Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MALAYSIAN TELEVISION AND RADIO SERVING THE CAUSE OF THE OTHERS, AND ARE THE REASONS FOR CREATING DISSENT IN THE COUNTRY.

…NO REAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE MALAYSIAN FILM INDUSTRY, DESPITE THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS THAT HAD BEEN ALLOCATED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO DEVELOP IT. AND WHY THE 13 MAY, 1969 INCIDENT HAD TO HAPPEN SIX YEARS AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THE OLD MALAYAN CINEMA THEN BASED IN SINGAPORE. 
By Mansor Puteh


Malaysian Cinema, television and radio should record the memories of the fast-changing Malaysian landscape which is changing all the time, with new innovations, ideas and also the demographic elements thrown in, to add to the spices of the new Malaysian cultural, social, intellectual and economic life.

So if this does not happen, it won’t be wrong if future generations do not know how the country had developed like the young generation today who do not know or care about the past events the country had gone through.

It is therefore ironic how RTM or the respective ministries, could become complicit to this and they are not responsible to be able to do something to ensure that the real use of the cinema, television and radio be enhanced by encouraging the right persons to enter the industry and to weed those adventurers who are out to earn a fast buck from producing programs for them.

In developed countries, their ministry of tourism does not exist. They promote their countries through the medium of the cinema, television and also radio, or through their music.

In Malaysia, tourism promotion is still done in the old-fashioned way which is very expensive and ineffective by sending officials to attend tourism festivals all over the world.

No wonder Hollywood has often been described as ‘an extension of the American State Department’; because it brings more goodwill to the country than their government officials could ever imagine.

But this did not happen by chance; it was all planned by the earlier state government officials who ensured that American cinema, television and music must be accepted by the others which is what is happening in Malaysia and very much all over the world now.

Malaysia still believes in promoting the country abroad and National Unity by using slogans and by sending their officials to attend tourism festivals abroad. But most of the time they returned empty-handed.

They had not learnt how America had used Hollywood to promote National Unity in the country, with much of the emotions that the average Americans had being spilled into their artworks and not in the streets.

In Malaysia, much of the emotions of the average Malaysian citizen are contained within themselves that it only needed to get some personalities to bring these out into the streets.  

Malaysia or the officers in the respective ministries have not bothered to learn from the lessons from Hollywood, and they also do not care who can teach them on these, especially those who had the opportunity to study film in America.

If they had bothered to do this two or three decades ago; surely today Malaysia won’t be as what it is today.

They had also not bothered to ask themselves why the 13 May, 1969 Incident had to happen barely six years after the collapse of the Old Malayan Cinema then based on Jalan Ampas in Singapore.

The Incident did not happen without a reason. The other reasons cited by the political analysts and historians are but a few of them.

The real reasons are due to the collapse of the Old Malayan Cinema which created dissent amongst the people who were divided along racial lines when Hong Kong Cinema and India Cinema and also Hollywood started to influence the thinking and attitude of the people.

This did not happen before. 

Why are Malaysian or Melayu television dramas uninspiring? Some NST readers have asked this and other questions on the poor state of Malaysian television and radio.

First of all Malaysian television and also radio are dominated by people who are not properly trained to do the jobs; they choose drama serials on their personal whims and fancies.

We do not hear of any of the stations sending their own officers to further their studies on film, television and radio abroad so they can bring new methods into the respective industries.

And as for the so-called ‘radio stations’ they are mostly ‘music stations’ so no wonder they get the highest ratings in the country.

They do not have diverse programs, much less on nation-buildings including talk programs and other magazine programs or even news programs.

These music stations cannot come up to par with Radio Malaysia.

Unfortunately, the people in the ministry of communication and multimedia or Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia or KMM today or its predecessors, Kementerian Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan or KPKK are also not trained to use the mediums of television and radio to give the greatest and widest advantage to nation-building.

They are happy if the stations broadcast some programs as long as there are ratings and no one bothered to analyze what they do.

The truth is since the establishment of RTM in 1963, there has never been any serious analysis on the state of the television and radio in the country.

No one has ever conducted a serious study on it even for his thesis at the graduate or post-graduate.

In fact, there has not been any serious book on Malaysian television and its history, which is long and it deserves, to show to all Malaysians how it has developed or not at all.

Melayu television drama serials are one of the most enduring and effective tools to promote national unity and understanding, other than those in the other vernacular languages.

Unfortunately, this advantage or us, has never been utilized or realized.

RTM and the private television stations are too happy to broadcast television drama serials which are in the ‘love triangle’ genre.

There are other genres and fusion of genres that can be encouraged and shown as television dramas.

But RTM and the other private stations do not seem to realize this, so they are being misled by their scheduling problems.

No wonder, almost all the Melayu television dramas have these words in the title, ‘Cinata’, ‘Kasih’ and ‘Sayang’ in them.

These dramas and also feature films do not reflect the changing times that Malaysia is constantly experiencing.

The different environment and physical properties of which Kuala Lumpur experiences and introduces on a daily basis are not reflected in the television dramas.

In industry terminology, there is an absence on the ‘time’ and ‘place’ elements.

Therefore, Melayu television dramas are suspended. The scripts could be written two decades ago, and they can still be produced so no wonder what they deal with are too general, dealing with the limited emotions around ‘hatred’, ‘jealousy’ and the feeling of inferiority complex.

It is therefore pathetic to watch these programs.

The producers are not to be blamed; the stations are the ones who encourage them to come up with such programs in the first place.

Malaysian television can therefore be charged for encouraging dissent amongst the viewers and hence public. Its dramas encourage them to feel fearful and confused with the development that is happening around the country.

And no wonder many Malaysians do not care about their personal safety and comfort because they are living in suspended existence, around the few characters and situations that the television dramas highlight.

The Malaysian film industry is even worse; the producers are only capable of coming up with predictable plots, which they borrow from those films that were produced in Hong Kong, who in turn borrowed those that were produced in Hollywood.

So no wonder despite the large amount of investment that the government has put into the industry by offering grants and also loans, none of the films produced had not very far.

Malaysia is still no where towards seeing one of its film directors winning the Oscars.

So the investment of so much by the government through the relevant ministries can be said to have gone down the drain. It has only benefited so few who could not deliver.

Worse, the ministry officials are blameless, regardless of whether they had not performed well or not. They can still hold their heads high without feeling any sense of guilt whatsoever.

Unfortunately, the only international recognition that the Malaysian film industry had ever got this year, which can be described as such is through the documentary I produced for Finas called, ‘Dancing to the beat of History…’ which was selected for the competition in an international documentary film festival held in Portugal last November which I participated.

Other than that, the film industry’s achievement in the past year can be said to be non-existent.

And foreign film school graduates are sill frowned upon by the ministries concerned which does not have any real plans to engage them. Some are offered posts as lecturers at Aswara, which could not survive without them agreeing to work for it.

Malaysian cinema, television and radio do not reflect the changing times the country is in at any time.

They do not record the memories of the countries, so in the years ahead, the development that Malaysia experienced in the past is not recorded. 




Friday, December 27, 2013

MAGIC TRICKS OR JUST CAMERA TRICKS? …CHRIS ENGEL AND DAVID BLAINE MAY HAVE THE SAME TEACHERS.

By Mansor Puteh


There is an interesting program on television called ‘Magic tricks finally revealed’ that shows how the so-called magic tricks performed by the magicians or illusionists in America, who seem to be delighted to trick anyone with their magic tricks or illusions.

Some of them look impressive and real. The others are too impressive and too real to be true.

The program exposes the tricks or cheating that the telemagicians often do.

First what these telemagicians who like to perform ‘live’ in the streets is that they have setup everything with the persons who they like to say they bump into for the first time, to be nothing more than actors, who were paid to do what they are asked to do.

There are more than one cameras and there is editing.

So how could anyone not be able to perform the tricks?

Chris Engel’s MindFreak looks freaking. Initially one liked to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But later when his tricks were exposed in another program, one begins to ask if he was really a magician or illusionist or telemagician or magic cheat?

I find him to be weird, especially when he would go on to explain how the tricks he does and relish in it by assuming that the viewers of his program on television did not know how they were done.

I watched a program by David Blaine on television recently and was impressed by what he was showing, despite the fact that he did all the tricks in the streets before people who were strangers.

But were they strangers? Or were all of them paid staff or actors?

The telling sign that David is also doing a Chris is when he repeats a trick I had seen earlier in the program that exposes magic cheats.

Chris perform some of the tricks that were done in this program including swallowing a thread and pulling it out from inside the skin of his stomach.

Then David too did the same trick.

Both of them accosted some ‘strangers’ and asked them to watch his trick, and David like Chris also showed their tongue to show that the thread they had swallowed was not in the mouth, that they had swallowed into their stomach.

Then the two of them lifted up their shirt and then pull a thread from inside the skin of their stomach.

The people who were watching them were delighted. They had to be delighted because they were asked to be delighted because they were paid to take part in the act.

So from then on I lost interest and respect for David like I had lost the respect I initially had for Chris.

They are not real magicians or illusionists, but telemagicians who are magic cheats.

So now I suspect the act performed by David when he stood inside a block of ice in Times Square, New York for three days and staying inside a glass box over London for forty-four days to be fake despite it being performed before a live audience.

How could the two of them perform the same acts that had earlier been exposed in another television program?

Did Chris and David go to the same school of magic?

Have they performed before a live audience with no camera tricks? Not that I know of.

Do they dare to do that? I doubt it.

It is not easy for telemagicians to be able to do anything without the help of paid passersby and cameras and editing.

Yes, I am calling them ‘telemagicians’ or ‘magic cheats’, because this is what they are performing acts that many know how to do.  

I pity Chris who was said to have received recognition by being the most impressive magician in America. But what magic tricks had he done which are that impressive?

He once asked a African-American woman to get something in a supermarket, and it is the same thing that he had jotted in a piece of paper that he had given him.

Her friend, who was with her was also equally ecstatic when the note was exposed – like she also knew what was written in it that was the same item that her friend had taken from the shelf. She should not know that, but she did.

She was not instructed not to be excited because she was not supposed to know what was in the note and that it was the same thing that her friend had taken from the shelf.

It is very easy to perform magic cheats on television when there are few cameras and also editing, what more now that they are also performed with body double. 

The only thing I want to see if how Chris Engel’s MindFreak to disappear from Malaysian television and for him to stop pretending to be able to perform all the tricks on television.


I want to challenge him to do them before a live audience.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013

WHAT RIGHT DO THE SO-CALLED HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS HAVE TO TRAMPLE ON BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE MAJORITY WITH IMPUNITY?

…COPYING AND EXHIBITING THE OLD AND DISCARDED IDEAS IMPORTED FROM THE 1960s AMERICA.
By Mansor Puteh



This is really what happens when the people are given the space for them to express themselves. They tend to get carried away with their own thoughts so much so that they can start to claim to be the voice of the majority; but they are just a small minority.

They also like to claim to support democracy, but they do not agree to anything if they are not voted by the voters.

But they do not want to blame or belittle the voters who did not vote them, but the party that had got more votes than them in the ‘first past the post’ system, who got more seats.

They also do not care if they trample on the very values that they claim to uphold and want everybody to do the same.

And they also like to claim to fight for human rights for the majority, but they have no guilt for trampling on basic human rights.

It is therefore ironic how the small group of noise-makers who call themselves ‘human rights activists’ can be allowed to do what they are doing.

The truth is most of them had not lived in America; they only like to copy and exhibit traits which some Americans had shown in the 1960s, with their street marches and protests, which were all aimed at the then Johnson Administration against the prolonged Vietnam War which had seen more than sixty thousand American killed.

This is the truth to what is happening in some streets in Thailand, Malaysia and other countries.

But alas, the so-called ‘human rights activists’ that we have are only trampling on the rights they say they want to bring back to the society and country.

Using this as their trump card, they think they are absolved of whatever that they are capable of doing.

But alas, they are more than fifty years behind their counterparts in America or the 1960s.

The truth is they are only hiding behind the ‘human rights’ mask in order to allow them to be safe from ‘human rights abuses’ by the authority, who can be pushed to the side as they protest again and again and in the process also create massive problems for the majority around them.

They can hurl verbal abuse of all sorts, and not enough with that they can also cause physical harm to the armed forces personnel and public and private properties.

They do not seem to care what they are destroying, as long as they can march, protest and hurl verbal abuses on anyone and anything.

They have become what they claim to try and destroy.

It is high-time for the authorities to use the same laws – human right laws, against them because they have caused so much harm to the rest of the country that they have to bear with the consequences of their actions.

Human Rights are not for the minority to use to hide their hidden agendas, which is to destroy the very fabric of society that they want to soil, by exerting too much their emotions screening senseless thoughts and ideas all of which were imported into the country from the 1960s America.

In Thailand such a small group of protestors are able to disrupt traffic by seizing some streets in the center of Bangkok, and disable life in the city.

They, like their counterparts in other countries, do not like to take their show in deserted streets in deserted towns; they want to attract media attention.

They want to be above the law.

They claim to value ‘human rights’, yet, they are the ones who trample on these rights.

They have no right to do so, but they don’t care; they can also create chaos and riot by attacking public buildings and seizing them.

Yet, if there is retaliation from the authorities, they charge them to be against ‘human rights’ laws.

They cannot be charged under the same laws because they have appointed themselves to be the judge of the people.

Some Columbia University students seized the administration building of the university in the 1960s, to protest against the involvement of their country in the Vietnam War.

The Iranian students seized the American embassy in Tehran and detaining the staff for 444 days before releasing them just minutes after Ronald Reagan won the presidential elections against incumbent President Billy Carter whose efforts to release the American hostages failed.

In Malaysia, there are also people like those who often take to the streets to express their discontent. But no one knows what they are trying to pull.

They claim to be neutral and not with any particular party, but most of the political personalities they attract are those from the opposition.

They had congregated in the city center and disrupted life and business, but this is the least of their worries.

They have managed to attract international media attention, but it seems that this is just not enough. They crave for more.

The only thing that the protestors in Thailand did not want is for the authorities or government to act on them in the same way they are acting against the government.

If they do this, then the protestors can charge the government for showing excessive force and for ‘human rights abuses’ when they themselves can be charged for the same offenses.

Yet, this can never happen, since anti-government protestors think such charges can only be leveled against the government or authorities by them as it is their right to do so.

Even the so-called human rights group do not care what the protestors do on the government and public properties, as they also see it as the right of the protestors to do whatever they like.  




Sunday, December 15, 2013

…DID NELSON MANDELA KNOW MALAYSIA’S MINORITY CHINESE DEMANDED THEIR RIGHTS TO SEGREGATE THEMSELVES FROM THE MAJORITY RACE AND TO ALLOW THEM TO LIVE IN A PECULIAR SELF-APARTHEID STATE?
By Mansor Puteh



(The funeral of Nelson Mandela will be held at Qunu, where he will be given a state funeral today, after his body was placed in Union Building in Pretoria to allow the South Africans and others to pay their last respects.)

Malaysia is in such a bad and sad state. It is perhaps the only country in the world where the small Chinese and Tamil minority groups demand to be segregated from the mainstream society.

It is a segregated state – an apartheid state by any measure – or a self-apartheid state. But it happened by demand from the Chinese and Tamil immigrant populations and not imposed by the majority Melayu. But it is self-segregation – a self-apartheid kind of system.

However, in other countries, the Chinese and Tamils do not insist on being segregated; they demand to be allowed to assimilate with the majority White population as much as the Black or African-Americans who insisted on being allowed to study in the national schools. 

First the Chinese and Tamil demanded that they were given the rights to establish their own schools that offer education in Mandarin and Tamil.

This, however, had a negative effect on the creation of the true Malaysian society.

The world has not condemned Malaysia and the minorities for insisting on segregation in such a fashion, as the world looks at the racial issue in Black and White and not so much between the Chinese and Tamils and the Melayu.

The issue is also not compounded simply because the Chinese in Malaysia had been given legup by the British colonial masters because they mostly lived in the cities and urban areas, and also because the Melayu being Muslims took pity on them, so much so that they are economically sound and superior that they can afford to behave in such a fashion.

The Melayu supported Chinese businesses and trading to help prop their economic situation, because when they first came to the country known as Tanah Melayu, they were poor and had only clothes on the backs.

They were not fabulously wealthy when they were first here.

But what if the Melayu suddenly changed their attitude and say, enough is enough and they do not patronize Chinese establishments today? This can happen. And it is slowly happening by design and the change in attitude of many Melayu today.

But the real matter concerns their size which is comparatively large and how divided the Melayu majority is, so they are now the ‘kingmakers’ in politics in Malaysia; for without which their voice would be diminished and their demands could not be met.

This situation however, can happen as in the years ahead, when the size of the Melayu population increased to so large a number and with the creation of Melayu unity with the passing of the old leaders, the Chinese can find themselves in a difficult spot.

The Tamils now realize their folly; so they have turned their backs on the Chinese and are back in the Melayu fold, as in the last general elections showed.

The Chinese and also the Indians taking the cue from the Chinese demanded that they are allowed to operate their own schooling system.

But they are schools with the medium of Mandarin and Tamil and not of the other dialects.

Yet, the other groups in the Indian racial group cannot demand that they are also allowed to operate their own schooling system because their numbers are small.

The Chinese and Tamils are able to do so because their numbers are larger than the other groups.

That also explains why the Chinese and Tamils in other countries including America and Britain as well as Australia and New Zealand cannot demand such schools be operated to cater to the needs of their children; the majority there wouldn’t accept it.

However, the Chinese and Tamils are only allowed to have classes in their languages, if they wanted to but there are few takers.

They ended up being forced to assimilate with the larger groups. In fact, they also do not have political parties to serve their cause.

Whereas in America, the Blacks or African-Americans demanded that they are allowed to travel in the same bus and go to the same schools as the White kids.

And the Whites in America also did not demand that the Blacks or ‘Negros’ not to speak in English, since they are not White, but Blacks.

Herein lay the funny thing about the real goals of the White Supremacists in America in those days. They who did not allow the Blacks to assimilate, yet did not frown or make any attempt to stop them from using their language and their clothes.

But they were able to stop or bar the Blacks from buying properties in the White areas, even if some of them could afford to do so.

* * * * * * *

Nelson Mandela died on 6 December, 2013, twenty-three years after Tunku Abdul Rahman died in 1990. Mandela or known affectionately by his clan name of Madiba became the first Black president of his country, South Africa in 1992.

And two years later, he made his first and only visit to Malaysia, meeting the then prime minister, Mahathir Mohammed.

But he was never told of how Tunku, as prime minister of the country then, had called for the expulsion of South Africa from the British Commonwealth which met in Brisbane in 1961, a motion that was supported by Indian prime minister, Nehru, and later accepted by the Commonwealth.

It caused the Apartheid government of South Africa to suffer indescribable damage to the reputation internationally.

So Mandela would be aghast if he knows of any country which still believes in apartheid.

What would he have said if he learns that in Malaysia there is racial segregation by demand from the Chinese and Tamils?

* * * * * * *

Nelson Mandela would be amazed to see Malaysia, which had made it possible for the establishment or apartheid-style policies that the Chinese and Tamil had forced the government to do.

He would be amazed to see how such a system could become a national policy with the Chinese and Tamil minorities demanding that they are allowed to do as they please.

They ask the government to practice democracy by giving the option of sending their kids to their own schools, yet, demanding land and financial support from it.

In America, the Blacks demanded that they were allowed to study in schools operated by the government, even if it would mean that they would be assimilated with the White majority population there. 

They often used their political clout to make that happen.

In the west and other countries where they are in small minority groups, they were not able to do so; and those who insist that they do not assimilate with the locals stick with their own people in the Chinatowns and Little Indias, where they can believe that they are still in China and India and speak only in Mandarin and Tamil.

So no wonder, in Malaysia, there are many Chinese and Tamils and other Indians who still can’t speak in the national language of Melayu well, or at all.

Many of them are still able to manage themselves since they are the ones who do not move about, but who like to confine themselves within their own racial groups.

Yet, many of them are still able to get the driving licenses whose written tests are conducted in Melayu and sometimes in English, the two languages they are not familiar with.

* * * * * * *

Nelson Mandela would be confused if he knew about the true situation in Malaysia when he was here in 1994.

No one must have explained to him how the Chinese could get whatever they wanted simply because the Melayu had been fractured by design so that the Chinese voters including the Indian ones, could become the unnecessary ‘kingmakers’.

If there is true Melayu unity, chances of the Chinese and Indians being able to do much will be curtailed.

And their political parties such as the MCA, Gerakan, DAP, MIC, and what have you… would be turned into mere social and cultural clubs, while playing mahjong and selombong and watching films from Hong Kong and India the whole day!



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN, MALAYSIA’S FIRST PRIME MINISTER DIED ON 6 DECEMBER, 1990…NELSON MANDELA DIED ON THE SAME DAY, TWENTY-THREE YEARS LATER…

By Mansor Puteh



A funeral service for Nelson Mandela will be held in a stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa today.

* * * * * * *

Tunku Abdul Rahman, 87, Dead; First Prime Minister of Malaysia
Published: December 07, 1990

Tunku Abdul Rahman, the gregarious noble who led in the founding of Malaysia and who was for 13 years its first Prime Minister after it became independent from Britain in 1957, died yesterday in General Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. He was 87 years old.

The Tunku, or prince in Malay, as he was called, had heart and kidney problems, the Government said. He went into a coma on Wednesday.

As he wished, the Tunku will be buried in accordance with Muslim rites at the Langgar Royal Mausoleum in his birthplace of Alor Star, a Malaysian state. The chief secretary to the Government, Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, said the Tunku would be given a full state funeral. A national holiday was declared yesterday.

The Tunku was the seventh son of Prince Abdul Rahman Ibni, a sultan who ruled for 61 years in Kedah, a northern principality. His mother was Makche Menjelara, who was half Burmese and half Siamese. She was a daughter of Luang Mira, a chieftan of the Siamese Shan states. Law Student in England

* * * * * * *

Above are the first few paragraphs in the Obituary on Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was Malaysia’s first Prime Minister who died on 6 December, 1990 published in The New York Times (NYT) the next day, 7 December, 1990.

Unfortunately, what the NYT had failed to also mention in the report is how Tunku Abdul Rahman or Prince Abdul Rahman was the first leader in the British Commonwealth who called for the expulsion of South Africa in the Commonwealth’s Heads of Government Meeting that was held in Brisbane, Australia from 8 to 14 March, 1961.

And the motion was adopted by the Commonwealth which caused the apartheid state of South Africa to be outcast from the organization and much of the world.

But it still had to take a lot of effort by the international community to finally cause the apartheid government to relinquish power that finally allowed the Black South African freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela from being released from Robbins Prison where he had been incarcerated for twenty-seven years.

Unfortunately, Tunku or The Prince was never given the right recognition by the post-apartheid South African government. Mandela himself was not aware of what Tunku had done to help fight the apartheid regime, as he was in prison and was most probably not informed of the move by the Commonwealth.

Mandela made visits to some of the countries and met with the then leaders of those countries to give them a general acknowledgement, without ever mentioning Tunku’s name including to Malaysia in 1994 where he met the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed.

Nelson Mandela or Madiba as he was affectionately called died on 6 December, and twenty-three years after the death of Tunku.

* * * * * * *

Below is what is currently available in Wikepedia.:

The 1961 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the eleventh Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in March 1961, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.

While Commonwealth conferences were normally held biennially, this conference was held after an interval of only a year as the May 1960 conference due to disagreement over South Africa and whether the country should be removed from the commonwealth due to its policy of racial segregation with Malaya's prime minister demanding South Africa's expulsion.

The prime minister of the Union of South Africa, H.F. Verwoerd, attended the conference to give formal notice that his country was to become a republic in May 1961 after having approved the constitutional change in an October 1960 referendum.

South Africa's application was opposed by the leaders of African states under black majority rule, Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Malaya's Tunku Abdul Rahman, and the other non-white Commonwealth countries as well as Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker due to South Africa's policy of apartheid. Canada was the only member of the old white Commonwealth to oppose South Africa's application.

The "Keep South Africa In" group included Britain's Harold Macmillan, Rhodesia and Nyasaland's Roy Welensky, Australia's Robert Menzies and Keith Holyoake of New Zealand.

Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker proposed that South Africa only be re-admitted if it joined other states in condemning apartheid in principle.[2] Once it became clear that South Africa's membership would be rejected, Verwoerd withdrew his country's application and left the conference.

Concerns were also expressed about Britain's prospective membership in the Common Market and the possible impact on trade relations between the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth also expressed its support for worldwide disarmament "subject to effective inspection and control".

Cyprus' application to join the Commonwealth, following its independence the previous year, was approved over the opposition of the United Kingdom which objected as Cyprus had not applied for membership prior to independence as had been customary. Cyprus' president, Archbishop Makarios III, joined the conference once the decision on his country's membership was made. The membership application of Sierra Leone was also accepted and became effective upon its independence on 27 April.

This was the first Commonwealth conference in which one of the heads of government was a woman, Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, who was also the first female prime minister in the world.

* * * * * * *

I write this in order that this coincidence is also not missed by the admirers of Madiba and also of Tunku, the two men who had charted the course of their own country’s future, with Tunku, gaining Independence or ‘Merdeka – a word which was borrowed from the Dutch word for independence’ for the then Malaya from Britain.







Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SENATORS IN DEWAN NEGARA TO REPRESENT THE DISABLED AND ARTS COMMUNITIES ARE JUST FOR SHOW; THEY CANNOT DO MUCH OR ANYTHING AT ALL.

…AND GETTING A BLIND PERSON OR A WHEELCHAIR BOUND PERSON PROMOTES THE STEREOTYPED IMAGE OF THE DISABLED COMMUNITY.
By Mansor Puteh



The disabled community cannot blame me for saying this or want to find fault with what I am saying.

The truth is that the authorities only want to highlight a person’s disability and not his achievement despite it; so the more disabled the person, the more they will want to highlight it.

So the first senator to represent the disabled community had to be a blind person and his successor a woman who is wheelchair bound. They represent the stereotyped image of the disabled community.  

In fact, all the activities conducted and organized by the ministry concerned only focus on the disabilities and not on the many disabled persons or Orang Kurang Upaya or OKUs that we have in the country who have done wonders and who are leading almost normal lives so much so that no one knows or cares that they are disabled.

So it was no surprise that a blind person, despite being a professor, was chosen to be the first senator representing the disabled community. He is succeeded by a wheelchair bound woman.

Unfortunately, these two senators were chosen simply because they were physically disabled.

On the contrary, even the able person can represent the disabled community if the person understands the laws and issues related to it, just as a person suffering AIDS should not necessary be good to represent those who are suffering from this dreadful disease. 

