Thursday, February 28, 2013

Manifestos and the difference between a Sponsorship Guy and a Marketing Man

Once I was asked to consult for a bank. 

The top management was to listen to a marketing plan prepared by the new Marketing Director. Within minutes I knew that this was a Sponsorship guy pretending to be a Marketer.

He spent the next 45 minutes showing his plan to build the Brand via sponsorship and giving away goodies to thousands and thousands of potential customers thus winning them over to the Brand.

Those in the meeting were non- marketing people and as such were somewhat impressed with the presentation, including the Bank’s second in command – the person who employed the new Marketing Director.

The Second in Command (who did not agree that the MD engaged us) turned cockily towards me and asked, “Hah…Consultant, ada apa-apa nak komen ka? “.

I smiled and asked the new Marketing Director, “Brother, you have shown me how to spend money. Can you show me now how you are going to make them? “

The meeting was adjourned.

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur

TWZ - Supporting the Inclusives and the Moderates: Launching of Aren't We All Malaysians

On Saturday, 23rd February 2013 at zubedy's office, we held the launching of YB Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa's book 'Aren't We All Malaysians'. The event started from 9.30 a.m. and lasted until 11.30 a.m. During the event, Datuk Mujahid talked about what he wrote in this book and recollected some childhood stories that shaped his inclusive view on racial relations and Unity in Malaysia.

At zubedy, our core value is uniting people. Anybody who chooses the same undertaking albeit different approaches is our friend. As far as we are concerned, any Unity movement or endeavour is above politics. We encourage every political body, business organisation, NGO, and civil movement to have their own Unity initiative and Unity cause. zubedy has been promoting Unity with our ‘Many Colors One Race’ platform which we live by and incorporate into everything that we do when we deal with our clients, staff, family, and friends. Furthermore, zubedy believes in adding value to everything that we undertake. YB Datuk Mujahid’s ways reveal how Islam adds value to the Malay race. In this book, YB Datuk Mujahid demonstrates how the Malays are universally connected to the rest of the world through Islam.

As YB Datuk Mujahid heads PAS’ National Unity Committee, he is PAS’ trustee to explore the dynamics between the Muslims and non-Muslims. As such, we support this gap-bridging effort that cuts across all races and religions because it sits well with our Unity endeavour. This collaboration creates a cross-introduction for both zubedy and Mujahid. This book as a synergy between the zubedy brand and YB Datuk Mujahid’s ideas.

This is a book on Unity by a PAS leader. And as PAS in one of the players in the political arena, it is good for people whether they are PAS supporters or not, to read it. Thinking Malaysians must understand that the underlying issue is not within partisanship. Everyone has their own ways to achieve their goals, but there are people who are hardcore or while there are those who are moderate. The hardcores tend to favour exclusivity while the moderates embrace inclusiveness in their approach.
We need to work with the inclusive ones. We need to give our support to the inclusives in every political party. We support them not for their politics, but for their Unity endeavours. zubedy is always open to meet them and assist in publishing their books. As YB Datuk Mujahid said in this book, “Politics is not all about finding the opportunity to attack the opposition; mature politics is looking for best solutions”. At the bottom of it, it’s not about which side we are on. It is about choosing the inclusives among them. The real battle is between the exclusive and the inclusive, the extreme and the moderate.

During the event, YB Datuk Mujahid picked some stories that reflect his multiculturally influenced upbringing such as:

The 13th May incident bears witness of the solidarity between ethnic groups. The old-timers on Acheh Street tell us that when theracial tension broke out, the community leaders decided to take turns to watch the area – the Malays to guard the Chinese area and the Chinese to watch the Malay area so that no one could take advantage. Ask the old-time Chinese and Malays about May 13 and they would just smile and say,“Here, there was no problem, we all took care of each other…”
(Chapter 3; page 31,32)
I still remember my friend Theam Hock. He would visit our home during Hari Raya and we would then go to visit our other friends homes together. The whole day, Theam Hock would act like a Malay and wanted to be called Sufian. During Chinese New Year, we would go and celebrate with ‘Sufian’ at his house.

(Chapter 4; page 42)
Whenever Supaya sent my sister and me to school in Kuala Lumpur, Supaya would carry my bag, hold my hand, and walk me to class, to the point of embarrassing me in front of my friends. I was already in Primary Four. Supaya, however, sternly reasoned his actions, “tuan instructed me to take care of you until you got into class.” I did not understand then the meaning of being loyal to instructions; only now when I look back can I understand that Supaya was being loyal to his Malay employer. I see this as a rare display of loyalty of an employee towards his employer, even though they belong to different races. 

