Archive for October 4th, 2013

Malays: The oppressed ‘master race’

Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
October 4, 2013

Oct 4 — Most Malays would like to think that their race is one that is proud and as old as time, and thus will remain pure and noble until the end of it all.

“Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia,” (Malays will never become extinct) they would repeat ad nauseam, parroting the words allegedly spoken by the icon of that noble Malay man: Hang Tuah.

Bereft of achievements that they can be immensely proud of as Malaysians, numerous Malays have retreated into a cocoon, where race and religion have become their defining marks.

I had the most interesting opportunity to immerse myself in this mentality last weekend as I sat in on a symposium called “Mendepani Agenda Asing” (Facing foreign agenda), or MEGA, co-organised by the Islamist NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA). Read the rest of this entry »


Zahid leads the pack in Umno vice-presidential race

by Eileen Ng and Mobhd Farhan Darwis
The Malaysian Insider
October 04, 2013

Umno incumbent vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi appears to be gaining ground among the party’s 191 divisions in the run-up to the October 19 party polls, say Umno insiders.

However, the Home Minister’s two running mates, incumbents Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, are believed to be trailing in the six-man race.

The trio is facing a stiff challenge from Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, Felda chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad and former Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam.

The Malaysian Insider understands Ahmad Zahid has garnered pledges of support from about 130 divisions as he travels across the country in his quest to keep his party post. Some 146,000 grassroots delegates will vote for their leaders in the polls, as opposed to the 2,500 delegates that previously voted in the triennial elections. Read the rest of this entry »


In Malaysia, Mahathir’s rising son signals conservative shift

The Malay Mail Online
October 4, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The chief minister of the rural Malaysian state of Kedah has a familiar face, even if he lacks the charisma, provocative rhetoric and razor-sharp political skills of his famous father.

Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is the youngest son of Malaysia’s longest-serving leader, Tun Mahathir Mohamad, whose often authoritarian rule transformed the economy into a developing powerhouse while winning a reputation for cronyism and dubious “mega-projects”.

Ten years after his father stepped down, Mukhriz has stepped into a battle for the soul of the long-ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) in a test of 88-year-old Mahathir senior’s still-powerful influence over the party.

If Mukhriz succeeds in snaring a coveted Umno vice presidential post later this month, unseating one of three seasoned cabinet ministers, it would be seen as a further blow to the flagging reform agenda of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The ruling coalition’s weak election victory in May undermined Najib’s attempts to forge more inclusive policies in racially diverse Malaysia, empowering Umno conservatives who want to strengthen policies favouring majority ethnic Malays.

The elder Mahathir remains a potent figure through his towering reputation and leverage within Umno. Victory in the party elections for the son would give rise to suspicion that he would act as a proxy for his father.

Both father, who has previously scorned political dynasties, and son have denied that. Neither responded to Reuters’ requests for interviews.

Nevertheless, Mukhriz Mahathir’s election to a top party post would be seen as bolstering the conservative wing of the party. Read the rest of this entry »


Soi Lek stays silent as party roiled by sacking of former port chief

By Ida Lim
The Malay Mail Online
October 4, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek refused last night to confirm or deny reports that former port boss Datuk Lee Hwa Beng had been sacked from MCA for inviting DAP political foe Lim Kit Siang to the launch of his whistleblowing book on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

Last night the MCA president ran the gauntlet of reporters who had door-stopped him after an event in Petaling Jaya, and stayed silent amid a barrage of questions thrown at him over the reported sacking of Lee.

Lee, who was last week elected to be a national delegate to the Chinese party’s polls later this year, had taken to Twitter to broadcast his sacking earlier yesterday afternoon while the MCA central committee was holding a news conference.

“Just heard @drchuaSL just sacked me as an MCA member. Am honored as he see me as a threat once I was voted in as a national delegate,” the former Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman wrote on his Twitter account @hwabeng.

“Was told I was sacked as MCA member 4 inviting @limkitsiang 2 launch my PKFZ bk.But why now?Must b when I was elected a nat delegate last wk,” he added in a series of tweets in reply to a bombardment of questions.

However, when contacted by The Malay Mail Online over the phone, Lee said there was “no letter, no notice” informing him of the sacking.

He declined to comment further until he found out the reason behind his sacking from the political party. Read the rest of this entry »