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Monday, March 21, 2011

Top opposition politician caught on sex video?


A top opposition politician has apparently been caught on video having sex with an unknown woman.
And an unidentified group is demanding that he steps down within the week if he does not want the clip distributed to the public.
seri carcosa 5.jpegThis morning, the media were called to the luxury Carcosa Seri Negara hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
The 'unveiling' of the video clip was managed with great secrecy - several individuals connected with the 'showing' were formally dressed and conducted security check on the 'invitees'.
Journalists and senior editors were taken in to a hotel room in batches to watch the 20-minute clip.
They were also told to surrender all electronic gadgets such as handphones and cameras as well as their pens and notebooks.
They were further told to wear a robe over their clothes before they were allowed into the screening room.
According to a source, the clip is clearer than that of MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, who was recorded when having sex with a woman in a Batu Pahat hotel.
Journalists who saw the video today said they are "90 percent sure" that it looks like a particular opposition politician.

Some quarters - including a blogger and leaders of the politician's party - have named the individual. However, the party leaders have moved quickly to claim that this is a doctored video.
Senior journalists and editors from Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and Berita Harian, who made up the first batch to view the clip, declined to reveal anything when approached.
"We don't want to spoil it for you," said one journalist, looking serious.
The second batch of press was made up of The Malaysian Insider, Free Malaysia Today, and a senior editor from state-run news agency Bernama.
Malaysiakini has been slotted into the third and last batch for local media.

Villagers oppose India's nuclear park

Fresh strikes rock Libyan capital

Loud explosions have rocked the Libyan capital, Tripoli, a day after international forces launched an operation to enforce a no-fly zone over the North African country.

Anti-aircraft tracer fire erupted in Tripoli late on Sunday, indicating a second wave of incoming jets aimed at targets belonging to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Britain's ministry of defence said one of its submarines had again fired guided Tomahawk missiles on Libyan air defence systems on Sunday.

Gunfire could also be heard from the area around Gaddafi's residence in the Bab el-Aziziya barracks in the south of Tripoli, with reports of separate explosions coming from the same area.

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from the capital, said it was not immediately clear where the explosions had occurred as the government only invited select journalists to visit the sites targeted.

"The principle firing happened around nine o'clock in the evening local time and that's when we believe there was a strike in the region of Gaddafi's compound," she said.

"We saw a large plume of smoke coming from an explosion somewhere in that general direction. It is likely there were plenty of useful military targets there if you were a major international force looking to persuade Gaddafi to make peaceful noises."

The blasts came two days after the United Nations Security Council authorised international military action to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks by Gaddafi forces on civilians.

'Gaddafi not a target'

The US military said the bombardment so far has succeeded in degrading Gaddafi's air defences.

But a Pentagon spokesman stressed in a press briefing on Sunday that the Libyan leader is not a target for the international military assault on the country.

However, Navy Vice Admiral William E Gortney added that any of Gaddafi's ground troops advancing on pro-democracy forces are open targets for US and allied attacks.

"If they are moving on opposition forces ... yes, we will take them under attack," he told reporters.

"There has been no new air activity by the regime and we have detected no radar emissions from any of the air defence sites targeted and there's been a significant decrease in in the use of all Libyan air surveillance radars."

Gortney said the coalition acting against Gaddafi, which originally grouped the US, Britain, France, Italy and Canada, had broadened to include Belgium and Qatar.

Army announces ceasefire

His comments came shortly after the Libyan military announced its second ceasefire since the UN resolution authorising the no-fly zone was passed.

But the White House has said it will not recognise a ceasefire declaration.

"Our view at this point...is that it isn't true, or has been immediately violated," White House National Security
Adviser Tom Donilon told reporters on Sunday.

Despite the strikes, the Libyan leader has vowed to fight on and in a televised address, a defiant Gaddafi promised a "long war" that his forces would win.

"We will fight for every square in our land," Gaddafi said. "We will die as martyrs."

He said the air attacks by foreign forces amounted to a "cold war" on Islam and threatened retribution against Libyans who sided with the foreign intervention.

"We will fight and we will target any traitor who is co-operating with the Americans or with the Christian Crusade," he said.

Conflicting casualty claims

The comments came as Tripoli's official media said the air strikes were targeting civilian objectives and that there were "civilians casualties as a result of this aggression".

However, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, denied that any civilians had been killed in the bombardment, which saw some 110 cruise missiles being shot from American naval vessels in the Mediterranean sea.

