In their position, I found that SDP’s statement is the most graceful of all.
“ Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Dr Lee Wei Ling Mr Lee Hsien Yang,
On behalf of the members of the Singapore Democratic Party, I send you and your loved ones my deepest condolences on the demise of your father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In this time of personal grief, our thoughts are with you.
Chee Soon Juan Secretary-General Singapore Democratic Party”
--- Here I also would like to add a few more words:
We are all human, we should take care of Mr. Lee family’s and thousands of supporters’ feelings when mourning for the loss of the life of their loved ones.
That is also why at this junction of time, I want to be sensitive also to the feelings of Chia Thye Poh (read ‘Operations Cold Store’), Said Zahari (read ‘Dark Clouds at Dawn’), Lim Chin Siong (read ‘Comet in the Sky’) who co-founded the People’s Action Party with Mr. Lee. Also those names that appear in the documentary of “To Singapore, With Love”: Ang Swee Chai, Chan Sun Wing, He Jin, Ho Juan Thai, Tan Hee Kim, Tan Wah Piow, Shu Shihua, Wong Soon Fong, Ye Wanzhen.
They, too, have their families and comrades who have made the painful sacrifices in the past for an alternative but no less greater nation. For sure they will get far less recognition for their vision unrealised.
Only if Mr. Lee had approached and engaged them fairly, positively and freely, defeated them openly with reasons, utmost respect and freedom afforded to them, I believe all parties including me would sing praise of you highly unreservedly. Then I don’t need to take care of their feelings of their painful losses in the past (because that did not happen). By then Mr. Lee would be a great leader at such height that is truly well-loved by all, well-respected by opponents and would surely be positively accredited by majority of historians, as such accorded to Mr. Mandela Nelson and co. with glorious human values.
In the wake of the mourning of the late Mr. Lee, I sincerely want to thank him for helping me to appreciate more about the values ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’. He constantly reminds me of what I want and do not want for the future nation of mine I want to help build.
I feel rather sad over
the fact that the petition could not garner enough signatures after 2 weeks, to
get over the threshold to bring to US government attention. 100,000 signatures,
a high barrier though, but looking at how many people had turned out at
political rallies/ protests prior to 505 General Election, I still find it too
surprising the petition campaign falters. Why? In the face of gross violation
of justice to the opposition leader of our nation, Anwar Ibrahim, I am
aghast why this time not so many people express their anger like last time? To
support the call, one just need take a minute or two to fill up the online
signature form. It does not even require anyone go down to street nor taken to
lokap, why not sign?
The person who
initiated this petition is no other than the ex-US ambassador himself John
Malott. I know some still are very sceptical and doubt whether this petition
would change anything at all. I don’t know, but at least I know every signature
is real, at least the online support and the call for justice is also real and
solid. This forms the collective voice of conscience and moral authority. Even
if Obama-administration chooses to overlook this issue, we can use the petition
to go around and signal to the world that we have got a serious issue back
home. If the people in the respective nations know that their democratic
leaders still hypocritically support a regime who throws their political
opponents in jail, what do they think of their leaders? But if we ourselves are
not angry enough, seemingly agree with the authority over their political moves
and ‘content’ with the status quo, then why would any government and people in
the world voice up for us, if not even 100,000 people back in our homeland
bother about it?
One issue I can
understand is that the language used in this petition is English. This could
already be a language barrier to some rakyat who are not so good in
understanding the content of this petition and therefore refuse to sign. I hope
some would take this to their circle of friends, translate the basic message of
this petition in their own native language, and finally urge people to sign!
Sign, please just sign. Do it not just for Anwar, but for a free and fair political
competition. Don’t make opposition politicians pay any political cost, no one
should deserve that kind of injustice.
There is no real
reform for Malaysia without having free and strong opposition which can win the
election by real support and implement their political visions.
Reform is a long march... now the
opposition leader is in the lokap, talking about the long term strategy is not
There are people building the nation by strengthening the opposition, not just
in terms of political influence, but also substance.
Policy formulating will take time , especially expert consultation. I see that
some parties and NGOs are doing that, and there are things still ongoing, to
put on the plate.
Not to smear BN, but the federal government is doing the opposite, and earning
more and more discredit.
You should also understand that policy reform will go hand in hand with the
political power. If the current political power doesn't want to shake our
hands, then we should go to another platform which would take our ideas as
their vision too and at the same time politically powerful enough to challenge
the problematic one.
so, at this junction of time, we must do
what is required at the crucial moment. I don't mean signing this petition is
enough, no it is not, but doing this costs us nothing and can probably bring
advancement to the movement
To act or not to act, it is up to the
occupant in the White House. But we want the world to see White House's
reaction to injustice and anti-democratic measures done by a leader he played
The true core shortcoming of NEP is not the so-called "crutch mentality" but NEPotism. No one is really depending on the NEP to survive. The proponent of "crutch mentality" is to help sustain the policy by letting some others in society believing that this policy does really help their race and without it their race cannot survive. So criticism using that phrase will nevertheless strengthen rather than weaken the need for such policy.
I remember that Dr. M did like to use this phrase many times during his tenure, but never really did anything substantial to do away with this policy (and the similar policies).
In response to my friend suggesting Selangor Government should run better private schools to show what they can do for education
To me, it is not the state government but
the (federal) opposition coalition should come up with a detailed policy paper
on education, and that should be served as Pakatan Rakyat’s alternative
education blueprint. Should they come to power, this is what they propose to
do, with detailed problem-solution analysis approach. Although PR politicians
often brag about the Buku Jingga (PR’s common policy framework), many PR
representatives never really read through them thoroughly and never seem to
cite them often for mentioning the relevant alternative policy.
To me also, that Buku Jingga is simply not
enough, and at times I don’t feel it is professional and thoughtful enough for certain
policies. One of the bigger problems for the Buku Jingga is that, they
distributed the drafting jobs among politicians and think-tanks affiliated with
political parties. It would have been so much better if they can allocate more time
to rope in relevant experts in thei field and form a consultation panel for
each big distinctive policy area. Each panel should come out with a detailed
policy paper to show that they have done sufficient analyses and studies,
therefore they have better ideas how to tackle the most pressing issues more
professionally. Each policy should be set for medium and long term sustainable
goal, so this can deter some ill-thought populist measures put out just to fish
Back to education reform policy, I do not
agree with you Kok Boon to set up a competitive private system just to show the
state can run better private schools than the federal government runs public
schools. You just missed the point. Government is the authority body taking
control/care of public matters. Public schools and the central education system
are the focus points for reform, not private schools. Private schools are not
to replace the public schools.
What Kim Boon said is not wrong in that Education falls under the jurisdiction power
of the federal government, but I would argue that that does not mean Selangor
state government should just sit there and do nothing without proposing any alternative
education policy. For long some number of PR politicians talking about
decentralisation of power from the federal government, so what if the next day
federal government agrees to do so, then how would the state government run the
public schools differently to BN?
Pakatan Rakyat, if they seriously aspire to
become the next federal government and now position themselves as the
responsible government-in-waiting, should have already a good alternative
education plan to convince us that they can run public education system better
than BN if they were elected in the next round. I don’t want to see people like
Tony Pua, Rafizi and etc. to give their individual opinions, I want to know what PR exactly is offering us.
To me, important issues to be addressed are
i) the deliberate unequal/imbalance of development resources allocated for
different streams of public schools, ii)
sliding standard of Maths and Science, English language command, creative and
independent thinking skills, iii) Education that fosters learning capability, but
not exam-orientated system, iv) academic freedom and professionalism in the
Sometimes I wonder why an opposition party
in Singapore like SDP (yourSDP.org), even though they are without a seat in the
parliament, yet they can yet come out with a number of detailed policy papers
on the most gripping national issues. I noticed also that SDP politicians have
such habit: after criticising PAP on various questionable policies, they will
propose their party alternative based on their papers to woo support already.
Of course no party can win the election just because they have good series of policy
papers publication, but this has showed how professional and committed is the
political party to offer alternatives to people. People can understand and indeed
are given the real political choices, not just different logos.
The Buku Jingga is the common policy
framework only, the ‘compromised’ consensus among three parties. It is so
common sometimes it sounds just vague and a bit populist. After 505, I have
even vague idea about what Pakatan Rakyat is offering to the rakyat, after the
infighting among these parties throughout the last year. Are they still serious
as the government-in-waiting?