The Truth Revealed

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mahathir quits Malaysia party - UMNO

Mahathir's decision may further weaken the
ruling party hit by recent electoral setbacks

Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian prime minister, has quit the country's ruling party.

The influential former leader's resignation from the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) follows a long feud with his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the current prime minister.

The move could also deepen cracks that appeared in Umno ranks after the party suffered massive losses in the March general election.

Speaking on Monday, Mahathir said his decision was prompted by a lack of confidence in Abdullah's leadership.

In a speech to some 1,000 people in his home state of Kedah he also urged other Umno members and cabinet members to follow him.

Mahathir appointed Abdullah to succeed him in 2003 after serving as prime minister for 22 years.

But he remained active in politics, wielding significant influence among the party's grass-roots workers.

By late 2004 Mahathir began accusing Abdullah of nepotism, corruption and inefficiency.

Party insiders say Mahathir was angry because many big infrastructure projects he had initiated were cancelled by Abdullah.

Mahathir's decision raises the possibility of large-scale desertions by loyalists, which could split the party and bring down the government.

Umno is the dominant party in the coalition Barisan Nasional administration that has governed Malaysia since independence in 1957.

Source: Agencies

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Kingmakers: Sabah, Sarawak and the 12th Malaysia General Elections

By Anthea Mulakala

Anthea Mulakala is The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Malaysia. She can be reached at

The Economist last week featured a telling pie chart on Malaysia’s 12th general election results. It revealed, without analysis, that Malaysia’s Barisan National (BN) coalition has the electorate in Sabah and Sarawak to thank for saving its narrow majority in parliament. While the BN was toppled in key states like Penang and Selangor, there was barely a ripple in voter trends in Malaysia’s eastern most states. Almost all BN candidates in both states won with a solid majority. The BN has been the ruling coalition in Malaysia since 1974, though its dominant party the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has been in the governing seat since independence in 1957.

These often ignored states are now enjoying the limelight as kingmakers for the BN and are well placed to cash in on the attention.

Geographically separated from Kuala Lumpur by the South China Sea, Sabah and Sarawak comprise 5.4 million people or 20% of Malaysia’s population of 27 million. Together the states gave the BN 54 seats out of 140 in the Malaysian parliament. 41 of these seats are held by local Sabah and Sarawak parties that have joined the BN coalition.

However, the BN’s success in Eastern Malaysia should not lead observers to believe that Sabahans and Sarawakians are satisfied with the BN’s governance, accountability and service delivery in their states.

Despite their wealth in natural resources, Sabah and Sarawak are amongst Malaysia’s poorest states. In Sabah, 24% of households live below the national poverty line and child poverty rates are 42%. More than one fifth of the population aged six and over has never been to school. Malaysia enjoys the unflattering distinction of having the highest Gini coefficient in Southeast Asia attributable to the high incidence of poverty in Eastern Malaysia. Sabah’s GDP per capita is less than 50% of the national average. Furthermore, most of Sabah and Sarawak’s poor come from the non-Malay Bumiputra population (61% of Sabah and more than 50% of Sarawak). Clearly, the affirmative action New Economic Policies of UMNO and the BN have not been successful in alleviating these indigenous people from poverty.

Why then, when their development has lagged under decades of BN and UMNO rule, did the local parties, give the BN so many seats in parliament? First the local parties in Sabah and Sarawak are homegrown; the opposition parties are not and are seen to represent the interests of peninsular Malaysians. Until the opposition parties establish roots in Eastern Malaysia they will continue to have limited traction amongst the electorate. Second, everyday Sabahans and Sarawakians worry that voting for the opposition may result in the loss of vital development grants and projects for their states. Certainly BN politicians have dangled the fruit of these grants temptingly during the campaign. Sabahans also feel that constituencies which fell to the opposition parties in the 2006 state elections were subsequently denied federal development grants. Voter education workshops with citizens in Eastern Malaysia reveal that they feel their needs are more likely to be addressed as part of the governing coalition than the opposition.

Furthermore, though peninsular Malaysians very rarely refer to Sabah and Sarawak in their political debates, national politicians are acutely aware of the importance of the Eastern votes and have rewarded their vote bank by building highways and airports. However if Sabah and Sarawak are to emerge from the development doldrums and their voters kept “on side” the BN must reward the backbone of its support with more than tarred roads. In the future, they may demand more power at the centre and more meaningful growth-led development.

Sabah’s shifting demographics add a further layer of complexity to this analysis. 25% of Sabah’s population is comprised of non-Malaysian citizens, mostly Muslim Indonesians and Filipinos, many who entered Malaysia illegally through the state’s porous borders, many seeking jobs and a better life. Many have become “regularized” by the federal government and thereby earn the right to vote. While the means through which these citizens have acquired their papers may be dubious, they form a significant power base for the Muslim dominated UNMO. Critics cry fowl and claim this is an attempt to buy votes in exchange for citizenship. The issue is one of increasing social tension in Sabah and Sarawak which UNMO will need to adroitly navigate.

There was much more to Malaysia’s 12th General Elections than meets the eye. Not least, it provides a pivotal opportunity for the citizens of Sabah and Sarawak to exercise more influence over national policy and get a better deal for themselves. Recognition of their role as ‘kingmakers’ has already sparked grumbling within Sabah and Sarawak that they only received 5 ministerial seats out of 27 in the new cabinet. With 54 seats in parliament, the time is ripe for Eastern Malaysians to put their key issues – like land rights, illegal immigration, persistent poverty, and sub-par economic growth – on the table. If the BN does not pay attention the outcome of the 13th General Election is likely to be quite different than the 12th.

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Anthea Mulakala

Country Representative, Malaysia

Tel: (603) 2142-0385

Fax: (603) 2141-0385


Expertise: South and South East Asia, gender, conflict, governance, civil society capacity building, reproductive health, donor policies and practice.

Anthea Mulakala was appointed The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Malaysia in September 2007. Ms. Mulakala has been overseeing programs in Asia since 1991, and most recently worked for the World Bank piloting an innovative multi-donor experiment in aid effectiveness and “donor harmonization” in support of Indonesian decentralization. She has also worked for South Asia Partnership, strengthening NGO capacity in Sri Lanka, and as advisor on gender-based issues to their offices in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. From 1997-2005, Ms. Mulakala was with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) as team leader of a large Government of Bangladesh and multi-donor health project consortium, and subsequently as DFID’s Reconciliation and Development advisor in Sri Lanka, where she developed and implemented the UK’s peace building and reconciliation strategy for the country and chaired the Donor Working Group on the Peace Process.

Ms. Mulakala speaks French and intermediate Indonesian, Bangla, and Tamil.

Education: B.A. in political science, with honours, from the University of Western Ontario; M.A. in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Land Development Minister Dato Sri Dr James Masing in defending his “cultural arrogance” theory said, Cultural arrogance breeds racial disharmony and a form of insincerity.

Masing said it would be cultural arrogance, if a Chinese tried to help the Ibans but yet preached to them (Ibans) things they already knew. He said another form of cultural arrogance manifested itself in some people’s attitude and perception towards others.

"There is a general perception by others in Malaysia that Bumiputeras are not capable of doing good and successful business. Hence when a Bumiputera company is successful, the perception is that it cannot be attributed to their skills and capability. Thus, variables like cronyism, nepotism, corruption and political patronage come to the picture.

It is therefore wise for people to think that all are born equal in intelligence. But what makes us different from one another is opportunity. Some get more opportunities than the others."

Masing also said, “During my growing up years, the Ibans in Kapit were referred to or called by the Chinese as ‘Lakkia’ (native or wild savage). I did not take any offence then. Now I do. I will not take this form of address too kindly.”


The divine command theory argues that God is the lawgiver and that it is he who has introduced the rules of morality to us. It tells us that because morality is 'right' that means that God 'commands' it. It argues that God and morality is "dependant on one another. It also states that God is altruistic because everything that is 'good' God commands.

This theory tries to solve the problem of objectivity in ethics. It shows that morals are not just based on people's opinions but dictated by a higher being. It also solves the problem of why anyone should obey morals. According to others, if morals were not commanded by god, why bother with them and not just look out for yourself like ethical egoism suggests. According to the divine command theory, because God has commanded it, then if we obey it, we will be rewarded in heaven, or punished in hell.

A Statement Regarding Ethnocentrism/Cultural Arrogance by Michael Haydon

There is great ethnocentrism/arrogance that lingers throughout Western society/culture/paradigms, which is a reflection of the susceptibility of humans as a whole towards systems of control. However, this is not a trait unique to only Western society/culture/paradigms, but all others. It seems that few humans ever maintain an awareness of the societally-programmed behavioral patterns in them. Put simply, many humans are in large part unaware of the control that society has over them. Such arrogance includes closed-mindedness towards other cultures and customs. Those evaluating other 'norms' from this perspective would generally regard them as wrong, unacceptable, or would be dumbfounded for lack of empathy or understanding.

As a product of such arrogance and/or unawareness, there will always be widespread upheaval towards any form of internal societal/cultural change. This is more of a function of human attachment, which is intertwined with the societally-programmed behavioral patterns that were predominantly trained into the individuals by their parent(s)/guardian(s).

I believe this arrogance to be happening in large part outside of our awareness.

It's time to wake up and smell the coffee, so to say. It is time to stop being arrogant and start fulfilling what is necessary to further our psychological evolution.

We have an opportunity to reflect upon all the numerous perspectives throughout the world and gain greater insight into all aspects of human existence. This is a rare opportunity because the world is now united by means of travel and communication. There is the potential to learn more about humans, collectively, than we've ever had in our known history. This is important because the most complete and balanced perspective can account for everything -- the holistic perspective.

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