Friday, August 27, 2010

Who says so?

Who says so?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

They distort everything and give people the impression that Islam is such a stupid religion. If they say something and say that this is their personal opinion it would not be so bad. But when they say that this is what Islam asks us to do then they make Islam look really stupid. Then we get upset when people make fun of or ridicule Islam.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

All sermon readers must pray for wellbeing of Agong, rulers and people

All khatib or sermon readers in the country have been told to pray for the wellbeing of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the rulers and people in the “doa” after the Friday sermons.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said, the action of a khatib in Penang of replacing Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin’s name with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s in the “doa khutbah” was therefore inappropriate.

“Let’s not take advantage of that (sermon) by praying for other than the respective rulers or sultans and Muslims as stipulated,” he told reporters at a Tabung Haji breaking-of-fast function, here, tonight.

“If all the ‘tok imam’ want to pray for the local leaders, confusion will arise among Muslims when the mosque is supposed to be a place for unifying the Muslim community.”

Jamil Khir was commenting on the controversial use of Lim’s name, replacing the King’s, after Friday sermons at some mosques in Penang recently.

He said it was not wrong to pray for a particular person so as to receive divine blessings but not through the Friday sermons.

“We should understand the long-standing ruling, and no one will get angry if you want to go home and pray for someone. It’s up to you.”

He urged all khatib in the country to preserve harmony and be mindful of the sensitivities of the local community who belong to different political parties and have different ideologies and beliefs, when delivering the sermons. – Bernama


Jamil Khir: Nurul Izzah has sinned by tarnishing country's image

Those who tarnish their country's image with the aim of causing turmoil are regarded to have sinned, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.

"We should love our country and be prepared to defend it, as defending our own country is a 'jihad' (holy war) which carries a big divine reward. Hence, if the reward is big (for such a 'jihad'), it is also a big sin for one to tarnish one's own country's image and honour to cause upheaval in the country," he told reporters after handing over Raya contribution from the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) for patients and certain hospitals in the Klang Valley, today.

He was earlier asked to comment on media reports that Lembah Pantai member of parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar had allegedly said things that had tarnished the country's image and reputation in an interview with an Indonesian newspaper recently.

She was alleged to have made inaccurate statements about the New Economic Policy and had belittled the capability of the country's submarines. – Bernama


The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, appears to be much in the news nowadays. Unfortunately, in both instances as reported by Bernama above, Jamil Khir is wrong on both counts.

Before that, allow me to digress a bit and take you back to a time about 20 years or so ago when I made one of my pilgrimages to Mekah (I think I probably made about ten or so trips in all).

About a dozen or so friends were at the house to send me off, as is customary for Malays who are about to make the pilgrimage. All these friends have not yet made the pilgrimage and it is believed that if we were to mention their names and ‘summon’ them while on Mount Arafah (Jable Rehmat) then God would bless them with a pilgrimage.

I asked these friends for their full names and reminded them to also list down their identity cards numbers. After all, I said, with one billion Muslims and hundreds of thousands having the same name (such as Muhammad Abdullah) we must ensure that God knows exactly who I am praying for. So the identity card numbers against their names will guarantee that God would know exactly who I am ‘summoning’ to Mekah.

To my amusement they did just that. They wrote down all their names with their identity cards numbers and gave me the list. They of course did not realise I was just pulling their legs.

If God is who we say He is then we really do not need to list down their names with birth certificate numbers and identity cards numbers. God will not get confused and will know whom we are praying for. Need I also carry their photographs in my pocket to ensure that my prayers do not get diverted to the wrong person?

Now, on the matter raised by Minister Jamil Khir, it is not compulsory for the imam to mention the Agong’s, Sultan’s, Prime Minister’s, etc., names in the Friday prayer sermons (kutbah). There is nothing in the Quran that says this is compulsory. You can do so if you wish. But it is no sin if you do not do so and neither does it violate Islam.

The way the Minister is talking, however, is as if this is the law (Islamic law) and the Minister’s statement is probably going to confuse not only the non-Muslims but the Muslims as well. The Minister is either ignorant of Islam -- as most Umno Ministers are -- or else he is trying to mislead the people.

If the imam were to just pray, “Oh Lord, please bless all our leaders and guide them to the right path and open their hearts so that they steer clear of sin and injustice and rule this country with justice and fairness…..etc.,” that is good enough.

Are we adding to what even the Prophet Muhammad himself did? In the Prophet’s last sermon in Arafah just before he died, this is what the Prophet said:

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.

Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people."

Did the Prophet pray for anyone specifically or mention anyone by name? Were the names of kings, emperors, rulers or leaders mentioned in the Prophet’s sermon?

What the Prophet did say, however, is that Islam forbids Ketuanan Melayu because all mankind comes from Adam and Eve and no race has superiority over others. Why are the imams not emulating the Prophet by including this in their Friday sermons?

The Prophet also said, “Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.” Why are the imams not including this in their Friday sermons?

Instead of praying for the rulers/leaders, like what the government has decreed, the imams should remind them, like what the Prophet did, to “not stray from the path of righteousness”, and to remind them, like what the Prophet did, that “one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds.”

It is perplexing that Malays foam at the mouth to ‘uphold the dignity of the Prophet’s name’ but they refuse to follow the simple instructions that the Prophet gave them.

“All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again…,” said the Prophet. But the imams are not doing this so I shall have to do it.

Okay, now to the next news item from Bernama about what Jamil Khir said, “Nurul Izzah has sinned by tarnishing the country's image.”

Again, either Jamil Khir is ignorant about Islam or he is trying to mislead the people. Islam says that ‘amar makruf, nahi munkar’ is compulsory. So, if the country allows or perpetuates misdeeds, transgressions, injustice, corruption, persecution, racism, abuse of power, mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money, and so on, then it is our Islamic duty to speak out against it. In fact, speaking out alone is not good enough as far as Islam is concerned. We must oppose it not only with our mouth but also with our hands, says Islam -- in short, with force.

So what is this Jamil Khir talking about? Nurul Izzah has not sinned, as he says, for exposing the wrongdoings of the government. In fact, it is the opposite. Nurul Izzah would have sinned if she keeps silent. By speaking out, this means Nurul Izzah is a perfect Muslim, not a sinner.

Aiyah, sometimes I wonder where these people gained their religious knowledge from. They distort everything and give people the impression that Islam is such a stupid religion. If they say something and say that this is their personal opinion it would not be so bad. But when they say that this is what Islam asks us to do then they make Islam look really stupid. Then we get upset when people make fun of or ridicule Islam.

