Archive for October, 2010

A PR win in Batu Sapi will signify national change, Kit Siang says

By Melissa Chi
The Malaysian Insider
October 31, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang emphasised today the importance of the Batu Sapi by-elections, claiming that only Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could offer Sabah the dire need of change.

“It will have a large implication… it will be a preview to the federal change of power,” the Ipoh-Timur MP told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.

“What this by-election means, is for the first time the people of Sabah in a by-election will be voting for national change,” the federal lawmaker said, confident that if the opposition coalition wins the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat, chances of winning the next general election will be much higher.

He claimed that it is not possible for a “real change” in Sabah change without a national change in government.
“The significance and implications of this Batu Sapi election, this message can be sent out to the voters. I believe the majority of the voters will see the importance… if Pakatan Rakyat wins, there is a possibility of change. Read the rest of this entry »


From Batu Sapi to Putrajaya

Part 1

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CORRUPTION: The Pass Mark Eludes Malaysia

by Tunku Abdul Aziz

Judged internationally, by almost every performance indicator known to man, Malaysia is a duffer, and that is putting it charitably. Our report card is drowning in a sea of red ink. The 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index just released shows Malaysia scoring 4.4 points at number 56 out of 178 countries surveyed. Many have questioned the methodology used and have gone so far as to suggest developing our own index. But let me just say this. Whatever we may think, the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index enjoys a reputation second to none as the world’s most authoritative index of its kind. A similar sentiment has been expressed about the world’s top universities index. Shoot the bearer of bad news and retreat to hide under our tempurung and croak our lungs out for the entire world to hear about our version of Malaysia’s achievements. We have become a nation of bad losers.

When Datuk Anwar Fazal, Raja Aziz Addruse, Datuk Param Cumaraswamy and other like minded men and women of the highest integrity met in the Royal Commonwealth Society one night many years ago to discuss forming the Malaysian Chapter of Transparency International Malaysia, they had seen enough, and had become greatly concerned at the speed with which corruption in national life had destroyed the moral fabric and consumed the very soul of our people. It was not the easiest of undertakings to operate an anti-corruption non-governmental organisation during Mahathir’s corrupt and repressive regime.
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Umno’s fixation on the 30 percent

by Kee Thuan Chye
Oct 27, 10 8:08am

COMMENT Every time an Umno general assembly rolls into town, the mainstream newspapers will be filled to overflowing with coverage of the event. Pages and pages will be devoted to the speeches and debates as well as photographs of the gathering.

But if you were to dig up your old newspapers of at least the past two or three decades to refer to the reports on the Umno general assemblies, you’d find that the basic issues and the exhortations of the party leaders are virtually the same.

At each assembly, the things that are said appear to be variations on the same themes – the Malays need to work harder and improve themselves; they need to be on guard against external threats; their rights will never be taken away from them; Umno will forever protect the Malays; at the same time, the Malays must understand that they live in a multi-racial society so Umno will also see to the interests of the other races… Read the rest of this entry »


Khairy, Pakatan tell Najib not to ignore anti-tower protest

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
October 29, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — More than 200,000 Malaysians have backed a Facebook protest to stop the proposed construction of the 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower as Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin joined Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders in calling on Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to ignore the protest.

As at 9.15pm tonight, 200,008 out of 8,815,780 Malaysian Facebook users have clicked “Like” on the “1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower” page to signify their opposition to the RM5 billion Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) project.

The page was created anonymously hours after the prime minister announced the proposed new tower during his 2011 Budget speech on October 15.

People have been writing on the Facebook wall almost every minute since and are blaming the Najib administration for promoting grandiose projects, despite the best efforts of the government in denying that any public funds will be used.

“We need a MEGA HELP for the poor not a MEGA TOWER for the rich,” said Facebook user Nizam PerppisLd, illustrating the typical comments which have appeared on the page. Read the rest of this entry »


Oppose Menara Warisan Merdeka: And for that reason, I petitioned…

By Adrian Ang |
October 29, 2010

OCT 29 — For the past 10 years on Malaysia’s Budget Day, I have been glued to the television. I have listened to every detail of the Budget Speeches and this year was no exception. As the Prime Minister began his speech, I waited with much anticipation. What’s to be in store for the development of our country?

But my heart stopped when the Prime Minister announced the development of Menara Warisan Merdeka, a 100-storey tower which will be built between the Merdeka and Negara stadiums. The 19-acre mega development project is said to include a condominium and shopping mall. I couldn’t believe my ears.

