Followers

Thursday, February 6, 2020

CURBING THE CORONAVIRUS ----- WHILE TARGETTING CHINA

by Chandra Muzaffar

We are inundated with an avalanche of information on the novel coronavirus infection. Within this avalanche, there is a lot of “news” that is clearly false.

Those responsible for such news can be classified into two categories at least. The first comprises mischief-makers who derive some cheap thrill by generating and disseminating fake news that creates fear and causes panic among the people.  The law should deal severely with such individuals.

The second category may have a political agenda of sorts. The purpose may be to cast China in a bad light, to tarnish its image, to project the Chinese government as incompetent and even dishonest. The false information manipulated by this group may be very similar to the one utilised by the first category.

Both categories allege that the government lied about the number of fatalities which they contend run into thousands. They suggest that the authorities were slow in responding to the crisis caused by the virus. Attempts to reveal the “truth” about what was really happening in Wuhan the epicentre of the crisis by some doctors and journalists have been suppressed and the “whistle blowers” punished.

It is not just the Chinese authorities that have refuted these and other allegations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has publicly commended the Chinese government for its “swift action” and its “extraordinary measures” in containing the infection. The government has attempted to be as transparent as possible from the outset and has provided accurate information to the people. It was the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyesus,  who stated emphatically  that there was no need for other countries to restrict travel and trade unnecessarily. The coronavirus, he argued, should be combated with “ facts  not fear” 

And indeed some of the facts are simply amazing. Chinese scientists were incredibly fast in identifying the genome sequence. Together with their Russian counterparts a Russia-China vaccine is in the making.  Chinese architects and engineers have also built a state of the art hospital in Wuhan in just 9 days. Designed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the Huoshenshan Hospital has a thousand beds and medical staff drawn from the armed forces. The Chinese government is building another hospital with 1,500 beds which will begin functioning on the 6th of February.    

Facts like these mean nothing to those with a political agenda. The motives that shape their agenda take precedence over everything. There is a primary motive out of which has developed a secondary motive. Discrediting China is part of a larger geo-political drive that seeks to thwart China’s ascendancy. The aim is to ensure that the present hegemon, the United States of America (USA) remains on top at all costs. A host of measures and moves --- some economic, some technological, some related to security and politics, others linked to culture and human rights --- have been adopted by those who are hell-bent on perpetuating their hegemonic power.  This is why some of the distortions about the current coronavirus threat should be seen in the light of disinformation about the alleged persecution of the Uighurs in China and the so-called suppression of the people of Hong Kong.  The name of the game is the same: it is the targeting of China.

This primary motive has now given rise to a secondary motive. In the course of fighting the coronavirus, groups in certain countries are displaying negative sentiments towards Chinese people as such. This impacts adversely upon inter-community relations both at the global and national level. At a time when China and the Chinese are leaving large footprints all over the planet, a deeper understanding of the civilisation and its citizens is what the world needs. It is not in the interest of inter-civilizational harmony to view a community in its entirety as an adversary and try to isolate it. Similarly, in multi-ethnic societies with Chinese minorities the checking of the spread of a virus should not be used as a justification to stereotype and stigmatize a community.

Seen against this backdrop, Malaysia, China’s neighbour with a significant Chinese minority has done well in managing the post coronavirus situation. It has accorded priority to the health and well-being of its people and at the same time handled this cross-boundary crisis in a calm manner without any hysteria. It has been sensitive to the feelings of China and its people. Once again, Malaysia has demonstrated that it is possible to protect our sovereignty while respecting the dignity and integrity of a dear neighbour whose friendship we cherish.                             
  
Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)

Malaysia.

4 February 2020.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

WE NEED MORE ECONOMIC SURPLUS, NOT MORE PM CANDIDATES, PLEASE.

