Beating Around the Bush:Minister of Foreign Affairs proves his skill

Posted: September 15, 2007 in Freedom of Expression

I think everyone needs to watch the video as it is a great example towards how we Malaysian are being represented by the ministers, the state. Our Foreign Minister was caught in the act of denial that can be watched at BBC New’s Hard Talk where Sarah Montague of BBC grilled him over a period of 20 minutes but sadly for her he hardly answered any of her questions. Is he in denial? Doesn’t he understand the questions? Is just plain ignorant?I will salute him for being diplomatic despite him demonstrating massive aura of defensiveness numerous times with his famous dialog when he got agitated by the interviewer with his “Let me talk to you in a  way you do not get excited or upset over something you do not understand”

You be the judge. Watch if for yourself…
If you haven’t watched it yet, you can do so here.

This is what went down in the video for those of you who missed the show on BBC and haven’t had the chance to watch it yet. Like many others I got sms and calls to watch this particular show, I remember telling a friend why bother watching it’s going to be the same ole’ thing but I’m glad I did (despite the fact that my predictions were after all true) because it reminds me how hard we have to strive to put things straight so they do realize it is an issue.

So the interview basically revolved around whether after 5o years the ethnic Chinese and Indians have as much to celebrate as the Malay population. It also centered over whether the laws that gave preferential treatment to Malays and other indigenous is now outdated. Having watched the interview more than once I have carefully derived the main points that was an outcome of the discussion, I shall list down the gist of the question asked and perhaps later I will summarize the answers.

1. Is it time to change Malaysian laws and treat everyone the same?

2. Originally the laws were brought in to tackle poverty and illiteracy, what justifications are there for treating ethnic Chinese and Indians in the same manner after the poverty and illiteracy have been eradicated?

3. Is it fair that it is easier for Malays to get admission into university compared to ethnic Chinese and Indians?

4. Do you accept that you are in danger as there is rising resentment among ethnic Indian and Chinese because of this situation that continues to persist even when it should not persist anymore?

5. How is it that ethnic Chinese and Indians can’t get access to top cabinet/senior cabinet post? Since 1973 no such post have been given, don’t you think it is odd that non-Malays have not got any such position for the last 30 years or so?

6. What would you say about the fact that this social contract states racism?

7. Let’s look at investor.Investors would invest in Malaysia but choose do not do s, emergingthe problem is the Malays would do better as well as there were no restriction, there have got the people, got the resources there are not harnessing them in the right way, he suggest you roll back those measures to encourage entrepreneurial energy-fund manager…

8. Why hasn’t it grow as much as other countries? It’s slowing down compared to other neighbouring countries, why is that?

9.Will it continue to do so?

10. Survey on race relations in Malaysia-34%-have not ever eaten together of citizen of other races, lives of citizen so divided (work,eat,school separately). Does that worry you?

10.Why is society getting increasing divided? The crown prince of Perak, say that in his some Malay majority school has made them where head scarves and avoid non-Malay homes, he said lives are being lived more separately and is increasingly so.

11. It is becoming increasingly difficult.Isn’t race relations getting worse? Don’t you accept that it is getting worse?

12.What are you going to do about the schools/

13. Under the Malaysian Constitution, every person has a right to profess and practice his or her religion. It is increasing becoming meaningless…

14. Why is converting a different issue? If a Muslim want to convert, there has a been a high profile case where, she tried to convert to Christianity and not allowed to …

15.Anybody can convert?Let’s take the case of Revathy, a Muslim born Malaysia who was sent to a rehabiliation centre for 6 months because she tried to live with a Hindu.
15. It’s important, because it shows what the state is doing, how it affects other individuals. You take her case, why couldn’t she practice as a Hindu. But she has to go through rehabilitation for 6 months which she said is like a prison. Now she has to live with her mother to see her child.

16.Is it or is it not an Islamic state?

17. But you have a Syariah Court operating?Only for Muslims? You have the system since the amendment since 1988.There seems to confusion towards when the laws apply and when it doesn’t?

18. When your PM become a Prime Minister he promised to do a lot things, one of it corruption but corruption has increased. Does he accept that he has a lot to do?

19. Isn’t as as fast as you would hope?Do you accept that?

Shall update later after later analysis, having a headache after listening to Mr.Foreign Minister.


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