Archive for January 14th, 2014

Malaysia’s Najib Faces Party, Public Protest

Written by Our Correspondent
Asia Sentinel
13 JANUARY 2014

Subsidy cuts play into UMNO rebellion

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak enters 2014 beset by growing hostility from both the public and within his own political party, the United Malays National Organization, characterized by a deluge of New Year messages across cyberspace celebrating the “year of barang naik,” Malay language for rising prices of items.

That is a play on the initials BN, for Barisan Nasional, the national ruling coalition. It has become an opposition battle cry to the point where Najib mentioned it himself in a recent speech

Najib is making an astute move now, after national and intraparty elections have been completed, taking on the necessary but unappetizing task of dismantling decades of subsidies that have driven government debt close to the statutory limit of 55 percent of gross domestic product. In the wake of both sets of elections, he is temporarily invulnerable to both opposition and intraparty assaults.

However, electricity tariffs have risen by 15 percent, sugar subsidies have been cut. Last September, Petronas, the national energy company, cut fuel subsidies in a move that it said would save the government RMB1 billion annually. Public anger at the cutting of the subsidies is substantial and growing

In addition, many in the party rank and file are still furious over widespread spending to keep the current leadership in place in the September intraparty elections. Read the rest of this entry »


Show courage in ‘Allah’ row, Zaid tells Pakatan

The Malay Mail Online
January 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) must stand firm in its support of non-Muslims’ use of “Allah” and not allow itself to be cowed by fears of a backlash from the Muslim community, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said today.

The former PKR member said the pact should have shown the courage to support the proposal of three Selangor DAP assemblymen to amend the state law at the centre of the current religious row, instead of criticising them for their “hastiness”.

“Pakatan can only lead the country if it is brave enough to offer solutions to the difficult religious and ethnic issues that Umno seems adept at creating.

“Pakatan can only be stronger if they can take on Umno on these issues by presenting comprehensive solutions and not shying away as they are prone to do,” he wrote on his blog today. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s Lee Kuan Yew

Mariam Mokhtar
Jan 13, 2014

The rivalry between former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and current PM Najib Abdul Razak has assumed ludicrous proportions. With a legacy to protect, a son to manoeuvre into position, his cronies to look after, and a country to run, Mahathir is in overdrive. He may be approaching 90, but he retains much of his vigour to annoy.

Yesterday, a former minister, Zainuddin Maidin, urged Mahathir to return to Putrajaya. Having Mahathir back in Putrajaya would be as bad as having a hole in the head.

Much to Najib’s annoyance, Mahathir refuses to shut up, but Najib has only himself to blame. Najib is busy clocking-up air-miles in his new jets. Mahathir says in one sitting, what Najib mumbles in one month.

The current ‘Allah’ side-show is meant to trick ignorant Malays, and weak-willed Muslims, into believing that Umno Baru is the only party that will protect their race and religion.

The real issue is the economy of Malaysia. Umno Baru, Najib and Mahathir are trying to mask this fact behind the ‘Allah’ charade. The rakyat is being out-manoeuvred by Umno Baru.

Last August, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew launched his book, ‘One Man’s View of the World’, in which he described Malaysia as an underperforming nation disadvantaged by its pro-Malay economic policies. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersyukurlah kangkung turun harga!

– Izmil Amri
The Malaysian Insider
January 14, 2014

‘Orang Melaka suka makan kangkung yang tidak dikerat-kerat’. Ini helah Tun Perpatih Putih ketika rombongannya sangat teringin melihat wajah Maharaja China.

Tun Perpatih Putih adalah adinda kepada Tun Perak dan dilantik jadi bendahara menggantikan abangnya itu setelah beliau meninggal dunia. Sebelum jadi bendahara, Tun Perpatih Putih yang dihantar Sultan Mansur Shah ketika mahu dijalinkan hubungan diplomatik dengan China. Delegasi itu begitu berjaya sekali sehinggakan maharaja China menghadiahkan Melaka puterinya, Hang Li Po.

Alkisahnya di zaman itu, adatnya ialah orang kebanyakan di China dalam zaman pemerintahan dinasti itu tidak boleh melihat wajahnya sang Maharaja. Kalau tandu maharaja lalu, jalan harus dikosongkan, dan kalau ada yang masih tersisa berdiri, mesti tunduk sujud di hadapan baginda. Read the rest of this entry »

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From McKangkung to World Kangkung Day

K Pragalath| January 14, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

Netizens make fun of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s endorsement for water spinach.

