Archive for May 29th, 2012

Najib’s sweeping reforms: Winds of change or hot air?

— Justina Chen
The Malaysian Insider
May 29, 2012

MAY 29 — Since Malaysia Day last September, the administration of Prime Minister Najib Razak has undertaken a whirlwind of legislative and policy reforms, making Mr Najib arguably the most reformist Malaysian prime minister ever.

Political pundits remark that the rushed reforms which were undertaken without consultation with key stakeholders are a sign that a general election is imminent, perhaps to be held in less than two months.

Over the course of the last six months there have been a record number of legislative reforms including: repeal of the infamous Internal Security Act; amendments to the University and University Colleges Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act; announcement of a minimum wage policy as well as the passing of the Security Offences Bill and Peaceful Assembly Act.

Despite the current air of optimism, the sincerity of the government to effectively implement lasting reform has repeatedly been called into question. Government critics cite the lack of consultation and the short time frame within which legislative reform has taken place as evidence that the reforms are merely political ploys designed solely to gain traction with voters. Read the rest of this entry »


Cabinet tomorrow should cut the Gordian Knot and end the rigmarole of two Bersih inquiries – dissolve Hanif panel and give full support to Suhakam inquiry

The Cabinet tomorrow should cut the Gordian Knot and end the rigmarole of two Bersih inquiries – by dissolving the Hanif Omar “independent advisory panel” and giving full support to the Suhakam inquiry.

Yesterday, former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar announced the ten terms of reference of the “independent advisory board” into Bersih 3.0 violence.

Notably absent from the “independent advisory board” terms of reference is whether it is to establish Bersih 3.0 rally was an attempted coup d’etat by the Opposition to topple the government, that there were pro-communist individuals at Bersih 3.0 from demonstrations in the 1970s and whether there was use of provocateurs and children ala-“tactics of the communists” in the Bersih 3.0 rally or whether the panel is to take these three allegations as “accepted and proven truths” as Hanif himself had publicly endorsed them.

Hanif had defended his appointment, saying that his track record has proven that he acts with integrity.

It is precisely because Hanif should cherish his reputation of integrity that he should recuse himself as head of the Bersih 3.0 panel, as there is no way he could come out of it with his integrity unscathed after he had publicly made known his anti-Bersih 3.0 views. Read the rest of this entry »


Stop-work orders prove Pakatan strict on developers, says Penang CM

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
May 29, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Lim Guan Eng revealed today that the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) had issued 259 stop-work orders on housing developments since 2008, claiming this proves that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is stricter with developers than Barisan Nasional (BN).

The Penang chief minister pointed out that the number of orders issued by the council was a whopping seven times more than the 38 issued by the previous BN state administration from 2004 to 2007.

The Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) had issued 11 stop-work orders under PR’s rule from March 2008 until May 2012, whereas not one was issued under BN from 2003 to 2008.

“Facts have disproved BN’s claims that the Penang PR state government is the darling of developers at the expense of the public, especially those who need public housing,” Lim said.

“If given a choice, some developers would prefer the BN government which rarely issued stop-work orders, especially in MPSP where not a single stop-work order was issued.

“The huge increase in the number of stop-work orders issued proves that the PR Penang state government is more stringent in upholding the rule of law, demanding strict compliance with technical requirements and more unforgiving than BN,” he added.

However, Lim stressed that despite PR’s stringent rule, the administration remains business-friendly, provided that all investors and businessmen comply by the rules. Read the rest of this entry »


Call on Cabinet to initiate an All-Party Conference to nip in the bud the political culture of aggression, thuggery and violence which will mar the holding of free, fair and clean general election

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is at it again – making sweet-sounding highfalutin speeches at international forums but doing the very opposite in the country.

Addressing the 26th Asia Pacific roundtable last night, Najib called on Asian countries to reject the use of force and violence in resolving conflicts.

What struck Malaysians is not his call on Asian countries to reject the use of force and violence in resolving conflicts, but his conspicuous silence and his government’s failure in the past month to stand up and be counted to condemn and dissociate themselves from a new political culture of aggression, thuggery and violence disrupting Pakatan Rakyat functions and activities.

As a result, Malaysians are reminded of his other sweet-sounding highfalutin speeches at international forums calling for a Global Movement of Moderates to unite against extremists, but inside the country, his three-year premiership has seen the unprecedented manifestation of extremism not only officially sanctioned but carried out with impunity and immunity when laws of the land are violated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Black day for Internet users

The Malaysian Insider
May 29, 2012

MAY 29 — The Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012 will come into operation in a few days on June 1. The impact of this hastily and stealthily rushed legislation could be devastating.

De facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz denies that amendments to the Evidence Act were a means for the government to curb online dissent by making Internet anonymity more difficult to maintain or ignorance to be used as an excuse.

Instead Nazri claims that the law was tightened because “we don’t want [anonymous or pseudonymous] people to slander or threaten others,” according to a report in the Sunday Star.

However opposition leaders such as DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng are unconvinced. Read the rest of this entry »