Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Malaysians, PLEASE dont be stupid lah !

Contrary to what some of our politicians (on both sides) want us to believe, our key challenge in 2010 and this decade is not about who runs the country but it is about economics.

It is not about who gets more or whether Ketuanan Melayu is a myth or reality but it’s about the quality and quantum of our people’s productivity and how we manage our economy.

It is not about the ratio of faithfuls to the number of mosques, churches and temples that we have.

It is not about whom’s religious structure is taller or more grandeur than the other.

It has not much to do with the number of times we pray each day or how hard we try to show that our religion is better than another’s religion.

It is not about who to blame for past mistakes or about catching those who have cheated us in the past.

It is not about proving who is smarter, better or cleverer.

It is not about Najib or Anwar, BN or PR.

It is not about politics.


It is about paying attention to and concentrating on what is important, what are the few things we need to do right to give maximum impact to the livelihood of the poor, the middle income and the rich (yes they are all important, they are all humans and they are all Malaysians).

It is about how hard we are willing to push our hearts, minds and souls at creating value added work and innovation that create wealth and prosperity – together.

It is about consolidating our efforts – not about poking every idea from a partisan point of view. Why? just to show that you are smarter?

It is about putting your overexpanded ego aside and WORKING WITH each other’s ideas.

It is about you and I spending more time and effort making things happen instead of reacting, debating and arguing about non-productive and academic issues like “Can a Non- Malay be a PM?”, “Is Malaysia a secular or Islamic country?”,” Who is more racist UMNO, DAP or Utusan Malaysia?”, “Did DAP chicken out to PAS?”, “Did PAS sold its soul to DAP?”, “Is MCA kowtowing to UMNO?”, “What do you think about Ridhuan Tee’s article?”,etc.

None of these issues will have a direct impact to the amount and quality of food we put on the table. They are just unproductive distraction taking and sapping away our best minds and limited resources and energy from doing what we should – make things happen at the economic front.

We are trapped in the middle – our labor is no longer cheap and we have not move up the value chain to higher-levels of economic activities – our livelihood is at a great risk.

When the economy is bad, we quarrel about racial equality, Ketuanan Melayu, social contract, and the likes. When the economy is good, we are happy with our shopping sprees, holidays, OGAWA massage chairs and be merry with each other.

We are being silly. During bad times we should put aside all these problems and work towards survival.

We should argue, when times are good not when we have an economic tsunami coming our way. So keep a note or park all these issues that is pulling us apart somewhere safe, bring them back when our economy is growing at 8% or more.

Otherwise, we all will end up with lots of rights but no rice.

So let me repeat myself …

Contrary to what some of our politicians (on both sides) want us to believe, our key challenge in 2010 and this decade is not about who runs the country but it is about economics.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Change or be Obsolete!

If politics continue to take centre stage, no one will be willing to take the bitter pill and introduce painful changes to make good the economy. We need to focus on the economy, not politics. The government, the opposition and civil society must come together and agree on concrete change efforts or we will fail miserably.

Its about the economy, not which party wins the next election.


An introspective Malaysia ponders its economic future
Taken from Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — As the year draws to a close, there is a rare mood of introspection in Malaysia over its economic future.

The debate was sparked by senior officials, who highlighted in unusually blunt terms the country’s economic stagnation.

Leaders as diverse as Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, former minister-in-charge of macro-economic development Effendi Norwawi and respected economists have aired highly critical views.

What’s more surprising is the prominence local newspapers have given to these unvarnished views. To Malaysia-watchers who track these things, the change in tone has been quite remarkable.

The government rarely highlights downbeat economic news.

Even as the world went into a tailspin last year, it put on a brave front. The ‘Malaysia
Boleh’ (Malaysian Can) spirit of the boom years of the 1990s seemed hard to shake off.
The current debate was stirred by the government’s promise to create a “new economic model” to haul Malaysia out of the middle-income league in which it has been stuck for 15 years.
Prime Minister Najib Razak last week said the model would be disclosed by February next year, two months later than the original deadline.

It is intended to raise Malaysia to a high-income economy with a per capita income of at least US$15,000 (RM51,450). Malaysia is now classified as an upper middle-income economy with a per capita income of US$7,000.

Very little is known about this new model as the government has spoken about it only in vague terms so far. But the little that has emerged suggests that the government agrees with the expert views now being aired.

Economic experts say Malaysia’s rapid growth in the 1990s will not return without intensive reforms, for the growth was not driven by productivity gains, which would have made it sustainable.

Instead, it was driven by cheap foreign labour, with little effort made to move the country up the value chain to higher-level economic activities.
Malaysia lagged as the world raced ahead, and there is now fear that it may not be able to pull itself together.

Here is a sample of recent views:

Professor Mohamed Ariff, executive director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research: “Ironically, the long-term vision was undermined by a short-sighted growth strategy, which was pursued single-mindedly with a high premium on short-term growth at the expense of long-run goals. Malaysia had inadvertently shot itself in the foot.”

Former Cabinet minister Effendi Norwawi: “Our economic survival and competitiveness are at risk. We must try new ways to get new results and overcome the haunting problems of implementation with the same old people, systems and processes.”

Oxford-educated Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin: “We spent the last two decades of the last century piggybacking on growth in the region, benefiting from massive investments especially from Japan and created local conglomerates via privatisation. It created a solid base for us to take our economy to the next level, up the value chain and all that jazz. Except we didn’t.”

Recently-released economic data paints a bleak picture.

A paper published by the Economic Planning Unit shows a 26 per cent gap between Malaysia’s current national wealth and the set target. By next year, Malaysia should
have a gross domestic product of RM694 billion, but it is estimated to come in at around RM514 billion.

Private sector participation has fallen to below 10 per cent of GDP, compared with 30 per cent before the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

The good news about such government-led pessimism is that it usually heralds the rollout of painful reforms. That is a time-tested way of preparing the ground, and was artfully utilised before fuel subsidies were slashed.

But the bad news, as Effendi noted, is that Malaysia has had too many “new ideas” that have never gone the distance.

“Our history is littered with glaring examples where great ideas just didn’t take off from the drawing board,” he said.

A major problem is the political risk that comes with economic reforms.
Rebuilding an economy based on competition, merit, transparency and productivity will mean cutting some of the cosy links between politics and the economy.

Malaysia’s economy is very closely tied to the government and politics. Reforms will, thus, be seen as a zero-sum game to some.

As Khairy noted in an article for the Edge weekly: “...reactionary voices dominate the debate with emotional blackmail and heightened racial rhetoric.

“Yet, this is the single most important transformation that needs to take place —for the Establishment, in its entirety, to embrace a new world view of competition, merit, transparency and diligence.”

So far, Datuk Seri Najib has been cautious. He has taken a big risk in abolishing quotas for Malay ownership of public-listed companies so as to encourage private firms to grow and to woo foreign investment. But transparency, including the lack of open tenders, is still lacking in vast sectors of the economy.

Many ideas have been floated about Malaysia’s comparative advantages — notably in oil and gas, and agriculture — and on what the new economy should focus.

We’ll have to wait till February for the details, but the government could seize on the country’s rare introspective mood to get its message across now. — The Straits Times

Saturday, December 26, 2009

ISA and the Rakyat’s opinion – What is to be done?

The better way to get feedback from the rakyat is to

  1. Have a referendum, or,
  2. Commission a thorough market research using professional research agencies – with adequate sample size and concrete research methodologies to truly represent all the various segments of the Malaysian population.
The first option is straightforward.

I am for the second option - it is more cost effective and harder to manipulate.

To follow the second option, we will need to first organize a quantitative research and get a wide (breadth) picture of the rakyat’s opinion and stand on the issue. This usually will cost about RM 140K - RM160K – if we were to use a reputable research agency.

Once we have the quantitative results, it is advisable to look for depth via a qualitative research, generally in the form of Focus Group Interview to explore, help explain and find out the motivation behind the rakyat’s attitude towards the issue. It can tell us why they feel the way they do, capture if their decision is based on hearsay, real understanding or political biasness. This would cost roughly between RM 60K to RM 80K – (same as the above)

I don’t have RM200+K to spare but if any of you know someone who is serious about finding out the TRUTH (e.g. not just wanting to make lots of noise for political gains) and have loads of money, please contact me.

I can assist (at no cost - the RM200+K is for the research agencies) to work with the research agencies making sure,

  1. The research brief is written in a neutral manner, communicate all the relevant information in order to get actual feedback from the rakyat,
  2. Define the research objectives clearly,
  3. Develop the research plan for collecting information methodologically,
  4. The collection and analyzing of data is done properly, minimizing errors especially during fieldwork and focus groups,
  5. Interpretation of the research will not sway towards either side and the final report is easily digested by the average reader.

Any takers?

Related articles –

and read my Xmas blogpost below stressing on SWOT and clear thinking :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have A Meaningful Xmas!!! ( In the Star Today)

Greetings, from this Xmas onwards, our ads will carry the sub-headline " What Is to Be Done" suggesting action ideas for we brother and sister Malaysians. I hope you will join us in taking doable action in making this country a better place : )

Have A Meaningful Christmas

What is to be done?
Time for a SWOT

Whether it is a decision about your job or home life, or picking a leader, Malaysians need to choose rationally; think of good and bad, strengths and weaknesses; make informed decisions based on clear considerations, not emotions. Look at both sides, fight against your own biases.

When considering a job related issue, review your life’s objective, weigh the positives and negatives and make decisions based on how the new situation fit your goal.

When in that polling booth, ask yourself which candidate delivers peace and prosperity. Put emotions aside, debunk party politics; that warm body on that ballot; will he or she bring mostly good?

Do a SWOT analysis and evaluate Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

For work and home SWOT, be clear on what your goals are, think carefully and clearly about the features and qualities, strengths and weaknesses that contribute to achieving your objective. Consider what external opportunities help to realize and what threats exist for your goals.

When voting a leader, be clear on what you want for our nation; whether it is first rate education for your children, safety in the streets, unity in diversity, and above all, peace and prosperity; look at each candidate and weigh his or her strengths against your objectives for the nation. And pick your leader from this analysis, ignore everything else.

At zubedy our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe at the heart all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind. Malaysia is where we are today because for the most part, we Malaysians make rational decisions. Let’s resolve to reinforce our practice of clear thinking.

let us add value

Anas Zubedy

Pic above - Albert S Humphrey (1926 - 2005) who is credited for creating the SWOT Analysis

Friday, December 18, 2009

1 Malaysia, ethnicity and the economy — Chandra Muzaffar

DEC 17 — How ethnic interests are addressed in the nation’s economic and social development will be one of the major determinants of the success or failure of 1 Malaysia.

It was with the advent of British colonial rule and the mass influx of Chinese and Indian migrant labour that the question of ethnicity in its present form emerged as a formidable challenge. In fact, it was because colonial capitalism had become so dominant and had, in the process, enhanced the power of both the British and their Chinese compradors that the former, at the urging of the Malay elite, introduced Malay reserves, and set aside business licences and scholarships for the community as a sort of sop to a people who had been marginalised in the land which carried their name and embodied their identity.

This was the beginning of the special position of the Malays and the other indigenous communities which is now entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution. For the Malays, special position at the time of Merdeka in 1957 was the armour that protected an abysmally poor people after their rulers had conferred citizenship, on extraordinarily generous terms, upon more than a million recently domiciled Chinese and Indians. A market economy in which the Chinese were ubiquitous added significance to that armour just as democratic competition for votes made it inevitable that popular perceptions of who is economically strong and who is economically vulnerable would shape politics and power.

Considering all these factors it is not surprising that ethnicity has become the DNA of the Malaysian economy and society. What has been the impact of this DNA? What are the positive and negative consequences of the emphasis upon ethnicity in the economy for Malaysian society as a whole which may provide pointers for the 1 Malaysia mission?

The determined drive to uplift the Malays especially after the formulation and implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) has resulted in the massive economic and social transformation of the community within the short span of a single generation — a transformation which has few parallels in contemporary history. Not only has Malay poverty been reduced to 5.1 per cent (those living below the poverty line) today compared to 70 per cent in 1957, but the Malays have also become a significant component (40 per cent) of the middle class. They are represented substantially in all the leading professions and are a visible presence in the upper echelons of commerce and industry.

This transformation has benefitted the nation in at least three inter-related ways. One, it has made the middle-class multi-ethnic, and consequently, has provided a secure anchor for the nation. A preponderantly non-Malay middle-class, as was the case in the Sixties and early Seventies, would not have ensured that stability. Two, it has reduced ethnic disparities, and accompanying perceptions of wealth and deprivation, which explains to an extent the relative inter-ethnic peace that we have enjoyed in the last four decades. It is one of the reasons why the 1998 financial crisis did not give rise to a communal conflagration. Three, if was no transformation, it is quite conceivable that the practice of democracy would have been under tremendous strain for the simple reason that when an indigenous majority feels severely disadvantaged under a one-person, one-vote system it would have no compunctions about jettisoning the system.

Nonetheless, the ethnic approach to the economy has its downside as well. One, it has constricted educational and economic opportunities for important sections of the non-Malay communities and, in many instances, constrained their social mobility. Two, in the last two decades, a segment of the urban Malay community has begun to realise that politically well-connected elements especially in the middle and upper strata have benefitted much more from contracts, licences, shares and directorships disbursed in the name of helping the community than ordinary Malays who continue to struggle to eke out a living. Affirmative action programmes in a number of other countries also suffer from this malady. Three, in spite of the ethnic peace it has brought about, the ethnic approach has undoubtedly increased ethnic polarisation at various levels of society.

