Archive for November 8th, 2011

Najib’s reforms in ‘dribs and drabs’, says Ku Li

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 08, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah criticised the pace of reforms in the country today, saying that it was too inconsistent and there appeared to be no overall plan to transform the country and society.

The Umno veteran and president of newly registered civil society NGO Amanah (Angkatan Amanah Merdeka) said that while there have been initiatives such as the National Key Result Areas (NKRA’s), they were currently too fragmented.

“I don’t know actually because everything is done in dribs and drabs,” he said at a press conference when asked about the government’s reforms. “There is no overall plan as to how they are going to transform our country or society.”

He added that it was “very difficult” for him to gauge what is going to happen in terms of transformation unless there is “a complete reformation.” Read the rest of this entry »


PPSMI, a tough pill to swallow

Dr Kamal Amzan
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 08, 2011

NOV 8 — This is déjà vu.

Back in Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s day, we saw many U-turns and flip flopping of government decisions.

The decision to build a crooked bridge, double tracking rail project, comes to mind. Malaysians were so tired of such fickle-mindedness that they voted the Opposition into a few states in March 2008.

Three years later, we usher in the era of PPSMI.

Within a week we saw two big announcements by the education minister. One was to uphold the abolishment of PPSMI, while the other was to extend PPSMI until 2021. Read the rest of this entry »


Chaotic catharsis

by Hugo Dixon
Nov 6, 2011

Chaos, drama and crisis are all Greek words. So is catharsis. Europe is perched between chaos and catharsis, as the political dramas in Athens and Rome reach crisis point. One path leads to destruction; the other rebirth. Though there are signs of hope, a few more missteps will lead down into the chasm.

The dramas in the two cradles of European civilization are similar and, in bizarre ways, linked. Last week’s decision by George Papandreou to call a referendum on whether the Greeks were in favor of the country’s latest bailout program set off a chain reaction that is bringing down not only his government but probably that of Silvio Berlusconi too.

The mad referendum plan, which has now been rescinded, shocked Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy so much that they threatened to cut off funding to Greece unless it got its act together — a move that would drive it out of the euro. But this is probably an empty threat, at least in the short term, because of the way that Athens is roped to Rome. If Greece is pushed over the edge, Italy could be dragged over too and then the whole single currency would collapse. So, ironically, Athens is being saved from the immediate consequences of its delinquency by the fear of a much bigger disaster across the Ionian Sea.

Italian bond yields, which were already uncomfortably high, shot up after the Greek referendum fiasco. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia remains rich but also intolerant, says new study

By Melissa Chi | November 07, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Malaysia maintained its rank as the 43rd most prosperous nation, trailing behind Singapore at 16th but the latest index of overall wealth also ranked the country among the worst countries for personal freedom and democracy, while it also scored poorly for security and the educational levels of workers.

It was also found that Malaysians did not trust each other and generally did not welcome outsiders.

Overall, Malaysia was a more prosperous nation than its other Asean neighbours such as Thailand which came in at 45 out of 110 countries.

The London-based think-tank Legatum’s Prosperity Index assesses 110 countries based on performance in eight areas such as economy, personal freedom, health and social capital.
Read the rest of this entry »


Chua Soi Lek vs Lim Guan Eng

By Spencer Gan | November 08, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

NOV 8 — It is obvious that the black ops team at the MCA has been active and it believes that by beating the fear drum about hudud, Chinese voters will run away from Pakatan Rakyat into the arms of the MCA.

That is why the MCA ragsheet, The Star, has been giving great space to Chua Soi Lek, the soiled president of the MCA, on this issue.

So he now wants the DAP to explain how hudud will impact the Chinese community before seeking its support in the next elections. I prefer a more straightforward test, a test between Chua and the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng.

1) Who went to jail for standing up for a voiceless, young girl, not concerned about race or religion? Who escaped going to jail despite millions seeing him commit a criminal offence punishable by jail time?
Read the rest of this entry »


It’s raining goodies in Johor

By S Rutra | November 8, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

MUAR: After Pakatan Rakyat declared its intention of making inroads into Barisan Nasional’s stronghold of Johor, the ruling coalition is leaving nothing to chance, especially when it concerns Indian voters.

These voters are being showered with cash and hampers, and leading the goodie train is none other than Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman.

An ex-MIC state leader told FMT that while the Indians here have been traditional supporters of BN, the party leaders however are not taking this granted.

“Even though in some of the constituencies, Indian voters are as low as three or five percent, they still may be the deciding factor in ensuring that Johor remains a BN fortress,” he said.
Read the rest of this entry »


Is Muhyiddin best person to “transform” Malaysian proficiency in English, maths and science as to become a global power house?

Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has not inspired or convinced Malaysians in his 31 months as Education Minister that he is the person to “transform” the proficiency of Malaysian students in English, maths and science for Malaysia to become a global power house in these three subjects.

This point has been further driven home for most Malaysians by his recent maladroit flip-flop over the PPSMI issue.

The greatest disservice Muhyiddin has done to Malaysian education and our international competitiveness was his decision on PPSMI, which was given Cabinet approval on 8th July 2009.

My immediate reaction (9th July 2009) was to describe the Cabinet decision on PPSMI “not a New Deal, as proclaimed by some newspaper headlines, but a Raw Deal leaving Malaysia stranded in the march towards global educational quality, excellence and competitiveness and doing a great disservice to millions of students currently in both the primary and secondary schools”. Read the rest of this entry »