Deafening silence from Malaysia regarding Myanmar Cyclone?

Deafening silence from Malaysia regarding Myanmar Cyclone?

 

First of all I wish to apologize if I am wrong.

 

If Malaysian Government had already sent the condolence note to Myanmar, I am sorry for writing this.

 

If Malaysian Government, GLCs (government Linked companies), NST, TV3, NTV7, RTM and NGOs (esp. government affiliated) had already started a campaign to help Myanmar, please accept my  apology for wrongly writing this posting.

 

If you all haven’t done anything, it is shame on you.

 

We don’t want a cent from you Kaisu Malaysia!

 

 

We know that we are not Orang Puteh (Whiteman) , no Arab blood and have no Malay-Indonesian blood. We are ALWAYS discriminated in your country.

 

Never mind if you do not wish to recognize the undocumented workers/migrants and asylum seekers.

 

During the great disaster in Myanmar, I hope if Malaysian government could do the followings to help us without spending a cent.

 

Please announce amnesty on all the Myanmar/Burmese undocumented workers/migrants and asylum seekers including those already in the detention camp. (At least if they could work and earn, they could help their families, relatives and friends.)

 

You could put a time limit for example six months to one year.

It is shameful that you are heartless to continue arresting and some of your agents are harassing them daily.

 

Dr San Oo Aung

 

17 Myanmar Illegal Immigrants Held In Kelantan

BERNAMA, RANTAU PANJANG, May 6 (Bernama) — The Anti- Smuggling Unit (UPP) Tuesday arrested 17 Myanmar nationals without valid travel documents in Kampung Kempas, Machang, as they were being smuggled into the country by a syndicate.

Kelantan UPP commander Mazlan Che Hamid said the Myanmar nationals, aged between 16 and 30 years, had been turned over to the Immigration authorities.

He said the van driver, a Malaysian, stopped the vehicle by the roadside and fled after realising that it was being tailed by UPP personnel at 4.30 am.

The UPP personnel had followed the van from Kampung Kedap here, some 40 km from Machang, he said.

— BERNAMA

Selfishness leads to search and hit the softspots

 Selfishness leads to search and hit the softspots

“Think of national interests”, Suaram told by

unjust leader from the Justice Party

On the protest voiced by Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) on the Selangor-levy plan, he said local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Suaram must place priority on national interests and not champion universal human rights and attack the state government for looking after its residents in their own homeland.

Yes, do not champion universal human rights but just look at your party’s name.

Do you stupidly still think that  your party is established for justice to DSAI alone? BUT not for the UNIVERSAL JUSTICE?

Dear DSAI and Datin Seri Dr Wan Aziza, please give an intensive course on Democracy, Human Rights, Justice, Rule of Law, UN Human Right Decleration on this shortsighted person.

If not this MB is morbidly suffering from Myopic astigmatism, a condition in which his eye is affected with myopia (Shortsightedness) in one meridian only: that is on foreigners.

He will later start an anti-Foreigner campaigns_

Now he said foreigners took the work of locals and buy the houses.

Soon he will propose to shut down the Kelang Port to stop exporting goods and petroleum so that Malaysian citizens could enjoy the surplus, unsold, exports. Sure, commodity prices would go down because of unsold, un-exported goods.

Soon he would stop all foreign tourists from entering Selangor to reduce traffic congestion and to give more hotel rooms available to local tourists. Hotel room rates would go down up to the level affordable to all the Malaysian citizens.

Soon he would stop all foreign direct investment to give more opportunity to the locals.

Selfish politicians like him would never think globally.

Selfish politicians usually use national interests as a smokeshield to disguise their cruel deeds.

Selfish and weak politicians always try to exploit or hit the soft spots. Khalid dare not exploit on Malaysian old pendatangs so he is looking the blood of fresh pendatangs.

(Sorry Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians for using this insulting words. I myself was labled like that in my own country and here we all are treated unfairly and unjustly as 10th. Grade foreigners amongst fresh pendatangs)

Selfish politicians always use the (Ultra) Nationalistic sentiments to incite or exploit against Foreigners.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should be controlled by DSAI and Datin Seri Dr Wan Aziza.

Justice Party (I hope Justice for all and not for selected races and citizens only) leader, new Chief Minister Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said foreign workers living and working in Selangor enjoyed all the state’s infrastructure, like good schools, health facilities and roads and the state was just calling for them contribute something in return.

I sensed a déjà vu phenomena while reading Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s words_

Former PM Tun Mahathier had also reported to utter these words as a lame excuse when he imposed increased medical fees for the foreigners.

  • Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim  is ignorant that legal foreign workers’ children are not allowed at all in any government schools!
  • Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim  is ignorant that the government had built 3000 schools only for the illegal immigrants from Indonesia. (According to NST front page news and photograph of a school)

Even PR holders are denied the good faculties in Public or Government Universities nowadays.

  • Local students are subsidized using part of our levies and income-taxes.
  • Even in the expensive private universities, locals are supported using the foreigners’ levies and income-taxes.
  • Adding salt to that do you know that we need to pay  more then locals? And one idiot is asking to charge more on foreigners in the local universities. Is this the Justice?

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should open his eyes and fight for that injustices and then I am sure the foreign workers would be willing to pay even hundred times more than he proposed.

He is ignorant that Government health facilities always charge THREE TIMES first clast fees to the foreigners while keeping them in the Third Class.

  • He should fight to charge same rate as locals at hospitals if he wish to charge again in his state.
  • He came from Justice party: after charging those levies (when the locals earning the same salary are usually exempted from paying income-tax because of low earning.)
  • Afterall those foreign workers are working for your country, your countrymen’s companies that your citizens owned at least 30% and for your citizens. Where is “Justice” if the workers your citizens employed are forced to pay extra charges or sometimes denied medical treatment?

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim  should be banned from claiming that he is from Justice Party if he continue to deny justice for all.

Using state Roads?

  • Foreigners also pay income-tax or levies.

  • Even if they use the taxis or busses, they paid the fees that is inclusive of all the Road Tax, Import Duty, Sales Tax, AP Fees, Tool fees etc.
  • If the Foreigners buy cars are they exempted from above?

So don’t give lame excuses Tun and Tan Seri, this is your country and State. If you want to discriminate on poor foreign workers, just do whatever you like. But don’t give those lame silly excuses. Just Hit the Soft Spots!” It is safer than exploiting the same citizens.

By the way, your “zero tolerance on squatters” is also targetting the poor. 

Please read the following news_

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim in the Star Online news 

BANTING: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) should take a more national approach to foreign worker issues and not attack the state government, says Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Khalid said the state government’s proposal to collect RM9 monthly from all migrant workers in the state was aimed at setting up a fund to help provide re-training for local unemployed youths so they could land better jobs.

He said foreign workers living and working in Selangor enjoyed all the state’s infrastructure, like good schools, health facilities and roads and the state was just calling for them contribute something in return.

Well done: Khalid, you have darken your party and opposition.

“Suaram feels that bringing in foreign workers is one of the solutions to human rights problems but they should understand we have to help our own people, too.

“This is a democracy, so we can open up and discuss the matter,” he told reporters after officiating at the closing ceremony of the training for local authorities’ enforcement officers at the Selangor Enforcement Training Centre (Pulapes) in Jugra here yesterday.

On Monday, Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng hit out at the state government’s proposal, calling it unjust as foreign workers received low wages and were often exploited by employers or recruitment agencies with non-payment, unjust deduction of salary, long working hours and unfair dismissals.

He added that migrant workers were barely surviving and probably in debt after paying exorbitant fees to come to work in Malaysia.

Khalid meanwhile said the RM4,000 in levy and agency charges migrant workers paid was too large a sum, and the state planned to call on the Federal Government to reduce the amount.

He also proposed that a centralised information system be set up to keep an accurate record of foreign workers in the state.

“I was among the people involved in the corporatisation of the system for foreign workers and I can show ways to keep tabs on even the illegal workers,” he said.

Khalid also said the Federal Government should not cast aside suggestions just because they came from opposition parties and should accept the good

“We want to show the federal government how to keep records on illegal workers (Have you use illegals in your old palmoil company?) by having the state levy. I will set up a centralised information system to keep correct records on those who come and work in the state,” he said.

Abdul Khalid said the RM3,000 to RM4,000 charged by migrant worker agencies was high and that for the Selangor government this was not reasonable.

(Then you have heart to extort extra RM 9.00, that will definitely pass onto the poor workers.)

(Have your old company pay the levies for your workers.  Afterall Tun said that levies were meant to made the employers expensive to hire foreigners but Tun and all of you close your eyes and look other way round when the poor foreign workers have to pay those money.)

If you are man enough demand part of the levies to be paid to state governments from the immigration or MOF.

He said millions of ringgit were paid by foreign workers to recruiting agencies that brought them to the country and the Malaysian government collected a levy but eventually the agents concerned did not know where the workers were and this “flood of foreign workers” created problems for society.

Although migrant workers, especially the illegal ones, were eventually repatriated by the government, the problem did not seem to end as they returned to the country and the ones who benefited were the travel agents and migrant workers recruitment agencies, Abdul Khalid said.
 

See this great Malaysiakini news,

  1. Permas: New MB’s statements ‘chilling’ by Soon Li Tsin 

The community residents’ association of Selangor and Federal Territory (Permas) is disappointed with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim’s decision to continue with the ‘zero squatters’ policy.   

Opposition leader Wan Azizah unveils bold agenda

The nation’s first female parliamentary opposition leader, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, today unveiled an ambitious agenda to boost economic growth and fight corruption.

Access to equal opportunities

Strengthening race relations

Withdraw Monthly Fee

on Migrant Workers

Wednesday, 26 March 2008 
Suaram is deeply disturbed with the plan of the Selangor state government to collect RM10 monthly fee from all migrant workers in the state of Selangor. The new policy was announced by the Chief Minister of the newly formed Selangor state government, Khalid Ibrahim recently during a press interview with Chinese press.

According to the Chief Minister, the money collected will be used for the purpose of setting up a re-training fund for unemployed youths. It aims to equip them with more skills and in a long run reduce the reliance on migrant workers. 

The migrant workers community is

  • one of the most exploited
  • and most marginalized groups in the society.
  • They work in conditions described as 3-Ds – dirty, demeaning and dangerous,
  • and theirs are jobs which the locals shun off.
  • They receive low wages
  • and are often exploited by employers
  • or recruitment agencies for non-payment,
  • unjust deduction of salary,
  • long working hours,
  • unfair dismissal etc.

By taxing the migrant workers

  • who are barely surviving
  • and probably in debt in order to pay the exorbitant fees to come to work in Malaysia ,
  • an extra heavy burden is added on the migrant workers and their families.

And to use the money collected from the migrant workers to re-train local unemployed youth and eventually replace the migrant workers, is scandalous, to say the least.

Even if the monthly fee is to be paid by the employer and not the migrant workers, we are concerned that eventually this fee will be deducted from the migrant worker’s wages one way or another.

The new policy reflects how unsensitized Malaysian political parties,

  • be they in the opposition

  • or the government,

are to the plight of migrant workers.

The Parti Rakyat Keadilan (PKR) has espoused the principle of justice and won a huge victory with the pledge to the people to fight against the widening income gap between the “have” and the “have-nots”.

Certainly, taxing the poor migrant workers to assist local unemployed youth, do not measure up to the principle and spirit of justice.

Suaram calls on Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim to immediately withdraw this unjust policy. We also urge the Chief Minister to consult civil society organizations who are working on migrant workers issues before making any policy decisions in the future.

Yap Swee Seng
Executive Director

 

 

Open letter to YB Teresa

Open letter to  YB Teresa

                           

Re: Teresa Kok Celebrated Elections Victory

Dear YB Teresa,

Thank you for the support you have given to the Burmese people and for your words that our Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is your icon.                         

I refrained from writing anything regarding the Malaysian Politics because I am scared of backlash. I used to write in Wikipedia, Burmese websites and my blog about Burma politics, Burmese History and about various groups of Muslims in Burma.

But your web heading, “Teresa Kok’s Celebrating Elections Victory” made me to comment that you are immature in politics and DSAI need to tame or train many of your DAPs to become the real Malaysian Politicians for all the Malaysians.

Yes, DSAI need to change the extremist PAS leaders also. If DSAI could achieve that, he could become the PM of Malaysia. If he could not tame the two extremities he would not be able to achieve his dreams.  

I totally agree with the following two commenters and wish to salute them from my bottom of the heart for their thoughtfulness and beautiful choice of words and ideas.

  1.  Sun Boy

Dr San Oo Aung, Burma.

TQ Teresa for the changes, salute you for the bravery and big heart. But I had sadly seen many AROGANT Chinese supporting to continue with the radical chauvanist stance and insulting the Muslims. Don’t forget that she was elected by the Muslim votes also.

If DAP continue with the CHINESE CHAUVANIST stance and PAS continue with the Islamic State, you all would be back as the oppositions with less than dozens of seats each in next election. Just look at the present reward of compromising and working together of DAP and PAS under the wise guidence of DSAI.

Becareful YB Teresa and opposition members! Maybe some of them are agent provocateurs trying to put a wedge between the oppositions. There must be mutual respect. Muslims must also need to show respect to other races.

Just because the father and son taking the donkey to the town story, if you think you should do whatever you like without listening to others comments, you could not survive for a long time or get the continued support of the people. Malaysia’s future may be not good if all the extremists do what ever they like.

Never mind the choice is yours, go ahead and insult each other like most of your commenters.

 

Dr San Oo Aung, Burma

 

Sun Boy wrote_

Teresa,
Just a word of friendly advice. There are many people read your blog, including Malays and Indians. With the title “Roasted Pigs” and picture of 5 pigs, I don’t think it is appropriate. You could just mention it in passing. You know what I mean. Please be a bit sensitive.

  • antares wrote_

    Sun Boy does have a point, Teresa. I saw your blogpost heading on the Malaysiakini site and was immediately aware that under the present circumstances when wounded egos and injured pride haven’t had time to heal the grotesque imagery of “5 roasted pigs” might be linked to the ignominy of 5 states “lost” and provoke unnecessary resentment. As one who is totally opposed to censorship it might seem strange that I would advise a degree of sensitivity here. However, now is as good a time as any for me to say my piece about the DAP. Since its inception after the divorce between Singapore and Malaysia in 1965, the party has been perceived as a branch of the PAP, a predominantly Chinese affair. Even today, the Rocket is still associated with Malaysian Chinese aspirations. When I was growing up in Batu Pahat (yes, Kit Siang and I are from the same kampong:-) there were hardly any Malays living in the urban areas, so I only ever mixed with Malay friends in school. Looking back, I never really understood the Malay psyche until I began living amongst the Orang Asli (the Temuan tribe used to be classified as Proto-Malays because they share the same genetic and linguistic origins, the only difference being they never embraced Islam). Each ethnic community has its own unique traits and each has its special qualities. Because of the racial politics symbolized by the formation of the original Alliance (now BN) with each component party representing a specific race, the last 50 years have seen little real progress in terms of a deep understanding and therefore unbreakable bonds amongst the various communities. In fact, my own parents were guilty of trying to pass on their own racial prejudices, though they failed miserably with me. For some reason I’ve always been attracted to darker complexions so I had many opportunities to forge close friendships with, initially, Indians and much later I began to appreciate the lovable qualities of the Malays – at least before that Megalomanic Mamak came along claiming to be more Malay than thou with his infamous ‘Malay Dilemma.’
    It was during the Mahathir era that the urbanized Melayu Baru was forged – a whole different species from the Malay of yesteryear who still lived in the rural areas amidst the bounty of nature. And as I came to love and celebrate the delightful differences of all the races, I also began to see more clearly where the stereotyping begins and where prejudice ends. The Malays value subtlety and self-effacement, while immigrant Chinese tend to be obtuse and noisy; and Indians are often regarded as emotional, addicted to melodrama. Well, stereotypes often contain a large degree of truth. When you love somebody you don’t see their quirks as “faults” but as “endearing qualities.” Coming back to the 5 roasted pigs: by making it the bold heading of the post, you were consciously or unconsciously drawing attention to DAP’s legendary pork-loving Chineseness. No doubt we have every right to enjoy our pork and brandy. But knowing full well that our neighbors may have a taboo against the things we love, we can at least as good neighbors be a wee bit more discreet, more sensitive to their dietary prohibitions. You wouldn’t, for example, hang a leg of beef in the porch if your next-door neighbor were devoutly Hindu, would you? That sort of behavior is asking for trouble and downright kasar. Now that the DAP is part of what we all hope is sustainable coalition with PKR and PAS – and you are no longer just an Opposition party, indeed, you have been given the mandate to form the next government of Malaysia (which would have happened if the BN hadn’t cheated, and thank heaven they did or the shock of DAP/PKR/PAS becoming the Federal Government overnight might well have destabilized the country).

  • Now, fate has mercifully given us all a bit of time to get accustomed to the idea of the Opposition becoming the Government (and vice versa) so when it actually happens we’ll manage okay! Getting back to the point: just as DAP wants to see PAS get off its Islamic high-horse, I feel everybody else would be overjoyed to see the DAP become less obtuse, a little less Ching-Chong Chinaman. That’s what happens when we merge cultures and beliefs to form a new synthesis called THE TRUE MALAYSIAN. Let’s take a cue from the new MB of Perlis, Nizar, who wasted no time winning the admiration of his constituents by making a speech in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Tamil, English, and Malay within two days of his installation. DAP has so much to learn from PAS who have led Kelantan for 18 years.

  •  

  • Be fair to me, Kok tells critics

    Soon Li Tsin in Malaysiakini | Apr 15, 08 12:07pm
    As both Seputeh parliamentarian and Kinrara state assembly representative, Teresa Kok has had to deflect criticism that she has taken on too many political posts.

    She explains the situation in an interview and also talks about how she is managing the Selangor investment, industry and commerce portfolio.

    Tell us more about your state portfolio on investment, industry and commerce.

    teresa kok interview 140408 06My job is to put investors in contact with the business community, to understand their problems, assist them and woo them to put their investments in Selangor. As you know Selangor is an industrialised state and our economic growth rate (about 6.4 percent) is slightly higher than the national rate (6 percent).

    I have to learn about businesses, learn about economy and economic planning. It is not entirely new (to me) because I’ve learnt about investment and business from here and there. But this gives me the opportunity to know more about businesses in Malaysia and to be in touch with investors. So this is something new for me as I have been an activist for many years.

    What kind of investors have you been speaking to?

    At the moment I need to understand the whole state, the economic situation, all the projects carried out by the previous government. I have to understand what they have done in the past. Over the past few weeks I have been meeting business people, investors, and I appreciate those who voluntarily come to provide information and suggestions.

    But those who have touched me are those who told me that they (originally) had been planning to migrate and shift their capital abroad, but because of the change of government, they are prepared to stay back to give us a chance. I know those who say it to me genuinely think in that way. They have already lost hope in this country but this new scenario gives them hope.

    There is also a group of professionals who are ready to give the state government advice on how to revive abandoned housing projects. And they said they would do it free of charge. So I appreciate this kind of initiative from these group of professionals; this is what we need.

    We need to prove to Malaysians that this new (state) government can do better than the previous one – that we can garner more support from the business community and create a pro-business environment in the state. We hope to achieve higher economic growth and make (the) application (process) more efficient and clean.

    Have you encountered problems with civil servants or government agencies so far?

    So far, not really, because they see it as a change of bosses. Whatever we enquire, they give us full cooperation. So far so good, I should say.

    What about your relationship with the federal government?

    I have asked the SSIC (Selangor State Investment Centre) to arrange a meeting with Mida (Malaysian Industrial Development Industry) for two weeks already, I haven’t heard anything. (Laughs) Anyway, that day we had a state exco meeting and we approved sending our SSIC officer to join Mida and the minister’s trip to the United States, where our country has planned to participate at a car expo.

    muhyiddin yasin muhyiddin yassinWe can still work together but I wish to hear from them personally. I wish to be able to speak to (International Trade and Industry Ministry) Muhyiddin (Yassin, photo), and wish to have a closer relationship with Mida.

    What kind of industries are most people investing in?

    All sorts. Look at Selangor, we have so many industrial zones. To woo investors into Malaysia is very competitive. Since Malaysia has lost competitiveness to neighbouring countries, we have to work extra hard. Malaysians should understand that we need to woo hi-tech investors.

    teresa kok interview 140408 09If we still go back to manufacturing industry, we have import more foreign workers and provide all the facilities for investors, but Malaysians are not being employed. We will not benefit from the whole exercise. So it is time to go hi-tech and it is good for the country also.

    I’m most interested in environment or technology related to energy because I think this is the future. People are more concerned with the environment now especially with the rain, floods and haze. Also for investors from China, many of them are quite interested in the halal hub. They find the location is very good for them.

    There are more Middle Eastern people entering Malaysia and they have a rather good impression of Malaysia. They have more faith in our halal stamp than the one in China. It is actually a good move but we have to develop that.  

    How much time would you need to prove that the Pakatan Rakyat government is doing a better job than the previous government?

    I really have no idea. I can only say that in our closed-door dialogues with business people, they appear generally positive with the change of government. My business friend said the new government in Selangor can actually help the business sector cut costs – in the past they had to pay people at so many layers and after paying they still don’t get things done.

    What about red-tape? Is the state government cutting down on bureaucracy?

    The idea behind setting up the SSIC – by the previous state government – was to help investors cut red-tape. When foreign investors come to Malaysia, they need officers to help them run around. It is like a one-stop centre for investors when the prepare their project papers, whatever they need from land applications to getting hold of licences – the SICC officers will assist them to make their lives easier so they can quickly set up their factories and cut the red-tape.

    What are your views on the US-Malaysia free trade agreement (FTA) talks?

    fta free trade agreement and usa and malaysiaWe have been questioning it…we MPs (have had to) learn (about it) from NGOs. The government has not bothered to give a briefing to the MPs or state representatives. So everything is (under) OSA (Official Secrets Act). How are we going to form an opinion whether we are doing the right thing or not?

    Of course we know there some good things from the FTA (but) these are things that are making the government refuse to sign the agreement – that is, to have transparency and operations based on merit. But of course if I go on, it will touch on the NEP (New Economic Policy) and there will be another controversy so I better not go further than that. (Laughs)

    You have been criticised for contesting and winning both the Seputeh parliament and Kinrara state seat. You are also currently being seen as taking on too many posts and earning a substantial sum in allowances. What is your response?

    You must understand why in the March elections I walked the extra mile to contest in a state seat. Nobody expected us to be in the government, to be honest. So when things happen in that way, then you have to look at the DAP line-up in the state assembly. You have to look at their background and you know there are so many new faces in politics.

