Archive for October, 2012
By Koon Yew Yin
Last week, the international financial media carried the story that Canada intended to block the planned $5.3bn acquisition of Calgary-based Progress Energy Resources by Petronas. According to these reports, the country’s industry minister, Christian Paradis had issued a statement saying he had written to Petronas saying he was “not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada”.
Much of the subsequent analysis has focused on questions related to Canada’s policy on foreign takeovers and its investment policy especially with regard to foreign state-owned entities. This should be of little interest to us.
Of greater interest to Malaysians should be how the Petronas takeover of Progress will benefit our country. Is it in our best interests? What are the pros and cons of this very expensive takeover? Let us always remember that the company belongs to all Malaysians, and not simply to the government of the day or a group of company directors.
Petronas has done well. Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in many countries. The group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining. Oil trading is one of the key activities of the group.
Read the rest of this entry »
Kong Cho Ha would have no choice but to resign as Transport Minister if there is a majority of at least 112 out of 222 MPs supporting the suspension of AES
In the past 24 hours, two UMNO MPs have broken ranks and swung their support for Pakatan Rakyat’s call for the immediate suspension of the Automatic Enforcement System (AEA) for traffic offences, pending full study of various public interest issues related to its implementation.
The first to do so is the UMNO Youth leader and MP for Rembau Khairy Jamaluddin who, after a meeting of the UMNO Youth executive council yesterday, called for the government to defer the implementation of AES as a review of the system was necessary to rectify weaknesses in it.
Today, a UMNO MP for Sabah, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who is also Deputy Chairman of Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) also crossed the political divide to back the PR call for suspension of AES.
The Pakatan Rakyat state governments of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have already suspended approval for the implementation of the AES until conclusion of full study and a proper consultation process with all the relevant stakeholders.
The question now is whether there is any MCA MP, Deputy Minister or Minister who dare to break ranks to call for immediate suspension of AES to produce the first fruit of MCA’s two-year-old “high profile politics” or whether all the boasts of “high profile politics” are just bunkum. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 31, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― The controversial Warisan Merdeka tower next to Stadium Merdeka here will have 118 floors, the government said today, sparking renewed objections from the local MP who said the skyscraper would only contribute to a property glut.
Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun told reporters today that Kuala Lumpur City Hall should reject the development, after the Federal Territories Ministry told Parliament of the plans for the skyscraper that had originally been for 100 storeys.
“The supply of office space in Kuala Lumpur has exceeded demand without Warisan Tower and Tun Razak Exchange. It’s not reasonable to give new approval for new development of office space,” Fong said.
He also cited the unsatisfactory traffic conditions in the Jalan Hang Jebat area where the mega tower is planned to be built, as a reason why DBKL should reject the application.
The Warisan Merdeka project was announced in 2010 by the government, and immediately sparked public outcry over the need for another skyscraper in the city. Read the rest of this entry »
The Sun Daily
30 October 2012
IN early February, 2006, I was at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport awaiting the arrival of passengers on Flight MH9042 from Mauritius. Among them was a delegation from the Selayang Municipal Council which included nine councillors, the president, the secretary and his wife, two officials and four businessmen who had contracts with the council. They had also dropped by South African cities, among others, to study how public toilets are maintained and kept clean. I had then asked: “How did contractors become part of an official delegation? Don’t the rules require councillors to keep at arm’s length, dealings with suppliers of goods and services?”
Subsequently, I wrote outlining their programme in both the countries and asked what they had learnt when they were out shopping and sight-seeing all the time. As usual, the silence was deafening.
All these memories came back last week as I read about the same council and the proposed development around Batu Caves. Both sides – the present and past administrations – have started pointing fingers and let it be stated that it is not this writer’s intention to take sides but put the record straight. The remarks made by some of the past councillors who approved the development are so ludicrous that they have to be taken with more than a pinch of salt.
Former councillor and current Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk A. Kohillan Pillay who was one of those who went on the toilet inspection trip said what had been approved in 2007 was only a “planning permit” which did not specify the number of storeys.
May be, after all these years he has forgotten terms like “planning permission”; “development order” and other terminology because he is concentrating on foreign policy matters and more travelling. Thus, we shall not burden him compelling him to read the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in its entirety. However, he should not overlook the central concept – the definition of what amounts to development. Read the rest of this entry »
Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | October 31, 2012
Free Malaysia Today
Every Umno leader knows that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad blames Rosmah Mansor for the position Umno and Najib Razak find themselves in today.
It’s none of our concern if Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s attacks on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak are tactical or real. What we know is that they are all masters and practitioners of subterfuge and deception.
I suspect the Umno camp is really worried about the attacks on their man that they have to do a spin on the whole works.
That’s Umno thinking for you. When something is not working for them, they will manufacture a preferred storyline.
Hence the story line they come out with is that Mahathir is doing his usual reverse psychology.
Every Umno leader knows that Mahathir blames Rosmah Mansor for the position Umno finds itself today.
Rosmah is the heel to Najib’s Achilles. Mahathir is the poison arrow.
Mahathir never ceases to bully Malays into believing they are inadequate and therefore the solution is to entrust their future in the hands of good people like him.
Social evils, intoned Mahathir, arise from the activities of evil people and if only known devils like him and the band of marauders and plunderers are in control, Malaysia is safe.
What is wrong with this kind of thinking? Well, it only requires one to be unthinking and self-praising.
Mahathir likes to self-praise although he has a round-about way of doing it. The medical doctor uses self-deprecation to disarm and defeat opponents. Read the rest of this entry »
By Jahabar Sadiq
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 31, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― The public release of the “Tanda Putera” film that deals with the May 13 race riots has been put off indefinitely and now may hit the silver screen after the next general election, say sources.
The Malaysian Insider understands that senior government officials and the Najib administration did not want any distractions and potential flashpoints in the run up to the polls, which is likely to be held in the first quarter of 2013 after the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysian 2.0 (BR1M) is paid out.
The RM4.8 million film, financed with public funds, was first due to be released last September 13 but it was later pushed to November 17.
“There is too much controversy about the film and the authorities have decided on a later release date,” a government source told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mariam Mokhtar
Oct 29, 2012
Without any surgical instruments, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has managed to create the Malay master-race. Dr Josef Mengele, the Nazi ‘Angel of Death’, would have been proud of him.
Mengele is best remembered for his work to create an Aryan master-race, befitting the Third Reich. During WWII, he performed experiments on inmates at Nazi concentration camps, many of which had no scientific basis.
People were operated on without anaesthetics. Mengele was motivated by the desire for racial purification and he satisfied his passion for the study of genetics, by experimenting on twins.
These experiments started during WWII and continued in Argentina, after his escape from Germany.
We are aware that Mahathir has a morbid obsession with all things Jewish. He has a special mention of the Jews in his book ‘The Malay Dilemma’; he blamed the 1997 financial crisis on a Jewish conspiracy; and, in 2003, his anti-Semitic speech caused an international outcry.
Last week, he reiterated his stance that the Jews “created many problems for us and the rest of the world” but then, appeared to distance himself from the comments of his former cabinet minister, Sanusi Junid, who said Mahathir’s economic policies were anti-Jewish.
In their youth, both Mengele and Mahathir were both intelligent and popular men, but within a few years of finishing their medical degrees, their racist views shaped their future lives. Read the rest of this entry »
Barisan Nasional has lost all credibility, legitimacy and moral authority to continue to rule in Malaysia
The latest report to emanate from the Barisan Nasional camp is that in the 13th General Election, it expects to win more than the 140 parliamentary seats it took in the 2008 General Election and that its worst-case scenario is winning just over 120 seats.
But this is only one of the many projections making their rounds with the worst-case scenario for the Barisan Nasional ranging from the bleak one of losing majority control of Parliament to the even more dismal one which would give Barisan Nasional a total of less than 100 parliamentary seats.
For the first time in the nation’s 55-year history and in thirteen General Elections, Malaysian voters have within their hands the power to decide whether the time has come for a change of Federal government although this would be heavily dependent on whether the next general election is a free, fair and clean one.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not confident that he will survive unscathed to continue as the sixth Prime Minister after the 13GE, and this is why he had dillied and dallied for almost two years over when to call for general election although he cannot be unaware of the pressure from the ignominy of being the longest unelected Prime Minister without his own national mandate for the highest office in the land.
Whatever the electorate’s verdict in the 13GE, what is becoming increasingly evident is that Barisan Nasional has lost all credibility, legitimacy and moral authority to continue to rule in Malaysia because it is prepared to undermine the Malaysian nation-building process with contradictory lies, deceit and hypocrisy when campaigning to different racial groups. Read the rest of this entry »
By Nigel Aw | 11:02AM Oct 29, 2012
DAP has launched its very own war truck ahead of what pundits expect to be the most competitive general election ever, with fierce campaigning everywhere.
The red trailer launched in Seremban yesterday by party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is wrapped with a giant image of DAP’s hornbill mascot Ubah, with the words ‘Ubah! Bersihkan Malaysia’.
“Basically, the truck will be a mobile ceramah stage that is equipped with a big back drop and some lighting,” Negeri Sembilan DAP chairperson Anthony Loke said when contacted.
Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 27, 2012
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has called on the government to apologise and provide closure for all Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Operasi Lalang.
Furthermore, Lim said all remaining detainees should also be immediately freed to put an end to the ISA saga.
The mass arrest action, Operasi Lalang in 1987, saw 106 politicians and activists incarcerated but also for the first time prodded public consciousness to the ISA issue.
“25 years ago on 27 October 1987, I was among the first victims of Operasi Lalang detained under the ISA by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“I remember as a newly-elected MP for Kota Melaka, how stunned I was to hear that I was a threat to national security who would cause the country to descend into chaos, ruin and riots if I was not arrested.
“Then followed the dark days of solitary confinement, endless interrogation and intimidation to force me to recant which I managed to endure, survive and prevail,” hesaid in a statement today. Read the rest of this entry »
Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 27, 2012
OCT 27 — The collective adversity suffered by the DAP, PAS and civil society leaders in 1987 ironically built the steely resolve for change and the deep camaraderie to see it through.
This day 25 years ago, October 27, 1987, was one of the darkest days in Malaysian history when 106 politicians and social activists were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Operation Lalang. Printing permits for three newspapers, namely The Star, Sinchew and Watan, were withdrawn.
The security crackdown that shocked the nation and marked the end of the boisterous, often mistaken as democratic, first phase of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership that began in 1981. Dr Mahathir succeeded Tun Hussein Oon with a weak base in Umno and virtually no one to trust.
By pitting Musa Hitam against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in Umno’s deputy presidential elections of 1981 and 1984, Dr Mahathir bought himself time and space. But the chickens came home to roost by 1987 when Tengku Razaleigh teamed up with Musa to challenge the Dr Mahathir-Ghafar Baba ticket.
The election on April 24 saw Tengku Razaleigh losing to Dr Mahathir by a mere 43 votes, allegedly after a suspicious blackout at the vote-counting centre. Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
27 October 2012
Twenty five years ago, Malaysia witnessed what one person could do to sustain his lust for power. His unabated lust for power unleashed the worst traits in the Barisan Nasional to imprison 106 innocent Malaysians to keep the BN in power.
The man behind this dark episode in our history was none other than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
On 27 October 1987 the rule of law was discarded, natural justice was ignored, the role of the judiciary was overridden, parliamentary democracy was sidelined so that he could cling on to power at all costs and by all means.
As Prime Minister, Home Minister and Justice Minister, Mahathir rode roughshod so that his position would remain safe and sound and that there would be no one to challenge him.
Today, more than ever, we must remember this shameful part of our history and wonder whether this will be repeated when the results of the 13th general election are announced. Read the rest of this entry »
— Terence Martin
The Malaysian Insider
October 27, 2012
OCT 27 — Jaclyn Victor sang “Harapan Bangsa”.
Jaclyn Victor’s a Christian.
It’s a Christian song of praise and worship.
No one ever pretended it was not.
Perkasa is now out with pitchforks and torches to lynch somebody, anybody; but preferably Jaclyn Victor.
Whatever is next?
No worship services for Christians in Malay in this country?
Or perhaps a government official will make audio, video and photographic recordings of each and every service in Malay in this country? Just to find evidence of conversion, conspiracy and the like? Read the rest of this entry »
Change of government needed to undo all the adverse effects of 25-year Operation Lalang on democracy, human rights and national institutions
Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Operation Lalang which brought about the darkest days for democracy and human rights in the nation’s history.
There was not only the arrest of 106 Malaysians, including opposition leaders – 16 of whom were from the DAP, including MPs and State Assemblymen – trade unionists, social activists, environmentalists, Chinese educationists and religious workers, there was also the wholesale attacks on press freedom with the closure of three newspapers, the merciless attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law resulting in the sacking of the Lord President and two Supreme Court judges and the series of undemocratic legislation which caused a tectonic shift in the Malaysian political landscape, subordinating the legislative and judicial branches to the Executive or to be more exact to the fiat of one person, the Prime Minister of the day.
The Government Transformation Programme of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has promised to make Malaysia “the best democracy of the world”, but after more than 42 months of his premiership, Malaysia falls far short of the conditions to be a “normal democracy” let alone the “world’s best democracy”, as illustrated by the refusal by the Prime Minister and the ruling UMNO/BN coalition to make a public commitment that they would fully accept the verdict of the voters in the 13th General Election and would peacefully and smoothly transfer Federal power to Pakatan Rakyat if this is the verdict of the Malaysian electorate in the ballot box. Read the rest of this entry »
Oct 25, 2012
If the reports are to believed, after a weekend of coming up with absolutely nothing in terms of policy strategies and directions for the country and incessantly bashing PAS, DAP and hudud instead, the MCA annual general meeting, clearly in need of sustenance, resorted to Malaysia’s favourite pastime, sex.
Or, rather, talking about sex.
Or, even more accurately, talking about other people having sex.
Indeed, leading up to the two-day, weekend meeting, the MCA’s mouthpiece, The Star, chose to relegate whatever build-up there might have been to the inside pages, and stormed ahead with its expose of these two naughty Malaysian souls, Alvin and Vivian.
