Archive for November 10th, 2008

Nor Mohd to give full and proper accounting of Valuecap tomorrow

During the debate in Parliament today, I spoke on the controversy of the RM5 billion EPF loan to Valuecap to double its funds to RM10 billion to buy undervalued stocks and asked for a full and proper accounting of Valuecap since its establishment about six years ago.

I said that the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Nor Mohd Yakcop, who was at the time the Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, had announced when Valuecap Sdn. Bhd., was set up in early 2003, that it would be operating with RM10 billion funds – and that the cash for the RM10 billion had already been provided to Valuecap by the three equal owners, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP).

However, Valuecap actually had RM5 billion and not RM10 billion as stated publicly by Nor Mohd Yakcop.

I asked Nor Mohd, who is now Second Finance Minister and was in the House to shepherd through the Finance Ministry’s committee stage, to explain. Read the rest of this entry »


Change has come to Malaysia!

by Martin Jalleh
(MJ from the Shah Alam Court )

It was a very moving moment in time – one which your memory will forever hold and behold. I had thought that we only get to see this in a Disney movie. But it was happening right in a courtroom in Bolehland today (7 Nov. 2008).

The packed courtroom of Raja Petra (RPK) supporters could not contain their joy. They clapped and burst out into cries of excitement and elation even before Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad could finish delivering his judgment.

They were gently reprimanded by the judge that they were in a Court of Law. But for some it was impossible to be silent. You can’t be restrained when it is such a great and glorious victory! And so they whispered: “We have won! We have won! RPK is free!”

The judge ruled that the detention of RPK under the ISA was illegal (unconstitutional) and ordered his immediate release. The court found the (Home) minister had not followed proper procedure under Section 8 of the ISA.

As the judge left for his chambers, everyone sprung up…some with their clenched fists raised high in the air – speechless. Others grabbed the nearest person available to express their elation whether it be a stranger, supporter or Special Branch. Read the rest of this entry »


RM100 million Sabah money-laundering – why ICAC but not ACA investigating?

I started my speech on the Finance Ministry during the 2009 Budget committee stage debate in Parliament today by referring to the latest bad news for Malaysia – international ratings agency Fitch today downgraded its outlook for Malaysia from “positive” to “stable”, saying the economy would be hit by lower oil and commodity prices.

In revising the outlook on Malaysia to stable, Fitch took into account the likely impact on the balance of payments of lower oil and other commodity prices.

It said that Malaysia would also suffer from “the deterioration in external demand conditions for electronics exports.”

I pointed out that the latest Fitch rating for Malaysia is further proof of the testing times the Malaysian economy is facing with the worst global economic crisis and the crucial importance of the confidence factor in tiding through the trying times.

I expressed regret that when the new Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak presented the RM7 billion economic stimulus when winding-up the 2009 Budget policy debate last Tuesday, its “confidence” capability was seriously undermined when Najib committed the serious parliamentary faux pax of not presenting it in a regular and proper manner in Parliament by an amendment to the 2009 Budget.

I blamed this on the preoccupation of UMNO Ministers on Umno party elections resulting in serious neglect of their government and parliamentary duties. Read the rest of this entry »


Police mayhem

Firstly, the excessive police force and violence at yesterday peaceful candlelight vigil to campaign for “No to ISA” and mark the first anniversary BERSIH campaign for free, fair and clean elections must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

It shows that the police has completely forgotten the important recommendation of the Royal Police Commission that the police force should become an efficient, professional, incorruptible world-class police service with three priority objectives – to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and respect human rights.

If the Royal Police Commission recommendations had been taken seriously, the shameful and disgraceful episode in Petaling Jaya yesterday, where some 23 people were arrested including DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua, DAP Selangor State Exco Ronnie Liu and DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Kampong Tunku Lau Weng San would not have happened.

Why is the massive deployment of police personnel to break up a peaceful gathering of Malaysians to campaign for freedom, justice and democracy by excessive police force and violence continue to be a greater priority and more important police agenda than the mobilization of police personnel to keep crime low and restore to Malaysians, tourists and investors their fundamental right and freedom to be safe from crime and the fear of crime? Read the rest of this entry »


Urgent motion in Parliament – no to Hamid’s appeal to court to re-arrest RPK

I have given notice to the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to move an urgent motion of definite public importance in Parliament tomorrow urging the Cabinet to overrule Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar’s decision to appeal against the Shah Alam High Court decision to free Malaysia Today website editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin from Internal Security Act (ISA) detention.

My motion, under Standing Order 18, deplores Hamid’s decision to appeal as “utter contempt for the fundamental concept of the rule of law and the most rudimentary commitment to human rights in the country”.

The motion said:

“In ordering Raja Petra’s release after a 56-day ISA detention, Shah Alam High Court judge Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad ruled in the blogger’s habeas corpus application that the Home Minister acted outside his powers in detaining Raja Petra under the ISA, as the grounds given for Raja Petra’s detention were insufficient rendering the ISA detention unlawful. Read the rest of this entry »


Changing Mindsets

by M. Bakri Musa

[Talk given at a forum at the University of Buffalo, on November 1, 2008, themed “Alif Ba Ta, Towards the New Malay,” organized by Kelab UMNO New York-New Jersey.]

We are familiar with E H Weber’s three-bowl water experiment where if you were to put your right hand in a basin of warm water and the left in cold, and then both in a bowl of water at room temperature, the right would feel it as cold while the left, warm. The physical reality is the same yet your perception is very different, in fact the very opposite.

Dispensing with the philosophical discussion on the meaning of reality, I would modify the oft-quoted observation that “perception is reality” to “perception creates the reality.”

We view reality through our own special lens, which imparts its own hue and tint, the consequence of our experiences and expectations as shaped by, among others, our culture, language, and environment. Language especially, as it is more than just a means of communication; it is also our collective way of looking at and understanding the world, the basic thesis of Edward Sapir.

Additionally, the reality we perceive depends on how it is being framed. Framing, by definition, means highlighting certain elements and excluding others. Read the rest of this entry »