Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Much has been said about the recent advent of public outcries via public marches and gatherings. As far back as I can remember there has never been a spate of public marches and gatherings happening in such a short space of time. I am drawn to the one and only comment of my posting ‘Freedom and Equality – Non Existent Part 1’. “Our country is evolving. We had been under the yoke of colonisation for long..long time; both colonisation of country and the mind”. I cannot help but agree with “gukita”. However when evolution is forcibly halted it becomes time bomb waiting to explode.

Whatever is said and done Malaysia is still a ‘Fledgling Democracy’. True, we are celebrating 50 years of Independence but the country is still searching for its true identity. We still argue whether we are should call ourselves ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ after 50 years. Our politicians still rant and rave about ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. It is a delicate situation indeed for a fledgling democracy. Like it or not Malaysia is a multi racial country with the majority being ethnic malays. It is an oxy moron when we get some politicians saying that we should never use the racial card to garner support and political mileage. On the other hand politicians from the same party are clearly using the racial card by saying the malay position should never be questioned or threatened. This only serves to confuse the masses and further push the racial divide even wider. Is this what they really want?? If so why?? Are they using our racial heritage to ensure we will never be able to progress and actually live together harmoniously despite our racial differences??

History must never be taken lightly. We must learn from it in order NOT to repeat past mistakes. Malaysia’s independence was built on public marches and protests whether the current government wants to admit it or not. To say that it is not our ‘culture’ is to be in denial. The fact remains that this is the first time the ruling coalition has experienced such a consolidated movement and expression of dissatisfaction. Public dissent is on the rise and they (the ruling coalition) are clueless in how to be answerable. Blanket clampdowns and denials of permits will only serve add fuel to the already simmering fire.

If we are a democracy why the clampdowns and why the rejections of permits to hold peaceful gatherings?? Public safety has been used as an excuse. The fear of the peaceful gatherings turning violent is another. Stating public safety overrides public freedom can be accepted to a certain degree but then again that’s why we have our police force. To ensure public safety is guaranteed. Guidelines and regulations can be extended to the organisation or party requesting a permit. Adhering to those set of guidelines and regulations is the responsibility of the organisation and or party requesting the said permit. The authorities i.e. the police should be there to facilitate and ensure that all guidelines and regulations are abided. If any of the guidelines and or rules are broken the police can haul and charge the leaders or the said organisation or party. The heavy handedness used which was broadcasted all over the world has done nothing but damage the country’s image. One of course can blame the organizers of the peaceful gathering but on the other hand if it were to have been left alone and run it course without any intervention it would have shown that we are indeed a country striving and thriving in a healthy democracy.

Peaceful gatherings are held in many developed countries all over the world. The police are always present. They are there to ensure the gathering proceeds peacefully and runs its course. Facilitating traffic and monitoring the situation is their objective.

We are certainly going through an evolution. An evolution of awareness and maturity. Demands of accountability and fairness on many issues are being put forward. A government who fails to deliver will only subscribe to its doom. Efforts which use heavy handedness and force will only show that the ruling government is unable to deliver and is unwilling to face the obvious reality of its weaknesses. True we are not Myanmar or Pakistan for that matter. Unfortunately we are heading to towards being such countries.

The governments hold on power is slipping and it knows it. The people have risen and must be heard. Let there be a level and fair playing field. Democracy demands that the majority be heard. Democracy demands that the majority rules. Let the people speak, let them be heard. The government is our elected leaders. If they fail to listen and continue to deprive us fairness, equality and our constitutional right to peaceful assembly, its time for them to learn the hard way. I am not supporting or advocating violence, they have to be taught the hard way by means of removing them from office via the ballot box.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Freedom and Equality Non Existent - Part 1

My past and current occupation has taken me far and wide. While we celebrate 50 years of independence from Colonial Rule, the media can’t proclaim the same. Impartiality, fairness and equality are far from being practiced in any main stream media in Malaysia. The general public is being fed lies upon lies day in and day out. I am so very thankful that I have the internet and cable television where I get more credible news and updates on what is really happening in our own country. What a sad state of affairs one would think. However that’s the simple truth.

In all of my travels, more so in western countries I witnessed ‘Freedom of the Press’ in the true sense of the word. The media, be it print, television or electronic portray the news and events as they are. For a very long time the public here in Malaysia is denied of such reporting. The ‘Bersih’ walk is just one example of how the media here has misreported the whole event. However, we who have access to the internet and international news coverage know better. There is no need for me to reiterate what actually happened on that HISTORIC DAY.

If we are to be considered as a Developed Country by 2020, we need to unshackle the press. Freedom of the press is one of many factors which will determine Malaysia being recognized as a developed nation. Until it is proven so, there is no way the international community will acknowledge our status. I sincerely believe that there are reporters and journalists in the main stream media who are earnest and honest in what they want to report. However, if they are still restricted in doing so by the powers that be how can we say that Freedom of the Press is alive and well here in Malaysia. Control and manipulation of what is being printed and broadcasted is clearly being practiced by the state. One only needs to exercise his or her basic logic to see through it.

It is also very evident that the state uses the media for its own personal benefit and glorification. However they fail to realize or are oblivious to the fact that the Malaysian public has matured and are more intelligent. We the public now are beyond the lot that takes everything being reported as gospel or lock stock and barrel.

The media must be allowed to tell both sides of the story. The media has a social responsibility to the public to do so. They cannot and must not be curtailed or restricted in reporting what is right and detailing all facts. Personally I remain impartial until I have been given both sides of a report before I make any judgment. However I am denied the whole facts as the media here only reports one side of the story. One clear example is the opposition has never been given the ‘PROPER’ opportunity to express themselves. Coverage for the opposition is very limited if any at all.

Having spent time in many developed countries like the US and UK both the ruling government and the opposition are given equal time and opportunity in as far as the press is concerned. Isn’t that what Democracy is all about? Having the freedom to express ourselves and be heard? Be it a ruling government official or a member of the opposition? How are we to exercise our democratic right as citizens to choose who is to lead us if only members of the ruling party is given the opportunity.

Facts must never be distorted or held back. It is the whole truth or nothing at all. Both sides must be given equal opportunity to speak or be heard. Like it or not the media has a role to play and has a social responsibility. History has shown in many countries around the world that the media has had a hand in exposing corrupt officials and corrupt practices. Why is not evident here in Malaysia one would think. It is definitely not due to the lack of quality reporters and or news editors. State control is the issue here and nothing more. More often than not ‘small frys’ are exposed but never the ‘big fish’. Until such time a level playing field is evident I personally have my doubts on the credibility of our news media. Do we have to wait for another 50 years to go by before we really see Freedom of the Press???

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Speaking Out

It is so sad and worrying to see the current state of affairs in our beloved Malaysia. I must admit that I have been reading blogs for the last 1 year and to see the how we have deteriorated to this level is indeed SO VERY SAD. Sitting here it so overwhelming and I wish to give my two cents worth on a variety of issues but quite honestly I just don't know where to start or to begin. Politics, education, race, economy, the media and the government are just a few of the topics which I have an opinion of. Comments coming from a man on the street who has nothing but a SPM level education may not carry much weight if any at all but I still feel the need to say my piece as I am a Malaysian Citizen and thus have a right to voice my views however insignificant it may be. Further to that I firmly believe that if more Malaysians like me, who I sincerely believe constitute the majority of the population speaks up and out we can make a difference. Which is why I have chosen to talk about speaking out in my first blog.

Before even touching on matters or topics which I mentioned above I personally believe that I must voice out why I intend to finally speak out. More than once I have added comments to blogs which I have read under the 'anonymous' tag. I feel it is high time more of us should come out and be heard and let our 'leaders' know that we are not just merely voters or people trying to eke out a living and survive. As a parent, safeguarding the future of our children is why we work so hard. Unfortunately the current state of affairs is rather worrisome. The threat of racial violence is becoming more apparent than ever before (since May 13th 1969). Violent demonstrations which we as normal citizens never dreamed of witnessing on our very own shores is now happening in front of our very own eyes. Why has it come to this? How is it that a country known all over the world for its' religious and racial tolerance the past 25 to 30 years is slowly going down the road of racial riots?

Speaking out can make a difference, I may be only a little voice but a little voice put together with other little voices becomes a thundering roar which no government can deny or ignore. Touching on the media, we are denied true and fair reporting on anything and everything. Personally I have stopped buying any newspapers and only on occasion watch the news. I have instead turned to the internet and watch foreign news coverage to get fair, true and concise reports and news. Imagine that!! A local individual turning to foreign media to know what is really happening in his own country. How sad is that???!!! What of other under privileged citizens who can’t afford the internet or cable television??? They are fed biased with one sided views, opinions and news and as such form an opinion which is unfair and unjust.

I firmly believe, we, the current generation of citizens have evolved and matured to better understand the intricacies of politics and governance. A large percentage of us have had some form of exposure overseas be it via education and or occupation. It is this exposure which endows us the experience and knowledge that what is going on in our dear beloved country is not right. However we do not question the powers that be for fear of persecution. We have been institutionalised to think that whatever is done by the present government is for own good and therefore is beyond question. However as I have mentioned we have evolved and have matured. Moral values, such as tolerance and respect for each other which have been instilled in us by our parents while growing up in a multi racial country has given us a solid foundation. However this very foundation is now being threatened. The very essence that makes Malaysia unique is now under threat. Long have we enjoyed racial harmony, celebrating each and every religious festival together. Sharing our joy and happiness. Now it seems for the sake of support and political greed race is being used to garner support. Dividing and destroying what makes us special and unique. We need to look to ourselves really if we want this to carry on happening. History has taught us so much, our past mistakes are lessons learnt which we need to heed. We just cannot afford to let past mistakes haunt us instead it should teach us not to repeat those very same mistakes. Again I reiterate that we as individuals should speak out and be heard. We don’t want racial tensions, we don’t want race related issues being raised where we begin to be suspicious of each other due to different races. Living together in peace and harmony is what every individual wants. More so people like me with a young family. We have so much to live for. Our children have much to live for and their future has to be secure.

This is why , now more than ever our voices need to be heard. The silent majority of peace loving Malaysians who want nothing more than peace and harmony for ourselves and our family. To live life without fear and give our children a future. Say no to any form of racial discrimination in every aspect of life. Let us all come together and make our voices be heard. Come out of our shells and do what is right for the sake of our family and national unity. I sincerely hope and pray more loyal citizens such as myself come out to make ourselves heard and make a stand. The time is now!!!!