Archive for January 26th, 2015

Hadi, ketahuilah, 13 Mei mustahil berulang

– Haris Zuan
The Malaysian Insider
26 January 2015

Peristiwa 13 Mei ialah isu eksklusif Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) dan orang lain yang mahu menyebut, dan apatah lagi membincangkannya, boleh didakwa di bawah Akta Hasutan.

Hanya Umno bebas menggunakan isu 13 Mei (versi mereka sudah tentu) untuk membodoh dan menakut-nakutkan bangsa Malaysia, khasnya orang Melayu dan Cina.

Namun, kali ini, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, mengeluarkan ancaman yang biasanya hanya dilaungkan oleh Umno – 13 Mei akan berulang jika pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan diadakan semula – dan kali ini Umno tidak pula marah dengan kenyataan Hadi Awang ini.

Kisah ini awalnya mudah sahaja. PAS membangkitkan isu pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan kerana mahu menyanggah dakwaan bukan hudud sahaja yang tidak diputuskan secara bersama di peringkat Pakatan Rakyat, pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan juga – yang diperjuangkan oleh Pulau Pinang dan Selangor.
Maka, dengan menggunakan logik ini, pada PAS, menjadi hak Kelantan untuk melaksanakan hudud di negeri tersebut secara bersendirian (atau dengan kerjasama Umno – parti pemerintah yang hanya menunjukkan minat terhadap Hudud setiap kali terdesak kehilangan kuasa). Read the rest of this entry »

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Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

Paul Mason
The Guardian
25 January 2015

The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs

At Syriza’s HQ, the cigarette smoke in the cafe swirls into shapes. If those could reflect the images in the minds of the men hunched over their black coffees, they would probably be the faces of Che Guevara, or Aris Velouchiotis, the second world war Greek resistance fighter. These are veteran leftists who expected to end their days as professors of such esoteric subjects as development economics, human rights law and who killed who in the civil war. Instead, they are on the brink of power.

Black coffee and hard pretzels are all the cafe provides, together with the possibility of contracting lung cancer. But on the eve of the vote, I found its occupants confident, if bemused.

However, Syriza HQ is not the place to learn about radicalisation. The fact that a party with a “central committee” even got close to power has nothing to do with a sudden swing to Marxism in the Greek psyche. It is, instead, testimony to three things: the strategic crisis of the eurozone, the determination of the Greek elite to cling to systemic corruption, and a new way of thinking among the young.

Of these, the eurozone’s crisis is easiest to understand – because its consequences can be read so easily in the macroeconomic figures. The IMF predicted Greece would grow as the result of its aid package in 2010. Instead, the economy has shrunk by 25%. Wages are down by the same amount. Youth unemployment stands at 60% – and that is among those who are still in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Get real PAS, differences within PR not minor

– T K Chua
The Malaysian Insider
26 January 2015

PAS vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said it correctly that people were getting fed up with the bickering within Pakatan Rakyat.

I think “fed up” is too mild a word. I think most Malaysians are completely pissed off. Many are in fact wondering whether PR is still a viable alternative to Barisan Nasional.

Worse still, I think Tuan Ibrahim has completely misdiagnosed the real problems in PR.

What happened within PR is not about minor differences. What happened in PR is about major and substantive differences which all parties must come to an agreement before proceeding further. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP remains committed to be an inclusive party embracing the rights and interests of all races and religions in Malaysia, and not just for any one race or religion

The PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang let off a time bomb in Harakah yesterday, and the reverberations are still going off all over the country, creating shock, anguish and dismay not only among DAP and PKR leaders and members, and the majority of Malaysians who have placed their trust and hope in Pakatan Rakyat, but also among PAS leaders and members as well.

For the past 45 years, the spectre of May 13 had been the favourite weapon of unscrupulous UMNO leaders to intimidate voters from freely and democratically exercising their constitutional right to vote, but I had never expected that a day would when it would also be invoked by an Opposition leader in a manner which UMNO leaders had never done before – as UMNO leaders have yet to threaten the spectre of May 13 if local elections are restored, but which they will now do readily with the precedent set by Hadi.

It is not only wrong to equate the restoration of the third vote, which the people in the country had enjoyed in the fifties and early sixties, Hadi also made a grievous mistake in giving a racial twist by suggesting that the restoration of local government elections is a grab for political power by the Chinese in the urban areas.

