Sunday, May 11, 2008

Another day at Parliament

Ibrahim’s refusal to apologise to Karpal causes commotion
A COMMOTION broke out in the Parliament lobby during a meeting between Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Independent – Pasir Mas) and a group of disabled people who demanded that he apologise to Karpal Singh.
The group, known as Malaysians Against the Discrimination of the Disabled (MADD), urged Ibrahim to retract his recent statement in Parliament requesting that Karpal Singh (DAP – Bukit Gelugor) stand up while speaking in the Dewan Rakyat.
Ibrahim had apologised to the group initially for hurting their feelings over the remarks he made in the Dewan.
However, when he refused to apologise to Karpal Singh, who is wheelchair-bound, several from the group became agitated and this led to a shouting match.

“My problem was with Karpal Singh and never with all of you. I have never offended you and I love disabled people from the bottom of my heart.
“But if you all have misinterpreted my meaning, I extend my sincerest apologies.
“I hope you don’t misunderstand this because there are groups trying to take advantage of you,” he said, referring to several Pakatan Rakyat leaders – Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lim Lip Eng, Loh Gwo Burne, Gobind Singh Deo and others – who had escorted the group into Parliament.

40-yr old Leaks, MPs using the word "bocor", calling each other "big monkey", not raising right hand during swearing. Can it get more pathetic than this?? When will we move on to more serious issues..... are you sure you voted the right guy??? and really, who really cares whether anwar is returning to Parliament. this is the guy who almost put us in a big debt with IMF and World Bank during the Asian financial crisis. Read my earlier postings about Anwar and his cronies. In the end, they are all the same. How do you think they financed election campaigns and running your constituency during your 4-yr term? with a 8k salary and 8k allowance. yea right.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Youth wing faces new dilemma

BM: Apparently according to JT, DMM is garnering huge support from outside the party and not from within. I may disagree with that but we'll know for sure after the General Assembly in December. Yes, UMNO needs to start embracing the young, thinking Malays and make the party appealing for this group of youngsters. This is the only way UMNO will revitalize itself to be at par with PR, which has quite a number of young pros holding important portfolio. UMNO needs to rebound and rebound it will. The image of UMNO being to worried about projects and internal politics must be changed to one that is fighting for the true cause. Only thinking Malays emphasize that, not those who are afraid of losing power.

Umno Youth’s two top leaders are struggling with their own demons as the wing struggles to find its direction in the new political landscape.

DATUK Mukhriz Mahathir was recently featured on the cover of a lifestyle magazine alongside Nurul Izzah Anwar.

The two newly elected MPs, one for Jerlun and the other for Lembah Pantai, were photographed standing back-to-back, in James Bond poses, with the caption, “It's our turn”.

Mukhriz is definitely in demand these days.

He is seen as a voice going against the political conventions in Umno and there is much interest in and curiosity about what this Jerlun MP has to say about politics and Umno.

On Wednesday, he was the prime speaker at a Sekretariat Melayu Muda gathering in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The other speaker was Akhramsyah Sanusi, an oil and gas engineer who also has a famous father, namely, former Umno strongman Tan Sri Sanusi Junid.

The warm reception accorded both men was also because of who their fathers are, given that the audience hailed from the “Mahathir generation”, people who grew up in the Mahathir era.

Both men were essentially speaking to a home ground kind of crowd because the Sekretariat Melayu Muda membership comprises youngish, well educated and, more important, thinking Malays. They are not into yes-men type of politicians and they appreciate critical thinking.

The crowd that evening was essentially seeking answers to the future of the country's Malay leadership after the March 8 results. And because quite a number of those present were Umno members, there was also an unmistakable concern about the sort of political culture surrounding Umno and the future leadership of Umno Youth.

“When you sit down and listen to what people say about Umno these days, it can be a painful experience,” said Akhramsyah, 34, an Umno member since age 20.

Many of them are watching developments in the Youth wing, especially the unfolding contest for the Youth leadership.