This is why in our quest for 1 Malaysia there is a critical need to ameliorate the adverse impact of the ethnic approach. Among the measures that could be considered are the following:
One, the equilibrium established in the Constitution between “special position” and “the legitimate interests of other communities” should be faithfully observed in the promulgation of policy and its implementation. What this means is that justice should be done to each and every ethnic group.

Two, the concept behind the first prong of the NEP, “the eradication of poverty irrespective of ethnicity” should be expanded to embrace the needy and the disadvantaged, whatever their cultural or religious background. In other words, need — not ethnicity — should be the guiding principle in providing assistance in areas such as education and housing.

Three, the second prong of the NEP, “reduction in the identification of economic function with ethnicity” should apply to both the private and public sectors, and should be implemented with due regard to ability and excellence.

Four, there should be a concerted effort to curb corruption, abuse of power and greed at all levels of society.

Five, media practitioners, politicians, bureaucrats, business people, and indeed the influential stratum of society should be encouraged to view issues of ethnicity in relation to the economy from a more holistic perspective that takes into consideration the interests and feelings of the other. An all-encompassing understanding of justice that goes beyond ethnic boundaries is imperative if one is to achieve the goal of 1 Malaysia.

Elements from all five proposals are already part of the agenda of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The challenge before us is to make de-ethnicising the economy and enhancing justice for all, the agenda of each and every Malaysian.

Dr Chandra Muzaffar is chairman of the Board of Trustees of 1 Malaysia and professor of global studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Are we Malaysians racist?

I recently queried through the facebook about Malaysian’s perception if we The Malaysians are racist. More than 40 frank comments were generated. This is my summary and thank you note.

Thanks for the feedback.

Your answers have helped me frame ideas for a larger survey i would like to undertake early next year. Let's find out the perceptions and why ... and hope the answers can help prepare a remedy.

Eileen, as for your inquiry of my tots on the subject, I think Malaysians are generally racial which is natural because Malaysia has chosen 'an integration approach' rather than ' assimilation' as practiced by Thailand and Indonesia. So we Malaysians still have our ethnic identity intact .

Our forefathers i guess were optimists and see the wisdom of multiculturalism. If we went the Indonesian way, history would be different - for good or for worst. I do not see any problem for anyone to be racial. Our familiarity and liking towards things that are familiar to us is only natural. For example, we Penangites love the laksa, but my relatives in Medan tot I was crazy to love such a 'sour and smelly bowl of shit' (haha! that was a cousin's summary of Penangites favorite dish!!!)....

But because we kept our ethnic identity intact, it is easier to turn racist. But I see Malaysians turning to racism as a reaction to perceive or real feelings of discrimination or being left out of development. It does not originate from the inside, but triggered from the outside.

For example, there seems to be a correlation to the height of racism over the years with the economic environment. When the economy is bad, it goes up, but when it’s good it goes down.

Even Indonesia which where ethnic Chinese are assimilated and would proudly answer " Saya orang Indonesia" as oppose to " I am Chinese ", were bashed, raped and persecuted during the height of the 97/98 economic crisis. The perception of wealth being usurped by a particular community triggered the animal in many to the point that even children were not spared.

Perhaps, after a deeper research I can give u all a better overview and perhaps some action ideas we can all take to make good this country and make a difference.

peace, many colors one race, anas

Can a nonMalay/Muslim be our PM?

A facebook friend, a young Malaysian asked if a Non Malay/ Muslim can be a PM ... here's my brief answer -

"siapa saja boleh jadi pemimpin jika sekiranya beliau boleh dapat cukup/ majoriti pengikut :) . Jadi, persoalan dimana bolehkah seorang bukan Melayu/Islam boleh menjadi PM adalah bersifat akademik dan tidak sebegitu penting atau relevan.

Kebanyakan pehak politik dan bukan politik yang mendepankan perkara ini besar kemungkinan tidak begitu arif mengenai fitrah kepimpinan ataupun sengaja menggunakan topik ini untuk populariti.

Pertikaian ini adalah salah satu pembuangan masa yang kita selalu buat di Malaysia. Saya mengesyorkan supaya masa kita harus diguna pakai dengan lebih baik seperti membaca ataupun bekerja dengan lebih kuat dan efisyen. "

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Edge Interview Last week

1. What does your job entail and what do you like most about it?

Basically I will clarify goals, set directions, the pace of the organization and make sure that everybody runs at the same speed but faster than the competition. I also teach and write the (training) programmes. I like my job because I’ve managed to create a profitable business that allows me to promote my social cause at the same time.

2. What are the main programmes conducted by the company?

Our main programme is called MAD – Making a Difference. It is a change programme that companies can use to help their people move from where they are right now to where the corporate objectives are. Let’s say a company had just gone through a merger of two different cultures and they want to build a new culture; we help them build the culture. The MAD programme is a very good tools to help companies achieve their soft goals.

3. Who are your main clients?

Our clients are multinational companies and local companies, big and small. We also deal with small boutique companies. My partner and I decided years ago to have a diverse list of clients. You see, before 1998, I decided to focus on one or two big clients. But when the (1998 Asian financial) crisis came, it hit me because when I lose one client, I lose everything. In 1999, when I relooked at my business, I decided to have as many clients, in that way our business is more stable.

4. What is your management style?

We are very casual and relaxed in the way we run things but we’ve serious in the business. In other words, the substance is very serious; the form is a lot of fun. The way I manage is I like to see my people happy and performing. So if they’re happy but not performing, I won’t accept it. if there’re performing but not happy, then I’m not happy. I want to make sure they’re both happy and performing. I create an environment whereby people will be having a little bit of fun but are also doing their job.

5. How do you achieve the balance between employee who are happy and
performing at the same time?

Get people to learn to be happy when they perform. Here we are very laissez faire, we call each other by name, they can laugh at the bosses, and they can poke fun at us, it’s no problem. Work is work, fun is fun.

6. How do you handle conflicts that arise in the workplace?

We deal with it quite directly. With key people in my company, I always have one-on-one sessions with them. In other words, I like to engage my people and I also ask them to do SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat) analysis on themselves, the company and myself. In other words, everybody is given a chance to say what is good and bad for the company. Normally this is the time of the year that I will ask everybody to send me a SWOT analysis of the company. After I listen to everyone, I will go back and think about it and form next year’s goal and direction.

7. What has been your worst management decision and in hindsight, how
would you have done it differently?

I find it hard to pinpoint because I’m a very slow and steady person. I don’t take high risk, I don’t take low risk; I’m a very medium-risk taker. Because of that, no really bad thing has happened. Anything that happened in the past that’s not good may turn our for the better. Because of that you learn, you make things even better.

