Monday, May 23, 2011

LESSONS TO BE LEARNT FROM THE HULU LANGAT LAND SLIP TRAGEDY

Being from Selangor, I am proud to note the urgency at which the state government and other agencies of the federal government responded to the Hulu Langat land slip tragedy that took the lives of 16 innocent people (mainly orphaned children) on Saturday. I am proud too that Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim decided to cut short his visit to the US to be at the site of the tragedy and to extend instant financial aid to the bereaved family members. I could not bear see the rows of coffins lined up for prayers at the Hulu Langat town mosque before being laid to rest at Dusun Nanding Muslim Cemetery; the site where my grandmother, uncles, aunties and many other family members lay buried.

I am proud too that the Penang state government had immediately pledged a RM25,000 aid to the aggrieved families. It is not the amount that really matters, but the thought by Penang CM Lim Eng Guan to provide financial assistance to fellow Malaysians in grief regardless of their ethnicity and religious belief. And I do not believe CM Lim Eng Guan did it neither of any personal interest nor political motives in mind; rather it was a sincere and genuine act of humbleness to assist. And wasn’t he the person to have sacrificed himself to a prison term merely to assist a young Malay girl who was alleged to have been rape by a Malay Chief Minister of a southern state several years ago?

And just listen at how a Malay lady minister named Shahrizat Jalil responded to the tragedy by saying that the orphanage was not registered by the Welfare Department; supposedly in her attempt to absolve blame. I am totally dumbfounded by her thoughtless statement that lacks sensitivity and care for the grieving families and to all those that labored tirelessly in the rescue effort. I do not know if she cared to visit the site of the tragedy, nor do I really care if she did. She had better not visit the site at all, for there is nothing left for her to do, and I don’t think she is welcomed by the residents there anyway. I know this because I am from the village.

A major tragedy like this could provide the best opportunity to galvanize everyone, regardless of their political affiliation, ethnicity and religious belief to come to aid fellow Malaysians in distress. Help and words of encouragement is what are needed; not statements that smacks of stupidity, just like those uttered by Shahrizat Jalil. And I do hope that the Hulu Langat district office does not come out with absurd statements that put blame on the orphanage for illegal construction and other irregularities; for a similar reason as that of the Malay lady minister.

An inquiry into the causes of the tragedy will have to be done by the relevant authorities. Let us hope that it is not blame that is sought by the inquiry, but measures to adopt in order to avoid a repeat of a similar tragedy from occurring in the future.

Finally, I am thankful that the Selangor state government has taken measures to freeze temporarily all hill slope development in the state, and hopefully to seriously look at the lessons of this Saturday’s tragedy with the view to developing better policies with regards to all future development along the base of hill slopes. Selangor has had enough tragedies involving the destruction of homes and loss of lives caused by land slips in the recent past.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Sunday, May 22, 2011

PLEASE DO NOT BLAME ME

It really puzzles me………….Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali can now say what he likes and the three distinguished porno video peddlers are yet to face charges. The police on the other hand are now quite hesitant to act against Ibrahim Ali since Minister in PM’s Department Nazri Aziz has said that Ibrahim Ali is free to speak as he wished even though most (including me) believe that what he uttered was seditious. I am also inclined to believe now that even the infamous Datuk Trio will get away free from any charges; the courtesy of the 1 Malaysia government.

I am now certain that Nazri’s statement will open the floodgates to much more serious statements by Ibrahim Ali and others, including the opposition. I also believe that by not acting on Datuk Trio, there will be more people venturing into the lucrative business of peddling porno videos, and there is nothing that the police can do. What is there now to stop porno videos being screened openly in theatres throughout the country?

And as I begin to write this article, I am told that Women Affairs Minister Sharizad had announced that the orphanage at Milestone 14, Hulu Langat, Selangor that lost an untold number of lives caused by a serious land slip yesterday was not a registered orphanage. If indeed that was what Sharizad had said, I have this to say to her…………SHUT UP, AND PLEASE BE MORE RESPONSIBLE IN WHAT YOU SAY.

At a time when we all should grieve at the lost of so many innocent lives, Sharizad has the audacity to could come out with such a statement in her attempt to absolve blame. I am quite sure, following Sharizad’s statement, the Hulu Langat district office will also follow up with a statement that the orphanage was build without any approval from the land office. This has been a common trend among politicians and government officials alike when confronted with serious problems i.e. the blame is not mine; it is all yours. There has been several examples like this.

