Saturday, December 28, 2013

10 things rich people do which poor people don't by Anthony Sharwood

For your sake, we've boiled this thing down even further. Here are 10 things which rich people do and poor people don't. And as we've already said, these things have nothing to do with money.

1. EAT RIGHTCorley undertook his own research on the habits of rich people and poor people - by interviewing real people - and he found that 70 per cent of wealthy people eat less than 300 junk food calories each day. By contrast, 97 per cent of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.

2. KEEP YOUR CARDS CLOSE TO YOUR CHESTOnly fools disclose what’s really on their mind.Are you the sort of person who blurts out every thought on their mind? Stop it. It's not making you seem bold or cool or visionary or anything, but is in fact labelling you as dangerous, potentially treasonous and definitely not the sort of person who will ear promotions. Corley found that 11.6 per cent of wealthy people say what's on their mind, compared to a whopping 69 per cent of poor people.

3. SET GOALSEighty per cent of wealthy people are focused on accomplishing some single goal, compared to just 12 per cent of poor people. And wealthy people are four times as likely to write down their goals as poor people. Corley has some great stuff on his blog about the difference between a wish and a goal.

4. KEEP FITWell, you know what they say about healthy body, healthy mind. According to our American friends, 76 per cent of wealthy people exercise aerobically at least four days a week. Only 23 per cent of poor people do this.

5. BE ORGANISEDIt's almost too simple to be true, but 81 per cent of wealthy people keep a to-do list. Just 19 per cent of poor people do this. Want a good tip? Try an old-fashioned bit of paper. Crossing stuff off with a pen just feels good.

Click here to read more on this article

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Uphold The Amman Message - Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

The recent proposal by some political and religious leaders to amend the Malaysian Constitution to specify that Article 3 which states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation” refers only to the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah(ASWJ)  has far-reaching implications.  Does it mean that non-Sunni, minority sects will not be recognised as Islamic?  If such sects --- the Shias being a case in point --- are not recognised as Islamic, what would be their status?     How would such an amendment impact upon Malay Shias since Islam is one of the defining attributes of Malay identity?  

From the perspective of the global Muslim community, this attempt to confine Islam to the ASWJ runs contrary to the thinking of the vast majority of Sunni scholars themselves. Though they acknowledge the differences between the ASWJ and the Shias, they have always regarded the minority sect as a legitimate part of the Muslim ummah. This was reiterated in unambiguous language in the Amman Message which has been described as one of the most important declarations produced by the Muslim world in the last one thousand years. 

Initiated by King Abdullah 11, the monarch of Jordan, in November 2004, the Amman Message was formalised by 200 of the world’s leading Islamic scholars from 50 countries at an international conference in Amman in July 2005. Among them were the Grand Shaykh Al- Azhar, Shaykh Mohammed Sayyid Tantawi and Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, both Sunnis, and the Grand Ayatollah Sistani, a Shia. The Amman Message embodies three essential points. 

1) It recognises the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shia and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic theology ( Ash’arism); of Islamic Mysticism ( Sufism), and of true Salafi thought.

2) It forbids takfir (declarations of apostasy) between Muslims. 

3) It sets forth the subjective and objective preconditions for the issuing of fatwas, thereby exposing ignorant and illegitimate edicts in the name of Islam. 

These three points were adopted at the OIC summit in Mecca in December 2005 and at other scholarly assemblies culminating with its acceptance by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah in July 2006. 

The official website of The Amman Message shows that the Message and its three points have been endorsed by a large number of Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and 
other high officials, apart from notable religious personalities representing the majority and minority sects within the ummah.  Both King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Ayatollah Al- Sayyid Ali Khamenei of Iran are endorsers. 

It is significant that from Malaysia, the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, heads the list of endorsers. The current leader of the Opposition, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim is also an endorser as are two serving Ministers in the present Federal Cabinet, namely, Dato Seri Shahidan Kassim and Khairy Jamaluddin.  Two established Malaysian Islamic scholars, Professor Hashim Kamali and Professor Kamal Hassan, are also on the list of endorsers. 

In the last couple of years there have been other efforts to reduce the antagonism between Sunnis and Shias and to promote better understanding between the two sects. In May 2013, through JUST, I initiated a joint appeal from Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the former Iranian President, Muhammad Khatami, to Sunnis and Shias the world over to stop killing one another. In early October this year, I co-convened a special session at the World Public Forum in Rhodes, Greece which brought together Sunni and Shia scholars from different countries who reiterated their support for the Amman Message and proposed various other measures to improve ties between the two groups. 

 Given the prevailing negative attitude towards Shias among some religious and political figures in Malaysia, it is imperative that the Prime Minister, the Minister in charge of Islamic Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, and State and Federal Territory Muftis publicly endorse the Amman Message.  There are at least 5 compelling reasons why they should do so.      

1) It would signal a clear rejection of the erroneous view propagated by a segment of the media and various public personalities that the Shias are a ‘deviant’ sect. As we have seen, this is a view that is totally unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of Muslims who see them as integral to the ummah. 

2) It would assure Malaysian Muslims as a whole that those who demonise Shias and place them in the same category as cults such as “Tuhan Harun” have not gained control of the Religious Establishment and are not dictating policies pertaining to Islam. 

3) It would serve to assuage the fear among thinking Malaysians that certain aspects of our domestic and foreign policies are being increasingly influenced  by the interests of retrogressive, conservative forces from elsewhere who are unwittingly undermining our social cohesion, on the one hand, and our national sovereignty, on the other.

4) It would reinforce our commitment to the unity of the Muslim ummah especially since the Sunni-Shia divide has been exploited by various groups to weaken Muslim solidarity in the face of monumental challenges emanating from global powers bent on perpetuating their hegemony.  

5) It would contribute significantly to national unity since the Amman Message also contains ideas which are most conducive for fostering empathy in a multi-religious society. It states lucidly that “Islam honours every human being, without regard to race and religion.”  It further emphasises that “Islam demands that the faithful treat others as they desire to be treated. It urges tolerance and forgiveness, qualities that elevate human life, and calls for treating others justly, safeguarding their rights and possessions.”     
It is not enough for our political and religious leaders to merely endorse the Amman Message. The Message should be made part of the Islamic curriculum in secondary schools and universities. It should be distributed within the entire community of ustaz and ustazah (religious teachers) throughout the country. The Amman Message should be integrated into the Friday Khutbah (sermon) and the media, especially Radio and Television, should focus on it. 

When the Amman Message becomes an important dimension of the collective consciousness of the people, Malaysian Muslims will have a better appreciation of the relationship between Sunnis and Shias.  They will understand their similarities and differences in the context of the essence of Islam. It is when they become really knowledgeable about the essence of Islam that the inclination to switch from one sect to another will also diminish.  


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Malaysia’s Forgotten Music Man -

Ooi Eow Jin, pianist at the Hotel Majestic. Photo by Stacy Liu.
At three o’clock, Tuesdays to Sundays, underneath the gold-leaf dome roof of the grand five-star Hotel Majestic in Kuala Lumpur, a man hunches over a black Yamaha piano. He wears a bow tie, a white jacket, and a hearing aid on his left ear. Slowly, he takes out a small turquoise clock, and leaves it on the left-hand ledge. He places a file of loose sheet music next to him. He takes a pause. Then, he begins to play.
He doesn’t smile. His fingers dance on a white ivory floor, born again like a young ballerina’s joy at touching the ground with the tip of her toes. He starts with “Moon River”, segues into “Top of the World”, then flows into the Louis Armstrong classic “As Time Goes By”. He is 75 years old.
For 45 minutes, history’s greatest pop songs are seamlessly twisted in the pianist’s hands. Still, no smile.
Hotel Majestic —which first opened its doors in 1932, and relaunched in December last year to much fanfare—is a building that doubles as a treasure trove of Malaysian history. Former patrons claim the Allied forces of World War II conspired within the walls of this hotel; the inaugural meeting of the Independence of the Malaya Party, held by Datuk Onn Jaafar, took place here in 1951.
Photo courtesy of the Hotel Majestic.
Today, as every day, guests are spending a cloudy afternoon basking in the Majestic’s colonial luxury. A group of girls eat scones on embroidered sofas. Some aunties chatter while sipping the house-blended Boh Cameronian tea. Waiters decked in white jackets walk around in brisk fashion. The only constant is the sound of music that floats in the air, the last thing anyone would remember.
Yet, unbeknownst to everyone present in this room, the old man hunched over the piano is Ooi Eow Jin. 38 years ago, Ooi Eow Jin (known to hotel staff as Uncle Ooi) was one of the music industry’s most sought-after composers.
It was Ooi who once toured with P. Ramlee, who conducted the most lauded orchestra in the land, and who wrote the first song ever recorded in a studio by a revered Malaysian singer: Sudirman.
Ooi will always have a love affair with hotels. In 1960, he became one of the first resident pianists at the E&O Hotel in Penang, and entertained guests every night in their lounges for three years. On one of these nights, Alfonso Soliano, a jazz hero, music arranger and the founder of the seminal RTM Orchestra, came to the hotel for drinks.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Have a meaningful Christmas - Monday in The STAR

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Back to basics: Let’s agree who is a Malaysian

At five decades old, we are by the test of history a young nation, an adolescent. Like any teenagers going through growing pains, we are still searching for our identity. But we did not have to start from zero. We did not emerge suddenly from the ocean.
We were sired from a land that has a history that goes back beyond 1963 or 1957. Our land has a deep-rooted heritage dating back many thousands of years stretching from the Niah Caves dwellers (40,000 years ago), the Perak Man (31,000 years ago), and the Proto-Malay settlers (5,000 years ago). We have gone through a Hindu-Buddhist era to the Muslim era, from Kedah Tua to Kesultanan Melaka, from being colonised to Merdeka. This land, our land is also home to the oldest rainforest in the world!

From the beginning, our land has attracted people from the north, south, east, and west. They came to trade and make a living. Many fell in love with the people and culture and made this land their home.

We are the sum total of this history and its DNA is in our soul. We need to bring that history out into our daily living. But how?

Here are our suggestions.
  • Open our hearts and minds and capture both the text and the spirit of our Merdeka Constitution.
  • Make Rukunegara our anchor.
  • Refer to the 1971 National Culture Policy.
  • Commit to a shared destiny and help realise Wawasan 2020.
  • Believe that it is okay to be racial, not okay to be racist, and we all must see ourselves as Malaysians.
Let us agree who is a Malaysian.

At zubedy, our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe that at 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.

Let us be, first and foremost, Malaysians.

Let us add value,

Have A Meaningful Christmas

National Culture Policy

Culture is mankind’s way of life. It plays an important role in the national development process of Malaysia in which  the Malaysian identity is upheld in efforts undertaken to improve socio-economic and political development.  It definitely requires the mobilization and involvement of all levels of the Malaysian society in an ongoing process.
For a country with multi-racial society like Malaysia, the process of national culture development requires careful and detailed planning in cultivating the Malaysian way of life.  This cultural planning outlines the good and noble values vital in strengthening the national identity as the Malaysian race.
The formulation of the National Culture Policy is important to a developing country with multi-racial society like Malaysia. This policy will be used as guidelines in designing, formulating and sustaining the national identity of Malaysia in the world.
The National Culture Policy has been formulated after taking into consideration of the historical facts of this region as well as Malaysia’s position as a meeting point and centre of trade and civilization some two thousand years ago.  Malaysia’s role as a meeting point has resulted in interaction, introduction, assimilation and acceptance of various elements suitable to be adopted as basic culture of this region.
Thus, as an ongoing process, the formulation of the National Culture Policy is based on several elements and three principles determined by the government as the National Culture Policy as follows :
1)   The national culture must be based on the indigenous culture of this region :
The region involved   covers Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand and Cambodia, as well as the South Pacific islands (Polynesia, Melanesia and Oceania)  and Malagasy. This whole region has been an important part of Malay civilization and culture. During  the height of the Malay civilization era based in Malacca, the Malay language has been used as an international language in trade relations (lingua franca). The culture of this region showed several similarities,  in the language used, which was basically the Malay language – Austronesia, the geographical location, historical experience, natural resources, arts and moral values.  The Malay culture today is a way of life and symbol of identity of  more than 200 million people who speak the same language. As such, the culture of the indigenous people from this region , which, in a wider or narrower sense, refers to the Malay culture, forms the basis of the National Culture Policy.
2)   Suitable elements from the other culture may be accepted as part of the national culture :
Culture is a dynamic phenomenon, always changing through the on-going process of adaptation and assimilation.  This principle takes into consideration the multi-cultural aspects in a multi-racial society.  Hence, cultural elements of the Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Westerners and others which are considered suitable and acceptable are included in the national culture.  Such acceptance must be in accordance with the provisions in the Constitution and the principles of Rukun Negara , as well as national interest, moral values and the position of Islam as the official religion of the country.
3)   Islam is an important component in the formulation of the national culture:
Religion or the belief in God is important in the development process of  a country and also in the personal development of her people. Islam provides guidance to mankind and fulfills the physical and emotional needs. Hence Islam  should be an important element in formulating the National Culture Policy based on its position as the official religion of the country.
These three principles have been accepted  by the National Culture Congress in 1971.
The Objectives
The development of national culture for newly independent countries is extremely important to create a stable and united nation.  As such, efforts in formulating the national culture of Malaysia are undertaken to achieve the following objectives :
(i)          To strengthen national unity through culture.
(ii)         To foster and preserve national identity created through national culture.
(iii)        To enrich and enhance the quality of human life in equilibrium with socio-economic development.
The strategy and implementation of this Policy can be achieved through the following :
(i)          Restore, preserve and develop culture towards strengthening national culture through joint research, development , education and cultural expansion and connections.
(ii)         Increase and strengthen  cultural  leadership through training and guidance to interested individuals. Support and mobilize culture as an effective engine of growth.
(iii)        Establish effective communication to instill national awareness and Malaysian nationalism.
(vii)       Fulfill  socio-cultural needs.
(viii)      Improve the standard and quality of arts.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chinese education – paying the price for failure to adapt by Pauline Wong - The Ant Daily

