Please walk the talk

The PM has called on Malaysians to show acceptance of each other’s differences. There is nothing wrong in this;  in fact, all of us must support this call for acceptance, if the PM himself can show the way in the implementation of his policies and reining in those who are uttering extremist views.

It is not enough to merely state this but not seen to practise it. I must stress again that this is a different world altogether, and people are now able to think and analyse better with the influence of the internet and the borderless information that they can amass.

In fact, many of his speeches are good if only it can be implemented. But good speeches, if it is not implemented, would mean nothing more than just rhetoric. In fact, no matter how well he means, if the well-meaning messages are not seen to be implemented, he runs the risks of losing more support from the middle ground, as people would term this ‘hypocrisy’.

I still recall his speech at the UN last year (September 2010) calling for negotiations over confrontation. If only he has observed his own advice and walked the talk  in the handling of the Bersih issue, he would not have been so pressured now.

In case he has not remembered, there is an article which I wrote on his speech then and calling him to come home, walks his talks  and take charge against extremism. That article is titled “If only he walks the talks”.

I will post that article of mine here again since the same argument is relevant to what he says about acceptance:

If only he walks the talks

SEPT 29 — Our prime minister gave a very “good” speech in the UN. Good in the sense that what was expounded in the speech is correct and morally right.

He said, “We must, and I repeat, we must urgently reclaim the centre and the moral high ground that has been usurped from us. We must choose negotiations over confrontation. We must choose to work together and not against each other. And we must give this effort utmost priority for time is not on our side.”

He also urged the US President Barack Obama to “galvanise the moderates, bring in NGOs and social movements so that more people would see the importance of taking a moderate stance.”

This is indeed what is needed in the whole world.

This is indeed what is needed in Malaysia.

My question to the PM is this: Why is this — the essence of his speech — not practised in our own country?

He, as the PM, has the power to walk the talk, to do what he preaches overseas.

Why aren’t those uttering extremist words dealt with using existing laws? The incidents of the two principals and the words of some civil servants (like the one in BTN) are certainly extreme, no one can deny that. Why isn’t any action being taken against these people?

When he urges Obama to galvanise the moderates and bring in the NGOs, did he not realise that he has not reined in the NGO group called Perkasa? Did he not realise that the perception is that, by keeping quiet and refraining from attacking this group, Perkasa is an outsourced extremist group from the Big Brother?

His speech is certainly good. If Obama does what our PM advises, America and the world would be a better place, no doubt about it. But our PM must put his own house in order first before offering such “good” advice to others. Otherwise, there is only one word in English language to describe the whole situation — hypocrisy!

There is still time to prove that he is not a hypocrite, by coming home and taking charge and dealing with these extremists according to the advice he gave others in UN.

Will he walk the talk?

Release the PSM 6

I have the pleasure of working under Dr Devaraj, the father of Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj , for a few months in Penang General Hopsital in the late 70s.

The father is one of the most conscientious doctors that I have come across, and like father like son, Dr Jeyakumar has been doing good social work helping the poor and the downtrodden.

He is among the six arrested for reasons best known to the authorities. I said so because initially they were arrested for suspicion of trying to revive communism– of all reasons, this must be one of the most incomprehensible since communism is as good as dead in this 21st century– because of some Che Guevara T shirts which can be bought in many places not known to be communist.

Then, apparently,  the power that be must have read my arguments in my article “debacle of Mishandling’. To paraphrase the relevant parts:

This is no more the era of USSR or Mao Tse Tung’s China; the former has disintegrated into smaller states and the latter is now more capitalist than communist.

Who would want to revive communism, when these two giants communist states have tacitly admitted that their ideology is no longer workable, by opening their economies and adopting some capitalist practices.”

So in an about turn, the six are now said to be detained because they are key ‘movers’ for the 709 rally.
This makes no sense to me since the prime movers are the 60 odd NGOs that form Bersih . If there is no arrest against the leaders of these NGOs, why should action– what more detention without trial- be taken against these 6?

Not that I advocate the arrest of these leaders of the NGOs — I don’t– since in the first place, our Constitution has guaranteed the freedom of association and gathering.  But for the sake of argument, if no action is taken against the heads of Bersih component, why should action be taken against the six? It is plain logic and common sense.

So if none of the Heads of NGOs are detained, then Dr Jeyakumar and the five others must be released unconditionally.

Yesterday and today, even MIC leaders are asking for the release of these six. Of course, this is not because suddenly the MIC leaders have found their conscience, but rather these calls are made because of the Indian votes.

MIC must have realised that if Dr Jeyakumar is still under detention when General Election is called, he would have made a lot of difference to the Indians votes, which are said to be flowing back to BN. Not only will Indian votes stop flowing back to the Big Brother, it will most probably go back in a big way to the opposition.

With the CHinese votes gone, and the young Malay voters resenting the BIg Brother, I do not know why someone would want to sabotage the Top Leader’s chance by detaining one of the most prominent Indian leaders in the country, and along with his arrest, 5 others who are with him.

