PUSAT KHIDMAT ADN BANTING
NO. 81, TINGKAT 1, JALAN TELUK BUNUT, TAMAN DELIMA, 42700 BANTING.
TEL: +6-012-6834724, +6-012-6924724,
Service centre hour: 9am to 5pm (Monday to Friday)
Monday, April 30, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Ijok by-election - A dramatic night at Batang Berjuntai
Police intervened at about 8:45pm - Reasons? No police permit! You can see LKS was speaking to him: "In my 40 years of participation in small and big election, there's no need to apply police permit. What permit you are talking about?"
After temporarily "dispersing" the police, LKS continued his short ceramah to explain what happened moments ago.
Po Kuan went on smoothly with her speech. Time: 9:15pm.
Police was gathering force. Heard that FRU had been called.
Looks like the person in charge was also coming.
Interuption started when LKS was half-way delivering his speech - Photos taken when police officers tried to ambush and surround him. No Fear!
FRU arrived. Altogether there were three trucks of FRUs. One folk told me :"Ini wayang saya 40 tahun talak nampak. Tangkap pencuri talak manyak polis. Ini ceramah apasal manyak polis?"
Nobody is leaving! They were not frightened at all!
In order not to be lamented as campaigning violently, Azmin told public to disperce and move to other ceramahs.
Khairy's mat rempit style campaigning style in Ijok?
Are Pemuda UMNO immune from laws? They do not need to wear helmet when they are on their wheels? Who gives them this right? Has the traffic police slapped them with traffic summons?
Their way of campaigning also remind me of Mat Rempit, the notorious name for illegal bike racers. Are they promoting such unhealtly culture among the constituents?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
BN politics of fear, money and violent will repeat in Ijok
Tens of millions of ringgit in development projects were promised and spent in Machap and Ijok is no exception. RM 36 million of development projects were promised by Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Khir Toyo a few days ago.
With 12,272 voters, this vote-buying would come up to nearly RM 3,000 per person. There could be more money in the pipeline as Federal projects have yet to be announced by Works Minister Datuk S. Samy Vellu. Voters are reminded that such generosity from BN is only available during elections.
In Machap BN was caught giving RM 100-200 to voters on polling day for voting BN. If BN can not succeed in buying off voters, then they will resort to other dirty tactics of deception, fear or violence. All these are a complete repeat of what happened during the Machap by-election.
During nomination day for Machap on 3 April, BN leaders and members led by MIC Youth President and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth & Sports, was involved in bloody incidents where two DAP members were assaulted viciously, a Tamil Nanban reporter was threatened and a Makal Osai photograhper was manhandled. To-date no action has been taken by police against the BN leaders responsible and there appears to be a cover-up.
DAP Selangor condemns such violence and the Election Commission for condoning such violence and vote-buying by BN in refusing to take any action under the 1954 Election Offences Act against such wrong-doings.
Voters from other places from Selangor must also join force by demanding the government to be accountable first before they go to fish votes from the people with various election goodies. These issues are:
1. Hindu temples – when Hindu temples in the state are demolished at an alarming rate, that is averagely one temple in three weeks nationwide and averagely one temple in four week in Selangor, there is no public clarification on all allegation of marginalization against minority thrown upon the State Government
2. SJKC Damansara – When is the school to be re-opened when the school has been closed by more than 2000 days?
3. Highway concessionaire agreements – motorists in Selangor are burdened with high petrol price and increasing toll rate. While the government has agreed to declassify all highway concessionaire agreements, why is there still no action to date?
Khir Toyo has been denying claims that the RM 36 million development funds are not election goodies. If that is the case, can Mentri Besar do the same in every state constituency right from today – that he announces the same amount of allocation in each and every state constituency in Selangor, including his own constituency, Sungai Panjang.
If Khir Toyo is sincere to his word, can he order all local councils in Selangor to work 24-7, 24-hour-a-day-7day-a-week, to patch up all the potholes in Selangor or at least in Petaling Jaya? Most of the roads in Petaling Jaya are in deplorable conditions since the last general election, what is urgently required is to get the authority to work as effectively as those in Machap and Ijok.
DAP PJ Dinner on 27th May
The DAP PJ Action Team (PJAT) will be holding a fund-raising dinner at Restaurant Hoong Kee, Sungai Way New Village, Petaling Jaya, Selangor on 27th May 2007, 7pm.
This will be the first time we have our dinner in Sungai Way as previous dinner are mainly held in other places in Petaling Jaya. The theme of the dinner this time is “Malaysian First – Let’s Make PJ A Better Place”.
The purpose of this dinner is to provide a platform for the people in Sungai Way to interact with our leaders. Various issues have plagued the nation in general and PJ in particular for the past three years since Abdullah took over the premiership. Besides increasing cost of livings in PJ, the city is also seriously plagued with security problems and poor governance of local council. PJ folks in particular are playing a vital role in ending the rots.
DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, DAPSY Chairman YB Nga Kor Ming, Parliamentary Opposition Leader YB Lim Kit Siang and others are the invited spekaers to the dinner and members of the public are encouraged to call Lau Weng San at 016-3231563 and Thomas Goh, 016-2393635 to enquire on the details of the dinner.
PJAT Community Centre Open!
The community centre of DAP PJ Action Team (PJAT) will open every Wednesday night from 8:30pm to 11pm to receive public complaints. We also provide new voters registration service at our centre, as well as voters registration status in our centre.
The telephone number of the centre is 03-78738017 and 03-79574724. The public is also welcome to contact Lau Weng San at 016-3231563.
Our centre is located at No. 77, Jalan 20/9, Taman Paramount, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. We welcome members of the public to visit our community centre every Wednesday.
Machap Baru villagers thanked DAP!
What an irony when villagers thanked DAP and not BN when it was BN who won the by-election!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Family broken up by JAIS again
- Seven officers from Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) came to raid Marimuthu a/l Periasamy’s house in Kampung Baru Tambahan Hulu Yam Lama Selangor on 2nd April 2007 in the morning and told him that his wife, Raimah Bibi a/p Noordin is a converted Muslim and she has to be sent to rehabitation centre together with their six children (Yogneswary, 12 years old daughter; Paramila, 11 years old daughter; Hariharen, 8 years old son; Shamala, 5 years old daughter; Ravindran, 5 years old son; Kuberan, 4 years old son). Raimah Bibi and Marimuthu have another eldest son name Myuvaneswaran, 14 years old.
- Mr Marimuthu, a rubber-tapper, was also threatened by one of the Ustaz from JAIS to convert to Islam, else he will be charged as having khalwat with Raimah. He could not do anything but to let JAIS officers to take his wife and children away.
- Raimah Bibi then returned to his house on 5th April to help him on his rubber-tapping work. She also told him on what happened to her and the children. He was told that JAIS has rented a house in Muslim Malay populated area in Kampung Melayu Liga Emas so that the neighbours can keep an eye on her daily activities and prevent her from meeting with any outsiders, with particular her Hindu husband.
- On 7th April, Mr Marimuthu went straight to her house in Kampung Melayu Liga Emas and tried to talk to her. Raimah Bibi was very afraid and refused to came out and talked to him. Mr Marimuthu could not do anything but to leave.
- On 13th April, without Mr Marimuthu’s knowledge, Raimah Bibi brought all her children back to his house and they had a reunion dinner before she and her six children left him again.
- Raimah Bibi is an Indian who is a practicing Hindu. She was once adopted by a Indian-Muslim family when she was small. Her IC had never indicated that she was a Muslim until when she applied for her MyKad and that her name was changed to Rahimah Bibi bt Noordin and she is indentified as a Muslim. Both Marimuthu and Raimah did not apply for correction with the National Registration Department (NRD).
- Birth certificates of all Marimuthu’s children also indicate that Raimah is an Hindu Indian.
- It was suspected that the authority comes to know about Raimah’s Muslim identity in her Mykad (which is a mistake) when Raimah and Marimuthu enrolled their children to study in Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar Baru Batang Kali when copies of parents’ identity cards were submitted to the education department.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
What a shame!
By WONG CHUN WAI
Again and again, we hear of shoddy workmanship of public buildings using public funds. Are threats to blacklist errant contractors seriously carried out?
IT’S a fiasco. The seven-storey RM200mil Immigration Department is barely two years old but a pipe burst last week forced daily operations to be suspended.
Poor design, shoddy workmanship and bad supervision and maintenance have been cited as the causes. But what was more shocking to taxpayers was the statement by Putrajaya Public Works Department director Abdul Rahim Ahmad that “this was a problem waiting to happen”. In short, it was a problem that needed fixing and everyone was waiting for an incident to take place.
Abdul Rahim went on to say that he had seen similar shoddy workmanship at several other buildings in Putrajaya.
Strong words indeed. Malaysians would certainly like to know the names of the contractors who had carried out such lousy jobs. They have plenty of explaining to do and Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad has correctly asked PWD officers to explain as public funds were used. But we all know that this is not the first time and we can be sure that it won’t be the last.
Just two years ago, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn revealed to the press that he was shocked to find six of the seven computer laboratories in schools in his constituency still unusable, two years after they were built.
Again, it was due to extensive shoddy workmanship of the buildings, which included instances whereby repairs were going on after more than six months.
In one case, the computer laboratory of the school was found to be useless after it was discovered that the contractor had failed to notice that it was built on top of a main water pipe, it was reported. This led to the floor of the building reportedly being soaked in water.
Some of us remember when then Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad revealed that about 1,200 computer laboratories nationwide were deemed unsafe due to shoddy workmanship by the private contractors involved in the project.
The question is: Why do these problems keep cropping up and who are these bad contractors? Were they engaged for these government projects because of their competency or because of their political links?
These are justifiable questions and certainly taxpayers do not want to see their money wasted.
We have grown familiar with warnings from politicians threatening to blacklist errant contractors but we wonder if they are really carried out or were these remarks made just to appease angry voters.
In 2004, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi directed the PWD to take over 16 schools and five community colleges nationwide, which had serious structural defects. Some did not even have amenities like access roads, it was reported.
Last year, it was reported that a RM48mil school in Sabah was under serious threat from landslides, endangering the building’s structure. In cases like this, we wonder who the consultant engineers were and whether the authorities had given approvals for these institutions to operate when there are structural faults. It’s not just lousy workmanship but equally bad inspection by the authorities concerned, who did not take into account the safety of the people.
Repair works do not come cheap these days. Last year, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu queried why RM100,000 had to be spent on repair work and termite treatment in seven classrooms.
It’s a shame that we continuously read of such problems as they would only give the impression that we tolerate such abuses of public funds.
Should DAP contest in Ijok?
DAP contested the seats in 1999. Our candidate Krishan Veeriah lost to Sivalingam by 3,166 votes. Ijok was then a 16,847 voters state seat in Selangor.
In 2004, DAP gave it to PKR and PKR's Abdul Rahman Moharam lost to Sivalingam with a majority of 1,649 votes. Another independent candidate Mohamed Sharif Nagoorkani garnered 313 votes. Sivalingam technically won the seat with a majority of only 1,336 votes.
The DAP has three branches in Ijok, but going by tradition that the DAP will participate in any by-election where by the party had participated in the previous by-election, then DAP is not suppose to contest but to give way to PKR. This is the same logic applied in Machap by-election. It will reflect very bad on the party if it were to violate this logic.
However, I believe that for all opposition parties, Ijok by-election is not only a by-election for PKR but a by-election for all opposition parties.
Being a semi-urban-semi-rural constituency, Ijok has a different political impact as compared to Machap.
While Machap is considered as a BN stronghold in Malacca, Ijok does not hold the same water. As Malays in Selangor are less insulated from urban higher living cost and are more politically enlightened, it will be quite interesting to see how they will cast their vote this time, when the 12th general election is around the doorstep.
More so when it is a place close to PKR Selangor Chairman, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's hometown, Kuala Selangor (Ijok is one of the state seats under Kuala Selangor Parliamentary Seat). There are already some internal discontentment between UMNO MP for Kuala Selangor Tarihep Daud and UMNO Jeram Assemblyman Amirudin Setro.
