Archive for June 4th, 2009

Time for PAS to Demonstrate Its Ability to be a National Party

By Farish A Noor

This week will witness the fifty-fifth General Assembly of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), that has been on the political landscape of Malaysia since 1951, though its actual historical presence in Malaysia dates back even further, to the country’s first Islamic party Hizbul Muslimin, in 1948. Malaysia-watchers and analysts are looking very closely at PAS today, and there has been ample speculation about the fate and future of key PAS ideologues and leaders, notably the representatives of the two camps in the party otherwise known as the conservatives and progressives.

Distinctions such as ‘conservatives’ and ‘progressives’ are not very useful in cases such as these however, for they tell us little about the goings-on in PAS and they lend the mistaken impression that the differences within the party can be essentially reduced to such simple binary opposites. Needless to say PAS’s opponents are likewise tempted to use such dichotomies in their own lame efforts to divide and weaken the party, and such divisive tactics are long familiar to those who have studied Malaysian politics over the past half a century or so…
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Ong Tee Keat’s “roadmap to recovery of PKFZ” reminds me eerily of Myanmar military junta’s “seven-step roadmap to democracy” which leads to nowhere!

Transport Minister and MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat blogged a response from Beijing to my 15 questions (three per day) on the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) Rip-Off but he was forced to camouflage his failure to honour the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s directive and promise of a question-by-question reply as well as very weak and insipid contents by very harsh language and distractions.

“…a knee jerk reaction which spells of political agenda and defeatist attitude”.

“It will save people a lot of time not to repeat ourselves for the benefit of self-serving politicians”.

“I see no reason to waste valuable time to engage in fruitless public debates of any form that does not help to solve the problems”.

“… public debates are the opposition’s obvious idea of resolving all the country’s ills”.

Just four quotes from his short statement. What character of the man, at least for this moment, do they reveal?

Pompous. Arrogant. Quite insufferable. Worse than Najib on all three scores!
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Signs of Malaysia on the verge of vicious cycle of a failed state spreading to more aspects of national life

Yesterday, I said that the collapse of the roof of the RM300 million 50,000-capacity Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak within a year of completion is symptomatic of a society in serious disrepair and Malaysia at the verge of a vicious cycle of a failed state.

Five years ago, when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister, he struck a national chord of resonance when he spoke of the goal to transform Malaysia from a nation of “first-world infrastructure, third-world mentality” to one which is “first-world infrastructure, first-world mentality”.

Under another Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Malaysia is now in danger of regressing to become a nation of “Third-World Infrastructure, Fourth-World Mentality”!

Such signs of a grave breakdown of Malaysia threatening to reduce the country to a fourth-world status instead of the Vision 2020 aspiration of a fully developed nation is everywhere to be seen, almost every day, not only in the maintenance culture but in the attitudes and commitments to the fundamental principles and values which distinguishes a country from a fully-developed one and from those that are not.
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Cabinet meeting yesterday a double-disappointment on university education – PSD S’ships and USM Apex Uni fiasco

The Cabinet meeting yesterday was a double disappointment on university education particularly to the young generation of Malaysians which must be rectified in a special Cabinet meeting on university intake as well as PSD scholarships for SPM students with 12As.

I am very disappointed that my call for a colour-blind JPA scholarship system has not been heeded by the Cabinet. Clearly, the Cabinet Ministers themselves have yet to fully understand the meaning of 1Malaysia which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has adopted as the slogan of his administration.

Furthermore, my specific proposal to resolve this year’s public ruckus over the unfair and discriminatory award of JPA selection of foreign degree scholarships has also not been acted upon.

I had proposed that all students with SPM 9A1s and above should be awarded PSD scholarships – which would mean an increased allocation of RM300 million for JPA scholarships budget from RM700 million to RM1 billion this year.
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