Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hopes being shattered?

Anwar takes refuge in Turkish embassy

Malaysiakini, Jun 29, 08 5:48pm

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who said he feared for his life, has sought refuge at the Turkish embassy in Kuala Lumpur this morning.


He went to the embassy at 6am and according to PKR vice-president, he would be there "indefinitely".

The following is his full statement released at 5.30pm:

I am issuing this statement from within the embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Kuala Lumpur.

I was transported to the embassy earlier this morning fearing that my personal safety was in danger. I thank all those who offered to assist me in this time of need and am grateful to the Turkish ambassador for extending an invitation to seek refuge within the embassy.

Since the March 8 elections, numerous credible sources from within the government and military intelligence have advised me that certain agents from within Barisan Nasional leadership have initiated plots to cause harm to me or my family or my supporters.

rustam sani book launch 260408 anwar pcI have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as means to subvert the people's will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia.

Notwithstanding the threats which are intended to silence my voice, I intend make public new evidence implicating that the inspector-general of police Musa Hassan and attorney-general A Gani Patail engaged in criminal acts of fabricating evidence in cases launched against me in 1998.

The allegations that have been made against me on Saturday are nothing more than a replay of the events which transpired in 1998 when I was sacked from the office of the deputy prime minister, jailed and beaten, and then charged and convicted by a kangaroo court for crimes which I never committed.

This charade was orchestrated by a corrupt Barisan Nasional leadership which made use of the entire apparatus of the state power including its control of the judiciary, the police force, and its grip on the mainstream media.

These actions are being repeated today to undermine the forces of reform and renewal which were unleashed in the March 2008 elections.

I would like to assure my family, friends and supporters in Malaysia that I am safe and remain committed as ever before to continuing the struggle for a free and just Malaysia.

Anwar Ibrahim

Monday, June 23, 2008

Work to unite not divide

Racism must be resisted by all


It is distressing to read of the recent dispute between former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and MIC president, Datuk Seri S. Samy Velu.It is very unfortunate that each is accusing the other of being a racist and dictator.It is regrettable that such senior leaders who commanded so much respect and admiration of the people are resorting to such disrespectful actions to discredit each other.


Racism in whatever form is unhealthy,it is a national enemy to a multi-racial and multi religious country like ours.As a result of our political system that is based on race we have all become 'racists' to a certain extent.We have all been be brought up in a system that has been subtly breeding 'racism' by encouraging one to champion the cause of his own community only.It has become a norm for Malaysians to be more concerned for those of their own race and have little or no sympathy for the plight of those from other races. It is sad that we are brought up to blindly support those of our own race even if they are wrong.


Everywhere we go; schools,universities, government and private offices, places of sports and recreation, eateries and even places of worship we are constantly being reminded of our ethnicity.Wherever we go there is emphasis on the few differences that divide us rather than on the many commonness that unite us as Malaysians.


After 50 years of living and working together side by side the people have voted to do away with racial politics but unfortunately the politicians are far from showing signs of heeding their calls for multiracialism.Our own system of the governance continues to be racially constituted, where each community is being represented by its own leaders of same ethnicity. That is the way our political system functioned and is continuing to do so even today.

It is time our lawmakers realize the wisdom of discarding this politics along racial lines and adopt a more multiracial approach to administer the country. It is time to replace the race-based political parties with multiracial ones where every member is identified as a Malaysian instead as a Malay, Indian or Chinese.


Everyone regardless of race or creed has his rights that are clearly enshrined in the Federal Constitution and these rights must be respected by all and not questioned for whatever reason.These provisions of the Constituion must be emphasised over and over again especially in schools,universities and civil service so that the future generations will be more willing to accept one another as Malaysians.


All respectable past leaders, who have been at the helm, could continue to serve the nation better if they devote their time and energy to forge closer ties between the various races in the country instead of trying to out do each other in perpetrating race politics that will only be detrimental to the nation. They should use their influence and power to unite rather than divide the people.


