Saturday, December 31, 2016

What lies ahead of us in 2017

Salleh Said Keruak

2017 promises to be a most unpredictable and probably 'dangerous' year for the entire world. The conflict in the Middle East, if the ceasefire cannot hold, will escalate into a tragedy unequalled in history.

The war of words between Russia and America also threatens to bring us back to the era of the cold war when the world faced a doomsday scenario. Our only hope is that come the new year Trump and Putin will sit down and resolve their differences.

A lot of these misunderstandings are caused by misperceptions and misinformation and then develop into a conflict. The USA-Russia quarrel is a case in point, which is based on rumours and suspicions.

Malaysia is suffering from this same predicament. Fake stories are being spread about the country. Some say that Malaysia is going bankrupt. Then they say Tabung Haji is going bankrupt. And these negative and misleading stories continue.

Malaysians tend to accept lies and fake news as fact without properly checking the veracity and authenticity of the news. If we want to avoid falling into the rut of becoming a victim of deception then we need to verify whatever we are told.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Are you serious, Mahathir?

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a most astonishing statement that BR1M tantamount to corruption and is therefore illegal or a crime from the point of law. Mahathir's interpretation of corruption definitely differs from that of the rest of us.

Never before have we heard something so mind-boggling. Malaysia has been dishing out welfare aid since long before Mahathir became Prime Minister in 1981. In fact, since 2000 Terengganu has been giving direct aid to its citizens in all forms, the same as BR1M, although it was not called BR1M. And it was Mahathir's Wang Ehsan that financed this special  Terengganu aid program.

After implementing the Wang Ehsan and Terengganu aid program in 2000, Mahathir now turns round and condemns BR1M. Is Mahathir saying that if the opposition comes to power all aid and welfare programs are going to be abolished? Mahathir has to make this point very clear.

How can you classify aid programme as corruption? Are tax deductions and rebates also corruption? What about zakat and kebajikan? All are forms of aid just like BR1M.

When other people receive aid Mahathir calls it corruption. What about when his own family becomes rich and his sons become millionaires? What do we call that? Mahathir would not call BR1M corruption if it is his own family that receives it.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Why not Lim Kit Siang answer my question for a change?

Salleh Said Keruak

Lim Kit Siang has been posing a series of questions to me: so far 35. However, while he dresses them up to look like questions, they are actually statements disguised as questions. This is the normal tactic of disguising statements as questions leaving the person you are addressing them to very little room to reply.

If Kit Siang wants to make a statement or an allegation why not he just do that? Why pretend he is asking questions when he is not really asking questions? He just wants to make allegations. However, to avoid being taken to task for making false or misleading allegations, he dresses them up as questions and if cornered he can defend himself by saying he is not alleging but is just asking.

Anyway, many of those 'questions' Kit Siang posed have already been replied by other members of the Cabinet. Kit Siang is actually aware of this but he is playing the game of pretending he does not know this.

Kit Siang should stop this game of asking questions he already knows the answers to. And stop pretending to ask questions when he is actually making statements or allegations. Furthermore, Kit Siang should learn to accept different views.

This is a total waste of time and designed to distract us from more important issues such as who is Pakatan Harapan's choice of Prime Minister. Kit Siang, Muhyiddin Yassin, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, PKR and PAS do not appear united on this matter. Is that what Kit Siang is trying to distract us from? And my question is a genuine question, not a pretend question.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Krismas sebagai wadah penyatuan

Salleh Said Keruak

1. AHAD ini, umat Kristian meraikan Krismas. Saya dan keluarga mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Hari Natal kepada semua yang meraikannya. Semoga sambutan pada tahun ini membawa kebahagiaan, kedamaian, dan kesejahteraan kepada kita semua.

2. Seperti perayaan-perayaan lain, Krismas juga menjadi wadah penyatuan rakyat. Ini kerana amalan rumah terbuka dan kunjung-mengunjungi akan mengeratkan lagi perpaduan, menjalin persefahaman serta mengukuhkan silaturahim.

