Friday, August 22, 2008

LEE KUAN YEW : AT 85 , THE FIRE STILL BURNS

Someone wrote:

I was in Singapore on 9th August 2008, Singapore National Day, and witnessed the celebrations. I could sense the national pride of the Singaporeans over the country's achievements through hard work and integrity. Remembering the numerous Merdeka celebrations I had witnessed, I can't help but feel forlorn over the false sense of pride, borne of self deception and arrogance, and thrusted upon its following by the UMNO fraternity.

The short discourse below by Ahmad Mustapha provide a glimpse into this sad state of affairs that has beset our nation.......it's really nothing new but we do need to be reminded and awakened now and then!

Reflect !!


A frank discourse by a bumiputra of Malaysia.
By Ahmad Mustapha
The writer is a nephew of Dr Mahathir.

Singapore's Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore's founding father, has always been very direct in his comments. This was the man who outsmarted the communists in Singapore (with the innocent help of Malaya then and the willing help of the British) and who later outwitted the British and outpaced Malaysia in all spheres.

Singapore practises corrupt-free meritocracy and Malaysia affirmative action. The former attracted all the best brains and the latter chased out all the brains. The Singapore cabinet consists of dedicated and intelligent technocrats whereas Malaysia has one of the most unwieldy cabinets. Not only that, brain wise it was below par not even good for the kampong.

With that kind of composition, one that is very brainy, naturally Singapore , with no natural resources could outstrip Malaysia in every aspect of development. Malaysia, on the other hand, was too much preoccupied with its Malayness and the illusory 'Ketuanan Melayu' and was also more interested in useless mega iconic development rather than real social and economic development.

Whenever Kuan Yew utters anything that was deemed to be a slight on Malaysia, voices were raised admonishing him. Malaysia would never dare to face reality. That Singapore had shown that it could survive was a slap on those who believed that Singapore would fold up once it left Malaysia .

Therefore, it was natural that these doomsayers would try to rationalise their utterances to be in their favour to combat whatever Kuan Yew commented. Its political jealousy.

Singapore achieved its development status without any fanfare. But here in Malaysia , a development that was deceptive was proclaimed as having achieved development status. It was trumpetted as an achievement that befits first world status.

This was self-delusion. Malaysians are led to believe in a make believe world, a dream world. The leaders who themselves tend to believe in their own fabricated world did not realise the people were not taken in by this kind of illusion.

Lee Kuan Yew believed in calling a spade a spade. I was there in Singapore when the People's Action Party won the elections in 1959. He was forthright in his briefing to party members as to what was expected of them and what Singapore would face in the future.

Ideologically, I did not agree with him. We in the University of Malaya Socialist Club had a different interpretation of socialist reconstruction. But he was a pragmatist and wanted to bring development and welfare to the Singaporeans.

Well! He succeeded.

Malaysia was so much embroiled in racial politics and due to the fear of losing political power, all actions taken by the main party in power was never targeted towards bringing wealth to all. Wealth was distributed to the chosen few only. They were the cronies and the backers of the party leadership to perpetuate their own selfish ends.

Seeing the efficiency and the progress achieved by Singapore caused the Malaysian leadership to suffer from an inferiority complex. That Malaysia should suffer from this complex was of its own making.

In a recent interview, Kuan Yew said that Malaysia could have done better if only it treated its minority Chinese and Indian population fairly. Instead they were completely marginalised and many of the best brains left the country in droves. He added that Singapore was a standing indictment to what Malaysia could have done differently. He just hit the nail right there on the head.

Malaysia recently celebrated its 50th year of independence with a bagful of uncertainties. The racial divide has become more acute. The number of Malay graduates unemployed is on the increase. And this aspect can be very explosive. But sad to see that no positive actions have been taken to address these social ills.

Various excuses were given by Malaysian leaders why Singapore had far outstripped Malaysia in all aspects of social and economic advancement. Singapore was small, they rationalised and therefore easy to manage. Singapore was not a state but merely an island.

There was one other aspect that Malaysia practises and that is to politicise all aspects of life. All government organs and machinery were 'UMNO-ised'. This was to ensure that the party will remain in power. Thus there was this misconception by the instruments of government as to what national interest is and what UMNO vested interest is.

UMNO vested interest only benefited a few and not the whole nation. But due to the UMNO-isation of the various instruments of government, the country under the present administration had equated UMNO vested interest as being that of national interest.

Thus development became an avenue of making money and not for the benefit of the people. The fight against corruption took a back seat. Transparency was put on hold. And the instruments of government took it to be of national interest to cater to the vested interest of UMNO.

