Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Wasteful Projects

From Lim Kit Siang for Malaysia

Michael Backman - most wasteful projects in Malaysia
Exclusive Interview with Michael Backman

1. What was the initial thought that prompted you to write about your “Boleh or Bodoh column”? What was and has been your intention in writing the article?

Malaysia has good people, good resources and a legal system that ought to function. It depresses me that Malaysia hasn’t been more successful than it has and that it is still fighting the old fights of the 1960s.

Malaysia ’s Chinese have accepted the NEP and its successor policies. They define themselves as Malaysians first and foremost and are among the proudest Malaysians. They have learned Malay. Essentially, they have done everything that has been required of them and yet still there is this endless preoccupation with race in Malaysia.

Meanwhile the rest of the world is just so unbelievably dynamic now. Malaysia is looking more and more like a sleepy backwater relative to what’s going on elsewhere in the world.

Many Malaysians don’t seem to understand this. Many like to travel overseas - but when they do, too many look but they don’t see. They don’t see how things in Malaysia could be improved. They don’t want to learn from anywhere else. They think Malaysia is a special case. They should be bringing back new ideas to Malaysia. Instead they just want to bring back duty free.

2. Have you ever considered the impact the column might have upon your relationship with Malaysian government and its people? We understand Rafidah Aziz, Malaysia’s Minister for Trade and Industry, criticised your column by saying you probably know nothing about Malaysia. Has there been any (positive or negative) impact/response from publishing the column?

I write to be read and I write to have an impact, otherwise there is no point in writing. I criticised the space program for Malaysia’s first astronaut - the making of teh tarik and so on - and the Malaysian Government changed its mind on that and announced that the astronaut would be doing sensible scientific experiments after all. Perhaps I had an impact there.

In any event, more than a thousand Malaysians e-mailed me to say that they agreed with my views. If I am giving a voice to those Malaysians who share the same views but feel that they can’t express them then I’m happy to have been of some help.

But then why should I as a non-Malaysian comment about Malaysia? As far as I am concerned, strict notions of nationality are breaking down. We are all involved in each other’s countries now. Malaysians have a lot of investments in Australia. Australians invest in Asia and so on. We all have stakes in other countries and so all should be able to comment on how they are run. The free flow of ideas and openness are good things. The only people who do not like this are politicians in Malaysia and Singapore. You will never hear Australian or UK politicians complaining about those things. So you should ask yourself, why do Malaysian and Singaporean politicians dislike public debate and openness?

As for Rafidah, I know quite a lot about Malaysia. And I know quite a lot about Rafidah, which is why I wrote about the corruption allegations against her in my second column. Rafidah understands her trade brief very well, but she is dictatorial. Look at how she rules UMNO Wanita.

Sadly, I suspect I know more about Malaysia than many Malaysians. One reason for this is because Malaysia’s media is so poor and many things cannot be discussed openly. Ministers like Rafidah would prefer that Malaysians are not told things. Perhaps they have something to hide.

There is an idea among Malaysians that their country is particularly special and unique and that non-Malaysians simply cannot know much about Malaysia. That simply isn’t true. All countries are complex and have their nuances. You can be expert in a country without being from that country. Indeed, sometimes it helps not to be from that country. If more Malaysians sent more time away from Malaysia, they would gain a far clearer picture of what Malaysia is and what it is not.

I have met many Malaysian politicians and business people, spent time in almost every Malaysian state, sat through sessions of the Malaysian parliament and even attended an UMNO general assembly, stayed in kampongs, visited rubber plantations, and so on - that’s more than most Malaysians. I have stayed with Malaysian friends in Damansara, in Ampang and in Pandan Jaya. But Rafidah only stays in Damansara.

3. We understand you’re an expert on Asia’s political and economical affairs. But you seem to have taken an extra interest in Malaysia (like having a special column for Malaysia’s articles on your webpage
( Why Malaysia?

I studied at an Australian university. Many of my classmates were Malaysian students - Chinese, Malay and Indians. I became very interested in Malaysia from that time on.

4. After reading the column, one can hardly not to think that Malaysia is a somewhat badly “managed” country. We know it might be a big question, but what do you think has contributed to the “mismanagement”of the country?

It is not all bad news. Malaysia has handled race relations well. The NEP with all its imperfections was good for Malaysia. But Malaysia is rich in resources and there is a lot of squandering of those resources.

Education is big part of the problem. Malaysian schools are not nearly good enough. There are Malaysians who are now very regretful and resentful that they attended school in Malaysia. Some have told me that they have spent a lot of their adult lives trying to undo the damage of rote learning and ‘follow the leader’-type training that they were given in Malaysia.

Malaysian schools are a long, long way behind schooling in the West in which emphasis is very much on learning how to question, be creative and not being afraid to publicly voice your opinions. When I was at school in Australia I was encouraged to write essays in which I took the opposite view to my teachers. And the more I argued against my teachers’ positions on things such as social and political issues, the higher the grades that I received. Malaysian schools need to become like this.

5. From the top of your head, what would you rank as the most wasteful projects/policies ever implemented by Malaysia Government in the past 10 years, and why?

Proton - Malaysia should NOT have a national car. You cannot get sufficient economies of scale with a population as small as Malaysia’s when it comes to car manufacturing
Putrajaya - removing civil servants from ordinary society does not make for good government
KLIA - all that infrastructure, very little air traffic and it still takes forever for your luggage to come though - it is ridiculous
Petronas Towers - the lower floors are mostly full of lift shafts - you can’t rent out a lift shaft

Contesting Malayness

Interesting reading.

By Michael Chick

It's been interesting to read such free-flowing comments on an all "Malaysian" free for all. While we are on the subject, how many of you have read the book entitled Contesting Malayness by Timothy Barnard?

It's written by a Professor of National University of Singapore and costs about S$32. It reflects anthropologists' views that there is no such race as the "Malays" to begin with. If we follow the original migration of the Southern Chinese of 6,000 yrs ago, they moved into Taiwan, (now the Alisan), then into the Phillipines (now the Aeta) and then into Borneo about 4,500 yrs ago (Dayaks).

They also split into Sulawesi and progressed into Jawa, and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000 yrs ago. A sub-group from Borneo also moved to Champa in Cambodia around 4,500 yrs ago.

Interestingly, the Champa deviant group moved back to present day Kelantan. There are also traces of the Dong Song and Hoa Binh migration from Vietnam and Cambodia.

To confuse matters, there was also the Southern Thai migration, from what we know as Pattani today. (see also "Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsular")

Of course, we also have the Minangkabau's which come from the descendants of Alexander the Great and a West Indian Princess. (Sejarah Melayu page 1-3)

So the million Dollar Question. Is there really a race called the "Malays"? All anthropologists DO NOT SEEM TO THINK SO.

Neither do the "Malays" who live on the West Coast of Johor. They'd rather be called Javanese. What about the west coast Kedah inhabitants who prefer to be known as "Achenese"? Or the Ibans who simply want to be known as IBANS. Try calling a Kelabit a "Malay" and see what response you get.

Damn, but you'll be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.

The definition of "Malay" is therefore simply a collection of people who speak a similar type of language. With what is meant by a similar type of language does not mean that the words are similar. Linguists call this the "Lego-type" language, where words are added on to the root word to make meaning and give tenses and such.

Somehow, the Indonesians disagree with this classification. They refuse to be called Malay.. Anyhow you may define it. Watch "Malays in Africa "; a Museum Negara produced DVD. Also, the "Champa Malays" by the same.

With this classification, they MUST also include the Phillipinos, the Papua New Guineans, the Australian Aboroginies, as well as the Polynesian Aborigines. These are of the Australo Melanesians who migrated out of Africa about 60,000 yrs ago.

Getting interesting? Read on.

"Malay" should also include the Taiwanese singer "Ah Mei" who is Alisan as her tribe are the anscestors of the "Malays". And finally, you will need to define the Southern Chinese ( FunanProvince) as Malay also, since they are from the same stock 6,000 yrs ago.

Try calling the Bugis a "Malay". Interestingly, the Bugis, who predominantly live on Sulawesi are not even Indonesians. Neither do they fall into the same group as the migrating Southern Chinese of 6,000yrs ago nor the Australo Melanesian group from Africa .

Ready for this?

The Bugis are the cross-breed between the Chinese and the Arabs. (FYI, a runaway Ming Dynasty official whom Cheng Ho was sent to hunt down)

Interestingly, the Bugis were career Pirates in the Johor-Riau island areas.

