Monday, October 22, 2012

PUTRAJAYA

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 22, 2012

1. I believe people must have noticed a certain architecture associated with Putrajaya. The brown colour of the buildings set it apart from other major development in the country. The design of the buildings also differ from those usually found in this country.

2. Then there are the mosques which reflect Islamic features while not being reproductions of those in other Muslim Countries. The five-domed Court building is perhaps the most impressive (some people think it is a mosque). Each Ministry building has its own design with each having some distinct shape so that they are different from the others.

3. The mosques too are unique with one being more traditional and the other ultra modern. Yet they blend with the architecture of Putrajaya.

4. Unfortunately a new building has been added which is made up of glass, with no architectural features. It is not very imaginative as it looks like match boxes stacked on each other. It would be fantastic for New York but it is not Putrajaya. It is not very Malaysian or Islamic. It is in fact entirely out of place.

5. Of course this is only my opinion. Others will think otherwise.

6. I was in London recently. There you may do anything you like inside the house but the facade must remain as it was when it was built. You immediately know you are in London when you are in London.

7. It is the same with Paris. The roofs of the buildings in Paris are unique to Paris. And you immediately feel you are in Paris and nowhere else when you are in Paris.

8. I would like to think that a century from now people would know they are in Putrajaya because of the uniqueness of the city architecturally.

9. Every country has its own architectural feature. Spires and steeply sloping roofs are common in East Asia but each country has its own particular shape. Thailand, China, Korea and Japan all have the gracefully steep sloping roofs which terminate with upturned corners and edges. But still they manage to be unique for their countries through the variations in details.

10. For that matter every state in Malaysia has its own unique architecture. We never had high rise buildings. For a time we did not know what to do to make these skyscrapers look Malaysian. But now we have brought back the Malaysian roofs to top our high rise buildings.

11. They are actually utilitarian. We had flat roofs before. But somehow rain water manage not only to form puddles which refuse to evaporate, but often they find some cracks in the cemented roof to leak into the room below.

12. But with the roofs there are no more puddles and the water does not leak into the room below anymore. I am sure somebody will tell me that the leaks are still there.

13. The high rise flats in Putrajaya also have roofs. But the buildings are not enclosed entirely in glass like in America. They are different from the main boulevard with its ministerial building but they do not stick out like a sore thumb like that pile of glass boxes sticks out.

14. Please Putrajaya Holdings, please keep the uniqueness of Putrajaya’s archictecture.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSIONS II

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 18, 2012

1. We are often lectured by the West, their leaders and journalists on freedom of speech, of expression, freedom of the press and media. These are part of human rights which Governments, and certainly Governments which accept democracy and the accompanying rights must respect and uphold.

2. Yet this is an area which the West displays the greatest degree of hypocrisy, of double-standards. We know of many instances when Western Governments regulate and control their media. We know that the press often self-regulates in their wish to uphold Government policies or practices.

3. But the most blatant example of control over public expression is with regard to the protection of the Jews. Not only will any criticism of the Jews be condemned, but laws have been enacted in many European countries which makes it illegal for anyone to dispute any aspect of the Holocaust. No one may question the claim that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

4. Thus when David Irving a British historian doubted the 6 million figure, he was arrested and jailed in Austria even though his opinion was not expressed in that country. Since then no one has dared to openly question the veracity of the claim on the number of Jews killed by the Nazis. And David Irving himself has not been heard to question the legality of his arrest and incarceration for all the beliefs in freedom of expression. This extra-territorial enforcement of a country’s law is most unusual although we are seeing now such extension of the laws of powerful countries to other countries in the world.

5. The action of the Austrian Government and the existence of such a law forbidding free expression not only in Austria but elsewhere is a blatant example of total negation of free speech. And there are many other examples.

6. The American press is extremely good at investigative reporting. They will go to great length to expose the truth about any scandal or event.

7. One of the most newsworthy event of the last century is the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York. Such an event would have been thoroughly and repeatedly investigated, analysed and reported in the media even after years have passed. But very little has been reported about this event except for the first few weeks.

8. The results of investigations by private individuals and organisations have never been published in the media. The peculiar manner of the building collapsing on itself, the similar collapse of a third building which was not hit by the aircrafts; the total absence of debris where planes were said to have crashed into the Pentagon building and in the open field where the fourth plane was said to have crashed into the ground, the total absences of reports and recovery of the black boxes which all these planes must have carried; all these seem not to be in keeping with America’s talent for investigative reporting. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence. And this silence negates the loud claim of press freedom by the West.

9. And yet when an American spent large sums of money to produce a film to insult the Muslims and denigrate their Prophet in the most insulting manner; when the producer of the film knows full well that there would be violent reactions to the screening of this film; their deliberate provocation of the Muslims is defended by the American Government as a manifestation of the freedom of expression.

10. The reaction to this film by Muslims, including the killing of United States diplomats is condemned as extreme and indefensible. Muslims should understand that the film producer was only exercising his rights.

11. If that is so then why are there laws in many Western cities banning any adverse comments against the Jews. Why was David Irving arrested and jailed for doubting whether 6 million Jews were killed in the holocaust? Was he not also exercising his freedom of expression!

12. The West condemns the lack of restraints among Muslims to such puerile provocation. They are asked to be rational and not be violent.

13. Should not they also advise their own people to exercise restrain regarding provoking the Muslims. If they expect the Muslims to be rational, shouldn’t they request their own people to be rational as well? Better still if they can pass laws regarding the sensitivities of the Jews, surely they can legislate similar laws regarding insulting the sensitivities of the Muslims.

14. But instead of restraining their people, at the very time when Muslims reacted violently over the insult to their Prophet, the Europeans published cartoons to insult and provoke the Muslims further.

15. Truly the hypocrisy of the great advocates of freedoms of all kinds is beyond compare. Such people should not take the high ground to lecture the world on anything.

Monday, October 8, 2012

CONTEMPT OF COURT

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 08, 2012

1. I read the New Straits Times article on contempt of court under the heading “Respect Must Be Earned” with a degree of wonderment.

2. In Malaysia no one dares to criticise the courts for fear of being charged with contempt. But in many of the so-called advanced countries the courts are criticised very often. The critics seem not to be afraid of being charged with contempt.

3. In the article, which is an extract of a lecture by Lord David Pannick, a practising barrister in Britain, he said; “If confidence in the judiciary is so low that statements by critics would resonate with the public, such confidence is not going to be restored by a criminal prosecution in which judges find the comments scandalous or in which the defendant apologises.”

4. It is a cardinal principle of justice that the victim should not be the judge as well. In contempt cases, it seems that this principle is ignored. The very judge who is scandalised hears the case and passes the sentence.

5. I think we still need the contempt of court law so that irresponsible people would not make casual criticisms of judges. But the judge hearing the case should not be the one who is scandalised. Then there would be justice.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Q E II – 2

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 04, 2012

1. Q E II is not Queen Elizabeth the Second. It is a term invented in the West to describe printing money to pay debts or to revive the economy. It stands for Quantitative Easing No 2.

2. It is a great way to make money to replace the money that a nation has lost in a recession caused by abuses of the financial system. You just print more money.

3. Actually I don’t think they actually print currency notes amounting to the hundreds of billions of dollars or pounds to replace the money they have lost. The amount of printed currency notes would be huge and be very difficult to transport to the banks which has lost the money. There would be a stream of armoured cars from the mints to the banks.

4. I suspect what they do is to issue cheques in favour of the banks. The amount would be entered in the books of the banks.

5. If the banks need to pay or to lend money, again cheques would be issued or the amount credited to the person or entity in the books of the banks.

6. Should the persons or entities wish to pay for anything, again they would issue cheques. The amount in the cheques would be credited to the accounts of the persons or entities who would than be entitled to issue cheques in payment for whatever.

7. At no time will anyone get or be paid in cash. So what need is there to print money in the form of currency notes. Any time these countries lose money, all they need to do is to issue cheques to whatever amount they need.

8. However this Q E is a privilege for the rich nations only. When Greece lost money, it cannot print currency notes or issue cheques to pay debts. Greece needs to borrow money from European countries to repay loans. Again no currency notes would be involved. The amount lent would be credited to the Central Bank of Greece which then would issue cheques to the commercial banks.

9. We hear that banks like Goldman Sachs have recovered and are able to pay back the loans given them by the Federal Reserve Bank. The quick recovery is through borrowing the Q E money from the Fed at no interest or minimal interest and then buying Government bonds. Buying Government bonds is actually lending money to the Government. The Government has to pay interest on the money borrowed, which gives Goldman Sachs a good return. Hence the quick return to profitability of Goldman Sachs.

10. I am not a financial or monetary expert but I would like to hear the experts say that what I describe here is not happening.

11. The world is being taken for a ride by the great western countries and their systems for everything. It is a case of doing as I tell you and not doing as I do. Rightly both the United States and United Kingdom should be bankrupt. To recover they should be selling all their banks, industries and other assets at fire-sale prices. That was what the Asian countries were forced to do after the currency traders forced many of them almost into bankruptcy. But the bankrupt powerful countries of the West don’t have to do that. They carry out Quantitative Easing, print money (issue cheques) and refinance their banks and bankrupt industries. And they talk about transparency in business practice.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SPEECH AT THE RAFIK HARIRI UN-HABITAT MEMORIAL AWARD

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 02, 2012

I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THIS SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY IN NEW YORK CITY, USA ON SEPT 28, 2012

1. I would like to thank the Rafik Hariri Foundation and the UN Habitat for conferring on me this prestigious Rafik Hariri UN-Habitat Memorial Award.

2. I deem it a great honour especially as this award is named after a remarkable man whose leadership qualities and contribution toward the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged city of Beirut and Lebanon is incomparable.

3. I knew Rafik Hariri when he first visited Malaysia. We immediately became close friends and I visited Lebanon at his invitation to see the damage wrought by the fratricidal war. Rafik promised he would rebuild Beirut as it was before the war. And he delivered on his promise. I visited Beirut after the restoration and I felt sure that a great future awaits Lebanon under his leadership.

4. In many ways I was like him. I wanted to develop Malaysia just as he wished to develop Lebanon. But he was less fortunate because he did not have the stability of Malaysia. Nor was he given the time.

5. Here I would like to pay tribute to my predecessors who devised a formula for Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious people to work together. My predecessors also set the stage for Malaysia’s conversion from an agricultural country to an industrial country.

6. My task was to ensure the peace and stability of Malaysia was fully utilised to grow and develop the country. For this Malaysia decided not just to look at the developed West, but more at the burgeoning economies of the East, principally Japan and South Korea. Look East became Malaysia’s slogan. It was not about industrialising as much as it was about acquiring the work ethics of these successful nations. I believe firmly that work ethics determine the success or otherwise of a nation.

7. A business-friendly policy was adopted and this stimulated investments both by foreigners as well as locals. We actually called this policy Malaysia Incorporated, despite general disapproval of Government/business collaboration. We were working for the 30% of the profit which belongs to the Government as corporate tax. Stress on labour intensive industries overcame unemployment almost completely.

8. The economy grew by leaps and bounds. With growth in Government revenue first class infrastructure was built. To hasten the progress, a policy of privatisation was adopted. Very quickly the country boasted of infrastructure comparable with developed countries.

9. Malaysia believes in no ideology. We are pragmatists. We do what can be done, whether capitalistic or socialistic. We promoted self-confidence by adopting the slogan “We Can”. We Malaysians can do what others can do.

10. I think I have said enough about Malaysia’s experience. It is no miracle. It is just about doing what everyone thinks should be done when we are in charge of our own destiny. I believe that any country can be run the way Malaysia and Lebanon under Rafik Hariri were run. The magic lies in devising a formula to keep the country stable and peaceful. Democracy is great but democrats must accept that they cannot win every time. Losing elections is something which must be accepted in a democracy.

11. Above all, leaders should not stay in power too long, even if they are popular.

12. I believe this award, the Rafik Hariri UN-Habitat Memorial Award is for Malaysia more than it is for me. Without the culture of sharing among the multi-racial, multi-religious people of Malaysia, without their love for peace and stability, Malaysia would not have been able to grow as it has done.

13. I believe my friend Mr Rafik Hariri noticed this during his visit to Malaysia. Violence breeds destruction. Only peace and stability can be a win-win formula.

Followers