Sunday, October 5, 2008
Umno adding to racial tension: Ex-minister
Umno adding to racial tension: Ex-minister
Sunday, 05 October 2008 08:07am
• Zaid sees 'no future in Umno'
©The Sunday Times, Singapore (Used by permission)
Kuala Lumpur - The former de facto law minister who quit in protest over recent Internal Security Act (ISA) arrests has criticised his own party, Umno, for contributing to racial tension in Malaysia.
Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is rumoured to be thinking of leaving the ruling party, blamed a 'culture of fear' for the country's race relation problems.
He said that 'those with political power' had left race relations a sensitive issue even after 50 years of independence.
'When we face an issue, we cannot discuss it, we cannot debate it. We only use fear or we take to the streets. That is not the way things are done in a mature society,' he said.
The former minister in the Prime Minister's Department aired his views in an interview with the Chinese-language Sin Chew Daily, his most extensive since he resigned over recent arrests under the ISA.
The interview also came soon after Mr Zaid wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi arguing for the Act to be repealed.
In it, he accused his party of using race politics to win support.
'Umno feels that it is a party needed by the Malays. Umno leaders keep telling the Malays that they are constantly in danger and therefore need Umno,' he was quoted as saying by online news portal The Malaysian Insider.
'They always feel that only they know what is good for the Malays.'
Calling for more open debate on race issues, he said it was no longer necessary for 'one party to represent one race' anymore.
Mr Zaid himself has been at the centre of speculation that he would leave Umno for the opposition.
He did not comment on this in the Sin Chew Daily interview, but appeared to hint at it when speaking to the New Straits Times.
'I have given 20 years of my political life (to Umno) and I have got into a lot of difficulties because of my views, and not that I was disloyal,' he was quoted as saying.
'I have been suspended from the party for nothing and the latest, disqualified from running for (the Kota Baru) division election.
'So what do you want me to do if you are in my position?'
Zaid sees 'no future in Umno'
Sunday, 05 October 2008 08:11am
©New Sunday Times (Used by permission)
KOTA BARU: Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who resigned as minister in the Prime Minister's Department last month, may be changing his mind about not leaving Umno.
His reason is that he does not see a future for him in the party.
"I have given 20 years of my political life (to Umno) and I have got into a lot of difficulties because of my views and not that I was disloyal.
"I have always had different views on many things previously and today.
"I have been suspended from the party for nothing and now disqualified from running for (the Kota Baru) division election.
"So what do you want me to do if you are in my position?" Zaid said at his house in Pasir Hor here yesterday.
He tendered his resignation in mid-September over the government's use of the Internal Security Act on three individuals, including DAP stalwart Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin but said he would not quit the party.
On reports that he had been courted by Parti Keadilan Rakyat and met its adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he said he had met Anwar and Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat as friends.
"I met Nik Aziz on Friday to wish him Selamat Hari Raya and we spoke about national issues, but did not touch on personal things."
Who can help you if the court is 'ousted'?
Sunday, 05 October 2008 08:26am
©New Sunday Times (Used by permission)
by Sonia Ramachandran
KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands are denied the right to justice because of ouster clauses, say law experts.
That is why they are suggesting the setting up of an arbitration body to hear appeals against any decision that involves the use of the ouster clause.
An ouster clause relates to a provision in an Act of Parliament that overrides the authority of the court.
Bar Council vice-president Ragunath Kesavan said access to justice was a fundamental right.
"Anyone aggrieved at a decision of a minister or an administrative body or tribunal must have the right to the court.
"This is because the final arbiter between the state and the individual is the court.
"If you have a situation where you stipulate by an Act of Parliament that a minister's decision is final, you're removing a fundamental democratic right where the aggrieved individual has no access to challenge the decision of the minister."
Ragunath said a decision by a minister or administrative body must comply with the rules of natural justice.
"These are rights protected by the court, so an aggrieved individual must have the right to challenge a decision which does not comply with any of these rules of natural justice."
As the law stands, he says, there is a remedy of habeas corpus in instances where there is an ouster clause.
However, said Ragunath, courts had taken a very conservative view of their powers to review if it was related to the ISA.
"Their position, basically, is that if it relates to procedure they will allow the review.
"But they have not gone beyond that. The courts have been reluctant to review the decision of a minister and, if it is a decision based on national security, it's a blanket 'no' from the courts."
Ragunathan said there had been instances, where ISA was not involved, that the courts had examined the issue of national security.
"The higher courts have taken a much more progressive view of national security.
"There have been instances where they have rejected the reason for national security forwarded by the minister.
"For instance, in the case of Parti Sosialis Malaysia chairman Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim for the registration of his party, one reason forwarded was national security. The court rejected that ground."
(This matter came about after the Registrar of Societies, on Jan 27, 1999, rejected PSM's application to be registered as a national political party.)
An appeal to the home minister was turned down. On Sept 23, 1999, Dr Nasir filed an application for judicial review at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
He wanted the minister's decision quashed and the party registered.
However, the home minister in his affidavit said the party had been officially notified of the rejection, and that the party, based on police feedback, was a threat to national security.
On Jan 13, 2003, High Court judge Datuk Abdul Hamid Said dismissed PSM's application, maintaining that national security was the responsibility of the Executive and did not rest with the court.
The Court of Appeal on Aug 16 2006 upheld the High Court's decision but rejected the national security argument.
It upheld the decision based on the assumption that the party had been registered at Selangor level, which had never happened at all.
"It would seem that by merely stating that it is a threat to national security, in cases other than involving the ISA, the courts are a bit more progressive," said Ragunath.
"They seem to be able to move forward to examine the reason.
"However, in ISA cases, there seems to be a blanket refusal to review."
Former Universiti Malaya faculty of law dean Datuk Dr Sothi Rachagan suggested the setting up of a special body like the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) of Western Australia
The AAT can be established as a special division of the court to provide independent merit reviews of administrative decisions.
The SAT is an additional layer which takes an informal, flexible and transparent approach to the review of administrative decisions before they are reviewed by the court.
"It (SAT) is not a court. Therefore, strict rules of evidence do not apply. It encourages the resolution of disputes through mediation."
The problem with ouster clauses, Sothi said, was that most decisions were not taken by those at the top but by a subordinate on his behalf.
"Thousands of decisions are made daily and the minister or top-level officer cannot be making all of them, so this is delegated to officers under him.
"The ouster clause then prohibits this decision from being questioned. There is no accountability for the decision made."
Ragunath agreed. "We should look at something like that (AAT or SAT). Many administrative decisions are made daily so there must be a situation where you have access to justice."
At present, said Ragunath, a decision of an administrative body could only be challenged by a judicial review application in court.
"Even if there is no ouster clause, your only remedy against a decision by a minister or administrative body is by judicial review.
"It's not easy and it's also an expensive process. For judicial review, you also need the leave of the court. For example, you can deny a person a passport with no reason provided and the person has no recourse to the courts."
In some instances, said Sothi, a person could appeal to the minister for a review of the decision. However, this process could take ages to be resolved.
"When the decision comes, the result is usually the minister concurring with the decision of his officers."
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), in its 2007 annual report, proposed that the government repeal the arbitrary ouster clause, particularly in the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 and in other provisions generally.
"Suhakam is concerned that judicial review is ousted in quite a number of instances, including habeas corpus challenges.
"An ouster clause is contrary to the fundamental concept of human rights -- an aggrieved person should have access to a court of law," said the report.
It further stated that detention without trial must be subject to judicial review and that those who authorise detention should be held accountable.
"The current practice of adopting ouster clauses undermines the right to justice and the right to a fair trial. The ouster clause is now being used increasingly in laws which deal with non-security matters.
"For example, the Water Services Industry Act 2006 states that any decision by the minister shall be final and conclusive, and that such decisions shall not be challenged and appealed," the report stated.
ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS TRIBUNAL
THE Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Australian government and some non-government bodies.
It aims to provide fair, impartial, high quality and prompt review with as little formality and technicality as possible. Both individuals and government agencies use the services of the AAT.
The tribunal is an independent body that reviews a wide range of administrative decisions made by government ministers, officials, authorities and other tribunals.
The tribunal can also review administrative decisions made by state government and non-government bodies in limited circumstances.
On the facts before it, the tribunal decides whether the correct -- or, in a discretionary area, the preferable -- decision has been made in accordance with the applicable law. It will affirm, vary or set aside the decision under review.
The tribunal is not bound by the rules of evidence and can inform itself in any manner it considers appropriate.
The tribunal consists of a president, other presidential members (comprising judges and deputy presidents), senior members and members.
The president has established a number of committees comprising tribunal members and senior staff to provide advice and assistance in specific areas.
The president must be a judge of the Federal Court.
Source: Administrative Appeals Tribunal website at http://www.aat.gov.au/
STATE ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL
THE State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) was established in Western Australia in 2005 as an independent body that makes and reviews a range of administrative decisions.
Individuals, businesses, public officials and vocational boards can bring before the SAT many different types of applications related to civil, commercial and personal matters.
These range from reviews of multi-million-dollar tax judgments and dog destruction orders to disciplinary proceedings, guardianship questions and town planning and compensation issues.
The SAT's approach is informal, flexible and transparent. The SAT:
- aims to make the correct or preferable decision based on the merits of each application;
- is not a court and, therefore, strict rules of evidence do not apply;
- encourages the resolution of disputes through mediation;
- allows parties to be represented by a lawyer, a person with relevant experience or by themselves; and,
- holds hearings in public in most cases; and provides reasons for all decisions and publishes most of them on its website.
Source: State Administrative Tribunal website at http://www.sat.justice.wa.gov.au/
Hadi: Hindraf action a democratic right
Sunday, 05 October 2008 08:19am
©New Sunday Times (Used by permission)
by Sean Augustin and Sharifah Mahsinah Abdullah
KUALA TERENGGANU: The Pas chief said the action by the the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) at the prime minister's and cabinet's Hari Raya open house on Wednesday was part and parcel of democracy.
Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said it signalled a change in the democratic practices in the country that should be viewed positively.
"I don't think it was rude. That's democracy. In the United States, people demonstrate in front of the White House. It's not like they caused a commotion or started fighting," he said after the party's Hari Raya gathering at the Tarbiyyah headquarters yesterday.
In the incident on the first day of Hari Raya, Hindraf supporters went to the open house at the Putra World Trade Centre and presented a card to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asking him to release the organisation's leaders detained under the Internal Security Act.
The card was delivered by Vwaishnnavi, the 5-year-old daughter of Hindraf leader in exile, P. Waythamoorthy. The group was led by Waythamoorthy's wife, K. Shanti.
About 20 bloggers also turned up at the open house, wearing T-shirts bearing the slogans "No to ISA" and "Free RPK", referring to the two-year detention order on Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin.
Both groups told journalists their sole intention was to send a message to Abdullah. They have been condemned for being "intimidating, disrespectful and inappropriate", with Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal saying he would raise the matter in cabinet.
In Pasir Mas, independent MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali called on political parties and non-governmental organisations to stop pressuring the government to release the Hindraf leaders.
He said MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Hindraf should not get involved and let the government do its job.
"If the detainees are released following political interference, it will confirm allegations the ISA was being misused. Samy Vellu was a minister and he should know that the ISA is under the minister of home affairs. Even the prime minister cannot interfere."
Ibrahim was speaking at his Hari Raya open house at the Pasir Mas district hall. More than 5,000 constituents attended the event.
He warned that if Hindraf and other NGOs do not stop the pressure, he would use the Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Negara (Perkasa), which he heads, to counter their action.
"If these parties continue, we will organise a demonstration to show our displeasure. We are ready to fight off any interference in the administration of the country."
Home > Realpolitiker > Exclusive with Zaid IbrahimMalaysian politics according to Zaid
16 Oct 08 : 9.00AM
By Jacqueline Ann Surin and Shanon Shah
DATUK Zaid Ibrahim is convinced that Umno, the dominant party in the Barisan Nasional (BN), will not have the political will to reform and change in the interest of greater democracy for the country.
The former Kota Baru Umno division chief and one-time Kota Baru Member of Parliament (MP), was previously suspended for 18 months for speaking up against the party's disciplinary board. But despite being dropped from the March 2008 general election by the party, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Zaid as minister in the prime minister's department to implement judicial reforms.
However, Zaid's tenure as minister was short-lived when he resigned from cabinet in mid-September 2008 to protest against the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
Known for his candid and bold statements, Zaid tells The Nut Graph what he thinks about recent political developments. In this first part, he says the imminent takeover of the party leadership by Datuk Seri Najib Razak from Abdullah may not necessarily lead to reforms for the party or the country. Zaid also admits that he is unlikely to remain in Umno, but is not yet looking to join another party.
