Thursday, January 03, 2008

Poster Mail #1

Giving up on Hindraf and the Malaysian Middle-Class
The following is mail I received this morning from commenter Olek Skilgannon, a regular here. I have decided to share with readers what he's shared with me, given that it's highly unlikely that you will read this in the New Straits Times or the other mainstream papers. From time to time I hope to share some of mails sent to me by readers.

Dear Rocky,
I would like to draw your attention to two items in the Singapore Straits Times ( today (Jan 3).
The first is a reprint of a commentary that was published in the Jakarta Post recently. Written by M. Taufiqurrahman, its theme is that middle-class support in Malaysia keeps Umno safe. An interesting thesis, yes?
The writer said in his commentary:
"It is the attitude of the middle class that could help shed some light on why democracy is all too rare in Malaysia.
"More than 30 years of economic patronage from the ruling Umno party, which favours the Malay majority in its distribution of resources, have given rise to a complacent middle class that has been resistant to any change that would threaten its privileged position....
"Members of the middle class have shut out the clarion call of Reformasi. Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN), led by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of Datuk Seri Anwar, exposed the alleged corrupt practices of the regime in the hope of appealing to "liberal" Malays and those who valued the economic growth fostered by Umno but were alienated by the government.
"The issue proved to be a hard sell and the PKN failed miserably. In the last general election, in 2004, the PKN's share of the votes fell from 11.5 per cent in 1999 to 8.27 per cent, while its share of seats in Parliament dropped from 2.6 per cent to a meagre 0.45 per cent.....
"The unwillingness of the middle class to punish a corrupt regime in Malaysia has only bolstered the resolve of the elite to perpetuate its stranglehold on society. This will only make it more difficult to establish a true democratic polity.
"The likelihood of Malaysia emulating Indonesia's experience of a mass-movement-driven democratic transition led by a disaffected middle class is very low, simply because there is no dissatisfaction among the middle class to begin with.
"The Umno regime has not reached the point where it has started alienating the middle class in the way that Indonesia's former president Suharto did with his odious rent-seeking activities.
"Middle-class inertia in Malaysia has been compounded by the unity of the elite.
"For most of modern Malaysian history, major political changes have been the result of wheeling and dealing by the country's elite.....
"But Malaysian elites are known to be cohesive. After a bitter conflict, top politicians traditionally embrace those who have fallen from grace.
"Such a quasi-democracy will likely reign for years to come in our neighbouring country".
A pretty astute analysis, wouldn't you think?
If the writer's thesis is correct, Hindraf, Bersih and opposition parties (and bloggers and journalists too) are just passing irritations in the wind, as far as the Malaysian government is concerned.
The second item in the Straits Times is an AP report on P. Waytha Moorthy, the chairman of Hindraf, who is in self-imposed exile in London.
Headlined "Indians 'fighting losing battle for equal rights'", it reports that Mr Moorthy has more or less given up hope of achieving anything substantial in Malaysia.
The report quotes him as saying:
"We are fighting a losing battle, we know. We try our level best, but if we don't succeed, we have to call it a day, isn't it? We may have to close the chapter. There may be a new chapter, but we may not be part of the next chapter. I know, eventually, we will also fail...."
He said, according to the report, that if the Indian minority in Malaysia could get "two or three real concessions, we are willing to keep our mouths shut."
"Why isn't the government conceding? We are not asking for super rights, we are asking for basic rights."
And he went on: "What can we do, we will still do. But if the whole struggle is going to die, what can we do? As it stands now, I don't think we can accelerate...I will keep pushing it, but again, to what extent? Funds are limited. Once we have exhausted our funds, that's it. It's sad but there is nothing I can do after that. Let somebody else continue".
He said his biggest worry was that when Hindraf fails, poor and uneducated Indians will come to hate the government even more and may resort to violence. He stressed, however, that he did not condone violence.
"So by stopping us today, they are actually planting the seeds of future hatred....I would prefer to keep pushing, keep the people's spirits high. The safest thing to do is to conduct prayers."
Dear Rocky,
You can literally feel the man's discouragement. Add in his chilling warning of "planting the seeds of future hatred" and I am reminded of the Biblical adage that one reaps what he or she sows.
I don't think that the mainstream Malaysian newspapers will carry either the Jakarta Post commentary or the AP report on Mr Waytha Moorthy. Hopefully, your blog could disseminate these to a wider audience.

