Sunday, July 17, 2011


Now, DIGP Khalid Abu Bakar has declared that the wearing of the yellow shirt or anything yellow is alright as long as it does not have the Bersih word written on it. So, it is now the Bersih word that has become illegal and not the colour. And as I was writing this article, someone asked me, “what if I decide to wear a white shirt with the Bersih word embossed on it; will I be arrested for it?” Now I am getting a bit confused. Who actually decides what is right and what is wrong – the police or the Home Minister?

I think this whole issue of the yellow colour and the word Bersih has become so comical that I dread telling it to my foreign friends that has been following the Bersih episode.

Let me be honest to all and sundry that there are more serious domestic issues that need our leader’s attention. There is already a growing discontentment over the unstoppable rise in the prices of household consumable goods. The DPM was seen going on his rounds at some market areas and did he not ask the people whether they are satisfied with the prices? You know how much does a kilo of Ikan Kembung cost now? Back in the late 60’s early 70’s, people in the northern states consider that Ikan Kembung is cheap staff and so they hardly eat the fish. What about the greens? I thought that when the DPM was Agriculture Minister, he was trying to encourage vegetable farmers to grow more vegetables and to reduce dependency on Thailand imported vegetables. What has happened now, that he is no longer the Agriculture Minister?

The above is just one example of an issue that needs serious attention. I can list much more, but seriously having to list them all, what good will it be if our leaders continues to bark over the Bersih yellow shirt issue, as if that yellow shirt can feed a thousand hungry poor .And taking about the poor, do we not see that poverty is still rampant in modern Kuala Lumpur? Take a walk around the back lanes of Chow Kit Road, Pudu and some other areas and you will be surprised to see the amount of filth that lies clogged in monsoon drains, and the destitute living among makeshift cardboard homes (if I can call that a home); some even under bridges. We certainly have a serious social issue in urban KL and what have the minister in charge done about it?

The problem with some of our leaders and with all their ‘court jesters’ is that they (leaders) are not shown around enough. What is bad is kept out of view. The road along which the leader is to travel is being swept sparking clean. Clogged drains flushed out and dilapidated buildings are being spruced up to make it look prettier. On an occasion like this, the local authority workers are sure to be kept busy, when otherwise most will be taking shelter in some cool and shaded areas. I have experienced such happening when I was in PULADA, where we had to do a mandore’s job to chase after some lazy labourers.

So let’s stop harping over a stale issue like the yellow shirt and get down to brass tabs. Surely, the police have endless crime job to handle. Managing the Kuala Lumpur traffic chaos is enough to drain the energies off the policemen. So why bother whether it is yellow, black or green T shirts and the words inscribed on the shirt.



Anthony said...

I always enjoyed reading and digesting your blog. You are very articulate, to say the least. Just a few questions to fill the void:
1) Were you oversea trained? Because you write like a '' masaleh"- good english and thnk " outside-the-box'
2) If Malaysia government has half of your grey matters, we'll shooting for Mars than 2020.

Please continue to share your insight because we can all learn from an " old-timer" like you.


Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Anthony,

I am from the old school where I was taught English the moment I got into school. When I joined the military, it was English again for all the courses I attended; local or otherwise. Training overseas.....yes, on several occasions.

Thanks for getting into my blog and keep reading please.

Amir Hamzah said...

Salam Dato', please do keep writing and I am honoured if we could share some thoughts.

A well written and straight to the point opinion!

keith said...

uncle arshad ... my dad is lt col dato' kam and i hold him responsible for bringing your blog to my attention. i was at the bersih rally and i was at tung shin hospital and i saw the tear gas canister land in front of the canteen building less than 50 metres from where i was.

following your blog, i do appreciate your stand that one does not need to have any political affiliation to support bersih as it stands for the right of every malaysian to have their say in ensuring that the elections are done fairly and cleanly.

why did i go through the trouble of taking a train to kl sentral and walk a good 2 kilometres on a day that the city was in complete lock-down? contrary to what some people in authority might have you think, i was not paid. i had only the most basic idea of what the gathering was about. i did come out of it with a greater appreciation for my fellow malaysians, regardless of race, religion or even sexual orientation, for the courage and presence of mind to remain calm and focused throughout the fru attack. breaking out spontaneously in the negaraku, for the first time in my life, i felt tears well up in my eyes (not from the tear gas, i assure you) as i felt a certain kinship with my fellow countrymen.

.... and then i saw the news reports from the "official" media.


ps - i have also shared your blog on my facebook page and i've urged everyone to share it especially with those in the rural areas and have to depend on rtm or utusan to get their "news".

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Keith,

Wow.....getting to know someone whom I met as a baby in Sg.Petani in late 69/70's. Yes Keith, your dad is someone I regard as a brother and of whom I honour him with my highest respect.

I must congratulate you for responding to the call by Bersih and to be with all Malaysians that wants their rights to be heard and respected.

I wasn't at the rally but received a minute by minute report from friends who are much younger than me. you rightly said, we are Malaysians and Bersih is not about race or politics. Bersih is about your rights.

Once again Keith, nice of you to get into my blog and if you do find the time, please call me and auntie at our house at Sering Ukay.


sympathiser said...

Good on you Dato for keeping up a very objective, unbiased and very analytical commentary on what's going on in Malaysia.

Its so refreshing to read your blogs. If only there were more people like you holding key jobs in government, Malaysia would be a much more progressive place than what it is today.

Like Anthony, your blog was forwarded to me by an old friend in Malaysia who knows that I'm still a very keen observer and sympathiser of the Malaysian cause because that used to be my country as well.

I left Malaysia more than 20 years ago to settle in Australia which I now call home because I was made to feel like an unwanted third class citizen. The opportunities that I had been given to build a decent life for myself and my family in Australia was never the same in Malaysia where I was born, which is such a shame.

keep up the great blog. You have a staunch follower!!

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Sympathiser,

Thanks for the complement. Yes, I will keep on writing for as long as I can think and walk straight. Please keep reading.