Dr M fears 'burial' in Pakatan dawn

Dr M fears 'burial' in Pakatan dawn

Sat, 28 Aug 2010

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad's hard-hitting words are a clear reflection of his fear of Pakatan Rakyat winning the next general election.

According to PAS information chief Idris Ahmad, this is the 84-year-old former premier's worst nightmare. “He knows he will be lynched and buried... he's afraid for his future.”

Idris believes that it is this fear that has warped Mahathir’s perception and this is why he is purposely refusing to understand the current political scenario in the country.

He said PAS is disappointed in Mahathir’s threatening statements warning Malays to unite or face political extinction in the hands of the non-Malays.

“There is no such thing as Malays losing their power base. We have repeatedly told the people, 'if Umno loses, the winner is PAS'. We know we (PAS) will be facing-off with Umno in all the Malay strongholds. We also know that we have a stronger case. PAS has a principled stand, our policies are long-term and rakyat-friendly compared to Umno's,” he added.

According to him, Mahathir, whose early political perspectives are ensconced in his infamous Malay Dilemma book which propelled his rise to iconic status, belongs to the “group who pretends” not to understand the realness of the current political landscape.

'He suggested meritocracy as well'

The former premier, he said, believes that it is mandatory that Malays unite only under Umno “as if there are no other avenues of uniting”.

“This is the state of the Umno mind. This is the understanding that has been indoctrinated into government servants via the Biro Tata Negara (National Civics Bureau).

“Umno leaders have consistently alleged that only Umno understands progress and knows how to rule. But that theory got lost in the barrage of the 2008 political tsunami,” he said.

“The rakyat now have a choice. They are able to evaluate the capability of Pakatan administrations in Selangor, Kedah and Penang. Although Pakatan governments are considered young, they have managed to expedite rapid changes.

“The people can see for themselves the changes from the angle of transparency and localising the state wealth so that it is enjoyed by every level of society and not just the elite,” he added.

Idris said in the 22 years he ruled, Mahathir implemented many policies that were detrimental to the Malays.

Among them were Malay reserve lands converted and not replaced and the implementation of the teaching of Maths and Science in English even though it was a setback for the rural Malays.

“He himself suggested before that Malays throw away the culture of subsidy and proposed meritocratic policies... he has done so much more damage to the Malays when he was in power.

“Having said this, I am wondering why Mahathir is so vehement to the point of appearing to threaten Malays into uniting under Umno.

“I can only assume that he is petrified and does not want to face his worst nightmare... Pakatan winning and ruling the country… then he himself won’t be safe,” said Idris

Is Dr. Mahathir a Corrupt Evil Racist or a Misunderstood Great Leader?

Is Dr. Mahathir a Corrupt Evil Racist or a Misunderstood Great Leader?

Friday, 27 August 2010


The only mistake that Dr. Mahathir has ever done, as openly acknowledged by the Tun himself, is to repeatedly appoint "wrong" Deputy Prime Ministers for the country (Musa, Ghafar Baba, Anwar and Badawi, and Najib).

By Ken

Tun Dr. Mahathir has, of late, become even more vocal in pitting the Malays against the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese.

The consequences are that blogs and Internet sites are full of slander and insults targeted at Dr. Mahathir. The insults and name-calling range from "corrupt evil dictator" and "pariah" to "Mahafiruan", "Hitler" and worse [too horrible to be quoted here].

What these bloggers seem to overlook is that Dr. Mahathir was elected by the voters in Kubang Pasu in at least 6 general elections, elected by UMNO delegates to be their president for more than 2 decades and was Malaysia's Prime Minister for 22 years, strongly supported by the majority of the non-Malays. During his tenure, Mahathir was more popular with the Chinese than the Malays and was even saved by them in the 1999 General Elections when the Malays abandoned him because of how he had treated (sodomized?) Anwar, contrary to "adat-adat orang Melayu".

Mahathir was then admired by many of the same people who are now insulting and criticizing him. They had noted Mahathir's many accomplishments and felt proud about these Malaysia Boleh records - Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, KLIA, North-South Highway, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, MSC, Penang Bridge, Proton, Sepang F1, Bakun Dam, world class golf courses and resorts, etc.

They were proud at having found a leader who had changed Malaysia from an agricultural country into an industrial nation which was doing so well that it needed to bring in foreign labour from Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc. to man the factories, service industries and remaining plantations.

During his tenure as PM, Dr. Mahathir was highly regarded and there were few who would dare to throw even minor insults at him. Not even Karpal would dare to utter a harsh word against the great Dr. Mahathir.

Today, we are witnessing this same great Dr. Mahathir being called the most evil thing that has happened to Malaysia. However, while the slander and insults continue to increase on the Internet, they are not backed by solid evidence.

Has anyone ever come out in the open with evidence and said "Dr. Mahathir did this and that ...."? Even Anwar, who was Mahathir's deputy for many years and would have been privy to many things, has revealed nothing to expose Mahathir. There are people who claim that Mahathir is corrupt and has amassed wealth. OK, where is the evidence? If you have the evidence, why haven't you reported Mahathir to the police? "Mahathir is a racist", some proclaim loudly, pointing out incidences such as Dr. Mahathir's recent call to Malays to go on the offensive in response to grouses and complaints by non-Malays about their rights. Why has there been no police report and follow-up action against Dr. Mahathir for uttering the racist statements?

If Mahathir is so evil and corrupt, as the bloggers and others claim, why has there been no police or MACC investigation? Surely, Tun Dr. Mahathir is not above the law, as the Tun himself will be ready to openly announce. Some might argue that the police, MACC and AG will not investigate Mahathir because of allegiance or loyalty. But Dr. Mahathir is not the current PM and does not wield power and influence over them. The police, MACC and AG report to Najib, who has also been criticized by Mahathir on various matters, and who would, if he could, surely mobilize the police/MACC/AG to investigate the ex-PM to counter his severe insults and criticisms.

This has not happened possibly because there is no evidence to charge Dr. Mahathir. The only mistake that Dr. Mahathir has ever done, as openly acknowledged by the Tun himself, is to repeatedly appoint "wrong" Deputy Prime Ministers for the country (Musa, Ghafar Baba, Anwar and Badawi, and Najib).

Some might argue that little can be done if the authorities (police, MACC and AG) do not want to act against Dr. Mahathir. The point is that the authorities can act only if there are reports against Dr. Mahathir. Some may point to the rare police reports against Mahathir, such as the one by Karpal Singh, and that nothing has happened. Perhaps there is no evidence for the authorities to proceed further. Or maybe Karpal does not have the necessary evidence to pursue it further (or maybe Karpal is too scared to face Dr. Mahathir or his formidable counsel Mathias Chang in court, and has conveniently forgotten his report against Mahathir).

OK, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip provides evidence to incriminate Mahathir (together with Lingam and the others) in the manipulation of the judiciary. Najib (and the AG) has decided to ignore the findings and recommendations of the RCI for reasons which are known to all but the naive. But the critics of Mahathir can surely do something on the basis of the RCI recommendations. Have a massive signature campaign to request His Majesty to direct Najib to act on the findings of His Majesty's RCI's findings. There can be a mass demo to call for action on the basis of the RCI recommendations. Or, at least, why not make police reports on the basis of the RCI findings for action to be taken against Mahathir and his Lingam gang.

Mahathir has made some totally outlandish racist statements of late. Make a thousand police reports against Mahathir. Make it a million - there must be more than a million Mahathir critics out there. Surely the authorities can't ignore a million police reports against Mahathir, and, even if they ignore, that itself would be a world record (another Malaysia Boleh world record we can be proud of) which will hit headlines internationally and force Najib to do something. The fact is that there are few police reports against Dr. Mahathir, though one would think otherwise when reading the many slanderous and abusive postings on blogs and web sites.

Some people might contend that it would be futile to go to the police or the MACC, arguing that it would be a waste of time and that nothing would happen. Looking at the track record of the police and MACC, one would be justified to conclude that this route would be futile, but there are other routes such as a civil suit. If one has a legitimate case against another, one can bring a civil suit against the other. But there has hardly been any civil suits against Dr. Mahathir. Even Anwar withdrew his civil suit against Dr. Mahathir for his 'Black Eye' though Mahathir was the Home Minister then and claimed that Anwar could have punched himself to get the black eye.

To conclude, if Dr. Mahathir is really as corrupt, racist and evil as he is made out to be, the critics and bloggers should (collectively, or individually) file a police report against the ex-PM with solid evidence. If this route does not look viable, they could file a civil suit against Dr. Mahathir and seek damages for all Malaysians - according to Barry Wain, at least Ringgit 100 billion have been misappropriated or lost due to Dr. Mahathir.

If Dr. Mahathir is really the terrible corrupt evil racist he is made out to be, it is ok to be a "coward" to sue him. Given that there is a large number of bloggers who are critical of Dr. Mahathir, they should have no difficulty raising the necessary funds for the civil suit and engaging top lawyers (Karpal - pro-bono?) to handle the case.

File the suit in Malaysia, UK or anwhere feasible (except, of course, Singapore). If both these efforts fail, the bloggers should compile a book, in English and Malay, on Dr. Mahathir to expose his "corruption, racism, and evilness" by providing full details and evidence.

Barry Wain has already made a sterling start in this direction with his must-read "Malaysian Maverick". Why not get someone to translate the book into Malay so that the kampong folks and other Malays can read Barry's work and judge for themselves whether Dr. Mahathir is really the great clean incorruptible champion of the Malays as he now potrays himself?

If Mahathir's opponents and critics are not ready to act in legitimate ways to expose and punish Mahathir for his purported corruption, racism and evilness, the bloggers and other critics of Mahathir should cease from slandering and insulting the Tun and accept him as Allah's blessing rather than a perennial curse on Malaysia.

Anwar Ibrahim Again Battles Dubious Sex Charges

Anwar Ibrahim Again Battles Dubious Sex Charges

Saturday, 28 August 2010
The odds do seem stacked against Mr. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who was once considered the rising star of Malaysian politics. But to hear him tell it, his déjà-vu legal ordeal is evidence that Prime Minister Najib Razak and his party are losing their grip on power, and they know it well.

Mark MacKinnon, The Globe and Mail

There is an uncomfortable pattern to life for Anwar Ibrahim, the charismatic leader of Malaysia’s opposition. In 1998, shortly after he quit the authoritarian government of Mahathir bin Mohamad, he was convicted and jailed on trumped-up sodomy charges.

Six years after that conviction was quashed and he was released from prison – and just as it looked like he and his multi-ethnic coalition might finally oust the long-ruling United National Malays Organization from office – Mr. Anwar finds himself trapped in the most awkward of reruns, once more accused of “consensual intercourse against the order of nature.”

The charges again look to be a thinly veiled attempt to ruin Mr. Anwar’s reputation and sabotage his political career in this Muslim-majority country. The trial to date – dubbed “Sodomy II” in Malaysia’s unsubtle government-controlled press – has produced a succession of lurid headlines about lubricant tubes and stained underwear, while Mr. Anwar and his lawyers have been denied the right even to see the medical records of the man with which he is alleged to have had anal sex.

But instead of letting the scandalous court proceedings force him to the sidelines, the eternally optimistic Mr. Anwar has been using good humour and his ever-present BlackBerry to turn even the most awkward of headlines to his advantage, holding up the charges against him as proof of the absurdity of the system he’s trying to change.

As a lone judge contemplates whether there is evidence to convict Mr. Anwar and sentence him to up to 20 years in prison, as well as a flogging, Mr. Anwar has continued his ferocious assault on a government he derides as repressive and corrupt, blogging from the courtroom and sending cheeky and upbeat 140-character updates to his followers via Twitter.

“Sodomy circus turns into sex opera!” reads one of Mr. Anwar’s mid-trial posts, which linked to a video of a lawyer discussing the lurid details of the case. “Courage of conviction. Que sera sera,” was his response to a fellow Twitter user who worried the energetic 63-year-old was headed back to jail.

The odds do seem stacked against Mr. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister who was once considered the rising star of Malaysian politics. But to hear him tell it, his déjà-vu legal ordeal is evidence that Prime Minister Najib Razak and his party are losing their grip on power, and they know it well.

“They can’t deal with me politically – either my economic programs or policies. They can’t debate me. So they resort to this ludicrous exercise to demonize me,” he said in an interview at the offices of his People’s Justice Party in western Kuala Lumpur, a confident grin fixed on his narrow, goateed face. “We will win the next election and we will change the courts.”

It seems unlikely things will go quite that smoothly. Mr. Anwar’s political career has seen his fortunes change as often and as quickly as the weather in this peninsula thrust between the Indian and Pacific oceans. The leader of a Muslim youth organization during his student days, he shocked his followers by joining UNMO in the early 1980s and taking a succession of cabinet posts in the authoritarian government of Mr. Mahathir, eventually rising to become his powerful finance minister and deputy prime minister.

But the two men never saw eye-to-eye on key issues, and they eventually fell out during the 1997 Asian financial crisis over economic policy and Mr. Anwar’s accusation that cronyism at the top was hurting the country’s economy. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Anwar – frequently held up in the West as an example of a moderate Muslim democrat – was in jail.

Though initially barred from politics upon his release, Mr. Anwar steered the opposition to a surprisingly strong finish in 2008 elections, and – even as the new sodomy charges were being laid –very nearly won the long-sought prime minister’s chair in the aftermath when he called for a vote of non-confidence in Mr. Najib’s government. Mr. Anwar said he had the support of a majority in parliament, including an unspecified number of UMNO defectors, but the vote never happened. Instead, 40 key lawmakers were sent on a government junket to Taiwan during which some were apparently convinced to rethink supporting Mr. Anwar’s bid for power.

The next election, which can be called any time before 2013, is set to be a high-stakes affair in this rapidly developing country of 28 million, which has seen freedom of speech blossom since the 2003 retirement of Mr. Mahathir and the rise of the Internet. Any kind of conviction would keep Mr. Anwar – who heads an improbable coalition that consists of liberal reformers like himself and an Islamist party that seeks to impose Koranic law – on the sidelines for another five years.

Mr. Anwar, a married father of six children, denies the new charges that he had sex with a 25-year-old former aide to Mr. Najib. (The sodomy law, which dates back to the British colonial era, has only been used seven times since independence, with four of those charges being levelled against Mr. Anwar.)

The case recently devolved into further farce when it surfaced that the complainant was having an affair with a member of the prosecution team. Though Judge Mohamad Zabidin Diah acknowledged the affair as fact, he denied Mr. Anwar’s application to have the charges thrown out on that basis.

Mr. Anwar, who counts Al Gore, Nelson Mandela and former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin among his friends, said that while the Malaysian court system would do him no favours, he thinks his case is high-profile enough that the government won’t dare jail him again. “It’s a catch-22 for them. If they put me in jail, they invoke more sympathy, certainly the government will lose … And unlike Mahathir, Najib wants to be seen to be acceptable in the international community.”

Mr. Anwar’s undimmed ambition to be prime minister clearly infuriates his political opponents. Even in retirement, his mentor-turned-nemesis Mr. Mahathir uses his own blog to mock his former protégé and lash back at accusations that the case against Mr. Anwar is trumped up. “Could it be that it was actually the victim of anal rape who decided to tell things as they happened? I would like to say we should wait for the court to decide, but that can take a very long, long time or even never,” Mr. Mahathir wrote recently.

Despite a near-complete ban on his speaking to the official media, Mr. Anwar appears to be winning the public-relations battle, in part because of his savvy online efforts. A poll conducted by the independent Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research shortly after the new charges were filed found that only 11 per cent of the more than 1,000 respondents believed the new sodomy allegations against Mr. Anwar. Two-thirds said they agreed with the statement that the trial was “a politically motivated action to disrupt Anwar Ibrahim’s political career.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eh, Tun dah lupa?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eh, Tun dah lupa?

Every year, during the first two or three days of fasting, I suffer from headaches. That is because my blood sugar level drops. Thank God this will go away after the 3rd day of fasting.

Low blood sugar level may cause hypoglycemia. In some cases, symptoms of hypoglycemia include impaired judgment; irritability; belligerence; confusion; belligerence, combativeness and rage. Thankfully, as far as I know, I don't have those symptoms.

When Tun DrM said yesterday that meritocracy and "meritocrats" are racists, my first reaction was one of irritation. Then I was bemused. Later I was amused. And finally today I think it must have been the fasting month and the obvious low blood sugar level which was affecting him.

Meritocracy as I understand it is the act of rewarding or awarding an individual or a body of individuals or any entity with anything based on merit. Like awarding a student who has scored 13 As in SPM a place in the university. Or awarding X Sdn Bhd a contract to maintain a submarine because X Sdn Bhd has successfully maintained 15 other submarines before this without any problem at reasonable costs as compared to any other company who were bidding for the job.

Conversely, if someone becomes Chief this or that just because he or she has good contact with the appointor, that is not meritocracy. It is also not meritocracy if a person obtains something just because he or she is of a particular race, religion or even has a particular sexual preference.

In the sporting arena, Datuk Nicole David has been a world champion for so long because she is so good at what she is doing that there is no other living creature could be as good as her. Therefore, Datuk Nicole is a champion by virtue of meritocracy. God forbid that Tun DrM thinks that the good Datuk is a racist or that the World Squash Championship people are!

The same thing with our badminton teams. We have won the Thomas Cup umpteen times just because we are the best. Are we racists or the organisers of the Thomas Cup racists?

The Spaniard recently won the World Cup because they played the best football. Are they or FIFA racists?

At King's College, London University, students who top their class are given a Merit award on their post-graduate degree. That is because those students qualify for the said award by being top students. They are not given a Merit just because they are of a particular race or profess a particular religion. In other words, the students get the award based on merit. Is King's College racist?

I believe Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar is the chief of Khazanah because he is really good at what he is doing. And he is appointed by the Prime Minister. The same goes with the new Petronas chief who replaced Tan Sri Hassan Marican. Recently, Dato' Bakke was appointed as the new Sime Darby chief because it is said that he is the most suitable person to be the chief of Sime Darby. He has done a great job at FELDA. Again, the PM must have had a hand in his appointment.

The PM also chooses all the members of his cabinet. I am sure the PM appoints all the cabinet members because the PM thinks those people are the most qualified persons to be in the cabinet. Thus we have people like Idris Jala and Amirsham in the cabinet. These are proven people from the corporate sector.

Tun, is the PM racist then?

Dear Tun, allow me to say this. Malaysia could be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

But we cannot be so until and unless we overcome the nine central strategic challenges. They are:

  1. the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia'.
  2. the challenge of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit of excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none, and respected by the peoples of other nations.
  3. the challenge of fostering and developing a mature democratic society, practising a form of mature consensual, community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries.
  4. the challenge of establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
  5. the challenge of establishing a matured,liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practise and profess their customs,cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation.
  6. the challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking.
  7. the challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self, in which the welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system.
  8. the challenge of ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress. Such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race.
  9. the challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

Tun, with all due respect, we cannot run away from those challenges. We, as a nation and as a people, have to confront those challenges and by hook or by crook, overcome them in order to be a developed country.

What we are doing now is to forget those challenges. To assume that they are not there. To sweep them under the carpet and pretend that everything is okay when it is quite obviously not.

We are letting racism and communal interests rule the day. We are not working as one nor living as one. We are not even willing to attempt to do so. We have abandoned the ideals of this nation when this nation was at the brink of achieving independence. The ideals and aspirations of our forefathers have been betrayed, destroyed and consigned to our archives and treated as if they are not worth the paper they are written on.

Where is the nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia' stated above?

Have we even attempted to achieve a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself? How are we to be liberated if days in and days out we keep reminding a particular race that they are weak; that they are not good enough to compete; that they always need crutches to walk; that they should unite lest they would be destroyed and various other negativism?

Have we even thought of establishing a matured,liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practise and profess their customs,cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation?

What liberalism are we talking about when some headmistress who outwardly is a Muslim allegedly spouted racial hatred to her students, describing non-Malays as mere passengers in a car who can be asked to leave the car anytime and anywhere? Yet some hot shot Minister dismissed that incident as isolated and almost irrelevant? What liberalism are we talking about when cartoon books are seized just because some people are lampooned in it; when radio DJs are sacked just because he dares to speak out on sensitive issues; when candle light bearing people congregating to propagate the abolishment of a draconian Act of Parliament were met with batons and riot police? What liberalism?

What about establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self? Sorry, but I am suddenly enveloped by this uncontrollable need to laugh. What caring society are we talking about when there are Ministers who suggested that baby dumpers should be sentenced to death knowing full well that those who do so are mere children who have acted irresponsibly by having unprotected sex?

What about ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress? Have we even had a plan for this? Or are we in self denial mode still?

Have we realised that such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race?

I don't think we have. Because all I could see now is the identification of everything under the sun with the colours of our skin.

By the way, before you dismiss those nine challenges which I had referred to above as being the unachievable ideals of an idealist, allow me to remind you dear Tun, in case you have forgotten, that those are the nine challenges that you YOURSELF have identified for all of us to overcome if we ever want to achieve the status of a developed nation by 2020 in your Vision 2020 speech.

Yes. It is you who have said all those. Not me. Not Dato' Sri Najib. Not Lim Kit Siang. Not Anwar Ibrahim. It was you who said it.

Perhaps Perkasa, MPM whatever should now lodge a police report against you. Just as they did to Dr Chua Soi Lek.

What has happened since you espoused those ideals Tun? What has happened to your plan for a Bangsa Malaysia? It's been hijacked by Harris Ibrahim, has it?

In addition, you also said the followings:

  1. Of the two prongs of the NEP no one is against the eradication of absolute poverty -regardless of race, and irrespective of geographical location. All Malaysians, whether they live in the rural or the urban areas, whether they are in the south, north, east or west, must be moved above the line of absolute poverty.
  2. This nation must be able to provide enough food on the table so that not a solitary Malaysian is subjected to the travesty of gross under-nourishment.
  3. The second prong, that of removing the identification of race with major economic function is also acceptable except that somehow it is thought possible to achieve this without any shuffling of position. If we want to build an equitable society than we must accept some affirmative action. This will mean that in all the major and important sectors of employment, there should be a good mix of the ethnic groups that make up the Malaysian nation. By legitimate means we must ensure a fair balance with regard to the professions and all the major categories of employment. Certainly we must be as interested in quality and merit. But we must ensure the healthy development of a viable and robust Bumiputera commercial and industrial community.
  4. A developed Malaysia should not have a society in which economic backwardness is identified with race.

Oh, what was it that you said about merit then? Yes, you said, "certainly we must be as interested in quality and merit."

Interesting. And yet yesterday you said meritocracy and "meritocrats" are racists.

What gives?


'Malay by heritage' Zaid slams Dr M

'Malay by heritage' Zaid slams Dr M

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim has diagnosed Dr Mahathir Mohamad with a psychological disorder, which has rendered his mind "convoluted and confused".

And a tell-tale symptom of this condition, according to him, is the former premier's "obnoxious and extraordinarily stupid" statement.

Commenting on Mahathir's latest blog posting on meritocracy, Zaid also took a swipe at the latter's Indian roots, by describing himself as "not just a Malay by constitutional definition, but by heritage (as well)."

In his posting, the former premier had labelled those who pushed for meritocracy as being just as racist as those who defended Malay rights.

Mahathir added that some Malays, “perhaps due to mistaken pride”, supported meritocracy and undermined the Malay position further.

However, Zaid disagreed.

“Many Malays want meritocracy for very good reasons. They want their applications for contracts and projects to be given fair consideration by the authorities. They do not want only those who are politically connected to have the upper hand. They want a level playing field.

“They believe that they can succeed on merit if only they get a fair chance. They want to succeed with their pride intact; and at the same time they want to tell their children that Malays who work hard and with the right attitude can succeed., like everybody else,” he said.

Zaid said many Malays wanted meritocracy so that they could get their dues like promotion and higher positions by working hard.

“They want to be judged fairly and not lose their position or seniority because some one else has the right political cable. They want a promotion system that is transparent and free of interference.

“They want to say that they have succeeded because they did it the hard way. Why does Mahathir have to belittle these Malays? Why must the Malays be scrapped off their self-respect just to prove that Umno is responsible for everything in this country?” he added.

'This is not misplaced pride'

Zaid, a former Umno leader himself, said he failed to understand why Malays who supported meritocracy were described as having misplaced pride.

On the contrary, the former law minister said, it was these Malays who carried the flagship of a proud people.

“We know our strengths and we have no shame of our limitations. But we will always strive to better ourselves. If by open competition and transparent policies the net effect is that some Malays still need extra help and support, then of course a responsible government will have to step in; to provide the incentives and the safety net to bridge the gap.

“But let us start with the notion that we must earn our success like everyone else. And the let the best amongst us prosper. We do not need to be instant millionaires. We can take our time so long as we work hard. All we want is the best education for the Malays,” he added.

Zaid said that his comments were aimed at reminding Mahathir of how wrong he was, and not because he had misplaced pride.

“Misplaced pride for a Malay is when he gets to be a minister because his father fixes it; or he has a few hundred millions in his coffers because he has the right Chinese partner to enrich him,” he added.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

IMF asks Malaysia to take action

IMF asks Malaysia to take action

Saturday, 14 August 2010

(AFP) WASHINGTON - THE IMF asked Malaysia on Friday to take 'decisive' action on reforms under a model program aimed at revamping a controversial four-decade-old affirmative action policy.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced in March a 'New Economic Model' or NEM, aimed at reforming elements of the policy favouring the country's majority ethnic Malays in a bid to boost economic competitiveness. Details of the reform program, including its timing, have not been announced yet. The Washington-based International Monetary Fund said on Friday it was looking forward to the NEM's rollout.

In a report after annual consultations between the IMF executive board and the Malaysian government, the fund acknowledged the 'ambitious vision' of Mr Najib's administration for a far-reaching economic transformation over the longer term. The board directors 'agreed that the comprehensive structural reform agenda, at the heart of the New Economic Model, holds out promise of faster and inclusive growth,' the report said.

'Directors looked forward to a decisive effort and sustained momentum in implementing this agenda,' it said. They also called for an 'effective communication strategy' to forge 'broad public support' for these efforts. 'Further gradual liberalisation of product and labour markets will help exploit policy complementarities, encourage private investment and harness the benefits of reform,' the report said.

Mr Najib, who came to office last year, said the New Economic Model was designed to boost growth, create a high-quality workforce, and attract badly needed foreign investment. The model also aims to stem Malaysia's 'brain drain' with measures to retain skilled professionals, and make markets more competitive by phasing out price controls and subsidies.

The affirmative action policy which hands Malays privileges in housing, education and business has been criticised as uncompetitive and improperly benefiting the elites. Under the planned changes to the policy, the government will seek to raise the income levels of all disadvantaged groups, rather than focusing solely on ethnic Malays, the dominant ethnic group in the South-east Asian nation.

Drop the Charges Against Anwar Ibrahim

Drop the Charges Against Anwar Ibrahim

Sunday, 15 August 2010

By Azeem Ibrahim, The Huffington Post

It is clear that the trial has been unfair from the start. Every day that it continues is a further blot on the Malaysian judiciary. The charges are tainted, inconsistent, and lacking credibility; the evidence flimsy where it exists; and the process skewed in the interest of the government.

Anwar Ibrahim is the leader of Malaysia's opposition. Since reemerging in Malaysian politics in 2007 he has done well, quadrupling the new opposition coalition's representation in Parliament, winning 47% of the popular vote, and taking control of six of Malaysia's fourteen states and territories in the March 2008 elections. He has become the biggest threat to the sitting government's 53-years of uninterrupted rule.

Perhaps that is why the Malaysian judiciary is pursuing a charge of sodomy against him, again. In 1998 he faced a similar ordeal in the midst of a popular uprising against the rule of then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. Viewed as a threat to the ruling party's status quo, Anwar was sacked from his position as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, arrested and sentenced to 15 years solitary confinement after a trial many believed was marred by political interference, falsification of evidence, blackmailing, coercion and torture of witnesses, harassment of defense lawyers, and refusal to admit witness testimony favorable to the accused. Anwar's current trial looks to be a repeat of the travesty of justice that landed him in prison last time.

Firstly, there is overwhelming evidence that the charges are a government conspiracy. Just a few days before he filed the police report accusing Anwar of sexually assaulting him, the accuser met the current Prime Minister - Najib Razak, then Deputy Prime Minister. When asked about the meeting, Najib first denied it ever happened, but later changed his story, admitting that the meeting took place, but claiming that it was to discuss scholarship opportunities for the accuser, who is a college dropout. Najib then changed his story again, admitting that the accuser had come to him to complain about the abuse he had received under Anwar. Najib, the son of Malaysia's second Prime Minister, was at the time Prime Minister in waiting. It was he who had the most to lose from an ascendant Anwar Ibrahim and opposition coalition.

In the days before lodging his police report the accuser also met a police officer who had falsified evidence in the 1998 trial. And the current trial is being led by an Attorney General who is believed to have fabricated evidence in Anwar's previous trial.

Secondly, the charge does not match the accusation. The accusations - as detailed in accuser's testimony in court - suggest forced sodomy, effectively rape. By pursuing a different charge from the one made by the accused, the Attorney General is opening himself up to some embarrassing questions. If he believes that Anwar raped Saiful, why not charge him for it? But if he really believes Anwar and Saiful engaged in consensual sex, why only press charges against a popular leader of the opposition, and not also the former intern?

It is likely that he is not charging Anwar for the rape of which he is accused for the simple reason that he knows the charge would not stand. Anwar Ibrahim was almost disabled in 1998 after a near-death beating at the hands of the Malaysian police, is known to have a disabling back problem. It is completely improbable that he could mount an attack on a younger, more agile man. It looks very much like the Attorney General has ignored the charge because he knows that there will be insufficient evidence in court to make it stick.

A third suspicious aspect of the whole affair is the lack of evidence. If the accuser was indeed assaulted then there would be some evidence to prove it. However, forty-eight hours after the alleged incident he was examined twice, once in a private hospital and once more in the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. In both cases doctors ruled out any possibility of assault or penetration - the minimum amount of evidence necessary for a court to proceed with a trial. Moreover, the lag in time from the alleged incident until the time he was examined leaves wide open the possibility of planting or fabricating evidence.

A fourth reason for suspicion is clear evidence of obstruction of justice in this case. Anwar's defense team and medical experts have yet to receive much of the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Medical reports, CCTV recordings, and even witness statements have all been withheld by the prosecution. The judiciary has systematically denied Anwar's attorneys access to the facts of the case before and during the trial, leaving the defense with one arm tied behind its back.

Lastly, the charges emerged just months after the opposition made unexpected gains in the 12th Malaysian General Elections and in advance of Anwar's threat to call for a vote of no confidence in Parliament and take over the government. There has been a general campaign to discredit and destabilize the opposition in general and vilify Anwar Ibrahim specifically, of which these charges seem to be just another example.


Azeem Ibrahim is a Research Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Member of the Board of Directors at the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding and Chairman and CEO of Ibrahim Associates.

Tremors and Rumblings Within BN

Tremors and Rumblings Within BN

Sunday, 15 August 2010

There is an air of mutiny that is fast turning into a tornado within BN, and as usual, the culpable culprits are from UMNO.