It struck me that a massive construction project will soon descend on the vicinity of my alma mater, Victoria Institution (VI). Besides VI, there are also 3 other schools within the vicinity of the development area, namely, Methodist Boys’ School (MBS), SRJK (C) Jalan Davidson and Confucian Private Secondary School. I was dazed for a moment before questions started filling my mind.
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ETP without the NEM cannot achieve a high income economy

by Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life adviser

The ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) without the New Economic Model (NEM) cannot achieve a high income economy for the people of Malaysia

Immediately after the UMNO assembly where the delegates unanimously rejected the NEM proposal to liberalise the economy beginning with the removal of the 30% bumiputra equity. There was alarm that this would mean the end of the NEM which was promoted Najib since he became Prime Minister.

To assuage the fears of investors and the economic and business world, PM Najib quickly assembled a coterie of 10 foreign investors before a gathering of a few thousand people, PM Najib presented them as multi-billion investors who are investing in the country. They were the pioneers of the ETP which is expected to harvest some US$444 billion of projects to propel the economy from a middle income to a high economy status by the year 2020.

This translates to bringing in investments averaging 1,300 billion ringgits a year. The government expects 99% of the money to come from the private sector.
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Umno’s ugly side revealed again

By Jeswan Kaur | Malaysiakini
Oct 27, 10 3:47pm

What has made Umno president Najib Abdul Razak and his band of top officials so insecure as to use the Umno general assembly to harp on Malay rights and privileges?

Last week’s 61st general assembly once again revealed the party’s ugly side as Najib, deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-presidents Shafie Apdal and Hishammuddin Hussein reminded the ‘other races’ not to question the Malay rights and privileges.

In short, all three told non-Malays to leave the federal constitution alone with regard to Article 153, which assures the special privileges of the Malays and the bumiputera of Sabah and Sarawak.

Why does Najib play with public emotions by raising the issue? How dare he make the irresponsible remark that “the Malays had actually made the biggest sacrifice to achieve independence when they were willing to share the ownership of the Tanah Melayu, … their motherland, with the other races”.
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DAP, PKR dismiss ‘secret’ pact to ensure Chinese rule

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — PKR and DAP lawmakers have furiously dismissed the notion of a secret pact between the two allies to ensure Chinese rule should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) capture Putrajaya.

Instead both parties trained their guns on ex-PKR MP Zulkifli Noordin, who made the claim, calling him a liar who was “spinning tall tales” to serve his “political masters” in Barisan Nasional (BN).

The Kulim Bandar-Baharu MP told Parliament yesterday that there was a “secret contract” between PKR and DAP and that even PAS — a PR partner — was unaware of.

“There is no secret pact or deal at all. This is a ridiculous ploy by Zulkifli who only intention is to split up members of Pakatan Rakyat.
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Budget 2011 : Hishammuddin should answer to serious allegations in Mat Zain’s open letter

2011 Budget not a child of New Economic Model but bears all the marks of old discredited Mahathirish policies (Part 5 of 5)

Ex-top cop Mat Zain’s Open Letter is testimony that criminal justice system had further deteriorated after 2005 Dzaiddin Police Royal Commission report

Recently, both the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had made great play about the successful NKRA on crime reduction, claiming that there have been a drastic drop in the crime rate particularly in street crime with improvement of the crime index since January this year.

However, up and down the country, ordinary Malaysians do not feel this dividend of fall of crime index in their daily lives as they do not feel comparatively safer in the streets, public places or privacy of their homes as compared to previous years.

In fact, the continued mushrooming of gated and guarded communities in the country is most eloquent proof of the failure of the police force in the country to discharge its most basic duty, to ensure that Malaysians, visitors, tourists and investors enjoy the two fundamental rights to be free from crime and the fear of crime.
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Budget 2011 : Challenge UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, Sabah, Sarawak Ministers to follow Nazri’s example

2011 Budget not a child of New Economic Model but bears all the marks of old discredited Mahathirish policies (Part 4 of 5)

Najib had himself told Umno that Umno must reform or it will be reformed – that he would execute the New Economic Model or he will be executed!

Najib has found that he biggest enemies of his four critical signature pillars to effect a national transformation come from within – whether 1Malaysia People First Performance Now concept, Government Transformation Programme, New Economic Model and to use the Tenth Malaysia Plan and the annual budgets to operationalise the GTP and ETP.

