Thursday, September 20, 2007

HardTalk: Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar & Sarah Montague

Words to describe the videos below? CRAP, CRAP and CRAP all the way and maybe SHITSSSS along the way!!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Anyway, here's the interview between Sarah Montague and Dato’ Sri Syed Albar that has been as verbatim as possible:
Sarah Montague(M): Dato’ Sri Syed Albar, Welcome to HARDtalk
Dato’ Sri Syed Albar (A): Thank you very much

M: Is it time to change Malaysia’s laws and treat everyone the same?
A: [garble]... when you talking about looking at everyone, we are looking at nation building. The most important thing is Malaysians feel they are Malaysians. We recognize our diversity as the source of our strength, there is no need for us to change the laws, the laws has able to exercise the unity, we are able to act as Malaysia. And I think is happening. Process for Malaysian building is not a short process. We came from a very divided society that was recognized by economic functions, living in a very poor living standards. So I think we have tackled the issues....uuh in the way that will bring peace and stability at the same time people are able to share prosperity of the country. And this is happening. (what is happening??? What issues did you tackle???)

M: But there were laws that were originally brought in to help Malays who were ...basically to tackle poverty. There might have been some justification for them at some time, but since poverty has been tackled, illiteracy has been eradicated, what's the justification for treating generations old of [garble]...ethnic Chinese and Indian who has been in Malaysia for generations, why should they be treated differently now?
A: I think...erhh ...when you are looking at it from a detached point of view, you may be seeing it in that way. But if you look... [garble]…In reality, what is happening is that the economic growth of the non-Malays is faster after the new economic policy than before. The share of the economic cake is bigger, deeper and wider than before. So it is not, is not as're looking at a theoretical, conceptual thing. You are looking at the realities on the ground. On realities of the ground...if you look at the household income between Malays, Chinese and Indians. Even the Indians have got better household income than the Malay. So I think...if you take it out of its the ethnic dimension, then u will see that it is the function of any government to have the less fortunate, to make sure that they divide that is based on ethnic... division can be overcome.. and I think we have done that quite successfully...
(what have you done successfully? the NEP does not even help the poor malays but has only served the rich to be richer. And the question isn't even about that, it's about WHY should non-malays not share the same privileges? I would like to see the household incomes statistics.)

M: But what...okay let's take a look at access to university.
A: Mmm...
M: Is it fair, as it, uhm as in it's easier for Malays to get into university than it is for ethnic Indians and Chinese?
A: I think the question...maybe the begining uh I think it's the same thing in UK or any country that start to build a nation when u see the disparaty, the education opportunity, what we wanted to do was to create the opportunity. How you avoid seeing people living in the rural area with less facility [garble/cut in by M] complete....

M: But you don't have the [incomprehensible], you don't have the problem any longer. It's difficult to... [cut off]
A: We do have, we have, we present days it's based on merit. it is based on merit. Uhh I think if you look the university...our democralization (i didn't know such a word exists) of our...of You have to look in total. The number of students in Malaysia. I think people who see it from outside will try to aggravate the situation and say, "Whoa, there is disparity in the situat... [cut off]
(LOL...he thought he could placate her with the generic answer of malay people living in rural areas as a reason here. There are chinese and indian people living in rural areas too.)

M: But does...but but...but it doesn't just seem like people from outside are saying this; it's people within, it's the ethnic Indians and Chinese
A: I think you have to see it this way...
M: Malaysia
A: I think you have to look at it this way, I think you know without getting excited about it or emotional about it. Look at it at in a fair balance. If you look in term of total number of students...of all the universities in Malaysia. There are still more non-Malays than the Malays. And this should not be an issue that divide us. I think ultimate, we have done, we have tackled all issue step by step and it's working. I think for Malaysia it is working wherever we see there is disparities. At one time the scholarships are given to Malays, the government scholarship were given to Malays now it is open to non-Malays also. So all this thing has been dismantled... [cut off]
(She asked whether it's easier for Malays to get into local universities, why don't you just tell her it's true? Even gov scholarships are given to Malays first as priority)

