Archive for September 1st, 2012

China’s Growing Economic Crisis

By William Pesek
Aug 30, 2012

Policy makers around the world have long envied China’s ability to get big things done. A huge 4 trillion-yuan ($630 billion) stimulus plan as the global economy cratered in 2008? No problem. Marshaling banks to lend trillions more? Check. Enacting sweeping regulatory changes at a moment’s notice? You bet.

Ahhh, the good old days. Now, a once-in-a-decade leadership shift is getting in the way of the stimulus-happy policies to which investors became accustomed. The nimbleness that helped China steer around the worst of the global crisis is confronting political paralysis of the kind more often seen in Japan, Europe and the U.S. The upshot is that China’s 7.6 percent growth rate may fall more in the next 12 months than anyone expects. Read the rest of this entry »


Puluhan juta wang dibelanjakan, Jalur Gemilang tidak juga berkibar

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 01, 2012

1 SEPT — Semalam genap 55 tahun negara kita merdeka dan begitu rapi persediaan yang diuruskan untuk merayakan Hari Kemerdekaan ini oleh kerajaan. Perayaan ini merupakan satu perayaan yang termahal sekali dan itu tidak mengapalah kerana memang sudah menjadi budaya kita berbelanja berlebih-lebihan untuk perayaan. Wang yang dibelanjakan pun bukannya duit siapa tetapi duit rakyat yang membayar cukai dengan keringat dan darah mereka.

Perayaan mengingati Hari Kemerdekaan di negara kita merupakan perayaan yang terboros sekali. Setahun yang lepas saya sempat melihat majlis ulang tahun negara Australia melalui kaca TV yang saya sudah lupa dari saluran mana. Tetapi Australia merayakan secara “simple” tetapi meriah. Majlis itu yang berlangsung dalam kurang dari dua jam hanya mendengar ucapan Perdana Menteri yang ringkas. Tidak ada bas disewa oleh kerajaan untuk mengangkut orang ramai dengan elaun kehadiran sebanyak RM30, baju-T dan sebagainya.

Semua Ahli Jemaah Kabinetnya hanya duduk di atas barisan kerusi yang “simple” dan mudah dan kita boleh tahu mereka tidak menggunakan wang rakyat yang begitu banyak untuk merayakan hari kebangsaan mereka. Sebaliknya kita di sini membelanjakan wang rakyat berpuluh-puluh juta untuk merayakan Hari Kebangsaan kita. Tetapi tak mengapa juga rakyat kita kebanyakannya tidak kisah harta benda mereka diperkosa seperti ini dan ada yang masih memberikan sokongan pihak yang membelanjakan wang mereka dengan boros itu.

Tetapi selain daripada memberikan komen tentang pembaziran ini saya ingin memberikan pemerhatian saya terhadap perayaan Hari Kebangsaan kita yang saya nampak tidak mendapat sambutan rakyat. Banyak publisiti yang kita dengar dan lihat tentang seruan untuk menaikkan Jalur Gemilang, tetapi di mana-mana kita pergi orang ramai tidak nampak Jalur Gemilang dikibarkan di premis-premis perniagaan dan rumah-rumah kediaman rakyat yang ramai. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Janji Ditepati’? Malaysia deserves better

— Marcus van Geyzel (
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 01, 2012

SEPT 1 — There are very few things that observers of Malaysian politics can regularly agree on.

However, there will be much concurrence with the suggestion that there are two significant traits for those who follow the local political scene very closely — a sense of humour, and a dose of masochism. Naturally, the agreement will be because those involved deem these traits necessary due to the ineptitude of those on “the other side”.

An unhealthy and extreme partisanship has evolved in Malaysian politics since 2008. This is even more obvious to anyone who follows political “commentary” on Twitter (to whom my use of the inverted commas would be obvious).

There is nothing wrong with a bit of banter and partisan one-upmanship. The disconcerting thing is when the immaturity comes from elected representatives, who forget (or perhaps never realised in the first place) that they are supposed to represent everyone, not just those who voted for them or their party.

Despite the frustration and disappointment, I do still follow some of these tweets, including the propaganda offered by full-time political commentators who are prominently featured in national newspapers. I did mention masochism earlier on.

However, the recent discussions about the Merdeka theme have taken things beyond what should be acceptable to any Malaysian, political or not.

I waited some time before putting my thoughts into writing, as I harboured some hope that the theme would be scrapped following the incessant criticism. Perhaps those responsible would hold their hands up and admit that it was a mistake? Silly me. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr Mahathir: How Will History Judge Him?

Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
1st Sept 2012

Some friends have asked me as to how history will remember Dr. Mahathir. This has led me to thinking about Ho Chi Minh, Sukarno, Nehru, Lee Kuan Yew and other Asian giants of colonial and post colonial history, and how Dr. Mahathir measures up to them. However, comparing him to other leaders in our Asian neighbourhood may be unfair to Dr. Mahathir as it may be demanding too high a standard in leadership, given the unusual and extraordinary crop of leaders in our part of the world.

Instead, I am now more inclined to compare him with leaders from other countries of the world where the comparison may be more appropriate. One leader with whom I am sure Dr. Mahathir would not mind comparison is Kwame Nkrumah, a giant of contemporary African history who Dr Mahathir is probably hoping – when his own obituary is written – for future generations to put him in the company of.

Is Dr. Mahathir who has borrowed the ideas (and the slogans) of Nkrumah and other leading post independence leaders worthy of such a comparison? Or does he belong to some other group? Read the rest of this entry »


Najib did not conduct himself as Prime Minister for all Malaysians when he divided the people on Merdeka Day and urged Malaysians to “defend independence” against Pakatan Rakyat

Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not conduct himself as Prime Minister for all Malaysians when he divided the people on Merdeka Day and urged Malaysians to “defend independence” against Pakatan Rakyat.

In his closing speech at the “Merdeka 55: Janji ditepati” gathering at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium last night, Najib called on the audience “to defend the nation’s independence from enemies and the opposition alike”. (Malaysiakini/The Malaysian Insider)

He said:

“Ladies and gentlemen, remember that independence only knocks once for any nation. Let us close ranks and defend our independence with a solid front, at every corner and at any time.

“Even more so when enemies and the opposition are trying to bring chaos into the situation.”

This the final and ultimate proof that the 55th Merdeka Day celebrations had been hijacked by UMNO/Barisan Nasional as part of their desperate gambit to hang on to power in the impending 13th General Election – which had been evident when the UMNO/BN election theme of “Janji Ditepati” had been imported lock, stock and barrel to be elevated as the 55th Merdeka Day/49th Malay Day theme. Read the rest of this entry »