Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The state of affairs now seen on our country leaves us with no other conclusion then that UMNO has failed. It has failed in its effort to justify their demand that we Malaysian should allow them to continue for another fifty years with their tinkering of our democratic values and principals as a trade off to the ongoing development of our country and the yet to be achieved uplifting of the Malay race to be a developed ethnic community. Two remarkable and truly laudable goals -- economic development and the rise and rise of the Malays - but arguments that are fundamentally flawed.
The Government insists that the particularity of Malaysian Politics, its multi ethnic divides and its religious enclaves make a need for the ISA to be enforced arbitrarily over its people. It continues to dominate over its people who live defenseless under its shadows. And in all this there is no political accountability in what they do.
I say that the Politics of Barisan Nasional is no longer appropriate for our people, for our country. I say that a multi ethnic, multi party democracy is what we need. We no longer want a trade-off between democracy and development. Between freedoms to demonstrate responsibly as against what the Government perceives as our inability to do so without causing riot and chaos in the streets.
We no longer tolerate domination of the affairs of our country by UMNO. We reject that premise. We say that the failure of the Malays to advance their cause can be linked directly to UMNO. I say that what obstacle that have been put in place to prevent the coming together of the races and to prevent the ability of the opposition to effectively governed in the state that they were elected in are just the mechanism by which UMNO uses to impose political and economic hegemony over its own people. And their repeated accusation that we as a nation are not politically mature enough to weather the complexities of multi ethnic politics is wearing a bit thin. It is time that Barisan stop being patronizing us and begins to understand that the country needs to be return to its people. There is no more need to seek for the Malays historical dispensation on the grounds of a colonial legacy that is flawed. The time for that no longer holds credence with the Malays or the others.
The current situation that we are in now is a damming indictment of the failure of UMNO. It has also resulted in confrontation between the Government and its own people in which the state has in some fundamental way been steadily losing.
You must understand that power only comes from the people that allow its leaders to govern them if they so desire. The people have a political role to play not as Malays, Chinese, Indian or the others but as autonomous individuals. .
The people are matured politically and do not want to be patronized. Look at us as individuals rather then as Malays, Indian, Chinese and others.
You can claim your right to rule as decided by the ballot box in the last election – but the people will hold you politically accountable on the premise that the relationship between the constituent and its representative is ultimately that between you and me – the rulers and the ruled on a one to one basis. Your disregard for this premise is at your own peril. Understand also that the structures and instruments of democracy are not yours to abuse in pursuit of your own vested interest
We no longer accept your interpretation of your desired ‘ideal polity’ to serve your own purpose. We demand a change to a higher and morally superior political order. Do not use the flawed multi partyism of Barisan as a weapon to subjugate Pakatan because you know that Barisan in itself is not a shining example of a liberal democratic order. We know that what you practice bear no relation to the political reality you profess to champion – Democracy. May you have the intelligence to understand that for UMNO the beginning of the end started at the last General election and will run its course by the time of the next. Amen.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
AFTER returning to the pre-crisis level of $2 a litre two weeks ago, pump prices fell yesterday on the back of last week's substantial drop in crude oil prices.
The correction of six cents a litre across the board was the single biggest reduction here this year.
Caltex, Shell and SPC made the cut in the morning, while ExxonMobil - which has the biggest retail network here - did so just before 1pm.
With the adjustment, a litre of 98-, 95- and 92-octane petrol now retails at $1.92, $1.787 and $1.737 respectively. Diesel now costs $1.263 a litre.
All the rates are before discount.
After testing 10-month highs of around US$74 a barrel, the commodity slid back to end last week at around US$68 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Some analysts attributed this to worrying jobless figures in major economies. In Europe, the jobless rate rose to 9.5 per cent in July, from 9.4 per cent in June - a 10-year high for the 16 countries which use the euro.
But energy news portal EnergyAsia. com editor Ng Weng Hoong said the price movements have little to do with fundamentals. 'Funds move in, funds move out...I wouldn't put too much significance on the price movements.' Having said that, he noted that real demand for oil could go up next year.
When you are in power for over fifty years, every now and then there is that temptation to bend the rules and sometimes even the truth to suit the political needs of the moment. You can be forgiven if this inclination does come up once in a blue moon – though the colour of the moon can be said to be blue every month if you are powerful enough to want it to be so. So here lies the problem. When this inclination becomes the norm where does that put good governance?
Almost daily now we are subject to the painful and most uncomfortable sensation of having our leaders take us for fools. They boldly stand in front of us through the medium of their Television Stations, their Media or even at times in person and proceed to tell us what they want us to know – not what we should know. Is there nobody amongst them that can tell them that what they are doing is like peeing into the wind?
Have the educated, intelligent and rational generation of Malays all left UMNO leaving our nation without some of its best people in government even when we need them most? Najib is in a world of his own. He lacks the ability to make sense of what is happening around the country. Surviving day to day is hard enough for him. UMNO has sworn blood oaths that they will defend themselves from PAS, from DAP from Keadilan from everybody – no matter what. In desperation they have ventured into territory where they violate all democratic conventions almost on a daily basis. When we question the legality of their actions their answer is that ‘might is right’.
When the court initially finds in favor of the opposition as in Perak – they appeal its decision confident that the Judiciary is ultimately theirs to instruct and manage. When a death in custody happens the usual suspects are paraded. A commission, an inquiry, no stones unturned….and then slowly but surely nothing will come of it. They play the Judiciary as if it was their own – and why not when the Chief Justice is indeed their own. Whenever a situation arise that will give problems to them they no longer even have the decency to pay lip service to placate the Rakyat – now days it is deny, deny deny.
