Archive for August 23rd, 2012

‘Another May 13 only if orchestrated’

Anisah Shukry | August 23, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

While decades of socio-economic advances have lessened the likelihood of another racial riot, analysts say the threat of racial riots, although small, still exists.

PETALING JAYA: The threat of another May 13 incident is minimal but real, political analysts said, pointing fingers at “right-wing groups” they claim would be eager to instigate such riots.

On May 13, 1969, violence broke out between the Malays and the Chinese, sparked off by an election setback for the Malay-dominated ruling alliance. The riots lasted several weeks, with the death toll said to be 196.

Politicians often raise the tragic incident to cow Malaysians into maintaining the status quo – one that had seen the ruling government in power for 55 years.

But while analysts did not rule out the possibility of another racial riot, they said it would only occur if manufactured by certain quarters.

“The threat of May 13 repeating itself is real but only if there are people manipulating the incident,” Prof James Chin of Monash University told FMT.

“It is not likely to happen spontaneously,” he stressed, adding that unlike other countries, violence was not inherent in Malaysia’s political culture. Read the rest of this entry »


Ideology and debt: A reply to Dr Mahathir

— Pak Sako
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 23, 2012

AUG 23 — In his blog post “Change” (August 22, 2012), former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad criticised the socialist ideology.

He then claimed that “Malaysia has no ideology”.

This is not accurate.

It can be strongly argued that the Malaysian government after 1980 followed the “neoliberalism” ideology, a pro-business ideology.

This economic ideology was aggressively promoted around the world at the start of the 1980s by two pro-business world leaders: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (elected 1979) and American President Ronald Reagan (elected 1981). Read the rest of this entry »


Can University of Malaya leapfrog in QS World University Rankings 2012 to be released in 20 days’ time to restore her previous place as one of the world’s top 100 universities before 2015?

At the University of Malaya’s centennial celebrations in June 2005, the then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak threw the challenge to University of Malaya to raise its 89th position among the world’s top 100 universities in THES-QS (Times Higher Education Supplement-Quacquarelli Symonds) ranking in 2004 to 50 by the year 2020.

Instead of accepting Najib’s challenge with incremental improvement of its THES ranking, the premier university went into a free fall when in 2005 and 2006 it fell to 169th and 192nd ranking respectively, and in the following two years in 2007 and 2008, fell out of the 200 Top Universities ranking altogether.

In 2009, University of Malaya made a comeback to the 200 Top Universities Ranking when it was placed No. 180, but in 2010 it again fell out of the 200 Top Universities list when it dropped to 207th placing.

For the 2011 QS Top 200 Universities Ranking, University of Malaya returned to the Top 200 Universities Ranking, being placed at No. 167.

In the THES-QS World University Rankings 2009, University of Malaya leapfrogged 50 places from No. 230 placing in 2008 to No. 180 in 2009; while in the 2011 QS World University Ranking, University of Malaya leapt 40 places from No. 207 in 2010 to No. 167 in 2011.

The QS World University Rankings 2012 will be released in 20 days’ time. Can University of Malaya make another leapfrog as in 2009 and 2011 to seriously restore her place as one of the world’s top 100 universities by before 2015? Read the rest of this entry »


Johor MB expects to lose nine seats

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | August 23, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Johor has always been touted as the bastion of Umno, but one wonders if it really is so, given the inroads the opposition made in 2008.

In the 2008 general election, there was a 14% swing to the opposition. What has happened to that swing? It is increasing and getting stronger.

And this has got the menteri besar worried, intimating to his Umno division heads in one meeting that he expects at least nine parliamentary seats and up to 16 state seats to fall to the opposition in the 13th general election.

That means he has not discounted fully the swing to the opposition.

He has acknowledged that, at best, with all the efforts and the bribery that Umno has carried out, the party has only managed to claim back some 5%.
Read the rest of this entry »


Global economic slowdown and political uncertainty in Malaysia

Shankaran Nambiar, Kuala Lumpur | August 15th, 2012
East Asia Forum

The world is on the brink of an economic crisis and the consequences are likely to be dire.

The current state of the global economy presents multiple challenges to Malaysia. While the effects will first be felt within the economic sphere, they will also have a significant impact on domestic politics. This will add to the prevailing state of political uncertainty.

Some of Malaysia’s key trading partners are already struggling economically. The crisis rocking the euro zone has received a considerable amount of analysis, but the economic situation in other countries also merits attention.

The performance of the US economy is a concern for Malaysia. US GDP, which saw growth of 3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011, decreased to 1.9 per cent growth in the first quarter of 2012. Growth in the US hardly recovered, but whatever recovery it had achieved now appears shaky. Analysts put the forecast for US growth at 1–1.5 per cent for 2012. Some have raised the probability of a recession to 50 per cent. The unemployment rate has not budged from 8.2 per cent, as the increase in employment opportunities has not kept pace with population growth.
Read the rest of this entry »