Archive for January 20th, 2015

Has Zahid Hamidi been caught red-handed telling another lie?

I applaud the Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein for his prompt response and clarification that he had never written a letter stating support for any individual to the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) now or during his time as Home Minister.

Hishammuddin was asked about this today, as I had issued a statement last Friday asking previous Home Ministers, in particular Zahid’s predecessor Hishammuddin as well as former occupants of this key post like Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Datuk Azmi Khalid to “speak up and clear themselves and to put the record straight” whether they had also written clarification letters to FBI has Zahid had done.

This was because Zahid had made the astonishing claim in his statement last Thursday when trying to exonerate himself from any wrong in his infamous letter to the FBI vouching for the character of alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua, standing trial in Las Vegas, Nevada for illegal gambling, that previous Home Ministers before him had also written such clarification letters.

Has Zahid been caught red-handed telling a lie, unfairly, unjustly and dishonourably implicating other Ministers whether of this administration or previous regimes? Read the rest of this entry »


Sad and tragic Prime Minister and Cabinet do not seem to be understand the grave sentiments expressed by Yang di Pertuan Agong that he had never been more concerned about race and religious relations in his 57 years as ruler

It is most sad and tragic that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet do not seem to understand the grave sentiments expressed by the Yang di Pertuan Agong, Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, that he had never been more concerned about race and religious relations in the country since ascending to the throne 57 years ago in 1958 – a year after the country’s independence.

The year 2014 which ended about three weeks ago had been bedevilled by a host of disasters and misfortunes like

(1) the two air crashes of MH370 on March 8 and MH 17 of July 17 with a total toll of 537 crew members and passengers of different nationalities, together with a third air disaster in one year, Air Asia QZ8501 which crashed into Java Sea with 162 victims on Dec. 28;

(2) the year-end worst floods catastrophe within living memory, with close to a million flood victims, evacuating a quarter of a million flood refugees to the various flood relief centres, created the devastation of Zero Ground zones like Manek Urai, Kg. Manjur and Kg Karangan all in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, a death toll of 25 and billions of ringgit of damage;

(3) the burgeoning multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal threatening to become the “mother of all financial scandals” in Malaysia; Read the rest of this entry »

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Sustainable development goals: changing the world in 17 steps

Liz Ford
19 January 2015

The countdown has begun to September’s summit on the sustainable development goals, with national governments now discussing the 17 goals that could transform the world by 2030

What are the sustainable development goals?

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years.

The SDGs follow, and expand on, the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2000, and are due to expire at the end of this year.

Why do we need another set of goals?

There is broad agreement that while the MDGs provided a focal point for governments on which to hinge their policies and overseas aid programmes to end poverty and improve the lives of poor people – as well as provide a rallying point for NGOs to hold them to account – they have been criticised for being too narrow. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1%

Larry Elliot
January 19, 2015

Oxfam warns of widening inequality gap, days ahead of Davos economic summit in Switzerland

Billionaires and politicians gathering in Switzerland this week will come under pressure to tackle rising inequality after a study found that – on current trends – by next year, 1% of the world’s population will own more wealth than the other 99%.

Ahead of this week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the ski resort of Davos, the anti-poverty charity Oxfam said it would use its high-profile role at the gathering to demand urgent action to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

The charity’s research, published on Monday, shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the best-off 1% has increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, while the least well-off 80% currently own just 5.5%.

Oxfam added that on current trends the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016.

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International and one of the six co-chairs at this year’s WEF, said the increased concentration of wealth seen since the deep recession of 2008-09 was dangerous and needed to be reversed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Decentralisation is about effective governance

Published: 20 January 2015
The Malaysian Insider

A recent article I wrote proposing greater decentralisation of powers in Malaysia has managed to attract criticism and attacks by Umno apparatchiks, such as Kepala Batas MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican and Umno-owned national daily Utusan Malaysia. They said my suggestions were nothing short of an attack on the Federal Constitution and, unsurprisingly, seditious (what isn’t, these days?).

I quickly responded by pointing out the obvious – that there is in fact an explicit provision in the Federal Constitution (Article 76A) that effectively allows the delegation of federal power to state authorities. In other words, decentralisation of powers from the federal to the state is not merely allowed but in fact envisioned by our country’s highest law.

Also, I ridiculed Umno’s hypocrisy on the matter. If it is considered seditious or unconstitutional to devolve powers from the centre to the periphery, then why isn’t it the other way around?
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DAP proposes a two-day special Parliament meeting on Jan 26 and 27 on the revised 2015 Budget instead of Najib unilaterally announcing restructuring of the 2015 Budget in utter contempt not only of Parliament but also of Cabinet

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, seemed bent on announcing his restructured 2015 Budget tomorrow.

This will mean that the revised 2015 Budget is made not only without parliamentary sanction or approval, but also without Cabinet approval or sanction.

This is because the Cabinet would only meet the day after on Wednesday, January 21 2015.

This is most irregular and improper, revising the 2015 Budget after the Dewan Rakyat had approved the original budget on Nov. 25 after more than a month of debate, both on general policy as well as during the detailed committee stage, by MPs from both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat in the Dewan Rakya

This could only mean that what the MPs from both BN and PR had said on the 2015 Budget, both during the policy and committee stage debate, were an utter waste of time, resources and effort as far as the Finance Minister was concerned!

Now Najib proposes to announce his revised 2015 budget tomorrow, when clearly it has not been cleared or approved by the Cabinet.
Read the rest of this entry »

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