Archive for June, 2012

Why the electoral arithmetic in Malaysia does not allow the Chinese voters to be “kingmakers” in 13GE

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad seems to have reverted to his early years in politics when, to use his own words, he was fighting for the Malay cause per se when he was young and his thoughts were that of an inexperienced politician.

Mahathir made this open admission in a dialogue with the Malaysian Student Executive Council of the United Kingdom in September 1995, when making the case for a Malaysian rather than a Malay approach, arguing that to realize the goal of Bangsa Malaysia, Malaysians should start accepting each other as they are regardless of race or religion.

This was the fourth year of his promulgation of Vision 2020 and Bangsa Malaysia in February 1991.

Now Mahathir seemed to have gone full circle, repudiating not only Bangsa Malaysia and Vision 2020, but fighting only for Malay rather than Malaysian cause.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak called on Barisan Nasional members not to make statements that will hurt the feelings of other races or BN component parties.

But how many in UMNO will listen to Najib? Read the rest of this entry »


PM’s elegant silence on BN sniping

— Jaleel Hameed
The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 30 — Mr Prime Minister, sir, where is your sense of fair play and Malaysian-ness?

Why are you, sir, so limp-wristed in giving a rap on the knuckles of your Barisan Nasional colleagues who think they can say anything and get away with it?

Is this a sense of entitlement, sir? Because your government has been our only government since Merdeka?

Sir, I am referring to your wishy-washy, lukewarm comment asking BN people not to hurt other races. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib out-flip flops Abdullah with window for July GE closed after scuttling of polls date by Bersih 3.0 rally despite the bravado confidence of “14-0” BN thrashing for PR


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has out-flip flopped his predecessor Tun Abdullah Badawi.

The window for July for the 13th General Election has closed as Najib’s earlier plans for June or July to get his own mandate as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia has been completely scuttled by the disastrous government misjudgment and mishandling of the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.

In fact, public alienation over the government’s misjudgment and mishandling of the Bersih 3.0 had intensified and aggravated over time with the series of irresponsible and insensitive developments post-Bersih 3.0, including:

• Najib’s wild and baseless allegation that the Bersih 3.0 rally was an opposition coup attempt to topple the government;

• the ridiculous and unacceptable establishment of a purported “independent advisory panel” headed by former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar who had publicly expressed his prejudicial views to find out what went wrong on April 28 when a peaceful gathering of hundreds of thousands of Malaysians regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender for a common national cause for a clean election could be marred by incidents of violence and brutality after 3 p.m that day;

• the shocking statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in Parliament that “salt and plastic mineral water bottles” – which were all that some of the Bersih 3.0 protestors were “armed” with to defend themselves from reckless police firing of teargas and chemically-laced water cannon – could topple the Najib government; and

• the continued targeting, victimization and demonization of Bersih 3.0 organisers and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, in particular the Bersih co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan – even to the extent of the demand in Parliament that Ambiga be “hanged” as a traitor when what had motivated her, the Bersih 3.0 organisers, the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who responded to the Bersih 3.0 rally were the highest and noblest sense of love and patriotism for Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Bad start Mr Chief Secretary

— Lim Teck Ghee
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 29, 2012

JUNE 29 — In his first public interview since assuming the position of Chief Secretary to the Government, Dr Ali Hamsa said all the politically correct and bland things that one expects from someone eager to show Malaysians that he is up to the challenge of a big job.

From being a cheer leader attempting to rouse the morale of his troops (according to him, the performance of the civil service has been “excellent”) to sounding patriotic and humble (“We need to continuously raise the bar to be among the best…”; “we can’t treat what we do as a job as what we do must benefit all Malaysians”), the orchestrated and carefully calibrated interview with the New Straits Times was clearly meant to impress and get Malaysians on his side.

Unfortunately, it failed to address the two most important failings of the civil service. Read the rest of this entry »


Implications of rebasing and revising our national accounts

— Ong Kian Ming
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 27, 2012

JUNE 27 — Something interested happened to our national economy in May 2012. Our per capita Gross National Income (GNI) increased from RM29,094 to RM29,661. Our GDP increased from RM853 billion to RM881 billion and our GNI increased from RM831 billion to RM859 billion.

And all of these are nominal figures for the year ending 2011. Did we suddenly grow richer without actually realising it? Did we discover some hidden loose change in the deep recesses of the nation’s glove compartment or underneath the car seat?

Sadly, we’re not going to find an extra RM567 in our bank accounts, BR1M notwithstanding. These revisions occurred as part of a larger “rebasing” of our national accounts, a regular exercise undertaken by the Department of Statistics, due to improvements in data collection methods and conceptual innovations in the way we measure economic activity.

