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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The reason the world is going bankrupt


Salleh Said Keruak

It is very easy to blame the government for everything under the sun that has gone wrong. There are those who suggest the solution to solving all problems is to change the government and all the problems will go away. Is that really the solution or is this merely a snake-oil merchant’s solution on how to cure all problems?                                                                                                                                                                                    
You cannot solve the problem of racism and religious intolerance by changing the government. It is people who create racial and religious problems so unless Malaysians are prepared to seek peace and harmony that is never going to happen even if you change the government.

The same goes with issues related to the economy. Have the critics ever explained how changing the government can make all Malaysians rich? Malaysia is not in outer space. Malaysia is part of the global economy. Whatever happens in other countries affects Malaysia. So Malaysia is not isolated and insulated from what the other countries do.

Today the world has become an expensive place. The cost of living has spiralled in any country you look at. Some complain that Malaysia is too expensive. Actually it is not Malaysia but a world problem. When others sneeze we catch a cold. So no change of government can change this.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Internet and Facebook: the swing factor in elections


Salleh Said Keruak

Political players started using the Internet in 1998 to sway public opinion but it was not until ten years later in 2008 that Malaysians realised the impact the Internet can have in swinging votes. President Obama used the Internet for his fund raising while President Trump spent US$70 million just on Facebook alone.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said by 2050 the media is going to be totally online or electronic and the print media is going to be a thing of the past. The way things are going that may actually happen far earlier than 2050. As it is politics and political campaigns are now more dependent on the online and electronic media.

We need to move with the times and become internet-savvy, especially in the media industry. Even more importantly we must not spoil the integrity of the online media with the proliferation of fake news because this will create a serious problem of trust deficit. We must make sure that the integrity of the online media is not killed off due to the action of a few. If not what could be a very valuable tool would become a stigma because no one would trust what is published online.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The grass is not always greener on the other side


Salleh Said Keruak

Some Malaysians say ‘the grass always looks greener on the other side’ when they travel overseas and compare other countries to Malaysia. But it is not necessarily true. Take note of problems of racism and intolerance being higher in countries considered more liberal and advanced than Malaysia. Muslim women wearing hijabs in European countries like England, France and Netherlands have to deal with the fear being discriminated, assaulted or attacked.

Some Malaysians complain so much about their country but foreigners who come to Malaysia tend to agree that our country is paradise. Either these well-travelled foreigners are lying or they see something that we apparently cannot.

Some Malaysians look to one single aspect just to condemn our country till the cows go home. For example, the rise in the price of petrol. But do some Malaysians say the same thing when the price of petrol goes down?  Do we have millions of homeless people sleeping on the streets like in developed countries? We need to look at Malaysia as a whole and not pick one item every day to grumble.

Some Malaysians are falling into the trap of constant grumbling about the country, even when the Government actually does something good. Please be aware that this is the classic anti-establishment strategy of creating dissatisfaction. We need to be rational and this means credit should be given when its due.

Some Malaysians should not sit around and grumble for the sake of grumbling. It is time to move forward to help build a better nation.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

When politics comes before the people


Salleh Said Keruak

Sometimes Malaysians are too engrossed in politics in that they sometimes see the tree but not the forest. And yet this is what happens on a daily basis: we get engrossed in the microscopic details and fail to consider the bigger picture. Politics should be a means to an end and not the end itself. Unfortunately, some Malaysians still do not understand this basic and fundamental rule.

We get involved in politics as a means to seek a better Malaysia. And this means we need to put the people above politics. some politicians, however, put their party interests above the interest of the people. In other words they are in politics not to serve the people but to attain power. Take one example where a certain US President accelerated the war in Vietnam because he needed to win the presidential elections and that resulted in 58,220 American casualties.

Politicians can sometimes be selfish and greedy for power. Even human life can be sacrificed in their pursuit for power, and slander and lies are considered trivial issues. We need to be wary of such politicians because the people are the last thing on their minds. They make promises to buy votes and once in power they offer a dozen excuses as to why they cannot deliver on their promises. That is why Malaysians need to be politically-mature and be wise to separate fact from fiction.

In this day and age, information is readily available in the internet but people are becoming too judgmental on every thing they see. It is time that Malaysians exercise good research on those who offer themselves to the people before deciding whether they serve the people or themselves.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Lim Kit Siang and the Bugis issue


Salleh Said Keruak

The recent furore regarding Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s insult against the Bugis was covered by most of the English, Bahasa and Chinese newspapers as ‘Sultan Murka’, in English meaning HRH the Sultan of Selangor has been slighted or offended. Mahathir’s letter to the Malaysian Ambassador in Indonesia saying that he was not trying to insult the entire Bugis race but just one man, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, has not been accepted since it was not really an apology but an excuse.

Lim Kit Siang is usually very quick to issue a statement calling such political tactics as racial, especially when he is the target of such attacks. Even when others attack him he will still call it Umno-organised attacks. This time Kit Siang is strangely silent regarding Mahathir’s attack on the Bugis race despite all the requests made for him to clarify his position as the de facto Pakatan leader.

Kit Siang has to make his stand on this issue clear otherwise his silence will be viewed as tacit support of what Mahathir said and may be interpreted as what Superman Hew Kuan Yew of DAP said, which is Kit Siang is using Mahathir as a weapon to fight the Malays. If Kit Siang wants to be taken seriously as Pakatan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting he cannot remain silent and continue to hide behind his Malay proxy.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

MUSIBAH BANJIR YANG MENYATUKAN, BIARPUN BERBEZA POLITIK 


Salleh Said Keruak

1. Beberapa hari lepas banjir teruk melanda utara Semenanjung mengakibatkan hampir 7 ribu penduduk Pulau Pinang dan 3 ribu penduduk Kedah terpaksa dipindahkan. Teruk atau tidaknya banjir ini dapat lihat bukan sahaja dari jalan yang ditenggelami air, tetapi juga rumah yang turut digenangi air.

2. Satu yang menarik perhatian saya dari musibah ini ialah tanggungjawab pemimpin pusat dan negeri bekerjasama menyelesaikan masalah rakyat ini.  Kelmarin, saya tertarik membaca kenyataan KM Pulau Pinang bahawa beliau menghubungi TPM awal pagi meminta bantuan, panggilan diangkat oleh TPM, dan esok paginya mereka berjumpa dan bekerjasama untuk menyelesaikan masalah yang dihadapi rakyat.

3. Hari ini, PM Najib dan DS Rosmah sendiri pula turun ke Pulau Pinang. Sekali lagi disambut oleh KM Ketua Menteri dan diberikan taklimat oleh kerajaan negeri .Saya lihat mereka mesra bersama berbincang mengatasi masalah rakyat.

4. Senerio ini amat menarik.Politik matang diamalkan.Jauh di lubuk hati, saya berkata: Inilah Malaysia.Perbezaan politik tidak menghalang untuk bersama dalam menyelesaikan masalah rakyat. PM Najib ada lah seorang yang budiman.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Kit Siang must clarify Pakatan’s stand on the Bugis Pirate issue


Salleh Said Keruak

The ‘Bugis Pirate’ issue has now blown up beyond control with the Selangor Royal Council issuing a statement on the matter. If not careful this is going to turn into another conflict between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Raja-Raja Melayu. And this is going to be the third conflict after the first two which happened when Mahathir was Prime Minister.

Lim Kit Siang must now come forward to clarify his stand on this issue. Since Mahathir is the Chairman of Pakatan Harapan keeping silent is not an option because the people need to know Kit Siang’s stand on the matter.

Kit Siang’s silence can be construed as being in agreement with Mahathir that the Bugis race are pirates and there are more than one Ruler who is of Bugis descent. However, while Barisan Nasional condemns Mahathir’s statement that insults the Bugis race, Pakatan Harapan’s stand appears to be not clear. Therefore Kit Siang must come out and clarify Pakatan’s stand.