Thursday, November 27, 2008

CHANGE the Game


Change means courage to challenge the norms, courage to challenge your shortcomings, courage to challenge your competitors, courage to challenge every single roadblock in whatever you strive to achieve.


In other words you become a non conformist

In this sense, Advertising and Politics have parallels. One of those parallels is CHANGE. Both must accept that change is constantly needed, or we become obsolete. When I mention change, I mean meaningful change. Real change. Indeed, change is actually the search for relevance.

“Advertising and Politics have parallels. Accept change or become obsolete.”

In politics, this means a need to stay relevant, to meet the rising expectations of the rakyat.

Obama demonstrates the power of change. Change that brought hope to Americans.

He knew people were tired of Bush, it became change vs status quo. At no time does he project himself as champion of the coloured people. It is the other way round. He rose above racial politics and championed the cause of all Americans, and that energised them. When he started 2 years ago, a lot of Americans, let alone the world then was asking Obama who? He changed all that by clever timing, spinning, packaging and advertising, creating a brand of his own until his brand became an accepted brand. Politicans and Advertisers have a lot to learn from Obama campaign of change and strategy.

If Obama’s platform had been challenging “whites” he would’ve lost. He went with national issues & interests. He wasn’t the hero of ‘colored’ people but for all.
Instead of “Black vs White”, it was “change vs status quo”.

Back home, the 308 election often regarded as the political tsunami, changed the political landscape of Malaysia. It marks the start of the two-party system, hence political parties have to change to be competitive.

“The start of the two-party system means parties have to change to be competitive.”

The rakyat voted for change. It is very obvious, that the BN leaders, my party included, were not prepared and were caught unaware of the voters’ sentiments.

Post 308, what sort of change would the rakyat expect from us?

BN needs to change. It is not an option, but necessary to face the new political reality, to remain relevant and competitive. It is not and cannot be business as usual after 308. Unfortunately, we still have not changed much since...although time is fast running out.

Like advertising, the actual product MUST ultimately match the appeal of the advertising. Or disappointment sets in. It’s like finding out the skin cream doesn’t really make you look younger. Or that the weight you lost has returned. Or Obama isn’t a great president. Keadilan isn’t actually interested in…keadilan.

I think the Opposition and even to some extent the BN is burning political goodwill that was previously built. Ask any citizen and very few will be able to tell you about any concrete improvements in Opposition-controlled states.
Similarly, even after the stinging rebuke of 308, I don’t think any member of the rakyat will say ‘Yes, the ruling government has heard us, they’re starting to improve things.’ Consumers punish disappointment by not buying products. And after 308, citizens have learnt that they can punish politicians by pulling their votes. We are wasting goodwill and we only have a small, limited window to meet expectations. And even when we meet it, we cannot stop.

Change is a process. It is not a singular moment. And if we want change, we must stop looking at it like something that has happened, but something that is still taking effect. It is STILL happening. Which brings me to another point: We have to stop living in the past.

“Change is a process. It is not a singular moment.”

Talking about the fundamental of politics in the country which is organised above racial political lines, WE NEED TO CHANGE so that while we look after our own ethnic group, we need to champion national issues that affects all Malaysians. Issue-centric rather ethno-centric. If Keadilan can project itself to be multiracial and be able to look after the interests of CHI or Indian community, it raises the possibility that MCA,MIC,GERAKAN may not be relevant anymore.

“Our politics is still organised along racial lines.We need to be issue-centric, not ethno-centric.”

I am not so naive as to suggest that race is not an issue. The system, the mentality, has been there for a long while and its improvement will not come overnight. I AM saying that we need to change to address issues beyond the confines of ethnicity. It is very limiting. It is also living in the past.

Learning from the advertising industry - you people are everywhere! One theme, one convention that you cannot seem to lari is ‘three races’ advertising. Every big company sure show some corporate ad which feature coincidentally one Malay, one Chinese, one Indian. What about the ‘Dan Lain-Lain?’

We continue to be defined by our racial lines. Just because we began that way, it does not mean we have to STAY that way. We should be a real melting pot, hence focused on issues – which are really just problems that need solving – instead of colour, which I’m sure Art Directors will agree – is largely a matter of taste.

Think about things like education. The economy. Infrastructure. Are roads more Indian? Is education more Malay? Is money more Chinese? Seems silly when you say it out loud. Because it is. These things are agnostic, neutral. They are problems that can and do happen to any country, any society. Our energy – political and otherwise – is best spent solving problems. Solving problems is better done by skillful people first. And skill is not based on race.

“Solving problems is better done by skillful people first.And skill is not based on race.”

We have to change our approach towards solving problems. For example, the fight for CHI schools shouldn’t be seen as a CHI struggle. If the CHI schools are part of the national education system, it is a national issue. The MCA needs to convey this to the BN leadership. It is a paradigm shift for of thinking for the leadership.

“Chinese schools shouldn’t be seen as a Chinese struggle. They’re part of the national education system. It’s a national issue.”

I hear Creative People always like to try something fresh. As long as it’s better. Can you imagine not being able to do that? Can you imagine always using the old template?

We have to stop using the old template. Our country needs to move on. Moving on is a futuristic thing. We are being defined by the past because we are still living in it. Of course, there are people who will surely say ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!’ Eh friend, it’s broken la.

THAT IS WHY WE MUST CHANGE CONCEPT OF POWER SHARING within BN. The slogan/phrase of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, of Master and Servant relationship becomes unacceptable…the younger generation of various races will not accept it. We accept Malay Leadership, but not Malay Supremacy.

“We must change the concept of power sharing. We accept Malay Leadership, but not Malay Supremacy.”

When we say we reject ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, we are not challenging the Malay special rights. It is enshrined in our constitution and nobody can take that away at the present moment. In the same way that Bahasa Melayu is the national language. Its status is protected in the constitution, and nobody can change that. That status is acknowledged and respected. So when we learn other languages or put up signs in other languages, it’s not challenging the status of our national language.

We need to change the Malaysian thinking, we cannot be ‘Mono lingual’ in a globalised IT world, we need to stay highly competitive. So learning and mastering more is about enriching our manpower, not anything else.

Malaysians must change to be less confrontational, controversial, emotional on issues that cross racial lines. Bahasa Melayu is a UNIFYING factor, not a DIVISIVE factor.

“Bahasa Melayu is a unifying factor, not a divisive factor.” When you go order food at a mamak you say ‘Boss, maggi goring satu.’ Even if you’re Chinese. And the Chinese guy is ordering food from an Indian man! You never see people going ‘Eh, why are you using Malay?’ We use what works.

If we become less emotional/confrontational and more objective, then the political temperature in Malaysia would be more ‘normal’. There should be more consensus, more accommodating, more equitable basis; not a Master and Servant relationship. The rights of all communities are enshrined in the constitution. Leaders do not necessarily know best. Maybe only what is best for themselves and not for the rakyat.

Hence, this brings us to another change. Malaysians should think more like Malaysians and less along ethnic lines. Practicing your own religion, culture and traditions does not make you less Malaysian. If we can change our thinking that anything affecting different communities affects us as a country, we become more Malaysian, less divided. We really need to change our thinking/mindset to be less ethnic skewed, so that we will not be trapped in this ‘Racial mental Block/Box.’

“Practicing your own religion, culture and traditions does not make you less Malaysian.”

When I decided to stand in the recent MCA party election this year, I actually embarked on a journey of change and hope. I was thinking ‘I must change the public’s perception.’ That a politician can actually be HONEST, when confronted with personal issues. They may be evasive or even outright denials in the case of “look like me, sound like me but it’s not me”.

In my case, I wanted to change by admitting, by resigning/relinquishing all my party and cabinet posts within 24 hours. And when I stood for the party elections, I wanted to change the perception that if you are a public figure you can’t make mistakes and take responsibility over it and move on. Even a convict is given a second chance. What would we tell our children who makes mistakes? That there’s no turning back, no way to rectify the wrong or to own up? So when I stood for the party election I was challenging the norm.

I was hopeful that my comrades, brothers and friends in the party will give me a 2nd chance. I believe that it is better to be defeated by your comrades in a transparent election than by a nameless, faceless videographer and tape that was set up to end my career.

Don’t get me wrong, my (election) as the deputy president of MCA is not an endorsement of the mistake I made, neither is it a reflection of a lack of sensitivity to family values of MCA members. It is just an endorsement from my comrades in MCA, in their belief that I can deliver and lead the party post the 308 political tsunami. The election is not just about me, it is about a change in mindset with regards to our political environment. Where responsibility, effectiveness, transparency, efficacy and leadership of politicians is of utmost importance to the party members (to the rakyat). That they demand more from their politicians and community leaders. That they demand ‘real change’.

Which brings me back to my initial theme – which is also actually my hope. I believe that change is possible, and that change is necessary. I believe that politicians are chosen by the people to be able to change the world into a better one. If we want change – positive change – to be something more commonly found in our society, then we must not fear CHANGE, and have the courage to change.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you.


Speech at 2008 Kancil Awards Festival Speaker Series: Change The Game, Thursdar, 27 Nov 2008




Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reduce Dependence on Foreign Workers

There are a total of 10.9 million people in the Malaysian workforce. Of these 2.1 million workers are foreign workers, about 18% of the workforce. According to the statistic from Ministry of Home Affairs, about 70% are Indonesian, the rest from Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, Myammar and Nepal.
Foreign workers are widely employed in the Plantation (30%), Manufacturing (30%) , Construction (15%), Domestic Maid (15% ), Services (10%).

The number of foreign workers increasing dramatically from 750,000 to 2.1 million in the last 8 yrs. We cannot deny that foreign workers had contributed to Malaysian Economic Development. However the influx of foreign workers have created many social problems, from crime to diseases. If we include the number of illegal foreign workers plus the legal foreign workers, we are looking at about 2.6 million foreign workers in total. We have reached satuaration point often by convention that foreign workers should not be more than 10% of the population.
The economic slow down will have impact in Malaysia. Next year growth is forecast to be 3.5% and 2010 will be lower. Alot of establishment will be operating at undercapacity. There will be retrenchment and reduction in new jobs creation and unemployment rate will definitely go up.
Hence, the govement need to cutting set up a monitoring mechanism to:

1) Save jobs for Malaysians by cutting cost to save jobs or cut jobs to cut costs.
The government and private employer have social obligation to cut costs and save jobs. Any retrenchment should be foreign workers first rather than Malaysians.

2) Reduce the dependence of foreign worker. Malaysians should be given priority in job placement rather than foreign workers. The government have announced a reduction of 400,000 of foreign workers by 2010. There must be a mechanism to achieve this, otherwise is a tall order to achieve this target.

3) We need to fully utilised the 300 million announced under the stimulus package for training of workers.

a) Important to evaluate the nature of training required so that there is matching of skills and demands.
b) Matching of allowance since various skill training require different allowance.
c) Job conversion training eg. from clerk to retail sector.
d) Professional job conversion training then require longer period of training eg. becoming kindergarden teacher.
e) Retraining so that there is greater skill capability. Companies should use these downturn to up skill and retrain their executives.
f) Job placement for Malaysian retrenched from overseas. It is expected about 30,000 Malaysians in Singapore will be retrenched

Save Mabul Island


I have the opportunity to visit Mabul Resort 2 years ago. I am very impressed with the facilities and the natural beauty of the island, with clear water and plenty of marine life. I remember there were a group of 10 visitors from Germany I met during the trip, said Malaysia’s islands especially Mabul Island, have become preferred destination for their family annual vacation. It is obvious visitors are attracted by its natural beauty and clean environment.

Now we are told that an oceanarium will be built near the Mabul Resort. If it is approved, in such big project, any construction around the island will definitely upset the fragile eco-system and environment of the resort. Tonnes of construction material and the influx of workers to do the construction will cause untold damage to the sea water and with it the marine life.

The Sipadan Island development and subsequent cabinet directive to stop all development should remind the Sabah Authority that any massive development around the Mabul Island will destruct the marine life.

I agreed that Sabah need for tourist spot to sustain its tourism industry but developing an oceanatium around Mabul is definitely not one of them. It does not add value to Mabul Island but to destroy what it gifted. I believe people want to observe not a man make beauty but what nature has endowed us.

I always have my doubt about Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and the various mitigating measures undertaken. There is hardly any supervision and enforcement, at best the EIA, is just to satisfy the approving authority. One must not forget the carrying capacity in any eco-tourism projects. An influx of unlimited visitors is sure to kill the marine life.

Sabah has great tourism potential because of the sea and natural eco-tourism sites. More promotion and direct air times will boost tourist arrival. For example, The Danum Valley which is located about 70km west of Lahad Datu is hardly known to a lot of Malaysian. I visited it when I went to the Scientific Research Centre many years ago. It is a vast reserve of tropical lowland forest rich in tropical flora and fauna. It has been recognized as one if the world’s most complex eco-systems and I rate it one of the best eco-tourism site in Malaysia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

No Petrol Subsidy

Now that the global oil price is at US$ 65 per barrel, the government would not be paying any subsidy. The saving can be substantial easily more than RM10 billion. Of course whether oil price will remain stable, or continue to fall is a question. There are speculations that by early next year it may drop to US$50 per barrel. While the government saved on subsidy if the oil price remains stable, it will have to decide:


a) The utilization of the saving of RM10 billion to improve public transport system. We can assume that private vehicle traffic will go up with the drop of petrol price.


b) Whether the government should set up a floor price, even if the global oil price continues to drop. We may indirectly promote Malaysia to use private vehicle if petrol price continues to drop hereby chocking our already congested roads.


c) Government need to monitor whether price on essential goods will drop, from the eateries to the public transport and other services where price have gone up purportedly became of the increase of global oil price. When petrol price increase abruptly this year, the hawker centre price of common food item went up between 20 cents to 50 cents, about 10% increase. Now will these item drop in price? Personally, I doubt it will.


d) The drop in Government revenue will be substantial by the year 2010, when the government collect taxes based on income generated in 2009. The drop in price of commodities and oil may reduce the government revenue by 30% to 40% - a substantial shortfall. This will affect the budget in 2010 and the subsequent preparation for the Ten Malaysia Development Plan.


The Economic Council need to address the issue urgently since it is not easy to cover such a substantial fall in revenue. Alternative source of revenue become urgent.


Global economic slowdown and its impact on Malaysia plus the fall in revenue of the government is the biggest challenge to all of us. By year 2010, we need more than just short term economic stimulus policies. The relaxation of 30 per cent Bumiputera equity ownership for companies seeking to be listed but have yet to fulfil the quota requirement as announced by Deputy Prime Minister is only one of the measures. More need to be done.


Economic issue will dominate the political scene in the country and may be the Achilles heel of the BN government in the coming election.


停止燃油补贴之后……

现在國際原油价格价格为每桶65美元,政府也宣布不会再继续提供补贴。节省下的金钱动辄超过百亿令吉。当然,问题是油价是否保持稳定或继续下跌。有分析预测指出,油价在明年年初可能下降到每桶50美元。当油价持续稳定,政府有必要决定如何分配省下的补贴:


a)利用节省下的百亿令吉來提升公共交通系统。我们可以预见随着油价下跌,上路的车辆数目势必增加。


)当国际原油价格持续下跌,政府是否应为油价设立底限。当汽油价格继续下跌,可能会间接鼓励國人车上路,而使到原本拥挤的道路更加堵塞。


)政府需要监督日常民生物品价格是否也应声下跌,尤其是油价上涨时也水涨船高,应声涨价的餐饮業、公共交通服务及其他服务。当汽油价格在今年突然大幅调涨,小贩中心食品价格也调涨约10%,普遍上涨2050仙。现在,这些食品是否将降价?我很怀疑。


