Oct 26, 2008

Dawn of a new era?

The ‘tsunami’ of the post general election has certainly changed a large landscape of the political milieu in Malaysia.

With the Pakatan Rakyat hovering above the Barisan Nasional with the ever ready stance to take over the government, we now read of BN leaders talking about the importance to have unity and cooperation among the various races. Read here and here .
The NEP has been such a thorny and sensitive issue for so many years, that a serious debate over it can either break a person’s political career or be ISAed.
Thus, it is indeed ‘courageous’ for the DPM to mention that he will work towards the easing of the NEP and will begin the liberation when the bumiputras are more confident in competing with others.
It is crystal clear for all to see that after more than 30 years, the affirmative policies of the NEP have failed drastically as the bumiputras are still unable to compete confidently.
So, must the government wait any longer to initiate liberations of the NEP?
How can a person be successful when there is always a constant fear to change and adapt to the ever changing political, social and economic environment?
Although it will be hard to ‘crack the nuts’ of the old ones, it is the young ones whom the government should focused to eradicate this fear mentality.
The government itself should be seen as daring rather than fearful to implement the liberation of the NEP.
As a starter, we can do away with the special bumiputra discount for the purchase of houses which only benefits the rich. Why must a discount be given to someone who can afford to buy a house that cost half a million or one million?
I am sure by doing away with such an illogical privilege, it will not cause a mass protest by the bumiputras.
The government can also begin to look at the massive imbalance of the races in the civil service which is almost monopolized by one race. Such imbalances have caused much unhappiness and discontentment among the people.
It will be a good liberation policy if the government is bold enough to make it mandatory to allocate lets say, a 30% quota for the non-bumiputras in the civil service. To ensure the success of this, recruitment drives must be done with earnest and utmost sincerity.
One of the most difficult liberation policies to carry out will be those that involve the economic pie: APs and contracts. Because human beings are ‘greedy’, the willingness to forgo one’s ability to accumulate wealth with all the goodies is extremely hard.
The government must be brave enough to open-up the economic pie by starting with a tendering system for smaller projects to allow those with proven capabilities opportunities to vie for the projects instead of it being given to any Tom, Dick and Harry who has nothing but strong political connects.

While every small single step is a giant step towards liberation, the government must not let this be politicized for political mileage. When it is so easy to be a hero by championing one's own race, why it is then, so difficult to champion for fairness?
As mentioned by someone in the political arena: change or be changed.
And indeed if there is change, will it be a change that we can believe in?

Let this flicker of hope continue burning: a hope that one day will make all Malaysians have a true sense of belonging.

Oct 18, 2008

Hail The Judge

No, this is not a compliment to our newly appointed Chief Justice.

The title is actually a movie starring Stephen Chow, the Director of 'Kung Fu Hustle' blockbuster fame.

'Hail The Judge' is a typical slapstick comedy which Stephen Chow is famous for his silly and yet funny acting. In most of his movies, there are scenes that are truly idiotic and unbelievable but which, carries a message. Maybe this is Stephen Chow's way of conveying a message, usually about good values in life to the audience.

The storyline goes something like this:

Sitting on the rooftop under a bright moonlight, a boy declared that he wanted to be a judge, like his father.

Well, he did grew up to be a judge named Justice Pao, albeit a corrupted one.

In all the cases that were presented to Justice Pao, which were defended by an equally crooked lawyer and where proofs were presented, the defendants were judged not guilty. Needless to say, Justice Pao had been bribed and when the people saw that there was no justice, he was despised and scorned at by the people.

One night, during a wedding ceremony in a village, the bride was raped by her cousin. However, this was witnessed by the bridegroom's parents who were both killed and subsequently like an amok, he went on a killing rampage by killing all the wedding guests which was witnessed by a night guard who managed to escape the killings.

The cousin, who is the son of the Navy Commander was caught and brought before Justice Pao who sees a strong case against the Commander's son. However, with a strong influence of power, Justice Pao was not only replaced but was framed and jailed.

And to prevent the Navy Commander's son from being found guilty, the new judge conspired to removed all the evidences at the murder scene and planted new evidences to implicate the bride.
He further bribed the night guard to deny what he had seen and the servant to admit of having a sexual relationship with the bride.
The verdict: the bride was found guilty of murder by poisoning her in-laws and the wedding guests and had also committed adultery !
So, she was sentenced to jail.

With such cruelty, Justice Pao had vowed to take revenge and seek justice for the bride.

Finally, with the help of the Emperor and some smartness, he managed to bring the corrupted judge, lawyer, imperial officer and the murderer to justice.

Does the storyline sounds familiar?

Can our new Chief Justice brings a happy 'ending' to our judiciary system?

p/s: Justice Pao married the girl and lived happily ever after.

Oct 16, 2008

I am a pendatang, so what? You are also a pendatang, so what ?

It is a crime being a pendatang (immigrant) ?

My grandparents came from China and like many others, left for greener pastures because there was hardship in the motherland. It was maybe by fate that they had chosen to come here to ensure a better living for his children.

Yes! My grandparents migrated from China.
They are pendatangs, no doubt about it.
Like many of your parents who migrated here from elsewhere, they are also pendatangs, there is no doubt about it too.

So, what is the problem ?

I am born in Malaysia and is a full blooded Malaysian.
Am I a pendatang?

Call me what you want for all I care.

My grandparents and parents have left a legacy for me to follow and that is, to work hard, do no harm to others and be loyal to the country.

What is of utmost importance for me is to have a clear conscience because I have to face my children, family and most of all, God.
I am able to face God with peace and calmness when I pray everyday because I do no evils to harm people.

