Archive for May 30th, 2012

Proton is the price we pay for brainless patriotism

Koon Yew Yin

The founding of Proton National Bhd in 1983 was a big expensive mistake to begin with. Billions of ringgit from taxpayers have been lost in the process.

The haemorrhage could not be stanched until only recently when Khazanah Nasional Berhad sold off its 43 percent stake in Proton to DRB-Hicom a few months ago. Malaysians have been wondering – is this finally an end to the unhappy saga of the government’s foray into the production of a so-called ‘national car’ or will the burden on taxpayers and car owners be continued in other new ways?

A revisit of this white elephant project is necessary to generate a larger public discourse especially amongst taxpayers who should be more concerned as to where all the tax money they’ve been paying has gone to.

One simplistic assumption which appears to have been made by the initiator of the national car project Dr Mahathir Mohamad is that an industry that is growing yearly should be profitable. It is not. In fact, industry data shows that the total profits of all the car companies over the last decades amount to only a modest return, and that only for the fittest in the industry. Read the rest of this entry »


Let 2012 Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai usher the greatest empowerment of Kadazandusun and Dayak communities in 13th General Election in shaping the destiny of Malaysia in next 50 years

Wishing Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai to all Kadazandusun and Dayak communities in Sabah and Sarawak.

Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai this year is taking place at a momentous period in the nation’s history, with the country geared to hold its 13th General Election which will decide whether Malaysia is ready to take her place as one of the normal democracies in the world where power transition at the national level is determined through the ballot box and accepted as part and parcel of the parliamentary democratic process.

For quite some time, the conventional wisdom is that the 13th General Election will fall in June this year, but now all the political calculations have to be reworked after the unprecedented support of a quarter of a million Malaysians for Bersih 3.0 in the streets of Kuala Lumpur and by tens of thousands of Malaysians in over 80 cities across the globe.

This spontaneous outpouring of support for the Bersih campaign for a clean election had caught the Najib administration by surprise as the intelligence it received before April 28 was that Bersih 3.0 had “little traction” with the people and could not muster more than the crowd of Bersih 2.0, which brought out some 50,000 people.
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Sun setting on Penang’s factories?

By Zairil Khir Johari | May 30, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 30 — With the general election closing in, the Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership is certainly not short on promises.

Having recently assumed the hot seat, newly-minted state BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow has been eagerly peddling the coalition’s “alternative blueprint” for Penang, an election manifesto that includes a plan to restore free port status to the island while turning it into an international tourism hub, along with plans for an international financial centre, innovation park and aquaculture hub in mainland Seberang Perai.

And then, as if to prove that his fancy labelling actually carries some philosophical substance, he goes to great lengths to explain his vision of a post-industrial future for Penang, where he promises to transform the services sector into an engine of growth as a replacement to the manufacturing industry.
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Bersih to snub Hanif-led probe panel

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
May 30, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — Bersih has joined the Bar Council in refusing to participate in the “Hanif panel” investigating police violence in the April 28 rally for electoral reforms, saying the probe would be “seriously flawed” under Tun Hanif Omar’s chairmanship.

Bersih co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan repeated the council’s view that Hanif’s involvement in the panel, following the latter’s criticism of Bersih 3.0 protesters as communist sympathisers, would affect the impartiality of the investigation.

“Our stand has not changed. It is not personal, we have nothing personal against Tun Hanif but we think it is seriously flawed as he is chairing it (the panel).

“Justice must be seen to be done and he has already made a pronouncement about Bersih in a negative light, so we think he should not even be there (in the panel), let alone to chair it,” she told The Malaysian Insider yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »