Saturday, April 28, 2007

BN Continues Winning Streak
Retains Ijok Seat
With Higher Majority

KUALA SELANGOR, April 28 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) continued its winning streak, retaining the semi-urban Ijok state seat with an increased majority of 1,850 votes in today's keenly-fought by-election.

BN's K. Parthiban polled 5,884 votes while Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) received 4,034 votes in the straight fight. There were 134 spoilt votes.

The BN had earlier won four by-elections. They are in Kuala Berang (Terengganu), Permatang Pasir (Kelantan), Batu Talam (Pahang) and Machap (Melaka).

In today's by-election, which recorded the highest ever voter turnout in the the country's election history, a total of 10,049 or 81.88 per cent of the 12,272 electorate cast their ballots.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is The Tiny Red Dot
Really Very Special?

No man is an island. And no nation in the current era of globalization can exist in an absolute isolation. On the contrary, all nations are interdependent in one way or another. This is the dictum of reality that no one can deny - not even Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) with his kiasu principles of survival.

Therefore, it is of outmost importance for all nations to peacefully and harmoniously co-exist within their own geo-political and economic spheres - regionally and globally.

So, when LKY described Singapore as “a very special country” which needed a “top grade government” because otherwise the country would just become an insignificant island, he could actually have to stop just there.

LKY has all the rights to mention these words to his people. But, he does not have to say anything further. It is unnecessary for him to say “the biggest mistake any Singaporean can make is to believe that Singapore is an ordinary country and can behave like an ordinary country like Malaysia, like Indonesia, like Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark...,"

I am of this opinion because the above statement is too generalized, very provocative, definitely subjective, and of course debatable. It is reflective of an arrogance of the highest order.

I also consider such a statement as unpleasant because many people will ask, what extraordinary qualities does Singapore have to merit it being categorized as “a very special state”? And, what special qualities that Malaysia does not have to merit LKY generalizing it as “an ordinary state”?

The same goes with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam or even the Philippines which were being singled out by LKY in the above statement as “ordinary” countries.

These nations have their strategic strengths and qualities. As members of ASEAN, these nations also have indirectly contributed to the progress of Singapore - at least through the maintenance of the principles of peace, freedom and neutrality in South East Asia.

In the case of Malaysia, how “ordinary” does LKY think about this country? Is Malaysia not the neighboring nation that supplies water to Singapore since times in memorial, without which the island republic may just end up living on re-cycled water?

Is Malaysia not the “rich hinterland” blessed with natural resources, agricultural commodities and petroleum products which fuel Singapore’s international trading activities?

Can Singapore actually become a “very special country with top grade government” if it only exists as a tiny red dot somewhere in the Pacific Ocean?

Can Singapore survive and progress as what it is today if, in not the distant future, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, for example, jointly decide to open up a canal cutting through the Ithmus of Kra in southern Thailand, as a short-cut for vessels transporting oil and gas from the Middle East to East Asia and the Pacific Rim?

Or, can Singapore’s financial industry prosper as what it is today if one of these days Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia decide to enact new laws forbidding their tycoons from depositing their wealth and money in Singapore banks?

The above are just a few of the numerous points I can raise in response to LKY’s statement saying that Singapore “is a very special country” whereas Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark are just “ordinary” ones.

I am not going to elaborate further on this because the debate will be endless, very lengthy, and diplomatically may be sticky.

For example, I can just point out one distinct characteristic of Singapore which I consider it as special – the subtlety of its policies to marginalize the Malays in the island republic.

I know that this observation is subjective, generalized and debatable. But, this is the very point I want to emphasize here – it is important to recognize and accept the fact that any statements made to compare one country’s “greatness” with other nations’ “nothingness” are subjective and susceptible of interpretations which can disrupt bilateral or multilateral relations between the countries in question.

I am very sure that LKY is very much aware about this. He is a respectable leader with excellent vision on nation building. He understands and advocates the significance and the principles of cordial diplomatic relations among nations.

This is clearly reflected in his memoirs From Third World To First: The Singapore Story 1965-2000. In this book, LKY dedicated 72 pages on how Singapore establishes and enhances its bilateral relations, regionally and internationally.

The Singapore’s mission to establish and enhance better diplomatic relations all over the world still continues until today. It is so because Singapore is now searching for more space, influence and dominance – politically and economically. The success of such a mission depends on friends and neighbors – especially the tolerant and considerate ones.

So, this why the recent statement by LKY, saying that Singapore is a “very special country” while some others, including most of its neighbors and friends in ASEAN and the Pacific are just “ordinary nations,” – though might had been said unintentionally - is actually a statement of unpleasant taste. Such a statement should not be repeated. Singapore needs good neighbors and friends forever more in its future quest for a better tomorrow! – Ruhanie Ahmad

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Political Conspiracy Against Najib
Originated From People In High Places?

Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is the target of a concerted and coordinated political conspiracy aimed at getting him out of the government and Umno.

He has to believe this. He also has to accept the fact that the conspiracy is real. As of today, it is a public secret that a group of individuals is working, openly or covertly, to marginalize Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib either through a cabinet reshuffle or through the coming general elections.

I related the existence of this conspiracy to one of Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib’s runners who came to my office a few days ago. I told him that his boss had no other choice, but to accept the fact that a group of individuals was now working to sideline him from Umno and the national politics.

I also told him that his boss had to conduct an analysis as soon as possible of his political strength, networks, working groups and strategies.

I made the suggestion to enable Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib to re-strategize his move in order to defend his very own political survival and his very own political future.

I also made the suggestion so that Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib will make effort to re-identify his supporters and friends all over the country. This is of outmost importance because some leaders previously being categorized as the Najib’s inner circle, are now said to have crossed over to join the conspirators.

This is an indicator, although circumstantial, that the conspirators working against Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib are not only found in the opposition camp. They also exist within Umno.

So, Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib has to move very fast. Not to witch hunt the conspirators within Umno. But to be on the offensive through a carefully planned strategies. This is very vital and significant if he wants to maintain the status quo. Otherwise, just advise Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib to bid farewell to politics for good.

I started hinting about the existence of a conspiracy to topple Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib as early as in October 2006 through eight series of my Toyol Code 2006 postings being published by my blog:

I had written the series based on numerous SMSs being sent to me by an insider who codenamed himself as the Toyol. He claimed that all information he passed to me were derived from a so-called blueprint for the coming general elections.

In the beginning, I was rather hesitant to publish the information which I had received from the Toyol. But, the Toyol himself later told me that nobody could harass me if I publish them. It was so, he said, because the blueprint was not being prepared by the government. It was being prepared by a group of individuals outside the government.

To guarantee me of the credibility of the information, the Toyol said, a copy of the blueprint - in the form of a CD - was already in the possession of his group. The CD was leaked out – in fact was being sold to the group – by an insider involved in the preparation of the blueprint.

So, in one of the Toyol Code 2006 series, I did issue a challenge to the group preparing the blueprint to prove to me that I was writing the series based on rumors. I did so because the Toyol told me that if anybody contested the credibility of my series, the contents of the CD would be uploaded to the internet. Until today, nobody picks up the challenge!

I am not going to repeat what I had said in the Toyol Code 2006. Those interested, please access 13 October 2006, 14 October 2006, 16 October 2006, 19 October 2006, 27 October 2006, and 31 October 2006.

I am a card carrying member of Umno. I write this posting with no intention to put anybody at loggerhead. On the contrary, I am doing this to put an immediate stop to the conspiracy against Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib. I am doing this so that Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib will immediately act for the sake of his own future.

I am also posting this piece to tell the conspirators within Umno that a good number of concerned Umno members are already in the know of their identities. These members also know of the group's covert collaboration with certain personalities in the opposition parties.

Last but not least, I hope Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad will care to take notice of this posting and take the appropriate and necessary action to stop this conspiracy.

But, please allow me to put it on record that when I say this, I am not at all pleading to the Umno President or the Prime Minister to act for sake of Umno and Malaysia.

However, if his decision is otherwise, who is to be blamed and who is to be crucified, if somebody, from somewhere, will one of these days, say that the conspiracy against Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib is actually being originated by people in the high places in Malaysia? – Ruhanie Ahmad

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Even The BN Backbenchers
Didn’t Get The True Answer?

The Sun yesterday reported that Deputy Minister In The Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdul Rahman Suliman, had slammed two members of the BN Backbenchers for doubting the country’s economic performance.

According to the Sun, two BN Backbenchers - Lau Yeng Peng [BN-Puchong] and Datuk Chor Chee Heung [BN-Alor Star] – “have questioned the government's economic indicators and expressed disappointment that the grassroots are not benefiting from domestic economic development.”

But, the doubts raised during parliamentary question time on Thursday, were met with a retort by Datuk Abdul Raman, who said: "Your question is twisted."

Abdul Raman said: "We give accurate information (on the economy) ... but there are still (people) who accuse the government of play-acting (bersandiwara)".

In a supplementary question in Parliament today, Lau asked how the government was dealing with the eroding confidence of the people on the economy, and the steps taken to convince the people that the economy was doing well.

Chor, in another supplementary question, said the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) has been implemented but "the grassroots are complaining that they don't gain anything from the projects".

"If (the economic development) is so good as you claimed in your answer, then why are the grassroots saying no (development)?" he asked.

"They say (domestic) consumption and businesses are low. I want to know why the impact (of the 9MP) has not gone down to the people?"

Questions being raised by MPs in the Dewan Rakyat are questions representing the “hearts and souls” of the people. The MPs, as elected representatives of the rakyat, have every right to know the truth about anything. After all, the Dewan Rakyat is accountable to the people. And, seeking the truth in the Dewan Rakyat is not a sin at all!

So, how on earth did Datuk Abdul Rahman get the idea that the two BN MPs were making accusations against the government, when in actual fact, they were only seeking the right answers to the current economic situation in Malaysia?

To me, this is a dangerous trend. If this continues, is it wrong if the rakyat will say that the slogan cemerlang, gemilang dan terbilang, as being propogated by the current leadership, is only an empty propaganda? – Ruhanie Ahmad
Dr M Only Apologised
For Factual Errors - Sufi

"I would like to clarify a report “Dr M: Bloggers should always write the truth” (The Star, April 19, 2007), where it was reported that:

“Dr Mahathir also apologised to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for accusing him of owning a house in Perth, Australia.

“He said he got carried away when he mentioned it at a talk in Kulai, Johor, on March 29 and added it was based on a rumour.”

I would like to point out that at the press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had actually said in response to a question by Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today was:

“Well, I shouldn’t have made that statement because I was stating something based on rumours that I heard.

“The rumours repeatedly said that the house belongs to him (Abdullah)... and then of course when you are carried away giving a speech like that ... and if you don’t censor yourself ... and you are not too careful about what you say ... so I said it.

“I’m sorry that I said something that was wrong and I stand to be corrected and ... I am very grateful that people have actually paid attention to my allegations and they found that the person who owns the house is not the PM, and is not his son, but is somebody else.”

It is quite evident from the transcription that Tun had apologised for the factual errors that he had made.

In this case, unfortunately what appeared in The Star’s report is therefore factually inaccurate." – Sufi Yusoff for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Can Malaysia And Indonesia
Become Major Asian Powers?

A Bernama news dispatch from Padang, Western Sumatera, today quoted an Indonesia historian, Des Alwi, as saying that “Indonesia and Malaysia are on the right track and period of time to collaborate and emerge as major powers of Asia.”

According to the news report, Des Alwi, 80, said that Malaysia and Indonesia had the strength and edge to achieve that.

"I am sure that if both countries were to collaborate with the strength and edge that they have, they can emerge as major economic and diplomatic powers," he said.

Des said that after having enjoyed 50 years of diplomatic relations, the time was now right for both Indonesia and Malaysia to look 50 years ahead and see how they can overcome obstacles impeding efforts to forge greater cooperation for mutual benefit.

I am glad to know that such an optimism exists. And I am also sure that such an optimism could be turned into a reality if Malaysia and Indonesia are willing to sincerely chart the strategy towards achieving it.

I hope the leadership of both nations will articulate this optimism in due time. The current geopolitical development and situation in South East Asia and the seemingly fragile co-operation within ASEAN today, especially when a certain particular member of the organization is allegedly interfering in another ASEAN member country’s internal affairs, should become one of the major motivations to making Malaysia and Indonesia as the major powers in South East Asia in the 21st century.

But, the pre-requisites to becoming a major power must be fulfilled. These include, far-sighted, able and stable leadership; steady economic and technological advancements; educated, and cultured citizens with excellent principles and values of life; sound practices of good governance; competitive, innovative, hard-working, knowledgeable, dedicated and disciplined workforce or human capital; pragmatic foreign policy conducive to foreign trade and foreign investment; and last but not the least, strong will power, enthusiasm and readiness to become global players. – Ruhanie Ahmad

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Just Some Supplementary Questions
About The Mansion By The River.....

Who owns this mansion - 34, Bay View Terrace, Mosman Park, Perth, West Australia? Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said on 29 March 2006, it belonged to Prime Minister, Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of the Prime Minister, said that the property belonged to his brother-in-law, Kamal Abdullah.

Both of them are wrong. Just a few days ago, news portal Malaysia Today revealed the truth (I am not sure if it is the absolute truth) that the property in question is registered under the name of one Wong Mun Yee @ Cindy Lim.

That is why Tun Dr Mahathir has to make an open and public apology. According to Bernama, the former Prime Minister today “apologized” to Datuk Seri Abdullah for stating the wrong fact about the ownership of the property.

But, several questions still lingers in my mind. Who is this Wong Mun Yee @ Cindy Lim? Is she not the wife of Patrick Lim? Is Patrick Lim not the high-profile businessman who is said to be one of the close buddies of Khairy - the Prime Minister’s son-in-law?

Well, if Khairy is the close buddy of Patrick Lim, why announced it to the whole world that the mansion in Mosmon Park was owned by Kamal and not Cindy Lim? Why did Khairy say that? What has Kamal have to say about that?

So, yes I am happy that Tun Dr. Mahathir had voluntarily apologized to the PM over this merry-go-round story about the mansion. But, is it not right for any of us as Malaysian, to keep on asking just this one question:


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Canal Through The Ithmus Of Kra
Or A Kedah-Kelantan Land Bridge?

It is really a great move if Malaysia, not in the distant future, will have a “land bridge” from Kedah to Kelantan to transport oil from West Asia en-route to East Asia and countries along the Pacific Rim.

At both ends of the land bridge is a port in Kedah, where the crude oil will be unloaded and to be refined, before being transported to another port in Kelantan, where the refined oil will be re-loaded for shipments to the respective destinations.

Bernama today reported that Malaysia “is looking into a proposal to build a pipeline that will transport oil across the north of its peninsula, bypassing the piracy-prone Malacca Strait.”

The proposal involves the construction of two oil refineries and a 312-kilometre (194-mile) pipeline from northwestern Kedah to northeastern Kelantan.

Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd. Najib Razak, however said that “the project is still at proposal-stage. It has not been finalised yet. They are still looking at the details.”

According to Bernama, tankers will offload crude oil from the Middle East in Yan, Kedah, for refining. The oil will then be transported through pipelines across to Bachok in Kelantan, for distribution to countries in the Asian region, including China.

The pipeline will bypass the 960-kilometre Malacca Strait, which runs along Malaysia's western coast – one the busiest and most strategic waterways in the world..

An idea similar to the proposed project was developed during Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership in mid 1990s. The project, aimed at prospering the economies of nothern Malaysia, nothern Indonesia (Sumatera side) and southern Thailand, was under the patronage of a growth triangle called IMT-GT or the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle.

According to the IMT-GT plan, the land bridge, or possibly a canal, was supposed to be built across the Ithmus of Kra in southern Thailand. Unfortunately, the plan was still not being implemented. However, it is still not sure if the IMT-GT proposal has been permanently scrapped.

Blogger Ketua Perusuh, who is a former senior fellow with ISIS, had recently published a two-parts article about this. He claimed that Singapore was not happy with the implementation of such a project. For further reading, Please access these links:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Register By August For Eligibility
To Vote If Election Before December

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) -- Malaysians who have yet to register as voters have until August to do so to be eligible to vote in the next general election if it is to be held towards the end of the year.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said this was because it took three to four months before the names can be included in the electoral roll.

"After August, I cannot guarantee that the names can be included in the electoral roll if the election is held towards the end of the year," he told a press conference after launching a nationwide campaign to register new voters here, Monday.

Abdul Rashid said there were about 4.9 million Malaysians eligible to vote who had yet to register with the EC, of which 80 per cent are urban youths aged from 21 to 30 years.

Selangor had the highest number of people who had not registered to be voters at 745,515, followed by Johor at 583,000 and Perak 410,000.

Asked if the campaign was a hint that the election was very near, Abdul Rashid said: "It is all in the hands of the party in power. It reserves the right to call for an election anytime before its five-year term is up. We are preparing ourselves should it be called before the year is out."

The last general election was held in March 2004 and under the Westminster system practised here, the government need not call for one until March 2009.



I did register myself as a voter in late 1970s. I voted in a general election (GE) for the first time in early 1980s. But you? What are guys going to do? What excuse do you have for not registering yourselves as voters soon after your 21st birthday? You don’t need to? Why? Because you are already feeling secured and comfortable? Are you sure?

But, when exactly is the 12th GE going to be held? July or August 2007? Or the latest, before April 2009? I asked this question since people are now speculating about it. Most of them said, the next GE may be in July 2007? Some others said, possibly in August 2007. Anyhow, my toyol [informer] said, the best bet is July or August 2007! What say you Mr. Prime Minister? – Ruhanie Ahmad

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tun Musa Hitam Is Best For C’wealth SG
Afifuddin or Toyad Are Best Alternatives

Tun Musa Hitam is today being quoted by the that he declined to take up the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General based in London because “he had other work commitments and he wanted to spend time with his family.”

I hope Tun Musa’s decision is not final as yet. It is so because he is the only one in Malaysia who has had vast knowledge and experience in dealing with the Commonwealth.

Here are his track records: Chairman of the Malaysian Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in early 80s; Chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the Malawi general election in 1994; A members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to look into violations of Commonwealth’s fundamental principles such as respect for democracy and human rights; The Malaysian Special Ambassador to the United Nations in middle 1980s.

But, if Tun Musa had really declined the offer for the post of a roving ambassador of the Commonwealth, the next appropriate candidate from Malaysia, to my mind, is Datuk Afifuddin Haji Omar, former Deputy Minister of Finance and currently a member of the Kedah State Legislative Assembly.

Datuk Afifuddin has led the Malaysian CPA for many years and was also a committee member of the CPA International for three years. He is also a well-known figure within the ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) and International Parliamentary Union (IPU). The only shortcoming is that Datuk Afifuddin has never held any full ministerial post.

This being the case, Malaysia is left with one more alternative - Datuk Leo Michael Toyad – former deputy Foreign Minister and former Minister of Tourism. Datuk Toyad is of similar caliber and experience in international organizations as Datuk Afifuddin, except that he has never represented Malaysian in the CPA international. His long years in the Foreign Ministry, however, is an asset worth considering. – Ruhanie Ahmad

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Is This The Design Of Economic Hitmen
To Weaken Malaysian Palm Oil Industry?

