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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Another suspect arrested over RM300m project


The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested another individual to facilitate investigations linked to the awarding of a development project in Putrajaya via several tenders worth RM300 million.
According to sources, the 42-year-old suspect was detained at 1.30pm yesterday at the MACC Putrajaya headquarters.
It is understood that initial investigations so far revealed that the former architect at a government-linked corporation had allegedly acted as a middleman to manipulate several costs involved in the development project.
Further, MACC sources alleged that the initial contracts awarded to a contractor via a tender process were sabotaged to fail.
The contractor was subsequently replaced by another contractor believed to have links to the former architect, in what was also claimed to be a pre-planned move.
Putrajaya MACC director Ruslan Che Amad confirmed the arrest under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009 and said that the man would be taken to the Putrajaya Magistrates Court this morning for a remand application.
Last Friday, the MACC had detained a CEO of a GLC to facilitate investigations into the same case.
Magistrate Shah Wahid Abdul Halim subsequently granted a three-day remand order for the 59-year-old who is also a "Datuk". -Mkini

I have loved him since I was nine, says child bride



GUA MUSANG: The 11-year-old child bride has declared that she is in love.
She claimed to be in love with the man whom she calls “abe” (abang) since she was nine years old.
She does not mind being his third wife.
“His children are my friends. We were staying behind his house for many years.
.“I have always liked him since I was little. He is a kind man. He is good to my family. So when he proposed marriage, I agreed.
“I have loved him since I was nine,” said the girl, whose parents are Thai nationals.
Her father, who wants to be known only as Mat, said he agreed to accept the marriage proposal because his daughter had agreed to it.
“Furthermore, my son-in-law is a good man. But we will only allow her to live with her husband after she turns 16.
“She will stay with us for the next five years. She is still a child,” he said.
Mat said they accepted the marriage proposal during the recent fasting month.
The 41-year-old groom told The Star that he married the girl because they have been in love since three years ago.
He said he first met her when she accompanied her mother who was working at his first wife’s restaurant.
“We made an ‘agreement’ for a nikah secara gantung (‘suspended engagement’) first. My wife will live with her parents until she is 16.
“When she reaches that age, then we will make a confirmation of the marriage with the religious councils in Thailand and Malaysia,” he said.
He felt that he had not done anything wrong because he married the girl with the permission of her parents.
He also claimed that he obtained the consent of his own parents and that of his first wife.
“My first wife knows and she agreed. My second wife did not give her consent so I had to marry secretly.
“I have not given a thought about my second wife’s decision to divorce yet.
“After all, I’ve carried out my responsibilities as a husband and father. I have given my wives everything,” he said, adding that he gave his second wife RM700 as duit raya and even bought her a house in cash, besides paying for her car and its maintenance.
Kelantan Syariah chief judge Datuk Daud Muhammad said both Syariah Court and parental approvals were needed for marriage involving a minor.
“Even if the wedding took place in another country, the bride and groom must seek Syariah Court approval,” he said.
Daud said it was an offence marrying a minor without court approval. They are liable to a RM1,000 fine.
Kelantan Islamic Religious Department director Datuk Che Mohd Rahim Jusoh said they had also carried out an investigation into the case.-Star

MACC to quiz ex-DPM over alleged misuse of funds



PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will have to face graft investigators who will be calling him tomorrow to seek an explanation on the alleged use of funds belonging to a foundation.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission officers are also expected to take statements on his purported meeting with a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family who is said to have donated money to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Highly-placed sources said the former deputy prime minister will be asked to explain allegations that funds from the foundation were used to pay off credit cards belonging to him and his wife amounting to RM800,000.
Dr Ahmad Zahid is the chairman of the foundation. Records showed the foundation was registered in 1997 and its role is to receive and administer funds to eradicate poverty.
.“We will want to find out if there is any truth to these claims of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid using funds from the foundation for personal use,” a source told The Star.
It is understood that sources had found several documents showing payment transactions for him and his wife.
“Investigators will also be asking about a statement which he made about him meeting a Saudi prince. We would like to find out more about this person whom he is said to have met and what transpired during the meeting,” said a source.
On Aug 22, 2015 Dr Ahmad Zahid, who was speaking at the opening of Sri Gading Umno division, said that he had met the wealthy Arab family who donated US$700mil that was channelled into Najib’s personal account.
He said the family – who he did not name – had donated the money because of Malaysia’s commitment in fighting terrorism and being a moderate Muslim country with a plural society.
MACC top-level officers could not be contacted about Dr Ahmad Zahid’s appointment with them.- Star

MALAPETAKA KEDUA MENANTI UMNO?