Gaddafi "was attacking Benghazi and we are there to stop that ... we are ending his ability to attack us from the ground, so he will not continue to execute his own people," Mullen said.

"It was a significant point when the Arab League voted against this guy. This is a colleague [of theirs], and we've had a significant number of coalition countries who've come together to provide capability."

But Arab League chief Amr Moussa on Sunday condemned what he called the "bombardment of civilians" and called for an emergency meeting of the group of 22 states to discuss Libya.

He requested a report into the bombardment, which he said had "led to the deaths and injuries of many Libyan civilians".

"What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians," Egypt's state news agency quoted Moussa as saying.

The Arab League had urged the UN to impose a no-fly zone on Libya and Arab support provided crucial underpinning for the passage of the UN Security Council resolution last week that enabled Western powers to take military action.

Edward Djerejian, a former US assistant secretary of state and former US ambassador to Syria, said it had been made very clear that a no-fly zone could not be established without taking military action against airfields and anti-aircraft installations.

"A no-fly zone is not just a computer model game," he told Al Jazeera.

"It means military action and that was clear to all parties, including the Arab League."

Source:Al Jazeera and agencies

A free and independent Sarawak

Sarawak cannot secede from the federation but one can surmise that the state can act independently of the federal government.

In the 18-Point Agreement with the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak has been given self-governing authority.

This document forms the cornerstone of Sarawak’s entry into the Federation of Malaysia and should be the measure by which the state evaluates any new policy formulated by the federal government.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) government has all along stated that Sarawak could not survive without a BN government. This is the slogan being chanted by BN representatives with the state election around the corner.

This idea is erroneous since Sarawak existed as a self-governing mini-nation long before the idea of the Federation of Malaysia was mooted.

It was not until June 21, 1962 – the day the Cobbold Report was completed and submitted to the prime ministers of Britain and Malaya – that a recommendation was was made and approved to form a federated Malaysia.

The reason why this recommendation was accepted is a mystery since the Cobbold Commission found that only 33% were in full support of a merger with Malaya. The other two-thirds were divided among themselves: some wanted full independence first before any merger, some wanted safeguards put in place first while others were totally against the whole notion of a merger.

Needless to say, on Sept 26, 1962, Sarawak did agree to be part of the federation but only if the 18-point agreement was in place to safeguard its interest.

The rest is history and Sarawak became part of Malaysia.

Mind-boggling ignorance

Yet, it boggles the mind to see the ignorance of the BN government towards this agreement. Suffice to say, the agreement was broken not by Sarawak but by the federation on many fronts.

The impounding of the bibles (which were eventually released) at Klang Port and Kuching Port, goes against Point One of the agreement: “While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia, there should be no state religion in Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to Borneo.”

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz used the pending court case against the use of the term “Allah” by The Herald as the reason for impounding the bibles. But he made a mistake.

The Federal Court case should have no bearing on the importing of the bibles by Sarawak since it is practising its right to freedom of religion. Moreover, the holy books are meant for distribution in the state.

How Nazri can link a court case to the issue of impounded bibles is incredible. But it begs the main question: why impound the holy books in the first place?

Can Sarawak secede from the federation to form an independent nation? Unfortunately not, if you read Point Seven of the agreement: “There should be no right to secede from the federation.”

Yet in looking at the heart of the whole agreement, one can surmise that Sarawak can act independently of the federal government.

On the issue of the federal government’s allocation for the state, one wonders why Point 11 of the agreement is not followed: “Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah) should retain control of its own finance, development and tariff, and should have the right to work up its own taxation and to raise loans on its own credit.”

Fundamental right

Instead of the federation allocating money to Sarawak, the state should be the one giving pocket money to the federation. Thus, the BN government should not use the development-funding-blackmail route to woo voters every time a general election comes around. Sarawak can claim the right to be financially independent and it is provided for in the 18-Point Agreement.

This fundamental right to self-govern and to act independently of the federation has been diluted or ignored by the BN government and kept hidden from the public eye.

BN in effect has stripped Sarawakians of their dignity to stand on their own accord, while masking a rebranding exercise that seeks to mould the Sarawak government in the image of the federal government, which in fact goes against Point Eight of the agreement: “Borneanisation of the public service should proceed as quickly as possible.”

The BN government has blatantly ignored the 18-Point Agreement in formulating national policies. It is even sickening that the subjugation of Sarawak is assisted by the local BN state representatives who are ignorant altogether of the agreement.