The moment when I knew Sivalingam passed away in Chennai, the most immediate thing that comes to my mind is Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
The real test for BN has come, and it's Ijok, in Selangor!
Protest by Bdr Bkt Puchong residents - removed UMNO's cabins now
I had earlier blogged on this issue on 15th March 2007 when free local daily, The Sun reported this issue.
It was later discovered that UMNO ADUN for Sri Serdang, Satem Diman, a councillor of MPSJ was one of the black hand behind the scene.
7 Feb Free lesson on free land
8 Feb A different law for politicians
27 Feb Bandar Bukit Puchong Umno defies MPSJ
02 Mar Let the rule of law prevail 15 Mar About-turn slammed Residents ask MPSJ to rethink legalising illegal cabins
16 Mar Silently condoning a wrong 19 Mar Restore faith in local government 21 Mar 'No TOL' decision made 15 years ago
Friday, April 13, 2007
Opposition struggling to make headway in Chinese-majority district in Malacca
The by-election in the Chinese- majority district of Machap has been touted as a gauge of the community's voting sentiment, but the opposition seems to have been struggling to make headway, said observers.
'The opposition parties are at their wits' end struggling to raise local issues, but there is none for them to capitalise on,' Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who is spearheading the BN campaign, said on Sunday.
'I am confident Barisan will achieve its target of retaining the seat with a higher majority.'
The Machap state seat, with 9,623 voters, fell vacant when Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) assemblyman Poh Ah Tiam, 55, died recently of kidney failure.
Datuk Poh won the seat in 2004 with a strong 63.9 per cent majority, beating opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) candidate Liou Chen Kuang.
The voters will decide tomorrow, after a nine-day campaign, whether to pick the MCA's Lai Meng Chong or Mr Liou, who is standing again.
The MCA is the largest Chinese political party and is a member of the ruling BN, a coalition of 14 parties led by Umno.
The by-election comes at a time when the Chinese community is said to be unhappy with the slower economy and amid running controversies over race and religion.
About 45.6 per cent of Machap's 9,623 voters are Chinese, with 38.3 per cent Malays, 15.3 per cent Indians and 0.7 per cent other races.
But small-town elections are often decided by bread-and-butter issues, not national ones.
Machap, although just 30km from Malacca town, is a rural constituency. Most of its residents are farmers or owners of small businesses.
'DAP is not going to win, that is for sure. So the important thing is how many votes it can get,' independent political analyst James Wong told the malaysiakini online news site. 'It will serve to indicate the trend leading up to the general election.'
BN leaders have been going around speaking about continued development for the district and the country.
To raise Chinese voters' interest, the DAP has been showing a video clip of comments made by an Umno MP several months ago that those who do not like living in Malaysia should leave - an indirect reference to the Chinese community.
The DAP has also been distributing pamphlets on speeches made at the last Umno general assembly which it claimed smacked of racialism.
'The response to our political talk and house-to-house campaign has been positive. Although it is difficult to know whether it will translate into votes, the response is better than that of the 2004 general election,' said DAP Youth election strategist Liew Chin Tong.
Responding, Datuk Seri Najib said yesterday that speeches by 'one or two individuals' do not reflect the BN's stand and cannot be used as a yardstick.
In a speech yesterday, Datuk Seri Najib said: 'We cannot be emotional. We must use cool heads to better ensure our future.'
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Govt project shelved coz of fengshui
Read the story by Z. Ibrahim:
MB ill-advised to scrap project
I read with interest Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo's decision to stop the construction by an international conglomerate of a RM400 million hospital in Teluk Gadong, Klang.
Apparently Khir was "advised" to do so by his political comrade-in-arms and Klang Municipal Council (MPK) councillor Datuk Teh Kim Poo on the scientifically questionable grounds that "it would be bad feng shui for his neighbourhood, himself included, and that they feel the value of their homes will drop".
Because of this superstition and without a proper debate by MPK itself, yet again Teh appears to have single-handedly shooed away a significant foreign investment which would have given many in the Klang area work in the proposed 14-storey hospital.
