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  1. #181
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Promoting hatred and fear among the rural Malays. Received from a friend.

    Did you understand why the delegates at
    general assembly cried when this song "Anak Kecil Main Api" was sung ?

    I did some background check and the lyrics are really awful and provocative.

    What is even more scary is that all the govt civil servants and malay scholarship holders are indoctrinated with this song. Small wonder that many of them think the way they do.

    This is another evidence of UMNO is playing the fire of racialism. If a similar song were written by a non Malay, he would have gone under the ISA long time ago.

    Anak Kecil Main Api -A song that bemoans the fate of Malays for being sidelined in their own land.
    Lyrics sung by Tokyo Umno Club representative Arif Yassir Zulkafli.

    Written by a former National Civics Bureau (BTN) chief, the song was taught to all those who attended the federal agency’s courses, for which attendance is compulsory for students before attending local public universities or going overseas on government scholarships.

    The lyrics describe how because of internal strife, Malays have become weak and lost all their wealth and land to outsiders, the only thing they still hold being political power.

    The song urges Malays to use political power to uplift themselves and to wake up and retake their wealth and homeland.

    Below is the Malay lyrics with an English translation:

    Anak Kecil Main Api
    Anak kecil main api
    Terbakar hatinya yang sepi
    Air mata darah bercampur keringat
    Bumi dipijak milik orang

    Nenek moyang kaya raya
    Tergadai seluruh harta benda
    Akibat sengketa sesamalah kita
    Cinta lenyap diarus zaman

    Indahnya bumi kita ini
    Warisan berkurun lamanya
    Hasil mengalir ketangan yang lain
    Peribumi merintih sendiri

    Masa depan sungguh kelam
    Kan lenyap peristiwa semalam
    Tertutuplah hati terkunci mati
    Maruah peribadi dah hilang

    Kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa
    Yang akan menentukan bangsa
    Bersatulah hati bersama berbakti
    Pulih kembali harga diri

    Kita sudah tiada masa
    Majulah dengan maha perkasa
    Janganlah terlalai teruskan usaha
    Melayukan gagah dinusantara
    Little Children Playing With Fire
    Little children playing with fire

    Burns their own desolate hearts
    Shedding tears and blood mixed with sweat.
    The land we stand on, belongs to someone else

    Our ancestors were very rich,
    But every single treasure was pawned
    Because of conflicts amongst ourselves
    Our love disappeared into the ages

    So beautiful is our land
    Our heritage for centuries
    But its bounty flows into others’ hands
    The sons of the soil agonize alone

    The future is very dark
    The events of the past disappear
    Our hearts are closed, locked forever
    Our dignity has been lost

    Now, all we have is political power
    Determine the fate of our race
    Be united and work hand in hand
    To reclaim our dignity

    We have no time to lose
    Advance ourselves with all our might
    Don’t be negligent, maintain our efforts
    The Malays will be mighty in the Archipelago


  2. #182
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    For 66 years, UMNO has played on hatred, greed and fear. That's the only formula they know.

    Umno and the burning down of 1Malaysia

    Written by Dr. Lim Teck GheeFriday, 14 December 2012 18:05


    The Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has stated that his vision of 1Malaysia is intended to counter the growing national divide between Malaysians on race, religion and other sensitive socio-cultural issues. He has also argued that the aim of the vision is to strengthen national unity on the basis of inclusiveness – “this policy means that we’ll try to be as inclusive as possible, in a sense that we should have a government that is able to reach out to all communities”. (Interview with CNN, Talkasia, 1 Nov 2010)

    Not only was this vision of 1Malaysia markedly absent from the recent Umno general assembly but the real driving force of the party – one completely at odds with 1Malaysia – emerged from the shadows during the singing of a song by Tokyo Umno Club representative Arif Yassir Zulkafli.

    The lyrics of the song ‘Lagu Warisan’ can be seen to encapsulate the ideological leifmotif of Umno. It provided the emotional and psychological high point of the meeting and explains why the song left delegates in tears and in spontaneous rendition.

    It also explains why the Umno mind and mentality has remained unchanged during the last 66 years of the party’s existence – insecure, envious, delusional, un-accepting of other Malaysians, and propagating a bankrupt doctrine of ‘Blood and Soil’ nationalism akin to that of the Nazis and fascists.

    Blood and soil nationalism refers to an ideology that focuses on ethnicity based on two factors – descent and homeland. Readers interested in learning more about blood and soil nationalism can read the Wikipedia.

    Anak Kecil main api
    Terbakar hatinya yang sepi
    Air mata darah bercampur keringat
    Bumi dipijak milik orang

    Nenek moyang kaya raya
    Tergadai seluruh harta benda
    Akibat sengketa sesamalah kita
    Cinta lenyap di arus zaman ini

    Indahnya bumi kita ini
    Warisan berkurun lamanya
    Hasil mengalir ke tangan yang lain
    Pribumi merintih sendiri …

    Melayukan gagah di nusantara.

    The translated version in English reads:

    A small child plays with fire
    His desolate heart burns
    Tears, blood and sweat (yet)
    His land belongs to outsiders

    His forefathers had abundance
    Now his inheritance is mortgaged
    The result of discord amongst ourselves
    Love disappears in the modern tide

    How beautiful is our land
    Passed down from generation to generation
    But the profits flow to other hands
    The natives moan unheeded

    Aren't Malays the brave in the archipelago

    Recommended references: For more on the translated lyrics, read Dr Azly Rahman HERE as well as his article ‘A Malay view of Biro Tata Negara and Ketuanan Melayu’

    Impact of Lagu Negara

    The poisoning of Malay minds through the negative portrayals of non-Malay communities and depiction of the Malays as victims whose birthrights have been stolen by “immigrants” is continuing unabated.

    For now, it has left the 1Malaysia concept in ashes.

    The danger is that these sentiments contributing to a siege mentality can be so deeply embedded that they become impossible to deal with rationally. When inflamed by irresponsible parties, they can easily get out of control and can be the catalyst for violence.

    Lagu Warisan -
    the signature song of Malay ‘patriots’ yearning for a return to a Malay motherland free of pendatang - originated from the Biro Tatanegara, a propaganda arm of Umno in the civil service.

    In his article ‘BTN is hardly an innocent selling toothpaste' (Dec 17, 2009), C.T. Wong writes that

    “[when] the moral codes are suspended [and a] new moral code is substituted… the cry for defending one’s race or religion or country carries a new and sinister meaning. The perpetrators of ethnic violence hijack the mind and the feelings of its own race for their purpose of gaining or consolidating powe. […] Systematic, conscious and deliberate efforts are being made to create the Enemy in the public space in some of the mainstream media or government-sponsored programmes. The explicit or implicit elimination ideology is so openly propagated that the normal revulsion against cruelty towards other human beings is alarmingly lacking."

    To the BTN, we must add a double-faced Umno mouthing the rhetoric of solidarity and inclusion when with non-Malay audiences, and fanning the flames of extremist racial emotions when addressing the Malay constituency.

    Taking the fight to Umno

    The line separating good and evil and truth and falsehood may appear contentious and complicated. However we should not run away from drawing this line, however difficult is the task.

    Minimum proactive actions include speaking out and calling for the removal or neutralizing of those institutions and individuals guilty of sowing and escalating racial distrust (and religious disharmony), in particular that emanating from the ruling circles and the bureaucracy, especially from Umno ranks and the official print and electronic media, particularly Utusan Malaysia and TV3.

    Leaders of the other Barisan Nasional component parties who have been silent, indifferent or impotent towards the escalation of the hate politics of race and religion must find their voices and put pressure on Umno towards genuine reform. Other key stake players such as PAS and Muslim NGOs must be more active in influencing Islamic elements towards more progressive positions that can counter the politics of racial envy and hate propagated by Umno.

    Failure to respond to ‘Lagu Warisan’ and its supporters will see the country’s racial tensions and divisions escalate towards a breaking point, with the minorities very much on the defensive and the authorities either reluctant to intervene or to act in favour of the minority.

    The rule of law becomes the tyranny of the majority; perpetrators of racial and religious hate and disunity feel that they can get away with irresponsible actions aimed at maintaining dominance or curbing dissent; and the country’s basic tolerance gives way to hardened and polarized positions on all sides, setting the stage for instability and social strife.

  3. #183
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    The NEP is institutionized Apartheid by another name. It will fail eventually. History has proven it to be so. ALWAYS!

    There is no system in nature that builds a strong species through coddling. It goes against the principles of Darwin's Theory of Evolution of Species. The price that has been paid and continuing to be paid is too high. This has to stop.

    Producing competitive bumiputera contractors

    • 7:03PM Mar 7, 2013

    I recently published an article with the title, ‘Room for competitive bumiputera companies - a wasteful national mission'.

    My intention was to support Petronas Chairman Shamsul Azhar Abbas who is under fire from the Malay Economic Action Council (MTEM) for allegedly marginalising bumiputera companies and favouring more competitive foreign companies.

    In fact MTEM has conveniently forgotten that in 2010 and 2011 alone, Petronas awarded a huge sum of about RM74 billion worth of contracts to bumiputera controlled companies.

    Apparently this is not enough for MTEM which has called for Shamsul and the board members of Petronas to resign. MTEM expects to get most of the contracts irrespective of whether they are competent to undertake the contracts.

    This politicking against Petronas - a national company with all Malaysians as stakeholders - is certainly not good for our economy.

    I wish to emphasise that Petronas is not a Malay company and Malay cronies of Umno should not expect hand outs and contracts as if we are still living in the NEP era.

    It is time that all Malay business enterprises and individuals grow up and realise they have to become competitive if they wish to survive in the business world. Nowhere in the real world is there preferential treatment for bumiputera or any other ‘putera'!

    Continuously giving out contracts to bumiputeras as MTEM is calling for - without competitive tenders - will make them more inefficient and result in poor quality work.

    At the end of the day, it will be all Malaysians who will have to bear the collapse of a crony-driven and Malay-oriented Petronas if it loses its standing in the global market.

    Giving out contracts without a full tender process is akin to corruption. Why a closed tender or bumiputra favouring policy has to be pursued by Petronas needs to be openly justified by MTEM rather than swept under the carpet and hidden by the veil of threats.

    I would like to share my experiences in the contracting industry with bumiputera contractors so that they can understand why they have failed and what needs to be done by the government to correct this situation.

    Firstly, it is necessary to warn that contracting is a difficult business although it is so easy to register as a contractor in Malaysia.

    It is not well known that there are more failures and bankruptcies in contracting than in any other business.

    Another little known fact is that almost all construction projects are NOT completed within the original scheduled time. This explains why one can often see uncompleted or abandoned projects.

    A key point to note is that contractors - under an open tender system - always have to produce good work at the cheapest price.

    In order to submit the cheapest tender, the contractor must be very optimistic in all his assumptions. He must assume that he will not encounter any cash flow difficulties and that he will always get his progress payments on time.

    He must also assume that he will not encounter any difficulty in getting all the required materials to avoid any delay and also that there are ample workers for him to choose.

    Furthermore, he must also assume that he will not meet any inclement weather or other adverse factor during construction.

    Invariably, some of these assumptions will be proven wrong, thus delaying completion. Often, the infrastructure will cost more to complete than provided for in the contract.

    The importance of teamwork

    Teamwork is important in all business endeavours. It is more so in the contracting business. Every contractor must realise that his success is not going to be determined by his own knowledge or abilities.

    It is determined by his ability to develop a great team. His co-workers will help determine the level of his success.

    Every efficient contractor must have a reliable team comprising managers, sub-contractors, material suppliers, foremen and skilled workers.

    All the team players must cooperate with one another. Their main goal must be saving cost. If they cannot complete the contract within the tender price, all of them will be affected.

    Construction material pricing

    There was no material price escalation clause in the conditions of contract before I became the secretary general of the Master Builders Association.

    During the unprecedented oil crisis, building material prices shot through the roof. As a result, many contractors could not complete their contracts for schools and other projects.

    After several appeals the Public Works Department (PWD), now known as Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) and Tengku Razaleigh, the finance ninister then, eventually allowed cement and steel for price variation reimbursement.

    This was only a partial solution as hundreds of other items were excluded.

    Without a protective price fluctuation clause for the other items, contractors are exposed to risk. Invariably, most materials would increase in price due to inflation.

    Contractors require many years of experience to anticipate such price changes and to make provisions for them whilst at the same time not overpricing their tenders and losing the bid.

    No two contracts exactly the same

    Construction of a building is always akin to making a prototype. The process is much more difficult than manufacturing any product where there is repetition. In the construction of buildings or other engineering works, there is very little repetitive work. Every construction site is different.

    On top of this, there may also be inexperienced supervisory staff that can create a lot of difficulties for the contractors. Invariably, by the time all parties get used to the routine, the scheduled time is over.


    Most contractors do not have sufficient capital to finance their undertakings.

    Contractors generally do not have fixed assets like most manufacturers. Unfortunately, banks do not accept moving assets as collateral for a loan. Without bank financing, contractors will find it more difficult to undertake their business.

    Beginning at the bottom: key to success

    I have provided some insight into why contracting is not a business that is as easy or profitable as it is commonly perceived.

    There are other factors explaining why or how some of the most successful tycoons associated with the construction industry have managed to get to where they are.

    Perhaps the main one is learning by starting at the bottom. For example, Lim Goh Tong of Genting began his working career as a scrap iron dealer and a contractor; and Yeoh Tiong Lay of YTL Corp. started off as a small general contractor.

    Generally, bumiputeras are not interested in managing small businesses and earning small profits.

    Because of the NEP, many have hopes of securing concessions for big deals. There are relatively few bumiputeras involved in small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

    More bumiputeras should start by becoming traders for building materials. The business skill they can learn from these humble beginnings will carry them a long way. I am sure some of them will eventually become good contractors if they learn the trade at the bottom.
    Importance of skilled workers

    There are so few bumiputera construction foremen, carpenters and other skilled workers. If you were to go into any construction site, you would see the truth of what I am saying. How many Malay carpenters have you seen in KL?

    Without skilled bumiputera workers, it would be more difficult for bumiputera contractors to succeed. More bumiputeras should be encouraged to work as apprentices in the construction industry.

    Half-baked contractors not in national interest

    Contracting is one of the most difficult businesses and it takes a long time to produce competent contractors.

    It is dangerous to quickly produce half-baked ones as they will soon find themselves in financial difficulties and require bailouts.

    The bankruptcy record shows that many debtors are bumiputera contractors unable to pay back the loans given by government-controlled financial institutions.

    The government must change its policies which have proven unworkable. There is no urgency in producing more bumiputera contractors as many of the key industries e.g. the banks, toll roads, water, electricity, plantations, commodities, etc are already under the control of bumiputeras.

    Our government must not be narrowly communalistic and should make use of all the groups, irrespective of race, that are more efficient in the contracting business.


  4. #184
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    The real reason for the crackdown

    June 3, 2013

    The real fear of Umno is the revision of the “gospel truth” they have taught people as the history of the nation.

    By Ong Kar Jin

    Adam Adli. Tian Chua. Haris Ibrahim. Tamrin Ghafar. Safwan Anang. And Hishammuddin Rais. One by one, these politicians and activists have been hauled up by the authorities in a crackdown reminiscent of 1988’s Operation Lalang.

    The real question of course, is why.

    Now this may seem like an obvious answer to you, after all they all probably have played a part in calling on people to go to street rallies, or have had a hand or two in organising them. The simple logic now is that the authorities are simply clamping down to ensure no more rallies will take place.

    I must disagree. Let us take the rally reason at face value. Tamrin Ghafar, Hishammuddin Rais and Tian Chua have had very little to do with organising rallies.

    In terms of calling on people to rise and take to the streets to protest, they are only part of a growing chorus of NGO activists, politicians and ordinary citizens.

    In any case, rallies have gone on for a very long time now, from Bersih 2007 all the way to the recent Suara Rakyat 505 Amcorp Mall rally. Barisan Nasional has managed to largely ignore them with the administration going on as normal, and have learnt valuable lessons that any crackdowns can only result in a terrible political backlash.

    And if indeed there was to be a crackdown to prevent rallies, why the selective persecution? Why not hit out at the big players? Blogger Chegubard has made his stance and involvement in the Amcorp Mall rally very clear by his presence on the stage, yet has not been arrested.

    Yet a crackdown still happened. And is still happening. Why? Has BN simply not learned? Have they grown a sudden fear to rallies?

    I believe the situation needs a closer examination. Not all arrested so far called upon the rakyat to rise and take the fight to the streets. Not all were involved in organising rallies. Yet the Home Ministry went right ahead knowing full well there would be a huge political backlash in arresting the above names. Again, the crucial question is why?

    All those arrested thus far do however, have something in common: they all spoke out against racism at a May 13 forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.

    Adam Adli called the May 13 riots a result of sedition by Umno members and said they were used as an excuse to hold on to power in the aftermath of the devastating 1969 election results.

    Tian Chua boldly stated that unity has never been a real problem in Malaysia, but disunity is actively caused by Umno itself. Again, he labeled May 13 as a means to hold onto power, calling it a “toyol” to scare people.

    Most revealing is Tamrin Ghafar’s speech, where he revealed in his capacity as an ex-Umno insider that the May 13 riots were part of a coup d’état to overthrow Tunku Abdul Rahman.

    He even implicated Dr Mahathir Mohammad as one of the key players. Similar exhortations to relook at history were made by Haris Ibrahim and Safwan Anang.

    Historical revisionism

    I believe it is not rallies Umno fears but a growing trend of historical revisionism. Should the spectre of May 13 be torn apart as an Umno-orchestrated plot, Barisan Nasional would lose its status as a bringer of “stability” and a preserver of “delicate race relations”.

    Previously such thoughts were restricted to the minds of academics such as Kua Kia Soong, but recently such reflections upon history have gained traction in popular imagination.

    As George Orwell once said: “He who controls the present, controls the past. And he who controls the past, controls the future.”

    The real fear of Umno is not rallies. They have dealt with them aplenty before from 1988’s protests, 1998’s Reformasi to 2007’s Bersih.

    The real fear of Umno is the revision of the “gospel truth” they have taught people as the history of the nation.

    Once the May 13 spectre loses ground, what would happen to the older voters who previously may have feared a change in government based on concerns over racial clashes?

    What would it say about BN’s smear campaign on Lim Kit Siang, who was not even in the Peninsular at the time of the riots?

    And what other hidden histories will be revealed? Perhaps the next issue to catch people’s attention will be the struggle of the left wing parties under Putera-AMCJA against the British (See Fahmi Redza’s documentary “Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka”), which would then portray Umno not as independence fighters but as British sycophants and collaborators.

    With such a huge blow to BN’s prestige as the Fathers of Independence, what sort of impact might that have on Malaysians?

    No doubt such thoughts are haunting the minds of the authorities. As another quote from George Orwell goes: “In times of universal deceit, the telling of the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    To put it simply, Umno fears the truth.

