Archive for November 14th, 2008

Kedah 50% bumiputra housing controversy being resolved

The controversy of 50% bumiputra housing quota in Kedah is being resolved.

I raised this issue at the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council in Parliament on Tuesday and I am given to understand that there is no change from the previous position on bumiputra housing quota in the state.

Hopefully, this matter can be clarified and set to rest without further prolongation of the controversy. Read the rest of this entry »



Hamid – when are you going to assume personal responsibility for rampant crime?

The Selangor Chief Police Officer, Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar should apologise to Ronnie Liu for the unprecedentedly ill-mannered, rough and high-handed police arrest of the Selangor state exco at the Selangor state secretariat on Wednesday, just in time to prevent him from attending the weekly state exco meeting as if he posed instant and major threat to national security and public law and order.

The Police has to date failed to give any credible reason why the arrest should be effected in so rude and crude a manner, when the police should know that Ronnie was not about to be a fugitive from justice and from his past record, would have fully co-operated with the police in his own arrest.

I am not here disputing Ronnie’s arrest – putting aside for the moment the merits and demerits of the charge pending against him – but the manner of the arrest of a State Exco, raising the question asked by Malaysians not only in Selangor but throughout the country that if the police could be so highhanded and ill-mannered when dealing with a Selangor State Exco, how could the ordinary man and woman in the street expect good manners and courtesy from the Police in their everyday interactions?

Ronnie is to be charged on Monday under Section 186 of the Penal Code for the offence of obstructing a public servant in the discharge of his functions, which is punishable on conviction to a two-year jail sentence, RM10,000 fine or both. Read the rest of this entry »


“Bastard in the House” (2) – “Spoilt brats” running BNBBC

The latest tantrum by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) breathing fire and brimstone against the formation of the Parliamentary Caucus on the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary is most unseemly but typically characteristic of the BNBBC since it was taken over by leaders who had conducted themselves not very different from “spoilt brats”.

In the previous Parliament, when the BNBBC was helmed by Datuk Shahrir Samad (now Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister), there was class, quality and a palpable commitment to parliamentary integrity, excellence and professionalism but which got Shahrir into trouble when he stood up in Parliament to support my motion to refer a Barisan Nasional MP to the Committee of Privileges over the “One-Eye Closed” episode.

Even when the BNBBC was subsequently taken over by the then Larut MP, Dato’ Raja Ahmad Zainuddin bin Raja Haji Omar (who is now back as Perak State Assemblyman), utmost efforts were made by the BNBBC to maintain parliamentary standards.

All these commendable benchmarks went down the drain in the present Parliament after the March 8 “political tsunami”, when a new BNBBC leadership took over and nobody has done more than the present BNBBC Chairman and Deputy Chairman to bring shame, dishonour and disrepute to Parliament.

The greatest “achievement” and scandal of this BNBBC leadership is its Taiwain “agricultural study tour” for BN MPs to foil a “916 sky-change” – but no BNBBC official could answer my simple question during the 2009 Budget debate on October 15 what lessons they have learnt from their Taiwan trip to explain why Taiwan, which was poorer and more backward than Malaya when we achieved independence in 1957, had shot forward to become a more advanced and richer country while Malaysia had been losing out to one country after another in the past half-century, whether to Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong or South Korea, and is in danger of losing out to even more countries like Thailand, Vietnam and even Indonesia?

Read the rest of this entry »


Note to A Malaysian Obama

by M. Bakri Musa

On Tuesday November 4th, 2008, America became, in the words of comedian Jon Stewart, more of a “show” nation and less of a “tell” one. In electing Barack Obama, America shows the world that it is now closer to being that “more perfect Union,” to quote the preamble to its constitution. Nations are like people; it matters not where you have been, more important is where you are headed.

In his victory speech Obama cited 106-year old Ann Dixon Cooper from the South who recalls only too well the time when women and blacks were not allowed to vote. The fate of blacks was worse. In his stirring speech Obama challenged Americans to imagine their nation a century hence; what his young daughters would experience should they be lucky enough to live as long as Ms. Cooper. Would they too see comparable progress as that witnessed by her?

Obama’s victory captured the world’s imagination, especially in Kenya where his father was born, and also in Malaysia, but for a far different reason. I had intimation of this when on meeting Malaysian students in New York the weekend before the elections I was asked whether Malaysia is ready for her own Barack Obama. Before replying, I countered with a question of my own: Is there a Malaysian Obama, or more specifically, is Malaysia capable of producing one? Read the rest of this entry »