Archive for May 31st, 2012

A country going rotten

— Othman Wahab
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2012

MAY 31 — Today is the day. If there was any doubt that Malaysia is ruled by the corrupt and assisted by the corrupt and that only regime change can save this country, today was the day where all the doubts were put to rest.

Today we saw the MACC give Shahrizat Jalil the all-clear, saying that she did not influence the RM250 million loan award to National Feedlot Corporation. But were her “expenses” paid by the NFC; did she benefit from the umrah packages bought by her family members aka directors of NFC.?

This probe was always going to be a whitewash because no Umno/BN bigshot is ever going to be convicted of anything, be it corruption or living beyond their means.

We knew that MACC was going to clear Shahrizat Jalil, and paint her as some aggrieved party. Poor thing. That they did it speedily while still investigating Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman should not surprise anyone.

The NFC case is a symbol of everything gone wrong with Umno and this country and the party elders believe that going to the polls with too many question marks over Shahrizat was untenable. Read the rest of this entry »


MACC’s cow sense

— The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2012

MAY 31 — Here’s a question for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Who accused Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil of being involved in the process of awarding the RM250 million government soft loan to the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) operated by her family?

Short answer, no one. Long answer, not one person ever did.

So, clearing the Wanita Umno chief of any involvement in the scandal is not even news because she wasn’t accused of that. And if MACC and Shahrizat are crowing about this, they have as much cow sense as the cattle in the Gemas farm.

Let’s be clear why Shahrizat’s name has been dragged into this and the government had to drop her from the Cabinet by not extending her tenure as senator.

Her family is accused of abusing public funds meant for a cattle-rearing project for their own shopping spree of luxury properties in Malaysia and abroad. They had admitted as much, saying the funds were being put to some use while waiting for the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries to do its part of the deal.

Of course, it begs the question whether public funds meant for one project can be used in other ways while waiting for something else to happen. The short answer, no. The long answer, of course not. Read the rest of this entry »


Dissecting the ETP Annual Report (Part 1) — Grade A+ for obfuscation!

— Ong Kian Ming and Teh Chi-Chang
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2012

MAY 31 — Top marks for befuddling even highly-qualified Malaysians. PEMANDU released its annual report last month to an expected chorus of praise. An economist at a leading financial institution gushed that the ETP deserves an “A” for transformation. Our analysis however, finds that pretentious words and slick presentations, protestations of diligence and toil and selective representation of data obscure the true picture.

Real GNI grew only 4.7 per cent last year. This is well below the 6 per cent per year growth rate called upon for the duration of the ETP. Nominal GNI growth, which includes inflation, was 12.3 per cent. But inflation does nothing for our real quality of life, and it is only because inflation was higher than expected that the nominal GNI growth rate hit double-digits.

PEMANDU’s GNI “target” is questionable. PEMANDU claims it has outperformed as GNI last year exceeded its RM797 billion target. Strangely enough, this “target” was declared only after the actual data was already out. Furthermore, the target was exceptionally low. As far back as October 2010, the Ministry of Finance was already projecting RM811 billion GNI. It is easy to exceed targets when they are low, and only declared after the fact. No real value is added, though.

Scoring is easy when you can shift the goalposts. The subterfuge by PEMANDU includes attempting to steal credit for 2010 economic growth, conflating GDP with GNI and using exchange rate movements to amplify performance. And these are just on the subject of headline economic performance. We shall uncover more ruses as we delve into the execution details. Stay tuned! Read the rest of this entry »


Di dalam bermusuh sesama sendiri

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2012

31 MEI — Umno bukan sahaja bermasalah untuk menentang parti-parti pembangkang, parti itu juga sedang berhadapan dengan masalah dalamannya. Masalah dalaman Umno bukannya kecil. Ia melibatkan pergerakan dalam yang dilakukan oleh sekumpulan pemimpin Umno yang veteran dan yang muda untuk menyusun kembali hiraki kepimpinan parti itu.

Dalam situasi menghadapi pilihan raya umum, Umno juga sedang membuat persediaan untuk mengadakan perhimpunan agong parti dan perhimpunan kali ini melibatkan pemilihan kepimpinan di setiap peringkat. Gerakan-gerakan yang dilakukan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin tertinggi parti dalam isu pemilihan kali ini amat besar ertinya dalam menentukan masa depan setengah pemimpin tertinggi parti dan pemimpin muda yang tidak sabar untuk menongkah arus dengan cita-cita besar menjadi Pemegang tampok kuasa suatu hari nanti.

Sejak akhir-akhir ini perkembangan dalam Umno telah menampakkan bibit-bibit perpecahan kerana ada usaha untuk mengenepikan Muhyiddin agar kekosongan itu dapat diisi oleh pemimpin muda yang inginkan menjadi pelapis kepada Najib yang mereka jangka akan terpaksa mengakui yang beliau telah gagal dalam segala “avenue” untuk terus memegang tampuk pentadbiran negara dan akan meletakkan jawatan sebagai Perdana Menteri. Read the rest of this entry »


Is Malaysia under rule of law or law of jungle where Radio Free Sarawak presenter Peter John Jaban can disappear for 6 hours after arrival in Miri without anyone in authority claiming knowledge or responsibility?

Is Malaysia under the rule of law or the law of jungle where Radio Free Sarawak presenter Peter John Jaban can disappear for six hours after arrival in Miri this morning without anyone in authority claiming knowledge or responsibility?

I have just spoken to Jaban’s lawyer, Alan Ling, the DAP Piasau State Assemblyman in Miri, and he confirmed that he is completely in the dark as what to has happened to Jaban some six hours after he met him at the Miri Airport on his arrival from Kota Kinabalu.

Alan had just spoken to the Miri police less than an hour ago and he was again told that the Miri police had no instruction or was not in anyway involved in Jaban’s arrest or disappearance.

Jaban had arrived in Miri from Kota Kinabalu in an Air Asia flight at about 10.45 am and as the Miri police had assured Alan that there was no instruction for Jaban’s arrest, Jaban had left the airport for Miri town with the Miri PKR chairman Dr. Michael Teo.

On their way to town, three men in a Proton car stopped Teo and Jaban, and Jaban was taken away.

Six hours have passed and nobody knows what has happened to Jaban or he is, safe or otherwise – and whether the three men who took Jaban away were from the police specially dispatched to Miri to apprehend Jaban, and if so, why the Miri police have been kept completely in the dark. Read the rest of this entry »


PEMANDU hiding ETP failure, say critics

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Putrajaya’s efficiency unit is “shifting the goalposts” to hide its failure to transform the economy since launching its ambitious Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) in October 2010, says the Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) think-tank.

The opposition-linked think-tank, which has published a series of critiques on the ETP that aims to double per capita income by 2020, said in a focus paper released today that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit’s (PEMANDU) gross national income (GNI) targets were lower than those set by the government.

REFSA noted that after the Finance Ministry (MoF) released the national income figure of RM830 billion for 2011, PEMANDU claimed the RM797 billion target had been exceeded. The unit under the Prime Minister’s Office is tasked with executing various transformation plans,

“Where did this RM797 billion target come from? It was not stated in the ETP Roadmap launched in Oct 2010. The MoF had already projected RM811 billion GNI for 2011, before the ETP Roadmap was launched.

“PEMANDU’s so-called ‘target’ is underwhelming. Taken at face value, PEMANDU is dragging down the Malaysian economy instead of transforming it. How else would you explain PEMANDU’s target for GNI being smaller than the forecast made by the MoF?,” REFSA said. Read the rest of this entry »