A gauge of fortune

In politics, a political party’s fortune can be like yoyo, one moment down and the next moment up. People’s opinion change overnight sometimes.

Take the case of US president. Mr. Obama was riding so high 2 years ago, beating Hillary Clinton in his own party nominations and then went on to win the US presidency making him the first black president in US history. He inherited a society that was in recession,  economy in tatters, and the banking sectors in big trouble.

Obama represented a hope for change and he clearly played this hope to the tilt, and won.

2 years down the road, his rating has gone down so much that he has pactically dragged his party’s fortune down too. In the midterm elections just conducted, Democrats did badly and lost the control of the House of representatives and some senate as well as governors’ seats.

What the difference 2 years can make.

Coming back to Malaysia, we do not have any midterm elections, and so the only way to gauge whether the support for a party has increased or eroded is the by election, of which we have more than 10 since 308.

Today, there are 2 by elections being held together, one in Malay heartland of Kelantan and the other BN’s ‘ Fixed Deposit vault’ of Sabah.

There are many in BN who have repeatedly said that Malay votes have gone back  to the Big Brother in a big way, no small parts due to the right wing politics that were being played and Perkasa, like the Tea Party of US,  has attracted many supporters back to UMNO. It was also said that unlike 308, part of the Indian votes have gone back too.

Many ordinary people also think that there are some improvements over those years under the sleepy head, even though the process of reform is still slow, and to me, it is still merely cosmetic. But just like plastic surgery can make a person prettier in appearance ( but not inside), cosmetic changes also can make some people/voters change their minds.

So today is an important day to see whether what was said was really happening on the ground, and whether those cosmetic reforms that have taken place can really change the mindsets of some of the voters.

If so, we can perhaps expect a General Election quite soon.


Malaysia’s ranking on World Bank’s  latest  the Ease of doing business index has improved. This is perhaps one of those rare time where our ranking have gone better. At least it is an improvement and we should give credit where credit is due. Malaysia has moved from 23 last year to 21.

But to improve further, there must be better governance and less corruption. With corruption, businessmen will face lots of hurdle if they want to start a business. And corruption has further deteriorated this year. If this mother of all evil is not tackled seriously , I expect our ranking would remain around this level.


46 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A true Malaysian
    Nov 04, 2010 @ 23:12:57

    A win is a win whatever way you won it. Can you take pride of the win? That’s the question the winner needs to reflect himself, herself or themselves.

    To me, a win is a more meaningful win if you won it truthful, fair, transparent and honest way.


  2. amywyon
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 00:57:50

    There’s a lot of dissatisfaction and resentment amongst us younger voters.

    And MANY have left for Spore, Aus, etc. Many as in each of us know at least 4-5 friends who have left.

    I don’t know what BN are doing, but whatever (& everything) they are doing… they’re doing it wrong.

    Also, can when is anyone going to kick KTK out from Gerakan? Each day of procrastination is a day closer to irrelevance. And for most of us, we don’t mind… it just means more baggage for BN to drag around.


  3. clearwater
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 10:24:17

    I don’t put the entire blame on Obama any more than Badawi; both inherited too much baggage to be able to turn things around within a short period. However, both represented new hope for change; possibly a new direction, and that is where they failed to live up to the voters high expectations.

    I don’t see the by-election wins by BN signaling a turnaround in sentiment or even an early GE. Local factors held sway, not national issues. This is a signal to PR that voters do not necessarily see them bringing a new dawn, that they have not got their act together, have disappointed in so many ways since 3/08, especially with their infighting. All the more, I am convinced we need a 2 party political system because in neither BN or PR we can trust.


  4. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 22:24:57

    However, both represented new hope for change; possibly a new direction, and that is where they failed to live up to the voters high expectations.

    RIGHT. Funny how ISA arrests are never used against the various hate mongers or how rubberstamping of Forced Military Conscriptions came about during Badawi’s time (and resulted in near a score deaths amongst other things). Badawi sat by and let everything bad happen. Even Najib look set to lose Putrajaya than end APARTHEID.

    These guys think they can hide government machinery rather than are being good but weak – they did not USE the power the people gave them. Don’t bother fostering sympathy among us for the Dr.Hsu, reputations have been damned upon such attempts at spin before.


  5. Dr Hsu
    Nov 06, 2010 @ 12:37:12

    I am not spinning anything.

    I merely stated what was my perception that there were some reversal of trend and remembering that this article was posted early on the day of election , before any results were known, I will say my perception has been proven correct.

    A fact is a fact no matter how unpleasant it is. Read the article: 8 reasons why Pakatan lost in Malaysiakini

    Pakatan needs to buck up if they want to check the reversal of trend.

    There were reversal of malay votes, and some Chinese votes too in Galas.

    I am merely reporting what i have observed when i wrote above that “Many ordinary people also think that there are some improvements over those years under the sleepy head”.. The results have proven that my reporting is correct otherwise BN would not have won..So by doing true reporting, I am not spinning any story…I am merely being true to myself and say honestly what I felt.. and I should be allowed to do so in my own blog.


  6. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 06, 2010 @ 13:17:01

    Of course you are allowed to blog as you wish, but this article would be seized upon by those wishing to continue BN’s apartheid or justify their existence in parliament, especially if it was intended to.

    This gentle remonstration indicates neglect of consideration of so many other facts/actions inactions which would tip any analysis of these 2 characters to outright condemnation instead of being tentatively labeled ‘merely cosmetic’ rather bothers me – thats all.

    This really mellow treatment of a particularly BAD(awi) administration is putting things too mildly and thus becomes ‘spin’ don’t you think?

    “I am merely being true to myself and say honestly what I felt” thus also worries! Why the ambivalence which for certainly amounts to subtle fetteing if not anything else? Perhaps this superfluity has another purpose somehow?

    You certainly do not promote apartheid, but I think I am not wrong to consider this spin or spin-worthy. What do you honestly think actually?


  7. wisely
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 16:41:15

    Dr. Hsu,

    U see the fate and acceptance of 3rd force in SAPP. last night, according to channel 301 talk show, they were saying 3rd force is still not so relevant and accepted in Malaysia yet from the result. One particular reason is what issue you want to bring to voters, SAPP’s Sabah for Sabahan and us, Gerakan?

    What i am trying to say is Malaysians are still hopping for 2 party system to really being form first.

    U are right in ur analysis above though I do not 100% agree to everything u say. To me, not everything is cosmetic. Changes take times and changes doesn’t come easy or else it is really cosmetic!

    One thing i believe is everyone has their own view and belief, hope and expectation and because each has it right and freedom, one has to respect others’ view too. So, I hope Agreetodisagree can respect Dr. hsu personal view here.

    One thing i like this blog is many views are of good quality unlike many others who just hantam for hantam sake or support for support sake and some even worse, full of vulgar words. I think one thing i notice is u have managed to attract many professional readers to ur blog and many are willing to share their view here and we notice even malaysia insider and others do quote ur writing. U serve us with a good forum for discussion indeed.


  8. cilipadi
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 17:34:12

    Someone must be nuts to accuse Dr. Hsu spins.

    Nuts talking. Confused fellow. Disagree then agree

    Agree makan cili, Disagree rasa pedas


  9. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 22:32:28

    Lol cilipadi don’t defer to a moderator cos he’s a moderator, otherwise discussion becomes an exercise in herd mentality. And pathos (IMHO in much abundance here) does not make logos.

    You saw the reasoning I gave in my response, which shows I level no empty accusation in doubting the old guy. Also by doing so, I am trying to figure out if Dr.Hsu/KayPeng’s 3rd Force is better than Haris/RPK’s.

    The latter appears far more active but perhaps both factions could team up to become a truly effective 3rd force? I’d love for these 4 characters to hold a round table with open invites to pro-3rd forcers. Any possibility of that?


  10. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 22:33:16

    Lol cilipadi don’t defer to a moderator cos he’s a moderator, otherwise discussion becomes an exercise in herd mentality. And pathos (IMHO in much abundance here) does not make logos.

    You saw the reasoning I gave in my response, which shows I level no empty accusation in doubting the old guy. Also by doing so, I am trying to figure out if Dr.Hsu/KayPeng’s 3rd Force is better than Haris/RPK’s.

    The latter appears far more active but perhaps both factions could team up to become a truly effective 3rd force? I’d love for these 4 characters to hold a round table with open invites to pro-3rd forcers. Any possibility of that?


  11. disgusted
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 23:31:35

    Cilipadi hot as ever!!!!

    Anyway always raining, good to eat cilipadi, keeps warm.


  12. cilipadi
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 00:32:08

    See this nuts confused fellow, same thing but posted twice.

    Look like panicky old guy….

    Agree to post, then Disagree to post, then Agree to post, then….

    Don’t wear cosmetic to agree but disagree, nuts talking.

    Disagree, makan cili, Agree, rasa pedas
    Agree, makan cili, Disagree, rasa pedas


  13. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 08:51:45

    So unfriendly? Well if continuing APARTHEID is on your mind cilipadi, you will be eating cili from the point where the right minded citizens end APARTHEID!


  14. Neutralball
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 11:41:07

    Monster is back, i guess, Dr.


  15. klm
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 12:11:14

    What is with that backdoor fella and kepala pusing indicator. He wants to change his kung fu from taichi to praying mantis. Something went wrong with his kungfu?


