Hornbill Unleashed

January 31, 2014

Malaysia today

Boniface Willy Anak Tumek

Slightly more than four months ago, on the 16th September 2013 Malaysia celebrated the golden anniversary of its nationhood.

Object gold and the colour gold, amongst other things symbolises justice, perfection, great value, the height of great wisdom and strength. These are also some of the sought-after goals that the vast majority of Malaysians expected the nation and her leaders to have achieved as we crossed the 50th year threshold as a nation.

These also would have been the natural fruits of national unity. Instead we find ourselves on the brink, threatened to be torn asunder by racial discords and religious tensions.

The Allah and the Al-Kitab issue, borne of a 1986 ministerial pronouncement is being exploited to the hilt by groups within PM Najib Tun Razak’s own party and by government funded right-wing NGOs hoping to arrest the diminishing influence of Umno over malay muslim voters and to achieve whatever other ambitions they harbour.

Inter-faith harmony and cordial race relations have been sacrificed on the altar of Umno’s agenda and the collateral damage includes the Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia and a 68-year-old priest who was investigated under the Sedition Act.

The putting up of provocative banners nearby churches in Penang recently, followed by the fire-bombing of the Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption have pushed the tension to extremely dangerous levels.

Amidst the increasing displays of intolerance by the certain groups within Umno and by right-wing NGOs sympathetic to Umno, concerned Malaysians rightly looked to PM Najib with bated breath, praying for Najib’s intervention and for an end to the instances of intolerance unfolding before them. But it was not to be.

Najib, instead of showing courageous leadership had chosen to remain silent and to side-skirt these emotive issues that was and still is causing us to tear at the seam. And when he finally opened his mouth to speak on the issues, it was to shift responsibility and to drive the dividing wedge even deeper.

The tension and the discord were left to fester and boil over to the level we are seeing today, a level which some have described as May 13 level. Anybody sympathetic to Umno and who imagined they have a platform to speak from spoke, many without due consideration for the rule of law.

It is plain to see that Malaysia has degenerated into a country where the federal constitution, the supreme law of the land has been relegated and made subservient to the wishes of right-wing NGOs and to the ambitions of individuals whose ideas of fundamental rights and justice are shaped not by the federal constitution but by some subjective measurement known only to them.

All that was needed for PM Najib to do was to order the present Home Minister to revoke the 1986 Mahathir-era Home Ministry Order that banned the non-muslim in Malaysia from using Allah. Unfortunately for the Christians in Malaysia and for all Malaysians in general, the courage and wisdom that was needed for the task was sorely missing.

The weakness that has come to characterised Najib’s leadership and his administration is plainly evident to all who care to look.

But the tragedy is not just on the part of Najib and his Umno-led BN government. The national leaders of Pakatan Rakyat too have proven themselves to be incapable of resolving sensitive issues and may even have shown themselves to be unworthy of the trust placed on them by Malaysians who have become disillusioned with BN.

When JAIS Selangor raided the premise of the Bible Society Of Malaysia in early Jan 2014 and seized over 300 copies of the Al-Kitab, a window of opportunity opened to the Pakatan Rakyat government of Selangor and to their national leaders to show the nation that they are radically different from BN.

But despite the statements made by various leaders from PKR, DAP and PAS to assure Christians in Malaysia that that they are free to use Allah, the national leaders failed to display bold leadership and showed a clear collective stand. They failed to display the kind of leadership that could only have come from courage of conviction. That is what many Malaysians find very troubling.

At the time of writing the Bible Society of Malaysia is still waiting for the Al-Kitab to be returned to them and the Allah issue remained unresolved.

Right minded Malaysians, including many of the largely Christian natives of Sarawak and Sabah are left wondering if it is wise for them to place their hopes and trust In Pakatan Rakyat.

On-line news has become more accessible to the natives of Sarawak and Sabah and the level of awareness of current issues has increased among them. That awareness will change their perspective of politics and of governance and that will impact on their decision as to who they will vote for in the next election.

BN has ruled Malaysia for over 50 years. Right now it seems unlikely that their position on the Allah and Al-Kitab issue will change in the near future. The state of the nation’s economy reflects on their inability to manage the economy well and this too will be an issue with Malaysians.

Pakatan Rakyat on the other hand is now into their second term as the state government in Selangor and Penang. If they desire to make easier their march to Putrajaya they will have to assure Malaysians that they are capable of defending and preserving the fundamental right of all Malaysians including that of the minority groups.

And as we bid goodbye to the year of the snake and usher in the year of the wooden horse, let us all pray that 2014 will be a year of rights respected and safeguarded, of justice delivered, of equal opportunities and prosperity for all Malaysians, a year in which we will finally ditch mere tolerance in favour of mutual acceptance so that we can have a year free of racial discords and religious intolerance.

Let us also pray that our leaders to whom we have entrusted earthly power will recognise with humility that their call is to service and not to power.

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22 Comments »

  1. i was working together with willy when he was the finance manager.He has a political ambition but quite surprised that he is PKR candidate during the last State Election.Nothing wrong with that

    Comment by adam — February 3, 2014 @ 6:08 PM | Reply

  2. Umno has lost the plot and will be consigned to the dustbin of history. Globalization is the way forward. There’s no such thing as kenang budi in politics. The only majority or minority that matters in a democracy is that in the legislature, not in the population or the streets, as otherwise it would be tantamount to Apartheid which has been outlawed by international law. While the majority in the legislature has the right to rule, the minority — the losing votes in a seat in the GE — has the right to be heard. All politics is about the restructuring of power and the restructuring of the allocation of resources. There must be Rule of Law, human rights, checks and balances, separation of powers, public accountability, transparency and openness. There must be a regular change of government failing which the people would have lost their sovereignty to a handful of criminals. Man does not live by bread alone.

    Comment by Shirly — February 3, 2014 @ 11:42 AM | Reply

    • Are preaching from a pulpit? What you point out I wish it is real ? But the reality is this nation does not understand what you have pointed out. They have their own constitutions which Hang Jebat or Hang Tuah had passed down to them and they apply according to what pleased them.

      Comment by pissoff — February 3, 2014 @ 10:42 PM | Reply

  3. Not completely true. When DUN was dissolved for PRU13, the allocation of seats for two very hot seats remained unresolved between PKR and DAP; Miri and Mas Gading. Of the two, Miri was the more winnable seat. As I recalled it, Boniface Willy was given the mandate by PKR to contest in Mas Gading and it was covered by the media too. He was later requested to surrender the mandate at the eleventh hour and give way to DAP’s Mordi.It was understood then that this was in exchange for Miri seat which PKR went on to win.I also recalled that at that time strong rumors about DAP being on the verge of being deregistered were circulating and that DAP’s candidates would be contesting PRU13 on PKR’s banner. That prompted Boniface Willy to threatened to sue his party.

    An analysis of the election results will show that the votes garnered by DAP did not substantially exceed the traditional votes for the opposition in Mas Gading, comparing with the results for PRU12 and PRN10. The increase in votes for the real opposition/DAP was not even proportionate to the increase in new voters. Votes for Dr Tiki were from traditional BN supporters who believed that Dr Tiki will be taken back into BN if he win the election. If he had not contested BN’s Nogeh’s winning majority would have increased by the votes given to Dr Tiki..

    The part about DAP having deep pockets and financial agility is correct though. However that did not give DAP the extra edge they need to upstage BN. DAP did not have their fingers on the rural voters pulse and completely misjudged their psyche.

    As to Boniface Willy’s writing in the Malaysian Insider and subsequently reproduced here, I do no think that it is about what he knows and what he thinks. It seems to me that Boniface Willy was sending a message to his upper echelon colleagues; the national leaders of PR. In the Malaysian Insider version, he very clearly states that he is a member of PKR. In doing so he risk incurring the anger of his colleagues in PKR and PR but then again here is a man who threatened to sue his own party. He looks like a man with a mind oh his own and the guts to back it up.

    Comment by Nenek Sarawak Kurang Bau — February 2, 2014 @ 7:35 PM | Reply

    • Suppose Boniface is nominated to stand on BN ticket in MAS-GADING? That is his biggest dream. Remember, PKR members are mostly BN reject. Starting from it’s de facto leader.

      Comment by mahadir — February 2, 2014 @ 9:04 PM | Reply

      • Do you know Boniface Willy personally? If I remember correctly he fought BN in N1 Opar in PRN10. I don’t think he was ever associated with BN.

        Comment by Badawi Lah — February 2, 2014 @ 10:40 PM | Reply

        • Usually take coffee with him at A1 BDC. Formerly with a finance company, now selling unit trust. Uses Proton red in colour. In his fifties.

          Comment by mahadir — February 3, 2014 @ 12:09 PM | Reply

          • So you know him by sight and by reputation only, just like many others but that does not mean you know him.

            Comment by Badawi Lah — February 3, 2014 @ 1:23 PM

    • Manchester United maybe has a place for a person like you able to provide such an accurate account of events in high definition. This kind of commentator is hard to come by these days and you must be an ardent enthusiastic political observer. What you must for the next 14GE is to reconstruct events and put in strategies or write a book akin to the Art of Sun Tze. Dayak political mind set is only for people like Nenek able to observe. In the Chinese community the political mindset for BN is straight forward. The party will normally put a prominent personality with lot ringgits or kayu balak able to provide plenty of buffets will stand. For DAP those can shout the most louder would be chosen. That why Chinese do not need a keen eye to monitor all the moves.

      Comment by pissoff — February 3, 2014 @ 11:01 PM | Reply

  4. When we Sarawakians commented in various blogs about our ‘ Sarawak Rights” , the Deputy Home Minister who is a SARAWAKIAN asked us not to ‘ cross the lines’ . What about the more serious and racial comments coming from BN/UMNO Politicians and followers. Why are they freely allowed to talk shits. Why we Sarawakians must always be the ‘ punching bag ‘ ?

