Saturday, May 12, 2007
I don't think people of other faiths have issues with the spreading of the word of Islam. But why are they constantly being prevented from exercising their religious rights?
Unless you have ever been involved or close to the establishment of a religious society, temple / church premises you will never see and understand what our government does to prevent it from happening.
1. The catholic church in Shah Alam, property was given to the church by the Sultan of Selangor for the parish to gather their funds to build the Church. Just after the ground breaking, and construction begins, the state government comes in and revokes the right to build the church.
2. Buddhist Monks and Priests always seem to have problems gaining entry into the country. Their Visa’s are never more than 1 month and usually they are not allowed to extend their stay. How then will qualified religious scholars preach?
3. The Catholic Church has a shortage of priests, so much so that they have old and aged priests, one who is a stroke patient, having to perform Mass.
In other cases, even if you had the money, you can’t build your Church or Temple as it wouldn’t be approved by the state government. However, mosques are everywhere. Just look at the Wangsa Maju and Ulu Kelang area, why need there be so many? Also, mosques are built using state funds and state funds are gained from taxes not only paid by Muslims, but by those of other faiths.
Sure, people don't mind if you want to build mosques that cost tenths of millions of ringgit, a real waste if you ask me. Just see the Jalan Duta mosque that is built on prime property that was sponsored by the Ministry of Finance. But what people won’t accept is the inequality and the misuse of public funds to build these mosques whilst you denying other faiths their right to more churches and temples. The best part, we aren’t even challenging the fact that the government doesn’t subsidise the building of our places of worship.
So in the meantime, while you build another enormous mosque in Wangsa Maju (near Jusco), the money spent by the project sponsors - DBKL, fails to address the poor road conditions that are used by thousands of residents and the public every day.
In the case of the Goddess of Mercy project, what does it matter what distance it is from a mosque? Is it because it stands taller than a mosque and therefore some small minded individuals feel that it represents a greater faith than Islam? Well, if this is so, then it is the government’s duty to educate these people because it isn’t the case.
Isn’t it unfair that everyone, accept the state government’s “bulldozing” decision to build cemeteries in prime areas like Kota Damansara and Desa Kiara (Along the NKVE), even infringing the law by demolishing forest reserve land and by doing so, destroying property values. While the same people impose upon us that we cannot build our places of worship here and there.
Consider this, the non Muslim cemetery's now have to be built far out in the “boonies”. Such as the Nilai Memorial Park that is a great distance from the city. If some people can have the convenience, some others would like that too.
It’s time for these issues to come into the open, there is only so much and so long people can tolerate this.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The following articles extracted from The Star are examples and of such injustice. One may read them and feel, well, they are going to sort out their problems. There are parties that seem to want to resolve this amicably. True. By saying resolve, they mean; stalling the project and insisting on their way forward for the perceived benefit of their religion and narrow beliefs.
In this case, I would ultimately like to see the project continue and the authorities see the value of it, as well as educating the objecting parties that we live in a multiracial and multireligious country and this is part of learning to live together.
What does a mosque and a Taoist statue, in "close proximity" symbolise? It symbolises the hormony between religions, races and the people. That at least 2 religions can co-exist without conflict. It symbolises to the Chinese and Buddhists that the government is also sincere in their attempts to break the segregating barriers between races and that the will of our Malay Ministers and Muslim countrymen will not be imposed upon us. In doing this, other people of other religious faiths will also take this as a beacon of hope.
But you see, the issue is not really the proximity of mosque and statue, it's the height of the statue. Apparently, in the attempt to build the Catholic Church in Shah Alam (which was later retracted by the Selangor State Government), the architechts were told that the highest part of the Church should be no taller than the tallest mosque in the area. Though no explanation is given, the perception is that certain people feel that Islam's superiority over other religions is denoted by the lower rooftops of the other religious buildings.
Malaysia, in its early days did not have such issues and the government didn't impose such things until the 80s or thereabouts. Taking this matter to another level, Churches are not allowed to be built even if the parish has money to do so. However, mosques are built everywhere on the basis that there should be 1 mosque per every 3-400 muslims. Better still, the public thru taxes pay for the building of these mosques, regardless if they are non-Muslim. How unfair is that? Further to that, based on the mosque quota above, the time has arrived where there are so many, that the "location is important" said by Tan Sri Hamid will no longer be possible for other religious sites. This is evident today where there are so many mosques around, many which are marble clad and gigantic, paid for by ALL Malaysian Citizens, while Christians and Buddhists have to resort to preaching and worshipping in little shophouses.
Many people whom I have spoken to say that we shouldn't rock the boat and should be thankful that this government even allows us to practice our faiths in a small way. We are thankful for the leeway we are given.
But I ask why?
Why should I pay for a mosque and not even get a temple or church in exchange? Isn't this a violoation of my religious rights, my constutional rights and my human rights?
It is the job of the government to ensure that quarters that object in such situations are put to rest and managed. Instead, they are supporting them.
Clearly if this is the case, then perhaps this is another reason why I should take my chances with the opposition.
Malaysia in its early days, was a place where
‘Leave Ma Tzu out of politics’
KOTA KINABALU:The Buddhist Foundation said the issue arising from the construction of the Ma Tzu Goddess of the Sea statue in Kudat should not be turned into a political issue.
Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat resigned as deputy chief minister. The foundation’s Sabah and Labuan chairman Tsen Nyuk Vun hoped the state government and the Kudat Ma Tzu Foundation would arrive at an amicable solution.
Work on the 27-metre statue was stopped following objections from several organisations that it was located too close to the district mosque.
The decision prompted Tanjung Kapor assemblyman Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat, who mooted its construction, to resign as deputy chief minister and tourism, culture and environment minister.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had on Monday revealed that the state government had offered an alternative site for the statue and agreed to compensate the costs incurred so far.
Tsen was among 50 religious leaders who met with Musa at his office on Monday.
During the meeting, Musa explained that he had never objected to the project and that the stop-work order had nothing to do with curtailing religious freedom.
"We sincerely hope the state government and the Kudat Ma Tzu Foundation will seek an amicable solution on the matter," Tsen said in a statement on behalf of 10 Buddhist bodies in Sabah and Labuan.
He said they were happy with the chief minister’s reassurance of freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.
"We should encourage the peaceful coexistence of different religions to promote mutual respect, understanding and harmony to build a better society in Sabah and in Malaysia as a whole," he added.
Be more sensitive to religious issues, leaders told
PUTRAJAYA: Political leaders, regardless of the parties they represent, must remain sensitive to religious issues, no matter how trivial.
Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Othman, religious adviser to the prime minister, said such issues must never be politicised as this could disrupt peace and stability."There must be alternatives and solutions to every problem. "As political party leaders, they must refrain from making statements that can lead to provocation or anger. "They must be tolerant of each other and seek solutions that will ensure the continued religious and ethnic coexistence among all the races," he added. Hamid was referring to the controversy over the Ma Tzu Goddess of the Sea statue in Kudat, which had resulted in the resignation of Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat as the Sabah deputy chief minister.
Chong wanted the 27-metre statue to be built, but Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had ordered the work to be stopped. Musa said the decision to stop the construction followed objections from other quarters.
During a meeting with 50 Christian, Buddhist and Taoist leaders, Musa said the United Sabah Islamic Association, Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, Persatuan Belia Intelek Kudat, Kudat As-Syakirin mosque committee and Umno Kudat were unhappy with the site for the statue. They objected because the statue was being built too close to the district mosque. Musa said the state government had offered an alternative site for the statue and agreed to pay compensation for the cost incurred. He accused Chong of trying to politicise the issue, adding that the original site of the statue had been given to a shipping company to put up a building.
Hamid said constructing places of worship for all races had never been a problem. "It is not an issue at all, but the location matters."So, it becomes the responsibility of all quarters and the leaders to find a suitable site that will not create problems for someone else. "Sensitivity of the location must never be overlooked," he said.
So how will the rakyat ever know whether the person they are dealing with is an impersonator?
Very simply, there are shops in Pertama Complex in Kuala Lumpur that sell all sorts of government uniforms mentioned above. They even sell handcuffs, trunchents and full regalia including the badges. All are government issue. So anybody, can go there and buy these things, and they aren't expensive.
I had a friend in the US Air Force who asked me to help him buy a camouflage suit, coz he likes collecting military wear of other countries. And I did, it was easy, like buying something at Giordano. No ID was requested, no questions asked.
I believe an investigative reporter did an article in the Star or NST (over a year ago) on these merchants in Pertama Complex and found out the same things I did, except he found out that they were also selling handcuffs and even asked whether he would like to buy the sargeant's badges as well.
What I'd like to know is why do such merchants exist? Shouldn't the sale of official government uniforms be procured and distributed by their respectful departments? I believe in most countries this would be the case. Otherwise, it's as good as selling them in the pasar malam.
I have a theory, and simply, I believe it's because there is someone in the background cashing in on this as a private business can be manipulated in ways to pass on profits to "invisible" shareholders.
I cannot think of any reason why the procurement and distribution of official military or police uniforms should reside outside the care of the respective departments and authorities. How else will they control who and ensuring that the right people get the correct uniform to ensure that they do not go around mis-representing themselves and causing harm.
That would be the root cause of the problem, not what has been suggested by Johor Baru (South) Deputy OCPD Supt Roslan Zainuddin, which is to ask for their Police ID. Besides, what does a Police ID look like. I have never seen one and I wouldn't be able to tell the forged from the genuine. There should be a campaign with posters showing what a these IDs looks like.
This is a big problem, it is a loose end that creates opportunities for vice and the sad thing is, you won't think it's a problem until it happens to you or your loved ones. Again, this is the price we pay for a government that doesn't pay attention to the little details that will either make or break this country.
Crime in Malaysia, Johor especially is so high, anybody who was aware, wouldn't even want to invest in the place, let alone for a holiday visit.
Today it's a Indonesian worker, tomorrow it could be your child, wife or sister... who's to know. Will you continue to stand for this sort of neglegence?
Indon job-seeker robbed, raped by ‘cops’
JOHOR BARU: An Indonesian woman who came here looking for a job was robbed and raped by two police impersonators.
The 29-year-old victim had taken a shortcut through a back alley to get to her hostel in Jalan Pelangi at 1.30pm yesterday when the two men stopped her.
They showed her a pair a handcuffs and asked for her identification documents. When she could not produce the papers, the men told her to get on one of their motorcycles. Instead of taking her to the police station, they rode to a plantation where they raped her and took her belongings.
The woman, who managed to find her way out of the area, sought the assistance of passers-by to send her to the police station.
In another case, a 52-year-old woman was raped after she accepted the offer of a “good Samaritan.”
The man drove her to a shopping complex and even offered to pay for her spectacles. Later, he took her to a secluded spot and raped her in the car.
Johor Baru (South) Deputy OCPD Supt Roslan Zainuddin appealed to those with information on both cases to contact the police hotline at 07-221 2999 or the nearest police station. He also advised people when stopped to demand policemen show their authority card.
But for all the wrong things... Here is another mess that isn't being properly addressed in our country. The Mat Rempit. Basically, thugs on small CC motorcycles that are between 70cc to 125cc who tune them up to perform speeds exceeding 120kph. They ride in groups and they act like gangsters on the road. Should one of them ever collide with your vehicle, and is hurt, it would be deemed to be your fault and should you get out of your vehicle or not escape, you will be beaten up with their helmets and whatever weapons they have. It has been reported previously that they have attacked without reason.
What does the police do... apart from not being around, well, they occassionally run "operasi" and do silly things like throw them in jail for one night or make them push their motorcycles 2 kilometers to the police station. Frankly, they should have their bikes confiscated and they should face a jail term. The fines should also be for each offence in terms of each modification on their bike, which I have always understood is illegal. It was illegal to change mufflers and modify engines and so forth, but none of this is enforced even when they are caught.
So what happens? They get back on a few weeks later and make a damn niusance of themselves.
Again, something our government has failed to address. They catch the Chinese pirated DVD sellers who are just making an "honest" living. Well, at least they are not hurting anyone or being a nuisance to anyone other than the MPAA. But so what, people buy DVDs not because they cannot afford to goto the cinema, it's to collect and also watch all the nice bits that our friendly people at FINAS / Ministry of Information a.k.a Censorship Board censor. Things like partial nudity, swear words - including bitch and bastard, kissing scenes and so forth. It's our only avenue to get the real deal. And of course, buying the original means forking out about RM120+ for the Region 1 version, which is a lot more than what the Singaporeans pay.
So back to the Mat Rempit... they are violent, the source of all sorts of vice, they are usually high on drugs and they are a real threat to society. How do they compare to some DVD seller just making a living and feeding his family? Hey... prioritise la... anyway, the government will pay for this dearly in the next elections.
