Archive for June 8th, 2012

Kereta tua selalu rosak, elok kita tukar kereta baru

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 08, 2012

8 JUN — Saya akan bertolak ke Utara untuk memenuhi jemputan berceramah malam ini dan besok. Sebelum saya berangkat ke sana saya perturunkan sedikit komen tentang pengumuman TS Muhy dua hari yang lepas.

Tan Sri Muhy berkata berkemungkinan beberapa pemberian dalam bentuk tunai kepada rakyat akan dilakukan sebelum pilihanraya ini untuk menampung kos barangan yang tinggi dan meringankan beban rakyat yang miskin. Kemiskinan memangnya menjadi umpan untuk BN dan Umno Baru untuk berkuasa dan kemiskinan rakyat inilah yang membuatkan rakyat yang sentiasa berharap kepada kerajaan. Khabarnya lagi RM10 billion akan dibelanjakan untuk BR1M kali ini.

Tidak lama lagi akan kita saksikan rakyat beratur lagi untuk mendapatkan bantuan itu, yang akan dibahagi-bahagikan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin Umno Baru di setiap pelusuk negara kita. Entah mana Umno Baru mandapatkan wang sebesar ini tidak pula diketahui. Jika wang ini datangnya dari kantung rakyat (wang rakyat), wang itu sepatutnya dibahagi-bahagikan oleh penjawat awam dan dalam konteks ini ia sepatutnya diberikan oleh pegawai-pegawai daerah, bukannya oleh ahli-ahli politik. Read the rest of this entry »


Cracking open the fixed deposits

The Economist

The next general election will be decided far from the capital
Long house in need of short wave?

A THOUSAND or so kilometres east of what is called Peninsular Malaysia, across the South China Sea, lies the other bit of Malaysia, the states of Sabah and Sarawak. The two form the northern part of the island of Borneo, encircling the oil-rich mini-kingdom of Brunei. Most Malaysians know little about the remote territories (11 of Malaysia’s 13 states lie on the peninsula). Yet Sabah and Sarawak, out of all proportion to their small populations, contribute two essential ingredients to the running of Malaysia under the long-standing national government in Kuala Lumpur: oil and votes.

Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, first started pumping oil out of the ground in Sarawak in 1910. Since Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaysia in 1963, they have sent an outsize share of oil revenues to the federal government’s coffers. That the petro-charged government has remained in the hands of the same political coalition, the Barisan Nasional (BN), since independence is also largely thanks to the same two states.

On the peninsula voters have gradually forced the coalition, led by the United Malays National Organisation and dominated by ethnic Malays, to loosen its grip. On Borneo, by contrast, the BN has maintained an electoral stranglehold. Indeed, Sabah and Sarawak are known as the BN’s “fixed deposits”. With the prime minister, Najib Razak, expected at any moment to declare a general election, the opposition coalition must find a way to raid those deposits if they are to oust the BN from power. As ever, the task looks daunting for the opposition and its leader, Anwar Ibrahim. Yet this time round, Mr Anwar’s foot soldiers have a secret weapon, a clandestine radio station. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia: UN experts call for protection of civil organizations seeking electoral reforms

UN News Center

7 June 2012 – United Nations independent experts today called on the Malaysian Government to protect the members of a group of civil society organizations campaigning for electoral process reform, who have been the target of harassment and intimidation.
The members of the umbrella group Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (also known by the Malay name Bersih) have received threats because of their advocacy work, which calls for reform of the electoral process ahead of the country’s general election, set to take place in April next year. The director of the organization, Ambiga Sreenevasan, has been particularly threatened.

“I am seriously concerned by these disturbing acts of harassment against a prominent woman human rights defender who is being targeted because of her legitimate human rights activities in Malaysia,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya. “I urge the authorities to investigate thoroughly these allegations, hold the perpetrators accountable, and effectively protect Ms. Sreenevasan, and more generally, Bersih members.”

Ms. Sekaggya was joined in her call by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of opinion, Maina Kiai, and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue.
Read the rest of this entry »


PTPTN/Unisel farce – half-past6 Cabinet, half-past6 DPM/Education Minister, half-past6 Higher Education Minister

The lifting of the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loan freeze for Universiti Selangor (Unisel) and Selangor International Islamic University College (Kuis) students is most welcome as it is downright wrong, immoral and criminal and should never have been imposed in the first place by a government which claims to live by the slogan of “People First, Performance Now”!