Tiada apa-apa yang menarik dengan keputusan pemilihan UMNO kali ini. Kemenangan Zahid Hamidi dan Mohamad Hassan sebagai Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden UMNO tidaklah mengejutkan, malah sudah pun dijangka.
Begitu juga bagi jawatan Naib Presiden dan Ahli Majlis Tertinggi, semuanya tidak menarik dan memberi gambaran UMNO masih sama seperti sebelumnya.
UMNO, meskipun nasibnya sudah berubah daripada kerajaan kepada pembangkang, tetapi sikap, pemikiran dan keputusan perwakilan dalam memilih pemimpin sama sekali tidak berubah.
Gambaran pemilihan kali ini ialah UMNO telah menolak perubahan dan masih kekal dengan stail lama dalam memilih pemimpin di mana politik wang dan “sistem cai”  masih lagi menjadi amalan.
Dengan “sistem cai” yang bersamanya dikatakan turut diselitkan pemberian wang tunai, “sampah sarap” dan “kayu” pun akan turut terpilih sebagai pemimpin jika mereka termasuk dalam senarai tersebut.
Itulah yang terus berlaku dalam UMNO – dulu, kini dan selamanya sama ada di peringkat cawangan, bahagian dan pusat.
Zahid Hamidi yang dipilih memimpin UMNO bukan saja berwatak lemah dan banyak masalah, malah beliau adalah “kroni kanan”  kepada Najib Razak yang sudah ditolak rakyat, malah kedudukannya sebagai pemangku presiden sebelum ini adalah kelebihan baginya untuk meraih kemenangan melalui peranan “warlords” di pelbagai peringkat.
Meskipun UMNO memilihnya sebagai peneraju yang baru, tetapi adakah rakyat di luar UMNO, pengundi atas pagar, anak muda dan pengundi bukan Melayu dapat menerima dan lebih meyakininya?
Siapakah yang dapat meyakini Zahid Hamidi sebagai calon Perdana Menteri untuk pilihanraya akan datang?
Bahkan, kedudukan Zahid Hamidi yang mungkin disiasat oleh pihak berkuasa, sama ada berkaitan wang haram yang diterima oleh UMNO sehingga akaun banknya dibekukan, tentang dana RM2,600 juta yang diterima Najib lantaran beliau mengaku pernah berjumpa dengan waris keluarga penderma, berkaitan urusan kemasukan pendatang Bangladesh atau lain-lain perkara yang belum kita ketahui,  keadaan ini sekaligus meletakkan UMNO selepas ini dalam kedudukan yang bahaya sekali lagi.
Apakah, selepas Najib terpaksa mengundurkan diri kerana kalah pilihanraya dan terlibat  dalam skandal kewangan terbesar melibatkan dirinya, UMNO harus menerima satu lagi “malapetaka” disebabkan seorang lagi presidennya turut disiasat dan terpaksa mengundurkan diri?
Jika pun tidak disiasat, mampukah UMNO berdepan dengan pelbagai isu yang melibatkan Zahid Hamidi jika ianya dijadikan isu berterusan oleh Pakatan Harapan?
Yang tidak kurang malangnya bagi UMNO, meskipun keputusan rasmi belum dikeluarkan lagi, ialah juga mengenai barisan kepimpinan yang dipilih sebagai Naib Presiden dan Ahli Majlis Tertinggi UMNO.
Semua mereka yang terpilih adalah kalangan yang kuat menyokong, membodek dan mengampu Najib sebelum ini, walaupun ketika itu skandal berkaitan bekas Perdana Menteri itu, isterinya dan keluarganya sudah pun menjadi bahan berita serta bualan di seluruh dunia.
Apakah yang mereka ini mampu tawarkan untuk memulihkan imej UMNO jika kesalahan Najib yang terang lagi nyata pun mereka sanggup terus menyokongnya?
Kebimbangan lain ialah jika sebelum ini mereka sanggup mempertahan perkara yang tidak betul dan bersekongkol dengan salah laku Najib, apakah tidak mungkin sikap itu akan berterusan ada dalam diri mereka sampai bila-bila?
Selain itu, bagaimana jika majoriti Ahli Majlis Tertinggi yang terpilih kali ini turut terbukti pernah menerima wang haram 1MDB daripada Najib dan merupakan sebahagian daripada 900 pemilik akaun bank yang sudah dibekukan oleh SPRM?
Apakah nasib dan kedudukan mereka selepas ini?
Yang nyata, oleh kerana UMNO telah menolak perubahan dengan memilih barisan kepimpinannya yang lemah serta ada masalah untuk menerajui parti itu, keputusan pemilihan kali ini juga adalah suatu “kegembiraan”  buat Tun Mahathir dan Pakatan Harapan.
Pakatan Harapan nampaknya mempunyai kerja yang lebih senang untuk terus kekal berkuasa berbanding mereka yang dianggap “saki baki penyamun” juga yang mewarisi kepimpinan UMNO ketika ini.
http://shahbudindotcom.blogspot.com/

THE LINGERING ‘DEVIL’ IN MAHATHIR & THE NEP

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad concluded that “Chinese Malaysians are rich” after seeing so many wealthy Chinese Malaysian students in London.
So he confirmed that the government needs to help the Malays in order to avoid conflicts with richer ethnic groups, in particular the Chinese.
Mahathir should have visited London regularly, but I’m not sure whether he has noticed that most of the passengers onboard the London-bound MAS flights are actually the Malays!
He also won’t miss seeing Malay faces in London’s most celebrated shopping areas of Knightsbridge and Bond Street.
So, what is our conclusion? That all the Malays are rich?
Sure enough we won’t draw this sort of conclusion. Perhaps we may claim that the Malays we see in London’s streets are the nouveaux riches who have benefited tremendously from the New Economic Policy implemented since the 1970s. But, by no means they represent the majority of Malays.
We are also not going to say that the emergence of these Malay nouveaux riches will trigger conflicts with other ethnic groups in the country.
There are many Chinese Malaysian students in London, and the best explanation we can offer is that some Chinese Malaysian families are indeed better off, but not all of them.
Moreover, they normally do not have large families, and are tightening their belts just to make sure their children could gain access to high quality education.
Many Chinese Malaysian students overseas have to take up part-time jobs to partly pay for their tuition fees and day-to-day living expenses. They might be doing the unglamorous dish-washing chores in back kitchens during the bitter cold months of winter.
Many of them have been learning to stand on their own feet and fight the discrimination under NEP in hope of changing their destinies.
We cannot deny that there was justification to the NEP when it was first planned. Its objectives were to restructure the society and eliminate poverty irrespective of race.
Basically, it was supposed to be an affirmative policy meant to rectify the wealth gap in our society.
Unfortunately when Mahathir was the prime minister in the 80s through 90s, the NEP began to drift away from its originally intended objectives to tilt overwhelmingly towards helping the Malay community, overlooking other underprivileged groups in the country, including the Chinese, Indians and indigenous peoples in East Malaysia who need a hand from the government.
Since then NEP has become a protective shield for Malay supremacy that accords special treatment to the Malays in many areas from the education, economy to public services sectors. Those with political and economic connections have been able to accumulate considerable wealth and resources.
NEP has since evolved into a tool for the distribution of political resources, with the politically well connected getting the lion share of the wealth.
Holding the reins of this country, Umno unashamedly monopolized the distribution of economic interests in the name of defending Malay supremacy. This marked the start of Umno’s decline while reinforcing the Malay crutch mentality.
From GE12 to GE14, Chinese Malaysians displayed their increasing distaste for inequality under NEP, not so much because they hated Umno or BN per se. Many of them blamed MCA and Gerakan for BN’s unfair policy.
Over 90% of Chinese voters rejected BN in GE14 because they saw no future under the NEP.
These people supported PH whom they believed could bring such inequality to an end.
Most Chinese Malaysians are not against the government’s affirmative policy, but they hate to see it being exploited to advance the Malay supremacy and cronyism agendas.
Mahathir’s latest statement has brought back to life the haunting ghost of racist NEP, much to the frustration of many who have looked to him for the return of civil justice.
– Mysinchew

