Archive for September, 2009

Latest Hishammuddin gem – “Good guilt, bad guilt”; Isa is “good guilty”

Isa unlike other guilty leaders, says Hishammuddin
Malaysian Insider

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 30 – There’s good guilt and then there’s bad guilt, going by the argument Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein put forward today in defence of Tan Sri Isa Samad’s selection as Umno candidate in the Bagan Pinang by-election.

In praising the man whom Umno once found guilty of vote buying as “a loyal servant of the party”, Hishammuddin also called Isa the “people’s candidate,” in an acknowledgement to polls which suggest the former Umno vice-president was very popular in Bagan Pinang despite being tainted by his corrupt past.

“He is different from certain individuals who, when found guilty by the party, they are willing to curse the party that has served them. Tan Sri Isa is different. He is patient and strong, and his loyalty to the party is one matter which was considered by the top leadership,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Same Old UMNO, Same Old Ethics

By M. Bakri Musa

Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat! (Sacrifice your child if need be, but never your tradition!) Growing up in Negri Sembilan, that wisdom of my culture was continually drummed into me. To those outside the clan, that adage may seem extreme, an ugly manifestation of unyielding and irrational conservatism.

With my children now grown up, I recognize the verity of that village wisdom. Yes, it was hammered into me on the importance of our cultural tradition of fealty towards elders (our parents in particular), but there was also the equally important reciprocal tradition for the elders (who are presumably wiser) to be more patient and forgiving of their young.

It is this fidelity to adat that made my parents not put a guilt trip upon me when I chose a path that was not what they had expected. Cognizant of this adat too is what made me not stand in the way of my children when they too decided to venture on a journey beyond what is familiar to me.
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Bagan Pinang by-election – a contest between Malaysia’s political past and the future

There was a collective shaking of heads in the country when it was formally announced that Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad is the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election in Negri Sembilan on 11th October 2009.

Both the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir and another Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh had spoken out publicly to warn of the adverse implications and larger repercussions of nominating a person who had been found guilty of money politics by his own political party, but these objections and warnings had been disregarded.

Having lost in all the previous seven by-elections in Peninsular Malaysia after the March 8 general elections last year, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Umno leadership are so desperate for a by-election victory that they are prepared to overlook the larger and adverse implications of Isa’s candidature so long they can be assured not only of a by-election victory in Bagan Pinang but a convincing one.
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When Najib’s proposal for a “multi-racial hostel” could make front-page headline news in mainstream media

When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s proposal for a multiracial hostel to foster better national integration among pupils in secondary schools under the 1Malaysia spirit could make front-page headline news in the mainstream media, it is testimony of how far Malaysian multiracial nation-building had deviated and failed in the past five decades.

As Malaysia is internationally publicized as “Malaysia truly Asia” show-casing multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual unity in diversity, multiracial hostels should have long become an accepted part of national life.

Instead, they seem to have become an increasingly extinct species after over five decades of nationhood to the extent that Najib’s proposal for a multiracial hostel in Kuala Lumpur appeared to be a great brain-wave of his 1Malaysia slogan.

Malaysia has traversed the road from multiracial hostels in the early decades of nationhood, celebrating Malaysia’s diversity of races, languages, cultures, religions, cuisines to increasingly mono-ethnic hostels where tolerance and acceptance of unity in diversity have assumed decreasing importance.
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The cultural logic of Najibo-nomics

By Azly Rahman

Fashionable it may seem to credit this or that “economic miracle” episode to this or that country to the name of its leader, economist, dictator, emperor, etc. – the larger picture of the historical march of “freakonomics” is neglected.

Freakonomics is what the global society was plagued with beginning with the American sub-prime-inspired crisis; a breakdown of the world’s casino-capitalist system.

Fashionable it may seem to cite this or that case-study to a proposed “Harvard” study, just like calling a university “Harvard of the East” or “Princeton of the Peripheries” or “Oxford of the Outbacks” or even “Cambridge of the Caribbean” – it misses the point of what and how casino capitalism works.

It misses the point that the world is undergoing yet another wave of perpetual revolution in the field of economic thinking.

Malaysians are into this fashionable game of assigning this or that terminology to this or that epoch of “economic cultural depression and how these are cured”.
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What happened to Malaysia Today

By Malaysia Today’s technical team

With so much confusion and speculation making its rounds about what is happening to Malaysia Today over more than a week, we are compelled to offer our explanation so that the record can be set straight. Only limited technical details will be mentioned to allow you to appreciate the scale of challenge the site is facing.

You may now be aware that the site has been up and down since Friday, 17 September 2009. This was due to malicious activities by those behind the effort to cripple Malaysia Today. This is just one of the many rounds of cyber-attacks that we at Malaysia Today have had to face for more than a year now.

Coincidentally, this latest round of attacks started immediately after RPK’s explosive expose two weeks ago on Tuesday regarding the Malaysian Cabinet’s knowledge and ‘approval’ of the PKFZ scandal long before it became public knowledge. Suspicious activities against the site happened as early as Wednesday, but the first damage was done in the afternoon of Thursday, which brought the site down. Read the rest of this entry »


Mahathir right on Isa but wrong on PR

Umno’s choice for Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad as the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election appears quite set – and the latest indication is the “advice” by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, asking former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad not to “interfere” and “embarrass” the Umno leadership with any more public statements on the question of by-election candidature. (Sin Chew)

Mahathir is right on Isa when he said that the issue is not just Bagan Pinang by-election but the next 13th general elections.

As Mahathir conceded, if Umno fields a candidate who is not clean, it might win in Bagan Pinang but would lose in other constituencies as the people throughout Malaysia want to know whether Umno is serious about eradicating money politics and corruption.

However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak seems so desperate for a by-election victory in Peninsular Malaysia after seven consecutive by-election defeats after the political tsunami of the March 8 general elections last year that he is prepared to face the hazards warned by Mahathir.
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NSTP withdraws defamation suit

New Straits Press (Malaysia) Bhd today withdraws its 2001 defamation suit against DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang at the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning with a no costs consent order. Lim was represented by Karpal Singh and Sangeet Kaur Deo.

NST filed the defamation suit against Lim for defamatory words in response to a question from a Berita Harian reporter at a press conference in the Parliament lobby on May 17, 2001 on bumiputra quota and the annual controversy over local university intake.

NST alleged in its defamation suit filed in September 2001 that in their natural and ordinary meaning, or by way of innuendo, the offending words meant that the company was racist, unpatriotic and unfit to be Malaysian. Read the rest of this entry »


5 global fundamentals for a country to become high-income developed nation

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

Prime Minister Najib expressed his intention to make Malaysia a high income country, like the developed countries in Asia. America and Europe.

To reach that status, the per capita income (pci) of a malaysian citizen must be at least US$11,700. presently per capita income is $7500.

Malaysia pci was US500 at independence in 1957. It took 52 years to achieve $7500. can malaysia reach a pci of US 11700 in the year 2020 and fulfill the Vision 2020 dream of Tun Mahathir?

There are five fundamental conditions that Malaysia must possess in order to reach high income status: Read the rest of this entry »


Ops Sikap Degenerating Into “Oops! Silap!

by M. Bakri Musa

It is now a practice that with every festive season the authorities would go into high gear aimed at reducing the horrifically high rates of traffic accidents and fatalities. Judging by the results however, these initiatives are more show than substance. These “Ops Sikap” (a contraction for Operasi Sikap – Operation Attitude, as in changing the attitude of road users) are now more “Oops! Silap!” (Oops! I goofed!)

There has been no change to the dreadful trend since the series was stated over eight years ago. That should not surprise anyone. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect to have different results. The surprise is that the authorities have not yet figured this out; this latest Ops Sikap essentially replicated what was done during previous twenty operations. There is minimal effort at learning from earlier experiences; the program lacks innovations.

This latest edition began on September 13 and just ended two weeks later today. It registered 238 fatalities. As with past years, the overwhelming victims were motorcyclists. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Teng, why don’t you stroke your own pen?

By Chan Lilian

I had wanted to write this but was caught up with house moving so I didn’t manage to hit while the iron is hot.

Few days ago, there is a report in Malaysiakini where Datuk Dr. Teng Hock Nan openly told media that CM Lim Guan Eng could have saved Kampung Buah Pala with a stroke of pen. I was very pissed with that sort of statement, coming from what was supposed to be one of the candidate vying for the Chief Minister position before the last general election.

Of course, it is open knowledge that I am a fan of CM Lim. But that’s not my main discontentment. It is not about Lim Guan Eng. It is about Penang.

The statement from Datuk Dr. Teng is deemed very mischievous and irresponsible. He, being a Penangite and also in Gerakan should have known that the Kampung Buah Pala issue had been turned into a racial issue. Therefore, if he is responsible and love peace and harmony in Penang, he would have kept his mouth shut instead of adding fuel to fire.
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Living in the shadow of Najib’s 1 Malaysia

by Tunku Abdul Aziz
Malaysian Insider26th September 2009

I was in Seoul last Monday to participate in the World Forum for Democratisation in Asia (Third Biennial Conference) on “Sustaining Democratisation in Asia: Challenges of Economic and Social Justice” with some 200 delegates from Asia and the United States.