The cowboyish antics of Klang councillors never seem to amaze the public.
Despite his belief in supernatural forces, Teh had no such coyness when he bulldozed his way into building a Perpaduan (unity) building with open-air pit toilets on a children's playground in Southern Park, Klang, three years ago despite all the protests by residents whose homes face the project.
Indeed, even before a proper plan was drawn up, Teh accelerated the construction of the building. There was no mentri besar or Teh or MPK to listen to the residents' grouses and eventually the courts came to the rescue of the residents.
The decrepit building with its overgrown shrubs and open-air pit toilets right in front of residents' homes on a pristine green playground has been left abandoned, and is a danger to children playing in the vicinity and a dengue hazard. It should have been demolished swiftly in the interests of public safety but this was not done.
Teh appears to show no remorse save to hide behind the phrase sudah jadi kes mahkamah ("the case is before the courts"). His dreams of conducting cooking and aerobic lessons at his personalised Perpaduan building at the children's playground appear to have diminished.
A RM400 million investment is something this town would definitely benefit from and the MB must seriously review his decision as this may negate efforts by our Ministry of International Trade and Industry in getting investments to come to Malaysia.
The MB should perhaps also review his association with self-centred politicians. The other MPK councillors must debate this decision and bring development to the people of Klang. And this they must do soon lest they are yet again caught in publicity nightmares not unlike the infamous Zakaria Deros affair.
No service, just rude delivery
Yesterday, at 9.30am, I tried to call the Immigration Department at Putrajaya at the number 8880 1000. I dialled the number 10 times and on each try the phone rang for 30 times without anybody answering. I gave up.
At noon, I tried again for five times before someone answered. I could not get to the person I wanted. I called another number which I got after seven tries. I politely asked the operator if she knew whether the person I wanted was on leave or working ...The rudest reply I got was ... "Encik ingat operator boleh nampak ke kalau dia cuti atau tidak?"("What, you think we operators can see if the person is on leave or what?") and she just put the phone down. What have I done to deserve this?
Where is the delivery system the government is proudly talking about? If the operator does not like the job, she should quit and look for another job and not spoil the image of the government service. There are many other people who can take over her place. They forgot that we are paying their salaries. When can they ever learn or realise this?
I finally decided to drive from PJ to Putrajaya as I think it would be faster and less stressful.
Land clearing brings gloom to flood-prone TTDI Jaya
The trust they had in the developers and all those promises that the land had been adequately raised to sustain a 100-year rain forecast obviously in retrospect was nothing more then a “con” to entice innocent house buyers to part with their hard-earned money to buy these homes. Worse affected were the shop-owners who today have to face floods almost on a monthly basis. How is this possible?
Despite all the technical explanations by the developers, DID, MBSA and the Menteri Besar himself it appears plain to anyone with common sense that the area indeed is topographically the lowest point in the entire locality and water undoubtedly whether from the area itself or drainage upstream from KL would indeed overflow and stagnate at this Taman.
After the horrific floods of last year, the State government came up with an interim plan to raise the river bunds to prevent overflowing but the floods keep coming with even greater speed.
You see, despite knowing that this place is already flood prone, the area between TTDI Jaya, Bukit Jelutong and the TUDM air force base has been stripped bare to make way for industrial development.
The entire area does not possess proper drains and even a kid will tell you the massive run off during heavy rain will of course pool at this housing estate located beneath – Taman TTDI Jaya.
But this common sense appears to have slipped through the minds of authorities who allowed this massive land clearing without a thought to parents, the infirm, children, businesses and schools who occupy this housing estate.
Is this just plain negligence, or even deliberate with a touch of sadism on the part of the MBSA? It is not possible that the MBSA who seem to know this area well would not know this simple detail.
But nothing in Malaysia surprises anyone anymore, for our institutions are clearly staffed with incompetent personnel with very much a third world mind-set.
The country as acknowledged widely is rudderless.
Whoever approved this massive land clearing for these industries without first safeguarding the lives of the people downstream must be irrational, unsound or quite possibly paid off.
