Archive for category General

Tears flow as Karpal’s body arrives at Ipoh hospital

BY Looi Sue-Chern | TMI
April 17, 2014

Tears flowed as Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh’s body arrived at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, Perak, at 7.25am today for a post-mortem following an accident near Gua Tempurung in Perak, early this morning.

His wife Gurmit Kaur, sons Jagdeep Singh Deo and Gobind Singh Deo, and daughter Sangeet were joined by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and other leaders at the hospital.

All of them broke down in tears as Karpal’s body was removed from the van and taken into the mortuary, which was just opened yesterday.

Karpal, who would have turned 74 in June, was believed to have been travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang to attend a court hearing scheduled for this morning.

Police said the multipurpose vehicle was badly-damaged after losing control following a collision with a lorry on KM301.6 of the North-South Expressway about 12.40am this morning.

Police said he died on the spot. There were four other occupants in Karpal’s Toyota Alphard, which has the iconic number plate KS9898. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Timeline of the Malaysian Government’s Many, Many MH370 Screw-Ups

By Adam K. Raymond
New York Times
1st April 2014

Three and a half weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished from the sky, the world is still waiting to find out what happened. Searching millions of square miles for broken plane parts is, of course, no simple task, but it’s only been complicated by the Keystone Cops routine put on by the Malaysian government. Upon news that officials couldn’t even correctly quote the four words uttered by the co-pilot before all communication with MH370 was lost, here’s a timeline of Malaysia’s mistakes since the plane disappeared.

March 8: Immigration officials allow two passengers to board flight MH370 with stolen passports.

March 8: The Malaysian military fails to notice that that the plane has made a sharp left turn, even though it flew over a radar facility. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flight MH370 Malaysian officials struggle with credibility after changing last words heard from lost aircraft

Chris Brummitt and Gillian Wong, Associated Press | April 1, 2014 10:19 AM ET
National Post

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — It may mean little to investigators that the last words air traffic controllers heard from the lost jetliner were “Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero,” rather than “All right, good night.” But to Malaysian officials whose credibility has been questioned almost from the beginning, it means a great deal.

Malaysian officials said more than two weeks ago that “All right, good night,” were the last words, and that the co-pilot uttered them. They changed the account late Monday and said they are still investigating who it was that spoke. The discrepancy added to the confusion and frustration families of the missing already felt more than three weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared.

“This sort of mistake hits at the heart of trust in their communications. If Malaysia is changing what the pilot said, people start thinking, ‘What are they going to change next?” said Hamish McLean, an expert in risk and crisis communication at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

“Information is in a crisis is absolutely critical. When we are dealing with such a small amount of information its needs to be handled very carefully,” he said.

Authorities have been forced on the defensive by the criticism, the most forceful of which has come from a group of Chinese relatives who accuse them of lying about — or even involvement in — the plane’s disappearance. In part responding to domestic political criticism, defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has taken to retweeting supportive comments on Twitter. He has twice in recent days proclaimed that “history would judge us well” over the handling of the crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flight 370, a mysterious ‘one-off,’ spurs calls to modernize tracking technology

By Joel Achenbach, Scott Higham and Ashley Halsey III
Washington Post
March 29, 2014

The bizarre tale of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 comes at a time when flying is safer than ever. Nervous fliers squeeze the armrests for dear life, but most passengers have no problem nodding off as their jetliner cruises seven miles above the Earth. They have internalized the statistical truth that the most dangerous part of an airplane trip is the drive to the airport.

Yet disasters still happen, including this one. Officially declared a plane crash at sea with no survivors, the event remains so deeply mysterious that it seems premature to refer to the people aboard as deceased.

Viewed in the broad context of aviation safety, this weird case actually fits snugly within a recent pattern: Airline disasters now tend to be unprecedented in nature — what investigators call “one-offs.” Read the rest of this entry »

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MH370: Britain finds itself at centre of blame game over crucial delays

By Gordon Rayner, and Nick Collins
Telegraph
24th March 2014

With all hope now lost of finding their loved ones alive, relatives of the 239 people on board flight MH370 were increasingly expressing anger and resentment towards those they believe are to blame for the failure to locate the missing aircraft.

By singling out the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the British satellite firm Inmarsat as the source of the information that confirmed the Boeing 777 went down in the Indian Ocean, Malaysia’s prime minister may have directed part of that anger towards Britain.

The AAIB, working with Inmarsat, provided the only credible information on the Malaysia Airlines flight’s whereabouts, but a series of delays meant ten crucial days were lost before search teams began looking in the southern Indian Ocean, where it now seems certain the aircraft went down. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s future in hands of ordinary heroes who dare to stand up for racial and religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system

(Speech 4 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

Malaysia’s future lies in the hands of ordinary heroes who dare to stand up for racial and religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system – ordinary Malaysians like Azrul Mohd Khalib, Ally Hazran Hashim, Siti Kassim, Major Zaidi Ahmad and Mohd Nor Izzah – who are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness and not become a failed state.

Azrul, Ally and Siti Kassim were involved in the “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians regardless of race or religion who care about the country to push for national healing in the face of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s 56-year history.

It all started on Sunday, January 5 this year outside Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Klang where the nearly 1,000 Catholics who turned up for Sunday mass had expected an angry mob of Muslims protesting against the possible use of the word ‘Allah’ but instead met a group of progressive Muslims bearing flowers to express solidarity and preparedness to defend the Church from the planned protest.

Among the progressive Muslims who turned up was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir. Read the rest of this entry »

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Utusan’s revival of the discredited fairy tale of DAP-funded Red Bean Army of 3,000 cybertroopers is a desperate bid by UMNO cyber mercenaries not to be excluded from the UMNO cyberwar funding running into hundreds of millions of ringgit

Yesterday, in the first part of my commentary on Awang Selamat’s column “Pihak berkuasa kita!” in Mingguan Malaysia of Sunday, 2nd March 2014, I said my first immediate thought on reading the column was that it was a classic case of “Thief shouting thief”.

This is because the column by Awang Selamat, the collective pen name of the Utusan editors, not only reeked of hypocrisy but clearly had the ignoble objective of distracting attention from their incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred through lies and falsehoods with “immunity and impunity” to pit race against race and religion against religion in Malaysia.

Awang revived the allegation that the DAP is funding the so-called Red Bean Army (RBA) of 3,000 cybertroopers with a budget of RM100 million to RM1 billion in the past six years and attacked the authorities for practising double standards in giving the DAP and the RBA “the grand licence to do extreme provocation” especially through the Red Bean Army of 3,000 cybertroopers “insulting the Malays, Islam, security forces, civil servants and the country”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Utusan Malaysia guilty of “Thief Shouting Thief” reeking of hypocrisy and to distract attention from their incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred through lies and falsehoods with “immunity and impunity”

“Thief shouting thief” is what I immediately thought of when I saw the Awang Selamat column in Mingguan Malaysia today entitled “Pihak berkuasa kita!”, as it not only reeks of hypocrisy but clearly had the ignoble objective of distracting attention from their incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred through lies and falsehoods with “immunity and impunity” to pit race against race and religion against religion in Malaysia.

Awang Selamat, the collective pen name of the Utusan editors, today made the preposterous and outrageous claims that government agencies were “strengthening” extremist cells in the country by letting the opposition DAP and its alleged “Red Bean Army” (RBA) run free.

The authorities were also attacked for practising double standards for failing to haul up and prosecute DAP leaders or members of the RBA the party purportedly runs for allegedly insulting the Malays, Islam, security forces, civil servants, and the country.

Awang claimed: “In Malaysia, if you want to insult and flare up extremism, join DAP. As the most racist party, DAP has a grand licence to do extreme provocation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Should you migrate? The 64,000-dollar question

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
February 14, 2014

Recently, I received a reference to a new book written by two migrant Malaysian brothers who have lived abroad for more than 10 years with advice for would-be migrants.

Their advice included tips, such as never taking things for granted, never burn your bridges, to be objectively optimistic and the importance of financial freedom amongst the various freedoms.

These tips are useful in any major decision you make about life and career.

In fact, many “how to succeed” books – whether they deal with the stock market or changing jobs – offer similar or variants of this advice, although the advice may be presented in different languages and styles.

The most important point that the book seems to emphasise is that every country has its good and bad points.

This again is sensible. Read the rest of this entry »

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Months after GE13, Najib needs to get into gear

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
February 14, 2014

How did Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak survive the last 10 months in office? No seriously.

It has been one C after another C since he led Barisan Nasional (BN) to a less-than-convincing victory at the general election on May 5, 2013.

For the record, C stands for crisis or calamity, and both can be used interchangeably to describe Malaysia’s dysfunctional political, religious, racial and economic situation post-13th general election (GE13).

Recent surveys show that more Malaysians are despairing over the rising cost of living and are convinced that national leaders are clueless about the economy and don’t have a plan for the country.

Worse yet, when Najib has had to make a strong decision for the good of the majority, he has opted for the wrong option. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kangkung now hot topic in comedy and satirical humour

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
January 18, 2014

When Datuk Seri Najib Razak suggested people should appreciate that kangkung prices had fallen and praise the government for it, the poor man’s greens usually associated with belacan (shrimp paste) became an overnight sensation to deride the prime minister and his subsidy cuts programme.

In the past two weeks, the water spinach has appeared in newspaper headlines, in conversations at dinner tables, in jokes good and bad, and has gone viral in social media.

An example is the latest edition of That Effing Show, hosted and produced by Ezra Zaid. Its latest episode, “That Effing Show #99 – Let Them Eat Kangkung”, was uploaded on Thursday and has since garnered more than 21,000 views.

The six-and-a-half-minute clip took a dig at Najib’s comments as well as Malay rights group Perkasa, the MCA and MIC by featuring “representatives” from fictional organisations Persatuan KangKung Satu Malaysia (Perkasa), Malaysian Choi-sum Association (MCA), Machas Institute of Cucumber (MIC) discussing the “kangkung” remark.

“The prime minister’s sudden and unexpected announcement regarding the value of kangkung has caused all kinds of chaos across the country. Panic selling has resulted in plummeting prices and soaring tempers,” says a brief about the video, alluding to the fiery political climate in the country just eight months after the General Election 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can the national unity council be sustained?

– Lim Teck Ghee
The Malaysian Insider
January 11, 2014

When news of the establishment of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) came out, many sceptics felt that this latest government effort to bring in a larger group of stakeholders – ostensibly to help resolve the rapidly growing divisions in society – was simply a hollow exploitation of public opinion. In fact I had written to a colleague who was named as one of its members to say “congrats, or is it condolences, if the NUCC proves as most expect it to be, another political wayang”.

Whether the area of concern has been in economics, the police, interfaith relations or education, all previous consultative councils, panels and task forces have failed to produce decisive action and genuine reforms to arrest the deterioration in governance – the main cause of the fault lines in the country’s social cohesion.

The recent statement by the chairman of the NUCC, Tan Sri Samsudin Osman on the latest religious controversy, however, does offer a glimmer of hope that the NUCC may be the exception among the various bodies appointed during the last decade – all of whom have been failures in pushing back regressive policies which are plunging the country into insolvency, political turmoil and social strife. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of mad mullahs and mangled muftis

by azly rahman

Malaysiakini
Jan 3, 2014

When will we ever see people respecting each other for what they believe in and to pray by whichever way they feel safe, at peace, and connected as what “religion” derived from the Latin “religio” means, i.e. “connectedness” (to a higher and greater consciousness)?

Why can’t the Shiites and Sunnis stop fighting? Why can’t we focus on larger issues such as the future of our children through the fixing of our education system, or to make sure that our streets are safe, to bring back local elections so that our democracy will be stronger, or to ensure that our leaders are doing what they are supposed to be doing since they are servants to the people they begged votes from?

But what do we still have? Pathos, thanatos, and the loss of eros. Of hubris and hamartia. Of poetic injustices year after year. That’s what we have. Another year of diabolical doings left undone. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP, PAS and PKR achieved their best parliamentary and state assembly results during their tripartite co-operation in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 General Elections

In the 1999 General Elections, faced with the challenge of the four-party Barisan Alternative comprising DAP, PAS, PKR and Parti Rakyat, UMNO/BN strategists and propagandists launched a fork-tongued campaign, warning the Malays one the one hand that “DAP Plus PAS Equals Islam Hancur (destroyed)” while on the other hand warning the Chinese that a vote for DAP was a vote for PAS and an Islamic State where there would be no pork, no alcohol, no temples, no churches, no karaokes, no Chinese schools, women would have to cover their heads, beautiful women could not find jobs and that there would be the chopping of hands and feet.

By and large, the Malay voters in the 1999 general elections did not take the bait but the non-Malay voters, particularly the Chinese voters, fell victim to the campaign of falsehoods and fear generated by the Barisan Nasional, resulting in an outcome where PAS was the biggest winner in the Barisan Alternative as the largest parliamentary opposition with 27 MPs and 98 State Assembly representatives, capturing Terengganu state government in addition to Kelantan while DAP suffered severe setbacks, securing only 10 parliamentary and 11 state assembly seats. PKR won 5 parliamentary and 4 state assembly seats.

In the recent 2013 General Elections, faced with the challenge by Pakatan Rakyat, Umno/BN strategists and propagandists returned to their traditional fork-tongued campaign of lies and falsehoods, warning the Malays on the one hand that PAS would be a puppet of DAP while warning the Chinese on the other hand that DAP would be a stooge of PAS.

Unlike the 1999 General Elections, the Chinese voters did not take the Umno/BN bait in the 2013 polls. However, unlike the 10th General Elections, the UMNO campaign of lies and falsehoods made some impact on the Malay voters.
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CHANGE – (a short story)

by S.R.

