Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zaid Ibrahim, In Good Faith, Do it, Resign

Zaid Ibrahim, In Good Faith, Do it, Resign14 09 2008
Law Minister threatens to quit over ISA
Beh Lih Yi September 14, 2908
De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim today threatened to resign if the government continued to use the Internal Security Act, which he described as 'unjust'.
The outspoken Barisan Nasional politician also called for the immediate release of DAP MP Teresa Kok and controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who were held under the security law which provides for detention without trial.
"We have a government that commits to laws and reforms, we can't be using old-style politics or resort to creating fear. We have laws and they (the detainees) can be charged in court.
"I am trying to meet with Prime Minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) this week to convey to him my position. If (he considers) my position untenable, I will leave," he told Malaysiakini in a telephone interview from Kota Baru, Kelantan.
The minister, who is a lawyer by training, held a press conference in Kota Baru earlier, where he also spoke on the same matter.Use ISA to fight terror
Zaid, who is the minister in the Prime Minister's Department overseeing legal matters, said his position on the ISA is that the law should only be used to curb terrorism, the reason why it was enacted.
"The problem with the ISA now is that it is used against certain people, it is a very unjust law," he added.
The ISA is a relic from the British which used the law to battle the communist insurgency. The Act earned notoriety after it was invoked by the government to stifle dissent, leading many to call for its abolition.
However, the government has continued to defend the relevance of the law on the grounds of national security.
Commenting further, Zaid said: "I am very sad that people like Teresa (right), who I know personally, can be seen as a threat. I can't see how a journalist doing her duty or even Raja Petra can be seen as a national threat.
"If their statements upset certain people, let the police investigate," the minister said, adding that he did not see the need for the government to use such a "strong-arm tactic."Zaid, who is the former Kota Baru MP, was made a senator and named as minister in charge of legal affairs during the cabinet reshuffle by premier Abdullah in March.
His appointment was lauded by many quarters, especially within the legal fraternity, as it was seen as a gesture by the prime minister to honour his pledge for judiciary reforms.
'A setback to judiciary reforms'
However, Zaid lamented that the latest ISA arrests dealt a blow to his six-month-long task of trying to regenerate the judiciary.
In relation to the concept of collective responsibility, the minister acknowledged that his views on certain matters do not go down well with his cabinet colleagues.
"I don't want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah). If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet's), I can leave the government.
"It is a setback (on my work). The government wanted to change certain things otherwise they don't need me (to be in the cabinet)," he said.
Friday's ISA crackdown began with Raja Petra, who has targeted government figures on his website Malaysia Today. He was detained at 1.10pm.
Tan Hoon Cheng, a journalist for the Chinese language Sin Chew Daily, was later arrested at about 8.30pm.
She was detained in connection with her report regarding the derogatory remarks made by an Umno leader against the Chinese community which led to a national uproar.
Close to midnight, DAP MP and Selangor senior state exco Teresa Kok was detained outside her condominium.
The arrests elicited a round of strong protests from all quarters, including those within the BN component parties.
Journalist Tan was released yesterday after being held for less than 24 hours and Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar explained that her detention was "to ensure her safety."
« Kenyataan Akhbar Pakatan Rakyat
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Date : 14 September 2008
Categories : Democracy, Judiciary
8 responses to "Zaid Ibrahim, In Good Faith, Do it, Resign"
14 09 2008
KongKor (09:21:44) :
PM will probably tell Zaid Ibrahim "saya makan garam lebih daripada kamu makan beras".
If Zaid is a man of principle, he should have resigned the first time round when his reform plans were shot down by the cabinet. Stop barking, Zaid. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS
14 09 2008
salak (09:34:35) :
The way things were before he came on and the way it is now does Zaid make any difference except helped pay some undisclosed ex gratia to those judges?
Wonder why they couldn't disclose the amounts in 'Good faith'?
Now to work for change aje lah! 916 or not!!!
14 09 2008
Free Malaysia (09:36:14) :
Come on Zaid, listen to your heart. Look around you, Malaysians want change. We dont want to be divided as malays, chinese, indians, ibans, sikhs, kadazans. And we certainly dont want UMNO-BN.
Dont sell this great nation of ours. As a leader of the people, stand up against UMNO-BN. Please stand up for justice.
14 09 2008
M.I.B (09:52:31) :
Zaid, JUST DO IT! No need to contemplate ! Do the Right thing. The rakyat will support you.
14 09 2008
sang kancil (09:56:12) :
My dear Zaid,
One small step from you will be a GIANT leap for the freedom of Malaysia. For the sake of our Motherland resign. Take the plunge and Rakyat will be eternally grateful to you. For YB RPK, for YB TS and most of all for our beloved NATION.
Take the plunge.
14 09 2008
dinobeano (10:08:34) :
Every move made by Zaid to reform the judiciary and ACA was blocked by his Cabinet colleagues like Najib, Nazri, Syed Hamid and others while their chief is asleep.
So Zaid, do not waste any more of your precious time and intellectual energy with these bunch of goons. It is not in their interest to undertake reforms. Just resign and implement your ideas as so eloquently stated in your book, "In Good Faith" by joining the Reformasi movement.—Din Merican
14 09 2008
Mr Smith (10:52:26) :
I reckon Zaid means what he says. He has issued a strong statement, the strongest ever by a cabinet Minister, against the abuse of the ISA and I am sure he will resign if Raja and Teresa are not released IMMEDIATELY!Zaid, when you resign, give a thought to making your contributions in the new Pakatan Government. The goons won't be around to block you.
14 09 2008
Markky (10:53:53) :
Be a man, Zaid. When you see a wrong being done to a fellow human being and cannot do anything about it despite being a de facto law minister, do the right and honourable thing - resign! We, the rakyat, will be behind you.

Websites -,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Silent vigil at St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya for DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok who was arrested under the Internal Security Act on Friday. Picture by Choo Choy May

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Dream Team"? In Your Dream, Not Mine

According to Ahirudin Attan (better known as Rockybru) in his article in My Paper, a faction within Umno is working overtime to form what one insider (or a spinmaster?) calls "the Dream Team".
It would reunite two of the biggest rivals Umno has ever seen - Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. The team would include Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, Dr Mahathir's son,who will run for Umno Youth chief. Others include Rais Yatim and Muhyiddin.
Rocky's sources said Mr Najib was so worried that he sought an appointment to see Dr Mahathir. They met early this week. There have been no press reports on the meeting, but my paper understands that Dr Mahathir made it clear to Najib that he was "quite committed" to the Dream Team.
I am left wondering why the partnership between Ku Li and Dr M is known as the 'Dream Team'. Ku Li, until now, has been quite rhetorical about his vision to lead UMNO. There is no definite answers to the direction he intends to lead UMNO and BN in the future.
What is his position on the NEP, subsidy structure, civil service, education, BN partnership formula, interethnic relations and others?
If he intends to get the support of Dr M, he should know it does not come cheap. With Dr M behind the scene, it is not known how long this liaison can last. Do you expect the grand old master to simply keep quiet and hand's off to let Ku Li running the entire show without imposing his will?
Already, in his wish list is his son, Mukhriz, nomination as the Youth Chief. Mukhriz is best remembered for his anti-war NGO (Peace Malaysia) which has been quite active in the Middle East. He heads Ansara, a Malay professionals' association. Mukhriz is a staunch supporter of Dr M's legacy in UMNO.
Apart from his occasional political statements on Abdullah's incompetency, I have not really seen anything substantial from Mukhriz.
But we have seen and experienced a lot of Dr M even until today. He simply cannot go away. Malaysian voters had given him the best sent off by returning the BN government with a overwhelming parliamentary majority (92%) in the 2004 general election.
I am sure we will hear a lot from Ahirudin Attan about this "Dream Team". Only that it was my yesterday's bad dream. I am looking for something less scary in the future.
Picture courtesy of bigdogdotcom.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 1:28 AM 1 comments
Saturday, September 13, 2008

BN Consensus Fails!

Only days ago, the BN Supreme Council held a meeting to discuss consensus building and a code of ethics for all members in its bid to control racist and sensitive sentiments in the coalition.
Yesterday, PM Abdullah Badawi and Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar have shown to us that the BN consensus is DEAD.
It is unthinkable for the duo to approve the use of ISA against Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng without consulting the cabinet which is the highest executive body. Did Abdullah consult his other coalition partners, knowing that his action will affect them badly?
Clearly, it is NO longer tenable for the coalition to exists if UMNO continues with its solo act and in the process hurt innocent victims with their action.
I would like to URGE Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar to resign immediately for his total incompetence and insensitivity. This is the same minister who had instructed the police to mount roadblocks when Anwar was present in the parliament causing massive traffic jams throughout Klang Valley.
Earlier, he said that the ISA was used on Tan to protect her 'safety'. This is the most preposterous justification. She could be warned or given police protection. Where is the threat coming from? Why didn't the police arrest the perpetrators who are threatening her safety instead of detaining her under ISA? The use of ISA here shows that Syed Hamid Albar is NOT FIT to become the Home Minister.
DAP should mull a legal action against the government and the police for using the ISA against MP Teresa Kok without a valid justification. MP Teresa Kok has provided exemplary leadership and is a good role model for Malaysian women. At all times, she has acted responsibly in her speeches and parliamentary conduct.
Syed Hamid Albar said today that Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng could be released as soon as today. We want him to RELEASE the two other detainees or charge them in court IMMEDIATELY.
The government's failure in ensuring a just and fair governance has made me change my mind about crossovers. We cannot ignore the possibility of Malaysia turning into a failed nation if this irresponsible behavior from the government were to continue.
We MAY have to support a change of the Federal Government as a last resort to heal the country.
Please, please stop sending smses and emails calling the Chinese to unite against the Malays. THIS IS NOT A RACIAL CHALLENGE. RPK is a Malay royalty. Similarly, we have stood up for him.
This is a CHALLENGE against our DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS and MALAYSIANS OF ALL RACES must stand up to defend our sacred rights.
Focus on getting massive support from all Malaysians, friends of Malaysia and our RIGHTMINDED MPS and Assemblymen who are truly Malaysians to stand on our side.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 3:50 PM 5 comments

