Archive for September 26th, 2012

On the secular state controversy

― Ahmad Fuad Rahmat
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 26, 2012

SEPT 26 ― Some weeks have passed since the release of our rather controversial call for a secular state. Naturally, we encountered many comments along the way. Many were constructive, while one particularly from HAKIM was nothing short of vitriolic.

In the interest of furthering democratic debate, we shall take the opportunity here to clarify the misconceptions we encountered along the way in hope that our position will be more clearly understood. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno’s Nation of Traitors

By Martin Jalleh


Pakatan Rakyat 2013 Budget pledges a New Deal for Sabah and Sarawak

The Pakatan Rakyat’s 2013 Budget recognises and addresses the three “Cs” of corruption, crime and competitiveness – the trio of problems which are the bane of the Malaysian economy and if unresolved, will condemn the country to mediocrity and even towards the direction of a failed state.

The PR 2013 Budget is also a pledge for a New Deal for Sabah and Sarawak, comprising five elements:

(1) Reaffirmation of the Kuching Declaration of Pakatan Rakyat of 16th September 2012 to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people of Sabah and Sarawak in terms of infrastructure development and protection of their fundamental rights in forming Malaysia 49 years ago in 1963;

(2) Pakatan Rakyat pledge to honour the increase of petroleum royalty to Sabah and Sarawak (as well as to Terengganu and Kelantan, the other oil producing states) from 5 to 20%; Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s PM to bet on generous budget as election looms

By Siva Sithraputhran and Anuradha Raghu
Sep 26, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to unveil a voter-pleasing budget on Friday, placing the priority on winning a tough election above addressing the country’s rising debt burden.

Economists say Najib will likely delay much-needed reforms to broaden Malaysia’s tax base and reduce its dependence on oil revenues to at least next year, while announcing measures to help poorer families struggling with rising living costs.

Strong revenues in 2012 mean Najib can afford to be generous in the budget for next year without alarming financial markets, but further signs of fiscal slippage would add to investor concerns over a steady deterioration in Malaysia’s finances.

The Southeast Asian country’s public debt as a percentage of GDP is just short of its self-imposed ceiling of 55 percent – up from 43 percent in 2008 – while its budget deficit of 4.7 percent in the first half of 2012 is the third-biggest in Asia after Japan and India.

Fitch Ratings said in August that Malaysia’s public finances were weak compared with other countries on equivalent sovereign ratings (A minus) and on a par with heavily indebted countries such as Italy and Israel. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr M, Melayu mahu bersatu, tetapi di luar Umno

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 24, 2012

24 SEPT — Saya telah cuba untuk tidak menulis tentang Dr Mahathir Mohamad lagi tetapi tidak dapat saya berbuat demikian kerana beliau masih lagi menyalahkan semua orang di atas perpecahan orang Melayu sebagaimana anggapan beliau sekarang.

Dalam tulisan beliau dalam Mingguan Malaysia semalam beliau menzahirkan perasaan sedih di atas apa yang telah terjadi kepada orang Melayu yang pada beliau akan hilang kuasa politiknya disebabkan perpecahan sesama sendiri.

Tidak susah untuk memikirkan siapa yang dimaksudkan oleh Dr Mahathir sebagai Melayu yang tamak kuasa yang telah memecahkan Melayu itu. Ia tidak lain selain dari Anwar Ibrahim yang telah menjadi duri dalam daging kehidupan sepanjang hayat beliau.

Dr Mahathir masih lagi bercakap tentang Melayu yang beliau sendiri telah pecahkan dan hasil dari perpecahan itu dilontarkan kesalahannya kepada semua orang kecuali diri beliau sendiri.

Utusan menggambarkan yang beliau telah menangis memerhatikan perpecahan orang Melayu sekarang ini. Tetapi Dr Mahathir mesti faham yang orang Melayu telah lama menangis dan tersedu di atas perbuatan beliau memecahbelahkan pimpinan dan premis perjuangan Melayu iaitu Umno selama ini.

Umno telah beliau jadikan sebagai alat permainan beliau dengan menggunakan sentimen Melayu yang menebal dan menggunakan simpati dan sokongan Melayu itu untuk kepentingan peribadi beliau.

Kata perbilangan “sesal dahulu pendapatan, kesal kemudian tiada gunanya”. Inilah yang patut Dr Mahathir rasakan sekarang dan berhenti mengalih dan melontarkan kesalahan kepada orang lain seperti Pak Lah dan Anwar Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »


Lim Guan Eng corrupt? What a joke

— Penang Man
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 25, 2012

SEPT 25 — Gerakan and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) mudslinging jokers should just give up because their relentless attempts at portraying Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as corrupt only allows voters to see them for what they are.

And what they are, are a bunch of hypocritical jokers with no integrity that my fellow Penangites threw out of power in 2008.

I urge Penangites, Malaysians and the Penang CM to not take Gerakan seriously. Read the rest of this entry »


Budget 2013: What do we want and what can we afford?

— Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 25, 2012

SEPT 25 — Budget 2013, I am sure, will be one of the most difficult to design and to present to the people and Parliament come Budget Day this Friday Sept 28. I’ve done this many times before, so I think I would know!

This Budget is crucial for many reasons. Firstly, we are facing global economic decline and considerable uncertainty that can adversely affect our socioeconomic outlook. Secondly, the 13th General Elections are looming and voters want and think they can get more from this Budget. Thirdly, more so now, there is a major conflict between two perennial Budget issues — what people want and what can we afford.

Government is now faced with the exacting challenge of wanting to please the voters in an Election Budget and protecting the integrity of the Budget and indeed the sustainability of the economy itself. The Budget will thus have to strike a clever balance that will not easily please everyone — the people and the foreign financiers.

On the Macro front, we must take into account the rising concerns of the international Rating Agencies, the World Bank and the IMF which will be closely watching to see how we manage these conflicting demands on the Budget.

We can all merrily ask for more perks, tax concessions, subsidies and even more spending to make us all feel good and happy. But we have to think of the impact of more “giveaways” on the overall health of the economy. We have to remember our overriding need to control the widening Budget Deficit and the Debt Burden which have been rising rapidly and weighing down on the confidence in the economy in the longer term. Read the rest of this entry »


Listen, Malaysians

— Ali Kadir
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 25, 2012

SEPT 25 — I don’t know about you but I am disgusted with Umno and its sycophants, MCA and Gerakan, and I believe that we have to reject them wholesale for:

1) The culture of idiocy they nurture. There is a difference between BN and Pakatan Rakyat.

Whenever Lim Guan Eng or Khalid Ibrahim is accused of wrongdoing, they don’t hide. They come out with proof, sue to clear their name and even engage international audit firms. In contrast, till today no one knows how Altantuya Shaariibuu’s immigration records were erased or why the RM250 million sweet deal was given to Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s family or how Cabinet ministers are able to live a life of luxury on RM18,000 a month.

Till today, there has been no rebuttal of the fact that millions of ringgit were paid in kickbacks to the highest offices in Putrajaya from a submarine deal. Read the rest of this entry »


10 big questions to ask about Pengerang

— Thomas Fann
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 25, 2012

SEPT 25 — On May 13, 2011, PM Najib announced that Petronas will invest RM60 billion in a major integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Pengerang, Johor. The Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project by Petronas, as it is known, is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2016, as part of the national oil company’s efforts to expand its downstream production.

Exactly a year later on May 13, 2012, when the RAPID project was officially launched, the total value is now RM120 billion, with expected investments from Taiwanese and German petrochemical companies, easily making this Pengerang project the biggest-ever in the history of this nation.

In the midst of all the excitement and promises of economic benefits to the state of Johor and the nation, there has been some disquiet amongst the Pengerang community. Local NGOs were formed and had submitted memorandums to various authorities and several protests were organised this year.

It would be wrong to say that these NGOs and the people they represent are against any form of development in Pengerang but what many are concerned about is that it has to be sustainable. These local NGOs have adopted a unifying theme — Kekalkan Pengerang Lestari, or Maintain the Sustainability of Pengerang. Development of such scale must be embarked upon with regards for the people affected by it and be done responsibly to minimise its impact on the environment.

We have to ask honest questions and hear honest answers to these questions so that the concerns of not just the Pengerangites but also Malaysians are allayed.

There are many issues and questions to ask but I want to list down 10 big questions to ask the government about this massive project. Read the rest of this entry »