Wednesday, December 29, 2010

‘SALADIN: THE HERO WHO BECAME A LEGEND’ – WHO FAILS IN HIS NEW MISSION.

…IT DEMEANS THE ARAB, ALL MUSLIMS AND ISLAM – WHICH ANYONE CAN DO WITHOUT HAVING TO SPEND MILLIONS. (JUST TALK TO GEERT WILDERS AND TERRY JONES!)
By Mansor Puteh



ARE SALADIN AND THE OTHERS IN THIS ANIMATED TELEVISON SERIAL ARAB
AND MUSLIMS IN THE FIRST PLACE? THEY DO NOT LOOK LIKE IT.

DOES THE WORLD NOW KNOW MORE OF WHO HE AND THE OTHER
CHARACTERS ARE?

IF THE OLD ‘CHARLIE CHAN’ POLICE TELEVISION DRAMA SERIAL COULD BE
DEEMED TO BE OFFENSIVE TO THE CHINESE; THEN ‘SALADIN’ CAN ALSO BE
SAID TO HAVE DONE THE SAME TO THE ARAB, ALL MUSLIMS AND ISLAM – THE
1.7 BILLION OF THEM WORLDWIDE.

It’s not just that ‘Charlie Chan’ was produced by non-Chinese was The matter, but more than
that it demeans all the Chinese as people who are uncultured.

No wonder the serial has never been released on television ever again even for late night repeats
on American television.

Rudolf Valentino playing an Arab sheikh in ‘The Sheik’ and ‘The Son of Sheik’ is another story
altogether.

We can blame the Americans for being naïve for creating Charlie Chan the way they did a long
time ago.

And can’t we also blame the financers and producers of ‘Saladin: The Hero who became a
legend’ also for being equally naïve and insensitive for what they had done fairly recently?

Haven’t they all learnt from the ‘Charlie Chan’ debacle? Don’t they know Hollywood history?

If Salahuddin al-Ayubi has to be resurrected from the grave, it must be done with a real and
genuine purpose.

Saladin should be given a new task to perform especially now in the post-911 era of uncertainty
and of Islamophobia.

He should not be used to allow some companies to make a tidy profit while not proving much to
push the limits of the computer generated image or CGI expertise in the country.

The limited animated television serial is too superficial, stylized and too Hollywood and devoid
of soul and Islamic and Arab dements and perspective to be relevant to the times in the post-911
era.

It definitely demeans the Arab and Islam. It suffers from poor research and scriptwriting and
emphasis, so it lacks relevance to the time.

If the names and places in the serial are changed, no one could tell the difference as it could pass
or any animated serial.

To say it in a rough way: it is a stupid production, tasteless and utterly meaningless.

Most film critics in Malaysia find this animated limited television serial which is being shown on
RTM in two versions to be difficult to review. They are confused by it or they simply do not care
to watch it to find out what it is all about.

I am not confused or awed by it.

So till now there is not one of them and other amateur reviewers have dared to even write about
it.

They did not know how to look at it or worse, to review, much less, to criticize it.

They were awed with its creative and artistic qualities because it is ‘too Hollywood’. Therefore, it
cannot be touched or commented.

I beg to differ.

Apart from the its high animation quality, the other more important elements and aspects have
been neglected by the creators of this animation.

This is despite the huge amount of money that had been spent on its production – or RM30
million and financed entirely by MDec and Aljazeera.

These two concerns should know better. And how on earth were they awed with such a
production which deals with a popular and influential Arab character? I am not. And I have valid
reasons for saying so.

First, concerns the amount that has been spent. For it, a full-length feature-length version should
have been produced for the cinemas worldwide, considering how Saladin, as he is known
internationally can become another hit, if only the producers or Saladin Al-Ayubi and their
financiers know this.

But what they did not know right from the beginning was that having such a plain title for a
production reveals the depravity in their appreciation of who he was and what he still is today
especially amongst the Arab and Muslims.

Two, the failure of this serial is how it looks too Hollywood. So it does not mean much as it did
not aim to be original.

The Japanese animators deliberately did not want their productions and animated characters to
look Hollywood; they created them to look different. And this difference was what had awed
Hollywood enough to proclaim their animators to be of world standard and at par with them.

The animators of Saladin Al-Ayubi have not managed to awe Hollywood even with their attempt
to do so by trying to copy them.

All the characters in Saladin Al-Ayubi look and sound too American. In fact, they also behave
like Americans in all aspects – psychological and physical with Saladin having blonde hair and a
thick American accent.

The worst part of it all is how the creators and producers of this limited animated serial who are
non-Muslims Malaysian had betrayed the trust that was given to them.

For such a huge amount that was given to them to produce this serial, couldn’t they engage an
Arab or Melayu historian to help provide another dimension to it?

Saladin is not a happy-go-lucky person who enjoys adventures and jumping about. He is more
than that. He is an Arab and also more importantly an Islamic propagator.

Unfortunately, these aspects were not stressed.

In the end Saladin was shown to look and behave like Mickey Mouse, with the other characters
looking no better.

In short, Saladin Al-Ayubi is a poorly produced limited animated serial on Saladin, the hero of
the Arab and an Islamic propagator.

His gestures are not Arab in nature. There is no Islamic salutation of ‘asalamulaikum’ and
hugging.

The movements of the characters are crude with a lot of fancy Hong Kong-style actions showing
human characters flying in the air in cinematic kung fu formations.

Saladin had earlier appeared in a Hollywood feature film production called Kingdom of Heaven
where the director, Scott Ridley, deliberately and took pains to paint him as a humanist.

I feel sorry for MDec and Aljazeera for approving and supporting the production of this
animated serial.

It has failed in many ways.

At a time like this when Muslims and Islam have been heavily criticized by some others especially
those in the west who suffer from Islamophobia, due to the failures of the foreign policies of
their respective governments, such an animated serial on Saladin can cause many to look at the
Arab and Islam in a totally new light.

Unfortunately, this didn’t happen.

The reason being the producers and their financiers merely wanted to make fun of Saladin and
not attempting to show him in the context of the present political quagmire the Arabs have got
themselves in, due mostly to the political adventures of the others in the west.

Therefore, Saladin Al-Ayub, the animated television serial has no context, political or otherwise.
It is just an animated serial for television. Worse, it looks like it was made for underage children
and non-critical viewers.

It is not enough that it has been shown in many countries, mainly in the Arab World, but has it
managed to create excitement amongst the historians and other experts? No.

Even in Malaysia where it has been shown for a few weeks, it has not managed to create any
excitement, simply because it is too watered down and too American as well as too Hollywood.

Therefore, it looks too alien.

Many Melayu and Muslims in Malaysia will even want to find it too repulsive simply because the
producers who are not Melayu or Muslims had unknowingly taken it upon themselves, to defame
the Arabs and Islam by not making Saladin and the other characters look like they are proud
Arabs and Muslims.

In fact, they don’t look Muslims at all as much as Mickey Mouse does not look like a mouse.

MDec and Aljazeera who do not have experts in Saladin have failed in their duties to protect his
image and to trust him in a new and important light for the viewers to enjoy watching him more.

They should remember that having the financial resources and creativity alone do not guarantee
that their production can be admired by those who can afford and who are qualified to study
them.

In short, my final analysis is that the limited animated serial called Saladin Al-Ayubi failed
miserably.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

LIM CHONG EU – FATHER OF INDUSTRIALIZATION OF PULAU PINANG – ONLY TO THE CHINESE.

…BUT TO THE MELAYU THERE, HE CAN BE DESCRIBED AS THE FATHER OF MELAYU BACKWARDNESS IN PULAU PINANG.
By Mansor Puteh



QUESTIONS WHICH LIM CHONG EU COULD NOT BE POSED ANYMORE ARE: DID HE SUPPORT THE NEW ECONOMIC POLICY AND WAS HE A CHINESE CHAUVINST IN GUISE OF A TRUE LIBERAL MALAYSIAN?

HIS DEATH HAS SUDDENLY CAUSED SOME MELAYU TO WANT TO BRING UP THESE QUESTIONS AND ALSO WHY WAS HE ACCORDED A STATE FUNERAL LIKE HE WAS THE ‘SULTAN OF PULAU PINANG?’

THE REASON BEING HIS TRACK RECORD SEEMS TO SHOW HE DID NOT AND THE MELAYU IN THE STATE WERE IN A STATE OF CONFUSION AND INTELLECTUALLY BACKWARD, NOT KNOWING WHAT HE WAS DOING THEN.

Even the Melayu political and community leaders were also not smart enough to notice a slippery eel who could do untold damage to the position of the Melayu in Pulau Pinang, when they saw one.

The former Pulau Pinang Gerakan chief minister of Pulau Pinang died on 24 November after being ill for a while. He was ninety-one years.

He was given a state funeral like he was the ‘sultan of Pulau Pinang’ on Sunday, 29 November for having been chief minister of Pulau Pinang for twenty-one years and was unofficially declared ‘father of industrialization’ of the state.

It was noticeable how the Melayu on the island were not seen at his funeral and along the roads his cortege passed like it was also noticeable how so few Chinese and Indians were seen at the funeral of the sultans including those who were given titles by them when they were alive.

And for nothing Gerakan became a national political party when it was one based in Pulau Pinang when it joined Barisan Nasional together with PPP which was also a party based in Perak.

One wonders why some of the parties based in Sabah and Sarawak had not bothered to expand their influence throughout the country after they also joined Barisan.

Not many Melayu in Pulau Pinang had come to pay homage to him at his funeral. They had nothing to be grateful to him for, now that they are aware of what he had done in all those twenty-one years.

And after being sidelined after the last 2008 general election he emerged in less appealing state as an elder statesman or former chief minister of the state.

It was a negative climax for his party and personal career in politics. No one knows how he must have felt to see the state falling to the opposition.

He probably didn’t care since it was still in the firm control of the Chinese. He, and the other MCA and Gerakan leaders would probably did not like it if the state had been reverted to Umno rule because they thought the state is still a Chinese-majority one.

That was the past. Today Pulau Pinang is a Melayu-majority state.

Did Chong Eu die a bitter man? Or was he happy to have seen how Pulau Pinang which had been under Barisan rule for so long since Merdeka finally falling to the opposition Pakatan or more specifically DAP rule?

So there is nothing much that he and his supporters could be proud of because it was during his time that they lost the state to the opposition for the first time although it is just a temporary setback.

And I don’t think there is any Melayu in Pulau Pinang and the whole of Malaysia who will be happy with his personal achievements because it was at the expense of the well-being of the Melayu in the state.

For the whole time he was chief minister of Pulau Pinang what did he do for the well-being of the Melayu?

The state of the economy of the Melayu and the ownership of land of the Melayu were reduced until they became so critical at the present time.

Is this an achievement of his that the Melayu want to appreciate seeing how much land which used to be owned by the Melayu falling into the hands of the Chinese?

I feel sorry for the Melayu in Pulau Pinang for having trusted the MCA and then Gerakan with their future because they were said to be coalition parties in Barisan but whose existence in the state only caused the Melayu to be so displaced.

There is no state in the whole Federation where the Melayu are in such a backward state, other than in Kelantan which ironically has been under PAS rule for so long.

So now tribute and homage are being churned to highlight the deeds of this one man which some has described as the father of industrialization of Pulau Pinang.

This may be true for some, especially the Chinese who are still continuing to enjoy the fruits of his labor, despite the state being under the DAP and Pakatan spell since the last general election of March, 2008.

But the Melayu can have other views on Chong Eu. They have the right to do so because under Gerakan rule in Pulau Pinang, the Melayu were displaced economically and physically.

They have the right to have their differing views on the personal achievements of this man whose actions might have contributed to the fall of the state to the opposition.

And they are in worse shape today under DAP and Pakatan rule than they were before during all the years they were under Barisan and Gerakan.

The state and position of the Melayu in Pulau Pinang today is deplorable. It was no so before. It is worse now.

It is a surprise that they did not see it that way as some of the more prominent Melayu and other wealthy ones were busy looking after their own personal interests, the Melayu in Pulau Pinang suffered in silence.

Worse, when they wanted to give the opposition a shot at governing the state, because they felt disowned by Barisan.

The unconscious and unintended or unannounced collaboration between MCA, DAP and Gerakan has caused it to fall to the DAP and Pakatan in the last 2008 general election.

They were aided by some Melayu who wanted to change their loyalty by not voting Barisan, and in the process they had to cross the box for Pakatan instead. Now some of them have regretted for their actions and are suffering from it.

Will this be repeated in the next, thirteenth general election?

Has the Melayu in Pulau Pinang and in the other states realized their own folly? Or are they still thinking Gerakan and MCA are with them, when they are not?

Do they also realize that Pulau Pinang is no more a Chinese-dominated state; as of this year, it has become a Melayu-dominated state.

So what this means is that Pulau Pinang is a Chinese minority rule, supported by the majority Melayu.

And what are they going to describe Chong Eu as – the Father of Industrialization of Pulau Pinang or the Father of Melayu Backwardness in the state?

If there are some smart Chinese who want to revise history concerning some Melayu actor surely the Melayu can also do the same and start to treat some other non-Melayu historical actors in the way they see them, and on what they had left behind, the legacy of Melayu backwardness.

What did Chong Eu do the state of the Melayu in Pulau Pinang when he was chief minister? Did he cause the Melayu to become more backward?

It is too late for the Melayu in Pulau Pinang to take another look at Chong Eu. And it is also too late now for them to regret their action to put in DAP in place at Komtar.

But it is not too late for them to realize their own folly and learn as much as they can from their debacle at not trusting Barisan and gave their votes to Pakatan in the last general election.

It was good that they had to experience this debacle.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

WHY ARE SOME OF THE CHINESE AND INDIANS IN MALAYSIA SO NOISY AND THEY LIKE TO COMPLAIN TOO MUCH?

…ARE THE CHINESE IN INDONESIA, SIAM, MYANMAR, THE PHILIPPINES AND THE OTHER COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD BETTER OFF THAN THOSE IN MALAYSIA?
By Mansor Puteh



SO FEW CHINESE WHO ARE IN POLITICS ARE MAKING THE MAJORITY LOOK LIKE THEY ARE UNCOMFORTABLE LIVING IN MALAYSIA.

FORTUNATELY, THE MAJORITY OF THE CHINESE AND INDIANS IN MALAYSIA ARE HAPPY AND CONTENTED. AND THEY ARE NOT JUST THOSE WHO HAD MADE THEIR BILLIONS OR SCORES OF MILLIONS IN MALAYSIA.

IF THEY WERE IN OTHER COUNTRIES, CHANCES ARE THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO DO A FRACTION OF WHAT THEY COULD DO HERE. IT IS AN UNDENIABLE FACT.

The shrinking size of the Chinese and Indian populations in Malaysia is what’s causing some of the more sensitive of the lot to react aggressively.

Fortunately, these days they do not take up arms, but their pens and use or misuse their computers and blogs.

The hardcore Chinese and Indian criminals in Malaysia are also able to flee from the country to return to their Motherlands of China and India to escape persecution.

We have the noisy and uncomfortable Chinese and Indian minorities in Malaysia. What are they complaining about? Fortunately, there are so few of them.

They release their pent-up energies that had been contained through the twenty-one years Mahathir was prime minister. Now they release them and express all their hidden fears in the process.

But there is still not one novel or short story or even poem written by the Chinese or Indian in Malaysia which describes their deep feelings for the country and how they felt gratitude towards the Melayu for having allowed their ancestors to stay in the country and be given jobs to toil; otherwise, they would have perished in the South China Sea like many of them did.

Haven’t the Melayu fed them well enough?

The actions and reactions of so few Chinese in politics in Barisan and Pakatan are causing the majority Chinese to suffer in the future and they have themselves to blame.

The majority Chinese know their lot; that their future is stuck in Malaysia and living in a Melayu majority country.

They have so long ago, since the 13 may, 1969 incident accepted the facts that for them to go against the flow of things, would not be good for them.

So they have accepted such facts and their misfortune to be in Malaysia because of the mistake their ancestors had made who had to come to Tanah Melayu in order to save their own lives.

Without the charity of the Melayu, none of them could be allowed into the country or survive if they had managed to do so.

Some of them are able to leave the country because they have education and social mobility. But for the majority who are not so educated having marginal and insignificant education from the vernacular Mandarin schools, they are trapped.

The majority of the Chinese of such stature feel lost. They know they can still hang around with their own kind. But they ask: For how long still?

The ‘pasar malam’ are being taken over by the Melayu. The Chinese foods are also now being sold by the Melayu such as char koey teow, soya bean curds and other soya products and the many other traditional Chinese fares.

What does it leave the ordinary Chinese who have no proper education beyond standard six or lower from the Mandarin schools?

They have nothing. Their future is in the balance. They can now only consider going into illegal businesses.

Unfortunately, the action by the authorities to destroy the illegal video business has caused many young and uneducated Chinese to lose their jobs.

Some of them opened food stalls while the others continue on with other illegal businesses.

That also explains why there are so many young Chinese boys and girls who are operating small stalls in the shopping complexes and malls selling phones. This is the only business that they can do with the limited education they have.

Most of their customers are Melayu.

But what if the Melayu boys and girls start to encroach into this line of business of to go away from them and not patronize their small stalls?

The Chinese business will go bankrupt leaving with the uneducated young Chinese boys and girls to become unemployed.

Some could go into the flesh trade as many of them had already done.

Others can try to emigrate by working in Chinese restaurants abroad.

But the rest will have to face reality of being rejected by the society which is becoming more Melayu dominant so much so if there is a Melayu Revolt, the Chinese businesses will become bankrupt in no time.

This can happen if Kampung Baru is developed and the Menara Warisan Merdeka is built.

The future of the Chinese in Malaysia is bleak.

Their strong hold of the economy of the country is mostly at the corporate level where so few Chinese control the companies.

The others who do not have any proper education will suffer.

And this situation is ripe for some Chinese who are in politics to react. That is why we hear a lot of noises coming from them in the parliament and the blogs.

They write anonymously because they are scared their voices which are faint cannot be amplified to sound loud as they know those noises ring hollow and totally meaningless.

They mostly reflect their own insecurities.

Although the few Chinese and also Indian champion of their races can still stand tall, but they are slowly being overshadowed by the Melayu.

Even if they try to split the Melayu voters and society by pretending to support the few Melayu renegades, they still have to kow-tow to the dictate of the voice of the majority within the party or coalition by embracing Melayu-ism so much so they also have to speak in Melayu in their party conventions where Mandarin and Tamil disappear and only those who are conversant in Melayu are admired and given any attention.

The Chinese in Malaysia have been a lucky lot. The reason being the Melayu have all along been treating them well.

They are being treated far better than their brethren in Indonesia and in the other countries, including in Singapura which is a new Chinese republic.

Yet, the Chinese in Singapura can do half as much complaining, shouting and challenging the authorities than what they can do in Malaysia.

It I therefore ironic how in Singapura which is a Chinese country controlled and administered by the Chinese, their Chinese community cannot complaint anything without the full force of the law come crashing on them.

Here in Malaysia, they can still have their own way.

But for how long still?

I do not see the Chinese in Malaysia having their way too long. The Melayu are taking note of what their leaders do in the parliament and the blogs as well as in the streets.

The Chinese in Indonesia tried to side with the Dutch but when the colonial power was kicked out of the country, the status of the Chinese also took a turn for the worse.

They were described as traitors and were treated accordingly after Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch.

In Malaysia, the few Chinese who are loud-mouth will cause the other Chinese to suffer if the Melayu react negatively to what they had tried to do, which is to exert themselves too much by forcing the Melayu to feel threatened.

Monday, December 20, 2010

‘KETUANAN MELAYU’ AND THE OTHER ‘KETUANANS’ IN THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND ALL OVER THE WORLD.

…WHY DIDN’T THE CHINESE IN THOSE COUNTRIES CREATE ISSUES WITH THE LOCAL MAJORITY POPULATION?
By Mansor Puteh


‘KETUANAN MELAYU’ IS NOT ‘MELAYU SUPERIORITY’. IT IS SO ONLY WHEN THE CHINESE WANT TO FIND FAULT WITH THE TERM AND THE MELAYU. IT IS THE SUPERIORITY OF THE CONSTITUTION.

ISN’T THERE ‘KETUANAN CINA’ IN PULAU PINANG WHERE THE MELAYU HAVE BEEN SIDELINED UNTIL THEY ARE ALMOST BANKRUPT?

THERE IS ‘KETUANAN MELAYU’ IN INDONESIA AND BRUNEI, ‘KETUANAN SIAM’ IN THAILAND, ‘KETUANAN FILIPINA’ IN THE PHILIPPINES, ‘KETUANAN MYANMAR’ IN MYANMAR AND ‘KETUANAN CINA’ IN SINGAPURA…

All these go unchallenged by the people. So why must ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ in Malaysia be an issue?

The sultan of Johor wants ‘ketuanan Melayu’ be changed to ‘kedaulatan Melayu’. And many other Melayu are in wonderment as to who and why the fuss over this?

When in reality, in the neighboring countries, they also have their own versions of ‘ketuanan Melayu’ and ‘ketuanan Siam’, ‘ketuanan Filipina’ and even ‘ketuanan Myanmar’.

In fact, in America, England and all the countries in Europe including Australia and New Zealand, there are 'Ketuanan Inggeris’, and the other ‘Ketuanan’.

This is despite their non-mention of it.

The reason being the Chinese communities in those countries, except for Singapura are so tiny; so they are not able to have their own MCA, Gerakan or other Chinese political parties.

In fact, they can’t or won’t even dare to demand for land and financial assistance from the federal or state government to build schools and temples.

The Chinese in those countries know how to behave simply because they are so small and so insignificant.

If they want to enter politics and be elected, they have to conform and behave like the locals.

They have to have local names and revert to the religion of the majority.

There can never be a Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Soi Lek and what have you that we have in Malaysia in those countries.

Why are there no Karpal Singh in India and no Kit Siang in Taiwan or China and Singapura?

Because the Melayu allow them to exist.

It is therefore more of a psychological and historical issue than a political one. It is an issue that can continue to exist as long as there is no Melayu unity, and as long as the Melayu are being divided by the minority and with the help and collusion of some Melayu.

So much so that they also cannot think they are Chinese like what they do here in Malaysia; they cannot be seen to be too awed with things China or things Hong Kong and be too supportive of the causes of their own ethnic group.

This is the reason why there are two from the Aquino clan who are ethnic Chinese but who did not care too much of their ethnicity, were elected presidents of the Philippines.

Thaksin and Abhisit are ethnic Chinese who have Siamese names and identities were also able to be elected prime minister of Siam.

In Myanmar, the Chinese have been fully assimilated much like the Chinese in Siam and the Philippines and also to some extent in Indonesia, where there is a slide back to the pre-Sukarno era where some Chinese are now trying to exert themselves.

There are also now some Chinese programs on television and schools offering tuition to the young Chinese to study their language.

But the Chinese in Indonesia and those other countries cannot do much; they cannot blame the majority ‘Bumiputeras’ of those countries for being unfair to them.

They had been culled to accept reality about their being in alien lands. It was the fault of their ancestors and that of China, too, for having forced them to flee from South China to come to Southeast Asia where they had to seek support and sustenance from the locals who are mostly the Melayu of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, Siamese, Myanmars and also the Filipinos.

Without the charity and understanding of these people, the Chinese would not have been allowed to land in those countries where their off-springs were able to continue living.

Many of their ancestors had perished in the Great Famine which happened in South China which forced many Chinese to flee, in order to survive and prosper.

All the countries in Southeast Asia of Nusantara Melayu allowed the Chinese in because they were pitiful of their plight.

They also allowed them to dabble in business or mostly in small trading at the expense of the local entrepreneurs, simply because they wanted the Chinese to be able to earn a living.

But at the same time, those countries were insistent that the Chinese and the other aliens follow local ways.

They did not allow them to do as the please. They were forced to slowly revert to their religions and speak the local language and follow the local ways.

But not in Malaysia.

Malaysia allowed the Chinese and the Indians to do as they please.

The Melayu who are Muslims were more accommodative and charitable and they allowed the Chinese to do as they please.

The Melayu also did not stop the Chinese to dabble in small trading and supported them. So that was why we could see small shops operated by the Chinese existing in the middle of Melayu villages.

If the Melayu had wanted to be nasty, they could sabotage those stores so that they could become bankrupt in no time.

Yet, at that time being alone, the Chinese behaved well; they did not try to show their Chinese too much.

They tried to speak Melayu even though it was in a very thick Chinese accent. The Melayu also spoke in such fashion so that the Chinese could understand them better.

In Indonesia, the Chinese were not allowed to get away with this matter concerning language. They were scolded for not speaking in Melayu.

But over the years, after being too comfortable and having their own political parties, the Chinese in Malaysia have become arrogant; they have started to make unusual demands to the extent that they believe they can even taunt the Melayu and chastise them for behaving like ‘Masters’ with the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ which they did not know the real and full meaning of.

What the few Chinese leaders are trying is to create unnecessary guilt from amongst the Melayu so that the ‘slogan’ could be erased, which will also allow the erasing of the existence of the Melayu as being the original inhabitants of the land and causing Bahasa Melayu to lose its special position in the country.

This is what the few Chinese want to see happening. But they cannot go on to their final goal without doing it slowly.

Yet, not surprisingly, there are some Melayu who have fallen into the trap set by the so few Chinese politicians who have also become daring to accept the rejection of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’.

These Melayu are from the opposition party and coalition. They want to get more votes from the Chinese, even when they know the majority of their supporters are from the Melayu.

And they are doing this in post-general election time, when they are not bound by the dictates of the voters.

They are not being fair for doing this since such matters must be raised during the election campaign for their voters to judge.

They only dare to do so now with the general election not about to happen in a year’s time.

The MCA leaders and especially Soi Lek are also brave to bring such issues at this time.

One can bet, all those Chinese and some Melayu will remain quiet on the issue concerning ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ if the general election is called.

Friday, December 17, 2010

IS CORRUPTION A NECESSARY EVIL?

…CONSIDER THIS: WITHOUT CORRUPTION, MOST SMALL AND LARGE CHINESE BUSINESS ESTABLIISHMENTS IN MALAYSIA CANNOT SURVIVE THOSE THAT WERE CONDUCTED BY THE CHINESE WHO DROP OUT OF THEIR VERNACULAR MANDARIN SCHOOL EARLY WHO DID NOT HAVE ANY FUTURE IN THE CLEAN WORLD.
By Mansor Puteh


THERE ARE TRACES AND ELEMENTS OF CORRUPTION EVERYWHERE ONE LOOKS AT IN THE COUNTRY.

HOW CAN WE SEE THAT? ONLY THE BLIND CANNOT SEE IT.

ILLEGAL FACTORIES WHICH HAVE BEEN SITTING FOR MANY DECADES, ILLEGAL VIDEO CENTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN OPERATING FOR YEARS AND OTHER ILLEGAL

Yet, the authorities keep on raiding them, while the politicians are not sure what to do in the parliament sittings. They only know how to scream and shout without anyone offering views o how to deal with such and other problems.

The press also does not care. They report and comment on other issues. They are in the same boat as the parliamentarians all of whom are lost.

One of the reasons being the press is Chinese-dominated so they tend to keep their focus on other things so as not to anger their own business community many of whom operate illegally.

Yet, corruption is everywhere – in the streets, by he road sides, with all the small trading being conducted, and the food stalls which are sitting on pieces of land not designated for such activities; at the terrace houses that had been turned into restaurants and stall; at the illegal factories which have been in operations for so long; at the illegal nocturnal activities of all sorts…

So, one has to be completely blind not to be able to actually see corruption. It is everywhere.

And not telling and exposing the truth is also corruption with the newspaper editors who deliberately chose not to highlight illegal petty trading operated because they were operated by the Chinese which are everywhere.

Yet, one can see how some Chinese NGO leaders and commentators who charge the government – meaning the Melayu leaders – for not doing anything to curb corruption or to erase it altogether.

So, is corruption bad? Or is it a necessary evil.

So here is some inconvenient truth.

It is really bad? Bad to whom? And good to who?

Corruption is good for those who want to conduct their business illegally.

It is not good for those who think it is evil.

The truth is corruption is what has been driving the Chinese businesses many of which are illegal ones.

Much of the economy of the Chinese is supported by illegal trading conducted by their brethren many of whom do not have proper academic qualification.

It is an open secret how many Chinese are not well educated; they drop out of their vernacular mandarin school early.

They cannot speak in English and ‘pasar Melayu’ and cannot write well.

Even their Mandarin is of poor quality.

Most of those criminals who were caught for engaging in illegal trading especially counterfeiting discs and illegal money lending are all Chinese.

Yet, most of the illegal factories which have been in operation for so long are all operated by them too.

The NGO leaders have not taken this issue because they are mostly Chinese-dominated. So they look elsewhere.

Even illegal logging is done by the Chinese. Many tracts of jungle land have been cleared. But these well-meaning NGOs did not want to see them.

So few of the illegal loggers have been arrested.

Thanks to corruption, most of the illegal activities that happen in Malaysia are allowed to go on scot-free, without the criminals arrested.

Thanks to corruption which are done by enforcement officers who are mostly Melayu that has allowed those illegal activities to carry on.

And it is also an open secret how many of the illegal business operators had ‘cleaned’ their ill gotten wealth by going into proper business by opening supermarkets or other establishments which act as fronts to ‘clean’ up more ill gotten wealth.

Where did the money for the money lending operations come from, if not from other illegal business activities?

But what about corruption that involves bigger names and establishments with Melayu politicians and other figures involved?

They also happen.

But they are done in collusion with some enterprising Chinese businessmen who wanted to expand their businesses or to get the necessary licenses, permits or projects which they could not get on their own, knowing how the system in Malaysia works that often requires patronage.

And the Melayu can provide them this.

So there is corruption on the small scale as mentioned above and in the larger scale involving in the millions and men who are titled and well positioned.

But the Melayu who are corrupt and who are involved in large scale corruption do so with the collusion of the Chinese businessmen for without which there is no corruption at this level.

The Melayu and the Chinese can stop it. But they do not want to do it because they lose either way. So they need each other.

Still corruption is a necessary evil for both parties; one which has the means to offer it and the other party accepting it by virtue of the special position they have in the government or agencies.

Corruption involving the Chinese and Melayu started long ago when the Chinese first landed in Tanah Melayu, when they did not have anything other than the soiled clothes they were wearing on their backs.

With corruption they were able to get land and other properties to start their small businesses. And with corruption they were able to get permits to operate stores and sell things.

Without corruption the economy of the Chinese could not grow. It was an invention created and brought into the country by the Chinese immigrants.

The Indians who were not so good in this business are left behind.

If the Indians were good in corruption as much as the Chinese, they, too, could have become wealthy now instead of being stuck in poverty.

In fact, the Indians are still not good with corruption till today. So the uneducated Indians with vernacular Tamil school background engage in petty thefts.

Some of them get caught, while some others get away.

There are only so few Indians who have been caught for corruption in Malaysia even now. There are many amongst the Chinese and Melayu since they do it together most of the time.

It is rare to see the Indians and Melayu getting caught or who are involved with corruption at the lower and higher levels. They don’t seem to make a good combination.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE 13 MAY, 1969 INCIDENT AND THE OLD MALAYSIAN CINEMA AND SOME INTERESTING ISSUES RELATED TO THEM.

…UP TO THE 1960s THERE WAS LESS RACIAL DISCONTENT IN MALAYA AND SINGAPURA THEN AND WHAT VALUABLE LESSON THAT CAN BE LERNT FROM THE CINEMA TODAY THAT CAN BE USED TO PROMOTE NATIONAL UNITY AND ALSO THE UNITY OF THE WORLD MUSLIM UMMAH AND BANGSA MELAYU.
By Mansor Puteh



TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN SAID HOW PROUD HE WAS IN BEING ABLE TO ACHIEVE INDEPENDENCE OR MERDEKA FOR MALAYA THEN FROM BRITAIN ‘WITHOUT SPILLING A SINGLE DROP OF BLOOD’.

BUT ON 13 MAY, 1969, A LOT OF IT WAS SPILLED IN THE KAMPUNG BARU/CHOW KIT AREA IN KUALA LUMPUR AND IN SOME OTHER PLACES THROUGHOUT THE CITY AND IN FEW OTHER TOWNS.

THIS UNFORTUATE EVENT WAS NOT CAUSED BY POLITICAL DISCOURSES WHICH BROKE INTO DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS BY THE TWO PLUS ONE MAJOR MINOR RACE IN THE COUNTRY; THE TWO MAJOR ONES ARE THE MELAYU AND CHINESE, AND THE PLUS OR MINOR ONE, BEING THE INDIANS, WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER NOT TO TAKE THE WRONG SIDE AND CREATED MORE RIFTS.

The Indians having mostly left the rubber estates were not able to comprehend what could go wrong with the two major races if a tiny spark was ignited by politicians who knew better not to play with fire.

The collision and siding of the Indians with the Chinese in the 13 May, 1969 incident should be a good enough subject of any serious study on old Malayan politics.

Did the Indians then also feel discontented for having been stuck in the states? And did they think by being a ‘minority’ in Malaya, they found affinity with the Chinese who were also the minority, which was bigger and perhaps together, they could form a stronger minority force to oppose the Melayu majority and might?

Unfortunately, the stand of the Indians today is pretty much the same as their forefathers did but those amongst them who have moved away from such thinking is increasing in numbers with only some of those who still had a ‘rubber estate’ mentality who want to continue to feel marginalized, as those Chinese who still insist on marginalizing themselves.

But alas, it was due to politics and not commerce or economics, unless if these Chinese who are in the opposition such as the DAP including some who are in Barisan such as MCA and Gerakan, who still think their race is still being marginalized.

Didn’t they know how the Melayu had deliberately wanted to make them prosper? Didn’t they know how Tunku had deliberately chosen Chinese to become the first two finance ministers, who had done a lot to ensure the Chinese dominate the economy of the country so they who did not have possessions of money, business and land were encouraged to do so?

This was done at the expense of the Melayu, who it turned out later became enraged by what their forefathers had done to marginalize them in the country their forefathers and ancestors.

Where did the Indians get such an idea from that they were marginalized?

They were meant to be in the rubber estates as that was the deal they got from the British colonists who wanted them to come from their remote villages in India to work as laborers and virtual slaves of the British rubber plantation owners in Malaya then.

So why did they have to complain later about the deal? There was a contract that they had agreed to accept.

But despite all the failings, the Malayans then comprising of the major Melayu and minor, Chinese and Indian races were united in spirit. The level of discontent was low and restricted only to some political discourses when some chose to flee modernization to serve their chosen and course from deep in the jungles.

These Chinese and some Melayu were the ‘selected’ few who were bent on changing the course of the country’s history.

This they were able to do up to 2 December, 1989, when their group calling itself, the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) officially seized to exist with their senior leaders appearing in public for the first time looking debonair and stylish like successful businessmen in a hotel in Songkhla, South Siam, when they should have been paraded much earlier outside of the Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur in less appealing surroundings.

The Malayan leaders were busy doing other things and also having fun, which also included enjoying the cinema – the Old Malaya Cinema – which was based in Jalan Ampas and East Coast Road in Singapura, with Tunku himself dabbling into it as a screenwriter having written ‘Mahsuri’ and ‘Raja Bersiong’ which were produced by Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Productions (MFP).

Unfortunately, he and the other political leaders didn’t realize how the cinema then was holding the people together, when even the Chinese and Indians were ardent viewers of films produced by MFP and Cathay-Keris owned by Loke Wan Tho.

They didn’t realize how the cinema was binding the two major and one minor race together in Malaya to create a potent force.

Hong Kong cinema and Hollywood were not important influences in Malaya then.

There certainly were some interesting dramatic and colorful elements in Malaya then which was supposed to be independent or Merdeka, but which was still uncertain as to what course it was to take.


Barely a few years after the collapse of the old Malayan cinema based in Jalan Ampas, Singapura, racial strife was rampant culminating in the 13 may, 1969 incident.

So can the government learn something useful from this?

Or do they want to continue to develop the economy of the country just to enrich those who are in business, commerce and banking?

Does the country need more people to go into politics where the roads are many, or does it need to get more of their own kind to go into the film industry?

But I doubt it if the government and the other politicians will want to accept facts; their level of awareness of the arts is so low.

They only know how to use or misuse some of the starlets who are willing to become their third or fourth wives and invite some others to grace their functions.

But they do not know what else that they can use with the cinema.

It has done wonders to America with their Hollywood, which is a major industry.

It became so because their early leaders had ensured that this industry was developed so that it could become a huge sponge to absorb all the latent and useless creative and artistic energies so that they did not spill over to politics.

If that was not done, almost every other person in America will be politically charged and in every other county there is a political forum or ‘ceramah’ every night like what is happening in Malaysia.

This is where the government and their not so smart economic planners and visionaries lack any understanding of.

They want some film directors to produce wonderful films. But they do not know how to create a system that allows for that to happen.

The cinema can do wonders.

But unfortunately, the political leaders and economists do not want to take this course of action to create and establish the New Malaysian Cinema, New Islamic Cinema and New Melayu Cinema or Sinema Nusantara as they cannot take the lead and have to leave the task to those who are better qualified in film.

The development of these film industries will cause the politicians and economists to lose a lot of credibility; they can be condemned by the Muslim Ummah, Bangsa Melayu and Malaysian society as being people of low stature.

That they are war-mongers and racists and social misfits that they are.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I REMEMBER…STANDING ON THE ROOFTOP OBSERVATORY OF THE FORMER WORLD TRADE CENTER

… THE SIGHT OF WHICH DISAPPEARED IN THE MORNING OF 11 SEPTEMBER, 2001.
By Mansor Puteh


…AND WHAT ACTUALLY CAUSED IT TO HAPPEN?

IT WAS A SIGHT I WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEEN…STANDING PERCHED ON THE ROOFTOP OBSERVATORY OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER OR THE TWIN TOWERS, ON THE SOUTH TOWER AND ABOVE THE 110 FLOORS FROM ABOVE GROUND.

NOT A SOUL COULD BE SEEN BELOW IN THE STREETS AND VEHICLES PLYING THE STREETS OF NEW YORK CITY WERE LIKE ANTS.

All that you can think of then was to think of nothing and marvel at such a sight and to try and remember what sort of a person who could get the chance to be held so high in the sky towering above all the other buildings in it.

The Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan seemed to be history. It looked diminutive.

The rooftop observatory of the former Twin Towers offered a better view of the city from the south of Manhattan Island including its surrounding area.

But it was a sight and experience I had always wanted to skip visiting the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan for as long as possible through the three years I lived in the city.

I kept telling myself, ‘Next time…next time…I’ll take a trip to the Twin Towers and go to the observatory. Next time…’

Now with the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan gone, one can only stare at the blank space where the towers once stood and on the site which is now called Ground Zero, are a huge hole where the underground structures of the towers once were, where an underground car park and few other floors of shops and stores once were.

One can only watch from this view upwards at the vacant space and stare at the sky and clouds and imagine how nine years ago, there were the towers.

Now they are gone in a puff of smoke of sand and dust created by high impact from two commercial airplanes which ploughed into it one by one early in the morning of 11 September, 2001.

It is not a scene from a disaster movie created by Hollywood studios, although their creative writers and directors would have wanted to see the same towers disappear in such a fashion.

But alas, international political realities and some men had overtaken them by creating something more macabre and true. It is not fiction but reality.

Hollywood had demolished to smithereens the White House, where their presidents reside. They American and international audiences were thrilled at the sight of the House disappearing in a pile of smoke.

It is reminiscence of what happened to the Twin Towers much later.

Being a resident of this city, one does not normally want to show how excited with this world famous building and the others including the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island.

Only those who live in other cities and states in America would want to flock to go to these places that can give them the impression that they had indeed been to the city although the theater practitioners like to say till today that ‘if you have not been to Broadway, you have not arrived in the city’.

My friends from Malaysia who paid us a visit already had their list of places laces they wanted to visit and at the very top of the list are these buildings. Some had the Empire State Building then the World Trade Center because it is centrally located and in Midtown Manhattan and not too far away from the Grand Central or Times Square.

So after taking a walk in the square to shop for cheap souvenirs, they go to the Empire State Building. And may be if they are not tired they would go to the World Trade Center and then to the Statue of Liberty.

I was lucky to have got some Malaysian friends who were studying at various universities in Boston and other cities who paid us a visit. They were the ones who were responsible for me to show them the World Trade Center which I had not visited in the summer before.

And that turned to be the second and last visit I made to the Twin Towers. And being in summer, we were able to go to the rooftop observatory to view the whole city which stretched as far as the eye could see.

The first time I was there was in winter when the rooftop observatory was closed. They authorities thought it was very dangerous to allow anyone to go to the rooftop because of the strong winds.

So we had to be contented to stay at the observatory on the 110th floor and look at the scenery around the city through the thin mist that had enveloped it.

If it’s true that a small group of Arab Muslims who were said to be responsible for the carnage they created on the twin towers, then the question that begs an immediate answer is why did they have to waste their time, lives and energies to do so?

Was it so thrilling to them to do that?

There must be a reason good enough for them to be forced to do such a thing, and it has got to do with the foreign policies of America and what carnage that the country’s military might had caused many Muslim countries which could ill afford to retaliate.

One by one an Arab and Muslim country had been subjugated, destroyed and their wealth plundered.

Didn’t those Americans who were incensed by what had happened to their twin towers realize this?

They are in a state of denial. And America is also in a state of denial.

The longer they remain so, they are not able to find out what had caused their twin towers to collapse.

The Muslim World’s only hope is for Iran to go full nuclear so that it can become a strong deterrent to future American aggression.

In fact, even now, America has found it difficult to deal with Iran in such a nuclear-threatening state with the Zionist state feeling aghast at the recent development in Iran.

If Iran had not pursued a nuclear program, chances are the country would have been attacked by American and allied forces with the leadership and guidance of the Zionist state.

So Iran can be said to be a country in the Middle East and the Gulf Region that has provided the other countries in these regions stability which they could not have otherwise enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I REMEMBER WHEN…TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN CAME TO MY PARENTS’ HOUSE IN MELAKA IN NOVEMBER, 1963, TWO MONTHS AFTER HE DECLARED THE FORMATION OF MALAYSIA. – PA

…AND HOW I LOCATED THE THREE BUILDINGS IN ENGLAND WHERE TUNKU HAD LODGED AS WHEN HE WAS STUDYING THERE.
By Mansor Puteh



I STILL MARVEL AT THE SIGHT OF TUNKU SITTING BESIDE MY FATHER, PUTEH BIN SULONG WHO WAS SEVEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN HIM, IN THE WEDDING PHOTO. BOTH OF THEM DID NOT SPEAK, AS MY FATHER SELDOM SPOKE.

I NEVER SPOKE WITH HIM UNLESS IF I WANTED MONEY TO WATCH FILMS IN THE CINEMAS IN MELAKA TOWN, TO TAKE HIM TO THE IMMIGRATIONS DEPARTMENT IN THE CITY FOR ME TO APPLY FOR THE RESTRICTED PASSPORT WHEN I WANTED TO GO TO SINGAPURA, OR TO BUY PLANE TICKETS FOR ME TO TRAVEL ABROAD.

IT WAS PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA FOR THEM NOT TO SPEAK OR ASK WHAT MY FATHER’S POLITICAL AFFILIATION WAS, AS IT COULD BE VERY EMBARRASSING BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS A STAUNCH SUPPORTER OF THE LABOR PARTY (PARTI BURUH) WHILE EVERYBODY IN THE FAMILY WAS STAUNCH UMNO SUPPORTER.

And only much later could I notice a photo of my face in the same photo when I scanned the original photo to the computer which brought my face out so that it became the only photo of me with Tunku.

I remembered then on how I had gone everywhere during the wedding and ending up below the house when the group photo with Tunku, Mak Engku, Ghafar Baba and the bride and groom was taken.

While Mak Engku was busy doing her family chore of marrying one of her sons, her husband was busy performing his official duty as prime minister of Malaysia.

So all those people who later came to the wedding were shocked to find Tunku and almost everybody in his family including his grandchildren. He was accompanied by the then chief minister of Malacca, Encik Abdul Ghafar Baba (later Tun.)

All of them had seen him on television when it was first introduced in 1963, at our house in the area in Melaka because it was opened to everybody from six o’clock to midnight.

