Archive for December 27th, 2010

Lessons from WikiLeaks for Malaysia

by AB Sulaiman
Dec 27 10


In the last few weeks, WikiLeaks has been the focus of the world’s attention. Founder Julian Assange has followed the principle that a government might have secrets but these are not to be used to cover abuses. Bad government is bad for the country; that seems to be his credo.

So he leaked out inter-governmental documents despite the ‘secret’ or other similar labels stamped on them. It looks like human rights, open democracy and light-speed push button communication offered by the Internet has combined in a new version of the perfect storm, wreaking havoc to secretive cross-border communications.

Thanks to WikiLeaks we are now able to taste not only more of the spice of the hot curry of international politics but also to know the ‘off the record so please do not quote me’ other people’s views of us.

Is WikiLeaks good or bad; is it morally sound, is it legally tenable? And should we embrace this new communication ‘medium’ with all gusto and enthusiasm?

I am no expert on the question of the morality and legality of this issue. But I am of the view that WikiLeaks is decidedly good for the country.

My reasons are basic. I am in favour of the good old fashioned way of running a country, especially one like ours whose buzzword is ‘nation-building’. Read the rest of this entry »


The LoyarBurok Book Review: “Perak – A State Of Crisis” – An Unabashed Self-Indictment By The BN Government Of Its Undemocratic Takeover Of Perak

By NH Chan
27 December, 2010

[LoyarBaca’s first publication Perak: A State of Crisis (PASOC) has been a runaway hit and will soon be in Malaysia’s major bookstores through leading indie, activist distributor, Pak Chong’s GerakBudaya. We have sold out copies at hand for the moment (2nd impressions are on the way), but you may purchase them directly from GerakBudaya here. Here, after a brief hiatus, NH Chan re-appears to pen his thoughts on PASOC. ]

On the cover of Perak: A State Of Crisis, 2010 – the book is described as “Rants, reviews and reflections on the overthrow of democracy and the rule of law in Malaysia”.

On the back cover is this apt but accurate assessment by Marina Mahathir: “The people of Perak voted in March 2008 for a new government, then woke up one day to find that they had an entirely different one in place. A must read.”

Why is this book a must read? It is so because the book is a chronicle and commentary of the events that led to the unceremonious overthrow of the PR Government in Perak. The direct involvement of the BN protagonists who engineered the treacherous takeover – whose actions in that sordid episode spoke louder than words – has demonstrated unequivocally to the people of this country and to the world that they are the unquestionable “bad guys”.

With such unyielding and nefarious mindset in the BN camp, it looks like the choice for the voters in the next elections is between “good and bad”, “right and wrong”, “democracy and oligarchy” etc. The choice is obvious for no one wants to be governed by a group of self-serving people for this is the meaning of “oligarchy”; such an attitude in the psyche of the BN mindset would inevitably lead to “resource-draining corruption and rampant inequity” – to borrow a phrase from Audrey Quay in her “Editor’s Preface & Introduction” (page v) – as the Perak debacle has brought to light. Read the rest of this entry »


A government out of step with public opinion

by Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysia Chronicle
27th December 2010

When Communication and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim revealed that eighty-four percent of Malaysians understood the 1Malaysia concept, would it be safe to say that Deputy Prime minister Muyiddin Yassin is in the 16 percent group?

Earlier, Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the 1Malaysia concept described how the ‘spirit of togetherness and the ability to rise above political differences’ were important for continued peace and stability in the country.

He said, “Although some might like to think it (1Malaysia) is for political purposes, it is actually for nation-building.”

Would he care to tell us how much he has spent on all the 1Malaysia posters, advertisements, billboards, badges and other paraphernalia where 1Malaysia has been plastered around the countryside?

Instead of spending millions on frivolous projects, why not spend that money on its people? The nation could do with improved healthcare, better infrastructure, quality teachers and schools. At a time like Christmas, several hundreds if not thousands of Malaysians roam the streets because they are destitute. Money could be channeled away from the promotion of 1Malaysia, and be used for a good cause to help these homeless people.

If 1Malaysia has to be continually drummed into us, then it says a lot about Najib’s leadership. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan’s 100-day reform plan: Malaysia unbound

by Terence Netto
Dec 27, 10


You could call it ‘Malaysia Makeover Phase 1’ – this Pakatan Rakyat 100-day reform plan, enunciated a week ago at its second annual convention in Kepala Batas.

You could also call it by more grandiloquent terms like ‘National Recovery Plan’ or ‘Malaysia Revival Programme’, as both are appropriate to the necessity of the task and its gravity for our future.

Definitely, the latter two labels have got more oomph if less alliteration.

But they suffer for reason of their ready comparison to such monikers as ‘Great Leap Forward’ and ‘Marshall Plan’ – the former a misnomer for a murderously disastrous plan that brought much grief to China, and the latter a programme of economic aid that helped western Europe revive after the devastation of world war.

No, Pakatan’s 100-day reform plan is less hubristic in its goals, though surpassingly vital for the reform of the Malaysian polity. Read the rest of this entry »