Archive for January, 2008

Four quotes from Gandhi

At last night’s DAP ceramah on “ISA detention of Hindraf 5” at the Penang Chinese Town Hall, with an overflowing crowd spilling out of the hall, I ended my speech with four quotes from Gandhi.

They are:

1. Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.

2. In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.

3. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.

4. I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.


Quash 3-month jail for Dr. Basmullah – AG/CJ/CJM should act

I call on the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail to uphold justice and intervene to quash the three-month jailing of a private practitioner Dr. Basmullah Yusom for being unable to pay RM120,000 fine for operating a clinic without registering it under the Private Health Facilities and Services Act 1998.

Yesterday, my blog received and put up a letter on the jailing of Dr. Basmullah on 18th January 2008, drawing my attention to this gross injustice for the first time.

I checked the press and found this New Straits Times report “Doctor fined RM120,000 for not registering clinic” dated 19th November 2008.

I call on the Attorney-General to make swift amends of such travesty of justice and invoke the revisionary powers inherent in his office to call up Dr. Baharum’s case to get him out of jail without any moment of delay.

Alternatively, I call on the Chief Judge of Malaya or the Chief Justice of Malaysia to invoke their revisionary powers to call up the case to quash the jail sentence imposed to Dr. Baharum.

DAP MPs and leaders will contact Dr. Baharum’s family to see how we can help to get him out of jail.


Do we need a RCI on RCI on Lingam Tape to restore confidence in judiciary?

The second-week proceedings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Lingam Tape has delivered three body blows undermining the commission’s public credibility as an independent and fearless agency to restore national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the Malaysian judiciary.

The first blow stems from the continued testimony of senior lawyer V. K.Lingam, coming on the heels of former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and former Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin, turning the Royal Commission of Inquiry into a public circus to the extent that a Malaysian quiz could be created to ask who had respectively been responsible for the following unforgettable words:

“Correct, correct, correct”;

“No, No, No”;

“Coincidence, coincidence, coincidence”; and

“Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit”.

Malaysians are astounded as to how the Royal Commission of Inquiry had allowed the “star witness” of the “it looks like me, it sounds like me but I will not say 100% that it’s me” quote to turn it into a circus – reflecting adversely not just on Lingam but even more seriously, on all the five Commissioners.

The language used by Lingam in his testimony at the RCI on Lingam Tape was unprecedentedly offensive in any court or public hearing – and which would have been disallowed as “unparliamentary” in Parliament. In fact, the language used was so unprintable for polite society that two leading dailies had to use asterisks for part of the word instead of printing it in full! Read the rest of this entry »


If Anwar not a factor, why Abdullah cannot wait less than 2 months for next general election?

“Tell it to the marines” – that will be the common response to the statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in CNN’s World News Asia telecast live from Davos, Switzerland yesterday that former deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not a factor in his decision on the timing of the next general election. (“Telling it to the marines” is the scornful response to a tall and unbelieved story/claim.)

Asserting that he was not pre-empting the former deputy prime minister from contesting the general election, Abdullah said:

“There are other factors in my mind that I have to think about before I recommend the dissolution of parliament and fix the date for the elections.”

If Anwar is not a factor in his calculations for the next polls, Abdullah should explain why he cannot wait less than two months to allow the former DPM to contest in the 12th general election?

Is it because Abdullah has been advised by his strategists and the Putrajaya fourth-storey advisers that the electoral prospects for the Barisan Nasional can only get worse and not better, especially if Anwar is allowed to participate personally in the hustings as a candidate?

The latest opinion poll should be a “shocker” for Abdullah and the Barisan Nasional leaders, as it found that the Prime Minister’s approval rating has hit a personal low, slipping from a high of 91 per cent when he took power in late 2003 to 61 per cent in December last month, the lowest since he took office in late 2003 and down by 10 percentage points from November. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Ong Ka Ting review the PHFSA?

by RS

With reference to media reports of a doctor being convicted for not registering his clinic, (Jan 19th 2008), it is incomprehensible that this registered doctor was fined a whopping RM120,000 for not registering his clinic. And since he couldn’t come up with the fine, he was sent off to serve a three month jail term at Kajang Prison.

In April of last year the DG of Health, asserted that the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 (PHFSA) was enacted to direct private hospitals to carry out their social responsibilities and was not meant to be punitive or detrimental in nature.

