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Monday, May 28, 2018

Anda tidak boleh menahan perubahan


Salleh Said Keruak

PRU14 pada 9 Mei 2018 merupakan salah satu lagi perubahan kerajaan yang berlaku di seluruh dunia. Pada tahun 1800an, tidak lama selepas Perang Napoleon, yang dikenali sebagai  era revolusi atau “The Age of Revolutions', beberapa empayar runtuh dan republik baru muncul.

Kemudian tahun 1900an, kita melihat nasionalisme mencapai tahap ketinggian yang baru antara era WWI dan WWII. Kini, 100 tahun kemudian, ia berlaku sekali lagi.

Tidak dapat dielakkan bahawa Malaysia juga mengalami apa yang sedang berlaku di seluruh dunia. Seperti mana kata perpatah, sama ada kita berubah atau kita akan diubah. Dan pada masa kini orang mahu perubahan hanya semata-mata untuk merasa perubahan walaupun tidak ada sebab untuk melakukan perubahan. Inilah yang kerajaan perlu sentiasa ingat apabila angin untuk perubahan menyapu dunia.

You cannot resist change


Salleh Said Keruak

The 9th May 2018 GE14 is just one more in a series of changes of governments all over the world. Back in the 1800s, soon after the Napoleonic Wars, what is known as 'The Age of Revolutions', empires collapsed and new republics emerged.

Then the 1900s saw nationalism reach new heights between the WWI and WWII period. Now, 100 years later, it is happening all over again.

It is inevitable that Malaysia also experiences what the whole world is going through. There is a saying: either we change or we will be changed. And nowadays people want change just to taste change even if there is no reason for change. And this is what governments need to constantly remember when the mood for change sweeps the world.

Local Council Elections  


Salleh Said Keruak

The new Housing and Local Government Minister, YB Zuraida Kamaruddin, said the Pakatan Harapan government will reintroduce local council elections within three years. This is in keeping with the opposition promise since the last 20 years that it would reintroduce local government elections if it came to power at federal level.

Most Malaysians do not realise that Malaysia used to have local government elections until 1965 when they were suspended. There is good and bad in local government elections, just like there is good and bad in everything. And one good thing is the local councillors will no longer be appointed but will be elected, which would translate to more democracy and transparency.

Many local councils do not have professionals as councillors since the first criteria for their appointment is party loyalty. With local council elections, the rakyat and not the political parties get to choose the councillors to look after their interest. This may be bad for the party but it will be good for the rakyat. The way forward is transparency and professionalism and by electing the councillors this can be assured.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

How Malaysians have matured  


Salleh Said Keruak

In the 1999 general election, there was a wave of support towards the opposition but many, especially the non-Malays, voted Barisan Nasional because they were worried that if they voted opposition there would be trouble. In fact, there was ‘strong talk’ that if Barisan lost its two-thirds majority in parliament there would be a repeat of what happened in 1969.

In 2008, Barisan Nasional did lose its two-thirds majority in parliament but there was no trouble. And this month Barisan lost the federal government and many state governments and still there was no trouble. Malaysians are actually more mature than we give them credit for.

Even more important is that Barisan Nasional is also mature enough to gracefully accept defeat and respect the will of the people. The people have spoken and suara rakyat is suara keramat. What Barisan needs to do now is to prove to the people that it is a credible opposition and worthy enough to return as the government in the future.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Internet communications development: the way forward  


Salleh Said Keruak

It is gratifying that YB Gobind Singh Deo, the new Minister of Communications and Multimedia, has immediately laid down his plans for the future, which incudes faster Internet at half the price. That is precisely the direction most countries are moving in this age when the Internet is the backbone of banking and commerce.

We must not always politicise government policies and whenever the previous policies work they should be continued and whenever the new government policies are sound we must also support them in the spirit of non-partisan. Even more important is the policy to liberalise the media and communications industry and to allow free access to information as part of education and nation-building.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

My congratulations to YB Gobind  


Salleh Said Keruak

I congratulate YB Gobind Singh Deo on his appointment as the new Communications and Multimedia minister.

Being an experienced parliamentarian and a practising lawyer, I am confident he has the leadership qualities to helm the ministry.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Malaysia's Economy: Getting Closer to High-Income Status  


Salleh Said Keruak

“Malaysia's Economy: Getting Closer to High-Income Status,” said the IMF (International Monetary Fund) on 7th March 2018. “Malaysia’s economy continues to perform strongly, with higher than anticipated growth at 5.8 percent in 2017, and projected growth of 5.3 percent for 2018, according to the IMF. The country is well on its way to achieving high-income status. But to pass the finish line, the authorities will have to step up reforms to boost productivity and raise living standards for its 32 million citizens,” the IMF said.

The IMF added, “Malaysia’s economy is showing resilience and is performing strongly. Growth is running above potential, driven by strong global demand for electronics and improved terms of trade for commodities, such as oil and gas. On the domestic front, Malaysia’s strong employment is boosting private consumption, and investment is also helping to drive growth.”

This is very heartening to read and helps the new government to build up the country even further on the foundation of this very solid footing. The IMF concluded by saying that, “As Malaysia’s public debt continues to decline, the IMF is recommending that the government shift toward raising revenues, rather than achieving its goals through continued cuts in public spending.”

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Petanda kematangan


Salleh Said Keruak

Mereka mengatakan sangat sukar untuk menerima sesuatu kekalahan atau kegagalan. Malah lebih sukar lagi untuk menguruskan kemenangan atau kejayaan. Dalam kekalahan atau kegagalan, anda berusaha untuk memperbaiki diri supaya dapat menjadi lebih baik. Dalam kemenangan atau kejayaan, anda  berdepan dengan risiko membenarkan diri anda alpa dengan kejayaan itu.

Barisan Nasional buat kali pertama mengalami kekalahan. Itulah yang berlaku dalam politik di mana kemenangan dan kekalahan merupakan sebahagian daripada adat pertandingan. Jadi Barisan mesti belajar bagaimana menerima kekalahanya secara terhormat. Itu akan menunjukkan kematangannya.

Untuk pemenang pula, mereka perlu belajar supaya bermurah hati dalam sesuatu kemenangan. Kebebasan dan keadilan awam (Civil Liberties) bukan hanya mengenai perlunya ada perbicaraan yang adil di mahkamah tetapi juga cara bagaimana seseorang itu diperlakukan sebelum beliau diadili dan didapati bersalah. Pelanggaran terbesar kebebasan awam (Civil Liberties) adalah menafikan hak seseorang itu untuk dilayan dengan bermaruah.

The mark of maturity  


Salleh Said Keruak

They say it is very difficult to manage defeat or failure and even more difficult to manage victory or success. In defeat or failure, you strive to better yourself. In victory or success, you run the risk of allowing it to get to your head.

Barisan Nasional for the first time is experiencing defeat. That is normal in politics where winning and losing is part of the game. So Barisan must now learn how to manage its defeat and be gracious in the face of defeat. That would be the mark of maturity.

The winner, too, must learn how to be gracious in victory. Civil liberties and justice is not just about a fair trial in a court of law but in how one is treated before one is put on trial and pronounced guilty. The greatest violation of civil liberties is to deny a person his or her right to be treated with dignity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ramadan dan pembinaan negara  


Salleh Said Keruak

Selain aspek-aspek keagamaan pada bulan Ramadan, kewajiban berpuasa selama sebulan bagi umat Islam membawa aspek-aspek positif tertentu dalam pembinaan negara. Berpuasa pada bulan Ramadan dilakukan secara komunal di mana keluarga dan rakan-rakan berkumpul untuk berpuasa. Jarang  'berbuka dalam perjalanan' seperti mereka yang sibuk sehingga tidak mempunyai masa untuk duduk dan berbuka puasa bersama-sama.

Berbuka puasa mengingatkan kita kepada keluarga tentang kenikmatan berbuka puasa bersama-sama dengan orang yang tersayang.  Kawan dan rakan sekerja, sama ada yang Islam atau sebaliknya, bersosial dan mengukuhkan hubungan. Ini tidak berlaku sekiranya tidak kerana puasa. Tidak ada cara yang lebih baik untuk menjaga hubungan yang kukuh daripada duduk bersama untuk menikmati hidangan dan keseronokan ditemani antara satu sama lain.

Malaysia adalah sebuah negara majmuk dan apabila semua etnik dan berlainan agama dapat bergaul dan bersosial, walaupun dalam tradisi agama, maka kita dapat diyakini hubungan dan kestabilan antara etnik adalah kuat. Ramadan memberikan peluang kepada rakyat Malaysia membuktikan mereka adalah rakyat Malaysia, bukan sahaja apabila dapat berkumpul di meja makan kerana makanan, tetapi juga sebagai faktor penyatuan.

Selamat berpuasa.

Ramadan and nation-building  


Salleh Said Keruak

Setting aside the religious aspects of fasting during the month of Ramadan, the one-month religious obligation for Muslims brings out certain positive aspects in nation-building. The breaking of fast during Ramadan is done on a communal basis where family and friends get together to break their fast. Seldom do people ‘eat on the run’ like how our normally busy schedule dictates where we have no time to sit and eat or even eat together.

The breaking of the fast reminds families about the enjoyment of sharing a feast with loved ones. Friends and colleagues, whether Muslims or otherwise, socialise and strengthen their ties, which they would not do if not because of the fast. There is no better way of keeping those bonds strong than sitting together to enjoy a meal and the pleasure of each other’s company.

Malaysia is a plural society and when those of all ethnicities and religious persuasions are able to mingle and socialise, even during a religious tradition, then we can be assured of strong inter-ethnic relations and stability. Ramadan offers that opportunity for Malaysians to demonstrate they are Malaysians when they come together at the dining table because food, to Malaysians, is a uniting factor.

Selamat berpuasa.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Perubahan yang mesti


Salleh Said Keruak

Satu-satunya hal yang tetap dalam hidup adalah perubahan. Itu sendiri satu percanggahan kerana jika ia tetap maka ia tidak berubah. Dan tidak mudah menerima perubahan kerana manusia secara semula jadi tahan terhadap sebarang perubahan. Kebanyakan ingin mengambil jalan yang kurang rintangan seperti meniti sungai yang mengalir menuju ke laut. Tetapi seseorang tidak boleh mengelakkan perubahan seperti yang tidak dapat mengelakkan kematian. Akhirnya ia datang untuk kita semua.

Sudah tentu, perubahan tidak semestinya lebih baik tetapi ia tetap akan berlaku. Apa yang dahulunya empayar yang besar seperti Greece, Portugal, Sepanyol, Rom dan sebagainya tetapi pada hari ini berada di ambanh keruntuhan. Namun, satu perkara yang pasti adalah bahawa semua empayar besar yang kini hilang tidak akan menjadi empayar yang hebat semula. Sebaik sahaja ia hilang, ia hilang untuk kebaikan.

Kita perlu menerima perubahan ketika ia sampai kerana menentangnya adalah seperti melawan arus, satu usaha yang sia-sia. Dan kita perlu memberi masa untuk membuktikan sama ada perubahan itu baik atau buruk. Dan jika ia buruk maka agen perubahan akan membawa perubahan lagi. Tetapi perubahan itu tidak akan membawa kita kembali kepada apa yang dulu kerana apa yang dulu tidak akan ada di sana. Itulah kelemahan perubahan.

Change we must  


Salleh Said Keruak

The only constant thing in life is change. That in itself as a contradiction because if it is constant then it does not change. And it is not easy to accept change because humans by nature are resistant to change. Most would like to take the path of least resistance like a meandering river finding its way to the sea. But one cannot avoid change just like one cannot avoid death. Eventually it comes for all of us.

Of course, change may not always be for the better but it comes nevertheless. What used to be the great empires of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Rome and so on today hang in the balance on the verge of collapse. One thing for sure, though, is that all the great empires now lost will never become great empires again. Once it is gone it is gone for good.

We need to embrace change when it comes because resisting it is like resisting the tide, a futile exercise. And we need to give it time to prove whether that change is good or bad. And if it is bad then the agent of change will yet again bring about change. But that change will never revert to what used to be because what used to be would no longer be there. That is the downside of change.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Thank you, Malaysia


Salleh Said Keruak

Defeat is not easy to take and most certainly very humbling. But what a person is made of reflects in how he or she can remain graceful in the face of defeat.

On 9th May 2018, the people have spoken and we have to abide by the wishes of the people in the spirit of suara rakyat ialah suara keramat. In politics there is no greater force than the will of the people, and we have to accept whatever comes.

Thank you, Malaysia, for having allowed me to serve the nation.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The opposition is using fake news to preempt their defeat


Salleh Said Keruak

By now the opposition pact knows they are going to lose GE14 tomorrow. So they are intensifying the spreading of fake news to say that the election process is rigged and Barisan Nasional is going to win through election fraud.

They said the same thing in GE13 and the international observers came out to say they did not find any evidence to support the allegation. In this GE14 there are also international observers to monitor the election process.

Malaysia's election process is foolproof and it is not easy to cheat. The allegation of rampant cheating is a lie and the news is fake. The real issue is the opposition cannot accept defeat gracefully.

Monday, May 7, 2018

DAP DOES NOT SEEM CONFIDENT OF THE PKR SYMBOL


Salleh Said Keruak

Lim Kit Siang is in a dilemma because the Chinese are not responding positively to the PKR symbol as he had hoped and there appears to be some resistance. He should have listened to Chen Man Hin instead of listening to Mahathir in the choice of party symbol because the DAP supporters are more familiar with the 'Rocket' symbol.

Now DAP is attempting to do damage control by displaying both the PKR symbol as well as DAP's rocket symbol so that they can pacify their Chinese supporters as well as win over the opposition Malays. Kit Siang hopes they can then retain their Chinese support and at the same time win Malay support, which is a sort of deception and shows DAP is not confident of the PKR symbol.

DAP thought they were being clever by hiding behind the PKR symbol. And now that this has upset the Chinese they are 'bringing back' the rocket symbol while not wanting to discard the PKR symbol. And this is creating an even bigger mess for DAP.