Archive for March 11th, 2009

AG, IGP ‘cleared’ in black-eye case

by Rahmah Ghazali and S Pathmawathy
Mar 11, 09

Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and inspector-general of police Musa Hassan have both been cleared of any criminal involvement in Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s black-eye case, according to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He was replying to Gobind Singh-Deo (DAP-Puchong) as to why no action has been taken by the authorities after Anwar had lodged reports with the police and the then Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) last July.

Subsequently, the ACA – now called the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission – set up an independent panel to probe the case.

The panel members were Kadir Sulaiman, Wira Mohd Nor and Ahmad Nor Abdullah – all former judges from the Federal Court and Court of Appeal. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib knows best

Najib knows best
With the announcement of a huge stimulus package, Malaysia’s next leader shows that he’s no economic reformer..

Asian Wall Street Journal

The man slated to take over Malaysia’s government later this month hasn’t said much about his economic philosophy. But with the announcement of a 60 ringgit ($16 billion) stimulus package yesterday, one thing is clear: Najib Razak is no free-market reformer.

Mr. Najib, who is currently deputy prime minister, called yesterday’s package “unprecedented in the nation’s history.” For an expenditure of roughly 9% of 2008’s GDP over two years, that’s no exaggeration. Malaysia will raise debt to fund this largesse. The fiscal deficit is now projected to reach a whopping 7.6% of GDP, up from 4.8%.

Malaysia is following in the fiscal footsteps of the U.S., Australia and Japan, but that doesn’t make it smart. The “stimulus” from all this spending will likely be limited. Most of the money will be spent on loan guarantees, infrastructure and public-sector expansion, rather than on tax cuts that could stimulate productive growth. State-owned investment company Khazanah, for instance, will be handed 10 billion ringgit. Pet projects such as “green investments” and the state-run auto maker will also see cash handouts. The government itself will hire 63,000 workers.

This is effectively a restatement of Malaysia’s old, government-knows-best policies. It’s the opposite of what Malaysia really needs, which is to ditch this thinking and shift to a business climate that encourages private investment and entrepreneurship. The government predicts GDP could shrink 1% this year. Read the rest of this entry »


The Pendatang joke from Penang

(This joke, which came by email, hits home a most pertinent message about Malaysian nation-building.)

Ahmad: Hey son, who were you talking to ?
Son: My fairy godmother.

Ahmad: How many times have I told you there is no such thing as a fairy godmother ?
Son: I know but there really is a fairy godmother, Dad.
Ahmad: Okay, call her here now. I would like to talk to her.
Son: But she won’t come Dad. She said she doesn’t want to meet you.

Ahmad: Did she tell you why?
Son: She said that you are a bad man.
You betray your Chinese friends by calling them Pendatangs.
Ahmad: You saw that news on TV, didn’t you ?
Son: No, I didn’t, the fairy godmother told me.
Ahmad: Well, your fairy godmother is wrong.
She should thank me for calling the Chinese Pendatangs.
Son: Why Dad ? Read the rest of this entry »