Integration and religious conversions? Being Malaysian, respecting the Constitution, etc

30 05 2010


Given below is a number of articles (some in extract form) expressing what may be called non-mainstream views.

The first article speaks about religious conversions and integration during Abbasid’s rule. But is anyone expecting integration via religious conversions in Malaysia? Not that we know of. Isn’t expecting that an extremism of a kind?

The second and third articles, written by a Malaysian student overseas, talks about complaints when filling forms requiring stating one’s race, and states that there is no such thing as a Malaysian race or Bangsa Malaysia. How do we identify ourselves then? And the writer is not proud to be a Malaysian. Not yet, he says. For reasons that are yet to be fully justified.

So many Malaysians ask the rakyat to respect the Constitution of the country when talking about integration and national unity but the writer of the fourth article below asks BN, the alliance of political parties in power, to respect the Constitution. He talks about “constitutional guarantees .. lack of press freedom .. high achievers of all races living overseas” not wanting to come back and “Every day cases are being filed in the courts by people of different races challenging laws and decisions on Constitutional grounds”, says he. Pretty strong words but see if he provides the proofs or justifies his statements in the article.

The article after that talks about the institution of rulers. It sounds seditious as the institution is protected under the Sedition Act. It also subverts Article 153 guaranteeing the position and the role of the rulers and the Special Position of the Malays which, the British Colonial Secretary told the British Parliament in the 50s, has been there “since day one”, recognised and accepted by them since they first had contacts with this country. It shows the extent people go to further their objective. This kind of acts makes integration and national unity difficult. It is hoped that the authorities would take action on such seditious and subversive writings.

The last article dwells on what a lawyer wrote in Nanyang Siang Pao asking what else do the Chinese want. Another writer in China Press says the Chinese is unable to compete in a situation of no power (“tiada kuasa”). Having got economic power and control, they still talk about political power. Is that being reasonable? Shouldn’t there be give and take? Shouldn’t it be on the basis of the population ratio in the country? And, isn’t it that the Malays are being asked to compete, and on an uneven playing field? On vernacular schools, the Dong Zong, having been allowed to continue using Mandarin as the medium of instruction in Chinese schools, despite Article 152 on Bahasa Malaysia, wants more.

The fact that the Chinese have the means to run quite a few newspapers and other forms of mass media makes it appear as if there is a lot of dissent in the country. It is not true; the dissent is limited. The same groups of people talking and getting published here and there. There is a silent majority out there which has not been vocal due to their accomodating and pleasant nature, their sense of responsibility and respect for the Constitution, and having limited financial resources to acquire the means to speak up, either newspapers, computers, private TV, radio stations, etc. It is expected that affirmative action will continue and it will enable more of the silent majority to acquire wealth and education so that an increasing number of them would speak up to balance the demands for action in terms of integration and national unity.

Let’s discuss these.

This may be a long posting but, having been given the synopsis above, you may choose the articles you wish to read in detail. However, reading the articles alone without reading the comments made by the readers may not be doing justice to yourselves because the other side of the coin is usually in the comments.

Everyone is welcomed to comment, either in Bahasa Malaysia or in the English language for maximum audience coverage.



Integration with integrity — Art Harun
May 21, 2010

One of my favourite examples of pure racial and religious integration is the one which existed during the Abbasid rule.

In an atmosphere as culturally and intellectually vibrant as Baghdad was during the Abbasid’s rule, inter-faith and inter-religion relations were at their best. In Baghdad, Christians lived near a Jacobite monastery on the bank of the Tigris. Muslims would take part in Christian celebrations such as the Palm Sunday and likewise the Christians would honour the Eid-ul-Fitr together with the Muslims.

The people were free to practise their respective religions, without fear and without any kind of compulsion. A medieval Egyptian historian noted that the mixing and matching of festivals “was a sign of mutual respect and brotherhood between the religions…moreover, some of the converts to Islam, as Muslims, continued their old practices even after accepting Islam.”

Now that account shows not only a pure, unadulterated integration between various races of different faiths, but also assimilation of them into one single society.

Harun al Rasyid’s relationship with the Byzantine’s Empress Irene in Constantinople meant a peaceful co-existence between the two religious powerhouses. But when Irene’s finance minister, Nicephorus, overthrew her, the situation changed immediately.

After a letter from Nicephorus saying that Harun should be giving the Byzantine his wealth and blaming the peaceful co-existence between Harun and Irene to “weakness of women and their foolishness,” Harun marched into central Anatolia and captured Heraclea.

It was at this time that Christians were treated shabbily in Iraq as Abbasid nationalism ruled the day.

At about the same time, the peaceful co-existence also existed in Muslim Andalus, especially in its capital, Cordoba, which was ruled by the remnant of the Umayyad Caliphate who fled from the Abassid after the infamous “dinner of reconciliation” in Damascus.

Muslims, Christians and the Jews were living in harmony. The Court doctor was a Jew. The trading network was monopolised by the Jews. Jewish translators were used to translate the works of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Christians were running the Caliphate. In fact, in the last bastion of Muslim Andalus, Granada, Samuel ibn Nagrela, better known as Nagid (a Hebrew term for “Governor”) was the Muslim army chief, who fought for his country, alongside Muslim soldiers whom he commanded. He was also oversaw public works, building of a library, mosque, gardens. He even wrote extensively on Hebrew dialects.

Samuel was succeeded by Joseph, his son.

Again, just as it was fragile in Baghdad, it was also fragile in Muslim Andalus. It took a Muslim to destroy Samuel’s legacy and Joseph.

His biggest enemy was a Muslim, Abu Ishaq. Abu Ishaq was out of favour with the Berber Princes who ruled Granada. Driven by envy, Abu Ishaq would berate the Granada prince for having “an infidel as his secretary”. He said:

“through him (Joseph), the Jews have become great and proud and arrogant… and how many a worthy Muslim humbly obeys the vilest ape among these miscreants. And this did not happen through their own efforts but through one of our own people who rose as their accomplice. Oh why did he not deal with them….. Put them back where they belong and reduce them to the lowest of the low, roaming among us, with their little bags, with contempt, degradation and scorn as their lot, scrabbling in the dunghills for coloured rags to shroud their dead for burial.”

Joseph was dragged by a mob, beaten and crucified. Hundreds of Jews were subject to terror and death in 1066 Granada.

Bigotry also existed on the Christian side. Before the Granada episode, a Jewish monk, Isaac, had sought to start anti-Islam revolt simply because he was disappointed at the rate of conversion from Christianity to Islam.

He started this by appearing before a leading Muslim judge and said that Muhammad wasn’t a true Prophet and that he would go to hell. After refusing to recant, he was sentenced to death, prompting a Christian revolt that lasted eight years.

About 50 Christians including women, young and old, sought death sentences by denouncing Islam and were promptly sentenced to death by the Muslims. Some of them were canonised by the Church, including one Eulogius. The story of these Christian martyrs was later used to rouse anti-Islam sentiments until the Muslim kingdom fell to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.

We could learn a thing or two about integration from that part of history.

i. Integration comes with a complete understanding and acceptance of different cultural background and faiths;

ii. Integration exists in periods of peace and security when everyone of different races does not have any kind of racial fear or complexes;

iii. Integration is fragile. It has to be constantly and consistently nurtured and practised. We have to continuously be conscious of our neighbour’s sensitivities, needs and limitations;

iv. Its fragility may see it destroyed in a few moments. Political or personal agenda (Abu Ishaq’s envy); religious agenda (Isaac’s scheme); unnecessary or unbridled nationalism (Harun al Rasyid’s war against the Byzantine); hatred and bigotry (Abu Ishaq’s declaration).

Notice what Abu Ishaq said. Is it not the same with the “pendatang” and “second class” pronouncements here? Notice Abu Ishaq’s rave that the Jews are rich and well off. Is it not the same with statements made by some of our leaders — past and present — and the likes of Perkasa?


At the end of the day, we cannot rely on others, and that includes the government, when it comes to racial integration. This affects our daily lives.

And so we have to take it upon ourselves — the man in the mirror, so to speak — to take steps, no matter how small they may be, towards integration.

And if we have not done so yet, I would say today would be a good day to start.



Ethnic Descent, Nationality and Race: What is a Malaysian?

Written by johnleemk on 11:44:39 am Jul 21, 2008.

If there were a “Stuff Middle- and Upper-class Malaysians Like” listing to complement the several other blogs about such topics out there (Stuff White People Like being the most famous), one entry that would definitely have to be on the list is making an issue out of the need to declare our ethnic origin on government forms. Every once in a while, this issue flares up, and a lot of people take a good point too far, suggesting that we eradicate the notion of race altogether from the public sphere by filling “Malaysian” as our race in on all forms. This is a very misplaced idea, which does not do justice to the real, pragmatic world we live in.

I am probably among the most committed to race-blindness out there. I don’t think we should judge race in itself as a positive or negative qualification; it may be correlated with intelligence or physical ability or what-have-you, but because we already have measures for intelligence and physical ability, there is no need to incorporate a test of racial origin. Heck, I am one of the very few people in Malaysia who would openly say that yes, there is a trade-off between being Malaysian and being Malay/Chinese/Indian/Kadazan/whatever — and that when in doubt, we should err on the side of being Malaysian.

I don’t see the need to pretend race doesn’t exist. For one, ethnic descent has a huge correlation with culture and mindset: the way I think and the way a Malay thinks are very different. Although it is actually very difficult to generalise in this area — I differ a lot from the way many Chinese think — we do not have a better test for determining mindsets and beliefs just yet.

Nobody has ever eradicated racism from their society. The easiest way to tell if racial discrimination is going on is to look at the way the typical person from one race treats the typical person from another race, and yet if we maintain the fiction that race does not exist, there is no way to tell that discrimination is going on. If we do not look at the demographics of individual ethnic communities, we can maintain the fiction that all is well, but if one community is clearly lagging behind the rest, it will be very obvious to the man on the street — and this does not bode well for maintaining race-blindness.

In essence, I am arguing for something between looking at race in everything, and looking at race in nothing. There are clearly times when it is important for an institution to know someone’s ethnic background, and there are times when it is obviously irrelevant. To apply one blanket rule simply for the sake of applying a blanket rule is ridiculous.

Of course, in difficult and complicated issues like this, charting a course of compromise can be practically impossible. In an imperfect world, you cannot perfectly implement perfect ideals; there will be an unnecessary intrusion of race into some areas of policy, and in other areas, we will unnecessarily shrink from race out of the fear of being politically incorrect. But it is important, I think, to make it clear that although race should rarely be a relevant issue when it comes to making determinations about an individual person, there are times when it is necessary.

This goes beyond merely collecting demographic information, after all. Putting aside the impossible issue of how to define “black” or “white”, in the US, blacks take different medication for heart disease than whites. There is evidence that Chinese and whites do not have the same ideal body mass indexes. And, as alluded to earlier, when one community lags dramatically behind another in some measurable manner, this information can be incredibly helpful in policy formulation and implementation.

Yet, there is something a little icky about declaring your “race” on a form. The stark nature of the term and the weight of its historical baggage make it seem almost wrong to declare that your “race” is “Malay” or “Iban” when you think what really ought to matter is that you are Malaysian. It’s easy to see where the “My race is Malaysian” crowd is coming from.

But as many a pedant has troubled to observe, there is no such thing as a Malaysian race. Making a statement about your race is simply making a statement about your ancestors. When we ask for your race, we are not asking about your Malaysian ancestors; we are asking who your ancestors were before there was a Malaysia. To describe them as Malaysian is really a bit of falsehood.


This may seem like quibbling over semantics, but language is particularly powerful when it comes to a loaded issue like ethnicity and nationality. We have to be really clear that we have gone beyond the petty racism of apartheid or the racial lynchings of the American Jim Crow era. The issue in modern society is not race or what it has to do with your nationality; it is simply, for the purposes of record-keeping, who you trace your descent back to.

My ethnic descent is not Malaysian; I am Chinese with some Filipino thrown in. But my nationality is Malaysian. My nationality entitles me to make my home in Malaysia, to have a say in how Malaysia is run. But my ethnic descent is where my roots lie, and is an important aspect of defining what Malaysia and being Malaysian means to me. It is the same for any other Malaysian; we bear the traces of our roots in how we think and act. There are differences between a Malaysian of Malay descent and a Malaysian of Indian descent, and to deny these differences is foolishness. But rather than dwelling on these differences, as the label of “race” might have us do, let’s celebrate how regardless of who our ancestors were, we all have one homeland, one tanah tumpahnya darahku.


3. Proud to be Malaysian?

Written by johnleemk on 4:11:05 am Sep 29, 2007.

One holds that Malaysia is so behind compared to other nations; that it is regressive, either in physical, mental, or cultural infrastructure.

The other holds that Malaysians have much to be proud of, much to cherish, much to make us happy, and that we just don’t appreciate it.

Being an overseas Malaysian myself now (at the moment, for my studies; I have no firm plans for my post-graduate life), I feel I can better appreciate and sympathise with both views.

It is definitely quite easier to criticise the country at home; you are presented a warped view of the outside world. The government paints home as paradise, foreign establishments paint their homes as paradise; the human instinct to perceive the grass as greener on the other side kicks in.

Likewise, it is extremely difficult not to appreciate what Malaysians have that other countries don’t. We complain about racial tension, but racial jokes which barely raise an eyebrow at home are crazily controversial in that supposed bastion of freedom, the United States.

The thing you really miss most about home as a Malaysian, I would suppose, (other than the food of course) is the people. That’s hardly surprising; the people are what make any country what it is, and Malaysia has been blessed with one of the most plural and interesting mixes of people you could expect.

It is thus difficult for me to sympathise with those who insist that Malaysia is vastly inferior, that it ought to simply ape other countries; there is a lot others could learn from us, a lot that we have which other countries don’t. In short, we have a lot to be proud of.

But at the same time, it is impossible for me to declare that I am proud to be a Malaysian. I have no doubt that Malaysia is a country that one can be proud of.

Yet at the moment, it is a country that one cannot be proud of. How can I be proud of my country when I am told it is not my country? How can I be proud of my country when millions of my countrymen are denied access to the opportunities I had?

How can I be proud when a citizen can be tossed in jail for something he did not even write, without even being charged for a crime? How can I be proud when even academics have no freedom to think?



BN must respect the constitution — David D. Mathew
May 19, 2010

MAY 17 — After years of slumber, the guarantees contained in Malaysia’s most important document is slowly rising like a phoenix from the ashes to shine into the hearts and minds of ordinary Malaysians.


Ibrahim Ali claims that the Chinese are ungrateful for not voting Barisan despite the many election goodies thrown at them.

The Prime Minister believes that the Barisan machinery in Sibu moved in old and traditional ways and that the coalition needed to be more creative and energetic.


In a wave that has begun with the Chinese and Christians all over Malaysia, voters are voting with enlightened minds inspired by the drive to see to it that Constitutional guarantees are met.

Thanks to initiatives such as the MyConstitution campaign by Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee to simplify the Federal Constitution and to reach out to 6 million households, Malaysians are no longer ignorant about their most precious of rights.

The promise of a new bridge will no longer guarantee you a man’s vote unless you can guarantee that he can assemble his friends and walk freely in a group across that bridge without first having to seek police permission.

The promise of a new school will no longer guarantee you a man’s vote unless you can guarantee that his child is entering an education system that is blind to colour but alive to need.

The offer of millions of ringgit for development will no longer guarantee you a man’s vote unless you can guarantee that his freedom to enjoy that development will never be taken away without due process.

The promise of three million ringgit for missionary schools will no longer guarantee you a man’s vote unless you can guarantee him that he can practice his religion freely without restrictions such as on the words he uses.

The promise of a flood mitigation system will not guarantee you a man’s vote because he realizes that he has, in the first place, a fundamental right to live safely and freely without having to worry about floods.

The fact that two polling centres were forced to open an hour late last Sunday because the Rejang River broke its banks is illustrative of this. Voters who had to wait for the waters to recede must have wondered why they were unable to exercise their right to vote because a necessity like a flood mitigation system was not already in place.

Money for this flood mitigation system should not be a problem given the fact that millions upon millions are poured into significantly less urgent matters like defence spending and not one but two Formula One teams.

Until and unless the BN begins to let itself be guided by the Constitution, it will continue to bleed support.

Eventually, the spread of Constitutional awareness and the demand that its guarantees are implemented will engulf the hearts and minds of every person of every race in Malaysia.

Young people of various races are already walking around in the sweltering heat reading newspapers upside down in protest against the lack of press freedom in the country. High achievers of all races living overseas are demanding for meritocracy and equal opportunity before they return.

Non-governmental organizations comprising of members from all races are calling for reforms with fiercer urgency. Every day cases are being filed in the courts by people of different races challenging laws and decisions on Constitutional grounds.

The spirit of Constitutional guarantees will outlive the laws and policies that seek to stifle them.

It may take awhile but there will come a day when all who stand against the fundamental liberties will be marginalised.




Rakyat dan institusi Diraja — Mohd Rashidi Hassan
May 21, 2010

21 MEI — Sejarah tidak pernah menafikan bagaimana eratnya hubungan antara orang-orang Melayu dengan institusi Diraja. Sejak zaman dahulu kala, orang-orang Melayu begitu sinonim dengan ketaatan dan kesetiaan kepada Raja.

Di atas ketaatan dan kesetiaan itulah yang memungkin wujudnya system beraja di sembilan buah negeri di Semenanjung Malaysia, walaupun penjajah British dan Umno-Barisan Nasional sudah menukarkan fungsi Raja-Raja Melayu daripada pentadbir kepada Raja Berperlembagaan sahaja.

Dalam apa pun keadaan, kedaulatan dan kemuliaan Raja-Raja Melayu tetap dipelihara dan dijunjung rakyat jelata di seluruh pelusuk negara.

Buktinya, Perkara 181, 153, 152 dan lain-lain (dalam Perlembagaan) yang berkaitan dengan kuasa Diraja termasuk Perkara 38 dan 43 di mana Yang di-Pertuan Agong mempunyai kedudukan tertinggi dalam system beraja tetap terjamin dalam negara.

Fungsi Raja sebagai payung kepada orang-orang Melayu khususnya, dan juga sebagai Ketua Agama Islam di negeri masing-masing, sehingga kini begitu ditaati dan dipatuhi setiap rakyat.

Namun, dewasa ini wujud di kalangan rakyat yang dilihat semakin berani mempertikaikan titah Sultan dan Raja.

Mengapakah keadaan ini boleh berlaku sekarang? Apakah Sultan atau Raja begitu maksum sehingga tidak boleh menerima nasihat dan disanggah sama sekali?

Ada dua elemen yang boleh mendorong Raja disanggah. Pertamanya, baginda tidak adil. Keduanya, baginda tidak memelihara kesucian agama.

Ketidakadilan seseorang Raja boleh dikaitkan dengan tindakan penguatkuasaan pemerintahannya yang berat sebelah.

Misalnya, apabila Mursyidul Am PAS, Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat hendak berucap di Masjid, ada titah yang melarang beliau berbuat demikian, atas alasan PAS membawa politik dalam masjid. Seharusnya pihak berkuatkuasa agama menyatakan bukti, pada bahagian mana ucapan Tuan Guru bercanggah dengan Islam atau melanggar titah Raja.

Bandingkan pula dengan tindakan Umno-BN, yang menganjurkan solat hajat dan bacaan yassin untuk memenangkan calon BN yang bukan Islam. Jelas, BN menggunakan masjid untuk kempen politik, malah mendoakan kemenangan untuk memuliakan bukan Islam di masjid.

Bukankah tindakan Umno-BN ini mencemar kemuliaan masjid dan melanggar titah Raja? Mengapa tiada institusi agama yang bangkit? Mengapa tiada titah Raja dikeluarkan dalam hal ini?

Barangkali di sini, bukan salah Raja. Tetapi Umno-BN melalui institusi agama yang dikuasainya, memperalatkan Raja untuk kepentingan politik mereka. Ini tidak adil!

Perkara yang kedua terpenting ialah soal kesucian agama. Raja sebagai tonggak negeri, Raja sebagai Ketua Agama Negeri.

Untuk itu golongan Diraja seharusnya mengelakkan wujudnya beberapa insiden yang mencemarkan institusi Diraja. Raja-raja, anak-anak Raja, bakal-bakal Sultan, dilaporkan pernah terbabit dalam insiden yang memalukan, sebagaimana yang dilaporkan media massa sebelum ini.

Ada yang dilaporkan berpeleseran di kelab malam. Ada yang didakwa mabuk sehingga bergaduh sesama sendiri di kelab malam. Ada yang dikatakan kuat berjudi.

Pokoknya, golongan istana harus memahami bahawa di zaman moden ini, tiada aral komunikasi, rakyat boleh melihat dan mengetahui dengan jelas perilaku mereka, tambahan pula jika ada kalangan golongan ini yang sentiasa bergelumang dengan maksiat.

Persoalannya, bagaimanakan golongan ini layak dihormati dan didoakan pada setiap kali solat Jumaat, jika sifat peribadi serta perilaku baginda tidak secocok sebagai Ketua Agama Negeri?

Justeru, jangan salahkan rakyat, jika rakyat bersuara, walaupun ianya kelihatan “menyanggah titah Raja”.

Raja yang akan dihormati dan didaulatkan, adalah Raja yang adil kepada semua rakyat baginda, tanpa mengira latar belakang bangsa, agama dan pemikiran politik.

“Raja adil Raja disembah, Raja zalim Raja disanggah.” —

****** ************


Apa lagi pengundi Cina mahukan? — Mohd Khuzairi Ismail
May 26, 2010

Seorang peguam, Lee Shu Hua menulis mengenai perkara ini menerusi akhbar Nanyang Siang Pao terbitan 22 Mei lalu.

Penulis ini cuba menjawab persoalan yang sering diajukan selepas pilihan raya itu iaitu apakah sebenarnya yang dimahukan oleh pengundi Cina. Menurut Shu Hua, sejak 52 tahun negara merdeka, orang Cina hidup dalam persekitaran yang tidak sama rata.

Apabila kerajaan memberi sedikit kelebihan, mereka dipaksa untuk berterima kasih. Menjelang pilihan raya pula, mereka dipaksa mengundi kerajaan, jika tidak akan dianggap sebagai kumpulan lupa daratan dan tidak mahu berterima kasih.


Seorang penulis, Lee Zang menerusi akhbar China Press terbitan 23 Mei pula menjelaskan, orang Cina bukan sahaja mahu berubah, tetapi perubahan juga terpaksa dilakukan.

Orang-orang Cina tidak mahu menyokong BN kerana masih di takuk lama dan tidak mahu berubah.

Mereka juga tidak mahu cara lama BN berterusan dalam membawa Model Baru Ekonomi kerana ia hanya untuk kepentingan segelintir dan kroni-kroni yang menjadi kaya.

Kebanyakan rakyat di negara tanpa mengira kaum ini amat risaukan masa depan mereka. Bukan sahaja memikirkan mengenai mereka tapi untuk generasi akan datang terutamanya generasi baru kaum Cina.

Apa yang mereka mahukan ialah keadilan, terbuka, bebas dan menjadi negara maju. Ramai yang berpendapat jika mahu melihat negara ini maju, politik tidak boleh dimonopoli oleh sebuah parti.

Jika politik ini masih ditakuk lama, tidak ada masa harapan pada masa depan untuk mereka. Tulis Lee Zang lagi, dahulunya rakyat di negara ini dimonopoli oleh beberapa orang dalam BN menggunakan satu model dari satu kaum untuk memonopoli semua kaum.

Pemikiran dan model lama ini tidak memberi apa-apa kepada masa depan kaum Cina. BN hanya memberi kepada beberapa orang Cina menjadi menteri.

Jika BN menganggap satu hari nanti kaum Cina mendapat jalan ke arah kehidupan yang indah, ia hanyalah satu impian yang kosong. Pemikiran orang-orang Cina di negara ini lebih jauh dari itu.

“Kenapa saya berkata begitu? Kerana generasi akan datang akan bertanya: Kenapa kita juga rakyat Malaysia tetapi kita disekat daripada melakukan apa yang orang lain boleh buat? Apa yang boleh kita jawab? Kita akan memberitahu nasib kita telah digadai dan diputuskan oleh beberapa pemimpin yang bersejarah. Bukankah begitu?” tulisnya.

Lee Zang menambah, penduduk kaum Cina di negara ini semakin berkurangan. Jika polisi-polisi kaum di takuk lama itu masih tidak berubah, orang Cina tidak dapat bersaing dan kekal dalam keadaan “tiada kuasa”. Maka generasi Cina akan datang juga akan tetap disisihkan.


KPI Kementerian Pelajaran dan SRJKC

Sementara itu, akhbar Sin Chew Jit Poh menyiarkan sebuah artikel sekolah aliran Cina dan kaitannya dengan usaha Kementerian Pelajar mencapai sasaran indeks petunjuk prestasi (KPI).

Artikel bertajuk Masalah SRJKC dan panduan KPI itu ditulis oleh penulis yang menggunakan nama samaran Mai Siang. Menurutnya, imbuhan yang diumumkan oleh kerajaan sempena sambutan Hari Guru lalu menunjukkan Kementerian Pelajaran bersungguh-sungguh mencapai KPI.

Tetapi orang ramai tidak yakin adakah SRJKC juga dimasukkan dalam skop NKRA itu? Ini kerana selama 50 tahun sekolah aliran Cina, banyak masalah dan penyakit timbul kerana tidak dapat disetarafkan dengan pendidikan negara. Contohnya kekurangan guru yang mana timbul masalah apabila guru bahasa Cina diletakkan ke bahagian bahasa Melayu.

Keadaan ini berlaku kerana pendidikan kita terpisah kepada dua kategori iaitu bantuan penuh dan bantuan separuh.

Mengikut konsep 1 Malaysia yang sebenar, NKRA perlu dijalankan di semua jabatan di Kementerian Pelajaran termasuk di bahagian pembangunan SRJKC. Setiap tahun, gariskan keperluan guru-guru, bantuan dan penambahbaikan sekolah serta bilangan sekolah baru.

Masukkan perkara itu ke dalam bajet tahunan kewangan negara. “Dalam proses perlaksanaan itu, perlu diselaraskan semua bentuk perlaksanaan dengan NKRA. Ambil perhatian serius dan sepenuhnya surat-surat yang dikemukakan oleh Dong Jiao Zong dan cuba buat penambahbaikan dalam semua proses,” tulis Mai Siang.



Discrimination, Population Decline and Closure

27 05 2010


Here are four sets of opinions, existing in the public domain, that have a bearing on the subject of national unity and progress in the country. Diverse they may be, they represent the views of Malaysians of different vocations, from different backgrounds and with varying life experiences.

Let’s find out the common grounds and discuss the approach towards togetherness and national unity.

Comments may be both in Bahasa Malaysia as well as in the English language for wider audience coverage.


Sinatra_Z – Discrimination in the Private Sector

MAY 26 — Often we hear complaints regarding smart non-Malay students with many As not getting a place in local universities. Political parties, NGOs and the media often highlight their plight and injustice.

I, for one, agree with the push by the government in solving this problem. Regardless of a student’s racial background, a smart student is an asset to the nation and he or she should be given a chance to get an education and contribute to society.

I fully support the move by the government in abolishing quotas in most of the public universities, promoting merit-based distribution of scholarships and move to incorporate more non-Malays into the government.

Although some may argue the main reason for the lack of non-Malays opting to be a government servant is due to perks and wages rather than discrimination, we should view all these as positive.

A good example would be the recent flood at the Selangor Chinese Assembly hall interviews to fill up the vacancies with the Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC). Ironic when one considers the recent political spin that has been put upon the MACC, thanks to the Teoh Beng Hock case.

I guess Er Soon Poi put it quite well when he said, “I am impressed with the salary and allowances offered in the public sector and I am interested to become a government servant although I have little knowledge about the MACC” (The Sun May 23, 2010).

I admit there is the perception that there is an ethnic dominance in the Malaysian civil service. I agree with this view and fully support any move to diversify the Malaysian civil service.

To me this is one of the many polarities that divide the Malaysian society. But I have always reminded myself of the old saying, “It takes two hands to produce a clap”. So I am going to discuss what many politicians and activists are quite reluctant to talk about.

Perhaps it is a bit uncomfortable for some of these politicians to talk about or the fact that it does not serve their political purpose.


It started with complaints by local Malay graduates that they faced difficulty in getting good jobs in big companies, mainly multinational corporations which offer good salaries. Especially big, foreign companies with good perks in sectors like banking, finance, electronics, IT, etc.

I have heard of this way back when my seniors were complaining about it. At first even I shrugged it off.

There is this general perception that Malay graduates are “bad in communication skills, mainly English, and not as competent as the non-Malay graduates.”

Come on, let’s be honest. I have more than once encountered this remark, “Ahh you speak pretty good English for a Malay.” Malaysians are huge hypocrites, I tell you. No wonder our politicians are like that as well.

As much as one would like to put a cast on the stereotyping of lazy, incompetent and spoon-fed Malays, there is something really wrong when say 90 per cent of the executive or high ranking technical staff comes from a single ethnic background. Especially when one consider the fact that the Malays are not the minorities.