(Chapter 3; page 37)

“Differences in Malaysia is not a reason to hate each other, it is a reason to cherish the diversity. Not just to understand and recognise, but also to legitimise it. At the end of the day, it is about trust - the belief that we all share the same dream,” he said at the launch.

In his speech, Datuk Mujahid, who is the MP of Parit Buntar, notes that for some readers of his book would be able to relate to his multicultural stories whereas, some others may not and wonder why. “So I hope this will give them the courage and motivation to understand the reality of multicultural environment that we live in.”

He linked his experiences to the teachings of Islam as taught by his late father. “Look at yourself and compare with Islamic [teachings]. If it’s in line, that is fine. If not, you have to change.”

“When you’re convinced with something, [do it] with knowledge and intellectual capacity. Don’t blindly support it. You have to read,” he further added.

“The world and Malaysia are seeing a growing influence of Islam. It is crucial to ensure that the face of Islam is justly represented,” Anas said. “As the trustee of his party to explore the dynamics between Muslims and non-Muslims, he is the one for the job. We respect his unity endeavours as we support all gap-bridging effort that cuts across creed and politics.”

To watch the video streaming for the book launch, please click here

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Read Monyet King for facts and fun :)

Note : Monyet King is a good fren of mine. He writes facts and he writes hilarious satire about our politics.

Have fun reading and laughing , anas zubedy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another One Bites The Dust :)

Note : Last afternoon I highlighted to Dr Chandra this imbalanced and ill-informed  article written by one Yin Ee Kiong  (   that suggested that Dr Chandra received various government sinecures. This is not the first time that individuals irresponsibly accuse Dr Chandra of such things. The last time, it was Antares/Kit Lee. Antares had to apologise and admitted that he was wrong. (You can read his apology here I wish Malaysians will stop simply accusing without knowledge nor proof. I too have had to go through such nonsense. Below is Dr Chandra’s response to Yin Ee Kiong. Like Antares, he will need to do some soul searching, anas zubedy


I refer to the letter by Yin Ee Kiong in FMT dated 25 February 2013.
There are some gross inaccuracies in Yin’s perspective on Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action in the Indian Constitution targets scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. In the United States, Affirmative Action policies were meant for the African Americans. So it is not community blind or colour blind.

In Malaysia, the rationale for Affirmative Action was linked to citizenship for the Chinese and Indians. The leaders of the Malays ---- both the Sultans and the UMNO elite --- had decided to confer citizenship on the most magnanimous terms conceivable on a million recently domiciled immigrants thus reducing the Malays whose history and culture have defined the land, to a community among communities. What was poignant about the community’s generous accommodation of ‘the other’ was its own socio-economic situation: 64% of Malays lived below the poverty line on the eve of Merdeka. The Special Position of the Malays in the Constitution, it is worth reiterating, was meant to safeguard the interests of an abysmally poor indigenous community who had acquiesced with the transformation of the identity of the land, a transformation which has no parallel in history.

Yin not only ignores this fundamental premise upon which Affirmative Action is constructed; he is also wrong about an original  15 year limit to the Special Position of the Malays “that has been extended and extended again...”  It was the Reid Commission that recommended a limit. But it was not accepted by the Alliance (UMNO-MCA-MIC) which the Commission recognised as the voice of the people since it had won 51 out of 52 seats in the 1955 Federal Legislative Council elections. Thus, a time limit was never ever part of the Constitution.

Yin who regards “ Bumiputraism” as the “biggest problem” in the country and yet lauds Tunku Abdul Rahman’s leadership  may not be aware that it was the Tunku who introduced the term  “Bumiputra” into our national political discourse in 1963, after the formation of Malaysia. He may not also realise that it was the late Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman who in a widely publicised speech after the May 13th Incident advised the non-Malays not  to question Special Position and declared firmly that it is only the Malays who will decide whether the Constitutional provisions pertaining to it should be perpetuated or not.  Today, the Special Position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of the other communities, together with other constitutional Articles relating to citizenship, the status of Malay as the sole official and national language, the use and study of other languages, and the position of the Malay Rulers, are under the guardianship of the Conference of Rulers and cannot be abrogated by Parliament or the people.

But the operation and implementation of these entrenched Articles can be discussed and debated in the public arena as they have been in the last 42 years. Just as there have been positive outcomes, there have also been negative consequences arising from the implementation of policies and programmes that owe their origin to these aspects of the Constitution.  The New Economic Policy (NEP) is an example of a state initiated effort that has had its share of successes and failures. In my book The NEP, Development and Alternative Consciousness which Yin refers to I try to examine how the NEP had been used and abused in the seventies and eighties.

