Archive for the ‘Ethics, Morality and Patriotism’ Category

More than 60,000 attended Malaysia Day celebration

Monday, September 18th, 2017


One of the performances during the celebration.

KOTA KINABALU: More than 60,000 people celebrated Malaysia Day at the Likas Sports Complex on Sept 16.

From a dignitaries list comprising the who’s who in public office to the man in the street, the celebration was considered by some to be the biggest and most elaborate since the day was declared a public holiday a few years ago.

The celebrations kicked off with stage performances by a slew of Malaysian artists, and concluded with spectacular fireworks that lit the city’s night skies.

The festive atmosphere started well before the 8pm arrival of the Head of Sabah State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Norlidah R.M Jasni. The Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman, Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and VIPS of the Federal government and governments of Sabah and Sarawak, were on the specially erected stage earlier to await Tun Juhar’s arrival.

Also present were the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Said Keruak who was also the chairman of the event, and his wife of Datuk Raya Erom and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun.

A highlight of the event was the signing of the 2017 Malaysia Special Note Day declaration by Najib, Musa and Mohamad Asfia, followed with the cutting of a cake decorated with Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa logo by Yang Dipertua Negeri Sabah.

“I am happy and very proud of being part of this historic celebration,” said Zuraidah Ahmad, one of the performers from the Ministry of Information who participated in the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) march. “I am happy to contribute my idea and also energy together with my friend during the Jalur Gemilang march.”

Around 30 people participated in the march led by Haji Suwadi Guliling the Sabah Information Department Director, and his deputy Supian Musa.

Meanwhile, Azhar Tahir, 55, said that Malaysia Day ‘is about the freedom that we now have with our independence’. The retiree, who once ran a printing shop, came all the way from Perak just to be part of the Malaysia Day celebration.

“For me, Malaysia Day is a symbol of hope and freedom. It is up to us what we want to do and the freedom to make our own decisions,” he said.

Azhar lamented that the younger Malaysians do not seem to possess the level of patriotism that his generation possessed.

“It is a shame that some of the young people today are embarrassed to even wear a patriotic shirt or admit that they are Malaysian,” he added.


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Anas: Corporate leaders must do more to promote harmony.

Sunday, September 17th, 2017
Celebrating Malaysia Day: Anas (left) looking on as Suria FM radio announcer DJ Lin cuts a cake during the closing ceremony of Zubedy Sdn Bhd’s SaySomethingNice campaign 2017 at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

Celebrating Malaysia Day: Anas (left) looking on as Suria FM radio announcer DJ Lin cuts a cake during the closing ceremony of Zubedy Sdn Bhd’s SaySomethingNice campaign 2017 at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

PETALING JAYA: The business community should make it an agenda to promote unity among Malaysians, says a businessman-social activist.

Anas Zubedy, managing director of Zubedy Sdn Bhd which has made it a top priority to promote unity and harmony, said business and corporate leaders should “jump onto the unity bandwagon”.

The staunch advocate of unity believes it would be “economically smart” for the country’s business community to also promote unity among the people.

“You cannot only depend on one race to do business successfully in this country.

He said a depressing reality about present-day Malaysia was that children were growing up wit­hin their own racial community.

“Our children are growing separately. You don’t see multicultural situations in schools… and we are living separately so our kids do not have a chance to mingle with each other,” he said, adding that it was only at work that Malaysians began to mingle. As such, Anas said the business community sho­uld ensure that promoting unity was a part of its overall agenda.

The job of cultivating unity should not be just shouldered by politicians, he added.

The #SaySomethingNice campaign 2017, which started on National Day and ended yesterday on Malaysia Day, has seen over 60 projects initiated under the campaign by various organisations and individuals working with Zubedy.

One of the fresh efforts this year was #RukunNegaraSomet­hing Nice, which Anas described as going back to the spirit of Rukunegara to promote unity among the people.

“We tend to forget that there is also the cita-cita (ambition) behind Rukunegara, which encourages the move towards being a progressive nation, a democracy, and liberalism, so how do young people bring forth this ambition?” he asked, adding that it was also the first time that the #SaySome­thing Nice campaign, which was in its seventh year, was collaborating with the National Unity and Integration Department.

Tetap Tiara Sdn Bhd managing director Charles Wong agreed with Anas’ call for the business community to embrace unity. “It makes perfect sense to do it, as what make and shape a business are the people who work in the organisation, the different races and outlook that they bring.

“It’s smart economics at the end of the day,” said Wong, whose company joined hands with Zubedy for the #SaySomethingNice campaign for the fourth time.

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The colours of unity

Sunday, September 17th, 2017
Sarawak Public Works Department personnel waving the Jalur Gemilang in Kuching last year. The mood displayed in the events leading up to Malaysia Day was one of unity.

THESE past few weeks have been eventful for Malaysia. Never have I seen the Jalur Gemilang being displayed in as many events over the past few weeks.

We celebrated our victory at the 29th Southeast Asia Games, we witnessed our 60th Merdeka celebration, we witnessed the celebration of our new Agong’s official birthday. We also witnessed the passing of one of our beloved sultans. But, the mood displayed in all these events was one of unity at all levels and from different sections of society.

I was taken aback by the atmosphere of the Sea Games. I remember entering the stadium being greeted by loud sounds of joy and excitement. I glanced around and witnessed the cheers of not only Malaysians, but Indonesians, Filipinos and Thais, from where I sat when all the athletes entered the stadium to take their seats. I saw the unity of Asean.

The Merdeka parade was a sight to behold. It took me back some 10 years ago when I first witnessed such pomp and pageantry.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force displayed their air-to air aviation skills in the capital city skyline with their Sukhoi jets.

Our soldiers in green marched past the reviewing stand manned by the king and cabinet.

Our men in blue did that, too. They were followed by our volunteer corps in other hues. It struck me then how much these uniformed men and women sacrifice their lives to keep us ordinary folks under the canopy of peace.

I was very blessed to have “witnessed” through my paternal grandmother the country’s first flag-bearers and Navy veterans, Lieutenant Commander (Rtd) Mohd Sharif Kalam and retired chief petty officer Oliver Cuthbert Samuel presenting the Jalur Gemilang to the next generation. My paternal grandmother told me how my grandfather, first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, would utter the joyful words “Merdeka!” “Merdeka!” “Merdeka!”

I can imagine the chorus of the people gathered that morning echoing in unison those three words. She had accompanied her father, the late Almarhum Sultan Yahya Petra, then Tengku Mahkota Kelantan, to the event.

When I watched the celebration of victory at the recent Sea Games, those words of freedom and unity emerged from my memory wherein they were lodged.

I was blessed, too, to witness the Agong’s first official birthday. As I wore my purple songketuniform that morning, I was greeted by the Jalur Gemilang and state flags instead of just the Kelantan flag. This was, for the first time, a federal investiture instead of just a state’s. The investiture ceremony was much more diverse, representing the demographics of the nation, instead of just the state.

People of different hues stood before our head of state. Men and women were in ceremonial attires and uniforms. The diplomats came dressed in their national garments. It was breathtaking.

I observed, too, people of varying ages: civil servants who contributed their years of service to the nation, one of them being my father. The range of attires that was before my eyes was breathtaking. There were songket with tengkolok, as worn by my father, full white navy uniforms and the robes of the judiciary. The green of the army was there, too. It was colour pageantry in some ways

But the celebrations and joyful mood came to a halt as the nation was shocked by the news of the death of Almarhum Tuanku Sultan Kedah, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, who was king for two five-year terms.

The nation mourned the death with flags at half-mast. Many of the Merdeka generation will remember the late ruler fondly. From 12 year olds who received awards to the chef employed in the palace — all had words of sorrow to tell the nation. The late ruler was not just a ruler for Kedahans, but a king for Malaysians. And twice, too.

As we welcome Malaysia Day today with the Jalur Gemilang flying at half-mast, we Malaysians will be united in sadness and joy.

By Tengku Nur Qistina Petri.

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‘Thank the country for our blessings’

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Pola Singh (seated, fifth from left) with family members after launching his book, ‘My Reflections of Life’, at his home in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

TARA Singh’s three sons are fine examples of Malaysians who have earned their stripes despite the odds.

Brothers Pola Singh, Lieutenant-Colonel (Rtd) Heera Singh and Lieutenant-Colonel Inderjit Singh are the proud sons of a cowherd from Air Leleh, Melaka, who raised nine children who served the nation prominently.

Paying tribute to his parents, Tara and Ram Kaur, née Chan Yoke Lin, Pola said he and his siblings were grateful for their unconditional love and sacrifice in moulding them to face life’s challenges.

“We have learnt to appreciate life in a meaningful way, thanks to our upbringing.

“From eating scraps for meals, we grew in strength to succeed in our careers and lives,” said Pola, who retired as Maritime Institute of Malaysia director-general in 2011.

After retiring from the army, Heera is now a business consultant, while Inderjit is still in military service and played hockey for the armed forces.

Pola’s other siblings have also shone in their careers, but he declined to divulge details.

Pola is the fourth among nine siblings, — sisters Ajaib, Harcharan, Iswander, Kulwant and Sarjit Kaur, and brothers Heera, Harban and Inderjit.

In a period when the nation celebrated Malaysia Day and its 60th National Day, Pola spoke of how fortunate it was to live in such a wonderful country.

“Through hard work and diligence, people like me are able to become head of a government department after joining the
administrative and diplomatic service in 1972.

“We have to thank our country for our blessings,” said Pola, who turned 68 on July 16.

He remembers well his past experiences and so volunteers at Sikh temples and helps distribute food with his Sikh Soup Kitchen team all around Kuala Lumpur every Friday.

As Friends of Bukit Kiara co-founder and Taman Tun Dr Ismail Resident’s Association committee member, Pola also helps with environmental conservation and community upkeep.

“I know how hard it can be for the less fortunate to earn a living, let alone survive.

“Even many of the residents in my neighbourhood are in dire need of advice and guidance, and I am happy to help where I can,” said Pola, who is probably the first from Air Leleh, or even Melaka, to earn a doctorate in marketing from the University of Alabama in the United States in 1992.

After retirement, Pola was the Initiative for Asean Integration unit head based in Jakarta, Indonesia, for four years until 2006.

He is also a prolific writer, having just finished writing his book, My Reflections of Life, and is a regular contributor on social affairs for local newspapers.

He was a sports stringer with The Malay Mail in the 1980s, under the pen name S. Paul.

Describing his life’s journey as purposeful, Pola said he earned satisfaction in seeing everyday community issues being resolved after being highlighted in the New Straits Times’s “Letters to the Editor”.

“The encouraging feedback from people in voicing their grievances spurred me to write with a greater purpose so that I can help make a difference for them.”

He reminded the younger generation of the importance of family and friends who would support them at all times.

“One can succeed through sheer grit, determination, hard work and fortitude.

“Accepting rejection is part and parcel of life. If you do not make mistakes, you are not trying and will never succeed,” said Pola.

He said since retirement, he had more time to reflect on his experiences — joyful events, friendships, setbacks, rejections, work-life imbalance, beliefs and values.


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RM1.5b centre in KK and RM80m Musang King plantation plan

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

NANNING: Several investment projects were presented at a recent trade and investment seminar and business matching here which include a proposed RM1.5 billion Bimp Eaga Commercial Development Centre in Kota Kinabalu.

Another is a Musang King durian plantation project in Tawau with a proposed project cost of RM 80 million and a RM 500 million five-star tourism project in Tuaran.

The seminar and business matching session also saw a MoU signing ceremony with a project value of RM 100 million between Medical Supplies (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd. headed by Datuk Nancy Ho and a pharmaceutical Hu Nan Bei Shi Jian Yi Yao Ke Ji Co. Ltd.

The signing highlighted the interest and confidence of Chinese companies in investing in the economic and SME sectors of the BIMP EAGA grouping.

A total of 300 participants comprising Chinese businessmen and entrepreneurs from BIMP EAGA countries with Malaysia with the largest number of participants attended the event held at the Grand Metropark Hotel Nanning in conjunction with the 14th China Asean Business and Investment Summit and 14th China Asean Exposition.

This event was jointly organised by the Asean China Centre and BIMP EAGA Facilitation Centre through the BIMP EAGA Small and Medium Enterprise Development Working Group which is presently chaired by Ministry of Industrial Development Sabah Permanent Secretary Datuk Hashim Paijan.

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Our unique federal set-up always evolving

Friday, September 15th, 2017

THIS Saturday will be the 54th anniversary of Malaysia Day. Most Malaysians agree that the new federal union in 1963 between the Federation of Malaya and the Borneo states has brought security, prosperity and development to both sides. Yet, there are simmering tensions about the alleged whittling down of the privileges promised in 1963.

These privileges are explicated in many venerated historical documents and in the Malaysia Act and the Federal Constitution. The Consti­tution was amended significantly in 87 provisions and 10 Schedules. Thirty-five new Articles were inserted to confer on Sabah and Sarawak many special rights in our unique federal set-up.

Legislation: The State Assemblies of Sabah and Sarawak have legislative powers far larger than those of the peninsular states (Schedule 9).

Federal powers: Federal power to enact uniform laws on land, agriculture, forestry and local government is not applicable to Sabah and Sarawak (Article 95D). Under Article 95E(3), Sabah and Sarawak are excluded from national plans for land utilisation, local government and development unless the consent of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri is obtained. Policies of the National Land Council and National Council for Local Government are not binding on Sabah and Sarawak (Article 95E(2)).

Islam: Due to the large non-Muslim population in Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, there was no state religion in the Constitutions of Sabah and Sarawak in 1963. But Sabah amended its own Constitution to make Islam the official state religion. Article 161C (deleted in 1976) provided that if financial support is given by the federal government for Islamic institutions and Islamic education in the Borneo states, the consent of the state Governor must be obtained. Further, an equivalent amount shall be allocated for social welfare in these states.

Article 161D of the Federal Constitution (repealed in 1976) provided that in the Borneo states, a state law restricting the propagation of any religious doctrines to Muslims may not be passed without a special two-thirds majority.

Native law: Besides Syariah Courts, there is a system of native law and native courts.

High Court: The federal High Court has two wings. Appointment of the Chief Judge of the Sabah and Sarawak High Court requires consultation with the Chief Ministers of these States (Article 122B(3)). Judicial Commissioners in the High Court for Sabah and Sarawak shall be appointed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri on the advice of the Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak (Article 122AB). In 1994, this power was transferred to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong acting on the advice of the PM after consulting the Chief Justice of the Federal Court.

Number of MPs: Sabah and Sarawak are handsomely represented in the Dewan Rakyat. Sabah has 25 MPs; Sarawak 31. Together, they have 56 of the country’s 222 MPs (or 25%). The Sabah and Sarawak MPs also constitute 50% of the 112 MPs required to form a majority government.

Emergency: Even during an emergency, the native law or customs of Sabah and Sarawak cannot be extinguished (Article 150(6A)).

Fiscal federalism: The federal government’s stranglehold over most of the lucrative sources of revenue is not as strong in relation to Sabah and Sarawak as it is in relation to other states. In several areas, Sabah and Sarawak enjoy fiscal privileges that are not available to the peninsular states.

Under article 112B, Sabah and Sarawak can raise loans with the consent of Bank Negara. These states are allocated special sources of revenue like taxes, fees and dues on eight sources of revenue like state sales tax, ports, harbours, import and excise duty on petro­leum products, export duty on timber and other forest produce (Schedule 9, Lists IIA and IIIA and Schedule 10, Part V).

The two states enjoy some special grants (Article 112C and the Tenth Schedule, Parts II and IV). There are special rules about state audits (Article 112A).

Affirmative action: Under Article 153, the natives of Sabah and Sarawak enjoy a special position similar to that of the peninsular Malays.

Immigration: The mobility of non-residents to Sabah and Sarawak is restricted under (Article 161E(4) and Part VII Immigration Act, Act 155).

Lawyers: There is restriction on non-resident lawyers practising before the courts of Sabah and Sarawak (Article 161B).

Language: Sabah and Sarawak enjoy special protection in relation to the use of English and native languages (Article 161).

Malay reserves: There is non-application of Malay reserve lands to these two States (Article 161A(5)).

Sabah Assembly: The Sabah Assembly is allowed six appointed members in addition to its elected Assemblymen.

Fifty-four years down the road, not all is well with the Borneo states’ relationship with the centre. In some areas, Sabah and Sarawak’s autonomy appears to have suffered retreat due to constitutional and political developments.

by Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi
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Malaysia Day celebration venue in Likas prepped for big day

Friday, September 15th, 2017
The district Sports Complex in Likas here, the venue for the Malaysia Day 2017 celebration, has come alive with stages and booths for the big day being set up. Pix by Mohd Adam Arinin

KOTA KINABALU: The district Sports Complex in Likas here, the venue for the Malaysia Day 2017 celebration, has come alive with stages and booths for the big day being set up.

The full dress rehearsal for the ceremony, attended by dignitaries, also proceeded smoothly tonight.

Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Malaysia Day celebration main committee co-chairmen Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, as well as state secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman, were present during the rehearsal which started around 7.45pm.

The Malaysia Day celebration this Saturday will have Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin as guest-of-honour.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will specially fly in for the event.

With the main event set to take place that night, a three-day carnival begins tomorrow from 2pm. The carnival will also feature concerts for the three consecutive nights, with various artistes lined up.


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Students understand Independence through art

Friday, September 15th, 2017

PUTATAN: Students seem to understand and grasp better the meaning of Independence through art. It may be the new way of incorporating the spirit of patriotism among the young generation.

