What a day! First, the shocking news of a judgement , which I would not go into specific because it would be subjudice to do so. But it has made my resolve even stronger to push for an independent judiciary,and hopefully , our PM can set up the much awaited Judicial Appointment Commission before he goes.
My mood was cheered by Zaid Ibrahim’s statement that the “Ketuanan Melayu” model has failed. This is a Malay and UMNO leader, but he has spoken fairly and truthfully in a true Malaysian manner, not biased by his own ethnicity. According to a Malaysiakini report:
“It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country,” said Zaid, who criticised the race-based policy despite being a member of the ruling Umno party which was set up to safeguard Malay interests.
Zaid said March 8 was a clear indicator that the ruling BN coalition no longer exclusively speaks for the people.
He also underscored the importance of promoting discourse and dialogue so that Malaysians learn to talk and to listen to one another again.
“Communication and trust amongst the people must be re-established,” he said.
The former minister called on the BN government to abandon its ‘reworked’ concept of the social contract and embrace a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities.
“It is time for us all to practise a more transparent and egalitarian form of democracy and to recognise and respect the rights and dignity of all the citizens of this country.”
Zaid also singled out Mukhriz for criticism. According to Malaysiakini,
Zaid also referred to the recent remarks made by the son of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad that there was no need for law and judicial reforms as it would not benefit the Malays,
“That he may be right is sad as it leads to the ossification of values that will only work against the interests of the party and the nation,” Zaid lamented in his 16-page speech.
“This type of thinking may pave the way to a suggestion in the future that we may as well do away with general elections altogether as they may not be good for the Malays for, if the justice that a revitalised rule of law would allow for is not to the benefit of the Malays, what is? More inefficiency, more corruption and a more authoritarian style of government perhaps……….
According to Zaid, the obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine has destroyed something precious in Malaysians.
“It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness. When a certain Chinese lady was appointed head of a state development corporation, having served in that corporation for 33 years, there were protests from Malay groups because she is Chinese,” he said referring to the controversy involving the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting head of the Selangor Development Cooperation (PKNS).
“A new economic vision is necessary, one that is more forward looking in outlook and guided by positive values that would serve to enhance cooperation amongst the races. This will encourage change for the better, to develop new forms of behaviour and shifts of attitudes, to believe that only economic growth will serve social equity, to aspire to a higher standard of living for all regardless of race.
“We need to meaningfully acknowledge that wealth is based on insight, sophisticated human capital and attitude change. A new dynamics focused on cooperation and competition will spur innovation and creativity.
“Some might say that this is a fantasy. I disagree. How do we go about transforming the culture and values of the bumiputeras so that their ability to create new economic wealth can be sustained?
“By changing our political and legal landscapes with freedom and democracy.”
I have in the past mentioned many times that our Malay brothers should not fear changes , since they are the majority race, and under one man one vote system, they will always hold the deciding power to chart the direction of the country. Since that is the case, why not just try a new economic system for 2 terms (10 years),; a system in which everyone is given equal chance but the genuine weak and poor should be given extra help regardless of ethnic origin. In that way, our economic cake can be expanded faster, and if the cake can become bigger in ten years times, everyone, irrespective of race, would have a bigger piece. If after 10 years, the Malay brothers find that they have become marginalised, (which i believe would not be the case), they can always use their political power to change the system again.
Zaid in fact echoed what i mentioned above by saying that:
“They are not under seige. The institutions of government are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly.”
Last but not least, Zaid also urged the authority to release RPK. He said ““I also appeal for the release of (Malaysia Todayeditor) Raja Petra (Kamarudin) from ISA detention. He is a champion of free speech. His writings, no matter how offensive they may be to some, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen as a threat to the national security of this country.”