marahfreedom

7 Articles on Malaysia : Israel to Malaysia, Unhelpful demands of DAP, Cautious pullbacks of NH Chan (again no address of APARTHEID), UMNO Apologism by Malay writers, LGBT and Malays, Spinning the Reid Commission – reposted by @AgreeToDisagree – 12th February 2012

In 3rd Force, Abuse of Power, Bad By-Laws, bad laws, Constitution, critical discourse, criticism, Law, Malaysia, Native Rights, Nepotism, Reid Commission, unprofessional behaviour, vested interest on February 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

ARTICLE 1

‘Haram’ to accept Israel, says Hadi – by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal – February 12, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — PAS will not accept any efforts to recognise Israel as a sovereign state as its very existence is “haram” (illegal), Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has said.

The PAS president charged that the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, an initiative accepted by the Arab world, Malaysia as well as the Islamist party’s ally PKR went against Islamic principles.

PAS, along with PKR and DAP make up Malaysia’s opposition coalition.

“It is haram to accept the existence of a haram nation (Israel.) PAS, a party founded on Islamic principles reject the two-state solution, one for Palestine and one for Israel for the Zionist Jews.

“For us, only one country has rights and that is Palestine,” he said in a blog posting which was picked up by Umno daily Utusan Malaysia.

Abdul Hadi’s remarks are directly opposed to PKR defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had during a recent Wall Street Journal interview expressed support for “all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel.”

Anwar has clarified his remarks by saying he was referring to a “two-state solution”, and that his support was also contingent on Israel respecting the aspirations of Palestinians.

Abdul Hadi (picture) said today that Palestine, being one of the three holy lands for Muslims, did not just belong to the Palestinians, and that all Muslims had a religious duty to ensure the state’s sovereignty and independence.

“The country named Israel did not exist when Allah created this earth. It was created illegally after World War Two… this country is by Islamic law and by international law illegal, as it pillages land from its original people and ousts them from their home,” he said.

“For Muslims, it is a duty to free Palestine and to champion the oppressed,” added the Marang MP.

Anwar came under heavy fire from Umno and its media after his statement was published by the Wall Street Journal.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed labelled Anwar a Jewish sympathiser and a leader who disregarded the plight of the Palestinians for making such remarks.

The opposition leader was forced to defend himself by stressing that his remarks in the newspaper meant that he supported a two-state solution, which he said was mentioned by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman when the latter addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September last year.

But Anifah responded by saying Anwar’s interview “clearly shows full support for all actions taken by Israel to protect its security, unless he is accusing the Wall Street Journal of making a mistake.”

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a staunch supporter of Palestine and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

Muslim politicians have long vied for support from Malays by denouncing what they say are inhumane acts of aggression by Israel towards its neighbour.

Anwar has previously been attacked as a supporter of the Zionist movement due to his interaction with prominent Jewish figures in the West.

But the opposition leader turned the tables on Umno and Barisan Nasional in 2010 when he claimed public relations firm APCO Worldwide, then contracted by Putrajaya, was responsible for both the 1 Malaysia and 1 Israel campaigns.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Israel may not have been created by Allah but Israel is a functioning country with (after a reasonable pullback of some unenable areas controlled) a distinct culture and people and language. Take Aboriginese Australia or Maori New Zealand for example. Surely Hadi cannot say because there was no mention in the Quran of these countries that they have no right to exist? Israel though having commited much abuse and taken much land beyond the earlier UN 1949 brokered deal, still cannot be considered Haram though a word-breaker. In that case, all countries not mentioned in the Quran are Haram. Does that mean all Muslims have to attack and colonise all the Quran un-mentioned (hence Haram) countries?

That would mean it is necessary for all non-Muslim countries unmentioned in the Quran to immediately make plans to defend against Muslims. Yet Saudi Arabia where the Islamic Cube of Kabaa stands under the purview of the House of Saud, UAE, Yemen, Oman, others including Iran (a very powerful country in the region), have met with many obviously non-Quran mentioned nations and recognizes these non-Quran states, what does this mean? That they did not take the opportunity to demand that those states be abolished?