Now all of them were seeing Tunku for the first time with most of his immediately family members in tow.

That was the first and the last time Tunku ever came to this area, but the memories of him being there remained in the memories of the people there for a long time.

My mother just passed the invitation card for the wedding to the guard at the gate of the residence of the chief minister in Peringgit and Encik Ghafar came, as it was not a common invitation for him.

His wife, Hajjah Asmah was also a close friend of my mother’s first sister who was also very active in Umno with her husband, Longche Nayan who ran for the Bandar Melaka in one of the general elections held during the 1960s.

I remember seeing posters of him being hung on every tree in the town, and only realized he was also running in the elections.

I cannot say Tunku’s presence in my life had not affected me. It did. But in the indirect way.

And I could say the reason why I finally got into Columbia University in New York City was because of him, or of my brother-in-law, Syed Abdullah.

He had just returned from Washington DC., where he was staying in the keep of the Malaysian ambassador then, Ong Yoke Lin, for the brain surgery he had following an accident when he drove a car in Kedah, for which he had to stay back for six months before he fully recovered and was allowed to return to Malaysia.

Syed Abdullah flew on PanAm.

On one of his trips back to Melaka after the wedding he brought some of the brochures from the airline which I got.

And in it I saw for the first time photos of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and New York City. I was entranced by what I had seen and I wanted very much to go to America, a country I had not heard of before that.

I was still very young then, and only much later I wanted to pursue my education in film directing.

And when I was in the last semester at the school of mass communication of Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) in Shahalam where I was majoring in advertising, I applied to few other universities in America which are non-competitive ones, but they all rejected my application, except for Columbia which readily accepted it.

I was surprised by this as it had come much earlier than the rejections I got from the other universities.

I finally landed for the first time at Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York on 27 August, 1978 after stopping over at London for two weeks, where I stayed with friends, one of which was renting a room he said was where Tunku had rented at in the 1940s when he returned to London to resume his studies.

And old Englishman who was supervisor of the building said he knew Tunku and met Tun Razak who often paid Tunku a visit.

If Tunku had not come into my life, I doubt it if I would have got to Columbia to be the first Malaysian to study film at such a university which I would later find to be an Ivy League one.

I therefore became a closeted follower of Tunku and did some research on him to know where he had lodged at in England when he was studying there in 1919, 1920s and the 1940s.

So I was excited when I discovered the three buildings in Little Stukeley and Grange Road in Cambridge and the one at Barkston Gardens in England when I was working on a documentary called ‘Bertahun di Residensi’ or ‘The Residency Years’ for Finas and the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture or KPKK which was finally shown on TV1 last 7 March.

The buildings are still standing and they probably look the same as they were when Tunku was staying there, except for The Old Rectory in Little Stukeley which was condemned by the local authorities for demolition in 2006.

An English woman called Carmila Payne and her husband managed to convince the authorities to allow them to buy the remains of the building. They then spend a lot of time, money and energy to rebuild it to make it look it was in its earlier design and state.

These three buildings should be declared Malaysia’s heritage buildings in England as they are important buildings.

I also managed to unearth the contents of Tunku’s safe in The Residency which my sister, Rokiah said had not been opened for many decades because they did not have the key or combination to it.

The minister of KPKK, Rais Yatim got an expert to prise open the door of the safe and saw forty-four items belonging to Tunku, which no one had seen before. They have been declared ‘national treasures’ and valued at RM400,000.

There was a sigh of relief at the sight of those personal items, as there were some who feared if Tunku might have left notes in the safe which may not sound pleasing to some.

Yet, despite the safe having been opened, the mysteries of Tunku’s life and his times are still very much intact – the life of someone whom Tunku had described in his taped interview I did with him, to be a person who was a ‘happy and go lucky type of person’ who became the country’s Father of Independence and first Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I REMEMBER WHEN…TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN CAME TO MY PARENTS’ HOUSE IN MELAKA IN NOVEMBER, 1963, TWO MONTHS AFTER HE DECLARED THE FORMATION OF MALAYSIA. – PA

…AND HOW ‘SHOWED’ ME THE WAY TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN NEW YORK CITY.
By Mansor Puteh


(Tomorrow, 6 December is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Tunku Abdul Rahman. I am posting this article today and the second part in three days’ time.)


‘MANGSOR MAI DOK SINI!’ SHOUTED TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN IN 1986. HE WAS NOT REFERRING TO ME, AS MANCOT IS THE WAY KEDAHANS CALL MANSOR.

I COULD HAVE PLAYED THE TAPE I RECORDED THE INTERVIEW I HAD WITH TUNKU AT HIS RESIDENCE IN BUKIT TUNKU AND NO ONE COULD TELL THAT HE WAS REFERRING TO HIS RELATIVE OR FRIEND WHO HAD THE SAME NAME AS MINE.

I HAD BEEN CALLED BY MY SISTER, ROKIAH WHO SAID TUNKU COULD SEE ME FOR THE INTERVIEW WHICH I SAID I WANTED TO DO WITH HIM WHICH WAS TO TALK ABOUT HIS INTERESTS IN FILM AND YEARS IN ENGLAND AS A STUDENT. BUT IT WAS SAID IN PASSING. I DID NOT TAKE IT SERIOUSLY.

But when she called to say Tunku would be ready in two hours’ time, I just had to rush.

I got Hassan Muthalib who was then working at the animation department of Filem Negara Malaysia (FNM) to bring along a tape recorder and off the two of us went to Bukit Tunku where Tunku was waiting for us in the living room.

Tunku was a bit hard on hearing and I had to ‘shout’ or speak louder than I normally would to anyone, and he insisted it.

It was not comfortable to do so to a man of such stature. But Tunku ‘ordered’ me to shout at him, and I did. And out also came the nervousness I felt at my first encounter with him.

Actually, it was my third personal encounter with Tunku. The second time was when he stopped by at the Residency Lodge where I was staying at in 1965.

It is a house that sat just outside of The Residency, which was then the official residence of the first prime minister of Malaysia.

Tunku had come with his wife, Tun Sharifah Rodziah or Mak Engku as everybody in my family called her, for the birthday party of their grandson, Syed Abdul Jalil who happens to be my nephew.

Such a name could only be given by Tunku, as Jalil’s older sister had a more westernized name of Sharifah Mazlinnah which her parents had given her. Both of them were born when their parents, Syed Abdullah Barakhbah and my sister, Rokiah were living at The Residency.

I got to see Tunku for the second time in 1965 when he was still very much the prime minister of the country.

I did not ask my brother-in-law to take a photo of me with Tunku who was sitting in the porch with his grandchildren and children at the party, because I did not know if that would be tantamount to taking advantage of his presence at the Lodge.

It would have been fun to have such a photo with Tunku taken at the Lodge in 1965 so I could also see how I looked like then.

I had seen him and Mak Engku being driven back and forth to The Residency everyday from there as his official car moved along Jalan Dato’ Onn, when he would drive out to play golf or to attend functions.

I would also cycle along the road which went down a low hill which had tall trees whose leaves covered the whole length of the road, all the way to where the other entrance to the Prime Minister’s department was, before turning around to return to the Lodge by passing in front of the residences of some senior officers including that of Tunku’s private secretary and the Selangor police chief.

It was two years after the Formation of Malaysia and four years before the 13 May, 1969 tragedy which caused him to leave office, a very unhappy man who had in August, 1957 declared to the whole world how he had managed to achieve independence for the country ‘without spilling a single drop of blood’ (his own words).

Yet, barely six years later, a lot of blood had to be spilled in the streets of Kuala Lumpur and some other towns in the country, a tragedy which left him almost numb and unable to comprehend what was happening.

