‘How does such reporting undermine the royal institution? Do the reports say that the king himself is responsible for the salaries and is late in paying the workers?’
Pemerhati: There could be three possible reasons for senator Ezam Mohd Nor’s racist outburst. The first possible reason is that he knows that the fastest way to go up the Umno ladder is to show that you are an out and out racist. Mahathir Mohamad and Najib Razak used this strategy and rose to the top quickly.
The second possible reason is that Najib has decided to use extreme racism to win over the Malay vote and has unleashed people like Ezam, Ibrahim Ali and Suara Perkasa to achieve this aim. To win over the non-Malay vote and to appear like a statesman, Najib personally is using the 1Malaysia strategy.
The third possible reason is that this mega-project was conceived so that the Umnoputras could siphon off a lot of money, similar to what Mahathir did in the past. Now the money for this overpriced contract has been siphoned off by the top Umnoputras, the sub-contractors are given very little. Thus, they can hardly break even and are not able to pay the wages of the workers.
Dr Krishna: Ezam, you are a ‘tin kosong’ (empty vessel). The reports only concern the mistreatment of workers and the building’s safety. If they, the contractors, don’t pay the workers, it indirectly relates to the safety of the building and the Agong.
If the reports are wrong, let the opposition MPs and NGOs interview the workers directly. Why do you want to drag the issue of race into this?
Phra Ong Chao: How does such reporting undermine the royal institution? Do the reports say that the king himself is responsible for the salaries and is late in paying the workers? Is the king or the Council of Rulers the employer of these contract workers? Don’t be stupid, Ezam.
Dr Jacob George: It’s sad and rather troubling that we do not have any mechanism to check the quality of those who aspire to become politicians. One pertinent question is how will an investigation into the behaviour of contractors and the treatment of their workers undermine the royal institution? Rather bizzare.
Swipenter: Empty vessels make the most noise. Now am I anti-Malay? Or am I just making a statement about Ezam, who is a Malay? How on earth can he link contractors not paying wages to the workers as an attack on the Malay institutions, and being anti-Malay or anti-Istana?
Susah Kes: Ezam, if Umno/PM Najib employed you do take potshots at Pakatan Rakyat, then all you are doing is helping the latter’s cause much further by coming out with these dumb statements. This is 2010. You can longer spew idiotic statements. People notice, and they can evaluate for themselves.
Najib, can I suggest something? Fellas like Ezam, S Nallakarupan and Ibrahim Ali are doing you and Umno more harm than good. If their names appear under your ‘political strategy’ discussion paper, then Umno is in a truly sorry state.
My rights: Even if what Ezam claimed is correct (to give him the benefit of doubt), there are still too many who did not get their salaries on time. These are not well-to-do people, they usually live day-to-day on their salary. Ezam, how would you feel if you’re the one who was not getting paid?
Lucia: How the hell can such a report on workers not being paid undermine the royal institution? Really! Ezam really ‘tak ada otak’. And he goes further by sayingMalaysiakini is against the Malay institutions. So this is all what it’s about? The Malays?
Next, when Malaysiakini criticises the police or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, would he also say it is attacking Malay institutions? *Sigh* So Ezam, like most of them Umnoputra (especially Perkasa boss Ibrahim Ali), is a racist.
Not Confused: How the heck can the non-payment of salaries to workers on the construction site be anti-Malay or anti-monarchy? It is the most ridiculous comparison that anyone could make. He should go away and crawl back under the rock he came from because he is not living on the same planet as the rest of us.
The rakyat should despair that this guy is a senator and involved in running the country and debating legislation. His intellect is so clearly lacking and totally illogical. If his mentality is indicative of the rest of the legislature, then Heaven help the country!
Fouzi Yunus: I do not understand why news portals and newspapers were still paying attention to irrelevant individuals like Ezam and Ibrahim Ali. Leave these losers alone and they will soon vanish from Malaysian politics.
Laughing: Ezam, well done. You are so insightful, so sharp, so passionate. I urge you to do these interviews more regularly and really give these online news portals a run for their money. And by the way, do go forth with the all-out-war with Steven Gan. Go get him.
Kleo: Thousands of immigrant workers are suffering and are being exploited and he’s talking about how this could hurt the royal institution?
Interested bystander: Firstly, I don’t understand why money is being thrown away on a new istana; I haven’t read anywhere that something is wrong with the current one.
Secondly, there is no way that any federal ministry is going to seriously investigate the issue of non-payment to workers. From what we hear, the police are making a bundle shaking down the illegal workers on the project site.
Pure: What can you expect from this fall guy, who was a fervent defender of Anwar Ibrahim and who suddenly, after he was distanced from Anwar, only then realised who Anwar actually was? And now he is playing the racial card, as if he was the great defender of the royalty.
KayKay: This is another attempt, Umno-style, to twist and turn a straight-forward labour issue into a racial issue while getting some cheap publicity. What next? Another Bangkit Melayu rally where only two people turn up? The Malays will no longer fall for this kind of cheap tactics.
If the workers have not been paid, they have not been paid. Period. Why bring in irrelevant things? After all, our contractors are noted for cheating foreign workers.
Anonymous2: Mr Senator, why don’t you ask for the details of the contract to construct the palace, and reveal them for the rakyat to see and assess if there is cronyism, wastage and plundering. Otherwise, it is not worth the rakyat paying your senator’s salary.
Arul Inthirarajah: If anything, it’s Ezam who should be charged with sedition for putting the contractors on the same pedestal as their majesties. Is an absence of grey matter a prerequisite for joining Umno?
Al: Racial politics is the refuge of cowards and the politically bankrupt, and we shouldn’t expect any better knowing this guy’s record.
Najib’s efforts, as reported in Malaysiakini, to assure us that the recent entry of 40 ulama into UMNO would not turn the party into an extremist Islamic party reminded of a hilarious story narrated to me by one of my dearest of friends.
This friend was then still at varsity and one of his friends was to deliver a lecture or something like that along the lines of ‘What is a Muslim’ or something like that. Let’s call my friend’s friend J.
J took to the rostrum and asked the audience to imagine a pig, freshly circumcised, dressed in a green jubah, sitting rather dignified-like, hind legs folded in a lotus position, on a green, velvet cushion.
Imagine, J asked the audience, that you now adorn the head of the pig with a skull cap and throw an ‘Arafat’ scarf around its neck.
J went further.
Now stick a long goattee on its chin.
Then came the most difficult part.
Train the pig, J asked the audience, to scream everytime anyone passed by who was not similarly attired, “Death to the infidels! Death to the infidels”.
And when you’ve succeeded in doing all of this, J posed to the audience, take a step back, look at the pig and ask yourself, ‘Is this a Muslim?’.
My friend tells me that J barely made it out of the lecture hall to a waiting cab!
So, no Jibby, we have no concerns that UMNO might turn into an Islamic party, extremist or otherwise.
You see, all the ulama and all the clergy you entice into UMNO cannot sanitise and render kosher that which you and your ilk rob from the poor rakyat.
There isn’t two sen worth of Islam running through the veins of UMNO.
Seriously, J’s pig has a head start over you lot at ever being Muslim!
It doesn’t lie, rob or murder!