Speak Out Against Treachery
PAS leader Mujahid Yusuf Rawa, who was also at the police station, did not mince his words in arguing that Ahmad should be the one detained under ISA and "not the journalist who reported what he had said".I have called up a few of our Malay MPs and assemblymen for help and assistance. We need you to speak against the treachery against the 3 persons, RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng, by our government.I have asked the diplomatic community to speak up too through my friend in the diplomatic circle.All Malaysians MUST SPEAK UP against this treachery. The selective use of ISA against political opponents is most despicable.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 1:20 AM 5 comments

Abdullah Badawi's Tainted Hands
The Abdullah's Administration has resorted to the use of a draconian law, ISA, to detain even more people without any valid reason or justification.Earlier, he told Bernama that the government will not use the Internal Security Act (ISA) without concrete reason, and this was so in the detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin. Detentions under the ISA were carried out only after the government was convinced that there was a threat to security and public order.What did MP and Selangor Exco Teresa Kok do to deserve an arrest under Section 73 (1) if the ISA Friday? It was clear that Khir Toyo had played up mischeviously the 'azan' issue. Is there any action taken against Azhar Ibrahim, Ahmad Ismail, Khir Toyo and others?Is Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng a national security threat when she was arrested from her home in Taman Permai in Bukit Mertajam at 8.30pm?Only an obvious HIDDEN agenda by the Abdullah administration can explain why it took such drastic and unpopular action against the trio - RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng.Since the hidden agenda is NOT A SECRET. We should NOT ALLOW them to GET WHAT THEY WANTED.Stay calm. Do not go to the street or organise any street protests.I would like to urge all non-UMNO BN component parties' leaders to demand PM Abdullah to release the trio immediately if they still care for the nation's democracy. The current situation is totally untenable.Earlier, I told a diplomat that it is ingenious for the government to choose a Friday to detain RPK. This coming weekend is the most crucial for all of us.We must not fall into the trap laid by our own government. It is supposed to protect the people but it has chosen to protect its own cronies and racist leaders.This is an act of thuggery.STAY CALM.Please help spread this message to all your friends, through your blogs, text messages etc. Do not react in any way which may help this recalcitrant government to announce emergency rule. We deserve BETTER!
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 1:00 AM 5 comments
Friday, September 12, 2008

Repeal and Reject the Use of ISA

Yesterday, I was asked by a reporter from Oriental Daily if I support the use of Internal Security Act against Ahmad Ismail. My answer was no, there are other criminal instigation laws which be used against Ahmad and he should be allowed to defend himself.
My position on the use of ISA against Raja Petra, the popular blogger of Malaysia Today, is the same. The government, at any point in time, should refrain from using this draconian piece of legislation to detain political opponents.
Raja Petra was charged with sedition in May for allegedly implying the deputy prime minister was involved in the killing of a young Mongolian woman. His trial is scheduled to start next month. There are several other cases against him. Let him defend himself. As a working democracy, even the most serious law offenders deserve their right to be defended and to be heard.
There is no possibility of justice in ISA.
ISA is a detention without trial and it should not be used against Raja Petra. The government owes us an explanation on why the ISA is used against a blogger. As a member of the international community, Malaysia must demonstrate its willingness to comply with the international convention.
We must firmly reject the use of this draconian legislation. If not, we should REJECT the Barisan Nasional forever.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 4:30 PM 4 comments

