Archive for August 24th, 2010

There must be some degree of decency in politics

by P Ramakrishnan
24th August 2010

There must be some degree of decency in politics.

Why are the police taking such a long time to complete their investigation into the serious allegation that the name of His Majesty, the Yang di Pertuan Agong, had been substituted with the name of the Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, during the Friday sermon in certain mosques?

That is the question that is bothering Penangites.

This allegation has the potential to disrupt the harmony and unity that we enjoy in Penang. This controversy has been deliberately hatched to create political turmoil and destroy our peace. It can have terrible repercussions that will affect the existing goodwill among the various communities.

When there is so much to lose, why is there no urgency to bring the mischief-makers to book immediately? What is causing the delay and what is the problem facing the police? Read the rest of this entry »


Penang’s Special Area Plan

by Thomas Lee

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has invited the public to help provide input, meaning ideas and suggestions, to the state government as it seeks to prepare a special area plan (SAP) for Georgetown, a requirement as a world heritage site under Unesco

Guan Eng said the feedback from Penangites was important as they are the biggest stakeholders as residents of Georgetown, which was listed as world heritage site in 2008.

The SAP provides for the protection of the heritage sites and would be prepared by Putrajaya according to Section 16(B) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976. The plan covers an area of 259.42 hectares within the city of Georgetown, and must be submitted to Unesco on or before 1 February 2011.

The massive area has more than 1,700 historic buildings in hundreds of sites, representing the different stages in the historic development of Penang.

In view of the extensive and expansive scope of the whole SAP, with wide-ranging socio-economical implications, it is obvious that the state government would not be able to go it alone in this undertaking. Certainly, the private corporate sector and concerned individual residents of Penang must be enlisted to participate and be involved to make it a resounding success.

I suggest that the state government should consider embarking on the SAP with a new strategic preservation, maintenance and development schema involving a sort of decentralized pursuance of the SAP based a tripartite set-up involving the state, the residents of the particular site, and a private development company. Read the rest of this entry »


What’s next for Malaysia?

By Karim Raslan
The Star
Tuesday August 24, 2010

All societies need change and countries that don’t change or can’t change remain ossified and stagnant.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a lunch for a Malaysian politician and an Indonesian businessman.

The politician and I were struck by the tycoon’s steadfast support of his nation’s democratic traditions.

He stressed that he would not be where he was now had it not been for Reformasi and the turbulence of 1998.

Indeed he made a powerful argument that his country wouldn’t be powering ahead were it not for the transformation that took place after Soeharto’s ouster.

Interestingly, I think most Malaysian businessmen, including those dependent on government contracts, would agree with my Indonesian friend.

All societies need change and countries that don’t change or can’t change remain ossified and stagnant. Read the rest of this entry »


Last Cabinet meeting before National Day on August 31…

Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting is the last before National Day on August 31 and its greatest challenge is to demonstrate it has the “political will and leadership to break the logjam of resistance by vested interest groups” to kickstart and stay the course of the NEM (New Economic Model) transformation process.

There can be no more useful thing for the Cabinet Ministers to do tomorrow than to revisit the New Economic Model unveiled by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on March 30 and the dire warnings that Malaysia is “on a burning platform” and that “the status quo is not an option” as it will only put Malaysia at risk of being overtaken by other countries, just as we had overtaken others in the past.

The Cabinet should in particular revisit the frank and brutal admission by the NEM of the crucial and critical role of “unwavering political will and leadership” to break the logjam of resistance by vested interest groups and short-sighted factions and to “stay the course” when resistance is encountered.
Read the rest of this entry »