Sunday, August 31, 2008

Merdeka day Messages

Anwar: We're once again at crossroads

"Now 51 years after independence, we are once again at a junction. We see the constitution being manipulated, democracy trampled on and the institution of the state made into a tool for power," Anwar said in a statement.

"It is time Malaysians made that choice to return the meaning of independence to this country."

PM Abdullah appeals for support


Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appealed for the nation's support in a Merdeka day message today:

"A united people is the country's strongest line of defence in facing any situation both internally and externally."

"No one citizen is recognised as being of a higher position than another in this nation. This nation belongs to all of us. Whether we rise or fall depends on all of us," he said.


Source: Malaysiakini

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Malaysians reiterate need for change, reforms
Malaysian Insider's Commentary

Excerpt:

Let’s get real. Nothing much has changed from March 8 2008, that watershed day when Malaysians threw off the yoke of fear and conservatism and voted for the opposition in great numbers.

Five-and-a-half months on, this is the scenario on the ground. The Chinese and Indians still believe that the Umno-led government treats them as tenants and that the power-sharing concept of the Barisan Nasional does not protect minority interests.

The young voters still believe that Umno politicians are corrupt, arrogant and consumed by power and position.

Their vote in March was not a protest vote but a vote for change. In their opinion, their best hope for a more equitable country lies with Anwar Ibrahim. In the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election, all they heard Umno politicians talk about was Malay unity and the need to ensure the rights of Malays enshrined in the Constitution were always protected.

Indeed, Malay unity and not Malaysian unity has been the number one concern of Umno since March 8. On Aug 25, a day before the by-election, Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail spoke at a ceramah and called Chinese pendatang (immigrants) and added that “as the Chinese were only immigrants it was impossible to achieve equal rights amongst races”.

His comments were carried in all the Chinese language newspapers. Predictably, more Chinese voted for the opposition in Permatang Pauh on Aug 26 than they did on March 8.

Since then, MCA and Gerakan officials have demanded strong action against Ahmad Ismail.

Abdullah has promised to remind Ahmad Ismail to be more careful with his words.

His meek response will only serve to drive home the point that nothing has changed since Election 2008. Umno is arrogant and incapable of change.

By the time March 8 came around, many Malaysians had become disillusioned with Abdullah, believing that he was indecisive and could not execute policies.

In the days after Election 2008, he came out strong, saying that he had heard the voices of dissent and was committed to repairing the country’s institutions and tackling the rising cost of living.

After the initial burst of enthusiasm, his unwillingness to upset Umno during the party’s election season has seen him go slow on reforming the judiciary.

His Cabinet does not inspire confidence nor does his stewardship of the Malaysian economy. Cynicism and skepticism accompanies every promise and pledge that he makes today.

So really no one should be surprised that Anwar won by a yawning gap over BN’s Arif Shah on Aug 26.

Malaysians voted for change on March 8. It was not a protest vote, it was a vote for change.

Abdullah, Umno and the BN still don’t get it. So the electorate sent them another message on Aug 26.

Only this time it was more emphatic.

Source: Malaysian Insider

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But:

People do not change because they are told to change.
People may temporarily alter their behavior because they have been told to do so by those who have power over them, but that is not real change.
That is merely a surface shift of outward demeanor.
Inner truth has not shifted.
As soon as the power over them has been lifted, or can no longer be exerted, people's behavior returns to that which is motivated by their inner truth.

The parent of every teenager knows this.

The tyrant who would rule any country finds it out.

-- Neale Donald Walsch

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This Merdeka, Forget About Unity!
By Khoo Kay Peng

Excerpt:

AUG 31 - After nearly 51 years of independence, we are still talking about national unity.

National unity is an often repeated mantra of the only government we know but action speaks louder than words.

Unfortunately, there is very little of our multi-racial harmony that we can credit to the politics of race and religion.

Multi-racial co-existence is a lot older than our nation. This land was inhabited by different races longer than what's recorded in our history textbooks.

The fact that our multi-racial society is still living in peace and harmony proves that we have accepted our shared destiny.

