Archive for the ‘Malaysian First’ Category

Lim Kit Siang nabbed at the airport

June 28, 2007

LKS Series # 3

 

Dear Sir

 Re: Hello Lim Kit Siang. (28  years old). On 13th May 1969, where art thou? 

The 1969  May 13th   racial riots started from the house of  the then Menteri Besar, Dato Harun Idris. The house was in Princes Road ( Jalan Raja Muda). Half a kilometre away, at Fook Chuen Mansions, Batu Road ( Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman ) was the office of the then Secretary General of the Democratic Action Party, Mr Goh Hock Guan.*. He was and still is a Chartered Architect and Town Planner practising under the name of M/s Goh Hock Guan and Associates.

 

Prior to 13th May  1969, LKS  was a political  Liliputian. He was the DAP National  Organising Secretary and the Editor of The Rocket** then.  His first  political debut projected to the Malaysian public was his  participation in the “ Great Cultural Debate” between the DAP and the Gerakan which took place before the General Elections of 1969. At that point in time Gerakan was in the Opposition. After the 13th May riots, Gerakan joined the Alliance to form the Barisan, until today. The debate was held at the MARA Auditorium which was at Batu Road, Kuala Lumpur.

 

When the ethnic riots started on 13th May 1969,  LKS was in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. A political novice, untried with no credentials to back him up. He was campaigning for the independent candidates there. Fellow members of the DAP in Petaling Jaya called LKS on the phone asking him not to come back to Kuala Lumpur for his own safety until such a time when  things cooled down. (Official fiqures:190 plus, Malaysians killed.)

 

LKS in his maiden political quest for justice, freedom, upholding of democracy and an equal right to happiness, dignity and fulfillment in life,  was already under the “protective” custody of the KK police. He replied that he “ is going back to Kuala Lumpur immediately and is not afraid to DIE for his political convictions” — all for a better life for all Malaysians. There was no choice. He had to martyr himself. There was no alternative. However, in case his life was spared, LKS was prepared to face any charges that the Alliance Government will bring up and charge against him.

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Flights between East and West Malaysia was suspended.  Also at that point in time there was no direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. LKS took the first flight out of KK to Singapore en route to KL on 15th May 1969. He had to stopover in Singapore.  

When he was in Singapore, he had many friends and supporters to discuss the racial riots and its consequences on opposition members. Anything can happen. There was no guarantee on his safety. LKS was adamant that it was his sacred duty to go back to KL.

 

He took the first available flight to Subang International Airport ( now Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport ) on 18th May 1969. He boarded the plane at the Paya Lebar International Airport, Singapore The  plane took off for KL.

 

While airborne, all of a sudden, LKS found that he was now alone. Alone to face the music. He cannot turn back then, unless of course the pilot turned the plane around. Samuel Taylor Coleridge can describe him as:-

“Alone alone, all all alone

Alone on a wide wide sea

And never a saint took pity on his soul in agony” – in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

                                                                                  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

The airborne mariner cannot change his mind then. Can he call for help? Call who? Call the CIA?. Call the FBI? Call the KGB?. Call MI 5?. Call OSS?. Call Chin Peng?. Call Chen Tian?. ( there were no mobile phones then)

 

Lim Kit Siang believed that he was going to be eliminated. On this last home coming  flight,   he  decided  to write a  last  letter to his wife – a homemaker. He asked his wife to be strong, to  expect  the EXPECTED and  to  bring up the four children.***.  To LKS, the demise of LKS is NOT important. The Political Future of Malaysians and the Future of Malaysia ARE of Paramount Importance. Malaysia MUST GO ON!  The letter was physically handed to the flight stewardess for posting. But it was without a stamp. Until today the letter was not delivered.  

The curfew was on. There were  lots of soldiers around the Subang Airport  then. They were there guarding the airport and to PROBABLY “welcome” home  in a formal reception “ceremony” for Mr Lim Kit Siang. All the soldiers’ SLR rifles were on a horizontal level. Their forefingers were just glazing the side of the trigger, in preparation to shoot at any time.

