Saturday, February 29, 2020


Ever since my tertiary days back in the eighties, I have been proposing that we must give more weight on the candidate than his or her party. In other words, choose the best candidates no matter which political party they come from. In fact, choose an independent too if he or she is the better person. I have written, spoken and publish work on this subject. The link above was the NO FREE RIDES – choose the best, screw the rest campaign during GE13. Thus, when Tun Dr Mahathir proposed a similar idea with his Unity Government alternative, I went crazy with excitement. I decided to comment about politics actively again, although I have stayed silence for some time - as I believe that we should allow some slack for PH as they are new in the job. I would have given them 5 years, to proof and in fact another 5 years too, because that is the only way they can overcome the deep state. To win 2 general elections. That will send a strong signal to the public service departments that these new bosses, are here to stay. UNFORTUNATELY, many Malaysians ARE PAYING ATTENTION TO TUN, AND NOT THE IDEA. Tun did not call it Unity Government, somebody else did. Let me quote from The STAR( Nathaniel Tan), “ It should be noted however, that Dr Mahathir did not technically use the term ‘kerajaan perpaduan’ in his speech; the words he used were ‘pemerintahan yang tidak memihak kepada mana-mana parti’, which may make ‘non-partisan government’ a more accurate term. Nevertheless, the term ‘unity government’ appears to be the one currently dominating public discourse. To quote Dr Mahathir:“Politicians and political parties prioritise politics too much until they forget about the country, which is facing economic and health problems. I am of the opinion that whether it is right or not, politics and party politics have to be set aside for the time being. If I am allowed to, I will form a government that will not side with any party. Only the interest of the nation will be prioritised. If I am given permission, this is what I will try.” Albert Einstein said that we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Party politics have served us well the last many decades but have slowly but surely outliving its capacity. Tun has offered a new way. Unchartered. New ways have the tendency to level the playing field. This could be our game changer. But first, we must focus on the idea, and not the person. Peace, Anas Zubedy

Thursday, February 6, 2020


by Chandra Muzaffar

We are inundated with an avalanche of information on the novel coronavirus infection. Within this avalanche, there is a lot of “news” that is clearly false.

Those responsible for such news can be classified into two categories at least. The first comprises mischief-makers who derive some cheap thrill by generating and disseminating fake news that creates fear and causes panic among the people.  The law should deal severely with such individuals.

The second category may have a political agenda of sorts. The purpose may be to cast China in a bad light, to tarnish its image, to project the Chinese government as incompetent and even dishonest. The false information manipulated by this group may be very similar to the one utilised by the first category.

Both categories allege that the government lied about the number of fatalities which they contend run into thousands. They suggest that the authorities were slow in responding to the crisis caused by the virus. Attempts to reveal the “truth” about what was really happening in Wuhan the epicentre of the crisis by some doctors and journalists have been suppressed and the “whistle blowers” punished.

It is not just the Chinese authorities that have refuted these and other allegations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has publicly commended the Chinese government for its “swift action” and its “extraordinary measures” in containing the infection. The government has attempted to be as transparent as possible from the outset and has provided accurate information to the people. It was the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyesus,  who stated emphatically  that there was no need for other countries to restrict travel and trade unnecessarily. The coronavirus, he argued, should be combated with “ facts  not fear” 

And indeed some of the facts are simply amazing. Chinese scientists were incredibly fast in identifying the genome sequence. Together with their Russian counterparts a Russia-China vaccine is in the making.  Chinese architects and engineers have also built a state of the art hospital in Wuhan in just 9 days. Designed to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the Huoshenshan Hospital has a thousand beds and medical staff drawn from the armed forces. The Chinese government is building another hospital with 1,500 beds which will begin functioning on the 6th of February.    

Facts like these mean nothing to those with a political agenda. The motives that shape their agenda take precedence over everything. There is a primary motive out of which has developed a secondary motive. Discrediting China is part of a larger geo-political drive that seeks to thwart China’s ascendancy. The aim is to ensure that the present hegemon, the United States of America (USA) remains on top at all costs. A host of measures and moves --- some economic, some technological, some related to security and politics, others linked to culture and human rights --- have been adopted by those who are hell-bent on perpetuating their hegemonic power.  This is why some of the distortions about the current coronavirus threat should be seen in the light of disinformation about the alleged persecution of the Uighurs in China and the so-called suppression of the people of Hong Kong.  The name of the game is the same: it is the targeting of China.

This primary motive has now given rise to a secondary motive. In the course of fighting the coronavirus, groups in certain countries are displaying negative sentiments towards Chinese people as such. This impacts adversely upon inter-community relations both at the global and national level. At a time when China and the Chinese are leaving large footprints all over the planet, a deeper understanding of the civilisation and its citizens is what the world needs. It is not in the interest of inter-civilizational harmony to view a community in its entirety as an adversary and try to isolate it. Similarly, in multi-ethnic societies with Chinese minorities the checking of the spread of a virus should not be used as a justification to stereotype and stigmatize a community.

Seen against this backdrop, Malaysia, China’s neighbour with a significant Chinese minority has done well in managing the post coronavirus situation. It has accorded priority to the health and well-being of its people and at the same time handled this cross-boundary crisis in a calm manner without any hysteria. It has been sensitive to the feelings of China and its people. Once again, Malaysia has demonstrated that it is possible to protect our sovereignty while respecting the dignity and integrity of a dear neighbour whose friendship we cherish.                             
Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)


4 February 2020.