Archive for February 25th, 2010

Government should stop waste of public funds which end up in greater national embarrassments like the “strangest” cloak-and-dagger CSIS seminar featuring Nazri in Washington yesterday

Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman should give an assurance that the government would stop waste of public funds which end up in greater national embarrassments like the “strangest” cloak-and-dagger Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) seminar “Governance and Rule of Law in Malaysia” featuring the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz in Washington yesterday.

I agree with the former United States Ambassador to Malaysia John R Mallot who had described the seminar as the “strangest” he had attended in Washington DC. The reasons for such an appellation would include:

  1. Seminar Panellists – Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and former Chief Justice and now head of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) advisory panel Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who were billed to appear with Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz never showed up. Nazri told the seminar he did not know where the two were in Washington.

    The presence of the Abdul Gani and Hamid would have reinforced criticisms of the lack of progress in judicial and institutional reforms to restore international confidence in the independence and integrity of key national institutions. This is why I had publicly gone on record to criticize Abdul Gani’s participation at the CSIS seminar as his first duty is to carry out the duties of the Attorney-General independently and professionally to ensure national and international confidence in the administration of justice rather than to join in government’s international roadshows to win foreign hearts and minds that there is the just rule of law and a truly independent judiciary in Malaysia.

  2. Read the rest of this entry »


A Failed Mission in Washington DC

by Raja Petra Kamaruddin in Washington DC

It was a strange scene at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on Wednesday morning.  When the seminar on Governance & Rule of Law in Malaysia began, only one of the speakers came into the room, Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Attorney-General Gani Patail and former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamed were somehow nowhere to be seen. And in good Malaysian fashion, the seminar started 10 minutes late.

The seminar’s chairman, Ernest Bower, looked tired and nervous, saying that he had received a number of e-mails expressing concern that the seminar would not be balanced. He said that he wants a dialogue on important issues. Therefore he also has invited the opposition to speak at CSIS. He hopes they will accept.

Ernest Bower then shocked the audience of about 40 people by saying that the session was ‘off the record’. The flyer announcing the seminar never said it was an off the record session. It doesn’t matter though. The session was so boring there is very little to report anyway.
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The weakness of PERKASA

by Azly Rahman

I have been following with interest, yet again, with the development of a new Malay-centric interest group called Perkasa.

Is its creation a necessity in an age where in the emerging force of change is multiculturalism and the rise of neo-Malays with cosmopolitan and cosmotheandric perspectives ready to abandon ultra-Malayness?The weakness of Perkasa lies in the gradual boredom-ness of its existence, in face of the excitement of radical marhaenism.

Ho hum. That is what all these newer developments in Malay-consciousness is about, as if we have not heard enough calls to protect the rights of the Malays – rights already enshrined in the constitution.

Ho hum. That is an expression of boredom unto all these, when we know that modern crutches and structures of disabilities of the Malay culture – ultra-nationalistic Youth parties, Biro Tata Negara, cow-head protesters and a myriad others – are still used to make the Malays scared of their own shadow.

Ho hum, when we are presented with the boring story of yet another organisation whose goal is to promote the philosophy of ‘we versus them’ in a country mystified with the slogan ‘1Malaysia’; of being and becoming one in a metaphysical world of blue ocean strategies of shark-eat-shark.
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization

By Bakri Musa

Introduction and Overview

A Father’s Query

Growing up in colonial Malaya, my father insisted that his children attend English schools. This was surprising as my parents were Malay school teachers and the country was then in the grip of intense nationalistic fervor, anticipating independence. Malay teachers were at the vanguard of this movement, specifically in UMNO.

In his later years my father would confide to me his reasons. He wanted us, his children, to learn the ways and secrets of the English, and to discover what it was that made them so successful that they could control an empire. What was it about Britain, he wondered, an island half the size of Sumatra that it could produce a race that would control a vast portion of the globe? Why was it that the British who colonized Malaysia and not Malays over Britain?

My father was not the first to ponder such matters.

The American biologist Jared Diamond in his Pulitzer prize-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, recounted his experience with a tribal chief in Papua New Guinea at the end of the Second World War. At that time the Allied forces were regularly dropping supplies and other “goodies” to the troops and natives on the island. These cargo drops were much anticipated. To the Stone Age natives, these precious gifts were literally falling from heaven.
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