Do not sell our heritage !

Just came across in Malaysiakini blog corner today of a posting by ”Electrical Engineering   Univeristy of Malaya”  of an article written by RPK  in which it was mentioned that

“the university would sell off 27.5 acres of its under-utilised land for a price of RM312 million or for a value of RM200 million plus a share of the developer’s profit, whichever is higher”

In June last year, after Malaysiakini reported that “a prominent developer has made a bid for the University of Malaya campus ground”, there was a hue and cry among the public. I myself have wirtten a post and a letter which was publiched in Malaysiakini then. Following all the objections, the government issued a denial that there was such a deal and the whole thing has quiet down.

um-library.jpgUM Library – The whole university is our heritage

Now that this thing has been raised again, I would like to put forward the same points of argument against such acquisition.

The piece of campus land situated in Lembah Pantai is indeed very valuable, and I tend to believe that there may have been a proposal to shift the university and develop the land, bearing in mind that there is no smoke without fire.

I am not a University of Malaya graduate but that is not important because I believe that it is the duty of every single Malaysian to defend the heritage of the country, and one such legacy is the University of Malaya campus.

Businessmen, politicians, civil servants and indeed everyone of us must understand that there is something more valuable than just money. A Heritage ground  is one of these priceless inheritance.

No amount of money can be equited with a heritage ground. Money earned can easily be spent, but a heritage will remain forever a symbol of a nation; it is what nationhood is about.

Imagine a proposal to shift Buckingham Palace in London. Even though it is situated within the one-square-mile golden city centre,  the British will defend this building till the end of their nationhood.

Imagine a proposal to shift Harvard University from its present campus in Cambridge,USA. I think the whole America will be in an uproar, because the American heritage and the whole pride of the nation will be challenged.

There is a Chinese saying ” 君子爱财, 取之有道”, meaning “  a gentleman loves money but you must earn it in the proper way”.

Developers and businessmen, let me appeal to you:

There is something more important in life than just making profit.

Leave University of Malaya Alone!!

Race and nonracialism 2

One of my earlier post, Race and nonracialism, posted a few days ago and listed in Malaysiakini , has attracted many comments (37 until the time of this posting), arguing one way or another.

This morning I have written a comment under that article and on second thought, I would like to publish it as a post so that more people can see my points of argument that all men are created same and equal.

This is my comment:

After 50 yrs of race politics, people are brain washed so much that everything in this country is race orientated.

We need to really do away with racial politics, but I dont see that coming soon unless all the people can be influenced into thinking like A True Malaysian. That is easier said than done, unfortunately.

But ultimately, there will come a day when this non racial approach becomes a reality

Even the whites in US has changed their mindsets, and many are already ready to accept a non white to be a President.

If my readers care to read some of my earlier articles, they will find that in one of them, I have mentioned that all human are basically alike, once we cast away the colours.

We have the same beating hearts, we have the same brains, internal organs, the same skin structure, same skin cells, even the same cancers and susceptibility to the same viruses.

To me, the different colours evolved as a results of the different habitat that they live. If you live for few thousand years in a hot place, your skin will be darker, as a protective mechanism given by the Creator. It is just like a white wearing a dark clothing or a black wearing a white clothings – the colours are just the pigments and not anything unusual or superior.

So there is no such thing as race supremacy, no such thing as Ketuanan Orang Putih, Ketuanan Melayu, Ketuanan Cina, Ketuanan orang India etc.

If we accept this fact (this is a scientific fact that All Homo Sapiens belong to a single species), then there should be no arbitrary differentiation of race.

Taking this idea one step further, there should be no arbitrary division of people into countries and states.

ALL THE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD SHOULD BE TREATED EQUAL AND THE SAME.

If we can have a European Union, why can’t we have a World Union, the whole world integrated into a single big family and country?? ( 50 years ago, no one would have thought EU would be feasible).

The stumbling block is the politicians and the religious leaders, who use race and faith into consolidating their own powers and interest.

You may laugh at me that I am too idealistic or simplistic, but if you ponder carefully, if all the people start to think like this, then why can’t we have a World Union? Why can’t the rich really help the poor?

(For every idea to become reality, there must be some idealistic ones -you may call “fools”- to propagate the idea first, even though it may be too futuristic or advanced for the people of the time.)

The rich has so much to spare, why can they share a bit of their wealth with the poor to enable the poor to learn to stand on their own?

Why can’t we think along this line?

(P.S.  **When I say “help”, it means giving training, education opportunities, equal employment opportunities, teaching know-how, etc to underprivileged people and help them to stand on their own feet, and not spoon feeding type of help, by giving cash , money etc- and that is spoiling and not real help)

Posters at war and poster war

 How important are election posters?

The following pictures are from local press Sun2surf’s photo album covering the general election 2008..

Do you vote for this?

pas-posters.jpg

or this?

bn-posters.jpg

or this?

dap-posters.jpg

or this?

pkr.jpg

What I am trying to get at is that whether posters serve any purpose in deciding the outcome of a battle.

Most people would have decided to vote one way or the other. The fence sitters consist maybe 15% of the electorate.

Betting , as mentioned in my post yesterday will influence the voters on how to vote.

Posters do serve a purpose.

 It shows the presence of that particular candidates and party in that particular area. Without the posters, a lot of people may not even know who is standing and so on.

This is especially true among the less educated class, where abundance of posters shows that the candidate and the party he or she represents is hard at work.

It also serves to boost the morales of the party workers, much like the standards or flags of an army.

So, no candidate would want to risk the chance of people not voting for  him due to the lack of posters.

The ones laughing to the bank will be the suppliers and printers!!

betting the future away

As the voting draws near, I have started to read more papers, besides the internet portals like Malaysiakini and the blogs. 

Oriental Daily, a vernacular press, reported today that some bookies are already at work in certain constituencies and collecting bets from voters.

I just cannot understand the mentality of these people. They can bet on anything and everything.

Please do not underestimate the effects in betting. This is a sure way where votes can be swung one way or other.

When a person put a wager of a hefty amount on certain bets, he would expect to win and hence he would vote in order for  his bet to win. That would become his primary aim. He would also ask his family members and his friends to vote the same way as he does.

Whether that would result in a moron getting elected will be secondary to him; human being human, he would care for his own bet first.

If many people do the same thing and place bet in a similar trend, then it would definitely skew the result and do not be surprised that a moron get elected this way.

A voter should realise that his vote is very important. It is about voting in people who would form the government, the policies of which would shape the future of the country. If a group of morons get elected and form the government, what types of policies will there be? Ultimately, the one who suffer will be the people themselves.

Gambling in a casino is bad; but at least the one who suffers is the individual himself. But by betting in an election, not only the individual suffers , the whole nation will suffer as will the future generations.

So I would like to appeal to those would-be gamblers not to place any wager in this election. Do not let the bookies control the way they vote. Think of their own future as well as that of their children.

The battle begins

The battle for votes has begun for the 12th General Election.

 Malaysiakini gave a very good account of the nominations going on yesterday, even though it was a Sunday.

The battle starts after about 10 days of intense lobbying and manoeuvre of the would-be YBs to get nominated as the candidates.

Some of the manoeuvres used are so dirtybrilliant that even Sun Tsu would have kowtowed and be cowed.  It reads like Modern Art of War.

For some parties,  this is a time to consolidate power and sideline those who do not toe the line, using the great euphemism of “change or renewal”.

Are the candidates chosen really in the best interest of the people or  the parties? Only the top leaders themselves know, but even young students lay men can tell you that this is not the case. Often,   not the best people are selected, but rather those who belong to certain factions or alignments .

Sometimes, a weaker candidate is chosen over a stronger one, even though the former is sure to lose and the latter might have a better fighting chance, because of factional interest and lobbying by the faction chiefs. 

Smokescreens are everywhere; rumours abound. Often these smokescreen and rumours are created to put certain individuals off tract and off guard to serve the purpose of finishing certain people or certain factions off.

