Archive for July 1st, 2012

Paying the price for a fiasco

— The Malaysian Insider
Jul 01, 2012

JULY 1 — Tan Sri Abu Bakar Abdullah is paying the price for the government’s New Remuneration Scheme that caused an uproar earlier this year. The ambitious scheme to reward the 1.4 million-strong civil service crumbled when unions pointed out that they were getting pittance while some 5,000 senior officers were getting stratospheric pay rises.

Putrajaya was forced to scrap the scheme, and in the process, also the move to get top people from the private sector to join the civil service at the top levels. After all, the new pay for the senior officials was benchmarked at the wages given for top white-collar professionals and managers.

While the Cabinet had approved the scheme and even announced it in Budget 2012 last year, they didn’t go through the proposals line by line. The resulting kerfuffle, to put it mildly, was squarely blamed at three men and one of them was Abu Bakar who is the Public Services Department (PSD) director-general.

It is understood the other two were former Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, and Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah.

Yet, Abu Bakar is the biggest loser. He was tipped to replace Mohd Sidek but the new pay scheme’s failure cost him that job. And he refused to go away quietly, sources said, insisting that if he was to be blamed for the salary fiasco, then so to must Sidek as it takes two to tango. And Wan Abdul Aziz for agreeing to the scheme. Read the rest of this entry »


Utusan Malaysia living up to its reputation as “lies-paper” when its Awang Selamat alleged that “LKS adalah antara orang kepercayaan Kuan Yew ketika dalam PAP” and that I was Kuan Yew’s press secretary

Utusan Malaysia is living up to its reputation as “lies-paper” when its Awang Selamat in Mingguan Malaysia today alleged “Lim Kit Siang adalah antara orang kepercayaan Kuan Yew ketika dalam PAP. Beliau juga adalah bekas Setiausaha Akhbar Kuan Yew sewaktu zaman muda nya.”

These are downright lies, as I was never ever involved in PAP during my years as a reporter in Singapore from 1961-1964, although I was active in Singapore National Union of Journalists, serving as its Secretary-General 1962-1963.

Furthermore, I was never press secretary to Kuan Yew although I worked for a period in the press section of the Ministry of Culture.

But more pertinent than Utusan Malaysia again proving itself to be a “lies-paper” instead of being “newspaper” is the intensification of the unscrupulous and unprincipled campaign of lies, falsehoods and demonization against DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, especially with the realization by the UMNO leaders and strategists that UMNO/Barisan Nasional are not as confident of facing the 13th general election as they had once thought despite the recent boast by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak of a “14-0” BN thrashing for PR!

This has resulted in Najib further putting off the 13th general election date because of his worry that the “RAHMAN” political prophecy might come true – that RAHMAN stands for the first six UMNO Prime Ministers, namely Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir, Tun Abdullah and “N” for Najib also signifying the last and “the end” of the UMNO line of Prime Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »


Attacks against Guan Eng intensify ahead of GE13

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 01, 2012

UALA LUMPUR, July 1 — All eyes are now on the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng as the Penang chief minister struggles to fend off concerted attacks against him ahead of general elections due within a year.

The pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) mainstream media today published lopsided reports of the federal opposition leader’s run-in with members of Perkasa, a right-wing Malay organisation, at the Teluk Bahang market in Penang yesterday.

The reports, which related the incident from the viewpoint of the Perkasa members, appear to indicate a concerted effort by the ruling federal coalition to reclaim Penang, a key economic state under BN control until four years ago.

“The failure by police to immediately arrest Perkasa members involved in violence not just against members of the public and reporters but also make direct threats against my personal safety has only confirmed fears that Perkasa can do no wrong because they are supported by Umno and BN,” Lim said in a media statement today.

“[The] Police should review their hands-off approach towards Perkasa to avoid public perception that they condone the violent tactics by Perkasa to intimidate PR leaders,” he added, referring to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat pact formed in 2008 after their landmark win in the polls. Read the rest of this entry »


Guan Eng: Cops failed to protect me from Perkasa

Jul 1, 2012

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the police have once again failed to protect him from Perkasa activist, who often hound him in public.

Refering to the incident at the Teluk Bahang markets yesterday, Lim said the police took action too late, thus allowing Perkasa members to hurl projectiles at him.

“The inaction by the police probably emboldened a Perkasa member to suddenly charge up behind me and succeeded in brushing hard against me.

“I escaped injury. But if not for a PR local leader bravely dragging the Perkasa member away, I could have been injured,” said Lim in a press release today.

Lim said that while it was bad that the police failed to protect him, it was more disappointing that the police did not arrest the would-be assailant.

“Just imagine how harsh police reaction would have been if this had involved the Prime Minister and not the Chinese Pakatan Rakyat chief minister,” said Lim. Read the rest of this entry »


Should we continue paying taxes?

— Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 30, 2012

JUNE 30 — My wife and I pay our taxes on time and we are assessed at the highest tax bracket. We never avoided or evaded taxes and viewed it as a moral duty.

But let me put in a caveat. I believe the time has come for us taxpayers (and this excludes 90 per cent of civil servants, Umno politicians and their nominees as well as rent-seekers) to consider a campaign of civil disobedience against paying taxes until the government of the day can show that it can utilise this revenue in a responsible way.

I am not talking about the world record holidays/trips abroad taken by the prime minister and the first family or his cabinet ministers. I am referring to the over-the-top spending by the Barisan Nasional government to stay in power.

It seems like every day is Christmas for this prime minister. Tyres for taxi drivers, cash for Malaysians, a few million for this group and another few million for that group. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia after regime change

— Ooi Kee Beng
The Malaysian Insider
June 30, 2012

JUNE 30 — A dialogue about something as serious as regime change in Malaysia must examine at least two vast subjects.

Firstly, a thorough and open discussion about the historical conditions under which the Federation of Malaya, and then Malaysia, was constructed is vital to any deep and practical understanding of the strengths and failings of the political structure as it exists today.

Political solutions in times of inevitable change — as was the case in the region in the 1940s and 1950s — are about settlements between those wishing to cut losses and those seeking to maximise benefit. Those less able to make their voices heard were, simply put, left unheard. In such times, negotiations happen under threat, stress and duress; and the solution is a mixture of ad hoc measures and meticulous planning; and a blend of concession and conflict. Read the rest of this entry »