8. What’s the best management advice you’ve ever received and from

They are a few, but the best advice I have, whether in running a business or life, is the Quranic statement that says, ‘Don’t hold everything until you choke, don’t let it go until you lose everything.’ There’s always a balance you have to find.

9. You have taking out unity-themed advertisements in newspapers since
2000. What sparked the idea for the ads?

Well, I’ve wanted to do it since I was young. I was just waiting to have money! When I have really a lot of money, I’ll go on TV, billboards. Now we have Facebook. We’ve going to find as many avenues as possible to spread the message of unity.

10. How much have you spent in placing the ads so far?

Around RM 1.5 million.

11. How has the ad spend affected your bottom line?

Well, the company has survived since 1994, and it has grown since 2001. Since I advertised, the company grew about 10 times. But the advertisements are a small part. You see, a lot of people don’t understand that advertising only works when your product is good. In fact, the best way to kill a lousy product is to advertise it.

12. How has unity added value to your company?

Well, bcause out approach is ‘many colours, one race’, we have clients who represent the whole of Malaysia. That’s the reason out client are so varied. We do not confine ourselves to one particular race or to one particular group of people. Our business also reflect that. We add value to the company because unity at the end of the day is the goal of humanity and obviously, my company is moving towards it and people will follow.

13. What do you think of the 1Malaysia concept?

I think it’s a very nice relaunch of the Rukun Negara. The brand ‘1Malaysia’ is so easy to remember and very well done so that it become a catchphrase. What we need to do it to take away 1Malaysia from the perception that it belongs to (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib or Barisan Nasional. 1Malaysia has to become a hak rakyat. I support 1Malaysia and I think we need to take it away from the politicians, bring it down to the people and make it Malaysian-owned.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am doing a quick survey on Malaysian between 20-35 years of age

Pls spread the word and ask as many of your friends who fall into the category to complete the survey and submit by this tuesday Dec 1st 12 noon. TQVM.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I like this article by Justin Ong

Corruption is a two-player game

NOV 22 — Malaysians are a funny lot. We’ll rant and rave about institutional corruption yet have no qualms whatsoever partaking in bribery on a personal level. One minute it’s PKFZ this, double-tracking that but the moment we get pulled over by the coppers for any number of the traffic infractions we commit in a day, we see nothing wrong in slipping the guy a RM50 note to “make him go away.”

Sometimes we even take a perverse sense of pride in how “easy” it is to negotiate the pitfalls of our local traffic laws. Many a time, we will proudly declare to foreigners “Malaysia no problem wan, if get caught can settle!” It’s not so much that we even say this, but more the wicked satisfaction with which we tell all and sundry about something that cannot possibly be any source of dignity whatsoever.

to read more click here : -

Related posting

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why the Indian poor is poor - NEP and the Indian poor

This is part of a longer article I wrote and blogged here :

The downside of the NEP partly contributed to the current socio-economic problem in the country. Read the following ...

In a country like ours, instead of the various departments or divisions we can cluster the groupings and individuals into the following depending which methodology we want to choose and work with.

RACE - The usual approach – the various races or ethnic groupings. It is very important that each group is moving and achieving at the same pace and no one and no group is left behind.

STATE – each state from Perlis to Sabah must not be left behind.

LOCATION – urban versus non- urban. The divide and quality of life must not be too far off.

SOCIAL CLASS – the haves and have-nots. The rich cannot be too rich and the poor too poor.

The NEP as a ‘Group to group’ action plan

No group must be left behind and none should get more (perceived or real). Failing which we will lose balance and brew trouble. That is why we must support affirmative actions. Affirmative action is like the CEO chasing and making sure the slower departments catch up with the rest. BN’s answer was the NEP and that was the job of the NEP; to reorganize society equitably. It is unfortunate that it was seen more from a politically raced tainted angle by most Malaysians instead of an organizational need. At the implementation level too, it was wrongly carried out as a racial policy by many officers.

However, the NEP was probably one of the most successful affirmative action taken by a government in modern times. We need to just tweak it here and there to make it a super success. Going against the NEP wholesale as Anwar is suggesting is counterproductive. The Malays and Bumiputra rightly or wrongly may perceive that they may lose in the future. That may create unrest.

I am not saying the NEP is without any flaws.Let me give you an example; let us use the RACE and LOCATION methodology. I would like to focus on the Indian poor (RACE) who resides in the urban (LOCATION) area.

The mistake happens on both sides, poor understanding of the Indian ethnic groupings and failure to detail urban poverty in greater degree. My organization’s Deepavali advert in 2006 discussed this concern.

“Imagine … Affirmative action for the urban poor.The flight to urban areas in search of employment present humanity with a new challenge — urban poverty.

Across the globe, particularly in emerging nations, cities become centres where the poor seek a better life only to find crime, drugs, broken families, juvenile delinquency, and despair.

The dilemma of the urban poor is that, even when they work hard and long, they are unable to make a decent living.

In Malaysia urban poverty affects all ethnic groups but the massive movement from kampongs and rubber estates poses a bigger challenge amongst Malays and Indians, with the latter experiencing the highest rate of urbanization.When plantations close down or crops change, many workers are forced to seek employment in cities.

Some displaced plantation workers are so totally uprooted, they do not have a hometown to go back to.Most have little education and lack skills. They get poor paying dead-end jobs that are dangerous and difficult, with no legal protection. Often there is little or no community support system and suicide rates are high.

This socio-economic background often means shoddy homes and inadequate educational support. Which translates to children underperforming in schools and high drop-out rates, which in turn affects future employment prospects. Unless things change, the vicious cycle continues.

The challenge for us as Malaysians is to ensure that no segment amongst us is neglected. We are all brothers and sisters. We need to look at problems affecting a community not as that particular community’s problems, because we all share the burden as a nation.

We succeeded in dealing with rural poverty through affirmative action. We can do the same for our urban poor. We have the resources, technology, know-how, experience, creativity and talent. We need to open our hearts and focus our will and take action.

We can do it!Imagine you and I... changing the world for the better!

Here the NEP is flawed in two ways.Firstly, we grouped Indians as one ethnic grouping as we did the Chinese, Malays and the other Bumiputras. Many non Indians do not understand Indians. That is why the Perak MB can make a simple mistake thinking a Punjabi is a Benggali.

The Indians are not one, not in India and definitely not here, not in history nor the present. Malaysian Indians are more ONE as a Malaysian as compared as Indians. I know this because I have many Indian friends and thank God for growing up in Penang! For instance you will find there are more inter race marriage between an Indian and non Indian as compared to intra-Indian ones.

Basically, if you are a Gujerati and you bring back a Tamilian partner to show your parents or vice versa, your mother may just go into conniption or drama (sorry my Indian brothers and sisters, you know what I am talking about, though now many parents are loosening their grip a little… especially if you are already 30+ and still single… ha!ha!).

By grouping all Indians into one group, we mistakenly aggregated mostly poor Tamilians and mostly richer non-Tamilians into one economic grouping thus creating a wrong picture in terms of per capita income for poorer Indians. (Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there are no rich Tamilians and no poor non Tamilian Indians).

The net effect is that the real poor Indians failed to be detected in the poverty radar.

This lead to the second flaw; by location. The NEP place more attention to the rural poor. Thus, they face a double whammy. Furthermore, unlike our Bumi brothers and sisters who have easier access to government jobs and zakat- baitulmal, our Indian brethren does not. Here is where the Government must play the role of protector of the group and administer direct assistance and thus balanced off the ‘group to group’ imbalance. During a talk presented at Gerakan last year I suggested that if the BN fail to quickly deal with the Indian poor, they will take drastic actions, a few months later the infamous HINDRAF march took place.

... and the rest is still unfolding ....

The case for the Indian poor - Must Read

Monday, November 16, 2009

This one Tok Guru Nik Aziz is wrong :(

Salam Tok Guru Nik Aziz,

With all due respect, I do not think you should accept any gifts while still sitting in office.

You may accept a hamper or two, a small gift from another head of state etc but, never cash amounting to thousands regardless if or even more so when it is money to go for another Haj.

In fact, if a good soul hand you money to perform Haj, perhaps best the cash should be channeled to the hardcore poor that still exist in your state, or the country or a neighboring one or anyone poor regardless of race or religion around the world.

Haj is not a must especially when one has already performed it before, as you have. But helping the hardcore poor is a must. That is righteousness- true piety.

"True piety does not consist in turning your faces towards the east or the west - but truly pious is he who believes in God, and the Last Day; and the angels, and revelation, and the prophets; and spends his substance - however much he himself may cherish - it - upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage; and is constant in prayer, and renders the purifying dues; and [truly pious are] they who keep their promises whenever they promise, and are patient in misfortune and hardship and in time of peril: it is they that have proved themselves true, and it is they, they who are conscious of God."

Quran 2:177

While the sponsor and you were genuine about it, the whole idea is wrong.
I have many times in the past supported your stand, but this is one that I cannot agree with. I am glad that you have decided not to go ahead with the trip.

Salam, anas zubedy

related articles

The Sin That Killed BN Selangor ... but not before they have made many to suffer ...

Related article

Talks by Prof Richard Falk

Dear everyone,

JUST is pleased to inform you that Professor Richard Falk, one of the world’s leading authorities in international law and politics, who is also a member of the JUST International Advisory Panel (IAP), will be delivering lectures in Malaysia from the 17th to the 21st of November 2009.

His Public Lecture schedule is as follows:-

1. Gaza: Implications for World PoliticsDate: 17th November 2009Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 noon Venue: ISTAC Hall, ISTAC (No.24, Persiaran Duta, Taman Duta, KL).

2. A World in Crisis: Whither Humanity? Date: 18th November 2009Time: 9.30 am to 11.30 amVenue: Dewan Budaya, USM Penang.

3. Religion and Global PoliticsDate: 21st November 2009Time: 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm Venue: Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti, KL ( organised jointly by IAIS and JUST)

We would urge all JUST members and their friends to attend any or all of the lectures above.

If you want any clarification please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mohamed Aliou at the JUST Office ( Tel: 03-79603207; email:

Admission is free
A short biodata on Professor Falk appears below.

JUST Office.

Professor Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is Chair of the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His most recent books are The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and the World Order after Iraq (2008) and Achieving Human Rights (2009). He is currently serving as Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the UN Human Rights Council.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cerai Bini if you jump ship in PAS... Dashat!!!

At zubedy, my partner azree and I do set out certain rules to make our team members toe the line.

One interesting new rule is the PEISM ½ month bonus. PEISM is an approach for self development /spiritual growth I created for myself back when I was still an undergraduate (and now impose on others too..haha!).

In short it is an acronym for Physiological, Emotional, Intellectual, Social and Material. In other words if we want to self develop we must ensure we cover all these 5 areas, failing which we have lopsided growth.

Our new rules for zubedyans are that to get the half month bonus next May 24Th (zubedy’s anniversary date) they must clock in 3 times a week of approved workout ( like the zhumba dance lead by my Big Sis Mahani at the office and minimum 3 rounds of walk at TTDI park – the route that goes up the hill ) and go through a weekly reading and discussion of Peter Drucker’s management ideas.

But in no way Azree and I can top PAS’s rules on frogging – jumping seats be it as an MP or ADUN. Honestly I am for defrogging. But this one is really dashat. Accordingly if you are an elected rep from PAS you are “required to divorce their wives with talak tiga if they were to leave the party”. Wow! What a rule.

Leaving any judgement here, what I would like to know is, in PAS, does the rule applies on both sides?

That is, if you are a female PAS rep, does the rule apply too?

Click here for related write-up -,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Be part of a GLOBAL MOVEMENT and make the WORLD a better place!

Click here for trailer -

I would like to invite you to join the GLOBAL community in launching THE CHARTER OF COMPASSION this November 12th at PJ HILTON 1030 am onwards - After the launch there will be lunch, an interfaith dialogue and talk on YOUTH ON COMPASSION by 3 young Malaysians.


Email to to confirm a place asap.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dr Chandra on Dr MAZA's arrest

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Ex-Perlis mufti freed on bail: Jais feels the heat?The arrest of former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin raises disturbing questions.

One, isn't it unjust to arrest a person and take him to court while investigations on him are still on-going?

Two, doesn't this smack of arbitrariness and high-handedness, and doesn't it erode established judicial norms and the rule of law?

Three, wasn't the deployment of an extraordinarily large number of Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) staff and police personnel a show of force which was tantamount to abuse of power?

Four, since Asri has been giving talks in Selangor and elsewhere for a while now, what was the reason for arresting him only at this point in time?

Five, was the arrest a well-orchestrated move by certain religious authorities, backed by some Muslim NGOs, to dissuade the federal government from going ahead with the appointment of Asri as the new head of a potentially influential Islamic 'dakwah' foundation, Yadim?

Six, if this was the motive, doesn't it show that there are religious institutions and groups in the country that are intolerant of views on Islam which are different from theirs, however humane and rational some of these views may be, and however well-grounded they are in the Qur'an?

Seven, isn't such intolerance a betrayal of the respect for differences of opinion, and for dissent, embodied in Quranic thought and in the practice of the Prophet?

It is important to ask these questions because Asri's crude and coarse treatment echoes the authoritarianism of certain groups in other parts of the Muslim world that has led to tension and conflict.

This is why any attempt by any group to monopolise religion and marginalise alternative voices should be checked immediately.

It was one of the causes of the closing of the Muslim mind in past centuries and was partly responsible for the decline of Islamic civilisation.

