How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Historian vs Historian: ex-student vs ex-Professor on the question of 'dinaung v dijajah'

'...I am writing to you simply as one historian to another, because you do have that power – to change your own mind and actions. I hope you might reconsider the testimony you gave, which may otherwise condemn an innocent (if impolite) man to jail, and our nation to the grievous abnegation of its truer histories.

As I'm of the opinion that Mat Sabu should apologise (for not being sopan santun in the public sphere, which sets a bad precedent) but should not be jailed. – April 15, 2015.'

Open letter to Khoo Kay Kim – Rachel Leow

Dear Professor Khoo,

You may not remember me and anyway, if you saw me today you probably wouldn't recognise me.
I was just a young student back then, thrilled to have run into you on a stairwell in Universiti Malaya. I told you I'd been planning to do a PhD in history. You listened indulgently to me stammering away, and at the end of it, gave me a copy of your book, Malay Society. On the title page, you wrote:

Dear Rachel,

I hope you too will come to accept that history is the mother of all disciplines.

Khoo Kay Kim, 1/4/07

It's now 2015. I did that PhD, and your book has accompanied me across three continents over the last eight years. I haven't seen you since, and I'm sure you have long put me out of your mind. But I have continued, from time to time, to be guided by your work and to find insight in it.

Last Sunday, I read news of your testimony at the trial of Mat Sabu (PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu). And I was filled with a kind of sadness and dread, reminded of how what we know as "history" lives at all times in the shadow of power.

On the question of dinaung v dijajah

You said that to call Malaya a colony is false, because we were “dinaung” and not “dijajah”, and we had nine sovereign monarchies which were never “colonised”i.

This is an astonishing conclusion. It's a game of semantics that completely rejects the careful study of systems of imperial and colonial rule which historians do, and which you know so well.

If Malaya wasn't “colonised”, then neither was India, with all its princely states, or any part of Africa that was governed through local leaders. Brokerage and ruling by proxy are key elements of what we understand as colonial empires.

Direct annexation is expensive: it's much better to work through pliable local leaders, like chieftains, nawabs, and yes, even sultans.

But how can I presume to teach you what you know so well? Let me quote your own book at you, the one you signed for me:

“…in general, the most sweeping change introduced by the British was the establishment of a more elaborate and highly centralised administrative machinery to replace the indigenous administrative system which was somewhat loosely structured. The British undermined the position of the orang besar, the most powerful group in the indigenous political system... The policy of ruling the Malays through their sultan proved highly successful on the whole.”[ii]

Rest of the open letter:

Dr Rachel Low is Lecturer at the Faculty of History, Cambridge University;
Professor Khoo Kay Kim is Professor Emeritus in the History Department, University of Malaya;
Chancellor of KDU University College  (Wikipedia)

Mat Sabu's case:

No comments: