Archive for September 26th, 2015

Why we need Pakatan Harapan now: Four questions answered

— Liew Ching Tong
Malay Mail Online
September 26, 2015

SEPTEMBER 26 — I am making public my speech at the recent Opposition Leader’s Roundtable that precipitated the formation of Pakatan Harapan in the hope to enrich our public debate with more perspectives. I told the Roundtable that I would contest four oft-repeated clichés.

First, is the new coalition being formed hastily?

Pakatan Rakyat ceased to exist in June 2015 although it had been dysfunctional for quite a while, at least since the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis, if not earlier.

There is a need to have a pact sooner rather than later because the Opposition must be prepared for the possibility of Umno deposing Prime Minister Najib Razak and replacing him with Zahid Hamidi or even Muhyiddin Yassin.

There is a huge leadership vacuum in Malaysian politics and the sooner the vacuum is filled the better it is for the Malaysian public who aspire to see the Opposition as counterweight to the Umno-led Government. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” – how to change a Prime Minister who has locked up support of the UMNO warlords

Some 75 years ago, a statesman spoke about a “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.

We in Malaysia seems to be in that position now – how do you change a Prime Minister, who has become the most unpopular Prime Minister in the nation’s history, but who seems to have locked up the support of UMNO warlords and therefore the majority of UMNO/Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament, where a vote of no confidence in Parliament against the Prime Minister seems to hold no chance of success.

In developed parliamentary democracies, which Malaysia aspires to join in five years’ time, there is no problem for a change of unpopular Prime Ministers as witnessed the smooth and quick ouster of the Prime Minister of Australia in the middle of this month.

If Australia practises Najib style of parliamentary democracy, Malcolm Turnbull would not be the Australian Prime Minister today but would be in jail defending charges of trying to “topple” Tony Abbot as Prime Minister and for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”!

Yesterday, former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir said that the country’s economy can only recover with the removal of Najib as Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »


Does Malaysia’s ringgit face 1997 all over again?

Leslie Shaffer
Sept. 25, 2015

The sell-off in the Malaysian ringgit, already among the world’s worst performing currencies, may run further amid a toxic mix of shaky economic fundamentals and the spreading of what is being called the country’s worst-ever political crisis.

The ringgit has fallen around 40 percent over the past year, with the U.S. dollar fetching around 4.34 ringgit on Thursday. That’s the Malaysian currency’s weakest against the greenback since late 1997, when the dollar at one point fetched as much as 4.88 ringgit.

“There remains significant downside risk even after the sharp ringgit correction,” Hak Bin Chua, an analyst at Merrill Lynch in Singapore, said in a note Wednesday, noting that he sees little comfort from claims Malaysia is much stronger than in 1997, when it took a wallop from the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC). Read the rest of this entry »