Archive for November, 2010

Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #41

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 5: Understanding Globalization (Cont’d)
Globalization and the Free Movement of People

Earlier, I alluded to the fact that unlike imperialism where there was mobility of labor, today’s globalization does not have the comparable freedom of movement of people. Unlike goods, services and capital that can slip in and out of borders readily, people still have to go through tedious immigration controls. Leaders like Mahathir challenged advocates of globalization to also equally liberalize immigration, that is, to make the movement of people as free as that of ideas and capital.

Much as I agree with this ideal, it is unlikely to happen, given present-day realities. Western countries that are today’s champions of globalization have elaborate social safety nets for their citizens. Indeed the greatest asset one can have at birth is not one’s set of genes, rather one’s birthplace. There are significant benefits just by being born as Americans or Western Europeans regardless whether you are contributing or not. These include free education and other generous entitlements. No wonder these citizens want to restrict immigration; it is a manifestation of the classic “rent seeking” economic behavior.
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End trigger-happy shootings, lawmakers tell IGP

By Boo Su-Lyn
November 21, 2010
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers have demanded newly-installed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar to end indiscriminate fatal police shootings instead of “frolicking” at mock casinos.

Police had shot dead a 15-year-old suspected robber on November 13, just seven months after 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah was gunned down by the police in Shah Alam on April 26.

“The top priority is to end cases of indiscriminate police shootings, reduce the crime rate and make people feel safer,” DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang told The Malaysian Insider today.

“These are the things that should receive the focus of the new IGP instead of going on a frolic having a mini casino,” he added.

Yesterday, the families of two of the three youths shot dead on November 13 after being suspected of robbing a petrol station claimed the trio were killed by the police in cold blood.
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Why only 12 Chinese students out of more than 4,000 get student grants from Selangor PR State Government?

Yesterday, I received an email from blogger nkkhoo entitled why “The number of study grants for Chinese students in Selangor is terrible low” and asking for “serious attention to this unfair treatment given to Chinese students by the Selangor Pakatan Government”.

In his email, nkkhoo said:

Dear YB LKS and YB LGE,

I hope both of you as DAP Supremo pay serious attention to this unfair treatment given to Chinese students by the Selangor Pakatan Government.

The total study grants given to students in Selangor is more than 4000, but only 12 Chinese students are in the list. This is terrible wrong compared with treatment given by BN in the past.

The news was released by MCA Selangor (in Chinese) at

“I do not believe Chinese in Selangor suddenly become the rich people in less than three years after Pakatan took over Selangor.

Please do something quick before Chinese voters turn against DAP and Pakatan.

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Lim warns Pakatan to guard against losing direction

By Queville To
Free Malaysia Today

21 November 2010

KOTA KINABALU: A senior Pakatan Rakyat leader is distressed that the opposition front is making the assumption that they are on an unstoppable march to Putrajaya.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, on a visit to Sabah over the weekend, urged the Pakatan leadership to acknowledge they are facing a crisis of public confidence as a result of the series of defeats in the recent by elections, besides some problems in coalition parties.

“The Pakatan leaderships will have to meet seriously to take stock on this situation and take into account the public concerns and loss of confidence of the direction of the PR,” he told reporters at a news conference here Saturday.

“All coalition partners will have to buck up and pull up their socks. This includes the DAP in the seats that Barisan Nasional (BN) feels they can win back like Kedah and Selangor and states like Kelantan and Penang where they (BN) think is difficult but Pakatan should not think we are invincible and cannot be conquered,” he said.
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Lim: Sabah budget is ‘cronies’ enrichment programme’

By Queville To
Free Malaysia Today

21 November 2010

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Musa Aman’s ‘timely’ announcement of a special allocation of RM1 million to each Barisan Nasional representatives in Sabah next year has been described as a “form of political corruption”.

DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang said Musa’s announcement – under the state budget – warrants Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) attention and investigation.

“It is a political corruption to allocate RM1 million public funds to the BN constituencies alone. It is clearly an election budget to boost the winning chances of BN in the next general election and not for the benefit of the people. It is to be used to buy votes,” Lim charged.

Musa announced the special allocation under the state Budget 2011 on Friday. He said the allocation was to enable BN elected representatives to provide assistance to the people in their areas. The BN holds 57 out of 60 state seats in the state.
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Two fatal political assumptions – one for BN and the other for PR

Another sign of the closeness of the 13th general elections is the RM3 billion 2011 election budget presented by the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Hassan to the Sabah State Assembly yesterday, with RM1.1 million allocation for every Barisan Nasional state assembly constituency to enable the BN Sabah State Assembly members to woo voters in their constituency with public funds.

This is political corruption at its most blatant and, although political or “grand corruption” has been identified by the Government Transformation Programme RoadMap and selected as one of the primary focus of the National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) to combat corruption, who believes that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) would seriously check let alone wipe out such political corruption?

In his Sabah state 2011 budget presentation, Musa cited the Barisan Nasional by-election victories in Batu Sapi and Galas as signs that the people had continued confidence in the Barisan Nasional to remain in power.

The Galas by-election is in Kelantan and was a state assembly by-election. What has it got to do with the Sabah 2011 Budget presentation if it is not an election budget to sound the gong for full preparations for the 13th general elections expected to be held early next year?

In his interview with Bloomberg, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir said Barisan Nasional is capable of wresting one or two states from Pakatan Rakyat on the ground that the opposition is in disarray.

Mahathir was however of the view that although BN would be returned to power in Putrajaya, it would likely fail to regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority. Read the rest of this entry »


Kit Siang wants royal inquiry on Sabah poverty

Sat, 20 Nove 2010
By Queville To
Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: DAP is calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate how Sabah, which was once a rich state, had crashed to a point that it was now the “poorest” in Malaysia and is “likely to stay that way for a considerable length of time”.

In making the call, party adviser Lim Kit Siang also asked how the government had allowed the state to become the poorest in the country if there was “inclusive growth”.

Lim was commenting on a World Bank Report last week which noted that 40% of Malaysia’s poor were centred in Sabah, making it the poorest state in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


1Malay(sian) Armed Forces

by Zairil Khir Johari

Being Defence Minister must sit well with Zahid Hamidi, for it has turned him into a trigger-happy man. Now, if only he could move his aim away from his own foot.

In my last post I highlighted his jingoistic call to stand up against the ‘neo-colonial’ government of Penang. And just when you think that such a marvelous statement could not be outdone in asininity, he follows it up with this classic piece of pronouncement:

“The reasons (for the low participation of non-Malays in the armed forces) could be because of a fear towards a tight discipline. It could be because of a low spirit of patriotism. It could be because certain ethnic groups had a negative perception of the armed forces and did not encourage participation,” said the minister.

Bravo. As expected, a commotion soon ensued, with denouncements and debates from both sides of the fence. Certainly, such a statement is nothing less than a stinging insult to the countless deeds and sacrifices made by non-Malay servicemen over the course of our country’s history.

Yet at the same time, it does raise a pertinent question. Why does there seem to be such dismal interest in the armed services amongst the non-Malay community (recruitment of non-Malay personnel from 2008-2009 is a paltry 1.2%)? Read the rest of this entry »


World Bank report – indictment of BN government

Tweets @limkitsiang :

Media conference w NieChing who dealt w nefarious subject of IMM13 – which is now known as Instant Made Msians for 13GE. Present Hiew Jimmy
11/19/2010 12:56 PM

I spoke on WorldBank’s 2010 MsiaEconomicMonitor (MEM) released last wk-terrible indictment of failure BN 2ensure inclusive devlpmnt in Sabah
11/19/2010 01:03 PM

WB MEM conclusion – in 5decades Sabah plunged from 1 of richest 2bcome poorest state n likely 2remain in deep poverty w no inclusive growth
11/19/2010 01:10 PM

MEM prepared w full cooperation of Sabah govt w NasrunMansur Asst Minister in CM Dept praising World Bank @rpt handing-over ceremony in KK
11/19/2010 01:15 PM
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Malaysians feeling safer?

By John Sebastian
November 18, 2010
Malaysian Insider

NOV 18 — Another survey has appeared to say that people are now feeling safer and that fear of becoming victims of crime has dropped slightly for the December 2009 to May 2010 period.

Right. It doesn’t take into account the four burglary cases in a guarded cul-de-sac in Bandar Sri Damansara earlier this week.

It doesn’t take into account the brazen day-light robberies and burglaries in Kota Damansara these past few months.

And that it took the police more than a few hours to turn up just to brush the crime scene for finger prints.
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Royalty Extraordinaire

by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
CPI Asia

With their front page headlines highlighting developments on the massive Sime loss, readers of the country’s two main English papers may not have noticed the news report of the speech by Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, the consort of the Sultan of Johor, which was buried in the inner pages.

The occasion of the speech was a conference on ‘Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason’ held on Nov 16 in Kuala Lumpur. The prime mover of the meeting in which I participated as a panelist was PCORE, a group that is representative of Malaysians who embrace and share the notion of peace as the way forward to achieve unity and integration.

Credit must go to the PCORE leadership for bringing together a diverse mix of young and older people from different backgrounds to voice their frank concerns on current issues and developments in the country.
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Beng Hock support group seeks 100,000 signatures

by Aidila Razak
Nov 18, 10

The Malaysians for Beng Hock support group, set up following the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock last year, is seeking 100,000 signatures in the next three months to push for the setting-up of a royal commission.

This is because they believe that the inquest, for which final submissions will be made on Dec 10, has not managed to answer questions surrounding the 30-year-old’s mysterious death.

To date, more than 5,000 signatures have been collected after drives at two events held in the past month, said organiser Ng Yap Hwa. Read the rest of this entry »


Ex-servicemen launch broadside at Zahid Hamidi

By Joseph Sipalan
Nov 18, 10

When Admiral (rtd) K Thanabalasingam ascended to the position of the nation’s first ever local chief of Navy,it would have never crossed his mind that his loyalty to the country would be questioned.

Having spearheaded the navy’s mission to protect Malaysia from numerous threats that arose in the 1960s-1970s period, the former naval chief spoke in disbelief at Defence Minister Zahid Hamid’s recent statement that patriotism among non-Malays was “not strong enough” for being reluctant to sign up with the Armed Forces.

“I don’t understand how such a statement came about… I’ve been through a lot, and I don’t care who says it, it hurts me. I am a Malaysian born and bred, and I intend to die here,” Thanabalasingam (left) said when contacted by Malaysiakini.
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The tragic case of a lunch meal: Revisiting corporal punishment in schools

By Shazeera Ahmad Zawawi (
November 18, 2010

NOV 18 — On November 5, a mother complained to the Sarawak Education Department that her son was caned by his teacher for bringing pork to school. As you notice (of which I hope you do), I did not mention the religious or ethnic background of the boy at all. There are two reasons why I left out those layers of fact.

First, I felt sick with how recently our statesmen, bureaucrats or politicians are missing the plot to this sad incident. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, for example, called for an investigation of the boy’s religious status before conclusions can be drawn on why he was caned. Our independent parliamentarian, Zulkifli Nordin, utilised this issue against PAS and got into an unnecessary argument with Dr Zulkefly Ahmad, another parliamentarian from the Islamic party. Apparently, the righteous fight and egoistical call to defend Islam trumps a poor child’s “wrong” selection of lunch meal.
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Where are the Friends of Pakatan?

by Mariam Mokhtar
Nov 15, 10

Last July, the Friends of Pakatan Rakyat (FoPR) was officially launched in London to great acclaim by Zaid Ibrahim, who had specially flown into England, with his DAP and PAS colleagues.

For Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters worldwide, it was a new beginning. However, four months later, Zaid dropped his bombshell by withdrawing from the PKR deputy presidency elections and openly criticising PKR’s party leaders.

Whilst many are angry at Zaid’s (right) betrayal, FoPR’s silence about this important development is damning. Has FoPR lost its focus or is it just momentarily stunned? Where is the rallying cry at a crucial time like this?

The FoPR probably chose July 4 for its launch, presumably because of its significance – it is synonymous with the United States’ Independence Day. Even the venue was important – Conway Hall in Holborn is renowned as a hub for free speech and progressive thought.

Soon after its launch, the FoPR movement was being duplicated throughout Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. In east Malaysia, FoPR helped create awareness, with its network of support and community services. Read the rest of this entry »


Salam Aidil Adha

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays to fellow Malaysians!


Rental hikes and lack of parking bays a bane in Little India

By G Vinod | Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: After the pomp and pagentry at the launch of ‘Little India’ in Brickfields on Oct 27, the lights have dimmed and a pall of gloom has decended in the area.

Traders and businessmen at the 3km stretch of Brickfields are at crossroads with the prospect of ‘impending’ rental hikes and dwindling sales due to the absence of car parks.

Several businessmen voiced their frustration over these two issues which could hamper trade in the bustling area, where one could purchase almost all items found in India.

While an increase in rental could slice profits significantly, the lack of parking space could inflict severe damage to their business, which they claim had already been battered.
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #40

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 5: Understanding Globalization (Cont’d)
Correlates of the IT Revolution

What marvels me is that this IT revolution has not even reached its maximal potential. Each day promises even more dramatic improvements and new achievements. Today’s personal computer is a quantum leap in performance over those of only a few years ago. Bill Gates is planning to encircle the globe with low orbiting satellites to enable any one anywhere to get Internet connectivity. While such a development may not seem impressive to someone in America who already has convenient Internet access, imagine what it would do for areas like East Malaysia and Africa. They would leapfrog into the IT age overnight. There would need to wait for the local government or telephone company to lay phone lines and cables.

With ease of communication, ideas and information would spread easily. News is no longer controlled by any one authority. Whereas in the past citizens had to rely on one government-controlled source (as in Malaysia) or a few commercial outlets controlled by powerful groups (as in America), today we have literally limitless sources of news and information on the Internet. Malaysia’s independent web daily is now more popular than the established media. During the Afghanistan bombing in the war against terrorists following the 9-11 attacks, with the mainstream American media not doing any frontline reporting, readers could still follow the news by tuning into the Arab television channel Al Jazeera (available on cable and the Internet).
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Patriotism & the Little Napoleans

By Damian Denis

In 1995/6 after my STPM exams I went to the Penang Police HQ (Penang Rd) to apply for the post of Police Inspector. The requirement was a STPM qualification at that time.

Once there we were given a physical routine check up and those who were qualified were given the application form. Simple as that!

But went it came to my turn the officer in charge refuse to hand-over the application form to me on the basis that my STPM results were good. My physical check up was fine.

He said “kamu tak payahlah masuk polis. Buang masa aje dengan result yg bagus cam tu”. (You don’t need to enter the Police Force. Just a waste of time since you have a good STPM results.)
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Malaysia Seeks World Bank Help to Cut Spending, Trim Deficit

By Soraya Permatasari and Barry Porter | Bloomberg

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) — Malaysia will ask the World Bank to help in the country’s efforts to cut government spending as Prime Minister Najib Razak seeks to reduce the budget deficit from a 22-year high.

The nation is asking the Washington-based lender to review all areas of government expenditure, including how state contracts are awarded, to prevent waste from inefficiency, Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Malaysia hopes the study will bolster the government’s credibility, he said.

“We just want a third party as a check and balance,” said Ahmad Husni, 58. An annual audit of spending at state agencies has shown “some negative findings and we hope that with the involvement of the World Bank, in the future we can see a clean sheet,” he said.
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