Tuesday, April 30, 2013

LIBEL

This article appeared in the New Straits Times of April 28, 2013


1. The DAP’s Kit Siang has learnt a lot from Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR leader. When unable to counter a critic, silence him by threatening to take libel action in court if the statement is not withdrawn. A long drawn hearing in the court with many postponements, will relieve Kit Siang from having to answer his critic.

2. Now he wants to sue me for calling him a racist. I have been called a racist and an ultra hundreds of times. I never sued anyone. I am a politician and ours is a democratic nation. I believe in free speech. If my political opponents call me names, I can reply or I can do something to prove them wrong.

3. I was called a Malay ultra when I became the Deputy Prime Minister. Yet in the 1999 Elections the Malays did not support me. It was Chinese votes which gave me a two-thirds majority. Incidentally Kit Siang and Karpal Singh, the loudest in calling me a Malay racist, lost in that election.

4. I reiterate that Kit Siang is racist when using the Malaysian Malaysia slogan and calling for meritocracy.

5. In blog.limkitsiang.com an article by Lee Hwa Beng states “This shows MCA won mainly in mixed seats where there are fewer Chinese voters while it lost in the Chinese majority seats.

6. One can deduce therefore, that the MCA won with the support of Malay rather than Chinese votes.” It is all about race and it belies the claim that race and religion are no longer issues in Malaysian politics.

7. The conclusion of the writer is that the DAP won only where the Chinese are in the majority.

8. The MCA is not racial because it is supported by Chinese, Malays and Indians. If the DAP does not play on its Chineseness, it cannot win. That is why Kit Siang chooses Gelang Patah where 53% of the voters are Chinese. By contesting there, Ghani is going to prove that Johore Chinese care for the friendship with the Malays. This was so in the past, when the Barisan Nastional won in that constituency, when Johore scored 100% victories.

9. Kit Siang’s article claims that Gelang Patah is a microcosm of Malaysian society, because it has 53% Chinese, 33% Malay and 12% Indian. Does this really represent a microcosm of Malaysian society? Gelang Patah is in fact not even the norm in Johore, much less in Malaysia. If he had said it is a microcosm of the urban society, I would agree, certainly not the racial mix and distribution in Malaysia.

10. In another of blog.limkitsiang.com article by Sakmongkol, the heading speaks for itself.

11. It says “Lim’s return to Johore emboldens the Chinese.”

12. Again the emphasis is on race, the Chineseness of Gelang Patah which causes Kit Siang to choose Gelang Patah. The writer went on to say that “We (Kit Siang is DAP”) have a chance to wipe out the MCA (a Chinese party which believes in kongsi with other races of the Barisan Nasional). Further it averred that the DAP does so to replace the MCA as the party of choice for the Chinese. Again the emphasis is racial, on the choice of the Chinese alone and not on Malaysians. MCA is pictured as the lackey of the Malays. What is the DAP going to be in Pakatan, the kingmaker, the master. In Malaysia no one race can rule this multiracial country, by proxy or otherwise.

13. Further on it says, “Kit Siang’s return to Johore is giving meaning and purpose to the Malaysian Chinese.”

14. What about other Malaysians? Don’t they count? Aren’t they deserving of a share in the power and the wealth of this multiracial nation?

15. In everything written about Kit Siang, there will always be reference to Chinese racial issues. Malay issues such as their poverty, their need to be more involved in the economy of the country, merit no analysis and support from Kit Siang.

16. That is why I called him a racist. I will not be intimidated by his threat to sue me. I know it is cheap for him. When Anwar lost in his RM100 million suit against me, he had only to pay cost of RM70,000. Had I lost I may be bankrupted.

17. Karpal knows this very well and knows about delays in court proceedings. The prospect of silencing me must look very attractive and politically smart. But I will not be silenced. If politicians fear being painted in their true colour, then take up some less challenging jobs.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

THE POLITICS OF RACE

This article appeared in the New Straits Times of April 25, 2013


1. In Malaysia there is not a single political party which can claim to be truly multiracial. All of them are strongly dominated by one race or another.