 

)政府在2010年的稅收将大幅銳减,这是因为政府届时的收税是根据2009年的收入。商品及石油价格下跌料使政府稅收减少3040  --少了很大笔收入。这将影响2010年的财政预算案和紧接而來的第十大马计划的筹划工作。


國家经济理事会迫切要解決这项问题,因为要填補收入大减的缺口十分不容易,寻找替代的收入财源更是当务之急。


全球经济放缓对马来西亚的冲击,再加上政府收入减少己成为我们最严竣的挑战。到了2010年,我们需要的仅仅是短期的刺激经济政策,包括副首相宣布的放宽土著股权也只是其中一项措施,还有更多措施都刻不缓了。


显然,经济课题将成为我国未來政治角力的焦点,而且很可能是国阵政府在下届大选的致命要穴。

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Service Medical Examination


Now NS trainees have to undergo a compulsory medical examination. This, according to the Director General of the National Service Training Programme is to prevent medical mishaps among trainees.

The logic involved in the medical service is mind boggling. Assumed there are 140,000 trainees divide into 87 camps, each camp will hold average 1600 trainees. The question arises to its effectiveness in the medical screening, since screening is done in the camp by the medical officers. A cursory medical examination will not detect any medical condition in the trainees. The quality on effectiveness comes into question.

Death due to mishaps including accidents and medical conditions will occur in a big batch of trainees. Now will a medical examination by a medical officer in the camp detect any conditions and hence prevent any unfortunate casualty?

The answer, I am afraid is unlikely. Often such medical conditions can often be picked up in the medical questionnaires if it is answered truthfully.

If we analyze death among the trainees, due to medical conditions while undergoing training, about 10 death out of 300,000 trainees (if memory do not fail me). This is become obvious the whole exercise of medical screening need a relook.

Death among the trainees should be prevented at all costs. It is traumatic to the trainees and family members when it’s occurred. Medical examination in the camp is not the best method to pick up the potential candidates. It is the answers they provide in the medical form that will provide the biggest clue, not a physical medical examination by the doctor in the camp.

Trainees must be truthful in answering the question in the health declaration form. They should not think the medical screening will pick up all the medical conditions. If they do so, I am afraid they may be more medical mishaps, despite the medical screening and is provide more ammunition for an outcry.


国民服务计划强制体检

根据国民服务训练计划总监的说法,现在强制每位国民服务计划學员体检,是为了避免受训过程发生医疗事故。这在逻辑上是不通的。

假设14万名學员,分配在87个营地,每个营地平均有1600名學员。问题就在进行体检的效率,尤其是这项工作是由营地的医疗官负责。粗略草率的体检是无法查驗出受训學员的身体状況,因此体检的品质就是一个问题了。

包括意外和医疗不足在內的死亡事故有可能发生在大批學员身上,如今负责体检的营地医疗官是否做好準备应付和避免任何不幸事故发生?

答案是,恐怕是不太可能。通常这一类的体检只是在表格上做医疗选择题,而且预设的情况是人人都据实作答。

如果我们从學员死亡事故來分析,30万名學员约有10人因受训过程因医疗不足死亡(如果我沒记错),显然整个训练的医疗照顧都需要检讨了。

我们要不惜一切代价避免學员死亡,当不幸发生了对其他學员及家属都是伤害。营地执行体检不是挑出有病因学员的最佳方法,反之学员在体检表格上提供的答案是重要线索,而不是营地医生进行的体检。

學员必须据实填写健康申报表。他们不应以为医疗检查将能快速掌握自己的体格状況。如果他们真的这么想,尽管有了体检,但我担心会有更多医疗事故,并让反对者有更多反对的理由。

Chua's bureau: Watchdog on MCA ministers too


Malaysiakini Fauwaz Abdul Aziz Nov 17, 08
MCA deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party’s recently set-up bureau to monitor government policies will keep tabs on all ministries, even those with ministers and deputy ministers from his party.

"None will be exempt," the former health minster told a press conference at party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

The bureau under Chua will appraise policies and decide if they are funded in line with the "demands of the time".

It will also identify which policies need review, withdrawal or even create in line with the people’s aspirations, said Chua.

The bureau - to be made up of persons recommended by the state liaison committees - will be professional and provide "constructive criticisms", while its website will help disseminate information and collect it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Biscuit makers seek help





Dr Chua, who is the party's government policy monitoring bureau chief, said major producers representing the RM2.5 billion biscuit industry had expressed to him their frustration at the ministry. These include the ministry's slow lab results and red tape involved in issuing clearance letters to certify that the biscuits are safe.




"Importing countries now want a letter of analysis of the biscuits and letters from the government that guarantee the safety of the product.




"Their problem with the ministry is that there are five labs which take two weeks to test their products. Because time is of the essence for businesses, many producers have sent their products to be tested in Singapore, where it only takes two days to get the results.




"However, the Health Ministry here does not accept these results." Because of the delays caused by the Malaysian labs and the ministry's hesitance in backing up local producers, Dr Chua said demand had been reduced significantly.




"Last week, the 'big boys' (public- listed biscuit producers) told me the export market which used to be RM600 million a year, has dropped by 50 per cent. Local consumption, which used to be worth RM1.5 billion to RM2 billion a year, has also dropped by 40 per cent."




Coupled with the uncertain global economy, Dr Chua said that many producers were afraid they might not be able to finance the loans they had taken.




"Therefore, I suggest that the ministry accept the analysis done by Singapore. The companies which do their testing in Singapore can issue a letter of guarantee to the ministry stating they are fully responsible for the quality of the products. "




The ministry should not hesitate to announce their names should the results be proven untrue. Based on this trust, the ministry should issue a clearance letter for the producer. I think this is fair."




He said the ministry should also educate the public about melamine so that consumers can make informed choices and not live under constant and unfounded fear.




"Melamine in biscuits is different from melamine in milk. In China, they intentionally added the chemical to increase the protein count in milk. Using nitrogen as a measurement, milk from China contained 2,000 parts per million (ppm) of melamine. "




"But melamine in biscuits is a contaminant from the raw materials imported from China, not an intentional ingredient. Human tolerance for melamine is high."If someone weighs 15kg, he can tolerate up to 9.5g of melamine daily. But to reach that level, he would have to eat 32 servings of biscuits a day. Who eats that many biscuits a day?"




(NST, 18 November 2008)

蔡細歷:再不解決出口困境‧餅乾業將面臨關閉

(吉隆坡)馬華政府政策監督局主任蔡細歷提醒衛生部,若無法有效解決涉及數億令吉餅乾行業所面對的出口困境,未來兩週至一個月內,將有不少業者面對關閉的厄運。


他說,自中國爆發牛奶含過量三聚氫胺事件後,餅乾行業首當其沖,深受打擊;業者聲稱出口量已下降50%,國內需求量也減低30至40%,導致業者面對資金週轉不靈的問題,情況令人擔憂。


他指出,業者目前面對的問題分別為國內外需求量降低、資週轉不靈;業者出口時面對三聚氫胺課題而令消費者失去信心,但衛生當局未明確交待與教育消費者;以及食品檢驗工作太長。

他表示,當局應處加速處理餅乾化驗工作,因為衛生部接受的檢驗報告只限5間政府化驗中心,不接受私人檢驗,而且當局檢驗時間長達2星期,拖延太久。
應接受新國檢驗報告

蔡細歷也提出即時解決問題的方案:
第一,衛生部應考慮接受新加坡的檢驗報告,以便食品出口。新加坡的檢驗工作只需兩天。
第二,衛生部應要求工廠給予保証書,保証食品安全食用,才能出口國外。
第三,衛生部應發出“出口許可証”,確保有關出口食品是安全食用。”

詢及衛生部長廖中萊是否知道有關建議與給予甚麼回應時,他說,他已在首個中委會提出這些看法,希望衛長能即時處理這項困擾兩個月的課題。

“廖中萊的回應是最快時間內解決,也有中委在會上建議部長到工廠瞭解情況。”
衛部須加強教育灌輸人民對三胺認識

蔡細歷表示,衛生部必須加強教育工作,灌輸人民對三聚氫胺有正確的認識。
他指出,一般民眾因中國牛奶粉事件而對三聚氫胺成份一概而論與比較,但這是不正確的。

“中國一些廠家因特別注入2000倍或過量成份而造成有毒,而且當地人民一天喝五、六次牛奶;但本地餅乾不是特別加入三聚氫胺,而是因原料造成污染問題。
他說,可接受食用三聚氫胺的國際標準是百萬分之二的三聚氫胺,超過則被視為污染。

不意味超標便是有毒
“我們要清楚告訴人民,那只是一個水平,不意味超標便是有毒。”

他說,因為人體能接受的三聚氫胺成份是每公斤0.63毫克。“例如體重15公斤的一個人,每天可接受9.5克的三聚氫胺成份,而9.5克的三聚氫胺成份,即你要在一天內吃32個大湯匙的餅乾才會有事。


“至於50公斤的人,每天可接受的成份是31.5克或107個大湯匙的餅乾。但是,我相信本地人是不會這樣吃餅乾的。”

他說,衛生部必須教育人民正確知識,這樣才能讓人民放心食用這些餅乾。

星洲日報‧2008.11.18


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The police must be seen to be fair


There is a general perception that the police in Malaysia is not only unprofessional but is also racially biased.


Recent incidents involving police action in enforcing the law when faced with so-called illegal public demonstrations seem to suggest that such a perception is not completely unjustified.

While I am sure, a majority in the police force want nothing but to be seen as law enforcers and they are good. But they have to accept the reality of this negative perception.


The police must not only be fair but they must be seen to be fair.They must ensure they have a better relationship with the public to reduce mistrust and mutual suspicions.They have to ensure all guidelines and procedures are followed when enforcing the law.

And they must enforce the law fairly. They must treat everyone fairly.As such the onus is on the police to repair the mistrust and suspicions which the public have of them.

If it is just a case of a few complaints here and there against the police then we can easily dismiss them.But there is a clear public perception which is negative. Surveys have shown that a majority of the public feel the police are unprofessional and that they are corrupt.

Now there is even a perception that they are racially biased.

This must be addressed. The public must have confidence in the police in order for the force to tackle major issues like preventing crime.

Some senior officers have shown before that they can engage in proper dialogue with the public.They have successfully implemented Community Oriented Policing (Rakan COP) in some areas.In my home state Johor, the police have actively engaged the public in fighting crime.

But all of these efforts will come to nought if the public has no confidence in the police and consider it unprofessional. Perhaps MCA ministers should bring up this issue in Cabinet. The Cabinet can then deliberate on measures to restore confidence in the police.

国民普遍认为,马来西亚的警察执行任务一点也不专业,而且还有种族偏见。

从最近警方在公平及干净选举联盟烛光集会中的行动看来,上述看法不是没有道理的。

虽然人民不满警方执法态度的投诉不绝于耳,但我始终相信警队里也有很多敬业的警员,不过身为执法者,他们还是要面对公众的批评,接受大家目前对警方存有的负面印象。

警方有责任改善警民关系。因此,警方不仅要公正严明,也要言行一致,即执行任务时必须体现公正的态度。警方需要与人民保持良好关系,减少人民对大马警队的猜疑和对立,使人民改观。警方也要确保警员按照条例和程序采取执法行动,确保警员公正对待每一个人。

如果只有几宗不满警方的投诉,当局可能选择不予理会。但如今明显的大部分人都对国家警队持有极坏的印象,如此情况当局总不能视而不见。

调查显示,绝多数人认为大马警队不专业及腐败,他们甚至认为警员有种族偏见,此现象不容忽视。因为,警方需要人民的信任、信心及配合,才能有效维持治安。

一些高级警官早前也和民众对话,促进警民交流与合作,并在数个地区成立了警察之友。在柔佛,警方通过警察之友的网络,获得公众热烈参与协助,共同严打罪案。


不过,如果不能恢复人民对警方的信任和信心,过去做得再好也是功亏一篑。执法很重要,消除警民对立情况也很关键。警方必须要纠正内部偏差,执法时要体现专业和公正精神。或许,马华公会的部长应该在内阁提出这项问题,有内阁成员深入讨论,寻求恢复公信之策。

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hero Welcome for Ahmad Ismail?

Datuk Ahmad Ismail, the suspended UMNO Bukit Bendera Division was given a hero welcome by his own division. He was received by kompang troupe, silat components performance. He was given a keris and headdress befitting the state of a Malay Warriors. It defies logic when he is still suspended by UMNO Supreme Council.

The Nature of the welcome was obviously in defiance of the UMNO Supreme Council. UMNO Bukit Bendera will sure find it difficult to get Non-Malay support. Common-sense seems to be lacking in some UMNO grassroots leaders. Political Leaders who make race-related statement from both political divide are plenty in our country.

After 308 elections, there was initial euphoria and optimism that racial politics will be less. I am one of those who think otherwise. In fact 8 months after 308, continuous politicking with racial overtones has become our staple diet.

The road sign in Chinese, Tamil and English in part of the Penang Heritage area, is a classic example of misplaced Malay Nationalism and love of Bahasa Melayu as Bahasa Kebangsaan.

BM as the official language is accepted by all Malaysians. It is protected by the Constitution and no one should question its status. Now if we study other languages it does not mean that we challenge the position of BM as Bahasa Kebangsaan, or if there are road sign other than BM, for the convenience of foreign tourists, it does not in any way mean we do not respect BM.

Malaysia, in order to be competitive when we are a trading nation depending on export, cannot have its people to be monolingual – Chinese knowing only mandarin and Malays knowing only BM. Multilingual is the way forward for Malaysia. One should not be emotional and confrontational on language issues. These issues have been resolved by our forefathers. If it is a question of implementation of the Language Policy it should not be divisive.

BM as the National Language should be an agent of Unity and all Malaysians have accepted it. But do not deprive others of learning other languages. I am sure there are more English and Mandarin speaking tourists compare to Arabic speaking tourist.
发表“寄居论”而被巫统冻结党籍3年的巫统升旗山支部主席拿督阿末依斯迈日前出席他的区会活动时,不但获得英雄式的礼仪恭迎,还获赠象征马来勇士的马来短剑及头饰。一位遭党最高理事会纪律处分,冻结党籍的基层领袖,却被基层视为英雄,这种做法显然是蔑视巫统最高理事的决定。而此动作必定让升旗山当地的非马来选民不满,要得到他们的支持必会难上加难。

308大选以后,许多人都很乐观和兴奋地认为,我国的种族政治会因此减少。我则相反。我也多次公开我的看法。事实上308以后,含种族色彩和种族歧见的政治仍然持续着,似乎已是家常便饭。

槟城文遗区设多语路牌措施被炒作以致演变成争议性课题,就是一个错解马来民族主义和敬爱国语情操的典型例子。

马来文作为马来西亚的国语和官方语言的地位是受到宪法保障,没有人能置疑这一点,而大马人民也接受这项事实。与此同时,人民学习其他语文,不能被视为挑战马来文为官方语文的地位。同样的,为了方便外国游客而在旅游区设置其他语文路牌,更不该被诠释为对马来文不敬。

马来西亚要成为具有竞争力的出口国,我国人民更须加强多语的掌握能力,华人不能只懂中文、马来人不能只谙国语。贯通多语,才能驱动使马来西亚向前进迈进。

因此,我们不该情绪化和以对抗心态去看待语文课题。因为这些问题早在我们先贤时代已有共识和对策。若问题因语文政策的执行而产生,我们决不能容许有偏差。总之,国民不该因语文问题而被分化。

马来语作为我国国语,也是团结马来西亚人民的媒介,大家也这么认同。与此同时,我们不能剥夺国人学习其他语文和语言的机会和自由。我深信,说英语和华语的游客,肯定比说阿拉伯语的来得多。

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bumiputra Housing Quota

The various states imposed various housing quota for Bumiputra in order to help Bumi increase homeownership. If I am not wrong, Kedah have the highest quota for Bumiputra at 50%.

Often the take up rate of Bumiputra quota is slow. The target s is never reached. This causes the holding cost of the housing development to go up and all house buyers end up paying for it.

State Governments should be realistic and more sensitive to the market needs. They should set clear guidelines, conditions and time frame for the reserved Bumi lot to be released to Non-Bumi. For example, 3 - 6 months after construction and after 3 advertisements, the reserved Bumi lot of the housing project should be released to Non-Bumi. Otherwise it will kill the housing industry.

Procedure should be standardized. The procedure and decision should make by a committee, not be at the whim and fancy of the Housing EXCO. Often, red tape and delay in this release causes houses to escalate and breeds corruption.

In a largely rural state like Kedah, setting Bumi housing quota at 50% is unrealistic. The purchasing power of the Bumiputra should be taken into consideration. Kedah State Government does have the financial resources to buy up the bumiputra lot but it is also unfair as valuable resources are tight up in non-productive activity of buying Bumi lot. Eventually the state government may be saddled with a lot of unsold Bumi lot.

Hence it is wiser to set a lower Bumi quota and a shorter period maximum 6 months before they are released to non-bumi. This will take care of the needs of bumiputra, at the same time will not caused the holding cost of housing to escalate.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Stimulus Package is good, but more need to be done.

The Stimulus Package of RM 7 billion is a good move to reduce the impact of the economic slowdown following the American financial crisis.

Pumping money into the system is better than just reducing the interest rate. Basically the stimulus package will stimulate construction and will create the multiply effects of upstream and downstream activities.

The reduction of EPF contribution of 3% which is voluntary will release about 5 billion into the system and will promote domestic consumption.

There is a one off RM 50 million to the Chinese Schools for upgrading works. Some others schools including Tamil and Mission schools also receives the same amount. It may sound unfair as the number of Chinese Primary Schools is 1290 compared to about 500 Tamil Schools. Each Chinese School will get about RM40,000, a small amount for upgrading.

The anticipated slowdown will cause unemployment to go up. The GLC Graduate Training Scheme should be open to all races, and the process of selecting candidate should not be a contentious issues.

The Government is talking about reducing dependence of foreign labour, but there seems to be a lot of talks, very little concrete step to reduce the dependency. This become more important as lay off will increase by year 2010 when Malaysia economic slowdown will be more severe. It will be a sad day when Malaysians are unemployed and the numbers of foreign workers keep on increasing.

More steps should be taken to liberalize the economy. This will include reviewing:

1. The bumiputra equity participation. Bumiputra special rights are enshrined in the constitution. Nobody can take that away. It is a question of how to make Malaysia more competitive and attractive in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and promoting the equity market.

2. Reducing red-tape so that the cost of doing business is reduced. More need to be done for the rapid registration of business, property transfer and application of license that has to go through many agencies. Speed is of essence.

3. Need to attract skilled and professional workers from overseas including Malaysians working oversea. It is estimated that about 30,000 to 50,000 Malaysians working in Singapore will be lay off during this period.

It is obvious that we are unable to achieve the RMK 9 set target of 6% annual economic growth. This year growth is estimated at 5% and 3.5% for next year. As for year 2010, it is estimated to be lower than year 2009 growth.

The time has come for us to be less dependent in oil and petroleum. We have to seek alternative source of revenue to cover the shortfall as the recent of fall in price of oil and also the reserve, which is also depleting. All these call for long term plan which the government must put in place.

70亿令吉救市配套

政府推行的70亿令吉振兴配套, 我认为将为国内经济带来更全面的效果,长远来说比降低贷款利息更有利于助长国家的经济成长。整体看来,振兴经济配套所提出的项目和步骤,旨于刺激国内消费市场和建筑领域,而这两大领域对国家经济成长有连锁行效应。

2亿令吉拨各源流学校

政府有史以来拨出2亿令吉给国内4个源流学校,即华小、淡小、政府宗教学校及教会学校。马华欢迎这项措施,但我认为分配的方式有欠不公平。2亿令吉由4个源流学校均分,这表示各源流学校只获拨5千万令吉。我国目前有1290间华小、500间淡小及不超过400间教会学校,换言之每间华小只获得超过4万令吉拨款。

不公平的地方在于各源流学校的数量不一,却获得同等的拨款总额。要确保公平分配资源给上述学校,政府不应以源流为均分指标,而应以学校的数量为准,即2亿令吉平均分配给各源流的每一间学校。

就业问题

政府也关注大专生失业,和因经济风暴导致的裁员问题。因此,政府将通过政府官联公司(GLC)招聘,为1万2千名大专生提供就业机会。这是一项令人鼓舞的消息,惟政府必须确保公平和透明化进行招聘,根据申请者的绩效而不是种族考量。人力资源是国家建设和发展的主要动力,摒弃种族主义,唯才是用才能保持国家经济的竞争条件。

全球经济放缓,私人机构也深受打击。初步估计,至少3至5万名在新加坡工作的大马人或回流大马。因此,我认为国内的私人领域也应该配合政府,参与人力栽培计划,为就业市场提供更多就业机会。

简化招聘外国知识专才的程序是一项很重要的措施。我国需要各领域的专才和技术人员(knowledge and skilled),更开明的工作准证程序,及外聘和回流专才家人的移民政策是必要的。

公积金缴纳率

减少雇员公积金缴纳率主要能增加国人可消费的收入,以刺激和带动消费市场。减少3%缴纳率,估算每年可为消费市场增加50亿令吉。维持国人的消费能力,也是遏制消费市场内缩进一步恶化的举措之一。

公开招标政府土地和采购活动

政府准备举行公开招标,以决定政府土地发展和器材征用及采购合约。这是一项能提高政府透明指数和公信力的措施。希望有关当局的招标过程能以公平和透明方式进行。

振兴经济配套不足之处

尽管如此,我认为,稳定和刺激国内市场以后,接下来要做的是贯彻更开明和开放的经济政策,达到真正的市场自由化。这包括检讨现有的土著股权和固打制,解决有关制度与经济开放政策间所产生的矛盾。

马来特权是获得国家宪法保障,当我们讨论和要求检讨土著固打制时,并不是在挑战马来特权,而是以宏观的视野看待问题和加以改善,以促进国家在国际自由化市场上的竞争条件,这是吸引和留住外资、维持国内股票市场吸引力的先决条件。

此外,要减少繁文缛节,以减少商业启营成本。这包括简化商业执照申请和发放、产业转让等程序。如果有关程序牵涉太多机构,将会拖慢申请和批审过程。最终让外资或本地商人失去耐心,将投资转向其他国家。

明显的,我国经济将无法达致第9大马计划所设定的6%年度增长率。今年我们只有5%经济成长,明年估计约3.5%,2010年则更低。长远之计是要为国家开发新的收入来源,不能一味仰赖不稳定的石油收入。


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama's victory/ 奥巴马的胜利


I am back to work.

One must admire and congratulate Barack Obama being elected the 44th President of USA, and the first Afro-American to be elected.

This is indeed a proud and defining moment for American politics. Race or colour of the skin does not count in US during election! Obama’s victory is a watershed in US and may change the American political landscape. Civil rights activists have finally realized their dreams and the US’s dream of the opportunity.

I cannot say the same about Malaysia. Colour and religion still play an important role in Malaysia daily life. I am not even talking about the position of the PM and Deputy PM, if the CEO of Government Linked Companies and State Development Corporations colour do matter (e.g. PKNS recently). To many people in Malaysia, race matter a lot.

The colour of the skin may work against you, though you may be the best candidate for the job. Martin Luther King once said: “Judge a man by his content of his character but not his colour.” Racial harmony is fragile and very superficial in Malaysia. Some call it mutual tolerance.

John Mc Cain, fought a long and hard battle, like an old warrior that never die. He should be admired and congratulated for his grace in conceding early defeat and accept the American voter verdict. He had no hesitation in congratulating the winner, no bitterness, no excuse and certainly no signature campaign to show that he still have significant support.

Accept the verdict of the voter and life move on. MCA politicians should emulate Mc Cain’s graciousness rather than bad mouth the victor in the party election. To the loser, it is not the end of the world. To the victor, it is only temporary since party election is once every 3 years.

兹通知大家,我回来了。

这一天,人们都在热烈欢呼声中,恭贺及赞赏奥巴马当选美国第44任总统,创造历史成为美国首任非裔黑人总统。

对美国政治而言,这确实是个骄傲和决定性的时刻,因为美国大选已跨越种族和肤色考量!奥巴马的胜利象征着美国政治走到一个分水岭,而且很可能会改变美国的政治景观。这场变革,不实现了美国民权份子的愿望,也给了美国人一个“机会”的梦想。

回到马来西亚,却不能一概而论。在我国,肤色和宗教对我们的日常生活仍然发挥重要的影响。如果官联公司和各州发展局(雪州发展局为例)的首席执行长必须视肤色而定,那我们要如何不分肤色投选正副首相?对许多大马人来说,种族考量仍然很重要。

你或许是有关任务或工作的最佳人选,却因肤色有别而没有入选。已故的美国黑人人权领袖马丁路德·金说过:“要从品格和能力上判断一个人,切勿以肤色定胜败。”事实上,马来西亚的种族和谐是脆弱的,也很表面。有些人认为其实这是互相容忍。

麦凯恩在美国总统一战中,像一位不死的老战士奋力迎战。败选后,他坦然接受选民的决定,毫无怨责、不以借口推搪,更不搞签名运动来展现他的人气和支持率,反而落落大方地向胜利者道贺。这种风度和领袖素质绝对值得我们钦佩和赞赏。

接受选民决定,继续展开生活。
马华政治人物应效仿麦凯恩的泱泱大风,接受代表的意向和决定,而非不断地中伤胜利者。马华党选3年一次,败选并非世界末日,胜利也只是短暂。希望以这两句话与所有马华同志共勉,大家继续诚恳为党、国效力。

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.