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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Number 19, 1976.]


page 23


Letters header showing a family standing around a table

The Malaysian Economic Situation

Dear Editor,

I quite agree that Malaysia has a class problem. The power it in the hand of the Malay ruling class and the rich Chinese businessmen. All the Prime Ministers of Malaysia have some royal blood in them. In fact Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak are the members of the royal family. As for the Chinese. Tun Tan Diew Sin, who is one of the most properous men in Malaysia, controls the Chinese Organisation, MCA. If one bothers to study the background of the Chinese Ministers, one will find out that they are all very rich. These people join politics not out of any desire to serve the people (Malays, Chinese, or Indiana) but to further their own aims. It is a well known fact that they can get easily obtain permission from the Govt to open out new land, to build shopping complexes, and to get timber concessions etc. And of course, the Malay ruling elite also gains from the deal. That is where corruption sets in.

In normal years, things would be all right in Malaysia. Be investing in the economy, these rich people at least give enough bread crumbs away to make the masses happy. But once the economy stops growing, social mobility is held in check. All the problems begin to surface. This a exactly what has happened in Malaysia during the last few years. The problem is aggravated by the Govt economic strategy which places a very heavy emphasis on helping the Malays. So, the poor Chinese are made to suffer because some of their 'cousins' are rich. And anyway, it is shown that the Govt strategy does not really help to uplift the Malay masses. This is manifested in the student riots and the Baling incident. The Malays are fighting among themselves (i.e. between the ruling elite and the poor Malays).

When I argue that Malaysia faces a class problem, I do not imply that we must encourage a revolution, whereby a working class takes over. The ordinary workers may be incompetent and so can't govern. What the Govt must do is to institutionalise class-struggle in Malaysia so that the workers and the peasants can bargain legally. Only then can the working people get a fair share.

But we all know, the Malaysian Govt does not tolerate any mass movement. It suppresses them legally (i.e. through the Internal Security Act which gives the Govt power to imprison the leaders of those organisations). The Govt is so successful in suppressing them that there are now no effective parties which can articulate the demands and aspirations of the poor masses. This latter problem comes to the notice of the Govt mainly because of the increasing Communist threat. Now, one of the Cabinet Ministers wants to invite some 'Western experts' to Malaysia to seek their advice as to what the poor people or poor Malaysians want. That is really ridiculous. They may be experts but what the hell do they know about what the masses want?

Now, let us return to the question raised earlier (i.e. why does not the Govt institutionalise class-struggle as is done in New Zealand?) The reason is that Malaysia is very dependent on foreign capital for the economic development of the country. And the foreigners are going to invest in Malaysia only if the labour costs (i.e. wages) are kept low, or else they will move their capital elsewhere. (Korea, Hong Kong etc). The Govt is caught in between. It cannot allow the workers to organise themselves to press for higher wages. It has to resort to force when the workers want more. Therefore, the Malaysian Govt is being perceived by the people as helping the foreigners to explo it our country. The fact is that our Govt it quite helpless and it has to play the rules dictated by the foreigners. They have the capital and we don't.

And also the fact that Malaysia is sited in an unstable zone makes the foreigners demand quick return for their capital investments. Thus, their main aim is to get as much money out of Malaysia as possible and within the shortest time possible. This will explain why the workers are still poor in spite of the fact that our economy is growing at the rate of 6% annually. That is really an impressive figure. I would argue that the rather selfish attitude of the foreigners help to push Malaysia into the Communist camp. It is ironic. They say they want to help us but actually they are pushing us to a corner. Foreigners, wake up now or else you will find one country after another falling under communism in Asia. Then, you will have no one to exploit.

Yours sincerely,

A Malaysian.

Back to the Farm

Dear Salient,

A couple of weeks ago I [unclear: reasted] Victoria University and walking through the Union building reminded me of the endless hours I spent discussing alternative life-styles. Looking back I realise that we only knew about communes, organic farming, soft technology from other peoples experiences or from trendy publications like 'Whole Earth Catalogues'. In reality we knew nothing, most of our friends weren't interested and we didn't know how to get involved in the alternative movement.

