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Thread: The rat race part v - the malaysian rat race

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V - THE MALAYSIAN RAT RACE - The other freedom fighters

    There's another part to this story - the pragmatism of the Thai government. They let the communists stay in Southern Thailand and in northern Thailand, north of Chiangmai, they let the remnants of the Chinese Kuomintang, who fled China, stay and open up the land.

    Why we stay here, even when we love home

    K Kabilan, Aug 31, 09

    Kampung Chulaborn 12, or Ban Chulaborn Patana 12, in Thailand is no ordinary village. It is located deep in a jungle with the nearest town Shukirin about an hour's drive.

    The distance to this village from the border town of Golok is some 70 kilometres but the rugged terrain and poor road conditions mean a travel time of almost two hours.

    The residents of this village are also a group of 'special visitors of the Thai government' for they are all members of the 10th Regiment of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).

    This village used to be their base camp and after the 1989 peace agreement between the CPM, the Thai government and the Malaysian government, these former members of the party were permitted to remain living there.

    When it started, the village had about 260 people, most of whom were CPM members and their families, who had agreed to lay down their weapons. They were led by their revered leader Abdullah CD and his wife, Suriani Abdullah.

    Today their number stands at about 460 – including extended families and outsiders, and they are still under the watchful eye of their 'protectors', Abdullah and his wife.

    “This is beautiful, peaceful village. We have what we want here. The crime rate is almost non-existent. We are a close community,” said 52-year-old village head and ex-communist Dome Za, a Malay-speaking Thai.

    “Although I'm the village head, we still seek advice from Abdullah and Suriani on the running of the village,” he added.

    About 20 veteran communist leaders, all peers of Abdullah, are still living in this village. Almost all of them were from Malaya originally.

    They had joined the 10th Regiment in May 1949 and then moved to the Thai-Malaya border in 1953, to remain in the jungles until the peace deal was signed in 1989.

    But why didn't these former guerrilla fighters return to their homeland?

    'Guiding lights' of the regiment

    Abdullah and Suriani, who had visited Malaysia a several times, including a visit to the Perak Sultan, were adamant in remaining in the village.

    “We have our home here... our family is here, our friends are here,” Abdullah told Malaysiakini.

    “Also I'm against the Internal Security Act as well as a host of other laws in Malaysia. I don't want them to catch me using any small excuse,” he said with his trademark laughter and slap on the thigh.

    The influence of this couple is visible in the village but that is understandable as they were the guiding lights of the regiment during their war years in the jungle.

    “We realise that it is time for the younger generation to take up the leadership role. We also realise that both Abdullah and Suriani are getting older and are not as healthy as they once were,” said Dome.

    “We will surely miss them when they are no longer with us but I think we can manage somehow.”

    For others, such as veteran guerrilla fighter Asi (left in photo), Abdullah and Suriani are like his parents.

    “I joined the movement at the age of 11 and I have known them since I was 13,” said the 70-year-old Sungai Siput-born man of Indian parentage.

    He is also the only remaining Indian communist left. (His story will be published tomorrow).

    “I can't imagine my life out of this village,” said Asi, who is married to a Thai communist and has a daughter.

    After the peace agreement, each communist member who wanted to return to Malaysia was given RM300 per month for three years by the Malaysian government.

    Those who elected to stay put at the village got a Thai government financial assistance of 540 baht (about RM54) per month for three years, a house and six acres of land.

    First batch of university graduates

    “The Thai government has helped us a lot and continues to support us,” said the village head.

    He added that the Thai princess Chulaborn Mahidol adopted the village in 1993 until 2004 and during that period, the village was supplied with electricity and water supply.

    Today almost all houses have a television set with their distinctive long antennas to get better access. One or two houses even have Internet access using a satellite receiver.

    There is a government clinic for the villagers with a hospital attendant on stand-by on all working days.

    A museum to highlight the historical moments of 10th Regiment is a must-see at this village but it is in need of financial aid to continue running.

    They also have a primary school attended by children from the village and other neighbouring villages. This year's intake stands at 88 pupils.

    “We also have six of our young ones studying in universities in Thailand. They are our first batch of university students. We also have about 100 of our children studying in secondary schools outside of this village, either in Narathiwat or elsewhere in southern Thailand,” said Dome, whose son is one of the pioneer batch of undergraduates from the communist village.

    'We don't want to return home'

    Most of the villagers tend their plot of land with rubber or fruit trees but complain of a low return due to over-supply of fruits and low yield of rubber due to the climate.

    “But I guess we will still call this place home. Back in Malaysia, we have nothing... only bad name perpetuated by the government's lies against our contributions although we had fought so hard for the sake of Malaya in the first place,” said veteran guerrilla fighter Shukor Ismail, 80.

    “Even though I have no blood relations here... these are all my comrades, my friends and I want to be with them until the end. Not with some strangers, though relatives, in Malaysia,” he added, with a touch of irony.

