Archive for July 18th, 2015

Silver lining in Low Yat Plaza incident

By May Chee
Jul 16, 2015

Was the Low Yat incident something waiting to happen? Or did someone start a spark, hoping to engulf the whole nation in flames?

I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m just glad that it happened.

I’ve always held the belief that bad things happen for a good reason. Provided of course, we learn from them, make reparations and put in place mechanisms to avoid such untoward incidents.

It has been rather difficult for a while now to spread cheer around. However, from the Low Yat incident, in spite of the ugliness displayed by some really irresponsible quarters, others have given us much hope.

I wouldn’t know of all the angels who came to the rescue of those battered, bloodied and disillusioned but I thank you all, for saving our fellow Malaysians and most of all, showing to the whole world out there that we do look out for everyone, irrespective of creed and colour. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia should develop a “hysteria index” to monitor which Minister is the most hysterical in the defence of the Prime Minister in face of mounting exposes about the 1MDB and other scandals

A new political phenomenon seems to have developed in Malaysian politics especially at the Cabinet level – with the competition among Ministers as to who could become more hysterical in the defence of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the face of mounting exposes about the 1MDB and other scandals.

Without going too far back in time, the two Ministers competing to be the most hysterical Minister in the past three days are indisputably the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Self-styling himself as Barisan Nasional strategic communications director (which no other BN leader apart from Najib would have heard of), Abdul Rahman went into an overdrive in championing a dubious mercenary character thinking that he could deliver a “killer blow” to the Opposition and therefore found a path leading to his unstoppable political elevation to the stratosphere of Najib’s political empire. Read the rest of this entry »


By Abdul Rahman’s logic, I should have paid money for the so-called “info” about 1MDB, reckless about the mercenary’s motivation and the info’s veracity and demand Najib should accept them as gospel truth!

A few days ago, I received a call and the person on the other side of the line said he had all the info about the 1MDB scandal and asked whether I was interested.

When I said yes, he said he needed money and when I told him clearly and unmistakably that these are two separate issues which I am not prepared to link together, the caller ended the phone conversation. I have not heard from him since.

Have I acted wrongly?

The overnight Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government might think so, which is probably why he has suddenly become the champion of the dubious information offered by a dubious character regarding it as “pay dirt” and questioning the honour, honesty and credibility of those who had tried to pry open the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

Abdul Rahman was so pachydermous that he even had the temerity to claim that he is emulating me when he tweeted: “When BN questioned the credibility of DAP’s sources, @limkitsiang always quick to say “Don’t shoot the messenger, focus on the message!” So?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Guan Eng on the road ahead for Malaysia

Mariam Mokhtar
Free Malaysia Today
July 18, 2015

Lim Guan Eng shares his thoughts about the state of the country, the death of Pakatan Rakyat and the Opposition chances in the next GE.

Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of Penang, was in London recently but took time-off from his busy schedule to meet some Malaysians and share his thoughts on a variety of issues. These ranged from the Malaysian mess to Malay votes, the economy to the end of Pakatan Rakyat, and the challenges of Sarawak, to his choice of a cell-mate. Here is a condensed account of that interview.

1.“Malaysia is in a mess.” What solution does DAP have to take Malaysia out of its predicament?

Malaysia is not in a mess, but in a state of crisis. We have a challenging year ahead and we must not lose hope and faith. Our economy is tanking because of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the ringgit is dropping. Our leaders are not saving the economy but are only saving themselves.

The first step will be a change of leadership. To get to the root of the crisis, Najib Abdul Razak must take a leave of absence. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Bank Negara Governor, and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) are all under the authority of the prime minister, so they are unable to conduct an independent and neutral investigation of their own boss.

We cannot continue without change. In the short-term Najib must go on leave. In the long term, there must be free and fresh elections, so that a new, clean and legitimate government can be elected. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Low Yat lesson: May 13 sequel unlikely but ethnic fault lines show risk remains

By Ida Lim
The Malay Mail Online
Saturday July 18, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Malaysia will not likely see a repeat of the May 13, 1969 racial riots but isolated clashes like last weekend’s melee at Low Yat Plaza will not be uncommon in a society still divided along ethnic lines, regional observers said.

Although Malaysians are largely deemed a peace-loving lot, the observers cautioned that racial politics and years of race-based policies have created a lingering resentment among the country’s different ethnic groups.

In such an environment, they said economic gloom and even minor personal disputes could cause ethnic tensions to flare easily.

“So, tremors like we’ve just felt in Low Yat will doubtlessly recur—for the ethnic fault line in Malaysia is widening,” Prof William Case told Malay Mail online. Read the rest of this entry »


As scandal rocks Malaysian government, B.C. pushes LNG deal with state-owned gas giant

By Warren Bell in Opinion | July 15th 2015
National Observer

Christy Clark is recklessly planning on linking the next generation in BC to the Malaysian government, which in the last few days has headed into the worst financial and political scandal in its recent history – the latest in a long history of questionable government behaviour.

The B.C. legislature is now sitting, at Premier Clark’s behest, in a rare summer session whose sole purpose is passing legislation to facilitate a sweetheart financial deal with Petronas, the giant Malaysian oil and gas company. Petronas wants to build a massive plant to liquefy fracked gas on tiny Lelu Island in the center of prime salmon habitat at the mouth of the Skeena River.

Petronas is wholly owned by the Malaysian government (which has been controlled by a single ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, for the last 50 years). Petronas supplies the Malaysian government with as much as 45 per cent of its budget, according to Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »


For Asia’s Oil Consumers, It’s a Buyer’s Market

by Eric Yep
Wall Street Journal
July 16, 2015

With ample supply, oil refineries in Asia have increasing influence over prices

SINGAPORE—With oil prices at half what they were a year ago and crude flooding into Asia from all directions, buyers from the west coast of India to southern Japan are, for the first time in decades, spoiled for choice.

The changing balance of power is already affecting the regional market share of key producers. With a full return of Iranian supplies now looming, following a nuclear accord this past week, competition will likely heat up further.

Oil consumers, mainly the refineries that turn crude into products such as gasoline and jet fuel, face a dilemma in this “new normal” era. Do they stick with multiyear contracts with long-established suppliers, primarily from the Middle East, or buy more oil on spot markets, getting cheaper prices but risking security of supply?

Asian refiners, located far from major oil-producing regions, previously have tied up as much as 95% of their crude intake through long-term contracts with reliable producers such as Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco. Read the rest of this entry »

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More politics or less in local elections?

– Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
17 July 2015

There are two sets of contradictory ideas when it comes to the discussion of local democracy in Malaysia.

While many call for local elections, there are also some activists who call for “less politics, more professional appointments” to local councils.

At a conference on decentralisation in Penang in September 2014, a social activist and local councillor said Malaysians should emulate Seoul for electing an NGO mayor and he went on to argue the ills of having politicians at the council level. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir has lost control of his puppet

John Garnaut
The Age
July 17, 2015

The ageing dictator thinks the decay in Malaysian politics is all about personal failings.

On Eid al-Fitr, the most festive day of the Islamic calendar in South-east Asia, Nurul Izzah Anwar should be celebrating with her family and visiting her famous father in jail. But Malaysia’s politics are now so combustible, and the name of Anwar Ibrahim so potent, that the family has been barred from resuming its conversation about the future of Malaysia until the fifth day after the breaking of the fast.

But Nurul Izzah, like the rest of middle-class Malaysia, already knows exactly what her father thinks.

“For the first time in our history, a sitting prime minister is under investigation for the misappropriation of funds,” said her father in a statement released by his lawyers this week, referring to a report that showed how $920 million was siphoned from a sovereign wealth fund into a bank account in the name of Prime Minister Najib Razak​. “From behind these prison walls, I feel a great concern and worry for my country,” said Anwar Ibrahim. “Corruption, abuse of power, arrogance and appallingly poor governance has brought Malaysia to this state. The utter collapse of the Greece economy is a warning of what can yet happen.” Read the rest of this entry »

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