Now that a year's gone by we'd like to share some of what we've learnt with any other interested people. If people want to have a glimpse of some alternatives in the agricultural world (i.e. people not using artificial fertilizers/poisonious sprays and insect companion planting, mulching, planting according to cycles of the moon) then there's a scheme called W.W.O.O.F. This stands for 'working weekends on organic farms'. This scheme encompasses a wide range of farms - from straight, to biodepmanic, to communal type ventures. While some only can cope with weekend visitors, others are looking for permanent members. The address to find out more about W.W.O.O.F. from us: c/o Stephen Jacobs, 41 B Devon Street, Wellington.

He can supply you with the list of W.W. O.O.F. farmers in New Zealand. As far as visiting the farms, it pays to write first if you can. The nearest farm to Wellington is where we are now living, that is, c/o Peter Stanley, No. 5 R.D. Palmerston North (Ph: 894 Kairanga). Visitors are welcome anytime in fact we really want people to come and share ideas with us.

On the gardening side there are 10 acres of market garden, four of which are rotated as a green crop each year. There's also fruit and nut trees, chickens, a goat and 3 sheep. Other than that one of the [unclear: girl] is doing a welding course, another guy is learning a bit about carpentry through the local learning exchange as there are plans to build a bee hive, a solar dryer for fruits and grains, and a geoderic dome for a potting shed and everyones quite involved in things like conservation, the Soil Association and canvassing against nuclear reactors and riding bikes.

Contrary to popular belief there are quite a few 'communities' who desparately want people to come and live with them. So if you are planning to drop out, or have finished and don't know what to do except Honours or go teaching why not get a couple of back copies available c/o Post Office, Waitati Otago, at there are plenty of communities writing in wanting people. These people would probably be very happy to have a few lawyers turn up as a big problem is fighting local councils over building permits, health regulations etc. I imagine even accountancy students would have some use!

So if you are sick of sitting in the cafeteria, and want to see a different N.Z., take advantage of these suggestions.

Best Wishes,

Paul Callister.

Reggae On Philip Hay

Dear Editor,

I'm sure Philip Hay can defend his own Rolling Stones review from the anonymous critique printed in last week's Salient, but I'd like to mention that Anonymous Critic is way off when he says that "the reggae tracks on 'Black and Blue' are blatant and poorly disguised Bob Marley". The only straight out reggae track it "Cherry O Baby", a song written and recorded by a man called Eric Donaldson, who has absolutely nothing to do with Bob Marley. Similarly, the jive talking Jagger lapses into at the end of 'Hot Stuff is in the West Indian 'deejay' style popularised by a disc jockey called U. Roy. and carried on by two other popular Jamaican recording stars called T. Roy (no relation) and Big Youth. Again, there is not a trace of Bob Marley here, either.

It seems that because Bob Marley is the only reggae musician that Anonymous Critic seems to have heard of then All reggae must be attributed to him. The real point is whether Jagger lings reggae well - I never minded him doing Robert Johnson's 'Love In Vain' for instance because he did it so well - and 'well' doesn't mean imitation, but what the white musician ADDS of his own experience to reggae or blues. Here, sadly Jagger adds very little at all.

Best wishes,


An Open and Shut Case

Dear Sir,

"E.K. Yap's" letter confirms my suspicions that Don CArson is a liberal Mr Yap's letter has 3 contradictions:
1)D. Carson is not radical whereas MNR and MNS are.
2)He mentioned the strict censorship of new in his country but reflected alternative news sources as too "radical".
3)He identified with the "good-guy" Hussein Onn who has, by the sound of its singlehandedly 'restarted' on the road to a "corrupt-free" and "lets-closed" democracy", whereas he should have asked himself what are the root causes of his society's problems?

The first 2 contradictions go together there is strict censorship of reading material in Malaysia, then one should try to read the alternative news sources available, compare the views instead of rejecting it totally as "communist". Yap seem to be still very much tied to me governments way of thinking.

After going through Carson's article, one's conclusion is that he had interpreted the facts and information subjectively, with his liberal values. Is this not "ideologically manipulated"? In other words nothing can be value-free. Even Yap's opinion is of a liberal nature - on one hand cajoling for more "relatively objective" articles, on the other rejecting dreadful communist stuff. He is liberal enough to accept a less "closed democracy" whatever that is! There can either be a true democracy - government by the people for the people, or else there can't be any variations!

