About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Berkenaan Raya, Ulang Tahun Merdeka, Melayu dan Dunia


A Kadir Jasin

 [KALAU mengulas menggunakan  “anonymously”, tolong tuliskan nama Saudara/Saudari pada permulaan dan penghujung komen. Kalau boleh minta ringkas. Terima kasih.]


DI hari raya
Terkenang daku kepada si dia
Kampungku indah nun jauh di sana
Ayah serta bundaku….”

Demikian rangkap pembukaan lagu sayu “Dendang Perantau” oleh seniman ikonik Malaysia Allahyarham P. Ramlee.

Dan seniman tragis Allahyarham Sudirman Haji Arshat yang misi hidupnya membuatkan orang lain gembira, pula berkata:

“Perjalanan jauh tak ku rasa
Kerna hati ku melonjak sama
Ingin berjumpa sanak saudara
Yang selalu bermain di mata

Nun menghijau gunung ladang dan rimba
Langit nan tinggi bertambah birunya
Deru angin turut sama berlagu
Semuanya bagaikan turut gembira...”

Bersama takbir dan tahmid, dua lagu itu mencerminkan  roh dan semangat Aidilfitri. Dan jangan lupa ulang tahun kemerdekaan yang ke-54. Apa pun, ini negara kita. Buminya kita pijak, langitnya kita junjung. Jangan kerana menyampah dengan segelintir manusia, kita lepaskan geram kepada negara. Saya tetap kibarkan Jalur Gemilang.

Berbalik kepada hari raya, bagi kanak-kanak hari untuk bergembira – makan apa yang ada kerana matlamatnya mengutip duit raya. Kepada yang muda, hari romantis yang didedikasikan kepada cinta. Kepada yang dewasa menghayati erti Aidilfitri dan kepada yang tua (macam saya) untuk bernostalgia.

Masa Berlalu, Zaman Berubah.

Hari raya dulu dan kini, tidak sama lagi. Dulu sepasang pakaian baru belum tentu mampu. Sepuluh sen besarnya sama dengan roda kereta lembu. Masa saya kanak-kanak, kereta lembu, kereta kerbau dan anor (orang putih kata sleigh).

Sekarang, pakaian berjenama, Iphone, Ipad, Skype dan teks adalah kata kunci kepada dunia siber dan gaya hidup baru generasi muda.

Orang tua pun turut terbawa-bawa hinggakan Aidilfitri menjadi begitu peribadi dan anti-sosial kerana masing-masing taasub dengan mainan komputer dan SMS.

Buat seketika kita gembira hingga lupa yang Melayu mungkin terancam di buminya, tetapi, ibarat kata Laksamana legenda Hang Tuah, “takkan Melayu hilang di dunia.”

Pada pertengahan Ramadan, saya tumpang berbuka dan solat Magrib di Masjid KLCC. Melayu hampir-hampir hilang di dunianya kerana masjid kecil molek itu dibanjiri pendatang dan pelawat asing.

Apakah pemandangan di masjid itu berupa pra-tunjuk kepada apa yang akan berlaku kepada Malaysia – dulunya Tanah Melayu – pada masa akan datang?

Adakah orang Melayu akan terus menjadi tuan di rumahnya sendiri atau terperosok di ceruk dapur sedangkan serambinya dipenuhi orang lain?

Seelok-eloknya, biarlah orang Melayu terus duduk di serambi, kekal makmur di buminya sendiri dan, seperti kata Hang Tuah, “takkan Melayu hilang di dunia.”

Sebagai ayah, saya bersyukur walaupun berasa sayu kerana tiga daripada lima anak saya tidak berasa di sisi saya untuk bermaaf-maafan dan memberi ciuman sayang pada hari raya tahun ini.

Dua berada di Switzerland – seorang menetap di sana bersama suami dan tiga anaknya dan seorang lagi ke sana untuk temu duga pengajian permohonan pengajian lepasan ijazah.  Yang ketiga sedang belajar di Australia. Yang ada di Malaysia adalah yang sulung dan bongsu.

Kita semua ada suka dan duka hari raya. Namun kita bersyukur kerana dapat sekali lagi menunaikan puasa Ramadan dan, insya-Allah, berhari raya dalam suasana aman dan gembira.

Akhir kalam, salam eid Mubarak kepada semua pelawat, pembahas dan pengikut tetap (followers). Blog kita,  setakat ini telah menerima lebih 5.01 juta lawatan dan ada 1,205 followers. Perbahasan pun semakin rancak. Jadi, terima kasih dan tahniah saya ucapkan kepada semua.

PS: Mungkin tidak wujud lagi atur cara hari raya macam zaman saya kanak-kanak dulu. Pagi makan ketupat daun palas, pergi solat sunat, beraya dengan emak dan ayah, dapat duit raya daripada ayah. Rayau dua tiga kampung cari duit raya. Tumit melecur digesel kasut baru. Cukup duit pergi kedai mamak makan mi rebus dengan air sirap atau air menet (lemonade). Lepas zuhur bergerek (berbasikal) ke Tobiar untuk melawat kubur dan kutip duit raya. Di tanah perkuburan ramai orang bagi duit raya dan sedekah. Balik rumah kira baki duit raya. Kalau sempat, pergi pekan Tanah Merah beli apa yang dicita-citakan. Senja dah tidur kerana kekenyangan dan kepenatan.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Susah Kalau Nasihat Ulama Pun Tak Dengar


A Kadir Jasin

[KALAU mengulas menggunakan  “anonymously”, tolong tuliskan nama Saudara/Saudari pada permulaan dan penghujung komen. Kalau boleh minta ringkas. Terima kasih.]

 RAMAI pembahas beranggapan saya rapat dengan pemerintah sampai boleh jumpa dan bagi nasihat pada bila-bila masa.

Tak betul, lebih-lebih lagi selepas saya berhenti daripada menjadi Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan New Straits Times Press pada tahun 2000 dan menulis atau bercakap dengan agak kritikal mengenainya.

Saya tidak peduli dengan layanan itu, cuma kalau ada peluang dan kalau boleh bantu, saya nak bantu. Tapi kalau mereka tak mahu, tak apa. Saya tulis dan saya cakap.

Kalau nasihat atau pandangan saya tidak dipedulikan, itu tak menghairankan, tapi bila nasihat ulama terkemuka macam Mufti Perak, Harussani Zakaria (Tan Sri) pun mereka tak endah, susah sikit nak cakap.

Pada 24 Ogos dalam satu forum agama anjuran akhbar Sinar Harian, beliau berkata beliau menemui Perdana Menteri, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, dan menasihati beliau mengenai demi perlunya langkah diambil bagi menangani isu perpecahan orang Melayu, dan mendakwa masalah itu meruncing kerana kepemimpinan yang lemah.

Hari ini, 25 Ogos, Harussani jelaskan yang beliau hanya memberi nasihat kepada Mohd Najib agar menyatukan kembali orang Melayu dan langkahnya itu tidak dipengaruhi oleh mana-mana pihak, termasuk dalam Umno.

Katanya, teguran terhadap pentadbiran Mohd Najib berhubung perpecahan orang Melayu dibuat berdasarkan realiti dan persekitaran politik semasa.

Saya rasa saya faham sentimen Harussani dan saya rasa Ramai orang Melayu berpendirian yang sama. Tetapi untuk berlaku adil kepada Mohd Najib, kelemahan dan perpecahan bermula selebum zaman beliau iaitu pada waktu Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Tun) menjadi Perdana Menteri.

Harussani dipetik oleh Malaysian Insider sebagai berkata: “Saya kata (kepada  Najib) yang perpecahan di kalangan orang Melayu disebabkan oleh kerajaan yang lemah, rasuah dan kurang kepercayaan.”

Kalau itu betul apa yang beliau katakan, saya berterima kasih kepada beliau dan bersyukur kerana ada ulama kita ikhlas menjalankan tanggungjawab dan berani berterus terang. Alhamdulillah beliau juga ada akses kepada Perdana Menteri.

Beliau juga dipetik sebagai berkata, perpecahan orang Melayu berlaku apabila Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Tun), sebagai Perdana Menteri, menyingkirkan timbalannya Anwar Ibrahim (Datuk Seri).

Kata Harussani, beliau menasihatkan Dr Mahathir supaya jangan terus singkir Anwar, sebaliknya menurunkan pangkat beliau kerana Anwar ada sokongan di kalangan orang Melayu. Tapi, kata beliau, nasihatnya yang lain ditunaikan oleh Dr Mahathir.

Begitu juga dengan bekas Perdana Menteri, Allahyarham Abdul Razak Hussein (Tun). Kata Harussani, Tun Razak menyelesaikan banyak masalah yang beliau adukan termasuk 14 kuil Hindu yang guna nama Melayu dan perarakan Hindu melalui kampung-kampung Melayu di Pulau Pinang.

Harussani berkata beliau berpendapat menggabungkan perayaan agama-agama lain dengan perayaan Islam adalah syirik.

Katanya beliau cuba menemui Abdullah ketika beliau menjadi Perdana Menteri tetapi gagal dan tidak ada apa-apa yang dilakukan mengenai perkara itu. Saya pun tak setuju digabungkan Aidilfitri dengan perayaan agama lain.

Nampaknya, inilah masalah dengan kepimpinan politik Melayu hari ini. Ia tidak lagi mahu mendengar nasihat, maklum balas dan keluh kesah orang Melayu dan umat Islam.

Semua parti politik Melayu atau yang dipimpin oleh orang Melayu kemaruk sokongan minoriti sehingga orang Melayu berasa terpinggir dan terancam.

Rasa-rasanya pemimpin politik hari ini berasa mereka sudah begitu pandai kerana belajar di universiti dan tak perlu lagi dengar nasihat atau pendapat orang tua-tua, orang agama dan orang berilmu. Atau mereka takut kalau-kalau yang akan dinasihatkan itu tak sedap didengar.

Mereka berasa ilmu dan kedudukan mereka sudah cukup kuat kerana ditokok tambah dan disokong pula oleh kuasa politik dan duit. Maka mereka pagarkan diri mereka dengan barisan Setiausaha Politik,  pegawai khas, pegawai media, penasihat, perunding, ahli keluarga dan suku-sakat yang kerana duit dan kuasa, akan menceritakan yang baik-baik sahaja kepada mereka.

Tapi, kita jangan putus asa. Kita bukan macam dulu lagi kena bergantung kepada media arus perdana. Hari ini kita ada macam-macam saluran komunikasi untuk mencari maklumat  dan  berbincang.

Kalau pembesar politik kita, tak kira daripada Barisan Nasional atau Pakatan Rakyat, tak peduli suara kita, kita berbincang sesama sendiri, kita buat kesimpulan dan kita tunjukkan melalui peti undi, Insya-Allah.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Can PAS Lead A Future Government?


A Kadir Jasin

(If you are commenting “anonymously”, please state your name/pseudonym at the beginning and end of your comment. Thank you.)

OFTEN, in this blog and elsewhere, people asked me if the Parti Islam Se Malaysia (Pan Malaysian Islamic Party aka PAS) could rule the country?

As I wrote in my “Other Thots” column in the Aug.1 issue of the Malaysian Business magazine, the temptation is to refer them to the iconic song “Blowing in the Wind” by Bob Dylan.

Why not? If it gets enough support, it could. Whether it will do a good or a bad one is another issue altogether. In democracy, you don’t always choose the best to govern.

But one thing is sure. PAS could not rule the country alone.  It could rule the country only if it is able to lead the Pakatan Rakyat or any other alliance. But before it could hope to do that, it must first take over UMNO’s role as the principal Malay party.

PAS has to win as many seat as Umno and has to have the financial, organisational and intellectual capabilities matching that of Umno.

Given the country’s demography, political history and the ongoing trends, a Malay party will continue to lead. This dominance is clear in the BN, where Umno is the alpha male, but not so in the PR.

In the 2008 general election, PAS came second to PKR among the three PR parties in terms of popular votes. The PKR won 1,529,265 votes that translated into 31 Parliamentary seats, PAS 1,140,598 (23 seats) and the DAP 1,097,752 (28 seats). Umno raked in 2,381,725 votes that translated in 79 seats, the MCA 840,489 (15 seats), the MIC 179,422 (3 seats) and Gerakan 184, 548 (2 seats).

PAS Has To Lead PR

 PAS could only hope to rule the country if it leads the PR the way UMNO has been leading the Alliance/BN since independence.

For now, there’s no dominant party in the PR. The alliance is an equal partnership among the Malay dominated PAS, the Chinese dominated DAP and the multi-racial, but Malay-led PKR.

This equal partnership may be attractive to the liberals and those fighting for equality, but politically it cannot guarantee strength and cohesiveness. Collective leadership among equals is difficult to manage, more so in a multi-racial environment like Malaysia.

From the viewpoint of the Malay support, Pas has been inching closer to Umno, but it cannot hope to be as strong as Umno if it continues to share the Malay-majority seats, hence Malay votes, with PKR, another Malay-centric party in the Pakatan.

In the last general election, thanks to the electoral pact cobbled together by Anwar Ibrahim, and the widespread disgruntlement with the then Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Pas won Kedah in addition to retaining Kelantan.

It won seats in places that it had not dreamt of and gained supporters in places where Umno ruled supreme like Johor and Malacca.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can say that the hatred for the so-called Fourth Floor Boys (FFBs) cost Umno a lot of votes. Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak is undeniably better and more capable than Abdullah, but whether he too suffers from the FFB-type burden is anybody’s guess.

If he is, the opposition can count on another fruitful outing. In today’s ICT-driven world, perception plays as important a role as reality. Mohd Najib has to prove to the voters, especially members and supporters of his own party, Umno that he’s not only the master of the Malay destiny, but also the lord of his castle, failing which his Achilles heel will buckle.

Those us who are familiar with the song “He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother” made popular by Neil Diamond, can more easily figure this one out.

The Changing Face Of Pas

In recent years, Pas had undergone considerable leadership and policy changes with the non-ulama now dominating the leadership and Islamic State objective morphing into welfare state.

But its relationship with its partners, in particular the DAP, remains touchy due to vast ideological and policy differences. The three PR parties appear to be moving in tandem at the federal level, especially in taking on the BN in Parliament, but show considerable differences in the states that they rule.

A case in point was the recent attempt by the Pas-led Kedah government to shut down entertainment outlets during this fasting month and the reaction to the recent “inspection” by the Selangor Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JAIS) of a dinner gathering by an independent evangelical church, which were attended by Muslims, and features, among other things, a quiz on Islam.

Following a strong objection by the DAP, the party’s national leadership back downed, leaving the Kedah Menteri Besar, Azizan Abdul Razak red-faced, and many Pas supporters angry.
The church issue is far more complicated. After days of trying to ride the political wave, Pas, on Aug. 13, moved to the side of JAIS, urging the department to take immediate action if it finds proof that Christians were proselytising to Muslims.

The statement by the party’s non-ulama Deputy President, Mohamad Sabu, came after reports in the mainstream and alternative media suggest that there were evidence that some independent churches are engaged in the activity.

Political Posturing In PR

It is this kind of political posturing among PR parties that could render the alliance ineffectual and cause it to lose the support of the voters.

The price could be heaviest on PAS. Sooner or later, its genuine rural-based supporters, who truly believe in the party’s Islamic ideals, may lose trust in it. They may conclude that the party’s Islamic agendas are being made a pawn in the game by their leaders.

Without the rural support, PAS runs the risk of losing Kedah and even its stronghold, Kelantan. Such plans as limiting gambling activities, the selling of liquor and curbing entertainment, are popular with its rural supporters, who see them as to the prelude to establishment of a “Daulah Islamiah” – the Islamic State.

Despite these differences, Pas and DAP appear to be engaging in more direct talks than ever. This could signal the party’s growing confidence and the general acknowledgement that the PKR may no longer be in the position to be an effective middleman.

This development may auger well for the DAP and PAS,  but could reduce the influence of PKR and pose a further challenge to Umno and the BN. If the DAP could accept the dominant role of PAS – in the manner that the MCA and MIC accepted the leadership of Umno, future of the PR is much more assured.

But this may not be the case in the immediate future because Pas is still not as strong as Umno while on the other hand the DAP is stronger than the BN’s Chinese parties combined. The DAP may not want to play second fiddle to Pas.

Depending on their ambition and resolve, there’s possibility that the DAP and Pas may part company and go on their own once again.

The DAP may choose this course of action in order to entrench its position in Penang while Pas could hope to continue to rule Kelantan and Kedah on its own.

But a total breakdown of PR will work against both parties and to the advantage of the BN. The ongoing dialogue between PAS and the DAP will determine the future of PR beyond Anwar and PKR.

Whereas the recent PAS election had produced a line-up that’s capable of taking the party forward, the same could not be said of the PKR polls.

Sufficient Time To Judge The PR

Three years had passed since the 2008 general elections and the people have sufficient time to judge the performance of the PR, both as parliamentary opposition as well as the rulers of Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.

The sterling performance of the DAP in the recent Sarawak state election suggests that the 2008 political tsunami hasn’t lost its momentum.

The demand by Pas that it should be allowed to contest up to 80 parliamentary seats suggests the party’s growing confidence and its resolve to be the replacement for the PKR as the dominant PR Malay partner.

The next important question is the ability of Pas to put forward credible administrative and economic plans. Having muted its “Daulah Islamiah” agenda and replacing it with “welfare state”, the party has to spell out its vision and plans for such an entity.

It’s not sufficient to dabble in ambiguity by pointing out that such a state existed during the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the early Caliphates

There is no denying that some Pas leaders were educated in economics and liberal subjects, and had the experience in the administrative, academic and managerial fields. But running a country as diverse as Malaysia needs more than cursory knowledge and experience.

Judging from the articles and papers on the economy and economic matters that appear regularly in the party’s official organ, Harakah, I get the impression that PAS is aware of the need for a comprehensive and practical economic policies and plans.

The real challenge for Pas, should it succeed in taking over from Umno, is to remodel the civil service to fit its mould. Kelantan and Kedah are unique in the sense that their civil services are state-based. So, Pas had not faced a major challenge when it won the two states.

But the situation is trickier for the PKR in Selangor and the DAP in Penang where the civil service is controlled from the centre. Still, the civil service is supposed to be apolitical and loyal to the government of the day.

But a pliant civil service alone will not guarantee the successful running of the country. It needs a government that is sufficiently well informed and efficient. Say whatever we like about the BN, the fact remains that it has managed the country fairly well.

In a rapidly globalising world, Economic planning and management are becoming more complex, and this is point that the political parties and the voters must think very carefully before they take a plunge.

But say that only one party or a particular group of people can run the country is inaccurate. Any party that can successfully convince the majority of the voters can rule the country.

Whether it will do better or worse than its predecessor is the risk that the voters must be willing to take. That’s what democracy is all about. It promises the freedom of choice, but not the quality of people to choose from.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Menteri Palanivel dan Macam-Macam Cerita


A Kadir Jasin

[KALAU mengulas menggunakan  “anonymously”, tolong tuliskan nama Saudara/Saudari pada permulaan dan penghujung komen. Kalau boleh minta ringkas. Terima kasih.]

KALAU menambahkan bilangan, menaikkan KPI, maka KPI Perdana Menteri naik se takuk lagi. Beliau baru saja  menambah bilangan anggota kabinetnya kepada 30 dengan melantik seorang ahli politik kecundang.

Sebenarnya saya pun tak tahu kedudukan KPI menteri, pegawai dan jabatan. Yang saya baca, Idris Jala kata, kadar jenayah menurun dan matlamat NKRA sedang dicapai.

Tapi yang saya baca setiap hari orang kena bunuh, mayat reput ditemui, orang kena ragut sampai mati dan macam-macam lagi jenayah ngeri. Yang saya tengok, tak ada kawasan perumahan di Kuala Lumpur dan Petaling Jaya yang tak dikepung dan dikawal siang malam.

Perdana Menteri melantik presiden MIC, Palanivel a/l Govindasamy aka G. Palanivel menjadi seorang lagi Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, menaikkan bilangan mereka kepada lima.

Seperti Koh Tsu Koon dan Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Palanivel juga kalah pilihan raya umum. Dia kalah kepada calon PKR di Hulu Selangor dan tidak dicalonkan untuk bertanding pilihan raya kecil kawasan yang sama tahun lalu. Dalam PRU akan datang, dia dikatakan akan bertanding di Sungai Siput, Perak, kawasan bekas bosnya S Samy Vellu yang kalah kepada calon PSM, Dr Michael Jayakumar yang bertanding atas tiket PKR (diperbetulkan).                                                                                              

Memang kabinet kita besar. UK dengan 62 juta penduduk ada 23 menteri, Perancis 66 juta ada 23 menteri, Amerika 312 juta ada 12 ahli kabinet dan Switzerland lapan juta ada tujuh menteri. Kita ada 28 juta penduduk dan 30 menteri. Tidak hairanlah susah nak jumpa menteri sebab tak tahu yang mana satu.

Seorang pegawai media Perdana Menteri berkata, PM ada 11 pegawai media yang terdiri daripada bekas pengarang, wartawan kanan dan eksekutif TV. Paling ramai Dr Mahathir ada sepanjang jadi PM adalah tiga.

Malaysia Boleh Di Mana-Mana

Dilaporkan yang pasangan lesbian Menteri Kewangan Australia peranakan Malaysia, Penny Wong, yang dikenali sebagai Sophie Allouache mengandung. Perempuan dengan perempuan bersekedudukan boleh mengandung?

Sehebat mana pun orang Malaysia atau kelahiran Malaysia, perempuan dengan perempuan dan jantan dengan jantan tak menjadi. Hukum Allah macam itu. Pasangan lesbian Penny Wong mengandung secara in vitro dengan ihsan seorang penderma sperma – air mani lah tu.

Kerana pasangan lesbian Penny Wong bunting, Perdana Menteri Australia, Julia Gillard berkata dia gembira. Gillard bukan lesbian, tapi tak kahwin. Dia ada pasangan tetap bernama Tim Mathieson.

Tukar-Menukar Harap Berjaya

MAS dan AirAsia bertukar-tukar saham. Sebab saham AirAsia mahal dan saham MAS murah, Tune Air, iaitu syarikat induk AirAsia, mendapat 20.5 peratus saham MAS dan Khazanah, induk MAS, dapat 10 peratus saja saham AirAsia.

Pertukaran saham itu bernilai hampir RM2 bilion berdasarkan harga AirAsia RM3.95 seunit Jumaat lalu dan saham MAS RM1.60 seunit. Khazanah masih pegang 49 peratus saham MAS.

Pengarah Urusan MAS, Tengku Azmil Zahruddin letak jawatan. Tony Fernandez dan rakan kongsinya Kamaruddin Meranun sertai Lembaga Pengarah MAS.

Yang menarik ialah majoriti eksekutif kanan Tune Air/AirAsia adalah Melayu. Jelas syarikat-syarikat milik usahawan India Malaysia yang disenaraikan di Bursa Malaysia cenderung memberi jawatan bermakna kepada eksekutif Melayu yang berkemampuan, tidak seperti syarikat milik kaum-kaum bukan Bumiputera lain yang ambil Melayu jadi pengarah hiasan, kerani, pemandu, penghantar surat, pengawal keselamatan dan pengawal peribadi. GRO Melayu pun ramai mereka ambil.

Salah seorang ahli lembaga pengarah baru MAS adalah Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Astro Malaysia Holdings, Rohana Rozhan. Astro adalah sebahagian daripada empayar korporat Ananda Krishnan.

Kalau ikut Idris Jala, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Khazanah akan jual banyak lagi saham GLC. Khazanah akan kurangkan pegangan saham dalam lebih 30 GLC atau menjualnya terus. Harap-harap janganlah hanyut pengurus dan eksekutif Bumiputera dalam GLC.

Tak Sangka Bawa Angkara

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Nor Mohamed Yakcop, memberitahu wartawan Jumaat lalu yang krisis kewangan Eropah dan kemerosotan ekonomi Amerika tidak akan memberi kesan kepada ekonomi Malaysia.

Alhamdulillah kalau betul, Isyak-Allah akan terbukti.

Tak tahulah saya kalau menteri itu anggap kejatuhan harga saham di Bursa Malaysia, kemerosotan import oleh Amerika, kejatuhan pengeluaran perindustrian dan kenaikan harga barang pengguna tidak jejas ekonomi negara.

Yang kita tahu, bila ekonomi negara menguncup pada tahun 2009, Nor Mohamed Yakcop kata dia tak sangka. Tak tahulah saya kalau pengurusan ekonomi dan persediaan menghadapi krisis ekonomi global boleh diasaskan kepada sangka dan tak sangka. Wallahualam.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The DAP Favouring the Bumiputeras?


A Kadir Jasin

(If you are commenting “anonymously”, please state your name/pseudonym at the beginning and end of your comment. Thank you.)

AND discriminating against the non-Bumiputeras? If it’s true, it reminds me of the 1950’s Malay song by R Azmi, called, if I am not mistaken, “Dunia Sekarang Sudah Terbalik”. It tells the story of men wearing women’s clothes and vice versa.

The MCA-owned Star newspaper on Aug. 2 reported a claim by the Penang Wanita MCA deputy secretary-general, Tan Cheng Liang, that the DAP state government had awarded a RM1-million contract to a 19-year-old part-time Bumiputera college student.

She went on to claim that the contract was among 968 valued at RM125 million awarded by the state government since 2008 under the open tender system and only 0.2% of the projects were given to non-Bumiputras.

She said: “Does this mean that there are no Chinese contractors able to meet the standard of a 19-year-old?

“Is Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng saying that the capabilities and competitiveness of the Chinese in Penang have declined so much so that they are unable to compete with other races?

“Where is the fairness of DAP’s so-called multi-racial approach?”

I am not really surprised if it is true that the teenager was given the contract. Why not if he’s a capable businessman? After all, Tan herself admitted that the project awarded to him – a double-storey religious school in Batu Maung - had since been completed. He was also allegedly awarded a cleaning contract by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council.

However, I will be thoroughly surprised and disagree with the Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, if only 0.2 per cent of projects were given to the non-Bumiputeras.

I understand if the DAP wants to show that it’s not neglecting the Bumiputeras, but to sideline the non-Bumiputeras is unfair and politically unwise.

True that even Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak is going out of his way to appease and please the minorities, like visiting and recognising the Vatican and, most recently, promising to make the MIC President S. Palanivel a Minister, but for the DAP to sideline the non-Bumiputeras in Penang is unthinkable.

So while the BN is appeasing the minorities, the DAP is pleasing the majority. Does this mean that the BN believes that the votes of the majority – meaning the Melayu – are in the hand and, all that it needs to do is butter the minorities?

On the other hand, the DAP has every reason to believe that the votes of the minority – meaning the Chinese – are already in the bag as was confirmed during the recent Sarawak state assembly election.

Back to the MCA allegation that the DAP was favouring the Bumiputeras in Penang, if indeed this is the case, I hope those fortunate Bumiputera contractors are real and genuine, and not some sort of Ali-Baba or proxies.

Maybe be, the time is a changing – to quote Bob Dylan’s famous song. It’s the time for the DAP to appease and please the Bumiputeras and for the Umno-led BN to appease and please the non-Bumiputeras.

Like R Azmi said, “dunia lah sekarang sudah lah terbalik, pemudi berbaju jarang , pemuda berbaju batik.” In the days of R Azmi, it was unusual from young women to wear transparent or revealing clothes and for young men to wear batik.

If Tan’s allegation is true, could it be that the DAP is trying to correct the injustices done to the Penang Malays and other Bumiputeras during the 51-year rule by the MCA and the Gerakan? Or it is trying to do better than what the MCA and Gerakan did for the Bumiputeras. Not a bad strategy. The MCA and Gerakan, in spite of being junior partners to Umno, got to run the state by keeping the Malays happy.

If that’s the case, I say kudus to the DAP and its Pakatan Rakyat partners in Penang. I know too that the DAP is trying hard to entice the Malays to join its rank and file with the aim of putting them up as candidates in the coming general elections.

Listen to what Bob Dylan has to say:

"Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'."


C’est la vie. That’s life. Itulah kehidupan.