Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mahathir vs Anwar

In 2004, I talked to then Ipoh Timur candidate's kids whom I am friends with. I was surprised when I was told Dr Mahathir campaigned in Ipoh Timur with Abdullah and many other top Barisan Nasional leaders. They all wanted to keep Lim Kit Siang out of Parliament.

Barisan Nasional failed to keep YB Lim Kit Siang out of Parliament. Nevertheless, the Barisan Nasional "tsunami" hit Malaysia. The ruling coalition maintained power at the Federal Government level, won Terengganu back and fared reasonably well in PAS led state, Kelantan.

That year and in that edition of election, Tun campaigned for Pak Lah and Barisan Nasional. Dr Mahathir went around the country for Barisan Nasional. We all cannot deny that Pak Lah's advisors were smart in manipulating the campaign with impressive slogans and policies. I have to praise Pak Lah also during the early stages of his tenure as PM.

His speeches of "Cemerlang Gemilang Terbilang", "Bekerja bersama saya, bukan untuk saya", and of course his ever famous poem that begins with "Ku Cari Damai Abadi". These were impressive and his campaign together with Tun Dr Mahathir ensured that BN maintained power with a 90% control of the Parliament.

Tun was with Barisan Nasional. Soon after, the Pak Lah - Mahathir relationship soured. Dr M began to express disappointment with Pak Lah on a range of issues. Then, Dr M moved up a gear to attack Pak Lah directly on the issue of AP Kings, Proton, and party matters.

Dr M set the tone and played his final card when he sent in a fax to quit UMNO and Barisan Nasional also. He announced his decision to quit earlier on in a function. There were many different stories around the blogosphere with some saying that Tun hates to be challenged and someone raised the question if Tun will take the lead and leave the party during the Q&A session while others felt that Tun was too disappointed with UMNO and sincerely left the party.

Dr Mahathir left Barisan Nasional. During the 12th General Election, Dr Mahathir voiced concerns about the 90% mandate of Barisan Nasional. In the end? Barisan Nasional ended up winning the war with the worst ever result in their history books.

Yes, DSAI said he can forgive but he will not forget. But what about Tun Dr Mahathir? Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim goes to Arab and the Western countries to smear Tun Dr Mahathir's name. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that the 1998-99 trial against him was all planned by Tun Dr Mahathir. If I am not mistaken, I once watched a video given by a current Vice President of PKR and in that CD, Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin was claimed to be part of the scandal too.

I believe the Court have heard all these and made the decision to implicate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim based on the evidence provided. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was jailed for not only the sodomy charge but also abuse of power. The sodomy charge was overturned a few years ago and I strongly urge everyone to read the judgement from the Court of Appeal.

Today, Tun Dr Mahathir is still feeling very comfortable in Malaysia. I cannot stop wondering what will happen if indeed September 16th is the day when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim takes over as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Does Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim really have the 6 boxes of evidence on Tun Dr Mahathir and Barisan Nasional's wrongdoings or is he just throwing smoke bombs around? Why isn't Tun Dr Mahathir considering an exit plan?

Perhaps Tun Dr Mahathir knows he has done nothing wrong and his conscience are clear. Perhaps the 6 boxes of evidence as claimed by Anwar are not existent.

Again, as Tun Dr Mahathir once said, if he was the director of "Anwar's Sodomy", he cannot possibly do it alone and he would have to show the script to many people that include his then Political Secretary, judges, Attorney General, Special Branch, police force, doctors, hospitals, UMNO and Barisan Nasional. Unless cooperative game theory is applied, then the secret would have leaked out and Dr Mahathir, instead of Anwar, would have been dragged to Court.

Do not forget that in 1998, Anwar had many powerful friends and allies that include Royalty, tycoons, Editors of mainstream newspaper, businessmen, Western leaders, various organizations and of course within the Government, UMNO and the Opposition.

What is the truth? We do not know. But I can see that we might see another Mahathir vs Anwar showdown. I believe Tun Dr Mahathir has something up his sleeve since he does not have any exit plans. Tun Dr Mahathir is still openly attacking Anwar and recently said that Anwar can even convince the devil and will not be the PM of Malaysia. Interesting isn't it?

Dr Mahathir's words are not to be taken lightly. Not even his actions. Just look at the results of 2004 GE and 2008 GE. And look and see where Dr Mahathir stood with his words. Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar was right. Age groups below 40, a majority of them, see Tun as an idol and his words bear a great deal of influence.

If Pak Lah cannot fight, I know Dr Mahathir can and will. Let us wait and see what happens in September. We might or might not see a classic political battle. In the end, I hope whatever the outcome is, our country will move on and progress.

The words "Berkhidmat Untuk Negara" should be the common currency on the lips of leaders and every Malaysian. Our home, our dream. Malaysia. We march on and progress !

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan

51 years ago, Malaysia gained her Independence from her colonial masters. In a few hours time, Malaysia will celebrate her Independence day to mark our freedom, our sovereignty and our success as a strong and independent nation.

I totally agree with Rockybru with his post (Merdeka!). It is indeed a very "quiet" Merdeka. This is because everyone has their eyes focused on September 16th. We all want to know if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is merely throwing smoke bombs or will we really see a shift of power from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Rakyat.

Malaysia is divided. Malaysia is not a war zone, not a war torn country and Malaysia is certainly not a poor or bankrupt country. Our country is classified as a Upper Middle Income Economies country and we have good Real GDP per capita as well. But I stress and underline the fact that Malaysia is divided because of politics.

Walk to the warung. Go to the community halls. Listen to the people. Everyone has their opinions on politics and everyone is taking sides be it Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. Are we to succumb to pressure one day and follow the footsteps of Thailand and Indonesian politics where street demonstrations are more powerful than the police and the army?

I pray and hope that my country will not fall under pressure. I pray and hope that my country's politicians will be mature and serve for the best interest of the country. Let us all remain united and strong, no matter how we differ with political opinions. Malaysia ku mesti terus Merdeka kerana memang benar - Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan.

I do not want to give any Merdeka lessons on history or the meaning of being independent today. But allow me to share what I have been going through this week. Yes, two people talked to me about what they think of Malaysia and I am totally impressed with the two of them. Very passionate people about Malaysia and I know one day, they will make our country proud and fight to improve Malaysia.

Let me share a part of the chat that I had with one of them, a very close friend of mine reading Medicine in Australia. Promised her to keep her identity anonymous.

once i get home.. im gonna work on improving the hospitals...

well.. thats what most ppl who wanna stay on in aus wat.. money.. and a better life.. i dont see why we shud abandon our home ocuntry.. ther are refugees here from wartorn countries like sudan and all tryin2 protect their families here...

we on the other hand... malaysians.. not from a wartorn zone..just political issues.not even political riots like other places... and all we want is better life and money...

its not like we dont have a good life in msia.. we just want more...

and when i compare our greed to those running away from their homeland... its disappointing..

this is what happens when ur at a public childrens hospital.. :L

you see the ppl who cant afford private care.. i.e. u see the refugees, sudanese, africans, vietnamese etc...

it was actually my professors words that made me realise that... coz he was saying how alog of his patients.. are refugees.. and stuff like that.. and he only sees critical cases.. and he was sayin y ppl come 2 australia... you wanna run away as far as you can from the place thats torturing you and your family... the place most isolated etc.. australia.. :L

and i was like.. we're not being tortured.. we're not being controlled by the military etc.. all we want is money.. its good to get experience from developed countries.. coz it just makes you better... but it doesnt make sense to abandon your country.. just for better money... i dont see myself needing to support a family other than my parents.. so its not an issue...

For sure, I hope the country knows there are still people out there who are skilful and willing to help to build a better future. The country shall appreciate professionals and passionate people like her and a few of my other friends who are going back not for the power and not to exploit the riches of the country. These people are sincere and honest future experts who want to make Malaysia their dream home.

Malaysia is 51 years old. We are divided not only racially. But this time, an even bigger problem. Politically. It is politics that divide and crush a country's growth and stability, not race. And politics in this new era can either be Malaysia's pillar of strength or bitter pill.

Whatever it is, we shall spare politics for a day on 31st August. It is after all a sacred day. Malaysia ku Merdeka. Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan.

Merdeka ! Merdeka ! Merdeka !

The Real Winners of Beijing Olympic Games 2008

Population / Gold Medal:

1. Jamaica
2. Bahrain
3. Mongolia

Population / Total Medals:
(Malaysia ranked 77 out of 87 – notably we beat Indonesia and India)

1. Bahamas
2. Jamaica
3. Iceland

GDP / Gold Medal:

1. Zimbabwe
2. North Korea
3. Jamaica

GDP / Total Medals:
(Malaysia ranked 81 out of 87 – notably we beat Japan and India)

1. Zimbabwe
2. North Korea
3. Jamaica

GDP per capita / Gold Medal:

1. Zimbabwe
2. North Korea
3. China

GDP per capita / Total Medals:
(Malaysia ranked 69 out of 87 – notably we beat Singapore)

1. Zimbabwe
2. North Korea
2. China

Kirsty Coventry contributed a lot of medals to Zimbabwe’s medal tally.
The Jamaicans conquered the track and field.

Generally I am not sure if the GDP used here is the nominal or real GDP value. If it is the real value, then I think the truest measure to a successful country is (GDP per capita) / Total Medals. Zimbabwe won!

Source: Beijing 2008 Olympic Medal Tally

Friday, August 29, 2008

Budget 2009

I am wondering if the Opposition parties have the people in their mind. Why? No, I am not a Barisan Nasional member and neither am I a great fan of Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi.

To be honest, when I read the points of the new Budget, I was surprised. Some quarters will claim that Pak Lah and the ruling coalition leaders are merely playing the populist budget card. Of course, the Opposition will attack Pak Lah and Barisan Nasional on that.

Is the budget really a populist one? Do not forget Pakatan Rakyat leaders are also riding on the people's agenda :

1. At least a 50 cents subsidy for petrol
2. Corruption
3. Judiciary

We all can come to terms that agenda 2 and 3 are necessary. At this moment, the ACA people are doing a good job and they are placing undercover agents in corruption related sectors. I do not need to repeat myself again for the judiciary part as I have commented several times on the Lingam tape issue in the past.

If the budget is good for the people, why slam the Government? What is the purpose of the Opposition parties and the elected MPs? The MPs are elected as the people's representatives to take care of their welfare needs.

If the Government's budget is good for the people, why call the budget a populist one? Are the Opposition MPs not willing to see the people benefit? Opposition leaders used to shout aloud words like "rakyat hidup sengsara .... kalau kami jadi kerajaan esok, kami akan turunkan harga minyak".

Now, the Government announced a generous Budget 2009 that will see an improvement in public transportation, a lower tax bracket, a tax free interest earnings on individuals' savings, lower taxation on consumer durable goods and many more goodies. Perhaps the Opposition could have done better?

Nevertheless, the Opposition MPs should not slam the Government for saying it is a populist budget. If the Government are not generous and come up with a prudent and tight Budget, then I can assure you that the Opposition MPs will scream out loud with their microphones in the streets, in halls and to the media saying "Kerajaan tak prihatin terhadap kebajikan rakyat! Undilah Pakatan Rakyat!".

I remember Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saying on TV during the debate with Datuk Shabery, "Tak bolehkah saya ambil keuntungan daripada Petronas untuk memberi subsidi minyak kepada rakyat?". Will Barisan Nasional leaders have the right to tell Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his fellow Pakatan Rakyat leaders, "Tak bolehkah saya ambil keuntungan daripada Petronas untuk memberi bantuan kebajikan kepada rakyat dan wang pembangunan kepada negara? Now, do not forget that TheStar had a front page article showing how Petronas' petrodollars are used to fund the machinery of Government every year.

I know a deficit budget is not that good. I also understand that Malaysia takes loans from foreign banks and other financial institutions. Different Economists have different stand on this. That is why we can see even rich and developed countries adopting deficit budgets. Deficit budgets are more evident in developing countries though. I shall leave the Economics part of budget aside as I am not an expert to discuss a deficit or a surplus budget.

Perhaps the Opposition members are merely doing their job in their capacity as the Opposition members of Malaysia. We cannot blame them much. If the Opposition do not oppose to almost everything the Government has to say, then the Opposition is really useless, right?

Yes I admit it seems clear that the budget is a move to reduce the people's support for Pakatan Rakyat and maintain the position of Barisan Nasional as the ruling party. Whatever it is, the main point is the rakyat. If the rakyat benefits from the Budget, why slam the budget as a populist budget?

If the Opposition MPs especially Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim believe they can produce a better budget, then I wish to see their version of Budget. I hope they do not contradict themselves in public and in Parliament because everyone is watching the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and whatever they say. They are after all the new "celebrities" of Malaysia.

I am sure the Opposition MPs can suggest to the EPU and the Prime Minister for amendments to the Budget that will benefit the people. The PM will listen to all ideas from all elected representatives.

May the rakyat and the country benefit from the politicians of our country !

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hear The Cries from The Graves of Our Founding Fathers

The Lingam tape had created a public impression that the Courts are controlled by the Executive arm. Most of the people do not know that it is the Prime Minister’s power to appoint the Chief Justice of Malaysia.

And is it wrong for the Prime Minister of Malaysia to receive suggestions and comments from people that who should be the next Chief Justice of Malaysia? No it is not. In fact, lobby groups are so strong in democratic countries like US. It is the PM’s own decision on who to appoint. Say, if the PM chose the judge which was recommended by a Mr Chong, he will surely brag about how powerful or influential he is and that the PM listens to his advice. Then, there will be a Chong tape, I suppose?

It is the portfolio of powers that is wrong, not Barisan Nasional and certainly not the Prime Minister who has the power to appoint the Chief Judge within legal means. Parliament should move a motion to remove this power from the Prime Minister and improve the selection process.

A Judicial Commission might seem good but I hope that the shortlist of the Judicial Commission will be given to the PM, Cabinet, and the Parliament of Malaysia for approval. This way, with so many checks and balances, the Courts will be fair, theoretically.

I have always believed in the Courts of Malaysia and so did Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his family. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) was sentenced to jail for sodomy and abuse of power in the 1998-99 trial. DSAI served his jail term for abuse of power and sodomy but his sodomy charge was overturned a couple of years ago.

Yes. On that day, everyone screamed and hailed our Courts for being fair and just. But after that, the public and the Opposition slammed our Courts for being a “kangaroo Court” for our Executive arm.

Is that so? Then DSAI must be dragged to jail again because the verdict by the Court was influenced by the Executive arm, as claimed by the Opposition, until our Courts have been reformed and they are fair and just.

Or are the words “fair and just” a property right of DSAI only? I leave that to you to analyse. If you think that the Courts are not fair and just, then as a citizen of Malaysia, I place a great suspicion on the part where the sodomy charge was quashed a few years ago.

If the Courts are just and fair, then so be it. And we shall once again read the verdict carefully, which the general public does not know. He was released by the verdict of 2-1 at the Court that the prosecutors have failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubts.

True. It might seem that he is innocent. However, the Court included the words, “To summarise our judgement, even though reading the appeal record, we find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen.”

What DSAI must do now? Fight the Court’s sentence that agreed there were evidence of sodomy. But will DSAI do so? I don’t know if he can do so or not from the legal perspective, but assuming he can, will he?

Saiful took an oath at the mosque. He claimed he was sodomized and he swore on the Quran at the FT Mosque. According to my Muslim friend, with a very strong religious background, it is really something significant when a Muslim enters a mosque to take an oath.

And being a strong Opposition supporter, he was surprised why DSAI did not take up the challenge to just walk into the mosque and take the oath. So was I. Soon after, issues of that oath taking ceremony started to flow in and DSAI’s camp started questioning the appropriateness of taking the oath on the Quran. I shall not touch on that matter because I am not an Islamic scholar.

I am however surprised with PAS’ stand. PAS have always fought for hudud laws and an Islamic state and they hold true every word of the Quran. It seem as though the Quran are the principles that shape and build their lives.

But to defend DSAI for not taking the oath and to attack a fellow Muslim who merely had a “session with Allah” and swore on the Quran that he is telling the truth, is that justifiable from PAS?

Yes. A man with a wife, kids and a happy family with lots of friends does not seem to be a bisexual. No, not homosexual because he still has his wife. Malaysians seem to think that he is a homosexual. Perhaps that is because we have only been exposed to two extreme ends of sexuality. What about bisexuality? Has it crossed your mind? Maybe he is, maybe is not.

One of my friends said, “The sodomite von”. No. There is nothing wrong with his English. And we shall leave it there for each of us to interpret.

For the record, I have nothing against the Opposition parties. In fact, my blogging in the past have always been biased in support of forming a more formidable Opposition.

DAP has done well so far but I disagree with certain policies. What we aim for is unity and certain actions of DAP do not seem to go well with the Muslims. It is in the Constitution that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia.

With that I believe, it recognizes Malaysia as an Islamic country, with or without hudud laws. DAP must improve their domestic diplomacy to win the hearts of all Malaysians, otherwise, DAP will not go far but instead create further turmoil.

Moreover, DAP is in Pakatan Rakyat now with PAS and PKR sleeping on the same bed. PKR will surely not take any stand because in one hand, it is a party who screams a Malaysian Malaysia with no recognition of Malaysia as an Islamic state (when we already are) and in another is PAS where Islam is the main agenda. If DAP cannot convince their partner, PAS, on policies and form a Government together with PKR, under the umbrella of Pakatan Rakyat, then Pakatan Rakyat will crack one day.

And if PKR cannot convince PAS Youth about their policies or if PAS cannot get the backing from PKR and DAP on their objectives, then where will Pakatan Rakyat be in the future? It is indeed a very unstable partnership or coalition as opposed to Barisan Nasional.

Pakatan Rakyat must solve their internal affairs first. The problem is not only a “one voice, one policy” coalition. Look at the 2 Exco members in Perak. Just a few months in power and they are already getting charged by the ACA.

Yet the Opposition parties attack the ACA and condemning them for being so efficient when it comes to investigations of the Opposition. Well, what about the part where Pakatan Rakyat should admit their mistake in selecting the two and apologize to the public especially the duo’s constituency?

Wont that be a better political play since the public might say Pakatan Rakyat leaders are humble and acknowledge their mistake and will strive harder to serve the community?

And yes. Barisan Nasional must realise that their strategy in Malaysia’s political landscape is no longer practical. UMNO members should really stop the “ketuanan Melayu” issue where the Chinese and Indians seem unwelcomed in Malaysia although we all hold the same identity card. Or they will lose their comfortable seats and drag all other Barisan Nasional component parties along down to the bed of the ocean.

The people of all races were not happy with UMNO for their leadership style, policies and several fishy issues. The people of all races were not happy with other BN component parties for being “beggars” to UMNO. The problem lies in UMNO. And if UMNO do not slap themselves hard, then good bye UMNO. UMNO will sink and drag other BN component parties along. We will then hear cries from the graves of Parti Perikatan’s founding fathers.

We speak of the struggles of our founding fathers. We respected them highly and for the unity we showed to the British, we were granted Independence. Now, BN has failed the founding fathers. We will begin to hear cries from the graves of BN’s founding fathers.

UMNO needs to reform or they will face a big problem very soon especially when we have DSAI back in Parliament now and with the momentum of BN members leaving for Pakatan Rakyat. In challenging times like this, UMNO should realise who their true friends are – MCA and MIC.

These two parties remain loyal to Barisan Nasional coalition agreement. Gerakan is out of this because they are beginning to phase out from BN and I think it will just be a matter of time.

If UMNO fail to recognize these true friends and begin to be grateful and appreciative of their alliance called Barisan Nasional, then UMNO will soon find themselves in a dark corner all by themselves. Barisan Nasional must not forget that UMNO and MCA elections are coming up.

I expect a bandwagon effect where the heavyweights who suffer losses in the upcoming elections might consider leaving their respective parties and join DAP, PKR or PAS and bring along their supporters. You might call them sore loser but they are leaving a probable sinking ship.

And if the Captain of this ship still ignore the leak in the ship and make no attempt to fix it, then good bye. The cries from the graves of our founding fathers will haunt the leadership of BN especially UMNO soon.

A pretty interesting political landscape in Malaysia, don’t you think? We have yet to hear or clarify the claims from DSAI on his 6 boxes of evidence on BN’s wrongdoings, the “Port Dickson issue” of Datuk Seri Najib. We have yet to hear the clarification from DSAI on the origins of his political funds. And are we to see more family affairs than Pak Lah’s administration in Federal Government Cabinet when the Opposition takes over as they claim they will in September?

Nevertheless, congratulations Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on your election victory. A win is still a win. Welcome back to the Parliament.

Malaysia, is truly Asia and entertaining.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Ramadhan is coming and I would like to wish all my Muslim friends a happy and memorable month long Ramadhan. It seems too early to wish all of you Selamat Hari Raya and I shall reserve it for some other day.

Recently, I browsed through Wikipedia to read up on Intelligence Agencies. You can read it here It is a rational expectation of me to see the Malaysian category, of course.

We have 5 Intelligence agencies according to Wikipedia. They are the Cawangan Khas, Majlis Keselamatan Negara, Military Intelligence Organization, Kor Risik DiRaja and Jabatan Risikan Persekutuan. I think I have heard of all the agencies except the Kor Risik DiRaja.

Interesting organization structure of Kor Risik DiRaja. I am not sure if any of the agencies have been shut down already but I am pretty sure Special Branch, MIO and MKN is still around.

Also, all the best to the candidates of Permatang Pauh and may the Permatang Pauh people's choice win there. I am surprised with the DAP Convention results and the recruitment of Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim who was then appointed Vice Chairman of DAP. Smart move by DAP there I would say.

I wonder if MCA and UMNO elections will bring about a bed full of surprises. We shall wait and see. Have a good day !

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I respond to a recent comment on my blog entry. The reader said

"funny to see this coming out from a Malaysian who's currently studying in Australia... why didnt you opt to further your studies at a local malaysian university? what was the reason? Not all of our current universities are in such bad state. if u study overseas, it is also considered an outflow of our currency to other countries. lol "

Perhaps you do not know me. Allow me to introduce myself. I am currently a holder of the Public Service Department Scholarship pursuing a Bachelor of Economics in ANU, the 16th best university in the world. And it is not my choice whether I want to study here or not. Moreover, it has never crossed my mind to obtain an overseas education due to affordability reasons.

My views have always been limited to what my parents taught me, to what the KBSM has moulded me into, to what I read and see in Malaysia. Pursuing an overseas education, with the kindness of JPA and the taxpayers, I widen my scope and thinking.

However, I will not just stay away and do nothing like the many hypocrites who slam the country but are not willing to help build a better and more beautiful home called Malaysia. Every single dollar the Government and the taxpayers have invested in me, I will return it by chipping in to build a better nation with a proper education system for the future.

It is true that not all our Malaysian Universities are in a bad state. But the public do not go hoo-haa for nothing over the education system of Malaysia. We stand and fight for a better future !

I believe that explains to my dear reader who seem to attack me personally.

Apakah Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia Yang Dimaksudkan?

Masalah polarisasi kaum bagaikan tiada garisan penamat, seperti dinasti dan DNA. Bacalah di SINI. Memanglah benar kanak-kanak yang dilahirkan itu tidak tahu apa-apa pun. Lihatlah. Ada pelajar yang pergi ke sekolah jenis kebangsaan Cina. Ada pelajar yang pergi ke sekolah jenis kebangsaan Tamil.

Dan sudah tentu ramai yang pergi ke sekolah agama rakyat, sekolah berasrama penuh dan sebagainya di mana pelajar-pelajarnya orang Melayu dan beragama Islam. Dengan adanya sistem sebegini, bersatukah Malaysia?

Sistem pendidikan pun ada dua jenis seperti yang diketahui. Sistem pendidikan yang formal dan sistem pendidikan tidak formal. Sudah tentu baiklah adanya sekolah-sekolah menengah kebangsaan di mana pelajar Melayu, Cina dan India duduk semeja dan bergaul mesra.

Namun benarkah di sekolah-sekolah menengah kebangsaan ini akan lahirlah semangat perpaduan dan muhibbah? Tidak. Semuanya tidak terjamin.

Tanyalah ibu bapa Cina. Dari kecil mereka berbicara di depan anak-anak betapa terpinggirnya mereka berasa. Kadang-kadang sekiranya kedai yang jual "burger" di kawasan perumahan mereka tidak buka gerai, mereka akan kata "Oh, si Melayu ini malas. MARA beri bantuan tetapi tak tahu menghargainya". Tanyalah orang Melayu. Sudah pasti ada sebilangan daripada mereka yang bersifat perkauman dan mengaitkan orang Cina dengan khinzir.

Takkanlah budak-budak ini pergi sekolah dan guru-guru mengajar mereka perkara sebegini!

Tidak. Sedikit sebanyak, isu ini berpunca daripada sistem pendidikan tak formal. Saya di sini tidak menuduh semua ibu bapa tetapi saya hanya mengulas secara umum. Janganlah pula balik ke rumah dan marah ibu bapa. Mereka berjasa kepada kita. Kita semua perlulah faham.

Generasi pra Merdeka mempunyai cara permikiran tersendiri dan sudah tentu mempunyai "spillover effects" daripada era pecah dan perintah British.

Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia ini akan menjadi "stepping stone" ataupun titik permulaan kepada perpaduan Malaysia yang akan menjulang Malaysia ke era yang cemerlang, gemilang dan terbilang. (Entah apa yang terjadi kepada laungan slogan Pak Lah yang bermakna ini.)

Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia ini akan menjadi Tugu Perpaduan Malaysia sebagai lambang usaha anak-anak generasi muda Malaysia untuk bersatu padu dan menghapuskan sepenuhnya sisa-sisa polisi pecah dan perintah yang jelas dilihat dalam minda generasi pra merdeka, dalam sistem pendidikan dan dalam pentadbiran.

Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia ini akan merancang untuk masa depan Malaysia. Setiap pelajar yang masuk ke universiti ini akan dididik oleh pakar-pakar bidang yang ditawarkan dan generasi pendidik ini akan menerima modul yang dinamakan MODUL PERPADUAN DAN KECEMERLANGAN AKADEMIK.

Berkemungkinan besar ada sesetengah orang yang merasakan bilangan Universiti dah cukup di Malaysia dan projek Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia tidak patut digunakan kerana kita masih boleh menggunakan model Universiti-universiti yang sedia ada.

Tepuk dada, tanya selera. Benarkah model Universiti-universiti kini masih dapat diperjuangkan dan diteruskan?

Sistem yang sedia ada hanya akan diwariskan dari satu generasi generasi yang seterusnya dari segi generasi pelajar, generasi administrasi, generasi pemimpin pelajar, generasi pendidik dan sebagainya. Minda, akhlak, pertuturan dan percaturan hanya akan berterusan bagaikan dinasti polarisasi kaum yang saya jelaskan seketika dahulu.

Ketepikan isu perpaduan. Lihatlah isu pendidikan. Makin lama makin merosot UM, USM dan UKM. Pengaruh politik, agenda politik, isu politik. Kiri kanan depan belakang, semuanya politik.

Majukah universiti-universiti Malaysia? Tak perlulah saya jelaskan apa-apa isu bukan politik yang lain yang membelenggu Universiti-universiti Malaysia. Panjang senarainya dan rakyat sudah tentu tahu dalam hati apakah yang dimaksudkan oleh saya.

Model Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia ini akan menjadi "monumental institution". Universiti ini dicadangkan oleh saya kerana adanya pendidikan, maka sifat perkauman tidak akan wujud.

Pendidikan bukan sahaja mewujudkan persaingan, kecemerlangan, kebijaksanaan dan kerjaya. Pendidikan akan membawa semangat muhibbah, perpaduan, toleransi dan rakyat Malaysia akan bersatu padu selama-lamanya.

Saya rasa tak perlulah saya katakan lagi isu orang bukan Melayu yang tidak akan mempertahankan negara sekiranya negara menghadapi masalah. Barisan pertahanan negara terdiri daripada orang Melayu. Tak perlulah saya ungkitkan lagi isu krisis ekonomi matawang.

Ramai orang bukan Melayu yang mengalirkan wang ringgit ke luar negara. Tak perlulah saya katakan kepada orang bukan Melayu. Ramai keluarga orang bukan Melayu yang menggalakkan anak-anaknya berhijrah ke luar negara.

Sudah pastilah ada banyak polisi, tindak-tanduk dan kata-kata oleh pemimpin Melayu yang bersifat perkauman. Tak perlulah saya tunjukkan kepada pemimpin-pemimpin orang Melayu.

Hujah ini tak berhenti dan akan berterusan. Melayu, Cina dan India. Setiap hari kami mengungkitkan perkataan Melayu, Cina dan India. Adakah berbeza orang yang duduk di tepi kita sekarang? Bukankah insan yang mulia?

Hatiku terguris apabila seorang rakan saya memperkenalkan dirinya sebagai "brown people" semasa menghadiri kelas pada semester yang lepas. Di depan 20 orang, rakan saya ini memperkenalkan dirinya dan menambah bahawa di Malaysia ini ada orang kuning dan orang coklat. "Brown people".

Betapa sedihnya hati saya. Saya tak pasti sekiranya kata-kata rakan saya ini ada maksud tersirat tetapi saya percaya rakan saya itu juga sedih melihat krisis perkauman di Malaysia.

Wahai anak-anak Malaysia ! Hapuskanlah minda pra Merdeka ! Minda kita masih dijajah oleh sistem pecah dan perintah ! Bersatulah dan berusahalah. Anak-anak generasi muda Malaysia bakal memimpin negara dan saya percaya suatu hari nanti, Malaysia akan menjadi negara yang semua rakyatnya akan melaung - "TANAH TUMPAHNYA DARAHKU".

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Sambanthan, UMNO dan Parti Perikatan telah berusaha dan berjaya mendapatkan kemerdekaan dan perpaduan kepada Malaysia. Tibalah masanya untuk generasi muda untuk meneruskan perjuangan.

Biarlah Universiti ini menghasilkan anak jati Malaysia yang akan berjuang untuk Malaysia, yang akan menentang sentimen perkauman, yang akan berbakti kepada Malaysia dan yang akan mengharumkan nama Malaysia di arena antarabangsa.

Izinkanlah Universiti ini menjadi PERINGATAN kepada semua betapa pentingnya perpaduan dan pendidikan dan Universiti ini akan menjadi lambang dan tugu bahawa Malaysia sudah bersatu dan maju.

Kibarlah Jalur Gemilang yang gagah dan merdeka di Universiti ini. Tanpa pendidikan, maka ranaplah negara. Tanpa pendidikan, maka tidak tercapailah perpaduan. Saya berharap suatu hari nanti, wujudlah Universiti Perpaduan Malaysia.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Fairytale of Universities in Malaysia

Let me first lay out the universities associated to political parties of Barisan Nasional. First of all, we have Universiti Tun Razak which is largely linked to UMNO, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman by MCA, AIMST by MIC and of course the latest to join the pack is Wawasan Open University that is said to be endorsed by Gerakan.

Of course we have many other public universities such as UiTM, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. There are a lot more universities, university colleges, private colleges and vocational colleges.

The list goes on. The mainstream universities have large influences of politics in them that are linked to BN and Pakatan Rakyat component parties. This is one thing we all cannot deny.

Now, in the eyes of the non Bumiputeras, many parents see that their children do not receive assistance from the Government like how the Government helped the Bumiputeras. The generation before me see the windows and doors to their children's education shut out.

And if their kids do not get a place in any public universities, they blame the Government that their children are out in the streets selling drugs, joining triads, working in pubs, selling mobile phones and DVDs, working in construction sites and many more.

If we take our time to sit down and think properly, the education window for non Bumis are not shut out just like that. If you walk in penniless into UTAR, AIMST or WOU, I am quite sure there will be funds at hand to help you.

I have read that KLK Foundation gives out monthly grants to help students who need them. We have all heard about the PTPTN loans that Government willingly hand out.

In fact, one of the parents I talked to a year ago told me the PTPTN loans seem to come in a generous manner where the loans they give are more than sufficient to cover for University fees, housing fees and there are still some to spare for a laptop. I do not know how the system of PTPTN loans work but that was basically what he told me.

So there is absolutely no excuses for our non Bumiputera parents to slam the Government and the Malays. Yes it is true that the Government assists the Bumiputeras by securing a certain high percentage of entrants to core subjects.

Yes it is true at times top students of non Bumis who applied for core subjects were not given their top choices and they were forced to do other courses or go to a private University.

I strongly urge that parents do not blame the Government for everything because there are still options. Do not let your kids stray out of education at such a age.

Consider the PTPTN loans, the JPA loans, the many grants and scholarships. One need not be bright or genius to get some of these help. Give them the education they deserve. And I believe in the long run, your kids will be marketable.

Yes. The Government might secure places for the Bumiputeras in universities. But how marketable are they? I dare say the best of the Malays are really good and in fact better than the non Bumiputeras. But a majority of them have failed the hopes that the Government placed on them.

Simply because the quality of their education and the students are not up to the standard required in the industry. Also, politics play a big role in those Universities and with that bugging their minds, education will not be the main agenda.

I strongly urge the Bumiputeras to understand the great amount of help the Government is providing them with and the opportunities. Dr Mahathir wept when he publicly declared and criticised the Malays. The "tongkat Melayu" that the Government provided had not been utilised properly and exploited well enough.

We cannot deny the fact that Tongkat Melayu cannot be there forever. Business students will understand the efficiency theory, the losses due to subsidies and the many effects on competitiveness.

The Tongkat Melayu was meant for the Malays to stand back up and be on par with the non Malays after the "pecah dan perintah" rule by the British that strained racial harmony and Economic status of Malaysians.

As such, after 51 years of Independence, the Tongkat Melayu will surely come to an end soon. The Tongkat Melayu must not be misused by the Malays. Also, UiTM's actions and words merely reflect how disgraceful they are and how they have disappointed Dr Mahathir.

Some claim that why can't the Malays be allowed to compete among themselves. Yes of course you can but I believe all the top and competitive Malay students are either overseas or in UM, UKM and USM. And so are the top non Malays. Moreover, making such a sweeping statement can be inverted to a point as saying "Yes I am weak".