Thank you,

Olek Skilgannon


  1. I think the government has no choice but to listen to Indians now (i see some positive statements coming out from the BN gomen). I think Hindraf did have some impact.

    One thing for sure, it takes a lot of energy fighting for something. I am already exhausted reading these stories so I can imagine what it takes for someone to keep fighting.

    My hats off to Nelson Mandela who kept it real.

  2. Anonymous3:40 pm

    readers, wanna join the banwagon to boycott MSM/ if so, go to haris ibrahim blog and read on. it will really be interesting once the numbers reach critical mass and MSM having to respond to the boycott.
    i have been boycotting the nasty pee stable of publications since the unfair suit against rocky and jeff. now, the call for boycott is against massive spins by MSM!

  3. Anonymous3:55 pm

    Same like me, there are always two-face of the coin. It was said that "The unwillingness of the middle class to punish a corrupt regime....." but on the other hand I can safely say that the middle class fully support the current regime. It was also said "a complacent middle class....." when I say the middle class is blossoming because of the success of the government policy.

    Is it Malaysia that bad? Are we really going down the gutter? Are there people who died of hunger? Let's put things in perspectivelah. Moorthy is running away to UK to seek refuge. Is he aware of the plight of Asians (as they called the Indians) in the United Kingdom or other minorities. In the history of the UK, Boeting is the only black secretary of state level in the cabinet. In Malaysia, with 7% of the population, the Indians can get ministerial posts, parliamentary and state seats and those are facts. The example given on UK politics and also USA whereby Barrack Obama is the only third black congressman in its history proves that Malaysia is better in that sense.

    Talking about democracy, will PPP with 60% Indian members get a Malay President. Or a Malay Chief Minister of Penang via Gerakan or a Malay Sec Gen for DAP. Tian Chua for President of Keadilan. Got my drift?

  4. Anonymous4:20 pm

    "planting the seeds of future hatred"
    BRO! berdirilah ditengah sawah padi,kitakan lihat kehijauan yang luas.

  5. Issue 1- Middle Class and UMNO --
    The writer said it as though it is the middle class which determines the fate and the acceptance of UMNO in the political scene when we know that
    - the bulk of voters/malays are not from that group
    - due to thier status, the middle class familly units are generally well educated and well informed and is not easily swayed by sentiments or easily influenced and that many middle class malay units are not in business and thus dont benefit directly from political patronage
    - PKR like (and including) any other opposition party (or barisan alternative) is not a credible party or alternative over UMNO. It is not a purely malay or bumi party like umno and it is the general acceptance of many that it is lead by someone who is a suspect from the point of view his soxual orientation which is A COMPLETE NO NO to any true moslem.
    - PAS? let me know when pas is a good alternative!

    I am a malay and I choose to be a voter/ have some say/do things in what the government (umno) is doing for the malay community. I have been choosing umno because umno has been the only viable and credible option .
    I can go on with a few more but suffice for now.


    As far as I am aware and including from my reading of official reports, it is not the indian who is the poorest in the country. If you take history into account too,current status of the races, amongst the 3 majority races, it is the malays who should be doing demonstrations every week. When the indian is not the worst lot, how could it potrayed as such and demand through the means of demonstration!

    This threatening statement of violence by hindraf is not helping thier cause. In todays concern about terrorism, any such act will never be welcome by anybody, domestic or international.

    HEY, if you have problem with the government or MIC, use the ballot box. I guess some people prefer to see, this week, indian demos, next week, chinese demos, one other week, the malays demonstrating.

    Wait, we have the orang asli, the portugese, bidayuh, senoi, dayak, etcetc too. 30 races in all?

    Let us all take turn to demonstrate where every race will have thier turn every 30 demos or so! Whilst we are demostrating, lets burn buildings, cars and motorcycles, public and private properties! I never understand why these demonstrators do that.

  6. Anonymous5:48 pm


    This is the curse of the middle class especially in Malaysia. We are too complacent and as long as it does not affect me, why bother...

  7. it is not only the malay middle class that is complacent and continue to give full support to the corrupt BN regime.

    The working class is even more so and perhaps even harder to change.

    what i can not understand is how a right thinking people can sleep well knowing full well that they are supporting people who are clearly corrupt,and for a practising muslim , how can he reconcile his conscience with his action when there is a clearly more islamic party alternative around.

  8. Anonymous6:24 pm

    Rocky Bro & bloggers,

    welcome to the real world !

    It's the majority votes that count and these majority voters gets what they voted for.

    Better work harder and stop complaining.

  9. Anonymous8:10 pm

    Anon @ 3.40 p.m.

    On the other side of it, boycotting the MSM will also mean denying the livelihood earnings of these newspapers vendors. Every morning for many years, there is these 2 Indian guys selling newspapers besides the shop walkaways. Very strategically located. They were always there rain or shine minus the days when the papers were on holiday themselves. Those were the days I saw a line of cars and motorbikes waiting to buy these newspapers (me included). Nowadays, I can see their business dwindling...their newspapers stacks don't appear to be that many as before. Not the normal scenes I used to see.

    Whilst the reasons can be various ~ either the boycott call is effective, or people have the internet now to read their news, or other possible reasons, I can't help wondering about these smalltime vendors. They, too are trying to earn a living here.

    Boycotting is not the answer. We can boycott to read the political news that appear lop-sided but there are other articles in the newspapers that are worth reading too. So many other sections in the newspapers that can infact either educate us or interest us.

    As for me ~ even though I do use the internet alot for reading sources, I also favour reading the newspapers over my plate of nasi lemak and nescafe tarik before I start my day's work.

  10. Anonymous8:11 pm

    Another fine analytical work of social art, which is really , quite stating the obvious esp for city folks. but then again the source of BN's power thus far is the kampungs ala nasi lemak, mat rempit that kind of mentality things. The middle class being what they are dun want to rock any boat for sure. The Malays will never change neither the Indians nor the chinese. status quo therabouts as I see it for the next 50 years before self destructing . A certainty,QED.

  11. Age: 32
    Industry: Consulting
    Occupation: Sr. e-Learning Consultant
    Location: Chicago : IL : United States
    About Me
    Originally from Malaysia, currently residing in Chicago, IL.

    i will not try insulting u .trying my best and bestest !!.. ur probably better the the Vagabond Dogs of relatives and cousins you left behind .You dont live here now ... shut the you know what ....and loose the RAJANIKANTH look alike Shades .You ran away like the mongrel u are to Uncle Sam's Lap .You LOST your RIGHT !

  12. ROCK .. aku blurr sikit ,, is there an ANAGRAM or PALINDROME that we should be analyising from BKT CHANDAN ?? enlighten us pls ...

  13. Bang Rocky .... tak perlu u rock the Boat lagi kot ?? The dogs can bark ,, but the caravan must move . pls bro ! Let this hindraf ISSUE to rest .Agak letih LAH BANG . apologies if i ERRed .

  14. Anonymous9:50 pm

    Skilgannon's excitement over newspaper reports of the Straits Times in Singapore and Indonesian paper remind me of your former newspaper front page story with Uthaya's hand raised in clenched fist for picture effect.

    As a newspaper reporter Rocky, I think I do not have to instruct you as to how such newspapers contruct "pieces" or operate. The Star, like you chose to duplicate a full-colour copy of that frontpage picture to support their weeks of allegations and propaganda against Hindraf.

    Often such debauched spectales of newspaper excretions lead me to the nearest coffee shop toilet. These toilets are an excellent case-study and resemble the workings of these so-called newspaper droppings.

    As to your regular blog contributor's postulation and theory that the middle class Indians have been all along supporting Barisan, it smells of another convenient attempt to blame the Indians. This time, the Indian middle class are the ugly dark evil villans. What else is new?

    As I often stated here in your blog and others, Indians have consistently supported unpopular causes, espcially in fighting for human rights issues, and long legal battles of various races and communities in Malaysia.

    However, when they stand for their rights, they stand alone. And the the most incredible thing is that there are even Indians who will stand against Indians backing up allegations and insunations that will make any banana leaf turn yellow before the rice gets on it.

    Perhaps Skilnagon could try chewing on this deep-fried spicy chill. My theory why Barisan always wins, even in urban areas where Indians or Chinese votes are the determining factor is this: Electoral Rigging. Independent research and evidence backs up this statement.

    More than 30,000 people marched the streets of Kuala Lumpur and thousands at home marched with them in spirit because they know for a fact that you can't have a cracked pot and cook a perfect meal at the same time. So, try a little objective research and you won't have to spend time on conspisary theories.

    No matter who you vote, gerrymandering, postal-votes and a host of other diabolical hijackings, phantom votes and other interventions will ensure a barisan victory. So, may I suggest that Skilganon sharpen his skills and spare us the heaping serving of instutionalised media of our neighboring countries as it does leave a bad taste in the mouth.

    It takes me to varying degrees of hilarity and sorrow to observe the sources some will go and swear by when the fingerprints of deceit and selectivity are all over it.

  15. As the saying goes
    When the journey is tough
    It is tougher still to make it work
    It is here the difference of boys and men
    Girls and women

    Nothing always comes easy
    Every one has to earn it
    Sometimes it is so damned miserable
    Sometimes you think it is hopeless
    Yet you see a light in the dark clouds

    Religious texts have many stories
    Read it in the pages through history
    Look at the Roman Empire
    Nobody thought it could collapse
    It did through its own policies and arrogance
    It will happen here and so is the Trojan horse in place
    The simmering smoke will turn into fire
    Then a new chapter will be written

    The footprints had been done
    It is there recorded in history
    Nobody can dispute it
    It will happen
    Even though it looks unshakeable

    It is the virus in the belly
    When many small traumas hitting the streets
    In the blogs, sex scandals, corruption, cronyism
    Unfairly treatments, discriminations, uneven wealth distributions
    When the sinful leaders try to cover their secrets
    They don’t know what hit them eventually

    The road to freedom
    For the people won’t be easy
    It is the pushing and more pushing
    Until the line is reached
    Then they know the reason
    Obstacles put on their journey

  16. Anonymous10:48 pm

    ahhh... another tun dr. mahathir's legacy.. the enlargement of the middle class.. especially the malays

  17. Anonymous10:51 pm

    two-face, no one's saying that people are literally dying of hunger here, but your comparison with the UK is flawed.

    Firstly, the Indian/Pakistan/Bangladeshi community of the UK only form 3.6% of the population, which is only half of the percentage of indians in Malaysia. Secondly, most of the Asian community only emigrated to the UK in the 1950's, and only now do you get the 2nd generation starting to take positions in political life, while some of the Indians in Malaysia have been there since the late 1800's. Note that at independence, the Indians formed 24% of the population and were a force to reckoned with.

    As for the US? I think it's done very well, considering that it only lifted segregation of the blacks and whites less than 50 years ago with the Race Relations Act, and one should note that this happened after we achieved independence.

    Last I checked, we didn't have any frontrunner for the position for Prime Minister who's from a ethnic minority.

    The problem with the PPP, Gerakan, DAP, Keadilan is not something of their making. Their members and the populace grew up with the concept of race being grilled into them and what else do you expect? That they simply drop them when it's been ingrained into their minds by our BN government?

  18. Anonymous10:57 pm

    Srikanth siva,

    Nelson Mandela? What? Indians have to sit at the back of the bus in Malaysia?


    Fighting a loosing battle? It's always been a fact even before Malaysia...

  19. If Waythamoorthy is reading this, I would like to tell him that a demonstration or a rally does not have to mean that people have to congregate in any one place. Hindraf can also have a show of force once again in the next few weeks without needing any police permit or causing anyone any pain. Indeed even the police or the FRU need not come out of their barracks for this one. Waythamoorthy said prayers. Yes. Prayers. But keep the prayers to within temples closest to home or your regular temples that you go to. Do this until the Hindraf 5 are released. If you still don't get what or where the impact lies in, just ask yourself this, if everyone did what I have asked, who do you think will be at Batu Caves this Thaipusam? Now, where up to even a million people have been claimed to have been present on that day, if only a few thousand turn up...tell me , will this be a greater statement than the Nov 25th rally?

  20. Anonymous11:57 pm

    For both classes, compromise could be a better word!

    If shut off and then has peace, many will.
    But life today hardly so even for middle class.
    Water, Toll, Tax, Licenses, security and others come to knock on every doors!
    Abusing of Rights in many government floors!
    Anyone push hard to move, Seditious and ISA called forwards!
    Fairness have not been planted in much of the heart and soul of middle class
    especially when life is getting tough.
    The culture in many many Malaysian not only the Middle class!

    With a vote they may try
    if and only if succeeded, then, will willing to continue in life.
    Education and promotion of HR remain the only light!
    Any leader can provide People the the trust to go for HR remains to be sparked!

    For Hindus, no one yet had shown or will show the possibility of equal rights.
    They may try the vote.
    But, whether they prefer compromise before the GE or after to choose,
    even their leader not sure!
    They must understand they have to put their trust into their leader
    or nothing can be done if compromised before the Vote!!
    BN had failed with promises
    so should they bet with BN or new to come?

    The lacking of who, how and when!!

    The vote will go to someone which can give confidence to answer the Who, how and when?

    The walk of Confidence with lights of HR to come!
    Mentalities have been touched
    but conditions and situations not put together to inspire but decline!!
    They viewed not all the sides!

  21. Anonymous2:40 am

    I am sick and tired of the Hindraf 'leaders' volunteering the Indians to commit violence on behalf of all suffering Indians.

    I was at the Hindraf rally, and for much of the 8-10 hours (3am-1pm) of the gathering, these 'leaders' were nowhere to be seen, and no one knew where they were. It was the poor Indians (Waytha and Uthaya are middle-class, remember) who had to endure the heat, the water, the teargas. They were the ones running around the city.

    From what I saw, they were largely a peaceful people, and if not instigated to go against their nature, will remain peaceful.

    I'm sure Waytha and Uthaya have their exit plans. If so, they can take it. But please don't offer up Indian blood for sacrifice. It's not yours to make!

  22. Middle class factor - UMNO have 'dumbed down' the malays for far too long.

    Now they can't see 'better governance' i.e. better career and/or business opportunities even if it's staring at them, preferring instead the 'guided' future promised by the current leadership.

    Until the globalised world sweeps by us and then, it will be too late.

    The British advisers of yonder years replicated themselves within UMNO.

    The natives are still as blissful as before. Complacently blissful, that is.
    WM's statement - He's there. The Hindraf supporters are still here. Sums up the situation.

    The fight can still continue with better leaders who are able to place their sights on winning the war, not just battles. Winning hearts and minds are not the end-game of mercenaries. Choose wisely.

  23. ""Hindraf Chief Calls It Quits, Says Illegal Group Fighting Lost Cause..""

    Is it true???

    This is what the stupid media could manipulate.. I will publish you the HINDRAF press report which i just received an hour before.Stay Tuned to "Malaysia Today".You will know what exactly what did the Hindraf exiled leader said.

    Good Luck

  24. one word for jediraj: psycho!

  25. Anonymous9:28 am

    When a substantial portion of the population is middle class a country then becomes stable and more tolerant of radical voices because teh middle class is the bulawrk of stability
    The middle class is the group of people that will keep the country humming and moving forward
    just look at all the developed nations which have a large middle class population, their politics is stable because the middle class keep their difference of opinion civil as they understand that instability wrecks everyone's future
    in these countries change also move slowly because everyone needs to be careful and consider all sides (look at how long it is taking the US to ratify the Kyoto protocol)
    if we want a two party system then we need a strong middle class but it also means that the opposition cannot play on radical issues and need to move to the centre to appeal to them (again look at developed countries politics where the wining side be it labour, conservative, christian democrat, republican or democrats are barely distinguishable from each other except on some small points of detail
    dont run down the middle class just because they want stability

    What is being pointed by out the e-mail to rocky here is old hat but it has been given a radical spin

    the indian commnity's fate depends much on how the middle class indians ract to hindraf or any other movement that claims to represent the poor or marginalised because they are in political control

    the middle class always wants more ways to improve the efficiency of administration because it makes it easier for them to make money but of course they also want to protect their political patrons because it helps the money flow their way

    At least thats the way i see it

  26. BN's strategy will exhaust the people's fight slowly.

    I think unless the proportion of fights gets bigger, then it is only then the battle against evil will prevail.

    So Malaysians please fight against the evil for all you children.

  27. Anonymous11:12 am

    Has racial share the job or powder on the top?
    Should race and religion be emphasized when equality and fairness should be on top?

    Try to have a cart pull by horses
    And the same cart to be pushed by the horses!
    Which should drive which, a logic is needed!

