Archive for September, 2011

Please walk the talk

Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 30, 2011

SEPT 30 — One day soon, I hope a Malaysian leader will emerge who will say what he means and means what he says.

This leader will not tailor his message to his audience, be in love with symbolic acts and depend on image makeovers.

This leader will not be afraid of making unpopular but necessary decisions and policies for the country and will not allow family members or associates to plunder the country at will.

Prime Minister Najib Razak last night spoke at a gathering of Malay business and economic NGOs. He told them not to be too infatuated with protectionism. That was good but in the same speech he also reminded them that the government had reserved more than 40 per cent of the massive MRT project for Bumiputera companies.

That certainly sounds like protectionism to me, and molly-coddling a group of businessmen and creating unnatural business conditions for them. Read the rest of this entry »


Any DPP can charge A-G

Mat Zain Ibrahim


The Attorney General has been challenged to account for the three expert reports, he was alleged to have fabricated in an investigation into a particular case. Notwithstanding mounting public outrage for the AG to come clean on this issue,he chose to maintain a deafening silence, instead of making known his position.

Should he finds it tough though, to account for all the three,which is understandable, he should at least show his sincerity by giving an account for just one of them. Any one of the three that he is comfortable with, will do.

For the benefit of all, the first expert report was dated 26 October 1998.The said report together with the second expert report was properly tendered during the Black-Eye RCI proceedings in 1999, which was duly recorded by the Commissioners. However, before the RCI’s final report was presented to YDP Agong ,the said first report went missing.

No other persons other than the maker of the documents and the AG himself have personal interests over those expert reports.

The onus to account for the making and the subsequent disappearance of the said report dated 26.10.1998 before it reached The Agong, lies solely on Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail,the AG. Fabrication of evidence is one thing, how it was disposed of, is another. Read the rest of this entry »


S’wak deports Haris Ibrahim

Patrick Lee | September 29, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Human rights activist Haris Ibrahim has been denied entry into Sarawak and is currently awaiting deportation.

Haris, the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) president, said that he was detained by Sarawak immigration authorites after landing at the Kuching International Airport at about 5.30pm today.

“The order of notification is the same as the one in April (this year). (But) I haven’t seen any papers (about this deportation) yet,” he told FMT through a telephone conversation.

He will be sent back to KLIA on a 7.30pm flight. Read the rest of this entry »


Kedah-Kelantan pipeline carrot for Umno men, claims US cable

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — A leaked US diplomatic cable issued in 2007 said that Malaysia’s RM21 billion trans-peninsula oil pipeline was likely launched as a means to reward Umno loyalists with lucrative contracts if Kelantan’s PAS government fell in Election 2008.

The cable pointed out that no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports were prepared nor economic viability studies conducted for the project as ecological risks were not a major concern to the then Abdullah administration.

“Domestic politics may be a bigger driver for the project than the potential economic payoff,” said the cable, leaked by whistleblower site WikiLeaks and published by the Malaysia Today news portal today.

It said the government viewed the pipeline, which was to run from Kedah to Kelantan, as an opportunity to reward Umno supporters “regardless of whether or not the project makes long-term sense”.

“The refinery and pipeline in Bachok would be seen as a potential Umno deliverable and might just tip the balance in a PAS-controlled state shortly before the election,” the cable said.

It added that such order of business for major projects in Malaysia was “typical”. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan: Hudud only if all parties agree

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) agreed today that the contentious hudud or Islamic criminal law is not part of its joint policy until all parties agree to it, stepping back from the brink of a major difference that broke an earlier opposition coalition.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a press conference just after midnight that the set of Islamic laws was “certainly now not PR policy and DAP’s objection has to be respected.”

Anwar said PR will continue to allow its members to air different views. — File pic
“Yes, very clear, it has to be together,” the PKR de facto leader replied to a question on whether any move to implement hudud would need the unanimous agreement of all three parties in the pact. Read the rest of this entry »


Hukum hudud is not Pakatan Rakyat agenda

28 September 2011

Mesyuarat Pakatan Rakyat malam ini memperakui dan mempertahankan dasar-dasar bersama yang telah dipersetujui sebelum ini sepertimana terkandung dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Dasar Bersama dan Buku Jingga.

Pakatan Rakyat terus memperteguhkan iltizam politik bagi mempertingkatkan daya-saing ekonomi, pendapatan rakyat, mutu pendidikan, kesihatan dan menangani kos kehidupan yang semakin menekan.

Mesyuarat juga memperakui dan menghormati perbedaan ideologi setiap parti dalam Pakatan Rakyat sebagai sebuah permuafakatan demokratik, termasuk pendirian PAS berkenaan hukum syariah.

Mesyuarat juga memperakui kewujudan Enakmen Jenayah Syariah II Kelantan 1993 dan enakmen Jenayah Syariah Terengganu 2003 yakni sebelum wujudnya muafakat Pakatan Rakyat. Keadilan dan PAS menghormati perbezaan pendirian oleh DAP dalam perkara ini. Read the rest of this entry »


Middle Malaysia

By Liew Chin Tong | September 28, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

SEPT 28 — Middle Malaysia is elusive but it is clear that whichever coalition that is able to win across the traditional fault lines of race, religion and regions takes Federal power.

Barisan Nasional is now the world’s oldest elected government still in office. Its predecessor, the Alliance party, first won the Federal election for self-government in 1955.

BN’s longevity in government can be attributed to successful manipulation of the carrot and stick. Carrots range from contracts for big tycoons to rural patronage for the Umno base while the sticks are really big – dissenters can be put behind bars without trial for years while the mass media are muzzled.

But there is something deeper: there is no alternative.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bumi quotas to go eventually, says Najib

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 27, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed today the need to eventually do away with Bumiputera quotas but said the government must continue to support the community’s best talent to ensure a more competitive business environment.

The prime minister pointed out that the New Economic Model (NEM) promotes affirmative action based more on meritocracy, saying “we must promote the right Bumiputera”.

He said offering quotas would promote complacency, hamper economic growth and bury Bumiputera talent.

“What we have done in the past is we have not promoted the right kind of people.

“We want to do away from (with) quotas but we must support them (Bumiputera entrepreneurs) in a way that would allow them to grow,” he told the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2011 here this evening.

“If we give them quotas, what will happen is that they will rest on their laurels and eventually, they will not gain expertise,” he added.

Najib said the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity target “does not mean anything”, particularly if entrepreneurs decide to sell off their shares when prices soar, leaving little in the hands of the Bumiputeras. Read the rest of this entry »


Beware of false prophets

Jacob Sinnathamby
The Malaysian Insider

SEPT 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak certainly talks a good game. It is election season and he needs to win big so everything goes.

Today he talks about how Bumiputera quotas need to go, eventually. No one knows when this eventually will be because as we all know the Umno-hijacked New Economic Policy was extended under pressure from the Umno beneficiaries.

Najib is not the first Umno president to talk about removing quotas or taking away the crutches from Bumiputeras.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Badawi both mentioned this when they wanted to show Malaysians that they were enlightened leaders and when they were fishing for support from non-Malays before elections.

Needless to say all their “good intentions” never materialised. Once they got the votes, they promptly forgot about taking away the quotas and instead fortified the distortions in the system. Read the rest of this entry »


Hudud Laws, between the literal and the implicit

Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 27, 2011

SEPT 27 — The hudud controversy has now returned to the eyes of the media after it was discussed at the National Syariah Seminar sponsored by the Department of Islamic Affairs of Kelantan. PAS indeed had taken a step forward in their comprehensive proposals for a welfare state but their preoccupation with the hudud issue clearly shows that they are still stuck in the framework of antiquarian politics.

For this evidently shows that the Hudud laws are still a crucial part of their raison d’etre. It doesn’t look likely that this will change, since evoking the hudud is a convenient way to claim that they are the real fighters for Islam in Malaysia, as opposed to Umno. It also somehow implies that the Islamic credentials of any party somehow hinges on their willingness to apply hudud laws.

