Archive for September 4th, 2015

Scandal-hit Malaysian PM Najib drops speech at anti-corruption conference

Oliver Holmes
4 September 2015

Facing multimillion-dollar graft allegations, the timing of the international summit could not be worse for Malaysia’s prime minister

Malaysia’s prime minister has quietly cancelled his appearance and keynote speech at an anti-corruption conference after organisers warned him he would have to respond to allegations surrounding how millions of dollars had come into his personal accounts.

“The prime minister did cancel his appearance at the conference. We told his office that if he came he would face hard questions,” Neil Martinson, director of communications at Transparency International, told the Guardian. Read the rest of this entry »

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The paranoid government

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
4 September 2015

“You’re either with us or not” – this is the fact that the ruling regime has hammered into the minds of many Malaysians for the past several decades.

Fact is, although, they may have succeeded with our predecessors, they have lost their iron clasp hold on this generation and this is something the ruling regime is fully aware of.

The recent Bersih 4 rally – and like the other three rallies that came before, showed them just how upset Malaysians are. Read the rest of this entry »

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The problem with vernacular schools

Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
4 September 2015

A question that is often thrown at me, usually with the intention to provoke, is whether I support the abolishment of vernacular education, and correspondingly whether I believe that the answer to our national unity woes lies in having single-stream education.

My answer each time I am asked this is no, and not because I am rehearsing a political line. I say no because I am a firm believer in choice and competition in education, as well as the fact that neither language of instruction nor ethnic make-up of schools cause disunity or a predilection for racism.

To be sure, it is an easy premise to believe – if children go to schools that are made up of only one race and speak only one language, they would find it difficult as adults to mix with those who look and speak differently. Read the rest of this entry »


Handling of 1MDB, RM2.6b probe will test independence of institutions, Malaysia told

by Ida Lim
Malay Mail Online
September 4, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 — Malaysia’s handling of the investigative process of state-owned firm 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion controversy involving the prime minister will be a “test” of the independence and strength of the country’s institutions, seasoned anti-corruption advocate Akere Muna said today.

Muna, who chairs the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) council, said the solution for the controversies faced by the country would have to be both political and systemic.

“This is a systemic test of the country and the way it gets out of it will determine the strength of the system,” he said in an interview here.

“The way all of this plays out, you will be able to judge the autonomy of MACC, the independence of the judiciary and whether the powerful can be treated differently,” said Muna, who is also a lawyer and former Cameroon Bar Association chief.

“It’s a test, and from that test, you will know whether your country needs systemic adjustment,” the former vice-chair of global watchdog Transparency International added. Read the rest of this entry »

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First to take the “Bina Bangsa” module should be Mahdzir himself and Malay-supremacist UMNO Ministers and leaders who continue to be racially-minded instead of trying to be Malaysian first and race second

The Education Minister Datuk Mahdzir Khalid has admitted his earlier mistake and said that the new “Bina Bangsa” module, once implemented, would affect both national primary schools and vernacular schools.

DAP Parliamentary Spokesman for Education, MP for Bukit Bendera Zairil Khir Johari had yesterday questioned the need for the “Bina Bangsa” module to be introduced only in vernacular primary school when the non-Bumiputera enrolment at national schools were at an all-time low.

Zairil said that contrary to general perception, national schools are actually now more mono-ethnic in its make up as compared to vernacular schools, especially Chinese schools.

He also said it was very “mischievous” for Mahdzir to imply that vernacular schools were an obstacle to national unity as such an assertion was without basis.

Zairil stressed that what the ministry should do instead is to look into the values that are imparted as well as the quality of education available, especially in national schools.

I am glad that the new Education Minister has taken heed of Zairil’s criticisms but there is an even more fundamental question about Mahdzir’s proposal of a “Bina Bangsa” module. Read the rest of this entry »

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Following pullout from IACC, will Najib be avoiding all international conferences unless held in the Third World or he can be assured that no “hard questions” would be asked?

One upshot of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s last-minute pull-out from the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya is whether this would also mean that Najib would be avoiding all international conferences unless they are held in the Third World or he can be assured that no “hard questions” would be asked?

Transparency International (TI) has confirmed that Najib was told that he would have to face hard questions from participants at the 16th IACC, like the ones that were asked by TI President Jose Ugaz in his opening speech with regard to the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal bank accounts – “Who paid the money and why?” and “Where did it go?”

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low owes Malaysians a proper explanation as to why he advised the Prime Minister against attending the IACC due to his “personal issues” and “a possible hostile reception”.

What are these “personal issues” – is it that Najib is now regarded by the 1,000 participants at the 16th IACC as one of the corrupt leaders of the world, like Otto Perez Molina who resigned as Guatemala President yesterday mired in a massive, multi-million customs corruption scandal? Read the rest of this entry »