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Posts Tagged ‘Tun Abdul Razak

Long before most netizens and majority of the current workforce were born, DAP’s Emperor Lim Kit Siang complained on 1st September 1977 about the lack of public transport and increase in fares by now-defunct well-known bus company, Sri Jaya.  Four days later, he called for the resignation of both Ganie Gilong of Sabah who was the Transport Minister, and Dr Goh Cheng Teik who was the Deputy Transport Minister to resign.

Political and monetary instabilities as a result of the international monetary crises in the early 1970s and the oil crisis in late 1973 contributed to the worldwide recession, stagflation and very slow recovery.  Consumer Price Index (1967 = 100) jumped by 10.5 percent in 1973 and 17.4 percent the following year. In 1977 it was down to 4.7 percent, the lowest since 1973, and the CPI figure never went down further until 1984.

Money, Income and Prices of Malaysia (1966-89) from the book The Monetary and Banking Development of Singapore and Malaysia by Sheng-Yi Lee

It was a time when Malaysians could hardly afford anything. In order to assist the rakyat, Tun Abdul Razak set up the Restoran Rakyat in August 1973. It was where a nasi lemak breakfast would cost only 20 sen and a simple lunch of rice, fish curry and vegetables would cost only 80 sen.  Of course, 20 sen those days is like RM2.00 of today but any balanced meal today that costs less than RM10.00 per plate is greatly welcomed.

The Restoran Rakyat, near today’s Dataran Merdeka – Tun Razak’s way of helping the rakyat in KL to overcome inflation (courtesy of harithsidek.blogspot.com)

Also introduced by Tun Razak was the BMW – Bas Mini Wilayah, in September 1975.  The fare to any destination was 40 sen then and was only increased to 50 sen in 1991 and 60 sen two years later.  The BMW services were discontinued in July 1998 when it was replaced by Intrakota and subsequently RapidKL in 2005.

The notorious BMW – BERNAMA Images/Paul Tan

Today, as a result of a great foresight by the current government, land public transport and infrastructure have improved in leaps and bounds.  According to a research report published on the 4th April 2017 by the Financial Times, Malaysia’s transport users get the best deals in ASEAN.

Graphs comparing Malaysia and the rest of the ASEAN-5 in terms of spending on transport as well as the WEF’s ranking for the ASEAN-5 transportation infrastructure (Financial Times)

The graph shows that Malaysian commuters spend about USD12 per day on commuting as opposed to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines where commuting could cost up to USD20 per day, the only exception being Thailand where it could get to USD15 per day.

Malaysia is also ranked in the Top 20 from 138 nations in terms of transportation infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.

Malaysian spending on transportation rose to 0.7 percent of the GDP in 2016 compared to 2015, and the Financial Times research report attributes this to Prime Minister Najib Razak who continues to make infrastructure a key priority.

While the completion of the MRT SBK (Sungai Buloh-Kajang) Line 1 targetted for July 2017 and the construction of the MRT SSP (Sungai Buloh-Putrajaya) Line 2 and LRT 3 now taking place, urban and suburban dwellers in the Klang Valley can expect a much economical and more integrated mode of getting around, while feeder services such as the ETS, KTM Komuter, and the soon-to-be-expected HSR and double-tracking projects will allow growth in other areas and allow for cross-country commuting to and from work.

Projects like the ECRL and the Pan-Borneo highway will provide for the growth and availability of jobs not only in the urban areas but also in greenfields as well as pockets of rural towns where meaningful economic activities have thus far eluded.

With a projected population of 32.5 million by 2030, elaborate and efficient land public transport systems must be in place to ensure efficient mobility within and between spatial conurbations across Malaysia while the introduced National Land Public Transport Master Plan (NLPTMP) will ensure continual improvements and additions are made to the land public transport systems.

Malaysians should be thankful that plans have been made to improve transportation infrastructure instead of constantly complaining.

On the 23 August 2012, I wrote the following:

This was the way the British divided and ruled. Eventually, swayed by the profit they were earning from the Malay States that they forgot their promise to the Sultans which was to protect the interest and welfare of the Malays. The bulk of the Malays lived in rural areas and they had very minimal contact with the other races, the Chinese were basically in towns and tin mines, while the Indians were in rubber plantations. The effect to this was that the Malays remained backwards and were told to stay as peasants or tillers of the soil, the Chinese inherited all the tradings in the Malay States and became the richest residents, and the Indians remained as rubber-tappers without proper infrastructure. The Malays, according to Chai Hon-Chan:
“…merely retreated from the tide of commercial activity and material prosperity…whereas the British, Europeans, Chinese and Indians had the lion share of the country’s wealth…”
As a result, the Malays who were given land to cultivate, forced by economic disadvantages, began charging or creating a lien (collateral) over their land to the Chettiars. The Malays, already in a disadvantaged position, cried foul and started the “Malaya for Malays” movement in the late 1800s. EW Birch, the 8th British Resident of Perak, recognized this dire situation and quickly proposed a policy of preserving the Malay land. The only way to him to preserve the Malay race was to “free them from the clutches of those people who now remit to Indian large sums of money, which they bleed from the (Malay) people.”

The Malays were in a very disadvantageous position just before Merdeka, one of the reasons the Malayan Union was rejected so as to protect the rights and position of the Malays then.

FELDA was created 60 years ago to provide organised smallholders farming through resettlement of rural Malay poor who did not own any land. A year later Tunku Abdul Rahman launched the first settlement in Air Lanas, Kelantan where 400 settlers were relocated.

FELDA has grown into a very respectable organisation and has diversified its activities. FELDA Global Ventures, although separated in terms of its structure, is the third largest palm oil company in the world by acreage that also has downstream activities in oleochemicals.

Of late, FGV has not been performing well. Being in Malaysia, the government gets the blame although FGV has its own board. And the Opposition pins the blame on one person and one person only: Najib Razak.

Reading Raja Petra’s latest instalment does make me wonder if Isa Samad who is both the Chairman of FELDA and FGV is aware of the damage FELDA is causing to UMNO.

The allegations that Isa Samad and family is using FELDA/FGV as personal treasure chests is not something new. My only question is why is this cancer not nipped in the bud? 

It is still not too late for Najib Razak to act, and act he must! It would be sad to see a legacy left by his late father and the Tunku before that, that started in Air Lanas, be ruined by greed and irresponsible behaviours.

And what more if it is true as Raja Petra alleged that FELDA is being used to destroy UMNO in the upcoming general elections.

I can only echo a post on Facebook by Azmi Arshad – act now and save FELDA!

Tuanku Abdul Halim ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah is not the typical Yang DiPertuan Agong.

His Majesty is the first Sultan to have been elected twice to the office, and the oldest. He is also the second oldest and second longest reigning monarch after Queen Elizabeth II.

When Tuanku Abdul Halim first took office on the 21st September 1970, Malaysia had just come out of an extremely bad episode that happened just a little over a year before that.

Then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, stepped down a day after Tuanku Abdul Halim was sworn in as the Fifth Yang DiPertuan Agong – not because of pressure as claimed by some, but due to the fact that the Prime Minister felt it was inappropriate to sembah his own nephew.

His Majesty reigned over a period when the Second Emergency had just begun and race relations was at its lowest. But it was the combination of His Majesty’s wisdom and the great stewardship of Tun Abdul Razak that saw Malaysians unite against a common front – the Communist Party of Malaya.

Tuanku Abdul Halim’s second reign as the Yang DiPertuan Agong came in an era where rumours reign supreme. Despite remaining neutral His Majesty was, on more than one occasion, the victim of vicious rumours for not acting as expected by certain irresponsible quarters.

His Majesty’s openness has allowed for people from both sides of the political fence to air their grouse and seek advice.

Although the rights of the Yang DiPertuan Agong include the right to be informed, to be consulted, to advise, to encourage and to warn, again the wisdom of His Majesty has seen the first for rights being exercised.

And being steadfast in His Majesty’s stand in certain delicate matters as well as having the wisdom that befits a Yang DiPertuan Agong, His Majesty’s encouragement have allowed Prime Minister Najib Razak to have better concentration on the administration of this country.

Kedah will once more enjoy Tuanku Abdul Halim’s great leadership while the rest of Malaysia will miss him.

Patik menjunjung kasih Tuanku.

Dirgahayu dan Daulat Tuanku. Semoga Allah terus merahmati Duli Tuanku.

Whoever is familiar with the study of the Constitution would know Walter Bagehot, an editor, economist and political analyst who also wrote a book called ‘The English Constitution.’  There is one apposite quote of his that I thought befits the current situation and that is:

Nothing is more unpleasant that a virtuous person with a mean mind.”

The above quote refers to that man who claims to be virtuous but really is the epitome of evil; so evil that Pharaohs would have sought help from God’s Prophets to free them from this person – Mahathir Mohammad.

We have had noblemen leading this country, shining a light upon the path in which this nation walks even through its darkest hour.  Tunku Abdul Rahman was the son of the 25th Sultan of Kedah, Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid.  Tun Abdul Razak was the son of the 9th Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar of Pahang, Dato Hussein bin Mohd Taib.  Tun Hussein Onn was the son of UMNO founder, Dato Onn Jaafar who was the Menteri Besar of Johor.

I was priveleged some time back to a chat with Professor Anthony Milner, a researcher from the Australian National University, an Emeritus Professor, School of Culture, History & Language of the ANU, on the topic of the Malays.  We were discussing the origin of the Malays and the ‘Rajas Melayu.’  Interesting to note that our paths converged when we both agreed that the Malays refer to a collection of people of the Nusantara spanning from the borders of Polynesia and Melanesia to Sumatra, who pledged allegiance to the Rajas whose respective dominions were all that they could survey.  It was only when political boundaries were defined in a clearer manner that the Malays were defined according to the nation that they lived in.

The antonym of a nobleman would be a commoner.  The fourth Prime Minister was not born into the aristocracy like his predecessors, or a prominent religious family like his successor.  In short, I would term him a pleb: a low-born, uncultured, coarse, rude, undistinguished – and a personal favourite: scum.  His grandfather, Iskander Kutty hailed from the southern Indian state of Kerala.  His father was from Pulau Pinang, a school principal.

Mahathir had nothing to show. He had nothing compared to his predecessors.  This probably shaped the way he managed this country: through the rule of iron fist, autocratic, dictatorial, enriching cronies and nipotes to prepare him for the end of days. A man who has nothing has nothing to lose.  Therefore, it was always his way, or the highway.  He had this habit of making enemies everywhere, including the members of the royal households. And as James A Baldwin once said, The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”

One would have thought that this nonagenarian would spend the twilight moments of his miserable life repenting for the wrongs he had done, alas no!  His perfervid hatred for the man who stands in between him and his undying ambition to ensure that his family would be remembered as an aristocratic bunch rather than the descendants of the evil-smelling Kutty whom had just gotten out of the stowage of a slave ship, has caused him to make a reciprocal turn on all his words, often filled with delusional tales to cloud the minds of those too young to remember anything bad about him. He has nothing to lose.

In 1867, Bagehot asserted in ‘The English Constitution‘ that the Constitution needed two parts: the dignified – to excite and preserve the reverence of the population’ and the other, the efficient – to ‘employ that homage in the work of government’. The monarch was the prime example of dignity in this sense and the Prime Minister and his cabinet of efficiency.  Therefore, the monarch, while lacking executive power, had an important constitutional role.

But in 1993, Mahathir, being a pleb and an undignified one too, decided to encroach into the realm of the dignified. Mahathir amended the Federal Constitution with the aim of removing legal immunity of the royalty.The amendments were made at a time when the Malaysian monarchy witnessed a deteriorating relationship with the government (specifically Mahathir). Before the amendments were made, the Constitution granted rulers who have violated the law not to be prosecuted by the criminal court unless he voluntarily wishes to surrender his legal immunity.

This laid the royalty bare and are now subjected to public scrutiny, bringing the royalty and monarchy close to becoming irrelevant.  As a result, members of the royalty have been seen to assiduously court public opinion after prolonged years of subservience to Mahathir’s rule (Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid, Muhamad Takiyuddin Ismail (2013)).

Mahathir had nothing to lose. These were the Rajas Melayu. He need not show any allegiance to anything Malay as he is not truly one.  UMNO was just a vehicle for him to have power in order to make riches.  When UMNO went against him he had UMNO declared illegal in 1988. Then he created a new UMNO where playing fields were no longer level and he had automatic nominations as the President of UMNO.  What is UMNO to him but just another Malay institution where he, the soupçon Malay felt no allegiance to.

Finally, the Sultan of Johor told Mahathir to shut up.  Not once, but twice.

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-23-12-43

And Mahathir is never concerned about the people of Malaysia. Politics, to him, is what serves only him. Therefore, his call for the people to overthrow the government is a total reciprocal from his way of dealing with demonstrations against him during his premiership.  And how was it during his time?

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-23-07-27 screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-23-07-54

During his time, when people demonstrated against him, he appealed to the participants to use the ballot box to bring about their desired reform.  What is his stand now?  He incites people to force change undemocratically!

You can watch a video to see how Mahathir had Anwar Ibrahim arrested and the way he had the police to handle those who demonstrated against him when he was the Prime Minister.

As Lord Acton wrote in his letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton on the 5th April 1887:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

And in the case of Mahathir he is not just a bad man, but a pleb and a scum.


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