The sorriest sight of it all was when he could see the thick bellow of smoke alighting from the streets in the city floating into the sky from the balcony of his bedroom at The Residency.

How dark was the sky in the afternoon and how dark it was for him to feel in his heart of hearts.

Yet, around him he had Malaysians of all races working at The Residency, all of whom felt lost.

The ‘mini-Malaysia’ that Tunku had created in The Residency where he was holding fort, is not the same as the Malaysia below it.

I returned to the Lodge when I wanted to look at The Residency again after so long, in the 1980s, and found it still standing. However, when I came by there again, it was gone because the whole area had been taken over by the construction of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial.

Those who were responsible for the construction and design of the Memorial had not taken into account the importance and relevance of the Lodge and the few other houses around The Residency which were also important to it.

The first time I met Tunku was when he came to my parents’ house in Melaka Town, for the wedding of Syed Abdullah and Rokiah in November, 1963. I was still in lower secondary school at the St. Francis’ Institution in Jalan Banda Kaba now Jalan Parameswara.

I do not remember how it all happened, the wedding and ‘bersanding’ ceremony. I remember when Mak Engku came to the house for the ‘merisik’ in her official vehicle from Kuala Lumpur.

And because the house was hidden, my elder sister, Asmah was directed by my father to stand by the road to watch for the vehicle and a few others to come, so she could show the driving carrying Mak Engku and her relatives to the house.

And the sight of this made many in the whole area who witnessed the ‘event’ to believe that we were all Tunku’s relatives.

They were not aware of what was going on, until the wedding happened.

I could not believe it that discussion for the wedding had happened while Tunku was busy traveling throughout the country and especially to Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei to try and get the consensus of the leaders on the formation of Malaysia, something I was not fully aware of or knew what it was all about.

In fact, I was also not aware of the formation of Malaysia until much later.

There was no press covering the wedding, and ambush journalism was still unheard of then.

It was probably Tunku’s idea not to bring the press along as it was not an official duty, but a family chore that he had to do.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BARISAN LOST BECAUSE THE VOTERS WERE IN THE ‘EITHER OR’ SITUATION WHEN THEY HAD TO VOTE FOR THE OTHER COALITION FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN THEY HAD TO V

…THEY SHOULD BE IN THE ‘NEITHER NOR’ SITUATION WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE TO VOTE FOR ANYONE IF THEY HAD CHOSEN NOT TO VOTE BARISAN.
By Mansor Puteh


VOTERS GAVE THEIR VOTES TO PAKATAN IN THE TWELFTH GENERAL ELECTION OF MARCH 2008, NOT BECAUSE THEY LIKE THEM, THEIR LEADERS AND THEIR CAUSE.

THEY VOTED PAKATAN BECAUSE THEY DID NOT LIKE BARISAN MORE, AND IN THE PROCESS UNWITTINGLY GAVE THEIR VOTES TO PAKATAN.

BECAUSE THE SITUATION IS THAT VOTING IS AN ‘EITHER OR’ SITUATION WHEN IT SHOULD NOT BE SO.

It should be a ‘neither nor’ situation when voters do not have to vote for anyone or Pakatan if he does not like the Barisan candidate.

So the many Pakatan candidates who won in the last general election cannot say that they were liked by the voters. They were not. The voters did not know who they were in the first place; they just did not wish to cross the box for Barisan.

Maybe the Elections Commissions or Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya Malaysia (SPM) should have a third box for those who do not wish to vote for Barisan or Pakatan. And they are not spoilt votes by votes that are not for any of the candidates.

In this way the opposition cannot get ‘free’ votes from the voters who did not want to vote Barisan.

So Barisan did not do much not to deserve the votes from some of the voters who had not voted for them; the same with Pakatan who also did not deserve to get such votes from voters who felt disenfranchised because they felt the coalition had not served them and they wanted to test and see if Pakatan would work for them.

Pakatan has not. And this is what Barisan has also not realized fully as its senior leaders continue to chastised them for being slaggard, when they can do more t contain dissent within the Barisan supporters and other potential Barisan voters.

The voters have also realized that Pakatan cannot deliver.

Voting in any election is not an ‘either or’ case; it should be a ‘neither nor’ case when one does not have to vote just because one is a registered voter and if Barisan and Pakatan do not have intelligent candidates.

This was what I did in the march, 2008 general election when I refrained from voting because both the candidates were dumb. They looked dumb and they did not possess the necessary professional and academic qualification to get a vote from me.

Worse, they did not campaign in the constituencies so I could pose some questions to them.

In the end the voters voted for one of them causing the opposition to win in the state and parliament constituencies, even when they did not know who they were voting for and why.

They just knew they had to vote for someone. And that time, they did not feel they wanted to vote Barisan.

It’s not that the voters had deliberately wanted to vote Pakatan in the last 2008 general elections. Far from it.

It’s not that they had suddenly hated Barisan and loved Pakatan. Far from it too.

The fact is that they did not wish to vote Barisan based on the choices they had comprising of many old goats and other loud-mouths whom they thought they had had enough of.

And it’s just that they just did not wish to vote for Barisan and because of that they had no choice but to ‘cross’ the other box for Pakatan instead.

Yet, there are many who chose not to vote for anyone simply because they did not want to vote Barisan and had to vote Pakatan, which they did not want to do.

I did not vote for anyone because the choice of candidates from Barisan and Pakatan is bad. I did not know any of them. And they had not been known to care for the well-being of the people.

They were nominated by their coalition parties because of some other reasons, and not because they have leadership quality.

Many of the voters have better leadership quality and better education. But they are not interested in politics, which they say are for those who can’t make the grade in school, which is true, since most of them are university dropouts with just a general degree on anything.

This was the reason why Pakatan triumphed in the elections which saw many unknown entities whom they had placed as their candidates winning.

And not surprisingly, most of them are still unknowns despite being turned to parliament and the state executive councils of the various states in the country.

They were unknowns who had not shown any leadership quality or even written any letter that was published in the paper to prove that they care for the public.

The voters in the country have all been taught to vote. If they do not vote for one party, then they simply have to vote for the other party.

They are in the ‘Either or’ situation.

It’s time that they are taught to be in the ‘Neither nor’ situation when they do not need to vote if they do not wish to choose Barisan. They did not have to give their votes to Pakatan if they think this coalition did not deserve them.

I did not vote in the last general elections because the candidates from Barisan and Pakatan were dumb. They did not turn up to rally, so I could pose some questions to them.

All of them who contested in my parliament and state constituencies are not so well educated. They can’t speak or write in English well. I had not known who they were and those who were voted in are still relatively unknowns.

So why should I give them my vote anyway?

The results of the last general elections would have been a lot different if the voters were smarter who had chosen not to vote if they did not feel comfortable with the candidates offered by Barisan – the same old goats who were trounced anyway by the voters, because their parties in Barisan did not take heed of their concerns.

So even if they got the support of their own parties and of the Barisan leadership, they still could be trounced by the voters, especially those who harped on anti-Melayu sentiments when they could and got away with.

They could still win in their party elections. But the voters have the final decision on the matter when many of them were voted out.

These included those who had been around in the government too long. They have become fabulously wealthy as a result.

Yet, upon retirement, none of them could go on from where they had left having been in the cabinet for so long to establish their name in the world.

They ended being chairmen and advisors of major companies.

This is all the experience that they could get being in the cabinet and in national politics give them.

They have not even visited the constituencies to solve problems of the people here. Chances are they would not dare come by because they are not genuine representatives of the people.

They are just representatives of their respective parties.