Archive for June 23rd, 2015

Will 1MDB fallout push Najib out?

By P Gunasegaram
Jun 18, 2015

QUESTION TIME 1MDB’s impact on the financial markets is more than just worry about whether potential defaults will impact the banking system and whether the government’s finances will be adversely affected when it stands by to honour 1MDB’s many obligations.

These questions have been largely answered – the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, has already said that 1MDB does not pose a systemic risk to the domestic banking sector, although it may depress the profits of some banks.

Various analysts believe that the federal government, which owns all of 1MDB through Minister of Finance Inc, has the capacity to take care of 1MDB’s obligations, which amount to RM42 billion.

So why is the ringgit more depressed than it should be and what is really the concern about the situation in the country? The problem is not directly related to the economy but politics. An increasing number of people are considering how the overall political situation in the country will change if Najib Abdul Razak, for whatever reason, decides to step down.

It is more than likely that it is the political situation which is causing the ringgit to be even more volatile than the currencies of other countries that have yo-yoed against the US dollar, but generally trended downwards against the greenback. That the US dollar is strengthening is indisputable, the roots being the strong possibility of upward increases in US interest rates some time later this year. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Pak Samad pilih parti berintegriti

A Shukur Harun
The Malaysian Insider
23 June 2015

Beberapa hari selepas Sasterawan Negara, Datuk A. Samad Said menyertai DAP, beberapa sahabat bertanyakan pendapat saya mengenai langkah sasterawan ternama itu, saya menjawab: “Apa salahnya, ini demokrasi, Samad seorang pemikir dan dia sudahpun berfikir sebelum menyertai DAP.”

Untuk beberapa hari saya belum lagi menghubunginya, memikirkan mungkin beliau sedang sibuk dengan perkembangan baru ini, hinggalah penyair Dinsman memberitahu saya bahawa Samad mahu mendengar pendapat saya mengenai langkahnya itu.

Lalu saya menghubunginya, mengucapkan tahniah kepadanya kerana memilih parti yang berintegriti, mempunyai imej bersih. Beliau mengucapkan terima kasih kepada saya.

Pada pendapat saya, sasterawan negara itu membuat pilihan yang tepat, iaitu memilih parti yang mampu mempertahankan integritinya, teguh pada prinsip perjuangannya untuk menegakkan demokrasi dan keadilan, menentang perkauman, walaupun selama puluhan tahun DAP digambarkan sebagai parti chauvinis Cina dan pelbagai lagi. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Ayah sokong parti baharu jika masih hidup, kata anak Fadzil Noor

The Malaysian Insider
23 June 2015

Anak kepada bekas presiden PAS, Muhammad Faiz Fadzil yakin jika bapanya Datuk Fadzil Mohd Noor masih hidup, beliau akan menyokong parti baharu yang sedang dalam proses pembentukan.

Faiz mengulas video Youtube yang disebarkan di laman sosial bagi menunjukkan Fadzil akan menentang penubuhan parti baharu sekiranya masih hidup.

“Anda mungkin tak setuju dengan saya, tapi saya percaya Ustaz Fadzil Noor (UFN) pasti menyokong parti baharu yang didokongi oleh pemimpin yang dilahirkannya yang banyak berjasa kepada karier perjuangannya,” tulis Faiz dalam laman Facebooknya hari ini.

“Parti baharu adalah meneruskan perjuangan UFN walau berlainan.” Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Najib should begin a 1MDB Nothing2Hide confession starting with revelation what has happened to the RM3 billion which were “overprized” in acquisition of 15 power stations for RM18 billion

The Wall Street Journal expose five days ago has probably started the end-game for the six-year RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with attention focussed on the question which the parliamentary duo, DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua and PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli, joined by former Prime Minister Tun Mahahtir, have repeatedly asked: “Where have the 1MDB billions disappeared to? Show us the money!”

The Wall Street Journal report, “Fund Controversy Threatens Malaysia’s Leader”, alleged that 1MDB had bought Genting Group’s power assets at an inflated price, and the group then made substantial donations to the 1MDB-linked charity YR1M.

YR1M had then allegedly bankrolled BN’s 13th general election, and is now funding social programmes in Sarawak where state elections are widely anticipated.

The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday 1MDB made overpriced purchase of power assets from Genting Group in 2012.

The price, which was equivalent to about US$740 million at the time, came to RM2.3 billion, around five times what it was worth.

Genting later reported it had a 1.9 billion ringgit extraordinary gain on this sale, implying a value for its stake in the power plant of just 400 million ringgit – or less than one-fifth what 1MDB paid for it. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s Long Road to Change

Asia Sentinel
June 20, 2015

The headline issues behind Malaysia’s current political crisis often puzzle outside observers, not just for the specific and sometimes bizarre details but for what they reveal about a system designed to maintain the status quo at all costs. Taken in the current context, it is remarkable that Prime Minister Najib Razak remains in power. In an actual democracy – instead of the kind of purpose-built one-party state in Malaysia – he would presumably be long gone and perhaps in the dock.

The 1Malaysia Development Berhad debacle, with its overtones of greed, political favoritism and inside deals is exactly the kind of sleaze that should and does bring down governments worldwide. Add to that the lingering issue of the 2006 murder of the misbegotten Mongolian party girl Altantuya Shaariibuu by bodyguards linked to Najib, the shamelessly cooked-up jailing of long-suffering opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the poisonous stew of bitter racial politics manipulated by the ruling elite and the widespread disgust with the acquisitive ways of Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and it is a wonder that anyone can keep a straight face while claiming Malaysia’s system is anything but a thinly disguised playpen for the Barisan National and its cronies.

