Malaysian Cabinet probably the worst in Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not

The Malaysian Cabinet Edition 2015 is probably the worst in the 58-year Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.

Did the Cabinet repudiate and reprimand the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan for his irresponsible and reckless statement that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization when supporting the equally bizarre statement by the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that the restoration of the third vote could cause a repeat of the May 13 race riots?

Abdul Rahman is the most irresponsible Local Government Minister in the nation’s history for no other Local Government Minister had ever made such a statement in the past 50 years since the suspension of local government elections on March 1965 on the ground of threat from Indonesian Confrontation.

And yet nobody in Cabinet dared to confront him and propose that the Cabinet should reprimand him and dissociate itself from the Local Government Minister’s irresponsible and reckless remarks on the restoration of local government elections.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed the previous Cabinet as “half-past six” and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bill Gates Also Worries Artificial Intelligence Is A Threat

Eric Mack
Forbes
1/28/2015

Aside from founding Microsoft, Bill Gates is known as an all-around smart guy who has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to saving the world. It would seem that this makes his opinions worth considering when he tells us that he, like fellow brainiac Stephen Hawking and Tesla Motors founder / Iron Man inspiration Elon Musk, fears that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humanity.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Wednesday, Gates echoed the concerns expressed over the past year by Hawking, Musk and others that something vaguely resembling the science fiction scenarios from the Terminator and Matrix franchises could come to pass if the potential of artificial superintelligence is not taken seriously. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kabinet harus tolak pendirian Rahman‎ Dahlan

– Lim Kit Siang
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

Mesyuarat Kabinet hari ini patut menegur dan menolak pendirian Menteri Kesejahteraan Bandar, Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan (PBT) akan memburukkan lagi polarisasi kaum kerana ia bukan sahaja tidak benar, malah membuka ruang kepada penggantungan pilihan raya Dewan Negeri dan Parlimen pada masa akan datang.

Ini kali pertama dalam masa 50 tahun mana-mana menteri kerajaan Barisan Nasional mahupun Perikatan mengambil pendirian yang mengarut pelaksanaan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan polarisasi kaum yang lebih buruk, atau berkemungkinan mencetuskan semula rusuhan kaum 13 Mei seperti disebut Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yang mendapat sokongan pimpinan tertinggi Umno.

Pada Mac 2010, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan Selangor mengutus 2 surat berasingan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya memohon supaya pilihan raya PBT dijalankan di negeri masing-masing.

Alasan mereka berbuat demikian untuk mengukuhkan demokrasi dengan memilih ahli-ahli majlis tempatan melalui pilihan raya dan bukan lantikan, yang akan menambah akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan urus tadbir yang baik.

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dalam satu reaksi pantas menolak permintaan ini, sambil menyatakan mengembalikan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan politik di peringkat kerajaan tempatan dan tidak akan memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai.

Beliau berkata tumpuan seharusnya diberikan kepada usaha memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai dan bukannya proses yang terlibat dalam memilih ahli majlis.

Tidak pernah ada yang menyebut tentang polarisasi kaum atau representasi kaum yang tidak seimbang dalam masa 50 tahun lampau sebagai sebab kenapa undi ketiga tidak boleh dikembalikan. Read the rest of this entry »

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I am a Malay, is DAP for me?

– Shukri Mokhtar
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

“Religion” and “race” are two dangerous words. Since the dawn of time, men have used these two words to assert control the people, to gain power and self-benefits.

A question that you and I must critically ask ourselves, with everything that human beings have achieved until this day in the 21st century, why do we still fall for the same trick over and over again?

My humble answer is simple, it’s “Sapere aude!” (Dare to know). We as human beings are always in a state of cowardice, afraid of knowing the truth and do not have the urge to question our own belief.

Immanuel Kant in his theory of the “enlightenment” argues that enlightenment was man’s emergence from his self-immaturity and immaturity was self-imposed when it caused lies, not in lack of understanding, but in the lack of resolve and courage to use it.

From what is happening in our country, we need a better Malaysia. The great time has just begun, Malaysia has awoken for the better good.

Although Malaysians have never felt this much pressure of cost of living crisis, I know many below-average earning families in Kuala Lumpur happen to have two job just so that they can feed their families.

My friends will be shocked but my life-long teacher, currently a lecturer at a local Islamic university would be pleased of my swift stand in this country’s politics.

It was not the intellectuals who gave me the exposure or information that I needed to change, but I can tell you this came from an old man called “Pak Ngah”, who I helped to clean his home because of the recent floods in Temerloh, Pahang. Read the rest of this entry »

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Squabbling politicians leaving Malaysians without much leadership or hope

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
28 January 2015

Nearly two years after the last Malaysian general elections, both the ruling and opposition coalitions are imploding – one with internal leadership crises and the other with public quarrels over policies.

In the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno and MIC leaders past and present are tussling for influence and leadership, the MCA is largely irrelevant while Gerakan and PPP are absent.

On the other side, Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and PAS are crossing swords and PKR is just opposing everything with a street protest always a handy tool to keep it seen as championing a cause.

The big loser? Ordinary Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet should reprimand and repudiate Abdul Rahman’s stand that local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue but opens the dangerous door for future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections

The Cabinet meeting today should reprimand the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman and repudiate the stand he has taken that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue, but opens the dangerous door for the future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections.

This is the first time in 50 years that any Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance) Government Minister has taken the ridiculous and outrageous stand that the holding of local government elections would lead to greater racial polarisation – or even risks the repeat of May 13 race riots, as stated by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang which has received the support of top UMNO leaders.

In March 2010, the Penang and Selangor state governments wrote separate letters to the Election Commission asking for local government elections to be conducted in their respective states.

Their reason for doing so were to strengthen democracy by having local representatives elected and not appointed, which would enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.

In an immediate reaction, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected this, stating that reviving local government elections would only give rise to politicking at the local government level and would not improve services for the people.

He said the focus should be on improving services to the people and not the process involved in selecting councillors who would serve.

There was no reference to problems of “racial polarisation” or “imbalanced racial representation” in the past 50 years as the reason why there should be no restoration of the third vote! Read the rest of this entry »

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Kemelut dalam Pakatan boleh selesai

A Shukur Harun
The Malaysian Insider
27 January 2015

Walaupun dilihat kemelut dalam Pakatan Rakyat (PR), terutamanya antara pemimpin PAS dan DAP berterusan, tetapi ada perkembangan baru yang melegakan hati yang memungkinkan keharmonian wujud kembali dalam PR.

Dalam masa yang sama, sudah ada tanda PAS dan Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa), tidak lagi dilihat dalam suasana permusuhan.

Pada peringkat bawahan, yakni akar umbi, antara pendukung PasMa dan PAS kelihatan tidak ada masalah, justeru mereka dari keluarga besar yang tidak mungkin dipisahkan hanya kerana perbezaan pendapat.

Sementara itu, ada perkembangan yang menarik di peringkat akar umbi PAS dan DAP yang tercetus ketika banjir merempuh Kelantan dan negeri lain baru-baru ini.

Pemimpin utama DAP, Lim Kit Siang dan anaknya, Lim Guan Eng datang sendiri ke Kelantan memberikan bantuan kepada mangsa banjir, di mana Lim Kit Siang yang turut mengharungi banjir sudah 3 kali ke sana. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Saudis Are Holding Strong on Oil

By Meghan L. O’Sullivan
Bloomberg
JAN 26, 2015

A consensus has emerged since the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia that the kingdom will not change course on oil policy. This consensus is probably right, at least for the short term. It is, however, correct for reasons other than the ones that most observers have invoked.

Moreover, while it looks unlikely that the kingdom will alter oil production in the coming months, barring a major change of heart of non-OPEC producers, interesting changes to Saudia Arabia’s cabinet roster and other energy policies and could be closer than most realize.

