Thursday, July 24, 2008

UMNO and PAS 'Muzakarah'/ 巫统与回教党密商

There’s a lot of talk and speculation about top UMNO leaders meeting PAS leaders on Malay and Muslim unity. Leaders from both political divide can meet from time to time so that there is a better understanding of each other’s position. As a non-Malay and non-Muslim, I am more concerned about how the outcome of such engagement has on the rest of the rakyat who are non Muslim and non Malay and in fact, we have the right to know. The Prime Minister for that matter and PAS national leaders must remember that as national leaders, they must be leaders for all irrespective of race and religion.

I’ve always said that it is difficult in the political arena in Malaysia to work without considering race and religion although there are leaders who claim to be multiracial. As long as Islam is the official religion, Malays enjoy special rights as enshrined in constitution and the Chief of state except Penang must be a Muslim as stipulated in the state constitution, it is difficult for any political party be it Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat to move away from ethnic-based politics. Of course it is popular to be multiracial while on stage but the political reality is otherwise.

Ideally, in the long term, politics should be issue-centered rather than ethno-centric. This will take some time to develop. Although a lot of people may not agree with me, but I’m just stating the political reality in Malaysia that while we slowly move towards issue-centered politics, race and religion will always be the major consideration either from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. The only difference is that some politicians are good at packaging themselves as very multiracial outlook while others are not so good in doing so.

一直盛传巫统高层领袖和回教党领袖秘密会面,商谈马来人和回教徒的团结。其实两个联盟的领袖可不时会面,以便更了解各自的立场。身为一位非马来人和非回教徒,我比较关注的是这个会面所带给非回教徒和非马来社会的影响。其实,我们有权知道。首相和回教党中央领袖必须牢记,身为国家领导人物,不管人民是来自那一个种族或宗教,他们是全民的领袖。

我常说,虽然有些领袖自称属于多元种族领袖,但在马来西亚政局行事时是很难於不顾虑到种族和宗教因素。只要回教是我国的官方宗教,马来人在宪法里享有特权,以及除了槟州之外,州首长都必须是马来人,那就很难有任何政党可远离以种族为基的政治。当然,在台上以多元化标榜立场较受欢迎及普遍,但政治现实却不是如此。

当然,长期来说,最理想的政治是以课题为中心点,而非着重于种族性质。这需要时间去发展。当我们慢步朝向以课题为基的政治时,民盟或国阵还是优先顾虑种族及宗教因素。虽然很多人不赞同我的看法,但我要指出的是马来西亚政治现实的一面。不同之处,只是有些政治人物很会把自己包装成多元化,而有些在这方面却做得不那么好。

23 comments:

Pak Yong said...

The two will never merge, trully. They're too different and egos too big to compromise. And PAS is justified to be wary of UMNO. While we're there, if really the concern is issues related to a specific race and religion, there is nothing wrong with holding civil discussions, as long as whatever outcome reached is not at the expense of other groups.

nisha said...

hai doc :)

this is my first time here.so pardon my words if u find any of it disturbing you :)

i'm quite agree with your article.it's not easy being a politician to work here in Malaysia without considering of race and religion.eventhough we here tend to be more and more towards issue-centred,still race and religion will always be the major consideration.

my employer used to say to me that Malaysian are not ready yet for a mature political system.i dont really grope what he means but i think he's talking about your article here.my understanding towards "mature political system" is like the democrat and republican in the USA.

otk126 said...

The Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently admitted that he has had three meetings so far, with the Central Committee of PAS on the issues related to unity of the Malays. However, I’m of the view that, the Prime Minister should not only, at the present moment or at times, meeting PAS and focus on the issues of Malays, but should instead, meeting all parties regardless of BN or PR members and discuss on the issues related to all Malaysians, which involve the Malays, Indians and Chinese.

He, the Prime Minister, is meant for all Malaysians. So, it’s ideal and sensible for him to address on all issues related to all races in Malaysia and lead all Malaysians to succeed in dealing with all those unwanted problems like fuel increase, economic downturn, inflation etc. rather than just be centred on the subject for one particular race.

From the various reports and citations, I believe economic slowdown in Malaysia is the present known problem of all races at all levels. As such, our respected Prime Minister is sincerely urged to care for all Malaysians instead of an ethnic group.

If the Prime Minister intends to talk about the issue of unity, he should first talk about the unity of all races, not just one. For all my friends regardless of race, age, gender and level in Malaysia, I would suggest to the Chairman of BN, YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to call for a great unity of all people or races in Malaysia.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multicultural country, the Government should not only focus on a single aspect. The results of the 308 general election have clearly reflected and conveyed the message that the people do not favour the prevalence of racism. It may bring BN another “great lesson”, if UMNO insisted on racial dominant and further involved the Islamic theologies.

Therefore, we deeply hope that UMNO is not on a turning track, they must realize what the people want and what the Government should do, to help solving the present problems faced by all Malaysians, definitely not be engaged in a single-ethnic extremism.

Please allow me to urge the Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to acknowledge and address on other major issues of all Malaysians, including Malays, Indians and Chinese. The present known problems in Malaysia include inflations, cases of corruption, abuse of power in some departments, reviving the Royal Malaysian Police and revitalization of the Malaysian judiciary.

Our respected Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has made it clear that he would lead the country for another two years before passing over to his successor. Therefore, he's expected to do his best for all Malaysians during the said two years.

Oh Tong Keong
Central Committee/
Penang State Youth Secretary,
PEMUDA Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

matkomen said...

Dear Dr,
You are wrong in saying issue-centrism /multiracialism is a long way yet to being realised. It will be, if politicians like you delay it.

And you go on to dismiss those who proclaim it as being good at packaging! Accept the challenge and pursue it now, rather than disguising it under the BN concept of unequal 'partnership'. Who gains the most from this partnership ... the towkays in MCA, the gangsters in MIC. Then, for the rest of the members, you go begging and scraps are thrown.

Really, if you search your conscience, you will know how unfairly the coponent parties in BN have been treated, minus of course, some of the heads of these parties.

Kenny Gan said...

Chua, actually you are speaking like a true politician, saying a lot of words without saying much but please tell us what is MCA's policy towards PAS now? Is PAS still the Islamic bogeyman to be used to trash DAP for working with PAS?

Remember that MCA warned Chinese about DAP cooperating with PAS before the 12th G.E. and after the election, Ong Ka Chun demanded that DAP apologize to the Chinese community for misleading them by forming state governments with PAS.

Now it is revealed that the PM and Umno have talked to PAS for possible power sharing which would have sideline the non-Malays, why is MCA so quiet?

Where is all the ominous drum beating about the evils of working with PAS?

As a Malaysian Chinese, I really struggle to find any relevance in MCA as a party to represent the Chinese. MCA has demonstrated time and again that it is subservient to Umno.

While fear of PAS has subsided among the non-Malays (thanks to extremist acts by Umno), MCA was still flogging a dead horse. At least MCA will not be able to use the PAS bogeyman to flog DAP in future.

Kenny Gan said...

Chua, actually you are speaking like a true politician, saying a lot of words without saying much but please tell us what is MCA's policy towards PAS now? Is PAS still the Islamic bogeyman to be used to trash DAP for working with PAS?

Remember that MCA warned Chinese about DAP cooperating with PAS before the 12th G.E. and after the election, Ong Ka Chun demanded that DAP apologize to the Chinese community for misleading them by forming state governments with PAS.

Now it is revealed that the PM and Umno have talked to PAS for possible power sharing which would have sideline the non-Malays, why is MCA so quiet?

Where is all the ominous drum beating about the evils of working with PAS?

As a Malaysian Chinese, I really struggle to find any relevance in MCA as a party to represent the Chinese. MCA has demonstrated time and again that it is subservient to Umno.

While fear of PAS has subsided among the non-Malays (thanks to extremist acts by Umno), MCA was still flogging a dead horse. At least MCA will not be able to use the PAS bogeyman to flog DAP in future.

People said...

U MCA just know how to talk nuts!
Always condemn PAS and threaten the Chinese Community that PAS want to form Islamic State if they become the govt!
So now your BN/UMNO 'Muzakarah' with PAS, so the whole Chinese Community would like to see will MCA used the Islamic State issue to threaten the Chinese Community or not!
You can fool some people for some time, but you can't fool all people all the time!

Pearls said...

Like I have said... everyone has to move away from this race issue.. Everyone meaning the politician and those good for nothing royal bumps as well. Ultimately, if nobody makes a solid effort, we will forever be entrenched in this race issue thing.

So, to everyone who wants Malaysia to move away from this race thing, everyone should stop all this Malay is preferred, MB must be a muslim crapshit! This, I must say might be tremendously hard for BN to do... you are a very good example.

There is nothing wrong with PAS talking with UMNO or vice-versa but there is something very wrong with the content of their talks and the way they did it.. All in secrecy and the matter discussed during such talks! Khir Toyol @ Khinzir should be charged with ISA for his racist remarks as per reports by PAS. Those remarks can incite racial riot!

And! That good for nothing PM should be thrown into jail for allowing AND going along with Khinzir's blinking idea laced with racism! What sort of leader is he?? Liar is a small matter.. but a leader laced with racism and only have his own kind's interest at heart... That is so sickening!

I never thought that Klu Klax Kan is alive here but these 2 spawns of the devil have proven otherwise. Oh yes, I am sure there are a lot more such spawns of the devils lurking in powerful positions in BN and hopefully, they either will drop dead like flies or get strike by lightning or die a horrible death soon.

You can say whatever you like about PAS but you gotta admit that these people in green have integrity! They will not sell their integrity for position and power!! This is something BN people have to learn.. learn fast! BN meaning MCA too! Oh yes!! and MCA again has proven that they are not the representative of the Chinese... Keep quiet and agree about this talk??? Eh, wake up la!!! Protest!! Not the meeting but the content of the meeting!! Waiting for what??

MC said...

Ideally, in the long term, politics should be issue-centered rather than ethno-centric. This will take some time to develop.

----> I agree

The only difference is that some politicians are good at packaging themselves as very multiracial outlook while others are not so good in doing so.

----> Disagree.
This is not an issue of packaging. It is a label of who you are and what you are going to do. When you say you are a multiracial politician, you have to work it out and show that you are. Every races are watching.

I am a Chinese and not opposed to the special rights of Malay. But I'm offended when a Malay leaders treat Chinese as a threat to their special rights and start comparing between Malay and Chinese.

shan said...

Datuk, Why is your name in short form i.e lowercase? Regards.

Eximius said...

Just because there are certain provisions to protect the Malays does not negate the fact this country was originally envisioned to be one of multi-racial, multi-cultural one.

The fact of the matter when this country was founded, the founders envisioned a strong federal govt but they all did not envisioned one that is so overwhelmingly federalist. Given our federalist model now, there is no reason to suppose state rights is no more a minimal protection of ethnic rights.

Islam as the official religion was provided for to prevent the absolute separation of religion and state NOT that it was a bad idea to separate religion and state and clearly stated as intended to be secular. Our founder, no less than Tunku Abdual Rahman, has said that we MUST NEVER BE AN ISLAMIC STATE.

Just because our politicians and institutions are weak, if we give up on our original ideal, then lets forget ourselves as a nation. Its pointless than to preach nationhood and a Malaysian society.

Robert Teh said...

Soi Lek,

At first I hesitated in wanting to re-print my comment on Wong Chun Wai's Blog to your Blog, but after reading John Lee's article in the Malaysian Insider (July 25), I changed my mind, as I think the issue of Malaysian Unity is of paramount importance to all and sundry in Malaysia.

Here's my comment:

"Pak Lah is a Prime Minister for All Malaysians - in words only!

As the Prime Minister he should be talking about Malaysian Unity, instead of Malay Unity. He should be concerned about Malaysian Unity and he should be championing Malaysian Unity.

He should brushed off those who plot to continue to rule Malaysia with such racist and discriminatory policies, behind the charade of a multi-racial Malaysia,instead of partaking in such a plot and talk.

All decent and peace loving Malaysians want Malaysian Unity - we are all against any single race unity in this country.

Pak Lah, please heed our calls."

To build a United Multi-Racial Malaysia may seem an impossible task today, but as a resposible leader or ordinary Malaysian, we must be brave enough to make that First Step!

And taking that first step, we must! Doc.

Nostradamus said...

Justifications to Answers on Jeyklls and Hydes Question 17.
Justifikasi kepada Jawapan atas Soalan 17 Jeykll dan Hyde.

17. The next PM of Malaysia will follow R.A.H.M.A.N theory. (Fact).
17. Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang berikutnya akan mengikuti teori R.A.H.M.A.N (Fakta).

Quatrain 17

In the month of summer games
When leaders are chosen and thrown away
Man starts to think again
Power, Gold and Glory to gain

Problems to glory are but hindrances
To be solve is such a simple game
Sleeping partner is to be cast away
Expendable are those as such before

http://Patek1472.wordpress.com

John said...

By having such talks, The PM and UMNO is really insensitive to the feeling of non-malay especially the chinese. How's about the Malaysian Unity? It show that UMNO is racist. You should bring up the issue.

Lee said...

Dr Chua,

When DAP, RPK and PAS formed PR, Ong Ka Chuan was accusing DAP of betraying the Chinese. Now, his boss, head of BN and main coaliation partner UMNO is planning to "sleep" with PAS, not a single word has come out from his mouth. Isn't that also betraying the Chinese and MCA. Why he choose to remain silent on this matter. Why? I have made the same comments in WCW's blog and as expected, not published. I hope you will not do the same - as what WCW has done.

Bob said...

...the Chief of state except Penang must be a Muslim as stipulated in the state constitution...

Dato', I refer to your statement which I extracted and placed herein.

Dato', I believe you made an error. Sabah & Sarawak have strict prohibitions about freedom of religion. So 3 states do not have the provision that the Head of State has to be a Moslem or a Malay.

As a matter of fact, we should not be referring to "states" but to 3 equal "entities" viz Sabah, Sarawak & Peninsular Malaysia. Originally in 63 it was supposed to be 4, but with the expelling of Singapore, it was reduced to "3" equal partners.

I am disappointed that your previous comrades state that it is UMNO's right to have this meeting with PAS. As part of BN, the BN component parties should be standing up and asking questions, not concurring meekly. There is no need for a BN if PAS-UMNO merge.

We have to reiterate, that all the poor people inclusive of every race are suffering. Our leaders are so worried about their political futures, that they have forgotten the main point of their existence which is for the continued progression of Malaysia.

The eyes are off the prize, as everyone is fighting for position. Who's gonna look out for the country???

BobSam

conscience said...

Exchanging views among political friends or enemies, to better the management of the country is not a bad thing. It should be done in full transparency and knowledge of their respective partners. Pas and Umno if they discuss Islam unity I may still find it acceptable, why Malay unity?
If they should discuss on race unity, should it not be Malaysian unity? I find it rather suspicious and discomforting.
Again, you people in Mca and Mic
have'nt you got anything to say?

conscience said...

Ong Ka Chuan if he has any self- respect and principle, he should resign from MCA. What more integrity has he got as a politician...one should take responsibility what one said and believed. A person like him, will only bring MCA to further shame!I am not impressed and certainly, not going to change my mind to vote MCA!

Ah Chin said...

Pas leaders who attended the muzakarah were insulting their own intelligence. How in the world could they even had an iota of trust in scoundrels the likes of Khir Toyo. They must have been blinded by the prospect of easy material riches. Little did they know that the Umno gravy train is so packed with vultures and wolves that there is hardly any room for people from Pas. Have these Pas leaders forgotten that there wasn't a word for muzakarah from Umno when it was riding the crest of victory in GE2004? They should realise that muzakarah was a desperate attempt by a Umno to hang on to power after the thrashing of 308. Thank goodness Pas still has upright leaders like Tok Guru Nik Aziz who can easily see through the devious scehme of the Umno scoundrels. Also there is no reason for the non-Malays to get concerned. It is more likely for President Bush to embrace Osama bin Laden than for Umno and Pas sleeping together.

kiddokit said...

Dr. Chua,

Okay, NOW I'm worried. No, make that afraid. Afraid of what, you may ask? Afraid of the direction that you intend to take MCA into.

Let me explain. Whilst you have not formally announce you will take on Ong Tee Keat for the Presidency, but I'm willing to bet my last ringgit that you will. The smell of power beckons, eh?

So, what if you do win the coveted prize? Which road do you intend to take MCA on? Judging from your blog postings which palpably expound your belief in race-based politics, it's not difficult for us M'sians to guess.

So, that's it then, huh? Back to square one. Race-based policies are back on. As long as you use your charm to deliver the Chinese votes to BN, all is well again within BN and M'sia, won't it?

After all the statements made by Ong Ka Ting that MCA has learned its lesson and will listen to the public more, you are going to wind back time and undo the achievements.

I guess I can understand why you wish to not comment on Anwar vs. Najib's case. You have to preserve some sense of neutrality in view of the good chances of you getting the MCA Presidency. You certainly can't start off on the wrong footing had you now condemn Najib only to see that nefarious Najib assume the PM-ship later on.

So, I guess that's it then. Really and completely back to square one. NOW I really am afraid.

RAKYAT said...

For the first time in 50 years, a window of opportunity had presented it self to us to make a two party system a reality in Malaysia. Two party system benefit all rakyat. MCA till this date had not even mention about this. Hopefully, if you even to make a come back in this party election, you will able to see and lead MCA toward multi-racial politic.

Kenny Gan said...

Dear Dr. Chua,

Your MCA President Ong Ka Ting said in response to PAS-Umno Muzakarah:

"Umno has a right to have discussions with any party. What is important is the BN spirit of always safeguarding the interests of the various races."

Note that he says Umno has the right, not MCA or all parties. Isn't this another vomit inducing, subservient mentality, apologist and deceptive comment targetted at the Chinese community for damage control?

Umno is a racist party and it will always creates and exploits racial tension to maintain its hold on power but why is MCA a willing accomplice with them?

Dr. Chua, I believe you are one of the better ones in MCA with some core principles and innate sincerity to serve the community. I'm not interested in your sexual indescretion; that is between you and your wife. Please follow Tan Yee Kew's example and join PKR to do something for the country before we all slide down to a failed state.

colorless said...

Umno will do anything to ensure it's survival. Now, who's sleeping with the enemy and having different dreams.
As for Ong Ka Chuan, never heard him making any intelligent comment. Always putting his foot in his mouth. I challenge Ong Ka Chuan to demand Umno to stop the discussion with Pas...otherwise leave BN or shut the *&%# up.
Dr. Chua, hope you leave for DAP or PKR. MCA is hopeless.

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