Still, and finally, we may be witnessing the endgame in the country’s painful transition from the 20th century politics and governance that started with the transition from British colonialism to rule by the Barisan Nasional, the race-based coalition of political parties led by the United Malays National Organization. In power since 1957, the Barisan is the world’s longest-ruling parliamentary coalition. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Skewered for joining ‘Chinese party’, Pak Samad laments Malaysians’ racial lens

by Boo Su-Lyn,
The Malay Mail Online
June 23, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 ― National laureate and new DAP member Datuk A. Samad Said has questioned Malaysians’ race-centric mindset that remains prevalent almost 60 years after the country achieved independence.

Commenting on reaction to his entry into the DAP, the 83-year-old bemoaned how his Muslim friends responded to the news negatively and rebuked him for joining what they described as a “Chinese party”.

“We’ve been independent for almost six decades and it’s a shame if we still think racially,” Samad told Malay Mail Online in an interview yesterday.

“I received phone calls and SMSes scolding me and asking me why I joined a Chinese party. I said, ‘Who said it’s a Chinese party? It’s a Malaysian party’,” he added.

The Malay-Muslim novelist and poet said although his wife and family members supported his decision, his friends were concerned and mistakenly thought that he had rushed into joining the secular party on June 13.

“I’ve been thinking about it for two years already. I’ve known Lim Kit Siang since the 50s. We were journalists then,” said Samad, referring to the senior DAP leader.

Samad, who has written 75 books comprising novels, short stories, dramas, essays and poems, said the DAP may have started off as a predominantly Chinese party, but pointed out that the “visionary” Lim’s “Malaysian dream” of making the party multi-racial.

“They want to be a Malaysian party. What is important is their ideal, their dream,” he said. “Because of that, I think I made the right choice in joining DAP”. Read the rest of this entry »


Excerpt #6 Incentives And Zero-Sum Mentality

M. Bakri Musa (
June 24, 2015

Unlike my earlier books, in Liberating the Malay Mind I adopt a narrow approach, focusing only on Malays. Some would counter that Malaysians are now at a stage when we should consider ourselves Malaysians rather than Malays, Chinese or Ibans. Thus we should seek an approach applicable to and suitable for all Malaysians. I agree, up to a point.

One does not have to be particularly perceptive to note the obvious and significant differences between the races beyond how we look, dress and what we eat. If there are those obvious differences in such simple things, imagine our differences on more substantive matters, like what we value and aspire to.

Being mindful of our differences does not mean ignoring our commonalities rather that we should be cautious as to the possible variations in how we react to policies and initiatives. We may all aspire to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’, but those concepts mean a whole lot of different things to different people. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

The untouchable Dr M

Kapil Sethi
The Malay Mail Online
June 22, 2015

JUNE 22 ― On the surface, it seems even more lopsided than a David and Goliath battle. On one side is a frail, almost 90, long gone from the corridors of power old man whose bark is practically all that is left of what was 22 years of autocratic but arguably economically robust rule. On the other is a man decades younger and a second term prime minister controlling all the levers of power who is increasingly comfortable in deploying them to crush all dissent, whether through legislation, 3am wake-up calls by the police or even by suing through the judiciary.

The PM also has publicly-funded government largesse to dole out as and when the situation requires. He has a plethora of government and party posts and contracts to hand out to keep his party cadres in line. He controls all the mainstream media and has a large, ever-expanding public relations machine at his disposal to run down all enemies, real or imagined.

So it would seem bizarre that things have reached such a head that the battle is not only not over, but has spilled out on the international stage courtesy of the New York Times. In a sign of exactly how difficult the situation is for the incumbent PM, his foreign minister is reduced to replying to the article by criticising Dr Mahathir for internationalising the issue rather than rebutting the issues themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Civics bureau: from attendee to slideshow feature

Lyana Khairuddin
The Malaysian Insider
22 June 2015

I was amused to find a picture of me, particularly the one used for the profile of this column, on one of the slides sourced by the National Civics Bureau and recently released online. The slide cited the online petition I founded, I am #26, my age and affiliation. Upon sourcing for the whole slide deck and reading through them, I could only roll my eyes at the sheer audacity and idiocy of it all.

For someone who was (un)fortunate enough to have attended three “Kem Bina Negara” courses organised by the bureau, I am thankful that I ended up being the liberal, rational-minded person that I think I am today.

Syukur Alhamdulillah, the brainwashing did not work on me. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

Demi hudud, kepimpinan Kelantan bakal bertukar tangan?

– Riesya H.
The Malaysian Insider
22 June 2015

Isu hudud nampaknya belum reda.

Terkini, dengan terburainya Pakatan Rakyat, boleh lah dianggap isu hudud berjaya memainkan peranannya. Peranan untuk memporak porandakan PR.

Di zaman teknologi facebook dan whatsup hari ini, saya ingin kongsikan secebis nota menarik yang dipanjangkan kepada saya, berbunyi begini;

“I, like many Malaysians, may have underestimated Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a politician. He may have committed a lot of economic and public relation blunders. But he has managed to kill PR. Tricking PAS into believing that Umno will support hudud, Najib has cause a major rift between PAS and their PR allies, which then caused a crisis within PAS. Now that he has accomplished what he wanted, he pulled his support from hudud.
With one stroke, najib has managed to kill PR and put PAS in the ECU. He may have assured Umno’s rule for another 2-3 terms. And for that, he should be named one of Malaysia’s best politician. He took over the helm when Umno was at its worst. He didn’t try to make things right with Umno, but he destroyed the opposition.
Great game Najib.”

Itu lah yang menjadi persepsi dan gambaran rakyat marhaen semacam saya yang kerdil ini. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments