Kemerdekaan 50th birthday bash

The parade started as usual, at Dataran Mederka, 830 am, as soon as DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almahrum Sultan Mahmood and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahirah arrived at the usual spot. Waiting were the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his new wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, Minister-in-charge of the Kemerdekaan celebrations Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim and wife, Datin Seri Maznah.

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The Cabinet and senior Government servants wore the No.1 ceremonial dress for the joyous occasion. They undoubtedly look dashingly ceremonial and ostentatious.

 

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For the first time, top foreign envoys were present, which include HM Sultan Sir Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, President Gloria Macapagal-Aroyo of the Phillipines, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, HRH Brunei Crown Prince Al Muhtadeebillah Bolkiah, HRH Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, representing HM Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom.

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Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and wife, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali were also present. They received a loud cheer from the public for as a reception for attending the parade.

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The usual took place. The Negaraku was sung, Jalur Gemilang hoisted, pledges and the usual Merdeka day special songs were presented, along with the display of cultural and expected parade. The parade were separated in accordance to the era of administration; formative, developing, unification, modernisation and present and dedicated to the five different Prime Ministers served since 50 years ago.

For the first time veterans of independence, Force 136, anti communist terrorists insurgence which include forces from other commonwealth countries, all the ‘Emergency’ era security and police forces and Perikatan political party paraded proudly. The addition of these ‘freedom fighters’ in the parade was undoubtedly an honour for their sacrifice, service and labour of love for this country, of which the fruits we now enjoy.

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Malaysians from all walks of life were there to celebrate proudly the nation’s 50th birthday bash. Foreign tourists were also there. Some planned their visit/holiday to attend this landmark celebrations.

This year’s celebrations started at the stroke of midnite, last night where “Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka” was proclaimed by the Prime Minister, followed by Negaraku and his usual speech. At least 50,000 people were at the Dataran Merdeka vicinity to enjoy the 50th Malaysia birthday bash where cultural shows, laser-light show and an ‘explosive’ fireworks display.

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To all who had sacrificed, served and contributed immensely all these 50 years, we would like to express our utmost sincere gratitude and appreciation. Its now up to the rest of us to make all of these sacrifice, service and labour of love invested, work.

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Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ke 50, Keranamu Malaysia and Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka!

*Photos are taken from Minaq-Jinggo photopages and The Star online

Published in: on August 31, 2007 at 17:30  Leave a Comment  

Perjuangan belum selesai

Perjuangan Belum Selesai

Sesungguhnya tidak ada yang lebih menyayat hati
Dari melihat bangsaku dijajah
Tidak ada yang lebih menyedihkan
dari membiarkan bangsaku dihina
Air mata tiada ertinya
Sejarah silam tiada maknanya
Sekiranya bangsa tercinta terpinggir
Dipersenda dan dilupakan

Bukan kecil langkah wira bangsa
Para pejuang kemerdekaan
Bagi menegakkan kemuliaan
Dan darjat bangsa
Selangkah bererti mara
Mengharung sejuta dugaan
Biarkan bertatih
asalkan langkah itu yakin dan cermat
bagi memastikan negara
merdeka dan bangsa terpelihara
air mata sengsara
mengiringi setiap langkah bapa-bapa kita

Tugas kita bukan kecil
Kerana mengisi kemerdekaan
Rupanya lebih sukar dari bermandi
Keringat dan darah menuntutnya
Lagi pula apalah ertinya kemerdekaan
Kalau bangsaku asyik mengia
Dan menidakkan,
Mengangguk dan membenarkan,
Kerana sekalipun bangganya negara
kerana makmur dan mewahnya
bangsaku masih melata
dan meminta-minta di negaranya sendiri

Bukan kecil tugas kita
Meneruskan perjuangan kemerdekaan kita
Kerana rupanya selain memerdekakan,
Mengisi kemerdekaan jauh lebih sengsara

Bangsaku bukan kecil hati dan jiwanya
Bukankah sejak zaman berzaman
Mereka menjadi pelaut, pengembara
Malah penakluk terkemuka?
Bukankah mereka sudah mengembangkan sayap
Menjadi pedagang dan peniaga
Selain menjadi ulama dan ilmuwan terbilang?
Bukankah bangsaku pernah mengharung
Samudera menjajah dunia yang tak dikenal
Bukankah mereka pernah menjadi
wira serantau
Yang tidak mengenal erti takut dan kematian?

Tugas kita belum selesai rupanya
Bagi memartabat dan memuliakan bangsa
kerana hanya bangsa yang berjaya
akan sentiasa dihormati
Rupanya masih jauh dan berliku jalan kita
Bukan sekadar memerdeka dan mengisinya
tetapi mengangkat darjat dan kemuliaan
buat selama-lamanya
Hari ini, jalan ini pasti semakin berliku
Kerana masa depan belum menjanjikan syurga
Bagi mereka yang lemah dan mudah kecewa

Perjuangan kita belum selesai
Kerana hanya yang cekal dan tabah
Dapat membina mercu tanda
Bangsanya yang berjaya.

- Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (Malam Puisi Utusan, 4 Mei 1996)

Inilah sajak yang dinukil dan deklimasikan oleh mantan Perdana Menteri dan Presiden UMNO, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad di Malam Puisi Utusan, 4 Mei 1996. Sajak ini membawa erti yang amat bermakna dan mendalam sebagai pesanan seorang negarawan unggul kepada kita, generasi dan pewaris Negara, agar tidak alpa kerana begitu banyak perlu dibuat dan bereskan, dalam proses mengisi dan menentukan Kemerdekaan, dalam erti kata sebenar dikekalkan.

Sajak ini telah dilagukan pada tahun 2000, diterbitkan oleh Dato’ Wah Idris dan dinyanyikan oleh Nora.

Sempena Sambutan 50 tahun Kemerdekaan besok, disini ingin dibawa semua mengimbau kembali kejayaan Negara, menjadi tuanrumah Sukan Commonwealth XVI 11-21 September 1998, meletakan nama Malaysia sebagai negara Asia pertama menganjurkan sukan berprestij itu dan dipersada antarabangsa, sebagaimana disampaikan dalam lagu thema Sukom ’98, “Standing in the eyes of the world“, ditulis oleh Dato’ Wah Idris dan David Gates dan dinyanyikan oleh Ella.

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 03:02  Comments (5)  

Malaysia’s axis mysteriously shifting

This is an interesting article about Malaysian foreign policy. Taken from Asia Times online:

Malaysia‘s axis mysteriously shifting
By Ioannis Gatsiounis

KUALA LUMPUR – When Abdullah Badawi became Malaysia‘s prime minister in 2003, many thought the mild-mannered leader would take a more moderate approach to international relations than his prickly predecessor Mahathir Mohamad, who often locked diplomatic horns with the United States and other Western countries.

But a string of scandals and crimes with international dimensions, some even linked to Abdullah’s family members, have put his
government’s relations with
Washington on an uncomfortable footing.

US authorities last month arrested and charged Pakistani national Jilani Humayun for his alleged role in shipping contraband military goods to Malaysia, from where they were re-exported to Iran. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit money-laundering and mail fraud. The sensitive dual-use hardware, which was funneled through an as yet unnamed Malaysian company, included parts for F-5 and F-14 fighter jets and Chinook helicopters.

In April the US imposed sanctions on 14 companies, individuals and government agencies it accused of dealing in advanced weapon technology with Iran or Syria. Two of the companies listed were Malaysian, the Challenger Corp and Target Airfreight.

Moreover, a federal jury in New York last year convicted Singaporean businessman Ernest Koh Chong Tek of smuggling dual-use US military parts to Malaysia for transshipment to Iran’s military – a violation of the 1995 embargo the US placed on all exports and re-exports of commodities to Iran without approval by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control. He was also charged with laundering millions of dollars through his Singapore bank accounts in the smuggling scheme.

The US and Iran are currently at diplomatic loggerheads over Tehran’s nuclear program, and Washington has frequently accused Iran’s military of arming radical Muslim militias in the Middle East, including the Lebanon-based Hezbollah as well as Iraqi insurgents who have targeted US troops. However, at least on the surface, bilateral relations with Malaysia remain cordial.

US officials who spoke with Asia Times Online would not comment on the investigations involving Malaysia on the grounds that they involve sensitive intelligence information. And so far there is no evidence to link recent violations of the US embargo directly to Abdullah. Yet security analysts say the recent incidents have put the crucial bilateral relationship on edge.

“I am absolutely sure that the US is watching these developments closely and pressing hard on Malaysia behind the scenes,” said Tim Huxley of the Singapore-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.

The US is Malaysia‘s largest foreign investor, and the two sides are negotiating a wide-ranging free-trade agreement. Kuala Lumpur relies heavily on the United States‘ military presence to maintain the region’s balance of power, particularly vis-a-vis its heavily armed neighbor Singapore. At the same time, Malaysia has been a key ally to the US administration’s “global war on terror” in the region.

Malaysia needs the US and doesn’t want to do anything that will tilt the US toward Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia,” said Richard Bitzinger, a security specialist at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “Both sides will be willing to accept some [security] deficiencies, if they remain at low levels.”

Family matters
Yet the recent security lapses have been traced to the highest echelons of Malaysia’s business and political elite, raising questions about Abdullah’s underlying foreign-policy objectives. There are still huge question marks surrounding the 2004 proliferation case involving Scomi, a company owned by Abdullah’s son Kamaluddin, which was allegedly involved in supplying dual-use technology to
Libya‘s clandestine nuclear-weapons program.

Buhary Syed Abu Tahir, a Sri Lankan national with Malaysian permanent residency, sat with Kamaluddin on the board of Scomi-linked company Kaspadu. Buhary negotiated the controversial contract, which had Scomi Precision Engineering build components for centrifuges that were destined for use in Libya‘s nuclear program. Scomi Group had since acknowledged that its subsidiary Scomi Precision filled a contract negotiated by Buhary to supply machine parts to Libya.

Documents obtained by the Associated Press reveal that Buhary was the chief financial officer of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan’s underground nuclear-proliferation network. How he was able to forge such high-powered alliances with Malaysia‘s political elite is a question that remains unanswered. When the scandal broke, Abdullah said Tahir would remain free because there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Months later, in May 2004, Buhary was arrested under Malaysia‘s Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows indefinite detention without trial. Opposition leaders at the time accused Abdullah of detaining Tahir under the ISA rather than pursuing standard criminal procedures lest Kamaluddin be implicated. Now, Buhary’s whereabouts are unclear.

Amir Izyanias, assistant secretary of the government-sanctioned Human Rights Commission, says his staff made contact with Buhary on July 23 at Malaysia‘s Kemunting Prison, where many ISA detainees are held. However, an official with the Department of Islamic Development said Buhary is not on his list of detainees.
This all comes on top of the 2005 independent inquiry into the United Nations oil-for-food scandal in
Iraq, which cleared Abdullah of involvement but implicated two of his relatives. Abdullah’s sister-in-law Noor Asia Mahmood and her ex-husband Faek Amad Sareef were found to have paid US$10 million through their Mastek company, one of the largest payments among the the more than 2,200 companies implicated in the scandal.

The Iraq Survey Group, which the US set up to investigate weapons in Iraq, listed “Abdullah Badawi” on its names of recipients of the oil-for-food scam though did not clarify whether this was Malaysia’s prime minister. Abdullah has admitted to helping Malaysian business people to take part in the UN oil-for-food program, but said at the time the accusations surfaced that he was not personally involved. He has said he merely wrote letters supporting their bid in the program, but thereafter didn’t follow up what happened to their bids.

Diversified diplomacy
None of these scandals, of course, were necessarily state-sanctioned. Yet they have notably come at a time when
Malaysia‘s governing elite has shown resistance to democratic reform, clean governance and cultural pluralism, while strengthening ties with non-democratic states like Iran, Sudan and Russia.

It’s apparently all part of a larger foreign-policy shift, which Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said in May would help Malaysia “avoid being too dependent on one particular segment” of the
global economy – read by some as a reference to the US, which currently receives nearly 16% of Malaysia’s exports.

Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin this month attempted to silence an opposition leader by labeling him “a puppet of the United States and the Jews”. Meanwhile, Abdullah’s information chief and other ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) elites have recently moved to intimidate bloggers and Web portals for exposing high-level government corruption. Malaysia‘s courts, meanwhile, have recently handed down hardline Islamic legal interpretations by denying several Muslims the right to change their religion.

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid recently dismissed a US State Department report that cited Malaysia‘s “failure to show satisfactory progress in combating trafficking in persons”. Elsewhere Syed has said that Malaysia and Iran hold “identical views” on a range of global issues, including Iran‘s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program.

Kuala Lumpur is also playing a key role in integrating Iran into the Asian economy at a time Washington is attempting to isolate that country economically. Last year Syed Hamid urged member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference, in line with Iran‘s policy, to consider sending weapons to Hezbollah.

To be sure, it could all be politics as usual. Amid Malaysia‘s ethnic- and religious-tinged political landscape, UMNO politicians are wont to pander to Muslim sentiment, while cooperating with the US and West behind the scenes. Even as former strongman Mahathir blustered on about US-led neo-colonialism and protecting Malaysia‘s national sovereignty, he simultaneously forged close military ties with the US.

For instance, the two sides in 1994 signed an acquisitions and cross-servicing agreement that allows US Navy ships to visit Malaysian ports for repair and replenishment. The contract was most recently renewed in 2005, during Abdullah’s tenure. Each year, US Special Forces train at Malaysia‘s jungle-warfare school, and bilateral military-to-military cooperation is growing rather than diminishing. And the administration of US President George W Bush has generally applauded Malaysia‘s security and counter-terrorism efforts.

Muted complaints
Nevertheless, some quarters are growing more wary of
Malaysia‘s geopolitical role.

“The UK has become more circumspect of dealing with Malaysian leadership,” said Alexander Neill, head of the Asia Security Program at the London-based Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies. He said in particular the recent zealously Islamic statements by senior Malaysian leaders “are problematic to a counter-terrorism policy”.

There are other geopolitical differences. For instance, while the US and other Western governments fret about the unfolding genocide in Sudan, Malaysia has recently invested heavily in the regime’s petroleum resources. Abdullah also cemented military and energy ties with Russia during a visit there in June, according to Foreign Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Ahmad Shabery Cheek. Some have suggested that that overture could be designed to counterbalance the close economic and military ties the US shares with Malaysian neighbor and rival Singapore. Ahmad has denied that Malaysia is in any way becoming a proxy for Russian influence in the Southeast Asian region.

While the US aims to build an international consensus in dissuading Iran from pursuing a nuclear-weapons program, Malaysia has recently strengthened ties to the Islamic Republic, including recent negotiations toward a $16 billion oil deal. Malaysia is also constructing a $7 billion oil pipeline that will traverse the north of Malaysia, which industry analysts say will help Tehran deliver more oil to East Asia. The National Iranian Oil Co reportedly has a 30% stake in the joint-venture project, though the Malaysian government has failed to disclose specific details of the deal.

Those opaque dealings have predictably caused a stir in Washington. James Keith, the US ambassador-designate to Malaysia, who is to begin his posting in Kuala Lumpur next month, said at his Senate confirmation hearing in May that he would “emphasize that we are vigorously opposed to business as usual with Iran“.

He also said investment ties “offer great promise for further development” and that while he would work to nurture them, as well as military and security cooperation, he stressed, “It will be critical … for my country team and for me to speak forthrightly about our commitment to fundamental values, including those enunciated in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

US security and embassy officials here declined to comment on how the recent string of security lapses involving Malaysia have affected bilateral relations and what steps if any are being taken to prevent future misunderstandings. The two sides last year signed a treaty on mutual legal assistance covering a broad range of criminal matters, including evidence and witness sharing, though it’s still unclear whether the pact has actually been ratified by Malaysia.

But that doesn’t resolve the fact that US fighter-aircraft parts are, according to Koh during a secretly recorded conversation revealed in a US Justice Department press release, were regularly exported to Malaysia en route to Iran. Security analysts say one reason arms proliferators may gravitate toward Malaysia is that it does not have a comprehensive and specific law on export controls. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “Malaysia lists only ‘radioactive and nuclear material, substances and irradiating apparatus’ for controls, and not dual-use items.”

Malaysia does not have any verification system in place to ensure that exported goods are used for their stated end use or truly sent to their listed end users. Officials with the Malaysian police, Defense Ministry, Internal Security Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and International Trade Ministry did not respond to Asia Times Online’s requests to discuss how the government is acting to address these regulatory loopholes. Yet until they are closed, US-Malaysian relations will continue to be tinged with mutual suspicion.

Ioannis Gatsiounis, a New York native, is a Kuala Lumpur-based writer.

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Malaysia’s foreign policy showed significant shift at the ASEAN Head of Government Summit, Kuala Lumpur, November 2005 when as the host nation, Kuala Lumpur lead the pressure for Myanmar’s ‘democratization’ process. This is against the principle of ‘non-inteference on domestic affairs’ upheld by ASEAN members and Malaysia was a founding member for the grouping.

This move is very much in ‘flavour’ with the West, especially United States and United Kingdom, which have been pushing for Myanmar’s ’democratization’ so that a pro-West leader can be elected and open their resource rich closed economy for US and British firms to explore and exploit. It will be another ‘re-colonization via economy’.

Strangely, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was a Foreign Minister for eight years during the premiership of Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the latter was known for a staunch anti-West ‘re-colonization’ and protector of the ASEAN principles.

Singapore is the other pro-Myanmar ‘democratization’ promoter and very well known as a US ally in the region.

All of these are often related with the arrest of Bukhary Syed Abu Tahir for the export of centrifuge for nuclear weapons, as per reported by BBC when PM Abdullah denied and BBC in February 2004.

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It was also popularly believed that the issues about BSA Tahir and Scomi was a major item discussed when PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hastily met with President George W. Bush at the Malaysian Embassy in New York, September 2006, just after relinquishing the Chairmanship of the Non Aligned Movement in Havana, Cuba. Moreover, after the CEO and several senior executives of Mitutoyo Corp. were arrested by Tokyo Police on 26 August 2006, as reported here, here and here, for the sale of precision equipment to Scomi Precision Engineering (SCOPE) Sdn. Bhd. in connection of the centrifuge manufacturing and export.

Published in: on August 29, 2007 at 04:50  Comments (3)  

Najib Razak membelakangkan Laporan Razak

Timbalan Perdana Menteri yang juga Timbalan Presiden UMNO Dato’ Seri Mohamed Najib Tun Razak hari ini mengesahkan bahawa sukatan pelajaran sekolah aliran Cina merupakan sebahagian dari integrasi pembangunan pendidikan Malaysia dan semua rakyat Malaysia mempunyai hak untuk menerima pendidikan berkualiti. Beliau membuat pengesahan ini selepas menerima Anugerah Pusat Emas (Pendidik) Antarabangsa ABE-Edward De Bono 2007 dalam satu majlis anjuran ABE diMandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur malam ini.

Bernama online membuat laporan berikut.

Semasa berkata demikian, beliau menerima tepukan gemuruh dari tetamu yang hadir, yang rata rata 70% terdiri dari golongan masyarakat dan persatuan persatuan perniagaan Cina dalam majlis yang dianjurkan oleh AJK Dato’ Seri Azim Zabidi, Bendahari Agung UMNO. Jelas sekali pengumuman seperti ini memang ditunggu tunggu oleh masyarakat Cina Malaysia yang majoritinya begitu tegar memperjuang dan pertahankan hak golongan minoriti keturunan bangsa Asia Timur ini keatas pendidikan aliran Mandarin.

Kewajaran Kerajaan majoriti Melayu ter’main’ kedalam sentimen isu ini amat diragui. Ramai percaya, agenda integrasi nasional perlu bermula seawal peringkat sekolah rendah. Dengan adanya peluang mudah begitu ramai anak anak keturunan Cina keatas pendidikan aliran Cina, maka mereka diperingkat awal lagi sudah dilatih untuk ‘terasing’ dari kumpulan etnik lain, terutama anak anak keturunan Melayu, yang juga majoriti penduduk Malaysia. Sekolah, terutama peringkat terawal merupakan medan paling baik untuk memupuk semangat muhibbah antara kaum dan membiasakan kanak kanak belajar, bermain dan bertoleransi dikalangan masyarakat majmuk Malaysia moden.

Alangkah malangnya apabila Kerajaan sekarang meng’iya’kan kewujudan pendidikan aliran Cina yang sepatutnya dikurangkan secara berperingkat dan masyarakat Malaysia bergerak kearah sistem pendidikan kebangsaan, sebagaimana yang digariskan melalui Laporan Razak 1956, Laporan Rahman Talib 1960 dan seluruh Ordinan Pelajaran 1957 dan Akta Pelajaran 1961.

Yang nayatanya, dikawasan urban dan suburban, kemudahan pendidikan aliran Cina makin pesat bertambah dan aktivis aktivis Cina seperti Dong Zhong begitu tegas dan tegar memperjuangkan pendidikan aliran Cina ini, atas alasan ‘mempertahankan’ kebudayaan Cina dikalangan masyarakat Tiong Hua Malaysia.

Sebaliknya, dengan pengesahan dan pengumuman ini, Dato’ Seri Najib menguatkan lagi hujah hujah perjuangan aktivis Dong Zhong ini dan dalam masa yang sama, membelakangkan Laporan Razak, yang menegaskan kepetingan mewujudkan sistem pendidikan satu aliran peringkat kebangsaan untuk semua warga, tanpa mengira kumpulan etnik dan bahasa ibunda. Ini untuk menjamin agenda integrasi nasional terpelihara dan generasi masyarakat majmuk Malaysia biasa tinggal bersama dan mempunyai kefahaman dan toleransi yang tinggi dan mendalam antara satu sama lain. Ini penting untuk mewujudkan ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ yang harmonis dan bergerak seiring tanpa sebarang prasangka dan sifat kecurigaan.

Pengumunan ini sememangnya akan mendapat reaksi negatif dari NGO Melayu seperti GPMS dan GAPENA, yang sepanjang hujung minggu baru ini menganjurkan debat tertutup 50 jam tanpa henti bertajuk “sembang sembang kopi-o”, yang dianjurkan bersama KEKWA mengenai isu isu yang melibatkan orang orang Melayu, termasuk pendidikan. Anak seorang pemimpin agung Perjuangan, yang sendiri sedang dalam proses untuk menjadi pemimpin utama membelakangkan perkara yang ayahanda sendiri perjuangkan, untuk kebaikan Negara.

