Sunday, November 17, 2013

Who has the last laugh?

This piece was written in a comment in 2008 at a well known blogger site run by a group of Mahathir supporters Jebat Must die. I was hit left and right by Jebat in the end who has the last laugh? Whom do you think?

wan zaharizan
It is easier to blame than to understand. Yes Pak lah made many grave mistakes and he is paying for his mistakes but that does not absolve TDM one bit. JMD as a person who is knowlegeble you must be aware under Tun we lost a bit of our freedom. We gain Economic freedom but civil liberties were trampled. Tun was responsible for creating a vibrant Malay middle class of which I pressume you belong too. But he left divided Malay too! Many Malays fail to appreciate what NEP has achieve. I believe you were born post NEP so you have first hand knowledge of NEP vis a vis the Malays. but it was Tun who hurried the process. In the end we lost some of our soul. We grapple with ourselves the meaning of what malay means, we hide ourself in religion sometime adopting cultures alien to us. Our own culture were discarded and some are regarded as blashphemous. I wonder why? Tun likewise came with the idea of Islamization a political coin word that create a chism among the Malays and the non Malays. Liberal Malays who fought for Malay were shun those who wear sheep clothing but are wolves like Anwar were praise. These were Tun’s dong. I wrote in his blog too, it was never publish. I am perhaps from the old school which believe that religion and politics don’t mix. I am of Tunku’s idea that we are a secular nation. Tun open the pandora box, Pak Lah try to put a lid on it by proposing Islam Hadhari or Civilasation Islam that means what is good of Islamic administration. Thus he tries to nulify the Islamisation process but to no avail. Like Tun he was laugh at, mock at by the islamic group even by Tun.
Tun is perhaps the most brilliant Prime Minister we ever had but surely not the wisest. Even his brilliance is overshadowed by Tun Razak. Whose doer face his son shares. Because of Tun he made the Malays having a superiority complex which sometimes make them unberable bigots. I am rascist like you. To say am not is blasphemy. I do not buy the idea rascism is wrong for a rascist to me is someone who love his race but it does not make me a bigot. Under Tun bigots in race and religion was let loose. But Tun was a strong leader, he brood no disent thus he will always be in control, Pak Lah is weak maybe because of that he thought he could control Pak Lah but he forgot that weakling of a man is besotted with his family thus his children always will be his bane. He made a mistake like he did with Anwar. So Tun do make mistake just like Perwaja and now Putrajaya.
Pak Lah fail because he did not surround himself with inteligent man so he seek his son in law who was an Oxford graduate to help him. He in turn rope in his boys who filled up the fourth floor. They are the one who decide for Pak Lah. Tun lead Pak Lah is lead that is the different. Pak Lah forgot his sahabat thus his mistake quaruple and none can save him but never say to me Tun is a saint he is as guilty Pak Lah for the state of the country.

JMD : Thank you for the comment. I just would like to know what were your civil liberties that was trampled and what was your freedom that was lost during those times? What did you plan to do during those times that was not allowed?
Vibrant but divided Malays. What a predicament ey?
If the Malays failed to appreciate what the NEP had done to them, then they are of course an ungrateful lot. Bear in mind, the NEP has a life span of 20 years. Of course in order to catch up with the other races which are far ahead from the Malays, they need to run twice as fast to catch up. The Malays can never catch up if they are having the same work rate with somebody ahead of them. What more if they were even slower than the people ahead of them.
If Malays were divided and ungrateful, then it must be the work of other section of Malays which called Umno as infidels and everything that Umno did was not beneficial and should be treated with impunity.
If the Malays lost their soul along the way, then religion is the only way to regain some of that back. Wouldn’t you agree? At least there’s a balance between spiritual progress and physical progress. It was a good balance. And by the way, Tun did not advocate extreme taliban like islamisation process. Other people did. If you believe religion and politics do not mix, then I would say you are quite wrong in your views. Politics are the subset of Islam. Islam I think encompass all. And of course, Tunku never declared we are secular nation. Where did you get that idea from? The Constitution puts Islam as the federal/official religion while the rights of other religion are also taken care of. We are not a communist country where religion takes a back seat. If that is the case, then not only politics and religion are separated, religion itself will lose its place in the society. In no time, society without religion as its integral part of its being will downspiral itself into apathy and social degradation.
I could not actually comprehend the last two parts of your comments. I am lost at what you are trying to actually say there. I apologise. But I am sure you’re made some points through.
Addition : I would say your assertion that “Under Tun bigots in race and religion was let loose” was quite wrong. Remember May 13, 1969 where bigots went on riots? That was under Tunku. And years before that, even before independence, racial clashes occured sporadically under the British. Thus the usual admonition that Malaysia, eventhough is blessed with multi cultural and multi religious citizenry, is also can be a cauldron of ethnic strife and racial tension if the country is not governed correctly and without some form of discipline.
Thank you.
Hang Kasturi
Askm JMD,
My thoughts are directed at Wan Zaharizan.
We must agree that comments to be published in blogs ought to be sober, no profanity and ethical even we take a stand to be critical on certain issues
Honestly. I found it difficult to comprehend what he is driving at.A bit muddled up, would you agree , though the issues he is addressing are valid?
So I am not surprised that his comment did not qualify to be printed in TDM’ s blog. Otherwise, we know that TDM is a “sport “. Comments against him also get printed.
You are a ” better sport ” than TDM by publishing his comments.
Hang Kasturi.
JMD : Thank you Kasturi. Was in a hurry at that time which probably had confused me. Will relook at that comment again. Perhaps also, he was in a hurry to type those comments. We shall never know. Anyhow, I just realise I have regular readers with names of nearly all Hang Tuah’s friends. Lekir is missing though. But he is always like that. After he lost his little finger in a skirmish years ago, he becomes loner. That’s why he never gets invited to the royal hunting expedition by Sultan Mansur Shah! Damn I miss poking fun at Lekir… Heheh :)

JMD/Wan Zaharizan,
If one were to write a history paper evaluating Mahathir’s tenure as Prime Minister against a backdrop of democracy, it would not be difficult to support Wan Zaharizan’s premise of a semi-democratic state that curtails civil liberties.
I can say with much confidence that Mahathir is not a supporter of Montesquieu’s separation of power and I recall 20 years back where he argued against the judiciary for attempting to overpower the will of a government elected by the majority of the population.
Having said that, as Fareed Zakaria in his book, The Rise oF Illiberal Democracy persuasively argues that a Government should not be judged solely on a limited set of criteria and a failure of which would cause the Government of the day to be definied as tyrannical.
A country that provides a limited democracy but confers economic prosperity and a better environment for living should also be a criteria for describing a successful Government.
Philippines and Singapore for example are at polar opposites when it comes to what democracy means, but if one were given a choice of a place to live, the choice would be very easy and obvious, Singapore of course.
Mahathir had the unenviable task of managing a country that is not culturally and ethnically homogeneous, a potentially hostile environment. He had his priorities correct, he chose to ensure economic prosperity of the people and a strong economy ahead of expanding civil liberties.
At the time Mahathir took the reins of Government, Malaysia and Philippines weren’t that different economically. What Mahathir did was to choose a different path and went ahead with a single minded purpose of creating an economic powerhouse while the Republic of Phillipines, scoffing at our choice, proceeded to ensure civil liberties. Would anyone now have preferred Mahathir to take the route that the people of Phillipines took ?
China and India is another example, while India has had a proud tradition of western style democracy, it has failed to uplift that standrad of living for much of its people and it’s economy pale in comparison to China, despite China’s very new flirtation with free market economy.
Inasmuch as I would love to scream to the top of my lung that democracy is alive when I see people marching to the streets, protesting at every available opportunity against anything that they find objectionable, I know that in a country like Malaysia, ethnic and religious diversity is a lethal brew that could ignite the flames of passion and could easily flow into a tidal wave of internecine strife.
Which reminds of the happenings after the fall of Soviet Union and the rush by the small states to adopt western style democracy without ensuring economic dignity of the people caused and had resulted in terrible wave of violence and poverty.
But, some people like to read what the West tells them and ridicule what we have achieved and cry that freedom has vanished in this blessed land of ours.
The West can violate principles of soveriegnty and invade another state on some false pretense, kidnap someone from far away land on the basis of suspicion and lock them up for torture in a third country that practices such heinous crime, economically sabotage another country, attempt to colonise/recolonise a soveriegn state in the name of free market and if you have the patience to read Robert Fisk’s book, read in horror what the Coalition of the Willing is perpetrating in Iraq…. but we are told that the West must be listened to, we are all dumb Asians that must be taught the ways of the white man, failing which we are all “recalcitrants”.
Having said that viva Las Vegas and I miss you Los Angeles.
JMD : Thank you Lekiu for the informative comments. I added new thoughts in that comment of his also.

    1. wan zaharizan
      To your awnser when did tunku assert his believe that this is a secular nation, than JMD pls refer to the Star in his coloumn As I See It as publish in the paper. One of the reason of the operation lalang 1987 and the closure of the paper Star and Watan was this column.
      So if you talk about muzzling the press, who was the Home Minister then? was it not Tun. As for Islam, well what type of Islam are you proposing. To the Arabs what they consider islamic is different than the liberal westernised Muslim who resides in the US and western world. To a bosnian Muslim it is different and so to the turks. Their differences show in their perception of life tentang hukum dan hakam. I am not going to dwell in that to much but sad to say perception plays an important part in human mind. I am againts divisive policy because my faith in my religion is not about pandering to slogans but i believe we have enough fragmentation in our mind between us to futher divide us with religion. Let it be separate because moral guidance is subjective and i believe should remain private. If I am wrong than you cannot blame taliban and the rest us unislamic because this is an extention of their faith however misguided they are as your belief predates it. To the taliban and the fundamentalist they are right, to you they are wrong but what justified them to be label as such. Conservatism has envelop the human race from the west to the east, and mixing religion and politics is potent especially in Multi racial Malaysia. This is my belief but promoting faith in any religion is positive to the nation but not labeling it like what Tun has started. I rest my case.
      JMD : Actually, Tunku said this – ‘This country has a multi-racial population with various beliefs. Malaysia must continue as a secular State with Islam as the official religion’. He did not say, this country is a secular state fullstop. A lot of difference there.
      Nevertheless, is Islam Hadhari in itself not a label? I am sometimes confused. At one hand you criticise the ‘labelling’ of islam, but in the comment before this, you applaud Pak Lah for creating Islam Hadhari.
      Do you know why Operasi Lalang took place? Polcie did not want another May 13 to happen. Do you know when extremists ran free on the streets inciting hatred among the races, Tunku was too weak to do anything. Why? Because he championed democratic freedom too much. He did not do anything to ones who had pushed the envelope too far. In the end, May 13 occured. Did you know how many people were detained under the ISA at that time? Double the amount of people detained in Operasi Lalang.
      Fortunately, no bloodshed occured back in 1987. As the police stamped out extremism before it gets way out of hand. 4 papers were banned at that time, among them was Watan – a malay newspaper with huge following. Like the Star and another chinese daily, it was banned because, naturally, they fought fire with fire. If these papers were not banned, the situation at that time will exacerbate into a nightmare for the country.
      Actually, your line of thought contradicts your own conviction. What is it do you want? Separating Islam from governance? Then I think you abhor PAS’ idealogy. But at the same time, you seem to be defensive when concerning the Taliban.
      When you say “Let it be separate because moral guidance is subjective and i believe should remain private”, Islam Hadhari says this in its 10 fundamental principles –
      • faith and piety in the Almighty;
      • a just and trustworthy Government;
      • a free and independent people;
      • the vigorous pursuit and mastery of knowledge;
      • balanced and comprehensive economic development;
      • a good quality of life for the people;
      • protection of the rights of minority groups and women;
      • cultural and moral integrity;
      • safeguarding natural resources and the environment; and,
      • strong defence capabilities.
      Basically, islam and governance cannot be separated. It is infused in our day to day guidance. It is a good guide anyway. Ironically, to me, Islam Hadhari is actually nothing new. Pak Lah just rebranded the whole tenets of good governance in Islam into a package he calls Islam Hadhari.
      By the way, when Tunku said ‘This country has a multi-racial population with various beliefs. Malaysia must continue as a secular State with Islam as the official religion, nation can still be functional as a secular state with Islam as the official religion.”
      What does that mean? Was he just stating the obvious?
      Read this too –
      Thank you.
      p.s. – I like your writing on the origins of Negaraku. By the way, too bad I can’t comment in your blog as I do not have a google account! Will make one soon.
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    2. wan zaharizan
      sorry for the late reply my computer was down
      JMD : You wrote in your blog that you are sad. Don’t be bro. We must always remain steadfast in our own conviction or beliefs. Stand for you believe in but always think rationally. Thanks!
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    3. minicooper
      haha patut laa.. rasanya Wan Zaharizan ni org PKR ni.. Facebook friend dia si Tian Chua tu hahaha
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    4. wan zaharizan
      mini cooper, tien chuah share a common friend. I knew Nadia Bamahdaj and Halinah Todd whose son Kamal Bamahdaj were killed in East Timor 1991. I never met him hanya did correspond by email once or twice. I am not a member of PKR or any other parties. During APCET meeting in Kuala Luympur which was held close door under the order of Anwar with the consent of Tun this meeting were disrupted. Syed Hussein was there too, I do not compromise on my principle and never will. Tien Chua knows I disagree with Anwar and drop it please.
      Who is right who is wrong in my disagreement with JMD. I will leave it to the readers to decide. As I said many a times I never deny Tun’s achievement. But for me let Pak Lah go with dignity. He made mistakes thus let him go, we need not go through the mudslinging. Enough is enough! JMD first statement contradict himself. I for once never go for labeling, Islam Hadhari or Islamization! As good Muslims we wear our faith in our action and ideas. We need not resort to labeling. When I was still in college I work for a circus as a handyman. It was tough work, so when the elephant trainer who was an American , complimented for my diligence and honesty, the word he uttered was it must be because of my faith. It make me proud as a Muslim, it was the greatest compliment. He was surprise I did not smoke or drink neither did I gamble, he remark it must be because of my faith, my religion. I say nay, I choose not to but I added my faith is my barometer and it help to strengthen my resolve. As I said we need not resort in labeling be it hadhari or otherwise. I leave it at that. Cukup disini saja JMD kita komen atas benda lain.
      JMD : Thank you for the comment. Regarding Pak Lah, yes he must be given some form of respect as he is about to leave the scene. I wrote the article that criticised Pak Lah’s loyalists, whom in order to glorify Pak Lah, had belittled Tun Mahathir. I find that disturbing. That is why, I said in this article ‘This pitiful act of glorifying Pak Lah is just an attempt to make him look favourable within the history books in years to come. I would understand or even forgive these attempts by Pak Lah’s lackeys if they did not demonise Tun Dr Mahathir in the process. But what they are doing is wrong.’
      If Kalimullah and Zaid Ibrahim want to glorify Pak Lah, please do it based on Pak Lah’s own achievements. There are a few things that Pak Lah can be proud of. They can even promote him as Bapa Kemasyarakatan or whatever. K-ekonomi or modal insan etc. If they want to present him in a favourable light, then do so honourably. Why the need to compare and belittle his predecessor?
      Hence the reason for this article in the first place.
      As for the labelling of Islam etc, here’s my take of the whole issue;
      You said;
      - Tun labelled Islam through islamisation process in Malaysia since the 80′s.
      - Pak Lah put stop to all these rhetorical labelisation of islam through his Islam Hadhari concept
      - You advocate separation of politics and religion
      - You think religion is important but it is only the barometer of one’s resolve.
      - Malaysia must be secular because mixing religion into politics will only produce bigots in society
      As for the APCET meeting. What a brouhaha back then huh?
      Thank you.


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