Now the nephew of Daeng Kemboja was appointed the First Sultan of Selangor. That makes the entire Selangor Sultanate part Arab, part Chinese! Try talking to the Bugis Museum curator near Kukup in Johor. Kukup is located near the most south-western tip of Johor. (Due south of Pontian Kechil)

Let's not even get into the Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekiu, and Hang Lekir, who shared the same family last name as the other super famous "Hang" family member. Hang Li Poh. And who was she?

The princess of a Ming Dynasty Emperor who was sent to marry the Sultan of Malacca. Won't that make the entire Malacca Sultanate downline "Baba"?

Since the older son of the collapsed Malaccan Sultanate got killed in Johor, (the current Sultanate is the downline of the then, Bendahara) the only other son became the Sultan of Perak. Do we see any Chinese-ness in Raja Azlan? Is he the descendant of Hang Li Poh?

Next question. If the Baba's are part Malay, why have they been marginalized by NOT BEING BUMIPUTERA? Which part of "Malay" are they not?

Whatever the answer, why then are the Portugese of Malacca BUMIPUTERA? Did they not come 100yrs AFTER the arrival of the first Baba's? Parameswara founded Malacca in 1411. The Portugese came in 1511, and the Dutch in the 1600's.

Strangely, the Baba's were in fact once classed as Bumiputera, but they were strangely "declassed" in the 1960s. WHY?

The Sultan of Kelantan had similar roots to the Pattani Kingdom, making him of Thai origin.

And what is this "coffee table book" by the Sultan of Perlis claiming to be the direct descendant of the prophet Muhammed? Somehow we see Prof Khoo Khay Khim's signature name on the book. I'll pay good money to own a copy of it myself. Anyone has a spare?

So, how many of you have met with orang Asli's? The more northern you go, the more African they look.

Why are they called Negrito's? It is a Spanish word, from which directly translates "mini Negros ". The more southern you go, the more "Indonesian" they look. And the ones who live at Cameron Highlands kinda look 50-50.

You can see the Batek at Taman Negara, who really look like Eddie Murphy to a certain degree. Or the Negritos who live at the Thai border near Temenggor Lake(north Perak). The Mah Meri in Carrie Island look almost like the Jakuns in Endau Rompin. Half African, half Indonesian.

By definition, (this is super eye-opening) there was a Hindu Malay Empire in Kedah. Yes, I said right. The Malays were Hindu. It was, by the old name Langkasuka. Today known as Lembah Bujang.

This Hindu Malay Empire was 2,000 yrs old. Pre-dating Borrobudor AND Angkor Watt. Who came about around 500-600 yrs later. Lembah Bujang was THE mighty trading empire, and its biggest influence was by the Indians who were here to help start it.

By definition, this should make the Indians BUMIPUTERAS too since they were here 2,000 yrs ago! Why are they marginalized?

So, in a nutshell, the "Malays" (anthropologists will disagree with this "race" definition) are TRULY ASIA !!! (main continent and West Asia included)

Saturday, 26 May 2007

The Issue Of Civil Service

For once it is Oxford vs. Oxford. From Philosophy Politics Economics by Tony Pua.

Finally, I'm getting to the press conference which I conducted this morning ;). It was well attended by the print media, and Malaysiakini has got their reports up in English and in Chinese already. So there should be some coverage in the Chinese papers tonight, as well as possibly the English and Malay press tomorrow.

Below is my 2-page statement in full, so that you can understand the overall context of my response. Understandably, most newspapers won't give you all the space and will only take quotes, which may inadvertently slant the reports. ;)

No Apology For Stating The Facts - Challenge Khairy Jamaluddin To A Public Debate Seeking Truth From Fact Towards "Civil Service Excellence: Quality Vs Quantity" In The Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall On Wednesday 8 pm 30 May 2007.

In my statement dated 22nd May 2007 entitled “Record Pay Rise Solves Only Part of the Civil Service Problem”, I called on the Government to take the “painful but very important step of trimming the civil service sector into a leaner and more efficient 'machine'”.

UMNO Youth Deputy Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin issued a statement published in the Star, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian yesterday took issue with my comment that the bulging and unwieldy civil service was partly caused by the Government's policy to absorb unemployed graduates. This has resulted in the civil service becoming a “dumping ground” for unemployed graduates. These graduates are also a “politically sensitive constituency” as an large majority of them are Malays.

