Archive for December 12th, 2011

Chameleon politics

— Tan Teck Huat
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 12, 2011

DEC 12 — If anyone wants to know the chameleon nature of the Najib government or perhaps even the prime minister, you just have to look at the government’s attitude towards Singapore.

On one hand, Najib talks about closer ties with Singapore and his upcoming retreat with Lee Hsien Loong, where some great announcement is going to be made about a joint announcement in Iskandar.

We are supposed to be good pals after years of difficult ties. But before anyone starts celebrating, there is Najib’s good friend, Senator Ezam Noor, warning undergraduates that the DAP is bent on turning Malaysia into Singapore!

Let there be no illusion about Ezam’s close connection to the establishment. A political maverick like Ezam can only be accepted back into the system and be appointed as a senator only with the blessings of the prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #92

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter11: Embracing Free Enterprise

Malaysian Capitalism

Moral Arguments For Free Trade

Daniel Griswold of the conservative Cato Institute in Washington, DC, argues that free trade is morally right, quite apart from the benefits that accrue upon the participants. Free trade respects individual dignity and sovereignty. When one engages in honest work, one has the basic right to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. No authority has the power to forbid someone from exchanging the fruits of that labor with something else produced by another person, whether that person is in the next village or across the globe. Ibn Khaldun first expressed these views in the 14th Century. Protectionism is just another form of stealing; taking from one group of people (consumers) and giving the spoils to another (usually domestic producers and others who are politically powerful).

Free trade also encourages individuals to cultivate moral virtues. To be successful in trade, one must be reliable and provide the goods and services that are needed and at a price that is affordable. Rewards go to those who are trustworthy, reliable, and deliver on their promises. These are the same qualities that are regarded as virtues in any religion. For Muslims, it is instructive that Muhammad (pbuh) was a trustworthy merchant who brought great profits to his employer before he received his prophethood.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Essential national intellectual capital: What is needed more, a genius or two, or good academic institutions?

— Clive Kessler
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 12, 2011

DEC 12 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has recognised that a country’s intellectual capital is its primary asset.

Its “brainpower”, he understands, is the major determinant of its international standing, of its prospects of achieving success and prosperity (Melissa Chi, “PM says intellectual capital determines success of a country”, The Malaysian Insider, December 10, 2011).

So far, so good.

But it is wishful thinking to imagine that all can be saved and made good by the production, in isolation — in a cultural and intellectual vacuum — of a couple of world-class geniuses.

There are many small countries that, against the odds, have surprisingly produced the odd “world-beater.”

But unless these intellectual giants inhabit what may be called a “culturally hospitable environment” in their own countries (and provided, too, that they do not become part of the great international “brain drain”), little will come of their achievements. Read the rest of this entry »


A single spark starts the prairie fire?

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 11, 2011

DEC 11 — Dengar cerita CEO NFC (suami Sharizat) dpt gaji 100k sebulan, anak sulung (age 31) dpt gaji 45k sebulan, anak kedua (age 27)dpt 35k sebulan, anak ketiga (age 25) dpt 35k sebulan. Jika ini betul, ia sesungguhnya memalukan. Ambil duit rakyat buat bayar gaji besar.

Anak saya pun graduate juga. UPSR, PMR, SPM dapat semua A. Umur 24 tahun. Kerja swasta. Dia pun work hard. Balik kerja paling awal jam 9 malam. Kadang2 sampai 1 pagi. Gaji dia RM2,700/sebulan. Adakah anak saya akan sokong BN/Umno kalau begini keadaannya? Saya dah tahu jawapannya. Umno tak boleh kelentong orang cerdik. Umno is not capable of changing, not with the current leaders.

When more than 50 per cent of our working population is earning less than RM2k/month, tak tahu malu ke mereka-mereka ini. Merompak siang dan malam, 7 hari seminggu. Perompak Ali Baba P. Ramli pun ada cuti hujung minggu.

8 December 2011 15:12

Even if we refuse to admit it, the above is an outpouring of bitterness. Although Umno people will wish it’s confined, it’s personal anecdotes such as this that strikes fear in Umno. Maybe it’s already that single initial spark that has ignited the prairie fire.

Shahrizat Jalil can huff and puff and weave her tales as her mythical namesake did in 1,001 Nights. While she can fool Umno delegates by employing attack as the best form of defence, her actions are only an exercise in futility. For her, the writing is already on the wall. Whatever she does will not extinguish her blackened image. Read the rest of this entry »