There are stories from the DVD sellers that I will share soon enough, and they are all about how the enforcing authorities line their pockets, and this is not even about straightforward bribes... if there is one thing these people are good at, it's finding the best way to make their lives easier... always.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
...and this is part 2 of the article that raised a strong response from the government and some staunch supporters... the guy just took the words out of my mouth...
The response to my recent column 'While Malaysia fiddles, its opportunities are running dry', published in The Age newspaper on November 15 has been overwhelming. I've received hundreds of e-mails and messages, many from Malaysians both in Malaysia and outside, of which perhaps 95% have been supportive. Thank you for these. It seems that the column has given voice to concerns that many Malaysians have.
I'd like to emphasise (and as many of you realise already), that I wrote
the column as constructive criticism. I like Malaysia very much. I visit often and have many Malaysian friends of all races. I've also written a lot that is positive about Malaysia in the past, most notably in a previous book of mine - The Asian Insider: Unconventional Wisdom for Asian Business, which has no less than five chapters to explain to people outside Malaysia why I feel that Malaysiashould be given more credit than it gets.
There have been many achievements. There is much about which Malaysians can be proud. Malaysia, for example, is far more politically mature and developed than is Singapore. The media is more open too (but of course not asopen as it could or should be.) Malaysians are more entrepreneurial too. AirAsia started in Malaysia and has revolutionised air travel across Asia. In Singapore, there is very much a sense that the government has to doeverything.
I also believe that the NEP, which has seen special advantages given to
bumiputeras over other groups, has been important for Malaysia. It has been essential for nation building. Malaysia is peaceful and while the various groups may not mix much there is clear mutual respect between them. That is a huge achievement.
However, the problem as I said in my column, is waste. And also the use of statistics that are blatantly wrong. Malaysia also has a big problem with transparency. Too little account is made of how other people's money is spent.The police too are way too corrupt for a country as developed as Malaysia. The rote learning that is practiced in the
schools also needs to be done away with. Generations of Malaysian children are missing out on an education thatshould teach them how to be creative and critical - this is what a truly modern, boleh country needs. Again, my comments are meant to be constructive. And I make them as a non-Malaysian largely because many Malaysians feel rightly or wrongly that they cannot say these things themselves in their own country.
Since my column was published, plans for a new RM400 million Istana have been announced and the Agriculture Ministry parliamentary secretary has told Parliament that Malaysia's first astronaut will be playing batu seremban and spinning tops and making teh tarik while in space. There are countless scientists around the world who would give anything for the opportunity to go to space and do real experiments. For the Malaysian government to send anastronaut into space to play Malay children's games serves only to re-emphasise my point about waste. Not only that, it makes Malaysia look infantile in the eyes of the rest of the world, which is a great pity when Malaysia hasmade so many real
achievements. The world is getting more clever, more competitive and
more dynamic every day. There are too many in Malaysia who don't seem to understand this.
Of course my views are just that: my views. But I have spent most of my
adult life analysing and writing about Asia. I am direct and critical; I do not veil my criticisms because I don't want to waste my time or yours with readers trying to guess what I really mean. Open debate is absolutely critical for all modern, dynamic countries. The free flow ofideas and information helps to make countries rich. Political leaders cannot do everything on their own be they in the UK, Australia or Malaysia.
They need help. Otherwise they make mistakes. And when they do, whose fault is that? Those who prefer to stay quiet? And should I
as a non-Malaysian be commenting on Malaysia? Of course. Malaysian political leaders and commentators routinely comment about other countries. That's how the world is now,an inter-dependent, global world. And the world is much better for it.I will write another column about Malaysia soon.
November 17, 2006
Now here is an article I really like... it says what has been on
so many Malaysian's minds for a very long time... Reviving the archives...
enjoy... will save my views
November 15, 2006
While Malaysia fiddles, its opportunities are running dry
MALAYSIA'S been at it again, arguing about what proportion of the economy each of its two main races — the Malays and the Chinese — owns. It's an argument that's been running for 40 years. That wealth and race are not synonymous is important for national cohesion, but really it's time Malaysia grew up.
It's a tough world out there and there can be little sympathy for a country that prefers to argue about how to divide wealth rather than get on with the job of creating it.
The long-held aim is for 30 per cent of corporate equity to be in Malay hands, but the figure that the Government uses to justify handing over huge swathes of public companies to Malays but not to other races is absurd. It bases its figure on equity valued, not at market value, but at par value.
