A third choice?

Decisions are one of the things that we do most everyday, whether we notice it or not. From very small decisions like what to wear and what to eat; to huge decisions such as which job to apply, which car or house to buy.

Whether it is making simple day-to-day decisions or big decisions in life, we make decisions based on valid reasons.

When we make decision on what time to take a shower very much depending on what time we have to go to work or what time is our appointment. 

When we are to decide what to eat for lunch, depends on what is available at that time, what does our tastebuds love or maybe when it is during the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, then we have to take vegetarian food.

These are much simpler decisions that we make daily, but it still has a valid reason and choices out there.

Making bigger decisions might require longer and more in-depth process though, for example when we buy a car.

The first thought is usually the budget, how much can we afford the car. Then we consider the practicality of it, whether how big our family is, what kind of terrain to we usually drive by, do we carry a lot of things daily, or how efficient is the after-sales service of the company?

We will also look into the technical aspects; how fast can the car go, is it cost-efficient when it comes to petrol, is it environmental-friendly, does it connects to my handheld-device, and many other things.

Or some may decide more on the aesthetic part of it, such as the design, the colour, the type of the rim or the lights.

This of course, comes with a lot of choices. 

But when we decide on who is our representative in the Parliament and State Assembly; and who to govern our country, do we have choices?

Since the first general election in 1955, there is only one coalition that won the majority of the Parliament seats in the country and rules the Government, which is the Alliance, and subsequently formed the Barisan Nasional.

There was a sudden shock for the ruling party in 1969 where they lost a significant number of seats although they still remain as the Government; until in the 1990s that we see a stronger opposition coalition beginning to start-up. Then, it was the Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah and Gagasan Rakyat that came out to contest against Barisan Nasional. The coalition subsequently breaks up though and some of the parties came up with Barisan Alternatif to run against the ruling party in the 1999 and 2004 general elections.

The opposition coalition kept evolving and grew into Pakatan Rakyat; then Pakatan Harapan, and as we all knew it, they won in the 2018 general elections.

Since the 2008 general elections, Malaysians made a two-party system came true, whereby we have a significant strength among the opposition Member of Parliaments.

Despite all the scandals, corruption and negativity in politics; I think the political scenario gives a good hope for democracy in Malaysia. From having only one significant choice of a political party; we have grown to a two stronger choices of political parties.

But are we able to grow even further in democracy by having more stronger political parties in Malaysia? Do we have more choices when it comes to choosing who to represent us in the Dewan Rakyat? Do we really want just a two party system where we are forced to vote either one of the two which may not be suitable?

A third choice may sound ideal, but is it able to grow in our country? 

Usually, third parties face an uphill battle in terms of electoral success due to political system in a democratic country like Malaysia. Even in instances where the potential supporter may align themselves most with a certain third party, in the face of overwhelming odds against impacting an election, it makes more sense just to stay home or back a coalition party in compromise.

Growing into a stronger two-party system has also created more political bickering than ever in our country. Politicians are quarreling and criticizing each other just because they are not from the same party. Due to the strength of both coalition, the petty bickering seems non-stopping. The Government has forgotten about their responsibility of ruling, and the opposition has forgotten about their role of monitoring. What these two huge coalition focuses is to topple each other in the next general elections. 

Probably it is high time that we advocate for a stronger third party to arise. A third choice to remind the roles of the Government and the opposition. A third choice to remind that we have to make the country better, and not the political party better.

When we choose to buy a car and a house, we consider with so much details and choices. I think the same should be done when we choose who to govern our country.

What truly matters is not which party controls the government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 8th October 2019.

Small issues matter too

Tun Musa Hitam, our former Deputy Prime Minister published a biography, “Frankly Speaking” which tells about his life in politics and serving the people. It has been an inspiring and interesting book to learn about governance, politics, serving the people as well as about knowing more about the history of our country.

One of the lessons that politicians should learn from the former Deputy Prime Minister is to put his priority to serve the people and get things done above politics. Despite being the second most powerful man in the Government, the decisions and actions that he has taken in office shows that he doesn’t politicise issues and forsaking the needs of the people.

Few good cases on how Tun Musa has handled was during the inflation, sugar crisis and consumer protection issues when he was the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry. He has also played an important role in dealing with the Baling demonstrations due to the low rubber prices which affects the rubber industry. There are also many other incidences which proves his good political leadership in his biography which I think should be read by many.

While I believe that it is difficult to avoid politicking in the current political arena, I think that we have the options to prioritize on which is more important. I believe that matters that affect the needs and necessities of the people must not be ignored for the sake of populist agenda.

Last Sunday, 11 of Gerakan’s Residents Representative Committee (Jawatankuasa Perwakilan Penduduk or JPP) have made uproar in the news when they called for press conferences at the same time and same day, but different places.

Various issues were raised ranging from cleanliness to public infrastructure problems. Clogged drains, garbage all over public parks, missing ditch covers, bird’s droppings and many more.

It could be only be a small matter if each of the issue is raised alone. It is because each issue mostly affects the nearby residents only; comparing to bigger issues like petrol prices that affects generally all Malaysians.

As in the issues that we have raised in the press conferences, it is obvious that there are many local issues throughout the whole Penang including the island and mainland which is unresolved and probably ignored.

It shows that the slogan “Cleaner, Greener Penang” stays just a slogan and merely a political rhetoric.

We know that bigger issues are important; for instance, corruption, economy, social issues. These issues are matters that couldn’t be solved within a day or a month. It could probably take years to fix it. As the issues could be on-going for a long term, it could be easily politicised by certain politicians to make the current government look weak as the matter cannot be fixed.

Coming back to the local problems that the JPP has raised; those issues were matters that could have been solved in one day. And why weren’t the matters taken care of? Why was it ignored and left a problem for such a long time?

Why these politicians keep on talking about big issues only? Is it because it garners more attention and it is easier to manipulate? It is due to the populist agenda?

Cases of corruption may have affected us as a country in terms of reputation and economy; but clogged drains in front of our home may have risked our lives through the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes.

If such small issues still cannot be handled by these politicians, why do we trust them to help us fight for bigger issues?

As a quote I read in the internet before, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 7th October 2016.

How do we judge a Government?

The latest political controversy have put DAP’s ADUN, YB Lim Siew Khim through sleepless nights, perhaps. As many would have knew about this latest and hottest controversial issue through the news, it was reported that YB Lim’s father has been offering the ‘approval’ of low-medium cost houses for a sum of money.

The case is now new though. About a year back, few people came to the Gerakan office to ask for advice on getting their low-medium cost houses approved and if not, to get their money back from the agent that they have paid for it. But due to lack of knowledge on the government paper works, these poor people did not have any documentation to prove for it.

The case was then put on hold until the video of the negotiation between victims and YB Lim’s father was uploaded on the internet. The next thing we see, war of words happened in the social media. Attacks and defence were made by supporters and cybertroopers.

The Sungai Pinang ADUN responded that she is not aware of the issue despite happened since a year ago. I believe these victims who have paid the sum of money must surely had find numerous ways and people to make their money worth paid for; and that would have include approaching YB Lim’s office. It is not an issue that happened a week ago, and to say that the YB is not aware of it is simply amusing.

Even when Malaysians still haven’t received their Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) payments within a week, they already knew how to contact several different offices to obtain advice on how to get it.

Of course, many cybertroopers debated that there are so many other cases of corruption at a bigger and higher level, and why wasn’t action taken against them. Comparisons were made; attacks and hatred were incited over many individuals or political parties over the social media.

It is very unfortunate that Malaysians tend to get excited over controversial and negative news. When news of corruption, hatred, racial and other negative ones arises, Malaysians talked about it, share it, commented and argued over it especially on the social media.

It has come to a point that in Malaysia or I would say in many parts of the world, people are more concerned of negative news compared to the positive ones. In politics, Malaysians are comparing who is the worst leader or politician and not who performs better. People compares who are more corrupted, who are more racist, who are the weaker ones.

We should be comparing who performs better in managing the government, who are the moderate and fair leaders, and who are the more honest politicians. Usually these people are the ones who are forgotten and neglected in the news or conversations.

In the recent cover of the Times magazine, “Why we’re losing the Internet to the culture of hate” is a good example of how we are judging the political and governance world.

We may not aware of it, but many were excited and tend to discuss about negative issues when they heard any of it. How many of us always immediately share to our friends when we heard news about people were killed, when some leaders uttered racist remarks, when news of corruption surfaced? And how many of us share when we receive news of how good our country has performed at the international level, when our country’s GDP or FDI increases? We know ourselves better.

