Archive for December 8th, 2011

A conversation at the hospital

By Zairil Khir Johari | 7 December, 2011
The Rocket

The most noticeable difference in experience between a private and a public hospital is the fact that in the former, the waiting room is air-conditioned. Other than that, the unavailability of parking lots, infinitesimal queue numbers and staff members adept at ignoring your eye contact are all characteristic of Malaysian hospitals, no matter how much you pay.

“Sometimes I wonder why we pay more for such service?”

I turned towards the source of the unsolicited comment. He was middle-aged, middle-class and probably undergoing a mid-life crisis judging from the way his hair was carefully combed to cover a bald patch. I smiled.

“My wife is here for a check-up,” he said, glancing in the direction of a neatly-dressed lady with an exasperated expression that said there he goes again.
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TI CPI – Not just lose out to China in 4 years’ time, but also left behind by more OIC and African countries in future

The shocking results of Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2011 with Malaysia plunging to the worst ranking in 17 years from No. 23 in 1995 to No. 60 in 2011 as well as the worst score of 4.3 has raised many questions about the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s transformation programme and the Corruption NKRA (National Key Result Areas).

I warned yesterday that based on TI CPI trend in the past 17 years, Malaysia risks being overtaken by China as a less corrupt country in four years’ time by 2015, leaving Malaysia around the 80th ranking with a score below 4.

But Malaysia also face other risks as in forfeiting our position as the leading OIC country in development, rule of law, accountability and transparency.

Malaysia is not only backsliding in anti-corruption efforts when compared to other countries in the Asia-Pacific, we are also been overtaken by countries in other parts of the world including the OIC countries.

A decade ago, Malaysian leaders pride themselves as leading the most technologically advanced and most industrially developed country in the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), towering head and shoulders over other countries in the OIC on the rule of law, accountability, transparency and integrity.

This leading position of Malaysia was acknowledged in the early annual TI CPIs.

In the 1996 TI CPI, where Malaysia was ranked No. 26 out of 54 countries with a score of 5.32, Malaysia was ahead the other three OIC countries cited, viz Jordan (No. 30 with score 4.89), Turkey (No.33 with score 3.54) and Egypt (No. 41 with score 2.84).

However, 16 years later, Malaysia is ranked behind six OIC countries in the TI CPI 2011, even behind Jordan and just one step ahead of Turkey, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


Demonising the opposition

Jeswan Kaur | December 8, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

Instead of using the opposition as its punching bag, Umno has to wisen up and engage in some soul-searching, that too if there is any of it left.


The recently concluded Umno general assembly had the trappings of all things fake, from the speech and rhetorics of its president-cum-prime minister Najib Tun Razak to the personal hidden agendas of the delegates.

For Najib and the rest, the 62nd annual general assembly was nothing more than a misused platform to do the despicable – condemn and ridicule their adversaries, i.e. the opposition led by dethroned former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

Such immature acts of trying to so very hard to make an impression among the people that Umno has everyone’s interest at heart is pure gibberish. The truth is that Najib in all his desperation is playing to the gallery for the sake of his political survival.

Using the Umno general assembly to announce that the 13th general election is just round the corner is not going to win Najib and Barisan Nasional the rakyat’s votes, going by the track record of the premier, Umno and BN.

To childish attack on the opposition for one reason or another merely reflects Umno’s desperation and BN’s anxiety at the fate that awaits them at the coming national polls. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno in the fierce light of day

Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 08, 2011

DEC 8 — I am restless. I slipped into this condition when I started observing the Umno general assembly last week.

The word which best describes the theme, tone and thrust of the assembly is racism (of the Malay superiority variety).

I shudder when I think of Umno leaders: Prime Minister Najib, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin, Home Minister Hishammuddin, de facto Law Minister Nazri. They spew racism. They speak as if Malay means Umno. They methodically attack other Malay parties, PKR and PAS, saying the latter will sell their racial privileges. Meritocracy. Many years ago I believed fear of meritocracy was the primary engine of Umno’s racism.

In “The Malay Dilemma”, probably the most racist book I’ve read, our former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir even suggested Malays are dim due to inbreeding! Mahathir, of course, has been proved wrong. Malays now dominate the civil service, the judiciary, the armed forces and the majority of large Malaysian public companies. You don’t dominate by being dim. You dominate by using power and threats.

Egotism. Prior to the Umno assembly, I thought the primary engine of Umno’s racism was egotism, i.e. a grand sense of self-importance, with boastfulness. What did they boast about? They boasted about remaining entrenched, sustaining the “special position” of the Malays, maintaining “national security” and retaining Islam as the official religion (as if it was ever under threat); boasts which are more implied than spelt out. The venue, dress, food, cars, etc helped reinforce the wealth of Umno leaders. Read the rest of this entry »