Archive for March, 2012

Probe on AG and ex-IGP if Pakatan captures Putrajaya

Nigel Aw | Mar 26, 2012

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has declared that Pakatan Rakyat will probe attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan for alleged criminal wrongdoing if it captures federal power in the next general election.

This, he said, is because Prime Minister Najib Razak’s refusal to act on former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) chief Ramli Yusuff’s complaint that Gani had fixed him and his team of police officers after they arrested an underworld figure.

“If there is no judicial tribunal, then we have to go back to the mandate of the people for a tribunal to find out whether we have criminals as the (former) head of police and attorney-general,” Lim told a 5,000-strong crowd at a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in the Kuala Selangor stadium last night.

Lim said the allegation made by a former top police officer was unprecedented even in other countries and should have warranted an immediate investigation from the premier.

Last Friday, Najib had dismissed calls for a tribunal, stating that it was merely a claim which had yet to be substantiated.

Following this, Ramli expressed his disappointment that he and his officers, which he said had been wrongly charged but subsequently cleared by the courts, have been denied any avenue for justice. Read the rest of this entry »


Reforming Education: Fixing Kampong Schools

M. Bakri Musa

(First of Six Parts)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Muhyiddin Yassin promised to release his “thorough review” of our schools by yearend. I hope that he, his officials, and the slew of expensive consultants he hired will pay attention to the unique challenges facing three particular groups of students: those in our kampong schools, residential schools, and those university-bound with their post-Form Five dilemma.

I will cover these three issues in the order presented. I had earlier critiqued and put forth my recommendations on improving the whole system in my book, An Education System Worthy of Malaysia (2003).

There is no shortage of reviews, thorough and otherwise, of our education system. Unfortunately, just as the recommendations of one new policy were being implemented, there would follow, just as surely as a burp after a roti canai breakfast, a stunning reversal soon thereafter. Unlike a burp where only stale gas would be expelled, with a policy reversal the whole earlier content would be vomited out. It is enough to keep the heads of our pupils and teachers spinning, further distracting and confusing them. A prime example would be the language of instruction for science and mathematics.

In addition to the confusions and distractions from these frequent policy reversals, kampong pupils in particular are further burdened by a triad of formidable obstacles that have remained unresolved for decades despite the multitude of reforms. Incidentally as these pupils are Malays, they should be of particular concern to UMNO, Perkasa, and other champions of Ketuanan Melayu types. On a more general level, Malaysia cannot become developed if a major segment of its population – its rural youths – are deprived of quality education. That is quite apart from the racial implications.

It is pathetic if not reprehensible that after nearly three years as Minister of Education it is only now that Muhyiddin is aware of the glaring achievement gaps between rural and urban schools. He discovered this from perusing the results of the recently-released Sijil Persekutuan Malaysia (Form Five) examination. Muhyiddin’s ignorance is even more incomprehensible considering that he is the product of a rural school. That could only indicate sheer bumbling incompetence or gross dereliction of duty. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan will probe A-G, Musa if elected to power, says Kit Siang

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 26, 2012

KUALA SELANGOR, March 26 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will investigate Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan for alleged criminal involvement if elected to federal power, Lim Kit Siang pledged last night.

“Pakatan Rakyat will form a judicial tribunal to find out whether the criminal allegations against the former IGP, Attorney-General are real,” he told 5,000 people at a PR ceramah here.

Lim, the DAP parliamentary leader, stressed that a tribunal was “necessary” as claims have been made against the two by senior police officers — former Bukit Aman commercial criminal investigation chief Datuk Ramli Yusoff and ex-Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim.

Both have urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to probe Abdul Gani and Musa for claims of abuse of power.

But Najib had said on Friday the claims did not merit a tribunal as they were mere allegations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s concern must be for real

Jeswan Kaur | March 25, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Indulging in corruption, cronyism and nepotism is not what a leader who “listens” to his people does.


Trusting a politician is the hardest thing to do; the risk is not just worth it. So when Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak says he will listen to the rakyat in choosing candidates for the 13th general election, it is too good an assurance to hang on to.

Is it not Najib who keeps “cautioning” the people that he wants “winnable” candidates to contest in the looming GE? How then does the rakyat’s choice make a difference to him?