I commend the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for his courage and conviction in declaring that he is Malaysian first and Malay next, although more than six months after I had thrown the challenge in Parliament to all Ministers whether they have the 1Malaysia DNA and are prepared to declare that they are Malaysians first and their race second, which is the declared objective of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.

I share his disappointment when he said in a recent interview that he was puzzled and regretted why his Cabinet colleagues did not speak out as he did, even the Ministers from MCA.
Let me quote Nazri said in his interview with the Red Tomato publication:
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Budget 2011 : Najib must explain his “crushed bodies, lives lost” “ethnic cleansing” speech in Parliament

2011 Budget not a child of New Economic Model but bears all the marks of old discredited Mahathirish policies (Part 3 of 5)

Any doubts about the lack of political will and leadership of the Najib administration to spearhead political, economic, social and government transformation which must be the pillars for Malaysia’s economic and national salvation are banished by the recent Umno General Assembly and Najib’s Presidential Address and Closing Speech.

What reaction does Najib expect to elicit when he used the language of “crushed bodies, lives lost” for Umno to defend power at any cost in Putrajaya and even talked about “ethnic cleansing”?

How can the Malaysian Chronicle editor Wong Choon Mei be harassed and victitmised of publishing a report using these terms, when this was exactly what Najib said, regardless of the English translation issued by Bernama?

This was what Najib said in his Umno Presidential Address last Thursday:

Walau berkecai tulang dan juga badan, walau bercerai jasad dari nyawa. Saudara dan saudari, walau apa pun yang gerjadi, Putrajaya mesti kita pertahankan!
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Budget 2011: Would Razaleigh’s warning be heeded

2011 Budget not a child of New Economic Model but bears all the marks of old discredited Mahathirish policies (Part 2 of 5)

A veteran leader had warned that “It is time to wake up”.

He said: “Without a doubt, Malaysia is slipping. Billions have been looted from this country, and billions more are being siphoned out of the country as our entire political structure crumbles.”

Warning that corruption is the single biggest threat to the nation, he warned that corruption has become institutionalized in our political system and ruining Malaysia.

Who is this veteran leader? He is the head of the Barisan Nasional by-election in Galas, the MP for Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh.

Will his views about the crisis of nation-building now be heeded? Of course not – just as it is clear that the Prime Minister does not have the political will to implement the New Economic Model (NEM) which he launched on March 30 to transform Malaysia into a developed, competitive and high-income economy with inclusivity and sustainability.
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Budget 2011 : Malaysia towards a failed state and bankrupt nation 2019

2011 Budget not a child of New Economic Model but bears all the marks of old discredited Mahathirish policies (Part 1 of 5)

On Monday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

It was also the start of a week which saw the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) suffering a triple blow.

The first blow was Monday’s tabling in Parliament of the 2009 Auditor-General’s Reports which continues to be annual tale of horrors of waste, mismanagement, misuse of public funds and corruption – as highlighted by headlines like:

  • Federal government debt hits five-year high;

  • KTMB mired in RM1.45 billion debt;

  • Only 18.2% of pupils bring free eBooks to school;

  • Stimulus funds used for chandeliers, home theatre, government audit shows;

  • PTPTN to face whopping RM46 bil deficit;

  • PTPTN okayed RM23 mil to students who didn’t apply;

  • Million-ringgit scanner stuck in KLIA, under-utilisation woes;

  • ‘Sandwich kosong’ for school kids, sardines missing.

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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #38

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 5: Understanding Globalization (Cont’d)

The Forces Driving Globalization

Much as the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century was driven by machines, so too is today’s globalization propelled by technology, in particular Information Technology (IT), and knowledge. The Industrial Revolution began with the invention of steam engines that were used primarily to pump water out of mines. Later they were adapted for other uses, from weaving machines to steamships and locomotives.

