Jun 30, 2009

If I were the Prime Minister, I would...

    In the Parliament:

  1. Abolish all taxes for branded goods. This include import tax and government tax. Every girl can afford a designer bag then. And every guy will love me because they don't have to spend a few thousands on designer goods for their wives and girlfriends. This is my first step to win my supporter. I know many politicians will slam me right in front of my face. My answer to them is: It's a much more realistic plan than your empty promises. I don't really care what other politicians would think of my plan. I would only think of what people want in general. As a consumer, I would love to buy more designer bags. And I know everyone have the same interest as me. So I would make the policy based on my own needs 'cos at the end of the day, it's going to reflect what other citizens want too.

  2. I'll make sure everyone recycles. I'm not really a gungho environmentalist. But government need to save money too. If the people start to recycle, we can save more money from processing domestic rubbish. Besides, we have no more space for rubbish dumpside. How am I going to do it? I'll make sure every household send at least a bag of recycleable stuff to the recycle centre every week. If you don't, we just don't collect your rubbish that week until you send in some stuff to recycle. Easy like ABC.

  3. I would proposed 1-Malaysia as a cultural subject in every primary school. The children will learn how to respect other culture through theory and practice. For example, everyone will have to learn how to eat rice with their hands on banana leaf. I actually heard some kids saying, "Yuks, look at that abu neh neh eating with their fingers, so dirty!" Respect, kids... Respect... And everyone have to learn how to eat with chopsticks too. For heaven sake, we're multicultural! Other lessons include, how to wear traditional clothes, how to speak other Malaysian languages, what are the reasons behind the taboos, etc. It's useless to teach the kids about our culture through books. Who remember words anyway? Besides, we should be ashame of ourselves that we are pretending to be multicultural, but some of us don't even know what are the other races traditions and heritage. This 1-Malaysia subject would be introduce at early stage of schooling because that's the age where children can be shaped easily. In highschool, they have other important lessons to learn, so it wouldn't be a good idea to have it then. Najib, will you take this into consideration?

  4. We need Racial Discrimination Act. I'm not sure if we have a similiar legislation, if we do, my version is the enhanced one. I will set up an ombudsman under this Act, so that any complaint of racial discrimination would be investigated by the government themselves. Take for example, the rumour of Pizza Hut charging non-muslim extra tax, that would be a valid complaint. After all, we are promoting 1-Malaysia.

  5. I will not deny the bumiputera of their rights. After all, during the independence, the migrants agreed to uphold bumiputeras as first class citizen. This set of rights include land rights, financial assistance, etc. But these priorities will not give them the right to exploid other races. Meanwhile, other races should respect the decision made by their great-grandfather as they agreed to stay on in Malaysia after the independence. This means, they should acknowledge that they are second class citizens. Any issues of such case can be filed under the Racial Discrimination Act.

  6. Everyone wants freedom of speech. That includes me. Malaysians are no longer stupid, sit at home and listen to their master like a good dog. We're now good dog that barks. But if they bark wrongly, we'll put a muzzle on the dog's mouth. After all, everything has its limits. Everyone is free to criticize the government. Everyone is free to express their feelings. Everyone is free to voice out their opinions. But if anyone defames the government, the government can sue that individual based on the law of defamation, and not under ISA. For your information, just in case you're not Malaysian, ISA is Internal Security Act. I don't see the logic of accusing people under ISA when they didn't even touch on anything related to national security.

  7. ISA would be revised. I cannot deny it is a good law. (C'mon, boo me!). If you're in the government's shoe, you need ISA. There is no problem with this Act by itself. The only problem is abuse of power. To maintain this Act, I would include a comprehensive list of what amounts to national internal security, a set of rules to detain someone who breaches this Act, the rights of the detainees, and immediate judicial hearring. I'll make sure this Act would not be used by government arbitrary just to detain people they don't like. Don't ask me how I am going to do that. Because if I'm the PM, I'm the boss. If I say no arbitrary detention, that means no arbitrary detention. You may label me as autocratic, but remember, I'm doing this for a just cause.

