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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Malaysia needs a 'make over' for a complete new set of leaders

Every year 31st August we see hypocrites celebrate and shout Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka and pleading with Malaysians to raise the national flag. On that day everything done and talked about are referred as united Malaysians or Malaysia and lately with 1Malaysia. What do all these mean? What happened to the remaining 364 days?

Can our present leaders speak on the same 'language' tone to all rakyat. By 'language' I mean defining everything as Malaysians and not different 'language' tone to different community. No, they can't, it would be political suicide. If that is the case, how then are we to move forward as Malaysians to become a developed nation by 2020?

We are still so divided by race and religion and yet our leaders are so proud to preach to the whole world of how Malaysia managed a multi racial society.

Malaysia needs a make over for a complete new set of leaders, irrespective of which party they are from. We can no longer afford to have leaders that are racist, corrupt, protectionist and self indulgence.

Malaysians must start to talk, walk, eat and sleep like a true Malaysian. We must not be agitated each time we talk about religion or race. We must come to term that respect for each other as Malaysian and not by race and religion are the only way to a united and peaceful nation.

I have said it before and so have others that once a party are elected to govern they must settled in to serve and perform their duties as government officials and not as party leaders.

We cannot have a PM and Ministers who only love all Malaysians and make all sorts of promises when elections are around the corner. What we need is a true blood Malaysian PM that cares for all, transparent in all dealings and decisive and firm in decision making without fear or favor.

It is now up to the younger generation to make the right decision to elect a government that they are comfortable with.

It is my hope that one day we can really see each other as Malaysians, not by race or religion and for this to happen, we need to elect in a true 'Malaysian First' leaders.

This post is a tribute to the following groups for their sacrifice and hard work to bring awareness to the general public of how good governance should be basing on democratic system, Federal Constitution, Freedom and Rights:



My Constitution


Generation 709

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What has happened to our rule of law?

By P Ramakrishnan
President Aliran

While we are somewhat relieved that the Barisan government had decided to drop the charges against the 30 PSM members, the issues surrounding their case have not been resolved.

We must not forget the larger issues involved in the case simply because the government had decided to get out of a messy situation for its own good.

The BN government created this untenable position which cannot be sustained by logic and facts. As a cover-up for its high-handedness, it is posturing itself as a generous institution that is capable of being considerate. The fact is it is trying to extricate itself from this unjustified and cruel action against these helpless people who only meant well.

It is unthinkable that people will be deluded by this gesture of the police. Malaysians are no more gullible or naïve to be easily fooled by such tokenism. The reprehensible conduct of the police cannot be condoned.

These 30 PSM members are innocent and not guilty of any offence by any stretch of the imagination under any Malaysian law. That was the reason why the police tried desperately to incriminate them by all sorts of ridiculous accusations:

*They were accused of carrying weapons in their buses on 25 June 2011.

*They were accused of possessing subversive material.

*They were accused of waging war against the Agong.

*They were accused of being a national threat.

The police invoked Section 122 of the Penal Code, Section 48 and Section 43 of the Societies Act, Section 29 (1) of the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance to build up a case that these are indeed dangerous criminals. The police threw everything available at them in an attempt to crush them and frighten other Malaysians in an attempt to prevent them from joining the Bersih 2.0 Walk for Democracy.

They were incarcerated unjustly under intolerable conditions. On 4 July – after nine days of imprisonment – 24 of them were charged in court while the rest of the six were charged in court on 3 August after having been held for 28 days in solitary confinement. The court imposed bail of RM8000 each, which meant they had to scramble desperately to raise RM240000 to seek their freedom – almost a quarter of a million ringgit! How could these poor people raise such a huge sum to post bail?

All this, however, failed to break the spirit of these 30 stalwarts; it failed to discourage outraged Malaysians from marching for democracy on 9 July 2011. If anything it only spurred Malaysians to discard their fear and stand up for their rights.

But the worrying thing about the whole episode involving these 30 Malaysians is the conduct of the police force. We are perturbed that the police can detain anyone under baseless charges with impunity. It looks that they can accuse anyone for whatever reason without a shred of evidence to back up their claim and detain them.

How could they accuse them of waging a war against the King, which is a serious criminal offence – Section 122 allows for 20 years or even life imprisonment – without an iota of incriminating evidence. This is clearly an abuse of their authority.

How could they accuse them of carrying weapons in their bus when no weapon was found in the bus?

How could they accuse them of possessing subversive material when this was not established?

How could they accuse them of being a national threat without proving the existence of such a threat?

Who cooked up these stories? Surely someone must be answerable. Who will be held accountable for this sordid affair? Shouldn’t the Inspector-General of Police who is the head of the police force be held accountable for this? Shouldn’t the Minister of Home Affairs be taken to task for this break-down in the rule of law?

Why didn’t the judge who is responsible for granting the remand order demand proof before granting such an order? Aren’t the fundamental rights and freedoms of a person his concern? Isn’t he the person who ensures that justice must be upheld and every person under the law is entitled to the protection of the law? Why did he fail miserably in his duty to uphold the constitution?

The rule of law should not become a myth in our country. The police must not be a law unto themselves. The rule of law must prevail at all times.

To prevent similar incidences from occurring in future we need to go deep into this episode and ferret out those who were callous in accusing innocent Malaysians without just cause. We need a Royal Commission of Inquiry to examine how and why the detention of the 30 PSM members took place. We need to know what gives the police the authority to behave in the manner they have without being accountable for their action. We need to establish the fact that there is such a thing as Rule of Law in this country.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Undilah video taken off-air over Ku Li speech, opposition figures

Surprise, surprise, that a 'COOL" man can be frighten of a video. Watch it now before it is taken down from YouTube.

By Jahabar Sadiq | TMI

A video promoting the right to vote has been taken off the air by local broadcasters despite a push for greater democracy because it contains opposition figures and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s speech talking about Malaysia having problems.