In his March 22 interview with DJs Sam Mak and Tan Yi Hui in the one-hour 988 Street VIP programme of the 988 FM radio station, Najib said he would have to listen to the people when it comes to choosing candidates for the next general election.

“It is only right as a leader. I should listen to the people. So, therefore, I will make a decision that his or her time is up and should not stand as a candidate anymore,” were the premier’s words.

Najib is very right that he “must” listen to the rakyat, which he has not been doing. Indulging in corruption, cronyism and nepotism is not what a leader who “listens” to his people does. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib should explain to Parliament whether he is acting on the AG Gani Patail’s advice that there is insufficient evidence for a judicial tribunal to be empannelled against the AG himself?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should explain to Parliament whether he is acting on the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail’s advice that there is insufficient evidence for a judicial tribunal to be empanelled against the Attorney-General himself?

Or has Najib acted on the advice of the de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz?

Najib should be forthcoming and tell Parliament whether and how many times he had consulted Gani on the issue, and who are the other judicial, legal and other officers he had consulted before he came to the conclusion to reject the call for a tribunal to investigate serious allegations of abuses of power against Gani Patail which have been made not only by the former Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Datuk Ramli Yusoff but also the former KL CID Director Datuk Mat Zain. Read the rest of this entry »


Scandal-ridden BN on the ropes?

Neil Khor | Mar 24, 2012


It has been some three months since I last wrote an article for Malaysiakini. I have, nevertheless, kept up with the issues that continue to glue Malaysians to their computer screens, iPads and mobile phones. Even the mainstream media cannot keep Cowgate off its pages!

There is little doubt that the next general election will happen in 2012. Every pundit in Malaysia is saying June. One cannot continue beating the war drums and delaying the date of battle.

For the opposition, the elections of 2008 never ended and they have been prepared for a long battle. Few remember now that nobody expected Pakatan Rakyat to stay together.

One senior member of a Chinese kongsi told me that he did not expect Lim Guan Eng to be CM for more than six months but now sings the CM’s praises.

Instead, what looks most brittle is the BN as a coalition. The decision to put up winnable candidates will apply across the board.

This means less seats for Umno’s traditional partners the MCA and the MIC; and the other component parties. This cannot go down very well with the component parties. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia after regime change

— Tricia Yeoh
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 24, 2012

MARCH 24 — The intricate nexus between the worlds of business and politics has been an age-old tradition in Malaysia. Crony capitalism, a term to describe the intertwined relationship between business, politicians and the state, where individuals in the private sector benefits by obtaining licenses, concessions, government subsidies, other forms of protection from governments and appointments to key state owned enterprises through their close relationship with politicians and bureaucrats.

The main questions to ask in the event of a regime change are: Will it really ever be possible to extricate one from the other, given the context where this is an assumed norm? Second, how would a new government go about making these drastic changes?

There has been recognition of this problem by political players from both sides of the divide.

The Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) Shadow Budget admits, for example, that “Pakatan will face resistance from cronies that desire to perpetuate patronage and rent-seeking” when it begins to attempt open tenders and a more transparent procurement policy.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also announced that a new initiative under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) would regulate financing for all political parties, where all funding must be channelled to an official party account. He said that “a proper receipt record” would “prevent corruption and misappropriation on a grass-roots’ level…” Read the rest of this entry »


‘No More Bullshit’: Political Cognizance of a Rakyat for the Rakyat

by Syed Zahar
Malaysian Digest

We are living in interesting times. Here and now is a crucial episode in Malaysia’s modern political history, where things can go either way. To put things in perspective, it is a national duty of writers and media practitioners to feed Malaysians with the lowdown on the political situation in this post-March 8, 2008 era. And one writer has stepped up to the plate since even before the historical 12th General Election to do Malaysians a big favor by helping us make that informed decision come poll day.

Following his March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up (2008) and its sequel, March 8: Time for Real Change (2010), veteran journalist Kee Thuan Chye’s latest book is aptly titled No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians. It’s a compilation of his trademark straightforward commentaries on Malaysian politics that were published in various print and online media (including Malaysian Digest) as well as the author’s past speeches, political plays, poems and interviews with various media.

