Monday, May 28, 2007

Usaha baru tingkat harmoni kaum di Singapura

Dalam usaha meningkatkan keharmonian di Singapura, kerajaan republik itu kelmarin melancarkan apa yang namakan “”.

Dirasmikan oleh Perdana Menteri Lee Hsien Loong, program “” itu antara lain bertujuan meningkatkan kesedaran terhadap budaya lain, membantu orang ramai supaya lebih sensitif sewaktu berinteraksi dan menjadi pusat satu hentian maklumat bagi isu-isu antara agama dan bangsa.

Dalam ucapannya, Lee berkata, “program tersebut akan meningkatkan kesedaran terhadap budaya lain, membantu orang ramai untuk lebih sensitif dan memahami apabila mereka berinteraksi dan menjadi satu pusat hentian maklumat mengenai isu-isu antara agama dan bangsa,'

Beliau juga berkata, ”kita juga akan memastikan masyarakat minoriti mempunyai ruang untuk menghidupkan warisan mereka dan tidak rasa tertekan dengan masyarakat majoriti Cina.

Teacher-writers in the quest for Independence

By Nurul Halawati Azhari (Bernama)

The World War II and the Japanese Occupation are two momentous events that prompted a change in the mindset of the Malayans and set the stage for independence.

The three year eight months Japanese Occupation, ostensibly to free Southeast Asia from Western imperialism, only brought unimaginable suffering. When the British returned to Malaya, after Japan surrendered, the scenario was different as the boundless respect and the awe for the British had all faded.

The fact that the British were not invincible as believed earlier gave rise to dissenting voices that would become the prelude to the struggle for independence. Among those actively involved in advocating the dignity of the race and the fight for freedom then were the Malay teachers.

They were a disenchanted lot. Being knowledgeable, and after seeing the disparity between the thatched roof Malay schools where they taught and the better off English schools, they realised the Malays have to change their own fate.


The overall sad state of affairs for the Malays further fuelled the nationalistic fervour of the teachers during that time. Some chose to join political parties like Umno, Angkatan Permuda Insaf (API) and Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) while others began voicing their views through writing.

They voiced their comments in writing without fear or favour, some critical, against the colonial masters through the periodicals of the day like Utusan Melayu, Majlis, Warta Malaya, Warta Ahad and Warta Jenaka. In fact some even began writing before and during the Japanese Occupation in mediums like Persaudaraan Sahabat Pena Malaya, Semangat Asia and Fajar Asia. Political issues of the day, culture and education, often in the form of anecdotal writings and features, dominated their works.

Teachers like Abdul Ghafar Baba, Syed Nasir Syed Ismail, Alimin, Buyong Adil, Za'ba, Abdullah Sidek, Harun Md.Amin (Harun Aminurrashid) and Shaharom Husain rose to prominence in the local literary scene at that time.

According to Dr Saharom Husain, 87, an exemplary teacher, historian and the custodian of culture, who had spent much of his life producing hundreds of literary and historical texts, the involvement of teachers in writing is an effort that must be appreciated. This is because they played a significant role in influencing the people's mind.


Saharom was also a Japanese language teacher and translator during the Japanese Occupation. He was the product of the teacher training colleges that were once the hotbed of nationalism. The octogenarian recalled the active involvement of teachers from the Malay Teacher Training Colleges in Singapore, Melaka, Matang, Johor Baharu and the Sultan Idris Teacher Training College (SITC) in Tanjung Malim who put their thoughts in writing.

At SITC, for instance, students were encouraged to contribute their writings to the official newsletter of the institution, Chendera Mata. As many were keen in writing, the newsletter could no longer accommodate all their works. Therefore, they began expanding their horizon by contributing their works to the local and foreign periodicals.

Apart from that SITC, under the helm of O.T Dussek, had established a Writing Department and College Library. The department played an influential role and helped in the development of the Malay language and literature apart from advocating education for Malays. This is where the love for reading and writing for the Malay teaching fraternity was inculcated. They kept on writing for a noble reason, bestow recognition for the language and literature, and fight for independence.


Among the highly regarded writers from the teaching community who successfully made a transition to the world of publications then were Harun Aminurrasyid, Buyong Adil and Zaaba. Harun, apart from lecturing, also once wrote a sensational quatrain that very much incensed the teachers and students of the colleges. His works were also published in Majalah Guru and Warta Ahad. Meanwhile, Buyong Adil instilled the nationalism fervour through history classes and his writings.

Shaharom feels that Zaaba was among the most active and vocal to voice out his opinion through the pen.

It was obvious to Zaaba that the British were making the Malay royalties subservient through education. The British even had published text-books on Malay legends like Hikayat Hang Tuah and Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah that only highlighted their feebleness.

As these books also contain supernatural elements, Zaaba saw that there was no way the Malay mind could get out of the rot. To him, the colonial masters even had occupied the Malay minds.


Zaaba's works encouraged Shaharom to continue writing. Under the pen name Mashor Malaya, Shabhi and Dharmaya, he wrote on the role of teachers inculcating the nationalistic fervour. His writings also emphasised on the responsibility of the Malays regarding security, the well-being and the sovereignty of the race and nation.

Even in his golden years, the writer of the historical novel Tun Fatimah (1948), Keris Laksamana Bentan (1954) and Lembing Awang Pulang Ke Dayang (1959) is still active with his vocation. In early 1990s, Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka accorded him the National Laureate award.

Recalling the role of the teachers who turned writers during the pre-Merdeka days, Shaharom felt the Malay teachers then had very high initiative and a burning desire to see their race achieving independence.

"Realising the plight of the Malays then, the teachers grouped themselves into the left and right wings. But regardless of which side they were, they only had one goal, they wanted to free the nation and the race from occupation.

Their efforts through writing were rewarded with independence for the Federation of Malaya on 31 August 1957.


These teacher-writers at times enjoyed plaudits and were revered, and at times disgraced and defamed but their contribution were highly invaluable. Yet, no matter what, for these educationists the plights of the Malays were in their hearts.

And now as the nation gears up to celebrate the independence golden jubilee, the younger generation is perceived as complacent much due to the luxuries of life and the peace that they have taken for granted. However, Saharom wants the younger generation to appreciate the nation's history and the struggle of their forefathers.

"It's only human, when things get easy, they often forget themselves and become complacent. When life is easy, there is nothing else to fight for," he said.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

S'pore Straits Time's take on the IDR

Rumbling on the ground over IDR

By Carolyn Hong
The Straits Times

JUST after Malaysian Premier Abdullah Badawi waved goodbye to his Singaporean counterpart in Langkawi last Tuesday, he headed straight for a meeting with Malaysian reporters.

Datuk Seri Abdullah had called the meeting to clarify Singapore's part in Johor's new economic zone, the Iskandar Development Region (IDR). That was because he and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had agreed at their Langkawi retreat to set up a joint ministerial committee to ease cooperation between both countries on the IDR. The 2,217 sq km IDR plans to leverage on its proximity to Singapore to grow the Johor economy.

On his return to Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Seri Abdullah called yet another meeting with the Malaysian media, this time with its top editors.

The Straits Times understands the Malaysian Premier told the editors repeatedly that the committee was not a 'sell-out', and that he did not want the media to be used for emotional outbursts from certain quarters.

By then, it had become clear there were rumblings on the ground that the committee meant Malaysia was bending over backwards to attract the Republic's investors to the IDR. This despite the fact that such joint committees - often dubbed consultative, steering or some such - are common in partnerships Singapore has forged elsewhere, such as in China.

Much was made of the term 'consultative committee', which some read as meaning that Kuala Lumpur would have to 'consult' Singapore before proceeding with its plans, rather than as a joint platform for cooperation to be discussed.

These sentiments were reflected by an editor who was at the Abdullah meeting. He told The Straits Times: 'There were feelings that the IDR was becoming an extension of Singapore.'

A day after the Langkawi meeting, two Umno lawmakers complained in the Senate that the committee meant that Singapore could dictate the development of the IDR.

Former MP and journalist Ruhanie Ahmad also questioned the committee. 'Is the IDR jointly owned by Singapore?' he wrote in his blog a few days after the meeting.

It is not clear how widespread these feelings are. For now, Datuk Ruhanie and his fellow dissenters appear confined to a small, if vocal, group.

But an Umno Youth grassroots leader told The Straits Times that on the ground, there is quite a bit of unease about the current active cooperation between the two countries.

The unease was serious enough for Datuk Seri Abdullah to once again address the issue on Thursday, this time to brush off fears that Singapore might meddle in the IDR.

Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman also held a press conference last week to clarify that the committee would not handle matters such as investment approvals.

For its part, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry made it clear in a statement on Tuesday that it was quite happy for Malaysia to take the lead on the committee.

Certainly, this is not the first time that the Malaysian government is fighting fires over its ties with Singapore. It had to do so when it was negotiating for a bridge to replace the Causeway, and when it was thinking of having a fast train to link Singapore with Kuala Lumpur.

Old feelings run deep.

As Mr Tony Pua, the economic adviser to the opposition Democratic Action Party, told The Straits Times: 'The top leaders have taken steps to mend relations, but the core sentiment on the ground has not moved that much.'

He said some Malaysians still see Singapore as being overly pushy. Some are also irked by the Republic's apparent lack of interest in resolving outstanding bilateral issues, especially the price of raw water it buys from Malaysia.

But Mr Pua noted that these old sentiments could harm Malaysia's economic interests.

Malaysia's intelligentsia share his views.

Writing in the New Straits Times on Monday, former Malaysian diplomat Deva M. Ridzam said the committee is a good start as it fosters mutual prosperity.

The deputy group editor of The Star, Datuk Wong Chun Wai, wrote in his most recent Sunday column that the IDR was set to change Malaysia's socioeconomic landscape dramatically. 'But,' he wrote, 'we cannot do it alone. We need Singapore. Period.'

Last Wednesday , Johor Baru MP Shahrir Samad was also quoted by Malaysia's Berita Harian newspaper as saying it was good that Singapore was cooperating to make the IDR a success.

Otherwise, he said, Johor would get only those investments which Singapore did not want and would remain its 'back alley'.

The government is acutely aware of the sentiments on the ground. But it is also determined to stay on track.

In an exclusive interview with The Straits Times just before the Langkawi meeting, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said that rumblings on the ground were not a big concern because the country's leaders certainly wanted to work with Singapore.

And they are making haste to do so. Next week, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will lead a top-level delegation to Singapore on an investment roadshow that will include promoting the IDR.

Of Tony Pua, Khairy and the civil service

I have been following the going-ons between Khairy Jamaluddin and Tony Pua over the latter's remarks alleging that the civil service has been “a dumping ground for the politically sensitive constituency of unemployed Malay graduates.”

Khairy said Pua’s comments, which implied that civil servants were the employees of last choice and unable to seek gainful employment elsewhere, were totally unacceptable and without basis.

I, for one, would personally say that both Khairy and Tony stand to be corrected in this issue. For the graduate of Oxford's Keble College, of which Tony is I would question where he had obtained the basis of such a claim, while for that academic offspring of Oxford's St Hughes I would say that an over-reaction should not have been in order as earlier deemed.

From observations and interactions on the ground with the group at the bone of contention, I have long found that most of them opted for careers in the civil service on the long-held assumption (myth) that the government is the best employer -- offering job security and prestige. Assuming that a majority of the graduates hailed from the Malay heartland and kampungs, it would come as no surprise if this belief was deeply entrenched in their minds.

Besides working the land or, in some cases, were themselves civil servants, the parents of these graduates were mostly ensconced within the confines of a civil service mindset. Even if their mainstay is to toil the land or harvest the seas, they cannot avoid facing up to the kerani, penghulu or Pegawai Daerah in the course of their lives. Being made to wait patiently along the corridors of powers that was the Pejabat Daerah & Tanah, they have long succumbed to this notion.

They saw the regimented lifestyle of the pegawai kerajaan as the ideal role model for their beloved sons and daughters.

And, as for the graduates themselves, the stint at the universities or colleges have caused them to absorb diverse thinking – from the “fundamentalist” to the right of the right wing. Yes, they may even have been rebellious in their quiet ways at campus but, still, deep within their mindset, the ideals of bagging a career with the civil service lurks.

Coming from an often-struggling rural family, I must say that these graduates are actually under the notion that they are acting sensibly. They look at their family’s station in life and would wish to ensure a certain continuum of security with the gaji bulan, kerja tetap and pencen that the civil service offers. They just do not wish to risk the future of their dependents otherwise.

Yes, I would agree that many might have difficulties in landing a job with top-notch private companies due to several factors that may range from an opposite mindset entrenched in the persons of the companies concerned or a culture that starkly differs from their much-polarised life at campus.

At the end of the day, what they aspire and wish for is to be with the civil service – not because of lack of ability to do otherwise or being the beneficiary of what Tony Pua alleged as the government’s aim to appease the politically sensitive constituency of unemployed Malay graduates, but to avoid taking unnecessary chances.

Henceforth, from such observations I would say both Khairy and Tony should wise up to the facts, too. Perhaps, they may want to do more homework before imparting their opinions?

Friday, May 25, 2007

May 13 "conspiracy" : hey! you invented it first!

So, James Wong in his blog (read his posting here) is of the impression that those who have not read the latest "interpretation" of the May 13 episode have a common train of thought. Of course, he would not hesitate to draw the focus to another "inventor" -- Hj Subky Latiff, no less. How convenient.

Regardless of who invented or who interpreted the incident and its causes, Malaysians cannot run away from the fact that it is something that ought to be given a rest. What is this new interpretation exercise for? From what I see it is just another political ploy of a near bankrupt alliance of opposition to stir up emotions. And based on some foreign intelligence sources at that, too!

No, I do not think that the book should be banned. Let it be freely available but just haul up the writer if he had transgressed upon the sacred area of racial sensitivities in Malaysia. The hell with following the right to freedom of expression as it is always to the advantage of the person who advocates it.

There are laws to look into these matters as much as one may just spend time in jail for uttering seemingly harmless remarks such as “I can hijack” this plane or “I have a bomb” to bring on board as a joke.

Yes, I wholly agree with Wong Sai Wan’s observations in “Learning to laugh again” – The Star, May 25). Perhaps, going by what he wrote we may have, indeed, lost our sense of humour, but for a good reason, too.

Over the years, from such a laid-back society where we did not take so many things said too seriously, we have become one that is too sensitive at a drop of a feather. As far as I can remember, without having to refer to some foreign intelligence sources, such sensitive personality of Malaysians came to be wrought from the ashes of that fateful day in 1969.

Hence, if we truly believe that it is so hurting to all parties concerned, the publication of Kua’s book notwithstanding, why bother to dwell on it? Is it just a matter of racial pride to gloat over the success at pushing some people to apologise?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fixed elections, phantom voters, etc: a wild imagination

Met an Ah Pek at a restaurant near my place early this evening. Our brief introduction turned into a surprising short discourse by him. The following is the gist of what he rambled to me about.

Many a times I wondered whether the allegations that elections in Malaysia are really open to rigging ring true. Going by what the Opposition claim almost all the time, everyone would have agreed with them. But, no. In spite of their rantings and endless complaints, the incumbent always wins, except for one or to areas -- where they lost. If thats not democracy at work I don't know what is.

You don't need to read lengthy essays on politics and listen to preachings on good democratic practice, etc. This country has gone way ahead of such philosophizings without the need to stand back and listen to blinkered views from those who claim righteousness that are beyond reproach.

Yes, of course there have been misgivings, errors and abuse of authority by those in power. To say that they are squeaky clean is tantamount to an outright lie, as even they themselves will agree. But no one in their right mind would think that the whole government is corrupted and infinitely useless.For the transgressions, ommissions and going out of lines, they are remedies to be had. Even if inquests and scrutiny by the people do not work immediately to their satisfaction, the issues are by no means allowed to be relegated to oblivion.

Some expert opinions that sound holier-than-thou, pointing out each and every perceived wrongdoing of the authorities more often than not are just pain in the ears. We listen to them.We get get agitated for a while but after some time when we see the reality in front of us we find such preachings just do not fit well. It seems that these few "thinking" souls underrate the maturity of the majority of Malaysian.

I suppose it is such foolish stand that has so often caused the downfall of the Oppositions in by-elections of late. But, of course, from their point of view it is always a different story all the same...

Apa yang mereka mahu sebenar?

Oleh : A Voice

Perkara yang menjadi saya amat terkilan sekali dengan penerbitan Buku “May 13” adalah lakaran racis dan bolot yang melulu dan stereotaip terhadap usaha pemimpin lepas untuk membetulkan legasi yang telah dibawa oleh British.

Sikap “Xenophobic Ethno-centric”

Kalau dikaji sejarah negara ini, persoalan dan perjuangan penulis buku ini, Dr Kua Kia Soong terhadap kedudukkan keistimewaan Melayu, bahasa Melayu, agama Islam, dan lain-lain hak-hak legal dan warisan sejarah orang Melayu bukan perkara baru. Slogan politik “Malaysian Malaysia” bukan slogan baru tapi berakar umbi pada slogan cetusan Tan Cheng Lok “Malaya for Malayan” pada 1930an, di kemuncak polisi immigrasi tanpa had British.

Sekolah Cina yang diperjuangkan dengan gigih oleh Dr Kua Kia Soong, penulis buku ini pun asalnya sekolah sukatan pelajaran negeri Cina yang dibenarkan oleh British untuk memenuhi keperluan pelajaran anak-anak immigren untuk pulang kembali. Mengapa sudah jadi rakyat pun mahukan legasi pelajaran immigren?

Adakah tujuan kononnya perjuangan kemanusiaan sejagat SUARAM membawa kepada pembangunan negara (nation building)? Biar saya katakan rekod beliau menunjukkan sebagai seorang “xenophobic ethnocentric”.

Sifu saya seorang sosiologis baru menghantar komen SMSnya, "Same thesis as his earlier book. Strait jacket mechanical application of Marxism."

Yang Bangkit dan Yang Apathy

Ingin saya seterusnya memetik rencana tulisan Dr Nordin Kardi, bekas Pengarah Biro Tatanegara dan kini Naib Canselor Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) dari Utusan Malaysia yang diterbit dalam lingkungan tarikh Mei 13hb, 2007 baru-baru ini. Rencana bertajuk “Fahami pemberian orang Melayu” ini saya “potong dan tampal” dari rakan blog rakan karib saya, Biggum Digmannsteinburg.

Menurut Dr Nordin, “kebelakangan ini pelbagai pihak semakin kerap membangkitkan isu kaum di Malaysia”. Katanya, beliau sering mendapat kata-kata “sinis menyebut kata-kata ‘inilah demokrasi acuan Malaysia’. Kata-kata yang merujuk bahawa demokrasi Malaysia ialah demokrasi mengikut tafsiran nafsu Melayu.”

Satu perkara yang menyedihkan mutakhir ini yang saya lihat amat ketara dalam kepimpinan UMNO yang ada adalah sikap takut-takut pemimpin Melayu yang ada, Perkara ini ketara sekali dikalangan pemimpin Melayu dalam Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Saya memetik tulisan Dr Nordin berikut:

"Pemimpin-pemimpin Melayu terutamanya sangat defensif dalam menguruskan masalah kepentingan kaum ini. Kadangkala di Parlimen, ahli-ahli Yang Berhormat Melayu di pihak kerajaan seperti begitu ofensif dalam serangan balas mereka atas tuduhan perkauman. Namun, nyata tindakan ofensif itu pun hanya merupakan sebahagian daripada strategi defensif.

Seperti ada rasa bersalah di kalangan pemimpin Melayu setiap kali bercakap mengenai kepentingan etnik sehingga ruang rundingan kepentingan Melayu terutamanya tidak begitu terbuka, sebaliknya perlu ‘diseludup’ dengan cara lain. Pemberian terhadap orang Melayu secara terbuka ditakuti akan dilihat sebagai tindakan diskriminatif."

Permasaalahan kaum yang berlaku pada 13 Mei 1969 berakar umbi dari amalan “pecah dan perintah” British yang menyebabkan rakyat berbilang kaum dipisahkan antara satu sama lain melalui bahasa, pekerjaan, ekonomi, penempatan, dan lain-lain cara. Dari situ timbul jurang perbezaan dan syak wasangka yang amat mendalam antara satu kaum dengan satu kaum yang lain.

Tun Razak Selayang Pandang

Berbalik kepada perkara pembangunan negara, saya bersyukur dapat diperingatkan jasa arwah Tun Abdul Razak oleh Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh bin Hamzah pada Mac 30hb, 2007 baru-baru dalam ucapannya bertajuk “Pemikiran dan Visi Tun Abdul Razak dalam pembinaan negara-bangsa Malaysia merentas sempadan etnik” di Universiti Malaya. Langkah-langkah strategik Tun Abdul Razak begitu berkesan dalam usaha “nation building” dalam aspek pendidikkan, ekonomi dan sosial .

Tun Abdul Razak telah mengenalkan juga satu pembaharuan politik menerusi pembentukkan politik “berideologi” mesyuarah dan kesepakatan antara kaum yang diamalkan Barisan Nasional. Sehingga hari ini, belum kedapatan lagi formula mesyuarah dan kesepakatan kaum dikalangan parti-parti pembangkang, melainkan khusus untuk menghadapai pilihanraya. Kini kata Dr Nordin:

"Frasa popular yang dilemparkan kepada kerajaan semasa ialah bahawa kerajaan perkauman kerana dibentuk oleh gabungan parti utama yang berasaskan kaum – UMNO, MCA dan MIC. MCA dan MIC selalu dimomok sebagai parti bukan Melayu yang tunduk dan menjadi alat kepada UMNO untuk menegakkan kepentingan Melayu."

Ungkapan Clinton, It's the Economy, Stupid!

Kecaman terhadap orang Melayu sudah begitu lantang hinggakan pelbagai tomohan telah ditimbulkan, tulis Dr Nordin:

"Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) yang diasaskan selepas Peristiwa 13 Mei, yang menekankan sasaran penyertaan Melayu sebanyak 30 peratus dalam semua sektor untuk tempoh 20 tahun (1970-1990) adalah ibu kepada segala dasar ‘jahat’ perkauman UMNO.

Orang bukan Melayu dilihat sebagai telah berkorban selama 20 tahun untuk membiarkan orang Melayu merebut segala peluang ekonomi, pelajaran, sosial dan sebagainya. Oleh yang demikian sebarang usaha melanjutkan sasaran itu selepas 1990 adalah suatu usaha diskriminasi yang menzalimi kepentingan kaum lain.

Pemimpin UMNO selalu mempertahankan keputusan-keputusan berkaitan kaum dengan mengulang-ulang cerita kontrak sosial yang telah lama. Ini berterusan sehingga mata masyarakat Malaysia, lebih-lebih lagi mata asing (mungkin dengan minat tertentu), melihat seolah-olah benar kaum Melayu terus menerus mendapat laba selepas kontrak itu, sementara kaum lain sentiasa memberi.

Orang Melayu sudah tidak memberi lagi selepas 1957! Orang Melayu menerima subsidi, orang Melayu membolot kuasa, orang Melayu kaum penerima!"

Orang Melayu juga di persoalkan:

"Bilakah orang Melayu memberi? Besar sangatkah pemberian orang Melayu itu kepada kaum lain sehingga kaum lain terpaksa membayarnya kembali tanpa kesudahan? Tambahan pula kontrak itu bukan dibuat oleh generasi pelbagai kaum sekarang. Dia buatan orang dahulu, mengapa orang sekarang harus terus membayarnya? Benarkah?"

Ikatan Janji Sudah Dinobat, Sama Bersepakat

Mungkin mereka sudah lupa, Dr Nordin memperingati hadiah paling berharga sekali:

"Memang pada tahun 1955, dua tahun sebelum merdeka, orang Melayu telah menghadiahkan sesuatu yang sangat berharga kepada kaum lain. Biasanya, orang akan cepat menyebut bahawa hadiah besar kepada kaum lain itu ialah kerakyatan."

Satu rangkap biasa dalam pantun Melayu ada menyebut “orang memberi kita merasa.”

Dengan pemberian kerakyatan dan perjanjian yang sudah dinobatkan dalam Perlembagaan, sebagai rakyat mereka bebas untuk mengumpul dan memiliki harta & tanah, mengamalkan bahasa, kebudayaan, dan ugama mereka, dan mereka berhak memilih wakil ke Parlimen.

Namun, ada yang tidak bersyukur dan sengaja berdalih:

"Itu pun kata mereka kerana pembesar Melayu dipaksa oleh Inggeris. Tidak ada pilihan. Namun demikian, saya lebih cenderung mengatakan hadiah besar itu bukan kerakyatan sebaliknya hadiah selepas kerakyatan itu diperoleh. Jangan lupa, hal ini tidak semestinya terjadi jika keputusan sedemikian tidak dibuat orang Melayu."

Mudah mereka terlupa atau sengaja lupa? Atau mereka tidak faham?

"Apakah perkaranya? Perkaranya ialah kerusi pilihan raya. Pada tahun 1955 itu diadakan pilihan raya dan orang bukan Melayu hanya mempunyai majoriti di dua konstituen. Namun demikian Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman telah memutuskan supaya orang bukan Melayu diberikan 17 kerusi. Lima belas untuk MCA dan dua untuk MIC.

Segolongan pemimpin UMNO meninggalkan UMNO kerana hadiah yang terlalu mewah ini. Namun, rupanya orang Melayu.

Kebanyakan pun bersedia merestui pemberian hadiah ini. Keputusan pilihan raya itu menunjukkan orang Melayu memangkah untuk berwakilkan bukan Melayu di kesemua tujuh belas konstituen itu. Maksudnya, keputusan itu bukan lagi keputusan Tunku berseorangan. Orang Melayu berani meletakkan kepercayaan dengan berwakilkan bukan Melayu untuk memperjuangkan kepentingan mereka."

Masih Berdalih

"Itu dahulu. Sekarang bagaimana? Demikian lanjutan perbualan ahli politik generasi muda. Jawapannya tetap serupa. Semenjak pilihan raya 1955 itu UMNO secara berterusan memberikan konstituen majoriti Melayu kepada bukan Melayu. Jika tidak demikian semangatnya, MIC boleh dikatakan tidak akan diberikan satu kerusi pun.

Cuba perhatikan hadiah UMNO kepada orang calon bukan Melayu dalam pilihan raya terbaru iaitu tahun 2004. Ong Ka Ting, Presiden MCA menang di P165 Parlimen Tanjung Piai, Johor yang pengundi Cina hanyalah 40.14 peratus berbanding dengan pengundi Melayu 53.02 peratus. Kawasan itu boleh diyakini sebagai kawasan selamat menang kepada Ong.

Naib Presiden MCA, Ong Tee Kiat menang di P100 yang pengundi Cina hanyalah 42.56 peratus berbanding pengundi Melayu 51.42 peratus. Demikian juga dengan pemimpin MCA yang lain bergantung kepada undi Melayu seperti Chor Chee Heung di Alor Star (58.43 peratus), Lim Bee Kau, di Padang Serai (52.51), Tan Kian Hoe di Bukit Gantang (62.95), Yew Teong Lock di Wangsa Maju (52.67), Wee Ka Siong (55.26), Kerk Choo Ting di Simpang Renggam (54.29) dan Ling Ban Sang di Tebrau (51.09).

MIC pula mendapat konstituen yang majoriti pengundinya adalah Melayu di Hulu Selangor untuk Palanivel (50.50 peratus Melayu berbanding pengundi India hanya 19.04 peratus) dan Vigneswaran (50.05 peratus Melayu berbanding pengundi India hanya 27.30 peratus."

