02 March, 2008

PM:"Government Committed To Islamic Law, Won't Affect Other Faiths "

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government is committed to implementing the Islamic law in a comprehensive manner without affecting the interests of other faiths in the country.

The Prime Minister said Islam was in fact capable of becoming an instrument in the development of its followers in the various fields including science and technology.

"If the religion can be used as a method of raising the spirit of the Malays to achieve progress, then what's wrong if we adopt it. Muslims with knowledge can achieve tremendous success. We can prove this by strengthening our faith through the teachings of the Quran to become excellent, glorious and distinguished.

"The position of Muslims who are perceived as trouble-makers and a liability, we don't want this perception to be held by the Muslims themselves," he said

Let's listen to the quiet man
Alex Bigham - Guardian Unlimited - comment is free

Never mind the firebrands. If anyone is capable of representing Muslims, it's Malaysia's Abullah Badawi

If you ever wonder who may have the credibility to be a leader of the diverse global Muslim community, there may be a tendency to consider the firebrands who attract headlines.

Would it be Hassan Nasrallah, whose campaign against Israel made him the pin-up of choice from Cairo to Marrakech? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose defiance of UN sanctions and bellicose rhetoric is popular outside Iran? Or even Osama bin Laden, the self styled "Sheikh", whose hate-filled campaign of terror is seen by some as a just jihad against the hegemony of the west?

But such poster-boys of hate reflect reality less accurately than they do prejudices against the Muslim community. It should go without saying that the majority of Muslims, whether they live in Karachi or Kuala Lumpur are moderates. And one of the leaders of this moderate majority is the prime minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Badawi.

As Dr Farhan Ahmad Nizami, director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, has said, Malaysia's leadership in this dialogue is crucial:

This is one of the most important issues of the modern world: better understanding between the Islamic world and the west. What is needed is really the building of bridges between Muslim and western societies, bridges which are strong enough to carry the weight of differences and that can cover the divide that separates them. It is therefore important that a prosperous, self-confident nation like Malaysia is playing a pivotal role in this dialogue.

It was this argument that Badawi made to the international community at Davos recently. He used the opportunity of a shared platform with Tony Blair and other leaders to make a proposal that there should be a new era of building bridges between east and west, that it was crucial to develop concrete initiatives for inter-faith cooperation, and that only with real partnership rather than rhetoric could the world hope to tackle extremist tendencies.

Such leadership can be dangerous in the face of a radical Islamist minority viewpoint - of the kind espoused by Nasrallah, bin Laden and the like. The bold and imaginative approach taken by Badawi to build bridges with the west, drive a progressive Islam, and tackle corruption and poor governance in the Muslim world, has not always made him friends at home. In fact, in the election campaign he is currently fighting, the challenge comes from an alliance of opposition parties led by a conservative Islamic party committed to introducing Sharia law.

It is time we in the west recognised and supported this brand of moderate leadership.Read the post here.

Note:
Alex Bigham is an academic researcher and communications office at the Foreign Policy Centre. He has written papers on conflict prevention and democratisation in Africa and Iran's relations with the UK. He is a board member of the European Movement. He conducted academic studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies in London.

And (seleted) comments from commentators :

1) The main reason for the islamic world's backwardness is precisely because of that word: ISLAM. When a billion people define themselves (yes, define themselves) as muslim, that's a religious definition. We in the West don't define ourselves by our religion, hence we are the WEST and not the "Christian world".

As part and parcel of that self definition comes a cultural arrogance and closed mindedness, that refuses girls education, that educates its young in religious schools, that is disinterested in the knowledge gained by the rest of the (non muslim) world except insofar as its trinkets like mobile-phone technology, cars etc etc interests them.

To quote (or paraphrase) VS Naipaul the muslims can hijack a plane and fly it into a skyscraper but they could never build either a plane or a skyscraper. Nor build a mobile phone, or a car.

Why? Because the muslim world is only interested in religion and educating its young to be religious.

As for Malaysia being a shining example of democracy!! Don't make me laugh. To quote Wikkipedia: "all non-Muslims who marry a Muslim must renounce their religion and convert to Islam. Meanwhile, non-Muslims experience restrictions in activities such as construction of religious buildings and the celebration of certain religious events in some states.[54][55] Muslims are obliged to follow the decisions of Sharia courts when it comes to matters concerning their religion. The jurisdiction of Sharia court is limited only to Muslims over matters of Faith and Obligations as a Muslim, which includes marriage, inheritance, apostasy, conversion, and custody among others. Any other criminal or civil offences are not under the jurisdiction of the Sharia Courts. As a rule, the Civil Courts cannot overule any decision made by the Sharia Courts, not even the Federal Court. The Sharia Courts has a similar hierarchy to the Civil Courts.
As a legal matter, Muslims may not apostatise very freely, as doing so involves the Sharia court"

This is no model for anyone to follow.

