Archive for December, 2012

Let 2013 end the national deformations and usher in an era of genuine national transformation by electing a new Pakatan Rakyat Malaysian government for the first time in 55 years

For nearly four years, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been promising one transformation programme after another – government, economic, political, educational, social, etc all under an overarching slogan of 1Malaysia under one agency or another.

All these pronouncements and initiatives have achieved is to earn the nation the epithet of “The Acronym Nation” while national deformations in all aspects of national life have proceeded unchecked.

Najib’s four-year premiership will be remembered by Malaysians as an administration of plunging global indices, and this unpleasant fact has been underlined by three international reports in the last month of this year, viz: Read the rest of this entry »


Foreign interference in Malaysian politics?

— Clive Kessler
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 30, 2012

DEC 30 — The New Straits Times (Sunday December 30) contains a long analysis and commentary entitled “Dubious Backers of Regime Change”.

Its author, Nile Bowie, warns of the menace of foreign interference and covert involvement and influence in Malaysian politics.

As well he might.

This lengthy article, now recycled in the BN government’s leading newspaper here, made its first appearance in RT.

RT? What is that? Read the rest of this entry »


‘Allah’ a journey, not controversy

By Azly Rahman
Malaysiakini | Dec 28, 2012

Only in Malaysia is the world perhaps witnessing a raging debate on who has the patent to the word ‘Allah’; simply translated as ‘the/that god.’ It seems to be a seasonal debate to get the political parties to wrestle over the linguistic or semiotic of the word; one that connotes and denotes ‘the Force of Divinity’ that Man has attempted to understand, revere, love, and fear yet can never comprehend.

This is simply because we are in a matrix of truth and representation, and in a prison-house of language unable to see what the Ultimate Reality looks like.

What’s in a name? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. And even more so this Shakespearean “a rose is a rose” type of problematique seems relevant in a world of political manipulations such as in Malaysia when race and religion are the twin determinants of political evolution.

The debate on the origin of the word ‘Allah’ is obviously interesting as a topic of dissertation or as an inquiry theme in fields such as bio-semantics, bio-semiotics, linguistic philosophy, philology, or the study of the transcultural flow of language as yours truly embarked upon on the origin of the words ‘Cyberjaya’ and ‘Putrajaya’ in a dissertation submitted to Columbia University, a few years back. Read the rest of this entry »


Hukuman penjara satu bulan terhadap mahasiswa yang menyertai “Occupy Dataran” Umar Mohd Azmi merupakan satu peringatan dasyat dan memeranjatkan sebelum PRU13 bahawa walaupun di bawah Najib sebagai PM, sistem keadilan jenayah masih teruk

Hukuman penjara satu bulan berserta dengan denda maksimum RM1,000 terhadap mahasiswa yang menyertai “Occupy Dataran” Umar Mohd Azmi telah menjadi peristiwa menggemparkan negara juga antarabangsa kerana benar-benar merupakan satu peringatan dasyat dan memeranjatkan sebelum Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 bahawa meskipun terdapat laungan slogan tentang program transformasi kerajaan, ekonomi, pendidikan, sosial dan politik, sistem keadilan jenayah di Malaysia masih teruk di bawah empat tahun pemerintahan Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Jika tidak kerana saya sekarang berada di Sydney sudah tentu saya akan melawat khemah protes yang didirikan aktivis mahasiswa di luar penjara Kajang untuk menzahirkan sokongan , simpati dan solidariti saya bersama Umar terhadap ketidakadilan hukuman berat yang dikenakan keatasnya kerana menghalang pegawai awam melaksanakan tugas.

Mengapa Umar dikenakan hukuman yang berat dengan denda maksimum RM1,000 berserta satu bulan penjara, sekiranya hukuman maksimum untuk kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 186 Kanun Keseksaan kerana menghalang kakitangan awam menjalankan tugas mereka adalah maksimum tiga bulan penjara atau denda maksimum RM1,000 atau kedua-duanya sekali? Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t bribe us with our money! Malaysians are not that stupid

By P Ramakrishnan | Aliran executive committee member
28 December 2012

The Prime Minister seems to be playing Santa Claus. He is very generously dishing out goodies from seemingly bottomless coffers, convinced that Malaysians are a greedy, unthinking lot who can be bought easily.

Little does he realise that the Malaysians of today are a very perceptive and discerning lot who can see through his election ploy.

They know that the money that is being doled out does not come from Barisan Nasional coffers. If that was the case, then Malaysians can be grateful to the BN. But when he uses the people’s money to bribe them and expects them to be grateful to the BN, it is insulting their intelligence.
Read the rest of this entry »


Are Chinese the real masters of Malaysia?

Is Dr Mahathir Senile?
By Koon Yew Yin

I was reminded of the witticism on politicians that “we hang the petty thieves but elect the great ones to office” when I read Dr. Mahathir’s claim in his blog that the Chinese (and Indians) are the real masters of the country. Specifically he wrote that “Because they (the Malays) are willing to share their country with other races, the race from the older civilisation of more than 4,000 years and who are more successful, as such today whatever they have now is also being taken away from them”.

As election day approaches, this line of argument is being rehashed. We can expect more of this race baiting by Dr. Mahathir and his kind in UMNO and PEMUDA when they are addressing Malay voters. Of course, this rehashing will take on new permutations such as “the PKR and PAS are selling out the rights of the Malays” or “the DAP is really the dayang master pulling the strings of the Pakatan coalition”.

What is important to do is not to get angry or remain silent but to refute it with facts, figures and arguments.
Read the rest of this entry »


A leader leads by action, not words

– Jacob Sinnathamby
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 26, 2012

DEC 26 – It is really interesting how our last two prime ministers – Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak – have felt the need to talk about themselves as leaders of all Malaysians.

The truly great and effective leaders of countries and businesses never need stand on the roof top and tell people what they are. It is plain for people to see. In short, their track record and actions speak volumes about them, their character and their decency.

Abdullah loved to talk about being a leader of all Malaysians, but we all know now that it was just spin for political expediency.

He hoodwinked many of us into thinking that he actually cared for non-malays and malays equally.

Now, we know that it was just a charade to get Malaysians to believe that he was different from Mahathir Mohamad and give him a huge mandate in 2004.

With the mandate in the bag, Abdullah reverted to type and became Umno’s servant, not the servant of Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


Bishop demurs over PM’s Christmas Day remarks

Terence Netto
Dec 26, 2012

Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing described Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s remarks at a hi-tea hosted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) yesterday as “pious platitudes we are used to hearing on these occasions”.

Speaking to Malaysiakini after reading reports on web news portals on Najib’s remarks at the CFM function which the prelate did not attend, bishop Tan said:

“I don’t want to sound churlish, particularly in this Christmas season of goodwill, but if you shake down the PM’s rhetoric, what have you left – syrupy sentiment and clichés that have little or no connection with realities on the ground.”

In remarks made at the Christmas Day hi-tea attended by the PM and his wife Rosmah Mansor, Najib assured the Christian community that they have not been marginalised.

“I don’t want to be prime minister for only a particular section of the community,” asserted Najib. “I’m prime minister for all Malaysians, and I’ve said that repeatedly.”

Bishop Tan said that no one with experience of how prime ministers have run the Malaysian nation would think to remark that there could be an ethnocentric and exclusivist dimension to the PM’s role.

“It’s odd that Najib has seen fit to remark that he has to be PM of all of our diverse nation and not just one or another part of it,” commented the head of the Catholic Church of the Melaka-Johor diocese whose two-year tenure as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei ends on Dec 31. Read the rest of this entry »


BN confident of wresting 20 Opposition seats

The Malaysian Insider
Dec 24, 2012

MALACCA, Dec 24 – Barisan Nasional (BN) is capable of wresting back 20 opposition-held seats to help secure two-thirds majority in the coming 13th general election, says Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

He is confident that BN can retain the 140 parliamentary seats it won and capture five of 23 seats held by PAS, five of 29 held by DAP and 10 of the 31 Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) seats.

