Saturday, February 06, 2010

Malaysia in Crisis: Allah Controversy, Nasir & Sodomy

Over the last few months,the PR company advising the federal government must be working overtime trying to repair the damage done to its client.

From the cow head incident, Allah controversy, arson attacks on places of worship, racist statements made by several individuals and extreme right race based organisations to the Anwar sodomy trial, there are too many negative news about Malaysia.

It appears that PM Najib's grand vision, 1Malaysia, has failed even before it takes off. A few days ago, his aide had uttered some racist statements in a 1Malaysia forum causing widespread criticism for his insensitive and arrogance. However, political arrogance and disrespect for citizen rights is a common feature in local politics.

Nasir Safar has garnered support from the usual suspects e.g. Ibrahim Ali, the president of Perkasa, a Malay supremacy pressure group. This group has successful roped in supporters from the high places including royalty and the ex-premier Dr Mahathir. Mahathir claims that Perkasa growing popularity is largely due to UMNO's inability to defend the Malay supremacy.

It would be interesting to put this hypothesis to test by bringing back Dr Mahathir to helm UMNO and make Ibrahim Ali his deputy.

I was asked if these incidents and controversies are signs of Malaysia's growing Islamisation. Hardly, but a sign of extreme right race proponents fear of losing mass support from the majority community.

Growing Maturity

The failure of arson attacks on places of worship to incite communal clashes is a sign of growing maturity and calmness in the society. Better information sharing through the internet, mobile devices and the role of online activism was able to send the right messages out to the public. Extremist groups can no longer manipulate false information and use hostile tactics to create communal tensions.

However, the role of internet also means that statements such as Chinese women would come to Malaysia to become prostitutes or Indians come here to beg will travel fast to the public forums in these countries. The outcome will be devastating to the Malaysian tourism industry and international image.

Judicial Image

It is sad to note that the Anwar sodomy trial is dominating the front page coverage in almost all mainstream newspapers. The trend will continue until the end of his trial. On the other hand, the trial for those who were implicated in the biggest financial scandal in the country, the PKFZ, has not even started. High profile personalities who were supposed to be hauled up to face the trial have not been caught.

Anwar's sodomy trial is going to be a PR disaster for the country. It exposes the biggest hypocrisy in the country. It appears to put sodomy as a much bigger offence than corruption or murder. Ironically, the Malaysian judiciary faces the biggest test in the 21st century and the process of the trial will indicate to us if there is any hope of a true reform can work to regain public confidence on our justice system.

A less than fair coverage on Anwar's sodomy trial may erode completely the credibility of all mainstream editors in the country and may mark the downturn of some media companies. Most of these companies are already facing shrinking advertisement revenue due to readers shunning their publications.

There is still hope for these media companies to reform and play a responsible role in the society. They should focus their reporting on important issues such as corruption, poor governance, education reform, economic revival and others. Not just Pakatan bashing or Barisan apple polishing. Media companies should stay above politics. Sadly, this is not something achievable in Malaysia. Not in the next two decades.

Our Role

The impact of negative perception towards Malaysia overseas is going to hurt FDI inflow into the country. Local investment is also footloose. The net outflow of investment is going to hurt our industrial development and employment sector. Growing unemployment amongst undergraduates is going to be more serious in the next few years.

The fact that the government is introducing a weird two-tier pricing model for retail petrol sale is a sign of poor fiscal condition. Public debt is growing to more than RM500 billion by 2011. The implementation of GST to diversify the government revenue stream is facing a strong opposition. Barely 2 million taxpayers are paying for the country's development expenditure. Unpredictable oil price is causing a major dilemma for the government to plan its budget.

We must play our role as the watchdogs of political parties and politicians. We must not let ourselves be blinded by political parties and politicians using race supremacy to mask their own incapability and selfish desires.

We must learn to work together to protect our nation from the ravages of unscrupulous politicians.


Anonymous said...

