Archive for February, 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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Najib should ask Umno media like Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and government tv and radio channels to give him a chance to prove that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked the Chinese community in Malaysia to give the Barisan Nasional government a chance to prove itself when he went to the national Chinese New Year celebrations in Pandamaran New Village in Klang yesterday (Malaysian Insider).

Najib should ask Umno media like Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and government television and radio channels to give him a chance to prove that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians by stop playing the race and religion cards like their current campaign against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Is Najib unaware that not only the Chinese in Penang and Malaysia, but all other Malaysians whether Malays, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans in the country are following with disgust the irresponsible politics of race and religion being daily perpetrated by Umno-controlled media against the Pakatan Rakyat Penang State government and Penang Chief Minister?

Everyone can only reach one conclusion, that Najib is not serious and fully committed to the 1Malaysia slogan and concept or he would not have allowed the Umno media to continue on such a rampage in exploiting the race and religious cards in Penang!

It is no exaggeration to say that the biggest enemies of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept come from within Umno and Barisan Nasional and not without.
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Anwar Ibrahim is the cause celebre in the court of world opinion

By Dr Chen Man Hin

Ever since Sodomy 2 trial began, the name of Anwar Ibrahim has rocketed in the major newspapers spanning the globe from east to west and north to south.

In Jakarta, Bangkok, Hong Kkong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Sydney, Washington, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, New Delhi, there was universal protest that Anwar should be tried once again on trumped up charges of sodomy.

The editorials in Bangkok Post, New York Times, Washington Post, Asian Wall Street Journal were replete with derision, mockery and scorn that a prominent opposition leader could be arraigned before the court on trumped up sodomy for a second time.

In 1998, Anwar was tried and jailed for six years on trumped up charges of sodomy. He was later exonerated from the false charges. The international community is therefore shocked with disbelief that the Malaysian Government is trying the same trick again.

They are aware that Anwar is a very strong contender to be Prime Minister. He is leader of a strong opposition coalition PAKATAN which won five states in the 2008 general elections.
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Time for a Malay Counter-Movement?

By Suflan Shamsuddin | The Malaysian Insider

FEB 21 – With the ever-increasing profile of racially divisive rhetoric spun to purportedly protect the interest of Malays, shouldn’t the alternative point of view be made equally forcefully, by way of an effective and organised Malay counter-movement?

Although right-wing Malay NGOs would like you to believe that Malays are united behind the notion of Ketuanan Melayu, there are actually a very large number of us who view this ideology as being immoral and unIslamic, and therefore unacceptable.

We also believe that it actually serves to weaken our community because it prevents many from developing a sense of personal accountability, it impedes the development of the capacity for critical and informed analysis, and it promotes short cuts and patronage.

In addition, this approach discourages playing by the book, it prevents an understanding of the value of diversity and inclusiveness, and it creates an excuse to avoid becoming competitive and achievement orientated.

Today many Malays share a concern with other Malaysians that even though time-limited means tested affirmative action programmes have value, perpetual handouts and special privileges are like drugs.
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Muhyiddin is among the most unqualified persons in the Najib Cabinet to talk about the doctrine of separation of powers

I never thought that a day would come when Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could prate about the doctrine of separation of powers.

Who is he to suggest that I am confused and do not understand separation of powers for asking for an emergency Parliamentary meeting on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy2 charges.

This is because Muhyiddin is among the most unqualified persons in the Najib Cabinet to talk about the doctrine of separation of powers.

The doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary suffered the worst erosion and emasculation, subversion and sabotage since the “mother of all judicial crisis” in 1988 when the then Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and Supreme Court judges were sacked for not complying with the whims and fancies of the then Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

If Muhyiddin had any doubts about the perversion and subversion of the doctrine of separation of powers in the past two decades, he need only ask his Cabinet colleague, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim who had written a doctoral thesis on the subject – although Rais had recanted his views to get back to the Cabinet.
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Just commission public opinion poll and Najib will know whether majority of Malaysians buy his claim that Anwar’s Sodomy 2 trial is “a personal, not political trial”

In rejecting my call for an emergency meeting of Parliament on Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy2 trial, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak does protest too much.

Najib said the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy2 trial does not warrant a special sitting of Parliament as it is a private matter between two individuals, that it does not involve government policy and not a matter of national interest.

I challenge Najib to commission a public opinion poll and the Prime Minister will know whether the majority of Malaysians buy his claim that the Anwar Sodomy2 trial is “a personal, not political trial”.

Extend the opinion poll to all keen observers of Malaysian affairs world-wide and there can be no doubt that the overwhelming majority of opinion – whether national or international – will be of the view that the Anwar Sodomy2 trial is a political, not personal, trial!

Najib can entrust the Minister for KPI and 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon with the responsibility to commission such national and international opinion polls, and I have no doubt of their outcomes.
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On “Singapore Maths” and world-class education

By Azly Rahman

The article below, from The Seattle Times and which was linked to the online publication of the National Educational Association (NEA) should be of interest to Malaysian educators teaching Mathematics.

