Press Statement by Jeff Ooi
Beratnya mata memandang. Berat lagi bahu memikul.
TODAY, on the eve of the month we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Merdeka, I am making a political stand by joining the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Looking back at our last 50 years as an independent country, if Malaysia had been a great nation, we should make it greater in the next fifty.
As a Malaysian, as a parent for a school-going child, and as an advocate of New Media who blogs, monitors, and analyses the trends in digital governance and global competitiveness, I have grave concerns for Malaysia.
It is my wish, in the years to come, to participate in the legislative process of Parliamentary Democracy in Malaysia, to share my ideas and to collectively contribute towards making Malaysia a greater country. I hope you, too, will join our clarion call for MALAYSIAN FIRST through DAP.
THINK “MALAYSIAN FIRST”. Counting on the audacity of hope, Malaysia will be a greater nation if only all of us can come together — irrespective of race, religions and cultures – and share a common will to forge forward globally. We are Malaysians. In things we do, we should place MALAYSIAN FIRST as the top priority.
FOSTER REAL RACIAL INTEGRATION. However, this is not the case for us. The major portion of our first 50 years of nation building, and more so since 2004, has been discoloured with perpetual race-based politics. The term Bangsa Malaysia is but a rhetoric that is overly verbalized, but seldom practiced. We should break down the devil of race-based politics from this Merdeka.
GIVE US GOOD GOVERNANCE. The 2004 Barisan Nasional Election Manifesto had failed to address corruption and tainted governance as there are no Big Fish being caught; it had also failed to redeem the damaged reputation of the Police as there is no IPCMC. We are also faced with judicial verdicts which were questioned by the legal fraternity, at best, for being religiously divisive, and at worse, for going against the Federal Constitution.
WAKE UP TO KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY. Emphatically, in the last four years, the nation has regressed into the pre-Internet Dark Age where repressive tactics and draconian laws, such as the ISA and the OSA, had been arbitrarily used to intimidate proponents of dissenting –- but not necessarily unworthy – views expressed online and via the traditional media. It’s a state of fear, and it curtails people’s rights to foster collective intelligence which is recognized worldwide as the bedrock for a Knowledge-based Economy.
OVERHAUL EDUCATION SYSTEM. The education system, together with the ill practice of talent segregation mooted by imposed discrimination rather than meritocracy, could not help us produce competent human capital that can meet global benchmark relative to the advanced countries. We need a total overhaul of the system, reform the salary structure of the teaching and academic staff, and introduce syllabi that cater for the competitive needs of a globalised economy. We need to nurture professionally-skilled human capital that connects to the outside world, not jaguh kampung.
UPHOLDING DEMOCRACY. Malaysia as a Parliamentary Democracy, Constitutional Monarchy and constitutionally-enshrined Secular State has but eroded over the years. The separation of power that enables the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary — the three pillars of government and governance — to operate independently is being compromised. The Executive can now nominate candidates to sit on the Bench. This is the recipe for chaos that we should avoid at all costs.
EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL WEALTH. More importantly, national wealth including those generated through Petronas has not been equitably distributed to benefit the rakyat — comprising the bumiputras and bona fide citizens — while cronies and parties close to Umno skimmed it for their own benefits. Before the oil wells dry up, it’s time we take steps to ensure the rakyat, the actual stake-holders of this country, become the beneficiaries of our national wealth. We have been hopelessly drowned in an infrastructural-development economic model that overly relies on unskilled foreign labour force. This should stop.
ENRICH THE JOE PUBLIC. The worst financially-hit among the citizenry are the unskilled labour, average wage-earners and low ranking public servants serving in urban centres besieged by escalating cost of living. They are the direct victims of long-term rent-seekers who chipped away their earnings through highway tolls. We owe them an improved quality of life while we allow the AP Kings to take helicopter rides from golf-course to golf-course.
That’s primarily the reasons I have decided to offer my services to DAP, to help them and fellow Opposition Parties to right the wrongs of Barisan Nasional. It’s a tough struggle for all of us as we face the might of Barisan’s 3M – Money, Machinery and mainstream Media.
That’s what jolted me whenever I recall the Malay saying, “Beratnya mata memandang, berat lagi bahu memikul”.
Don’t give up my fellow Malaysians. Let’s bring in new talents and new ideas to run this country.
You may be disappointed if you fail. But you are doomed if you don’t try.
That’s how we should observe this 50th MERDEKA. Hidup Malaysia!
If you share the same feelings for Malaysia , as always, please WALK WITH US!
DAP welcomes new ‘transformer’
Opposition party DAP today officially welcomed a new ‘transformer’ into its ‘family of transformers’.
Although secretary-general Lim Guan Eng did not specify if DAP is made up of ‘Autobots’ or ‘Decepticons’, he nevertheless said prominent blogger Jeff Ooi’s decision to join the party will serve as a catalyst for other ‘transformers’ to trudge in his footsteps.
Lim said this during his speech at a tea party held in Petaling Jaya this morning to welcome Ooi into the party.
Later, he told reporters in response to a question that Ooi did not join the party because he was promised a seat in the coming elections.
“Ooi is genuine in joining DAP, he joins without any condition (but) we will definitely place him into consideration for a parliamentary seat,” he said, describing Ooi as a ‘qualified’ candidate.
Party sources have claimed that Ooi might contest in either the Kelana Jaya or Serdang parliamentary constituencies.
Asked on whether it was an unhealthy culture for political parties to offer seats in return for new members before an election, Lim argued that there is no material gain for any person who joins the opposition.
“Instead, once you get elected (as an opposition representative), this is the beginning of the problems,” he added.
‘Stopped being superstitious’
In his maiden speech, the party’s new ‘transformer’ outlined several of his focus areas, which include racial integration, equitable distribution of national wealth, promoting good governance and knowledge-based economy.
Ooi, who is considered the father of Malaysian blogging, was one of the first Malaysians to take to the blogosphere with his Screenshots weblog four years ago. He was also a former Gerakan member.
On why he had opted to leave the ruling Gerakan for DAP, he said: “I stopped being superstitious on the promises made by (Prime Minister) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.”
At the tea party, Ooi also unveiled his new political blog Jeff 4 Malaysia and handed over his membership application form to DAP national organising secretary Tan Kok Wai.
However, both Ooi and Lim kept mum on which branch the former would join.
Among the bloggers who turned up for the event include National Alliance for Bloggers pro-tem president Ahirudin Attan, secretary Nuraina A Samad and lawyer Haris Ibrahim.
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