He said the confidence was based on various factors including the problems faced by the opposition in several seats that it had won.

“It’s logical because, for example, seven of the PKR seats are already problematic for the opposition as six as the incumbents left the party to become independents while it lost the Hulu Selangor seat.” Read the rest of this entry »


We don’t need Santa Claus

— Christopher Kannan
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 25, 2012

DEC 25 — The prime minister has not forgotten the Christians, and that is why we can now travel to Jerusalem.

Should I be grateful?

I tell you what. I would be really grateful if my leader shuts up Perkasa, Utusan and Umno types who bash Christians all year round.

I am still upset that the PM has not clobbered Ibrahim Ali or his ilk. The only consolation is some two-bit politician saying we all have to be tolerant and respect the majority of people. It makes us feel like children of a lesser god, and sometimes, being told we are “pendatang”, “kafir” and whatever that might not pass as an outright insult.

And then once a year, the PM comes around like Santa Claus and says that he has not forgotten Christians!

I do think the country will be better served if leaders protect minorities 24/7 365 days a year, not just on Christmas Day. Read the rest of this entry »


Who needs Santa when we have Najib?

Mariam Mokhtar
Dec 24, 2012

Who needs Father Christmas when we have Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak?

The world has Father Christmas. In western folklore, he is the legendary figure who brings presents to the homes of good children on the night of Christmas eve. He is usually portrayed as a chubby, joyful, white-bearded man who wears black boots and a red suit trimmed with white fur. Santa lives in the North Pole with Mama Claus, and is assisted by his magical elves and flying reindeer.

In Malaysia, Najib has assumed the role of Santa, with his various handouts. Najib does not have Santa’s long white beard nor rosy cheeks, but many women claim to be envious of his luscious red lips.

Both the Malaysian Santa and his Mama Claus live in a sprawling mansion called Seri Perdana, with an air-conditioning system which would make Santa jealous. To put things into perspective, the official residence of the British PM, No 10 Downing Street, is a garden shed in comparison. Read the rest of this entry »


Tunku Aziz’s misplaced anger with the DAP

– Fikry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 23, 2012

DEC 23 ― There was a time when Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim was at the forefront of righting the wrongs of Malaysia, seeking for a well-governed and transparent nation.

To further his cause, he joined the DAP in 2008. But he left earlier this year and has since been a thorn to the party.

One must ask why this volte-face? Especially with Tunku Aziz’s latest attack that DAP members were barred from accepting state awards from Malay rulers.

Why is the once-respected man now dancing to Umno’s tune and its barrage of attacks against the DAP? Why is he angry with the DAP?

DAP chief Karpal Singh has rejected Tunku Aziz’s allegations by saying the DAP’s policy has been consistent in rejecting state honours except for those issued for bravery. Read the rest of this entry »


Graft-check for BN candidates

— Jaleel Hameed
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 21, 2012

DEC 21 — It must be the end of the world, dear sirs, if the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman is saying that all coalition candidates for the general election must clear a corruption check.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today this vetting and clearing must be done by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Excuse me for laughing, sir, but are you cracking a joke? No? You are serious about the MACC?

This agency, where witnesses or perhaps suspects, leap to their death mysteriously?

This agency, which told its Hong Kong counterpart that there is nothing suspicious about millions being sent to Umno’s Sabah chapter?

This agency, which is more interested in clearing its panel members of complicity rather than investigate where a sworn statement from a private investigator repudiating his earlier statutory declaration could mean something’s amiss? Read the rest of this entry »


Empowered citizenry means ‘The End of Days for Umno’

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 22, 2012

DEC 22 – I have to repeat some of the issues and themes that I have done in the past. Most Malays are at the stage where issues such as corruption, abuse of power, the rottenness of the system that UMNO upholds feature less in importance than the overriding issue – will Malays be all right?