In this regard, I want to assure Yin that my position on issues such as equality, the dichotomisation of the citizenry, shared citizenship and the “exclusive ownership” of the nation has not changed one iota in the last four decades.  You only have to go to the Yayasan 1Malaysia website to access my writings on some of these national concerns in the last three years.  However, I refuse to approach these concerns from the partial, biased angle adopted by a number of so-called opponents of “institutionalised racism” who are themselves bigots and chauvinists. For instance while I have admonished those who criticise the advocates of equality which I cherish as a vital principle of living,   I have also not hesitated to emphasise that Special Position in the 1957 Constitution was an attempt to overcome gross ethnic inequality especially in the economy  which, if left unattended to, would have destroyed our delicate social fabric.

Similarly, through Yayasan 1Malaysia I have given a great deal of importance to both rights and responsibilities in the context of shared citizenship. What this means is that while we uphold our rights we should also shoulder our responsibilities--- such as our responsibility to understand how Malaysia evolved from a Malay polity; to empathise with the role of Malay as our national language; to appreciate the position of Islam as the religion of the nation.  It is this balanced perspective that is missing in many of our activists and intellectuals. They bemoan injustices to their own community which in many instances deserve to be addressed but are not willing to try to understand the sentiments and feelings on the other side of the ethnic divide.
Finally, Yin suggests that I am “a recipient of various government sinecures”.  I would like Yin to enlighten me on those sinecures. What are these sinecures? Detail them one by one.
Do it within the next 48 hours. If he can’t, he should apologise to me immediately. If he doesn’t, I shall seek legal recourse.

Chandra Muzaffar

Kuala Lumpur.

25 February 2013.     

Monday, February 25, 2013

Shall I boycott the 13th General Elections or spoil my vote?

Note : I read this interesting email this morning. Personally, I hope all registered voters will go out and vote; meaning make a choice come election date. But this article is worth reading, anas zubedy

Firstly, before the season is over - Kong Hee Fatt Choy to all Chinese recipients and may you enjoy prosperity during this Year of the Water Snake.

At this stage, I am in two minds as whether to cast my vote at all, during the upcoming 13th general elections in Malaysia.

On the one hand, I have announced before that "over my dead body will I vote Barisan Nasional."

However, on the other, the opposition is politically opportunistic and takes money from the most despicable, war mongering, Neo-Conservative organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the National Democratic Institute. So can I vote for the opposition either?

No I don't care what political stripe these parties label themselves as, whether they call themselves fascist, conservatives, liberals, social democratic, labour, socialist, communist, anarchist or a religious label but of they suck up to these wretched imperialist organisations, they have no credibility and will be used a a Trojan horse to enable western imperialist interests to further gain control of the economies of nations, especially weaker nations.

Like this Anwar guy looks towards this Nicholas Xenophou guy, who calls himself "Nick Xenophon" and other Australian parliamentarians. What!
Does Anwar and Bersih need these western politicians to validate them?

If Mahathir had not booted Anwar out of UMNO, he would have become a Barisan Nasional prime minister of Malaysia and there would be no Parti Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia.

Now don't anyone be like that dumb journalist at The Star who said that I "sound like Mahathir" when I criticised the globalisation agenda, implying that I was influenced by Mahathir and Barisan Nasional rhetoric and could not think for myself.

True, I arrived at similar conclusions to those of Mahathir but from a different ideological position and based upon information and analyses of various anti-imperialist sources.

What! Must I unthinkingly parrot the opposition mantra then to be accepted in their eyes and be one of their in-crowd?

Tony Cartalucci based in Bangkok has been doing a good job exposing the activities of these NGO-types, including the Soros-ite NGOs.

Cartalucci has also criticised Thaksin Shinawatra, which some neo-Trotskyite aligned activists in Thailand and Malaysia think is a "great guy."

BTW. "NGO" in Thai means stupid.

Read on.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Western vicious agenda fails in Malaysia, Russia

PressTV: Western vicious agenda fails in Malaysia, Russia Posted on February 18, 2013 by Jean

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is facing deportation from Malaysia after being refused entry.
Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:33PM GMT

By Tony Cartalucci
Russia has set the precedent, Malaysia is following suit and lending Russia’s decision much needed legitimacy in the face of a still Western-monopolized global media landscape. Other nations must follow, dropping the pretence that the West is somehow “exceptional,” and that there are somehow no conceivably, justifiable circumstances that could see an Australian senator detained and deported. Indeed, Xenophon has exceeded his mandate and responsibilities to represent the interests of the Australian people, breached Malaysia’s sovereignty, while misappropriating both Australia’s time and resources as he meddles in the sovereign affairs of a foreign nation.”

The Australian reported in its article, “Xenophon deported by Malaysia,”
that Australian Senator Nick Xenophon has been detained and then deported in Malaysia as part of an “unofficial parliamentary delegation to review the electoral system.”

In reality, Senator Xenophon was part of a Western effort to assist Malaysia’s Wall Street-London backed opposition into power as part of a wider geopolitical strategy to align Southeast Asia against China’s emerging regional influence.

Confirming this, the Australian also reported that:
“He and other Australian MPs were to meet opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, as well as Malaysia’s minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, Mohammed Nazri, and members of the group Bersih, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections.”

Bersih of course, is admittedly funded by the US State Department through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well as convicted criminal George Soros’ Open Society. According to a Malaysian Insider report on June 27, 2011, Bersih figurehead Ambiga Sreenevassan herself “admitted to Bersih receiving some money from two US organisations – the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) – for other projects, which she stressed were unrelated to the July 9 [2011] march.”

Xenophon’s planned meeting with Anwar Ibrahim, who with Western-backing has in fact created Bersih to propel himself into power, is also indicative of Australia’s insidious meddling in Malaysia’s sovereign, internal affairs.

Anwar Ibrahim was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony – the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih – casts irrefutable doubt on their official agenda for “clean and fair elections.” Claims by Bersih members that Anwar Ibrahim is “hijacking” their movement ring especially hollow when looking at both his and Bersih’s entwined foreign financial and political backers. Two Years of Western-Engineered Chaos in Arab World Justifies Malaysia’s Decision.

Clearly Senator Xenophon’s visit to Malaysia was not one ofar that the terrorism and despotism now unfolding across the Arab World is not an unintended consequence, but a long premeditated conspiracy unfolding as planned. Simles – making the Malaysian government’s claims that Xenophon constitutes a security risk absolutely justified. The last two years of Western “democracy promotion” in places like Egypt, Libya, and Syria, have left devastation, rising despots, and extremists in its wake and has justified similar moves made earlier this year by Russia who has begun purging itself of the same meddlesome, disingenuous “NGOs” that are backing Bersih and Awar Ibrahim in Malaysia.

From the West’s “human rights” observers, to the United Nations itself, all have been demonstrably abused to pursue the agenda of Western corporate-financier interests, many times both causing and compounding the alleged abuses they set out to “stop” in the first place.
With articles like “The Redireciton” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, and the Wall Street Journal’s “To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers” as far back as 2007 revealing that the West was planning to put armed extremists in power across the Arab World, it is clear that the terrorism and despotism now unfolding across the Arab World is not an unintended consequence, but a long premeditated conspiracy unfolding as planned. Similar plans to use faux-democracy movements and even violence in Southeast Asia to serve as cover for Western instigated regime change has also been well documented in Malaysia as well as Myanmar and neighboring Thailand. Plans to use Southeast Asia against China have been documented as far back as the late 1990′s.

Russia has set the precedent, Malaysia is following suit and lending Russia’s decision much needed legitimacy in the face of a still Western-monopolized global media landscape. Other nations must follow, dropping the pretense that the West is somehow “exceptional,” and that there are somehow no conceivably, justifiable circumstances that could see an Australian senator detained and deported. Indeed, Xenophon has exceeded his mandate and responsibilities to represent the interests of the Australian people, breached Malaysia’s sovereignty, while misappropriating both Australia’s time and resources as he meddles in the sovereign affairs of a foreign nation.

The “democracy” and “human rights’ racket the West has used to cover up what is indeed neo-imperialism is crumbling, not least because of its stalwart, stubborn support for what are now clearly Al Qaeda terrorists mass murdering civilians in Libya and Syria. When these are “freedom fighters” promoting “democracy,” what does that make Bersih and Anwar Ibrahim when they are taking cash and support from the same interests that are propping up Al Qaeda abroad? What does that make Senator Nick Xenophon for using Australia’s reputation and resources to aid and abet such people?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Giving our own meaning to time by See Ewe Jin - The STAR

I TOOK the bus to Penang yesterday morning. It’s a short weekend trip to carry on the tradition of spending some time in my hometown during Chinese New Year.
Having settled down in the Klang Valley since moving down as a bachelor back in 1980, my own family is definitely not a Penang family.
But, as they say, you can take a Penangite out of Penang but you can never take the Penang out of a Penangite.
Since I no longer have to join in the reunion rush, I choose the less busy period to travel. It is also easier to catch up with family and friends after the busy first few days of the festivities.
Friends and relatives always ask why I would spend about 10 hours on a bus to and fro on my Penang trips when I could have saved a lot of time taking a flight instead.
Well, the time I spend on the bus is always time well spent.
It gives me the opportunity to finish off a novel, chat with a new-found friend, watch a movie or simply do nothing. In fact, I wrote this column on the bus yesterday.
Inspirational speaker Jonathan Lockwood Huie said, “Time, like life itself, has no inherent meaning. We give our own meaning to time as to life.”
I agree. Everyone’s concept of time is different even if we all have the same 24 hours in a day.
In your courting days, you would want every minute to be like an hour, but after 30 years of marriage, you might wonder why a minute with your spouse can sometimes feel like an hour.
Of course, in life, we often do not have full control of our own time. Other people, from bosses to family and friends, do have a stake in our time.
For many people in the workforce today, office hours are no longer nine to five.
The young, savvy executive who thinks life is cool when he is able to take off his tie and have a drink in Bangsar is jolted back to reality when his smartphone rings and his boss is on the line.
Freedom, ironically, is just an illusion.
The chains remain because we are too well-connected. But difficult though it may be, we can, and we must, protect our own time.
Time to ourselves for solitude and reflection is crucial for a well balanced life. And time shared with others for the right reasons is precious.
Who is really chipping away your time? Have you simply given them the permission to do so? Is attending a meeting more important than being at your daughter’s speech day?
Is your email inbox so packed with work mail that you do not even have time to reply to personal mail from friends anymore?
The bus was at Rawang as I penned this final paragraph. I am thankful for the time to reflect on these questions and more.
I brought with me a special photo album on this trip that covers the many precious moments of the loved one I am visiting.
I was teary-eyed as I flipped through the photos, because each reminded me that time is not about seconds, minutes or hours, but truly about meaning.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Malaysia, Islam and Inclusive Leaders

Note : This is the speech I presented this morning during the ‘Aren’t We All Malaysians’ book launch by author Datuk Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

Datuk Dr Mujahid, Brothers and Sisters, Peace be upon you.

That Malaysia will turn more and more ‘Islamic’ is a foregone conclusion. May I repeat … That Malaysia will turn more and more ‘Islamic’ is a foregone conclusion. I will share two main reasons for this; one being local while the other, global.

In Malaysia today, the Muslim majority are giving birth more than the rest. Owing to this rate, by 2050 the Muslims should occupy about 70 % of Malaysia as compared to the current 60. A recent survey about young Muslims aged 15 to 25 years old in Malaysia published on the website of Merdeka Centre reports that more than 70% of them aspire to adopt the Islamic way of life as part of theirs and desire to see the society move forward in the same manner. These statistics I am putting forth are more than just numbers; they indicate where Malaysians are heading and how that journey is re-shaping our nation.

At the global front, while by the 80s and early 90s communism and nationalism being two of the forces obstructing world dominion by the USA were no longer in position to post any challenge to Washington, the Iranian revolution of 1979 thrust Islam to the fore both in national and international politics. A decade later, 1989 saw the Mujahideen’s victory over Soviet Russia in the Afghanistan. This success showed that Muslim resistance by a small, organised, determined and united group of faithful can resist and defeat a superpower.

A new kind of confidence and consciousness was injected within the Muslim world.  Muslim revivalism that started in the nineteenth century experienced a new vitality.  Muslims especially the young re-thought, reflected, and brought back to life their rich and forgotten history into present memory rekindling the spirit of their own golden era.

Furthermore, events in the Middle-East especially the treatment of Palestinians by Israel and its allies and the double standard practice by the West towards Muslim nations serve as a constant fuel in increasing Muslim consciousness. Muslims today see and want Islam to be a possible alternative in managing people and the nation. Malaysian Muslims too share these ideals.

Brothers and Sisters,

As Malaysia move slowly but surely towards Islam, we must ask ourselves what face of Islam do we want to create. Whether the Muslim direction is led by
  1. UMNO in the current BN framework, or.
  2. PAS within the PAKATAN partnership, or
  3. Perhaps a new UMNO-PAS hybrid, or
  4. A totally new entity in the future,

we need to ensure that the face of Islam that we see in this country is one that is inclusive and moderate. We need leaders regardless of political leaning not just from UMNO or PAS; not just in politics or in business but also in the public sector, civil society and the NGOs that have inclusiveness at heart. We need those that practice Wasatiyyah - The Middle Way.