Khairy claimed that my comments “were totally unacceptable and without basis” and hence sought an apology from the Party and myself.

However, as my previous statement was completely based on facts and figures provided by the government, we see absolutely no necessity to make any apology to the UMNO Deputy Youth Chief. This position is concurred by DAP Secretary-General Sdr Lim Guan Eng based on the following facts:-

On 12 July 2006, the Star reported that “The Public Services Department (PSD) and Public Services Commission have been urged to speed up the recruitment of graduates to fill some 30,000 vacancies in the civil service. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that this would overcome the problem of unemployed graduates.”

An EPU study on graduate unemployment conducted in September 2005 estimated that out of the unemployed pool of some 60,000 graduates then, some 70% or more were bumiputeras. This was also confirmed in the same Star article above, by the Deputy Prime Minister himself.

Hence, I'm unable to understand how the comment I made was without basis. He claimed that my “comments about the civil service can cause considerable damage to the morale and image of the public sector.”

Instead, I'd like to put forth instead that the Government's policy of absorbing these unemployed graduates, by acting as an employer of the last resort, is one of the reasons for considerable damage to the morale of the existing and senior civil servants, as well as the image of the public sector.

Criticising such a short-sighted policy of taking in unemployed graduates is also not akin to rubbishing the entire civil service as unemployable or of poor quality.

Therefore no apology shall be forthcoming for stating the facts and challenge Khairy to seek truth from facts with a public debate on "Civil Service Excellence - Quality Vs Quantity" on Wednesday 8pm 30 May in the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall or at any place and time of his choosing.

Constructive criticism of Government policy towards the Civil Service is neither a racial issue nor an insult to civil servants.

In addition, Khairy should also read the entire statement to put my comments into context.

We fully support the pay increment for the civil service. In fact, the DAP leaders have made our stand known repeatedly in the past the it was an absolute travesty that the basic wage our lowest ranking civil servants of RM481 are well below the Malaysian poverty line of RM691. Even the lowest ranking constable in our Royal Malaysian Police Force was only RM690 previously.

At the same time, I lamented on the fact that despite the massive and many privatisation exercises conducted throughout the past 2 decades, of which a leaner and more efficient civil service of approximately 500,000 personnel was one of its key objectives, today the number of personnel exceeds more than double that target. This is one of the major failure of the Malaysian privatisation campaign for not reducing the heaving burden of the Government.

At the same time, we emphasised the fact that the record increase in pay will be “a waste of public funds, if the move is not accompanied by a corresponding increase in civil service productivity”. The weaknesses in the civil service can be seen on a daily basis, and certainly needs no lengthy elaboration.

The unacceptable large building cracks in brand new government buildings as well as highways, the embarrassing leakages on the newly and expensively renovated Parliament as well as the Jalan Duta mega-court complex as well as the poorly negotiated highway contracts are just the tip of the iceberg of an faltering Public Works Department (PWD).

Complaints made by foreign investors on the bureaucratic investment climate in Malaysia is one of the key causes for a foreign direct investment decline of 45.6% from US$7.3 billion in 1996 to US$3.97 billion 10 years later in 2005. As put forward by Vince Leusner, the president of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, "the Malaysian government can do a better job in making regulations less imposing to businesses.” An example of the red tape, foreign investors claim that it can take half a year to get a work permit, compared with less than a week in Singapore.

Singapore, on the other hand, more than doubled their foreign direct investment from US$9.7 billion to US$20.1 billion over the same period. To quote Asian Strategy Leadership Institute director Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Malaysia cannot be too protective in the world of rapid globalisation. "The world does not owe us a living and we have to struggle to improve at a faster pace or be left behind."

Instead of challenging the Party and myself for an apology and for the benefit of the future of Malays and all other Malaysians, Khairy should do away with emotive arguments as well as semantics, and focus on the issues at hand, that is:

How to prevent our education system from churning out graduates who are unable to gain employment which befit their qualifications despite the large number of advertised vacancies in the market;

How to improve our civil service delivery system to substantially increase the satisfaction of the rakyat and the successful completion of government projects; as well as

How to streamline a bloated civil service, disproportionate to the size of the Malaysian population to reduce the tremendous economic burden of the Government, where all things equal, the budget deficit is expected to increase from the projected 3.4% to a much higher 4.1% caused by the pay increase.