Hulu Langat is the village of my birth, and I plea to the Selangor state government to do all that is necessary to help the orphanage off its predicament, and do not to start finding the faults of others in an attempt to absolve blame. It is the will of Allah SWT that this tragedy should happen, and it is our responsibility to help the aggrieved.


CRUSADE AGSAINST CORRUPTION

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

PREACH AND PRACTISE WHAT YOU SAY

On Monday 16th May, PM Najib must have been one extremely proud person to be invited to speak at the Oxford Islamic Centre of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom on a subject titled ‘The coalition of the moderates and inter civilisational understanding’. It is a prestigious centre for Islamic studies established in 1985 where distinguished visiting lecturers are frequently invited to speak at the centre. Former Malaysian Prime Ministers i.e. Tun Mahathir Mohamed and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were among the many past speakers at the centre. The Patron of the centre is HRH The Prince of Wales.

I had a cursory read of the speech by PM Najib at the centre and I wondered who prepared the script? I am touched by the opening words where Najib said, “Diversity, dialogue and peaceful co-existence are important in Islam”. I wonder whether the words were meant to describe Islam as a religion that propagates universal co-existence regardless of ethnicity, creed, colour and religious belief, or was Najib referring it specifically to the Malaysian people. Regardless for whom the words were meant, it carries a deep meaning that is very much in need now more than ever before by all Malaysians.

As I read along, another sentence caught my attention when PM Najib said, “In Malaysia, Islam is synonymous with moderation, inclusiveness and good governance”. But what we see happening in the country today is the contrary and this give raise to questions by all peace loving Malaysians. I too begin to question whether Najib actually believes in what he says, or knows what is happening around him in the country today. My fear is that he is being shielded from the truth by the little Napoleons’ and gate keepers that surrounds him constantly; sees with blinkered eyes, and furnished with all that is good for his hearing only.

I believe a lot of truth has been kept away from him; hence the deafening silence over some serious issues that can badly affect the ethnicity and religious harmony among the people of this country. I last wrote about Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali and his talks about leading a crusade against Malaysian Christians. I also wrote about Muslims slandering another fellow Muslim without any sense of responsibility and fear of Allah’s retribution. Of course, I have written lots of article about the need to fight corruption that is so rampant in this country today, and a sure recipe towards the country’s eventual destruction. And with so much of irregularities in our judicial system that is no longer seem to be independent off the executive; we can say that we will not have the full protection of the law in matters affecting the rights and privileges of individuals? Just try and say something that is not in consonant with the government, one can be arrested quickly with wide ranging charges (some crumpled) and kept safely in police custody. I do not wish to talk about custodial death anymore because there have been much too many cases without any positive and satisfactory outcome for the aggrieved families. And are we to believe too that there is so much of freedom of speech and assembly? Quoting RPK when he said that there is freedom of speech before one speaks, but not after one speaks.


My only hope and desire is for PM Najib to read back all that was written in his speech, and to reflect the many quotations from the holy Quran that he had used. Words quoted from the holy Quran are pure words of God, and it is not to be used unless one truly believes in those words, and practices its meaning to the letter. It is never to be used to build up one’s image as a God believing and fearing person.

If only PM Naijb preaches and practice what he says, then this country will not be in a state that it is today where ethnicity and religious tolerance has taken a serious beating by irresponsible politician like Ibrahim Ali, the war monger.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MALAYSIA’S GREATEST WAR MONGER

He looks like an idiot, speaks like an idiot, acts like an idiot, has brains of an idiot, and that idiot is non other than the self profess Malay Perkasa hero and keris kissing Ibrahim Ali. He thinks he is living in the age of the dinosaurs where humans are barely attired, and the moment this person opens his mouth, all that comes out is nothing but a language of hatred. Is this the language that Islam, a religion of tolerance and peace wants all people of the faith to preach? I say it is not, and I do not speak for the followers of Perkasa that is claimed to be in the thousands. They can follow their leaders for all I care, but I wish to caution them the dangers their leaders are leading them into.

He now talks about wanting to lead a crusade, and against whom?………..I do not know. Is it against the Malaysian Christians? I now challenge Ibrahim Ali to go ahead with the crusade if he dares. And I know too that he will be the first person to hide under the sarong of his wife when the crusade begins. Please do not forget to take along your keris, and make sure you sharpened it first. Also do rub some limau nipis on the blade and buat jampi sikit. Mana tau, kot kot keris itu boleh terbang. Tak payah susah susah nak tikam orang. Let the keris do the killing for you.