  16. wisely
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 12:16:50

    Dr. Hsu,

    I was shock this morning to read about the resignation of Zaid from the PKR party election and all posts in PKR saying he was dissapointed with the party election and also reform promised but he will remain an opposition. It is obvious they want to made Azmin deputy and whoever goes against him all end up ‘dead’. Is this keadilan? voters turnup around 10%! so many irregularities! What are they trying to prove? Obviously their members are not interested to the idea of direct voting or do they really have that number of members? To me it’s a scam and a shame in the name of democracy!


  17. wisely
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 12:19:59

    Also by the way, are u keen to be Gerakan candidate for the next GE? I believe u are a suitable candidate looking at ur popularity and suitability. I hope u will be given a chance to stand in next GE!!!


  18. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 12:26:35

    In addition to one man one vote being implemented in Gerakan (PKR is more attractive to most because of this democratic feature), here’s something else Gerakan should think about :


    USA, UK and Malaysia, are *Representative Democracies* (2nd class version) and thus not even truly an open system being limited to the whims and facies of parliamentarians alone.

    *Participatory Democracy* (1st class version) is a process emphasizing the broad participation of constituents in the direction and operation of political systems.

    It avoids the concept of the people having a single view with the inevitable limitations that come from trying to agree what that view is. Government is heavily decentralized into smaller independent groups to allow personalized preferences within groups to be expressed in a functional manner PREFERRED by each particular group.

    The system seeks to avoid problems with centralized and electoral governance, while still providing a stable democratic system and ensuring all forms of human expression especially those diametrically opposed to be allowed expression. For example theocrat moralists / and sin industries (adult or gambling) can all be represented and functional even while proponents within each group do not use or believe in the other.

    Under All expressions will have their own place, albeit in a highly separated manner.


  19. Dr Hsu
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 12:36:56


    I will not be a candidate. If i want to be a candidate, i would have been one in 2008..

    If i have aspired to be a candidate , I would not have attacked the policies and Big Brother, and as many members told me last weekend, I am the opposition inside the party and they hope i continue this role to bring an alternative views, shared by many rakyat, to the Top, and at the same time, keep them on their toes.

    Believe me, it is not a pleasant role, being hammered by Kaki bodek within and opposition members outside. Any truth which is unpleasant to hear will be “spin’.


  20. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 15:12:45

    Don’t worry we’ll have had our fill of lobbying or giving someone attention very shortly, not that the fate of the nation matters at all in our search for people with the Ethos to lead should be thrown away like this. It is a free world after all though such a waste.

    Gentle admonishment of people who should be summarily condemned indicted is also unpleasant to hear for those seeking truth rather than spin. All it takes for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    Who said you *must* remain as opposition within Gerakan and not run as an independent? If you do really care for Malaysia or the aspirations to the END OF APARTHEID and towards TRUE EQUALITY that would be a truly pleasant role compared to where you complain you are currently?

    No more excuses fingering ‘kaki bodek’ or ‘opposition members outside’ Dr. Hsu! Some of us might be inclined to offer our help to you if you would be an independent candidate, but could we be unfairly judging by the constant whinging that this is a forgone conclusion?

    We’d rather you went out with a bang than a whimper in a political expedition of your own but that too of course, as the right to blog freely, is your own choice.

    It seems you tell us to look elsewhere for leadership though we’d rather you did not, while being unhappy with you are, is it just me or are you being wishy-washy if not anything, I’d prefer not to think you’d say it was just me and everyone else, so lets see what the ‘Great Man’ says (this reluctance is indicative of leadership though) . . .


  21. disgusted
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 18:19:20

    Dr, I agree with you on your decision not joining the dirty pack of candidacy. You should be what you are now, true to your conscience and voicing it out, a spade a spade.

    Getting into the thick and thin will force you to something you will regret later on. Politics brings out the worst in humans. Repeated over centuries, lessons and wisdom.

    We should be learning from mistakes of others and not making it ourselves.

    It is not that we lack systems, just that human nature will also turn something golden to shit or dust. Evolving we are but some do the opposite.


  22. A true Malaysian
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 18:31:23

    Under the present political climate that we are in, there is no more a clear line that divide whether a politician is good or bad, hopeful or hopeless, dependable or not dependable, principled or not principled etc, etc. This is the result of too much politics being played that even education, healthcare, economy, civil service, security matters cannot be escaped from being politicised on race & religion, halal & non-halal, Ketuanan Melayu & pendatang.

    Whoever come to power after 13th GE, all I requested from them is to at least place ‘some conscience’ in their decision making, policy formulation for the interest of rakyat, and not only care for their own or crony’s interests.