The basis of the conventional wisdom is rooted in personalities. New King Salman bin Abdulaziz has pledged continuity, stating he will adhere to the “correct policies” of his predecessors. He also said that oil minister Ali Al-Naimi will stay in his post. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO leaders launched a two-prong attack on DAP to exploit Hadi’s “May 13 if third vote restored” statement, including UMNO cybertgroopers launching a campaign of lies and demonization on social media, including twitter-bombs, against DAP leaders

UMNO leaders launched a two-prong attack on the DAP to exploit PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s “May 13 if third vote restored” statement, including a vicious campaign of lies and demonization on social media against DAP leaders by UMNO cybertroopers.

In past few weeks, my twitter account had been spared twitter bombs by UMNO cybertroopers, but in the last few days after Hadi’s statement, it became the target of several series of twitter bomb attacks, through trolls and fake multiple accounts, spreading lies and defamatory messages and graphics.

One theme of the twitter-bombing was to accuse me of being the cause of the May 13 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, such as the tweet “TAHUKAH ANDA? @limkitsiang adalah pencetus Rusuhan Kaum 13 Mei.. #DAPRasis #S14”.

Another was the defamatory graphic depicting me as a communist in the garb of Mao Tse Tung, with the quote and caption: “’MELAYU KELUAR! APA LAGI DUDUK SINI, KITA HENTAM LU, SEKARANG KITA SUDAH ADA KUASA” LIM KIT SIANG (BAPA 13 MEI)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pastoral letter in reference to Herald case

– Julian Leow
The Malaysian Insider
27 January 2015

My Dear People of God,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

We have come to the end of a long journey which began in 2008 when we were told that we cannot call God in the way the majority of our Catholics in Malaysia have been used to for centuries.

We mounted a challenge in the court to exercise our constitutional right to manage our own religious affairs. The Church took the position that the minister’s restriction went against the spirit as well as the letter of our Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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The measure of Najib as prime minister

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
27 January 2015

I recently wrote an article “Menilai Najib”. It was reproduced in Free Malaysia Today. People commented on that. Many of the comments were not objective. Indeed most were irrational rants.

I think most of the commentators didn’t read the original article on my blog. They prefer instead to read the stylised FMT version. Accordingly, most of the comments never debated the issues I raised but chose instead to vilify me as a person.

The points I raised were (1) what made Datuk Seri Najib Razak a bad prime minister and (2) what made him a bad finance minister. I was hoping for a more robust counter. Instead, it’s the usual ad hominem attacks.

They are commenting on the article re-written and interpreted by FMT. They vented their anger. They asked who am I to assess Najib. They accused me of repeating what my “tokongs” say. Fortunately, I am immune to that kind of insulting riposte. Read the rest of this entry »

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If PAS has no confidence in Pakatan Rakyat achieving great victories if local government elections are restored nationally, PR must return to the drawing board as this does not bode well for PR’s grand design to win Putrajaya in the 14GE

I just do not know whether to laugh or to cry.

Yesterday, the Malay Mail Online carried a report entitled “DAP seeking full ‘control’ of country through third vote, Isma claims”, quoting the latest vitriol by the Deputy President of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), Aminuddin Yahaya alleging that “the move to restore local government elections is part of the DAP’s strategy to take over Malaysia as the opposition party already has control of nearly 60 per cent of the state seats in the country”.

He said that DAP lawmakers make up 58 per cent of the total state constituencies in Malaysia and that the figure could reach 60 per cent, with the help of urban based PKR.

This caused me to tweet: “Ignoramus. Don’t even have Std 5 maths std”.

If Aminuddin is right and talking sense, then DAP on its own will be well on the way to capturing power in Putrajaya and forming the Malaysian government. But he is of course talking nonsense.

What a pity Isma has such a Deputy President who is so shallow in basic maths, which does not speak well for the organisation.

Out of a total of 505 State Assembly seats (excluding Sarawak) contested in the 13th General Elections on May 5, 2013, Barisan Nasional won 4,515,228 or 47.25% of the national vote, but 275 state assembly seats or 54% of the total of 505 seats; while Pakatan Rakyat won 4,879,295 votes or 51.06% of the national vote but only 229 State Assembly seats or 45% of the total of 505 seats. One state assembly seat in Sabah was won by a non-Pakatan Rakyat opposition party.

These statistics bespeak of the injustice, inequity and iniquity of the electoral system, with Pakatan Rakyat winning more votes but less seats! Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadi, ketahuilah, 13 Mei mustahil berulang

– Haris Zuan
The Malaysian Insider
26 January 2015

Peristiwa 13 Mei ialah isu eksklusif Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) dan orang lain yang mahu menyebut, dan apatah lagi membincangkannya, boleh didakwa di bawah Akta Hasutan.

Hanya Umno bebas menggunakan isu 13 Mei (versi mereka sudah tentu) untuk membodoh dan menakut-nakutkan bangsa Malaysia, khasnya orang Melayu dan Cina.

Namun, kali ini, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, mengeluarkan ancaman yang biasanya hanya dilaungkan oleh Umno – 13 Mei akan berulang jika pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan diadakan semula – dan kali ini Umno tidak pula marah dengan kenyataan Hadi Awang ini.

Kisah ini awalnya mudah sahaja. PAS membangkitkan isu pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan kerana mahu menyanggah dakwaan bukan hudud sahaja yang tidak diputuskan secara bersama di peringkat Pakatan Rakyat, pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan juga – yang diperjuangkan oleh Pulau Pinang dan Selangor.
Maka, dengan menggunakan logik ini, pada PAS, menjadi hak Kelantan untuk melaksanakan hudud di negeri tersebut secara bersendirian (atau dengan kerjasama Umno – parti pemerintah yang hanya menunjukkan minat terhadap Hudud setiap kali terdesak kehilangan kuasa). Read the rest of this entry »

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Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

Paul Mason
The Guardian
25 January 2015

The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs

At Syriza’s HQ, the cigarette smoke in the cafe swirls into shapes. If those could reflect the images in the minds of the men hunched over their black coffees, they would probably be the faces of Che Guevara, or Aris Velouchiotis, the second world war Greek resistance fighter. These are veteran leftists who expected to end their days as professors of such esoteric subjects as development economics, human rights law and who killed who in the civil war. Instead, they are on the brink of power.

Black coffee and hard pretzels are all the cafe provides, together with the possibility of contracting lung cancer. But on the eve of the vote, I found its occupants confident, if bemused.

However, Syriza HQ is not the place to learn about radicalisation. The fact that a party with a “central committee” even got close to power has nothing to do with a sudden swing to Marxism in the Greek psyche. It is, instead, testimony to three things: the strategic crisis of the eurozone, the determination of the Greek elite to cling to systemic corruption, and a new way of thinking among the young.

Of these, the eurozone’s crisis is easiest to understand – because its consequences can be read so easily in the macroeconomic figures. The IMF predicted Greece would grow as the result of its aid package in 2010. Instead, the economy has shrunk by 25%. Wages are down by the same amount. Youth unemployment stands at 60% – and that is among those who are still in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Get real PAS, differences within PR not minor

– T K Chua
The Malaysian Insider
26 January 2015

PAS vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said it correctly that people were getting fed up with the bickering within Pakatan Rakyat.

I think “fed up” is too mild a word. I think most Malaysians are completely pissed off. Many are in fact wondering whether PR is still a viable alternative to Barisan Nasional.

Worse still, I think Tuan Ibrahim has completely misdiagnosed the real problems in PR.

What happened within PR is not about minor differences. What happened in PR is about major and substantive differences which all parties must come to an agreement before proceeding further. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP remains committed to be an inclusive party embracing the rights and interests of all races and religions in Malaysia, and not just for any one race or religion

The PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang let off a time bomb in Harakah yesterday, and the reverberations are still going off all over the country, creating shock, anguish and dismay not only among DAP and PKR leaders and members, and the majority of Malaysians who have placed their trust and hope in Pakatan Rakyat, but also among PAS leaders and members as well.

For the past 45 years, the spectre of May 13 had been the favourite weapon of unscrupulous UMNO leaders to intimidate voters from freely and democratically exercising their constitutional right to vote, but I had never expected that a day would when it would also be invoked by an Opposition leader in a manner which UMNO leaders had never done before – as UMNO leaders have yet to threaten the spectre of May 13 if local elections are restored, but which they will now do readily with the precedent set by Hadi.