Now even Home Minister Hishamuddin has distance himself from this Ibrahim Ali. Sorry for calling him idiot many times, but what better name can I use to describe him. He does not seem to know that all peace loving Malaysians (with the exception of Perkasa) are just fed-up with him. Besides Hishamuddin, even dethroned former Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon had asked that he stop being raucous in his language. I have not heard what MCA and MIC has to say about the crusading Ibrahim Ali. Please speak out if both the parties are sincere in wanting to see peace prevail in this country.

This language of crusade is the strongest that has come out of a Malay politician. Is Ibrahim Ali referring to the military expedition launched by Pope Urban 11 (1096-1099) against the Turks to recapture the holy land of Jerusalem? If he was making such a reference, then he is talking about going to war………..and will it be against the Malaysian Christians? And can I ask Ibrahim Ali if he knows how to launch a war? War is a serious matter and if he ever thinks about starting a war against his fellow Malaysians, I suggest he makes a visit to Afghanistan to learn something about fighting a war from the Talibans. I do not think he could last long in Afghanistan, because his has been too comfortable living a luxurious life in the country. He is a softie to think of ever leading a war.

My appeal to the government and in particular to PM Najib is to please silence this Ibrahim Ali, the war monger. Please put some sense in him. Najib knows that Ibrahim Ali does not represent all Malays, and I know a majority of Malays (particularly urban Malays) does not think much of him. His language may appeal to the kampung Malays because that’s what we have made the kampung Malays to be i.e. na├»ve and out of touch with the realities of the modern world today. And by allowing Ibrahim Ali to continue speaking, I think this can adversely affect the Malay urban support for UMNO. Certainly, this is not what UMNO wants in view of the impending GE.

Rather than think of going to war with a fellow Malaysian Christian, I would like to invite Ibrahim Ali to join me in my crusade against corruption. This will help me get rid of the Malays who are deeply mired in corruption, to save them from bringing shame to the Malay race and our revered religion of Islam.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Saturday, May 14, 2011

UMNO – PLEASE SEARCH YOUR SOUL

So, Utusan Malaysia (UM) got away with a warning. It was a written warning I was told. If it was a verbal warning from Home Minister Hishamuddin, I guess he would have said something like this……….”awak jangan buat begini sekali lagi ya. Orang dah marah sama UMNO. Takut kita akan kalah pilihan raya nanti. Kalau kita kalah, kawan dan termasuk awak akan kehilangan kerja”. And may I ask Hishamuddin this question………….”why don’t you show the keris to UM. That might frighten them from reporting further rubbish”.

Well, most have expected the outcome, and let’s see what else will the daily report to stir further ‘shit’. Then, what about the blogger who persistently claimed that the report was true? Wasn’t he called to be warned? What if the report was initiated by a pro-opposition daily or an anti UMNO blogger? What would you think the punishment would be? My guess is that the daily will cease to be circulation and the blogger detained under the ISA (Ikut Suka Aja). And what about the police reports launched by various parties against UM? NFA them I suppose.

Coincidently, UM Editor-in-Chief Datuk Aziz Ishak is a person I know. He wrote an article about the Malaysian Army contingent serving Cambodia during UNTAC, when I was there. I met him at the Cambodian-Thailand border during the repatriation of Cambodian refugees back into Cambodia. That was back in 1992. He even wrote a feature article about me prior to my retirement in 1998, I must thank him for that. Just wonder what kind of dressing he got from Hishamuddin. Well, this is the price one pays for being the Editor-in-Chief.

The warning is a sort of anti climax to the entire fiasco created by UM. It must have troubled PM Najib, but I suppose this did not make him lose sleep. There were much larger problems like how to get Anuar Ibrahim off his mind, but I believe thinking about Anuar Ibrahim does not make him lose sleep.

Now, Puteri UMNO has got into a fray with Anuar Ibrahim’s wife Wan Azizah over her husbands’ alleged sexual escapade with a China doll. Seriously speaking, what wrong has Azizah done to be criticized by Puteri UMNO? Is it wrong for Azizah to be firmly besides her husband during difficult times like this? I think that is the most obvious thing to do. Are the Puteris expecting Azizah to divorce Anuar or what? What a silly expectation.

Now, may I ask Puteri UMNO these simple questions? Are you to believe that none of your male colleagues in UMNO has not had any sexual relationship with someone other than their wives? Are you to believe that non among you has not had a relationship with someone that is not your husband? Don’t tell me that all of you are ‘malaikat’. Now, just take a look to see the characters around you. First that Thamby fella who was said to have molested an underage girl and now turned sex video peddler. Next is the Raba Raba minister who is now His Excellency the ambassador? Why don’t you ask their wives to divorce their husbands? Mind you, a rapist gets to be a Tan Sri and a raba raba minister gets to be an ambassador? There must be something seriously wrong with this.

I think a lot is wrong with UMNO today. They seem to do things that eventually turn against them. It was never like this 30 years ago. My call to UMNO leaders is to do a deep soul searching of every single one of them. Ask this simple question…………….. ‘What have I done to myself and to my community? It has been 50 odd years, and yet I am not able to solve the many woes of my community. Is this Allah’s way of punishing us for the many wrongs that some of our leaders have done?’ I believe it is, and what is your say to this?

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ACT MEAN AND FAST AGAINST UTUSAN MALAYSIA

What words can I use to describe Utusan Malaysia’s (UM) recent report that some Christian group is plotting to turn Malaysia into a Christian State? What words can I describe a UM report which says that a Christian group together with the DAP is plotting to appoint a Christian as the Prime Minister? The only words that I can used to describe all this are DISGUSTING, IRRESPONSIBLE, DANGEROUS and a pack of LIES.

How on earth could the editors of the daily approve such a report that is unsubstantiated, and knowing full well that the report can be a cause for serious racial strife between Christians and Muslims of this country. This is not the first time UM has reported on issues that can bring devastation and worse still the disintegration of a well tested multi racial and multi cultural Malaysian society. How could the Home Minister be so lame in not wanting to impose stricter rules to prohibit UM from publishing reports that can bear serious effect on racial harmony?

Personally, I have had enough of UM, and I dread the day when this blessed nation of ours sees the repeat of the bloody May 13 incident. I would like to ask the entire UM editorial board, where were they during May 13, 1969 i.e. 42 years ago? I think most were mere kids sucking milk bottles. Some may be slightly older who knows not what suffering and fear is all about. Just ask the soldiers on how they felt trying to maintain the peace throughout the entire troubled period, and most will say that they do not wish to go through a similar period again. I was lucky because I was in Tawau then, but my parents who were residing at Kg. Datuk Keramat lived in fear.

Let me tell this to the entire UM editorial board that you don’t know what it is like to go without sleep. You do not know what it is like to be shot at. You do not know the ordeals that your parents have gone through to protect you. You do not understand what fear is and how it affects your physical and psychological well being. You do not understand what pain is, and there are thousands of others that you do not understand. So please cease writing all this garbage, and stop practicing gutter journalism.

Personally, I do not think what was reported is true. And I do not believe the Christians in this country would want to do what was stupidly reported by UM. The repercussion is too great and no one would want to see this country disintegrate and destroyed by some unscrupulous instigators of violence who gleefully hides themselves behind their sponsors. And if ever your report turns to be true and is realized in the future, I will not blame anyone else but the UM and your sponsors for their own stupidity.

To the Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, you have to act mean and fast, and do not let the instigators and those behind these reports be left scot free. The people know who owns UM and if you fear to act professionally, then you deserve to be called a COWARD.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

RIDDING CORRUPTION IN UMNO - ACTION NOW AND NOT WORDS

Tun Mahathir has explicitly described that “UMNO is now weak because of corrupt leaders who no longer fight for Malays and Islam” He went further to say that “UMNO leaders are only fighting for titles and AP’s for their sons and in laws”. Tun Mahathir has in recent times been extremely vocal and forthright in describing the deteriorating affairs of his party, but nothing seems to change except for some weak and cursory anti corruption statements uttered by both PM Najib and his deputy recently; not aimed directly at party leaders but rather at the general public. One might asked, why is this so?

Whereas Tun Mahathir has been blunt and direct at criticizing his own party leaders, both Najib and Muhyiddin however seems to have inhibitions at doing the same. I suppose they being top leaders of the party and to openly criticize its party leadership is just like ‘stirring the hornets’ nest’ that can cause an ‘implosion’ within the party ranks. I think, this is what Najib and Muhyiddin does not want at this critical moment where support for the party by the Malays has dwindled, and with the General Election looming, an upheaval within the party can have disastrous consequences. But from the perspective of the general public, it appears that the lessons of the last General Election have little impact upon UMNO, and statements by the leaders on the need for change seems rhetorical.

The survival of UMNO now lies solely in the hands of Najib and that of its top echelon party leaders. Time does not favour Najib anymore, and if he wants to dispel the party off its adverse image, he has to take drastic steps now to rid the party of the ‘bad hats’, and if necessary, to launch immediate police reports against those who are seriously mired in corrupt activities. I know this is a difficult step to take, but this is the only way by which Najib can revive UMNO to its past glory; a respectable Malay party that is serious in nation building devoid of corrupt leaders and be guided by the Islamic teachings of good governance, able, fair and just leadership. If Najib can achieve this, there is no the need for PERKASA to drum up Malay unity, no need for Ketuanan Melayu, no need for Malay rights etcetera, etcetera. It will be a natural cause for the Malays to be united once again, and with the exemplary leadership shown by the party leaders, I am sure this will also win the support of other races as well.

I and like many others believe strongly that corruption is the root cause of all evil, and this is the very reason why I have never cease to write and criticize those (especially the Malays) whom I know to be corrupt or being an accomplish to corrupt practices; and surely I have angered many in the process. I just cannot accept and believe that the Malays can be so easily enticed into corruption, because Islam is quite explicit in its ruling concerning corruption and all people of the faith knows that the wrath of Allah is severe. It is said that those who continues to be corrupt (Muslims I mean), they no longer see it as a serious crime nor sin because their faith in the religion has weakened and is overcome by greed and the worldly pleasures. It is not too difficult to see this among the so-called Malay elite today.

And to the leaders who are corrupt, let me just say this……………that Allah wrath and punishment for your misdeeds is not felt by you alone, but by the entire people and communities within the nation. Surely you do not want your generation to suffer because of your misdeeds, and the only sensible recourse is to repent now while there is still life in you.

I leave it to the UMNO party leadership to take challenges and to heed the warning that Tun Mahathir has thrown onto them if they wish the party to survive the next election. Action now and not words is the only way to save the party from falling into oblivion.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Saturday, May 7, 2011

BACK TO ENGLISH IN SCHOOLS

Education Minister cum Deputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin has come out with this preposterous proposal i.e. to import 300 English tutors from the United States to teach English in schools at a cost of RM 18 million. I remembered, when I began learning English at primary school, it wasn’t a teacher from England that taught me the language. It was our very own teacher from Malaya that taught me English. That was back in the late 40’s and early 50’s.

Now in the era of the new millennium, Malaysia that is heading towards a develop nation status is importing English tutors, not from traditional England, India or Sri Lanka, but from the US. And don’t Muhyiddin know that with US English tutors, our students will end up more confused with different English spellings? This was something similar to what the Malay language had gone through i.e. Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Baku and finally Bahasa Malaysia. Mana satu yang betul, saya pun tak tahu.

I was in India attending a staff course and we had students from most of the Commonwealth, Middle Eastern, and European countries. Most spoke and wrote English the British way. The odd US officer on the course was a bit confused at the way our Indian instructors delivered and wrote their instructions. Of course, the Indians wrote perfect English, the way that we were taught by our own teachers at school in the early days. If I could remember, most of my English teachers were Indians right through my secondary class. This was not at all surprising because during pre independent days, English teachers were brought in from India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

I do not know why Muhyiddin preferred US English tutors? Don’t tell me that Jamaludiin Jarjis, our Ambassador in the US has something to do with this. Why not try bringing in English teachers from India and there will be thousands willing to come here to teach at a much cheaper rate; and certainly a much needed saving for the government. The other benefit is that these Indian teachers can assimilate themselves quite easily with Malaysians because there are many Malaysians of Indian origin, and the food is somewhat similar. Other than that I think, their personal demands will be much less than US tutors.

The idea of importing English language tutors is a sign of desperation and a failure of our education system. This is what happens when we appoint ministers who are not an educationist, and upon their appointment they would be thinking of what policies to make to be left as their ‘legacy’. Normally such policies are good only for the short term and it does not really matter its impact on students on the long term. The use of the Malay language itself is a sterling example.

Speaking of the Malay language, I remembered being a Directing Staff at the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College (MAFSC) where I was directed to take a syndicate (class) of officers who are less proficient in the English language. These are officers who were ‘victims’ (through no fault of theirs) of the change of our education policy that emphasizes upon the use of Bahasa Malaysia in schools, rather than English.

I was totally unprepared to take on this responsibility; not that I do not know Bahasa Malaysia, but all along the military courses that I had attended were in English. Furthermore, the teaching manuals used at MAFSC were entirely in English, and worse still there were no reference on military terminologies for military tactics in Bahasa Malaysia. There is a saying in the military that ‘military tactics is purely the understanding of military terminologies’. You understand terminologies, you will understand tactics. To end the confusion, the class and I decided to do a mix i.e. to use both English and Bahasa Malaysia.