    It seems to me the only person that we can trust now is none other than Raja Petra Kamaruddin. I agree fully with what he wrote in http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/no-holds-barred/35800-play-the-game-according-to-the-rules-or-else-quit-the-game

    To voters, please vote according to your conscience as well and not according to your blind loyalty to whoever. You reap what you sowed, you get what you voted.


  23. petestop
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 21:14:28

    Come one guys, knowing Doc Hsu from his many posting so far, I can vouch that he is a good person and commenting/blogging based on facts instead of clouded by any particular political view.

    I would dare say that he is the conscience of Gerakan, while the rest of the kaki-bodek are just all talk and easily turned when given position of power especialy by their big brother UMNO. Chief of whom the infamous back-door minister.

    I can understand his predicament of running against the flow in his party, so, lets give him a break.

    From the Galas and Batu Sapi by-election result, it is indeed true that the tide has turn a little.
    It was not helped by Pakatan (especially PKR) keep shooting themselves in the foot.

    PKR have but produces the most “frogs”, lost their opposition majority in parliament, Anwar and his putar-alam 916, and now with Zaid quitting in a huff. Giving they already showing sign of power grabbing even before they actually in power, it is really putting people off. PKR, please get your act together otherwise, you will be wipe out again comes next GE.

    Instead of the gel that keeps DAP and PAS together, it is more like this 2 more matured party propping PKR up.

    People always oscillate between the left- and the right-, that is just self-calibration and hopefully we can strike an equilibrium somewhere that will bring progress and peace for the country.
    Thereby the logical conclusion of a democracy is a two-party system.

    Like America has always been slightly right leaning irregardless of whether Democrates or Republican is in power. In a way that is why they are more prosperous than Europe, as you do really need to work hard in US in order to take care of your basic necessities like putting food on table and healthcare. There are no welfare state in the US, unlike in Europe where the left-leaning Socialist policies have been rather strong.

    After the Bush debacle, I’m sure Americans are looking for Obama to perform miracle to bail out the country, but the reality is that he inherited a country in really deep hole dug by Bush.

    Admittedly, personally I’m a bit right leaning, as I feel a person always have to carry their own weight instead of expecting the nanny-state to take care of them.

    However, that does not mean I’m not supportive of left-leaning policies like universal healthcare and the likes, especially we can see how a “commercial” driven health-care system (like the mushrooming private hospital everywhere) can drive healthcare cost up, and health insurance cost up as well. So much so that it can be hard for some patient to even renew their health insurance after a case.

    However, despite BN claim to be on the middle ground (especially by Gerakan), it is actually ruled by the far-right leaning taiko UMNO.

    Lee Kuan Yew already seen it during the formative years of Malaysia. It does not take a genius for us to recognise that the far-right element in UMNO have never changed.

    The big question is that whether we still want to go through another 53 years of this, instead of steering back to a more middle path.

    Imagine a decade ago, probably no non-Malays will support PAS and its theocratic state policies.
    But by comparison with the far-right UMNO, PAS practically looks like a saviour, thus 308 happens and hopefully we can continue to make history and steer this country towards a more middle ground that benefits everyone instead of a small segment of UMNOputeras.


  24. A true Malaysian
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 22:04:51

    When Lee Kuan Yew decided that Singapore should join Malaysia, his late wife was skeptical that this partnership was not going work, and she was right.

    Her reason were very simple, i.e. how was PAP going to work with Umno that practices ‘communal’ politics. I see this as Mrs Lee was being polite in using the word ‘communal’ instead of ‘racial’.

    True enough, Umno’s brand of ‘communal’ politics since then is getting more serious instead of waning down. Cosmetic changes are their theme of administration till now.

    Just honestly ask ourselves, especially fellow Malay brothers and sisters, what did we achieve from this ‘communal’ politics of Umno? Nice and prestigious appearances like KLCC, KLIA, Putrajaya, Dayabumi, Sepang F1 circuit, PKFZ are all over, but beneath these cosmetic changes, what we have? Rotten values, corruptions, malpractices, wastage, lousy mentality, traffic congestion, lousy public transportation system are those we get. But, at the same time, Singapore is now a total new world without what all of us getting from Umno government.

    Are we really proud of our country’s achievement? Do we still want a political party with ‘communal’ politics administer our country? Please answer these questions yourselves before casting your votes this coming 13th GE.


  25. A true Malaysian
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 22:22:40

    This youtube is the message,


  26. Rhan
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 08:58:30

    But why LKY still insisted to join Malaysia? I think his contribution to ‘communal’ politic is no less compare to, let say, Mahathir.

