Saturday, April 17, 2021

JAKIM hijacks 'Tuhan' word (with capital letter 'T') for Muslims ONLY - stealthy work of a RM1.4 Billion (publicly funded) per annum Department

Focus Malaysia:

Apart from Allah, why is the word “Tuhan” exclusive for Muslims too?



By Uthaya Sankar

WHILE the Tamil community are still arguing on the actual date for the Tamil New Year (January or April), the “keling” issue is still ongoing, and the polemic over the use of “Allah” is unsettled, it seems there are “silent” movements on the move, undermining the religious rights of non-Muslims in Malaysia.

This became clear when I was reading Meredah Kabus (2021), an anthology of Bahasa Malaysia short stories published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), recently.

I was saddened and shocked to notice that every time a non-Malay (non-Muslim) mentions “Tuhan” (God), it is printed as “tuhan” (god).




For Muslims


For non-Muslims

Here are several other examples:

  • Mala juga sentiasa diingatkan untuk berdoa dan berterima kasih kepada tuhan. (page 10)
  • Semoga tuhan melindungi John daripada sebarang bencana. (page 63)
  • Dengan keizinan tuhan, Sangeetha dipertemukan dengan Madam Ivy. (page 223)
  • Letchumi sempat berdoa agar dirinya dilindungi tuhan. (page 231)
  • Inilah balasan tuhan terhadap dosa yang aku telah lakukan terhadap kalian. (page 236)
  • Oh, tuhanku! (page 251)
  • Dalam hal Zohra, dia bertambah yakin dengan kuasa tuhan dan karma. (page 323)

What in the world is DBP thinking?

Appalled by this, I contacted a few writers and they confirmed that in their original manuscript, they wrote “Tuhan” but it has been changed to “tuhan” in print.

Personally, I have faced a similar situation when I was appointed one of the panels to amend the student edition of the Interlok novel back in 2011.

Among others, on behalf of Kumpulan Sasterawan Kavyan (Kavyan Writers’ Group) requested and demanded “tuhan” in the student edition of Interlok (2010) to appear as “Tuhan” in the reprint.

For the record, in Datuk Abdullah Hussain’s original version, “Tuhan” is used. But when it was republished as a student edition, every time a non-Muslim character is involved, “Tuhan” has been changed to “tuhan”. If the character is a Malay-Muslim, “Tuhan” is used.

When this issue was highlighted in 2011, some panel members told me bluntly that if I wanted to use “Tuhan” when it comes to non-Muslims, I had to refer the matter to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

Now, it is clear to me that not only “Allah” is deemed exclusive for the Muslims. There is a movement to ensure “Tuhan” (capital) is also exclusively theirs. It seems “Tuhan” can only be used for “Allah”.

I see this as a subversive movement to insult and deny the religious rights of the non-Muslims. This clearly goes against Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which allows religious freedom.

A quick check of my books, Orang Dimensi (1994), Siru Kambam (1996), and Surat Dari Madras (1999) published by DBP shows that “Tuhan” is allowed to be used. But the unwritten rules seem to have changed gradually.

The public, which have been very open and vocal about the recent “keling” term used in the Kamus Dewan seem to be unaware about this subversive movement to humiliate, degrade and deny the right of the non-Muslims to use “Tuhan” for God.

For everyone’s note, there is only a single entry for “Tuhan” in Kamus Pelajar (1988). But in Kamus Dewan (2005) and Kamus Dewan Perdana (2020), there are different definitions for “Tuhan” and “tuhan”.

Here is what they say:

  • “Tuhan” seem to refer exclusively to Allah, whereas “tuhan” refers to “something worshipped by people whose religion or belief is not based on the One God” 
    (“sesuatu yang dipuja oleh golongan manusia yang agama atau kepercayaan mereka tidak berasaskan kepercayaan kepada Tuhan Yang Esa”).

The very first principle of the Rukun Negara is “Belief in God”. Does “Tuhan” in Rukun Negara, which was introduced in 1970 to unite the nation, refer solely and exclusively to “Allah”?

As a Hindu, I would like to stress that Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) acknowledges One God under the Eka Aneka concept. Anyone who doubts this fact should read the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita. In Sikhism too, Waheguru is the One God.

Therefore, I strongly object and will not give in to any party trying to belittle the Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists etc. It is unconstitutional to say that the non-Muslims are allowed to use “Tuhan” only if they worship the Muslim God, “Allah”.

Bahasa Malaysia as the national language belongs to every Malaysian. Therefore, it would be unfair for anyone to say that all Malay words in Kamus Dewan and Kamus Dewan Perdana has to be seen from the Malay-Muslim perspective.

If that is the case, non-Malays and non-Muslims might as well be fully banned for using the language.

As for the use of “tuhan” in Meredah Kabus and other books, I look forward to an unbiased response from DBP. Meanwhile, I urge the general public – especially non-Muslims – to come forward and voice out their concern about similar issues. Silence could be perceived as agreeing to adhere to everything; including the right to use “Tuhan” in one’s own religion. – April 17, 2021.



Uthaya Sankar is the founder of Kavyan Writers’ Group.


Nazri Aziz said: M is the father of all racism

Malaysiakini:



You're the extremist - Ronnie Liu and Ramasamy tell Mahathir

After being named by Dr Mahathir Mohamad as someone who is extreme in DAP, Ronnie Liu today alleged the former premier as trying to create a split in the party.

Liu, who is a DAP central committee member, raised a question over why the Pejuang pro-tem chairperson only named him and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II, P Ramasamy as those regarded as extreme in DAP and not others.

"That is unfair. Like saying only Ramasamy and Ronnie who are extreme, nobody else is extreme (in DAP).

"Like Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang are not extreme. Only the two of us are.

"This is just Mahathir's way to destroy the relationship between me and the two Lims," he said this afternoon.


DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu

Malaysiakini had contacted Liu to get his response to a statement made by Mahathir during an interview on Wednesday, where the latter explained what he meant with his earlier remarks that DAP "sometimes extreme".

During the interview, Mahathir had named Liu and Ramasamy as two examples of DAP leaders whom he regarded as extreme.

Asked if he thought Kit Siang and Guan were also extreme, Mahathir said the father and son used to be but no longer are.


"He is trying to create conflict among DAP leaders. This is his intention (with the remarks). 'Busuk hati'," Liu said.

While Mahathir had not explained why he called Liu extreme, the Sungai Pelek assemblyperson believed it was because of his criticisms against the veteran politician, and for calling Mahathir to step down as a prime minister and hand over to Anwar Ibrahim when Pakatan Harapan was still in power.

kt notes: Ronnie, let's face it - you're an 'extremist' because you only support a Malay (Anwar) but not a Kerala Mamak, wakakaka

"I think he is still angry with me because I had supported Anwar. I asked him to hand over (to Anwar) but he didn't want to, so he is angry with me," Liu said.

Mahathir's remarks came days after Liu said DAP should not belittle or degrade its "Chineseness" just to gain Malay support.

The DAP veteran had responded to criticisms over the remark, by saying he was not a chauvinist and that critics were prejudiced against him.

Liu said today that Mahathir himself is an extreme person for wanting to abolish vernacular schools and replace them with one school system.



Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy

Meanwhile, Ramasamy in a statement said Mahathir's remarks proved that he had been doing the right thing.

"When Umno or former Umno leaders or members accuse the others as extremists, they have a particular frame of mind.

"If non-Malay leaders are not willing to play second fiddle to the race champions in Umno or the religious champions in PAS, they are labelled as extremists, anti-Malay, anti-Islam and so on.

"For Umno leaders like Mahathir, DAP Chinese or Indian leaders should behave like the sycophants in MCA, MIC or Gerakan.

kt notes: ... and even some DAP people, wakakaka



"Any attempt to redeem the image of their respective constituencies is looked upon as an act of rebellion, a deviation from the path of the obsequious sycophants," Ramasamy said.

He also blamed Mahathir for allegedly having caused religious and racial polarisation in the country during his first tenure as the prime minister.

"If an arch racist and bigot like Mahathir can stoop so low to call me and others as extremists, it really reflects on himself and what he really imagines for the future of this nation.

"As I have said earlier, it is rare honour and privilege for me to be labelled as an extremist.

"It merely goes to show that I will never kowtow to racists and religious bigots who intend to deprive Malaysians of their fundamental human rights," he said.



Mah reverses racial, gender sports segregation policy at Johor school

Malaysiakini:



Mah reverses racial, gender sports segregation policy at Johor school

Following an intervention by Deputy Education Minister II Mah Hang Soon, a secondary school in Batu Pahat, Johor has reversed its policy that imposed racial and gender restrictions on certain co-curricular activities.

SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar had issued a notice to Form 1 students, requesting them to each pick three co-curricular activities.

However, it restricted activities by race and gender.

Only Malay boys were allowed to pick football and sepak takraw while netball was restricted to “Malay girls only”. Basketball and ping pong were restricted to “Chinese boys and girls only”.

The school’s principal Abdul Razak Hamid reportedly defended the segregation, saying the move was driven by an apparent lack of space.

Mah told Malaysiakini today that he personally contacted the Johor education department to change the policy and remove all restrictions.



The MCA senator also called the policy a “mistake” because it contradicted Malaysia’s education philosophy.

“It was a mistake on the part of the principal [...]

“It is through sports activities that we can encourage integration, students to play together (and) to promote unity, camaraderie and the spirit of togetherness,” he said.

“I asked the school to change this policy. It shouldn't happen.

“It is against our (national education) blueprint,” Mah added.

One of the five aspirations of the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is to foster unity among students. One key method was by enhancing the Student Integration for Unity Plan.

Mah showed Malaysiakini an updated version of SMK Dato’ Bentara Luar’s list of co-curricular activities - which no longer imposed racial or gender restrictions on any sport.



Aside from sports activities, the school had previously imposed racial restrictions on certain charity, language, faith-based and subject-based clubs as well.

The Interact and Pendidikan Moral clubs were restricted to “Chinese and Indians only”.

The Pendidikan Islam club was limited to Malay students only while the Buddhist society was confined to Chinese students only. The Chinese language society was also restricted to Chinese students.

In the updated list, these restrictions were also removed.

Ministers criticise school

Like Mah, Education Minister Radzi Jidin also said segregating students by race in sports was wrong and against the ministry's values.

"I was shocked and saddened when I was informed about a school's move to issue a guide for students to select sports activities based on their race.

"When I saw the guide, I thought 'why do we need to do this? Let our children play together regardless of who they are!'" he said in a Facebook post this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican also remarked that segregationist policies should not exist.

"Sports should be colour-blind, able to transcend cultural boundaries and become an agent of unity.

"This move is inappropriate and backward. There is no such policy or approach in the (ministry's) Sports Policy. We want the democratisation of sports to begin in school," he tweeted in response to SMK Dato' Bentara Luar's previous policy.

Sukan sepatutnya color blind, melangkaui sempadan budaya dan menjadi agen perpaduan. Ini tindakan yang tidak wajar dan terkebelakang. Tiada polisi atau pendekatan sebegini dlm Dasar Sukan. Kita mahu pendemokrasian sukan bermula di sekolah. https://t.co/lpOnzmeezr




Malaysia running short of money? PM tok-kok

Malaysiakini:



Nation is less well-off when we can be better off

YOURSAY | ‘The rakyat don't understand why Malaysia is running short of money.’


OCT: The rakyat don't understand why Malaysia is running short of money.

If Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin can allow former premier Najib Abdul Razak and family not to pay tax, built town halls in his Pagoh constituency, allocate Jakim a budget of RM1 billion, bail out GLCs (government-linked companies) like MAS and pays HODs (heads of department) of GLCs millions of ringgit per year without accountability, the rakyat cannot accept and understand the rationale that Malaysia is running low on cash.

This is excluding the 72 ministers and deputy ministers, many of whom have not put in an ounce of honest work. Most of them speak with illogical ideas.

Muhyiddin, the rakyat know you are unable to right-size your cabinet and civil servants as it is tantamount to asking you to commit ‘harakiri’ (suicide).

There are lots of leakages which you chose to ignore. Those caught for corruption are given DNAA (dismissal not amounting to acquittal) and all is forgotten.

Bobby0: So RM600 billion has been allocated for Budget 2021 and several stimulus packages to help Malaysians affected by Covid-19. Can these be broken down - to whom it was spent?

Muhyiddin, you were part of the Umno government for many years. We know that once Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over, the finances in our nation started to take a dive.

Corruption was swept under the carpet since then. As for the next umpteen years, the Treasury was looted by the many irresponsible leaders in power.

Mismanagement, wastage and huge corruption activities created debts in our financial budget. No leader after that did anything to correct the situation.

Even now, your administration after realising the grim situation had done nothing to rein in our finances. Instead, you have created a huge cabinet and given GLC positions to connected political figures.

These companies are like huge wells that are draining the nation's coffers. We are heading into disaster if we do not seriously review each of these badly managed enterprises.

The most important aspect is to reopen Parliament so that every cent spent can be audited as well as those responsible answer to the people as to how the RM600 billion was spent.

MVA: Well, if we assume that our working population is 15 million then each of us should have benefited to the tune of RM40,000 since the Covid crisis.

I am a small businessman and since March 2020, I received RM1,000 plus in direct assistance and perhaps a few hundred ringgit in TNB (Tenaga Nasional Berhad) rebates, etc, in indirect assistance.

All of these don’t add up to RM2,000. So I would like to know how the RM600 billion was spent.

BusinessFirst: Muhyiddin, yet you found money to give as bonus to all civil servants who have not lost any income. Bearing in mind the already bloated size of our civil service, that is a lot of money.

This group is privileged to have received the bonus in these trying times, where we have been reminded by your own minister to graduates be thankful for low-paying jobs. In fact, be thankful for having a job.

Why? Because the civil service is not a microcosm of Malaysia but is reflective of your cabinet dominated by one race and religion who are the core that you hope to get votes from.

So please spare us the talk about how there is no money - you certainly have no difficulty finding it to fund those you want to when you want to.

Rupert16: "We don't have as much (money) as before, because the most important thing for us is to ensure our livelihood; we should be able to manage ourselves better," said Muhyiddin.

Considering the country’s current financial situation, wouldn’t it be prudent for the ‘backdoor’ PM to downsize his cabinet and reduce the number of deputy ministers as well as the number of ministries?

Diehardmalaysian: If all your ministers, deputies and GLC board members take a 75 percent pay and allowance cut, we should see things improving.

Mosquitobrain: Muhyiddin, pardon me, Malaysia is less well-off? How less well off after Budget 2021 and the stimulus packages? Who, when, whom, where, why and how the billions spent? Can you put them in simple English in Parliament?

Who is doing the check and balance? There are many questions to be answered. Just lift the emergency and let Parliament reconvene.

If you want to snub the opposition, so be it, but do not take the rakyat for granted.

FairMalaysian: Mr PM, let me give you a chance. Please give us a breakdown of RM600 billion you claim you have spent on Malaysians.

Prove to us that you are transparent and forthcoming on how this money has been spent. It is a lot of money. Let us hear from you the facts and figures.

This is one way you have a reasonable chance to be accepted by the people. We will hold our breath awaiting your answer.

Concerned: The problem with this government is there is no independent body to supervise the distribution.

A caring government that is clean would have suggested an independent body comprising of MPs from both government and opposition to oversee the aid distribution.

For this, I have no confidence in this government.

Don't worry, you have a very highly educated deputy youth and sports minister who suggest to "Bank Negara should print more money to give to the people and save the economy". So, what's there to worry about?


BNM to print MORE money to give rakyat?



Twisting, colouring & distorting his words as usual

FMT:

DAP was never against NEP but its abuse, says Guan Eng


Lim Guan Eng tells Dr Mahathir Mohamad that certain DAP leaders had been thrown into jail while seeking justice for the Malays. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Lim Guan Eng has responded to Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the former prime minister said DAP had “hurt” Malays by going against the New Economic Policy (NEP).

The DAP secretary-general said his party had never been against the NEP itself but was strongly opposed to how the policy, meant mainly to alleviate poverty among the Malays, had been abused by certain parties.

“What DAP fervently opposes are the deviations in the implementation of the NEP by elites and cronies of all races that led to widespread abuse of power, corruption and wastage of public funds that continued to bind Malays and non-Malays in the poverty trap.

“The hundreds of billions of ringgit spent could not lift Malaysians out of the poverty trap due to such wrongdoings,” he said in a statement today.

Lim also said DAP was against identifying poverty and wealth with certain races, describing it as misleading and potentially divisive.

He said the party’s principle was that all Malaysians should be afforded equal opportunity and assistance based on their needs.

“Whether in government or opposition, DAP has never opposed the NEP or policies that provided assistance and equal opportunity for all Malaysians who are poor. Our track record in government in Penang and in Putrajaya speaks for itself.”

The former finance minister under Mahathir maintained that DAP had always been moderate and inclusive, stating that certain party leaders had been thrown into jail while seeking justice for Malays.

Earlier today, in clarifying remarks he made two weeks ago, Mahathir said DAP used to be extreme in its Chinese-centric views, though noting that leaders like Guan Eng and his father, Kit Siang, had grown more moderate.

Mahathir said DAP had hurt the Malay community in the past when it opposed the NEP and the special privileges accorded to the Malays and Bumiputeras.


Mahathir Tipu Kami Punca Pakatan Tumbang, Kata Ramasamy

Suara TV melalui Malaysia-Today:

Mahathir Tipu Kami Punca Pakatan Tumbang, Kata Ramasamy



Image of joker above borrowed  from Magick River

(Suara TV) – “Kami ditipu kerana mempercayainya. Mahathir khianati kami,” kata Timbalan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang II P Ramasamy .

Beliau mendakwa bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad terlibat dalam rancangan untuk menumbangkang kerajaan Pakatan Harapan (PH) pada Feb tahun.

Pemimpin DAP itu berkata tindakan Mahathir meletakkan jawatan perdana menteri menjadi sebab utama kerajaan PH tumbang.

“Mahathir sengaja berbuat demikian. Mahathir memang mempunyai rancangan untuk tidak memberi jawatan Perdana Menteri kepada Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Sekiranya Mahathir tidak letak jawatan semasa krisis dan memberi laluan Anwar, PH kekal menjadi kerajaan pada hari ini,” katanya dalam program Leaders Talking anjuran portal tempatan Vanakkam Malaysia.



Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohammad on Thursday in some shocking remarks said that "Muslims have the right to kill French people."


Sementara itu, Ramasamy menolak Anwar sebagai punca kejatuhan PH.

“Ada sebab lain seperti Azmin (Ali) keluar PKR. Muhyiddin tikam belakang Mahathir.

“Mungkin orang lain tidak berani berbincang perkara ini secara terbuka. Tapi, saya boleh beritahu Mahathir masih punca utama kejatuhan PH.

“Bukan orang lain, bukan Anwar, bukan Guan Eng atau Mat Sabu. Puncanya adalah Mahathir.

Sementara itu, Adun Perai diminta mengulas berhubung krisis politik tanah air pada Feb 2020 yang menyebabkan kerajaan PH tumbang selepas 22 bulan pentadbiran dan digantikan dengan Perikatan Nasional (PN) yang diketuai Muhyiddin Yassin.

Isu peralihan kuasa perdana menteri sebelum ini mencetuskan konflik terbuka dalam PH, yang menyebabkan insiden berbalas kenyataan antara penyokong Anwar dan Mahathir, yang ketika itu pengerusi Bersatu.

Penyokong Anwar mahu peralihan itu disegerakan dan menekan Mahathir untuk memberikan tarikh tetap peralihan. Namun sebahagian penyokong Mahathir mahu ahli parlimen Langkawi terus memegang jawatan sehingga habis penggal.

Akhirnya, PH tumbang setelah Mahathir meletakkan jawatan selepas Bersatu menarik diri daripada PH untuk bekerjasama dengan pihak lain, termasuk Umno dan PAS bagi membentuk kerajaan baru.


Be advised, DAP leaders - don’t get personal

Malaysiakini:



Be advised, DAP leaders - don’t get personal
Just when we thought that the DAP was the only political party left with no serious nagging issues came their sick and immature public display of internal politicking this past week.

Oh dear, surely the DAP can do better than this. Over the past few days, some party leaders must have relished taking potshots at each other. Alas, that seemed to be the case when strongly-worded terms are used gleefully in attacking party colleagues.

However, those outside the party, DAP supporters in particular, must surely want to tell those responsible that they should be ashamed of their mischievous behaviour in public. Why mischievous? Because this whole name-calling circus was unnecessary and unwarranted.

That some partaking in the ugly episode comprise those who are supposedly more professional and disciplined added to the disappointment among DAP supporters. What were people like Tony Pua and Hannah Yeoh thinking? Why the need to engage in a public “shouting match” with party colleague Ronnie Liu?

Has a “Chinese chauvinist versus multi-racial” war started in the DAP? Is this what the recent commotion all about?

Let me respond to that question myself.

In all honesty, this is how I see it. It isn’t really about the issues at play, that’s for sure. There is nothing new nor controversial that I can see in this “Chinese vs Multi-racial” debate which purportedly caused the uproar.

Why? Last I checked, DAP is still a Chinese-based party and an urban-centric outfit. Of course, it is a multi-racial party - that was clear from Day One as inscribed in the party’s constitution. But top leaders of the party today are still almost all Chinese.

It’s noteworthy that DAP has made immense efforts over the years to attract non-Chinese members and it has succeeded to a certain extent. At least, we see some Malay lawmakers in the party today. Thanks too, to leaders like Pua and his team for their work on this front.

Now, let me pose this question - is DAP serious about projecting a more multi-racial image? If so, what about putting up a non-Chinese (Gobind Singh Deo perhaps or anyone) to succeed Lim Guan Eng as secretary-general?

A son of Karpal Singh is just as eligible and qualified as a son of Lim Kit Siang to be the DAP secretary-general, isn’t it? If not, why not? Is race the issue here? Is Gobind’s skin colour the obstacle? If so, say it, DAP. (This is something for the “Multi-racial” group to chew on as well.)

If the DAP top brass is not prepared for that to happen, then it will continue to be seen as a Chinese-based party (some prefer to slam DAP as “Chinese chauvinist”; no one can stop them) for a long, long time to come. That is being honest and real, despite and in spite of what some in DAP might claim otherwise.

If it’s still about a Chinese holding the top DAP post, then even dear Lim Kit Siang will have to continue dreaming the Malaysian dream which he would not see fulfilled in his lifetime. Add me to that list of dreamers.



(From left) DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang with Teresa Kok and Lim Guan Eng at a party congress

PKR is also multi-racial but do not expect to see a non-Malay as its president, not in the foreseeable future. PKR is a party which will jealously guard its Malay identity (“Malayness”) and there is nothing wrong with that.

So, what is so wrong with Liu stating that DAP must not dilute its Chineseness? I see nothing wrong with that statement too.

Warring factions

As I see it, differences on such issues within the party are just excuses (others view them as “reasons”) for warring factions in the DAP to have a go at each other. This is one unhealthy trend which the party can do without.

Call this normal during party elections or business as usual in the heat of contests, but once things get personal, it will turn ugly and dirty. Chances are the bad blood will soon spiral out of control.

DAP leaders, young and old, senior or junior, be wary along the route some of you are taking. Watch your steps. As you jostle for positions within your branch or at state level, bear in mind that getting personal and indulging in personal attacks will eventually lead to the destruction of the party.

Do not pretend that it won’t. There is no such thing as a friendly contest in a party election anymore when personal prejudices are involved.

This is about power and position and your chance to remain or be chosen as the party electoral candidate. You will never admit that you are wrong or concede that you have erred. Be honest about it. Your political career is at stake here.

In the latest episode, it is not about one person advocating that the DAP should not dilute its “Chineseness” or another insisting that the way forward for the party is via "Bangsa Malaysia" or "multiracial".

I’m more worried it is personal and I have no reason to believe it is not, no matter the denials from the personalities involved.

Liu has brushed off criticisms by Pua and Yeoh of his “Chineseness” comments, saying that the reactions revealed a personal prejudice against him.

I tend to believe that is true.

Why? Because Pua’s statement that “Ronnie Liu is the Chinese chauvinist that DAP does not need," is very personal.

“Such a position will not only set us back many decades but will sound a death knell for the party going forward,” Pua added. Those are very strong words indeed against a party colleague!


DAP leaders (from left) Gobind Singh Deo, Tony Pua and Hannah Yeoh

And how did Yeoh tick off Liu?

She responded: "Liu does not represent me. The DAP that Liu desires is not the DAP that I joined. Isn't this a toxic and narrow-minded view?" This is also a personal affront which was unnecessary.

I would have thought that Pua and Yeoh could have voiced their disagreement with Liu by revealing what they desire for DAP instead of going on a Liu-bashing tirade. This reflected very negatively on them as senior party leaders.

Pua and Yeoh should remember this quote from a wise man: “A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep”.

I hope to hear of less factionalism and internal feuding rearing its ugly head as the DAP party elections move along in the days and weeks ahead.

To DAP leaders, watch your tongue. Don’t get personal with party colleagues and disappoint your supporters. DAP people loathe to see their leaders playing tai chi in public.


FRANCIS PAUL SIAH is the author of ‘Hijack in Malaysia: The Fall of Pakatan Harapan’. Obtain autographed copies from sirsiah@gmail.com

UMNO watch out - Ass-binte-ism in full operations

MM Online:

Sources say Bersatu and PAS discussed contesting Umno seats


Several sources said the discussions — mostly informal and attended by state leaders — indicate that both parties are laying the groundwork for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) election machinery while completely alienating Umno. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and PAS have already started discussions about contesting several Umno-held seats at the 15th General Election (GE15).

Several sources said the discussions — mostly informal and attended by state leaders — indicate that both parties are laying the groundwork for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) election machinery while completely alienating Umno.

“Discussions (to contest Umno seats) have been going on for some time, but no official meeting has been held about the decisions yet,” a PN source told Malay Mail.

On February 25, PN Information chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali started the ball rolling for the setting up of election structures at state levels.

The source added that this “preparation” is due to Umno’s decision in March not to co-operate further with Bersatu.

“Bersatu and PAS take this as a ‘blessing’ and have already started work on contesting Umno seats,” said a source.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said on April 10 that his party is only engaging in seat discussions with Bersatu while negotiations with Umno have temporarily been suspended.

In Mingguan Malaysia the day after, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the discussion between PAS and Bersatu was not agreed to by Muafakat Nasional, the political alliance set up by PAS and Umno on September 2019.

Bersatu and PAS are adamant in rejecting any form of “new alignment” involving Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its allies post-GE15.

In a joint statement, they said the decision was made during a meeting between Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Abdul Hadi in March.

Ahmad Zahid is said to be “open to co-operate” with Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties in a move that would upset both PN and BN supporters.

Zahid is also currently facing backlash over a purported leaked phone conversation with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the Umno general assembly.

kt notes: Guess who's the culprit, coincidentally of course, wakakaka

The four-minute audio clip was first posted on Facebook and started with Zahid’s speech during the recent Umno general assembly, in which he said the party would not accept Anwar, DAP or Bersatu as allies.

It was followed by the phone conversation, with the speaker who sounded like Anwar praising the other for the speech.

Zahid has since called the call a fake and an attempt to weaken and destroy Umno, while Anwar has also rejected the audio recording, similarly calling it fake and slanderous.

Both men are known to have been friends long ago in Umno but became estranged following Anwar’s sacking from the party and the government in the late 1990s.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Amirudin mum on contesting for Gombak in GE15, but pledges never to abandon PKR

MM Online:

Amirudin mum on contesting for Gombak in GE15, but pledges never to abandon PKR


Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari (centre) speaks during a press conference after launching the Smart Digital Infrastructure at Wisma Ihsan in Shah Alam April 16, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, April 16 — Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said he will leave it to PKR to decide if he will contest for the Gombak federal constituency in the upcoming 15th general elections (GE15).

He said he would have to raise the matter with the leadership before a decision can be made.

“I have to discuss this with the party president, the leadership, and members. Whatever they decide I will obey,” Amirudin told reporters following the launch of the Selangor Smart Digital Infrastructure at Menara BSN.

The Sungai Tua assemblyman said that in the meantime he will continue to carry out his duties as mentri besar to ensure the state government and its apparatuses operate smoothly.

“This is a matter of strategy and tactics which require more deeper discussions.

“But what I can definitely say is, I will never jump (defect from) the party,” he said.

On Saturday (April 10), two NGOs that support PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urged Amirudin not to contest in GE15.

Gerakan Reformasi 98 and Otai Reformis addressed nine state PKR assemblymen to not contest, but only named Amirudin explicitly.

They argued that the assemblymen’s loyalty to the party is now in doubt, as they have ties with former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is now a Supreme Council member of Parti Pribumi Bersatu.

On Monday, NGO Kuasa said that based on the data it has collated, it is likely that Amirudin will go up against Azmin, who is also the former Selangor mentri besar, for Gombak in GE15.


Atuk may return to PPBM?

Malaysiakini:



Marzuki: Pejuang ready to work with PN govt - only on national interests

Pejuang is willing to work with Perikatan Nasional, but only on matters of national interest, the party's pro-tem deputy president Marzuki Yahya (above) said.

Speaking to Malaysiakini yesterday, Marzuki stressed that there would not be any support for PN's political survival.

"Since the very beginning, the principle that Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and our group hold is simple: we can never accept nor work with the 'court cluster' politicians, especially the kleptocrats who have been found guilty in court.

"Secondly, this PN government is not one that was legitimately chosen by the people. It is a backdoor government.

"When it comes to the stability of the country, we have no problem helping. But, what I was made to understand was what Tun meant - that we have no issue cooperating with anyone since we are not in any coalition.

"But with what is going on in the country now... with the mismanagement by the government, the chaos that is happening, I don't think we can support Muhyiddin (Yassin) as a prime minister," he said.

Marzuki spoke to Malaysiakini to clarify the stance of Pejuang when it comes to working with PN as a government.



In a recent interview, Mahathir had told this portal that there are ongoing attempts to bring him into the governing coalition, but he could not accept the overtures because there were "criminals" on the government bench.

Asked if he would consider the invitation in the case the 'criminals' were no longer in PN, Mahathir indicated that it may be possible.

"Yes, if they are no longer there," Mahathir had said.

Following this stand taken by the former prime minister, PN secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin said yesterday that the coalition can accept anyone who is willing to follow the PN constitution.

According to Marzuki, what Mahathir meant was only to extend cooperation to the government, but not joining the PN coalition to legitimise it.

"Some had the perception that what Mahathir said meant that Pejuang would give numbers to PN. No, we are not going to legitimise PN as a government."

Even without the court cluster politicians in the picture, Marzuki added, Pejuang would not work with the PN for as long as it refuses to reinstate democracy and the rule of the law.


China dares Japanese officials to drink Fukushima wastewater

FMT:

China dares Japanese officials to drink Fukushima wastewater


Storage tanks for contaminated water stand at the Fukushima nuclear power plant at Okuma town in 2017. (AP pic)

BEIJING: China is ratcheting up pressure over Japan’s plan to release treated water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, calling on government officials to drink the liquid to prove its safety.

“Japanese politicians said treated wastewater is ‘innocent’, why don’t they drink, cook & wash clothes with the water first?” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Twitter Thursday.

When questioned Friday about the comments, Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso sidestepped queries and said Fukushima water contamination levels are below international guideline limits.

Tokyo’s plan to release the wastewater into the Pacific Ocean announced Tuesday has been harshly criticised by China, Taiwan, South Korea and North Korea.

Aso has said the water seemed safe enough to drink. The US State Department indicated the plan appears to be in line with global discharge standards.

The International Atomic Energy Agency supported the planned releases, which wouldn’t start for another two years and are expected to last decades.

The US Food & Drug Administration maintains import restrictions on some food products from Fukushima due to potential radioactive contamination, according to the prefecture’s website.

There have long been calls to prove the safety of the treated groundwater that’s flowed through the wrecked Fukushima plant.

A ruling party official drank a glass of water in 2011 collected from inside the reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi facility in a bid to back government claims that decontamination efforts were progressing.

*********

kt notes:

Had it been China releasing such water, wow, there'll be hell of a noise coming from USA and her client states.

Now a poem from kaytee to commemorate the event:

It ain't the N-waste from Hiroshima
Nor will it be N-waste from Nagasaki
Just eff-up water from Fukushima
Like war criminals from Yasukuni





Can Anwar rise from the ashes?

Malaysiakini:



Can Anwar rise from the ashes?

YOURSAY | ‘Multiracial PKR is a threat to the ‘ketuanan’ parties of new and old…’


VP Biden: I concur with you, Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming. For the past 20 years, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim did not sell his soul to the other side. He held steadfast to the mandate that was given by the rakyat to PKR and Pakatan Harapan.

This is unlike the treacherous Bersatu lot and the old man's blue-eyed boy who was sabotaging PKR from the inside.


Anwar’s children are ordinary citizens not sitting on any boards and drawing fat allowances like the others. In Nurul Izzah, he has a worthy successor when the time comes.


Multiracial PKR is a threat to the ‘ketuanan’ parties of new and old and must be given a chance where others have failed. The second echelon of leaders in PKR are young, bright and battle-hardened.

The power to remove Anwar if he deviates from the righteous Malaysian agenda sits with the rakyat, not politicians jostling for power now.

Those jostling for power and their followers will continue to attack Anwar but Malaysians must rise above that and support a coalition of 20 years that has stayed true to their cause under Anwar.

My vote goes to Anwar simply because he heads a multiracial party, his children are like you and me - ordinary citizens - and the younger progressive leaders in PKR are ready to take over when the time comes, hopefully sooner than later.

GreenBear3468: Anwar is too old. His nomination to be prime minister is done only to appease the ego of the 73-year-old who, like the rest of the old guard, can't seem to realise they need to leave the fight to younger and more capable leaders.

Logically speaking, why should anyone think Anwar is fit to be PM? People like to speak of the old having more experience, but if they are really experienced, why is the country in such a mess right now?

And his experience as a minister was gained in the 1990s. Things have changed. We have different challenges now. It doesn't help that he was in jail for 11 years. Life behind bars doesn't exactly give him the necessary know-how to lead a country.

Anwar is simply a political symbol. His name is to inspire the masses to take action against political injustice, corruption, discrimination, etc. But as an administrator, he is not qualified.

Kim Quek: Looking around at the current political landscape, I don’t see anyone more capable than Anwar to extricate the nation from the current political quagmire, which is culminated from decades of self-degeneration through unbridled racism, religious bigotry and corruption.

We are badly in need of a good leader capable of taking our political plague by the horns and putting the nation on a proper footing to begin genuine nation-building. Anwar is more qualified than any other to undertake this enormous task.


Let us give ourselves and Anwar a chance. Do it now, or we may not get a similar chance for perhaps decades to come.


BlueShark1548: @Kim Quek, no one more capable than Anwar? There are many other Malay leaders who are not tainted like Anwar. We have Perak DAP vice-chairperson Abdul Aziz Bari, Nurul Izzah and Rafizi Ramli from PKR, Mohd Shafie Apdal from Warisan and Mohamad Hasan from Umno.

We are not short of leaders but the problem is that the old veterans who are in their 70s and 80s refuse to step aside.

Nurul Izzah would be an excellent choice as a young woman and she has the Anwar DNA. She is not in the picture because Anwar refuses to step down.

OrangePanther1466: Nga, you are too smart to have voluntarily waded into the topic. You must have been convincingly persuaded to pen this article. Anwar is a has-been and he has no one to blame but himself for the botched opportunities to be the PM.

You opted not to mention Shafie who has the credentials and experience to be a good PM. A former chief minister and also a former federal cabinet minister in a fairly senior level who spoke against Najib Abdul Razak and the 1MDB scandal. He is relatively untainted and espouses the Malaysian Malaysia idealism.

It’s about time we look to East Malaysia to provide the leadership our nation desperately needs.

RR: Why so many adverse comments on Anwar as if other national leaders are angels and of supreme integrity? Anwar has been a national leader in government as well as in the opposition for umpteen years.

Is there any other Malay national leader who could keep the national unity of all races, especially with Perikatan Nasional (PN) being a total Malay coalition as if other races don't exist as citizens?

Anwar was Malay- and Islamic-centric but he has changed to become a unifying factor of all races, unlike other parties which are totally single-race based.

Caripasal: Anwar is one of the Malay politicians who never jumped ship. Credit must be given to him for holding on to his political principles.

He might not be a perfect politician or a master strategist like the old fox, but in comparison, he is a rather moderate Malay who understands the needs of both the Malays and the non-Malays.

Anwar, like DAP, has been repeatedly slandered by other politicians and the mainstream media as being anti-Malay. Perhaps Anwar is the only Malay politician capable of negotiating the racial divide in this country.

Milshah: If Anwar wants to be PM, he needs to get majority support. That has been his problem. Yes, many DAP MPs, PKR MPs, and many Malaysiakini commenters want Anwar to be PM, but to put it bluntly, you all are the minority. That is why Anwar could not be PM.

He needs majority support, not minority support. He does not have support from the rural Malays, from the East Malaysians of Sabah and Sarawak. These groups of voters are vital for anyone who aspires to be PM. For that, Anwar needs to know what it takes to get these voters.

The truth is, our nation is too divided. For example, Anwar's supporters want a Malaysian Malaysia and needs-based policies, but rural Malays and East Malaysians want protection of their rights. If Anwar supports the left, he will lose the right. If he supports the right, he will lose the left.





At his Malay Dignity Congress, Mahathir said:

“.. Orang asing berasa selesa dengan negara kita dan mereka ingin tinggal di sini. Nak tak nak pun, kita terpaksa terima, kalau tidak kita tidak akan mencapai kemerdekaan.”

(Translation: The foreigners felt comfortable in this country and wanted to stay. Like it or not, we were forced to accept or we would not have achieved independence)

Note: Mahathir's 'foreigners' were and are the non-Malay Malaysians

Just look at Mahathir, he went for the right, and until today, the left condemns him. But the right was the majority. That’s why he got to be PM for 22 years and for a second time too.


Anwar on the other hand has chosen the left with his needs-based policy. But the left is the minority. And that's why until this day he could not become PM. He needs support from both the left and right.

I know it’s hard, even impossible, but the reward will be the prized premiership. Or he could just go for the right abandoning the left altogether, which is what PAS, Umno, and Bersatu are doing.


The DAP paradox

Malaysiakini:



The DAP paradox

by Nathaniel Tan

DAP’s biggest asset is its biggest liability.

Of all the parties in Malaysia, it can be confidently said that DAP is the only peninsular party that can be guaranteed to win a large number of seats, no matter what happens.

There is no reason to expect support for DAP to reduce significantly in any of its strongholds, no matter what happens politically in the near future.

The same cannot be said for any other major peninsular party. The success of parties like Umno, Bersatu, PAS, and PKR will depend largely on constantly evolving dynamics, alliances, and arrangements.

Almost regardless of what alignments emerge, however, as long as DAP does not go into the elections taking the type of stance and positioning traditionally associated with MCA, they should still win big in all their traditional strongholds.

The question is: So what?

DAP’s success in 2018 represented the absolute limit of how far the party can go with its current configuration and branding.

The Rocket is seen as the rock-steady symbol of non-Malay political power.

Amongst non-Malay voters in the peninsula, DAP (and whoever they endorse) might command anywhere from 70% to 90% support. Brands like MCA, MIC, and Gerakan on their own likely command a negligible amount of support.

No Malay-based party comes anywhere near this level of support among the Malay electorate. The fragmentation of Malay political power is almost its defining feature at this point - with Umno, PAS, PKR and Bersatu commanding comparable levels of support.

This is why DAP has always been the bogeyman. With over 40 seats in parliament, it represents an unshakeable mountain of non-Malay political power. Compared side by side to the much more fragmented Malay political power, it is always perceived and/or painted as a dire threat to the Malays.

This is also why most Malay-based political parties consistently and without fail paint DAP as the enemy they must fight against. In Malaysia’s version of a tale as old as time, the line is: these strong, threatening, united Chinese are out to get the Malays and take what little you have.

In effect, nearly every initiative DAP has taken to change this perception has failed to do so effectively. It is the one perception DAP cannot shake, no matter how hard they try (and mind you, they are trying very hard indeed).

Hobbits and The Rock(et)

I summarise it as such: if you walk into a (particular kind of) meeting where everyone else is about the size of a hobbit, and you are the size of The Rock, let’s just say it doesn’t matter what words you use to try and reassure everyone else. Those muscles speak louder than anything that can come out of your mouth.

Thus, the DAP paradox is the more seats they win, and the more powerful they become, the more of a liability they are to whoever they support as prime minister.

This factor also limits DAP’s ability to engineer meaningful change in Malaysia or reach any further heights than having its leader become the finance minister, plus a decent chunk of cabinet seats.



This scenario, such as was achieved in 2018, was the most powerful DAP had ever been in its history. But the question remains: So what? Was it really all that powerful or influential?

Due to Malaysia’s immense over-centralisation of power in the person of the prime minister, the PM’s views were the only ones that ultimately mattered, no matter what DAP or anyone else said.

Worst of both worlds

In this situation, DAP had the worst of both worlds. It had enough seats in cabinet and parliament to be painted as a serious threat to Malays while having no real influence on the decisions of the PM at the end of the day.

After 2018, Pakatan Harapan’s ‘presidential council’ was basically a waste of time and space, and a forum in which practically nothing of value was ever decided. This was simply because the council’s views held no real weight, short of threatening to move a vote of no confidence against the PM.

The moment DAP dared to voice a strong opinion on anything, they were beaten down by both sides. They were vilified by their enemies, while their allies politely explained to them why they needed to shut up for the good of everyone. This, of course, led to multiple criticisms (common to most opposition parties that finally became government) that DAP had lost its teeth.

Another major bottleneck that DAP faces is that no matter how successful it is, it will always be shopping for another Malay-led party with a credible candidate for PM to support (these days, they are even considering Umno!).

Victim of their own success

This is an unenviable position - one which puts DAP in the second fiddle position perpetually. While DAP is so fond of castigating and flogging MCA every chance they get, the truth is, politically, they are in a mirror position to MCA - different actors playing essentially the same sidekick role.


If they persist on their current path without innovating, perhaps DAP will end up like MCA was at the height of its power. However, there is every chance that the next step after that is that it will become what MCA is today.


How then, can DAP emerge from the trap of its own success? How can it retain its greatest assets without having them become a liability?

This is the larger question that DAP faces, although at the moment, it seems more concerned with the somewhat related question of its identity.

Splits within the party are becoming more evident as their elections approach. This split is sometimes described as Chinese-speaking versus English-speaking, or those more Chinese-oriented, and those more multiracial in their approach.

Perhaps this is a conflict that can be tackled simultaneously with the question of what DAP’s larger game plan and strategy should be.

Gandalf and the Enterprise

A few detailed ideas came to mind. I shared them with a colleague, who told me I’d be laughed out of the room for suggesting them.

I suppose I had thus better keep those to myself for now, unless anybody asks me for them; in the meantime, I’ll just share some views on the criteria that a long-term, innovative solution should fulfil.

What is probably impossible to achieve is the ‘best of all worlds’ for DAP.

They cannot be non-Malay led, a single unit of immense political strength, and at the true forefront of national decision-making, all at the same time. This combination simply does not work; perhaps a more workable formula (and herein may lie the real secret) is to aim for two out of the above three.

Absent major changes to their approach, I don’t think I could honestly pitch DAP any kind of rebranding exercise that I believed in my heart would change the way the Rocket is vulnerable to accusations of being a threatening Chinese power.

That brand association is simply too strong, too deeply embedded, and too much tied to DAP’s current position.

It pains me to say so because I know so many good people in the party - driven by a true and sincere desire for a better Malaysia and with so much to contribute.

When I talk to my friends about this, I find myself thinking about two nerdy sci-fi and fantasy references. The first is how Gandalf went from Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the White; the second is how the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation decided to differentiate the old and new Enterprises by introducing the gimmick in which the starship separated into the saucer and stardrive sections.

In any case, if DAP is willing to explore some truly radical departures, and explore the concept of how less can sometimes be more, then there may be some innovative options available.


Mr "Know Everything" Atuk now says he don't know nothing about Zeti and family's 1MDB links

MM Online:

Dr Mahathir claims didn’t know of Zeti’s 1MDB links when he picked her for Council of Eminent Persons


Tan Sri Dr Zeti Aziz speaks during a media briefing on PNB Group’s Financial Year 2018 performance at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, March 28, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed he was not aware that former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family members allegedly received 1MDB funds when he appointed her to a government advisory panel.

The former prime minister told Malaysiakini he had placed her on the Council of Eminent Persons based on her experience in banking and finance.

“I didn’t know, I didn’t know. But Zeti performed very well as a banker. As a central banker, she is well-known worldwide. I appointed a very well-known person.

“I did not know anything about her sons and all that. That is her matter,” he was quoted as saying.

Instead, he said he kept in contact with Zeti when Datuk Seri Najib Razak was still prime minister as she was aware of the irregularities in Najib’s bank accounts.

Dr Mahathir claimed Zeti had wanted to act against Najib at the time but the plan — purportedly involving herself, the attorney general, inspector-general of police, and the head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission — fell through.

“Actually, even during Najib’s time I had been talking to Zeti. She was the one who told me that Najib had a lot of money in the bank and that she wanted to take action. She tried.

“But after that, not sure what Najib did, she did not dare. Even the group of four, after the police chief told Najib about their group of four, the attorney-general was sacked. Najib destroyed the group of four,” Dr Mahathir was further quoted as saying.

After winning the 2018 general election, Dr Mahathir formed the quasi-official CEP and populated it with former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, Zeti, economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram, billionaire Robert Kuok, and former Petronas chief Tan Sri Hassan Marican.

The CEP advised Dr Mahathir’s Cabinet on the country’s economy and financial situation in the initial year of his administration.

Last month, business daily The Edge reported that Singaporean police had informed BNM of suspicious transactions involving a company owned by Zeti’s husband, Datuk Dr Tawfiq Ayman, and their son.

According to the report, the republic’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) shared this information with BNM in 2015 and 2016, when Zeti was still its governor.

The information shared with BNM at the time involved suspicious funds going into a UBS bank account under the name of Iron Rhapsody Ltd, which The Edge reported to be owned by one Dr Tawfiq Ayman (who shares the same name as Zeti’s husband) and another man believed to be her son and was not named in the report.

Citing documents shared by CAD, Iron Rhapsody received a total of RM66 million from five transactions from companies and bank accounts held by Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, the central figure in the 1MDB financial scandal.

The report added that the source of four transactions involved funds from Low and his supporters from the RM5 billion 1MDB/TIA (Terengganu Investment Authority) bonds that were arranged by Ambank in 2009.

The Edge said BNM responded to its queries but said it could not comment on them as it is “bound by the international protocol for sharing financial intelligence”.

Since then, Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crimes Department chief, Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob has confirmed that Tawfiq was “still being investigated” under Section (4)(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.