Archive for November 16th, 2008

RM7 billion “black hole” in 2009 Budget – Najib has got lousy advisers

Yesterday, the Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman presented a walloping RM2.78 billion budget for the state for 2009, declaring that the amount allocated would be able to keep up the economic momentum to ensure Sabah’s continuous growth, especially amidst the current economic turmoil.

He also announced a higher state development fund for next year to the tune of RM1.040 billion.

Very impressive but where have all the past billion-ringgit development funds for Sabah gone to, and will the huge budget and massive develoment funds announced by Musa yesterday go the way of past funds – disappearing into thin air instead of translated into projects on the ground to directly benefit the people?

In Tawau this morning, I visited Jalan Sin Onn, an important artery for Tawau but which is choked with traffic. The Barisan Nasional Government had promised to build Jalan Sin Onn into a four-lane dual carriageway, way back in the Seventh Malaysia Plan as part of its “Sabah Baru” manifesto to capture power in Sabah state.

It was in the Seventh Malaysia Plan as well as in the Eighth Malaysia Plan. It is now in the Ninth Malaysia Plan but will it again be shunted to the Tenth Malaysia Plan into a ‘never-never” future, without a single foot of construction? Read the rest of this entry »


Melamine contamination in the new “kangkong” menu of the new MCA leadership

Immediately after the 55th MCA General Assembly last month, Umno MPs objected noisily in Parliament when I referred to the new “kangkong” MCA leadership, complaining that I was too quick-on-the draw in deriding and running down the newly-elected MCA national leaders at the just-concluded MCA party elections with Datuk Ong Tee Kiat as the new MCA President and Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek as the new MCA Deputy President.

This was of course not the case, as the term “kangkong” MCA leadership was first coined, which is completely value-neutral, was coined from inside the MCA – a play of the surnames of the new MCA President and Deputy President, which taken together, sounds like the Chinese term for “kangkong”. (“Ong” and “Chua”)

These Umno MPs were not really stout and reliable defenders of MCA dignity and reputation for they were actually the ones frequently guilty of the uncomradely act of bullying MPs and Ministers from the other Barisan Nasional parties, as illustrated by the recent attacks on the Gerakan Wanita chief and Deputy Information Minister, Datuk Tan Lian Hoe – but the mentality of being “bully victims” had become so ingrained and entrenched in the thinking of MCA, Gerakan, MIC MPs and those from other BN component parties that nobody in BN dared to speak up tro defend Lian Hoe from these attacks except for DAP and Pakatan Rakyat MPs!

Although the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, denied at the recent MCA General Assembly that UMNO is a “bully party” to MCA and other BN component parties, nobody in MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties really buy his denial. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian universities losing out to Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines

Malaysia is losing out in the unrelenting battle for international competitiveness among nations, with Malaysian universities even losing out to universities in Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines – something completely unthinkable in the first three decades of our nationhood.

For the second consecutive year, Malaysia had fallen completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities this year in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) – Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

The national shame of Malaysia falling completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities this year in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) – Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings is being compounded by the ignominy of Malaysian universities losing out not only to top universities in Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea but also to other South East Asian nations like Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

The 2008 THES-QS rankings should be a “wake-up” call to the Higher Education Minister and the Cabinet of the advanced crisis of higher education in Malaysia, but I have given up hope that the Barisan Nasional government is capable of “waking up”!

For the second consecutive year, there is not only not a single university in the 2008 THES-QS Top 200 Universities list, there is also not a single university in the separate ranking of Top 100 Universities for five subject areas – Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities; Life Sciences and Biomedicine; and Technology. Read the rest of this entry »