    Economy growth may not be the sole pursuit of every nationality and race (in the context of Malaysia), we can’t see thing from entirely our own perspective. The moment we walk into Singapore custom, what is the impression come into mind if the topic is on race? Is being a custom officer the most aspiring job on earth? Singapore achievement has everything to do with her strategic location and a workforce that is permeates with an ancient culture that emphasizes thrift and hardwork, the evidence is obvious if we look at most of the East Asia country. I am not saying Malaysia is doing okay but I don’t agree Singapore is a fair benchmark for comparison. I think Umno style of politicking may have something to do with LKY.


  27. A true Malaysian
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 14:33:46

    Singapore was once part of Malaysia, as such, it is logical to compare how both countries progress since their break-of.

    If you want to regard this as ‘benchmark’, so be it even if to you, it is a fair benchmark. If Malaysia really uses Singapore as a benchmark, that will be a great challenge for all of us, and if we managed to achieve half of it, it will be quite an achievement for all Malaysians, and should be happy and proud. The question is, will Umno government willing to use Singapore as ‘benchmark’?

    Rhan, please elaborate why you said “I think Umno style of politicking may have something to do with LKY”?

    If LKY listened to his late wife, Singapore was not part of Malaysia. As simple as that.


  28. Rhan
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 16:32:38

    Hi ATM,

    I doubt we shall say logical, perhaps understandable or apprehensible (可理解的) is a more suitable term. Can we make a comparison between China and Taiwan or Hong Kong and draw a conclusion out of it? I personally think it is not that logical unless the purpose is to give an opinion of some value judgment. On top of that, we know Singapore joins the federation for a mere two years and it is a city state, unlike Malaysia. But if the intention of the comparison is to set a good example to motivate and to inspire, in term of lesser corruption, efficiency, productivity, governance and so on, I think it is fair but shouldn’t over doing it.

    Most Malay deem LKY a racist, you can come up with your side of story to insist he is not but we can’t change that perception at this point of time. The Malay used to perceive that Chinese care only our business and economy which is a fact anyway, and definitely not in politic, LKY action changed that perception. And the result is the Malays have no choice but to believe that UMNO is the only party that could protect them from Chinaman i.e. LKY, PAP and DAP. The sentiment lessens today not because the fear diminishes, but UMNO / BN performance is extremely rotten.

    This perception may take a few more generation or shorter period to change but Malaysia doesn’t have that luxury of time and space. My point is, the glorification of that racist LKY and Singapore would only push the Malay back to UMNO. And I am perplex why people as smart as you and Hsu fond of doing it from time to time.

    Maybe I am wrong to call LKY a racist, but he is Westernise, an Anglophile, and definitely not Chinese. Chinese is less antagonistic and less hypocrisy.


  29. A true Malaysian
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 18:33:24


    From your comments above, you see LKY a racist. It is no point to argue further on this point as this will not reach a meaningful conclusion.

    But, for you to deem Malays see LKY as ‘racist’, I think it is unfair for this instance. You can’t speak on behalf of the Malays, more so the Singaporean Malays.

    Well, the thing is this, is Umno really protecting the Malays? Just take other races aside in comparing both countries, and compare the Malays of both countries, generally, who are better, honestly? It is not apparent to you especially if LKY is a racist and practises ‘communal’ politics?

    If that is not apparent to you, perhaps we need another 50 years to see what would happen to Malaysia and Singapore (assume Umno is still in power and still with its ‘communal’ politics).

    Perhaps, if Umno is still sentimental with its brand of ‘communal’ politics, I hope to see some meritocracy in it like what being practised in Singapore and most of the developed countries.

    It is wrong again for you to say I glorify LKY. I am not smart as you commented. I am just being fair and logical.

    All in all, I can say is this, Malays are not like what you perceived, I am very sure of that. Your contention of Umno behaving communally because of LKY is just too much for me to accept.


  30. disgusted
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 18:41:25


    I am Chinese but I don’t know whether to be proud of your observation that Chinese is less antagonistic and less hypocrisy. never mind. It’s a compliment and I am sure you are so lucky to have such friends which probably influence your views.

    I think the bottom line is not about race or color of the skin but the upbringing and cultural environment. I am sure any Chinese played out by another Chinese will definitely disagree with you. But that’s not important. The important thing is “which type” (nationality) of Chinese are we talking about….Mysian Chinese, China mainland Chinese etc? Hence, proves that environment is important too. Chinese from mainland Chinese are different from Malaysian Chinese. I won’t judge the two types. Most of us Malaysian Chinese knows the real difference.


  31. petestop
    Nov 09, 2010 @ 19:23:51

    Well, when I was visiting a large EMS factory in Zhuhai, I met a high-ranking officer who is a Malay there. I was happy to met a fellow Malaysian there I thought, only to find out that he is a Singaporean Malay.

    Wow, I’m impressed actually, because only in Singapore you can raise towering Malays who do not have to depend on the government crutch and able to compete based on their own merits to hold high position in a multi-national companies.