[This brings us to contradiction 3 "Hussein Onn is a good guy, he got rid of Harun" (my quote). We have forgotten Razak who was also a good guy because he started proceedings gainst Harun and Hussein Onn finished hanging out the dirty linen of the Malaysian upper-class - the seat of curruption!.

It is unrealistic to think that with one currupted person out of the way society it any less corrupted. Corruption it inherent in Malaysian society in which a parasitic fuedal aristocracy survives in the guise of a modern "Parliamentary democratic" system. Hussein Onn must think about cleaning up the whole Aegean stable before he hopes to solve the problems of Malaysia. This means he should join the Communist good guys like him, who want to construct a new society.

Since liberals have a tendency to defent their bourgeois values, it is understandable why Yap considered 'communistic' ideas unacceptable - for they challenge individualistic values, obscurrantism, and capitalistic ideas.

If he has not realised by now, revolution is the trned today! Unfortunatley many Malaysians here are being left so far behind in understanding what it is all about, that they should preferably stay put in Godzone with the people of the same ilk.

Lastly, the writer find MNR and MNS very objective and affords her an alternative view and ideas about Malaysia. Sure they do not condemn the communists like the government, but it is a change from reading the government propaganda which deliberatley obscure what communism is about, Why is this so?

If there is so much to fear about communism we should know the truth, and let us all examine the theory and practice. We might at least do this to be fair with ourselves. Shall we be blind or shall we see?

Anti-liberals and anti-obscurantists.

p s. Hussein Onn's government is responsible for the Essential Regulations - Closed or open?

Piss Sinker Attacks Malaysians

Dear Sir,

Whats all this crap I've been reading in the last few issues of Salient. That load of crap being written by a few of those arrogant third world intruders, Malaysians. The ones with nothing better to do than criticise us good piss consuming Kiwis.

If they don't like us or Our country (the one they are so happy to some to, to be educated), they can take their inferior little brown arses and pits off back to where they came from.

Not that I mind them being critical, but why must they put all kiwis in a category of dirty, drunkard fools, this tends to make me put Malaysians into their own category, that if I described in this letter, you would not publish it.

Proud Kiwi.

Evangelism Through Salient Pages

Dear Sir,

I was quite perplexed by the cartoon snipped in the 26 July Salient stating 'let's check this list of ideas that Karl Marx included in his plan' i.e. there is no God, there is no life after death etc.

Was it

a)a mistake by the typesetter?
b)a rip-off at communist propaganda?
c)an attempt to re-assert vague humanistic philopsophies through Salient?

In case it was the latter, why don't we check the list of truths God included in His plan?

1.In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
2)....whoever believes in Him (Jesus Christ) shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
3)Jesus said 'everyone who loves truth recognises my voice' John 18:37

If Karl Marx had risen from the dead like Jesus Christ did, I would give more attention to his philosophies.

John Needham.

Philosophers have interpreted the world, the point is to change it - Ed.

Kathy Rose Replies to No Bludger

Dear John,

It seems necessary to explain myself to "No Bludger". I have just returned from overseas (broke as any traveller will tell you). Not knowing that there were prerequisites for varsity of being a genius or rational, but believing that education was my right, came to Wellington, got a part-time job and enrolled in March "with no help whatsoever form ray family". I did not apply for an MEF grant because I thought that with a part-time job I would be able to maintain myself - as it happened I was wrong.

The whole point of the interview in Salient and the bursaries campaign it that the bursaries scheme and NZs education system is riddled with inconsistencies and injustices.

One being that you do have to work when doing a full time course at varsity, with or without a bursary (if you don't want to struggle and starve). Another is that women are discriminated against while trying to get their finances together for varsity, as No Bludger admits.

There are some very "needy" Maori people who use, or could use the MEF grant, if they survive the oppression and inequality of their primary and secondary schooling. (Only 1.5% of Maori people ever get to varsity).

I disagree with the whole tone of No Bludger's letter. His own story is one of hardship and 'hard luck' - does

Bludger's letter. Her own story is one of hardship and 'hard luck' - does she want everyone to go through the same grind? If she does she is lined up with Muldoon and Gandar.

The demand for a full cost of living bursary for everybody establishes education as a right, not as something to be pursued in off-work hours.

The tragedy of it is that there are better hard luck stories than mine - perhaps even No Bludgers.


Kathy Rose.