Archive for November 6th, 2008

In Solidarity

Candle Light Vigil

Abolish ISA, Free all Detainees

[*RPK is out from Kamunting, but Malaysians are still unfree]

Date: 9 Nov 2008 (Sunday)
Time: 8pm
Venue: Taman D.R. Seenivasagam, Ipoh (Map)

(Free candles for all, but bring your own umbrellas just in case ~~)


RM7 billion economic stimulus – Najib wants MPs and nation to live a fiction

Yesterday, the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia made the ruling that Parliament was debating the Abdullah budget presented on August 29, 2008 and not the Najib Budget of an additional RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced during the 2009 Budget winding-up debate on Tuesday, as no changes to the Abdullah Budget had been tabled in the House.

The Speaker is right as MPs could not possibly be debating a revised 2009 Budget incorporating an additional RM7 billion economic stimulus package, when neither the details of the supplementary RM7 billion package have been tabled in the House nor an amendment to the 2009 Budget proposed in Parliament.

The trouble with such an interpretation is that MPs would have to live the fiction of pretending that the RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced by Deputy Prime Minister and the new Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his speech winding-up the2009 Budget policy debate had disappeared into thin air within 24 hours and does not exist!

In fact, the nation and Malaysians are being asked to join in his fiction, if Najib persists with this unprecedented solution to the parliamentary faux pax he had committed in failing to follow the correct parliamentary procedure of submitting a proper parliamentary amendment to the 2009 Budget incorporating the new RM7 billion economic stimulus package.

This was why I had likened Najib to the illusionist David Copperfield yesterday when the Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, responded to my query in Parliament and explained that the RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced by Najib on Tuesday was a hypothetical one, as it depended on savings made from the downturn in global fuel prices, and what the government will do with RM7 billion when the situation arises. Read the rest of this entry »


A New America? Lets Shut Guantanamo First, Please.

By Farish A. Noor

Needless to say, the news that Barrack Obama has become the new President of the United States of America has spread worldwide and already the world rejoices over the timely demise of the Neo-Con empire of Bush and company. In Asia in particular the news of Obama’s victory has been greeted with a collective sigh of relief, and genuine jubilation in places like Indonesia for the Indonesians have claimed Obama as one of their own, no less. Time will tell if this historic sea change in American politics is indeed historic, but for now we can at least recover some meaningful respite from the simple fact that momentarily at least America’s vast arsenal of destruction has been laid to rest. But for how long?

Obama’s campaign was, from the outset, driven by a simple message that nonetheless resonated with a vast cross-section of American society: The time has come for change. The old crumbling power structures that has for so long been dominated by the same incestuous community of white, upper middle class, elite men whose genealogies date back to the founding fathers of America seems to have been opened up for a while, allowing for this rupture in the collective imaginary of the American people and forcing all of us to question some of the settled assumptions that have guided our understanding of America for perhaps too long.

But before we all don our rose-tinted glasses and celebrate a second Woodstock, let us pause for a moment and consider the hurdles and obstacles that will have to be overcome by Obama and the American people before we can utter the phrase ‘change has come’ with due and warranted confidence. Those of us who reside in Asia would have our own set of questions that ought to be put before the latest resident of the White House, and there are lingering dilemmas and quandries that need to be laid to rest before we herald the coming of a new order. Read the rest of this entry »


Of Pretentious Promises, Parachuting Promotions & Pressured Praise

by Martin Jalleh

The Palace of Justice has a new “prince” – Zaki Tun Azmi. He was promptly sworn in as Chief Justice (CJ) soon after the Conference of Rulers went through the procedural motions and provided consent to his extraordinary elevation.

His Lordship had leap-frogged from the legal profession into the Federal Court last September. Two months later he was proclaimed Court of Appeal (CoA) president. Now (almost a year later) he is proudly perched on the highest post in the judiciary.

Zaki’s political “parachuting” has no precedent. But be not perturbed. Did not the PM promise (especially after his party had quickened his passage into the sunset) that he would produce profound changes in the judiciary?

Indeed, before he packs his bags and participates fully in Umno’s early retirement plan for him, Pak Lak would prove to the whole of Bolehland that he still has the penchant to produce the very opposite of what he initially promises. Read the rest of this entry »