Archive for March, 2013

Call on Najib to make public all the mega defence and other contracts entered into by the Federal Government in the past three weeks since March 8 when his premiership has “expired” its credibility, authority and legitimacy

The RM4.2 billion arms deal worth RM4.2 billion entered into by the Defence Ministry at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima 2013), on top of the earlier argument that Parliament could not yet be dissolved as a caretaker government cannot enter into mega-ringgit defence deals at LIMA, has brought to the centrestage the important questions of good governance and public integrity and the issue of corruption in Malaysia – especially what is the proper and ethical conduct of a government which is reaching close to or gone past its “expiry” period.

There can be no contention that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is already the country’s longest unelected Prime Minister without a mandate of his own after taking over the reins of premiership from Tun Abdullah Badawi is already an “expired” Prime Minister leading an “expired” Cabinet and Government in the past three weeks since March 8, when it lost all public credibility, authority and legitimacy as the government of Malaysia.

Why can’t the RM4.2 billion arms deal in LIMA wait until after the 13GE for whichever government, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, to make the final decision? Read the rest of this entry »


11-Day Countdown to 13GE: 4th Objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah – Pakatan to target 12 parliament seats from the non-BN fixed deposit states in Peninsular Malaysia to pave the way to Putrajaya in 13GE

Over the past 3 days, I have outlined the three objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah as part of the larger objective to propel Pakatan Rakyat to Putrajaya.

The Third Objective which I outlined yesterday was Pakatan’s target to win 33 out of 83 parliamentary seats in the three fixed deposit states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.

If Pakatan can successfully defend the 80 parliamentary seats it won in the non-fixed deposit states in Peninsular Malaysia in GE12 and the Kuala Terengganu by-election, and if Pakatan can win 33 additional seats in the three BN fixed deposit states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, then Pakatan would exceed the magic number of 112 needed to form the Federal Government.

However, Pakatan can only win with a good and comfortable majority if we can win at least 125 parliamentary seats in 13GE, comprising say 45 seats for PKR and 40 seats each for DAP and PAS.

To reach the 125 seat (or a 28 seat majority) target, Pakatan needs to win 12 more parliament seats from the non BN-fixed deposit states.

This the Fourth Objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah. Read the rest of this entry »


Arms deals inked by ‘expired PM’ may not be valid

by Koh Jun Lin
Mar 30, 2013

Pakatan Rakyat would review all contracts signed by the federal government after March 8 and possibly cancel them if they are found to be unfair or involved abuse of power, if the coalition takes over Putrajaya, said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

He said in his speech at Seputeh today that the government has no business signing these deals five years after the last general election; they should be considered interim agreements subject to confirmation by the succeeding government.

Highlighting the RM4.2 billion arms deal signed in Langkawi two days ago, he said: “We will not be bound by these agreements because these are done after March 8, when the prime minister has lost legitimacy and credibility, and is only an ‘expired’ prime minister.

“He cannot sign these agreements,” he said, adding that the federal government should declare every deal it inked since that date because it should not have endorsed them.

Lim was speaking at the official launching of DAP’s Seputeh election operations centre, which occupies a shoplot that local MP Teresa Kok said was let out to the party for free by a supporter. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s Afraid of Losing His Job

By Kee Thuan Chye

I stand corrected for predicting that Prime Minister Najib Razak would dissolve Parliament on March 26 to allow for the 13th general election to be held in mid-April. I had thought he would be man enough to do it.

It is unclear now when he will make the much-awaited move to face the people’s decision as to whether they want to retain his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as the government or consign it to the Opposition benches. He could also wait for Parliament to automatically dissolve on April 28.

In fact, the Negeri Sembilan State Assembly has already been automatically dissolved – as its five-year term ended on March 27. The next state assembly to follow suit is the Pahang one on April 7.

Najib’s delay does not look good for him as it shows a lack of confidence. Already, many are calling him “coward” on social media. In contrast to the Opposition’s push forward by first unveiling its manifesto way ahead and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s daring declaration of standing in the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency in Johor, the bastion of BN, followed by DAP MP Liew Chin Tong being moved from Penang to a yet-unnamed seat also in Johor, Najib’s inaction is a sign of weakness.
Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s debt: the misleading debt-to-GDP ratio

by Pak Sako
CPI Asia

This is the third part of a three-part CPI series on Malaysian debt. The first part, entitled, ‘Investigate Malaysia’s debts now‘ , surveyed the overall debt situation. The second part, entitled, ‘Malaysian government debt to approach RM1 trillion by 2020‘, looked at the trend in government debt.

This part critiques the debt-to-GDP ratio and questions Malaysia’s official debt figures.

An over-optimistic and misleading impression of debt results when the government puts its faith in one number, the debt-to-GDP ratio.

