Tuesday, April 10, 2007

People power in a developed state

Public hearing. Why should anyone resist the setting up of a medical centre in his backyard? I don't know but the residents in Teluk Gadong are telling their local authorities, the Klang Municipal Council, that they don't want this multi-million ringgit centre in their neighbourhood. And Selangor Menteri Besar said he will leave it to the residents. The council will conduct a public hearing to decide on the matter.
"It depends on the outcome of the public hearing. If the people say the project can go on, we will proceed.
"If they disagree, then we will find another suitable site to facilitate the investors," Dr Khir Toyo said when asked about the potential loss in terms of foreign investment if the project was cancelled.
[read here for the full story]

A few years ago, when the residents in Bangsar-Telawi protested the construction of a massive seafood centre in from of their porches, an MP and Minister sided with them and promised to take up their issue. The Malay Mail, as usual, gallantly championed the residents' case. But our campaign was short-lived. The owner of the seafood centre had friends very high up in the government and in a government-owned media, and The Paper That Cares that I was editing then was forced to drop the issue.
If only there was a "public hearing" for the Bangsar-Telawi residents then.

The other day someone asked me if I'd like to have dinner at the seafood centre. I had to decline. It still feel I should have fought harder for the residents. I should have told the operative who told us to drop the issue to fly kite.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

why? becoz some big shots staying near the proposed hospital? bad feng shui?
when was the last time the state govt listen to the residents. ask those staying in kota damansara now. over to you MB for answers to the above ?.

Anonymous said...

hi rocky

please do some research work and have it posted on the "mafia" in east malaysia.
i know i am digressing but i think this is very important and you would understand once you have the feedback and validated info.

mob1900 said...

Bolehland's past records of 'people power' has never shown any results. It has to do with the wide-spread corruption of elected MPs and 'Napoleons' enriching themselves. How many real MPs are out there fighting for the rakyat and KEPT on going?

Most just gave up and proceed to just 'join the system' of corrupt.

vokoyo said...

I wish to point out that the Orang Asli, not the malays, are the original inhabitants of Malaysia. Most of the malay Malaysians came from Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. They only migrated here much earlier than the Chinese and Indian Malaysians. It does not mean they deserve privileges or rights just because they were the pioneer immigrants.

It is true that there have been abuses under the name of malay special rights and it is the duty of the malays in particular, and all Malaysians in general, to stop it so that the rightful malays get their rights, and the non-malays get their rights as citizens of this country.

It is a sad thing to say, but I do believe the main thing that is holding back malays is not the Chinese or the Indians, but the malays themselves. That is why Mahathir and Pak Lah have been quoted as telling to throw away crutches and work hard to face the challenges of globalisation.

The malay and others of the same mind should learn to stand on their own feet rather than claim for special privileges and rights. The world is becoming globalised and if they don't change their attitude, they will only become beggars in their own country.

As for the malays who insist on hiding behind the veil of malay special rights - you have lost the respect of non-malays a long time ago.

We also suspect that the current situation will, unfortunately, get worse if no action is taken now. Why? Because our kids in school hardly mix with each other. They will grow up with little understanding of their fellow Malaysians, and with the suspicions that exist, it will be worse.

The truth of the matter is that polarisation in Malaysia is caused by the discriminatory practises of the government - especially after the NEP - rather than vernacular education.

The NEP is upheld for the rich and not the poor in Malaysia.

Whether we admit it or not, the problem is that the special rights and privileges given have now resulted in only a selected few malays getting richer and richer. The bulk of the malays, especially in the rural areas are not benefiting from the system.

Poor people are poor people, rich people are rich people - no matter which race they come from.

The poor in Malaysia must be served but I am sure all taxpayers feel that this should be done in a manner which is blind to age, ethnicity, gender and religion.

What is wrong with extending help to all deserving citizens based on merits and needs regardless of race?

The Malaysia problem is that rich do become richer. And because of the political system, the players are the same.

Out of control - this is all I can say about any type of enforcement and the level of corruption in Malaysia. No idea what Pak Lah has done in his three years in office but judging from the ground, I guess nothing much.

If you have ever heard of the simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime." you will realise that many non-malays have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the malays. One day the fish will run out.

If you want to say discrimination is here in the US, yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

For most professionals, living abroad has its own ups and downs. But, you get dignity, fair treatment, and respect for your ability. You get a voice, too. And ears to hear you.