Others are so pathetic and resort to crying publicly and asking friends to demonstrate as if their whole world depends on this and this alone!! A friend remarked that he doubted whether such cry babies have what it takes to shoulder the heavy responsibilities of a elected representative. I really have no answer.

Now that the nomination selection is over and the real battle starts, let us hope that both sides will fight a gentleman’s war and not resort to dirty tactics.

I hope all parties will follow strictly the election rules and regulations, even though my friends are telling me that rules are meant to be broken!!

Some people are willing to do anything to win at all cost – pouring in millions to try to swing votes may be one option of those who have deep pockets.

For those who cannot afford, borrowing huge sums from relatives or even “A Long” might be an option. These people probably treat this war as if their whole lives depend on it.

By their action, they probably treat elected office as a stepping stone to get high positions and of course good financial returns.

How will the people vote? No one knows until the final vote is cast.

Race and nonracialism

Following my post yesterday, PGRM’s list of candidates, which was listed in Malaysiakini blog corner, some readers commented about multiracial parties in Malaysia.

In West Malaysia, we have race-based parties such as UMNO, MCA, MIC. We have the multiracial parties such as PGRM (Gerakan), PPP, DAP, PKR…etc.  (I can’t remember the names of some of the mosquito parties, minta ma’af!). There is also a religion based party, PAS.

PPP ‘s membership consists of mainly Indian members with a sizeable number of Chinese . In Parti Gerakan, Over 80% of its members are Chinese, with the rest mainly Indians, and a small number of Malays and other minority ethnic groups. PKR’s members are largely Malays, with a sizeable number of Chinese and Indians as well.

Many of these multiracial parties stress that they are non racial, even if their membership, due to historical or other reasons, is largely of one ethnic group only.

I would like to think that as long as a party fights for the interest of all races and not a single race, then it should be classified as nonracial, even if the majority of its members is of one ethnic group.

In my case, I am a Chinese Malaysian but I believe in equality of all races, and I have always stress on the democratic socialist approach to tackle social, economic and political woes, and not a racial approach. I have always believe in  the principle of a stronger person helping a weaker one, irrespective of ethnic origin.  (Helping in this context means giving training and educational opportunities for the weaker ones to stand up and not spoonfeeding|).That makes me a true blood Malaysian, and not a Malaysian Chinese anymore.  You can call me Chinese Malaysian just to identify my origins, but I am definitely not a Malaysian Chinese.

If all Malaysians can think of themselves as Malay Malaysians, Indian Malaysian and Iban Malaysian….etc,  and not Malaysian Malays, Malaysian Indians, Malaysian Iban……. or worse still, Malays, Chinese , Indians Ibans…..etc , then all of us would naturally adopt a non racial approcah to things.

So coming back to multiracial parties, it is irrelevant whether the party membership is of mainly one race, as long as it fights for the rights of all Malaysians, it is a non racial party.

Whether its members are mainly of one race, its candidates are mainly of one race….. these will not be important anymore.

I remember D R Seenivasagam, the late leader of PPP of yesteryear. He was an ethnic Indain, but I would say he is the true example of a Malaysian, fighting for the interest of all races and earning the respect of all races.

Malaysian politics is now mainly race based. It is a matter of time that a non racial approach be adopted, because only then can we really maximise our potentials and compete effectively  in international arena and a globalised environment.

Continuation: Race and nonracialism 2

PGRM’s list of candidates

Malaysiakini has reported correctly that Dr Koh Tsu Koon would be standing in Batu Kawan in its breaking news this afternoon.

In fact, the whole Parti Gerakan list has just been announced and it is posted on this new blog: A matter of Choice started by a group of Gerakan grassroots members. Pls click the link to view the full list.

Among the surprise is that former Jelutong MP Lee Kah Choon is now contesting a state seat Machang Bubuk. Lim Si Pin is contesting in Batu, where the incumbent Ng Lip Yong is not standing. Dr Tan Kee Kwong has been dropped.

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