Thursday, June 30, 2011

Legacy of Honour

I would like to sincerely thank Zainah Anwar & Yayasan Mohamed Noah for taking the time to write such a wonderful book, Legacy of Honour. The book covers three men that had served this nation with honour and integrity. The three related men are Dato Jaafar, Dato Onn & Tun Hussein.

The book reveals many things about the three men that even I as a family member was not privy to. Zainah’s comprehensive work and attention to detail has made reading the book a breathtaking experience and definitely makes a reader feel he or she is re-living that era.

However, after reading the book, I feel a great desire to highlight matters pertaining to my late grandfather arwah Tun Hussein Onn who passed away 22 years ago. I think that there has been a great injustice done to the memory of Tun Hussein. I feel compelled to share the characteristics of the man that he was and his true Perjuangan or fight in bringing Malaysian politics on a dignified track.

Thanks or more appropriately no thanks, to certain quarters, Tun Hussein Onn was labeled a weak and slow leader. Many questioned his leadership style and capabilities to lead this country. His health was also in question as he had a heart condition.

On the 14th of January 1976, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister passed away. Tun Hussein could not have taken over the helm of the country and UMNO at a worst time. There was the corruption case of Dato Harun, the old UMNO Guards who felt marginalized by the party and the government, the NEP and also the communist insurgents.

For two years Tun Hussein battled these issues with great perseverance, bravery and integrity and going against the tide of the view from populist leaders around him then. After resolving these issues, he then welcomed 1978 with confidence and announced the general elections. He worked extremely hard travelling the country and meeting as many people during campaigns. The results were beyond expectations. BN won 82% of the parliamentary seats. UMNO recorded its best showing ever, winning 70 of the 75 seats contested.

Tun Hussein once said “I would rather be politically unpopular than fail in my duty. What is one’s political future compared to one’s responsibility? Its better they curse me now than urinate on my grave later”

I urge readers of this blog to read the book, Legacy of Honour to understand him in greater depth.

May these three great leaders of this Nation rest in peace. Alfatihah.

Monday, June 6, 2011


With the implementation of the Government Transformation Plan (GTP), Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) and Political Transformation Plan (PTP), Dato Seri Najib’s campaign to make Malaysia a developed nation by the year 2020 maybe a reality.

However, the critical question to ask is “are Malaysians ready to be a developed nation?”

Will the first class infrastructures and skyscrapers match the mentality of the citizens of Malaysia? The honest answer to this is obviously NO! Sadly majority of us in Malaysia still have a third world mentality.

In Dr Mahathir’s eagerness to build the magnificent Putrajaya structures, he must have forgotten to pay special attention to the people that would run and operate these buildings, the people that would administer the country.

Universities were built but there was minimal emphasis on the quality of lecturers that would teach the students. The 2 minute instant “Maggie” method was and is still being used to train and educate our children. Thus, resulting in tens of thousands of local graduates that are not marketable, graduates that cannot communicate effectively and graduates that lack confidence.

As a Malaysian, it pains me to see my fellow Malaysians not being able to compete on an equal level playing field despite going to Universities. I don’t blame the students, but I do blame the people that educate these students.

I fail to understand why specific actions are not taken to resolve and tackle these issues. We know what the problem is and yet we continue to sweep matters under the carpet. A Human Resource Transformation Plan (HRTP) is clearly needed help achieve the other transformation plans.

I sincerely hope Dato Najib’s administration will address this very pertinent issue that may make or break this Nation.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Love Letter

Dear Voice,

I thank you for your comments and views on the subject matter. However, personal issues and emotions should be left at the door to ensure a healthy discussion. This topic needs to be discussed and addressed objectively.

Firstly, it is worth noting that there are many different segments of society having differing points of views on the subject matter. From professionals in the urban city to the folks in the “kampung’s” all have a say about it. Even members of the same segment have differing opinions. For example, there is the so called “Malay ultra” group that feel that this country is theirs and everybody else is “sekadar menumpang”. Many young professionals feel that NEP has not helped enough Malays. There is also the corporate/business group that feel that NEP has made it more difficult to do business. Not to forget the group that wants the NEP to be put aside and allow equality to take place. There is also a group that feels that if you take away the NEP you must also take away vernacular schools.

As you can see, there are so many views and so many segments to manage and as Ahmad Ariff mentioned, what matters at the end of the day is convincing 51% of the voters to vote for your party and in my case BN. The government of the day cannot just look and favour one particular segment or group of a society; it needs to implement policies that are acceptable to the majority of the people.

You may have noticed that Gerakkan has showed positive signs of leaving BN. MCA leaders in a recent interview mentioned that leaving BN if UMNO does not change is an option. If UMNO and the Malays continue to be stubborn (which is an option) then it will spell the demise of BN. It is because of the arrogance and chauvinistic attitude portrayed by Malay leaders that caused BN lose badly in the recent March 08 elections. This mind set needs to change and we need to come out of our comfort zone. We need to take cognisance that we are not just leading one race but all races. If we continue with this attitude then BN will surely loose in the next election.

As I mentioned in my previous article, even with the NEP the Bumi’s only own 17% of the economic pie. Something must be seriously wrong with our policy. The NEP has been in existence for 30 years and we cannot even achieve the 30% target? What is the point of having a policy that does not achieve its objective?

I am not against the NEP but I do however think that there should be a specific mechanism and timeline to achieve the desired results. The NEP is not a god given right for the Malays. We did not have it before we achieved independence nor was it implemented immediately after independence. It was only implemented after the 1969 riots to correct the economic imbalance at that point in time. The NEP was subsequently replaced by the NDP in 1990. Even ex-prime minister Tun Mahathir once said that the NEP should be abolished at one point but the time is not now.

All I am saying is take a look at the policy again and find out what’s working and what’s not. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It is time to do things differently.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Merdeka!!! Continued….

Readers are advised to read the original Merdeka article below before reading this article.

It was a little bit disheartening at first when no one gave any comments to my Merdeka Article.
Was it old news? Boring? Or didn’t people care anymore? It is none of the above actually.

In light of the most recent, controversial and racist remark made by the now famous Mr. Ahmad, comments came in through emails, sms and even phone calls. I would like to acknowledge readers and those who shared their views on the subject matter. I guess it is easier and safer to talk about these sensitive issues in private to avoid going behind bars.

As bizarre as it sounds, I will attempt to write about racial disintegration in the hope of achieving racial integration. The main issue at hand is the NEP/DEB where non-Malays feel that it is an unfair policy whilst the majority of the Malays feel that it is god given right policy. I have said before that there is a clear mismatch of expectations between the races in Malaysia and to prove my point further read the very contrasting and differing point of views shared by many Malaysians:

1. On History

Malaysia is not owned by the Malays to begin with. Just like the Non-Malays the Malays came from other parts of the world, came to Malaya and called it their home. Therefore the Malays are also originally foreign to this land. The real Bumiputra’s of this country are the orang asli’s.

This country is historically owned by Malays and even the British acknowledge this. In recognition of the Sultans rule, the British signed treaties with the Malay Rulers and not with the other races. Further proof is that Malaysia was previously known as Tanah Melayu & Malaya.

2. On the Economy

This country developed and flourished economically because of the hard work of non-Malays. The non-Malays are the fabric of this nation that allows this country to propel forward. They had to struggle, study and work hard to earn a living in this country. If it wasn’t for the Non Malays the Bumiputra’s would be living in jungles and trees. The Malays have it all easy with the support of the government and NEP.

The Non-Malays have a culture that is aligned to earthly success. They have a civilization that survived the test of time. Malays on the other hand have just started moving forward 60 years ago therefore requiring more time to succeed. It was the British that brought in foreigners into this country. The Malays never invited them into the country.As a race they made many sacrifices such as changing this country’s name from Tanah Melayu to Malaya to Malaysia. This is to help other races feel part of this country. Even the Bahasa Jawi was shelved for the same reason.

3. NEP

The NEP has failed to accomplish what it was set out to do. I.e. to ensure that the country achieves some balance in terms of economic distribution. Instead, it has only benefited a small no of bumiputra’s. Contracts are only given to a selected few.

The NEP has benefited the Malays in many ways. Based on the stats, there are now more Malay Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Architects and Businessmen than there was 30 years ago.

4. On Competitiveness

Non-Malays are not willing to employ Malays because they are slow and not competitive. The NEP is the reason why Malays are not competitive. It has served as an ineffective crutch that cripples the Malays.

Malays have different values then the non Malays. The non Malays only think of Money while the Malays believe that there is more to life than money.

5 On Opportunities

There should be equal opportunities for every Malaysian no matter the race. It is a human rights issue. There should be equal opportunities in terms of education and contracts distribution.

The Non-Malays are impatient and greedy. Even after owning more than 80% of the economic cake they demand for more and more.

I personally feel embarrassed (not in an arrogant way) that the Malays have to ask for extra help in order to be competitive. As a Malay, I am not proud that after 50 years of independence Malays are still struggling to stem a mark in the economic pie. Even with the NEP the Bumi’s only own 17% of the economic pie. Just have a look at newly developed housing areas, how many Malays actually own a piece of the action? How many Malays own luxury homes? How many Malays own a bungalow or a semi-d home? Everywhere you look property is owned by non Malays. The majority of the Malays own property in some kampong which is negligible in value in comparison to the market value of properties in the city.

I would be lying if I said that I did not benefit from the NEP. In fact no successful Malay can claim that he or she did not benefit from the NEP. It would be selfish of me to say that we should wipe out the NEP policy totally when I know for a fact that there are many Malays that still need support and help. If the wealth of the nation is not distributed fairly and equally I fear that there will be more tension amongst the races.

Having said that, it would be totally unfair for the NEP to be in existence forever. The government should have a specific target date to achieve the desired results. Non Malays who are in need should also be helped.

I obviously don’t have all the answers but I hope this article will help Malaysian’s understand each other a little bit better.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

The spirit and feeling of this years Merdeka celebration is not quite the same as the celebrations before this. This year we celebrate Merdeka with some tension rising. We cannot hide or sweep under the carpet what is actually brewing in the hearts and minds of the younger generation no matter the race.

The racial tension is worsening by the day. People cursing at each other, making fun of their own national anthem, questioning their rights and rights of others etc. I can only imagine what it will look like ten years down the road if something is not done now and I am not just talking about the muhibah spirit and rhetoric speeches. Thanks to the wise management of our leaders today (sweep everything under the carpet policy) we will have an uphill task in managing racial problems in the years to come.

I grew up in Penang and studied at a National Primary and Secondary School. There I mixed and befriended everyone and anyone no matter the race. It was great and I had a lot of fun. Even when I was working in Penang, I did not feel like a social outcast even though majority of my colleagues were non Malays. Hanging out at coffee bean and mamak stalls with my friends no matter the race on a weekly basis was a norm for me back then.

Things however changed in 2002 when I moved to work in KL. It was as if I moved to another country. I suddenly felt that everyone was cold and I could feel the racial tension in the air. I resented that feeling. Call me naive but I then finally realized that many if not majority of the people in KL are racist and are only interested in protecting their own neck and race.

The racial tension in KL and most parts of the country is bad. I have received direct feedback from my non Malay friends that the reason they do not hire Malays is because they are slow and inefficient. My Malay friends on the other hand say that the Chinese are greedy and everything just boils down to money. After speaking to my Malay, Chinese and Indian friends I have come up with the following conclusion about their views, opinions and frustrations.