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite its popularity, Chinese education has been faulted for not moving with the times, particularly its failure to equip students to face the challenges of the modern world.
Chinese vernacular schools in Malaysia went through a period of modernisation a hundred years ago, but did not transform their teaching methods and curriculum to produce trilingual students who are savvy enough to take on the world.

The Chinese schools’ emphasis on Mandarin may have worked well before but as competition in the global arena grew, it is not enough to simply speak Mandarin – one must speak English too, and Chinese schools have been slow to catch up to this reality.

Instead, they have resorted to maintaining Mandarin as a medium of instruction as a way to display a Chinese identity, at the expense of their students’ command of English and Bahasa Malaysia.
Centre for Strategic Engagement founder Rita Sim, who is also executive director of Sin Chew Media Corp, said: “The question for Chinese educationists now is this: are you using the Chinese language to gain and impart knowledge, or are you using it as an identity marker?

“It may seem the latter because the issues of race and religion are so prevalent in Malaysia that Chinese language becomes an identifying trait for the Chinese community. I think there is a debate out there, between the Chinese education groups, the likes of the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong), on what they intend to do with Chinese education – to give the child knowledge, or use the language to define your identity?”

Sim is a strong proponent for modernising the syllabus in Chinese schools and increasing the emphasis on English, which is the “language of the Internet and of knowledge”.

She questioned the so-called competitive edge of Chinese education, citing a 2003 Education Ministry report that one out of four students dropped out of Chinese schools by age 16.

More recently, statistics given by the Education Ministry showed that between 2006 and 2010, of 9.3% of 2.3 million students who dropped out, 0.7% were from national schools, 4.24% from Chinese national-type schools and 1.41% from Tamil national-type schools.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

As Malaysia progresses, doubt grows over national identity Bu Zurairi AR - The Malay Mail

Monday, December 16, 2013

Youths learn to reach out to Baby Boomers - The STAR

PETALING JAYA: One has to be able to communicate across various generations to succeed in life, said Gathering of Youths for Unity (Goyfu) organiser Anas Zubedy.
Anas said that the event was crucial because there was a constant need to bridge generation gaps between Baby Boomers, Gen Xs and Gen Ys.
“Though each generation views the world differently, they still want to communicate better with each other. Those who make an effort to reconcile their differences will succeed in life,” he said.
Some 100 youths, consisting of lecturers and students from public universities, took part in the event, themed “Gen Y: Looking Forward into the Future”.
Participates taking their photo during gathering of youth for unity in Wisma MIM at Petaling Jaya. December 14, 2013. FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.
Believe in your selfie: Participatants in various poses during the gathering at Wisma MIM at Petaling Jaya. 
Katelyn How, 21, said that the programme taught her how to communicate better with older people.
“I learnt ways to improve communication with my seniors in Universiti Malaya (UM),” said the anthropology and sociology student.
Katelyn’s sentiment is echoed by a fellow UM student, 21-year-old Vijayapriya Seaker, who said that the programme gave her insight on why a barrier exists between her and her family members.
“The presenters showed us how to work effectively with people from different age groups. I can apply what I learnt to improve my own relationship with my parents,” said Vijayapriya.
Universiti Teknologi Mara lecturer Noli Maishara Nordin, 31, commended the programme for helping her understand her Gen Y students better.
“One of the characteristics identified as being unique to Gen Y individuals is “dependency”. With this information, I can focus on finding ways to encourage my students to be more independent in their approach to studying,” said Noli.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

NUCC member: National identity vital for our unity - The STAR

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia must go back to its roots if its people aim to stand together as a united nation, a National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) member said.
Anas Zubedy said he was drumming out a proposal for an upcoming NUCC meet that would address unity problems, noting that having a national identity was vital.
“We need to identify what is the minimum standard requirement for what a Malaysian is because after 50 years we still can’t pinpoint what that is. We need to go back to the basics,” he said in an interview yesterday.
He said factors that contributed to the problem included selective views on local history and the Federal Constitution.
The Zubedy (M) Sdn Bhd managing director said that while the Federal Constitution covered special privileges for bumiputras, it also guaranteed that other Malaysians would not be deprived of their rights.
He said the document did not appear to be followed in its entirety and that its “spirit” was not adhered to.
On history, he said that Malaysia was a country built on many aspects, adding that much of it was forgotten by the people.
Examples, he said, included the proto-Malays, the country’s Hindu heritage, its centuries-long Islamic-style rule, the role of the Indians in nation-building and even the Chinese-paid taxes in the early days of Malaysia’s development.
“We have a history that goes back thousands of years. What I see right now is that Malaysians from different groups pick and choose what they want. It’s like six blind men picking at one elephant,” he said.
Also of concern, he said, were worries of mono-culturalism in schools and urban neighborhoods.

Monday, December 9, 2013

What Makes A Great Ceo? A Guide For The Young And Ambitious By Eva Christodoulou - The STAR

Most individuals on HBR's list of the top 100 CEOs are based in the USMost individuals on HBR's list of the top 100 CEOs are based in the US
There are many young ambitious individuals who aspire to be chief executive officers (CEOs) at some point in their careers. But what does it take to be a great CEO?
By request of a young reader, let’s dive into this topic by first looking at what some global studies have shown about CEOs.
Earlier this year, a Harvard Business Review study published a list of the 100 best performing CEOs globally.
Interestingly, out of these 100 CEOs, only two are females. Eighty four per cent are insiders to the company they became CEOs of (promoted from within).
Only 27% are holders of an MBA, 61% were college educated outside the United States, 38% were college educated in the United States, and 1% dropped out of college.
Data from and DOMO also indicate that 97% of the CEOs are married and have an average of 3.1 children.
Additionally, 11% are bald, 36% have receding hairlines and 53% have hair. This indicates that not all CEOs are close to retirement.
The likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page are a good testament to that, even though they weren’t included in the top 100 study.
Many well-known names are surprisingly not included in the list of 100 due to the parameters used for the study. For example, the survey excluded CEOs who had assumed their role before 1995 or after Aug 31, 2010. So Tim Cook of Apple was not eligible since he became CEO in 2011. Equally, Marissa Mayer is also left out from this study.
In addition, they included only those whose tenure lasted more than two years. The list, therefore, is not exhaustive of all great CEOs around the world. It is a good starting point however, to have a look at what seems to make a great CEO.
What do these demographics indicate? The first observation to make is that we are still dominated by male CEOs. The fact that only two women made it to the list is quite discouraging.
Nevertheless, twenty per cent of these top CEOs emerge and operate in Asia. This is good news for us here in Malaysia.
The world is opening up and is no longer dominated merely by Western big multinationals. There is space for anyone worthy to rise up the ranks and reach that level of the C-Suite if one wishes to do so.
Is there formula or defined career path to follow if one wants to become a CEO? Unfortunately not. However, there are common traits between great CEOs that you can definitely work on.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ucapan DYMM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah di Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN)

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Salam Sejahtera.

Segala puji milik ALLAH Subhanahu Wata'ala. Selawat dan kesejahteraan ke atas Junjungan Besar Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam. Demikian juga ke atas ahli keluarga dan para sahabat Baginda, seterusnya ke atas para Tabiin dan para ulama; semoga memperoleh ihsan daripada ALLAH Subhanahu Wata'ala sehingga ke hari kebangkitan.

2. Kongres ini membuka ruang membolehkan Beta dapat bersama ahli-ahli Majlis Profesor Negara. Peserta Kongres terdiri dari kalangan cendekiawan yang diiktiraf dengan status Profesor. Di era Kesultanan Melayu, Raja yang arif lagi bijaksana, meletak nilai tinggi kepada ilmu, menghargai budaya mesyuarah serta mendampingkan diri dengan ulama dan ilmuwan, membolehkan Raja mendapat seelok nasihat - secerah pandangan, lalu mengupayakan Raja menyempurnakan amanah secara adil - secara saksama; dan istana pula dapat berfungsi sebagai forum percambahan minda, tapak perkembangan ilmu serta pusat penyebaran agama.

3. Dalam tempoh 56 tahun mencapai kemerdekaan, Negara telah berjaya mencatatkan prestasi pencapaian ekonomi membanggakan, didukung oleh dua faktor utama. Pertama, kemurahan rahmat ILAHI menganugerahkan bumi ini dengan pelbagai kekayaan. Kedua, jentera pentadbiran yang bijak, merangka dan melaksanakan program pembangunan secara mampan lagi berwawasan. The Global Competitiveness Report 2013, mengkategorikan Malaysia dari segi daya saing, berada di tangga 24 daripada 148 negara yang dinilai. Dari segi kemudahan berurus niaga, Malaysia berada di rangking keenam, merupakan satu-satunya negara Islam yang berada di tangga sepuluh teratas. Soal selidik Legatum Institute London, meletakkan Malaysia di ranking keempat puluh empat terkaya dari 142 negara yang dilakukan kajian.

4. Pendapatan per kapita 32,438 ringgit, menempatkan Malaysia di tangga kedua di kalangan negara ASEAN. Peratus rakyat miskin turun daripada lebih 50 peratus dalam tahun tujuh puluhan kepada 1.7 peratus dalam tahun 2012. Program pendidikan adalah program Dasar Ekonomi Baru yang paling berjaya. Bilangan tenaga profesional dan pengurusan Melayu dilaporkan mengatasi kaum Cina dan India, sementara bilangan doktor, jurutera dan arkitek Melayu berada dalam nisbah yang hampir sama dengan bukan Melayu. Ekuiti korporat Bumiputera meningkat dari 2.4 peratus dalam tahun 1970 kepada 23.5 peratus dalam tahun 2011. Angka dan data pencapaian ekonomi ini adalah cerita kejayaan sebuah negara.

5. Pencapaian tersebut turut dipengaruhi oleh dua faktor lain. Pertama keadaan negara yang aman; kedua iklim politik yang stabil. Keamanan dan iklim politik yang stabil telah memberikan Malaysia kelebihan mendahului kebanyakan negara di rantau ini terutama untuk memberi keyakinan kepada pelabur asing. Bermula dari Pilihan Raya Umum Kedua Belas (PRU 12), kestabilan politik semakin mendapat perhatian dan diberikan pelbagai tafsiran. Tafsiran yang dirumuskan dipengaruhi barometer penyukat yang diguna pakai Menilai kestabilan politik berlandaskan hanya kepada keputusan pilihan raya, terlalu simplistik pendekatannya. Begitu juga pemikiran yang mengaitkan sentimen perkauman, sebagai faktor yang mempengaruhi pola pengundian, terlalu impulsif dan permukaan sifatnya. Meskipun, parti yang membentuk Kerajaan pasca PRU 12 dan PRU 13 tidak menguasai dua pertiga majoriti, namun ia tidak mencetuskan sebarang sengketa yang menjejaskan kestabilan politik. Urusan harian negara terus berfungsi secara normal. Malah senario pasca pilihan raya memperlihatkan bahawa warga Malaysia telah mempamerkan sifat kematangan menghayati semangat demokrasi.

6. Dinamik politik yang sedang berlaku hendaklah dijadikan cermin untuk melihat wajah sebenar negara yang telah merentasi usia 56 tahun. Dalam negara yang begitu berbilang, perpaduan warga amat mempengaruhi kestabilan politik. Senario semasa menuntut kepada perlunya dirangka formula perpaduan yang lebih relevan. Hari ini Majlis Profesor memilih untuk turut membincangkan subjek perpaduan, dijadikan tema Kongres dengan istilah yang dicanggihkan oleh tiga kata kunci Gagasan Penyatupaduan Nasional. Bahawa subjek Penyatupaduan Nasional, kini begitu terapung di laut fikir, menggerak lidah ke tasik kata. Penyatupaduan Nasional ketika ini bagaikan rangkai kata yang kalut berlegar di minda warga, semakin diperkatakan, semakin dijadikan subjek perbualan, semakin dijadikan tema seminar - tema diskusi. Penyatupaduan Nasional pada hakikatnya adalah satu kemestian bagi sesebuah negara; demi memastikan kelangsungan hayat sesebuah negara, seperti mana perlunya kehadiran oksigen di atmosfera untuk meneruskan talian hayat, kehadirannya diambil secara lewa, tetapi ketiadaannya akan menyemputkan nafas.