2. The only party which is nearest to being multi-racial is the National Front. Although it is a coalition of parties but it functions as a single party with every race in Malaysia represented equally in its central council irrespective of the size of the component. In addition the component parties all use the same symbol during elections.

3. Its policies are accepted by all the component parties, unlike the Pakatan where each party has its own objectives and policies. The BN has a distinct leader acknowledged by every party and the Governments it forms have Ministers and Deputy Ministers from all the component parties.

4. There are other symbols of the unity of the Barisan Nasional such as the BN song and BN manifestoes.

5. Although the original coalition is between race-based parties as are some who joined later, a number are non-racial constitutionally.

6. The original coalition was enlarged when parties from Sabah and Sarawak joined it upon the formation of Malaysia. It is noteworthy that the PAP of Singapore did not join the coalition.

7. After the riots of 1969 opposition parties such as Gerakan, SUPP of Sarawak, PPP of Perak and even PAS joined the coalition. PAS later left the BN. At one time the BN had 14 parties representing every race and tribe in Malaysia.

8. Obviously it was difficult to get every party to accept all the policies or objectives of the coalition all the time. PAS and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) left because of disagreement with the decisions made by the centre. Still a majority of the parties stayed with the coalition, and continued cooperating in the Governments and during elections.

9. The basis of this cooperation is the principle of sharing; of give and take and of a willingness to sacrifice and concede so as to stay together. This willingness to sacrifice and to share is what makes the BN unique.

10. In the BN no party is able to get all that it considers its entitlement. Consequently no party is absolutely happy with the BN. This is good because all have to make some sacrifice.

11. If any party in the coalition is absolutely happy then one can be sure that something is wrong, that that party has not made the required sacrifice.

12. By the same token as the parties in the coalition represent the different races or tribes, then under BN rule no race will be completely satisfied. It is here that the opposition finds a chink in the BN armour. They will point out and play up the dissatisfaction of the particular race, completely ignoring the sacrifices made by the other races.

13. The attack by the opposition parties is usually racist in character, trying to shame the component racial party for not demanding and getting everything for their race. That each race must make some sacrifice so as to keep the coalition viable is ignored.

14. They also ignore the balanced provisions in the Federal Constitution. When Malay is made the national language, the other languages can be spoken and used except in official documents. When Islam is made the State religion, the constitution provides for the other religions to be practised freely.

15. The so-called Malay privileges are balanced by privileges given to the other races to retain their cultures and languages and use their own languages as medium of instructions in state-supported schools. This has never been found in other countries, developed or developing. In all these countries only the national language is official and is the medium of instruction in schools and in universities. In fact in a neighbouring country with a largely Chinese population, Chinese language schools and universities were disallowed. So this support for non-national languages and schools constitute a privilege not accorded by any other country in the world.

16. In the affairs of the BN, the willingness to share and sacrifice has enabled it to keep the many parties representing the different races together for more than half a century. The racial riot in 1969 convinced many that the coalition would break up. Some even suggested that the Malays would seize power and install a totalitarian Government. But instead the Malays and other members of the Alliance invited all the opposition parties regardless of race or principles to join the new coalition named the Barisan Nasional or National Front. This new and bigger coalition went on to win every federal election with good majorities and was able to maintain peace and stability and develop the country beyond the dream of most Malaysians.

17. Although the BN stayed in power at the national level, it lost many Parliamentary state seats to the opposition. The 2008 Election saw five states falling into opposition hands. Had the BN cheated at elections this would not be the result. As we all know in totalitarian states, the Government party invariably won 99 per cent of the seats every time. This has never happened in Malaysian elections.