Tak Bolehkah Kerja dan Makan Sama-Sama

Perkara yang amat kuat dipersoalkan sehingga tuduhan konspirasi coup d’etat disebalik persitiwa 13 hb Mei adalah ekonomi. Kata klise, hidup dan mati orang Tionghua hanya memikirkan dan mengejar duit dan harta. Adakah mereka berhasrat dengan kiasu untuk membolot tanpa kekangan? Mungkin tidak terancang begitu.

Siapa tak tahu bahawa mereka memang boleh bersaing? Mereka mahu amat memperjuangkan ekonomi laisse fairre atau ekonomi bebas. Bagi mereka yang sudah maju kehadapan, bermodal dan rangkaian tertutup (exclusive networking) yang tidak lut, tahap competitive advantage mereka sudah teramat jauh di hadapan.

Padang permainan ekonomi bukan bagaikan liga bola Inggeris yang membahagaikan mengikut Premier League, Divisyen Satu, Dua dan seterusnya. Orang Melayu memang sudah menunjukkan peningkatan, tapi permainan catch-up tidak boleh menyaingi kadar pertumbuhan mereka.

Itu pun Dato Nordin menulis:

"Dalam konteks ekonomi pula adakah benar orang Melayu sahaja yang menerima sedangkan kaum lain sentiasa memberi? Orang berniaga atau orang yang mempelajari pengajian perniagaan akan faham bahawa dalam sesebuah ekonomi setiap ahli masyarakat menyumbang kepada pertumbuhan.

Tentulah tidak munasabah mengatakan Melayu hanya sebagai penerima sedangkan mereka setiap hari berurus niaga dan berperanan sebagai pengguna yang berbelanja.

Baik DEB mahupun Dasar Pembangunan Negara (DPN) memang ada memperuntukkan bajet negara atas nama Melayu. Contohnya Felda. Majoriti penerokanya ialah Melayu.

Namun demikian, jika katakan kawasan Felda itu adalah getah, peneroka akan menunggu tujuh tahun baharu getahnya boleh ditoreh untuk mengeluarkan hasil.

Sedangkan, kontraktor pembina jalan, kontraktor pembuat rumah peneroka, kontraktor memasang paip, kontraktor elektrik, kontraktor membina kompleks dewan, sekolah dan sebagainya yang menelan jutaan ringgit (berbanding beberapa ringgit yang bakal diperoleh oleh peneroka tujuh tahun kemudian!) yang umumnya melibatkan golongan bukan Melayu serta-merta menyejat peruntukan jutaan ringgit itu.

Inilah yang dikatakan oleh Tun Razak dahulu bahawa DEB yang memperuntukkan 30 peratus kepentingan Melayu dalam semua sektor dalam tempoh 20 tahun untuk dicapai bukan bererti merampas daripada bukan Melayu kepada Melayu, sebaliknya ia dilaksanakan dengan memperbesarkan kek ekonomi.

Walaupun sesuatu projek itu diluluskan atas tajuk Melayu namun nikmatnya tidak semestinya dirasai oleh Melayu sahaja."

Mungkin baik kita fikir bersama perkara ini.

Tiadakah Cara Lain?

Diakhir ucapan Tengku Razaleigh, beliau telah mengemukakan cabaran: “Apakah kita mempunyai apa-apa pilihan atau “model” lain yang dapat menggantikan wawasan Razak itu sebagai formula yang terbaik untuk memajukan negara ini atas LANDASAN PERPADUAN NASIONAL YANG SEBENAR?

Maka pengakhir kata Dr Nordin pula boleh saya anggap sebagai persoalan mengenai LANDASAN PERUNDINGAN YANG SEBENAR.

"Saya teringat kata Profesor Bazerman, pakar strategi perundingan Harvard yang menyebut jika ada dua pihak sedang berunding yang kesudahan rundingan itu satu pihak mendapat lapan dan satu pihak lagi mendapat 10 tetap lebih baik meneruskan rundingan berbanding jika setiap pihak mendapat masing-masing tujuh jika menamatkan rundingan.

Dari sudut politik, sehingga semenjak 1955 sehingga pilihan raya 2004 orang Melayu masih setia memberi apa yang mereka biasa beri. Ini akademik. Mungkinkah Profesor Bazerman pernah secara diam-diam belajar dari Malaysia?"

Tidak mudah untuk menahan seseorang untuk memikir dan memberi keutamaan kepada kepentingan diri sendiri, keluarga, masyarakat setempatnya, kaumnya dan pelbagai lain entiti. Yang penting, jangan kita tidak ambil endah fikiran kepentingan orang lain.

S'pore-Malaysia: Complementing each other for mutual benefit

According to Patrick Keith in his book, " Ousted", the separation of S'pore from M'sia is the differing perceptions of M'sia, which Lee Kuan Yew wanted and that which the Tunku was willing to accomodate.

In essence, the Alliance Party which was just beginning to learn how to share power amongst it's component members, just found Lee Kuan Yew's aggressive inroads to push a Malaysian Malaysia concept was too disruptive. It's not just the Malays in UMNO who were against Lee, but also MCA led by the late Tun Tan Siew Sin. Harry

Lee was pressing Tunku for PAP to be accepted as a partner in the Alliance, meaning keeping out MCA which was unacceptable to the Tunku. Apart from the differing perception of Malaysia should be evolved, the PAP which was an urban based party was perceived by the Malayan people as a party who wants to wrest power from the Alliance so that the pace of evolution is supplanted by a much faster rate in making Malaysia follow the urban thinking of the island state.

This brash approach of making the Malayan citizens feel that Harry Lee is trying to teach our leaders how best to run the country just could not be tolerated. Perhaps if S'pore had agreed to the disengagement plan mooted by the Tunku was accepted by the Alliance Party had worked out, the ouster of S'pore could have been avoided. M'sia would have become developed much earlier should that happened, although many Malays feared their special position would be jeopardised. However there's no point crying over spilt milk.

Personally speaking, it's the differing values espoused by S'poreans as compared to Malayans at that crucial period which caused the Tunku to make such a painful decision. Now we should focus on how we could complement each other in terms of global positioning to the benefit of our national interest, and not allow petty matters to stand in the way.

Based on Comments by: Daludalu

Penolong Editor Malaysia Today tanding Naib Ketua Wanita Keadilan

Berita Haniza Talha, Penolong Editor Malaysia-Today, portal berita web alternatif yang diterajui Raja Petra Kamarudin (24 Mei, 2007) telah "mengejutkan" beberapa pengikut dan pemberi komen tetingkap portal media itu. Mereka mula mempersoalkan pendirian Raja Petra dalam kancah politik negara. Ini kerana sebelum itu ramai masih jahil akan "tulisan pada dinding" yang jelas menujuk ke arah mana beliau berkiblat daripada segi politik.

Ramai yang dapat menerima peranan Raja Petra sebagai pembekal media alternatif melalui saluran Malaysia-Today, tetapi sejak kebelakangan ini, sikap pengunjung yang memberi komen bersifat jahat lantaran memperkecilkan agama Islam dan sebagainya telah menimbulkan tanda tanya. Mengapa beliau tidak lebih bertanggung-jawab dalam menangani hal ini?

(Dipetik dari Malaysia Today 24 Mei, 2007)

Penolong editor Malaysia Today, Haniza Talha, akan bertanding merebut jawatan Naib Ketua Wanita Parti Keadilan Rakyat (Keadilan) Jumaat ini.

Beliau yang juga Timbalan Ketua Penerangan Wanita Keadilan Pusat dan juga Naib Ketua Bahagian Hulu Langat memperolehi pencalonan tertinggi dengan 44 pencalonan.

Haniza akan berdepan dengan empat calon lain, bagi mengisi tiga kerusi untuk jawatan tersebut.

Beliau akan bersaing dengan Dr. Zaliha Mustaffa, Noorsham Abu Samah, Rohani Bakar
dan Begum Jan Abdullah

Ketika dihubungi, beliau berkata perjuangannya antara lain adalah untuk meneruskan hasrat wanita parti yang mahu wanita lebih empowered, terlibat sama dalam membuat keputusan.

Pada tahun 2000, Keadilan telah meluluskan Usul 30 peratus penglibatan wanita dalam proses membuat keputusan di semua peringkat dalam parti.

Jelasnya parti perlu serius menunaikan usul yang telah diluluskan pada tahun 2000 dan tidak meletakkannya di atas sayap Wanita sepenuhnya.

Terangnya, Wanita sudah cukup bersedia dan bagi mencapai sasaran minima 30% tersebut, 3 jawatan Naib Presiden yang dipertandingkan, Wanita mengemukakan seorang calon iaitu Fuziah Salleh dan sembilan calon bagi 25 ahli Majlis Pimpinan Tertinggi (MPT) yang akan dipilih.

“Jangan tolak calon wanita yang kredibel, hanya untuk nampak cantik calon Melayu, Cina dan India bagi mengisi jawatan tersebut.

“Parti perlu melihat ke depan, negara-negara maju malah Indonesia telah meletakkan syarat mandatori bagi parti-parti politik yang terlibat dalam pilihan raya mempunyai sekurang-kurang 30% calon wanita. Wanita Keadilan tidak percaya kepada tokenism, dengan itu kami sudah melatih dan menyediakan wanita dari tahun 2001, untuk sahut cabaran tersebut. Kini, Wanita sudah cukup bersedia untuk pikul tanggungjawab tersebut. Jangan lihat wanita berasaskan pandangan steriotaip yang ada.”

Setakat ini, katanya hanya kira-kira 15 peratus sahaja wanita dalam parti itu yang terlibat dalam peringkat menggubal dasar parti.

Sumbangan wanita dalam parti itu telah terbukti; pengukukuhan struktur sayap parti.

“Salah satu ukurannya ialah berjaya mengadakan mesyuarat agung tahunan Wanita bahagian (MATWB). Pada tahun 2005, bahagian Wanita seluruh negara yang berjaya adakan MATWB hanya 62, dan berkembang menjadi 92 bahagian pada 2006, seterusnya mencapai 109 bahagian pada tahun ini.”

Malah, tegasnya ‘pengaruh wanita’ juga boleh dilihat, apabila kira-kira 52 peratus rakyat negara ini ialah wanita, dan kira-kira 54 peratus yang keluar mengundi ialah wanita.

Katanya, dunia sedang melihat sebuah parti yang pada satu hari akan menerajui kepimpinan negara, apakah pendirian serta usaha parti terhadap penglibatan wanita dalam arena politik. Kami mendapat tahu bahawa ada pertubuhan-pertubuhan dalam dan luar negara yang sedang mengikuti dan menunjukkan minat terhadap perkembangan ini.

Menurut senarai kehadiran, mereka telah mengesahkan kehadiran wakil mereka ke Kongres Nasional Tahunan Wanita kali ini.

Haniza juga akan terlibat mengendalikan siaran langsung Kongres dari Seremban yang akan disiarkan melalui Malaysia Today dari 26 dan 27 Mei ini.

Komen: Persoalan condong ke arah mana Malaysia-Today dan RPK bukanlah rahsia. Ikuti saja "drift" dalam posting beliau. Bagaimanapun, itu haknya untuk bersuara -- asalkan tidak terlalu taksub dengan kepalsuan, lantaran menggugat kredibiliti sebagai seorang citizen journalist. Pada saya RPK tidak dapat menggugat nemesis politiknya selagi kesahihan laporan berita di Malaysia-Today dan blog lain tidak diperteguhkan dengan pembuktian kental. Yang dipandang serius ialah luahan komen-komen bodoh, lucah dan kebudak-budakkan para pemberi komen pada sebahagian besar daripada posting yang terkandung di portal Malaysia-Today.

Diharap RPK masih teguh berpegang pada motto alma mater beliau, "Fiat Sapentia Virtus" (Let Manliness Come Through Wisdom!).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tanggapan Zam mengenai semua bloggers tidak tepat

Saya terbaca posting terkini Ahiruddin Atan dalam blognya, Rocky's Bru sebentar tadi. Rocky memetik Menteri Penerangan itu sebagai berkata "yang dah berhenti dan diberhentikan, like Kadir and Rocky" kini hanya menggunakan pengikut mereka semasa menjadi pengarang dulu bagi kepentingan agenda blog masing-masing.

Saya rasa Zam salah tanggapan dalam hal ini. Walaupun ada segelintir rakan kedua-dua mereka ini mengikuti dan akur dengan (apa yang dianggap) agenda yang tersirat, lebih ramai yang berpendirian sendiri dan tidak perlu menjadi pak turut atau penyokong mereka itu.

Diharap Zam bacalah sendiri blog-blog yang tersiar setiap minit di Internet. Moga-moga akan terbuka hati untuk memahami realiti yang terkandung bahawa bukan semua yang ditulis merugikan dan bukannya semua yang berfikiran sempit dan hanya mencari kesilapan.

Kenaikan gaji kakitangan kerajaan

Tidak kira apa yang dianggap pihak pembangkang atau siapa saja, keputusan menaikkan gaji kakitangan awam memang tepat pada masanya. Ia boleh dilihat dari pelbagai perspektif -- samada sebagai strategi memancing sokongan menjelang pilihanraya ataupun niat murni bagi menangani beban pekerja di sektor awam.

Tahniah Pak lah dan tahniah kepada semua kakitangan awam. Kepada Pak Lah saya kira tak payahlah difikirkan tentang tohmahan daripada pembangkang kerana jika mereka sendiri memimpin negara, mereka juga tidak akan dapat lari daripada menangani isu ini. Dan jika kenaikan gaji ini secara kebetulan menyebabkan sipenerima berasa ingin membalas jasa kerajaan dengan terus menyokong kepemimpinan masakini, apa salahnya?

Samada ia satu strategi menjelang pilihanraya atau sebaliknya, yang jelas dalam politik apa pun boleh berlaku dan pembangkang tidak terkecuali.

Hanya satu pesan saya: dengan rezeki yang dianugerahkan ini diharap lebih telus, berkesan dan proaktiflah sektor awam dalam menjalankan amanah rakyat.

Pay rise for civil servants

You can look at it many ways. The Opposition says it is nothing more than an election bait, while on the streets opinions range from outright disgust and full appreciation of the rationale. You can't please everyone.

With feet firmly planted on terra firma, I'd say that it is about time the civil servants get this significant pay increase. Congratulations. Also, not forgetting a thank you to the Prime Minister for helping to fastrack it. No, I don't want to question the perceived rationale for the excercise but it suffices to say that Pak Lah should be proud that he did it.

Nevermind that some detractors say it is an election ploy. The reality still stands. You are in politics and the way it goes, you, your party or any party for that matter will have to do the same thing in the course of their running the country. Yes, if the excercise makes the beneficiaries want to come out even stronger in their support for the ruling government, so be it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Buku 13 May: Apa tujuannya?

Hari ini saya menaip posting blog ini dengan hanya menggunakan tangan kiri. Tangan kanan tidak dapat digunakan mungkin disebabkan apa yang dipanggil Computer-related injury (CRI). Mengadap computer tidak kurang daripada 12 jam setiap hari mentelaah blog-blog sosio-politik dan ekonomi mengenai Malaysia telah mencabar ketahanan fizikal tubuh yang sudah separuh abad ini. Bagaimanapun, apabila terbaca banyak posting cetek yang cuba menegakkan "benang basah" berhubung kesahihan kandungan buku Dr Kua Kia Soong (Kiasu?), saya rasa terpanggil untuk membantu secara pasifis sentimen perkauman yang dicaturkan beliau.

Nampaknya agak ramai blogger dan pengunjung memberikan komen melulu menyokong karya Dr Kua yang diasaskan kepada apa dikatakan sebagai dokumen berhubung May 13 yang telah dideklasifikasikan oleh pihak intelligence British. Dalam pada itu terdapat ramai juga blogger Melayu yang bangun mengajukan posting menentang pendirian penulis itu.

Saya rasa agak terharu apabila mendapati di persekitaran belantara blog frontier ini ada juga mereka yang sejak sekian lama lantang menyuarakan kritikan terhadap parti pemerintah dan kerajaan sudi mengenakan moratorium demi mempertahankan kedaulatan Perlembagaan yang begitu jelas menggariskan hak orang Melayu dan sebagainya. Ia mengingatkan saya kepada ungkapan Inggeris "Adversity brings us together".

Apakah agaknya tujuan Dr Kua menerbitkan karya sebegitu rupa? Apakah agendanya? Dari mata kasar kita hanya dapat melihat bibit-bibit menghasut, sementara jika diteliti secara mendalam dan memikirkannya kita tidak dapat lari daripada hakikat bahawa ia masih bersifat "jahat".

Biarlah apa yang berlaku pada hari ke 13, 1969 itu menjadi pengajaran. Tak payah kita menggunakannya sebagai alasan dan publisiti murah untuk memperjuangkan agenda buruk yang tersirat. Hakikat ini perlu disedari oleh ramai atau kesemua yang dikatakan tergolong sebagai "thinking bloggers" kerana sejak isu buku Dr Kua timbul tidak ramai mereka yang ingin melihatnya darip perspektif Melayu , agama dan toleransi masyarakat pelbagai kaum di Malaysia. Pada mereka pemikiran terbuka tanpa sempadan mencerminkan intelektualisme dan status diri sebagai orang terpelajar dan bertamaddun.

Bukunya betul dan versi yang diterbitkan kerajaan pada 1969 tidak benar. Itulah yang ingin disuarakan oleh Dr. Kua. Bagaimanapun, jika dilihat dari segi rasa tanggung-jawab, versi kerajaan adalah versi mantap. Walaupun ditapis (demi memelihara ketenteraman awam) ia jelas menjurus kepada kebenaran.

Apakah salah bertindak secara bertanggung-jawab seperti yang dilakukan kerajaan dalam tindakan menerbitkan versi 1969 itu? Apakah demi ketelusan, demokrasi dan hak asasi segala-galanya perlu diluahkan? Apakah akhirnya?

Saya sendiri masih ingat detik-detik yang berlalu sepanjang tiga hari pada 1969 itu. Saya melihat betapa rakus dan biadabnya sesetengah penyokong parti politik ketika itu...

Hari ini ramai "mainstream" blogger jelas lebih cenderung berdiam diri di antara selitan mencari kecacatan dan kepincangan dalam pentadbiran negara sendiri yang dikira boleh diselesaikan secara lebih berakal.