Enforcement of various enactments and laws was selective. Thus a 'palace' in Kelang, APs cronies and close-one-eyed umno MPs could exist without proper procedure. Corruption infested all govt departments, the worse is the police and lately even in the judiciary.

Singapore did not politicise its instruments of government. If ever politicisation took place, it is guided by national interest. To be efficient and to be the best in the region was of paramount importance. Thus all the elements like corruption, lackadaisical attitude towards work and other black elements, which would retard such an aim, were eliminated. Singapore naturally had placed the right priority in it's pursuit to achieve what is best for its people. This is the major difference between these two independent countries.

Malaysia in its various attempts to cover up its failures embarked on several diversions. It wanted its citizens to be proud that the country had the tallest twin-tower in the world, although the structure was designed and built by foreigners. Its now a white-elephant wasting away. It achieved in sending a man into space at an exorbitant price. For what purpose? These are what the Malays of old would say "menang sorak" (hollow victories).

It should be realised that administering a country can be likened to managing a corporate entity. If the management is efficient and dedicated and know what they are doing, the company will prosper. The reverse will be if the management is poor and bad. The company will go bust.

There are five countries around this region. There is Malaysia , and then Indonesia . To the east there is the Philippines and then there is that small enclave called the Sultanate of Brunei . All these four countries have abundance of natural resources but none can lay claim to have used all these resources to benefit the people. Poverty was rampant and independence had not brought in any significant benefits to the people.

But tiny Singapore without any resources at all managed to bring development to its citizens. It had one of the best public MRT transport systems and airlines in the world and it is a very clean city state. Their universities, health care, ports are among the best in the world.

It is impossible to compare what Singapore has achieved to what all these four countries had so far achieved. It was actually poor management and corruption, and nothing more. Everything is done for the vested interest of the few.

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines and the Sultanate of Brunei need good management teams. They would not be able to do this on their own steam. I would advise that they call on Kuan Yew to show them what good governance is. Why look East to Japan when it is just next door across the causeway.

5 comments:

razin said...

Their development is underwent some political deception. And ofcourse our Malay leader and raja raja come from stupid idiot moron background. But there a tsutnami that singaporean will not be enough force to stand it. The raise of inteligent and most brilliant group of Malay ethcnic that will topple all the singaporean spastic generation incoming. World is like a wheel. The time will come but that time for sure the world is nearly end. Dont so arrogant sigaporean and LKY, You are all ass hole. You all infidel always think about money and mere physical development. But for sure you are ended in the hell. We are not feeling down looking at your fuck asshole development. You are cheater and sinful barbarian. You are so fortunate becasuse our raja raja and UMNO moron, easily being manipulated by your bribery and woman. Because of that you gain money and water from us. Actually you are the pirate who steel our money and water. That how you live - not becasue you are so brillient. We Muslim arent care about our life if we are calling for jihad...we are waiting for that calling and we will pulverised your world of barbarian to ground. Enjoy your self until the time come!

Aristotle said...

Razin, don't be so emotional. The Singaporeans are opportunistic, no doubt, but it is our fault that we have let ourselves to be so gullible in the first place. I was raised early on in Singapore but later migrated to Malaysia and have seen both sides of the fence. There is no doubt in my mind that Singapore as a country has been managed well. The infrastructure, both material and intellectual, are well developed and constructed. I am a Malay, and I understand how difficult it is to compete in a diversified population where everybody strives to be the best. When I moved to Malaysia, the education standard was probably 2-3 years behind what I was already taught in Singapore. Just like any other country in the world, even Singapore is not perfect, but we certainly can learn a lot from them in terms of being competitive, proper resource management and nurturing the most important assets of the country - the minds of the people.

arangbatu said...

Yes, Razin must not be so emotional and use such vulgar language. It will reflect very badly on you and your upbringing.
The truth always hurts. I have always wondered how Singapore, which has completely no natural resources, can do so well. It does not have enough water, not enough sand, stones & rocks, forests, land, people, minerals, beautiful landscapes (for developing tourism), etc, etc ... yet the people have one of the highest living standards in the world in terms of GDP per capita, infrastructure, education, housing, healthcare, etc. Whereas many countries in SEA, including our Malaysia, have tremendous natural resources - yet many of our people live in hardship, and the richest are usually only those with good political connections. Who can we blame ? The current sandiwara of "liwat-meliwat", "looks-like-me, sounds-like-me, but-is-not-me", murder of Altantuya using C4, numerous corporate failures of government-backed companies, etc, etc, etc ... have made us into a joke on the world stage. Some 30-40 years ago, Malaysia was one of the most promising newly independent developing countries in the world .... but what has happened to us now ? Out politicians are mostly corrupt, and do not even carry themselves with dignity. Just look at the way Khairy Jamaluddin talks on Youtube ... who alleges that the opposition "is talking cock". If a national leader, in his capacity as Naib-Ketua Pemuda UMNO can talk like that, it is no wonder that many BN supporters behaved so shamelessly during the Permatang Pauh nomination when some of them even acted out the sodomy act for the whole world to see. Di mana letaknya maruah Melayu ?
True, Singapore may not be right in everything, but isn't it high time we examine what is the root problem of Malaysia not matching up when we have so many resources at our disposal ? I have been following developments in Singapore. The number of Malay professionals have been rising steadily ... engineers, lawyers, bankers, technicians, etc. In fact, in the island's PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) last year for Primary 6 pupils which is like our UPSR (Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah)for Standard 6 pupils - the top student is an anak Melayu bernama Natasha Muhammad Nasir. She attained the highest score ever at 294 points. In fact, this is not the first time that Malay students have been top in the PSLE exams. What does this tell us ? That we are capable ! In Singapore, they do not have the quota system, but all have to compete on an equal footing. To help the Malays, the government gives them free education all the way to university. The competition has helped them to strive hard, and they can now be proud to say that they are as good as all the other races. But, sadly, the same cannot be said about Malaysia. The quota system provided by the NEP has made us complacent, and we don't see the need to strive and compete. In this zaman globalisasi, this will only make us lose out. Can we blame investors if they prefer to go to China, India, and now Vietnam .... where the people can adapt better to competition ? Soon, they will be going to Cambodia and Timor Leste too .... Why are they bypassing Malaysia ? And do we still think we can adopt a sikap angkuh like Dr M and go around shooting from the hips and think he can take on the whole world with his rude language and embarrasing mannerism ?

arangbatu said...

Yes, Razin must not be so emotional and use such vulgar language. It will reflect very badly on you and your upbringing.
The truth always hurts. I have always wondered how Singapore, which has completely no natural resources, can do so well. It does not have enough water, not enough sand, stones & rocks, forests, land, people, minerals, beautiful landscapes (for developing tourism), etc, etc ... yet the people have one of the highest living standards in the world in terms of GDP per capita, infrastructure, education, housing, healthcare, etc. Whereas many countries in SEA, including our Malaysia, have tremendous natural resources - yet many of our people live in hardship, and the richest are usually only those with good political connections. Who can we blame ? The current sandiwara of "liwat-meliwat", "looks-like-me, sounds-like-me, but-is-not-me", murder of Altantuya using C4, numerous corporate failures of government-backed companies, etc, etc, etc ... have made us into a joke on the world stage. Some 30-40 years ago, Malaysia was one of the most promising newly independent developing countries in the world .... but what has happened to us now ? Out politicians are mostly corrupt, and do not even carry themselves with dignity. Just look at the way Khairy Jamaluddin talks on Youtube ... who alleges that the opposition "is talking cock". If a national leader, in his capacity as Naib-Ketua Pemuda UMNO can talk like that, it is no wonder that many BN supporters behaved so shamelessly during the Permatang Pauh nomination when some of them even acted out the sodomy act for the whole world to see. Di mana letaknya maruah Melayu ?
True, Singapore may not be right in everything, but isn't it high time we examine what is the root problem of Malaysia not matching up when we have so many resources at our disposal ? I have been following developments in Singapore. The number of Malay professionals have been rising steadily ... engineers, lawyers, bankers, technicians, etc. In fact, in the island's PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) last year for Primary 6 pupils which is like our UPSR (Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah)for Standard 6 pupils - the top student is an anak Melayu bernama Natasha Muhammad Nasir. She attained the highest score ever at 294 points. In fact, this is not the first time that Malay students have been top in the PSLE exams. What does this tell us ? That we are capable ! In Singapore, they do not have the quota system, but all have to compete on an equal footing. To help the Malays, the government gives them free education all the way to university. The competition has helped them to strive hard, and they can now be proud to say that they are as good as all the other races. But, sadly, the same cannot be said about Malaysia. The quota system provided by the NEP has made us complacent, and we don't see the need to strive and compete. In this zaman globalisasi, this will only make us lose out. Can we blame investors if they prefer to go to China, India, and now Vietnam .... where the people can adapt better to competition ? Soon, they will be going to Cambodia and Timor Leste too .... Why are they bypassing Malaysia ? And do we still think we can adopt a sikap angkuh like Dr M and go around shooting from the hips and think he can take on the whole world with his rude language and embarrasing mannerism ?

hAnZahAr said...

I'm a singaporean malay and I'm ashamed by the mindset of most malay malaysian (generally) they like to take things for granted - I've did some project in senai,johor