If there is nothing to be afraid of, make Dr Mahathir proud and make me proud. Challenge and defeat the non Malays in your homeground, the UiTM. University is not all about going in there and getting a certificate out. We do not build 100 Universities and produce 1 million graduates and we call ourselves educated. That is wrong.

Look at the Oxbridge graduates. There are limited places and they are extremely hard to enter. The graduates that they produce are world class graduates and one of them is a Deputy UMNO Youth leader now, although many attacked him for reasons known to all. But that is not the point.

The point is, our graduates must be as competitive as everyone else. UiTM graduates should not worry about competing with the non Malays too. The world out there even in Malaysia do not segregate people by races, generally speaking. As such, for the benefit of UiTM students, they should not be worrying too much but instead scream aloud, "BRING IT ON!".

I have been into UiTM's Main Campus in Shah Alam. I once asked for directions to go to one of their many libraries. The student did not understand my simple English of directions at all. I am so sorry for her that the education system has failed her.

And there she stood to acquire a University education. In the end, I spoke to her in Bahasa Malaysia and she understood. Perhaps she was shock to see a Chinese in UiTM and it caused her not to be able to reply me in English.

Did I say a Chinese in UiTM? Yes. Me. And Many more. Allow me to share a little about UiTM. There was once I was on a bus from Shah Alam back to Ipoh. Next to me was an old Makcik. She chatted with me and asked me where was I studying. I told her UiTM. She was shocked and asked me "Aren't you Chinese?". Yes, do not be surprised that I was once a UiTM student.

UiTM Kampus Seksyen 17. That is where I did my pre university education. The college there is called International Education Centre, UiTM where Petronas scholars, Mara Scholars, JPA scholars and Bank Negara scholars study for 1-2.5 years before going overseas for University education. The courses there include ADP, Ausmat, A Levels, and others.

When I was about to leave UiTM Kampus Seksyen 17 for Australia, there were talks going on to allow private students to enter the college for Pre University studies. Yes. Indirectly, UiTM is already accepting non Bumiputeras, although not for University education, but at least for Pre University. I wonder if the general public knows about this. For sure, the Makcik sitting next to me didn't.

Yes, I know many will attack me now. I might seem pro Malay being a Chinese myself. Or some might even misinterpret my words and think I am anti Malay. Call me whatever you want.

I have said it countless time already. Malaysia will achieve a Malaysian Malaysia and enter the developed country category with wealth, harmony and growth if and only if the Malays stand up on their own feet. It will be a time where we can dismantle the effects of the "divide and rule" system by the British.

I read Sheih's recent article with great interest. And I hope the non Bumiputeras also understand the many support UTAR, AIMST and WOU have received from Government agencies, Government linked companies, private sector and of course the Government for giving out the licenses to operate the Universities.

But then again, with UTAR, WOU and AIMST where the former two are Chinese based universities and the latter an Indian based university, are the students as good as those in public Universities?

No. I am pretty sure that if I ask for directions in UTAR, there will be students who can hardly answer me in English. Some might not even know the language well and some might not even have the confidence to answer me. I might be better off speaking in Chinese to them.

As such, allow me to come to the main point that I want to say. Where is the unity? Are we not still practising the "divide and rule" system? Yes we are. If the Chinese seek education from WOU and UTAR while the Indians go to AIMST and the Malays go to UiTM, then how then can the 25 million Malaysians unite?

I strongly urge the Parliament of Malaysia to come up with a united Malaysian university where all races can mix and match and compete with each other based on a proper education system. Let this university takeover the "failed" University Malaya and be the best University in Malaysia.

The Government of Malaysia should back this University with all their might, support and finances to fund for researches, education, lecturers and top students from all races and backgrounds just like how the Government of Australia do with ANU. Let us unite and make this university a long term project where it will someday be the top 20 best University in the world.

What about the enrolment? Yes. Let us go by the composition of races in Malaysia where 65% of the students of this University can be Malays, 26% are Chinese, 8% are Indians and we can have 1% of others. Some might disagree and want equal rights. And if equal rights are so important, we can always make a cut for 33% for each of the 3 main races and other Malaysians can take the 1%. Or whatever it is that the Parliament of Malaysia decides.

Make it a University where all the objectives laid out shall not be failed by the students, the lecturers and the administration. A failure will mean that person has to pack up and the next best person for the seat will come in.

And this project which I strongly urge the Government of Malaysia, the Parliament of Malaysia and the people of Malaysia to take up shall be named University Perpaduan Malaysia.

Together we shall bring the creme de la creme of Malaysian students from all races and unite them under one umbrella in this University. With this University, all students shall no longer be taught the racism as I described in my earlier article on why racism is like a dynasty in Malaysia. Students shall be taught that the person sitting next to them is a fellow Malaysian, and whatever their parents tell them about the other races might not be true.

The Chinese and the Malays shall never call each other "pigs" anymore. The Indians shall never be associated with the "snakes". Yes. We shall all live in harmony where hand in hand, we uphold the true strength of unity and we walk forward to take on the world. We formulate a country which we call home where all Malaysians will always dream about and think of when overseas, when in the country and even when they are sleeping.

Someday if I go to Parliament, I shall table the motion for a University Perpaduan Malaysia with the principles of unity and great competitive education that will put us in the roadmap of World's Best Universities. If any MPs feel that this is something good for the long term future of Malaysia, feel free to take it away from me.

We shall not neglect the other public universities but the system attached to them has not shown us results that we desire and that will make us proud. It is only through education that unity, development and prosperity can be achieved. So be it.

I want to see a University Perpaduan Malaysia one day. Let me highlight the working paper tabled by Tun Dr Mahathir when he was Prime Minister on Vision 2020. This part was titled "Malaysia as A Fully Developed Country - One Definition". Read it here. Also, do read Sheih's article here. His article is full of details and analysis.

Good day everyone !

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Power of Eyes and Brains

I am not gonna talk about politics today. We need a break right? From all the news and accusations and politicians making sweeping statements, we all seriously need a break.

Come. Let me show you some websites that my pal introduced to me. He got the links from his Graphic Data Analysis Statistics lecturer.


Now before you go to this website, read this first. You will see a video of 6MB loading. And there will be a group of youngsters with two balls in a room. They will be passing both the balls simultaneously. Count the number of times the balls are passed around. Try to be as accurate as possible.

Then, watch the video again without counting the balls. Just stare at the video clip. And you will understand what I mean. Normally, we will focus all our attention and stare at the two basketballs passed around and we will not notice the "special" thing. We will only notice it the 2nd time we watch the video when we merely stare at the video.

You will understand what I am trying to say once you watched it. And introduce this video to your pals !

2. The Right Brain vs Left Brain. Check it out here.

3. Medical updates. Read more here.

4. I am sure many have seen this before but for those who haven't, please visit here. This video clip is about Christian, the lion. It is a true story and a touching one indeed. The music was suitable too and enhanced the emotions. Well, I leave it for you to watch and enjoy.

5. For those who enjoy optical illusions, explore the world of illusions here. In particular, I liked the Lincoln one, Munker White Illusion, Dr Angry and Mr Smile, and a few others. Take your time exploring.

Enjoy the links.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Politik Malaysia

Permatang Pauh, Najib dan BN

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, bakal pemimpin parti terbesar di Malaysia - UNITED MALAYS NATIONAL ORGANIZATION (UMNO), telah memilih Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah sebagai calon parti Barisan Nasional untuk bertanding dalam pilihan raya kecil kerusi Parlimen Permatang Pauh.

Pertama sekali, saya berharap BN sedar yang kerusi Permatang Pauh ini merupakan kubu kepada keluarga Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Kerusi ini bukanlah kubu Parti Keadilan Rakyat tetapi kubu Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Saya juga berharap BN sedar bahawa DSAI, PKR dan Pakatan Rakyat makin lama makin popular atas sebab isu-isu yang berlegar di sekeliling parti-parti komponen BN dan pemimpin-pemimpin BN.

Namun setelah mengumumkan calon BN itu, lihatlah betapa banyaknya blog dan laman web yang mengungkitkan cerita Tan Sri Amin Shah. Ingatkah anugerah gelaran "Datuk" Amin Shah ditarik balik oleh Istana Selangor? Ingatkah isu perkapalan Tan Sri Amin Shah? Ingatkah isu bankrupt Tan Sri Amin Shah? Banyak lagi berita yang sedang dikaitkan.

Maka atas isu-isu ini, apakah justifikasi BN mengumumkan Datuk Arif Shah sebagai calon? Hanya kerana YB pandai berbahasa Cina? Cukupkah itu? Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hanya perlu berkata "Ni Men Hau" kepada golongan Cina. Maka satu kampung Cina akan memberi tepukan. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim juga ada Tian Chua dan Dr Lee Boon Chye untuk membantu beliau menarik hati pengundi Cina.

Berkemungkinan besar Datuk Arif ini merupakan calon "terbaik" BN. Tetapi, Parti Keadilan Rakyat tidak akan duduk diam. Bersedialah, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Ini bukan sahajalah perang BN-PKR, tetapi perang Najib dan Anwar.

PAS, DAP dan Pakatan Rakyat

Ya. Saya berani berkata bahawa manifesto Pakatan Rakyat belum lagi mantap untuk meyakinkan rakyat Malaysia. Mentadbir kerajaan tidaklah semudah menurunkan harga minyak sebanyak 50-70 sen, tidaklah semudah menjerit "REFORMASI !", tidaklah semudah menjerit "Kerajaan Barisan Nasional korup".

Saya juga bersetuju dengan kata-kata Nasharuddin. Mengapa PAS boleh bersalam mesra dengan DAP dan "tidur sekatil" dalam Pakatan Rakyat tetapi PAS tak boleh berbincang dengan UMNO di mana ahli-ahlinya umat Islam. Saya ni tak lah pakar sangat isu Islam tapi tak bodoh juga. Tanyalah sesiapa, semuanya tahu agenda DAP bertentangan dengan agenda PAS.

Datuk Seri Nik Aziz merupakan tokoh politik yang saya hormati. Namun, masa telah berubah. Datuk Seri lihatlah wakil-wakil Pemuda PAS dan ucapan-ucapan mereka. Kebanyakan daripada mereka meluaskan ketidakpuasan hati terhadap arah PAS baru-baru ini. Saya rasa dah tiba masanya Datuk Seri Haji Hadi Awang dan Datuk Seri Nik Aziz menyerahkan pucuk kepimpinan kepada generasi professional PAS yang baru.

Parti PAS tidaklah salah sekiranya berjuang atas dasar dan agenda Islam. Namun rakyat lebih cenderung ke arah pembangunan negara, kemajuan rakyat dan perpaduan yang berkekalan. Tanyalah mana-mana umat Islam dan bukan Islam. Sudah tentu inilah yang diinginkan. Izinkanlah generasi baru PAS untuk memimpin.

Walau bagaimanapun, saya tidak berapa setuju dengan undang-undang hudud diperkenalkan di Malaysia. Kadang-kadang kita perlulah lihat. Apa yang lebih penting? Keputusan atau cara mendapatkan keputusan? Yang pentingnya keputusan.

Sekiranya undang-undang berperlembagaan diRaja Malaysia kini mampu membawa keputusan yang sama seperti undang-undang hudud, apakah salahnya kami meneruskan institusi perundangan yang sedia ada? Saya percaya umat Islam dan pemimpin beragama Islam tentu tidak akan membantah hujah saya ini.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Extradition of Thaksin

Do a popularity poll all throughout Thailand, make sure every single registered Thai is in it, and I am almost certain that Thaksin will come out as "popular". Run an election with Thaksin in the hot seat of probable Prime Minister if his party wins, and I am almost certain he will lead the kingdom of Siam under the Constitutional Monarchy of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

A once successful billionaire who decided to "retire" from business and hand his holding interests to his family members led by his wife, Khunying Potjaman. Thaksin joined politics with Thai Rak Thai and won two landslide victories. If I am not mistaken, he created history on that part.

Assuming Khunying Potjaman is merely a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra in business transactions and interests, then the Rachadaphisek land deal scandal is certainly not her fault. The Court sentenced her to 3 years jail recently. She was said to have won the land bid at one third of the appraised value, with "help" from Thaksin.

Also, the Attorney General Chamber is piling up lawsuits against Thaksin. They include the Thai Exim Bank loan to Burma, legalisation of underground lottery, tax changes to benefit the then Shinawatra family owned Shin Corp, and others. To be honest, I have not read enough on these lawsuits and the full details. However, allow me to comment on the legalisation of underground lottery and changes in tax regimes.

Now, sex trade was once banned in Thailand but now legalised. The spread of sex trade is so great there that it seems almost impossible to eradicate. Money that changes hand there are not accounted for in the Government statistics, thus creating a measure of growth, income and employment that is no where near the true measure. Also, the Government loses a great amount of probable taxation revenue if sex trade is not legalised.

No. I am not saying that I support sex trade and neither am I against it. There are two sides of me, an ethical man and an Economist. So to come up with a stand from my part will mean that I need to split myself into two.

Anyway, we always say freedom is the foundation for human rights. Many in Thailand enter the sex trade to earn more money (men and women), to have a job, and I am sure some of them did it voluntarily and involuntarily. We can also think that there exists syndicates that provide sex workers to the industry there.

Because of these reasons, the Thai Government had to legalise sex trade. By doing so, they can monitor the companies that provide such services, the welfare of sex workers, earn Government taxation revenue from both the sex workers and the companies and also increase awareness about sex education.

These can include the health of sex workers, the education to the young (perhaps) to avoid sex trade, to educate the public on sex education, to curb STDs among the people, and to ensure that everything in the economy is accounted for.

Yes. The same goes with the legalisation of underground lottery. Basic economics will tell you that GDP can be calculated from the Income Approach, Production Approach or Expenditure Approach.

Either way, the "black market" is never accounted for. You can imagine how much money is circulated in the "black market" of underground lottery and previously the sex trade. For the record, gamblers in Malaysia know clearly that underground lottery in Malaysia is a huge business.

I wonder if the Malaysian Government will look into either a crackdown or a legalisation of underground lottery.

Over to tax regimes, I certainly do not know why Thaksin's Shin Corp is the only one who benefits from the changes in tax regimes. Did the taxation law specifically mentioned the word Shin Corp in between the lines?

I doubt the Parliament of Thailand and not even his supporters in Thai Rak Thai would have loved it and what more to say approved it. Moreover, if tax regimes are changed, it will benefit all the companies in the same bracket as Shin Corp. So, I voice my suspicion on this lawsuit.

One can only wonder what is happening in Thailand and the truth behind the curtains, just like in Malaysia. A country where the junta is so powerful that it can overthrow democracy is certainly not very credible, what more to say about the Attorney General's chamber.

Do not forget that the military Government removed Thaksin from power while he was in Thailand, and they handled the Government their way with many changes in Government departments and staff as well as passing a legislation that protects themselves when the election was coming up.

I guess they knew the Thais are unhappy with them and wants Thaksin's policies back. And so it came true, where the Thais voted for the People Power Party that is said to be heavily influenced and tied to Thaksin Shinawatra.

Analysts are beginning to look forward to a Thailand without Thaksin, politically, and many said that the economy will have a clearer path than before. Is that true? A day later after the many analytical comments from brokers, Economists and investors, Thailand is beginning a taskforce to extradite Thaksin and Potjaman from London under the Siam - Great Britain Extradition Treaty signed in 1911.

From hero to zero, and that is how Thaksin is treated. All these came right from the start of the military Government that threw Thaksin out of office, till now. Not only his reputation is being stained but also his assets are beginning to bid good bye to Thaksin. His 76 billion baht assets will be confiscated by the Thai Government, pending a Court judgement. That will be approximately USD 2.2 billion.

As far as I remember, Thaksin and the Shinawatra family was worth USD 1 billion at least when he was Premier. So, personally I do not see the justification in seizing all assets, assuming that the Prosecutors have concrete evidence that Thaksin abused power and accumulated wealth for the Shinawatra family.

Nevertheless, whatever happens, I wish Mr Thaksin Shinawatra, Khunying Potjaman, and the Shinawatra family all the best in the future of their freedom, political career and businesses. I support no criminal or offenders of the law. However, my support stays with Thaksin's contributions to the Thais, his policies that care for all income groups of Thailand with greater distributional weights to the poor, his vision for Thailand and of course his leadership.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Standing Ovation

First of all, allow me to make things clear. I do not hide the fact that I am an ardent and loyal supporter of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. However, I also recognize the fact that Tun has his own weaknesses, mistakes and slips. Yes, I admit that.

No one in this world is 100 percent the ideal model of a leader. This includes Lee Kuan Yew, our friend down there in Singapore. Read the Singaporean politics and you will understand the definition of democracy in Lee Kuan Yew's dictionary.

Secondly, I envy the great leadership and visionary mind of Tun Dr Mahathir. We do not support leaders blindly for who he is but we support his ideas, policies and knowledge.

Just like how we praise the great and brave leaders (warlords) of the Europeans and Chinese such as the Qin Emperor and Napoleon Bonaparte. Underneath their success is an ocean of blood, cries, screams and deaths. However, these great leaders have enviable minds that not everyone is blessed with.

It is because of the leader that can make us progress. "Do not walk behind me, walk with me, do not work for me, work with me" are words that can never see Malaysia progress. A body cannot have too many heads, a company cannot have too many CEOs, and a country cannot have too many leaders.