However, I am mystified as to how on earth can a person who is either a murderer,corrupt or an evil doer can still pray to God passionately everyday?
If only God can say something, I wonder what will it be.

Maybe what the rakyat think of him is not important. But then how about those in his family?
Will they have any conscience?

So, between the pendatangs and the evildoers, who do you prefer?

Oct 9, 2008

Today in history

Finally, with all the suspense and after all the discussions and negotiations, the secret is out: Abdullah Badawi is stepping down as PM in March 09.

What seemingly as a last hurrah for him, he intends to implement and 'see through' the following initiatives :

1) ESTABLISHING the Judicial Appointments Commission to enhance the stature of the judiciary.
If only he had done this five years ago, the people would have looked upon the judiciary with great trust and the ability to protect the weak from the wicked.

2) ESTABLISHING the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission with greater powers of investigation and enforcement
If only he had done this five years ago, the country will not be robbed of millions and millions by the corrupts. When there is seemingly no law to bring the corrupts to justice, the people are simply disillusioned with the system.

3) ESTABLISHING the Special Complaints Commission to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of enforcement agencies.
If only he had done this five years ago, when there is opportunity for him to yield power against the useless and ineffective civil servants who are seat warmers and whose duties are perfunctory, the question of integrity will not arise.

4) STRENGTHENING and enlarging the Social Safety Net to ensure aid to all, regardless of race and religion.
If only he had done this five years ago, when the country had been on sound footing with opportunities to sow the seeds of prosperity, the growth of wealth would have been 'harvested' by all and for all by now.
5) HOLDING a Barisan Nasional convention to improve inter-racial and inter-religious relations.
If only he had done this five years ago, when he had the power to warn and take action against the racists and the party warlords, the people will be living together with greater harmony today.

Why did Abdullah Badawi failed as Prime Minister and what happened?

As mentioned, if only he had used his power to rule when he took over the premiership, he would still be able to survive the current political milieu. The failure to do so has bred many warlords within his party who will fight hard (even physically) to be just a divisional head. These warlords are reaping the economical benefits of the country and the more they reaped, the richer they will be. With that comes power. When there are too many of these warlords, Abdullah Badawi loses control over them and hence, he also loses his direction in governing the country.

In other words, Abdullah Badawi is being 'killed' politically by his own people, the Mother of all Brutus !

The political scar left behind is already getting difficult to heal and just like a broken vase, when pieced back together, will be unsightly.

In this context, do we want Pakatan Rakyat to form a new government?

Taking for granted that Najib has succeeded in becoming the next PM, do you think he can clear the political mess we are in now and be a better PM?

How do you want to remember Abdullah Badawi as the PM of Malaysia in history?

Oct 7, 2008

Malaysia's Education System

When I read the Star report today on Malaysia's education system being a role model, I just could not believe my eyes and it takes me to read two more times to come to term on what has been reported.

I am no pessimist and would not like to belittle aimlessly. Facts are facts and truths are truths.

Read here for a better understanding of our education system.

How can our education system be a role model when the ministry cannot even decide once and for all whether to use English or Bahasa Melayu for the teaching of Science and Maths?
The ministry has changed it to English and when the rural students seemed to lag behind, they are debating it now whether to change it back to Bahasa Melayu, with no decision yet.

Let me tell you what I think.

To use Bahasa Melayu for the two subjects will be the greatest mistake of this flip-flop government and which our next generation will pay a very heavy price for survival. The development of well qualified students is the greatest essence of human capital that can propel the country to great heights and to survive in this rapid changing world. And the master of the English language will take the country there. There are no two ways about it.

Look at the little red dot country down south and see how the government invest in human capital for the future survival of the country.
Don't we envy and would like to learn from them?
Can we ever compete with them?

And when we are too proud, animosities seeped in.

Do you still remember the Smart school and then the Vision school concept?
Whatever it is, do you think it benefits the students academically and socially?

My only wish with regards to this issue is, common sense should prevail.


Oct 6, 2008

Hari Raya Holidays

Well, it is holiday season again and how time flies.

For this holiday, I decided to visit my hometown Raub which I have not visited since my parents passed away a few years back.
I have heard quite a lot about the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Lanchang which is not far from my hometown and did a google search to find out what it has to offer.

The sanctuary seems to be an interesting place and so my travel plan is to visit the sanctuary first and from there to Raub through the Felda oil palm plantation road and back to KL.

My wife enjoying feeding the deers at the Deer Park which is just before the elephant sanctuary.

One of the cute animals licking coca-cola at the Deer Park. Beside the bear, there are also ostriches, hedgehog, snake and rabbits.

My first encounter at the sanctuary: an amputated baby elephant which was rescued from the jungle.

The Elephant Man bringing the animals for the bath at the river which marks the first activity.

The sight of the elephants taking bath brings sheer excitement in you.

After the bath, it is feeding time. My eldest daughter feeding one of the elephants.

Visitors lining-up for the elephant ride the natural way, without the basket.

The elephant dung is big and emits a strong smell. It was embarrassing to see the Elephant Man shoved the dung into the river where the visitors are to play with the elephants.

It is splashing time! The Elephant Man leading the elephant with the tourists on the back into the river and as he commanded "pian", the elephant will lean side-way and down go the tourists into the river!

My second daughter waving bye-bye to the Elephant Sanctuary with me and my son in front.
My family certainly enjoyed this fun-filled holiday.

Sometimes with proper planning, a simple domestic holiday can be both satisfying and enjoyable.