The mechanized weaving mills revolutionized the textile industry; locomotives and steamships, transportation. Machines could produce goods not only in mass quantities but also of consistent and reliable quality. And those goods could now be transported to vast distant markets, thanks to cheap mechanized transportation modes. The locomotive was also instrumental in opening up the vast American continent and propelling America into a major economic power.
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Of megalomaniacs and mega-towers

By Azly Rahman

Here is an excerpt from the Facebook campaign, now numbering to almost 160,000 members, rejecting the Menara Warisan proposal:

Rakyat Malaysia mengatakan TAK NAK kepada Menara Warisan 100-tingkat yang memakan kos RM5,000,000,000 yang dicadangkan oleh PM Najib Razak dalam Bajet 2011. … Malaysians saying no to the RM5-billion 100-storey Mega Tower proposed by PM Najib in the 2011 budget. Malaysia needs better education, better health care, better public transportation, safer neighbourhood, cleaner water, but not taller building. We don’t need another white elephant! …

“Malaysia perlukan pendidikan, perubatan dan pengangkutan awam yang lebih baik, jiran-tetangga yang lebih selamat, air yang lebih bersih, dan bukannya bangunan yang lebih tinggi. … Kita tidak perlukan seekor lagi gajah putih yang membazirkan wang rakyat jelata. … Wahai, saudara-saudari warga Malaysia sekalian, biar kita bersatu tak mengira kaum, agama, budaya, bahasa, pendirian politik, geografi atau kelas. Biar kita bersatu dan membela nasib endiri. Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

I am beginning to sense that the issue will contribute to the downfall of the current regime of Barisan Nasional in the next general election. It is as if the last BN hurrah to showcase megalomania and illusions of grandeur will be a rallying point for the masses/rakyat fatigued by he struggle to survive the daily grind while robber barons rob, dine, and wine.
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The ‘social contract’ — Concerned Scholars

by Dr Lim Teck Ghee, Dr Mavis Puthucheary, Dr Azmi Sharom, Dr Toh Kin Woon and Dr Wan Zawawi Ibrahim
October 27, 2010

We would like to provide some feedback to the speech made by Prime Minister Najib Razak on 21 October 2010 to the Umno general assembly in which he gave the impression that there is a ‘social contract’ whose terms are set in stone. He also told the delegates that no Malaysian should question it.

It is necessary to note that there is a range of views amongst us on the social contract issue and on how to respond to the Prime Minister’s advice.

One colleague has argued that it is not yet time for an “organized effort” of civil society to make such a statement as it may provoke negative reactions that may be harmful to our common pursuit of a fair and united nation.

Another has expressed concern that we must not play into the hands of politicians who will mobilize Malay support by trying to show that the non-Malays have reneged on their so-called promise to accept Malay political superiority in exchange for citizenship.
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Malaysia Chronicle denied basic right of legal representation by MCMC

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
by Wong Choon Mei
Malaysia Chronicle

When my hand-phone alarm woke me at 5am this morning, it was with reluctance and a heavy heart that I opened my eyes. At the back of my mind the whole weekend was my 11am interview or interrogation by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

And true enough, it turned out not to be a pleasant experience.

Less than 10 minutes into the meeting at the MCMC headquarters in Cyberjaya, my lawyer Latheefa Koya was ‘booted out’ from the room by none other than the director of the enforcement department, who personally came to ‘collect’ her.

And in doing so, he denied me of my fundamental right to legal representation. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia down slightly in graft index

By Asrul Hadi Abullah Sani
The Malaysian Insider
October 26, 2010

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia has dipped slightly lower in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) this year after the country experienced its worse ranking ever last year.

The anti-graft watchdog TI announced today that the country’s corruption index score declined from 4.5 to 4.4 out of 10, with 10 being the least corrupt. Malaysia’s ranking still remains the same as last year, at 56 out of 178countries.

The annual TI CPI measures how corrupt a country is in the public sector based on data sourced from 13 different polls and surveys from 10 independent institutions over a period of two years. The three least corrupt countries in the world are, in order, Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore.

Malaysia’s previous worst scores below 5 were 4.8 in 2000, 4.9 in 2002 and 4.5 last year.

The country’s ranking puts it on par with Namibia and Turkey. Read the rest of this entry »


Building projects unsustainable in long run, say analysts

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
October 25, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Putrajaya’s focus on mega construction projects instead of key reforms in its economic plans — symbolised by the 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower — will hamper the country’s goal of becoming a high-income nation, analysts have said.

They have stressed that economic and institutional reforms to increase market efficiency and human capital development were the crucial elements to lift Malaysia out of its middle-income trap.

“It is not sustainable as we will have first-class infrastructure and facility and third-world work ethics and mentality,” RAM Holdings group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng told The Malaysian Insider.

“The soft part of the development, which is the human capital, will have to take centre stage for the high-income transformation drive to be successful,” he added.

Yeah noted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reform commitments in his New Economic Model (NEM) have been eclipsed by the mega construction projects announced in Budget 2011 and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Read the rest of this entry »