Friday, March 23, 2007

Tun Musa Hitam on Bloggers

It's digital democracy, stupid! Zam, FAK, Tengku Adnan and others suffering from the Blog Syndrome should have listened to ex-deputy prime minister Musa Hitam's take on bloggers and digital democracy.
"Some of us may claim, in a very concerned way, that Malaysia currently is in crisis while some claim that we are on a sliding mode. Arguments in support are plenty and we don need to pay attention to them. At the same time though, in honour of our past leaders like Tun Dr Ismail and to mark the 50 years of our country independence, I would like to appeal for a much more optimistic interpretation of current trends toward our country's future.
"Politically I am sure Tun (Dr) Ismail would approve of what is going on now. He would not brood any nonsense, of course. But after seemingly sliding for many many years, the Tun (Dr Ismail) would certainly approve of the relatively more tolerant, open and liberal way that the present leadership seems to be conducting government. What more with increased emphasis on accountability with action being taken on cases of alleged corruption apparently without fear or favour. More, certainly, need to be done. But what is happening has been unheard of for many many years earlier!
"In politics Malaysians seems have reached a reasonable level of maturity. What used to be taboo subjects are coming out more and more into the open. Even the mainstream media is jumping into the bandwagon, not to mention the digital media that has come out completely unrestrained. Through the internet, furious arguments, most of them again, unrestrained and frank with not a few being highly emotion and even irrational, are continuously going on!
"I guess the late Tun (Dr Ismail) never imagined how our nation has become so so internet savvy in such a short time. Certainly, though, he would be happy to know that in spite of the furious debates on what used to be these taboo subjects, they are not accompanied by the inevitable unrest and even violence that used to be the order of the day! This is what a leading professor calls "Digital Democracy". And Thank God for that!"
Musa was launching the book on Tun Dr Ismail Rahman in Johore Bahru yesterday. The launch was attended by over 100 guests from Malaysia and Singapore. After the launch, lunch and a press conference, the four bloggers flown in by the organisers to have breakfast with the author of the book and witness the launch (three are based in KL and the fourth in London) had a chat with the Tun.
Nuraina A. Samad, who covered Musa Hitam for many years when she was a journalist with the NST, asked: "So what do you think of us bloggers?"
Musa Hitam: "I have said in my speech .. Thank God for digital democracy!"
Nuraina A. Samad: "Do you mean it?"
Musa Hitam: "Of course! I will say it again. "

Go to her 3540 Jalan Sudin, Jeff Ooi's Screenshots, and Zaharah Othman's Kak Teh's Choc-a-Blog for their takes on Musa, the book and the author.
Shahrir Samad sat with the four bloggers at lunch and, based on The Star report here, remains very much a blogger at heart.

I asked the Tun to sign on my copy of Ooi Kee Beng's "The Reluctant Politician", which he had just launched. This is what he wrote:
"To Rocky!
Bloggers of the world, UNITE!"

37 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:26 pm

    There are politicians and there are politicians. Now hopefully zam, fak and the likes would be ashamed of themselves, and realise how backward thinking they are!

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  2. [under my previous posting on zam, jiannathewitchqueen left a comment that contained extracts from a speech on blogs made by a singapore minister. i find it fit to be repeated here. thx jianna - rocky's bru].

    Quotes from a speech made yesterday by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Spore's Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association:

    "Most blogs have a readership of one - the person who wrote it. It would be futile and unnecessary to chase every single blog. We look at accuracy and we look at impact."

    While welcoming the Internet's role in promoting transparency and openness, he said the Spore govt will "continue to set the political agenda and rules of engagement."

    On people who take anonymous potshots: "No revolution in history was started by anonymous leaders. Any political leader worth his salt will sooner or later be unmasked and, therefore, can be dealt with or engaged on political terms, one on one."

    "I put this not in a threatening way but (the point) is that at the end, the cyberworld cannot escape the realities of the real world."

    He acknowledged that the Internet had made it impossible for politicians to lie, as the truth will always emerge. But he said that Spore's leaders have "nothing to hide" and are not afraid of the new media.

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  3. Kudos to Tun Musa Hitam. Will you start your blog soon Tun? This will give much credence to your exclamation "Bloggers of the world, UNITE!"

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  4. Anonymous3:09 pm

    Dearest Rocky,

    Finally, one politician who is worth my while. Good day my friend

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  5. This is one of the reason that i always admire Tun MUsa Hitam. He's smart, progressive and reasonable man. Like what Hishamuddin Rais said, "Musa Hitam" is the Prime Minister that we will never had" (in his column at Malaysiakini a few years back).

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  6. Anonymous3:20 pm

    Musa said;

    "But after seemingly sliding for many many years, the Tun (Dr Ismail) would certainly approve of the relatively more tolerant, open and liberal way that the present leadership seems to be conducting government."

    hmmm...really? Which Government?
    Typical Musa, always contradicting himself...but thanks for the foresight, acknowledging internet media...

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  7. "is that at the end, the cyberworld cannot escape the realities of the real world."

    What about 'is that at the end, the real world MUST embrace the cyber world, an important ingredient of the New Real World.

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  8. "Tun (Dr Ismail) would certainly approve of the relatively more tolerant, open and liberal way that the present leadership seems to be conducting government"
    My Oh My! Is that so? - "tolerant". "open" "liberal"?
    Then what about the atack on bloggers? What about those phone calls and warning letters to newspaper editors?
    Let me check my dictionary for the meaning of tolerant, open and liberal.
    Yes, Musa is a great leader but he was also Abdullah's ally when they were in the defeated Team B.

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  9. Up yours Musa!!!!!!!!!

    Dari Musa Derhaka ke Musa Penjual Maruah Bangsa!
    Date: Thursday, March 22

    Saya tersentak semalam tatkala melihat tajuk berita di laman web Bloomberg, "Malaysia Must End Race Policy in Johor, Adviser Says". Hati saya berdebar kerana Majlis Penasihat WPI mempunyai beberapa rakyat Malaysia dan salah seorangnya adalah seorang pemimpin utama UMNO.

    Debaran saya menjadi kenyataan di para pertama berita kerana tertulis dengan jelas bekas Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Tun Musa menuntut negeri Johor di kecualikan dari Polisi membantu Melayu demi utuk menarik pelaburan ke kawasan itu. (Sila baca sepenuhnya di dalam jaluran perbincangan Forum MyKMU di sini.)

    Ini Musa anak Johor berkata demikian? Ini Musa, pemimpin UMNO berkata demikian? Ini Musa "political guru" dan ketua faction kepada Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi? Ini Musa yang berdegar-degar kalau bersyarah membincangkan masaalah dan nasib orang Melayu?

    Laporan yang meyiarkan temuramah Bloomberg dengan Tun Musa pada 19hb Mac menyebut Musa berkata kontrak yang akan ditawarkan di WPI hanya berdasarkan merit dan orang Melayu kena menghadapi persaingan.

    Mudah Musa bercakap. Mudah Musa berkata. Mudah Musa membuat kesimpulan.

    Adakah langsung menjadi Pengerusi Majlis Penasihat WPI, hanya kemajuan WPI saja menjadi ukuran term of reference? Adakah bukan kepentingan Melayu dan Bumiputera itu harus sentiasa tersurat dan tersirat? Adakah pelaburan harus hingga terjual tanah air dan maruah bangsa?!!!

    Kalau Musa sudah lupa kerana sudah lama meninggalkan politik, tidak ingat ke Dr Puad Zarkashi, Senator dari Batu Pahat, Johor menjerit-jerit di Perhimpunan Agong UMNO 2004, "Kalau kail panjang sejengkal, jangan diharungi lautan dalam!" Kalau belum bersedia dan kukoh, jangan jadi bodoh untuk menjadi pemurah dan konon-konon "adil".

    Kalau Musa sudah lupa pun, tak akan tidak tahu langsung Artikel 153 Perlembagaan Negara. Ia sudah termetrai dalam Perjanjian Agong tersurat dan tersirat hak Melayu. Malah, tidak boleh ada pengurangan peruntukkan dan perubahan polisi untuk orang Melayu, tanpa persetujuan Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu. Melanggar ini satu kesalahan dan penderhakaan!

    Saya hanya terbayang dalam fikiran buku politik lama bertajuk "Musa Derhaka". Memang dah jelas pun, anak didik Musa menderhaka perintah Tuanku Sultan Johor untuk merobohkan Tambak. Nampak gaya maqam perjuangannya meningkat ke "Musa Pembelot Bangsa". Kalau itu terlalu kasar, paling lembut label buat mu Musa adalah "Musa Penjual Maruah Bangsa".

    Dari awal, saya sudah tidak sedap hati mendengar Tan Sri Robert Kuok dilantik dalam salah seorang Majlis Penasihat WPI. Saya dah lama anggap dia pembelot.

    Peniaga yang terkaya di Malaysia memang berasal dari Mersing, Johor. Dikatakan orang, bermula sebagai penyeludup beras di zaman perang. Salah seorang adik beradiknya, James adalah pejuang komunis yang mati ditembak. Itu pun masih mendapat peluang kedua. Robert berniaga dan Phillips menjadi diplomat.

    Bila kaya, enggan dudok di Malaysia dan berpindah ke Hong Kong. Robert Kuok berpindah tidak mahu bekerjasama untuk Dasar Ekonomi Baru dan dengan Tun Dr Mahathir. Lihat kini, segala hartanya telah dipindahmilik ke Wilmar Ltd, Singapore. Dengan sekali hayun, ladang-ladang, kilang-kilang, gudang-gudang, dan tanah-tanah menjadi milik syarikat Singapura.

    Adakah ini rancangan Musa dan kini dilaksanakan oleh Abdullah Badawi semasa penentangan terhadap Tun Dr Mahathir? Adakah ini keterbukaan dan liberalisma yang Musa juangkan selama ini? Adakah ini sifat "kurang ajar" yang mahu disemaikan dalam orang UMNO dan Melayu untuk maju?

    Sunggoh mengecewakan kepimpinan dan pentadbiran Abdullah Badawi. Dimana yang di gembur-gemburkan sebagai Agenda Melayu? Bagaimana cadangan Musa ini dalam memperjuangkan Agenda Melayu?

    Sudahlah terpinggir anak-anak Melayu negeri ku, kini mahu dihancurkan terus. Rakyat dan pemimpin Johor dipaksa dan diugut untuk menerima saja cadangan pembangunan WPI.

    Ya Allah, kami rakyat jelata tidak ada kuasa dan tidak ada keupayaan. Kami mohon pada keadilanmu terhadap pemimpin-pemimpin yang membelot dan menjual maruah kami kepada musuh-musuh.
    --------------------------------------
    This article comes from Gerbang Tempur Politik Maya Kmu Dot Net
    http://www.beritakmu.net

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  10. There is certainly no reason for Tun Musa to make any favourable comments to Rocky, at least that is my view.

    Stemming the tide of bloggers? No way Jose!

    To all you anonymous buggers, the likes of OFF, and those others who would only want to hide behind their walls, please, identify yourself and engage.
    I am hoping that we will soon have a place to call a base, so that we can have weekly debates!
    If only the anonymous would emerge. .

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  11. Tidak kenal sangat Tun Musa Hitam. Dia tenggelam ketika saya baru kenal hidup. Ada yang kata politiknya cunning.

    Tiba-tiba teringat kata Tun Mahathir "Israel memerangi dunia dengan proksi".

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  12. Anonymous6:32 pm

    Sorry, is Tun Musa Hitam a politician or an ex-politician?

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  13. Anonymous6:32 pm

    There's more to Vivian Balakrishnan's speech than meets the eye. To me it's laced with caution and warning. What else can we expect from our neighbour!

    And there's much more to Tun Musa than his verbal support of "digital democracy". He doesn't refer directly to bloggers in his poorly edited speech.

    Tun Musa is extremely charming and savvy and gracious. He is an astute thinker and articulates his ideas with subtlety. Outwardly he is agreeable and even if he disagrees he is not confrontational.

    Perhaps bloggers and others should take heed of what he says and obliquely implies " I would like to appeal for a much more optimistic interpretation of current trends toward our country's future"

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  14. Somehow I look at opening of SJEC as another Pangkor's Treaty in the making.

    The Rulers in 1874 had a problem with managing the state economy and calling for outside help(British)

    The help came with stipulated condition basically surrendering the sovereign right (except for Religion and Adat)and the the economy of the state.

    The Malay in Perak never had their wealth invested locally but siphoned out to The Great Empire.

    All left for them is unuseable disused mining ponds!!

    Am sure there were characters like Tun Musa during Pangkor Treaty,they always come with enlightened views , pompous ideas and sugar coated promises...looking like all selfless leader..he certainly is not!!

    There will be wave of migration of people from all over the world to Johor no doubt about it.Free flow of people fr S'pore to Malaysia..that goes without saying.Billions poured into Economy..TM applauded.

    What the Johorean get in return?
    Free Flow To S'pore..I doubt it.
    Taking off the tambak?..far from it
    Free asses to work in S'pore?...i very much wonder about it.

    S'pore find it difficult to exert her influence in China,Taiwan ,Indonesia ,Thailand and their company even try to cheat in India!!
    The point is,It cannot be us and us alone finding it difficult to deal with S'pore but basically half of the world population!!!

    There had an army on ready state to invade Johor for Godsake!!

    One kind neighbour we got here.

    TM remember what S'pore did to us in 1997?
    With water treaty? With sand? With Airspace? With our currency?

    With a friend like this ,you cant invite them to sleep in your house.

    TM is telling this house owner to extend the grandest welcome ,with the best meal and best room to spare.

    We have seen this before,British came by our invitation (force to invite them with gun pointed to thir head...so i forgive them),but British they took all the wealth.

    Singapore came without force,a known cheat and selfish nation and Pak Lah brought them with a glee.I guess everyone around him been telling too many nice things about S'pore.

    I wonder why UMNO memberin Johor ,her birthplace ,were so 'macam lembu kena tarik hidung'

    You surrendered timidly.

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  15. Anonymous7:12 pm

    The fact that tun musa was abdllah ally some 10 years ago doesn't mean he agrees with the way he governs now, or has the same thinking. Politics is the art of all possibilities. But musa's statement on blogging is at least a breath of fresh air in the currently polluted and muddled atmosphere.

    The singapore minister's take on bloggers and blogging also makes more sense and had obviously originated from a more intellectual mind.

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  16. Anonymous8:57 pm

    Sorry the 6.32pm comment was mine. I take full responsibility!

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  17. Anonymous9:31 pm

    Musa Hitam? I think he is too slick. Frankly i dont trust the man. Correct me if i am wrong.

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  18. Rocky,

    I did tell Shahrir to take down his blog and told him he can deny all he want ... but he has a blog registered under blogspot. He is a BLOGGER. And I told him so.

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  19. Anonymous10:37 pm

    nstman:
    my real name is Musa too and I dont trust myself either!
    I'm with you.

    alwayssomewhere

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  20. To me, the SJER is almost an impossible mission. It is no wonder that they have to look to the proven and the shrewd businessman to spearhead this rather than politicians.

    Thinking aloud, I do not know if anyone has think of these questions:

    1. Why would anyone would want to invest in SJER when nearby, in the small red dot, the climate is almost very pro-business as compared with SJER in terms of government policies and red tapes.

    2. What does SJER have to offer that is so attractive to investors? It is like a new frontier couple with the fact that the government and the rakyat itself is not fully in support of the idea? The postings above is ample proof of it.

    3. What is the objective of SJER in the first place? Is it to create a place where economic activities florish? So who is supposed to create these 'exciting' economic activities? How does the locals benefit? Are the locals contented with their role?

    4. Can such idea as NEP be imposed to other more global players (investors) when the main goal is to 'attract' them rather than to sucker them?

    5. If answer to question 4 is a definate for NEP, then what in return is the compelling factor to this investors set on the NEP landscape?

    6. Must they oblige to setup their business investment along with a mandatory charity?

    7. How does the rakyat benefit in terms of NEP? And in what way they benefit all rakyat? Do they have a long term sustainable formula? Or are they in the verge of collapse?

    Others may feel free to add on to the list of questions. But if we have not thought through these questions and shoot with emotions, the SJER will be marred with lots of challenges.

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  21. Anonymous11:28 pm

    Clark Gable,
    Very apt. And very well said

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  22. Anonymous11:56 pm

    A blog is a personal opinion and it can be from anyone. Journalists should only quote if the blog is authenticated as one written by a person of importance; and not any Tom, Dick and Harry. However if anyone trully cares, they should read all the blogs by all the Toms, Dicks and Harrys. If the government only wants its' citizens to remain stupid, it should not have introduce computers and I.T. The fact is that the government wants Malaysia to be as good in I.T. as the developed world means that it is willing to risk the disadvanages of it all. Or unless Malaysia wants to be like Communist China where the internet has its' limit of accessibility. So is the government torn between freedom and suppression ? It is very hurting to take negative comments. Just like a boss who have been giving all the reports to his workers. Suddenly one day, it is the worker who has to give a report on him and the report says that his performance is worse than the worker. You can imagine the steam coming out from his ears ? So what sort of a " boss " is the government of Malaysia ? I see a lot of bosses and they are not good ones. I suppose probably they take after the ones who rule over them. Do you as a boss allow all to speak, only some to speak or nobody can speak up at all ?

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  23. Anonymous6:28 am

    Mr Clark Gable,

    You couldnt have said it better.

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  24. Anonymous8:06 am

    Correction: I meant some 20 years ago...sorry.

    To put things in perspective, we were talking about musa's comments on bloggers and blogging as opposed to those of zam and fak.

    Whether or not you can trust someone depends on his words and deeds - in other words whether Cakap Serupa Bikin or not la

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  25. Rocky, I dont agree with Musa's remarks that "politically, TDI would approve of what is going on now. he would not brood any nonsense,of course....."
    Musa might have known TDI intimately. However, to me, it is hard to believe that someone like TDI would approve of some of the decisions the present administration has taken.
    I shan't go into details. I dont have to.

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  26. Nuraina, I do not know TDI like what Musa claim.

    Use to be close with one of Tawfik's brother, I agree with Nuraina, TDI won't approve of what is happenign now!

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  27. Even if Tun Musa is no longer in active politics now,but it is worth it.At least a salvo was fired.

    Most of us might not trust him then,but at least he was right about this one.Lets agree on something in common lah.

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  28. Anonymous5:32 pm

    To: "pesanan" & "clark gable"

    You are entitled to your views. But consider this - why should foreign investors put their money into Malaysia when there are so many other welcoming destinations that don't have a '30% requirement'?

    Just today, I picked up the following items from the news:

    - the Indian govt has decided to increase the limit for FDI in the telecoms sector from the existing 49% to 74%.

    - Singapore is planning to attract 150,000 international students by 2015. The education industry will contribute S$8 billion (3.8%) to Spore's GDP this year. 20 prestigeous foreign educational institutions, such as Insead, U of Chicago Business School and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts have either set up, or will be setting up, campuses in Spore.