For if that happens, the theory of a State's existence will fall. The country will split into the many directions that each wants to lead her to. And that is why, perhaps, we see the rise of Anwar Ibrahim under the leadership of Pak Lah.

We used to have Dr M vs Anwar, where Dr M held the country firmly with him and he stood in front to lead the country. Remember the Buy British Last policy? The famous Dawn Raid of Guthrie that caused the London Stock Exchange to reform their rules?

Yes. But in times of Pak Lah vs Anwar, people see Anwar as a stronger leader who leads the pack, just like the role of the President of the United States as compared to Pak Lah's total democracy style where he allows his team and party to work with him, not for him.

You might think that I am wrong given that the principle that formed United States is a country that provides a home for those who are from another country that has less freedom than the United States of America. And one would surely expect the President of United States to practise total democracy.

No. The President of United States leads and his words have to be obeyed by his team. The role of his advisors and Cabinet are just to advise the President and govern their departments on policies set by POTUS.

Pak Lah needs to change his administration style as soon as he can. For there are too many of the sailors wanting to be Captain, and perhaps there are too many Captains already onboard this "sinking" ship. There can only be one Captain, Pak Lah.

Now, reading several articles in, I am lost for words but I shall give Tun a standing ovation with claps ! Semoga Allah panjangkan usia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ! I pray and hope that Malaysia will have another charismatic and visionary leader one day again !

The following article was written by Dr Mahathir in, his personal blog page.

1. I am very touched by the response to my article "The Country We Love" (July 27, 2008). We may have our differences, we may be of different races but it seems that we all love this country.

2. I have been abroad hundreds of times but I never fail to look forward to returning home. And as I step off the plane I would feel that sense of belonging that almost move me to tears. I am quite sure that every Malaysian feels this way upon returning to this, our very own homeland.

3. As Malaysia we are not an old country for we came into being only slightly more than 50 years ago. But it had been a very eventful half a century.

4. No one gave us much of a chance when in 1957 we lowered the Union Jack and flew the Jalur Gemilang. We were of many races, cultures and religions, divided again by our economic functions, by extreme disparities in material wealth.

5. But our wise founding fathers, our Tunku Abdul Rahman, our Tan Cheng Lock and our Tun Sambanthan worked out a unique form of racial cooperation that staved off any violent confrontation between the races.

6. That cooperation, embodied in the coalition of racial parties and the Alliance/National Front Governments enabled the country to remain peaceful, bar one or two hiccups for 50 years.

7. Those were glorious years. The country grew and prospered. It became the model of the development of a developing country, a model of racial cooperation. It became known throughout the world where once no one could evenpronounce its name. It was the envy of other developing countries.

8. Malaysians abroad felt proud because the moment they identified themselves as Malaysians, immediately people talked of F1 in Sepang and the twin towers.

9. There seemed to be nothing to stop us from achieving our goal of becoming a developed country by 2020.

10. Now all these dreams seem to have faded away. We are involved in political wrangling of all kinds, our leaders seem to be uncertain about what to do, our foreign policy is in disarray etc etc.

11. We have lost our direction. And we get no guidance.

12. We can withdraw into ourselves and merely wish our problems would go away or would solve themselves.

13. But that is wishful thinking. They will not solve themselves, they will not go away. If at all they will become worse, become much more difficult to resolve, as our people become more deeply divided.

14. The organisations created by our founding leaders which we were once confident could handle every problem have now deteriorated. Everything is about what is in it for me. Even the ordinary members of once respected political parties want something for themselves. Jobs, posts, titles, contracts and filthy lucre are the only things which matter.

15. Sacrifice? What sacrifice?

16. Who cares to sacrifice whatever. For most of the people we put our trust in to steer this beloved country to greater heights, the only sacrifice is to give up the Mercedes Benz for Proton Perdana, and that too very reluctantly.

17. I wasn't the best of leaders when I was in the hot seat.

18. But I did try my best. If my best is not good enough I am sorry.

19. But Dato Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun V.T. Sambanthan cannot be faulted in terms of the sacrifices they made, their contributions to building racial harmony, peace and stability for their country.

20. Could it be that we forgot to teach this generation of leaders about the sacrifices made by our founding fathers.

21. Could it be that we cannot handle wealth as we did poverty?

22. Could it be that our leaders lack honour and the sense to accept responsibility and to retire gracefully?

23. Some simply cannot accept the realities, the role they had played in the destruction of a near perfect system which had done so much for our country.

24. Yes we should "Cry the Beloved Country" as Alan Payton said of his South Africa of the Apartheid past.

25. But crying would take us nowhere.

26. It is time the silent majority stop being silent.

27. It is time to speak up and be counted.

28. If we love our country we must not allow crooks and charlatans to rape and steal it from us.

29. It is ours, this country of many races and religions.

30. We must stand together, we the concerned Malaysians, and defend our heritage.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Statesman Sent Into Exile

I read with great disappointment of how Thailand has treated their statesman, Thaksin Shinawatra. Allow me to stress and remind those who look at him as a corrupt leader that there is no need for him to embezzle any money, give any bribes, or take any kickbacks. He is after all, a billionaire.

Also, allow me to highlight that under Thaksin's rule, Thailand have progressed economically when he governed Thailand with his Thaksinomics. Thaksin administrated Thailand the CEO management way.

The policies of Thaksin's administration covers a vast range policies that include affordable healthcare, stimulus economic packages, soft cheap loans to the poor, Government subsidies and assistance to Northern Thailand and the farmers, infrastructure development and many more. I believe the icing would be the success of Thailand in repaying the IMF debts 2 years ahead of schedule.

This debt to IMF was incurred during the Thailand Asian financial crisis. No, I am no expert of Thailand's economy. But I have said it many times. Thaksin is a great leader and he has led Thailand to better days.

Yes, I do agree Thaksin had his fair share of ugly side. The primary issue here is that, as an apprentice in Economics, I strongly believe in the partition of financial assets into two zones - national security assets and non national security assets (i.e. commercial, private, etc). I leave the rest of the breakdown of these assets to you.

Shin Corp is a group of companies that has a massive interest in Shin Satelite, telecommuncations sector and information systems. These companies can be listed as national security assets. Thaksin is to be blamed for selling these assets to Temasek. Yes, I do agree with that from a nation's point of view.

The Criminal Court of Thailand recently sentenced Potjaman Shinawatra (wife of Thaksin) to 3 years in jail, although she has already left for political exile (some say asylum) in Beijing. It is strongly tipped that Thaksin will also leave Thailand on a trail of a pile of lawsuits from the Attorney General's chamber of Thailand. My deepest sympathy for Potjaman Shinawatra for she is merely a proxy in this case. I do not know the whole case presented in Court so I do not want to comment whether or not the judgement and the case was politically motivated.

Despite these, I would say that it is the legislation in Thailand that provided Thaksin's team of accountants, financiers and lawyers to evade taxation on the sale of Shin Corp. The sale did not break any law. How then can the people blame it on Thaksin? The noble House in Thailand should instead focus on improving their taxation legislation, review policies on controlling national security assets, and work on their economy.

Moreover, Thaksin's removal as PM is unconstitutional, although if we said that at that time, it will be a seditious remark against HRH King Bhumibol since the junta had the informal backing of King Bhumibol to take over the administration. Also, it seems like although Thaksin's allies are in power now under the banner of People's Power Party, Thaksin and his family is not a free man.

In the beginning, it was widely tipped that Thaksin will return home from exile in Hong Kong and United Kingdom once PPP govern Thailand. And it all happened. Rumours begin to go around that Thaksin's return to Thailand is merely a show and he will be let off for all the alleged crimes he did. No, that did not happen when evidently, Potjaman was sentenced to jail.

Nobody knows if Samak's administration tried to intervene in the Criminal Court case. For the record, Potjaman left for Beijing on board a Thai Airways flight along with Thai PM Samak recently after being sentenced to 3 years in jail with the motive of seeking asylum overseas.

No matter what it is, Thaksin will leave Thailand again and this time, we are not at all certain if he will be given the chance to return or not. For all he did, he is a revered man or perhaps a Saint to many in Thailand. For the Bangkok elite, Thaksin is their enemy and he must be removed.

Thailand, honestly, needs Thaksin and his policies. The high living costs globally are being felt in Thailand also. The farmers are already beginning to face financial crisis with banks, institution and Government agencies unable to assist as much as during the time in Thaksin's era. One solution? The Palace needs to come forward to once and for all solve the political crisis in Thailand.

This is one crisis that have been bugging Thailand for far too long. The PAD and PPP have been locking horns over this matter with accusations thrown at each other. If you ask me, I hope to see Thaksin make a return to Thailand.

If the people of Thailand believe he has committed wrongdoings such as abuse of power or implementing unconstitutional policies, then limit his powers as the leader of Thailand with a Special Select Committee led by The Palace of King Bhumibol with members that consist of academicians and politicians from PAD and PPP.

Otherwise, if there are fair and unmotivated evidence that he has committed crimes under the law of Thailand, then, I have nothing to say except to let the Prosecutors to do their job.
Nevertheless, I do not hide the fact that I am an ardent supporter of Thaksin's policies. We can always look at the good side and all his beneficial policies to the millions of Thais in education, healthcare, anti-drug schemes, IMF repayments, economy and many more.

A grand statesman, Thaksin Shinawatra. Just to deviate a little, I am wondering if this is a season or the century where billionaires fall due to politics. Remember Silvio Berlusconi - the former Italian PM, AC Milan club owner, tycoon and entrepreneur? Well, good for him, he is still the PM of Italy now. He held the position in 3 different times. Kinda rocky huh?

Also, of course we have not forgotten the Yukos tycoon in Russia. Mr Mikhail Khodorkovsky. His billions, if the reports were accurate, have been eroded to a millions at an approximation of USD 500 million. Yes. It is true. This man was once the 16th richest man in the world. He claims that his sentencing to jail was politically motivated because he stood with the Opposition against the Kremlin of Putin and Co. However, Russian Government prosecuted him firmly for crimes of tax evasion and fraud.

Nevertheless, we can see the link where tycoons are best not to step their legs into politics. Politics is not a ground for everyone to play. Not even the most successful businessman on Earth can. From the history and the information of global events, we can see empirically that business and politics are two different world. So, perhaps it will be a lesson for future aspiring politicians from the business world?

I read from the papers yesterday that Penarik Beca's blog owner have been detained under the Sedition Act. Yes, my blog articles do appear in Malaysiakita-Bakaq as some have already noticed. He comes to my blog once awhile and leaves some comments. Although we do not know each other personally, we are friends in the blogosphere. I wish him all the best in his trial for sedition. Take care, my friend.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Chess Pieces

Life is like a board game. Every movement we make, every thought we have, every decisions we make and every actions we carry out, they are like pieces on a board of chess game, or perhaps like strategies in a game of Go. Description of life, as time ticks away, can best be mirrored by strategic games.

Yes, we all plan our moves. But as the Joker says in The Dark Night movie, when we upset the order, the result is just chaos. It is, in some sense, true. Everything we do, we justify our actions and convince ourselves that these are planned actions with foreseeable results.

However, how many times have our planned course of action produced the desired results? Be honest. As for me, not many of my plans went well. Nevertheless, we cannot blame God, ourselves or the exogenous factors such as the people around us for everything that goes awry. These are after all, valuable experience and lessons in life that can be used to make better informed decisions at various decision nodes in any strategic decision making in the future.

I admit I do not know what I am doing in certain segments of my personal life, adoption of specific political ideology, future of my studies etc. I also cannot deny the fact that a once clear path of my future is now a little bit misty, foggy, and clouded with secrecy and uncertainty.

But that intrigues me. I want to walk down the path, though slowly, to see what is there for me to explore and to experience. The chess pieces that I move, the beads of Go that I place, and the uncertainty of my life path, have piled pressure on me to move in ways that nobody can understand.

We all might not understand why I am doing this, or why you are doing that. We all might not understand why I am saying this, why you are saying that. We all might not know why I see things this way, and why you see things the other way. We never know until the end result is shown. Then only we will know why things have happened that way.

As seconds go by, we make our moves and decisions for the moment with a desired outcome in mind and in our prayer. But have we not thought that even the happiest and care free person in the world makes decisions?

He or she has to make decisions every day. And no, he or she is not carefree. Being a rational person, every single one of us (even the most care free person in the world) makes decision based on historical information. We weigh our options and decide which is best for us to pick. We can only do so based on previous experiences.

Yes. And that is how I make my decisions. Pardon me if the words I use are not melodies to your ears. Forgive me if my actions are not what you would like. Teach me if what I have done is wrong. If I have done right things in your opinion, then praise me, pat my back and motivate me.

After saying all these, the phrase “someday we will all understand” bears a lot of meaning and weights that can make one ponder the whole day about matters related to life. And that is what I did with this phrase today.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Parliament and Oscar Awards

Soon, latest by October, Dewan Rakyat will have a new Member of Parliament. His name is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who will sit in the front bench from the Opposition side.

Yes, no matter what Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi says, regardless of what Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon claims, and whatever BN and UMNO try to do in Permatang Pauh, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) will step into Parliament as an elected MP for Permatang Pauh by October at the latest.

No one can deny that Permatang Pauh is a safe seat for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. From Kuala Kangsar (vs Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz) to Bandar Tun Razak, now he is home in Permatang Pauh. It will be two giants in Penang. It wasn't that "safe" for Datuk Seri Wan Azizah in the previous (not the recent) election. But for DSAI, it will be.

I am sorry to say this, but I don't think Datuk Pirdaus will get to run again as a candidate in Permatang Pauh. No matter what characteristics he has, or whatever background he is from, he will not be able to win against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Without Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, we already have lots of fun in Parliament. Dr Tan Seng Giaw will always be "entertaining" the MPs with his slow and steady speech. Haha. He is always being reminded by the Speaker and Deputy Speakers about his time allocation and about how he needs to utilise his time better with a "quicker" pronunciation, going right into the point etc.

We also have YB M Kulasegaran around, Datuk Mukhriz, YB Lim Kit Siang vs Khairy, Cabinet Ministers vs Opposition, YB Azmin Ali with his cool and fiery speeches. And we shall not forget the sole Independent MP YB Datuk Ibrahim Ali from Kelantan. He seems impartial so far.

The Speaker had a lot of work to control the MPs, the approval of questions, educating young MPs, disciplining senior MPs and ensure a proper debate session in Parliament all these while.

Believe me, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin. When DSAI steps into Parliament, I believe you will have to scream on top of your lungs and exert every inch of your power written in your portfolio as Speaker of Dewan Rakyat very frequently.

And the current MPs? There will be two effects. The Opposition Leader of course will be DSAI. He will run the show and work behind the scenes also. Some Opposition MPs might see that they will suffer a thing called "lack of attention" be it from the Press or Opposition leaders or party members. Why? Simply because everyone will be looking at what Anwar does only.

He winks, everyone winks. He raises his hands, everyone from the Opposition follows suit. On a lighter note, if he farts, I hope all the other MPs do not follow him to fart ! Because if 80++ Opposition MPs fart along with DSAI, then the Parliament will need to be postponed to a later time. Take it lightly okay? Dont send me any legal letters. Haha.

So, now what about the BN MPs? Yes. I will say what others are saying. They will tremble, they will have fear, and they will be experiencing a form of stage fright. No, not because of the eyes and ears focusing at them. But because they are up against DSAI and he will have his hawk eyes on them. We have to be honest on this. Only Dr Mahathir managed to be superior to DSAI when he was PM. The way Pak Lah's image is these days, and how his image has been portrayed by his advisors (not strong enough), I think it will be hard for anyone including Pak Lah to stand up against DSAI.

All is not lost for UMNO. Pak Lah can still have his team of advisors to change his image into someone superior, worth voting for and is good for Malaysia. Or, UMNO's two leaders in waiting - Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - might be able to at least reduce DSAI's shining star and popularity.

Hmm. The game is on in Malaysia. As I just told Aimran, a buddy of mine in ANU, Malaysia lately is full of accusations from all parties. And in my words, allow me to say this. "And the Oscar goes to ... Malaysia !"

A Different Perspective

Now, I am not here today to comment on anything but allow me to introduce some interesting articles to you. I read these articles and although I have different opinions with some of the authors, but nevertheless, the pieces were good !

1. Agendadaily ( on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, questions, press freedom )
2. Bigdogdotcom ( Wayang Tinggi )
3. Rockybru ( on Dr Osman - Anwar )
4. Kickdefella ( Pakatan Rakyat - PAS )
5. Chedet ( on Pulau Batu Putih and our sovereignty )
6. Ends and Means Out of Malaysia' Stalemate
7. Return Power Back To Rakyat
8. Malaysia Today ( on the sodomy medical report issue )

Relationship Economics
How Can I Find True Love With Game Theory? ( by Presh Talwalkar ) - will look at the modelling part later if I have the time.

I am being indifferent here and not taking sides, politically. All of us have our rights to believe in whatever we want to believe. There is no right or wrong, allow me to stress that. Nowadays, many of us dont know what to believe in.

Is it time for the Palace to step in like what King Bhumibol did? That is something playing in my mind now. I will leave it to all of you to judge and decide what is right and what is wrong.

Have a good day everyone !