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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Project Malaysia: A Commitment

Response has been positive. We are receiving contributions and expressions of interest from individuals with diverse backgrounds.

I would like to address some of the concerns I have seen expressed in some of the blogs that have been kind enough to highlight the inititative. This will also let me clarify its policy.

For Project Malaysia to be effective, it has to be representative. Appreciating that much of what we intend to consider involves politics in one way or the other, it is essential that the political perspective is offered as well. We commit to ensuring that all political perspectives are fairly presented. We have been privileged enough to have YB Nur Jazlan submit a perspective piece which is already on-line. We are hoping that more UMNO and other Barisan Nasiaonal representatives will present their views, they collectively play such a big and important role in all that happens in this country. This applies equally to the parties that make up the Pakatan Rakyat. Invitations have been extended, whether these are taken up is a matter for those invited. Appreciating that limitations impact on our ability to invite all relevant personalities, help us do so. At the same time, we would be happy to receive voluntary submissions. Do not wait for an invitation if you have something to say on the issues at hand. And say it in any language you feel comfortable doing that in. We are at the moment working on the basis that submissions will be in Bahasa Malaysia and English but we will look at how to also feature material in any other language.

Similarly, when we get to the theme on religion or any other subject considered controversial, we wish to ensure that all views are presented. The experiment will not have been a success if we do not. I am as such hoping that all interest groups - including ABIM, ACCIN, FORKAD and so on - will contribute submissions. The only agenda is one aimed at ensuring that a broad discussion of common ground and problem areas is made possible. We need to understand each other and the only way we can do this is by talking to each other, fairly and respectfully. And that, if at all, is the only caveat we have: state what has to be stated, but do it in an objective manner with the understanding that we are having a discussion after all.

Project Malaysia is not about me or any of the other persons involved in it. It is about all of us, or as many of us that want to make it our own. I give you my assurance that that will be the case throughout and am open to feedback that I have strayed from my promise to you.

And for those of you who are sceptical at the moment, all I ask is that you keep an open mind and engage with us, privately if you must, to convince yourself that this is really something that you do not want to be involved in. We would of course prefer it to be otherwise.



ahoo said...

God bless you as you enrich others who sometime can't even defend themself. You are the defender to many out there with a sharp and brilliant mind and I pray that M'sia will produce more sons of your calibre then this nation will indeed have peace and freedom.

Also, the likes of Harris Ibrahim's that are indeed sharp and sound in his findings. We need balance viewpoints and not look just to one side of the coin but needed a view that is clear with conscience. Thanks again and God bless you, MIS.

Crankster said...

Wow. Even ABIM, ACCIN, FORKAD etc? I, for one, would be very fascinated to see if they are capable of engaging in discussions.

Personally, I am convinced they merely act on orders given by a mastermind without thinking, but I would be happy to have those notions dispelled.

Honestly, I am very curious and open to hear from all walks of life - especially if their opinion is in conflict with mine.

I think it would be both interesting and stimulating to be exposed to differing opinions - especially by those who are passionate and fired up about what they believe in.

Anonymous said...

typo error in last para:

".... engage with us, privately is you must"
should read "IF you must".

your postings excellent, though sometimes too intellectual for me, bro. but your heart's in the right place.

flyer168 said...

Dear Malik Imtiaz,

Like Haris & many others, I am glad you are embarking on this "participative" Project Malaysia forum in your Blogsite which is very noble indeed.

I am hopeful this forum will cover a very broad spectrum from the "Established, Proven & Successful" Intellectuals, Academics, Professionals, Self- made personalities without academic qualifications, etc.talents as the participants

We have had too much 'Rhetorics" and as they say, "Talk is cheap", so we need people who have "Walked their Talk" to provide "Pragmatic & Workable Fast-Track" solutions at this forum - the short term & long term solutions.

"Let us begin. ... And so, my fellow "Anak Bangsa Malaysia" ask not what Malaysia can do for you -- instead, ask what you can do for this great nation Malaysia for All Anak Bangsa Malaysia.".

I would like to quote the famous John F Kennedy's speech to every "Anak Bangsa Malaysia".

"Every literate American recalls the essence of the words John Kennedy spoke on the steps of the U.S. Capitol that cold morning of Jan. 20, 1961.

Acknowledging that man now held "in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life," Kennedy insisted that the message must "go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace. ... Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

After raising the stick of Cold War resolve, JFK took care to also dangle a carrot of cooperation.

"[L]et us begin anew -- remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."

Kennedy went on to note that the work at hand would not be finished in the first 100 days of his administration, nor the first 1,000 days, nor "perhaps in our lifetime on this planet." Nevertheless, he announced,

"Let us begin. ... And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country."unquote.

My best wishes to you on this noble mission Malik, may God bless & guide you with the answers we all seek

Nostradamus said...