Deny there was ever any intention to humilate the Hindus in the cow-head incident. Deny that there was any reason to not renew the IGP again and again. Deny that there was anything wrong in the caning sentence of Kartika but nevertheless no less a person then the Prime Minister himself has asked her to appeal for a reduction in her sentence.
Arrest 16 people for carrying yellow candles and red and white roses who were seeking freedom of religion in this country and yet deny that Muslims stepping on the sacred head of a cow is doing anything to incite another race. They invoke the name of ALLAH at their whims and fancies and see no sin in promoting the very sins that Islam frowns upon. For surely corruption and greed is also corruption and greed whether in Mecca or Malaysia? That all this has become the norm for UMNO frightens me. This is the arrogance of power that I am talking about. Perhaps the most outrageous example of this arrogance is their inability to understand that there are another points of view to be considered other then their own. To them any deviations from their point of view is a conspiracy to undermine their ability to hold on to power – no matter what. I try to do this. By my writing if I can turn one person against UMNO – just one – then we are one person ahead towards our ‘brand new beginning’. Do as I do. Go talk to one person and bring him or her into our fold – then one by one we will slowly but surely build up our strength and strike down UMNO and Barisan. Go do it now!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Ex-MIC strongman says he ‘cheated’ in 1977 party polls
(The Malay Mail, 7 September 2009) – FORMER MIC strongman Datuk V. Govindaraj has made public a dark secret that could have altered the presidency of the party.
Govindaraj has confessed that he pocketed 30 votes meant for Datuk S. Subramaniam in the contest for the deputy president’s post against Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu 31 years ago.
Subramaniam ended up losing to Samy Vellu by a mere 26 votes and the latter became president when then president Tan Sri V. Manickavasagam died in 1979.
It’s strange how our Malaysian MSM seems to be inconsistent lately, no? It’s very unlike the Mahathir heydays where you would read a consistent story in every paper. And the MSM almost never exposed any BN politician’s scandals. Even if it was reported, it was usually played down and quickly forgotten.
And those days, whatever stories printed followed a consistent script across all the papers. All the papers strived to make all BN leaders look good. It was good politics for the BN to present a united front to the country. The MSM toed the line and followed the same orders. But these days, we get big career-destroying scoops like this on the front-page. Like I said, strange. No?
Some other examples of inconsistent spin would be the Ong Tee Keat, MCA & PKFZ crisis. The Star makes OTK out to be a hero with positive spin in every crisishe faces, despite the other English rag NST running widely divergent coverage.
Utusan we all know spews seditious ultra-Malay nonsense while the rest of the papers give glowing articles about Najib’s inclusive 1Malaysia concept.
And now, the Malay Mail gets the scoop of a stolen MIC Presidency that put Samy Vellu in his lucrative position for 30 years?
Why the divergence? Is it due to more freedom allowed for the media to write as they see fit? Is that why the MSM seems to have some new-found leeway to front-page career-destroying news of senior leaders in the BN?
All these seem a little disconcerting until we step back, take a deep breath and take a look at the bigger picture. And then we can see a pattern emerging.
You will notice that all these scandalous news are about any BN leader except UMNO leaders. For UMNO it’s consistent across the board – spin them positive no matter how stupid they talk or act.
An example would be Hishamuddin’s double U-turn about the cow-head protestors. First he said he viewed it seriously as it had potential to cause racial tension, then he said that he didn’t think it was necessary to penalise the protestors (!), then he said charge them. In this case the MSM merely reported what Hishamuddin said, without bringing any attention to the inconsistencies with his previous statements.
You will also notice that it is the UMNO-owned press – Utusan, NST and Malay Mail – that are running all these image damaging exposes on these non-UMNO BN party leaders.
So what’s happening now?
While we wait for firm proof or insider validation of what is really happening behind the scenes in the MSM, may I offer a theory?
The BN, as we know it, is history.
UMNO has abandoned all pretense of racial unity and power sharing. This is evidenced by its aggressive ultra right-wing campaign stance. It is going all out by fair means and foul to consolidate its complete control over the country on its terms alone – its hegemony legitimised by the apparent support by a majority the Malay populace. The way to achieve this apparent Malay support is through spin, propaganda, disinformation, race-baiting, provocation, new alliances, crossovers, persecutions, etc, as we can see happening today.
Taken together, all these signs point to a strategy of UMNO positioning itself for complete hegemony, by hook or by crook. No more power sharing, no more nice-nice to other races, no more token political partners. It’s going to be UMNO’s way or get out of the way.
As the influential UMNO blogger Syed Akbar Ali put it so succintly:
“It is high time UMNO stopped subcontracting Chinese and Indian affairs to others. The way forward for UMNO is to establish Chinese Bureaus and Indian Bureaus within the party…It does not mean that party rolls must be opened to non Malays but there should not be any obstacles for UMNO to field a Chinese as an election candidate. The party can also appoint such candidates as Ministers in Cabinet or even invite capable representatives of the Chinese community to become Cabinet Ministers.”
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s out in the open.
UMNO wants to go it alone, with complete political hegemony. oh they’ll throw 1 or 2 bones to the non-UMNOs as a token of goodwill. Because as Tuan Syed says ever so eloquently:
“The “ketuanan” must be a comprehensive idea – the Lord of the Manor must oversee to the welfare and benefit of all under the realm.”
So shall we all non-UMNOs also dress in servant’s black-and-whites and serve tea to the UMNO “tuans” of the land?
[Source: Eyes Wide Opened]