Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dr Mahathir – A Malay Icon and a Leader of Malaysia

WE would like to apologise to our readers for the lapse in coming out with a new posting. However, due to unavoidable circumstances we will try to come out with one as often as possible.

For this posting we focus on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the man who once was labelled the ultra-Malay, and yet whose 22 years of administration had brought prosperity to the nation and its people beyond racial and religious lines. If at all, it was those who had labelled him ultra-Malay, who benefited most from his policies.

Today, for his “frankness”, Dr Mahathir is once again labelled racist, and mostly by the same people who had benefited from his premiership, aided by Malay apologists.

THE rousing welcome accorded Dr Mahathir when he attended the Perkasa gathering in Pasir Mas, Kelantan on Saturday, Sept 25, 2010, should provide enough reason for racists and Malay apologists in the country to start foaming in their mouths.

While they froth, they may want to take a few steps back and re-assess their position for the foam extricated from their mouths may be wrongly interpreted as due to seizure and not that of anger.

Firstly, the Malays and Bumiputeras, and the non-Malays next, must understand why the racist and chauvinist elements as well as the Malay apologists have been incessantly targeting Dr Mahathir.

They accuse Dr Mahathir of being racist. What is their basis for such an accusation?

For supporting Perkasa? For speaking up for the Malays? For speaking out against racist elements such as Dong Jiao Zhong, Suqiu, Hindraf and the likes?

Or is it because what he says is true and he says it as it is with no apologies attached?
Let’s look at Dr Mahathir as being a Malay first above everything else.

Trace his track record since he came into the political limelight. Had he not been a Malay nationalist (though it is popularly referred to as being racist nowadays) throughout?

The question is, is being a Malay nationalist equal to being a racist?

When he took over the Prime Ministership, his policies were pro-Malay/Bumiputera, intended to boost their confidence.

A specific example is the Proton national car project. It is targeted as a holistic project for the Malays/Bumiputeras in breaking their mindset of being doomed to hold on to their traditional domain of being civil servants and tilling the land.

It was not by chance that the automotive industry was targeted. Cars were social status or status symbol to the Malays/Bumiputeras.

What better way to rally the community out of their mental shackles other than “attacking” the status symbol.

With young Malays/Bumiputeras making cars and selling them, their association with the status symbol had been re-defined, from being consumers to producers – elevating the community’s status as a whole and reducing the awe towards the symbol itself.

Similarly in Dr Mahathir’s other ventures and policies – “Buy British Last”, the pre-dawn raid of the London stock exchange (though Khalid Ibrahim would claim that he was the architect behind the move forgetting that without Dr Mahathir the idea would be stillborn. Let’s see Khalid try something like that now that he is the Selangor Mentri Besar. The last heard about his leadership is anything to be proud about) and even taking back Bukit Carcosa from the British High Commission – all were aimed at liberating the Malays/Bumiputeras from their subservience and inferiority.

These traits of Dr Mahathir’s administration were persistent throughout his 22 years of Prime Ministership.

The tallest building, the largest airport, the iconic administrative centre in Putrajaya and the F1 circuit were superstructures symbolising the birth of a new civilisation.

No doubt there have been many so-called Malay thinkers and opposition leaders who had dismissed these projects as waste of public funds and not contributing to the mental growth of the community.

They then should be reminded that all civilisations are structurally linked – the Pyramids, the Hanging Garden of Babylon, Borobudur and Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building and the list goes on and on.

And for those who profess that they are Muslim first and Malay last, the Kaabah is the iconic structure associated with Mecca, the kiblat where Muslims point their prayer to five times a day, and a place tat is compulsory for every Muslim who can afford it to go at least once in their lifetime.

To the very last days of his premiership, Dr Mahathir did not stop in his efforts to prove that the Malay/Bumiputeras were not lacking, were equal and as capable as the rest of the world.

His taking on the currency traders and coming up with the capital controls to overcome the financial crisis at that time epitomises the courage and leadership of a Malay/Bumiputera who was not going to be intimidated or subservient to the Western bullies.

It was unheard of any Malay/Bumiputera leader who had stood up as tall and probably more equal than equal to the Western world. For that matter, it was unheard of any Asian or Arab leader taking on the Westerners at their own game.

