Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The realities of Malaysian politics

Anwar Ibrahim has revealed a signed document between himself, DAP's Lim Kit Siang and PAS' Hadi Awang that none of us have heard of until now - an agreement to uphold the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The Sept 8 agreement pledged to uphold Malay rights and the status of Islam as the official religion.

Anwar also said that the social contract between the races were already agreed upon by all members of the coalition. He also revealed that the four-paragraph agreement could not be changed by any party, according to The Star.

Despite the criticism against the social contract and even questions about its existence, the three opposition parties realises the reality of politics in this country. This is no different from positions taken by the Alliance and the Barisan Nasional component parties.

The Malays are the majority and they form the electorate. Without doubt the political landscape and the mindset of the many Malays have changed, which helped put Pakatan Rakyat in power in five states but issues relating to the Malay positions continues to be the core of the Malay politics. Anwar obviously understand the Malay psyche well and he realises that Pakatan Rakyat can never form the next federal government without assuring the Malay voters.

According to the Malaysian Insider, a survey carried out after the March 8 polls showed that 60 % of the Malay respondents voted BN and that Anwar ranked the lowest in terms of level of support from Malays.

PAS, particularly Hadi Awang, in fact, flirted with the idea of working with Umno after the March 8 elections because he did not liked the idea of so many non-Muslim MPs. In his own words, he is against the idea of having more Sabah and Sarawak non-Muslim MPs. Again, Hadi understands the realities of rural politics.

There's another reality non-Muslims must understand - issues relating to Islam that does not infringe upon their rights is best left to Muslim groups. The protest involving non-Muslim protestors recently against the tomboy fatwa was unwise. Similarly, there were also grumblings by certain politicians on the yoga fatwa. No one is saying non-Muslims cannot practise yoga. If non-Muslims want to be lesbians or tomboys, so be it. These fatwas are unlike Muslim groups or the Kelantan PAS government calling for the blanket ban of concerts, nightspots, gender segregated check-outs at supermarkets or wayang kulits, which would affect the rights of non-Muslims. Non-governmental organisations, especially headed by non-Muslims, must learn to be sensitive. Nik Aziz has his position on this issue. But I agree with the Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan that they should be mindful.


KME said...

Dear Dato,

These people may speak on different political platforms, but when it comes to race - the Malay race, they speak the same.

They may be right in that the reality of politics in Malaysia gives the Malays more rights - whether you like it or not. They have the numbers, which the non-Malays don't. However, it's very important to remember that the little leftovers given to the non-Malays must also be preserved.

On another note, as you rightly said, things pertaining to Islam is best left to the Muslims to decide. Why should the non-Malays protest against the fatwa banning yogo and tomboyz. It's not difficult to comprehend as these fatwas are not applicable to non-Malays. They know best. Who are the non-Malays to protest against such rulings.

abROcadabRO @ Ooi Poo Ann @ http://just-mythots.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...


Just a question for you, Will the police would have arrested a BN State Assemblyman or a Cabinet Minister on the way to a state exco meeting or a cabinet meeting?

Here is a situation to ponder, Datuk.
But I can assure you, the rakyat is watching all the BN antics and tactics, and rest be assured...BN chances for the next GE, is GONE FOR GOOD.

Anonymous said...

My take? If the worst were to occur, components in the BN other than UMNO will lose their voters but not UMNO, not much.

The thing with the young ones - read students like me, a.k.a. the future, seems to put matter pertaining to their race. UMNO will never lose all of its support. These people, my friends included, may disapprove of the fatwa or the "pendatang" issues but they still hold those who spoke (or shout) for Malay rights in high regards.

Perhaps you'd say that's 50 years of successful indoctrination but however liberal, open, or educated; they seem to be on fight mode if Malay issues are raised.

There's a thing I'd like to point out to everyone especially my Malay friends out there - a few leaders or a group of people that clamor for equal rights, non-Malay PM, or anything related to Malay/Islam DOESN'T speak for all of us.

I'd rather have a Malay PM and have peace. I don't care who's at the helm as long as policies and its implementations are fair.

Read the last paragraph again and you'd know respect means that yo leave the problems to them. Even if Muslims were to take to the streets, that doesn't mean you'd stand together with them.

Manature said...