Hadi needs to examine the common sense fact that 1400 years ago not all geography was accurate and that many countries were formed fairly late after WW1. Hadi surely cannot be recommending that ALL these countries be destroyed or unrecognized by Muslim countries? What would the prophet do? He’d ask them to be left alone and for Israel keep it’s word, stick to the 1949 peace deal by pulling back any land acquisitions to contracted agreements. This is where PAS fails occasionally. Hadi’s suggestion is out of context when considered against the 1949 UN Armistice and the fact that many nations are not mentioned in the Quran – lets put it this way the Prophet could not update the Quran but that does not mean that all nations not in the Quran do not exist by Allah’s will either. Why the lack of logic here Hadi?

ARTICLE 2

Apologise for paid-for interviews, Guan Eng tells PMO – by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal – February 12, 2012

Lim said the PMO should take BBC’s lead and express regret over paying for the interviews. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Lim Guan Eng today demanded the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) apologise for paying RM84 million to a UK publicity firm to polish the Najib administration’s image through news programmes.

“Datuk Seri Najib Razak should direct his Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to apologise for paying RM84 million to burnish the Najib administration’s image… just as the BBC is apologising for accepting payments in exchange for a positive image for countries with a poor record of democratic practices and corruption,” said the DAP secretary-general in a statement here.

The BCC has pledged to apologise for airing paid-for programmes that were favourable to some countries, including Malaysia.

UK daily The Independent reported yesterday the BBC will apologise to an estimated 74 million people around the world for a news-fixing scandal in which it aired as documentaries programmes that had been paid for in a deal with London-based publicity firm, FBC Media.

According to The Independent, the global apology by BBC is expected to read: “A small number of programmes broadcast on BBC World News between February 2009 and July 2011 broke BBC rules aimed at protecting our editorial integrity.

“These rules ensure that programmes are free, and are seen to be free, from commercial or other outside pressures.”

Making a direct reference to the FBC documentaries, it will say: “In the case of eight other programmes, all of which featured Malaysia, we found that the production company which made the programmes appeared to have a financial relationship with the Malaysian government.

The BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee carried out an investigation into BBC World News in November and uncovered 15 breaches of editorial guidelines.

Eight of the breaches related to FBC programmes made about Malaysia due to an apparent “financial relationship” between the government and FBC Media, the TV production company.

The Independent pointed out that FBC Media made eight pieces for the BBC about Malaysia while failing to declare it was paid £17million (RM84 million) by the Malaysian government for “global strategic communications” that included positive coverage of Malaysia’s controversial palm oil industry.

The apology will be broadcast worldwide on the BBC’s World News channel to an estimated 295 million homes, 1.7 million hotel rooms, 81 cruise ships, 46 airlines and on 35 mobile phone platforms at four different times, staged in order to reach audiences in different time zones, the paper reported.

“This has also been confirmed by PM Najib Razak who last year admitted in a written parliamentary reply that the government had paid RM83.8 million to media consultancy company FBC Media for the duration of three years from 2007 for ‘consultancy services, advice and management of a communication campaign’.

“This was as part of a contract between the Prime Minister’s Office and FBC Media that was signed in 2007 and renewed twice,” added Lim today, who said that news of Malaysia’s involvement in the matter had “embarrassed” the country.

FBC Media and its parent company, FBC Group, went into administration last year — a legal term that allows a company facing bankruptcy to carry on business — following reports it accepted £17million from Putrajaya to burnish the Najib administration’s image on global broadcast networks.

FBC was set up in 1998 by award-winning US journalist Alan Friedman and other prominent media individuals who built a network of blue-chip clients that included the governments of Greece, Italy and Zambia, with contracts to promote tourism in Malaysia, Indonesia and Hungary.

FBC has been exposed to have also doubled up as a publicity firm for the Najib government and was paid millions of pounds to conduct a “global strategic communications campaign”.

But Putrajaya ended its RM96 million contract with FBC, which started in 2009, after it was revealed Malaysian government leaders regularly appeared in paid-for-TV programmes.