    Therefore, racist or otherwise, LKY have but raised the dignity of the Malays much more than UMNO have ever done in the past 50+ years with their subsidy and Ali-Baba mentality.


  32. Rhan
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 11:34:11


    That is why I say ‘less’. When I mention ‘Chinese’, I mean Chinese in general sense. Be it Mainlanders, Hongkonger, Taiwanese and Malaysian. Look at the history of ‘Chinese’ and make a comparison with ‘Westerners’, am I wrong to say we are less antagonistic and less hypocrisy? And you are right to say upbringing and culture play a major role, is the ‘race’ and ‘nationality’ concept not a Westernise one? Come on, we don’t have the Chinaman’s burden as similar to that White Man’s burden, no?

    Btw, can’t you get a more delightful moniker? I feel a little impolite to address you with such name. 🙂


    I am glad you meet ‘one’. If you put in more effort, you may find more than ‘one’ Malay Malaysian that made it in overseas, and there is more than thousands of Chinese Malaysian and Chinese Singaporean that made it in overseas as well. Don’t you find your conclusion unsubstantiated?


  33. A true Malaysian
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 13:04:24

    Earlier on, I commented ‘A win is a win whatever way you won it’.

    Undeniably, many Malay Malaysians are excellent (i.e can win) and can work in overseas. In fact, many of them prefer to win without clutch so to make their wins more ‘respectable’ to others like what Petestop commented he found one such Malay Singaporean in Zhuhai, China.

    Also, why such Malay Malaysians working in overseas prefer to work there instead of coming back to Malaysia to work? This is a clear evidence of brain drain of Malaysians irrespective of race due to lacking of meritocracy in our own country.


  34. Rhan
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 14:47:43


    “You can’t speak on behalf of the Malays, more so the Singaporean Malays.”
    I am not speaking on behalf of anyone. I am merely stating my opinion. I talk to some Malay from both shore, and I read various media to form a perception and come up with my opinion.

    “Well, the thing is this, is Umno really protecting the Malays?”
    In term of race base politic, yes. Otherwise, what make you think Umno can rule for the past 50 years?

    “generally, who are better, honestly?”
    Honestly I don’t know. It depends on what you want to measure, is it politic, socio economy, pride, wealth and so on. But the best person to ask is of course the Malay.

    “perhaps we need another 50 years to see what would happen to Malaysia and Singapore”
    I think you don’t get my point. What I am saying is there must be a reason why Malays continue to support Umno albeit knowing that Umno doesn’t perform. I am trying to trace the reason and I think Umno discern well the ‘fear’ of Malay and exploit it to their advantage. And LKY play major parts that instill this ‘fear’. I am not justified Umno action.

    “I hope to see some meritocracy in it like what being practised in Singapore and most of the developed countries.”
    Me too. But we know meritocracy is only a concept, a belief or to put it bluntly, a myth, there is no true meritocracy. What we strive to do is to create a more equal and fair society with merit as one of the criteria, via a strong check and balance mechanism, or a two party system and freedom of press, speech and expression. Singapore is very lacking in some of the aspect I mentioned.

    “It is wrong again for you to say I glorify LKY. I am not smart as you commented. I am just being fair and logical.”
    If that is the case, my bad.

    “All in all, I can say is this, Malays are not like what you perceived, I am very sure of that. Your contention of Umno behaving communally because of LKY is just too much for me to accept.”
    I am fine with that. As long as Hsu allow us the freedom and channel to put forward our thought, I should thank him, and you.


  35. Dr Hsu
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:45:55


    I should thank you all instead. I hardly moderate this blog and hardly edit any comment, because most comments are well written and though sometimes there are divergent views, most views are exchanged in a civil manner, and unlike many other blogs, there are no foul languages or name calling here.

    This i must thank all of you, and i believe this blog’s readers are matured and thinking people with good analytical minds.

    If we look back the 20000 odds comments, you can find many views that can in fact be used to govern this country well… If only some of the so called top leaders read some of these comments and follow the advice of those who have writeen the comments.


  36. A true Malaysian
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 17:32:26


    I thank you too for your intellectual reply.

    At least we see from here that both of us achieved common understanding especially on the point of ‘meritocracy’, though you regard it as myth, I don’t.

    I think you are equally disheartened to see non-Malay students, who scored string of As but couldn’t get scholarship while their Malay friends got awarded scholarships with inferior results. I know of a case where a Malay student, who is a best friend of a Chinese boy, even apologise to this boy for not getting a scholarship. Such are the cases that are happening year-in, year-out due to Umno’s communal politics. We can imagine next that their relationship of being best friends. That’s one of the instances that put doubts in forging lasting confidence between people of diverse race and religion.

    You commented ‘What I am saying is there must be a reason why Malays continue to support Umno albeit knowing that Umno doesn’t perform’.

    I disagree with you on this. Looking at the topography of Malaysian population of approx 65% Malay : 35% others, and the popular votes that Umno / BN got of near to 50% (not even more than 50%), I don’t think there is any strong reason why Malays continue to support Umno other than fear that created by Umno and BN themselves, on Malays and non-Malays.

    I dare say, if Umno government is willing to put meritocracy into practice, we will see its popular votes will increase, rather than decrease.

    Why not put it a try, Umno, instead of using politics of fear?


  37. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 17:57:13

    If only some of the so called top leaders read some of these comments and follow the advice of those who have writeen the comments.

    Dr.Hsu, to us you are a top leader. You just need to consider the act of running for candidacy not for personal power or prestige as perhaps you might worry yourself sinking into, but rather simply out of concern to front those of us who lack the ethos so that such policies could be implemented.

    Take it that you are willing to let yourself be used for a good cause. Even if you fail, it would have been well worth the experience. What say you to being part of the attempt to end APARTHEID?

    Haris M Ibrahim and Raja Petra’s MCLM 3rd force could also be your personal platform and I think they’d need talent to wrest Penang from DAP’s sole grip before DAP UMNOfy’s from being in absolute power.

    Give the citizens an alternative! We cannot allow any political party carte blanc. So will you be our top leader? There is nothing to be shy about at your age, you have seen it all and need to guide us through the darkness as a true elder and top leader should . . .


  38. wisely
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 18:55:36

    Dr. Hsu,

    Good to know ur stand and i agree 100% with u that ur role is very important and it is not easy. Just want to know as I also asked Andy Yong but he has different aspiration which to me is also wonderful and needed.

    Just give this a thought, wouldn’t it be more effective to play ur role as to what u do now if u were an MP? To voice out in Parliament and have the message sent across to wider audience?



  39. AgreeToDisagree
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 20:37:02


    Try running as a candidate so you can be that :

    “. . . top leader who reads some of these comments and follow the advice of those who have written the comments . . .”

    Lead by example, if none will. Show others how to practice what they preach!

    Win or lose, it will not matter and be just another experience to you that would make for much pleasant reminiscing and possibly be much cherished and well remembered by the minority community!

    Worse to worse, blame the enthusiastic younger generation who ‘got you into it’. Go along just for the fun of it! You certainly can afford it, and no loss of face at all!


  40. Rhan
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 15:13:06

    Do you sincerely believe meritocracy is the solution for a more equal society in the Malaysia context? I don’t know if human are born equal though I hope it is, but I am sure culture and civilization is very diverse. Diverse is a mild tem if you get what I mean.

    As long as the disparity of wealth among race is high (I have no fact to back up what I say, and I am not sure if Lim Teck Ghee number and definition is well accepted by academic and economist), many would perceive some of the unfair practice is justified, such as scholarship.

    I personally think democracy is a better option compare to meritocracy, though I think it is not right to move into dichotomy between this two concepts, but I am not that comfortable with Singapore dictatorship or China technocratic. It is of course the most ideal if we have both, but we know life doesn’t always work as we wish to.

    I appear to be in a civility manner because I am ‘influenced’ by the culture here and you. Most of the time, I am just another foul mouth ranter. 🙂


  41. Dr Hsu
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 15:47:12


    Perhaps Bill Gate’s advice to high school students is relevant here.

    Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

    Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

    Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

    Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

    Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

    Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

    Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

    Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

    Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

    Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

    Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

    Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.


  42. A true Malaysian
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 16:30:38


    Before I answer you in more detailed, please answer me this.

    If you are the Chinese boy in my story, what would you feel?


  43. Rhan
    Nov 11, 2010 @ 23:27:57


    I think we all know how the boy feel as most of us went through more or less the same path, it could be scholarship, form six versus UTM (you ask that crybaby Wei la, he did lots of field work during his UTM days), university and course not within our first and second choice and etc.

    Let stretch your question a little, we presume scholarship is awarded solely on merit base or academic result become the only criteria, and further presume that there is only race, Malaysian, who do you think would eventually get most of the scholarship? My take is that those urban kids from well-off family, who stay in city and with parents that are with professional career, and could afford tuition, computer, digital dictionary and books, and go for holiday in Cameron Highland and Kuala Selangor that come back with an envious expression why kids over there don’t have to study but can ‘play’ whole day on their fishing boat and vegetable farm. If the same method carry on for many years with background and socio-economy condition doesn’t become an element of assessment, don’t you think we would fall back to the same dilemma, the rich get richer? Of course there is some who come from rural that made it but how many? Therefore, the policy deviser may have to make a guideline to ensure the poor could enjoy the scholarship as well, for instance, he may fix the percentage of scholarship to 40% merit base and 60% need base, however as aware, the implementation always fail us.

