Saturday, December 12, 2009
Speaking at a press conference during a "Rally to protect Tamil Language and Tamil Literature" at Wisma Peladang, Kuala Lumpur today, the chairperson for Movement for Sustaining SPM 12 Subjects A Thiruvenggadam said Wee "is supporting a formula which is against our vision".
"We specifically request that he resign because he does not understand the meaning of '10+2' which does not recognise the vernacular language which means Tamil Language and Tamil Literature.
"We demand that they recognise these two subjects because their move is actually marginalising our mother-tongue," Thiruvenggadam (left) said.
Earlier this week, the government had reconsidered its decision to allow students to take two elective subjects in addition to the 10 capped core subjects in the SPM) examination.
The action followed protests from the Indian and Chinese communities which feared that the move will eventually marginalise vernacular schools.
Soon after the new decision was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, it was endorsed by Wee, saying that this will benefit the Chinese community and those in vernacular schools.
In the case of Indian students, they will be allowed to sit for the Tamil Language and Tamil Literature papers but will not be recognised and considered in the overall SPM results and for scholarship purposes unless it is for language-related jobs such as teachers.
However, argued Thiruvenggadam, it is unfair for the government to come up with such a decision as the students' future is at stake.
"How can students decide at the Form Five level, to become teachers? Nobody knows. Even us, grown adults who have gone through the SPM, we could never decide our future career in Form Five. No way," he said.
Five resolutions get the nod
Around 400 people from various Indian NGO's participated in the forum which adopted five resolutions including the following;
- Respect the Federal Constitution 152 (1) (a) and 152 (1) (b) which state everyone has the full right for mother-tongue language,
- The government should hold discussions with educationalists before deciding on educational matters instead of relying on ministers alone;
(Thiruvenggadam argued that the educationalists "have been there longer than the education ministers who always come and go while the educationalists have full knowledge of the real issues.")
- The Chinese and Tamil language subjects should be given full recognition unconditionally;
- Request the government to establish a government agency to protect and support and undertake research on the Tamil language; and,
- Request the government not to directly or indirectly place any restriction on their mother-tongue.
Thiruvenggadam said he hopes to meet MIC vice-president and Human Resource Minister S Subramaniam, who was directed yesterday to continuously hold discussions with the education ministry to resolve the ongoing dispute.
No confidence vote
However, Thiruvenggadam is sceptical of any positive outcome as he reckons that Subramaniam's request was born out the pressure that the issue had generated.
"The reconsideration came after the cabinet has already made its decision... time and time again why are such controversial decisions made in the first place?
"But, yes of course I'd like to see him. I have spoken to him over the phone and he said he wanted to meet me," he said.
Despite all this, Thiruvenggadam pointed out that Indian ministers could have done something about the issue a long time ago instead of just kow towing.
"They said they represent the Indians, but why agree to such a decision?" he asked.
Today's forum also saw the attendance of ousted Perak DAP speaker V Sivakumar, PKR MP N Gobalakrishnan and Kampung Tunku DAP assemblyperson Lau Weng San.
Sivakumar when met after the function told reporters that the issue can be resolved.
"This is a simple administration matter that can be solved by the education minister.
He added that he is campaigning in support of this movement in his constituency, Tronoh.
"I was surprised to know that many on the ground aren't aware of this problem.
The group would be handing the 5-point memorandum to the Education Ministry at 11 am on Dec 16.
'Keling' blood: 'Utusan has immunity'
Salmiah Hassan: As a Malaysian (and Malay), I cannot understand how semi-literates like Zaini and Awang are allowed free rein in what used to be a paper of repute. For one thing, it may indicate the level of thinking in most institutions that seem to be run and ruined by such mediocre people.
No wonder the number of Malays applying to leave the country. You know, I am a product of the Universiti Malaya in 70s and early 80s and I cannot imagine that such an article could even see the light of day. It's is these journalists and organisations that need to be investigated.
Lt Cdr (B)M: Woe betide BN if no action is taken against Awang Selamat and Zaini Hassan. They ought to be in a ISA cell for stoking racial sentiments. BN will be doomed in the next election if the PM is going to condone Utusan Malaysia's dangerous moves.
Remember, the 'Modern Melayu' are neither stupid nor sleeping. They will teach Umno and Utusan a good lesson soon.
Naren: If the police or the home minister are not going to take action against Zaini for insulting the Indians, the rakyat will have to take action against Utusan and Zaini. This by boycotting Utusan. Don't buy it and ask the Indian vendors not to supply it.
X'roy: The MIC's police report is the biggest joke, I'd like MIC president S Samy Vellu to say something derogatory about the Malays in general and then let's see what happens. He can pick on the man who is his biggest critic now, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and if he does not know what to say, I'll tell him.
Obama: The problem in this country is not race or sodomy or citizenship, etc. The real issue is mismanagement, theft and the conning of the rakyat of the country's wealth by those so-called leaders.
The rakyat are the victims left without justice while the perpetrators walk away scot-free. Utusan Malaysia just cannot think straight on this because they are also partners in the mismanagement.
Cala: What happened to MCA/Gerakan/MIC? Are they not seen as condoning Utusan Malaysia's racist comments by behaving as if they are not around? Are they, like our schoolchildren, are also on school holidays? Are they mute?
Anak Desa: Whether it is Zaini Hassan or Awang Selamat, it boils down to their 'kurang ajar' upbringing by their parents. It also reflects their 'pariah' status in society where they try to gain prominence by creating controversial issues. Pity their families.
SusahKes: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, why so quiet on all these issues? From the 'frivolous' private investigator P Balasubramaiam to your elegant silence on Umno racists.
Have you, too, caught on Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's 'sleeping on the job' disease albeit, with your eyes open?
TAS: I wonder what Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Perak BN MB Zambry Abd Kadir and others of the same DKK/ADK have to say. They have no shame or self-respect that they allow an ignorant, half-educated moron to get away with insulting their very existence.
Wong Chee Kong: Mr PM, why your eerie dead silence? Does this mean that you also condone and consent to Utusan's persistence and consistent actions? Silence means consent.
Ganasan Kailasanathan: If Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein cannot decide and act in a fair and just manner against Utusan, it is in the best interest of the nation that he relinquish his post as a minister and MP with immediate effect and pass the baton to some one more capable and dignified.
Ric: Utusan = Umno = Racist!
Gerald Akt: This '1Malaysia' concept is very misleading and confusing, Mr Prime Minister. How do you explain about some people and news media raising racial sentiments with no action being taken against them?
Ramachandran Muniandy: To name a few DKKs - Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Abdul Gani Patil, Hassan Merican, Ani Arope, Zambry Abd Kadir, Elias Omar, Haniff Omar, Anwar Ibrahim, Ibrahim Saad, Nor Mohd Yakcop and many others.
I can go more but space doesn't permit me. Please remember that the first Malaysian permanent UN representative was an Indian. So Utusan, please don't tell grandmother stories.
Code10: Dear Najib, it is time to stop the buck here once and for all. If you desire the '1Malaysia' concept to succeed, it is time Malaysians stand up now and be counted. Otherwise it is just a slogan lost in the sea of confusion.
Bapak Toyol: Zaini Hassan has a skewed and warped mindset and chooses to remain ignorant. Shame on you. Najib, stop promoting '1Malaysia'. 1Malaysia should be changed to '1Melayu'.
Pak Ubu: Umno has no more feet left to stand on since it has been shooting itself in the foot for too long. Before it collapses in a rubbery heap, it will do everything in its power to drag everybody else down to gutter level politics.
By SARBAN SINGH
He said there was no reason to shut down the facility as it was built for a purpose and “definitely not” to persecute any particular race.
“Those who violate the law are guilty. They are sent to the facility for a reason and not because of the colour of their skin or their political ideology.
“The MIC should stop playing politics and not harp on sentiments,” he told reporters here Friday.
Hishammuddin said the MIC had raised the matter before and the Government had made it clear that the facility was needed to rehabilitate those who flouted the law.
“It does not mean that if you are in the Barisan Nasional family, you can continuously harp on such matters...there is a reason why the facility was set up,” he added.
Hishammuddin was responding to the latest statement by MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu calling on the Government to close the facility as it had outlived and probably deviated from its purpose of rehabilitating inmates.
Samy Vellu claimed that the detention camp, built in 1986, had become a breeding ground for criminals, especially among the Indians and that several non-governmental organisations also wanted it to be closed.
The camp, among others, houses detainees held under the Emergency Ordinance and the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985, as well as convicts and remand prisoners.
Samy Vellu also claimed that the camp was overcrowded and the inmates living in filthy conditions.
Hishammuddin said he welcomed constructive criticism but would not entertain claims made based on race or religion.
“I had said this many times before...we cannot use the racial card to gain sympathy or support. The MIC should not make this a fodder for support,” he said.
On a separate matter, Hishammuddin said his meetings with the concerned parties over the proposed amendments to the Internal Security Act had been positive.
“There has been a consensus on five main issues and I must say the deliberations have been positive,” he said.
The five pertinent points are the powers of the minister, the ISA being used to silence rival politicians, the treatment of detainees, the detention period and detention without trial.
“We hope to wrap these up soon and have it tabled, debated and passed in the next Parliament sitting,” he added.
The 4 Hindraf lawyers were arrested on that fateful day.
On that day, the main protagonist among the power elite, UMNO now began a phase of open assault on the Indian community. Before the 13th of December, they had operated in a behind the scene conniving relationship of the Tuan-Mandore type. Tuan UMNO and Mandore MIC. On the 13th of December 2007, all that changed. The Tuan’s hand lay exposed.
Before that day, they had used subtler and I daresay treacherous methods of
control of this ‘noisy Keling’ community . They had slanted the perceptions of these ‘Kelings’ using the media by creating illusions of a benevolent government. They had bought influence through bribing and throwing crumbs at the impoverished and marginalized ‘Kelings’. They had kept the ‘Kelings’ ignorant and misinformed, They had taken away any modicum of true leadership for these otherwise ‘noisy Kelings’.
The Indians had awakened to this grand drama of 50 years and it was all upturned on the 25th of Nov 2007. On that day the Indians saw a way to marshall their discontent in one synchronous flow. Getting together and throwing away all illusions, they united and in one grand stand that day, they showed a very strong hand. A hand that reverbrated and had the capacity to change the political landscape.
That was too threatening to the ruling power elite of the country. Their 50 year, Tuan Mandore game was up. There was to be no more waiting. The gloves came off 18 days after the Grand Hindraf Rally on the 13th of December 2007. The ‘kecoh Keling’ had to be dealt with and disposed off as had been done to various other rebellions in the past – through force, through fear, through intrigue and through treachery directly and openly by the Tuans themselves now..
That was the starting point for the “now-not-so invisible hand” of the power elite to begin its machinations against this restless Indian populace.
· Put away the leader, Uthayakumar using the Internal Security Act
· Introduce a special branch mole into the rebellion, and elevate him to the status of a leader.
· Create an illusion of a split among the 5 arrested on the 13th by manipulating them during the detention.
· Confuse the awakened Indians by reporting in the media the damage being done by the mole barely a month into the detention period.
· Give the power elite controlled mainstream media, full latitude to spread falsehoods by playing up the cooked up claims and allegations of the mole against the true leader of Hindraf.
· Link the Hindraf movement to the LTTE with fabricated evidence – ala Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
· Persecute the movement that started all this by more arrests and more unjust charges in court.
· Outlaw Hindraf altogether.
The 13th of December signified the beginning of this assault which continues till today two years after, in so many ways. I project the assault will continue till there is a completely new concept of the Malaysian Nation and of completely new National policies. Policies which fully recognizes the rights of every citizen regardless of ethnicity and makes reparation for the damages and neglect of the Indian marginalized over the last 50 plus years.
As Uthayakumar says in the video before his ISA arrest, he is prepared to lead the Indian community till the objectives are reached. He is not intimidated by threats to his personal liberty. He will continue to struggle because there is just no other choice to throw off this mantle of tyranny and injustice. The privileged few are not going to change just for the asking. So Uthayakumar will continue his struggle and we will be there with him in that struggle as will many of you . There will therefore be more Dec 13th s until this system based on tyranny and injustice is totally demolished.
We will see more December 13ths………………..Viva la Makkal.
It never surprises me that statements like the above can even be uttered by any thinking individual. The on-going case of Yong Vui Kong in Singapore, tried for Drug Trafficking, awaiting the gallows, is one perhaps shut out by most MSM. Strange.
By John Doe
Yong Vui Kong
The 40 or so individuals gathered at Hing Lim Park (Singapore) last Sunday with a photo-taking Session shows individuals who are emphatic enough for such an individual. What may surprise some is the fact that Yong is not even a Singaporean. No. He's a Malaysian Chinese from Sabah. According to UMNO's string of Myths, all Chinese are filthy rich. Well, either UMNO people are so extremely out-of-touch with reality, or they are Hell-Bent on perpetuating this lie, albeit with “other unknown devious Agendas” in their mind.
To the 40 of you Singaporeans, you have my utmost respect, and admiration; for even though he is not “one of yours”, you have been kind, and loving enough to feel compassion for your “neighbour” despite the fact that he has been convicted of a crime which potentially hurts the “end-users” in your community. What drives this stake to the heart is the magnamity of the 40 Singaporeans. Why? Because the very country which Yong is from habitually threatens to “turn off the water”, forcing Singaporeans to perpetually drink “Jamban-Juice”. In essence, you have effectively “shamed” the Malaysian Government by your generous, simple, and yet most powerful gesture of kindness.
Amnesty International Canada, Margaret John, made a statement condemning the Execution-by-Hanging on the 12th Dec 2009. Yeoh has a temporal stay of execution and is currently pending an appeal. (Perhaps his last.)
Regardless of the outcome, the facts remain that he was from a poor Chinese family in Sabah. His Dad died, and his Mom (now not in top mental form) struggled to feed the entire family by herself. Yeoh went to KL when he was 14 years old and scraped a life selling pirated CDs and DVDs. (Those living in KL thus might have even bought bootleg discs from him without realizing it.)
The official story also goes on to say how he peddled discs for his boss and was asked to make deliveries to Singapore. Gift-wrapped “presents” which he was strictly instructed never to open, nor question its contents. I believe he did this 6 times before already. We are left with very few options at this juncture. Either this (then) 19 year old was so naïve that he did not know what he was transporting for his Boss, or he was so desperate for work, that he would be willing to do anything to make ends meet. After all, in the Video Interview of his older brother, they were very poorly educated and had a dim future to look forward to.
Point is, how many more Chinese are that way? While the rich fools in UMNO wave and kiss Kerises, the poor Chinese Communities are completely left to fend for themselves. Bahau Chinese would be a very good example of this. The soil is terribly infertile, and the Chinese rubber-tappers barely make RM10 a day. Less, or none if it rains. Yet, because of their skin color, they are deemed “unfit” for Government Aid. I believe the term is “tidak layak untuk sebarang peruntukan...”, while “certain individuals” from Negeri Sembilan are able to siphon off Millions of Dollars at a time; alleged or otherwise.
I could go on and on with listing case-after-case, and kampong after kampong from Kampong Kaki Bukit in Perlis till Kukup in Johor where poor Chinese People live. However, if we are to believe anything which UMNO says, then the opposite must also be true. By perpetuating the lie that all “Malays are Poor”, then all “Malays” must be doomed to live a life of poverty. After all, according to UMNO propaganda, Malay=Poor.
What a Horrible Formula to live by!! Based on some unfathomable-logic, UMNO has managed to convince Malaysians that “Malay-DNA” equates to poverty, and that the Chinese and Indians have somehow either robbed them, or are all rich simply because of their “Non-Malay DNA”. (I'm actually chuckling as I'm writing this sentence because this sounds so illogical.) Any thinking and forward-looking Malay should really look at themselves and ask “Why are UMNO people so extremely, overwhelmingly, extravagantly, and overtly rich, while the entire Malay Community is supposed to be bordering on starvation?” Toyo's Rolex is cheap-shit. Look out for those wearing Phillip Patteks which cost US$55,000! That's enough to feed your entire kampong for a couple of years! “Peruntukan Habis. Insyallah tahun depan..” is the most common lame-excuse they tell you.
“Insyallah my ASS!” UMNO stole from the Malays; plain and simple!!
Because of UMNO, Malays have been losers since Merdeka. And Malays will continue to be losers as long as UMNO stays in power.
While I feel absolutely no pity for drug-users, peddlers or importers, I am compelled to make the following statement to UMNO:
If Yeoh hangs in Singapore, then his blood is on UMNO's hands because of your complete failure as an “elected” Government, because of your mono-racial concept of Malaysia.
And here's THE reason why you failed, which I'm sure all MT readers would whole-heartedly agree.
You need to categorize poor people by how little money they have. You NEVER categorize Poverty by Race, you Dumb Dropouts!
And you take that Ugly-Gold-plated-UMNO-Keris and shove it up where the sun doesn't shine (as one MT reader put so poignantly)!
By Leslie Lau Consultant Editor - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — If supporters of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expect Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to be censured by Datuk Seri Najib Razak over his spat with the former PM, they are going to be disappointed.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Najib met with Nazri amid growing uneasiness in the corridors of power over the latter’s public row with Dr Mahathir. But The Malaysian Insider understands that Nazri was not given a dressing down by his boss. Neither was he admonished for calling Dr Mahathir “the father of all racists” for defending the controversial Biro Tata Negara (BTN) course from criticisms that it is divisive and promotes racism. The only message sent to Nazri was that he should not have a slanging match in public with other Cabinet members or with Dr Mahathir.
In the past week, Nazri has maintained that the Cabinet had already decided to overhaul the BTN programme, which is compulsory for new civil servants and public university undergraduates.
His remarks stood out because other members of Cabinet, including DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been suggesting not only that a revamp was unnecessary but that there was nothing wrong with BTN itself.
Dr Mahathir had also joined in the fray by backing the hawkish views of the current Cabinet members from Umno.
Their defence of BTN follows a decision by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) governments in Selangor, Kelantan and Penang to bar its civil servants from attending the course. A number of former participants — who are mainly Malay — have also come out to attack the course as racist and suggested that it was used as a propaganda tool to maintain support for Umno’s concept of “Ketuanan Melayu,” or Malay supremacy.
But Nazri had pointed out that there was no need to pretend BTN was without flaws.
The Malaysian Insider understands that Najib has also imposed a gag order on his ministers to stop the public debate over BTN. He has told his ministers that he will personally solve the problem.
But Nazri’s public spat with Dr Mahathir had certainly put Najib in a spot. There are concerns within Najib’s camp that Nazri’s verbal war with Dr Mahathir may be interpreted as attacks sanctioned by the prime minister.
Najib is particularly aware of how Dr Mahathir’s relentless attacks against Tun Abdullah Badawi’s administration contributed to the last PM’s downfall.
The prime minister, who had along with his entire Cabinet sanctioned a revamp of BTN, will now have to be careful in how he handles the dilemma he finds himself in. Nazri, who is a close political ally of Najib, has become the target of a campaign among Dr Mahathir’s supporters to be removed from Cabinet and Umno’s supreme council.
He has been labelled a traitor by some of Dr Mahathir’s supporters. And Dr Mahathir will not be happy at being so publicly called a racist by a member of Najib’s Cabinet.
By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider
Council chairman Ragunath Kesavan said that while the council welcomes the move for early hearing and disposal of cases in court, it opposes the fact that disposal of cases seems to have become the main KPI criteria for judges.
Ragunath was speaking to the press after the Bar held an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to address mounting complaints by lawyers that judges were not willing to grant postponements even for valid reasons.
“Quantity (of cases disposed of) has overtaken over quality of judgment dispensed.
“Justice must never give way to speed.” he said, adding that some judges have stopped exercising their judicial discretion on when to adjourn cases.
The call to reduce the backlog of cases is part of Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi’s initiative to reform the judiciary but concerns have been raised that the KPI is also reducing judicial independence to ensure justice.
The Bar today resolved to meet Zaki and urged him to revoke any administrative directions which are contrary to the principle of judicial independence or which have caused hardship to lawyers and their clients.
“The backlog of cases was compounded over the last 10 or 15 years and we cannot expect the problems to be resolved in just six months or even a year,” said Ragunath, who added that the matter should be handled realistically.
Ragunath added that the Bar, in passing the resolution, was not on a collision course with Zaki or judiciary but was actually urging the chief justice to work with lawyers to ensure integrity in the administration of justice.
“We want to ensure justice is in no instance sacrificed in any obsession for speed or expediency.”
Over 560 lawyers attended the EGM today.
(Speech by former finance minister and Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the one-day Young Corporate Malaysians Summit this morning)
In a speech I made in April this year, I spoke of where we stand in our developmental path and what I felt we must do to move forward.
I need to revisit that argument in order to develop it further.
We are stagnating. The signs of a low-growth economy are all around us. Wages are stagnant and the cost of living is rising.
We have not made much progress in becoming a knowledge and services based economy.
According to the World Bank, Malaysia’s share of GDP contributed by services was 46.2 percent in 1987. Ten years later, that share had grown by a mere 0.2 percent.
Between 1994 and 2007, real wages grew by 2.6 percent in the domestic sector and by 2.8 percent in the export sector, which is to say, they were flat over that 13-year period.
Meanwhile, our talent scenario is an example of perverse selection at its most ruinous. We are failing to retain our own young talent, people like yourselves, let alone attract international talent to relocate here, while we have had a massive influx of unskilled foreign labour. They now make up 30 to 40 percent of our workforce.
Alone in East Asia, the number of expatriate professionals here has decreased. Alone in East Asia, private sector wage increases follow government sector increases, instead of the other way around. We are losing doctors and scientists and have become Southeast Asia’s haven for low-cost labour.
I said that we are in a middle-income trap, stuck in the pattern of easy growth from low-value-added manufacturing and component assembly and unable to make the leap to a knowledge-intensive economy.
Regional competitors with larger, cheaper – and dare I say – hungrier labour forces have emerged. China and India have risen as both lower cost and higher technology producers, and with giant domestic markets.
The manufacturing sector which propelled the growth we enjoyed in the 90s is being hollowed out. There is no going back, there is no staying where we are, and we do not have a map for the way forward.
I am glad that the characterisation of Malaysia as being in a ‘middle-income-trap’ has been taken up by the government, and that the need for an economic story, or strategy, for Malaysia is now recognised.
We stand in particular need of such a model because we are a smallish economy. We cannot be good at everything, and we don’t have to be.
We need only make some reasonable bets in identifying and developing a focused set of growth drivers. It is not difficult to see what the elements of such a growth strategy might be. Whatever we come up with should build on our natural strengths, and our strengths include the following:
• We are located at the crossroads of Asia, geographically and culturally, sitting alongside the most important oil route in the world.
• We have large Muslim, Chinese and Indian populations that connect us to the three fastest growing places in the world today.
• We have some of the largest and oldest rainforests in the world, a treasure house of bio-diversity when the greatest threat facing mankind as a whole now is ecological destruction, and the greatest technological advances are likely to come from bioscience.
• We have the English language, a common law system, parliamentary democracy,good schools,an independent civil service and good infrastructure.
These advantages, however, are declining. Our cultural diversity is in danger of coming apart in bigotry, our rainforests are being logged out and planted over, our social and political institutions are decaying.
I have spoken at length on different occasions about the causes and consequences of institutional decline.The decline in our society and indeed in our natural environment, originates in a decline in our basic institutions.
The link between these is corruption.The destruction of our ecosystem for example, is made possible by corrupt officials and business people.The uncontrolled influx of unskilled labour is a direct result of corruption.
These are problems we need to be aware of before we speak glibly about coming up with new strategies and new economic models. We need to understand where we are, and how we have gone wrong, before we can set things right.
You are young, well-educated Malaysians. Many among you have left for other shores. Record numbers of Malaysians, of all races, work abroad or have emigrated. Among these are some of our best people.They sense the stagnation I described.
There is a certain lack of energy, ingenuity and “hunger” in the climate of this country that young people are most sensitive to. In the globalised job market, young people instinctively leave the less simulating and creative environments for those that have a spark to them.
How did we lose our spark as a nation?
We have a political economy marked by dependence on easy options and easy wealth. Like personal dependencies,these bad habits provide temporary comfort but discourage the growth of creativity and resilience.
I mentioned our dependence on low-cost foreign labour.
The other dependence is something I played a part in making possible.This is a story I want to leave you with to ponder in your deliberations today.
Once a blessing, now a curse
Our nation is blessed with a modest quantity of oil reserves. As a young nation coming to terms with this natural bounty in the early 70s, our primary thought was to conserve that oil.
That is why, when Petronas was formed, we instituted the Petroleum Development Council. Its function was to advise the prime minister on how to conserve that oil and use it judiciously for national development. We knew our reserves would not last long.
We saw our oil reserves as an unearned bounty that would provide the money for modernisation and technology. We saw our oil within a developmental perspective. Our struggle then, was to make the leap from an economy based on commodities and low-cost assembly and manufacturing to a more diverse, economy based on high income jobs.
Aware that we had an insufficient tax base to make the capital investments needed to make the leap, we planned to apply oil royalties to what you would call today strategic investments in human capital.
Whatever money left after making cash payments, allocations for development funds, etc, was to be placed in a Heritage Fund for the future.The Heritage Fund was for education and social enrichment.
In working out the distribution of oil between the states, who had sovereign rights over it, and the federal government, we were guided by concerns for equity between all Malaysians, a concern to develop the poorer states (who also happened to be the oil rich states) and a concern for inter-generational equity.That oil was for special development purposes and it was not just meant for our generation.
Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaya to form Malaysia because of the promise of development funds. Yet today, despite being their massive resources, they are some of our poorest states.
Instead of being our ace up the sleeve, however, our oil wealth became in effect a swag of money used to fund the government’s operational expenditure, to bail out failing companies, buy arms, build grandiose cities amidst cleared palm oil estates.
Instead of helping eradicate poverty in the poorest states, our oil wealth came to be channeled into the overseas bank accounts of our political and politically-linked class.
Instead of being the patrimony of all Malaysians, and for our children, it is used as a giant slush fund that has propped up authoritarian rule, eroded constitutional democracy and corrupted our entire political and business elite.
Our oil receipts, instead of being applied in the manner we planned upon the formation of Petronas, that is, according to its original developmental purpose, became a fund for the whims and fancy of whoever ran the country, without any accountability.
The oil that was meant to spur our transition to a more humane, educated society has instead become a narcotic that provides economic quick fixes and hollow symbols such as the Petronas towers.
Our oil wealth was meant to help us foster Malaysians capable of building the Twin Towers than hire foreigners to build them, a practice in which we preceded Dubai. I would rather have good government than grand government buildings filled with a demoralised civil service.
It is no wonder that we are no longer productive, no longer using our ingenuity to devise ways to improve ourselves and leap forward.
Malaysia is now an “oil cursed” country. We managed to arrive at this despite not having a lot of oil.
When I started Petronas in 1974, I did not realise I would see the day when I would wish we had not uncovered this bounty.
Public assets ‘looted’
The story I have told is a reminder of the scale of the challenge of development. My generation of young people faced this challenge in the 60s and 70s. You face it now.The story tells us that development is about far more than picking strategies out of a box.
You have kindly invited me to address a seminar on strategies for reinventing and liberalising Malaysia’s economy. But the story of our squandered oil wealth reminds us that it was not for want of resources or strategies that we floundered.
Our failure has been political and moral. We have allowed greed and resentment to drive our politics and looked the other way or even gone along while public assets have been stolen in broad daylight.
I encourage you to take up the cause of national development with the ingenuity that earlier generations of Malaysians brought to this task, but the beginning of our journey must be a return to the basics of public life: the rule of law, honesty, truth-telling and the keeping of promises.
The Malaysia we need to recover is one that was founded on laws and led with integrity. With the hindsight of history we know such things are fragile and can be overturned in one generation, forgotten the next.
Without a living foundation in the basics you might sense an air of unreality around our talk of reinventing ourselves, coming up with “a new economic model” and liberalising our economy.
So before we can reinvent ourselves, we need to reclaim our nation. That larger community, bound by laws, democratic and constitutional, is the context of economic progress, it is the context in which young people find hope, think generous thoughts and create tomorrow.
Well actually it's the same as Part I because I think they're virtually the same people. Yet another bunch of unattractive slow-witted men who try to make up for their lack of vocabulary by shouting and trying to get some legitimacy by making a police report.
I'm not going to put up the video here because somehow videos don't come out right on my blog and I don't know how to fix them (they come out too big). Besides why should I give them more airtime? So am just going to post the link here.
But let me just say this. This is what I call ketuanan porn. It's for people who get off on having their 15 minutes of fame not by doing anything good for humanity but by showing off how low-grade their mentality is. They can't even get the name of their own organisation right and somehow seem to think that May 13 happened on May 16. Must be a reflection on the state of our schools.
If this is 'supremacy', they can have it.
And if these are 'first class' citizens, I'd rather travel in cattle class, thank you very much.
The gall of it is at the end of their little tantrum, they do a 1Malaysia ( or as one of them put it, Oh-nay Malaysia) cheer.
Hip, hip, hooray, get me out of here!
Oh, and another thing...where do all these 'NGOs' (do they even realise that NGO stands for 'non-governmental organisation'? In bahasa penjajah no less...) spring up from? Usually it takes two years for the Registrar of Societies to approve the establishment of any NGOs. So how come these types of 'NGOs', filled with lunkheads spewing hate, are profilerating like mushrooms? Can we ask the RoS if they've approved them?
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — The MCA special committee which met tonight has set a two week deadline for the central committee members to resign to trigger fresh polls for the troubled party.
But Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek, who leads the special committee formed to sort out technical matters on holding fresh party elections, admitted that it cannot force party leaders to resign.
“We will use political wisdom,” said Dr Chua when asked on the committee’s action if it fails to get the party leaders to resign.
“We cannot wait until next year to have election,” he told reporters after the special committee meeting.
He also said the party is “very near” to having fresh polls.
Dr Chua also clarified 21 or two-thirds of elected central committee members must resign to make fresh polls necessary as there are 31 elected members.
“We are confident that the MCA central committee members are leaders who love the party and they know what to do for the sake of MCA and Barisan Nasional,” said Dr Chua.
He added that leaders who win the fresh polls will only serve until 2011 and not a full three year term.
He said standard resignation forms have been sent to all central committee members two days ago but none of them have returned the letter.
Previously Dr Chua had said 13 central committee members had expressed their willingness to resign.
He also said the party central committee will decide if fresh elections are necessary for the Youth and Wanita wings. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today defended his old nemesis Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and proclaimed that the controversial National Civics Bureau (BTN) “is certainly not racist”.
Dr Mahathir has been attacked by Minister in the Prime Minister Department’s Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for defending the civics programme.
The continued row has led to Nazri calling Dr Mahathir the “father of all racism” when the former party president told Nazri to resign from Umno because if he were against racism, he should not be in a racist party.
Abdullah refused to be dragged into Nazri’s spat with Dr Mahathir but stressed that BTN as an institution was never racist.
“I am not going to get into that. I want to talk about BTN and to the extent that when I was involved the programme was not racist.
“As far as I know, the history of BTN from then till now was not meant to provide modules which were racist. I was involved in BTN during Tun Razak’s premiership and there was no form of racism in the programme. If any individuals were racist then I do not know but the programmes were not racist.
“During Tun Razak’s era, many programmes were focused on the New Economic Policy and role of students. During Tun Mahathir’s time, many of the programmes were related to Wawasan 2020, so to say that the programmes are racist then it is not true at all. If there are individuals that were racist, then it’s a different matter. As an institution, then it is not racist,” he told reporters at the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) here.
Abdullah said the BTN is still relevant because it helps to promote and teaches the concept of 1 Malaysia to the public.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have accused the ruling Barisan Nasional federal government of using BTN to brainwash civil servants and tertiary students to hate the opposition and asked why BTN is not open to public and conducted in secrecy.
Former BTN participants have also revealed that they were not allowed to bring in their mobile phones and other electronic media gadgets while course notes were not allowed to be taken out of the lecture hall.
However, Abdullah claimed that BTN was never held in secrecy.
“It has never been secret. What is so secret about it? I am not aware of documents not being allowed to be taken outside of the lectures.
“When I was involved I know that it was not racist. I also had very specific instructions on what to do on organising courses with booklets, and the list of all lecturers from institutions of higher education to provide lectures,” he said.
He stressed that the issue has been politicised and many of the allegations against the civics programme were mere fabrications and pointed out that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was also involved in the programme.
“I think there are a lot of stories which are not true here but I must qualify that I was not the only to handle the BTN during that time, there were others also. At one period Datuk Seri Anwar also was looking into BTN.
“I think it is no use for us to debate on this matter because what is important that we want this institution to be continued with the good intention of create awareness of the programmes that the government has brought forward.
“I also heard that there have been proposals for a new curriculum but it only means that new curriculum is inline with 1 Malaysia. Back then it was Wawasan 2020, before that it was the New Economic Policy and I was involved back then,” he explained.
BTN came under public scrutiny recently after Pakatan Rakyat-ruled Selangor prohibited state civil servants and students in state-owned institutions of higher education from attending its courses, claiming that they were an indoctrination process by the Barisan Nasional government and aimed at brainwashing Malaysians to hate opposition parties.
PR leaders and former participants have also claimed that the courses were racist and emphasised the idea of Malay superiority.
By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — The High Court here has postponed to Monday morning the on-going sedition trial of DAP leader Karpal Singh, which was held up today because of incomplete police investigations.
The prosecution team from the Attorney-General's Chambers told the court that it needed to check with the investigating police officer on getting certain “technical” materials from its own witness in the trial.
DPP Melissa Mohd Akhir asked for more time to obtain a reporter's voice recording of a press conference held by Karpal in his city office on Feb 6, where he is alleged to have uttered seditious statements in relation to the Perak crisis over the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government; and a copy of the news report of the same press conference published online in the Chinese version of news portal Malaysiakini.
Karpal (picture), who is also a senior lawyer, told the court his defence team had not been supplied a copy of the recording or the published news report in Chinese written by the journalist.
Malaysiakini reporter Lee Way Loon, the prosecution's 8th witness, was the highlight in today's hearing which also saw two others questioned.
The 25-year-old, who sported a plain white short-sleeved shirt over blue jeans, seemed to have forgotten much about what transpired during the press conference held 11 months ago that landed Karpal in trouble with the law.
He also said he had “thrown away” the notes he jotted down while covering the February press conference.
“I only remember the press conference was related to the Perak issue,” Lee replied under questioning from DPP Melissa.
“What do you understand of the issue?” she pressed.
“As what I said just now, the removal of the Perak MB Nizar by the Perak Sultan can be questioned in court. YB Karpal also said he will sue the Perak Sultan if the swearing-in ceremony proceeds.
“If I may also add, YB Karpal also said he will file in court next Tuesday after the PC [press conference],” Lee said.
Drawing him to the key question which forms the very foundation of the prosecution's charge against Karpal, DPP Melissa asked Lee if he remembered who would take legal action against the Perak Ruler.
“I don't remember but I remember YB Karpal Singh or Pakatan Rakyat,” Lee said.
“Why do you say 'Karpal or Pakatan Rakyat'?” she asked.
“Because Karpal is from Pakatan Rakyat,” Lee returned swiftly.
Earlier, RTM news producer Ahmad Zaki Mustafa, the 6th prosecution witness, told the court the news clip of Karpal's press conference, aired twice on the TV station's evening edition on Feb 6, was only an extract.
But Ahmad Zaki, who was later asked to make DVD copies of the news clip for the police, said he did not know who had chosen to show that particular segment or who wrote the broadcast script for the news anchors.
TV3 cameraman Mohd Jufri Mohd Judin, 32, who stepped into the witness box next, told the court he did not shoot the press conference, which included a question-and-answer session with reporters, in its entirety.
He said he turned the camera away from Karpal's face and shot the rest of the room where the press conference was held as “cut-ways” for the news editor to include later.
Mohd Jufri also said he did not write anything on the Panasonic tape used for the recording but handed it to his partnered reporter, Ing Boon Sing, after the press conference ended.
His role in the news coverage also ended at that point, Mohd Jufri explained.
Karpal was charged on March 17 under section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1946 for statements related to the entire Perak constitutional crisis in February.
If found guilty, he can be jailed up to three years and fined RM5,000.