The Malaysian Insider learnt that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) directed local broadcasters this week not to use the public service announcement (PSA) produced by musician Pete Teo just days after its launch on September 16.

“MCMC emailed both Astro and Media Prima Bhd about the issue, telling them the video clip should not be aired because Ku Li speaks about the country having problems and also because it features opposition leaders,” an industry source told The Malaysian Insider, referring to Tengku Razaleigh by his popular nickname.

“Only NTV7 used it but the MCMC email was sent to both organisations which control the majority of television channels in the country,” the source added.

A government source confirmed that MCMC sent the email to Media Prima, which is linked to Umno and owns the NTV7 channel, and Astro, the direct broadcast satellite pay-television service.

“The email about the PSA was sent this week,” the source said, adding he was puzzled about the directive as it referred to Tengku Razaleigh, who happens to be the Gua Musang MP for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

The MCMC is an independent regulator but it reports to Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim, who was incidentally the Kelantan prince’s comrade in Semangat 46 before the party was dissolved for the politicians to join Umno Baru, the successor party to the original Umno that was declared illegal in 1988.

Apart from Tengku Razaleigh, the 4.38-minute video also features Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin and opposition figures Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

Teo, who produced the independent video as a voluntary project, said the alleged directive was “disturbing” as it went against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s latest announcement to loosen media control and strengthen civil liberties in the country.

Najib had announced on September 15, the eve of Malaysia Day, that his administration would repeal several security laws including the Internal Security Act (ISA) and review media laws to bring about more democracy in the country.

Teo said Tengku Razaleigh’s comments that Malaysia has problems, such as rising cost of living, brain drain, corruption, worsening ethnic relations, declining economic competitiveness, et cetera, was “a commonly acknowledged fact even within the government, let alone among the rakyat”.

“Any objection to the mentioning of ‘problems’ not only flies in the face of reality, it also implicitly denies the need for reform, including those initiated by the PM.

“I think it’d be more constructive if people in authority would help seek solutions to these commonly-known problems rather than try to limit the viewership of our PSA video for mentioning them,” Teo told The Malaysian Insider.

He also responded to the “apparent objection” to the equal representation to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) figures as well as their BN counterparts by saying that “the rakyat’s interest is best served by being offered a choice between competing parties at the ballot box”.

“I believe our unbiased representation of both the government and the opposition honours this crucial idea. Thus, a move to put pressure on broadcasters not to play our non-partisan public service video because it contains opposition figures is fundamentally undemocratic in intention.

“Further, it also goes against the PM’s recent announcement to loosen media control and strengthen civil liberties in the country. For this to happen so soon after the PM’s historic announcement is very disturbing,” he added.

Teo disclosed that the video clip at has seen just under 300,000 views on the video-sharing site YouTube for all four language subtitled versions since the launch last Friday.

“I am very pleased to have done this sort of numbers despite the difficult release conditions. Anyway, the plan was to massively increase (on-site, broadcast and print) publicity in the coming week so we can get more people to see it, but I guess that might be more complicated now.” he said.

Teo confirmed that NTV7 ran the video clip for the first three days of the release and a special interview with those involved, rapper Namewee, actor Afdlin Shauki, director Benji Lim and himself.

“To date, no other broadcaster has committed to broadcasting it, although one has expressed interest. Am not sure if the interest still holds,” said the musician behind the successful 15Malaysia project that featured short films last year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Cool' on the outside but 'Cold' on the inside? YOU decide!

Let the game of deceit begins.

Many must have read or heard of this English idiom (wiki): "Don't judge a book by its cover" which means

"you shouldn't prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone".

Each time when a general election is approaching, you can see the talks and actions of the Prime Minister and Ministers to be ABNORMAL. Suddenly they become generous, willing to listen to the rakyat, on the spot project allocations, giving out millions and goodies like Santa Claus is in town even if it is summer time. Promises after promises of policies that they claimed will benefit the rakyat were highlighted daily on the MSM and Television.

Besides giving out on one hand the other hand is playing the fear factor mind game. May 13 was their favorite couple with race and religion being used decisively.

They continue to win election after election for the past 50 years using this same game of deceit over again and again but 308 (12GE) put a partial stop to it.

If you are over 40 years old or have voted at least twice, you can see through all these game of deceits (where most promises are simply forgotten after they won the GE) but for some they are still blind and deaf and will continue to be gullible.

The ruling government under the leadership of Najib (whom many have seen is not crafted to be a PM), knows that by using the same old game alone is no longer effective and needs to add new dimension and taste to lure the younger generation.

The present PM is very good at playing the "good cop bad cop" game. He allows his controlled MSM and allied NGOs to play the racial division and religious game while he globe trotting to promote himself as the good cop. However, for over two years all his overseas statements do not synchronized with his actions back home.

He has blundered and flip flopping on too many occasions and the rakyat are getting impatient with him. His ability to run this country is put into question. Millions that were spent on APCO did not help him at all instead he is tumbling down the ladder. He knows he has to do something fast or else his employment with the rakyat will be terminated at the 13th GE.

But, instead of sorting out all the nation's problems he put in more money to try and lift up his image. His new PR team thought that by projecting him as a 'cool' PM will save him. But as a rakyat what I want from the PM is for him to correct all the wrongs that his predecessors and himself have created and not try to be a 'cool' guy.

What's the point of being 'cool' when you can't do your job as a PM? Throwing goodies, abolishing a few already obsolete draconian laws and trying to be nice once in 5 years are not what the rakyat wanted. We do not need a 'cool' PM but a firm PM with integrity and knows how to do his job as a leader of this nation.

Malaysians must not be mistaken 'cool' to be a good sign of a capable leader and shouldn't prejudge the worth or value of the PM, by his 'cool' outward appearance alone.