But why are politicians so eager to play up instead of celebrate our diversity? Only days ago during the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign, the Umno Bukit Bendera division chairman Ahmad Ismail called Chinese Malaysians ungrateful "squatters" in this country.

This scenario is representative of a serious problem in our society.

Talking about unity alone shows a lack of vocabulary in our socio-political language.

As the world becomes more competitive and advanced, we need to correct our socio-political language and bad habits if we want to catch up with the rest. Malaysians need to get over the issue of getting along with one another. We get along fine with each other.

It is time now to think about our rightful place or position in this highly competitive world. How do we want other societies to perceive us? What is Brand Malaysia? What are our unique selling propositions?

Politicians who refuse to accept the realities of the 21st century should be ushered to their rightful place – a small corner in our museum. It is odd to want to be racially or socially exclusive at a time when the world is so inter-connected. We stand to benefit so much more from inter-cultural exchanges than to stay inside our communal shell. Unfortunately, we have been forced to consume such divisive socio-political rhetoric for far too long until we have grown accustomed to it. Our political system needs a purge.

So the next time you meet another Ahmad Ismail, hit him with the biggest trout you can find so that you will wake him up from his slumber. Yes, communal and all kinds of divisive politics must go.

There is really nothing to divide us. Not colour of the skin. There are as many fair Indians and Malays as there are fair Chinese. Not even religion. There are more Chinese Muslims and Indian Muslims than there are Malay Muslims.

The lack of confidence in our economy should be the main concern of the government. Not the controversial DNA Bill. It will be highly admirable if the government can help tackle some economic issues and challenges as fast as the way they pushed through that Bill in parliament.

The government should act responsibly to take political contestation out of public policy formulation instead of bringing it into the process.

Malaysians must look at the broader picture. We must not allow narrow minded and self centred politicians to hinder our reaching a consensus on what we expect this country to become in the near future. Malaysia has only one choice and that choice must be to make this country a better one than it was the previous year.

Our march towards greater success should start with a tiny first step – kick out racism and corruption!

Read the whole article at: Malaysian Insiders

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Merdeka: Dream or nightmare?

by Sim Kwang Yang | Malaysiakini

Excerpt:

What independence means is nothing less than national liberty, freedom from the yoke of colonialism, the right to determine our own destiny, and the power of self-determination so that our citizens will enjoy the fruit of their labour. We are supposed to be the master of our own destiny. Those were our dreams, and the dreams of our founding fathers.

Independence also means freedom from the bondage to a foreign power, from being taxed without our consent, and the lack of the responsibility for the defence of our homeland.

In fact, freedom is now painted as a word with fearful negative connotations. Day in and day out, we are reminded by our elected leaders that freedom is equal to license, the nihilistic idea of doing what one wants without responsibility and restraint.

Freedom has been equated with seditious tendency, with people going wild and violent because they have ultra-sensitive religious and racial nerves, and with riots and rampant killing on the streets that will destroy stability and economic development.

In the half century until today, I have grown from a young boy of nine to an old man of 60. I have watched how political discourse in our public sphere has been dominated by the language of fear, especially the language of xenophobic fear of one race for another. Like their former colonial masters, the post-independence ruling elite have entrenched this pathos of nameless fear to divide and rule a nation of many races, and a small multiracial handful of politicians and their cronies grow fabulously rich overnight.

In the past week, numerous orators in the American Democratic Convention have made reference to the fact that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the “I have a dream” speech made by Martin Luther King.

It must be noted that King’s dream is not a dream only for Afro-American dream; it was meant to be the reformulation of the American dream.

Back in Malaysia, we have Malay dreams, Indian dreams, Chinese dreams, Sarawakian and Sabahan dreams. We have as many dreams as there are ethnic communities, thanks to the 50 years of race based politics. So where is the one Malaysian dream to unite and define our polyglot citizens into one proud people.

2008 has been a watershed in our history.

From here on, the political waters in our country may be flowing in a different direction. The idea of justice for all may be just the kind of concept that is needed to transcend the narrow constricting strait jacket of racial politics. The old idea of “justice” needs to be beefed up, but the ten-thousand mile long march must begin with the first step.

