Archive for September, 2015

Pak Samad buat apa di Kuala Kubu Baru 3 hari?

The Malaysian Insider
30 September 2015

Suatu hari Ridzuan memberitahu saya – wakil rakyat Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) di kawasannya, Yang Berhormat Lee Kee Hiong, ingin menjemput Sasterawan Negara A Samad Said atau Pak Samad datang ke Kuala Kubu Baru (KKB) dan tinggal di sana selama 3 hari.

Saya tak bertanya untuk apa atau apa tujuannya. Saya kenal siapa Ridzuan dan siapa Lee Kee Hiong, dan saya juga tahu KKB.

Jadi saya fikir saya tahulah apa tujuan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) tersebut hendak menjemput Pak Samad menjadi tetamunya di KKB selama 3 hari itu. Read the rest of this entry »

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Salleh should ask himself: What he can do for ICT in Malaysia and not what ICT can do for him!

Former Cabinet Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz hit the nail on the head when she advised the new Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak to improve Internet services instead of shooting himself in the foot by saying Malaysians prefer slower Internet.

She said: “That is embarrassing if the world has the perception that most Malaysians prefer the slower option, and that the government is happy with that!”

Let us see whether Salleh could make amends for his howler that 71 percent of Malaysian Internet users preferred the slower Streamyx broadband package that offered speeds of between 384 kilobyte per second (Kbps) to 1 megabyte per second (Mbps) because Malaysians could not afford faster Internet plans that were more expensive.

There are no countries in the world which would prefer slower Internet unless it is peopled by cretins and idiots. Read the rest of this entry »


Congratulations in order for Malaysia moving up two spots in global competitiveness ranking but commiserations also for “perfect storm” of crisis of confidence with no light at end of tunnel

Congratulations are in order for Malaysia moving up two spots in terms of global competitiveness, ranking 18th from last year’s 20th position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 released by World Economic Forum (WEF).

Malaysia is now ranked ahead of Belgium (ranked No. 19 ) and Luxembourg (No. 20). Malaysia was ranked No. 20 last year with a score of 5.16, behind Belgium (ranked No. l8 with score of 5.18) and Luxembourg (ranked No. 19 with score of 5.17).

There is a confusion however as according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016, although Malaysia is placed No. 18, it shares the same score of 5.2 with Belgium and Luxembourg both of whom also scored 5.2.

Be that as it may, congratulations should not be begrudged Malaysia’s ranking, although commiserations are also in order for Malaysia’s “perfect storm” of a crisis of confidence in the government with no light at the end of the tunnel. Read the rest of this entry »

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I am ashamed to be a Malaysian

Hafiz Noor Shams
Malay Mail Online
September 29, 2015

SEPTEMBER 29 — I think I am well-exposed to foreigners’ opinions about Malaysia beyond the editorial stance of various foreign newspapers. I have friends of diverse national origins and I work for a global organisation where many of my colleagues are not Malaysians. I keep in touch with them regularly and so I get to learn of their personal and professional views about the country.

Everybody has an opinion. But do they know Malaysia?

They might be able to tell you where it is on the map. They would know the Petronas Twin Towers. They might know who Mahathir Mohamad or Anwar Ibrahim is.

But if you dig a little deeper you will realise most of them usually do not track our news closely. Read the rest of this entry »


Shell Exits Arctic as Oil Slump Forces Industry to Retrench

New York Times
SEPT. 28, 2015

As oil prices have continued their steady decline this year, rig after rig has been shut down, costing thousands of jobs in the United States. Yet major oil producers have been loath to pull the plug on their most ambitious projects — the multibillion-dollar investments that form the backbone of their operations.

Until now. On Monday, Royal Dutch Shell ended its expensive and fruitless nine-year effort to explore for oil in the Alaskan Arctic — a $7 billion investment — in another sign that the entire industry is trimming its ambitions in the wake of collapsing oil prices.

The announcement was hailed as a major victory by environmentalists, who had fought the project for years, only to be stymied by pressure inside and outside the industry to increase domestic oil production. Read the rest of this entry »

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Salleh has beaten all Ministers to make the most stupid Ministerial statement, not only poorly researched but highlights total ignorance of his Ministerial responsibility apart from being Najib’s Chief Blogger

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has beaten all Ministers to make the most stupid Ministerial statement, not only poorly researched but highlighted total ignorance of his Ministerial responsibility apart from being the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Chief Blogger.

When Salleh opened his blog statement insinuating that I may not be aware of the wide range of Internet speeds that Malaysian can choose from when I complained about the slow Internet speed in the country while his only concern since becoming the Communications and Multimedia Minister two months ago was to do propaganda work for the Prime Minister, he was actually highlighting his own ignorance.

This is because only a person who was not aware that Malaysians, and internet users in all countries, have a wide range of internet speeds to choose from depending on the cost they are prepared to pay, would have chosen to belabor this point when it was completely a non-issue!

This is not the point, as the issue is that high Internet speeds in Malaysia are too costly and unaffordable when compared to other countries when the Minister’s task is to make them affordable and popular. Read the rest of this entry »


Will the next two months be as disastrous for Malaysia as the past two month?

Will the next two months be as disastrous for Malaysia as the past two months?

Before the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched an offensive against his enemies inside and outside of UMNO two months ago, Malaysians were already quite punch-drunk with a myriad of scandals of high-level political corruption which included the two mega-scandals of 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts, the blocking of the whistleblower website Sarawak Report, a notice to Interpol for the arrest of editor of Sarawak Report, Claire Rewcastle Brown, the three-month suspension of the Edge publications, and a slew of police actions under Section 124 of Penal Code against purported international plotters to “topple” Najib as Prime Minister.

On 28th July, Najib launched a multi-pronged offensives which included:

• abrupt sacking of his Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Minister for Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for continuing to raise questions about the 1MDB scandal which Muhyiddin in his last speech as DPM to the Cheras UMNO Division said had ballooned from a RM42 billion to “over RM50 billion” scandal;

• the sacking of Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, with a charge sheet appearing subsequently giving support to the speculation that Gani was preparing to prosecute Najib for corruption over the 1MDB scandal when his action was pre-empted by Najib’s summary dismissal in the nick-of-time; and

• sabotage of Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigations into the 1MDB scandal by the elevation of the Chairman and three committee members as Minister and deputy ministers, causing PAC investigations into 1MDB scandal to grind to a halt for more than three months until the four vacancies are filled in the October meeting of Parliament.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s 1MDB pushes for quick asset sale to quell concerns

Michael Peel in Bangkok and Simeon Kerr in Dubai
Financial Times
Sept 28, 2015

Malaysia’s scandal-hit 1MDB investment fund is pressing for a quick — and possibly contentious — sale of more than $2bn of energy assets as part of an effort to cut its large debts and revive its battered image.

1Malaysia Development Berhad has set four companies — all but one of them foreign — a deadline of November to lodge bids for power plants in Egypt, Bangladesh and Malaysia, in the hope of securing a provisional deal by year end.

The process will be closely watched as 1MDB seeks to quell concerns over its multibillion-dollar debt pile and allegations of misappropriation of money that are swirling around the fund and Najib Razak, prime minister of the Southeast Asian country.

The power-holdings auction also has the potential to deepen the political battles rocking Malaysia if it is won by an overseas buyer, or yields a price below what 1MDB paid.

According to people familiar with the matter, the four unnamed companies announced as shortlisted by 1MDB earlier this month were Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, Nebras Power of Qatar, Hong Kong’s CGN Meiya Power Holdings and Malaysian state-owned Tenaga Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Najib is Still in Control but Graft Charges Have Hurt Him, Perhaps Fatally

by Sharaad Kuttan
The Wire

As questions are raised about the dealings of a government fund, the Malaysian authorities are once again looking to play the race card

Kuala Lampur: China’s ambassador and his wife sipped tea at one of Kuala Lumpur’s better known tourist-traps known as Chinatown earlier this week.

