Thursday, July 31, 2008

Live on NTV 7 News/ 我的政治命运,由党员决定

Last night I was invited to NTV 7 live for English, Mandarin and Malay news. For the Chinese version, I once again emphasized that I’ve not decided to contest any post. I need to gauge the support from members and second, whether I can contribute to reform and rebuilding of MCA. As to the actual day when I can make announcement, I have no idea.
Of course one of the questions thrown is whether the dvd will affect support for me. I said that there are 2 schools of thought. One that I should be evaluated on performance, the other is that my private life should also be taken into consideration.
When this dvd issue first appeared, I consulted my President 3 times, Prime Minister 2 times and Deputy Prime Minister 1 time and I told them very clearly that I admit, apologize and pick up from there. I then resigned from all my party and government posts. If there is any comfort after I resign is that my family and my wife stood solidly with me. I am also encouraged that after my resignation, I continue to receive invitation to attend functions both within the party and NGOs.

In this context, I must thank DAP leaders, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng who openly said that during the election period they will not use the dvd issue against me because this is a private matter. Some even said my son’s victory is a vindication since I was campaigning on his behalf.
After my resignation, I have 2 options, whether I should:

1) Wallow in self pity and bitterness; or
2) Continue to use my experience and optimize my strength to do what I have been doing for the last 23 years; serve the party and the community.

I want to move forward. I hope my party members will give me a chance. I believe that my political destiny should be decided by MCA members. I will not let my “friends” within the party continue to pull me down with the dvd. There are strong forces at work to ensure I am marginalized in the party. Well, this is all part of politics. Meanwhile, I will not use personal attack against my colleague and I will let my political destiny to be decided by MCA members.

昨晚, 我受邀上NTV7华语、马来语以及英语新闻。能连续上3个新闻时段,真的让我有点受宠若惊。当然,访谈离不开马华党选。在华语新闻时段里,我再次强调目前我还未决定要在党选竞选什么高职。理由是,我需要:
1.探测基层的意向
2.衡量自己的能力,是否能协助马华的重建工作

至于什么时候会表态,我真的还未有任何头绪。

三个主播也分别问我,是否担心偷拍光碟的事会影响我参选。我说,基层们有两种评价:一方认为应从工作表现评估我;一方坚持评估准则必须包括我的私人生活。事情发生时,我会见和咨询了我党总会长3次,首相两次及副首相一次,由始至终我都坚持要公开承认及承担一切后果。我也随即辞去所有官职和党职。让我觉得安慰的是,妻子和家人一直陪伴我走过低潮,支持我鼓励我。辞职后,我仍然受邀出席党内和非政府组织活动,大家的不离不弃是我最大的鼓舞。当然,我也要感谢行动党两位领袖林吉祥和林冠英,公开表明这是私事,拒绝利用光碟事件来功绩对手争取选票。

辞官后,我该如何生活?我应该沉溺于失意、沮丧和自我怜悯?还是运用我过去23年来累积的经验,结合我的长处继续为我党及华社服务?

我选择后者。我希望党员们能可以给我一个机会。既然我是马华一份子,那我的政治命运应该由马华党员来决定。我选择了面对,不逃避问题、不掩盖错误;我要向前看、向前走,即使党内已经出现一股围堵我的力量,确保我被边缘化。这就是政治。不过,我不会让党内的“有心人”,利用光碟事件对我再度展开政治谋杀,我的政治命运只由党员决定。

他们对我人身攻击,但我不会如此对待我的党同志。你不仁,我非不义。

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Post 308 Election: MCA Division Election and Its Reform

The Batu Pahat Youth, Wanita and MCA AGM went on smoothly over the weekend. Since this is election year, the turnout of the delegate was about 95% for Youth, Wanita and MCA. There was virtually no contest for the Youth and Wanita. For the MCA, there was contest for the deputy, vice chairman and central delegate. I have the opportunity of officiating the Youth, Wanita and MCA AGM. I took the opportunity to thank the Youth, Wanita and MCA members who have supported me unanimously thus, enabling me to be a central delegate and back to my old position as division chairman of Batu Pahat MCA of which I’ve been leading for the last 23 years.

I also took the opportunity to impress upon the members that post 308 election, it is not business as usual. The likely emergence of 2 party system creates a healthy environment of competition and offers rakyat a choice. Political parties have to be competitive in order to survive. Expectation of the rakyat and the Chinese community are high. While we have a good service centre functioning, people expect MCA to deliver more than just looking after longkang, garbage and hawker license. MCA cannot continue to sing old tune of voting for MCA and BN to ensure social and political stability.

Post 308 when PR won convincingly, there are also stabilities. Second, we cannot talk about through MCA, the Chinese has the opportunity for power sharing because through PR, the Chinese also has power sharing at state level. Thirdly, we cannot sing old tune by providing basic services to local community and expect to be voted in. Of course, to be relevant, MCA cannot be everything Chinese. We are a mono-ethnic Chinese based political party and the political reality is that while we have a role to play in the Chinese community, we have to be multiracial in our outlook. On issues confronting Chinese community, MCA should be on the front line to articulate the expectation of the Chinese community, but all other issues from security to corruption, abuse of power, inflation, Hindraf; MCA has to make its position clear. We cannot say that everything is sensitive and that we are within the BN and that we will resolve this behind close doors. People want MCA to put its stand clearly so that the Chinese community and the rest of the other community are aware of what MCA stand for. We have to convince the Chinese community and the rakyat that we are a party that can be counted on when we faced major issues. A good example is the PAS and UMNO issue where MCA ministers must make its stand clear within the cabinet and outside the cabinet that while we have no objection to UMNO and PAS holding dialogue, but they must not forget and neglect the other community that makes up nearly 45% of the population in this country. The end result of their discussion should not encroach on the rights, freedom and the peace enjoyed by the other community. In the same way, MCA should be more vocal in resolving its issue and should not be behind closed door because this is often been construed that MCA has no gut to articulate Chinese fear and frustration and expectation and what is worst is that some Chinese may think that we are out of touch with the Chinese community. Not only we must be more vocal, we must also have the moral courage to accept possibility for our shortcomings, our weaknesses so that we are a party that not only claim to solve problems confronting the Chinese community, but we try to do our best. Of course there is a need to review our relationship within BN that every party is to be treated equal and everybody has equal rights and that BN has to be more multiracial in its outlook, more transparent, democratic and more fair in resolving issues confronting multiracial country like Malaysia.

In order to reform MCA to gain the confidence of Chinese community cannot be dependent on one person. It has to be teamwork. It has to be joint effort of every committed member. It cannot be dependent on empty slogans and false promise. We not only talk but we have to deliver what we promise. It is not going to be an easy job since there is a lot of skepticism towards MCA and also towards the government. We have lost the credibility of the Chinese community and rakyat Malaysia. It is up to us to rebuild the party so that we can restore confidence, our integrity and credibility. Hence, MCA will continue to dedicate itself to help the Chinese community in economic development, competitiveness, Chinese education, culture but not withstanding that it should always be issue-centric rather than all just Chinese. MCA should also be more assertive to ensure government improvement on implementation of government policies so that it could be more fair, transparent and democratic. Hence, educational issue, religious issue and economic opportunity should be resolved without having to bag and petition the government. We also need to monitor the performance of Pakatan Rakyat controlled state government to ensure that they deliver their promises. In these days, we function as opposition members in PR controlled states. Of course I know that this is not going to be easy because we have been in power for the last 50 years and we may not be able to function effectively as an opposition but more as the power in government. There is also the need to maintain the social networking and the goodwill of NGO and Chinese based associations.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mercedes versus Proton/ 马赛地与普腾将相

Some Malaysians may be nationalistic in the wrong way. We are proud of the production of the Proton but pride should not blind us to the fact where quality is concerned, Proton can never measure up to Mercedes. While the initial outlay may be more expensive to purchase Mercedes as compared to Proton Perdana (differences of about RM70, 000), the reality of it is that high cost of maintenance of Proton Perdana Executive is a well known to any members of administration, who uses Proton Perdana Executive.

These I speak with personal experience. My Proton Perdana Executive is 4 years old while my personal car, Mercedes 240E old modal is 6 years old but it gave me less problem than my official car Proton Perdana Executive. Because of lower body in Proton Perdana Executive, I used to have a lot of problems when traveling on rural roads. For long distance travel, it is safer and more comfortable to travel in Mercedes than Proton Perdana Executive. It is a question of value for money. Since there is substantial savings in maintenance between a Mercedes and Proton Perdana Executive in the long term over a period of 5-6 years, it is wiser to purchase a Mercedes. It’s a question of value for money plus safety. To me, it is as simple as that. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. We can be patriotic in many other ways.

有些马来西亚人可能爱国的方式是错的。我们虽然对普腾感到骄傲,但不应就此盲目看待事实,尤其是与品质有关联的。普腾将相的品质远比不上马赛地。虽然马赛地的价格比普腾将相来得高,但事实是普腾将相昂高的维修费是任何使用此官车的行政人员都知道的。

根据我本身的经验,我用普腾将相4年了,而我的私人马赛地240E则6年。跟普腾将相比较,马赛地甚少给我带来麻烦。由于车身较低,我用官车普腾将相在乡间路上行驶时常遇上很多麻烦。若长途行驶,马赛地是比较舒适和安全的。这是一分钱一分货的道理。

既然5-6年长期的时间使用马赛地能比普腾将相值得及省钱,购买马赛地确实是比较明智的。对我来说,我们必须从价值与安全作为考量。我们可在其他很多方面表现爱国。




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。

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Re-engineering and Reinvention of MCA

After nomination, I’m now the division chairman for Batu Pahat again. I will not be making announcement as to what post I’m contesting at the National MCA election. I need to get the feedback from MCA central delegates and to gauge their support from the delegates. These feedbacks are important in order for me to make an informed decision. Whatever position I contest, it is important whether I can play an important role in helping to re-engineer and reinvent MCA to meet the post 308 political scenarios. If I contest, I believe that the re-engineering and reinvention of MCA cannot be dependant on one person. There’s a need for teamwork and collective responsibility in order to reinvent MCA. If I cannot contribute to this role, I will not contest.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to gather feedback on the expectation of MCA members and Chinese community towards MCA to ensure that MCA remains relevant in the new political landscape post 308 election. Often, I heard of people that MCA should leave BN. This is a major decision that needs a lot of deliberation. If MCA leaves BN;

1. No political party can claim to represent the Chinese at the federal level. I understand many will dismiss the role of MCA as mere playing the second fiddle to UMNO. But right now can any party claim to represent the Chinese in the government?

2. If MCA leaves BN, can MCA stand alone? Even DAP who solely dependant on Chinese votes have to join Pakatan Rakyat to ensure its long term survival.

Meanwhile, UMNO and PAS have openly admitted that they have some serious discussion at the highest possible level to talk about Islam and Malay unity. This once again demonstrates that politics in this country will always be influenced by race and religion. I understand that post 308, a lot of people were thinking and in fact some were euphoric that we’ll see some multiracial politics. I’ll always have my doubts and that race and religion will continue to play a prominent role in our political system. Ideally, we all accept that political party should be issue centric rather than ethnic centric. To me, it’s still a long time to go before we achieve this.

-----------------------------


提名结束。由于不受挑战,我正式成为巴株巴辖区会主席。再次感谢区会同志们的支持。


不过,我不会宣布接着会攻打什么高职。我会继续聆听和收集代表们的意见和意愿,我也需要获取代表们的支持。我重视代表们的意愿。我的决定,取决于代表们的意见。不管竞选什么高职,我所关心的是,我会否被给予参与重建筑和整顿马华的机会,以协助党走出后308的政治困境,迎接未来的艰巨挑战。对党,我一直秉持一个信念:我坚信党若要成功转型,是绝对不能单靠个人的力量。党需要一个有效的团队,发挥高度集体合作、集体负责的精神来执行这项任务。如果我无法做到这一点,我不会竞选任何高职。


是否竞选、竞选何职,我暂且不谈。我会继续听取华社和马华党员对马华公会的意见和期望,这对我党在后政治海啸时代,要存在意义非常重要。很多人认为马华应该退出国阵,这是重大决定,需要深思熟虑。试想想,如果马华退出国阵:


1. 华社将失去中央政府的代表权。我知道很多人都觉得马华地位次于巫统,所以很不屑马华的角色。但目前除了马华,中央政府里还有其他华社的代表吗?
2. 如果退出,马华可以单独生存吗?依仗华人选票的行动党也必须和公正党结盟,才能确保长期存活


与此同时,巫统和回教党也公开承认两党高层领袖正进行有关回教和马来团结议程的重要会谈。这再一次论证我国的政治无时无刻都受到种族和宗教的议程所影响。理想来说,我们认为所有政党的斗争应摒弃种族主义,凡事以课题为本。要达到这一点,我国的政治还有很长的路呢。

Monday, July 21, 2008

MCA Divisions' Nomination Day

Tomorrow is nomination day for MCA Youth, Wanita and MCA divisions. The Youth and Wanita election is scheduled on 26th July while MCA division election is on 27th July. The dilemma I face is whether I should accept the divisional post or not. To be frank, what is more important is the central delegate post rather than the division chairman’s post. I’ve been the MCA division chairman for Batu Pahat since 1985 until I resigned earlier this year. I do not want to be accused of not giving way. However, like any other political party, each division has its own unique problem. 33 branches under Batu Pahat division have passed resolution supporting me as chairman. I must thank them for their overwhelming support. They have also met me quietly and impress upon me that if I do not accept the chairman’s post, there will be instability and that my presence is to ensure unity and stability at divisional level.

Batu Pahat division has just completed its divisional building and we are supposed to start relocating and they feel that during this process of relocation from the old premise to the new building which was initiated by me, I should be around during this period. Anyway, I’m keeping an open mind and I’ll see what will unfold tomorrow during nomination day.
---------------------------
2008年7月22日,正直马华区会改选提名日。

我从1985年起担任马华巴株巴辖区会主席,直到今年一月,我辞去所有党职,离开这个站了23年的岗位。今年的区会改选,我不断思索是否要接受任何区会党职,而这个问题一直让我感到为难。

坦白说,对我而言,能取得中央代表权比区会职位来得更重要。如我之前所言,我也当过20多年的区会主席了。这次改选,我不希望被区会的同志们误解我视权如命,还紧紧抱着区会主席一职不放。可是,家家有本难念的经,每个区会的情况和面对的问题都不一样。马华巴株巴辖属下的33个支会分别通过议案支持我再次出任区会主席,他们也私下拜访我,努力不懈说服我必须接受。他们认为,我是维系区会团结、稳定的主轴领袖。

此外,巴株巴辖区会的新会所刚刚落成,区会将在近期内陆续搬迁。这座会所当初由我主催、发动和筹划,区会执委和支会主席们认为我应该以领导的身份参与和见证巴株巴辖区会乔迁之喜。

………各位基层领袖、代表,你们的支持和爱戴,让我十分感动。我非常感谢你们的支持。至于改选的事,我会以坦然和开通的心态去应对。我们一起拭目以待吧。

Saturday, July 19, 2008

文告:恭喜翁诗杰决定

#翁诗杰宣布将攻打党主席职后,各报记者纷纷拨电询问我的动向。以下是我的回应,此文告也于今午发给各中文媒体。谢谢
(吉隆坡19日讯)马华前副总会长拿督斯里蔡细历医生恭喜副总会长拿督翁诗杰在今年党选攻打总会长职的决定,至于他本人是否竞选高职,目前还未有任何决定。

