MoCS: Anwar’s instruction on Bahasa Melayu ‘silly and absurd’

Image result for anwar ibrahim

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH

MoCS wishes to inform PKR president Anwar Ibrahim that his instruction for all government events and press conferences to be conducted in Bahasa Melayu is “plain silly and absurd”.


First of all, we have to seriously ask Anwar what is wrong with speaking both BM and English or other languages to a mixed audience at official events.


Even press conferences are also covered by journalists from the foreign media. That being the case, Anwar’s instruction could be described as “stupid” because it is not in tandem with the government’s effort to encourage Malaysians to pick up different languages.


We also have to ask the incoming prime minister since when did Bahasa Malaysia becomes Bahasa Melayu.


Isn’t the official language of our multi-racial nation Bahasa Malaysia? Was it ever officially changed to Bahasa Melayu – meaning the “language of Malays”?


MoCS is shocked that Anwar is now talking about upholding Bahasa Melayu as the official language of the country.


If the motive is political expediency on Anwar’s part, which involves pandering to a certain race, then Malaysians have reasons to worry of the future directions the incoming prime minister would be heading.


Perhaps Anwar has to be reminded again that not all Malaysians are in favour of him succeeding Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.
It is possible they have valid reasons not to.


As for Sarawak, MoCS feels the pressing need to inform Anwar that English is an official language in Sarawak, as decreed by the late Chief Minister Adenan Satem.


At official events, Adenan was comfortable in speaking Bahasa Sarawak and this was actually something which endeared him to many Sarawakians.


A great leader does not have to instruct or insist on a certain language to be spoken as long as the speaker’s message is understood by his audience.


This is something which Anwar, as the incoming prime minister, should take a cue from.

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Lame-duck PM: Yet another Dr Mahathir ‘excuse’?

FARNCIS PAUL SIAH

COMMENT Anwar Ibrahim has been at his best behaviour of late. I believe we can all see that. This is the new Anwar, not the rabble-rouser of the past.

He has been nice, courteous and civil towards Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as he rightly should be. Surely we do not want to see Anwar and Mahathir throwing punches at each other every day, do we?

I believe like any good husband, Anwar must be listening more attentively to Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail now than before.

When your wife is the deputy prime minister, you better sit up and pay attention.

As DPM, Wan Azizah probably meets Mahathir more regularly than Anwar and should understand the old man better now. Over time, working together, there must be better mutual understanding and appreciation of, and respect for each other.

It is also possible that Mahathir could have shared more of his thoughts with Wan Azizah than with Anwar these days. So, it pays for Anwar to take his good wife’s advice.

If Wan Azizah (above) has somewhat tamed Anwar, her politician husband with a rebellious and impatient streak, I say kudos to the good wife.

Anwar was particularly nice and respectful of Mahathir again when he explained why the prime minister could not put a specific date on when to hand over power.

“This is what he told me and I appreciate it. He said, ‘Anwar, I have promised and I would keep my word. But don’t be like this – force me, make me announce the date because I would become a lame-duck prime minister’,” Anwar said during a question and answer session in Kuala Lumpur.

So Mahathir has come up with the ‘lame-duck PM’ reason – or is this yet another of his many excuses?

This is my take on the matter. The ‘lame-duck prime minister’ does not hold in this case. The whole world knows that Mahathir would hold the fort for two years going into GE14.

This is not a lame-duck post. It was a unique understanding among Pakatan Harapan leaders. Mahathir was supposed to be the interim prime minister.

‘Interim’ means a provisional period and that period, understood by all, is two years. This means May 9, 2018, to May 9, 2020. The question of lame-duck prime minister should not arise here.

Dear Dr Mahathir, you have to keep to the provisional period and when that time is up, you just pack your bags and leave a proud man with your head held high. And perhaps with your legacy intact, too.

As it is now, the growing voices of discontent against your dilly-dallying over the transition date could turn out to be much worse. Like many Malaysians, I would want to remember and honour you as a revered statesman.

