Good medicine is often bitter

In the aftermath of the KT ‘bye’ election,  alarm bells are ringing in the homes of every top BN leader. The writing on the wall is clear. Either change or be changed.

I call upon these BN leaders to push for the abolition of ISA and the immediate release of the Hindraf leaders and others detained under the draconian law.

I see this as the base from which all evil arises. With the almost absolute power given to the authority to detain anyone without trial, this law actually emboldens whoever that has risen  to the top.

As the saying goes, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.. This absolute power would ‘corrupt’ whoever becoming the top leader, and with such power, sometimes it is convenient for the top leader to forget that he himself comes fromt the rakyat and  should be answerable to the rakyat.

However, whenever this topic is brought up, leaders would answer that even the US is having the Guantanamo camp.

I think this reply  is totally out of point .

If the US is wrong, and detention without trial is wrong and against the Universal declaration of Human Rights,  does it mean that Malaysia has to follow suit? Why must we follow the ills of other people? If we want to follow the US , there are many other areas to do so, such as a free press and the 1st Amendment of protecting free speech.

If the neighbour’s son smokes marijuana, does it mean that it is alright for our children to smoke  that too?

The logic is simple, but as I have mentioned frequently to my blog readers, those who are very high up sometimes cannot see  things on the ground clearly.

Secondly, US is fighting a war, a real war against the terrorrists.  Even then, in my view, this does not give them the right to detain without trial and can serve  only as a mitigating factor .

Another area of reform should be the abolition of the Printing Presses and Publications Act. We must have a freer press in order to move forward. Not one that is controlled by political parties and that is spinning stories on the whims and fancies of their  political masters.

A free press is like a mirror. It gives reflection on what the government and the civil service are doing. It gives the feedback needed to enable government of the day to  take corrective steps early.

Alan Greenspan , in his book “the Age of Turbulence” says that in his research, there is not a single country in history of mankind with a free press and real democracy that has suffered famine”.

PM in waiting has mentioned that policies must be tailored to the needs of the people. Without a freer press, how can this be achieved?

In a certain way, in Malaysia, the blogosphere has stepped in to fill this vacuum, but in my opinion, since not everyone , including thosein the political sphere and the civil service,  is good in using the internet, there is really no substitute for a free press.

Corruption, the mother of all evil, must really be tackled and tackled hard. In the war against corruption, there cannot be half hearted measures aimed at ‘hoodwinking’ or ‘pacifying’ the people. 

There are a few other things that must be done , too. An  independent judiciary, a system of meritocracy in schools and civil service and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the distrust of the people towards the politicians is so great that even a good initiative is often viewed with suspicion that there must be some ulterior motive behind.

These are basic things to a better society. It is of course not easy to change a culture that is so entrenched. . It needs the political will and true leadership to overhaul the whole system. It is like a sick person: there is no otehr choice but to seek treatment.

Good medicine is often bitter. There is really no other substitute  but to bite the bitter medicine if we want to get well…And time is really running out…


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chauncey Gardener
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 14:49:34

    Change must not only be made but be seen to be made.

    One area where there could have been some visibility on change would have been the passing of the Race Relations Act.

    As has been reported, this initiative, which had been approved by the Cabinet, has now been shelved.

    The message to the rakyat is – No Action, Talk Only.

    It is becoming clear that change will occur only if it suits them and the rakyat’s well being is secondary. So many other examples can be found.

    Thus, if change does not come from within, let it come from the outside.


  2. nick
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 14:59:04

    The first thing Obama did was sign the paper to close Guano-camp, thus claiming the moral high ground. If this stupid BN-led government do not abolish the ISA, the next government under Pakatan Rakyat will surely do the same. During the anti-ISA forum held at the Selangor C.A.H. (I was there), I remembered hearing calls from the Perak MP that they will try to compulsorily take-over the Kamunting Detention centre and turn it into a Rakyat playground or give it back to the citizens. The Kamunting grounds is a blot and stain for Perak. The next PR-government should also apologize on behalf of all Malaysians to all ISA detainees, past and present for the abuse by successive govts.


  3. klm
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:01:02

    I like to point to a moment in history in another country in another time.. This was a time when the Citizenry’s blood pressure was at boiling point.

    I leave the conclusion to the reader

    The French Revolution (Wikipedia)
    The French Revolution (1789–1799) was a period of political and social upheaval and radical change in the history of France, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on Enlightenment principles of nationalism, citizenship, and inalienable rights.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity


  4. sing lau
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:31:42

    “The next PR-government should also apologize on behalf of all Malaysians to all ISA detainees, past and present for the abuse by successive govts.”

    This sound VERY SILLY to me.

    It is the perpetrators of evils that must do the apologizing… and only when they truly mean it.

    It is a FARCE and SENDIWARA if the PR-government does the apologizing, as they they are the perpetrators of evils.

    Why should the innocent party, and often the victims too, do the apologizing. Make no sense.

    The PR government should retain the ISA for a year… banish all those wicked and perverse BN goons into Kamunting to wise them up a bit!


  5. sing lau
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:33:05

    “as they they are the perpetrators of evils”
    should read ”
    as they are NOT the perpetrators of the evils.”


  6. nick
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:50:40

    Go and see the film ‘Australia’, you will not regret it. It shows a glimpse of the “lost generation” where half-caste kids were stolen by the church (mission stations) away from the parents. The Rudd Government apologized to the Aborigines. When a Government apologize for its past wrongs, it “draws a line” and puts a marker down. Pakatan Rakyat will do no wrong if it also follows up with some form of monetary compensation. That was what happened in the Salleh and other judges matter. You said “The PR government should retain the ISA for a year… banish all those wicked and perverse BN goons into Kamunting to wise them up a bit!”. I know you meant that tongue-in-cheek but two wrongs don’t make a right. Salam!


  7. Justin Choo
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:55:23

    Dr Hsu,

    The expiry date of the bitter medicine is long past. The patient is terminal. Let’s move on with a new lease of leaders with the charisma, the intellect and the integrity.

    There is no more option. CHANGE.


  8. A true Malaysian
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 16:01:19


    CHANGE GOVERNMENT, is the only option.

    Forget about Umno and BN, the patients are terminal.


  9. Meng
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 16:59:39

    There’s no way this government can change, as said by True Malaysiam , the only option is to change the government.

    Give U a simple true incident:

    A friend of mine caught a 16 Yrs Old thief stealing his goods in a shop. He was sent to the police station. The thief’s father went to the station and shouted “my son is not a thief” Some Malay friends who were around said “hey you pun sama, pencuri macam anak kamu”

    The thief’s father left the station without looking back!!!

    How do you expect a corrupted PM to get rid of corruption??? Or PM in waiting… must be joking

    Corruption umno sendirian berhad


  10. A true Malaysian
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 17:26:51

    Hey guys,

    Just found out this comment in The Malaysian Insider:-

    “The only way to change the sitting government through the next general election
    written by Wakdoh, November 16, 2008
    Rakyat has been crying for reforms. Does anyone from the sitting government hear us ?

    I do not think so. The system created by them is too ingrained to remove or reform. It is too deep rooted. It is in the core itself. The stakeholders are intertwined with each other. You change one part you need change the other. Practically the whole system created by BN has to change.

    I do not think there is any hope other than the next general election.

    Just look at Penang and Selangor, there have been some signs of success. Only changing the sitting government could give us hope. ”

    Noted the date of this comment? It was dated November 16, 2008, ie before KT bye-bye election.

    I say, it is inevitable to have a SNAP ELECTION. We are facing “confidence crisis” now. Perhaps we should request Haris Ibrahim to organise a fresh petition calling for SNAP ELECTION.

    It is no point to tell Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan to reform. They just can’t or couldn’t be bothered. They are terminally ill, brain dead.


  11. desmond
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 18:23:44

    Dear Dr Hsu,

    I think that any of us who are hoping that UMNO/BN will change to be more in tune with the Rakyat is to hope in vain, and will only result in frustration and dismay. It is a lost cause. Just look at what and how UMNO/BN has been reacting to the results of the last GE and the 2 by elections.Do you see any change?

    I think it would be more productive to focus our time and efforts to ensure that the present government is changed at the earliest opportunity, rather than longing for it to change with the times. Malaysians are ready for the next chapter in its political development and ready to usher in a new era of political leaders to lead us over this new millenium.

    If we just take a look around us, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand has transited to the next positive level in its political development. Malaysia has stagnated for the last 25 years, and I do not think Malaysia can afford not to progress beyond what we now have.

    The current government can only lead us back to the Dark Ages, and the proofs is in the news everyday. Do we need to linger to hopes and aspirations any longer?.


  12. daffodils
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 19:05:42

    We already know that the country is off-track, very off-track – we just felt it was about time someone in the ruling party acknowleged it. They need to take a long look in the mirror and contemplate the results of their efforts. No more denial mode.

    The fact that with their mighty machinery at their disposal and yet failing in a little by election means they need to do alot of soul searching of the rot that has been entrenched in our system. If change has swept America with the realisation by the President of an era of responsibilitilies those responsible for failed policies must be shown the way out.

    The rakyat now can turn to alternative media and blogs for information not gleaned from propaganda controlled by the government. They will not be easily taken in by lies and false promises. I hope that the epidemic that is weakening our country can be abated. Disguised greed have infected so many people in power.There is no longer room for those who would prosper on hardship of others.

    Wake up Malaysia!


  13. Atila
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 19:32:21


    UMNO will never change.
    What is good bitter medication for UMNO?

    Change of Government.

    Beware of how many UMNO leaders already in PKR yet with UMNO’s culture. But not many in DAP and PAS.

    Yes, we rakyat change Govt again if requires.

    In short, theres no one party no perfect party, it always revolves according to the needs of the people, the country and globally.

    History just begin People…..



  14. klm
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 19:46:45

    Back to the French Revolution. The french peasants storm the Bastille ( famous french prison). and guillotine the elites.

    Should we emulate this. Storm Putrajaya. Guillotine the UMNO, MCA, MIC and Gerakan leaders. Then we can start fresh.


  15. Monk
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 21:51:29

    Dr Hsu,

    Wishing you and your family good health and wise. Best wishes.

    Kindly send me your email at my address

    I will send the questions before the interview on the Feb 3. Thank you, Dr.

    Have a joyous and memorable weekend.



  16. serendipity hopeful
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 22:41:47


    Sorry to post an unrelated topic but I am trying to muster as much help as possible for a person in real need. Hope you don’t mind.

    Seeking your prayer for someone in real need of it.


  17. anon
    Jan 24, 2009 @ 03:17:03

    Becareful about the lesson of the French Revolution. It sound romantic at first instance with its echo of freedom, equality, and brotherhood. Prod deeper into history lesson, pursue further its various nuances and you will come to some surprises. For it is also about man forgetting God and thus allowed to be destroyed.

    Nevertheless, the lesson of injustice remains and that we must fight it.


  18. klm
    Jan 24, 2009 @ 16:54:11

    dear anon. because in France then, the man of god was part of the unjust system. The revolution also go rid of them too.

    When the system of man become unjust and corrupt,
    god will make it right again.


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