2) I did not read the entire article nor do I intend to. It is an extremely sad commentary on the state of the Islamic world that a nation like Malaysia is called a moderate nation. A nation that has Sharia as its official law. A nation where Islam is the state religion and all native Malays are considered Muslims and apostaty is illegal for them. However, it is perfectly allowed for non-Muslims to convert to Islam.

Here is an article from the BBC on the Christian converts

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/crossing_continents/6150340.stm

Another article on how a convert to Hinduism fares

http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=9564

Here is the case of a Hindu woman who is losing her children

http://linkenlim.blogspot.com/2007/12/malaysias-highest-court-rejected-hindu.html

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more well-documented cases that can be obtained off the web. It is not just the Hindus and the Christians who are protesting but also Sikhs, Buddhists, ethnic Chinese (Confuscious and Taoist) who have raised their protest at the injustices and discrimination. Recently, Hindus are protesting at the discrimination and the peacefully rallies have been brutally broken up. If bigotry against their native non-Muslims was not enough, Malaysians especially their previous PM, Mahatir, who was a poster-boy by the left-wing liberal media has made anti-Jewish remarks.

Malaysia is doing this with only 52% Muslim population. If non-Muslim secular democracies like India, US, UK, Germany, Canada done even a fraction of the religious discrimination then the same left-wing liberal crowd would have been screaming as if a load of hot chilli powder has gone up its ass. However, since Malaysia follows the religion of peace it is given a free pass.

As the saying goes that the one-eyed man is the king in the land of the blind. Maybe true but when compared to the rest of the world that is fully visual, the one-eyed person (Malaysia) is visually impaired.

I have seen many foolish articles on the Guardian but anyone that calls Malaysia as a tolerant nation takes stupidity to the next level.

3) Oh dear, you seem to have bought the Malaysian government's line unquestioningly on this.

While Malaysia's involvement with the OIC has indeed brought a welcome focus onto the socioeconomic issues - women's equality, education, healthcare, economic growth, etc - perhaps unsurprisingly little is said about political freedoms and human rights. The OIC itself registers barely, if at all, in Malaysian society apart from the fanfare of conferences. Somehow all these wonderful declarations emerge after every major international event yet little changes, until it is time for it to be replaced by the next wonderful declaration. I'm not holding my breath.

It is wrong to characterize the opposition as a true alliance committed to the same ideas and goals. Yes, one of the main challengers is the Islamist PAS party who frightens me as a non-Muslim. But the other opposition parties offer a more progressive politics similar to a Western centre-left.

The Barisan (Alliance) government's rule has been defined by racial politics and sectarian-based appeals for votes and support - vote for a Chinese politician if you are Chinese and so forth, and that to vote for the opposition is to split the Chinese power base. Any challenge to the Government is instantly labelled as destabilizing and a threat to national unity and any kind of public demonstration or rally unsympathetic to Government policy is denied a permit, confronted with riot police, then accused of causing an inconvienience to shoppers and traffic. 'Government knows best' is the dominant attitude trumpeted to the public.

In recent months a colonial-era piece of legislation, the Internal Security Act for indefinite detention without trial, has been rolled out against Indian activists. An independent judiciary depends on the roll of the dice - but the smell of corruption at the very highest level is strong indeed.

The rights of non-Muslims come a clear second - tallskin's quote from wikipedia, while perhaps not the most authoritative source, is a generally accurate account Take this as a sample http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6278568.stm

The high hopes I had when Badawi came into office have been dashed by the business-as-usual approach he has brought.It may seem like a progressive Islam compared to the draconian rule of Saudia Arabia, but that sets the bar fairly low. Badawi is indeed a quiet man - but that makes him no less unwilling to adhere to the politics of race.

4) Most of the comments made here are fair, Malaysia does have a number of issues especially when it comes to race and religion. But why do people insist on comparing Malaysia to western countries. The west has made great progress in women's rights and rights of minorities. But the key word is progress, it didn't happen overnight. Every time the west progresses in social issues it expects the rest of the world to follow. Who would have thought 30 years ago that gays would be free to marry and adopt, they would have called you mad back then.

Malaysia is a young democracy and nation.

Yes Malaysia has Sharia law but unlike Iran secular politicians/parties are allowed to contest elections so if the people want to get rid of Sharia they have the option. Its called democracy.

Sharia law does not equal Taliban - when was the last time you heard someone having their hand chopped off in Malaysia or being stonned to death.

The veil/Hijab is not compulsory

Hopefully now Malaysia can slowly make progress on minority rights and the racial issues. But the progress has to come from within with perhaps gentle nudging from the west. The problem is when the west goes in hard which results in the locals becoming entrenched in their hardline positions.
(however I will contradict myself here, when it came to the Taliban there was no option but to go in hard).

I am not making excuses for Malaysia, I have followed the recent issues regarding the rights of the Indian minority and the treatment of chinese minority by the Malay police. There is discrimination but I hope Malaysia can take steps in the right direction.

By the way I totally agree with on of the commens above the OIC is a joke, it always makes big and grand declarations which are promptly forgotten.

5) What are you talking about! As a Malaysian and was born a Malay-Muslim female; I can tell you one thing very clearly; this so -called quite Muslim man (I'm sure there are great many dictators who are quite too) and his ruling elite class especially from his racist and fascist ruling party, UMNO (United Malays National Organization)are double-face, corrupted, and dictators-in-suit! So don't be deceived and so naive; haven't you been dilligently reading up on all the racial and religious tension currently being stirred up by UMNO; in order to entrench their dominant power and continue brainwashing many of the ordinary Malay-Muslim masses just to ensure the votes and blind patriotism keep rolling in! This was indeed the legacy of UK capitalist-class imperialism (I've a lot of affection for many ordinary British and great activist!) that uses racial ideology as a political weapon; and now UMNO including this quiet but monstrous suit-wearing dictator is merging in much more extreme ways of such racial ideology with religious one ie. so-called Islam Hadhari.

The Malaysian Prime Minister who attended the World Economic Forum in Davos which ironically was chaired by the War Criminal Tony Blair in Davos, Switzerland (Choi Tuck Wo, OIC-West Partnership, 25/01/08) wants the Western world to be the "Islamic World's" strategic partner in a supposedly progressive "Dialogue of Civilization" but actually this is about deceitfully to promote pure economic development. Especially to ensure easy access for Islamic dictators and elite-capitalist class and corporations to trade freely in the west without their human rights records being questioned. Thus, I would caution especially European NGOs, activists and the public about such supposedly progressive dialogue. For a dialogue of civilization that does not address true social justice that encompasses universal human rights values and laws in its totality in an already globalized world, will only be extremely hypocritical and unjust. A dialogue that does not seem to aspire to the peoples' will especially the oppressed, but only in accordance with the politicians' will especially dictators including Islamic ones, who are erpetrators of human rights abuses.

Please read below the great Mahatma Gandhi's aspiration of hunger strike by a brave group of human rights activists in Malaysia from HINDRAF that include their leaders (four are human rights lawyers) By Agence France-Presse - 1/25/2008 4:00 am - At http://news.my.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1207121

The five were jailed under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last month after the mass rally, which police dispersed with tear gas and water cannons.
Malaysia's ISA allows for indefinite detention without trial and has been condemned by human rights activists who say it should be abolished.
Ethnic Indians, who make up eight percent of the country's population, complain they are discriminated against in terms of opportunities, education and jobs.
Muslim Malays, 60 percent of the population, control the government while ethnic Chinese, at 26 percent, dominate business
Although HINDRAF i.e Hindu Rights Action Force, is fighting on racial and religious politics but it is in counter-reaction to the long period of discrimination and racism by UMNO.

6) "Despite this, Badawi has stuck firmly and resolutely to his own vision of Malaysia as a modern, progressive Islamic country, a multiracial, multicultural and multiparty democracy that looks outwards to the rest of the world and rejects the insularity and isolationism of the extremists."

If you think Malaysia is a multiparty democracy, you're kidding yourself. Actually we are getting the "election results" right now -- finding out who has been assigned to stand in each seat. There's much more interest in this than in the election, because the election is largely a foregone conclusion. In the case of members removed for corruption, they've been replaced by various relatives. There are constant long, beautifully-produced advertisements for Barisan Nasional (the ruling coalition) on television and radio. The news doesn't even pretend to be objective in its coverage.

That said, Malaysia is still further along the road than any other Islamic state I can think of. That's partly (or even mostly) because it really is multi-cultural. The challenge that will define the country's success in coming years is how they deal with the minority of Indian descent.

However, the rigidity of the system plays into the hands of the hard-line Islamic politicians. The only viable opposition party is the Islamic PAS, which has some control in the north. It's more difficult for the government to shut out an Islamic party (though they didn't do so well in the last national election). You can't say they are liars bent on destroying the country, as they regularly characterize the other opposition parties.

Malaysia has loads of potential. Plenty of money; an ethos of racial harmony that they do try to live up to (to some extent); decent infrastructure, education and health services; lots of room for growth; a strategic geographical location; political stability; freedom of expression outside the realm of criticizing the national government or Islam. Whether they go up or down will depend on how flexible the power-holding elites can be. I am actually fairly hopeful for the long term. Not that I know much about it: that's just my impression as a resident of brief duration in a nice part of KL.

7) Oh boy, there are some shrill arguments made about Malaysia here, and some perspective seems essential.

First of all, it is important to recognise that religious discourse in Malaysia is largely a proxy for the far more defining issue of ethnicity, which is crucial in Malaysian politics and society. In essence, discussions about the role of Islam in Malaysia are not a religious matter at all but really an ethnic one, which makes the situation very different from your usual Muslim country.

Why is race so important? Well, before independence in 1957, Britain encouraged the immigration of large numbers of Chinese and Indians into Malaysia. This reached such proportions that by the 1930s, the original Malay population was estimated to be lower in numbers than the combined Indian and Chinese immigrant populations (along with a few other ethnic groups).

Not only that, the Indians and the Chinese quickly outperformed the rural-dwelling Malays in economic terms, buying up land and generally claiming ownership of the economy. The Malays found themselves sidelined and even the British colonial government had to take measures at this early stage to prevent the Malays from becoming an impoverished and marginalised group in their own country (the much derided Mahathir in his book "the Malay Dilemma" compared this to the plight of the Native Americans).

After independence, without Britain to adjudicate, sectarian resentment boiled over. After serious instances of sectarian violence, most notably in 1969, the government was forced to take proactive measures to pacify the feelings of the Malay population, whose more extreme elements openly advocated the deportation of Indians and Chinese who in some cases had been there for generations.

This was done in the form of the New Economic Policy, a comprehensive affirmative action programme aimed at allowing Malays to become economically competitive and granting them preferential loans for housing, privileged access to education and government jobs, and others. An essential component of this (though it was present and quite admitted even before the NEP) is the principle of Malay primacy (or "ketuanan Melayu"), which asserts the sovereignty of the Malay sultans and acknowledges the political necessity of a Malay head of government.

The NEP is hotly contested today, though not publicly. One can criticise it endlessly, of course: there is little solid evidence that the NEP has contributed to substantial advancement for ordinary Malays, and many have convincingly argued that it has only served to line the pockets of Malays who were already wealthy and connected in the first place, fostering a culture of corruption and cronyism between the public and private sectors.

It has also undeniably caused a huge increase in the resentment felt by ethnic minorities towards the Malays, many of whom (feeling thwarted by the official discrimination) are actually leaving the country to pursue more satisfying opportunities in education and employment. There is no denying that Indians and Chinese are second-class citizens. However, the importance granted to religion (in this case Islam) also falls in this general context of Malay racial "privilege".

Although the NEP is badly flawed, however, anyone will have to recognise the plight of the Malays that originally motivated it and understand the rationale for taking action, both for the Malays and the stability of Malaysian society in general. Doing nothing was not an option, and the NEP has arguably allowed Malaysia to achieve remarkable prosperity in what could have easily become the Yugoslavia of Southeast Asia.

It is also important to note that this was achieved largely by democratic consensus, unlike during Tito's rule, say: although Malaysia is not quite an open democracy today, it used to be, and the communal ruling coalition model (in which a Malay ethnic party governs in tandem with Chinese and Indian parties) has been a standard since independence. Extensive consultation and cooperation with other ethnicities is essential to this model, and Malaysia *does* take multiculturalism seriously. Take the Shariah, for instance. Although there are indeed Shariah courts in Malaysia, two caveats here are crucial:

1) Punishments enforced by Shariah courts are enforced much more on a Western model than a Saudi Arabian one. There is no chopping of hands or stoning of adulterous women in Malaysia: offenders are dealt largely with fines and imprisonment.

2) Shariah courts ONLY have jurisdiction over Muslims (unlike Saudi Arabia), and the rest of the population is dealt with by the secular courts who enforce British-style common law. Neither do Shariah courts rule on every aspect of life, even for Muslims: in the vast majority of cases (both criminal and civil), Muslims are still addressed by the secular courts.

There is more to say and I've run out of space, so maybe I'll post more later.

8) One could also argue that Muslim advancement via the NEP reduced the resentment that Muslims would've felt if the Chinese surged ahead of them economically. This is what happened in Indonesia, leading to the masssacres of Chinese in 1965 [ what started off as an anti-communist purge descended into massacres of Chinese ], and also in 1997. [ The Malaysian race riots of 1969 were less serious than the Indonesian examples.]