 

The moment of truth had arrived. The stage was set. The grand finale was about to begin. LKS came into  the arrival  hall. The atmosphere was unexceptionally quiet. Nobody was talking. The silence was deafening. It was tense and solemn because everybody were expecting the arrival of the Yang Berhormat,  the DAP MP for Bandar Malacca (now Kota Melaka). LKS was no fugitive. LKS, a young, non violent, non belligerent man, stepped out of the arrival hall. A group of Special Branch Officers  and soldiers with their horizontal SLRs “greeted” him. LKS need not hail a taxi for his transport to KL. There were no taxis anyway. There was also NO shooting.

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On his journey to the High Street Police Station, LKS saw for himself the senseless carnage, atrocities, plunder and destruction. Smoke can still be seen from houses which were torched. After a few days of detention in the High Street Police Station, LKS was  sent   to a Police Station in Kuala Selangor, Selangor. 

                   

Prior to 13-05-69, Dato Dr Ismail (later Tun), left the Government. He joined back the Government immediately after 13-05-69. The first words he said was “Democracy is Dead”.  As the Minister of Internal Security, Dato Ismail signed the Detention Order on LKS. LKS was then sent to the Muar Detention Camp. He was entitled to free food and lodging for the next 18 months at taxpayers’ expense. Ironically, Muar was 32 miles away from LKS home. His house is in Batu Pahat,  Johore

The Internal Security Act is an Act of Parliament formulated to suppress the communist insurgency and to arrest the communists at that period of time. Ironically, the PAP’s ( later DAP) Member of Parliament for Bungsar (now Bangsar) , Mr Devan Nair supported the ISA Bill earlier then.****. It is detention without trial.

 

While under detention LKS was appointed the 3rd  National Secretary General of the DAP (in absentia). There was a vacancy. The appointment was necessary because somebody had  disappeared  but  can be found in another country. He stayed put in that country then. “ I am NO LIM KIT SIANG.  If  I  go back  then,  all of you will be deprived of a Great Leader”.    The vacancy was filled. LKS  held  the  post of  National Sec-Gen  till 1999.

 

LKS could have absconded while in Singapore. ( Singapore was given independence by Malaysia in 1965). He could have asked for political asylum in another country. He could have been an MP in exile. He was and is a true loyal Malaysian Citizen. With guts, he went back to the hornet’s nest – “a river of no return”,  says Marilyn Monroe. Sorry. My apologies. He was and is  still in one piece. He was never charged in open court then. He will still be around for many years to come.

 

Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once”—Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare

Again sorry lah Kit, (as he is fondly known as).  We do realise that, the particular effective organ that is part of your anatomy is your gift of  the gap – a non lethal instrument. Now we know you are battle hardened. In spite of your tireless, relentless political pursuit, vocal, articulate or otherwise, until today, matters have become from bad to worst. True, “That All Men Are Born Equal but then some selectives are more equal than others—Abraham Lincoln’s version for  2nd class citizens.

 

LKS was again detained, the 2nd time in 1987, (after the 1986 General Election)  under the Mahathir Administration. He got free curry lunch, lodging, bed and breakfast again for another 18 months, on the auspicious pleasure of the host — the Barisan Government ala taxpayers. Again  no charges were brought against him. Can somebody name me a similar Malaysian likewise?

                                                                 

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Somebody say LKS only NATO ( No action, talk only). If that is the case, let him talk! We like to hear him talk. Why detain him to stop him from talking? You are hitting below the belt. Do you want him to talk on what you like to hear and then stop him from talking on what you don’t like to hear? But at the same time you go on talking and talking on what we don’t like to hear! (Editor: hahah…that’s a good one! )

 

Finally, a belated sincere tribute must be made to the powers that be, at that critical, predatory point of time. LKS’s life was spared. The expected was not performed. The expected was unexpected – so to speak! Had LKS, the political apprentice left us to join the happy hunting ground, he will be forgotten. Nobody will raise an eyelid after all:-

                                                                      

“When beggars die, no comets are seen.

The heavens blaze forth the marriage of princes  Julius Caesar,  William Shakespeare’s

                                                                                 modern version

The powers that be was still rational then. Maybe its was mercy.

  

The quality of mercy is not strained

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

The Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare                                                           

                                                                      

So to the players of  May the 13th, I am wishing a belated words of  thanks. To Whom It May Concern.  Thank You Very Much  for the fact that we still have LKS around. Say what we like. We argue.  We are all still Malaysian Citizens. We are born here. Do you want to deprive LKS  of his citizenship like Mr Lim Lean Geok ? By the way LKS is local born and can be classified as a Baba and his wife a Nonya. He is more Malaysian than  a bigger number of Malaysians put together!

Finally, we reiterate that we are all peace loving citizens. Some say we are citizens “by default”. This is subjective and debatable. Supposing we ARE citizens by default, we are still citizens, maybe 2nd class citizens or otherwise.

 

To all Malaysian mankind:-

He loveth best, who loveth best, both man and bird and beast.

He loveth well, who loveth well, for all things both great and small

For the dear God who loveth us, he made and loveth all.”  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s moral message to humanity especially to Malaysian humans.                                                                                              

The writer notes that after the riots of 13th May 1969, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dato Abdul Razak (later Tun) set up  The National Operations Council. Parliament was suspended after all “Democracy is Dead”. Looking after this NOC, was Dato Ghazali Shafie (later Tun).                                                             4

Incidentally, the 3rd man in ranking, in  the  NOC  then, was a slim, serious, handsome, no nonsense looking man – a politically unknown then.  He was probably the “executive secretary” of the NOC. He literally commanded the day to day operations of the NOC —  hands on. He was already a “Chief Executive Officer” and “Prime Minister” then, way back during 1969.  He looked familiar and was identical  towards  a former school mate of mine from my Alma Mater : Methodist Boys School, Penang. My school mate’s  name was and is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

 

Lastly, to all the participants of May the 13th that are not indicted including Lim Kit Siang. All are still executives of  liberty,  happy,  free from all encumbrances and despotic control. All will live happily ever after including LKS.

                                                                    

* Mr Goh Hock Guan was the 2nd DAP Secretary General (1968 to 13th May 1969). Mr Goh’s  sister, Ms Phyllis Goh was an architect undergraduate then and was a college mate of the writer.

In 1969, the writer was staying above the office of M/s Goh Hock Guan & Associates at Fook Chuen Mansions at Batu Road, Kuala Lumpur. He had a 1st Class ring side seat cum an On Line, Real Time bird’s eye view of the May 13th story.

   

** Lim Kit Siang was the 1st DAP National Organising Secretary and Editor of The Rocket. (1966 to 1969).

Lim Kit Siang was appointed the 3rd  DAP Secretary General (1969 – 1999) – the longest serving DAP Sec Gen.

   

*** As at 13th May 1969, Lim Kit Siang has four children then. The eldest is a son 9 years old then. He is Lim Guan Eng,  the  present day  Secretary General of the DAP.  An Australian Graduate of  Monash University, he is an Accountant by profession.

 

The second child is a daughter. She was 7 years as at 13th May 1969. She hold a double degree – in law and in accountancy.

 

The third child is also a daughter. She was 6 years old as at 13th May 1969. She is a B.A degree holder.

 

The last and fourth child is a son. He was 3 years old as at 13th May 1969. He is a heart specialist. A few years ago, I understand that he was attached to the IJN (Institut Jantung Negara) as a cardiologist.

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****

PAP is the People’s Action Party of Singapore which was already ruling Singapore in 1964.

                                                                 

Mr Devan Nair was  born in Malacca on the 8th of August 1923. He was the main organizer and founder of the DAP. Naturally he became the 1st Secretary General of the DAP ( 1966 – 1968). He stood as a PAP ( later DAP) candidate in Bungsar in the 1964 General Election. Winning this Bungsar seat, he became the Member of Parliament for PAP in  the 1964 – 1969 parliamentary session. From 1981 to 1985 he was appointed  the President of Singapore. Dr Chen Man Hin, the present day DAP Life Advisor said “ Without him the DAP may not be born”.

