Archive for March 9th, 2009

Wow! MCA Minister and Deputy Minister publicly telling the “lame-duck” PM and UMNO President to buzz off!

It was only last October that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi denied that “UMNO is big bully in Barisan Nasional” when he spoke at the MCA General Assembly.

This makes it all the more unusual the spectacle of a MCA Minister and Deputy Minister publicly tell the “lameduck” Prime Minister and UMNO President to “buzz off” as evident from the following news reports:

(1) New Sunday Times (8.3.09) “PM: Resolve language issue before it gets out of hand”

KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister wants the Education Ministry to decide quickly whether Science and Mathematics should continue to be taught in English.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the contentious issue should be resolved before it got out of hand.

“This issue has become bigger and more sensitive. I hope the ministry will make a decision on the matter fast.

“If not, the issue will become even bigger and the pressure from non-governmental organisations will continue,” he said after launching a fantasy novel written by 13-year-old Adam Umemoto titled Dragonfire Hammer. Read the rest of this entry »


Assault On Legislature, Constitution Dead

by Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Discussing the Perak situation with specificity is, by this stage, a difficult thing to do. So much has happened so quickly. Nuanced actions and counter-actions, some of it in uncertain legal terrain, and relatively scarce details have made it precarious to consider certain key events – the legal action against the Speaker and its incidents, for instance – with the depth that only certainty would allow for.

Having said that, whatever the specifics may be and whoever may be right as to the validity or legality of certain aspects of the unfolding saga, when considered from a broader perspective and with reference to the fundamentals of democracy, I do not think that the situation in Perak is very complicated at all. As Tengku Razaleigh recently observed, a chain-reaction of illegality has left Perak possibly without a legitimate government and the Constitution a dead piece of paper.

I was too young to fully appreciate the terrible impact on democracy that the events of 1987 and 1988 had. Understanding came later, as I learnt to see what needed to be seen: the supremacy of the Constitution, the separation of powers and the check and balance it is aimed at, the independence of the judiciary and, correspondingly, the legislature. But even as my awareness of what had happened and how it had happened increased, I rather naively found myself thinking that it was unlikely that we would ever see anything of the likes again. Those events had simply been too heinous and the injuries inflicted on this nation too serious to ignore, even by those who had been responsible and those who would possibly follow in their footsteps.

Or so I thought. Read the rest of this entry »