7. Pengupayaan sesuatu bangsa ditentukan ketika bangsa berhadapan cabaran besar. Dalam buku, A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee merumuskan kajian mengenai asas kelahiran 21 tamadun; bahawa faktor utama membina tamadun yang gemilang ialah pengupayaan bangsa menghadapi cabaran, lalu bangsa terdorong menyatukan kekuatan, menggabung sepenuh tenaga - merangkum sepenuh usaha untuk sama-sama mengatasi cabaran, baik yang berbentuk alam semula jadi atau peristiwa besar seperti peperangan, tekanan ekonomi, bencana alam dan perubahan pemerintahan. Tiga kata kunci, menyatukan, menggabung, merangkum adalah kata kunci yang menegaskan aspek penyatupaduan.

8. Penubuhan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu disusuli dengan pembentukan Malaysia dimungkinkan kerana kejayaan mengolah resipi penyatupaduan; resipi penyatupaduan yang diolah dalam semangat penyatuan dalam kepelbagaian. Terbina persefahaman - terjalin kerjasama, bukan sahaja di kalangan pelbagai kaum dan pelbagai penganut agama, malah merangkumi komponen-komponen lain, empat Negeri Bersekutu, lima Negeri Tidak Bersekutu, dua Negeri Selat; Raja dan rakyat bersatu suara - bersatu langkah - bersatu matlamat untuk membina satu warga kepada sebuah negara merdeka. Lalu lahirlah sebuah negara tanggal 31 Ogos 1957, dalam gegak gempita histeria laungan MERDEKA!. Yang dilahirkan ketika itu adalah sebuah negara baru yang mempunyai kedaulatan ke atas warga dan wilayah, tetapi warga bangsa belum wujud.

9. Membangunkan warga bangsa masih menghadapi pelbagai cabaran, malah cabaran yang dihadapi untuk membina warga yang teguh bersatu - kukuh berpadu, kini menghadapi ujian lebih besar - ujian bertambah rumit. Pelbagai istilah penyatuan diperkenalkan - pelbagai slogan direka cipta, pelbagai logo dilakar, pelbagai lirik dikumandangkan. Ia masih tidak memperlihatkan impak keberkesanan menurut yang diimpikan. Malah slogan ke arah membentuk satu warga bangsa, lebih banyak menimbulkan kontroversi, lebih mengundang kontradiksi; semakin dipolemikkan - semakin dipolitikkan.

10. Dalam pengembaraan menerokai subjek penyatupaduan nasional, kanta hendaklah berpandangan jauh, lensa hendaklah berpenglihatan luas. Kanta dan lensa jangan disalut ilusi warna, hingga rumput kering dipandang segar, ayir keroh dilihat jernih. Perbuatan sedemikian akan meletakkan diri dalam budaya penafian. Budaya penafian akan meletakkan minda dalam alam artifisial, lalu mendorong minda melakukan tafsiran salah, disusuli dengan gerak kerja kurang bijaksana. Negara bukan teater rekaan, dengan lakonannya dikawal skrip yang tegar. Negara adalah teater hidup, teater dinamik yang terus berubah. Setiap warganya pemegang watak; pemegang watak yang tidak terikat kepada setiap koma - setiap noktah.

11. Ketika menyusun langkah ke arah mencapai impian gemilang, imbaslah kembali memori lama, selaras 
dengan kata pedoman orang tua, tersesat di hujung jalan, baliklah ke pangkal jalan. Negara ditubuhkan dan warga disatukan, berpaksikan semangat penyatuan dalam kepelbagaian; semangat yang termaktub dalam dokumen penting, dikenali sebagai Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

12. Tiga konstituen utama terlibat dalam merangka Perlembagaan Negara, Raja-Raja, Kerajaan Inggeris dan Parti Perikatan, menangani subjek-subjek sensitif, rumit lagi pelbagai, antaranya isu-isu agama, kaum, bahasa dan negeri; di samping merangka institusi-institusi utama negara, perundangan, kehakiman dan eksekutif, yang perlu mengambil tanggung jawab melayarkan sebuah bahtera merdeka. Mengolah formula penyatupaduan, memerlukan kesediaan berundur sebelum mara, memerlukan keberanian menerima realiti, memerlukan ketegasan mempertahankan prinsip.
13. Oleh itu amatlah bertepatan untuk diimbau kembali peristiwa bersejarah, bertarikh 10 Julai 1957, ketika Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra (Almarhum), atas nama Ketua Menteri, membentangkan usul penggubalan Perlembagaan di Majlis Perundangan Persekutuan. Beta memilih petikan tertentu ucapan tersebut dalam Bahasa ia diucapkan, agar semangat dan intonasinya dapat diberikan apresiasi sewajarnya.

I marvel that our progress towards independence has been so swift and smooth. I cannot recall any other dependent country which has achieved independence in such a cordial and friendly atmosphere. We have been able to make progress in such a remarkable fashion in spite of the fact that ours is a plural community. The characteristics, beliefs and cultures of our people vary greatly, and I believe that we are only now able to stand on the threshold of independence because of their tolerant and friendly attitude towards one another and their acceptance of Malaya as the object of their absolute loyalty......

At varying periods of our country's history, the Sultans of the Malay States entered into treaties with Great Britain. The Treaties provided, on the one hand, certain rights and concessions for Great Britain in return for protection to be accorded to Their Highnesses and protection for the interests and rights of the Malays. This protection was entered in the various State Constitution and Enactments and in the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948. The position which the Malays enjoyed under this Treaty has never been contested by any person or class of persons or communities for it has not interfered or obstructed other communities in the enjoyment of their possessions or the right to live their lives. The affluence of others has not helped the Malays but on the other hand it has caused them so much economic setback that they were driven out of the main towns and villages of this country. The sum total of the Malay plight was that they have suffered in the field of economy as well as education...

The early Chinese settlers have been in this country for many hundreds of years. In the early days they came here to trade and later to like this country and decided to settle down, and they were absorbed by the country and followed local customs and spoke the Malay language, while at the same time retaining some of their own culture and traditions...

The Indians also came to the Federation to seek wealth in the country and they found employment in the Government service or in estates. They too have made their contribution for which we are grateful. Men and women of many other races have also come to Malaya,........the desire by all races for Independence brought UMNO and MCA together,....The Indians led by MIC then joined the Alliance and for the first time in the history of Malaya, a majority of the people were united politically with one aim in view - the achievement of Merdeka.

With regard to citizenship, I must emphasise that the basic principle which it is proposed to accept is that all persons who regard the Federation as their home and who wish to take advantage of what this country has to offer must owe undivided loyalty to the Federation and must be prepared to participate in the duties of citizenship. The cornerstone of the new proposals is undivided loyalty to the Federation…..
For the future well-being of our country, we expect and demand the undivided loyalty of all who wish to call themselves Malayans

Ucapan diakhiri dengan kata-kata harapan:
"Let us make it work and build for ourselves and our descendants a shangrila whereby we can all live in peace, happiness and prosperity".

click here to read more on this speech

Sunday, December 1, 2013

One for all, all for one by Wong Chun Wai - The STAR

Malaysia is what it is today because of the contributions of all races.
IT’S a mammoth task, really. Six months after the general election, the National Unity Consultative Council has finally been formed.
The council has been given six months to organise programmes that transcend race and religion aimed at bringing the nation together.
As the Prime Minister himself cautioned during the launch of the council last week, Malaysia is a “complex country”.
Like it or not, there are already plenty of cynics and sceptics out there who have predicted that the recommendations and findings of the council will end up gathering dust on the shelves, just like the work of other grand-sounding committees.
The fact is there is a huge distrust over the sincerity of our politicians, regardless of their affiliations, even as the country continues to be torn by contentious issues.
Rightly or wrongly, many of these divisive issues are caused by selfish politicians and narrow-minded religious personalities.
We cannot deny that the destructive ethnic and religious issues in Malaysia are linked to partisan politics. It is not incorrect to say that a lot of things continue to be seen through racial and religious lenses.
In the aftermath of the 2013 polls that saw a huge majority of non-Malays voting against the Barisan Nasional, there has been a strong resentment against the Chinese voters.
From calls to cut Chinese businessmen off government contracts to promoting bumiputeras first in government-linked companies, such perceived moves to punish the community will certainly not forge unity.
It will only encourage the communal-minded politicians to push their stance harder, resulting in the minority feeling alienated and with a sense that they do not have much of a future in this country.
PAS, which saw its strength eroded in the elections, has also stepped up the religious and racial game to win back the Malay voters. The Islamist party has made no secret of the direction it intends to take in its quest to win back lost ground.
The Chinese, on the other hand, have to learn and accept the reality that they will just be able to win about 45 Chinese-majority parliamentary seats out of the total 222. It doesn’t help that their own numbers, as a percentage of the overall population, continues to shrink.
They can fly back from overseas by the planeloads, thinking they can change history, but they can never change the government – unless the Malay majority wants it to happen.