Monday, January 7, 2008

A Better Malaysia?

Best wishes to everyone for 2008 and an apology for having done something (I am still not sure what that was) that did not allow for comments on 'Lost In Transition'. That was not by choice (was traveling and using various internet cafes etc). I was very interested to hear your thoughts on the subject and still am. For those of you who wish to do so, and did not publish your comments on the other postings (as some did), I would invite you to publish your comments here.

Still on the same theme, I think it would be safe to say that all Malaysians want a better Malaysia. This aspiration cuts across racial, religious, cultural and political boundaries.

Many are concerned at the direction this country is taking, or not taking. There are different views on why this is so. All however, to varying degrees, recognise that something has to be done, be it reform or total change.

As I said in my earlier postings, the question of change or reform is one with potentially tremendous ramifications. For many, the fear of the consequences (real, as opposed to imaginary) is a factor that weighs heavily on them. Change is difficult, even at the easiest of times.

Having said that, the majority of Malaysians want to be assured that they will not have to suffer in relative poverty, that they will be able to get decent jobs and enjoy a reasonable quality of life, and, perhaps most importantly of all, that with hard work they will be able to secure a better future for their children. My sense is that many of us are not sure that this basic, and legitimate, aspiration is achievable.

From that perspective, I would like to pose a question to the opposition directly: Given a chance to make things better, what would you do? As importantly, how would you do this?

Similarly, I would ask those from the Government, or who allign with the Government, to offer their views on whether there is a need to reform or make things better and if not, how are Malaysians to view events and develop a sense of security.

I commit to carrying any responses on this blog.

MIS


18 comments:

jhimsi said...

Dear Malik,

You forgot about religious freedom.

About 40% fear the coming onslaught of Islamic Laws in Malaysia and the effects it would have on them.

Saravanan said...

Religious freedome is a good change, but personally i think it would take a lot of pushing and showing from certain groups of people to actually bring the awareness to the public and better yet make them "CARE" about it to actually initiate the chain of events, thus enabling change to take place.
I think, both the public and private sector should ablish the needs to ask questions that touch topics like "Ethnicity", "Religion" and "Sex" when applying for a job, school, or even for a loan from the bank. These sort of "Classifications" are the very basis/roots that causes someone to judge a person according to their race, religion or ethnicity. Job and School applicants should start filling out their forms like so:
1) Ethnicity - Human
2) Race - Human
3) Religion - Whatever you are comfortable with (Agnostic/Atheist/Spiritual should be considered to be put down this bracket well)

I personally believe that poverty within Malaysia will continue to exist in the near or distant future, if judgements like race and religion is still evident within the job markets and school. These sort of judgments does not allow certain class of people to come up that easily and of course they are oppressed. sighs... truth sucks whale b**ls man!

ps: People get paid like it's some kind of sweatshop union or something here in Malaysia man. The other day, i demanded for a higher pay for my freaking full time job and the company manager was like "Are you freaking crazy?!". The only employer so far who was willing to pay me "REAL" wage was a white man, who was astonishingly nice for a big bulky guy LOL!

zorro said...

Malik, change is inevitable. But change will mean getting out of the comfort-zone. I dont see UMNO edging towards change. Change can only come about if an implosion within takes place. This is possible if and when the next GE sees a drastic loss of majority votes. That's when the change agents (and they are within) will come forward and say: I tld you so. Change in the MCA....hah! They will do what running dogs do best....dont rock the boat....just running business as usual. I dont see any towering chinaman in the MCA....one tower recently self-destruct. MIC, they are dead ducks already.

I would be foolish to volunteer this but just in case somebody decent will listen: IF YOU DONT WANT CHANGES, STEP ASIDE FOR THOSE WHO WANT CHANGES. It is indecent to "pasang kaki". Have a productive 2008 Malik.

Surind said...

Some of my suggestions & thoughts are here:-
http://surind.blogspot.com/2007/12/remove-anything-that-is-racereligion.html

Michael Sun said...

Dear Malik

I have great admiration of your firm stand on human rights and religious freedom.

What Malaysians generally feel is that they want an "equal place under the Malaysian sun" as aptly said by YAM Raja Nazrin.

NEP in its true form is ok becos it does not discriminate on the basis of race. Since inception it has been been hijacked by UMNOputras in cahoots with other BNputras.

After 50 years, we, non-Malay Malaysians are still marginalised. It would be not be too far fetched that all Malaysians born after Merdeka Day should be treated as Bangsa Malaysia,period.

Imagine after 50 years, not a single non-Malay has been appointed to be a Bank Negara Governor, IGP, Vice-Chancellor, Chief of Armed Forces, etc.

All we want is, to borrow an Australian idiom, "have a fair go".

The combination of religion and politics is a dangerous cocktail. BN in the process of outIslamising PAS,is leading Malaysia to hell.

We have lost our competitive advantage we had at the time of Independence to Korea, Taiwan, Hongkong and Singapore. Very soon Thailand,Vietnam and even Indonesia will overtake us while our PM Badawi is still sleeping or homeymooning.

Do not fear about a regime change. We are already at the bottom. We will suffer initially but the night is always the darkest before dawn.

The new dawn of hope will come to all Malaysians if we dare to vote for a regime change.

May God/Allah bless Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Imtiaz Sir,
Hats of to you. And here's my two-cents worth.

1. Freedom of religion.
2. Freedom to practice one's religion without prejudice and ill treatment in the hands of biased laws.
a) Temples should not be demolished without proper justification and must not be handled by other religious people. This is because proper rituals should be followed for reinstalling the deities at other locations and should not be mistreated. It is sensitive to that particular religious group. Old temples should be preserved and destroyed blatantly.
b) Syariah courts should be sensitive to non-Muslim families affected by its decisions. Court of law decides what is best for the society as a unit but when it comes to a family unit, the say of the members of the family should have higher priority since any decision would affect them deeply. That should be the conduct of a just society and not the following example. For example, a spouse who has converted to Islam never practiced Islam and since he was crippled; he was tended to by his wife who is a Hindu until his death. At the moment of burial, Islamic religious department had to take the body for an Islamic burial? They could be sensitive and sensible.
3. Equal opportunities for students to access institutes of higher learning. No quota system based on race but purely on merits. Create more universities if there's no place. Build more campuses. Bring more foreign experts/lecturers to teach. Govt have money to build the tallest of buildings, the longest of bridges; send an astro-nut into space to conduct experiments of useless value for the benefit of our citizens; all using tax-payers money; but they don’t invest in the future brains of the country. No wonder all the brains are moving out of the country and this country is being run by brainless bunch. At least this way, less students will commit suicide or go mental.
4. Equal opportunities for non-bumi’s accessing government related work force positions, promotions, contracts and tenders.
5. Abolish ISA and implement a clean judiciary system. No intervention from executive or parliamentary group.
6. Freedom of speech, press and assembly as per the constitution.
7. Non partial electoral system. The public should have access to the information about the elections i.e contesting parties so that the can decide for themselves. Govt controlled media is biased.
8. Transparency in Government expenditure. We are paying taxes as dutiful citizens. What is the Govt doing with our money? Show us the annual tax collected and the budget used for spending it. We are not paying taxes so that Govt officials can go for holidays with their spouses or girlfriends or buy jet planes for their personal use.
9. Equal assistance to all races in purchasing land, house based on their income. Rich people not eligible for the discount of 10%.
10. Minimum wages for labourers i.e estate workers and others from the low pay workforce.
11. All Chinese and Indian schools in the country to be given Government assistance and given the national school status. Not just promises but actual action.
12. Ministerial post cannot be held by the same person for more than 2 terms in the office. Other candidates should be given a chance to prove themselves. (One official is probably so rich due to his long term hogging of the office that he have loads of money to plant syntethic hair on his bald head, a fat tummy with an expanding girth from which he walks funny aka wart in the butt) Well, this will reduce corruption to some extent since the management is changing, therefore they have to start from scratch again with new management. Changing the ruling party every now and then is much better to address this issue of discouraging corruption.
13. No sleeping on the job. Ministers who sleep on the job should be given disciplinary action for embarrassing our country in the eyes of the world. They are constantly under the scrutiny of the international arena therefore they should be disciplined. Repeating this offense should result in termination. Officials should be also be rebuked for indiscipline like cursing in public (ex. showing the finger...if you want know who...try searching on youtube), using scare or bullying tactics("are you saying the people who voted me are stupid??"...see Al-Jazeera interview regarding Bersih rally). Ministers involved in scandals should resign like the brave Dr. Chua Soi Lek instead of complaining "some one spliced my face on that man in the video" crap or blaming others totally for their actions of blowing up things.

Well, this is a start.

- Common Man

jhimsi said...

Dear Malik,

Malaysia has become very polarised and communal due to government policies and the Oppositions communal stand.

My opinion is that all parties concerned should stop playing the racial and religious divide and seriously promote integration.

One way is to do away with race and religion in our birth certs, ICs and passports.

Another is to stop using forms where you need to fill up your race and religion.

Most importantly, the M.O.E. must seriously encourage integration among students in schools, colleges and universities.

I am of the opinion that the present BN government is too deep in s#!t to seriously come out of it, and that the best hope is for the Opposition parties to unite under one roof offering a truly Malaysian Malaysia.

The essence of the Oppositions' ideology seems more inline with a future Malaysian Malaysia, however, they need to quickly mature and offer the rakyat more concrete propositions. This I think would be easier then to change the BN from within.

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wong san said...

Totally agree with uncle Zorro.

It's pretty sad, with the resources we have , we could have done much better in every sense with full meritocracy in every facets of life.

Competition drive people to excellence. people who are use to be spoon feed will be very reluctance to be weed out of it.

I do not see Malaysia moving anywhere out of it's continous sliding doldrums unless there is full meritocracy.

Sharing said...

Welcome Back & Refreshed!
-------------------------
May I suggest the topic of "Normalization" and "Fair" Malaysia instead!
To remind the reality of the starting point to take!

Normalization should means Independency, accountability and transparency of Legislation, Execution and Monitoring.
Fair to base on Equalities on all respects with a Fair Law and judiciary to act between partnerships
as People to Government
Clients to service or commodity providers,
.......
to be disregarded of race, religious, culture and politics as Malik mentioned.

These are principle and directions.

Ramifications if principles of direction not well spelled and understood,
with direction not set and way not derived from realities but guesses!

Parties to follow same Principle should co-op.
Not parties to become bigger should merge.
Or a cart with horses in different directions to break!

Given the Principle should go instead of posting questions to Parties who has yet to find their principle and directions to go!

Basically, People with such understanding should take advice from Zorro as go or not go but not to block the changes to go!

Why People are dreamed of comfort zone or scared to change
as many facts and consequences had been hidden and hardly being well expressed!
Hesitation for most are many do not realize a sinking ship with many holes unknown or known but size not shown!
How much can help, another hidden except a few who are manipulating!

Oil is one with unknown in and out and what left to be done!
Concessionaires siphons to bottomless tanks!
MOF operated with 20 corporations with borrowing power but no account !
Projects with inflation known to many ears or eyes!
Reserved Common area in cities "re-alienated" to lessen open space and green land!
Many Public into Private Hands
and.....

These are results of many many years of ignoring normalization and fair!

Don't repeat the mistake 4 years ago by rushing to whoever but without principle and direction!
and a map of Democratization!
http://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/10-years-since-reformasi-taking-stock/

When ship are beyond repair, only direction is to life boats and who to row!
And, a normal ship being called!

Talking of sofa or massage chair to bring?
or Champaign or Martini along?

Marlik, will Bersih continue and provide map of Democratization before GE asap?

Sharing said...

Discrimination is a better word to touch "freedom" in each topic of race, religion and culture, or even politics!

Nevertheless, Human Rights or Equality or Fairness are the basis to describe.
One point to many fairness to be derived and arrived
with proper system to enforce!

Will any Party and People take this point to be met
should be the basic question to ask not only the Party
but for ALL!
_____________________________
Sharing among common for ALL!
______________________________
Is this the common wish for all here??
Please give a Poll to show Politician, People, Parties visiting this site!!

DR.SARAVANAN R said...

Malik,
I have posted your questions to Anwar and Kit Siang (PAS didn't have an email add to contact them, only postal add is available) and told them that i will be looking forward to their reply and to post it here if possible. Doubt if we're gonna receive any reply.

Anyways i would like to say kudos on your pieces that spoke about the punishment vote, the guarantee factor and calculated risk factor. I managed to get through to a lot of people using those phrases. Malaysia, in terms of running it, needs a change from every aspect possible. To make changes and get things moving we need to mobilise the majority middle-class citizens and that remains the most challenging issue here. The middle class prefer their status quo as they are afraid of changes. There are two interesting posts on this:

http://rockybru.blogspot.com/2008/01/poster-mail-1.html

http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/lord-give-us-the-strength-and-the-courage-to-walk-thy-talk/

Cheers

din merican said...

Malik,

Please go to my blog www.dinmerican.wordprocess.com, where I have tried to answer some of the points you raised in your blog. You are most welcome to comment.