The Malaysian Insider has reported of PM Najib contracting a series of public relations strategists, including APCO Worldwide, to polish his personal image and his government’s locally and worldwide.

APCO’s time in Malaysia was marked by controversy after the opposition alleged the public relations firm was linked to Israel.

The most recent hire are members of the team behind former British PM Tony Blair’s “New Labour” campaign, who were reported to have started work to reinvent Najib as a moderate reformist.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Lim Guan Eng is a vexatious red-taper making meaningless demands of the coalition that can use this as an excuse to remove him from the Dewan. What good does an apology from PM Najib do for the Rakyat? Are you insulting the intelligence of the Cabinet and the voters? Who needs an apology when APARTHEID conditions are so bad, when social freedoms are not very certain?

Ask for equality instead you nepotistic parachute CM . . . in a one-man one-vote system LGE never have gotten the CM’s seat being PLACED there by his own father instead of being voted in – even against general dissent from Penang DAP (excepting Penang DAP lapdogs willing to be sidelined as per the 3rd world family/clique political party paradigm). The taxpayers and your voters did not vote you to demand MEANINGLESS apologies from the PM, we voted for MPs and Assemblymen who will help lower taxes, ease laws and end apartheid. Not ask for apologies to make yourself look good and Najib look bad. We don’t care about making Najib look bad only you do. END THE APARTHEID. To hell with this demand for this moron apology.

Guan Eng has effectively RAISED TAXES, WORSENED LAWS, and allowed APARTHEID to continue and even toyed with Hudud law while asking for special funeral funds, raises, displaced Buah Pala type residents, disallowed building on private property and worse. Being likely PAP funded AND a potential Xian-fundo alongside PAS’s own brand of fundamentalism, even the non-Xian Chinese might be in danger, much less the not-so-fundo Malays. There are votable people in DAP but the Lim and Singh dynasties, also PKR Anwar family bloc should just leave after their display of limitless terms and undemocratic nepotism. Gaddafi and sons (unless Libya takes up on my suggestion earlier on), Mubarak and sons (unless Egypt takes up on my suggestion earlier on), could do no worse, the people do not see how that coffeshop owner might be a better man for the job. Asking Najib to apologise is to give DAP face, but the voters do not need a DAP with lots of face, the voters need :

1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.

Drop both BN and Pakatan’s nepotist family blocs and vote for 3rd Force Coalition where the empty seats are : KITA, JATI, MCLM (whats left of it, but homophobes could find it a good party that has 20 candidates), PCM, Borneo Front, Konsensus Bebas, HRP/Hindraf and PSM to grant the above 3 items. Look at the below form as well and choose your candidates who will end all toll concessions and make all citizens equal.


(errata on the pic, GDP should read national average wage)

ARTICLE 3

NH Chan: I’ll call a spade a spade – Chan does not believe he was challenging the judiciary- by Debra Chong – 12th March 2010

KUALA LUMPUR — Retired judge Datuk NH Chan today denied he was challenging the judiciary, but said he would not be cowed into keeping mum on judgments which twist the law.

“I’m not challenging them but I will criticise them when they make wrong judgments,” Chan told The Malaysian Insider.

The former Court of Appeal judge was responding to a recent essay by social activist, Martin Jalleh, under the headline “Charge NH Chan for contempt or resign, CJ?”

Jalleh had questioned Chief Justice (CJ) Tun Zaki Azmi’s silence in the face of Chan’s increasingly “blistering” criticism against the Bench and dared the top judge to take legal action to protect the reputation of the judiciary.

In the article dated March 10, Jalleh wrote: “NH Chan’s comments on members of the judiciary have no doubt been bold, blunt and blistering. He has accused judges of being blind, biased and being a bunch of ‘idiots’ and ‘fools’. He has thrown the gauntlet down.

“If the CJ disagrees with NH Chan’s criticisms he should haul the former Court of Appeal judge into court and demand that the latter shows cause for why he should not be cited for contempt! Does Zaki have the guts to take up the gauntlet or will he prefer to allow the judicial circus to go on?”

Chan, 74, disagreed with the writer’s view that he was “challenging” the judiciary.

“Martin Jalleh has challenged. I personally will never challenge. I’m a person who will not do anything stupid,” the ex-judge said.

“If you put your hand in a lion’s mouth, you may think you are brave, but the lion may close its mouth. What then? You may lose your hand,” he added.

The acerbic author of two books, most recently “How to Judge the Judges”, said he has never been afraid to speak his mind and was prepared for any action the judiciary may decide to take against him.

Asked if the CJ could have him charged for contempt of court, Chan replied: “They can do what they like because they have done it before.”

But Chan vowed to continue speaking up on issues that he feels have perverted the law, drawing attention to the inconsistencies in the grounds of judgments delivered by the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal in the last two years, most notably the Perak controversy over the sacking of its mentri besar.

“I’ll call a spade a spade,” said the retiree, who now lives in Ipoh.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Try calling a apartheid political party an apartheid political party. BN has gone down that drain but not oe joker in the pack of cards has ‘called a spade a spade’. Also try calling a term limitless undemocratic nepotist party, a term limitless undemocratic nepotist party. Pakatan is going down that drain, even though APARTHEID has not ended yet.

ARTICLE 4

Flawed but Umno still protects the Malays – by Syed Jaymal Zahiid – 13 Mar 2010

KUALA LUMPUR — Loud protests and vociferous demands from right-wing groups for the nation’s largest party to ensure Malay dominance through its policies is not an indication of Umno’s failure to do so, observers noted.

The Najib Administration’s proposed New Economic Model (NEM), aimed at healing and propelling the country’s ailing economy by opening it up and abolishing subsidies, has drawn flak from Malay nationalist groups like Perkasa and the umbrella grouping Malay Consultative Council (MPM).

Perkasa, a member of MPM, is worried that the NEM will increase the monopoly of the country’s economy by the Chinese community.

But despite the glaring discontent, Perkasa president and MPM ideologue Datuk Ibrahim Ali said Umno have done well in preserving Malay interest.

“What we have today is the product of the governance of Umno and the Alliance it led,” the independent Pasir Mas MP told The Malaysian Insider.

The former Umno strongman also said it was wrong to conclude that the demands made by his group and the MPM indicate Umno’s failure to safeguard the interest of the country’s majority race.

However, opposition leaders have come to question the purpose of Perkasa and MPM’s existence.

It is a contradiction that the groups feel the necessity to make such demands but back Umno’s ability to fulfill the demands said some Pakatan Rakyat leaders.

“Just like any other party, Umno has got its strength and weaknesses but I wouldn’t look at it from that angle. Perkasa has got nothing to do with Umno. We are an NGO and we have the right to express ourselves just like other race-based NGOs,” Ibrahim said.

Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan, in defence of his party, said Umno have been doing nothing but protect Malay interest and dismissed accusations that the Malay-based party have been short on delivering the goods.

“In fact we have been over-protecting Malay interests for so long that what we do, the opposition are capitalising on the issue and use it against us,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“You can see the overwhelming presence of Malays in the public and private sectors,” he said further, adding that all this can be attributed to Umno’s blood and sweat.

But Nur Jazlan stressed that the likes of Perkasa and its “extreme demands” should not be entertained by an Umno led by a leader, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is bidding for lost non-Malay support through merit and not race-based policies.

UKM-based political scientist, Professor Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff, too believes that it was inaccurate to interpret the demands made by Perkasa and MPM as Umno’s failure to safeguard Malay interest.

“What these two have is a complementary relationship. Umno is still strong in its fight to uphold Malay interest. The sentiment is still very strong within the party,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

But the pressure coming from Perkasa said Mohammad Agus is not withstanding the intrinsic fact that it needs Umno to actualise their demands.

Hence, Umno, is now placed in a difficult spot of having manoeuvre between maintaining its core Malay base while avoiding alienating the much needed support of non-Malays.

The political scientist, however, questioned the motive and relevance of groups like Perkasa in the context of a multi-racial nation and the government’s own wish to appear moderate while being obstructed by the hawkish elements from within.

