Archive for March 14th, 2012

Was Shahrizat’s act really a sacrifice?

by Kee Thuan Chye
March 14, 2012

Shahrizat did not ‘resign’. She knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too.

Let’s get this right. Shahrizat Abdul Jalil did not, in the strict sense of the word, resign. She merely chose to relinquish her position as Women, Family and Community Development Minister just a little ahead of April 8, when her senatorship would expire.

And her guess was probably as good as many people’s that her senatorship would not be extended, given that she’s now a liability to her party, Umno.

Ever since the National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp) scandal broke out, she has been hounded for the fact that the company belongs to her family. Despite her claims that she had nothing to do with how the NFCorp got a RM250 million soft loan from the government while she was a member of the Cabinet, few people actually believe her.

So, if her senatorship were to be extended, Umno’s chances at the coming general election would have been severely impaired.

So no, she did not ‘resign’. She knew the time was up, and perhaps the game too. Read the rest of this entry »


Will the charge against NFC boss be an escapade for BN?

— Kim Quek
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012

MARCH 14 — It appears that the charge of NFC chairman Mohamed Salleh Ismail in court is a tactical move to get away from the scorching NFC scandal – the same way Barisan Nasional has got away with the RM12.5 billion PKFZ ghost town scandal and the Khir Toyo corruption scandal.

This move is known as the “decoy and silence” tactic, which has been BN’s time-tested strategy to slip away from a high corruption scandal entrapment. It is simply to initiate a peripheral charge to divert attention from the real issue and use the court action as shield to fence-off further attacks on ground of “sub judice”.

This is vividly illustrated in Parliament on March 13, a day after Mohamed Salleh was charged, when Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia absurdly cited the current court case as reason to reject an emergency motion on the NFC project debacle tabled by MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, despite the latter explaining that her issue was with the ministries which approved the project, and not with Mohamed Salleh’s misconduct, which is the subject matter of the current court case.

And on the same day, Agriculture Minister Noh Omar, under whose jurisdiction the NFC project falls, deflected all questions on the scandal on the equally ridiculous suggestion of sub judice; while Barisan Nasional MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan falsely claimed that the court is now the best platform to thrash out the issues, adding that the party that should answer questions is NFC, and not the ministries.

Apparently, BN hopes that with Mohamed Salleh in the dock, the BN government would be left in peace. Read the rest of this entry »


Lynas Corp’s absurd publicity stunts

— Iskandar Dzulkarnain
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012

MARCH 14 — Nick Curtis the CEO of Lynas Corp had expressed his interest to meet with the Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng during the latter’s visit to Australia on March 23. Lim has politely refused to meet up with the CEO until he has discussed with the Anti-Lynas group.

Instead, he has asked Curtis to meet up with the anti-Lynas group snubbing that he is the wrong person, while the CM of Pahang should be the right person to meet with Nick Curtis.

Undeterred, Lynas Corp in a statement to Bernama, said the invitation would be kept open and the company welcomed the opportunity to help Lim understand its investment in the rare earth plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

But the truth is, what can the Penang CM do to alleviate the current controversy surrounding the Lynas rare earth plant? Would his personal opinion or intervention buy over the thousands of critics who are against the existence of the Rare Earth Plant in Pahang State?

Isn’t it more appropriate to meet with Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Pakatan Rakyat who is against the controversial project based on allegations that the Australian miner has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery?

Really, it would make more sense for the Lynas CEO to meet with the anti-Lynas group than the CM of Penang, as Penang has no say or jurisdiction towards the project in Pahang State. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia after regime change

— Ooi Kee Beng
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012

MARCH 14 — Malaysia had to begin life as a federation because, like all federations, its diversity of polity, culture, history, ethnicity and economy was simply too deep for a centrally controlled regime to be practicable.

That was why the Malayan Union of 1946, hopefully constructed by a colonial power recovering from a devastating world war and that badly needed to simplify its control apparatus, could never succeed. Indirect and de facto colonialism was acceptable, but centralised and direct colonialism was too much for the Malay community to accept.

And yet, as became clear in the aftermath of the 2008 general election, the country nevertheless had in reality become centrally controlled by a coalition centred around Umno (United Malays National Organisation), the party formed in 1946 by Onn Ja’afar to fight the Malayan Union.

The 2008 election results can thus be read as a strong negative reaction by the newly-liberated electorate to this sustained political denial of the country’s historical diversity. Read the rest of this entry »


Lynas: What were the IAEA experts thinking on the plane home?

By Rama Ramanathan | March 13, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 13 — The written word doesn’t make faces. Technical reports don’t include snide remarks. International experts don’t publicly reveal some of what they’re really thinking. I wonder what the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts were really thinking when they said:

“The 1-2 tons bags of the rare earths concentrate will be transported by road from Mt Weld to Perth (or a nearby port) in 20 ton land-sea containers. From Perth, the containers will be moved on ships to Singapore. From Singapore, smaller vessels will move the containers to Kuantan. Up to Kuantan, the rare earths concentrate will be shipped as normal non-radioactive material, in accordance with international regulations. From Kuantan port, the containers will be trucked 15 km to the Lynas facility in Gebeng. Malaysian regulations require the concentrate to be treated as radioactive material.” [Adapted from IAEA International Review Mission (29 May – 03 June 2011) Report, page 27.]

Do you get it? According to international standards, the material can be handled like any soil. Then, when it lands in Malaysia, “it’s radioactive.” It’s like saying Australian apples are safe worldwide, but not in Malaysia.

This for me is the Lynas dilemma. Read the rest of this entry »


RM500 buys…

— Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 13, 2012

MARCH 13 — It is not surprising that PM Najib Razak says that the government will give cash to Malaysians if revenue goes up. He has found out that his disbursement of RM500 has been a success. Nothing it seems keeps Malaysians happy than some lucre in the pocket.

Najib knows this and if it means emptying the coffers to win the election he will do it. The PM a great believer in deal-making knows that RM500 will…

•persuade many Malaysians to have amnesia and forget the catalogue of flip-flops and mistakes from Najib who has inherited mantle of flip-flop king from Abdullah Badawi.

•make Malaysians forget about the string of corruption issues and dodgy deals from the development of land near Martrade (Naza TTDI) to the rm9 billion patrol boats to the super sweetheart West Coast Highway deal (60 year toll concession) to the RM2.2 billion Kidex highway. Read the rest of this entry »


The say sorry game

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 13, 2012

MARCH 13 — Malaysians are learning a new political game- The Apology Game. The apologiser- in- chief is of course Najib Razak. He has said sorry for those undefined Umno wrongs. Maybe he is sorry he couldn’t plug the gaping hole that allowed RM 1.3 trillion to leave the country. Crooks associated with Umno embezzled money belonging to this country. Its financial mayhem. Saying sorry is sufficient.

Sources of regret

Maybe he is also sorry for the endless list of financial scandals that were caused by Umno. He is sorry for dismembering up the iconic MAS. He is sorry, for destroying the future of Felda. 5 years from now, when Felda doesn’t have the funds to manage and operate the 112,000 settlers in the Felda schemes, the government steps in making up for the loss in revenue. What was the cause of the loss in revenue in the first place?

The ravenous appetite of Umno politician businessmen. Read the rest of this entry »