Thursday 30 May 2013

A Cancellation.

I regret to say that I have decided to cancel my last posting  "Lim Kit Siang, Malaysian Insider, The Economist" - because of problems to do with writing styles in journalism.  This posting referred to economist/

On re-reading the posting I realize an error  in Part (a)  'On the issue of UMNO turning GE13 into a nasty and divisive campaign'  when I stated that Clara Chooi did not attribute her Para 2 to The Economist.  For this I offer my apologies.

However, I take the stand that sentences and phrases in the same para 2, extracted verbatim from The Economist, should be within quotation marks.  Nevertheless I may face dissent and  confrontation from some quarters because that might be acceptable in the realm of modern journalism.

I hold firmly to this view because I was taught and I also taught my students that any inclusion of words and sentences that are not your own should be within quotation marks.  Any deviation from this could be seen as plagiarism.

To spare myself any hassle I have thought it best to delete this posting.

But this I must emphasise.     My second thoughts certainly do not apply to the rest of my posting regarding (b) The reference to the Chinese Tsunami,  (c) Mr Anwar Ibrahim and Mr Najib ,  the hatchet job on UMNO and the Malays, and The Economist's propensity to diminish the one Muslim country that is peaceful, strongly multi racial and not a failed state or a basket case.

More so with my piece on how able Malays must learn how to deal with such negative portrayals from home and abroad.

To my readers who have read this posting and written very thoughtful comments, I can only offer my apologies and a big thank you.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Maria - Cucu si Hamid - Anak Melayu Sejati

Maria - seen above with her cousin Shah - decided to share her thoughts with ma'ngah.  I have watched her grow from the messy and slightly shy kid in Batu Pahat to the cautious and curious young student in Liverpool, and to what I thought was the grand finale - her marriage and motherhood.

But this year, she has done her Atok 'Antan proud.  Together with her spouse Nadzim,  these two will lift up and re-invigorate the UMNO torch that had been blown out by the winds of greed, egoism, selfishness and ingratitude of the Malays both within and without UMNO - the original and only UMNO that her grandfather's generation had nurtured.  Here are Maria's thoughts.

Tribute to the Backbone of UMNO - the Wanita!

It never crossed my imagination that I would be involved in the country's 13th General Election.  And I didn't know how such an involvement would change how I look at things.

Let me briefly introduce myself:  I am what you would classify as a middle income earner, a graduate,  a mom to 5 growing children, comfortable in our own ways.  My world revolved around my family, including the extended one, and my work.

Now, my husband is a little bit different.  On top of his day job, he is passionately involved in politics.  So we drew up an arrangement, he will have the politics, I'll take care of the kids.  It worked beautifully.  But there were times when I could not understand why politics would take so much of his time and arguments would follow.

Things were just as usual until that fateful day in April this year when he was nominated to become a candidate in the General Election.

Needless to say our lives changed.  But I remained the contented and, now I realised, a selfish me.  Again another fateful event, an eye opener.

It started from the Introduction Event where the candidates and their respective spouses were introduced to the 'Jentera' or the campaign machinery.  The hall was packed, the crowd was huge, people were cheering,  the room was energised.  There were men, women, lads, young ladies all ready to take up the final sprint of the 2 weeks to polling day.  The crowd of ladies and their energy overwhelmed me as a newcomer.  I wasn't aware before this of the numbers of people who were involved, especially the ladies!

This was the beginning of seeing the women in action.  Throughout the campaign period in the constituency, be it in the break of a new day,  the scorching heat of the afternoon sun, till the wee hours of night, the BN machinery worked continuously.  And in that 'Jentera', the Wanita and the Puteri were leading the way in numbers, in spirit and in full commitment - knocking on the doors, giving out hand bills, cooking and so on.  It gave a knock to my heart seeing them every time.  They gave so much and asked for so little.

You see, most of them lead a humble life, even mine looks luxurious.  And they are not young either.  Most of them are in their late forties.  And these are the people who are convinced, who wanted a change in the Selangor State Government, who wanted a better future.  And it's not  just for them, it's for you and me, for our children and their children and more,

I can't find an English word to describe my feelings every day on that campaign beat, meeting them and joining their effort - the experience  "menginsafkan" and it humbled me.

The ladies of Jalan Enggang who cooked the 'bubur  lambuk' and then distributed the handbills from 2pm onwards.  We were with them for an hour, it was like being in a sauna!

Viva the UMNO ladies.  Nobody paid them $1 or $100 !

  So, pay attention please - to the people at the top - where you are driven everywhere in comfort and everyone is looking after you :  remember these people, these Wanita who worked tirelessly to make sure that you stay in power, to make sure that the Government of the day remained.  So when ever you're making your decisions, spare your thoughts - lots of your thoughts - for them.  For your  future and my future lies with them.  Without them, you are nothing!

Salute to all the Wanita and Puteri UMNO.  ' Perjuangan belum selesai'  my dear ladies and now you have me too. 

ps.  If I may, a special thank you to my partner for the journey.


Thank you Maria and Nadzim.  The fulfilment  of the dreams and aspirations of the UMNO pioneers like Abdul Hamid bin Jala now depend on people like you.  I am sorry that my generation did not do a good job and left you to pick up the pieces.

Langkah se rentak, ala sayang, sama bergerak,
Sikap gaya, ala sayang, pendekar puteri.
Bertepuk tangan , amboi tangan, tanda berani,
Tiada gentar, ala sayang, hai membela diri. 

Friday 17 May 2013


To Anonymous, thank you for your comment  ( Whither the Malays? and Wither the Malays) which I reckon requires an airing as a posting.  Now and again I like to highlight an anonymous comment - especially when it is negative, and especially when it illuminates part of the problem.   This one is a good example of the rather smug half-baked thinking that bedevils so much of our country's political conversation, especially its 'cyber-conversation'.

I struggle to find  anything intelligible in what you wrote.  You seem to think that the election results reflect a generation gap, which (according to you) is best described in the form of music tastes.  Seems a bit simplistic to me.  If that's what you're saying, you make my point perfectly about a dumbed-down generation.

If your obsession with pop music is silly in this context, your rabbiting on about the British National Party (BNP) is equally (and more dangerously) stupid.     In particular, your attempt to characterize the Barisan Nasional as somehow akin to the BNP is a sick joke indeed.    Especially so, given the nature of the opposition in this country - a squalid amalgamation of Chinese chauvinists, Muslim fundamentalists and a mainly Malay  'Alternative Party'  led by a proxy of US neo-cons and Zionists, who's driven by the desire to lead the next Government in Putrajaya.
IZNOGOUD , a Comic character by  Goscinny and Tabary , 1978

You clearly know very little about the British National Party.  But at least the reference to it shows that you have read a few articles and can drop a few 'useful'  names.  But perhaps that's all you wanted to do.

There is no doubt that some? many? Malays, especially today's middle-aged middle class liberals have been spoilt  - compared to the Chinese and Indians in the same economic league - and they do not appreciate this fact.  They were hoisted and pushed and pampered as a result of UMNO's  NEP.  Now they live in 'gated' communities, in glorified terrace and semi-detached 'palaces', drive macho 4WDs and continental cars and in turn cosset their beautiful children.  My point is simple : too many of such Malays have forgotten who spoon-fed them, how they progressed on the backs of the Rakyat and how little they have ploughed back into the Malay community.

Some time ago I met this Malay post-grad student in Leicester and he said,  "From Form 1 in the Sekolah Asrama' to my first degree in the United States and a post-graduate degree in UK, it was the Government (the Rakyat) that spooned the rice into my mouth".  At least  he appreciated and recognized that privilege.

Your last paragraph is glib nonsense.  "The kids will be alright"??  Well, if this cut and paste Opposition is your blue print  for the future - to apply to all 'kids 'in this country - then heaven help them.  An uglier example of short term political opportunism would be hard to find - anywhere in the world.  But certainly YOUR kids will be alright.

This is not about a gap between generations, between cultural groupings.  This is a revival - with a vengeance  - of the British-made, pre-Merdeka gulf between the well-heeled, well-serviced  urbanites and the subsistence, hand-to-mouth  'Malayans'  on the urban fringes and in the boondocks.

Today, as for the Malays, it is the turn of the fat cats and the self-righteous in the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the People's Justice Party (PKR), and the Pan-Malaysian  Islamic Party (PAS) - each with their own agenda - to screw and manipulate the rights and security of others.

And by the way, it would be the liberal and right thing to do - especially given the nature of your comment - to have the courage of your convictions, and to give us your proper name, the name that your parents gave you.


Monday 13 May 2013

Let my country awake.

In January 1975, I came back to resume my studies at London University.  My father passed away in December 1974 and I had gone back home for over a month to be with the family.

When I went for my lecture, my lecturer Lady Rosemary Firth glared at me and angrily asked  "Where have you been?"

I broke down and cried and uttered  " My father died.  I went home."  I wasn't angry with her.  It was because she cared.

When class was over, she took me by the arm and said,  "Come with me."  We went to her room and she  told me how she dealt with the loss of her father. She wore black!

She had been in Trengganu for some time where her husband researched and wrote the book  " Malay Fishermen :  Their Peasant Economy, 1946 ".  She told me she was aware of how Malays, as Muslims, dealt with bereavement.   But as I was alone in London, she wanted me to see the University's counsellor.  It was my choice.

She further added,  "Come and see me when ever you feel like it".   In fact she invited me to her house at Highgate and for me , that was one of the kindest and enriching visits in my life.  There I learned from her about "Wayang Kulit" .  They had been  presented with the whole set of puppets and she reassured me they have all been  'de- spiritualised'.  She understood the reasons why this had to be done and I think somewhere in her she also believed in the spirit of the need to do so.

So I went to the University Clinic at Malet Street, to see the psychologist/psychotherapist .   It helped me tremendously.  After about five sessions I thanked the doctor  ( I've forgotten his name) and told him that I  did not "need him any more".   He smiled and said  " Good, remember my door is always open".

That's a long preamble for what I actually wanted to post.  My father, up to his death,  kept up a correspondence with me about what was going on in the Federation ( his way of referring to his tanah air) in the 1970s and how he was concerned about what was happening to the Malays.

When I saw this poem  at the University Clinic, I thought about my father and his love for his homeland.

And now, when I receive comments from my readers about their sadness and despair over what's happening in their motherland , I recall Rabindranath Tagore's  Let My Country Awake.

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore  (1861-1941)

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Whither the Malays? - and - Wither the Malays

That badge could even be earlier because the photo below, of Abah setting up an UMNO Branch at Kampung Abu Kassim,  Pasir Panjang, Singapore showed him with my brother Mus who was five or six years old.  That would date it around 1952.  The other founding members were made up of local Malays from the 4ms (milestone) to 7ms Pasir Panjang Road and soldiers from the Federation of Malaya serving in the British Army.  Remember this was a few years after the end of the Malayan Union of 1946 when the Malays realised what their fate would be if they allowed the British to erode their rights and heritage.  Also this was at the height of the insurgency by the Communist Party of Malaya which started in 1948.   Read my postings - (1)

But my father and all those men were no wild-eyed Malay fanatics.   This was their tanah air..... it was all they had - there was no other 'motherland' to return to.  They did not want their people to end up like the natives of North America, Australia, New Zealand, or the indigenous tribes in Taiwan.  They wanted a future for their children and grandchildren.  It was not an easy ride but the dreams of these brave men did materialise albeit in a form they would not recognise and accept.  They, for those who are still here, now see their anak and cucu and cicit - the beneficiaries of their struggle and sacrifices - biting the hands that fed them.   For a good many of those who prospered under the NEP have sold their souls to the very people that their forefathers were worried about.  It's all right for them because their children's futures are secure - huffing and pouting they can migrate to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA, bringing their high qualifications which were paid for by the rakyat.

And there are other ways they use to show their contempt and discontent.  I know of academics in USM who refuse to buy Proton because that will profit the UMNO cronies, so they buy a French Peugeot (sports model) instead - truly vanity dressed as principle!  The cost of a car like that would be enough to pay for part of their post-graduate studies overseas, paid for through an NEP instituted by the 'bad' and  'good 'in UMNO.  Then there's another self-hating Malay who failed after several attempts to obtain his PhD (paid for by the rakyat) and then demanded PhD pay - as he had been working for several years sans the PhD.  Then there's the Malay PhD who threatened a student and retorted  " Ingat, aku ini Professor dan Doctor.  Kau ingat senang nak dapat  PhD?   Ingat siapa durian, siapa timun!"   He forgot to mention he got to be a durian on the backs of the rakyat and the despicable NEP!

Yes, there are bad apples in UMNO, worms and cankers of the worst sort - another bye-product of  so-called progress.  Yes, for some of the Malays what they've been given is like "kera di beri bunga".  But the Brits have a term to describe this propensity.  "Yes, they are bastards, but they are our bastards".  So it's up to the beneficiaries of NEP to take up the cudgels to rid society of these "Melayu bangsat" and do what their forefathers did.    And to remember: their forefathers did not  'run with the hare and hunt with the hounds'.

My father often reminded us:  " 'Kau orang adek beradek tak ramai, jangan bergaduh sesama sendiri."  Transfer that to the bangsa :  "Orang Melayu tak ramai ......"  This beautiful country, unlike any other country in the world,  has a racial makeup (set up by the British so as to maximise their profit ) that can be toxic if not handled properly.  Western ideals of freedom and equality  have to be tempered  by local soils and temperature.  Do not ever believe that Westerners practise in their own countries all those lofty ideals they sell and  preach to others not of their kind - especially the brown and liberal middle classes of the world.

The Chinese, wherever they are - in Singapore, USA, Australia, Britain, South Africa, and Malaysia preserve their unity in the concept of tong pao (of the same womb), of themselves as a family.  Now they are inspired in their commitment by their conversion to Christianity.   The unity born of Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism had no global agenda.   You can't say the same about Christianity.

If this complacency, smugness and disunity of the Malays persist then they  deserve to be Lunchais and Lebai Malang.  

Teras terunjam, gubal melayang.  ( The core of the tree is fixed deep in the ground, but the sapwood is blown away.)

When the upwardly mobile Malays have risen - to be sapwood - then shall the Malays wither.

This has been a hard and painful piece to write - seperti meludah ke langit.


NOTE :  Comments are welcomed.  Racist statements, allusions and connotations will be publicised if they will submit their names as well.  I know anyone can call themselves Mat and Minah, but they cannot escape the intent of their words.