Archive for January 20th, 2011

Investors shun Malaysia as emerging market outlook cools

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
January 20, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Global investors are continuing to avoid Malaysia as fund managers trim investments in emerging markets over concerns that China’s economy will slow this year.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note this week that Malaysia remained a “big underweight” for investors in emerging markets, with its underweight rating increasing from 46 per cent in December to 55 per cent in the first month of 2011.

An underweight call is a recommendation for investors to reduce their investments in a particular security, asset class or, in this case, country.

Malaysia slipped from 14th place in December to dead last this month among the 15 countries studied by the investment bank, despite the roll out of big ticket Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) projects and speculation that snap polls will be held later this year.

Topping the list was strongly overweight Russia, followed by Thailand, Brazil, Turkey, South Korea, China, Indonesia and Mexico. Other emerging market underweights were Poland, Taiwan, Colombia, India, South Africa and Chile.

Malaysia’s underweight call also comes at a time when fewer investors are looking to increase investments in emerging markets due to worries that China’s “eroding” economy will have a knock-on effect on the market in Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malay history: What’s missing from the textbooks

by John Doe | CPIASIA

Brunei has always been known to be one of the earliest Muslim Kingdoms in Southeast Asia. They pride themselves in this fact. All their neighbors pride themselves in this too, and of course, since it is fact, it is irrefutable. Right?

Good. Let’s quickly look at some FACTS then:

It is taught in school textbooks that Pateh Berbai, the brother of Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar, discovered Brunei. Awang Alak Betatar subsequently became Brunei’s first Sultan and was known as Sultan Muhammad Shah. Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar were the famous heroes in Brunei during that time.

Sultan Muhammad Shah was the first Sultan of Brunei. He ruled Brunei from 1363 to 1402. He was the first Muslim ruler of Brunei as a result of his conversion to Islam in 1363 for his marriage to a Johorean-Temasik princess. Prior to conversion to Islam, he was known as Awang Alak Betatar.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Coloniser-colonised thesis revisited

by Azly Rahman

Learning about the current Tunisian revolt, and remembering the work of Martin Luther King Jr, I have somewhat come to draw a parallel between analysis and hope, between reality and manifestation. From Albert Memmi to Martin Luther King Jr.

In the case of the Tunisian youth ‘chasing out’ their dictator of 23 years and their anger over the royal robbery of the monarch, I found an explanation in the 1965 classic by the Tunisian psychoanalyst and political-cultural theorist Albert Memmi in his seminal work, The Colonizer and the Colonized, in which he proposed that the only way to resolve the contradiction of the oppressor and the oppressed and put an end to the brutality of the dictator is through revolt.

One can find a similar theme in analysing the master-slave narrative in works such as Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

That is what is happening now in the streets of Tunis; the coloniser who was once a colonised mind has turned into a coloniser and now is deposed by the colonised. Revolt is the way to overcome the slow death of the masses via hegemony of developmentalism and the illusion of nationalism.

That was the path Algerians took in the Battle of Algiers within the context of The French-Algerian War, in which the colonised fought against the brutal French colonisers, ending in a few million deaths. Read the rest of this entry »

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