Archive for April 19th, 2012

Still a long way to freedom, say NUJ and CIJ

Stephanie Sta Maria | April 18, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

The two organisations call for a complete repeal of the PPPA.

PETALING JAYA: Journalism bodies in the country are unimpressed with the amendments to the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) and are calling for an outright repeal of the law.

The amendments, tabled for first reading in Parliament today, have removed the Home Minister’s absolute discretion over printing press licences as well as the printing and publishing of a newspaper.

Also, under the amendments, publishers will no longer have to renew their licences annually. A license will be valid until the minister revokes it, and the revocation can be challenged in court.

But the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) agree that these amendments were merely baby steps towards ensuring media freedom in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s send Hishammuddin a message

— Gomen Man
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 19, 2012

APRIL 19 — So the man who believes that it is birth right to become prime minister has decided to speak more often.

See, Hishammuddin Hussein after being blamed by his cousin for the Bersih 2.0 fallout decided to maintain radio silence. He figured that with 40 per cent of the voters in his Sembrong constituency Chinese, he needed to slip under the radar and make sure he actually retains his seat in the coming polls.

He and his advisers figured that if he kept quiet and didn’t antagonise anyone, then people would forget about the keris, about his handling of the cowhead protest and his demonisation of Bersih rallygoers as thugs.

So he said little about the replacement ISA law but you can’t keep someone who believes in noblisse oblige down too long.

This smug man today is belittling Bersih 3.0, saying that it will not have much traction. This is the Umno man talking, the arrogance of incumbency.

He even said that the students at Dataran Merdeka who were beaten up early this morning should not be believed. I suppose the beating was “self-inflicted”. The pattern of thuggish behaviour by Umno, Perkasa and Pekida has been evident over the last few months. Read the rest of this entry »


PTPTN: We didn’t start the fire

by Praba Ganesan
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 19, 2012

APRIL 19 — When I jumped off the bus at noon to register at UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) not many noticed the scraggly looking teenager with a mega-large bag. It was so large; it had clothes, a chess set and even a typewriter. It was the early Nineties and Kurt Cobain was alive making music.

Every student had about 20 family members coming to send them off. It was that big a deal, going to a public university. There were no private universities and the private “colleges” were only offering twinning programmes at best.

The old ethos: few go to university and many after secondary education join the employment market.

This changed with the great expansion before the millennium, around the time the PTPTN national loan system came around.

Mahathir’s Malaysia was to be a developed nation in record time, and millions of graduates have to line up and march in unison as people in the capital cheered them on with confetti drowning the uninitiated.

This vision required universities opening almost every month, in every state, in every way and many tuition centres around the Klang Valley turning into university colleges. Major government-linked companies were turning their training centres into universities, and Mahathir Mohamad was still riding horses.

The PTPTN answered the money issue. And now on the table sits the proposal to abolish it.

You don’t have to agree or disagree, but you have to realise that the issue is not straightforward. The overdrive the Barisan Nasional (BN) government is in to respond to is the indicator. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysians ‘owe’ Sabah the truth

by Aneesa Alphonsus | April 19, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

The Malaysia Agreement 1963 signed between Federated Malaya, North Borneo (now Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore, was not a deed of subservience but rather an invitation to share equally a political table.


Come July 9, it would be 49 years since Britain, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (now known as Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore entered into an agreement that gave rise to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. But how many of us knew that?

The fact is we remember, easily enough, Aug 31, 1957 as Merdeka day and of late Sept 16, 1963 as Malaysia Day but what about July 9, 1963 – the day the Malaysia Agreement was signed by a then independent Sabah and Sarawak?

The agreement was not a deed of subservience but rather an invitation to share a political table and march ahead into a bright future.

But that did not happen. History has distorted the facts and killed off its proverbial leaders. A generation of children have been born into thinking that Malaysia is one and not 1+2 (Singapore withdrew from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965 leaving only Sabah and Sarawak). Read the rest of this entry »


To vote or not to vote?

— Mohd Iqbal (
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 19, 2012

APRIL 19 — The Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms (“PSC”) recently completed its report on the improvement and reform of the parliamentary process in Malaysia. This report was tabled and passed by the august House on April 2, 2012, alas, without any debate due to a commotion caused by the opposition during the proceedings. The main grievance of the opposition was that the Speaker had rejected their motion to table a minority report on the PSC. Sadly, despite various international precedents on this procedure of presenting a minority report, the Speaker decided to ignore this motion.

What perhaps started as a new hope for Malaysians when the establishment of the PSC was announced by the prime minister in August 2011 as part of his political transformation programme has turned out to be a huge disappointment. Immediately, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) dismissed the report, inter alia, on the ground that only one out of their eight demands was addressed.

Bersih also announced that it will organise a sit-in protest on April 28,2012 across the country, and in various locations worldwide. The main venue for the sit-in protest will be at Dataran Merdeka with the title “Duduk Bantah”. Read the rest of this entry »


Captain Ahab, Pequod vs Moby Dick

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 18, 2012

APRIL 18 — We like it when Dr Mahathir speaks as often as he wants to. While I have often described him as the man who can walk on water, in this article he is Captain Ahab to Najib’s Starbuck as far as the Umno mother ship is concerned. The Umno ship is the Pequod which sails out under Captain Ahab seeking revenge on the sperm whale Moby Dick. Captain Ahab is completely consumed by revenge to seek out and kill off Moby Dick. Because Moby Dick has bitten off a portion of one of his legs.

What’s with Dr Mahathir really? The ghosts of misdeeds past are haunting him? Have we the people bitten off part of his left leg? Right leg? Well, we know eventually the ship went down bringing along Ahab to his watery grave.

Please don’t stop him. We want Dr Mahathir to speak more about Malaysian politics. The more he says, the faster is the demise of Umno. Apparently he has forgotten why Pak Lah in 2004, got the largest majority in the history of BN. Dr Mahathir and NOT Pak Lah was the main factor giving BN the largest mandate.

Not that the people thought Pak Lah would be a good PM. He turned out to be a sleepy head on the many issues facing the country. History will probably remember him as the PM we got as a result of a mistake.

The main reason why Pak Lah got the biggest majority was that the people were rejoicing at the exit of Mahathir. Malaysia is today what Africa was 20 years ago. Malaysia is fast becoming a frontier town with gunslingers around.

Since 1981 to be exact, Umno has changed in character completely. It has evolved into an evil empire devouring the wealth of the country through a complex network of cronies and a labyrinth of shady deals leading back eventually to the upper reaches of the Umno leadership. The buck does indeed stop there. Read the rest of this entry »


Bullying is cowardly, is this the kind of leadership our young will inherit?

— May Chee Chook Ying
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 19, 2012

APRIL 19 — Read that at 3 this morning, the university students and protesters at Dataran Merdeka were attacked by 40-50 thugs. Their tents and supplies were torn down. They were both physically and verbally abused. Some women were kicked in the faces while fast asleep, many injured and one reportedly hospitalised.

No second guesses to whom these thugs are beholden to. Raiding in the middle of the night, at 3am? If they dared to flash the colour of their shirts, why didn’t they justify their actions in broad daylight? This is not the first time our courageous young people have been attacked or needed to seek medical treatment after being attacked. Is “lawlessness” acceptable by the powers-that-be but not peaceful assemblies? This is senseless! Read the rest of this entry »