    Ong Kar Jin is a young Malaysian who believes that democracy is always alive as long as people believe in it. He has worked with various NGOs and is active in civil society. His current passions are education, democracy, and good food. He blogs


  5. #185
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    June 5, 2013

    The Coming Clash of Class

    by Dato’ Ariff Sabri, MP for RaubJune 4, 2013 @ answer the other side, as to why I continue to write about UMNO this and that, the answer is- It’s because I can. UMNO can self-destruct if it chooses to and that will not be a skin off my nose. It only bothers me when UMNO thinks it continues to speak for Malays as a whole. UMNO has no capacity and standing to do such a thing.The majority of Malays rejected them. The fact stays that way despite all the fanciful regression and statistical analyses one can muster. UMNO remains in power simply because of gerrymandering and its success in fabricating lies and fear.I will say this again. UMNO got 3.2 million votes. I am being charitable by saying that 85% of those came from Malay voters. That would be 2.72 million Malay votes. How many Malay voters came out on the 5th of May? 70% of the 11.2 million because they wanted to defend UMNO and the Malay government at all cost? That would give us a figure of 7.84 million. If UMNO got 2.72 million, that means more Malays did not vote for UMNO.We are indeed moving on beyond GE13. That is why we must continue to expose BN’s hypocrisy, deceit and outright lies to the people. Our agenda isn’t finished until this corrupt government is finished off. BN won because it is corrupt and contemptible. A corrupt regime will use anything legal and illegal to stay on in power.Each corrupt element at each level of BN organisational structure will dig in to protect its own turf. Otherwise the whole game is given away-that BN has its every finger in the kitty and robbing Malaysia to the bone. Corruption has already become a cultural thing. Each BN politician is wired up that way. Each UMNO operative right up to their minions at the village level.We will continue to expose the hypocrisy of UMNO which is claiming that it is the vanguard which protects King, religion, race and country. Not in that order of course. It rearranges its priorities. UMNO was once at the forefront in the assault against the Malay monarchy. Now, it is playing the role of a pit-bull body-guarding the Malay Monarchy because such a stand is of strategic importance.In an earlier article, I have illustrated the fallacy of UMNO’s success by using a common denominator- i.e. the total number of votes won over the number of seats each party actually won. If we had used uncommon denominators like the number of votes won over the number of seats each party contested (i.e. including seats each lost), the success claimed by UMNO will even be hollower.So in order to disguise and hide its own shortcomings especially of the abject failure of the UMNO President, BN blamed the Chinese. BN should be asking, what have they done or not done, which made the Malaysian Chinese reject them? BN hasn’t given them a trustworthy and honest government. The Chinese fortunately recognises this. The Malays unfortunately have not.The Chinese as a result of their economic independence have been able to exercise freedom of choice; The Malays because of their dependent mentality have been mentally enslaved. It’s easy to manufacture and fabricate the perception and fallacy that continued Malay deprivation is the result of an increasingly independent and rapacious Malaysian Chinese population.Where is that clash that will eventually destroy UMNO coming from? It will come from the burgeoning downtrodden masses of Malays- the urban and rural poor, hemmed in and flattened by all sorts of injustices and economic deprivations.

    The clash between Malays and Chinese is a myth. Such a scenario is illogical. The Chinese form 24% of Malaysia’s population. The Malays 65% of the population. The civil service is almost entirely Malay. The army and the police, legal owners of the instruments of suppression are also dominated by the Malays.
    The important pillars of governance, the civil service, ministerial positions and the respective ministries, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary are all dominated by Malays. Village organizations are permeated by Malay institutions. We have the various village development and welfare committees and we have the indoctrinating army of KEMAS employees programming the Malay Mind. The monarchy is of course wholly Malay.

    So how can the Chinese rebel against such a formidable fortress of institutionalised controlling agents of social regimentation and conformity? They simply can’t.

    The coming clash will not be between a Malay dominated government and the what else do the Chinese want community; rather the coming clash will be between the unholy partnership of the Malay pseudo aristocrats and the Malay bourgeoisie with the burgeoning class of marginalised and disillusioned Malays. It will be clash between feudalistic UMNO more interested in preserving an aristocratic way of life and the Malay ‘proletariat’ bursting at the seams with notions of every kind of imaginable social injustices. Injustices that have been inflicted on them by the feudalistic and aristocratic UMNO.

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Using cheap foreign labour to suppress local wages and keep the lower class poor and easier to control and bribe during elections.

    Fitting migrant workers into plural Malaysia

    JUNE 04, 2010

    Foreign workers from Bangladesh wait at an airport carpark turned into an immigration depot in Sepang Sept 20, 2007. — Reuters pic
    PENANG, June 4 — They move among us like shadows. We see them all day and we do our best to avoid making contact. Malaysia’s plural society, where ethnicity and profession are strongly associated, has become more plural, with the country’s relative wealth attracting foreigners in the region to come and do the jobs we disdain. Migrant workers are often ignored socially, but that is the least of their problems. What causes the most heartache for them is that they are legally ignored. Their pain is our shame.

    Many accusing fingers are pointed when foreign labour and its implications are discussed in this country. The mere mention of migrant workers is usually greeted with a sneer, and when not, it is because of indifference. Foreign workers are often seen as a wage depressant, and accused of “taking” jobs away from locals. While the federal government has pledged to reduce the influx of foreign labourers, their number has soared from 1,470,000 in 2004 to 2,100,000 in 2009.

    Recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak called on the nation to shift to a high income economy by adopting an approach based on “innovation, creativity and high value-added initiative”.

    Indeed, the underlying reason for Malaysia’s dependency on foreign labour is that the nation has yet to succeed in building value-added industries based on innovation and creativity. The country’s industries are still largely labour-intensive. The reaction from the business community towards federal government crackdowns on migrant workers further strengthens the point — resistance, as was clearly reflected in a recent postponement of a planned crackdown. Any sweep that sends immigrants home has the potential to lead to the dysfunction of certain industries.

    Such is certainly the case in Penang. Being the Silicon Valley of South-East Asia, Penang has significantly labour-intensive industries in the manufacturing sector as well as tourism. While official numbers are not readily available, social activists estimate that there are 70,000 to 80,000 migrant workers in Penang.

    In 2004, a study titled “Impact of Foreign Workers on the Malaysian Economy” was commissioned by the National Economic Action Council. The RM1.16mil report, which compares the Malaysian case to the migration policies of Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, Singapore and Australia, recommended that the government address a major dissonance in its foreign labour policy: Malaysia makes it extremely difficult for the entry of professional expatriates, thus depriving the country of global talents, while allowing near uninhibited influx of unskilled labour.

    We are indeed in a dilemma.

    The unseen economic engine

    One in every five workers in Malaysia is a foreigner. — Reuters picTo date, Malaysia’s workforce is estimated at about 11.3 million (Bernama, 200, while documented foreign workers account for 2.2 million, of which an estimated 380,000 are women working as domestic helpers. In addition to that, it is estimated that we have one million to 2.5 million undocumented workers.

    In a nutshell, one in every five workers in Malaysia is a foreigner.

    Undeniably, this cheap and unskilled labour force made our economic growth possible. However, the over-reliance on that does not augur well for the economy in the long term. Low wages for foreign labour means that employers prefer them to locals thus diminishing job opportunities for the latter.

    More importantly, this has also made the companies too complacent to move up the value-added ladder.

    Meanwhile, systematic leakage has led to untold suffering for many migrants. Not all illegal workers come willingly undocumented. Most are given hollow promises back in their home countries in terms of wage and type of employment, only to be disappointed when they arrive here. Some are given different sets of contracts in two places, while some do not even receive proper documents at all. Cheated and desperate, these workers often end up taking the “3D” jobs — dangerous, difficult and dirty (some would add demeaning to the list) — such as construction work, domestic work and waste collection.

    But who else are willing to fill these uncelebrated occupations? The locals?

    In fact, the real impact of foreign labour on local (un)employment is debatable. This can be seen in a statement by Human Resources Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam, who said it was not true that foreign labour stole jobs from locals; in fact, the opposite was more correct, which is that the multinational companies would have left the country if not for them.

    Foreign labour is, and will continue to be, part and parcel of our economy. It is not an exaggeration to say that we need it and that our economic engine cannot work without it. One can argue that having labour-intensive industries is not a problem in itself. For example, Singapore, despite being a high-end industrial country, still imports a large number of low-skilled workers for low-end jobs. The key point would be how the government manages the foreign labour, in order for the industries and local employees to move up the value chain.

    Regardless of what future human resources policy the country undertakes, it is a hard fact that foreign workers are here to stay. But are we willing to acknowledge their presence and contribution? Will we pause to ponder whether the way we treat them, human beings like us, is fair?

    “They are an integral part of our economic engine, but are treated with complete disrespect,” laments social worker James Lochhead, the chairman of Jump (Jaringan Utara Migrasi dan Pelarian), an NGO network working on migrant worker and refugee issues in the northern region of Malaysia.

    Meeting a fellow human being

    Riding down the highway at Batu Maung, I cannot help but be amazed by recent developments in the area. “See how much progress Penang has made,” I whisper to myself, as if my Penangite ego needs any more boosting. The car stops in front of a luxury homes construction site. Soon, a tanned man greets us from across the road.

    We are here to meet Om, a Myanmarese worker who is seeking help from Kevin, a welfare officer from the Penang Office Human Development (POHD) and his colleagues from Jump, claiming exploitation by his employer.

    A father of a two-year-old girl, Om left for Malaysia with his friends over four years ago so that his family would have a better life with his monthly remittances of RM400, the equivalent of B$118,000. “In Myanmar, the average worker like me earns (B$)3000 a month. To buy a cup of tea is (B$)266; a full chicken costs (B$)4,000.” Those from Om’s village are mainly rubber tappers.

    In impressively fluent Bahasa Malaysia, the 38-year-old plaster worker tells us about the unfulfilled promise of his employer. According to Om, the workers are given lower wages than was agreed upon. When they voice their concerns, the supervisor stops coming to the construction site for five days, rendering them jobless and helpless. Recently, there has been a surge of cheap, illicit drug use among his co-workers, who are a mix of Myanmarese, Indonesians and Bangladeshis. We soon find out to our shock that there are only two toilets catering for 300 workers at the site, and most of the workers choose to sleep in the half-constructed bungalows. The make-shift “housing” provided by the employers is often too cramped.

    Malaysia is signatory to the Asean Declaration on the Protection and Pro-motion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. Article 8 states that governments shall “promote fair and appropriate employment protect-ion, payment of wages, and adequate access to decent working and living conditions for migrant workers”.

    In 2009, Jump organised the “Right to redress” campaign, based on the perception that every human being is entitled to the protection and enhancement of basic human rights. It laid down five major components which state that migrants have the right to have their complaints heard; the right to stay with legal status while pursuing their claims; the right to seek temporary employment while their cases are being heard; the right to be given timely adjudication, and the right to enforceable compensation when it is awarded by the court.

    Kevin was assigned to serve the migrant workers as part of his training for priesthood. Initially reluctant,

    Kevin has now established a simple yet mind-boggling philosophy about his work. “What makes a person a person? Human beings need to be provided with basic amenities to sustain themselves. What makes them smaller than us? As long as we need them to work for us, we should give them their basic social rights in return — or else, we’d be turning into a slave economy.”

    In the same tone, his colleague Joachim thinks that the locals do not treat migrant workers as human beings, but only as workers. My personal reading is that they are not even treated as workers, but as tireless automatons. Workers have more say over their fate than these migrants do.

    A foreign worker from India works is pictured working in a barber shop. — Reuters picThe legal irony

    In Malaysia, migrants matters theoretically come under the Provision of Employment Act; foreign workers are entitled to overtime, rest days and other worker benefits. However, many reports have shown that though penned in black and white, the lack of enforcement and bureaucratic neglect has led to these conditions being ignored.

    Our existing migrant workers policy also highly favours the employer. When workers want to lodge a report against their employers, they can do so at the Labour Department. Not only does the workers’ understandable incompetence in the national language lengthen the infamously long bureaucratic process, the Labour Department will make a call to their employer to “get a better understanding” of the situation upon receiving the complaint. This potentially leads the employer to react by terminating the workers. Almost immediately, they become “illegal” workers without a permit and are therefore subject to deportation.

    While migrant workers can apply for special stay permits after they are terminated, the approval of the permit is based on the discretion of Immigration officials. The workers have to pay RM100 to apply for 30 valid days and are prohibited from gaining employment in the meantime. According to Joachim, the officer-in-charge of the Diocesan Migrant Ministry (DMM) of POHD, which is part of Jump, it is common for cases to take longer than 30 days to resolve. Hence, the workers are forced to go through the same application process again (and pay again). It is not viable for the workers to go back to their home country either, due to the high cost of flights. In the end, most workers choose the lesser of two evils and drop the case altogether. The lack of legal assistance is also a common problem for migrant workers, who cannot afford to pursue their case.

    “The system is in fact a race between the employers and workers, and the one who can last longer will be the winner,” Joachim says.

    The Immigration Department is also known for its habit of mobilising the voluntary Rela force to crack down on undocumented workers. Alleged harassment by Immigration/Rela officials at detention camps is not uncommon. The condition at these camps is also far from satisfactory.

    In 2009, the home minister reported to Parliament that a total of 2,571 deaths of detainees in prisons, rehabilitation centres and Immigration detention centres was recorded between 1999 and 2008. Besides, special courts set up by the government in the camps to address worker grievances have long been condemned by the Malaysia Bar Council for not making certain that workers understood charges and processes against them in their own language, and not providing them with sufficient legal counsel.

    POHD has been working with migrant workers since 2001. The social service arm of the Penang Catholic Diocesan Centre started innocently to assist foreigners, but soon realised the magnitude of their needs. Volunteers found themselves taking on more tasks than they’d expected. POHD receives an average of 30–35 complaints per month, of which about 10 cases will involve legal processes. The increasing need has forced POHD to undergo a shift, from handling cases to training more volunteers to be case-handlers. “We wish to fill the gap between the migrant workers and the Labour Department,” says Joachim. One highly motivated social worker actually took up a law degree so that he could help the migrants workers in a bigger way.

    Criminals? Who?

    Since August 2006, the recruitment of migrant workers has been done largely through outsourcing. In fact, companies that hire less than 50 foreign workers are required to use an agency. There is no clear system regulating these agencies, nor are there legal provisions for better accountability. The outsourcing process relies only on a binding contract between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the companies. Thus, any breach of contract between the two parties is resolved between them; the migrant workers’ interests are not necessarily protected.

    Up to 2008, Malaysia reportedly had 277 recruitment agencies in operation. In the Amnesty International Report 2009, the government was said to be “facilitating” the exploitation of migrant workers through loose regulation of outsourcing recruitment companies, abusive labour laws and policies, and unjust practices such as allowing employers to confiscate workers’ passports.

    Cases of corruption further worsen the fate of the workers. Om testified that he paid RM1,000 at the Thai border in order to pass into Malaysia. One should be reminded that such sums of money could be all these migrant workers have, after mortgaging their homes and property or taking loans from illegal moneylenders. “They took a life-changing risk to come here; for some there is no turning back,” says Kevin, recounting the case of a Bangladeshi worker he had met.

    Somehow, it seems that migrant workers are not treated as only a workers’ issue, but as a national security problem as well. Migrant workers are often seen as potential criminals by the authorities. Perhaps it is this perception that leads to a division of power over the issue between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resources; the former is given enforcement authority while the latter handles complaints from the workers.

    James says the claim that migrants workers are often criminals is unfair and without basis. “Statistics show that only two per cent of crimes are committed by foreigners, but they make up 30 per cent of the prison population in Malaysia.” This estimate was arrived at by the Malaysian Bar Council, and also reported by the Fair Labour Association (FLA) in 2008.

    Many NGOs have urged the government to stop viewing migrant workers as a security threat and to allow the Ministry of Human Resources to liaise between the agencies, such as the Home Ministry. Many steps can be taken by the government to keep the situation under control. For one, a system should be in place to monitor the outsourced recruitment agencies. In fact, outsourcing companies could be removed and recruitment done in a “government to government” manner instead. Another concrete step would be to legalise a standardised contract for the workers, as has been done in Singapore and Hong Kong, to curb contract fraud.

    A 24/7 job

    Indonesian domestic helpers wait to be processed at an immigration terminal. — Reuters picInterestingly enough, the foreign domestic helpers that we employ at home are not recognised under the Employment Act. This means that they are not entitled to employee benefits. Most foreign domestic helpers in Malaysia, the “kakaks” in many homes, work 24/7.

    And why is she not given a day off every week?

    She will run away. She will take our money and never return. She will mix around with other maids and learn tricks about being lazy. She will mess around with men out there, and what if she got pregnant? She might even contract communicable diseases! These are some of the many excuses employers give to deprive their workers of their right to a rest day.

    One wonders if one of the worst long-term effects of a sustained plural society like Malaysia’s is not anomie towards those outside of one’s own race. “Others” are somehow different from us, and do not need, expect or appreciate the rights that we would not want to be without. Empathy disappears.

    The fact that Malaysia has the highest incidence of runaway maids in the region speaks volumes for about the treatment domestic helpers suffer here. Other issues include physical and psychological abuse, withholding of passports by employers, and the non-provision of a minimum wage.

    Many reports of violations led the Indonesian government, the biggest domestic maid exporter to Malaysia, to ban their workers from travelling to the country last June. A much anticipated memorandum of understanding on migrant workers between the Malaysian and Indonesian governments was signed in May, which allowed a day of rest per week for Indonesian maids and which recognised their right to retain their passport during employment.

    Welfare matters

    Melanie started her religious mission in Penang with a strong belief that it is a calling from her God. Yet, when she and her team from YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Penang faced the reality of the life of migrant workers, they realised their mission had to go beyond the issue of faith.

    “We realised it is a justice issue that our advocacy needs to address,” she says. YWAM then mobilised its volunteers to serve the workers regardless of their religious background. With the support of Penang Christian Medical Society, YWAM organised six mobile medical clinics per year to bring medical aid to the workers, on their doorstep.

    There are also plans to establish schools within worker and refugee communities. Indeed, there are many social issues to address: healthcare, housing, education of children and, not least of all, moral support for these workers to help them adjust to life in a foreign land. “A small thing like a social gathering with the workers actually means a lot to them,” Joachim says.

    Small step, big move

    What then can Penang as a whole do for the migrants?

    Under our highly centralised governance system, the state government is rather powerless. The issue of migrants falls largely under the purview of federal ministries. Nevertheless, the state government can play an intermediary role by bringing the relevant parties together for roundtable meetings. Support for and advocacy to improve the welfare of the workers can also be initiated by the state government. According to Joachim, small acts like these have been initiated.

    As for awareness about the issue, he thinks it is still unsatisfactorily low in Penang. “That would be the main agenda of Jump – to create public awareness. Ultimately, we need to value them, as humans and as workers.”

    * This article is taken from the June issue of “Penang Economic Monthly”, published by the Socio-economic and Environmental Institute (SERI), Penang, now out at all good bookshops and newsagents.

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Have you seen a life without UMNO? You will never be free until you do. They will never stop waging psychological warfare against you. NEVER! Because their survival depends on feeding you the poison of hatred and fear to divide-and-rule YOU!

    Week 1

    1.1.Introduction of TITAS and The Importance of topic.1.2.Civilizational Studies and History of Civilization.1.3. Definition and Process of Civilization.1.4. Interaction of Civilization between Religion and Culture.
    1.5. Characteristics of Civilizations.1.6. Factors of Emergence, Growth and Fall of Civilization.1.7. Similarities and Differences between Civilizations.1.8. Interaction and Dialogue in Civilizations.
    2.1. Definition, Principles, Objective of Islamic Civilization.2.2. Manifestation and Attributes of Islamic Civilization.2.3. Sources of Islamic Civilization.2.4. Emergence and Development of Islamic Civilization.
    2.5. Contributions of Islamic Civilization to Mankind.2.6. Contemporary Issues and Challenges faced by Muslims and Islamic Civilization.2.7. Resurgence of Islam and its application in Malaysia..

    Week 5

    3.1. Who are the Malays?3.2. Islam in Malay Civilization.3.3. Malay Civilization as the foundation of Malaysia.3.4. World View and Values System in Malay society.
    Week 6

    3.5. Interaction of Malay Civilization between other Civilizations.3.6. Achievement in Science and Technology perspective.3.7. Malaysian Goverment Approach: Islam Hadari, 1 Malaysia, etc.
    Week 7

    4.1. Who are the Indians?4.2. Emergence and development.4.3. Society system, culture and religion/ life philosophy.4.4. Interaction of Indian civilization with other civilizations
    Week 8

    4.5. Achievement and Contributions in Science and Technology Perspective.4.6. India nowadays.4.7. Indians in Malaysia.
    Week 9

    5.1. Who are the Chinese?5.2. Emergence and development.5.3. Society system, culture and religion/ life philosophy.5.4. Interaction of Chinese civilization with other civilizations
    Week 10

    5.5. Achievement and Contributions in Science and Technology Perspective.5.5. China nowadays.5.7. Chinese in Malaysia

    Week 11

    6.1. Emergence and Development of Western Civilization.6.2. Western cosmological perception and values system.6.3. Contribution of Western civilization to mankind
    Week 12

    6.4. The Concept of Knowledge between Islamic and Western civilizations6.5 Western Hegemony and Globalization Challenges
    Week 13

    6.6. Identity and Survival of Islamic and Asian Civilizations


  8. #188
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Excellent analysis that explain's UMNO's historical evolution.

  9. #189
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Friday, 01 November 2013 19:45 UMNO - BAD BY DESIGN: Malaysia morphing from Apartheid to NAZISM

    Written by KP Chee, Malaysia Chronicle

    UMNO is now hell-bent on serving only Malays. After all the Malays now form about 65% of the population and UMNO is going to increase the figure to 90% if not 99.99%. UMNO wants to make sure Malaysia is turned to a country just for the Malays.

    The non-Malays can “balik negeri” (go back to their ancestral lands). After all, the Malayan peninsula was dubbed Tanah Melayu, not Tanah Cina, not Tanah India, not even Tanah Asli. Never mind that the term “Melayu” is more a political construct than a tribal grouping (like the Orang Asli) - since Malays comprise a diverse mix of genetics ranging from Austronesian, Micronesian, Sulawesian, Javanese, and Sumatran to Cambodian, Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Burmese, Indian, Turkish, Yemeni, and Arab. In the last century, a generous amount of Anglo-European DNA has also been added to the cocktail.

    Indeed, the name Malaya derives not so much from being the Land of Malays as it does from the Tamil word for mountain, malai. As recently as 13,000 years ago, you could walk from what is now Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra and Java. As the last glacial period ended, around 10,800 BCE, the sea level rose some 150 feet, creating what colonial geographers call the Malay Archipelago. In effect, Tanah Melayu is merely an unfounded claim – so long as a single Orang Asli insists he or she is NOT Melayu. Which is why the Orang Asli Affairs Department (JAKOA) has taken on the mission of systematically “assimilating” the Orang Asli through conversion to Islam. An anthropologist wryly noted that the Malays want the Orang Asli to become Malays – so they themselves can lay claim to being Orang Asli!

    The fact that the United Malays Nationalist Organisation is better known as UMNO than Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu or PKMB reveals its colonial origins. The British worked out a deal with the Malay aristocracy, represented by Tunku Abdul Rahman, which would grant a semblance of political independence to Malaya – while allowing Britain to retain a firm grip on Malaya’s rich natural resources.

    In short, UMNO was founded on a gigantic deception. That’s why they tend to spend so much energy and money on propaganda, hype and braggadocio, to cover up their deep-seated insecurity. Originally, the bulk of UMNO members were schoolteachers, junior civil servants, fishermen and farmers. By the time the party was declared illegal by Justice Harun Hashim in February 1988, it was largely populated by contractors, small entrepreneurs, and professional rent-seekers.

    In its new incarnation as UMNO BARU, it became an extension of Mahathir Mohamad’s insatiable lust for wealth and the power it brings. A breed of instant Bumi billionaires was artificially created by Mahathir, with the help of his finance minister Daim Zainuddin, as a personal power base. This gave rise to the UMNOputra or nouveau riche ruling elite who began to taste the intoxication of seemingly limitless wealth, luxury, and political influence. Every UMNO warlord who made his first million desired to imitate the regal lifestyles of the Sultans – so they went on to making their first billion, or rather stealing it!

    To maintain their grip on the national purse-strings, they needed the unquestioning support of the rural Malays, whom they began to deliberately dumb-down by manipulating the education system and controlling the mass media. Having replaced English with Malay as the medium of instruction, they realized the advantages of effectively keeping the rural Malays monolingual and monocultural – insulated from outside influences and sheep-like in their religious indoctrination.

    The various stages of UMNO’s strategy

    Initially UMNO sought independence with the support of all the races. The British taught them how to divide and rule by establishing race-based political parties like the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and Malayan Indian Congress (MIC). There weren’t enough Eurasians to warrant a Malayan Eurasian Party; and the humble Orang Asli were a long way from demanding their own political lobby.

    For the first ten years, the nation progressed smoothly and grew into a larger political federation with the inclusion of Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now Sabah). It didn’t take long for the Malay elite to realize that with Singapore’s entry into the equation, the Chinese community would become much larger than they felt comfortable with. Lee Kuan Yew’s vision of a powerful modern state driven by business acumen, drawing on vast natural resources, and cosmopolitan in outlook stirred deep unease among the UMNO elite.

    They knew the Chinese would soon control the economy – as they already did the urban areas – and the Malays would be at a severe disadvantage, because of their strong attachment to traditions which made them reluctant to embrace globalism - unlike the Chinese, Indians and Eurasians who, as migrant races, were far more open to foreign ideas. Singapore had to be expelled before the Yellow Peril could take root.

    In 1969 a cabal of educated middle-class Malays in UMNO were seized by chauvinistic fervor. They became impatient to wrest power from the traditional elite, the Anglophilic Malay aristocracy symbolized by Tunku Abdul Rahman. Their own Sultans were so enamored of British culture, they often spent more time in London visiting the Queen than in their own states.

    Indeed, Sultan Abu Bakar of Johore was rumored to have been Queen Victoria’s secret paramour, and in the UK he preferred to be called Albert Baker.

    Stirring up existing tensions between the Chinese and Malays was easily accomplished and this led to an outbreak of racial violence triggered by UMNO’s poor showing in the first nationwide elections held on 10 May 1969. This was the golden opportunity the young Malay nationalist cabal led by Razak Hussein had been awaiting. If the riots had been a spontaneous eruption of racial animosities, the police and military forces could have established a strict curfew and brought the violence under control within 48 hours. Instead, the killings were allowed to go on for several weeks with a total loss of life and property that has never been fully tallied.

    With Razak Hussein taking over from Tunku Abdul Rahman, UMNO began to remake the nation after its own chauvinistic and opportunistic image. The New Economic Policy was introduced, followed by a National Cultural Policy aimed at sidelining “foreign” cultures. Soon the Biro Tatanegara (National Ideology Bureau) was initiated to indoctrinate civil servants with the spurious concept of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy).

    In Sarawak where the 'robber' baron Taib Mahmud has reigned unchallenged as Chief Minister for 32 years, UMNO is unable to gain a foothold. With a majority population of Orang Asal (indigenous tribes) – many of whom were Christianized by missionaries during the days of Rajah Brooke – the only way UMNO can make its oppressive presence felt is through attempts to turn them into Malays, just as they have been doing with the peninsular Orang Asli. To achieve this, UMNO must first discourage them from practicing Christianity – hence the brouhaha over the use of Allah in the Malay-language Bible or Alkitab.

    Even as hollow slogans like “1Malaysia” were coined at enormous expense, UMNO’s apartheid mentality has become increasingly obnoxious and overt – especially since losing its two-thirds parliamentary majority (again) in March 2008. Efforts to instigate a fresh round of racial violence after the 12th general election quickly fizzled out because Malaysians across the racial spectrum have become far more savvy since the internet destroyed UMNO/BN’s absolute monopoly on newspapers and television.

    No longer is it possible to pretend that it’s about Malays versus Chinese. Enough Malays have become educated and well-traveled to realize that it’s really about integrity versus disintegrity.

    Nothing to do with race or religion – and even less to do with royalty, which most Malaysians have come to accept as an unfortunate fact of life that can only be redressed when enough of us view ourselves as Malaysians.

    UMNO is not at all worried about the brain drain - even though many who have migrated elsewhere include a large number of Malays, the ones with ability, intelligence and integrity. After all, UMNO depends entirely on compliant, semi-literate, rent-seeking Malays with an inferiority complex to maintain its voter base – and, alas, there are still vast numbers of these around, even after 43 years of special privileges and preferential treatment.

    UMNO is bad by design and for a purpose

    Part of the post-1969 UMNO agenda was to completely dominate the economy, making it difficult for non-Malays to succeed in business. This UMNO attempted to achieve by setting up so many bureaucratic obstacles that the non-Malay business community was compelled to resort to bribery. Having accepted the bribes, they then turned around and accused the Chinese of being a corrupting influence. UMNO itself, of course, has acquired a species of magical immunity to corruption – mainly by planting cronies in key law enforcement positions.

    UMNO knows it is corrupt, dishonest, arrogant and extravagant - but will never admit it. With the rise of an educated, well-informed, urban middle class clamoring loudly for reform, UMNO’s only response has been to revert to Mahathirist authoritarianism, clamping down hard on dissent and setting loose the police on social and environmental activists – instead of on increasingly powerful crime syndicates, the real threats to peace and security.

    Even as Zionist Israelis learned from the Nazis how to oppress the Palestinians, UMNO Malays have learned from the Zionists how to go the whole hog towards fascistic Nazism. It appears that the Great Transformer, Najib son of Razak, has only managed since 5 May 2013, to transform Barisan Nasional into Barisan Nazional – with a little help, of course, from the new home minister and Inspector-General of Police.

    Malaysia Chronicle

    Full article:
    Follow us: @MsiaChronicle on Twitter

  10. #190
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Outsourcing thuggery from UMNO.

    Pekida more than meets the eye, researcher finds

    Based on her five -year research in Malaysia, French PhD holder Sophie Lemiere said that the NGO Pekida or Tiga Line alludes its allegiance and loyalty to the Malay community, royalty and Islam.

    This can be seen in its symbol of red (for blood), yellow (royalty) and green (Islam), she said.

    Lemiere added that based on her extensive interviews with its members and Internet search, groups like Pekida are a complex network of discreet NGOs created by gangs for which political militancy is a business.

    "Pekida is a generic name used to describe an intricate network of gangs and NGOs.

    "In reality, the name Pekida is the name of one of those numerous NGOs created by this network to offer political support, legalise part of their activity, and ease the reception of funds from the ruling party," she noted.
    Lemiere said there may be other groups that call themselves Pekida but go under another name as well or may not be linked with Pekida.

    She added that the two main notions to be highlighted are the common challenge for any gang for survival and the best way to secure survival is through power and money.

    'Power and money driving force'
    "The main objectives of the group is power, profit and money, which imply that members are involved in illegal activities, and may use different degrees of violence," she said.

    "Its basic ambition is often reshaped into ideological terms in order to facilitate recruitment, group coalition and justifying the use of violence," she added.

    "Sustainability of the group is ensured by adaptation to political and social changes. A gangs' identity may change according to opportunity," she stressed.

    Lemiere (left) said political situations which are in transition are favourable to the development of gangs and open opportunities for relationships with political parties.

    In this context, gangs may become entrepreneur of politics, or connivance militant, to whom political actions are subcontracted in order to maintain political power, she added.

    "It's like an angry chameleon, which can change color and shape anytime, but always remain with a violent potential," she said.

    Lemiere, who just received her PhD from Sciences-Po Paris on Ethno-nationalist and Islamic movements in Malaysia, was in Penang to present her paper in Universiti Sains Malaysia yesterday.

    Her paper, "Gangsters and Masters: Connivance Militancy in Contemporary Malaysia" was based on research from 2008 to April this year.

    Lemiere is based in Singapore and affiliated with the Asian Research Institute of the National University of Singapore.

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