Signature drive in Johor to give PM support
JOHOR BARU: Johor Umno Youth has embarked on a signature campaign to show the people's support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Barisan Nasional Government.
The campaign, launched by movement chief Hasni Mohamad yesterday, was expected to collect 300,000 signatures from Umno members and the public, its information chief Abdul Latif Endot said.
"Umno Youth is confident of breaching the target of 300,000 signatures," he said at a ceremony to mark the campaign's launch.
Apart from Hasni and Abdul Latif, Johor Umno Youth deputy head Dr Nasrah Salim, its secretary Dr Adham Baba and other division heads gave their signatures.
Abdul Latif said that books containing the signatures would be handed over to the movement's acting head Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein during a seminar themed The Movement's Role In The New Millennium on Dec 12.
He said the movement had earlier come up with a memorandum, signed by more than 1,000 members at branch level, which pledged support to the Government and rejected outside interference.
He added that the memorandum would be handed on Sunday to Hishammuddin who would then hand it to Dr Mahathir.
Najib: Any law-abiding group can form party
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said any group which did not contravene the law and fulfilled conditions set by the Registrar of Societies should be allowed to form their own political party.
"We practise democracy and any quarter whether linked to the reformasi group or otherwise are free to set up their own political party," he said.
Najib was commenting on a statement by movement spokesman Abdul Malek Hussein that they would form a political party.
Asked what action would be taken against an International Islamic University lecturer who was apprehended by police for possession of reformasi tapes, Najib said the ministry would study the police report before acting.
In Kuantan, Pahang Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob said the movement should form a party and draw up a manifesto to gauge support.
A place for all in beautiful Malaysia
By K. Saithuruka
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is a country of "milk and honey" for movie producer Datuk L. Krishnan.
"I won't use that term for another country because I have not come across one that offers so much to various communities in all aspects as Malaysia does," said the managing director of Gaya Filem Bhd, a company which has produced numerous P. Ramlee movies.
Krishnan, 75, said that from the time his parents came to Malaysia from India in 1927, the country had gone through massive development and had progressed rapidly in various fields.
"The local architecture has come a long way and some old buildings are still beautiful to look at today," he said, adding that he admired the designs of the Tabung Haji building in Jalan Tun Razak and the Maybank headquarters in Jalan Tun Perak.
He said the unique designs were as attractive as the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower and the KL International Airport.
Krishnan said the country's landscape was also impressive, with most Malaysians taking the initiative to make it better every day.
"People are making the effort to set up ponds, fountains and even colourful gardens in their homes," he said, adding that in certain countries, the governments had to remind the people to do so.
He said another positive thing about the country was that people could walk on roads without being mugged.
"Of course, there are daylight robberies and snatch thefts but people don't get killed or stabbed for money on the roads," he said, adding that this was rampant in many other countries.
Krishnan said that Malaysians were generally nice people and had the ability to chat with one another peacefully.
"The present demonstrations and all are coming from only the minority group. In the past, even trade unions did not resort to such tactics," he said.
Krishnan said he enjoyed the public holidays celebrated by the different communities.
"Malaysia is one of the few countries which has so many public holidays in a year, with each dedicated to a different community," he said, adding that the festivities were celebrated by all.
Krishnan added that local products were also cheap and of good quality and he preferred buying them.
"To me, a shirt is still a shirt, irrespective of the brand.
"People are vain when they are willing to take out extra cash to pay for something that is imported when they can just buy Malaysian products," he said.
With 50 years of experience in the film industry, Krishnan said the industry had picked up over the years with the tremendous support given by the Government.
"Today, our local Chinese dramas are well accepted in Hong Kong, Taiwan and even by the Middle East countries while the Bahasa Malaysia dramas are popular in Brunei and Indonesia," he said.
100 Best of Malaysia represents The Star's effort to get Malaysians to help lift the veil of gloom and tell us about the good stuff.
We're compiling a list of 100 of the best things about our beloved Malaysia and we'd like our readers to tell us what they are.
We have made out 12 categories, including health/medicine, education, politics, science and technology and environment, and we will compile the 100 most meaningful selections from your submissions.
You may use the form published on Page Four The Star's Section 2 or surf The Star Online to submit your choices electronically. You can even call us on the phone. Entries close on Dec 12.