Seperti Dr Mahathir pernah berkata kita hanya pandai "menembak kaki sendiri". Memang mendalam dan bermakna sindiran beliau itu. Tidak lupa juga pesanan beliau bahawa "Melayu mudah lupa".

Kita sering ghairah mencari kepincangan dalam bangsa sendiri. Menyuarakannya secara terbuka kononnya demi prinsip demokrasi tulen yang diteguhkan lunas-lunas hak asasi tanpa menyedari realitinya pada bangsa dan agama walaupun kesemua ini jelas dibutirkan dalam perlembagaan.

Di sinilah letaknya kelemahan kita untuk terus bangun sebagai bangsa. Kita tidak bersifat aggresif dan konsisten dalam mengusahakan sesuatu. Minda kita begitu mudah dipengaruhi buah-buah fikiran yang diajukan oleh puak yang mendabik dada kononnya lebih intektual walhal apa yang kita boleh rumuskan tidak memerlukan pemikiran Einstein dan sebagainya.

Cukuplah saya membebel luahan hati dengan tangan sebelah kali ini. Kita lihat saja ke mana arah yang akan dibawa pengaruh "kebenaran" seperti didakwa Dr Kua sebagai terkandung dalam bukunya itu.

Monday, May 21, 2007

When pushed too far: The Siege of Bukit Kepong

Kampong Bukit Kepong Police Station, lay at the south-west apex of a big bend in the Muar river at around the 65km mark and upstream from its mouth on the west coast of the Johor. The village itself was small and isolated - consisting of about twenty shops and groups of accompanying houses - and by early 1950 the area had became a hive of CT activity.

From the month of January onwards, there had been a noticeable increase in the tempo of contacts & incidents - both road and river ambushes amongst other - but the most disconcerting of all, was the discovery of blazed trail markings showing the way towards the town. The nearest township of note to Bukit Kepong was Lenga, about 10km to the south along a rough enemy controlled dirt road in a vehicle or a 2 ½ hour foot patrol, but apart from this, it was just a few other like kampongs scattered about.

The station was commanded by OCPS Sgt Ray Dancey - an old Palestine hand and away at the time and a point not missed by the CT - and manned by a mixed platoon of 15 Malay Regular and Marine Police Constables under the stocky and redoubtable Sgt Jamil Mohd Shah.

At the time this force was complimented by three Special Constables (SC) and four local Auxiliary Police (AP) as needed by the post to assist with the guarding and other duty. A force of 22 all told. Thirteen police wives and children were also lodged in the married quarters at the rear of the compound.

Communications in and out of Bukit Kepong were poor - hence the marine police attachments and the station’s launch service down to Muar - and signals to and from its nearest neighbour Kampong Java at about a kilometre away, as with kampongs Gek & Tui further on, was by the use of gongs. Even the outpost’s name was ominously translated as 'Siege Hill’- but this was historically believed to have originated from it’s 186m namesake 5km to the east.

Now in the early morning darkness of the 23rd of February 1950, the 200 strong 4th Independent Company under the joint leadership of one of the few Malay Communist Terrorists within the MRLA called Muhammad Indera AKA Mat Indra from Muar (the main leader was believed the tactical mastermind & Commissar, Goh Peng Tun), well armed with a full compliment of infantry weapons, began its move in towards the Bukit Kepong compound (for layout see map).

The Communist Terrorist's aim was to teach the police post a comprehensive lesson and to use it as an example to others, and Mat Indra - who wore a talisman around his neck, which was believed bulletproof by some - was contemplating a quick and easy straight forward job.

The following is a reconstruction of the phases of battle which followed:

0400hrs - after some difficulty in the darkness, the Communist Terrorists deploys to complete the encirclement of Bukit Kepong. The group is accompanied by some of the wives and children and these are to act as medical staff and to carry away the Communist Terrorists casualties (mainly in gunny sacks provided). Half the force is deployed to the front and main parts of the compound (Group 1), with the other half in Pl group lots (Groups 2 & 3), deployed to the other three sides.

At this point, there is only L/Cpl Jidin bin Omar and SC Abdul Kadir Jusoh within the Charge Room, and two APs in Samad Yatin & Osman Yahya on guard in the compound backed by SC Jaffar Hassan with a Stengun. There is also every indication, that the latter had become aware of the CT’s movements,

0430hrs - SC Jaffar challenges and fires on a CT who is seen to fall and the attack on the wire begins and builds up to the accompaniment of screaming and bugle blasts and although all forward sides are attacked simultaneously, the CTs mainly concentrate on the penetration of the front of the installation and where the post’s main strong-points are housed. They had expected to totally surprise the station - but are in turn! Caught completely by surprise by the volume and intensity of the return fire. This, particularly, from the two Bren Guns embedded underneath the Charge Room - it being a raised structure on posts - but also as from within the C/R itself as well as from the back and sides of the compound. Around this juncture, AP Osman is KIA and SC Jaffar is wounded, with the wives and children of the policemen fully noted assisting their menfolk with the defence of the base,

0450hrs - the initial CT assault is beaten back after a protracted exchange but at the loss of Sgt Jamil who had been manning one of the Brens under the C/R, and who is now seen slumped lifeless over one of the weapons. There were trapdoors in use for access down to the Bren guns. Command is now assumed by the junior NCOs like the youthful and diminutive Cpl Mohd Yassin and the much larger L/Cpl Jidin bin Omar (later fatally WIA)and combined casualties for both sides at this time, are placed at a dozen plus. The police wives and children left sheltering in the flimsy walled and also elevated married quarter building behind, make up a good portion of this. Also as such, at around this period. Four of the wives and five children manage to make their escape out of the compound,

0500hrs - Auxiliary Police and small groups of citizen volunteers are mobilised around Kampong Java under the headman Penghulu Ali bin Mustaffa, and these react to the attack by going to Bukit Kepong's aid. They’re expected by the CT rearguard, however, and in turn ambushed and held engaged in skirmishes and suffering casualties. About this time the defenders main firepower in the two Bren guns back at the station, are knocked out,

0530hrs - the CTs continue a number of assaults on the wire and lighting and which provides them with a small breach at the front side and with which they attempts an envelopment of the C/R but are still held and beaten back from within and from the interlocking fire from the married quarters. Some of the weapons are at this point wielded by the wives remaining.

Mat Indra is reported frantic at the lack of progress after an hour and wary of the approaching daylight, calls for an all out bayonet charge at 0600. Both the compound and CT casualties had mounted and are being treated in situ by the wives and children as before. The CT casualties had been retrieved under fire, and it was noted how the police would not fire at the women and children so involved.

0600hrs - visibility is now better and the CTs hit the wire again in a frantic mass as ordered, but are again surprisingly beaten back with the exception of some further gains at the SW rear and left hand side by the married quarters. Mat Indra now calls for a pause to reconsider his options. During this period and as it had been throughout the engagement, loud hailers and personal voice addresses had been used on the defenders in an attempt to get them to surrender. But to no avail - in spite of the fact that they had suffered badly - and just as the many alternate offers of ‘safe conduct’ out of the area had been treated with defiance and derision,

0700hrs - the frontal targets are now isolated by the CTs and all efforts concentrated in the vicinity of the previous gains around the rear and SW side and this providing them with an instant result. One of the police wives captured in this thrust, Mariam Ibrahim the wife of Constable Mohamad Jaafar, told her captors that only an other woman and her young child were left alive in the married quarters. The CTs force Mariam to appeal to the men to surrender but this is duly ignored. About this time, Fatimah Yaaba and her son Hassan are also taken, also asked to appeal to the men, and on refusal Fatimah is executed. Her husband Constable Abu Bakar Daud the base’s MP launch driver down at his duty station on the Muar river - perhaps aware of the personal tragedy which had just taken place - elects to fight to the death in a skirmish with the CT sent to capture and sink his launch. In the final outcome he is shot through the chest & arm.

There are indicators that some others were either sent or also went to assist him with getting away for help. But this group is also assumed engaged by the CTs. And although its also believed that the MP Constable could have saved himself if he chose by starting his motors and casting off, he never ever did.

At this point, the CTs consolidate their hold on the rear of the complex through the torching of both the launch (which sank) and the married quarters - with the reported wife Saadiah and daughter Simah still alive inside and refusing to come out - and throwing the executed woman’s body into the flames as well. Also about this time, the villagers of Durian Chondong a riverine kampong to the west, dispatched a boat down to Lenga to inform the police of the attack,

0800hrs - full daylight and with the rear of the compound ablaze, the CTs execute a determined grenade ‘pincer’ attack against the C/R and are finally successful. Setting it ablaze as well. Then picking off both male and female survivors attempting to get out with rifle shots - some seen with their clothing fully on fire at this point - and capturing Hassan bin Abu Bakar the young son of badly wounded MP Constable Abu Bakar in the process.

Hassan was caught in the vicinity of the silenced Bren guns, with some believing that he was the last person seen standing or perhaps even attempting to fire, one of the weapon at this duty station. Perhaps he was just too shocked to leave his comatose father nearby or his dead mother Fatimah’s burnt body. But either way! The brave lad was thrown live into the raging flames of the C/R along with all the dead and wounded police defenders including Sgt Jamil. Also about this time, news of the attack is relayed to Police District HQ at Pagoh, and a relief force of Jungle Squad and Seaforth Highlanders is prepared for a forced march to Bukit Kepong,

0930hrs - Mat Indra finally declares the objective taken - five hours after the commencement of what had been considered a simple action - and stating that they the MRLA ‘had dealt a glorious blow against the Imperialists and for the Liberation of the Oppressed People’ (some say that Mat Indra would was later be killed in an ambush)-- but it was reported that he was captured and later hanged in Taiping Prison in Perak. Also around this time, a boatful of villagers from Durian Chondong and coming to investigate and to assist, are also engaged by the CT force as they pull out,

0940hrs - a spotter aircraft also sent out to investigate, calls back to base that there is nothing but a charred ruin - ‘with no signs of life in evidence’

1030hrs - the exhausted relief force from Pagoh led by OC JJ Raj Jr, finally arives to take charge and is greeted by scenes of massive devastation. But the refurbishment of the BK station area, at times a slow refurbishment, does now begin,

12 Regular Police, two Special Constables, all of the four Auxiliary Police and four dependants, a total of 22, fought to the death at the Battle of Bukit Kepong. AP Constable Ali Akop bin Ahmad, who had earlier been cited for a Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry for a previous action, and once out of rounds, was last seen charging the barbed wire with his parang as example. A further four constables were found severely wounded within the compound. Of these survivors, as apart from the women and children who had managed to slip out much earlier, only PC Yusof Rono and well in his seventies now, is still alive today. A further two APs were also killed in action and a number of locals WIA during the relief actions as mentioned.

The CTs would only ever admit to around 10 casualties, but a quadruple of this would be very much closer to the mark. From the outset, the garrison had been outnumbered ten to one yet it never slackened in its resolve to do its duty. Even after the death of Sgt Jamil, and who is credited with the setting of the tone of the resistance, no one nor at anytime, appeared to consider the numerous offers of surrender or ‘safe conduct’ held out to them by the CT.

Bukit Kepong was also the first real indicator for the MRLA, that the affable laidback Malay, might just not be the easy mark that had been estimated. And that they would clearly constitute an additional factor in their the MCP’s, over simplistic overview of Red independence and rule in Malaya.

It was also noted how quickly the humble kampong Malays, reverted to the fatalistic strength of their Muslim faith when cornered. In the final analysis, the words of an SEP who was one of the attacking force expresses it all - ‘I admired them at the time, and admire them to this very day’.

by A L (Paddy) Bacskai (National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Perbincangan buku May 13 – dan krisis cendekiawan

Oleh: Rustam Sani

Buku terbaru Dr Kua Kia Soong telah menimbulkan banyak kontroversi, selain kemungkinan akan diharamkan oleh kerajaan daripada beredar. Namun demikian, sementara belum diharamkan ini, penjualannya dikatakan laris sekali – termasuklah pesanan besar yang datang dari Singapura.

Namun, apa yang menyedihkan ialah kualiti perbincangan tentang buku itu, termasuklah tentang persoalan sosial dan politik negara yang menjadi mauduknya.

Saya mengharapkan bahawa dengan timbulnya semula isu Peristiwa 13 Mei itu dalam ruang wacana awam kita maka akan lebih mendalamlah dan lebih jitulah perbincangan dan perdebatan kita tentang sifat dan ciri-ciri politik perkauman yang telah menghantui negara ini selama setengah abad kita melaksanakan proses pembinaan bangsa (nation building).

Namun tidak ada jalur pemikiran baru – yang lebih mantap dan lebih jitu kerangka wacananya – yang terjelma dari wacana yang dicetuskan oleh penerbitan buku ini. Permainan kata-kata lama dalam bentuk menyalahkan dan menuduh kaum itu atau kaum ini tampaknya masih mendominasi suasana pemikiran politik kita.

Di kalangan ahli akademik kita pula tampaknya lebih banyak perhatian diberikan kepada sumber dokumen daripada kerangka pemikiran yang melatarbelakangi analisis sosial dan politik tentang Peristiwa 13 Mei yang getir itu.

Dilihat dari sudut ini, pada hemat saya penulis buku ini sejak semula lagi tidak kurang bersalahnya.

Baik dalam buku ini maupun dalam bahan-bahan promosi yang disiarkan oleh sebelum pelancaran buku itu pada 13 Mei lalu, pengarangnya pada hemat saya telah membuat dakwaan yang terlalu tinggi berdasarkan ciri bahan yang telah dimanfaatkannya – yakni “declassified documents” yang terdapat di Public Records Office di London.

Oleh yang demikian, dari satu segi saya dapat bersetuju dengan pandangan profesor emeritus dari Universiti Malaya yang mengatakan bahawa fail polis (khusus cawangan khasnya) yang terdapat di negara ini akan lebih berguna daripada dokumen-dokumen di London itu.

Hanya saya ingin mengingatkan profesor emeritus itu bahawa bezanya ialah: bahan yang ada di sini itu tidak akan pernah di”declassify”kan – demi melindungi versi rasmi penceritaan tentang Peristiwa 13 Mei itu yang telah dikeluarkan kerajaan sendiri.

Oleh kerana itulah, bagi saya yang penting bukanlah dari mana datangnya bahan itu, atau malah apakah cerita-cerita terperinci yang didedahkan bahan-bahan dan dokumen-dokumen itu tentang peristiwa tersebut, tetapi usaha melahirkan dan membentuk suatu analisis mantap tentang peristiwa itu sebagai suatu penjelamaan cuma daripada ciri yang lebih umum dan berterusan tentang hakikat politik perkauman yang mencirikan masyarakat kita.

Inilah, pada hemat saya, yang belum tergapai oleh pemikiran para akademik dan para cendekiawan kita.

Apa yang lebih menyedihkan, malah sebenarnya amat melucukan, ialah pandangan seorang profesor dari Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) yang meragukan “nilai” akademik buku Dr Kua ini atas alasan bahawa manuskrip asal buku itu tidak diluluskan oleh dua orang pemeriksa sekurang-kurangnya – dan tidak pula diterbitkan oleh sebuah badan/syarikat penerbitan yang mempunyai reputasi (atau apakah maksudnya lesen?) sebagai penerbit akademik.

Alangkah menyedihkan tahap pemikiran seorang “profesor pentadbiran” yang seperti itu – yang tidak dapat membezakan antara nilai cendekia, nilai akademik, dan proses pentadbiran penerbitan sebuah karya akademik.

Apakah nilai akademik, kita mungkin boleh bertanya pada si profesor itu, sebuah buku teks universiti yang diluluskan oleh jemaah menteri berdasarkan laporan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi yang tidak pernah memperlihatkan kefahaman yang mendalam tentang institusi pengajian tinggi itu sendiri?

The so-called 'new' revelations about that one day in May 1969

Many comments have been posted on the so-called new 'revelations' sourced from Britain by Dr Kua Kia Soong in the publication of his book, "May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969”.

Many of the comments merit deeper analysis and thoughts while some are so shallow and blinkered -- perhaps, posted based on immature observations and reactions by those who were too young when the events on that fateful day unfolded.

While saying that the book should not be banned as it will only push it underground on the internet, etc., I seriously believe that one way to dispel the allegations by the author based on some "de-classified" documents and British intelligence sources, is to come out with the Malaysian side to the story.

I believe many apolitical Malaysians not driven by raw and unbridled communal sentiments who lived through those turbulent times do not want it to be remembered anymore. It is not about blame. It is about lessons learned. For the level-headed they will consider the unsung heroes who went out of their way to shelter non-Malays at the height of the riots and vice versa, as well as the un-tiring work of all communities to patch the torn fabric of multi-racial Malaysia in the aftermath of the incident.

If we want to dig out such black marks in the past, maybe we should look further than that...we may want to look at the turbulent times during the opening up of Selangor's tin fields hundreds of years ago, among other things.

With reference to this perhaps someone would want to do some research on the incident that caused the alleged decimation of the Malay population of Selangor. This was mentioned by Tun Haniff Omar in his observations published in The Star as well as his web log: .

Excerpt: "...Sir Frank Swettenham wrote that in that struggle to control the tin fields, Selangor’s Malay population was decimated and years later, when they were building Kuala Lumpur’s first rows of shops, they were unearthing numerous skeletons of victims of that war...."

Exco: Patut guna blog utk tangkis ajaran sesat

Saya tertarik dengan cadangan Exco Agama, Belia & Mesra Rakyat Selangor di Berita Harian pada 20 Mei supaya blog diguna bagi mematahkan pemesongan akidah umat Islam.

Dalam memberi komen kepada gesaannya itu saya rasa memang baik juga ia dilakukan walaupun dikira agak suntuk. Ini kerana cara memesongkan akidah dalam internet telah lama berlaku. Hairan juga kenapa baru sekarang di sedari pihak atasan?

Bagi mereka yang sering berinteraksi dengan laman -laman web, blog dan lain-lain jentera interaksi sosial yang terwujud dalam dalam internet, ia telah lama menjadi persoalan dan isu. Saya di antara ratusan yang terasa begitu. Saya mempersoalkan kenapa pihak berkuasa mengambil ringan terhadap perkara-perkara seperti ini hingga sampai peringkat di mana agak payah untuk ia dibendung.

Di tahap ini yang lebih serius bukan blog atau laman web yang cuba memesongkan akidah umat Islam saja, tetapi komen-komen terhadap 'posting' di laman-laman blog yang secara terang menghina Islam dan junjungan kita Nabi Muhammad SAW hampir setiap hari.

Jika isu mempermainkan Nabi Muhammad SAW dalam bentuk karikatur dan katun di Eropah disambut dengan rusuhan dan tunjuk perasaan di hampir kesemua negara Islam, saya rasa apa yang berlaku di blog-blog membahaskan isu-isu Malaysia yang dikendalikan oleh rakyat Malaysia perlu diberi perhatian serius oleh pihak berkuasa.

Apabila dipersoalkan, rata-rata para 'aktivis' Internet cuba mempertahankan tindakan segelintir anasir subversive di blog ini dengan mengatakan ia adalah sebahagian daripada dimensi kebebasan ekspresi yang perlu dilindungi.

Saya bersetuju dengan konsep kebebsasan Estet Ke 4 (akhbar) dan ekspresi individu dalam konteks ini. Bagaimanapun, jika ia jelas menikam sensitiviti berhubung agama Islam, maka ianya menjadi satu transgresi perundangan. Ia tindakan jenayah yang perlu diambil tindakan segera.

Of Rocky, A. Kadir Jasin, NST and Anger

I can't help but to think what Rocky's (Ahiruddin Atan) stand would be if he is still with the NST Group. The same goes to A. Kadir Jasin (The Scribe) and Nuraina Samad (3540 Jalan Sudin).

From what I see they have quite a lot of misgivings with the "new" people at the helm of the NST Group. Their lashings at these people seem to be supported with gleeful gloatings by the downliners who were either axed or "honourably" relinquished of their positions.

Wonder what they would be doing right now if they are still the news gatekeepers there, what with the continuous reports of inefficiencies and shenanigans in the Governmnent of late.

The tolerance of Malays

I grew up in a Malay village where in between the rumah kayu there were Chinese houses. Those Chinese were already there when I came into this world. Over the years I have gotten used to them. Their world was my world, too. We celebrated our religious days side-by-side. We visited each other regularly. We cared for their young whenever they were too harrassed to cope and they did likewise, looking over our children. We grieved over their losses and they, ours.

They are old now. Their children have drifted to the bigger cities only to return during cheng beng and Chinese New Year. They have not changed and neither have we. The fast-changing pace of life beyond the village borders was worlds apart as far as we were concerned. We just did not merely tolerate them. We ACCEPTED them as much as they accepted us, Malays.

Now, in the 21st century they say much water have flowed under the bridge. I see things have changed some what. Our children return on special occassions as much as theirs. Their brief sojourn in the village during the balik kampung time have impacted our peaceful existence that have continued for so long.

Now I see certain restrains whenever I catch up with my Chinese neighbours. I wondered why there are changes, reservations even a hints of enmity at times. I have, on several occassions overhead some attempts at "re-indoctrination" by their children late in the nights. Yes, over the years, being cared for by them and mixing with them had imparted certain degree of familiarity with their language. I understood almost whatever they say in their language.

Their children have begun to question many things; among which are the entrenched constitutional provisions relating to Malay rights, privileges, etc. Such things, which their parents have accepted with open hearts are just not acceptable anymore although the reality still dictates the need.

This is the backdrop against which we see today the birth of arrogance, bigotry and racist overtones .

Today, I have on many occassions chanced to stumble upon cases of non-Malay employers hiring maids of the Malay stock, albeit of a different nationality. Being born and bred of very humble beginnings where at one time decades ago, the colour of our skin or the choice of our religious convictions were not obstacles to our living in peace and harmony, I view such flagrant disregard of human rights very seriously.

Although there are some employers who respect the rights of their maids, there are others who could not care less. They treat their maids only slightly above the station accorded to animals and sometimes even below that. Their Muslim maids are not allowed to perform their prayers , observe fast during ramadan, forced to handle pork, among other things. No, I'm not being extreme as I openly share the moderate views forwarded by the good mufti of Perlis recently.

These maids, being naive and frighten cant say much as they really need to survive and landing a job in Malaysia, no matter how humble it may be, is a godsend.

Many of us are aware of such going-ons but prefer to keep silent although we feel dismayed over such disregard for human rights.

If the Malay-led government can accept/tolerate Malaysians who are non-Muslims by allowing them their right to practice their religious convictions freely, why are some non-Muslims doing such unkind and inconsiderate things to their Muslim maids? They may not be Malaysians but they are Muslims no less and humans, too. Please allow them their privilges accordingly.

To me, these are among the things that can fuel anger, retaliations, arrogance and bigotry among Malaysians of various ethnicity. It will be like a vicious circle. The Malays will be even more defensive and the non-Malays will up their ante even more. So, wither solution?

When diplomat speaks like politician

By: A Kadir Jasin

I lOVE this man. He’s a hardworking diplomat. He can read human’s heart. He speaks highly of the country where he is based. And he sounds like a politician.

Though most of his statements are made in the Malaysian territory – Johor Baharu to be exact -- he was always full of praises for Singapore, the country where he’s based.

In his latest – quoted by Bernama – he described as baseless allegations that the formation of a joint Malaysia-Singapore (Ministerial) Committee to oversee the cooperation in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) would affect Malaysia's sovereignty.

I am talking about Malaysia’s envoy to Singapore Datuk N. Parameswaran. I know he’s a nice man. He’s even honest about what he’s saying and earnest about wanting to make IDR a success. I thank him for all that.

But he’s a career diplomat. He’s not a politician-turned-diplomat. As such his statements sound too political to my liking.

Or is he sounding like one because our politicians, especially those representing Umno, are not saying enough to comfort us that we are not selling out to Singapore?

Parameswaran said Singapore was not interested in meddling with Malaysia's internal affairs, more so dictating on how to manage the IDR, adding that the committee would only cooperate on technical matters.

"Singapore hasn't expressed any intention to give ideas on the IDR. But we're ready to share our expertise, for example, in river clean-up with Malaysia," he said. [This a direct quote from Bernama.]

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the formation of the committee after holding an informal meeting with his Singaporean counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, in Langkawi on Tuesday.

"If there're those who have that kind of thinking, it means that they don't know the truth. There's no reason why the committee should get involved in Malaysia's affairs. And they (the committee) don't intend to do that," Parameswaran told reporters after accompanying members of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce on a visit to the IDR.

In all fairness and openness, I must admit that I am one of those Malaysians who “don’t know the truth” and I harbour some measure of suspicion that Singapore is indeed meddling in Malaysia’s affairs.

I am saying this not because I hate Singapore. As I have said many times before, I even enjoyed my occasional visits to the island. I am saying this now because I believe in what our government has been telling us.

Dear Mr High Commissioner, did our government, our Prime Minister and our Cabinet not tell us that we could not proceed with the construction of the crooked bridge in our territory because Singapore objected to it?

If that’s not meddling, than what is it? Don’t tell me that it’s about the water mains, about the telephone cables and the way leave agreement?

If we can open our hearts and our territories to Singapore to site its reservoirs, to buy our raw water dirt cheap and now we are offering them a piece of prime real estate, why can’t they be more magnanimous towards us?

That, Mr High Commissioner, is because we a suckers for kind words, for friendly back patting and for praises. Singapore, from the diplomatic standpoint, is good at all that.

I have met and chatted with Singapore leaders. I even interviewed some of them including the Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, exclusively for the NSTP Group when he was Prime Minister. Yes, Mr Lee can be extremely charming if he wants to.

When my successor, Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad aka Kok Lanas, and his team of editors interviewed LKY 10 years later, Lee’s first statement was to recall the interview he had with me. That’s his way of dancing into your heart or putting you down.

So Mr High Commissioner, it would be wise, when dealing with Singapore, to temper our enthusiasm and our sense of trust a tiny weenie bit.

How sure can you be that Singapore will not use this open invitation to open another front to “impose” its will on the friendly, unsuspected Malaysians?

Anybody who is remotely familiar with the modern history of Singapore -- one that is lorded over by LKY as its supreme leader -- knows that Singapore survives and thrives by opening and closing fronts.

Mr High Commissioner, I don’t blame you for speaking favourably of Singapore. You’re based there and, as a diplomat, you don’t say nasty things about your host country.

Anyway, if I, in any way, offend you or misread you, feel free to respond. I still practice the right of reply. My plea to you, don’t use your vast influence to add to the chorus calling for the punishment and banishment of troublesome bloggers like me.

We are living in Malaysia where, despite our many races, religions, economic classes and myriad of problems, are much freer than in Singapore.

Just a thought Mr High Commissioner, we have 30 ministers. If they can’t help the PM to develop IDR, do you sincerely believe that one Singapore minister can?

Unless, of course, the Singapore minister is so good and so sincere that he could single-handedly bring droves of Singapore investors to buy up this prime corner of the old empire of Johor.

Unfortunately Mr High Commissioner, you didn’t sound so convincing when asked about the jambatan bengkok. You said: “Let both prime ministers talk to each other. And when they're more confident, they can discuss the difficult issues."

There we go again. No big “yes” from Singapore, no crooked bridge on our side of the land. And you say Singapore is not meddling?

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, speaking to the Press in Kuala Lumpur, said that there were no specific negotiations on outstanding bilateral issues at the Langkawi meeting.

I rest my case. Jakarta is waking up. And I have to make sense of blogging to a group of traditional media marketing people who are assembled here under the banner of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) Malaysia.

Reproduced from