In part two tomorrow, Zaid responds to accusations against him by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his blog, and talks about the development of political Islam in Malaysia.
TNG: Now that Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has announced he will not be defending his party presidency and wants his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to assume the mantle, will the party be able to close ranks and focus on reforming itself?
Zaid Ibrahim: The party will close ranks in the sense that whenever you have a new leader, there's always that sense of excitement and you tend to gravitate around the new leader. But about reforming itself, that's another question.
You don't think it's possible? Why not? You don't think Umno is capable of having that kind of self-reflection?
Well, they can have self-reflection. But at the moment, the party election will consume their time and energy. Some people think that it's desirable to change and reform, but it will be difficult because it will undermine their style of leadership, their philosophy, their penchant for power. When you reform, you must be prepared for accountability, you must be prepared for dilution of some aspects of power because the whole idea of democratic reforms — you have checks and balances. But that would undermine the very core of their power, so why should they? No, I don't think they will.
Does Najib have the political will to make a
good PM?Okay. Do you think that a government that is led by Najib, assuming that Najib eventually becomes prime minister, will be able to respond more effectively to some of the rakyat's demands and also that of the world economy?
Well, I do not pretend to know him well. And I don't want to prejudge. I think he's obviously a clever man. I mean, he's smart. I think he knows what needs to be done. I think he's a decisive sort of person.
But my only concern is whether he will have the support, especially of the old guard; [and] the political will. Because, over the years, he's never taken any controversial positions. He's never really talked about reforms. So based on his track record, he may not be the reformer that we all hope for.
About the economy — this will be a tough test for him, because like law reform, the economy requires structural change as well.
But having said that, I hope that I'm wrong. Because he knows the issues, because he's smart, and if he can summon from somewhere the will to transform and change Umno itself, that would be good. But I doubt it.
In July 2007, Najib was the one who reiterated that Malaysia is an Islamic state. And that was when Abdullah had to backtrack and say: "No, no, we're neither a theocratic nor a secular state." So, it's not just the economy or political reform that we're considering at the moment.
Ya, of course, it's the whole gamut of issues that the country has to grapple with. You know, when Najib said that, he was probably aware that it was not correct, legally or constitutionally. But as PM, he needs to be more careful on issues such as this.
Would you also say it's not in his interest to bring about these reforms?
I think it's not in his short-term interest to unravel the system. But if he thinks about the long term, then he must be prepared to take some risks. Because the BN's viability and Umno's own viability is at risk. So, somebody has to take some risks.
But that's as far as I can say.
Do you think there are any other leaders in Umno who are capable of initiating reforms? Do you like anyone in Umno still?
Well, I have high regard for (Datuk) Shahrir (Samad) and (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin). I think they are the kind of leaders in Umno who will be able to do things, undertake reforms and so on.
Tengku Razaleigh (Source:
Wikipedia.org) There's been a proposal by Tommy Thomas for the setting up of a national unity government, and he says we can set this up as a way to solve the uncertain political scenario that we are faced with. Tengku Razeleigh Hamzah himself has come out to support this idea. What are your thoughts on the setting up of such a government?
I think we can set up any government we want as long as we have the support of the people. And setting up a coalition — "national unity" is just another name for a coalition government. But we already have a coalition government. I mean, the BN is a coalition government. So, another permutation is okay. It's the same principle. So I'm all for that.
Except that this national unity government would be uniting both the BN and the Pakatan Rakyat.
To me, it doesn't matter. Any government of the day must have the support of the people and follow the proper process.
Do you think it will help solve some of the political impasse we are facing right now?
Perhaps. You see, for this national unity government to have a really good chance of success, some people in Umno must want it. Because Umno still has the biggest block. That's what I think. So if they want it, good. But if Tengku Razaleigh alone wants it, it may not work. So Tengku Razaleigh must be able to bring in substantial support to make it work.
Going back to the national unity government: there are some people who feel that if it happens, it's just a way of co-opting the opposition so what you have is a governing coalition that's very big, and then in Parliament you perhaps have only Parti Sosialis Malaysia and the Sabah Progressive Party as the opposition. How does this bode for democracy? Because the BN, as we now know it, is the result of the formation of a so-called national unity government after 1969...
Ya, it is okay to me if the country is facing some difficult issues, and we are aware of these issues, and we are in agreement as to what to do with these issues. Then yes, the most logical thing to do is to find the solution, get together and work together for the country.
But it is not as easy as that. Because if Umno thinks they can run things their own way, why would they want to share? It is the opposition that wants to share, because the opposition can't do it on its own. And Tengku Razaleigh is suggesting it because he also can't do it on his own. [This is] unlike Tun Abdul Razak's day: when they decided to do this so-called national unity government after 1974, it was because the Alliance felt they needed to sit down, even with PAS, to resolve some of these issues.
And you must remember, even with the NEP (New Economic Policy), from the first conception to the working level, it was done with the support of the MCA and the other communities. So that's different. There was consensus and discussion in that day. There was a realisation then that national unity means national interest, not sectoral or group interests. I don't know whether we have that realisation today. I doubt it. So I don't want to pour cold water on the idea. It's a good idea, but it's not going to work until Umno decides or realises that they can't do it on their own.
Do you think it's ethical for MPs to cross over to form a new government?
Because the law allows it.
Ya, that makes it legal, but it doesn't make it ethical.
But mostly what's legal is ethical, in the context of politics. Because politics, my dear girl, is not about what is ethical or desirable, but what is practical and acceptable. I mean, you can talk about ethics in the classroom. It's different, you know, we can talk about it as a subject or a discourse or as an idea, but I'm talking in the context of political play, of political values.
Do you think the Sabah government today is ethical? Because it stems from crossovers as well. The whole Barisan idea, the whole Barisan government, is the product of a crossover. If you view it very strongly that it's bad, then... I earlier suggested anti-hopping legislation because I thought it's not desirable, so you should not allow people to cross. But nobody in the BN wants that, either. So if you don't want this and you don't want that, that means you really want what we have today, which is a system that allows for crossovers.
Politicians want it. I'm not sure everybody wants it.
No, because we also have a constitutional amendment — that is thanks to Mahathir again — that once an MP resigns, he cannot contest for five years. So that limits his choice. If the constitution has made it so difficult for an MP to resign, then it is only fair for the MP to be allowed to cross over.
Another reason why crossing isn't such a bad idea is because the MP has a mandate from the people to do certain things, including crossing over if that's what the people want.
One of the justifications is that it's a necessity now because it is impossible to win any other way. But even with all the restrictions that have been in place by the BN government in the last elections, we still saw four new states fall to the opposition; we still saw the BN denied its two-thirds majority in Parliament. So the ballot box is still very powerful. Why justify crossovers if this can still work?
To cross over is the right of the MP. You must not assume that the MP doesn't have a duty that he must discharge in a certain way. You must not assume that you know better than him. He is an elected Member of Parliament with the people's mandate.
If the people in a particular constituency do not want a particular policy, and they say to the MP: "You must oppose it." What does he do? He can't resign, because he has a duty to the people to oppose the policy. But if the mandate from the constituency is: "We allow you to cross", then the MP has a duty to consider his constituency's demands.
You cannot assume that the crossing is done "purely for personal reasons". I mean, you must also be fair that not everybody crosses "purely for personal reasons". It could be because the people in the constituency want the MP to do it, and the MP has his own judgment.
There's still power in the ballot box (© Billy Alexander/sxc.hu)Isn't it as legitimate to play a strong opposition?
Yes, it is. But it is equally legitimate to cross if the situation dictates it. Of course, you can, say, wait after three years...
Ya, I mean, what's the hurry?
Ya, but that's substituting your judgment. Why not [cross]? It's different if you jump because of money; it's different if you jump because of some inducement.
But there's no way the rakyat will ever know if there was money or any other kind of inducement involved...
Then make it (crossing) illegal.
And that's what you tried to do, right?
Yes, but my point is that if it's not illegal, so why... why are you, you're also making suppositions, you are assuming things. An MP must have his rights. You cannot assume that he's doing it for money.
It's not really a supposition. It's more like we don't know, and we don't know how it can be checked...
So if you don't know, you must allow it.
No, that's too much of a blanket. And you know by the same argument, like you say it's not illegal — the ISA isn't illegal either, but it is there and it is unethical, right?