  8. I will separate the separation of powers. Right now the government is like a big piece of cake. All the government arms are group in one althought they claim that it is seperated. I would cut it equally to three sections - the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. There would be no overlapping of powers. This might sound good, but in reality I can't separate Parliament from Executive, can I? But the Judiciary is definitely by its own. This will ensure greater checks and balance. It sounds so easy, but I don't actually know what's going on with the system.

On personal side:

  1. I would cut my hair. Keeping long hair takes a lot of effort.

  2. I would go for plastic surgery. Because I wouldn't have time to make up every morning. It saves 2 hours a day. I could take the time to update my blog post. I wonder where do politicians find the time to update their blogs? Lim Kit Siang has average 30 updates each week. An unemployed person like me don't even have the time to do so.

  3. My political party image would be pink. I'm really sorry, guys. I love pink. I know you would still vote for me because you love me!

  4. Oh, ya... The logo will be encrusted with bling blings.


Nino said...

I agree on almost all yout points, except number 5. You say during independence the migrants agreed to uphold bumiputers as first class citizen. Well, that's true. How about you? Did you chose to be born in Malaysia?

I think we are all born same, regardless race and we should all have equal rights, no first class or second class citizens.

You want 1-Malaysia, so this doesn't fit in, it's not modern, it's from the past. The rest is very modern and good. Imagine, in 100 years, 200 years in Malaysia, will there still be 1st class & 2nd class Malaysians? When is the right time to abolish this bumiputera law and make all Malaysians 1?

Sorry that I keep rambling about this issue, of course I respect your opinion. It's just that I heard many Chinese complain about this law.

For example a friend of mine has a business and if he wants to do a government project, he must find a Malay guy who has a licence and then finish the project under his name. I mean, he basically bribes him, must give him 30% of the profit. I guess it should be depending on how good you are as a contractor or a company, not what race you are. Well, anyway, Malaysia so so different than the mindset here, this is my view from Europe :)

Jerine said...

On the No.5 issue, we have to respect our ancestor's reason to stay back in Malaya at that time. The agreement did not mention that their second class citizenship is going to last only that generation. We have to respect the bumiputeras as first class citizens because if not, it would be like the situation in Sri Lanka. The Tamils moved to Sri Lanka which was the Singalese land to begin with. Right now they are wiping the Singalese out of their land and demand absolute political right. I think it's a very wrong idea. The first occupant of the land should be retain some of their priorities. I wouldn't want my country to suffer like Sri Lanka. It's best to keep that policy to avoid controversial.

Jerine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nino said...

Well, dear Jerine, Malays weren't the first people on the Malaysian peninsula, it were the Orang Asli. They happen to be the majority in this state that exists since the independence from the British, but if you look at this rule, then they and Chinese should be the second class citizens and Orang Asli should be called bumiputera. But it's not like that. I just think that in a multi-ethnic country, the biggest group of people can't have more rights than minorities. And you can't compare Sri Lanka. Chinese were never in war with Malays. There were some riots in the past, yea, but the last 30 years Malays and Chinese live in peace and Malaysia will never be like Sri Lanka.

And you know that Chinese are much more skilled in business and have higher salaries, so they contribute a lot of money to the Malaysian budget. So they basically fund Malays. Malays take the benefits, while Chinese have to work hard. In my eyes this is unfair. And we haven't even started to talk about the Indian minority and their problems.

Anyway, I want to add, Malaysia is a great country and there is differences, things are changing. And you are right, this is a controversial issue. Maybe I can speak about this bluntly, but you live there, you know how people feel about it. I guess the time is not right yet, but I guarantee you, future generations will abolish this law. Maybe in 50 yrs? 100 yrs? I don't know. All I know is that Malaysia is moving in the right direction and I deeply care about how things go there. No country is perfect, but most important is that things are turning for the better. Anyway, you wrote a very good post Jerine, a very interesting topic for me :)

Jerine said...

First of all, I have to correct you that Orang Asli indeed is group as bumiputera. So they are considered as first class citizens. During the handover, the Orang Asli did not stand up and say, "Hey, this is our land, we want greater power than the Malays". They could have done that. So it's not our fault that they have been so quiet all these while. I cannot say that the Orang Asli has been deprived of their rights since they are bumiputera as well.

Well, you can't group the Chinese as contributing to the economy the most. There are some slack Chinese. They don't even bother to find a job and then they claim that they are living in poverty and the government is not helping them. Personally, my uncle who is a Malay, also a succesful businessman. He's the director of Celcom company, which is the biggest telecommunication company in Malaysia. Just because there are more Chinese who knows how to make money, we can't generalize that Chinese is the only group that contributing to the economy.

The issue of first class citizens will soon be like Sri Lanka if the second class citizens keep pushing for absolute rights. In fact, it almost did when the Hindraf Move happen two years ago. For the second class citizens, if you enjoy the benefits, then stay. What I feel is, we get what we need, so don't expect more. If you think you're deprived then move out.

Thanks for your opinion. It actually opens up the other side of the argument. And I sort of enjoying listening to your thoughts.

Nino said...

Ok, glad that you corrected me on orang asli. I was having the wrong idea. The I can't agree with your last sentence. Move out where? If you're born in a country as a baby, get citizeship, you can't just move out. Usually very poor deprived people can't move anywhere.

All I'm saying is all of your points very very modern, except this one. If you want all people in Malaysia to be as one, you have to grant them equal rights, freedoms and duties, regardless their race, because a baby born today is has not have the chance on agreeing what her grandfather agreed in the 50's. You have to admit, at certain points, some laws are out of date and need to be changed. You will never have all Chinese think as one Malaysia if that bumiputera law will still be intact.

I'm sure there's a lot of Malays who are successful business men and many Chinese, who are lazy. But form what I heard abd I've been a lot around Chinese, they usually don't work for salaries where Malays or Indians work. So you see the latter in McDonalds, Pizza Huts and as policemen. Where there's low salary, you will mostly have Malays. Especially factories. You can't deny that there is a rift. And many Chinese are successful business people. I'm just comparing in percentage. Sure, Chinese make 1/3 of the whole population, but on average, their salaries are higher, their education is mostly higher and they put their kids in private schools.

Oh, and I did NOT say Chinese are the only group contributing to the economy. I'm saying they contribute a lot, comparing to the rights they recieve.

So, if a country wants to be united and multiracial, same laws have to apply to all people. If that's not the case, then the reality doesn't match with the image Malaysia tries to portray.

Sorry, here we just have different opinions. Where ever I go in Malayisa, I been from Penang to KL, Melaka, Batu Pahat & JB, I heard Chinese ppl complain about this law. And I guess I agree, it's not fair. In fact, it's discrimination.

Nino said...

Oh, I must criticize you in one more point, my dear Queen! :P

You wanna cut your hair?? Are you crazy??

Men (and especially I) love long hair and that would be a big scandal, if you cut it. :PPP I strongly disagree :)

Jerine said...

Laws can be changed overnight, but social contract can't. It is a public policy issue to maintain the bumiputera rights. If I'm the PM, public policy would be my main concern. It's not about modern or outdated laws. Unless the bumiputeras are willing to give up their rights peacefully, I would not force myself to change this. And I don't foresee this would ever happen. That's why my only option is to maintain the bumiputera status. On the other hand, we have the Racial Discrimination Act to balance up any racial issues if the Chinese or Indian wish to complain.

"Move out where? If you're born in a country as a baby, get citizeship, you can't just move out." This is definitely not true. Thailand is just the border. Even the poorest of the poor can afford to move there. Just because we're born in this country, it doesn't mean our legs are chained onto the ground.

If the Malays are earning low income, it is their choice. This country gives everyone equal opportunity to earn anything you like. In fact, the Malays are given extra opportunity. If the Chinese, who are so-called deprived of their rights, can earn more than the Malays, I don't see why Malays can't do better than the Chinese. It is really up to the individual.

Malaysia is trying to portray their multicultural country, yes! But equal laws is not a prerequisite for multiracial country.

Jerine said...

Ooopsss... By the way, if I have the whole country to run, I wouldn't even care what men think of my hairstyle. That kind of scandal is definitely not worth worrying.

Nino said...

Oh no! You would care, my friend. Once in public eye, you would have advisors (pick me, pick me!!!) who would tell you how is your best image for the public.

Anyway, let's shake hands now. We do have different opinions on very important issues like bumiputera and hair length, but you will still allow me to visit Malaysia, if you are the next PM? Ehm , can you give me a PR or citizenship? :P

I wonder what others will say about this. I'm afraid people won't dare to oppose the Queen :) I'm doomed :(

Jerine said...

No way! I would not appoint you as my advisor. It will create more controversy. People will start asking why am I giving local employment to some ang moh.

If you want PR, you would have to go through the process as everyone else. I will not play favoritism. LOL. But I will definitely make the law as clear as possible so you wouldn't have any unnecessary trouble.

Stephanie meiyu said...

wow!!political fight here?

I don't understand why guys like long hair , so short hair not nice meah?

Jerine said...

LOL quite interesting debate. But I think short hair nice mah... Walau...you wake up so early. I didn't sleep at all.

Eunice said...

just finish my telecon, damn emo now. lucky you have something up today :D
everyone should recycle!!! voting for you.

Jessica said...

WOW! Politics! Did I mention I graduated with a degree in Political Economy? But I don't wanna engage in this political fight. Haha.

Anyway, you talked about me being quite nice? What do you mean "QUITE NICE?" I am "REALLY NICE" duh! Haha.

Thanks YT and Jerine, for thinking about such thing.

YT said...

My vote goes to you, although I might secretly puke at your pink and blinged banner.

But whatever it is, I will vote for you! Bravo!

Btw, I agree that looking realistically at the current situation, the bumiputra's status cannot be lifted just so. However, the special rights given to the bumiputras have to be revised.

I won't object to certain special rights given to the Malays but not by denying the other races their basic rights. One example is the university quota. If you want to allow more Malays into the uni, fine, increase the number of students but not by denying the better students based on races.

I know it's almost impossible to strike a balance here, that is why I rather be a voter and a leader. I would like to vote for a good PM who will solve this for me :)

Nino said...

@Jerine, I was kidding. I do abide by the laws and want same treatment, doesn't matter that I am "some ang mo" LOL.

@YT, you said it perfectly, muche better than me. It certainly needs to be revised.

Yvonne Yong said...

yes! cut ur hair. lighter and easier to maintain. :D

eMz said...

oops! love this layout more than the previous one! ^_^

i'd go for plastic surgery too.. it's malpractice that scares me tho. hehe

Jerine said...

Eunice: I'm also damn emo today. We should promote Peter to be our recycle minister. I'm sure he can do a good job.

Jessica: Can I seek help from you if I'm having problem? I'm taking International Politics for post-grad, but I have no background of political knowledge. Please.....Oh, by the way, Yeap...you're really nice!

YT: Eh bimbo...you also wear pink last night lor...When I decide to retain the bumiputera status, I will have something to balance it up, hence Racial Discrimination Act. Everyone can complain if they are not happy. For example, the quota system can be regarded as discrimination. I will not tolerate any act of discrimination. But we must ask, what are the rights granted under the bumiputera status? The only rights I could grant them is land rights. I can't think of anything else that can be relevant to that status.

Nino: You're always welcomed to have a diplomatic relationship.

Yvonne: I love your hair length.

eMz: Haha... I'm actually afraid of the procedure and the pain.


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