SMK Putatan Head of Pre-University Student Affairs Unit, Asnie Marjan said art is a new way to create Independence awareness.

“Many incentives have been introduced to the students and for the first time, this year, we create an idea to develop the spirit among our students through arts,” he said.

He pointed out the success of students in visual creativity at SMKPutatan that won the first prize in the Graffiti Challenge competition recently.

“With the bonding that we’ve created among our students, our school has achieved an excellent performance and this is the proof that art drives new millennium independence for our gen-y,” he said after opening a ‘Merdeka@Community for Putatan district’ at the school here yesterday.

Meanwhile, Independence programme advisor, Abal Muskam Mislin said the school in collaboration with visual creative students, teachers and Community 1 Malaysia (K1M) also made the programme to inform the students on the importance of preserving independence.

“We choose the umbrella as the symbol because its shape symbolises unity, purity and protection. “This as a way to educate our generation especially in this school about the importance of maintaining harmony and unity,” he told New Sabah Times.

He said students and teachers brought 320 umbrellas that were donning pathways.

Chairman of K1M Sabah, Tahir Mohd Soon said that good values should be imbued in students. “To maintain our multiracial harmony, we should understand the history of our country, how we get our independence and all the difficulties our forefathers fought and struggled with.


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New IGP Fuzi must focus on strengthening police force: MCPF

Monday, September 4th, 2017
Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said Fuzi has tremendous experience from leading the Special Branch, as well as serving as a police officer, so he will be able to meet the demands of the job.Pic by NSTP/SAIRIEN NAFIS

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-appointed Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Datuk Seri Fuzi Harun’s first tasks should centre on strengthening the police force and restoring public confidence in the country’s security.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said Fuzi has tremendous experience from leading the Special Branch, as well as serving as a police officer, so he will be able to meet the demands of the job.

“His immediate task would be to see how he can strengthen the police force, how to cope with new challenges, and also work towards strengthening public confidence in the police.

“He also needs to ensure the integrity of the force and build it to be a strong (organisation),” he told the New Straits Times today.

Lee said Fuzi’s appointment as the replacement of retired Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is appropriate, and that the MCPF is looking forward to closer cooperation with him and the police on matters regarding public safety.

“(Fuzi’s past) experience can be put to good use in terms of strengthening the police force and dealing with the many new threats to our security, especially with regards to the Islamic State.

“As an NGO (non-governmental organisation), we look forward to working with him and the police, and to ensure that we give him the support he needs in his efforts,” Lee said.


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The Games show what we need to keep progressing.

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

FOR almost three weeks, we were focused on 111. It was a magic number on which we pinned our hopes.

Whether we knew it or not, many of us were looking for an affirmation that Malaysia is doing fine, that the country can soar if we truly believe and work hard, and that it is natural for us to come together for a common cause.

We need such reminders and encouragement every now and then, and our contingent’s strong performance at the SEA Games is certainly well-timed.

Malaysia’s gold medal tally climbed to 111 just two days before we celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s independence. That figure is the target announced on Aug 10 by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in order for Malaysia to become the overall SEA Games winner.

It so happens that Malaysia collected 111 gold medals when it last hosted the SEA Games in 2001.

That was enough then to be the best among the participating countries, and it will be the same this year.

In fact, we have surpassed that mark.

Consider it an early Merdeka gift.

All that glitters is not gold, but when that glitter makes Malaysia the sports champion of the region, we cannot help but bask in the warm golden glow.

It is not that we are obsessed with sporting victories and titles. After all, we are not all sports fans.

For some, it may be hard to appreciate the thrill of people chasing balls up and down fields and courts.

Watching men and women trying to outrun, outjump and outthrow each other is not everybody’s cup of tea.

But none of us has any problem understanding talent, diligence, commitment and teamwork. Sports is built on these elements. Our athletes’ achievements, particularly when they don national colours, move and inspire us by reinforcing the importance of effort, dedication and togetherness.

That is why we cheer them on. And when they win or lose, we share their joy or disappointment.

Amid the euphoria over the gold medal haul, we should not forget our silver and bronze medallists, those who did not make it to the podium but recorded personal bests, and the others who did all they could to secure national glory. It is about recognising the triumph of the human spirit.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics, was very clear about this.

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well,” he said.

As much as the accomplishments of our SEA Games contingent reflect our collective pride and ambition, they also underline what it takes for Malaysia to continue its progress.

Nationhood is not about who comes first; like in sports, what matters most is that everybody is heading in the same direction, relying on each other, and willing to give his all for the good of the entire team.

The Star Says.
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