Archive for September 21st, 2012

‘Smear campaign’, NGOs say of foreign plot claim

By Leannza Chia and Md Izwan
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 21, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― Activists said today they are now the target of a smear campaign after a number of newspapers aligned with Barisan Nasional (BN) published stories alleging organisations like SUARAM and Bersih took foreign funds as part of a plot to destabilise the country.

It is understood the stories appearing in mainstream newspapers and television news programmes are based on a skeleton plan produced by Putrajaya.

Today, the activists acknowledged to The Malaysian Insider that many of their organisations had received funds from foreign and local sources, but said the money was meant to help finance their respective causes such as to promote democratic practices and campaign for human rights.

They said the funds and their sources were not part of any plot, as suggested by a headline today on the front page of the Umno-controlled New Straits Times. Read the rest of this entry »


The RM20m country, what a laugh!

― Jaleel Hameed
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 21, 2012

SEPT 21 ― How cheap is Malaysia? Power is cheap, labour is cheap, the KR1M shops make sure household goods are cheap. And today, we hear it only takes RM20 million to destabilise the government of the day.

Is this a joke, newspaper and television editors? Is this a cheap joke, even?

That’s all for a government that has been in power since Merdeka? A measly RM20 million in a country of billion-ringgit projects and IPOs?

Cheap isn’t even the word to use if this report is to be believed. That foreign agencies ― and Germany’s RM21,400 ― is all that it takes to make the Najib administration wobbly enough to be taken down.

This, a government that is bullish enough to say it can win all states and its two-thirds majority in the next election that seems further away every day. Read the rest of this entry »


Should Pakatan Reveal Its Shadow Cabinet?

By Kee Thuan Chye
Malaysian Digest

I’m surprised that even intelligent people are questioning whether Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is ready to govern at federal level. I must admit I read this on an online news website and the full implications of what they said at a forum last Sunday may not have been comprehensively conveyed, but the gist of it is, they seem sceptical.

To me, the question of whether PR is ready to be the federal government is an unfair one. Was the Alliance ready to rule when the British handed the administration to it in the 1950s?

I believe we have to give people a chance. In many instances, when they are given that chance, they simply step up to the job. That’s what PR did when in 2008 they won, to their great surprise, the state governments of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Perak. They had no prior experience then of doing the job but they got down to business straight away.

Some observers would say that the PR government in Perak was doing quite well, headed by Nizar Jamaluddin, until Barisan Nasional (BN) inveigled its way into the driver’s seat. The public knew practically nothing about Nizar when he was sworn in as menteri besar, but he turned out to be an effective and likeable leader for the 11 months he served. In other words, he stepped up to the job.
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I will raise the Keningau Batu Sumpah in Parliament to support my proposal for a RCI on whether expectations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in past 50 years

On the 49th Malaysia Day on Sunday, Catholic Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong in his message questioned if a 49-year-old agreement symbolised by the Keningau Batu Sumpah to uphold religious freedom and other native rights and customs had been kept.

Piong said that 49 years ago leaders from the federation of Malaya promised the people of Sabah they would progress together and have their basic human rights protected, as part of a campaign to convince them to join forces and form Malaysia, with partner states Sarawak and Singapore.

The three key pledges Piong highlighted were guarantees that Sabahans would have freedom of religion, their native land would be safeguarded by the state government and the federal government would respect and protect Sabah local customs.

“Are these promises still being respected and honoured?” Piong asked in his Malaysia Day message.

He said: “The agreement was carved on an oath stone (Batu Sumpah Peringatan) which is still visible read and remembered.”

I first visited the Keningau district council’s administration centre in March 2010 together with DAP MPs Hiew King Cheu (Kota Kinabalu), Teo Nie Ching (Serdang), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut) and Jimmy Wong (Sabah State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong) where the Oath Stone still stands, and engraved on the Oath Stone are the words: Read the rest of this entry »

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A tale of interdependence

By Goh Keat Peng | September 20, 2012

We spend a lot of time on independence, for example, the independence of a nation. But perhaps not enough time on interdependence of the people within an independent nation. These two processes are of dire importance to all human beings.

Here in Malaysia, three days ago, a nineteen year old girl died; on the very day she was to have reported for work for the first time as a kindergarten teacher. The fact that she had come to this point when she could be considered for such a job was in itself a testimony of her courage, discipline, persistence and determination. For her heart (as a bodily organ) was faulty and in 2007, a donor heart was found but upon transplantation was rejected by her system. A second donor heart became available to her and she underwent the arduous process of heart transplant a second time. This one served her for almost five years till her sudden death. She is heart-achingly mourned by her parents and the organ donor’s parents and many others throughout the land.

There are many stories within this one story. In fact, an entire ecology of human relationships was involved. The story transcends many generations, many taboos and prejudices, bringing many souls/lives together. This was a story involving an intricate web of human relationships that demonstrated the best of human courage, kindness, generosity, goodwill and good conduct. As well as the realities of human interdependence which lifts the human spirit through its heart-warming and inspirational qualities.
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Education blueprint: Don’t stampede us into approval

By Dr Lim Teck Ghee | Friday, 21 September 2012 10:30

I call on the Government not to stampede Malaysians into approving the education blueprint recently presented to the public. This is because there are many unresolved and critical issues which need clarification and deliberation before the blueprint can be considered a satisfactory framework for responding to the deep crisis in our education system and the many challenges that we face in economy and society.

Rushing the blueprint as the final roadmap just ahead of the coming elections not only smacks of political opportunism but it will also adversely impact our students through its untimely implementation of contentious policies in key areas. 
Is a new NEP part of the blueprint?

In my opinion, the draft although containing some useful recommendations for reform, has many shortcomings, including the failure to address key problem areas arising from past politicization of the educational system. This politicization associated with the implementation of the New Economic Policy in education has led to a drastic fall in standards as well as the declining quality of human resource development and a less resilient, cohesive and competitive society. It awaits a fuller discussion and analysis in the revised report. 
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