and applied selectively. Their findings and recommendations are conveyed in a report submitted to the King, who then transmits them to the Government. Their recommendations have the status of instructions from the King. The recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Police have not been properly implemented. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Video clip might as well not have been conducted, because its findings have been completely ignored. Both Commissions investigated matters fundamental to law and order in this country: the capability and integrity of the police and of the judiciary. No amount of money thrown at the PDRM or on installing CCTV’s can make up for what happens to our security when our law enforcers and our judges are compromised.

  12. Two Royal Commissions undertaken under the present government unearthed deep issues in the police and the judiciary and made recommendations with the King’s authority behind them, and they have been ignored. The public may wonder if the government is committed to peace and security if it cannot or will not address institutional rot in law enforcement and the rule of law.

  13. The reform of the police and the judiciary has been on the present government’s To Do list for more than five years.

  14. I want to reflect now upon where we stand today and how we might move forward. We are truly at a turning point in our history. Our political landscape is marked with unprecedented uncertainty. Nobody knows what the immediate future holds for us politically. This is something very new for Malaysians. The inevitability of a strong BN government figured into all political and economic calculations and provided a kind of stability to our expectations. Now that this is gone, and perhaps gone for good, we need a new basis for long-term confidence. No matter who wins the next General Election, it is likely to be with a slim majority. Whatever uncertainty we now face is likely to persist unless some sort of tiebreaker is found which gathers the overwhelming support of the people.

  15. We need to trust less in personalities and more in policies, look less to politics and more to principle, less to rhetoric and more to tangible outcomes, less to the government of the day and more to enduring institutions, first among which must be the Federal Constitution.

  16. We need an unprecedented degree of openness and honesty about what our issues are and what can be done; about who we are, and where we want to go. We need straight talk rather than slogans. We need to be looking the long horizon rather than occupying ourselves with media-generated milestones.

  17. Those of us who think about the future of Malaysia have never been so restless. The mould of our past is broken, and there is no putting it back together again, but a new mould into which to pour our efforts is not yet cast. This is a time to think new thoughts, and to be courageous in articulating them.

  18. Such is the case not just in politics but also in how the government manages the economy. In a previous speech I argued that for our economy to escape the “middle income trap” we need to make a developmental leap involving transformative improvements in governance and a successful reform of our political system. I said the world recession is a critical opportunity for us to re-gear and re-tool the Malaysian economy because it is a challenge to take bold, imaginative measures. We must make that leap or remain stuck as low achievers who were once promising.

  19. We are in a foundational crisis both of our politics and of our economy. In both dimensions, the set plays of the past have taken us as far as they can, and can take us no further. Politically and economically, we have arrived at the end of the road for an old way of managing things. The next step facing us is not a step but a leap, not an addition to what we have but a shift that changes the very ground we play on.

  20. This is not the first time in our brief history as an independent nation that we have found ourselves at an impasse and come up with a ground-setting policy, a new framework, a leap into the future. The race riots of 1969 ended the political accommodation and style of the first era of our independence. Parliament was suspended and a National Operations Council put in place under the leadership of the late Tun Razak. He formed a National Consultative Council to study what needed to be done. The NCC was a non-partisan body which included everyone. It was the NCC that drafted and recommended the New Economic Policy. This was approved and implemented by the Government.

  21. The NEP was a twenty year programme. It had a national, and not a racial agenda to eradicate poverty and address structural inequality in the form of the identification of race with occupation. It aimed to remove a colonial era distribution of economic roles in our economy. Nowhere in its terms is any race specified, nor does it privilege one race over another. Its aim was unity.

  22. The NEP’s redistributive measures drew on principles of social justice, not claims of racial privilege. This is an important point. The NEP was acceptable to all Malaysians because its justification was universal rather than sectarian, ethical rather than opportunistic. It appealed to Malaysians’ sense of social justice and not to any notion of racial privilege.

  23. We were devising a time-limited policy for the day, in pursuit of a set of measurable outcomes. We were not devising a doctrine for an eternal socio-economic arrangement. Like all policies, it was formulated to solve a finite set of problems, but through an enduring concern with principles such as equity and justice. I happen to think it was the right thing for the time, and it worked in large measure.

  24. Curiously, although the policy was formulated within the broad consensus of the NCC for a finite period, in our political consciousness it has grown into an all-encompassing and permanent framework that defines who we are. We continue to act and talk as if it is still in place. The NEP ended in 1991 when it was terminated and replaced by the New Development Policy, but eighteen years on, we are still in its hangover and speak confusingly about liberalizing it. The NEP was necessary and even visionary in 1971, but it is a crushing indictment of our lack of imagination, of the mediocrity of our leadership, that two decades after its expiry, we talk as if it is the sacrosanct centre of our socio-political arrangement, and that departures from it are big strides. The NEP is over, and we have not had the courage to tell people this. The real issue is not whether the NEP is to be continued or not, but whether we have the imagination to come up with something which better serves our values and objectives, for our own time.

  25. Policies are limited mechanisms for solving problems. They become vehicles for abuse when they stay on past their useful life. Like political or corporate leaders who have stayed too long, policies that overrun their scope or time become entrenched in abuse, and confuse the means that they are with the ends that they were meant to serve. The NEP was formulated to serve the objective of unity. That objective is enduring, but its instrument can come up for renewal or replacement. Any organisation, let alone a country, that fails to renew a key policy over forty years in a fast-moving world is out of touch and in trouble.

  26. There is a broad consensus in our society that while the NEP has had important successes, it has now degenerated into a vehicle for abuse and inefficiency. Neither the Malays nor the non-Malays approve of the way it now works, although there would be multiracial support for the objectives of the NEP, as originally understood. The enthusiasm with which recent reforms have been greeted in the business and international communities suggests that the NEP is viewed as an obstacle to growth. This was not what it was meant to be.

  27. It was designed to promote a more equitable and therefore a more harmonious society. Far from obstructing growth, the stability and harmony envisaged by the NEP would were to be the basis for long term prosperity.

  28. Over the years, however, and alongside its successes, the NEP has been systematically appropriated by a small political and business class to enrich itself and perpetuate its power. This process has corrupted our society and our politics. It has corrupted our political parties. Rent-seeking practices have choked the NEP’s original intention of seeking a more just and equitable society, and have discredited the broad nation-building enterprise which this policy was meant to serve.

  29. Thus, while the NEP itself has expired, we live under the hangover of a policy which has been skewed from its intent. Instead of coming up with better policy tools in pursuit of the aims behind the NEP, a set of vested interests rallies to defend the mere form of the NEP and to extend its bureaucratic sway through a huge apparatus of commissions, agencies, licenses and permits while its spirit has been evacuated. In doing so they have clouded the noble aims of the NEP and racialized its originally national and universal concerns.

  30. We must break the stranglehold of communal politics and racial policy if we want to be a place where an economy driven by ideas and skills can flourish. This is where our daunting economic and political challenges can be addressed in one stroke. We can do much better than cling to the bright ideas of forty years ago as if they were dogma, and forget our duty to come up with the bright ideas for our own time. The NEP, together with the Barisan coalition, was a workable solution for Malaysia forty years ago. But forty years ago, our population was about a third of what it is today, our economy was a fraction the size and complexity that it is now, and structured around the export of tin and rubber rather than around manufacturing, services and oil and gas. Forty years ago we were in the midst of the Cold War, and the Vietnam War raged to the north. Need I say we live in a very different world today. We need to talk to the facebook generation of young Malaysians connected to global styles and currents of thought. We face global epidemics, economic downturns and planetary climate change.

  31. We can do much better than to cling to the outer form of an old policy. Thinking in these terms only gives us the negative policy lever of “relaxing” certain rules, when what we need is a new policy framework, with 21st century policy instruments. We have relaxed some quotas. We have left Approved Permits and our taxi licensing system intact. We have left the apparatus of the NEP, and a divisive mindset that has grown up around it, in place. Wary of well-intentioned statements with no follow-through, the business community has greeted these reforms cautiously, noting that a mountain of other reforms are needed. One banker was quoted in a recent news article as saying: “All the reforms need to go hand in hand..Why is there an exodus of talent and wealth? It is because people do not feel confident with the investment climate, security conditions and the government in Malaysia. Right now, many have lost faith in the system.”

  32. The issues are intertwined. Our problems are systemic and rooted in the capability of the government to deliver, and the integrity of our institutions. It is clear that piecemeal “liberalization” and measure by measure reform on a politicized timetable is not going to do the job.
    33.What we need is a whole new policy framework, based on a comprehensive vision that addresses root problems in security, institutional integrity, education and government capability. What we need to do is address our crisis with the bold statecraft from which the NEP itself originated, not cling to a problematic framework that does little justice to our high aspirations. The challenge of leadership is to tell the truth about our situation, no matter how unpalatable, to bring people together around that solution, and to move them to act together on that solution.