Brain drain by the tank-loads is what we get. Every single year, Malaysia loses people who could potentially contribute to the country immensely.

So malay, you may keep your rights and perpetuate them. Such things are archaic. Who loses in the end? Your country, which should have been a first world one by today.

I sympathize with those that have benefited from the NEP, but the bad news is that the price he pays for his progress is much higher than what he pays for his benefit.

These special privileges and rights were once a necessity for them to move forward. Today, after many decades, they find themselves still standing in the same place.

It is a shame that our history has been constantly twisted so that our younger generation has no understanding of Malaysia's foundation and its true aspirations.

It is arguable that if not for the contributions of the Chinese and Indian Malaysians who helped in the development of this country tremendously, Malaysia would probably be in same category like Indonesia or the Philippines, if not worst.

To improve the malays lot, more have to be made to work in private companies where competition is real and what counts is your ability. If special rights only help malays to become government servants, then all the more reason not to invoke special rights.

But of course, the present ruling elite drunken with wealth, will continue to fight this dream to ensure that Malaysia is kept divided so that BN can continue to rule.

Alternatively, Malaysians may begin to realise the dream of a new Malaysia.

The bitter truth is that the majority of this nation don't see the need to change things yet and until then, we can do little about it.

The bottom line with present day globalisation is this: compete on a level-playing field or you will lose. Plain and simple.

vokoyo said...

I wish to point out that the Orang Asli, not the malays, are the original inhabitants of Malaysia. Most of the malay Malaysians came from Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. They only migrated here much earlier than the Chinese and Indian Malaysians. It does not mean they deserve privileges or rights just because they were the pioneer immigrants.

It is true that there have been abuses under the name of malay special rights and it is the duty of the malays in particular, and all Malaysians in general, to stop it so that the rightful malays get their rights, and the non-malays get their rights as citizens of this country.

It is a sad thing to say, but I do believe the main thing that is holding back malays is not the Chinese or the Indians, but the malays themselves. That is why Mahathir and Pak Lah have been quoted as telling to throw away crutches and work hard to face the challenges of globalisation.

The malay and others of the same mind should learn to stand on their own feet rather than claim for special privileges and rights. The world is becoming globalised and if they don't change their attitude, they will only become beggars in their own country.

As for the malays who insist on hiding behind the veil of malay special rights - you have lost the respect of non-malays a long time ago.

We also suspect that the current situation will, unfortunately, get worse if no action is taken now. Why? Because our kids in school hardly mix with each other. They will grow up with little understanding of their fellow Malaysians, and with the suspicions that exist, it will be worse.

The truth of the matter is that polarisation in Malaysia is caused by the discriminatory practises of the government - especially after the NEP - rather than vernacular education.

The NEP is upheld for the rich and not the poor in Malaysia.

Whether we admit it or not, the problem is that the special rights and privileges given have now resulted in only a selected few malays getting richer and richer. The bulk of the malays, especially in the rural areas are not benefiting from the system.

Poor people are poor people, rich people are rich people - no matter which race they come from.

The poor in Malaysia must be served but I am sure all taxpayers feel that this should be done in a manner which is blind to age, ethnicity, gender and religion.

What is wrong with extending help to all deserving citizens based on merits and needs regardless of race?

The Malaysia problem is that rich do become richer. And because of the political system, the players are the same.

Out of control - this is all I can say about any type of enforcement and the level of corruption in Malaysia. No idea what Pak Lah has done in his four years in office but judging from the ground, I guess nothing much.

If you have ever heard of the simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime." you will realise that many non-malays have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the malays. One day the fish will run out.

If you want to say discrimination is here in the US, yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

For most professionals, living abroad has its own ups and downs. But, you get dignity, fair treatment, and respect for your ability. You get a voice, too. And ears to hear you.

Brain drain by the tank-loads is what we get. Every single year, Malaysia loses people who could potentially contribute to the country immensely.

So malay, you may keep your rights and perpetuate them. Such things are archaic. Who loses in the end? Your country, which should have been a first world one by today.

I sympathize with those that have benefited from the NEP, but the bad news is that the price he pays for his progress is much higher than what he pays for his benefit.

These special privileges and rights were once a necessity for them to move forward. Today, after many decades, they find themselves still standing in the same place.

It is a shame that our history has been constantly twisted so that our younger generation has no understanding of Malaysia's foundation and its true aspirations.

It is arguable that if not for the contributions of the Chinese and Indian Malaysians who helped in the development of this country tremendously, Malaysia would probably be in same category like Indonesia or the Philippines, if not worst.

To improve the malays lot, more have to be made to work in private companies where competition is real and what counts is your ability. If special rights only help malays to become government servants, then all the more reason not to invoke special rights.

But of course, the present ruling elite drunken with wealth, will continue to fight this dream to ensure that Malaysia is kept divided so that BN can continue to rule.

Alternatively, Malaysians may begin to realise the dream of a new Malaysia.

The bitter truth is that the majority of this nation don't see the need to change things yet and until then, we can do little about it.

The bottom line with present day globalisation is this: compete on a level-playing field or you will lose. Plain and simple.

mat terjun dalam sungai said...

Have not hear of such public hearing but of course this is good news. I hope it's not Ijok election campaign. Power to the citizens is the right way to democracy. Let's hope we get real democracy soon!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

and why didnt you tell him to fly kite?

on the proposed private medical centre in teluk gadong.
it is easy to mistrust politicians and their actions. in this case, it is just too easy to be suspicious of khir toyo's position.
why is he being accomodating? was he before in other instances?
politicians being who they are and with enough of them to give their job a bad name, have to, i believe, really go the distance to show that they are sincere and have the interest and welfare of the people at heart.
how bad is this view of our politicians when trusting them seems an out-of-the-world experience.
so, if khir toyo is offering to listen to the people, well and good.
to me, as long as the people,( to whom political leaders are answerable and accountable), benefit, then i will not try to read in between the lines. i will not try to impute motive.

Demang Lebar Daun Jr said...

Sdr Rocky,

Kini era kita berkata-kata
Kata-kata kita tidak bermakna
Kerana ini era orang berkuasa
Kita yang bodoh beri mereka
mandat raksasa.

Kini era kita berkata-kata
Sekadar penyedap rasa
Kerana ini era orang berkuasa
Di Jalan Riong dan Putrajaya
Di Scomi dan ECMLibra.

Kita boleh berkata-kata
Sampai bila-bila
Tulis apa saja
Tidak ada kesan apa-apa
Kerana yang berkuasa mereka
Kita yang bodoh beri mereka
Majoriti raksasa.

Jadi jangan hanya berkata-kata
Daftar jadi pemilih pilihan raya
Jangan jadi orang bodoh lagi
Kita guna peti undi
Kita ajar bapak-bapak menteri
Yang berasa merekalah raja
Boleh buat apa saja.

Kita jadi orang merdeka
Tentukan destinasi bersama
Kita bukan hamba
Kita rakyat Malaysia merkeda.

Monster Mom said...

Is there a thing such as peoples' power in malaysia? We seemed united but maybe it is still not enough...

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Mob1900's views. People's Power? Yes and No. It's a tough battle proven in cases like Broga incinerator project where the people's power won with the proposal dumped. You have the rape of the Gasing Hill case and so many more. With the general election, the UMNOputras elites in power (state government and local councils) "are putting up a pretentious PR exercise" not to anger voter residents but just watch after the GE. Especially commercial projects that will boost their purse strings, they will bulldoze any development projects along the way. People's power....we have a long way to go. You know, Deaf, blind and dumb American social activist Helen Keller once said, "Until the great mass of the people shall filled with the sense of responsibility for each others' welfare, social justice can never be attained". If I may also add, in Malaysia, there is always this dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference among Malaysians, who only cares about only their own territory of concerns. Maybe, the future may change with the Blogger United. I certainly hope so.

bisobonar said...

Mr. Vokoyo pls get yr facts right about original inhabitants of malaya.If u dont know,i ll let u know.

Malaya,long time ago was known as Semenanjung Tanah Melayu..tidak China ,India or even England. I repeat Tanah Melayu bcos of Mat Saleh pelat they just call Malaya instead of Melayu.

Where is Tanah Melayu? let me tell u Mr.vokoyo. Its situated right in the Malay Archipelago or Kepulauan Melayu or Nusantara.The Malay can freely roaming to n fro or inter districts/islands,no international border then. They even can go to China, India or anyway else if they like to but still be known as Melayu bcos of sawo matang.

This is our land.The Malay land n i dont care whatever name u call now.

Mr.Vokoyo pls read history.

Tq bro rocky.
Lets rock.

bisobonar said...

bro rocky i am a bloggee

Anonymous said...

Nuraina said, "it is easy to mistrust politicians and their actions. in this case, it is just too easy to be suspicious of khir toyo's position.
why is he being accomodating? was he before in other instances?"

Khir Toyo telah memulakan kaedah seperti ini sejak 2001 dengan mengadakan Program Iventori Masalah Rakyat di setiap daerah.

Orang ramai boleh berjumpa dengan MB dan EXCO secara terus tanpa temujanji pada majlis tersebut yang selalunya diadakan selama sehari suntuk.

Mr. Smith said...

"I should have told the operative who told us to drop the issue to fly kite".
If you had done that you would have lost your job?
It's a pity highly principled journalists have to pander to the demands of thieves and crooks.
For the sake of their ricebowl, they have to work in collusion with politicians to commit injustice, distort truth and connive with "legalised criminals".
Just watch how meekly journalist ask questions so as not to offend government leaders.
They avoid asking them embarrassing questions.
How often have they been admonished by VIPs for doing/writing what is right?
Such subserviance from members of a dignified profession. It's sad.

Rocky's Bru said...

thank you mr smith and nuraina.
why didn't i tell that "operative" to fly kite?

the operative was (and still is) a person close to the prime minister. he told us that the seafood restaurant project had already been given the go-ahead by the finance ministry and had the blessing of the prime minister himself. when asked why then the MP and minister was sympathetic with the residents, we were told that the MP/Minister was trying to fish for votes for the coming general election, which was just around the corner. it was 2004 and pak lah had just become the prime minister. he was the Mr Clean, remember? the MP/Minister soon dropped the issue, too, and we were convinced that, yes, the residents were selfish to put themselves before development.

we did not suspect any ties between the new project with the "operative" then. i found out much later that the "operative" had acquired a lot in the new food centre for his own up-market restaurant.

yes, i admit we erred in our judgment. we were wrong to believe that the people who were speaking in favour of seafood centre, as against for the residents, had no vested interest.

the benefit of hindsight, mr smith and nuraina.

elviza said...

Dear Rocky,

I know which seafood centre are you talking about!

Anonymous said...

Dear Rocky,

U are forgiven, everybody make mistakes but hopefully no more in future (the same erred perceptions on politicians). This is the same all over the country. I remember in the 1990s (Dr M's era), a politically connected big rich tycoon wanted to construct "air-conditioned walkalators" around the KL city. Never mind the excellent poor maintenance culture we have, never mind if it's wasted money involving tax-payer or not. As long as some people with political connections can laugh all the way to the bank (and whoever connected to it along the way). Look at Machap campaign currently on-going. The politics of developments is making the voters drunk with joy...millions pouring in. You think they care much of the country's future and all the negative governance issues and happenings. This typical example: "optimism of ignorance and indifference" of voters widespread is the serious sickness of our country.

Anonymous said...

I think it is not correct to say that only the malays are privilged. That is a misconception or an illusion. In this country it is technical-know-who - regardless of race - which makes you privileged or not.

We have large tracts of land all of which belong to god. Who decide to which hands they fall? The state Exco. What is the basis - you and I know. Glenmarie, as an example used to be lalang infested. Now the land there is going for $200 per sq ft. as it moved from one seller to another. But who got it first, and at what price, or may be pay token premium only? It is god's property.

Another example - a company just sold 25 acres of land for 18 million - double the price they paid for, a tidy profit. This same company owns vast tracks of land in ampang area. Same question - how did they manage to get hold of so many acres in the first place? Who gave it to them? Or who got it from the original owner (god)before them?

Can you do an investigation to get to the bottom of all these, and destroy the myth that only malays benefit?

ding-ding said...

Rocky,
This "operative" should have been tackled then. Ah, the benefit of hindsight. He has now gone on to broadcast that he is merely doing the same things as the previous PM's cronies, to justify his wheeling and dealing.

Coming back to the proposed medical center, we do know that the health facility would in theory benefit the locals, but is this going to be the case?
Consider:
1. the unaffordability of private medical care.
2. will foreigners travel all the way to Klang to benefit from the health tourism initiative touted by the promoters?
3. where will the doctors and nurses come from?

Anonymous said...

It's never too late to tell all. Who's the operative? Who are the ones responsible for the mess? Do you dare tell or are you afraid of another law suit?

Let us all know the full story because the rape of Bangsar is still going on and needs to be stopped.

The MP and Minster there is just a big joke. She's just not in charge or just don't care. Maybe she's impotent. Anyway its going to be her last term.