Dr M Should Speak for Himself
Dr M's recent statement about the Chinese Malaysians being more interested in business and would readily accept race based politics shows how outdated he is as a politician.At the same time he highlighted the some possible actions which could be taken against the Chinese community should they voice out their dissatisfaction against the government.He said:
"Even hawkers and small traders; the subcontractors, the retail shops owners are unhappy with the government. They are however very cautious about criticising Datuk Seri Abdullah but when pressed they admit that they wanted Abdullah out but dared not say it aloud for fear of being accused of rejecting Malay leadership."They also worry about their businesses being singled out for some unpleasant treatment like being investigated by the Inland Revenue Board," he wrote in his blog today.Must Dr M be reminded that these tactics if used are a continuation from his era? As the premier, he had perfected the art of political persecution against those who went against him - those detained during the Operasi Lallang and Anwar Ibrahim.Raja Petra's ISA detention today resembles a common dirty tactic used during his era to detain and silence political opponents.Dr M should not underestimate Malaysians and their level of political maturity. Most Chinese Malaysians and other races (including the Malays) were more disturbed by the Keris waving issue at the UMNO's general assembly than the incompetence of Abdullah Badawi.Abdullah is seen as incompetent because he could not manage and discipline a bunch of racist members/leaders in his party.Dr M must not be surprised to hear that we supported Abdullah in 2004 because he promised to initiate reforms to get us out of the rot and excesses of the Mahathir era which was an epitome of racism, abrasive and highhanded politics, corruption and nepotism.Abdullah as an individual is less spiteful than Dr M. We did not and should not criticize his personal character but his political and leadership incompetence.Then again, as his ex-boss and the one who put Abdullah in his current position, Dr M must shoulder most of the blame for the state of politics we have experienced today.Who turned all other non-UMNO component parties in BN into small pussy cats? Dr Mahathir.
Yet, Dr Mahathir insisted that the votes for the opposition were not due to a desire to replace BN with Pakatan Rakyat, but were actually protest votes. He said,"But is it protest against the BN parties? Is it a rejection of race-based politics? I don't think so."
Goodness sake, stop blaming Abdullah Badawi for everything that went wrong in this country. It started from you, Dr M.
Dr M should just speak for himself and not for 6.5 million Chinese Malaysians in this country.We know best what we want from politicians.
Yes, Dr M has proven to us that he is a bygone, a relic of his generation. I reckon many of his generation are more progressive than the ex-premier to suggest that Chinese Malaysians do not mind race-based politics.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 3:53 PM 7 comments
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Focus on the Movement For Change
A number of reporters have asked me if Anwar Ibrahim would be deemed a failure should the change of government failed to materialise on 16th September 2008. I advice them not to be too fixated with the date.If we are too preoccupied with the 16th September, like the present BN federal government, we will lose sight on the true movement for change. This movement is not solely about Anwar's ambition to become the next prime minister of Malaysia.This movement for change is about a crucial transition for the country which is at the crossroads. Existing forces will try to direct this nation back to the old tested road of communalism. This old tested path is one laid for the comfort of elite politicians who would continue to lead the country using the divide and rule method they know best.Ahmad Ismail and his antics gave us the best, raw and unsophisticated example of such politics. For his own political expediency, Ahmad would beat his chest and claim to speak for his community. But would Ahmad sell off his Mercedes and share his NEP accumulated wealth with the less fortunates in his community? Will Ahmad swap his bangalow for a humble low cost house in his effort to try to understand how tough life can be at the bottom?If the answer is NO, what can the Malay community expect out of a NEP elite like Ahmad Ismail?The movement for change is not about Anwar Ibrahim and his 16th September deadline. This movement is about a permanent change we must bring to the country and our social order. We can only talk about democracy, fairness and morality if this country recognises a place and the birth rights of all its citizens regardless of race and religion.The politics of race is the lowest denominator of our humanity simply because it is too foolish to fight the will of heaven and random biological logic. I do not choose to become a Chinese Malaysian. Ahmad was not born a Malay by choice. In spirituality, you may call it a heaven's design. Scientifically, it is simply a random biological logic. But scientifically and spiritually, humans are all the same. The same blood runs through our veins.But why is Ahmad fighting against the will of God and nature? Only a silly practice of racial politics can explain his action.Hence, the Movement for Change is beyond just a date. If we have chosen Anwar Ibrahim and his colleagues as our agents of change, we should be wise enough not to put the whole burden on the shoulder of a few.Is Anwar Ibrahim a failure if he fails to deliver a new government on 16th September? No, if you are part of the movement. The successes tasted so far by the Anwar led PR belonged to the people too. Without us, Anwar Ibrahim is nothing.With or without a change of government comes 16th September, we are all winners. We are winners because we have chosen to face the challenges head on. This movement for change cannot be easily trivialised by a mere date. We will change Malaysia even if it takes a week, a month or years from now.Anwar Ibrahim should also be constantly reminded that the Movement for Change comes with great responsibility. Great power comes with great responsibility.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 2:32 PM 11 comments
Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Emperor Strikes Back

Last May, Dr Mahathir kicked up a fuss and left UMNO in a huff and puff. Then, he said he will only return to the party if Abdullah steps down. Has he eaten his words or something is about to happen?
Coincidentally, Abdullah is being challenged by his UMNO division leaders in Penang led by Bukit Bendera Chairman Ahmad Ismail. BN component parties have urged the PM to take a stern action against Ahmad Ismail's racist antics. Gerakan wants a stern and immediate action as a condition for it to stick with the BN.
Today, Dr M has agreed to return to UMNO. Umno vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin has confirmed that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is returning to the party. He added that he informed Umno deputy president Najib Tun Razak on Monday of Dr Mahathir's intention to rejoin the party.
Interesting, he has informed Najib but NOT Abdullah.
While we are being kept at the edge of our seat about a possible power transition between PR and BN, something is going to happen right under our noses.
Malaysians, be prepared for a REAL transition of power. The days of reckoning for Abdullah Badawi is near.
You should be able to gather who is the real MASTER MIND behind the whole saga. A retired politician, a Tun, used to describe this as THE OLD BUDDHA HAND.
Abdullah is NOT the real problem for UMNO and BN's dismal performance. RACISM is the main problem. Dr M is not going to help changing this dilemma.
Picture courtesy of Sophiesworld blog.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 2:16 PM 6 comments

