Archive for February 13th, 2008

Malaysian PM dissolves parliament

February 13, 2008

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today dissolved parliament, paving the way for snap elections which are expected to see the ruling coalition’s majority eroded.

Abdullah’s popularity has plummeted as the nation is beset by mounting racial tensions, unprecedented street protests, anger over rising fuel and food prices, and high crime rates.

Announcing that the king had consented to dissolve parliament, Abdullah indicated he did not expect a repeat of the 2004 landslide when the Barisan Nasional coalition seized some 90 per cent of parliamentary seats.

“2004 was a special election and it was extraordinary. I pray that BN will get at least two-thirds of the votes in the upcoming election,” he told a press conference. Read the rest of this entry »


Immediate response on the Parliamentary Dissolution announcement today


Another instance of rise of Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons

Malaysians regardless of race or religion must vote in 12th general election to send a loud and clear message against the alarming rise of Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons (LMN) who are totally insensitive that Malaysia is a plural society and who are more powerful than Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

In the past four years of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s Islam Hadhari, there have been a deluge of insensitive occurrences totally heedless of Malaysia’s boast to the world of the country as “Truly Asia” where all races, languages, cultures and religions can flower with freedom and be a model to a conflict-ridden world.

This is illustrated not only by a spate of body-snatchings, bible-banning, temple demolition, stoppage of construction of world’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat, Sabah, but also by very polarizing incidents created by Little Napoleons and Little Mullah Napoleons (LMNs) in schools, universities and the public service.

I will give the latest incident from a complaint which I have just received by a liberal and broad-minded Malay woman: Read the rest of this entry »


Parliamen dissolves today despite Pak Lah’s assurance of “no” yesterday

Parliament is being dissolved today despite the assurance by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday that there will be no dissolution of Parliament today.

This is the New Straits Times story today:

‘Parliament won’t be dissolved today’

BANGI: Parliament will not be dissolved today.

The prime minister dismissed intense speculation that he would seek to dissolve parliament on the basis of his penchant for the number 13.

“No such thing,” Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told reporters after the launch of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institut Islam Hadhari.

Pressed further if today’s cabinet meeting would be the last for the 11th parliamentary term, he asked back: “What makes you think it’s going to be the last?”

“There will be more (meetings to come).”

My sources tell me that Abdullah had an audience with the Yang di Pertuan Agong this morning on the dissolution of Parliament and the Prime Minister has called for a media conference at 12.30 pm to announce Parliament’s dissolution and the 12th general election.


Chief Secretary Should Not Be Chief Clerk

by Bakri Musa

Judging from the gushing praises, Chief Secretary Sidek Hassan is performing miracles with his Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah, its Malay acronym) committee to streamline the civil service. A reality check is in order.

It reflects how out of touch our top civil servants are from the realities on the ground that it took Sidek and his Director-General of the Public Service Department Ismail Adam to make an unannounced visit to a District Office in Selangor for them to realize how difficult it is to pay one’s “quit rent.”

Then they were shocked to find that the District Officer was out of his office. Again that reflects their naivety and ignorance of the current sorry state of the government machinery. Perhaps they put too much faith on the recent glowing report of IMD’s World Competitive Yearbook that placed the Malaysian government ahead of Japan and Germany in terms of efficiency. The Malaysian public knows better.

It is pathetic that these top civil servants are reduced to being chief clerks checking on the keranis (junior clerks) to make sure that they are at their desks attending to their customers.

Sidek’s unannounced visit is now fast becoming a legend, of a meticulous and diligent top civil servant paying attention to the smallest of operational details. Even previously cynical commentators are now heaping praises on the man. This chorus is repeated by the seasoned corporate figures co-opted into Pemudah.

If those corporate figures were truly impressed, then it does not say much of the crispness of their own management. Alternatively, they had such low expectations that any improvement would impress them. My hunch is that their praises are nothing more than shrewd maneuverings to be on the good side of the government. In a country where the nexus between government and private sector is fuzzy, this is expected. It would not surprise me that their companies do substantial business with the government. Read the rest of this entry »