Tuesday, May 22, 2007

affecting change in Malaysia

It is almost impossible to influence the rakyat at large especially the people in the Malay heartlands to support the movement to affect change in Malaysia merely by writing articles because time would be against it and even in any case, most newspapers or publications that enjoyed wide circulation would not be anxious to do the wrong thing against the government in power. It would also be impractical for the reformers and the middle class city movers and shakers to form their own party because such party would not get mass support especially from the rakyat in the Malay heartland. It is almost certain that the only alternative was to join any political party that already had mass support and which could be directed towards the movement to affect change in Malaysia.

edited from a letter -The Reluctant Politician

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sabar dan Tabah Itu Jodohnya Bahagia

The past one week has been a really wasted one. I havent done much studying as i should do, and the MSLS work isnt really moving on as fast as i wish it would.But yesterday was quite fruitful. I met 3 very interesting people.

The first person i met, lets call him Brother 'Ikhwan' is a member of the ruling party in KL.He is someone who is privileged enough to advice and brush shoulders with people in the upper echelons of Malaysia's Political Universe. On top of that, the most interesting bit about this brother is the fact that he is apparently the grandson of the great imam hassan al banna himself!

We only spoke for about three quarters of an hour, which isnt much,

And then i had to rush into another meeting with Dr Chua Soi Lek, the minister of health.

Monday, May 07, 2007

oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them

Bilik Dato Shahrul Manchester
4 17 am

Today started pretty badly. As I arrived at Euston station, i realised that i left my debit card at mara hostel.Had to go back to mara hostel just to pick up the bank card, return back to train station and then board the next train, which was also delayed by almost an hour and a half! News of Chelsea failing to win against Arsenal was rather a consolation as i arrived at Piccadily station almost 4 hours later.

I was invited by Kelab UMNO manchester (KUSMA) to 'speak' at a forum they organised today on Freedom of speech in Malaysia. Due to the stupid train, i was embarrasingly late (not really in style as some Putrajaya people manage to be). It was quite a good debate though, for me this kind of forum must be reproduced at all main cities across the UK. I think on this front, UKEC has done very well to create and encourage forums and debates in Malaysian Societies across the UK. Debates and forum about Malaysia which concerns us all Malaysians, students and non students alike. In Malaysia Hall London, it is something of a norm now (although it was viewed with much scepticism only a year ago) and now Manchester, Cardiff and Dublin, are now moving towards the right direction. I hope everyone involved in reviving this forums across the country will continue this 'struggle' because i know it is difficult to organise these forum, but there are things which we must persevere for the sake of the nation, because if we dont do it, no one else would.

The forum we had in Manchester today was on Freedom of Speech in Malaysia. Well, it was the usual debate on what sort of limit should we have, how much freedom should there be, and most importantly, what freedom must we give to our Malaysian students , both here in the UK and in the universities in KL. The forum went really well, and i think if the objective of the forum was to instil awareness amongst the attendees about the importance of having freedom of speech in malaysia, i think it succeeded to a certain extent. It wasnt just attended by UMNO kelab members, althought the majority of them, obviously, were KUSMA members.Kudos to saudara Shahril hamdan aka the Pemuda bos, and Dato Shahrul Shaari(my host for tonight) for organising the forum.

I am sure both Shahril and Shahrul will one day be at the forefront of Malaysian politics! A definite YB material, them both. Remember readers, you read it here first!

Labour losing so many council seats last Friday was much expected. But it was unfortunate that despite the big gains by tories across middle 'earth' england, Abang Wan Saiful lost the battle for south Luton.Its ok bro, ada hikmah tuh.

I read a very interesting insight regarding the council election by Michael Portillo in the sunday times today. Well,for the past few days i was rather disheartened to read so many bad news about how Labour have lost scotland and all other places, and the prospect of having another old etonian as Prime Minister, is not something i look fwd to.

But Portillo, a one time Tory leader candidate, interestingly enough, had a slightly different take on what the council result actually mean.

"For David Cameron, Thursday’s results give the lie to the old adage that oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them. As Neil Kinnock proved in 1992, it is not enough for the party in power to be unpopular. The electorate has also to believe that the opposition is ready for office and Kinnock failed that test. The case for dismissing Labour has been thoroughly made. The case for electing the Tories has yet to be articulated."

Of course im happy to read this because, well im a NOLS person inside out, but on top of that, i think this statement also highlights the situation the opposition party in Malaysia has. Well, i dont think the so called alternative front is anywhere as good as the Tories to start with, but i have always believed that one of the main reasons that the people in Malaysia will not replace the National Front with anything else is simply because, despite the fact that the national front may be so unpopular , what is more fundamental is the fact that it is plain obvious that the alternative front is yet to make the case for them to be the King's government.

"Cameron has with great skill moved the Conservatives to the centre and his efforts have been noticed and rewarded with votes. But there is no sense of crisis gripping Britain as there was when the electorate took a chance on Thatcher. Cameron has no message for aspiring people as she did when she promised to sell them their council houses. He is clever enough to understand what the working classes want but he does not intuit it as she did. The Tories are relying on his charis-ma and it is indeed a formidable weapon. But nobody knows whether it can defeat Brown’s experience and weightiness. Ironically, if the economy gets worse, as it surely will, Brown’s chances will improve because people would then fear change. If more Britons die in Iraq, Afghanistan or in terror attacks at home, a worried public may prefer to trust Brown’s unflashy solidity."

Like Cameron, we have charismatic politicians in the alternative front, of whom with charisma and great skill, are able to bring an ocean of people to listen to ceramahs and take notice to its effort. But at the end of the day, without being able to really proof the party's weightiness on being the government of the day, I do not think the alternative front is anywhere near its full potential.

The National Front people must also react.And react fast. We cannot allow for those in the opposition to keep improving and we allow our successes to disillusion us of the realities on the ground. There are so many unpopular issues brought up almost everyday concerning the decisions taken by the govt of the national front, and if it had not been for the fact that the alternative are just jokers who couldnt sort themselves out properly (well maybe not yet) maybe the national front wouldnt be in power too. In politics, a week is like a day, and 2 or 3 elections will come and go so quickly, that many of us may not realise how much longer can the people really fear change.

Sometimes i feel maybe its good that we lose one term, let it be an opportunity to cleanse the party off the old guards with old mentality and cancer, allow the exodus of those who are in the party just for the money and the contracts, refresh the party with new people, new leadership and new ideas. I guess its too New Labour for Malaysia's politics. Wishful thinking some might say. But if it does happen, i hope some of us will remain in the party, faithful and united, and ready to grab the opportunity!

Sarkozy won?? oh no..

p.s read Portillo's full article at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/michael_portillo/article1752268.ece

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Where to sleep tonight?

Imperial College Library

Its been almost 6 months now since i last edited this blog, and ive been homeless officially for around 4 months now.This whole drama of being homeless, was far less easy than i thought it was going to be.

Being homeless in London, or in bayswater to start with, is not something which i find to be too bizarre in the first place. I knew i had many friends house around this area which i could rely on.Further more, worse case scenario, i always have the Malaysia Hall to sneak in or just tidur lah atas bench mana mana.But of course that never happened ( I mean never did i sleep tepi jalan).

Things are getting worse and worse each day. At first i still had FOSIS to store all my stuff, now they want me to remove everything out. Not to mention all my post which i need to be keeping myself updated to very frequently of course with the BVC, Bills etc. On top of it all, are my beloved. Oh yes, there s like a whole mountain of them which i do not know how am i going to either ship them to Msia Hall or to Malaysia!

UKEC , like FOSIS, no matter how useless and unorganized it was or still is, are organisations of great importance to many many people. Like West Ham United, it has a large clientele base, but underperforming. And like West Ham United, they are in need of a rich Russian billionaire, or Malaysian/Saudi in the case of UKEC and FOSIS, to 'buy' ht organisation, put professional people in, and turn the organisation upside down.

I think the work we are doing in UKEC and FOSIS was really, up to the highest limit we could have, considering the sacrifice in time and money and career opportunity cost which some of us had to go through. Alhamdulillah, many now realise that UKEC and FOSIS are important base of young vibrant talent, either that of Malaysians or Muslim Students.

But if tomorrow both were to close shop so to say, who would really care? This is the problem. We want to bring the organisation to another level.Without full time officers in both organisation, it will continue to be , only ordinary organisation.What it need is a revamp for it to become extraordinary and produce more and more talent, either for Malaysia or for the ummah.

To do this, we need money, on top of the good people that we already have who are willing to sacrifice whatever they have for Malaysia, and for the Ummah.

Liverpool won today! Excellent stuff. im a United fan though. Im sure Nik Nazmi and Boy and Abe Khidir are celebrating back in KL. Takper, tomorrow is our turn to book our tickets to Athens :D

What am i doing in this imperial library? im homeless and this place is warm and i love it here!Tidur pun best jugak. I wish i could put my books in here..