The non-Malays would probably by now ask what is in it for them as citizens of Malaysia while Dr Mahathir was busy trying to empower and boost the confidence of the Malays/Bumiputeras.

The attention to the Malay/Bumiputera plight are actually an admittance of the race lagging behind the non-Malays.

In short there is nothing superior or dominant about an ethnicity which has to depend on specific policies to encourage and spur them in their socio-economic standing.

While these were being pursued by Dr Mahathir, the non-Malays were never sidelined, made partners and on most occasions to take the lead in spearheading the economic opportunities heaped upon the Malay/Bumiputera.

Prior to 1997, the economic cake was enlarged and all the races prospered, more so the Chinese.

Even when the economy suffered setbacks due to the financial crisis, the non-Malays, especially the Chinese continued to strongly back Dr Mahathir, if not from altruistic affinity, definitely for the trust in his capability to help them to continue to prosper.

The non-Malays showed this by rallying behind Dr Mahathir and Barisan Nasional in the 1999 general election ensuring they retained their two-thirds majority.

As pointed out it is doubtful that the non-Malays rallied behind Dr Mahathir purely because of their affinity for him. More than anything, they supported him because they believed his policies will prosper them and as they indeed had since he took over in 1981.

 The non-Malay support enjoyed by Dr Mahathir during his reign was an affirmation of the community towards his leadership and his policies.

To put it simply, they did not find his policies racist despite the emphasis on the Malay/Bumiputera interests.

The non-Malays were more than happy to live under such arrangement as they prospered beyond what their forefathers could imagine or dreamt of achieving even in their countries of origin.

It was achieved in a country which contemporary history named at its birth as the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu.

Next - Part Two: Dismantling the Mahathir Legacy – Deeds of Mediocre Leadership and Racist Politicians.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MALAY FIRST - Being Malaysian is a given!

IN our last posting, this blog discussed how Umno’s Nazri Aziz and Khairy Jamaluddin had been attacking Perkasa to get at Dr Mahathir.

Awang Selamat in Mingguan Malaysia on Sunday had taken on Nazri calling him anti-Dr Mahathir.

Awang’s disgruntlement with Nazri stems from the latter’s accusation that the daily was bent on promoting Dr Mahathir’s return as Prime Minister (which is totally absurd to say the least, but not surprising coming from someone whom we had said was not really a thinker).

Awang was spot on in his defence of Perkasa and its supremo, Ibrahim Ali.
Questioning Nazri’s role when the Malays were being “attacked”, Awang says Umno must never forget that it was Perkasa and Ibrahim that went around the country defending Umno and the Malays.

Awang went on to say that lately, Nazri had taken a soft approach in dealing with the opposition, perhaps for not wanting to be a target of criticism or because he had wanted to “play safe”. This Awang claims, makes Nazri a comfortable man for the opposition to deal with.

Uncannily, the same approach was taken by Zaid Ibrahim when he was an Umno Minister in the BN Government not too long ago. He ended up resigning and joining the opposition saying his position became untenable because the BN had ignored his pursuits of his ideals and principles.

Not only did he found out that there is nothing principled about the opposition, those who knew Zaid was surprised at his preparedness to “abandon” his benefactor, the clueless Abdullah Badawi. By and large Zaid’s act is an act of backstabbing and of an ingrate but no one knows what the principled Zaid would describe his act to be.

But we wouldn’t dwell on that now, perhaps in a later posting.

We are more interested in what Nazri’s game is. Is it to follow the former Minister’s way? Awang Selamat says he is playing safe.

Yesterday Nazri replied to Awang Selamat, curiously, through a particular news portal that seems very much bent on bashing the Utusan and Malays.

“And yes I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?” Was Nazri’s closing salvo.

Yes, I believe many Malays have a problem with that. Does being Malay first make them bigots?

Lest Nazri understands the constitution, the Malays (and later on added with Bumiputera following the inception of Malaysia) are specifically mentioned to define the nature of the new nation.

It was meant to establish the fact that then Malaya and Malaysia is a nation formed on the basis of Malay being the main and majority race, the national culture and language is Malay and that the Rulers of the country (the Sultans, Raja and Agong) are Malays.

It is not about racial supremacy. It is about the concept of the ownership of the land (even though today many non Malays owned large tracts of land in the country). Hence it is called Malay-a or today Malay-sia and not anything else denoting some Chineseness or Indianness.

That is the context; all Malays are Malay first and Malaysian second. While the non-Malays may want to debate about who were the migrants and who were not, the underlying factor is that the Malays did not have to apply for citizenship while the non-Malays did.

In other words, in so far as Malays in Malaysia are concerned, they need not have to prove that they are Malaysians. Being a Malay means that being Malaysian is a given.

But it is not so for the migrants then as they have to prove themselves to be Malaysian first before they can obtain they citizenship.

If they had insisted that they are Chinese, Indian or English or any other race first, then they will not be accorded the Malaysian citizenship.

So for any Malay to want to be Malaysian first and not Malay first meant that he is ignorant of the manner the country is incepted and the nature the constitution was promulgated.

If he considers the Malays who opposed his statement of being Malaysian first and Malay next as bigot, Nazri is obviously exposing his ignorance or a case of gray matter deficient.

Bigotry is about intolerance about other races or creed. How can it be bigotry if Malays are trying to ensure their continued relevance vis-a-vis the constitution?

Obviously Nazri is a contradiction of his existence. While he does not think twice about rallying Malay support (His constituency in Padang Rengas is about 73% Malay) for his existence as a parliamentarian, he himself does not believe in promoting Malay leadership.

Being Malay it seems is just a convenient excuse for him where and when it benefits him.

It is clear then that Nazri’s ideals is much more aligned to the DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia, a stand he clearly defines and declares in his open letter and, as expected was immediately  embraced by none other than Lim Kit Siang (although Nazri says Kit Siang is not his Boss).

If he had gone to the extent of declaring he was Muslim first, even Nik Aziz would embrace him!

And for Nazri to say that those who declare themselves Malay first are bigots? I guess then that includes his Boss Najib and deputy Muhyiddin.

Oh yes, before we close this, Nazri says his aim is to win the Padang Rengas Parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional whether he contests as candidate or otherwise.

We really would like to see Nazri go out and openly declare to the 73% Malay of the roughly 25,000 voters there that he is not Malay first. We are not quite sure if he did that the last three elections.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


TO Nazri and Khairy  it was easy to pick on Dr Mahathir. After all he is  already the target of the racists and chauvinists in the PKR/DAP unholy union.

Schizophrenic PAS supporters may also target Dr Mahathir but of late it had been quite lame because the accusations of him being anti-Islam does not hold much water given their spiritual leader Nik Aziz’s pronouncements which were unquestionably un-Islamic.   

And so Nazri and Khairy, riding on the PKR-DAP chauvinism, attempted to portray themselves as being “liberal” Malays.

And what better way to do this than join the opposition and other racist elements in attacking Perkasa. They are aware that by attacking Perkasa, they are getting to Dr Mahathir.

Nazri and Khairy do not care if Dr Mahathir was the target of the PKR/DAP condemnation because they feared his courage to stand up and expose their racist and chauvinistic views guised behind liberalism and multi-racialism.

Neither do they care that Perkasa is probably the only body articulating Malay fears, uncertainties and bewilderment over tnon-Malay racist and anti-Islam overtones.

But for the Umno leadership to condone Khairy and Nazri’s attempts to sever ties with Perkasa is obviously a reflection of the party’s state of affairs.

If the leadership of Umno had reflected on the months leading to the 2008 general election, they would be aware that Perkasa is a manifestation of the disgust felt by many Malays towards Umno then.

For that matter, adding to this disgust is why is it that Umno is so keen to denounce Perkasa when the MCA were never pressured to denounce the chauvinistic Suqiu or Dong Ziao Zhong or the MIC to condemn the militant and racist Hindraf.

It is a matter of fact that the MCA and of course the chauvinist DAP, use the demands made by Chinese chauvinist groups to pressure the Government to accede to them, hoping along the way to eventually become the eventual champion of the Chinese community.

As proven at the recent Chinese Economic Congress, MCA’s president Chua Soi Lek unabashedly said that his party had to fight for the community which supports it.

If a similar thing had been said by Perkasa, the Chinese would have been frothing at the mouth with accusations of racism.

Similarly with the MIC – when Hindraf came to the fore, instead of denouncing Hindraf for its racist utterances towards the Malays and Islam – it championed their cause.

Yet, the likes of Khairy and Nazri were not prepared to take these people up, obviously without the courage nor ability to deal with the manipulative and racist non-Malay groups.

In many ways, Umno should be glad that Perkasa is there to fight for the Malays and Bumiputeras and it is perceived to have the blessings of Umno.

To many Malays out there, Perkasa is taking up what Umno couldn’t do because it has to observe the Barisan Nasional concept.

Many Malays who are pro-Umno but had abandoned the party in 2008, are now supporting Umno again via Perkasa.

Umno should have let Perkasa be and should have continued to be silent if it can’t support it.
The Umno leadership should put the likes of Khairy and Nazri on a leash (if it is not capable to send them to the pound) in so far as dealing with Perkasa.

They should be the last person to speak about Perkasa or Dr Mahathir. In fact, they should not be allowed to speak on behalf of Umno. They have done enough damage.

But for Umno and Najib, they have to realise that they are losing the Malay ground. And it may be worse than that suffered by Abdullah. And if Najib and Umno think that they will gain any non-Malay votes by denouncing Perkasa, they are very, very wrong.

And Perkasa could have been the very antidote for Umno to regain the lost Malay ground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UMNO'S WOLVES IN SHEEPS' CLOTHING...and they are not from Perkasa - Part 1

IT is incredulous that some Umno leaders chose to denounce Perkasa when the very act could be the final nail to the party’s coffin.

And it is even more baffling that Umno president Datuk Seri Najib has chosen to be quite evasive on the issue. And indirectly allows his underlings to commit the act.

However, scratch the surface a little, the protagonists, Khairy Jamaluddin and Nazri Aziz, the mystery of such stupidity is unravelled.

The others, Tengku Adnan Mansor and Khaled Nordin are merely echoes, really, people of no consequence.

Is their target Perkasa? No. It is actually Tun Dr Mahathir, the one and only leader who had publicly thrown his weight and support to the Malay-based organisation.

Why the need to attack Dr Mahathir? Well, the answer is obvious – Dr Mahathir has the knack to irritate the little Napoleons in Umno who had forgotten their role of in the struggle for “Agama, Bangsa dan Negara”.

Surely one cannot forget how nasty Nazri was when Dr Mahathir publicly condemned his successor Pak Lah for failing to defend the fort and instead slacken to turn the party and the Government into his kingdom.

Nazri, being not much of a thinker makes up this handicap by being rabidly loyal and fearless when facing the enemies of his master and he proved just that under Pak Lah’s rule by viciously attacking Dr Mahathir.

Nazri was so uncouth, causing many Malays to abandon Umno, out of disgust at the attitude of their so-called “leaders”.

Of late, Nazri has shown he is not comfortable with pro-Malay stance and to a certain degree, have fallen into the PKR liberal Malay mould. In short, he is another Zaid Ibrahim in the making.

It would not be surprising if he chooses the same path as Zaid if he can’t get his way with Umno or when Umno had outlived its usefulness for him.

On the part of Khairy, there is no mystery of his hatred for Dr Mahathir.

Wet behind the ears, very ambitious and thinks very highly of himself, Khairy saw his dream of becoming the Prime Minister on a fast track dashed when his ticket, father-in-law Pak Lah, was ungraciously dumped by the voters in the 2008 elections.

And Dr Mahathir due to his incessant criticisms was blamed as contributing much to Pak Lah’s downfall.

Lacking in wisdom, Khairy, instead of doing some soul searching, took the obvious route of blaming Dr Mahathir for the unravelling of his dream.

If he had a little more to his grey matter other than depending on his Oxford credentials, Khairy would have revisited the political landscape pre-2008 and discover that he had single handedly destroyed Pak Lah’s reputation.

Of course he was aided by “able destructive elements” in the likes of Kalimullah Hassan and Nazri to ensure the affinity felt by Malaysians towards Pak Lah as shown in the 2004 general election, blown to smithereens.

Much as he is ambitious, Khairy is vindictive and the two traits he possesses makes him dangerous and reckless.

In denial, Khairy and Nazri took the “blame others but yourself” route. This resulted in the attack on Perkasa. However, in their gullibility, they fail to realise that many Umno members and supporters are in Perkasa because they found it too nauseating to be in Umno alongside the duo.

Tomorrow....Part 2