Thursday, July 2, 2009

TO DEBATE OR NOT TO DEBATE?

I have been fairly busy the whole of last week attending to preparation of my daughter’s wedding reception held on June 21st, 2009. This is my third experience organizing a wedding reception of a family member, and I should thank dearly my friends and former colleagues, and their spouses for extending their willing assistance in ensuring the success of the wedding reception. For those who wish to view photos of the wedding reception, please go to You Tube and click ‘Majlis Akad Nikah Sharizan & Omar’.

And let me take this opportunity to thank all my guests for attending the wedding reception and the gifts extended to us. It was indeed an honour to receive guests who were my former bosses, colleagues, friends and the many relatives that came with their families from Ulu Langat, Jelebu and Johore.

Weddings will not be over yet for the family. There will be another wedding reception to be arranged for my son, hopefully in November this year, and this will our last.

I have had little time to follow events that had happened the whole of last week, but one event interests me i.e. the call by the Menteri Besar of Kelantan Ustaz Nik Aziz for a debate with PM Najib over a remark that the former had made during a ‘religious ceramah’ on 21 June, when he referred to UMNO/BN as being a party that has deviated from the teachings of Islam. As a result of such a remark, Kelantan UMNO Youth had filed a police report stating that Ustaz Nik Aziz remarks were seditious and could cause public dissention.

Former PM, Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Abdullah had both ‘rubbished’ the idea of a debate with Ustaz Nik Aziz, and many others too from within the BN had rejected a debate as an ideal way of resolving problems. Interestingly, both the former PM’s have finally reached a consensus, for the very first time over an issue. Hopefully, we will see many more agreements between the two, that could finally get them back together.

Most have preferred a round table discussion, but some have argued that a round table discussion does not expose to the public the full details of the discussion, and reporting by the mainstream media only reflects what the public needs to know, that is usually biased towards the government of the day.

I wish to defer from the views of those who had opposed to the debate, as I would have thought that a debate is the best forum to test a person’s intellectual prowess and articulation. A debate is not an easy public discourse, and politicians despite them being known for making fiery speeches in parliament, are not necessarily good debaters. There is a marked difference between making a speech and articulating during a debate. Speeches maybe prepared and may not always be authored by the speaker himself, but debates has to be spontaneous and the views expressed has to be well researched……. herein lies the major difference.

We know that PM Najib is a well read person and articulates well, but I suppose the topic that Ustaz Nik Aziz has offered may not be to former’s liking. It will require someone with the religious prowess of Ustaz Nik Aziz to accept the challenge, and will there be one from within UMNO/BN to take up the challenge?


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

12 comments:

komando said...

NICE TO HEAR THAT YOU ARE BACK DATO'.
CONGRATS FOR THE WEDDING....

BACK TO BUSINESS...THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE UMNO WALLAS WILL ACCEPT THIS DEBATE!

THE WHOLE UMNO PARTY AIN'T GOT ANY RIGHT STUFF GUY OR GIRL TO DEBATE WITH TOK GURU, ESPECIALLY THE SUBJECT MATTER CONCERN !

THEY WILL BE SHOT DOWN LIKE DUCKS!

COWARDS ALWAYS RUN AWAY AND HIDE !
GIVE STUPID EXCUSES TO GET OUT OF A SITUATION! THAT'S UMNO BY THE WAY..ALL THE WAY!

Hang said...

Dato',

Congratulations to you and family for the wedding and now I fully understand why you have not been attending your blogg for a while.
I bet you will now devote more time to your blogg after having attained a successful father-in-law
status!

Though I was not invited for the last wedding reception I hope to get the invitation and attend the next one!

My apology for my earlier remarks that you might have been struck by Mindef artillery shells because you have mallowed with your postings lately. I know some of your postings and readers' comments have upset many military seniors who must have felt "pedas"
if they were to have eaten the
"cili"!

In bloggings there is nothing to be afraid of. If you were to reveal facts and I assure you that I will support you all the way in the "crusade against corruptions".

Anytime you expose any ugly practice which smells corruptions, particularly in Mindef and the military, there are many ready readers like maurice, FMZam, mohamad, me and other readers who
will form joint forces to shake those culprits, irrespective of their ranks and positions.

Regarding the subject you have posted, as a true citizen with no liking to politicians, I am sad to see politicians, BN or PKR ceasing every available opportunity to reap benefits for the party and themselves. This debate as proposed by Nik Aziz, basically an Islam guru, is a sheer nonsense! I know Nik Aziz, a "Guru Ugama Islam"
who commands the respect of many in Kelantan. However this old man "Tok Guru" had made many
"boops" in politics which do not speak well when viewed from a matured and practical political angle.

To me, isn't this Tok Guru trying to reap political and personal gains over the media through the proposed debate? Or, isn't he trying to justify for the rubbish statement which he made by accusing
UMNO/BN as a party deviating from Islam?

I am very familiar with Kelantan politics, Islam and Malay sentiments because many in my family are actively involved in either UMNO or PAS. Not long ago, greedy and crude politicians even made rediculous statements such as "by joing their party one can go to syorga" or, "you would go to hell if you join another party"!
All were done for political gains
and of course, at the expense of Islam and Malay unity.

As true Muslims, Najib, Nik Aziz and their competent supporters
should go and sit down at the same table, face to face, close the door and squarely sort things out. After sorting out, both must come out with a joint press statements on the agreed decisions, even if they agree to disagree over the issues.

For the sake Islam and Malay unity,
UMNO, PAS and PKR leaders must put a stop to all these "political nonsenses" or, we may have to do something else if politicians cannot look after our interests!

tuahjebat said...

Sometimes I just wonder what and who sparked the idea of such debate to Tok Guru Nik Aziz? I know he is not the Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Senator Mac Cain type who go for glory and fame by television debates!

All of us remember the Sabry Chik/Anwar Ibrahim debate before the last general election? Anybody benefitted anything from that debate? My personal feeling is... It's a bloody waste of time and money!

This country is not like the United States where the level of political maturity is commendable.
Candidates may be on opposite side but when the situation demands one can join rank and they work and support each other for the nation's interest. As example is Hillary Clinton who were on opposite camps going for Democrats' presidential candidate, but when she lost she joined Barack Obama and serves him as the Secretary of State.

I agree with Hang that Nik Aziz and Najib must sit down in the same room at the same table facing each other with their selected supporting experts to discuss sensitive issues involving Malays and Islam religion. With due respect to Nik Aziz, I have heard many of his religious sermons, but I still have to wait to respect his political maturity and credibility.

Not many would want to enter into debates with Nik Aziz on topics pertaining to Islam religion but he may not find it easy to face many experienced Malay political leaders to debate on Malaysian politics, Islam and Malay unity in this country.

So, why go to debate and waste time and money? I feel it's time for Nik Aziz to step down from politics and avoid creating political sensitivities involving
Islam and the Malays. I strongly reccomend that Nik Aziz devotes his full time giving taskirahs in masjids and madrasahs in those related Islamic subjects which he is known to be a great religious expert.

maurice said...

I agree the debate issue between the PM and Nik Aziz is really a political red herring.
I believe nobody is really interested to watch/listen to the proposed debate as nothing good would come out it.

This blog instead should encourage the public to discuss/debate on national defence issues.The National Defence Policy for example should an interesting subject to discusss/debate.


Why is that the document is not being made available to the public like what is being done by some other countries?Let's discuss it in the blog.It would interesting to see what kind of responses Dato Arshad would be getting from our readers.

tuahjebat said...

I go along with maurice as far as getting this blogg dedicated to defence and military matters as the author rightly is a senior ex-army officer who has all the necessary experiences and knowledge to handle defence related subjects.

I am sure readers are very well versed with hundreds of other bloggs devoted to politics and current affairs such as Che det, Anwar Ibrahim, Kadir Jasin, Kuda Kepang, Lim Kit Siang, etc, etc, which will be no match to "mind NO
EVIL". So, Dato' Arshad, we will be with you to focus on defence core issues, I hope.

Many ex-servicemen talked highly about this blogg and hope Dato' Arshad would focus his postings to
defence and military. As suggested by maurice, there are issues which can be posted and discussed by readers on defence policies, defence procurement, whether present Khidmat Negara trainings would anyway contribute to "Total Defence" or is it just a waste of effort and money!

There are many accusations by defence contractors about military officers at all levels, from captains to generals who demand favours from contractors. Is it true? If not we must assist the military to clear such ugly image.
We must encourage the serving military to come forward to defend their case if such accusations are
mere allegations.

My family is involved with defence
contracts and I have my own stories and views over what happen in Mindef. I am sure many readers are in much more better positions to comment on related defence subjects. Some are directly involved in defence contracts with Mindef while others had served in various key positions while they were in the military.

Another issue... is it fair for the military getting involved directly in helping BN in elections
such as Manik Urai by-election as claimed by PKR? Hasn't the military a better way to assist the ruling party in such cases, or, where are the wisdoms of our generals?

The above are examples which I hope Dato' Arshad can consider for future postings after having attained a legal father-in-law status recently.

maurice said...

Thank you for your support Sdr Tuahjebat.Yes, let us help Dato Arshad make his blog the premier blog on defence issues.

Now I want to put a case that the Ministry of Defence should publish a White Paper on the National Defence every year.The purpose of the White Paper is to gain the nation's correct understanding of the fundamental issues relating to the defence of Malaysia.This White Paper should be unclassified and be made available to the public.

It is high time that Mindef open its doors and help improved the understanding of the public of the various issues related to the defence of Malaysia.

The White Paper for example could cover such topics as the international and regional military situations, treaties/arrangements with neighbouring countries, MAF outline development programme, general mobilization concepts etc.

The Ministry of Defence should organize seminars to educate and obtain feedback from the public of their opinions and percetions on issues related to defence for this project.

I am sure this would not be a major problem for Mindef since they have qualified officers with post graduate master degrees from local and overseas universities specializing on international security and defence issues who are more than able to handle the proposed project.

What is needed is the go ahead by YB Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi.

maurice said...

It was reported by The Malaysian Insider yesterday that Jusuf Kalla, one of the candidates competing for the most powerful post in Indonesia, none other than the post of the President of Indonesia made a statement, to defend Ambalat "either through negotiation or war."

May be this just a political talk to woo more votes for him.However, in the event that he is successful in his bid to become the next Indonesian President, we should be anxious to see his moves on the Amabalat issue.Now that he has made public his option to declare war to resolve the Ambalat issue,our defence planners should take the threat seriuosly and plan accordingly.

If he becomes President there will be pressures from Indonesian domestic politics to make good his election promise.In fact, I have read somewhere Amien Rais, another prominent Indonesian leader also made a similar statement not long ago.We should be concerned with the threat and show that we as a Nation are equal to it.

tuahjebat said...

Maurice has highlighted a very interesting development in Indonesia concerning Ambalat issue.

Jusuf Kala may be speaking as a presidential candidate to win votes for incoming presidential election in Indonesia but malaysia must look at it as a potential flash point for future confrontation with one of our closest neighbour.

All attempts must be made to avoid
any confrontation with Indonesia because both sides cannot afford it. This is when we must excercise all available political means without involving any military action.

This is the time for the test of friendship which had long been established between Malaysian and Indonesians leaders. How far the confidence building measures would go and whether the many golf games among the leaders would come to play in such a political climate.

I can bet that the Indons will not easily put aside their Ambalat claim because the Sipadan/Ligitan
claim which favoured Malaysia in the ICJ's decision had given them enough lessons.

I feel that Indonesia is very serious with what they say and our leaders better note.

maurice said...

We should not take the threat lying down pretending that nothing has happened between us and Indonesia.No self-respecting nation would do that when leaders from a neighbouring country spoke aloud of their unfriendly intention towards us.

Malaysia of course will use its diplomatic skills to resolve the issue.At the same time the MAF must be fully prepared to face the unpleasant task of defending our sovereignty in Ambalat in the worst case scenario.

The military conflict in Ambalat if it does break out will be confined to the area where both sides have conflicting overlapping claims.From the military perspective, it will be a restricted military conflict confined to the Ambalat area.It is unlikely that it will escalate into a full blown-out war against the main national territories and population centres.

To enforce military control over the Ambalat sea, Malaysia must have the necessary maritime, air power and logistic facilities to back up the military strategy.

The population need also to be prepared for such a conflict to enable them to play the required supporting role.

Do not wait until it is too late.

maurice said...

It was reported recently the RMAF wants to retire the MIG29.

Such major strategic decision should not be the perogative of Mindef alone.It should have been referred to the Parliament for debate and endorsement.

Matters pertaining to strategic military capability and national funding should be subjected to good governance and transparency.In our parliamentary democracy, the Parliament is the mechanism that is reliable to exercise the necessary checks and balances.

Even in the USA with their massive funding programme and global military operations, the Defence Department need to get the approval of the US Congress before it could retire its old C5s military transport aeroplanes.The Defence Department had to explain to the US Congress why the C5s are no longer required by the USAF.

YB Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi should be accountable to the Parliment on anything that affects the MAF's present and future military capability to ensure that it meets the expectation of the public and serve the people's interest.

komando said...

Wokey guys we can talk and keep talking. Hoping that actions are taken to right the wrongs for the past upteen years!
We can only hope that we are heard by the "peoples" in power!
Otherwise business as usual, carry on SIR !

tuahjebat said...

Few days after YB Dato Seri Zahid Hamidi took over as Defence Minister he made a press statement that the RMAF would continue with the operations of Mig-29N. He later changed the decision and now, as indicated by maurice, the RMAF will phase out this fighter aircraft.

I always get very suspicious every time when the government decides to phase out certain system in the military. When some smart guy has something in mind to replace an old system all levels will go all out to discredit the "old wife"!

Do we still remember the recent Eurocopter fiasco? Following the Nuri crash at Genting Highlands areas ( not necessary because of
aircraft problems) all hairs broke loose to throw the Nuris out of the RMAF inventory! The whole country seemed to support the Nuri
replacement, the international tender was issued and the decision was later made to purchase the Super Puma from Eurocopter. I am sure the remainder of the history is still fresh in the minds of all
readers.

I talk to many very experienced Nuri pilots and engineers who still love the Nuris and swear that the Nuri (S61A-4) helicopter is still good and reliable. If the RMAF were to spend some money for some upgrades and modifications, the Nuris will still be good, safe and reliable at least for the next 10 years. Wow, I can't believe it!

What is happening to the Nuris then? After the government decided
to cancell the decision to "go Eurocopter" the Nuris suddenly became very safe and everytime you hear helicopter engines and flapping rotor blades in the air, you would see the old "faithful wife", the Nuris stealing the show!
But, watch out, the Nuri replacement vultures are still around and will never give up!

Back to Mig-29N. I heard unconfirmed statements that the the RMAF experienced Russian systems being very expensive to operate and maintain. How about the Sukhoi-30M? Isn't this new weapon systems also from Russia?

What has happened to ATSC, the company in Kuantan specially formed and established (costing millions of ringgits ) just to support the Mig-29N? Former PM, Tun Mahathir, would recommend those responsible for the failure of ATSC to go to jail if he were to know that ATSC is failing to support and maintain Mig-29N!

It is believed that the Russians are charging the RMAF rediculous prices for the maintainance of Mig-29s as such it is no longer viable to operate this aircraft. Isn't ATSC another factor which contributes to high cost of Mig-29 maintenance?

How about India and China? Have we ventured into China where this country has long been maintaining Mig aircrafts and I am sure their prices are comparatively lower! Have we done a comparative study?

It's a pity if the Minister of Defence and the Cabinet had made the decision to dispose Mig-29N without going into detailed comparative studies of possibly working together with countries like China where the Mig technology is also available.

As suggested by maurice, I go along with the proposal that the disposal of the nations' startegic
assets must go to Parliament for approval.

Let us wait and see the "new wife" and who is going to propose it!