The dream is not far-fetched to install a Pakatan Rakyat government. All it takes is to say “No” to BN and a strong “Yes” to Pakatan.

Yet, this should only happen if a Pakatan government can assure Sarawak that the spirit of the 18-Point Agreement would be safeguarded for future generations to come.

Maclean Patrick is a webmaster based in Sarawak.

Najib disappoints Chinese educationists again

The federal goverment's non recognition of the United Examination Certificate (UEC) for Chinese schools in Sarawak could prove costly to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud

KUCHING: Once again Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has left Sarawak Chinese parents and educationists disappointed with his failure to announce the federal government’s recognition of the United Examination Certificate (UEC).

This is, according to DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen, the third time the Najib has hoodwinked the community.

Chong recalled that on Feb 16, Chief Minister Taib Mahmud had openly said that Najib in his next visit to Sarawak would announce the recognition of the UEC, an examination level which is equivalent to the current Sijil Tinggi Malayisia (STPM).

Taib’s deputy and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president George Chan had reiterated on Feb 22 that the recognition of UEC was forthcoming.

But Najib failed to mention the UEC during his visit to Sarawak on March 5. He also did not touch on the UEC during his March 12 visit.

“Again on his visit on March 19, Najib also did not mention the UEC recognition.

“This only goes to show that the Barisan Nasional is not sincere to solve the problem faced by the Chinese education as there is no intention to give recognition to UEC.

“Obviously the Chinese community has been disappointed and played out,”, said Chong, who is the assemblyman for Kota Sentosa.

He urged the BN government to be honest to the people and state their position clearly on this issue.

He said if the UEC is recognised as equivalent to the STPM then Chinese students who passed the examinations would be eligible to apply for Public Service Commission (PSC) scholarships and apply for government jobs.

No recognition

More than 100,000 students and more than 40 Chinese middle schools in the state have been affected by the non-recognition of the UEC, which was introduced and formulated by the Malaysian United Chinese Schools in the country.

Chong said the UEC is recognised by more than 500 universities throughout the world.

“And yet Malaysian universities, although our universities are outside of the 200 ranking, do not recognise the UEC.

“All these graduates have to venture outside Malaysia to look for greener pastures.

“One good example is Pua Khein Seng, the inventor of pen drive which is so widely used now throughout the world.

“Pua is a graduate from a Chinese middle school holding UEC. And because of the non-recognition by the Malaysian government of his certificate, he went to Taiwan and open up his company, Phison Technologies.

“His company is now earning billions of US dollars because of patent rights of the pen drive.

“The government of Taiwan is also earning billions of US dollars from the tax revenue,” he said, pointing out that the Malaysian government had lost out.

Chong who is also the MP for Bandar Kuching said that Taib and Chan are not being honest and frank about this issue to the Chinese community.

“SUPP has not only failed its job, but has repeatedly fooled and lied to the people.

“Three months have already passed and there is nothing coming out of it. And yet from the land search we did, we find that tens of thousands of acres of land are alienated and leased to crony companies and Taib’s family members,” he said.

He added that SUPP had also failed its promise to allocate 2,000 acres of land to Chinese Middle schools so that they can be self-financing.

‘Don’t assume non-Muslims accept Islamic agenda’

The unity within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is under threat, warns political analyst Sivamurugan Pandian
GEORGE TOWN: PAS’ relentless pursuit of its Islamic agenda could cost Pakatan Rakyat the non-Muslim votes in the next general election.
Ultimately, it would dent the coalition’s ‘Putrajaya’ goal, warned political scientist Sivamurugan Pandian from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
He said the current friction between Pakatan allies PAS and DAP over the ban on gambling activities in Kelantan had indicated a split within the coalition.
“This could cost Pakatan its non-Muslim votes and Putrajaya if the controversy is not resolved soon,” he warned.
He said Pakatan should realise that many non-Muslims voted for the coalition candidates in the last election merely to express their dislike for Barisan Nasional, especially Umno.
He pointedly noted that non-Muslim voters even backed PAS despite having reservation about the party’s religious agenda.
He said that the 12th general election was more of an emotional backlash against BN and Umno.
Thus, he said PAS should not have this misconception that non-Muslims have accepted its Islamic agenda.
He said any move by PAS to implement its Islamic policies would backfire on the party and Pakatan as well.
“PAS insistence on its Islamic agenda would alienate non-Muslims from Pakatan,” warned Sivamurugan, the deputy dean of USM’s School of Social Sciences.
Ideologically Islamist PAS and Chinese based DAP are far apart.
Public spats
Both parties were brought together under Pakatan umbrella by the multiracial politic based PKR, led by parliamentary opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, for mutual electoral gains.
But, since the last general election in 2008, PAS and DAP have been involved in several public spats over the Islamist party’s religious agenda.
PAS and DAP are currently having a public row over the gambling ban imposed by PAS government in Kelantan.
Previously, both parties had several public rows, including the ‘beer controversy’ in Selangor among others.
He said PAS Islamic agenda would not go down well with urban electorates, especially the fence sitters, comprising people from all religious and ethnic backgrounds.
He said the fence sitters were more broadminded and demanded good governance and social justice, not religious or racist agenda.
Sivamurugan however, believed the controversy could be resolved if only PKR had effectively executed its role as the coalition leading party.
Selfish pursuits

