Archive for May 20th, 2013

Umno Baru’s hidden agenda

Mariam Mokhtar
May 20, 2013

When Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – the new home minister – told disgruntled opposition supporters that they should migrate if they were unhappy with the results of GE13, he had unwittingly confessed that Umno Baru has a hidden agenda.

This little-known plan is Umno Baru’s mass immigration policy and is a deliberate ploy fuelled by political self-interests. Asking people to emigrate will ensure that Malaysia is populated largely by Umno Baru-putras and selected foreigners.

Zahid reluctantly acknowledged that the rakyat was disappointed with the rigging of the polls, but at the same time, he revealed the fears of Umno Baru leaders. The cheating did not go as smoothly and secretly as they had intended.

Zahid possesses neither charisma nor intellect. His oft repeated line is for people to shape up or ship out. With each new political appointment, he stuns us with his ability to set new standards for boorish behaviour.

In 2008, he was appointed a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with a portfolio which included religious affairs and agencies like the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim). He caused controversy when he warned officers that they had to support the government’s policies, or leave.

When Abdullah resigned and Najib Abdul Razak took over in 2009, Zahid was made the defence minister. He invited criticism when he said that the low percentage of non-Malays in the armed forces showed that they lacked patriotism. Read the rest of this entry »


The brilliance of Zahid Hamidi

by Aerie Rahman
The Malaysian Insider
MAY 20, 2013

Move aside Khairy Jamaluddin and Saifuddin Abdullah — we have a new poster boy for change within the Barisan National power structure. Not used to flamboyance and only recently baring the fangs of radicalism, Zahid Hamidi has sparked a debate on a new form of politics: migratory politics.

With his decree demanding that those who are unhappy with the current political system migrate to republican states, this man is a maverick. He is braving the tide by countering Najib Razak’s efforts to stem the pernicious brain drain beleaguering this nation. We need more mavericks within BN! Not mere “yes men” whose servitude are repulsive, but men with independent minds. Zahid fits the bill. This is a man to watch, Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »


GE 13 and the emergence of the enlightened Malays

― Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
The Malaysian Insider
May 20, 2013

MAY 20 ― The general election has come but not gone. I wrote on March 15 that the 13th GE would be the most undemocratic and the dirtiest elections Malaysia would ever experience. I was not wrong at all.

Umno/BN used underhanded tactics to gain power and it was never the tsunami as uttered by the PM, who not only could not regain Selangor but also failed to obtain the two-thirds majority in Parliament that he had promised. It is a disgrace and the choice for any honourable leader is to resign. But he willingly got himself reappointed as the prime minister.

The number of seats won also dwindled and the worst part was to lose the popular vote. This is a shame beyond redemption.

And then he also had the audacity to blame the Chinese for the loss. This was most unpardonable. The shift away from Umno/BN was multi-ethnic in nature and furthermore, the young voters had lost confidence in this party that has held power for more than 50 years. The Umno/BN rule was mired in corruption, cronyism and maladministration.

To win in fair and democratic elections would have been most honourable. But to win using unfair means was most deplorable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ashgar Ali Engineer: A life for peace

— Sumanto Al Qurtuby
The Malaysian Insider
May 20, 2013

MAY 20 — I paused my work upon hearing the gloomy news of the death of Asghar Ali Engineer, one of the world’s greatest scholars of Islam, last Tuesday, after a prolonged illness.

Born in 1939 in the town of Salumbar in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, Engineer was a prolific writer who authored more than 50 books, many of which have been translated into many languages — including Indonesian — and he wrote innumerable book chapters, journal articles and columns.

But there is more. Engineer was also a daring peace activist who had been at the vanguard of civil society movements against religious tyranny and radicalism. Also, he was a truly passionate liberal Muslim thinker whose ideas on Islamic theology of liberation, secular democracy, Islamic ethics of social justice, women’s rights, religious tolerance and pluralism, non-violence, peace building, communalism and secularism have shaped many scholars and activists around the globe.

Since Engineer’s writings cover broad issues and themes, it’s difficult to decide which aspects of his work are the most important. As the scientist Ram Puniyani has aptly pointed out, “there is a deeper integration in deferent facets of the work [Engineer’s].” Read the rest of this entry »

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Zahid not afraid of censure motion against him? Then get PM’s agreement for one full day reserved in first week of new 13th Parliament to debate censure motion against him!

New Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi asked today “what is there to fear” and said he is ready to face a censure motion in Parliament against him over his statement in Utusan Malaysia urging those who are not happy with the current electoral system to “migrate elsewhere”.

Is Zahid really not afraid of the censure motion against him?

If so, I challenge Zahid to get the agreement of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for one full day to be reserved in the first week of the new 13th Parliament for a full debate on the censure motion against him and to announce this decision at the end of the first new Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

I do not expect any such announcement as it is not only Zahid who is afraid of the censure motion against him, Najib and all the other Cabinet Ministers are also worried and mortally afraid of the censure motion against Zahid.

This is because if there is a division and a full vote taken on the censure motion against Zahid, I will not be surprised if several of the 133 Barisan Nasional MPs would absent themselves from the division to dissociate and repudiate Zahid’s call on Malaysians who vote against BN in the 13GE and not happy with the current electoral system to “migrate elsewhere”. Read the rest of this entry »


The Tsunami

by Allan CF Goh

The Tsunami

GE13 has come and gone,
But the racists still drone and drone…..
This event brings forth a huge storm
Of righteous passion, pure and strong.
Despite the whirlpool of dark threats,
May 5 shows the Malaysians great.
They flocked to attend the address,
Defying vile threats of unrest. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib should show immediate leadership to end the unprecedented racist nastiness arising from poor Umno/BN performance in 13GE or he would have reneged from his promise to be Prime Minister for all Malaysians

The 13th General Elections results on May 5, 2013 have caused double disappointments, as both the contending coalitions, the Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional, have different reasons to be upset by them.

Pakatan Rakyat supporters are rightly outraged that the victory due to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat, as testified by the 51% popular vote for Pakatan Rakyat as compared to 47% popular vote for Barisan Nasional, have been snatched away from them because of the dirtiest general elections in the nation’s history.

Barisan Nasional leaders and strategists on the other hand are exasperated that their triple strategies of “Money Money Money”, “Lies Lies Lies” and “Fear Fear Fear” had failed to achieve their intended results, viz recapture of two-thirds parliamentary majority and regaining the state government in Selangor.

But what is of great concern to all thinking, rational and patriotic Malaysians is the unprecedented racist nastiness which have been allowed to surface and gain momentum in the two weeks after the 13th General Election results – initiated of all persons by Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself when he dismissed the 13GE results as a “Chinese tsunami” when it was a Malaysian and urban tsunami.
Read the rest of this entry »


10 things Anwar must do

P Gunasegaram
May 17, 2013

QUESTION TIME By now the cabinet has been appointed and while there are fresh faces, no one I have spoken to expects any drastic changes from the norm especially as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is bound to face pressure from Umno delegates at the forthcoming Umno general assembly.

We seem to be going from one election to another and delaying much needed change accordingly. And as everyone knows by now, Umno delegates don’t at all represent the common voice of the Malays but posture to make it appear as if they do.

Thus it was that when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi got a massive mandate from the people in the 2004 elections, obtaining over 90 percent of parliamentary seats, he refrained from taking measures he promised because his advisers told him there will be a backlash from Umno delegates.

Ah, well, history repeats itself, especially when you don’t learn from it, and one can expect the pressures from within Umno to stop any push towards major change which will benefit the country as a whole without descending into the morass of race, religion and language.

For Pakatan Rakyat, very much still in opposition, the fight continues in earnest. But if it wants to wrest Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional, there are a number of things it has to do and its de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim will have to bear these in mind.

Pakatan would have made much more headway in the elections just past if they had focused on even half of this. But no matter, there is always still time and it is necessary to build on the gains if Malaysians are to see the two-party system emerge.

To my mind, a two-party system emerges only when there has been at least one change of power. That has not happened yet and here is our list of 10 things that Anwar must do if he wants a fair chance of Pakatan forming the next government. Read the rest of this entry »


Whither Dr M?

― Zaid Ibrahim
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2013

MAY 19 ― We know that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had little say in the naming of the new Cabinet. This wasn’t because he didn’t try. Indeed, he was rebuffed by the prime minister who suddenly felt strong and energised by his so-called new mandate after the election.

