Archive for September 27th, 2015

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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Shrugging off ‘ketakutan Melayu’

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
25 September 2015

Soon after Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over the reins as prime minister from Tun Abdullah Badawi in 2009, for a fleeting moment in time, Malaysians felt somewhat hopeful that social transformations could finally happen in our country. With a new leader, came new promises and renewed hope.

When Najib launched the 1Malaysia campaign, the objectives were quite straightforward; the RM38 million (or at least the amount that was officially recorded) campaign sought to call for all government agencies and civil servants to embrace diversity and Malaysia’s multicultural society. Najib’s administration through the 1Malaysia campaign sought to heal the wounds of racial mistrust and turmoil by promoting “ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance”.

Needless to say, the campaign has since met with heavy criticism from Malaysians due to the fact that ethnic relations in Malaysia have gotten worse in the last five years and the recent “red shirt” rally verified this. Of course, it doesn’t help that those from the ruling elite have since showed their true colours and forked tongues. Read the rest of this entry »


Proposed RM 50 million donation to Penang State Government for building student hostels

Koon Yew Yin

On 15th Sept 2015, I met the Penang State EXCO which has accepted my RM 50 million donation under the following terms and conditions:

I wish to donate RM 50 million for building student hostels to help students studying in Penang, especially students from poor families, in their access to tertiary education.

1. All the RM50 million and the subsequent profit from the rental and other income must be used for building hostels and other associated buildings for the use of students studying in Penang. These students can come from Penang and other states in the country or even be foreign students in keeping with Penang’s need to draw on the best talent from a globalized world.

2. All construction contracts exceeding RM10,000 must be open to competitive tenders. Read the rest of this entry »


The Big Read: On Malaysia Day, a reminder of racial politics at play


Race politics are very much alive in Malaysia, say analysts and observers. Going forward how will this affect Malaysia and even Singapore?

SINGAPORE — On Sept 16, Malaysia celebrated its 52nd Malaysia Day, which marks the birth of the Malaysian federation consisting of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and, briefly Singapore.

Malaysia Day is often a low-key affair, coming just two weeks after the splashier Merdeka Day celebrations. Yet this year, the day was marked by two important events.

The first was the Red Shirts rally by a Malay rights groups to show solidarity with Malay leaders whom these groups claimed are under attack by the Chinese community. The second event was the launch of the Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) or Amanah, a breakaway party of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). PAN is a moderate Islamic party which calls for the strengthening of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious social fabric. But for PAS leaders, PAN is just a front for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) — the opposition’s ethnic Chinese party.

There is concern within both PAS and the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) that PAN could further split the Malay vote and help propel DAP to an electoral victory over UMNO at the next general election. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alleged scandals surrounding Malaysian PM could have several consequences

The Globe and Mail
Sep. 24, 2015

With a prime ministerial scandal burning away and acrid smoke shrouding huge swaths of Malaysia, one could be mistaken for thinking the government in Kuala Lumpur was quite literally going up in flames.

The smoke, of course, comes from forest fires illegally set to clear land on the nearby island of Sumatra. But it does provide a suitably gloomy backdrop for what’s happening to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mr. Najib, who has become increasingly unpopular, leads the United Malays political party and a coalition that has effectively controlled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957 – partly through electoral gerrymandering and censorship of the media. Despite other actions that make him unfit to lead a democracy, such as repeatedly jailing his main political opponent (a former deputy prime minister) on trumped up sodomy charges, he now finds himself at the centre of an ever-expanding series of corruption probes that have brought Malaysian politics to a standstill – and also threaten to bring his pseudo-authoritarian rule to an end.

These investigations, which began in Malaysia and have spread to the United States, relate to a sum of $700-million (U.S.) allegedly paid into bank accounts linked to the Prime Minister. Mr. Najib has denied he has done anything wrong and said the money came from a political donor in the Middle East, though he has not provided evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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