He and the previous Health Minister, Chua Soi Lek, further assured the medical community that since the Act was outdated, changes would be made and ratified by the Attorney-General’s chambers.

These changes have yet to be agreed upon or ratified but the Act has already been applied leading now to a doctor being convicted on a technicality.

Will the DG now tell the judge, that she should not have passed this type of sentence? Of course not, because that is not how the law works once an Act is passed. Read the rest of this entry »


EC violates National Integrity Plan in rejecting “caretaker government” concept

I have received a shocking response from the Election Commission declaring that it does not recognize the concept of caretaker government when Parliament is dissolved to ensure free, fair and clean general election.

The Secretary of the Election Commission Datuk Kamaruzaman bin Mohd Noor in a letter dated 17th January 2008 but faxed to my office on January 22, 2008 in response to a letter dated 7th January 2008 from Lau Weng San, Secretary to Parliamentary Opposition Leader’s Office asking for the fixing of an appointment between the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid and myself, wrote:

“Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa dalam kerangka undang-undang pilihan raya Negara kita termasuk Perelembagaan Persekutuan tidak menyatakan adanya ‘Caretaker Government’. Oleh yang demikian, apabila pembubaran Parlimen atau Dewan Undangan Negeri berlaku, maka kerajaan yang memerintah sebelum pembubaran tersebut akan terus menerajui kerajaan sehinggalah sebuah kerajaan baru ditubuhkan selepas keputusan pilihan raya diumumkan secara rasmi oleh Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) Malaysia.

“Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa SPR bukan jabatan atau agensi kerajaan yang bertanggungjawab untuk memberikan tafsiran mengenai sesuatu perkara atau fasal yang terkandung di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Ini kerana pihak yang lebih layak untuk memberi apa-apa interpretasi mengenai Perlembagaan Persekutuan ialah Jabatan Peguam Negara. Justeru itu, tuan adalah dinasihatkan untuk berhubung terus dengan Jabatan berkenaan jika tuan memerlukan apa-apa interpretasi mengenai sesuatu perkara atau fasal yang menyentuh Perlembagaan Persekutuan.”

The fifth principle of Rukunegara committed the government and every Malaysian to “Good Behaviour and Morality” but Malaysia has never been subjected to a more intense attack of the most brazen disregard and contempt for fundamental decencies of good behaviour, morality and the principles of good governance as in recent times – with the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape in the past two weeks providing the most blatant and flagrant of examples.

But such brazen disregard and contempt for good behaviour, morality and good governance are not just confined to the circus of the Lingam Tape Royal Commission of Inquiry but is to be found in every department of public administration.

The latest example is furnished by the Election Commission with its contemptuous dismissal of the concept of caretaker government when Parliament is dissolved – expected during the Chinese New Year period. Read the rest of this entry »


A frustrated government scholar-blogger

by frustrated scholar

I am writing as a Malaysia JPA (Public Service Department) Scholarship holder.

But, the problem is, I am also an Active Blogger on, touching mainly on socio-political issues.

To be frank, I have been very much careful in my writings by not touching religions and names and by remaining neutral politically.
Yet, my fear is imminent.

My dilemma stems from a recent incident happened to one of my fellow scholar (of batch 2007) from my institution.

She is a blogger herself, and apparently she went ‘over-the-line’ by attacking senior lecturers and institution administration on her blog.

Consequently, her blog attracted attention from both students and administrators and the news went to as far as our sponsor, the JPA.

She faced the institution’s internal disciplinary hearing and was subsequently suspended by the institution late last year and currently, she is pending decisions from the JPA on whether she will continue her scholarship or face termination.


Reflect, re-analyse, reconstruct, revolt!

Dr. Azly Rahman

[Final Part (Part 4) of the speech on “Student Idealism”, delivered to Indonesian and Malaysian Muslim students of North America, Washington D C, December 2007.]

We now come to the last part of our speech. If there is a restatement of my thesis statement, it should sound like this:

“Students, you are a beacon of hope. Reflect, reanalyse and revolt. Reclaim your righteous minds, as the African-American actor Denzel Washington said to his students in the movie The Great Debaters. Transform the world inside and outside.”