Standing with a representative of a local retail association and having just handed out mid-autumn “moon cakes’ to traders he issued an unusual statement.

He said that China would not condone “terrorism, extremism and discrimination”.

In an immediate response Wisma Putra – Malaysia’s foreign ministry – summoned the ambassador to explain his remarks.

What made his remarks particular stinging for the government was that it was delivered on the eve of a planned rally by supporters of the Prime Minister Najib Razak, then in New York.

The second rally in as many weeks – billed as a show of Malay-Muslim ethnic pride – was widely seen as racist and targeting the minority Chinese population in particular. It was eventually called-off. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Opposition Makes Its Play in Washington

By Josh Rogin
SEPT 28, 2015

Malaysia’s prime minister is in the United States this week, but the opposition got here first — with a warning that Washington should step away from the current administration and its scandals, before it’s too late.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of imprisoned opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, came to Washington last week with a simple message for officials and lawmakers: that the U.S. should diversify its political allegiances in Malaysia, because Najib Razak might not be prime minister much longer.

His visit this week, for the United Nations General Assembly, could indeed be his last, if he is forced to resign by pressure from inside his own party, the opposition and popular unrest. Najib is reeling from multiple scandals, especially the discovery that $700 million of illicit funds ended up in his personal bank accounts. (Najib’s allies have said the money was a personal gift from Saudi Arabia as appreciation for “championing Islam.”) The sovereign wealth fund he oversees, 1MDB, is facing a federal investigation here in the U.S. Back home, Najib faces massive street protests and attacks from inside his own ruling party.

“Najib’s tenure is limited,” Nurul told me in an interview. “The opposition could take power. … The trust deficit will be extended to the U.S. if you put all your eggs in Najib’s basket.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Seeking a new vision for Malaysia

Murray Hunter & Azly Rahman
28th September 2015

“ … I am indeed proud that on this, the greatest day in Malaya’s history it falls to my lot to proclaim the formal independence of this country. Today as a new page is turned, and Malaya steps forward to take her rightful place as a free and independent partner in the great community of Nations – a new nation is born and though we fully realise that difficulties and problems lie ahead, we are confident that, with the blessing of God, these difficulties will be overcome and that today’s events, down the avenues of history, will be our inspiration and our guide…”

– Tunku Abdul Rahman, first prime minister of Malaysia, Proclamation of Independence, Aug 31, 1957

COMMENT Today’s debate in Malaysia has gone down to the lowest ebb. Discourse on democracy is dead; bludgeoned by the caretakers of the cult of secrecy of the ruling regime.

The dream of a progressive Malaysia conceived by her freedom fighters and founding fathers and mothers such as Burhanuddin Al-Helmy, Ibrahim Yaakob, Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tan Cheng Lock, VT Sambanthan, and even the much contested heroic figures such as Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin, Mokhtaruddin Lasso, and Shamsiah Fakeh has turned into a nightmare in broad daylight.

If there is a period of decay in destruction of the democratic institutions yearning to grow well this is the time of chaos and anarchy: of Malaysia in the Age of Corrupt Systems.

The challenges of a nation-state today, seem insurmountable not because the idea of a ‘nation’ of many, hybridising with the singularity, sovereignty, and sensibility of the modern state is an impossibility, but because there is no political will to make Malaysia that nation-state be realised in its entirety. In other words, Malaysia has been made to become a neo-colonialist divide-and-rule hyper-modern polity.

The apartheidisation of society is deliberate and necessary a design in order for the political-economic elite to rule. Herein lies our intention to explore the theme of the ‘Malaysian Dream’, and propose explanations to the reasons for the rotting of this neo-colonialist construct and offer ideas towards a remedy.

In doing so, we are guided by these questions: What are the ills of this country? What remedies does she need? How do we Malaysians chart a new world of possibilities? What are our visions? – these are the questions we are exploring in this brief essay on the future of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is it out of selfish political interests that Liow Tiong Lai and the MCA’s 7/11 team of elected representatives are so protective of Najib’s twin RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” scandals?

MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai should explain why the MCA’s 7/11 team of elected representatives (seven MPs and 11 State Assemblymen) successful in the 13th General Election are so protective of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s twin RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” scandals.

Is the MCA’s over-protectiveness of Najib’s financial scandals a shield actually to protect the selfish political interests of the MCA leaders and to fob off any demands to cut down the number Ministerial and deputy ministerial posts given to MCA?

As it is, MCA already has three Ministers and four deputy Ministers (although three of the deputy ministers are senators).

As MCA President, Liow should explain why the MCA team in government had been completely silent and passive as far as the issues and principles of accountability, transparency and good governance are concerned.

Good examples are Najib’s RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” scandals. Read the rest of this entry »


What the Red Shirt rally was really about

— Ooi Kee Beng
The Malay Mail Online
September 28, 2015

SEPTEMBER 28 — Following the Red Shirt rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 16, discussions have been rife that the embattled government of Prime Minister Najib Razak was “playing the race card” to bolster support and to distract the public — especially its Malay supporters — from distressing issues at hand.

It is true that the demonstration was a purely Malay rally, but what is essential to note is that while the initial impulse to organise it came from people who were undoubtedly trying to highlight and deepen the racial divide, by the time the event did take place, much of that had been deftly turned into a show of support for the beleaguered Prime Minister by his staunchest followers.

In the end, few incidents took place and the riot police did not have much trouble keeping at bay rowdy demonstrators, who were symbolically trying to get into the city’s Chinatown.

This is an important point to highlight: The racialising did not spread. Read the rest of this entry »


Timeline: The twists and turns in the tale of 1MDB

Saheli Roy Choudhury | Special to CNBC
Monday, 21 Sep 2015 | 11:03 PM ET

For Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, the hits keep coming.

Just as the capital Kuala Lumpur settles down following a fraught rally last week, at which riot police turned water cannons on supporters of the PM, top U.S. media outlets, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and the New York Times (NYT), have reported yet more scandalous allegations about the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been in the limelight for months, amid allegations of false auditing, huge debt and, more recently, financial fraud, with alleged links to Najib himself. (The PM has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. His office has yet to respond to a request for comment on the latest developments.)

For outsiders, the twists and turns surrounding 1MDB can be dizzying. So, as the action heats up, here is a handy timeline of the events you should know about:

2008 – 1MDB is launched in the Malaysian state of Terengganu, with the aim of promoting long-term, sustainable economic development.

2009 – Najib expands the fund’s operation nationally, with himself as chairman of the fund’s advisory board.

2010 – Tony Pua, an MP with Malaysia’s biggest opposition party, questions Najib on the fund’s 425 million ringgit ($99.7 million*) profit, the Malaysian Insider reports. Pua asked the Najib to explain whether the paper profits were a result of transferring other government assets to 1MDB.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Three questions Najib should explain to the Malaysian diaspora during his visit to United Nations and New York whether Malays and Islam in Malaysia are under threat and how to Save Malaysia

There are three questions which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najb Razak should explain to the Malaysian Diaspora during his 10-day visit to the United Nations and New York.

Najib will be having high-tea with the Malaysian diaspora at the Malaysian Permanent Representative Office in New York as part of the government’s outreach programme with overseas Malaysians who are residing, studying and working in the United States.

These three questions are highlighted by Malaysian patriot and leading NGO and human rights advocate, Zainah Anwar in her article in her regular column in Star newspaper entitled “Questions to ponder” on July 26, 2015.

I recently read Zainah’s original and unedited article, which posed these three questions in an even more succinct and eloquent manner.

Zainah started her article worrying about the nation’s future, and the opening paragraphs in her original and unedited article were as follows:

“I am beginning to feel as if this country and its rakyat are being crushed and pummelled by wrecking balls. The wrecking ball of race and religion, of insatiable greed, of desperation to stay in power, of never-ending sense of entitlements, of unpunished crimes and abuses, of ideology over rational thinking, justice, and fair play.