It is not only wrong to equate the restoration of the third vote, which the people in the country had enjoyed in the fifties and early sixties, Hadi also made a grievous mistake in giving a racial twist by suggesting that the restoration of local government elections is a grab for political power by the Chinese in the urban areas.

This is totally ignoring the process of Malay urbanisation in the past five decades, as out of 49 local government authorities in the urban areas (comprising three city halls of Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching Utara, nine city councils and 37 municipals councils), 39 have Malay majorities of over 50% of the population, three have Chinese majorities, with seven have a plurality of races with four with Chinese dominant and three with Malays dominant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Business leaders fret over ‘cocktail of political risks’ as UK election nears

Larry Elliott and Jill Treanor in Davos
The Guardian
25 January 2015

Davos delegates fear possibility of minority government and second poll, as well as uncertainty over EU membership

The general election risks exposing the UK to a “cocktail of political risks” that could threaten growth and force the country out of the European Union, according to business leaders.

The growth of minority parties such as Ukip and the Greens and the fall in popularity of the Liberal Democrats are forcing bosses to prepare for the possibility that a second poll may have to be called months after the one scheduled for 7 May.

The Conservatives’ pledge to call an EU referendum in 2017 if they are in government is also causing anxiety. Doubts over Britain’s political future were voiced openly by executives at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Speaking on the sidelines at the gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss Alps, John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said: “Britain is no longer a two-party system, it is a six-party system, and it looks like it won’t be until 5am on the morning after the election until we know what the result is going to be. The UK could end up with a minority government and a repeat of 1974, when there were two elections in swift succession. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sorry, Mr PAS President, I beg to differ

By Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Malaysiakini
Jan 25, 2015

MP SPEAKS Is it true that local government elections would lead to instability or May 13? I seriously doubt such a weird proposition, regardless whoever made that statement.

After all, local government’s elections were in this country before BN government unjustifiably abolished them.

In fact, those elections predated May 13. Thus relying on such an unfortunate event to flatly reject the revival of such elections is indeed mind boggling to say the least.

Globally speaking, local government’s election is a universal phenomenon especially in developed countries including Muslim countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why We Know So Little About The Horror In Northeast Nigeria

The Huffington Post | By Charlotte Alfred
01/20/2015

Fighters from the extremist group Boko Haram laid waste to a cluster of towns in northeast Nigeria earlier this month, inflicting a massacre that Amnesty International said may be the bloodiest in the Islamic militants’ history.

The assault on the fishing town Baga and 16 surrounding communities in Borno state began on Jan. 3. Two weeks later, crucial details about what took place remain unclear.

Witnesses described the mass slaughter of men, women and children, and many estimated that hundreds of people had been killed. A senior official in the Borno state government told the BBC that some 2,000 people were dead. The Nigerian military has fiercely disputed this figure, saying on Monday that 150 people, including Boko Haram fighters, had been killed.

How Boko Haram was able to take control of the area is also subject to dispute. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Davos just an excuse for the 1% to have a bonding session?

Larry Elliott
The Guardian
23 January 2015

Thomas Piketty wasn’t there but they were talking about his ideas: they’re committed to progress as long as nothing changes

Committed to improving the state of the world. That’s the motto of the World Economic Forum, which wraps up in Davos tomorrow with the rich and powerful pondering whether to listen to Mark Carney’s views about the global economy or head for the ski slopes.

Many will opt for the latter, not because they have anything against the governor of the Bank of England. On the contrary, the former Goldman Sachs banker picked by George Osborne to run Threadneedle Street is very much part of the Davos family. It is simply that one of the reasons the WEF is held in Davos and not in Atlantic City or Blackpool is that it has plenty of black runs available for those who, after four days, have had enough of hearing Christine Lagarde warn about the risks of rising inequality.

All of which raises a couple of obvious questions: is Davos simply an excuse for the 1% to have a big bonding session in which they convince themselves that we are all in it together? And does it actually do any good? Read the rest of this entry »

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