Wednesday 30 September 2009

Bagan Pinang

Yet another by-election, this time in Negeri Sembilan. The candidate for Barisan Nasional is none other than Tan Sri Isa Samad, the former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar and one-time UMNO strongman.

The opposition will no doubt harp on the fact that Tan Sri Isa was suspended from UMNO for three years for money politics. In fact, it is probably the only local issue they can harp on, in addition to the usual bunch of standard issues they bring up all the time.

Yes, he was found guity of money politics. Yes, he was suspended from UMNO. Yes, he is a 'tainted' candidate if one wishes to say so. Yet why him? Because the people of Bagan Pinang want him. They simply love him. No, it is not just me saying that, it is not even BN, this was the result of a survey done by PAS themselves! Why? Because he is a man who goes down to the ground, who mixes with the people, who genuinely helps the people.

According to one local voter who came to the candidacy announcement event, Tan Sri Isa is apparently good with names. He makes an extra effort to remember the names of people, some of whom he has only met once!

The opposition know they cannot beat this man. Not in Bagan Pinang. You can engineer a thousand by-elections in your strong areas, and claim that the 'tide is shifting' against BN, but we'll put a stop to your 'shifting tide' here. Once and for all.

The ONLY thing Pakatan Rakyat hopes to get from this election, is to publicize the fact that a 'tainted' candidate was fielded by UMNO. 'BN endorses corruption' they will say. Well, say what you want. That's about all PR seems to do. Talk. We've seen it in Kampung Buah Pala, and just about everywhere else. Just one thing, don't forget your supreme leader is an ex-convict, your Penang Chief Minister is an ex-convict, many of your MPs have spent time in prison and paid fines. So look at yourself first before talking about 'tainted' candidates.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Merdeka and True Patriotism

The nation celebrated its 52nd birthday yesterday. Many people sent Merdeka wishes to each other. Many more posted Merdeka greetings on blogs, Facebook etc. A select few, very few I might add, paraded flags on their cars, houses etc. To the majority of Malaysians, Merdeka simply meant a public holiday, a long weekend. In fact, if you had not tuned in to local tv stations, or read the mainstream newspapers, you might have just missed it entirely, and you are hardly to blame. The simple truth is many Malaysians simply do not have a patriotic sense of love and belonging to the nation.

Many of my friends ridiculed the Merdeka Day itself, saying it there is no true Merdeka until Indians are treated equally in this country. Several pointed to the cow head incident in Shah Alam, saying the incident overshadowed the entire meaning of Merdeka. I am just as disturbed by you over the incident, and cannot wait for justice to be done. Quite frankly, I do not blame you for thinking along those lines. I cannot say I do not agree with you either. It is a fact that the Indians in this country are treated like third class citizens. I do feel things are on the positive rise, but nevertheless, until we see concrete changes, I really cannot expect the majority to feel a sense of belonging overnight. The one thing that I can point out it, let us not mistake loyalty to the government, support for any political party, and love for the country. Let us not blame the country for our misgivings. The country never discriminated against anyone. People did. People in goverment, people who want to be in government, people.

Like it or not, we are Malaysians. We were born Malaysians, live our lives as Malaysians, and we will die Malaysians. Non-Malay Malaysians are mere tourists in India or China. We do not belong there, neither do they want us there. Many migrate to the US, Europe, Australia, but they will never cease to be Malaysians. They may have new passports, but in their hearts, there is always Malaysia.

Things are not rosy here in Malaysia. But things will change. We will change. First, we must BE that change. We must believe in the change. One cannot sit and whine and complain, but not do your part for a better Malaysia. My message for my fellow Malaysians, BE Malaysian. Do not think of yourself as Malay, Chinese of Indian. Think of yourself as Malaysian first. Others may continue to look at you through the racial lense. But if you yourself continue to look at yourself as Malay or Chinese or Indian, you lose the right to complain, in my opinion.

I have hope on the Prime Minister's 1Malaysia concept. It is a fundamentally good concept. The vision is there. It is the implementation that is needed. Many dismiss it as political slogan spinning. Well, wether it is 1Malaysia or Malaysian Malaysia, it is all a slogan until we see something happening on the ground. Nothing can happen if we don't embrace that concept and work towards it. Many sit and wait for the effects of 1Malaysia to come knocking on their doors. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If you want to see it happen, you have to play your part to MAKE it happen. The least we can give is hope. Salam 1Malaysia my dear Malaysians!