Costructivism as a paradigm of teaching and learning has been around for quite some time and infused in many a school in the advanced countries. Constructivism is drawn from the work of Socrates, Piaget, and Brain Science theorists. It is essentially Deweyian in philosophy as well..

The superiority of the Singapore education system is something the Singaporeans have worked hard to build.

Essentially the Singapore Malays, arguably have learned the meaning of affirmative action and meritocracy well. The idea of “Mendaki” as a means to help the academically underachieving Malays in the city-state is admirable, perceived from an educational standpoint. Born in Alexander Road Singapore and growing up in Johor Bahru, I have always been fascinated by the way the Singaporeans run their city-state. As a teenager , I spend my weekends roaming the streets of Singapore, fascinated by the buildings, the food stalls, the bargain stores, the movie theaters, and how law is enforced.
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PhD student in USM who does not understand English or Malay!

Can you believe it? A PhD student in Universiti Sains Malaysia who cannot understand English or Malay!

What medium of instruction is the student using in USM?

Read the following Bernama report:

Iraqi Doctorate Student Charged With Reckless Driving

NIBONG TEBAL, 19 Feb (Bernama) — An Iraqi, who is taking a doctorate at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), was Friday charged in the Magistrate Court here with reckless driving and causing the death of a student at the university, Fadilah Abdul Halim, 27, last Thursday.

Hamood Sheehab Hamid, 45, is charged with committing the offence at the traffic light exit to USM, at Jalan Transkrian about 9.45am.
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“I give up la talking to this government”

What is most damning in Tun Dr. Lim Keng Yaik’s second part of his Edge Financial Daily interview yesterday was not his prediction that “Gerakan has lost Penang for good” or his poor assessment of his successor Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon but his contemptuous dismissal of the Najib Razak premiership when he said: “I give up la talking to this government”.

Coming from one who had headed Gerakan as its President for 27 years and was in Barisan Nasional government for 36 years from 1972 to 2008, serving as Cabinet Minister for a quarter of a century, there can be no more categorical a dismissal of the first year of Najib’s new premiership – despite all the Najib sloganeering about 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme.

It is ironic and tragic that since January 1 this year, Najib’s 1Malaysis slogan and concept had suffered one blow after another, rubbished by none other than by his own people in Umno and government, the most recent example being the vicious and irresponsible exploitation of the race and religion card by Umno leaders and Umno-controlled media like Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian to falsely paint the Penang Pakatan Rakyat state government and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

It is sad that Najib does not realize that in condoning the vicious and irresponsible exploitation of the race and religious card by Umno leaders and Umno-controlled media, it is not just the Pakatan Rakyat Penang State Government and Guan Eng who have been put to the test, Najib and his 1Malaysia slogan and concept are themselves on trial.
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An Unhappy Chinese New Year?

By Martin Jalleh

A Chinese new year has dawned. The PM declares that Malaysian Chinese should be more daring to help build a more dynamic 1Malaysia. Such a dramatic invitation by Najib is made against the dark and depressing background of jarring discordant voices by Umnoputras which the drums and deafening firecrackers fail to drown out and exorcise.

We hear the disturbing insult of all the Ahmad Ismails labelling the Malaysian Chinese “immigrants” and “squatters” and adding that they have no right to equal treatment with the Umnoputras – who just happened to migrate here a little earlier than the rest of us.

We hear the deranged Nasir Safars spitting on us in 1Malaysia seminars with their vile claim that our mothers and grandmothers came here to sell their bodies, whilst never mentioning how the Umnoputras sell their principles, souls and even the country away.

We hear the devious speeches of Umno “intellectuals” in the Biro Tatanegara such as the ridiculous claim of a Chinese conspiracy with Singapore, when the Malays are disunited, to topple the Malay government, when very obviously the BTN courses are meant “to promote certain government leaders” (Nazri Aziz) and to protect, perpetuate and preserve their political power!
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Gerakan has lost Penang for good, says Keng Yaik

The Edge Financial Daily
Thursday, 18 February 2010 11:12

In the first part of our interview with Gerakan adviser Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik yesterday, he spoke about the problems plaguing both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalitions. What of his own party?

Lim expressed concern over whether his anointed successor, current Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, can take the party out of its decline.

Although the veteran politician said Koh was the best he had in terms of intellectual capacity and integrity, he feels that Koh is unable to make politically difficult decisions and provide leadership.

He thinks that Gerakan would need to go back to its core ideology based on a multiracial approach before it can pick itself up again.

Lim, who headed Gerakan for 27 years, believes that Gerakan has lost Penang for good.

“Should it (regain Penang)? No! We missed our chance. In cricket, they say you had a good innings and 39 years is a long and good one. What more do we want?” said Lim in his office in Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya recently.
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No action on Lim, Nizar

Police find no element of sedition in their comments on Federal Court ruling
G. PRAKASH | Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA: Police will not take any action against DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin for criticising the Federal Court’s decision on the legitimacy of the dismissal of the Pakatan Rakyat State government in February last year and the installation of the Barisan
Nasional government.

