Archive for March, 2008

Who runs the Ministry of Health?

by EJB

I refer to the newspaper report “Doctors to be disallowed from dispensing Medicine” NST 29th March where the DG of Health has apparently agreed to a pilot proposal where doctors seeing patients at their clinics only prescribe and patients will then have to locate a pharmacy where they will have to purchase their medications separately. Don’t ask when these negotiations started and who were at the discussions who finally agreed to this proposal. In all likelihood doctors’ representatives were either kept away or presumably threatened with the OSA (Official Secrets Act)

It seems the ruling party has learnt nothing from the last elections. More pertinently one must ask. Is this a dying priority for the Ministry of Health now especially when it reported only these last 48 hours about the lethal outcomes of the dengue scourge which it has repeatedly shown it is unable to control and the rising incidence of resurgent tuberculosis? We will not even discuss about waiting time for patients who queue up to see doctors at 4 am in the morning or of parents begging in the media for financial help to save their sick children.

The DG of Health, one would have thought, would have his hands full trying to pool his resources without digging further holes he cannot cover. But there you are. He appears to have caved in to the pharmacy lobby. This debate is not new. It is ancient in terms of healthcare provisions in Malaysia. The basic contention. Why should General Practitioners or other doctors prescribe when there are pharmacists around? Answer, for the convenience of the patient especially in the rural areas or in locations where pharmaceutical chains open ten stores to show a 30 million ringgit turnover so that they can get into the second board while employing only 5 pharmacists to cut costs. These pharmacists will only be in during shift hours and usually not available after 9pm where the rigors of a 24 hour practice will call upon the dedication and commitment of a medical doctor where treatment and prescription come hand in hand. Read the rest of this entry »


Release of Hindraf 5 – pressing agenda of 82 MPs and 196 State Assembly members from DPP

One of the major breakthroughs of the March 8 political tsunami was the transformation of “Makkal Sakti” from a call for the end of the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians into a rallying and symbolic cry by all Malaysians to end all forms of marginalization against any Malaysian or group, regardless of race or religion.

It is distressing therefore that despite assurances by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that he has heard the voice of Malaysians on March 8 for change, actions taken by the second Abdullah administration have proved otherwise – in particular the statement by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar refusing to release newly-elected Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah and four other Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.

A pressing agenda for 82 MPs and 196 State Assembly members from DAP, PKR and PAS in Malaysia is to work out a common strategy for the immediate and unconditional release of the five Hindraf leaders from ISA detention and to ensure that the second Abdullah government understand the meaning of “Makkal Sakti”.

(Speech at the DAP Bukit Glugor general election thanksgiving dinner to celebrate re-election victory of Karpal Singh as MP for Bukit Glugor at Long Say Building, Burmah Road, Penang on Saturday, 29th March 2008)


What we want now

by Steven

Nowadays, by just reading the newspaper and watching TV news, mostly it was related to political news. Well, I admit that most of the Malaysian are kinda shock, surprised or attracted to the past election news. The most important thing is how to improve the quality of life of Malaysians. I really don’t see how these issues were handled carefully in the past. I believe that some people would agree with me. We always know how to compare with others countries, but correct me if I am wrong that the comparison made was always with poorer performance countries. I don’t really understand this. Why we don’t want to improve our nation by comparing to the developing countries? We had already achieved independence by 50 years. Please do not always feel satisfied with what we have achieved nowadays because there is still much room to improve.

Malaysia is a blessed country with many resource like rubber, tin, petroleum, fishes and others. Why we are not utilizing them and make benefits of them for the good of society. Sometimes, I would think that why so many youngsters leave Malaysia and go abroad to work. Of course, the most attractive factor is money, living environment and safety. I still remember that when I was small, our money currency was almost equivalent with Singaporean. But looking at it now, we are much much lower than Singaporean, Euro, Australian and others major countries currency. Please don’t tell us that we are okay nowadays by looking at Malaysia Ringgit vs US Dollar. It was just USD is weak and not Malaysia Ringgit strong. Please awake and do something now before it is too late. I am not financial expert who has the right comment on our Malaysia Ringgit performance. At least I notice that our Ringgit is much depreciated. Please learn it from other countries. I worked in US before, the costs of buying goods like a comb of bananas doesn’t change much from time to time, it was ~USD1 in 2002 and also in 2007. But for us, everything is up. I can’t deny that there is an inflation factor counted in Malaysia’s economy. We would think that the inflation number reported is not right, every year is also low. Does the inflation number reported is just solely based on the controlled goods? Overall, our Ringgit and Sen is weak? Read the rest of this entry »


“Results of space tests out soon” – Opinion

[Dr. Lee Wei Lim, a a Marie Curie Fellow and Malaysian brain scientist in Maastricht University, the Netherlands, has several queries on today’s Star report “Results of space tests out soon” re: Angkasawan Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.
[Dr. Lee’s comments (in bold) accomapnies the Star report viz:]

Results of space tests out soon

PENANG: The results of experiments carried out in space by Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will be released next month.

The experiment was carried out at the International Space Station or in the “Space” ?

The results of various experiments with proteins and the effects of micro-gravity and space radiation on cells and microbes would be shared with international researchers soon, the country’s first cosmonaut said during the closing of Brain Awareness Week 2008 at Universiti Sains Malaysia yesterday.
Read the rest of this entry »


ISA release of Hindraf 5 – first post-March 8 test for MCA, MIC, Gerakan

The refusal of the Home Minister, Datuk Syed Hamid Albar to release newly-elected Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah and four other Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention should bring Malaysians back to reality – that the second Abdullah administration has not really heard the voice of the people in the March 8 political tsunami for change towards a more democratic, accountable, just and progressive Malaysian society.

Hamid’s explanation is completely unacceptable. He said: “We cannot simply react to political parties’ calls. We have to give priority to public safety and peace and will give due consideration only if there is no threat to national security.”

This is because the ISA detention of the five Hindraf leaders last December – purportedly linking them with “terrorist organizations” which have proved to be completely baseless – was the result of calls by Barisan Nasional component parties, particularly Umno and MIC, and had nothing whatsoever to do with national security.

Having myself being detained twice for a total of 35 months under the ISA, I can vouch that ISA detentions had been used as political instruments to suppress dissent which have no relationship whatsoever with national security – and the ISA detention of the five Hindraf leaders fall directly under this category! Read the rest of this entry »


Public inquiry into several billions of ringgit of Wang Ehsan “black gold” expenditures in Terengganu

The constitutional crisis in Terengganu over the appointment of Datuk Ahmad Said as the new Mentri Besar has come to an end with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi backing off from his original nominee of the former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

As a result, the front-page article of former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in The Sun on “Role of rulers in picking mentri besar” has been overtaken by events.

However, Mahathir’s views on two ongoing controversies – Wang Ehsan and the judicial crisis – are very pertinent.

On the Wang Ehsan issue, Mahathir wrote:

Terengganu is blessed with petroleum deposits. It should get 5% of the total earning from oil production. The Federal Government; fearing the previous PAS government might use this money wrongly had withheld payment.

But when the Barisan Nasional (BN) regained Terengganu the money, now called “Wang Ehsan”, was lavishly spent by the Federal Government on Terengganu. It is not a small sum. Over these years “Wang Ehsan” totalled several billion.

We know that since the BN regained Terengganu in 2004, all kinds of projects have been developed in Terengganu. This includes The Monsoon Cup, luxury housing for sale to foreigners, Crystal Mosque and theme park, university, etc. Some of these projects are very good but many are totally unnecessary and wasteful.

But what the Terengganu people are saying is that all these mega projects costing billions of Ringgit have been contracted out to people outside Terengganu. Terengganu contractors got practically nothing.

But additionally, they say the contracts all went to one person and they are suspicious that behind this person are members of the first family.The rumours also say that the previous Mentri Besar was responsible for these things happening and of course, they think that he might have benefited financially.

The rumours went on to say that the Prime Minister might have influenced the Mentri Besar into doing wrong things. These are all rumours. It will be quite impossible to prove anything as the perpetrators are skilled in hiding themselves.

This is not good for a Government keen to abolish corruption and be transparent. To clear its name, an investigation should be made.