Several foreign-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were said to have claimed that oil palm plantations on peat soil in Sarawak produce excessive carbon dioxide and contribute to global warming., carried an item on this today. The paper quoted Dr Lulie Melling, a senior research officer at the Sarawak State Agriculture Department, as saying that “we have data to prove that the allegations are false. Our research has shown that peat soil produces three times less than the normal emission of gas from other soils.”

Another officer, Lau Jau Uyo - the department’s soil management head - said that if the NGOs succeeded in their attempts to influence the United Nations and the European Union, it would have a negative effect on Malaysia, particularly Sarawak which had about a million hectares of oil palm plantations on peat soil.

These allegations will have grave impacts on our economy. The government of Malaysia has to be sensitive to such claims. If left without being rebutted, such claims may ruin Malaysia’s palm oil industry. If the government chooses to put a deaf ear to these claims, states like Sabah, Sarawak, Johor and Pahang will be the great losers. Government agencies like Felda too will be jeopardized. In short, the chain-effects are endless.

In addition to efforts undertaken by the government to prove the allegations are baseless, thorough investigations also need to be carried out. The government has to uncover who are behind those NGOs? Are they not part of the tentacles of any international elements out to wreck Malaysian economy? Are there possibilities that such NGOs are being backed or are working in tandem with any international economic hitmen? [Note: for background reading, Confessions Of An Economic Hitman, a book by John Perkins, is recommended!] – Ruhanie Ahmad

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tun Dr. Ismail’s Hypothesis
On M’sia-S’pore Re-Merger

My late father admired Tun Dr. Ismail very much. He said to me one day, Tun Dr. Ismail was a very strict, disciplined and principled leader. Most Johoreans of my father’s generation loved Tun Dr. Ismail. They adored him although Tun Dr. Ismail was not one of Johore’s famous freedom fighters against the introduction of the Malayana Union rule in 1946. My father also once said to me that he had never had the chance to meet Tun Dr. Ismail in person. Nevertheless, Tun Dr. Ismail was his hero.

I came to know Tun Dr. Ismail through his photograph hanged on the wall of my family’s house in Batu Pahat, and through my father’s many conversations with his friends, normally at night, after he had finished conducting his tuition on basic English for my kampung’s youngsters preparing themselves to seek employment in Singapore in early 1960s.

Tun Dr. Ismail passed away while I was studying in England. On that day I happened to be at the Malaysia Hall, 46 Brynston Square, London. My friends and I were about to have our lunch at the dining hall. Suddenly, the was a slight commotion. Minutes after that, we were being informed by the Malaysia Hall’s warden, of Tun Dr. Ismail’s sudden departure.

The reactions of most of us were spontaneous. We were silent in disbelief for a few seconds. Then, most of us just shed tears. I recited al-Fatehah for him. Tears were running down my cheeks.


In 1982 I began working as a press secretary to Tun Musa Hitam in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Jalan Dato’ Onn, Kuala Lumpur. And that was the time when I was first introduced to most of Tun Dr. Ismail’s doctrine on honesty, fairness, and disciplines.

In most of the Monday morning prayer session [briefing time] with Tun Musa, he had always reminded all of his personal staff, including me, to understand, articulate and emulate Tun Dr. Ismail’s sets of rules, disciplines, principles and values as a public servant.

Later on, especially after I was elected as a member of parliament [1990-2004], I had always remember Tun Musa’s and Tun Dr. Ismail’s doctrines on public service, especially on punctuality, dedication, honesty, patriotism, racial harmony, public order and national security.

During my years as an MP, I also took the opportunity to dig from the Parliament resource centre, Tun Dr. Ismail’s speeches as being recorded in the hansard [the verbatim report of Dewan Rakyat proceedings]. I had read several of Tun Dr. Ismail’s major speeches. I did this because I wanted to know more about the man, his thoughts and his principles on politics in multi-ethnic Malaysia. This, however, did not help me much with what I wanted to know about Tun Dr. Ismail.

Ysterday, Blogger Nuraina A Samad gave me a copy of the latest book on Tun Dr. Ismail – The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr. Ismail and His Time – written by Dr. Ooi Kee Beng. And, it is this book that gives me a really deep insights of Tun Dr. Ismail as a man, a father, a diplomat, a leader, and a statesman.


Now I know Tun Dr. Ismail’s politics better. I know he was a true Malaysian. He had no traces of racial prejudice. He had subscribed to the idea of creating a Malaysian Malaysia, though not similar to the one being advocated by the DAP, which originated from Lee Kuan Yew’s vision in early 1960s.

Now, I also know that Tun Dr. Ismail was a superb diplomat. He had excellent leadership ability, qualities and values. He had a far-sighted vision of Malaysia and its rakyat. He had a pragmatic views on how to restructure the Malaysian society which has a very diverse economic and educational backgrounds. He sacrificed his life for his motherland. He played major roles in the formation of Malaysia. And equally vital and significant roles during the separation of Singapore.

However, after reading Dr. Ooi’s book on Tun Dr. Ismail, I am now left with several strategic questions unanswered. These questions are about our future. These questions are based on several hypothesis left behind by Tun Dr. Ismail as being recorded in Dr. Ooi’s book, which I believe, are meant for us Malaysians to think, articulate and provide the answers, whenever we are ready to do so.


First: In pages 159 and 160 of his book, Dr. Ooi quoted Tun Dr. Ismail’s letter to National Geograpic, dated 22 April 1966. One significant point being written by Tun Dr. Ismail in that particular letter is:

“Singapore and Malaysia are interdependent. Singapore has the finest port in the East and a large portion of her trade depends on Malaysia. At the moment both nations, comparatively speaking, are well off. If they can co-exist for some time, each understanding the other’s point of view, the time will come when they will merge again. It is better to wait for this to come because if they do not do so they will sink together instead of coming together.”


And now, let us ask ourselves this question: Will Malaysia and Singapore “merge again” in years to come? Is it true, according to Tun Dr. Ismail, that “if they do not do so they will sink together instead of coming together”?

Second: Also in page 160, Dr. Ooi quoted Justice Tun Suffian about Tun Dr. Ismail’s view on Malaysian Malaysia:


“He was a realist, aware of the prejudices of every community. He agreed with Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s slogan “Malaysia for Malaysians”, but he did not agree that it could be done overnight, he knew that the inborn prejudice and resistance of millions have to be worn down patiently, that the millions from every community have to be convinced slowly, that they have to be persuaded steadily in the delicate process of uniting the various races in Malaysia.”

I view these two hypothesis of Tun Dr. Ismail are interrelated. These, therefore, should lead us to another question: Will the re-merger of Malaysia and Singapore become a reality after the slogan of “Malaysia for Malaysians” has been fully understood, agreed and accepted by all Malaysians in the future?

I will leave these two strategic questions to the people of Malaysia and Singapore to think and ponder. But, I also hope that these two questions will not be left unarticulated by leaders of both nations.

My personal opinion, however, is that the re-merger of Malaysia and Singapore, will possibly come true only if both nations and the rakyat are willing to look ahead to a better future and willing to free themselves from the present day’s prides and prejudices.


So, Dr. Ooi, your book The Reluctant Politician: Tun Dr. Ismail and His Time, is actually not only a must-read book to better the existing relations between Malaysia and Singapore. To me, your book should also be considered as an important document which can be used as a basis for further intellectual discourse about the future of both nations.

In conclusion, let us all think why Tun Dr. Ismail had said that if Malaysia and Singapore “can co-exist for some time, each understanding the other’s point of view, the time will come when they will merge again. It is better to wait for this to come because if they do not do so they will sink together instead of coming together.”

Tun Dr. Ismail had left us. He will not be able to further deliberate on this hypothesis. It is now up to us, you and I, Malaysians and Singaporeans, to understand the spirit, hope and aspiration hidden behind these words. – Ruhanie Ahmad

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Total Defence Poser

Total defence in national security, which has been implemented by several countries since the Cold War, is still at the concept and strategy stage in Malaysia.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that several inter-agency discussions held since the 1990s to study the implementation of its components had produced no concrete action.

“Perhaps the absence of threats, and the comfort and peace the people have enjoyed resulted in a lack of commitment towards total defence,” he said after launching the Workshop on Total Defence Concept and Implementation, co-organised by the Defence Ministry and National Security Division of the Prime Minister’s Department.

The objective of total defence, as implemented in countries such as Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Singapore, is to prevent war and defend the country, through a concerted effort by the private and public sector.

[ 12.4.07]


This is the definition of Total Defence from Wilkipedia:

Total Defence is a concept introduced by the government of Singapore in 1984 to improve readiness in matters related to the defence and national security of Singapore, and is partly based on similar concepts in Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. This concept rests on the notion that the defence of the country cannot rely only on the regular armed forces. Thus the concept declares that government agencies, private sector organisztions and all Singaporeans are to be involved in an effort to deal with security threats facing Singapore. It can be compared to the concept of total war.

And this is the Singapore version:

Singapore's leaders defined Total Defence as the capability of the nation to deter or overcome aggression by maintaining small, well-equipped regular armed forces backed up by a large, well-trained military reserve and a civil sector that could be quickly mobilized to provide support to the armed forces. By 1989 Singapore had each of these components in place.



The Malaysian government has to make up her mind – to have or not to have a total defence policy. In my opinion, the geopolitical development in the 21st century, since the launching of the War On Terror (WOT), which was later being characterized by the ever increasing incidents of black operations or false-flag operations in several regions of South East Asia, warrants such a policy to be implemented in Malaysia without any further delay.

The Malaysian government must also remember that the US-led WOT is a press-button war without border, and is a war against phantom enemies, including the so-called Al-Qaeda bunch and/or its allies, all over the globe, especially in the Muslim world or Muslim regions in non-Muslim nations.

Yes, this type of war, as many renowned authors on geopolitics said, is mainly targeted to several failed states. But, the WOT can also be at our doorsteps or backyards as and when the world’s hyper-power thinks it is necessary.

The WOT can also be launched against any nation, at anytime, and without any specific and/or valid reasons. This war can happen when the big bullies club thinks that a particular nation is allegedly harboring Muslim radicals, Muslim militants or Muslim terrorists who are being construed as the enemies of the West.

Such is the present day reality. And, a total defence policy is of paramount importance to benchmark our nation’s readiness to face this reality.

So, no more procrastination please. As the Malay saying goes: let us get ready with our umbrella before the rain drops. Let this beloved soil be totally protected to avoid blood and tears being shed by the rakyat as a result of our own government’s prolonged complacency. – Ruhanie Ahmad
The Cyberprince And I:
(A Mission Statement)

I created as my special blogsphere for social and current affairs - particularly about politics and economics - according to my personal viewpoint as a private citizen of Malaysia.

This blog will also publish my personal journal - The Life Of A Kampung Boy - on a weekly basis, focusing on various topics, including my childhood during the British colonial era, my schooling days in the early independence period, my life as a student in England, my 10-year experience as a newspaper man, my turbulent days of 14 years as a member of parliament, as well as my present life as an active and independent blogger, striving to contribute to the development of the ever evolving cyber democracy in Malaysia.

I have to forewarn surfers to this blogsphre that English is not my mother tongue. I started learning English when I entered a lower secondary school at the age of 13, in 1961. Prior to that I was a pupil in a Malay medium primary school in a remote village of Batu Pahat, Johore. So, my proficiency in English might be of no match to yours. However, I also have quite a good command of Mandarin and spoken Javanese and Japanese.

I started blogging in mid-06. Currently I own three other blogs - two in Malay and one English. The first two are dedicated to socio-politics and economics. The one in English is about international geopolitics, particularly about the war on terror.

Please feel free to post your comments, viewpoints, thoughts and observations to this blogsphere. However, ethics and disciplines in writing are of great significance here. - Ruhanie Ahmad