    Are family-stream and Royalty to be lived with or for reference only?
    Should those without these be out of the stream?
    Have Royalty given the shine on poverty or inequalities?
    Races and religions are fact.
    Should these stay in one world of God or in different world with many Gods!

    Is Malaysia part of the world
    or world part of Malaysia?
    For Malaysian to go to the world
    or world to go to Malaysia?

    The world will read the mindset to come!
    Can a Malaysian with the mindset of race and religion go to the world?

    Watch the world as the world is also watching YOU!
    Both ways & not Both faces can do!

  28. Anonymous11:37 am


    I am looking at the bigger picture, 3.6% or 7% doesn't really matter. The fact is with both percentages under democracy, you can only dream to win any seats let alone be a minister. But in Malaysia.....I donn't want to be a broken record.

    Those who subscribe to the so-called 'multi-racial' politics must championed the cause themselves. How can you point fingers to BN when you can't practise what you preach. DAP, PPP, Gerakan and Keadilan are actually worse because they misleading the people in the guise of multi-racialism. But I understand that this is politics and in politics the end justify the means.

    Brian, I like to post this question to minorities, will a Malay win a seat in a Chinese-majority area, say Kota Melaka? The Malays WILL always vote Chinese/Indian in a Malay-majority areas like Bukit Gantang, Ampang Jaya and a lot more.

    In the US, you can put as many acts as you want, but when it comes to voting, more often than not, it is the colour of your skin that matters.

    It is in your heart, my friend...sincerity is most important. You talked about a minority being a front-runner for Malaysian Prime Minister. You tell me how can the majority (read Malay) vote for a minority when the minority can't even vote for a Malay candidate in the example given above.

  29. Anonymous12:37 pm

    Equalizing Nelson Mandela and Hindraf in the course of fight??

    WTF..are these people idiot or what..??

    - Nelson Mandela fought against the MINORITY white man..

    - HINDRAF is fighthing against the MAJORITY Malays & Muslims..

    Still didn't get the clear picture, do ya..?

    Not so smart after

    thought you are well nurtured with the so called advanced western thinking..

    WTF! just a same Hindraf product..only different packaging...all the same..!

  30. dudette's, if you read my comment correctly, all i am saying is that it takes a lot of energy to fight!

    I am not comparing nelson mandela to hindraf!!

    I am saying hats off to him who kept fighting for over 40 years in a cause he believed was right. It is not easy to stand up for one's belief and continue fighting for the longest time.

  31. Anonymous2:21 pm


    Before you get your knickers in a twist, please re-read the report in Rocky's blog.

    The commentary in a respected Indonesian newspaper - the Jakarta Post - said that "a complacent middle class...has been resistant to any change that would threaten its privileged position".

    I have the commentary in front of me as I write this.

    And note that the Jakarta Post commentator referred to the middle class in Malaysia - not specifically middle class Malaysian Indians.

    I take that to mean that the majority of middle class Malaysian Malays, Chinese and Indians either support the status quo or are quietly resigned to it.

    If you are saying that the Jakarta Post has "twisted" the issue, then it would be appropriate for you to back up your claim by citing evidence of such "twists".

    But then, I have read, and re-read, the commentary in its entirety. Have you?

  32. Anonymous6:59 pm

    Yeah rite DUDE ... Live in the Windy City ..have ur dinner at Gibsons stakehouse , have ur beer where everybody knows ur name (thats Cheers) and bitch about the problems indians face in MALAYSIA . woi . we live here ,, we solve our own problems . You stay out of this . LIA MMAH !!

  33. Anonymous7:06 pm

    Srikanth .... tolong visit WWW.LUPUNYAMAKPUNYAPUKI.COM.CHICAGO ........... ini bukan lu punya hal ... diam lah

  34. Anonymous7:09 pm

    two face, I agree about the US case. when you hear people talking about Obama, more often than not they'll mention he's black, which still shows that people find it hard to look past the skin colour.

    Personally, my opinion is that due to the racial divide(which in my opinion is a symptom of BN's failure to bridge the divide), we'll always see the opposition parties having to play (unofficially) the race card, with the DAP unofficially being the party of choice for the chinese, and as you've said, the ends justify the means.

    it is a sad realisation to see this, but it's even sadder for me to see that 50 years later, we're not any more united, probably even more divided, thinking more along racial lines than anything else.