There was a senator who was said to represent the art community. But what did he do in his two terms in Dewan Negara for the arts? Nothing!

Then we had a senator who was said to represent the disabled community. He was a professor who was blind. And what did he do to the disabled community? Also nothing.

The senator to represent the arts community was for show. And the other senator who represented the disabled community was also for show.

Both of these senators are no more in parliament, with the first one now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and the other who died while attending a conference abroad.

There is no replacement for the senator to represent the arts community. But there is a successor to the blind professor to represent the disabled community.

And she is an Indian woman who is wheelchair bound who was said to be involved with the issues concerning the disabled since 1978 who was sworn in as senator on 18 November.

And being a disabled person herself, the government thought she would be best suited for the job.

But this may not be so.

Just as being someone from the arts community may not necessary be suitable for him to represent this community in Dewan Negara, being a physically disabled person may not necessary bring any or much good to the disabled community.

The wheelchair bound Indian woman may not be able to do much. If indeed she had done much through all the years she has been disabled and wheelchair bound and serving the community, why then are this particular community of disabled, still disadvantaged by the many issues that the government are still trying to solve and provide them?

Being physically disabled and wheelchair bound puts her in a lot of disadvantage as much as the blind professor who could not be in touch with the disabled community.

Where did they get the idea that someone from the arts community is best to be appointed senator to represent this community and some who is physically disabled and wheelchair bound is best to represent the disabled?

The logic does not make any sense, as what the first two senators have proven, when they did not bring any issue concerning the arts and disabled community in Dewan Negara.

And if the senator for the disabled that we now have is said to be involved with the well-being of this community and who is also in the special community in the ministry, why then does she need to be appointed senator?

Yet, the new senator representing the disabled community is a member of the OKU committee under the ministry of ministry of women, family and community development or kementerian wanita, keluarga dan pembangunan masyarakat, but what has she done so far?

And what has this particular community done for the disabled community so far?

They have not even done much to affect the change of the special OKU card, which is only available in Melayu with no English translation.

This only means that the ministry and committee only see the disabled as being people who cannot move about that much so that they do not need to have such a card that they also can use abroad.

If they are not able to do much even with her in the committee, when what use is there for her to be in Dewan Negara who is in effect speaking to the same ministry?

This committee has also not suggested highlighting the deeds and personal achievements of the disabled in every field.

There are many who excel in their education with some of them who became disabled by accident later in their lives.

There is one who has been a member of parliament in the opposition for many years, but he has never bothered to consider himself to be disabled, and raise issues concerning the disabled.

There were also few university lecturers and senior government officers who were disabled but who did not care about their personal disability who could go on with their lives as though they were normal persons.

They were normal in all sense except for some personal discomfort that they had to ensure, which limits their movements. 

There is a redundancy here, which one can easily see, with the creation of this special OKU committee and the promotion of one of its members as a senator, who can never do much.

It is just for glamour, for show, no less. And what better way for the ministry to show that it cares for the well-being of the disabled community is by appointing someone who is physically disabled and sitting in a wheelchair.

A person sitting in a wheelchair as well as a blind person walking with a stick is the stereotyped image of the disabled who comprise of people with a host of disabilities some of which are not seen, so the public does not know that he is indeed disabled.

After all there is no image of the disabled that has been accepted worldwide other than the one showing a graphic image of someone sitting in a wheelchair.

The original designer of this illustration must have got the facts wrong when he came out with such a design which has now been universally accepted as representing the strongest and dramatic image of the disabled.

Yet, the disabled person sitting in the wheelchair is seen to be bald and a small head, which may also indicate that his brain is small.

There is no attempt by anyone to replace this design as it is seen to be the most effective.

So was the appointments of the senators to represent the arts and disabled communities such a good move? One doubts it.

It is just for show.

The arts and disabled communities have not benefited from them being in Dewan Negara.