The question however is whether the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin would have the decency to apologise for such bullying and criminal breach of trust (cbt) tactics as they had publicly endorsed the unethical, vindictive and vengeful PTPTN freeze of loans to Unisel and Kuis students.

This is a pertinent question as it is only yesterday that the Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim launched his Ministry’s 1Malaysia moral guide extolling 21 moral values such as patience, discipline, respect, meritocracy, cleanliness, integrity, humility, courtesy, and loyalty.

Or is Rais’ 1Malaysia moral guide as stillborn as other 1Malaysia gimmicry, or are the Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders to be exempt from these 21 moral values as they are only meant for the common Malaysian populace? Read the rest of this entry »


The silence of our friends

— Dennis Ignatius
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 08, 2012

JUNE 8 — According to local media reports, US Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who came visiting recently, expressed their admiration for Malaysia’s democratic model and even went so far as to suggest that it might serve as a template for other Muslim countries.

There was only the barest hint of reservation during their press conference when they made vague and passing references to foreign election observers and further democratic reforms.

It may well be that they raised democracy and human rights issues with Prime Minister Najib Razak and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman when they met in private but it is their public positions that are disturbing. Read the rest of this entry »


How long more, Malaysians?

by Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 08, 2012

JUNE 8 — Question: when do we know that a government policy or decision is dumb and ill-conceived?

When Muhyiddin Yassin and Noh Omar are in agreement that the decision is brilliant!

I am of course referring to the decision by the Higher Education Ministry to freeze PTPTN scholarships to Unisel students. The Umno government thinks that this move will turn students against Pakatan Rakyat and lay bare the opposition’s plan to scrap the PTPTN scheme if it wrests control of Parliament.

The thinking (if you can call it that) is that the students and their desperate parents will be so upset that they will turn out in droves to vote against Khalid Ibrahim’s government.

The freeze is wrong on so many levels that it ultimately tells us that Umno is desperate, bankrupt of ideas, deeply vindictive and morally wanting. More shockingly, it shows us that this government will go to extreme lengths to cling to power, even stir up violence should poll results not go its way.

Khaled Nordin, Muhyiddin and Noh refuse to accept certain facts: they serve the rakyat; that when the opposition put up alternative suggestions, they must counter these ideas through persuasion and that government funds belong to the rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »


PTPTN/Unisel farce

Tweets @limkitsiang

Jun 07, 11:06pm
Utter shame UMNO/BN leaders victimising Unisel students with PTPTN freeze S’gor stands firm, Unisel 2liquidate assets

Jun 07, 11:08pm
Let all voters in Selangor n Msia punish Umno/BN in 13GE 4such petty vindictive bullying tactics sacrificing Unisel students 4selfish ends

Jun 07, 11:12pm
PTPTN/Unisel latest example UMNO/BN must be voted out of power in Putrajaya in 13GE – lost moral right/legitimacy 2continue as govt

Jun 07, 11:22pm
After slashing PTPTN loans 4Unisel students? How irresponsible! Gov’t mulls second round of RM500 handout (Mkini)

Jun 07, 11:27pm
No one in Cabinet 2speak up 4Unisel students n condemn criminal breach of trust in halting PTPTN loans?Will Saifuddin Abdullah take a stand?
Read the rest of this entry »

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PTPTN freeze a public breach of trust, Kit Siang tells PM

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 08, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Lim Kit Siang has called on the prime minister to put an end to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation’s (PTPTN) freeze on loans to Universiti Selangor (Unisel) applicants, saying there was no justification for the move.

The DAP parliamentary leader said today Datuk Seri Najib Razak should intervene and end the “politics of intimidation and bullying.”

“It is a criminal breach of trust. Public funds are meant for the interests of the public, not politicking,” Lim told reporters in Parliament.

“Barisan Nasional (BN) should not sacrifice the future of Unisel students; there is no excuse or justification for the freeze,” he added.

The Ipoh Timor MP said the loan freeze was an example of “power play” between Umno and BN and that it was a tactic to capture Selangor in the next general election.

“They (BN) have been in power too long; they have forgotten the meaning of trust.

“All Malaysians must deliver a very severe lesson to Umno and BN; their shelf life as government of the day has well past,” Lim stressed. Read the rest of this entry »