Archive for January 27th, 2012
Mariam Mokhtar | January 27, 2012
Free Malaysia Today
The inexcusable translation in our government departments is not just a question of lack of professionalism and education but, more importantly, of attitude, especially of those at the top.
Throughout Malaysia’s arms spending history, the government has forked out billions on defence procurement while millions more have allegedly been used for commissions and backhanders.
And yet the defence ministry does not see fit to apportion a tiny fraction of its massive budget on the services of a translator.
It cannot be a lack of funds or a scarcity of translators. Is it an aversion which started after one high-profile translator connected to a particular defence purchase met an untimely end?
When the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) posted its error-riddled translation on its English website to describe the dress code appropriate for staff, it received extraordinary attention on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The translations ranged from the painful sounding “Clothes that poke eye” to the more serious safety connotation of the “Malaysian Government take drastic measures to increase the level of any national security threat”.
Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi admitted that his ministry had utilised the free Google online translator. He subsequently ordered the site to be removed temporarily. It is easy to blame Google. Read the rest of this entry »
by Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 27, 2012
27 JAN — Sebaik sahaja enjin pesawat mula bergema tandanya bakal berlepas, saya terus memejamkan mata merenung perbualan di lapangan terbang sebentar tadi.
Semasa menunggu di balai perlepasan, saya telah terserempak dengan seorang sahabat lama keluarga. Walaupun sudah lama tidak berjumpa, masa tidak mengizinkan omongan panjang. Maka selepas bertanya khabar saya terus menjunam ke dalam topik yang sedang hangat dibicarakan umum.
“Memandangkan Pakcik pernah menjadi ahli lembaga pengarah Universiti Malaya, apakah pendapat Pakcik tentang beberapa insiden kebangkitan mahasiswa baru-baru ini dan tindakan tatatertib yang dikenakan ke atas mereka?”
Pesara yang bergelar Tan Sri itu terus tersenyum. “Saya bukan sahaja bekas ahli lembaga pengarah, saya juga seorang graduan UM! Tetapi untuk menjawab soalan kamu, saya amat mengesali suasana pendidikan tinggi di negara kita dewasa ini.”
Saya menoleh sekejap ke arah pintu perlepasan. Tiada aktiviti lagi. “Bagaimana tu?”
“Sebab di mana kita sepatutnya mendahului, kita sudah jauh ketinggalan, dalam segala aspek,” ujar Tan Sri yang selama 36 tahun telah mencurahkan khidmat bakti untuk tanahair. “Begini, kita bermula dari awal. Kita negara yang bernasib baik kerana telah mewarisi institusi-institusi yang matang. Itu tidak boleh dinafikan. Antara kuasa-kuasa imperialisme yang telah menakluki dunia semasa era kolonial, boleh dikatakan bahawa kuasa British adalah penjajah yang paling baik. Ataupun sekurang-kurangnya, yang paling kurang zalim. Setuju?” Read the rest of this entry »
Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | January 27, 2012
Free Malaysia Today
Malay rights group Perkasa can say all it wants about Islam coming ‘under siege’ in Selangor, but the fact is it’s Umno’s ruinous actions which threaten Islam.
Is Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim a closet Christian evangelist? Is that why Perkasa is upset over him taking charge of Islam in the state, warning that “the faith of Islam, of Muslims is under siege in Selangor”?
Is Khalid not Islamic enough for Perkasa?
I believe placing Khalid in charge of Islamic affairs in Selangor is the best decision the Pakatan Rakyat government has made.
Despite Perkasa’s postulation that Khalid “lacks the religious credentials”, I believe he will lend the prestige and stature of the MB’s office to Islamic affairs.
Since he has managed the state financially well, he can keep a look-out on the zakat money, too.
So how is he a threat to Islam, as claimed by Perkasa? Khalid is no threat to Islam, Umno is. Read the rest of this entry »
— Ronald Benjamin
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 27, 2012
JAN 27 — Since Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal, political commentators and prominent intellectuals have made statements that the judiciary has shown independence. Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that the High Court decision is testimony that he has not interfered with the judiciary. Is the PM implying there was indeed interference before?
Is our judicial system built on such shaky grounds that it has to depend on the goodwill of a prime minister in office for its independence? While it is true recent cases such as the judgment on the Universities and University Colleges Act and the conviction of a prominent state politician have suggested the independence of the courts, these rare decisions do not make the judiciary independent.
One of the greatest truths in any meaningful reforms is the ability to dig deep beyond the surface to discover the root cause of the judicial rot and accepting the widespread perception that interference of judiciary may have occurred. The culprits must be nailed and remedial solutions must be found. Atonement must be shown for past mistakes, and we can then look forward to a lasting solution that would allow us to leap forward into a new era.
This requires honesty and truth seeking. Has our judiciary undertaken such soul searching in its quest to become truly independent? Some commentators have argued that over the years the judiciary has shown independence by taking action against both government leaders and opposition politicians and this by itself shows independence. But this argument is simplistic because the judicial process is not merely based on the judgment in a given case. The details of the process of justice itself, whether it meets the standards of natural justice and its ability to adhere to the supreme objective law of the constitution, are other major considerations. This is where the Malaysian judiciary system appears to have failed compared with other countries with a more well developed and independent judiciary. Read the rest of this entry »
Why patriotic Malaysians must unite as one and in loud and clear voice demand for a RCI into the RM336.64 million NFC/NFCorp “cattle condo” scandal
Four things are clear.
First, that there is something very rotten about the RM336.64 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC)/National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) “cattle condo” scandal – what with a RM250 million soft loan at 2% interest to promote cattle production used to buy two units of luxury condominiums in Kuala Lumpur and another condominium in Singapore, purchase of land in Precinct 10 Putrajaya, close to a million ringgit expenditures on overseas trips and extraordinarily high salaries for the family members of Datuk Seri Shahrizat, Minister for Women, Family and Community Development.
Second, that very high-level personalities are involved whether in the scandal or in the decision-making process resulting in the scandal, and that the personalities who must clear themselves include not only Shahrizat but also the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was then Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on High Impact Projects which approved the NFC project in 2006, Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was then the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries, Datuk Seri Nor Omar, current Minister for Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries, even the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah as well as the entire former Cabinet before the 12th General Elections on March 8, 2008.
Third, the initial reactions of the various authorities unanimously trying to avoid touching the NFC/NF Corp scandal with a “barge pole”, although the Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang signed off the Auditor-General’s Report 2010 on 8th July 2011 with copies sent to the various relevant authorities, including the Cabinet – which probably explains the irresponsible inactions for more than six months, the delayed presentation of the Auditor-General’s Report in Parliament on October 25 when it should have been tabled in Parliament more than three weeks earlier on the first day of the Budget Parliament on 3rd October; the initial five-month refusal of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the scandal; the refusal of the Public Accounts Committee Chairman Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid to allow the PAC to conduct immediate and urgent investigations into the scandal although the PAC may cease to exist any time with the imminent dissolution of Parliament for the 13th General Elections and the continued refusal of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to agree to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the scandal. Read the rest of this entry »