Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Trip to Adelaide


Pictures courtesy of Jonah Sia

I spoke to some 50-60 Malaysians in Adelaide when I was there on the 19th September and Hussein Hamid has written a report on his blog post. It was my first stop in Australia, a good meeting, a good start to link up to Malaysians down under ;-)

Tony Pua in Adelaide Hussein Hamid

Why is it that that which is supposes to unite us ends up dividing us? I was at a meet on Sunday where Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, was in Adelaide to meet with Malaysian. Any Malaysians! Not only Chinese, not only DAP members not only Pakatan Rakyat supporters …it was just “Tea with Tony Pua @ Adelaide” …no Yang Berhormat…just Tony Pua.

First roadblock: One smart aleck asked me why should the meet be at a place call The Chapel? No need to guess what race the smart aleck was - is not a Chapel “A building used by Christians, members of other religions, and sometimes interfaith communities, as a place of fellowship and worship” …Jesus Christ I thought to myself, it is just a place to meet with Tony! I do not even know if Tony is a Christian and I do not care! Suffice to say that I know that guy will not be turning up at the meet.

It was a good crowd. Standing room only and I was the only traitor…errr I mean Malay around. I came late but my white hair and age persuaded someone to give up his seat for me. Thankfully I sat down. Tony was already in full flight and as he talked my eyes swept across the sixty odd crowds. Chinese, Chinese, Chinese…about two Mat Salleh and I think one Indian. Some came with their family and a number of students too were present. A good crowd eager to listen to what this messenger from KL has got to tell them of home.

As Tony talked a few words caught my ears…APC (Armoured Personal Carriers) that cost over Ringgit 30 million each, FDI, that Petronas provided our nation with about 40% of its income, 1 Malaysia, Muhyiddin and his “I am a Malay first” comment…all the usual suspect.

It was not a taklimat (an information presentation – very formal – for those that do not understand Malay!)…he was talking to us and telling us what could be better for our country, how it could be better and it had better be better or we would be in trouble! I thought it ended too soon after he took questions from the crowd but then we continued talking with him and with each other over tea.

What should have been an opportunity for Malaysian to meet with each other and to listen to someone from Malaysia talk about things in KL became for some Malaysian, another reason to shun the Chinese and the DAP for being a racist “for chinese only” political organization. No Malays came to listen, to question or debate with Tony on what he had to say and on what they perceive DAP was or was not doing. Why?

Why is it that that which is supposes to unite us end up dividing us? The reality is that the same thing will most probably be happening in Melbourne and Sydney where Tony is next due to visit. I hope some one there will tell me that this is not so.

I think this young articulate politician is our future. He was not embarrass to tell us that in DAP and Pakatan Rakyat there is a lack of good capable people to strengthen the organization and to help them to govern in the states they control.

After listening to him I understood why Pakatan Rakyat did not have a shadow cabinet – because there is no provision in our constitution to recognize a shadow cabinet what more to provide money for its working. And of course as Tony pointed out Pakatan Rakyat simply do not have the resources to look into this effectively for now. Such refreshing admission from him augers well for the future of our country when Pakatan Rakyat is call into service. Even now, as he emphasized, the royalties earned from sand in Selangor alone has increased to RM$15 million from the RM$4 million during the time of Khir Toyo of the Palatial Palace fame!

All too soon it ended. In my over thirty years in Australia I must confess that this is the first time I have attended any meet, get together or functions with any other Malaysians. Methinks I will be going to another one when Lim Guan Eng comes over at the end of this month!

Thank you Tony for taking the trouble to meet with us and to my new Malaysian Chinese Friends…thank you for making me feel welcome at a “racist DAP get together held in a Chapel!”

One regret. I would have taken more images of the meet but refrained from doing so lest Tony or anyone else thinks I am from the Special Branch!
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