Many of us expected Mahathir to come up with this lame-duck issue and we were on the dot. We cannot buy this, not this time.

If Mahathir thinks that having an interim PM will make the PM a lame duck, why didn’t he bring the matter up with Harapan leaders before GE14? Why did he keep quiet then?

Is this another case of here we go again – “Oh, we didn’t expect to win the elections.”

If our prime minister has to be reminded, here is what the Straits Times of Singapore reported on Feb 4, 2018:

Former Malaysian prime minister and now opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad says he will be prime minister for two years should Pakatan Harapan win the 14th general election.

“I can’t stay for very long. At the most, I can last for two years,” said Dr Mahathir.

I hope our dear prime minister is able to recall what he said and not swallow his own words.

PKR founder Syed Husin Ali (above) said in a statement that “Anwar’s head will roll if he stands up to Mahathir” has certainly stirred the already muddy Harapan waters and made it murkier. It is food for thought and should wake up many who are still stupidly basking in the glory of GE14.

“I know it is difficult for him because if he does that, Mahathir will immediately kill him politically,” Syed Husin said in an interview with Malaysiakini.

As a Harapan insider, Syed Husin should have intimate knowledge of what goes on within the coalition.

Most of us who are not politicians would not want to know too much of the intrigues and shenanigans within Harapan.

It is not that we don’t care, but we have enough of the same old politicking and the lust for wealth, power and position within Harapan. Most politicians, whether from BN or Harapan, are the same. They can never change.

We also take serious note of Syed Husin’s allegations of power abuse and intense corruption in the government today.

What we want to tell Harapan is this: when GE15 comes along, we know what to do with our votes.

Meantime, to dear Dr Mahathir, what about stepping down on 20.2.20?

‘2’ and ‘0’, as your Vision 2020 tells us, must be your preferred numbers, aren’t they?

You can be assured that no one will consider you a lame-duck if you nail a date on when you wish to step down.

  • Malaysiakini

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Kit Siang suggests White Paper on terror includes IUMS, implicates Hadi

Lim Kit Siang has agreed with PAS’ proposal for a White Paper to be tabled in Parliament on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) following the arrests of two DAP politicians accused of attempting to revive the defunct movement.

However, the DAP leader suggested that the White Paper covers the entire spectrum of the problem of terrorism in Malaysia.

In a statement this morning, the Iskandar Puteri MP zeroed in on the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).

“It has been reported that the four Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, dubbed the ‘anti-terror quarter’ had added the IUMS on their terror lists.

“As the leader of a Malaysian opposition party is a vice-president of IUMS, this is also a matter which should be addressed by the White Paper on terrorism,” he added.

Although Lim did not mention names, his remarks were obviously targeted at PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

Last November, Malaysiakini reported that Hadi did not defend his IUMS vice-president post.

According to his political aide Syahir Sulaiman Abdul Hadi, the PAS president had made this clear before leaving for Istanbul to attend the IUMS conference.

In 2017, PAS had dismissed an Arab news report on Hadi’s links with IUMS.

Deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had labelled the report as a ploy to make the PAS leader look like a terrorist.

He claimed the allegation arose just because Hadi is aligned with renowned Muslim scholar Dr Yusuf Al-Qardawi.

“The report is baseless and smells of a conspiracy. If that was the case, Hadi would have been arrested a long time ago,” he had added.

Meanwhile, in 2016 IUMS chastised Hadi for attending a Sunni-Shia conference in Iran, with Yusuf saying it was unacceptable due to Iran’s alleged involvement in the Syrian war.

The Qatar-based IUMS was formed in 2004 and is headed by Yusuf, who has also been named by the Saudis for links to terrorism.

The Gulf States has accused the IUMS and the International Islamic Council “Massaa” as terrorist organisations working to promote terrorism through the exploitation of Islamic discourse and its use as a cover to facilitate various terrorist activities.

Meanwhile, the two DAP assemblypersons arrested in connection with the LTTE are P Gunasekaran and G Saminathan.

The police have arrested a total of 12 individuals in a crackdown which began last week.

  • Malaysiakini

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

PRAYER YES, ACTION TOO. A Sunday sharing

Image result for at prayer


FRANCIS PAUL SIAH

No one, including atheists, should underestimate the power of prayer. As a Catholic/Christian, I wouldn’t.

Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and those of other faith also consider prayer a powerful intercession. Muslims are also exhorted to pray five times a day. That is how important prayer is to those who believe there is a Heavenly One.

Then again, as I’ve said, to say we pray for this and that is the easy part, no matter how deep in prayer we are or how long we pray.

Let’s say we pray for peace in the world and justice for all of humanity. Yes, we pray but what other action do we take to help ensure that it happens.

Praying is a form of action. That is correct. But I think praying is the easy part. The Lord would want to see us taking action in other forms too.

Here is a recent example which crosses my mind. There is a Sibu leukemia boy whose parents are begging for public donations for his medical treatment. They need to raise RM500,000.

Isn’t it so easy to say we will pray for his speedy recovery? That is too nonchalant in fact – that it becomes meaningless.

What about donating just 20 percent of our salary for this month to help him? That is so difficult, is it not?

We will likely come out with all kinds of excuses not to do so. We have this and that to pay; money is not enough for my household expenses etc etc. In fact, money is never enough. (The truth is possibly that we are saving for a family holiday to Australia next year – let’s be honest about it.)

This is what I mean by saying that praying is easy. The hard part is sincere, genuine action from the heart.

Next time we say we pray for this and that, let us ensure our prayer is accompanied by our deeds.

Not to do so will be hypocritical on our part.

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Why such a lavish governor’s birthday do in such trying times?

Image result for taib mahmud

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH

Below is my response to a discourse on Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud in a group chat.

Although I have been up against Taib Mahmud aka ‘White Termite’ for years, I must still say this – at least, the governor is no racist or extremist. Probably that’s the public image he wants to project.

Taib is plain greedy. Up to this day, he still wants more. This is intolerable. How much does a man really need on his temporary sojourn on Earth? Our governor has to seriously reflect on this.

On the governor’s official birthday today, I take note of the lavish celebrations taking place. I am very disappointed that the Sarawak Government still sees it fit to stage it with such pomp and splendour for an annual celebration which actually means nothing to many of us.

Celebrate it by all means but can we do away with the millions wasted on such an elaborate programme. (Take a good look at the 2-day birthday programme). Why the need for such unnecessary pageantry during such trying times when Sarawakians are suffering? Why not opt for a simpler and down-scale celebration?

Seriously, how many Sarawakians are in the mood for birthday celebrations and parties – when our graduates are jobless, parents worry about funds to send their kids to college, young workers unable to keep up with mortgage payments, our business community heading nowhere, our retailers going through a 60 percent decline in sales, our sick could not afford medical treatment, many begging for publc donations etc etc.

As a Sarawakian, I have the right to request the government to furnish the expenditures incurred for this official birthday do. I hope DUN members will request for details and have it made public. Taxpayers’ money is involved here for a governor’s official birthday celebration.

Happy Birthday, Governor. Wish you good health and long life.

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

‘We, Sarawak Malays, are already a dignified race’

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH

COMMENT | For obvious reasons, I have refrained from obtaining feedback from non-Malay friends in Sarawak on the Malay Dignity Congress that was held in Shah Alam on Sunday, Oct 6.

I have heard enough from Chinese and Indian leaders here in Malaya and I do not expect my non-Malay friends to say anything different from what have already been said.

I can expect the same bashing and roasting of the organisers, particularly those who made racially-charged speeches; those who made demands deemed ludicrous and out of line and even against Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had willingly allowed himself to be caught in the crossfire.

I sent this question, “What are your views on the Malay Congress and its aftermath? Share your thoughts”, to several Malay friends in Sarawak yesterday.

Seven of them responded and this is the gist of their replies:

1) The early warning signs that it would be a controversial event were not heeded by the organisers. The trouble with Malays in Malaya is that in whatever they do, they do not take the Malays in Sabah and Sarawak into consideration. Everything they do is for themselves. We, Sarawak Malays, are already a dignified race. We would never ever dream of organising a Malay Dignity Congress. In fact, all the races in Sarawak are as dignified as we are right now. We can never agree with the statement that “Malaysia belongs to the Malays”. I consider that a hate speech.

2) It was a totally unnecessary exercise with nothing to prove. Am sure Sabah and Sarawak are worried that such an event took place. Why hold a Malay Dignity event? Totally unnecessary!

3) Talking about Malay dignity, we Malays must be dignified and there is no need to point fingers at anybody. It must come from the inside, each and every one of us must improve ourselves in all aspects.

4) I didn’t follow the event and I didn’t listen to the speeches, Mahathir’s included. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have it because of the already polarising situation in the country.

5) I heard from both Malay and non-Malay friends. Malay said: Same old story. Mahathir delivered same message 20 years ago. Malays angry for being labelled as lazy and never change. Prof Zainal Kling talks like he is still in the ’60s. No impact to the nation, just a platform to bash non-Malay ministers. Non-Malay commented: Racist speakers. A platform just to condemn other races. Not helping the rakyat to improve themselves. My conclusion: It was possibly organised to prove that Malays are with the government and to counter the Umno/PAS rally. No economic impact at all. Instead, Malays will become more backward, worrying about what’s in store for them. Not what we should do for our nation.

6) To me, the Malay Congress was a joke. I was invited by UM to discuss the Malay political agenda at the university level. Even the resolutions were “hijacked” by Umno frogs who tried to influence Mahathir and they were good at it. Hopefully, Mahathir secures the Malay support. But, whatever positive outcome Pakatan Harapan and Umno had expected from the congress was destroyed by Mahathir with his repetitive bashings of the Malays.

7) Melayu di Malaya syiok sendiri!

Of my seven friends who responded, two are serving Members of Parliament, three are active politicians in GPS and Harapan parties in Sarawak while two others are civil servants.

They represent a wide cross-section of Malays in Sarawak.

All have given permission to be quoted but wish to remain anonymous.

Of Sarawak’s population of 2.8 million, 32 percent are Malays/Muslims. This means that 896,000 Sarawakians are Malays/Muslims.

I will not partake in commenting further on the congress but I have this message for Zainal Kling (photo) and his ilk.

Your so-called Malay Dignity Congress does not include 896,000 Malays/Muslims in Sarawak. They want no part of it.

You do not speak on their behalf even though they are also Malays and Malaysians.

When you declared that “Malaysia belongs to the Malays”, it is clear that 896,000 Malays/Muslims in Sarawak do not agree with you. They want to tell you that Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

Neither did they give their consent to the race-based demands made at the congress. They do not wish to have anything to do with Malay racists and extremists in Malaya.

Count the Malays in Sabah and many more Zaid Ibrahim and Syed Husin Ali in Malaya, you and your undignified group are probably left with representing only the few thousands who turned up at the congress.

In case Zainal Kling has not heard, even Isma president Aminuddin Yahaya has described Sunday’s congress as a worthless event which failed to achieve its objective.

To the academicians from the four universities who initiated the event, it might be worth your while to learn from your fellow Malays in Sarawak.

Simple folks they might be from Borneo, but they are already a dignified race. Sarawak Malays must have been riding on the right track of race relations all along.

Surely, something must be wrong somewhere if a section of Malays in Malaya feel that they have no dignity left or that their dignity has been threatened.

Perhaps, they need to search deeper into their hearts and soul to find out where they had gone wrong.

  • Malaysiakini

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | 1 Comment

Dr M, party-hopping is not acceptable. Period!

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH

COMMENT | Let me get straight to the point. I have this message for our dear prime minister.

Dear Dr Mahathir Mohamad, I find great difficulty in comprehending your recent thoughts that party-hopping is acceptable “[…] if members of Parliament believe they are not able to contribute to the government or their current party”. 