In life, all of us have always learned that we should look at the positive side, the bright side and the good side of people. There are many quotes about it, it’s written in self-improvement books, it was taught in motivational seminars.

It is time that we put all these into practice. It is time that we compare who does better in governance. Low corruption rate is one key towards a good nation. But good governance is the main key towards developing a great nation.

I am not saying that we should ignore all cases of crimes and corruption. If elements of corruption is proved whether it is the issue of low-medium cost housing and YB Lim’s father or the 1MDB issue or any other cases; action should be taken on culprits.

Of floods and plans

Penang Floods 2016

The recent weeks of heavy rain have been a cause of worry for many Penangites. Places like Teluk Bahang which was rarely affected by floods has been flooded. Although the flood might not be serious as many other cases around the nation, but it is serious in a sense that something different that might have caused the floods. As we know, heavy rains in Malaysia are not a peculiar matter.

A few friends who come from different expertise have discussed about it over coffee and they have made a conclusion over the cause of the floods. Heavy rains of course are the first things that were brought up. The supermoon phenomenon was also blamed for causing the floods. While some has argued that poor drainage system and poor flood mitigation system has caused the floods. Excessive and unplanned hill cutting is also one of the major causes of floods as the trees on the hills serves as a natural water catchment area. Some environment experts have also said that the climate change is the factor.

In my opinion, all of the points that were mentioned are true; all of it causes floods.

While we cannot control natural events like heavy rains and the supermoon phenomenon or the climate change which is a global effect; I am sure drainage and hill cutting issues can be solved.

We have all known the hill cutting issues have been so massive that when we look from the Google Map, we can see a lot of brown patches around the island. It is an obvious fact that deforestation has happen around the hills in Penang.

By cutting the trees on the hills, it destroys the natural water catchment area whereby rain water is collected by natural landscape. It prevents the rain water from flowing directly to the lower ground. This might have been an important factor that causes floods in the past week especially when the flood water is brown and murky. It signifies that the water must have come from the brown soil on top of the hill.

Nine months after DAP won the elections at the state level and formed the state government, YB Ng Wei Aik hold a press conference stating that they have solved the flood issues within 9 months that was never solved for 50 years.

In 2014, YB Chow Kon Yeow has stated that the state government is planning for the flood mitigation masterplan for the five districts to solve flooding problems in the state.

However, up until today the flood problem is still unresolved. Floods in Teluk Bahang, Bayan Lepas and may other areas including the famous “Teh Tarik Falls” of Paya Terubong.

What has happened to the flood mitigation masterplan? Is there a real study to draft the masterplan? Or is the masterplan a failure? Or the masterplan was never implemented at all?

The state government has claimed and stated in many press conferences that they have drafted plans, guidelines and many other similar documents. Flood mitigation masterplan, Penang Transport Master Plan, George Town Special Area Plan, Penang Hill Special Area Plan and many more.

But have all of these been planned or implemented efficiently? Only Penangites should know the best if they really look into the answers.

We have seen the DAP politicians keep on harping on national issues. 1MDB, corruption, national budget, GST, political funding and so many others.

There’s no doubt that these issues are important.

Although issues like floods, traffic, cleanliness may not be seen as huge as the 1MDB and corruption; but it is important as it affects our daily lives. If we cannot even solve the simplest thing of all, if we have to worry about these small issues that affect our lives directly, what more are we talking about huge, national issues.

Penangites ready for public debate?

Penang debate 290616


Debate between YB Liang Teck Meng & YB Lim Hock Seng on the “Three Highways and Underground Sea Tunnel” two weeks ago was a waste of time.

I was there throughout the whole debate and watch the whole scene; that has happened on the stage and on the floor.

The debate begins with a quite a peaceful manner with cheers and hand clapping to each of the YB by their respective supporters. There were some occasional small jeers by small group of supporters though. It started quite well.

But the chaos starts after both YBs presented their points in the first round of fifteen minutes; when the question session begins.

YB Lim Hock Seng did not answer all three questions imposed by YB Liang Teck Meng. Not only that, he has diverted the topic to 1MDB, RM2.6 billion donation issue, GST and many other national issues.

