What has Malaysian society become ?

A 15 year old school boy was shot dead in the middle of the night. What a shocker!

While waiting for more details to come out, one thing is sure. There must be a stricter rule governing the use of firearms by enforcement officers including the police. Unless they face a life threatening situation, and this case, apparently they were the one chasing the boys and  not the other way round; they are therefore not in immediate danger of life, why should they shoot to kill?

There must be a thorough investigation and anyone who has breached the standard procedure for firing  a gun must be charged and justice dispensed.

Having said so, I must admit that I do not have too much  faith in any investigations being independent and fair. Just look at TBh’s case; there are simply too many unresolved riddles. The case simply has too many holes and not all aspects have been fully covered.

On the other hand, this shoot-to-kill case brought to my mind a trend that is worrying. Youngsters are spending too much time outside at night.

The whole Klang valley is a city that never sleeps. If you care to go out at night, there will be people — on the roads, sitting in Mamak stalls or drinking joints . These people are mainly youngsters that never sleep; or rather they sleep while we are awake and they are actively doing their ‘things’ while we are asleep.

Even cinemas are taking advantage of these youngsters. Midnight shows used to be on Saturday, but now, you see cinemas advertising midnight shows even in the weekdays.

Another worrying trend is that more and more people are disregarding the traffic rules. This has become like a lawless country. People run red lights; people park in no parking zones; people going the wrong direction in  one-way streets. Simply put, people are doing what they like regardless of traffic rules.

Now, even a 15 year old is driving a car. I doubt he has any formal driving lessons. When put  in a panic situation, what do you expect him to do? To run of course!. This kind of behaviour maybe due to peer pressure, but the ultimate responsibility must lie with the parents.

Why do they allow the child to go out so late at night? 2 am,  my God!

Why do they allow a 15 year old to drive? Are they not aware that their child is driving illegally? If they are not aware of all these, then they have failed in their roles as parents and guardians. A 15 year old still needs to be guided and watched. He is not an adult yet.

I am sad that these things are happening. But to be frank, allowing a child so young to drive and go out at night is inviting disaster to happen.

What has Malaysian society become?

(This post is caried in the breaking view of Malaysian Insider)

Will there be light at the end of the tunnel?

I asked myself this question yesterday: what will UMNO do in view of the results of Hulu Selangor?

It may try to win more Chinese votes by having more PR exercises to give grant to Chinese schools or temples. On the other hand, it will definitely want to bank on more Malay voters to come back to them by having some of the top leaders taking hardline racist stance, by continuing clinging onto the crutch based policies.

To the Indian voters, more rhetoric will be sounded and PR exercises like visiting the Indian temples and Indian areas and so on will continue, and at the same time, trying to split the Indian political representations by splitting Hindraf and encouraging more Indian parties to be formed.

I think UMNO leaders will from now on concentrate even more on trying to win back Malay votes, and satellite organisation like Perkasa will be more vocal and this does not augur well for the country.

Instead of getting the races together and implement affirmative policies based on class, , Malaysia will be continuing to tread a very dangerous route of race and religion, more so than the old days.

I hope the rightists within that party would think rationally and realise that if they choose to go even more racist, the consequences will be bad for the country. In a multiracial country, they must realise that they cannot afford to marginalise any groups. But of course these rightists may not see things this way since  they adopt their rightist hardline stand based not so much on their belief but  rather on their self interest

It is sad that after 51 years, instead of doing away with race politics, we are sinking deeper and deeper, and there is no end to the tunnel yet. Whatever light that was there at the end of the tunnel   may just turn out to be an illusion.

Another consequence will be gerrymandering. The ruling party  will try to get more people to leave PR and once they have more than 2/3 in Parliament, a new delineation based on voting pattern favourable to them will be passed.

It is therefore interesting to see how Malaysians in Sibu will vote in the coming by election.

Both sides need to do some soul searching

The Hulu Selangor by election shows a worrying trend of increasing polarisation of voters along ethnic lines.

Early indications (i have not seen the stream results yet) are that BN won 55% of Malay votes, 68% of Indians and a mere 28% of Chinese votes.

In fact,  just before the voting, the prediction was that 80% of the Chinese would support PR and 60% of Malay would support BN.

The Indian votes have increased a lot partly because of BN’s candidate is an Indian who campaigned very hard and was always smiling. The estate Indians viewed him as their own kind.

PKR needs to do some soul searching as to why it can only manage to get Chinese votes . In fact many nonpartisan people have expressed concern over the direction PKR is going, and some even perceived that UMNO style politics of partonage are being practised in PKR.

In a multiracial society like ours, you cannot depend just on one ethnic group to win.

BN too has homework to do, to find out why ethnic Chinese are still voting aginst them, more so than 308.  Is it because of the perceived lack of change or is it because of the increasing racial attitudes of some of the BN top leaders?

Now the foucs will be changed to East Malaysia where the all important by election of  Sibu will be fought.

Not all men are equal here!

I was told this story yesterday by a friend.

Apparently, just before the voting of the party fight of a Chinese based party recently, a group of members plus some big shots from the Chinese community were having a drinking session in one of the clubs in the city. Some of them got very drunk.

Suddenly there was a raid by some drug enforcement units. The officers sealed all the entrances and wanted to do urine tests on this group of people.

One of those present was a prominent Tan Sri businessman, and he asked the officer in charge that ” DO u know who am I? I am Tan Sri so and so”. An Adun also took out his card and threw it on the table, demanding the raid party to move away. Many calls were made and in the end, the raid team which was only doing its job moved out and did not do any urine tests.

I tend to believe this story since in this country, hierarchy counts a lot. Big shots like to throw their weight around. SO much so that the civil service and the police force know better than to take action on these big shots, since if they do so, they would risk their boss scolding them, not for doing anything wrong, but just for doing their routine work.

On the one hand, the top guns want the civil service and the police to be efficient and do their jobs. On the other hand, the top guns would not like their ‘friends’ and ‘supporters’ get ‘harassed’ (even if they have committed wrongs).

SO the signal sent to the civil service is that it is OK to act against small fries, but leave anyone with connections alone. When you are in the civil service for many years, and getting this sort of pressure day in and day out, I am sure you will become as inert as the civil servants when it comes to tackling wrong doings by big shots.

This is the politics of patronage. The end result is civil servants and police officers too followed the examples of their political boss, and they too play the game of ‘connections’ and ‘patronage’.

What is wrong to pass a sample of urine for the drug enforcement officers to check if they have nothing to hide? Just because they are Aduns or Tan Sri or Datuk do not make them immune to check and prosecution under the laws.
The sad thing is , in Malaysia, there are 2 sets of laws, one for the commoners with no connection and one for the high and mighty..

When the rest of the world is turning flat, and hierarchy is rapidly being flattened, we are still in our medieval past.

When will these people learn to be more down to earth and understand that notion that “All men are equal”.

Those who throw stones get stoned

There is a saying that those who throw stones should not stay in glass houses.

For those who may have forgotten the meaning of this phrase, let me quote answer.com:

Do not criticize or slander another if you are vulnerable to retaliation.

This is because if you live in a glass house, and you throw stones at other people, other people may retaliate and throw stones back at you. Alas, since you live in a glass house, in no time , your house would be just a pile of shattered glass on the floor.

In the campaign for Hulu Selangor, where the stake is high, the candidate from PR , Zaid, who took alcohol  in his younger days  were slandered. To his credit , he admitted it and said he has repented.

However, the party that attacked him is full of those who drink the same thing.

Our first Prime Minister , a person loved by all Malaysians, openly admitted that he drank in his younger days, and that did not make him a lesser person nor a less religious perosn;  in fact he was the first SG of OIC.

Of course, if the religion a person believes in forbids drinking and that person still drinks, he would have gone against the teaching of the religion,  but if he repents and turn over a new leaf, wouldn’t the religion forgive him? I would think so.

