Archive for June 20th, 2011

Ready for psychological warfare

By Samuel Aubrey
June 20, 2011 | Borneo Post

KUCHING: State BN elected representatives have braced themselves for a possible massive ‘onslaught’ by the opposition during the eight-day State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting which starts today.

Chief Minister and State BN chairman Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud told reporters yesterday that they (BN assemblymen) were now prepared to respond to members from the opposition in the august House. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kit Siang demands action against Perkasa

By Joseph Sipalan
Jun 20, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Senior opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) today demanded that the government take a clear position on Perkasa and its recent string of allegedly seditious statements against the upcoming Bersih 2.0 rally this July 9.

In trademark style, Lim (left) made clear his incredulity over Perkasa’s controversial behaviour as he hammered both the government and the right wing Malay rights NGO for the growing tension surrounding the planned mass gathering. Read the rest of this entry »


Refugee swap: Still no human rights commitment

By Aliran
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 20 — Asylum seekers in Malaysia have never had any guarantee of safety in this country as Malaysian immigration laws do not recognise those granted official UNHCR refugee status. This month, as in years past, is the month of the refugee. World Refugee Day falls on 20 June, a day significant to all refugees and asylum seekers hoping to be freed from fear and danger to life and liberty.

Yet, what Malaysia has to offer asylum seekers has always been less than a safe place. Asylum seekers and refugees constantly remain at risk of arrest, detention and human rights violations in this country, which some see as a shade better than where they came from. Read the rest of this entry »

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One refugee without hope is too many

By Nora Murat
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 20 — Whirring helicopter blades, cast a mini tornado over the mass of humanity below. Outstretched hands from rooftops reached towards the magnificent soaring machine.

As its silhouette shrunk into the horizon, the many bodies pressed against one another slumped in exhaustion. Nevertheless, hope like morning dew on the parched surface of nature continued to balm their panic.
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Is asking for free and fair elections too much?

By The Malaysian Insider
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

JUNE 20 — The Bersih 2.0 has attracted its fair share of supporters and detractors, especially those who believe that Malaysians shouldn’t march or assemble for a series of demands and causes that will lead to greater democracy.

Perkasa’s curiously named Gerak Aman movement, which ironically said it won’t be responsible for any violence if Bersih 2.0 continues with its July 9 march, believes it, too, will exercise its democratic right to march on that day. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP: Inaction on Perkasa shows Umno’s true colours

Malaysiakini | Jun 20, 11

Umno’s inaction over Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s allegedly seditious and racist statement yesterday, has showed its true colours as a party that survives on racial division, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

In a statement today, Lim (left) said Ibrahim had raised the threat of another May 13, by proclaiming himself a ‘war general’ and warning of severe repercussions for the Chinese community if they proceed with the Bersih march.

“Never before in Malaysian history has anyone issued such an irresponsible and racist statement by calling on a certain community to stock up on food. Such a remark is clearly unacceptable by every peace-loving Malaysian,” read the statement.

Lim then directed his fire at Umno for its inaction on Ibrahim.
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DAP takes offence at pig snout comic book

By K Pragalath | June 20, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng and veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang criticised the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Akmar Hisham Mokhles on how he portrayed the Chinese in a comic book.

Guan Eng who has apparently not see the book said: “If it is true, it is an act of self delusion and mass deception. I am utterly shocked.”

Guan Eng who is also the Penang Chief Minister said: “It is utterly deplorable, and unacceptable.

The criticism against Akmar comes following the depiction of the Chinese with pig snouts in a comic book entitled Transformasi Najib that Akmar authored.
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DAP faults Umno for Perkasa threats

By Debra Chong
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — DAP’s Lim Guan Eng pronounced Umno guilty today of fanning racial and religious strife for its tacit support of Perkasa’s “Nazi-like” threat against ethnic Chinese ahead of three massive — and conflicting — marches on July 9.

The DAP secretary-general further accused the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin of being “politically bankrupt” for resorting to provocation to cover its own shortcomings.

Lim pointed out Umno and the BN government have been deflecting questions on health and environmental safety over Australian miner Lynas Corp’s RM700 million rare earths project in Pahang and the Tourism Ministry’s RM1.8million Facebook scandal. Read the rest of this entry »


Kit Siang slams inaction over Ibrahim’s veiled threats

By Debra Chong | June 20, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Calling it the most “bloodcurdling and incendiary” statement made in public, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang questioned today Putrajaya’s silence against Perkasa’s warning to ethnic Chinese to “stay home” and “stock up on food” on July 9.

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who founded the grassroots Malay nationalist group, had yesterday launched a counter-strike to the July 9 public rally organised by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0.

There, he declared “If the Bersih rally is not cancelled… I believe the Chinese community will have to stock up on food”.
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Fleeing talent would stay for family, survey finds

By Yow Hong Chieh | June 20, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Only one in 50 Malaysians seeking greener pastures overseas will consider staying to contribute to national interest, a Jobstreet survey has shown.

Half of those who intend to go abroad — who made up 87 per cent of those surveyed — told the recruitment company they were, however, willing to remain here for family.

The Jobstreet poll also confirmed that higher pay (42 per cent), better career prospects (24 per cent) and children’s education (13 per cent) were the primary reasons for Malaysia’s ongoing brain drain.

Other respondents said they wished to explore travel opportunities (nine per cent) and follow their spouses (three per cent).
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Tikus Makmal in a Natural Experiment?

By Chan Chee Khoon, ScD (Epidemiology)

On June 7, 2011, in a live interview with CNN, Arnie Gundersen, a licensed nuclear power engineer with 39 years experience in managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants in the US, noted that with the prevailing wind patterns after the Fukushima disaster’s radioactive discharges, air filter monitors in Seattle detected about half the level of “hot” (radioactive) suspended fine particulates as were detected in the air over Tokyo, 7700 km away.

Gundersen didn’t clarify what the baseline level of airborne radioactive particulates in Seattle was, pre-Fukushima, but if the measured levels in April 2011 were indeed largely blown over from Fukushima, it’s very sobering considering that Kuantan and Kemaman are within a 28 km radius of the Lynas rare earths refinery being built at Gebeng, which will be handling rare earth concentrates ground and milled into a fine powder for acid extraction at the plant.

The ARE experience from Bukit Merah in the 1980s tells us that beyond the dust-generating cracking, grinding and milling operations, powdery thorium cake waste was also spilling onto roads during transportation, during packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, and children were frequently playing in the vicinity of exposed mounds of the waste. Indeed, the thorium waste was reportedly offered to local farmers as fertiliser.
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Bersih 2.0 launch: The show must go on

By Hazlan Zakaria | Jun 19, 11

To a clatter of drums and flashing placards, Bersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga launched the eight point demands of the free and fair elections advocacy coalition in Kuala Lumpur tonight.

The eight point demand will spearhead the massive Bersih 2.0 ‘Walk For Democracy’ planned for July 9 that has been hot topic all of last week.

Ambiga’s speech was read to the thunderous applause and cheers of the over 700 activists, civil society and NGO members crammed into the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.
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It’s clear, Ibrahim Ali out to create chaos

Malaysiakini Your Say | Jun 20, 11

‘Ibrahim Ali is openly threatening racial violence against the Chinese community. As usual, we expect the home minister to do absolutely nothing.’

Anything can happen on July 9, Perkasa warns

Anonymous_40a7: “I believe the Chinese community, many of them, will have to stock up on food at home,” said Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali.

Is that a thinly veiled threat against the Chinese community, Ibrahim? You should be charged under ISA for this… oh wait, I forgot he’s untouchable.

By the way, I feel bad for the people of Pasir Mas who voted for this bigot because instead of having a person who serves his constituency faithfully, they ended up with someone who is hell bent on destroying everyone he doesn’t see eye to eye.
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Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #70

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter 8: Culture, Institutions, and Leadership

Lack of Checks and Balances in Malaysian Leadership

One unhealthy trend in the Malaysian leadership is the increasing concentration of power and the consequent absence of checks and balances. Invariably this leads to the lack of accountability and potential abuse. It is not so much that power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton had put it, rather we do not have a system that prevents the inherently corrupt from becoming powerful.

Consider that Mahathir is not only the chief executive (Prime Minister) of the country; he is also the leader of his party, chairman of a number of government corporations, as well as being the finance minister! With the lack of an effective system of checks and balances, such a structure is a set up for either spectacular achievement given a competent, honest and humble leader, or the destruction of the country given a lesser mortal.
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Now Putrajaya hands LRT deal to UK firm ahead of Najib visit

By Shannon Teoh
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — A Finance Ministry committee has changed its mind by awarding the contract for the Kelana Jaya light rail transit (LRT) extension to a consortium led by British firm Colas, after controversially ordering a deal last week with another joint-venture.

But the committee’s latest decision continues to ignore the recommendation of LRT operator Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad for the contract to be awarded to a third company in the frame.

The Singapore Straits Times reported today that the joint-venture between Colas and CMC Engineering Sdn Bhd would be awarded the project, citing senior industry executives and government officials close to the tender as its source. Read the rest of this entry »

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Biarkan rally Bersih diadakan

By Aspan Alias
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

20 JUN — Pihak parti-parti dan kerajaan yang memerintah usaha mereka ialah untuk menggagalkan niat Bersih untuk mengadakan rally besar-besaran pada 9 Julai nanti. Semua pihak tahu lebih-lebih lagi pihak pemerintah dan parti-parti yang berkuasa bahawa rally anjuran Bersih ini pasti akan mendapat sambutan yang ramai, malahan dijangkakan lebih besar dari yang dianjurkan pada 2007 yang lalu.

Inilah yang sangat ditakuti oleh Umno terutamanya kerana Umno tahu jika rally ini berlaku kali ini, ianya akan membawa kemenangan tambahan kepada Bersih seperti yang dialaminya pada 2007 yang lalu. Sebagai pihak yang memerintah memanglah mereka tidak mahu melihat Bersih mengulangi kejayaan itu lagi kerana pilihanraya umum ke13 akan diadakan tidak lama lagi. Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga: Bersih 2.0 good for BN too

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 20, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — Clean and fair elections will not only benefit all political parties including those under the Barisan Nasional (BN) umbrella, Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said last night.

She said electoral reform will “legitimise” BN’s rule in the eyes of the people and lend credibility to ruling coalition, which the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact has repeatedly accused of electoral fraud.

“We want clean and fair elections for everyone and this is good even for Barisan Nasional, because if they come in on free and fair elections, they’re legitimately there,” she told nearly 600 supporters at the launch of the Bersih 2.0 rally here. Read the rest of this entry »


A nation divided?

by Kapil Sethi
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 19, 2011

JUNE 19 — On the one hand there are the Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia Truly Asia, Vision 2020, the Economic Transformation Programme, the Government Transformation Programme, National Key Result Areas and the prime minister’s international call towards moderate Islam.

On the other hand is Malay First, Malaysia Second, Perkasa calling for jihad against Christians trying to take over Malaysia, the cow head and Allah controversies, the failure of the New Economic Model, legalised child marriage, female genital mutilation and the latest additions being the Obedient Wives Club and the Polygamists Club.

The former aims to project Malaysia as a responsible, progressive member of the community of nations committed to inclusive spiritual and material growth. The latter reflects the changing social realities on the ground, where there seems to be a regression of sorts towards a narrow backward looking society, distrustful of multiracialism, insecure about its own identity and religious practices, and hell bent on seeking comfort in extreme traditionalism.

At a deeper level, this points towards a fundamental shift away from the quintessential Malaysian belief in the middle way, where everyone understood the fragility of the peace between the races and instinctively stayed away from trampling on the sensitivities of others. Read the rest of this entry »