Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Can we re-look both the VERNACULAR and AGAMA school system?
I am for ONE-STREAM school system but not on the expense of quality education. Any move to change must be done sensibly and the transition period must be managed with extra care and planning. For example, if the vernacular or agama schools are producing better citizens as compared to our national ones - say in terms of life skills and discpline, learn from them - let them lead if we must. Choose from the very best. Home bred ways, besides learning from other countries like Finland.
Furthermore, even if we have a single stream school system, due to location, we will still likely have schools that are filled with kids from a particular ethnic group – say in Kedah and Kelantan. As such, it is important that we ensure the tenaga pengajar (teachers and principals) and school administrators are represented by all our ethnic groups including Sabahans and Sarawakians for schools in the Semenanjung. These teachers and administrators will act as a channel, role model and informal teachers who can share their ethnic culture with the school population via special extra-curricular activities and festive celebrations.
The following is an article from my book The Middle Path published in May 2012 about the subject concern.
What do you mean by one-stream schools?
We now have national schools and vernacular schools - schools that use Mandarin and Tamil as their medium of teaching. We also have Agama schools as well as International private schools.
However, I suggest that we work towards forming one- stream schools where all our children can learn together. For this to happen, there needs to be a change in our schooling system. We need to come up with a two-session structure perhaps where all students go to school together in the morning session, then learn the vernacular languages and other important skills in the afternoon. This way, Mandarin will not just be limited to the Chinese students, or Tamil to the Indian students - our children can learn all four major languages including Arabic if they are interested.
Why have one-stream schools?
Because Unity is our most important goal.
As children go through their socialisation process, it is crucial that they do it in an environment that is truly representative of the Malaysian society. Beyond what they learn in school lessons, the actual process of socialisation, mixing around with others around them, is the most influential learning process our children will go through. We must ensure that they get to know each other from a young age – that they interact with each other, learn to get used to each others languages, cultures, practices, smells, behaviours … and if they have to quarrel because of differences, it should all be part of the socialisation process from when they are young.
Whatever it is, we are a multicultural society – we cannot allow our children to grow up separately. This is one of the greatest recipes for disunity. If children grow up surrounded only by their own race, they will be ill-prepared to deal with the reality of Malaysian society. They may become maladjusted people when they enter the workforce.
This is why I suggest that we encourage more multiracial neighbourhoods so children can grow up together at home (as I have explained in the previous chapter). In the same way, we need to work towards one-stream schools so that they can grow up together in schools and practice supporting one another as they learn together.
Are you saying that those who go to vernacular and private schools are not capable of Unity?
No, it is not a generalisation that applies to all who go to vernacular or private schools - there are many who still have a healthy sense of Unity. In any situation, there are always some who are able to rise above the circumstances. But I am suggesting that having separate school systems does not prepare a conducive environment for most of our children to grow up knowing each other as one.
How can we work towards schools that are conducive for our children to study together?
We need to deal with the quality of our national schools; the system, approach, and the teachers. Many send their children to Chinese schools not simply because of language, but more so because of the quality of education. When we work towards setting up one-stream schools, we need to carefully look into the quality of the school system and the quality of teachers. Maybe we can even learn from the Chinese school system, transfer technology of how they mould hardworking and effective students. The leaders and technocrats from the Chinese schools should play an important role in revising the structure of national schools. We need to study how to organise the school system to allow students to learn history, mathematics, science, languages, arts, drama, sports, culture… all the important aspects of development.
As far as possible it would be best if we have teachers from all races. The school environment must be a microcosm of the diversity in Malaysian society for children to go through a healthy socialisation process that will prepare them to know, appreciate and love our various cultures.
Anas Zubedy

Saturday, September 21, 2019

PORK IN THE QURAN - What does the Quran say?

The Quran is very specific about pork. The Book specifically said that we are to avoid EATING the 'MEAT' or ' FLESH OF SWINE' . Any other than these are basically MENGHARAMKAN YANG HALAL. Here, read for yourself all verses regarding the prohibition of eating THE FLESH OF SWINE. Nothing about touching it or using it for printed money. Quran 2:173 إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the FLESH OF SWINE, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Quran 5:3 حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِه Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the FLESH OF SWINE, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. BUT WHOEVER IS FORCED BY SEVERE HUNGER WITH NO INCLINATION TO SIN – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Quran 6:145 إِلَّا أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنْزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ Say, “I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would EAT it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the FLESH OF SWINE – for indeed, it is impure – or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful. Quran 16:115 إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, THE FLESH OF SWINE, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit] – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Peace, anas Note : You may choose to follow or not to follow the Quran. That is between you and Allah.


by Chandra Muzaffar

It would be utterly immoral of the United States to launch a military attack upon Iran if it is true that one of the missiles that destroyed an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia on the 14th of September 2019 had a casing bearing a number that suggested that the weapon was manufactured for NATO forces. The alphabets preceding the number denote the type of missile it is and one of its uses. The picture of the missile was inadvertently supplied to the media by the Saudi Defense Ministry.

A theory that has emerged in the wake of the picture of this missile is that the assault on the oil refineries in Saudi’s Eastern Province could have been a false flag operation initiated by John Bolton who was sacked by President Donald Trump as National Security Adviser around that time. It was his way of orchestrating a ‘parting shot’ which he could then blame on Iran --- a State that he has always targeted in pursuit of his neo-conservative agenda of emasculating Israel’s regional adversaries in order to ensure the latter’s supremacy and hegemony.

A false flag operation would exonerate Iran which has consistently maintained that it had nothing to do with the attack on the refineries. Besides, Iran does not stand to gain in any way from such action. Its current preoccupation is with getting crippling sanctions imposed on it by the US lifted immediately. A false flag operation would however raise a question or two about the Houthi ( Ansar Allah) claim that it destroyed the Saudi refineries. Indeed, if anyone in the region has a reason to act against the Saudi regime, it would be the Houthis and the people of Yemen in general. Since 2015 at least 50,000 bombs and missiles have been dropped in Yemen by the Saudi military and its regional allies. More than 15,000 children, women and men have perished. Farms, hospitals and schools have been bombarded. The constant daily attacks have spawned the worst humanitarian crisis in the 21st century. Preventable diseases such as cholera have spread and malnutrition and starvation haunt tens of thousands of families. It has been estimated that a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen as a result of all this.

It is this terrible catastrophe that the world should address. False flag operations divert attention from the root causes of a catastrophe ignited by the Saudi and US elites years ago. Those causes in turn are related to geopolitics, power and hegemony. The ordinary Yemeni has paid a huge price.
If a military assault on Iran is not to going to help the ordinary Yemeni neither will the tightening of economic sanctions against the people of Iran. Already the sanctions re-imposed upon that country since the US withdrew from the six nation nuclear deal have led to a great deal of pain and suffering within the populace. The sick including children have been deprived of much needed medicines which are presently imported from abroad.

Military action and economic sanctions it is obvious only exacerbate dire situations. Whenever it is initiated by a mighty power in collusion with its allies and agents, it fails to achieve its objectives. Take US helmed military campaigns aimed at furthering their own often diabolical agenda. The US attempt to crush what was in reality a nationalist movement in Vietnam in the sixties and early seventies resulted in its own ignominious defeat. Under the banner of NATO, it took control of Afghanistan in October 2001 and in the process ignited a war of resistance which after 18 years has undoubtedly enhanced the Taliban’s grip upon power.

Together with Britain, it invaded and occupied Iraq convinced that it would not only be able to control the nation’s rich oil resource but also determine the region’s politics in favour of Israel. Neither goal has been achieved and Iraq continues to be in a quagmire. Libya is another country in West Asia and North Africa (WANA) where the US and its NATO partners initially succeeded in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi and murdering him brutally but is now bogged down in a chaotic terrain where there is no effective functioning government.

In Syria for at least seven years, starting in 2011, the US and its allies sought through covert and overt means to oust the government of Bashar Al-Assad mainly because it refused to kowtow to them. Though they even employed terrorist outfits to achieve their objective, Bashar is still in the seat of power, supported by the Hezbollah, Iran and Russia. Syria has proven yet again that it is not possible to accomplish regime change through military means orchestrated by external actors.

Economic sanctions however harsh have also not succeeded in bringing governments that value their independence and integrity to their knees. An outstanding example of a nation that has withstood US sanctions and enhanced its sovereignty is Cuba. One of those rare occasions when sanctions have worked is the global movement against Apartheid South Africa in the eighties. There was a universal moral principle underlying those sanctions that transcended any self-serving agenda which was one of the reasons that explained its success. One can argue that such a principle is also present in the Boycott, Divest Sanctions (BDS) movement in relation to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands.

The time has come for people everywhere to reject military action and self-serving economic sanctions as means towards certain nefarious ends. Since the former is a threat and the latter is a reality in the case of Iran, the Iranian crisis should serve as a platform for the mass mobilization of global public opinion against the use of these two weapons. Let Iran be that moment in history that will persuade humankind to eschew what is vile and vicious, what is cruel and callous in our setting as we journey towards a civilization that is just, humane and compassionate.

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

20 September 2019.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019



While some Muslims are all excited trying to convert Non-Muslims into Islam, many Muslims are busy killing innocent Muslims, including children.

Should we spend more energy in correcting ourselves? Should we deal with our Sunni-Syiah divide that have resulted in war, death and persecution?

Perhaps our preachers and televangelist can talk about commonalities or if you like comparative ‘religion’ between these two sects instead of paying attention to outside the Muslim milieu.

“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with God. He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did” - Quran 6:159

“And be not ye among Mushrikeen (those who join gods with God), - i.e., those who split up their Religion, and become Sects, - each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!” – Quran 30:31-32

“And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favour on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, ye became brethren; and ye were on the brink of the pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth Allah make His Signs clear to you: That ye may be guided.” Quran 3:103

Salam, anas

Saturday, September 7, 2019


‘The Malays: Their Problems and Future’ by Syed Husin Ali. ISBN: 978-983-9541-61-8

This book was first published over thirty years ago in 1978 when Prof. Syed Husin Ali was in detention under the ISA; and it was updated in 2008. Prof. Syed Husin Ali was then the deputy PKR president.
‘The Malays’ is a really good book, because it goes way back to the origin of the Malays, their history, religion, socio-economy and politics. It discusses the issue of Malay poverty, providing facts and data, not just specifically on the Malay community but also in comparison with other communities. The book also addresses the impacts of modernity and past policies on the development of the average Malay and emerging challenges that face them. It gives a good overview of the situation of the Malay community.
Can you share with us some parts of the book?
One should read the book in entirety to get the full picture, because just by reading this book would be a good start to help in understanding the Malays. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the book on who the Malays are:
“Taking a wide social and cultural definition, the term refers not only to those who are settled in the Peninsular, but also includes those in the larger area of the Malay Archipelago, embracing the Malay Peninsular and thousands of islands which today form the Republic of Indonesia and the Philippines. Although they are divided into many sub-groups, and perhaps as many dialects, linguistic and cultural experts always consider them as belonging to the same stock, known as the Malays or Malayo-Indonesians.” (pg. 1)
“Quite often when we refer to the term Malay, we think only of those who are living in the Peninsular. Descendants of the Malays in the Philippines are now known as Filipinos, while those in the former Dutch territories are called Indonesians. Our eyes have been shaded by three separate political boundaries to such an extent that we lose sight of the similarities in ancestry, of culture and history which are the common heritage of all the inhabitants of the Malay Archipelago.” (pg. 2)
We have particularly seen a lot of this in recent years – people make comments, for example, to say someone is not really ‘Malay’ because his ancestry is Bugis. But based on this larger definition described by Prof. Syed, the Bugis are also Malay. We tend to think that the Malay only refers to those in Peninsular Malaysia, but this is a very myopic view point.
The book lays the foundation for understanding the definition of who is a Malay. As an ethnic group, the Malays are defined historically but have also been defined legally in our Constitution. Prof. Syed discusses the historical context for this as well as its implications. These basic definitions and the understanding of who a Malay is, are very important concepts all Malaysians need to learn and understand (more on this is discussed in Chapter 28).
The book also discusses the situation of the Malays in the time of Merdeka and post-Independence. It sheds light on the rise of Malay political organisations, especially the Unity that was found among the Malays when opposing the Malayan Union. Opposing the Malayan Union was described as ‘a life and death matter’ to the Malays, and the question about the survival of the Malays as a race was what caused the Malays to come together. (pg. 45)
Understanding this historical pattern may help us to understand why the call for ‘Malay Unity’ has been carried on even until today. After Independence, language and education became the rallying call. After that, and now we see, it is religion. Prof. Syed writes – “Whatever the issues – religion, race or culture – all are open to political manipulation and exploitation. But this does not deny the fact that there are some individuals and groups who are sincere in their intentions over these same issues.” (pg. 47)
The book also discusses whether our development policies have been a success or failure, providing a study of data and statistics. The May 13 incident was described as a reflection of socioeconomic problems. Prof. Syed writes “although the incident appeared to be a racial conflict, it was recognised that the root causes were some basic economic problems” (pg. 125).
According to Prof. Syed, the analysis of the root causes of poverty was not correctly done in order to lead to the right strategies to properly eradicate poverty. He suggests that the NEP needs to be “reviewed and replaced by a new economic plan that would ensure the wealth and resources of the country are not monopolised by only a small coterie of people who have already enjoyed power. Instead they should be distributed fairly and evenly to the majority of people comprising different ethnic groups.” (pg. 151)
He adds - “Although absolute poverty has been reduced, relative poverty widening of the socioeconomic gap has increased. NEP helps to sponsor Malay rich and has resulted in nepotism and cronyism.” (pg. 182)
With discussions like this, the book presents a good balance of information and opinions. In discussing multi-ethnic relations between Malays and other races in Malaysia, it addresses some of the historical issues that hinder the journey to Unity and integration. Prof. Syed stresses the importance of shared values –
“it is … necessary to disseminate universal values and attitudes, which can help people so that they do not succumb easily to racial or ethnic appeals. There is also a need to overcome ‘false consciousness’ caused by ethnicity. At the same time, the state should not be allowed to legitimise ethnic violence to perpetrate itself. Until racial and ethnic harmony comes naturally, it must be strived for.” (pg. 180)
I urge readers to go out and get these three books as a start to understand our Indian, Chinese and Malay brothers and sisters. Knowledge of the history, background and current situation of these three Malaysian communities will go a long way in helping us to really understand each other and nurture harmony amongst us.
Anas Zubedy
Malaysian Movement for Moderates
Note : This article is the final entry for the topic is taken from my book The Middle Path, chapter 4.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


Hari ini di SINAR HARIAN ms 6

Kami, sekumpulan rakyat Malaysia, mengajak kesemua rakyat membeli dan memberi keutamaan kepada produk buatan Malaysia.

Pada asalnya, rangsangan untuk mengutamakan pembelian produk Muslim sahaja atau memboikot produk buatan bukan-Muslim kemungkinan nampak sebagai suatu strategi yang amat baik. Namun demikian, jika ditinjau dan dikaji dengan lebih mendalam, ia mungkin suatu tindakan yang kurang bijak.

Kebanyakan syarikat-syarikat swasta mempunyai ramai pekerja dari kaum Melayu. Malahan dalam beberapa syarikat ini, kaum Melayu menjadi tenaga pekerja majoriti. Walaupun pada hakikatnya sesebuah syarikat itu dimiliki kaum bukan-Muslim, tetapi rangkaian ekonomi meliputi juga komuniti lain. Ia termasuk pengambilan bahan mentah, kepada pembekal barangan serta penghantaran kepada pembeli secara hubungan rangkaian perniagaan. Hubungan sebegini adalah hakikat sebenar ekonomi tempatan dan juga di peringkat global. Tambahan pula, semua syarikat yang mendapat keuntungan akan membayar cukai yang digunakan untuk belanjawan bagi manfaat seluruh masyarakat. Ia termasuk juga pembiayaan gaji dan elaun kakitangan kerajaan yang kebanyakan kita semua sedia maklum majoritinya adalah kaum Melayu. Wang cukai ini juga digunakan untuk pembangunan pendidikan, kesihatan dan lain-lain lagi.

Wang dapatan dari cukai syarikat-syarikat yang membuat untung juga digunakan untuk membiayai institusi Islam seperti JAKIM dan ini mendatangkan manfaat secara langsung kepada umat Islam sendiri. Maka itu, adalah suatu perkara yang malang jika mereka yang mewarwarkan kegiatan boikot ini kurang faham tentang prinsip dan dasar ekonomi ataupun mereka sengaja memainkan sentimen perkauman dan provokasi emosi orang Islam dengan agenda tersendiri.

Kami ingin juga mengingatkan bahawa ramai orang-orang Melayu dan Islam memegang saham dalam kebanyakan syarikat tersenarai awam dan nama-nama mereka pun terpapar sebagai ahli-ahli lembaga pengarah. Kebanyakan syarikat-syarikat di Malaysia juga telah melaburkan wang dalam usaha menjadikan produk dan kegiatan syarikat itu serasi dengan syariah dan mendapat pensijilan halal. Malaysia merupakan hub halal yang terbesar di dunia di atas usaha orang-orang Islam dan bukan Islam.

Jika ada apa-apa usaha memboikot, ia akan mendatangkan kesan bukan sahaja kepada orang bukan Islam tetapi pada orang Islam juga. Kita semua kena menyokong barangan jenama Malaysia supaya sama-sama dapat kita membangun ekonomi dan menjadikan ia lebih kukuh. Pemboikotan dalam suasana ekonomi masakini bukan sahaja sesuatu yang tidak praktikal ia juga sesuatu yang bersifat hipokrit memandangkan kita semua menggunakan barangan dari seluruh dunia. Segala barangan dari makanan, pakaian, teknologi dan pengangkutan, setiap satunya datang dari sumber pembekal, pengasas dan pembuat dari pelbagai kaum, bangsa dan agama. Begitulah hakikatnya ekonomi global dalam dunia masakini. Maka itu, bagaimana boleh kita mengatakan bahawa setiap barangan yang kita pakai atau makan datangnya khusus hanya dari satu kaum dan agama sahaja?

Sebagai rakyat Malaysia, hidup kita berangkai dengan semua kaum. Seorang Mak Cik menjual nasi lemak di depan kilang milik kaum Cina untuk menyara hidup anak-anaknya adalah suatu yang biasa kelihatan dalam negara yang mempunyai pelbagai kaum. Sama juga kelihatan seorang India menjual roti berniaga di kawasan kaum Melayu. Adakah kita impikan kehilangan ciri kepelbagaian ini hanya kerana hasutan beberapa individu berkepentingan?

Kami percaya bahawa kita semua harus mengeratkan integriti bangsa kita lebih daripada memecahbelahkan masyarakat dengan hasutan boikot sebegini. Matlamat akhir kita sepatutnya membantu perkembangan perniagaan, mempastikan harga barangan rendah, mempastikan kos sara hidup bersepadanan dengan barangan buatan Malaysia yang berkualiti serta harga berpatutan. Hanya dengan usaha dan sikap sebegini serta gandingan persefahaman masyarakat maka kita semua akan menikmati kejayaan bersama.

Kenyataan bersama :-

Tawfik Ismail
Tajuddin Rasdi
Syed Sadiq Albar
Shad Saleem Faruqi
Nurul Haqq Shahrir
Noor Farida Ariffin
Johan Jaafar
Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos
Hussamuddin Yaacub
Chun Wai, Wong
Chandra Muzaffar
Anas Zubedy

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


We, a group of concerned Malaysians would like to urge Malaysians to buy Malaysian-made products and brands first.

On the onset, the calls for buying Muslim products first or boycotting products made by non-Muslims may seem smart to some segments of the Muslim community. If they were to study this deeper, however, they will find such moves to be very unwise.  

Many non-Muslim companies have a significant number of Muslim staff. In fact, in many instances, they even form the majority. Even when a business is predominantly run by non-Muslims, economic activities form chain reactions that involve each and every community. This ranges from the sourcing of the raw materials, to producing and supplying the product to end customers. That is the fundamental basis of the economy, be it at the national or even global level. Furthermore, all profit-making companies, regardless of ownership, pay taxes that are then used towards the benefit of the Malaysian society as a whole. These include employing and sustaining our civil servants, building our national infrastructure and enhancing our public services such as healthcare, education and more. 

If anything, the taxes paid by all Malaysian-owned companies have also contributed to the betterment of Islam through the annual government budget allocation to JAKIM. Thus, it is indeed unfortunate that the few who are propagating this exclusionary approach either fail to understand the basics of economics or are simply attempting to spread an insidious agenda; all while playing with the emotions of the average Muslim.

We want to remind them that Malays and Muslims hold a substantial number of shares in most public-listed companies. They are also represented on the board of directors of these companies. Most Malaysian companies have also invested in ensuring that their products are halal-compliant and certified. Malaysia is now considered one of the top halal hubs in the world, thanks to the concerted efforts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. 

Any boycott would only hurt fellow Malaysians, Muslims included. We must support all Malaysian brands and products in order to make our economy stronger. Boycotts along racial and religious lines are not only impractical but also hypocritical in the modern-day economy, given the fact that all of us use products from all over the world. From clothing to food, to technology and transportation, every item we use or consume could be traced back to producers, founders and manufacturers of various religions, ethnicities and even nationalities. Such is the nature of the globalised economy. So how can we then say with absolute certainty that we are only using or consuming goods from members of our own race and religion?

As Malaysians, our lives and livelihoods are significantly interconnected. A Malay makcik selling nasi lemak in front of a Chinese factory every morning to support her family is a common sight in a diverse and multi-ethnic country like ours. So is seeing an Indian roti seller plying his wares in a predominantly Malay-Muslim neighbourhood. Are we willing to let this uniqueness that define us disappear thanks to the divisive rhetoric of the select few?

We strongly believe that rather than boycotting and dividing ourselves further, we should enhance our integration and practice more diversity and inclusion in our daily living. Our goal should be helping Malaysian businesses to grow, to keep prices down, to curb the cost of living emphasizing affordable but quality Made in Malaysia products. In that way, we as Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or background will prosper and grow.

The statement was jointly signed by:-
Tawfik Ismail
Tajuddin Rasdi
Syed Sadiq Albar
Shad Saleem Faruqi
Nurul Haqq Shahrir
Noor Farida Ariffin
Johan Jaafar
Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos
Hussamuddin Yaacub
Chun Wai, Wong
Chandra Muzaffar
Anas Zubedy

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

HOW YOU CAN LIGHT UP A HOME IN SABAH WITH JUST RM350 (and it is tax deductible)

#LIGHTUPSOMETHINGNICE is a zubedy-mercy Malaysia partnership social project.
RM350 to Light Up their Lives (#LightUpSomethingNice) is a project to help the families in Sabah to have portable solar lights.
With donation of RM 350 per house they will receive a total of 2 portable solar light.
Why contribute for #LightUpSomethingNice?
• They can still be productive after night fall
• Children can study more and do homework
• They can cut down using candle, lamps and fire to improve
security and health
When and Where?
• This project started on 10th January and ends on 16th
September 2019
• We are aiming to help 100 houses in Terian (Penampang)
and Ranau.
• We call all Malaysia to unite individual or group of friends to
help us collect or donate for #LightUpSomethingNice
Donation made will be channeled through MERCY MALAYSIA’S account
• Reference/Tittle: #LightUpSomethingNice
• Account Number: 8000 7929 08
• Account Name: MERCY Malaysia 
• Bank: CIMB
For tax exemption please email to Farhana at the following details with subject #LightUpSomethingNice, Donation: Proof of payment / Full name / IC Number
Should you like to know more, kindly contact Hana at 019-9493720
Thanks, anas

Sunday, September 1, 2019


'The Chinese Dilemma’ by Ye Lin-Sheng ISBN:978-097-5164-61-7

Why do you recommend this book?

This is a book written from the perspective of a business person; so maybe it is personal because I am a business person myself. It is written in a very pragmatic way. It looks at the country from both sides and takes in both the positive and negative aspects. It is very honest, very brave, and very direct. The author Ye Lin-Sheng’s parents were from China; he grew up in a middle-class family but made it big in Malaysia and became a successful businessman.

Ye offers the perspective of a Chinese Malaysian, mainly addressing issues of affirmative action and preferential treatment. It has been suggested that ‘The Chinese Dilemma’ could be as controversial as Tun Mahathir’s ‘The Malay Dilemma’ because in the same way it openly addresses many controversial issues that are on the minds of many Malaysians. But the author is pragmatic because he discusses it from a non-partisan angle, pointing out both the positive side and the negative effects of the NEP and other challenges faced by Chinese Malaysians in the bigger picture. At the same time he admits that his opinions may not be accepted by many other Chinese Malaysians.

What does ‘The Chinese Dilemma’ address?

Mainly, it addresses the attitudes of the Chinese, the Malays, and the Westerners towards the New Economic Policies. Ye Lin-Sheng’s position is that Malaysia found a viable solution to historical problems of race and economic division through the NEP, which to him has “delivered the goods” at “an acceptable price”. (pg. 38)

He compares the situation of the Chinese in Malaysia to Chinese Diasporas in other parts of the world.

“Think of those Boat People (many of them of Chinese origin) forced to flee Vietnam; think of Cambodia, where the Chinese were killed or driven away; think of Indonesia, with its persecution and expulsion of the Chinese; think of the Philippines, where for so long the Chinese were effectively denied citizenship. Of course there is Thailand, where the Chinese are said to suffer no discrimination, but that is because they are assimilated to Thai society and have in a way given up their Chinese identity.” (pg. 39)

He also extrapolates this comparison further out to the United States, Canada and Australia, where the Chinese has had to struggle against exclusion and victimisation. In these states, the Malaysian Chinese who migrated to these countries have had more difficulty achieving economic success because of “lack of opportunity, indirect discrimination, the so-called ‘glass ceiling’ and stiffer competition”. (pg. 39)

Ye Lin-Sheng steps out of the fold to present views which are not commonly spoken among non-Malays. To the author, what is missing is the sense of appreciation of how well the Chinese have been able to do even as minority migrants in Malaysia. At the same time, he feels there has also been a lack of sensitivity towards how galling it must be for the Bumiputera to see “the Chinese…putting our stamp all over their cities, how wounded they must have been in their pride”, even if it is not their nature to express their frustration (pg. 46).

The author argues that whatever the cost, because the NEP has helped to reduce the socioeconomic gap between communities, returned a level of autonomy to the Malays and allowed both the Malays and Chinese to increase wealth, its benefits are indisputable.

The book is balanced as it also addresses the grievances of the Chinese. In the same way that Tun Mahathir gave feedback on what is in the heart of the Malays in ‘The Malay Dilemma’, I see Ye Lin-Sheng does the same thing here for the Chinese. He airs out the apprehension of the Chinese towards losing the right to live in the country, which leads to their defensive posture. Another is their difficulty reconciling the idea that the Chinese position is ‘subsidiary’ to the position of the Malays. He brings out the question that is in the back of the minds of many Chinese - “How long must we continue to pay the price of citizenship?” (pg. 56)

“Rightly or wrongly, many Chinese are not reassured that the Malay will act in good faith. Can we trust them to be fair? In shifting the balance of advantage do they know where to stop? If we lower our defenses, will we find ourselves at the start of a slippery slope? If we don’t complain about the NEP, will they think it is not hurting us enough and prolong it indefinitely?” (pg.57)

At the same time, he also deals with the negative points of the NEP – among others, how Chinese-Malay relations is made worse by what he terms ‘Ugly Malays’, individuals who have exploited the NEP (pg. 62). Other negative impacts he points out are the demoralising effects on the beneficiaries of NEP, how it encouraged past victimisation and blaming the Chinese for the plight of the Malays; and how it has polarised race relations.

These are fair questions that are nagging at the back of the minds of the Chinese which often dictate their behaviour. It is fair and important that someone expresses how we Malaysians feel to help us understand each other better; and this book actually does that.

In the concluding chapters, the author brings the discussion to a bigger picture, comparing the experiences of Chinese Malaysians with other Chinese communities around the world.

“When we keep an open and skeptical mind, we may see that the non-Malays has not had a bad deal in Malaysia. To those who disagree with me, my rejoinder is just look around the world. The lesson is clear - peace and national cohesion is better than war and disintegration. I’m not saying that the non-Malays have no grounds for complaint - they have, as earlier chapters have made it clear. But in grievances as in all things, it’s best to have a sense of proportion.” (pg. 135)

I like this idea of a sense of proportion. Let’s have a sense of proportion and evaluate things in a balance. We need to look ahead. In his book, Ye does not deny that some Chinese may feel hurt by the NEP and it is hard to put the past behind, but he writes, “we Chinese have always been good at saying, Suan le (‘Forget it’ or, ‘let it be’) and getting on with the next task.” (pg. 192)

Ye ends the book by sharing a quote from a young black American from the book ‘Native Stranger’:

“Neither a black American or a white American says he has anywhere else to go now. He is here to stay, he must make it work or lose it all here.” (pg. 197)

Ye suggests that this also reflects the situation of the Chinese Malaysians – make it work or lose it all here.

In short, the book is written very directly and pragmatically - not everybody will agree with what the author says, but it is a book worth reading to understand the feelings and position of the Chinese Malaysian community better.

End of Part 2

Anas Zubedy
Malaysian Movement for Moderates

PART 3 will cover the Malays - ‘The Malays: Their Problems and Future’ by Syed Husin Ali. ISBN: 978-983-9541-61-8

Note : This article is taken from my book The Middle Path, chapter 4.