Archive for May 4th, 2009

Star! Oh Star! At least be a smart party hack!

Yesterday the MCA paper, the Star, gave prominent coverage to the challenge by MCA Vice President and Health Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, that I clearly state my stand on the Cabinet’s recent decision that minors follow the common religion of their parents at the time of marriage when one spouse opts to convert.

In the Star report headlined “State stand on religion ruling, DAP told”, Liow
even said that I am at odds with the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh over the matter on the ground that Karpal had clearly stated his support for the Cabinet’s decision, implying that I had opposed the Cabinet decision.

When I replied to Liow, Star just blacked out my response.

Reason? Because Liow would be shown to be a fool who does not understand simple English as I expressed support for the Cabinet decision in several statements on my blog.

Either Liow has a big problem with the English language, in which case he should undergo a quick refresher course so as not to disgrace the government and country when he appears in the official capacity as Health Minister whether inside or outside the country, or he is downright dumb. Read the rest of this entry »


2009 World Press Freedom Day this year marked in a totally different spirit from the past decade

Malaysian journalists marked the World Press Freedom Day yesterday in a totally different spirit from the past ten years, expecting the worst in the coming year when they had hoped for better times in the past decade.

Ten years ago, when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was first appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, there were high hopes that he would accord priority to restore public confidence in various key government institutions by giving the Home Ministry a human face, including loosening up and removing the press controls in the country to usher in an era of free, fair and responsible press in Malaysia.

This was why on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 1999, some 600 journalists in Malaysia – which grew to over 1,000 journalists the following World Press Freedom Day 2000 – presented a memorandum to Abdullah calling for the repeal of the Printing Presses and Publications Act and other repressive laws fettering the development of a free and responsible press.

Although Abdullah had given a solemn undertaking to the Malaysian journalists at the time that he would give their memorandum serious consideration, nothing was achieved in the five years and five months of his premiership in reforming or repealing the most repressive and draconian press laws and regulations.

When Abdullah was forced out as the shortest-serving Prime Minister early last month, the repressive and draconian press laws he had inherited from the era of Mahathirism remain intact, although they were more sparingly used as to allow for some opening up of media space in the Abdullah premiership. Read the rest of this entry »


Walkabout Versus Makan Angin Management

by M. Bakri Musa

It is commendable that Prime Minister Najib Razak is periodically leaving his air-conditioned office to experience first hand what ordinary citizens have to put up with in their daily lives. Last week saw him riding the Light Rail Transit; the week before, a stroll down Petaling Street. All these so he could “understand the pulse of the people.”

Najib would like us to compare him to his late father with his legendary working visits to the various “Operations Rooms” throughout the country to monitor development projects. Whether Najib would prove to be like his father or closer to Abdullah Badawi, the country’s most inept leader, remains to be seen.

Recall that Abdullah too made frequent well-publicized visits to various governmental agencies. One of those was to the Immigration Department, notorious for its less-than-stellar public service, where he announced that all its problems were miraculously solved following the impromptu visit. The tragic part was that Abdullah believed it; Malaysians of course were much wiser.

At least thus far Najib had the sense not to wear a three-piece dark suit like Abdullah did on his walkabouts. Instead Najib opted for the more casual batik look. While Abdullah appeared formal and imperious, like a sultan showing the flag, Najib was more like someone out for an evening stroll, more jalan jalan (leisurely stroll) and makan angin (lit. eat wind) than a working visit. Both Najib and Abdullah looked like they were not ready for serious work. Read the rest of this entry »