Archive for September, 2011

29
Sep
11

PCORE MEMBERSHIP FORM

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASSOCIATION OF VOICES OF PEACE, CONSCIENCE & REASON

 

 

Membership Application Form

Membership Fee : Ordinary Member RM50; Associate Member RM25

 

  1. Name: ………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………….

 

  1. Title (honorary, education etc): …………………………………………………………………………………   

 

  1. Sex (please tick): Male ………  Female ……….       

 

  1.  I C No: ……………………………………………..       

                                                          

  1. (i) Address (home): …………………………………………………………………………………………………                     

              …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

             Postcode: …………………………………………..    City: ……………………………………………………….

             (ii) Address (work):…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

             …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

            Postcode: …………………………………………….   City: ……………………………………………………..

  1. Tel no (home): ……………………………………..  e mail: …………………………………………………..

                        (work): ……………………………………… 

                        (mobile): ……………………………………

  1. Command of languages: Good / Fair                  Written                       Spoken  

Malay                                                                ……………                     …………….    

             Chinese                                                            ……………                     ……………

             Tamil                                                                ……………                      ……………      

             English                                                             ……………                      ……………       

             Others                                                              ……………                      ……………

 

  1. Occupation:….. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

  1. Membership in political parties/trade unions/voluntary bodies: ………………………………………….. 

             …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 

  1. If you are accepted as a member of PCORE, which two (2) of the following areas would

you like to be involved in?  Please tick 2 

 

  • Community networking and neighbourliness.
  • Celebrating diversity and interfaith relations.
  • Synergising the school and home in the education of the young.
  • Creating a robust environment for improving health and wellness.
  • Uplifting socio-economic status through education and training.
  • Sustaining and preserving the natural and cultural heritage.
  • Promoting effective language and communication strategies.
  • Ensuring fairness, justice and legal equity.
  • Building integrity and ethical standards.
  • Consolidating national integration and unity.

 

  1. I have read PCORE’s Aims and Objectives given below and accept them: 

 

(i)       T o establish effective channels and linkages for peace building efforts at the personal, community and organisational levels

(ii)     To promote a dynamic  vision  for nation  building  and  development  that optimises shared resources, talents and skills  among diverse groups

(iii)    To develop  a substantive  body of  oral and  written  discourse  built  upon  moral conscience and reason  on  issues of public concern  at public forums, in the media, on the internet,  in reputable journals and magazines and other relevant channels

(iv)    To implement  meaningful programmes and activities that  promote the personal and group needs and interests of  its members and members  of  the  bigger  community 

 

  1. Applicant’s Signature:……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Date: ………………………………………………………….

  1. Proposer:……………………………………………………Seconder:…………………………………………………

 

 

                                                          Please send completed forms via post to: Hon Secretary PCORE,

                                                          7 Jalan Damansara, Permai, Damansara Heights, 50490 KL

                                                          via email to: halimahms@hotmail.com 

__________________________________________________________________________

 

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY

                                                          Applicant’s name:………………………………………………………………                                                       

                                                          Date application received:…………………………………………………

                                                          Payment : cash/ cheque no:……………………………………………….

                                                          Registration no:………………………………………………………………..

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29
Sep
11

PCORE INAUGURAL AGM

 
 
 
Notice is hereby given that the Inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE)
will be held on
 
Date: Sunday 23 October 2011
Time: 2 PM
Place: ZINNIA, Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur.
 
According to the PCORE Constitution Clause 8 (1)
“The supreme authority of the Society is vested in a general meeting of the members.At least one-half of the voting membership of the Society present or twice the total number of committee members, whichever is the lesser, must be present at a general meeting for its proceedings to be valid and to constitute a quorum”. 
 
AGENDA:
 
1. Introduction to PCORE
2. Election of Office-Bearers: President
                                         Vice-President
                                         Secretary
                                         Assistant Secretary
                                         Treasurer
                                         7 Ordinary Committee Members
 
3. Ammendment to the PCORE Constitution
4. Other Matters          
 
(for) Hon Secretary PCORE  
28
Sep
11

RACIAL SUPERIORITY

 

 

 

Is racial superiority

 

a myth?

THIS N THAT

Halimah Mohd Said

“It is true that the Malays have a lot of headway to make, but there is no justification for them to despair of ever achieving the goal that their political leaders have set for them provided of course they are prepared to meet the challenges which the future has in store for them.

“The time factor is of course important. The Malays are a relatively young race compared to the Chinese and Indians with their more than four thousand years of civilisation during which they have evolved to their present cultural, educational and economic superiority.