Much worse, once the hudud issue is sensationalized it makes it difficult for there to be critical discourse: what is overstated, in the loudest tone, is to be regarded as truth. The priority is to scramble for as much influence in the debate as possible to show that one side is more Islamic than the other. Thus it is not surprising that PAS is no longer the only party supporting the Hudud laws. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP accuses The Star of misreporting hudud quit vow

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 27, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The DAP accused The Star today of falsely reporting that Lim Guan Eng had threatened to pull the party out of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) if hudud became part of the pact’s joint policy.

Zairil Khir Johari, Lim’s political secretary, wrote in an open letter to the English daily that the party secretary-general had merely promised that “the entire central executive committee (CEC) would resign to take full responsibility if hudud” became PR policy.

“An initially correct report had come to be replaced by one that was imaginatively concocted,” Zairil (picture) wrote.

He said that a correct version of the article was uploaded on on September 25 in which the reporter quoted Lim as saying that the party’s CEC would resign if anyone could prove that hudud law was in the Common Policy Framework (CPF) or Buku Jingga.

But a second version was uploaded the next day which changed the headline from “Guan Eng: DAP top leadership will quit if hudud law included in Pakatan policy” to “DAP leaders threaten to quit Pakatan council”.

Zairil said the second article “implied wrongly and falsely that Lim had threatened the resignation of the party’s top leadership” from PR. Read the rest of this entry »


Mat Zain: Charge Gani Patail, not change A-G’s powers

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | September 26, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Taking away the Attorney-General’s power to prosecute will not stop abuses of power, a former senior police officer said today.

Former Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim said that there was nothing wrong with the functions of the A-G as defined by the Federal Constitution, and charged that it was Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (picture) who had abused his powers as the current A-G “several times over.”

“We should not blame the Constitution. It’s the honesty of the person holding the post that matters.

“Even if we were to separate the functions of the A-G and the PP, there are no guarantees that either one or both of them will not abuse their powers,” Mat Zain wrote in an open letter to The Malaysian Insider.
Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #83

By M. Bakri Musa
Chapter 10: Freedom, Justice, and the Law

No person is perfect enough to be entrusted with the liberty and dignity of others.
—Mahmoud Mohamed Taha (1909-1985)
Sudanese Reformist, executed by his country’s military rulers.

I was visiting Malaysia after being away for many years. It was right after the race riot of 1969. The streets were still deserted, and I was driving with my father when we came upon a stop sign at an intersection. I duly stopped, looked around, and finding no oncoming traffic, proceeded.

My father asked why I stopped, and I responded that there was a stop sign. Startled by the unexpected question, I looked back to find him in a pensive mood, his face tilted, and his eyes looking far into the distance. After a long pause, he matter-of-factly murmured, “That is why the West is so advanced. People there obey the law even when no one is watching!”
Read the rest of this entry »


From Merdeka to Malaysia

KJ John
Sep 20, 11

When Malaya gained Independence, I was only seven years old and in Standard One. It was a repeat year for me, as my Dad had emplaced me in the primary one class with my older brother in 1956, but I could not be technically promoted.

I was then moved to Ibrahim Primary School where my Dad symbolically gave the Independence Day speech on behalf of the Sultan of Kedah, although I missed hearing it as I was only in primary one. That was Merdeka and Malaya.

The 48th Malaysia Day was observed last Friday and, this year, we move toward a new era of democratisation, if we can take the prime minister seriously.

We can become 1Bangsa Malaysia or 1United Malaysia if he is serious. We can move slowly but surely towards democratic maturity, after half a century of stunted growth because of the ‘Melayu-first’ agenda that has been abused. Read the rest of this entry »


Why we need English-medium national-type schools

— Lan Boon Leong
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 25, 2011

SEPT 25 — It was reported in the press last month that the Education Ministry is sticking by its decision to abolish the PPSMI policy of teaching and learning Science and Mathematics in English.

The abolishment of the policy means that the two subjects will be taught solely in Bahasa Malaysia in the national schools, and solely in Mandarin or Tamil in the national-type schools.

Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, the Deputy Education Minister, said he and many other academics believe the two subjects need to be taught in the students’ mother tongues.

UNESCO, in fact, advocates mother-tongue education for all subjects because children learn better in their mother tongue. However, mother-tongue education, although desirable, will make the national and national-type schools even more ethnically polarised.

Moreover, there are many Malaysian children of diverse ethnic background — Malays included — whose mother tongue or first language is English. But there are presently no English-medium national-type schools to accommodate them. Aren’t these students disadvantaged compared to their peers whose mother tongue is Bahasa Malaysia or Mandarin or Tamil? Read the rest of this entry »


People power for a better media

— Paul Victor
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 25, 2011

SEPT 25 — People power knocked some sense into the mind of Prime Minister Najib Razak, forcing him to set up an election reform panel and announce the abolishment of the ISA and other draconian laws.

There is absolutely no way Najib would have considered change if the people behind Bersih had not stuck to their principles and marched on July 9. A regime based on dictatorial principles and feasting on patronage has little time for reform and change unless forced to do so.

It is the same with the mainstream media, and I single out Utusan Malaysia and The Star for dishonourable mention. They will not be fair-minded or truthful or serve the public interest unless forced to do so. Read the rest of this entry »


What has happened to the rule of law?

— P. Ramakrishnan
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 24, 2011

SEPT 24 — We must not forget the larger issues involved in the case simply because the government had decided to get out of a messy situation for its own good.

The Barisan Nasional government created this untenable position that cannot be sustained by logic and facts. As a cover-up for its high-handedness, it is posturing itself as a generous institution that is capable of being considerate. The fact is it is trying to extricate itself from this unjustified and cruel action against these helpless people who only meant well.

It is unthinkable that people will be deluded by this gesture of the police. Malaysians are no more gullible or naïve to be easily fooled by such tokenism. The reprehensible conduct of the police cannot be condoned. Read the rest of this entry »


Electoral reform for Sarawak

by Duwen Babat

My focus on electoral reform with reference to Sarawak are in four areas that are as follow.

1. Development during campaigning period – I would suggest that all development must be stopped when the DUN/Parliament is dissolved. The caretaker government must not be allowed to used development during the campaigning period to secure vote. Further, such practice could lead to abuse or mismanagement of public fund that would be very unfair to the new government especially if there is a change in government. Also, the current government has been given ample time (around 5 years) to implement development and there is no necessity for last minute implementation.

2. Enact laws to strictly prohibit vote buying either directly or indirectly by the candidates or his/her agent or someone else. If proven guilty, the candidate is deemed to be disqualified, and entitled the other candidate with the second highest votes as winner without re-election.

3. Permit the Sarawakians who reside in Malaya to vote in Malaya. The current technology and infrastructure would facilitate this process without much a problem. Read the rest of this entry »


A-G bad choice to draw up ISA replacement laws, says ex-CID chief

By Debra Chong | September 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak has picked the wrong man to spearhead his legal transformation programme, a former senior police officer said today.

Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim urged the prime minister to rethink his choice of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to lead the government group tasked with drawing up two new security laws to replace the soon-to-be repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) and other laws that allow for preventive detention.

“Concern arises because PM Najib is still using the services of an Attorney-General whom the government itself has confirmed to be involved in criminal wrongdoing in the name of public justice,” the ex-Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief said today in an open letter.
Read the rest of this entry »


What the changes in the PPPA should mean to journalists

By Edwin Yapp | September 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

SEPT 23 — Now that quite a few pundits have weighed in on the prime minister’s Malaysia Day eve announcement, I’d like to put in my two-sen’s worth. I shall leave the broader implications of the security laws aside and being a journalist, I shall just concentrate on one of the announcements made — that of doing away with the annual renewal of licences for media organisations as currently mandated by the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA).

What this means in practice is that if indeed this amendment gets passed in Parliament, existing print media organisations won’t need to renew their printing and publication permits on a yearly basis.

Like the other announcements that touched on security laws, there was a sense of jubilation when the PM first announced that media organisations need no longer renew their yearly licences.
Read the rest of this entry »