1. The Malays are upset with the non Malays for questioning their special rights.

2. The Chinese and Indians resent the Malays for treating them like second class citizens and not allowing equal opportunities.

Rightly or wrongly, there is clearly a mismatch of expectation. To be continued……

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


August 16, 2008. Permatang Pauh. My friends and I woke up to a very exciting morning as it was nomination day in Permatang Pauh. We had early breakfast and made our way to the nomination centre.

The road was pretty clear but as we got closer to the nomination centre the traffic started to pile up. There were hundreds of PKR supporters in their cars heading towards the same destination. As we got closer to the centre we came across a few hundred PKR supporters that were walking towards the centre. Nothing happened initially until one of them started to shout and jeer at us. They started to knock our doors and hit the windows of our car. We paid no attention to them and kept on driving to avoid any mishaps. I was however pist at that point and wondered why our people were turning into hooligans. Would they be so brave if they did not have the numbers on their side?

Due to the heavy traffic and road blocks everywhere, we had to park our car approximately 2km away from the centre and continued walking from there. As I approached the field of the nomination centre more and more PKR supporters were shouting and screaming as if their daughters had been raped. Majority of them were angry and bitter. Again I paid no attention to them and continued walking.

All candidates contesting must submit their registration form between 9am to 10am. They were also allowed to protest on their opponents between 10am to 11am. The SPR will then check the protest from 11am to 12pm. So, all the supporters of both BN and PKR waited from 9am to 12noon. The 5,000 BN supporters were clearly out numbered by the presence of 20,000 PKR supporters.

Once the nomination process was completed and both candidates acknowledged their supporters the crowd started to disperse. As we were walking towards our car it started to rain heavily. Walking in the rain soaking wet, I said to myself “Thank god it is raining. At least this will help cool down the PKR supporters.” I was dead wrong. They waited for the BN supporters at the end of the road chanting and cursing at us. They were clearly going all out to scare us and therefore win the phsy war on that day.

As a BN supporter I respect all other opposition parties and supporters for their beliefs and stand. I have also experienced many elections but I would have to say that this was the worst in terms of discipline and respect for others. My hope is that such brutal and savage behavior is not practiced in future elections. Let us continue to respect one another no matter what our beliefs and differences maybe.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The UMNO Saga

I have slept an average of 4 hours a day, spent 2 days a week with my family and not spent enough time at the office this past one month. Why? Because, I am contesting for the UMNO Deputy Youth Chief in Sembrong, Johor.

I never thought that it would be so taxing and difficult. There are 49 branches in my division and I need to get 51% of the votes to be elected as Deputy Youth Chief in Sembrong. I obviously want a strong mandate and therefore would have to work extra hard to get the votes in.

For many, they ask and wonder why on earth am I killing myself spending all that valuable time in politics? Why politics? I think it is the same reason why people represent their country in a certain sport, or why a mother gives her child a 100% devotion. Passion. I have always had passion for politics for some reason. It is like a calling that I cannot resist and I would not be satisfied if I did not do something to address that calling.

I am lucky to have a wife that understands my passion. My son however is still adjusting to the fact that I am always in Johor. He misses me tremendously and keeps telling my wife that he too wants to work with me in Johor. Sadly, politics is no place for a child. The hours and traveling is brutal for a young toddler and besides he has got kindergarten to attend.

My late mother Hanim Hussein use to discourage me from entering politics because of the corruption, back stabbing, greed and dirt that comes as a package in politics. However, she slowly changed her mind when she saw that I was persistent and I kept holding on to my intentions of why i was entering the political arena.

I still believe in the idealisms and struggles of Dato’ Onn, The Tunku, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein. These leaders before us were in politics purely to serve the people. These days it is quite the opposite but I believe it is not too late to change.

I am sure that many young Malaysians share the same idealisms that I hold on to so dearly. I pray and hope that we do not forget our intentions and not get swayed along the way.