Bananachinese’s Weblog

February 19, 2010

Protest at Australian Hi Comm and KJ the chameleon

“Join us for a peaceful protest against the Aussie lawmakers’ interfering. Wednesday 17th, 10am at Aussie HiComm, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.” invited the sms.

Twaang… struck a patriotic chord within my Malaysian soul.

It is terribly insolent to intimidate a sovereign neighbour country’s courts or influence the course of its rule of law, don’t you think? I wonder why these 50 Australian lawmakers didn’t protest earlier before the trial started. They have internet news in Australia too, you know.

And so, this blogger quickly made a few phone calls to cancel some Chinese New Year visits to relatives. The ang pows will have to give way. And not to mention, my tooth’s broken filling’s visit to the dentist.

With a gnashing pain on tongue (beware how sharp a broken filling is, ouch.) I joined the bloggers protest.

I thought it was a bloggers protest, nothing to do with political parties? Rocky said so to reporters and I believe him.

But, I was distracted by the large crowd of BN youth + a sprinkling of ladies.

MCA youth towkays not even one in sight. MIC youths were there.

Makkal Sakti Party won for the most catchy looking banners of the day. But, need to catch up on their maths.

Then I saw Khairy Jamaluddin making a speech denouncing the naughty 50 Aussie lawmakers’ action.

That’s nice, here was a BN youth leader actually demonstrating his understanding of the rule of law and sovereign rights.

Too bad it doesn’t jive with public perception of him. You remember the stories, the SIL (son in law), ECM Libra, the government interfering 4th floor image that just won’t go away even as he may have gotten over that part of oral history.

Truth be told, yesterday Khairy did good at the demo. But The Malaysian Insider is saying that Khairy’s got RM2million from Najib Razak for UMNO Youth to run some events. I hope Khairy the Oxbridge graduate realise that events only work for the moment only. Smart politicians make sure they work consistently with their publics, not just organise some events to show their concern or worse, ‘tunjuk power’.

If you dream of leaving a footprint in Malaysia politics game, Khairy, you’ve got to decide what you’re gonna be about. You’ve got to decide what principles you are going to stand up for. Rule of law? Human rights? For whom and by whom? We’ve already have one famously acknowledged ‘chameleon‘ and Malaysia is too small a country to accommodate more than that.

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February 12, 2010

Protect and uphold rights of civilians from harm: The strange case of Norizan bte Salleh

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It is mandated by law that our Polis DiRaja‘s duty is to uphold and protect the rights of civilians to peaceful existence.

Remember when older Malaysians reminiscence fondly of the British administration which established Malaysia’s ‘mata-mata’ solid reputation for their discipline and policing skills during the colonial times?

But in Malaysia’s modern democracy, we seem to be hearing more stories claiming abuse and deaths caused by police onto those whose crimes or punishment have yet to be determined and sentenced by the judiciary.

Today, we hear of the strange case of a 30 year old single mother, Norizan bte Salleh, whose submission to Suhakam commissioner N Siva Subramaniam , claimed:

1)  to have sustained 5 gunshot wounds when policemen opened fire on a car she was traveling in.

2)  was travelling in a car when the incident happened. Without justification, police shot at the car from behind, the bullets penetrating through the body of the car and hitting Norizan who was seated at the back seat.

3)  after being shot, Norizan was then kicked and stepped on by the police personnel despite bleeding profusely from being shot.

4)  to have lodged a police report on 16.11.2009 complaining of attempted murder by police, but no action has been taken by the authorities against the culprits.

5)  has never been charged in court for any crime.

6)  she has suffered serious injuries including permanent damage to her hand. A bullet lodged close to her heart had to be removed by surgery at Institut Jantung Negara.

It is understandable to hear reactions of horror when the public read of above such ‘imbalance of treatment’ onto a civilian by the police.

We have heard one woman’s story above.

We now need to hear the police’s side of the story.

Especially the police’s policy and SOP on safeguarding civilians and even those under surveillance to reassure all citizens and visitors that their right to justice is secure by law.

A high income economy as aspired by Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia cannot afford for its law enforcement agency’s capability to be relegated or KPI-ed by the people under the Wild, Wild, West (WWW) category.

February 10, 2010

Rebuilding trust in Barisan Nasional

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Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government should remember to move cautiously to rebuild trust if they care for 1Malaysia and Vision 2020 to succeed.

With some 2,000 nationwide activities, over 2,000 projects and 100 programmes, the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) by Najib’s administration declares that it ‘focuses on generating positive outcomes which are based on what the rakyat wants and needs (“People First”) by ensuring fast delivery of results (“Performance Now”) to contribute to 1Malaysia and Vision 2020.’

I admit it makes a great work plan to improve efficiency for the government bureaucracy.

Unfortunately, in the enthusiasm to produce the visible public goodies to fulfill the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) identified to spearhead the government’s transformation, Najib’s administration forgot to care and manage the intense public distrust for the Barisan Nasional political entity.

Poor communication and unprogressive comments by Barisan Nasional leaders dismissed, rather than effectively minister to concerns on issues like security concerns of missing fighter jet engines or acts of terrorism that fed on religiosity and attacking places of worship.

Emotive polemics that were not backed by reason were given the leeway to intervene in the democratic pillar of legislation’s process to dispense justice.

These contributed to heighten the suspicion of voters that indeed, Barisan has not learnt or understand a cause of its poor results in the 2008’s General Elections.

Literate Malaysians are served generous servings of unthinking and autocratic decrees from Najib’s cabinet ministers in replying to issues of Constitutional rights in religion and right to information.

Apologetic acknowledgement of the problems without legislative follow through over headlined issues by Barisan’s large stable of politicians contributed to make the people more bewildered, agitated rather than informed.

Why are the lawmakers unable to perform their duty to effectively resolve the citizens’ fears and insecurities?

Perhaps, our Yang Berhormats’ media communications were not meant for the everyday rakyat’s consumption.

Maybe their messages are a form of instructions for their underlings, not the rakyat because the rakyat could not compute the logic of what they are trying to say.

I do not envy Rais Yatim on the load he has to bear for 1Malaysia on his national duty as the Information, Communications and Culture Minister.

I can empathise with Rais Yatim’s patriotic concern on dangers of Twitter, Facebook and internet culture affecting the Malaysian identity and culture.

But his choice of words failed to convince minds and more unfortunately, entrenched him as a Twitter celebrity for the wrong reasons amongst twitterers.

Perhaps it is a result of a clash between the old and young lifestyles and changed aspirations.

It is commendable that Malaysia political parties recognized the perils of modernity and have taken the trouble to invest and keep up their messaging through combined force of new and established media forms since its lesser electoral win in 2008.

However, fervent Barisan Nasional propagandists and their cyberspace avatars have diluted the message of BN’s love, caring and sharing vision for 1Malaysians.

News articles and web postings populate the internet with more emotive religiosity, racism, magnifying distrust and plays on the illusion of Malays or Chinese or Indians under siege by the rest of the other Malaysians.

To be fair, it is not justifiable to rebuke only the members or fans for they must be severely limited in their training and the scope by Barisan Nasional’s political ideology of race nationalism.

UMNO fights for Malay nationalism and bumiputeraism.

MCA usually retreats to negotiate behind closed doors for its Chinese ‘rights’.

MIC is seen to beg for its Indian ‘rights’.

Did you notice how the words ‘fights’, ‘retreats’ and ‘beg’ invoke unintended responses in young and the undecided voters’ brains?

And so, in the interest of political sustenance, relevancy and lifelong learning, it is not a bad option for Barisan leaders to go back to the drawing board, to understand that fundamental constructive approach to communication based on clear political ideology.

Oh, by the way, I applaud the Federal Court’s recent courage to uphold justice to protect landowners from losing their lands to forgers.

After nine years of waiting under the shadow of the Adorna Properties principle, many landowners could finally be assured that their property rights is once again secure in law.

This is one good way to start again into the new economy.

By: Ho Aoi Ling

The writer was a former Senior Research Executive with MCA think tank, INSAP. She can be contacted at: thelivingwall@gmail.com

February 1, 2010

Thaipusam visit: What say you, my friends?

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Dato’ S. Sothinathan’s letter published in Malaysiakini “Najib trendsets with Thaipusam visit” highlighted the following:

“… This gesticulation of the premier to be there at this propitious ceremony is to be commended and to be emulated by leaders at all levels. It is a timely gesture, especially at this time in Malaysian history when religious and racial insensitivities and intolerance are ubiquitous.

It goes a long way to show that the PM cares about what happens to the Indian community. It is extremely symbolic in promoting mutual religious appreciation and understanding. On the same note, it allays the fears and apprehensions of the younger generation and imbues new hope and faith.”

Nice positivism from one of a formerly bright MIC star. I wonder if he will be given the chance to have another go to contest in the next General Election to defend his Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat.

But then, commentator Rajendra Veluppillai gave this feedback on PM Najib Razak’s visit:

“Please do not hijack religious occasion and convert it into a political show. I am really offended and angry that this occasion for spiritual journey of self discovery, penance and enlightenment had been trespassed and defiled. Hindu”

What say you to this point of view, my friends? Do the rakyat really need to see Najib attending every religious ceremony in order to be convinced of his sincerity to be the PM for all races? Is this the job of Malaysia’s Prime Minister?

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