Archive for November 21st, 2011

World Bank: KL a ‘mini Los Angeles’ of inefficient urban sprawl

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 – The World Bank said in a report today that Malaysian cities needed to adopt more compact urban forms to improve livability and attract talent.

The report noted that Kuala Lumpur had sprawled to accomodate unrestrained motorisation and had been referred to as a “mini Los Angeles,” referring to the fact that the US city has been widely derided for its unlovely and inefficient sprawl.

The World Bank’s Senior Country Economist for Malaysia, Frederico Gil Sander told The Malaysian Insider in an interview prior to the launch of the report that the country needed to review its land use policies and make it cheaper to develop along public transit arteries and make it more expensive to develop further away from public transport.

“Create incentives for people to develop along public transport arteries,” he said.

Sander also called for universities to be integrated more tightly into the urban fabric and attract more city dwellers to take classes or attend cultural events. Read the rest of this entry »


World Bank: M’sian varsities a poor show

Patrick Lee | November 21, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia spends a lot on tertiary education, but its universities are not as good as others in Asia and many of its graduates are not equipped for the job market.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has little to show for its universities despite spending more money on tertiary education than do many other countries.

Malaysian universities lag behind many counterparts in Asia, including those located in neighbouring countries like Thailand and Singapore, according to a World Bank report released today.

“While Malaysia spends slightly more than most countries on its university students, leading Malaysian universities perform relatively poorly in global rankings,” said the report, entitled Malaysia Economic Monitor: Smart Cities.

Citing the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2010, it noted that Universiti Malaya (UM) was ranked 207th worldwide and 29th in Asia. Read the rest of this entry »


Let Muhyiddin explain to PAC why the RM300 million NFC project he approved in 2006 has become such a mess and scandal

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidddin Yassin is the current Cabinet Minister most responsible for the RM300 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) project, as he approved it in 2006 as the then Agriculture Minister.

Muhyiddin should appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)on Wednesday when it examines the issue to explain why the cattle production project has become such a mess and scandal, beyond the worst fears of the Auditor-General’s Report 2010 as it is snowballing everyday to expose layer after layer of scandalous transactions.

The Auditor-General Report 2010 on the continuing horror stories about misappropriation and waste of public funds, criminal breach of trust, negligence and gross abuses of power is a damning indictment on the first full-year Najib premiership demonstrating that nothing has really changed despite grandiloquent sloganeering of “1Malaysia, People’s First, Performance Now” in terms of government efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, transparency and integrity.

However, it is an even greater indictment on the Deputy Prime Minister as it exposes his personal and direct Ministerial responsibility for the RM300 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) and National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandals as it was during his tenure as Agriculture Minister that the troubled and controversial project was approved. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #89

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter11: Embracing Free Enterprise

Let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual goodwill.
—Surah An-Nisaa (The Women) (4:29)

When you are lost, goes an old Malay saying, revert to the source. That seems to be Malaysia’s new economic strategy following the Asian economic crisis of 1997. Buffeted by the turmoil of globalization and open markets, Malaysians yearn for the simpler days of fixed exchange rates and controlled commerce. Some even suggest regressing to the old days of bartering! But as in the jungle, the path back is often overgrown, and one could just as easily get lost in retreating. Malaysia is better off preparing for the new realities of open markets and globalization, instead of retreating to some imagined good old days of yore.

With the collapse of communism free enterprise remains the only viable economic system. It is successful because it has proven to bring the greatest prosperity to the largest number of people. Many have sought a “third way,” a mid course or a bridging between free enterprise and state planning. Alas, there is no such alternative.
Read the rest of this entry »


Let the people judge

— by Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 20, 2011

NOV 20 — There is a new mantra in Putrajaya: when they are caught in a tricky or difficult situation, they say “Let the People Decide”.

There is a reason why Muhyiddin Yassin and Hishammuddin Hussein have suddenly become lovers of the public opinion. It is because they hope to end whatever debate is going on, to recoup their position and then hope that Malaysians forget about the particularly embarrassing event.

Muhyiddin caught at the centre of National Feedlot Corporation (let us not be mistaken: he is a central figure in this scandal because he approved the project), says that the public upon reading Shahrizat Jalil husband’s porous defence will not swallow the lies of the Opposition.

The DPM just wants to end the debate on an issue which can embroil himself.

Now Hishammuddin Hussein, the man who denied the will of the people for free elections, is also keen for the people to judge the government’s actions in using the ISA to arrest 13 alleged terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »