Archive for November 18th, 2011

Muhyiddin’s folly

Ali Kadir
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 18, 2011

NOV 18 — Now I know why Najib Razak is always out of the country: the prime minister wants to show us what he also knows — that he has a pretty mediocre deputy.

Muhyiddin Yassin is at best of mentri besar quality, but unfortunately because of the dysfunctional system of Umno’s president and deputy president being given the number one and number two leadership posts in Malaysia, Muhyiddin is one position away from being the PM.

His handling of the National Feedlot Corporation scandal has been ridiculous and shifty. From the beginning he has tried to shift the responsibility of explaining the project to Noh Omar and others but he was the man who helmed the Agriculture Ministry which promoted and endorsed this project!!!

Today, he is quoted as saying that he leaves it to the public to accept or reject the explanation put forward by Mohamed Salleh of the National Feedlot Corporation but quickly says that as far as the government is concerned, these are all stories created by the Opposition.

Really? But the failure of the feedlot project was highlighted by the Auditor General, not Anwar Ibrahim or Lim Kit Siang. Read the rest of this entry »


Asia must safeguard its growth by protecting its people

By Noeleen Heyzer | November 18, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

NOV 18 — While European and North American leaders struggle to regain fiscal credibility by cutting back social entitlements, those of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet in Bali this week at a historic turning point, an economic coming of age for their region, which may require them to move in the opposite direction.

Asia remains by far the most dynamic region in the world and the locomotive of global growth. Its growth rate is one and a half times that of any other region. But this growth has been accompanied by growing inequalities, and remains fragile.

The region’s recovery has come under pressure in recent months from multiple crises — increases in food and energy prices, the continuing global financial crisis, and severe disruptions in Japan and six ASEAN countries caused by adverse climate conditions and natural disasters. Because of these multiple shocks 42 million additional people will fall into poverty by the end of 2011, according to estimates by the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s economy likely to slow despite earlier boom

By Debra Chong | November 18, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Malaysia should brace for a protracted economic slump despite the expected announcement today that its economy has grown by up to 4.8 per cent in the past three months, analysts have warned, as the mushrooming debt cloud from the US and Europe spreads eastwards.

As the country heads into the last six weeks of the year, Bloomberg News reported today that most Asian currencies have been falling in the past three months on concern the nations that led the recovery from the 2009 global recession will falter.

“It’s part of monetary easing if they let their currencies weaken,” the business news agency reported United Overseas Bank economist Ho Woei Chen as saying.

The ringgit has fallen more than five per cent in the past three months while the Thai baht has weakened 3.3 per cent but neither countries have cut their rates even as Indonesia and Australia lowered borrowing costs in this last quarter.
Read the rest of this entry »


Empty vessels make the most noise

By Douglas Tan | November 18, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Remember the adage: silence is golden? I’m sure many parents have taught their children that if you do not have anything nice to say, you should keep quiet.

However in politics these days, we have mud-slinging from both sides of the political divide.

It appears that the less relevant you have become, the more you have to shout at the top of your lungs.

For the MCA, it is able to see that it is fast disappearing off the political scene just like Gerakan.

The party has been criticised over the years for being gutless and pandering to the demands of Umno, just to ensure that it still gets a slice of the pie.
Read the rest of this entry »


It’s a mad, mad world

By Zairil Khir Johari | November 18, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. So goes the ancient phrase that has, throughout the millennia, remained an appropriate and relevant dictum to this very day.

The systemic trait of madness has been an inherent hallmark of declining autocratic regimes since time immemorial. Take, for example, the story of the Roman emperor Caligula, whose reign began with much promise and great popularity, but who quickly succumbed to the luxuries of power and who, towards the end of his short-lived rule, attempted to appoint his favourite horse as a consul of the Roman Senate.

And then of course there is the late totalitarian President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan who, apart from styling himself Turkmenbashi (Leader of Turkmens), also deigned to rename calendar months after members of his own family, in addition to outlawing long hair and beards for Turkmen men and advising the citizenry to gnaw on bones in order to strengthen their teeth, because apparently it works for dogs.
Read the rest of this entry »


NFC beat target, says Shahrizat’s husband

The Malaysian Insider
Nov 17, 2011

GEMAS, Nov 17 — The controversial national cattle farming project went beyond its set target, chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail said today, disputing a federal audit describing the scheme as being “in a mess”.

“In fact, [National Feedlot Corporation (NFC)] has raised 8,016 head of cattle in 2010, surpassing its target of 8,000 head of cattle. We are importing cattle from Australia and we have to feed them for between four and six months. Read the rest of this entry »