My tweets on "cool' PM:

Do U want a performing PM that does his job 2 the satisfaction of the rakyat or just a good image PM wasting mil on PR
18 hours ago

A good performing leader whom rakyat can see need no mask & wasting millions 2 improve one's image @NajibRazak @cmlimguaneng @abdulhadiawang
18 hours ago

PM @NajibRazak job is 2 serve nation &the rakyat & not spend time & public funds 2 improve his image. Padding own Image is 4 loser only
18 hours ago

How can a PM remains 'cool' when Malaysians were educated 2b morons to protest & wanted Nasi Lemak 2.0 banned #blairteam
20 hours ago

How can a PM remains 'cool' when his 1Malaysia is in tatter #blairteam
20 hours ago

How can a PM remains 'cool' when our economy is failing, consumer price shooting sky high
20 hours ago

The only thing 'cool' of Najib is claiming credit for abolishing of the ISA #blairteam
20 hours ago

The only thing 'cool' about Najib is when he is a copycat of #bukujingga #blairteam
20 hours ago

How can a PM remains 'cool' when rampant corruptions are still ongoing #blairteam
20 hours ago

How can a PM remains 'cool' when justice are not seen to be served #blairteam
20 hours ago

How can a PM remains 'cool' when utusan, perkasa & certain NGOs are inciting racial & religious intolerance through the msm.
21 hours ago

If Najib wanted 2trend with 'cool' he should step down as PM,join Namewee &other youngsters that r crying out 4 equality&fairness #blairteam
22 hours ago

Monday, September 19, 2011

Human Rights and Transparency in Malaysia

by Lim Guan Eng (Chief Minister Of Penang)
Speech at Monash Asia Institute in Melbourne
19th September 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for inviting me to speak at the Monash Asia Institute, an important research center at my alma mater. I would like to especially thank Professor Greg Barton and my dear friend Dr Wendy Smith as well as send my thanks to the Monash University’s leadership. As you know, Monash University has a sister campus in Kuala Lumpur and although it is sadly not in my state, the university plays an important role in educating future leaders of our country.

As a Malaysian, I am very grateful for this collaboration and hope we can strengthen ties between Monash and Malaysia further. On a personal level, as many of your know I received my economics and accounting degree here and was quite active in student politics. I was never an outstanding student but what little I gleaned has helped me to formulate new economic and industrial policies in Penang that is now acknowledged as the best run state in Malaysia with strong growth, record budget surpluses and record FDIs coupled with a labour shortage.

In short, Monash helped me to evolve as a leader and politician and this university will always have a special place in my heart for which I am eternally grateful. Not only did I learn the importance of studying and working hard, but the need to forge relationships and centrality of principles. I am sure Monash will train future Malaysian leaders and I look forward to many of you helping to chart our future and being the change you want to see.

It is these principles that I would like to speak of today in my speech entitled Human Rights and Transparency in Malaysia. The timing and location of this topic is quite fortuitous, given Prime Minister’s announcement late last week to review the Internal Security Act (known as the ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO), as well as other laws that violated the principle of due process. These draconian measures have long been issues we in the opposition have raised and are only a handful of many laws that violate basic human rights standards. The discussion of human rights also comes at a time where Malaysia’s human rights record has been considered by no less than Australia’s High Court with regard to the issue of asylum, as legitimate concerns have been raised about the condition of facilities and treatment of individuals in line with international standards for the treatment of refugees. In my view the Court made the right decision, and hope that careful thought will be given to reevaluate this initiative and further steps will be taken in Malaysia to improve the conditions in detention facilities.

I would like to draw attention, however, to specific challenges facing Malaysian citizens in the area of human rights and transparency. These issues have been at the core of my political party, the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and central to the multi-ethnic opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat. I will describe the four arenas where problems have persisted, and lay out the steps that I as Chief Minister of the state government of Penang and a leader in Pakatan Rakyat have taken to address them. As Chief Minister there have been limits to what can be accomplished at the state level and the role we can play as the opposition at the national level. What is important to appreciate, however, is the fact that in winning over one-third in parliament, breaking the dominant party United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and its partners in the National Front’s hold of two-thirds of the seats, we are serving as a major check on abuses in the system. They no longer have a walkover on legislation and as a result the debate on issues and public accountability has improved. We hope to build on our record of strengthening representation and good governance in the next general elections, and deepening democracy in Malaysia.

Activist Malaysia

Ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by highlighting the major problems we face in human rights and over transparency in Malaysia. Before I do so, however, I would like to stress that the direction on human rights in Malaysia has been a positive one, especially since March 2008. While we in Pakatan Rakyat and in the DAP would like to take some credit for this, and we collectively should be acknowledged for placing these issues on the agenda, raising these issues in parliament, and been willing to stand for our principles despite personal costs, most of the credit of the new climate on human rights rests with ordinary Malaysians. I cannot emphasize enough the profound transformation that has taken root in Malaysia. The brave determination of ordinary citizens in the July Bersih 2.0 rally is the most obvious example. The anti-ISA measure is another. This activism and principled political engagement that represents the true spirit of Malaysia, often obscured by the reports of simplistic and hurtful racial diatribes and character assassinations, has become the core of a drive for change, a drive for a better Malaysia where every Malaysia – no matter where they were born or their heritage – can play their part. As we evolve in our political transformation, in our fight for a better Malaysia, we as leaders and Malaysian citizens are anchored in our faith and respect for our fellow countrymen and the spirit of activism that is rooted in principles and our common future. I continue to be humbled by this true Malaysian spirit of hope and stand tall knowing that what we do in Pakatan Rakyat and in government in Penang is for all of the Malaysian people.

However a note of caution, whether the Malaysian BN government is undertaking a cosmetic electoral exercise to rebrand the ISA in another form, especially when the ISA will not be repealed in the coming parliamentary sitting this year, but the next. Is the Malaysian government merely pouring old wine in new bottles? There is public concern at the announcement that the ISA will be replaced not by one but two preventive security laws. Will there now be two ISAs instead of one?

