Monthly Archives: August 2007
The road from KL to Simpang Renggam was driven by Uncle Sani at 180 km/hr. He was as usual diligently making changes to his speech, making calls, and even get interviewed by a newspaper from Singapore. He even shared with me WW Rostov’s stages of development. Sometimes, I wonder how he can manage with such intense programs.
Simpang Renggam/Sri Gading programs went very well. Imagine doing 4 programs in an UMNO heartland and BN stronghold. We had about 3,000 local folks came to the ceramah. People cheered, they stayed until 12.30 am, many volunteered to become PKR workers. It was very motivating. The best of it all, they were all multi-racial. We are making inroads with multi-racial politics.
We arrived in Singapore at 2.30 am. In a few hours time, he would deliver an important speech recounting the Asian Financial Crisis 10 years later: What have we learned? I proceed straight to the business center to amend his speech… zzzz….
The Nanyang Technology University auditorium was jammed pack with people waiting anxiously for him. The Singaporean Press surrounded him like a celebrity.
As usual, his Q&A session was very inspiring. That was when his charisma came way to the fore. Difficult questions were answered with grace and satisfaction. The hour long Q&A went by so quickly. Reporters again cornered him to continue. I had to literary pull him out from the crowd to rush for a lunch with a minister.
From Simpang Renggam Kampung folks to academia crowd in NTU, he spoke with grace and delivered his message across. This is Anwar Ibrahim at his best.
We arrived back in KLIA at about 4.30 pm. We separated at the airport and he departed for Kedah/Perlis for another 24 hour program.
This is Anwar Ibrahim in action.
There are a few men and women that I look up to as a man of principles and integrity. They worked tirelessly for justice and to make this country a better place. These unsung heroes are often not known to many of us due to our UMNO controlled media.
En. Abdul Razak Ahmad is on of them.
Back in my student days in Johor Bahru, he was always someone i look up to as a student in JB. A man with wisdom, just, fostering multiracial harmony and work relentlessly for freedom. He was seen as a beacon or a man with principles in a madness city like Johor Bahru.
Mr. Yeo Yang Poh, ex-president of Bar Council, has this to say:
“Young members of the Bar may not know of the struggles that Razak Ahmad has been through, fighting for what he believes in.There are a number of things that I respect about Razak. Years ago, he could have easily joined the ruling party, and become a Minister at least. There were, I believe, more than a few opportunities in which he could have crossed over to the “winning side”.
He chose not to. He clung on to his convictions.
I once asked him whether it had occurred to him to try to make changes from within the system. He replied that, under our system, that would not be possible.
What would probably happen is that one then becomes part of the system that creates the problems; and he does not want to become that.
It is easy to proclaim to hold on to principles. It is difficult to continuously do so knowing full well what one is giving up.
Razak passed the test, many times over.”
I met him a week ago, to discuss programs of my boss’s visit to Johor. He was fatherly and cheerful as always. It was indeed shocking to receive the news.
Finally, the mainstream media has this to say on him.
I was invited by Oriental Daily News to talk about “Young and Talented Joining Politics on thursday evening. The rountable discussion was published yesterday in ODN print edition and malaysiakini as well.
Young people are often perceived as apolitical and described politics as dirty game. However, if we look back into history, you would find that actually idealistic young people often drove political agendas again and again.
The first generation of young people who drove political agenda of their time were Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM). In 1938, KMM demanded independence for Malaya. The concept of independence then inspired and motivated the whole generation of Malayans to work towards that goal. Interestingly, the KMM founders like Ishak Hj Muhammad were just teenagers and high school graduates at that time.
The second wave of young people driving political agendas were non other than in 1970s. Student leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Hishamuddin Rais and Lee Ban Chen created waves in political scenarios in Malaysia when they championed the issues of poverty and poor. They rallied the cause of poverty in Melaka, Baling (Kedah), Teluk Gong and Tasik Utara in Johor. They successfully created attention on the issues of poverty and hence driving the agendas in Rancangan Malaysia (Malaysia Plans) by the government.
The third wave of young people created waves in Malaysia started in 1998. Students were one of the main forces of reform movements that demand social justice and reform in judiciary, university and media. Student groups such as GAMIS, DEMA and PKPIM were the main forces behind it. Together with the NGOs and reform movement started by injustices on Anwar Ibrahim, they successfully created attention to reform agendas, such as injustices of ISA, UUCA, the decay of judiciary, police reform, media freedom, human rights and most importantly, democracy. This group of idealistic young people were often described as “Reformasi Generation”.
I would not regard the current scenario of young people joining politics as something revolutionary. The recent joining of a few young people is more of media star and something hyped up by the media rather then the agendas put forth by them. For example, the once news reporter Victor Gu joined and supported all policies by MCA was just plain un-inspiring.
However, I do have faith in the future generations who grow up in globalization era to put forth new tranformational political agendas for their generation. If you belong to one of them, this is a challenge for you.
Malaysian bloggers and UMNO are at war now. UMNO declared “War on Bloggers” just last week. The first shot was fired on Friday the 13th by arresting Nat Tan, my fellow colleague in KeADILan. The second shot was fired 10 days later by “the ex-Menteri Besar with the two Muhamads in his name”.
Can you all see the storm coming? Yes, it is coming hard and fast.
So, should the bloggers be worried?
Let’s put this in perspective. UMNO, so to speak, is not a united army. They are full of warloads, just like in Afghanistan. Certain factions in the party are at war with each other. The situation is so much so that they want kill each other politically, though, they are shaking hands in front of the camera. For example, KJ very much would like the picture of Najib with Altantuya story continues forever. Musa Hassan would like the Johari Bharrom allegations to continue to plague him.
So, you can see in Nat’s case, the police made so many mistakes and make fools of themselves! For example, the commercial crime department confiscated his monitor (for god’s sake)! They were too late to realize the overwhelming international pressures because this is the first blogger arrested in this nation which ambitioned to be the superpower of digital revolution.
Now, they made fools of themselves again by interrogation RPK and sending malaysia today hits to all time high. Bear in mind, this fiasco has two waring UMNO factions’ fingerprints all over it.
They have made so many tactical mistakes, that, I suspect UMNO is really in internal fighting mode. Now, they have to think really hard before the next move.
I just want to say “Thank you, Thank you! UMNO”.
Ah, yes, this is my first post as a blogger and I think this is the best defiance against any State intervention on Freedom.