He said PKR should have insisted on all Pakatan state governments in Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan implementing policies based on the coalition’s common policy framework (CPF).
“But this never took place and the CPF now remains in archives,” he told FMT.
He chided that instead of being the main political bridge within Pakatan, PKR had been hapless and helpless on resolving the arising controversies between its partners.
He blamed intense internal politicking as the main reason for PKR failing to execute its role as the main thrust of Pakatan.
“This would also dampen public confidence because many Malaysians see and want PKR as the leader in Pakatan’s march to Putrajaya,” he said.
He also pointed out that both PAS and DAP seemed more keen on strengthening their own positions with their traditional voters and not that of Pakatan as a coalition.
They appeared to want to leave PKR, which is besieged with its own internal crises.
“The coalition strength and unity are under threat now.
“This does not augur well for Pakatan,” cautioned the academician.

Bible Society says Hisham putting cart before horse

Hishammuddin hinted at ulterior motives for the Society’s reaction. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — In a sign of the widening chasm between Church and State, the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) has challenged the home minister to prove it agreed to the conditional release of its holy books seized from Port Klang. “BSM was never in a hurry to get the Bibles released as alleged by Datuk (Seri) Hishammuddin (Hussein). It was the government who, in response to recent public outcry, themselves decided to release it and to impose conditions without consulting BSM,” said the Christian group’s chairman Lee Min Choon.
Lee said the society first learnt of the ministry’s conditional release on Tuesday through a faxed notice sent at 6pm.
“Before BSM could inform KDN that the conditions were not acceptable to us, KDN had already stamped the Bibles by the next day.
“This shows that it was KDN who were in a hurry to release the Bibles to get themselves out of the controversy they were in,” he told The Malaysian Insider today in an email.

The home ministry’s seal is seen on the cover of a bible in Kuching Port.
KDN is the Home Ministry’s Malay-language acronym. On Thursday, Hishammuddin defended his ministry’s stamping of 5,100 Malay-language Bibles in Port Klang with its official seal, saying it was standard protocol and not done to “deface” the Alkitab.
He added that the serialisation of the Bibles was because “they are subject to the particular seizure in Klang,” in a reference to Selangor’s anti-propagation state law that forbids non-Muslims from preaching to Muslims.
The minister also said his men had no choice but to adhere to these procedures as the BSM had wanted the Bibles released quickly.
“We stamped the Bible based on amalan (practice) before... during Abdullah Badawi and even Tun Dr Mahathir’s time,” Hishammuddin said, referring to the previous two prime ministers.
“They wanted it to be released quickly... if they want to find fault they can find fault... you can even say the Bibles are smelly after being kept for so long, if you want to find fault (with everything),” the minister told reporters in Parliament.
The BSM denied this on Thursday.
“There has been no occasion in the past when KDN chopped [sic] our Bibles... we do not know of any standard practice nor have we ever received communications, written or verbal, where KDN officials stamped our holy books in the past,” its general secretary, Reverend Simon Wong, said.
He related that when the BSM’s cargo was detained in the past, Home Ministry officials had always treated the Bibles with respect.
The society was given a choice — to accept the ministry-endorsed copies or return the shipment to the exporter unstamped.
Wong added that any stamping previously required by the ministry was carried out by the BSM itself using the society’s own seal at its Petaling Jaya office, and not the Home Ministry’s official seal.
“The latest incident is disrespect of the religious sensitivities of Christians. KDN's unilateral stamping of our Bibles deprived us of this choice. Therefore, how can this be considered standard practice?” he demanded.

