Bananachinese’s Weblog

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?

January 17, 2010

Dreaming of a high income economy? Legislate 1Malaysia now

Malaysia now has to deal with legal complexities which were never there before in 1963 but now affecting our livestyles because of economic progress.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept was supposed to unite all races, specifically, bring Sabah and Sarawak closer to Peninsula Malaysia as 1Malaysia.

The people welcome the overarching concept of unity in diversity, a 1Malaysia happy family, happily connected to each other, to and fro the Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsula – to work, to play, to live in peace.

It got Air Asia Berhad flying 1Malaysia back and forth more busily than a bee. LRTs, Monorails, KTM Komuter and Rapid KL buses are moving more and more 1Malaysians back and forth kampungs to towns and cities daily.

This pot has melted so that now we cannot easily distinguish easily who is a Peninsula Malay/Chinese/Indian or a Sabahan, a Sarawakian or even an Indonesian anymore.

Multicultural 1Malaysians living in harmony, each assured of their right to practice religions as appropriate as safeguarded by customs and customary rights agreed upon since 1963.

And then it happen, with a High Court ruling on 31 Dec 2009 which ruled that the Herald can use the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa edition.

News reported of hurt feelings of Muslims of Peninsula Malaysia, with anecdotal evidences like, “My friends all never use Allah in their prayers.”

Is that the situation with our Sabah or Sarawak friends?

UPKO President, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok testified it has been customary for Sabah and Sarawak Christians using word Allah in their prayers.

“With the greatest of respect to those who may feel uncomfortable with me mentioning this, the Christian community, not unlike the Christians in Indonesia and the Arab world, has been using this word for a long time. And it will be a herculean task for the government, if indeed it wants, to enforce the prohibition of the word in Christian worship.”

We read news of groups representing rights of Muslims of Peninsula Malaysia appealing to the Agong and Sultans to protect their rights to exclusive use ‘Allah’.

Aren’t the states of Peninsula Malaysia already doing it?
The State enactments have been protecting Muslim rights for a very long time already.

Malaysia has the Federal Law and State Laws and we live them, yes?

But then we hear politicians Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom (PM’s office) and Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun (Justice of Peace, Deputy President of Sabah Kadazandusun Culture Association) advising non-Muslims who are using the term ‘Allah’ to stop doing so in the name of preserving peace and to placate hurt feelings.

Why are lawmakers asking rakyat of the states of Sabah and Sarawak (who has been assured of their customary practices in 1963) to give up their customary rights?

It also begs the question, is it legal to ask Sabah and Sarawak Malaysians working in Peninsula Malaysia, who are exercising the customary usage of “Allah” in their prayers, to relinguish their right in religion when in Peninsula?

We remember the guarantees which Sabah and Sarawak asked for, from the Cobbold Report which recorded:

“The non-Muslim communities are most insistent that there should be complete religious freedom as to worship, education, and propagation, in the Borneo territories.

We recommend the insertion in the State Constitution of a specific provision to this effect.

“There remain the provisions in the existing Federal Constitution of Malaya that Islam is the national religion and that certain public expenditure may be incurred for Islamic purposes. All Muslim communities would welcome the provision that Islam should be the national religion of the Federation. But even with guarantees of freedom of religion for the Borneo States, we have met with strong resistance from many non-Muslim communities to the idea that these Federal provisions should apply to the Borneo territories. We consider that this is a matter for the peoples of the Borneo territories (which have a non-Muslim majority) to decide for themselves at a later stage when fully elected representative bodies have been constituted. We recommend therefore that the Federal provisions should not be extended to the Borneo territories in the meantime.” “

Malaysia laws needs serious attention and ministration by its legislators to conduct regular maintenance and fine tuning the health and position of the laws of Malaysia.

Our Yang Berhormats cannot continue to dodge the effects of modernity or to abdicate its duty to provide a legislative framework that works to protect personal and business rights.

Legislation, not rhetoric is crucial to the Malaysia aspiration to transform herself into a high income economy.

Back up the legislation as an unflinching assurance to foreign investors that their investments will be safeguarded by the Laws of Malaysia if they take their business to Malaysia.

Legislate for 1Malaysia transformation now.

By: Ho Aoi Ling
The writer was a former Senior Research Executive with MCA think tank, INSAP.

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Reference links:

http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/storydetails.php/Daring-speech-by-Tan-Sri-Bernard-Dompok/3346-2-1
http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/political-news/157199-jamil-khir-other-church-leaders-should-adopt-same-approach.html

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/49845-four-reasons-for-controversial-allah-ruling

December 20, 2009

In Malaysia politics, it pays to be clear, be very, very clear

In politics, it doesn’t pay to have an ambiguous stand.

The danger in the inability to align your party stand to your coalition government’s stand will give a perfect ammunition to your political opponents and non-fans.

The poor constituents will be mighty confused and will remember to link these incongruities together with wild juicy stories that does somewhat hurt your image as a believable politician. Think of the wastage of a lot of unnecessary energy and PR fees to dislodge stings from political opponents aplenty in the media, when you could have spent it on outreach campaigns.

Let’s take a look at a very real case, which has been a subject of debate and name callings between a lecturer supporter for SSS (Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua) and a politician who highly support vernacular schools and also happens to be a Deputy Minister of Education for the ruling government which was supposed to uphold the national education system.

My friends like to roll their eyes upwards to heavens for such case of what they call ‘a dumb debate’.

But I digress…

The politician’s party has this item in its aims and objective:

To preserve and sustain the use and study of the Chinese language,

and to ensure that its use, teaching or learning shall not be prohibited or prevented in the conext of Article 152 of the Malaysian Constitution;

Generally to do all such acts and things not enumerated in the preceding sub-Articles for the well-being of the Party and its members.

That maybe absolutely the right thing to do before 1957.

But, oi, wake up… it is 2009 now and soon to be 2010.

The generation of Malaysian Chinese today is no longer as scared as their forefathers of workers or coolies herded in by the triads in charge of tin mines.

It is 1Malaysia now.

Why don’t the political party just update or make current its party constitution to fight for a quality education system for all?

For all those who cares for the future of Malaysia in the war of global talents, why not fight to let forth a flotilla of schools to unlock the combination keys to hidden talents yet unable to be achieved by the national and vernacular schooling system? Get out of your cave now.

Malaysia desperately needs schools to unlock talents of multiple intelligences. It just doesn’t work anymore to have a student excel in memorising or vomit out what has been indoctrinated into his/her cave, ooops, brain.

Instead of indulging in mindless debates and dares, why don’t Malaysian Chinese Association take the lead and fight for an education system that will result in specific cognitive abilities that will be sought and cultivated by leaders in the years ahead: the disciplined mind, the synthesizing mind, the creating mind, the respectful mind, and the ethical mind?

Dare you, MCA to break away from your self imposed chains and reach out to 1Malaysians meaningfully before the 13th General Elections?

November 8, 2009

Invite Najib to manage MCA? No need, coup drama ends soon

Hishammuddin Hussein must have enjoyed playing the devil’s advocate when he mischievously suggested tis high time the MCA leadership seek Barisan Nasional’s chairman Najib Razak’s help to intervene in MCA’s internal affairs.

Looks like MCA’s 2nd echelon leaders are now given the final warning through the mouth of their favorite UMNO brother.

Liow Tiong Lai (another specimen of a flip flopper), Wee Ka Siong and Chew Mei Fun better pay heed to UMNO’s signal and not misread it as UMNO’s support for their coup attempt.

Meanwhile,

1. 1Malaysians continues to enjoy reading and gossiping about MCA’s infernal affairs over their morning kopi, roti bakar and half boiled egg

2. The aunties get to learn a thing or two on how not to convene an EGM to resolve internal home problems

3. Political newbies get a chance of a lifetime to observe first hand the do’s and don’ts of Chinese politics, especially the part on how to avoid being a hapless political pawn.

As for me, I’ll be eagerly awaiting for MCA coup drama to fizzle out, hopefully the MCA kids to please be on their best behaviour themselves when Comrade Hu Jintao arrives on November 10 in Malaysia to talk economy.

And, I’m already excited anticipating 2012‘s premier next week.

Yahoo!

October 30, 2009

The new economy, you, me and MCA

The new economy unleashes bondages and respects merit to create new wealth for anyone worthy.

Old economy hangers on eg, are the few Chinese billionaires who preserve at all costs to retain their societal status so that their clan family can continue to give handouts to the many poor Chinese below them.

With donkey years of subvervientship to clan dominance, MCA finally is fighting the big war to unchain itself off apekship bondage to lift itself to ISO standards.

In this era of change, for MCA to remain unreformed and taking even a millisecond more of their young members’ time would be unforgiven.

The MCA mothership is trying hard to change gears and the resultant curious whiff of change in the air is not a bad option for us the political bystanders.

Revolution…

More power to change if it benefits the community, I say!

Prime Minister Najib Razak understands the issue plaguing MCA.

He sure knows his 1Malaysia history of yore.

Has anybody notice Najib has been consistently calling for MCA to be strong?

Has 1Malaysia?

Have MCA members or central delegates for that matter?

Think, think, think.

August 20, 2009

MCA’s Ong Tee Keat seeks new 1Malaysia stars of blogging generation

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Ong Tee Keat “OTK” is scouring

OTK f MCA Pres (WinCE)

party networks for the next big political sensation. — BOLEHNEWS pic

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BOLEHLAND, Aug 21 — MCA mogul Ong Tee Keat “OTK” wants you — an MCA star of the blogging generation. He does not want a member who can only talk, think, or look good on TV, but one who can do all that, and social network.

This past Sunday, OTK launched a new TV competition show on the MCA cable network called “OTK’s MCAStar” that, like Astro’s “Akademi Fantasia,” aims to find an unknown member who has the stuff to join Barisan Nasional “BN” stable of political stars.