By Delimma

An earthquake is expected to occur soon in Malaysia. Not of the geological kind, but of the political one – and this time it has got nothing to do with the opposition. One might be forgiven to believe that the opposition is actually making huge inroads into BN’s chinked armour by the so-called political tsunami of change but in truth, the opposition may as well sit back and enjoy the show as BN itself is already showing signs that it will implode and scatter in all directions.

There is an air of mutiny that is fast turning into a tornado within BN, and as usual, the culpable culprits are from UMNO. Let’s not forget however, the contribution that the MCA, MIC and other allies such as the government of Sarawak in adding fuel to an already raging fire within the BN rank and file. The recent exposure of the Islamic fair organised in Monaco comes to light. Of all the places in the world to have a fair, we chose to have one in Monaco, in the kingdom more famous for its “sinful” lifestyle and offerings and that too, during this sacred fasting month. And to top that off, we have the sponsors allegedly coming from the Sarawak state government – something which mystifies Malaysians. An Islamic fair, in the month of Ramadan, in a place more renowned for its casinos and financed by the government of Taib Mahmud, who is already taking in more criticism that it has allowed itself to consume up to now.

This conundrum might fall into the same category if not worse than the current free-spending attitude of the Tourism Ministry. They have already shown that they are listlessly wasting Malaysian taxpayers’ money by erecting a huge monument called the Malaysian Expo in China; the actual costs and consequences are yet to be finalised but the calculators are already running out of numbers. Add to that allegations by some subordinates that the Minister is unnerved over cries by her staff (Muslims mostly) who were asked to man the station there during this fasting month. Poor Malay civil servants, they just don’t know how to dutifully carry out their duties and obligations; they just want to sit back and enjoy their pay by doing nothing in their seats in the air-conditioned offices back home, ready to go back at the sound of the gun to rush to buy their lollipops and delicacies for breaking fast.

Then we add the widely publicised PKFZ fiasco, where it is now alleged that a prominent UMNO top gun is about to be charged in court. We heard that former Selangor MB Khir Toyo was in court today, but if he is charged he is no big gun in today’s UMNO scene, just another has-been who is still trying to show off his mettle at losing the state to the opposition in the first place. Could it be somebody higher up, even close to the administration? One can never be too surprised nowadays given the fact a certain Tun has already been brought to court. If the MACC wants to cleanse itself of ghostly images, the time to act is now, and Malaysians are hoping to see the best in what it should be able to do.

But of more concern now is the alleged growing rift between the nation’s top two leaders; wherein certain quarters are already going all out to defend both leaders and claiming the allegations are just small talk and of no substance. Even a cow grazing listlessly in the kampong would have told you that no tree would shake without wind blowing or tremor rumbling. More and more politicians and followers are already flooding the coffee-shops and stalls after prayers to find out more about the alleged infighting erupting between No. 1 and No. 2.

On the one hand, the present No. 2 has got some good things going for him. When he was holding fort for a good 10 days when the PM went abroad, his popularity rose to eclipse that of the big boss. That goes to show how one man’s views that were reportedly in opposition towards the big boss’ vision of a Malaynised Malaysia (unlike Malaysian Malaysia) were welcomed by the public. The Big Boss’ team retaliated by claiming that Muhyiddin is trying to hog the limelight. No. 2 tried his very best to defend his statement and his support, but the road to perdition has already been paved. And Muhyiddin unfortunately, did himself no favours by suddenly coming out with an idea to revamp the school’s examination system. This time, the fourth floor boys had a whale of a time dishing out negative views about the idea, even to the extent of alleging Muhyiddin is now trying to outmanoeuvre Najib.

All the numbers are already giving us headaches, No. 1, No. 2 and others. Apparently now however, Muhyiddin may yet feel glad that he may not be alone in his quest to right some of the misfortunes caused by Najib’s stool pigeons. A just concluded BN meeting in Kuala Lumpur (of course involving the No. 2 and two of No. 1’s most loved agents of destruction), exploded into life when one of Najib’s stool pigeons began to torture an MIC representative about the Bukit Jalil case. Actually he was right, since even some MIC top leaders are already lambasting this MIC giant for actually not doing anything to resolve the matter when he was tasked to do it in the first place.

But the MIC is also showing it is no pushover, especially by this greenhorn UMNO politician who is allegedly as arrogant as his big boss. The MIC man began to bite back, even to the extent of attacking the credibility of the present FT Minister, another of Najib’s blue-eyed pigeons. Claims began to fill the meeting hall of how the Minister had failed in his efforts to support BN components in providing adequate allocations, something which apparently was very much the agenda in every BN meeting. And then another representative, from the MCA, began to attack the No. 1 stoolie on why the party’s representative was not appointed as BN Chairman for the stoolie’s Parliamentary constituency when the seat belongs to the MCA to contest.

One would have expected common sense to be honoured but both sides started to dish out heavy words that border between vulgarity and indecency. And then a former Minister who now seats high and mighty in UMNO’s headquarters lost his patience and started to attack the stoolies, as well as No. 1’s administration. He even called the present FT Minister a flip-flop minister, something which is already vibrating laughter in the blogging world. Suddenly the Najib’s team members were under fire, and the attacks are now coming from their own allies.

Of course we can deduce that Muhyiddin must have found it amusing that so much dirt was already being dished out in the Federal Territories, which at present were seemingly controlled by No. 1’s people. And the alleged revolt caused by dissatisfaction over allocations and how the other BN members are being treated by Najib’s people are really beginning to show. But Muhyiddin must also realise that before long, the revolting members would have to ask him the most important question – will No. 2 take the up the gauntlet or will he, like so many No. 2’s before him, simmer down and just follow the path of silence and servitude even when the BN’s future is at stake.

The battle lines are being drawn at present between the No. 1’s people and the rest of the BN. Although Muhyiddin is still lamenting on his fate and what would happen should he choose a side, he must also be weary of his former nemesis for the No. 2 post who is still a strong force to be reckoned with – and that this Chief Minister has already pledged his support for No. 1. Thus Muhyiddin will not be able to procrastinate longer on his fate; BN is already sealing it for him one way or the other. What he can do now, is to choose the manner in which he will be remembered – either as another stool pigeon, or as a fighter who is true to his pedigree.

