Archive for July 5th, 2013

Implausible Nonsense: Malaysia’s Political Theatre

Dr Lim Teck Ghee
5th July 2013

There are two types of nonsense – plausible and implausible. Plausible nonsense is when someone spins a story to children, which although implausible to adults is plausible to young minds. Though not believable to adults, most children stories have the redeeming value of being educational and entertaining.

Then there is implausible nonsense which does not make any sense at all. Clowns and buffoons engage in implausible nonsense for the purpose of entertaining audiences and bringing comic relief.

In Shakespeare’s plays, his clowns and fools did not only invite laughter but they often had something profound to say. The Shakespeare fool, who is usually a person of low or common birth, provided insights into the main characters belonging to the nobility as well as shedding light on the central themes of the play. Read the rest of this entry »


IGP and Home Minister cannot blow hot and cold but must be consistent whether Malaysia is safe country or not

The Inspector-General of Police and the Home Minister cannot blow hot and cold but must be consistent whether Malaysia is a safe country or not.

The IGP and the Home Minister cannot on the one hand claim that Malaysia is a safe country with crime rate decreasing by 26.8% since the launch of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) in 2009, and ranked the safest and most peaceful country in South-East Asia according to the Global Peace Index, but suddenly attribute the recent spike of violent crimes to the abolition of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) in 2011 which put nearly 2,000 suspected hardened criminals back on the streets.

If the release of the 2,000 suspected hardened criminals under EO in September 2011 was responsible for the spike in crimes, why is this not shown in the crime statistics of the police, which instead claimed that there had been a reduction of overall street crime and index crime by 41.3% and 7.6% respectively in 2012 as compared to 2011?

Or did the leaders of the violent and organised crime syndicates only suddenly become active after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s declaration of “war against crime” a month after the 13th general elections – causing a worsening of crime and the fear of crime when for the first time Malaysians feel unsafe eating out with the public spate of armed robberies of owners and customers at mamak stalls and restaurants? Read the rest of this entry »


Religious Bill splits Cabinet after divisive election

The Malay Mail Online
July 04, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Some of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet have spoken out in dissent over a Bill that would let a single parent or guardian convert their child to Islam without their partner’s consent.

The proposed change has sparked protests from the prime minister’s biggest coalition partners, as well as leaders of religious and ethnic minorities in the Muslim-majority nation. The row comes as Parliament resumed last week after May’s general election which saw support for the government slide to its lowest level in more than 55 years.

“Certain sections of the Bill can be detrimental to non- Muslims,” Datuk G. Palanivel, a minister who heads the MIC in Najib’s governing Barisan Nasional coalition, said in a phone interview. “The government should propose a fairer version of the Bill, taking into account individual rights and civil liberties.”

The heads of some other parties representing minority groups in Najib’s coalition, including the MCA, have also protested the proposed amendment, testing the alliance’s unity as economic growth slows. Net foreign direct investment dropped 17 per cent last year to US$10.1 billion (RM31.3 billion) as spending in neighbours including Singapore and Indonesia increased, according to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development last week. Read the rest of this entry »


Global corruption watchdog demands MACC act on Taib

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 05, 2013

An international corruption watchdog has slammed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner (MACC) for their delay in wrapping up their probe into the alleged corrupt practices of Sarawak’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (pic).

Global Witness noted that the probe began in 2011 and yet no charges had been brought against Taib.

It wanted the MACC to get Taib to declare all his offshore assets, including those held by family members.

Global Witness came to prominence just before the election when it released a video tape showing recordings of conversations between its private investigators and two of Taib’s cousins.

Datuk Paul Low, who was then chairman of Transparency International Malaysia, had urged the Government to immediately commission a panel of independent and reputable external auditors to examine and identify cases of suspected corruption and abuse of public office with regard to state resources and land deals.

GW commended Low whose anti-corruption ambitions include combating graft and improving transparency.

However, they are now holding him to that promise as Low is now Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the implementation of transparency in the government. Read the rest of this entry »


Guan Eng apologises for no Q and A session

by Susan Loone
Jul 5, 2013

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng did the honourable and a rare thing for him – apologise for the suspension of the question and answer session at the current legislative assembly sitting.

Lim said the occurrence was a “mistake” and could have been avoided.

He added that the state has decided to appoint executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo to oversee matters in the assembly, to ensure there would be no repeat of such a situation.

“I was shocked and could not accept the excuse of lack of time to suspend the session,” said Lim while wrapping up the debate of thanks to the Governor for his speech on Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian premier shrugs off looming threats to economy

By Stefan Wagstyl in London
Financial Times
July 3, 2013

A slowdown in the Chinese economy, plunging commodity prices and the looming end of US “QE3” quantitative easing might appear to be a perfect economic storm for Malaysia.

The commodity producer exports to China and has benefited handsomely from the cash that washed through emerging markets as a result of the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive bond-buying programme.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday, however, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, played down the likely effects of the threats to growth coming from the world economy. As a leader fresh from an election victory, his confidence is understandable. But some might see it as misplaced.

Mr Najib insisted Malaysia remained on course to grow at 5 to 6 per cent annually and achieve the government’s target of joining the ranks of the world’s high-income countries by 2020.

Mr Najib was speaking during a visit to London, made as his government is settling back into office after the ruling United Malays National Organisation overcame the biggest-ever challenge to its power in May’s parliamentary elections. The opposition won 51 per cent of the vote, but Umno and its partners in the ruling coalition secured 60 per cent of the seats under Malaysia’s constituency-based voting system. Read the rest of this entry »