Archive for category General
2015 Budget – A Critique (2)
by Economic Observer
17th October 2014
There exists a long held convention for the Annual Budget Speech to serve as a vehicle for reporting to the nation recent economic performance along with a candid account presenting near term prospects.
Sadly the Minister has chosen to ignore tradition.
In a speech of almost 30 pages, hardly a page and a half are devoted to a discussion of recent developments or the prospects for the year ahead. What little is said about recent performance consists of broad generalizations.
Growth merits a few lines; little is said about price developments, private consumption which is a measure of the people’s wellbeing.
Cynically much is made of the performance of the stock market but not a word is said about the growth in private debt or about the leakages that the economy has suffered through massive capital flight.
The reference to investment trends is based on data relating to approvals rather than actual investments. Read the rest of this entry »
By Azrul Mohd Khalib | MMO
September 9, 2014
Datuk Seri Najib Razak, I, like many Malaysians around the country, support your call to repeal the Sedition Act of 1948.
There are periods in history when we are at the right place, at the right time and are called upon to act. To do what our conscience tells us as necessary because only we can. Times like these are few and far in between, when we are called to action to make right that which is wrong, heal that which has been hurt and practise that which we speak of. This is one such opportunity.
The 1948 Sedition Act is a piece of colonial era legislation which was born during a time when our penjajah, the English, intended to suppress dissent, maintain power and continue the oppression and subjugation of the people of Malaya.
It was intended to extinguish the flame of democracy which burned brightly amongst those who yearned for freedom and a better future for everyone in this country. It is an instrument born of fear, insecurity, is against democratic principles and aimed to tyrannise the ruled and to see and treat the rakyat as the enemy. It was used on the people who fought for this country’s independence. Read the rest of this entry »
Robert Mendick By Robert Mendick, Patrick Sawer and Tim Ross
19 Jul 2014
Moscow-backed rebels accused of removing some of the corpses, taking their possessions and destroying evidence
International anger was intensifying on Saturday night over the treatment of victims of Flight MH17, amid claims that bodies had been left to rot among the wreckage, at the mercy of looters.
As Moscow-backed rebels were accused of removing some of the corpses, taking their possessions and destroying evidence, Philip Hammond, the new Foreign Secretary, said the “world’s eyes” were on Russia and demanded that the victims be treated with “proper dignity and respect”.
The plane was shot down on Thursday, apparently by pro-Moscow separatists backed by the Russian president Vladimir Putin. It emerged on Saturday that two British fathers and five of their children were killed in the attack as the last of the 10 British victims was named.
On Saturday, independent investigators were again denied proper access to the scene by masked and armed separatists, who control the crash site in eastern Ukraine. One source suggested some of the rebels were “intoxicated”.
It emerged that bodies were being left to rot amid the wreckage in temperatures of 85F (29.4C), and Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the investigators at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said after being given partial and temporary access: “Some of the body bags are open and the damage to the corpses is very, very bad – it is very difficult to look at. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ashley Fantz, CNN
July 17, 2014
(CNN) — A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has crashed in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agency Interfax reported Thursday.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it lost contact with Flight 17 and that the plane’s last known position was over Ukrainian airspace, the airline said on Twitter.
The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.
“We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said, according to his website. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ahmad Tempe
MAY 21, 2014 | TMI
Henry A Kissinger pernah menyebut “university politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are too small”. Ini membawa erti yang politik di universiti itu ganas kerana pertaruhannya kecil.
Tidak perlu cari mat kaki demo atau “pemberontak” seperti Khalid Ismath jika mahu mentafsirkan “keganasan” politik di Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). Cukup sekadar kita temuramah mat-mat kaki “dating” atau mat “dota” dan mereka akan menjawab: “Ala, UiTM ni kita kena sokong kerajaan (baca:Umno/BN), kalau tidak susah kita nanti.”
Hari ini, Persatuan Alumni UiTM Malaysia secara tiba-tiba lantang mengingatkan calon DAP Teluk Intan, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud supaya berhenti menggunakan nama UiTM dalam tujuan kempen kerana UiTM sepatutnya “bebas”. Tulisan ini bukanlah bertujuan untuk membela atau mengangkat si Dyana.
Saya juga bukanlah hendak menjadi batu api atau bertelagah dengan geng-geng alumni ini. Tetapi, hendak bebas itu bebas yang bagaimana?
Semua orang tahu UiTM mempunyai “pusat latihan tidak rasmi Umno”. Siapa tidak tahu proses untuk menjadi calon Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar (MPP) UiTM pun ketat? Mesti mesra kerajaan? Hendak berahsia bagaimana lagi?
Sebelum ini pun UiTM pernah menjadi medan kempen bagi Umno/BN apabila Datuk Seri Najib Razak hadir untuk berucap serta menabur janji kepada mahasiswa UiTM di samping menjamu makanan enak-enak (baca: KFC). Read the rest of this entry »
Kow Gah Chie
Apr 25, 2014
After his sedition conviction, Karpal Singh had uttered these famous words, “You knock out one Karpal, a hundred Karpal Singhs will rise.”
His long-time friend and political colleague Lim Kit Siang recalled this quote during the memorial service held for the late politician, who was killed in an accident on April 17, in Kuala Lumpur last night.
However, Lim had a grander vision.
The DAP supremo wanted to see not a hundred but thousands of Karpals rising up to the fight.
“I promise to continue his fight… Karpal’s dream is to uphold the rule of law, justice, good governance as well as a united and harmonious Malaysia… This will be our dream… and to make it a reality in the next general election,” he added.
Lim also said millions are still grieving over Karpal’s death and this reflected how great a man he was. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »
Flight MH370 Malaysian officials struggle with credibility after changing last words heard from lost aircraft
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 »
By Joel Achenbach, Scott Higham and Ashley Halsey III
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 »
By Gordon Rayner, and Nick Collins
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
– 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 »
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 »
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 »
– 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 »
by azly rahman
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 »
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.
Read the rest of this entry »