Can Malaysia’s leaders emulate Myanmar’s political reform? — Koon Yew Yin – March 02, 2012
MARCH 2 — One of the leading papers in the region, The Nation, recently conducted an interview with Myanmar President Thein Sein’s chief political adviser, Ko Ko Hlaing. In that exclusive interview, Ko Ko Hlaing told the Bangkok paper that Myanmar’s political reform is “irreversible” because of the president’s strong will.
He stressed that the specific constitutional provision towards democracy, the Myanmar people’s taste of newfound freedom, and the need for the country to follow the international trend ensured that the reforms would have to proceed.
In the interview, he also gave an insider’s glimpse into the thinking and philosophy of the former strongman who ran of Myanmar for close to 20 years. According to him, Senior General Than Shwe, following his resignation as head of state in 2011, was not running the country from behind the scenes as commonly alleged and would not be making a comeback.
“As a Buddhist, you can understand the mentality of an elderly Buddhist. You should understand also the mind of an old soldier — which is always the desire to accomplish his mission. After the mission is accomplished, he can take a rest.
“[Than Shwe] had undertaken the responsibilities of the state for a long time, and there were many hardships, pressures and difficulties… He also laid down the conditions of democratic reform — the seven-step roadmap. He is now enjoying his retirement with his grandchildren.”
What was also striking to me was the way that Ko Ko Hlaing responded to the question of whether the military strongman was afraid to be taken to trial by a civilian government.
Ko Ko Hlaing said: “This is a Buddhist country. Forgiveness is our principle. Also, Aung San Suu Kyi and the other opposition leaders, young and old, have talked about forgiving and forgetting the past, and trying to do the best for the nation.”
It may be necessary for me to explain why I am focusing on the subject of Myanmar’s political reform road map. In a few weeks, on April 1, my own road map for Malaysia contained in my book “Malaysia: Road Map for Achieving Vision 2020” will be launched in Ipoh. The book details can be viewed at the publisher’s website shortly.
At the time that I wrote my book I did not refer to it as the Myanmar reform process was still evolving. I also did not understand the situation in Myanmar as I was an outsider with little contact with its system of government.
During the last few months, that situation has changed dramatically for me. Arising from several visits to the country and my involvement in a development-cum-philanthropic undertaking I am pursuing there, I have been in personal contact with some of Myanmar’s top leaders and have been impressed by the remarkable progress of their political reform process compared with Malaysia’s.
Now that I also have the benefit of this remarkable interview to draw upon in addition to my own personal experience in interacting with Myanmar’s leaders, I would encourage all Malaysians, especially our political leaders, including Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister Najib Razak and the opposition leaders to read carefully the interview and distil from it the lessons that are necessary for our own political reform process to have any chance of success.
To sum up, some of the lessons from Myanmar for us to follow are:
– Reform must come from both a top-down as well as a bottom-up process.
– Old leaders should give up trying to retain power or maintain influence after leaving office.
– The ruling party must abide by and not undermine the constitutional provisions to a democracy
– Media freedom and the end to censorship need to be placed in the forefront of the political reform agenda.
– Lastly and most importantly, the nation’s interests should come ahead of individual or group interest.
In Buddhist philosophy, the feeling of a separate “I” which we call ego consciousness is directly related to the strength of ignorance, greed, and hatred.
The deepest meaning of ignorance is the believing in, identifying with and clinging to the ego, which is nothing but an illusionary mental phenomenon. But because of this strong clinging to ego-consciousness, attachment/desire, anger/hatred arise and repeatedly gain strength.
This ego and self-interest manifested in the material greed and weakness of leaders needs to be conquered if our country is to survive well.
* Koon Yew Yin reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.
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Who is a leader?!? WHO DARES CLAIM LEADERSHIP OVER ANOTHER FELLOW CITIZEN?!? The ‘leader-follower’ era is over, especially for term limitless family bloc types. Equal citizens only, especially more so between races. I say, 2 TERMS only. There are no leaders. There are only administrators, who will ensure the wishes of *as many citizens as humanly possible* get what they want in a manner that does not harm any other citizen. Laws, constitution, the UNHCR, nominally religions, Zones, dristricst etc.. can be employed to ensure this.
KYY said “Lastly and most importantly, the nation’s interests should come ahead of individual or group interest.”