With former Prime Minister Mahathir coming round to the view that there should be an investigation into the expenditures of Wang Ehsan, Abdullah should take up the challenge to institute a public inquiry on accountability and integrity of expenditures of several billions of ringgit of “black gold” through Wang Ehsan in Terengganu in the past seven years since 2000. Read the rest of this entry »


A New Malaysia

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

MARCH 8TH 2008 was a defining day for Malaysia. The voting results clearly sent out messages by the voters.

The first message indicated that the people want


Since March 8th there has been a noticeable difference in society. The people are happier and more optimistic because they feel that change is in the air. They see the changes happening.

The political map has changed. There are now five new states under opposition rule, This is the beginning of a two party system of government, as in advanced countries like Australia, Canada and USA. it is accepted practice in these countries to have states controlled by opposition parties.

The new opposition states have immediately implemented new populist policies like stopping waste of public funds, simple lifestyle for chief minister and mentris besar, ban on application of land by elected DAP MPs and SAs, weeding out corruption.and an amnesty of fines for humble traders and hawkers.

THE SECOND MESSAGE message which is fundamental and show a radical change in the thinking of Malaysians on politics. Read the rest of this entry »


Education – for Malaysians or Races

by Chopin

My concern is always the above. With five children at schools and rising cost of living I find it rather difficult to cope with today’s Malaysia education systems. I find it rather messy, complicated, grade-oriented and so on. Not to mention the teachers’ grumbles and tight red-tapes in its ministry level. Therefor, I would like to line up the followings if Uncle Lim could somehow bring it up or perhaps to YB Dr. Halimah Ali of S’gor Exco in charge of education.

1. Primary and Secondary Education

I would like the education system could emphasise on Child’s Creativity and character build-up rather that grades oriented. It’s a shame that teachers in our Primary education is a Maktab Perguruan graduates with little knowledge on Early Child Education. Even, I found out recently our children as young as 5-6 years old in Kindergarden are having tuitions now! Are we becoming something like S’pore now? Teachers should be a graduate with specialization in early child education or related to that. A master degree and PhD would be better. (There is always a gap between primary school teachers and secondary school teachers and the first is a bit low, so to say)

I strongly feel that with strong foundation in the early education our children would have better understanding of their future and their career path, in a crude word, they should know what they want to be. If a child says that he/she wants to be a lawyer, or a policeman, or an army personnel at least the path for that is always there for them to venture. Read the rest of this entry »


Second Abdullah Cabinet – no signs of “Point made and point taken”

The second Abdullah Cabinet is a disappointment all round with no signs from its first meeting yesterday that it will be reformist and get cracking to make up for the past four years of broken pledges of reform.

Even the promise of judicial reform which was the rationale for the surprise appointment of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as the de facto Law Minister to undertake judicial and legal reforms to restore national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary after two decades of ravages of the cardinal principles of a truly independent judiciary and just rule of law has come up against a stonewall.

Zaid’s proposal that the government should apologise to the victims of the 1988 judicial crisis, which many have regarded as grossly inadequate to address the series of judicial crisis of confidence in the past two decades, could not find support in the Cabinet yesterday, with Zaid making the revealing comment after saying that he had presented his view that the government should apologise to Tun Salleh Abas, Datuk George Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh:

“Well, I am afraid the view has yet to be considered.

“There are many people who are more experienced and who are wiser than me. So we have to wait.”

What Zaid meant is clear and simple – he has not received any support in the Cabinet to take the first step for meaningful judicial reforms, to rectify the wrongs and injustices which had caused the plunge of Malaysia’s judicial system from internationally-acknowledged as world-class two decades ago to its parlous state today. Read the rest of this entry »


Brave new M’sian identity emerging?

by Dr. Azly Rahman

“Our government teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.” -Louis D Brandeis (American Supreme Court Justice, 1856-1941).

I do not wish to remove from my present prison to a prison a little larger. I wish to break all prisons. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, American transcendentalist.

The second wave of Independence, achieved with the storming of the “Bastille that is Putrajaya” in March 2008, in a phenomena called “implo-volution” in which the old regime was crushed by its own weight of contradiction and one whose ruins were charted some fifty years ago, present an interesting possibility. It is that of the ethnogenesis (emerging new culture) of a new Malaysian identity. Political will is complementing this philosophical vision. The Internet is aiding in speeding up the process.

