Friday, November 29, 2013

Iran’s Interim Nuclear Agreement: Averting Another War by Dr Chandra Muzaffar

The dominant Western media have been telling the world that it is because of the sanctions imposed upon Iran that it has agreed to curb its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for partial sanctions relief. It is true that inhuman, unjust sanctions especially on Iran’s oil trade and its banking arrangements have hurt its people which is why they had pinned so much hope on the newly elected President, Hassan Rouhani, to bring about changes that would ameliorate their situation. But that is not the only reason for the willingness of the present leadership to limit its uranium enrichment to a maximum of 5% or dilute its stock of 20% enriched uranium or cease the construction of the Arak reactor.
In 2003, Iran, under President Muhammad Khatami, with Rouhani as his chief nuclear negotiator, had voluntarily suspended its enrichment programme for two years and allowed intrusive inspections by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to allay US and European fears about its nuclear programme. The then US President, George W. Bush, ignored this gesture and ratcheted up sanctions. He was acting in accordance with the diabolical agenda of the neo-conservatives (neo-cons) who in turn were in collusion with Zionist lobbies in the US and the Israeli elite in Tel Aviv.
In defiance of the US, Khatami’s successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, escalated uranium enrichment and increased the installation of centrifuges from 164 in 2003 to 19,000 in 2013. His defiance, compounded by his belligerence, lent credence in Western circles to the erroneous view that Iran was on the verge of acquiring a bomb.
The Khatami-Rouhani approach towards the nuclear question, in contrast to Ahmadinejad’s, helps to explain why there was a breakthrough in the negotiations that culminated in an interim nuclear agreement between Iran, on the one hand, and the five UN Security Council members (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US) and Germany,( 5 plus 1), on the other, in Geneva on the 24th of November 2013.  Rational, realistic and reform-oriented and yet conscious of the importance of adhering to ethical principles, Iranian leaders of this ilk reflect the sentiments of their people. After a hiatus of eight years, this type of leadership has re-emerged in Iran and is determined to prove to its most sceptical critics that its nuclear programme is truly peaceful and transparent.
Given this commitment, the Rouhani government should now embark upon a massive campaign to eliminate the whole of West Asia and North Africa (WANA) of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The people of WANA will give enthusiastic support to such a cause. It should be the first phase of a worldwide campaign to get rid of WMD everywhere. 
In mobilising the people of WANA, Iran as an Islamic Republic has an advantage. As its leaders have repeatedly reminded their people, nuclear weapons are haram (prohibited) in Islam. They are haram because they invariably kill the innocent, bring death to unborn generations, and devastate the natural environment.
The one state in WANA that possesses a nuclear arsenal with perhaps 400 nuclear warheads can be expected to oppose this noble struggle to ban nuclear and other WMD. Its opposition will reveal what Israel really means by its concern for its “security.”  Israel has always equated security with hegemony. It is because of this equation that Israel is obsessed with the perpetuation of a WANA where no other state or movement has even an ounce of strength to mount the tiniest challenge to its military and technological supremacy. Hence its preoccupation with ensuring that it remains the sole nuclear weapons state in WANA ad infinitum.  This is why it wants to destroy Iran’s entire nuclear programme, however peaceful it maybe.
For Israel, the targeting of Iran goes beyond its nuclear programme. In the last five years or so, Israeli elites have often exploited the Shia-Sunni divide as a way of creating hatred and animosity between Shia Iran and its Sunni neighbours.  Of course, there are other states in WANA that are also actively involved in fuelling this sectarian antagonism which often leads to violence and massacres.
But it is not Israel’s indirect involvement in the Sunni-Shia conflict or its venom towards Iran which has had a negative impact on the State, especially in Europe, and to a much lesser extent, in the US. It is Israel’s cruel and often oppressive treatment of the Palestinians which has eroded its standing in countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Britain. The extreme, aggressive positions adopted by leaders like Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu over the last fifteen years have revealed to many in the West the ugly side of Israel. The new media in particular have played an important role in exposing Israel’s stark injustices against the Palestinian people.  Pro- Palestinian movements in different parts of the world — the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) network is a good example — have also become more organised and focussed in raising awareness about the plight of the Palestinians.
These are some of the reasons why the Israeli elite or pro- Israel Zionist lobbies in countries such as Britain and France no longer command as much influence as they once did. In fact, in the US itself — still the bastion of Israeli and Zionist power — the Zionist lobbies appear to be less united and more divided in exercising their influence over the political process. They  were split for instance on the question of Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 and, indeed, the segment opposed to his return to the White House lost the battle.
The decline of Israeli and Zionist influence in Europe and, to a limited degree, the US is also linked to the growing disenchantment in the West with war and violence associated with war. Israel is seen especially among anti-war activists in Europe as a state that is constantly pushing for war. This was obvious in the case of Iraq in 2003. It has become even more obvious in the case of Iran. More and more people now know that it is Israel — more than any other state — that wants the US to take military action against Iran. But people in most places today have no appetite for war. What this means is that they have very little sympathy for Israel’s posturing.
Because their citizens have turned against war, leaders in the democratic West have no choice but to follow suit. This is true of Britain as it is of France and Germany. In the US, it was partly because of the popular mood that Obama pulled back from a military strike against Syria. And in Iran, Obama is fully aware that the alternative to a negotiated settlement of the nuclear crisis is war — a war which the American people will not support.
Besides, Obama himself — it is becoming more apparent in his second term — does not want to be remembered as the President who got his people embroiled in wars. He would rather be honoured in history as the leader who extricated his nation from wars or desisted from going to war.

