Archive for March 16th, 2013

Lahad Datu – a bizarre crisis

Iskandar Dzulkarnain | March 16, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

The sultan should seriously get a life and or get a job. How long can he and his band of merry men last if they continue to go around pretending to be royal consorts of an imaginary kingdom?


Apparently, our billion-ringgit jet fighters missed their targets, as mopped-up operations failed to turn in any bodies, while the chief of the militant group, “Prince” Agbimuddin Kiram, has appeared on Philippine national TV live in a telephone interview.

So, there was no total victory as reported and the siege has not ended. The stand-off is turning more bizarre as the Philippine media reported a conspiracy involving the Philippine opposition under former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Coincidentally, the Malaysian government is also pointing its fingers at the involvement of the opposition here. Representatives of the self-proclaimed Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were alleged to have attended the Umno annual general assembly last year, while some Sabah Umno representatives are alleged to have close ties with the Sulu Sultanate.

So, it is not merely the case of a simple band of 200 opportunistic marauders landing on Sabah’s shores with the high hopes of staking a claim on Sabah. Apparently, there is more at stake involving the governments or opposition of both countries.

“Princess” Jacel Karim of the Sulu Sultanate has come up with contradicting statements, adamant that the Malaysian government has agreed in principle to pay compensation to the Sulu Sultanate, a few months before the onset of this conflict. She is also reportedly unhappy with the terrorist label and claims that the intruders are armed with the “truth”. Read the rest of this entry »


26-Day Countdown to 13GE – Federal Government Deficits and Debts

Unlike many developing countries, Malaysia had until the last 15 years, avoided deficit funding and the accumulation of high levels of external and internal debt that culminated in debt crises of the type that afflicted Argentina, Mexico and many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Federal Government followed prudent policies and followed fiscal policies that were viewed favorably. Both Foreign Direct Investment flows and the domestic private sector contributed to growth.

Thus, through the early 1970s and the decade of the 1980s small deficits were recorded, indeed in the early 1990s small surpluses were recorded. The size of the public debt was largely stable and did not exceed RM 100 billion.

However, the 1997 East Asia crisis, triggered by contagion effects of the crisis in Thailand, led to a radical change in fiscal policy. The Federal Government embarked on a pump priming effort to revive the economy.

Many large scale projects were mounted; many heavily indebted crony corporations were bailed out. The public sector surplus of RM 6.6 billion recorded in 1997 evaporated and became a deficit of RM 5 billion in 1998.

Since 1998, despite the recovery, the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government has continued to run deficits ever increasing deficits which peaked under the Prime Ministership of Datuk Seri Najib to RM 47 billion. Read the rest of this entry »


Has Umno helped Malays?

P Gunasegaram
Mar 14, 2013

QUESTION TIME When former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in typical acerbic but unsubstantiated fashion that Malay rights, privileges and its position would be affected if the opposition were returned in Selangor, it begged two other questions.

What did he do for the ordinary Malay during the long 22 years he was in power from 1981 to 2003, and how much was he responsible for the lack of their progress? And to broaden the question further, how much has Umno done for the Malay on the street and in the kampung?

A good starting point to answer the question is to look back at the New Economic Policy (NEP) of the seventies which provided the framework and target for economic redress between the races. The noble twin aims of the policy which few argued with were the eradication of poverty irrespective of race and the elimination of race identification with economic function.

This restructuring was supposed to have come from an increasing economic cake so that no community would feel deprived from the process which would be made over 20 years.

But the reality was different. While there was much effort in equalisation of opportunities initially through the education of Malays and giving them chances for jobs in the government service and the private sector, the policy morphed into one that focused on the equalisation of outcomes instead.

This resulted in drops in educational standards and minimum qualifications to accommodate weaker students instead of helping weaker students to cross existing bars by increased and better tuition. Read the rest of this entry »


Swift action on Tian Chua, snail’s pace for Ibrahim Ali, Ridhuan Tee

― The Malaysian Insider
March 14, 2013

MARCH 14 ― PKR’s Chua Tian Chang was charged with sedition today for allegedly linking Umno to the on-going Sulu intrusion into Sabah.

Two surprises here.

One, that the Sedition Act is being used despite Putrajaya saying that the law will be repealed.

Two, allegedly offensive statements to burn Malay-language bibles by Datuk Ibrahim Ali and that against Hindus by academic Datuk Dr Ridhuan Tee have yet to see the police working as hard as they have with the Batu MP.

What does that say about double standards? Read the rest of this entry »


Selangor skewers Dr M’s record in defending Malay interests

By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
March 13, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 ― Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s political secretary today slammed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s for his inconsistent defence of Malay and Bumiputera interests, following the former prime minister’s plea for the group to back Barisan Nasional in Election 2013.

Faekah Husin also defended the state’s Pakatan Rakyat (PR) administration from Dr Mahathir’s recent remarks that the special rights of Malays and the position of Islam will be threatened if the pact retains its hold on Selangor in Election 2013.

“Dr Mahathir is still singing an old song; song of racism and to frighten Malays and to refresh racial clashes, after he planted seeds of hatred towards other races and adherents of other faiths among the people during his 22 years of rule,” she wrote in an open letter to Dr Mahathir dated today.

Faekah pointed to Umno’s alleged abuses when it had been in power in Selangor, saying that the party once led by Dr Mahathir owns hundreds of acres of land in the state that they allegedly only paid a minimum premium of RM100 per acre.

She said that much of these plots of land were sold for hefty profits to private development firms owned by non-Bumiputeras, adding that this pointed to the hypocrisy of Umno. But she was quick to say she was not questioning the non-Bumiputeras’ ownership of land.

“We also found out that during Umno’s rule in Selangor, thousands of acres of Malay Reserve Land in the city were retracted and converted to freehold status,” she said, claiming that the plots of Malay Reserve Land were shifted to those in the rural areas such as Panchang Bedena, Sabak Bernam and Hulu Selangor. Read the rest of this entry »