Archive for February 8th, 2012

Berikan kepercayaan kepada rakyat, bukan sebaliknya!

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 08, 2012

8 FEB — Nampak nya, bila PM Najib menyeru kaum India mempercayai nya, dia sudah lupa kepada slogan dia sendiri. Suatu ketika dahulu, semasa berkobar kobar semangat liberalism dan terlalu taksub untuk meyakinkan dunia barat, PM Najib telah berkata bahawa zaman dimana pemerintah lebih tahu segala nya sudah berakhir. The age of government knows best is over. Translated, it also means, the age of big brotherism is over.

Tapi kita tahu, PM Najib kadang-kadang tidak tahu apa yang sudah diucapkan. Maklum sahajalah, sebahagian besar ucapan mengenai dasar-dasar negara, di sediakan oleh con-sultans. Slogan itu sedap di dengar, tapi perlaksanaan nya tidak ada.

Dan baru-baru ini, kita dengar PM Najib berkata perbelanjaan keatas kebajikan rakyat akan memufliskan negara. Adakah bantuan kepada rakyat yang susah, bayaran melalui jabatan kebajikan masyarakat misalnya, akan memiskinkan negara? Kenyataan ini amat sukar di terima memandangkan dalam masa 10 tahun (2000-2009) sebanyak satu trillion atau 1,000 billion telah hilang dari negara akibat pemindahan wang ke luar negara secara haram! Bayangkan jika jumlah tersebut di aplikasikan kepada kebajikan masyarakat! Maka yang sebetulnya membengkrapkan negara ini ialah rasuah dan pemindahan wang secara haram. Read the rest of this entry »


The 1 ‘S’Care scheme

— The Black Cactus
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 08, 2012

FEB 8 — In the last few weeks, there has been immense debate on the proposed national health scheme dubbed 1 Care in both the internet and the mainstream media. A collective conclusion shared by both the public and the very professionals alike (who play a major role in the system) is the uncanny ability to fully comprehend the confusing entity which remains an uncertainty till today.

This commentary was written to achieve the following objectives

1. To help the public understand why this system was proposed and what led to the genesis of this scheme;

2. If possible, to pressure the government to be more transparent in providing information on the 1 Care scheme to allay fears among the general public; and

3. To help the layperson understand the unaddressed policy issues but highly crucial perspectives surrounding the 1 Care scheme Read the rest of this entry »


A Critique of the ETP: Part 3 (ii) – Execution (ii) – The hothouse labs probably killed innovation

By Dr. Ong Kian Ming BSc (LSE), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Duke)
Teh Chi-Chang, CFA, BSc (Warwick), MBA (Cantab)


The ETP resulted from 12 ‘labs’. Each lab comprised 30-50 experts who had 8 weeks to research best practices and innovations, distill them in intense brainstorming sessions and support them with detailed analysis. The result was 131 Entry Point Projects (EPPs) across 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) that would maximise gross national income with minimal public-funding support. Such is the PEMANDU narration.

Truly transformative ideas may have had no chance. Much was made of the private sector participation. But large companies would naturally dominate. Start-up companies, even if invited, cannot afford to release staff for 8 weeks. Consider this example: Ten years ago, Microsoft, IBM and HP would have dominated any lab to transform the IT industry. Google was a cash-strapped start-up, Apple was in disarray and Facebook did not even exist. The incumbents would have been free to promote pet projects and stifle their competition.

Hothouse environment favoured incumbents with existing business plans. The tight time frame incentivised lab participants to select EPPs for which research was ready, rather than pursue alternatives. In addition, private sector participants would be expected to lobby heavily for their pet projects. Their duty is to maximise profits, not embark on public service ventures. Unless properly steered, the labs would be inclined to select heavily-promoted projects rather than the most transformative.
Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Malaysian health reform socioeconomics (Part 2)

— Dr David KL Quek
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 08, 2012

FEB 8 — 1 Care health reform phases

In the 1 Care Health Reform plan, there are four proposed phases of transformation that could take anything from 10 to 15 years (according to officials), depending on the uptake of the various phases and programmes, as well as its implementation progress.

Importantly, the Health Ministry increasingly understands that it would require general public acceptance, as well as significant consensus and (if possible) seamless buy-in from as many stakeholders as possible.

There is recognition that if the public fails to accept this in toto or in part, then there might be need to re-tweak or re-design certain aspects of the reform plans. Just how much the bureaucrats or our political masters are willing to change and adapt remains to be seen.