‘Humanly possible’ when viewed in a proposed separate district paradigm (where all preferred items of a group can be included), also including ‘all inclusive’ neutral (for everyone) district areas where all clashing items are dropped for harmony (less expression but neutral space), ANY GROUP or INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS, can be esconced in any specialised district in ANY nation.
Frankly in a single multistorey builing alone this is already even possible, i.e. grd flr NEUTRAL, flr 1 halal, flr 2 haram, flr 3 atheist, flr 4 satanist, flr 5 organics drugs, flr 6 RLD for ALL races, flr 7 RLD for specific race 1, flr 8 RLD fir specific eace 2 etc. etc.. they don’t even see each other and separate lifts could even be installed . . . to be even more separate, keep the floor between types of floors EMPTY as well), see how zoning specialised districts can even be done in a single building? Now . . . KYY’s **the nation’s interests** as reads here, hopefully is not an Orwellian/Authoritarian streak KYY is displaying.
When are you standing as a candidate for the below 3 items KYY? Or is that one Y too many . . . no harm running when you can afford it Koon (not the Koh Tsu type . . . ). Sigh, all these old folks sure as hell talk and talk (yeah you KYY!) authoritatively or otherwise hang on to the people’s mandate like hell (term limitless hell), but don’t act or use that mandate when needed and gtfo of the way for the next generation . . . people? Know which MPs to kick out yet? Nepotists, plutocrats, term limitless supremos . . . Though we are full of hope for KYY to be among the best indies in 3rd Force IF KYY doesn’t turn out to be a KY only. Run for candidacy or fund proxies KYY, otherwise end up as ‘KY’ as Ambiga who leads a Bersih 2.0 for the limelight but refuses to run for election when already aware that so few 3rd Force candidates are available . . .
20 gamblers arrested at mini casino – 03 March 2012
SHAH ALAM: Operating behind a facade of a palm oil association in Taman Selatan, Klang, police raided a week-old mini casino on Thursday night and arrested 20 gamblers.
Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah showing the gambling paraphernalia and cash seized at a mini casino in Taman Selatan, Klang, on Thursday.
They seized RM103,261 and a cheque for RM56,000 in the raid. They also confiscated various gambling paraphernalia, including chips, calculators and dice.
Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said the 19 punters and one operator had pleaded guilty at the Klang magistrate’s court yesterday and were fined RM1,000 each.
Following a tip-off on gaming activities in the area, state Anti-Vice, Gaming and Secret Society Division head Deputy Superintendent Izwan Abdul Karim led a team and raided the shophouse in Jalan Rengas at 7pm.
When the team entered the premises, they found 20 people in a gambling frenzy, betting thousands of ringgit on each round. The punters were later found to be rich businessmen and traders.
The gamblers, aged between 39 and 59, were believed to have regularly frequented the mini casino since it started operations about a week ago. They were taken back to the state police headquarters to have their statements recorded.
The 20 were charged under Section 6(1) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 at the Klang magistrate’s court.
All of them paid the fine.
This was a second mini casino busted by Selangor police this year. Two weeks ago, 15 punters and an operator were arrested in Tanjung Karang.
In that raid, police seized RM24,000 and various gambling paraphernalia as well. (Pic below : Persecution of minority right to gamble / refusal to license outlets among other things . . . )
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The aggrieved/accused Association must file a UN report citing illegal implementation of inapplicable laws in Malaysia, (alongside demands for the repatriation of fines paid, and appropriate compensation to the gamblers for exemplary damages etc..), unsuitable for non-Muslim citizens in a clearly no-Muslims allowed premises. This should start a precendent case that would easily propel any lawyer who takes on this critical issue as a Human Rights for non-Muslims in Malaysia, and Malaysian Constitutional Law expert. As there were no Muslims in the premises, and by the fact that laws on Gaming as currently stands are illegal (being discriminatory towards adult persons who are non-Muslims), and contrary to the UNHCR for non-Muslims.
The charges need to be overturned and Gaming laws amended. Also international required updates on local Malaysian laws (much like section 377B which applies only to non-Muslims tramples on the LGBT community right to sexual association) are also likely illegal in itself and could result in withdrawal of educational qualifications as well as blackballing of the the AG and Law Minister for refusing to do their job, which is to review and amend outdated or abusive laws.
If the above amendments are not done in reasonable timeframe and the case is not struck from the register with appropriate rreparations, the Law Minister and AG could be called up in a UN Tribunal, citing Human Rights Abuses in selective persecution of minorities, discrimination against non-Muslim gaming rights, as well as dereliction of Law Minister and AG’s duty to rights of local minority citizens, in this case to access a gambling venue which is not located at unreasonable distances from local city centres (there do exist gambling facilities but these are too far away to travel to reasonably, also the licensing has been selective and closed tender based, another actionable case in laws that affect minorities).
These charges being brought up are ILLEGAL as well. If the AG and Law Minister refuse to amend the laws as per Article 18 of the UNHCR, a display of vexatious refusal to update laws relevant to minority citizens, making a lawsuit is possible against the already unvotable BN Malaysian Federal Government. Malaysia needs to comply with the UNHCR otherwise the UN has a right to remove Malaysia as a signatory to the Human Rights Charter. The Selangor Miunicipality, or State Legislature, has no case against this gambling centre but has instead exposed their own wrong doing or lack of action to legalize appropriately and in an open and transparent manner.
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
Malaysia (only) has appearance of developed nation – 03 March 2012 | Last updated at 10:22PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has assumed the appearance of a developed country and the vision for its development was enunciated, stage by stage, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said, although the Malaysian vision might not be suitable for all countries, there were elements which might be adopted by all who wished to become developed nations.
“I believe that one of the reasons for the uprising against governments in the Arab countries is the failure of the governments to look after the needs of the people,” he said in his speech titled, ‘Vision in the Development of a Nation’, at the OIC member countries 3rd Think Tank Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan today.
He said the greatest need was for jobs, for getting a steady income to support a decent life, and agriculture did not create enough jobs, but industry.
“One hectare of land for agriculture may support one person but it can house a factory of 500 workers.
“That was why Malaysia opted for labour intensive industries once land was no longer available for cultivation,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said a country was not considered developed simply because per capita income was high and most of the oil producing countries were not considered to be developed.
He explained, a developed country must have a good infrastructure, an educated and well-trained work force, a large middle class and good technological and industrial capacities.
He said the quality of the work must improve all the time and be aimed at achievements of world standards as befitting a developed country.
However, Dr Mahathir said, for a poor country, the development process would take time and the vision must be within the capacity of the country at any particular period.
He said the role of a leader was crucial to the success of a vision because without his passion and drive, even though the country had the means and potential to grow, it would not grow.
The former prime minister also pointed out, having a vision for development was essential but there must also be adequate knowledge of how it needed to be implemented for the country to be developed.
Citing China as an example, he said, Mao Tse Tung’s successor, Deng Xiao Peng, although a communist was a pragmatist and wanted China to develop, making the country what it is today — the second biggest economy in the world — as compared to 20 years ago when it was a Third World country.
“Clearly, the leader of a nation plays a very crucial role in the country’s development. His decision, as to how the country should be developed, is of critical importance.
“He must have passion for it. He must personally direct the implementation of his vision. He must also be well qualified in terms of knowledge in administration, in policies to follow, in finance and commerce. He must know something about the process of development which he has decided upon,” said Dr Mahathir.
He also said the leader needed to go on the ground, to oversee work being done, to overcome obstacles and constraints and to make sure the project was properly implemented as visits by the head of government at the site of construction motivated implementers at all levels.
“His ministers must also be hands-on. Like him, they must visit and hear briefings on the progress made in the implementation of the projects.” – Bernama
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By the above inaccurate fact regarding land use, Dr.Mahathir is perhaps in league with anti-land ownership, even depopulation agenda groups has chosen to spread ‘disinfo data’. One hectare of land SUPPORTS FAR MORE THAN 1 MAN. The figures given here are extremely inefficient and probably include kickbacks or what not, and completely ignore the 70% ocean EEZ a country bordered by ocean, can also contribute food source and pelagic living space as well. Earth’s liveable ground area of 148.93 million km2 can support 30 billion if re-distributed equally ‘as is’, because of the following facts sourced from various sites on crop yields an average fertility 0.4 hectare or 1 acre produces :
;of produce yearly for high density farming methods, low density figures are less than the above. Each person eats 300-500kg of a variety of food per year. 0.4 hectare (1 acre) can in fact support from 4-40 people depending on production density, or the quality of food required.
Don’t expect anyone to be able to eat 1 solid kg of meat every day either (not counting ongoing dairy produce – a single sheep/goat produces up to 2 litres daily, a cow produces up to 15 litres daily – or 1.5 kilos of cheese daily PER animal.)
When again considered against MULTI STOREY farming with massive ‘Planter Boxes’ of 1 acre per 5 storey high floor with a depth of 20 metres each, the upper limit of population can in fact reach 300 billion . . . see below Article 4 for how wrong it is to say that an acre of land can only support 1 person . . .
How an island community uses a single tree to do almost everything, from feeding their babies to making coffins – by Andrew Marshall 5 March, 2012
The lontar palm — or “tree of life” — is crucial for the people of Roti island in southern Indonesia, who use it for food, shelter and an array of everyday products.
Rotinese-The lontar palm- sugar plants
When you hear “tree of life” you may think of that strange Brad Pitt film that thankfully did not win an Oscar this year.
But for Alexander Haninuna of Indonesia’s Roti island, the juice from what he knows as the tree of life was his first meal. When he dies, he’ll be buried in a coffin made from the wood of the same tree.
All through his life he’ll be indebted to the lontar palm that grows in his backyard for everyday products such as mats, water containers, trays for winnowing rice, fans, umbrellas, belts, knife-sheaths, thatch, cigarette papers and even bags for transporting chickens to market.
Haninuna, 50, lives on Roti, the southernmost island of the Indonesian archipelago and home to thousands of lontar palms, one of the planet’s most efficient sugar-producing trees.
Roti has suffered from surface erosion for many years, and in a great example of ecological efficiency the Rotinese have learned to utilize the tens of thousands of hardy lontar palms that are one of the few plants to flourish here.
Climbing and tapping the lontar is strictly a male activity. Boys begin by practicing on shorter palms — the trees can eventually grow to 30 meters — at an early age.
From the age of 15 if they climb and work hard, boys can win the respect of their family and community, and in particular the adoration of the opposite sex.
The treasured juice from the palm is called tuak manis, and forms a staple for the Rotinese, especially when other foods are unavailable.
Two or three trees are enough to support a family — each tree can yield 200-400 liters of juice each year for up to 35 years.
Like most Rotinese men, Haninuna is an expert climber and has been scampering up and down these trees since he was a teenager.
Because of the lontar, Roti and nearby Savu are the only islands in eastern Nusa Tenggara that do not experience lapar biasa — the annual food shortage.
1,000 uses and counting
The leaves of the lontar palm are also used to make ceremonial hats. Tuak manis is the first nutrition that a newborn Rotinese baby receives, even before its mother’s milk. And when a Rotinese dies, he or she is buried in a coffin made from the hollowed-out trunk of the palm.
Tuak manis can also be cooked to produce gula lempeng — delicious biscuits of set brown sugar.
The leaves are never wasted. Houses are re-roofed every four to five years, and the old thatch is burnt in the garden to fertilize it.
The lontar is also used to make hats called tilangga for different occasions, ranging from everyday use to celebrations.
The lontar leaf also provides the Rotinese with a unique musical instrument called the sasando; the leaf is fashioned into a hemispherical sounding board into which a copper-stringed bamboo tube is inserted, producing a harp-like sound when plucked.
When the “tree of life” finally becomes old and unproductive, the trunk, which is stronger than coconut, can be shaped into house beams, posts and rafters or hollowed out for coffins or pig-feeding troughs.
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Consider the above as well : As two or three Indonesian lontar palms are enough to support a family (throw in a coconut tree for variety and cool looking 100% organic drinks) – each tree can yield 200-400 liters of juice each year for up to 35 years.’ Now a single acre of land at high density could plant up to a 1000 trees which means that a single acre of land planted entirely with Lontar Palms could actually support 500 families (1000 to 4000 persons), this is not considering low fruit bearing shrubs and small livestock at low density (larger species of rat which could be free range, quail, chickens, cats, dogs, even goats bred for meat etc..). How could anyone say 1 acre can only support 1 person?!? And we thought Malays and Indians were agrarian types, look at article 3’s disinfo claptrap !