This may well be the real significance of the interim agreement between Iran and the 5 plus 1. It may have averted yet another war, another unimaginable catastrophe. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am glad to be a member of the National Unity Consultative Council

Hey guys! Glad to inform that I am a member of the NUCC. I am deeply happy that UNITY will be brought to the forefront and I am given a bigger platform to work for Malaysia. 

I will give my best, that's a promise :)

Peace, anas zubedy

Najib open to attending discussion with Pas by NewStraitsTime

PROMOTING UNITY: 'We will seek further explanation on its scope'

KUALA LUMPUR: PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been invited by Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob to attend an Umno-Pas muzakarah (discussion).
Najib said he would accommodate Ahmad's request as the government was always open to discussions.
"However, we also need to see what the scope of the discussion will be. We will seek further explanation from Pas," Najib said after the launch of the National Unity Consultative Council credential presentation here.
On Sunday, Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, in his closing speech at Pas' 59th muktamar, said the party was willing to sit down with Umno to discuss the implementation of an administration based on Islam.
Hadi had said a muzakarah could result in greater unity among Muslims in the country and resolve issues, such as the use of the word "Allah" and matters splitting the ummah (faithful).
In his speech yesterday, Najib outlined seven guidelines to be observed for the nation to progress.
The first, he said, was to maintain peace and harmony at all costs. The second was that all decisions had to be based on the Federal Constitution. Respecting the tenets of Rukun Negara was the third guideline. Fourthly, social justice must be upheld using the principles of 1Malaysia while the fifth guideline was to ensure the nation's wealth was shared in an inclusive, fair and just manner based on a new, vibrant economic model.
Najib also impressed on the need for community and religious tolerance.
He said Malaysians needed to work together on apolitical common ground, such as matters related to public health and the environment.
"I'm not interested in winning legal arguments but in ensuring peace and harmony in Malaysia. There's no substitute for peace and harmony."
Present were Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, NUCC chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman and Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Najib later presented letters of appointment to Samsudin, NUCC deputy chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye and council members Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Wardina Safiyyah and Anas Zubedy .

click here to read more

New unity council free to discuss anything by Free Malaysia Today

Putrajaya's newly-formed National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) will comprise 29 members from a broad range of experts and is given six months to brainstorm new measures to foster national unity.

The council, headed by Employees Provident Fund chairperson Samsuddin Osman, will present its recommendations to the cabinet and has the freedom to gather feedback and decide on issues that it will tackle. 

In announcing the formation of the council today, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the new body will be have the freedom to even discuss sensitive topics such as the use of "Allah" by non-Muslims, housing issues and issues involving Sabah and Sarawak.

However, the council can only meet behind closed doors. 

"The idea is to have a much more controlled-environment - as the NUCC will discuss issues of ethnicity, constitution, religion and other policies. 

"If it is discussed as polemic outside... this will burn the feelings of inter-racial relations and that is not healthy. 

"So we need a closed-consultative council that can have open and frank discussion," Najib told reporters at the launch of the NUCC in Kuala Lumpur today. 
He said the NUCC would be free of politics and its recommendations can cover four broad topics: Laws, the federal constitution, values and programmes.
Part of the reconciliation plan 
Najib denied suggestions that the NUCC was a reaction to 13th general election results, which some claimed went along racial lines. 

Instead, he said, the NUCC was "part and parcel" of his national reconciliation plan. 

"NUCC should not be not seen as pro-government or pro-opposition but one with an objective viewpoint... those who have an open attitude and not use this as a political platform, then we welcome their participation," Najib said. 

"The process of nation-building is a long process and we need positive intervention in a more structured manner." 

click here to read more on this article

Majlis Konsultasi Negara dilancar bagi pupuk perpaduan - ASTRO Awani

KUALA LUMPUR: Tujuh panduan digariskan dalam usaha menjayakan perpaduan nasional dikalangan rakyat pelbagai kaum di negara ini.

Panduan itu antara lain menterjemahkan komitmen kerajaan dalam memastikan perpaduan nasional kekal selain melaksanakan sebarang dasar berlandaskan perlembagaan negara.

Mengulas lanjut Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata panduan itu antara lain merangkumi mengambil gagasan 1Malaysia sebagai model prinsip keadilan sosial.

Selain itu, tujuh panduan itu juga mengambil kira model ekonomi baharu dan menjaga sensitiviti pelbagai kaum dengan rukun negara sebagai panduan.

Najib menarik perhatian, usaha mengukuhkan perpaduan nasional merupakan proses yang panjang.

"Saya sedar dan kita semua sedar cabarannya besar sebab negara kita terlalu kompleks tetapicomplexitynegara kita bukanlah satu penghalang kepada kita untuk mencapai perpaduan nasional, “

“Pada kesudahannya perpaduan nasional akan berpunca daripada minda kita sendiri,” katanya pada Majlis Pelancaran dan Penyampaian Watikah Pelantikan Majlis konsultasi Perpaduan Nasional, di sini.

Penubuhan Majlis Konsultasi Perpaduan Negara (MKPN) adalah bagi menyediakan pelan bertindak cadangan penyatuan nasional dilihat sesuatu yang boleh direalisasikan.

Panel tersebut memainkan peranan dalam mengesyorkan cadangan penyatuan nasional kepada kerajaan sebelum dibincangkan di peringkat kabinet.

Anggota MKPN dibarisi 30 tokoh masyarakat, ahli akademik, pemikir, wakil pertubuhan bukan kerajaan selain ahli politik daripada Barisan Nasional (BN) dan pembangkang.

Antaranya Datuk Dr Mujahidin Yusof Rawa, Datuk Saifudin Abdullah, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye dan Anas Zubedy.