First Generation Rights

Ladies and gentlemen, let me move to the first arena of concern for human rights in Malaysia, namely civil liberties. Touted as the first generation of rights associated with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concerns from due process and free speech extend to religious freedom and the right of assembly. Najib Tun Razak’s speech last week on the ISA and EO dealt with some of the long-standing concerns about the use of arrest for political purposes and unfair implementation of the rule of law. I would like to draw attention to four other rights that continue to need protection. Foremost has been the right of free speech. More often than not, comments that are critical are deemed “seditious”. We have yet to have a political climate that allows criticism, with many an issue including most recently the discussion of history, deemed as “sensitive”.

The question of the application of the laws for political purposes has long haunted Malaysia. This was showcased internationally in the first political trial against Anwar Ibrahim in 1999 and continues today in the 2011 proceedings that have failed to follow basic legal standards in the handling of evidence, recusal of judges and more. I would like to thank the Australian parliamentarians who have stood on principles on this issue, calling a spade a spade, recognizing a political trial for what it is.

In the past few months attention has centered on freedom of assembly in Malaysia, in a record level of over 2000 arrests before and during the July 2.0 rally that featured tear gas and water cannons. People were arrested for wearing the color yellow in what was clearly an over the top reaction. The calls at the rally were simple. Allow me to share:

“As the coals that molest us rage higher
we shout still the message of Merdeka (independence)
for democracy as bright as the sun
as pure as dignity our purpose is one.

Deep is our worry – as democracy’s wounds
long is our sadness – as democracy’s woes
at arrogant democracy we scorn
for a strong free voice we dream”

Unggun Bersih
A Samad Said

Semakin lara kita didera bara -
kita laungkan juga pesan merdeka:
Demokrasi sebenderang mentari
sehasrat hajat semurni harga diri.

Lama resah kita – demokrasi luka;
lama duka kita – demokrasi lara.
Demokrasi yang angkuh, kita cemuhi;
suara bebas yang utuh, kita idami!

Dua abad lalu Sam Adams berseru:
(di Boston dijirus teh ke laut biru):
Tak diperlu gempita sorak yang gebu,
diperlu hanya unggun api yang syahdu.

Kini menyalalah unggun sakti itu;
kini merebaklah nyala unggun itu.

June 2011

These are the first two stanza of Malaysia’s poet Laureate Samad Said’s “Bersih Fire” who was arrested for this “seditious poem” in his call to come out and rally for electoral reform and clean government .

The rally highlighted yet another human rights problem in Malaysia, free and fair elections. While elections in Malaysia are largely fair, they are not free. Bersih 2.0’s demands in areas such as indelible ink and clean politics bring attention to the need for greater accountability in elections and checks on abuses of the system. In Penang in the past few months we are worried about the new voters that have mysteriously been added to the electoral roll. The issue of electoral reform is crucial in that it is about the right of people to control their own destiny, the right of Malaysians to make their own political choices and the system to respect those choices. Integrity in the electoral process is essential. We are engaging the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform, but worry deeply about the implementation of reforms, namely the independence of the electoral commission and checks on the system. The reforms cannot tinker with the system, they must address the heart of the problems by building in professionalism and autonomy in the administration of elections, while simultaneously allowing observers of polls and proper avenues for disputes. Malaysians deserve a fair system, in which every vote is respected and counted.

Ladies and gentlemen, the most difficult issue that has opened wounds in Malaysia in the last few years has been religious freedom. This issue has opened wounds and touched the hearts of communities. We have seen churches bombed, protestors feel the need to defend their religion, and intractable cases reach our highest courts as part of an intense constitutional debate on the role of religion. Time does not allow me to delve fully into the complexities of this emotive issue, but at the core are real differences on the role of religion in political life, different perceptions of the ability to practice religion and often sadly mischaracterizations of different religions and communities. We in Malaysia are all Malaysians no matter what faith we practice. We are brothers and sisters in our national community. We in Pakatan Rakyat remain committed to accepting difference and importantly instilling the values in governance that are central to all religions – tolerance, decency and humanity. Many have asked us in the Democratic Action Party – often mistakenly labeled as a Chinese majority party – how we can work with the country’s Islamic party, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia or PAS. What few really appreciate is that the values and principles of good governance cut across religions. We have shared goals – clean government and justice – and share a similar deep-seated commitment to a better fairer Malaysia for all. While we do acknowledge some differences, it is important to embrace difference and engage in respectful dialogue. Through the recognition of difference we appreciate the strength of Malaysia, its rich diversity.

Second Generation Rights

While most of the press on human rights focuses on these hot button issues, there is another important arena for contemporary human rights; that is the second generation of human rights, economic, social and cultural rights. These were laid out in the 1968 UN Covenant. Historically, Malaysia has had a good record on reducing poverty. From 1970 to 2010, according to the World Bank Monitor report on Inclusive Growth released last year and based on government data, poverty levels have dropped to 4% from an estimated 50 in 1970. Yet, what is worrying is that this poverty in concentrated in East Malaysia, with 42% of it in Sabah alone. Fortunately, Penang has relatively low levels of poverty. We are working to address even these pockets, however.

The most worrying trend that stands out is economic inequality. After the 1997 financial crisis the gap between the rich and poor has widened, with the trend widening further. The World Bank 2010 report pointed out that “40 percent of households only make 14.3% of total income, and the top 20 percent of households control 50% of total income.” This gap is a real challenge, as economic growth is lacking the same distributive quality that Malaysia had in the past. What is important to realize that unlike the past where wealth and poverty was tied to specific ethnic communities, the divides within ethnic communities, within Malays, Chinese, Indians, Iban, Kadazans and more, are sharp and wider than between the different communities. Regional disparities in wealth, with some parts of the country facing more inequality, especially East Malaysia, are now even more pronounced. In the past there was

a sharp rural urban divide. Now we find people relatively poorer in the urban cities, and in the more remote long houses. Certain groups face steeper challenges, be it the elderly or single-headed households, usually headed by single mothers.