What we desperately need is a huge economic surplus, not the surplus of candidates for the position of Prime Minister.
Since GE 14, we spent so much energy and attention to when the current PM will pass the baton to the next person even though the initial agreement of 2 years has yet to be breached. Nay, not even after 6 months from May 2018 did, we start! We were busy with the transition as though a change of PM is key to our success. A utopia just waiting to arrive once we have a new PM in place. How na├»ve!
Economic performance and a handsome surplus should be our priority task. The top priority task! Our focus should be on the business people, big, medium and small. Are our business community doing well? Are they optimistic? Are foreign investments rushing to invest in our country? Is our stock market doing better than all the others are within our neighboring South-East Asian counterparts? Are we removing any uncertainties to make our business climate certain and seamless for investments and economic activities?
Sadly, the answer is no.
Let us refocus. Put priority to the economy and its performance. Focus on the business people. Make their work easier by creating the environment for business success.
Why?
Because all other social functions – education, religious, health care, public-service, defense … and almost all other human activities depend and hinges on the surplus of economic resources. Profits and savings that can only be generated by a successful economic performance. Furthermore, we are living in an era of the employee society. Is it not smart to focus on those who provide jobs in the first place?
What is to be done?
It does not matter if you are the king maker in the deep state, a super keyboard warrior or all other member of the Malaysian rakyat – pay attention to the business people. Focus your energy to make them successful because your success and the country’s victory can only take place if they triumph.
We need more economic surplus, not more PM candidates.
Peace.
Anas Zubedy
Malaysian Movement for Moderates

Tuesday, December 31, 2019





CONQUER HATE WITH LOVE,
REPEL EVIL WITH GOOD.

Have a Meaningful 2020


Dear fellow Malaysians,
The best way for us to save Malaysia is to ensure that we all practice our faith better. Hindus become better Hindu, Buddhists become better Buddhist, Christians to trust Jesus and Muslims to trust the Quran with all our hearts.
Our tit-for-tat behavior will not bring more good, it will only bring us harm. Do we not trust our own faith?
The best way to punish those who harm you is to make them feel abashed by doing them good and thinking no more of it. - Tirukkural 314, Tiruvalluvar
If you want to see the brave, look to those who can return love for hatred, if you want to see the heroic, look to those who can forgive. - The Bhagavad Gita
For hate is not conquered by hate; hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal - Dhammapada Verse 5
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you - Matthew 5:44, The Bible
But [since] good and evil cannot be equal, repel thou [evil] with something that is better - and lo! he between whom and thyself was enmity [may then become] as though he had [always] been close [unto thee], a true friend! - Quran 41:34
I am sure many of us do 
Have A Meaningful 2020,
Peace, anas

Thursday, November 28, 2019

JUST FORUM : Myth of ‘Free Media’ and Fake News in the Post-Truth Era - 7 Dec 2019, 10.00am


JUST cordially invites you and your friends to the forum "Myth of ‘Free Media’ and Fake News in the Post-Truth Era”
JUST would be grateful if you wish to participate in this event and also appreciate if you can circulate this invitation among your network or share on your Facebook page.


Saturday 7 December 2019 - IAIS Malaysia Jalan Elmu Petaling Jaya



Programme
       9.30 am  :Registration/ Light Refreshments
       10.00 am:Welcoming Remarks
                       Dr Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil - Deputy CEO IAIS
       10.10 am:Forum on ‘Myth of ‘Free Media’ and Fake News in the Post-Truth Era‘
                       Dr Chandra Muzaffar -(speaker)
                       Dr Kalinga Seneviratne - (speaker)
                       Chaired by Dr Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil
       11.00 am:Interactive Session


Please register before 3 December 2019 at hassanal@just-international.org
For more information, please contact 03 77812494 (Hassanal/ Haida)

Monday, October 28, 2019

KASHMIR : SELF-DETERMINATION IS THE SOLUTION - CHANDRA MUZAFFAR


                                                                                                                           
 By : Chandra Muzaffar
                            
It is a pity that some groups and individuals are urging palm oil importers in India to refrain from buying the commodity from Malaysia. The Solvent Extractors Association of India, India’s top vegetable oil trade body is one such outfit. Apparently, this boycott is a sort of “punishment” for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s  remarks on Kashmir at the United Nations General Assembly on 27th September 2019.

The Indian government has reportedly protested against Dr Mahathir’s criticism of Indian action in Kashmir. However so far it has not voiced support for the call to boycott Malaysian palm oil. There are also groups such as the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee that have come out against  the reduction of Malaysian palm oil imports by India because of the possibility of retaliatory measures that could impact adversely upon workers from Tamil Nadu employed in the information technology sector and  restaurant business in Malaysia.

This is one of the dangers of trade boycotts and the like in bilateral relations. They escalate quite easily doing irreparable damage to ties that have been cultivated over a long period of time. It is commendable that the two governments have displayed a degree of restraint. Vested interests, political parties and civil society groups in India and Malaysia should also demonstrate their maturity and approach the issue at hand in a balanced manner.