To Muhyiddin, I have this to say i.e. it would be better for the long term to start getting our very own teachers to teach English. Of course, they need to be properly trained and if we can train them to be experts in the language, their expertise can be gainfully used for a life time. We have actually being left behind in the use and proficiency of the English language compared to our neighbours, and I remembered a retired Malaysian Ambassador say this to me, “ Arshad, I had difficulties in getting my young graduate staff officers to write good and proper English. In the end, I have to do their job”.

Let us now be consistent with our policies, and leaving behind a legacy is not what we want of ministers.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Friday, May 6, 2011

MUHYIDDIN IN HIS FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION!

Deputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin in a speech at the 7th Anniversary of the National Integrity Plan and Malaysian Integrity Institute (IIM) recently has described “fighting corruption as the most important struggle (jihad) for any government of integrity”. He went further to say that “we’ve seen so many world leaders and government being toppled due to corruption and abuse of power”.

What strange words coming from a veteran politician who carved himself a house-hold name during his tenure as the Menteri Besar of Johore for reasons best known to Johoreans. I was told that he became so ‘popular’ that he caused the wrath of the late Sultan of Johore. What was it that the Sultan was angry about? If you want to know, ask the elders of Johor Baru for the answer. Personally, I just happened to hear about it during my calls on some elders in Johor Baru.

For all that I’ve heard of Muhyiddin, I do not think he is the right person to talk about fighting corruption. I am not saying that he is corrupt, but I believe he knows the massive corruption that goes around him and the people that are corrupt. Of course, being a politician who constantly seek and hungers for popularity, he would not want to expose the bad guys within his circle of friends. I suppose that is only natural among politicians, and the fear of losing popularity is not what he wants. I don’t think Muhyiddin wants to end his career like Anuar Ibrahim, being hounded like a wounded tiger.

Muhyiddin seems to echo what his boss PM Najib has said recently at the Pahang Malay Contractors Association Annual General Meeting i.e. “that corruption and leakages are not only affecting the government’s revenue but also the nation’s economic performance”. Doesn’t this sound similar but said differently by Muhyiddin? And may I ask why the concern now when billions have been siphoned out through corruption and leakages over the last 50 odd years? And with the General Elections looming, I suggest Muhyiddin should continue talking about anti corruption issues at public forums, and to get the mainstream media to blow his statement up. This may give Muhyiddin a ‘feel good, look good’ image of someone who is out to fight and eradicate corruption.

Muhyiddin should be sincere and honest in what he says. It is good that he spoke about world leaders and governments being ousted due to corruption and abuse of power. Is he taking a snap shot at the Sarawak CM or what?


I suppose Muhyiddin must have been jolted by events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Jordan. And in all these countries, the people rose against their leaders, rulers and government is because of the abuse of power, corruption and neglecting the ‘bread and butter’ issues of the people. I dare say that a sampling of such causes and issues are beginning to be felt by Malaysians, and if these are not given due attention, the rise in people’s power as witnessed in all of the North African Muslim states can also take place here. And in this regards, let me voice my concern at the growing hatred and loss of confidence of the ordinary Malaysian citizens towards the police force and the judiciary in particular, that is affecting the good name of the government. I do not wish to list out the reasons here for the reasons are in public domain. Just read what retired senior police officer Mat Zain Ibrahim has to say of the judiciary as well as the police force in several open letters and articles written about them that goes unchallenged. I only hope that there a many other senior police officers like Mat Zain Ibrahim.

To Muhyiddin, may I say this…………..that you can go on taking about your concern for corruption in this country, but until and unless to prove to us that you are willing to sacrifice your neck to save this country from corrupt practices within your own circle of friends first, then anything you say means nothing to us. For starters, you may wish to think of ways to rid money politics within your party.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Thursday, May 5, 2011

9th BATTALION ROYAL MALAY REGIMENT

I received an email from one Zulfatah Ibeni who claimed to be the son of a soldier i.e. 19803 Cpl Ibeni @ Zakaria bin Othman who served with me when I was the Commanding Officer (CO), 9th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment(RMR) based in Alor Star, Kedah. That was back in 1981, and I served the battalion for only 17 months. Zulfatah Ibeni had found out that I was with his father serving the same battalion from reading some articles in my blog.

Being a toddler then, Zulfatah says that he hardly remembers his childhood days being the son of a soldier living among the families of soldiers of the battalion. He had asked me if I could write something about the battalion that his late father had served.

