Archive for January 15th, 2013

As video goes viral, should education policy be scrutinised?

— M. Lee
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 15, 2013

JAN 15 — I was extremely disappointed with the conduct of Sharifah Zohra Jabeen as seen in the video at the UUM forum that has gone viral.

As a labour market and development economist, I agreed with Bawani’s statement implying that the economic impacts of educational funding have to be properly analysed to make the right policy directions.

Many countries around the world such as Australia and United States have constantly studied the best educational strategies that will develop and educate the nation. Albeit they are already developed nations.

It is not to my intent to say that the Malaysian government is not trying to adjust and design optimal education policies. However, Sharifah Zohra Jabeen has seemingly assumed the role of a government representative by replying “if you equate Malaysia to other countries, what are you doing in Malaysia? Go to Cuba, go to Argentina, go to Libra, go everywhere.”

My question is: has she been elected as a representative of the government? Is this the stand and belief of the government and the university?

What is more appalling is for an academically trained person to provide such a statement in an academic institution. Read the rest of this entry »


86-Day Countdown to 13GE: PR does not have to play the game of one-up-manship with BN as KL112 is undeniably a major morale booster for UBAH in 13GE which is around the corner and PR should just move on

After being dumbstruck and eerily silent on Saturday after the historic KL112 rally of over a hundred thousand Malaysians of all races, religions and regions at Merdeka Stadium and the whole of Sunday, UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders have suddenly found their voices and are stumbling over themselves to minimise and play down the political tidal waves released by KL112.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was clearly too distraught by the success of the peaceful holding of KL112 to claim credit for the Pakatan Rakyat mega-rally when hosting the UMNO general assembly 2012 Media Appreciation Night on Saturday night itself.

After closeting with his strategists the whole of Sunday to calculate the political costs to UMNO/BN particularly in the forthcoming 13GE, Najib has sufficiently recovered from the political setbacks to publicly declare yesterday that the KL112 exemplifies the success of the political and government reforms he had initiated since becoming Prime Minister some four years ago.

Najib conspicuously omitted to explain why the Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 rallies held also during his premiership were such police and BN government disasters, as KL112 has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that Malaysians are peace-loving people who only want to peacefully exercise their right to free assembly and expression and both Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 rallies would have been international models of peaceful assemblies if not because of high-handed and repressive police and government actions. Read the rest of this entry »


KL112 rally: We gave each other courage

By Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | January 15, 2013

Last Friday night as I came back from a ceramah in Sabak Bernam, I stopped over at the Sungai Buluh Restoren Jejantas. There was an unusually large number of vehicles in the parking bays.

In the surau, there were many people sleeping and resting. How come there were so many people, I asked at this late hour (it was 2am).

When a friend asked a passerby where are these people from, he said they were from Perak and some from Penang. They have come to participate in the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (KL112) rally at Stadium Merdeka on Saturday (Jan 12).

The whole country, it seemed, was galvanised and geared to participate in the KL112 assembly.

Now, that’s all that matters as we inch closer to the 13th general election.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s time is running out.

The tens of thousands who rallied at KL112 on Saturday was proof of Umno’s end. What we achieved and celebrated at KL112 was the coming together of the various races in Malaysia, something which Umno and Barisan Nasional did not want us to achieve.
Read the rest of this entry »


Tips on winning the coming election

By Koon Yew Yin

The recently concluded mammoth Stadium Merdeka rally – Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat – has provided a much needed infusion of new life into the opposition campaign. Although they have invigorated their challenge to Barisan Nasional (BN) rule, opposition leaders must realize that they have an uphill battle to dislodge BN from power.

Instead of boasting or congratulating themselves on what they have achieved at the rally, it is essential that the opposition parties work harder in taking the fight especially to the Barisan strongholds.

The next few months will be crucial. The opposition must only show that it is alive and kicking. Pakatan Rakyat (PR) needs to prove that it is the superior coalition to run the country. The campaign to convince Malaysians to vote for change can work if PR keeps in mind the following key strategies.

Strategies to ensure electoral victory for PR

  1. Run a principled and ethical campaign. Malaysian voters know that the BN is a party that thrives on spinning and dirty tricks. From race baiting to inciting religious sentiments to demonization of the opposition, BN are masters of the sleazy campaign. The PR should not emulate the BN. Fight a clean campaign. This will resonate with the basic positive values and good sense of Malaysians.

  2. Read the rest of this entry »


Ripples of Hope, Sea of Change

By Martin Jalleh


The rally proves Malaysia has civil liberties?