But heading into a new decade of the 21st Century, winning fame and fortune as a politician is far different that when the maveric political party president, member of Parliament, writer and all-around debater first became a star his own right since the 1980s.

“The game has changed,” OTK told BOLEHNEWS this week.

“You have to understand how to be able to position & brand yourself,” he said. “Before, it was just at rhetorical talk, now you have to be able to deliver on your promises, you have to be able to do a great interview, you need to have a great blog, you have to have a sincere media presence.”

“OTK’s MCAStar,” which will premier next Sunday with 100 contestants, runs through 2009-2011 and has a format similar to “Akademi Fantasia” and other TV talent contests by eliminating member performers who fail to make the cut until a winner is crowned.

OTK said his show different from a “voyeuristic standpoint” because it gives behind-the-scenes footage of the member contestants interacting with each other and watching from backstage as their rivals perform.

He has another show airing on media called “Courage To Change, Creating New Values,” in which OTK seeks dedicated party members to back him on an overdue MCA party reform and support his agenda, “Reform of MCA.” The show began since he assumed Presidency in October 2008 with many undiscovered members competing for spots, and it runs through 2012.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to get a whole party, but if I’m able to get pieces, whatever I’m able to get,” he said. “It’s about giving some young and committed members an opportunity.”

OTK founded New Courage & Values Agenda in the 1990s and finding success as an unconventional political member who talk without fear or favour in regards to MCA politico, business and reformation. He has also committed to revamping PKFZ: The Tiong King Sing connection and CSL: The Moral & Political Dilemma of A Naughty Deputy. — BOLEHNEWS

*Adapted from “Diddy seek new stars of Facebook generation” (Reuters)

August 12, 2009

Najib’s supreme diplomacy; MCA delegates to fight for seats at AGM

It seems to me many Malaysians read newspapers and the online media with half awaken minds and comatosed logic. Only sex, scandals and more scandals can do magic to raise the poor zombies. (Don’t blame education system, only yourself to blame for refusing to kickstart your brain engine)

Didn’t BN already said each component party is their own boss within their respective political party?

No. 2 man Muhyiddin Yassin clearly clarified:
“All parties have their problems but the important thing its how to solve them. Whatever the problems, we must solve them ourselves.” (Bernama: “Don’t use media to solve internal problems“)

Starved for a scandal, the media is feverishly playing up the problems of Ong Tee Keat and Chua Soi Lek. Not so different from vultures waiting for the tempting flesh to feast on.

Eager for a fight to happen, the media is now speculating on a matter of importance only to MCA members and delegates.

Gone were the days when Malaysia newspapers reported facts. No wonder sales of newspapers goes down in parallel with its degeneration to thrashy tabloid. Readers are sending signals to newspapers to buck up on news facts, but unfortunately, the newspapers managers are too thick.

Not to be outdone, online media is also catching up on speculative hearsays aka gossip in their ‘news’ report. See how a simple matter has been elevated skyhigh on the scandal scale:

“Rumours have been swirling within MCA that Barisan Nasional (BN) chairperson and premier Najib Abdul Razak are not on the same page over the party’s annual general assembly, usually held by Aug 31. Many have seen this as a sign of Najib’s displeasure with MCA president Ong Tee Keat, over the latter’s public squabbles with deputy Dr Chua Soi Lek.” (Malaysiakini: “Najib not delaying MCA meet“)

The above is an exemplery example of poor journalism or rather of a reporter with extremely low competency in politics. News facts, dear reporter. Your job is not to spread rumours or hearsay.

The way I see it, its more like Najib is waiting for MCA’s Disciplinary Board to get its report to the Presidential Council’s decision.

Clever Najib certainly knows his diplomacy and this is an excellent show of respecting MCA’s rights to resolve its internal issues before he comes to open MCA’s AGM.

Yep, MCA the political party’s internal issue is entirely its own to resolve. Nobody who’s not a member or a delegate has got the locus standi to stick their grubby little fingers in matters relating to management of MCA.

Unless, of course, they are the main actors involved in a disciplinary issue. Unless, of course they want to see UMNO‘s balancing partner dies an early death. Devoid without its life partner, UMNO dies also. How devious.

Meanwhile, a big kudos to Najib. Good one. This is a real life example of leadership that I’ve been waiting for BN to demonstrate to 1Malaysia.

April 19, 2009

Hands (blog) off them by-elections or politicking!

Yo, Banana fans…

You’d notice there was no tittillating exposures on the Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau or Batang Ai by-elections…

No titters about the ‘new’ cabinet line up of Najib son of Razak…

No criticism for 1Malaysia… (Hey, we’re already one since 1963, ain’t we, dear Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak peoples?)

Fed up. No feeeeeel. Even for Utusan Malaysia‘s heat provoking articles.

Maybe these bad weather is getting to me brain cells. Too hot. Blowing hot and cold. Or no hot no cold. Malaysia weather is really bad for the political junkie…

Hang on there whilst I get me some brain rejuvenators… perhaps all the way from somewhere in China… maybe.

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