“These demands are only regressive which will only make it difficult for things to change,” he lamented.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

“Flawed *but* Umno still protects the Malays”

But?!? An apologist stance if any. Protecting any group does not absolve a political party of it’s INTOLERABLE and INNUMEROUS flaws. Protecting any group is not the job of a an unbiased political party. Protecting any group instead of citizens in disregard of faith or ethnicity is the only acceptable type of political party in the First World.

Disenfranchisement is disunifying and causes rifts within society. Lapdoggery insults entire minority demographic. A FLAWED political party that is incapable of seeing it’s wrongs has no business in government at all. PR Coalition hence has arisen and will take over where IF term limitless nepotists within the party are dropped from candidacy . . . otherwise vote for 3rd Force.

ARTICLE 5

Dump the NEP – Suflan Shamsuddin – Dump the NEP – 13th March 2010

In 1970, Bumiputras held 1.5 per cent of the country’s wealth. Today they hold 19 per cent, out of which 16 per cent is held by trust institutions and funds.

This means that over the life of the NEP, despite everything, individual Bumiputra wealth has grown from 1.5 to 3 per cent.

Hardly anything to be proud of. And what has been the costs of this meagre achievement?

Well there is of course the actual cost of making all of these opportunities available in the first place, whether in relation to business and entrepreneurship, education and scholarships, concessions, discounts, pink-slips, property ownership, etc. But that is not all.

Think of the cost to the country for retaining a feudalistic patronage based system that enlarges the socio-economic divide between rich and poor, because the former are the ones who mostly profit from this arrangement.

Think of the sickening and crippling effect that Ketuanan Melayu has had on the mentality and attitudes of many Malays who are conditioned to be dependent on crutches and to embrace short-termism, and who now struggle with issues of self-confidence and self-reliance in a challenging global market place.

What about the cost of having countless businessmen (many of whom were Malays, I might add) who have been wiped out, not by non-Malay competition, but by other Malay businessmen who so happens to have the right ‘connections’ to those in power and pedigree. What about the costs associated with having hundreds of thousands of Malay graduates who have a degree but can’t get good jobs because their qualifications have no market or industry value.

All of these things have a cost to the Malays and everyone in Malaysia.

Let’s not forget the costs associated with the fact that millions of poor and needy non-Malay Malaysians have had no effective social welfare net to rely on so that they remain in squalor. Think also of the costs associated with how disunited we as are, by splitting society into those who are ‘princes of the soil’, and those who aren’t.

We would need to add to this, the costs of having weakened and ineffective institutions of government, across all of its branches, whether it is the legislature, the judiciary or the executive. That would of course include the costs of a bloated and inefficient government beauracracy which has had to absorb countless numbers of Malay graduates that might not find employment elsewhere.

We would also need to take account of the substandard education that our children are getting, and the cost that propaganda and brainwashing has had on making Malays inept to take on the challenges to survive in a meritocratic environment.

The total costs of the NEP would also need to include the very high cost of bailouts and fixing things that have gone wrong because of misused opportunities.

What about the cost of market distortions from lost productivity and competitiveness when competing for business, talent and foreign direct investment and the consequential cost (including for example, brain drain) that follows?

And what of the cost of corruption, that is a necessary bi-product of maintaining a system that lives off of patronage? All these costs must be computed and added to the total NEP bill.

If you try to monetize the aggregate cost of the NEP (or whatever its current incarnation is called), it must run into the hundreds of billions of ringgits, if not more. The NEP has cost the country a mountain of money, and its achievements are at best shoddy and patchy, especially for the Malays themselves.

On top of that, it has created a warped sense of values that are totally inconsistent with universal and Islamic values. With depleted financial resources not being replaced, the socio-economic landscape not changing in the way it was intended, and value systems remaining warped, it is only a matter of time before we become like Zimbabwe.

And there are those who have the audacity to ask that it remains in place?

It’s time to dump the NEP. But that’s not to say that we no longer need affirmative action programmes. We do. But we need these programmes to undergo a ‘game-changing’ re-design to become much more effective.

For the sake of the Malays and everyone else. And to do this we need to take some bold changes.