This is totally ignoring the process of Malay urbanisation in the past five decades, as out of 49 local government authorities in the urban areas (comprising three city halls of Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching Utara, nine city councils and 37 municipals councils), 39 have Malay majorities of over 50% of the population, three have Chinese majorities, with seven have a plurality of races with four with Chinese dominant and three with Malays dominant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Business leaders fret over ‘cocktail of political risks’ as UK election nears

Larry Elliott and Jill Treanor in Davos
The Guardian
25 January 2015

Davos delegates fear possibility of minority government and second poll, as well as uncertainty over EU membership

The general election risks exposing the UK to a “cocktail of political risks” that could threaten growth and force the country out of the European Union, according to business leaders.

The growth of minority parties such as Ukip and the Greens and the fall in popularity of the Liberal Democrats are forcing bosses to prepare for the possibility that a second poll may have to be called months after the one scheduled for 7 May.

The Conservatives’ pledge to call an EU referendum in 2017 if they are in government is also causing anxiety. Doubts over Britain’s political future were voiced openly by executives at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Speaking on the sidelines at the gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss Alps, John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said: “Britain is no longer a two-party system, it is a six-party system, and it looks like it won’t be until 5am on the morning after the election until we know what the result is going to be. The UK could end up with a minority government and a repeat of 1974, when there were two elections in swift succession. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sorry, Mr PAS President, I beg to differ

By Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Jan 25, 2015

MP SPEAKS Is it true that local government elections would lead to instability or May 13? I seriously doubt such a weird proposition, regardless whoever made that statement.

After all, local government’s elections were in this country before BN government unjustifiably abolished them.

In fact, those elections predated May 13. Thus relying on such an unfortunate event to flatly reject the revival of such elections is indeed mind boggling to say the least.

Globally speaking, local government’s election is a universal phenomenon especially in developed countries including Muslim countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why We Know So Little About The Horror In Northeast Nigeria

The Huffington Post | By Charlotte Alfred

Fighters from the extremist group Boko Haram laid waste to a cluster of towns in northeast Nigeria earlier this month, inflicting a massacre that Amnesty International said may be the bloodiest in the Islamic militants’ history.

The assault on the fishing town Baga and 16 surrounding communities in Borno state began on Jan. 3. Two weeks later, crucial details about what took place remain unclear.

Witnesses described the mass slaughter of men, women and children, and many estimated that hundreds of people had been killed. A senior official in the Borno state government told the BBC that some 2,000 people were dead. The Nigerian military has fiercely disputed this figure, saying on Monday that 150 people, including Boko Haram fighters, had been killed.

How Boko Haram was able to take control of the area is also subject to dispute. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Davos just an excuse for the 1% to have a bonding session?

Larry Elliott
The Guardian
23 January 2015

Thomas Piketty wasn’t there but they were talking about his ideas: they’re committed to progress as long as nothing changes

Committed to improving the state of the world. That’s the motto of the World Economic Forum, which wraps up in Davos tomorrow with the rich and powerful pondering whether to listen to Mark Carney’s views about the global economy or head for the ski slopes.

Many will opt for the latter, not because they have anything against the governor of the Bank of England. On the contrary, the former Goldman Sachs banker picked by George Osborne to run Threadneedle Street is very much part of the Davos family. It is simply that one of the reasons the WEF is held in Davos and not in Atlantic City or Blackpool is that it has plenty of black runs available for those who, after four days, have had enough of hearing Christine Lagarde warn about the risks of rising inequality.

All of which raises a couple of obvious questions: is Davos simply an excuse for the 1% to have a big bonding session in which they convince themselves that we are all in it together? And does it actually do any good? Read the rest of this entry »

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When accountability takes a backseat to race

25 January 2015

Local government elections have suddenly become an explosive issue in Malaysia, no thanks to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who suggested it can lead to race clashes last seen on May 13, 1969.

Umno-owned mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has supported him, as has one federal minister who said the third vote can lead to greater racial polarisation as Malaysians voted along racial lines.

These two politicians and Utusan are probably still digesting the results of the last two general elections through their rose-tinted glasses of race and religion rather than figuring out that more Malaysians are colour-blind to race these days.

While those from Umno do see the world according to racial lines, it is sad to see that Hadi trumpet the same tune although his party puts Islam at the front and centre of its political struggle and eschews race as a platform.

Didn’t PAS talk about an Islamic welfare state in the last general elections and keeps talking about Islam – whose adherents come from all races across the world, and not just Malays? Read the rest of this entry »

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