Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ku Li's speaks on New Politics

We need a new politics. We must stop the politicisation of ethnic differences that makes us forget our shared past, present and future. We need national unity based on a new politics. I do not mean unity under the dominance of one party or subservience to any group class or caste, but unity that each Malaysian can stand up and own, promote and defend. Our unity must be based on a national ethos strong and open enough to support unity and genuine democratic process. This can only be based on universal principles.
Malaysia: The challenge of the present
by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

I wish to thank the Perak Academy for giving me this privilege to address you at a time when the State of Perak is at its defining moment to claim its right to constitutional democracy. Malaysians who are committed to making constitutional democracy an indivisible part of our political culture are watching your unfinished journey.

The Perak constitutional crisis tells us that democracy is not a ready-made formula or a predestined political system which will fall automatically out of a written constitution. It must be written in the hearts of citizens, promoted by their understanding of it, and safeguarded by their commitment to defend it. That is the forewarning provided by the Perak constitutional crisis. Our challenge is now the future of democracy in Malaysia.

Over the last decades we have seen a decline in public morality and democratic values. We have been sleepwalking through a general economic prosperity while our public and democratic values have declined. We have let the crass pursuit of the symbols of development blind us to real losses in the institutional foundations of our country.

Ethnic interest, corruption and money as a means of maintaining power make a very dangerous mix. This combination poses a threat more dangerous than any other form of subversion to our nation's cohesion.

Recent history, from Bosnia to Sri Lanka, are examples of what can happen if we politicise ethnicity above national cohesion. The more each ethnic group tries to maximise its own benefit, the wider we are separated, the greater is the tension. The question we all need to seriously ask as we contemplate the future of democracy in our country is whether there can be a future for democracy if we maintain the politicisation of ethnicity as we have done in the past.

This is not to say that as a result of our history and of colonial political economy, that we do not have serious imbalances in our economy that can cause ethnic tension. The economic division along ethnic lines, the income gaps, the lack of confidence in entrepreneurship, and an unequal sense of well-being and empowerment are partial consequences of our political and economic history. However, these problems, perceived or factual, cannot be solved by applying policies in a way that further ethnicises our political economy. I believe the causes and consequences of these economic imbalances must be addressed and legislation can and should be introduced to eliminate unfair trade practices without politicising ethnicity.
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In 1971, when democracy was restored, there was an earnest search for a new political economy initiated by the then political leadership. This effort was encapsulated in the 2nd Malaysia Plan:

“National unity is the over-riding objective of the country. A stage has been reached in the nation's economic and social development where greater emphasis must be placed on social integration and more equitable distribution of income and opportunities for national unity.”
It went on to state:

“The quest for national identity and unity is common to many countries, especially new and developing countries. This search for national identity and unity involves the whole range of economic, social and political activities, the formulation of educational policies designed to encourage common values and loyalties among all communities and in all regions; the cultivation of a sense of dedication to the nation through services of all kinds, the careful development of a national language and literature, of arts and music, the emergence of truly national symbols and institutions based on culture and tradition of society.”
The basic point is emphasised in the Rukun Negara:

“... from these diverse elements of our population, we are dedicated to the achievement of a united nation in which loyalty and dedication to the nation shall over-ride all other loyalties.”
We were inspired by the conviction that out of our diversity we would have the flowering of the Malaysian genius.

The same political parties but a different leadership were in power then. Those that succeeded them, for whatever reasons, appear to have lost sight of this pledge to the peoples of Malaysia. Meaningful debate in political parties, Parliament, and the media shrank while the moral authority of the democratic process declined.

We saw reversals to democracy such as the widening of the Official Secrets Act and the Printing and Publications Act. The public values that underpin the rule of law were replaced by authoritarian rule by law. Democratic means of challenging this legislation were closed off as we began to lose the separation of powers, and we lost the freedom of the press envisaged in Article 10 of the Constitution. A free press and an independent judiciary are necessary elements of a healthy democracy. Power over the party, Parliament, the judiciary, the civil service, the financial institutions and the media became concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minister.

We must be worried that a generation after these words were spoken in Parliament we have not put a stop to the politicisation of ethnicity. It is now an institutionalised part of our political culture, and there are those who think, contrary to the spirit of the Rukun Negara, that it should be permanent. We shall never attain true cohesion, our constitutional democracy shall not attain its full flower, and will continue to fail to attain our economic potential, so long as we cling to an ethnicised politics.

We need a new politics. We must stop the politicisation of ethnic differences that makes us forget our shared past, present and future. We need national unity based on a new politics. I do not mean unity under the dominance of one party or subservience to any group class or caste, but unity that each Malaysian can stand up and own, promote and defend. Our unity must be based on a national ethos strong and open enough to support unity and genuine democratic process. This can only be based on universal principles.

I am not proposing anything new. We need a rebirth of the ideals of the Rukun Negara. However at this stage in our history the very thing that stands in the way of that rebirth is our system of political parties. It is clear that our entire system of political parties has had its day. Weak and tainted leadership on all sides is but a symptom of a system-wide failure. The parties have become increasingly irrelevant to our young and vibrant population. Much as some of us would just like to forget about these tired parties and carry on with our lives, however, we cannot leave them to their own devices. We are in our present troubles because of a failure of our parties, and reform must begin with those parties.

Constitutional democracy relies on a healthy system of political parties alongside independent courts and free newspapers. We cannot build an advanced economy and a prosperous society on a swamp of morally and intellectually bankrupt political parties.

Our political parties will not reform of their own accord. The people must demand it. In the spirit of the Rukun Negara, we need a movement embraced by people at all levels and from every quarter of our rakyat, to establish a national consensus on how our political parties should conduct themselves from now on. That consensus should include the following:

1. All political parties are required to include in their constitutional objectives the equality of citizenship as provided for in the Federal Constitution.

2. An economic and political policy that political parties propagate must not discriminate against any citizen.

3. All parties shall include and uphold constitutional democracy and the separation of powers as a fundamental principle.

4. It shall be the duty of all political parties to adhere to the objectives of public service and refrain from involvement in business, and ensure the separation of business from political parties.

5. It shall be the duty of all political parties to ensure and respect the independence of the judiciary and the judicial process.

6. All parties shall ensure that the party election system will adhere to the highest standards of conduct, and also ensure that the elections are free of corrupt practices. Legislation should be considered to provide funding of political parties.

7. It shall be the duty of all parties to ensure that all political dialogues and statements will not create racial or religious animosity.

8. All parties undertake not to use racial and communal agitation as political policies.

9. To remove and eradicate all barriers that hinder national unity and Malaysian identity.

10. To uphold the federal and state constitutions and their democratic intent and spirit, the rule of law, and the fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Malaysian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah delivered this speech at the Perak Academy in Ipoh last Friday (Oct 2nd).


~PakKaramu~ said...

Datang menziarahi anda

Anonymous said...

buang si liwat dan perasuah besar anwar ibrahim. Aman Malaysia. Rakyat pun satu padu.

MANTOL said...

?? New politics??

Panjang sangat. Ringkasannya.

Semua orang mesti jadi macam malaikat. Tiada perbezaan kaum. Baik. Tidak boleh buat jahat.

Hahahaha Sejak nabi Adam lagi "new politics" Ku Li ni. Rasul pun tidak berjaya nak buat 100%.


Unknown said...

Ku Li is living in an ideal world where the inhabitants are devoid of selfish interest aligned to their race, caste, sect, religion or colour of their skin.

We are living in an imperfect world which requires pragmatic solution that can meet the needs of the majority whilst safeguarding the minority.

It is easy to play to the gallery in order to meet your political objectives but the same cannot be said when you try to implement this hypocritical policies.

Anonymous said...

When are u going to write about Iskandar Malaysia's sad story?

Heard that MB of Johor is not happy with the current management of IRDA (the so-called authority in charge of Iskandar Msia). Most likely they going to replace him by end of the year; meaning since the establishment of IRDA (Feb 2007), they already have 3 CEOs in IRDA. Will that solve the real problem of Iskandar Msia? i dont think so. They should just scrap IRDA and that could save public money of RM100-150 million per annum.

Its not just about the management that really sucks (thanks to Harun Johari and his useless friends), the business model of IRDA does not work AT ALL! IRDA has no power to approve investment proposal. They still have to refer to the existing agencies, ie MIDA or others. More of adding 1 more layers unnecessarily to potential investors. No wonder Msia's rating for ease of doing business slipped recently.

Do u know that at the moment the main winners of Iskandar Msia is those bloody consultants (not Johoreans for sure). U can refer to IRDA webpage, there are about 30 blueprints being developed by those lucky cons. That could easily cost public money minimum RM50 million in 2009.

Moreover, too much leakages for the projects under RMK9 that were managed by IRDA and IIB (total value close to RM7 billion). Market talk hinted too many undertable involved in awarding those projects. IIB's CEO, Arlida, is well-known in the market for giving many projects to her husband's company/proxy during her time in Putrajaya, KLCC Property and even now in IIB. Heard that her husband even presence during project meeting. It seems there are so many wrongdoings in Iskandar Msia, about to explode.

I hope someone out there that cares about Johor will do something about this, esp YOU!

Thanks bro.


Anonymous said...


Dengar2nya Ketua Pelaburan Tabung Haji akan bersara pada hujung tahun ini. Dan tempatnya akan di ganti dengan GM pelaburan Tabung Haji. Saya harap saudara Voice dapat membuat siasatan tentang perkara ini kerana GM Pelaburan ini mempunyai reputasi membuat deal2 kepentingan peribadi yang kebanyakannya merugikan Tabung Haji, terutamanya pendeposit2.

Adalah pengetahuan umum yang Tabung Haji mengalami kerugian yang amat teruk dengan pembelian saham di Ramunia tidak berapa lama dahulu. Dan The Edge Weekly ada melapurkan beberapa pelaburan Tabung Haji yang agak kontrovesi, ie syarikat negara cina, etc.

Saya harap CEO Tabung Haji Datuk Ismee akan menimbang semula keputusannya untuk melantik GM Pelaburan itu sebagai CIO Tabung Haji yang baru.

Sekian Terima Kasih

Anonymous said...

1. Ku Li represents old politics, if he talk about new politics, i assume it is not him talking but it is the word of his speech writer.

2. He shd retire alredy since he has no relevance in ths new politics, many say the reasons why he stil retain his seat are bcoz the those in his constituents live on his lands ( i mean lands) and bcoz of his relation to the royalty; not bcoz he is able to serve the people of his constituents well.

3. Musa Hitam and Razaleigh did not deliver well when they were in the helm of power, musa hitam even during pak lah's reign - most of those of my age dont like them then and there is now reason to like them now.. just admit tht they cant offer much to the country now.

May be ku li shd consider to retire? leave the new politics to the new people...

A Voice said...


I tend to believe that we should work downward from the ideal expectation and to tailor the current situation towards it.

Excessive pragmatism could result in directionless.

Anon 3:52 AM

IRDA ... panjang umur. I m with you sdr.

Maybe sooner than you expect. Likely after UMNO AGM. Off course, if there is no by-elections :)

In midst of compiling some juicy info.

Anon 4:04 AM

Thanks for the tip-off.

I'll be hanging out at LTH more often. TH's Investment Department has a long such history. Hai tak serik2 p**imak ni lagi ...

Anon 6:24 AM

Hey ... That's too nasty a comment to speak of Ku Li. He is no threat to anybody, so why such comments.

Respect lah orang tua-tua, especially statesman like TDM and Ku Li.

They are still thinking and well updated. And they have lots of ideas and wisdom to impart upon us all.

Sometimes the ideas may seem old and repetitive, but the spirit behind it is still evergreen. It is left to us to translate and make it relevent today.

Stay cool. Shd bury past animosity.

My exception would be Musa Hitam who is still messing things up at Sime Darby and IRDA.

Anonymous said...

Aku duduk kat JB tak nampak pun projek2 billion yg digembar gemburkan oleh IRDA dan kuncu2 khazanah? Dah 3 tahun, dan projek RMK9 baru nak mula padahal tahun depan dah sibuk dgn RMK10. IRDA nie memang lembab dan tak patut wujud. Saya sokong 100%, bubalkan sahaja IRDA. Duit membiyai IRDA patut digunakan untuk membuat jambatan bengkuk (crooked bridge) seperti yg dicadangkan oleh Tun Mahathir.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pink Floyd,

CIO of Tabung Haji that is going to retire as commented by anon 4.04am is Tuan Hj Mohd Noor and the GM of Investment that is rumoured to replace him is Halim. U can ask any broker in town and they will say that with Halim, "u can talk", if u know what i mean? Even his buddy that he brought in from RHB, now the head of research tabung haji can even afford to buy a brandnew BMW 5 series. With that kind of pay in Tabung Haji, how can that be? Things is quite panas in Tabung Haji and if Halim becomes CIO of Tabung Haji, im sure they can easily buy Mesarati or even a Bentley soon. I guess those jokers in Tabung Haji have not learnt their lesson yet. Remember those 2 poor Senior GM of Tabung Haji that were charged for taking bribery (the metrowangsa case). Melayu mudah lupa?

Bugis Johor said...

Macamana IRDA nak progress, the previous CEO, Ikmal, sampai staff dia pun dia balun. Siap bawak pergi Spore dan his apartment kat belakang Hyatt to do the dirty job. Sure special branch spore dah lama monitor kerja maksiat dia nie. Malu la wuey! Sorang tuh janda blonde anak satu dulu kerja kat CIMB KL, yang lagi satu minah andartu gemuk dulu kerja kat KPMG KL. Dua2 still kat IRDA. Apa la org tua tuh dah janji dgn betina2 sundal tuh. Patut pun Ikmal kena berhenti. Memang masa kat Renong pun Ikmal nie mahsyur dgn perangai kaki perempuan. Org2 mcm nie yg menerajui GLC kat Msia nie. Memang Hancur!

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