Please Send Me Stuff

If you have articles, information, thoughts you want to share just send it to me at ali.syedakbar@gmail.com. Please keep your articles brief, not more than 1000 words or just use bullet points. If you have pictures to go with the articles, that is even better. Towards an excellent Malaysia.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jokowi Does Not See Much Of A Future With Malaysia?

I have been watching Jokowi since he was inaugurated as president of Indonesia. His Inaugural Address was extraordinary. He wants Indonesians to work hard.  

Jokowi has not visited Malaysia  yet and I dont think he is in any hurry to do so either. 

Or he may read my Blog and decide to catch a flight here next week (joking only ahh).

Yesterday, Friday Nov 21, 2014 Jokowi travelled to Singapore for a  private visit - to attend his son's graduation from the Anglo Chinese International School in Singapore. 

His travel caused a stir because Jokowi and wife flew Economy Class.  

What is more interesting is that before flying back today morning, Saturday, Jokowi had breakfast with Singapore Premier Lee Hsien Loong.  Here is the news :


  • Joko Widodo caused a stir this weekend fly economy class 
  • to watch his son's high school graduation in Singapore
  • Skipping security protocol Widodo and wife queued for check-in
  • Widodo known for common touch, family maintained modest lifestyle 
  • since he became leader of Southeast Asia's biggest economy last month.
  • presence of the president caused a buzz at Jakarta's airport 
  • his choice to fly economy won praise, many urging government officials to follow suit.
  • "Hopefully other officials can follow in his footsteps," tweeted Anita Tobing.
  • Widodo did not use presidential jet or VIP terminal because personal travel  
  • "I am going for family matters - so why should I use the facility?" Widodo told reporters
  • to see youngest son graduate from Anglo-Chinese International School S'pore
  • Widodo had b'fast with S'pore's PM Lee Hsien Loong before flying back 
My comments : There is a theory that Indonesia is pulling away from ASEAN and orbiting closer to the big powers because Indonesia sees itself (as it rightly should) as a big power as well. 

With 252 million people (4th largest in the world), the 15th largest land area and with the 17th largest economy in the world (nominal GDP) Indonesia can certainly be a great power. 

With strong leadership it is not impossible that Indonesia will one day achieve its place among the great nations.

Ever since Dr Mahathir retired in 2003, Malayia's  role in ASEAN has just dimmed like a burnt out light bulb.   ASEAN by itself  is sort of fading out too. 

Here is a scenario - what if Indonesia pulls out of ASEAN? ASEAN will collapse. They may not pull out (yet) but what if Indonesia does not find ASEAN of much use to them?  Whither then ASEAN? 

To be a great nation requires thinking like a great nation. Not only its leaders but the people too must think in global terms. 

Singapore has achieved this. China and Japan  are also there and South Korea too.  Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are  headed in that direction.  These are our neighbours.

Malaysia is developing excellent relations with camel herders.  Our leaders cannot even speak English. Even their bahasa is not exactly that  great.  In a few days we will hear them shouting and screaming again.  These are the leaders. What about the people?    

What would Lee Hsien Loong have discussed with Jokowi? 

If Jokowi came for breakfast with Najib what would Najib have to say? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Bar Is In Council


The Bar Council is in the midst of choosing  its leadership again.  The good thing about the Bar is that they change their leaders often, every two years max. In this aspect I salute the Bar. The Bar does not have this president for life, Ketum for Life, Mursyid for life, secretary general for life and chairman for life situations.  We seriously need to cap the tenure of the Prime Minister to two terms.

The Bar Council  also claims to be fiercely independent.  This claim can be fiercely disputed. The Bar is overwhelmingly pro Opposition and has developed a clear political position – anti establishment and anti ruling gomen. Considering the crap that the ruling gomen is putting out the Bar Council’s anti gomen stance is understandable.

But it is the Bar’s blind pro Opposition stance that is confusing them substantially. The perception is that the Bar Council loves blindly anything that is anti gomen. The recent case of Gopal Sri Ram being appointed that fellow’s legal counsel in the appeal stands out like a sore thumb. The Bar had passed its own resolution or something condemning retired judges or ex judges appearing as counsel in Court. But in the case of Gopal Sri Ram the Bar went hypocritically quiet. Just because the case involved the Rear Admiral.  Omissions and commissions were in action.

Here is a question for the Bar – is it ok then if retired or ex judges (including Gopal Sri Ram) appeared for the gomen?

I was in a recent discussion with a lawyer friend of mine and a strong upholder of the Quran (that’s the type of folks you really want to have around ok)  Mansoor Saat.  I got to grill Mansoor because he is running for one of the Bar Council Member seats this year.

 Mansoor Saat

Of course being a lawyer Mansoor was defensive of the Bar but he also agrees that the Bar Council must take a more balanced stand for the long run credibility of the Bar. Mansoor’s fear is that the public may end up not taking the Bar Council seriously.

Mansoor is also concerned at the increasing creep of religion into the legal system. (Folks, I have been warning about the creep of religion and the religious creeps for a long time).  Mansoor agrees with me (because I was insisting on this) that when it comes to religious issues, some legal practitioners, including folks like the Muslim Lawyers Association are often unable to look at issues from a purely legal perspective. Often they are not objective. “When it comes to the Law, we need certainty” says Mansoor. We cannot have large areas of grey or unending controversies that arise AFTER a religious edict has been passed.

Being a student of the Quran, a lawyer and a senior Rotarian, Mansoor feels that our Federal Constitution is consistent with the spirit of the Quran.  “The Federal Constitution should be our ‘grundnorm’” says Mansoor.  

"Grundnorm" is a German word meaning "fundamental norms." The jurist and legal philosopher Hans Kelsen coined the term to refer to the fundamental norm, order or rule of law. Our Federal Constitution is our fundamental law. 
Although the Bar Council are not religious experts, Mansoor feels that this should not prevent the Bar from visiting religious issues or syariah issues from a perspective of delivering justice and upholding human rights.This becomes more relevant when the 'religious creep' is encroaching into more of the grey areas.

One more area where I appreciate Mansoor's views, over which the Bar Council has not shown too much gumption, is the area of libel and defamation involving public figures. Public figures, especially the politicians, should not be afforded the same amount of protection from defamation and libel as ordinary Mr Man in the Street.
Public figures especially politicians depend on the public for their periuk nasi. They are constantly harrassing the public with, 'you can trust me, you must put your faith in me, you must believe me' and all sorts of crap. The only thing they dont say is 'you can worship me'. But even there the Rear Admiral's wife declared him an Anugerah Tuhan.

So when they have to jual ubat like this for their periuk nasi, the public should be allowed to throw eggs, shoes and dirty towels at the politicians.  But the moment they dont like what you say they slam you with multi million Ringgit libel and defamation suits. They become momma boys and baby cries.

The Bar Council too needs 'grundnorm'