Whoever it was, at most he/she would be transferred. But for the people who need to face these repeated calamities the nightmares continue.
How an elected government can ignore such incompetence to inflict such profound damage – repeatedly, to its very own people is unbelievable.
Adakah wengsan.blogspot perlu didaftarkan?
Dato’ Shaziman bin Abu Mansor: Terima kasih atas pandangan Yang Berhormat. Kita akan pertimbangkan pandangan Yang Berhormat mungkin satu hari nanti kita akan mendaftar segala bloggers yang ada di negara ini. Mekanisme pengawalan Astro dan stesen TV swasta yang lain...
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Full text of Raja Nazrin's keynote address at the Bar Council
KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY DULI YANG TERAMAT MULIA RAJA MUDA PERAK DARUL RIDZUAN RAJA NAZRIN SHAH IBNI SULTAN AZLAN MUHIBBUDDIN SHAH AT THE 'YOUNG MALAYSIANS' ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON NATIONAL UNITY AND DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES FOR NATION BUILDING
DATE: 3 APRIL 2007 TIME: 8:45AM VENUE: BAR COUNCIL, KUALA LUMPUR
Ladies and Gentlemen:
1. It is my pleasure to be here to deliver the keynote address at this Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia: Challenges and Prospects for Nation Building. I am always happy to take part in an event where there are many young informed Malaysians. I find that this is time well spent. Not only does it give me a chance to share my thoughts, but it also lets me do a bit of opinion research among the younger generation. We like to say that our youths are the future of this country, but then we proceed to ignore or marginalise them. We want our future generations to be able to think and act wisely, but then we do not give them sufficient opportunities to do so.
2. In my view, this is not a good way to prepare those who will take our place. If the young are to be good leaders and citizens, they must be exposed to more than just abstract concepts. Even those nation states which have failed miserably have had great political ideals. I believe that good and upright leadership must be demonstrated. It has to be both taught and observed at work. Then, those who are found to be able must be mentored by those who are capable. In this way, success can be learned and replicated. Finally, the young must be given responsibilities they can handle. They should be allowed to make mistakes along the way as part of their overall learning process. If we do these things, our actions will echo loudly into the future.
3. My address this morning is on the challenges and prospects of nation building, a topic that is of the greatest and gravest importance. Nation building is essential to national unity which lies at the heart of what this country was, is and will be. With the passage of time, it seems that we are starting to forget this and it is imperative that we do not. In the time available, I hope to say enough to provide some fuel for the discussions to follow. It is my earnest wish that you will gain some further perspectives on the nature of nation building and that you will also deliberate on specific actionable ways to further it in this country.
4. Confucius insisted that language must be properly used if things are to get done, if justice is not to go astray, and if people are not to "stand about in helpless confusion." He disapproved of those who misused words to hide their true intentions and actions. So what exactly is nation building? Not surprisingly, there are many definitions, some which differ by a little and others by quite a lot. In his book, The Making of a Nation, for example, Professor Cheah Boon Kheng defined it as "both economic progress and socio-political integration of a nation, i.e. prosperity and national unity." This captures what are hopefully the two end results of nation building, but it makes no mention of its nature and process. I prefer the more common understanding, which is that it is the use of state power across different dimensions to ensure that a country is politically stable and viable in the long term. These dimensions include ethnicity and religion.
5. As a brief footnote, it should be noted that nation building is a heated and even hated notion in some parts of the world. The main reasons for this are, first, that it is taking place in the midst of great domestic turmoil and, second, that it is primarily initiated and managed by foreign powers. Trying to cobble a functioning state by papering over deep social and political rifts is, of course, easier said than done. History has shown us time and again, that it is much easier to break down, rather than build up, nations.
6. In the case of Malaysia, nation building has occurred in generally peaceful circumstances. It was not imposed by another country. And it is undertaken mainly by collective choice rather than compulsion. The fact that we have been able to forge a nation without resorting to the rule of the gun has made us something of a rarity and a case to be studied, if not emulated. It has allowed a relatively effective system of governance to develop. Our track record at development and resolving problems such as illiteracy, poverty and poor health has been good.
7. There is, of course, much more that can be done. Our institutions of governance are far from perfect and quality improvements will probably occupy us for at least the next fifty years, if not longer. Nevertheless, for all the criticisms that have been made, it is only common sense that we could not have survived, let alone prosper, these last 50 years if government institutions had not been responsive or effective.
8. So what are the central challenges to nation building going forward? Let me speak first more generally about the world, and then move specifically to Malaysia. To my mind, there are many challenges, but the one that stands out most is that of having to balance the need for change with that of continuity. Globalisation, in particular, has unleashed sweeping economic, political, social and cultural transformations that have weakened national institutions, values and norms. It is as if all the boats on the ocean had suddenly lost their anchors, rudders and compasses overnight. Naturally, this has produced a strong reaction in the form of a desire to preserve identity, character and tradition. These are among the strongest motivations known to mankind and have been at the foreground or background of practically every conflict that has ever been waged. Add to this, a deep sense of deprivation, powerlessness and injustice, both real and imagined, and the tension between change and continuity mount greatly.
9. Managing change on a national level is never easy, and certainly not on the scale and speed that we are witnessing. Multi-ethnic countries have to be especially watchful, and particularly if they have a weak sense of national collective identity. In the absence of a strong binding nationalism, they are prone to polarisation and competition along ethno-religious lines. The state, which may well start out by being a relatively honest broker, can become increasingly pressured to act in ways that favour the interests of one group over another. If the pendulum swings too far in one direction, dissatisfaction and frustrations will inevitably result. These can be expressed in ways that range from passive non-cooperation to active opposition and even violent conflict. To a large extent, this has led to the fragmentation of states.
10. Countries need to recognise the larger macro forces at work and understand their implications. They have to engage creatively to ensure that there are sufficient investments in social capital and cohesion. They must create and capitalise on co-operative systems within societies. In recent times, it has become usual to try and place the blame for the disintegrating state of world affairs on the doorstep of religion. This is a misunderstanding of the first order. Religion is not the cause of societal dystrophy; it is the antidote. It is a social stabiliser that allows believers to reconnect to values that are fast being lost in today's ever more materialistic and self-centred world.
11. What does Malaysia have to do to ensure that it continues to be successful at nation building? Psychologists say that our short-term memory can only hold seven items. Let me outline seven guidelines that I think will have to be borne in mind in future national building efforts.
12. First, Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun. Only when each citizen believes that he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul. In Malaysia, the Federal Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulate the rights, hopes and aspirations of the population in a way that no other documents do. The integrity of these documents must be defended and promoted, especially the first.
13. Second, when we seek solutions to problems in nation building, we must be careful not to assume away problems. Nation building is required precisely because there are stark differences within society. If we all walked, talked and thought the same, it would probably not be needed. There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others. They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant. The existence of these groups, however, does not mean that nation building is a futile exercise. It does mean that we must be prepared to negotiate our way through and around these differences. We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them.
14. Third, nation building requires accommodation and compromise. In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical. We should not allow perfection to be the enemy of the good. Yes, we should seek the best solutions and expect the highest standards of performance. But we should also be prepared to sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole. The virtues of pure self-interest are largely a myth. What seems to be a reality is that individuals end up worse off when they act out of self-interest, as opposed to acting in their collective group interests.
15. Fourth, if nation building is to be successful, enforced solutions must be avoided. Nation building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. 'Might' cannot and must not be shown to be 'right'. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means.
16. Fifth, nation building occurs when society is open, tolerant and forward-looking. So important are these values that they are embedded in Vision 2020's nine strategic challenges, as are those of mature democracy, caring society and innovation. Only by being inclusive and participative can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against. They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally.
17. Sixth, nation building is a process rather than an outcome. When Malaysia started off 50 years ago, there were no examples to study. There were no manuals to follow. Mistakes were made and, to a greater or lesser extent, lessons have been learned. While a sense of impatience is perhaps fully understandable, nation building takes place over a period of time and only with persistence. Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no cooperative network, one has to be established. Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable.