They know the government is bad, deceiving, incompetent, and dishonest – but rationalize it anyway by saying, if others take over, they will do the same. No, it will never be the same, because last time UMNO did all the evils when people are less empowered. Any government straying from the straight path now will be neutralized by an empowered citizenry. That is why UMNO is finding it hard to earn legitimacy at the moment.

So, it does what rogues do – take refuge behind xenophobic and prejudiced worldviews. Suddenly, once again, everything seems to be measured in terms of them doing something to us. Chinese taking over the government from us Malays; Chinese dominating the economy and marginalizing us which is in fact the order of things since UMNO ruled this country. Non-Malays taking over this country and establishing a new national religion replacing Islam; non-Malays especially Chinese taking over and kicking out our Malay rulers.

Even the educated ones fall prey to the xenophobic fears created by a parasitic band of people, bent on staying in power at all costs. Why? Because if they lose, it will the end of days for them – life as they know it – a life founded on corruption, deception and leeching on the majority, will end.

Of course the issues that affect all of us are also important, but to Malays right now, nothing is more important than worrying about their survival and of things dear to them such as race, religion, rulers (occupying a very distant third). Read the rest of this entry »


MACC panel no power to review probes, claims Mat Zain

The Malaysian Insider
Dec 22, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Retired senior policeman Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim questioned today a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) panel chief’s recent explanation to close the file on P. Balasubramaniam’s controversial sworn statement over the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The former KL Criminal Investigation Department chief said Tan Sri Hadenan Abdul Jalil and the Operations Review Panel (PPO) the latter chairs have no power to review MACC’s prosecution cases, based on the MACC Advisory Board’s previous response to him in a separate case.

“PPO has no power to review a case decision,” the ex-police veteran said today in an open letter to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar, urging the latter to act on the ongoing storm over Balasubramaniam’s (picture) two conflicting statutory declarations (SDs) that has implicated several top-ranking government officials and politicians.

Mat Zain was responding to Hadenan’s explanation two days ago stating that prominent lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham — who also sits on the PPO — was not part of the graftbuster review team that had closed the file on the former private eye’s controversial second sworn statement over the 2006 murder.

Hadenan said the case, which was linked to that of carpet merchant Deepak Jaikishan, had been presented at a PPO pre-meeting on November 8.

“Tan Sri Hadenan’s statement should be questioned,” Mat Zain said. Read the rest of this entry »


It ain’t over till the FLOM sings

Mariam Mokhtar
Dec 17, 2012

If wife of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos is famous for her shoes, then Rosmah Mansor, the spouse of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is noted for her bags and rings. But fashion accessories are not her only forte, unlike most Malaysians, she can set aside subpoenas and has the time, money and inclination to write a book.

One moment, both Najib and Rosmah are riding high on the wave of public opinion and their belief that “we can do no wrong”. Next moment, they are at rock bottom and having to fend off accusations; hence the book. Did she publish details of her life and her rise to prominence, out of conceit or an act of desperation?

Surely the book is not the best medium to “explain” herself, if it is true that Malaysians only read two-and-a-half pages a year.

If Rosmah wants to clear her name, why has she not gone on television and done a Princess Diana type confession complete with black eyeliner and coy looks? After all, the government media and printed newspapers are all within her reach.

If the New York Times could have a US$5 million centre-fold spread of her a few years ago, then she should use the local papers to promote herself. RTM will free-up several slots and would not dare decline her request. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian Carpet Dealer Names a New Figure in Scandal

by John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
21 December 2012

Deepak Jaikishan names well connected lawyer in murder cover-up

Perhaps the most crucial – and quoted – document seeking to tie Najib Tun Razak, the current prime minister of Malaysia, to a murdered Mongolian beauty named Altantuya Shaariibuu was a sworn declaration filed on July 1, 2008 by a Kuala Lumpur-based private detective named Perumal Balasubramaniam.

That document, which detailed allegations of an affair between Najib, the then-defense minister and the 28-year-old woman, lasted just three days before it was dramatically reversed. Police allegedly picked up Balasubramaniam and took him to a Kuala Lumpur police station where he was told his family was in serious danger if he didn’t reverse his statement.

The private detective was then taken to a room at the Hilton Hotel in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, where accordingly, on July 4, he signed a new six-page sworn statement in which he said, among other things, that “I wish to retract the entire contents of my Statutory Declaration dated 1July 2008. I was compelled to affirm the said Statutory Declaration dated 1July 2008 under duress.”

Balasubramaniam now says he didn’t write that statement. He never saw it, he said, until it was presented to him in the Hilton.

Four and a half years later, the name of the person who wrote the reversal is believed to be that of Cecil Abraham, a senior partner with the law firm of Zul Rafique & Partners of Kuala Lumpur, one of the country’s most prominent law firms and one that is a major beneficiary of government-related legal business. It is also a firm with considerable experience in defamation cases. Read the rest of this entry »


Tweets from Sydney on Lim Keng Yaik’s passing

Ex-Gerakan chief Keng Yaik dies (Mkini)

Shocked @ Lim Keng Yaik’s passing.”Foolish doc” is no fool. Rare in Barisan Nasional who dares sometimes to protest against UMNO hegemony. Deepest condolences to family.

Last meeting @ Tropicana Club. LKY always exasperated by Tsu Koon’s “political correctness” to toe UMNO line, even UMNO subordinates in Penang.

LKY’s passing great loss to country – he would be voice of sanity/patriotism that UMNO/BN should respect people’s verdict if Pakatan Rakyat elected to Putrajaya in 13GE Read the rest of this entry »


Month-long jail sentence on “Occupy Dataran” student Umar Mohd Azmi outrageous and devastating reminder before 13GE that even under Najib as PM, the criminal justice system still sucks

The month-long jail sentence together with the maximum fine of RM1,000 on “Occupy Dataran” student Umar Mohd Azmi has become a national and international cause celebre because it is utterly outrageous as well as a devastating reminder just before the 13th General Elections that despite all the sloganeering about government, economic, educational, social and political transformation programmes, the criminal justice system in Malaysia still sucks even under the four-year premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

I am now in Sydney or I would have visited the protest camp set up by student activists outside the Kajang prison to demonstrate my support, sympathy and solidarity with Umar at the gross injustice of the harsh sentence imposed on him for obstructing a public official from performing his duty.

Why was Umar imposed the harsh penalty of a maximum fine of RM1,000 together with a one-month jail sentence, when the maximum sentence for an offence under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing any public servant in the discharge of his public functions was a maximum jail sentence of three months or with maximum fine of RM1,000 or both?

One powerful reason why there must be change of Federal government in Putrajaya in the forthcoming 13th general elections is that the country is teeming with cases where the criminal justice really sucks like the case of Umar. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s proposal to source English teachers from India is “crossing of the Rubicon” marking the failure of the Malaysian education system to reverse declining standards and to prepare the new generation of Malaysians for the challenges of the 21st century

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s proposal in New Delhi yesterday to source English teachers for Malaysian schools from India in a bid to help alleviate the shortage of teachers in English and to improve proficiency of the language in Malaysia marks the crossing of the Rubicon for the Malaysian national education system – as it is a sad admission of the failure of the Malaysian education system over the decades to arrest and reverse declining educational standards and to prepare the new Malaysian generation for the challenges of the 21st century.

In the recent past, Malaysia had been sourcing English-language teachers from the United Kingdom and the United States, ignoring the rich reservoir of available local talents to teach the English language. Now the Prime Minister is proposing to source them from India. Will Malaysia next source English teachers from the African continent?

This is undeniably a grievous psychological blow to the nation which had rightly prided itself as a country with high international standards and attainments in English language when it achieved Merdeka in 1957, and should now be sending Malaysians as English-language teachers all over the world, including India, as one of our precious international assets.

Instead, Malaysia has degenerated to become an importing nation for English-language teachers from foreign countries. What a national shame! Read the rest of this entry »