To Be Or Not To Be, That is the Question. (Nak jadi ke tak jadi, Itu Soalannya)

Phrase from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
Whether 'tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe
No more; and by a sleepe, to say we end
The Heart-ake, and the thousand Naturall shockes
That Flesh is heyre too? 'Tis a consummation
Deuoutly to be wish'd. To dye to sleepe,
To sleepe, perchance to Dreame; I, there's the rub,
For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come,
When we haue shuffel'd off this mortall coile,
Must giue vs pawse. There's the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,
The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,
The pangs of dispriz'd Loue, the Lawes delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurnes
That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,
When he himselfe might his Quietus make
With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardles beare
To grunt and sweat vnder a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The vndiscouered Countrey, from whose Borne
No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,
And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,
Then flye to others that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
And thus the Natiue hew of Resolution
Is sicklied o're, with the pale cast of Thought,
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard their Currants turne away,
And loose the name of Action.

Anonymous said...

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Anonymous said...


read on

What’s the Meaning of ‘Freedom’? …. But don’t ask a politician!

by Rep. Ron Paul

“Man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts”.

- Ronald Reagan

We’ve all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different. George Orwell (picture above right) wrote about “meaningless words” that are endlessly repeated in the political arena. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, political words are “often used in a consciously dishonest way.” Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language.

As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good. The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect preexisting rights.

Yet how many Americans know that the word “democracy” is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents? A truly democratic election in Iraq, without U.S. interference and U.S. puppet candidates, almost certainly would result in the creation of a Shi’ite theocracy. Shi’ite majority rule in Iraq might well mean the complete political, economic, and social subjugation of the minority Kurd and Sunni Arab populations. Such an outcome would be democratic, but would it be free? Would the Kurds and Sunnis consider themselves free? The administration talks about democracy in Iraq, but is it prepared to accept a democratically elected Iraqi government no matter what its attitude toward the U.S. occupation? Hardly. For all our talk about freedom and democracy, the truth is we have no idea whether Iraqis will be free in the future.

They’re certainly not free while a foreign army occupies their country. The real test is not whether Iraq adopts a democratic, pro-Western government, but rather whether ordinary Iraqis can lead their personal, religious, social, and business lives without interference from government. Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created the least coercive government in the history of the world. The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens.

Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders’ belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King. Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less. The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth.

To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive?and thus incompatible with freedom. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government. The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength.

Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state? but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today’s Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. “Conservatism,” which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity. Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us.

We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule. We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action. We must reject the current meaningless designations of “liberals” and “conservatives,” in favor of an accurate term for both: statists. Every politician on earth claims to support freedom. The problem is so few of them understand the simple meaning of the word.


flyer168 said...

Dear Malik Imtiaz, Bloggers & friends,

I would like to share this online latest news with you.

1. Browse through this latest news

"In just over 18 months, the Avaaz community has grown to almost 3.4 million people"

2. Re-Define our existing organisational "Wheels" - with the PROVEN "Best" Practices & "Models"available,

3. Let us ALL go to this Avaaz community website to understand the concept, Learn from & compare the "Best Practices" & Apply it / Refine our "Existing" Malaysian Wheel.

----- Original Message -----
From: - Ricken Patel
To: flyer168 /
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 5:48 AM
Subject: What we have achieved together

Dear friends,

In just over 18 months, the Avaaz community has grown to almost 3.4 million people from every country of the world, an average growth of over 40,000 people per week!

Working in 13 languages, Avaaz members have taken nearly 8 million actions, donated over 2.5 million Euro ($3.5 million), and told over 30 million friends about Avaaz campaigns.

A wonderful new source of global community and democracy is being created, and we've started to win real victories to close the gap between the world we have and the world we want -- on human rights, environmental protection, poverty, global justice and more.

Huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who has signed a petition, sent a message, donated, attended a rally, lobbied leaders, told friends, given advice or otherwise been a part of this effort. Scroll down this email to see some of the latest campaign highlights and achievements over the last 3 months, and click the link below to see a report back on all our achievements since launch and leave a comment:

Campaign Update -- May-July 2008
Over the last 3 months, Avaaz members have helped to win the first global treaty banning cluster bombs, successfully campaigned for a ceasefire to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, prevented G8 summit leaders from spinning their failure to act on climate change, run a major global ad campaign in Chinese communities promoting a constructive dialogue with China over Tibet and other issues, and personally rankled the President of Sudan (indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court) with a campaign to help bring him to trial.

Below is a quick summary of campaigning developments on Israel and Palestine, the food crisis, Zimbabwe, climate change, China, Tibet, and the Olympics, Darfur, cluster bombs, and more. On all of these issues, much more remains to be done -- but we have all contributed in important ways. What we've done so far is just the beginning.

China, Tibet, and the Olympics

More than 175,000 Avaaz members have joined a global handshake chain -- launched by the Dalai Lama, carried through London by a 2000-person chain of Avaaz members to the Chinese Embassy, and then racing around the world online. A positive symbol of constructive dialogue, the Avaaz team travelled to Beijing to personally deliver the handshake to senior officials, including UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

To further amplify the handshake's message, Avaaz members funded ads in Chinese publications from Hong Kong to California, launched a Mandarin-language Avaaz sister site in China, hired "mobile and walking billboards" in New York's and London's Chinatowns -- among a host of other tactics.


More than 400,000 Avaaz members, including tens of thousands in Africa, have taken action to support democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.

This past weekend, South African trade unionists marched to a regional summit in Johannesburg with Zimbabwean refugees and civil society groups carrying a sea of red cards for Mugabe -- and holding banners representing the more than 75,000 virtual red cards sent by Avaaz members last week.

Avaaz members have contacted governments around the world, urging non-recognition of Mugabe's regime; funded ad campaigns globally and throughout Southern Africa; and even flown a 280-sq-meter banner over the United Nations to press South Africa's Mbeki to push harder in his role as mediator between Mugabe and the opposition MDC. The summit is over, but our campaign for the end of the Mugabe era is not.

Israel and Palestine

215,000 Avaaz members, including citizens of both Israel and Palestine, have driven Avaaz campaigning for real peace talks, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, and an end to the blockade of Gaza.

A major print-and-online advertising campaign for the ceasefire reached more than 1 million Israelis this June, thanks to donations from Avaaz members.

Within a week, a truce was signed -- encouraging the Avaaz community to play an ongoing role, large and small, in helping to resolve this conflict.

G8 and climate change

More than 250,000 Avaaz members urged the G8 leaders to adopt firm targets to cut climate emissions by the year 2020, signing a petition that was hand-delivered to G8 chair Japan's prime minister. During the summit negotiations, however, the US, Canada, and Japan refused 2020 targets -- so Avaaz called them out in a satirical full-page, full-color ad in the global Financial Times drawing on the Japanese "Hello Kitty" cartoon.

The ad, funded with small donations from 2,000 Avaaz members, sparked coverage in media outlets from the New York Times to the Nikkei Business Daily.

Coverage of reactions from Avaaz and other groups ensured that Canada's Stephen Harper and other leaders couldn't spin their way out of accountability for blocking progress on this urgent issue -- and with climate change a key issue in coming elections, hopes for change (and our campaigning plans) are growing.

Food crisis

Responding to a video appeal for international support from the Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, 342,197 Avaaz members signed petitions urging governments to take action on the food crisis.

In May, Avaaz staff hand-delivered their message to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon at an emergency food summit in Rome.

Moon, in turn, used the petition with the press and global leaders to build his urgent case for action on food prices and practices. As the food crisis deepens, we are redoubling our efforts to meet this huge threat to the livelihoods of millions.


To counter Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir's claim that the International Criminal Court is a "Western Crusade," Avaaz launched a major Arabic-media ad campaign. More than 4500 Avaaz members from 80 countries donated to run the ads throughout the region, which challenged the "crusade" charge by showing that Bush and Bashir are both strong opponents of the court. Arabic media reports that Bashir personally invited one newspaper editor who refused to run the ad to visit Sudan and accept his thanks.

Our campaigning will continue until the Sudanese people can achieve a long sought peace with justice.

Other highlights
When a 120-country summit to ban cluster bombs was at risk of failure, more than 160,000 Avaaz members emailed world leaders to urge a strong treaty free of loopholes and delays.

The campaign made waves with negotiators inside the conference and headlines in Finland and the International Herald Tribune -- and a firm treaty was agreed in the final days.

Avaaz members raised over $2 million in aid after the Burma cyclone, channeled directly to those at greatest need through monks and aid workers inside the country. A full report back on this campaign is available on the Avaaz website.

When the UN launched a closed process to choose its new top Human Rights official, human rights experts worried that a weak candidate would be chosen.

In response, Avaaz placed a mock job advertisement in The Economist that generated a full story in the New York Times, Reuters and several other press outlets, and a strong response from UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The ad, and a companion blog, helped bring a highly unusual level of democratic scrutiny to a top UN appointment.

It can seem as though every week brings a new crisis or international emergency. As human beings, we have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters, no matter where they are in the world. But it is inspiring to know that none of us is alone -- that there are millions around the world sharing our concerns and joining with us to take action when it matters most.

Avaaz is based on a simple idea: that global public opinion should shape global decision-making. When we take action, we may not win every battle -- but together, over time, we can change the field on which the battles are fought. We are already making a difference, and our voices are growing stronger. This is only the beginning.

With much respect and gratitude for this wonderful community of people,

Ricken, Ben, Graziela, Brett, Paul, Pascal, Veronique, Iain, Milena -- and the whole Avaaz team

PS: For more information, or to leave a comment, you can always to go this page:


ABOUT AVAAZ is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages!

To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to You can also send postal mail to our New York office: 857 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10003 U.S.A.

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