Archive for September 29th, 2015

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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