However, as I posted on another thread, the comparative economic development of Chinese Singapore and Muslim-majority Malaysia is revealing. As an economic laboratory, the comparison is acute, for both Malaysia and Singapore were British colonies with British educationals systems, both became independent simultaneously, and were a political unit for another six years. Singapore at independence had a slightly lower per capita GDP than Malaysia. Hence, the factors which bedevil economic comparisons of different past histories has been taken out of the equation.

Since the early 1960s, we have had a comparative economic lesson in two Asian neighbours. One has pursued Islam as the dominant paradigm of society. The other has pursued a policy of downgrading religion and superemphasising education, within a Confucio-authoritarian framework.

45 years of this gives interesting results-- Malaysia is one of the most prosperous and stable of the Muslim majority countries.
However, Singapore with almost one fifth of Malaysia's population according to the 2007 CIA world factbook had an exchange-rate total GDP about 10% under Malaysia. Whereas the PPP per capita GDP of Malaysia in 1957 was slightly greater than Singapore's, in 2007, Singapore's per capita PPP GDP was 3.5 times that of Malaysia!
Singapore has made the transition [ though not in democratic terms ] into being a science-based advanced Western-style economy.

It is likely that in the next decade, Singapore's exchange-rate GDP will exceed Malaysia's, despite having one fifth of its population. There is no evidence that Malaysia with the pervasive reach of Islam in public life is anywhere near making the transition into a rich western style economy which Singapore made during the last decade.

The implications for the organisation of Muslim polities and economies are graphic. In the current free market global economy, the East Asian mode of high public education and low public religion is immensely more effective at increasing national wealth and skills.

3 Comments:

Blogger yapchongyee said...

THE TIGERS THAT LOST THEIR ROAR
The decline of crony capitalism ( Feb./29th)
This is a precise of the book “Asian Godfathers “ by Joe Studwell and I will keep very closely to the text by liberal quotes from the book. I thought of not commenting on this work because the arguments are so close to my own 3 part posts that I had published last week under the title of the “Year Of Change” only my article was written all about Malaysia and this one is all about South East Asia(Asean). You can read the www.economist.com article dated 29th/Feb., from which I had quoted most of it.

Malaysians must fully appreciate that in a globalised world our RACIST UMNO POLICY RUNS DIRECTLY OPPOSITE TO WHAT IS REQUIRED TO MEET THE CHALLANGES OF THE 21ST CENRUTY. I intruduce our readers to the book under the title of Asian Godfathers.

The book examines the factors that underpinned the sharp decline of most of the S-E Asian economies, excepting Singapore.“In a recent book, “Asian Godfathers”, Joe Studwell, a journalist, examines this failure in stark terms. The region's business scene, he says, remains dominated by old-fashioned, mediocre, sprawling conglomerates, run at the whims of ageing patriarchal owners. These firms' core competence, such as it is, is exploiting their cosy connections with governing elites. Their profits come from rent-seeking: being handed generous state contracts and concessions, or using their sway with officialdom to keep potential competitors out. If they need technology, they buy it from abroad. As a result, Mr Studwell says, the region has “no indigenous, large-scale companies producing world-class products and services.”
“Corruption is another great burden on business. That is true elsewhere in Asia too, but several South-East Asian countries—notably Indonesia—are afflicted by corrupt and unreliable judicial systems, making it difficult to enforce contracts.” I had written many, many posts (83 posts on my own blog. http://yap.chongyee.blogspot.com) setting out in detail how Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali had corruptly and incompetantly struck out my wife’s petition. The judge forced the complicity of my wife’s counsel Mr David Hoh of M/s Lim & Hoh of Jln. Bukit Bintang, KL to render my wife’s petition, COMMATOSE. We do not know how the alleged “appeal” has gone and we do not know whether any appeal has been lodged or not because Mr David Hoh has held himself and his partner father Mr Frank Hoh INCOMMUNICADO. We just got no response from our many letters that I had published on my blogg.
Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali had committed the criminal offence of Malfeasance by approving to respondent Stephen Lim Cheng Ban both (1)an order for security for costs (2) later after the security for costs had been paid Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali approved to Stephen Lim the second Order for striking out petition. Just the fact that these two orders were made afte my wife had paid the RM.60,000 is proff that Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali has committed the said crime. To cap it all Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali FROM SHEER IGNORANCE OF THE LAW PROBABLY DID NOT THAT SHE HAD COMMITTED A CRIMINAL OFFENCE; but tough for Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali has no excuse because knowledge of the criminal offence is not required to be proved, bloody IGNORANCE WILL DO.
I had also argued that Malaysia had wasted billions of ringgit to educate the children of Bumiputra, but lacking in vision Malaysian leaders hogged all the scholarships for their own children, while leaving those who do not have UMNO connection out of the loop. Therefore the Malaysians find that their choice of candidates are circmscribed by a clutchful of about 5,000 to 6,000 families. This limited choice also disadvantaged the selection of candidates to the easier academic courses in the arts and consequantly Malaysia does not have a sufficiently large pool of talents in the much needed fields of engineering and science. Here is what the author has to say “ Malaysia has also spent heavily on universities and the promotion of technology but its efforts have been stymied by the country's messy racial politics (including preferential university places for the Malay majority) and by the handing of state contracts and concessions to undeserving government cronies. Both the lack of fair competition between businesses and the failure to widen access to education may have a common underlying cause: that South-East Asian countries remain in the grip of narrow elites.”
The result is that there are very few Malay talents of any kind that will provide leadership that will grow their industries or provide a talent base for the growth of science and scientific innovation that is sweeping the font runner economies of India & China. In Malaysia UMNO leaders live in a bubble dream world of make belief. The incident that really cracked me up is the claim that Malaysia had produced an ASTRONAUGHT; this Malay dentist hitched a ride on the back of a Russian SPACE SHOT at the costs of at least riggit 100 million, because that was how much another SPACE TOURIST, an Iranian computer entrepreneur paid for her ride on another Russian SPACE SHOT. It is ridiculously silly to claim that this dentist is any kind of an ASTRONAUGHT because an astronaught is a SPACE TECHNITIAN and he “drives” the space vehicle and to say that this dentist is a space astronaught is really STRETCHING REALITY TO BREAKING POINT. This phenomena is stated in these terms : “This dilettantism was once summed up damningly by Michael Porter, of Harvard Business School: “These companies don't have strategies, they do deals.” Gerry Ambrose in the Kuala Lumpur office of Aberdeen Asset Management laments that it is indeed hard to find Malaysian companies with “a business plan that will last ten years”. Because even the best-run firms often have boards and shareholder lists dominated by the founding family and their friends, it is hard to believe that their thinking will change.
Hitherto, Malaysian companies have had a remarkable record of picking duds when they buy foreign firms. Laura Ashley, a fashion designer; Costain, a builder; Lec, a fridgemaker; and Agusta, a motorbike-maker: all were bought by Malaysian firms with less than glorious outcomes. This was also described by me in my article as fact.
However, he says that there are hopeful signs there are “…..hopeful sign for South-East Asia's corporate future is that it seems to be getting easier for those outside the closed circle of the politically well-connected to set up new businesses and challenge the incumbents. Mr Fernandes's AirAsia is the prime example. Started only six years ago, the airline now criss-crosses the region with a huge network of low-cost flights. Mr Fernandes, a former music-industry man, is still frantically adding routes: he expects to be allowed to start domestic flights in the Philippines and Vietnam soon. He has started a separate, low-cost, long-haul airline, AirAsiaX, which is flying from Kuala Lumpur to Gold Coast airport in Australia and Hangzhou near Shanghai. Flights to Melbourne, Amritsar and eventually London are on the way. “In other once-coddled industries, too, governments are starting to dismantle monopolies. YTL's Mr Yeoh says there will soon be “no hiding place” for firms trying to live from old-fashioned rent-seeking.
The rise of China and India, with their huge home markets, may mean that it is too late for South-East Asia to become big in manufacturing. “The region already dominates some types of agricultural produce: Thailand and Vietnam are the world's two largest rice exporters, for example. Since the region has so much coastline and so many rivers, there is much scope for expanding fish-farming and seafood production. Thai Union, a giant tuna-packer, is already in BCG's top 100. Vietnam, the region's rising star, has several big seafood firms which, if they can resist the regionwide scourge of diversification, may one day reach similar heights.
But they do seem to be linked to the perseverance of narrow elites and to the countries' sluggishness in overcoming old rivalries and building an integrated regional market. It is already too late for Malaysia to catch up to the regions major players, but at least Malaysia may want to remain a little bit ahead of the wost of them all at the bottom rank of S-E Asia. Malaysia has lagged behind because Malaysia’s economic model is built on the FOUNDATIONS OF EXCLUSION. A System that excludes 27 million to enrich an elite of some 10,000 families has no other way to go but DOWN.

March 03, 2008 11:27 AM  
Blogger yapchongyee said...

Khairy Jamaluddin DO NOT BULLSHIT, here is a real case for you and if you are a real OXFORD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE then you will know that Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali needs to be prosecuted for committing criminal offences.

I refer readers to my post on this fellow Khairy Jamaluddin, son in law of the Prime Minister and play-boy with a fleet of very expensive cars, please go to http://yap.chongyee.blogspot.com.

Dear Khairy Jamaluddin is all hot air, lots of empty talk before election and nothing but promises after the election. He has been put into the deputy leadership of UMNO Youth. Where else can his father in law “fast track” him into the front ranks of UMNO and eventually to succeed Ahmad Bedawi as Prime Minister ? I have observed many times that Malaysia is an oligarchy in the IRON GRIP of UMNO elite. The promises he has made so far can only exist in his mind alone and in fact cannot be realized. They are mere empty promises and are not to be taken seriously.

Let me draw this Khairy Jamaluddin’s attention to the ongoing ROYAL COMMISSION INTO JUDICIAL CORRUPTION ! What is Khairy Jamaluddin going to do to ADDRESS JUDICIAL CORRUPTION ? This is what solid and down to earth ISSUES that need to be addressed; and has he said anything about it ? Let me cite my wife’s CASE : ORIGINATING PETITION No.: D2-26-41 of 2001 in the HIGH COURT IN KL was struck out by the PRESIDING JUDGE ZAINON BINTI MOHD. ALI, who is now promoted to the court of Appeal. It is hilariously funny that judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali was so IGNORANT OF THE LAW THAT SHE AWARDED TO THE RESPONDENTS WONG KEM CHEN, STEPHEN LIM CHENG BAN AND KWONG SEA YOON 2 directly OPPOSING ORDERS (a) for security for costs, which my wife paid in the sum of RM.60,000; therefore by this payment by my wife there is nothing else to be done except to go to court; but instead judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali went on to ILLEGALLY AWARD TO THE NAMED RESPONDENTS A SECOND AND OPPOSING ORDER TO STRIKE OUT PETITION.

The ignorance of this judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali is so comically profound THAT ALL HER ACTIONS ON THE BENCH IN HER ADJUDICATION OF MY WIFE’S PETITION WERE CRIMINAL. She committed the following criminal OFFENCES :

(1) Aiding & Abetting respondents Wong Kem Chen, Stephen Lim and Kwong Sea Yoon TO COMMIT the criminal offences of PERJURY & FORGERY
(2) Acting jointly with above criminal respondents in A CONSPIRACY TO PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE
(3) Acting jointly in a conspiracy to obtain money under false pretences
(4) Acting jointly in a conspiracy to obstruct police investigating criminal offences
(5) Committed the criminal offences of Malfeasance.

I had written countless letters to the Malaysian A.-G, Chief Judge of High Court of Malaya, copies to President & Secretary of Malaysian Bar Council and to this day I have not received any response. Here is a Judge of the Highest Court of Malaysia who does not KNOW THAT SHE WAS IN FACT COMMITTING SEVERAL CRIMINAL OFFENCES WHILE PERFORMING HER JUDICIAL DUTIES. I have invited the Malaysian A,G, and all those mentioned above to come to Australia to obtain my EXTRADITION FOR SEDITION so why have they failed to clear the name of Judge Zainon binti Mohd. Ali ? Why bother for the Malaysian Government to spend several millions of Ringgit to hold a bullshit Royal commission when criminal behaviour of Judge Zainon Binti Mohd. Ali is all there to READY FOR PROSECUTION.

What is this fellow Khairy Jamaluddin going to do about a REAL CASE and not one that is hot air. I invite the Malaysian Government to come to Australia to get my EXTRADITION.

March 03, 2008 11:28 AM  
Blogger yapchongyee said...

YEAR 2008 THE YEAR THAT MALAYSIA WILL CHANGE OR BUST !

PART ONE

The 50 years of crony, crooked racist politics has at last culminated to this YEAR OF CHANGE. The last 50 years for the Chinese & Indians were the years of living dangerously; the years of living under the specter of racial pogroms. We were threatened by the Malay KRIS and we accepted these humiliation because MCA & MIC had emasculated our people and all for the personal aggrandizement of a few Chinese & one Indian SAMY VELLOO who crawled on his belly to lend cover to UMNO to further the interests of the UMNO oligarchs.

This year has seen the collapsing of many of the pillars that had for 50 years bewitched the Malay rakyat to believe that THE MALAYS CAN TAKE IT ALL FOR THEMSELVES. UMNO had in fact undermined the development and progress of their own Malay people to stay in power. The so called AFFIRMATIVE ACTION that has for so long deprived the Chinese & Indians had by the twist of fate worked to divide the Malays into the elite who enjoy “connected privileges” and the ordinary RAKYAT whose father is not a Tun, Dato or Tan Sri and hence 22 million who are unconnected live like the Chinese & Indians; largely deprived from a share in the distribution of the national wealth.

The Malay rakyat like the Chinese & Indians too had been cheated by the UMNO oligarch from achieving true and real progress; this had been the irony of fate. The truth is that in all the world, no vested interests group of any modern society can ever keep 45% of their population in a permanent state of privation and expect to achieve a harmonious society. There are 1000’s of living example to draw from, why not look at what has become of UGANDA and the consequences of Idi Amin driving the Indians out ! Why not look at Kenya, and to what is even today taking place that invites comparison with “513” but one that you Malays can see in stark relief is to cite the permanent state of war that exist between the Israelis and the Palestinians; can this war ever in our lifetime see peace ?

I do not think that any argument, however well shaped it might be is going to influence change and we all know that Malaysia really need change. It is quite hilarious to say it but it has to be said that Malaysia under UMNO is headed backwards and towards “FEUDALISM”, and what the Malays see as “MALAY PRIDE”. It is really comical that in this day and age when even the British talk of giving up the royal family bullshit; here comes Malaysia wanting the restoration of feudalism. This craziness has a lot to do with the Malay obsession for “rank” or what the Malays call “pankat”; and in this respect they have restored the ceremonial heraldic titles like “Tun” “Tan Sri” “Dato” etc. I observe in the upcoming election that progenies of former UMNO leaders are entering the elections to take the place of their fathers and fore-bears. These events set the foundations for the calcification of a feudalistic oligarchy; and the surest endorsement of these developments is the public denial by non other than former PM Mahatir Mohd. That in his government he did not approve of “DYNASTIC” politics and that for that reason he did not elevate his son to take his place. That to be sure is debatable !

The fore going discussion is the basis for my perspective that “AFFIRMATIVE ACTION RETARDED THE POSSIBLE PROGRESS OF THE MALAYS”.

(1)Why affirmative action or more correctly RACIAL DISCRIMINATION has retarded the progress of the Malay rakyat & the Malaysian nation as a whole.

The truth hurts, I mean the truth to the Malays hurt, but why bother to say anything if it is not the truth. Malaysia has 23 million Malays, and about 5 million Chinese & Indians. We the minority component of Malaysia do not get a look in on the largesse of the government ever but on the other hand we pay the baulk of income tax ( I think about 55% or a bit more); this has gone on from ever since the first days of independence. To say the least the Chinese communist led by Chin Peng forced the early departure of the British. It was not, as claimed by UMNO that the British were forced to leave Malaysia by the Tengku and his UMNO party. If it was not for the pressure of the Communist, then what is the pressure that forced the British out because the Malays fought the Communist on the side of the British ? It was Chin Peng and the Communist Party fighters that caused the British to haemorrhage national treasure (made the Brits go broke) that forced them to leave Malaysia.

The Chinese & Indians do and did contribute to the development of Malaysia and form the baulk of income tax contributors. The least that we can expect is equal treatment; we do not and have not expected any hand outs from the government. We are Chinese and we can look after ourselves; and we live by very little and we save a lot for capital. What I am saying in a nutshell is that we Chinese willingly accommodate the GOVERNMENT’S UNJUST EXPROPRIATION OF THE NATIONAL WEALTH FOR A SMALL ELITE MALAY GROUP.

I had earlier said that 23 million are Malays, and of these 23 million Malays, how many benefited from government scholarships ? Yes ! every year more than 5,000 (“guestimate” agar agar saja), gain scholarships, but of these only a handful of Malay scholars go on and pursue a course of study that has any practical application; the courses pursued are mostly in the “ARTS” disciplines, and very rarely do we see a Malay pursue a course in engineering or in SCIENCES; as a consequence most Malay graduates cannot find employment outside of the government; WHAT A WASTE OF SCARCE RESOURCES. The source of this dislocation between government largesse and returns of funds for training lies in the fact that recruitment of recipients for scholarships are stymied by nepotism and crony politics; the best that the Malay race can offer will not get the scholarships. You need to be the son of somebody to get anywhere. This distortion of the system has gone on for 50 years and will go on if it is not stopped now.

I had earlier said that we Chinese do accommodate you Malays (mostly because we cannot oppose ), but we also do grudge that what we Chinese have been so crudely deprived of go to benefit only a very few and most of these scarce resources are squandered by irresponsible bureaucrats. The results of this wastage is to train an Army of unemployed “clerks” who can do nothing. Unfortunately this blind affirmative actions cannot produce sufficient numbers of useful and highly skilled workers; Malaysia has not progressed at all in the globalised 21st century. We are behind Vietnam, Thailand, and soon you will be behind such 3rd world minnows like Cambodia and Laos.

Tomorrow, I will discuss why Malaysia will regress economically, while the rest of Asean will pass you by.

March 03, 2008 11:31 AM  

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