18. Seventh, the political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad. I know that this statement is virtually self-evident, but it is a fact that many countries are as likely to punish good behaviour as to reward it. After all, if there are benefits for corruption, then there is a real cost to being honest. The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down. The price of racial and cultural intolerance must be made prohibitively high.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
19. I believe fostering national unity is the responsibility of every Malaysian. However, schools, institutions of higher learning and sports centers have a very special role to play. This is because the sense of national unity is best inculcated in the young. Through textbooks, sports and interaction, educators should eliminate ethnic stereo-types. Through the imaginative teaching of the history of Islamic, Chinese and Indian civilisation, educators could foster greater understanding among different ethnic groups.
20. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe this is true. To me the village comprises three main institutions - family, school and community. From birth we should be taught to respect and honour each other's culture and heritage. Learning to interact with others is part of this process. Playing with children of other races on the play ground and in friends' homes, we learn to go beyond the colour lines early in life. In school we should be taught about other cultures and beliefs under the same roof as others of different ethnic groups - once again cutting through the colour lines.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
21. I am aware that there are many Malaysians who are deeply troubled at the state of national unity in this country. What I have tried to do today is disabuse you of the notion that there are any 'quick fix' solutions in nation building. If you look closely enough at any country, even ones that are regarded today as highly successful such as Japan, you will find there have been episodes in its past where events were very tenuous. I hope we will do our best to guard against cynicism and hopelessness. And I hope we will all stay the course. Failure, may I remind you all, is a costly option.
22. I wish all speakers, facilitators and participants a constructive and fulfilling day ahead.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Kompleks IPD Baling terbengkalai
Nobody knows the reason why it was abandoned and when it will be completed.
You have the write-up as below from Utusan Malaysia:
Kompleks IPD Baling terbengkalai
Oleh OPAT RATTANACHOT
Seorang penduduk menunjukkan Kompleks Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Baling bernilai RM39.5 juta yang terbengkalai sejak dua tahun lalu di Baling, Kedah, semalam. – Gambar OTHMAN YAHAYA.
BALING 2 April – Kompleks Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Baling yang dianggarkan menelan belanja RM39.5 juta terbengkalai selepas gagal disiapkan mengikut jadual.
Utusan Malaysia difahamkan Kompleks IPD seluas 3.67 hektar yang terletak di Lot 3319 dan 4662, Charok Nau, Mukim Pulai itu terbengkalai walaupun hampir 95 peratus daripada projek itu telah disiapkan.
Keadaan tersebut menyebabkan sebahagian besar pegawai dan anggota polis di daerah berkenaan bertugas dalam keadaan ruang pejabat yang kurang selesa.
Pengarah Jabatan Logistik Bukit Aman, Datuk Zainal Tahir ketika dihubungi mengesahkan masalah yang menimpa kompleks tersebut.
Bagaimanapun, beliau enggan mengulas lanjut kerana katanya, masalah itu di luar bidang kuasanya.
Berdasarkan perancangan asal, projek yang mula dibina pada Mei 2003 itu sepatutnya disiapkan menjelang 4 Mei 2005.
Bagaimanapun, ia terpaksa dilanjutkan sebanyak dua kali dan sehingga kini masih belum menunjukkan tanda ia dapat disiapkan.
Projek yang terletak kira-kira dua kilometer dari pekan Baling itu dilengkapi blok bangunan pentadbiran, balai polis, stor barang-barang kes dan 177 unit kediaman untuk pegawai dan anggota.
Sementara itu, Ketua Polis Daerah Baling, Supritendan Mat Daud Mat Hassan ketika ditemui berkata, projek berkenaan kini diletakkan di bawah pengawasan Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (KKDN).
“Memang benar projek Kompleks IPD terbabit terbengkalai sejak dua tahun lalu dan saya sendiri pun tidak tahu bilakah ia akan dapat disiapkan.
“Keadaan ini menimbulkan kesulitan bukan saja kepada anggota polis tetapi juga orang ramai yang berurusan di IPD lama yang kini mempunyai ruang amat sempit,’’ katanya.