    As for your point about Kota Melaka, I agree wholeheartedly, it's always going to be tough if not impossible for a Malay to win seats like Kota Melaka. It's just one of those regrettable Chinese traits whereby they are suspicious of one outside their community.

    Personally, my opinion of why the Malays are willing to vote in the non-Malays but the non-Malays are unwilling to do the same is probably due to the "we're under siege!" mentality of the non-Malays, while the Malays have a significant political cushion to rest upon. Why is it that the non Malays have such a mentality? Well one of the reasons can be seen in Najib's keris speech years ago, Hishamuddin raising the keris, and really, I was quite perfectly happy to be apolitical until Hishamuddin raised his keris.

    It is interesting however, to note that after years of being told I'm Chinese, I'm beginning to discover my Malay heritage, of which I'm quite proud of. (Grandma's a nyonya)

    To end on a happy note, I see that Obama's won the Iowa caucus, which might provide some sort of a roadmap for Malaysia if he ends up winning the presidency don't you think?

  35. Dear Rocky,

    It is quite depressing to read that the middle class supports the present status quo.

    I see... your friend's letter is quoting the Jakarta Post. This reminds me of the old adage: "raajat masih bodoh".

    I suppose in Malaysia we have to say: raajat masih bodoh tentang demokrasi...

    This is very depressing… but perhaps there might be some hope.

    Remember, that in 1996 and 1997, Suharto’s Orde Baru was very strong. In 1996, Suharto successfully engineered Megawati’s political downfall. Suharto was bapak pembangunan and everybody wants AIDS – aku ingin ditelepon Suharto.

    But in 1998, everything changed….

    Of course, Malaysia too almost had a reformasi that year…

    Perhaps democracy activists and enthusiasts in Malaysia are all dreaming….

    In that case, I better not continue commenting anymore…

    Anyway, I would like to share something with you and the readers of this blog. This is an article written about the situation in Indonesia:

    Here are the details of this article:
    Of Cracks and Crackdowns: Five Translations of Recent Internet Postings
    Jesse Randall
    Indonesia, Vol. 62,(Oct., 1996), pp. 37-51.

    And here is the link:

    This article should be accessible to all. If not please tell me so that I can e-mail it to Rocky and he can share to those who are interested.

  36. Anonymous10:03 am

    Some people assume that the ballot box is equivalent to the bullet. i.e the moment one casts his/her vote things may change. A utopian thought in Malaysia. The ballot box is not that but more whereby it is heavily tilted to the ruling Barisan. This is done by electoral weightage, i.e 1(one) parit sulong vote is equall to 10 (ten)Bukit Bintang vote.

  37. Anonymous12:09 pm

    Well dude...

    Mandele was on the right course in his fight and the exhaustion he gone throught did pay off well for everybody..

    and as for Hindraf, its a totally reverse of that rule..wasting energy along the way in this futile fight of minority against majority..(do these idiot lawyers learned anything about fundamental democracy rule?)

    Hindraf is just accumulating destruction to others in persuing their way of fight? Does this Waryaidiot want Malaysia to be like Iraq..he just want to see from far the destruction of Malaysia with the help of the Western as i see it..?

    Hunt this animal & shoot it down will somebody, please..?!

    why should the so called others (read the majority malays & muslim) have a pity for this bloody pest?

    I sense there's a big flaw in Hindraf leader cranium..& it does not require NDT ultrascan or rocket-science to prove it..

    He is just an idiot who think he is so smart in his own self-idolation view..and somebody need to put a stop to this idiot before he bring more damage to Malaysia! [period]

  38. Anonymous11:17 am

    I agree with two-face. Information and opinion doesn't exist in a vacuum. And even bloggers have agendas. That is not bad, just human. What is sickening is the crude descent into simplee hyperboles when the truth on the ground is always much more complicated. What people call as complacent middle class, we regard as prudent middle class. It is the middle class that is the final rearguard of any civil society to extremism, whether from the government or the opposition. And we are aware of grandstanding prima donnas, whether they wear the BN hat or the Opposition or "impartial" NGO hats. As we are insulted by crude government propaganda, we are also sick to the core by the opposition and bloggers propaganda. You guys talk of moderation, but moderation set out of context of political reality is in truth deception. But deception for what purpose?