Friday, August 29, 2008


May I introduce you “Hitam” (pic). He is an employee of Bachok District Council in Kelantan.

According to today’s NST Hitam is actually a two year old short tailed macaque and its handler bought him for RM230-00 some 18 months ago.

According to the council, besides being trained to pluck coconuts, Hitam has now been trained to pick-up litter and put them in a waste basket. Further, Hitam is also adept at picking up bottles, slippers and coconuts and putting the items into a basket.

So what’s left next for Bachok District Council is to teach Hitam some clerical duties. Alternatively, the government can make him a candidate for the next Malaysian spaceman.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim wins with BIGGER majority!

Final official EC tally - Anwar got 31,195 votes, Arif Shah, 15,524, Hanafi, 92. Anwar won with a majority of 15,671.
Anwar's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, won the seat with a 13,388 majority at the March 8 general elections.

This Sunday, Malaysia celebrates Merdeka Day. It is Malaysia’s 51st Independence Day. In contrast to previous years, the run up to this year’s Merdeka Day is devoid of any enthusiasm. There are hardly any cars seen flying the miniature Malaysian flag and the Johor Bahru City Council is upset that traders are not flying the Malaysian flag, so much so the Council has issued a warning to traders that failure to fly the Malaysian flag is an offence under Seksyen 7(3) Undang-Undang Kecil Penjaja which carries a RM250 fine. Talk about forced patriotism!.

Nevertheless, some things would not change. Petronas advertisements which pull at our heartstrings and patriotic songs will permeate the air in the days leading to Merdeka Day. On the day itself, there will be the usual oath taking, march-past, fly-past and all the pomp and pageantry. All choreographed to showcase a multi-cultural and united Malaysia. Oh yes, not to forget the annual address to the nation by the Prime Minister the night before Merdeka.

But Merdeka is not about waving flags, raising hands or shouting “merdeka”. Merdeka should be the coming together of Malaysians. Merdeka should be the celebration of multi-racialism, multi-culturalism and multi-religionism and above all to celebrate unity. However, after 50 years are we not anywhere nearer being Malaysians. Legally we are a nation after attaining statehood in 1957, but the question is whether we are living as Malaysians?

Contrary to the myopic view held by some that the independence of this country was won by the efforts of a single man or race, the truth is that it was the Malays, Chinese and Indians who collectively fought for an independent Malaysia (Malaya). It was Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun V.T Sambanthan our founding fathers who returned from colonial Britain with a dream where Malays, Chinese and Indians will hold themselves as Malaysians and call Malaysia home.

Thus this country was built not by the efforts of a single race but the blood, sweat and tears of Malays, Chinese and Indians. The Chinese and Indians swore their loyalty to the flag and the King. Fifty years on, the Chinese are reduced to second class citizens and the Indians fourth class citizens behind recent arrivals from Indonesia. It is race first and Malaysian second. Fifty years after independence, the clarion call of UMNO the backbone of Barisan Nasional is Ketuanan Melayu and not Ketuanan Rakyat, nevermind Barisan Nasional itself is a coalition of Malay, Chinese and Indian parties.

Suddenly, the Chinese and the Indians are constantly reminded to be eternally grateful for being granted residency in this land, conveniently ignoring the contribution and sacrifices of the Chinese and Indians. Sadly, Chinese and Indians are made to realise by UMNO politicians that they are bukan Melayu, bukan Bumiputera, bukan Islam and kaum Pendatang. In short the Chinese and Indians however long they have lived here are simply “Non”.

The Chinese have been here for more than 400 years and as admitted by Dr Mahathir Mohamed, incidentally are the biggest tax-payers but it is the recent Indonesian migrant who seemed to be more welcomed. In fact one son of a migrant has even gone further to become the Menteri Besar until he was ousted after incurring the divine’s wrath.

When Lee Chong Wei scored the winning point defeating Lee Hyun Duk in the badminton semi-final at the recent Beijing Olympic, his first act was to kiss the Malaysian flag on his t-shirt. It was an impromptu show of naked patriotism but he remain in reality a “Cina”, “bukan Melayu”, “bukan Bumiputra”, bukan Islam and kaum Pendatang despite his RM300,000, RM3,000 life pension and a Datukship.

So when, politicians and racist bigots screams abuse asking Chinese and Indians to get out of Malaysia, making inflammatory speeches, waving kris, baying for blood and disrupt lawful meetings held discuss issues effecting them and are uncompromising to discussion or reason, then clearly the Malaysian dream has started to wither, at least for the Chinese and Indian. The uncomfortable truth is that we have become a fractuous and divided nation.

In 1976 during the Budget Speech, Dato Hussein Onn said “ we still have not yet achieved national unity, we are divided along racial lines in our outlook, attitude and action”. Thirty years later nothing has changed. That is the reason for the necessity to have National Service. Nurturing unity in a three months crash course.

Lim Kit Siang in his speech on the Royal address in 1972 said “ National unity will not be achieved by shouting it a thousand or million times. It can only be achieved if the whole gamut of the government’s political, economic, social, cultural and educational policies are designed to unite, rather than to divide, the diverse peoples in this country”.

Today, the consciousness of race is being driven home on a child right from the primary school. In Ontario, Canada there is a pilot project where pre-scholars are being taught to celebrate multiculturalism and to reject racism. In Australia, a predominantly white, Christian country try making a racist slur against the Muslim or the Chinese, the authorities will come down hard on you under the Race Relations Act. But in Malaysia, no punishment is meted out against a teacher who subjects Indian students to racial abuse and taunts. Instead, the authorities rewards the teacher with a transfer her to a premier school. Little wonder that the Chinese have completely lost faith in the national schools and instead see it fit to educate their children in Chinese schools.

Previously it was Barisan Nasional’s skewed policies on education, employment and economic policies which caused wide spread fear and discontentment among non Malays about their and their children’s future. Many having lost faith and made the difficult decision to migrate. Some parents sent their children abroad to study but only never to return. Thousands of professionals and experts have never returned home.

But now an even greater concern among non Malays is at the growing Islamisation of the country. Malaysian was envisaged as a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi religious society with Islam as the official religion. Islam was to be given a special position in the Constitution and country. No Non Malay or Non Muslim has ever objected. However, no where in the social contract was it agreed that Malaysia was to be an Islamic state or the founding fathers who represented the Chinese and Indians agreed to acknowledge and accept Malaysian as an Islamic state.

In 2001, Dr Mahathir Mohamad unitarily and arbitrarily and without ever consulting Barisan Nasional’s main coalition partners, MCA and M.I.C shocked the nation by declaring that Malaysia is an Islamic state. So much for Barisan Nasional’s much talked “consensus politics” Instead of opposing and condemning the constitutional sacrilege, MCA’s then president Ling Liong Sik sought to allay the fears of the non Malays and play down the issue by saying that Malaysia was a secular Islamic state. The dope could not realize one cannot be secular and Islamic at the same time. Last year, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak reaffirmed that Malaysia was an Islamic state. The response from MCA, M.I.C and GERAKAN was the usual elegant silence. Well to be fair GERAKAN’s Lim Keng Yek did splutter some objection. Only now after being mauled in the March 2008 General Election does MCA and GERAKAN concerned of their own survival suddenly finds its voice and meekly tries to reassert the supremacy of the Constitution. It is a case of being a little too late or trying to slam the barn door after the horses have bolted.

Apprehension of non Muslim Malaysians to Islamisation process do not stem from any antipathy or enmity towards Islam as a religion but because of their fear that the basis foundation of Malaysia as a secular nation where there is freedom of religion beliefs and practice, with Islam as the official religion is being insidiously but effectively undermined.

Many government policies are causing great concern, unease and foreboding among non Muslim Malaysians. Emboldened by the unilateral declaration and with tacit approval and encouragement, a vocal minority is trying to impose its will on others and change the course of this country. The silent majority particularly from the Muslim community seems afraid to speak out lest they be labeled “liberals” or even worst “apostates”.

There is a sense of creeping intolerance unheard of at Merdeka. Speak to Malays, Chinese and Indians of older generation and hear them reminisce of Malaysia of yesteryear where there was acceptance and tolerance. Unity among the various races was at its best. How things have changed. Take April Lavigne concert for an example. Non Muslim have no problem watching a wholesome concert by April Lavigne. But some Muslim NGO’s and political parties sought to ban the concert because they believed the concert was unsuitable for Muslims. Because it was unsuitable for Muslims, it is decreed that the concert was also not suitable for non-Muslims. The objection that the concert is being staged on the Merdeka month was simply an excuse. Clearly attempts are being made to dictate the life and lifestyle of Non Malays.

Witness how, the Bar Council recently had to abort prematurely its recent forum after protestors who seemed to have been sanctioned by political leaders from both sides of the divide barged into the auditorium demanding an end to the discussion. Had, they attended and listened, this mob would have realized that almost half the Speakers were Muslims. Perhaps, a solution for issues which have been festering for too long could have been found during the discourse. But the mob which descended the Bar Council was not prepared to discuss let alone discuss. Brute and not brains won.

This is not the first time non Muslims have witnessed such menacing bigotry. Remember the near violent demonstration against the Forum organized by Article 11 and the issue of Interfaith Commission. What these protestors do is a disservice to the image of Islam, a religion that preaches the impotence of gaining knowledge. There is a concerted and deliberate campaign to create alarm and anxiety among non Muslims.

Zarinah Anwar writing in the New Strait Times (Nov 3, 2006) remarked “ The Islamic state ideologues know that they cannot win power through the ballot box as most Malaysians including Muslims, will not support the kind of intolerant, punitive, bigoted, misogynistic and joyless Islam they stand for.

The strategy then has been to penetrate the academic institution, the bureaucracy, the Islamic institution and take over the instruments of governance through the back door. Cloak yourself in the mantle of God, intimidate your opponents by declaring them kafir or anti Islam, eliminate anyone with a differing view by declaring war on pluralism and liberalism, take over the drafting of laws, create further institutions to expand your influence and jurisdiction, pronounce one fatwa after another to further limit the scope of difference and diversity so that in the end only the Islamist ideological conception of Islam prevails. And you do all of this within the government apparatus.”

Lim Kit Siang some thirty years ago said “what Malaysia needs are moderates of ends and not moderates of means who are eventually committed to the extremism of ends”. Sadly there are in our country powerful centrifugal forces which are threating to destroy this country asunder.

Thus, unless we make a concerted effort to regain the Merdeka spirit of 1957 and embrace once again multiracialism, multiculturalism, and multi religionism and accept each other Malays, Chinese and Indians as Malaysians first, Malaysia may be on the road to perdition.

Last year, Raja Muda Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, in a keynote speech at a forum organized by the Bar Council said that ‘Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe that they have a place under the Malaysian sun”.

The question this Merdeka is whether there is a place under the Malaysian sun for you and your family.


Monday, August 25, 2008


In order to endear and garner Chinese votes, Barisan Nasional and the main stream newspapers keep highlighting Arif Shah’s prowess of not only being able to speak Mandarin and Hokkien but also his ability to read and write Chinese.

Barisan Nasional believes that the Chinese will fall hook and sinker and deliver the votes for this man because of his language prowess.

NOW, this is the man :-

who claimed to be pursuing a PHD degree and only stopped after questions were raised over the credibility of his university – International Distance Learning Centre of Edison University of Technology at Mailbox 145 – 147, St John’s Street London ECI 4PY, U.K, Tel : 0845 – 8790040.

Had he not been selected as a candidate for Permatang Pauh, most likely this oxymoron would have gone to complete his doctorate.

Now the Chinese voters who Barisan Nasional and Arif Shah seems trying hard to endear and seek the votes would like to ask Arif Shah :-

(i) Did you or did you not participate in the illegal protest against YAB Lim Guan Eng and the newly installed Pakatan Rakyat government in support for Ketuanan Melayu?

(ii) Did you or did you not as the Seberang Jaya state Assemblyman made the call to rename George Town to Bandar Datuk Abdullah Fahim?

(iii) Did you or did you not participate in the illegal march to Komtar trying to stoke racial tension against the Chinese?

(iv) Do you support Ketuanan Rakyat or Ketuanan Melayu?

History has a strange way of reminding one’s past and in Arif Shah’s case it has returned to haunt him.