Read the full article at Malaysiakini

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Racism still haunts nation at 51st Merdeka
Wong Choon Mei | Malaysiakini

Excerpt:

Racism is on the rise in Malaysia, with the number of incidents of intolerance on a clear uptrend that may not be containable if politicians of the day continue their current practice of using race and religion to compartmentalise society, some experts told

“The momentum of racism has increased with time and the perception of racial discrimination in the abuses in the implementation of the New Economic Policy,” said Dr Ramon Navaratnam, a member of the government's New Unity Advisory Panel.

“Some of our leaders use religion to divide and rule,” said Navaratnam. “Race and religion can go hand in hand. But our leaders must stand for all and promote better religious harmony. Not all do and that is the sad thing.”

“This government does not help in this area. It gives us a perception that it is promoting superiority of a particular religion and race over others. This is the main problem and it is not healthy.”

The latest victory by opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim in the fiercely-fought Permatang Pauh by-election appears to bear out these views. Many political pundits attributed this week's triumph by the Pakatan de facto leader to the electorate’s rejection of racial politics and disgruntlement over economic issues.

But even as the winds of change gather momentum, there are those who worry the ruling elite, in this instance Umno, may not want to relinquish or even concede power without finally resorting to force.

They point to the racial riots of 1969 and say at the end of the day, it is the big businesses and vested interests that have backed the Barisan’s stay in power who will push for the status quo to remain.

“They can resort to force, just like Burma, Zimbabwe and other authoritarian states, but it will come with a heavy price to pay. We will be reduced to the rank of pariahs in the international community,” said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.

Source: Malaysiakini

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Pak Lah: Solidarity vital for stability and harmony
Bernama

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last night said he hoped that every Malaysian could give importance to solidarity.

He said solidarity was the cornerstone of the country's political stability, social harmony and economic competitiveness.

In fact, the prime minister said, the world respected and held Malaysia in high regard as not many multiracial countries had people living in tolerance, peace and harmony.

"I am confident that all the trials we are facing today can be overcome if we remain united and work together with determination."

Pak Lah said: "We have successfully developed this country to a level we can all be proud of."

He said the country's objective was to become a developed nation in its own mould, a nation which promised a glorious life and future for each citizen, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity.

"No one citizen is recognised as being of a higher position than another in this nation. This nation belongs to all of us. Whether we rise or fall depends on all of us," Prime Minister Abdullah keeps telling the people repeatedly over all these years.

Source: NST

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Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

Happy 45th Birthday of Malaysia.

Happy 51st Birthday of Malaya.

The only true and meaningful Merdeka is the day when we all citizens respect each other as Bangsa Malaysia. Maybe, another 51 years is needed.

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6 comments:

kittykat46 said...

"It will be highly admirable if the government can help tackle some economic issues and challenges as fast as the way they pushed through that Bill in parliament"

Hahahaha....BUMNO is stuck on its fixation for Saiful's arse

Anonymous said...

My simple Merdeka wish - May our government walk the talk they proclaim all the time.

When Pak Lah and all the Cabinet members say unity and stability are vital, this is true. But they never say they will act on it.

Anonymous said...

YEAR IN, YEAR OUT, COME 31/08 THEY CAN WAVE & HANG ALL THE FLAG THEY WANT...

BUT STILL THE UMNO BRAND OF MERDEKA SUCKS!!!

SO THIS NINCOMPOOP BADAWI TALKS ON SOLIDARITY & SOCIAL HARMONY ARE... BULL8HITS, NEVER THRUST A LIAR!!!

**PR-MERDEKA

Anonymous said...

merdeka ? its nothing but just another holiday...

artchan said...

It has been a nightmare for AAB since March 8.

You can only have nightmares if you are sleeping..and he sleeps all the time.

4th floor boys should do the needful..wake him up..or have they deserted him?

Maverick SM said...

Kittykat46,

I agree; but alas, that's not what they would do. Ya, saiful arse is the focus.

PR-MERDEKA,

That was a wish; a wish only, while he has more other wishes.

Artchan,

But he needs a lot of sleep; what to do?