Archive for August 8th, 2010

Are you at home, minister?

By Kee Thuan Chye

COMMENT Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said this at the press conference in 2009 in which he defended the cow-head protesters: “In this day and age, protests should be accepted in this world, as people want their voices to be heard. If we don’t give them room to voice their opinions, they have no choice but to protest.” He should of course be held accountable for this statement.

Why then did the police clamp down so hard on the people taking part in the anti-ISA candlelight vigil on Aug 1? Why did Hishammuddin not come out to advise the police that this voicing of the people’s opinions was acceptable and room should be given for it?

Why was he so understanding towards the cow-head protestors – who were potentially more threatening to national security because they displayed violence against a sacred icon of the Hindus – and so intolerant of the people participating in a peaceful demonstration, some of whom were reportedly singing the national anthem when the police moved in on them?
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How graft, racial-religious politicking killed Malaysia’s economy

By Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

In 2019, Malaysia would be 62 years old. If that is all it takes – just 62 years – for a nation to go bankrupt, then it only shows how grossly mismanaged the country has been.

Of the six prime ministers who have led Malaysia since 1957, the leader who must take the greatest blame for the sorry state the economy is now in is Mahathir Mohamad, whose 22-year rule alone accounts for nearly half of the nation’s post-independence history.

Thanks to his chase for mega projects, political opportunists and cronies were able to benefit from massive overpricing in almost all of the major deals that framed his career. From the North-South Expressway to Perwaja Steel, 1st Silicon to Proton, Bakun Dam to PKFZ, few of his projects have not ended up requiring some form of bailout from taxpayers at one time or another.

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The consequences of sleeping with the enemy

by Mariam Mokhtar

MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek’s comments about both Umno and PAS using religion to dominate the Malays and influence their vote, is a bit too little, too late. For decades, he, like previous MCA leaders, pandered to the wishes of Umno. Now that PAS has teamed up with DAP and PKR to become a credible opposition party, it is Dr. Chua who must contemplate his standing in his community and evaluate the worth of his party’s friendship with Umno.

Dr. Chua’s hypocritical attack on PAS is ill-judged and offensive. PAS have always been consistent in its Islamic roots but when it morphed into a modern Islamist party, it created panic in Umno.

He should direct his vitriol at Umno only, for it jumped onto the religious bandwagon, to appear more conservative than PAS so as to lure Malay voters.

Perhaps it is Dr. Chua who has been caught on the hop, just as in his previous indiscretion?

Dr. Chua urged the Chinese community to think about the impact if PAS were to rule at the federal level. He said, “Do not be too optimistic that if PAS comes to power, the country will be free from corruption and other problems”.

This is a bit rich coming from him. Is this an attempt to suck up to Prime Minister Najib, to Umno or to his own party and community? Was he as voluble complaining about the excesses, in previous years? Read the rest of this entry »