Archive for February 22nd, 2010

Why Australian MPs protested the Anwar trial

By Michael Danby | The Malaysian Insider

FEB 21 — Last week saw an unusual event in Australian politics: backbench members of Parliament from both sides took a foreign affairs initiative, independent of their party leaderships.

Sixty Members and Senators — Labor, Liberal, Green and independent — signed a letter which was presented to the Malaysian High Commissioner protesting against the current trial of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on charges of “sodomy.”

The letter was signed by, among others, Laurie Ferguson, Malcolm Turnbull, Greg Hunt, Bob Brown, Nick Xenophon, Duncan Kerr, Deputy Speaker Anna Burke, Jennie George, Gary Gray and Mark Dreyfus QC.

It followed a speech which I gave in the House of Representatives on Feb 3, in which I drew the House’s attention to the 2nd Sodomy trial in Kuala Lumpur of Anwar Ibrahim.

I’m very grateful to all the Members and Senators who signed the letter. I can’t recall another backbench initiative like this in recent times.
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Is Muhyiddin the right-hand man of Najib or Mahathir in the Najib premiership?

Tun Abdullah tried to distance himself and tinker with the Mahathir legacy, without really daring to dismantle it when he was Prime Minister – but that was enough to ensure a swift and ignominious dismantling and end to Abdullah’s hapless premiership.

One great difference between the Najib and Abdullah premierships up to now is over their stance on the Mahathir legacy – in the Abdullah premiership, the Cabinet Ministers stand mute on the subject but in the Najib administration, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has emerged as the custodian of the Mahathir legacy with a powerful following!

This is why Muhyiddin’s utterances and actions are not only important for one who is only half-a-heartbeat away from the premiership but as a surrogate of the Mahathir legacy – undoubtedly of the most powerful former Malaysian Prime Minister in the nation’s history.

Just look at some the media headlines on Muhyiddin in the past few months:
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Five myopic judges in Federal Court

By NH Chan

On Feb 9, the five-member Federal Court panel handed down a unanimous decision on Nizar Jamaluddin versus Zambry Abd Kadir. The judgment of the court was read by Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria.

The judgment is 40-pages long and if you have the stamina to persevere to the end of the judgment you would have realised that these judges of the highest court in the land have, under the pretext of interpretation, decided that the Perak sultan has the power to dismiss the incumbent Menteri Besar Nizar when the Laws of the Constitution of Perak does not confer any executive power on the sultan for so doing.

If the sultan has no power to dismiss Nizar then, we should ask, how could the Federal Court commit such a devastating error to their reputation as judges of the highest court in the land?

That is why the ability to pick out the one real point that matters is so important. That is why young advocates learnt how to spot it very early in their career if they are not to bore the judge, whom they are addressing, to tears.
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Towards A Developed Malaysia – Part 3

By M. Bakri Musa

[Presented at the Third Annual Alif Ba Ta Forum, “1Malaysia Towards Vision 2020,” Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, December 5, 2009, organized by Kelab UMNO NY-NJ. The presentation can be viewed at (search under “Bakri Musa RIT”) or through this link]

Encouraging Malays Entrepreneurs and Scientists

The Malaysia of today under the leadership of Tun Razak’s son is a very different country. With the overall elevation in the level of the education, the needs and aspirations of the citizens have also changed; the curve has shifted to the right. We have to respond to this new reality of higher needs and much greater aspirations.

Today our major dilemma is the lack of Malays in science and technology, as well as in business. Actually these are old dilemmas but because they have been incompetently handled, they are again resurfacing, over fifty years after independence.

I was young during Tun Razak’s time. Yes, the lack of Malays in science then was palpable, with fewer than a dozen Malay science graduates. The prevailing wisdom – and not just among non-Malays – was that we Malays did not have what it would take to handle science and mathematics.
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Anwar, Allah and the caning of women

By Jema Khan | The Malaysian Insider

FEB 18 — I have been a loyal member of Umno since they came to Sabah in the early nineties. I have served in the Umno Youth exco, as Umno Youth chief of Sabah, as Umno Youth chief of Tuaran and even as a branch leader in my division.

I retired fully from politics in 2000 to focus on my business with a sense of satisfaction in having done some good both in Sabah and in Malaysia. That was good enough for me and I felt I had done my duty and could now concentrate on my business, family and myself.

In the passing of time since, I have seen many a friend being elevated to the highest level of Government. That pleased me in that at least I knew the main players in Government personally. From time to time, I would give my views to them on this issue or that when the opportunity arose. I would not be writing this if there was a more discreet way to repair the serious damage done to my country.

I consider myself a liberal Malay and have always acted as such even when I served Umno a decade ago. Although I would toe the party line eventually in most issues, I espoused my liberal views often to my compatriots and they listened though not necessarily agreeing. Nevertheless, we all remained firm friends. Today they seem unable to tackle issues which I consider basic and yet having serious repercussions.
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