— Fikry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 14, 2013

JAN 14 — Now that the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat is over, the one question that begs to be answered is this: does the rally prove that civil liberties exist in Malaysia?

To the more than 100,000 who turned up at Stadium Merdeka last Saturday, maybe.

After all, the police stood by and ensured the peace. No riot police, water cannons, roadblocks, razor wire strung across roads or anything to make Malaysia look like a police state.

Maybe, it was the spirit of the times that such a rally could even take place without ending in teargas blanketing the air, water cannons drenching the crowd and everyone running helter-skelter to avoid being beaten up or arrested for assembling without a permit.

Oh, no more permit required. So, that makes Malaysia look better just months before the general election. That must be it, to give Malaysia an appearance of a modern democratic country where people can make a stand publicly and gather without the threat of being cowed by authority or violence.

See, even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak praised the police and also the opposition for respecting the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 at the rally. Read the rest of this entry »


Voting for the future

— Tommy Thomas
The Malaysian Insider
January 15, 2013

JAN 15 — Imagine Britain being governed by the same political party, say, Labour, for 55 successive years from 1957. Or the United States by the Republican party for the same continuous, unbroken period.

That has been Malaysia’s fate since Merdeka. The 13th general election, which must be held before June 28, gives Malaysians an opportunity to break free from the monopoly of political power exercised by Umno, first, in the guise of Alliance and subsequently as Barisan Nasional.

Umno dominance

The five years between the 12th general election in March 2008 and the 13th have been a watershed period in post-independent Malaysia because of the establishment of a truly functioning two-party system, with a strong opposition capable of forming the next government.

But it took half a century for our nation to accomplish this stage of democratic development. Like many peoples of nations emerging from colonial rule in the Third World, Malaysians were very grateful to the Alliance party, led by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, for gaining independence from the British.

The reservoir of goodwill for nationalist independence fighters greatly assisted Umno in the early decades. Race, which the colonial power had exploited in its divide-and-rule policy, became the singular fundamental feature of Malaysian politics since Merdeka, reflected at the centre by the Alliance coalition comprising Umno, the MCA and MIC, each representing a specific race, and expected to pursue the interests of its ethnic constituency.

In the early days, Umno acted as the elder brother, with a semblance of contribution from its junior siblings, the MCA and MIC. But there was never a question of parity. After the National Operations Council (NOC) through its director, Tun Abdul Razak, assumed actual power in the wake of the May 13, 1969 riots, Umno’s ascendency and dominance were never questioned.

Hence, the practical reality since the early 1970s is that Barisan is actually Umno, and major decisions affecting the nation are more often than not taken in the inner recesses of Umno rather than the Cabinet. Read the rest of this entry »


Myth of “UMNO is Malay; Malay, UMNO” Forever Shattered!

M. Bakri Musa

While UMNO apologists and sycophants in academia, blogosphere, and mainstream media quibbled over such minutia as the number of participants at last Saturday’s massive KL112 (January 12, 2013) rally, two facts are indisputable. First, that peaceful and largely Malay demonstration, the largest the nation had ever witnessed, forever shattered the myth that UMNO is Melayu, and Melayu, UMNO. Second, given a modicum of respect by and without provocation from the authorities, Malaysians are quite capable of partaking in peaceful rallies.

On this second point the authorities, specifically the police under its new leadership, are finally learning that water tankers, personnel with anti-riot gears or tear gas canisters, and other crude displays of power often precipitate rather than prevent violence. BERSIH 3.0 demonstrated that very clearly.

The size and orderliness of the rally, together with the bravery and determination of the participants, was reminiscent of the transformative event of over 66 years earlier, the opposition to the Malayan Union Treaty. That altered the course of our history. Insha’ Allah (God willing), last Saturday’s rally too, will.

The power imbalance between those demanding change and those in power back in 1946 was enormous. Then it was mostly illiterate and unsophisticated Malay peasants facing the much superior and more formidable colonial authorities. Yet in the end, right won over might, and justice prevailed!

Today, while the UMNO Government is detested to the same degree as the old colonials, it is nowhere as sophisticated wielder of power as the British. Meanwhile, those clamoring for change are far more worldly, more committed, and in far greater numbers than their adversary, UMNO and its supporters. More importantly, unlike the colonials, today’s UMNO government is crippled with corruption and incompetence while also being crude wielders of power. All the more we should expect that right and the truth, as well as justice, will again prevail. Read the rest of this entry »