Archive for the 'Race Relation' Category

Pesta Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) 2009

Miss Appey Rowenna Januin crowned as the state-level Unduk Ngadau 2009

Miss Appey Rowenna Januin crowned as the state-level Unduk Ngadau 2009

31st May 2009 saw the culmination of a month long kaamatan celebration in Sabah, Malaysia which was officially closed by the TYT Negeri Sabah, Tun Haji Ahmad Shah Abdullah.

Amongst the highlights of the closing day celebration was the crowning of Miss Appey Rowenna Januin of Papar as the state-level Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Festival  Queen) by the the TYT’s consort, Toh Puan Dayang Masuyah Binti Japar.

Folks, just in case, it slips from your memory, the national-level Pesta Kaamatan will be held on the 7th June 2009 at Padang Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Come one! Come all!

Cheers!

Court of Appeal rules Zambry is Perak MB

The rightful MB of Perak Datuk Dr. Zambry (courtesy of NST @ 22 Mei 2009)

The rightful MB of Perak Datuk Dr. Zambry (courtesy of NST @ 22 Mei 2009)

As I have opined in my last post on the Perak crisis, the Court of Appeal today unanimously rules that HRH the Sultan of Perak had legally and rightfully done what he did in appointing Datuk Dr. Zambry as the MB of Perak and by refusing to dissolve the Perak State Legislative Assembly when sought by Ex MB Datuk Mohd Nizar to do so as he believed then that the latter had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the Assembly.

Below is the report published By LISA GOH and YENG AI CHUN courtesy of the STAR ONLINE late this evening:-

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has unanimously ruled that Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir is the valid mentri besar of Perak.

The three-man bench, in setting aside the High Court’s decision earlier which ruled that Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin was the rightful mentri besar “at all material times,” held that Nizar had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the Perak State Legislative Assembly.

“The learned High Court judge erred in his interpretation of the relevant provisions in the Perak Constitution.

“Accordingly, the appeal is allowed,” said Justice Md Raus Shariff, who chaired the bench, which also comprised Justices Zainun Ali and Ahmad Maarop.

The court held that based on the facts of the case, Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah was right in making enquiries to satisfy himself on who held majority in the state assembly, and was right in his appointment of Zambry.

It further ruled that there was no express requirement in the Perak Constitution that there had to be a motion of no-confidence passed before it was determined that Nizar had ceased to command the confidence of the assemblymen.

“The fact that the respondent (Nizar) had ceased to command the confidence can be obtained through other means,” he said.

Justice Md Raus delivered the judgement in less than 10 minutes, and said that the written judgement would be prepared in about a week.

Based on the facts of the case, the court found that Nizar’s request for dissolution was made under Article 16(6), and not Article 36(2) of the Perak Constitution.

Article 36(2) is a general provision for which a request for dissolution can be made when the five-year term of the assembly is drawing to an end.

Article 16(6), on the other hand, states that if the mentri besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the legislative assembly members then, unless at his request the Ruler dissolves the legislative assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the executive council.

The bench also affirmed the court’s decision in the case of former Sabah cabinet minister Datuk Amir Kahar Mustapha who refused to resign in 1995 after the then Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan had quit.

Cheers!

5:3:2 Distribution of Sabah Cabinet seats…

What was once the top 4 state cabinet members of Sabah (courtesy of New Sabah Times)

What was once the top 4 state cabinet members of Sabah (courtesy of New Sabah Times)

What does it really mean for the non-muslim bumiputera in Sabah in so far as the long established convention of 5:3:2 distribution of cabinet seats between the Muslim bumiputera, non-muslim bumiputera and the chinese is concerned? Does it really matter?

Folks, it does not really matter if one had to listen to from none other than the PBS President cum the 1st Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development, Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan who happens to be the Huguan Siou of the KadazanDusun in Sabah the majority of whom are non-muslim bumiputera. He was on record to say and I repeat it in verbatim ” the non-Muslim bumiputera quota in the State Cabinet can be changed at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

He said the matter had always been debatable but at the same time urged the people not to make it into a big issue. He said as much as he would like to have a more stable quota, the decision to have as many or as few non-Muslim bumiputeras in the State Cabinet remains at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

“Five, four, three or whatever the formula, has always been a debatable issue. I do not think we ought to be too stuck or too stiff about this kind of thing.

“We would like to have a stable quota but at the same time we must understand that this is the prerogative of the Chief Minister. It is up to him (Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman) to make the necessary adjustment or make the necessary appointments…”

“He, or anybody who is the Chief Minister, will always have to take into account the aspirations or the expectations of all component political parties. Whatever decision he made is his prerogative. I am confident it was done in the best interest of the BN Government and to ensure all government programmes would run smoothly.”