The conference brought together people from diverse backgrounds and of all ages, to seek ways of strengthening, and arresting the rapidly declining state of democracy in their countries. These men and women, all with impeccable credentials as human rights advocates, shared many of the same democratic values that have inspired human beings through the ages, all over the world, to make great personal sacrifices against humanly impossible odds in the name of justice and freedom from the tyranny of state-sanctioned human rights abuses, such as we are subjected to in Malaysia regularly.

I spoke on the panel on “Citizen Participation and Political Accountability.” In the audience were participants from Indonesia, the US, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia and Mongolia, among others.

I thought I was doing well, having made some rather important points on the need for citizens to take charge of their own destiny as freedom was far too important to be left to the tender mercies of politicians, many of whom were charlatans at best and untrustworthy to boot. I mentioned as an example how citizens’ active participation in the March 2008 general election in my country had succeeded in changing, albeit ever so slightly, the 50-year corrupt political landscape, a feat that was nothing short of miraculous given the corrupt and repressive environment against which they were fighting to change. Read the rest of this entry »


Stop Calling 103 on Maxis

by Bernard Tan

If you are using Maxis network and please be alert that now the new charges for making 103 (TM Directory) was increased from 30 cents to RM2.00 per call.(extra of RM1.70 almost 700% jump).

I just found out from my maxis statement dated 21/6/08 today and i rang up the Maxis 123 and been told the new rate was started lately only and since I’m not aware of this new adjustment and they willing to waive it for this month but next month will be charging me based on the new rate (RM2.00 per call to 103).

Shocking right? The best part is everyone knew how ‘good’ service our TM directory can provide?? Most the time i need to call at least 2-3 times to get the number i looking for mean that one number i need to pay RM4.00 to RM6.00…OMG. …equal to one meal already…

So please pass this news to your maxis friends to alert them the new charges.


Hope lives on in Malaysia: The Hassan Mat Yaacob story.

By Augustine Anthony

Rural folks have many land problems. The safest way to find lasting and meaningful solutions to their problems is to first eliminate all the politicians, bureaucrats and even the office boys who behave like lords of the lands, lording over many of these rural folks who lack confidence to confront them.

Those who had abused the existing laws, particularly the land acquisition legislations with utter disregard for the welfare of the affected people must never forget that their tryst with insidious tyranny has a half life that will soon end.

I say this with confidence not because of the many stirring speeches of great leaders and orators but inspired by the display of resilience by ordinary village folks who are now awakening to a belief system that they can stand up for their rights even as they journey to free themselves from a state of mind that had been shackled by a long train of abuses and usurpations.

One such inspiration is Hassan Mat Yaacob, a padi farmer who refuses to take ‘no for an answer’ to reclaim what was legitimately his.
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Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranking and score in 15 years?

Is Malaysia heading for the worst Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking and score in 15 years, when the TI CPI 2009 is released next month?

When launching the country report in the TI Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2009 yesterday, Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other “reforms” introduced by the government have so far been ineffective in fighting corruption.

These measures have not produced the desired results and so the public perception of corruption remains unchanged.

Pointing out that Malaysians are fed up with the status quo and the unbearable effects of corruption in the country, Low said the Global Corruption Barometer 2009 surveyed released in May showed that 70 per cent of Malaysians believe that the government is ineffective in fighting corruption.

In contrast, although Indonesia has a far worse position in the corruption perception index than Malaysia, 76% of its people believe their government is effective in fighting corruption.
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Fallacy to automatically equate Najib’s Hari Raya Open House crowd with support for his 1Malaysia slogan

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Cabinet Ministers’ Hari Raya Open House at Sri Perdana on the first day of the festivities on Sunday had a good crowd, but it is a fallacy to automatically equate Najib’s Hari Raya Open House crowd with support for his 1Malaysia slogan.

The mainstream media refer to a crowd of 50,000 to 60,000 for the Prime Minister’s Open House at Sri Perdana on Sunday.

If crowd numbers is a measure of public support for the incumbent Prime Minister’s policies and slogans, then how is one to interpret the crowd sizes of Hari Raya Open Houses of previous Prime Ministers, Tun Abdullah and Tun Mahathir?

A check with reports of past years will show the following crowd numbers cited in the mainstream media for Abdullah’s six Hari Raya Open Houses during his tenure as Prime Minister:

2003 70,000 (NST 26.11.03)
2004 200,000 (NST/Malay Mail 16.11.04)
2005 100,000 (Malay Mail 5.11.05)
2006 200,000 (Berita Harian 26.10.06)
2007 200,000 (NST 15.10.07)
2008 200,000 (Harian Metro 3.10.08)

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Government of Malaysia Inc

KJ John
Sep 22, 09

I cannot agree with bloggers Art Harun and Lim Kit Siang more. Both have basically argued a similar concern; why is the government acting as if they privately own the country.

Yes, to their minds the chief secretary to the government and chief justice are both CEO appointments – one for the executive branch of the public services, and the other for the judicial services. Both are accused of “doing things as they like”, as if they are in a private corporation and answerable to no one outside of the “cabinet” as their board of directors.

Allow me to repeat their arguments for those who did not follow them. Read the rest of this entry »


Life is 2 short 2 vote UMNO

By Hussein Hamid

I use to view with amusement the goings on every year of the UMNO AGM at PWTC. The fight between Team A and Team B, spectacle of Mahathir crying on stage, the brandishing of the Kris, gag order, no gag order, contest no contest…the whole spectrum of human failings all there for us to see. But amusement is far from an appropriate response given the anger that I now feel at the way UMNO is still conducting itself despite the wake up call of the last General Election. UMNO has
enjoyed over fifty years of freedom in which they were left alone to do as they wish – to change, amend, and innovate whatever they choose to do to ensure Ketuanan Melayu and to deliver a united, peaceful and prosperous Malaysia with abundant opportunities for all citizens. They failed.

For the Malays who have staunchly supported UMNO and unfailingly given UMNO their votes it has been a challenging time. It used to be the opposition parties that has been looked upon by the Malays with detached amusement as these parties tried desperately to muster the non-Malay votes without much success. Those Malays who openly sided with these opposition parties were regarded as a traitor to the Malay cause. How times have changed.

The myth of UMNO as being the champion of the Malays has long been proven a farce. It might be a myth that UMNO still continues to encourage though we know that that UMNO accomplishments or lack thereof is there for all to see. If the integrity and ability of Singapore Leaders to govern their City State well is an inspiration to people the world over, and if that made UMNO leaders look like little man, then UMNO has only themselves to blame. Read the rest of this entry »


In The Spirit of Eid ul Fitra

By M. Bakri Musa

I applaud Prime Minister Najib Razak for releasing five more prisoners held under the unjust and abominable Internal Security Act (ISA). That he did it in the last Ashra (ten days) of Ramadan, and within days of Hari Raya, captures best the true spirit of Ramadan and the generosity of Eid ul Fitra.

Najib’s generous gesture illustrates another important point. Leaders do not need to resort to catchy slogans or grandiose gestures in order to demonstrate the greatness of our faith. His releasing the prisoners (this latest group of five, plus the earlier 13 set free on his assuming office and the 16 a few weeks later) did more to enhance the image of Islam than all the pontifications of his predecessor and self-styled Imam of Islam Hadhari, Abdullah Badawi. Abdullah’s frequent recitations of the ideals of Islam notwithstanding, he did not release a single prisoner during his tenure.

The only sour note to this latest action was the idiotic (what else is new?) comment by Home Minister Hishammuddin. He threatened “to fill Kamunting to the brim” if that was what it would take to protect the nation’s security. Despite his long years in government he has learned nothing; he still has the same perverted priorities.

Hishammuddin and others of his persuasion must be reminded over and over, for they are prone to forget, that the greatest threat to our nation’s security, and indeed our well being, remains our corrupt and ineffective institutions, including and especially the police and the anti-corruption commission. Both agencies are under Hishammuddin’s direct purview.
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How to make 1Malaysia motto a meaningful slogan instead of being the butt of ridicule, derision and contempt

Happy Hari Raya Aidilfiltri to all Muslims in Malaysia.

As the first Hari Raya under new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, it should be an occasion for Malaysians regardless of faith, race or political beliefs to give real meaning to his 1Malaysia slogan so that it will not be short-lived and the butt of ridicule, derision and contempt like the slogans of previous premiers.

However, Najib’s praise for Utusan Malaysia for being “the voice of the people, especially the Malay community” could not have come at a worse time with a more disastrous consequence, when Utusan Malaysia had been most guilty in fanning racial and religious ill-will and misunderstanding in recent months.

Malaysia’s international competitiveness recently came under a cloud with two adverse global rankings – falling three places from 21st to 24th ranking in the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2009-2010 and a drop of two places in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2010: Reforming Through Difficult Times from 21st to 23rd placing.

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