Malaysians are going to wake up oneday to find that the world has passed them by. The judiciary are as corrupt as the chinese courts hundreds of years ago. The nations cofer is already empty and now the UMNO/Barisn Government is thinking of how to milk the citizens for to fill their pockets. Petronas the cash cow has been milked to the last drop. So now lets milk the people with GST.
The Malaysians have themselves to blame for voting the likes of Najib, Kerismuddin and all the Dins, the Malays will suffer just as the rest of us. The chinese has rejected MCA in GE12 and MIC is now nothing but a has been, Samy can shout and yell but no one respects him anymore.
The trouble is the people are still afraid of UMNO and the threat of another May 13 is looming in everyones mind. The time has come for all voters regardless of race to vote out BN/UNMO once and for all. Peace and love for one another can prevail again after UMNO is removed, MCA and MIC are but lap dogs and totally insignificant. Our best hope for now is PKR between the devil UMNO and PKR, take your chances with PKR. Your vote is the best weapon to put a stake through the evil heart of UMNO. Why live in fear year after year. Send UMNOKULAR back to its coffin forever.

Anonymous said...

The Government is projecting 8% growth this year!Really dont know how lah.Already so broke and trying to korek here and there.Petronas cant give more, CEO fired. The root of all these religious and racial problems is caused by the many Umno chieftains who have fall out of favour or influence.No $$$ going into their kitty and consequently affecting their large ground supporters.Najib knows this serious problem within his party but no solution.Seven cocks cannot pluck ten lobang!!!

Anonymous said...

never re-elect the most corrupted ex PM back in office, since v r pendatang, y shld v pay taxes, send ur children to N S, & contribute to EPF, they shld now treat us like d indonesian workers

Anonymous said...


marcus63 said...

kaypeng, well said.
the main reason all these things are happening is due to the incompetency of the pm himself. when the highest officer of the land carries a heavy baggage, he has less options to keep his troops in line. what more these jokers probably have dirt on the pm, and therefore hold him to ransom. all these events you cited, the pm has not not shown leadership, preferring to run away and sprinkling a few statements here and there, praying that the negatives die down and his propaganda machinery to polish over them. well what can he do. too many skeletons in the closet. might as well play the fiddle while the country burns.

Anonymous said...

Malaysia is among few countries that their citizen felt obligated to protect the country from being screwed by their leaders. The civil society, the internet communities are leading the right way for their citizen, yet the leaders are trying to mess-up the country, what type of country is this?

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


How do we manage a crisis
That shouldn't even exist
When enough sensible people resist
Those who oppose the way to co-exist

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 060210
Sat. 6th Feb. 2010.

bulan said...

had we forgotten about Atlantuya and Teoh Beng Hock case?

the Allah controversy, Nasir and sodomy case would never, ever, divert our attention to them and forgotting about the blatant murder...

although someone has been convicted for the Atalantuya case, how sure are we that the case is now close, when nobody have seen the face of those convicted?

Anonymous said...

The UMNO Malays have to sit back and think hard - what would this country be, if the Chinese and Indians had not come to this country?
Most of them will be living in the kampongs and the slums using the bicycle as the mode of transport.
Yet, the likes of Ibrahim Ali want the beggars and prositutes to be grateful to the Malays, some of whom came here from India and Indonesia.

Anonymous said...

Living in kampongs and riding bicycles is not a crime my friend. I will live in the kampung and cycle to anywhere I want, if you can just leave my country

cksf said...

dr kkp, Saturday, February 06, 2010 in Malaysia in Crisis: Allah Controversy, Nasir & Sodomy, said:
We must learn to work together to protect our nation from the ravages of unscrupulous politicians.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 3:03 PM responded with 9 comments

dr kkp,
echoes your above post --- are we not neighbours? ;-))) Monday, February 08, 2010,8:51:13 AM

Anonymous said...

Peace be with you,

Some of the linguistic expressions in these comments demonstrates what kind of mentalities among the Malaysian citizenry the PM has to deal with. In this postmodernist age of subjectivisms and relativistic creeds people seem to revel in social and religious theorizing that make them seem outstanding above the common man!
Malaysia is the best modern nation to be recovering from its colonialistic past and which has successfully contained its maoist communist treachery and distanced itself from the false Indonesian homogenization of Sukarno. It is regaining a vision of those aspects of excellence of past Islamic civilizations and seriously endeavouring to manifest them in practical intellectual and social projects - no denying there are blurps and slips here and there, but where in the world is Paradise?
Ask yourself would you rather live in caste-ridden India or communist-capitalist China?
Don't ask what Malaysia can do for you but see what you can do for others! And make your parents and forbears proud ...