Archive for July, 2010

Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #24

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 4: Modern Model States

The Asian Miracle – South Korea (Con’td)

The Koreans were diligent learners; they bested the Japanese. The hard-working Japanese looked lazy in comparison to the maniacal Koreans, so complete and successful the emulation.

The headlong rush towards industrialization carried a heavy social toll. With resources diverted towards heavy industries and the military, precious little was left for social development. Housing prices hit the roof and prices of common consumer goods spiraled up. These social problems were compounded by Parks’ increasingly authoritarian rule and the menacing activities of his Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that seemed to have learned only too well from the excesses of its American counterpart. Legitimate students’ and workers’ protests were brutally suppressed, turning their victims into martyrs.
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Chief Secretary Sidek himself guilty of being “excessive” in taking sides instead of reprimanding Nik Ali for doubly violating civil service code

It was only on Tuesday that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that there is no place for little Napoleons in the public service who do not understand the importance of innovation if the Government Transformation Programme is to succeed.

It is regrettable however that when Little Napoleons rear their ugly heads, they are given full defence and support instead of being reprimanded and put in their proper place.

The latest example of support for Little Napoleons instead of smacking them down is the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan’s defence of the Penang State Development Officer Nik Ali Nik Yunus for the latter’s attack on the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng. Sidek said Guan Eng’s allegations against Nik Ali was “excessive”.

It is Sidek who is guilty of being “excessive” in taking sides instead of reprimanding Nik Ali for doubly violating the civil service code of being strictly non-partisan, non-political and civil by appearing at an UMNO press conference to attack the Penang Chief Minister as “biadap” (insolent or uncivilized) and “dayus” (coward).

What is most shocking is that no Cabinet Minister appeared outraged and all seemed to have sanctioned the “Little Napoleonic” conduct of Nik Ali.
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Let’s make Malaysia Boleh a reality

By Lim Mun Fah | The Malaysian Insider

I was away from the country when the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) was unveiled. On my return, I took some time to study the document.

At the first look, the 10MP seems like an excellently packaged master plan with an ambitious magnificent vision for the nation.

An in-depth study of the documents, however, uncovered some fundamental flaws, the most glaring, perhaps, is the conspicuous retention and reiteration of certain racially exclusive policies and programmes.

Another unfortunate weakness is surely the lack of a determined and expeditious practical attempt to liberalise and promote a more open education environment, particularly for Chinese education.

The proposed move to gradually end the overseas scholarship scheme is a regrettable myopic policy, lacking foresight and pragmatic insight.
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Make public the specific proposals made by the Sabah Chief Minister’s Department Laboratory on the Management of Illegal Immigrants in Sabah

New Straits Times today front-paged its exclusive story of 55 proposals by various government agencies in a laboratory to combat terrorism and reduce the high number of illegal immigrants in the country.

These 55 proposals are to tabled at the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when it meets on August 2.

What has happened to the earlier Laboratory on the Management of Illegal Immigrants in Sabah formed under the Sabah Chief Minister’s Department a few months ago, which is to come up with a new strategy and specific proposals to end the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah?

Sabah faces the worst problem of influx of illegal immigrants, causing the state’s population to explode from some 400,000 during the formation of Malaysia in 1963 to three to four million today – with over half of the population believed to be foreigners.
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A gross violation of the civil service code

By Thomas Lee Seng Hock | Mysinchew

The current spat between Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the state development officer Nik Ali Mat Yunus highlights a fundamental flaw in the Malaysian civil service.

In the democratic system of government, of which Malaysia professes to practise, the civil service is a politically non-partisan and neutral body, with all its officers supposed to function and operate impartially in the implementations of the policies, programmes, and projects of the elected government.

Article 132 of the Federal Constitution states that federal civil servants hold office at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and state civil servants at the pleasure of the respective Sultan. Which means that the civil servants are not beholden to any political party but to His Majesty’s government of the day. His Majestic is above politics, and so must all those civil servants appointed under his royal command and name.
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Malaysia’s Bridge is Falling Down

By Thor Halvorssen and Alex Gladstein | The Huffington Post

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–The farcical trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim resumes this week in Kuala Lumpur. This is the second time that the country’s ruling establishment has tried to destroy Anwar’s career with trumped-up allegations of sodomy. It succeeded 12 years ago, when he was imprisoned for six years on similar charges. Now Anwar faces up to 20 years in jail and whipping if convicted.

Controlled by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) since independence and now led by the increasingly autocratic Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Malaysian government knows Anwar is the only viable threat to its half-century of rule. Anwar became a risk to the government as deputy prime minister in 1998 when he began attacking corruption and calling for reform. Ultimately he became leader of the opposition.

Najib’s UMNO is trying to jail Anwar again in hopes of crushing his People’s Justice Party (PKR). A secular Muslim party, PKR leads a diverse political coalition with ethnic Chinese and Islamist partners. If Anwar is neutralized, this opposition movement would be paralyzed.
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The Prime Minister and the Cabinet tomorrow must censure Nik Ali for crossing the line as a model civil servant in calling Penang Chief Minister “biadap” at an Umno press conference

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Cabinet at their meeting tomorrow must censure the Penang State Development Officer of the Federal Government, Nik Ali Mat Yunus for crossing the line as a model civil servant in calling the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng as “biadap” at an Umno press conference in Penang yesterday.

In disregarding the vital distinctions between party and state, and hitting out at the Penang Chief Minister at a Penang Umno press conference, Nik Ali was acting as if he was an Umno operative if not the Chief Umno Plenipotentiary in Penang, forgetting that he is first and foremost a civil servant albeit the top Federal government officer in the state who must fully co-operate with the State Government for the welfare of the state and its people.

In showing disrespect for the Penang Chief Minister, Nik Ali is showing utter contempt for the democratic process, right and decision of the people of Penang to elect the government and Chief Minister of their choice.
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Can Najib guarantee safety of ex-RMAF sergeant Thamendran while awaiting trial of theft of two jet-fighter engines?

It is another international infamy for Malaysia that former RMAF sergeant N. Tharmendran, 42, feels comparatively safer in Sungai Buloh prison while he awaits trial for the theft of two jet-fighter engines than to be out of jail.

It was only 11 days ago he was freed when he and his family successfully waged a six-month battle to reduce his RM150,000 bail to RM50,000.

It is a terrible indictment on the system of governance in Malaysia that a person should feel safer in prison custody than to be out as a free man, for fear of being abducted and tortured again by military intelligence officers, as Tharmendran had alleged that he had been previously detained and tortured by military intelligence for three weeks and the “favourite torture” was to make him wear a crash helmet where he was repeatedly hit as hard as possible.

Thamendran’s personal safety and welfare while he awaits trial for theft of two jet-fighter engines has again put national and international focus on “institutional degradation” which the New Economic Model had identified as one of the causes of Malaysia’s economic stagnation and “declining growth trajectory”.
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War of words

20 July 2010

GEORGE TOWN: Simmering tensions boiled over yesterday when Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the federal-appointed State Development Officer (SDO), who oversees the channelling of all federal allocations for projects in Penang, traded verbal blows at separate press conferences.

Lim accused Nik Ali Mat Yunus (pic) of “openly and blatantly” sabotaging the state government, while the latter, in an outburst uncharacteristic of a civil servant, called Lim biadap (uncivilised) and said he had no right to question his qualification and competency for the job.

“He (Nik Ali) is like a little Napoleon in the civil service who gets high pay and does nothing for the people, but instead causes losses to them,” Lim said during a visit to the Botanic Gardens. He asked who should be held responsible for the RM150,000 plus losses over the scheduled demolition of controversial twin arches, one of which is tilting, that were built only recently for the gardens’ expansion project by the Tourism Ministry.
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The Colour of Scholarships

By Azira Aziz

Considering the function of academic scholarships and thereto just who should be entitled to scholarships.

When Najib proposed to open scholarship opportunities to all top scorers, particularly 9A’s and above, I saluted the move and thought nothing more of the matter. A politician buckling to popular tit-bits is nothing new and at least he’s heading in the right direction. However, it irked me as the usual Malay-rights groups, the Perkasa-led Malay Consultative Council (MPM) responded to it with “constructive” criticisms, claiming that it should reflect 67% composition of the Malay community in Malaysia.

My response to this is this: firstly, Professor Datuk Dr Kamarudin Kachar, not all 67% are Malaysian Malays. Some of them are actually assimilated Indonesians whose parents holds red MyKads. Many Malaysians are denied opportunities on the fallacy that they are of the wrong ethnicity and that they are less likely to be “loyal” to Malaysia. Instead, as long as you are a “Malay,” “imported” or not, you are entitled to a scholarship, and admittance to heavily subsidised boarding schools.
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What Anwar’s Trial Means For Malaysia


The trial of Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader and his nation’s best-known and most respected international figure, is scheduled to resume this week in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian press dubs the affair “Sodomy II,” for it appears to be a repeat of the Muslim democrat’s 1998-99 trials, when he was convicted on corruption and sexual charges. Sentenced to 15 years in prison, Mr. Anwar later had his conviction overturned, and he was released after six years in solitary confinement.

I was the U.S. ambassador to Malaysia when Mr. Anwar first was arrested and put on trial, and everything I knew then and know now leads me to conclude that this trial also is an attempt to sideline him politically.

Already convicted by the government-controlled media, Mr. Anwar and his defense team have been denied access to the evidence that the government possesses, including police and medical reports, surveillance tapes, and even the witness list. Malaysia does not have a jury system. The verdict will be rendered by one judge, appointed by the same government that wants to remove Mr. Anwar from the political scene.
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Umno’s indecent proposal a facade to cling on to power — Penyair Purba

By Penyair Purba | The Malaysian Insider

JULY 19 — The recent development in our highly politically-minded nation (since Tsunami March 8, 2008) would be the brouhaha over the unity of the Malays through the merger between Umno and PAS. Based on the official source, both parties have a substantial number of members in the country, with the PAS membership believed to be more than a million, second only to none other than Umno.

It is undoubtedly clear to all and sundry that this marriage proposal came as a result of the previous general election which saw the ruling coalition (BN) lose five states, not to mention Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital. BN later regained Perak after the infamous coup which brought down the government led by ousted Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin. BN’s loss can be attributed to the non-Malay support for the DAP and PKR, with substantial number of them also voting for PAS candidates, as can be seen by the victory of PAS’s Dr Mariah in the Kota Raja constituency in which Malay voters make up only about 52 per cent of the electorate.
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Another international infamy for Malaysia

Another international infamy for Malaysia Ex-airman back to jail after losing protection bid
07/19/2010 06:31 PM

Where othr civilized countries a person safer in prison than outside? No protection order, so ex-airman chooses jail
07/19/2010 06:38 PM


Ex-airman back to jail after losing protection bid
By Boo Su-Lyn | The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, July 19 — Former air force sergeant N. Tharmendran is returning to prison today after losing his bid for a court protection order against Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) officers he claims intend to abduct him.
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Sarawak Pakatan pledges straight fights with BN

By Adib Zalkapli | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — The Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties have pledged to ensure straight fights with Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming state election, which must be called by July next year.

The fragile coalition of four parties — DAP, PAS, PKR and local opposition party SNAP — made the decision at the inaugural meeting of its leadership council last night.

Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng told The Malaysian Insider that the state PR is also aiming to take over the government led by Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has been in power for almost three decades.

“The leadership council also decided to topple BN in the state election, so we are aiming for at least 50 per cent of the seats,” said Wong.

“At the very least we must deny the two-thirds majority,” he added.
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Najib’s Ill-Disciplined Leadership

By M. Bakri Musa

Prime Minister Najib continues his predecessor’s practice of monthly departmental assemblies where he addresses his staff in the manner of a headmaster to his school children. His latest session on Monday, July 5th had him exhorting them to create “an ecosystem [to] recognize top performers.”

You can tell much about a person by the way he behaves in familiar surroundings. Likewise, a leader reveals his true persona when he is in the comfortable presence of his followers. By that measure, Najib’s performance at his monthly departmental gatherings exposes his ill-disciplined leadership.

His delivery was hardly smooth. There were awkward pauses, inarticulate bellowing of his voice, and irritating gesturing with his hands, all to feign emphasis and profundity. While the occasion was flashy, grand and elaborately planned, his speech betrayed his lack of preparation.
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Ku Li: General election date depends on Sarawak polls results

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — All eyes are on the upcoming Sarawak state elections as its outcome will determine when the next general elections will be held, according to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The veteran politician believes that a convincing Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the Sarawak state elections, slated to be held before July 2011, will hasten the 13th general elections to within the first few months of 2012.

But if the Sarawak BN state government fails to retain its two-thirds majority, or loses, the general elections will only be held in late 2012.

“If Sarawak BN does well, the next general elections will be held early in 2012. But if the results are unfavourable to BN, whereby it fails to regain a confident two-thirds majority in the state assembly or loses the state, then I think elections will be held late 2012,” Tengku Razaleigh told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview.
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Karpal – Giant in Malaysian law and politics

Tribute for Karpal’s 70th Birthday Special Publication – “Karpal Singh: True Malaysian” dedicated by DAP Malaysia

Karpal cut his teeth paving the way to become the country’s foremost criminal and constitutional lawyer with landmark controversies in the Seventies like the case of 14-year-old boy who was sentenced to death for possession of a pistol and who was finally commuted after an intense national and international campaign; Fan Yew Teng sedition and my Official Secrets Act trials – going on into the Eighties and Nineties as counsel in the landmark public interest litigation suit against the United Engineers (M) Bhd and the Government of Malaysia for improper award of North-South Expressway privatization (“piratisation”); the Mahathir contempt case; the Lim Guan Eng sedition and “false information” trials in defence of an underaged Malay girl and the two sets of Anwar Ibrahim trials divided by a decade.

In his stout and intrepid defence of human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance, Karpal is not just counsel but active participant – which was why he wears the badge of honour as a former Internal Security Act detainee, incarcerated with five other DAP MPs (Lim Guan Eng, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, the late P. Patto, the late V. David, Lau Dak Kee and myself) in Kamunting Detention Centre under the infamous mass ISA “Operation Lalang” dragnet by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad when Prime Minister in October 1987 with 106 people detained under the swoop.

Karpal is himself no stranger to malicious persecution, whether for his conscientious and fearless defence of victims of political prosecutions or for upholding the principles of the Malaysian Constitution and the rule of law in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Teoh Beng Hock in memoriam

Otw 2TeohBengHock anniversary memorial ceramah @KL/Sel Ch AssemblyHall Traffic congestion infernal Almost an hour Section 20 PJ 2KL venue
07/16/2010 07:53 PM

Despite bad jam hall already full 4TBH memorial crmh Ppl flowing in Show depth/intensity public feelings over tragic death despite 1year
07/16/2010 08:16 PM

DAPSY chief/RasahMP AnthonyLoke 1st speaker @DAPSY-org TBH mmrl crmh Most encouraging spontaneous outpouring of public support 4justice 4TBH
07/16/2010 08:29 PM

SelDAP Chmn EYHW speaking Png CM LGE just arr Also MPs Gobind TSG TKW FKL WHL LLE ExcoRonnie Speaker TengCK SAs ThomasSu Jenice Phillip
07/16/2010 08:46 PM
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The Tragedy of Teoh Beng Hock – One Year Later

1 year anniversary of Teoh Beng Hock death

  1. Ceramah in Selangor-KL Chinese Assembly Hall. KL 16 July, 8pm (map)

  2. Candle light vigil at Speakers’ Square in Penang. 16 July, 8.30pm .

  3. On 17/7/2010 (Sat) 9am – Public Memorial Service in front of Beng Hock’s resting place at the Nirvana Memorial Park, Semenyih, Selangor. (map N3 01.970 E101 52.002)


‘Retirement will be the end of me’

By S Rutra | FMT

KUALA LUMPUR: Karpal Singh will be celebrating his 70th birthday tomorrow, and the DAP veteran is not even thinking about retiring from politics. In fact, the renowned lawyer and Bukit Gelugor MP believes that such a notion will literally herald the end for him.

“The day such a thought arises in my mind, that’s it, I might just collapse and that will be the end of me,” he told FMT.

Karpal, who was born on June 28, will be attending a big birthday bash tomorrow in his home state of Penang.

Although a road accident five years ago has left him confined to a wheelchair, the incident, according to Karpal, failed to dent his spirit and mental fortitude.
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