  33. If the problem is really that we face a foundational crisis, then it is not liberalization of the NEP, or even liberalization per se that we need. From the depths of the global economic slowdown it is abundantly clear that the autonomous free market is neither equitable nor even sustainable. There is no substitute for putting our heads together and coming up with wise policy. We need a Malaysian New Deal based on the same universal concerns on which the NEP was originally formulated but designed for a new era: we must continue to eradicate poverty without regard for race or religion, and ensure that markets serve the people rather than the other way around.

  34. Building on the desire for unity based social justice that motivated the NEP in 1971, let us assist 100% of Malaysians who need help in improving their livelihoods and educating their children. We want the full participation of all stakeholders in our economy. A fair and equitable political and economic order, founded on equal citizenship as guaranteed in our Constitution, is the only possible basis for a united Malaysia and a prerequisite of the competitive, talent-driven economy we must create if we are to make our economic leap.

  35. If we could do this, we would restore national confidence, we would bring Malaysians together in common cause to build a country that all feel a deep sense of belonging to. We would unleash the kind of investment we need, not just of foreign capital but of the loyalty, effort and commitment of all Malaysians.

  36. I don’t know about you. I am embarrassed that after fifty years of independence we are still talking about bringing Malaysians together. I would have wished that by now, and here tonight, we could be talking about how we can conquer new challenges together.

Najib's first 100 days: More minuses than pluses - Malaysiakini

While Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak may be enjoying a high popularity rating as he celebrates 100 days in office, his well-known supporter and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad brought the celebratory mood down a peg with an unfavourable assessment.

Speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur this morning, Mahathir said Najib gained "more negatives rather than positives" since taking over as the prime minister from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on April 3.

"I'm sorry to say this, but there are more negative (things) rather than positives. Somebody said, there was almost nothing in positives, (especially) from the Internet. For example, there is no freedom of the press," he said.

NONEWhen asked to elaborate the negative things that have been reflected on Najib, Mahathir claimed that Najib did not come up with any proper study relating to the third bridge linking Johor Baru and Singapore.

"There are also other things, like certain appointments of the (ministers) found to be corrupt and yet, they are still in office," he said.

Despite these, Mahathir said Najib did however manage to score a few positives.

"For example, he likes to meet people and secondly he does not sleep (on the job)," he quipped.

The sleeping-on-duty remark was made in reference to Abdullah who was frequently caught nodding off while attending meetings.

Negative mark on scrapping PPSMI


Mahathir also said the government's latest move to scrap the teaching of mathematics and science in English (PPSMI) contributed to Najib's negative image.

He said that that the PPSMI received tremendous support from parties in and outside the cabinet during his final year as prime minister in 2003.

"The policy was implemented during the last year of my tenure as prime minister and it had solid support from the (Umno) supreme council," he said.

rosmah and najib bakti event 070709 01The policy is not about learning English or Malay, he said, but "to acknowledge the fact that most knowledge can be accquired from learning the English language".

"In the past, the Arabs studied Greek and subsequently in the Dark Ages, Europeans studied Arab to know about Arabs...That is why we have to learn English to acquire certain skills," said Mahathir.

He brushed off suggestions that he is criticising the government and the prime minister, especially for doing away with the PPSMI.

"I speak what I think, and I'm not criticising anything (or anyone). But I will criticise something that affects our children.

"For me, that is one of the negative things (about Najib, above). There are so many things that I do not agree with, but I'm entitled to my personal views," he added.

80 percent of 26,000 visitors said no

Mahathir also revealed that 80 percent of 26,000 respondents on his blog chedet.net disagreed with the government's move to scrap PPSMI.

"After I get the (final) result, maybe I could present this to the government," he said.

He also denied suggestions that he had expected the government to consult him before the policy was scrapped.

muhyiddin yassin universiti malaya 020609"I don't expect anything from (the government) but it was nice of him (Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, left) to brief me although my opinions were not reflected in the new policy," he said.

Mahathir, said talks between them did take place before the controversial six-year-old policy was abolished.

"There was a briefing session the day before they officially adopted the new policy, but I don't think they would have changed anything even if they consulted me."

The function today was held in conjunction with Najib's 1Malaysia concept and its effect on the Malay Rulers and the Malays under the federal constitution.

The two-day event was a closed-door affair.

Najib hugely popular now


Despite the criticisms levelled by Mahathir, Najib's popularity is at an all-time high at present.

A poll by Merdeka Centre research firm found that Najib's popularity ratings have surged to 65 percent thanks to his economic reforms and an olive branch extended to minorities.

The findings, which represented a substantial swing since a May poll found he had just 46 percent support, came as a boost for Najib as he prepares to mark 100 days in office.

The survey found that 65 percent of the 1,060 people surveyed were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with his performance as prime minister, and only 22 percent were dissatisfied.