Archive for August 2nd, 2012

Of National Day and party ploys

Mustafa K. Anuar
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 02, 2012

AUG 2 — National symbols are — at the risk of sounding stupid here — expected to be “national” in character, meaning and appeal so that they are able to attract, and be appreciated, honoured and even jealously guarded by the citizenry concerned. They may range from the Malayan tiger to the national flower or Bunga Raya (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).

And like these national symbols, national institutions such as the National Museum are to evoke a certain kind of collective identity among ordinary Malaysians as a people of a particular nation.

The National Museum is supposed to display exhibits that represent the history and cultural heritage of the Malaysian people from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds.

In other words, anything that is supposed to be “national” should have the capacity to enable ordinary Malaysians to relate to and identify with it rather easily — and even with patriotic pride.

Likewise, the national flag, or Jalur Gemilang as it is now known, has the characteristics or elements to represent the nation called Malaysia. Most, if not all, Malaysians are able to identify themselves with this piece of cloth that kindles national consciousness.

The flag, on the other hand, would not be able to stir up that vital sense of belonging to a nation among the citizens if it has, for instance, elements of a dacing, or scale, that is easily associated with the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). Read the rest of this entry »


A tale of two themes

By Goh Keat Peng | August 2, 2012 0

In these past several weeks, Malaysians have seen a drama unfold over what should be the Theme for their country’s forthcoming observance of its independence day. And now placed on the table of the rakyat (people) are two very different Themes.

In this drama, Malaysians have been given a look at not just the output or outcome but the PROCESS in which each of these two very important Themes have been conceived and delivered. Perception comes from how leaders (political or otherwise) go about things. Rightly or wrongly, this is how I perceive things. Correct me if I am wrong.

One theme came straight from the ruling political party coalition via the ministry of information. The party=nation. The party knows best. The rakyat (people)? Just vote us in every 4-5 years. Trust us; we do everything for you. You will always have official avenues to channel your voice to your government. On the issue of national day theme, though, we don’t need really need to hear your suggestion or criticism. We know what is good for you. We have the experience- fifty five years of it. Here then is the Theme for our independence day: “Janji Ditepati”(Promises fulfilled). The rakyat does not have to tell us but we tell you that we have kept our promises! We see no reason why our re-elections campaign theme cannot be the independence day celebration theme. Why not? As the ruling coalition, have we not kept our promises to the nation?
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Oh Malaysia, Oh Merdeka

By Allan CF Goh

Oh Malaysia, Oh Merdeka

I will always choose fair Malaysia,
The land where I was born and raised;
So are the many people like me,
Malaysia was our true love to praise.
Once it was a calm idyllic land,
Richly suffused with kind, genteel grace.
It was filled with real beauty and flair,
Compared to today’s mounting disgrace.

Now this beautiful country of ours
Is sadly on the slope of decline,
Because the men who helm her are so
Very exploitatively inclined.
To save the country from further slide,
We all have a duty to perform:
We need to excise all things rotten,
To remove all bad laws, and reform.
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Race to the bottom in Malaysia

By William Barnes | Aug 2, 2012
Asia Times Online

BANGKOK – As Malaysia approaches a general election season, opposition politicians claim Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling party and government are stoking racial politics to gain a popular edge with the ethnic Malay majority.

A year after the World Bank warned Malaysia over its acutely debilitating race-based brain drain, veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang has said the government is compounding the damage by blatantly playing the “race card” in the run up to the next election, which must be called by next April.

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s ambitions to lift the economy out of its disappointing holding pattern can go hang when it fears losing for the first time since independence in 1957, he has argued. “They talk all the time about being world beating and wanting to get all Malaysians behind the economy … but it all goes overboard when the focus is on the Malay identity.”
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Charging Rafizi – gross miscarriage of justice

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life advisor

I feel there is a gross miscarriage of justice by charging Rafizi for revealing bank accounts of NFCorp.

In my opinion, Rafizi by revealing the bank accounts of NFCorp has shown that the officers of NFCorp were involved in a major offence of laundering money belonging to the people.

NFCorp obtained a sum of RM250 million from the government, ostensibly to invest in a major cattle venture.

The company officers led by its chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh misused the money and attempted to hide the money in properties in foreign countries. They were engaged in money laundering.

Rafizi discovered this and reported the money laundering operation to the press, based on bank accounts in the names of NFCorp officers.
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Mounting Malaysian debt could lead to downgrade, says ratings agency

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 01, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, August 1 — Malaysia’s public finances are weak relative to those of its ‘A’ range peers and the country is now on par with more heavily indebted ‘A’ range sovereigns such as Italy, said Fitch Ratings today.

This comes after some economists said that the federal government’s debt, which nearly doubled since 2007 to RM421 billion, poses a fiscal risk to the country if not managed carefully as it impairs Malaysia’s resilience to economic shocks, which appear to be occurring with increasing frequency.

Fitch said that despite strong GDP growth, the deterioration in public debt ratios is affecting Malaysia’s credit profile and a lack of progress on fiscal reforms could lead to a ratings downgrade.

Fitch said that the rise in the federal government debt-to-GDP ratio and the limited broadening of the fiscal revenue base have pushed Malaysia’s debt-to-revenue ratio to 246 per cent in 2011, which is well above the ‘A’ and ‘BBB’ range medians of 137 per cent and 119 per cent respectively and is now on par with more heavily indebted ‘A’ range sovereigns such as Italy at 261 per cent and Israel at 180 per

Italy is considered one of the countries at risk of a debt default and saw its borrowing costs soar to above seven per cent in November last year. Read the rest of this entry »