Archive for December 7th, 2014

Why didn’t Muhyiddin tell Obama to “shut up and mind his own business” when the United States President praised Malaysia at the United Nations General Assembly in September and yet bristle with rage over Biden’s tweets?

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the highest government leader to fly into a rage at the United States Vice President Joe Biden’s tweets expressing concerns about the Sedition Act and other laws being used to stifle the opposition, as well as expressing hope that Anwar Ibrahim’s final appeal against his Sodomy II conviction would give Malaysia a chance to put things right and promote confidence in its democracy and judiciary.

Why didn’t Muhyiddin tell the United States President Barack Obama to “shut up and mind his own business” when Obama praised Malaysia at the United Nations General Assembly in September and yet bristle with rage over Biden’s tweet?

Muhyiddin should have told the United States President that Malaysia does not need his praises!

In any event, is this the position of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet?

In fact, the Umno/Barisan Nasional Cabinet Ministers and government were in seventh heaven at Obama’s praise at the UN General Assembly in September, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak immediately claiming at a black-tie dinner attended by Malaysian students in New York the next day that Malaysia topped the list of countries praised by the United States President for developing entrepreneurship and heading towards an advanced economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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When affirmative action doesn’t work, it’s time for a new solution

Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
The Ant Daily

OUTSPOKEN: The above was taken from part two of an article by Tanner Colby which discussed the affirmative action in the US to uplift the minority communities that had been marginalised, especially the African-Americans.

He did a study on this and wrote a book about the history of the colour line and the effort to erase it. He came to this final conclusion, “Affirmative action offered the illusion of reparative justice wrapped up in the rhetoric of empowerment, but its net result was to absorb and neutralise black demands for equality, not fulfill them.”

Quotas were imposed on college admissions and also on employment. This brought about corruption in the system.

Another American researcher and author, Thomas Sowell, an African-American, came to this conclusion:

• Encourage non- preferred groups to re-designate themselves as members of preferred groups to take advantage of group preference policies

• Tends to benefit primarily the most fortunate (eg Black millionaires), often to the detriment of the least fortunate among the non-preferred groups (eg poor whites)

• Reduced the incentives of both the preferred and the non-preferred to perform at their best – the former because doing so is unnecessary and the latter because it can prove futile – resulting in net losses for society.

He concludes: “Despite sweeping claims made for affirmative action programmes, an examination of their actual consequences makes it hard to support those claims, or even to say that these programmes have been beneficial on net balance.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Tunisia a role model for the Arab world?

By Owen Bennett-Jones
BBC News
2 December 2014

When Tunisians vote in their presidential run-off election later this month, it will be the fourth time they have been to the polls in as many years.

Tunisia not only started the Arab Spring, it is now leading the way in terms of democratic development in the Middle East and North Africa.

The current frontrunner for the presidency, 88-year-old Beji Caid Essebsi, has campaigned on two themes – experience and “anything but the Islamists”.

His party, Nidaa Tounes, has attracted the backing of many who formerly supported the man brought down in 2011, President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

While Mr Essebsi is the establishment candidate his opponent, Moncef Marzouki, is a former dissident and leftist who says his top priority is to safeguard the revolution.

Coming from the conservative and poorer South, he tends to attract the religious vote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tunisian Parliamentary Elections: Lessons for the Arab World

Marwan Muasher, Katie Bentivoglio
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
October 28, 2014

When Tunisians cast their ballots in parliamentary elections on October 26, they shattered three misconceptions about democracy in the Arab world.

1. Islamists will use elections to come to power and then refuse to relinquish it.

For decades, authoritarian Arab leaders have characterized Islamists as political bogeymen, warning domestic constituents and foreign allies alike that, should Islamists be permitted to participate in politics, their electoral victory would be “one man, one vote, one time.” But in Tunisia, the Islamist Ennahda party has shown respect for the political process in times of victory and defeat.

