Friday, September 5, 2008


I'm a staunch supporter of Dato' Sri Najib Razak but I have to painfully state here that I didn't consider myself well represented when the man himself apologized to the Chinese community on behalf of the whole party of UMNO on the accord of one person's statement. If at all an apology was warranted it shouldn't have come from the top brass representing the whole 3.2 million UMNO members.

More to follow...I'm just too distraught to write more right now

Continued....There you have it. The Malay leaders in UMNO have adopted a new habit of jumping the gun everytime the Chinese community speaks slightly louder than a whisper about their supposedly "oppressed" community. It seems now we're always ever ready to apologise in fear of being called a racist. If this continues at the current rate, we will become as pathetic as the Americans where it is taboo to call a negro anything but Afro-American while the negros can call a caucasion "white boy" in public without any fear of being called a bigot.

Perhaps the problem is that the Chinese can understand the Malay language and listen earnestly to any Malay political event while the Malays know nuts and couldn't care less about what goes on in a Chinese political forum. Malay journalists are also useless in reporting non-Malay events because the Managing Editors of the Malay dialies are not intelligent enough to employ worthy reporters who can speak more than one language. Heck! They can't even quote the Malay leaders properly let alone summarise in the Malay language a press conference that is held in English or any other language spoken in Malaysia. That is why there are no charges against the Chinese and Indians on sedition or racism based on newspaper reports.

Anyway coming back to the apologetic UMNO culture, I'd like to recapitulate on a few events that should have caused much embarrassement to the Malays due to their leaders but dismissed off the cuff as innocent mistakes.

1. A Malay girl who was mistakenly thought to be a Chinese citizen was "abused" in a Malaysian prison. After a lot of flak by the Chinese community here, and without thorough investigation on something so elementary, the Home Minister was sent to China to apologise on behalf of the Government only to realize that it was a local of Malay ethnic origin.

2. The UMNO Youth leader (whose name is not even worthy of mentioning in my blog) introduced a Keris ( the Malay warrior's dagger) and named it Keris Panca Warisan waving it a few times with a cry that supposedly offended the non-Malays in a Youth Convention. The MCA youth wing paid him a visit and the hatchet was buried along with a substantial allocation for Chinese schools under that chap's Ministry. You'd have thought that was that, but the pressure kept rising from the community for the youth chief to apologize even after giving the handout to the Chinese schools. Yup! The rest his history, he succumbed to the pressure and like the scared puppy offered his apology, pathetically at a time when it most didn't matter, i.e. after we got "whipped" in the General Elections. The Chinese community still speaks ill of his past action even after his apology. He'd just as well have offered his resignation along with it and that would have made the Malays very happy indeed.

3. Recently, the UMNO Deputy President, after hearing calls for Dato' Ahmad Ismail's apology for referring to a fact in history by the Chinese leaders decided to offer an apology on behalf of the whole party. Lo and behold, 13 UMNO divisions in Penang backed Ahmad Ismail defying Najib's action and the President's call for his apology. So it seems besides me, there are more than 50,000 other UMNO members in Penang alone represented by the 13 divisions who begged to differ with Najib and Pak Lah.

Instead of being on the defensive and constantly cowed into obedience by Gerakan, MCA, DAP and Hindraf, in the last 4 years, what we'd like to know is what has UMNO done to condemn those who openly accuse our party alone of abuse of power and corruption? (as though they are squeeky clean).

According to the Malaysian Insider, this is what Lim Keng Yaik had to say about us. "We had the worst kind of Umno arrogance as a result of the 2004 elections. The abuse of power, corruption, negotiated tenders with government tenders going mainly to Umno-associated companies. All this is not decided by the Cabinet but by the Ministry of Finance. You think people don't know. Prices are jacked up and there is no check on the implementation of these projects."

And according to the New Straits Times Online, Ong Tee Kiat, the presidential candidate told an MCA function that the party should consider pulling out of Barisan Nasional if Umno continued to champion the concept of Ketuanan Melayu.
These are extremely serious allegations made by the advisor of a useless component party which lost a whole state because of the same arrogance they condemned UMNO for, and a dangerous play with seditious remarks just to win an election by a presidential nominee of another component party.

The Billion Ringgit question is, what in the name God are our leaders doing to straighten these characters out? Or, if there is any truth in what Keng Yaik had to say, will the bandits be brought to justice to clear the party's good name?

Instead of going out of this world trying hard to win the hearts of the non-Malays, it is time the UMNO leaders started to pay more attention to the Malays who are fast running out of patience and looking toward the other party that is beginning to look like the real McCoy in the struggle for Religion, Race and Country.


Anonymous said...

You have such anger against us non-malays. Perhaps you should be a non-malay for a few years and then you will know how we feel. No point in getting all worked up if you dont want to understand both sides of the story. You take a few incidents and you generalised that we non-malays are unfair BUT please if you were in our situation whereby you are helpless and dont even get any help from the Government then you will understand our predicament.

Most of us just want a place to feed our family and get a good job and start a family. Live in peace. Yet you get UMNO getting all racists to get their members to support them and this is wrong. Whats wrong with living together without the race thing? I was born here. My grandfather was born here. How come we are pendatang? Did we take anything by force from you? Since young we are thought to work hard and look after the family. Its an honest hard days work. We dont get ANY preferential treatment. What we got is what we put in through sheer hardwork. Nothing is given! We get no scholarship to study. We cannot get into universities even when we get good results. My good friend a bumi-guy got in with even worse result. I dont blame him. I blame UMNO. Its sickening!

No 10% discount when buying houses. We pay taxes. What else you want? Why keep saying we are pendatang? Did we steal anything? The government is controlled by UMNO. If you have anger because you think we pendatang stole anything, its UMNO not us! What you feel today is a result of UMNO, not us. We didnt start the fire.

Lets live in peace, forgeting about the race thing and let our country progress! I feel ashamed that Singapore has progressed so far ahead when we still have the inferior complex of competing in an even playing field. Unless we compete and progress, all the "success" we are claiming now seems hollow.

Think my friend. Move ahead. Say no to RACISM! Respect and be respected!

TPJ said...

Dear Anonymous,

You exhibit the classic case that I was trying to present.

If you read carefully, 80% of my anger was channelled toward the Malay leaders and also the ignorant Malay journalists. Perhaps only 20% was aimed at the non-Malay community, and you took that small percentage and tried to make me look like an extreme racist. Thanks for amplifying my point on that score.

You are not those who were referred to as the "pendatang." I'm sure the Penang politician was referring to those who were brought in here by the British as "pendatang", and that description is spot on without a shadow of a doubt which could've very well included your great-grandfather.

By saying that your community puts in an honest day's hard work, you are implying and generalizing (if I may borrow your word) that none of the Malays earn an honest living and work equally hard.

I take pride in telling you that I am an UMNO member and would like to add that after 18 years in the party, I have yet to get handouts from my leaders. On the contrary, to my disgust, a good number of Chinese tycoons along with the Malays are rich because of the handouts given by the same.

I worked my way after secondary school in the Stock Exchange and earned my degree in the US without applying for a scholarship or even a govt study loan. So let's not flatter ourselves by thinking that only one race is the powerhouse that engines the economy of this blessed country. Singapore is beautiful to visit and compare our country with, but try living there as a citizen and see if you can last six months before crawling back to our shores.

You are wrong to blame UMNO the party but I'm right to blame UMNO's current leaders for the sorry state of affairs especially on the racial front.

Let's not even fool ourselves with the old cliche of " competing on a level playing field". Neither of us have had handouts because only those close to the powers that be, be it the Malays or even the Chinese have raped us good using their close connections with the leaders.

Yeah, people call Tun Dr Mahathir a racist but under his watch, there were no open animosity between races as there would have been hell to pay if someone even started.

You want to live in peace, let's give it a shot. We can start by not accusing each other, learn to accept that not only bumiputeras benefit but also a large number of chinaputeras (those close to the leaders) do too.

I thank you for dropping by and being civil with your comment. I hope I have reciprocated the courtesy.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam TPJ
Why is it that when controversy occurs after a statement is made, most often than not the media is blamed for misreporting or taking the statement out of context?
I do believe if caution was taken before anyone open their mouth to speak, it could have easily been avoided.
The Malay saying, "Kerana pulut, santan binasa, kerana mulut badan binasa" is apt.

TPJ said...

Salam Cik Fauziah,

Politicians must be responsible for their words and journalists in return must be responsible in their work without having a secret agenda.

Let me give you an instance. Remember when Kalimullah wrote in his editorial while being the top dog in the New Straits Times? He wrote on the meeting between Pak Lah and Tun in Japan and insisted that it was Tun who initiated the meeting and asked for Pak Lah to slot him in. Despite Tun's verbal affidavit that it was the opposite, they made it out to look like he was lying. Much later, perhaps out of good conscience (giving Pak Lah the benefit of the doubt), the PM declared that it was he who asked for the meeting with Tun Mahathir and not the other way round. Was there an apology to Tun Mahathir and the Malaysian public in any of the pages of the NST by Kali for lying to and misleading the paying readers?

I'll enlighten you further by saying that reporters handling local political affairs today are not of the same calibre of Nuraina Samad and several others. Today they ask pathetic questions not to ask about policies but to instigate one politician with another. For example, instead of asking a minister (A)on the policies of his/her ministry, they'd ask the minister to comment on another minister's (B) comment that might have flared some controversy. Then, they' ll go back to minister (B) and ask him/her to comment on minister (A)'s response. And they go back and forth until the story becomes rancid and the rakyat is all worked up. Is this first class journalism?

I'd like to share one personal experience, I launched a very important education fund for the poor in JB, and was officiated by a current VP of UMNO. Along with the press kit, I also included the criterion for the applicants which could have been reported to save their time asking how to qualify. The reporters came but nothing was published. I guess offerring education aid to poor Malays isn't considered as important as reporting on whether Siti Nurhaliza is pregnant or not.

A second case. I organized the most meaningful 50th Merdeka celebration in the whole state of Johor by bringing together the families of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan at Danga Bay. We even played the original National Anthem heard at the Merdeka Stadium in 1957 accompanied by the11 gun salute. Then the rukun negara followed by more than a thousand guests. How I wished I knew you then. Knowing now how passionate you are on it I would have sat you together with the families of our distinguished Patriarchs.

Only the New Straits Times came that night and do you know which bit was covered? The part where I received the forms to fill for those who want to buy the Merdeka book published by them. Absolutely NOTHING on the families of the past greats coming together promoting good inter-racial spirits. I didn't care much about my picture being published. I would have been happier if I was left out but the integral part of the evening included instead.

There is a lot of hoo haa about the standard of journailsm today and trust me, they are justified.

I'm appalled when I discovered my suspicions to be true, that some journalists of today give favourable coverage to those local politicians who are "friendly" with them and censure those politicians who are adversaries to the ones who are "friendly" with them.

Gone are the days when journalists come with the likes of the late Tan Sri A. Samad Ismail, honest and unwavering in his stand. Sadly, his proteges are of retiring age and they in turn didn't quite groom those who came after them like Almarhum Pak Samad did them. Now this is what we are left with.

I'm not condemning the entire fraternity, just most of the ones handling the political bureau with their own wicked agenda.

Al-Fatihah for Pak Samad. May he rest in peace beside the righteous.

Anonymous said...

why the word 'racist' exists?

TPJ said...

Cik Elle, Salam Ramadhan.

The word racist has been in existence for thousands of years....that is why we hear words describing people as Jews and Badwi etc.

Racism is in every corner of the world. There are slurs referring to the Chinese, Indian, Arabs, Africans and others in every counrty I've been to including the developed ones like Great Britain and America.

In Malaysia, under Mahathir's leadership the various races were living alongside each other in peace and complemented each other in developing this great nation. If there was racism it was depressed. Today, it has reared its ugly head because the current leader thinks that giving people much freedom is a good thing. Well it is but not when discussing issues relating race and religion.

It is evident now that he cannot control the current state of affairs. Even politicians from his home state of Penang is defying him because he is not seen as a leader of much calibre.

This is the problem.

We are however hopeful that once the leadership is changed, we can live in harmony once again with our friends, some of whom have become my distant relatives through marriage from the other races.

Don't despair CIk Elle, it will be corrected for the good of all races. Insha'Allah.

Anonymous said...

Dear TPJ,

What would you suggest to the UMNO leadership to educate/upgrade their members' competency in racial relations?



TPJ said...

Dear SHIZ,

The problem isn't with the UMNO members. It is with the top leadership of UMNO.