Many shares have a par value of say $1 but a market value of $12. And so the Government figure (18.9 per cent is the most recent figure) is a gross underestimate. Last month a paper by a researcher at a local think-tank came up with a figure of 45 per cent based on actual stock prices. All hell broke loose. The paper was withdrawn and the researcher resigned in protest. Part of the problem is that he is Chinese.
"Malaysia boleh!" is Malaysia's national catch cry. It translates to "Malaysia can!" and Malaysia certainly can. Few countries are as good at wasting money. It is richly endowed with natural resources and the national obsession seems to be to extract these, sell them off and then collectively spray the proceeds up against the wall.
This all happens in the context of Malaysia's grossly inflated sense of its place in the world. Most Malaysians are convinced that the eyes of the world are on their country and that their leaders are world figures. This is thanks to Malaysia's tame media and the bravado of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. The truth is, few people on the streets of London or New York could point to Malaysia on a map much less name its prime minister or capital city.
As if to make this point, a recent episode of The Simpsons features a newsreader trying to announce that a tidal wave had hit some place called Kuala Lumpur. He couldn't pronounce the city's name and so made up one, as if no-one cared anyway. But the joke was on the script writers — Kuala Lumpur is inland.
Petronas, the national oil company is well run, particularly when compared to the disaster that passes for a national oil company in neighbouring Indonesia. But in some respects, this is Malaysia's problem. The very success of Petronas means that it is used to underwrite all manner of excess.
The KLCC development in central Kuala Lumpur is an example. It includes the Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in the world when they were built, which was their point. It certainly wasn't that there was an office shortage in Kuala Lumpur — there wasn't. Malaysians are very proud of these towers. Goodness knows why. They had little to do with them. The money for them came out of the ground and the engineering was contracted out to South Korean companies.
They don't even run the shopping centre that's beneath them. That's handled by Australia's Westfield.
Next year, a Malaysian astronaut will go into space aboard a Russian rocket — the first Malay in space. And the cost? $RM95 million ($A34.3 million), to be footed by Malaysian taxpayers. The Science and Technology Minister has said that a moon landing in 2020 is the next target, aboard a US flight. There's no indication of what the Americans will charge for this, assuming there's even a chance that they will consider it. But what is Malaysia getting by using the space programs of others as a taxi service? There are no obvious technical benefits, but no doubt Malaysians will be told once again, that they are "boleh". The trouble is, they're not. It's not their space
Back in July, the Government announced that it would spend $RM490 million on a sports complex near the London Olympics site so that Malaysian athletes can train there and "get used to cold weather".
But the summer Olympics are held in the summer. So what is the complex's real purpose? The dozens of goodwill missions by ministers and bureaucrats to London to check on the centre's construction and then on the athletes while they train might provide a clue.
Bank bale outs, a formula one racing track, an entire new capital city — Petronas has paid for them all. It's been an orgy of nonsense that Malaysia can ill afford.
Why? Because Malaysia's oil will run out in about 19 years. As it is, Malaysia will become a net oil importer in 2011 — that's just five years away.
So it's in this context that the latest debate about race and wealth is so sad. It is time to move on, time to prepare the economy for life after oil. But, like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, the Malaysian Government is more interested in stunts like sending a Malaysian into space when Malaysia's inadequate schools could have done with the cash, and arguing about wealth distribution using transparently ridiculous statistics.
That's not Malaysia "boleh", that's Malaysia "bodoh" (stupid).
These words are so commonly used in our daily news reports that they are becoming synonymous with Malaysia. And what is the government or the police doing about it? "Our Best", they will say.
Follow the link and look at the statistics, and tell me, do you think anything is being done? The numbers are increasing exponentially. The same site also contains statistics on Sodomy and Incest... horrendous figures.
This sort of thing troubles me very deeply. I am concerned for the safety of my loved ones as anybody would be. But it angers me that it seems like little is being done to curb this. The authorities can say that they are doing all they can, but instead, is it the Malaysian "tidak apa attitude".
Very simply, last year the government declared that they will spend a few billion Ringgit on a new feet of police cars as this will help increase police patrols. Instead, there are no more patrols than there were before as I hardly see any patrol cars going round my neighborhood, whilst nearby, there is a massive police station in Taman AU that was recently built to serve the public. There are a lot of patrol cars there, but they are parked and not patrolling.
The government even trained a few thousand new police officers, where are they? Sitting in the comfort of an air conditioned police station - chatting - as many would have observed.
And how many police stations or pondoks that I have passed by, such as the one in Bangsar, where you always see at least 3 officers sitting and chatting all afternoon? Meanwhile some poor sod is being robbed on the other side of the road.
So what are all these expenses for? For show? This is what my taxes go towards, the comfort of some lowly paid police officer (who will eventually extort money from people by way of bribes) who will patrol at his own convenience? Perhaps if there were more police patrols on the roads, what happened to the poor pregnant lady could have been avoided - provided that the patrolling officers are not chatting and/or "makan angin" when they should be observing their surroundings.
What about paying our ministers more to match the private sector so that we will get some competent leaders rather than people who are fiddling with crap like our Minister of Information - Zam (who seems rather mis-informed about how blogs work). Singapore was having a big debate about a similar issue and I see the merits.
This is how people get robbed, raped and abducted in Malaysia. And the criminals know it and they go on a spree. They are violent and most times, robbing you isn't enough and they will harm you without reason. Worst of all, violating your loved ones.
So, the question is, what is your government doing about this? Aren't the statistics published by the Police sufficient evidence that there is an increasing trend? They haven't communicated any plan to the public on how they are going to amend laws and make them stricter. People have gotten away with less than 10 years for rape. I think following most countries, it should be no less than 20 years or even life. They have said that they are increasing patrols, but I don't see them, again, it's lip service.
Either way, the KPI will be a reduction in crime statistics, which I think should be something that should be published monthly for public consumption. But I am certain because the results are so bleak, they try not to show it unless absolutely necessary.
Again, this is something that I will take to the ballot box. You should too. Our votes should be based on the issues that have an impact on our lives, not just because we are afraid of the uncertainty of a new government. We need to vote on the issues. Because what we are doing now, just tells Barisan Nasional that they will win either way, no matter what they do or don't do. In the end, we will be the ones who will suffer. We have a choice, it's time to be more intelligent about the choices we make.
Some people in Barisan really need a kick in the ass and to understand that just because they are connected or related to the PM or some other government official that they can do and say as they please. If you, as a layperson, are afraid to speak out and against the "Gods" or eveb start your own blog, then ensure that you cast your vote the other way. The scale has been tipped to one side for too long, it's time to make that correction
See the article as attached from The Star (www.thestar.com.my)
Friday May 4, 2007
Gang-raped in terror carjack
JOHOR BARU: A woman who was waiting in the car while her husband went to a toilet was held up at knife-point and taken on a terror ride, gang-raped and robbed.
The 28-year-old woman who works in Singapore, was driven around Plentong for three hours after being abducted from the petrol station in Tampoi. Her three-year-old son was in the car with her.
The drama unfolded when the victim and her son had accompanied her husband to town on his way to work in Singapore at 4am several days ago.
The husband stopped the car, with his wife and son inside, at the petrol station and kept the engine running. Soon after, the woman was shocked to see a man armed with a knife, knocking at her window demanding that she open the door.
The woman, fearing for her son's safety, complied and the suspect then drove the car to pick up his friend from a nearby area.
They blindfolded the woman and threatened to harm her son if she struggled. The woman begged the men to let them go as she was pregnant but they instead took her to a secluded area and took turns to rape her.
They then picked up another man before dropping both mother and son in Permas Jaya and driving off with the car and her belongings.
Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Shafie Ismail said that the car had been recovered two days after the incident in Majidee. He appealed to those with information to contact the police hotline at 07-221 2999 or the nearest police station.
Fellow citizens, in the last general election, we gave the Barisan Nasional a landslide victory. As I recall, the nation was overjoyed that Badawi had such great support from the people, a fresh Prime Minister and a new era for Malaysian politics.
Sadly, and over time, we were all greatly disappointed. For starters, it seemed that the level of confidence we had given the government, worked to our disadvantage. In the past couple of years, we have seen Hishamuddin, draw his Kris and waving it around in the name of Malay pride and power. We have also seen Badawi's son in law Khairi Jamaluddin, protesting in front of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, directing the anger of a mob of youngsters at the US Secretary of State Rice. Khairi, also has threatened the Chinese community on numerous occassions. And now, we have an Information Minister, Zainuddin Maidin who seeing the increasing trend of political bloggers such as myself, deems it to be a threat to the nation and hence wants to "curb" "the phenomenon".
So what does all this spell for us? The very people who gave Barisan the make or break vote. Nothing but absolute disappointment. We now have people in power who think they are invincible and they can go about saying whatever it is that they like, be it seditious or anything that rouses the emotions of the other races. Strangely, I believe that if it were a chinese or indian person who said the same things Khairi said or even did what Hishamuddin did, they would definately be behind bars, and I am quite certain that the Malay response would have been a lot harsher - which would have likely been tolerated by the government. Yet, these people still roam free and say and do as they please, enjoying the power and priviledge that we provide them.
They are quite happy continuing as they are, just as Najib has responded to the slide in Chinese votes in Ijok... "Najib said it was usual for support from this group to slightly increase or decline during by-elections and that this could have been related to local issues, adding that young voters there had been more critical than usual"... really? is it as simple as that? This is how you respond to Ong Ka Ting's valuable fact?
I think its time this is brought to a stop, and if you agree, perhaps we should take it to the ballot box in the coming election. Vote for the opposition. There will be enough votes to bring Barisan back, but we shouldn't give them a full mandate to run the country. By lending votes to the opposition, perhaps parties like Keadilan will gain some credibility and build a stronger party, hopefully one day there will be enough strength within that party making it really worthwhile voting for.
What our country is missing is a decent opposition party. It's time we learn to give ourself a choice for the benefit of the future generations. We cannot rely on Barisan anymore. It's obvious which party dominates the coalition, and now, some of them are becoming as extreme as their counterparts in PAS. Examples are clear as day, with regards to the religious department and the mockery they are making of our country and people, and our "moderate government" tolerates this?
Have a read of this article extracted from The Star (http://www.thestar.com.my/). It's a clarion call, hear it and hear it well fellow Supreme Council and Leadership of UMNO, because many of us will vote for the opposition just to put you where you belong. Change your methods and your attitude and perhaps you will regain our confidence.
Factors that swayed Chinese vote
PETALING JAYA: The swing of some Chinese votes to the opposition in the recent Ijok by-election was due to unhappiness with the service of the previous assemblyman as well as several sensitive national issues, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said.
He said the Chinese voters in the constituency had complained that they were unhappy with the service rendered by the Barisan Nasional."During campaigning, they (Chinese voters in Ijok) asked us why we were doing this and that now (during the election) and not earlier. There were also some rumblings on national issues," he said after attending a Wesak Day celebration at the Kwan Inn Teng Temple here.Elaborating on what he meant by "rumblings on national issues", Ong said some voters had expressed unhappiness over statements made by "some leaders" which they considered hurtful."We got this feedback although we had explained that the implementation of policies is based on collective decision-making with a multiracial perspective and not on certain statements by individuals."However, they did not accept our explanation," he said without elaborating on the statements.
Giving the party analysis on the Chinese voting pattern in the Ijok by-election for the first time, Ong said there was no doubt that "to a certain extent the Chinese votes in the area had swung to the opposition".He said that in Ijok town, for example, the BN won by a majority of only 21 votes."In Kampung Ijok, next to Ijok town, we lost 116 votes. I think that in certain areas, the swing was not big. Overall, the BN still obtained the Chinese vote, particularly in the new villages but the question now is by how many per cent because some of the ballot boxes had votes from mixed areas."In southern and northern Batang Berjuntai — two predominantly Chinese areas — the BN managed to secure about 500 Chinese votes.Ong said that the MCA, being a party that represents the Chinese community and the second largest BN component, did not deny that there was increased Chinese support for the opposition compared with the previous election."We will work hard and go down to the ground to get their feedback.
"There is a sign of some swing in Chinese votes from the BN to the opposition. This is something we cannot deny."Compared with the 2004 general election, there is some change of mood. To what extent, we can’t draw the percentage yet." Asked whether the party’s internal problems had played a role in the reduced Chinese support for the BN, Ong said: "I don’t think that was a big factor."In the by-election, K. Parthiban of the BN beat Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim of Parti Keadilan Rakyat by a majority of 1,850 votes.However, despite the better performance by the BN compared with the 2004 general election (when BN received a 1,649-vote majority), Chinese support for BN had reportedly dropped by about 10 per cent. — Bernama