Archive for July 27th, 2012

National Day theme “Janji Ditepati” wrong and inappropriate as it is anti-national, divisive rather than unifying the people, presenting Najib as Prime Minister for UMNO/BN only and not all Malaysians!

The Information Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim is defending the indefensible when he takes to Twitter to ask why “Janji Ditepati” cannot be used as this year’s National Day/Malaysia Day theme.

Firstly, Rais’ claim that “Malaysia has truly arrived as an achieving nation after 55 years of independence” is highly controversial and debatable, for if this is true, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would not gain the reputation of being the most indecisive Prime Minister in the nation’s history who keeps postponing his plan to hold the next general election to win a personal mandate for his premiership for fear of ending up in the Opposition benches or toppled within UMNO like his predecessor Tun Abdullah.

In fact, probably more could be written about how the slogan of “Janji Ditepati” had failed rather than succeeded in 55 years after Merdeka and 49 years after Malaysia – whether in building a united, harmonious, democratic, progressive and competitive Malaysia; or in fulfilling Najib’s three-year promises of 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) whether in reducing crime, fighting corruption or carrying out meaningful government, economic and political transformation for Malaysia to take her rightful place in international society and achieve the status of a normal democratic country.

I remember when I visited Sabah in 1978, I had warned that Sabah faced three grave problems – the illegal immigrant problem which I had cited had reached 140,000, the crime situation and grave problem of corruption. Read the rest of this entry »


Penghapusan duti eksais kereta: Sekali lagi BN kata tak wajar

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 25, 2012

25 JULAI — Niat Pakatan Rakyat untuk menghapuskan duti eksais dan berbagai cukai terhadap kereta-kereta adalah usaha yang patut mendapat sokongan. Ini adalah kerana kereta adalah perkara keperluan oleh rakyat negara ini yang masih terlalu jauh ketinggalan dalam menyediakan kemudahan pengangkutan awam. Sesungguhnya rakyat telah terlalu terbeban dengan kos pembelian kereta kerana sebahagian besar dari harga jualan kereta di negara ini adalah disebabkan oleh elemen cukai-cukai seperti duti eksais yang tinggi yang dikenakan oleh pihak kerajaan kita.

Jika duti eksais diturunkan ketahap minima maka kereta import yang berharga sebanyak RM150,000 itu akan boleh didapati dengan harga RM120,000 misalnya. Malahan kalau kita kaji harga kereta di banyak negara maju ia adalah jauh lebih rendah dari harga kereta yang rakyat kita terpaksa bayar. Harga kereta di negara ini terlalu tinggi dan kita adalah bersamaan dengan negara-negara seperti Singapura dan segelintiran negara di-rantau ini.

Itulah sebabnya ramai di antara rakyat negara ini, apabila kembali ke Malaysia kereta adalah salah satu ‘item’ penting yang dibawa mereka kembali kerana mereka telah membeli kereta-kereta tersebut dengan harga yang amat murah di luar negara. tetapi cadangan ini jangan kita harapkan mendapat sokongan dari pihak parti yang memerintah sekarang kerana mereka tidak akan bersetuju untuk memberikan sokongan dan alasan ‘standard’ yang diberikan mereka ialah tindakan itu akan mengbangkrapkan negara.

Pihak BN telah memberikan reaksi yang negatif terhadap isu ini dan Ketua Pemudanya Encik Khairy Jamaluddin telah menyatakan jika ini terlaksana maka ia akan mengurangkan pendapatan negara dalam jumlah yang berbillion ringgit setahun. Kita tidak boleh melayani pandangan ini kerana beliau (Khairy) adalah di pihak pimpinan dan kerajaan yang tidak mempunyai cukup imiginasi untuk mencari pendapatan alternatif terhadap kekurangan pendapatan dari tindakan mengurangkan duti eksais dan cukai-cukai yang berkaitan dengan harga kereta ini. Read the rest of this entry »


Kedah: Losers and victors

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 26, 2012

JULY 26 — The Umno strategists in its war room deserved to get Oscars for their clowning performance. We are kept hilariously amused. A few years ago, it was the 1 finger in everything — 1 Malaysia, 1 Klinik, Kedai 1 Malaysia, etc. Earlier on, Malaysians puked at the alphabet soup — NKRA, ETP, PDP, GTP. Then it was one million dreams, one thousand hopes leading to “Janji ditepati”.

A few days ago, I wrote, the PM doesn’t have to play hide and seek whether a bonus for civil servants is expected. I said it will definitely come. So it did, but when I heard the PM say “kita nak bonus raya ketidak”, expecting a rapturous response like a cheerleader does. That shows he has no class at all.

But then that is expected of someone who solves problems by paying his way through. Can we stomach his indulgent ways? After announcing the bonus, he says, expectedly, this is proof of the government’s sincerity. Then, likewise the Selangor government proves its sincerity by giving water free up to a certain level, is more sincere in refusing to let Syabas fleece the people, sincere in also giving Selangor civil servants bonuses. That is also further proof that if you manage the finances carefully, state governments can give bonuses. Let’s see if any BN-managed states can give its civil servants bonuses.

We can go on. The ability of the Penang state government in allocating RM62 million a year for Islam in that state must be proof of the state government’s sincerity. Correspondingly, the Negri Sembilan’s ability to provide only RM10 million a year proves its insincerity. The Kedah government’s ability to increase revenue from the timber and forestry sector must be proof of its efficiency and corruption-free government. The Kelantan government’s achievement in repaying all federal debts must be proof of its financial probity as opposed to Umno’s profligacy.

After pulling all the stops, scare mongering and other alarming and ominous stories what do they resort to? Got to have some intellectual respectability to its now fast disappearing legitimacy. It has called in some academicians to bolster its standing. On one fine day, the professors are assembled and directed to give good accreditations to Umno. What a pathetic move. Read the rest of this entry »


Reporting rising crime in the city

by Eric Loo
Jul 26, 2012

After a week’s work in the slums of Chennai, I stopped over in Petaling Jaya for the weekend en route to Sydney. I heard from friends alarming stories of abductions and killings, assaults and robberies in Malaysia.

A week earlier a decomposed torso was found washed up by heavy rains in Jalan SS22/21 in Damansara Jaya – less than five minutes’ walk from where I lived. One might feel safer navigating the urban chaos and mass human traffic in the capital city of Tamil Nadu than wandering in the shopping mall car park and streets of PJ and KL. With each bloodier crime reported in the media, community fear goes up a notch.

Pemandu had urged for more “balanced reporting” to allay the public fear. Crime reporting, however, is fraught with difficulties when headlines are driven by blood and gore. The more frequently crime stories are highlighted, and sensationalised, by the tabloids – the more we feel unsafe. Anxiety and insecurity then breeds distrust of strangers and neighbours, stereotyping of criminality by ethnicity and fear stoking by right-wing populist parties.

Should the media restrain and sanitise its crime reporting? Certainly not. Crime stories follow the crime rates. The higher the crime rates, the more the crime stories. But, journalists should know that for every crime story written, there could be many that go unreported. Pemandu’s statement of a 40 percent decline in street crime from January to May this year doesn’t explain the community anxiety over ‘rising’ crime in the city. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih decision, refreshing and reaffirming

— Proham
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 26, 2012

JULY 26 — Proham notes that it is refreshing to see a High Court decision re-affirming the time honoured principle that an executive decision must be based on a proper interpretation of the law and the application of reasonable and rational consideration of relevant facts.

On July 24, 2012, Justice Datuk Rohana Yusof allowed an application for certiorari to quash the Minister’s order made on July 1, 2001 under section 5 of the Societies Act where he had declared the Coalition for Clear and Fair Elections (Bersih) as a unlawful movement.

The decision illustrates the pitfalls of administrative decisions which are not consonant with provisions of the law and the Constitution but are made relying on faulty appreciation of the law and on unreasonable and irrational considerations of unverified or irrelevant facts supplied normally by aides.

Another important aspect of the case is the re-affirmation of another principle that in a democratic system of governance under the Constitution, the intervention of an independent judiciary able to make judicial decisions affecting aggrieved parties without fear and favour is of paramount importance bearing in mind too, that in our court system the right of appeal is not shut to parties dissatisfied with the decisions. Read the rest of this entry »


The bitterness of a financial conservative

by Hafiz Noor Shams
The Malaysiann Insider
Jul 26, 2012

JULY 26 — I handle my finances conservatively. I spend very little for someone my age and my profile. In fact, I impose a sort of limit on my spending. I am conscious of it and get mildly nervous if my total spending grows too fast even when I can more than afford it.

I probably do buy too much insurance and I do save or invest a large part of my earnings. My credit card service provider probably hates me for having to finance me without getting the chance to charge me interest too often too much.

I can afford to save a lot partly because I do not have too many financial responsibilities.

The other factor behind my saving habit has a lot to do with my upbringing and education. Read the rest of this entry »