Archive for February 9th, 2016

IMF report on Malaysia, politically correct but revealing

– Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
9 February 2016

The preliminary International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff report on the Malaysian economy was published by the press on February 5.

The report followed intense IMF annual consultations held between January 11 and 22 in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching. Pity Sabah was left out.

The IMF report was too politically correct but nevertheless revealing.

IMF mission chairman Dr Alex Mourmouras in his press release subtly suggested that the Malaysian economy faced multiple shocks including “political developments and capital outflows”.

Both these factors reveal that in addition to external problems, there are also serious internal issues within our power to control and overcome.

But how much have we done to overcome these critical domestic issues? Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the 30-man demo at the Penang Chief Minister’s Chinese New Year Open House yesterday the first “handiwork” of the new czar of UMNO cybertroopers, Ahmad Maslan?

The 30-man demo at the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng’s Chinese New Year Open House at the SPICE Arena in Penang yesterday is most intriguing not only as a “no brainer” but whether it is the first “handiwork” of the new czar of UMNO cybertroopers, Ahmad Maslan.
An “intelligent” person would not have anything to do with such an unMalaysian demonstration.

Firstly, it crossed the line which should not be violated by anyone who claims to be a Malaysian by showing open and extremist contempt for another Malaysian’s racial or religious festivities and sensitivities, as this is the first known such demo since Merdeka in 1957 at the Open House festivity whether Prime Minister, Chief Minister or Mentri Besar to celebrate Chinese New Year or Hari Raya Aidilfiltri.

Secondly, the grounds for the protest were so outrageous and preposterous that no top UMNO or Barisan Nasional dare to seen publicly associated with them, as nobody in sane mind would have any respect for such personalities.

Such demonstrations are in fact an attack on the competence, efficiency and professionalism of the Prime Minister, the entire police, Special Branch, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara and the Attorney-General’s Chambers that they did not know about the scandal of RM1.2 billion donation from Israel to the DAP for the 13th General Election in exchange for an Israeli naval base in Port Dickson. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let the Cabinet meeting tomorrow be a showdown over whether to give sanction to AG Apandi to draft amendments to increase penalties under the OSA to deter whistleblowers and journalists from combatting corruption, particularly grand corruption

Malaysians are aghast at the reaction of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamid who seemed to side with the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali who wants to amend the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to impose heavier punishments on whistleblowers and journalists to deter them from leaks to combat corruption, particularly grand corruption in Malaysia.

Zahid even slammed those who opposed and criticized Apandi for gunning for whistleblowers and journalists, accusing them of “trying to politicize” the Attorney-General’s interview with Sin Chew Daily where he announced proposals to increase penalties under the OSA 1972 to include life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan to deter whistleblowers and journalists for leaking and publishing information about corruption.

Zahid said the Attorney-General’s decision should be respected, adding:

“The AG’s agenda is to enforce the law and not to politicise an issue and be inundated with the politicised interpretation of the issue, and this should not be seen as a political issue by anyone, including the opposition.”

Zahid cannot be more wrong.

Apandi’s proposals should be pilloried and castigated to the maximum extent possible by all national stakeholders as they signal a dangerous lurch towards dictatorial rule in the country and go against everything that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had promised when he became the sixth Prime Minister some seven years ago.

Is Zahid unaware of Najib’s pledge to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world” and in particular, the Prime Minister’s statement in September 2011 about the “political transformation” his government was undertaking from the aspects of human rights because of “the increasing maturity of the people”.

Now that Zahid is the Deputy Prime Minister, it may be useful for him to read up on Najib’s various pledges and promises of reform he made in his first six years as Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »