24 September, 2006

How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black

How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black - a Reverse Racism ?

Melayu Singapura ditekan, dipinggir, ditindas - Dr Mahathir

Jika Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak sekadar menyifatkan kenyataan bekas Perdana Menteri Singapura, Lee Kuan Yew sebagai nakal, tidak wajar dan tidak diperlukan, bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pula memulangkan paku buah keras dengan mempersoalkan balik mengapa orang-orang Melayu di Singapura dipinggirkan sehingga tidak ada status sama sekali.

Kuan Yew mendakwa orang-orang Cina di Indonesia dan Malaysia dipinggirkan secara sistematik.

Dalam kecamannya terhadap kenyataan Kuan Yew itu, Dr Mahathir mengulangi lagi penegasannya sebelum ini bahawa orang-orang Melayu Singapura ditekan, dipinggirkan dan ditindas.

"Cuba adakan siasatan bebas, kenapa orang Melayu tertinggal di Singapura. Bukan mereka kurang daripada orang Melayu di Malaysia tetapi mereka telah ditekan, dipinggirkan dan ditindas.

"Itulah kerajaan yang diasaskan oleh pendapat Lee Kuan Yew," Dr Mahathir dilaporkan sebagai berkata. (more...)

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew should just look after his 'rice bowl' and not interfere with other countries.

The former Malaysian prime minister said if Mr Lee has the right to question the affairs of Chinese Malaysians, then he wants to ask why the Singapore Government made it 'official' policy to marginalise Malay Singaporeans.

Tun Dr Mahathir was asked to respond to comments made by Mr Lee at a dialogue for good governance in Singapore last Friday.

Answering a question, Mr Lee had said that it was important for Singapore to have a government that was 'really firm, stout-hearted, subtle and resolute'', noting that the attitude of Malaysia and Indonesia towards the Republic was shaped by the way they treated their own ethnic Chinese minorities.

Mr Lee said: 'My neighbours both have problems with their Chinese. They are successful, they're hard-working and therefore they are systematically marginalised, even in education.

'And they want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese, compliant.'

Tun Dr Mahathir retorted yesterday: 'I look at the houses in KL of the people that are 'systematically marginalised'. They have bigger houses than mine.'

The former Malaysian leader also told Mr Lee not to feel smug, noting that the Minister Mentor looked wise in his own 'tiny' country.

He said China did not think much of Mr Lee, who was also 'marginalised by Chinese in the world'.

'Don't be like that, Kuan Yew! You just look after your rice bowl, that is all. The country is tiny, don't be too proud,' Tun Dr Mahathir said in response to a written question by a member of the public who attended the function here.

Asked at a news conference why he thought Mr Lee had made the comments, Tun Dr Mahathir said: 'He feels he is strong. He is the proud type. He is not bothered with his neighbours. That is why he deliberately raised something he knew to be sensitive in our country.'

In the same vein, the former Malaysian premier said he had the right to ask about Singapore's treatment of its Malay citizens.

'We also can ask: What is the position of Malays in Singapore. Why is it they cannot be trained to carry arms in the army?

'Why is it that Malays in Malaysia are experts in the military but in Singapore they cannot hold high posts? Why are Malays officially sidelined?

'Why is it that the Malays in Singapore are marginalised to the extent that they have no status at all? This is done deliberately by Singapore. There is no other country that does it like them,' he said.

Other Malaysian politicians and a consumer group yesterday also commented on Mr Lee's remarks.

Gerakan deputy president Koh Tsu Koon, who is also Penang's Chief Minister, said the Chinese community in Malaysia was neither marginalised nor 'compliant' and had the opportunity to participate in the administration of the country.

Dr Tan Seng Giaw, deputy chairman of the opposition Democratic Action Party, told TV3: 'In a relationship between neighbours, we must avoid hurting the feelings of our neighbours.'

MCA president Ong Ka Ting said Mr Lee's statement was not only unfair, but also not good for the harmonious ties among the different races in Malaysia.

'He, as a former prime minister, should know better that such statements could have bad impact on the neighbouring country. He is someone who is over-confident. He always thinks that he is right but the statement by MM Lee is unfair to Malaysia,' Datuk Seri Ong said.

'I feel that Malaysians should not be trapped. We must remain united, we must continue to cooperate in our community. We know what we are doing and we should not let such statements cause disharmony or doubts,' he added.

The Malaysia Islamic Consumers Association (PPIM) said the statement by MM Lee had a hidden agenda aimed at tarnishing Malaysia's image.

The PPIM urged Mr Lee to retract his 'baseless statement'.

DAP agrees with LKY, slams BN leaders

Politics of denial! ' This is how opposition party DAP views the objection raised by Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders to Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s claim that Chinese Malaysians are marginalised.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng expressed ‘disgust’ with MCA president Ong Ka Ting and Gerakan top leaders Dr Lim Keng Yaik and Dr Koh Tsu Koon for denying an ‘obvious fact’.

“... The Chinese and other non-Chinese have been systematically marginalised by discriminatory government policies that only favour the rich and politically connected,” he said in a statement today.

“Such politics of denial is dishonest as BN leaders themselves have stated that discriminatory policies such as quotas and the New Economic Policy (NEP) are necessary for racial harmony and national stability,” he added.

He said as long as BN leaders, including former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, cannot rely on reason, facts and logic to disprove Lee’s claim, then “their emotional denials are like empty vessels making the most noise to cover up the politics of Umno dominance and discrimination.”

Perverse logic

The DAP leader also took Koh to task for saying that the minister mentor did not understand and appreciate the challenges in administering a country bigger, more complicated and diverse than Singapore.

“This is perverse logic. If so, then can we support the apartheid policies of South Africa in the 1980s just because South Africa is bigger, more diverse and complicated than Malaysia?

“How can Koh (who is also Penang chief minister) be so thick skin to say the Chinese are not compliant when he was compliant towards Umno by not daring to even respond to the attacks by Penang Umno Youth leaders who humiliated him publicly with demonstrations and banners?” he asked.

Lim then trained his crosshairs on the MCA president, who argued that it was unfair and subjective to say the Chinese in Malaysia are marginalised because any injustices will be resolved by MCA.

“If that is the case, why is it that in cabinet, four MCA ministers could not convince but had to submit and bow to one Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein?” he asked.

He was referring to Hishammuddin’s public admonishing of Deputy Higher Education Minister and MCA vice-president Ong Tee Keat over a disclosure that Education Ministry officials had allegedly pocketed funds meant for vernacular schools.

Tee Keat was also reprimanded by the cabinet for his action.

“(What is) worse, Ong has not explained why he supported the Ninth Malaysia Plan’s refusal to build a single Chinese or Tamil school out of the 180 new primary schools proposed,” he added.

'Selfish acts'

As for Keng Yaik’s statement that the “Chinese here will not follow and listen to what he says”, Lim said it reflected how out of touch BN leaders are with the feelings of ordinary Malaysians.

At a press conference yesterday, Keng Yaik, who is Gerakan president, urged journalists to report that what Lee had said “was wrong, wrong.”

Meanwhile, Lim described the ‘false denials’ by BN’s Chinese leaders as ‘selfish and politically motivated’ to enable them to cling on to their government posts.

Lee ruffled feathers recently when he said that the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia have been systematically marginalised.

He said this was because Malaysia and Indonesia had problems with the Chinese because the community was successful through their hard work.

“In fact, Lee is half right in that it is not only the Chinese who are marginalised. The Indians and poor Malays are also marginalised,” said the DAP secretary-general.

I want to get an explanation from Lee, says Abdullah

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will write to Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew asking him to explain his statement that Malaysian Chinese were being marginalised.

The Prime Minister said he agreed with his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that Lee's statement was “naughty,” and would seek clarification over the matter. “I want to get an explanation from him on what he said and the reason for making the statement,” he told reporters upon his return after a two-week trip to Finland, Cuba, the United States and Britain.

Abdullah said Lee's statement was not supported by any specific analysis.

He added that race relations in Singapore was not 100% good either.

Stating that Lee’s statement was not fair and inappropriate, he said the statement was tantamount to instigating the Malaysian Chinese.

He said if Malaysia were not stable, Singapore would also be affected as the island republic had economic interests in the country.

During a press conference in London on Friday, Abdullah said no community in Malaysia was being marginalised.

Stressing that this was a fact, he said the progress achieved by the country’s multi-racial community showed that no one had been sidelined.

Abdullah said the success of the Chinese community, for instance, was clearly reflected through its participation in various fields.

The Barisan Nasional, he added, was a responsible government that looked after the interests of all the communities and the Chinese, through the MCA and other parties, were involved in the Government’s power-sharing process.

Earlier, Abdullah likened the comparison in economic development between Malaysia and Singapore to that of a ciku and durian.

“It’s not for comparison. Singapore did well because it is only a city-state specialising in areas such as its airport as well as financial and banking services,” he said, adding that the Klang Valley could be compared favourably with the republic.

In New York, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said: “I’m at a loss as to what his (Lee's) intention was.”

Syed Hamid, who was in New York to attend the UN general assembly, added that Lee’s statement could cause the people to be dissatisfied with the Government.

He pointed out that the Chinese in Malaysia had succeeded in all sectors.

In Tangkak, Johor, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on Lee to apologise for making the “provocative remarks.”

He said Lee was among those who founded the concept of Asean co-operation to foster greater understanding in the region and should know that such remarks would not benefit the region.

In Taiping, the Backbenchers Club (BBC) called for a retraction and apology from Lee.

BBC acting chairman Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainudin Raja Omar said the Singapore High Commission should explain to Wisma Putra what Lee meant by such remarks.

Malaysia wants an explanation, the New Sunday Times front page wrote. The Prime Minister will write to Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew seeking an explanation for his remarks that Malaysian Chinese had been “marginalised” and were “compliant”.

The comments could cause racial tension, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday, adding that a stable Malaysia was crucial to Singapore’s well being.

“Najib said it was a naughty statement and I agree. But it is also a statement which can incite Malaysian citizens of Chinese descent. It is not fair at all, for a neighbouring country to say that.

“Lee should understand that our relationship with Singapore is one that has to be nurtured well. He should appreciate the stability we have on our side, because if we are not stable, Singapore will have problems,” Abdullah said.

"Lee’s statement was “not welcomed” and the republic’s founding father had appeared to show no qualms about making such a highly-charged remark.".

“Singapore too has problems in terms of race relations. Not everything there is 100 per cent perfect,” Abdullah added.


Where have all the leaders gone?
(Rolf Gentry - Tehran Times)

“After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven… and he cried out… ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! …for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.’

“… in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.”

These lines from the Revelations of the Apostle John in the New Testament are speaking of a time in world history when finance and trade, politics and a religion had become a ‘great city’ or global empire, ruling over (‘sitting on many waters’) the nations and economies of the world. The future looks to have arrived, except the disasters and final destruction it is to bring upon itself.

The Bretton Woods agreement of 1944 was the birth of the imperial regime of the dollar that now rules world banking and trade developments. Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has just reminded a Harvard University audience of this, referring to it as an infatuation with world domination. There is one great city that symbolizes this empire and it is indisputably New York. The Statue of Liberty may well depict the great Harlot -- the Queen of Heaven with its torch drawing the moths to her flame of venal passion for wealth and power. A decade before Bretton Woods, the U.S. signaled to the world a coming new world order on a new dollar.

Formerly it was Britannia who ruled the waves under the City of London within metropolitan London, which is still a world financial center in conjunction with Wall Street. The international banking policy of deflation foisted on the British economy during the 1920s wiped out much of Britain’s industry while the bankers granted the USA an inflationary policy which boosted the United States into the top position vacated by Britain, but the Anglo-American establishment remained the same -- dominant.

When ‘kings’ gathered in Rome recently over the conflict in Lebanon, the predisposition was the future to replace the past and not a cease-fire. The destruction of Lebanon is a new chapter, following Afghanistan and Iraq, for building a new world order. Its severity justified and demanded troops from NATO countries now being stationed again in proximity to oil pipelines current or future. There is a unanimity between Israel, the European states, and the UN resolution, like they have all drunk of the wine from the same cup. Israel manipulated and gained all but ‘peace’ troops on the Lebanon-Syria border. The Russian leadership stands apart in preferring to help the sovereign government of Lebanon in offering their troops.

It was a political statement by the Arab League to be late to the table and delay further the call for a cease-fire and an end to the excessive destruction. Nicola Nasser, a journalist in Ramallah, West Bank, has pointed out that the Arab League leadership has been de-Arabizing for a long time. Little wonder then the rise of movements such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Power, privilege, and wheeling and dealing with the kings and merchants of the Harlot and Swiss bank accounts may have had its day.

It irks some Arab leaders that Iran has become a Middle East leader. Circumstances have thrust this upon them, too much by default. The headlines earlier this year of a report that “Assad finds Arabs’ concerns over Iran’s regional role irrational” has to be one of the better announcements for some time. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad challenged Arab leaders as to whether they actually had a role to play in the region.

Uri Avnery, one time member of the Knesset, in a critique before the cease-fire in Lebanon pointed out that both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Minister of Defense Amir Peretz were insignificant men who suddenly were thrust into the shoes of Sharon and likely pushovers for the military. He called Olmert “a run of the mill demagogue” and said Peretz’s megalomania is worse than Olmert’s.

Amir Peretz has been quoted as saying, “Nasrallah will never forget the name Amir Peretz.” The need for a commission of inquiry into the ‘failure’ of the war indicates otherwise. Ehud Olmert’s claim of having changed the face of the Middle East may well include Israel, and not by chance but by design.

Undoubtedly, the biggest impact in the region in terms of leadership is Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Far from the image of one of the ‘kings of the earth’ drunk on the wine of the Harlot, he displays modesty and a preference for wisdom and truth which are sadly lacking among leaders. The French have acknowledged that Iran is a stabilizing influence in the Middle East, and although the president has inherited this, he is causing a face to be put to this, which is important in the global village. His speeches are often misinterpreted, misused, and easily glossed over by those who have forgotten how to contemplate because of the cheap throwaway lines that have drugged Western nations, but appreciated by those who can think for themselves. He continues the appeal to the positive aspects of humanity to solve the world’s issues as his predecessor Mohammad Khatami, who was described by the Counterpunch website during his U.S. visit as an “international personality (who) gained much fame among many intellectuals all over the world…” but got “poor press in the West”.

The long-winded saga over the Iranian nuclear research program is, among other things, a never-ending effort to persuade Iranian leaders to just take one sip of the wine of the Harlot, just one compromise. The Iranian perseverance with patience and integrity is a lonely road, but in the current global circumstances and events it could get a lot darker in the region if they falter.

An Old Testament characteristic of the God of Abraham is that He always sends a voice of truth that challenges corrupt leaders prior to His judgment. It may well be that He can’t find a man inside the USA to do this. President Ahmadinejad has subtly challenged President Bush in his personal faith in relation to his office and the situation of the world. President Bush appears to have responded through his contribution to the destruction of Lebanon.

The two potent pointers in the current situation of the Middle East are the planned permanent change and the intrusion of European forces into the Middle East. Freelance Israeli journalist and author Barry Chamish may have identified a third. He recently reported that the Vatican is pushing for the promise made to it in regard to Bait-ul-Moqaddas by the Zionist regime, which Sharon had been resisting. This could introduce a new ‘leader’ into the region at a time when destabilization is intensifying, even encroaching within the Zionist regime itself, and the Italian contingent looks to be the foremost force from Europe. The destructive shambles of the operation in Lebanon has a parallel ring to that of the U.S. and Iraq and smacks of a con job on Israelis, softening up their spirit of nationalism for new changes.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his recent head-shaking comments about events in the 14th century and the use of the sword of faith in reference to ‘jihad’ and ‘holy war’, hasn’t helped his Middle East ambitions. The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church’s bloody past and its current worldwide sex scandals smacks of the ‘wine of the passion of (her) immorality’.

President Ahmadinejad has asked the world why the Palestinians have had to pay the price for the past sins of the German Third Reich in their excessive tyranny towards the Jews of Europe. We may soon be observing the answer. The Zionists weren’t the only entity with designs on Palestine. What does the Zionist regime owe this ‘Pope’ whom many ‘kings of the earth’ visit as though a matter of protocol? Yet the office title like the church traditions originated in ancient Babylon and not the New Testament. But then so did the Talmud. The God of Abraham judged ancient Babylon by the Medes and Persians. It was part of a historical sequence revealed to the Prophet Daniel. The Apostle John’s vision adds detail to the latter part of the sequence revealed to Daniel. The Persians are near center stage again because they rejected Babylon in 1979 and the leadership that committed ‘immorality with the Harlot’.


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