Are these Malay graduates so incompetent? Because last I heard back in university, there is quite a healthy number of Malay-Muslim students getting on deans’ lists and receiving medals during convocations.

Their English can’t be that bad and based on my experience, the level of English competency is equally horrible regardless of ethnic background when it comes to local graduates. Chances are, there might be a problem with the Malay graduates in Malaysia generally, but instead maybe there is a problem with the human resource manager in said company, don’t you agree?

It becomes even more apparent when that minority ethnic, be it Malays or whatever, tend to fill positions like receptionists, office boys, dispatchers, etc. It’s like having diversity for the sake of showcase, so what better place to put them if not right in front at the reception desk.

The Mandarin factor

Now, once in a while when I browse through the classifieds, I would see an ad that goes something like this: “Mandarin competence” or “Chinese Speaking”. At first I would assume it to be something harmless. Perhaps that company does a lot of deals with China hence they need Mandarin speakers to help them deal with their foreign clients.

But it gets quite dodgy when the companies that have those kind of job ads don’t really deal with foreign clients, especially China. It gets even dodgier when the advertised vacancy is something like a “Systems Administrator” or “R&D Engineer”.

Last I checked, I have yet to find any datasheet, programming language, operating system or technical textbook that is written in Mandarin. Perhaps there are that one or two technical manuals written in Mandarin because of that Made in China product. But chances are if the Germans and Japanese can include an English technical manual with their product, I am pretty sure a “Made in China” product has it as well (Okay, maybe with bad English).

There’s something really amiss when you have a vacancy ad which lists the Mandarin factor for a Japanese manufacturing plant.

Look, this is Malaysia, the official languages here are Bahasa Malaysia and English. Unless a company deals with China or Taiwan, there is no need for compulsory Mandarin. We all know why you put down that criterion. And if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people pretending to be something else when the real reason is very obvious.

Some of you might say “But hey Zaidel what about that ad that goes ‘Untuk Bumiputera Sahaja’ You bloody Perkasa racist!” I say yes, it is quite racist as well, like I said it takes two hands to clap and having this masked hypocritical Mandarin ad is just as bad as having a openly gung-ho racial ad like the “Bumiputera” criterion as well.

So how do we go about this then?

Some may take the path of hyperventilating rants and dramatic raving, which usually ends with the conclusion that the only way to solve every problem in this nation is by voting anything else other than Barisan Nasional.

I actually prefer something more concrete (and less hyperventilating). In the civil service a minimal quota system can always be implemented. For instance, a minimum of one in every three new staff must be of a different ethnic background. That sort of situation fits for the civil service and is easily monitored by the Parliament, hence a regulatory measure can be implemented.

However, in the private sector having regulations may hamper productivity and meddle in the market forces. If, say, the government suddenly announced a regulatory measure such as a quota, it would affect the general productivity.

Based on previous experience when it comes to regulatory policies in the private sector, we do know that this does not work well, e.g. 30 per cent Bumiputera Equity shares. As much as I want diversity in the workplace, I realise it must be balanced with the current needs, market forces and productivity level, and the fact that private sectors should decide for themselves.

So instead of a regulatory measure, I suggest we do an incentive-based measure. One measure could be a tax cuts for companies that introduce diversity in their workplace.

For instance, if a company has a minimum of 25 per cent Bumiputeras working as executives with them, they are then entitled to a 10 per cent income tax reduction. To make it fair, we do the same for, say, a 100 per cent Bumiputera company that manages to introduce a minimum of 25 per cent non Bumiputeras into their company.

This way the government won’t be meddling into the private nature of the private sector and gives the freedom for these companies to take their time in introducing diversity in the workplace without hampering their productivity.

Diversity incentives are quite common in the rest of the world and we have seen it to be quite effective. It’s a win-win situation. To those which think that they may not be ready yet, no worries, business as usual. Maybe next year.


Now some of you may find it hard to chew on this, but like it or not, it’s there, it exists. There is discrimination in the private sector just as in the civil service.

Though many of us find it convenient to blame the civil service, many seem to shy away when it comes to the private sector. However, rather than leaving this as an article that merely focuses on ranting and raving, I would prefer it to be something that we all can ponder upon and come up with solutions that would benefit everyone in the long run.

Not everything is about voting Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional.


Of Ashaari and Chinese Malaysians — Tay Tian Yan
May 21, 2010

The Chinese population is declining. What can we do?

Several days ago I read of the death of Al-Arqam founder Ashaari Muhammad.

He was a controversial figure in this country, but I have not mentioned his name here because of this.

What interested me were the three wives, 38 children and 200-odd grandchildren he left behind.

There were four in the first generation, expanding to 38 in the second, and their human-making mechanism has so far produced more than 200 lives cumulatively.

In view of their superior productivity, it wouldn’t be a problem for the third generation to create another 500 new lives.

A few more generations down the road, and the family tree will include tens of thousands of names.

Compare that with a typical Chinese family.

A couple gives birth to two children, and these two will bring on four grandchildren, and the number will swell to eight in the third generation.

But, there is also another probability.

Among the four grandchildren, one has migrated to Singapore, one seeking better opportunities in China, one looking for greener pasture Down Under while another in the New World.

And then they bring their parents along with them.

Up till the third generation, there are only one old man and one granny left at home.

And the local family population will be nil as soon as the couple pass away.

Interesting arithmetic, huh!

What can we do? Ask the Almighty or Buddha.

If Mahathir, Utusan Malaysia and Perkasa have been so well versed with mathematics, they wouldn’t have made a big noise at all in the first place.

Perhaps they might even set up a foundation to protect species on the brink of extinction, including Chinese Malaysians! —


“wants to see the dismantling of barriers to realise the nation’s potential”.

SUNDAY, MAY 23, 2010

Nation needs closure not soothsayer

MAY 16, 2010 — Attempts to blemish the social fabric is threatening to drive a wedge between the different races in the country and is growing at an alarming rate.

The controversial “Melayu Bangkit (Malays Arise)” congregation organised by Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) and government agency, Terengganu Integrity Institute on May 13 was called off after the event was widely criticised by the public and opposition due to its divisive nature.

It is not surprising that a national government agency is involved in organising an event that is bent on reliving the darkest period of the nation’s history.

For decades, National Civics Bureau (BTN) has been instilling fear and hatred among the different races blaming the May 13 incident on the non-Malays for being insensitive and greedy.

Umno has conveniently chastised DAP as the perpetrator of the bloody event and the big win scored by the party in the last general election has been deemed as a signal of the deteriorating of the Malays’ political power.

DAP is being used as the bogeyman and Umno’s mouthpiece has called DAP’s rise to a position of power as a threat to the Malays’ way of life — position of the Malay language, Islam, Malay Sultans and the Malays’ special position.

The conditioning of the Malays have been so effective that it has managed to convince the Malays that this land belongs to them with the other races being conveniently labelled as immigrants (pendatang).

This process has been systematically carried out with the assistance of mainstream media dailies and television, namely the right-wing daily Utusan Malaysia and TV3 television station.

What this has evidently produced is an insecure Malay community which faces difficulty accepting that times have changed and the dogmatic ‘Malay Supremacy’ is unable to stand the test of time.

It is worrying that even with the advancement of internet where information is readily available, there are large swathes of urban and educated Malays that still profess to the mantra of ‘Malays First’.

Decades of systemic brainwashing and indoctrination has successfully bred distrust and mistrust between Malays and non-Malays.

Notoriously celebrated figures have also jumped on the bandwagon to drum up the pro-Malay sentiment.

This is typified by none other than the publicity-hungry parochial former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was pencilled in to officiate the congregation.

Mahathir has conveniently slammed his critics citing the old-school nag reminding Malaysians on the history of the May 13 incident and for all to abide by the social contract as a precursor for peace among the races.

He forewarned that the country will repeat the mistakes of the past if it denied history implying that the congregation is meant to educate Malaysians on the history of the country.

“I feel that if we forget our history then we will repeat this history,” said Dr Mahathir.

The congregation like many other right-wing NGOs like Perkasa is focused on putting out the agenda that the non-Malays creeping into the rights of the Malays and that the Malays need to unite politically to protect their rights that are slipping away.

The success of the Malay Agenda has always been linked to the political strength of Umno and as the beacon of the Malays, the myth that a strong Umno will protect the survival of the Malays economically and politically.

Proponents of Malay Agenda has time and again use history, sentiments and emotions to heighten the siege mentality among the Malays.

For Malays to progress with time together with the rest of the country there is no room for this kind of mentality.

While the Malays need to shed their insecurities, the non-Malays need to feel appreciated in a land they call their own.

Doomsayers and soothsayers like Dr Mahathir, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Perkasa President Datuk Ibrahim Ali and many other Hang Tuah-wannabes will not help to achieve these objectives and are threatening the social fabric of the country.

The nation needs closure from the episode of May 13 and does not need to relive the past; lessons have to be learnt but scare-mongers have to be done away.


“May 13 needs to be remembered because racism and unhindered freedom of speech will cause unrest in this multi racial country. That is why we have the Sedition Act. The Act is solely to prevent the people from being too extreme in their views.

Now, in the aftermath of the 1969 incident, what now for the nation? I propose National Harmony Day should be celebrated on May 13 every year to remind ourselves how blessed we are living in a land where moderation and acceptance are the keys to national success in whatever there is to come. We should learn that, when hatred and resentment towards each other is no longer existed, we can now look forward towards building the nation with so much rigour, trust and mountainous sense of pride in our history.

Our founding fathers and leaders of the past had painstakingly upheld their selfless deeds and worked hard in making our Malaysia a successful nation. The greatest achievement we had was to live in harmony in the face of so many malevolent foreign and domestic challenges. We should not dirty this greatest achievement just because of a certain racist and political agenda.

Like the wise words I learned from school – “A society which does not look back with pride upon its past can never look forward towards its future”.


“Taking money and losing independence”, “Unscientific Malaysia” and other views

23 05 2010


Here are extracts of articles found in blogosphere that we can discuss from the perspective of bringing about unity in the country.

Would the vernacular schools taking money from the Government lead to a loss of their independence or would they care at all about it? Would “stooping so low” mean anything to them as far as money is concerned? Is it a case of simply taking the money, continue their Mandarin medium of instruction, curriculum and syllabus?

In the next article, a Chinese educator passionately states his views on the role of education in bringing about unity. To us at Kempen SSS, the more we have this kind of responsible and concerned citizens, the better for the country. We salute him and fellow Malaysians like him.

The last article, by a former academician, currently a Universiti Malaya Consultant (Pakar Rujuk) and Senator, talks about many national policies that were formulated with noble intentions ending with uninspiring slogans in the last one year or so. And suggests that many teachers and schoolchildren are still ignorant about the various national policies. Those policies have not led to optimum benefit to the various national institutions, including the Ministry of Education, said he.

Let’s talk about them, agree or disagree with their views, and state our own views in the usual manner.


SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2010


By Mansor Puteh




Worse, it is just the first step towards them surrendering their schools to merge into the national schooling system or the sekolah Melayu in the future the more the population of the Chinese shrink and the more the economy of the Melayu increases and expands.

Therefore it was not a coup by the vernacular mandarin school or their community, but a huge blow to their psyche and independence.

But one of the strangest outcomes of the recently held Hulu Selangor by-elections is how the Indian voters and public have moved away from trusting their future with their alliance with the Chinese creating unholy kingmakers, which alas has only benefited the Chinese and not the Indians.

And the Chinese voters in this constituency are mostly with vernacular Mandarin school background who seem to be living in a world of their own.

They are living in a state of denial for too long of having been fed with a lot of propaganda by their vernacular press and those in English which are controlled by their brethren who do not seem to want them to leave Hong Kong where they are stuck at. So everything about them is Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Hong Kong…

They have not come to the realization what Malaysia and the Melayu are.

That the economy of the country is slowly being eroded from them, but which is now slowly but surely going into the control of the Melayu.

They may have felt so, especially when they see the many Melayu traders operating their makeshift stalls beside and around all of them.

They can also feel it when their business had started to shrink as more and more Melayu customers started to go to the stores operated by their own kind and not to the ones they operate.

The Chinese in Hulu Selangor must also feel that their future as traders is bleak. But with not much education and not able to speak Melayu and English, they do not have social mobility like many of the other younger Chinese and Indians who do have that.

It’s got nothing to do with the Indians now wanting to return to the Malaysian Indian congress or MIC.

And where was Hindraf in this equation? Nowhere.

It was an unholy alliance and an unofficial one based on the wrong premise that a larger non-Melayu political defiance and resistance could pose a serious threat to the Melayu hold on the politics in the country, ganged up by the immigrant backgrounds of these two communities.

And the Indians can see for themselves, despite the exertions of many other non-Melayu social, cultural and political activists, how more and more Indians from India are willing to come to Malaysia to work even as illegal workers in the food stalls.

This is despite the fact that how some of them have alleged the Melayu majority and government had ‘systematically’ marginalized them for too long.

And many Chinese, too, should be aware of how many Chinese from Beijing especially who are willing to come to Malaysia to work as foot reflexologists and doing other things, because they are not able to get a decent job in their own country.

So who are the Indians and Chinese in Malaysia who charge that they have been subject to ‘institutional discrimination’ and were not able to progress when their brethren who had only recently come to the country are able to benefit from the country?

But alas, this ganging up did not serve the interests of the Indians as the Chinese deserted them and went on their economic quest to control the politics of the country, leaving most of the Indians, still in the same places as their ancestors were.

Most of them have seen how the Chinese had been using the Indians to add to their leftist leaning and gain a lot of advantage as kingmakers this way.

In this way, they were able to gain much from the Chinese right as well as the Chinese left, meaning, the Chinese parties in Barisan and the other Chinese parties in Pakatan, all of which aim to serve their own community only.

They had left the Indians in the lurch.

So the by-elections were when the Indians shown their contempt of the Chinese minority which they had ganged up to try and swing the results of the elections in the past.

But all this came to naught as the Chinese continued to ignore the plight of the Indians even after getting the support from them in almost all the elections that had been held till the last general one in March, 2008.

The Indians in Hulu Selangor had shown their bravery by ignoring the Chinese and came to town on their own by supporting Barisan which they see as the Melayu whom they can trust with their future.

This trend is set to continue as more and more Indians begin to finally realize that their future is in the hands of the Melayu and not in the hands of the Chinese whom they consider to be too self-centered to allow Indians into their psyche, other than to use them to win votes for their candidates.

And in fact, the Chinese did not vote for Pakatan, as it seemed to look like. They never had in mind of doing so.

They only did not vote for Barisan. And they wanted to see Barisan fulfill their election pledges of giving them alms which Barisan did, despite being given the boot by the Chinese voters in this state constituency.

This does not go down well with the other Chinese who are grateful and also with the Indians who are now able to see who the Chinese in Hulu Selangor are and how their education and community leaders are, being weak souls for having accepted the three million-ringgit grant offered by the federal government.

It is just a ploy to fool the Chinese leaders by not exactly saying that they are of a certain stripe, with no backbone by bending too far to the back to accommodate their narrow views of things and in the process allow the so-called independent Chinese schools to be further downgraded to become no more than DEPENDENT SCHOOLS.

And many will also want to see if as yet another step for such vernacular schools in Mandarin and Tamil to move towards being ultimately absorbed into the national schooling system of the ‘sekolah Melayu’.

This can happen the more such schools continue to demand financial support from the government, and aided by the diminishing population of their communities so that the economy of the country are not in the hands of the Chinese anymore but the Melayu.

Then the Chinese and Indian or more appropriately, the Tamil communities will be able to see more of the ‘usefulness’ of their vernacular schools that they had trusted too much in the past in the true light that they do not give their children much of a future in this new Malaysia that only serve the propaganda of the Chinese community leaders only.

And the giving of the three million ringgit grant by Najib to the vernacular Mandarin school in Rasa should be seen not as a coup for the Chinese education, but as a huge blow to their psyche. This is how low they are willing to stoop in order to get such funds.

And they are definitely not going to stop here. They will make more demands and get everything they want, while they still stick with the Left where they have no future of getting any assistance and support from.

So in the end, the younger Chinese who are in such vernacular schools and the Tamils who are in their own vernacular schools will be uncalculated (inculcated? ed.) the feelings of being indebted to the government and especially to the Melayu, too, and their future is not in the hands of their own community leaders who had already forsaken their ideals.


Too much is being said about the lack of unity amongst Malaysians. Contributor Uncle S believes that the key to solve this problem is in our education system:

Unscientific Malaysia

Education: The Key to Unity

Wednesday, 05/05/2010 at 00:00

Malaysia’s unscientific reasoning to our education system

Ever wondered why we have been independent for 52 years (technically, Malaysia was formed in 1963, so, it’s 46 years really); however, Malaysians at large could not speak our NATIONAL language fluently?

Ever wondered why in MOST promotional posters for Malaysia, there are pictures of 3 main races of Malaysia but many a times, minorities in Malaysia do not feel a sense of belonging to the place they call home?

It is widely attributed that a success of a nation is based largely on the unity of people in the nation. I applaud PM Najib’s 1Malaysia with its aim of trying to unite all Malaysians under one roof. Weirdly enough, ask any Malaysia out there and you would soon realize that it just a nice paperwork put together.

What is the X Factor that is missing in making Malaysian unite?

“Education is the transmission of civilization.” – Ariel and Will Durant.

If only our puny government realises that education could shape an entire generation, they would’ve taken some drastic actions since the formation of Malaysia. Hence, to shape a generation whereby all races could be united under one roof, it all starts with education. Isn’t it surprising how we then wonder why races in Malaysia aren’t united?

Reality of our education system

The mere existence of vernacular schools distorts the fabric of our society. Just picture, Ah Meng is taught to mingle with his Chinese friends in the Chinese PRIMARY school which he attends. He eats Chinese food and speaks Mandarin in school. He is sheltered from the reality that there are Malays, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, etc living amongst us in Malaysia.

As an educationist, I have been taught that from the age of 6 to puberty are the most vital years. In Erik Erikson (Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development) theory of psychology, around age 6 to puberty, we go through what is called the Industry vs. Inferiority stage.

This is where a child is comparing self-worth to others (such as in a classroom environment). A child at this stage can recognise major disparities in personal abilities relative to other children. Erikson places some emphasis on the teacher, who should ensure that children do not feel inferior.

This is where the vernacular school system crumbles when it comes to fostering unity. What is there to compare when there are no other races mingling with them? Hence, when they go to secondary schools (where they are forced to mingle with other races), it is all too awkward for them. They are forced to speak our “national” language which:

They are not good at,

They are not interested in (because they use their mother tongue to answer UPSR questions).

This creates a lot of tension and dissatisfaction amongst races in secondary schools.

I would like to relate an incident to all of you out there. I am apparently, Chinese-Malaysian, because of my Chinese heritage. Hence, it is expected of me to not be fluent in Malay and I should not know how to use my hands to eat. However, because I went to a national type school, I am fluent in Malay (in fact my written Malay is better than many other Malays I know) [Ed: Yes, it is], I embrace the Malay culture and I can use my hands to eat.

When I was in secondary school, I was out casted by the Chinese students who went to Chinese schools saying “I’m not Chinese enough”. The straw that broke the camel’s back for them is when they saw me eating nasi lemak with my hand. They hit me in the back of my head saying “Do you want to be Malay?”

No Chinese kids wanted to have any connection with me because I was “more Malay” than Chinese. Now, think about this for a second: this is what goes on in schools! What happens when they move in colleges, universities, work place, etc?


My take on this scenario as an educator is to abolish all vernacular type school. Introduce a single national school system. There are many quarters who would argue with this:

Dong Jiao Zong would say :“It would erode our culture”. I say, bull shit! Culture should be taught at home. In fact, in Malaysia, we are given the freedom to have cultural celebrations, newspapers in mother tongue and food stalls according to your ethnicity. What culture do you learn at school besides speaking Mandarin/Tamil? Janet Holmes with her book; ‘Socio-Linguistics’ would back me up on this point.

I’ve heard parents say: “Malay teachers in national schools are lazy”. I say, go to hell! It is not about a matter of race! Don’t be fucking racist. It is about the excessive workload that is piled on teachers by the Pusat Pelajaran Daerah (PPD), Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia (KPM) and the like. They are overburdened and yet they could still teach. You call that lazy?

If language is really an issue, please take a look at Singapore (which has almost the similar race composition as Malaysia). They have a single national schooling system. The medium of instruction is in English and students are REQUIRED to take an extra language, be it, Malay, Mandarin or Tamil.

I am confident, if this system is adopted in Malaysia, 1Malaysia could be a reality. When 1Malaysia is a reality, only then Malaysia could move forward.

Uncle S is a young educator-basketball coach with a passion for bringing the best out of his students. He believes that he could help the world by trying his best to inspire the future generation. He does it not for recognition, but to prove that there is always a place for passionate educators.


Kecuaian memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional

Oleh Dr. Firdaus Abdullah

SATU Malaysia dan Rukun Negara Serta pelbagai dasar nasional
Syarat utama pembinaan negara bangsa Wajib dimasyarakatkan secara optimal

SATU hakikat pahit yang patut kita terima ialah sistem pendidikan kita tidak (belum) dimanfaatkan secara optimum untuk memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional.

Yang dimaksudkan dengan ungkapan ‘dasar nasional’ di sini ialah gagasan-gagasan yang bertujuan meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat dan negara dari segala segi menuju ke arah matlamat akhir pembinaan sebuah negara bangsa yang bersatu padu dan aman sentosa.

Di samping itu dasar nasional wajar pula berfungsi sebagai panduan utama atau pedoman falsafah dalam tata cara pengurusan pada setiap peringkat unit pentadbiran negara di pelbagai sektor.

Semenjak setahun yang lalu, dasar nasional yang menjadi sebutan di mana-mana ialah gagasan “1Malaysia: Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan”. Selain itu yang patut juga diingat dan dihayati ialah Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Rukun Negara, Wawasan 2020, Dasar Ekonomi Baru, Dasar Bahasa Kebangssaan, Dasar Kebudayaan Kebangsaan, Islam Hadhari dan lain-lain lagi.

Tetapi sayang, usaha-usaha pemasyarakatan pelbagai dasar nasional tersebut, tidak memanfaatkan secara optimum pelbagai struktur atau institusi negara yang sedia ada, termasuk Kementerian Pelajaran sebagai satu struktur penting dan strategik dalam sistem kenegaraan kita.

Walau pun barangkali pelbagai dasar nasional tersebut disentuh dan diimbas sekali sekala dari semasa ke semasa di bilik-bilik darjah sekolah rendah dan menengah atau di dewan-dewan kuliah IPT. Tetapi sebagai satu modul atau kandungan utama atau silibus khusus dalam kurikulum akademik atau kokurikuklum sistem persekolahan kita, pelbagai dasar nasional tersebut masih belum mendapat perhatian yang sewajarnya.

Jadi tidak menghairankan jika ramai guru, apatah lagi murid yang masih jahil atau kabur-kabur pengetahuan mereka tentang pelbagai dasar nasional itu. Kerana itu kebanyakan dasar nasional yang digubal dan dirumuskan dengan niat dan hasrat yang mulia itu, tanpa disedari telah merosot menjadi slogan-slogan yang kurang bernas.

Juga tanpa kita sedari, kecuaian kita memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional itu secara sistematik, istiqamah dan berkesan telah memperlambat (jika tidak hendak dikatakan ‘menggagalkan’ ) usaha kita membentuk sebuah negara bangsa yang bersatu padu dan mempunyai jati diri sendiri.

Hakikat ini semakin kuat saya rasakan bila isu berkenaan dibangkitkan dengan berbagai-bagai cara oleh para Senator dalam sesi Dewan Negara yang bersidang dari 26 April hingga 6 Mei lalu. Secara am mereka menyuarakan kemusykilan terhadap aspek-aspek tertentu gagasan 1Malaysia. Beberapa orang Senator secara khusus menanyakan keberkesanan usaha-usaha memasyarakatkan gagasan itu setelah setahun diperkenalkan oleh Perdana Menteri.

Walau pun secara eksplisit mereka menyuarakan berbagai kemusykilan terhadap gagasan 1Malaysia tetapi secara tersirat dan dalam konteks yang lebih am, kemusykilan mereka tentang aspek-aspek tertentu gagasan 1Malaysia adalah juga gambaran daripada kemusykilan terhadap pelbagai dasar nasional yang lain. Antara contoh yang disebut ialah salah pengertian (kejahilan) sebahagian besar generasi muda terhadap DEB. Demikian juga pengetahuan dan penghayatan mereka terhadap Wawasan 2020 dan Islam Hadhari juga boleh dipertikaikan.

Dalam sidang Dewan Negara 26 April yang lalu, Senator Datuk Idris Buang dari Sarawak bertanya “bagaimana perkembangan mutakhir mengenai keberkesanan konsep “1Malaysia: Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan.” Dan dalam sidang 5 Mei pula, Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap menanyakan soalan yang lebih khusus merujuk kepada langkah-langkah kerajaan “menanamkan semangat ‘penerimaan’ (acceptance) dan bukan ‘tahan sabar’ (tolerance) yang merupakan satu unsur dalam gagasan 1Malaysia itu. Sekurang-kurangnya ada enam orang Senator yang lain menanyakan soalan yang hampir sama maksudnya.

Saya sendiri secara khusus menanyakan “langkah-langkah yang diambil oleh Kementerian Pelajaran untuk meningkatkan pengetahuan, pemahaman dan penghayatan generasi muda terhadap falsafah dan ideologi negara (terutama Perlembagaan dan Rukun Negara) dan dasar-dasar rasmi negara seperti DEB, Wawasan 2020, DPN, Islam Hadhari dan konsep Gagasan 1Malaysia, melalui kurikulum dan melalui kegiatan kokurikulum.”

Saya berharap soalan saya akan dijawab secara lisan agar dapat dibahaskan melalui soalan-soalan tambahan. Tetapi sayang jawapan yang diberikan adalah secara bertulis hingga tak mungkin dibahaskan lebih lanjut. Saya dapati masih terlalu banyak ruangan yang belum kita manfaatkan secara optimum dalam usaha memasyarakatkan pelbagai dasar nasional demi pembinaan sebuah negara bangsa yang bersatu padu, aman, makmur serta adil dan saksama.

Senator Datuk Dr. Firdaus Abdullah
ialah Pakar Rujuk di Akademi Pengajian Melayu,
Universiti Malaya

Najib Tun Razak dan Pendidikan Sekolah Cina

20 05 2010

Kami terbitkan semula dibawah sebuah berita yang diterbitkan oleh The Malaysian Insider ( di mana Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak mengatakan bahawa kerajaan pimpinan beliau adalah sahabat sejati pendidikan sekolah cina.

Kami serahkan kepada sidang pengunjung untuk memberikan ulasan mengenai kenyataan Perdana Menteri dalam konteks pembinaan negara serta dasar pendidikan negara dengan mengambil kira kedudukan Bahasa Kebangsaan sepertimana yang termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan Akta Bahasa. Negara ini negara Malaysia.

Sehingga kini kami masih belum merasakan ada keinginan dari Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak untuk menjadikan pendidikan Sekolah Kebangsaan sebagai sahabat paling akrab kepada kerajaan pimpinan beliau.

Bagaimana pula  dengan pendidikan sekolah tamil? pendidikan sekolah agama? pendidikan sekolah pondok dan lain-lain jenis pendidikan sekolah lagi?  Tidakkah Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak ingin jadikan pendidikan-pendidikan ini sebagai kawan rapat, kawan seperjuangan atau apa-apa kawan lagi?

Najib: BN sahabat sejati pendidikan sekolah Cina

May 12, 2010

SIBU, 12 Mei — Kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) akan terus melakukan lebih banyak lagi bagi pendidikan sekolah Cina di negara ini, kata Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Kerajaan BN adalah sahabat sejati pendidikan sekolah Cina,” katanya semasa berucap kepada lebih 3,000 warga pendidik Cina pada perhimpunan di sini hari ini.

Beliau berkata adalah satu hakikat bahawa masyarakat itu amat menghargai pendidikan dan sanggup berkorban semuanya untuk itu.

“Tetapi pada masa yang sama, anda akan perlukan bantuan kerajaan untuk pendidikan,” katanya.

Mengimbas kembali ketika beliau menjadi Menteri Pendidikan, Najib berkata beliau telah mengambil “risiko politik” apabila beliau mencadangkan Akta Pendidikan dipinda untuk membolehkan sekolah rendah Cina ditukarkan menjadi sekolah jenis kebangsaan.

Beliau berkata pada masa itu beliau merasakan keadaan itu boleh membawa “nahas” kepada kedudukannya kerana isu berkaitan pendidikan sekolah Cina telah berlarutan sejak sekian lama dan tidak berjaya diselesaikan oleh beberapa menteri pendidikan sebelum itu, termasuk Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, yang kini Ketua Pembangkang dan penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Oleh kerana Anwar juga aktif berkempen bagi calon DAP dalam pilihan raya kecil kerusi Parlimen Sibu, Najib mencadangkan masyarakat Cina di sini bertanyakan kepadanya apakah sumbangan beliau (Anwar) terhadap pendidikan sekolah Cina.

Perdana Menteri (gambar) kemudiannya mengumumkan peruntukan berjumlah RM18 juta bagi  67 buah sekolah dalam kawasan Parlimen Sibu.