Launch of CHARTER OF COMPASSION - a short videoclip

have a good watch -

Good news for Malaysian - Pakatan applies to be formal coalition

also read my previous blog post here

More on Dr Asri ...

Click here

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Join us at the launch of the " Charter For Compassion"

Peace everyone!

We are launching a Charter for Compassion on 12th of November at PJ Hilton. This Charter is the brainchild of Karen Armstrong and November 12th is also the international launch of the Charter worldwide.

Tun Abdullah is officiating the launch. There will be a youth panel representing the voice of youth on compassion and also inter-faith dialogues on the subject.

Registration : 930 am
Launch : 10 am
Youth on Compassion : 12 noon
Interfaith Dialogue : 2 pm
Venue : PJ Hilton Crystal Ballroom

Places are limited, only 250. It will be on a first come first serve basis, please fill up the attached form and revert by the 9th of November 2009.

To know more, click and for more information on the charter and to download the forms for the event go to or you can email us at or contact Ezaruddin at 019-3653705.

Thank you and see you there.

Let us add value.

Anas Zubedy
On Behalf of JUST
Charter of Compassion Launch Committee

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sikit Komen on Politik Malaysia

  1. I want what is best for the country.
  2. It may sound oxymoronic, I am an extreme centrist.
  3. I like to see a strong 2 +1 party system in the country. A strong BN, a strong PR and a third block that is totally independent of the two. The third block consists of MPs who votes independently in parliament base not on party lines, but on conscience. They can swing either way.
  4. I am happy that UMNO and now MCA (on the way) is more united and is on the mend, and not happy that MIC has yet to rejuvenate itself while GERAKAN seems seen better days.
  5. I like to see a DAP-PKR merger and a stronger pact within the opposition. Unfortunately I don’t see the two parties trusting each other enough to even take tiny steps there.
  6. I am for Tok Guru’s act to call for an EGM to once and for all push PAS to commit deeper into a PR coalition, but unfortunately it has been blocked.
  7. But, I will be glad if some oldies were to make way for the new – like Samy Velu, Tok Guru and Kit Siang. Kit Siang is no more a ‘Kid’ and ‘Siang’ may become ‘Malam’ if he continues. He has contributed a lot the Malaysia’s opposition, now he should be an elder statesman. Samy should trust his brother Indians better and let go. Tok Guru be a mentor.
  8. I prefer not an UMNO-PAS unity. I prefer an UMNO that is open to all races. Or better still …
  9. I like to see a BN and PR direct membership in the near future.
  10. I am not happy that Zaid is no longer working for a single PR platform. I don’t see Anwar as able to forge this and was hoping Zaid could.
  11. I wish that since March 2008 the leaders of PR component parties focused their energy here instead of trying to take over the Government.
  12. I think they have lost their chance and things will go downhill pretty fast in the near future.
  13. I have been suggesting in my talks and chats that in 3 years Najib will checkmate Anwar and the swing of votes will favor BN in a big way – they will get back the 2/3 majority. Simply because Najib is by far smarter, better skilled at group-to-group leadership and definitely a marketing genius in creating the 1Malaysia brand image (I have clients launching their 2010 company battle-cry using the 1(name of company) logo!!!)
  14. Penang will be back in BN’s hands too.
  15. RPK will be pro BN or at least abandoned PR.
  16. Many other pro PR blogs will also abandon ship or at least be neutral.
  17. Malaysia would have lost our one chance to have a more balance political front on both sides of the fence but ...
  18. We will learn from this experience too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interesting feedback

Here is an interesting feedback emailed to me regarding the Deepavali advert. We do get various feedback and i usually write back without posting it. But this one, perhaps I should share ...

His Email -

The article under the title " Have a meaningful Deepavali" advertised by Zubedy will in no way add value. It is because the whole article is written by a person with half-baked ideas. He does not seem to have full knowledge of what he is writing. It will not create empathy unless one who reads it is apathetic.

In fact, the whole article is a farce, written under the pretext of peace-loving citizen. It back-fires and creates backlash. I do not see any relevance in printing the picture of Periyar E.V. Ramasamy. He is a well-known reformer, well-known critic of Hindu religion, idol worship, and an atheist. He was not in the habit of celebrating Deepavali.

The writer does not seem to know about Hinduism either. Perhaps a certain sect in Hinduism does not prefer to eat beef. But Hinduism does not prohibit eating beef. In Vedas, there are "slogans" asking Hindus to serve beef and intoxicating drinks.

The writer shows true colours when he says "we blast" 'ceramahs' after midnight prayers on loud speakers". Perhaps, one in a thousand mosques, it might happen and that too in areas where only malays reside. Know your facts before you fire. This spoils the purpose of the whole article.

My reply

Salam bro,

On the contrary, I know of all the facts you commented below especially abt Periyar. It is just the Hindus are generally more liberal people who can accept him as part of them – because while he is against religion, he practice it better than those who profess to. In fact I have so many Hindus who called, emailed, sms, facebook, etc thanking me for featuring him.

And no, the ceramah’s are everywhere, just go check the police reports ( but no action lah). In Selangor/KL alone I know of more than 20 mesjids and suraus jolly doing it. And for Muslims sake too, they should not coz Muslim students should concentrate on doing their homework and READ ( the first word of Quranic revelation.)

In the first place there is no such thing as Hinduism. It is a new name evolved after the British occupation and more so since the 19th century. The term is a foreign concept – basically came from the word Hindi, a Persian name for India in the 12 th century. Perhaps the correct way to call the religion is Sanatana Dharma. It is a mosaic of hundreds if not thousands of ‘way of lives’ – and ‘Hinduism’ absorbs all of them – it’s a very sponge like religion.

Vegetarianism for example was a Jain influence. You see, Sanatana Dharma it is an evolving religion that started perhaps more than 5000 years ago. Many ‘silly’ souls ( usually in the form of Muslim and Christian chauvinists) will find a quote from some Hindu text that was written before the Jain influenced to suggest that Hinduism does not prescribe the act to shun meat eating. Poor souls…

Since it is a liberal religion, if a Hindu man chose to eat beef, by all means he can go ahead. As far for the Hindu is concern, he will just delay reaching moksha. No priest or ulama is going to cane him or fined him.

There are some Muslim sect and even Ulama who still think that the world is flat, it would be wrong to suggest that the rest think the same way. There will be some Hindu minority sects ( from the thousands) who suggest that beef is good to eat, I don’t think that it is smart and fair for you to suggest that its ok for all Hindus to do the same.

But, we can agree to disagree.

Thanks for the feedback. Salam, anas

GREAT DEAL : - Fxxx your way to Heaven, and earn RM10K doing it!

A must read from my blogbrother Art Harun -

any right thinking person Muslim or otherwise will see this as a farce!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Malay,Chinese, Indian Prophets?

Abdul Kahar the self-proclaimed Malay Prophet gets 10 years jail + six strokes of the rotan and fined RM16.5K for conducting “deviationist teachings, blasphemy and spreading false beliefs”. Kinda harsh sentence for someone I thought who was just a little delusional. A little logical banter or better still designer drugs would have changed his mind. Anyway, I guess our courts house a bunch of serious lots – who saw a man with tiny bit of followers as a “threat to the security of the religion, society and nation”.

Okay, putting this era aside, who was the Malay Prophet? Was there a Malay Prophet? Yes, according to the Quran. In fact according to the Quran there were Chinese Prophets, Indian Prophets, Caucasian Prophets, Red Indian Prophets, Afrikan Prophets, and many more all across the world, all through time.

The Quran says,

To every people (was sent) an apostle: when their apostle comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged” (Quran 10:47)


“ Verily We have sent thee in truth, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner: and there never was a people, without a warner having lived among them (in the past)”.(Quran 35:24)

Ever since I discovered the above Quranic ayats, I have been on the lookout for all those apostles. Was Thiruvalluvar the Tamilian sage who wrote the Thirukkural an apostle? How about the Buddha? Lao Tze? Mani of Persia?

Who were the other apostles not mentioned in the Quran since the Quran only named apostles from the Semitic branch. The Quran says,

“And as [We inspired other] apostles whom We have mentioned to thee ere this, [179] as well as apostles whom We have not mentioned to thee; and as God spoke His word unto Moses”. (Quran 4:164)


“And, indeed, We sent forth apostles before thy time; some of them We have mentioned to thee, and some of them We have not mentioned to thee …” (Quran 40:78)

In fact according to the Quran, anyone who does not accept even one of the messengers named or unnamed, ceased being a believer.

The Quran says,

“Those who deny Allah and His apostles, and (those who) wish to separate Allah from His apostles, saying: "We believe in some but reject others": And (those who) wish to take a course midway They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment, To those who believe in Allah and His apostles and make no distinction between any of the apostles, we shall soon give their (due) rewards: for Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful - (Quran 4 : 150-153)

So who were the Chinese apostles? Indians? Caucasians?Afrikans …..? As for the Malay Prophet, I think he or she could have been the person who brought us the Peribahasa Melayu :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

There is still honor in this country - thanks Anon

An anonymous writer posted this comment to my previous blogpost. I have always have strong convictions that we are honorable people .... Instead of publishing it as a comment, this warrants a blog post by itself. Thanks Anon, you are cool...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Today, we all can celebrate BN, PR and Non-Partisa...":

peace bro

sorry for my rude comment

Publish this comment. Reject this comment.
Moderate comments for this blog.
Posted by Anonymous to anas zubedy at October 22, 2009 10:42 AM

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear Anons ... Can we have a deal...

I want to post all Anonymous comments even if you disagree with me as long as ….

As a marketing man I have been trained to appreciate positive and negative feedback, comments and suggestions from anonymous individuals exceedingly. Feedback in the positives or negatives is good mirrors that I can use to reflect. I usually suspend my judgment and consider your perception .

I respect your need to remain anonymous. I see that you must have a good reason.

Whether your intention is good or bad is beyond my capacity to decide. I don’t play God (May I suggest you do the same). Even if your intentions are bad, you may have good grounds – at least in your own eyes. In truth, the fact that you took the trouble to feedback shows that you have passion to make the world a better place and add value. You took the trouble because you cared about what I think, what I do and I thank you.

I take the stand that there are not many BAD people in the world, but many may simply be unaware. Sometimes humans are bad not because they are terrible but because they do not know. It’s hard to be angry with people who make uninformed decisions because they lack information and understanding.

For example, I see those cow-head protesters some time ago as belonging to this group. While our anger drives us to take them to court, a more spiritual and God-Conscious approach is to help them see the light and be remorseful. We need to trigger their hearts and show how wrongful and hurtful they were to the offended party, apologize, repent and get them to take action that will help them really change. Perhaps getting them to care, clean and feed cows for 6 months will be wise.

You see, I am a pure liberal. I will accept you even if you pray to Satan! I may not agree with your behavior and your stand; may talk you into changing your mind, but I can accept you as a person. My conviction is that since everything is God- Made and since God is All-Good, nothing can be all bad, including Satan.

I will only agree or disagree with your ‘choices’ because that is the only difference between us humans and the rest of God’s creation. We are given the capacity to have a ‘WILL’ and ‘MAKE CHOICES’. So, when we ‘MAKE CHOICES’ we are using God’s best gift to us. How could I fault you at that?

The rest of creation is on automatic setting and behave as they do by default – Satan included. This is my world-view shaped by The Quran (check Quran chapter 2:30 and other conceptual framework about Adam). If you have a differing world-view, we can agree to disagree :).

I want to post all Anonymous comments even if you disagree with me. Can we have a general contract about Anonymous comments?

Here are my suggestions:


  1. No profanity please! It’s unfortunate, some of you gave some real fantastic comments but I cannot post them because of bad language. It was not your disagreement with me that stops me from allowing them to appear, it was the vulgarity.

  2. Nothing seditious.

  1. Don’t play God - or pretend we can read people’s mind and hearts. Practice the act of ‘doubting yourself’. Only the strong can and are willing to do that.
  2. Don’t make sweeping statements like ‘All Malays are lazy” or “All Chinese are rich,” or “All Indians cannot be trusted”, etc.
  3. Know the difference between a fact and an opinion – Facts must have adequate empirical information to back it up; your opinion is an emotional stand.

    Thanks and peace.

    Anas Zubedy

Today, we all can celebrate BN, PR and Non-Partisan Malaysians

Thank you for your support and kind words. I have received many Smses, emails and facebook support since this morning – with reference to The Star coverage.

Honestly, I have strong convictions that our effort to promote Hari Malaysia and Unity have played some role in creating better awareness of the special date to a segment of the Malaysian rakyat especially readers of The Star.

However, the political developments the last couple of years played a big role in creating an urgency to make the date prominent; namely the growing importance of our brother and sister Sabahans and Sarawakians in terms of voter support, PR’s 916 campaign last year, the launch of 1Malaysia by PM Najib and the deep sense of wanting to unite and be One amongst ordinary Malaysians like you and I.

I am glad that this move forward towards Unity via making Hari Malaysia a prominent day, equal to Hari Merdeka is the effort of many and no one party can claim monopoly. We all did it, we all can be proud. BN, PR and non-partisan Malaysians too – this day belong to all of us regardless of race, religion, location or background.

Today we are One. Thank You.