Five groups to work on unity - The STAR 

PETALING JAYA: Five working groups will be set up to address various unity-related issues when the National Unity Consultative Council members meet for the first time next month.
Its president Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said that the working groups comprise legal and the promotion of national harmonious policies, national building and cross-cultural understanding, inclusive development, youth and unity, and national integration.
“The members in the council are made up of a diverse group, with people of various backgrounds and age groups who are rich in experience,” he said yesterday.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the launch of the council on Monday to replace the National Unity Advisory Panel which ceased to function after the Emergency Ordinance was abolished.
Samsudin said that a lot of work had been done by the Prime Minister’s Department in collaboration with Institut Kajian Etnik of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the council would work closely with them.
On critics doubting the council would have enough bite to carry through its recommendations, Samsudin said: “We are hopeful. The PM (Prime Minister) has given his assurance.
“The recommendations will be looked at by the Cabinet. We need to come up with policies that are pragmatic and can be implemented.”
Council member Associate Prof Dr Madeline Berma from the UKM’s Tun Fatimah Hashim Women’s Leadership Centre said she was glad the Government was putting a serious effort in uniting the various ethnic groups.
“I hope the work we do is not confined to consultative efforts. We want action,” said Dr Madeline, an Iban from Sarawak.
Another council member Audrey Goh, a life member of the Sarawak Federation of Women’s Institute said she saw her role in the council as a “bridge builder”.
She said she would use skills of advocacy and inquiry to engage and enlighten the community on unity and encourage participation and “bridge building” initiatives.
Another council member Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Anas Zubedy said it was important for the council to create “bridge builders”, including people or system processes that bring people together.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gen Y: Looking Forward into the Future. We want you there!

Thursdays with zubedy      many colors,one race

Dear Gen Y and those aged below 40 :) ,

Good news! We have a gathering just for you. Let's look forward to 2014. On this day, we are going to talk about these:

1)     Resolution 2014 - How to set goals and achieve them?
2)     How can Gen Y be creative and innovative?
3)     How to work with Gen X and Baby Boomers?
4)     How to be slim and fit for the rest of your life?

The Gathering of Unity for Youths (GOYFU) was started in 2011 as an avenue to inspire and engage the youths of Malaysia. GOYFU's ambition is to encourage youths to become effective role players for Unity in Malaysia through their efforts in the workplace, schools, homes, and neighborhoods.

Since 2011 we have had 3 GOYFUs, and this year's upcoming GOYFU will be our fourth. Harnessing what was learned and experienced last year, our youths can apply the information and spread the word of Unity. We hope this event will positively impact the wider nation.

Let's talk about issues and concerns that are relevant to you, to help add value to certain things that are relevant, impacting and affecting both your present and future.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A lesson in real harmony by Marina Mahathir - The STAR

Sarawakians are used to living with such religious diversity and have no time for the sort of angst that we over in the peninsula have.
WHEN I was a little girl in Alor Setar, I thought that Malaya did not extend any further than my home state. I did eventually learn that in fact it was much bigger when we visited my grandparents in Kuala Lumpur. But for a long time, my child geographical imagination was severely limited.
As an adult, of course I have been all over the country. And despite being a pretty small one, there are distinct differences in environment, atmosphere and attitudes in dif­ferent parts of the country, not to mention different dialects and food.
There is enough variety already within peninsular Malaysia without us even experiencing what is on offer over the water, in Sabah and Sarawak.
It is this diversity that makes our country wonderful.
Recently, I was invited to Kuching to speak to some young people about social media and whether it contri­butes to social cohesion.
I always jump at the chance to cross the water and it was a bit of a shock to realise that I hadn’t been to Kuching for some five years.
Besides the many culinary joys to be found there, it is always interesting to check out what Sarawakians are up to.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Launch of Many Colors One Race: 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children about Other Races and #SSNC AfterParty

Zubedy officially launched our latest publication titled Many Colors One Race: 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children about Other Races at our location in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail on 25th October 2013, Friday. 


The book is zubedy's newest addition to our 'Books to Unite' series. A known proponent and advocate for Unity, we have under our belt 16 titles - 10 in English, 3 in Bahasa Malaysia, 1 in Mandarin, and 2 are multilingual - that promote a United and emphatic Malaysia.

