A few thoughts here and there

A former MP from DAP, Fan Yew Teng, passed away in Bangkok. Those in their 30s and 40s would hardly know about him, but for those of us inthe 50s, he was the voice of DAP after MAy 13. He was also one of the victims of the Sedition Act, which was amended after May 13, ostensibly to avoid people from touching on sensitive issues,  but in real fact, it has helped stifled the debate of constituting a fair and equitable society.

I do not know him personally but he was one of those whom I admired greatly in the late 60s and early 70s. At that time, i was finishing high school and entering university, and as a young man, I had great respect for those who had great ideals and those who never once abandoned their ideals despite all the hardship and difficulties. Farn was one of these.

LKS, the organising Sec, was then incarcerated in detention camp under ISA after May 13. At the time of May 13, Goh Hock Guan was the Sec gen of DAP, but being a smart person, he went on exile after May 13 thus avoiding spending time in detention camps, leaving the party in the hands of Fan who did a good job to keep the party afloat at that difficult time. ( correct me if I am wrong about LKS being the organising sec and Goh the Sec Gen.. I recall from my memory and it has been some many years, 41 to be exact, after May 13).

I believe Fan was one of the few  politicians with high morality that made it to Parliament. At that time, we could still find some people with integrity and high morality in Parliament, but it is now getting rarer and rarer– becoming extinct perhaps..Why is it so– you have to go and ask the OLD HORSE!

However, as a person with high morality, he could not survive the backstabbing and ‘thick-black’ culture and that resulted in his fall-out with LKS. He was one of the first of many capable DAP leaders who could not see eye to eye with the supremo, and was thus sidelined and dropped. If only his character was like the exMIC chief, he would have used his position of acting Sec Gen to consolidate his power and be the supremo instead of LKS.

In Malaysia, in both sides of the divide, there is really no place for idealists with high morals. The ones who succeeded are all shrewd and cunning characters who play politics to the hilt…It is really a sad thing for Malaysia; otherwise, we would have become a paradise.


Petrol and sugar subsidies were further removed last week. As the country is facing huge and many straight years of deficits, cutting subsidies may be one way out to cut the deficits. Otherwise, what Idris Jala has predicted– that the country would become bankrupt in a few years time– may come true.

But I cannot understand the rationale of cutting subsidies to save a few hundreds of millions, but spend a few billions on building a 100 storey high building.. I have voiced out repeatedly on this type of mentality– it gives a perception not unlike that of taking out money from the pockets of the rakyat and putting it into the pockets of those involved in the project.

Although I am an advocate of  cutting subsidies and using these savings to help the poor, what we have here is just cut and ‘build’ and not cut and ‘help’.

It reminds  of the previous Sleepy Head Chief who at one time cut subsidy so much that petrol went up to 270 sen per litre overnight. He promised to use the savings to help improve public transportation, but even till the day he was forced out, there was just no improvement in traffic management. If anything, traffic jams have become worse, and it is really unfair to the rakyat that they have to endure worsening traffic but at the same time, pay higher petrol prices.

ANy cut in subsidies must be followed by a concrete plan to help the poor, but it should not be the case of using the money to pour concrete to build a mammoth high-rise.

Already, life is difficult living in the city. It has now become worse. And be assured that further cuts will be in the pipeline, and if things don’t improve, more and more will join the rank of the urban poor.

Any wonder why people buy pirated DVDs in most urban areas?



26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. disgusted
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 15:05:45

    Dr, Already joined the urban poor ranking. There is no “future sense” here. A member of the urban poor for those retired, those with fixed income, part-time workers, disabled and the sick ones.

    The Bocor Nasional coalition is just digging one hole to fill another hole. Well, the time will come when collective thinking voters will blow a big hole into their existence, Not with C4 but with V4. Time to change the stinking diapers.


  2. CYC
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:19:09

    Hundreds of million people will be starving because they no longer can afford the escalating food price. It is not so much due to food shortage but affordability. Who is the culprit if not the greedy entrepreneurs collaborating with the evil politicians. This is again aided by those “intellects” who design the grand blood sucking scheme to squeeze the poor to death. It is a moronic world full of blood suckers. How could we label it as knowledge economy when knowledge were used as a weapon of human destruction through denial their basic right of proper nourishment ?


  3. petestop
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:26:35

    Read somewhere that Farn Yew Teng did’nt even get his pension as a 2-term MP because of the disqualification under Sedition Act.

    Just imagine the supreme injustice, when one Khir Toyol are able to procure
    a multi-million mansion and land with multi-million discount, while a deserving
    ex-MP is denied his pension.

    The fact that Anwar does’nt even get a chance to defend himself on the
    APCO case is smack of another double-standard by BeEnd.

    Not to mention the AG when all the way to declassify classified documents for Ling Liong Sik, but denied Anwar even the Doctor’s report.

    As a person with principle and morality, I ask the BN MPs, don’t you even feel a tinge of guilt at seeing such injustice done ? What does your conscience tell you ?

    It is this kind of double standard and injustice that we need to kick BN out
    so that they will learn a lesson. If the Opposition misbehave, then we will
    kick them out in turn.

    But at moment, it is too blatant and obvious that BN is scoring their own goals.

    If a snap election is called, you can be sure that those who voted for Opposition
    in last GE, will be even harden given all the recent fiascos.


  4. petestop
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 16:28:42

    As for abolishing the fuel subsidy, I’m all for it.

    But at the same time, the govt should abolish the exorbitant
    tax on our cars. We have one of the most expensive cars
    in the world !!


  5. CYC
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 17:43:57

    Its only fair for LKS to reflect upon his style of leadership. For his thin tolerance of different opinions virtually forced out most talented people like Farn Yew Teng. He can’t possibly deny the eventual estrangement with most of his ex political secretary such as Hew Kong Yaw, James Wong, Nair, Teng CK to name a few. But I m surprise with his tolerance beyond imagination with Lee Lam Thye, the so called people’s MP. (Is he really an MP with people at heart? I have great reservation on this). LGE may be worst than LKS in terms of tolerance level of disobedience/ non-kowtowing among his comrades.

    For those Gerakanians who wish to take this opportunity to whack DAP further, please look at the mirror to reflect upon your integrity and honesty first.


  6. disgusted
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 17:57:25

    It would be interesting to find out the distributive “owners” (system) of foodstuffs and consumer goods, somehow somewhat somewhere the source will end to a powerful connection to the political hierarchy in the inner circle. These are the “blood suckers” and leeches in the economy.


  7. Thomas
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 21:29:25

    Wishy washy leaders do not last. Also good men are fools. These people have no place in politics. They may become figure head or reverred and allowed to be held in high esteem by people because they are no threat to the person who actulaly hold power.

    Eventually when in power and in control you can write your own history and be worshipped.


  8. klm
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 09:08:07

    In the short time that Najib is PM, there is wholesale price increase in everything. I wonder if his high income country means you need high income to live in Malaysia. With this increase in prices, the poor is becoming poorer and the middle income become poor. At what stress point will society breaks apart and violence and crime become prevalent. With prices keeping going up, something has to break at some point.

    I dont want to be around when that happens.


  9. petestop
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 10:58:18

    Now that he is dead, all sort of glowing “obituary” from the newspaper,
    least of which in MCA owned “the Star.

    If they really care abt this person, they should have pushed to restore
    his Parliamentary pension, when he is ALIVE !

    It is this kind of hypocrisy that makes me wanna puke when I read


  10. disgusted
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 12:22:56

    Petestop your are right. Hypocrisy in human nature inter alia political circle, is a habitual practice (culture). They term this as a mark of “respect” for the dead.

    I am not educated so I don’t know what this means.

    For friends here: must watch:


    produced by Award winning Norwegian Director Terje Toftenes
    “New Paradigm Shift”


  11. Dr Hsu
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 12:46:20

    The urban people are spending more and more on their foodbills and utilities bills. Food is now a big portion of any household.

    The income is stagnant. The yearly increment of income, if any, cannot keep up with the costs of rising food , energy bills etc.. The disposable income is practically nil for household income of 2500.

    As Klm said, it may reach the breaking point and social upheaval will be the results.

    The problem is that policy planners live in the proverbial ivory towers, and as rich people with house in Tmn Tun, they have not seen how the poor people in Sentul or around peel road live. Go to San Peng flats and see the living conditions. Those flats have only 1 or 2 rooms, and once the children grow up, they have no choice but to stay out of the house becaue the house is so small and practically no privacy. Any wonder why many become gangsters or so on. ANy wonder why these people do not have good academic results. Without good education, the children become even poorer than the parents and thus, poverty persists from generations to generations.

    Urban poor needs a decent roof above their heads. 5 billions could have re-built some of these flats and allow better living conditions for them and their children..


  12. CYC
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 15:52:52

    There is only ONE single modus operandi for all the govt in this world to continue their legitimacy to govern: Suppress the truth, let people believe the false to be true.

    Obama’s administration just passed the law to reduce the rich’s taxes by 2% when Warren Buffet has untiringly complained that US govt tax the rich too little. Why? And herethe govt is planning to dish out various incentives to the business conglomerate to participate in some transformation program involving the oil and gas industry and so on in the name of creating high income economy. So, the money continue to flow into the rich’s pocket while the poor’s pocket were squeezed til it become dry. At such, the double entries in accounting practice is thus completed and accountant able to balance the accounts.

    Socialism still got its role to play even though democracy gain an upper hand today. Farn Yew Teng believed so, what about u Dr ?


  13. Dr Hsu
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 15:58:00

    We need websites like wikileak to uncover all the wrong doings ..

    I find it comical that people blame their own wrong doings on the leak. If they have donw anything wrong in the first place, what is there to be afraid if the truth comes out? Why blame the whistle blower when these people did wrong things or said wrong things in the firstplace?

    As for socialism, my thinking is more towards social democracy….


  14. CYC
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 16:32:36

    When Talent Corp opens its door to “foreign” talents especially those graduates of Ivy league universities, what happen to those local “talents” without an Ivy league degree to show? They are plenty of these kind of talents whose real potential were hindered by ” lack of opportunities” due to ketuanan preference. Are they continue to be 2nd class ? or now 3rd class behind ketuanan and foreign talents? What if this wave of attracting foreign talents leads to the local talents leaving thereafter ? It becomes a vicious cycle if it is not properly manage. Anyway, I doubt Talent Corp will achieve any success given the scenario of ever deteriorating standard of our education and civil service.


  15. klm
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 16:49:12

    CYC. Top graduates from Ivy league universities are always sought after, good time or bad time. It is not easy for Malaysia to attract them unless they are offered obscene salaries and extraordinary career advancements, an unlikely scenario. In total there are only, maybe several thousand graduates a year from the top 10 universities of the world, not enough to round. Why would one of them come here?


  16. CYC
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 17:15:28

    Klm, u have a point. But there is always exception where a Harvard graduate may not necessarily better than a UM graduate. We are in a very unique environment here. Many of our talented youth especially those from kampong/new village is handicapped by slight poor command of English due to half past six teachers and/or limited opportunity to use the language. As a result, some may have missed the chance to attend Ivy league universities and opt for local U instead.

    My concern is not so much if Ivy league graduates come here but priority given to those foreign talents before considering local talent as mentioned simply due to university’s name printed on the degree and the perception of the foreign moon shines brighter. Talent cannot be gauge by university name alone.


  17. disgusted
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 18:48:12

    Most people rather prefer to believe a SIMPLE LIE
    than a COMPLEX TRUTH.

    What to do?


  18. klm
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 21:19:04

    CYC. You have a point that a graduate from Harvard may not be better than a UM graduate. There is a book out that explained why undergraduates of the Ivy Leagues do not get the best education. The main reason, the famous professors of these universities do not teach undergraduate level. The undergraduate classes are outsourced to community colleges. Going to these Ivy leagues for a basic degree may get you a network but a lousy education. So much for Koh Tsu Koon’s Princeton undergraduate degree.


  19. Phua Kai Lit
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 10:04:07

    Dear Dr Hsu

    Higher prices is the same as poor people (and other people on fixed incomes such as pensioners) getting poorer.

    Our national finances are being badly mismanaged!


  20. ong
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 21:47:27

    I cannot agree with those who whack LKS and also ask LKS to reflect upon his style of leadership. The majority of the party membership has accepted his style of leadership all these years, judging from the fact that he is still the party supremo after all these years. Would anyone of you people who criticise his style of leadership like to claim that he remains the party supremo to this day because he buys their support with financial inducements the way BN leaders have been doing?

    LKS practices the style of leadership acceptable to the majority of DAP party members, not to the small minority including those who decided to quit, including Fan Yew Teng, because they could not stand him, and also not to outside critics made up of non-DAP members.


  21. A true Malaysian
    Dec 12, 2010 @ 10:57:56


    I agree with your comment. If not for LKS, DAP will not be what we see today.

    Yes, many members, like Lee Lam Thye (I am not sure of Fan Yew Teng) cannot agree (or tolerate) with LKS. But, why respectable politicians like Karpal Singh, Chen Man Hin still can work with LKS for so long? Anyone can explain that?

    As for Teng Chang Khim, it is of no secret he is not at all agreeable with LKS, but Teng is principled enough to remain as such as he (Teng) aspires with DAP’s political ideology. For this, Teng is one politician that earned respect from all. But, if Teng quit DAP, then, I can say, he will be a ‘nobody’ overnight.

    I don’t know much about Fan Yew Teng but I would say he was a principled politician though he was unable to work well with LKS if that was really the case.


  22. CYC
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 10:00:18

    It only shows our shallowness if we still stick to to the stigma of “my hero should not be criticised under whatever circumstances”. To put the matter straight, I have never said LKS does not deserves to be where he is today. Secondly, i do agree that he is the main pillar of DAP, Thirdly, he remained one of the greatest opposition leader we ever had. But that does not mean he is perfect. Don’t ever jump the gun and defend blindly as if he is a saint that is untouchable. By doing so, u r setting an example of blind loyalty and unhealthy democracy where freedom of speech is viewed as sinful.


  23. ong
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 15:04:15

    CYC: You said:”Its only fair for LKS to reflect upon his style of leadership.”