    The question is, do you think we shall discard a need base policy? I don’t think so but we have to ensure the allocated scholarship really goes to the one that need it. And I believe every Chinese have no qualm toward a need base policy but we cannot allow our sacrifice go into drain when the one that get the scholarship is not fall under the category of both need and merit. Our struggle is therefore to correct the wrong in implementation and not shift entirely to a meritocracy system, that may not well accepted by all at this point of time.

    And btw, don’t forget to tell the boy that most of us here finally find ways to deal with it and move on.


  44. A true Malaysian
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 18:01:57


    You did not actually answer my question of ‘If you are the Chinese boy in my story, what would you feel?’ as you didn’t exactly state how you feel if you are the Chinese boy. How you feel, which you presumed ‘all of us have gone through more or less the same path’, may not be the same as mine.

    Honestly, I was not in position of the Chinese boy before as my academic results were not string of As & because of that, I never hope for any scholarship. But, let me share with you how I feel if I was the Chinese boy.

    If I were the boy, I will feel sad, disappointed for not being rewarded with a scholarship after putting in so much efforts in achieving good results, and start asking why preference was given to my best friend, a Malay. Why the government treated me like a step child? Shouldn’t all be treated as equal?

    Imagine, what if the boy couldn’t get a course that he is interested, after failing to get scholarship? This kind of incidences are happening under the nose of Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC,…..every now and then.

    In fact, my question to you was asked by Khairy Jamaluddin recently to his fellow Umno youth, and was greeted by a complete silent. How I wish this ‘complete silent’ means that they were over-zealous in protecting Malay’s rights until other races’ rights were ignored.

    This Chinese boy’s experience is only one of its kind. There are endless examples I can quote.

    Anyway, meritocracy is about putting the right person at the right place and being rewarded according to their performance thereof. It is not about discarding ‘need base’ or ‘affirmative’ policies. Both meritocracy and affirmative should be and could exist in parallel to achieve satisfactory results.

    It is not right for you to quote examples that if meritocracy is being practised, most scholarships will be awarded to the Chinese or those better-equipped urbanites. So what if Chinese or urbanites get all the scholarships? They are actually rewarded for their genuine efforts. Such achievement can act as examples for others to work harder, and at the same time, use affirmative actions to help those in need. It is better to help people to fish rather than give them fish all the time. Right?

    We should not be helping the poor while victimising those with merits. Setting quotas according to races is very wrong to do in the first place.

    Many Malaysians like this Chinese boy had in fact, found the way to deal with it, and move on to other countries who appreciate their talents. At the end, who enjoy the benefits?

    While I agree with Bill Gates on rule No. 1 ‘Life is not fair – get used to it!’, but we should not take it as ‘fated’ if the system is unfair in the first instance.


  45. Rhan
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 10:24:36


    “Anyway, meritocracy is about putting the right person at the right place and being rewarded according to their performance thereof.”

    What if the right person is mainly come from only one race at some point of time?

    “So what if Chinese or urbanites get all the scholarships? They are actually rewarded for their genuine efforts.”

    My thought is depart from you and Hsu, we would never have a common agreement on what constitute ‘genuine effort’. Hsu shall recall I label him once as one with elite mind, and he wrote a long rebuttal, but I still held on the same view. In political ideal, I am on the left and most probably would join PSM or PKR (or DAP that minus out LGE). I never like Gerakan, just like I despise Singapore and Elitism. But that is me.

    And of course, the different ideology should not preclude us to make our country a better living place.


  46. A true Malaysian
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 14:52:15


    “What if the right person is mainly come from only one race at some point of time?”

    Too bad, so be it. The important thing is the person in position of responsibility must act competently, accountable & transparent manner.

    But, this scenario is hypothetical and constantly being used as ‘fear factor’ for Umno for them to remain in power.

    “In political ideal, I am on the left and most probably would join PSM or PKR (or DAP that minus out LGE). I never like Gerakan, just like I despise Singapore and Elitism. But that is me.”

    I can feel you are constantly in ‘suspicious’ mode, difficult to place ‘trust’ on other people.

    I can’t understand why you are so against LGE (or event LKY). I thought, for a person that excel after gone through hardship, intimidation, incarceration, imprisoned for wrong reason, should earned our respect, admiration and trust. But, not you. I can’t understand why.

    Even if you disregard what LGE had gone through, his performance in Penang over the short span of time speaks loud and clear of his capability.

    In any democracy, we may ‘agree to disagree’ especially in political ideology, but once we put in our votes, we should not let these differences hamper the running and administration of our country, and not have the attitude of taking care of a specific race or their supporters after forming the government.

    We have seen how Umno / BN perform. I think we should give Pakatan have the chance to perform next round.


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