“These concerns are nothing new. What’s new is the breathtaking scale, the endlessness of it all, and the shamelessness with which the perpetrators display their unscrupulous, destructive and criminal behaviour, in words and deeds.

“The seeds of this rot were sown a long time ago. A party that has been in dominant power for over 50 years breeds its own seeds of destruction. For too long, too many of its leaders and party apparatchiks have been getting away with all manner of transgressions that they believe they are immune to any form of retribution.”

Zainah said she was in Geneva in early July and “UN officials and activists I met were all asking what was happening to Malaysia”.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s inevitable fall

Lindsay Murdoch
Sydney Morning Herald
September 27, 2015

Bangkok: For years Najib Razak has cut an impressive swath on the international stage, seen as the moderate and reforming leader of predominantly Islamic Malaysia.

As the British-educated and immaculately-dressed prime minister was last month shrugging off corruption allegations, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop offered effusive praise during a speech in Kuala Lumpur.

“I applaud Prime Minister Najib’s leadership in promoting the moderation agenda,” Ms Bishop said, adding she was “truly excited” about prospects for deeper engagement between Malaysia and Australia, on the 60th anniversary of Australia’s diplomatic presence in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia needs a Communications and Multimedia Minister who has the love and passion to overcome the poor state of Internet infrastructure in the country rather than to be the chief propagandist for Najib to fight the Prime Minister’s political survival battle

Malaysia needs a Communications and Multimedia Minister who is more concerned about the poor state of Internet infrastructure in the country than to be the chief propagandist for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to fight the Prime Minister’s political survival battle.

It has been four days since the release of the Second Quarter, 2015 State of the Internet (SOTI) Report by Akamal Technologies Inc, the global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, showing that Malaysia is ranked poorly at 70th place worldwide and lags behind Sri Lanka and Thailand in average internet speed.

Malaysia registers an average Internet speed of 5.0 megabits per second (Mbps), which is a 17 per cent year-on-year improvement to broadband speed, but is still five ranks below Sri Lanka which registered a 50 per cent year-on-year improvement to bump up its average speed to 5.3 Mbps.

Thailand ranked 42nd overall with average connection speeds of 8.6 Mbps.
Read the rest of this entry »


A Fractured Nation: Malaysia At The Crossroads

Channel News Asia
Malaysia Day was an occasion to strengthen unity of all Malaysians. To the ultranationalists however it was a chance to sow discord and disunity. But why did the protests take on a racial overtone?

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Challenge to Najib to institute legal proceedings against five international media for defaming him or his administration – Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Economist and Channel News Asia

It is understandable that the new Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak is so upset that he has shot off another protest against international media reporting on Malaysia – this time complaining that Channel News Asia (CAN)’s documentary, A Fractured Nation, for being biased because the sources quoted were only from the Opposition.

Salleh had been Minister for Communications and Multimedia for only two short months, but the number of bad press for Malaysia in the international media during Salleh’s tenure as Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Communications czar is already many times the bad press under his predecessor, Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek, even putting together Shabery’s two spells as Information Minister for 13 months under Tun Abdullah and Communications Minister for 26 months under Najib.

Who must bear responsibility for the current spate of bad international press by Malaysia, whether printed or electronic – Salleh, Najib or the international media?

Salleh complained that the CNA documentary A Fractured Nation portrayed a bad image of Malaysia.

The pertinent question is whether CNA had irresponsibly given a bad image of a good condition in Malaysia, or had truthfully reflected what is undoubtedly a bad situation in Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »


The evolution of political Islam in Malaysia

– Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
26 September 2015

I would divide the evolution of political Islam in Malaysia into three stages: Islamic revival/resurgent which culminated in changes in Umno and PAS in 1982, the emergence of PAS’s progressive faction in 1998, and the “post-Islamism” of 2015.

I have always been reluctant to draw direct comparisons between international trends in the discourse of political Islam and Islamic politics at home, because to a large extent, politics is local.

However, international trends and labels are instructive as a window to observe domestic changes. Read the rest of this entry »

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