Don't Fall For The Ploy

Ahmad Ismail must be getting more desperate by now. At the press conference yesterday, he said "While it is not difficult to say sorry - for the sake of my Malay dignity, I resolve not to apologise no matter what others may say. I am willing to take the risk (for not doing so)".
Earlier, Ahmad told the minority Chinese not to go overboard in hurting the feelings of the Malays and Muslims.
"I want them to know, I want them to take this as a warning from the Malays. Malays and Muslims have been provoked many times. We have been patient because we want to maintain stability in the country," he said.
"Remember! The patience of Malays and Muslims has its limits. Do not push us to the wall, where we will be forced to reject the Chinese for the sake of our survival."
"If what I say sounds too strong for BN, take this as a warning from the Malays and Muslims as this has nothing to do with Umno. Do not pressure Umno leaders until they are caught in a dilemma."
He warned Chinese Malaysians not to mimic American Jews who not only seek to control the country's economy but also its political power.
Yet, he claimed that he is NOT a RACIST.
If he is angry with Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Gerakan, there is no reason for Ahmad Ismail to scold me, my family members and friends. There is no need to scold the other 6.5 million Chinese Malaysians in this country who could hardly be bothered about Ahmad Ismail.
Who's hurting the feeling of Muslims and Malays? If Ahmad is referring to the Sin Chew Daily reporter, he should just sue her for defamation or whatsoever. Do Ahmad and his supporters need to run down the entire community?
Why call us Jews? Why even involve the American Jews? Is Ahmad trying to incite hatred of Muslims and Malays against all Chinese Malaysians?
Even so, I would like to protest and I want Ahmad to retract his statement because I am really not rich nor powerful. I do not share any characteristics of a Jewish. I am probably poorer than Ahmad's personal butler.
The reality is Ahmad has a hidden agenda.
I suspect he wanted to engineer an internal coup against the PM Abdullah Badawi. Abdullah, as Penang UMNO chairman and National President, will be put in a very difficult position now. Should Abdullah reprimands Ahmad and risks a fallout with his state leaders?
What will happen if Abdullah does not take a stern action against Ahmad who has obviously committed very serious offence? Gerakan may just decide to throw in the towel. Viola! It will again fall into Ahmad's trap. He will beat his chest and claim credit for his earlier statement - that Chinese have deserted the Malays and it is time for the Malays to do the same to reject the Chinese.
How did the Chinese voters reject the Malays is mind boggling to me. Afterall, more than 78% of them voted and supported Anwar Ibrahim at the Permatang Pauh by-election. Anwar is a Malay leader. Chinese voters rejected UMNO not the Malays. Many Malays (63%) rejected UMNO too. Are they considered American Jews too?
What we should do, including Gerakan leaders, is to stay calm and IGNORE Ahmad Ismail and his gang of warlords. Gerakan leaders must be careful with their responses. Whatever they do might be manipulated by Ahmad to cause a social strife and in return blame Gerakan for it.
Other Malaysians might blame Gerakan too - for being a party to Ahmad's design and game plan to create a social strife so that PR cannot wrest power from BN. Anything is possible.
It is best for DAP not to react because it still carry a baggage of being anti-Malay.
But right-minded Malays should come out strongly to criticise Ahmad and his supporters for going overboard.
Finally, tearing up Dr Koh's picture is really abhorring (although I may be totally disagree with his political stand). It is best for Koh to keep a cool head too and knowing him it will not be a problem. Ahmad has an agenda to blame it all Koh if he is successful in starting up a social strife.
Lastly, Ahmad and his supporters are so outdated to try this stale game. We will not let you prevail. Responding to him will put us exactly at the level where he is today.
The likes of Ahmad Ismail are have-beens and irrelevant. UMNO should take note of this if it does not want to go that way.
I must admit that this is a very persuasive justification which might push people like myself to eventually support a change of government for practical reasons. Simply, we cannot afford to go on like this or tolerate such politicians.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 1:47 AM 19 comments
Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why Am I Celebrating 916?

Before you jump to a conclusion that I am supporting crossovers and a change of federal government, I would like to assure you of my position. I do not support defections which are making a mockery of our democratic system.
Worse if defections are bought with promises using public's money and resources. So, whatever the temptations (20% or 25% oil royalty) it is still wrong to tear up the people's mandate. Yes, I desire a change of government as much as you do but I will not go to the extend of destroying our nascent democracy to do so. We have waited for 51 years and I believe we can wait a few more years.
Why am I celebrating 916?
I celebrate 916 because I am a Malaysian. It is a significant date which marks the formation of multiracial Malaysia. It is a date which celebrates our diversity and our willingness to co-exist as a society. It embraces all.
I am proud of 831 but the political language which masked the celebration of 831 has tainted its sanctity. It is no longer about a celebration of our independence from colonial rule but a date to remind people like me - non-Bumiputeras - that we should be grateful of our citizenship. It is a date we are continuously ridiculed for our lack of sacrifice.
831 is linked to the social contract. It remains an elusive contract. Some prominent academicians such as Royal Professor Ungku Aziz insisted that it does not exist. Most of our political leaders said there is such a contract. Ahmad Ismail kicked up a fuss because of the social contract.
PM Abdullah defended him because the social contract is sacred. Other non-UMNO parties in the BN have long became willing parties to the contract on our behalf. With barely 25% of support now, is the contract still relevant?
I do not wish to betray our nation and our society. I am not disloyal but I simply cannot celebrate 831.
But for the love of my country, my people and our diversity, I will celebrate 916. It shall be a date and a worthy celebration to usher in a New Malaysia. It must be a Malaysia where everyone is equal in God's eyes and the Law.
If you are with me, say Aye! Lets party! It is time we end our divisions.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 11:08 PM 7 comments

Let Them Sink!

