"It is really disheartening that Malaysia, being rich in culture and resources, had been faced with mismanagement by the irresponsible ruling party, Barisan Nasional, who has ruled this country for almost half a decade, despite the trust and confidence entrusted by the Malaysian people.The year 2006 just faded away.
It is hope that with the year 2007, Malaysians of all walks of life will live in peace and harmony, respecting each others beliefs and traditions."
-Mohd Kamal Abdullah
The Barisan Nasional government has been branded corrupt, irresponsible, selfish and uncaring towards the normal rakyat and seems just to care for only the UMNO leaders by offering various goodies to buy their undivided support.
It also seems that UMNO which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition only cares for the UMNOputras although fourteen (14) political parties constitute the Barisan Nasional.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, suppose to be 'Mr Clean' had failed to administer the country and had been described to be sleeping at his job (actually sleeping). There are reports claiming that his family seems to be governing the country and NOT him.
Various empty promises were made by him in the course of the year but until todate there has been nothing sighted or achieved.
The world is progressing at a rapid pace. Looking at the slow moving decision making and implementation, if our Prime Minister does not pull up his socks, we will be faced with much difficulties.
The Prime Minister also need to address the UNITY aspect in much greater detail and find a way to bridge a united Malaysia, where our rakyat can live in peace and harmony.
It is greatly expected that our Prime Minister, with the new year will have to gear up for greater challenges and make Malaysia a caring and progressive country by wiping out totally corruption, nepotism and cronyism which seems to be on a critical stage.
If he is unable to perform them, he should graceful step aside and allow a more capable and able leader to lead the government.
- Kamal-Talks. Read here for more
"Faith is no longer a private matter for Malaysians.
.....Among the more spectacular developments of 2006, apart from frenetic episodes of keris-waving and the odd hysterical ethno-nationalist outburst, were the demonstrations and protests ... ‘Do not insult the laws of God’, ‘Do not offend Islam and Muslims’, ‘Stop the Zionist conspiracy against Islam’...... .(And then) a blanket ban was imposed by the government on public discussion of freedom of religion in Malaysia.
2006.. a year where personal belief and the choice of one’s faith has become a public concern; with debates being taken into the public sphere and consequently politicized.
Is Malaysia still a constitutional democracy where Federal civil law reigns supreme? Are we Malaysians first and foremost, or are we – as suggested by the findings of some recent polls – now defined primarily in terms of our religious beliefs and/or ethnic backgrounds? And what holds for the future of Malaysia, as religious and ethnic communitarian tendencies remain unchecked? How will the nation-building project develop in the years and decades to come, and Will this country eventually be drawn apart by the centrifugal tendencies that compel some of us to seek solidarity and identity amongst our own?
.... Rayappan Anthony, Chandran Dharmadass, M. Moorthy being among those whose families were forced to bear the brunt of emotional turmoil when the religious courts declared they had died as Muslims while their families insisted on the opposite.
....(For) Muslims, like Lina Joy, who had chosen to leave the religion of their birth and convert to another, only to be told that their new status and identity had to be confirmed by the religious authorities again.
The question then arises: WHICH law is supreme in Malaysia?
At stake here are the fundamental liberties of all Malaysians, as well as the future of the country itself.
.... Malaysians of all walks of life and religious backgrounds will therefore have to deal with the question of freedom of religion sooner or later.
Ultimately these thorny questions bring us back to the original question of:
Who , and WHAT , is a Malaysian?If ours is going to be a national politics predicated on the concept of universal citizenship where racial, ethnic and religious identities are secondary to our national identity, then the debates on freedom of religion have to be set in a Malaysian context that prioritizes Malaysian civil law above all else.
This is the legal system that guarantees the right to anyone converting to Islam, and should likewise guarantee the right for someone to leave Islam
..... a Malaysian should have the right to make Islam his or her religion and primary in his or her life. But this rule has to be a universal one that does not discriminate.
It is precisely this universal spirit and value that is being debated now, and for the future of a Malaysia that belongs to ALL Malaysians, we must defend this universalism in our private particular corners, each and every one of us.
Believing should NEVER be a dangerous matter.
-Farish A. Noor - Read here for full article
"......Let Malaysians make a joint 2007 New Year-50th Merdeka Anniversary Resolution to celebrate the half-century of nationhood in a meaningful manner, ....... regardless of race, religion, class or political beliefs , standing up for fair, just and progressive nation-building policies to create towering Malaysians and to stop Malaysia’s loss of international competitiveness.
The most meaningful way ..... is to seek a national consensus as to what had gone wrong with nation-building and how we can learn from the mistakes and failures of the past decades so that we can be more successful in the next 50 years, in particular on the following issues:
National unity – WHY after nearly five decades of nationhood, race relations in Malaysia is “not good, fragile and brittle”, as publicly admitted by the Prime Minister. Inter-religious relations – In the first two decades of nationhood, the government sponsored the establishment of a Inter-Religious Council headed by a Cabinet Minister to promote inter-religious dialogue, understanding and goodwill. Today, the Inter-Faith Council, is regarded as highly sensitive and intolerable by the government-of-the day. What has gone wrong? International competitiveness – the nation was the most developed country in Asia after Japan during Merdeka, but we have not been able to maintain our competitive edge. We are now in the third generation in our downward spiral in the international competitiveness stakes – after falling out of the company of Japan, we have also lost out to Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong and is now engaged in competition with Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Why? An independent judiciary – Malaysia was held in high international esteem until the 1988 judicial crisis, and the nation has NOT fully recovered from the trauma and fall-outs of the successive series of judicial crisis for the ensuing 15 years. How to restore full public confidence in the system of justice in the country? Excellence of education system – In the early decades of nationhood, Malaysia enjoyed international reputation for the quality of its educational system, whether primary, secondary or tertiary. Today, all levels of the education system is in permanent crisis with no solution in sight. Why? Integrity in public life – Corruption and integrity of public life was not a big issue in the early decades of nationhood. Today, it has become a national cancer, Public Enemy No. 1, with worsening national and international perception of corruption in the first three years of the Abdullah premiership. Why? World-class civil service - The nation has lost the world-class civil service and public service delivery system which it had started five decades ago. Why? Human rights and good governance - WHY Malaysia has failed in the past five decades to keep abreast with international progress in human rights and good governance.
-LimKitSiang Blog -Read here for more