How could I suggest to the UMNO leadership on how to "educate/upgrade their members' competancy in racial relations" when the person in need of educating is the leader himself.

Reflect on this. Tun Dr Mahathir is known as a racist, but under his leadership, there was no open animosity between races in this country because no one dared to lest they get canned. We lived in harmony then.

Under the current one, all hell is breaking loose because he wants to be the popular guy by being open about race, religion and everything else under the Sun, to the extent that he can't even control the situation now.

The best solution I can recommend is for the PM to take tuition lessons from the Tun on how to lead. Better yet if he leaves his office and let someone more capable of leading this great nation take over.

Then send the whole BN leaders to a retreat and lay it all out on the table. i.e. if anyone gets out of line (from whichever race or party) from then on will be incarcerated.

This works well in the much envied City State of Singapore.

My two cents worth.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam TPJ
Thank you for a lengthy reply.
While you have related incidences that had put journalism in bad light and I will not come into defence of it, we are sometimes blamed for misreporting or putting statements out of context when we have not. Despite having taped evidence, we are still deemed in the wrong.
I have experienced it myself and some of my reporters did too.
On Malay journalists, I can share with you an incident that happened when I was a news editor with Business Times.
We had a pair of ITM (now UiTM) trainees who had, after training with us for two weeks, requested to their lecturer to transfer them to a Malay publication. They said it was difficult understanding and writing in English.
They forgot that they need some comprehension of the English language even if they are writing for the Malay publication as most assignments, with the exception of government-organised ones, are in English. Even if the events are in Malay, other reporters may ask the question in English and the interviewee may answer in English too.
Their lecturer turned them down. They remained with us until the end of their practical training. I was informed both trainees had worked in a Malay entertainment magazine after they graduated.
We are working in a different era now. We don’t get them like we used to in the late 1980s and early 1990s where the level of English among school leavers and university graduates are high.
And while we have Chinese-speaking and Tamil-speaking reporters in the English daily (who scour the Chinese and Tamil papers respectively), I do not know if the Malay papers have them too.

TPJ said...

Salam Cik Fauziah.

I'd like to concur, even if you hadn't mentioned it, that politicians do fib more about being misquoted then they actually are by the reporters. It's like an easy escape for them but this too works both ways, that's why I said they both have to be more responsible.

Do you know why Malays are made to look like racists when compared to the others? Their reporters come and can understand our press conferences and even if they spin it out of context in their dailies, we are in no position to correct it because none of us read their dailies.

Not many Malay reporters go and listen to a Chinese held event I'm sure and those who do would probably get summaries from their Chinese counterparts. Of course when this happens, they wouldn't provide a summary of a racist statement if ever there was one now would they?

Yesterday I watched with disgust a TV reporter asking a villager who was showing a gaping hole in the middle of the road. He actually asked the villager "bahaya tak kalau macam begini"?

Another TV reporter I once watched actually tried to get a comment from the PM right after he buried his wife at the cemetary. Can you beat that? Nak ketawa pun ada, nak sepak reporter tu pun ada rasanya.

Did you know that in the good old days when the ministers actually did give a hoot about matters of the state? They either read all the papers or had their officers go through them first thing in the morning to see if there were anything amiss touching on their ministries. Today, they don't even know that the newspaper that is owned by them which is sponsored to Malay schools to encourage them to read English is advertising Carlsberg. This is another true story because it happened in JB on the eve of UMNO's 60th anniversary.

If you don't believe me, check out the archives of the NST that had Pak Lah's big picture with his right hand held high crying Hidup Melayu! Right on the next page (3)is a beer bottle as high as his figure....

We don't blame the papers, we blame lawmakers.

Unknown said...

ahh.. good article.
Pak Lah is thinking that the essence of a good governance comes from a good family. A good family must have all the members well-brought up. If the family (which is the micro level of a nation) is well brought up and since he is the PM, the rules of thumb is that the nation will also be well-brought up. But have you seen his thumb lately? and further more have you seen his wife background. Non-malay i suppose. Now, since i am uttering that his wife is non-malay, somewhere in the world wide web, would obviously think i am a racist. Darn it!
which again reminds me of an old proverb of which a blogger has already made into an article:
melayu ni- lembik untuk disudu, keras untuk ditakek.