Archive for December 23rd, 2010

100-day reforms: BN has lost and Pakatan deserves a chance

by Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysia Chronicle
Thursday, 23 December 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin scoffed at Pakatan’s 100-day reforms in the event that they formed the federal government and reminded the public ‘why BN has been in power for more than half a century and counting’.

His shameless attempt to discredit Pakatan is an insult to the electorate. He said, “Pakatan can promise the sun, moon, stars and mountains… But that is not the way of the BN government. We cannot squander our nation’s wealth.”

Muhyiddin is far removed from reality. People are disillusioned. After 53 years, the nation is more divided than ever, and our economy is in tatters. Our standards in education are falling, our defence budget is spiraling out of control and the civil service is bloated. The Prime minister’s residence and the King’s palace are undergoing a multi-million magical transformation whilst some people live without piped water and electricity.

Does Muhyiddin still think the electorate deserves to give BN another chance? Is 53 years of failure not long enough? Read the rest of this entry »


Mid-term poll suggests Pakatan can keep Selangor

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
23 December 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — A Merdeka Center mid-term survey of voters showed that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was likely to retain Selangor in an election, despite a marginal decline in Malay support.

According to the survey report released to The Malaysian Insider, 57 per cent of the 1,214 respondents polled believed that Selangor PR was heading in the right direction while 28 per cent thought otherwise.

There was a slight dip in Malay confidence, however, from 63 per cent agreeing in June 2009 that the state was on the right track to only 55 per cent in August this year.

Support from the Chinese community was maintained at 53 per cent in the same period despite a small decline to 47 per cent in January this year.

The PR government scored the highest with the Indian community, with a steady increase in support from 63 per cent to 72 per cent across the same period. Read the rest of this entry »


Nazri, Kit Siang clash over rights panel procedures

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Lim Kit Siang today differed over whether Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had the right to defend himself at a parliamentary panel questioning his claim that government strategist APCO Worldwide had links with Israel.

Malaysia has no official ties with Israel, which is seen as an enemy by some Muslim states due to their occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Today, Nazri insisted that Parliament’s Rights and Privileges Committee was not a place for Anwar to defend himself on his APCO-One Israel claims, saying that the committee only served as a an “investigative body” to his accusations.

Nazri said the committee’s scope was only to determine a prima facie case on whether the PKR de facto leader should be suspended for misleading Parliament. He also reiterated that Anwar had denied himself the chance to put in his defence as a result of the “unruly conduct” by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers in Parliament last week.

“The place for Anwar to defend himself is in Parliament, after the minister has tabled the motion (on Anwar’s suspension) and debated on it. If that did not happen, it was because Anwar had denied himself a chance to do so last week, resulting in Pakatan’s mass walkout,” Nazri told The Malaysian Insider.

Lim, however, claimed that Nazri was wrong is his understanding of the role of the committee, and that Anwar should have been allowed to enter his defence over connecting the government’s public relations consultancy firm to the One Israel campaign under former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak.

The Umno minister’s arguments were then refuted by Lim, who claimed that the Rights and Privileges’ Committee was not just an investigative body but also a panel which conducted the necessary investigations and also passed a decision and findings on the matter.

The decisions and findings, according to the Ipoh Timur MP, would then be submitted to Parliament to be tabled, debated and decided on.

“The committee cannot just come to a conclusion without hearing the merits of the entire case, and this would have to include Anwar’s defence to his claims of APCO’s involvement in One Israel. The findings as well as a decision would have to have been made on the committee level, before submitting it to Parliament. I cannot understand Nazri’s understanding of the roles and functions of the committee,” Lim told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »


Just how dangerous is pluralism really?

by Farah Fahmy
The Malaysian Insider
December 23, 2010

DEC 23— Just when you think public pronouncements can’t possibly get any worse in Malaysia, along comes the recommendation that Jakim should provide some sort of definition of our various festivals and celebrations so that Muslims can steer clear of the virus of religious pluralism.

Intrigued, I tried to work out what “fahaman pluralisme” is, and as far as I can tell, this belief stems from the idea that Islam is no more and no less equal to other religions.

Obviously this is nonsense as far as our country is concerned. After all, Islam is the official religion and to help us Muslims behave in exemplary fashion there is a plethora of religious bodies funded by the government which is not the case for any other religion.

So dangerous is “fahaman pluralisme” that the Mufti of Perak was reported in Utusan Malaysia as saying that it needs to be rejected by all Muslims in our country as it could destroy one’s faith, and that those who believed in it are as good as being apostate. Read the rest of this entry »