Wong said ministry officials in the past had treated bibles with respect.
The BSM maintained it will not collect the ministry-endorsed shipment, which it sees as having been defaced. Hishammuddin, however, appeared to suggest that the BSM’s actions were staged for a certain agenda.
“We also can find fault with the Bibles, but we want to be positive and move forward. The bottom line is the decision in court pending the appeal by the Attorney-General,” the Umno minister said, linking once again the Alkitab row to the Catholic Church’s legal fight for the right to publish the word “Allah” in its newspaper.
With polls set to be called in Sarawak next month, the twin issues are expected to weigh on the minds of Christians in the state.
About seven out of 10 people in the state are non-Muslim.
Christians there use Bahasa Malaysia to preach to the multi-ethnic congregation who each have a distinctive tribal language.
Last week, Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) members of Parliament told The Malaysian Insider that they hoped the decision to release the Malay Bibles “will translate into votes,” and a guarantee from the federal government that no further limits will be placed on the distribution of Malay-language Bibles would go a long way in easing such fears among Christians in the state.
“Yes, it would be welcome,” said Kanowit MP Datuk Ago Anak Dagang when asked if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should issue such a guarantee.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu supreme council member Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi also said BN would have to continue “step by step” to restore the faith of Christians in the ruling coalition.
But whatever positive outcome these MPs were seeking have likely been jeopardised as the 30,000 Malay Bibles held by Home Ministry officials in Kuching have suffered the same fate as the Klang Bibles.
They were similarly stamped on Friday, upsetting the local Bumiputera Christian community who see it as a defacement of the Bible.
Sarawak BN now holds 63 seats in the 71-member state assembly, which will be automatically dissolved when its mandate expires in July.
The opposition there has been optimistic of making gains on the back of the Alkitab ban and allegations of corruption against Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who celebrates 30 years in charge of the state next weekend.

Language and religion are separate identities

(The Star) - THE controversy over using the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia by Christians would seem to be over, judging from the views of some key ulamas. But why was it ever controversial anyway?

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language of the country. Many Malaysians are Christians, who form an important part of the social fabric of Malaysia.

The Quran and other religious texts have been translated into different languages. Why then should the Bible not be available in Bahasa Malaysia in Malaysia?

The initial uncertainty might have seemed like a projection from Government-Opposition politicking. That has often meant an extrapolation from Umno-PAS posturing.

But now Umno ulama Fathul Bari Mat Jahya and PAS ulama council chief Datuk Harun Taib agree that Bahasa Malaysia translations of the Bible is no problem. Malaysian Ulama Asso­ciation president Datuk Sheikh Abdul Halim Abdul Kadir also agrees.

Perhaps the earlier fuss originated in copies of the Bible being imported. And possibly, it grew from some bureaucrat’s uncertainty or insecurities over the prospect of proselytising to Muslims.

But let such doubts be put to rest from now. Since there is no indication of a religious, political or cultural obstacle to distributing Bahasa Malaysia Bibles, let more insular minds still unsure of the situation wake up to the realities of the contemporary world.

Language and religion are quite separate identities, even if both relate to culture. There should be no confusion between the two.

The nation’s leaders now ought to clear away any lingering doubts by proclaiming that any religious text in any language endorsed by adherents of the faith is permissible. Clarity in such times is invaluable.

If grounds for scepticism persist it would be that election season is near, and political entities are bent on promoting their better sides. Yet even if that were so, Christians should not begrudge the moment but instead welcome the spirit of accommodation and develop it further.

The situation serves all communities well. Just as an injustice to any community in the Malaysian melting pot is an injustice to all, the better accommodation of any community also helps in the accommodation of others.

The thing about accommodation in a multiracial and multicultural society is that it is mutually enhancing. But so too is its opposite, intolerance.

Racial Harmony BULLSHIT !!

By John Doe

Look at your parents. Are they of the same race? Look at your wife, your girlfriend, are they of the same race as you are? Look at the Christians. They frown at those who marry spouses of different "faiths". And in some churches, if not most, prohibit weddings, if both spouses-to-be are not Christians. Muslims take it one step further, and make it illegal unless the other party "converts". Sure there are some which fall through the cracks.