他指出,他会进一步观察马华和国家政局走向的演变后才作出决定,并会在适当的时候向大家宣布。

他今日接获各媒体记者来电询问个人动向后,通过文告回应这项提问。

蔡细历说,308大选后,马华士气萎靡,党员和人民对马华的期望也已改变。马华在华社和国家发展的洪流里是否仍具有存在意义将是党的最大考验。

他认为,马华需要一支有效的团队去领导,而这个团队应融合老、中、青基层领袖,这样才能包涵和代表各阶层党员的声音,也能洗却马华由个人主政的负面印象。

针对他的竞选意愿,蔡细历强调,目前国家正直多事之秋,经济措施还没得当,他不想频频高调谈论马华党选,以免让人民误解马华只顾党选,不问民计。

“我相信普罗大众对我国时下的政事演变及政治人物感到厌倦。政治领袖如何有效地领导国家走出这个经济低潮,才是大家关心的议题。”

因此,在未有任何决定以前,他不想多说。


Friday, July 18, 2008

Anwar’s DNA

Allegation against Anwar for sodomy continues to dominate the headlines of local press. It is surprising that Anwar had refused lab test to be conducted in order for the DNA profile to be constructed. Normally this will be the easiest way to prove his innocence. DNA profiles do not lie. So, I do not understand why Anwar deny himself of this opportunity to clear his name. If you’re worried about fabrication, then you should get an independent medical team to supervise the collection of blood and the profiling of DNA. If you do not avail yourself of this opportunity to prove your innocence, then it is not convincing to prove your innocence. It is not easy to fabricate DNA evidence.

最近,安华的鸡奸案一直是所有本地媒体的头条新闻。很奇怪的,安华拒绝做染色体的验证。一般上,这是最容易洗清冤情的方法。染色体的验证是错不了。我不明白为何安华不给自己机会证实清白。如果任何人担心造假,他可以要求或委任独立医药队伍监督抽取血液样本和验证染色体的过程。如果你不给自己机会来澄清,那么你就不能说服他人相信你的清白。要假造染色体为证是不容易的。

文告:陈仪乔退党

(吉隆坡18日讯)马华前副总会长拿督斯理蔡细历医生说,马华中委拿汀巴杜卡陈仪乔博士退党,对目前正在改革的马华而言,是一项损失。

他说,陈仪乔是马华的资深领袖,也是妇女组重量级领袖,曾任政务次长和国会议员的她无论在地方上或国家发展领域也作出不少贡献。

“陈仪乔退党,是党的损失,但她既去意已决,我只有尊重她个人意愿。”目睹不少马华党员包括基层领袖退出马华,蔡细历既感慨也无奈。

但他认为,为领袖者,有权坚持自己的想法,不认同不附和领导层的意见,但应该效忠党,而在这段艰难时刻,大家更应该坚持这份精神,与党共进退。

蔡细历指出,马华面对大选的重创,需要革新和调整斗争,以迎合民意。但马华的转型和改革并非个人所能达致,而是仰赖广大基层的携手配合,需要党内上下每一人的力量和才华。

“我不希望看到马华的领袖因种种因素而退出党,相信其他党员亦如此。”
#此文告已于7月18日发各中文媒体

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Class Reunion Informal Night (University of Malaya Medical Faculty 1973)

My wife and I attended the class reunion of MU Medical Faculty Class 1973. If I’m not mistaken, this is the 12th reunion dinner and it was a happy occasion to meet up with all the old friends. We started with a class of 128, but finally graduated with 120. A few actually dropped out by changing course since they lost interest half way through and a few failed their final year examination and were retained for another 6 months. The turnout this year was less compared to last year where a lot of classmates who were practicing overseas come back for the reunion.
This year, only 43 classmates turned up for the event. The main topics for conversation at the informal night were:
1) The fuel hike
2) How all these seniors are unwinding and taking a more relaxed attitude towards their practice
3) The recent political landscape in our country where the rakyat were fed with all sorts of allegations about personal conducts of politicians from sodomy to murder, statutory declaration and retractions. All of them noted personal attack and accusation became the weapon of choice to demolish your opponents. Politicians from both political divide do not compete on performance, but confine to allegations which were rather personal.
Most of the senior doctors, like the rest of rakyat were equally confused on who to believe and who not to believe. In short, they were disappointed with politicians from both sides. Some of my classmates were also equally keen to urge me to stand for party election but I declined to be drawn into any discussion about the party election. Another hot topic among the doctors was the deteriorating standards of junior doctors. They felt that these are the products of poor teaching, poor supervision at the clinical stage and lack of commitment and dedication by the junior doctors.
A lot of junior doctors still believe that medical practice is a gold mine. As in previous year gathering, there were generous serving of food and liquor, singing, dancing and obscene jokes filled the air. Personally, I observed that a lot of my classmates have not changed very much in their mannerism, except of course the tell tale signs of aging, hair loss and balding.
Generally, most of them are healthy and there may be some truth in the saying “Doctors know best when it comes to personal health”.


我和太太一起出席1973马大医药系的老同学聚会。若没记错,这应该是第12届的聚餐会。我很高兴能再见到所有的老同学。

我们这班开始共有128位同学,后来只有120人毕业。一些因半途对医药失去兴趣而转系,有些则因年终考试不及格而需要再呆多半年。

今年的出席率必去年少,也有很多在海外就医的老同学都回来聚会。今年只有43人出席。聚会上的话题围绕在:

1) 燃油起价;
2) 学长们如何改变心态,以更轻松的态度行医;
3) 国家最近的政局,人民被种种的政治指控,从有关个人操守如鸡奸到谋杀,提呈宣誓和收回宣誓等所困扰。所有人都察觉到政敌利用人身攻击和指责来攻击对手。两派的政治领袖不是互相竞争表现,而是互相做个人或人身攻击。很多学长都如一般人民,分不清该相信那一方。简单的来说,大家都对双方感到失望。有些同学希望我能再次出来参与党选,但我尽量避开有关党选的话题。

另外一个热门的话题便是学弟妹日益滑落的医学水平。他们都认为这是因为教学水准的低落、习医时缺乏辅导和学生们缺乏热忱及献身态度所致。很多年轻一辈的都认为从事医疗是一个金矿。

如往年一般,聚会时都少不了丰富的酒菜、歌舞和笑话。我察觉到大多数同学都没什么改变,只是多了些老化的现象,如头发稀薄。大致上,大家都很健康。显然的,有如他人所言,‘医生懂得照顾自己的健康’切实是有所根据。

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do Not Let Nation Building be Derailed by Scholarship Quota

Khairy’s statement calling for Agung’s interference in the ratio of JPA scholarship of 55:45 (bumiputera : non-bumiputera) is truly unjustifiable and could create frustration and disillusionment among the top Malaysian students who are truly in need of financial aid.

As we had just celebrated 50 years of independence, more effort is needed to mould and cultivate Malaysians to truly think more independently and speak as a true & mature citizen. Malaysians especially the younger generations need to cultivate an agile mind and to prepare themselves for a global environment. When the world is already borderless and accepted the meritocracy system, Malaysians need to gear and prepare themselves to be competitive globally too. Otherwise, it will lead to more brain drain in our country and it is our country that is truly on the losing end.

The Constitution has ensured enough provision of places for higher education to train undergraduates. It doesn’t state the ratio of scholarship. This ratio can be changed to meet the need as time pass. If the bumiputera can compete with others confidently in future, it can even be disregarded later.

I agreed when one of my Malay learned friends said that Malaysians truly need to understand the scope of Article 153 in the Constitution because it has caused division within our pluralistic Malaysian community, as that particular article does not violate the principle of equality. Apart from the provisions allowed under Article 153, all citizens of Malaysia must be treated as equals as guaranteed under Article 8.

Thus scholarship award need to be allocated to the group of best students who are Malaysians and deserving so that their efforts are recognized and further encouraged to contribute to the growth of nation building. The present ratio is also a concerted effort achieved by the cabinet in recent few years to rectify the past ratio which was loop sided for too long.

It is not unconstitutional to give scholarship to the best students who are truly in need of financial aid no matter whether they are bumiputera and non-bumiputera. Furthermore, there are many other scholarships offered by state or federal government, or by government linked agencies or foundations other than JPA that give scholarship to more than 90% to bumiputera.

At this juncture, I am being reminded what Dr. Martin Luther King delivered in his famous address ‘I have a dream’ on 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., that one day, his children would live in a nation where they would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

Thus, it is the Malaysians hope and desire to see that leaders in their speech, thought and action, will not cause the effort of nation building to be derailed.

The government can help the Bumi students but it must not deprived the non-Bumi their educational opportunities.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Filling forms of Singaporeans at Causeway

Singapore is an important market to Johor in general, and to Johor Bahru in particular. Not many people are aware that the annual export of fruits, vegetables, eggs and poultry products from Johor to Singapore is valued at about RM300-400 million a year. In terms of projects, Singapore is also investing in Johor as an important source of foreign direct investment. Daily, the traffic volume in the Causeway is about 50, 000 to 100, 000 people crisscrossing the Causeway. About 30, 000 Malaysians commute daily to work in Singapore. In the same way, we estimate daily, about 30, 000 to 50, 000 Singaporeans come in as day tripper, some to work and some for day trip as tourist to shop and dine. Studies were done, if I can recall, in the early 90’s that average Singaporeans spent about RM200 per trip in Johor Bahru. Hence, the city of JB has the biggest consumer base in this country when you add 4.5 million Singaporeans to JB’s 1 million. In short, Singapore is an important market to the economic well being in JB and Johor. Hence, it makes a lot of sense that in Johor, Singapore bashing is not favoured since they treasure the Singapore dollar.

Endless meetings have been conducted to facilitate travelers between 2 countries, especially Johor and Singapore. In fact in Johor, there is a committee called Entry and Exit Committee which I used to chair on behalf of MB Johor and this committee will sit together to ensure all entry points to Johor from Singapore be opened and operational so that the infamous Causeway crawl and the long queue at the 2nd link be reduced. One of the proposals is the smart card for the frequent travelers. Unfortunately, despite many meeting at highest level between both nations, it has not bear fruits.

The white embarkation and disembarkation form was often sighted as one of the major causes of delay at the Causeway. This year, in January, when Singaporeans were exempted from filling in the forms, it was much welcomed since it would promote traffic flow at border points and hence, a lot of tourist and retail activities will get a boost. Suddenly, we are told that the new ruling will again be introduced from this Wednesday where they have to fill up the forms again. We can then look forward to longer queues at the immigration checkpoint, especially on weekends and public holidays where the crowd goes up to 150, 000 per day from Singapore. Let’s hope the Ministry of Internal Affairs and immigration will re-look at this reintroduction of the cards. If it is for security reason and documentation, then the international passport should be the only source for information. We should revisit the issuance of smart card.

Johor needs the Singapore market just as Singapore requires Johor’s product. We are suppose to live in a borderless world and this is a case of 2 nation separated by Straits of Tebrau that takes 15 minutes to cross when there is no jam. Yet, both the nations are unable to agree of how to facilitate travelers for the citizens of 2 nations.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Please Protect Our Heritage Sites

I would like to congratulate Malacca and George Town that has been selected into UNESCO World Heritage site. This means that we have only 4 world heritage sites. The other two, Mulu Cave and Mount Kinabalu are natural heritage, while George Town and Malacca are historical sites. I’ve been to Mulu Cave and was lucky that I was brought around by one member of the British Royal Geographical Society. He obviously knows his way well and I must admit that till this day, it still leaves an indelible memory in my life, beautiful and inspiring, one of the nature most beautiful site that I’ve ever visited.

I have been to Mount Kinabalu many times but never had the chance to get to the top of Mount Kinabalu although my son made it to the top with a guide in one of my visits. I’m impressed with the wide range of wild orchid gathered in the orchid garden. Of course, a visit to Mount Kinabalu is not complete without visit to hot spring in PORIM in the Kundasang district. One should not miss also the canopy walk which I understand is the longest in this country. In some places, it is about 15-20 storey high. At this height, one can appreciate the flora and fauna of our country. Generally, in Sarawak and Sabah, the state government has done a good job in looking after heritage site. Let’s hope the Penang and Malacca state government together with federal government will do good job in preserving heritage site in Malacca and George Town.

Of course among the spin of effect will be an increase of tourist’s arrival and the increase in property prices around the area. It has been shown in China that when an area is classified as world heritage site, the rise in tourist arrival goes up many folds. What is important is to employ measures to continue to safeguard these local heritages. Planning should now be done so that any future development should be kept minimum in order for its historical authenticity to be maintained. Malaysians have this fixation in tearing down and building new buildings. Once we start doing that, it’ll spell a doom day for the world heritage site. There is also a need to see that while we welcome the tourist dollar; we should not overwhelmed by tourists which may bring disruption to its wake. The influx of tourists, both local and foreign is sure to destroy the authenticity of this place. Let’s hope that property developers will also not exploit the new found fame of these 2 cities and go on a massive property development. It will definitely spell the end of the world heritage status.

Friday, July 11, 2008

MCA State Chairman/ 贯彻民主,从州主席开始

I am inclined to agree with Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh’s call that MCA’s state chairman should be by election. MCA needs to re-look at the party constitution and amend the constitution to enable the state liaison chairman to be elected by designated members in the state rather than appointed by the President. This will ensure that the state chairman will reflect the wish of the members in the state through democratic process. Leaders of state Youth and Wanita are also by election. The parent body should follow the same democratic process.

State chairman have considerable influence in recommending at state level with regards to the nomination of councilors for local government and also the candidates for general election.

Hence, it’s only fair that the state chairman is by election that:
i. state chairman shall be elected by the elected committee members of MCA Division, that is Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Vice Chairmen, the 10 elected committee members;
ii. In order for the youth and wanita to have a say in this election, youth and wanita will also participate in this election and will be represented by Chairman, Deputy Chairman and the vice chairmen.

The state liaison committee shall than consist of the state chairman, divisional chairmen, youth and wanita chairman, senators, both the elected people’s representatives at state and federal level.

This will make the leadership more democratic and accountable to its members, rather than this direct appointment by the President.
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马华元老兼前总秘书丹斯里陈祖排日前受媒体访问时指,马华各州联委会主席一职应由党员通过选举推选而出。
我同意他的号召。马华应该检讨和修改党章,让各州马华党员推选一主去领导他们,而不是由总会长委任。目前,各州马青团长和妇女组主席皆由基层投选,因此州母体也应该贯彻此民主精神,赋权党员在新届改选中投选他们的州主席,这样才能反映和照顾到基层的意愿。

州主席拥有一定的影响和权力向中央推举地方政府的县市议员以及大选候选人人选。因此,州主席应该由各州的基层代表进行投选,而这项选举必须贯彻以下两点,对党员才算公平:
1. 州主席须由票选的区会执委(即区会主席、署理主席、副主席及10位票选委员)投选
2. 马青州分团和妇女组也应被赋权参与投选,由团长、署理团长、副团长、主席、署理主席和副主席代表投选

至于州联委会执委阵容应概括所有票选的代表,即州主席、马青州分团团长、妇女组州主席、区会主席、上议员以及国州议员。

相对于由总会长委任,票选州主席一策能使马华各州的领导层体现真正的民主作风,对基层而言也更具公信力。

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Religious freedom in Malaysia

Every time a person is converted to Islam and this may not be disclosed to the next of kin, it creates a lot of controversy, anger and anxiety when finally at death, he’s discovered to be converted to Muslim.

Early this year, it was proposed if one of the spouse is converted, the family members need to be notified or are aware of the repercussion and its implication. Like all religious matters, it is a sensitive issue. I can understand the unhappiness of the family of the late B.Elangesvaran who was buried in Muslim cemetory and family members failed to stop the burial as the court have ruled that he had converted to a Muslim.

I think all of us accept Islam as official religion in Malaysia. All right thinking Malaysians also accept the fact that we have religious freedom that anyone of us is allowed to have the religion of our choice and this is enshrined in the constitution. Upon the conversion of any person, there are areas of concern for the spouse who has freely chosen to remain in his / her faith, i.e. on issues of divorce, division of assets, maintenance, distribution and inheritance. Custody and guardianship of children, and the ability to have an equal say in determining their religion and upbringing, are also matters of great concern.

The legislative pillar of the government must study this matter with utmost concern and care in order to find an amicable solution.

The law must be reformed, to ensure that when an individual embraces Islam, the convert’s spouse (or ex-spouse), children and other family members’ rights and entitlements under civil laws remain unchanged. Regardless of such conversion, all issues arising out of the marriage must be settled according to civil law, and not state Islamic law enactments, since the marriage was solemnised or registered under civil law. Furthermore, legislation must be adopted to specify that only the civil courts have jurisdiction to hear any matter.

MCA is convinced that the rights and entitlements of the unconverted spouse must be guaranteed and so any legal and extra legal solutions must be, simply put. There is a need to build an alliance with the people of different faiths and develop clear policy statement, encourage dialogue between various faiths in order to achieve better understanding and accommodative attitude among different faiths;

MCA stands with the people to uphold and respect religious freedom, and against the spirit of overzealousness and intentional discrimination based on religion. We recognized that profession of faith is primarily a personal choice and involves freedom of conscience. MCA therefore calls for every person to be allowed the freedom to choose his / her religion.

Another sore point among the non-Muslims is the place of worship. Often, application for building and renovation will take years and some never see the light of the day. Often at the state level, such matter has to be referred to Security Council with representation from Muslim Council and non from non Muslim. This is something which is grossly unfair since you are a Muslim deciding on matters concerning non-Muslim. Often this council hardly meets and this explains why such application takes a long time.

When I was in the state government in Johor from 1990 – 2004, I failed to persuade the state government to set up an Inter-religion council so that such matter can be better coordinated. As to the alienation of land, although the Johor state government has allocated lands for worship for non Muslim, often personal touch and connection where the state executive council is important and I notice that the Majlis Keselamatan did not approve land applied by non-Muslim organizations. However, I am glad to say that those decisions are overruled by us and supported by Menteri Besar of Johor at the State Executive Council. The state government should formalize the provision of land for worship by non-Muslim and also the need to formalize the process for approval to repair, rebuild and erect building for worship. Until then, while we may have religious freedom, we not have equal and fair treatment and this is a point brought up by MCA at state and federal level. Success has been limited so far.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fuel Hike and Inflation

We are now facing an economic crisis as bad as the 1997 financial crisis, maybe not as dramatic as the depreciation of currency as in 1997. However, impact of the fuel rise and increase in prices in almost all essential goods, creeping inflation, political uncertainty, the US slowdown, all these will definitely affect export sector and will put the Malaysia economy under great stress. The fuel hike will definitely cause the increase in the cost of production and this will definitely eat into the profit margin of the various economic sectors, ultimately, the erosion of their profit margin. This may cause an economic contraction and this will lead to a chain effect, both up streams and down streams.

The various industries and services will definitely put expansion on hold. There may be retrenchment, hence unemployment may grow up. Creation of new jobs may come down. Under the RMK9, the yearly creation of new jobs should be 200, 000 per year. I doubt that we can achieve this figure this year. For next year, it could be anybody’s guess for what the employment rate would be, but one thing for sure is that the creation of new work will be much less. Government’s revenue will definitely be affected because corporate tax, individual tax and entertainment tax will be down. Bank will also be confronted with non-performing loans, both from corporate and household loans. Less people will be traveling; both within the country and outside the country and this will affect the whole service sector of hotels, public transportation and entertainment. One area of the service sector which I find illogical is the Ministry of Cooperative and Entrepreneur’s consistent refusal for the taxi fare and transportation fare to be readjusted to cope up with the fuel hike. While they may be provided with subsidized fuel, fuel is only one of the components involved in the public transportation system since many other factors are involved from spare parts, wages of drivers and etc. Hence, it makes no sense that they are not allowed to readjust their fare and transportation changes. Therefore, we can understand why we have dishonest and not so friendly taxi and bus drivers.

Hence, we may be facing economic slowdown, rising unemployment, inflation going up, government revenue going down and consumer confidence badly affected and I am sure street demonstration will not resolve these issues.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Denial and Lies/ 谁在撒谎?

I just got back from Indonesia. It is neither a business trip nor a holiday, just a trip with some time to kill; I accompanied a friend to Jakarta, who was on a business trip. Meanwhile back home, accusation, counter accusation, lies and denial continue to dominate the political scene in Malaysia. Even statutory declaration is abused. At the end of the day, people are confused, bored and fed-up.

Since stakes are high, people will continue to deny and since people have doubts about the integrity and professionalism of police force, we will never know the truth. Since we never know the truth as yet, it is grossly unfair to draw any conclusion. It goes to show that politicians are of all stripes, whether BN or PR. In the end, it may be the pot calling the kettle black.

Anwar needs to do more than just denial to convince the public that the accusation was just a frame up. In the same way, Najib needs to do more to prove that he’s not involved and as somebody who worked under Najib before, I’m convinced that he’s not involved. I know readers will condemn me but please allow me to have the freedom of thoughts. I notice that there are people who think that political uncertainty and dirty politics is part of the process of the new political awakening among Malaysians post 308 general election. I hope all these drama-like shows would have some finality and politicians from both political divide should address the issues confronting the nation. At the end of the day, we judge a person by his performance, not the drama enacted.
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谢谢大家关心。前几天我到印尼的雅加达了走一圈,不是公干也非度假,只是陪同一位老朋友到当地巡视业务,也藉此打发时间。

我回到家中的第一件事即翻阅报章。甫离国数天,国内的政治新闻已变了另一个模样,政治事件的指控和反指控和的主导国内的政治焦点,连法庭宣誓书也被滥用。事件的演变日日新、似假非真,让看的人眼花缭乱,混淆不已,说的人不累看的人已厌倦。
事情炒得火热,人自然会继续否认,谁是谁非难以鉴定。由于人民置疑警方的廉正和专业,事情的真相将永远不得而知。既然真相未明,若我们就此下定论对任何一方都有欠公平,也会让人民有天下“政客”一般黑的错误观念。

最近闹得沸沸扬扬的安华事件,当事人安华否认以后,应该提供更多证据,显示这如他所言,只是一个政治陷害。同样的,副首相纳吉既矢口否认,他必须力证他没有涉及其中。为示清白,双方除了否认仍需做提出更多有力证据,才能让公众信服。我曾在纳吉之下工作,以我与他共事的经验,我坚信纳吉没有涉及。不过此话一出,相信我必遭众读者文攻,但这是我的个人想法,请容许我享有个人思考和表达的自由。

也有人认为目前动荡不安的局势以及政坛出现许多肮脏的政治伎俩,是308大选人民政治意识抬高促成政治改革的一项过程。我希望这一切的政治戏码会早日落幕,希望国内的政治人物能权衡轻重,把焦点和关注放在影响人民和国家利益的课题上。

煽情的演戏容易触动心弦,但最终,我们应该凭表现来判断一个人。

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Not in Town

I am currently overseas and will not be back until next Tueday. Therefore, there will not be posting until then.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A politically unpredictable Malaysia?

2 nights ago, I had the opportunity to have dinner in KL with a very successful Chinese businessman. Although this Chinese businessman has varied interest in this country, he operates more from London where he’s also very active in the property and tourism industry. This gentleman tells me that in his travel throughout the world, Malaysia is often labeled as a politically and economically stable country and is also cited as one of the positive point about our country.

Unfortunately, after the 308 election, people’s perception of Malaysia has changed and that it has been regarded as politically unpredictable with possibility of becoming unstable. I told him that Malaysians are so used to a government in power with overwhelming majority in the Parliament and in state except of Kelantan, the rest under BN.

After 308 election, the political landscape has changed completely. The sheer number of PR members in the Parliament forces a lot of the MPs to perform in Parliament in order to be noticed. To aggravate matter, Anwar’s constant reminder that BN’s MPs will jump ship, causing the collapse of BN government. The BN government is used to a 2/3 majority in the Parliament and suddenly finds itself unprepared to cope with a more boisterous and aggressive opposition. Some of the BN leaders still behave as if it is business as usual. For a lot of PR members, they feel that their role is to oppose by highlighting shortcomings of the government of the day without concrete or viable proposals. A good example is the increase in fuel price. No PR leaders have stepped forward to propose a viable alternative other than to oppose and condemn. The accusation of sodomy against Anwar, Anwar seeking refuge in Turkish embassy adds more fireworks to a charged situation. The fuel hike and increase in tariff have also driven a lot of people and businessmen into despair. All of us were suddenly confronted with the increase in price in almost every item of our daily lives. There is an air of uncertainty and these do not augurs well for the nation. So I told my friend that I’m not surprised that on the radar screen of foreign investors, we are politically regarded as uncertain although still stable. Let’s hope PR and the government in power will channel their energy and brain to address national issues rather than wasting time and resources in the business of politicking.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Serious implications of Anwar seeking refuge in Turkish embassy

On Sunday morning, Anwar sought refuge in Turkish embassy stating reason that his life or safety was threatened. I believe this is in fact a first case in history that a Malaysian himself or even a politician seeking refuge or protection from the embassy office of other country in his own country.

Such action can lead to serious implications to the diplomatic relations between two countries. It can implicate interference of other country in our own country’s law and security. It can also tarnish the credibility of the Malaysian Police Force in the international arena. People and foreigners will then lose confidence in our police force in seeking protection and security.
It can further deter the confidence of foreign investors in their investments here by mistakably thinking that the political situation in Malaysia is in a serious unstable state. All these are going to dampen the efforts of the government in trying very hard to achieve economic growth in an unstable financial market as the price of oil keep going up.

As to the allegation of sodomy, I leave it to the police. Hope the police will do a good job.

Welcome to my Blog

As a concerned MCA member, I am trying my best to help in the process of rebuilding and repositioning of the party.

Therefore, I welcome party members and members of public to post your constructive suggestions and opinions on my blog on how to rebuild and reform the party, eventually enabling MCA to regain support from all party members and the community.


Thank you for your suggestions.