on Friday, December 14

By: Dr. Al-Azharri Siddiq Kamunri

I was in Seoul attending an international conference, and was shockingly surprised to see the riot that took place at Sri Manamaran Putra Heigh's temple in Selangor. This showed the overall difficulty for the new government in seeking to forge closer ties between people of various faith in the country after the 14th general elections. Apparently there is something that has not changed, and it needs to be resolved immediately. Selangor is the richest state in Malaysia with GDP continuing to exceed the national average. The Selangor state's progress in terms of financial, investment, education and banking for examples  cannot be denied. However, these developments are not guarantees of peace and security in the state.
The question is: Are Malaysians still not yet matured after 62 years of independence, 14 general elections and led by 7 Prime Ministers? Why have the Government at both the state and locals level failed to promote peace and harmony between peoples of various ethnic and faith.
Let's look at the outside world. When I stayed for a shot time in the USA a few years back, my family and I stayed near a mosque and just across the street from the mosque was a church. For the entire time we stayed there, there was never a fight or even a misunderstanding that erupted into riots between peoples of different religion. Each follower of a religion understands the rights of others from a different faith. The societies there are even more diverse and claimed different nationalities such as from Europe, Asia, Arabia and the Americas. I see that our leaders and government have the good intention to promote peace and harmony across different faith and other backgrounds, but apparently some Malaysians are still not ready and continue to be be o overwhelmed by narrow perspective of the past.
I see that ethnic relations in the Peninsular Malaysia especially needs to change. Examine two unique states in the Island of Borneo. In Sabah and Sarawak, people of different religions and ethnic background can live close to each other in the same setting, sit together and eat in the same restaurant while respecting each other faith and mindful of the food requirement that may and may not be permitted. But the food requirement has never been the issue that separated peoples of different faith to sit down together to eat, whether in homes and in restaurants. This does not happen too frequent in Peninsular Malaysia.

I see that in Peninsular Malaysia there is a serious and immediate need to create a new formula to promote unity. All previous policies and programs have clearly failed. Perhaps a time has come to introduce a new policy, the National Patriotic Policy. Our people lack national and social resilience, display a low levels of patriotism and weak in nationalistic spirit. They may wave the same flag in their hands, but the flag do not flutter or resonate in their hearts.
A long time ago, when I used to stay in a small village, villagers mingled with the Chinese who run the small grocery store; Malays and Indians would buy from the Chinese grocery stores. There was never any issue. Indians from Peninsular Malaysia were brought into Sabah to be rubber tappers and plantation workers, to build Hindu temples in the middle of the farm although there were only two or three adherents of the faith. When the Indians returned to Peninsular Malaysia, the shrine was then demolished. Again, there was no issue. There were  no protests and riots. I still remembered my Chinese friend getting higher marks in Islamic Education than most of the Muslim students. During Hari Raya, my Chinese friend lent his ethnic clothes to me which I happily wear. Finally, he gave that shirt as a gift to me. Does these values ​​still exist in our social system?
National Patriotic Policy
The new ruling party under Pakatan Harapan coalition and led by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has a clear vision and mission, and that is to bring about a new Malaysia, united and moving forward. But the ruling party need the help of all and the time to create this new Malaysia. How could new the new Malaysia be carved out and by what mean?
The need for a comprehensive new policy that could rally the people tight must be in the creation of a feeling of oneness fulled by sharing of values, internally and outwardly express able. This is about creating a passion, love and affection of a country, New Malaysia. Riots is not love. It’s is certainly People need to realize that Malaysia is a small country with a diversity of people. What bind them? The answer has to lie in the Rukunegara, the national ideology. But the national ideology has to be seen in behavior and this is where the National Patriotic Policy help in translating the former into helping to produce visible behavior among the multi ethnic people of Malaysia.
The National Patriotic Policy  (NPP) does not need a huge budget. There are former equipments left by PLKN (National Service Training Program) and BTN (National Civic Bureau). We have technical and logistics equipments at many agencies such as ATM (Malaysian Armed Forces), PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police Force) and other security agencies. All these assets could be mobilized for this purpose. It is high time that we should also focus on creating the spirit of Malaysian nationhood instead of focusing merely on the economic and politics of nation building. The riot at Seafield, Selangor recently, and which occurred in one of the most economically prosperous assets in Malaysia is a serious setback in nation building.
In conclusion, the riot in Seafield, Selangor is a serious problem in managing diversity. It is a collective problem where blame cannot be pointed to one or two individual or any particular community. It is a collective failure on our part and one that we need to reflect and find solution to manage in moving forward in the new Malaysia.
The write's field of study is Politics and Government and has interests on issues relating to nation-building, national security and patriotism.


on Saturday, October 13

By: Dr. Al-Azharri Siddiq Kamunri,

Malaysia entered a new phase when Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the country's administration from the Barisan Nasional after GE14. This is the first change in leadership since UMNO/BN ruled the country from independence in 1957.