18. It is clear that in Malaysia, even though multi-racial parties cannot truly be formed, but multiracial cooperation through a coalition of race-based parties is possible, viable and sustainable. In fact the opposition finally decided to copy the BN formula. However, the cooperation among the opposition partners does not amount to a true coalition. It is only meant to avoid their parties from contesting against each other during elections. The parties retain their identities and their symbols. There is no common platform or objectives. The cooperation is friable and indeed in the present elections they are not able to avoid contesting against each other. Should the opposition Pakatan win, the Government they form would not be stable and would be incapable of deciding on the numerous unpopular policies and laws that a Government is expected to adopt or enact.

19. For as long as the different races in Malaysia insist on their identification with the different countries they came from, a non-racial party cannot be viable or accepted in Malaysia. The BN pre-election coalition model is the only sustainable model until such time when the different races identify themselves completely and exclusively with Malaysia.

20. Looking at the many countries in the world where democracy has brought only divisiveness and violence Malaysia is lucky to have found a formula for the different races to work together, to be stable and to achieve remarkable progress.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

GELANG PATAH

1. Kit Siang is going to contest in Gelang Patah.

2. Why Gelang Patah?

3. Obviously it is because Gelang Patah has a Chinese majority.

4. Obviously Kit Siang is going to play on Chinese sentiments.

5. Johore has been an Alliance/Barisan Nasional stronghold ever since independence. The three races there have been supporting each other in elections. They do not have strong racist feelings.

6. But Kit Siang is going to bring about conflict and antagonism between the races, to wage the Chinese to dislike and hate the Malays.

7. The slogan of the DAP is Malaysian Malaysia, a slogan used by the PAP in the 1964 General Elections. The slogan implies that Malaysia did not belong to all Malaysians equally. It belongs to the Malays.

8. The PAP intended to get the Chinese not to co-operate with the Malays, to end the Sino-Malay “ kongsi” of the Tunku in the Alliance Party.

9. Kongsi means not taking all our entitlements for ourselves but sacrificing some so others may get their share.

10. The PAP rejected this “kongsi” principle demanding that everything be based on merit. When Singapore left Malaysia the DAP, the PAP Trojan horse, took up the Malaysian Malaysia slogan. The intention was to draw away Chinese support from the MCA and abandon the kongsi concept with UMNO and the Malays. The meritocracy promoted by the DAP will mean diminishing opportunities for the Malays in education and in business. This will result in the Malays becoming less and less qualified and poorer. Meritocracy is not about sharing but about the winners taking all.

11. When Kit Siang decided to contest in Chinese majority Gelang Patah it is because he wanted the Chinese there and in Johor to reject working together and sharing with the Malays.

12. An unhealthy racial confrontation would replace Sino-Malay cooperation which has made Malaysia stable and prosperous. That cooperation will end when Kit Siang wins Gelang Patah. Even if there will not be violent clashes as seen in many countries where people are divided by race or religion, but confrontation between the three major races in Malaysia will be disruptive and will not be conducive to the development of Malaysia.

13. For this reason the decision of Kit Siang to contest in Gelang Patah will be the focus of the 13th General Election in this country.

14. Will the DAP end Malay-Chinese friendship and cooperation in Johor or will “kongsi” remain the bases of race relations in Johor and in Malaysia?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LAHAD DATU

1. I visited Lahad Datu on March 17, to see the members of our security forces and get a short briefing as to what was happening.

2. I was surprised to learn that the Felda palm oil plantation there is as big as the state of Melaka. There is a good-sized port at Lahad Datu equipped with modern cranes. I had expected to see forests there but the whole area has been opened up and Felda settlers live in large houses built by them. They are obviously well-off.

3. The security boys are in good spirit and seem prepared to do their duty despite the real danger of their being killed or wounded by the Kiram terrorists.

4. The situation there is very complex. The Felda settlers are Malaysian citizens of many tribal origins including Suluk. But there are also non-citizen Suluk living in the villages in the area.

