Archive for October 21st, 2013

Defence budget to come under Pakatan scrutiny

G Vinod | October 21, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

Pakatan Rakyat will only reveal details of its alternative budget later on fear that their ideas will be copied by Barisan Nasional

KUALA LUMPUR: A parliamentary select committee will scrutinise the Defence Ministry procurement to curb graft, said Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in announcing the Pakatan Rakyat alternative budget 2014 today.

“We will also look into postponing the National Service programme for next year until a review is done by a select committee.

“The programme costs us RM800 million annually. On top of that, 22 trainees have died undergoing the programme and we have cases of female trainees giving birth during their three-month stint,” Anwar said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

Also present were DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, PAS’ Kamaruddin Jaafar and several Pakatan parliamentarians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Najib entrenches power as reform drive fades

By Stuart Grudgings and Niluksi Koswanage
Oct 20 2013

KUALA LUMPUR- Internal voting for top posts in Malaysia’s ruling party at the weekend has proved Prime Minister Najib Razak to be a canny survivor – five months after a poor showing at national elections – but at a cost to his reform agenda.

In May, Najib seemed dead in the water to some observers after presiding over the long-ruling Barisan National (BN) coalition’s worst election result.

The internal United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) elections, however, confirmed Najib had seen off challenges from rival factions – including the son of influential former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Mukhriz Mahathir, 48, fell just short of snaring one of three vice president positions, all of which went to incumbents backed by Najib. Najib’s allies also retained their dominance of the 25-member UMNO Supreme Council. Read the rest of this entry »


Judges “misinformed”, Allah ruling tantamount to persecuting Christians – Archbishop Pakiam

The Malaysian Insider

The head of the Malaysian Catholic Church today said that the decision of the Court of Appeal on the Allah issue was tantamount to persecuting Christians in Malaysia.

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (pic) noted that the three judges were grossly misinformed in arriving at the decision to ban Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah.

He said Christians in Malaysia have been using the word peacefully for centuries and “we do not accept the statement of these judges”.

“As president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Malaysia, I want to say that the three judges were grossly misinformed in their finding that the word Allah is not essential or an integral part of Christianity,” said the archbishop in a statement today.

He added that the first article of faith in the creed for all Christians is “I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”.

“As such, any Christian who denies or modifies this statement of faith, incurs excommunication and would be considered a heretic,” he stressed, adding that Allah was the Bahasa Malaysia translation and the Arabic equivalent of “One God”.
Read the rest of this entry »


Standing up for the right things, not the stable ones

October 21, 2013

Time for some honesty. Twenty-five years ago when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dismantled one of the most respected judicial institutions in the Commonwealth and destroyed the concept of separation of powers in Malaysia, how many Malaysians were truly upset with his interference?

Not disappointed or perturbed, but truly upset.

Think back to the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas in 1988 and the suspension of Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawan Teh and Datuk George Seah.

Think back to the constitutional amendments pummelled through Parliament by Dr Mahathir, changes which essentially divested the judiciary of some of its powers.

No shame in admitting that the incident called the judicial crisis of 1988 barely registered a blip on the radar of most Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


Why this year’s budget would be less interesting

– Muhammad Nazreen
The Malaysian Insider
October 20, 2013

In the next few weeks, everybody is anticipating the key issues that may be highlighted in the 2014 budget. Malaysia’s mounting public debt is at an alarming rate. Recurring deficits over years due to government’s overspending would be a primary reason why is this year’s budget would be less populist. The BN government managed to secure its win during the 13th general election. So, we could expect less windfall subsidies and pay-offs to be distributed. However, the deteriorating condition of Malaysia’s economy might prompt the fact that it is timely for the government to introduce stern fiscal consolidation. Austerity measures are likely the main ingredients of the upcoming budget.

Here are some of the concerns. Read the rest of this entry »