Archive for September 14th, 2011

Economists no longer able to predict economic crisis, says ISIS chief

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 14, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, September 14 — The global economy is now so unbalanced that economists are no longer able to predict crises, said Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) chief Datuk Mahani Zainal Abidin today.

This comes as the global markets continue to be plagued with uncertainty due to the lingering effects of the 2008 financial meltdown that hit the United States and Europe.

While Malaysia was spared from the financial crisis and has resumed economic expansion after the 2009 recession, its stock market has been rocked by global volatility, while inflation has soared due to pressure from high commodity prices. Property prices have also jumped dramatically owing to ample liquidity.

The think tank chief said that the problem was that the financial economy has become much larger than the real economy and admitted that assumptions used by economists no longer work. Read the rest of this entry »


Chief Jester’s Circus and Charade Comes to a Close (Part 2)

by Martin Jalleh
14 Sept 2011

Zaki Azmi, the “Judiciary’s Renaissance man” has left behind a legacy of a judiciary scandalously compromised, shamelessly cowed and a slew of shocking contradictory and convoluted judgments. Below are some examples.

“Creatures of the Government”

In Dec. 2009, Abdul Aziz Bari, a constitutional law expert, declared that the judiciary has been reduced to one that “takes its cue from the government”.) But it has been the then CJ’s belief that since the 1988 judicial crisis “the confidence in the judiciary has improved a great deal” (The Nut Graph, 26.03.10)!

Zaki called those who criticized the judiciary for its lack of independence “a small group of vociferous people out there, who go onto the internet and blogs and Facebook and all that and make comments without knowing the proper background. Many are not even lawyers.”

A few months later lawyer Edmund Bon, who was then the chairman of the constitutional law committee of the Bar Council revealed that “the perception that the judiciary is executive-compliant still remains till today” (Free Malaysia Today, 17.08.10)!

According to former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram: “… the judiciary has become so ‘executive-minded’ and that “the judges have become creatures of the government” (Malaysiakini, 16.09.10).

The NST quoted Zaki on 12 May this year that feedback from lawyers showed that they were happy with the integrity of the judiciary and had not heard anything negative since 2008. He added: “I am sure many, if not all, agree that the Malaysian judiciary is now free from any criticism or accusation of bias or partiality.”

Very apparently he had not listened to N H Chan who had often pointed out that the “Perak crisis has brought out a host of cases that showed that the judges gave the impression that they were one-sided. The perception of the people is that they sided with the BN government.” Read the rest of this entry »


Chief Jester’s Circus and Charade Comes to a Close (Part 1)

By Martin Jalleh
14 Sept. 2011

Zaki Azmi has retired as the Chief Justice (CJ) of Bolehland. Weeks before the final curtain, he held himself in high regard in press interviews by giving rave reviews of his own tenure. He felt “very satisfied with the judiciary’s achievements in less than three years” (Bernama).

For a long time the mainstream press had portrayed Zaki as a “reluctant” CJ. But as his retirement date drew nearer, the Malay Mail (MM) revved up the farewell accolades by revering him as the “Judiciary’s Renaissance man” (25.08.11).

According to MM’s executive editor Terence Fernandez the feedback he received from Zaki’s contemporaries in the Federal Court including Arifin Zakaria, Raus Sharif, James Foong, Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Abdull Hamid Embong was that Zaki “has revolutionised the judiciary”.

Praise for Zaki’s tenure also came from the Bar Council. Its chairperson Lim Chee Wee lauded him as one who has “surpassed the Bar’s expectations as he has implemented many positive changes”. Lim listed 11 of the changes (Malaysiakini, 06.09.11).

Zaki’s changes may have been impressive but the reputation of the judiciary was sullied irreparably during his term of office. In the eyes of the public the judiciary sunk so low as to allow itself to be intimidated, its independence and impartiality interfered with, and its integrity reduced to ignominy. Read the rest of this entry »


Hasty deadlines, languid decisions marring MRT project

By Jahabar Sadiq
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 14, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Rushed tender deadlines, slow decision-making and an abrupt change of project owners is blighting the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project that is already reeling from controversial land acquisitions along the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line, critics say.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the key independent check engineer (ICE) job has finally been issued — eight months after it was first put up for tender in the last week of December 2010 — just before the change of project owners.

It was one of many tenders that had short deadlines, much to the dismay of many engineering companies interested in taking part in the bidding.

“The ICE tender was on the last week of December 2010 when most people are on holiday. If that is not bad enough, it took them eight months to finally send out the official award letter,” an industry source told The Malaysian Insider.

“And what is strange is the award was given out so late by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) but just days before the project was transferred to MRT Co as the new owners,” he added, referring to the switch in project owners by Putrajaya. Read the rest of this entry »