In line with the above, I'd like to issue an open challenge and invitation to the UMNO Deputy Youth Chief to a reasoned, collected and rational debate next Wednesday, 30th May 2007, 8 pm at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. At the same time, we'll be inviting a panel of distinguished speakers who will share their views on the above questions.

In conclusion, I'd like to reiterate that my earlier statement was issued on the basis of facts and statistics provided by the Government itself. Hence, Khairy's call for an apology fails the address the issues highlighted by my statement, is totally unacceptable and without basis.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Heartfelt Apology

I'm so touched by the apology rendered by Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin:

"We are apologising to all women. OK. Thank you, I have to catch a flight."

With such a moving and sincere apology straight from the heart, how could one not be driven to tears?


God help me!

I'm ashamed that this could be even considered an apology.

I'm shocked that there was no mention of Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan to whom the offensive remark was directed.

Their presence in Parliament is an insult to all Barisan Nasional MPs. For the love of God, someone just sack these two idiots and let us live in peace.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Of Apologies And Explanations

Can a vulgar and sexist remark against an MP in Parliament be explained away?

In Bolehland, probably. Actually there are impending signs of it.

Shahrizat to tackle 'bocor' MPs
Husna Yusop, Pauline Puah and R. Manirajan

KUALA LUMPUR (May 16, 2007): The Cabinet discussed the "bocor" issue today and mandated Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil to handle the matter.

Shahrizat has since arranged a meeting on Friday (May 18) morning with MPs Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan), who made the "bocor" remarks in the Dewan Rakyat, and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin), who supported him.

In a statement after the cabinet meeting today, Shahrizat said the press would be informed of any press conference after that.

The statement deflated an anticipation by women non-governmental organisations of some form of decisive action by the Cabinet on this matter which had enraged women.

This morning, an English newspaper (not theSun) had sent out SMS alerts (before Shahrizat's statement) saying Bung Mokhtar and Mohd Said had apologised to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women over the sexist remarks.

Would I be right to guess it was The Star?

Last week, during a heated exchange about the ceiling leakage in Parliament, Bung Mokhtar was quoted saying "Mana ada 'bocor'? Batu Gajah pun 'bocor' tiap-tiap bulan juga (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month)."

Fong, who reviewed the video recording of the proceedings, said Mohd Said had supported Bung Mokhtar, saying: "When I wanted to debate on the serious issue, there was this scuffle and shouting."

Contacted, Bung Mokhtar said he was not going to say anything pending the meeting with Shahrizat.

On the SMS news alert, he said he withdrew the apology statement for the time being. He had also told theSun in the morning he apologised to women "if he actually hurt their feelings".

If, eh?

"Let me brief Shahrizat first on what actually transpired during the debate. Being a good listener and a good leader, I will comply by the Cabinet's decision," he said.

Oh dear. I nearly choked laughing.

A good listener? A good leader?? There's nothing good that I can see from that piece of well, no-good-loser.

Mohd Said called for a press conference in Parliament at 3pm today, purportedly to explain his side of the story but cancelled it after being informed of the Cabinet's decision.

Bung Mokhtar said he had experienced a similar situation before when an opposition MP had called him 'binatang'and he had objected and asked for the statement to be withdrawn.

"I did not make the remark to all women, I only addressed it to Fong. But since it concerned the DAP, they made a big thing out of a small matter," he said.

Small matter? Methinks they are only digging their graves. Not digging - excavating, more like.

Asked on the matter in a function in the Defence Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is also the BN chief whip, said the two MPs had not intended to hurt or insult women.

"They uttered the words during a debate as they were angry with the speech made by the Batu Gajah MP (Fong)," he said.

On whether the two MPs should make a public apology, he said the meeting on Friday should be allowed to go on first before any other decision is made.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz felt it was unnecessary for the two MPs to apologise as it would be difficult for MPs to debate in the House in future.

"You cannot control people's emotions all the time. This (Parliament) is not a place where you have academic exercise," he said in a press conference.

No, but you would expect something better than uncouth barbarians, really.