I often ask when will we reach a stage when we will understand that as a nation we need to work together, that we are a family, a family of all Malaysians. When will we understand that in order to move forward we need to embrace the future rather than be tied down to a forty year old policy that is holding us back? Moving forward requires bold leadership and principled leadership. As Chief Minister in Penang, I struggle with assuring all communities that the important principles of the past – inclusion and the need to address inequality – will continue to resonate and need a new approach to be effective. When we think of human rights in Malaysia we need to be cognizant of discrimination and simultaneously appreciate the need for new initiatives to bring about more equality and opportunity.

This issue of opportunity has been the cornerstone of my approach to govern Penang. Opportunity is also connected to the problem of inequality. One has to ask what are the reasons that the system of governance in Malaysia is not equal? The answer is starkly there – corruption. Malaysia continues to be ranked poorly by markers of corruption. Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index or CPI has shown a decline in Malaysia’s standing since 2007, as it has fallen from 43rd in the world to 56th, from 5.1 to 4.4, where lower scores showcase worse performance. Penang has bucked this trend, with our absolute no tolerance of any practices of corruption. This has shown in our steady investment levels that have topped investment in the country for multiple years. The sad fact is that there is too much leakage in the system, and the cronies that are feeding off the contract coffers are sucking Malaysia dry; they are stealing the opportunities for others who in a more competitive and transparent system would create a more advantageous environment for growth and genuine social equality.

Third Generation Rights

Ladies and gentlemen, concerns with inequality and opportunity will continue to define the Malaysian political landscape. This is one of the greatest challenges leaders in the country face in a highly divisive polity. As leaders in Malaysia we grapple with how to bring about a fairer system that will both address the problems and move us toward a better future.

I would be remiss however if I did not highlight the third generation of human rights, namely the concerns with specific communities. The different agreements from the 1970s onwards have highlighted the conditions for children, women and most recently migrant labor. Malaysia has been especially been criticized for our treatment of domestic workers, some of which has spilled over to concerns about detention centers and refugee policy which Australians have learned about in recent debates over asylum. Human trafficking is a problem in Malaysia as we are a transshipment point. I would, however, like to give Najib Tun Razak’s government some credit here in working to tighten legislation and offer more protection of victims, although much more needs to be done.

It is in this spirit of positive successes that I would like to highlight the story of Malaysian women. The adage runs, behind every man there is a great women. It is true. I would like to recognize my dear wife Betty, whose support has been instrumental in my efforts to bring about a better Malaysia. Malaysia’s success as a country has very much been the product of its women. Over the last few years, nearly half of Malaysian women, 46 percent, participate in the formal work force. They make up the majority of university graduates. They also serve as the main caregivers and take care of our children. Their contributions have been invaluable to Malaysia. Despite these contributions, across the board, women make lower wages, from clerical workers to senior managers. A new report by Penangite scholar Cecelia Ng shows that the wage differentials are higher at higher levels, with men making approximately a third more than women at higher levels.

The political gains for Malaysian women are more promising, with Malaysian women comprising 28.8 percent if Senate, Parliament and State assemblies. The majority of these women are in Pakatan Rakyat and the DAP has benefitted tremendously by fielding women candidates. The greater participation of women has enhanced our political representation and deepened our engagement, making this success a win not only for our legislative bodies, but also policy and governance. We believe that the steps forward are making progress in other areas such as domestic violence and health. Malaysia has become one of the leading countries in Asia for political representation, tied closely to the expanding role of Pakatan Rakyat.

The fourth arena where critical changes have to be made is transparency. This practice in international circles has been tied to basic elements of good governance. The link between transparency and corruption is serious, as the failure to allow for open information and access to government undercuts the economy and basic right of the public who pay taxes and make national sacrifices. Malaysians deserve the right to review how their money is being spent. They also should have the opportunity to bid in an open tender system. Too much continues to happen behind closed doors, without proper checks on abuse and accountability.

Penang’s Record

With the March 2008 election, we have moved from the opposition into government. We are now in control of four state governments, two of which Selangor and my state Penang comprise 50 percent of the economy in Malaysia. From the onset in Penang, I have remained committed to improving human rights across the board. Allow me to highlight some of the modest successes we have had at the state level, as we have served as a role model within Malaysia.

We began our government with the core principles “Competency, Accountability and Transparency” or CAT. The main area where we have been able to bring about changes involves the allocation of state funding. Our open bidding process has saved millions and attracted record levels of investment. This core has served to rebuild Penang’s reputation in the international community. By standing firm on no corruption we have made a difference for all Penangites.

In the arena of civil liberties, we opened a speaker’s corner and have been extremely tolerant of protests, who often come directly outside of our offices. With the only Speaker’s Corner in Malaysia we have proven that Penang enjoys not just freedom of speech but also freedom after speech, ensuring no one will be penalized for their criticisms of either PR or BN. No other state government has had to face the same level of open protest. While in some cases many of these protests are politically motivated and provoked, we do listen to concerns and importantly allow the grievances to be raised.

Along with our Pakatan Rakyat partners we have called for local elections, and stated that we believe in the need for more accountability in local government. We are working to make sure that the electoral process in Penang is fair and the votes of Penangites are properly accounted for.

We have introduced a freedom of Information bill into the state assembly and hope that we can overstep the legal obstacles for its passage and implementation.

With regard to religious rights we have distributed record amounts of funding to religious schools, especially Muslim schools, as a recognition of the important role that these schools play in Malaysia. We work to protect religious institutions. Penang features one of the most diverse and richest range of religious institutions, where people of different faiths practice alongside of each other in harmony.

On poverty we are engaging in a series of studies to assess poverty and inequality in Penang to enhance the targeting of assistance and opportunity creation. We are widening our microfinance schemes, especially for single headed households. Our social safety net programs at the state level have increased assistance to the elderly in the Warga Emas or Senior Citizens Appreciation program. We have increased funding to support students who enter public university and recently introduced a baby bonus scheme to help new parents. Our social safety net policies are modest, but targeted toward individuals in need and at critical points when families face increased costs. Targeted policies in the areas of the birth rate and education are steps at the state level that provide short term support but simultaneously have long term goals for the overall prosperity of Penang. After all, education and wellbeing underscore Malaysia’s future.

In building opportunity we have centered in on small and medium enterprises or SMEs as the backbone of our economy. We have adopted a three prong approach of an free advisory service that provides guidance and expertise, SME Smart Center that provides lots at low-rental rates for 2 years to technological start-ups who can then graduate to a SME Park to build their own factories . We have identified niche areas such as halal foods.

This public private partnership aims to build synergy to create jobs and ultimately address the economic inequalities. I remain confident in the ability of Malaysian entrepreneurs and know they are competitive. I urge you to come to Penang to forge partnerships. Our SMEs are selling durian to China, and halal foods to Turkey, among many of the new successes.

This focus on building the value chain in the economy has been reinforced by state-led programs on job creation and talent hunt in our newly formed CAT Centre. Penang has a labor shortage, especially among skilled workers and professionals, and we welcome human talent wherever they may be whoever they are in our aspiration to be an international and intelligent city.

A last, but not final success, I would like to showcase involves women. I have appointed a record number of women to office in local government, making Penang the leader in promoting greater equality in gender representation. . For the first time in history, both local governments are headed by women. We have also created a Women’s Council at the state level to highlight issues and engage the state government over policy.

Our Common Future

In Penang as the government we understand that it is not enough to make promises on human rights or to raise the problems. It is necessary to actually implement changes, to translate the problems into solutions and real change. Real changes are being made. Our approach has been one of implementation and initiative tied to a fundamental appreciation that what we do is for our people. Respecting human rights and safeguarding transparency are critical steps not just for Malaysia, but for assuring that the fight for human rights expands globally.

One of the most difficult struggles we now face is working with the institutions that are to protect the rule of law, the police and judiciary, and assure accountability, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or the Election Commission. We want our legacy to be building institutions and making Penang a green state with more green spaces. We want Penang to be known as a location of choice where one does not need to go through a middle men or third party to get things done, you need not know anyone, just know the law. There are real concerns about the political independence and professionalism of these bodies. We need the international community to join us in our efforts to protect rights and transparency. Australia has always stood for these principles and we thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, Malaysia is moving forward. It has not been an easy path and I expect there will be obstacles ahead. Now is the time to translate the agenda and promises of political reform into real changes. Pakatan Rakyat has long upheld the reform agenda that has been embraced by our premier and we will continue to press on for substantive changes no matter what the cost. We believe that in fighting for human rights and calling for greater transparency we are protecting our country from abuses of power and securing a more prosperous, harmonious and safe environment for our children. Penangites, Malaysians and Australians deserve no less.

Penang is the only state in Malaysian history to be praised by Transparency International for implementing open tenders and fighting corruption. American investor Warren Buffet’s once said, “ In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Rest assured that you will not be killed by a lack of integrity in Penang.

Thank you very much for your time and please come to Penang. You are most welcome.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Either way you are dead meat!

Any law and act that gives one single man absolute power to decide your fate must not and cannot be accepted.

ISA is going to be repealed but two new laws commissioned to fight terrorism and national security. It must not be another law to give absolute power to one man to decide that you can be arrested and detained without charges.

He can claim that you are a security threat and its your words against him. He can say that you are a terrorist without any evidence; what can you do?

A one time PPPA permit but the one man absolute power can withdraw the permit without reason and you cannot fight it in court. So, what gives?

PM Najib caved in to rakyats demand but he will be taking all back in other form and shape.

Walao Eh! I was on stage with Namewee Nasi Lemak 2.0

My tweet before leaving for dinner yesterday 15 September 2011:

Going out 4 dinner @ 1st Avenue? Wanting 2 meet up with namewee but doubt an old man like me can get near him with all youngsters around lol

Have my dinner at 1st Avenue new food court, food and pricing quite reasonable for the location. After dinner wonder around the complex window shopping while waiting for the big man to arrive. Well, some ads said 8pm and other said 8:30pm but it does not really matter.

Saw the crowd growing around 8pm and most of them were youngsters and middle age adults. I think I was the only old man of my age standing there near the stage. Maybe there are others standing at the upper levels.

Before namewee's Negaraku-ku, I seldom listen to the new generation pop, rap or whatever songs these youngsters were singing. When the movie Nasi Lemak 2.0 was screened, I went to see it on the first day and on first showing. I did not expect to see such a beautiful movie, produced by these youngsters whom I thought were delinquents, how wrong I was.

After watching the movie, I have to meet this young man in person. So I went to 1st Avenue after learning that his road show will be on at 8pm.

Finally the man was here and the show started. Halfway through without really hearing what the MC said and seeing everyone was raising their hands I followed to. They are selecting people to go on the stage and I thought it was a photo session with namewee, so I continue raising my hand but they did not see me.

Then a beautiful young lady was standing next to me waving at the MC and her hand pointing at me. She tried a few times trying to get the attention of the MC but to no avail, so she led me directly to the stage and form part of the group they were looking for.

Walao Eh, I was so lucky to meet the man of the day and share the same stage with him. Watch the video below, we are supposed to act based on this script: "Nasi Lemak 2.0 very nice Walao Eh!"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is Penang Hill still a historic site?

I have not been up to Penang Hill for over twenty years and yesterday I accompanied a friend from KL who wanted to go up. The weather was cloudy and rain shower on and off, just perfect.

There were not enough car park on the roadside, so I have to park it along one of the branch road further downhill and paid RM3. The whole front entrance to the station was completely changed from what it used to be, simply put "Modernised". Ticket pricing reasonable, RM8 for adult two way and for being over 55 years old I paid half the price.

I read in the news that they changed the tram car but did not expect such drastic changes. Not knowing what changes there were I fed my friend with what I knew 20 years ago. I told him we have to change train halfway and the train will be slow running and we can enjoy the view, how wrong I was.

How sad I was to see the new modern train and why do we need to have it all enclosed without windows, bad idea. More surprises coming as the train pull out. Is Penang Hill a few thousand miles away, the speed of the train is ridiculously fast and its a one go from bottom station right to the top without stopping. Why can't the speed be reduced to let people enjoy, but it can't anyway because there are no windows.

The weather is cold with wind blowing and light shower, just like spring. Mist cover the sky and view downhill was obscure, so we cannot see much of Georgetown. The whole hill center is still under construction and the rest remain more or less the same other then the display of the old tram.

I assume Penang Hill does not fall under the heritage boundary hence you see major facade changes without much consideration to retain its historic value. Today I read from Anil Netto's blog that there are more huge changes coming.

For Goodness sake leave Penang Hill alone as it is.

Scroll down to see the most eyesore signboard

The most eyesore sign board erected by the tourism of Malaysia. Why must they always claim credit that it is another BN project when the money spent are from public fund and not out of BN's pocket. I hope the State government can remove it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The inner meaning of Nasi Lemak 2.0 movie directed by namewee

Have a kit kat..that is what I bought when I went into the cineplex to watch the movie Nasi Lemak 2.0. Complaint? If you have any complaint about the movie, then there must be something wrong with you.

We cannot compare this movie that has little budget to those multi million dollar movies. All in all this is a Malaysian creative film that we should be proud off.

At the ntv7 interview, namewee did mentioned that there is an inner meaning to his movie and he would be proud and happy if we can see through it.

I will try to interpret the inner meaning but I may be wrong. On the surface this movie may be just another comedy show to many. Its a combination of fun, hilarious and sarcasm blended to show the various races and cultures being played out in our daily life.

What I see is that if we leave race and religion at home there will be no racism and religious intolerant among us, Malaysians, when we mingled around. Our ancestors can be from other countries but the new generation are born and bred in this nation with Malaysia as their country of birth and no where else.

This movie also tell us to be humble and learn from others without any second thought about which race you are from. The part showing the curry powder mix should tell us very clearly that we, all the races, can unite and live together if we do not let the government telling us how to live our life nor using race and religion to divide us further.

And last but not least, a few sarcasm on the true happening created by certain leaders. I cannot tell you what they are, you have to watch the movie and laugh it out

Watch the trailer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Take the new road leading to CHANGE or you are going to fall into the same pile of shit

They are not going to change and neither are they able to change. That is a FACT.

Many are still harboring the hope that they will change after receiving a few superficial changes here and there which are not going to take roots after the general election. I would call these changes as election ploys.

Under their complete arrogant and corrupt rule for 54 years and twelve general elections, do you think that is not long enough for them to help the rakyat instead of themselves if they wanted to? No way they are going to come down from their high horses and stand together with the suffering rakyat.

We must no longer be misguided by their frequent promises which have been proven many a times to be broken after they won big each election.

Together, we Malaysians can make the Change with ONE Heart. Let us take the new road leading to CHANGE and not fall into the same pile of shit again and again.

Umno riding on the slippery Mat Sabu bandwagon

It’s OK if Mat Sabu has done something wrong. But the awful truth is that he has done nothing wrong. Mat Sabu has only exposed the myth that Umno is the only one who fought and gained Malaya’s independence from the clutches of the colonial power.

By Kim Quek

If you do not believe that Umno has already passed its expiry date as a potent political party, all you need to do is to watch how its entire leadership as well as its entire propaganda machineries have been fully engaged in the past week to indulge in an orgy of attacks against Mat Sabu – PAS’ deputy president.

It’s OK if Mat Sabu has done something wrong. But the awful truth is that he has done nothing wrong.

Mat Sabu has only exposed the myth that Umno is the only one who fought and gained Malaya’s independence from the clutches of the colonial power.

His illustrative mention of Muhammad Indera (fondly known as Mat Indera) as an independence fighter was only in the context of lambasting Umno for ritualistically twisting the Bukit Kepong assault incident on every Merdeka Day for Umno’s self-glorification – as if it is the only body accountable for the country’s independence.


Pouncing on Mat Sabu’s positive mention of Mat Indera, Umno bays for Mat Sabu’s blood. It accuses Mat Sabu – and by extension PAS – of praising communists and glorifying communism and wanting to turn the country into a republic.

While the entire might of Umno has been unleashed on a non-stop assault on Mat Sabu’s alleged advocacy of communism, has any one of them paused to reflect that the word “communist” or “communism” was never mentioned by Mat Sabu in his entire speech?

For the sake of truth, let us recapture the relevant part of Mat Sabu’s speech, delivered in a ceremah at Tasek Gelugor, Penang, on Aug 21:

“When it's near Merdeka Day (television programmes) on Bukit Kepong will be aired. The police who died in Bukit Kepong are police who belonged to the British.

"Those who attacked Bukit Kepong were the ones fighting for independence. The one who attacked Bukit Kepong was Mat Indera (Muhammad Indera). He is a Malay, but this is not in the history books.

"Jins Shamsudin made a film (about this). Jins Shamsudin is from Umno. (His film on) Bukit Kepong criticised (the attackers) as the villains.

"The police are British police. Before independence, our country was ruled by the British. But in the film, the heroes were the British and the (insurgents) were terrorists."

Mat Sabu also criticised in his speech how Umno had perverted the essence of Merdeka Day into self-glorification and ignored non-Umno elements that had also contributed to the country's independence.


For a better understanding of the issues, let me put the Bukit Kepong incident in its proper historical perspective.

The time was 1950, two years after the declaration of Emergency (to deal with the armed insurgency by the Malayan Communist Party) and seven years before the country gained its independence. It was at the height of the guerilla war waged by the MCP to seek independence from the colonial master Britain.

One night, on 23rd Feb 1950, a band of guerilla fighters attacked a remote police station at Bukit Kepong, Johor, and killed 25 persons who were mainly policemen and their family.

The attack was led by Mat Indera, a Malay, and the policemen were also Malays, serving the British colonial government.

This incident was only one of numerous skirmishes within in a larger war staged between the independence fighters led by the MCP on the one side, and the British colonial government determined to protect its colonial rule on the other side.


The question we want to put to Umno is: since this is a guerilla war for independence, in what way was Mat Sabu wrong when he said Mat Indera was fighting for independence?

And also, in what way Mat Sabu was wrong when he said the policemen who died belonged to the British? Weren’t they serving the colonial government? Didn’t they fight to protect the colonial power?

Since no “communist” or “communism” was ever mentioned, how did Umno come to the conclusion that Mat Sabu was praising communists or glorifying communism? Haven’t Umno leaders and Umno propangandists been taking a big flight of fantasy to conjure up the PAS – Communist nexus?

Isn’t it true that all Mat Sabu was saying was simply that Umno had used the wrong analogy to self-glorify on a false claim – that it alone has brought Merdeka?

What Mat Sabu has uttered has nothing to do with communism. Neither was such uttering intended to downplay the contribution of Malay leaders to the country’s independence movement – as wrongly accused by Umno leaders.

With regards to the role of MCP in our independence struggles, we have to say this. While we might not like communists or agree to the communist ideology, there is no denying the fact that the MCP fought for Malaya’s independence. In fact, it was the high toll caused by the MCP armed insurrection that had prompted Her Majesty’s Government (Queen Elizabeth) to shorten the transition of power to its hand-picked successors to ensure continuity of its legacy. In that sense, the MCP struggle had hastened Merdeka.

And even under the canopy of the MCP, not everyone was a communist, as many had joined the guerilla warfare not to serve the ideology of communism, but to fight to get rid of colonial rule.


As for Umno’s claim as the sole power that has brought this country independence, this is a far cry from the truth.

Apart from MCP, other nationalist forces had been at work right after World War II (even before Umno was formed) to struggle for an independent Malaya. These were grouped under two umbrella bodies, namely, PUTERA (Pusat Tenaga Rakyat) comprising Malay-based organisations, and AMCJA (All-Malayan Council of Joint Action), a coalition of multi-racial bodies and unions, which included the MCP. These two umbrella bodies quickly joined forces then to press the British colonial government to grant independence to the then Malaya, for which even a draft People’s Constitution was proposed in 1947. But the British rejected this proposition.

In the subsequent crackdown on this joint political movement, during which many leaders were arrested, some Malay nationalist leaders, including Mat Indera, joined forces with MCP to continue their independence struggles through armed insurgency. As mentioned earlier, it is this armed struggle, which began in 1948 when Emergency was declared, that had served as the constant prod that pushed the British into a speedy hand-over of power.

Thus, it was the confluence of forces that had brought Merdeka in 1957. Admittedly, the Alliance – a coalition consisting of Umno, MCA and MIC – as the political group favoured by the British, had played a major role in the negotiation that led to independence. But for Umno to claim sole credit for this independence achievement, as it has done in the country’s official version of history, to the exclusion of even its own coalition partners MCA and MIC, would be to do a great injustice to all non-Umno Malayans who have contributed. Other nationalist movements, including those led by prominent leaders like Burhanuddin al-Helmy and Ahmad Boestaman, as well as the MCP, had also made significant contribution towards the speedy realization of Merdeka.

From this perspective, Mat Sabu in raising the Bukit Kepong example has done the nation a great service in awakening the country from the great distortion of history perpetrated by Umno.


As for Umno’s current campaign to vilify Mat Sabu, it is sheer vulgar propaganda aimed at critically damaging the electoral support for of PAS and through it, the entire opposition alliance of Pakatan Rakyat, as Umno’s accusation is nothing but concoction of twisted accounts, unsupported by facts or logic.

That Umno has to resort to such childish and untenable strategy to salvage its precarious political fortune clearly indicates that it has already lost its potency as a political force – it has neither the substance nor the confidence to compete on a legitimate political platform.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vision 2020 : ? A Direction Signboard that is not!

Look at the direction signboard and tell me what is wrong with it.

First it is blocked by the trees.

Second, it was placed next to the traffic lights. Should it not be at least a few hundred meters away before the traffic lights?

This banner was placed at the Port Klang jetty. Is the government encouraging illegals to enter the country?

My Merdeka Raya Holiday trip to Pangkor Island, Teluk Intan & Klang Pt3

It took about 3 hours of driving from Teluk Intan to Klang using the secondary coastal roads. On the way passing through Bagan Datok, Sabak Bernam, Sungai Bersar, Tanjong Karang, Sekichan and Kapar.

Klang is totally different from my first visit 30 years ago. I could no longer find the villages where the famous sea food restaurants were located. Anyway managed to go around the town and to Port Klang.

Bak Kut Teh for lunch

Port Klang jetty ferry to Pulau Ketam

Seafood dinner

Morning tim sum breakfast before heading home

Head home with stop over at Ipoh and Taiping. Round trip took 76 hours, 2 nights hotel stay, toll, petrol, total expenses of RM1 K including food for three!

My Merdeka Raya Holiday trip to Pangkor Island, Teluk Intan & Klang Pt1

My Merdeka Raya Holiday trip to Pangkor Island, Teluk Intan & Klang Pt2

My Merdeka Raya Holiday trip to Pangkor Island, Teluk Intan & Klang Pt2

Leaving Lumut and heading to Teluk Intan (Teluk Anson)using the secondary coastal road. Most shops were closed on that day so have to settle for McD for lunch.

A small town catching up fast with the city status. Nothing much for tourist except the famous leaning clock tower. I am not sure whether it is really tilting. I walked round and from a distant I could not see it leaning in any direction. Anyway its a good story and history for visitors.

The leaning clock tower

Teluk Intan famous 'chee cheong fun'

Fried curry mee

Dinner dishes

Stayed a night here before leaving for Klang the next morning.

My Merdeka Raya Holiday trip to Pangkor Island, Teluk Intan & Klang Pt1

My Merdeka Raya Holiday trip to Pangkor Island, Teluk Intan & Klang Pt3


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