 

The writer at 18 years old, campaigned for Mr Devan Nair during 1964 General Election. His son Janadas (now Ph D) recalled the days when he was small boy as at 1964. He remembered an incident when the writer was nearly apprehended by  the police when the writer put up a  2nd  political banner at the Railway Station  KL  prior to the 1964 General Elections. The setting up of the 1st banner was earlier accomplished at the flyover, beside the KL Railway Station. The banner says “ Vote  PAP – a  Non Communist  Democratic Socialist Party”. The writer then was able to outwit, out manoeuvre and  run away from the  police in  a  busy  KL  because he was young,  agile and  was on a portable bicycle! 

Dr Jana (as he is known to me) who is now residing in Canada. He was here  on  2006 during the DAP Devan Nair Memorial. We recalled the good old days.

 

The writer deliberately put in the names of the literary writers because of requests from the younger readers.

 

AKAN DATANG

Watch out for

1)  Dr Lim Kit Siang.

2) “Lim Kit Siang – 18 months after 13th May 1969” in the coming episodes.

3) Lim Kit Siang an opportunist and an agent of UMNO?

  

Yours truly,

  

James Bond Zero Zero One

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Raja Nazrin: Be colour-blind

April 6, 2007
We like to say that our youth are the future of this country, but then we proceed to ignore or marginalise them. We want our future generations to be able to think and act wisely, but then we do not give them sufficient opportunities to do so.” —Raja Nazrin

 In recent times, it has become usual to try and place the blame for the disintegrating state of world affairs on the doorstep of religion. This is a misunderstanding of the first order. Religion is not the cause of societal dystrophy; it is the antidote. It is a social stabiliser that allows believers to reconnect to values that are fast being lost in today’s ever more materialistic and self-centred world.” – Raja Nazrin

“Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun. Only when each citizen believes that he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.”- Raja Nazrin

“I hope we will do our best to guard against cynicism and hopelessness. And I hope we will all stay the course. Failure, may I remind you all, is a costly option.”- Raja Nazrin

IMO, the speech delivered by Raja Nazrin Shah for young Malaysians should be read by all Malaysians, from an ordinary citizen right up to the prime minister of this country.

I will try my best to translate the speech into Chinese and Malay ( and get an expert to do it in Tamil). Watch this blog.

I thank the Sun for publishing the full text of his speech.

EXTRA! :: Cover Stories – the Sun 6 March 2007

Raja Nazrin: Be colour-blind
Malaysians of all races and religions have a place in this country. Sharing a common destiny, we must put our shoulder to the yoke and work to build the nation, in particular preserving the national unity we have enjoyed through 50 years of nationhood. Given our plural composition, it is a difficult task but it must be done for failure would prove too costly. The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, tells of the ways to do this in his keynote address at the Young Malaysians’ Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development on Tuesday. Here is the full text of his speech.

Raja Nazrin is greeted by Malaysian Bar Council
president Ambiga Sreenevasan on arrival at the Bar
Council premises in Kuala Lumper for the function

It is my pleasure to be here to deliver the keynote address at this Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia: Challenges and Prospects for Nation Building. I am always happy to take part in an event where there are many young informed Malaysians. I find that this is time well spent. Not only does it give me a chance to share my thoughts, but it also lets me do a bit of opinion research among the younger generation.

We like to say that our youth are the future of this country, but then we proceed to ignore or marginalise them. We want our future generations to be able to think and act wisely, but then we do not give them sufficient opportunities to do so.

In my view, this is not a good way to prepare those who will take our place. If the young are to be good leaders and citizens, they must be exposed to more than just abstract concepts. Even those nation states which have failed miserably have had great political ideals.

I believe that good and upright leadership must be demonstrated. It has to be both taught and observed at work. Then, those who are found to be able, must be mentored by those who are capable. In this way, success can be learned and replicated.

Finally, the young must be given responsibilities they can handle. They should be allowed to make mistakes along the way as part of their overall learning process. If we do these things, our actions will echo loudly into the future.

My address this morning is on the challenges and prospects of nation-building, a topic that is of the greatest and gravest importance. Nation-building is essential to national unity which lies at the heart of what this country was, is and will be.

With the passage of time, it seems that we are starting to forget this and it is imperative that we do not. In the time available, I hope to say enough to provide some fuel for the discussions to follow. It is my earnest wish that you will gain some further perspectives on the nature of nation- building and that you will also deliberate on specific actionable ways to further it in this country.