Firstly, I must admit that the late Cpl Ibeni @ Zakaria must have been one of my loyal and active soldiers. I say this without the slightest doubt because throughout my tenure as the CO, I was never troubled by ill disciplined and disloyal soldiers. Yes, there were some naughty ones, but they being young; I could understand why some got into petty problems, like returning to camp late, being absent for the morning physical training parade and some others. As the CO, petty issues do not bother me, but what concerns me most is that soldiers mustn’t lose sight of their soldierly ability and skill.

The battalion being located closed to the Thai-Malaysia border was the battalion of choice for any military operations conducted astride the border area. Sintok, an area that was once a communist terrorist hot bed in the late 60’s and early 70’s was to become the usual operational area for the battalion. The battalion would be deployed for a period of 3 months at a stretch, and would usually be replaced by 9th Ranger Battalion based in Penang. I remembered the CO of the battalion was then Lt Col Harchand Singh. The operational roulement between 9th Battalion RMR and 9th Rangers was to go on throughout my tenure with the battalion.

My joyous moment with the battalion was when we won the finals of the Sultan Abdul Halim football championship played at the Alor Star stadium. I think we played against 7th Battalion RMR and we won by just a goal margin. I remembered too that the Chief of Army then i.e. General Zain Hashim who was on an operational visit was late in arriving, and this was a cause of concern for me, since the Sultan of Kedah was to be present at the football match.

One particular incident that I wish not to remember was when a senior officer who had come from Army HQ, Kuala Lumpur to attend the football tournament had slapped my young officer at the Officers Mess. The reason was that this young officer whom I had appointed to be the Master of Ceremony at the football tournament made a wrong announcement on the arrival of the VIPs. I was told about the incident when I got to the Officers Mess, and I called up the senior officer to meet me for an explanation. He was visibly upset to be called by a subordinate, but I thought I had the right to be told of the incident involving my officer. A minor argument ensued but being a subordinate; I had to control my temper. I think, had he been of my rank or a junior, I would have bashed him and I do not mind being court martial. The reason is simple i.e. he had abused my young officer, and what right has he to lay his hands on a young officer knowing full well that the young officer could not retaliate. Following the incident and my encounter with the senior officer, I knew my career would not be a smooth one. Throughout my service, I had constantly avoided the senior officer.

HQ 12th Infantry Brigade had just been formed at Kangar, Perlis, and the battalion was placed under command of the Brigade. Prior to this we were under the command of HQ 6th Infantry Brigade located at Sg. Petani, Kedah. Being the only regular infantry battalion under command of the newly raised Brigade HQ, the battalion was constantly called to provide assistance in organizing the various activities of the Brigade. The other battalion was the Territorial Army Battalion manning the border area, with its Battalion HQ located at Bukit Kayu Hitam. Being deployed throughout the year, there was little that the battalion could do to assist the Brigade in its activities.

My next posting was announced sometime in June 1982. I was then on operations at Sintok when I received the news of my posting to HQ 4th Infantry Brigade at Temerloh, Pahang. I was to take over the appointment as Chief of Staff, a similar position that I have held when I was the Brigade Major of HQ 6th Infantry Brigade. I wondered why I was given a similar appointment whose only difference was in the rank structure, but the job specification remains more or less the same. I knew then that there were many other officers of my seniority who never served with a Brigade HQ, and my posting to an Infantry Brigade was to be for the third time.


I had send a message to my Commander requesting that I be relieve of my command only after I had completed my tour of operational duty. Earlier, I had received a message from HQ 4th Infantry Brigade ordering me to report for duty without delay, and it was because of this message that I had requested from my Commander to allow me to complete my operational duty first. My request however was not agreeable to HQ 4th Infantry Brigade, and I had to hand over the battalion while on operational duty to the late Lt Col Istama Teguh, who had just been appointed the CO of the newly raised 31st Battalion RMR. I bid farewell to all those at the Battalion Tactical HQ and departed without ever meeting and saying farewell to the troops that were deployed in the jungle areas. This was to be the saddest moment of my entire military career.


I hope the above brief write up of my tenure with 9th Battalion RMR is sufficient to satisfy Zulfatah Ibeni. Being the CO has made me to realize that with command comes a host of responsibilities. That responsibility is not confined to the officers and men that I command, but it also extends to their families.