This is where someone like my friend Datuk Dr Mujahid comes into the picture. Datuk Dr. Mujahid is a strong advocate of racial and religious harmony. We need Muslim leaders like him; he is open, loving, compassionate, intelligent, and able to mix around with people from all walks of life. He is inclusive and moderate. As the head of PAS’ National Unity Committee, Datuk Dr. Mujahid is PAS’ trustee to explore the dynamics between the Muslims and non-Muslims. We at Zubedy support this gap-bridging effort that cuts across all races and religions.  It also sits well with zubedy’s Unity endeavour. Anyone who is for the cause of Unity is our friend despite their various approaches.

Brothers and Sisters,

At Zubedy, we have strong conviction that we need to work with the inclusive ones regardless of partisanship. Thinking Malaysians must understand that the underlying issue is not within partisanship. We must understand that everyone and each group have their own ways to achieve Unity goals.

This is a book on Unity by a PAS leader. And as PAS in one of the players in the political arena, it is good for people whether they are PAS supporters or not, to read it. The stories and ideas may ring well with you, or perhaps not; but I believe we have it in us to agree to disagree. As stated earlier we must understand that everyone has their own ways to achieve Unity goals, but there are people who are hardcore while there are those who are moderate. The hard cores tend to favour exclusivity while the moderates embrace inclusiveness in their approach.

We need to work with the inclusive ones. We need to give our support to the inclusives in every political party. We support them not for their politics, but for their Unity endeavours. At zubedy we are happy to meet more inclusives whether they are from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. Personally, I want to meet them and find ways to assist them sell their ideas, make them heard, and help them move forward. As Dr. Mujahid stress in his book, “Politics is not all about finding the opportunity to attack the opposition; mature politics is looking for best solutions”.

Brothers and Sisters,

At the bottom of it, it’s not about which side we are on. The real battle is between the exclusive and the inclusive, the extreme and the moderate. There are the extreme and the moderates in all groupings, every political party. We have decided to work with the latter.

In the future, after the general elections (the timing is significant as anything that we do now, people say it’s meant for the election), we at zubedy would like to create more avenues for moderates and inclusives from both BN, PR, and civil societies to be heard. We want to organise talks, publish their books, and be the platform and conduit for them to engage as one – standing above partisan politics in the name of UNITY.  Zubedy wants to be one of the bridges that can bring these groups of current and future leaders together to share their different voices, but similar message, similar goals.  Perhaps, in the near future Zubedy can publish a great page-turner if we could have, for instance, Datuk Dr. Mujahid and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah co-writing a book on Unity. Or perhaps a compilation of articles about UNITY in one book by leaders from both sides of the political divide, from the Peninsular and Sabah and Sarawak, the young and the old.

Brothers and Sisters,

Before I end, I would like to show my appreciation to first and foremost Datuk Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa for his willingness to be here with us today despite his pressing schedule with general elections looming; the people behind the scenes; fellow zubedyans and others who have been involved in making today’s affair possible, directly or indirectly; Especially to Hidayah the project leader. Thank you.  And last but certainly in no way possible is the least, all of you who are here today.

May I end my speech with two verses from the Quran;

“And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know.” – Quran 30:22

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” - Quran 49:13


Anas Zubedy

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another TMI Spin – The Perak Regent’s Speech

“ Sek Sai Ke Ho Tai”

Being a speaker during the afternoon session, I decided to attend the Perak Regent YM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah’s morning speech during the Wacana Perpaduan Ummah at Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka on Tuesday 19th February.

While he gave a very good, balanced, and historically factual speech, TMI painted it otherwise (I am posting the Regent’s speech in full below for you to read it. Please do, because it is a very good one).

The problem is that too many times media who are friendly to a particular political leaning will spin news to give their side a better deal and paint the other as bad as possible.


While many are aware to the twists and spins done by the main media, perhaps due to blind partisan politics the sin done by the electronic media go unnoticed. Let me share with you another TMI example.

TMI reported the following,

Churches tell Najib: Respect law, remove anti-Christian rules, policies
By Debra Chong

January 05, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak should respect the law and start removing rules and policies that have seen Christians being victimised by the bureaucracy, a national group representing over 90 per cent of churches said yesterday.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) called on the prime minister to check the growing systematic religious attacks against Christians nationwide over the past one year. Refer

Here is what was actually said,

Our Christian churches have often kept your administration and the Government in our prayers. We always pray that our leaders will be rightly guided by Almighty God to administer and govern with righteousness, fairness, justice and wisdom.