There is really nothing to gain politically. The power that  be should realise this and release the SIX immediately.

A heinous crime

The RCI has made the conclusion that TBH committed suicide as a result of aggressive and prolonged questioning by MACC officers.

No one except the person/persons responsible for his death would know what had actually transpired before and at the time of his death.

However, logic would tell us that a person who was just a witness and who was supposed to get married the next day, and who was going to be a father soon, would not take his own life easily.

He was either pushed out of the window or he jumped himself.. The former would make his death a murder, and the latter would be suicide.

RCI ruled that he committed  suicide  under duress from MACC officers. If this is the case, then a few questions came to my mind.

1. Did not the MACC know that he was just a witness?

2. If so, why was the tactic of aggressive and prolonged questioning used on TBH?

3. From 1 and 2, we can deduce that the MACC officers involved had certain ‘intention’ to make TBH turn against his boss.  The intention could be due to either of the following:

a. the officers  genuinely believed that TBH’s boss was guilty of corruption; or

b. they know that THB’s Boss is not guilty but they still want to make a case out of it to please  ‘someone’.

4.  deducing from RCI’s conclusion, this ‘intention’ to break TBH might have made Teoh to feel so miserable (under such inhuman duress, anything could be possible) that he  jumped and killed himself to escape from  duress. … That is what the RCI is saying.

Perhaps, the officers involved  knew that under such duress, a witness could commit suicide. If they knew this and still went ahead with the ‘aggressive and prolonged’  questioning, then this becomes a clear case of homicide, even if TBH had jumped himself . This is not unlike a situation where a robber with a knife is forcing a victim to jump from a cliff. Yes, the victim jumps himself, but he has no other choice when faced with someone pointing a knife at him.. In TBH’s case, the duress he was placed under is equivalent to a knife.

The intention to break him knowing full well that such methods would cause death would be homicide.

I am not a lawyer but i am only using common sense and talking from the moral angle using RCI’s conclusion..

The officers responsible must be charged for this is a heinous crime.  A heinous crime that arises from the abuse of power in an agency that is supposed to be the protector of the system..

Even the highers-up such as the director and so on must take responsibility and resign, as a show of accountability.

Otherwise, who will ever feel safe to become a witness, if to be a witness means hours of inhuman treatment? Who would want to be in a situation where a ‘knife’ is figuratively pointing at you?

If this can happen to witnesses, I really pity those who are accused of crimes…

Malaysia must stop all these madness,abuses  and rots in the system…

(The argument here is based solely on the conclusions made by the RCI, and this does not mean that the author agrees with the findings of the RCI..)

Yes, Minister, you are wrong!

Article 18, Part II of the Fourth Geneva Convention  (August 12, 1949) states clearly that:

” Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.”


Hospitals are sanctuaries that should be respected and avoided by all warring sides. One of the reasons is that the injured and wounded are unable to defend themselves, and any honourable being will never attack or fight with anyone who is disabled or ill. The patients  are also unable to run or seek shelter elsewhere.

There are many videos and photos showing that during the rally on 709, Tung Shin Hospital, or more specifically, the  compound of Tung Shin hospital, was hit by water cannons and tear gas .

It is understandable that in the heat of flexing their muscles against unarmed civilians , some of the personnel might have forgotten that hospitals are sanctuaries to be avoided. I suspect some may not even have heard of the Geneva Convention, given the state of our education system. So it was actually understandable that some might have been so caught up that they fired their gas canisters and water cannons into the compound of the hospital.

Afterall, humans are fallible, we are not God. But when a person has erred, he must be prepared to learn from his mistakes and apologise for his error, and accept any  punishment for making the error if it is serious enough to warrant such punishment.

The correct response from the powers that be, including the ‘honourable’ Home and Health Ministers, should be the acknowledgement of such attacks in the presence of irrefutable evidence   and issuing a sincere apology to the patients, staff and management of the Hospital, and a promise that such nonsense would never happen again.

Instead, we have seen the bungling act again. In reacting instead of responding, their first act was that of a denial. When evidence shows otherwise, one of the Honourables even stated that he was merely conveying what he was told by the hospital board, who must be so intimidated or outdated that even their own doctors have come forward to refute their claims.

The statement by the 11 brave doctors working in TungShin Hospital clearly shows that what were captured in pictures and videos did happen. These are professionals who have nothing to gain by coming out with such a statement. They are the neutral ones who speak so that the truth can be seen and heard.

In the light of all these evidence, perhaps an apology by the PM  should be tendered .  In many other democracies, this sort of bungling would have led to voluntary resignations of the ministers involved. Resigning not because anyone  had knowingly ordered the attacks ( I don’ t believe any one in their right minds would do that),  but rather  as a sign of taking responsibility.

This is what  responsible government is about!