Since both countries are practising democracies, criticisms of certain aspects of the policies and practices of one another should be viewed as integral to their underlying value system. A democracy does not overact to a critical comment about its policy or practice. This is especially so if the state in question is also the world’s largest democracy.

Besides, one should examine the view expressed by Mahathir without any blinkers. Its main thrust was that the longstanding Kashmir conflict should be resolved “by peaceful means.”  UN resolutions on Kashmir should not be disregarded. This is a position that a number of other governments have also expressed from various platforms.

At the crux and core of the UN’s stand on Kashmir is the solemn recognition that the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be accorded primacy. This is why right from the outset the UN had urged all sides involved in the conflict to allow for a UN supervised plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir which would decide the destiny of the people of that region. In other words, the people of Jammu and Kashmir should exercise their sacred right of self-determination. 
  
In the early decades, self-determination was understood as the people of Jammu and Kashmir joining either India or Pakistan. In recent years, a new dimension has emerged.  Self-determination in the real sense must also mean the people’s right to establish their own independent, sovereign state of Jammu and Kashmir which is part of neither Pakistan nor India.

Whatever the eventual goal, self-determination as a principle has not only been ignored but often suppressed. Uprisings by the people have been mercilessly crushed, the most infamous of which was the Jammu Massacre of 6th November 1947. It is alleged that Indian occupation forces alongside Dogra forces and RSS militants killed around half a million Kashmiri Muslims. Killings have continued in the last seven decades. It was this that Mahathir alluded to in his UN speech.                 
It is important to emphasise that these massacres have spawned the rise of militants and militancy in Kashmir. While militancy in Kashmir is largely home-grown and is intimately interwoven with the legitimate struggle for self-determination, it is quite conceivable that it receives material and moral support from elements in the Pakistani power stratum. This support and the militancy itself have now complicated the quest for a just solution to the conflict.

Sometimes political decisions made by New Delhi intensify --- perhaps unwittingly --- militancy among Kashmiris. The recent revocation of Kashmir’s special status through the abrogation of Article 370 in the Indian Constitution on the 5th of August 2019 is a case in point.  A portion of Kashmiris will interpret the revocation and all that it implies in terms of ownership of land, the right of settlement and the alteration of ethnic and religious demographics as the wilful annexation of Indian occupied Kashmir into the Indian Union and therefore a clear repudiation of the desire of the Kashmiri people to determine their own future.

It appears that the abrogation of Article 370 will only perpetuate the violence and the bloodshed associated with one of the longest political conflicts in modern times.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

Malaysia.

26th October 2019.
    

     
 
         
     
        

Saturday, October 26, 2019

It is OK to be RACIAL, not OK to be RACIST

It is OK to be racial, not OK to be racist. My dear Malaysians, we are Malaysia – a country from its inception have chosen integration over assimilation. The rainbow instead of just one color. As such, it is okay to organize a congress, meeting, political party, society, etc. based on race or ethnicity but …
In Malaysia each of our ethnic groups are encouraged to bloom for the most part unhindered; Chinese speak Chinese, eat with chopsticks, have Chinese names; Indians have Indian names and speak their own dialects; Malays follow their traditions which are the core culture of this nation. So do our brothers and sisters is Sabah and Sarawak be they Iban, Kadazandusun, Bidayuh, Melanau, Bajau, Murut and the other groups.
We want all the beauty of each of our member rainbow race to blossom, thrive and add value to the Malaysian supra-race and at the same time accept that it is a functional, cognizant goal, and strive to inculcate our children with the goal of being Malaysian: speak, read and write our language Bahasa Malaysia, with ease. As such, it is OK to be racial, to follow what our tradition dictates for our behavior, beliefs and customs; it enriches and grounds us, makes us feel safe and secure with who we are in relation to everyone around us. But it is not OK to be racist; to think that our race is somehow superior to others and to dislike someone or some group of people because of their ethnic background; that is plain ignorance and arrogance.
So, it is okay to organize a congress based on one’s ethnic grouping. But it is not okay to use it as a platform to threaten or bad mouth the other.
So, let’s get that right. Because …
“We appreciate food instead of bullets, clothing instead of uniforms, houses instead of barracks” – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Bapa Malaysia.
Peace, anas zubedy Malaysian Movement For Moderates