A police report lodged against the two on Feb 11 by a retired Royal Malay Regiment officer in Kuala Muda, Kedah, had been transferred to Putrajaya for further action.

Putrajaya district police chief Supt Abdul Razak Abd Majid told The Malay Mail the decision was made after going through the report.

“No further action will be taken as we found no element of sedition as alleged in the report,” he said.

He said only one police report was lodged against the two Opposition leaders for their alleged statements reported in a Malay daily and several online news portals.
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Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid should give comprehensive ministerial statement on the scandal of the two missing jet engines when Parliament meets on March 16

It will be not be easy to pick the five top topics which dominated conversations and discussions among Malaysians during the Golden Tiger Chinese New Year celebrations as there are so many issues contending for a place among the top spots.

Undoubtedly, those contending for placing among the top five topics would include the following:

  • The scandal of the two missing jet engines which disappeared all the way to Uruguay;

  • The multi-billion ringgit submarine that cannot dive;

  • The RM2 million cash seized from the apartment of a political secretary to a Cabinet Minister;

  • The continuing mystery of the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters last July;

  • Sodomy 2 trial of Parliamentary Opposition Leader and Prime Minister-in-waiting, giving Malaysia another national and international “black eye”;

  • The Federal Court 5-0 decision upholding the undemocratic Umno grab of power from Pakatan rakyat and coup de’tat of Perak State government in February last year;

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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #2

Introduction and Overview

I write because I have something to say, one person speaking to many.
—Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Celebrated Indonesian writer banished by Suharto.

In writing, I am mindful of the lesson imprinted on me during my freshman English class. That is, what is the author trying to say, and has he or she said it well. It is for readers to answer the second part of the question, but as to the first, my brief response is as follows.

Throughout the world and at all times there have been differences in the social and cultural development of societies. Today while citizens in the West are enjoying unprecedented wealth and material comfort, many in the Third World are struggling with subsistence living. This book explores why such differences exist, and more importantly, what lessons Malaysians can learn so that our society too can be counted in the future to be among the developed.

My first thesis is that there is much that the West (America specifically) is doing right that is worthy of our emulation. My second is that Malaysians should look upon each other as potential clients, customers, and partners, and not in terms or “us” versus “them,” specifically, Malays versus non-Malays. Thus what is good for one should be good for all. The converse, what is bad for one will inevitably adversely impact the others.
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How can Tsu Koon be a credible Minister in charge of Najib’s 1Malaysia GTP when he dare not speak out against the vicious Umno campaign?

This Chinese New Year is a most unusual Chinese New Year.

As I have pointed out, probably in no other Chinese New Year since Merdeka has there been such a blizzard of conversational topics and talking points, from the two missing jet engines disappearing all the way to Uruguay; a multi-billion ringgit submarine that cannot dive; the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal still awaiting the prosecution of “big fishes”; Friday’s continued inquest into the mysterious death of Teoh Beng Hock and the question every Malaysian is asking, “who killed the DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock who went willingly to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters on July 15, 2009 and came out as a corpse the next day” and the continued trial and tribulations of Anwar Ibrahim – with the Court of Appeal decision this afternoon on DAP National Chairman and Anwar’s defence lead counsel Karpal Singh’s application to review its judgment and to strike off the Sodomy2 charges against Anwar and the decision tomorrow of the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah to recuse himself from hearing the Anwar Sodomy 2 trial for bias.

I will not be at the Court of Appeal decision at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya this afternoon but will be in the Kuala Lumpur High Court tomorrow.

But there is another reason why this year’s Chinese New Year is the most unusual in the nation’s history since Merdeka 53 years ago – the manner the Prime Minister’s Chinese New Year Message is openly undermined and torn to pieces by his own Ministers and political machinery.
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Why top Defence Ministry officials, including Defence Ministers, did not know for 18 months that the two missing F5E jet engines cost RM300,000 and not RM50 million each?

There are many questions about the scandal of the two missing F5E jet engines, which had made Malaysia the international laughing-stock.

The first question I want to ask when Parliament meets on March 15 is why top Defence Ministry officials, including the Defence Ministers – Datuk Ahmad Zahid the incumbent and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was Defence Minister when the theft took place in December 2007 – did not know for 18 months that the two missing jet engines cost RM300,000 and not RM50 million each.

Who was the first to say that the missing jet engine cost RM50 million each? It was Ahmad Zahid when the news about the theft first broke in the media on December 19 last year.

Who was the first to say that the RM50 million figure for the cost of the jet engine was wrong and that it cost only RM303,570? Again, it was Ahmad Zahid, in the press on January 8, 2010 – a day after two persons were charged in the Petaling Jaya sessions court with the theft of the two F5E jet engines.
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