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s endorsement for the fall in the prices of water spinach (kangkung) continues to prompt Malaysian netizens to join the fray to “support” the premier’s endorsement.

A page called Hari Kangkung Sedunia has been created on social networking website, Facebook while Jan 13 is now officially declared World Kangkung Day.

Among others the page speculated that major fast food outlets would have to rebrand some of the popuar selling products, citing as examples Kangkung Fried Chicken, Burger Kangkung and McKangkung.

The endorsement for kangkung have gone viral via a 1:24 minute on YouTube. The video with 44,235 hits is a result of combining two video clips. Read the rest of this entry »


Remembering my father, Tun Razak

by Nazir Razak
The Malaysian Insider
January 14, 2014

Thirty-eight years ago today, on January 14, 1976, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein passed away in London from complications wreaked by leukaemia.

Malaysia lost its prime minister. I lost my father. Malaysia was 19. I was nine.

The days immediately after were shrouded in personal sorrow and national mourning.

My four brothers and I sought to comfort our mother, while the public and heartfelt outpouring of grief throughout the country served as a resounding reminder that we were not alone in our time of tragedy.

I must confess that given my age and my father’s hectic schedule, I sometimes lament the fact that he gave so much to the country, leaving too little for his family.

However, I have never wavered from being enormously proud of his selfless dedication to our young nation.

I did not get the time to know him. But imprinted in me are the values he imparted, the integrity that he insisted upon, above all. Yes, above all, including his family. Read the rest of this entry »


Moderates in Malaysia, Unite as patriots to save the country from the conspiracy of reactionaries and anti-democratic forces out to turn the clock back to the discredited policies of the past

I call on moderates in Malaysia to unite as patriots to save the country from the conspiracy of reactionaries and anti-democratic forces out to turn the clock back to the discredited policies of the past.

The axis of reactionary and anti-democratic forces in government, politics and media (printed and social) have been flexing their muscles in the past eight months for the restoration of Mahathirish policies and hankering for the return of Mahathir to the helm of Putrajaya, whether as Prime Minister or de facto Prime Minister.

It has reached the stage where one of Mahathir’s top propaganda minions, Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, has surfaced publicly to test the waters with the outrageous suggestion on Sunday for the return of Mahathir to Putrajaya to help the Barisan Nasional federal government “tackle raging racial, religious and economic issues”.

Zainuddin went public two days after Mahathir floated the idea of the restoration of the Internal Security Act, which immediately received a troika of support from the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar; UMNO (not necessarily Najib’s) mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia and the Umno “savior”, Perkasa – which represented a triple slap-on-the-face for the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

For the past eight months, the country has been plunged into the worst racial, religious and national polarization to create the conditions and perceptions of unrest and instability to justify a putsch by the reactionary and anti-democratic conspirators. Read the rest of this entry »


Giving right-wingers free rein will backfire, analysts warn Umno

by Melissa Chi
The Malay Mail Online
January 14, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 ― Umno’s continued silence as the voices of Malay right-wing groups grow louder by the day could end up being misconstrued as Putrajaya’s endorsement of extremism and racism, analysts have warned.

By staying passive to appease its supporters in Malay-Muslim Malaysia, Umno also risks having its own grip on power weakened in the event such groups later decide to enter the political arena as opponents, the analysts added.

Director of independent pollster Merdeka Center Ibrahim Suffian acknowledged the strategy, saying the easiest, tried and tested way to shore up support from a particular group, is to use emotive issues.

“Certainly by not curbing this, by not doing anything, (it) actually condones these kinds of statements.

“It also has a counter-reaction, not only espousing more extreme and conservative views by allowing more leeway for them to do whatever they want, but it might also increase the politicising among religious groups, the Christians for example, could be more politicised and resort to being extreme as well,” he told The Malay Mail Online when contacted. Read the rest of this entry »


The tragedy and farce that is the PKFZ

January 13, 2014

This is a fact of Malaysian political life: apart from the government’s favourite target Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, all other ministers or former ministers have never seen the inside of a jail.

There will be a few near misses here – one that comes to mind is the 1982 murder of an Umno politician – and there but no one pays the ultimate price for whatever they did while in office.

Today, former MCA deputy president and retired minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy joined the long list of former ministers who were spared incarceration when prosecutors dropped three cheating charges against him in connection with the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project. Read the rest of this entry »