Archive for October 4th, 2011
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 04, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Riot police broke their own standard operating procedures (SOP) by firing tear gas when dispersing Bersih 2.0 rally marchers at the Tung Shin Hospital on July 9, a Health Ministry investigation has concluded.
Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam said tonight that errant policemen would be referred to the police’s disciplinary board.
“The investigation results concluded that there were unethical actions which were beyond the SOP of the Royal Malaysian Police when enforcement was performed on rally participants who were wrongly using the hospital premises,” Mahmood said in a statement.
Putrajaya and police had earlier denied any wrongdoing despite proof given by Bersih and those at the rally. Read the rest of this entry »
4 Policy Highlights
4.1 Spending RM220 billion more effectively, while reducing the deficit
The global uncertainties and prospect of lack-lustre private demand would ordinarily call for pump-priming and stimulus measures by the government.
However, Malaysia’s finances, after 13 consecutive years of budget deficits by the Barisan Nasional government, no longer permits massive stimulus packages. On the contrary, the recent experiences of crises in countries with massive deficits eg the United States, United Kingdom and Greece, calls greater attention to reducing budget deficits.
Against this backdrop, Pakatan Rakyat will strive to maintain the total level of federal government spending at RM220 billion10 in 2012. Pakatan Rakyat practices of competency, accountability and transparency will result in:
Read the rest of this entry »
3 Malaysia Today
Malaysia, too, has less fiscal options than before in weathering the impending turbulence:
In 2007, before the 2008/09 crisis, our federal budget deficit was RM21 billion and total federal debt was RM267 billion, equivalent to 42% of GDP;
For 2011, our federal budget deficit is expected to hit RM45 billion and total federal debt was already RM437 billion as at the end of June, equivalent to about 53% of GDP8;
Indeed, ratings agency Fitch downgraded our long term RM sovereign debt rating to A from A+ in Feb 2009. Malaysiahas not been able to secure a return to A+ even though the global economic situation subsequently stabilised and improved. The Barisan Nasional government continued to expand spending after prime minister Najib assumed leadership in Mar 2009, even though stimulus measures were no longer necessary.
The scope for pump-priming and stimulus measures in the face of another slowdown is now limited. But we still have strengths and alternatives: Read the rest of this entry »
2 The Global Backdrop
The world economy is entering another period of turbulence and uncertainty following two years of tentative recovery. It now seems clear that the US-led response of easing monetary policy following the 2008/09 financial crisis bought only temporary respite.
The extensive monetary easing masked the structural imbalances in the world economy and allowed “business as usual” to continue. Asian economies continued to depend heavily on exports, particularly to the developed, western economies.
In the meantime, the US and EU governments recorded huge increases in sovereign debt as they eased monetary policy:
US government debt has more than doubled since 2008, ballooning from US$7.0 trillion in 2008 to bump up against its original ceiling of US$14.3 trillion in Aug 2011. The ceiling was raised only at the last minute after a bruising political battle between Democrat President Obama and the Republican-dominated Congress; and
In the European Union, sovereign debt worries are expanding. Starting with Ireland and Greece, concerns extended to Spain and, most recently, Italy. Total sovereign debt of the 27 Euro nations soared 26% in two years to €9.8 trillion in 2010 from €7.8 trillion in 2008.
- 1 The Key Thrusts of Belanjawan Kesejahteraan 2012
- 1.1 Opportunities and Dignity for All Malaysians
- 1.2 Sustainability
- 1.3 Empowering Malaysians
- 2 The Global Backdrop
- 3 Malaysia Today
- 4 Policy Highlights
- 4.1 Spending RM220 billion more effectively, while reducing the deficit
- 4.2 Prosperity through higher skills, incomes and opportunities
- 4.3 Subsidy policy to be overhauled: The poor to be uplifted
- 4.4 Immediate Measures to Help Malaysians
- 4.4.1 Senior Malaysian Bonus for the elderly
- 4.4.2 Support for home-makers
- 4.4.3 Eradicating hardcore poverty
1. Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua
Belanjawan Kesejahteraan 2012 is a continuation of the collective effort by Pakatan Rakyat to chart a new future for Malaysia, following the releases of the Common Policy Platform in December 2009 and the Buku Jingga in December 2010.
Kesejahteraan Untuk Semua can be only achieved with political will to effect genuine and comprehensive institutional reforms guided by the principles of transparency and good governance.
Malaysia’s diversity is our strength. Our economic growth depends on the solidarity of all people regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion. Only through a budget which is gender responsive, and one that empowers ordinary Malaysians to live a dignified life full of opportunities , will we unleash the full potential of our people.
Recognizing the inflationary pressures on the Malaysian public, Belanjawan Kesejahteraan 2012 creates growth for all through providing policies and frameworks aimed towards uplifting the 60 percent of Malaysian households earning less than RM3,000 monthly.
Introduction of minimum wage, reduction of unskilled foreign workers, upgrading of skills and productivity will massively benefit the Malaysian workforce. In particular, special attention is given to improve women’s participation in the workforce. Wage, skills and productivity will improve in tandem.
Improvements to public transport, housing and healthcare will contribute to increasing disposable income of the people. Higher disposable income will enhance domestic consumption, which is increasingly more important in the volatile global environment.
Monopolies and oligopolies will be broken up, enhancing competition while helping Malaysian businesses to reduce costs. A competitive environment will mitigate inflationary pressures and generate more choices for the people. Read the rest of this entry »
— by Hussaini Abdul Karim
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 04, 2011
OCT 4 — Our New Education Policy, introduced in the early 70s and revised two or three times over the last few years, allows for national-type Chinese and Tamil schools where the mediums of instruction are Chinese and Tamil, respectively, up to secondary school level besides the national primary and secondary schools where the medium of instruction is Bahasa Malaysia.
All students are required to sit for the SPM examination in Form Five and Bahasa Malaysia is offered in all schools at all levels and it is a must-pass subject in order for students to qualify for the UPSR, PMR and the SPM. Looking at it, our New Education Policy is almost perfect. What is lacking, to make it perfect, is that the government does not allow national-type English schools to be set up. Otherwise, our New Education Policy and the whole school system would be the envy of almost every country in the world including some developed countries.
It is difficult to fathom why Chinese and Tamil are allowed as mediums of instruction in national-type vernacular schools, but the government does not allow the re-introduction of English-medium schools. Even the popular PPSMI syllabus where English was used to teach mathematics and science subjects will be abolished and come next year, all students in national primary and secondary schools will start with the all-new MBMMBI syllabus where the medium of instruction is Bahasa Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Art Harun | October 04, 2011
The Malaysian Insider
OCT 4 — I have stated in my article, “Of wet dream, nightmare and Marty McFly” that the implementation of hudud is a Constitutional impossibility until and unless two-thirds of our Members of Parliament would vote to amend the Federal Constitution to allow it to happen. I also grimly stated in that article that the time when such Constitutional amendment is moved would be the first time when our Members of Parliament would vote solely or predominantly along racial and religious lines regardless of party policy or party whip.
The Bar Council has since issued a statement which basically echoes my opinion. Lim Chee Wee, the Bar Council’s President was quoted as saying:
“Hudud cannot be implemented within the current constitutional and legislative framework.”
My friend, the learned Professor Aziz Bari was reported to have disagreed with the Bar Council’s view. The learned Professor was quoted to say:
“The key here is Islam, not criminal law.”
The learned Professor pointed out that the Federal Constitution has set out the respective jurisdiction and powers of the Federal and State legislature. As the powers to legislate on matters pertaining to Islam rests with the State, he argued that the State, including Kelantan, may pass hudud laws accordingly. He also refuted that such a move would result in double jeopardy for Muslim wrongdoers as, in his words:
“In other words, two systems is not a problem and we are not the only country in the world where this duality prevails.”
I have the highest respect and regard for the learned Professor but I beg to differ on his opinion on this matter. Read the rest of this entry »
By Melissa Chi
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 04, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The government spent more than RM2 million to “handle” the outlawed rally by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 in July, it was revealed today.
More than 11,000 police officers were also deployed in the days leading up to the rally on July 9.
In a written reply in Parliament to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh), Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today the total amount spent by the police to “handle” the rally was RM2,018,850.06.
He added that a total of 11,046 police officers from all over the country were stationed in the Klang Valley area, including 2,600 who were on standby outside the city. Read the rest of this entry »