Dear Wikwax,

You need to be reeducated.

"I'd rather have a Malay PM and have peace. I don't care who's at the helm as long as policies and its implementations are fair."

You are contradicting yourself. You said you don't care who is PM as long as policies are fair, and in the same breath you said you rather have a Malay PM. What if the Malay PM is messing up the country letting corruption runs wild, you would still support that Malay MP?

BlueMoon said...

Bro Wong, No matter how much you have changed, I hope you maintain your critically and non-partisan when commenting issues related to politic. Yes, the condition for someone to lead this country is that he or she must firstly pledge to uphold special rights of the malays and the status of islam as eshrined by the constitution. Race does not matter as long as this condition is fullfilled. But the malays too need check and balance. With money politics in UMNO is now so rampant plus other social 'ills' affecting party members, the malays are looking for an alternative. Unfortunately, there is ain't one out there which they can truly rely on. DAP does not care about the malay sensitivity while PKR wants to abolish the DEB and whatever rights that are left for the Malays. PAS on the other hand is more concern with its arabisation policy. Until the emergence of new political entity which is close to malay hearts, then, they have no choice but to count on UMNO.

Anonymous said...


I don't have Mahathir, Pak Lah or anyone else in my mind when I said that. You seem to have the notion that Malay MP/PM allow corruption.

I certainly didn't say that I'd rather have a Malay PM and have peace and I don't care if he allows corruption and practices cronyism/nepotism.

Say, if there's corruption, policies and/or implementation wouldn't be fair would it? You just can't add to the sentence and say I'd contradict myself.

Read it again. However liberal, open, or educated, the sentiment is that they'd rather have a Malay PM leading the country. Would anyone guarantee there'll be no disturbance if a non-Malay took over the helm? Will his /her job be smooth?

I don't need reeducation insofar as I know it doesn't matter if it's a Malay that will not, in your words, mess up the country letting corruption runs wild.

Anonymous said...

I concur with Peter about Wickwax...at the end of the day...they will all say they don't care who is at the helm but they will contradict themselves and say that they will prefer a Malay PM. Bah...enough of all these.

When will we get a leader who's really care and concern about everyone???

ChengHo said...

The realpolitik in Malaysia is the Malay form the majority look at the 6 million new voters almost 70% is Malay. Malaysia hope is the Malay become more liberal and color blind BUT if you keep on pushing them to the wall like nothing RIGHT from the them you don't have the number .
Look at Obama he only secured 43% of Caucasian , 60% Latino/asean and 95% of African American . Even America not totally color blind.

Anonymous said...

Let's get real. The way Malaysians think and behave, race will still be a factor in politics. The non-Malays need to pick their fights wisely. There is no point talking about having a non-Malay PM. It is not going to happen, and will only give ammunition to UMNO to manipulate. What non-Malays need to fight for are job, education, and business opportunities. Having a Malay PM should not mean having an UMNO PM. Talking about non-Malay PM only distracts from the real issues. And we should also focus on issues that cut across race and religion. Like Corruption,our public enemy number one. The amount of money siphoned off could have given EVERY Malaysian a free education up to tertiary level, availability of low-cost housing for ALL poor families regardless of race. And we would not need quotas, as it becomes irrelevant. If we can eradicate a large chunk of corruption, a lot of problems will diminish. The corruption will not goaway as long as UMNO is in power.

Anonymous said...

The various races in this country could easily integrate, and intermarry, and we can become one big Malaysian family. But like in many countries, there is something that prevents it from happening. And that is religion.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Kit have responded to your "baseless, mischievous and unworthy of a professional journalist"

A quote from Uncle Kit's blog:
... The imputation that I had signed on behalf of DAP a “secret” compact with the other Pakatan Rakyat leaders to uphold Malay rights and the status of Islam as the official religion as provided in the Federal Constitution is baseless, mischievous and unworthy of a professional journalist.

This is because Wong’s insinuation imported the innuendo that the DAP and I had all along opposed these two constitutional provisions but in a most opportunistic and dishonest act of political expediency, I had agreed in Pakatan Rakyat to a secret document “none of us have heard of until now” to support them.

The September 8 joint statement by Pakatan Rakyat leaders which Anwar referred to in the Star report yesterday, “Anwar: Pakatan committed to ensuring Malay rights”, which was signed by Anwar as the PKR leader, Datuk Husam Musa as PAS National Vice President and myself on behalf of DAP, was issued to all media, including the Star. I put it up on my blog the same day.

Wong has only himself to blame if he did not keep himself informed of what actually happened as getting properly briefed by Star reporters on the political beat.

But what is most mischievous, unprofessional and unacceptable is the insinuation that the DAP and I had concluded a dishonest and opportunistic secret agreement to uphold Articles 3 and 153 of the Malaysian Constitution on Islam as the official religion and Malay special rights when we had been opposed to these two provisions all along.

My position and that of DAP on Articles 3 and 153 had never changed in the past 42 years since the formation of DAP. ...

Read the full response for yourself.

Anonymous said...


Isn't it odd Wong Chun Wai?

If we want to criticise Bush and the Iraq war, hey, THAT IS OKAY, even though we are not Yanks or Iraqis. If we want to protest against Israeli actions in Palestine, THAT IS OKAY, even though we are neither Israeli or Palestinian.

But if we want to comment on some unfair and lets face it, blatantly unreasonable rulings by JAKIM, THAT IS NOT OKAY, because, you know, we are not Muslims and we have no right to speak up for our fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters.

You are a great comedian my friend. keep it up. :)

Anonymous said...

There's another reality non-Muslims must understand - issues relating to Islam that does not infringe upon their rights is best left to Muslim groups.
oh you mean if it's not our problem then we should be silent la. Like Lina Joy? Like temple demolition? like when we are called PENDATANG? You have work under BN for toooo looong la that your mindset is like them. Just because i'm not muslim doesn't mean i can help them, just because i'm chinese doesn't mean i can't help malays, indians, or anyone else.
We have so many outstanding issues because we always look at race & religion more than anything else. Only when we drop the race & religion factor can we see the real issue.

Anonymous said...

Is Wong Chun Wai suggesting that the PR government run foul of the provisions within the Federal Constitution ?

The PR has the task of dismantling 51 years of institutionalized bigotry propogated by an UMNO led BN.
So don't try to deliver a premature report card of PR who have yet to take over the reigns of the Federal Government.
If you want to do a comparison look into areas of Competence, Accountability and Transparency, this is where the BN government falls far short of expectations.

As for political spin , it seems that Wong Chun Wai is not very good at it, ditto his counterpart in NST Kalimullah Hassan.
I am still snickering at the piece by Syed Nadzri (NST) that talked about the 5 reasons Anwar could lose the Permatang Pauh by-elections, well we all know how that went.

Lame political spin seems to be the hallmark of BN.

Vijay Kumar Murugavell

Anonymous said...


I agree with Kit Siang that you are deliberately being mischievous in trying to sow the seeds of confusion among the Chinese so that they would vote for your bosses in Star, i,e MCA in the next GE. KS has given his reply and I think the Chinese are clear about the DAP's stand. The crux of the problem is UMNO's racial politics and when anyone rightfully challenges this, they are being accused of being racists by UMNO and their propagandists such as Utusan Malaysia. What can MCA and Star do except to join in their growing chorus to endorse UMNO's racist politics which is out of date but not out of sight.

Anonymous said...

WCW- Unfortunately you have been eating off the hands of your UMNO/BN masters for so long that you have not realised that what you have been eating is actually the equivalent of the sewer effluence from your big brother UMNO.

Just like a dog that doesn't know any better, you are still wagging your tail when you see the s*** coming your way.

Let's hope that the bad smell will get to you one day; that you will wake up to the miserable lick-ass career that you have had.

You are no better than a running dog- the type best-suited to be put away so you don't suffer the bad karma that you are creating around your pathetic self. Go disappear!

Anonymous said...

WCW, please have some dignity and stop acting as UMNO spokeperson. If not, your ancestor will regret they migrated here and for having you. Its ok to support/praise UMNO if they do the right things, however twisting facts merely to please your master is really over the limit.
Have a thought for the future generation, please...thank you

Sans said...

I am sorry but I have to disagree with your comments below. This is segregation along religious lines, which is as unacceptable as issegregation along racial lines. We should all have laws equally applicable to all of us, and we should not be afraid to speak out for each other.