“However, given the goodwill, understanding and sympathy of the two other races towards the Malays, there is no conceivable reason why their progress cannot be further accelerated. The present state of racial imbalance can finally be eliminated and a peaceful and united multiracial nation wielded from its diverse elements.”
(Dr Mohamed Said, Memoirs of a Mentri Besar 1982)

THESE were the observations of Dr Mohamed Said, the first elected mentri besar of Negri Sembilan who served the state for two terms of 10 years (1959-64, 1964-69).

Like most Malays of his generation, he was born and raised in a typical kampung at the turn of the 20th century when Malaya was under British rule. Growing up he saw rural life and the Malays at their best and worst – at their best when the price of rubber was at an all-time high, and when rural boys like him were invited to partake of the English secular education in Malay College Kuala Kangsar which was par excellence.

Paradoxically they were at their worst when resisting western medicine, disease and death struck often and hard in the Malay communities steeped in religious rituals and traditional healing practices.

But survive the Malays did amid attempts by the British and rich Chinese towkays to alienate their land and establish new economic activities.

There was no feeling then of superiority as economic need drove them to sell their lands at knock-down prices. They were to lose more and more the tuan punya tanah status of their forefathers when they moved to the towns and accepted jobs as teachers and government servants.

There was gratitude, goodwill and accommodation aplenty from the Malays at the thought they were being helped out of their vicious circle of poverty.

Is this the price that the Malays have to pay for being modernised? Have the 50 years of post Merdeka modernisation made us lose our tapak tanah and our spiritual footing as we dance to the rhythm of rapid economic development?

Is the fear of losing the ketuanan status and heritage justified when more and more we are willingly caught up in worldly matters? Are we ourselves to blame for not rising to the occasion?

Like Dr Mohamed Said, who despite his poor rural background, went on to become one of the first batches of Malay doctors to graduate from King Edward VII College, Singapore, I believe in the equal spiritual, mental and intellectual capacities of people when they are given equal educational opportunities. Education will be the saviour of the Malaysian people including the Malays.

Much against our traditional beliefs we have to accept the fact of life that people are unequal in their physical endowments and worldly endeavours – there will always be the disadvantaged and deprived in any society. In Malaysia, abject poverty has been eliminated but relative poverty will always exist as the rich become richer with more opportunities.

The rural-urban migration of the 60s and 70s created pockets of modern kampung in low-cost housing and inner city areas, while the urban kampung are being targeted for big-time development. The rural-urban gap is being diminished but can it be closed completely? I think not.

Therefore, it is for the Malays to develop their inner resources of which there are many admirable ones. Among outstanding Malay attributes are their rich language, literary and learning traditions inherited from Islam as well as the other great philosophies, and embodied in the works of outstanding writers and thinkers.

They have the innate capacity to live out their customs and traditions and inspire high ethical standards. They have a deep sense of aesthetics and creativity be it in the arts or the more dynamic forms of architecture and technology.

Rather than forever gripe and grouse the fact that the Chinese are superior in business and commercial enterprise or that the elite Malays are super-rich, the Malays as a whole can add value to their modern undertakings by focusing on their strengths.

If political engagement is one of them, ensure that they give their best in informed, educated and ethical ways. If business endeavour is their interest ensure that they succeed not through patronage and corrupt practices but through hard work and innovative thinking.

This is indeed the way forward!

The Sun ON MONDAY September 26, 2011

17
Sep
11

ANTI-BRIBERY & CORRUPTION

 

ABC4MALAYSIANS

CULTURAL ECOSYSTEM OF BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION

CONTRARY TO CURRENT VIEWS WHICH SEE CORRUPTION AS A MODERN CAPITALIST PHENOMENON, I’M OF THE VIEW THAT IT’S ALWAYS BEEN PART OF MALAYAN/ MALAYSIAN LIFE. IT WAS INHERENT IN THE FEUDAL SYSTEM OF OLD WHEN PATRONAGE WAS SOUGHT FROM THE MALAY RULERS BY FOREIGN MERCHANTS THROUGH THE MIDDLEMAN FACILITATOR OR SAUDAGAR RAJA (WHAT WE NOW TERM “RUNNER”)

  • The cultural ecosystem of bribery and corruption is handed down from the traditional system of patronage as well as from the norms of community and inter-personal relationships

THE TRADITION OF BRINGING THE “BUNGA MAS” CAN BE SEEN AS AN INDUCEMENT FOR THE “KERAJAAN” TO VIEW THE FOREIGN EMISSARIES FAVOURABLY IN ORDER TO SUSTAIN OR STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC AND PERHAPS MILITARY TIES.