There is no doubt that Mukhriz appeals to their notion of a young political leader. They are quite critical of Datuk Seri Dr Khir Toyo and even more critical of Khairy Jamaluddin, the two other potential candidates.

But the trouble is that young Malays like them are not part of Umno's realpolitick and, thus, have little say on who leads the Youth wing.

And that is Mukhriz's dilemma. His appeal outside the party is greater than his appeal within. For instance, his attempt to meet up with Umno Youth division heads in Kedah resulted in only the Youth heads from Jerlun, Pendang and Merbok showing up.

But as some have pointed out, the Youth wing itself is facing its biggest crisis since the debacle of 1998.

Outgoing chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein is still reeling from the backlash from his apology of sorts over the keris.

The Umno rank and file basically find little wrong with Umno Youth's use of the keris, however offensive it may have been to those outside Umno. They regard Hishammuddin's apology as a sign of weakness.

Malay blogs have slammed him mercilessly and his aides have been deluged by critical smses.

To be fair, Hishammuddin had apologised to non-Malays as well as Malays. To the non-Malays, he said his intention was not to cause fear and that he regretted it. To the Malays, he was sorry he had been unable to defend their cultural symbol.

Hishammuddin was supposed to move on from the Youth wing in a blaze of glory but the general election losses have turned things topsy-turvy.

And with the apology backfiring in his face, he is probably at the lowest point in his political career. As the Malays say, it is truly a case of keris makan tuan (the keris has stabbed its owner).

He is quite aware of that and a few days ago, he said that he was willing “to sacrifice my political career for the party.”

He probably took a calculated risk in biting the bullet.

“I asked him about it and he said it was better to state it now than later. It is now up to the grassroots to evaluate and react to what he had said and done. He is prepared for the consequences,” said Penang Umno Youth chief Datuk Salim Bari.

Hishammuddin, as some have pointed out, is basically an urbane and civilised person at heart.

“He knew people were unhappy with him and he is trying to put the issue to rest so that people can move on to focus on the real issue,” said Umno Youth secretary Datuk Rahman Dahlan.

Hishammuddin is not alone in his dilemma. His deputy Khairy has also been badly damaged.

Actually, public opinion had not favoured Khairy even before the general election but like many political leaders, they seem cushioned from the real world outside and it took the March 8 results to drive the reality home.

It is ironic that groups like the Sekretariat Melayu Muda do not identify with him for he is basically of their generation.

Khairy's problem is the reverse of Mukhriz’s. He has support within Umno Youth but enjoys little respect outside the party.

Many people have noticed how Khairy has taken a much lower profile since the elections. He has in a way lost the mandate to comment on public issues and the next few months will see him concentrate on his role as a parliamentarian.

In that sense, most of the obvious candidates for the top Youth post are imperfect in their own ways.

But the bigger dilemma is that with the two top Umno Youth leaders struggling with their own demons, the wing is finding it hard to play its role or find its way out of the election aftermath.

Hishammuddin has been going down to meet the wing's grassroots leaders in states where the Barisan Nasional lost. He has been to Kedah and Penang and the feedback has been fierce and demanding. But underlying the complaints voiced, there was also a sense of confusion about where Umno Youth was heading.

The Youth wing is not as resilient as the Wanita wing and those in the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states are probably feeling quite lost.

Whoever takes over will have to seriously revamp the wing and bring in a new political culture.

Umno Youth has become rather too pro-establishment over the years. It has to try to reflect young Malay priorities rather than constantly defend the top leadership's stand on issues.

The next Youth chief also has to realise that he cannot be a Malay ultra in the party and still hope to be seen as a national leader to those outside. He will have to learn how to strike a balance.

It is also a known fact that many young people were turned off by politics because they see politicians as self-serving and politics as dirty and corrupt. Many of the Umno Youth politicians probably do not realise how off-putting it is to see young politicians arriving for village functions in a convoy of expensive SUVs.

Given that, many young Malays if not Malaysians, are likely to be drawn to the idealism and less conventional style of the new and young faces on the Pakatan Rakyat side.

These new wakil rakyat from the other side will be Umno Youth's biggest rivals for the support of Gen X.

Umno Youth will have to match the new talent from the other side if it wishes to re-establish itself among a wide spectrum of young Malays, be it rural youth or thinking professionals like those in the Sekretariat Melayu Muda. Going for it: Mukhriz, seen here with Hishammuddin in Parliament, is making a concerted bid to become the new Umno Youth chief but his dilemma is that his appeal outside the party does not match that inside the Youth wing. Khairy: The Rembau MP has

support in Youth wing but public opinion is against him. Salim: Up to the grassroots to evaluate Hishammuddin's apology about the keris.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Malays must not be a circus elephant

Tan Sri Ali Hashim is spot on when he reminds the Malays not be like a circus elephant, which looks strong and mighty but is still shackled down. To me, Malays must get rid of the subsidy mentality and strive to attain knowledge and skills to further the cause. For those who unable or unexposed, it should be the responsibility of the educated minds and the priveleged few to influence the young and especially in the suburban area. For those who can afford it, discuss with your alma maters, return to your schools and inspire the young ones. That's the least you could do. Adik Angkat programs are also becoming popular where you 'sponsor' one or more students by giving them monthly and book allowances. With this connection, you could personally educate and influence them.

Don't just complaint, start doing some work or just shut your yap about the quality of Malays in education. I look forward to suggestions.

Melayu jangan jadi gajah sarkas

JOHOR BAHRU 2 Mei - Orang Melayu diingatkan supaya tidak menjadi seperti gajah sarkas yang hanya mengikut telunjuk jurulatih hingga hilang kekuatan yang ada pada dirinya.

Pengerusi Dewan Perdagangan Islam Malaysia (DPIM) Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim berkata, apabila orang Melayu menjadi gajah sarkas ia akan hilang kekuatan kerana mindanya dijajah walaupun pun badannya gagah sehingga ia terlupa kekuatan yang ada kerana telah biasa diberi makan tanpa bersusah payah mencari makanan sendiri.

"Kalau kita menonton pertunjukan sarkas, gajah itu jika disuruh berlakon, maka ia akan berlakon. Apa juga persembahan yang diarahkan, gajah berkenaan akan mempersembahkan seperti yang dilatih, walaupun kakinya dirantai dengan rantai yang kecil, tetapi dia tidak tahu kekuatannya," katanya.

Muhammad Ali yang juga Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Johor Corporation (JCorp.) berkata demikian ketika membentangkan kertas kerja bertajuk Kedaulatan Ekonomi Melayu.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Pemimpin Melayu Perlu Berunding

One of the smartest thing I've heard all week, I said "Why not?":

Saran pemimpin Melayu berunding

KUALA LUMPUR 1 Mei - Pemangku Ketua UMNO Bahagian Bandar Tun Razak, Datuk Rahim Baba mencadangkan agar pemimpin Melayu dalam UMNO, Pas dan Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) mengadakan perbincangan meja bulat demi survival orang Melayu di negara ini.

Beliau berkata, langkah itu penting kerana perpaduan Melayu pada hari ini tidak merujuk kepada UMNO semata-mata, tetapi perpaduan semua orang Melayu di seluruh negara.

''Demi masa depan orang Melayu, saya menyeru supaya kesemua pemimpin ini membuat persidangan meja bulat. Duduklah semeja bagi survival orang Melayu,'' katanya.

No Cencorship for Parliamentary Sessions

Quite disagree with the proposal to cancel the telecast. This should be continued, in fact, broadcasted for the whole session by allocating a special channel for it, like C-Span in the US. That way, we can all see which MPs are the hooligans and the 'big monkeys' so that we won't vote for them again, irregardless of party. If we only allow the media to cover, we all know which paper is inclined to cover and filter what.

On a different note, no wonder the Opposition is getting popularity online, by updating their blogs on parliamentary proceedings and presenting facts. BN should start the onslaught and shred them to pieces with quality debates and rebuttals. I'm tired of us getting checked, we need to start checking back instead of being on defensive mode! Let's go guys!!