It was an undisputed fact that Cikgu Wong and Cikgu Wahab were the best teachers of Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Senik. It was also a fact that neither of them would ever be promoted to the coveted post of a headmaster. For the two scholarly gentlemen, who had taught with unwavering dedication for more than two decades, were unschooled in the art of politicking. To put it simply, Cikgu Wong and Cikgu Wahab were first class educationists and rotten bureaucrats.

Lesser individuals would have become embittered by the humiliation of being constantly passed over for promotions. Not Cikgu Wong and Cikgu Wahab. Read the rest of this entry »

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GST will up prices even with sales tax gone

By Ong Kian Ming | 12:17PM Oct 27, 2013
Malaysiakini

MP SPEAKS The Barisan Nasional government is trying to mislead the rakyat by giving the impression that the price of most goods and the taxes paid by the consumer will be reduced after the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) because it will replace two taxes – the sales tax and the service tax (SST) – which the consumer is currently paying for.

The truth is that the items taxed under the sales tax and the service tax are far less than what is taxed under the GST, which means that the prices of the majority of goods and services will increase because of the GST even after the removal of the SST.

What the BN has not told the rakyat is that many items are currently exempt under the sales tax. According to the Sales Tax (Rates of Tax No 2) 2012, the number of items which are exempt under the sales tax i.e. not taxed, runs to 250 pages. In contrast, the number of items which are zero rated under the GST – not taxed at any point of the supply chain – is only 21 pages long.

Some of the items which are not charged under the sales tax but will be charged under the GST include many non-luxury items such as milk, coffee, tea, mineral water, canned fruit, newspapers, stationary, school bags, and boxes, just to name a few. Electricity consumption above 200kwH (any amount above RM50) will also be charged GST.

The prices of these goods will definitely increase after the GST because the removal of the SST has no effect on their prices.

Currently the sales tax is restricted to certain restaurants and professional services provided by accountants, architects, motor vehicle service and repair centres, telecommunication services, security services, estate agents, parking space services operators and service firms.
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Muslim judges’ decision all politics, no law

By Joe Fernandez | Wednesday, 16 October 2013 01:04
CPI

CPI introduction

We are reproducing two newspaper articles which have appeared in response to the ruling by the Court of Appeal banning the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Herald. The first article from the Borneo Insider provides a succinct analysis of the political underpinnings and ramifications of the COA decision and the costly impact it will have on the Barisan government. The second from one of the leading papers in the Middle East points to how irrational and unjustifiable the ruling is from any point of view – legal or theological or other.

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In a dramatic first in world history and law, the Court of Appeal (COA) sunk to an all-time new low on Monday (14 Oct 2013) in allowing an appeal by the government of Malaysia against a High Court decision on 31 Dec 2009 which held that the Herald, a Catholic weekly, has the right to use the term Allah for God in its Malay language edition on the faith.

Judges Mohamed Apandi Ali, Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim, and Mohd Zawawi Salleh presided.

Earlier, the High Court had ruled that the Home Minister was wrong, in law and the constitution, to impose a restriction in the licensing regulations that the Herald should not use the term Allah in Malay print in matters involving the Christian faith.

The Herald can apply for leave to appeal to the Federal Court (FC) against the COA decision.
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Clocks, scanners and “miscellaneous items” cost RTM RM9 million, up to 7,200 times over budget

Auditor-General’s 2012 Report (4)
by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
October 01, 2013

The Broadcasting Department blew its budget spending RM120,210 on clocks and scanners alone, thus overpaying for these items by thousands of times beyond its actual cost.

Despite budgeting RM100 per unit for a clock and RM200 per unit for an A4-sized document scanner, the Auditor-General found that the Broadcasting Department spent RM3,810 per unit for “branded” wall clocks and RM14,670 per unit for the scanners.

In the 2012 AG Report, it found the department bought 20 branded wall clocks and three scanners for national broadcaster RTM’s offices in three states.

The department paid RM76,200 for the clocks, which was 3,810% above its estimated budget, and RM44,010 for the scanners, which was 7,235 times more than its initial budget.

The department also bought five scanners for A3 sized documents at an inflated price of RM20,630 each – its estimated budget was RM1,000 each. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Barring Chin Peng’s ashes makes us laughing stock’

Malaysiakini
Sep 21, 2013

Former inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor warned that Malaysia will become a laughing stock if the government adamantly refuses to allow Chin Peng’s remains to be brought into the country.

“There is a hue and cry from the public not to even allow his ashes (back into Malaysia). My God… This is stretching the argument a bit too far. It’s a bit naive I think.

“If the government – the authorities – succumb to this public pressure not to allow Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back, I think, we are making Malaysia a laughing stock to the whole world,” he said in an interview aired on BFM yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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