Archive for April 20th, 2009

Worst of financial crisis is over?

Former U.S. presidential economic adviser: worst of financial crisis is over

Special Report: Boao Forum For Asia 2009

BOAO, Hainan, April 19 (Xinhua) — The worst of the financial crisis is finished, and the world is entering the time when things will get gradually better, John Rutledge, a former U.S. presidential economic advisor, said here Sunday.

He made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in China’s southern province of Hainan.

The recession in China has already “passed the bottom”, while the recession in the United States is “at the bottom”, he said while describing the current global economic condition.

“The capital markets around the world are recovering very nicely,” he said, adding that the real economy and paycheck have not yet hit the bottom, but “very near bottom”, and will most certainly be improve by the end of the year.

He is more optimistic about the prospect of China’s economy, as he is likely to raise the forecast of China’s economic growth rate in 2009 between 6 percent and 8 percent. Read the rest of this entry »


EC – prove it is not mouthpiece/tool of BN

The time has come for the Election Commission to demonstrate that it is not the mouthpiece or tool of the Barisan Nasional government but an independent, impartial and professional Election Commission as intended by the Constitution.

Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar was quoted in the Star today as saying that the time has come to amend existing laws to prevent abuse by political parties that force elected representatives to quit their parliamentary or state seats.

He said the move by a wakil rakyat to vacate a seat to fulfil a party’s agenda should be discouraged as the cost of holding by-elections had become a burden to the country. (Star)

It is most disappointing that since the appointment of Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusuf as the new Chairman for the Election Commission at the beginning of the year, the Election Commission has made decisions and taken actions which have further undermined public confidence in its independence, impartiality and professionalism – which is quite an “achievement” considering the canyon the Election Commission had plunged into in terms of public confidence under the former Chairman. Read the rest of this entry »


Saya Pun Melayu! Me Too!

by M. Bakri Musa

Book Review: Saya Pun Melayu (I Am Also A Malay)
Foreword by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
ZI Publications Sdn Bhd, Petaling Jaya, 2009. 312 pages. RM 35.00

The Annual UMNO General Assembly is also the season for the release of new books on local politics written in Malay. It must be a profitable venue and time, for the number of new titles keeps growing each year.

Foreigners may mistake this to reflect a healthy intellectual discourse, or at least a vigorous political debate. The reality however, is far different. With such titillating titles as “50 Dalil Mengapa XYZ Tidak Layak …” (Fifty Reason s Why XYZ Is Unfit For … ) and the promiscuous use of “half-past six English,” this “genre” poisons the political atmosphere, quite apart from degrading our national language.

As for content, these books are nothing more than warong kopi (coffee shop) gossips transcribed. Observers and political scientists hoping to gain an insight on Malaysian politics would do well to avoid these books. And they have. These books will never be cited in reputable publications or quoted by respected commentators.

Enter Zaid Ibrahim’s Saya Pun Melayu (I Am Also A Malay). It too was released to coincide with the recent UMNO General Assembly. There the similarity ends. This gem of a diamond sparkles with insights and wisdom. Like a diamond, this book too has innumerable multifaceted sharp edges that cut through rock-headed politicians. I would be insulting Zaid if I were to compare his thoughtful and well written book to the thrash that littered the hallways of Dewan Merdeka, where the recent Assembly took place. Read the rest of this entry »