With the change in leadership, the main question is “Is Malaysia are ready to face the global changes brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution, the US-China trade war, and come out stronger in addressing security issues facing the country?

The Clash
Several scholarly views have been offered in addressing the preparedness of the country and its peoples in facing these issues. Huntington (1996) for example states that the problem of value collisions and clashes of civilizations will shape the world in the 22nd century. Among the most significant conflicts that would arise will be trade war between China and the United States. For Malaysia, the contestations between various ethnic groups will define development in the political, social and economic spheres. It is interesting to note that many evidences suggest that unity in the name of ideology and politics will not last long and will remain fluid. For example, Koreans in South and North Korea are of the same race, but they are separated by ideology and politics. However, during the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, the Koreans from these two countries are united in the name of the Korean Union because they have the same core civilization, DNA and culture.

As Malaysia goes through a process of change especially with the new government, Malaysians should look forward to making this change themselves in a continuing effort to build the country. When there is a change in government, Malaysians must also change but not at the expense of damaging the core values of the country that has been well grounded in the national constitution. In this issue, I bring five elements that should be dear to every Malaysian.

Five National Construction Elements of Malaysia

1. Patriotism
Often debated by academics, politicians, and governments but all seem to concur that patriotism is very important in promoting the identity of the people toward one nation-state. However, it has been found that this patriotic spirit has declined among many Malaysians. Studies show that this happens because of the greater love for materialism or sometime referred to as value-based patriotism. Patriotism is egocentric and has to do with the willingness to sacrifice and defend national security against domestic and foreign threats. Patriotism cannot be expressed only by abstract forms such as the flying of flags, but it should be accompanied by value-added elements such as trust, hate of corruption and keeping internal and external cleanliness. A simple example: does one remove trash by throwing them out of their car window? Is this not a waste to the country? Little thing such as the former is patriotic value that needs to be nurtured from small. The people need to be aware that among others, patriotism emphasizes good behavior and not just of loyalty. Patriotism must be reflected by deeds to be demonstrable, seen and can be followed.

2. Democracy
Democracy is a wide spread practice in many countries in the world today, though the democratic form varies due to different historical backgrounds. In the context of Malaysia, one that is to be praised is that Malaysians accept government change at federal and state levels well. There were no riots and demonstrations, but Malaysians were seen to take this change very well. The simple concept of democracy is “a rule of the people, by the people and for the people”. Although scholars such as Francis Fukuyama and Almond & Verba claim that democracy does not fully satisfy all parties, the multiracial Malaysians continue to enjoy security and well-being in their daily lives.

3. Nationalism
Among the appropriate interpretations of nationalism is by Lord Acton (1972) who said that nationalism is a love of and love for the country. The formation of the soul of patriotism must be based on the spirit of nationalism. The sense of nationalism in every individual citizen needs to be continued with the spirit of patriotism in the love of and willingness to sacrifice for the nation. In the context of Malaysia after PRU14, some exciting events should consider the uses of 'we Malaysian nation,' 'we Malaysians,' 'we are Malaysian' and so on. Malaysians must change so that our country will continue to move forward without compromising the fundamentals as set out in the Federal Constitution. The effort to build unity requires a new approach in line with current changes, especially for the new generations.

4. Welfare
One of the conditions of national security is that the well-being that must be felt and enjoyed by all. Wellness can be seen in the context of religion, economy, politics, and education. A simple example is in the religious context; most are aware that Malaysia has a diversity of beliefs; today a threat from global terrorism is threatening to compromise Malaysia's security. Security forces may be able to monitor and control religious risks in social medias and internet, but terrorist groups in the community are more complicated to manage. They are not well-known, well-organized and have no early signs of being a threaten to safety and well-being of the people until they become one, and by which time, it is a little late to nip.

5. Unity
Given current world development, each country appears to unite themselves with their allies through similarity and common interests in terms of economic, political or social matters. For example, European countries are trying to come together to build a stronger economic community in the form of an (EEC). China is increasingly open in all respects but has being consolidating itself with its new initiative such as the famous Chinese Belt that spread across to Asia, Arab, Europe and Russia. This initiative has given rise to a possible clash known today as the Trade War.

In Malaysia, racial conflict is small because the government has successfully implemented various programs to thwart the former and unite the various ethnic groups. But its success is not absolute and guaranteed because disruptive elements are always looking for space in society to commit crimes and terrorism and therefore derail this good effort. Risk of conflicts among multiracial peoples is a more significant conflict because of competition in politics and economics based along racial line. We cannot take the “wait and see” attitude because time do not wait for bad things to happen. To ensure security of the nation, the people need to move forward, making the ones that have passed as a guide for more secure national security in the future.

Closing: Regional Union

Regional unity is fundamental in the survival of the Malaysian nation. If the Malaysian federal system that has been set up since September 16, 1963, becomes more relaxed, the country will face security issues. Understand that the unity of Malaysians will bring strength, togetherness brings strength and separation will bring weakness. If unity of the state is weak, then it is easy for our country to slip into decline whether in politics, social and economic matter.
The writer’s field of study is Politics and Government and has interests on issues relating to nation-building, national security and patriotism.


on Wednesday, June 13

The culture of jumping ship, anti-jump law

Assalamualaikum wbt. Ramadhan Greetings to YAB Tun and family. May Allah bless YAB Tun with good health, abundance and long life.

First of all, permit me to congratulate YAB Tun on your recent success in claiming the leadership of the country and putting back our beloved country on a good track to recovery from many past ills. In the past, I had the privileges of writing to YAB Tun after you retired from active politics.I am honoured then that I got replies in a reasonably short time. The letters can read in my book here and here

Based on my humble and little observation, it is obvious that the era when YAB Tun first led our beloved country between 1981 and 2002 is a lot different from now with so many changes that have since taken places. As such, I concur that there are many changes that need to be carried out in order for our beloved country to be able to move forward in the new era of the 4th Industrial Revolution and beyond.

And in politics, I also concur with the direction that YAB Tun wishes to take our beloved country in moving forward and creating a new, vibrant culture of work and politics. Hence, I agree with YAB Tun's earlier speech to not accept elected representatives who wish to jump ship. This demeans the people’s mandate and furthermore it would also dishearten staunch supporters of PH and its various component parties. The latter had worked hard through thick and thin, and it would certainly disappoint them to be later eclipsed by the exodus of “ship jumpers” from former rival political parties.

Nevertheless, I understand the need of the PH led by YAB Tun to have good support as many things that need to be done require the support of a two-third majority in parliament. That rival political parties have disengaged themselves from their parent party, BN and declare support for PH is a pact that would help accomplish the needed parliamentary support for changes or reforms that PH had pledged to carry out.

However, in order to bring integrity to the electoral and democratic processes, it might be necessary to introduce anti-jump law. This is because we still have high number of politicians who have not yet acquire that level of integrity and are quick to shift allegiance for narrow, self-interest.

In matured democracy, this ship-jumping antic does not happen, although horse-trading may also be seen as it’s more subtle form. In the US, for example, the rotation of governance between democrats and republicans are common and elected representatives there do not jump ship because the president or governors who won state governments come from opposing political party.

In democracy, both members of the ruling party and the opposition have important roles to play in upholding democracy and providing a check-and-balance so that the process of governance benefits the people. We see how this works in many countries such as in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan but not so in our beloved country, Malaysia. Before 2008, the argument has been that the number of opposition is small and hence a shadow cabinet cannot be formed to check on the ruling party. But since 2008, there is a huge number of opposition members and still the country do not have a shadow cabinet that can check the ruling party. Hopefully, now that BN is on the opposing side, they can form the shadow cabinet in order to provide the need check so that PH would be working hard for the good of the country and its people.

In my humble opinion, the culture of jumping ship destroys the very fundamental of democracy because it betrays the trust placed by electorates in their elected representatives. If elected representatives want to jump ship, they should either vacate the seat or seek the support of those whom have voted for them. That would be the only honorable thing to do for all parties concerned, either for the receiving party or the party that is about to be abandoned as well as the people who had voted for their elected representatives.

It is very honorable for Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, for examples whom have remained loyal to their principles and stay on with DAP come what may. Undoubtedly, both father and son team had gone through many rough times and spots but they remained steadfast because they were convinced of their party's struggle for the people. This is the spirit to be learned and should pervade in politics. People will then be confident of their politicians and leaders.

Furthermore, the culture of jumping ship or frogging as is commonly referred to in Malaysia is predominantly in some states especially in Sabah and this unhealthy political culture has over the years spread to states such as Perak and Kedah. In events of ship jumping or frogging back and forth, time is wasted, people lose confident in the political process and leaders and the whole episode undermine stability and the democracy.

Thank you very much.

Jun 13, 2018.


on Saturday, June 9

A Great Experience

Almost a month after GE14, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has been working very hard to strengthen the government's administration through various reforms/changes. DS Anwar also came into the picture to help the former, for example, in meeting YDA to discuss and allay possible royal discomfort in appointing a non-Malay, non-Muslim as the country’s Attorney General.

I was a student when I first went through experiencing the country’s leadership under Tun Dr. Mahathir (1981-2002). When Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi become prime minister between 2003 and 2009, I had just started work as a government officer. When Tun Mahathir became prime minister for a second time in May 2018, I am once again a student although at a different stage/ level compared to before. The latter had come back to power riding upon the peoples’ (Malaysian) tsunami fuelled by discontent over many national issues that affected the nation and the peoples’ livelihood. In Mahathir’s second round as prime minister, which was capped at about 2 years, DS Anwar is touted as prime minister-in-waiting. So far, he has no formal government opposition. 

As a student of politics, there is a lot to be learned and firsthand at how democracy works, the importance of people’s participation, the need of those elected officials to respond and be in tune with the pulses of the people. It is indeed refreshing to be a student of politics at this state of Malaysia’s political development as politics unfolds and textbook theories are being validated by the political process that keeps unfolding each day.

Why PH won?

The success of Pakatan Harapan or the Alliance of Hope in the recent general elections was due to the role played by Tun Dr. Mahathir. Without the former, wrestling power from the former BN was probably a feat near impossible. In two previous general elections, the opposition pact comprising various political parties could only bring their parliament seats, counts, to about 80, including winning a few states such as Selangor, Penang, and Kelantan as well as creating a hung state in Perak at one time. So, the Mahathir factor is significant in PH’s win in 2018. It was the only variable that differed from two previous general elections where opposition gained ground but not enough to cross the winning line to take the federal government.

How could the above have happened, one might ask. Well, it was obvious that DS Najib was beginning to slowly lose grip over politics when he took over the leadership of UMNO, BN, and as prime minister. This can be seen from the emergence of stronger opposition voices, especially in PRU12 and PRU13. This weakness did not happen during Tun Mahathir’s first term as prime minister when the opposition was weak and reduced to being insignificant in the federal parliament.

Is UMNO down and out?

DS Najib is down! But UMNO is not necessarily down with him. BN won about 79 seats. If seats from Sabah and Sarawak as well as those little ones won by its Peninsula components, then about 60 seats or so are still huge for one political party, UMNO to have won. That number certainly does not spell the end of it, i.e. UMNO.

PKR and DAP, the leading component of the new ruling party have less than that number. So, UMNO may be a sinking shop BUT it has not gone under the water and far from reaching the bottom of the sea.

As president of UMNO and chairman of BN, DS Najib’s decision to resign from these positions is responsible and in line with the tradition of taking responsibility for the loss suffered by UMNO and BN in the last general election. But top party leaders’ readiness to accept this without much debate was not wise because there is now a power vacuum. Who has the cloud to take over? Some names may pop up but they do not in any way measure up to the challenge to lead UMNO.

It is only natural for a political party that has known only power to feel disoriented when it lost power. In the immediate days after losing power, many potential UMNO leaders are bewildered and cast conflicting aspirations. For example, Acting President, Zahid Hamidi, was quick to pay homage to the PH prime minister and former UMNO President, Tun Mahathir. This is a clear sign of weakness and perhaps, therefore, questions his ability to shoulder the responsibility to revive and lead UMNO forward. UMNO Youth touted previously as uprising UMNO leaders, Khairy Jamaluddin was quick to criticize his former boss, DS Najib. Who is he trying to flatter? This is another sign of weakness of character and also lack of loyalty to own struggle in the face of challenge.

It is clear that UMNO is not yet OUT, but the party is in dire need to develop potential leaders to revive the party. It would not be easy and it would take time as UMNO really lack potential leaders to take up the job. If we are to ask, who could stand up and take the leadership to revive UMNO? I think it is a difficult task to come up with names. This differentiates UMNO from many components of PH. Among this group, names simply pop up such as Azmin Ali, Rafizi Ramli, Saifuddin Abdullah, Saifuddin Nasution, Tian Chua, Lim Guang Eng, Anthony Loke, Ong Kian Ming. The list could go on.

But whatever it is, the answer to reviving UMNO so that it can still be the party to represent Malays and at the same time be acceptable to Malaysians of various backgrounds is not all lose. The answers to this lie within UMNO itself, and there is no necessity to go beyond its border to seek answers and solutions to its present predicament and problems.

Moving on as Malaysians

Last but not least, Malaysian politics has changed and will constantly change with the promise of the emergence of a new environment that will be responsive to the people, open, and transparent. For this, Tun Mahathir, like him for what he is doing now or hate him for what he has done before that many don’t like, has to be congratulated and respected for his foresight and wisdom to make Malaysia “new” that will see all Malaysians as Malaysians. This was what he has not fully achieved when he left office as first prime minister and that was creating a Bangsa Malaysia (Challenge No 1). Now, he is back and he could continue and finish this objective that he set out in his Vision 2020 that he first launched about three decades ago.

The general elections are now over. It’s time to concentrate and give full and undivided support to the ruling party and government of the day. After much has been traded during the general elections where parties tried to outdo each other, this is a moment of reconciliation, a healing moment, and a time to reunite Malaysians in order to move the great nation forward both at home and in the international arena. PH government must be given the time and space to realize their vision and when that falls short, it is the right of people in a democratic country to trade them for another party that can better move the nation forward.

Happy Weekend, Have A Nice Day

Universiti Putra Malaysia 
June 9, 2018.


on Tuesday, May 29

In our media intensive culture it is not difficult to find differing opinions. Thousands of social media and dozens of radio and television talk shows resound with differing points of view. The difficulty lies in deciding which opinion to agree with experts seem the most credible. The more inundated we become with differing onions and claims, the more essential it is hone critical reading and thinking skills to evaluate the ideas.

The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever required his wisdom in any mode but this (John Stuart Mill).

Take a look at how the political map of the world has changed in every century since the collapse of the Roman Empire, that should be proof enough that nation building has been for quite a while. Casting a glance at the 19th and 20th centuries will reveal that the types of nation building with the most lasting impact on the modern world are nationalism, colonialism and post-world war II reconstruction.

Nationalism gave rise to most European countries that exist today. The theory was that each nation, embodying a shared community of culture and blood, was entitles to its own state.

In Malaysia, the nations built not by war. Some countries have been created not by their own efforts but by decisions made by the international community. Look at the Balkan and southeast region of Europe.

Lastly, today war is not an acceptable means of state building. Instead, nation building must be a consensual, democratic process. But such a process is not effective. 

The conclusions, many of the leaders only rebuilding a post office, but not delivering the mail. That's a dilemma in the country.

Correction: While the leaders are preoccupied with rebuilding the post office, they forgot that the mails have yet to be delivered.


on Saturday, May 19

Allow me to give an opinion on the statements by SUARAM urging National Civics Bureau or Biro Tatanegara (BTN) to be closed here I understand it is based on the experiences of some individuals in BTN courses. 

Many years back, I used to be posted to BTN Hq. I was not even a trainer or facilitator then when I was involved with BTN camp. However, I am aware of the need to foster patriotism among Malaysia to their country. That was the main purpose BTN was set up and for which its trainings were aimed at.

My brief experience with the United States of America, facilitated by my presence there for over a year alluded me to the fact this was part of training and process in nation building.  This was what drew the attention of scholars such the likes of Francis Fukuyama, Noam Chomsky, Allan Bloom and Samuel Huntington on why and how this process is important in creating or moulding a sense of togetherness and belonging among people within a nation-state. These scholars spoke of a love for one’s country, sense of togetherness and a respect for each other’s human right, religion and culture and a high sense of discipline. This sense of “Americanness” regardless of racial, ethnic and national origin brings togetherness and leads to the identification of them as “we the American people”. That process in the United States brought out that sense of togetherness.

We must remember that BTN has access to huge pool of resources, expertise and experienced trainers and facilitators drawn from various spectrum of the society. It would be a huge loss if due to sentiment and whim of the moment we are to close BTN. BTN may have veered away from its original purpose and that was to unite and create that sense of togetherness and a sense of belonging to a nation-state called Malaysia. If that is what bothered many, then the problem is not that BTN is not needed, but what need to be done to set it on its right course is on the need to refine its operation, restructure abit and put in the right people whose aspirations are similar to that whom lead the government of the day.

It is clear that BTN may need revamp from various angles such as: structure, purpose, and staffing. It must meet the need and aspiration of the people who wanted change that was promised through the new government lead by the Alliance of Hope. There is hope, and BTN or the new and revitalized BTN can continue to play this important role under the leadership of the Alliance of Hope government.

Lastly, I strongly believe that the function of BTN is needed and even more now with the new political environment. The Alliance of Hope government and leadership would be less than honest with itself to think otherwise. The process on nation-building continue to unfold and there is a need for an agency such as BTN to take up this role as Malaysia tread into the future path toward a greater and more united Malaysia.


on Sunday, May 13

Many peoples asking me when and how DS Anwar Ibrahim will be a Prime Minister.

Normally, a request for a royal pardon is presented before a royal pardon board, depending on where a person has been found guilty, and this can happen upon the recommendation of authorities concerned. 

This request has to be agreed upon by His Royal Highness concerned. When that is done, the person is then released a free man immediately to allow what the Prime Minister says, some one has to vacate his parliamentary seat to pave way for a by-election so that he can stand in that by-election and assumes that he wins. He can be recommended by the coalition to be appointed Prime Minister upon the resignation of the siting Prime Minister who says will give way. 

Anyway, we should focus to the rakyat. We also must give a time to the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir to save the nation and also take us to greater height. He has all the qualities to do it. The time is now, lets forget about the past.

I think that's the scenario. Maybe i'm wrong.


on Friday, May 11

In academic, we say that the government remains, people running the government change. Malaysia government is HM the King, all the nine Malay Sultans and all 4 Yang Dipertua Negeri. The people running the federal and state governments change but the civil servant and civil services are neutral. They support the government of the day.That's the principle of democracy. They implement policies decided by the ruling party for the benefits of the people.

In Malaysia, people may find it hard to believe and accept because this is the first time alliance and national front parties do not rule. They have ruled since 1955. In other countries, it a normal process and part of governing.


on Wednesday, May 9

was very shocked with a new video clip that has emerged attributed to YABhg. Tun Sakaran Dandai, former Sabah Chief Minister and minister in the federal government. He said that Sabahans must remember what had happened to the state before Barisan Nasional took over the reign of the state government from PBS in 1985 and ruled till 1994. He said that during that period, there were only one or two schools in Pulau Bum Bum compared to with what the place has today. Tun Sakaran asked that voters from Semporna to vote for Ramli Marhaban and not for Shafie Afdal. Most people know that there was a close relationship between Tun Sakaran and Dato Seri Shafie Apdal.

Thus, Sabahans must not be confused about whom to choose as the best candidate to represent between two candidates that are Shafie and Ramli Marhaban who are soliciting for their votes. The voters should be looking at a bigger picture of Sabah and their future such as the need for a Pan Borneo Highway, more hospitals, free educations, and stability in the South China Sea as well as in the Sulu Sea.

Every day, thousands foreign tourists comes to visit Sabah especially the wonderful places such as Ligitan, Sipadan, Mabul and many more. But without stability and peace, they won’t come and this will be a huge loss to the people here because they will lose these tourist incomes that generate jobs and give them and their family livelihood.

Today is polling day. Think carefully and make a wise decision of whom you want to fulfil your aspiration. Don’t gamble away your future and that of your children and their children’s children. 

I still remembered when the state was run by the opposition party, it was tough for Sabahans to get scholarship. Many Sabahan students were frustrated because they cannot go overseas for further studies. Now, they have University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), UITM, Open University Malaysia (OUM), Teachers Training Institute (IPG), polytechnics KPM, and many more.

Last but not least, let's come together to build our state in a better way. We have many choices, and to maintain existing way is better and assured than venturing into unknown. Patriotism to the state means love for and of the state and a love for a better government. 'Undionoh' Tatap Sabah


on Friday, March 30

Kenangan Bersama Datuk Ghapur Salleh 
1990 dan 2018.

Minggu lalu saya menelefon ahli parlimen Kalabakan, sebenarnya untuk menyampaikan ucapan terima kasih dari ayah saya kerana keprihatinan beliau menyumbangkan kira-kira 30 lori batu untuk memperbaiki jalan masuk ke kawasan perumahan ayah saya. Dalam perbualan telefon itu, beliau mengajak saya ke parlimen untuk berjumpa. 

Ketika Datuk Ghapur mahu melangkah masuk dalam Dewan Rakyat, saya memanggilnya dan kami pun masuk ke dalam Coffee House minum sambil bersembang.

Semasa PRU 2008 dan PRU 2013, beberapa minggu sebelum bubar parlimen, saya bertemu dengannya di parlimen. Pada kedua-dua PRU 2008 dan 2013 Datuk Ghapur menyebut nama-nama yang akan bertanding di DUN Merotai, Sebatek dan Tg. Batu. Semua yang disebutnya benar-benar menjadi calon. Tetapi kali ini, Datuk Ghapur tidak menyebut nama sesiapa. 

Sebaliknya, Datuk Ghapur menyuruh saya balik berkhidmat di Sabah. "Baliklah ke Sabah jadi calon", itulah kata-kata Datuk Ghapur dalam telefon dan semasa bertemu di Coffee House. Saya menjawab, "Terima kasih Datuk, khidmat saya di Putrajaya lebih penting kepada negara". Saya tahu Datuk Ghapur bermain-main sahaja.

Kami bercerita banyak kisah lama dan baharu. Datuk Ghapur berkata dia tidak pernah melobi meminta untuk dicalonkan semula, sebaliknya orang lain katanya ramai berjumpa kepimpinan untuk menjadi calon. Namun, Datuk Ghapur menyebut, kepimpinan tertinggi meminta beliau untuk berkhidmat lagi di Kalabakan kerana keadaan politik negara sekarang sangat serius dan genting.

Datuk Ghapur Salleh juga menceritakan hubungan dengan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sangat akrab bagaikan isi dengan kuku. Namun, tegasnya kesetiaan beliau kepada UMNO dan BN tidak boleh dijualbeli hanya kerana sebab akrab itu. Walaupun pada tahun 2008 banyak tawaran menarik daripada kem DS Anwar Ibrahim ditawarkan kepada ahli-ahli parlimen UMNO dan BN.

Sambil itu, Datuk Ghapur menceritakan kejayaan anak-anaknya dalam pendidikan di luar negara. Saya mengusik Datuk Ghapur kerana sepanjang 40 tahun berpolitik tidak pernah belanja saya walaupun satu sen. Dia senyum dan ketawa. Baharulah kali ini Datuk Ghapur belanja saya satu cawan kopi O sahaja sepanjang 40 tahun itu.

Datuk Ghapur Salleh juga bercerita tentang persediaan Kalabakan menghadapi PRU14 kali ini. Hanya pelik kali ini, beliau tidak menyebut sesiapa nama untuk calon-calon di peringkat DUN tidak seperti sembang kami pada tahun 2008 dan 2013.

Pada tahun 2013, semasa pengumuman calon BN di Seri Gaya, Kota Kinabalu saya menelefon sekali lagi kepada beliau kenapa tidak ke Seri Gaya. Datuk Ghapur menjawab, 'saya tidak tahu adakah saya akan dicalonkan semula'. Ternyata beberapa minit kemudian, beliau masih juga dicalonkan. 

Menjelang PRU14 kali ini, saya sudah tidak boleh mencoretkan kepada anda siapakah bakal calon UMNO dan BN di Kalabakan, Merotai, Tanjung Batu dan Sebatek.

Namun ramalan tetap ramalan. Semasa rombakan kabinet 2015, saya menghantar WA kepada DSP Salleh Said Keruak. Saya berkata, "Datuk standby inshaallah akan menjadi Menteri penuh". Datuk Salleh menjawab, 'Tidak mungkin kerana Sabah sudah ramai Menteri dan Kota Belud juga Menteri'. Beberapa hari kemudian, DSP Salleh Said Keruak dilantik sebagai Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia. Akhirnya ramalan saya benar belaka. Sehingga ke hari ini kami masih berutus WA.

Begitulah, tiada siapa tahu siapa akan dicalonkan di Kalabakan, Merotai, Tg. Batu dan Sebatek. Begitu juga, tiada siapa tahu siapa akan dilantik menjadi Menteri. Semua itu adalah kuasa pregroratif seseorang Perdana Menteri dan Presiden parti. 

Ramalan saya? Tunggu...yang pasti calon-calon dari parti lain seperti PAS, PKR, WARISAN, GABUNGAN SABAH dan calon-calon BEBAS pasti akan mewarnai PRU kali ini. 

Selamat Berhujung Minggu.
Masjid Daerah Sandakan, Sabah.


on Friday, February 23

1. Anwar Ibrahim kembali menjadi mangsa politik machiavelli. Pada tahun 2008, Anwar mempunyai sebab yang sangat hampir untuk mengambilalih Kerajaan Persekutuan, namun tidak berjaya kerana 30 ahli parlimen BN yang mereka harapkan melompat tidak berjaya. Tun M ketika itu tidak pun memperdulikan Anwar malah masih mencerca Anwar sebagai orang yang tidak layak menjadi PM kerana isu sodomis.

2. Pada tahun 2013, Anwar sekali lagi berpeluang menjadi PM selepas menambah kemenangan daripada 82 kepada 89 tetapi terhalang oleh rekonsiliasi dengan pemimpin besar negara jiran. Tun M ketika itu serupa juga tidak memandangpun Anwar malah masih mengeji Anwar dengan tuduhan sodomis yang tidak layak memimpin negara katanya.

3. Kali ini, belum pun PRU14 Anwar sudah pun dihalang atau terhalang menjadi PM apabila Tun M sekali lagi meletakkan dirinya sekurang-kurangnya dua tahun memegang PM seandainya mereka menang. Begitulah cara kuno politik machiavelli, kali ini untuk menghalang Anwar jadi PM kena masuk ke dalam kem Anwar.

4. Berdasarkan sejarah politiking Tun M merosakkan reputasi Tunku Abdul Rahman, Pak Lah, Anwar Ibrahim, Tun Musa dan sekarang ini DS Najib, saya tidak ada keyakinan Tun M akan menyerahkan kuasa kepada Anwar. Saya juga tidak ada kepercayaan Tun M akan berhenti selepas dua tahun. Jika Tun M mahu melakukannya, ia sudah dilakukannya pada PRU12 dan PRU13. Hari ini adalah wayang Hindustan sahaja.

5. Dalam minda Tun M ialah bagaimana untuk menempatkan Mukhriz di kedudukan selamat sebagai Perdana Menteri. Bukannya TS Muhyiddin, jauh sekali DS Shafie Apdal. Kita kena faham dunia global dan Malaysia hari ini sudah jauh berubah. Tun M sangat cemerlang dengan method pemerintahannya selama 22 tahun, tetapi cara 22 tahun itu tidak lagi sesuai pada hari ini. Hari ini rakyat tidak boleh ditakut-takutkan dengan pelbagai ancaman seperti ISA, hari ini rakyat menikmati demokrasi yang sihat di Malaysia. Tidak perlu lagi takut bercakap hak-hak Sabahan dan Sarawakian misalannya, jika dulu anda akan disumbat di dalam penjara ISA.

6. Perhatikan bagaimana Tun M menekan DS Najib supaya melantik Mukhriz menjadi MB Kedah. DS Najib seorang yang baik dan tidak lupa daratan, tanpa ditekan pun Mukhriz tetap dilantik sebagai MB Kedah. Sebenarnya, Mukhriz tidak boleh maju ke hadapan dengan membawa method Tun M, sebab itu Mukhriz tidak dapat mengatasi Khairy Jamaluddin dalam pertandingan Pemuda UMNO. Mukhriz tidak boleh melangkah jauh secara berseorangan.

7. Oleh itu, PRU14 adalah masa yang paling sesuai untuk menyelamatkan politik Mukhriz. Jika menunggu PRU15 pada tahun 2023, Mukhriz sudah hilang kekuatan dan legasi Tun M akan hilang dalam arus politik negara.

8. Mahu tidak mahu, PRU14 adalah antara hidup dan mati legasi Tun M kepada Mukhriz. Maka mereka terpaksa berkawanan dengan musuh-musuh politik 30 tahun mereka. DAP yang dicemuh kini pura-pura disayangi, PKR yang dibenci kini bertebal muka menunjuk simpati. Prinsip perjuangan digadai. Tidaklah menghairankan suatu hari nanti Tun M akan mencemuh semula DAP dan PKR. Tidaklah menghairankan suatu hari nanti Tun M akan menyertai semula UMNO. Siapa yang dikontang kanting, rakyatlah yang diheret ke sana ke mari. Sebab itu rakyat lebih baik kekal bersama kerajaan berbanding disorong ke sana ke mari.

9. Sedarilah, mereka semua sudah kaya dan raya, malah keluarga mereka beberapa kali Top Ten terkaya di Malaysia. Sedangkan kita apabila sakit memerlukan khidmat hospital kerajaan, apabila sekolah memilih sekolah kerajaan yang murah dan sebagainya.

10. Marilah kita bersama Kerajaan. Kita tidak membenci Tun M, kita mahu rakyat sedar Tun M sedang melakukan kesilapan besar. Hanya rakyat boleh menyedarkan semula kesilapan besar itu. 

11. Janganlah memperjudikan nasib masa hadapan kita dengan menyokong wayang Hindustan,lakonan individu-individu yang semakin pelik dan menjual prinsip perjuangan semata-mata bimbang legasi berkubur. Bagi kita rakyat marhaen, legasi yang paling penting ialah legasi rakyat jelata. 

Airasia KK-Kl, 
23 Februari 2018.


on Sunday, February 18

KUALA LUMPUR: Isu peningkatan kos sara hidup dan kemiskinan bandar dilihat bukan cabaran besar untuk Barisan Nasional (BN) menjelaskannya pada kempen Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 (PRU14) sekalipun ia mungkin menjadi senjata pembangkang dalam kempen mereka.

Timbalan Ketua Kluster Politik, Keselamatan dan Hal Ehwal Antarabangsa Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN), Prof Dr Jayum Jawan, berkata beliau tidak melihat cabaran baharu yang perlu dihadapi BN pada pilihan raya kali ini berbanding sebelumnya.
Katanya, pengundi luar bandar lebih tertarik kepada isu asas walaupun ramai yang berpendapat ia tidak mencerminkan proses matang dalam demokrasi berbanding pengundi bandar yang lebih cenderung ke arah isu tadbir urus, ketelusan, integriti dalam kepimpinan dan kerajaan.
"Sesetengah ahli ekonomi berhujah mengenai kenaikan kos sara hidup dengan mengaitkannya dengan harga minyak dan kos yang tinggi untuk membeli rumah.
"Namun jika dilihat, semua isu itu sudah pun lama. Walaupun penting, ia adalah isu ekonomi yang biasa dihadapi sejak dahulu lagi," katanya ketika dihubungi di sini, hari ini.
Jelasnya, walaupun dikatakan kos hidup semakin meningkat oleh segelintir ahli ekonomi, belum terdengar kes rakyat Malaysia yang menderita kelaparan atau jatuh sakit akibat tidak makan.
"Harga bahan api adalah tinggi untuk sebuah negara pengeluar minyak seperti Malaysia, tetapi kesesakan lalu lintas tidak berkurang malah pengangkutan awam juga masih bukan pilihan ramai untuk mengurangkan kos pengangkutan.
"Kereta tanpa penumpang masih banyak dilihat di jalan raya malah bilangannya tidak berkurang sehingga menyumbang kepada kesesakan lalu lintas terutamanya di bandar-bandar utama," katanya.
Mengikut Jayum, ada juga ahli ekonomi mengatakan ekonomi negara tidak berkembang baik, tetapi rakyat masih melihat pembinaan bangunan komersial dan hartanah kediaman yang semakin meningkat di mana-mana dengan kos jualan juga semakin meningkat.
"Kita lihat pula pekerja warga asing, mereka masih berduyun-duyun datang ke Malaysia dan rakyat kita pula masih ramai yang bercuti di luar negara sekalipun ringgit dikatakan lemah.
"Jadi secara tidak langsung, semua keadaan yang berlaku ini menunjukkan bahawa ekonomi negara masih bersemangat dan ini bertentangan dengan analisis beberapa ahli ekonomi.
"Sebab itu saya kata, isu kos sara hidup ini bukan perkara baru menjadi mainan pembangkang kerana BN sudah terbukti menjadikan ekonomi Malaysia mapan.
Pelbagai program melalui Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) sudah dirangka dengan baik untuk terus merangsang aktiviti ekonomi sekali gus memberi manfaat rakyat pelbagai kaum dan etnik di seluruh negara.

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