AT THE LEVEL OF THE RAKYAT, ESPECIALLY AMONG TRADITIONAL MALAY SOCIETY, THE BRINGING OF GIFTS TO SEAL NUPTIAL AND FAMILY TIES WAS INGRAINED IN THE ADAT. THIS INCLUDES BRIDE-PRICE A CUSTOM INHERITED FROM INDIAN TRADITIONS – THE RICHER THE FAMILY THE MORE TO BE EXTORTED FROM THEM.

AMONG THE CHINESE, THE “ANG POW” IS A GREAT CAMOUFLAGE FOR MANY THINGS INCLUDING GRATITUDE FOR PAST FAVOURS OR INDUCEMENT FOR FUTURE ONES.

I REMEMBER AS A CHILD HOW CHINESE TOWKAYS USED TO TRUST WADS OF MONEY INTO THE POCKETS OF MY FAMILY IN GRATITUDE TO MY DOCTOR FATHER FOR SUCCESSFULLY TREATING OR OPERATING ON THEM.  ALSO THE GUNIS OF DURIANS AND OTHER FRUITS WHICH ARRIVED ALL OF WHICH WERE POLITELY AND NOT SO POLITELY RETURNED.

  • Manifested in the customary gift-bearing (buah tangan)  and ang pow giving practices  which developed into the coffee money  expected in carrying out business transactions

AMONG PEOPLE OF UNEQUAL ECONOMIC STATUS, THE GIVING OF MONETARY REWARDS OR PAYMENT IS EXPECTED INSTEAD OF A SIMPLE THANK YOU. HERE I’M NOT BEING JUDGEMENTAL BUT SEE THIS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE LOW ECONOMIC STATUS OF PEOPLE WHO DO THESE ODD JOBS FOR THOSE HIGHER UP IN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC LADDER.

  • The upah or monetary reward of paying for a favour/ service done or goods delivered by people lower down in the family or community hierarchies

IN ISLAM THE CONCEPT  OF “SEDEKAH” AND “ZAKAT” IS MANDATORY AND REINFORCES THE OBLIGATION OF HELPING THE LESS FORTUNATE. UNFORTUNATELY THIS HAS TWISTED SOMEWHAT THE CONCEPT OF GRATITUDE WHICH NOW HAS A PRICE IN OUR SOCIETY.

  • Manifested in the practice of rewarding subordinates with gifts or money at the workplace

THE SYSTEM OF PATRONAGE WHICH IS DEEPLY ENTRENCHED IN MALAYSIAN SOCIETY ENCOURAGES THE DOLING OUT OF FAVOURS IN RETURN FOR LOYALTY.

  • The system of patronage in the feudal system where rulers and government grant subjects their rights in return for loyalty

I”LL BE BRIEF HERE LEST I’M NICKED BY EXTRA TERRESTIAL OOPS EXTRA TERRITORIAL FORCES BUT LET ME JUST SUGGEST THAT THE UNDERLYING BASIS OF MONEY POLITICS WHICH HAS BECOME THE BANE OF UMNO AND IS PREVALENT AMONG THE OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES TO A LESSER EXTENT IS EXACTLY THIS – THE BUYING OF PEOPLE’S LOYALTY AKA VOTES.

THE RAKYAT ARE IN TURN ASSURED OF THEIR “UPAH” OR REWARD IN THE FORM OF COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES WHICH ARE WONDERFUL IN THEMSELVES (AS THE NEP WAS) UNTIL THEY ARE HIJACKED FOR PERSONAL GAINS I.E. THEY BECOME CORRUPTED BY THE CORRUPTIBLE.

INTERESTINGLY THESE REWARDS HAVE BECOME MORE DIVERSE AND SOPHISTICATED AND ARE NOT SO EASILY DETECTED OR DEFINED AS BRIBES.

 

  • Manifested and perpetuated in the currying of favour and carrying of favours with the government in return for opportunities in the business or social life – award of projects, positions and titles

ANOTHER MANIFESTATION OF THE REWARD SYSTEM IS THE GRANTING OF STATE AND FEDERAL HONOURS, WHICH IN THEMSELVES IS INDEED HONOURABLE – TO RECOGNISE THE DEEDS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED SELFLESSLY FOR THE NATION. HOWEVER, IN OUR CULTURAL ECOSYSTEM THEY ARE TURNING OUT TO BE A COMMODITY YOU CAN BUY IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT – EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE NOT REALLY CONTRIBUTED YOUR BLOOD AND SWEAT TO THE NATION.

MOST OF US WILL NOT SAY IT BUT WE FEEL THAT THIS IS NOT RIGHT.  WE KNOW OF PEOPLE WHO BUY THESE TITLES AND USE THEM TO ADVANTAGE FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL GAINS. IS THIS NOT A CORRUPTED ACT COMMITTED BY BOTH THE GIVER AND RECEIVER?

  • Economic/ socio-cultural status determine corruptibility of people – as a general rule, those that do not enjoy high status would aspire to the trappings of higher socio-economic status them and therefore be gullible to giving bribes, while those with status would  be gullible to accepting bribes
  • Inequalities between people with authority and power and those without authority and power in the distribution of the country’s wealth. In some cases this has a communal basis
  • Manifested in the practice of courting goodwill and soliciting help/ assistance which in some cases have a communal basis

WE HAVE TO BE HONEST AND ADMIT THAT IN MALAYSIA THERE IS A CLEARLY RACIAL BIAS IN THE COMPOSITION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR i.e. MALAY BUREAUCRATS AND A MORE RACIALLY MIXED PRIVATE SECTOR (CHINESE, INDIANS, MALAYS AND OTHERS) SOLICITING TENDERS AND LICENCES FOR THEIR BUSINESS ACTIVITIES FROM THEM.

SO IN THE ECOSYSTEM THERE IS THE CORRUPTOR BRIBER AND THE CORRUPTIBLE OR BRIBEABLE i.e THE GIVER AND RECEIVER IN ANY ACT OF CORRUPTION. SO WHO IS MORE GUILTY – THE INITIATOR OR THE INITIATED?

I”M SURE MY FELLOW PANELISTS WILL BE ANALYSING SOME OF THESE ISSUES

  • Great disparities in people’s educational status – the less educated commit  bribery and corruption which they are not aware are offences against the law

 

HERE I’M THINKING OF PETTY OFFENCES LIKE BRIBING A POLICEMAN RM50 NOT TO ISSUE A SUMMONS FOR COMMITTING A MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENCE. MOST OF THE PEOPLE I’VE ASKED INFORMALLY ADMIT THAT THEY HAVE DONE THIS. AND THEY ARE CONVINCED THEY ARE DOING THE POOR POLICE CONSTABLE A FAVOUR.

OF COURSE THE ARGUMENT IS THAT A BRIBE IS A BRIBE NO MATTER HOW SMALL!

************************************************************************************************

My basic premise then is that in Malaysia, bribery and corruption are more a way of life – ingrained in our way of life rather than the endemic or systemic scourge  they are in some countries.

However before they become institutionalised, there must be effective anti-corruption strategies to arrest their growth.

Having argued for the cultural basis of the ecosystem of bribery and corruption, I believe the ABC approach and strategy must be customised before the attitudes and values of Malaysians will change and the ABC campaign is effectively tackled.

Education & Awareness

  • Concerted and sustainable efforts to go down to the ground at all levels of the community – youth, families, religious and community groups,  neighbourhoods. Run public educational campaigns that will actively involve these groups e.g producing posters/ pictures/ paintings depicting different types of corruption
  • Initiate anti-corruption activities such as talks, forums and dialogues in schools, colleges and universities to expose students to the causes, types and consequences of corruption in society
  • Conduct education and awareness anti-corruption camps for political parties and their various wings focussing on different aspects of corruption – moral, sexual, financial – that lead to the breakdown in the political integrity of politicians and their parties, and eventually of the nation
  • Start a sustained media campaign in the newspapers, on TV and the internet on the dangers of corruption at the individual, organisational, family and community levels
  • Involve the public in fighting corruption by highlighting what they can do not just what the MACC is doing
  • Highlight the shame and embarrassment of committing the act of corruption and the legal consequences of the crime against people’s rights as citizen

Office Rules & Regulations

 

 

Transparent Processes & Procedures

 

 

Internal & External Auditing

 

 

Corporate Integrity and Anti-Corruption Pacts

 

 

Anti-Corruption Laws

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halimah Mohd Said

14 September 2011

05
Sep
11

DR MOHAMED SAID’S MEMOIRS

REVISED EDITION

 

PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION

Dr Mohamed Said began writing his autobiography on 31 October 1978, his 71st birthday. Memoirs of a Menteri Besar was published in 1982. Subtitled Early Days the book chronicles his childhood experiences and schooldays in Linggi and later at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar.

His friend and medical colleague Professor A A Sandosham says in the Introduction :

To me many of these (Linggi) experiences are new. I was surprised to learn of the importance assigned to local tradition and the great influence wielded by the heads of religion and tribal chiefs.

Tan Sri Dr Said was fortunate in the headmasters and teachers (mainly expatriates from British universities) at the Kuala Kangsar college. Being a school for sons of the elite of the day and being a boarding school with relatively few students, the contact between staff and students was good and Tan Sri Dr Said seems to have made good use of his opportunities. His love for literature, kindled by enthusiastic teachers helped to widen his horizons and mould his character.

Encouraged by the positive response to his memoirs, Dr Mohamed Said continued with his writing despite his confession in the Preface that  “the writing of a good autobiography is a much more demanding task than the writing of newspaper articles or of papers for publication in medical journals, and requires of the autobiographer a literary talent of a higher order”.

A few years later he completed the chapters on his medical education in King Edward VII College of Medicine, Singapore and subsequent career as a government doctor. The  manuscripts of the second volume  are unpublished.

Fifteen years after his death on 27 July 1996 at the age of 89, Dr Mohamed Said’s family have decided to publish this Revised Edition in response to requests from friends and members of the public interested in reading about these old-world experiences.

Essentially, the Revised Edition has preserved in total Dr Mohamed Said’s account of his early life written in his inimitable literary style, with minimal editing to coordinate the technical aspects of the language.  There has, however, been a thorough revision of the format and layout of the book in line with modern publishing standards.  The fresh new feel will no doubt enhance its appeal.

The book has been given a more relevant title My Early Life  and for ease of reading, the three long chapters of the first edition have been realigned into ten new chapters demarcated by the appropriate chapter titles.

The photographs have been reorganised into two sections to complement the flow of the narrative. New photographs and images have been added to give the readers a better picture of Dr Mohamed Said the man, his life and times. An image of the young doctor graces the front cover while that of the middle-aged politician appears on the back cover.

A Prologue has been added to provide the link between his early experiences and later life as a medical student, doctor, government administrator and politician. In seeing his childhood and upbringing in a traditional Malay kampung as well as the formal English education he acquired in a prestigious school, the readers are given an idea of how the man’s values were nurtured and strengthened and where these influences came from.

The Epilogue, written immediately after his death and published a couple of years later, presents the link with family. Often when people are public figures, we forget that at the end of each busy, working day they go home to a family that loves them unconditionally, unlike their more scrutinising associates and colleagues at the workplace. The Epilogue is written from a daughter’s subjective, emotional perspective.

Besides the personal record of a man’s life, memoirs are a rich source of the culture and history of a people and of a nation. They contribute retrospective insights into the life and times of the people of a past era that provide the connectivity with the present era.

The book will appeal to readers interested in knowing more about traditional Malay life in a typical Malay kampung at the turn of the twentieth century. It offers us a glimpse into rural life with its myriad customs and traditions at a time when Malaya was an undeveloped British colony. It describes the socio-cultural and religious milieu of the era and helps us to understand better the shaping of the psyche of a small community of Malays.

Dr Mohamed Said’s good fortune in getting an English education in an elite institution imbibed with the best of the English teaching traditions was to open his mind to the culture of academic excellence. It was at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar that rural boys like him were taught by dedicated schoolmasters whose vocation it was to instil in their young students the best learning experiences. It was through the language and literature components in the school curriculum that his love for reading was nurtured and remained throughout his life.

The equally strong grounding provided by the school in the general sciences and arithmetic gave him the academic balance and more importantly, the Senior Cambridge Examination results which qualified him for entrance into medical school.

There is no doubt that like many of his peers who later became outstanding public servants and professionals, Dr Mohamed Said’s dedication to duty was inspired by the excellent teachers  who taught him. The seeds of character, principles and values were sown early in life through the constant exposure to the role models in his home and school environment.

There is no doubt that among them were his widowed mother Hajjah Majidah who brought him up singlehandedly,  and his favourite uncle Mohamed who instilled in him their ancestral Bugis values. At school his role model was Charles Bazell the English teacher who in his eyes “was truly outstanding” and “the best teacher who ever taught me at the Malay College”. 

It is hoped that the memoirs of Dr Mohamed Said in My Early Life will encourage more people to chronicle their life’s experiences for the benefit of those that come after




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