Firstly, affirmative action programmes must be designed to benefit those who need such support across all races. By definition this means that those who can now stand on their own two feet to realise the opportunity being offered, regardless of what race they are, must be excluded.

But determining who needs what support must however take account, not just of how smart, how financially needy, and how hard working the person seeking such support is, but his/her background and social circumstances. The more such a person is unaccustomed to the rigours of operating in a free market, the more deserving should he be of the programme.

The more that help offered to him is likely to have a major positive impact on him and those around him, the more deserving should he be of the program.

Secondly, the programme cannot be limited to giving opportunities alone. It needs to deliver a life-transforming behavioural change. It needs the beneficiary to come away from having being given this opportunity with the willingness to embrace the challenges of an open and competitive society. This is true whether it relates to opening or building a new business, furthering his education, or sharpening his professional skills.

Finally such programmes must be run professionally, independently and free from political interference. The programmes must not be run by those who are beholden to any set of political beliefs or party system. This is because that would create an irreconcilable conflict of interest as a result of which the program will suffer from the ill effects of poor governance, as has been the case with the NEP.

By developing colour-blind affirmative action programmes along this philosophy, you immediately remove the notion that opportunities are associated with the race to which you belong, even though the bulk of the beneficiaries, given the demographics and their social condition, are likely to still be Malays anyway. A beneficiary is given this break, not because it is his right, but because he is proven to have a need, and society desires to help him meet that need, both for his own sake and for the sake of society itself.

And because of this, the beneficiary is less likely to abuse this gift.

In addition, you remove from the potential list of beneficiaries, anyone that ought to be able to get on without any crutches. By having these programmes run independently and professionally, you also stop rewarding those who are linked to a party or a leader with opportunities.

It is this group that is the biggest strain on the system. It is this group’s greed that keeps elitism and cronyism alive and kicking. We need to stop letting this lot drain the system. By doing so, all the wonton wastage can be put to better use where it is really needed.

Focus on those that are disadvantaged, and leave those who have their own means to get on to compete on their own two feet. With such a shift in emphasis, we are more likely to sustain such effective social engineering programmes over a much longer time horizon, focus on alleviating the conditions of those who are in the most need for help (the bulk of whom, as I said, will remain the Malays), whilst creating a society that is built on the sharing of common universal values of integrity, hard work, respect, tolerance, and compassion.

The only thing that is preventing the above approach from being supported and succeeding is the middle-class Malay’s fear of failure, and the voices of the ultra-Malays.

To the latter I say, we must quell them for being criminally or recklessly irresponsible and ignorant. They are the ones who are causing the Malays to remain backward. To the former I can only quote FDR’s saying, ‘The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself’.

If we can overcome this fear, then God-willing, we can deliver our own salvation and turn this country around to fulfil all of its promises, for everyone.

If you wish to contribute your ideas on how we can help develop a Malay mindset that is built on universal and Islamic values, without having to rely on any concept of Malay supremacy or dominance, or Ketuanan Melayu, or you support this objective, please join and participate in the Facebook Group Tabung Idea Mengukuh Martabat Melayu.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Great article, and a potential 3rd Force or independent candidate implying a belief in :

1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.

Just one thing though :

” . . . to those in power and *pedigree*.”

The selection of adjectives must not ally itself to confusion of intended usage, even inadvertently, or the writer’s intent becomes suspect. *Pedigree* is a word that does no justice describing what is largely base NEPOTISM and also to a lesser extent CRONYISM or at worst though the the title’s intent does speak against RACISM. This usage of the last 3 detailed adjectives is almost salutary and thus inappropriate! To reinforce this point about appropriateness of hand-me-down PMs, Ministers, MP-ships, assemblymen posts and even EXCO posts, please see the below link :

ARTICLE 6

Of Hujan and homophobia – by Hafidz Baharom – 17 Mar 2010

I’m pretty secure about my sexuality, and I hope most people by their 20s are the same.

Unfortunately, that’s never the case in Malaysia where guys can somehow get married and then find themselves a transsexual on the street, or even continue to frequent gay clubs.

Seriously, straight people, unless the gay fellow is hitting on you, who are you to judge? Just mind your own business and move on with your life. I say the same thing about adulterers, apostates, drug users and even women who have had an abortion.

But when an indie band like Hujan decides to come out at a concert stating that they don’t approve of alcohol, or allegedly telling people at a gig that they don’t like “lelaki lembut”, then we certainly have a problem.

Now I’m sure they were trying to make a statement more about themselves than about the 28 million populous, of which 10 per cent is theoretically LGBT, but honestly, take it off the record.

But then, in the 90s there was even a dikir barat telling of the dangers of AIDS and Aedes mosquitoes. I’m not even sure what the lyrics of the then music fad were. Did it contain homophobic insinuations?

It’s enough that the gay community of Malaysia gets lambasted by Utusan, Berita Harian and even the news agency Bernama passing off blogs as national news stating gay sex leads to swine flu; do we really need to have a successful indie band going around spewing homophobia?

Music shouldn’t be divisive, nor should it preach hatred for a certain race, religion or a person’s sex and sexual orientation. If such messages get into music, then perhaps we’re no longer the united people I thought we were as indie music lovers.

To all those singers, songwriters, and even indie bands in Malaysia, do you honestly think being exclusive by being homophobic, gender biased or even being spokespeople for anti-alcoholism is the way to go with your fan base?

Of course, then the argument would be whether or not I believe in the freedom of speech. I don’t. Not totally.

I don’t believe in the need for total freedom of speech in this nation until hate laws are revamped to include anti discrimination for all communities and the entirety of the Malaysian population, gay, straight, Muslim, Hindu, Malay, Chinese et cetera.

In the case of Hujan, the freedom of speech is definitely being abused not only by their Raingers that now have a license to be homophobic in support of Hujan, but their detractors and competition as well who can use it as a spin to take attention away from their talent, and instead focus on their social stances.

And Malaysians are not truly homophobic at all. I refuse to believe it.

Insofar, I honestly think Malaysians are merely apathetic about the issue. In fact, we react more to people making fun in Parliament about Fong Po Kuan’s menstruation than Ahmad Puad Zarkashi’s comment about how the Malaysian Football Team play like “pondans”.

In fact, even PKR, which is supposed to be liberal, labelled UMNO “pondans” in the Penanti by-election for not contesting.

Now if any Malaysian out there knows a homosexual, you will know that there’s only one fear most of them have and that is their family finding out about them being gay.

Other than that, they are perhaps the most confident courageous, open-minded, truthful people you will ever meet in this country. And trust me; you have never heard yourself being formally insulted until you’ve pissed off a queen.

I would like to actually see a rather camp, effeminate gay man in Parliament just to see how the MPs would address him as well as to get the ball rolling to note that the nation does in fact have a gay population.

Perhaps an elected Senator in the Dewan Negara.

I personally believe that such a day will come when it will be regarded as not so much a matter of state’s interest to persecute how people have sex, or even what people wear. And I do believe that this can only be achieved through politics.

On July 8, 2009, I actually posted a poll in The Star’s Citizen Blog just to test the waters. Would Malaysians accept a gay politician?

The results were mind boggling; 24 yes’, three no’s and two spoilt votes.

I honestly think those results speak for themselves, but since this is an English newspaper, I will not even consider it a post representing the thoughts of the masses but it’s truly a start.

However, it’s a start towards an open Malaysia that truly will represent what we are, a diverse nation where people can embrace what others truly are.

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

Non-partisanship is such a drag? But an openly LGBT Senator, especially a Malay one (watch out for Section 377 and Syariah Courts though) could help tremendously here. Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.

Freedom of religion and freedom of sexuality for Malays at the moment is non-existent if you look at laws. How about running for candidacy on an equality basis under various 3rd Force political parties Hafidz?

ARTICLE 7

Article 153 on ‘special position’ of the Malays and other natives: The way forward – written by Art Harun – Wednesday, 17 March 2010 11:12

In my article, Visiting the Malay ‘Rights’ (the Bahasa Malaysia version can be read here), I had commented on article 153 of the Federal Constitution. I stated that under its provisions, the Malays in fact do not possess any special ‘rights’.