3. Dalam konteks di negeri Sabah yang berbilang kaum dan agama, Krismas lebih dirasakan signifikannya dan harus diteladani. Benih penghormatan yang ditanam sejak awal dahulu begitu subur. Perbezaan agama tidak menjadi batas penghalang untuk saling berkunjung, duduk dan makan semeja, dalam suasana penuh muhibah.

4. Inilah simbol tentang keunikan masyarakat kita dalam kepelbagaian, sekali gus menjadi lambang kesatuan.Begitulah indahnya kita di Sabah.

5. Secara peribadi, saya sendiri mempunyai ramai saudara mara, sahabat dan teman-teman dari kalangan umat Kristian. Perkahwinan campur adalah sesuatu yang lumrah bagi masyarakat kita di Sabah.

6. Semua agama mendidik ke arah kebaikan dengan menerapkan prinsip humanisme dan toleransi. Justeru, yang penting fahaman dan pendekatan harus pragmatik kerana hakikatnya kita dari `rumpun' yang sama dan Malaysia adalah tanah air kita. Marilah kita berpadu tenaga dan usaha demi negara.

7. Apapun identiti,  dan apapun agamanya, sama ada Islam, Kristian, Buddha dan sebagainya, kita semua bertanggungjawab menjamin proses pembangunan berterusan dan keamanan negara berkekalan. Untuk itu, mari kita bangunkan kerukunan beragama, dengan memperkukuh  toleransi.  Mari kita suburkan budaya saling menghargai dan saling menghormati.

8. Di penghujung tahun 2016 yang penuh dengan cabaran ini, mari kita hadapi tahun depan dengan penuh semangat dan pengharapan. Tahun ini, tidak dinafikan, negara kita mencipta banyak kejayaan walaupun berada di tengah-tengah kemelut ekonomi global.

9. Justeru, pada tahun hadapan 2017, marilah kita tingkatkan kebersamaan dan kerja keras kita, untuk melakukan usaha yang lebih baik lagi.

Selamat Menyambut Hari Krismas 2016 dan Tahun Baru 2017 yang menjelang tiba.


Salleh Said Keruak

1. This Sunday, Christians celebrate Christmas. My family and I would like to wish to those who celebrate it  A Merry Christmas . Hopefully, this year's celebration brings happiness, peace, and prosperity to all of us.

2. Like other festivals, Christmas is also a platform that unites the people. This is because the practice of open house and visit will further strengthen the unity, foster mutual understanding and strengthen friendship.

3. In the context of the state of all races and religions, Christmas is perceived significant and should be emulated. Seeds of honour inculcated since time immemorial are so flourishing. Religious differences do not become a barrier to visit each other, sit and eat at the same table, in an atmosphere of goodwill.

4. This is the symbol of the uniqueness of our community in diversity, thus becoming a symbol of the beauty of our solidarity, especially in Sabah.

5. Personally, I have many relatives, friends and friends from among Christians. Intermarriage is common for our community in Sabah.

6. All religions teach the better way to apply and practise  the principles of humanism and tolerance. Thus, what is important is the understanding and pragmatic approach because of the fact that we are from the same ethnic stock (rumpun), and Malaysia is our homeland. Let us join forces and efforts for the sake of the country.

7. Whatever the identity, or religion, whether Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and so on, we are all responsible for ensuring the sustainable development and lasting peace in the country. For that, let us build religious harmony and strengthen tolerance. Let us reignite the culture of mutual appreciation and mutual respect.

8. At the end of 2016 is full of challenges, let's face next year with enthusiasm and hope. This year, no doubt, our country achieved tremendous success despite being in the midst of global economic turmoil.

9. Thus, in the next year 2017, let us strengthen our unity and hard work, double up our efforts for the better.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Is this based on consensus on merely Kit Siang’s idea?