Happy New Year. Din Merican

I said...

if a magic wand could be waved over the country...one swoosh...and we have a new malaysia where we are
all..equal...

in our different individual and varying forms...tall...short...thin...fat...different races...different religions...

but equal in rights to breathe the same air...one with another..

we r no longer classified along racial or religious grounds...

we r all malaysians...

we may all be equal but we are allowed to have differing ideologies...and given the freedom to express them...

every woman(and man) has a vote...

we have the freedom to choose which ideology aligns best with our personal beliefs and values...

the majority democratically elected 'manages' the country with the others free to discuss and air their feelings...

these 'political-parties' are made up of members from the various races, backgrounds and religions..

there is equal access to education...health...jobs...

there is religious freedom...and multi-culturalism...where we understand each others cultures and beliefs...respecting and accepting the differences..

is this nirvana ever achieveable?

sadly not...while the kriss is waved and not the wand...

Anonymous said...

If what Loh Mui Fah said was true, there are many questions can be asked:
- Why did the PM mum over Loh’s letter and his appeal for protection?
- Same question to Tan Sri Haidar who had insisted that nobody came forward to offer information, why did he keep silent?
- What was the role of the ACA? Did the ACA act on the tip off from VK Lingam?

In short, it is obvious that the authorities knew that the clip was genuine and have already had the means to tract down the maker of the video not long after Anwar released the clip.

While in actual fact, the members of the investigation panel need no further evidence on the authenticity of the clip.

Even when the Royal Commission was formed, Tan Sri Haidar continued to be silent on the identity of the video maker. If Mr Loh Mui Fah did not voluntarily present himself to the public, I wonder he would ever be called for the inquiry.
http://www.tianchua.net/en/2008/01/13/nobody-came/

BloggerKaki said...

It is too naive that you and fellow bloggers here would like to just erase race and religion in our society. We must expect the difference in us and seek to co-exist. Pl get real!

Anonymous said...

Dear Malik,

I agreed change is inevitable, we are lagging behind in terms of economic as well compared to all the other developing nations especially in SEA. With regard to freedom of religion, as I am a Muslim myself I strongly believed that a Muslim needs to really understand his/her religion in terms of concept and principles first, before informing others who are not professing the religion as lack of information could lead to mis-interpretation and misunderstanding.

In my opinion, generally Malaysians are respectful of each other's race, faith, culture and etc. Undoubtedly, there is a need for improvement in society and institutional which needs to be tackled delicately as the make-up of Malaysia is in itself intricate and uncomparable to other one-raced country/state. Ethnicity, race and religion are often, but not necessarily intertwined and all important elements of one's identity. If we are really not racist, then there is no need to have different types of schools isn't it? But then it will mean no heritage, no freedom to practice mother-tounge, cultures etc too. Are we really ready to give away all these and to adapt to a newly created culture and identity? Even the US who have been trying for hundreds of years to abolish all other cultures/ethnicity but 'the American ways' have yet to succeed. Same goes for the EU even China, India and Japan. Differences, be it big or small exists everywhere, in any society or country even in nationstates.

As a muslim Bumi, Non-Malay Malaysians, of course I want a better Malaysia afterall, where will I go to? Nonetheless, in our pursuit trying to fight for or initiate a change, I think brashness is not a wise option and I know some of you will curse or disagree with me for saying that but hey, that is my view and do consider that I, like the rest of you out there want a better Malaysia too, but still with differences among us. How to solve? Compromise? Up to all of us; you and me whoever formed the majority and maybe in this case, I am the minority!

I think moderation, perseverence, tolerance, respects and determination is the key.

The rest I leave it to GOD the Almighty!


Non-Malay Bumi

rema said...

Let's face it. BN will have their say. Like it or not. Let's also face the other fact. The opposition is growing stronger. Give it two more elections and BN is no more.

Call me a marxist but really, there would not be pure freedom whether religiously or not. At least not yet. We're not even close to UTOPIA! With BN leading, the minorities are not going to get their rights straight even if the minorities fought and died together with the malays for our independence. With the people starting to learn a little something about the politics here, the retaliation rate is building up.

Besides.. we don't need 3 different parties to deal with 3 different races. Why can't they just be one? It would probably bring equality and a brotherhood of men one step closer to grasp.

With BN wasting bloody money, i'm sorry, our money for their 7million worth of paperwork and plastic on the roadsides and walls, i's pretty obvious they know they're falling. And ohh, speaking of paper crap, since when did BN start quoting in tamil anyway?!! I think HINDRAF & BERSIH did well.

In any election, empty promises are made. The opposition is definitely not going to keep all their promises BUT we can hope for a subtle change. One step at a time. We've got nothing to lose voting for the opposition. Let's see what they can do to bring about changes.