There is a very wide and alarming disconnect between what you intend to happen and what is happening on the ground. The policy of moderation which you uphold does not seem to have filtered down to all levels of government. If left unchecked, it would be murdering and destroying your own vision of moderation and goodwill among Malaysians which you have espoused.

We are pained by those ugly manifestations which trample upon moderation. We Christians would like to work with the Government for the sake of our beloved Malaysia. In the spirit of Muhibbah we would like to bring the gift of peace to this country.

May God bless you and the country for the well-being of all Malaysians!

Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing
Chairman and the Executive Committee, Christian Federation of Malaysia

Notice how Christ-like were the Bishop’s words and action but TMI made him sound like an uncouth, irresponsible, and warlike leader. Perhaps TMI wants the Christians to get angry. Perhaps they want the country to split apart and break into pieces.

This time around they are trying to make a segment of the country hate the Royal Institution. (Just read the comments posted at the TMI article). I find their behaviour dangerous. The problem is, it is so easy to spin because we are now so partisan that many are no longer thinking.
As I stated earlier, essentially, they are LYING TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO TRUST THEM MOST! An old Hokkien saying explains the situation appropriately,

 “ Sek Sai Ke Ho Tai”

Translated into English it means, “A chicken that you know is easier to catch and slaughter”. I hope you are not one of those chickens :)

Anas Zubedy.




Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Segala puji milik ALLAH Subhanahu Wata’ala.  Selawat dan salam ke atas Junjungan Besar Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu Alai Wassalam, juga ke atas keluarga dan para sahabat Baginda; seterusnya ke atas para tabiin dan para ulama. Semoga memperoleh ihsan sehingga hari kebangkitan.

2.            Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka merintis usaha menganjurkan Wacana Perpaduan Ummah.  Wacana ini berlangsung ketika persaingan politik di kalangan ummah sedang memuncak.  Ia berlangsung oada waktu yang sangat mencabar memandangkan pilihan raya umum kali ketiga belas, diramal akan diadakan dalam masa terdekat.  Langkah menganjurkan pada waktu yang sensitif ini, adalah satu langkah berani.  Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka berkemungkinan berhadapan risiko untuk dialah ertikan, apatah lagi jika nada diskusi dan jika resolusi yang dirumuskan, bakal menghiris perasaan mana-mana kabilah politik.

3.            Berasaskan premis, bahawa Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka berada di atas politik partisan kepartian, wacana yang dianjurkan ini, meperlihatkan pemikiran jauh penganjur, bersedia mengambil tanggung jawab untuk membincangkan agenda jangka panjang ummah.  Sepanjang sejarah penubuhannya, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka berperanan signifikan melaksanakan pelbagai kegiatan untuk menyatukan ummah melalui program – program keilmuan, kebudayaan, kesenian dan persuratan berteraskan islam dan Melayu.  Jika pun terkandung agenda politik, ia lebih berunsurkan wawasan politik yang lebih besar untuk memastikan kelangsungan bangsa, terutama dari segi mempertahankan hak, maruah dan martabat bangsa.  Semoga setiap niat suci dan kerja murni mendapat keredaan dan  lindungan ILAHI, Amin Ya Rabul Alamin.

4.            Institusi Raja dan Dewan Bahasa mempunyai sejarah hubungan nostalgik.  Bangunan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka telah dirasmikan oleh Seri Paduka Yang Dipertuan Agung pada 31 Januari 1962.  Berdasarkan rekod, selepas upacara pengistiharan kemerdekaan Negara pada 31 Ogos 1957, acara perasmian bangunan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, merupakan kali pertama selepas merdeka, kesemua Sembilan Raja Melayu berangkat hadir di satu majlis.  Dewan Bahasa juga adalah institusi yang setia menjunjung salah satu dari tujuh wasiat untuk mendaulatkan bahasa Melayu; memastikan bahasa Melayu dinobatkan sebagai bahasa kebangsaan, bahasa rasmi dan bahasa ilmu.

5.            Peranan Bera berangkat menzahirkan titah di Wacana ini adalah dalam semangat ‘rantau jauh diulangi, rantau dekat dikenda’.   Ia memberi ruang kepada Beta dapat bersama rakyat, seiring menghayati pesanan menurut yang dicatatkan oleh Tun Seri Langng dalam karya agung Sulatat Al- Salatin akan amanat Sultan Alauddin kepada putera Baginda:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

PAKATAN: Combating Corruption? by Dr Chandra Muzaffar

In the coming General Election, condemning the Barisan Nasional(BN)  as “totally corrupt” would be the Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) main line of attack. It will be used as a rallying cry to oust the incumbent.

Corruption is undoubtedly a major challenge. There is elite corruption in both the public and private sectors. There is petty corruption within various strata of society.  

It is because it is a challenge that the government recognises combating corruption as one of the seven National Key Result Areas (NKRAs). And since 2004 a number of significant measures have been implemented, among them the establishment of 14 special anti-corruption courts with the mandate to adjudicate all corruption cases within 12 months; the enactment of the  Whistleblower Act; the signing of Corporate Integrity Pledges and Integrity Pacts; and the acceptance of open tenders publicised through the media for procurement exercises thus enhancing transparency and accountability. The endorsement of Transparency International’s Election Integrity Pledge, an affirmation of the government’s commitment to electoral ethics, is the latest example of its present battle against corruption. 

At the same time, there has been a marked increase in the number of arrests of those allegedly involved in corruption including former political leaders, highly placed public servants, and top-notch corporate figures. Givers as well as takers of bribes are now nabbed regularly. It is because of these sustained efforts that Michael Hershman, one of the founders of Transparency International observed in an article in the Huffington Post ( June 22 2012) that Malaysia has a “ comprehensive anti-corruption system.”

In this regard, it is worth noting that Malaysia’s fight against corruption has been going on for more than four decades. Malaysia is one of the first countries in the Global South to have established an anti-corruption agency and formulated an anti-corruption law way back in 1967.Even before 2004, a number of Federal Ministers, Mentris Besar and State Executive Councillors have been tried and convicted for corruption.
Nonetheless, as many of us have been arguing for some time now much more can be done to curb this social malaise. Apart from effective enforcement that metes out stern punishment to the wrongdoer regardless of his status, we should also address some of the underlying causes of corruption such as the widening gap between the “have-a-lot” and the “have-a-little” which engenders a widespread feeling of relative deprivation which in turn prompts people to justify their corrupt acts. To make it worse, elite opulence which has become more pronounced in our society in recent years also feeds into this vice. At the same time, both the government and the opposition should craft a mechanism for financing general elections which would eliminate donations from business entities. The public financing of elections as a concept was accepted by the Dewan Rakyat in April 2012.

Whatever new measures are adopted to combat corruption, Malaysians should not be duped into believing that changing the government of the day is THE solution. Other democracies in Asia have tried. In India the Indian National Congress was ousted through the ballot-box in the seventies on an anti-corruption, anti-authoritarianism wave; the people discovered soon afterwards that the successor government was incapable of curbing the scourge. Similarly, in Japan, the people have come to realise that getting rid of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and replacing it with some other party has not helped to minimise the prevalence of graft which is embedded to a large extent in the incestuous relationship between business and legislative politics.

There is a reason why regime change per se in most cases does not result in the eradication of corruption. Regime change revolves around political actors. Political actors are focussed   upon power. And power, as the ancient adage goes, corrupts.

Even in our country we have seen this happening with the opposition parties which are now in power in four states. Vociferous opponents of corruption for the longest time, these parties are now forced to grapple with allegations of shady contracts, zoning irregularities and questionable land deals. Their claim to integrity is being challenged by segments of their own constituencies.

Indeed, how can Pakatan Rakyat project itself as a champion of probity when it is led by a Machleon ( a  Machiavellian  Chameleon) with such a tarnished record  on issues of ethics? When he was in power --- an overly ambitious Cabinet Minister --- he was allegedly involved in money politics and cronyism on a massive scale. In his book, The Mahathir Legacy A Nation Divided, a Region at Risk (Allen & Unwin, 2003) Ian Stewart observes, “While Anwar’s followers --- as witnessed by myself and other journalists --- were handing out packets of money to acquire the support of UMNO division leaders in his 1993 campaign against Ghafar Baba, Anwar himself was winning over influential people in the party by promising positions in the administration he would form when he took over from Dr. Mahathir.” (page 23).

Pakatan supporters insist that Anwar has changed after his incarceration from 1998 to 2004 and now walks the straight and narrow. In other words, like Saul on the road to Damascus, Anwar on the road to Putrajaya has become a paragon of virtue. Really?  If that is so, how does one explain his September 16th saga in 2008 which was a blatant attempt to topple a legitimately elected government through the backdoor, employing allegedly unethical tactics? And what about the electoral fraud within his party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, in 2010 or his approach to the recent defections of two Barisan Nasional leaders in Sabah to his side?

What this shows is that Anwar and Pakatan can lay no claim to the moral high ground in the battle against corruption. Voters should understand this. They should evaluate them for what they are and not be mesmerised by their words.  

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar has been a political commentator for more than four decades.

Kuala Lumpur.

21 February 2013.