Archive for June 17th, 2012

Malaysia in the event of regime change

Ong Kian Ming
Jun 17, 2012


What happens in the unlikely event that Pakatan Rakyat wins control of the federal government after the 13th general election?

This is a question which few people have tried to address systematically. In this article, I want to highlight what I think will be the five main challenges facing a Pakatan federal government as a way to contextualise the policy options which such a government will have to address.

I have summarised these five main challenges into five ‘P’s:

*Dealing with the ‘Past’.

*Distributing ‘Power’ between the federal and state governments.

*Coming up with a new set of ‘Plans’ in the economic, political and social arenas.

*Focusing on a smaller number of ‘Priorities’ which can be delivered within 100 days and one year.

*Finding a set of ‘Procedures’ to deal with disagreements within the Pakatan coalition.

Read the rest of this entry »


Murky practices in rail tenders deter foreign firms, weekly reports

By Lisa J. Ariffin
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 17, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — International companies are shying away from Malaysia’s rail sector due to less-than-transparent decisions in the tender process, The Edge weekly has reported.

According to an article in the business and investment weekly’s latest edition, “intense lobbying, glitches in the tender process and political favouritism” are among some of the reasons why foreign firms are snubbing rail tenders, a move which could deprive the country of a high-quality rail system.

The Edge writer Lim Ben Shane reported that the response to open tenders has been poor purportedly due to the unfair selection of large contracts, adding that government officials have acknowledged the problem but have defended it as a relatively new phenomenon. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr M: Najib must be firm

By Dan Martin
Free Malaysia Today
June 17, 2012

He was skeptical of Najib’s liberalising moves and suggested authorities are too soft on a rising movement demanding free and fair elections

KUALA LUMPUR: Influential former strongman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has thrown his weight behind a Malaysian conservative pushback against growing calls for change, saying reform could lift the lid on ethnic tensions.

In an interview, the 86-year-old authoritarian icon expressed wariness over liberalising moves by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and suggested authorities were too soft on a rising movement demanding free and fair elections.

“We need a government that is firm. It should be fair. It should be firm,” Mahathir said in his futuristic 86th-floor office in the crown of the sky-scraping Petronas Towers high above the capital Kuala Lumpur.

His comments come after police used tear gas and water cannon in April 28 clashes with protesters demanding changes to an electoral system they view as biased.

Tens of thousands took part in the march through the capital, rattling the ruling party and triggering a wave of sharp conservative rhetoric against reform proponents.

Najib, who must call elections by early next year, has moved to soften some of the decades-old draconian security controls frequently employed by Mahathir during his 22 years in power.

But Mahathir, who retired in 2003, warned too much freedom risked stirring an ethnic hornet’s nest.

“Now that we want to be liberal, what has happened is that now we are more race-conscious than before. Today people are accusing each other of being racist,” said Mahathir, looking somewhat frail but his mind still sharp. Read the rest of this entry »


Global Bersih: Connecting Malaysians around the world

by Lim Ka Ea
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 08, 2012

JUNE 8 — When a work engagement required me to be in Washington DC on April 28, I decided to meet some fellow Malaysians who were involved in Global Bersih 3.0: Washington DC for the purpose of writing this article. I wanted to bring their stories home with me.

Exhausted from a full day of an “unconference” and heavily deprived of sleep from an all-nighter of monitoring “live” tweets on the rally, I waited patiently for my company to arrive. They were going to end their march at the Malaysian Kopitiam, a tradition that started on July 9 last year.

I ordered a glass of “teh tarik” but when it arrived at my table, it was just regular hot tea with milk and sugar served on a small cup and saucer. Not the real thing naturally, but authentic Malaysian cuisine was not why I was there.

While waiting for nearly an hour, I kept myself alert by listening to other people’s conversations with my eyes closed, giving the illusion that I wasn’t eavesdropping. It wasn’t difficult at all since I was close to being brain dead.

Two waitresses, presumably Malaysians, were quizzing each other at the bar on what the rally was all about in Cantonese. Although they were speaking under their breath, I could identify the gossipy tones of a hush-hush conversation between two nosey neighbours across the fence. Read the rest of this entry »