    I say: LKS’s style of leadership has been and are still acceptable to the large majority of the DAP membership, judging from the fact that he is still the party supremo after all these years. More than that, his style of leadership also appears to be acceptable to the electorate that he courts. On the other hand, those who quit because they cannot accept his style of leadership and had gone on their own to court the electorate were mostly soundly rejected by voters. They are the ones who should reflect on their style of politics and also leadership in case they consider themselves to be leaders.

    As such, LKS need not reflect on his style of leadership.

    I cannot figure how your statement “my hero should not be criticised under whatever circumstances” come into the picture here. Trying to imply “shallowness” in others thinking because of disagreement with your comment shows arrogance.

    You also wrote: “But that does not mean he is perfect”. Whoever said LKS is perfect? I cannot find any such comment anywhere in this posting except for your last comment. Only nincompoops will describe another human as being perfect. Nothing in the world is perfect. Even God, or nature to non-believers, is only imperfectly perfect.

    But if his “style of leadership” is good enough and acceptable to majority of his party members and also to the electorate, then there is no need to reflect on and change such “style of leadership”. Remember the adage “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”.


  24. CYC
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 16:05:33

    Even worm inside LKS probably knows not whether LKS needs to reflect on his political style. Without constantly reflecting on oneself, one shall continue to live in a vacuum without understand the real situation. LKS has been rejected more than once and it shows that he did to reflect not only on his leadership style but his political philosophy.

    “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” – I m afraid this sounds arrogance just like BN. A competent company will always looks within to rectify their weakness even though it may still raked it healthy profit. This philosophy applies even to the Forbes Top 10. So, LKS must be a creature of another planet if he can be exempted from doing the same.

    LKS is cursed to have too many blind loyalists around him which denied him of constructive criticism and meaningful input. Its time for him to open up and embrace his critics with open arms as this will eventually make him mare adaptive and progressive in the ever changing political landscape.

    If going by your analogy, then BN should not be replaced as it still command the acceptance by the majority. As such, why fight to wrest control from a majority accepted coalition? Should I also ask u to reflect on your own dissatisfaction instead ? Reflection does not necessarily mean absolute change. It s a process look into subject matter objectively and rationalise the issue with adaptation and modification of methodology without compromising the original objective.


  25. ong
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 22:13:47

    CYC: LKS may not have won every election (except DAP party elections) he stood for, but until today he is still the DAP supremo, and until today he is still MP with one of the larger majorities in the last election. Do you know where are all his detractors? They have mostly disappeared into political oblivion. Now, basing on this fact, and not opinion may I remind you, what does it tell you about his style of leadership as compared with the qualities of all his detractors? In the eyes of the general electorate, and not yours, if you don’t mind.

    Oh, of course according to you it is because he has so many blind followers. To you, people who are loyal to those not to your liking, you describe them as blind, whereas those loyal to those to your liking are discerning. Another show of arrogance?

    Of course BN should not be replaced if it still command the acceptance by the majority. Don’t you know that is not how democracy works? Again, I don’t see any comment by anyone that a BN government elected by a majority should be replaced. Therefore I don’t understand why you raised this matter. And I hope you are not so arrogant as to also condemn those who continue to support and vote in the BN government as being blind like the LKS supporters. It is their right, just like it is the right for PR parties to try to convince erstwhile BN supporters to change their allegiance and vote for PR at the next elections.

    Your statement “why fight to wrest control from a majority accepted coalition” does not make any sense to me. Nobody is talking about overthrowing a majority elected government. People are talking about convincing supporters of political opponents to change switch allegiance to their side. Again, in case you also cannot understand this point, that is also how democracy is supposed to work. Convince your opponents supporters to switch allegiance.


  26. CYC
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 10:58:11

    It hurts because it is the truth. Contradictions will only crystalise the truth not the other way.

    Don’t kick your ass with legs. It is futile yet it hurts your leg.

    Never did I claimed LKS’s detractors are better than him in whatsoever manner. All I have said was he should reflect on his leadership style in view of so many talented members fallout with him and left. But someone disagreed and concluded that such need does arise as majority accepted his leadership style. Funny thing is the same person supported the fact that no one is perfect yet rule out the need to constant reflect upon one self to remedy one’s imperfection if there is any.

    When we said BN should be replaced it simply means we aspire to vote them out in general election. It is common knowledge and no explanation is needed. So, don’t twist it with selection of words to suit an argument. And it is due to the understanding of how democracy works that I have asked LKS to reflect upon his leadership style. My request reflects my respect to the main pillar of democracy, i.e. freedom of expression (without expecting the answer to suit my desire in absolute terms).

    Loyalty is not absolute, it comes with terms and conditions. Otherwise, it is blind loyalty. Likewise, never absolutely rule out they are indeed many LKS’s blind loyalist around just like there are also many blind loyalist of other corrupt politicians.


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