The hope for change lies in the middle class and in public education, and in you, students of social change. How do we teach ourselves to analyse propaganda, bias, half-truths, and recognise progressive forces, institutions and organisations of change and subsequently align with these forces? Read the rest of this entry »


BU4 school controversy resolved

by Angelia Ong

Just to let you know:

1. SMK BU4

Hip hip hoorah! You will all be glad that the fiasco at the BU4 school has been resolved. The Headmistress has now conceded to bring back the lion dance, cheerleading squad and other ‘banned activities’. Power to the parents! Fortunately some members of MI4, together with other PIBG members rallied together in a show of force. This new headmistress thought she could push her way around…. not knowing that she is dealing with the super heroes of BU4..

My residents association is very vocal thankfully and now we are continuing our fight to gain our playground/field (which I believe they have been fighting for the last 12 years) and I think a compromise can hopefully be reached.

It’s very sad to see green lungs (seeing the letters in of bukit kiara, kota damansara and Sg Buloh being ravaged in the name of development. Parks and playgrounds being shrunk or built on.


Suharto’s Exit: The End of the Era of Asia’s Strongmen?

By Farish A. Noor

There are strongmen, and then again there are really strong strongmen. Indonesia’s former President Suharto falls into the latter category and though the man was finally deposed after waves of student demonstrations that rocked Indonesia in May 1998, he remains – despite his ailing health – firmly planted on the map of Indonesian and Southeast Asia’s regional politics til now.

Observers of Indonesian politics have already put their pens to paper and have begun to write the obituary to what has to be one of the most important (if not notorious) and enigmatic of Asia’s leaders of the 20th century. Indeed, so long and extensive was Suharto’s period of rule in Indonesia that the man has been elevated to the level of a national icon, seen as a hero for some and as one of the most brutal dictators the world has ever seen by others. Suharto’s imminent passing marks the end of an era, a period that spanned the second half of the 20th century in the wake of the Second World War and the Cold War the quickly followed suit.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that with the passing of Suharto the age of strongmen-politics will come to an end. Suharto’s own record and personal life story reads as an epic tale of the small man made good, of the poor peasant boy who was at the right place at the right time and consequently was picked by History to play a crucial part in the drama of nations. Read the rest of this entry »


Another example of Malaysian university mediocrity

Educational and in particular university quality and excellence has increasingly become an important indicator not only of a nation’s international competitiveness but its capacity for development as a world-class developed nation.

A recent news report in the world of higher education is a sobre and sombre reminder as to how far we have lagged behind in the international stakes for university excellence and development of quality human resources.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia’s much anticipated US$10 billion university, has appointed Shih Choon Fong, a Singaporean as its first president.

Shih, who is president of the National University of Singapore, will assume the task of creating from scratch what Saudi Arabia hopes will become one of the world’s leading research institutions.
Ali Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources, who is chairman of the university’s governing board, said that Shih was “the right person” to fulfill the vision for the new institution. The university, known as Kaust, is scheduled to open in September 2009.

Was any Malaysian from the 20-odd public universities in serious running of being scouted in the extensive global search among top academic research leaders for the top job for the world’s sixth richest university even before it opens, as King Abdullah provided US$10 billion of his own money to start the new institution? Read the rest of this entry »


Hindu festival marked by protest in Malaysia

By Thomas Bell in Kuala Lumpur
Telegraph, UK
Last Updated: 5:13pm GMT 23/01/2008

Hindus in Malaysia mortified their flesh with hooks and spears as they delivered a protest against the government which has imprisoned their popular leaders without charge.

With elections in the multi-racial country expected within weeks, ethnic grievances pose a mounting threat to the party that has governed for all of the 50 years since independence.

The annual festival of Thaipusam is big event for Malaysia’s two million ethnic Indians, who make up 7 per cent of the population.

Devotees hang limes and pots of milk from hooks in the flesh of their backs, and pierce their faces with spears, to thank the god Murugan for good fortune or ask him to grant their wishes.

This year the festival was marked by boycotts and hunger strikes. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP-PKR seats talks too slow – must be wrapped up by end-Jan as polls in 40 days

Sin Chew Daily today reported that Parliament would be dissolved on the eighth day of the Chinese New Year (i.e. 14th February 2008), with Nomination Day immediately after Chap Goh Mei (21st February) and polling on 2nd or 3rd March, 2008.

The probability of the next general election falling in the first weekend of March is very high, which would mean that a new Parliament could be elected within 40 days!

Earlier, speculation of the next general election focused primarily on March 15 or the weekend before it. However the option of March 15 for the next general election will have to be ruled out if the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is serious about his announcement in Spain last week for the First Alliance of Civilisations Annual Forum that he would be in Senegal in March to hand over the chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). This is because the OIC Summit is fixed for March 13-14, 2008 for Dakar, Senegal.

With the 12th general election falling right smack during the Chinese New Year, all political parties, leaders and members will have very little time to celebrate Chinese New Year this year, which begins in a fortnight’s time.

I am very disappointed that there had been agonizingly little progress in the DAP-PKR talks for an electoral understanding to ensure a one-to-one contest with the Barisan Nasional, avoiding three-cornered fights which can only benefit the Barisan Nasional in the past two weeks.

Both parties had reached an electoral understanding on January 7, 2008 on the allocation of parliamentary and state assembly seats in Penang, which was announced in a joint media conference by leaders from both parties in Penang on 9th January 2008.

Leaders of both parties had hoped that the Penang agreement would act as a catalyst for the speedy conclusion of seats negotiations for all states in the country so that all energies and resources could be focused single-mindedly in cutting down the Barisan Nasional behemoth with its 91% parliamentary majority down to size in the next general election.

But this has not been the case, as precious little progress had been achieved in the other states in the past two weeks since the Penang agreement apart from Negri Sembilan.

Even for Negri Sembilan, where the state DAP and PKR announced agreement yesterday to take on the Barisan Nasional in straight fights, the announcement was only confined to the state assembly seats although agreement had earlier been reached by both state leaderships for parliamentary and state assembly contests as well. However, as a result of national PKR intervention, the announcement on DAP-PKR pact in Negri Sembilan was only confined to state assembly seats leaving the parliamentary seats unsettled.

I am particularly disappointed at the agonizingly slow progress in DAP-PKR seats negotiations for I had stuck my neck out to break the stalemate to ensure that the DAP-PKR electoral agreement for Penang was reached on January 7, although DAP was subsequently accused of compromising its position and yielding to PKR pressures.

Such accusation from Barisan Nasional parties and personalities are to be expected, but there are also PKR claims of this nature, like SMS which immediately made the rounds after the announcement of the DAP-PKR electoral understanding for Penang that it was achieved after public threats by a certain PKR leader.

Perak was meant to be the next state for an electoral agreement to be reached after Penang but the differences between the two state parties seem to be as wide as ever, with even the PKR National Vice President publicly reiterating PKR interest to contest in Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat.

I find such lack of progress most disappointing. By now, all parties should be making their final plans for the general election battle which will be over in 40 days – and not still bogged down by seats negotiations.

For instance, PKR should be helping the DAP in its plans to wrest another three parliamentary seats from the Barisan Nasional in Perak namely Bruas, Taiping and Teluk Intan instead of publicly laying claim to these and other seats which are the focus of DAP efforts in the coming general election, including Ipoh Timur.

Let me try to resolve the DAP-PKR logjam in the electoral talks in Perak. If Perak PKR leaders are so insistent in wanting to contest in Ipoh Timur, let there be an agreement where a three-cornered fight is allowed for Ipoh Timur involving DAP: and PKR provided full agreement on a one-to-one fight against the Barisan Nasional for all other parliamentary and state assembly seats is immediately reached for Perak.

There is no more time to lose. I will go one step further and call for full conclusion of the DAP-PKR talks on electoral agreement for all states by the end of January, i.e. in a week’s time.

If general election is held by the first weekend of March, there are only some 30 days left to fight the 12th general election.

Let 31st January 2008 be the deadline for the conclusion of the electoral talks between DAP and PKR. I hope both parties can reach an electoral understanding for a one-to-one contest against the Barisan Nasional in the forthcoming general election, but if we cannot reach agreement, then let this be decided and known instead of dragging it out indefinitely, which will not serve the cause of cutting the Barisan Nasional behemoth down to size in the 12th general election.


Challenge to Sabah DCM for night-tour of Sandakan ghost-town (his 3-term constituency)

This morning I was in Sandakan where I had issued a challenge to the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah to a night-tour of Sandakan as he had disputed my statement that Sandakan is a ghost town after dusk.

