Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Between the Sultan and Me!! Nizar, You asked for it!

The Perak matter has seen sympathies flowing to Pakatan Rakyat and Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, in particular.

I too have had my sympathies leaning towards Nizar and the Pakatan leaders in Perak. I even went under the assumption that Najib must have held the Sultan to ransom maybe.

Perakians showed their dismay. Their shock and their disappointment. As much as BN leaders have made all this show of emotion to be tantamount to hatred towards the monarchy, which position the monarchy too has repeated, it certainly is not hatred. It is shock and dismay in the believe that Pakatan Rakyat and Nizar have been done wrong. This misleading labeling of the show of emotions is unfortunately going to lead towards a response from the Authorities as well as the Monarchy that is not going to be in the best interest of anybody. Indeed the noise level from the Monarchy seems to have been raised a little recently which noise was not present during the time of Tun Mahathir's Premiership.

However, Malaysiakini carried this article on the 21 April, 2009 entitled "'Between the sultan and me'"! That being a quote from Nizar. He appears to be proud of all that he has cited in the affidavit that he has filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry the day before. Giving a detailed account of what had transpired at the crucial meeting with the ruler on Feb 4 and 5 Nizar seems proud to reveal what was communicated by him to the Sultan.

Nizar is quoted as having warned the Sultan of the possible consequences he could face in failing to dissolve the state assembly. I reproduce below what was reported in the Malaysiakini report:

"Mohd Nizar said in his affidavit that the sultan had informed him on Feb 5 that he was not acceding to the request to dissolve the assembly.

The ousted menteri besar then requested for another 15-minute audience with the ruler and proceeded to list out several reasons as to why the assembly should be dissolved. These include:

1) He was applying for the dissolution of the assembly based on his power as the menteri besar.

2) Power should be returned to the people to choose a lawful government.

3) If the assembly was dissolved, the people would respect and improve and uplift the image of the royal institution and they would also be thankful. This will show that the sultan is just and non-partisan in letting the people to decide. This was in accordance with the concept of constitutional monarchy, and the democracy principles that the state upholds.

4) The sultan should be thankful and accept God's gift in allowing him to celebrate his silver jubilee and to return the peoples’ right to choose their own government.

5) Should the ruler not grant the dissolution, the people would blame the palace and the sultan himself.

6) Where was BN's morality in accepting Jamaluddin, Mohd Osman and Hee, with two of them facing corruption charges. What if Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman are found guilty of corruption, what would happen next? If the charges are withdrawn, the people would feel that it was based on intervention by the palace or BN.

7) If the assembly is dissolved, the royalty and the palace would be respected in the eyes of the public and international community. Thequestion of immunity of the rulers as brought about by (former premier) Dr Mahathir Mohamad would also be negated.

8) Mohd Nizar cited a passage from Sultan Azlan Shah's book titled 'Constitutional Monarchy, the Rule of Law and Good Governance' which had been given to him by the ruler on his appointment as menteri besar. The passage stated: "Under normal circumstances, it is taken for granted that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would not withhold his consent to a request for the dissolution of the Parliament. His role is purely formal."

9) He also reminded the ruler of what happened in countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt and Iran which once had a monarchy. However, once the monarchy reneged and sided with a political party, it resulted in their downfall.

Refused to resign

Mohd Nizar said he also told the sultan that during his silver jubilee celebrations, the latter had emphasised on good governance and pleaded with the ruler to uphold it by dissolving the assembly.

He also reminded the ruler of the statutory letter signed by the 31 Pakatan elected assemblypersons in support of him being menteri besar which was ordered by the palace.

Following this, Mohd Nizar said: “The sultan slowly raised his face and said he would not order the dissolution and instead called for my resignation.”

Refusing to do so, the ousted menteri besar then replied: "Ampun Tuanku, patik pohon sembah derhaka" (Forgive me your highness, I humbly beg to disagree).

He then kissed the hand of the ruler, who left the room without uttering a word."

So what is the Problem?

Now, I don't know about most of you. But the moment I read this, I felt myself being let down.

If what Nizar did was not patronising, I don't know what is! It would seem to me that the Sultan tried to advise him when he quoted to him the Quranic verse at the meeting on the February 5, "Innallaha maa Sobirin" (God is with the person who is patient)."

Having said that, to go back to the Sultan and to tell him all those things, thinking or assuming that the Sultan does not know of all this certainly would have insulted the intelligence of the Sultan.

I will not be surprised if the Sultan's staid position since then has to do with his sensibilities being ruffled by a most annoying patronising communicae.

To Nizar's credit, it would seem like as if such a communicae, in the extent and in its presumptions that it exudes, I have this feeling that it must have been drawn up by someone other than him or even those who might have any kind of inclinations towards royal protocols. May I suggest that it was the work of some DAP Assemblymen in Perak!

I know, reading this article, I felt disappointed. It was patronising, even to me, what more the Sultan. The Sultan's response, as told by Nizar, is most certainly one that is commensurate with what is deserving when one unschooled in the manners of the cultured behoves himself as Nizar seems to be suggesting that he did.

If the leaders in Pakatan can recognise this and see where it is that they erred, maybe as the Sultan has said "Innallaha maa Sobirin" (God is with the person who is patient).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

1 Malaysia! Najib's Inspiration or Nightmare! Whence it comes from?

Najib Tun Razak finally ascends to the highest office in the nation on the 3rd April. He makes his maiden speech the same night. And, as it would seem, he introduced his inspiration, or so he must have thought. 1 Malaysia! Just the label. No packaging. No content! What has happened since then?

Many have narrated. But I shall pick from what SIM KWANG YANG wrote in his missive published by Malaysiakini entitled Long live the king(makers.

1. Within a week of becoming Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, who many tell me may be racist, although I have not been able to tell, tells Samy Velu to just shut up. And dutifully Samy complied. (Well trained)

2. That same weekend Mingguan Malaysia begins to define for Najib its version or understanding of 1 Malaysia where I suppose Ketuanan Melayu remains in all it embraces in the eyes of bigots. (This was not quoted by Sim).

3. After the results of the by-elections in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau came out Muhyiddin Yassin once again comes up with a statement that is best described, racist. Somehow he expects appreciation from the Chinese when the government does what it is supposed to in the first place.

4. This is followed through by Utusan Malaysia calling for Malay unity to counter the "increasing demands" made by the Chinese and the Indians.

5. Ibrahim Ali, the "independent" PAS ticketed MP from Kelantan, makes a similar call for Unity.

6. Muhiddin more or less warns the Chinese people on the peril of seeing themselves as king-makers.

7. Then Utusan comes out with its very contradictory front page masterpiece. On the one hand you have a picture of the newly minted Prime Minister making chapatis in a Sikh Temple. Yet the main heading was "BANGKITLAH MELAYU". I don't know what that means. But from what I have read so far it does not seem to be very nice. Asking Malays to Rise up to counter the "increasing demands" of the non-Malays.

But hey, these Utusan buggers completely forget that if the Chinese overwhelmingly voted PAS or PKR, theirs only contributed to the substantial numbers of the Malays who voted PAS or PKR. Or is it more convenient to forget as the intention is to raise the temperature of the Malays a bit. To instill fear in them maybe. And then to draw them back into a common fold. And all because they see demons amongst them in the form of the Chinese and the Indians. It always stumps me when our Malaysian leaders allow these ultra Malay papers to get away publishing all these seditious and incitement filled articles and yet proudly declare "Malaysia Truly Asia"!! unless of course they are trying to tell the truth about Asians of course. That we might say one thing when the truth might be another.

Origins of 1 Malaysia!

Of course it was just as surprising to me that in his very first speech Najib has to refer to 1 Malaysia. It is only too obvious that many in UMNO did not like the sound of it. Unity is only for Malays. Not between Malaysians.

Najib too comes with a lot of baggage going back to the time when he pulled out his keris in Kampung Baru, way back in 1987, shouting out that the streets will run with the blood of the Chinese. Or something to that effect. People remember that. I remember that. So, 1 Malaysia coming from him is a little surprising, although beyond that caption, we don't know the packaging. And obviously there is no content.

So where did 1 Malaysia come from? How is Najib inclined towards something as haunting and anathema as this to many of his UMNO colleagues and war lords? Surely nothing that he has said or done in his lifetime that I can think of that I could associate 1 Malaysia or its theme to.


Looking back, It reminds me that the Rukun Negara was proclaimed on the 31 August 1970 by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. It was at a time when his father, the former Prime Minister Tun Razak, was chairing the National Operation Council that was formed shortly after May 13 1969. Presumably, Tun Razak is credited with the Malaysian National Ideology. And yet, what is it that we recite and remember of it? The pledge:

"We, the people of Malaysia, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends, guided by these principles:

Belief in God.

Loyalty to King and Country.

Supremacy of the Constitution.

The Rule of Law.

Mutual respect and good social behaviour. "

But hey, look at the pledge once again. So what if we said that pledge? So what if we abided by those principles? What are we supposed to achieve?

Now this is not anything that is a big secret. Indeed on this matter I am copy pasting from the Malaysian government's own web site. Not Raja Petra's Malaysia Today!! In fact what we are supposed to achieve is what is stated first. And if you re read the pledge above you will see "We, the people of Malaysia, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends,". Yes. to attain these ends!! Anyone knows or recalls what those ends are? Here it is:

"The pledge of the Rukunegara is as follows:

Our Nation, Malaysia is dedicated to:

Achieving a greater unity for all her people;

Maintaining a democratic way of life;

Creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably distributed;

Ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural tradition,

Building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology.

Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy!!!

this is certainly very inconvenient to all those who have obviously responded to Najib's utterance of his 1 Malaysia!

I can see 1 Malaysia drawing its inspiration from what our nation is dedicated to according to the Rukun Negara. Was Najib in fact referring to the Rukun Negara when he stated 1 Malaysia? I cannot see any of the Prime Ministers since Tun Razak, presumably, drawing any kind of inspiration from the Rukun Negara. Surely everything that Tun Mahathir did or followed, policy wise or otherwise was in direct conflict with the Rukun Negara. The same can be said of Abdullah Badawi too.

Najib did not say anything new. Najib did not say anything that was in conflict with the pledge all of us subscribe to. Why the hypocrisy of these UMNO bigots in government as well as in the press? Don't they know the Rukun Negara or the National ideology? Or is this ideology one of Tun Razak's crazy ideas? Now that he is dead and gone, maybe it is a question for Najib to answer!

I can see the 1 Malaysia prescribed by Najib is consistent with what his late father, Tun Razak, prescribed as the National Ideology of the nation way back in 1970. It is sad that this has been throughout this time been shafted and mostly forgotten. Najib may have tested waters including reference to 1 Malaysia in his opening speech. Many have tried to define what it might be within the acceptable mores of their convoluted minds. But I say, 1 Malaysia is right there for all to see in the Rukun Negara. If we have only been able to recite the principles without seeing where it is supposed to head us to, maybe it is about time we started reciting the dedication of the Rukun Negara. Once again:

The pledge of the Rukunegara is as follows:

Our Nation, Malaysia is dedicated to:

Achieving a greater unity for all her people;

Maintaining a democratic way of life;

Creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably distributed;

Ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural tradition,

Building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

So What is it that Distracts You When You Drive?

This was reported in the NZ Herald of 8 April, 2009:

Distractions make modern motoring hazardous

5:00PM Wednesday Apr 08, 2009
The AA says driving requires 100 per cent of anyone's attention.

Shut up, put the sandwich down and keep your eyes on the road.

AA Insurance put the message more politely, but that is the advice emerging from its survey of New Zealand drivers which asked if they ever found themselves distracted from the job at hand.

As expected around half the 3708 people questioned blamed the usual suspects: the radio/CD/MP3 player.

What surprised the insurer was the most common cause of lost concentration (identified by 54 per cent of respondents) was other passengers.

"Gadgets and music are often blamed as dangerous distractions but it may be that the hazard is the one sitting next to you - or arguing in the back seat!" AA deputy general manager Martin Fox said.

"Drivers need to manage the distraction wherever it comes from and it's easy to underestimate how distracting passengers can be."

He said while they were the most frequent issue, passengers still did not match up to cellphones in terms of the degree of distraction.

More than a third of those surveyed said they used cellphones without a hands-free kit, forcing them, in most cases, to remove a hand from the wheel. A further 22 per cent said they often sent text messages while driving.

Eating behind the wheel proved a widespread practice with 54 per cent indulging while reading billboards consumed the attention or a further 34 per cent.

"Really, if you're driving, it should be the only thing you're doing," Mr Fox said.

One anomaly in the statistics was the practice of personal grooming.

Just 8 per cent reported applying make-up, yet 68 per cent said they'd caught others in the act.



Can you think of any other distractions? I can already think of a number of things that I cannot write about!

But some of the worst is when the wife sitting next to me suddenly goes revisiting her shopping expedition and starts citing the items bought and their costs and then the discounts and I am supposed to add, divide, multiply, frationate and factorise and whatever not that is needed. Oh boy that was taxing..But the worst distractions were the fights Survived all this!!! Thank God!!! Somebody's watching me I suppose!!