Archive for June 15th, 2011

RM63.9m spent on consultants and ETP, GTP open days

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 15, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — A total of RM63.9 million was spent to hire consultants for Pemandu and to organise three open days for Government Transformation Plan (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) initiatives, the government said today.

Minister in the prime minister’s department Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon said that the government had paid RM36.3 million to various consultants, while RM27.6 million was used for the open days in Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, and Kota Kinabalu last year.

In two written replies to DAP’s Liew Chin Tong, Koh said that the costs were justified as they were far lower than the allocated budget. Read the rest of this entry »


Guan Eng: RM13b bloated spending shows IPPs protected

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 15, 2011

Lim: The only losers are 27 million ordinary consumers who are not IPPs.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The Najib administration’s attempt to increase its 2011 budget by RM13 billion is proof of its failure to control spending even after slashing subsidies on daily essentials, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said today.

The Penang Chief Minister blamed Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “bad governance” for the increasing cost of living in Malaysia, adding that the public was now experiencing “the worst of both worlds”.

“By reducing subsidies, there are inflationary pressure causing prices to rise and hurting the poor. And yet, cuts do not improve efficiency and competitiveness nor cut down budget expenditure as the IPPs (independent power producers) are still allowed to enjoy gas subsidies.

“The only losers are 27 million ordinary consumers who are not IPPs,” he said in a statement today.

Putrajaya tabled a RM13,186,713,000 supplementary supply bill in Parliament yesterday, seeking additional spending in the first half of this year. The amount is an 8 per cent addition to Budget 2011’s RM162,805,323,000, which was tabled last year. Read the rest of this entry »


Yen Yen, explain ‘Curi-curi’ M’sia

Tarani Palani
Free Malaysia Today
June 15, 2011

If the minister fails to provide a proper explanation for the RM1.8 million ‘splurge’, an opposition MP warns that netizens may bay for her blood.

KUALA LUMPUR: Due to the growing discontent, an opposition leader urged Tourism Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen to explain why RM1.8 million was spent on six Facebook pages to promote Malaysia.

Speaking in Parliament, DAP’s Rasah MP Anthony Loke said there was palpable discontent against the amount spent when it could have been attained at almost no cost.

Loke highlighted two Facebook pages regarding the matter, the “1 million Malaysians say no to RM1.8 million” and “Curi-curi wang Malaysia”, the latter being a twist of the ministry’s famous tagline “Cuti-cuti Malaysia”.

“These are very creative. Within 18 hours the ‘Curi-Curi wang Malaysia’ page already has 11,380 ‘likes’ – already half of the Tourism Malaysia’s Facebook site. And it is free!” he told reporters.

The Citrawarna 1Malaysia Facebook page attracted a total of 20,292 Facebook “likes” since its launch on May 21 this year.

A quick check by FMT revealed that “Curi-Curi wang Malaysia” currently had 14, 232 “likes” whereas “1 million Malaysians say no to RM1.8 million” had 749 “likes”. Read the rest of this entry »


Christian leader wants Putrajaya tested over Alkitab vows

The Malaysian Insider
Jun 15, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The leader of the country’s evangelical churches has asked Christians to hold the government accountable to its promises during the recent Sarawak elections by importing more Malay bibles.

“Go and import more Bibles and see if the [Home Ministry] stops us. Print the Bibles and see if the [Home Ministry] harasses us again. Being polite and positive does not mean we are naive,” National Evangelical Christian Fellowship chairman Rev Dr Eu Hong Seng wrote in the umbrella body’s quarterly newsletter published this week.

The import of the Alkitab — as the Malay-language bible is called — is among a laundry list of Christian woes that have piled up over the years

“The government has said they want to work towards the religious aspirations of all. Find out what that means. Can our Bibles be declassified as they are now considered ‘prejudicial to the security of the country’? Be proactive. Saying ‘thank you’ does not mean we have accepted the 10-point resolution in totality,” wrote Rev Eu. Read the rest of this entry »


A nation in crisis

by Stanley Koh
Free Malaysia Today
June 15, 2011

Is the barometer of our nation’s social health showing critical signs of a national coma? Is our nation mentally sick?


Between now and the first quarter of 2012, the temperature in anticipation of the next general election is likely to heighten as Malaysians will go to the polls to elect their government.

After the shocking results of the 2008 general election which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional regime losing its two-thirds majority and its 53-year authoritarian style of governance shattered, Malaysians are gradually awakening to the fact that there is no more justification for their leaders knowing what is best for the nation.

This approach which worked well for decades due to the wisdom of the founding fathers is obviously eroding with the new generation of leaders and the one-party state system.

What aspects of society should matter to Malaysians at the coming election? Read the rest of this entry »


Why Is Perkasa Against Bersih?

By Kee Thuan Chye | 14 June 2011
Malaysian Digest

MANY people have come to regard Ibrahim Ali as a clown, including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz. One hopes Ibrahim was just talking like a clown when he recently announced that his organization, Perkasa, would oppose the planned Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 by staging a counter-demonstration. “That means,” as he himself says, “on that day, there will be confrontation.”

This is militant talk. This is a threat to cause violence. And to add fuel to it, Ibrahim has pledged that in the event of a clash, “I will fight to the end”.

But why would Perkasa want to oppose the Bersih 2.0 rally? The rally has nothing to do with race – it is not demonstrating against Malay supremacy, which Perkasa was set up to defend. The rally is calling for electoral and institutional reform. It is calling for the electoral roll to be cleaned up, postal voting to be reformed, indelible ink to be used at elections, all political parties to be given free and fair access to the media, automatic voter registration, a minimum of 21 days for the campaign period, the strengthening of public institutions, a stop to corruption, and a stop to dirty politics.
Read the rest of this entry »


From Keris to Christian

By Zunar
From Keris to Christian

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DAP masterminding UMNO for more than four decades?

UMNO’s Utusan Malaysia has today concocted a new wild allegation – accusing DAP of masterminding PAS’ welfare state agenda as a cover for the DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia concept.

Based on Utusan’s latest wild accusation, I am wondering whether to confess that DAP had been masterminding UMNO for more than four decades.

Let me put it straight to Utusan Malaysia – do you want DAP to confess that we have been masterminding UMNO for more than four decades? If so, I am prepared to give Utusan the “scoop of the century” of how the DAP had been masterminding UMNO for more than four decades.

The allegation was made today by Utusan Assistant Chief Editor Datuk Zaini Hassan in his “Cuit” column: “Negara kebajikan, negara Islam dan ‘Malaysian Malaysia’”.

If Utusan’s Assistant Chief Editor is serious about his allegation that DAP has masterminded PAS’ welfare state adopted at the recent Muktamar PAS, he should have the political acumen to discern that the DAP had in fact been masterminding the UMNO for more than for decades. Read the rest of this entry »


The human face of enterprise

By KJ John
Jun 14, 11 | The Malaysian Insider

I disagree with Pas president Abdul Hadi Awang about his welfare state idea or ideal. Socialism had the same ideal and idea; but, it is now almost dead. Cuba is its last frontier and is closing down soon. Some others have called the same type of ideal, ‘capitalism with a human face’.

That is much better but not good enough. Capitalism presumes that ‘money is the root of all motivation and life’. But the scriptures say that the love of money is the root of all such evil. I prefer to call such an idea or ideal ‘the human face of enterprise.’

Why cannot man apply enterprise or initiative towards creating good values for all of life? Such enterprise must first subscribe to good universal values, and then create a process which offers a value offering which will transform the quality of human life. When such a creative process is productised into a full value innovation, people are willing to pay money, or even barter for it, and to exchange their personal offering for the new value proposition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cyber channels for GE13

By Oon Yeoh
Jun 14, 11 | MalaysiaKini

I clicked with interest on an article on this website titled Umno needs better ‘cyber warfare unit’. I was hoping to gain some insight into cyber strategies the party has in mind for the next general election, which seems to be looming.

But alas, it was just an Umno vice-president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saying that the party needed to create a more systematic and efficient online unit to counter the opposition’s message and to get the party’s message to its target audience.

That much is obvious. The government’s online strategy seems to be non-existent, or incoherent at best. Then again, the same can be said of the opposition.

Yet, if you ask people from either side, they will tell you, “Yes, the Internet is important. Yes, cyber-warfare plays an important role in galvanising votes. Yes, we realise the need for a sound mobile strategy.” Read the rest of this entry »


The failure of our institutions

By Art Harun
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 15 — When Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) opened a Twitter account some months ago, I was actually pleasantly surprised that it chose to follow my Twitter account. I promptly decided to return the compliment by following MACC on Twitter.

From then on, I could read MACC’s instant reports of the Teoh Beng Hock royal commission of inquiry (RCI) proceedings on Twitter. I must say it was a good initiative by MACC. Kudos to whoever that was in MACC who decided to utilise the social-networking facility by engaging the cyber-society through Twitter.

During the height of the Sarawak election campaign, I decided that it was about time that I had a two-way communication with MACC over Twitter. Conscious of the fact that the biggest election issue for that election was the alleged wealth — which were not rebutted and categorically denied — of Taib Mahmud and his family members, I decided to tickle MACC’s feet with a question.
Read the rest of this entry »


Sarbaini kin reject inquest, demand RCI

By Syed Mu’az Syed Putra
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The family of Selangor Customs assistant director Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed has rejected Putrajaya’s decision to hold an inquest into his death and are insisting instead on a royal commission of inquiry (RCI).

The inquest, to be presided over by Coroner Aizatul Akmal Maharani, was set for July 4 to 15 at the magistrate’s court here.

Sarbaini’s son, Shahril Ahmad, told The Malaysian Insider that his family preferred the RCI as it would be harder to determine the cause of his father’s death through an inquest and that this would delay the pursuance of justice.

“That is really the purpose of holding the inquest… we want an answer on the incident and we feel an RCI would be more accurate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where is the accountability factor?

By Edwin Yapp
Jun 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 15 — I had been away on a break but being the news junkie I am, I had been following various interesting news even while on vacation.

One that certainly caught my eye was the item reported in The Malaysian Insider, as well as other online news sites, about how a recently set up government price check website had been hacked into, the act of which has resulted in the loss of over 2,000 registered users’ details.

The 1 Malaysia Pengguna Bijak’s (1MPB) website launched on June 7 allows the public to check and compare the prices of consumer products sold at 1,255 retail outlets nationwide by clicking on the portal ( Read the rest of this entry »

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Why are dinosaurs championing the arts?

By Erna Mahyuni
Jun 15, 2011

JUNE 15 — As anyone in the arts will tell you, the government has consistently failed both the arts and its practitioners.

Take the recent debacle involving Artistes Day 2011, where Bernama reported Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim bemoaning the lacklustre response of arts practitioners.

Bernama had initially reported the celebration cost RM100 million, when in actual fact it had only cost RM97,800. DAP was only too happy to use the issue for political traction when, frankly, the party couldn’t give a toss about the arts either. Posturing on both sides and who benefits? It definitely isn’t the arts.

Now, some of you would probably start the usual hue-and-cry about where the money could have been better spent on non-arts related expenditure. Schools, roads, healthcare and the like. I respectfully disagree. Read the rest of this entry »


While Najib claims welfare state, Utusan says DAP masterminds

By Shannon Teoh
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Umno’s Utusan Malaysia today accused DAP of masterminding PAS’s new welfare state agenda as a cover for its Malaysian Malaysia concept.

This comes despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recent arguments that the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) has already implemented a welfare state in its five decades in power.

Assistant chief editor Datuk Zaini Hassan wrote in his column that Malaysian Malaysia, first used by Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) when it was still part of Malaysia, would ignore special Malay and Bumiputera rights and lead to social unrest. Read the rest of this entry »


When the Joneses get too far ahead

By Zairil Khir Johari
Jun 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 15 — “What do you think?” asked the elderly taxi driver as he slapped his steering wheel in frustration. “Look at this jam. Even though the government makes it so expensive, people have so many cars. Not small cars. Look around. All big cars. COE alone how much? So many rich people in Singapore, so many tall buildings. But people like us, what do we have? We are not rich. Life is difficult. Everything is so expensive now. Cari makan also susah.”

The scorn in his voice was unmistakable. All I did was casually ask, “Uncle, how are things in Singapore nowadays?”

“This is the government’s fault,” resumed the cabby voluntarily. “They control everything, but they don’t know anything. They think they know. You see that car park there?”

I turned to where he pointed and nodded politely. Read the rest of this entry »


The silliness of claiming ownership over wrongs

By Sakmongkol AK47
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 15 — The problem with Umno goons is that they want to claim ownership on some indefensible issue. This is silly, because people will start viewing Umno as an organisation that stands on the side of abuse, of corruption, of mis-governance and as a party that practises discretionary and arbitrary laws.

Umno is fast becoming a dirty four-letter word.

When someone criticises the scandalous payments to independent power producers (IPPs), their criticisms were taken as attacks on Umno? So what does Umno support?

Umno supports some dubious arrangements to pay the IPPS horrendous prices when the same can be produced cheaper by TNB? Umno stands for cavorting with the robber barons of today? Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s see who’s bigger, Perkasa dares Bersih

By Shannon Teoh
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Claiming the support of 36 NGOs, Perkasa threw down the gauntlet last night to organisers of the Bersih gathering to see who could rally more support when the two groups face off in the federal capital on July 9.

The Malay rights group said that it had no choice but to take to the streets to counter election watchdogs Bersih because “if we don’t, then the world will think that they have the support of all Malaysians.”

“Wait for July 9, then we will see who has more,” Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali told reporters after chairing a roundtable meeting with representatives from various NGOs.

The Pasir Mas MP insisted the 37 NGOs including Perkasa was not trying to “create chaos” as alleged by critics but simply wanting to show that “we are rakyat as well.” Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia bracing for Anonymous onslaught, says IGP

June 15, 2011 | Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Malaysia has beefed up security ahead of a threatened hacking attack of its official government website by internet vigilante group Anonymous for government acts of censorship and will track down the activists, the police chief said today.

In an attack codenamed “Operation Malaysia”, Anonymous said it would target the Malaysian government’s online portal from 3.30pm local time to teach the country a lesson for censoring whistle-blower site WikiLeaks.

“We have received word of this threat. There are many agencies involved in this and we will get to the bottom of this,” Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar told Reuters.

“Investigation needs to be done and we need to protect our systems at the same time.” Read the rest of this entry »

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