Salleh Said Keruak

Earlier, Rafizi Ramli said if Pakatan wins the next general election Anwar Ibrahim is going to become the new Prime Minister. Before that, during a talk in the UK, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Muhyiddin Yassin will be the Prime Minister and then back-tracked and said it was too early to decide that. Now Lim Kit Siang says Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Muhyiddin Yassin will the interim or temporary Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively.

This means Wan Azizah will be Prime Minister just for a few months until Anwar is pardoned by DYMM the Agong, is freed from jail, a PKR MP vacates his or her seat, a by-election is held, and Anwar wins that by-election and takes over as Prime Minister, the whole process which should take a few months. Once Anwar takes over as PM, he then choose his Deputy to replace the interim DPM, Muhyiddin. Who Anwar’s DPM is going to be is not known as this stage.

Kit Siang did not tell us wether this proposal for interim PM and DPM is based on consensus and whether it has the agreement of all parties in Pakatan, including Mahathir’s Pribumi. Will this also apply in the event DAP wins the most number of parliament seats in the general election and some of those who win are DAP’s Malay candidates?

What happens if DYMM the Agong does not grant Anwar a pardon since Anwar never applied for one? Will Anwar agree to apply for his pardon or will be still insist that he is not going to apply for it as this would tantamount to an admission of guilt? Will the interim PM and DPM then continue to hold office indefinitely if Anwar fails to get pardoned and released?

Kit Siang’s statement makes it sound like the issue of who is going to be PM and DPM if Pakatan wins the election has already been resolved when in actual fact it has not. Kit Siang should also tell us what will happen if Anwar does not get pardoned and released so that we know he has a backup or alternative plan.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Pakatan should show us its shadow cabinet first

Salleh Said Keruak

The fact that the opposition has given birth to five coalitions since 1990, and now it appears like it is yet again changing its mind regarding PPBM or Pribumi, shows that even after more than 26 years the opposition is still not on stable ground.

People do not like to dabble with uncertainties and with Pakatan Harapan this is what you are getting. Rafizi Ramli says if Pakatan wins the next general election Anwar Ibrahim is going to be the Prime Minister if all members of Pakatan accept him and if DYMM the Agong pardons him and if Anwar is released from jail and if there is a by-election and if Anwar wins the by-election and so on.

There are just too many ifs involved here and none can be answered at this stage. That means Rafizi is asking the voters to first give power to Pakatan and then after that Pakatan will work on the many ifs and try to make Anwar the Prime Minister if that can happen.

But there are many other questions that also need to be answered such as who is going to become the Deputy Prime Minister or will there be more than one Deputy Prime Minister and who are those in the Cabinet and so on. Pakatan cannot even set up a shadow cabinet yet after more than eight years in existence so how are they going to set up a Cabinet if they win the election?

Maybe Pakatan should first show us their shadow cabinet before being ambitious about setting up a government. If a simple thing like a shadow cabinet, which is the common practice in the Westminster system of government, cannot be settled how to move on to bigger things?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The two choices offered to the voters

Salleh Said Keruak

In the May 2013 general election, Umno emerged as the dominant partner of the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, while DAP emerged as the dominant partner in the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat. With the closing down of Pakatan Rakyat and the creation of Pakatan Harapan, and with PAS no longer a member of the opposition coalition, DAP practically monopolises the opposition.

In 2013, Umno won 88 Parliament seats while DAP won 38 seats, making DAP the second largest political party in Malaysia. DAP also claims it garnered 85-90% of the Chinese votes, which no other political party can boast about. That makes DAP dominant on two counts.

In the next general election the voters are  going to be presented with two choices: either an Umno led Barisan Nasional or a DAP-led Pakatan Harapan. This is the reality facing the voters, as what the Prime Minister explained.

The voters will have to weigh what Barisan Nasional can offer as opposed to what Pakatan Harapan can offer. Barisan Nasional has been around for more than 40 years while the opposition has launched five coalitions in 26 years that never survive more than two elections. Therefore Barisan Nasional offers the stability which the opposition does not have.