    - Singapore is planning, by 2012, to get 1 million foreigners to seek medical treatment in the republic.

    - Shell and ExxonMobil have announced multibillion-dollar petrochemical projects in Spore.

    - Japan plans to set up a Japan Cultural Centre in Spore to export Japanese cultural products (the so-called "soft power") throughout the region.

    - the financial authorities in the UK have big plans to make London THE major Islamic banking and finance centre by attracting funds from the Middle East and the Gulf States.

    In Malaysia? The govt is having to defend exemptions to race-based policies.

    You can play your own little games, but don't complain if Malaysia is relegated to the sidelines in the great game of globalisation.

    Just to put matters in perspective: the US private equity and buyout group, Blackstone, is valued at around US$40 billion. It has US$78.7 billion of assets under management. Another US private equity firm, the Carlyle Group, has US$54.5 billion under management and is now raising a US$15 billion leveraged buyout fund in the US.

    Compare this to our own homegrown Khazanah Nasional.

    I am sure that there are many, many Malaysians who don't subscribe to your views and who are keen to make sure that the country doesn't lose out by hankering after false paradigms of emotion-driven nationalism.

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  29. bro clark gable,
    i am now in a hotel room that directly faces Pangkor. i am re-reading your comment which you left when i was at danga bay, right smack in iskandar regional development country! reading your words, it is easy to imagine how it all took place in 1874. how they sold their souls and left us with a long struggle to redeem ours.
    against singapore, we have no chance. as jiannathewitchqueen has presented to us, singapore is doing all the right things to be ahead. we were doing that for some years. with ptp and senai, we were making an impression. even singapore was taken aback by our ambitions then!
    but now it's ten steps back under Abdullah's regime. malaysia has practically given up and declared singapore the winner. we are trying to tumpang semangkuk when we, i believe - with or without the NEP - are capable to much better.
    i hope i'll be proven wrong. i hope the Iskandar project isn't a Pangkor treaty.

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  30. Tun Musa seems to master the art of justifying his misdeeds - albeit unconvincingly.

    But at least, I do respect his attempt to go in a different direction. Yes, i do!

    Thank you Tun for your promise to shout the words Digital Democracy again (for me, it is Charismatic Democracy).

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  31. finally... someone is making some sense. musa made a really great point there.

    oh... abolishing the RPGT the government did.... goodies goodies galore...

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  32. It's the same ol same ol, Rocky and friends. Put up a good show to attract investors then spring the 'surprise' to entrap investors(SJDR).

    Recently I heard of another disturbing news, they're planiing another 'E-Village'!

    After the previous debacle, some are hoping to plan this investment 'ambush' again. I think it should be done properly with lasting policies that investors could understand its rules and play accordingly.

    The problem is, even the goal-post gets to be shifted at will and no real investor wants to play a game with only one outcome, that they lose.

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  33. Anonymous1:12 am

    came across this in the star the other day.

    a rather balanced view i thought

    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/3/20/focus/17188189&sec=focus

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  34. I never knew that such beautiful words could come from an ex-politician! To Tun, having you around gives the so-called "our" politicians a kick on the butt!!!

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  35. Critical thinking dictates that you get ALL the information before you make up your mind about anything. Our newspapers and the tv offer just 'half' the story. We need to seek out the other half. Bloggers tell that story. Cheers! to all the bloggers out there who help us see our world more clearly, and make a picture for ourselves. Keep on blogging!

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  36. Anonymous11:33 pm

    u should b paranoid: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,73046-0.html?tw=rss.technology

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  37. There is a Malay saying which goes: "Buat baik berpada-pada, buat jahat jangan sekali."
    This should be the principle we should adobt in our relationship with the island republic or with anyone else.
    The island republic have never been good to us and always calculative. After all it is the kiasu one. But Malaysia under the present administration seem to be on our knees begging them to come to the IDR even compromising our sovereignty.
    See my comments on this in MyKMU.

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