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:

* They do not confer any rights to the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak. For example, article 153 does not state that the Malays are entitled (as a matter of rights) to 30% or 50% of scholarships disbursed by the government every year;
* 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.

In this way, there will be no need for all of us to have shouting matches, wield the keris and to ready the arena for a silat fight here and there every time there is doubt that the economic balance between the races falls short of the ideal in our country.

Malaysia has our fair share of the intelligentsia and learned economists. Dr Jomo Sundram, for example, is a senior official the United Nations secretariat. We even have our very own astronaut. We have submarines in our naval fleet. Why don’t we just employ the wisdom and expertise which we possess to resolve this matter of article 153?

Lately, the issue has raised a lot of hackles and even been distorted by those who appear to be ignorant of its provisions. The trite rhetoric daily purveyed by the mass media is bereft of academic credentials and far from factual. The cheap politicking and parochialism emanating from this rhetoric is so pungent as to be nauseating.

One of the popular assertions is that article 153 cannot be amended. This claim is, in my humble opinion, very confusing and merely reflects ignorance of the Federal Constitution.

According to article 159 of the Federal Constitution, article 153 can in fact be amended on the condition that the amendment is supported by two-thirds of the members of the Lower and Upper Houses in its second and third reading. If this support is obtained, the amendment may only take effect after it is approved by the Council of Rulers.

Therefore, if there is anyone who insists article 153 cannot be amended,  I would be glad to be proven otherwise.
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’.”

Nonetheless, the commission found it difficult to give a special preference to any single race permanently because such a special preference is contrary to the principle of equality in the eyes of the law. The Reid Commission reported:

    “We found it difficult, therefore, to reconcile the terms of reference if the protection of the special position of the Malays signified the granting of special privileges, permanently, to one community only and not to the others.

The Alliance front led by Tunku Abdul Rahman had also wanted independent Malaya to confer equal rights, privileges, and equal opportunities to all its citizens regardless of race or religion. Additionally, the Council of Rulers had hoped too that the concept of communalism would be eventually eradicated from the country’s political and economic spheres. In relation to this, the Reid Commission reported:

    “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. This is the background and rationale behind article 153 that we have with us today. The question now is whether it is true that the provisions of article 153 were meant to be maintained for perpetuity.

But what was said in the British Parliament about this? What was the wish of our Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman?

[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]

The article writer needs to read (probably has) and include the parts of the Reid Commission . . . perhaps intentionally? (. . . lets hope this is not crypto-racism . . . ) omitted. Important omitted portions of the Reid Commission left out by Art Harun below :

However, “in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease.” The Commission suggested that these provisions be revisited in 15 years, and that a report should be presented to the appropriate legislature (currently the Parliament of Malaysia) and that the “legislature should then determine either to retain or to reduce any quota or to discontinue it entirely.”

Originally there was no reference made to other indigenous peoples of Malaysia (then Malaya) such as the Orang Asli, but with the union of Malaya with Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, the Constitution was amended so as to provide similar privileges for the indigenous peoples of East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), grouping them with the Malays as Bumiputra. The scope of Article 153 is limited by Article 136, which requires that civil servants be treated impartially regardless of race. (this could well imply that civil servants and Orang Asli were supposed to have access to Special Malays Privileges in full entirety as well.)

After 15 years after 1948 and EVERY 15 years later, a review of ALL privileges was to be made. There should have been as many as 4 reviews by now, there have been none. Hence the Social Constract does not hold and as per the UNHCR Article 1 which Malaysia is a signatory of, there is no reason that Special Privileges can be continued after 4 missed reviews and 4 times the period beyond 15 years as per the Reid Commission. BN skimmed over the above facts (much like Art Harun omitted the same . . . ), and even kept the Emergency and ISA laws. Hence BN fails. BN’s minority political parties fail. That is why Pakatan (nepotism fail there), and 3rd Force are existent today.

1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy.
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution. . . . amongst other things.

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