For three whole days, their photographs – individually or together – were prominently featured on the cover page of the paper. Fully clothed, fortunately.
Together with the voyeurism, there was so much predictable tut-tutting by all and sundry. These ranged from the paper’s ‘agonising’ aunty, to quickly-interviewed shocked and appalled Malaysians, including parents, to even ‘experts’, psychiatrists dispensing their wisdom from kilometres away without the need of their couches. Or the need to talk to these two ‘celebrities’.
And at the MCA weekend retreat, too, their frolicking did not go unnoticed. Both the MCA Youth and Wanita meetings were spiced up with condemnations of the couple’s very-public performances.
And the wholesome twosome simply basked in all that attention they received.
Then, almost abruptly, the coverage stopped. Read the rest of this entry »
by Pak Sako
26th Oct 2012
Two groups, CPI and REFSA-IDEAS, are debating government subsidies.
This debate is critical because politicians are taking their cues from it.
It is important that good judgement prevails. Much is at stake.
But first, what is a subsidy? Why do we need it?
Some believe subsidies are government money spent on primary healthcare, infrastructure, culture or the environment.
But these are not subsidies. These are fundamental public provisions that a decent society would collectively provide for all its members in most ordinary circumstances.
A subsidy is different. It is a special kind of public expenditure.
A subsidy is designed to support a disadvantaged group that cannot secure the needs and necessities for survival because an underlying condition is persistently preventing their fulfillment. Read the rest of this entry »
by Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 24, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 — Hudud will not have an impact on non-Muslims in Malaysia, Umno minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom has said, disputing the repeated warnings by political ally MCA to the Chinese community on the controversial Islamic penal code.
In a written reply to Tan Tee Beng (IND-Nibong Tebal), the minister for Islamic affairs, explained that hudud, which prescribes the amputation of hands for theft, could only be applied to those who come under the jurisdiction of the Syariah court — Muslims.
“Therefore, hudud law will not impact non-Muslims,” he concluded.
MCA has been using the hudud issue to warn the non-Muslim community away from voting for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the coming polls, insisting that the pact’s “dominant” partner PAS would insist on its implementation despite its ties with secular DAP and PKR.
Hudud has remained a sensitive touch point in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy, which has a 60 per cent Muslim population, with political parties continuing to spar over the subject in the run-up to the 13th general election.
The idea of an Islamic criminal code has been used to either scare the minority Chinese voters, or shore up support among the majority Malay-Muslim community. Read the rest of this entry »
— Choo Sing Chye
The Malaysian Insider
Oct 25, 2012
OCT 25 — The other day, at a dinner, I met a former PPP supporter who, upon recognising me, came over to my table for a chat.
But before saying anything, he quickly declared that he had switched parties, from PPP to a full-fledged MIC member.
I asked him: “What’s the difference?”
He did not answer, but switched subject to talk about the good old days. Then suddenly at one juncture he asked me whether I had admitted any Indian gangsters during my watch as Perak DAP organising secretary.
“No!” I replied.
“Hey, don’t ‘ali-utart’ (bluff) me lah, just admit it bro,” he reacted.
I looked at him and responded, “I never come across any Indians who had filled the little dotted line under “Occupation” with the word “Gangster”, when joining the DAP.
“So, to you when you see an Indian beating another, you call him a gangster and when a rich man or top politician’s son bashing another, you just say, boys will be boys, right?” I retorted. “Is this the way MIC solves the Indian problem?”
This is a true story that happened a very long time ago. Read the rest of this entry »
By Thomas Fann
October 26, 2012
With an upcoming General Election that is expected to be the most hotly contested one ever since independence and the formation of our relatively young nation, Malaysia is at a crossroad. Perhaps for the first time the prospect of a change in government is realistic and both coalitions sense it.
Hearing the empty rhetorics of some leaders of the current coalition, one can only come to the conclusion that they are bankrupt. Certainly not of material wealth but of ideas.
What if there is a change in government and we have a chance to rebuild and reshape this nation? What kind of a nation would we want to build? What are the qualities that would make Malaysia a great nation?
Let me state clearly that I for one do not believe that change for the better will come overnight for two reasons. You can’t undo a political, administrative and social mindset that has been skewed towards a regime overnight. It will be a slow uphill task that requires perseverance. Secondly, the new government does not necessarily be different in ability and even integrity from the old or have all the answers. The difference is that there is a chance for real reform and for the voices and aspirations of the people to be heard, and that is, if we choose to actively and constructively engage the new administration.
I would like to suggest 10 qualities that would make Malaysia a great nation, a place that we would be proud to call home and where we would see a reversal of the brain drain?. Read the rest of this entry »