M: But what about government contracts? Government contracts?
A: For your information, the contracts that are enjoyed by the Chinese in absolute term, uh, non-Malays is bigger than even the Malays. If I have a piece of land that is 1 acre in a rural area, that one piece acre of acre of land may be valued at Rm10000 or is valued at 3000 USD, but we have 10000s ft of land in the urban area that will cost millions. So we do not look it tha...we are building a nation, a nation that has been less divided being recognize through economic activities now that that is building on common factors amongst us. (Uhm..what does land have to do with government contracts being served to the Bumis first?? And the contracts are enjoyed by the Chinese in absolute term? I dare you to air this on national TV in Malaysia.)

M: But do you not accept that you are in danger...of...that...that there is rising resentment amongst ethinic Indians and Chinese because of this situation [she is referring to the bumiputera privileges] that's persisting when they don't see it need to persist any longer.
A: I...I think there is lot more discussion, open discussion, but they do not misinterpret that open discussion among the races as something negative. It shows the nation have reached a certain maturity. We are questioning thing that before we have taken for granted. The Chinese are looking at what more can they get, the Indians are looking at how they could improve. I am not saying that...there is no problem but for outsiders to come and tell us, "oohh, we [garble] there is going to be racial tension, there is going to be problem - NO. I think you just witness the 50th anniversary of independence. I think it is that sense of belonging and ownership. And it's up to the Malaysians to subsequently to dismantle whatever because eh... [cut off]

M: But how...but how is that ethnic Indians and Chinese feel a sense of belonging when then...right from the very top then, they can't get access to this top cabinet post?
A: Is...whose...who told you that?
M: Wh..when was the last time that senior cabinet post was held by ethnic Indian or Chinese?
A: What do you mean senior cabinet post?

M: Since 1973, the top cabinet posts - Prime Ministers, deputies, home affairs, Internal security, defense, foreign and finance, education, trade and international trade - 1973 is the last time any of those post is [indiscernible] by Malay [cut off]
A: I can argue the same way with so many countries, I can ask the same [cut off]

M: Yes but we're, we're not talking about other countries, we're talking about Malaysia. Other countries can deal with the problems of their own. How would you... I mean, that is..I mean, do you recognize that as a problem?
A: No, no..[cut off]

M: You talk about sharing power, there is [cut off]
A: Now let, let me talk to you in the way that is most...that you do not get excited, that you do not get upset about something you do not understand. Let me tell u this, whenever we want to do something it is important for us to look at other countries. That's where we learn that's how we lead from. Democracy does not come by itself. It comes because we look at the examples of other places.

M: Okay..(You can see that by now, Montague is looking rather frustrated)
A: ...So let me say that in the case that, the most important this is, there will come a time where the Chinese, the Indians and the other races in Malaysia have accepted the arrangement, how can somebody from outside come to tell us.."oh.."

M: You mean this situation is fine because nobody is saying anything about it.
A: No no..not nobody is saying, if, if they are able to..if the opposition are, if they are able, all the Chinese parties decide to get together and to change that thing, there is nothing under the law to stop it...That why I am saying..!

M: Do you not think it's a little odd that the senior post in the cabinet post in the last 30 year have been held by non-Malay..?
A: I, I don't think, I don't think so..this is a democratic system...each one of them have agreed in a coalition to work together. It is well and good for somebody to say that.... (Very democratic indeed...)

I had enough, I couldn't stand listening to Albar's bumbling dodges of Montague's questions. His explanations can be concluded into "it is the way it is in our country so foreigners should not interfere" in the midst of all the incongruent answers given. Granted, I can understand that foreigners should not interfere with a nation's policies, but the questions posed by Montague are not uncalled for. They are very valid and are exactly the questions I, as a Malaysian, would ask.


cc said...

Race and religion are the most difficult things to tackle in a country. Look at the bright side: What dun bring us down, make us stronger~ oooh, and I learn new word! "Democrazalitioan..." what again huh?

k u k u j i o a m a n said...

Mmmhhh... *deep thought*