Finally, the state government realized that it has a stake in the whole project, flexes its muscle to government agency to solve the problem. After 2 weeks of high tension excitement, fear and frustration, finally it’s putting the act together. To oppose is easy, but to govern and solve problem is an entirely different matter.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Finally, the state government realized that it has a stake in the whole project, flexes its muscle to government agency to solve the problem. After 2 weeks of high tension excitement, fear and frustration, finally it’s putting the act together. To oppose is easy, but to govern and solve problem is an entirely different matter.
Chua: Banning foreign cars from filling petrol within 30-50km from Malaysia borders is an illogical move/ 限制外国汽车添油非良策
He urged the government to reconsider the move and instead, set a different set of petrol price for foreign cars so that foreign cars can continue to have freedom to pump petrol in Johor Bahru.
Stressing that Johor Bahru is the centre of economic activities and adding to it is the Iskandar Development Region, he said that the decision by the government to ban foreign cars from pumping petrol within 30-50km from the border of Malaysia is illogical and doesn’t match our friendly foreign investment strategy.
“Johor is a special economic area. Its main economy income comes from Singaporeans. According to my understanding, there are about 50, 000 to 100, 000 Singaporeans traveled to and from Malaysia. Among them includes workers, businessman and tourists. When it comes to weekends, there will be about 80, 000 to 100, 000 Singaporeans who come to Johor Bahru to spend,” said Chua.
He added that in this 50, 000 to 100, 000 people, at least 10 percent of them are Johor’s important investors and the above said move will not only restrict foreign investment activities but will also make all foreigners who spend money in Johor Bahru feel unfriendly.
Chua further stressed that he agreed foreigners should not enjoy the same petrol subsidy as Malaysians and that Malaysians’ benefit and rights should be protected.
“However, if we see from the perspective of economy, I do not hope that any decision or strategy by the government will influence and affect foreign investment and tourism,” he said.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
These fraudulent colleges have damaged the reputation of Malaysia’s effort to be the centre of education excellence since we are unable to address the issue of weeding out fraudulent colleges, who are probably helped by immigration authorities. One wonders how the Ministry of Education conducts accreditation and registration of private colleges. Enforcement is weak or rather non-existence unless they are tightened; the issue of fake student visa will continue to plague private education in this country.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
就箅"斩鸡头，立重誓"，以人类这个物种而视，尤其是事关身份地位，别人眼中人格优劣的问题，为了确立及稳固本身立场，许多人是愿意使用这种手段的；今天看到调查委员会建议以"宣誓"来担保供证人的言词，实在让人错愕，甚至相当置疑调查委员会的权威性，试问有哪个被判有罪的人不曾大言不惭的手按经典立誓背书? 调查委员会必须以实在的证据为考量，并以公正的道德标准为依归，若三人小组一事子虚乌有，涉案三人必须得还清白，若真有此事，应予以严惩，还百万马华党员及马华的支持民众一个公道！而非选择以 "宣誓" 的方式来提升言论及供证的可信度，形同儿戏！再者，说到惩处，在三人调查委员会完成调查工作之后，所有的证物，结论及报告是否呈交马华会长理事会进行最后的定夺? 若然，则委员会的工作是否能起着决定性的作用也实在发人深思...
其实，小弟还有一个蛮有趣的迷思，成立三人调查委员会的动机到底是什么？是履行民主程序，还原事件真像吗？还是另有所图？或者，依逻辑检测其价值，是搜索传言中的秘密小组的运作程序及成果？ 是确认该组织的存在与否？ 是找出操作者的身份及目的？ 是向党员交待事件的始末？ 是清党归正的实在作业？ 或... 仅仅只是为已经被确认的事实代赎？
When I was still the Minister of Health, I made changes and decided that it is compulsory to have medical examinations on the first month the workers arrive since examination in some country of origin cannot be trusted. The influx of foreign workers have resulted in re-emergence of infectious disease in Malaysia. Glaring examples are tuberculosis, malaria, syphilis. TB is usually associated with people from poor economic background with lack of sanitation. However, it is not uncommon to find TB in Malaysia among the middle income and rich as well as children because the source of infection comes from the maid who lives in the house.
Medical examinations in Malaysia while it is coordinated by Fomema, some of Malaysian doctors are also not fault free. Laboratory tests are known not to be stringently conducted, X-rays done but not read, the range of laboratory tests are also restricted so that they save on laboratory expenses. While some of these black sheeps had been identified, nor all the problems are solved. Doctors should not just be blacklisted if found to be unprofessional, but should be referred to MMC for disciplinary action because of unprofessional conducts.
The laboratory fees paid to Fomema is suspected to be bloated (RM60 – 75) because of Fomema’s passing this job thru a trading company. Sometime in December last year when I was still the Minister, I managed to persuade Fomema (lab operator) to bring down the price of laboratory tests to RM40 and Fomema to abolish collection of laboratory fees through 3rd party. To be honest, I don’t know why this decision is still not implemented by Ministry of Health although it was agreed then by the Ministry, Fomema and the laboratory operators. Laboratory should be subjected to the Pathology Act so that they become more professional in their conduct of business. The laboratory test must be reliable and accurate. Once the Pathology Act is implemented, they too can be fine and deregistered.
Monday, May 26, 2008
·有人说, 这个秘密小组可能和偷拍光碟的事件有关。当记者问我的意见，我说了我不会随意猜测，也不敢猜测, 因为我没有确实的证据。
《东方日报》: 馬華秘密3人小組風波:指廖中萊對號入座沒必要道歉 蔡細歷：好戲在後頭
報導 - 林淑蕓
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Are you aware that the MCA funded UTAR has trained more than 10, 000 graduates and KTAR 130, 000 graduates? Although we do not practice the quota system and admission is based on merit, 99 percent of students come from one particular race. We hope to see more non-Malays joining us. If we want the government not to practice the quota system, then MCA should set a good example by practicing admission based on merit. Don’t do to others when you don’t want others to do to you.
Education becomes the most important tool/instrument to eradicate poverty to raise the income of a person and to ensure economic independence and social mobility in any society. Hence, in Malaysia, it is also a powerful instrument under the NEP to restructure society, ideally to ensure that no race is identified with any economic function and also to eradicate poverty. While we have been successful in reducing poverty, restructuring of society has been hijacked by some Malays to deny the economic rights and participation of non-Malays and this is the greatest weakness of the NEP since the affirmative action is not based on economic needs, but rather on race.
To aggravate the matter, it is perceived to benefit only a limited number of Malays and this become the most contentious political issue in this country. Affirmative action should not be based on race but be based on needs and this should cut across all racial boundaries. The ultra-Malays and deviation in the government delivery system often would derail such policies which is the sore part among the non-bumis.
video link: http://www.malaysiakini.tv/video/15865.html
Translated version from Sinchew Daily:
Former MCA Vice President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek said that he started to hear about a “secretive 2-man group” in 2006 and it was not a “3-man group” and further said that he did not hear the President, Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting’s name being mentioned.
He said that from what he knew, the people involved in the “secretive 2-man group” was Tee An Chuan and another individual who used to be a deputy minister but has since been promoted to become a full Minister.When further asked about the identity of the Minister, Chua said “he used to be deputy minister on the 16th floor but is now a Minister…you (reporters) are all very smart, you all know who that is.”
Chua was speaking to the press after the hearing session held in MCA headquarters earlier today but he did not reveal the name of the person who “used to be a deputy minister but now has been promoted to a minister”.He said that since 2006, some grassroots warned him and told him that Tee An Chuan had approached them to remind them not to work closely with Chua Soi Lek because he was not a person favored by the leadership and that Tee was working for a deputy minister.
He said that he had told the independent investigation committee the above information and admitted that at that time, he thought that those statements were used to launch personal attacks against him, so he did not bother about it.He expressed that he had informed the committee the names of party members who were willing to provide relevant information and news but he hoped that the hearing session could be held under two circumstances, one is to have the hearing session in private and that the witness’ identity should remain confidential when the report of the snoop squad is handed over to MCA’s Presidential Council.
He pointed out that after he had been informed of the existence of snoop squad, he faced a lot of challenges including the sex dvd matter and this made some supporters started to suspect that the matter is connected to the snoop squad. However, he said that he is not willing to make any assumptions since the police has been unable to confirm who is the culprit behind the sex dvd, so as to be fair to the party involved. Chua also said that he had proposed to the committee to clarify Tee’s doubting statement in the interview with Special Weekly:
1) Why does a 70 year old man, although with rich 'experience' become a Youth advisor?
2) Tee kept saying that he went to the relevant deputy minister’s office often but because he needed to wait for long time, so he requested for an office in the deputy minister’s office. As a result, his request was permitted, this statement raises doubts;
3) Tee claimed that he knew very well MCA’s organizational struture even up to personal details of delegates and this is very suspicious as even as a VP, Dr Chua had no access to these details.
4) Why those members who wanted to become candidates must speak to Tee?
“I have been a division chairman for over 20 years and vice president for nearly 5 years and yet I do not hold any organizational information, but then, why can an outsider obtain information that is unknown to even many high-level party members? How did this outsider get this information so easily? Why did party members who wanted to become candidates have to meet up with this outsider and not me (a vice president)?” he said.
He revealed that he received a 5-page anonymous report and the content basically said detailed Tee's activities, of who he met up with including the venue and time.“There is very detailed information in the report, including which branches or divisions support who and whoever that wants to become MPs or ADUN cannot support me,” he said. He said that the report was in Chinese and that it was sent to his house and he found out about it from his family. He said that he has handed the anonymous report to the committee in order to assist the investigation.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
All I have to say at this point is that the speculation should stop and we should let the tribunal do its job. I truly hope that the committee will be able to act fairly, justly, with integrity and fearlessly in the current climate of fear and suspicion pervading MCA.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
In Malaysian universities, there are still academicians who think that special rights for Malays also endow them with intelligence. Unfortunately, the stark reality is that in academia, intellectual prowess comes first and has nothing to do with race. However because of years and years of 'selective admissions and promotions' the standards have declined so much so that we are now on the brink of being unable to compete on a level playing field.
Unfortunately, special rights to some have become an entitlement by birth. This only serves to build the 'tongkat mentality'. Everytime a student gets excellent result and does not get any scholarship from the JPA, the rakyat can accept the following reasons: no government in the world can give scholarships to every qualified students, academic excellence does not necessarily mean that they will do well in the interview, more so when a lot of scholars are just bookworms with very poor social skills.
However, no right minded Malaysian can accept racial discrimination in the awarding of scholarships. This issue has often been raised in closed door meetings and somehow government officials seem to be able to come out with some reasons that why one of these students (academically) are knocked out in their application since 30 marks is given to interview, economic background and extra curricular activities. The JPA must do more to convince the rakyat that there is fairness in awarding of scholarships. The process as it is, is too opaque and can do with a lot more transparency. Otherwise, it’ll only breed suspicion and hatred towards the government.
Pakatan Rakyat during the election promised to do more in education. States under Pakatan Rakyat should start their own state education fund to complement the federal government after winning the states from BN. Instead, they have been keeping quiet about fulfilling their manifesto on education.
Mahathir’s action only serves to weaken UMNO and BN within UMNO. The divide between Abdullah and the pro Mahathir forces will be aggravated and the UMNO leadership will have to spend time mending fences and doing damage control rather then moving forward and addressing important and pressing issues in the post electoral aftermath.
Since UMNO is affected and destabilized, it will definitely affect other component parties in BN. UMNO’s dominance in BN and national politics has reached the crossroads and more and more people are critically re-evaluating the role of UMNO since the elections.
I sincerely doubt that large numbers of UMNO members will follow what Mahathir has done since the feeling of fear and patronage is still deeply embedded in UMNO.
Since BN practices the concept of non-interference in the internal politics of component parties, component parties of BN can only hope that UMNO re-evaluates and re-organizes itself, instead of being entangled in the blame game.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Further analysis showed that most deaths occurring during NS ccouldn't have been prevented by a compulsory medical examination. It was revealed during the study that if the participants could answer the medical questions more clearly and truthfully, it would have been more useful that just a medical examination. It was found that many did not answer the questions accurately.
When I made a surprise visit to some NS camps, the medical personnel manning the clinic were not properly trained, not sensitive and not well acquainted with medical emergencies. The medical equipment used was outdated and the range of medication was very limited. It was then recommended by MOH that when the NS program is on, MOH Medical assistants and nurses should be temprorily rotated to staff the clinincs. Meanwhile, as a long term measure, the Ministry of Defense should train its own staff to run the medical clinics in NS camps. It was also decided that they should also purchase their own ambulances and if a trainee did not get well within 24 hours, they should be sent to the nearest hospital as an urgent case that requires immediate medical attention. Equipment should be added and medication should be expanded. No trainee should be kept in camp for more than 24 hours when they are sick. This had been subsequently presented and discussed in the Cabinet late last year. I have no idea whether this has implemented in this training session.
We can understand the anxiety of parents sending their children to the NS camp and the camp commandant and medical personnel should be more caring and sensitive to the needs of the trainee. In order to convince parents that there is no cover up in any death, the cause of death should be revealed after detailed investigation has been carried out and any party proven to be negligent should face the consequences. Maybe parents should be allowed as part of orientation to visit the camp to convince themselves that the relevant authorities do care and do the utmost to ensure safety for their children when undergoing NS camp. It will be a shame to abolish NS training program since it has been proven again and again its positive value on the development of the children, especially on multiracial interaction, being more independent when leaving home. In one of my visits to the camp, a lot of participants said that they have never had a chance to stay outside and a lot have very sheltered lives, with very limited social interaction and friends.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
If all Malaysian doctors serving in
2) Working conditions
3) Prospect of equitable career advancement
4) Social and political environment
The compulsory service in the government is a hindrance to doctors coming back. During my tenure as the minister, on a case by case basis, doctors did not have to serve the compulsory service if:
1) Their age > 40 years old;
2) On a case by case basis especially when there is an acute shortage of specialists in a particular subspecialty, for example oncologists, they may be exempted and;
3) Service in the army and university -->regarded as part of compulsory service. The 3 year compulsory service is not full time for doctors and specialists.
The problem now is that, if we waive the compulsory service for foreign doctors, local doctors will protest. Not only that, they will feel demoralised and discriminated against.
When the above rules were implemented, we managed to attract a mere handful of doctors to return. Nevertheless a major stumbling block was the lumbering bureaucracy known as the MMC secretariat -with regards to basic accreditation. A particular case which comes to mind(bearing in mind that it was only one of a few I had encountered during my tenure)was a Malaysian serving as a professor of surgery in a reknowned South Australian University Pediatric Unit. He applied to be registered with the MMC in order to teach medical students and surgeons in Malaysia. To my horror, he was given the merry go round with conditions that he had to show where he did his housemanship and posting which was done by this particular professor 35 years ago. He was also asked to complete his O&G rotation to qualify for a practising certificate. Fortunately common sense prevailed in the end after intervention. But the very fact that intervention from higher ups was even needed speaks volumes about the hurdles that many doctors coming back face.
Monday, May 12, 2008
He said many MCA leaders and members had warned him that his name topped the list for allegedly not supporting the leadership.
"The group was tasked to remove some eight key members of the party.
"A lot of people have linked the exposure of the DVD featuring myself and another woman to this group."
He said when he admitted that he was the man captured on video engaging in sexual acts with a female friend, he announced his resignation from all party posts.
"I also said that I was not after anyone who was responsible for recording the tape. What is important is my family and their understanding, the party members and my friends," said the former health minister.
"I wish to focus on the development of MCA. I hope party members will accept that the tape is history. I want to move on with my life and continue my service for the party and nation."
Dr Chua appealed to MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting to investigate whether such a group existed.
"I am prepared to come forward with information on this group."
He also called on Ong to stop saying that he (Ong) had nothing to do with the DVD at the party's closed-door meetings and during his working trips.
"I don't understand why he has to bring up my name and the tape if he is not involved."
PETALING JAYA: Former MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek claimed that many people had told him that his sex DVD was linked to the spy squad set up to oust those not favoured by the party leadership.
“I am disappointed if this secret group is true because I am among those who have been identified by the group as not supporting the top leadership and should be 'destroyed',” said Dr Chua who called a press conference over the matter.
He urged the three-men commit-tee to investigate the allegations of the spy squad thoroughly.
“I appeal to the top leadership to investigate thoroughly if the group actually exist because it has become a topic of conversation in MCA,” he said, adding that he was willing to provide information if needed.
Dr Chua said he had heard about the secret committee as far back as two years ago but thought it was just “coffee shop” talk.
“But when I kept hearing my name as one of those that would be struck out, I was afraid,’’ he said.
“I began to take it seriously after the DVD episode,” he said, added that he was not interested in finding out who was behind the tape recording.
On whether he would contest for the president’s post, he said he would announce when the time was right.
“I hope the MCA sees the DVD recording episode as history,’’ he said. “I will continue with my life and serve the party and the country.”
(The Star, 13,05,08)
Hence, whether they should take to the street on the Bandar Mahkota Cheras issue is debatable. They may be sending the message that if people are not happy with any issue, they can protest, demonstrate. The problem with any demonstration is that when it involves many people, it may be difficult to control and some may end up taking the law into their own hands. It is so obvious that this is not the most effective way to solve the problem. If you are a part of the government, unless of course you want to show that you are 'a man of action' and that you’re with the people thus taking part in the demonstration, you should not neglect the avenues available to you now that PR is the state government in Selangor.
In yet another unrelated incident some time back, a Selangor state EXCO spent the night in jail because he apparently obstructed the police who were taking action against a hotel which was a front for illegal and immoral activities. Is this particular Wakil Rakyat doing the right thing?
Back to the case of BMC issue, firstly, it can be easily determined whether the toll concessionaire has the right to build the barricade. Secondly, the authority that gave the permission for the barricade to be erected - is it valid? Thirdly and most importantly, people who are affected by the toll have the right to demand an alternative road so that the toll road is not the only road of access.
All these could have been resolved through the state government since land matters fall under the purview of the state, rather than through direct confrontation(especially now that the Selangor state government is PR). A leader should lead, so when in power learn how to govern more effectively and not just protest and take to the streets. Imagine what would happen to Malaysia if over every issue Wakil Rakyat is involved in demonstration.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I still remember there were some states that proposed that anyone planning to do so should be subjected to educational rehabilitation so that they have a better understanding of Islam in the hope of persuading them to remain in Islam. This landmark ruling by the Syariah High Court in Penang would strengthen the belief that non-Muslims will continue to enjoy religious freedom is the basic fundamental rights of all Malaysians to choose their own religion.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Since politics is a number game, a coalition of 14 parties with membership ranging from 2.8 million members in UMNO to some less than 100, 000 plus the great difference of representation both at state and parliament, it makes more sense that the non-Malay majority party should form a loose coalition to achieve consensus on the non-Malay agenda and this will enable us to better represent the non-Malays in the national development agenda. Malay majority party within BN also have to take recognition of the non-Malays’ development agenda.
Since we are all within BN, there is no direct confrontation or split within the party. It is for the common objective of making BN’s party agenda more multiracial and more acceptable to the rakyat. Hence, I cannot see the logic why some MCA leaders are so quick to jump into conclusion that this working relationship by the non-Malay majority party is construed as a threat to UMNO. If the non-Malays leaders are not assertive and not seen to be fighting for the non-Malay rights, we will continue to lose support. This loose coalition of non-Malay parties will also persuade UMNO leaders to change for the better.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Former MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek is of the view that the party should consider forging greater cooperation with other Barisan Nasional component parties, apart from Umno and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), to strengthen their bargaining power with Umno.
According to a report in Oriental Daily News yesterday, he said a front comprising the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the rest of the 14 BN component parties will be more effective than any single one of them in coming to the negotiation table with Umno, to fight for equal status with Umno in the BN; and in acting as a formidable check and balance in the coalition.
Chua pointed out that although it was not yet time for the MCA to merge with other BN component parties, "we can try to form an alliance with other non-Malay majority parties, whereas Umno can forge another alliance with PBB, to provide a 'two-party system' within the BN to implement the coalition's agenda".
Making the suggestion in a press statement issued on Tuesday, the former health minister said it is aimed at forging more effective cooperation among BN component parties, and is not intended to break up the coalition.
Chua said that aside from Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC, the 14 other BN component parties are smaller, and are in reality therefore less able to play their role. Too big a difference in position and power among components of a coalition is unhealthy, he said.
Although the voting trend in the March 8 general election had cut across racial lines, and despite the general belief that racial politics will wither away and race-based political parties eventually disappear, Chua is convinced that race-based politics is still relevant.
He said that for as long as the Chinese community continues to stress on mother tongue in education, on religion and places of worship, the role of Chinese-based political parties cannot be denied.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
The recent results of the general elections and the role the media has played in it has highlighted the growing credence and power of the alternative media in shaping opinion and thinking. At the same time it has challenged the traditional role and credibility of the
The problem is that the traditional media is perceived to be biased, unfair and afraid to report independently and subservient to the views of certain political parties. On the other hand, the alternative media, having no such perceived allegiances is thought by many to be more honest, truthful and credible. Having the time these days to do more reading, I must say that there is some truth this. However, not all information found in the alternative media is the gospel truth as well, though people may perceive them to be. It is important thus to take a balanced view.
Despite the ‘noise’ made by certain political figures, having being an avid reader of newspapers since my student days, I can quite safely say that the changes are merely cosmetic. As far as those who walk in the corridors of power are concerned, it is business as usual.
The problem is that many political parties own controlling stakes in the press, MCA included. It has controlling stakes in both the Chinese and English press. As such, the editors and journalists working for those particular papers are ‘beholden’ to their 'political masters' and would have to toe the line or risk facing the sack. With this in mind, how can the press truly be free? How can it ever have credibility when all and sundry know they are owned by certain political parties.
Recently a particular senior MCA leader has been ranting and raving about the importance of press freedom. However it is a well known fact that at the same time he has been ranting and raving in public, behind the scenes he exerts an inordinate amount of editorial control and interference. Articles which are highly critical of him and his ‘special ones’ do not see the light of day(literally). In the rare instance when they are published, what we get is a highly watered down version.
I doubt I have to tell you who this particular leader is. He has very been busy making public statements these days.
I believe that one should walk the talk and put the money where the mouth is. Why talk so much about the importance of a free press while at the same time behind the scenes censoring what comes out? Why hang on to the stakes in these companies if you truly believe in media freedom? Why not divest the stakes and let them report not just freely, but more importantly, fairly? Not everything the press says is what you want to hear when you allow them that freedom. It is important, sometimes to be told what you need to hear rather then what you want to hear.
But the sad thing is that it is still business as usual for this particular leader who firmly believes that charity starts at home and who talks a lot now with no real results to show.
Today, we are talking about globalization, competitiveness, equality, fairness, democracy and we have among us people who feel that they should be more equal than others by virtue of birth and hence, you can see some bumis who feel or who demand their entitlement as if by right of birth. To make things worse, this is sometimes reinforced by government agencies and this is often the cause of so much friction and dissatisfaction among the non-Malays towards the Malays.
It is because of this that I always feel that race and religion will continue to dominate our political landscape. If the Malays insist on “Ketuanan Melayu” (Malay Supremacy) and that they are supreme in this country, they should not be worried about the advancement by non-Malays since in their mind, they are always supreme. Problems arise because in order to be supreme, they want the non-Malays not to advance. They want to eat the cake and keep the cake. The PM always says that he is a leader not only for the Malays but all Malaysians. So, we hope that he will walk the talk and not be shaken by these 200 Malay NGOs with their emotional and racial rantings in Johor Bahru over the weekend.
Some Malays must accept the political reality that Malaysia today is different than Malaysia 51 years ago when we achieve independence. If this group of Malay thinks that we are still the same, then we are doomed as a nation. Obviously we have changed and we will continue to change to cope up with the changing time. It is those Malays who have not changed, unwilling to change or not knowing how to change that caused Malaysia growth to be slowed down in the last 15 years, while the rest of the world have moved on, we are still saddled with the problem of race and religion and who is supreme in a land that belongs to all Malaysian to be shared equally by all Malaysians irrespective of race and religion.
Monday, May 5, 2008
This particular Moral Uplifting Society in Johor Bahru is situated next to the traffic police headquarter and has been in existence for nearly 50 years with no harassment either from the police or from the religious department until last Friday 2/5. Out of the blue, the religious officer insisted on removing what was displayed in the hall. There was actually no picture of Prophet Muhammad, there was only an inscription in Jawi of the name of Prophet Muhammad and it was not placed on the altar for prayer, but just within the hall together with other major religion icons as a gesture of respect. Despite persuasion, reasoning and explanation by the committee members, the inscription with the name of Nabi Muhammad was removed.
This news of course spread like wild fire to more than 100 branches of Moral Uplifting Society within the country. Low Teh Hian, the former Ahli Yang Berhormat was at the scene to reason with religious officers, but his explanation was obviously rejected. Subsequently, I received a lot of complaints by phone of the arrogant and high handed manner of the officers from the religious department.
I decided to call the Menteri Besar of Johor about the isuue, he expressed his dismay at the insensitivity of the enforcement officers . Subsequently, we met up over lunch in JB and after going through the relevant enactment related to non-Muslims, we found that it was not an offence to display the name of Prophet Muhammad if it is used only as a reference and not as a symbol of prayer by non-Muslims. On that basis, the Menteri Besar ordered that the picture be returned and that the police should not be involved in this case which is non-criminal and the whole episode came to a happy closure. I must thank the Johore MB Dato’ Ghani bin Othman for his intervention.
What I am amazed at was the total ignorance of the officer about the role of Moral Uplifting Society, where beside Nabi Muhammad, other major religious figure are displayed in the hall. In short, he was doing enforcement without knowing the reason. Over the years, you see the attitude of such high-handed religious officers and government officers that caused the rakyat to go against the government. Maybe time has come that enforcement officers should face disciplinary action if in the course of their duty they have shown disrespect and ignorance to the rakyat, then only will enforcement officer learn how to be humble, reasonable and knowledgeable, rather than be very gung-ho about what they are doing.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek rebuked statement made by Dato’ Hj Che Alwi Che Ahmad from Kok Lanas state constituency where he objected to centralized pig farming.
Dr. Chua is not satisfied with some Malay leaders that purposely politicized pig farming issue and hindered the development of the said industry. He said that the modernization of centralized pig rearing area was introduced and promoted by central government and it was one of the central government’s important plan and those who will benefit from this plan is not only pig farmers but the nation as well and Dato’ Alwi who is a state assemblyman clearly did not understand BN government’s plans and strategies.
He said that the waste treatment system could efficiently reduce environment pollution but Alwi said that the system would do the opposite thing, which is to add on to pollution problem and this proved that he not only did not understand the plan of modernization in centralized pig rearing areas but also did not have basic knowledge towards pig rearing industry.
On the proposal by Awi to import pork from China, Chua said that at the moment, China is also facing the shortage of pork supply and the price is going up, since our country has the ability to provide pork for self consumption, why do we need expensive imported pork?
However, Chua, who is the former Health Minister, also admitted that no matter pork, chicken, beef or lamb, the livestock industry faces the risk of infectious disease and if said that pig is the only animal that spreads serious diseases compared to others is illogical.
He said that for example, the chicken and birds had spread the disease of pandemic flu and because of the constantly mutating virus; it has turned into a disease that kills people. Since the attack of this disease, the H5N1 flu has been recognized by WHO as one of the most dangerous infectious disease.
He added that before the case of Nipah flu, Johor had exported big amount of pigs to Singapore and the total amount went up to 150 million but Singapore has stopped importing pigs and pork from our country after the spread of the said disease.
"I fully support the centralized pig farms because our pig rearing industry has huge potential of development and the main problem now is how to assist the farmers to manage their pig farms properly and handle the waste treatment works so that the environment pollution can be minimized; the cleanliness level can be increased so that everyone could have a win-win situation,” he said.
He said that when he was still a Minister, he and Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Ting had brought the pig farm problem into the Cabined for discussion.
"The cost of setting up modernized pig farms is too high and we have proposed to the government that we can participate in providing low interest loan to pig farmers as to assist them. This proposal has basically been agreed and accepted by the then Minister of Agriculture, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,” he said.
Therefore, he is disappointed by the opinions given by some leaders that are narrow-minded. He said that often when the government announced any decision that cuts across racial line, a lot of Malay politicians will politicize the issue or racially view it; so much so that the original plan that is beneficial to the rakyat will be made complicated or even forced to be put on hold.
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