Archive for January 18th, 2015

Cabinet on Wednesday should uphold the principles of good governance and accountability and declassify information on the “national security projects” involving alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua which the police knew nothing about

Zahid Hamidi will become the standing joke in the world for a bumbling and bungling Home Minister so long as he does not come clean and admit that his infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) vouching for the character of an alleged gambling kingpin, Paul Phua, standing trial in Las Vegas, Nevada for illegal gambling, was an egregious error of judgment.

Zahid, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the entire Cabinet should not delude themselves into thinking that the Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid quadrilateral tangle would just disappear into thin air if the Home Minister invokes the Official Secrets Act followed by a blanket of silence on the issue from official quarters.

Zahid is supposed to be one of the smartest political leaders in the UMNO pantheon but he could not have been more foolish and self-destructive in his outrageous “defence” of his infamous letter to the FBI, going against not only the Police, the Foreign Ministry and the national interests but simple common sense!

If Zahid is not prepared to come clean and honest and publicly admit and apologise for his infamous letter to the FBI vouching for the character of an alleged gambling kingpin, the Cabinet at its meeting on Wednedsay must revisit the issue and take a stand which is in accord with national interests. Read the rest of this entry »


It is not too late for Najib to convene a special meeting of Parliament to present the revised 2015 Budget

The question the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must answer is why he is not convening a special meeting of Parliament to present the restructuring of the 2015 Budget.

As it is Parliament which approved the RM273.9 billion 2015 Budget, it is only right and proper, fully in accord with the principle of parliamentary democracy, that Najib should convene a special Parliament to present the restructured 2015 Budget because of the weakening of ringgit and the plunging oil prices.

It is not too late for Najib to do what is right, and convene a special meeting of Parliament to present the revised 2013 Budget as a special Parliament can be convened even within 48 hours. Otherwise, Najib would be showing utter contempt to Parliament and the principle of parliamentary democracy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can we have equal education for all in Malaysia?

Zan Azlee
The Malaysian Insider
16 January 2015

I have always wondered why parents (and even many students) in Malaysia are obsessed about getting into the right schools so that their children can get the best education.

They pressure their children to get good grades so they can get into schools like fully-residential schools (SBP) and MRSMs (Mara Junior College).

Some even go to the extent of faking their addresses so their children can get into their choice of non-boarding schools that are not in their living vicinity.

Even my parents did the same for my brothers and I. They didn’t fake our address, but they did make sure we got into the “best” schools – I even had to go to a fully-residential school. Read the rest of this entry »


To rescue the economy, put national interests before self-interest

Rash Behari Battacharjee
The Malaysian Insider
17 January 2015

It is as plain as daylight that Budget 2015 must be revised in the wake of plunging world oil prices, given that some 30% of government revenue comes from petroleum. In addition, it has been noted, the unprecedented ferocity of the year-end floods which will require a multi-billion ringgit reconstruction effort means that development expenditure must be reallocated to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure and restore normalcy to the victims’ lives and the economies of the affected regions.

Last week, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak indicated, not a day too soon, that an announcement about a possible restructuring of the budget to address these challenges would be made this week.

Analysts have noted that a confluence of external and internal factors in recent months – including the oil price shock, capital outflow, flood devastation and 1MDB’s performance, besides corrosive political developments – have heightened concerns about the prospects for the Malaysian economy, both in the immediate future and the longer term. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s time we decide the country we want

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
16 January 2015

Malaysians used to be more tolerant than we are today. Once upon a time in a not-so-distant past, we used to visit each other’s open houses freely without worry. The idea of what was halal or haram was mutually understood and we didn’t have holier-than-thou organisations to tell us that we couldn’t mingle with fellow Malaysians who professed different religions because they were a threat to our own faiths. We ate and drank together while some of us even played mahjong until dawn.

But now, our society has swayed from tolerance and respect to antithetical values that condemn logic and defend non-negotiable conservatism. Traditionalists may twist the articulations of conscience to justify their causes but their narratives are often arbitrary and sometimes quite laughable. Consider the controversies that surround our society: for instance, the recent furore over a K-Pop act, school principals not allowing non-Malay students to wear the baju kurung, arguments over “domesticated genes” and so on. The voices of the absurd and the one dimensional are becoming louder with each passing day, only because they have been sanctioned to spread intolerance by the powers that be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Razak’s NEP was for all races, says ex-civil servant who helped draft it

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
17 January 2015

The man who helped Malaysia’s second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein craft the New Economic Policy (NEP) to eradicate poverty and end identification of occupation with race laments that it has now become distorted by race and religion.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, who was the deputy head of the Economic Division in the Treasury under Razak’s administration, said the NEP was “a wonderful, noble policy”.

“He (Razak) was serious about eradication of poverty regardless of race. Every poor chap, regardless of his ethnicity, was given help.

“Not today, I am afraid. Along the way, it got distorted as race and religion got in the way,” Ramon told The Malaysian Insider in an interview to conclude a series commemorating Razak’s 39th death anniversary. Read the rest of this entry »

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