    “Malaya is still my country. I still have feelings for it. I love Malaysia, or I would not have struggled and sacrificed my life for it. However it just makes better sense to live in Thailand now.

    “Not just because they have taken better care of us but also because of the fear of how we will be looked at if we return home,” added Shukor.

    “For that reason, we don't want to return to Malaysia, our beloved homeland,” he said with a tinge of sadness and regret in his voice.

    And this sums up the sentiment of almost all communist veterans in this village although some of them are in regular contact with their families in Malaysia. Malaysiakini. Subscription required.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V - The last pickings of race ideology

    The last pickings of race ideology - Ooi Kee Beng

    SEPT 4 - Thanks to the bloody war against Nazi Germany, Britain evolved in the history books from being a global empire that rationalised its conquests with ideas of racism into being the destroyer of racism.

    This is one of the greatest paradoxes of modern history, and there is certainly a lot we can learn from it about the writing of history and about how global paradigms actually do shift, especially when blood has flowed.

    After the horrors of racism came home to roost in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and tens of millions had died in the process, European mainstream politics could no longer make use of the notion of "race".

    >From 1945 onwards, little support could be gained for arguments about purity of blood, and the notion of race in general. "Race" quickly became a political taboo in the continent of its birth.

    In sync with the fall of racism and the discrediting of racialism, the empires of the West crumbled like black-and-white domino bricks. Throughout the world, once-inferior groups rose to take the reins of power and to rule themselves.

    Although these empires easily disintegrated into states, the ethnic mix that commonly populates such structures would not separate as readily.

    In many cases, the resulting nation-states had to come into being bloodily. The most dramatic of these was the partition of British India into the republics of India and Pakistan in August 1947 which left a million dead and displaced countless millions.

    In some colonised areas, the Ideology of Racial Hierarchy was easily abandoned. However, white supremacy clung on, for example in regions like the breakaway Southern Rhodesia (1965-1975). It took its most prominent and disdainful form in South Africa, under the apartheid system that lasted from 1948 to 1993.

    In British Malaya, one may say that the separation of Malaysia and Singapore in 1965 was necessitated by ethnic differences, in keeping with post-colonial trends elsewhere.

    In order to neutralise ethnic tensions and put them out of play, Singapore took the short cut of strictly classifying ethnic groups so as to guarantee the right for each to learn its mother tongue, and for prevent residential segregation along ethnic lines.

    In Malaysia, affirmative action in favour of the majority Malays was implemented in 1970 to correct socio-economic imbalances. However, this initiative has been warped to institutionalise racialist thought over the years, and its time limit discarded.

    The Ideology of Racial Hierarchy, now backed by religious arguments, thus managed to survive in Malaysia, which thus has the dubious distinction of being perhaps the last bastion of a divisive principle of social organisation imported once upon a time into the region by colonial conquerors.

    Thus, Malay supremacists can be seen freely expressing their racism in the mainstream press in a way that would lead to immediate and harsh government sanction in most other parts of the world.

    Given the historical presentation above, we are hopefully seeing the tail-end of this overextended global phenomenon.

    The swiftness with which the discourse of race was thrown into the rubbish heap of history, at least in Europe, was aided by the ideological dynamics of the Cold War that immediately followed the Nazi defeat.

    The paradigm of class struggle rapidly and thoroughly came to define international relations for half a century.

    With the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, global capitalism took over as the discursive solvent of ethnic differences, wherewith the absorption of all human economies in the global melting pot is assumed to hold the potential to defuse group tensions.

    For now, the main challenge to global economism - aside from its periodic collapses and increasing environmental destruction - seems to be the various forms of religious extremism that have sprung up in recent decades all over the world.

    Malaysia's position today in this evolution of political thought is determined by its sad inability to discard past mistakes. Not only did it keep alive the institution of detention without charge or trial used half a century ago against communist insurgents, it has also continued practicing the Ideology of Racial Hierarchy as if it were indigenous to the region.

    Mahathir Mohamed once boasted that the West had to learn detention without trial or charge from Malaysia after the 9/11 bombings in New York. Hopefully, the West will not seek to re-import racist discourse from the country as well.

    As it is, great interest has been shown by black-majority South Africa in Malaysia's New Economic Policy and its applicability there. Hopefully, the South Africans will be vigilant enough to note the sad tendency that affirmative action that is aimed at benefiting the ethnic majority holds to evolve into counterproductive and archaic racism. -
    Ooi Kee Beng is a Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. His latest book is titled, Arrested Reform: The Undoing of Abdullah Badawi (Refsa; Kuala Lumpur, 2009).

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by pywong

    During our younger days, we found history deathly boring. We did not realize then that history was a very powerful tool used by the Ruling Class for indoctrination, manipulation, propaganda, misinformation and spreading of lies.

    20 Oct 1947: Hartal – general strike led by PUTERA-AMCJA

    Fahmi Rezas Film on 1947 Hartal.

    Download from DVD quality film here: 1947 Hartal

    This film demonstrated how the various communities, especially the working class, united in their fight against the British for Independence and clearly showed that there was no racial problems nor was it UMNO who alone fought for Independence. This was what UMNO did not want the public to know.

    An indication of the importance of this event is that UMNO has consistently tried to suppress public knowledge of it. Mind you, this happened before UMNO even came to power! Do not miss this show!
    More background on the 1947 Constitution:

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Chapter 2: The Social Contract - Who needs a social contract?

    Quote Originally Posted by pywong
    (A look at Malaysian history beyond race and religion)

    Chapter 2: The Social Contract - How We Got It All Wrong!


    For 50 years both sides of the political spectrum believed they were right, blissfully unaware that they were conned as Rats!

    We have to break free from the mental cage of race and religion and learn to look at our situation through the concept of class division and as Malaysians. Until we do, we will never be free.

    Who needs a social contract?

    Posted by admin
    Sunday, 06 September 2009 11:52

    By Kee Thuan Chye, The Sun

    It is merely a ploy to remind certain groups that they should know their place and therefore not make any demands. Thus, to give attention to such a ploy and go through the rigmarole of working out a social contract would be to engage in a messy – and unnecessary – exercise.
    LAST week, I heard on BFM Radio an interview with a Malaysian about the meaning of Merdeka. When he was asked about the so-called “social contract” that was supposedly made by our founding fathers, and whether he believed it existed, he said that if it didn’t, why don’t we make one now?

    Who needs such a social contract? Why should there be one 52 years after our nation attained independence? You mean, after all these years of Malaysian citizens living together and co-developing this blessed land, we still need a social contract? Whatever for? Because we don’t trust one another? We need something akin to a pre-nuptial contract? Hey, brother, the wedding took place 52 years ago! Malaysiatoday....

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V - Govts don't like natives living off the land

    Natives living off the land are outside the Rat Race and can't be exploited so easily. The solution for the Ruling Class is to drive them off the land. Hence all those land-grab cases in Sabah & Sawarak.

    Spears versus bulldozers in Borneo

    By Jonathan Gorvett in Sarawak State, Borneo
    Thursday, September 03, 2009, 06:50 GMT

    The Penan in Long Deloh say the land around their homes has belonged
    to them for generations

    In the jungles of central Borneo, loggers and native tribes,
    environmentalists and plantation companies, rights lawyers and
    government developers are now locked in an increasingly desperate

    The future of one of the world's last great rainforests is at stake.

    The outcome of this fight could determine much beyond Borneo's borders
    too, as environmental scientists become increasingly alarmed at the
    effect deforestation taking place here is having on the world's

    The current front line in this confrontation lies about 160km inland
    from the town of Miri, in the Eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak on
    the island of Borneo.

    In recent days a string of barricades have gone up in this region, the
    Upper Baram river, as native tribespeople try to prevent logging and
    plantation companies entering what the tribesmen see as the last
    remnants of their land.

    Spears and machetes

    One such barricade is outside Long Deloh where, across a narrow
    logging track in the heart of the Borneo rainforest, a thin line of
    Penan tribesmen defend a makeshift blockade with spears and local
    machetes, known as parangs.

    "This has been our land for generations and now they are trying to cut
    down what little we have left," says Jackson Luhat Paren, the headman
    of the village of Long Deloh, whose inhabitants built the barricade.
    __________________________________________________ ______

    "We are here because we want to preserve our land for the
    next generation. Without our land we are nothing and we
    will defend it with our lives if necessary"

    - Jackson Luhat Paren, headman of Long Deloh
    __________________________________________________ ______

    "We are here because we want to preserve our land for the next
    generation. Without our land we are nothing and we will defend it with
    our lives if necessary."

    The Penan claim that the land around their long houses is their Native
    Customary Rights (NCR) land.

    This is land that native people can claim under Sarawak law as their
    own, if they can prove that they have cultivated it prior to 1958.

    Yet the once-nomadic Penan have few documents to prove anything - some
    even lack identity cards or birth certificates.

    "This is where the whole problem lies," says Baru Bian, a lawyer based
    in the Sarwak capital of Kuching, who has worked on the NCR issue for
    many years.

    "It is quite a challenge to prove a claim to NCR [land] in court,
    while in the meantime, the government has gone ahead and issued
    licenses to logging and plantation companies to work this disputed

    Oil palm plantations

    While logging has continued in Sarawak for decades, it is the recent
    growth of the oil palm industry which has become an overshadowing
    threat for the Penan.

    The government plans to have allocate one million hectares to oil palm
    plantations by 2010. Oil palm trees provide a source of food and a
    potential source of bio-diesel.

    Yet many environmental scientists are alarmed by the effect of
    replacing natural forest growth with a single species of tree.

    "This is really the big story in climate change," says Lois Verchot,
    the principal scientist for Climate Change at the Jakarta-based Centre
    for International Forestry Research.

    "One of the key problems in carbon emissions comes from cutting down
    the rainforest. Perhaps 40-50 tonnes of carbon per hectare is stored
    in an oil palm plantation, while 150-400 tonnes of carbon is stored in
    a hectare of natural rainforest.

    "You cut down the rainforest to plant oil palm, you release a huge
    amount of carbon. Plus many animals can't live in oil palm
    plantations. Orangutans, for example, need a completely different
    forest habitat to survive."

    Yet the state government of Sarawak argues that developing this land -
    by logging, clearing and then planting for oil palm - is the best
    chance the people of the state have for future prosperity.

    Fighting poverty?

    "The economics of it are simple," says Abdullah Chek Sahmat, the
    general manager of Sarawak's Land Custody and Development Authority.

    "The traditional way to use forest land maybe provides about 500kg of
    rice a year, using slash and burn farming techniques that are also
    environmentally damaging," he says.

    Cutting down natural rainforest releases "huge amounts of carbon", says

    "This 500kg of rice is worth about $142 per hectare per year. If you
    put the same land under oil palm, you'll make $3550 per hectare per
    year at current prices."

    "If you want people to get out of poverty, which way makes the most
    sense?" he asks.

    Meanwhile, the Penan, who are among some of Sarawak's poorest
    inhabitants, are facing their own bleak battle for survival.

    The 100 or so inhabitants of Long Deloh were nomadic until a few
    generations ago, when they settled in two long houses at a remote bend
    in the River Patah.

    "The hills around here were deeply forested and full of animals,"
    recalls Along Hot, a Long Deloh inhabitant and hunter.

    "You could find leopards, wild boar and orangutans. The water in the
    river was clear and you could drink it, you could use a net to catch
    fish there were so many."

    All that changed, these Penan say, when the logging companies arrived.

    Water 'polluted'

    "There were a lot of illnesses from drinking the water after the
    logging company came," says Jackson.

    "The animals started disappearing too, scared away by the chainsaws.
    We also lost a lot of our fruit trees and fish ponds that became
    filled with rubbish from the logging."

    Some of the Penan are now facing severe shortages of food and drinking

    On August 23, the Catholic Church in Sarawak appealed for aid for a
    number of Penan communities in the region.

    A bad drought has exacerbated existing shortages.

    Modernisation as a solution

    The government, meanwhile, says that such crises can only be averted
    if the Penan move out of the forest and into modern settlements.

    "The Penans need education and medical care as part of the development
    process," says local state assemblyman Nelson Balang, a member of
    Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional group.

    "Some Westerners want the Penan to stay as they are, in poverty," adds
    Chek Sahmat of the Land Custody and Development Authority.

    "But we must do what is in the interests of our own people, or we will
    not be a free country."

    The Penan, however, stand defiant.

    "We have no choice but to defend this barricade," says Jackson.

    "We are trying to defend our culture, our whole way of life. If we
    lose this, what will be left for our children and our children's

    Source: Al Jazeera

    VIDEO: Plight of Borneo's Penan

    Humble Penan resist logging, oil palm giants

    5 September 2009 at 1.31pm

    Penan forest inhabitants are battling to save their ancestral lands
    from the might of plantation and timber companies, who have already
    stripped most of the primary rainforests in Sarawak.

    Whatever happened to the much touted "sustainable forest management"?
    How were primary rainforests flattened for acacia tree and oil palm
    plantations, dealing a devastating blow to biodiversity?

    Look at the greed of these logging and plantation firms. And when it
    comes to the interests of these giant firms vs those of ordinary
    people (like the Penan, in this case) - you know whose side the
    politicians will be on, as usual.

    Check out this Aljazeera article here as well.

    Natives given tips on how to defend their land

    Joe Fernandez | Sep 1, 09 6:48am

    Native landowners in Sabah have only themselves to blame if they eventually
    end up landless and are forced to seek refuge in the shanty towns littering
    urban areas.

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse and inaction in the face of encroachments
    onto their land is the sure path to landlessness.

    This is the stark reminder that land rights and green activist, Kong Hong
    Ming, has for participants at well-attended training workshops and seminars
    for native landowners conducted by Pacos (Partners of Community
    Organisations) Trust Sabah.

    Kong was also briefly a state minister during the PBS administration
    (1985-1994) and is presently the Sabah PKR deputy chief.

    "Simply doing nothing and hoping that those who want to take your land away
    will disappear one day is not an option," said Kong at the end of a two-day
    Pacos workshop over the weekend in Kota Kinabalu for 200 native landowners
    from all over the state and a delegation of Orang Asli from Perak.

    "You as the native landowners must take the initiative and fight for your
    land and rights. Don't expect someone else to do it for you. That will prove
    very costly in the long run."

    Kong, a senior practicing lawyer himself and formerly an engineer with the
    government for 10 years, advised native landowners not to immediately seek
    the help of lawyers or the courts to press their land claims. These are the
    last options, not the first, added Kong.

    "Even worse, there are people who keep running to this legislator or that
    legislator, getting them to write letters here and there. Nothing will come
    from all this. Don't go to the political parties and waste your time. They
    are not familiar with the issues involved."

    Fought many legal battles, won only one

    Citing from his own experience as a lawyer, he said that he had fought many
    battles in court on behalf of native landowners and lost every single case
    except one - the Rambilin case.

    In this case, justice Ian Chin ruled in favour of his client Madam Rambilin
    Binte Ambit, a widow left some land by her late husband.

    "This is the first time that a big company lost against a small landowner,"
    continued Kong. "Justice Ian Chin was the same judge who had ruled against
    my clients in almost all my previous native land cases.

    "The difference between the Rambilin case and the other cases is that in the
    former I based it on common law from Malaysia, from Australia and many other
    countries. In the other cases, I based it on the Land Ordinance, which is a
    deadender for native landowners when it comes to taking on the big

    Kong cautioned against native landowners rushing to judgment by using common
    law arguments but rather consider it as the last resort assuming other
    aspects of their cases are in order.

    Kong explained that to establish native customary rights (NCR) over land
    that doesn't belong to a private party or the state, a claimant must have
    had a house erected on the land in question and dwelt there for at least
    three years, undertaken agricultural activities for a similar length of time
    and planted at least 50 trees to a hectare.

    "This is all you need to do to establish your claim as natives to NCR,"
    explained Kong who fears at the back of his mind that somehow things may be
    too late for far too many people in the state. "NCR land can also be passed
    down under Section 15 of the Land Ordinance.

    "Remember that you (native landowners) have been here in Sabah long before
    Malaysia, before the British, before the British North Borneo Chartered
    Company and certainly before any government was formed. You have your 'adat'
    (customary rites) to protect you. The constitution allows space for 'adat'."

    Establishing NCR claims is not enough however, warned Kong, "and constant
    and consistent efforts must be undertaken to maintain the validity of any
    such claims in the face of encroachments by other individuals, companies and
    even the government. There will be attempts to divide you. Stay united and
    think of the future of your children, grandchildren and generations to

    Practical steps to hold on to NCR land

    Three steps must be taken to ensure that NCR claims are not eroded by the
    passage of time, encroachments and inaction on the part of native
    landowners, according to Kong:

    1. 'Bantahan' (protest) to the Land Office in the case of encroachment by
    parties who don't have a NCR claim to the land in question;

    2. Ask the Land Office officially in writing, as per the proper format, for
    a 'siasatan awam' (public inquiry); and

    3. As a last resort approach the courts.

    "Get the Land Office to acknowledge receipt of every written communication
    with them," advised Kong.

    "Files and documents can go missing and Land Office staff may be on the take
    from others who are after your land. This has been proven in many cases in
    the past."

    The Land Office, said Kong, can and may ignore requests for a public inquiry
    "owing to ignorance, apathy, pressure from people after NCR land or because
    of its reliance on the Land Ordinance only."

    However, native landowners need not worry. All they need to do is to make
    three attempts, at three-month intervals, to have a public inquiry held and,
    in the event of repeated failure, approach the courts.

    "There are lawyers who can help you with matters like these," said Kong. "I
    myself have handled many cases. In none of the cases have I taken even a
    single sen - the kampung people are too poor - nor taken even an inch of
    land in return."

    Kong rushed to assure the surprised gathering that his only interest in the
    matter, as a social activist, was "to ensure that the natives don't end up
    losing their land to become refugees in their own country and squatters in
    the shantytowns in urban areas populated by illegal immigrants".

    "All this will happen, if they are not already happening, if you are not
    very careful," predicted Kong bleakly.

    "In the worst case scenario, short of the confiscation of your land without
    anything in return, you are entitled to compensation under the law."

    'You're nothing without your land'

    Kong doesn't encourage the acceptance of compensation, however, "since land
    is forever - unless the government acquires it for a public purpose - and
    you are nothing without your land".

    The lawyer's best advice to the gathering was to "protect themselves from
    themselves" and join forces to request the assistant collector of Land
    Revenue to establish a communal title to NCR land.

    "Communal titles will be held in trust for the people by the
    assistantcCollector of Land Revenue and cannot be sold, exchanged or given
    away to anyone," stressed Kong. "Communal titles can be passed on and, if
    necessary, even subdivided at some point in time in the future into
    individual titles."

    During question time, at the end of his almost two-hour briefing, Kong was
    peppered with questions from landowners from Pensiangan, Nabawan, Tenom,
    Sook, Beluran, Kudat, Pitas, Ranau and Nabalu, among others.

    One questioner surprised the gathering when he came armed with documents
    showing that police in Beluran, along the east coast, had taken it upon
    themselves to call for a meeting on July 16 in Telupid of native landowners
    and a company, accompanied by its lawyers, who was after their land.

    "This is nothing but abuse of power," said Kong.

    "What have the police got to do with this case? They are probably trying to
    assist the company involved to frighten the native landowners into
    submission. Such things should never happen. Action can be taken against the
    police officers involved since they minuted the meeting and there's ample

    Respect native rights verdicts to end Baram blockades

    Global scrutiny of Penan blockades

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V - Native girls raped

    This may not be apparent to many but this is an indication of the consequences of the Ruling Class trying to drive the natives off the land and forcing them into the Dollar Economy, whereby they have to work for pieces of paper printed by Bank Negara.

    Human beings have the capacity for great evil if there is no accountability.

    Gov't report confirms Penan girls were raped
    Keruah Usit, Sep 9, 09

    The government has made public a shocking report on sexual abuse of Penan girls and women by logging camp workers in Baram, Sarawak.

    Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil yielded to pressure from civil society groups to investigate the claims. Malaysiakini. Subscription required.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V - Chin Peng was played out by the Tunku

    For the historical record.

    Proof of betrayal

    Collin Abraham
    Sep 9, 09
    It is important to emphasise that Tunku's 'promise' (statement of intent) of further peace talks after Baling prompted Chin Peng to make the unprecedented offer to 'lay down arms'. Indeed this offer so surprised Tunku himself that he requested the former during the talks to repeat it. Malaysiakini. Subscription required.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V -THE MALAYSIAN RAT RACE: Creating a Malaysian identity

    Quote Originally Posted by pywong
    Chapter 3.5: 1945 to 1957 How UMNO Sold Out to the British.


    At the start of this thread, we said:
    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana.

    Another truth: History is written by the victors.
    One of UMNO's tactics to control power is to create a monolithic race through constitutional fiat, that they can control using propaganda and religion. Michael Chick describes below their ludicrous attempts at doing so.

    It also involves UMNO stealing a lot of Indonesia's cultural heritage and claim it as their own. This has created another crisis of its own - Indonesian Vigilantes Prepare For Battle in Malaysia .

    Identity Crisis

    Posted by admin
    Saturday, 03 October 2009 11:26

    By Michael Chick

    Malaysia is an interesting Lab Rat. These experiments are carried out by a herd of Migratory Half-Breeds who claim to be "Sons of the Soil". In fact, the citizens call them "The Government". And these interesting experiments are about seeking an identity, which UMNO (The Government) does not seem to quite grasp. Of course, the Citizens love them to death. Identity Crisis .

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    When you don't have your own history, create it or better still, steal it. That has been UMNO's strategy over the past 6 decades. Indonesia is of course, fed-up with UMNO's thievery. So the need to assuage the Indonesian's anger.

    Jakarta KL to hold history dialogue.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART V - Razaleigh's views on our history and the Constitution

    This is a useful perspective given by Tengku Razaleigh on our early history leading to the drafting of the Constitution. It should be clear that UMNO, in their obsession with maintaining their hold on power, has broken the Social Contract and violated the Constitution. The only option for us to regain our rights and freedom is to sack UMNO during the next elections.

    Razaleigh on Chinese funerals and escaped crocs

    16 Oct 09

    The following is an abstract of the keynote speech by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in the launch of the book Multi-ethnic Malaysia.

    I am honoured that you have asked me to address you today. I am not a scholar. All I can offer today are the personal views of a Malaysian who has seen a little of the history of this marvelous country, and tried to play my part in it.

    I say a marvelous country, because Malaysia, for all its frustrations and perils, is truly special, truly beautiful. We are a coming together of communities, cultures, traditions and religions unlike anything anywhere else.It is not in political sloganeering or in tourist jingos that we find our special nature. We recover it only by paying attention to the concrete details of our everyday life and our particular history. Wonder is found in the details.

    Let me tell you a story:

    I grew up in Kota Bharu. My father was fond of Western cuisine and had a Hainanese cook who prepared the dishes he enjoyed.

    One day, while the cook was feeding the tigers in our home, a piece of meat got stuck in between the bars of the cage.

    (I should explain that we had a mini zoo in our home. My father was fond of animals and we shared a home with tigers, a bear, crocodiles and other creatures in the compound. The animals were very fond of my father. The tigers would come up to him to have their backs stroked. The bear would accompany him on his walks around the garden. The crocodiles made their escape in one of Kota Bharu's annual floods, which I always remember as a happy time because of the water sports it made possible. My father sent us out to look for them. What he expected us to do when we found them I am not sure.)

    To return to my story, one day the cook was feeding the tigers, and a piece of meat got stuck between the bars of the cage. The cook tried to dislodge it. As he did so, he failed to notice the tiger. The tiger swatted his hand. Within 24 hours, our poor cook was dead from the infection caused by the wound.

    Our family was in grief. He was dear to us all. He had no known relatives. So my father took it upon himself to arrange a full Chinese funeral for the cook, complete with a brass band and procession, and invited all the cook's friends. We children followed in respect as the process wove its way through the town.

    Your own stories, if you recall the actual details, will be no less strange than my own. Some of the details here might scandalise people in these supposedly more enlightened times. They don't fit into the trimmed down, sloganised narratives of who we are and how we came to be.

    This is over the years we have allowed politics to tell us who we are and how we should remember ourselves. We have let political indoctrination, jingoism, and a rising tide of bad taste overcome our memory of ourselves. We have let newspapers, textbooks and even university courses paint a crude picture of who we are, what we fear and what we hope for.

    This depletes our culture, but there is also a political consequence. The picture that our current politics paints of us is devoid of wonder, and therefore of possibility.

    Our politics has become an enemy of our sense of wonder. Instead it has sown doubt, uncertainty and fear. These are disabling emotions. It is not by accident that authoritarian regimes everywhere begin their subjugation of people by cutting them off from their past.

    Systematically, they replace the richly textured memories of a community that make people independent, inquisitive and open with prefabricated tales that weaken them into subjugation through fear and anxiety. They destroy the markers of memory, the checks and balances of tradition and institution, and replace them with a manufactured set of images all pointing to a centralised power.

    Our path to the recovery of a sense of nationhood is not through an equally crude reaction, but through a retrieval of our personal and collective memory of living in this blessed land and sharing it each other. The work done by the contributors to this volume are part of a civilising project to bring to light the fine detail of who we are, against the politicised and commercialised caricatures that have made our racialised politics seem natural and inevitable.

    Our own stories, individually and as a country, are full of curious processions, walking bears, and escaped crocodiles. We should begin to wonder again at this amazing country we find ourselves sharing. In that wonder we shall recover what it is we love about being who we are, who we are amongst, and we shall more fiercely defend not just our own, but each others' freedoms.

    Our constitution a Western imposition?

    One place for us to begin this process together is our federal constitution.

    The spirit in which Malaysia came to be is captured in our constitution. At the moment of our independence, Malaysia possessed firm foundations in the rule of law and was permeated with a spirit of constitutionalism.

    The constitution is the ultimate safeguard of our fundamental liberties. These are liberties which cannot be taken away.

    One view put out by those who are impatient with these safeguards is that our constitution is an external and Western imposition upon us, that it is the final instrument of colonialism. People have drawn on this view to subject the constitution to some higher or prior principle, be it race, religion or royalty.

    Of course, the proponents of such views tend to identify themselves with these higher principles in order to claim extra-constitutional powers. These are transparent attempts at revisionism which erode the supremacy of the constitution. We should have the confidence to reject such moves politely but firmly, whoever advocates them, whatever their social or religious status.

    The truth is that our constitution was built by a deliberately consultative process aimed at achieving consensus. The Reid Commission was proposed by a constitutional conference in London attended by four representatives of the Malay rulers, the chief minister of the federation, Tunku Abdul Rahman and three other ministers, and also by the British high commissioner in Malaya and his advisers.

    This conference proposed the appointment of an independent commission to devise a constitution for a fully self-governing and independent Federation of Malaya. Their proposal was accepted by the Malay rulers and Queen Elizabeth.

    The Reid Commission met 118 times in Kuala Lumpur between June and October 1956, and received 131 memoranda from various individuals and organisations. The commission submitted its working draft on Feb 21, 1957, which was scrutinised by a working committee. The working committee consisted of four representatives from the Malay rulers, another four from the Alliance government, the British high commissioner, the chief secretary, and the attorney-general.

    On the basis of their recommendations, the new federal constitution was passed by the Federal Legislative Council on Aug 15, 1957, and the constitution took effect on Aug 27.

    As you can tell from this narrative, the commission solicited the views of all sections of our society and had, throughout, the support and participation of the Malay rulers and the Alliance government. The process preserved the sovereignty of the Malay rulers.

    The resulting document, like all things man-made, remains perfectible, but most certainly it is ours. It brought our nation into being, and it is our document.

    The question of whether the federation should be an Islamic state, for example, was considered and rejected by the rulers and by the representatives of the people. Had we wanted to be ruled by syariah, the option was on the shelf, so to speak, and could easily have been taken, because prior to this the states were ruled by the sultans according to syariah law.

    The fact that we have a constitution governed by common law is not an accident nor an external imposition. We chose to found our nation on a secular constitution after consultation and deliberation.

    Our country was built on the sophisticated and secure foundation of a constitution that we formed for ourselves. For us to continue to grow up as a country we need to own, understand and defend it.

    Sadly part of the memory we have lost is of our constitution and of the nature of that constitution. Today, in the aftermath of the scene-shifting election results of March 2008, people are restless and uneasy about the ethnic relations, and about their future. There is a sense of anxiety about our nation that is often translated into fear of ethnic conflict.

    I think we should not fear. On an inviolable foundation of equal citizenship, the rights of each and every community are protected. These protections are guaranteed in the constitution. What we should be uneasy about is not so much ethnic discord, which is often manufactured for political ends and has little basis in the daily experience of our citizens, but the subversion of our constitution. Such subversion is only possible if we forget that this constitution belongs to us, protects us all, and underwrites our nationhood and we fail to defend it.

    Our country had a happy beginning in being built on firm foundations in the rule of law. A strong spirit of constitutionalism guided our early decades. The components of that spirit are respect and understanding for the rule of law, and the upholding of justice and liberty.

    That spirits is antithetical to communal bickering and small-minded squabbling over fixed pie notions of education, economy or whatever. That spirit has declined and with it has come all kinds of unease. It is time we recovered it. With its recovery will come our confidence as a nation once more.

    The political framework of this country cries out for reform. But reform is not about the blind embrace of the new. That would be to fly from disorder to confusion. Our path to reform must come from a recovery of the "old" living spirit of constitutionalism, and the "old" values of freedom and justice, and the "old" memories each of us carries in themselves of what is good about our nation.

    The power of the free vote

    I have warned that Umno, like any other political party that has been in power for so long, must reform, or it will be tossed out by the people. The people themselves have had a taste of the power of their free vote.

    They know that parties and governments answer to the people, and not vice versa, they want a repeal of draconian laws, and they have lost patience with corruption. They seek accountability, justice and rule of law. The people are ahead of the government of the day, but the principles they want to see applied are universal, and they are enshrined in our constitution.

    It is not just Umno that needs to reform. The entire political system needs to change, to be in greater conformity with our constitution and in the spirit of the Rukun Negara, which says from these diverse elements of our population, we are dedicated to the achievement of a united nation in which loyalty and dedication to the nation shall over-ride all other loyalties.

    We should not expect our political parties to reform of their own accord. Leaders who owe their position to undemocratic rules and practices are the last people to accept reform. The people must demand it. I say we need a movement embraced by people at all levels and from every quarter of our rakyat, to establish a national consensus on how our political parties should conduct themselves from now on.

    What we need now is the rise of an empowered public. Democracy in Malaysia is fragile so long as public opinion remains weak. Our hope for a more democratic future depends on our ability to build a strong public opinion. It's good news that a vigorous body of public opinion, aided by information and communication technologies, is in making on the Internet. I myself rely on it through my blog. If not for my blog, what I say would scarcely get out in the mainstream media.

    We need a freedom of information act, and I call for the repeal of the Printing Presses Act. It is silly that we limit the number of newspapers while every person with a blog or a twitter account can publish to the world. In limiting the printed media we have only succeeded in dumbing it down, so that those who rely only on the printed mass media and the terrestrial broadcast channels are actually the poorer for it.

    Stopped from entering posh restaurant

    Let me end by returning to the theme of racial harmony. I repeat: the constitutional guarantees are ironclad. We ought to feel secure in the constitution's protections of our rights. A free people must be a secure people.

    Another story:

    In 1962, when I was a delegate to the United Nations, the late Tun Ismail and I went out one evening to a posh restaurant on New York's East Side. The maitre d' turned us away firmly. No, he said, the restaurant was closed for a private function. We could see clearly that the restaurant was open. We understood that we were being denied entry because were “coloured”. This is despite the fact that our reservation had been made through UN's offices.

    Today, in 2008, an African American man is president of the United States. He has just won the Nobel Peace Prize. In 46 years, and well within my lifetime, how far things have come. Had you told me in 1962, after that incident, that a black man would be president in my life time, I would not have believed you. This change did not happen without struggle.

    From Leo Tolstoy to Henry Thoreau to Gandhi to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, we see a thread of conviction about the overriding ethical claim of our common humanity. It is more important that we are alike in being sons and daughters of God than that we are different. This is also the thread of a spirit and method of resistance. Where all reasonable persuasion fails, the final "No" to wrongdoing, the place at which the citizen stands up to defend something fundamental, is through peaceful resistance.

    I allude to this only as a reminder of the final redoubt of the free citizen. Things may or may not have come to such a bad state that we must rise in this fashion, but let us be conscious of the power we hold in knowing just who we are and what we are capable of as ordinary citizens.

    If the authorities do what is unjust, ride roughshod over constitutional rights and deny the sovereignty of the rakyat and the primacy of our constitution, we rest secure in the knowledge that history shows us that the just cause, defended stoutly, persistently and peacefully, will prevail. And sooner than we might expect.

    TENGKU RAZALEIGH HAMZAH, Gua Musang MP, is a former finance minister and former Umno vice-president. Malaysiakini. Subscription required.

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