Archive for November 5th, 2008

Obama’s historic win – can a Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban become Prime Minister?

This is the question I posed in Parliament at the beginning of the 16-day committee stage debate of the “wayang kulit” 2009 Budget debate in Parliament today.

I started by congratulating Barack Obama for his historic win as United States President as it was unthinkable even until very recently for anyone to believe that it is possible for a black, who were slaves until some 150 years ago, to be able to become President of US.

I said Parliament should also send its congratulations to Obama.

However, Obama’s historic breakthrough make many Malaysians ask whether it is possible for a Chinese, Indian, Kadazan to become the Prime Minister of Malaysia although the Constitution is very clear that any Malaysian citizen, regardless of race or religion can become Prime Minister.

If such a question is asked 50 years ago, the nation’s founders like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Dr. Ismail, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun V.T. Sambanthan would unhesitatingly answered in the positive as there is no constitutional bar – separate from the question of whether it was likely to happen. Read the rest of this entry »


No, Neo-Colonialism is Never the Answer

By Farish A. Noor

I recently had a conversation with an Indonesian political analyst in Singapore, where I am currently based. In the course of our discussion about the state of Indonesian politics, he let slip a statement that I felt terribly uncomfortable with. While lamenting the state of Indonesia’s convoluted politics, he opined thus: “I wonder if Indonesia’s problems could be solved if we allowed a foreign government to run our country?”

Now, talk like this usually sends shivers up my spine. We will recall that up to the late 1990s, it even became fashionable to talk about the necessity for the re-colonisation of Africa. This sort of nonsense was all the rage in some American political magazines and journals, and of course this neo-colonial bile was dressed up in the discourse of altruism and universal humanism, as if the colonisation of any country was an altruistic act between fellow human concerned about the fate of others. Never mind the fact that the ones doing the colonising would be the same Western powers and the ones being colonised would be the same hapless denizens of the Third World. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib as David Copperfield

Speaker: No debate on Najib’s stimulus package
By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 – Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has ruled that economic stimulus plan announced in Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s address to Parliament yesterday are not amendments to the 2009 Budget but measures to tackle the economic crisis.

Pandikar Amin said the RM7 billion stimulus package was derived from savings in fuel subsidy and not an additional allocation and it was clear that the amount was not part of the Budget.

“It is not an additional Budget. There is no change to the Budget tabled at the policy level and no change to any figures to projections made in any documents. This is the response if necessary due to the economic downturn,” Pandikar Amin told Dewan Rakyat.

He said the members would be debating the Budget tabled by then Finance Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Aug 29. Read the rest of this entry »