    The more qualified ones are in Parliament and I am one of the more senior politicians who is now a state rep. The choice (open to) the party to nominate exco members is in a way limited. You have to recognise this fact first. I read Malaysiakini and Dr Kua (Kia Soong)’s comments and felt it was very unfair to me and my colleagues.

    Going back to why I contested in Kinrara – the seat was seen as difficult to win by DAP Selangor. There was no strong leader or candidate who wanted to contest in that seat.

    So I was asked to use my reputation and my identity as a woman candidate to try to capture a state seat and strengthen the opposition force in the Selangor assembly. That was the intention. That made me walk the extra mile, spend extra money, hire extra people to help win that seat.

    When we won, the party had to choose who would become state exco members. Look at the background of the four who were nominated – Teng Chang Khim, Ronnie Liu, Ean Yong Hian Wah and me – three of us are the more senior ones.

    teresa kok interview 140408 01Now it came back to whether I should take the challenge or not. I’ve been in Parliament for two terms, I’m more senior in politics. I’m wearing two hats only – as state exco and MP.  What I can do now is to work harder.

    I need to work harder, spend more money and hire more assistants. Do you know how much is needed to maintain this office? I hire three staff-members. It costs me RM10,000 per month. My rental is RM1,000 plus, telephone bill RM1,000 plus, electricity comes up to RM600-700, and my three staff are paid RM2,000 plus.

    The Kinrara side has three full-time staff now. With all these expenses you can imagine how much I spend in maintaining my service centres. When people say that I earn more it’s very unfair.

    I remember when Dr Kua was a MP for Petaling Jaya, he didn’t hire any staff or assistants, how is he going to explain that when he accuses (us of) shortchanging the voters? I think he did not really do grassroots work or organise the people on the ground.

    I have high respect for Dr Kua, he has been my sifu (mentor) but some statements especially about the DAP (sound) somehow like a grudge against the party. I think this is very unhealthy; he has forgotten to analyse things in a more objective manner.

    Do you think Sungai Pinang assemblyperson Teng Chang Khim would have been more suitable as an exco member?

    Personally I would prefer Teng to be a state exco but we were only given three seats. The best we can do now is nominate him as a Speaker. In terms of protocol, the position is very high. The Speaker can direct the MB and excos to sit down, get up in the assembly. (Laughs) In terms of experience in the state assembly, Teng has the most experience.

    If you compare (it) to Western countries, the Speaker is a very powerful position. In the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi’s appointment is such an honour for the Democrats. It’s time for us to re-examine the power and position of the Speaker so see how we can make the Selangor assembly vibrant.

    What are your views about PAS deputy spiritual leader Dr Haron Din’s statement that PAS will amend the constitution and turn Malaysia into an Islamic state if it has control of the federal government?

    (Sighs) This is something that really makes us worried. Over the past 10 years that I have been working with PAS or PKR people, from reformasi until now, I have had no problem working with those leaders. We are very sincere, we can joke and work together. It is always statements like these that divide us and drive us apart.

    barisan rakyat pas pkr dapIn Perak, Penang and Selangor, we are trying to make ourselves better governments compared to the past and yet every alternate day we face a bad press – whether it’s about the pig farm issue or Islamic state or NEP.

    I’m sad that a lot of times, certain quarters have not been practical or understanding of a position that is so fragile. They are still talking about issues that can break us especially on Islamic state. So in the Malay press we have to deal with the pig farm issue and in the Chinese press, about the Islamic state. (Laughs)

    Can the parties reconcile their differences over such problems?

    It looks like individual party leaders need to sit down and find understanding of political realities. I believe that many Malays don’t want Malaysia to be an Islamic state, we have to recognise this fact first. Look at Sabah and Sarawak, they have so many non-Muslims there. We really hope we will not repeat the mistake of Barisan Alternatif (which preceded Pakatan Rakyat).