What are you trying to tell us?

You seem to imply that MPs are free to go anywhere with the flow of the wind, never mind their pledges of allegiance to their parties or their promises to their constituents.

Dr Mahathir, in case you are not aware, which is unlikely, politicians who party hop are known as “frogs” or katak. Malaysians have zero respect nor tolerance for political frogs and consider them a dirty, poisonous and dangerous species.

These people have no credibility nor integrity and they are not morally fit to be elected representatives or hold public posts.

Of all people, as the prime minister and a senior statesman, you should be the one setting the moral high ground for Malaysian politicians instead of encouraging them to run amok by telling them that party-hopping is okay.

I have a name for political frogs – despicable societal outcasts. Such characters have no place in our august Parliament nor the right to legislate laws on behalf of the people.

By now, many must be sick and tired of the prime minister’s long list of “excuses” to justify his actions which point in only one direction – political expediency.

Mahathir’s latest support for party hopping is yet another of his “doing in an attempt to undo his undoing”.

We all know too well how many ex-BN legislators crossed over to Mahathir’s Bersatu after GE14. He allowed them in, even ignoring the vociferous protests of leaders of other Pakatan Harapan parties.

Who was happy with Mahathir’s dictatorial decision? Possibly the PM himself, his Bersatu acolytes, the katak from BN/Umno and their supporters. The rest of Malaysia probably gasped in disbelief that this was allowed to happen.

Mahathir also set up his Bersatu branch in Sabah and admitted many former Umno lawmakers, paying no attention to Warisan’s protest.

“Who is Shafie Apdal to tell me what I should or should not do?” must be on Mahathir’s mind when he made his Sabah move.

Joseph Pairin Kitingan

Sabahans would probably remember Mahathir’s peculiar fondness for political frogs very well.

In 1994, Joseph Pairin Kitingan was forced to resign as Sabah chief minister, just two weeks after he led his party to election victory.

He was forced out of power through undemocratic manoeuvrings by BN. Sabahans were aware of the “carrots” received by PBS assemblypersons who defected to BN.

Former PBS leaders also formed their own political parties. Ask SAPP’s Yong Teck Lee, Upko’s Bernard Dompok and PBRS’ Joseph Kurup who are still around today.

I bet they would point their finger at only one man who plotted the downfall of the Pairin government by enticing crossovers and encouraging party-hopping.

Then, who could forget what happened in Perak in 2009? The Pakatan Rakyat state government collapsed after BN declared that it had the support of four former Pakatan Perak assemblypersons.

Political frogs forced the downfall of the democratically-elected governments in Sabah and Perak. If Mahathir thinks this is okay, then I don’t know what else to say or who to trust anymore.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bd4a7ef1944a36d0e518bc2c9aa22ce7.jpeg

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh (photo, above) was on the dot when he said that “party-hopping encourages a morally despicable act which should not be condoned”.

“If an elected representative becomes disillusioned with a party, the morally right thing to do is to resign and explain the position to the people in a by-election. Ultimately, it is for the people to decide if that particular representative deserves to be re-elected,” he said.

Ramkarpal also pointed out that “party-hopping is as unprincipled as it can get and every effort should be taken to discourage such a practice in the name of good governance.”

Would Mahathir listen to Ramkarpal’s pointers? We should know the answer. If Mahathir pays no attention to even Anwar Ibrahim or Lim Kit Siang, who is Ramkarpal?

I guess many of us would be sympathetic to this good son of the Penang hero, Karpal Singh. The least we could do is to give Ramkarpal a pat on the back for his effort.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is beb6f4e9836d72d1416fc2650132d841.jpeg

I have one wish today.

I would love to see Umno and PAS or whoever topple the Bersatu-led Johor state government today via party-hopping by Harapan defectors.

Then, I would walk up to our grand old man and tell him gleefully – party- hopping is acceptable, isn’t it?

  • Malaysiakini

FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at sirsiah@gmail.com

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | 1 Comment