But ask yourself, how many parents have vehemently object to boyfriends and girlfriends of a different race or religion? Sure, quote me that one obscure example. But look at your partner, and see how often the "significant other" is of the same religion, or, of same race.

Actions speak louder than words. Look at phrases like "Half-Breed", "Pariah", or "Chap-Cheng". All those tags mean the same thing. And they speak volumes about how racist Malaysians really are. Little do people realize, (or choose to ignore), that "thorough-bred anything" is all about in-breeding (think in terms of Race-Horses, or prized dogs to simplify thought).

The Austronesoids (Constitutional Malays) on the other hand, are the living proof of 2 major groups, namely, the Dravidoids and the Mongoloids, who, 6,500 years ago, decided to cross those racial boundaries and get married. At that point in time, there were no organized religions. Most were either animists, or worshipped Female Gods. The only exception perhaps being the Iranians who had started Hinduism in Iran. This is well before they migrated to the Mohenjodaro and Harappa, of the Indus Valley, present day Pakistan.

Since then, all has gone downhill. Racial groups have decided stick to themselves, Religious groups have secluded their own, and racism began. New Cults sprung everywhere, and if enough people followed that cult, they were relabeled as a Religion. And with that, came the infamous "My God is better than your God" bullshit. Wars have been fought for that very reason. And even worse ones came from within, when each sect felt that they had some superiority over "the other" sects.

So, before you start screaming racism, look at your parents, look at your significant other, and then decide. Coz you might be more "guilty" than you would care to admit.

Why, Malaysia?

By Lisa Ng | Loyar Burok

As we bring #WhyMalaysia week to a close, Lisa Ng writes a heartfelt customer complaint letter to our tanah tumpah darah, our beloved Bolehland, Malaysia.

My dear Malaysia, it doesn’t get more melodramatic than this, does it? “This” being about whether to stick with you till “death do us part” or to walk away, even if for a little while, especially if there is evidence of ill-treatment.

You see, for Christians, marriage is an unbreakable covenant between God and the couple. Some people would call it a “contractual promise” of sorts. Others would say that, however we term it, the general principle of faithfulness applies to Man and Motherland. The only difference is, even Christians are not so cruel that they insist we stick with our hurtful spouse (or even parent in some cases) if our wellbeing is at stake.

That is why my Conscience was clear when my family decided to depart from your bosom to—not necessarily greener—but relatively safer pastures. At least for now.

You may label me a traitor. Or you may accuse me of cowardice. Perhaps you may also venture so far as to call me an unfilial daughter. But loyalty is not a blind man. And I believe that loyalty to you isn’t meant to be at the expense of some measure of fairness owed to me and, more importantly, my dignity as a person. People may not be perfect and neither are governments. But there is a limit to what each person can tolerate. For the physically and/or mentally abused spouse, it could be the 100th punch to the face. For the oppressed Iban or Dayak, perhaps the face of a certain man they’ve seen on posters for a long time. But then, I’m no Iban or Dayak or any of the many indigenous tribes who can rightfully be called Bumiputera. I am, however, a true Malaysian. And while I am not entirely fed-up of the way you’re manipulating me, I am in need of some perspective.

I was born here. In Taman Cheras, Wilayah Persekutuan, to be precise. I have a valid birth cert, MyKad, Malaysian passport and even if my Bahasa Malaysia is rusty, I was brought up learning and speaking the language and when I meet a Malay, I salam them. I love your nasi lemak, roti canai, durian, cendol, satay and sayur lodeh. I am also a Malaysian because I’ve rolled with the NEP ever since I was old enough to understand its impact on me and not held any grudge against you or my Malay friends. I know how the political parties in Malaysia were formed because I rote learnt it in high school. Outside the Dewan of my school, I memorised the names of Sultans from the time of Parameswara, through the reins of the Mahmud and Iskandar Shahs, to the era of Disco, all the while sucking on those umbrella-shaped kacang merah ice creams sold unhygienically by the roadside.

During those formative years, there was already a lot of talk about different races in school having different passing marks for their SPM exams. The news was that Kelantan and Terengganu students could pass their Advanced Maths with 30% while the mark to meet for the “others” was 40%. I remember being bothered by this rumour but I don’t recall breaking up friendships with my Malay friends over this.

