Archive for January 24th, 2015

Is the economy in crisis now?

By P Gunasegaram
Jan 22, 2015

QUESTION TIME Granted we have lots of problems in the country and tonnes of wastage. We overpay for contracts, we have a strategic investment fund which has gone amok and is investing willy nilly with borrowed money, we have a looming disaster in the form of RM30 billion at risk in a private finance initiative gone wrong and we have loads of patronage.

Does this necessarily mean that the economy is in crisis if we put all this together with a weakening ringgit and oil prices which have fallen off a cliff? Does this mean this year will be a disaster and one of gloom and doom for Malaysia?

It is tough to do but this is when we need to be rational about things and assess economic conditions with a cool head, separating this to some extent from the sad state of politics in the country which leads to a whole host of economic concerns.

Let’s just take a couple of the most serious concerns and examine them in some detail to see what gives. First, the weakening ringgit which was at its lowest levels in six years. But why was it low six years ago – early 2009 to be precise? Read the rest of this entry »

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Supremacy of the Federal Constitution

Azrul Mohd Khalib
The Malay Mail Online
January 21, 2015

JANUARY 21 ― The indignant tone that recently came out of Jakim’s Director General Datuk Othman Mustapha, who denounced the questioning of religious authorities as being part of a liberalism movement, is representative of the larger problem we have with the government religious institutions in this country.

They feel that they are above criticism. That they can do no wrong and are infallible. That to criticise them is to question Islam.

Yet, the attitude and actions of the religious authorities over the past decade have shown all too clearly why the Shariah system in Malaysia is where it is in our Federal Constitution.

There is an actual risk of abuse and misuse of power. It is not abstract or theoretical. It is very real. Ask Nik Raina of Borders. Read the rest of this entry »


Now that the two immediate former Home Ministers, Hishammuddin and Syed Hamid have denied sending any unilateral letter to FBI, it is up to the three previous Home Ministers, Radzi, Azmi and Tun Abdullah to clear themselves

Now that Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar have joined Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, as the two immediate former Home Ministers (March 2008 – May 2013), to deny that he had sent any letter unilaterally to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) when holding the Home Ministry’s post, it is up to the three previous Home Ministers serving from 1999 to 2008, i.e. Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, Datuk Azmi Khalid and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step forward and clear themselves.

The trio should speak up as elder statesmen to clear the air and not behave like fugitives from justice seeking refuge from the truth as if they had done a great disservice to the nation.

The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had made a most astonishing claim when trying to exonerate himself from any wrong in his infamous letter to the FBI vouching for the character of the 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.

This is why all previous Home Ministers for the past 15 years should speak up and put the record straight, not just in the national interests, but to remove any stain on their record as Home Minister. Read the rest of this entry »


So what’s your freedom worth?

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
23 January 2015

As the world experiences the worrying expansion of global radicalism, reports of violence and killings committed in the name of religion evoke all sorts of emotions – it propels humanity into extreme ends: you either strongly disagree or strongly agree with the atrocities committed in the name of God, religion and faith.

Many of us are still trying to make sense of the recent attacks in Paris, the battles fought by Isis and the massacres carried out by Boko Haram. These aggressions aren’t just about a series of offensive cartoons or the overzealousness of installing an Islamic caliphate or even the evil of Western education, but it is a declaration of war against freedom of expression and human rights. Most of all, it signals the breakdown of logic – the raison d’être of religious wisdom and prudence; it indicates an abrupt shift to feverish radicalism.

Every heinous attack committed by religious extremists leaves many of us wondering: what is it about religion that makes one more inclined to embrace violence and lose one’s sense of humour or common sense? Where do you draw the line between jest and insolence? Read the rest of this entry »


Yang tidak dimengerti Hadi tentang ‘undi ketiga’

– Izmil Amri
The Malaysian Insider
23 January 2015

Salah tanggapan Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang terhadap pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan amat disesalkan. Di saat Pakatan Rakyat (PR) berusaha menjauhi wacana politik perkauman, beliau pula gigih membangkitkan momok 13 Mei, dan mengaitkannya dengan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan.

Tidak jauh beza dengan buah butir percakapan kumpulan-kumpulan ultra Melayu. Sikit-sikit 13 Mei, seolah-olah tidak ada hujah bernas lain selain hujah kaum dan politik ketakutan.

Lebih menyedihkan, modal pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan ini kini dijadikan modal perbandingan dengan cita-cita pelaksanaan hudud di Kelantan. PAS membandingkan urusan jenayah syariah berasaskan firman Tuhan, dengan isu pemilihan tukang urus longkang tersumbat dan lampu jalan tidak menyala. Ini amat memilukan hati.

Apa yang Hadi nampak barang kali, hanyalah kalau dibuat pilihan raya ini, yang akan jadi ahli majlis dan datuk bandar, semuanya Cina belaka. Geleng kepala. Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s The Ridiculous Loot That’s Been Found With Corrupt Chinese Officials

Harrison Jacobs
Business Insider
Jan. 23, 2015

China President Xi Jinping is two years into his unprecedented fight to eliminate the corruption that permeates the Communist Party in China. Since assuming office in early 2013, Xi has vowed to “hunt tigers and swat flies,” meaning he’ll target both high- and low-level officials.

In contrast to previous Chinese leaders, Xi has been adamant that no one is untouchable. Big targets like former security czar Zhou Yongkang and former military chief Xu Caihou, once thought untouchable by even top officials, were some of the first to fall in Xi’s crusade.

While Xi and the Party are notoriously tight-lipped about the inner workings of the Communist Party, they have been remarkably open about the illicit goods, cash, and properties found in the hands of the corrupt officials they’ve taken down.

Of course, Xi may have a hidden motive for being so transparent — to convince the public he’s winning the battle against corruption. Whatever the reason, he’s given Western observers an unprecedented view into the level of corruption of Chinese officials.

Here are a few of the more outrageous examples: Read the rest of this entry »

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Between ‘divine’ punishments and taxpayers’ rights

23 January 2015

In PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s worldview, punishments like chopping off hands and stoning for crimes are par for the course but taxpayers cannot elect local government representatives because it can lead to racial discord.

He also subscribes to the view that most Malays still remain in rural and semi-rural areas while the Chinese are the majority in urban areas, if his comments against the DAP’s proposals to have the third vote is anything to go by. Read the rest of this entry »

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