Archive for February 24th, 2010

Poor, unworkable attempt to discredit Penang

Letter by Lilian

I refer to the letter Penang must arrest this alarming decline. As a citizen journalist and a Penangite who loves my island, I wish to point out some of the things that the writer mentioned in his letter. Being a citizen journalist, it is my habit to observe and report on things on the ground.

Firstly, I found that the same writer has written the same letter to The Star and The Sun in January. Obviously, he is still sore from the ‘supposed nightmares’ he encountered in Penang after two months. A blogger had posted these two letters on his blog and claimed it as a blatant attempt to discredit the Penang government by BN/Umno.

I shall not dwell into the political side of things. But I can provide my own observations:

  1. Penang has improved tremendously in terms of cleanliness. The writer said he found Penang to have deteriorated so much that it made him to swear not to visit the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ ever again. But as a Penangite, I can see the state has improved a lot in terms of cleanliness in recent months.

    Read the rest of this entry »


Right-thinking Malaysians gravely concerned at the rise of intolerance and bigotry under Najib’s 1Malaysia

According to Malaysiakini, four police reports were lodged in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur yesterday over an article last Friday entitled “Persuasion, not compulsion” by the Star managing editor P. Gunasegaram for allegedly containing seditious material which insulted the Malays and Islam.

The police reports state that Gunasegaram’s commentary on the recent syariah whipping sentence meted against three women was an insult to Muslims and contended that Gunasegaram has no right to comment about Islamic jurisprudence because he is not a Muslim.

There were calls for Gunasegaram to be sacked as Star managing editor and for boycott of Star unless there is an apology.

I have not read the Star article before the police reports. The Star has no love for me and I have no love for Star. However, as a matter of principle, I read Gunasegaram’s article and I find it quite rational and sensible, there was no intention to insult or scandalise Islam and it should be the last object for criminalisation and the subject of police reports.

The whipping of women under syariah criminal offences legislation has created controversy for a variety of reasons, including for contradicting civil law where women are not punishable by caning under Section 289 of Criminal Procedure Code.
Read the rest of this entry »


The Malaysia Divide

An institutional overhaul is long overdue in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur | The Wall Street Journal

“The Leopard,” Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s celebrated novel about the crumbling feudal order in 19th century Sicily, made famous the line, “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” That pretty much sums up the predicament of Malaysia’s ruling elite today.

The sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim drags on in Kuala Lumpur, with the opposition leader’s freedom and political career hanging in the balance. But the true significance of this anachronistic case does not depend on the outcome in the courtroom. The political assassination of Mr. Anwar aside, Malaysia is witnessing the death throes of a political machine that has run the country for over five decades. Mr. Anwar is a skilled politician who holds together an unlikely alliance of opposition parties—his conviction would certainly be a blow for the prospect of real political pluralism in Malaysia. But he also serves as a vessel for wider social forces and a disenchantment with the country’s leadership. Another figure would surely take his place at the head of the reform movement.

The ruling coalition was founded on the principle that the three main races—Malays, Chinese and Indians—participate in politics through their own parties. Coupled with an elaborate system of affirmative action, this has allowed the United Malays National Organization to maintain a lock on power by protecting Malays from the winds of competition. After the opposition made unprecedented gains in the March 2008 elections, desperate tactics were called for, hence a rather tired repeat of the homosexuality charge first brought against Mr. Anwar a decade ago, now dubbed “Sodomy II” by a skeptical public. The government has denied that the trial is politically motivated.
Read the rest of this entry »


Can Muhyiddin pass three simple tests as to whether he is sincerely and seriously committed to Najib ‘s 1Malaysia concept?

Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is only half right when said that my head is “filled with problems” but half wrong when he alleged that these problems are about Pakatan Rakyat.

My head is indeed filled with problems but they are not about the Pakatan Rakyat but are compounded by the life-and-death struggle of Umno and the other Barisan Nasional component parties including MCA, Gerakan and MIC after the political tsunami of the 12th general election in 2008 and the pathetic 10-month history of Najib’s “1Malaysia” slogan and concept which may meet the fate of being the first slogan of a Prime Minister with the shortest useful life-span.

Muhyiddin’s suggestion that that I am bankrupt of ideas and his allegation that I had run out of issues to use against the government are “old hats” and “no great shakes”, as they had been thrown at me by Umno, MCA and Gerakan leaders for over four decades but to no great avail, or Umno and the Barisan Nasional would not be fighting for their political life after the March 8 “political tsunami” while the stocks of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat, whatever our problems, are on the ascendance.

Instead of making personal attacks and baseless accusations that I was laying a “trap” to “cause friction between him and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak”, Muhyiddin should have responded to my call to him to declare whether he is the right-hand man of Najib or former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir in the Najib premiership.
Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian Circus goes to Washington

by Martin Jalleh

For a little more than a month in 2010 Umno has gone full steam with its scare tactics, saber-rattling tricks, silly threats and sinister theatrics. Now it is all set to take the Malaysian (political) circus to the US and to show Uncle Sam a far “superior” sample of democracy and governance.

The trip is by courtesy of Apco Worldwide, a global PR firm, employed by the government to resuscitate, redeem, and re-engineer the PM’s flagging image at about RM20 million. The firm has allegedly offered similar services to dictators and corrupt leaders worldwide. They must feel very at home here in dealing with the “most corrupt institution in the country”.

But why is Umno off to the US with its best circus clowns to impress the US when they just told those lowdown politicians in Down Under that to Umno it is a no-no to interfere in the affairs of Bolehland? Why waste the people’s money and be bothered about what the US thinks of us? Alas, the answer to such a mystery belongs only to those who can go the lowest.
Read the rest of this entry »