Finally, I would like to also say this to Zulfatah Ibeni that it was not only your late father that I cared for, but that I also cared for you and your entire family members.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MALAY DISUNITY – A CAUSE FOR MALAYSIAN DISUNITY

I am 67 years old now and I have seen enough of the political development of the country prior to and after independence. As a school boy of 14 year old, I did listen to the ceremony of the lowering of the Union Jack and the rising of the new Malayan flag at the then Selangor Club Padang, of course not on TV but on the transistor radio. We had no TV then, and the transistor radio was all that my parents could afford.


Although, I could barely understand what independence meant, it nevertheless brought joy to the many school friends that I had; Chinese, Indian, Punjabi, Bengali and Eurasian friends. Sabah and Sarawak was then unknown to us. These are still the very good friends that I frequently meet during our alumni function. That was the spirit of yesteryears that carried on to this day where race and religion wasn’t an issue; rather we acknowledged our racial and religious difference, but there was deep respect for one another.


When I joined the army cadet in 1965, we had an almost equal number of Malays and non Malays in my intake, and our racial and religious difference wasn’t in any way a hindrance throughout our training. We worked, played, eat and slept together and again our racial and religious difference had no part in determining our final commissioning as officers of the Armed Forces. The top cadet of my intake was a Eurasian from Singapore who also became the parade commander during the commissioning parade.


I was commissioned into the Royal Malay Regiment, and although the battalion was exclusively a Malay battalion, we somehow had a Chinese officer as the battalion paymaster. Being from Ipoh, he could only marshal a few words of Malay, but that did not hinder his work. After several months in the battalion, he began to master the Malay language devoid of the Ipoh Chinese accent. To all officers and men of the battalion, he was no different from us, and we even called him by a Malay name. He even had a Malay baju and a songkok that he wore at dinner.


Besides a Chinese paymaster, we also had an Indian Medical Officer who was on a compulsory one year stint with the Armed Forces. Upon completion of the compulsory service, we had a Punjabi Medical Officer and like the Chinese paymaster before him, he got along very well with the Malay officers and soldiers. There were no race and religious distinction and inhibitions.


And throughout my years in the Army, I have been working alongside my non Malay compatriots, and again our racial and religious difference, and my Malay status does not make me any different from them. I had even served under a non Malay superior officer, and my loyalty towards him as my superior is no less than any other Malay superior officer that I had served with. I only know that he is to be respected and obeyed, and regardless of my Malay status, my loyalty towards my non Malay superior is not to be questioned.


Now in my age of retirement, I begin to hear issues of race and religion taking center stage in almost every aspect of our daily lives. A new form of race identification and slogans keeps appearing almost on a daily basis in the mainstream media i.e.…………1 Bumi, 1 Malay, 1 Malaysia, Ketuanan Melayu, and God knows what. And having gone through years of friendship with people of the other race and religion, I begin to wonder what all this slogans really mean.


Let me be honest and straight in my personal views about all this sloganeering and race identification. I do not believe in the superiority of one race over another. I believe my religion Islam is for the whole of mankind, and it is not the privilege of any one particular human race. The difference in race, creed, colour, status, religion and belief is Allah’s will and creation. But despite these differences, Allah wills that the human race is to live in peace with one another.


But differences in political ideals have divided the human race, and this is clearly seen happening in our own country today. Power has corrupted the minds of people, and the fear of losing power as well as their personal wealth, has made people to ignore Allah’s will that the human race is to live in peace with one another……………hence we have all the sloganeering brought about by people who fears the loss of power. They are quick to lay blame upon others for their failures, but seek to absolve themselves of the blame.


As a result of differing political ideals, unity within a particular race takes a serious toll. The Malays are more divided now than ever before. Similarly, it is with the Chinese and the Indians. But of the three major races in this country, I think the Malays have been so fractionized that it is seen beyond redemption. PAS does not see UMNO as being the defender of the Malay race, let alone to be recognized as a good practitioner of the Islamic faith. Likewise, UMNO accuses PAS of being too rigid in the practice and furtherance of the Islamic faith that it has caused serious concerns among the other races.


Now, there is an attempt by concerned parties to unite the fractionized Malays. PM Najib has been quite open to the idea, but I think the reason he gave to invite PAS into ‘UMNO’s fold’ lacks sincerity. He sees DAP as the ‘devil’, but devils are in every facet of the human life, and UMNO Malays are no exception.


Having had the best of my formative years, and the many close non Malay friends that I had nurtured, I wonder if ever there will be unity among the various Malaysian races, and more so among the Malays today. A disunited Malay can be a reason and a cause of a disunited Malaysian society.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION