Archive for June 21st, 2012

Dissecting the ETP Annual Report (Part 3): It was only RM12.9 billion of actual investments

By Ong Kian Ming and Teh Chi-Chang | June 21, 2012

JUNE 21 — It’s a long way from “committed” to “actual”. PEMANDU trumpets in its Annual Report that the ETP has brought in RM179 billion of investments. What is downplayed is that the RM179 billion is for committed investments. Actual investments under the ETP were just RM12.9 billion — a mere 7 per cent of the RM179 billion committed.

The committed investments figure is also doubtful. We found at least five projects worth RM17 billion where the ultimate investments may be less than promised. For example, PEMANDU took “110 per cent” credit for villa pre-bookings at the RM9.6 billion Karambunai Integrated Resort. But the project developer is being sued for defaulting on RM18 million of rental payments. Does it have the financial capability to deliver the new villas?

PEMANDU is stealing credit again. It said that the RM94 billion worth of private investments in Malaysia last year was “some 113 per cent above our target”. That seriously overstates PEMANDU’s performance given that PEMANDU brought in only RM12.9 billion, and that RM12.9 billion includes both private and government investments.
Read the rest of this entry »


Wither English, wither the nation

— Thomas Fann
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 21, 2012

JUNE 21 — The title of this article is inspired by a presentation I heard at an English language conference I attended recently. It was a gathering of educators involved in the teaching of English in schools and people who are committed to raising the standard of spoken and written English in our nation. Coincidentally, another article by Stephen Doss was published at the same time entitled “Whither the standard of English.” (


For me, a few facts stood out. Firstly, the height from which our command of English has fallen in our nation as a whole. Most of the invited speakers spoke impeccable English, especially the “dinosaurs” amongst them. But they were from a bygone era, an era where English was the main language of instruction in our schools and our proficiency in the language was among some of the best in the world.

Secondly, there is a sense of haplessness among the educators that they are going against the flow, that the political will is not there to stem the downward slide despite all the chatter from politicians about improving the standard of English in our country. The reversal in the decision to teach maths and science in English is one such example of this inconsistency.

Thirdly, that the fruit of this decline is now maturing in our society, where we heard a newspaper editor and a hotel owner bemoaning the fact that they are finding it increasingly difficult to secure employees who are able to speak and write good English, which is a vital criteria in their industries. We used to laugh at signage and product manuals from China but now we laugh with them.

But alas, all is not lost especially when we heard from some of the younger teachers who spoke. Their passion, creativity and commitment to raise the level of English in our schools and their use of new technology are encouraging and gave us hope that there are still many out there who believe that English as a language is still important in this country. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Cock and bull’ spins: Voters must decide

Stanley Koh | June 21, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Barisan Nasional scaremongers will continue to flog Pakatan Rakyat’s ‘inexperience’, but Malaysians must use reason and logic when the time comes to choose.


One of the most common and irritating claims continuously harped on by the Barisan Nasional leaders during their campaign rounds is that the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition had no experience in governing a multi-racial nation.

BN scaremongers in their battle cry for political survival would say the most naive and air-headed remarks such as “the nation would ultimately be bankrupt”, “ethnic tensions could flare” leading to pandemonium in the national state of affairs.

Four years have passed since the “308-electoral tsunami” when the Pakatan coalition bagged five states and formed new state governments in Perak, Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor.

Unfortunately, Perak returned to BN after a coup d’état not long after.

Indeed, “experience” is a hard teacher and even the most hard-headed pupil would not dispute this wisdom.

Those who have gone through extreme hardships, trials and tribulations can testify that experiences often gives the test before the lessons.

In this political odyssey filled with the voices of Malaysians demanding for “change,” the question is, should voters support an inexperienced coalition against an experienced 55-year-old or more ruling regime? Read the rest of this entry »