Archive for August 12th, 2010

Najib should give his personal attention to stamp out the unhealthy and disturbing trend towards very ugly, intolerant and vicious politicking illustrated by M16 bullet threat to Tony Pua

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should give his personal attention to stamp out the unhealthy and disturbing trend towards very ugly, intolerant and vicious politicking illustrated by the M16 bullet threat to DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua yesterday.

Pua received a live 5.56mm bullet used in M-16s with a threatening note posted from Tangkak, Johor mailed to his service centre in Damansara Utama yesterday.

The note threatened: “Tony Pua Kiam Wee. You are so brave? What do you want now? You better watch out.

“We know about your family, your house, your office, your car.”

Pua believes that the threat was probably related to his recent proposal to the Selangor government to slash Bumiputera discounts for luxury homes and commercial property in the state to improve competitiveness and restore investor confidence while retaining the seven per cent discounts enjoyed by Malays and other Bumiputeras for homes below RM500,000.
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Escaping the middle-income trap

by Michael Schuman | Time
August 10, 2010

I returned a few days ago from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, where the talk of the town – well, at least among economists — is the “middle-income trap.” What’s that, you ask? A developing nation gets “trapped” when it reaches a certain, relatively comfortable level of income but can’t seem to take that next big jump into the true big leagues of the world economy, with per capita wealth to match. Every go-go economy in Asia has confronted this “trap,” or is dealing with it now. Breaking out of it, however, is extremely difficult. The reason is that escaping the “trap” requires an entire overhaul of the economic growth model most often used by emerging economies.

Malaysia’s caught in the “trap” right now, and getting out if is going to be tough. Simply put, Malaysia needs to change what it has been doing economically for the past 40 years. How Malaysia got itself into the “trap,” and how it could escape from it, can provide us with some valuable lessons on development and, more specifically, how developing nations can graduate into becoming fully advanced economies.
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Race card won’t add Umno’s Malay votes, analysts say

By Adib Zalkapli | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — The attacks against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s administration for allegedly discriminating against Malay traders would not work in favour of Umno to harvest more Malay votes, said analysts.

The Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia last week rapped the Penang government with banner headlines “Malays still oppressed”, highlighting claims that the state was preventing Malay traders from setting up Ramadan stalls.

It continued the diatribe yesterday, calling on Malay rights groups in the state to hold weekly demonstrations at the state secretariat, emulating the practice of federal opposition leaders in Kuala Lumpur.

UKM’s Professor Agus Yusoff, however, warned that the party should focus on winning the support of the non-Malays that it lost in Election 2008.
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #27

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 4: Modern Model States

Don’t Cry For Argentina

Argentina, like the rest of Latin America, conjures a certain indelible image. The phrase Banana Republic is both evocative and descriptive: a country dependent on a single commodity. It is banana for Honduras, sugar for Cuba, tin for Bolivia, and meat for Argentina. It also refers to military dictators in their crisp uniforms seizing power every now and then. Indeed such khaki attires are now chic, a trademark of the Banana Republic brand. Alas, these caricatures are all close to the truth.

There have been many ready explanations for Latin America’s social and political instabilities. These range from cultural, racial, religious, and even geographical. The famous Latin temper seems a reasonable enough explanation. Then there is the entrenched role of the Catholic Church. The cultural explanation, once favored, is now being resurrected. After all it was the “laid back” Southern Europeans rather than the presumably more “cultured” Anglo Saxons who colonized Latin America.
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Bumbling in desperation – and where’s the dignity?

By Mariam Mokhtar
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 14:05

OPINION Teoh Beng Hock’s death was an undignified one. He was found dead on the rooftop of a building adjacent to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) offices after an overnight interrogation to answer corruption allegations involving his boss.

Teoh’s family maintain that he was murdered, but the MACC contend that he took his own life.

Even after burial, Teoh Beng Hock had an undignified eternal rest. His body was exhumed for a second examination by a team of pathologists.

Disagreements about how he died plagued the inquest. The expert Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand, who appeared for Teoh’s family, was positive there was an 80% chance of homicide. Pathologists acting on behalf of the government claim that his injuries were consistent with a fall from a great height.
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