Dr.Chris Anthony

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who is not a racist,Samy or Dr.M?

Work to unite not divide the people

It is distressing to read of the on-going dispute between former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his once trusted senior minister and the leader of the Indians, Datuk Seri S. Samy Velu.It is very disgusting that each is accusing one another of being racist and dictator. It is deeply regrettable that leaders like these have been ruling us for over 2 decades for whom we had so much respect and admiration.

There is no doubt that both are racists in their own ways, in fact who is not a racist anyway. We are all racists to a certain extent as we are taught and brought up to fight for the welfare of our own race. It is sad that we are brought up to blindly support those of our own race even if they are wrong. Being brought up in such an environment, how can one be considered a racist if he sympathizes with plight of his own community? It is regrettable that we have become more concerned for those from our own race and have little or no sympathy for those of other races.

Everywhere we go; school, government and private offices, places of sports and recreation, restaurants and even places of worship we are constantly being reminded of our ethnicity.Infact there is emphasis on the few differences that divide us rather than on the many commonness that unite us as Malaysians.

Our own system of the governance is racially constituted, where each community is being represented by its own leaders of same ethnicity. That is the way the BN functioned and is continuing to do so even today.

After 50 years of living and working together side by side the people have voted to do away with racial politics but unfortunately the politicians are far from showing signs of heeding their calls for multiracialism.

It is time the politicians realize the wisdom of discarding this politics along racial lines and adopting a more multiracial approach to administer the country. It is time to replace the race-based political parties with multiracial ones where every member is identified as a Malaysian instead as a Malay, Indian or Chinese. Everyone regardless of race or creed has his rights that are clearly enshrined in the Federal Constitution and these rights must be respected by all and not questioned for whatever reason.

Dr.M,Samy Velu and other senior leaders who have been at the helm before could serve the nation better if they devote their time and energy to forge closer ties between the various races in the country instead of trying to out do each other in race politics. They should use the influence and power to unite rather than divide the people.Their actions today will determine their standing in the nation's history history for the future generations.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fuel hike crisis,time to give Pakatan a chance

Adopting a more transparent financial management

The fuel price hike that came into effect on June 5 was not something that was unexpected but the quantum of increase and the abrupt way it was implemented caught all Malaysians by surprise. There was no space given for the people to prepare for this sudden increase in their expenditure. It has suddenly thrust a huge burden especially on those from the lower income group who are already finding hard to make ends meet.

While the increase may be inevitable, why was no warnings given? What measures did the government take to buffer the effects of increasing fuel costs? It looks like the government refuses to appreciate the plight of the people at large and keep making the same mistake over and over again of underestimating the people’s demands for consultation and transparency.

Most Malaysians would accept that the fuel subsidies cannot continue forever and it has to stop some time but it would only be fair for them to be given sufficient time to adjust their lifestyle to the inflationary spiral of a significant hike in fuel price. It is unfortunate that instead of gradually tailing off the subsidy, the government has chosen the ‘cold-turkey’ method which will be more painful for the rakyat.

The people would be more receptive to accommodate fuel price hikes if the government illustrates its willingness to channel the money saved from the subsidies for greater long-term benefits. It has promised a better public transport the last time fuel prices were raised but till today we are yet to see any tangible improvements in the service. It has failed to appreciate the urgency of reorganizing to improve the public transport system which is in deplorable conditions. In fact our public transport system is disorganized, unreliable and in a state of chaos. The authorities have not demonstrated any will to drastically improve the public transport.

The government is trying to give the impression that the recent fuel price increase is inevitable as it is being decided by external forces that are beyond its control. Well it may be so to a certain extent but to put all the blame on such external forces would be an attempt to escape from its own mismanagement. It is not the fuel price alone that is the problem the people are facing but a failure to manage efficiently the nation’s economic policies as a whole together with the many social ills that plague us today. It is the failure of the government to effectively address these ills that has resulted in the rakyat so adversely.

There is dire need for greater accountability and transparency in the management of the money saved on abolishing the fuel subsidies. The people need to see that the government is serious in channeling the money for the right purposes. A lot of promises have been made but regrettably their implementation is far from satisfactory.

It is also timely for the government to review subsidies in all other areas. Greater emphasis must be given to increasing productivity and reducing wastage by fighting corruption rather than keep increasing subsidies. If we want to successfully compete in the global world, we must get rid of the subsidy mentally as it would hamper our competitiveness in the open international market.

There is a need for the government to update the financial management of the country by implementing an agenda that is tailored to the overall welfare of the people whose demands are increasing by the day. There is a need for greater transparency, accountability and prudence in national spending and more seriousness in fighting corruption, wastage and mismanagement at all levels of the administration. If it fails to do so, no amount of subsidies is going to create a more equitable and dynamic society for all.

The BN government appears to be incapable of addressing the nation’s problems effectively, as reflected by escalating cost of living, uncontrolled inflation, rampant corruption, tainted judiciary, and high crime rate, and deplorable public transport, poor maintenance of public amenities, docile civil service, partisan police force and ethnic polarization. It is still preoccupied with internal bickering and power struggle and still reeling from its losses in the recent election. It is depending on outdated policies that are not going to take us anywhere in more complex world.

On the other hand, the Pakatan Rakyat, promises to bring prices down and implement a more forward looking, Malaysian Economic Agenda(MEA) if it comes to power. We are told the MEA is tailored towards creating a fairer and just Malaysia for all that will be more relevant to meet the new challenges of today’s world. May be it is time for us to give Pakatan a chance to prove its worth.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fathers’ Day 2008

Let's cherish his small but heartfelt sacrifices

Come this Sunday it will be Fathers’Day.There will be many among us who will travel long distances to be with our fathers on this auspicious day. Many more will not make it due to work and other commitments. Others may not see the need to do so. Whatever situation we may be in, it is undeniable that our fathers played a very important role in shaping our destiny and for being what we are today including our physical appearance.


Many of us may be fortunate to still have our fathers with us, alive and healthy. Others may not be that lucky, their fathers may be seriously ill, handicapped or even dead. There are others whose fathers may be in their death beds waiting for a last glimpse of their children who for some reason or other are unable to fulfill that last wish of his.

Some of us may be unfortunate to have fathers who are lazy,irresponsible,drunkards and tyrants, but by enlarge most of us are endowed with fathers with all the positive attributes – caring, loving, responsible and hard working. They toil relentlessly day and night for our welfare.

On this auspicious day let us pause and relive the memorable days of our past with our fathers. Let us recall the pleasant as well the unpleasant experiences we had with him. Many of us are ourselves fathers and only now we fully understand the feelings of our own fathers when they undertook the arduous task of bringing us up to what we are today, in particular the unpopular but wise decisions that they had to make for our well being.

Many of our fathers were not so wealthy to provide us all the luxuries of life. It is not the expensive material gifts they gave us that we remember and cherish most but rather it was their small but heartfelt sacrifices that really touched us and remain embossed in our hearts till today.

We remember the days when, rain or shine, he used to carry us on his bicycle to and from school. We can imagine the sadness in his face when he was unable to give us what we asked for. We remember the smile in his face reflecting the pride in his heart when we excel in school, in examination or sports. We remember the touch of his hands that massaged our injured bodies and the reassuring warmth of his hug that gave us all the confidence that we needed so badly.

We remember the sadness in his face when we left home for the first time to further our studies. We remember the eagerness with which he waited for us each time we returned home from college and the “elaborate” plans he made to spend our short holiday with us.

We remember when some tragedy strikes the family, when everyone breaks down, weeping and yelling, he alone with great courage, conceals his emotions and fear and lifts us out of the mishap. Being fathers now, we appreciate the tremendous pain and agony that he would have endured to do that.

This is a day to reflect on how we have and continue to treat our fathers. Are we grateful for that they have done for us? Despite our exalted positions in life today, do we still accept them as the respectable head of our family which they were once, seeking their advice on all important decisions?

