Archive for June 9th, 2012

Schoolboy antics over PTPTN

— The Malaysian Insider
Jun 09, 2012

JUNE 9 — Are schoolboys in charge of education in Malaysia? It sure seems that way when Putrajaya’s education czars decide to sulk and pull back scholarships for those studying in Selangor’s Universiti Selangor (Unisel) this past week.

Only to flip flop, be wishy-washy, do a volte-face and overturn that emotional decision a day later. Is that how a government runs things? Aren’t these ministers — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin — an embarrassment to Datuk Seri Najib Razak?

They can’t even be gracious and admit their mistake. Take Khaled’s statement that Unisel’s appeal for National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans to be restored showed that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could not deliver its promise of free education.

Is that how a Barisan Nasional (BN) minister behaves? Use state facilities to prove a point? And let students seeking a better future be at his whim and fancy? Read the rest of this entry »


Contest of credibility before Malaysia’s elections

by Shankaran Nambiar
East Asia Forum
June 8th, 2012

Credibility is a prized asset for any government, and with general elections fast approaching in Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak is no exception to this rule.

Najib has an onerous task ahead of him because the Barisan Nasional coalition, which he heads, won only 140 out of 222 lower house seats in the last election in 2008. This simple majority of 63.5 per cent was the coalition’s worst performance since Malaysian independence in 1957.

Najib’s leadership qualities will be severely tested this time around, but he is well aware of the daunting challenge ahead. In fact, his awareness of the problems on the ground might be his strongest suit. So far, it has enabled him to take the first steps toward repairing the damage the Barisan Nasional suffered over the years since the 2008 debacle.

Two notable efforts in this direction were the launching of the New Economic Model and the 1Malaysia concept, both in 2010. These campaigns show that Najib understands that addressing issues relating to inclusiveness and governance are key to winning the upcoming 13th general elections by a convincing margin. Read the rest of this entry »


Correcting the civil service racial imbalance

Dr Lim Teck Ghee

Can the government promise that all young Malaysians will be given fair treatment, and racial or regional discrimination will not be tolerated in order to encourage non-Malay recruitment into the civil service?

Once more the government appears to be clueless and befuddled as to why the non-Malay young do not want to take up civil service jobs. Once more, there will be a taskforce and a high-level committee at work to produce yet another report on how to attract non-Malays to join the service.

Once more the almost obligatory letters are appearing in the mainstream papers applauding the government (in this case) the Public Service Commission new chairman for his bold initiative in proposing a study “to nail down…the reasons for the poor number of applications from non-Bumiputeras for public and civil service jobs”. Read the rest of this entry »


Gruesome reminders of failure of Najib premiership in one of its most important tasks – to reduce crime and eradicate the fear of crime

The bloody mugging of Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat while jogging near his home in Section 18, Petaling Jaya this morning, and the serious case of Bandar Kinrara, Puchong teacher Teoh Soo Kim, 51, fighting for her life after she suffered severe head injuries and lost consciousness in an abduction on Wednesday are gruesome reminders to Malaysians that the Najib administration has failed in one of its most important tasks – to reduce crime and to eradicate the fear of crime among Malaysians.

It is no use the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the CEO of Pemandu and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala boasting about Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and National Key Result Areas (NKRA) successes, such as claiming that the overall crime index for 2011 had dropped by 11.1%, while street crime decreased significantly by 39.7% compared with 35% in 2010 – and a marked improvement from the 15% reduction in street crime set under the NKRA in 2010 – when Malaysians still do not feel safe from the fear of crime whether in the privacy of their homes, or outside in the streets and public places.

The mobilisation of over 14,00 police personnel on April 28 to deal with the peaceful Bersih 3.0 rally, and the continued demonisation of 200,000 Malaysians regardless of race, religion, class, region, age or gender who had gathered peacefully for a common national cause for a clean election have made the failure of the Najib government to reduce crime and eradicate the fear of crime among Malaysians in the urban areas even more unacceptable. Read the rest of this entry »


“Malaysia has fallen off the investment map”

Extract from book review of Ruchi Sharma’s “Breakout Nations: In pursuit of the next economic miracles” by John Loh published in StarBizWeek today

In his chapter on Malaysia, Sharma has a more stark prognosis.

“Malaysia’s economy slowed dramatically after the Asian crisis,” he writes, adding, “There is a widespread sense in Kuala Lumpur that the economy has been growing because of extensive government spending and fortunate circumstances rising global commodity prices have been a huge boost to its rubber and palm oil exports not from smart choices.”

The dramatic reforms taking place in Indonesia, Sharma argues, have “no parallel” in Malaysia, putting it at risk of sliding backward.

Malaysia, he points out, is the only Asian country where FDI is declining as at the last quarter of 2011, it was flowing out at a rate of 2.5% of GDP.

Sharma also tells SBW that the country is obsessed with central planning and grand schemes, but has often fallen short on execution. Read the rest of this entry »