    Comment by sipaigong — February 1, 2014 @ 8:28 PM | Reply

    • Crossing the lines interpreted as security threat cannot be defended by Baru Bian or See Chee How. Firstly, they would give you black eyes and then dump you into Guantanamo. If you go on hunger strike they would force fed you through the nose with ENSURE diet supplement. If opposition does not win the next and future elections to come you would be condemned to years and years until they finally move you to Siniawan, a Heaven called Nirvana. They are warning you now.Do not cross the line.

      Comment by god fearing man — February 2, 2014 @ 2:27 PM | Reply

  5. It is one thing for any political party to pick up anybody to stand as candidate in an election, it is yet another thing to get him/her elected if pitted against BN which uses public money and projects to campaign. It is a big huddle in any election to getting voters to be not distracted by the frills fairs and funs which only money can being about. More often than not it is how deep one’s pocket is that will determine an election’s outcome. In the last election DAP’s Mordi was a candidate over Boniface who at first had made up his mind to contest, and had prepared his ground to doing so, the last minute decision had to based on the financial agility of either: it decided that between PKR and DAP, the latter would be more financially agile. Thus Mordi got to be the candidate against BN.

    Notwithstanding the above the quick mobilization by DAP’s Mordi due to its financial agility aforesaid had him almost a winner. Maybe it can be said that Tiki had helped save BN from defeat in Mas Gading in the recent GE13. I do not think it would have been the same had it been Boniface Willy who had stood as a candidate for PKR instead.

    “not smelly” you should at least give credit where it is due. The writing by Boniface Willie is very good in its presentation of topical issue. Of course we know it is just a voice in the wind. As a material for reading in this cyber world I say it is a very good comment by Boniface Willie. The one major point there is that none of our elected leaders are talking on these current issues that he pointed out. I share such sentiment. Elected leaders should do their jobs representing the people who elected them: they should not be cowed by their party. Alas, this is Malaysia.

    Comment by anak sarawak — February 1, 2014 @ 4:52 PM | Reply

  6. Senior Sarawak cabinet minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said there should not be any talk of separation, which has been a conversation piece on Facebook pages set up by Sabahans and Sarawakians.

    “Don’t talk about cessation. Any movement at cessation is wrong,” he said when asked to comment on the calls for separation, as well as the virulent anti-Sabah and Sarawak sentiments from the peninsula.

    Comment by Mari — February 1, 2014 @ 11:20 AM | Reply

    • What cessation? You mean Cession?

      Cessation means stop. Whatever Masing was thinking or doing he didnt wanna stop. He’s dishonest with himself anyway.Forget the Dayaks.

      Cession or no cession orang Malaya have fucked Sarawakians with the help of some Dayaks, Melayus and Melanaus and Cina.

      And some bloody Indian owns Sarawak’s offshore oil field concession.

      Comment by Tok Kong — February 2, 2014 @ 7:57 AM | Reply

  7. Boniface Willy did not stand last election. Pakatan was represented by DAP’s Mordy Bimol in Mas Gading. His article is quite good, but what he said was said earlier by other writers. His writing did not excite me.

    Comment by not smelly — January 31, 2014 @ 4:33 PM | Reply

    • Smelly, we don’t need good writers or flowery talkers to be a good Politician to lead us. What we want is serious hardworking and honest personality.

      Comment by sipaigong — February 1, 2014 @ 8:31 PM | Reply

      • Who is serious? Sarawak oredi lelong. Next they will lelong you and me.

        If they havent oredi done so!

        Comment by Kong Bo Yong — February 2, 2014 @ 8:01 AM | Reply

      • I know Boniface Willie, who usually drink kopi-o in A1 BDC (together). I have some suspicion that many articles in blogs are written by somebody else.

        Comment by mahadir — February 2, 2014 @ 2:31 PM | Reply

        • Do you really KNOW him? Perhaps you know him just casually or you only recognize his face, like me. His face is quite recognizable you know. Appear in the newspapers quite regularly.

          Comment by Jeles Kaban BN To — February 3, 2014 @ 6:20 AM | Reply

          • We are both staying at BDC, his daughter and my daughter were classmates in St. Teresa , Kuching. We drink coffee together sometimes at A1 BDC.

            Comment by mahadir — February 4, 2014 @ 8:04 AM

  8. If we have good, clean and wise leaders, our country would not be in such a situation we are facing now. That’s why we must pick leaders of integrity and good quality, disregard of race, to lead our nation forward.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — January 31, 2014 @ 12:06 PM | Reply

  9. Glanced at TV3 this morning. Witnessed that even CNY became a political event. Political headquarter became venue for political gathering. Wrong trajectory. Korean trajectory made them built largest container ship. To compensate for “smaller manhood syndrome” the Chinese built longest wall and biggest dam. The American obsessed with world domination made drone that pick their coined term terrorists like ants. The middle east obsessed with religious views learned to tie themselves with explosives. Malaysian are still uncertain which trajectory to choose, busy themselves with name of supreme being and pork issues. So Malaysian wake up to reality and move forward to be a progressive. Do not wake with politic,race and religious supremacy in your mind.

    Comment by god fearing man — January 31, 2014 @ 9:12 AM | Reply


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