When I studied in Australia, my lecturers thought I was Malay because my skin is quite tanned and I don’t look typically Chinese. The only reason why I clarified that I was Malaysian Chinese was because it helped me explain the multicultural aspect of Malaysia (and prevent them from asking why I have special concessions on homes whereas my fellow Malaysians don’t). I pay taxes to you. I eat the vegetables your farmers plant. I am comfortable excusing myself when my Malay friends are fasting and I know the difference between Ponggal and Thaipusam.

I’ve even learnt a little bit of Jawi, for goodness sake.

So why do I have to prove to you that I am Malaysian, the way I just did? Because as time goes by, it seems that non-Malays need to, more and more, defend their citizenship to you. You, who BORE us. Citizenship is NOT a favour. Your granting me a Malaysian birth certificate and MyKad may require that I abide by the Federal Constitution and the laws of this country; it’s something I believe in and do. But it does not come with a gag that I have to put on robotically when your policies affect me negatively. After all, your “managers” are working for my vote. And if they’re working for my vote, then they are essentially in the service industry—and I’m not only a daughter of your soil but also your client.

So as the saying goes, this client is NOT happy with the current service. I have honoured our contract. You have not. Instead, you have tried to hoodwink me into settling for less benefits with the promise of living a quality life in peace and harmony. But as it stands, you’re not only NOT delivering on quality life; even the peace and harmony aspects are left fraying on the side.

My ringgit is beginning to take the shape of a pisang rastali. My grocery bill looks like I shopped for Louis Vuitton vegetables and Prada pork.

Meanwhile, my mother had her handbag snatched three times in broad daylight in a span of eight months. And you conteng on my Bible while allowing a self-professed scholar to irresponsibly bullhorn his total ignorance of my religion to a wide audience, by associating Santa Claus with it.

In reality, clients get to complain. Then what ensues is a review of the business contract. Here, my vote has a tendency to get rigged. And if I try to protest, I’ll probably be arrested. If I ask why I am being arrested, you’ll probably tell me I have no permit. If I ask for a permit, you’ll likely say I can’t have one because protests are wrong. Meanwhile, as we speak, a large crowd of Malaysians will be dragging a headless cow in protest against an Indian temple being built in their vicinity.

WHY, INDEED, MALAYSIA?

Does it make me less Malaysian to want more respect? More fairness? More security? Or maybe just the opportunity to live comfortably without needing to convert to Islam? Has it occurred to you that “more”, of late, simply means returning a little closer to “equality”?

Does it make me less Malaysian that I’ve chosen to continue building my life in a different country? I don’t think so. We settle wherever we feel gives us the most value for money; nostalgia and sentiments alone are not enough if one has family. This may sound a little too businesslike, but you know, even businesspeople return home once their work is done.

I will always be a Malaysian. Even if I lose all my rights overnight. You can take away my identity cards too but I will still remain nothing but a Malaysian, because identity lives in the Consciousness of our being. It cannot be taken away once it is encrypted into one’s self-awareness.

I did not want to say Goodbye to you, Malaysia. I still don’t. The day we left in the taxi was an emotional one. Because I didn’t just leave behind corruption, crime and crooked policies. I left behind 37 years of friendship, late nights at the office to support the economy, pot-holes and school songs. I left behind countless national day parades, open houses, pasar malams, mamak stalls and yau char kwei dipped in kopi-o. And yes, I left behind all my hopes and dreams for my child to experience all these things. And more.

However, staying on would be akin to accepting that all is fine and nothing needs to change. Or standing up to challenge all that is wrong. Either situation means death to me. Death to the conscience in the first scenario, and death of freedom in the second. And neither is a position I want to take because, above all things, above being Malaysian or Chinese, I am a mother first. And mothers are supposed to put their families before everything else.

——–
Lisa Ng is a human being. She used to be a copywriter in the advertising industry. But now she just writes. For whatever helps us regain the lost art of “giving a toss” towards things that matter to the human race.

Understanding the Dewan Rakyat

The Nut Graph
by Deborah Loh

PETALING JAYA, 21 March 2011: How does Parliament work? How well do you know your Members of Parliament (MPs) and what they stand for? And what is the state of democracy in Malaysia?

Answers to these questions will soon be out in a new book, Understanding the Dewan Rakyat, by The Nut Graph in collaboration with the Malaysian Bar Council’s constitutional law committee through its MyConstitution campaign.

Book jacket for Understanding the Dewan RakyatThe book will be launched by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, this Wednesday, 23 March, in Parliament, in a closed-door function.

