Saturday, May 15, 2010
It has recently been asked of them: “What more do the Chinese want?”
If it were merely rhetorical, I will defend the right to ask questions of such a nature in the name of free speech and healthy discourse.
Unfortunately it is not a question. It is a blatant threat.
The politicians behind the threat have clearly identified themselves. They have also now shown their hand. They are shamelessly indulging in the gutter politics of communalism.
A demonstration 10,000-stronghad been planned for May 13 in Terengganu. We should reject this threat for the same reason we reject a bribe.
Racial politics and corruption are slowly and surely destroying the very fabric of nationhood. A country that was put together carefully with effort, toil and sacrifice deserves better.
We must therefore entirely reject the threat and answer the question only in its rhetorical form: What more do the Chinese want?
Since 1969, the Chinese have seen the New Economic Policy (NEP) at work and not at work. But for all its faults, the NEP has distributed great wealth and provided unheard of opportunities to create a Malay middle class and super-rich elite of Umnoputras.
It has also allayed the fears of the Malay man-in-the-street that he/she will be ‘lost in the world’ (Tak akan Melayu hilang di dunia).
- The Chinese with much public grace and equally much private grumbling have largely accepted the pain of economic restructuring.
- They still account for easily 80% of the income tax revenue of the country. But in this same period, true to their kind, they have girded their loins and redoubled their efforts.
- Ever so quick to seize new opportunities, they have continued to prosper in spite of the excesses of the NEP. Surely there is nothing in this world and no religious or secular law that prevents a man or woman from prospering economically through the sweat of his brow or the straining of his sinews or the mental acuity of his business dealings.
- We may not like the Chinese trait of applying themselves diligently to the task at hand and to the exclusion of all others; or their fiercely competitive nature; their kiasu-ness; their calculative frugality; their risk-taking; their business shrewdness; their culinary indulgences and their relentless pursuit of investments, returns and wealth in all its myriad forms.
But remember, they too may not like our traits of indifference, impracticalness, lebih kurang-ism … the list both ways is endless.
- But we must respect them for their singular ability to create new wealth and not be merely consumers of old wealth.
- We must respect them for their resourcefulness and for their incredible pertinacity in the face of adversity.
- We must compliment them their innate understanding of the importance of personal savings in the economic life of an individual and of the investment opportunities that arise out of deferred gratification.
- We must thank them for showing us in practical terms what self-reliance and self-sacrifice really means.
- Surely, they more than anyone else have shown that the secret of capitalism lies in its unsurpassed ability to promote capital formation that fuels ever more new ventures and so ad infinitum.
- They have shown us also that wealth has a generational purpose and that it is linked to a vision of the future we have for ourselves, our families, our society and the country we live in.
There is MUCH we have learnt from the Chinese economic model based on hard work, perseverance and skills development.
True, the pursuit of wealth and economic success is often accompanied by greed and avarice. Which race in the world is free from such follies and frailties?
The fact that the Chinese migrant is a prized economic asset is indisputable. That this prized asset cannot be got for free is also indisputable.
It is also indisputable that he comes with the political rights of a human being – the right to prosper with dignity.
All this is NOT ‘what more the Chinese want’. It’s more, much more than that!
- I have every reason to believe that the Chinese, who so often go about their tasks with one eye on the future, have come to the inevitable conclusion that if left unchecked, the politicians of this country will be the ruin of us all.
The Chinese are not Neros to helplessly fiddle while Rome burns.
- ‘What more the Chinese want’ is for the rot to STOP.
- They can clearly see with eyes teared by 5,000 years of the painful tide of relentless history. A history filled with upheavals, turmoil and revolution has given them an inbuilt ‘antenna’ that warns them when a society is approaching decay, decline and disaster.
They know that zero, simply put, is indivisible.
The Chinese have sounded the alarm bell for all of us. What more do we want from them?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Proton is planning on teaming up with manufacturers in Iran and Turkey to create the unique vehicle.
The car could boast special features like a compass pointing to Mecca and a dedicated space to keep a copy of the Koran and a headscarf.
The idea came during a visit to the Middle East by a delegation of Malaysian politicians and businessmen.
Malaysian press reports say officials in Iran originally suggested the idea.
Safety features or fuel economy is one way of selling a car, but Proton thinks vehicles designed specifically for Muslims across the world represent a huge gap in the market.
Proton is the most dominant car on the streets here but the company has suffered recently after the government allowed more foreign cars to be imported.
The firm has been in talks recently with VW about a takeover by the German car giant.
The ill-numbered day is coming, this month.
Do you think we should make mention of it?
Or should we just bury it?
Another thing, that Azhar guy in Penang. Why do we always have this kind of people?
Were you talking about May 13?
If not for that Azhar, many could have forgotten the date!
What did he say?
Indeed, it is a dangerous thing to quote some people. Still remember Ahmad Ismail?
As a matter of fact, there is no need for us to quote or reproduce what these people have said.
Those are nothing but junks.
But, it happened in Penang, again. It looks like some people are still unable to come to terms with reality.
They are not aware of the fact that the pride and power are no longer in their hands but have taken back by the people as a verdict for what they have said and done.
All they have now is that mouth that repeatedly yells 513, 513...
Watched Beetlejuice, a black comedy by Tim Burton?
But how can a comedy be horrifying?
Sometimes, spooks are made horrifying because of people's own imagination.
For instance, this Beetlejuice is wrecking havoc all over the place and tensing up nerves.
In the end, people hit back at it, tearing it apart, leaving only a mouth that still keeps yelling.
Only one final kick should restore the peace for everyone.
Please don't misunderstand me. I didn't say things will be all right if we keep these people's mouth shut.
All I want to say is that the right of interpreting May 13 must not be dominated or manipulated by these people.
Once the right falls in their hands, they will keep exploiting May 13, and create terror.
These people are banking on the public's fears and ignorance towards May 1 to achieve their goal of controlling the public.
If we fall victim to their spell, we will then be manipulated out of our own control.
However, we can choose to stay sobre, and reject their spell, or even kick it far away.
We can have a more precise understanding of May 13, and establish our own right of interpretation.
To understand May 13, we need a more transparent environment and more open bosom.
This day will somehow arrive, and we are in no rush for it.
Whatever it is, we can always accept the arrival of May 13 with a totally different attitude.
For example, we can hold a peace concert where signers from different ethnic groups are invited to perform for the public, or a candlelight vigil that not only remembers the tarnished history but also look forward to a sparkling future.
Bury the horror and bid goodbye to hatred.
This should be the way we remember May 13.
(TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)
Singapore too had its own share of racial riots in 1964. Instead of having politicians going around reminding its populace of the date in a most distasteful way, the government decided to call it "Racial Harmony Day" where everyone gets together to celebrate the nation as one. Click here for article.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Sarawak CID chief Huzir Mohamed was yesterday reported to have warned campaigners in the Sibu by-election to stay clear of the 'Allah' issue.
No prizes for guessing out of which book of presumption Huzir took a leaf.
Barely three weeks ago, Huzir's boss, inpector-general of police Musa Hassan, had the gall to say that if the public were unduly alarmed by the shooting death of Aminulrasyid Amzah, he could pull his men off the streets.
As far as we know, Musa's boss, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, did not upbraid him, as he ought to, for the presumption.
Now the virus has spread and a satrap has taken after the master.
If debate on the use of the term 'Allah' is indeed proscribed, several publishers would have gotten into problems under various laws because the letters' column of their publications in recent months would have been deemed to have been in contravention of these laws.
That no such thing has occurred is because so such construction could be made that the ongoing debate is in violation of such laws.
On what basis then could like-minded debaters on the hustings in Sibu be warned, on pain of prosecution, to stay clear of the issue?
Home minister cannot be relied upon
Looking at the plaintive cry of SUPP president George Chan that the 'Allah' matter is a Peninsula phenomenon that should not be dragged into Sarawak where it has never been an issue, one wonders what the hubbub is all about in the first place.
Surely what this says about our polity where what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander cannot be complimentary.
At least there's some justification for the above phenomenon on the basis of different histories and cultures.
But presumptuous construction of the extent of police authority is not something that can be taken lightly.
Unfortunately, the home minister cannot be relied upon to stop undue presumption by the police.
Perhaps he will wait until September when there will be a changing of the guard with Musa's retirement.
But by that time, the phenomenon could become a hydra, sprouting new heads even as individual ones are sawn off.
Lord Acton's aphorism about power's corruptive effects is not easily confined.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
The Greeks seem to have outdone Malaysia for the time being. No wonder Professor Danny Quah of the London School of Economics openly warned that Malaysia can be heading the way of Greece if it continues with its present policies.
I have just watched a documentary regarding Greece 's financial and am appalled ! These are the why's and how's that this historic and beautiful country came to grieve.
Bureaucracy: Greece's bureaucracy is famous in the whole of Europe ! To open a cafe or pub there are 25 processes to go through !! This is a country of rules and regulations.
Bloated civil service: There are 1.05 milliion civil servants (excluding police and armed forces) . The population of Greece is only 10 million !! More than 10% are govt servants !! Salary increases every year and benefit for civil servants in Greece is one of the best in Europe !! More and more money is needed to upkeep this bloated civil servants . The retirement age is 62 yrs old.
Corruption: Greece is the most corrupted nation in the Eurozone. Citizens pay "under table" money to:
# admit into a public hospital
# pass a driving licence
# to enter public service
# renovate your business premises or your home
# avoid income tax
Every govt project is awarded to political cronies and at hugely inflated prices ! Transparency International compared the prices of the construction costs of stadiums built for the Athens Olympics recently with similar structures in China --500% more expensive than the Chinese , compared to Los Angeles and Sydney -- 50 % more expensive !!! All these with tax payers money ! and borrowings !!!
Tax evasion: Officially 80% of its citizens are supposed to pay tax but only 37% are doing so. Big businessmen and corporations have refined tax evasion to a fine art ( or have the tax men taken some coffee money ? )
No transparency in governance: The politicians and bureaucrats falsified economic data and painted a rosy and manageable picture while the economy was rotting away .
Unabated borrowings: Meanwhile, the politicians and bureaucrats continue to issue govt bonds to keep afloat, series after series. They were trying to cover up the financial mess they have created creating one big hole to cover up the previous !!
Lacking political will power to reform: To keep hold on to political power, politicians are prepared to lie, commit economic and political fraud. If reforms were taken some five years ago , the country need not go bankrupt and its citizens need not suffer so much. Political expediency and greed to political power over-rides everything and hence Greece is now a bankrupt country. Luckily, it is part of the European Union and its currency is EUROs, otherwise Greeks will have to eat grass to survive !!
Laid back attitude: Tourism is THE ONLY industry in Greece and over the years the Greeks have had an easy time. Many flocked to see the historical sites. enjoy summer vacation on the islands. But they forgot that not many tourists will returned after visiting the sites --there are so many other tourists attractions in the world, maybe more exotic and perhaps cheaper !! So once tourism vanes and couple with higher costs of living --the Greeks could not and refused to adapt and transform --still partying and having a nice time -- maybe the Greek Gods will bless them !!! Greece have no natural resources, no electronics industry , no R & D --no anything !! They were so laid back --cannot see what is coming and crashing down on them. Even now, the civil servants refused to take a pay cut -- the world owes them a living !!
The producer of the documentary had hired a raxi driver to go around while doing this documentary. The taxi driver had studied economics for 4 years in US and this was his parting words:
"My biggest mistake was returning 15 years ago, I should have stayed back in US. My nationalist instinct made me returned. The politicians screwed me. I loved my country but my country did not love me !!!!"
Friends, I can see a lot of similarity in Malaysia . I need not go into boring details, it is there for all to realise. Unless we transform politically and economically, sadly this day will surely come.
It is not IF, but WHEN !!
1MALAYSIA - MALAYSIA BOLEH !!!
Monday, May 10, 2010
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So, Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and put them back in and, when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $39,675 a year and you get the really big bucks ($1,695,750) when you and I are doing basically the same work?" The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic....
"Try doing it with the engine running."
A businessman boards a flight and is lucky enough to be seated next to an absolutely gorgeous woman. They exchange brief hellos and henotices she is reading a manual about sexual statistics. He asks her about it and she replies, "This is a very interesting book about sexual statistics. It identifies that American Indians have the longest average penisand Polish men have the biggest average diameter. By the way, my name is Jill. What's yours?"
Since this is a season of by-elections, here is something to laugh over ...
While walking down the street one day a Malaysian Boleh Minister istragically hit by a truck and dies.His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. "Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seemsthere is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in," says the man. "Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"Really, I have made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Yang Berhormat. "I'm sorry, but we have our rules," says St. Peter. And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing infront of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.
Everyone is very happy and dressed in the finest batik there is. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then indulge themselves on lobsters, caviar and the most expensive food there is. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St Peter is waiting for him. "Now it' s time to visit heaven."
So, 24 hours pass with the Yang Berhormat joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. Theyhave a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St Peter returns."Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Nowchoose your eternity." The Yang Berhormat reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, Iwould never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, butI think Ai yam better off in hell."
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.
"I don't understand," stammers the Yang Berhormat. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster andcaviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning just like you did (full of lies and deceit) during an election........... Today you voted."
VOTE WISELY IN THE COMING ELECTION
It is a myth that when a son gets married and a new daughter-in- law arrives in the family, everything changes.
The new wife (progressive Indian woman),was being welcomed at the husband's home in a traditional manner.
As expected she gave a speech,
"My dear family, I thank you for welcoming me in my new home and family,
firstly, my being here does not mean that I would wantto change your way of life, your routine.
No, I will never do that, never in a million years."
"What do you mean my child?" asked the father-in-law.
"What I mean dad is (looking at her in-laws);
Those who used to wash the dishes, must carry on washing them
Those who used to do the laundry, must carry on doing it.
Those who cooked, should not stop at my account, AND
Those who used to clean, should continue cleaning !!!
"And what are you here for Bahurani?" queried the mother-in-law.
"AS FOR ME, I'M HERE JUST TO ENTERTAIN YOUR SON !!!"
Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PAS' Khalid Samad and Siti Mariah Mahmud, visit the Sacred Heart Church in Sibu on Sunday morning. Khalid admitted that the visit is to break the perception that PAS is extremist and wants to push for an Islamic state."I think the best way (to break that perception) is to come here to meet the people and talk with them," said Khalid