Archive for June 1st, 2015

Why do Malaysians hate migrants?

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
29 May 2015

When a racial riot broke out in southern Italy sometime in early 2010, the mindless attacks on African immigrants prompted Pope Benedict XVI to respond by reminding people that, “an immigrant is a human being, different in background, culture and tradition, but a person to be respected, and possessing rights and duties”.

Malaysians tend to get emotional when such issues arise and share the same concerns with the rest of the world when it comes down to how we feel about migrants.

Whether you want to believe or not, Malaysia is one of those countries made up of migrants. Read the rest of this entry »


The young boy who ‘shook’ Malaysia

Khoo Ying Hooi
The Malaysian Insider
1 June 2015

My diary on May 30 was marked as this, “Joshua Wong, Dubook Press, 9am”.

I was eager to meet Joshua in person when I found out about his road tour in Malaysia. Then my “dream” was crushed as he was barred from entering Malaysia on the morning of Tuesday, May 26.

I was keen to hear his talk. Apart from him being a high-profile teenager, I wanted to meet him in person, as I wanted to know how a young boy at his age manages to mobilise or influence his peers to engage in acts of civil disobedience. Read the rest of this entry »

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Have all Ministers accepted collective responsibility for the 1MDB scandal to “sink or swim” with Najib on the issue?

Have all Ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal accepted collective responsibility for the 1MDB scandal to “sink or swim” with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on the issue?

This question becomes pertinent when two UMNO-owned newspapers, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times reported in prominence the online portal Malaysia Today article last night that the Prime Minister had told his Cabinet members at Friday’s meeting to resign if they do not support him on the 1MDB issue.

The Malaysia Today article headlined “NAJIB ASKS HIS CABINET MEMBERS NOT WITH HIM TO RESIGN” reported:

Anyway, after Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah presented the Ministry of Finance’s plan for 1MDB to the Cabinet on Friday, Najib looked at all the Cabinet members and asked them who were not with him. Those not with him can tender their resignation and walk out the door. Read the rest of this entry »


Why things like 1MDB happen

By P Gunasegaram
May 28, 2015

QUESTION TIME Malaysia had no major financial scandals – as in billion-ringgit ones – until the infamous case of Bumiputra Malaysia Finance or BMF emerged in the early eighties and captured the imagination of the press and the public.

Before we are a bit quick to point the finger at former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for that, let’s point out that Mahathir became prime minister only in 1981, after BMF, Bank Bumiputra’s wholly-owned Hong Kong subsidiary, started loaning money to George Tan’s Carrian group, eventually amounting to RM2.5 billion in all.

The loans were made between 1979 and 1983, which means that loans continued to be made to Carrian even after Mahathir became PM, implying that Mahathir cannot be totally absolved.

Carrian was a rising star in the Hong Kong property market then but subsequently went bust, making it the biggest bankruptcy in Hong Kong at the time. The scale of the scandal was simply enormous and record-breaking, putting Malaysia on the top of the list in terms of banking failure at that time.

The question is what was a unit of Bank Bumiputra, a bank set up to provide bumiputeras access to funding as part of the effort to increase their participation in business, doing lending money to a Hong Kong property group?

This was at that time, the largest banking scandal in the world and the interest in it spiked further when a Bank Bumiputra senior officer sent to Hong Kong to investigate was murdered and his body dumped in a banana plantation. Read the rest of this entry »