Bukanlah agenda integrasi nasional merupakan usaha berstruktur dan sistematik Negara menghakis dan menghalang pembangunan budaya dan perkembangan bahasa kumpulan etnik Bukan Melayu diMalaysia dan memberikan ruang untuk cemuhan dan tuduhan ‘perkauman’ dipolitik dan lemparkan secara mudah oleh pihak pihak tertentu, terutama perjuangan politik cauvinisma. Perjuangan cauvinisma pro-pendidikan aliran Cina ini juga menolak konsep ‘sekolah wawasan’, sebagai penyelesaian ‘jalan tengah’. Namun ada agenda strategik yang lebih besar terlalu perlu diutamakan agar generasi Malaysia akan datang berada dalam keadaan harmonis, aman dan bersatu sebagai warga jitu dan berintegrasi rapat dan kemas.

Jika diperhalusi bagaimana negara negara lain, terutama yang maju di Barat yang mengamalkan sistem pendidikan satu aliran, kumpulan etnik minoriti masih lagi mampu mengekalkan ciri ciri kebudayaan, bahasa ibunda dan agama mereka melalui program program kelas hujung minggu @ Sunday school. Masyarakat Melayu keluarga TLDM yang berkhidmat begitu lama dalam projek kapalselam diCherbourg dan Brest, Perancis semenjak 2003 juga mengamalkan cara yang sama untuk mengekalkan ciri ciri Melayu-Islam mereka. Oleh itu, memang ada penyelesaian lain tanpa pihak pihak yang cuba menangguk diair keruh dalam isu isu melibatkan kebudayaan, bahasa ibunda dan ugama sesuatu kumpulan ethnik mempolitikan dan menjadikan ianya sebagai sentimen berbaur perkauman yang akan hanya mengeruhkan perasaan pra-sangka dan kecurigaan antara kaum etnik diMalaysia ini.

Apakah atmosfera politik sekarang begitu meruncing sehinggakan pemimpin politik Melayu sanggup kompromi keatas isu yang sebelum ini menjadi asas kepada penghalang kejayaan integrasi nasional dan berusaha keras memenangi hati pengundi pengundi keturunan Cina? Apa akan jadi kepada generasi Malaysia akan datang apabila kanak kanak pelbagai keturunan etnik sejak amat muda lagi mereka tidak dibiasakan untuk bergaul, bermain, belajar bersama sama dan menghilangkan perasaan pra-sangka dan kecurigaan antara sesama mereka? Sejauh mana kejayaan masyarakat majmuk pelbagai etnik ini akan berkesan memacu Malaysia ketahap lebih tinggi lagi sekiranya mereka gagal ‘bersatu’?

Tepuk dada, tanya selera!

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 04:59  Comments (5)  

All-Blogs logo is up

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The official National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs) logo is now up. It is in commemoration of the dedication of the Blog-house on Saturday, 25 August 2007.

The address is 66, Lorong Setiabistari 2, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur. All bloggers are welcomed.

Published in: on August 27, 2007 at 11:04  Comments (1)  

“Bangsa Malaysia” forum at Blog-house dedication

Lawyer cum blogger Haris Ibrahim, through his “People’s Parliament” organized a private forum on “Bangsa Malaysia” at newly furnished and operational Blog-house in Damansara Heights this evening. It was in commemoration of the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Kemerdekaan and National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs) also launched their clubhouse, “The Blog-house” at the corner of Lorong Setiabistari 2.

Almost fifty people pre-registered online but seventy six turned up. The speakers at the forum were ‘warga-emas’ citizen Bernard Khoo, a retired teacher-turned-trainer and now a socio-political blogger, YB Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim, a well known corporate lawyer and UMNO MP for Kota Bahru, Ahirudin “Rocky” Attan, bloggo-journo All-Blogs protem President and founder, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, another wellknown lawyer and also a blogger, Azmi Shahrom, a hippie UM law academician and Jayanath Appadurai. Haris Ibrahim chaired the session which started a little after five. Coincidentally or by design, majority of the panelists are lawyers.

During Rocky’s session, he asked six volunteers to read from national laureate Dato’ Usman Awang’s unpublished work about “Untuk Malaya Merdeka“, dated 1949. He ‘volunteered’ Girl-Girl and she read the fifth portion of the short story reading specially selected for this bloggosphere historical occasion.

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At the end of the forum session few minutes before eight, Haris managed to outline and define the characteristics of “Bangsa Malaysia”, after a lengthy broad definition and some out-of-context comments on the subject matter by the floor.

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When the forum ended, All Blogs launched the Blog-house. Rocky gave a short speech and several presentation followed there on, which included two songs by Amin Black, the singing blogger, I recited a poem by national laureate Dato’ Usman Awang on Kemerdekaan (flavour of the season) titled “Tanah Air (Menjelang Kemerdekaan)” and Azmi Sharom strung the guitar and sang some Dylan hippie era and his own numbers.

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Haris came out to present a political awareness movement called “PELITAR” based on the First Prime Minister Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra’s transpired aspirations and values.

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Of course there were zestful singing of the national anthem Negaraku (definitely not the Namewee version!) and everyone pledged the Rukunegara in full spirit. Everything ended at eleven.

It was a good evening indeed, to see and meet up with so many bloggers, notable usual suspects and new ones. Girl-Girl has her own view on this evening, something which she enjoyed.

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*Bangsa Malaysia poster shot is courtesy of photo-bloggo-journo, TV Smith

 

 

 

Published in: on August 26, 2007 at 03:46  Comments (28)  

Sambutan 50 tahun Kemerdekaan KEPUNDEK dicemari kronisma

Sambutan 50 tahun Kemerdekaan adalah satu musim perayaan yang seharusnya mesti dibanggakan untuk Malaysia dan seluruh rakyatnya. Ini kerana sambutan ini memperingati Malaysia dimerdekakan dari penjajahan British pada 31 Ogos 1957, atas usaha Ketua Menteri Malaya ketika itu, Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra dan para Pejuang Bangsa dan Kemerdekaan meraih kejayaan. Namun begitu, sambutan ini tidak mepunyai erti kepada Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan dan Korperasi (KEPUNDEK) kerana dicemari budaya kronisma.

Baru baru ini, satu arahan telah dikeluarkan oleh Pejabat Menteri KEPUNDEK bertarikh 15 Mei 2007 diberikan keseluruhan kontrak penghiasan dan pengindahan semua bangunan bangunan utama bagi kesemua agensi dibawah KEPUNDEK kepada sebuah syarikat sahaja, iaitu Amar Sinar Sdn. Bhd.

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Menurut carian di Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, syarikat Amar Sinar Sdn. Bhd. (No. pendaftaran SSM: 208891-V) ini beralamat di: 40M Kompleks Selayang, Baru 8 ½ Jalan Ipoh-Rawang, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor. Pengarah pengarahnya ialah Dato’ Seri Dr. Yuhyi Azizan, 46 dan Shazlina Hussain, 43. Syarikat ini didaftarkan sebagai pembekal barangan dan komponen elektrikal. Saham dibenarkan ialah 5 juta saham dan 4.8 juta diterbitkan dan dibayar penuh. Pemegang pemegang sahamnya ialah Dato’ Seri Yuhyi Azizan 3 840 000 saham dan Shazlina Hussain 960 000 saham.

Semua agensi agensi dibawah KEPUNDEK dekehendaki menyediakan bajet RM 120 000.00 untuk sesebuah bangunan dalam kontrak penghiasan dan pengindahan sempena Sambutan 50 tahun Kemerdekaan ini. Amat Sinar Sdn. Bhd. baru baru ini juga dapat kontrak membekalkan buku teks untuk Maktab Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) berjumlah RM 3 juta.

Awal Januari lepas, Dato’ Seri Dr. Yuhyi Azizan yang berkongsi dengan Pengarah Urusan Wella, Wong Ting Hock berjaya mendapatkan kontrak untuk melatih pelajar Pusat Giat MARA dalam dandanan rambut. Dr. Yuhyi juga baru baru ini memajukan satu cadangan agar semua pelajar tajaan/pinjaman MARA di insurankan dan syarikat beliau menjadi pengurus eksklusif skima insuran tersebut.

Sungguh tidak wajar semua peluang perniagaan bagi seluruh kementerian seperti KEPUNDEK sebegini dikurnia kepada satu syarikat sahaja. Ini kerana KEPUNDEK diujudkan untuk membangunkan usahawan, terutama Bumiputra dan membanyakan usahawan dengan menagih agihkan kontrak yang ujud untuk seberapa banyak pembekal berbeza sepatutnya sebahagian dari program ‘pembangunan usahawan’ dan membesarkan kommuniti usahawan dikalangan Bumiputra.

Sebelum ini, Menteri KEPUNDEK Dato’ Mohd. Khaled Nordin juga memberi arahan agar kesemua program penyelengaraan bangunan bangunan dibawah MARA dikurniakan secara pukal kepada anak syarikat Johor Corp., TMR Urusharta Sdn. Bhd., walaupun proses tender yang dijalankan belum pun selesai. Ini dipercayai kerana Khaled sedang kuat melobi agar diberikan peluang sebagai Menteri Besar Johor dipusingan akan datang dan sedang berusaha ‘memenangi hati’ orang orang Johor, sebagai langkah awal ‘memasang badan’.

Khaled pernah dikaitkan dengan syarikat pembinaan TRC Bhd. dalam “Shar 101’s scoop on TRC” dan “KING IN WAITING” kerana penglibatan dan hubungan rapat beliau dengan syarikat tersebut sebelum dilantik kedalam pentadbiran Kerajaan. Untuk rekod, TRC Bhd. mendapat kontrak membina MRSM dalam peruntukan RMK 9.

Amat malang apabila seorang Menteri UMNO yang dipertanggung jawabkan membangunan usahawan, terutama dari golongan Bumiputra mengunakan kuasa dan pengaruh dikementerian sendiri untuk menguatkan kedudukan peribadi dan bukan membangunkan orang orang Melayu yang beliau wakili.

Sesungguhnya amalan kronisma ini amat tidak bersesuaian dan bercanggah, malah sebenarnya mencemari semangat Sambutan 50 Kemerdekaan.

Published in: on August 24, 2007 at 14:26  Comments (15)  

No need for ‘Bangsa Malaysia’!

That is what was written in the The Sun today, page 6. This call was made at the Merdeka Dialogue, “Whither Bangsa Malaysia”, organized by DAP yesterday.

This is contrary what calls made by Haris Ibrahim and Tony Yew, as first highlighted by Rocky. Rocky has his own ideas to define Bangsa Malaysia. After attending a recital of the late national laureate Dato’ Usman Awang’s unpublished works, there was a poem about “Bangsa Malaya” dated 1949 which inspired Rocky to work towards this.

So what now guys?

Published in: on August 20, 2007 at 15:53  Comments (6)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir admitted in IJN for check ups

PRESS STATEMENT

Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad has been admitted to the Institut Jantung Negara (IJN – National Heart Institute) for a routine check-up.

Dr Mahathir had undergone coronary artery bypass operation in 1989 and has since undergone routine periodic check ups.

He was admitted last night (Aug 18, 2007) and is expected to be discharged tomorrow (Aug 20, 2007) after completing a set of comprehensive cardiac investigations.


Issued by;

Sufi Yusoff

Office of YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

(sufi71@gmail.com)

 

*An update as of noon, Monday 20 August 2007. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was discharged by IJN after his admission on Saturday for check ups have been completed.

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Published in: on August 19, 2007 at 21:52  Comments (2)  

Never enough of Lat!

Last Wednesday, in anticipation of the school holidays which started Friday evening, I took Girl-Girl to Borders bookstore, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara. We went Lat hunting and bought her RM 200.00 worth of Dato’ Mohd. Nor Khalid’s previous works.

It’s my effort to help her understand some of the heritage and snapshots of an average Malaysian life. Being Malaysian, is the flavour of this 50th Merdeka celebrations, which was launched by the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last night.

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So can’t help herself and our home is filed with her laughter every now and then since this ‘Lat build up’. Of course I had to guide to most of what Lat drew because most of them are issues at that very moment which affected average Malaysians. Issues include how Malaysians behave overseas, taken in stride through its witty sarcasm and cynicism.

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On Friday, my father was admitted to Damansara Hospital for minor chest pains and he had to do the angiogram again, after nine years. So she brought her entire collection of Lat and that cheered my old man, in his mixed feelings of fear and worry.

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Father was a former Civil Servant, who retired optionally to start his own business, just before the “super bull run” of early 90s. So he went through most of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s pre-Vision 2020 announcement administration and policies for economic development. He assumed directorship of a Federal Government agency a month before Dr. Mahathir sworn into office, 17 July 1981. Therefore, reading Lat brought back a lot of bitter and sweet memories for him. Now, both are retired. There is one special edition dedicated for Dr. Mahathir, a compilation of caricatures about him called “Dr. Who?!“.

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Of course the Oppositions were not spared.

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Visiting foreign monarchs on official capacity were neither spared.

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I hope Girl-Girl learn more about Malaysia and the people from Lat. I know I did. When my father bought my first Lat in 1977, I learned a lot of new things as a nine year old boy. Horse racing, general elections, political satire and a newspaper cartoonist in training in London. Then there was “The Kampung Boy“, during when he grew up in his tin mining village near Batu Gajah, Perak and his adolescence years in Ipoh captured in “The Town Boy“.

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He first started in NST as a junior crime reporter and in 1974, his cartoon artistry talents were accidentally discovered. Soon enough, Tan Sri A Samad Ismail made him the resident cartoonist/caricaturist and he became an instant hit. The rest is history. His works are very popular, even in neighbouring Singapore and translated into other languages.

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I am utterly convinced Dato’ Mohd. Nor Khalid should be honoured for colouring the lives of an average English speaking Malaysian for over the last thirty years. His contributions to bring Malaysians closer together are immense.

Thank you Dato’.

 

*An update as of Tuesday, 21 August 2007. It seemed that Girl-Girl did her own posting on Lat.

Published in: on August 19, 2007 at 20:35  Comments (3)  
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