Friday, October 13, 2006

Kudos to Dr. Toh

The first, and perhaps the only, BN politician to come out in defence of Dr. Lim Teck Ghee is Penang State Exco and Machang Bubuk State Assemblyman, Dr. Toh Kin Woon. It was reported in the Star today that Dr. Toh, in a statement, remarked that “This is indeed a sad development and seems odd with the Government’s professed aim in wanting to make our country more open, transparent and liberalised,” .

I think that Dr. Toh's statement is worth reproducing here because it is rare that someone within the BN would be so forthcoming in his criticism of certain government policies.

Dr Toh, who is a Gerakan central committee member, said the controversy would not have arisen had the Government been more open to views challenging its own findings.

“The Government could have instructed the relevant agencies to be more transparent on the data and methodology used to compute the bumiputra equity ownership,” he said.

Dr Toh lauded Dr Lim Teck Ghee for his principled stand to resign as the director of the Centre of Policy Studies.

“His decision to resign rather than meekly toeing the line of his superiors is indeed exemplary and ought to be emulated by all,” he said.

The resignation is because of the rather unprincipled position taken by Asli president Datuk Mirzan Mahathir that the study was based on “faulty” assumptions and hence, its conclusions were “faulty” as well, Dr Toh said.

He said Dr Lim’s stand was a refreshing departure from the culture of compliance and subservience that the ruling elites in the country attempt to cultivate.


I've had many interactions with Dr. Toh and I've found him to be a humble man who is dedicated to his principles and stands by his convictions. He's a former academic who has the respect of many within the opposition and also within the BN for his principled stand against what he saw as injustices and unfair practicies on the part of the BN. He's one of the few BN politicians who is capable of self-critique and GERAKAN, the party he belongs to, has given him the space to air these views even when other leaders within the party are not willing to stand up beside him and share his views.

Sadly, for health reasons, I think it's very likely that he'll step down from his exco position as well as his state assembly seat in the next elections.

19 comments:

Tony P said...

I've had the pleasure of having lunch with him yesterday and I can attest that he is indeed a humble man, and has the interest of Malaysians at heart. He was also formerly an academic and hence obviously shares the frustration faced by Dr Lim Teck Ghee in the current episode.

The frustration isn't so much that the Government rejected the ASLI findings, but on the fact that they were rejected outright as rubbish without discussion, debate and substantiation.

Anybody who read Najib's comments on the matter has plenty to fear for the future of Malaysia should Pak Lah, weak as he may be, step down. Najib threatened that nobody should question government derived data and statistics. Anybody who does so on data with relates to racial issues may be hauled up for sedition(!)

That means that academics in universities doing empirical studies on say, the efficacy of the New Economic Policy or any other policy for that matter and their impact on the respective ethnic groups will risk going behind bars, should the study result in conclusions and data different from that of the Government.

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

That DPM Naj*b is of no ministarial material looking at his pass record in MOE and everything else, if not for his father and claim of blue blood he could be that Encik selling your gorang pisang in Kuantan. Care to list his achievement while he was in MOE? Malaysia is doomed if after AAB is this Naj*b.

Bigjoe99 said...

Among the old guards of Gerakan there still exist elements of ideals of Bangsa Malaysia. Sadly these ideals are much diluted in the next generation. You look at difference between Lim Keng Yaik and Koh Tsu Koon and you can see the big difference. On top of that the challenges of the future for Gerakan leader is much harder. The truth is Gerakan is a victim of its own success, the more successful it is within the BN, the more its a tempting target for UMNO ultras and jealous BN component parties. The more succesful Gerakan is within BN parties, the more apathetic its leaders are towards the pressures of BN component parties.

I predict that the days of comments like Dr. Toh are truly numbered not hopefull as some would like to believe.

Bigjoe99 said...

The saddest part of this whole thing is the real positive recomendation of the ASLI/CPPS report. Its proposal are highly realistic and will benefit the poor and average bumiputera. It offers a real way to go forward AT a political cost to UMNO and UMNOputras only.

Anonymous said...

One would have thought that any govt., when told that their hard-to-achieve goals or objectives are met, should be jumping for joy. The fact that powers-that-be frown upon hearing the good news in this case simply betrays their hidden agenda or greed.

Anonymous said...

remember to put your "X" in the proper box in next election!

Anonymous said...

I bet Dr. Toh will be "kindly" asked to retract his statement and stepped down, just like Ong Tee Kiat.

They (UMNO) will eliminate anyone that is against their fortune road, and never had any interest of the country at all.

The people has sacrifised too much for the so-called leaders.
It is time to exercise our right as a citizen of multiracial Malaysia, and not a citizen of Malaysia bonded by "social contract".

KCC said...

When Koh Tsu Koon and a group of other Chinese educationists joined Gerakan years ago, they believed that they can better effect change from withn (the BN). However, that belief is no longer true. Gerakan has become the punching bag for UMNO whenever they need a bogeyman within their internal politics. And as part of BN, there's nothing much Gerakan can do about it. And every silent reaction, they are losing votes, especially in their home base Penang.

If there are Gerakan members following this blog, I would like to suggest to them that Gerakan seriously consider pulling out of BN for the next General Election. This is essential for their own political survival. As part of BN, they stand to lose it all, ala Sarawak. Outside BN, they can voice their true feelings, and champion the Bangsa Malaysia call. I think the time is right, but it can only succeed outside BN.

Malaysian China Man said...