The wave is forcing the various ethnic groups to think of defining itself as a ” new nation” when power-sharing of a truly multicultural nature at the state level is becoming a reality. Not only the different ethnic groups are fairly represented in what I call the “yellow” states of “Perak and Selangor” but religious background of the state leaders are also playing a key role in the evolving nature of the leadership.

The yellow states are forging ahead with care – aware of the sensitivities of the different ethnic and religious groups, focusing on the pragmatics and ethics drawn from each cultural tradition. Thus, we saw Penang CM Lim Guan Eng refusing to use thousands of ringgit of state funds to move to a new office, we saw the Kedah chief minister and we saw the continuation of Kelantan chief minister’s commitment to the principles of Islam in governing the state with prudence and tolerance.

What is displayed is Confucianist-Taoist ideas and Islamic brand of ethical leadership – two seemingly radical philosophies that actually complement each other. When it comes to statecraft, both are useful in forming as basis for a philosophy of governance that appeals to the Malays and the Chinese. These ideals are no different that the ones taught in Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and the cultural philosophy of the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and of the Orang Asli.

The “ethics of authenticity” as philosopher Charles Taylor would put it, is universal enough to be a guiding light of this new nation. Ethics by any name is a system of check and balances of the Evil and the Good within. It is the Middle Path of Inner Statecraft. Read the rest of this entry »


“Pace of reforms”? – Abdullah has yet to come to terms with March 8 political tsunami

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has yet to fully come to terms with the March 8 political tsunami which swept away the Barisan Nasional’s hitherto unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority and power in five states.

He said yesterday:

“The result of the elections was a strong message that I have not moved fast enough in pushing through with the reforms that I had promised to undertake.

“I thank the Malaysian people for this message. Point made and point taken,”

Abdullah’s admission is not assuring enough, as he seems to have missed the whole point of the March 8 electoral verdict – not that he had “not moved fast enough” in reforms he pledged more than four years ago, but that he had hardly moved at all apart from periodically paying lip-service to them.

This is why there can be no political honeymoon for the second Abdullah Cabinet to implement what had been pledged four years ago as Malaysians are entitled to demand that these pledges going back to 2003 and 2004 are implemented without any further delay or hitches.

This is the reason why I had sent an urgent letter to the Prime Minister yesterday on the eight reforms which the new Cabinet should immediately embrace at its meeting today to show that the second Abdullah Cabinet is prepared to respond to the March 8 political tsunami and be on top of the changes demanded by Malaysians, in particular: Read the rest of this entry »


A Truly Defining & Defying Moment!

by Martin Jalleh

The Umno-BN hegemony has come to a sudden halt. The 50-year old political juggernaut has been severely jolted. Its formidable force fragmented. A mean machine has been reduced to a mouse.

The coalition that had used its brute majority to bully and bulldoze its way and will in Parliament, blinked when the Opposition breached its two-thirds majority. It was something that they had not bargained for.

The regime of humbug, hype, hypocrisy, hysterics and histrionics, displayed especially in Parliament, has been humbled, even humiliated. People in high places came hurtling down without knowing what really hit them.

The government of unbridled arrogance of power and brazen high-handedness has been brought low. A haunting silence hovers over the once haughty as their political future hangs heavily against hope. The high and mighty are hushed.

The powers that have dominated, dictated and decided for “the good of the people” have been dented. The BN is left in a daze as to why and how they have been ditched and damned so decidedly. Read the rest of this entry »


What next after this ‘Asian implo-volution’?

by Azly Rahman

(Early notes for a speech at an upcoming Malaysian forum at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA, March 2008.)

“Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains”
(- Jean Jacques Rousseau)

“Man has no nature, what he has is history” (- Ortega y Gassett)

When I was invited to this gathering of young thinkers, movers and shakers, and public intellectuals, I was writing about hope. The Malaysian Revolution of 2008 was about hope materializing. It was about ‘freedom’ fought and won.

How Malaysian do we want to become? How free do we want to be? How much can we in turn be imprisoned by the newfound freedom?

These, I believe are strange philosophical questions that is peculiar-sounding at a time when the machinery of the previous regime is being de-constructed and dismantled piece by piece after being captured in a revolution that is aided by the force of cybernetic technology.

For those who believe in divine intervention, the revolution or the “Asian implo-volution” (a combination of “implosion” and “evolution”) as I would coin, the event was god’s will carried out by the general will of the people.

The enabling technology of this “Asian implo-volution” is the will of the Internet – of technological determinism.

Are we at a second phase of Merdeka/Independence? Who were we fighting against? If 50 years ago, it was against the British imperialists, who are the neo-colonialists amongst us now? If in the 1950s, we had a multicultural struggle in the form of the “hartal”, are we seeing a similar version of it now in the form of rallies such as of the Hindraf and Bersih? Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia: Change is Long Overdue

By Farish A. Noor

For as long as they can remember, Malaysians have been told time and again that there can only be political stability in the country as long as the status quo is defended. This rather uninspiring message was, of course, delivered by none other than those who were already in power and who had every reason to wish to remain in power for as long as humanly possible. Since it became independent in 1957 Malaysia has been ruled by the same coterie of right-of-centre Conservative-nationalist parties led by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its allies in the former Alliance coalition and now the National Front. For more than half a century Malaysians were told that this was the natural order of things and that to even entertain the idea of there being a different government was tantamount to political heresy of sorts.

Yet a quick survey of the political landscape of many a post-colonial nation-state today would show clearly that almost every post-colonial country in the world has experienced a change of government, and in many cases this transition has come about without leading to chaos and tumult in the streets. The nationalists of Algeria were eventually kicked out of office after it became patently clear that their brand of conservative nationalism served only to disguise what was really a corrupt mode of patronage politics. In India the Congress party that had for so long rested on its laurels and prided itself with the claim that it was the party that won India’s independence has been soundly beaten at both the national and state level; again for the same reason. Why even Indonesia that suffered under three decades of military rule has made the slow but sure transition to a fledgling democracy of sorts, and the mainstream media in Indonesia today remains the most open and courageous in all of Southeast Asia. So why not Malaysia?

The election results of March 2008 have shown the world that in Malaysia at least race and communal-based voting may soon become a thing of the past. This may have been a protest vote against the lackadaisical performance of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, but it did nonetheless send a very clear message to the government and all the parties in the country. It signalled that the Malaysian public was tired of empty promises and having sweet nothings whispered in their ears, while the government continues along its inebriated pace of mismanaging the country. It also reminded all politicians from all parties that the Malaysian voters will no longer vote along racial or religious-communitarian lines, and that henceforth they will vote for the best candidate who can do her or his job better than the other bloke. Read the rest of this entry »


March 8 political tsunami – 8 matters for first Cabinet working meeting tomorrow

I have sent an urgent fax to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the eight matters which the new Cabinet can do tomorrow to show that he is prepared to respond to the March 8 political tsunami and be on top of the changes demanded by Malaysians.

The March 8 general election results have wrought far-reaching political changes and it is beholden on all political players to heed the demand for change which the Malaysian voters have spoken loud and clear on polling day 17 days ago.

The first working Cabinet meeting tomorrow is being watched closely as to whether the new Government is prepared to respond and be on top of the changes demanded by the people.

The eight matters which the Cabinet can do tomorrow to signal that Abdullah and the new Government are ready and willing to hear the voices and aspirations of the people and begin the process of healing the divisions in the country are:

1. Immediate and unconditional release of the five Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, newly-elected DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kota Alam Shah M. Manoharan, V. Ganabatirau, R. Kenghadharan and T. Vasantha Kumar from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention as their only “offence” is to voice out the legitimate grievances of the long-standing marginalization of the Malaysian Indians and which have been vindicated by the March 8 general election results.

2. Restoration of national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary with the establishment of a Judicial Appointments Commission and a Royal Commission into the two decades of judicial crises starting with the arbitrary and unconstitutional sacking of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President and Datuk George Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh as Supreme Court judges in 1988.

3. First-World Parliament – full commitment to comprehensive parliamentary reform and modernization including live telecast of parliamentary proceedings, an Opposition Deputy Speaker, an Opposition MP to head the Public Accounts Committee, ministerial status for Parliamentary Opposition Leader and a full Select Committee system headed by Parliamentarians where every Ministry is shadowed by a Select Committee.

4. All-out drive to eradicate corruption with the elevation of the Anti-Corruption Agency as an autonomous agency answerable only to Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »


Good Team, Bad Captain

by M. Bakri Musa

Among other things, in this election Malaysians have asserted in no uncertain terms that they do not approve of Abdullah’s inept administration and his tolerance if not encouragement of corruption and shady practices among those closest to him. With his new cabinet however, Abdullah once again demonstrated that he has learned nothing from the election debacle, his frequent declarations to the contrary notwithstanding.

While the addition of fresh talent in the persons of Amirsham Aziz and Zaid Ibrahim makes this a good cabinet, the retention of the same old tired faces as Syed Hamid, together with the inclusion of tainted characters like the “double Muhammad” Taib, smudges what otherwise would be an excellent team. It was, as the Economist noted, Abdullah’s shuffling deckchairs on a personal Titanic.

This election did what Abdullah could not, that is, get rid of deadwoods like Samy Vellu and incompetents like Zainuddin Maidin. Voters showed the way but Abdullah did not carry it further with his choice of a new cabinet. This good new team is cursed with the same old bad captain.

A team no matter how talented could not turn an incompetent captain into a good one. Neither would a prolonged “warm up” time accomplish much; a bad captain will still remain so. As one blogger cheekily noted, today even Abdullah’s “sign dah tak laku” (signature is worthless, as on a bounced check), in reference to the Raja of Perlis ignoring Abdullah’s choice for a Mentri Besar. As of my writing, the Sultan of Trengganu too is set to do likewise.

Abdullah’s cabinet remains bloated with 33 ministers, including five in his own department. His “reform” consists of nothing more than changing faces. He fails to address more fundamental issues like whether any of those ministries are needed at all.

For example, what is glaringly obvious from this election is that the Ministry of Information has no credibility with Malaysians or foreign observers. It is nothing more than the propaganda arm of the ruling party, and an inept one at that. Replacing its minister would not alter that reality. In the Age of the Internet, this is one ministry Malaysia can do without. Abolishing it, together with other unneeded ministries like Sports, Tourism, and Federal Territory, among others, would shrink the cabinet and streamline the administration.

This huge cabinet is unwieldy. No meaningful or robust discussions could take place. Even if each minister were to speak for only a few minutes, cabinet meetings would stretch for hours. Read the rest of this entry »


A Law To Prevent Defections

(Speech when moving a motion in Parliament on March 21, 1978 to seek leave of the House to introduce a private member’s bill intituled Members of Parliament [Prevention of Defection] Act 1978 to ensure political integrity of Members of Parliament)

I rise under Standing Order 49(2) to move a motion to seek leave of the House to introduce a Private Member’s Bill intituled Members of Parliament (Prevention of Defection) Act, 1978, which would require a Member of Parliament to vacate his seat within 30 days and cause a by-election to be held on his resignation or expulsion from the Party on whose ticket he was originally elected.

In November last year, I was invited by a Tamil national daily, Tamil Nesan, to answer question submitted by Tamil Nesan readers. One question that was asked was about the defection of Opposition Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen after their election, in betrayal of the confidence and trust placed on them by the electorate.

I was asked what effective measure could be taken to prevent such opportunistic political betrayal of the people’s confidence. I replied that the most effective way would be for the enactment of a law requiring a Member of Parliament to vacate his seat and cause a by-election to be held on his resignation or expulsion from the Party on whose ticket he was originally elected. I promised to move a private member’s bill on his matter considering its importance.

Such a Bill is important so as to ensure the political integrity of elected MPs and to prevent political corruption.

Nothing disgusts the Malaysian public more than to see MPs or State Assemblymen elected on one party’s ticket and then betray the Party and the people’s trust by switching parties. This makes them very little different from con-men. Such practices debase politics, and strengthen the general impression that ‘politics is dirty’, when it is the dirty people who get into politics to make politics dirty. Read the rest of this entry »


Plight of JPA medical scholars

by Frustrated JPA scholar

I am a medical student sponsored by JPA to study in Ireland about to complete my studies. I write to you after reading your article on the rot of the Malaysian healthcare system. We JPA scholars here have been very frustrated with the JPA enforcing us to immediately return to the country upon graduation, barring us from continuing training as interns (equivalent of houseman) in the countries where we graduated from This would mean we cannot obtain the sufficient exposure that would make our training complete, and would off course, mean a waste of taxpayers money as there would have been no difference with studying locally.

JPA had announced recently that none of its medical scholars overseas will be allowed the opportunity to do further train overseas even at their own expanses, and are to return ASAP upon graduation. No scholar would be allowed to stay on regardless of the training posts they obtain upon graduation. To add to the spice of JPA’s foolishness, it seems that JPA gives priority to romantic relationships over the academic achievements of its scholars by giving exception to remain overseas to those who are married to a fellow JPA/MARA sponsored student who are still commencing studies in the foreign country concerned.

Till today, I have yet to comprehend the narrow minded policies set by the JPA. JPA seems to fail to understand that by allowing its scholars to stay on for postgraduate training, many will be offered positions in world-renowned healthcare institutions. The exposure and experience gained through these positions would be an invaluable asset to the country and the rakyat in the future. Unfortunately, JPA seems to be adamant in having fresh graduate doctors returning to receive Malaysian medical training, instead of allowing these fresh grads to further train themselves and one day return as first world specialists who will reform and infuse new uptodate skills in Malaysian Healthcare a few years down the road. Read the rest of this entry »


Siapa yang biadap sekarang

by Md Asmawi Md Nor

Saya bersetuju bahawa Saudara telah tersilap dalam isu majlis angkat sumpah MB Perak tetapi saya juga sangat hormat apabila Saudara dengan cepat menyedari kesilapan tersebut dan dengan segera memperbetulkannya dan melakukan tindakan yang tepat dengan memohon maaf kepada pihak istana secara peribadi. Tahniah atas tindakan anda tersebut.

Nah, sekarang Terengganu pula menghadapi isu yang sama dimana 23 Adun dengan segera mengumumkan untuk memboikot majlis angkat sumpah MB Terengganu yang dijangka akan diadakan esok sebaik sahaja ayam tambatan mereka Idris Jusoh tidak terpilih sebagai MB. Seperti biasa, media UMNO Utusan Malaysia akan bersikap ‘double-standard’ dalam menanggani isu ini. Maksud saya secara spesifik ialah bila mana Saudara mengeluarkan statement dalam isu MB Perak dulu, Utusan Malaysia dengan segera dan ‘bold’ terus dengan muka depan “DAP Biadap’, dan dikuti dengan pelbagai rentetan propaganda dan provokasi lagi. Saya sebagai rakyat Terengganu mahukan perkara yang sama kali ini dilakukan oleh Utusan Malaysia dalam menanggani isu 23 Adun yang biadap ini termasuk Idris Jusoh. Tajuk yang perlu keluar dimuka depan mereka sekurang-kurangnya ’23 Adun Biadap’. Mereka semua juga perlu memohon maaf seperti mana yang Saudara lakukan dahulu.

Saya amat berharap Saudara dapat memantau isu ini dengan diberi perhatian istimewa agar UMNO khasnya sedar jangan hanya pandai melihat orang lain biadap tetapi mereka sendiri boleh bersikap biadap dan bertindak sesuka hati mereka. Macamlah negara ini tiada undang-undang.



Penang housing development – comment

by Steven

I am a regular employee who works for an international company in Penang Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone Industrial Area.

I have been working here close to seven years.

What I notice something seriously is the Penang landed housing property is going up tremendously.

I think that it is fair for the housing developers to buy the Penang lands and build whatever they like.

Realizing the Penang land price expensive, of course it is normal scenario to maximize the gain to build either luxury condominiums, three stories link houses or bungalows.

A quick check on the price is going to above RM600,000 and some could reach millions of dollars. As a result, only the upper income community or foreigners (who wants to utilize MMH2) can purchase these types of properties. Read the rest of this entry »