Malaysians now can be categorized into four political mindsets. To put it simply, there are the staunch Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters, the fence-sitters, the strong Opposition supporters and then those who are more than willing to vote for the Opposition for the sake of change and to get the two-party system going. I would say Kee belongs to the last category as we can see from the following excerpt from his new book: Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


“I was born in Malaysia and I shall die in Malaysia” – I am proud I have stood by my statement of commitment and patriotism to Malaysia when I was 28 years old under my first ISA detention 43 years ago in 1969

Recently, there has been a coarsening and vulgarisation of politics in Malaysia, even in this august House of Parliament, where lies and falsehoods are disseminated without conscience or compunction whatsoever.

During the present and past meetings of Parliament, the most irresponsible and despicable falsehoods had been made against me, accusing me of having instigated the deplorable May 13 riots 43 years ago in 1969.

For four decades, the police, the security forces and the government could not pinpoint who caused the May 13 riots in 1969, but suddenly, somebody knew who caused the May 13 riots – and I have been accused in this House of having caused May 13, through making the most racist slogans in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969.

As a result, these lies and falsehoods that I had incited and sparked the May 13 riots, particularly in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969 had been blazoned on the blogs of UMNO cybertroopers. Read the rest of this entry »


Get real Mr Prime Minister!

By Sakmongkol AK47 | March 22, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 22 — Like many others, I read somewhat amused at PM Najib’s war cry that he is confident of getting back the states now under the opposition. I say war cry because here we have a PM seized by an extreme bout of paranoia declaring that we are at war. With who?

He has to stop the charade. It’s not like Umno and BN people are gifted with extraordinary talent that reserves them the right to govern the country. Who can argue against facts? The top three states which drew the highest FDI are Pakatan-led states. Just under one term, Pakatan governments can achieve these good things which no other BN lead states have ever achieved is an incontestable testimony that Pakatan people are more talented.

This is what Umno and BN and the Umno president fear most. That people are slowly but surely realising that there is life without Umno and what’s better, there is a better life without Umno. Let’s repeat this once more there’s life without Umno and there’s a better life without Umno indeed. Tell your friends, neighbours about this; let us kick out the kleptocratic maniacs out of Putrajaya and forge a new future. Let’s square off with Najib as the opposition leader. We will see he is a paper tiger who, without a scripted text, cannot respond to out-of-pre-approved questions.
Read the rest of this entry »


An incident that ‘should not have happened’

by Dina Zaman
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 21, 2012

MARCH 21 — Excerpt from Memali incident chapter.

Tunku Muszaffar Shah Tunku Ibrahim’s book, Memali: A Policeman Remembers is a first-hand account of the tragedy. It is an emotional book, written by a man with deep regrets. It may have served as a cathartic tool for the writer, but nevertheless has mythologised Ibrahim Mahmood nee Libya, and Memali as a martyr and a victim of a political bung-up.

On page 49, he wrote, “… the instruction given by those higher up that under no circumstances were the police to use force. Instead, they were to withdraw if there was retaliation.” This sentence was published, in bold. On page 71, he and the Director of Internal Security and Public Order entered Libya’s home, after the fracas, and Tunku found a woman and a child hiding under a bed. No weapons were found in the house.

“It would have been more appropriate for the Special Branch to arrest (Libya) when he was on his way to give political talks in Selama Kedah/Perak,” instead of attacking the man and his people in his stronghold (Page 79).

The book also included the infamous White Paper which tabled out 79 points of facts and dates leading up to the Memali Tragedy. It was signed by the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia of 1986, then Datuk (now Tun) Musa Hitam. Read the rest of this entry »


Sejak Merdeka isu Melayu berkumandang, Melayu tidak ke mana juga

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 21, 2012

21 MAC — Isu Melayu tetap menjadi bahan kempen Umno dan Barisan Nasional semasa kita sedang menanti tarikh muktamad pilihanraya yang akan datang. PRU boleh jadi hampir atau mungkin lambat lagi. Mungkin Najib Razak menangguhkan PRU ke13 ini sampai akhir penggal pada bulan Mac 2013. Terpulang kepada beliau untuk menentukannya.

Yang saya hendak sebut hanya tentang isu yang dimainkan oleh Umno dan BN sekarang ini dan isu yang paling jelas ialah isu keselamatan dan masa depan orang Melayu. Isu ini digunakan setiap kali pilihanraya di adakan. Ia semata-mata untuk menakutkan orang Melayu untuk meninggalkan Umno dan memberikan sokongan ke pihak lain. Ia menunjukan kegagalan Umno untuk memberikan penyelesaian terhadap isu Melayu ini.

Sejak mencapai kemerdekaan ini sahajalah isu yang dimainkan. Ia merupakan lagu lama yang sudah jarang didengar. Lagu ini kita dengar bermusim sahaja, iaitu semasa pilihanraya diadakan. Ianya adalah seperti lagu lama nyanyian Momok Latif dan anak muda sekarang ini sudah tidak suka mendengarnya lagi. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s political reform: Academic freedom

— Ahmad Iskandar
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 21, 2012

MARCH 21 — Towards the end of 2011, several incidents unfolded bringing the issue of academic freedom to the fore of Malaysia’s public discourse. Among them were the demonstrations held to oppose University and University College Act (UUCA 1975), one in PWTC and another in UPSI. Adam Adli and Safwan Anang, emerged as voices to champion the cause. However, we will not discuss demonstrations here, but we will explore briefly the main issue underlying the demonstrations, which is academic freedom. Systematically, we will look into its definition, the examples of the lack of freedom, the solutions and their implications.

Borrowing from The Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education, academic freedom is defined as “the freedom of members of the academic community individually or collectively, in the pursuit, development and transmission of knowledge, through research, study, discussion, documentation, production, creation, teaching, lecturing and writing.” To ascertain whether academic freedom was observed or not, we will use four categories of relationship– academic freedom between government and institutions, administrators and academics, among peers and finally by external factors. By looking at these four categories, we can conclude that academic freedom is rarely observed in Malaysia.

Generally, there are two clear factors that show the absence of academic freedom in local universities. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan: No point to Lynas PSC

Patrick Lee | March 20, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

A PSC investigating Lynas’ purported radiation will have no effect, with Pakatan MPs scoffing at its advent.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) investigating the Lynas rare earth plant near Kuantan will come to naught, opposition lawmakers said.

Pakatan Rakyat politicians said the government had no intention to scrap the controversial plant, hence it was pointless to form a PSC to study the plant’s safety standards.

They said this after opposition MPs marched out of the Dewan Rakyat, moments after a motion tabling the PSC was approved. Read the rest of this entry »


Kadir Sheikh Fadzir sempat keluar Umno sebelum parti itu diketepikan

Oleh Aspan Alias | March 20, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

20 MAC — Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir telah rasmi meninggalkan Umno. Ini disahkan oleh Setiausaha Agung Umno Tengku Datuk Seri Adnan Mansor. Tindakan beliau itu telah dijangkakan dari awal lagi kerana beliau telah meluahkan banyak perkara yang beliau tidak persetujui berlaku didalam Umno. Beliau telah menyertai Umno pada tahun 1956 dan bersama-sama menyertai Umno Baru pada bulan Februari 1988 yang lalu.

Saya memahami apa yang dirasakan oleh TS Kadir itu kerana beliau sudah begitu lama terlibat didalam kedua-dua parti (Umno asal dan Umno Baru), dan tentulah beliau nampak dan merasakan perbezaan diantara dahulu dengan sekarang. Saya menganggap dan boleh mengagak yang beliau lebih selesa berada diluar Umno untuk bersama-sama menyatukan Melayu diluar parti yang kian hari kian lemah itu.

Tindakan TS Kadir keluar dari parti itu merupakan bayangan menifestasi sebenarnya yang berlaku didalam Umno. Sebagai seorang yang telah bersama dengan parti itu selama 5 dekad lebih itu, tindakan beliau itu tentunya didasarkan kepada masalah-masalah yang berlaku didalam Umno kerana saya secara peribadi merasakan apa yang diresahkan oleh TS Kadir itu.
Read the rest of this entry »