Jul 18, 2008

Lim Kit Siang – The Longest Served Opposition Leader

Lim Kit Siang first emerged as a politician when he was National Organising Secretary of the DAP from 1966 to 1969. The course of the political landscape changed when he was promoted to Secretary-General in 1969 after being acting Secretary-General for a short period during an unstable period in the country's history.

Lim was first elected as an MP for the Kota Melaka seat in 1969. His election was initially held to be void, however, because the law prohibited an election agent who had previously failed to discharge his duties from standing for election in the future.

Apart from 1999 - 2004 where he lost his seat due to the Chinese disenchantment with DAP entering into a political pact with the Islamism PAS for the general elections, Lim represented various constituencies in four states:

  • Bandar Melaka (1969 - 1974)
  • Kota Melaka (1974 - 1978)
  • Petaling Jaya (1978 -1982)
  • Kota Melaka (1982 - 1986)
  • Tanjong (1986 - 1999)
  • Ipoh Timur (since 2004)

In 1969 Kit Siang was detained under the Internal Security Act for 18 months. Ten years later, in 1979, he was convicted of five charges under Official Secrets Act for exposing an inappropriate arms deal between the government and a Swiss company. He was one of the people arrested during "Operation Lalang" in 1987 for inciting racism. He spent some years in prison under the ISA.

Lim Kit Siang served as opposition leader from 1973 to 1999; he lost his seat in 1999 election and his seat succeeded by Dato Fadzil Noor from PAS. He retain his seat in 2004 general election and appointed as opposition leader again until 2007 general election. By convention, the Leader of the Opposition comes from the political party that secures the largest number of seats in the Dewan Rakyat, and which is not in government. The Leader of Opposition is often seen as the Prime Minister in waiting. The present Opposition Leader is Wan Azizah Wan Ismail of the People's Justice Party (PKR). Together with Democratic Action Party (DAP), the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) formed Pakatan Rakyat.

Government Scholarship Ratio

A shouting match over the PSD scholarship ratio erupted after Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, announced that the new Public Service Department scholarships would go to students of all races, religions and economic status. AS the government unveiled a scholarship scheme for top Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia students, the 55:45 scholarship ratio between Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras became a point of arguement in the house.

However, as he detailed the new scheme, Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) interjected to say that he was against the current scholarship ratio as it purportedly compromised the rights of Bumiputeras guaranteed under the constitution. Two opposition MPs described Tajuddin's statement as racist because it did not consider the plight of poor Chinese and Indians. This was because any use of economic status as a yardstick would discourage the best minds from staying in the country.

The new ratio was introduced last year to replace the previous quota of 90 per cent for Bumiputeras and 10 per cent for non-Bumiputeras. With the 55:45 scholarship ratio, clearly shows government realise that they need to create more opportunity to minorities. It’s important to ensure every Malaysian citizen regardless of races get equal chances to further their studies in critical courses. I hope goverment will be more open minded in higher education field in future, not only in PSD scholarships but also public universities intake.

Datuk Seri Mohammad Nazri Abdul Aziz: "if they score 15As, we will just close our eyes and let them have the scholarships".

Jul 17, 2008

Obama's Links in Malaysia

Barack Hussein Obama , a man who has captured the imagination of millions around the world. The supreme white racists, I mean the white supremacists, will try to everything they can to knock him off before the election in November but it looks like it is Obama's destiny to be the US first black president. Here's a little story about Barack Obama and his Malaysian connection. His brother in law, Konrad Ng, 34, is a Canadian born Chinese. His wife is Maya Soetoro - the step sister of Obama, whose father is an Indonesian. Maya, a Buddhist, is now a teacher in Hawaii, with Ng, who is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii.

Here's the Malaysian link - Konrad's father, Howard, migrated to Burlington, Ontario, from Malaysia. He is now a retired scientist who lives with his wife, Joan, in the little Canadian town. Both Konrad and Maya campaigned for Obama during the campaign trail for the Asian votes. The couple has been telling voters that Obama, with his family links, has been the most multi-racial American presidential candidate.

Jul 16, 2008

Mandela: 8 Lessons of Leadership

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. As President from May 1994 until June 1999, Mandela presided over the transition from minority rule and apartheid, winning international respect for his advocacy of national and international reconciliation.

This week's Time magazine cover features Nelson Mandela at 90 years of age. It contains 8 leadership lessons that current Malaysian political leaders of any shade and, business leaders, will do well to abide by.
1. Courage is not the absence of fear — it's inspiring others to move beyond it.
2. Lead from the front — but don't leave your base behind.
3. Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.
4. Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport.
5. Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer.
6. Appearances matter — and remember to smile.
7. Nothing is black or white.
8. Quitting is leading too.

Jul 15, 2008

Marvelous Debater - Anwar Ibrahim or Ahmad Shabery?

Anwar looked cool at the event. Ahmad Shabery's posture was to be the "protector" of Petronas. But Anwar made it clear he wasn't attacking Petronas and, in fact, lauded its achievements. That left Ahmad Shabery with making personal and barbed remarks about Anwar's rebellious history. The televised debate brought a balanced, cool, intelligent, articulate and persuasive Anwar into the living rooms of all M'sians. Here was the "monster", the "Devil incarnate". But, guess what? He had no horns. He was not spewing smoke and flames. Instead he was cool as a cucumber. He had a boyish smile. He looked charismatic. Given that he has an appointment with the police tomorrow based on the sodomy charge, Anwar's poise made him the winner tonight. It's my opinion anyway. It doesn’t mean that I am supporting any political party by delivering such opinion. Judge yourself on the 1 hour debate and do vote in the poll that I have created.

Jul 14, 2008


Its confirm that the debate on the recent petroleum hike by the government between PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek on 15 July 2008 which is organised by Agendadaily.com in Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in Kuala Lumpur. It’s going to be an interesting debate to view.

This is an great opportunity for each side to explain and defend their arguments – one side to justify the Government’s decision to raise fuel prices and the other claiming the prices will go down if the Opposition gets into power.

Anwar had recently said that if the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition took over the government, it would reduce fuel prices the very next day, adding that PR would announce the mechanism at the appropriate time and that he would resign if he failed to do so.

Using the US presidential elections debate format, a moderator would be appointed soon while Ahmad Shabery and Anwar would each select a journalist to join in the panel to ask questions. Only 200 people will be invited while our two debaters will be allowed to bring along 50 guests each.

It will be a live telecast on TV 1, TV 3,TV 9 and ASTRO (AWANI and BERNAMA) at 9 p.m. Enjoy the debate!