I have stated my hope that both sides should not resort to dirty tactics. Fight a gentlemen’s war. DO  not fight a hooligan’s war.

In the net, photos of some top leaders – from the very party which started the allegations against Zaid –   drinking have now surfaced.

This is exactly what the above proverb teaches: you throw stones, people will throw stones back to you, and unless you have a steel shield ( in this case, never have committed any wrongs), you will be hurt too.

An uphill battle for BN

Political scientist Dr Ong Kian Ming, a personal friend, wrote an interesting article in Malaysiakini ‘Hulu Selangor is Pakatan to lose”. (read here).

The article concluded that, pending unforseen circumstances, Pakatan is likely to win. For the sake of those who do not subscribe to Malaysiakini, I will post the whole article below in the comment section.

Kian MIng’s estimate, based on polling station returns in 2008, is that BN won 55%, 35% and 51% of the Malay, Chinese and Indian votes respectively. He argued that Pakatan won because of split voting of some Malays (voting for Bn at state level and Pakatan national level), and this together with the sizeable nonMalay support resulted in Pakatan winning the seat in 308.

I agree with his analysis. This time around, I think BN has less than 20% of Chinese support, and maybe 60% of the Malays. So if Pakatan can win 50% of the indian votes, it will win the seats.

My calculation is based on simple mathematics:

Racial breakdown of Hulu Selangor voters:

Malay   53.9% of total voters

CHinese  26.7%

Indian  19% and others 0.4%

Thus, if Pakatan can win 80% of Chinese, 40% of Malay and 50% of Indians votes, the calculations will be :

80% out of the 26.7% of Chinese votes = 21.36% of Total

40% of the 53.9% of Malay votes = 21.56% of Total votes

50% of the 19% Indian votes = 9.5% of Total

Thus 21.36% + 21.56% + 9.5% = 51.92%.

If the turnout is 85%, the margin will be around 2000 votes.

Unless BN can win more than 60% of Malay votes or more than 50% of Indian votes, it will not be able to win. Chinese votes are gone, and Pakatan may even win more than 80% of the votes , thus making the margin even higher.

Of course, election is very fluid and anything can happen between now and polling day. This is my rough estimate using common sense  and simple calculation.

Let others come knocking at our door

This is from MalaysianInsider today:

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he disagrees with the Najib administration for spending a whopping RM76 million to arrange a meeting between the prime minister and US President Barack Obama earlier this week.

I understand the need of our leader to meet up with US president, but to spend 76 million just to lobby for a meeting is such a waste of money.

What can the meeting achieve? Can we be assured of more investment from US? (That actually depends more on our policies and growth than kissing Obama’s hands) or are we buying more weapons from the States?

If the answer is no, then I really do not know what the 45 minutes meeting can achieve, apart from a PR exercise aiming at telling people that only a selected few leaders get to meet up with Obama, and Najib is one of them.

I doubt whether Hu Jin Dao of China spent any money to lobby for a meeting; most probably Obama himself is seeking a meeting with Hu. I doubt too whether Singapore ‘s former PM Lee KY needed any lobby group to meet up with US presidents; more likely, the presidents themselves wanted to meet up with Lee to pick his brain and hear from Lee firsthand how he viewed global issues including Asians ones.

I doubt whether our PM needs to spend this kind of money if he has firmly established himself as a statesman of stature, like the Minister Mentor.

It is not easy to get 76 millions. How many schools or hospitals can we build with that? How many poor can we help? How many buses can we buy to relieve the traffic congestion?

I view this spending as utterly wasteful and too excessive, but this is not the first nor will it be the last time our government is wasting money on such things.

We should instead improve our economic standing and our competitiveness; if we are among the nations with the highest growth rates, I am sure instead of we seeking meetings with others, others will come knocking at our door.

*This article was published as a letter to editor in Malaysiakini (click here)

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