5. The non-citizens seem to have been allowed to cultivate oil palms. However, at least one of them was very aggressive and insisted that he owned the part of the Felda estate next to his. Apparently, he collected the fruits and sold them for high profits as the palm oil prices were very high. Nobody dared to take any action against him.

6. There were quite a lot of non-citizen Suluks living in the area and many of them seem to have relations in the Philippines. They seem to move in and out of Sabah freely. Some apparently cooperated with the terrorists, probably sheltering them and keeping weapons for them. It is most likely that the weapons for the terrorists had been smuggled in earlier and stored in the “water-village” which dot the Sabah coast.

7. It is noted that for some time now there were no police, immigration or customs personnel stationed in these water villages. It is easy for boats to come in and leave without any official knowing their movements. In any case the water-villages have rickety gangways of narrow planks, laid over loosely on trestles. The dwellings are very close together, making it very difficult to observe the whereabouts of the villagers. It is really dangerous for the police to enter the water villages as they could be shot from the houses abutting the narrow walkways or from underneath them.

8. In any plan for securing the area, the water villages have to be demolished and the people settled on land. Apart from posing security risks, they are a source of rubbish and they use the water underneath as their toilet. Often when the tide is low, the mud underneath is exposed, with all the filth and rubbish that had been thrown into the sea.

9. Children bathe in the water around the water-villages and they must be exposed to all kinds of water-borne diseases.

10. These water villages may be picturesque but they are an anachronism. It is time they are removed and the people settled in proper villages on land. As for the people living there, if they qualify they should be allowed to apply for Malaysian citizenship. Non-citizens should be sent back to their countries.

11. In the meantime the security situation have to be tightened. It will cost money but it will be money well spent. Armed incursions into Sabah must be stopped completely. There must be a thorough search for weapons of all kinds including the parang. The security of the people must be the responsibility of the police. This is not America where people have to carry guns to protect themselves.

12. I must pay tribute to the security forces for their dedication and steadfastness in carrying out their duty. Whatever the shortcomings, the Malaysian Police are still the guardians of the safety of Malaysians.

13. My condolences to the families of those who died in the line of duty. I thank also those who are wounded and those who put their lives at risk so we may live in peace and security.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

SUBANG

1. I was sad when Subang International airport was replaced by the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. I landed at Subang in a Government jet and saw the place deserted and quiet. No aircrafts were parked, taxiing, taking off or landing. Subang was a busy place from 1964 to 1998. But after the opening of KLIA at Sepang, Subang seemed to have been abandoned.

2. That was 1998. I despaired that it would ever be busy again; that it would regain its place as a major airport.

3. Well, it hasn’t. But Subang did not close down completely. Today Subang is once again busy. Today Subang is actually expanding.

4. New hangars are being built. The old Terminal 2 has been rebuilt to cater to the needs of Firefly’s turboprops and other local airlines. Two Fixed Based Operators, the Skypark and D’Nest handle a large number of private jets.

5. Airod, the former Aircraft Ordinance Depot of the RMAF, now operated as a private Company, accommodates a large number of passenger jets, which are serviced there. The old MAS engineering facilities are as busy as ever. MAS still do their engineering and servicing in the huge hangars there.

6. Foreign manufacturers of helicopters such as Eurocopter as well as Cessna general aviation have servicing and engineering facilities in Subang. Asian airlines often send their passenger jets for servicing by Malaysian aerospace companies.

7. New hangars and facilities are being built, necessitating expansion into the surrounding land. “Spirit” a well-known American composite manufacturer has a huge facility which will manufacture parts for the latest Boeing passenger jets.

8. Clearly a lot of investments are going into the reactivating of Subang. It reflects the growth of the aerospace industries in Malaysia, which contributes toward Malaysia’s economic growth.

9. On the north side of the runway the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base has been joined by the newly established Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. The new service operates fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters including two Bombardier fire-fighting amphibian aircrafts.

10. Malaysia’s economic growth is real. Only the blind and the deaf will maintain that it is not real.
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