Archive for September 24th, 2010

Malaysia stumbling

Eric Ellis
September 23, 2010

ONE of Australia’s key partners in Asia is struggling. Given the way its leaders have taunted Australia over the years, schadenfreude at its plight would be understandable. But this should be resisted, for if Malaysia stumbles, the effects may ripple across the region.

Erstwhile sponsor of the Carlton Football Club, a cash cow for the Australian education sector, Australia’s 10th largest trading partner and a champion of ”Asian values” – whatever they are – Malaysia seems to be brimming with sky-is-falling Chicken Littles. And their analyses are alarmist; ”failed state”, ”deep pit”, ”national decay”, ”ocean-going corruption”, ”useless mega-projects”.

While some of these could be used to describe the Delhi Commonwealth Games – a massive undertaking Malaysia successfully pulled off 12 years ago by the way – it is about a country oft-regarded as an Asian success, whose rampant economy inspired a cockiness among its leaders to take racially tinged potshots at the ”decadent and immoral” West, and at Australia in particular.

And then there was the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to demonise, indeed anyone its mercurial then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad didn’t like on any given day. And there was 23 years of it, the Mahathir monopoly on Malaysian power.

So what’s prompted such painful hand-wringing from a tigerish economy that likes to boast how it ditched traditional models to virtually promise endless riches? The answer is some of the nastiest foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics an Asian economy has served up in a generation. Read the rest of this entry »


PR will move urgent motion on 1st day of Parliament Oct 11 if no satisfactory action taken against two school principals who made racist slurs against students in schools

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has again rubbished Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” when he made the startling statement yesterday that he is completely powerless to act against the two school principals, one in Johore and the other in Kedah, who had made racist slurs against students in their schools.

The previous occasion when Muhyuiddin rubbished Najib’s “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” concept was when the Deputy Prime Minister declared that he is “Malay first, Malaysian second” – diametrically contrary to the 1Malaysia objective to create a Malaysia where every Malaysian would regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race second.

Muhyiddin’s latest gaffe was made at the opening of the Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific regional seminar on the Criminalisation of Bribery in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, substituting for Najib who has left for New York to address the 65th United Nations General Assembly.

Malaysians wonder whether Muhyiddin would declare that he is “Malay first Malaysian second” or “Malaysian first Malay second” when his turn comes to address the UN General Assembly in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »


Democracy only works when people claim it as their own

People first, democracy now!

By P Ramakrishnan

In a democracy worth its name, it’s the people who come first. The government exists for them and not the other way around as is happening now. We are made to believe that the people are there to do the government’s bidding. The government actually tells you that.

You vote for my man on Sunday, you will get a cheque on Monday. That’s what they told the voters in Ulu Selangor. In Sibu they told the voters, “You elect my man, I will pay for the flood mitigation project” – otherwise you can drown in the flood for all I care!

In other words, you will be rewarded if you serve the ruler; otherwise you will be punished. They don’t govern the country any more – they rule over you; they lord over you.

Is this what democracy is all about? Read the rest of this entry »


The MCA number game backfires

by Thomas Lee
My Sinchew

The revelation that the senior private secretary of ex-Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has asked for the vehicle registration numbers MCA 1 to MCA 9999 in Malacca be reserved for MCA members is clearly a reflection of the high-handed manner a small-time political administrator in the Barisan Nasional abused his little derived authority.

Current Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha has confirmed that such a request was contained in a memorandum dated 17 Feruary 2010 and addressed to Road Transport Department (RTD) director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan.

Tee Keat has denied that he had endorsed the memorandum written to the RTD director-general by his private secretary, saying that “I still remember, among the things that came to my attention which I rejected included this memorandum, although I had returned to duty in March after some health problems.”

Kong, meanwhile, said that the instruction would be rescinded.

“Nobody can reserve any number for the MCA. It is part of the sequence of the way that the RTD issues the registration number and according to the state,” he said.

This ignominious and scandalous incident is certainly more serious and shameful than that of the so-called Support Letters Scandal in Selangor, in which swift and harsh action was taken against the errant municipal councillor by the state government and the DAP. Read the rest of this entry »