(this article is also posted in the side view of Malaysian Insider here.)

recommended reading: The Debacle of Mishandling here

Malaysia’s summer of discontent: William Pesek

Investing 101 Means Looking Out the Windows More: William Pesek
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-12/investing-101-means-looking-out-the-windows-more-william-pesek.html

Arab Spring, meet Malaysia’s summer of discontent.

That thought is surely on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s mind as the dust settles from Saturday’s botched demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur. By “botched” I mean the way Najib mishandled what should have been a ho-hum political-reform rally of little note by the international news media.

Public-relations experts would have told Najib to let the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections have their day in the capital. Let them wave signs and wear their yellow shirts. Instead, he tried to stop the rally, increasing its size. Then, he cracked down. Police fired tear gas and detained 1,697 people, turning the event into a top cable TV news story.

The over-the-top response did something worse: It enraged Malaysians who weren’t all that interested in rallying before Saturday. It also underlined the rise in political risk sweeping Asia, something that investors would be wise to track.

No serious observer expects an exact Asian rerun of the Arab Spring movement that saw uprisings topple leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and threaten regimes in Syria, Libya and Yemen. But then neither do serious people argue that Asia has done enough to enhance its democratic credentials during the past 10 years.

Political Change

Malaysia’s protest was the biggest since 2007 — roughly 20,000 people. It came amid rising calls for political change from Thailand to China. What these nations have in common is that the overhaul in domestic political systems lags behind economic and financial reforms.

Take Thailand, where voters this month ejected the incumbent Democratic Party, which had used soldiers to disperse opposition protests in 2010, leading to more than 90 deaths. The party had promised to attack the corruption and undemocratic ways of the government run by Thaksin Shinawatra that soldiers ousted in 2006. Last week, fed up voters went full circle, making Thaksin’s sister premier.

Officials in China are pulling out all the stops to clamp down on political activists amid the so-called Jasmine Revolution. Nothing unnerves the Communist Party in Beijing more than the specter of social discontent. The winds of change are even sweeping Singapore; its ruling party in May won its narrowest election victory since independence in 1963.

Common Threads

Although the causes of such tension differ from country to country, there are a few common threads. One is the frustration of the have-nots as they watch the haves get richer. Another is rising global commodity prices, which make it harder for many to make ends meet. Finally, political modernization has been slower than critics hoped.

Malaysia’s case is especially complicated thanks to the inescapable issue of race. The conventional wisdom is that Saturday’s protests will delay Najib’s pledge to dismantle a 40- year preferential program that favors the Malay majority. The policy makes it harder for Chinese and Indian Malaysians to find good jobs, and its quotas scare away foreign investors. It holds Malaysia back in an increasingly competitive world.

To me, Najib wasn’t moving fast enough before Saturday. Foreign executives considering whether to build a factory in Malaysia want a clear schedule: By Jan. 1, 2012, we will do this, and by Jan. 1, 2013, we will do that. Instead, Najib offered vague intentions without meaningful or specific goals.

Misplaced Priorities

It’s no mystery why. All that matters to the United Malays National Political Organisation is clinging to its five-decade hold on power. Such misplaced priorities explain why Malaysia has been slow to streamline the economy and encourage the kind of entrepreneurialism that creates well-paid jobs. It’s also why leaders are timid about scrapping productivity-killing policies that only benefit portions of the population.

The question now is which way Najib turns. At this point, he may avoid calling an early election this year — there’s just too much risk for him. Which direction he takes in changing policy is an even bigger unknown. On July 10, the Guardian newspaper carried comments by Najib in which he cautioned protesters not to test his party’s will. “We can conquer Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

What can we make of a leader who promised reform and moderation and now sounds like a Roman emperor? Can a nation that arrests almost 1,700 people, some just for wearing yellow shirts, still be called a democracy? Najib’s response even had Malaysians feeling sorry for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was injured by flying tear gas canisters.

Events in Kuala Lumpur remind us that geopolitical risks are on the rise in Asia. Yes, growth rates are healthy even as the U.S., Japan and Europe limp along. The establishment of democratic institutions has been far less robust, though, and entrenched leaders may pay a considerable price. Maybe not in the Hosni Mubarak-sense, but the potential for upheaval shouldn’t be underestimated. There really is a bull market in the desire for political change.

Investors looking for places to put their money tend to lock themselves in offices combing through statistics, bond spreads, stock valuations and central-bank policies. In Asia’s case, more success might be had by looking out the window at the street demonstrations below.

(William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Same name (and old IC) with 2 votes?

A frequent visitor to my blog provided this piece of hard evidence.

1. Go to  http://daftarj.spr.gov.my

2. Key in these 2 different IC numbers 480613105880 and 480513105568

3. These are the results:(click to enlarge)

How come this name can have 2 votes? The date of birth may be slightly different, giving impression that this is 2 persons with same name, but look at the old ic numbers.. They are the same..

We  need answer from SPR.


Short break

I will be away for a short while, but will be keeping very close watch on the situation here.

 

 

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