The current government-debt-to-GDP ratio for Malaysia of 53% is assumed as being within safe limits, below the 55% ceiling set by Malaysian policy.

Here it is argued that judging the nation’s debt condition primarily on account of this one indicator is wrong. A critical look at debt is required to understand the real situation and health of the economy. Read the rest of this entry »


Tsu Koon can redeem himself if he is prepared to take a honest and honourable stand on Wednesday’s Cabinet to demand the total suspension of the May 13 film Tanda Putra or to submit his resignation as Cabinet Minister

I feel very sorry for the Gerakan President and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr.Koh Tsu Koon but he has only himself to blame for the avalanche of public odium heaped on him in the last 48 hours when he did the indefensible – defending the private screenings of the May 13 riots film, Tanda Putera.

Tsu Koon claimed that the private screening of the controversial Tanda Putera are allowed because the Cabinet decision to postpone its screening is restricted to public screenings only.

What sycophancy, hypocrisy and sophistry!

No wonder Cabinet Ministers are not the most highly regarded and respected people in Malaysia – and the Najib Cabinet makes history as the Cabinet which beats all previous Cabinets in having the most useless “deadwood”.

Even the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin in their recent interviews took turns to scalp the Ministerial “deadwood” in the Najib Cabinet.

Mahathir fully endorsed Daim’s condemnation of the Najib Cabinet as “carrying too much deadwood” with “most are already past their use-by date”, saying caustically: “I agree entirely. Lots of deadwood should be chopped down and thrown away and new trees grown.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Our Hope

Our Hope
By Allan CF Goh

The dark clouds may threaten,
Seemingly for eternity.
But after the rain,
The rainbow will appear,
Radiant with colours,
Alive with hope.

The darkness may stretch
Endlessly into the night,
A tarry mass of fright.
But dawn will surely come,
Bringing along the sun-bright,
To dispel the shifting shadows.

So must any rotten regime,
Bloated with corruptions,
Inert with inefficiency,
Accepted decreasingly,
Must sink into oblivion,
Into history’s waste bin.
Read the rest of this entry »


12-Day Countdown to 13GE: Third Objective of Battle of Gelang Patah – BN’s fixed deposit states of Johore, Sabah and Sarawak “Going, Going, Gone!” by targeting to win 33 out of the 83 Parliamentary seats in the three states

In the last two days, I had discussed the first two objectives of the Battle of Gelang Patah:

Objective One: to target the six Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in south Johore to pave the way for Pakatan Rakyat to Putrajaya in the 13th General Elections. The six Parliamentary seats are Johor Bahru, Pasir Gudang, Tebrau, Gelang Patah, Kulai and Pulai. The 13 State Assembly seats are: Stulang, Tanjong Puteri, Johore Jaya, Permas, Puteri Wangsa, Tiram, Skudai, Nusajaya, Pengkalan Rinting, Kempas, Senai, Bukit Batu and Bukit Permai.

Objective Two: to target a total of 19 Parliamentary seats and 30 State Assembly seats in the state of Johor, including the six Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in South Johore which I had already mentioned. The additional 13 Parliamentary seats in the rest of Johore are Tanjong Piai, Kluang, Batu Pahat, Bakri, Labis, Segamat, Sekijang, Ledang, Muar, Ayer Hitam, Sri Gading, Simpang Rengam and Sembrong. The additional 17 State Assemby seats are Pekan Nenas, Mengkibol, Penggaram, Bentayam, Sungai Abong, Bekok, Jementah, Tangkak, Paloh, Yong Peng, Mahkota, Layang-Layang, Parit Yaani, Maharani, Gambir, Tenang and Pemanis.

I am not claiming that Pakatan Rakyat can score a bullseye and win all the 19 Parliamentary and 30 State Assembly seats in Johore mentioned. In fact, if Pakatan Rakyat can achieve 50 per cent of this target, it is already a “phenomenal political revolution” in Johor, bearing in mind the arrogant boasts of Barisan Nasional leaders just five years ago before the 2008 general elections that they would ensure that Johore would become a “zero Opposition” state!

I am of course expecting hitting a more than 50% success for the PR target of 19 Parliamentary and 30 State Assembly seats in Johore the 13GE. Read the rest of this entry »


BN, no need for the politics of fear

JD Lovrenciear
Mar 27, 2013

As we gear towards an imminent dissolution of Parliament, the leaders and political party vanguards are really getting completely violently vile in thought, speech and deeds.

Are we the rakyat and nation-loving people to be left in the lurch and to stomach all this bullying then?

Why on earth is the prime minister of the nation – a leader for all Malaysians, himself also holding a gun to our heads?

BN leaders and party wigs are making all kinds of statements; are smilingly witnessing all kinds of abuse; and allowing all kinds of rubbish to be pumped out through all the mainstream media.

Are these not akin to holding a gun to the citizens’ heads? Read the rest of this entry »


Are we really independent?

P Gunasegaram
Mar 29, 2013

QUESTION TIME On the eve of the general election, it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on how independent are we really.

What a moment it must have been when Malaysia (then Malaya) achieved independence from the British on Aug 31, 1957 and the flag of the newly independent country was raised.

At five years old, I was too young to remember what it was like then but have vague memories of my brother getting lost on a family visit to Kuala Lumpur town during the celebrations and being taken care of by policemen, before he was reunited with our parents.

It must have held so much hope for Malayans of all races and religions who put aside their differences to work for the formation of a new nation.

Tunku Abdul Rahman declared himself the happiest prime minister in the world and was proud of the fact that independence was achieved via negotiation without a single drop of blood being shed.

To be sure there were differences and in the years before independence there was much debate and agonising over how a disparate country of Chinese and Indian immigrants, many of whom had nowhere else but Malaya to call home, were to be integrated with the majority Malay community.

But there was a plan and everyone stuck to it and the country became independent. The communist threat had been beaten back although it would take until the sixties before they were more or less completely vanquished.

We were independent but how free were we? And did not independence mean freedom as well? Read the rest of this entry »


Second Objective of Battle of Gelang Patah – Target 19 of the 26 Parliamentary and 30 of the 56 State Assembly seats in Johore

Yesterday, when visiting Taman Damai Jaya in Gelang Patah, I spoke about the meaning of the Battle of Gelang Patah.

I stressed that the Battle of Gelang Patah is not my personal battle on whether I can be re-elected to Parliament.

If this is the case, I should stay back in Ipoh Timor which I had won with a majority of over 21,000 votes in the 2008 general elections, instead of going for a very high-risk contest in Gelang Patah which was won by the MCA/BN candidate with a majority of over 8,000 votes in 2008 and a humoungous majority of 31,666 votes in 2004.

In Gelang Patah I could very well lose but I am prepared to take the risk.

This is because the Battle of Gelang Patah is not so much about the victory or defeat of an individual or the gains or losses of individual parties, but whether Johore can become a “kingmaker” in the 13GE to spark a political tsunami in the country from the south and cross the South China Sea to effect the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »


China’s anti-corruption drive is really hitting Scottish Whisky

By Emily Neil
New Statesman
28 March 2013

Xi Jinping makes problems for luxury goods.

A more unusual, but strong, market force is at work in China: an anti-corruption drive led by the new president, Xi Jinping. The giving of expensive luxury items to government officials has been a standard part of bureaucratic and business life in China, and has contributed in part to the dramatic growth in revenues and profits for multinational luxury goods companies operating in the country. Mr Xi however has swept in with a determination to stamp out showy bureaucracy and waste, and high end restaurants have suffered as official banquets have been cancelled and luxury local liquor makers have seen demand drop significantly.

All this will send a shiver through Scotch whisky makers, as well as other luxury goods companies in the UK and Europe. The most recent evidence comes from Pernod Ricard, owner of the Chivas Regal brand, which has seen sales of its Scotch whisky fall by a double digit rate [2] over the critical Chinese New Year period. Read the rest of this entry »


13-Day Countdown to 13GE – In forcing the Negri Sembilan to be dissolved “automatically” on Wednesday midnight, Najib has unconstitutionally hijacked the powers of the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar and even the Yang di Pertuan Besar on dissolution of State Assembly

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has chalked up another dubious record in his political career – as for the second time, he has shown utter contempt for important, delicate and sensitive Federal-State relationships by trampling on the sanctity of State Constitutions in his utter disregard for the state’s autonomy, rights, powers and prerogatives entrenched in the State Constitutions.

The first time Najib violated the sanctity of a state constitution was in February 2009 when he orchestrated an undemocratic, illegal, unethical and unconstitutional grab for power in Perak and ousted the Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and the democratically-elected Pakatan Rakyat Perak executive council and government from office.

As a result, Najib’s recent signature of Transparency International-Malaysia’s Election Integrity Pledge is regarded as a political farce totally lacking in meaning and commitment, even in destroying in the process the credibility, authority and legitimacy of TI-M’s Election Integrity Pledge altogether.

The second time Najib had violated the sanctity of State Constitutions happened on Wednesday midnight when he forced the Negri Sembilan State Assembly to run out of time and which had to be dissolved automatically with the Negri Sembilan Yang di Pertuan Besar, Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, the Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and the Speaker, Datuk Razak Mansor completely in the dark on the issue. Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga Rubbishes the Star’s “4 Reasons Why”

by Martin Jalleh



Court turns a blind eye to justice

P Ramakrishnan
Immediate past president, now Aliran executive committee member
27 March 2013

Malaysians were rudely shocked to learn that the High Court in Shah Alam put itself in a straitjacket and refused to see the glaring injustice that was clearly highlighted by Klang MP Charles Santiago in a suit that was decided on 14 March 2013.