In 2011, Ennahda gained 37 percent of the seats in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), a transitional body charged with writing the new constitution and laying the foundations for Tunisia’s democratic system. Ennahda formed a power-sharing “Troika” government with two secular parties, Ettakatol and the Congress for the Republic (CPR), demonstrating its ability to compromise and work across ideological lines. Later, following the assassinations of two prominent opposition leaders and an ensuing backlash from secularists, Ennahda prioritized Tunisia’s fragile transition over its own partisan interests and transferred power to a caretaker government that would govern until the completion of parliamentary and presidential elections.

Finally, and most importantly, Ennahda has now proved willing to admit defeat at the ballot box. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno seen losing grip on Johor bastion

by Yiswaree Palansamy
The Malay Mail Online
December 7, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Johor may be the birthplace of Umno but its status as the Malay nationalist party’s fortress is increasingly under threat, according to political analysts and observers.

Growing urbanisation and rural migration have put Johor under the same conditions that led to Umno and Barisan Nasional’s hold loosen before it was eventually broken in states such as Selangor and, briefly, Perak.

“The trend in Johor is just the same as with other states, whereby the more urbanised it becomes, the more likely it is for the Malays in Johor to question the long term dependency on Umno and not stick to the idea of being loyal to a particular party,” Wan Saiful Wan Jan told the Malay Mail Online.

The chief executive of think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs said, however, this decrease in blind loyalty to any particular party was necessary for a healthy democracy to flourish. Read the rest of this entry »


Muslims must learn about other cultures and religions, says Singaporean academician

by Sukhbir Cheema
The Rakyat Post
Dec 6, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6, 2014: Malaysia should strike a balance between inclusivity and exclusivity of Islam to avoid the rise of extremism, a Muslim scholar says.

In stating so, National University of Singapore Prof Dr Syed Farid Al Atas said extremism was the failure of striking a balance of the two extremes.

Citing recent examples of extremist tendencies in the nation, Dr Syed said Malaysia had to develop a multi-culturalist and cosmopolitan approach in mitigating this issue.

Through education, Muslims , he said, must learn about other cultures, ethnic groups and other religions to develop a sense of admiration and respect.

“We should celebrate diversity by respecting the rights of others via achieving a balance between Islamic rules and spiritual experiences,” he told The Rakyat Post. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Pakatan Rakyat build on the momentum of 13GE to create the two per cent shift of votes from UMNO/BN to bring about the first catalytic change of federal government in the 14GE?

The greatest challenge in the next 14GE, whether in 2017 or 2018 , is whether Pakatan Rakyat can build on the momentum of the 13th General Elections to create the two per cent shift of vote from Umno/BN to bring about the first catalytic change of federal government.

Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin warned the recent UMNO General Assembly that BN will be ousted from power if it loses just two per cent of support in the next general election.

Let this be a reminder to all Malaysians throughout the country as to how close the UMNO/BN government would have been voted out in the 13th General Election in May last year, if the electoral process had been really clean, free and fair, minus all the constituency gerrymandering and the undemocratic abuses and malpractices in the country.

Furthermore, it should also be reminder as to how close Malaysians have come to achieve the catalytic change of federal of power in Putrajaya – as all that is needed to win Putrjaya is another two per cent of voter support that had gone to UMNO/BN.

Muhyiddin admitted that a loss of two per cent voter support will translate to Barisan Nasional being reduced from its 133 seats won in the 13GE to 103 federal states, less than half of the 222-seat Parliament – comprising 68 UMNO seats and 35 non-UMNO seats.

A loss of five per cent voter support would have slashed the total BN seats to 81, comprising 53 UMNO and 28 non-UMNO seats.

It is precisely of this fear of losing Federal power that UMNO propagandists have gone all out to drum up fear and hate through lies and falsehoods to conjure imaginary threats and enemies to convince the Malays and Muslims of The Big Lie that Malays and Islam are under threat.

Will Pakatan Rakyat be able to rise up to the challenge in the 14GE, debunk The Big Lie and win Putrajaya or will it disintegrate to give UMNO/BN an unexpected bonus? Read the rest of this entry »

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