The Unity message in this book is narrowed down for the children’s palate. However, according to Anas Zubedy, the author and Managing Director of Zubedy (M) Sdn. Bhd., "Don't mistake it for a children's book. Yes, it was designed with children in mind but Many Colors One Race: 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children about Other Races is meant to be read together by parents and children. It's a book for the entire family."

"As children enjoy being read to, it is critical that we acquaint them with the best of other races. From there on we can introduce nice things about others to our children." he added.

As part of the launch, seven Standard 6 students from Sri KDU Primary School were invited to read certain quotes from the book. Then Anas zubedy and the Sri KDU students proceeded to revealing the book for the press and audience. 

To add value to the readers, this book provides more than just stories to be read about Malaysian races. Children and parents can build their own stories about their friends of other races using the blank pages that are weaved into the book. These blank pages become the vessel for children to ponder, recognize, and acknowledge good traits of their friends of other races. 
"As parents and adults, sometimes we, without even realizing and or having the slightest intent to be malicious, say things about other races that may not be in good light. And this is passed on to them and possibly even imitated by them," Anas said further. 

Anas expressed his hope, "With this book, I hope this will create a chance for us to change the situation; to nurture positivity and love towards our fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters."

The supporters of #SaySomethingNice campaign were also given tokens of appreciation during the event, in the form of a plaque of acknowledgement as well as signed copies of Many Colors One Race: 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children about Other Races.


You can get your copy of Many Colors One Race: 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children about Other Races by Anas Zubedy at major bookstores.

*The book is available at the retail price of RM27.90.

** For direct orders and bulk purchases (at a discounted price), please email No postage fee for Semenanjung Malaysia.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New BEE is from same old mould by Zainah Anwar - The STAR

Making progress?: Bumiputras employed in the professional and management category have outstripped Chinese and Indians, while those qualified as doctors, engineers, and architects are almost proportional to the country’s racial composition.

Making progress?: Bumiputras employed in the professional and management category have outstripped Chinese and Indians, while those qualified as doctors, engineers, and architects are almost proportional to the country’s racial composition.
There is need for a thorough evidence-based review of Malaysia’s affirmative action policies that began with noble objectives 40 years ago.
THAT the New Economic Policy has succeeded in eradicating poverty and eliminating the identification of race with economic function is not disputed. Malaysia’s poverty rate has plummeted from over 50% in the 1970s to only 1.7%, according to the 2012 Household Income Survey.
Bumiputras employed in the professional and management category have outstripped Chinese and Indians, while those qualified as doctors, engineers, and architects are almost proportional to the country’s racial composition.
Similarly, bumiputra corporate equity has gone up from only 2.4% in the 1970s to 23.5% in 2011, and according to other measurements, even higher.
These are all laudable achievements. No one is questioning the twin objectives of the New Economic Policy.
However, the debate today remains how best to achieve these objectives in the context of a more globally competitive environment, persistent income inequality over the past 10 years, growing intra-ethnic income inequality and other divides such as rural/urban, and peninsula Malaysia/Sabah-Sarawak.
Given these inequities and the rising intra-ethnic income inequality among the bumiputras and between Malay and non-Malay bumiputras, most of whom live in Sabah and Sarawak, isn’t it time for the Federal government to start addressing the needs of poor bumiputras through a differentiated approach?
Can an affirmative action policy targeted at bumpitras continue to treat this ethnic group as one homogenous community when data show increased intra-ethnic inequality as one outcome?
Should a policy designed to build national unity from the ashes of May 13, 1969, continue on the basis of ethnicity when this has resulted in increased communal tensions and undermine social cohesion?
What should be done?
Many Malaysians believe the unexpected announcement of the Bumiputra Economic Empowerment (BEE) programme was more of the same and politically motivated to appease Umno’s own Tea Party hardliners in the run-up to party elections.