Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Kit Siang: Najib should clear his name first

Athi Veeranggan | Apr 2, 09 12:58pm

Never before has a premier designate’s credibility to assume the country’s top job has come under such intense public scrutiny as in the case of Najib Abdul Razak.

Veteran opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang said Najib therefore should first address the unprecedented phenomenon of Malaysians doubting his integrity in taking over the premiership.

“Najib must first come out clean from all the public accusations and allegations against him before assuming the country’s top job.

“He cannot assume the premiership with a tainted character and frail credibility. He must first clear his name,” said Lim in his Bukit Selambau by-election campaign speech at a rally in Sungai Petani last night.

The DAP supremo opined that it would be “morally and politically incorrect” for Najib to become the country’s sixth prime minister tomorrow when the jury was still out on whether the newly-elected Umno president was the ‘right man’ to helm Putrajaya.
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Pak Lah’s “kick at the pack of snapping hyenas around him”

Politics enters turbulent waters as prime minister retires
By Jonathan Manthorpe
Vancouver Sun
March 30, 2009

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is known as a courteous gentleman, ill-fitted for the brutal and violent world of his country’s politics.

But even the tolerant and spiritual Abdullah could not resist a kick at the pack of snapping hyenas around him when he retired last week after nearly six years as everyone’s fall guy.

Unless, he warned, the United Malays National organization (UMNO), the party that has dominated government since independence from Britain in 1957, stops silencing its critics, jailing its opponents and discriminating against minorities, it is on the fast track to political oblivion.

It was a harsh judgement, but a just and alarming one for a country which until recently has been seen as one of the great economic and political success stories of Southeast Asia. Read the rest of this entry »


Islam “more repressive….narrow and parochial”

I was struck by one Q & A in Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s final interview as Prime Minister on 31st March 2009, as published by The Star yesterday, viz;

Q: You talked about progress Muslims made in earlier years and how we must emulate their efforts. But we must examine the Islam practised then. It was so free, lots of freedom to research, to think and implement. When you introduced Islam Hadhari, I thought this would bring it back to that era. But under you, Islam has gone to be more repressive. Just look at the lectures given by the ustaz on RTM1, they are so narrow and parochial.

A: It is a big problem – overseas the idea is welcome. Even Indonesia. But here it is all in a mess. Because we are fighting each other politically. Some PAS members do not like the idea. It is a battle that goes on. Changing of the mind. To do anything like that is not easy.

I have given myself that role. When I talk about democracy and freedom of discourse, it is not an easy job to do. But you have to allow people to enjoy it.

When people like it, the freedom, they think it is very nice. But I would have managed it better. I think up to now, nobody can silence the papers anymore. I don’t like the word takut (scared). Takut is not the way. Being reasonable is very important as well as being correct. Scaring does not work.

No denial whatsoever from Abdullah that under his Islam Hadhari, “Islam has gone to be more repressive…so narrow and parochial”. Read the rest of this entry »


Everybody knows her name

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider

SUNGAI PETANI, April 2 — Opposition speakers continue to creatively work around the Home Ministry ban on mentioning Altantuya Shaariibuu at their election ceramahs with Lim Kit Siang last night proving that most people were aware of the Mongolian beauty.

The DAP stalwart questioned the suitability of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister merely by asking the Bukit Selambau crowd “Who? From where?” when bringing up the Umno president’s alleged links to her murder.

The crowd got their answers right on both counts.

Two nights ago when opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim began his triple by-elections campaign here, he showed the breadth of topics he could address in attacking Barisan Nasional by bringing up a different deceased — that of suspected car thief A. Kugan in police custody.

Lim last night highlighted the sheer ludicrity of banning the mention of a name and “that of a non-citizen,” calling it undemocratic.

He said the Altantuya murder, without mentioning her name, coupled with allegations of abuse of power including an RM500 million commission in the government purchase of submarines, raised doubts over Najib’s impending premiership in “35 hours”. Read the rest of this entry »


Zambry is not a very smart man

by Martin Jalleh

BN-appointed menteri besar Zambry Abd Kadir thinks he is very slick and smart. Sadly, he has shown himself to be very shallow and slow.

He had very gleefully posed what M’kini called a “pertinent question” to the Menteri Besar of Perak Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin. He had thought he had delightfully delivered a body blow, damned his rival, and driven him to the ground.

Zambry claimed that Nizar had stated his position as ‘Pasir Panjang assemblyman’ and not as ‘menteri besar’ in his nomination papers filed last Saturday, to contest the Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7.

“All this while, he has been telling the whole world he is the lawful menteri besar. So why didn’t he address himself as the menteri besar in the nomination papers?” exclaimed Zambry, much to the delight of the crowd comprising mainly women and the elderly. (M’kini)

The answer is very simple and it reflects how astute a politician Nizar really is. He has taken into account the politicial realities that he has to contend with — realities that appear more and more grotesque with each passing day in Bukit Gantang. Read the rest of this entry »