Archive for October 25th, 2013

Helping Kim Jong Un: HELP’s Bad Mistake

Koon Yew Yin

Friends and some other people in my social circle know of my deep interest in education. For those who do not know me, let me say that education has helped me to be who I am and where I am. Recognizing the value of education I have tried to fulfil my social responsibility and repay my debt to society by making educational work the main focus of my charitable contribution to those less fortunate.

Since I began my educational philanthropic mission, I have received and read close to a thousand applications for financial assistance. At the beginning, I found that most of the applicants had fairly good SPM results and were able to express themselves reasonably well in English. But besides lacking the funds, they had difficulty in gaining admittance to universities which had stringent entry standards.

However, as time has gone by, I have been shocked by the low educational standard of the applicants and especially their poor command of the English language. I have been also shocked by the ease with which these students have been accepted by the various universities they have applied to. During my time and even until ten years ago, they would not even have been considered for fifth or sixth form entry so low was their standards. Read the rest of this entry »


No goodies, but gov’t splurges will continue

by Tony Pua
MP for PJ Utara
Oct 25, 2013

MP SPEAKS Stripping the 2014 Budget of its cosmetic makeup, taking away the glossy distractions and analysing the bare bones will provide an extremely clear indication that nothing much will change in Najib Abdul Razak’s second term as prime minister and finance minister .

The Economic Report 2013/14 gave the good news that the expected revenue collection for the current year 2013 is RM224.1 billion, or RM14.4 billion higher than the original budget projection of RM208.7 billion.

By right, the RM14.4 billion increase in revenue should have resulted in a lowered projected budget deficit of four percent to a market-euphoric 2.6 percent. The budget deficit for 2013 should have shrunk from RM39.9 billion to only RM25.6 billion.

However, it didn’t. Despite collecting the significantly higher-than-expected revenue, the deficit for 2013 remained at RM39.3 billion. It means that almost every single sen of extra revenue collected by the government is immediately expended, instead of contributing towards reducing our debt.

What is interesting when you comb through the expenditure figures is that despite the increase in revenue, the actual development expenditure of the government was RM2.7 billion lower than the budgeted RM47.8 billion.

The development expenditure has the larger economic multiplier effect because it represents investments by the government for future higher returns. Development expenditure includes building schools, hospitals and other public infrastructures.

The lower-than-budgeted development expenditure, the higher than expected government revenue means that the government’s operating expenditure exceeded the budget massively. The government overspent in operating expenditure by RM14.3 billion more the original budget of RM201.9 billion. Read the rest of this entry »


The constitution is supreme, not religion (Part 2)

by Tommy Thomas
Oct 24, 2013

COMMENT A simple way to illustrate the point that the measure of protection given in the federal constitution may be absolute or limited is to compare the language employed in Articles 10 and 11.

Article 10 protects freedom of speech, assembly and association. But Parliament may, by law, restrict the rights under Article 10, whereas Parliament cannot enact any law to restrict or curtail the freedom of religion under Article 11(1) and (3).

This difference in text between Articles 10 and 11 means that persons who belong to, say, a chess club or a sports association, would come within the purview of Article 10, while members of a religious group would come within the scope of Article 11.

Because Article 11 is drafted in much broader terms than Article 10, members of religious groups enjoy a far greater measure of constitutional protection than members of a chess club or a sports association.

Conversely, state action can control, direct and regulate a chess club and a sports association much more than it can over a religious group. Additionally, only citizens enjoy Article 10 rights, whereas no such limitation occurs under Article 11.

In stating this position, Article 11(5) is not to be overlooked. But Article 11(5) does not permit Parliament to enact laws to restrict freedom. It merely provides that in the enjoyment of religious freedom, whether individually under Article 11(1) or collectively under 11(3), a person or a religious group should not carry out any act which could contravene any general law relating to “public order, public health or morality”. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Allah’ decision a blot on our legal landscape (Part 1)

by Tommy Thomas
Oct 23, 2013

COMMENT The sustained public attack on last week’s decision of the Court of Appeal in prohibiting the Catholic Church from using the word ‘Allah’ in its internal publication, The Herald, is absolutely unprecedented, even in a nation used to bad court decisions.

From a constitutional perspective, the judgments of the three judges on the bench are poorly reasoned, the law misread and conclusions reached which will baffle any right-thinking student anywhere in the common law.

The decision is not just wrong, it is horribly wrong, and represents a terrible blot on our legal landscape, unless overturned quickly by the apex court, the Federal Court. Regrettably, what follows may seem unduly legalistic, but it cannot be avoided in a critique of a court decision. Read the rest of this entry »

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The DAP Malay and Islam

Sakmongkol AK47
Friday, 25 October 2013

I said these things:

I agree to Islamic laws as long as they do not contradict our present constitution. 2) I agree to the bigger agenda of Islamic law of establishing a state founded on the principle of the rule of law. 3. I will not object if the laws do not tyrannize others not of Muslim faith.

How are these objectionable? These are the things I said in response to questions asked by a reporter.

To Muslim conservatives, if these views cannot be pigeonholed into specific categories, it is because of my own shortcomings. To secular politicians if they appear alarmingly Islamist, the fright is unnecessary.

Let me offer a more sophisticated explanation.

There seem to be misplaced furore and confusion over statements attributed to me on the implementation of Islamic laws. As I see statements going around especially from people remote from what actually transpired and the absurd and the manic responses arising thereafter, I am now convinced that in general, there is a morbid and irrational fear about anything said in relation to Islam and Islamic laws. Perhaps this morbidity and irrationality and regrettably manic disposition stem from years of self-induced personal bigotry. But perhaps also because Muslims have themselves to blame for so much negativity about them. But that is another subject matter. Read the rest of this entry »


Uthayakumar was in solitary confinement, not in a “dark room”, says Prison Department

The Malaysian Insider
October 25, 2013

The Prisons Department has denied placing Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar in a “dark room” during his solitary confinement at Kajang Prison.

In a letter sent to the home minister and prime minister, the department said that there were “no dark rooms” in any prison in Malaysia.

The letter, read out by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar in Parliament yesterday, also said that Uthayakumar had been placed in solitary confinement for a total of 13 days on two separate occasions as he had “refused to take instructions”. Read the rest of this entry »

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