Archive for August 12th, 2011

Transforming Penang By Building A Future For Our Youths And Building Our Youths For The Future

By Lim Guan Eng | 12 August, 2011
Speech at Foreign Correspondents Club, Singapore

Ladies and gentlemen thank you very much for inviting me here to speak. I come here as the Chief Minister of Penang, one of four states led by Pakatan Rakyat or the People’s Pact, the opposition coalition in Malaysia. I am from the Democratic Action Party, one of three coalition partners. I am extremely proud to be given the opportunity to govern the beautiful vibrant state of Penang and delighted to have the opportunity to speak to you. I hope by the end of my remarks you will consider coming to visit and invest in Penang, as it continues to be an attractive location for business and pleasure alike.

It is wonderful to be in Singapore. We have so much in common; shared history and people. Our bonds are deeply intertwined, culturally, politically and economically. I would like to highlight some of our common features. We are both small states that have punched above our weight economically through the hard work and creativity of our people. We have both been successes despite our size and obstacles we share. Today, more than 25% Malaysia’s exports in terms of value and volume come from Penang – more than half of the country’s electronics are produced there – Read the rest of this entry »


Still dreaming of a Malaysia to call Home

By Farish A. Noor | August 12, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

AUG 12 — A Malaysian ambassador once asked me if, after living and working abroad for more than 2½ decades, I still kept my Malaysian citizenship. And I answered yes. He was surprised somewhat and added: “Thank God, at least we haven’t lost you as well.” I replied: “Well, we have lost so many good academics and professionals by now I’m not sure if that makes any difference by this stage…”

Yet out of some naïveté on my part I would still state that I believe in the Malaysian project, for all its quirks and shortcomings. And now, as Malaysia looks ahead at a decade that will undoubtedly transform the face of Southeast Asia and will witness the gradual decline of American influence and the rise of China’s in Asean, we hold fast to the ship of state that is due for a severe battering as never before.
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When politicians plot, public gets shafted

By Mariam Mokhtar | August 12, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

The fly-by-night people in charge of MAS are no better than a posse of cowboys. Why do we continue to tolerate the wasteful antics of our politicians who indulge in a game of real-life Monopoly and who use taxpayers’ money to bail out ailing companies?

In a perverse reversal of the saying “King Midas and his golden touch”, it appears that whatever BN-Umno politicians “touch” will always turn to dust and ashes.

This deal that is struck with MAS and AirAsia is another smack in the face for the public. What sort of responsible government allows such a merger to take place? By agreeing to this merger, the government has neglected to address healthy competition which in essence should benefit the airline customers, companies and the Malaysian economy.
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Anwar has the right to face his accusers and question them is an inalienable right in a court of law

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life advisor

It is common knowledge that the accused person in a criminal case has the right to face his accusers and to question them in a court of law.

However laudable it is that Anwar Ibrahim has been given permission to face his accusers/witnesses in a court of law, it is disappointing that Anwar was not allowed to question the witnesses and must remain silent in court.

This is unusual and runs contrary to established practice, where the accused is permitted to confront his accusers/witnesses and to ask them questions.

In most countries, the law has a Confrontation Clause where in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him, and the defendant usually has a right to cross examine the witnesses.
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People Power in Malaysia: Bersih Rally and Its Aftermath

By Bridget Welsh

10 Aug 2011
Asia-Pacific Bulletin
East-West Centre

Malaysia captured international headlines with the July 9 Bersih rally for clean and fair elections. However, it was not so much the rally itself–estimated to have included as many as 50,000 people–as it was the woeful mishandling of the event by authorities, involving the indiscriminate use of tear gas and the arrest of nearly 2,000 people before and during the event. This rally has served to reveal the sharp fault lines that exist within Malaysian society and deepened the challenges that current Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak faces in winning his first mandate at the polls. Bersih 2.0 illustrates how Malaysia continues to call for political reforms and deeper democracy, despite an incumbent that remains at best ambivalent to substantive political reform.

The rally’s call was modest, aiming to bring about reform to the electoral process. Its eight demands included calling for standard international practices of electoral accountability such as the use of indelible ink to the adoption of overseas voting. Yet, Bersih became much more than calls for changes in elections. It showcased the insecurities of the ruling Barisan Nasional government, which adopted an over-the-top response to the rally from the start, outlawing the Bersih organization and even arresting those who wore yellow clothing, the color of the movement. Read the rest of this entry »


Getting back its mojo

Malaysia’s Penang state
Getting back its mojo
After a slump, an early engine of globalisation is thriving again
Aug 13th 2011 | The Economist

IF YOU are going to have a heart attack, have it in Penang. So one might think, to the see the hospitals in George Town, the capital of this north-western Malaysian state. Patients are flocking in. Ted Mohr, the head of the venerable Penang Adventist Hospital says that he will admit 70,000 medical tourists this year. The hospital specialises in heart procedures and it will perform roughly 23,000 of them this year, including 550 open-heart operations. Such is the demand that the hospital is doubling its number of beds.

Mr Mohr gives two main reasons for Penang’s success with the coronary crowd. First, it is relatively cheap. Open-heart surgery that would set you back $100,000 in America costs only about $10,000 in Penang. Second, Penang’s hospitals are as well-equipped as many in the West.
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