Lee Kuan Yew’s meritocracy: a key reason for S’pore’s separation from Ma’sia, his quotable quotes..


Lee Kuan Yew_Strong

No one could accuse LKY of being weak

When he suddenly fathered a reluctant new nation, the iron was forged in him.

LEE Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, has died at the age of 91.

He was born Harry Lee Kuan Yew on Sept 16, 1923 in Singapore. When he left England after graduating with a law degree from Cambridge University, he also left his English name behind.

In 1954, Lee formed the People’s Action Party (PAP). In 1959, at the age of 35, he won the national elections of Singapore, then still part of the British Empire, and became Prime Minister for the first time. After a brief merger with Malaysia, in 1965 the Republic of Singapore was born. Lee was PM until 1990 when he voluntarily stepped down, at age 67, to make way for a younger man.

It is a cliché, but it has to be said: the passing of Lee Kuan Yew is the passing of an era for Singapore and Singaporeans. A Singapore without LKY will take some adjusting to.

Older citizens will probably remember him with more affection and gratitude. Younger Singaporeans may attend the academic institutions and win scholarships that bear his name, but they will likely feel no particular affection or disdain, but rather, a vague admiration for the legendary leader whom they have been told was the architect of modern Singapore.

“I have been accused of many things in my life, but not even my worst enemy has ever accused me of being afraid to speak my mind,” he once said. Perhaps he will be best remembered through his own words.

In 1980, he said, “Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him.” For him, it was in August 1965, when he suddenly fathered a reluctant new nation, that the iron was forged – from the fire in his belly to make Singapore succeed.

From that “moment of anguish”, he would “spend the rest of my life getting Singapore not just to work but to prosper and flourish.” Over the years, he would use that same steel to fight all forms of obstacles and undesirable dogma, prejudices and even personal habits.

He would go on to confront and battle challenges that included corruption, unemployment, poverty, communism, political opposition, smoking and at the end, his own deteriorating health.

His self-belief and devotion to the Singapore cause was intense and absolute: “This is your life and mine. I’ve spent a whole lifetime building this (country) and as long as I’m in charge, nobody is going to knock it down.”

He will be remembered for his ferocious fight against corruption. He believed vehemently, “The moment key leaders are less than incorruptible, less than stern in demanding high standards, from that moment, the structure of administrative integrity will weaken, and eventually crumble. Singapore can survive only if ministers and senior officers are incorruptible and efficient.”

He will be remembered for standing up for meritocracy. A key reason for Singapore’s separation in 1965 was Lee’s belief in multiracial meritocracy. He was utterly convinced that, “If you want Singapore to succeed…you must have a system that enables the best man and the most suitable to go into the job that needs them…”

Every time a Singaporean takes a ride in a bus along a tree-lined avenue, plays with her children in a park near their flat, or enjoys a picnic in Botanic Gardens, she might just think of Lee. He launched Tree Planting Day and “set out to transform Singapore into a tropical garden city.” He was completely certain that, “Greening raised the morale of people and gave them pride in their surroundings.”

Lee’s beliefs and ideas went on to mould not just the development of a small new country with no natural resources to speak of, but also, some would argue, the personal lives of its citizens. Under his leadership, his government implemented policies and ran campaigns to compel and urge Singaporeans to save water, to keep Singapore clean, to have two children, and later, to have three if they could afford it, and to speak Mandarin, among many other exhortations.

In response to critics who accused his government of interfering in the private lives and personal behaviours of the city-state’s inhabitants, he had this to say, “It has made Singapore a more pleasant place to live in. If this is a ‘nanny state’, I am proud to have fostered one.”

He will be remembered for the power of his convictions. “I have never been over concerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. I think a leader who is, is a weak leader.” No-one could accuse Lee Kuan Yew of being a weak leader.

Of his own accord, he relinquished the position of Prime Minister in 1990, but stayed on in government as Senior Minister and then Minister Mentor in the governments of both his successors, Goh Chok Tong and his own son, Lee Hsien Loong, the current Prime Minister. He retired from Cabinet in 2011 but remained a Member of Parliament.

For those who remember Lee Kuan Yew in his prime, no matter to which side of the political divide they belong, they will recall a perspicacious politician whose intellect found admirers far beyond the little red dot, a powerful orator whose words conquered crowds and carried generations of Singaporeans with him, and perhaps, most of all, a pragmatic visionary who, against all odds, made the improbable nation a reality.

Lee was known for his admiration, gratitude and devotion to his wife, the late Kwa Geok Choo. He is survived by his two sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren.

By Peggy Kek

Singaporean analyst Peggy Kek is a former director with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

Quotable quotes from Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew commenting on death: ‘There is an end to everything and I want mine to come as quickly and painlessly as possible, not with me incapacitated, half in coma in bed and with a tube going into my nostrils and down to my stomach.’ – AFP pic, March 23, 2015

Here are some notable quotes from Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday at the age of 91.

On Japan defeating Britain to occupy Singapore in 1942:

“The dark ages had descended on us. It was brutal, cruel.

“Looking back, it was the biggest single political education of my life because, for three and a half years, I saw the meaning of power and how power and politics and government went together, and I also understood how people trapped in a power situation responded because they had to live.

“One day the British were there, immovable, complete masters; next day, the Japanese, whom we derided, mocked as short, stunted people with short-sighted squint eyes.”

After World War II when the British were trying to reestablish control:

“… the old mechanisms had gone and the old habits of obedience and respect (for the British) had also gone because people had seen them run away (from the Japanese) … they packed up. We were supposed, the local population was supposed to panic when the bombs fell, but we found they panicked more than we did. So it was no longer the old relationship.”

As a law student in Britain:

“Here in Singapore, you didn’t come across the white man so much. He was in a superior position.

“But there you are (in Britain) in a superior position meeting white men and white women in an inferior position, socially, I mean. They have to serve you and so on in the shops. I saw no reason why they should be governing me; they’re not superior. I decided when I got back, I was going to put an end to this.”

On opinion polls:

“I have never been overconcerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. A leader who is, is a weak leader. If you are concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind … you will go where the wind is blowing. That’s not what I am in this for.”

On his iron-fisted governing style:

“Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle-dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try.”

On his political opponents:

“If you are a troublemaker… it’s our job to politically destroy you… Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”

On democracy:

“You take a poll of any people. What is it they want? The right to write an editorial as you like? They want homes, medicine, jobs, schools.”

On justice:

“We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don’t do that, the country would be in ruins.”

On his policy of matching male and female university graduates to produce smart babies:

“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society… So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.”

On criticism over the high pay of cabinet ministers and senior civil servants:

“The cure for all this talk is a good dose of incompetent government. You get that alternative and you’ll never put Singapore together again: Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again… and your asset values will be in peril, your security will be at risk and our women will become maids in other people’s countries, foreign workers.”

On religion:

“I wouldn’t call myself an atheist. I neither deny nor accept that there is a God. So I do not laugh at people who believe in God. But I do not necessarily believe in God – nor deny that there could be one.”

On his wife of 63 years, Kwa Geok Choo, who died in October 2010:

“Without her, I would be a different man, with a different life… I should find solace in her 89 years of a life well-lived. But at this moment of the final parting, my heart is heavy with sorrow and grief.”

On death:

“There is an end to everything and I want mine to come as quickly and painlessly as possible, not with me incapacitated, half in coma in bed and with a tube going into my nostrils and down to my stomach.”

On rising up from his grave if something goes wrong in Singapore:

“Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me to the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up.”

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Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew leaves rich political legacy

Former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew waves to supporters ashe submits his nomination papers to contest in the elections in Singapore…

Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew leaves rich political legacy


Lee Kuan YewFormer Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew waves to supporters as he submits his nomination papers to contest in the elections in Singapore, April 27, 2011. [Photo/IC]

Videos:
Lee Kuan Yew, modern Singapore’s founding father

  • a “Asian Tiger“.Lee Kuan Yew is not only regarded as the founding father of modern Singapore, but also as one of the most influential political figures in Asia.
  • Studio interview: Yang Rui’s first-hand account of interview with Lee

  •  who had a one-on-one interview with Singapore’s founding prime minister back in 2011.Q1: What’s the political legacy that Lee Kuan Yew has left to Singapore? …

    Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, died on Monday at the age of 91, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

    “Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3:18 am,” the statement said.

    Lee, a Cambridge-educated lawyer, is widely credited with building Singapore into one of the world’s wealthiest nations on a per capita basis with a strong, pervasive role for the state and little patience for dissent.

    He co-founded the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has ruled Singapore since 1959 and led the newly born country when it was separated from Malaysia in 1965.

    Singapore’s founding father also hailed for diplomatic pragmatism and for inspiring Beijing’s reform, opening-up

    In Beijing’s eyes, Lee Kuan Yew, the late founding father and leader of Singapore, was not only “an old friend of the Chinese people”, but also “the founder of China-Singapore relations”, according to China’s previous official news releases about his visits.

    Bilateral, top-level interactions were pioneered by Lee 14 years ahead of the establishment of the two nations’ diplomatic relations in 1990.

    Chinese media estimated that he had been to China more than 20 times, and he was known for his good personal relations with China’s top figures, especially former leader Deng Xiaoping.

    Zhang Jiuhuan, the Chinese ambassador to Singapore from 2000 to 2004, noted that “it was a rare case” at the time that a foreign prime minister would visit China, as Lee did in 1976, in the absence of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Deng then paid back the visit, going to Singapore in 1978, in what Zhang described as a sensational trip.

    Lee was a man “with thoughts free from orthodoxy”, and his pragmatism in diplomacy made Singapore a pioneer among Southeast Asia nations in harvesting large-scale trade, economic cooperation and talent exchanges with China, Zhang said.

    However, Lee’s intimacy with China since 1976 goes way beyond his remarkable record of handshakes with most of China’s top leaders, including Mao Zedong and Deng.

    Those who witnessed history unfold, as well as other observers, hailed the Singaporean statesman’s efforts in inspiring China’s reforms and opening-up.

    Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China in Beijing, noted that Lee’s No 1 contribution to China was his efforts in “sharing Singapore’s successful experience in governance”, adding that “China has benefited a lot” from this.

    The China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, inaugurated in February 1994 in Jiangsu province in East China, was proposed by Lee, who even went to the city in 1992 to inspect the site for the park.

    Now, with the park serving as a role model for China’s economic cooperation with foreign countries, more such industrial parks hosted or co-hosted by China have been established domestically and abroad.

    Additionally, because of Lee’s advocacy for sharing his country’s inspiring philosophy of governance with China, Singapore has served as a de facto, inspirational training center for visiting Chinese officials.

    Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away Then vice-president Xi Jinping, right, meets Singapore’s former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in this May 23, 2011, file photo. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

    In 2011, Xi Jinping, then China’s vice-president, told Lee that “tens of thousands of Chinese officials at various ranks have been to Singapore for visiting and studying”, and “this has played an important role in promoting bilateral relations and China’s construction for modernization”.

    Even during his last few China visits, Lee often expounded when meeting with Chinese leaders on nurturing talent and the need for further promoting people-to-people exchanges.

    Jin, the Renmin University professor, recalled his encounter with Lee in 2007 at a symposium in Singapore, in which Lee displayed his admiration for Deng Xiaoping.

    “Lee was asked by a visiting scholar from China for advice on China’s future reform and opening-up,” said Jin. “Lee said, ‘You have Mr. Deng Xiaoping already. He is way better than me. Just follow him!'”

    In addition to his identity as a frequent visitor to China and guest of Beijing, he was internationally known as an insightful observer of China-related affairs who was often sought out for advice.

    His books, articles and comments on China’s evolving role in regional and global contexts — either positive or negative, in the eyes of ordinary readers — often put him in the media spotlight.

    Some observers have regarded him as a bridge that connected China and the rest of the world, while others described him as a mirror that reflected “how China looks in the eyes of the region and other parts of the world”.

    “Generally, China pays respect to him,” professor Jin said. “The two sides may differ in some issues, because Singapore is another country, after all. … It was perfectly natural for Lee to act out of national interests and deliver some differing opinions.”

    Zhang, the veteran diplomat, said Lee was a man known for his “nonstop pursuit of new knowledge”. Lee always learned new skills and kept pace with the changing world, including his Internet interactions with ordinary people and his fluency in the Chinese language, Zhang added.

    “Why have people always paid great attention to his insights and referred to him for advice on hot spot issues around the world? Because he often saw what people could not see,” the former ambassador said.

    Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away Lee Kuan Yew at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in this May 23, 2011, file photo. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]


    Lee Luan Yew’s Chinese connections

    Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s former Prime Minister, is one of the few world leaders who have met with China’s five top leaders. Lee has visited China as many as 33 times since his first visit in 1976.

    Lee is acclaimed as the “founder of close Sino-Singapore relations” by present Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also Lee’s oldest son.


    Major meetings with Chinese leaders

    1976 Mao Zedong met with Lee in Beijing

    1978 Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore and had a meeting with Lee

    1988 Deng Xiaoping met with Lee during Lee’s visit in Beijing

    2000 Zhu Rongji met with Lee in Singapore during the China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting

    2002 Jiang Zemin met with Lee in Beijing

    2004 Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao met with Lee in Beijing

    2010 Xi Jinping visited Singapore and had a meeting with Lee

    2011 Xi Jinping met with Lee in Beijing

    Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes awayFile photo of Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew taken on March 20, 2013. The country’s Prime Minister’s Office said on Wednesday that Lee remains critically ill in the ICU and has deteriorated further. [Photo/Xinhua]Health condition

    In a book published in 2013, the Asian statesman said he feels weaker by the day and wants a quick death.

    The longtime fitness buff has visibly slowed since his wife of 63 years Kwa Geok Choo died in 2010.

    The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) first announced Lee Kuan Yew was in hospital because of sever pneumonia in a statement on Feb. 21, and updated on Feb. 26 saying that he was still warded.

    A statement on Feb. 28 said Lee’s condition had improved slightly, and he was continuing with his antibiotics. The statement noted he remained sedated and on mechanical ventilation at the intensive care unit in Singapore General Hospital.

    The PMO released statements on March 6 and on March 13 respectively, saying Lee Kuan Yew’s condition remained largely unchanged, and he continued to be watched closely by his doctors.

    Lee’s condition worsened due to an infection and remained critially ill in the ICU, said the PMO on March 18.

    Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away

    Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew meets with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, in this October 29, 2009 file photograph. [Photo/Agencies]ProfileSingapore’s 91-year-old founding father and its first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was born on Sept 16, 1923. Lee ruled for 31 years until 1990.

    Lee has been credited with transforming the city-state from a sleepy tropical port to a wealthy, bustling financial hub with one of the highest incomes in the world.

    Early life

    His ancestral home is at Dabu county, Meizhou city, Guangdong province. He once attended Raffles Institution. His education was disrupted by World War II, but went on to study in England after the war. He briefly attended the London School of Economics before moving to the University of Cambridge, where he read law at Fitzwilliam College and graduated with a rare Double Starred (double First Class Honors).