Mr Santiago wanted the Court to review the principal and supplementary electoral rolls for his parliamentary constituency.

It was very disappointing that Judge Vernon Ong said that the Court was bound by Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 and cannot review a gazetted electoral roll, literally throwing to the wind the conventional wisdom that “where there is a malady the Court will provide a remedy” – even if it has to use its inherent powers.

The Judge further noted that the Court could not compel the Election Commission (EC) to respond to the queries of the MP as there was no provision in the Act for it to do so. While it may be true that there is no such provision, what is far more important is whether there is specifically any provision in the Act prohibiting the EC from responding?

Why was this logical point entirely overlooked by the Court? If the Court was the bastion of justice as provided by the inherent powers of providing a remedy for a malady, it would have been the natural consequence to fall back on this logic. But surprisingly, this was not the case.

While it may be true that the Court was bound by Section 9A of the Election Act, shouldn’t the Court invoking its overview functions have also looked into the legality of this section?

Is it constitutional? Is it constitutional to perpetuate a wrong in spite of fraud, probably even of a criminal nature, that were clearly established by Mr Santiago? Read the rest of this entry »


Time starting to run out for BN

― Fikry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
March 28, 2013

MARCH 28 ― The Negri Sembilan state assembly ran out of time and all the mentri besar could do is say that his is now the caretaker state government.

What kind of leadership is this? As the state’s chief executive, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan should have had the scrotal gumption to dissolve the legislature and notify the Election Commission (EC).

It would be up to them to decide the timing for polls, whether to hold it first or wait for the other assemblies and Parliament to also be dissolved.

Instead, he waited until time ran out and reportedly said, “There has to be a caretaker government because we will have to pay wages and look into other matters during the period… without a caretaker government, there will be anarchy.”

That is stating the obvious. Of course there is a caretaker government until the polls are held, whether he dissolves it or it is done automatically.

He should have just gone ahead and done it himself instead of looking like a clueless politician waiting for further orders from Putrajaya. Read the rest of this entry »


Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to bigots

The Malaysian Insider
March 28, 2013

MARCH 28 ― They say ignorance is bliss. And Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon says the Cabinet interfaith committee has deliberately avoided censuring those who spark religious tension in order to prevent giving them further publicity.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for unity and performance management said such people would only say “more and more” if the interfaith committee castigated them.

“Very often, ignoring is the best,” he said. “After one day, no more news… We better focus on promoting harmony.”

He has a point there except this strategy has failed miserably. These people are not used to being ignored by anyone and have become more brazen as days go by.

Look at what has happened this year. Malay rights group Perkasa urged Muslims last January to burn Malay-language bibles that contain the word “Allah” and other religious Arabic script.

Columnist Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah allegedly disparaged the Hindu community in an article published in Malay-language daily Sinar Harian on February 18.

All this just a few years after a group of men dragged a cow’s head in Shah Alam to protest a Hindu temple. Cows are sacred in Hinduism, something which almost every Malaysian knows. Read the rest of this entry »


Koh defends private screenings of Tanda Putera

by Koh Jun Lin
Mar 28, 2013

Private screenings of the controversial film on the May 13, 1969 racial riots, Tanda Putera are allowed because the cabinet decision to postpone its screening is restricted to public screenings only.

“There have been some private screenings for people to make some judgments and decisions.

“As long as there is no public screening, for that is the decision that was made by the cabinet,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Koh Tsu Koon said today.

Asked why was this allowed despite charges that the film was racially divisive, the de facto unity minister questioned such a charge.

“I don’t know how many screenings there have been, but has it led to racial strife? I don’t know. You better check the facts before reporting on that,” Koh told reporters.

Information Minister Rais Yatim had previously said that Tanda Putera’s premier has been deferred because of ‘inappropriate’ scenes in the film. Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga: Four ‘good’ reasons, my foot!

RK Anand| March 28, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

The Bersih chief dismisses the four reasons given by the Star’s group editor-in-chief for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s delay in dissolving Parliament.

KUALA LUMPUR: In a comment piece published on the front-page of the Star today, the MCA-owned daily’s group editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai stated four reasons for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s feet-dragging on the dissolution of Parliament.

However, Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga is not convinced with the four “good” reasons, which were:

*A caretaker government cannot enter into agreements at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima).

*Finishing touches to some projects and programmes.

*Barisan Nasional’s candidates’ list not finalised.

*Impossible at the moment for politicians to campaign freely in Lahad Datu.

Commenting on the first reason cited, Ambiga told FMT that it is not a licence to dig into the public coffers to embark on a spending spree.

“Lima contracts were all foreseeable. If this was an aim, then why lead the public on a merry ride and threaten to dissolve Parliament for more than a year?” she asked.
Read the rest of this entry »


Najib has delivered – A Malaysia More Corrupt!

by Martin Jalleh