It is clear now that some warlords in UMNO, especially Ahmad Ismail and his colleagues in Penang UMNO, have started the war cry to put this country into a social chaos judging from their statements.
If Ahmad is sincere in defending his statement he does not have to incite the sentiments of Malay groups and individuals around the country. What he has to do is to sue the reporter and newspaper which allegedly misreported him.
Instead, when contacted by Malaysiakini, Ahmad said those who supported him consist of professionals, top academicians, politicians, civil movements, relatives and friends.
"They were flabbergasted with the emerging threats against Malay rights and privileges," he said.
"I am surprised with the unexpected overwhelming support I had received from Malay-Muslims across the country. It seems Malays have kept back their disgruntlement for far too long and my issue had evoked their sentiments.
"It is going to be a major issue now," cautioned Ahmad.
I support Malik's call: "I think we should leave Ahmad Ismail and his merry men to do what it is they do best; reinforce the choices voters made on March 8th when they decided to hand over Penang to the Pakatan Rakyat".
In this episode, it has proven that PM Abdullah Badawi is not capable to perform out of our expectation. Abdullah told the press Ahmad's explanations that what he said was "historical fact" and that his remarks had been misinterpreted.
"As the Bukit Bendera division head, he has been supporting non-Umno candidates in the constituency, so that shows that he is not racist," said Abdullah, while flanked by all the division heads who attended the meeting, including Ahmad.
This is the most ingenous and insensitive justification made by Abdullah in his defence of Ahmad Ismail. It does not matter even if Ahmad and his buddies were to tear down our fragile interethnic relationship especially with such a statement made by Azhar Ibrahim - he is probably going all out to outdo Ahmad.
Penang Umno secretary Azhar Ibrahim has stood by his call for the Sin Chew reporter in question to "be shot" should a May 13-type racial riot breaks out. It is outdated for Azhar to use the May 13 threat. All over the world, right minded and courageous journalists' safety and life are being threatened by people like Azhar.
On the 8th March, Malaysians especially Penangites had shown to the world their maturity to stay out of trouble and to allow the process of democracy to take its course. We will do the same again to ensure that the likes of Ahmad and Azhar will not succeed in their bid to create another social strife.
I believe we must stop all these nonsense. We should not continue to ask top leaders from Gerakan and MCA to pull their respective party out from BN. Let them be where they are now. If the ship is sinking, right thinking people will dive out and look for life boats to save themselves.
Just let them drift away quietly and become footnotes in our nation's history.
It is time for us now to usher in a New Malaysia. There's so much to do if we are to change our future and fortune.
Our future does not have to stay this way - Bleak. We can and we will change our destiny. Let us, regardless of race and religion, work together to make this nation successful if you still love this country.
For the likes of Ahmad Ismail, Azhar Ibrahim and a few more who supported them we should know what to do when comes the next general election.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 1:49 AM 6 comments
Friday, September 05, 2008

Is Our Future Bleak?
If you ask Malaysians who feel pessimistic about the country's future to rise up their hand, I am sure you will find a sea of hands. The fact is people do not feel encouraged in the current economic and political gloom.It is wrong to blame the state of our economy entirely on the perverse domestic politics. But it is not incorrect to say that the current political dilemma does not help to encourage a more positive economic outlook. Perception is an important barometer for consumer spending and business investment. A negative economic perception will slow down demand and lower business investment.It is foolish to think that by lowering retail oil price, our economy will roar back fuelled by a tandem increase in domestic demand. Again, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has asked Malaysians to seek divine intervention to lower the price of crude oil. We should instead pray for sense and sensibility of our politicians and policy makers.What is driving the bearish sentiment of our local economy is the current uncertainty of the future of Malaysia. Malaysians simply are losing hope that this country will recover from its continuous slide. Then again, we cannot blame them from losing hope when many of us actually losing sleep over our own job security and soaring cost of living. Inflation last quarter has shot up to 8.6% which is the highest in 26 years.The newly tabled 2009 budget is unexpectedly huge at RM207.6 billion and yet showed very little indication that it will be able to create more jobs and business opportunities for the people. Some managed a cynical grin over the offer of RM20 free electricity bill knowing that this sounds rather ridiculous.Malaysia is one of the few countries where individuals are paying more taxes than corporations. Individual highest tax rate is 27 percent compared to 25 percent for corporations. The government is trying to be morally correct by increasing sin tax for cigarette by an additional 3 cents per stick. Will this alter the behaviour of smokers? More are expected to migrate to cheaper contraband or locally produced cigarettes putting their health and that of other non-smokers at even greater risk.The lack of policy wisdom is obviously not helping to restore and enhance public confidence in the economy. We cannot spend our way out of our misery nor can we simply depend on frugality to improve our financial position. What Malaysia need is a clear, competent and competitive economic solution. This solution can only be found if the ruling government is able to provide a solid policy leadership.In his numerous policy speeches, the Prime Minister has repeatedly said that the private sector should take the lead in the economy. This is easier said than done. For the last two decades, Malaysian companies have been pampered with easy government contracts. Businesses went on relentless expansion overdrive due to easy access to funds. Projects were awarded not on the basis of performance but social status and political patronage. But did the government stop for a moment to ponder what has been achieved with the hundreds of billions spent so far?As a result, we have lost a generation of competent companies and individuals. Companies which are competent but lacked political connections had left to strike out on their own overseas. Some of them found it simply too cumbersome to do business locally when know-who takes precedent over know-how.Many of our skilled professionals were attracted to work overseas due to higher salary and equal opportunities. Did the government pause for a moment to examine what was the main cause of our brain drain? Why the civil service is not able to attract the best talents when many of them would not mind working for other foreign governments? When will it sink into our politicians' subconscious that it time for them to exercise their mandate to govern instead of continuing to bicker?Again, this is easier said than done when the two coalitions simply won't allow the other to function and play their rightful role. A fellow analyst remarked that both will probably continue with their act until Malaysia effectively becomes a failed nation.From the political lingo and behaviour, it is difficult for us to call a number of these politicians anything but arrogant, ignorant, selfish, out of touch, incompetent and rowdy. Before you accuse me of being rude, I suggest you read up on Malaysia's political development over the last few years and you would find examples and instances which will fit nicely into each of the categories I have mentioned above.With the likes of Ahmad Ismail, Zulkifli Nordin and others, it is not surprising that Malaysian politics may have reached a point of no return. This is probably the best time to sell any semblance of 'hope' to most Malaysians. This explains why a large number of Malaysians are supporting the possibility of Anwar Ibrahim led coalition grabbing power regardless the moral issue. Between life and death, it is all about survival and not civic.Hence, if the Barisan Nasional leadership is worth their salt they should have prevented this possibility by offering to work with the Pakatan Rakyat states. The fact is Malaysia is overly centralised. A heavily centralised government will not allow for PR states to function effectively if the former is not willing to extend a helping hand or offer to collaborate. If BN does lose power through crossovers, the leaders have themselves to blame for practising negative politics.By helping the two coalitions to work for the people and to compete fairly to win over support is still BN's best chance to stay a step ahead of their surging rival.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 8:58 PM 12 comments

Penang UMNO Has Reached a Point of No Return
If you have watched Ahmad Ismail's press conference on the TV3 8pm news I am sure you will be feeling the same way like I am now. I feel even more offended now.Ahmad has remained defiant and worse he has repeated what he said about Chinese Malaysians in his press conference. Ahmad said that he was referring to pre-independence reality when he said that Chinese Malaysians were mere squatters.My question to him is why must he, a leader of the 21st century, still insist on looking backward and not forward? This is the main problem with a number of UMNO leaders. Why keep insisting on the pre-independence social contract when a society and a nation is supposed to develop and to grow closer?What is there for Ahmad to achieve if he keep going back to the past and in the process keep our communities apart and divided with his sharp and insensitive remarks?In his press conference, as usual, Ahmad blamed the press for misinterpreting his remarks. I heard what he said in his press conference. I do not doubt what was reported by the media. Ahmad should not try to find scapegoats for his own folly and arrogance. He has refused to apologize and even demanded that reporters are the ones who should make an apology for distorting his speech.Whatever the context, reminding the Chinese community that their forefathers were squatters in this country is totally unacceptable. Ahmad should know better. Many Malaysians can trace their roots back to somewhere around the region. We are a mercantile society.If UMNO leadership does not take a stern action against Ahmad, I am afraid the point of no return has been breached.To the MCA and Gerakan leaders who had earlier accepted Najib's apology, this press conference is slap on their face.Ahmad's press conference was attended by leaders of all 13 divisions in Penang. At the conference, there were many more Ahmad Ismails.Reported in, other local Umno leaders such as state secretary Azhar Ibrahim, Bukit Mertajam division leader Musa Syeikh Fadzir and Bayan Baru division chief Mohd Zain Omar joined Ahmad to rap virtually everyone who objected to Ahmad's rally speech.Azhar blasted the relevant Sin Chiew Daily reporter as 'idiotic' saying that "the reporter and the newspaper should be held responsible for inciting racial hatred and conflict."Ahmad called Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon as a "great liar and opportunist", and said Gerakan can always "get out from Barisan Nasional."He even claimed BN would not have lost in Penang in the last general election if not for the incompetency of former Chief Minister Koh and Gerakan."We fully back Ahmad on this issue," Musa told newsmen, rejecting outrightly Najib's apologetic gesture.But the most intimidating threat came from former Bayan Lepas assemblyperson Mohd Zain, who warned "non-Malays to be extra careful with their deeds and words.""Don't disturb and push the Malays too much. Don't think we are quiet."We can retaliate very aggressively," he thumped home amidst applause from supporters.Mohd Zain rapped Chinese and Hindus of "blowing up Muslim conversion issues out of proportion while at the same time, being quiet on Christianity conversion issues.In another report from, Gerakan Vice-President and Bukit Bendera Chairman Teng Hock Nan has today issued an ultimatum - that the Gerakan Bukit Bendera division will "disassociate itself" from the Umno division chief if he continues to refuse to apologise for his allegedly racist remarks.I am afraid now the party has to disassociate itself from the whole of Penang UMNO.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 8:36 PM 15 comments


Go to Newest Posting Email to: Malaysian Unplug
" A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an OPEN market, is a nation that is afraid of its people." -John F. Kennedy
To All Our Fellow Muslim Brothers and Sisters,"Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan Al-Mubarak."
We Commend the Stand of the MUSLIM PROFESSIONALS FORUM (MPF)
Sunday, September 14, 2008 17:08

The problem with UMNO is that it is NEVER in-tune with the BROAD spectrum of the rakyat.
UMNO only tunes in to the greed of its cronies, to the racist tendencies of the ultra-Malays in its midsts, and to the emotionally charged outbursts of the UMNO Youth thugs and its sponsored Mat Rempits.What UMNO needs now are NEW batch of leaders, different from the present ones, who can think out of the box and act rationally, and who have the courage to free themselves from the straight-jacket of UMNO's racist past.UMNO's relevance today is as a MALAY party which can also look after equally the interests of NON-Malays.-Malaysian Unplug HERE Press Statement from the Muslim Professionals Forum
Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)PRESS RELEASE - ISA ARRESTS 13th September 2008
The arrests of MP Theresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng under the ISA following that of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin raise grave concern for Malaysians.An endearing legacy of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's leadership that we have come to appreciate is the openness albeit limited, that has come as a breath of fresh air after 2 decades of punitive control of the public sphere.The arrests of the three individuals under the draconian law at a time when Malaysians have become more mature politically and less inclined to be baited by racial politics will no doubt further erode the legitimacy of and support for the ruling party, perhaps irrevocably.Of no less import will be the repercussions to Malaysia's reputation internationally, that time and again the ruling party resorts to an unjust and antiquated piece of legislation to silence dissent in order to sustain her cling to power.It is clear to all that the arrests of MP Theresa Kok and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng are COMPLETELY WITHOUT justification.
Tan was merely doing her job as a journalist and UMNO has undertaken the appropriate measures, including an apology from its deputy president.
In the "Puchong Azan Issue", MP Theresa Kok was arrested over what is clearly a FALSE allegation.
We urge the authorities to immediately release the two and bring to book those responsible for fomenting racial and religious hatred.It cannot be completely denied that Raja Petra Kamarudin in his writings and those who contribute to his blog have expressed views that many Muslims consider as denigrating the prophet and the religion of Islam.
However we believe this can be countered by sound arguments based on well accepted teachings and sources of Islam.
In the extreme, the authorities may take him to the Syariah court. The use of the ISA is excessive, inhumane and runs counter to Islam's principles of justice.In this blessed month of Ramadhan, we urge the authorities to act justly in carrying out their responsibility of maintaining the peace and security of the country.
We also urge everyone in the public sphere to exercise restraint and wisdom in discussing issues of race and religion.Board of DirectorsMuslim Professionals ForumDr. Mazeni AlwiDr. Shaikh Johari BuxHaji Mohamed Ali GhazaliDato' Dr. Musa Mohd. NordinRelated ArticleLaw Minister Zaid Ibrahim - The Lone Voice of Decency in the Politically Insane UMNO-Led Government: Threatens to Quit over ISAExcerpts: Read here for more in Malaysiakini
De facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim today threatened to resign if the government continues to use the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial, against political dissidents.Zaid Ibrahim also called for the immediate release of DAP MP Teresa Kok and controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin who were arrested under the tough security law last Friday.Zaid Ibrahim said:
".... We have a government that commits to laws and reforms, we can't be using old-style politics or resort to creating fear. We have laws and they (the detainees) should be charged in court.I'll try to meet with Prime Minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) this week to convey to him my position.
If (he considers) my position untenable, I will leave .ISA should only be used to curb terrorism, which was the reason why it was first enacted. The problem with the ISA now is that it is used against certain people, it is a very unjust law.I am very sad that people like Teresa (right), whom I know personally, can be seen as a threat.I can't see how a journalist doing her duty, or even Raja Petra, can be seen as a national threat.If their statements upset certain people, let the police investigate.I don't want to make it difficult for him (Abdullah).
If my views are inconsistent or unsuitable (to that of the cabinet's), I can leave the government.
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