In conjunction with the book’s launch, a public forum will be held this Sunday, 27 March 2011, at the restaurant Leonardo’s on Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, from 3pm to 5pm. The forum will feature three MPs who will talk about their roles and the challenges MPs face. Due to limited space, attendance is by registration via email to gracechin@gmail.com. Please type “Leonardo’s forum” as the subject heading.

The book is an expansion of The Nut Graph’s MP Watch: Eye on Parliament project conducted in 2010. The purpose of the project was to profile the Dewan Rakyat’s members and to gauge the strength of our democracy. All the 222 MPs elected in the 2008 general election and subsequent by-elections were contacted and asked six questions on the Internal Security Act, the Islamic state issue, freedom of information, separation of powers, their roles as MPs, and ways to improve parliamentary democracy. Three of these questions were selected by The Nut Graph team, and three others were chosen by the website’s readers through a poll. A total of 113 MPs replied all the questions and their responses are available on The Nut Graph’s website.

Analyses

Exclusive to the book are analyses of the MPs’ responses. The analyses were written so as to understand the MPs’ replies in the wider contexts of their respective parties and in relation to other political parties.

Some highlights in the analyses are:

The contrast in positions between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs on the Internal Security Act (ISA). PR MPs wanted full abolishment of the Act. BN MPs largely supported a review of the Act and differed in their opinions about whether the provision on indefinite detention without trial should be retained. At least one BN MP acknowledged that the ISA should not be used as a tool for political suppression.

The lack of understanding on what the concept of freedom of information is. Many MPs appeared to confuse freedom of information with freedom of speech and press freedom.

The “reverse” positions of PAS and Umno MPs on the issue of whether Malaysia should be an Islamic or secular state. PAS MPs were largely coy on declaring their intentions for Malaysia to be an Islamic state, while more Umno MPs were open about this goal, with several saying that Malaysia was already such. PKR MPs, meanwhile, contradicted each other when answering this question. Several also avoided answering the question directly. DAP MPs were the most consistent in stating that Malaysia is and should continue to be a secular state.

The inability of MPs to fully conduct their roles as lawmakers, because of constituency demands, lack of support and resources from Parliament, and the dominance of the executive branch of government in drafting and pushing bills through.

The acknowledgement of MPs that greater bi-partisanship was needed in Parliament, such as through standing and select committees, to monitor government ministries, to scrutinise bills, and to raise the overall stature of Parliament.

The awareness of MPs that the separation of powers between the branches of government is necessary, but is not fully practised in Malaysia.

Public education

The book is aimed at voters, the media, political parties, analysts, and MPs themselves. This book is likely the first attempt ever to profile and compile the views of all sitting MPs. It is not only a reference and record of testimonials by MPs about their political positions and challenges faced, but can also be an educational tool in furthering public awareness about Parliament and the legislative process in Malaysia.

As a guidebook, it also contains chapters written by the Bar Council’s MyConstitution team, who have simplified for readers’ understanding:

      The system of governance in Malaysia and the role of Parliament;

      The electoral system;

      The roles of an MP; and,

      How MPs are funded.

Also written in a way lay readers can understand, is a chapter on the powers and functions of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker as provided for by the Standing Orders. This was written by lawyer Norshila Shahar.

A similar project has been done by a German website, called “Watching Members of Parliament”. Through this site, Germans could pose questions to their elected representatives in the national parliament, who would post their replies online. People could also find information about their representatives. The premise of the project was simply: “How do I vote for a certain person if I don’t know who they are?”

Working with The Nut Graph to take the project beyond the website and the book is the MyConstitution team, which will organise a series of public forums on the topics raised in the book in the coming months. MPs and analysts will be invited as panelists to these forums.

The Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (KAS) provided financial support for both the online project and the book. KAS is a German foundation that works to further international and inter-cultural cooperation in the areas of democracy, human rights and rule of law. It has representations worldwide and has been working in Malaysia for 30 years.

The book Understanding the Dewan Rakyat is published by ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and will be available at major book stores on a limited print run from mid-April. The book is 564 pages long and will cost RM95.

Mother of The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Dies

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Bernama) -- The mother of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tengku Ampuan Bahriya Sultan Alam Shah died at the Seri Kota Hospital, Klang, Selangor at 1.22 am Monday. Her remains will be flown back to Kuala Terengganu from the Royal Malaysia Air Force base in Subang at 10am today, said Yang di-Pertuan Agong's senior private secretary Datuk Mohd Zuki Ali in a statement here today.