It is not money, food and gifts that they need. In fact many of them may not be in a position to enjoy the luxuries of what wealth can provide but we can spend a little valuable time with them, basking in the memories of the past.

Our fathers may be advanced in age and infirm and they may not have much time left with us. Some of us may even be contemplating sending them to some old folk's home due to various reasons. Whatever we do, our actions must be governed by love and gratitude for them not out of convenience as an easy way out. We must treat them in a manner which we will not regret later. We must not forget that our attitude and actions today will have a subtle but profound influence on our children, on how they would treat us in the future.

For those of us who are not fortunate enough to have our fathers with us anymore, let us not be mere bearers of their names but their virtues as well. Let us be the symbols of their values and principles in life for which they stood steadfast amidst all the trials and tribulations.

May the good Lord bless all fathers with many more years of good health, vitality and happiness with their loved ones.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fuel price hike unreasonably steep

Discarding the subsidy mentality once and for all

The fuel price hike that came into effect on 5.6.08 is not something that was unexpected but the quantum of increase and the abrupt way it was implemented caught all Malaysians by surprise. There was no space given for the people to prepare for this sudden increase in their expenditure. It has suddenly thrust a huge burden on those from the lower income group who are already finding hard to make ends meet. They are ill prepared to face this new obstacle and are going to suffer the consequences for a very long time to come.

While the increase may be inevitable, why was no warnings given? It looks like the government refuses to appreciate the plight of the people at large and keep making the same mistake over and over again.

Most Malaysians accept that the fuel subsidies cannot continue forever and it has to stop some time but it would only be fair for the people to be given ample time to adjust their lifestyle to the price hike. Is that asking too much? It is unfortunate that instead of gradually tailing off the subsidy, the government has chosen the cold-turkey treatment which will be more painful to the people.

The people would be more receptive to accommodate fuel price hikes if the government illustrates its willingness to channel the money saved from the subsidies for greater long-term benefits. It has promised a better public transport the last time fuel prices were raised but till today we are yet to see any tangible improvements in the service. It has failed to appreciate the urgency of reorganizing to improve the internal road, rail and flight services, which are in deplorable conditions. In fact our public transport system is disorganized and in a state of utter chaos.

The government should also start spending the extra money into improving, not privatizing, other essential services such as the health, education and housing especially for the poor. These basic public amenities and services must not only be of acceptable quality but at the same time be made more affordable to the ordinary rakyat. Privatization has only aggravated the cost of these services and thereby only benefited the rich. The poor continue to get only suboptimal services.

There is a need for greater accountability and transparency in the management of the money saved on abolishing the fuel subsidies. The people need to see that the government is serious in channeling the money for the right purposes as past experience has shown that the money is actually channeled elsewhere for the benefit of a selected and privileged few.Unfortunately a lot of promises have been made but the implementation is far from satisfactory.

It is also timely for the government to review subsidies in all other areas. Greater emphasis must be given to increasing productivity and reducing wastage and fighting corruption rather than providing subsidies. If we are to successfully compete in the globalized world, we must get rid of the subsidy mentally as it is the survival of the fittest out there. However it must be stressed that the abolishment of these subsidies must be well planned and implemented gradually so as not to cause undue hardship to the people.

There is a need for the government to overhaul the financial management of the country by implementing an agenda that is tailored to the overall welfare of the people. It should practice transparency, accountability and prudence in its spending and be serious in fighting corruption, wastage and mismanagement at all levels of the administration. Only by doing so it will be able to create a more equitable and dynamic society for all.

Dr.Chris Anthony

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Distribute scholarships fairly to those in need

The country has enough for all

Mahatma Gandhi once said "The world is big enough for all". Those were the words of a great man who fought for equality and justice.On the contrary man, with all his greed and selfishness, has discovered that the world is not big enough even for a selected few.Yes,our politicians find that the world has become so small that it is not enough even for them,let
alone being enough for the whole human race.

The race-based politics in our country has penetrated every aspect of Malaysian life.All institutions and establishment are run along racial lines.The people have been made to think only of their own race and do not care for those of others.The recent general elections appears to indicate the beginning of a change towards multi -racialism which is an encouraging sign but there are forces that tend to put a stop to that new developments.

The decision by the Public Service Department (PSD) to undertake a fairer distribution of scholarships for all the races is a step in the right direction. Increasing the quota for non-bumiputras from 10% to 45% is definitely a positive development as it would provide better competition among the students of various races. The non-bumiputras welcome the announcement with much joy, hope and gratitude whereas some sections of the bumiputras,like Umno Youth,were more cautious as they felt it could erode their opportunities for such grants.

Umno Youth is fearful that this would mean a loss for the Malays which is really unfounded. The unhappiness of Umno Youth is understandable but its admission that the non-bumiputras should be also be given more scholarships is reassuring and this new stance is a clear departure from its uncompromising stand of the past. In fact in a post-March 8 era it is encouraging to realize even many Malays appreciate the plight of poor non-Malays and are themselves urging the BN government to look into their needs.

A new trend may be developing where there is general acceptance, even among the Malays, that a neglected community however small it may be is a source of ‘threat’ to all in the long run. This new mindset should be encouraged to develop further so that a time will come when all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, will be made to feel equal. In a multi-racial country the well being of every community is importance for lasting peace and prosperity.

I am sure any ordinary person; including Umno Youth, will agree that the present 10% allocation to non-bumiputras, who make up 40% of the population, is grossly inadequate and unfair. It is particularly so when a significant proportion of the taxes is being paid by them as well. The mere 10% quota would imply that a significant number of non-bumiputras who excel in the studies are being denied such aid to realize their ambitions.

Year after year many high achieving non-bumiputra students from poor families are unable to pursue their studies due to financial constraints. This has contributed to the tremendous loss of ‘brains’ to the nation as a whole. If this trend continues how can we expect to effectively compete in a global world where only the best succeed? Racially inclined policies of the past have no place in today’s competitive world.

The government should provide scholarships not just to the maximum scorers but to all who qualify but cannot afford, so that no group will be left to fear of being robbed of its opportunities. The government could increase the total number of scholarships from time to time as deemed necessary but it should be fairly distributed to all who genuinely need them regardless of race. This would ensure that no excellent performers are left out because of their ethnicity.

The purpose of scholarships is to assist eligible poor students to pursue their studies in institutions of higher learning irrespective of race, religion or political ideology. Towards this end the PSD must review its policies to ensure that these ideals are strictly adhered to without any bias whatsoever. It would a great injustice if a high-performance student from a poor background is denied such assistance thereby forcing him to abandon his pursuit of academic excellence. It would not only a setback for the individual but also a great disservice to the nation.

The time has come for the nation to rise above the racial divide and unite for the well being of the nation. We may differ ethnically but we are all Malaysians, ready to share the fortunes and the misfortunes of our beloved nation. Let every Malaysian child be given equal opportunities in his struggles to realize his dreams and those of the nation. No community need to fear or worry as the country has enough for all. What is needed is to manage its resources with fairness and prudence.

However it must be emphasized that there is a limit to how much the government can give. The people too have a role to play. There is a need to discard the 'I take all' mentality so as to allow those who really in need access to these financial grants. Those who can afford should be considerate not to deny others from the lower income groups who are desperately in need of such assistance. Malaysians are known to be generous to the outsider but how generous are we to our own less fortunate fellow citizens especially of different race?

The government must heed the cry of all students, Malays and non-Malays alike, who have performed well, especially those from the lower income groups. It must work towards establishing our education system that will be based on true meritocracy that will not distinguish the applicants by race and creed but by his excellence, zeal and commitment to serve the rakyat.

Dr.Chris Anthony



"IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHERS' HEARTS"

"IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHERS' HEARTS" Often we tend to be judgemental from what we see.hear and feel especially o...