LETTERS AND OPINIONS TO THE EDITOR
Letter To The Editor
Drive to gauge feelings timely
Lee Lam Thye of Kuala Lumpur writes:
THE launching of a natiowide campaign to gauge the feelings of Malaysians from different walks of life on issues and developments affecting Malaysia is most appropriate. More so at a time when Malaysia is passing through a critical phase of its existence in view of the problems the leadership is facing and in the wake of foreign attacks on the country.
As has been rightly pointed out by several quarters, the real strength of the nation lies with the people and not foreign-inspired unruly street demonstrations.
Expressing the true feelings of the rakyat through the proper channels is a democratic right that should be exercised by all Malaysians who love this country and who want it to succeed.
One common way of expressing such feelings is through the ballot boxes in general elections whereby the people can elect a government of their choice or representatives who they think can fulfil their aspirations.
But while waiting for the coming polls, it is vital for lines of communication to be kept moving so as to enable sincere and honest feedback to the Government.
Malaysians are never short of words when it comes to expressing their views on issues affecting the nation. Many may be shy of publicity but will not be hesitant in expressing their likes or dislikes on matters concerning the future of this country.
Take for example the infamous Al Gore's provocative remarks in support of the reformasi movement. In the true spirit of patriotism, Malaysians from all walks of life poured out their feelings and lambasted Gore for his blatant interference in Malaysia's domestic affairs.
On the issue of Gore's unwarranted remarks about internal political developments in the country, I share the views of many silent Malaysians that we should be left alone to deal with our own problems without any form of foreign interference.
Going nationwide to ascertain the feelings of Malaysians both in the urban and rural areas on current developments is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
In addition to making available facilities at all public places like community halls for the public to express their views, suggestion boxes should also be placed at these centres to enable the public to air their views.
I urge Malaysians from all walks of life to display their patriotic spirit by voicing their views on what they think is right for this is the time for the silent majority to stand up and speak their mind in defence of the nation against foreign interference, give their views on economic issues and put forward ideas which are practical and necessary for our economic recovery.
While we expect all concerned and peace-loving citizens to come forward and express their feelings on the affairs of the nation, it is hoped the views expressed will be given serious thought and consideration by the relevant authorities.
The nation's leadership will undoubtedly welcome words of support from the people but at the same time it should also be prepared to accept constructive criticism beneficial to the nation.
The right to dissent is an integral part of parliamentary democracy. Such dissent should be voiced through appropriate channels such as Parliament where issues can be debated and considered by the Government.
Letter To The Editor
Gore's speech has made whole country angry
Vera Low of Kuala Lumpur writes:
I AM a Chinese Malaysian. I am not interested in politics but I have to say my bit after reading the outrageous speech given by US Vice-President Al Gore at the Apec business dinner in Kuala Lumpur.
It is indeed disrespectful to the host nation to incite demonstrations and riots by "the brave people" against the country.
Equally, it is disrespectful to speak at a forum such as Apec on political issues.
He was wasting American taxpayers' money coming here and speaking on issues not connected to the Apec agenda. He was also wasting the precious time of the leaders and business people present at the Apec business dinner.
Gore has got the majority of Malaysians very sick. We talked about it in office, at home and at functions. No one could help feeling angry with his silly speech.
We peace loving Malaysians will show our preference for leaders through the ballot box. We do not need Gore to spend American taxpayers' money to come here to remind us of it. The United Nations needs the Americans to pay up.
I hope, if he aims to be the future president of the United States, he will learn some basic manners. I have been to America and have relatives born and bred there and I dare say that Gore is of a kind who has lost his manners and self-respect on his way to the top. In simple words, he cannot handle power and position.
I hope he will spend some time pondering how he can save himself from egoism and stupidity.
Let us hope that churches over there will help him to learn about showing love, peace, harmony and respect and not riots, war and enmity.
Letter To The Editor
Gore needs crash course in diplomacy
B.K. Smock, Kettering University, Flint, Michigan, writes (via e-mail):
AS a US citizen, and presently part of a university setting where we have 12 Malaysian students as part of our international programme, I have been very fortunate over the past two years to develop a very close relationship and an appreciation for the fantastic and beautiful Malay cultural traditions and the Malaysian people.
I found appalling the speech and comments made by Vice-President Al Gore, the ignorance displayed and his unawareness to the sensitivity of the issues.
I can assure you his remarks and his insensitivity to all Malaysians is not the consensus of the US populace. It would be beneficial if Vice-President Gore were to take a crash course in diplomacy.
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