    Political career

    A founding member of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), Lee became prime minister in 1959 when Britain was gradually handing over colonial power to the new local administration. Singapore joined Malaysia in a federation in 1963, but the two split two years later.

    The PAP has returned to power in every election since 1959 and currently holds 80 of the 87 seats in parliament.

    He stepped down as prime minister in 1990 in favor of his deputy Goh Chok Tong. Goh in turn handed the reins to Lee Hsien Loong in 2004.

    Even after Lee retired, he continued to work for the government, first as “senior minister,” a non-executive advisory post created for him, and from 2004 until 2011 as “minister mentor”.

    He is still an MP for the port district of Tanjong Pagar but retired from advisory roles in government in 2011.

    Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew speaks to the audience during the Arab and Asian dialogue in Singapore April 27, 2007.[Photo/IC]

    Political legacy

    Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away

    Lee Kuan Yew, as the founding father of Singapore, left abundant political legacies behind, from which this Southeastern Asian country is still benefit.

  • Attaching much importance to legislationOne of the major ruling concepts promoted by Leeis legislation, to which he attached much importance. He believed that legislation provides the basic framework for social stability and development.He thought that law needs to demonstrate humanity and respect people’s rights, however law also should limit abuse of power, which will lead to the falling apart of the social order. One of Lee’s abiding beliefs has been in the efficacy of corporal punishment in the form of caning.Promoting economic development

    Lee encouraged innovation and opening to the outside world. He said that the quality of a nation’s manpower resources is the single most important factor determining national competitiveness. It is the people’s innovativeness, entrepreneurship, team work, and their work ethic that gives them that sharp keen edge in competitiveness.

    Under his ruling, the implementation of internationalized economic polices has made Singapore one of the most important manufacturing bases of export and import.

    He promoted development of infrastructure and forged Singapore into an oasis of development. Singapore also makes full use of the advantages of being a port of reshipment and provides international and authorized financial service.

    Emphasizing importance of knowledge

    Lee set English as Singapore’s first official language and Chinese as the second to let people form an English thought pattern. He emphasizes the importance of knowledge in economic transformation but also rejects the classical separation between scholarship and entrepreneurship.

    “Those with good minds to be scholars should also be inventors, innovators, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs; they must bring new products and services to the market to enrich the lives of people everywhere,” he said.

    Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away

    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew as she arrived in Singapore, Feb 18, 1972. [Photo/IC]Art of diplomacy

    Singapore is a small country in both area and population, but it has a unique influence on Asia and even the world, which owes much to its founding father and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

    To set foot firmly in the world, Singapore needs to be strong enough. As a tiny country, Singapore cannot compete with big countries in natural resources or military power. So economy is the best way out.

    Lee warned the government and the people that they should always have a strong sense of urgency.

    Under his leadership, Singapore witnessed the rapid rise and became an economic power in just one generation.

    Singapore became an independent country at a time when the cold war was like a raging fire. How to survive among the big powers became a problem for Lee.

    Lee is famous for pursuing balanced diplomacy. He once said that if there are two competing big powers in a region, then there is space for small countries to switch sides. He implemented the idea of nonalignment.

    Singapore maintains friendly relations with the United States, but does not have formal allies.

    He adopted the policy of neutrality and did not easily choose sides. But when the time came, Singapore would have its own voice and make its position clear.

    Source: China Daily/Asia News Network

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Malay_liberating-the-malay-mind>>>> ” 90% of the Doctorates held by Malays is not worth the toilet paper on which it is printed because it was all produced by some internet degree mill for a fee and worse still is when you hold them to a discussion or debate , the thoughts that emanate from the area between their ears is so embarrassing you want to run away and jump off a cliff but yet they proudly parade their Doctorates with pride “

>>
>> ” 90% of the Malay wealth is not from the fruits of their labour as great entrepreneurs , like the Chinese , but rather the hand-outs of their political patronage and cronyism and there is nothing to be proud of the huge mansions and expensive cars and life-style , because they are nothing but the produce of utter corruption at stealing the wealth of the people’s blood , sweat and tears , and yet , without shame their spouses and children flaunt it like they earned all these through intelligence and hard-work . Where is the self pride ? ”

Malay_bakri-musa>> M. Bakri Musa speaks his mind – excellent article

>>
>> Longing For Enlightened Leaders
>> M. Bakri Musa>>

Before Malaysians grant Prime Minister Najib’s request for a mandate in the coming election, we should examine his performance during the past four years. It has been mediocre, satiated with slogans, and drifting amidst an abundance of acronyms.

>>
>> If Malaysians are satisfied with KPI and PEMANDU, or One Malaysia This and Two Malaysia That, then expect more of the same, this time with ever incredulous inanity and flatulent fatuousness. Najib has not demonstrated any ability or inclination to clean up his administrative house. An early indication of his second term performance is this. Thus far no cabinet minister has voluntarily withdrawn from being an electoral candidate. As Najib will not drop them, if they win they will end up in his cabinet again. Nothing would have changed.

>>
>> A wisecrack definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. That is true only if you let the same cast of incompetent characters carry out the task after they have clearly and repeatedly demonstrated their inability to do so.

>>
>> Pick others more competent and diligent, and the result may well surprise you. It would be far from insanity. The best advice a science teacher could give a student who repeatedly fails to perform an experiment is to suggest that he pursues music instead, where “practice, practice, practice!” (doing the same thing over and over) may take him to Carnegie Hall.

>>
>> Likewise, the kindest gesture to Najib after he has clearly demonstrated his inability to lead would be for Malaysians to force him into another line of work, by not voting him and his party in.

>>
>> After over half of century in power, what has UMNO, a party that claims to champion Malays, achieved? Malays today are even more morally corrupt, deeply polarized, and economically disadvantaged than ever before. Those are not my observations. I am merely summarizing what Mamak, a man who led the country and UMNO for over two decades, said. Take any social indicator – rate of incarceration, drug abuse, families headed by single mothers – and our community is over represented.

>>
>> Our educational and economic achievements are nothing to be proud of; they are an embarrassment. Yet UMNO Supreme Council members parade their ‘doctorates’ from degree mills as genuine intellectual achievements. The sorry part is that their colleagues believe them! Spouses and families of ministers brag that their luxurious condominiums are the fruits of their entrepreneurial flair where others see those as reflecting the corruption and cronyism of the system.

>>
>> Current UMNO leaders are like that inept science student; it is time to force them to pursue other lines of work, anything other than leading us. Voters must be like the strict teacher; flunk the student who repeatedly fails to perform his assigned task. Letting him continue would not do that individual any service; it would only be detrimental to the rest of the class. Voters must flunk these corrupt and incompetent UMNO leaders by voting them out.

>>
>> Not A Lost Cause

>> This does not mean that UMNO is a lost cause; nothing is. Even the most unseaworthy sloop could through imaginative and skilful craftsmanship be brought up to Bristol condition. The operative phrase or caveat is “imaginative and skilful craftsmanship.” Is Najib imaginative and skilful? I never underestimate the ability of an individual to learn or change.

>>
>> The diminutive, uninspiring and uncharismatic Deng Xiaoping was well in his 70s when he assumed power. He then took his giant nation in a radically different and far better direction. Unlike Deng, Najib is far from being diminutive physically, but he exceeds Deng in being uninspiring and uncharismatic.

>>
>> Again unlike Deng whose path to power was littered with the carcasses of personal and political tragedies (his son was paralyzed by Red Guard goons and Deng was once paraded in a dunce cap on the streets of Beijing ), Najib’s ascend to the top was well paved – by others.

>> Deng was tempered by life’s bitter lessons; Najib’s the beneficiary of its many blessings.

>>
>> If Najib considers that a handicap and an excuse for his under performance, then he should look up to another transformative leader of modern times, Franklin D Roosevelt, for inspiration. Roosevelt , whose name means a field of roses in Dutch, was born into privilege. Yet he uplifted the lives of Americans especially the poor through his New Deal initiatives. His progressive redistributionist policies earned him the sobriquet, “traitor to his class.”

>> Najib’s name is equally rosy; it means wise, intelligent, or high birth in Arabic. Like Roosevelt , Najib was also born into privilege though not on the same scale as FDR or today. Corruption and cronyism were not yet the norms when Razak Hussein was Prime Minister.

>>
>> Going back to Deng, Najib too spent his formative years as a young man abroad, in Britain , to Deng’s Europe . When Deng left, his father asked him what he hoped to learn. Deng replied, “To learn knowledge and the truth from the West in order to save China .” I do not know whether Najib had a similar conversation with his father, but one thing I do know. Razak Hussein sent all his children abroad to escape the very Malaysian system of education he was championing! Hypocrisy is a good word to describe such a stance. That is one trait Najib inherits from his father.

>>
>> I risk flattering Najib by mentioning him in the same sentence with Deng and FDR. My doing so merely reflects a longing on my part for a leader who could inspire us. Najib could initiate change now to give us a hint that he is indeed capable of being a “transformative leader” as he so frequently bragged, and not be content with merely mouthing slogans. He could announce his “shadow” cabinet should Barisan be returned to power. Better yet, revamp his cabinet now and pick his new team to go into the election so citizens could have a reason to vote for Barisan and not merely against Pakatan.

>>
>> Malaysians do not expect miracles or demand a super team, merely capable and honest ministers. It is not a tall order. Begin by getting rid of those stale politicians in his cabinet. If they haven’t yet made their mark, they are unlikely to do so in the next few years. Characters like Nazri, Rais and Hishamuddin are like durians that have remained unsold for far too long. They are tak laku (unsellable), not even good for making tompoyak. All they do is stink the place up and lower the value of what few remaining good durians Najib has. Nor are his junior ministers, the next tier of leaders, any better, as exemplified by the recent idiotic utterances of one Dr. Mashitah. She is supposedly better educated, sporting a doctorate of some sort. I could add a few more names including that of Muhyyiddin, but that would only be divisive. After all he has as much claim and legitimacy to the top post as Najib. Instead why not join forces and together pick the new dream team. While he is at it, Najib should also pick a new Attorney General and anti-corruption chief.

>>
>> If Najib were to name individuals with impeccable credentials and professionalism to those two offices, then those old tak laku durians he dropped from his cabinet would not dare create trouble for him. Najib’s address to the UMNO General Assembly later this month will reveal whether he is content with another session of sloganeering or serious about transforming his party and country. The greater significance is this. By indulging in the former and naming the same old nincompoops to his cabinet and top positions, Najib soils the reputation of our community. It gives the impression that the Nazris, Raises, Mashitahs and Hishamuddins represent the best our race is capable of producing or that we are bereft of talents. The shame reflects on all of us.

>>
>> May Allah have mercy on the Malays.

From: Anthony Dass Joseph Dass

Community Organization

LIMA 2015, Malaysia’s best maritime & Aerospace show so far


LIma 2015_Najib-Best maritine show

Impressive : Najib (centre) with (from left) Liow, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation deputy general manager Bill Ren, China Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang, Armed Forces chief Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and China Defence Attache Senior Colonel Chen Wei looking at an aircraft carrier model at the corporation’s booth at LIMA 2015.

Najib: Best maritime show

LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hailed this year’s edition of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2015), which sees the participation of a record-breaking 512 companies from 36 countries, as the best since its inception in 1991.

A total of 110 planes and 78 vessels are also on display.

He said the number of participating companies this year exceeded the 433 registered for the last edition two years ago.

“LIMA 2015 has seen many firsts and, with the much diverse exhibition this time around, it is the best LIMA we have ever had,” he said at the opening ceremony at the tarmac of the Langkawi International Airport here.

He said LIMA had come a long way since its inception in 1991 when he, as the defence minister then, was tasked by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to organise the first LIMA show.

Najib quipped that he had had a far more difficult task organising the first edition of LIMA than the present Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had experienced in organising the latest edition.

“I had to build from ground zero, including ensuring that a hotel was constructed in 50 days,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience.

Najib also launched the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Blueprint (2015-2030), and signed a plaque which symbolised its launch, which focuses on the country’s aspirations to become the leading aerospace nation in South-East Asia by 2030.

Najib said Malaysia’s aerospace industry is projected to contribute RM32.5bil in revenue and provide 32,000 high-income jobs by 2030.

“Last year, the industry generated RM19bil in revenue, RM4.2bil in investment and provided over 19,500 jobs.

“To underline the Government’s commitment to this vision, the Cabinet recently approved the establishment of the National Aerospace Coordinating Agency.”

The agency will be tasked with implementing the blueprint and will become the new secretariat for the Malaysian Aerospace Council, he said.

Najib also said that in 2013 alone, the shipbuilding and ship repair industry recorded a turnover of RM8.36bil.

Also present during the opening ceremony were Dr Mahathir, Cabinet ministers, including Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and other dignitaries.

Female PLA pilots put up memorable aerobatic show

LANGKAWI: All eyes were on China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aerobatic team when the all-female pilots of the republic’s air force performed stunts in their Chengdu J-10 fighter jets here.Lima 2015_PLA female pilots aerobatic show

In the spotlight: (from left) Xiali, Yu Xu, Yifei and Jiali taking a break under the shade on the tarmac at LIMA 2015.

The four women were excited to take part in the world-famous aerospace and maritime venue of Langkawi.

Yu Xu, Tao Jiali, He Xiaoli and Sheng Yifei, all 28, promised that they would give a memorable show to the audience.

He said LIMA was a good platform for them to learn from the pilots from other countries.

“It’s an eye-opening experience for us,” she said in an interview yesterday.

The four pilots are part of PLA air force’s August First aerobatic team. Langkawi is the second of their overseas show after Moscow’s International Aviation and Space Salon in 2013. It is also the four pilots’ maiden flight overseas.

China has deployed seven J-10 jets to LIMA 2015.

Having joined the air force in 2005, Yu, Tao, He and Sheng have accumulated more than 800 hours of flight experience.

“We train hard for our performance and flying the fighter jets requires us to be extremely fit,” Yu said.

“Being women, we have to put in more effort and go the extra mile in our physical training to be able to withstand the stress on our bodies.”

“The stunts in aerobatic display are highly challenging and risky. We have to be precise and calm when executing the moves.”

The Star/Asia News Network

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Four female fighter pilots from China pose for photos in Langkawi, Malaysia on Mar 17, 2015. (Xinhua/Zhang Wenzong) 【1】【2】【3】【4】【5】【6】【7】【8】【9】【10】【11】【12】 Female fighter  pilots claim their half of sky

German Chancellor: Japan needs honesty to improve relations with victims of World War II


Angela Merkel: I think history and experience tell us also that peaceful means of reconciliation have to be found

TOKYO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel waded into the fraught area of wartime forgiveness during a visit to Japan, saying that “facing history squarely” and “generous gestures” are necessary to mend ties.

Merkel was speaking in Tokyo on March 9 2015 ahead of the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II, in which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative views on Tokyo’s war crimes are under scrutiny, and as China and South Korea continue to call for more contrition.

“Germany was lucky to be accepted into the community of nations after the horrible experience the world had to meet with Germany during the period of National Socialism (Nazism) and the Holocaust,” she said.

“This was possible first because Germany did face its past squarely, but also because the Allied Powers who controlled Germany after WWII would attach great importance to Germany coming to grips with its past.

“One of the great achievements of the time certainly was reconciliation between Germany and France … the French have given just as valuable a contribution as the Germans have.”

Relations between Japan and its wartime victims China and South Korea are at a low point, with Beijing and Seoul both calling for Tokyo to do more to atone for its past.

Nationalists in Japan say Tokyo has apologised enough and that the constant references to WWII are covering flak for governments in China and South Korea seeking to direct popular anger elsewhere.

There were “great minds and great personalities who said we ought to adopt a policy of rapprochement … and without these generous gestures by our neighbours this would not have been possible,” Merkel told her audience.

The public lecture came on the first day of a two-day trip to Tokyo, her first in seven years.

Abe visited Germany last year.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday said Abe would be welcome at Beijing’s commemorations of the end of WWII if he was “sincere” about history.

Beijing has not given a specific date for the parade but it regards Sept 3, the day after Japan signed its formal surrender to Allied forces on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, as victory day.

“It’s difficult for me as the German chancellor to give you advice on how to deal with part of your neighbourhood. But I think history and experience tell us also that peaceful means of reconciliation have to be found,” Merkel said in response to questions.

Merkel’s visit to Japan is part of her swing through G7 member nations before Germany hosts the group’s next summit in June. She has already visited the other five nations.

The visit, her third to Japan in almost 10 years in office, is seen as a balancing act between Germany’s ties with Beijing and Tokyo. She has been to China seven times during the same period.

Thanking Japan for joining Western powers in imposing sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Ukraine, Merkel said: “Japan and Germany share common interests whenever the strengthening of the international rule of law is to be brought about.” — AFP

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You are ‘Stupid’ is not defamatory


Jeff Ooi

PUTRAJAYA: Calling a person “stupid and recalcitrant” does not amount to defamation, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus, who chaired a three-man panel, held this in a civil appeal brought forward by Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi (pic) against a politician over the dismissal of Ooi’s defamation suit.

Justice Mohd Hishamudin ruled Thursday that “although it was not nice to use the words”, it did not amount to defamation.

On April 22 last year, Ooi’s defamation suit against Gerakan deputy secretary-general Dr Thor Teong Gee for calling the former “stupid and recalcitrant” at a press conference was dismissed by the Penang High Court.

Justice Mohd Hishamudin, who upheld the High Court’s ruling in an unanimous decision, also ordered Ooi to pay RM10,000 to the defendant in costs.

In the coram were Court of Appeal judges Justice David Wong Dak Wah and Justice Vernon Ong Lam Kiat.

At the outset of court proceedings when queried by Justice Mohd Hishamudin, Ooi’s lawyer R. Ramesh Sivakumar argued that those words were defamatory because they were a personal attack on the credibility of his client.

Ramesh Sivakumar argued that Dr Thor had acted mala fide by using those words.

“He could have used better words. By calling him stupid, he was portrayed as not fit to be an MP,” he added.

However, Dr Thor’s counsel Baljit Singh and V. Amareson were not required to submit in the appeal.

In an immediate response, Dr Thor said he was very grateful for the appellate court’s decision as he had never made a personal attack against Ooi.

“An NGO invited me to give a professional views on medical issues on radiation,” said Dr Thor, who is a Penang-based medical doctor, when contacted.

In her ruling earlier, High Court Judicial Commissioner Nurmala Salim said Ooi had failed to state the alleged defamatory words in the original language, which was in Mandarin, in his statement of claim.

She also held that the words used by the defendant Dr Thor in the press conference were in reference to a radiation issue, and not a personal attack against Ooi.

“I am inclined to concur with the defendant’s (Dr Thor) counsel that the words uttered are commonly used by Malaysians of all races during an argument or when one is angry,” she said in her decision.

She also said the court did not see how the words had sullied Ooi’s reputation and office, as he had earned a bigger majority of votes in the 2013 general election compared with the general election in 2008.

“The plaintiff (Ooi) himself had refused to state how the words had tarnished his office and reputation,” she said, before dismissing the suit and ordering Ooi to pay RM20,000 in costs to Dr Thor.

Ooi sued Dr Thor for defamation for allegedly uttering the words “stupid and recalcitrant” against him in a press conference on May 21, 2010.

He sought aggravated and exemplary damages, a retraction and an apology by Dr Thor, as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

By M. Mageswari The Star/Asia News Network


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Missing flight MH370 anniversary, plane hijacked by conspiracy theories!

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Missing flight MH370 anniversary, plane hijacked by conspiracy theories!


A year on, lack of hard facts, initial confusion and overnight ‘experts’ add to fog of uncertainty

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s been exactly a year since Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and despite the most extensive search in aviation history, the fate of the Boeing 777 aircraft and the 239 people on board remains a mystery.

While the search led by Australia in the depths of the Indian Ocean continues, how and why a sophisticated aircraft carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew vanished without a trace has piqued the curiosity of many.

The authorities and aviation experts remain baffled. They believe only the plane’s cockpit voice and flight data recorders can shed light on why the plane was diverted from its original path and headed south across the vast Indian Ocean.

The lack of hard facts and the initial confusion when the plane was declared missing gave rise to a flood of anecdotal “evidence” and a crop of overnight aviation “experts” basking in their two minutes of fame.

Numerous conspiracy theories over the fate of flight MH370 have been appearing ever since, with none providing a credible clue on what could have really transpired.

In the run up to the first anniversary of MH370′s disappearance, conspiracy theorists went into overdrive.

The latest was Jeff Wise, a science journalist and author, who claimed that the plane was hijacked on the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and flown to a remote landing strip in Kazakhstan.

But why would Putin want to hijack a Malaysian plane in the first place?

On March 3, a senior Boeing 777 pilot claimed that flight MH370 was taken on an emotional last farewell ride over the pilot’s home island of Penang, before the pilot ditched the plane into the ocean.

Captain Simon Hardy who came up with this theory, published in Flight International magazine, is based on the initial suspicion that the MH370′s Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah could have turned rogue and deliberately flown the plane off course.

But there is nothing to substantiate this claim.

In December 2014, a former French airline boss Marc Dugain in a six page article in Paris Match claimed that the US might have shot down flight MH370 as it approached the US military base on the Diego Garcia atoll in the western Indian Ocean, fearing a 9/11 style attack on the base.

The US military is said to have covered up the incident.

Immediately, the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur stated that there was no indication that flight MH370 had flown near the US military facility in the first place.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamed, too, had his own idea: just two months after the plane disappeared, he wrote in his blog that “someone” must have remotely seized control of the aircraft from the pilots.

He based his argument on a supposed patent received by Boeing in 2006 for an “anti-terrorism auto-land system” that, once activated, removed all control from the pilots to return a commercial airliner to a pre-determined landing location. But Dr Mahathir failed to mention who that “someone” could be behind the plot. So back to square one.

Everything on board the plane, including its cargo and passengers, came under suspicion right from the onset.

Conspiracy theorists claimed that the plane was carrying dangerous cargo that caused a fire on board or crippled the plane’s operating systems.

Among the items in the cargo manifest were highly flammable lithium ion batteries. Did the batteries have anything to do with the plane’s fate like the fire in South African Airways’ Flight 295 in 1987?

Other conspiracy theorists focussed on the 20 employees of Freestyle, a Texas based semiconductor manufacturing company; the equipment they were carrying had radar-blocking capabilities developed by the company, thus crippling the plane’s systems, these theorists claimed.

Fingers were also pointed at two Iranians on the passenger list who boarded the plane with forged travel documents. Could they have been terrorists who hijacked the plane to an unknown destination or sabotaged the plane?

But Interpol revealed that the pair had no links with any terrorist groups and were on their way to seek asylum in Europe.

And of course there were the out-of-this-world conspiracy theories. The plane was hijacked by aliens. A Malaysian bomoh claimed the plane was hijacked by elves and was permanently suspended in the air.

Two months after the plane disappeared, Indian film director Rupesh Paul put up a trailer for a film about MH370 at the Cannes Film Festival, to be called “The Vanishing Act: The Untold Story of the Missing Malaysian Plane”.

CNN, which had given the MH370 story its full wall-to-wall treatment, described it tellingly: “If the Cannes Film Festival had an award for most squirm-inducing production, it would surely go to the producers of a new thriller telling the “real” story of the still-missing Malaysian Airlines jet.”

National Geographic turned out a documentary that was more cautious in its approach visualising all possibilities including a catastrophic failure of aircraft systems or structure. But there are not definitive answers.

The confusion in the first days of the aircraft’s disappearance led to parallels with conspiracy theories about the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, mainly that the government had covered up crucial information in the aftermath of the incident.

LOOKING BACK: THE FINAL MOMENTS OF MH370

* Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH370 departs from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang at 12.41 am to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew. It was a code sharing flight with China Southern Airlines.

At the helm of the Boeing 777-200 ER was veteran pilot Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

The passengers include 153 Chinese nationals, 38 Malaysians, 12 Indonesians, six Australians, three French, four Americans, two from Ukraine, New Zealand and Canada respectively and one each from Russia, Taiwan, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria.

Less than one hour into the flight, as the plane approached the Igari Waypoint, in South China Sea, where it was to be handed over to the Ho Chi Minh City air traffic control, it disappeared from the radar screen.

“Good night Malaysian three seven zero” were the last words spoken from the cockpit. No distress signal received.

Subesequently the plane was tracked by Malaysian military radar as it deviated from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula and headed towards the Andaman Sea.

Communications pings between the aircraft and Inmarsat’s satellite network concluded that the flight continued until 8:19 am towards southern Indian Ocean. However, the precise location could not be determined.

A major multinational search was mounted without success. Australia leads the second phase of the search with the cost mounting.

– BERNAMA/FMT

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