Archive for March 23rd, 2012

The civil service must prepare for change of government

The Malaysian Insider
Mar 23, 2012

MARCH 23 — The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) today releases a new Policy Ideas briefing paper that calls for the civil service at federal and state levels to plan and prepare for a smooth transition of administration. This is particularly important as we get closer to the general elections.

The Policy Ideas briefing paper argues that a smooth transition is more than just a peaceful transfer of power. It is also about ensuring that the effective functioning of government does not become too disrupted during the transition period. It provides case studies on how transition was managed in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, and the strengths and weaknesses of the systems in these countries.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of IDEAS says: “A clearly defined transition process is important. Politicians, especially those who are now in power, must accept that for the sake of the rakyat, they must create a proper transition plan. And looking at the latest developments, I think that it is more important to prepare in the states rather than federal because there is a chance we will see some states changing hands. Just imagine how disruptive it could be for the rakyat there if Kelantan or Sabah change hands. We can avoid the disruption by planning early.” Read the rest of this entry »


Teflon Umno

— Gomen Man
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 23, 2012

MARCH 23 — Today was closure for Prime Minister Najib Razak. Not for Malaysia and not for Shahrizat Jalil or her family, most recently known for their involvement in the National Feedlot Centre scandal.

Closure because Najib has been forced to publicly back Shahrizat as the Wanita Umno chief or face the possibility of some form of a revolt from the Wanita ranks.

This scenario was communicated to Putrajaya by Wanita Umno in not to subtle ways. So Shahrizat got to pick her “retirement” date from Cabinet and the assurance that she can remain as Wanita chief.

So today she was feted by her wing, the same wing which was clueless and probably thought that the NFC meant the National Feeding Committee when Shahrizat made light of the scandal at the Umno general assembly. Read the rest of this entry »


Guan Eng: PM must halt Lynas plant construction

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 23, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak should immediately halt the construction of the Lynas refinery in Gebeng to prove his commitment to public safety, Lim Guan Eng said today.

Penang Chief Minister Lim accused the prime minister of contradicting himself during an interview with radio station 988FM yesterday, where Najib had said he would scrap the Lynas plant construction if there was scientific evidence to prove it was hazardous.

This, according to Lim, was different from what Najib had said last week — that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the Lynas rare earths plant could not decide on whether the refinery would be built.

“Datuk Seri Najib Razak should publicly withdraw his March 17 remarks, order an immediate stop-work order on Lynas and declare the Barisan Nasional’s government willingness to pay compensation of at least RM700 million which Lynas spent on building the plant,” Lim said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »


Western Australia says no to Lynas waste

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 23, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — The Western Australian government, where Lynas Corp’s rare earths mine is located, has said it will not accept waste from the firm’s controversial refinery in Kuantan even if it is not radioactive.

Putrajaya said early this month Lynas, which plans to transport ore from Mount Weld in the Australian state, to its RM2.3 billion plant in Gebeng, had promised to send its residue abroad if it could not find a suitable waste disposal site in Malaysia.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had also said late last month the Sydney-based firm must find a way to ship the waste back to Australia, failing which no temporary operating licence (TOL) will be issued.

But Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore told the state’s legislative council that it would not allow the residue, which Lynas says it can treat to reduce its radioactivity, to be returned to its source.

“Yes, as Commonwealth legislation prohibits the importation by Australia of any waste product produced from offshore processing of any mineral resources purchased here,” he said in a written response to Mining and Pastoral Region member Robin Chapple obtained by The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »


Before being known as “Bapa Transformasi”, Najib must show he is not “Bapa U-Turn” first

Less than 3 years into his term as the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Tun Razak has already been showered with the accolade of “Bapa Transformasi” courtesy of his many transformation programs. The litany of acronyms associated with Najib is like a never-ending alphabet soup – GTP, ETP, PTP, NEM, NKEA, NKRA, NEAC, EPP, SRIs.

One almost needs a reference dictionary to keep track of them. But despite his many programs, he is still very, very far from being a transformative Prime Minister. And his many programs are still very, very far from being transformative.

On the eve of what will be the most tightly contested general election in our history, Najib has shown a greater willingness to make U-Turns when faced with tough decisions that would have made Malaysia into a more progressive, liberal and vibrant country.

His various transformation programs are nothing more than expensive tax funded PR exercises that masks the business and politics as usual way of doing things that is taking place behind the scenes within the corridors of Putrajaya and within UMNO’s headquarters at PWTC.

Before Najib can earn the title of ‘Bapa Transformasi’, he needs to show that he is not ‘Bapa U-Turn’ first. Read the rest of this entry »