On Singapore-Malaysia Merger
Singapore's MM Lee Kuan Yew commented that Singapore-Malaysia merger is possible if Malaysia catches up with the republic in the future. He said a similar thing 1996 when asked about a possible merger.
Lee had said that Singapore would be happy to rejoin Malaysia if it surpassed the island's success."They have the resources. If they would just educate the Chinese and the Indians, use them and treat them as citizens, they can equal us and even do better than us. "
However, political analyst Ooi Kee Beng of ISEAS opined that the chance for it to happen is zero. He said that the Malays will find it appalling.
LKY's comment drew a stinging criticism from Deputy Information Minister Chia Kwang Chye who told Lee's not to pass uncalled-for remarks about Malaysia and its people.
Referring to comments by the former prime minister published by the local media yesterday, Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye said the remarks were "unstatesman-like". Chia urged "Let's build on this and not dwell on history."
LKY's arrogance is well documented but sometimes not unfounded. Singapore is indeed more successful than us in human capital development because it practices meritocracy. However, I tend to agree with Ooi that our chance for a merger is remote at the moment. Both societies have developed differently since 1965.
Nonetheless, I still hope to see a Malaysia which can move beyond its own racial path. Taking a heed from Chia's advice, Malaysians should not dwell on our past too and forge ahead as a united society regardless of race.
On Lee Hwa Beng's Comment
Subangjaya assemblyman Lee has been noted as a hardworking person. He has served his constituency well and this fact is acknowledged by an opposition leader who told me that Lee 'has fulfilled more than 40% of his constituency demands'. This is an impressive record.
However, on the issue of non-racial politics Lee showed that he is still an old school politician. He said that is BN were to merge into a single party leaders of other communities will lose out because Malays will elect their own kind to represent them.
I am not surprised to find out about Lee's racial mindset. To him, leadership is skin deep. To tell you the truth, many of us will still cast our vote based on leadership capability, integrity and dependability. Many of us will not elect a racist to be our leader.
To take a first step towards deracialising the nation's politics, we must be willing to make a small sacrifice. Lee appeared to love his divisional chief position more than creating an equal, just and non-racial system for all.
On Dr Toh Kin Woon's Interview
Some 'little birds' told me a few Gerakan members are not too happy with Dr Toh's remarks in his interview with Malaysiakini.com. They were particularly unhappy when Dr Toh said that it would be healthy to have a strong civil society and a strong opposition. They are worried that Toh's view can be manipulated by opposition parties in the upcoming general elections.
Possible. But I would call an attempt to politicise his view as 'cheap politics'. Give him a break. Toh is speaking as an outgoing politician and a state leader. I am sure he would rather speak with sincerity and frankness than to sound diplomatic and apologetic on issues he felt strongly for.
We should respect his views and respect his individual rights to speak up. Like Lee, politicians should not be too preoccupied with winning elections but ended up losing the country's direction.