PM: Cancel telecast in Dewan Rakyat

KUWAIT: The Prime Minister said he was ashamed at what had transpired in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday and agreed that live telecast of the proceedings should be scrapped.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he was in the Dewan at the time, adding what happened was just “too much.”

“I felt ashamed if people watched television and saw what was happening in our Dewan. In my heart, I also felt that all this happened because there was a live broadcast at that time.

“Each (MP) wanted to make himself or herself seen debating or ‘aksi’ (acting) in the Dewan. That was how I felt,” he told reporters yesterday after a brief visit here to attend the 4th World Islamic Economic Forum closing session.

To a question, he said that if Information Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek decided to cancel the live telecast, he would agree.

He said the question of transparency of what went on during proceedings should not arise because sessions were open to all, noting that the media was free to cover the proceedings and report on whatever happened....

More on http

Tan Sri Nasimuddin passed away....

Al-Fatihah. I've just been informed that our Malay entrepreneur Tan Sri Nasimuddin of Naza has just passed away due to lung cancer. He was in the US.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dialog bersama Dato' Mukhriz Tun Mahathir

A dialogue was held yesterday with YB Dato Mukhriz Tun Mahathir and Saudara Akramsyah Sanusi discussing about current political issues. Kudos to SMM for organizing. Highlights:

  • Malays have forgotten fundamental characteristics of being a malay: Bersopan santun, menghormati orang tua. The young ones are too eager to attain power and ignoring our wise forefathers who have built the foundation for us. The young ones do not understand why certain policies were put in place. Anak2 Muda perlu mendekati yang tua sebelum mereka semua pergi buat selamanya.
  • discussion on NEP and its relevance: NEP as a whole was formulated to combat poverty, irregardless of race. Only 2 out of 9 principles covered the special privilege (not rights) of the Malays. The quota of 30% was intended for university entry and entry into government service. Young professionals especially the Malays feel that they are superior and able to compete with other races and globally. They must not forget that they are the minority - Dato' Mukhriz welcomes anyone to join him in Jerlun to visit the hard core poor. The NEP also does not discriminate race. The creation of institutions such as MARA, MRSM, UITM and other higher learning institutions are products of NEP - abolishing the NEP would also imply that we have never agreed to create these and that we should demolish these down.
  • The infamous keris by DSHH: It was suggested that the keris was highly misinterpreted. A lot of quarters are furious about it. No one seems to remember the incident when Lim Kit Siang pissed on the Malaysian flag in 1969 in front of Dato' Harun's house! What is the keris compared to an act of treason and disgust!
  • DMM gives his preference to be DNR to be the next PM and urges AAB to expedite the transition of power. It is better for the post of president not to be contested to avoid further split. The rest of the positions should be contested in the spirit of democracy. DNR currently heads 36 cabinet committees and he is literally running the country, although he does not have the final say. It is timely for him to take over because of his vast experience. TSMY will be an excellent deputy.
  • The huge loss by BN was because of the inability to resolve issues. There were numerous especially in Selangor with the demolition of a temple, Dato' Z's mansion, Bukit Cahaya, Exco houses, flood, etc. Issues are on going but previous administration had the ability to resolve disputes and not just create commissions to resolve something. The election date was also untimely as issues were still hot and BN had one more year remaining in the term.
  • Cybertroopers of UMNO were established back in 1998 but fundings were cut because of policies from 4th floor. Pakatan Rakyat has intelligently managed this election and won 80+ seats in Parliament and secured 5+1 states. We need to revive our cybertroopers to also tell our story.
  • UMNO and politics are dirty because the 'clean' people leave it to the 'dirty' people to run it. Young pros are normally 'busy' with work and family. Perjuangan tidak bererti sesuatu perkara yang mudah dan memerlukan pengorbanan, seperti masa, mungkin wang, tenaga, dan sebagainya.
Questions and comments from the floor:
  • Projects are normally awarded to the minority in UMNO and among cronies. No one else has benefited from the 30% quota to generate a strong economic force to be able to compete with others.
  • What will DMM do if he wins as KP Malaysia? - DMM will make it easier for people to join UMNO. His own application way back in the 90's took 8 months and that's him being son of President at that time! UMNO people are 'worried' when they see competition. All this mentality needs to change and that will be his drive if he wins. The next election will see 65% being young Malaysian below the age of 40. He will definitely listen to the young ones closely and admits that the voice of the young was not paid attention to. He intends to make a better effort to get to know more NGOs and listen to the grouse of the people.
  • Land issue in Perak - how Malays now regret swinging their votes to opposition, in the end, the C have made steps to acquire lands for their empire and also demanding the position of Timbalan Menteri Besar.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ikatan Keluarga dan Politik; Fenomena Global

Dominasi politik keluarga bukanlah satu prekara baru di dunia dan tidak pula tertumpu kepada wilayah atau negara saja.

Trend itu menjadi satu fenomena global yang wujuk sejak berzaman dan seolah-olah tidak lekang dek panas dan tidak luput dek hujan, ia terus mewarnai suasana politik masa kini.

Dari Asia, Timur Tengah hingga ke Amerika Syarikat, soal anak mengikuti jejak langkah ibu, bapa atau datuk dalam meneraju pimpinan politik dan negara memang tidak asing lagi, malah ada yang menjadikan kepimpinan negaar sebagai 'dinasti keluarga'.

Keluarga Nehru, misalnya, mendominasi kepimpinan politik India melangkaui empat generasi - dari datuk turun kepada anak perempuannya dan kemudian cucu.

Anggota keluarga ini yang diterajui Jawaharlal Nehru "memerintah" India selama 37 dari 53 tahun India merdeka. Semua mereka Nehru (1947-1964), Indira Ghandi (1966-1977) dan sekali lagi daripada 1980-1984 dan Rajiv Ghandi 1984-1989 adalah Perdana Menteri negara itu.

Kini janda Rajiv Sonia Ghandi, wanita keturunan Itali pula meneruskan dinasti keluarga ternama India itu. Beliau kini adalah ketua Parti Kongres dan juga ketua pembangkang di negara itu.

Dominasi politik keluarga ini paling ketara, selain India, ialah di Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka dan Nepal.

Keadaan yang sama juga berlaku di Amerika Syarikat yang mana keluarga Kennedy dan kini Bush meneruskan legasi kepimpinan politik keluarga di mana George W Bush kini menjadi Presiden ke-43 Amerika. Bapanya George Bush senior pula adalah Presiden ke 41.

Nama-nama lain yang tidak asing lagi ialah Megawati Sukarnoputri, anak perempuan presiden pertama Indonesia, Sukarno; Gloria Macapagal Arroyo presiden Filipina sekarang, Lee Hsien Loong, Perdana Menteri Singapura, Bashar Al-Assad, Presiden Syria yang mengambil alih pucuk pimpinan selepas kematian bapanya.

Megawati, wanita pertama menjadi presiden Indonesia mengetuai Negara itu dari 2001 hingga 2004, sementara Arroyo adalah anak presiden Filipina ke-12 iaitu Diosdado Macapagal.

Lee Hsien Loong pula adalah anak sulong bekas Perdana Menteri Singapura Lee Kuan Yew yang kini masih menjadi menteri kanan berpengaruh dalam Kabinet negara itu.

Hakikatnya, memang sudah menjadi tuntutan sejarah bahawa ikatan kekeluargaan dan politik adalah satu perkembangan yang bukan luar biasa untuk dicemburui.

Maka apabila sejarah Malaysia masa kini menyaksikan cucu Abdullah Fatim menjadi Perdana Menteri dan anakanda Tun Razak Hussein bakal menjadi Perdana Menteri selepasnya, tidak wajar menjemput rasa irihati mana-mana pihak.

Begitupun tidak dapat dinafikan ikatan kekeluargaan bukanlah faktor penentu jatuh bangunnya atau maju mundurnya seseorang tokoh politik.

Banyak faktor lain umpamanya, Dato' Seri Abdullah dan Dato' Sri Najib memang mempunyai karisma, punya kelayakan, pengalaman, keterampilan dan personaliti unggul yang menyaksikan mereka maju menjadi Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri.

Cerahnya masa depan barisan pemimpin pelapis seperti Dato' Sri Hishamuddin, Khairy dan Dato' Mukhriz juga bukan semata-mata kerana faktor kekeluargaan.

Dato' Seri Hishamuddin seorang peguam lulusan University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom, yang mewarisi darah perjuangan datuknya, Dato' Onn Jaafar, terbukti tenang menghadapi segala cabaran politik, punya karisma sesuai dengan citarasa generasi muda seangkatannya dan lenggok politiknya amat dewasa dan matang setaraf rakannya dalam Kabinet dan Majlis Tertinggi.

Begitu juga Dato' Mukhriz Mahathir yang mendapat undi tertinggi dalam pertandingan jawatan Exco Pemuda UMNO. Graduan bidang pemasaran dari University Boston, Massachusetts, Amerika itu bijak melakar imej politik dengan menerajui Gerakan Aman Malaysia tajaan Pemuda.

Di situ beliau memahat nama sebagai insan muda yang penyayang, tangkas bertindak membela mangsa tsunami, mangsa kekejaman peperangan, mangsa gempa bumi.

Begitu apabila tiba masanya anak-anak muda seperti Dato' Sri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein - cucu Dato' Onn Jaafar dan Dato' Mukhriz, anak Tun Dr Mahathir - muncul mewarisi kepimpinan negara. Kita terimalah ia sebagai aturan Allah SWT yang tidak mampu kita sekat, halang atau kita curigai dan yang pentingnya mereka semuanya sama-sama layak, sama-sama memiliki karisma dan sama-sama punya daya juang.

Perkara yang sama berlaku untuk Pihak Pembangkang di mana kita menyaksikan Wan Azizah dan anaknya Nurul Izzah sebagai ahli Parlimen, Lim Kit Siang dan anaknya yang juga Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh dan juga anaknya.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Screw Lim

OK Lim, the report from ASLI is full of shit because:

Are you saying that because the government is controlled by UMNO, and UMNO is a Malay party, and because GLCs are owned by the Government, so naturally the Malays own the GLCs?

Are you saying that because Malays are priveleged to have 30% of stake in companies going for listing and usually they divest their interest for a profit and because of that the companies must maintain the 30% of Malay equity, that it is a leakage in the system, and the Malays are taking advantage of an 'instant' wealth program? When the report states that the divestment by the Malays are usually channelled back to properties and such, that the volume of Malay wealth is not necessarily decreased, what about the volume of Chinese wealth?

"The rise of the Malays in emerging sectors, especially in key executive positions is a good indication that Malays no longer need the NEP" - well, it doesn't mean we own these companies.

I've got more points, but I hate to argue more. I'm not an economist, but I think even my grandma understands that the report is just crap.


Lim free to resign based on principle, says Mirzan

PETALING JAYA: Asli’s head of Centre for Public Policy Studies Dr Lim Teck Ghee has resigned over the controversial studies on bumiputra equity ownership in Malaysian companies.

Dr Lim: Disagreed with Mirzan
His resignation, effective from the end of the month, came after Asli (Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute) president Mirzan Mahathir issued a statement on Tuesday that the studies by the centre that showed bumiputra equity ownership could be as high as 45% could not be vigorously justified.

Mirzan said that after re-examining the methodology and conclusions of the report, Asli had concluded that there were shortcomings in assumption and calculation that led to conclusions that could not be vigorously justified.

He also expressed deep regret over the “hurt and confusion felt by all Malaysians” caused by the report.

“Since I cannot agree with Mirzan’s statement and because of the need to defend the position and integrity of independent and non-partisan scholarship, I will be stepping down from my position at the end of the month,” Dr Lim said in a four-paragraph press statement here yesterday.