‘I BEG TO DIFFER WITH YOU, DR M’: MALAY SPECIAL PRIVILEGES – OF COURSE THEY SHOULD CONTINUE. BUT NO POLITICS PLEASE – JUST DO IT DIFFERENTLY, DON’T SPOON FEED

Dr Mahathir says: Malay Special Privileges to continue–Any Problem with that? No, Politics, please.  Just Do it differently by stopping to spoon feed the Malays.–Din Merican
Malaysia is now one and a half months into a political term under a new government that they thought would bring hope and reform to the Malaysian establishment. Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s coalition was voted into office on May 9 in a historic unseating of the BN coalition for the first time in six decades since the country gained its independence. It was also unprecedented that an ex-prime minister was voted back into office – this time leading the opposition against the party he formerly led, and joining forces with Anwar Ibrahim, a man he was once partly responsible for putting into prison on disputed charges of sodomy.
We voted, and in the end fairness and truth prevailed. The tide turned against BN on election day as millions of disillusioned, disenfranchised Malaysians took to the ballots and chose Mahathir. Wearied by the kleptocracy, cronyism and corruption that had been gnawing away at the heart of our public institutions for years, the people in the end sided with the coalition that promised widespread reform in our constitutional, political and electoral systems.
Image result for Lim Guan Eng I am Malaysian
It is time at long last that corruption is put to an end and the branches of government are kept separate with an end to inter-branch collusion. We are now one step closer to a new Malaysia where racial inequality and discrimination will be stamped out of public policy and business practices and Malaysians will no longer be defined by their race or religion. This was shown when, two weeks into the new Malaysia, the newly appointed finance minister responded to a question about being the first Chinese Malaysian to be made finance minister in 44 years. Lim Guan Eng said: “I’m Malaysian, I don’t see myself as Chinese.”
However, I awoke to the disappointing news that Mahathir, in one of his press interviews as prime minister, had said that “Malays will continue to get special privileges”.
Just when I, among many hopeful young Malaysians, thought we would read of widespread reform in a new Malaysia, more disheartening details were laid out, with Mahathir continuing to say:
“Malays still needed assistance in the availability of scholarships to study overseas.For example, when I was in the UK, I met a number of Chinese students. They were there because their fathers, their parents were able to pay for their studies there. But I find that Malay parents, by and large, cannot afford to have university education for their children.”
Mahathir said the Chinese were largely in business and that “in business, you can make tonnes of money”. In contrast, he said, the Malays were largely civil servants and wage earners who could not afford to send their children to university.
I beg to differ with our Prime Minister as this is an utterly backward perception. He makes sweeping generalisations about Malays being poor and unable to afford quality education for their children. While it is true that most of the families who are able to send their children overseas for education are Chinese, the Prime Minister should make no mistake: NOT all Chinese are well-off – the Chinese who cannot afford quality education are the ones who, by the very fact that they are in the lower income bracket, do not have their concerns raised and heard in much of our political discourse.
As such, the affirmative action policies have done more harm than good to the poorer Chinese, particularly as public education admissions are rationed to Malays with priority, depriving otherwise industrious and bright Chinese youths of a chance to develop their full potential in a wholly pro-Malay system. Over the long run, this will drive many capable people who happen to be Chinese out of a unified local labour market or out of the country altogether, leading to what economists pejoratively call a country’s “brain drain”. Worse still, and more fundamentally, it breeds and fuels resentment, and resentment only leads to more tension and conflict between the races in our society.
Don’t judge a book by its cover!
A person’s poverty or wealth is not inextricably tied to the colour of their skin, so don’t judge a book by its cover!
Students who are able to study overseas are not necessarily from families that are wealthy; more so, it is a result of the enormous value that some families place on their children’s education. This has been my experience being born into a low or medium income family. And from what I have experienced and seen, my peers and friends around me have found that studying overseas is definitely not an easy journey. It comes with the colloquial blood, sweat and tears every step of the way.
Many parents make many sacrifices, save every single penny they can, whether by getting a loan, refinancing their house, moving to a smaller house, withdrawing their EPF money, driving a second-hand car, or tightening their living allowances, are among many measures taken. It doesn’t only apply to students who study overseas but students in private colleges in Malaysia enrolled in external programmes.
Reform and provide quality education for all
So, the question is, why would the wage-earner parents sacrifice so much to send their children for overseas education or to private colleges? It is about quality education. It is the general perception of our society and the increasingly prevalent view held by employers that applicants with an overseas university degree are more qualified than applicants with locally awarded degrees. The problem is more indicative of a general negative regard that Malaysian employers have towards our national education. Reform needs to be implemented so that our education can be seen as on par with that of the countries to which so many of our disenfranchised students flock.
So why should race have a role to play in the education system? Do race and quality education intertwine? Why would there be a need for special privileges when we know that the problem runs more than skin deep?
In my humble opinion, every student should be treated equally as quality education should be enjoyed by every young Malaysian regardless of race or religion.
Instead of having special privileges, systemic reform is much needed by the government in achieving an inclusive and quality education for all. The government should aim to provide equal access for all, and eliminate gender, race or wealth disparities in the vision of quality education which is also one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Goal 4) for which we ought to strive.
WRITER: Teoh King Men is a law graduate and youth advocate.
-http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com
https://dinmerican.wordpress.com

SHOCK EXPOSE ON NAJIB & ROSMAH: ‘OVER RM100 BILLION’ STASHED IN FOREIGN BANK ACCOUNTS – WORLD CHAMPION ‘BONNIE & CLYDE’ TRIED TO FLEE ON NIGHT OF ELECTION RESULT BUT THEIR 2 PRIVATE PLANES SENT BY SAUDI CONNECTIONS DENIED LANDING RIGHTS, CLAIMS REPORT

The decision of the Malaysian people to vote in Harapan with a reform agenda on May 9th in many ways seemed to close a chapter on past misdeeds.  However, as the daily headlines show, it will be some time before the true scale of kleptocratic looting from Malaysia has been revealed.
Indeed, the one billion ringgit treasure haul, garnered from the Najib residences after the election, appears to represent relative trinkets knocking around the house, compared to the real hoard, safely locked up elsewhere.
Sarawak Report has it on good authority, for example, that two privately chartered jets arrived from Saudi late on the night of the shock election result, courtesy of the good offices of a relative of an executive of PetroSaudi.  Owing to the denial of formal landing rights, they are believed to have departed without the intended primary passengers, Najib and Rosmah.
However, a stash of precious items, including a certain pink diamond, is believed to have been brought on board and accompanied out of the country by senior personnel.
A separate source, with business connections to the couple, has further told Sarawak Report that to their “certain knowledge” deals they have information on amounted to considerably over RM100 billion in profits, which were banked abroad.  The source says they were personally involved in stashing much of the money into mainstream accounts in Hong Kong.

‘We Need To Change”

The exposure that such devastating sums of hot money, travelled into what the source says included major Swiss and German banks, looks set to rock the global financial system for years to come, keeping the issues of Malaysian kleptocracy in the news for the foreseeable future.
Yet, only for the first time this weekend, have we seen an apparent acknowledgement of at least some guilt on the part of Najib himself. In an extraordinary speech the ex-prime minister, after weeks of denials, admitted to the system of ‘money politics’, that he had presided over and suggested UMNO clean up its act.
Najib admitted, for example, that secret sums of cash had been sent out to division heads in advance of the election to buy votes, but complained some had purloined the cash instead:
“Maybe God wanted to teach us a lesson for our weaknesses. We must repent and correct our ways,” ….
“In the last general election, we lost to a party that did not spend much money; we did not know where their divisional offices were, their canopies were the earliest to close, but even when we flocked to our canopies, we still lost.
“There were those who sulked when they didn’t get allocations. There were those who did get money but said they didn’t. Then, there were candidates who received allocations but did not spend it.
“How are we supposed to win when our attitude is like that?’ he added. [Malaysiakni and others]
The fact that the UMNO machine failed to operate ‘as normal’ at GE14 was one of the key identifiable factors in the loss of the election.  It is also why UMNO leaders in a recent poll blamed Najib above all as the main factor in the defeat.
Confronted with his example, as a leader who together with his wife has blatantly stolen billions, and fearful of the outcome of the elections, it appears that party officials simply opted to keep the cash handouts, instead of spending it on ceramahs and bribes to voters at the polling booths.
Najib has reaped what he sowed in that respect, yet he still had the brass neck to condemn the freezing of UMNO accounts as an ‘assault on democracy
The remnants of that party have just relected Najib’s appointed former deputy as leader, a man who was not only prepared to support a kleptocrat by covering up blatant thefts and the unconsitutional sacking of his predecessor and attorney general, but also to lie and pretend he had met the fictitious ‘prince’, who allegedly provided Najib with the 1MDB stolen cash.
The choice is hardly surprising, because only 1% of those remaining UMNO members in a recent poll considered “honesty and trustworthyness” of importance in deciding their next leader!
Malaysians have months and months of high profile news to come on the decades of kleptocracy.  The only good news being that with so much potentially retrievable from Najib and Rosmah’s global treasure troves, much of the damage can be repaired and meanwhile UMNO is busy digging its own grave.
SARAWAK REPORT

‘PENDATANG’ GUAN ENG INSULTING THE MALAY RACE BY EXPOSING A MALAY LEADER’S STOLEN BILLIONS, MANDARIN TRANSLATIONS A THREAT TO MALAY LANGUAGE: SO WHOSE MALAYSIA IS THIS – MAHATHIR OR NAJIB’S?

Lim Guan Eng has been crucified for using Malay, English and the “unforgivable” language, Chinese, in one of his press releases as Finance Minister.
Compare that to when President Obama once did a campaign ad entirely in Spanish to support (Mexican and South American) immigrants known as DREAMers (https://tinyurl.com/ObamaSpanish). It was well received by Americans, apart from Umno, I mean, Trump voters.
I find it deliciously ironic that a leader who provides an extra translation in Chinese to push for full transparency is condemned (by the “Friends of BN” Facebook group or FOBN).
Yet, when a certain former leader was covering up the country’s true finances (and allegedly overpaying China for some deals), did FOBN deem him “patriotic”? Because he spoke in Bahasa Malaysia?
Why are some proverbial “pihak-pihak tertentu” or “certain quarters” in Malaysia more concerned about the linguistic packaging, rather than the substance of issues?
Let’s step back for a moment here. Would there also have been such an allergic political reaction if a Malay leader used the Chinese language?
For example, there is Youtube clip showing Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, apparently at his work desk and wearing his government name tag, telling reporters, “Wo shih Ma Si Li, wo shih yi ban malai ren, yi ban hua ren, wo mama shih Hakka yeen. (I am Maszlee, I am half-Malay, half-Chinese, my mother is Hakka).”
Yet nobody objected when Dr Maszlee did that (he also speaks fluent Arabic, by the way). After all, the Prophet himself encouraged Muslims to pursue knowledge, even up to China (presumably, with the help of the Chinese language).
Similarly, during the launch of the ECRL project in August 2017, by then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, most banners were in Chinese and the emcee spoke in Mandarin. Where were the FOBN “valiant defenders” of the national language then?
Many Pakatan Harapan leaders, when campaigning for the elections, added a “da jia wan shang hao” (“good evening everyone?” in Mandarin) and a “vanakum” (“greetings” in Tamil) into their ceramah speeches. There was no issue with that either.
The Arabic language is also heard at many government functions, even though it’s not our national language. But nobody complains.
Let’s look at an example beyond language.
Heads turned when M. Kulasegaran was sworn in as Human Resources Minister. This was because he was not wearing a songkok, but rather a traditional turban, called a thallapa. This, he said, “was also worn by (ancient) Tamil kings.”
Now, can you imagine if Lim had been sworn in with headgear “also worn by ancient Chinese emperors”?
He would have probably been skinned alive politically for “disrespecting” the songkok and “insulting” Malay/national culture. Yet, when Kulasegaran did it, it was regarded as a “cute” cultural detail.
The difference is this: Indian (including Sikh) Ministers who wear turbans for official government functions are not considered a “threat”.
But a Chinese Minister, who dares to translate a Malay press release into Chinese, is deemed to be linguistically “armed and dangerous”.
Lim then replied to the FOBN attack, on his personal Facebook page, saying, “Using more than one language to make a statement does not mean that my love for Malaysia will be reduced…or that it will affect the status of Bahasa Malaysia as the official language.”
It was a statement that nobody would disagree with. But the problem was that he said it only in Chinese, which FOBN (and others) used as ammunition to attack Lim further.
Sure, Lim has the right to use whatever language he chooses on his own FB page, just as I have the right to rant and rave on my own FB page.
Lim, who has a reputation for being combative, seemed to be trying to give a linguistic snub to FOBN, which he deemed to be racist. But that only brought on more attacks.
An analogy would be: a group of Malaysians are talking at a table in English or Malay, and suddenly the Chinese start conversing in Mandarin among themselves.
When I posted about this Chinesegate issue on my FB, one of my more open-minded Malay friends said, “I am envious that LGE is trilingual, and more envious that Dr Maszlee is quadrilingual.”
Another, a bumiputra university professor, went further to suggest that the government should also consider using Kadazan, Iban and Tamil. My response was, yes why not?
After all, RTM has broadcast news in Malay, English, Mandarin and Tamil, my colleague Martin Vengadesan reminds me.
And at KLIA, I’ve heard multiculturalism go further, with announcements in Arabic and Japanese (plus Mandarin). Well, Malaysia Truly Asia, right?
If we can cater to these foreign languages, perhaps announcements, say at Sabah’s airports or bus stations, can also be made in Kadazan, Bajau, Suluk or Rungus (depending on which district).
Malaysia has always been the meeting point of the monsoons, whose wealth was created when traders from East and West, from China, India, Arabia mingled and matched goods (and cultures) in this blessed land.
In other words, diversity and multiculturalism, were our historical competitive advantages. This is even more so now with the rise of China and India in the 21st century.
In fact, the Malay language itself was created by a fusion of native tongues, first with Sanskrit and Tamil, and then with Arabic.
If linguistic “patriots” really want to strengthen the status of Bahasa Malaysia, maybe they should first stop the “invasion” of English words into the language.
I personally prefer the words Ilmu Hisab (instead of Matematik), perusahaan (rather than industri) and Ilmu Alam (not Geografi). That’s the way I learnt it in school until the subjects were “glamourised” with plagiarised, OK I mean, “borrowed” words.
That would probably be more useful than attacking a Minister for providing an extra Chinese translation of his press release.
Most importantly, if we are to truly progress in Malaysia Baru, we must rise above all these language polemics. Or we risk being bogged down with endless battles over symbols and “sensitivities”, seeing shadows and slights in every corner.
Let’s look beyond the linguistic packaging, and get into the meat of things.
For example, if we want to be truly patriotic and defend our nation from “foreign threats”, we should protect our national treasures, such as our forests, rather than chop them down just so that a few leaders can pursue their worship of luxury Foreign Handbags.
We should protect Malaysian workers, and not underpay and overwork them just so that the big bosses can add a 7th luxury Foreign Car to his collection.
We should combat corruption, even if it’s done by a leader whose first language is Malay. We should pursue good ideas, even if they come from leaders who are more fluent in Chinese, Tamil or, yes, English.
And we should help all poor Malaysians, whether they speak Teochew or Temiar, Kelabit or Kelantanese, Malayalam or Melanau, Bidayuh or Bajau.
– ANN