I had given Tan 48 hours to respond to my challenge and if he dares to accept, we can then fix a date for a joint night-tour of Sandakan to establish whether Sandakan becomes a ghost town as soon as the sun goes down, with the local people of Sandakan deserting the town centre for the safety of their homes or to the outskirts of Sandakan from the third mile.

I am very shocked that Tan, who is a three-term State Assemblyman for Sandakan, representing Tanjung Papat, should challenge my statement that Sandakan is a ghost town after dusk – as this is not a recent phenomenon but is the sad fact about Sandakan for over two decades, covering the entire period that Tan had been elected representative for Tanjong Papat.

What did Tan do in his 15 years as Sabah State Assemblyman for the area, with two terms as Cabinet Minister and now as Deputy Chief Minister, to revive Sandakan to its past vibrant and flourishing glory as “Little Hong Kong”?

Instead of restoring the night-life of Sandakan so that it does not become a ghost town after dusk, the “ghost town” problem has spread its tentacles outwards to cover an increasing stretch of real property which is now some three miles from the town centre. Read the rest of this entry »


Will RCI get infamy of being a “It looks like me, it sounds like me” royal commission?

Senior lawyer V.K. Lingam has probably coined the quote of the century with his “It looks like me and it sounds like me” statement to the Royal Commission of Inquiry hearing yesterday.

What is even more serious, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape may forever be known as a “It looks like me and its sounds like me” Royal Commission unless it can shake off the infamy of being dismissed as a “cover-up” commission.

After the scandalous competition between former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and former Chief Justice, Tun Eusuff Chin to out-forget each other in their testimony before the Royal Commission of Inquiry last week, it would be hard-put for anyone to out-scandalise the public – but Lingam was clearly up to the task in putting the two Tuns in the shade!

Lingam has applied to expunge all evidence tendered at the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the New Zealand holiday in 1994 taken by him and then Chief Justice Eusoff Chin at last week’s Royal Commission of Inquiry on the ground that they were irrelevant to the scope of the inquiry.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry will decide tomorrow after hearing submissions by lawyers representing various concerned parties.

Whether Lingam’s application to expunge the evidence on his holidaying with Eusoff Chin in New Zealand in 1994 from the Royal Commission of Inquiry succeeds or otherwise, nothing can expunge Eusoff’s testimony from public mind and memory, for they are most pertinent to explain why the state of the judiciary is in such a sorry state, plunging from one crisis of confidence to another about its independence, integrity and competence in the past 19 years.

Even if Eusoff’s evidence before the Royal Commission of Inquiry is expunged from the Royal Commission proceedings, they cannot be expurgated from the public mind and Eusoff owes the nation a full responsibility to come forward to fully account for his integrity as Chief Justice during the period when he held the highest judicial post in the land. Read the rest of this entry »


Mr. Vacuum Cleaner, Sabah and Sabah Development Corridor

Many legitimate questions have been raised about the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) to be launched by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Sepanggar Bay container port, 35 km from Kota Kinabalu, next Tuesday, including:

• Why the SDC is the last “corridor” to be announced and launched by the Prime Minister when it should be the first as Sabah has the worst poverty rate in the whole country.

• How the SDC will eradicate poverty in Sabah, which is the worst of all states in the country, with an incidence of poverty of 23% in 2004, much higher than the two other poverty-stricken states of Terengganu (15.4%) and Kelantan (10.6%). Sabah has also the worst hard-core poverty rate at 6.5% as compared to the next three states with the highest incidence, i.e. Terengganu 4.4% and Kedah and Kelantan 1.3%.

• How the SDC will end the long-standing socio-economic marginalization of the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) community as the new underclass in Sabah.

• Whether it is possible for Malaysia to implement five “development corridors” simultaneously or is the “corridor” concept more hype than reality.

A poster raised a pertinent question on my blog on the SDC when he said the Barisan Nasional is “simply trying to hoodwink the rakyat into throwing support for the BN”. Read the rest of this entry »


RCI on Lingam Tape: Boys Sent To Do The Job of Men

by M. Bakri Musa

Regardless of the outcome of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the “Lingam Videotape,” these public hearings have already given us a rare and instructive glimpse on the inner workings of our government at the highest levels, and of the caliber of individuals in such positions.

This is also clearly demonstrated by the commissioners themselves. Their individual impressive credentials notwithstanding, they are merely boys sent to do the job of men.

In forcing Prime Minister Abdullah to convene this Royal Commission, Anwar Ibrahim has done a great service to the nation. Malaysia owes a huge debt of gratitude to him, as well as to the son of businessman Loh Mui Fah for having the foresight to tape that infamous conversation in the first place, and to the anonymous individual who subsequently gave that tape to Anwar.

The alternative media, in particular Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, together with various bloggers and members of non-governmental entities, helped ensure that the evolving scandal was not conveniently ignored by the government. The mainstream media were, as usual, irrelevant. They not only missed this most important story but tried initially to dismiss it. Read the rest of this entry »


Zero poverty in Sabah – “Sabah Baru”, “Sabah Development Corridor” and Pak Lah’s high-powered committee

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced yesterday that a high-powered Cabinet sub-committee will be set up to carry out the government’s efforts to eradicate hardcore poverty among all races by 2010.

When Abdullah comes to Sabah next Tuesday (January 29) to launch the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), he should explain to Sabahans what this high-powered committee means to Sabah.

This is because 14 years ago, in its manifesto to capture Sabah state power from PBS, the Barisan Nasional pledged to create a “New Sabah” and promised, among other things, to reduce the poverty level in Sabah from 33 per cent in 1994 to zero in the year 2000.

However, this promise of zero poverty in Sabah by the year 2,000 was never fulfilled. According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the incidence of poverty in Sabah in 2004 was the highest of all states in Malaysia at 23 per cent, nowhere near zero incidence and higher than Terengganu (15.4%) and Kelantan (10.6%).

Sabah had also the worst incidence of hard-core poverty in 2004 at 6.5% as compared the next three states with high incidence, i.e. Terengganu 4.4% and Kedah and Kelantan 1.3%.

Now, eight years after its failure to honour its pledge to reduce poverty in Sabah to zero in 2000, the Prime Minister is talking about eradicating hard core poverty by 2010. Read the rest of this entry »


Abdullah should emulate Tunku and take 2 months leave as PM in his nation-wide tour as BN Chairman

When he became Prime Minister more than four years ago, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi pledged that integrity and good governance would be the hallmarks of his premiership and towards this end he also launched the National Integrity Plan.

This is the time for Abdullah to set an example of integrity and good governance and I call on him to emulate Bapa Malaysia and the first Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman by taking leave as Prime Minister for two months for him to go on a nationwide tour as Chairman of Barisan Nasional to prepare the 14-party coalition for the 12th general election.

The mainstream media have reported that after his return from Spain, Abdullah “kicked off his second nationwide tour in what many coalition members believe is the prelude to a soon to be called general election”. (New Sunday Times 20.1.08)

Abdullah should set an example of understanding and respecting the important distinction between government and party, as it is the abject failure of Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders to appreciate and uphold this important distinction which is the root cause of the rampant corruption, abuses of power and rank lawlessness in the country.

As Prime Minister, Abdullah has no business to conduct any nation-wide tour to galvanise the 14-party Barisan Nasional to prepare for the next general election expected within 50 days. When he goes around the country to rally and mobilize Umno and the other Barisan Nasional component parties to shape up for the 12th general election, he is acting in his capacity as Chairman of Barisan Nasional which is completely different and separate from the office of Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Pak Lah’s announcement of Thaipusam as public holiday – Thousand pities

Thousand pities that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s announcement yesterday of Thaipusam as a public holiday is seen as highly opportunistic and self-serving to salvage Samy Vellu’s political life and Barisan Nasional’s political fortunes in the coming polls than the start of a serious and genuine national commitment to end the long-standing marginalization of Malaysian Indians as the new underclass in the country.

Although the Prime Minister had said at his Ponggol speech in Bukit Bintang on Saturday that he would consider the call to make Thaipusam a public holiday, it was clear that he had decided to use the “Thaipusam a public holiday” as a gambit to restore the political stocks of Samy Vellu and the Barisan Nasional among the two million Malaysian Indians, which was why there was the front-page story in the Star on Friday “PM to hold BN council meeting on polls” which reported: “On Sunday, Abdullah will meet 20,000 MIC members and supporters at the Cheras Badminton Stadium where he is expected to make a major announcement.” Read the rest of this entry »