Barisan Nasional (BN) likened Datuk Seri Najib Razak to a rock star, and put posters of him in all constituencies during the campaign period as if he were the most popular politician to ever grace this country. Now he is continuing on the same path with his list of new ministers.

It matters little what Umno or the Barisan Nasional (BN) think because it’s a list who will keep him at the helm for the next five years.

This is why I think Dr Mahathir has lost his influence, or at least the will to fight back. He must be disappointed with this turn of events, for, in his 22 years in power, he never once dispensed with Umno or BN during a general election as if they didn’t matter.

He never traded on his personal popularity or put up posters of himself as Najib has gleefully done. To Dr Mahathir, it was always about Umno and the Barisan, and not the personality of individual leaders.

Dr Mahathir, despite being the hard man that he was, would never abandon the component parties. He was always loyal to his allies even if he knew some of them to be corrupt or were no longer useful to the coalition. Friendships mattered to Dr Mahathir. He did not use people and then forget them later.

It must be painful for him to see Najib embracing people like Datuk Paul Low and P. Waythamoorthy, whom Najib met just three weeks before election, practically abandoning the MCA and MIC who have been steadfastly loyal for over 55 years. This is not the Alliance or the Barisan spirit. This is a massive ego trip on a temporary high. Read the rest of this entry »


The low-down on fighting graft

― Kunjuraman Karuppan
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2013

MAY 19 ― The focus on Transparency International-Malaysia chief Datuk Paul Low’s appointment as a minister in the Najib Cabinet can only mean one thing ― that everyone is depending on him to ramp up the fight against corruption.

That includes Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who picked Low to do the job despite a beefed-up Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the creation of corruption courts.

And this is where Low should know better than to say he is depending on the prime minister’s stature to enable him to fight corruption.

The truth is, Najib is depending on Low’s stature to show that his administration is serious about fighting corruption.

If that wasn’t the case, the prime minister would have chose Tunku Abdul Aziz, perhaps, to do the job. But the former TI-M chief seems more interested in riling up the DAP than leading the fight against graft. Read the rest of this entry »


On a sustainable Malaysia

— Yasmin Rasyid
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2013

MAY 19 — I am sitting here on a fine Sunday, reflecting on the front page news in the Star (May 19th 2013), “Hills in Cameron Highlands ‘raped’ at an alarming rate”, and I was compelled to write this to the editors of all papers, with the aim of expressing my continued disappointment on how this country, rich in natural resources and heritage, is slowly wiping itself out of the surface of this planet.

Now that the political drama in the country has somewhat simmered down, I hope that this is the right time to help build a progressive and forward thinking nation, especially when it comes to ensuring that Malaysia is managed sustainably for the future generations.

In Pahang, we have seen what the media has called the “rape” of the century. For the last two decades, and in my experiences in local environmental issues, Cameron Highlands has gone from bad to worse. Property developers are rushing in to build so called eco or highland resorts. There are a few dams scheduled to be built on the same highland. Meanwhile, land clearing for agriculture is rampant, and landslides aren’t something new. Indigenous communities, meanwhile, and as usual, are side lined. Their voices almost deafened by other so-called urgent agenda. Don’t believe this? Google Tasik Chini.

On top of that, it is also known amongst the public and those savvy with green issues that gold mining in Pahang still uses cyanide. Whether cyanide still pervades the communities of Bukit Koman or not, only the strong probes of the sophisticated machines used by the Department of Environment are able to tell us the truth. What is perplexing is this – whether cyanide is pervasively used or not in Pahang, and whatever is it that comes out from the mouths of the politicians, what is stopping academicians or chemists in this country (private or government) to go down to the ground and be a CSI and measure and tell the truth. It’s bad enough that the media only reports what certain individuals or politicians say, so come on Malaysians, where are the chemistry experts in this country? Can’t you the least help us verify the content of the air, soil and water in Pahang? (Referring to: While you’re at it, work on a comprehensive study to measure the entire health of the country from water and air quality, to the presence of toxic chemicals in food and so forth. I believe the public wants to know all this. Read the rest of this entry »

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