"These are all unguarded moments. I don't think the two have (an) agenda against Po Kuan, but it's the unguarded moments. I don't condone, but they all human beings."

However, he said the duo owe an explanation to the women who had been offended by the reports, adding that the cabinet had no directive on how the duo should deal with the situation.

I can offer a suggestion.

Just shut down BN.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007


I like that Indonesia recognises its youth and their contribution to the nation.

This is the Youth Statue or better known as the Pizza Man (depicted sans pizza).

Indonesia is undefinable. The people are difficult to stereotype, perhaps like most countries around the world.

Most Malaysians are aware of Indonesians because they come in as menial labourers or maids. The reality is, there are some very wealthy Indonesians, but of course, we don't meet them.

They have a thriving aerospace industry in Bandung thanks to Industri Pesawat Terbang Nusantara. And one of their former presidents, B.J. Habibie (also the founder of IPTN), was a scientist cum engineer who even has formulated a crack (no, not cocaine you idiots) propagation theory.

The average maid or labourer probably isn't aware of that, but in some parts of Europe, Habibie is highly revered.

Indonesia regularly decides to Ganyang Malaysia (crush Malaysia) but the worst that happens is usually the burning of the Malaysian flag and utterances of obscenities.

To be fair, they seem to have integrated rather well, multi-culturally. And while religious tensions do rise, they eventually peter out.

Penalise The Fools!

It's a relief to note that women's groups at least are not taking it lying down.

These two sorry excuses for men should not be allowed to get away scot-free.

From theSun:

Women want 'bocor' MPs penalised
Husna Yusop

KUALA LUMPUR (May 15, 2007): The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has demanded an immediate public apology from the two MPs involved in the 'bocor' issue.
It wanted the two - Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin) - to also apologise to fellow MPs and be disciplined by Parliament.

"We are outraged by the sexist behaviour of certain MPs and condemn the remarks made by the two which were extremely offensive to the particular female MP they were directed at," JAG said in a statement read out by Women's Development Collective (WDC) executive director Maria Chin Abdullah.

These women are pretty impressive. They organised a gathering at the office of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to make a public protest against the recent MPs sexist remarks.

"Also, in referring to a natural biological function of the female body, the remarks were discriminatory against women in general."

WDC is one of the non-governmental organisations under JAG besides the All Women's Action Society, Women's Aid Organisation, Sisters in Islam (SIS), Women's Centre for Change and Women's Committee of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress.

The statement was read at a 50-woman-strong demonstration held in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry here this morning.

It was later handed over to the minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who came down 15 minutes after the gathering started and stayed to speak to the group for less than 10 minutes.

Shahrizat said there is no need to be emotional over the matter and bring it to the street as the government is taking it seriously.

"All MPs are expected to be gender-sensitive and not to make sexist remarks. The law is very clear. The language they used was unparliamentary," she said.

"I will bring this up with the Cabinet tomorrow which is the more appropriate channel."

Also present at the gathering were representatives - male and female - of Suaram, Malaysian Youth and Students Democratic Movement, PAS, DAP, Keadilan and even MCA.

Maria said insensitive comments made against woman MP Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) reflected an underlying, deeply entrenched culture of sexism and gender discrimination within Parliament.

JAG also asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who chairs the cabinet committee on gender equality, Shahrizat and the Parliamentary Gender Caucus to take immediate action to end all forms of sexism and discrimination in Parliament.

"We demand that any MP who continues to ill-behave in Parliament should be suspended for six months and his pay and allowances be cut during that period," Maria said.

"Malaysians deserve better quality representatives in Parliament."

She said from from their observation, the recent incident was not isolated.

They have identified three other MPs who have been involved in such sexism since 2001, namely Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading), Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai) and Abdul Fatah Harun (PAS-Rantau Panjang).

I hope these fools in question are sweating at the mention of their names in conjunction with this matter.

Felicia Ling, of Cheras MCA Wanita, said the MPs must apologise to their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters for having made such remarks.

Keadilan Wanita chief Fuziah Salleh expressed disappointment with Barisan Nasional MPs as they had kept quiet while the incident was going on last week.

Yeah. Perhaps she hasn't heard of this thing called "The Whip".

Friday, 11 May 2007

".. Leaks Every Month"

What's that supposed to mean?


Who can take the Malaysian Parliament seriously when we have such crass village idiots reigning supreme? WHO DIED AND VOTED FOR THESE LOSERS???

Chow Kon Yeow has the original story and the outcome.

Lim Kit Siang calls it the Most Shameful Mother’s Day in nation’s history.

He's right about one thing. It's extremely shameful.

Po Kuan’s application to move a privilege motion was rejected because she hadn't immediately invoked the order.

This was because when Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar made the vulgar, sexist and offensive remarks, DAP MPs could not hear them both because of the din and pandemonium at the time and being seated far away from the duo.

However, they were heard distinctly by reporters and other BN MPs who sat near the duo.

Po Kuan made the application immediately after reading about it in the newspapers but by then, it was too late.

So there will be no justice served for Fong Po Kuan.

Unless she follows the advice of certain parties who recommend she take off her shoes and hurl them at the two guilty donkeys.

I'd like to see that.

Groups slam MPs for making sexist ‘joke’ against women - The Star
Bung Mokhtar & One-eyed Jack: 'Batu Gajah tiap-tiap bulan pun bocor' - Screenshots

Jamaluddin Jarjis Apologises

I have been away from my computer, down with a bad flu, but the news is, Jamaluddin Jarjis finally apologised.

Of course, the damage is already done.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Upper And Lower Class Indians

I noticed this just today. I don't know what to say. Honestly.

Sheena Moorthy
3400 Poly Vista,
CALPOLY, Pomona,
91768, CA

2nd May 2007

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister Of Malaysia
Prime Minister Department,

Ref.: Racial Insult - Formal Complaint

Datuk Sri,

I, Sheena Moorthy, a 3rd year Biotech Malaysian student in CALPOLY would like to submit a formal complaint against our Minister of Science & Technology, YAB Jamaluddin Narjis. I would like to bring to your attention the following incident which was totally uncalled for from the minister.

Date: 30th April 2007
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Belacan Grill Malaysian Restaurant, Redondo Beach, Ca

Minister of Science, Dato Jamaluddin Jarjis was here on an official visit. He wanted to meet some of the Malaysian students studying in California especially the ones from TPM Academy twinning programme. During the 3 ½ hour session, he passed a few racial remarks on me, being one of the two Indians present there.

Incident 1 - Each student had to briefly introduce themselves. When it came to my turn, while speaking he interrupted me and asked if I knew Samy Velu, because he knows him. I don’t see any relevance in that and he mentioned it a few times for no apparent reason.

Incident 2 – He gave a speech regarding how agriculture started in Malaysia. He mentioned how the British invested in Malaysia and made farmers work. Due to the lack of work force, “buruh India” was brought in. While mentioning this, he looked at me saying that’s how we get Indians in Malaysia.

Incident 3 – After saying he is going to get MARA to help the Bumiputra students, he looked at me and asked “How many Indians are here?, I don’t have and don’t keep track of number of Indian students here so I mentioned that “In this room, there are two (pointing to my another Malaysian Indian friend, who is fair skinned) and J.Jarjis looked at him and asked “Oh. You are an Indian”, which means you are an upper class Indian and she is the lower class one (pointing at me). He went on to say that, “Oh, I am not going to help upper class Indians, I only help to lower class ones. They are the ones that need it’. I left the room feeling very insulted.

Basically he judged me based on my skin color.

Being a Minister and respectable figure, these statements that he mentioned was unethical and biased. This happened in front of a crowd about 100 people. Being a true Malaysian at heart, and being taught not to discriminate among races especially in Malaysia, I feel humiliated as well as insulted by these racial remarks.

I demand a public apology from him because he does not have a right to judge me nor pass any remarks to me.

Also, I would greatly appreciate if you could kindly review his performance and take appropriate action to mitigate another unwanted racial remark, insults and shame to our country from this minister.

Thanking you in advance.

Sheena Moorthy

I'm really and truly ashamed of our ministers.

It's a given that a prerequisite for being a minister in Malaysia is to have the dreaded foot-in-mouth disease, but this is awfully severe if you ask me.

It's bad enough they humiliate themselves within the country but to go overseas and humiliate not only themselves but others as well is truly SHAMEFUL.

The Garuda

A Garuda at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. She's getting all loaded up for a long haul flight.

It was approaching dusk when I took the snapshot.