I beg to differ though. Personally, I am not quite convinced that the majority of non-muslim bumiputera in Sabah are receptive to the idea that as long as the present BN government could fulfill its obligations and covenants to uplift the socio-economic status of the non-muslim bumiputera, the question of missed opportunity on effecting a fair distribution of cabinet seats in Sabah as highlighted by the PBRS Information Chief, Rayner Francis Udong recently could no longer be relevant.

For the record, the said 5:3:2 ratio was a formula practiced by convention when the BN took over the state government in 1994 whereby 5 is meant for 5 ministerial posts allocated to the muslim bumiputera, 3 posts to the non-muslim bumiputera while the last 2 posts are for the Chinese representatives in the State Legislative Assembly.

However, as I see it, at present, the Sabah cabinet seat distribution is made along the lines of BN component parties’ strength in the State Legislative Assembly. After the last state general election in 2008, UMNO won 32 seats, PBS won 12 seats, SAPP won 4 seats, LDP won 3 states, UPKO won 6 seats, MCA and PBRS won 1 seat each. Hence, Prior to the departure of SAPP from BN, the state cabinet was composed of 6 for UMNO, 2 for PBS, 1 each for UPKO, SAPP and LDP respectively.

The seat quota remains unchanged even after Datuk Raymond Tan, the sole SAPP representative in the cabinet chose to stick with BN when SAPP left BN last year where he was retained as a cabinet member while being a pro-BN Independent for almost 9 months.

Folks, now that Datuk Raymond Tan has joined Gerakan, a Peninsular Malaysia based multiracial party, the status quo remains unchanged. In fact, he was rewarded for his unquestionable loyalty to BN by being retained as a cabinet member minus his Deputy Chief Ministership though. However, the gist of the matter is that, the current composition of the state cabinet is all about one’s political strength in the state BN rather than racial and / or religiously based.

To me, the current arrangement is rather flawed despite BN undeniable success in bringing progress in terms of socio and infra-structural development to the state. I am saying this on the fact that a particular community could be under represented in the powerful decision making body despite it being the majority group in the state.

Analytically, it is a very simple arithmetic, take for example, PBS, the multiracial but KadazanDusun Murut based party. Logically, being a strongly KDM based party, there should be more than one KDM ministers representing the party apart from a chinese minister in the person of Datuk Yee Moh Chai to reflect its ideal political equilibrium in the state cabinet so that when seen in totality, there should be a sense of equitable fairness among the major races in the state.

Be as it may, what more could they ask for if such prerogative power is used to hypothetically appoint cabinet members along such lines as 6 for UMNO (Muslim Bumiputera), 2 for PBS (Non-Muslim Bumiputera), 1 for UPKO (Non-Muslim Bumiputera), 1 each for PBS (Chinese) and LDP (Chinese), Hence, the ratio should be 6:3:2 so that it is to be more or less reflective of the previously accepted convention.

As for Gerakan (a chinese-based multiracial party), it would be, in fairness to PBRS and MCA, politically prudent to appoint its 2 representatives as Assistant Ministers in the state cabinet.

However, it is of course, very important to remember that it is the CM’s sole prerogative to appoint his cabinet members whom he thinks are capable of helping him in the administratioin of the state and lest we forget that if the present cabinet is workable and is the best one we have ever had to assist the YAB Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman to achieving his well-documented Halatuju for the state, we should support him and his BN administration wholeheartedly regardless of our previous reservation.

Cheers!

Pesta Kalimaran 2009

The main entrance of the Murut Cultural Centre, Tenom

The main entrance of the Murut Cultural Centre, Tenom

depan-dewan-kalimaranPesta Kalimaran is a Murut festival yearly held on the first week of April of a calendar year. It celebrates and honours the Murut people and their uniquie traditions through a 3 day showcase of cultural events that feature among others, a myriad of traditional Murut dances, songs, food, games and handicrafts.

Despite the global economic downturn, Pesta Kalimaran was an exception. Themed “Kalimaran Towards Progressive Community”, It was held for 3 days beginning from the 3rd. April to the 5th April 2009 at the Murut Cultural Centre in Tenom, Sabah where the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had this to say ” holding various ethnic cultural festivals is important in ensuring continuity of the State’s cultural heritage which can, otherwise, be easily forgotten due to globalisation”
and further reinforced his belief by saying ” these ethnic festivals not only make the ethnics concerned more known and popular but attract more tourists ” as evidenced from an increase in tourists’ arrival to Sabah from 1.25 million in 2003 to 2.3 million last year alone where the country is also estimated to receive over 24 million tourists by next year of which the expected income to be generated will be about RM59 billion and would be expected to provide 520,700 jobs. “

Among the highlights was the allocation of awards in the form of 2 full-grown cows and goats to the winners who had worn the most complete Murut traditional costumes regardless of ethnicity on the 2nd day of the celebration.

These are some of the pictures taken to show enthusiastic Muruts from all walks of life.

The Judges with the winner (men) of Murut Kolor ethnicity >

The Judges with the winner (men) of Murut Kolor ethnicity

[/caption id="attachment_689" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Muruts of Tagol ethnicity"]The Judges with Muruts of Tagol ethnicity[/caption]

[/caption]kalimaran-2

Yes. Ready for the showcase of their lives?

Yes. Ready for the showcase of their lives?

Murut ladies well-known for their handicrafts creativity

an up and coming local murut artist

an up and coming local murut artist


a very charming and pleasant lady

a very charming and pleasant lady

Folks, I will have more pictures in my next post.

Cheers!

When sense and sensibility no longer apply

"Emergency Meeting" under the raintree in PerakIt is rather unfortunate to witness the political impasse in Perak not showing any sign of concession from either party of the political divide. To some, the open-air so-called emergency assembly sitting under the raintree in Perak was so surreal that one couldn’t believe that it would ever happen in their lifetime. But that was what actually happened yesterday when the Perak Assembly Speaker, V Sivakumar called it to be held just about 100 meters from the locked Perak Darul Ridzuan building.

The Pakatan Rakyat “MB”, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin referred to it as under the “doctrine of necessity” that the Perak state assembly should hold an “emergency session” under such circumstances and therefore, believed it to be valid.

On the other hand, while they were at it, the High Court in Perak was inundated by legal arguments from the counsels of Perak MB, Datuk Dr. Zambry Kadir for the Court to agree to issue out a restraining order against the Speaker from convening any legislative assembly meeting inclusive of the one held yesterday without the DYMM Sultan of Perak’s consent. Well, they got it indefinitely to the effect of deeming illegal the said meeting and any other future meetings called by the Speaker without the Sultan’s consent prompting BN lead counsel, Datuk Hafarizam Harun to suggest that ” a meeting under the tree will remain under the tree “.

Folks, whatever it is, to me, it is quite natural for any supporters of the parties involved to suggest that whatever measures taken by their leaders to resolve the constitutional crisis are valid and within the law and that the other parties’ action are seemingly not valid and unconstitutional. They seem to suggest that the law is on their side. Well folks, just hang in there for a moment. Since both parties have resorted to the Courts for a decision and further relief, it is apt that all parties especially the Opposition to restrain themselves from doing anything illegal which would contribute to further political instability and chaos in the country.

Then again, it just occured to me that had Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to lure the 30 odd BN Members of Parliament to jump ship to the opposition last year been successful, would the opposition be so kind and generous now to say that what they did then was constitutionally and morally valid. I don’t think I can reconcile with their attitudes today. Surprise! surprise! surprise!

So, the question is why is it considered by the PR and their sympathisers as immoral and unconstitutional when the BN was able to get the 3 Perak PR assemblymen to cross over to them? Double standard on the part of PR? I would like to think so.

If the argument is that it becomes immoral and unconstitutional when either money or position is involved. Let me just say this, Please show hard evidence and hard evidence only to MACC. Merely a bare allegation is as good as no evidence at all. Hence, pending the High Court’s decision, sense and sensibility must prevail.

Cheers!

Happy Chinese New Year 2009

Chinese New Year of the Ox

Chinese New Year of the Ox


Year of the Ox 2009 牛年: 己丑年
Happy New Year 新年快樂
Jan. 26, 2009 – Feb. 13, 2010
Best wishes to all! 恭喜! 恭喜!

Folks, you may be interested to learn more about the meaning of the year of the Ox. If you do so, Please bear with me! This is what Marites Allen, a master on the Chinese art of feng shui and a local franchisee of the World of Feng Shui chain of boutiques said that the Ox itself, known by its formal name Yi Chou, is characterized as hard-working, responsible, patient and calm. It is also a strong leader who is great in organizing, honest and reliable. On the flipside, however, it can be stubborn, narrow-minded and low on public relations skills.

Perhaps emblematic of this new change is the ascension to the US presidency of Barack Obama, who is expected to usher in sweeping changes both in the domestic and international fronts. Coincidentally, Obama was born in the Year of the Ox.

Allen says there will be a similar transformation in local politics, as this year will herald heightened discourse among our politicians. “The rule of law and justice will prevail,”

Cheers!

MALAYSIAN MEDICAL STUDENTS SINGING CHRISTMAS CAROL IN RUSSIA

Although they are thousands of miles away from home, the spirit of christmas lives on.
Merry Christmas & a happy new year 2009


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