So that's why I'm asking for a repeal [of the ISA]. You see, Parliament is a system, and you cannot just judge by what you see here. In other parliamentary systems, they allow crossovers. So if other countries see it fit... Of course, some countries don't allow it, there are some countries that have anti-hopping [laws], one or two countries. But most mature democracies allow it. So you have to look at the parliamentary system as a whole, so if they allow it and they think it's not so bad...
Which other countries, Datuk, allow it?
In England you can hop, you can cross, you can resign. That is the mother of all democracies.
But also, I think, more importantly, you can take a position that is different from your party's position, which then makes it easier for MPs to vote by their conscience.
So there are a lot of other issues. We can't take one model, one piece of... in the context of Malaysia, it's very restrictive.
Do you think you still have a future in Umno?
In the next life.
So what are your plans going forward?
I've started my foundation, you know, to foster closer relationships among the people. I want people, young people especially, to feel that they have a future and a stake in this country. I want to impart positive values to the people, on human dignity and rights and so on. I'm going to work hard; I'm working hard to set this up, to reach young people, really. To reach out, to do things together, to understand issues better. I'm looking at some models, still early days.
But don't you already have a foundation?
That's true. I started a foundation for the disabled 10 years ago in Kelantan. In fact, the proceeds from my book go to it. So this foundation has helped the disabled community a lot, and now it's running smoothly. So that's why it's time to start a new foundation.
We have a very divisive society, as you know. So, any small thing I can do to help. But it doesn't mean I'm out of politics altogether.
In terms of your political career, are you going to remain in Umno?
It is unlikely that I will.
So which party are you looking at?
I don't know yet. That's why I'm saying, there's no hurry. My foundation takes precedence.
See Part II tomorrow: Zaid responds to accusations made against him by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
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Utusan: Gunning down (Chinese) woman MPs
Apart from YB Teresa Kok, a woman MP from DAP, news-scoundrels at Utusan Malaysia had also been news-hounding YB Tan Lian Hoe, a woman MP from BN/Gerakan and a deputy minister, with vociferous intensity of the rottweiler.
Picture downloaded from penerangan.gov.my
The latest round of attacks on Lian Hoe has been running since October 13, hitherto unabated. I have compiled the chronicle of events flaring up in Utusan Malaysia, quoting the usual suspects of political posturing. Please read on.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Insider Consultant Editor Leslie Lau doubted Utusan's attack on Teresa Kok, and Chamil Wariya's veil-threat on suicide-killing of an anti-Malay/anti-Islam politician, can help Umno and the Barisan Nasional in winning back the hearts and minds of Malay moderates or the support of the Chinese, Indian and other non-Malay communities.
Out-lawing Hindraf only made it worse for BN in the Malaysian zero-sum game, Lau said.
When Najib reshuffles his Cabinet...
Meanwhile, Parti Gerakan has managed to scuttle grassroot sentiments and calmed them to remain within BN until Najib announces his new cabinet line-up post March 2009. Thus far, none of the Gerakan senior leaders, including its newly ordained president Dr Koh Tsu Koon, had come to the fore to defend Lian Hoe.
Henceforth, Lian Hoe was left on her own devices to defend her stand. She was quoted as saying in Utusan Malaysia on October 15, please read on.
BY THE WAY, if you are interested, there's one Op-Ed in Nut Graph that asks: Who you calling chicken?
Oct 13: Gerakan perlu bertanggungjawab - Muhyiddin Pucuk pimpinan Parti Gerakan perlu bertanggungjawab terhadap kenyataan sensitif membabitkan kaum Melayu yang dibuat Ketua Wanitanya, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe menerusi satu rancangan televisyen tempatan baru-baru ini.
Oct 13: Jangan wujudkan suasana tidak kondusif dalam BN, kata Hishammuddin
Jangan keterlaluan dalam berpolitik sehingga mengwujudkan suasana yang tidak kondusif sesama parti komponen dalam Barisan Nasional (BN) hanya disebabkan keghairahan mengejar jawatan.
Oct 14: Lian Hoe terus dibidas
Kenyataan Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe mencerminkan tahap 'kebijaksanaan' yang agak rendah apabila meletakkan orang Melayu di negara ini sebagai pendatang dari Nusantara, kata Setiausaha Satu Gabungan Persatuan Penulis Nasional.
Oct 14: Gerakan perlu kenakan tindakan
Pucuk pimpinan Gerakan harus menilai tindakan yang perlu diambil ke atas Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe yang mengeluarkan kenyataan mempertikaikan asal usul kaum Melayu di negara ini ketika berucap pada persidangan pada persidangan parti itu Jumaat lalu, kata Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Johor, Razali Ibrahim.
Oct 14: Khir desak parti ambil tindakan
Bekas Menteri Besar Selangor, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohamad Khir Toyo mendesak Gerakan mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap Ketua Wanita parti itu, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe berhubung kenyataannya Jumaat lalu yang menyentuh sensitiviti kaum di negara ini.
Oct 15: Penghijrahan Melayu dalam zon budaya sendiri
Orang Melayu di negara ini sama sekali tidak boleh dianggap sebagai pendatang dari kepulauan Nusantara kerana penghijrahan mereka berlaku dalam zon budaya sendiri, kata pengkaji tamadun Melayu, Mohd. Arof Ishak.
Oct 15: Gerakan perlu perjelas
Ucapan Datuk Tan Lian Hoe, Ketua Wanita Gerakan baru-baru ini, walaupun sungguh mengecewakan tetapi tidak begitu memeranjatkan, lebih-lebih lagi jika dikaji kecenderungan pemimpin-pemimpin dari parti tersebut yang telah membuat kenyataan demi kenyataan membelakangi saranan yang telah dibuat oleh Perdana Menteri... (Letter to Editor) Dr. Faizal Tajuddin, Pasir Salak.
Oct 15: Lian Hoe diminta berundur
Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe dicadangkan supaya berundur daripada pentadbiran kerajaan jika beliau tidak memahami sejarah dan cuba mencari populariti dengan menyentuh sentimen perkauman di negara ini, Ketua UMNO Bahagian Cheras, Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee berkata.
Oct 15: Timbalan menteri usah bangkitkan kemarahan Melayu
Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe tidak wajar membangkitkan kemarahan orang Melayu dengan menyamakan asal usul orang Melayu dengan asal usul setiap kaum di negara ini, kata Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Khaled Nordin.
Oct 15: Ingat fakta sejarah Tanah Melayu
KENYATAAN Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe telah mengundang kontroversi. Pertama, berdasarkan sejarah kata beliau, orang Melayu adalah juga pendatang sama seperti orang Cina dan India. Kedua, dengan nada sinis beliau menyindir UMNO bahawa parti Gerakan selama ini berada dalam telunjuk UMNO. Gerakan tidak mempunyai suara dalam menentukan keputusan kerajaan... by Op-Ed writer, Muslim-convert Mohd Ridhuan Te Abdullah.
Oct 16: Jangan cetus sentimen perkauman
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi menegur pemimpin politik supaya tidak sesekali menggunakan sentimen perkauman untuk meraih populariti kerana cara seperti itu tidak membawa apa-apa kebaikan kepada negara. Sepatutnya setelah 51 tahun negara merdeka, pendekatan sedemikian perlu ditinggalkan kerana ia mencerminkan kekosongan idea pemimpin itu dalam berpolitik.
Perdana Menteri berkata sedemikian ketika diminta mengulas sama ada Barisan Nasional (BN) bercadang mengenakan tindakan terhadap Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe pada perasmian Persidangan Perwakilan Pemuda Wanita Gerakan menyamakan asal-usul orang Melayu dengan kaum Cina dan India
What did Lian Hoe say, actually?
What did Lian Hoe say, not elsewhere but at the AGM of her political party within Barisan Nasional, that Utusan Malaysia and Umno-aligned people wanted so much to censure?
Here's an excerpt of what the media reported on her speech:
If Barisan Nasional partners are willing to rid themselves of their self importance and fight for all Malaysians, Gerakan will remain true to the ruling coalition, said Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe.
In her speech at the 21st Gerakan Wanita national delegates conference, she said the party would rise with the people to bring positive changes to the country.
Tan said some leaders in the ruling coalition had chosen to forget that "everyone is a Malaysian, irrespective of race".
"We are not squatters. Our origins are the same -- the Malays come from the Malay islands in Nusantara, the Chinese from China and the Indians from India. So if you don't know our history, don't talk about it.