For this particular exercise, the base year to measure real economic activity was changed from 2000 to 2005 (hence the term “rebasing”). Previous base years were 1970, 1978 and 1987. This means that data for real economic activity such as GDP and GNI have been revised upwards as has nominal economic data, as indicated in the opening paragraph.

There are a few reasons why these statistical revisions are important, especially for the readers of this paper. Read the rest of this entry »


Kingmakers in GE13 are not the Chinese voters but all Malaysian voters, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans to unite and bring about peaceful transition of federal power to end corruption, cronyism and abuses of power

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is up to his past mischief yesterday when he played the race card to create racial suspicion, mistrust and fear in his effort to save UMNO and Barisan Nasional from being voted out of Federal power in the 13th general election and replaced by Pakatan Rakyat.

Saying that the Chinese voters are the kingmakers for the 13th general election, Mahathir said the Chinese voters will decide who forms the government after the general election as the Malays are divided among three parties.

He claimed that “the Malay majority has split itself into three and become the minority” and the opposition PKR, PAS as well as UMNO have “to cede to Chinese demands”.

As a result, “these three small Malay parties need the support of the Chinese in order to win the elections”.

He said: “Whichever party gets the support of the Chinese will win the elections.

“The fact is today all three Malay parties are trying to butter the Chinese electorate. So they become racial and cater to racial demands.”

What Mahathir said yesterday must rank as among his most irresponsible and mischievous statements, making nonsense of his Vision 2020 and concept of Bangsa Malaysia which envisioned Malaysians “ethnically and territorially integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership” by 2020. Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga ‘ayam tambatan’ kepada transformasi pilihanraya negara

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 28, 2012

28 JUN — Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Pengerusi bersama Bersih 3.0, sudah menjadi seorang yang paling popular dan beliau sudah pasti menjadi seorang yang “of consequence” dalam politik negara kini. Ambiga bukan seorang ahli politik dan beliau tidak bercadang dan terfikir untuk berkecimpung dalam arena yang beliau tidak pandai untuk turut serta.

Beliau merupakan ketua kepada sebuah NGO yang inginkan pilihanraya diadakan dan dilaksanakan secara bersih. Sebagai warganegara yang bertanggungjawab, beliau bersama rakan-rakan beliau dan disokong oleh majoriti rakyat yang inginkan satu pilihanraya bersih, secara tidak langsung beliau merupakan seorang yang paling berpengaruh dalam negara kita.

Perjuangan beliau di dalam NGO Bersih itu mendapat pengiktirafan antarabangsa dan beliau telah mendapat beberapa anugerah di atas peranan beliau dalam membina sebuah masyarakat yang “civil”. Beliau mendapat penghormatan untuk bertemu dengan Presiden Obama dari Amerika Syarikat yang tidak mudah di perolehi oleh ramai pemimpin negara kita. Dr Mahathir sendiri terpaksa menggunakan “lobbyist” ternama dan terpaksa membayar ber”million” ringgit untuk bertemu dengan Presiden Amerika Syarikat suatu ketika dahulu.

Tetapi oleh kerana Ambiga adalah rakyat Malaysia dan ditadbir oleh Umno Baru pula, Ambiga menjadi sasaran dan kecaman dari pihak pemerintah negara kerana di Malaysia ini, sesiapa yang tidak sehaluan dengan tindakan kerajaan, berpotensi untuk dihina dan dinesta. Yang terakhir sekali, seorang ahli Legislatif Umno Baru, Mohamad Aziz, telah meminta Ambiga digantung kerana bertindak mengadakan perhimpunan Bersih 3.0 pada 28 hb April yang lalu. Read the rest of this entry »


No more damning admission of double failures – Mahathir’s Bangsa Malaysia in Vision 2020 and Najib’s 1Malaysia policy

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad today chalked up a new record of sorts when his speech at a forum on business and politics could not be a more damning admission of double failures – firstly of his concept of Bangsa Malaysia in his Vision 2020 announced 21 years ago in 1991 and the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia policy proclaimed just more than three years ago.

In Vision 2020, Mahathir envisioned having only one “Bangsa Malaysia” in 2020 with the people “ethnically and territorially integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership” while Najib’s 1Malaysia envisaged a Malaysian nation where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as Malaysian first and his or her race, religion, region or socio-economic status second.
Both visions and objectives have been smashed into smithereens when Mahathir said that the next general elections, the second last to be held before the expiry of the 30-year Vision 2020, will centre on race as “Malaysia has become more racial than ever”.

Mahathir said:

“In this country, we are very racist, even more than before. The next election is going to be about race. Who gives what, who gets what based on race.”

Ever since the political tsunami of the 2008 general election, UMNO leaders and strategists have increasingly become more and more blatant and unscrupulous in playing the race and religious cards to try to wrest back political power, making a total mockery of the Vision 2020 concept of “Bangsa Malaysia” and Najib’s 1Malaysia objective. Read the rest of this entry »


The Malay middle ground: Pakatan has most to gain

— Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 27, 2012

JUNE 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is writing Barisan Nasional’s political obituary by focusing on micro electoral targets while refusing to confront macro policy matters.

The window to call election before the month of Ramadan has come and gone. The next possible window, which starts from September, is small and very much constrained by the Hari Raya Haji celebration on October 26, Deepavali festival on November 14, and the subsequent annual year-end floods.

Having sounded the war drums for at least two years since 2010 and making it very loud since late last year, Najib was visibly scared to pull the trigger at last, to the chagrin of many Umno leaders who want to get over it and done with.

As Najib calibrates his perfect moments, which I believe have long gone and will never return again, the nation was left in a lurch with numerous policy paralyses, flip-flops, and stalemates. Read the rest of this entry »


Does Malaysia need democracy?

— Dennis Ignatius
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 28, 2012

JUNE 28 — “Government of the people, by the people and for the people would result in a stalemate, in no government at all, in anarchy.” — Dr Mahathir Mohamad

In the Philippines recently to accept an honorary professorship by the University of Santo Thomas, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in his usual provocative style, drew attention to some of the weaknesses of democracy and warned that we should not put too much stock in democracy to solve our problems.

If his goal was to highlight the difficulties inherent in a democracy, we will all do well to pay careful heed. If, however, his objective was to make the case that democracy, because of the weaknesses he highlighted, is not suitable for developing countries like Malaysia, which I suspect is his intent, then I must respectfully beg to disagree. Read the rest of this entry »


Kita gantung pembunuh, bukan gantung yang berbeza pendapat!

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 28, 2012

28 JUN — Kita gantung yang membunuh Altantuya. Kita gantung pengedar dadah. Kita gantung yang menjual kad pengenalan. Kita gantung yang menjual rahsia tentera laut. Kita gantung yang menjual kerakyatan. Kita tak gantung orang yang berbeza pendapat dan pandangan. Hanya untuk sekali sahaja — pemimpin Umno gunalah otak kamu.

Pemimpin-pemimpin United Munafik National Organisation(Umno) bersikap macam burung ostrich yang menyorokkan kepala dalam lubang tanah. Dia ingat kalau dia tak nampak musuh pemangsa, maka musuh pemangsa atau binatang lain tidak nampak akan dia. Hendak kita ketawakan dan kritik mereka, kita serba salah, maklum sahajalah, mereka berotak burung. Kita jadi pandir jika melayan puak Umno. Tak setuju tarik kerakyatan! Tak setuju kita gantung. Tak setuju kita jel! Inilah kualiti pemimpin Umno. Hendakkah kita amanahkah negara kepada orang bermutu rendah dan selekeh otak macam ini?

Dr Mahathir sendiri yang kata memang pemimpin Umno yang sekarang ini orang-orang bodoh dan half-past six. Yang cerdik sudah masuk PAS, yang bijak sudah masuk PKR dan yang pandai dah masuk DAP. Yang tolol dan bahlul dan mengeluarkan bahan yang patut keluar dari dubur, di keluarkan ikut lubang mulut sahaja yang tinggal dalam Umno. Sebab itu Dr Mahathir kata, Umno sudah busuk sampai ke usus. Kalau kita hendak selamat, maka kita amanahkan negara kepada Pakatan Rakyat. Bukan saya cakap, Dr Mahathir yang suruh.

Mahukah kita amanahkan pentadbiran negara kepada barisan pemimpin yang tolol lagi bahlul, perasuah dan pembuli? Bagaimana negara hendak maju dalam tangan orang Umno yang tolol wa bahlul? Rosak dan punah negara kita. Read the rest of this entry »

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Egypt: The 12 million losers!

By Ali Ibrahim
Al Arabiya News
27 June 2012

Simply following the comments of activists and observers on social networking websites during the press conference held by the head of Egypt’s electoral commission, Farouk Sultan, who was forced by law to issue a lengthy legal preamble before the election result was announced, was fun in itself. These activists, in their nervous state, posted various comments claiming that Sultan’s narrative or use of certain words meant that Shafiq would be declared the winner, only to return later to post other comments claiming that the indications now suggested that Mursi would be declared victorious! Some comments accused the head of the electoral commission of being sadistic, because he did not immediately announce the election result but instead left everyone on the edge of their seats as he reviewed the work of the electoral commission and the difficult conditions it operated under.

Despite a flood of conspiracy theories, claims of voter fraud, and talk about secret understandings being reached behind closed doors, no one was sure of the name of the winning candidate until Farouk Sultan announced that Mohammed Mursi had won ahead of Ahmed Shafiq. Hence a new chapter in post-25 January Egypt has begun, and the challenges of this stage are no less difficult than the previous transitional period, which lasted for around 16 months and was full of turmoil.

There was a winner and a loser, each with a large support base who voted for them, and neither can cancel the other out. The end result was decided by a difference of less than 3 percent, or about 900 thousand votes out of a total of roughly 26 million according to the commission’s figures, including more than 800 thousand invalid votes. In the end, everyone must accept the outcome of the ballot box even if the difference is so small. Read the rest of this entry »


Scandalous! Outrageous! Najib administration not serious about bringing Teoh’s killers to justice when MACC could take three times longer than TBH RCI to conduct internal probe into RCI findings on criminal transgressions of MACC officers

It is downright scandalous and outrageous – the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) taking three times longer than the Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to conduct its internal probe into the RCI findings on the criminal transgressions of MACC officers resulting in Teoh’s death at MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on July 16, 2009.

And what is the outcome of such MACC internal probe? To decide on the disciplinary action to be taken against the three MACC officers whose “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” had “driven” Teoh “to commit suicide”!

The MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed said today that the MACC would first make its recommendations to its complaints committee before meting out appropriate disciplinary action against the trio.

The message is very simple and crystal clear – the Najib administration and the MACC are just not serious in wanting to bring Teoh’s killers to justice! Read the rest of this entry »


Hanya ‘mutu mengenal manikam’, bukannya ‘Muthu mengenal Maniam’

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 26, 2012

26 JUN — Saya bersetuju dengan Dr Mahathir bahawa kita tidak perlu mengikut jejak cara Arab Spring untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan, kerana diantara Malaysia dan negara-negara arab itu berbeza. Di negara-negara Arab itu tidak ada demokrasi dan saya bersetuju dengan Dr Mahathir itu.

Kita tidak mahu terjadinya Arab Spring disini untuk mendapatkan kuasa. Kita memilih untuk mendapatkan kuasa melalui pengiraan undi didalam pilihanraya yang diadakan secara demokratik. Tidak ada siapa yang mahukan kekecohan dalam politik ini, lebih-lebih lagi pihak pembangkang.

Kerana tidak mahu berlakunya Arab Spring itulah, rakyat mendesak kerajaan untuk membetulkan sistem pilihanraya di negara kita ini. Negara kita telah melalui pilihanraya demi pilihanraya sejak merdeka tetapi rakyat sekarang sedar bahawa sistem pilihanraya dan demokrasinya yang telah terlaksana selama ini tidak sampai ketahap yang munasabah. Ianya berat sebelah dan sentiasa memberikan kelebihan kepada BN sahaja. Read the rest of this entry »


Sand, Sensibility and Singapore Bashing

by Koon Yew Yin

Every few months or so, the subject of selling sand to Singapore flares up in the media.

When this happens in the websites, the discussion takes on a polemical turn – with ‘patriots’ proclaiming how disloyal it is to sell sand to our neighbor; how we are selling out our national interests; etc.

The latest report out in the media states that a private company employed by the operator of the Tanjung Agas Gas and Oil Logistic Park in Pahang is being investigated for smuggling sand into Singapore (see Read the rest of this entry »


What Malaysians want in 13GE is not a revolution but a normal democracy where peaceful transition of power at national level is accepted by Najib, UMNO and all stakeholders

Yesterday, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad questioned the “clamour by some quarters to push for a revolution to topple the government when the latter was already giving a lot of priority to the people’s interests”.

In a forum entitled “Discussions with a statesman – The commitment of graduates will be a catalyst for national progress” at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Mahathir said there was no necessity for Malaysians to act outside of the law to topple the government as Malaysia had a democratic system that was much better than many countries affected by the “Arab Spring”.

Mahathir is in his classic and irresponsible self spouting perverse illogic, deliberately and mischievously couching the present phase of the democratic battle in Malaysia in misleading and tendentious context by invoking the images of bloodshed, chaos, violence and riots by referring to “a push for a revolution to topple the government”.

Only very recently, there was the monstrous lies about the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 as a “coup attempt by the Opposition to topple the government” when hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender gathered peacefully in a common national cause for a clean election for a clean Malaysia, armed at most with salt and water mineral bottles to defend themselves against irresponsible police firing of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannons.

But whether on April 28 or in the run-up to the next general election, there is no “push for a revolution” in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Anti Islam: DAP tidak bodoh

by Subyky Latif
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 26, 2012

26 JUN — Jika Umno ada kejayaan besar dalam perjuangannya setakat ini ialah ia dapat menenamkan persepsi di kalangan orang Melayu yang tebal Umnonya bahawa DAP anti Islam.

Inilah yang dijaja di merata-rata oleh agen Umno sebagai usahanya menyekat kemaraan Pakatan Rakyat ke Putrajaya.

Dan antara dalih orang Melayu tidak berapa mahu PAS menggantikan Umno ialah kerana PAS berkawan dengan DAP. Ada pun momokan DAP itu anti Melayu mulai reda kerana mulai ada benih Umno — dua bekas ADUNnya — menyertai DAP.

Maka yang rancak disabut dalam perjumpaan Umno ialah DAP anti Islam.

Saya tidak berhajat untuk membela DAP, tetapi saya hendak tanya, adakah DAP itu sebagai sebuah parti politik dalam masyarakat yang ramai penduduk Islam begitu bodoh untuk menampilkan politik anti Islam? Read the rest of this entry »


Is Najib prepared to declare that those who regard Chinese and Indians as “kaum pendatang” are lunatic, anti-national, must be condemned by all patriotic Malaysians and will have no place in Malaysian politics or public service?

In trying to downplay the “pendatang” (immigrants) slur oft made against non-Malay Malaysians, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is admitting to two things:

• Firstly, the failure of his 1Malaysia Policy which he announced when he became Prime Minister 39 months ago with the objective to create a Malaysia where every Malaysian regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region and socio-economic status second;

• Secondly, his inability and impotence to do anything to counter and wipe out this divisive and insidious mindset which perpetuates a false, mischievous and anti-national division of Malaysians, which is particularly ludicrous when the first-generation local born of one community could call on a fourth, fifth or sixth-generation local born of another community to “balik China” or “balik India”!

In his dialogue with Chinese youths at University Malaya yesterday, Najib urged the Chinese community not to be offended by people who call them pendatang (immigrants) because such remarks are made by a handful of “lunatics” with “loose screws”.

He said those who utter such remarks intentionally say so to hurt the feelings of the Chinese community and that his administration does not share such views.

He said: “I hope we are not too hurt by one or two comments. In every community, there are always one or two individuals whose heads are not quite right.”

Najib’s answer would be most assuring if it is true that it is only “one or two lunatics” with “loose screws” who made such offensive, insidious and anti-national remarks.

However, this is not the case. Read the rest of this entry »


Who do you trust on crime?

— Justice Seeker
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2012

JUNE 24 — Who do we trust? I tell you who we should trust: Those who have a track record of telling the truth; those whose track record of performance can stand up to scrutiny.

Just think about all those people who you have trusted all through your life: your parents, siblings, classmates, colleagues, religious leaders, etc. Even when you did not agree with what they told you, you knew that it was probably for your benefit and, ultimately, truthful.

So we should use the same yardstick or gut feel to evaluate what Idris Jala is telling us about crime. Read the rest of this entry »


Ali Hamsa! Lepaskan jawatan KSN, tanding atas tiket BN!

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2012

24 JUN — Baru sehari dua menjadi Ketua Setiausaha Negara (KSN) Dr Ali Hamsa sudah bercakap politik, sedangkan beliau adalah ketua kepada 1.4 juta perkhidmat awam yang sepatutnya tidak menyebelahi mana-mana pihak dan bekerjasama dengan sesiapa atau mana-mana parti yang dipilih rakyat.

Kakitangan kerajaan merupakan pelaksana kepada apa-apa dasar yang telah digubal oleh sesiapa yang memerintah yang diberikan mandat oleh rakyat.

Ali menyeru kepada semua kakitangan kerajaan supaya memberikan sokongan kepada kerajaan yang ada pada hari ini dan jangan mendengar janji-janji kosong dari pihak pembangkang. Walaupun beliau berasa berterima kasih kepada kerajaan kerana dijadikan KSN manggantikan KSN yang lama ia tidak bermakna Ali boleh menafikan hasrat rakyat yang ramai yang merupakan empunya kepada negara ini.

Penjawat awam itu pun kepunyaan rakyat dan dibayar gaji mereka oleh rakyat termasuk gaji Ali itu sendiri. Penjawat awam seperti Ali ini nampaknya mesti melalui kursus sivik yang asas untuk memahami apakah jenis negara dan sistem yang ada yang beliau akan tadbir ini. Read the rest of this entry »