Archive for March 1st, 2011

Yes, It Could Happen Here – Why Saudi Arabia is ripe for revolution


In the age of Arab revolutions, will Saudis dare to honor Facebook calls for anti-government demonstrations on March 11? Will they protest at one of Jeddah’s main roundabouts? Or will they start in Qatif, the eastern region where a substantial Shiite majority has had more experience in real protest? Will Riyadh remain cocooned in its cloak of pomp and power, hidden from public gaze in its mighty sand castles?

Saudi Arabia is ripe for change. Despite its image as a fabulously wealthy realm with a quiescent, apolitical population, it has similar economic, demographic, social, and political conditions as those prevailing in its neighboring Arab countries. There is no reason to believe Saudis are immune to the protest fever sweeping the region.

Saudi Arabia is indeed wealthy, but most of its young population cannot find jobs in either the public or private sector. The expansion of its $430 billion economy has benefited a substantial section of the entrepreneurial elite — particularly those well connected with the ruling family — but has failed to produce jobs for thousands of college graduates every year. This same elite has resisted employing expensive Saudis and contributed to the rise in local unemployment by hiring foreign labor. Rising oil prices since 2003 and the expansion of state investment in education, infrastructure, and welfare, meanwhile, have produced an explosive economy of desires. Read the rest of this entry »


Is CSL going to apologise for producing a MCA President and MCA Deputy President who betrayed the trust of the people and country as Transport Minister in the RM12.5b PKFZ “grand corruption”?

MCA President Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek astounded Malaysians and the world with his smug reaction to the corruption charges against a second MCA Minister yesterday – former MCA Deputy President and former Transport Minister Tan Sri Chong Kong Choy – in connection with the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) “scandal of scandals”.

Chua said Chan’s court case will not affect MCA. He said when a person was charged in court, it did not mean he was guilty.

He said: “We should let the legal process take its course.”

Chua’s comments raise many intriguing questions. Has the MCA President been given an assurance by the “higher-up” that Chan was not guilty of three charges of corruption laid against him yesterday for which a RM1 million bail was posted – and that the former MCA Deputy President would be cleared in the trial, most likely after the next general elections?

Or has Chua any good reason to believe that the corruption charges against Chan as well as the corruption charges made previously against former MCA President and former Transport Minister Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik were just “a political charade” and that the charges would be quashed with the duo declared innocent after the next general elections? Read the rest of this entry »


London protesters want Taib’s assets frozen

Mar 1, 11

Some 20 protesters comprising Malaysians and foreigners have staged a ‘Stop Timber Corruption’ demonstration in the British capital to highlight alleged abuses of long-serving Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The demonstration, organised yesterday by NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), was held outside a property company controlled by the Taib family, Ridgeford Properties Ltd, in central London.

It was led by Clare Rewcastle Brown, the sister-in-law of former British premier Gordon Brown, and Sarawak native Peter John Jaban. Read the rest of this entry »