Confucius insisted that language must be properly used if things are to get done, if justice is not to go astray, and if people are not to “stand about in helpless confusion”. He disapproved of those who misused words to hide their true intentions and actions.

So what exactly is nation-building? Not surprisingly, there are many definitions, some which differ by a little and others by quite a lot. In his book, The Making of a Nation, for example, Prof Cheah Boon Kheng defined it as “both economic progress and socio-political integration of a nation, that is prosperity and national unity”.

This captures what are hopefully the two end-results of nation building, but it makes no mention of its nature and process. I prefer the more common understanding, which is that it is the use of state power across different dimensions to ensure that a country is politically stable and viable in the long term. These dimensions include ethnicity and religion.

As a brief footnote, it should be noted that nation-building is a heated and even hated notion in some parts of the world. The main reasons for this are, first, that it is taking place in the midst of great domestic turmoil and, second, that it is primarily initiated and managed by foreign powers.

Trying to cobble a functioning state by papering over deep social and political rifts is, of course, easier said than done. History has shown us, time and again, that it is much easier to break down, rather than build up, nations.

In the case of Malaysia, nation- building has occurred in generally peaceful circumstances. It was not imposed by another country. And it is undertaken mainly by collective choice rather than compulsion.

The fact that we have been able to forge a nation without resorting to the rule of the gun has made us something of a rarity and a case to be studied, if not emulated. It has allowed a relatively effective system of governance to develop. Our track record in development and resolving problems such as illiteracy, poverty and poor health has been good.

There is, of course, much more that can be done. Our institutions of governance are far from perfect and quality improvements will probably occupy us for at least the next 50 years, if not longer. Nevertheless, for all the criticisms that have been made, it is only common sense that we could not have survived, let alone prosper, these last 50 years if government institutions had not been responsive or effective.

So, what are the central challenges to nation-building going forward? Let me speak first more generally about the world, and then move specifically to Malaysia.

To my mind, there are many challenges, but one that stands out most is that of having to balance the need for change with that of continuity.

Globalisation, in particular, has unleashed sweeping economic, political, social and cultural transformations that have weakened national institutions, values and norms. It is as if all the boats on the ocean had suddenly lost their anchors, rudders and compasses overnight.

Naturally, this has produced a strong reaction in the form of a desire to preserve identity, character and tradition. These are among the strongest motivations known to mankind and have been at the foreground or background of practically every conflict that has ever been waged. Add to this, a deep sense of deprivation, powerlessness and injustice, both real and imagined, and the tension between change and continuity mounts greatly.

Managing change on a national level is never easy, and certainly not on the scale and speed that we are witnessing. Multi-ethnic countries have to be especially watchful, and particularly if they have a weak sense of national collective identity.

In the absence of a strong binding nationalism, they are prone to polarisation and competition along ethno-religious lines. The state, which may well start out by being a relatively honest broker, can become increasingly pressured to act in ways that favour the interests of one group over another.

If the pendulum swings too far in one direction, dissatisfaction and frustrations will inevitably result. These can be expressed in ways that range from passive non-cooperation to active opposition and even violent conflict. To a large extent, this has led to the fragmentation of states.

Countries need to recognise the larger macro forces at work and understand their implications. They have to engage creatively to ensure that there are sufficient investments in social capital and cohesion. They must create and capitalise on cooperative systems within societies.

In recent times, it has become usual to try and place the blame for the disintegrating state of world affairs on the doorstep of religion. This is a misunderstanding of the first order. Religion is not the cause of societal dystrophy; it is the antidote. It is a social stabiliser that allows believers to reconnect to values that are fast being lost in today’s ever more materialistic and self-centred world.

What does Malaysia have to do to ensure that it continues to be successful at nation-building? Psychologists say that our short-term memory can only hold seven items. Let me outline seven guidelines that I think will have to be borne in mind in future nation-building efforts.

First, Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun. Only when each citizen believes that he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.

In Malaysia, the Federal Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulate the rights, hopes and aspirations of the population in a way that no other documents do. The integrity of these documents must be defended and promoted, especially the first.