"The Orang Asli are the true people of this land, but unfortunately, they continue to be sidelined," she said in a pointed reference to the remarks made by Umno's Datuk Ahmad Ismail in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election recently that the Chinese were squatters.
She called on leaders not to abuse or twist historical facts and stoke racial sentiment to gain popularity and win votes.
"We don't want third-class leaders who divide and rule. This will create chaos, erode our unity and cause conflict among the races."
Tan said the dismal performance of the BN in the general election was a bitter pill to swallow, but efforts must be made to find out the cause.
"It is only fair for us to admit our weaknesses, where we are seen as not being brave enough to voice our opinions within the BN.
"We are regarded as being weak and not having lived up to our role in making changes within the coalition because we are under the thumb of Umno and are being manipulated by Umno leaders and members.
"We continue to be stepped on, humiliated by our friends in the BN and this is the partnership we talk about in BN."
She added that despite the stark reality of the March 8 election, there were still leaders and members within the BN who were thumping their chest with pride and playing the race card and ever-present Malay supremacy issue.
"Power-crazy members and internal power struggles mar the work that is supposed to be done for the people, especially the poor.
"We have forgotten our roots, we argue and debate, we forget the opposition made headway not because of their strength, but because of internal politicking within the BN."
She said that corruption, abuse of power, crimes against women and children, rising price of goods, problems with the judiciary, global economic crisis and other issues that deserved attention continued to be ignored.
Is that the bitter pill that Umno and Utusan Malaysia can't swallow.
Thus far, none of the Gerakan senior leaders, including its newly ordained president Dr Koh Tsu Koon, had come to the fore to defend Lian Hoe. As far as I can see, there's only one former colleague of hers who recorded, a meek voice at best, that Lian Hoe is 'A Beacon of Hope for Gerakan's Women'.
Henceforth, Lian Hoe was left on her own devices to defend her stand. She was quoted as saying in Utusan Malaysia on October 15:
‘Dapatkan penjelasan terus daripada saya’
Ketua Wanita Gerakan, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe meminta agar mana-mana pihak yang tersinggung dengan kenyataan beliau mengenai asal usul orang Melayu di negara ini, mendapatkan penjelasan terus daripadanya mengenai isu itu.
Katanya, beliau menyedari mengenai perkataan kepulauan Nusantara termasuk Tanah Melayu.
‘‘Saya berharap masyarakat umum tidak terpengaruh dengan berita yang dilaporkan daripada ucapan saya semasa persidangan perwakilan Wanita Gerakan pada 10 Oktober lalu,’’ kata beliau dalam kenyataannya di sini hari ini. [...]
Katanya, dalam kenyataannya itu, beliau tidak perlu menjelaskan mengenai ucapan sebenar yang dibuat pada persidangan itu.
While Tsu Koon has managed to scuttle grassroot sentiments and calmed them to remain within BN until Najib announces his new cabinet line-up post March 2009, here's one Op-Ed in Nut Graph that asks: Who you calling chicken?
Posted by Jeff Ooi on October 16, 2008 10:32 AM | Permalink
Tan Lian Hoe: Malaysians Should Know Country's History
News 2008-10-14 19:05
KOTA KINABALU: Malaysians should know about the country's history, especially the sacrifices of its independent warriors, to love the country, Deputy Information Minister Datuk Tan Lian Hoe said.
He said citizens with knowledge on the sacrifices and struggles of past leaders in fighting for the country's independence would understand better the meaning of independence and to appreciate the present peace and prosperity in the country.
"We don't want a situation where one day, our young generation, for example in Sabah, who do not know who is Mat Salleh, the statesman with a big heart.
"To the colonials, Mat Salleh is an enemy, but to us, he is a respected warrior,' he said at the opening of a Malaysia Day festival held in conjunction with the 51st Merdeka celebration here today.
Tan's speech was read by Sabah Broadcasting director Datuk Jumat Engson.
Tan also said that the country's historical artifacts should be preserved and should not be abused by quarters to split the people.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said Sabah and Sarawak experienced rapid development since joining Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.
"The formation of Malaysia and the country's independence have brought much progress and prosperity to the people and the states in various fields.
"This is a result of the government's commitment in implementing various policies and pragmatic development programmes as well as the continuous support from the people," he said in his speech which was read by Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan. (Bernama)