Therefore, it is crucial, indeed essential, that the public and interested stakeholders take an active role in providing enough input to help make this reform the one that they want. We should not simply accept a top-down programme designed by bureaucrats, and selectively enacted by policy makers. Why? Because, it would be disastrous if this reform fails or runs into the usual gaffes, just a few years down the line. Health care is simply too unforgiving and vital to fail or be subject to arbitrary social experimentation, no matter how good the intentions! Read the rest of this entry »


The road to Malaysia is sometimes paved with grammatical errors

— Farish A. Noor
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 07, 2012

FEB 7 — There are times when I can only assume that Malaysians have so much free time on their hands that they don’t know what to do with it. Today, as I was marking my students’ book reviews, I chanced upon an item on Facebook that caught my attention: A minor kerfuffle had erupted thanks to a naive and well-meaning, though poorly executed, attempt at political correctness and inclusivity. The JKMM Facebook page had announced a Happy Thaipusam, but to Buddhists instead of Hindus. Almost immediately scores of irate Malaysians wrote on the page, accusing the JKMM FB page administrators of being stupid and insensitive.

Now allow me to contribute my two cents’ worth here (I’m paid in Singaporean dollars now, so my two cents are worth five sen ok, don’t play-play … )

I find it difficult, if not impossible, to believe that anyone at the offices of the JKMM would deliberately set out to insult Hindus on the page of the JKMM. That would be so insanely counter-productive as to beggar belief. True there might be racists anywhere and everywhere (even in academia) but they seldom use official channels to insult others, what more in such a case where anyone responsible can be tracked down and eventually identified. Read the rest of this entry »


Another rural school mishap — but who cares?

— Andrew Aeria
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 08, 2012

FEB 8 — On the night of January 31, 18 young children, all students of a rural boarding school, SK Punan Ba in Sarawak’s Belaga district, were injured when their dilapidated wooden hostel (built in 1983) collapsed on them. According to the school’s headmaster, the “ramshackle wooden hostel” had been earmarked for renovation (see Borneo Post report).

Instead, for lack of repairs, five primary schoolgirls suffered “serious injuries” while 13 others had “minor fractures”. Luckily, there were no fatalities reported — although fatalities or permanent paralysis may still occur if any of the five ‘seriously injured’ schoolgirls do not respond well to medical treatment.

For those who do not understand medical parlance, a “serious injury” refers to the fact that the patient is bedridden after an accident and is incapable of walking. For those amongst us who have suffered “minor fractures”, we would all understand how painful, difficult and inconvenient an experience that can be. What more if the person is a child who is living in a rural and underfunded boarding school far away from family and loved ones, most of whom are poor and marginalised.

School buildings collapse and burn down regularly in Sarawak and Sabah owing to neglect and for lack of urgent maintenance funds. Read the rest of this entry »


When will Najib go into the den of the extremists to preach the message of moderation – especially Utusan Malaysia and UMNO Supreme Council?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak preached the message of moderation to a Chap Goh Meh celebration at Fo Guang Shah Dong Zen temple in Jenjarom, Selangor on Monday night, invoking the Buddhist teaching of moderation.

Najib said: “Even though we may differ in terms of faith, moderation exists in almost all religions…Moderation points to an understanding of not practicing extreme, fanatical, militant or violent ideology among us.”

He urged all Malaysians to support the concept of transformation and not to let the opportunity to pass to lift the nation to be a fully developed nation by 2020.

I commend Najib for spreading the message of moderation but he should realize that he was speaking to a converted crowd – as the audience in Jenjarom was imbued by the Buddhist teaching of “Middle Way” and/or the Confucianist doctrine of “zhong yong”.

It does not escape notice that although the Prime Minister had been preaching the message of moderation at a few international forums, and hosted an International Conference on the Global Movement of Moderates only last month, extremism and intolerance have been rearing their ugly heads resulting in the worst racial and religious polarization in the country in the first three years of any Malaysian Prime Minister from Tunku Abdul Rahman to Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir, Tun Abdullah and now to him.

Najib should continue to preach the message of moderation but it is important that he should not just spread the word to the converted like the Chap Goh Meh celebration at Jenjarom but must take the message to extremist groups and circles who need conversion to the message of moderation the most.

How can Najib expect the bona fides of his message of moderation, though repeated in international conferences or to selected audiences in the country, to be taken seriously if Utusan Malaysia, the official newspaper of his own political party, UMNO, is the daily personification of a shrill, irresponsible, extremist and intolerant Voice both on racial and religious grounds? Read the rest of this entry »


Umno’s right turn

— Liew Chin Tong
Rocket/The Malaysian Insider
Feb 07, 2012

FEB 7 — As I walked from my hotel room to a meeting in Port Dickson in July 2005, I remember holding a newspaper with a photo of Hishammuddin Hussein brandishing a keris on its cover. At that moment, I knew Umno was kissing goodbye to its non-Malay support. (For reference, see the first part of this article here.)

Indeed, on hindsight, it was the pivotal moment of the decade: Umno had turned to the right permanently while the then-Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lost control over his reform agenda. The demise of Abdullah’s premiership, arguably Umno’s last chance to reform, began in July 2005.

Today, unless Prime Minister Najib Razak can stare down the right wing of his party as effectively as Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020 grand compromise and turn the clock back by seven years to restore its centrist credential, the events of July 2005 will culminate in Umno and Barisan Nasional’s eventual electoral collapse. Read the rest of this entry »