Peace, anas zubedy

In The Star today : )

Our efforts have been fruitful... click here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hari Malaysia now a holiday :)

Yes! The BN Government has accorded September 16th a public holiday. Such a move will definitely create awareness to Malaysians the importance of Malaysia Day. Zubedy has since 1996 been selling the idea of making Malaysia Day a special day for all of us Malaysians. Since 2001 we have been taking full page adverts in The Star newpaper explaining why we need to pay attention to the date.

Here are three examples of the advertising message.

2003 Ad

31st of August, Hari Merdeka, was the day we lowered the Union Jack and became independent in 1957. Hari Malaysia on the 16th of September was the day Malaysia was born; when Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore became one nation in 1963. (Singapore seceded in 1965)

On Hari Merdeka three major races came together. The Malays opened their hearts and shared what was then called Tanah Melayu with the Chinese, Indians, and others. Chinese and Indians ended citizenship with their homeland for a new home. This act of unity and integration was more than just extraordinary, it was a miracle.

Hari Malaysia marks a recognition that together with Sabah and Sarawak, we will be stronger as we leap forward.

As citizens of a multi-racial nation, we have a universal orientation and can take center stage in leading the world. After all, Malaysians should fare better compared to citizens from a homogenous society, we have much experience in cooperating and working together within different cultures. The celebration of Hari Malaysia serves as a reminder of our unique past, present, and future, and how special our nation is.

To paraphrase the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee in his song Getaran Jiwa, "Sedarlah kamu wahai insan, andai dipisah lagu dan irama, lemah tiada berjiwa, hampa," The many races of Malaysia are like parts of the body and soul, disunited, we are weak, the key to our strength and success is unity and oneness.

Let us add value
Have a meaningful Hari Malaysia.

2006 Ad

Imagine you and I... changing the world for the better.

Tomorrow is September 16th 2006, Hari Malaysia, our nation's 43rd birthday. Each year we make history showcasing to the world our unity and capacity to live in peace in diversity.

Our history is unique and something to be proud of. We practice peaceful living on a daily basis. Not just the usual 'kongsi raya' sharing of power and wealth, but the willingness and ability to share our ways of life - our day to day living. Just visit a 'mamak' stall and see for yourself; we live harmoniously, in a multicultural world.

Our record of give and take makes us ideal leaders. Imagine guiding the world to appreciate diversity in all its richness, to see colors not as differences but as a way to recognize and love one another.

We lead not with sophisticated technology, economic power or military might, but by showing how to share and unite the most important of all resources, the Human Spirit. The force that is within all people. Potentially, it lies within the hearts and minds of six and a half billion fellow humans on this planet.

The late Mak Minah through her soulful songs called for the awakening of the Human Spirit. While we have Many Hearts, we share One Spirit.

Imagine you and I... changing the world for the better.

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Hari Malaysia

2007 Ad

This Sunday September 16th 2007 marks the forty-fourth year Sabah, Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya became Malaysia. Let us take a moment to reflect and search deep within ourselves. How far have we progressed as a nation, as Bangsa Malaysia? Are we moving towards stronger unity? Do we understand and trust each other better today, or are we getting suspicious of each other’s intentions? Are we moving forward?

What does a Malaysian look like and what is his psyche? Does she see herself as a Malaysian, or is she first a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Eurasian, or Iban? Or is he foremost a child of the universe, a human being bonded to others as one of God’s children, superseding artificial boundaries of ethnicity, geography, history and nationalities?

The ideal Malaysian is guided by shared values and is universal in outlook. At the core, a Bangsa Malaysia believes that Malaysians are one people. We absorb the best of each other's cultures and make them our own. We gain from every interaction, expand and grow, becoming better people as we learn to live and thrive alongside our fellow citizens.

A true Malaysian makes the right decision through a sense of balance and fairness. When a Bangsa Malaysia makes a decision he considers the needs of all because he knows he is part of a whole.

Unity must replace race as our consciousness and belief system. We must become more aware, understand and accept that multiplicity is God’s gift. We must see unity in diversity and learn to love all because when we dislike the other, we dislike part of nature.

There are many languages, the goal is to communicate. We have many hearts, but one spirit. There are many lamps, but only one light. Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable, 'Bersatu Teguh, Bercerai Roboh'

Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Hari Malaysia

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Have A Meaningful Deepavali

A man who knew how to empathize especially with the common people and women- Periyar E.V. Ramasamy (1879-1973)
Have a meaningful Deepavali
What Malaysians Want:
Empathy for One Another

Empathy is the ability to understand, be aware of and sensitive to, what others are feeling; to identify completely with the other. It is the capacity to imagine what the other is going through, sometimes to the point of responding physically. It is being in the other's shoes.

When we can feel what the other is feeling, we appreciate and value the other. We are connected and united.

Malaysians want empathy for one another because we want connection and union with our fellow brother and sister Malaysians so that we may prosper and grow from strength to strength as a nation.

Even when or perhaps, especially when, the other is practicing something you dislike; you can still have and show empathy because he or she is a real person with feelings and you honour that fact. For example, we can argue that smoking is a bad habit and should be banned, however, the reality is there are smokers and they have the right to smoke and should be able to in designated areas, without having to hide in corners like criminals. They should be able to smoke with ease.

Many eating establishments do not serve pork in respect of Muslims but they serve beef with disregard to Hindus. As a rule, non-Muslims should not serve pork and non-Hindus should not serve beef when one or the other is present. At the very least non-Hindus should show some awareness and sensitivity to the Hindu belief and feelings towards cows.

When you are in group, be mindful that you speak in a language everybody understands and offer explanations to members who do not speak the language.

When in a mosque or gurdwara or during community activities, be mindful of dress codes. At the same time when out in town accept others who dress differently even if you think the dressing is less than modest, understand that the other’s need for comfort and expression is different from yours and learn to tolerate it. We are all here in this great nation and we all want and need to thrive.

We Malaysians accept traffic disruptions during special events like Thaipusam, Hungry Ghosts festival, St Anne's day and Maulud Nabi. We understand the need to double and triple park during Friday prayers and Sunday church. Muslims and non-Muslims agree to and are accustomed to the azan and temple bells.

However when we blast ceramahs after maghrib prayers on loudspeakers, we are not empathizing with Muslim and non-Muslim students who need to study and are doing their homework. We are not showing compassion for households trying to settle down for the evening, who are wrapping up the day to rest for tomorrow. Let’s have ceramahs for the ears of mosque attendees and not broadcasted to the general public, let’s understand and empathize with the needs of the community as a whole.

Acceptance, tolerance, compassion and understanding, these are the hallmarks of empathy, the keys to connection and unity. We Malaysians want empathy for one another so that we may love and care for our fellow brother and sister Malaysians and prosper and progress as a nation.

let us add value,
Have A Meaningful Deepavali

Tomorrow in The Star
The Previous What Malaysians Want series were :
Peaceful and non-disruptive demonstrations that get the point across-

Politicians who cooperate and compete to make Malaysia a better place -