Archive for August 17th, 2011

Malaysia Looks West for Investments

The New York Times
August 16, 2011

LONDON — With Europe’s economy mired in a debt crisis, governments in the region have been looking east for a helping hand, tapping the likes of China and Japan to buy their bonds and step up investments.

But at least one Asian country — Malaysia — still sees value in turning the opposite way, to enhance opportunities for its more assertive multinationals as well as bolstering investments from the West.

The Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, led a large official delegation last month to Britain via Turkmenistan, to capitalize on his country’s strong economy and investment inflows and assuage concerns about political agitation in the multicultural Southeast Asian country. Read the rest of this entry »


The dynamism of Penang

Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

To get the attention of international media, in particular someone in the likes of The Economist, is not anything we can buy with money.

The Economist recently reported the transformation of Penang and its dynamic economy.

Penang is nothing more than just a tiny dot in our enormous world, and to fall into the limelight of international media and receive very high acclaims would be more like holding a winning lottery ticket in hand.

We need sheer luck to win the lottery, but a lot of effort and real strength to gain global recognition. Read the rest of this entry »


GDP growth slows to 4pc as global economy falters

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 17, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Malaysia’s economic growth decelerated to its slowest pace of four per cent since the 2009 recession as the country was hit by a slowdown in external demand and a moderation in government spending, Bank Negara said today.

This was the fifth consecutive decline in quarterly growth and down from the 4.6 per cent growth registered in the first quarter of this year.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz added, however, that stronger growth is expected in the second half of the year and that while there is no revision to the 5-6 per cent growth target for the year, it will “very likely be closer to 5 per cent.” Read the rest of this entry »


Without iron-clad assurances of meaningful electoral reforms in time for 13GE, a PSC is neither useful nor acceptable

In less than 24 hours, the country appears to be back to square one on electoral reforms despite the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s announcement of a parliamentary select committee.

Firstly, the swift contradiction by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin that there is any real problem with the electoral system and that only some minor tweaks are required.

In one swift blow, Muhyiddin has vindicated the wariness, doubts and reservations in the responses to Najib’s announcement of a parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms whether it is a sincere and genuine effort to address electoral flaws and defects to ensure free, fair and clean elections or merely a diversionary tactic and stone-walling operation.

Secondly, the time-line spelt out by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz making clear that the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms could well be an academic exercise if Parliament is dissolved before it could complete its report and its recommendations accepted and implemented as part of the electoral laws of the land. Read the rest of this entry »


Electoral Reform a Must Before Next General Election

By Kee Thuan Chye | 17 August 2011
Malaysian Digest

PRIME Minister Najib Razak is suddenly so generous in calling for electoral reform. He has even called for the establishment of a parliamentary select committee (PSC) to look into this. While it is still premature to say whether this will ensure effective participation by the Opposition in the process, it is nonetheless a radical change from his previous stubborn position against Bersih 2.0’s demands for free and fair elections.

As with much of Malaysian politics, there is probably more to all this than what appears on the surface. Najib must have been comforted by some assurance of electoral victory – and possibly a landslide one – before he would allow himself to accede to an initiative begun by Bersih 2.0. Otherwise, he would be seen to be weak by his own party, Umno, which no doubt would have players in the wings with knives behind their backs.

One hopes this assurance of certain victory does not involve giving illegal immigrants the right to vote. In light of Wanita PKR’s revelation that it has evidence of illegal immigrants taking an oath to vote for BN, this is disturbing.
Read the rest of this entry »