Ini termasuk RM10 juta untuk 60 sekolah jenis kebangsaan, RM5 juta untuk lima sekolah menengah persendirian Cina, RM2 juta untuk Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sacred Heart dan RM1 juta untuk Sekolah Kebangsaan St.Mary.

Beliau berkata sebagai perdana menteri, beliau mahu memberikan khidmat yang terbaik dan juga mahu kerajaan melaksanakan yang terbaik untuk penduduk di Sibu.

Namun, katanya kerajaan dalam melakukan semua usaha itu juga pada masa yang sama memerlukan sokongan rakyat dalam menjayakannya. — Bernama

Pembaca sekelian, silalah baca komen-komen dibawah ini untuk mendapat perspektif yang lebih luas berkenaan perkara ini.

Satu Bahasa, Satu Bangsa, Satu Negara (Siri Perpaduan SSS No.5)

17 05 2010

Kami terbitkan semula sebuah artikel yang ditulis oleh Saudari Eunice Ong bertajuk (alih bahasa), “Kita, Yang Bukan Melayu” . Artikel ini telah diterbitkan di laman citra LoyarBurok di pautan ini:-

We, the Non-Malays

By Eunice Ong

(Ketuanan Pin Biru)

Revisiting the topic of Malay rights from one side of the fence but in view of all. Ketuanan Pin Biru We (and when I say we, I mean the non-Malays) often complain of the different privileges received by the different races. We condemn frequently organisations such as PERKASA, the “Ketuanan Melayu” mentality, and all the privileges that we see our Malay contemporaries get. We express disgusted disapproval of the inequality.

We whine that Malay is the national language and Islam is the national religion as opposed to our preferred language. Ah! We can also go on about how much sacrifice it is to go to a halal restaurant, because you have a Malay friend with the group.

So, one day say, the Prime Minister tells us that he has the mandate from the Malays and wants to negotiate a compromise. Mr. PM will ask of our dissatisfaction, and we will give him a long list: we want our children to be admitted to all public universities, we want to be given more business licenses, we want to either take away the Bumiputera discount or get the same discount, we want to be given the privilege to buy special shares so as to earn money, and the list goes on.

Mr. PM says, “Fine, we can come to a compromise and I can agree to at least half of your requests, but will you agree to give up vernacular schools and make our education system a one-school system?” Funnily enough, before he can explain how the individual vernacular language will be taught as an elective subject in all schools (private or public) and that it will eventually delete one of the many causes of racial disunity, the strongest protesters of that proposal will be the same persons who claim injustice in the first place.

If change is indeed a goal, there are sacrifices we have to make. We can argue until the cows come home that we are giving up our right to learn our mother tongue and our roots, but we are Malaysians and it is about time we should start acting like Malaysians. Our roots are all here in Malaysia, not in China or India. Do we really expect them to give up what they have been enjoying for more than five decades in the name of change without us making an effort at the same time? If we do, how then can we advocate for fairness?

As many would remember telling me in their wisdom to look at the big picture, and the big picture here is that giving up vernacular schools will mean lesser racial disunity. The usual trend is that the cliques are racial based and that barrier is language. Really, be honest, you would have used the excuse of not being able to have more friends of other races because of language. I have that problem.

The big picture is that if we can accept each other, we can learn from each other and the troubling PERKASA will not exist to protect the rights of the Malays.

The big picture is that there is hope for change.


Apa yang dituliskan oleh Saudari Eunice Ong itu memang ada kebenarannya. Inilah semangat saling memahami dan bertolak ansur yang amat penting untuk dihayati bersama demi keharmonian hidup sesebuah masyarakat yang berbilang kaum. Kita semua adalah berbilang kaum, tetapi bangsa kita hanyalah satu, iaitu Bangsa Malaysia.

Ingin kami tekankan sekali lagi bahawa Bangsa Malaysia bercirikan kebudayaan berbilang kaum, di manakebudayaan Melayu menjadi terasnya. Seperti juga bahasa. Walaupun kita mempunyai pelbagai bahasa pertuturan, tetapi kita rakyat Malaysia sepatutnya hanya menggunakan Bahasa Malaysia apabila berkomunikasi sesama sendiri dalam segenap urusan seharian. Kita menggunakan bahasa Inggeris, bahasa kedua kita, apabila berkomunikasi dengan bangsa-bangsa asing yang lain yang tidak menguasai Bahasa Malaysia.

Moga-moga suatu hari nanti, seluruh rakyat Malaysia akan menggunakan Bahasa Kebangsaan (iaitu Bahasa Malaysia) sepenuhnya termasuklah juga penggunaan seharian sewaktu berada di rumah masing-masing. Kita rakyat Malaysia, sepatutnya fasih dalam kedua-dua bahasa ini, iaitu Bahasa Kebangsaan dan Bahasa Inggeris. Ini tidak bermakna bahasa ibunda akan diketepikan langsung. Kita wajar mengekalkan bahasa-bahasa ibunda ini bagi tujuan adat resam, tradisi dan juga menguasainya mengikut pilihan masing-masing sebagai bahasa ketiga, keempat dan seterusnya. Bukannya sekali-kali meletakkan bahasa ibunda ini mengatasi kedudukan Bahasa Kebangsaan kita dalam urusan seharian, apatah lagi dalam urusan rasmi.

Dalam konteks inilah, ianya menjadi salahsatu tujuan kami untuk melancarkan Kempen Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua. Bukan untuk menghapuskan sekolah vernakular, tetapi, berusaha agar sekolah vernakular dapat diserapkan atau dinaikkan taraf sehingga ianya mempunyai ciri-ciri sebuah sekolah kebangsaan dengan sepenuhnya.  Pada hari ini sekolah-sekolah vernakular mengutamakan bahasa asing sebagai bahasa pengantar, bukannya Bahasa Kebangsaan. Bahkan ada sekolah-sekolah vernakular yang membelakangi terus Bahasa Kebangsaan. Ini menjejaskan semangat nasionalisma dan perpaduan di kalangan warga Malaysia.

Kami juga tertarik dengan semangat Malaysia yang dipaparkan oleh seorang pengunjung, Saudari Sarita Sharma, yang kami petik seperti berikut:-

Its sad to see people getting so defensive. Look Eunice is correct. The buck has to stop somewhere. Why not with you? You claim you are Malaysian but you condemn and critise your country to no end saying its been unfair and discriminating. Yet you do the same thing your country does albeit on a micro level. You prefer to have friends who speak the same language, you prefer to work with people who speak the same language, you prefer people who share the same religious beliefs etc. No one is saying the country is perfect but get this the country is yours. What you do affects your country. You start sending your kids to national schools and only national schools, get them to mix around with their fellow Malaysians freely, will there be discrimination when your children become leaders of tomorrow? Definitely not. Why? Because they learned to mingle.

Tanpa mengulas panjang, kami serahkan kepada para pembaca untuk menilai sendiri semangat nasionalisma yang dipamirkan oleh Saudari Sarita Sharma ini, sebagaimana juga semangat yang ditonjolkan oleh Saudari Eunice Ong.

Tapi walaubagaimanapun, masih terdapat ramai di kalangan mereka-mereka yang mengaku sebagai rakyat Malaysia hanya pada mulut, sedangkan tingkah laku serta semangatnya langsung tersimpang jauh dari Malaysia. Kita lihat sahajalah komen-komen yang diberikan oleh orang-orang seumpama ini apabila saja ada seruan kearah “Satu Bahasa, Satu Bangsa, Satu Negara”. Mereka-mereka ini sengaja menimbulkan pelbagai alasan dan kerenah sehingga mengundang komen balas yang senada, yang mempertahankan kedaulatan Bahasa, Bangsa dan Negara ini.

Tepat sekali seperti kata Saudari Eunice Ong:-

“…the strongest protesters of that proposal will be the same persons who claim injustice in the first place…”

dan Saudari Sarita Sharma :-

“…The buck has to stop somewhere. Why not with you?…”

Pemberi komen yang mengunakan nama “victor” dan juga yang lain-lain yang serupa pendiriannya dengan “victor” ini, merungut kononnya dia didiskriminasikan. Kalau si “victor” ini sendiri bercakap bahasa asing di bumi Malaysia ini, kenapa pula merungut dan menyalahkan orang lain konon dia di diskriminasikan? Bukankah dia sendiri yang mengasingkan dirinya, tidak mahu bercampur gaul dan asyik menggunakan pakai bahasa asing di bumi Malaysia ini saban hari dia menjejak kaki di sini?

Siapa yang mendiskriminasikan siapa?

Diversity: can different paths converge? (SSS Unity series No. 4)

14 05 2010

When people are taking different paths, can they converge?

DS Najib said: “Sin Chew might take a different path, Utusan (Malaysia) might take a different path and other newspapers might take different paths, but although we take different paths, we must converge and we must reach our destination.”

Below are examples of the different paths portrayed in different newspapers.

Can there be unity in diversity? How do we go about converging and reaching our destination?

Let’s talk about these for a bit.

But let’s be clear on the definitions now. Per the Oxford dictionary (any better one than Oxford? And why?):

diversity: being diverse, unlikeness; different kind; variety
diverse: unlike in nature or qualities; varied, changeful

We certainly are diverse. No harm in that. We may even get there as a diverse lot. Just avoid May 13 and keep remembering it to avoid it. Celebrating or commemorating it may be arguable but at least remember it. Forgetting it would lull us and get us carried away with our different and divergent paths. No harm in being different, but very harmful in being divergent.

divergent, diverge: proceed in different directions from point or each other; go aside from track; differ, deviate; deflect

“different directions from each other” is certainly no go. We’ll never reach any where together that way. Our paths will never converge. We’ll just lose each other. No good, ain’t it?

So, it’s OK to have different paths but definitely not OK to have divergent paths.

Being pedantic anyone? Let’s split hairs, shall we? Let’s go thru our stand, our views, our mindset, etc, etc with a fine comb.

At least we’ll hear from one another and see if we are just different or divergent. And think how to correct it.

There may be unity in diversity but not if that diversity involves divergence politically, economically, socially.


The Sun Wed, 03 Mar 2010

Celebration, not tolerance, of our diversity

DATUK Seri Najib Razak speaks with so much passion about the Malaysian dream of a united, harmonious and prosperous multicultural and multireligious nation whenever he has the opportunity to do so or is called upon to do so. Indeed he has to be as he is the Number One salesman of 1Malaysia – his government’s national unity formula – and no one can sell 1Malaysia better than he can. Perhaps others too, when speaking about it, should demonstrate more commitment to it even if they cannot match the passion of the prime minister.

On Sunday, Najib was presented with another opportunity when he was guest of honour at a Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Sin Chew and Guang Ming dailies, and knowing the coverage he was going to get among the Chinese from the two widely-read newspapers, he told the gathering that the time for tolerance is over and that Malaysians should now accept one another as fellow citizens no matter their cultural and racial background.

Malaysians must accept wholeheartedly the multiracial, multicultural and multireligious nature of the country. Indeed Malaysians must accept and celebrate diversity as it is well-known that it is this diversity that has made the country strong and prosperous.

Aware that some sense of disquiet had arisen following certain demands by a few members of a community, Najib tried to dispel the uneasiness of the others by warning that no community should make demands that will be at the expense of other communities. Stressing that “we can make demands, we can make statements”, he said any demand made by a community should also be good for all communities. He added that “it cannot be a zero sum game”.

Knowing that senior editors of the other newspapers were also among the large gathering, Najib said the media are allowed to express different opinions “and even dissent”, but that they must be ever conscious that they are not pulling this nation apart. He said: “Sin Chew might take a different path, Utusan (Malaysia) might take a different path and other newspapers might take different paths, but although we take different paths, we must converge and we must reach our destination.”

It was a serious speech regardless where it was delivered and timely, one, to tell the communities that the demands of any one of them must also be for the good of the others, and two, to tell the media that whatever different opinions they hold or different paths they take, their objective must be the same – a united, harmonious and prosperous Malaysia.


Wednesday April 28, 2010

Chua: Organisation a thorn in MCA efforts to win over Chinese


KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has lambasted Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali for asking the Government to delay development allocations to the Chinese community.

“Malaysia will not be able to progress if we continue to have people like Ibrahim, who professes to champion along racial lines with disregard to the sensitivity of other communities,” said party president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Organisations such as Perkasa, he said, hindered MCA’s efforts to get Chinese support for Barisan Nasional.

“Politicians should not utter remarks that can hurt the feelings of other communities. This will be contrary to the 1Malaysia agenda as propagated by our Prime Minister,” he said in a press statement.

Also, the Government’s money belonged to the people, and it should be used for development, not to punish voters, he added.

Dr Chua said he had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who gave his assurance that Barisan would not renege on promises made, and also would fulfil its development pledges to Hulu Selangor voters.

Separately, MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu called on Barisan to distance itself from organisations spewing racist remarks if it wanted to gain support from the non-Malays.

He said Ibrahim – who criticised the Chinese community in Hulu Selangor as ungrateful and unappreciative – had said things that were “irritatingly disturbing and damaging.”

He added that racially-bent statements from a few Barisan leaders had also taken its toll in the election.

In Putrajaya, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat called on MCA and Barisan leaders to take a hard look at the result of the Hulu Selangor by-election, in particular the level of Chinese voter support.

“What we want to know is the heart and soul of the people when they make certain decisions … there must be some reason behind (their decisions).

“Is it because of certain misgivings and fear, founded or unfounded? I think all these need to be studied,” he said at a press conference after launching the Red Means Stop campaign organised by the Road Safety Department with Sun Media Corporation Sdn Bhd here yesterday.


Updated: Thursday April 29, 2010 MYT 5:51:28 PM

Dr M: Perkasa only responding to statements from others (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Perkasa is perceived as racist only because the group is responding to racist statements from other groups, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

“There are others who are saying things which causes Perkasa to reply,” Dr Mahathir said.

“There are extremist groups who are saying there is no such people as the Malays. So Perkasa will reply,” he told reporters after delivering a lecture themed Malaysia As A Maritime Nation – Are We There? here Thursday.

“If somebody says something, another person will reply. This is why racial issues should not be discussed publicly,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also said Perkasa may have contributed to Barisan Nasional’s win in the Hulu Selangor by-election by swinging the Malay votes the coalition’s way.

“Maybe Malay voters voted for Barisan because of Perkasa,” he said.

Asked if Umno should distance itself from Perkasa, Dr Mahathir replied that MCA should also distance itself from extremist Chinese groups.

MCA has criticised Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s statement urging the Government to delay promised development allocations to the Chinese community, after the poor Chinese support in the by-election on Sunday.


ARKIB : 28/04/2010
Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?


SUDAH banyak kali saya menulis mengenai sikap sahabat kita, orang Cina Malaysia terhadap kerajaan yang ada sekarang. Saya juga sering mengaitkan cita-cita DAP yang mahu ‘pulun’ semua sekali pengaruh Cina di negara ini.

Seperti mana yang saya tulis sebelum ini, DAP sejak akhir-akhir ini sungguh senyap dalam pergerakannya. Di Selangor pun ia senyap, di Pulau Pinang pun ia mulai senyap, di Perak pun begitu. Senyap-senyap DAP sebenarnya diam-diam berisi.

Gerakan halus mereka bergerak kencang. Harus diingat arus bawah lebih bahaya berbanding ombak di atas. Tapi apakah BN sedar dengan strategi DAP itu. Jika kira-kira 30 tahun dulu, malah 20 tahun dulu, orang Melayu generasi saya amat cuak dengan DAP atas sikap cauvinisnya, kini generasi Melayu sekarang tidak tahu itu semua. Mereka sudah tidak peduli.

Mereka tidak membaca pun buku 13 Mei yang ditulis oleh Tunku Abdul Rahman dan mereka tidak pernah tahu pun wujudnya perarakan penyapu oleh DAP yang mahu menyapu orang Melayu pada masa itu.

Bukan tujuan saya mahu membangkitkan rasa benci kepada parti itu atau kepada sesiapa, tapi ia adalah sejarah yang semua orang anak-anak Melayu, Cina, India, Orang Asli malah sesiapa sahaja harus dan berhak tahu mengenainya.

Saya pernah menyarankan supaya buku 13 Mei itu dijadikan teks di sekolah. Matapelajaran sejarah yang sesetengah daripada orang Melayu sendiri amat membencinya, harus diperkuatkan semula. Aspek kenegaraan, soal-soal realiti kemalaysiaan harus diterapkan.

Masukkan juga satu subjek mengenai konsep 1Malaysia yang sudah mulai disukai ramai itu. Sejarah silam dan aspek kontemporari harus disatukan menjadi satu subjek wajib, yang harus diikuti oleh semua pelajar, bukan sahaja pelajar Sastera, malah juga pelajar Sains.

Tujuan saya membangkitkan semula perkara ini bukanlah bermakna saya ini ultra-Melayu, tetapi untuk menyatakan mengenai realiti politik yang berlaku di sekeliling kita sekarang.

Pilihan raya kecil Hulu Selangor amat unik. Dalam sains politik, ia amat menarik untuk dikaji bagaimana orang Cina (bukan semua, tapi rata-rata) masih tidak mahu kembali kepada parti kerajaan.

Apa lagi yang mereka mahu? Apakah mereka masih merasakan merekalah penentu kepada sesuatu keputusan pilihan raya di negara ini?

Perlulah diingat pilihan raya umum 2008 bukanlah satu ujian sebenar bagi proses demokrasi di negara ini. Ia terlalu artifial. Tsunami yang berlaku adalah akibat kemarahan rakyat kepada kerajaan ketika itu dan kecelaruan fikiran orang Melayu ketika itu.

Akibatnya, DAP telah berjaya mencuri peluang itu. Orang Cina ramai-ramai memihak kepada mereka dan berlakulah tsunami politik yang tidak pernah berlaku dalam sejarah Malaysia.

Tapi jika diambil Hulu Selangor sebagai model pilihan raya umum ke-13 kelak, orang Cina bukanlah (lagi) penentu kepada keputusannya. Orang Melayu masih lagi menjadi faktor mutlak bagi menentukan kepada keputusan itu, dengan syarat – mereka bersatu.

Bersatupun, mereka haruslah secara majoriti menyokong kerajaan dan orang India pun turut serta memberi undi kepada parti kerajaan, maka ketika itu orang Cina bukanlah penentunya. Kecualilah jika orang India dan Cina solid lari daripada BN, maka BN akan tersungkur.

Namun, hakikatnya angka majoriti undi BN di Hulu Selangor bukan lagi satu gambaran kepada kemenangan sebenar. Itu pilihan raya kecil. Semua jentera tertumpu di sini. Dalam pilihan raya umum situasinya adalah jauh berbeza.

Secara angka, Melayu Hulu Selangor pun masih tidak solid. Kita tidak pasti apa lagi yang mereka mahu. Semua yang mereka mahu sudah diberi. UMNO pun sudah tunjuk perubahan. Seorang rakan memberitahu ”mungkin kita perlu pendekatan radikal untuk menyelesaikan masalah yang tenat.”

Namun, keputusan Hulu Selangor amat disenangi oleh Lim Kit Siang. Beliau dalam ucapannya di rapat umum penutup selepas keputusan kekalahan mereka diumumkan, memberitahu para hadirian yang rata-rata terdiri daripada orang Melayu, keputusan itu sebenarnya ialah kejayaan kepada ‘rakyat’ Hulu Selangor.

Tanpa mahu menyentuh perasaan orang Melayu di situ, beliau sebenarnya merujuk ‘rakyat’ itu sebagai orang Cina Hulu Selangor yang rata-rata tidak memberi undi kepada BN, tapi sebaliknya memihak kepada DAP.

Kit Siang ternyata amat gembira, sebaliknya Dr. Chua Soi Lek dan Dr. Koh Tsu Koon yang gagal.

Ironisnya, apa pula maksud Soi Lek apabila beliau berkata ”MCA kena vokal”? Saya pun tak tau?

Orang Cina Malaysia, apa lagi yang anda mahu?TAJUK di atas penuh bermakna. Apa lagi yang orang Cina Malaysia mahukan? Kita tolak dulu sebab-musabab mereka tidak menyokong kerajaan yang ada sekarang. Kita kaji dulu apa lagi yang mereka mahu?

Ikut sejarahnya orang Cina berhijrah ke Tanah Melayu ini untuk mencari peluang. Mereka hidup susah di tanah besar China ratusan tahun dulu. Seperti mana orang putih berhijrah ke benua Amerika untuk mencari peluang, begitu jugalah orang Cina yang kini menghuni di negara bertuah Malaysia ini.

Ternyata, percaturan datuk moyang mereka dulu berbaloi. Mereka dapat apa yang mereka mahukan. Mereka hidup mewah di bumi bertuah Malaysia ini.

Malah, bukan Malaysia sahaja, Singapura pun mereka kuasai sepenuhnya. Singapura bukanlah negara asal mereka. Orang Cina Singapura pun asalnya adalah dari tongkang yang sama bersama-sama orang Cina Malaysia. Cuba bezanya, Singapura berjaya dikuasai sepenuhnya, dan Malaysia tidak.

Di Malaysia, orang Cina hidup aman damai bersama-sama orang Melayu, Pribumi dan India. Berbeza dengan di Singapura, di sana orang Cina yang menguasai politik dan sekaligus pemerintahan negara itu. Di Malaysia, politik dan kerajaannya masih lagi dikuasai oleh orang Melayu.

Sistem kedua-dua negara itu sama, cuma ia terbalik sahaja. Orang Melayu di sini, orang Cina di sebelah tambak itu.

Bezanya orang Melayu di Singapura dan orang Cina di Malaysia amat berlainan sekali. Orang Melayu di Singapura hidup biasa-biasa sahaja. Orang Cina di Malaysia hidup lebih daripada biasa-biasa.

Malah Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad pernah memberi gambaran sekiranya semua bangunan orang Cina di Kuala Lumpur diangkat dari peta, yang tinggal hanyalah Kampung Baru itu sahaja. Semua yang lain ialah kepunyaan orang Cina Malaysia.

Orang Cina Malaysia amat hebat. Kesemua pekan-pekan besar dan bandar-bandar di seluruh Semenanjung, Sabah dan Sarawak dikuasai mereka.

Mereka juga berjaya melahirkan para profesional yang paling ramai dan berjaya. Sistem sekolah Cina mereka adalah antara yang terbaik di mana-mana sahaja di dunia ini (jika ada).

Kebanyakan pelajar-pelajar di kolej-kolej swasta yang terbaik di Malaysia dipenuhi oleh pelajar-pelajar Cina. Orang Melayu hanya mampu ke kolej milik kerajaan dan yang tidak ternama. Pusat-pusat membeli belah di kompleks-kompleks ternama di Malaysia dipunyai oleh orang Cina.

Di organisasi korporat dan swasta, orang Cinalah yang menguasainya. Orang Melayu boleh di bilang jari dan pekerja bawahan. Malah, kini mahu mohon kerja di situ pun perlu faham cakap Mandarin, sebagai prasyaratnya.

Akhir sekali, orang paling terkaya di Malaysia yang banciannya dijalankan saban tahun oleh sebuah majalah busines di Malaysia mendapati lapan orang Cina yang berada di 10 ke atas. Berikut adalah senarai 10 orang terkaya di Malaysia.

1. Robert Kuok Hock Nien 2. Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan 3. Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng 4. Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow 5. Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay 6. Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan 7. Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhry 8. Puan Seri Lee Kim Hua 9. Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King 10. Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun. (Sumber: Malaysian Business, Feb 2010)

Itulah hakikatnya Malaysia tanah airku yang tercinta ini. Apakah kerajaan sekarang yang sudah memerintah 52 tahun ini terlalu zalim, kejam dan kuku besi?

Apa lagi yang orang Cina Malaysia mahukan? Tapi saya tahu, anda tahu jawapannya.


What our 16-17 year olds want – SSS Unity series No.3

12 05 2010

Here are the hopes and aspirations of some of our young Malaysians in respect of national unity, living in peace and harmony in this blessed country.

Let’s ponder and give some thoughts to what they are thinking and hoping. Let’s do whatever we can to bring about national unity that practically all of us cherish. Let’s talk it here if there’s anything that’s bothering us.


Fostering national unity


By Kugan Kanapathy, 17, Kuala Kangsar

IN my opinion, anyone who resides in Malaysia, be it in the peninsula, Sabah or Sarawak, is certainly blessed. Honestly speaking,there is no country that can attract me to be its citizen — not the power of the United States, not the ancient history of Italy, not the fascinating scenery of Switzerland, not the resources of Saudi Arabia and not the technological advances of Japan. I am indeed grateful to be born Malaysian.

I admire the diversity of culture, tradition, food, ethnicity, religions, races. Malaysians seem to live peacefully and harmoniously, and with a sense of pride. Racial integration needs citizens to foster and enhance the relationship between individuals regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture and beliefs. There is no better example than the struggle for independence. If Datuk Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock or Tun Sambanthan had chosen to be narrow-minded and fanatic, the world map today would not feature a nation named Malaysia. In the same spirit, our current Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak, has initiated a momentous programme called 1Malaysia. These days though, while we magnify all we have achieved in our 50 years of independence, the spirit of racial integration seems to be waning. I blame rapid globalisation and technological wonders. Leaders in our country have also realised that loyalty and love for the nation are also lacking among teenagers.

How do we improve the situation? Education is often described as the most valuable resource that any nation can rely upon. While the educational system has introduced subjects such as Moral Education, Civics and Islamic studies, students only focus on passing examinations rather than apply the noble values taught. Integrity-based programmes are necessary to promote loyalty and racial unity among teenagers. In this context, the National Service is an excellent effort initiated by the Government. Although only selected teenagers are given the opportunity to participate in this programme, the end results are very encouraging. Nevertheless, the National Service cannot be the only solution. From pre-school to tertiary level, different activities that instil and emphasise patriotism should be organised. The crucial task of educating the young may seem difficult to surmount.

Failure and dejection may settle heavily on patriotic hearts. But we should never quit.

As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day. So, as long as there is hope, we will achieve our aims, provided we are equipped with courage, aspiration, inspiration, perseverance and cooperation.


By Juliati Hanis Azwa Jaafar, 16, Bandar Baru Bangi

THE late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj once said: “Nationalism, the patriotic love of Malaysia, by all the Malaysians, is the sine quo non for the viability and durability of the Malaysian nation.” According to the quote by our Father of Independence, it is a must for all Malaysian to cherish the spirit of unity and continue to sustain peace, stability, and tranquillity for the betterment of the nation. And the seed of national unity must be sown among the young. From a teenager’s point of view, national unity can be achieved by taking the initiative to mix with those from other races. We can help 1Malaysia succeed. This can be done by, say, participating in group work when there are projects to complete.

Include those from other races and religions. Teenagers can also foster national unity by celebrating the National Day. These days, teenagers lack the patriotic spirit. We teenagers should organise campaigns or even events to celebrate National Day that will draw all races together. National unity can also be fostered through the learning of other languages.

It’s really fun once you have tried them. For instance, even if our mother tongue is Bahasa Melayu, learning Mandarin or Hindi could benefit us in a number of ways. We will understand and learn to respect another culture, its traditions and people. All your questions get answered too — such as how other races address themselves, how they celebrate their festive occasions and how they dress during these occasions. When applying for a scholarship, knowing more than one language will also be an advantage. Cliched as it sounds, learning something new and different can be so exciting. National unity can also be fostered through entertainment. For instance, if a girl is planning to hold her 16th birthday party, she should invite friends from different races.

The party could well turn out to be super cool. Watching reruns is another thing to consider. It may sound boring to some people but watching reruns portraying historical themes in Malaysia can be beneficial. In my point of view, it’s a great way to help foster national unity because it makes people realise how great things are right now and how bad things were back in those days. Fostering national unity is not as simple as ABC.

It takes courage and self-initiative.

Let us all be grateful for what we have and tighten our bonds of unity.

Let us all achieve the aspirations of 1Malaysia. All for one and one for all!


Racial harmony among students


By Prasad Nallusamy & Le Roy Gan, both 16, Malacca

THE racial riots of May 13, 1969, rocked the nation. Four decades on, one question persists – is racial unity the scenario in schools now as it was in years past?

‘Work together to make 1Malaysia a success’
We interviewed veteran teacher and senior assistant of Students’ Affairs in St David’s High School, Malacca.

We were slightly nervous as this was our first “formal” interview.

But Mr S. Gunasegaran was happy to spend 45 minutes with us.

His answers, which we share with you, shows us how important it is for us students and the next generation of leaders to really value our racial unity and harmony.

Q: How did the May 13 riots affect students in your time?

I was in Form 2 when it happened.

We could only get to know about this through the radio and this conflict happened after an election.

After the curfew, the government introduced a lot of programmes in schools to foster racial unity.

As a prefect, I did not find any problem mixing around and at that time we would go to school even on Saturdays to help teachers.

Q: How do the students now differ from students at that time in terms of cultivating unity? At that time we were not exposed to modern gadgets and our sole entertainment was playing sports together.

Now, things have changed.

The exposure to modern tools may be a factor influencing the unity bond.

Nowadays, students tend to spend time on Facebook than outdoor games.

Q: How do co-curricular activities help strengthen racial unity? The National Service is a good programme organised by the government.

Besides that, the formation of Kelab Rukun Negara and uniformed bodies like the Scouts and St John’s should not only be controlled by students of one race.

Schools should play their role in promoting racial unity through co curricular activities.

Q: As students, what can we do to promote racial integration? Students should be more tolerant of each other and a student from a vernacular school background should not hesitate to mingle with other students as it will definitely affect the efforts to promote racial integration.

Q: What is your advice for teens like us regarding this issue? First of all, learn to respect each other.

When a rule is implemented, we must always obey it no matter what race you are from.

Whatever the situation, we must always give our national pride priority.

Unity is the base of a well-developed country and 1Malaysia is all about understanding the different cultures and religions.

Don’t be big-headed, and learn to say sorry.

His last words for all teenagers:

1. Emulate the good examples from past generations.

2. Take part in co-curricular activities because you get to meet and mix with students of all races, and learn to work with them.

3. Learn to say sorry and forgive.

4. Work together to make 1Malaysia a success Racial unity is easy to achieve if we try to remember that under our races, our creeds, our skin tones, we are all Malaysians, and we are all one human race.

How the future will turn out, and whether we can forever prevent another May 13 will depend on us, today’s teenagers.

The choice to strengthen racial unity lies in our hands.

1Malaysia Boleh!


Happy together


By Himmat Singh, 17, Selayang

EVER come across situations in your schooling life where all the Malay students would be huddled in one corner, the Chinese mixing among themselves and the Indians chilling out with those of their own race? My bet is that’s a yes.

Such situations are prevalent to varying degrees, in most schools, with a student from a particular race feeling “secure” when with those from his or her own race, and therefore a minimal amount of communication is made with others. However, is this the way to go? Is this how we Malaysians, who hail from a racially diverse country, should behave? Where on Earth has racial integration gone to? Before I go on, let me clarify though that not all students, or even adults for that matter, fall into this bracket.

But a good percentage do tend to stick to their “own” kind.

This, sad to say, paints a bad image of what a Malaysian stands for. Speaking from my personal point of view, I have come across the situations I mentioned earlier.

But I don’t even get the chance to hang out with those who share the same race as me in school because I am a Sikh, and how often do you come across a Sikh, if at all, in your school? So I have to mingle with others.

You can say I have had no choice, but even if there are many Sikhs in my school, I wouldn’t be clinging to them. From what I have observed, generally, the Chinese students who come from Chinese medium primary schools are less likely to mingle with Malays or Indians as compared with Chinese students from national-type schools.

In my class, there are 20 Chinese students, 10 Malays and the rest Indians.

Every day, I make it a point to have a chat with as many of them, and the racial factor doesn’t come in.

Interestingly, something that I have observed in any given class since day one is that an Indian would tend to sit next to an Indian, a Malay next to a Malay and so on.

One common excuse I hear for the lack of racial interaction from some students is the language barrier.

Some Chinese students cannot speak fluent English or Malay, while some Malays cannot speak good English.

But hey, this is a lame reason because the language barrier shouldn’t be there.

It is a self-created mess. The benefit of racial interaction is that we get to know other cultures, their beliefs and their way of life.

It would be shameful for a Malaysian not to know the festivals celebrated by, say, an Indian Hindu.

Not only that, but we would learn to adapt to different environments too, and this would especially come in handy during our working life. My parents have always placed emphasis on racial integration.

Two years back, I was studying in a private school which did not have a good racial representation and part of the reason for my switching to a national-type school was to get greater exposure to students of different races. Hopefully, after reading this piece, you will communicate with those from the other races, if you haven’t been doing that already.

I sound optimistic here, okay.

And make sure you make that a promise!

Citizenship and Special Position – no Social Contract? (SSS Unity Series No.2)

10 05 2010

Perhaps we should acknowledge our past “inaccuracy” in saying that the citizenship right for the non-Malays was in exchange for the Special Position of the Malays. One of the following articles quotes the British Secretary of State (Foreign Minister) for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd), telling the British Parliament while debating the Malaya Independence Bill:

“All that the Reid Commission did was to continue to give cognisant to those special positions. There were no new position or right added as part of a compromise. To say therefore that citizenships were offered to the non-Malays in exchange of those special positions were not accurate. That is because those positions were already there and recognised from day one.

The special position of the Malays was recognised in the original treaties made by His Majesty in previous years, and Her Majesty Queen Victoria and others with the Malay States. It was reaffirmed when these treaties were revised. It was confirmed in the 1948 Agreement, and reference was expressly made to it in the terms of reference of the Reid Commission. So the Malay privilege clauses in the articles of the Constitution do not, in the main, introduce any precedent, but give recognition in the Constitution to the existing situation.”

Consequently, we would henceforth try to use this British declaration in their Parliament in our discussions on the subject of citizenship right, the Malay Special Position and of unity in the country. The Special Positon of the Malays, and of the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak when they joined Malaysia, was there “since day one” and was recognised by the British since the time of Queen Victoria. We are grateful to the writer for exposing this to the Malaysian public. It was dug from Hansards, the Parliamentary records of Britain.

The writer says, “His Majesty is to exercise the powers under article 153 as His majesty deems reasonable. This means the power cannot be exercised arbitrarily.” Let us discuss what are reasonable and what are not and what constitutes arbitrariness. Whether control of the economy and dominance in the various professional jobs by 23% of the population is reasonable. Whether the Malays and the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak, who form 70% of the population but have 18% corporate wealth of the country (not counting other forms of wealth) and, say, 30% jobs in the various professions, is reasonable. Whether policies that are discussed and approved in Parliament are arbitrary. Do have your say here, folks.

Also whether it is reasonable to have schools in the vernacular languages when Article 152 expressly states Bahasa Malaysia as the National Language of the country.

But the social contract does not exist, say some? Let’s discuss that, too.

Here are extracts from a few articles found in blogosphere relating to the above subjects. Let us discuss them in the usual serious but hopefully civil manner.

UPDATED 10 May 2010 @ 8.25 pm:

The writer said, “In drawing up the Federal Constitution, the Reid Commission was assigned the task to ensure that the position of the Malays was safeguarded. Its report says:

“Our terms of reference require that provision should be made in the Constitution for the ‘safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of other Communities’.”

That task and the said terms of reference must have been the request of the Malay and non-Malay leaders. Therefore there was an exchange between them – the Malays got the Special Position requested (which they were either not aware of or uncertain that it would be embodied in the Constitution until the statement by the British Colonial Secretary in Parliament), and, in exchange for that, the non-Malays got their legitimate interest viz right to citizenship, spelt out in the Constitution.

From the above, we were actually not inaccurate in our views in the past.


Article 153 on the ‘special position’ of the Malays and other natives: The way forward

by art harun who, in his words, said he “believes that he is a failed government experiment, abandoned and left alone to roam the streets after all remedial efforts yielded no positive results.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There is only the special ‘position’ of the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. In general, this special position does not confer any right which is recognised by law to the Malays.

Specifically, what is contained in article 153 is the power vested in His Majesty the Yang di Pertuan Agong to ensure that places in the civil service and institutions of higher learning are reserved for the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak as His Majesty deems reasonable.

Additionally, His Majesty is also given the power to reserve a quota for the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak in the allocation of scholarships, and permits or licences required for business and trade. This power is similarly to be exercised by His Majesty as His Majesty deems reasonable.

A few fundamental premises should be examined and borne in mind regarding the provisions contained in article 153. They are:

The special position is not only conferred to the Malays but also the natives of Sabah and Sarawak;
The power (enabling the quotas) belongs to His Majesty the Yang di Pertuan Agong;
His Majesty is to exercise the powers under article 153 as His majesty deems reasonable. This means the power cannot be exercised arbitrarily.
The injection of the element of ‘reasonableness’ in article 153 brings an element of dynamism in the implementation of the powers under article 153. This is because what was reasonable back in 1969, for instance, may no longer be fitting in 2010 and so forth.

A starting point towards dissipating the dissatisfaction currently felt by all parties (whether the Malays or non-Malays) over article 153 is, I believe, to commence a rational discussion to determine what is held to be ‘reasonable’ at this point.

Thereafter, I feel, the implementation of those facets of article 153 can then be carefully planned by incorporating whatever equitable formula guaranteeing the element of ‘reasonableness’ in time to come.


We as Malaysians should be more sensitive to any efforts made to gain a deeper understanding of various matters because it is only through knowledge can we arrive at the truth. Don’t simply swallow wholesale what people say. On the subject of article 153, there is a lot we can learn from history.

So let’s revisit history on it.

It is common knowledge that a commission was established to draft our constitution. This commission is known as the Reid Commission (named after its head, a renowned English judge, Lord Reid).

In drawing up the Federal Constitution, the Reid Commission was assigned the task to ensure that the position of the Malays was safeguarded. Its report says:

“Our terms of reference require that provision should be made in the Constitution for the ‘safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of other Communities’.”


“The difficulty of giving one community a permanent advantage over the others was realised by the Alliance Party, representatives of which, led by the Chief Minister, submitted that in an independent Malaya all nationals should be accorded equal rights, privileges and opportunities and there must not be discrimination on grounds of race and creed …’ The same view was expressed by their Highnesses in their memorandum, in which they said that they ‘look forward to a time not too remote when it will become possible to eliminate Communalism as a force in the political and economic life of the country’.”

Such was the hope and good intentions of our forefathers in their common struggle to obtain independence from British colonialism. The Federal Constitution was formulated in cognizance of these intentions and aspirations.

This notwithstanding, the Reid Commission was presented with yet another difficulty. What was in actuality the special position of the Malays that was to be preserved? Where was the special position to be found? What guidelines should they have used to determine and establish this special position?

Their search ended when it was discovered that the Malays had always enjoyed a special position even from the start of British colonisation. This special position was already affirmed by the British in their earlier treaties with the Malay rulers. This culminated in the recognition of the said special position in clause 19(1) (d) of the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948. It was explained as below:

“When we came to determine what is ‘the special position of the Malays’ we found that as a result of the original treaties with the Malay States, reaffirmed from time to time, the special position of the Malays has always been recognised. This recognition was continued by the provisions of cl 19(1)(d) of the Federation Agreement, 1948, which made the High Commissioner responsible for safeguarding the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of other communities.”

They found that the Malays had always enjoyed a special position in four areas:

Reserve land,
Quota in the civil service,
Quota in permits and trading licences, and
Quota in scholarships and education.

When they visited Tanah Melayu to solicit the views of the various parties before proceeding to draft our constitution, the Reid Commission did not meet with any objections from any parties for this special position to remain although there were some quarters that objected to it being extended for a long period of time.

After studying the special position of the Malays and the circumstances of the Malays who at that time were lagging behind the other races in the economic and education sectors, the Reid Commission decided to retain the Malay special position in the constitution that they drafted.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Bastardisation of the “Social Contract” – part 1

Social contract is a legal theory or concept. It does not exist in reality. It is a branch of legal, social or even political philosophy. This theory seeks to explain or rationalise why we, human beings, would band together and form a State.

It also seeks to rationalise why we would then agree to surrender our liberty, freedom and the ability to do whatever we like to the State when we, the human beings, were all born free and by our nature do not like to be restricted and constrained.

The philosophers surmised that we do so because we by nature are social creatures. We do so because we want to live together as a society. Furthermore, we do so because the State promises us some benefits. In fact we expect the State to give us the benefits that we want. That is why we surrender or agree to surrender some of our freedom, liberty and free will to the State.


However, it is not a one way or unilateral agreement. There is supposed to be an exchange of promises between us, the people, and the State. For example, we promise not to steal and if we steal we promise to abide by the law which would send us to prison. In return, the State promises to protect our property from being stolen by other people.

That is the social contract as a legal theory.

Now, the social contract which is so much talked about in Malaysia is a bastardisation of the theory of the social contract. Why do I say so?

It is simple. The theory of social contract postulates an agreement between the people of a State and the State. However the social contract which is so well loved by some people in Malaysia is a supposed agreement between the respective leaders of the three major communities among themselves which happened prior to our independence.

That in itself is the hijacking of the theory of social contract.

Apparently, the three community leaders met to decide the whole future of Malaysia before and after independence. And what they had agreed would bind all of us till kingdom come.

Apparently too, the Malay leader was generous enough to confer citizenship to the non-Malays who were not qualified for citizenship.

The two non-Malay leaders, out of sheer gratitude to the Malays (who were represented by the said Malay leader) for doing so, agreed that the Malays should have “special rights.” These special rights were then spelt out in the Federal Constitution.

This brings the oft-repeated argument that the Malays have sacrificed a lot in agreeing to “grant” citizenships to the non-Malays who were otherwise “not qualified” to gain one. Therefore the non-Malays should respect the Malay’s special “rights”.


The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd), while debating our Independence Bill reported to the British Parliament:

The constitutional Commission had to find a solution which would work and which would find general acceptance, and in our view it has fully succeeded in its task. The present Federation Constitution represents a genuine compromise worked out between differing sectors. The citizenship proposals, I believe, are a triumph of good sense and tolerance, amidst widely conflicting views, and I believe that the balance struck between Malay and Chinese has been found to be a wise balance.

There are solid guarantees of fundamental liberties to meet Chinese fears of discrimination, with reasonable arrangements to safeguard the special position of the Malayans without injustice to other races. I am conscious that these two aspects of the settlement arouse particular interest in the House, and I hope that I may be forgiven if I devote a moment or two to those two most important matters.

Now, a word about the balance achieved between the rights of Malays and Chinese. The special position of the Malays was recognised in the original treaties made by His Majesty in previous years, and Her Majesty Queen Victoria and others with the Malay States. It was reaffirmed when these treaties were revised. It was confirmed in the 1948 Agreement, and reference was expressly made to it in the terms of reference of the Reid Commission. So the Malay privilege clauses in the articles of the Constitution do not, in the main, introduce any precedent, but give recognition in the Constitution to the existing situation. Most hon. Members will, I think, know something of what these privileges are.

As I said, I believe that a fair balance has been struck between the interests of Malays and Chinese, and I indicated how the special position of Malays enshrined in the new Constitution did not create a precedent because it had been provided for in very many other treaties and arrangements. I was about to say what form these special privileges had taken. In most States in Malaya, there are extensive Malay reservations of land. Elsewhere in States, there are systems of quota for admissions to the public service, a certain proportion having to be Malays. There are quotas for permits or licences to carry on certain businesses. There is preferential treatment for Malays in the granting of scholarships and bursaries and, generally, in education.


Yes, there was indeed a compromise by the various communities. And there was, at the end of the day, “a triumph of good sense and tolerance, amidst widely conflicting views.” Meanwhile, “the balance struck between Malay and Chinese has been found to be a wise balance.”

It should be noted that the special positions of the Malays had always been recognised by the British from day one. These have been specified in various treatises. And there were recognised in the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948, an agreement which preceded our independence.

All that the Reid Commission did was to continue to give cognisant to those special positions. There were no new position or right added as part of a compromise. To say therefore that citizenships were offered to the non-Malays in exchange of those special positions were not accurate. That is because those positions were already there and recognised from day one.”


There was a balance achieved between the demands of the non-Malays and the absolute birth rights of the Malays. That is why it was called a compromise.

The Constitution was drafted to reflect this harmonious co-existence of all the major races in the then Malaya. It spells out all the rights and positions of the various communities who were expected to lead a peaceful and prosperous co-existence. The Constitution was designed to make the yet unborn Malaysia a fair and progressive country.

As stated by Mr. Geoffrey de Freitas (the MP from Lincoln):

“The test for the Federation will be whether it can become a real nation in other words, whether the Chinese people in Malaya can become full citizens and work with the Malays, the Indians and the Eurasians to make a new nation. I hope that they can.”

Have we, as a nation, passed the test?


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bastardisation of the “Social Contract” – part 2

Even at the outset of independence, there were people who raised concerns on the perceived inequality between the Malays and the non-Malays. The question of whether the respective leaders of the communities were truly representing the community was also raised. Graham Page raised that point:

“It appears that the Reid Commission took one single Indian party as speaking for the Indians as a whole, the Malayan Indian Congress, which had sunk its identity in the Alliance Party. I do not think the Malayan Indian Congress spoke for all, or even perhaps a majority, of Indians, certainly not the business, professional and artisan class of Indian, in Malaya. There were many other Malayan Indian associations which gave evidence before the Commission, but the Commission did not seem to take account of their views, or to pay very much attention to them.”

Arthur Creech Jones MP noted:

“It may be, and I believe it to be the case, that there are certain sections of opinion in Malaya who are not altogether happy. The fact that most hon. Members have received representations from the Malayan Party and the Pan-Malayan Federation indicates that, certainly so far as the Settlements are concerned, there is still some anxiety about what is likely to happen when the Constitution becomes effective.”

For the Alliance, an Alliance Committee was formed to negotiate with the Reid Commission. It consisted of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Ismail, Tun H.S. Lee, Tun Leong Yew Loh, Tun Ong Yoke Lin, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Lim Chong Eu and Tun Sambanthan.

Be that as it may, the Constitution was quite a massive achievement in itself as the task of balancing the rights and demands of various communities was not an easy one to fulfill. The fact that the non-Malays had to also compromise and tolerate the demands of the Malays – as opposed to the supposed absolute sacrifice by the Malays alone – was also recognised as Mr. Arthur Creech Jones, MP for Wakefield noted:

“A number of Members drew attention to the fact that in the working of this Constitution a great deal of tolerance will be required by the Chinese population, and, possibly, by other minorities, for undoubtedly important concessions are made to the Malays with regard to religion, language, land and the public services; but one can only hope that by the practice of co-operation an answer can be found to any deficiencies or defects in the Constitution as it is now presented to us.”


In a nutshell, the special positions of the Malays were seen as inevitable in order to improve the financial, sociological and educational status of the Malays which were lagging far behind the Chinese.

In other words, there had to be inequality to achieve equality. It was said that:

“My hon. Friend the Member for Crosby asked whether we were sure that the special position of the Malay population was not to the detriment of the interests of other racial groups in Malaya. The answer is that during the very careful investigation made by the Reid Commission there appeared to the distinguished members of that Commission to be no evidence that the special position of the Malays was either to the detriment of other communities or was resented by those other communities. In those circumstances, I think that we can assume that the special position of the Malays is not likely to be an irritant in the body politic of the Federation after independence is achieved.

I believe that, taken as a whole, these long-established immunities and privileges provide the means of ensuring, not inequality between the various races of Malaya, but that those who have had some disadvantages in the past will, as independence comes, have a start which is relatively equal and will achieve the progress, development and prosperity which is already a significant feature of the life of many of the Chinese and Indian communities.” (Cuthbert Alport MP)


Interestingly though, the founder of UMNO, Dato’ Onn Jaafar had foreseen a citizenship issue, even for the Malays themselves. And he spotted the potential problems way back in 1950, a good seven years before the compromise was being negotiated and achieved, when on the 20th and 21st May, at the UMNO General Assembly at Majestic Hotel, KL, he said:

“Due to the fact that at present no such laws (citizenship laws) exist, hundreds of thousands of people descended from Indonesia, who have lived here all their lives, or who have the intention of living the rest of their days in this country, cannot be considered “citizens” of this country. Is this really what the Malay people want? I do not understand this myself…..

If one were to consider (the matter) as I do, then one (should realise) that because they are currently no (citizenship) laws, international laws should be applied. At present, there are 1.2 million people of Chinese descent, 270000 of Indian descent, and approximately 45000 descended from other races, who, by virtue of being born within the Federation of Malaya, may claim to be either British citizens, or the citizens of any one of the Malay Rulers.”


“That is to say the laws that enable a non-Malay to become a subject of the Ruler of the Malay state. If, for instance, such laws were passed, and if other matters that have become clearly apparent to us were also approved, one of which will be discussed by this Assembly this afternoon or tomorrow, and if the issues were approved (by the proper authorities), it is my view that there should not be any objections to opening the doors of UMNO to admit non-Malays.”

That was a response by a true warrior of Tanah Melayu. A true statesman. A visionary.

And what did they do to him?

He was kicked out of UMNO because of that proposal of his.


The Constitution, however, provides for the safeguard of the special position of the natives.

This does not mean supremacy or privilege but rather a special position which requires special attention…It is known to everybody that the natives are economically backward, and therefore, in order to give them a fair chance to compete with other races they are given this special attention in the Constitution or in plain language a handicap. This handicap gives the natives a chance to have a share in the economic and business life of the country.” (‘Constitution: Equal Rights to All’, p 304)

Notice that Tun Razak was very precise in his choice of words. He did not use the word “rights” (as is so popularly used nowadays) but the word as used in the Constitution, ie, “position”. He also was careful to say it was the special position of the “natives” instead of the “Malays.” How more honest and sincere can a Malay leader be?

He also made it a point to emphasise that the ultimate goal was to have a moderate, fair and just Malaysia, where every race plays a part for the greater good of the country. He expressed his wish thus:

“I ask members of Umno to be loyal to the Party, to the aims and objectives and to the top leadership. To all good friends of Umno of other races, I ask them to help Umno because it is the duty of us in Malaysia today to help strengthen the sensible, moderate leadership which alone can lead this country in peace, harmony and unity towards meeting the rising expectations of our people of various races for a better life and a more just society. If this sensible and moderate leadership were to fail, then the country would veer either to the right or the left. If this happens then I am certain that misunderstanding and misfortune await all of us.

“Let us therefore rally to the help of this middle-of-the-road leadership – the right road towards peace, happiness and stability of our people and our beloved country, Malaysia.” (‘The Turning Point in the History of This Country’, p 386)

The words “social contract” were unheard of by the common people in Malaysia since 1957 (save probably for students of and graduates in sociology and philosophy). Not until 30th August 1986, at least.

This was when Datuk Abdullah Ahmad, the famous MP for Kok Lanas, made his now infamous “Ketuanan Melayu” speech in Singapore. He was perhaps endorsed by the then PM, Dr Mahathir. (Well, at the very least, Dr Mahathir has never ever said that he disapproved of that speech). He said:

“Let us make no mistake – the political system in Malaysia is founded on Malay dominance. That is the premise from which we should start. The Malays must be politically dominant in Malaysia as the Chinese are politically dominant in Singapore….

The political system of Malay dominance was born out of a sacrosanct social contract which preceded national independence….

There is thus no two ways about it. The NEP must continue to sustain Malay dominance in the political system in line with the contract of 1957….”

He then split hairs:

“Ours is not a system of discrimination but of Malay preservation which foreigners particularly refuse to understand. Ours is a system of Malay political dominance but not, as is often put across, of Malay political domination.”

With that speech, delivered with the obvious tacit approval of the then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamed, all the honest intentions and sincere efforts of the likes of our father of Independence, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, Dato’ Onn Jaafar Tu Ismail and Tun Razak were immediately undone.

From thence on, the NEP and the special positions of the Malays and the natives were no more there to alleviate the backwardness of the Malays and the natives. The NEP must be continued to “sustain Malay dominance in the political system in line with the contract of 1957.” How time has changed since the heady days of 1957.

Ketuanan Melayu was, on 30th August 1986 (one day short of Malaysia’s 29th year of independence), born.

The bastardisation of the “social contract” was, on 30th August 1986, complete.

Pelajaran Seks

5 05 2010

Mari kita rehat sakejap dari bincang serius tak habis habis. Ini perkara serius juga. Tapi boleh lah bincang dengan tidak asyik muram dan kadang kadang baran sahaja. Gelak ketawalah sikit, tapi jangan mempersendakan penulis atau yang mengeluarkan pendapat, yang termasuk Tun Dr Mahathir sendiri. Mereka mengeluarkan pendapat yang serius.

Subjek itu serius tapi tak selalu dibincangkan. Dimasyarakt Melayu dahulu pantang bercakap fasal seks. Sampai sekarang pun masih ramai lagi Melayu yang tersipu-sipu bila anaknya tanya fasal seks. Bila sampai masa anaknya mula-mula dapat haidz (betul ke eja ni, Tuan?), suruh si emak ajar anaknya apa nak buat. Silap silap ada yang kata, “Emak engkau, beri tahulah Limah itu macam mana nak buat”. Kot ada juga yang kata, “Darling, you lah yang explainkan pada Adriana apa yang you buat masa you mula dapat haidz dulu”. Jangan kata moden, liberal konon, tapi masih kolot lagi fasal ajar anak fasal seks, fasal perlu ajar anak jangan seks rambang, fasal akibat keluar sampai pagi, jadi kutu embun, hingga nanti berkesedudukan (betul lagi eja ni, Tuan? – aku ni silap silap hilang kerja nih) dan mengandung.

Betul tak, pembaca-pembaca sekelian? Sehari dua yang lalu banyak komplen anak anak muda berteraburan hingga Subuh dikedai makan 24 jam diKuala Lumpur, ditempat main futsal, dikelab bola kenen (aku orang lama, orang sekarang panggil snooker ke hape benda ke).

Aku tahu nak marah pengaruh TV dan sebagainya sahaja. Tapi rakan-rakan seperjuangan aku disini kata kalau gitu, aku kena duduk digualah, jangan campur orang. Boleh tonton TV dan sebagainya. Kena cari jalan macam mana nak kurangkan masalah saperti ini. Tapi kawan kawan aku kata Ok lah aku boleh tulis cara ini. Tak cara rambang kan macam ni, Tuan? Terima kasihlah benarkan aku tulis cara ringan sikit nih. Tapi aku tak minum todi atau take beer jadi tak ringan sampai melayang.

Omputih ceritakan kapada anak diaorang fasal “the birds and the bees”. Kalau ada yang dengar macam mana orang lain beri tahu anak mereka fasal seks dan jaga jangan seks rambang dengan berkesan, silalah kongsi disini.

Kita kena coba kurangkan gejala boncit perut sana, boncit perut sini, beribu anak tak bernama. Tak menyenangkan hati kita. Kita patut fokus kapada persepaduan negara.

Tengok muka diaorang belasan tahun yang digambar dan diinterbiew dilewat malam dan dilapurkan diakhbar, berbagai bangsa ada. Ada pulak yang kata banyak bayi buangan ialah kelakuan pekerja asing atu pendatang haram. Betul ke? Diaorang tu memang easy picks bila ada saja yang tak betul berlaku. Kadang kadang kesian juga yang datang nak cari makan dinegara ini.

Salam kapada semua.


Guru perlu kreatif didik pelajar isu seksual


SEBAGAI seorang ahli masyarakat, saya juga agak sedih dengan isu buang bayi dan zina sebelum berkahwin. Saya tertarik untuk membincangkan cadangan Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil untuk memperkenalkan pendidikan Sains dan Reproduktif sebagai satu mata pelajaran di sekolah.

Saya sebagai seorang guru merasakan bahawa mata pelajaran biologi, sains menengah rendah dan pendidikan jasmani serta kesihatan sebenarnya mampu memberikan pendidikan seks dan reproduktif kepada remaja kita.

Dalam sukatan mata pelajaran itu, terkandung hal-hal mengenai organ pembiakan, masalah pembiakan, proses kehamilan dan cara mencegah kehamilan. Jika guru yang mengajar dapat mengolah strategi, kaedah dan teknik pengajaran contohnya pengajaran secara konstekstual, pelajar dapat menghubungkait fakta yang dipelajari di sekolah dengan kehidupan sebenar dan diri mereka sendiri. Yang lebih penting ialah pelajar perlu mengetahui kesan tindakan mereka. Alangkah malangnya bagi seorang pelajar yang sudah mengalami haid, belajar mengenai kitaran haid dalam tingkatan tiga tetapi tidak tahu bahawa jika mereka melakukan hubungan seks, mereka boleh mengandung.

Ini adalah akibat daripada proses pengajaran dan pembelajaran untuk mengejar kecemerlangan akademik saja menyebabkan guru lupa untuk menerapkan nilai murni. Kita mungkin sudah lupa Falsafah Pendidikan Kebangsaan yang mempunyai matlamat untuk menghasilkan insan yang seimbang dan harmonis dalam semua aspek jasmani, rohani, intelek, emosi dan sosial.

Saya dapati seolah-olah tidak ada rasa gerun di kalangan mereka. Setakat ini saya belum baca atau banyak dengar pesalah ini dipertanggungjawabkan atas tindakan mereka. Semua salah orang lain.

IBU GURU, Kuala Lumpur.


ARKIB : 20/04/2010
Pendidikan seks di sekolah tidak perlu – Dr. Mahathir

20/04/2010 4:31pm

KUALA LUMPUR 20 April – Pendidikan seks tidak perlu dijadikan sebagai subjek khas di sekolah-sekolah kerana ia sudah terdapat dalam pengajaran agama Islam, kata Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Bekas Perdana Menteri itu berkata, subjek khas mengenai seks tidak perlu tetapi memadai dengan menjelaskannya dengan baik mengenainya supaya anak-anak faham dan tidak mudah terpengaruh dengan nafsu.

Menurut beliau, dalam subjek agama Islam boleh dimasukkan perkara-perkara yang mengajar anak-anak berdisiplin dan mengawal nafsu kerana ia sebahagian daripada ajaran Islam.

“Akibat tidak mengawal nafsu bayi dibuang dalam tong sampah dan kerana itu dalam pembelajaran agama Islam perlu ditekankan tentang pentingnya pengawalan nafsu,” katanya pada sidang akhbar di sini. – Utusan