Then and there, the audience begins to get frustrated as they were waiting for answers about the 3 highways and underground sea tunnel but it was not given.  They started to jeer louder at YB Lim. One of the audiences who were so irked kept on shouting “ask him to talk about the tunnel”.

To my shock, YB Lim Hock Seng responded to the audience on the floor, and with a harsh way, and stirred up the anger of the audience. Words like “kalau tak tau, jangan bising. Tau tak, bodoh?”, “Eh, samseng!”, “CIlaka punya GST, GST cilaka!” came out from the mouth of YB Lim. You, I and everyone else know, such words will only provoke the crowds even more.

 

“Ask him to talk about the tunnel!”

The debate yesterday shows how unprofessional YB Lim Hock Seng is; provoking the emotions of the BN supporters instead of answering the questions about the tunnel and highways imposed by YB Liang Teck Meng.

Posted by Gerakan Penang 檳州民政 on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

YB Lim Hock Seng as a four- term people’s representative didn’t acted professionally as the debater. First, he didn’t answer the questions imposed and tries to divert the topic to other national issues.

When many were waiting to listen for the truth about the highways and tunnel right from the mouth of the Public Works, Utility and Transport Exco to make things clear, all they got is some other information.

Besides that, in the debate YB Lim should only respond to YB Liang. Instead, he responded the audience. If anyone is there that night, one would have seen clearly how YB Lim kept on chiding the audience with strong expressions. It has definitely arouses their anger and therefore, the people shouted back. YB Lim has forgotten that it was a debate; not a ceramah, dialogue session, not concert.

To make things worse, a senior and respected people’s representative who has served the people for nearly two decades is urging the people to NOT respect others. YB Lim clearly stated in the debate that YB Liang should not be respected. That event is supposed to be a professional debate, not an argument on the street.

Despite not answering the questions and diverting the topic, at the end of the day, I still believe that YB Lim and the DAP achieved their objective.

Barisan Nasional supporters were again tainted with being rowdy and harsh. DAP manage to strengthen their existing support base by reminding them about the controversial national issues.

I agree with many though that the people on the floor should attend the debate with an open and mature mind. If everyone was quiet and just listens to the debate, I am sure the people in and out of the hall, will judge the debate purely on the content.

Looking at how the YB acted as a debater and how the audience on the floor responded; I am convinced that many Penangites are not ready for a public debate yet.

Unfortunately for those who attended hoping for a matured debate, maybe we will have to wait for another 10 or 20 years?

We, Penangites have to ask ourselves whether we want such a leader for our state, one that cannot act professionally as a leader. There are many quotes that states “Leaders should lead by example”. Maybe the people should be leading the politicians instead by being more matured, politically.

Funny though, at the end of the debate, the DAP state leaders even carried YB Lim Hock Seng and him holding a drinking water bottle as if it is a trophy, “indicating” that he is the winner of the debate.

We all know that this particular debate will not determine any winner, but to enlighten the public on the facts of the issue. But witnessing the whole debate and the after-effects, I guess it is just one of the political play by DAP to strengthen themselves.

What land is left for the future generations of Penang?

A government not only has to execute state affairs and solving issues of the day; but it must have the vision to plan ahead for the future generations.

I am always impressed with how certain ancient Government rules and plan for a nation. The Great Rome Empire is a good example when it comes to their infrastructures particularly the roads. Roman roads were built for long term and it lasts for generations even until today. One of the most important long-distance roads in the ancient republic, the Via Appia, running from Rome to Brindisi is still around today in its original built.

What the Romans simply did was that their planning on the city’s public infrastructure is for the use of generations, and not for short term usage or for the sake of publicity that they have built the road.

This has linked my thoughts to the State Government’s plan on public lands in Penang over the recent years. Penang State Government’s governance on public land has been an issue since the DAP took over as the ruling party approximately eight years ago. A recent news report has showed that Penang’s land bank has dropped from 18 per cent in 2008, to 6 per cent in 2014.

We have to keep in mind that once a public land is sold off to a private company or an individual, it is unlikely that the State Government will get it back; unless of course the Government decides to buy the land back with a huge sum of public money. And once the lands falls to the ownership of the private sector, it will be definitely be developed for financial gains. There is no doubt that nobody wants to get in a deal that doesn’t bring profits. It is natural in any economy in the world.

In fact, we have already seen that high-end residential properties have been mushrooming throughout the state, which most of them are beyond the capability of the people of Penang to own it. Most of the high-priced properties might have been bought by foreigners.

With the sale of public lands to private, the State and its people are left with limited lands for the usage of the community as a whole. Many may think that the issue does not matter to them as the land doesn’t belong to them, literally. But to think in a wider prospect, public or Government lands are very important for a state’s socio-economic development.

We may have many luxury condominiums to reflect the city dwellers’ high income. But to really reflect a developed city or a state, it is not the luxuries that we really need; it is the standards of living that is important; the community areas, the cleanliness, the infrastructures and many more.

India is an example where they take importance in public lands for various purposes for the benefit of public although some of the provisions in the Act may be controversial.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR) of India puts priority in lands for the usage of projects that covers the whole community, the low-income groups, public housing, socio-economic developments for both rural and urban areas.

Even urban and modern cities such as New York still execute plans by using their city-owned land for public housing projects, public spaces for the community to gather, open parks to keep the city green and many other initiatives for the benefit of the public.

If there is one thing the typical Malaysian politicians have to learn from the Romans; it would be that the Romans have a different timeframe of governance: they could envision a future in which they expected the empire to exist “without end”. And they govern from the perspective of building a great city for the people; but not merely for politics.

I have mentioned in one of my previous article in my column, the State Government has failed to gazette the George Town Special Area Plan and reviewing the Penang Structure Plan. This land issue is a sign that the State Government is not visionary enough to plan for the future generations of Penangites.

Again, I would like to reiterate, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Is the State Government planning to fail the people of Penang?

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 29th January 2016.

Government Surplus May Not Be A Good Sign

Last week, the Penang Chief Minister announced the State Government’s 2016 Budget in the prestigious State Assembly. He proudly claimed that under his administration since the year 2008, they have managed to achieve an annual surplus for seven years consecutively. Politically, the idea is to show the people how effective and efficient the State Government has been running Penang. Surplus or earnings in the financial papers of the Government has a strong political appeal, because the people in general dislike the idea of “deficits” or “debt”. Nobody likes the feeling of being in debt.

But what does the economist and professionals says about government financial surpluses, or maybe what does the history shows about it?

Let us begin with a simple understanding of budgets and the economy. The definition of a budget surplus is a situation where the income is more than the expenditure. The term is commonly used in governments and businesses; while the same situation that happens to individuals means “savings”. The opposite of surplus; budget deficit is a status of financial health in which the expenditure is more than the income.

To make us understand about the impacts of budget surpluses or deficits easier, let us put the calculations in a simpler way. At the level of the economy in general, when one sector spends more than its income, another necessarily spends less than its income for the simple reason that, total spending equals to total income. Let us, explain the economy into three sectors to determine the implications of government surpluses for the other sectors.  First, we consolidate all levels of the government as “Public” sector; while we combine households and businesses as “Private” sector. To balance it, we must also add a foreign sector, which means every other part of the world who took part in our economy. Generally, the spending of all three sectors combined must equal the income received by the three sectors. It is clear that if the public sector is spending less than its income; which means it is running a surplus, this must imply that at least one other sector is spending more than its income; which means running a deficit.

In short, if a Government is having a budget surplus means that the private sector, which includes the businesses and household, is facing a budget deficit.

Now using the logic, how does a Government achieve its financial surplus? Usually a Government has to increase taxes, collect more fees, and find more ways to generate revenue or cut spending to ensure a surplus.

When the Government takes steps to increase taxes or cut spending to meet a budget surplus, it could have an adverse effect on the rate of economic growth; unless when the economy is booming which isn’t happening now.

Some argued that a budget surplus allows us to save for the future. They believed that a surplus can be ‘saved’ for the future, or ‘used’ to finance tax cuts or spending increases. But that is probably only beneficial to make the financial papers look good. We have to remember that a surplus exists only as a deduction from private sector’s income.

History has shown that when a Government meets budget surpluses, it causes downfall of the economy as well with the collapse of household savings rate, the increase of household debts.

During the 1920’s in the US, also called as the Roaring Twenties, the economy is booming. The US Federal Government achieves budget surpluses but in 1929, the Great Depression happened.

President Bill Clinton was known for his budget balance when he was running the country. He brought the Government’s deficit to a surplus in his administration. But in the middle of his tenure, the figures started falling around the year 2001 and as the history wrote, US suffered from a recession in the early millennium.

Not far away from us in the East Asia, Japan ran a budget surplus in the year right before its economy went into terminal decline in the 90’s.

Our nation’s history has proven itself as well, in the year 1996-1997, our economy was booming and the Government achieved a budget surplus. We have also known that at the end of 1997, we suffered from the economic crisis.

What worries me is that Penang Government has met a budget surplus for seven consecutive years; what is really coming ahead of us? There have already been some movements in the manufacturing sector, Penang main shapers of the economy.

An accountant may probably make the financial papers looks good, balanced and presentable. But it takes more vision and leadership to manage an economy.

We may not be able to avoid the downturn in an economic cycle; but the Government has to take actions to minimise the damage.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 20th November 2015.

Life is Unfair

Most of us grew up complaining at least once that life is unfair. Or maybe once is to absurd, we all do complain about it a lot of times throughout our lives.

Recently, I found a quote in an article that says, “Unless you’re winning, most of life will see outrageously unfair to you.”

We complain life is unfair because our parents forced us to bed at 9pm.

“Life isn’t fair because the classmate across the room scored better grade than I do when I studied harder than he is.”

“I hate life because that ugly guy who lives down the road is dating the most beautiful girl in town.”

“It is not fair that the nerdy guy got promoted as Manager.”

“I worked so hard, why couldn’t I become rich? Life is unfair!”

Sounds familiar? But we will never stop complaining that life is unfair so long as we judge ourselves by our thoughts.

Life is Unfair

Our subconscious minds tend to have positive thoughts towards ourselves. “I have worked hard”. “I am good looking”. “I’m friendly”. Unfortunately, this is not what the world sees us nor it is any form of optimism. It could be a self-deception by our own minds trying to calm ourselves to sleep every night. It seems like we have done to our best ability for ourselves and if anything goes wrong, it is the fault of others.

Lately, a friend who is aspiring to build a business came asking for ideas to source for investors and funding opportunities. I suggested the government as there are different forms of business grants and loans depending on the type of businesses.

Immediately without even asking me what sort of assistance are there, he doubted my suggestion of ‘government assistance’. And he goes complaining that the government is unfair. The government only helps the Malays. Only the Bumiputras will get the approval for business loans and grants. The applications of non-Malays is sure to be rejected by the government. Life is unfair, as he said.

At that moment, I only serve him two questions: Have you applied for any government grants or loans? How many non-Malays that you know that have applied for the grants and loans have been rejected?

He replied no for both answer.

The problem with my friend here is that he has a very negative perception towards the Government. Whether the Government is unfair or not is another matter. Before he even tried to apply for any assistance from the Government, his perception has already blocked his action and therefore, blamed them for being unfair.

In another matter, which happens last week during the heat of the debate at the UMNO General Assembly. Many said that it is a season of ‘Malay agenda’ where the UMNO delegates will usually raise issues to protect the interest and rights of the Malays.

One of the highlights that caused an uproar to the public especially the netizens are the debate statement made by UMNO Permatang Pauh Division Chairman, which claims that the Chinese in Penang are rich due to illegal economic activities.

Various comments and criticisms were hurled at that specific UMNO delegate. Yes, I do agree with the public that it is a ridiculous remark and was not suppose to be mentioned. Such statements made by any leader, be it from the top leadership or even grassroots leaders, should not even be thought of. This baseless accusations is definitely unacceptable.

But is that all that they have heard from the UMNO members. Have the people heard that there are also moderate UMNO delegates that fought for the preservation of vernacular schools? Have they known that they have even debated that the Malays should also learn a third language which is either Mandarin or Tamil?

Now, wouldn’t that be unfair to UMNO instead?

I am not trying to defend UMNO. If there is any wrongdoings that UMNO has caused, I urged that the voters must punish them by denying votes from them. Furthermore, those hurtful remarks made by insensitive delegates are just debating points and will not be taken into action unless the top leadership do so, which in this case they did not.

But let us think twice, when we think that people or life has been unfair towards us, are the outside force have been really unfair to us or is it our minds that has been choosing to be unfair towards ourselves?

Sometimes it is our thoughts that is being unfair to ourselves. We choose to just look at only one side of the coin. Probably it is time for us to open our minds and redefine our perspectives.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 5th December 2014.