In the spirit of "Malaysia Boleh" we get leaders who just lambasted a report by a respected Academician as plain “rubbish” without proper study and debate on the issue . A fine example of 1st class infrastructure but pariah mentality.

Dr Lim had on one of the public forum held in August mentioned that he is fine with anyone who wanted to challenge ASLI findings in an academic manner. So if the UMNOputras disagrees with this findings, why not challenge it with a proper debate and proper academic reference to debunk ASLI findings. After all they have a so called “Oxford”graduate in their youth wing.

It’s time for Malaysians to wake up and be more demanding to the government. WE WANT MORE TRANSPARENCY.

SAVE MALAYSIA

little bird said...

Koh TK was also a former academic. Why is he accepting the crap from Najib and the likes from Umno?

Is he so hardup for the CM post that he has lost his principle? Willing to be marginalized and willing to be a 'yes, minister' civil servant?

Najib talked nonsense when he said that NEP is still needed to help ethnic Malays improve economically, but that the government will be fair to other races. How can the government be fair to other races when self-enriching Umnoputras continue to marginalize hardcore poor Malays by stealing large sums of money meant for the hardcore poor Malays?

Anonymous said...

i am living in such a f up country.

casper@e-malaysian.org said...

I am just going to briefly restate a comment that I posted to Stanford Uni malaysian mailing list.

The key issue here is how bumi equity is defined. UMNO definition is that only direct ownernership to KLSE companies share equity counts. This means, if bumi has USD1 trillion stashed in the bank but owns zero shares in KLSE, they have 0% equity. This is of course a rediculous way of defining equity.

Dr. Lim Teck Ghee definition would be much more acceptable. One can get the full report off ASLI website:
http://www.cpps.org.my/downloads/D_%20Corporate_Equity_Distribution.pdf

By UMNO definition, if we get all non bumi controlled company to shift their listing abroad, then by definition most KLSE equity will now be owned by bumi.
NEP objective achieved. Viola !!

The fact that many GLC and trust fund that are setup to holds equity on behalf of bumi controls a large chunk of the equity of KLSE also. If those are added, the equity will be >>18%
claimed.

In UK, think thank like IFS frequently critised government and the government never made politicised such reports.

This is Malaysia. First class infrastructure (I will save the second part).

--
casper

http://www.e-malaysian.org

Anonymous said...

Back in the mind of the UMNOs is they don't care about the Chinese so long as the Bumi can claim the benefit and claim honour, with the NEP working against the Chinese because you are not the son of the soil and everything else you still have to contribute so that they the Mala* can still dream of Vision 2020. So that they can still show to the islamic world that their brothers in this part of the world are so capable world class. Did they tell anyone that without the non-Bumi this country is doomed?
Isn't most of the 45% hijacked from the Chinese and 26.1% spend on 2nd - 4th wife and so left with 18.9%.

marginalized Malay? said...

According to our PM, the Chinese in Malaysia are doing well. They are better off than the indigenous people, than the Malays.

Really? Have a look at this light-weight Umnoputra, Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros.

Datuk Zakaria Md Deros, his son Zainuri, and daughter-in-law Roselinda Abdul Jamil are appointed councillors in the Klang Municipal Council (MPK). One big happy family in MPK.

Furthermore, Datuk Zakaria Md Deros built a mansion among a cluster of low-cost homes in Kampung Idaman, without planning approval. The land on which the four-storey building, known among locals as Istana Idaman or Istana Zakaria, was alienated to Zakaria's wife, Datin Zizah Ngah, three years ago.

If this is worse off than the Chinese, then all Chinese would trade place with the Malays!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"They pity us the non-bumiputera and let us have a share of the cake?"

No, there was no cake. Not even flour. Maybe a useless space to start with. Yeah, exactly. After, the non-bumi shed their sweat and blood to make the cake, then they will come and claim the cake is given by them. To them, because they gave us the opportunity to use the space means everything we made and earned belongs to them. What kind of crap logic is that?!

Anonymous said...

For those who believe that Koh Tsu Koon would change anything. I have met many of Koh Tsu Koon's friends who have known him since even primary school.

Did people know that when he was in school that he boasted like crazy about getting multiple PHD degrees in US, being a famous researcher and inventor and actually never planned to return to Malaysia?

Many people that have known him a long time know this is a man whose big words count for little..

Anonymous said...

To Anon above:

Please note the fortune from the face of Koh tsu koon......
He got a damn big nose which is indicating of a very prosperous life..

Look at the pic of Tony P ...

Hehe....by nature irritating to others, stubborn hard headed but intelligent. He will struggle and fight all his life

delta_lim said...

Malaysian government cannot tell the truth about equity distribution without showing a failure of its policies for the past 30+ years. Malaysian government has tried its social engineering on the bumi and failed. The policy to simply distribute the equity to the bumis is not the answer when the population of bumis is growing at a higher rate.

The fact that bumiputra's population continue to grow at a higher rate than the non-bumi counter parts is not news. You are free to check with the department of statistics on that. It does not take a phd to tell that the bumis are having more children per married couple than the non-bumi by simplying taking a stroll in the park or shopping mall.

At this rate, I wonder, can the non-bumi continue to support growing poor malay community? Will we end up just like another indonesia, where the bumis kill and rob when the times are bad?
The day will come where the bumi population will be more than 80% of the entire malaysian population. When that happens, will 45% equity be enough?

I think trying to make malaysia a multi-racial society is a smoke screen by the Barisan National. The goals of the BN leaders are to use up the resources as fast as they come and hold on to power to reap the fortunes for themselves.