The issue of Hindu Temples being demolished, should only Hindu's comment on it? I don't think so.

There's another reality non-Muslims must understand - issues relating to Islam that does not infringe upon their rights is best left to Muslim groups. The protest involving non-Muslim protestors recently against the tomboy fatwa was unwise. Similarly, there were also grumblings by certain politicians on the yoga fatwa. No one is saying non-Muslims cannot practise yoga. If non-Muslims want to be lesbians or tomboys, so be it.

Jeffrey Chew said...

Get your facts right, Dato.


Anonymous said...

dear 'dato',
u've had ur 'thoughts' and 'ideas' told thru MSM..that's good enough for most of us to know where are u coming from..so please don't bother posting a political blog..it won't change the way people think about u..

a word of advise, i think a food or a travel blog will suit u better..at least it makes u more human..

btw, a long time ago i use to think very highly of u too..

romerz said...

What is Malaysia to you Datuk Wong?


2 days ago, Datuk Wong Chun Wai (WCW - group chief editor of The Star) had posted in his personal blog "New Malaysia" an article titled "The realities of Malaysian politics". Originally I had not thought much about it but on further reflection (after discussing with friends today on overseas Chinese diasporas), I came to realize why is it that some Malays in this country still consider us (Malaysians of Chinese/Indian descent) "pendatang" and squatters.

The sentence which brought me to this realization is in the last paragraph where he states "There's another reality non-Muslims must understand - issues relating to Islam that does not infringe upon their rights is best left to Muslim groups."

All Malays are Muslims hence any issue relating to Islam affects the majority of Malaysians which in turn affects the shape and form of this country. Even though the fatwas does not infringe on the rights of non-Muslims, are the non-Muslims not stakeholders too of this country and how this country is shaped and formed is of importance to all stakeholders?

What WCW says may be true of a Malaysia of our forefathers, where they never regarded Malaysia as a country of their roots but rather as a place to make a living and one day to return to the motherland China/India and to live out the rest of their days and be buried in their ancestral land. For this reason, many of our forefathers who had come to Malaysia never bothered themselves in matters relating to this land except to safeguard their niche for economic advancement with the ultimate aim of returning to the motherland one day.

Translated from a Hokkien saying "no problem so why look for one" is what WCW is advocating, I believe.

Unfortunately, what WCW failed to realize is that most of these "pendatang" or squatters have since gone back to the motherland or has since passed on. Most if not all of the non-Malays in Malaysia are 2nd or 3rd or even 4th generation born Malaysians. Where China or India is as alien to them as Singapore, Indonesia or Thailand (our closest neighbors).

WCW also failed to realize that whilst it is not the problem of non-Muslims, it could be a problem for our Muslim brothers and sisters and as we are all Malaysians, isn't their problem our problem too if we look at the bigger picture of Malaysia?

The idea that we look after our own and you look after yours runs contrary to those of us who are born and bred in this country, growing up amongst our Malay and Muslim brothers/sisters. I'm of the opinion that most Malaysians are interested in each other and do really wish that we can come together as one peoples to forward the agenda of Malaysia, not any one race or religion.

It is those who hold on to power by communal means that seeks to drive the wedge between the races and religions so that they can continue to remain relevant. Luckily for Malaysia, more and more Malaysians are realizing that we must all come together to survive and advance as a nation, in a fast shrinking world.

We need to build bridges over racial and religious divides and not the "each to their own" concept as advocated by WCW. As Haris Ibrahim said in his blog in rebuttal to WCW, "Thou Shall love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than this".

Being a prominent figure in MSM, Datuk Wong did true Malaysians a disservice with what he advocated. I hope that someone can remind him that we live in the 21st century and his outdated beliefs of each to their own cannot be the way forward for a multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia.

Time we shed the 'escapist' comfort zones of the past and embrace the idea that there is only one Malaysia and only one Malaysians. No more them and no more us but US ALL!

Manature said...

Dear Anonymous and Jeffrey,

I like what you wrote and because of that I think I like you too because of what you wrote even though I have "known" you for perhaps a couple of seconds. I seriously am surprised to see your comments approved because they don't reflect too well on Datuk, but.. how come it was approved??

I don't know if this comment will be approved, but I hope to find out.