Second, when we seek solutions to problems in nation-building, we must be careful not to assume away problems. Nation- building is required precisely because there are stark differences within society. If we all walked, talked and thought the same, it would probably not be needed.

There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others. They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant. The existence of these groups, however, does not mean that nation-building is a futile exercise.

It does mean that we must be prepared to negotiate our way through and around these differences. We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them.

Third, nation-building requires accommodation and compromise. In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical. We should not allow perfection to be the enemy of the good. Yes, we should seek the best solutions and expect the highest standards of performance.

But we should also be prepared to sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole. The virtues of pure self-interest are largely a myth. What seems to be a reality is that individuals end up worse off when they act out of self-interest, as opposed to acting in their collective group interests.

Fourth, if nation-building is to be successful, enforced solutions must be avoided. Nation-building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. Might cannot, and must not, be shown to be right. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means.

Fifth, nation-building occurs when society is open, tolerant and forward-looking. So important are these values that they are embedded in Vision 2020’s nine strategic challenges, as are those of mature democracy, caring society and innovation. Only by being inclusive and participative can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against. They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally.

Sixth, nation-building is a process rather than an outcome. When Malaysia started off 50 years ago, there were no examples to study. There were no manuals to follow. Mistakes were made and, to a greater or lesser extent, lessons have been learned.

While a sense of impatience is perhaps fully understandable, nation-building takes place over a period of time and only with persistence. Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no cooperative network, one has to be established. Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable.

Seventh, the political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad. I know that this statement is virtually self-evident, but it is a fact that many countries are as likely to punish good behaviour as to reward it. After all, if there are benefits for corruption, then there is a real cost to being honest. The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down. The price of racial and cultural intolerance must be made prohibitively high.

I believe fostering national unity is the responsibility of every Malaysian. However, schools, institutions of higher learning and sports centres have a very special role to play. This is because the sense of national unity is best inculcated in the young.

Through textbooks, sports and interaction, educators should eliminate ethnic stereotypes. Through the imaginative teaching of the history of Islamic, Chinese and Indian civilisation, educators could foster greater understanding among different ethnic groups.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe this is true. To me, the village comprises three main institutions – family, school and community.

From birth, we should be taught to respect and honour each other’s culture and heritage. Learning to interact with others is part of this process. Playing with children of other races on the playground and in friends’ homes, we learn to go beyond the colour lines early in life. In school we should be taught about other cultures and beliefs under the same roof as others of different ethnic groups – once again cutting through the colour lines.

I am aware that there are many Malaysians who are deeply troubled at the state of national unity in this country. What I have tried to do today is disabuse you of the notion that there are any “quick fix” solutions in nation-building.

If you look closely enough at any country, even those that are regarded today as highly successful, such as Japan, you will find there have been episodes in their past where events were very tenuous.

I hope we will do our best to guard against cynicism and hopelessness. And I hope we will all stay the course. Failure, may I remind you all, is a costly option.


Related Articles:

The voice of conscience from the Crown Prince of Perak

April 5, 2007

Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak must be commended for his boldness and sincerity. He said all  Malaysians must defend and promote the integrity of the Federal Constitution.

What Raja Nazrin, the Crown Prince of Perak, has addressed in a recent forum organised by the Bar Council and Transparency International KL Chapter certainly deserved our attention. Umno leaders who subscribe to the Malay supremacy (ketuanan Melayu) concept should heed the call and abandon all race based policies for the good of all Malaysians.

the Sun today carries his speech in full. Grab a copy today. It’s FREE! (Congrats to the Sun for achieving a circulation of 275 thousand as endorsed by ABC)

Raja Nazrin: M’sians must defend, promote integrity of Constitution

 

Cindy Tham
The Sun

All Malaysians must defend and promote the integrity of the Federal Constitution, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said today.

The Raja Muda listed this as one of seven things Malaysia has to do to ensure it continues to be successful at nation building.

“All Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, have a place in this nation, and society must recognise that they share a common home and responsibility to build the nation together.

“Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun.

“Only when each citizen believes he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.”

He said the Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulated the rights, hopes and aspirations of the people.

He stressed that the integrity of these documents, especially the Constitution, must be defended and promoted.

Raja Nazrin said these in his keynote address at the Young Malaysians’ Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia: Prospects and Challenges for Nation Building.

The discussion was organised by the Bar Council’s National Young Lawyers Committee and Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute’s Centre for Public Policy Studies.

Eleven panellists shared their views at the discussion, attended by some 150 participants from the legal fraternity, non-governmental organisations, government departments and the public.

The other six guidelines for successful nation-building are:

* In seeking solutions to problems in nation building, don’t assume away problems.

“Nation-building is required precisely because there are stark differences within society. There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others. They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant.”

He pointed out that the existence of such groups meant that society must be prepared to “negotiate our way through and around these differences”.

“We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them.”

* Nation-building requires accommodation and compromise.

“In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical.”

Nazrin said to seek the best solutions, society should be prepared to “sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole”.

* Avoid enforced solutions.

“Nation building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. ‘Might’ cannot and must not be shown to be ‘right’. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means.”

* Be open, tolerant and forward-looking

“Only by being inclusive and participative can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against. They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally.”

* Nation building is a process, not an outcome

It takes time and persistence to build a nation. “Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no cooperative network, one has to be established. Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable.”

* Political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad.

“The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down. The price of racial and cultural intolerance must be made prohibitively high.”

Po Kuan : Do away with bumi and non-bumi

April 2, 2007
Kudos to Fong Po Kuan! In today’s Parliamentary session, she has rightly called for the abandonment of race-based policies and do away with the division of bumi and non-bumi. But frankly, that can only happens if we could throw away the present Umno-led Barisan Nasional Government because they were the real culprits of racial politics.The young MP from Batu Gajah also said that the so-called Islam Hadhari concept was not functioning.  I totally agreed with Po Kuan because draconian acts like ISA (imprisonment without trial) has no place in Islam. AAB, what have you got to say?Malaysiakini has the report…

MP: End racial divisions

Bede Hong
Apr 2, 07 5:08pm
An opposition parliamentarian told the Dewan Rakyat today that a divisive line still runs between the major races in the country and called for the abandonment of race-based policies.This was greeted by jeers from her Barisan Nasional (BN) counterparts.Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) said the government’s Islam Hadhari or civilisational Islam concept was not functioning. To illustrate her point, she cited cases of wastage in government expenditure.

“Why are we still divided into bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras?” she asked when debating the motion of thanks on the royal address.

“Although our ancestors came here hundreds of years ago, we are still categorised differently from bumiputeras,” she said.

She said students are given different examinations despite coming from the same school.

“The non-bumiputeras have to take the STPM (examination) while bumiputeras are able to take matriculation. This (divisiveness) has gone into education,” she added.

Fong noted that although race-based policies were meant to eradicate poverty, this has threatened national unity.

She said government projects were only tendered to bumiputera contractors.

“These are just a few examples … The colonialists practiced a policy of divide and rule … how different really are the policies today? We are all anak (children of) Malaysia. We can march forward together, but the government must stop race-based politics.

“There is just too much politics nowadays. Everything is being politicised to the point where it has slowed progress,” she added.

Handphones and nasi bungkus

Fong then proceeded to criticise BN MPs for ‘wasting’ taxpayers’ money.

“Parliamentary briefings by ministries are now conducted in five star hotels, where each table is charged RM1,000. They (the MPs) get mobile phones,” she said, drawing jeers.

“Why is this waste going on? It’s not that we are jealous. We ( the opposition) don’t mind if we eat nasi bungkus.

“This is a waste of money. We can hold the briefings in Parliament. Where is Islam Hadhari?” she added.

She also criticised the giving out of gold jalur gemilang pins to BN Mps.

“This is an example of wastage. The money could have been spent on schools in Sarawak … or in Kinabatangan (Sabah) where there is no electricity,” she pointed out.

Fong also lamented that non-bumiputeras are perceived to be constantly questioning the status of Islam in this country.

“I have the utmost respect for Islam. It’s status is protected by the Federal Constitution. My argument is to practice the slogans that you preach,” she added.

Later, Mohamad Aziz (Sri Gading – BN) attacked the opposition MP.

“Why does DAP always waste time raising such trivial matters. Can’t they see that the government has done much for the people,” he said.

“Let DAP mull over their complaints if they can form a government,” he added.

Malaysian First: Congrats to Koo and Tan!

March 12, 2007

Badminton/All England Championships: Carve their names with pride

12 Mar 2007
K.M. Boopathy


KOO Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong yet again demonstrated why they are the world’s most exciting young pair when they beat China’s world champions Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun to end Malaysia’s 25-year wait for an All England men’s doubles title at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham yesterday.

And the Malaysia pair did it in dazzling style winning 21-15, 21-18 in a gripping 39 minutes.

“It was such an important title for us. It is definitely our first major victory and more meaningful than the Asian Games gold,” said a delighted Kien Keat.

“It has been 25 years since the previous victory and we are proud of the feat.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called Khoo Kien Keat immediately after the match to offer his congratulations to the pair.

The pair’s staggering success rate now stands at three titles in five tournaments since Kien Keat, 22, and Boon Heong, 20, competed in the Japan Open last October.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong announced their arrival on the world stage when they ended Malaysia’s 36-year-wait for an Asian Games badminton gold in Doha last December.

National men’s doubles coach Rexy Mainaky, after the painful episode of seeing last year’s All England title snatched by Denmark’s Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen despite having three pairs in the semi-finals, had badly wanted his players win it this year.

And this they did.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong rose to the occasion to deny Haifeng-Cai Yun their second crown after having won the title in 2005.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong started cautiously but once they settled in, there was no stopping the Malaysians with Kien Keat dominant at the baseline, while Boon Heong’s superb netplay earned vital points.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong wrapped up the first game 21-15 but, as is always the case, they started getting fancy with their strokes which nearly cost them the second game.

However, realising that fancy play was not helping them, they reverted to their attacking game and put the pressure on the World No 1 pair who started losing their grip. Kien Keat, after securing match point at 20-18, could not help himself and did a quick jig which signalled the Malaysians pairs’ confidence which they displayed by winning the vital point, the game and the title just minutes later, much to the relief of the Malaysian bench and supporters.

“Our strategy was to play fast as Haifeng-Cai Yun are quicker on court and we needed to outdo them in this area,” said Kien Keat.

“I didn’t feel the pressure playing the final but I am feeling it now as I must shave my head bald. That was the bet I took with my teammates if I win but I don’t know if I will do or not.”

“Boon Heong played well today (yesterday) and our hope is that we can continue playing like this and win more major titles.”

Rexy, who turned 39 on Friday, said that the victory is not just because of his their abilities but also the duo’s discipline and their humbleness despite their new found fame.

“Firstly, I would like to thank god for helping Kien Keat-Boon Heong achieve this feat. My commitment was to make them realise that arrogance is not the way of champions but being humble,” said Rexy.

“God has answered our prayers and we now have two players who are not just good but also learning fast how to cope with fame without being cocky.

“I’m really happy that I received this belated birthday present and the win was not a fluke.”

Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman also conveyed her congratulations to the top young pair and hopes their victory will rub off on other Malaysian athletes.

“It’s good that this young pair is coming up as Malaysian sport before this was all about Nicol David and the bowlers,” said Azalina.

“Their goal now should be the Olympic gold medal next year in China.”

In the men’s singles played earlier, China’s World No 1 Lin Dan beat compatriot Chen Yu 21-13, 21-12 in 32 minutes to seal his third straight All England singles title.

Results — (All finals) Men’s singles: Lin Dan (Chn) bt Chen Yu (Chn) 21-13, 21-12.

Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) bt Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun (Chn) 21-15, 21-18.

Women’s singles: Xie Xingfang (Chn) bt Pi Hongyan (Fra) 21-6, 21-13.

Doubles: Wei Yili-Zhang Yawen (Chn) bt Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn) 21-16, 8-21, 24-22.

Mixed doubles: Zheng Bo-Gao Ling (Chn) bt Anthony Clark-Donna Kellogg (Eng) 16-21, 21-18, 21-14.