Whilst all this is taking place, we can safely assume that BN at present is actually unable to even mount a serious challenge on the opposition. All the rhetoric and jargon dished out during the meeting was not even worth remembering, but for a suggestion that BN organise talks and roadshows to meet the public. The simple answer was this guy must be kidding himself in thinking that BN rallies would actually draw in the crowd. Even a recent UMNO function revealed that after the No. 2 left, all the division chiefs attending the function disappeared into the woodwork. So much for support there.

Another sad irony that is fast adding to BN’s final resume is the fact that throughout the debacle, no new ideas emerged on how to arrest its already declining popularity. Instead, blame was being passed from one member to another, amidst fears that each constituency is already under siege and about to fall. Maybe that’s the nature of dying dynasties, when no one it seems care to take control and ride the storm, instead all just pass the buck around hoping someone will be brave enough to take it up. And it is already clear that many leaders within BN are unhappy at current the state of affairs.

The tremors and rumblings only proved one simple point. BN is in disarray at the moment, and No. 1’s people are making it worse. If Muhyiddin cares for the party, then he would have to say his worth soon. Changes are necessary to arrest the slide, if it can be arrested at all. And from an ordinary man on the street’s standpoint, we can also assume that Najib has no care whatsoever as to its outcome. He can always blame his lieutenants for the failures, as he remained high and mighty at the top. Another sign yet that BN’s future looks all the bleaker than it already is.

NEP deviated from Its Original Purpose, says Nazir Razak

NEP deviated from Its Original Purpose, says Nazir Razak

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August 14, 2010

Nazir Razak :NEP deviated from Its Original Purpose

by Aidila

In the harshest rebuke yet of the abuse of the New Economic Policy (NEP), CIMB Group CEO Nazir Abdul Razak described the NEP as having been bastardised by deviating from its original purpose.

nazir razak“I have strong opinions about how the NEP has been bastardised over the years,” he said in a question-and-answer session after delivering a talk at the Chinese Economic Congress this afternoon.

According to Nazir (right), while the NEP has come a long way from the social engineering experiment originally aimed at eradicating poverty, the policy has since appeared to enrich small pockets of people.

“At that time, no one knew what the outcome would be. It was a social engineering experiment that no one had ever done before in any country. So they gave it 20 years. And they felt that after 1969, they had to give it a try.

“But now it is so embedded in everything that we do – in every part of the government, in every part of businesses – that it has become a problem.

“And today, every time I mention the NEP, I get blasted,” lamented Nazir, when fielding a question from the floor on his thoughts on the policy.

chinese economic congress 140810 audience“What I don’t understand is giving these people Approved Permits (AP). That should go.

“If you just want a small number of people to make money, might as well just give them money,” said Nazir, was reported to be the highest-paid GLC CEO back in 2007, drawing in an income of RM9.35 million then.

Incidentally, the main architect of the New Economic Policy when it was drawn up in 1971 was Nazir’s own father, the country’s second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

‘Ignore extremist groups’

Boldly departing from the normal comfort zone, the banker also said that the affirmative action needs a relook. “Now we need to address what kind of affirmative action we want to have. It is so infused in everything. But we will one day need to confront it one way or another,” said Nazir, who is the younger brother of current PM Najib Razak.

The NEP officially came to an end in 1990, but its policies still continue to this day. Najib has announced a New Economic Model back in March to reform and rebuild the Malaysian economy.

However, details still remain to be made public. Speaking after delivering his luncheon address titled ‘Strength in Diversity, Beyond the Rhetoric’, Nazir also told the mainly Chinese participants to look beyond party calls advocating the rights of their own race.

NONECareful not to name names, he advised the participants to “ignore them” when asked on his stand on such groups.

“We have to accept that in a free and open society, we have to expect extremes. A few noisy people in the corner do not make up the majority or represent the majority.

“We as the majority have the strength to ignore them. Don’t get too caught up with what others are saying, or what they are doing. Don’t waste your time engaging with them,” he said.

Earlier, Nazir also pointed out that he is a descendant of an immigrant family. “I told Tan Siok Choo (grand-daughter of one of MCA’s founding members Tan Cheng Lock) that her family came to this country earlier than my family,” he said in between chuckles.

NEP punishes talented Malays too, says Nazir Razak

NEP punishes talented Malays too, says Nazir Razak

June 20, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — CIMB chief Datuk Seri Nazir Razak today repeated his call for a review of the New Economic Policy (NEP), adding that the policy has been unfair to the majority of Malays.

Nazir, who is also a younger brother to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said the time has come for the government to protect the interest of the majority of the Malays and not just selected few.

“I have met a Malay professional overseas who refused to return to Malaysia because he is of the view that successful Malays are not welcomed in the country. This is because the Malays’ success is always linked to NEP,” said Nazir in an interview with Mingguan Malaysia published today.

“In fact some of them refused to return thinking that the NEP is not for them but only to selected Malay groups, so they are better off working overseas,” he said when asked if the new generation of Malays are more open to reviewing the policy.

However, Nazir said certain aspect of the NEP such as scholarships allocation should be retained.

“Those who have been trying to stop efforts to review the NEP are those who are benefiting from the NEP. That was why some contractors were not happy with open tender but they never ask if they get the job, what would happen to other Malay contractors. Why refuse to compete?” said Nazir to a question on the opposition to a review of the NEP.

He said that the policy, introduced during the premiership of his father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein in 1971 has deviated from its original objective.

“In the long term NEP is about national unity. But today we have deviated from the original intention of the NEP to achieve unity,” said Nazir.

“For certain parties, NEP has become the cause of disunity because the policy has been misused by some people for profit,” he added.

He cited the lack of transparency in the allocation of bumiputra shares and the awarding of AP as examples of abused of the NEP.

“In the name of NEP, shares of listed companies are given out to bumiputras, but the question is who is entitled and who is benefiting from it?” he asked.

“And look at the awarding of APs, what is the basis for the award?” said Nazir.

Religious attendance

Religious attendance

Europe's irreligious

In which European countries are people least likely to attend religious services?

THE proportion of people who regularly attend religious services has declined steadily throughout Europe in recent years. But habits vary widely across countries. According to the latest European Social Surveyconducted in 2008 and 2009, over 60% of Czechs say they never attend religious services, with the exception of “special occasions” such as marriages and christenings. France, Britain and Belgium are also secular nations, with over half of respondents never going to services. The most regular attenders among the 28 countries polled are in Cyprus and Greece, where only 2.4% and 4.9% respectively say they do not go to church.