Archive for October 3rd, 2015

Najib will be Prime Minister for full term until 14GE in 2018? Don’t count chickens before they hatched

On his final day in New York just before his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sent a very specific message back home to friends and foes alike that he would serve out in full his second term as Prime Minister of Malaysia and that the next 14th General Election would be held in 2018 and not earlier.

This is to pierce the balloon of the hottest topic in conversational circuits in the country – the possibility of a no-confidence motion against Najib as Prime Minister when Parliament reconvenes for the 2016 Budget on Oct. 19.

Najib was so satisfied with his nine-day visit to New York and the United Nations and the speech he was to deliver in the UN in the next few hours, that he allowed hubris to set in, telling US business leaders that “the government is here to stay”, that he was “not in a hurry to go back home for fear of losing my job or something like that” and that he will call for a general election when his mandate expires in 2018.

Has the danger passed that Najib might not survive this year as Prime Minister of Malaysia and the possibility of passage of a no confidence motion in the forthcoming Parliament?

It will be wise to fall back on the adage that one should not count the chickens until they are hatched, and the same applies to the possibility, for the first time in Malaysian history, of a no confidence motion against the Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sack both Tajuddin and Chong as message is long overdue that Malaysians deserve Ministers and Deputy Ministers of some standard and quality and not every Tom, Dick and Harry

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should sack both Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Chong Sin Woon as deputy ministers as the message is long overdue that Malaysians deserve Ministers and Deputy Ministers of some standard and quality and not every Tom, Dick and Harry should be elevated to such positions.

For some time, the caliber of Ministers and Deputy Ministers has been on a relentless downward decline like our football world ranking, which plunged to the worst-ever 171st placing in the Fifa rankings in October 2015 when we were still ranked No. 154 at the beginning of the year in January 2015.

Malaysia was positioned in the Fifa rankings at No. 79 in 1993, 96 in 1996, 107 in 2,000, 123 in 2005, 154 in January 2015 and 171 in October 2015 – embarrassing chart of a nation’s trajectory of relentless decline, also reflected in other sectors of our national endeavor.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed Cabinets formed after he retired in 2003 as Prime Minister for 22 years as “half-past six” while former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers.

Early this year, I had written an Open Letter to all Ministers asking them not to be “half-past six” or “deadwood” Ministers, and for heaven’s sake, “don’t be moral pygmies and political dwarfs” but to take a stand on critical issues of the nation on behalf of present and future, particularly on the great questions of right and wrong in Malaysia.

But my Open Letter elicited no response or change, and Najib post-13GE Cabinet was a great failure and disappointment. Read the rest of this entry »


Ringgit Retreats as Malaysian Budget Woes Add to China Concern

by Y-Sing Liau
October 2, 2015

The ringgit fell and stocks retreated as concern Malaysia may miss its target of balancing the budget by 2020 hurt a currency already reeling from a worsening slowdown in China and allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The fiscal shortfall may be “in the region” of 1 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the decade, compared with a current deficit of 3.2 percent, the New Straits Times reported Thursday, citing comments by Najib to fund managers and investors in New York. Malaysia derives 22 percent of government revenue from oil-related sources and its finances have been sapped by a 49 percent drop in Brent crude over the past 12 months.

The ringgit fell as much as 1.2 percent before closing 0.3 percent down at 4.4152 a dollar in Kuala Lumpur, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. It’s dropped 21 percent so far in 2015, trailing only the Brazilian real, Turkish lira and Colombian peso among 24 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg amid a deepening slowdown in China and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ringgit rout fails to revive Malaysia exports

Steve Johnson
Financial Times
1st October 2015

Amid vigorous debate as to whether slumping currencies still have the ability to stimulate significant emerging market export growth, the recent example of Malaysia is fascinating.

During the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, the collapse of the ringgit led to a sharp and almost instantaneous rise in exports.

Export growth accelerated from zero in mid-1997 to more than 40 per cent by early 1998, according to analysis by Hak Bin Chua, Asean economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

As a result, Malaysia’s current account balance swung from a deficit of 12.4 per cent of gross domestic product in the second quarter of 1997 to a surplus of 18.7 per cent of GDP by the end of 1998.

“The J-curve effect, the temporary worsening [of the trade balance] following the depreciation, was short or even negligible in 1997,” says Mr Chua.

Since September 2014 the ringgit has plunged once again, tumbling to its lowest level against the dollar since the 1997 episode.

Yet, as Mr Chua observes, “the depreciation has not strengthened exports or improved the trade balance at all. There is no ‘J’ so far, only a flat ‘U’.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Malay agenda

– Nungsari Radhi
The Malaysian Insider
2 October 2015

The subject of Malay angst is a popular one lately. Not everyone is upset, of course, but there is a segment among the Malays, perhaps driven by a sense of insecurity, who have created mental models that put themselves under siege.

They feel disunited, threatened, and their honour besmirched. This, despite the Malays controlling almost all parts of officialdom in the country and constituting more than 60% of the population.

Many commentators have pointed out the unreasonableness of these sentiments. That this is an imagined reality, propagated for less than honourable intentions – to develop a political constituency among the Malays based on their fears and, perhaps, on their prejudices. Read the rest of this entry »

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When sermons become hate speeches

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
2 October 2015

During the recent Aidil Adha celebrations, it was reported that the Pahang Mufti Department allowed some very detestable things to be broadcasted.

The sermon aimed at the opposition, in particularly; Malay Muslims who joined DAP by insinuating that they had gone against Islam by joining the political party.

The script stated, “The separation is because they priorities political parties, such as Umno, PAS, PKR and even the new Gerakan Harapan Baru more than Islam.”

“Furthermore, there are Muslims who joined DAP, which is clearly against Islam.”

Therein lays a problem most Malaysians are too afraid to admit: the contentious issue where sermons are being misused as political propaganda and have seemingly swayed from the authenticity of religious teachings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some answers on my RM50m donation for hostels

Koon Yew Yin
2 Oct 2015

COMMENT After the publication of my RM50 million donation to the Penang state government for building student hostels, many people, including media journalists and BFM Radio, have asked me a lot of questions. They are curious because they have not come across something like this before.

Here are my answers:

I was born on Jan 6, 1933. My father started a coffin shop at No 8 Jalan Ipoh, KL about 100 years ago. When father retired about 30 years ago, my eldest brother inherited the coffin shop. As he got older, he found difficulty to compete with the modern undertakers and was forced to close the old shop about two years ago, and my younger brother continued the coffin business with a smaller shop in Kepong, KL.

As I have 11 siblings, I always needed some things since I was a boy. I remember always feeling hungry when I was young. One can imagine how 12 children rushed for food during meal time.

This is why I want to help the poor. Besides my RM50 million donation to the Penang government to build student hostels, I have to date, given about 300 scholarships to help students from poorer backgrounds to complete their tertiary education. Read the rest of this entry »

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