Archive for May 10th, 2016

Why DAP, PKR failed miserably in Sarawak

Adrian Lim
10th May 2016

COMMENT With humble and sincere intentions, I have to point out what Sarawakians and Sabahans generally feel about West Malaysians.

If Sun Wu Kong (the Monkey God) had a ‘Journey to the West’, PKR and DAP should now have a ‘Journey to the East’.

In future, obey these rules, and you will not fail so miserably in the east.

1. NEVER go into others’ house, telling them their house is under-developed, lesser democratic, less rich, no highway, no water, no electricity.

Sarawakians are humans, and humans have dignity. The first impression would be: “Why are you West Malaysians so arrogant”? Read the rest of this entry »


Najib has gained no respite for Malaysia or for himself on the 1MDB global scandal despite the landslide Barisan Nasional victory in Sarawak state general elections on Saturday

JP Morgan Asia’s downgrade of Malaysia’s status to underweight is the latest bad news for Malaysia and potent testimony that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has gained no respite for Malaysia or for himself on the 1MDB global scandal despite the landslide Barisan Nasional victory in Sarawak state general election on Saturday.

The equity research team cited concern about Malaysian banks, which also account for about 30 percent of the iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (EWM), as one of the main reasons for the downgrade.

It said: “Negative outlook on financials driven by increasing credit costs due to declining loan and deposit growth. Banks are grappling with rising non-performing loans (expected to peak at 3.1 percent in 2018).”

The iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF had fallen 7.7 percent in the second quarter, which makes it the second worst performing market in Asia after Taiwan.

In the past fortnight, while Najib has led the campaign in the Sarawak state elections to rain money throughout the state, Malaysia has not ceased to be at the receiving end of adverse international developments and references, like being named number two by The Economist in its second index of crony capitalism, just behind Russia which clinched the crony capitalism crown. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB Default Deters Funds as Malaysia Can’t Put Scandal to Bed

Denise Wee
May 10, 2016

As Malaysia’s state-owned investment company reaches out to bondholders to explain why it has defaulted, some investors say they can’t wait to hear the end of the saga.

1Malaysia Development Bhd., which defaulted on dollar-denominated bonds last month and faces another coupon payment Wednesday, said it plans a call on May 23 to explain its dispute with a co-guarantor and how it plans to meet future obligations. Returns on debt from Malaysian issuers have cooled amid probes into financial irregularities at 1MDB, whose advisory board has been headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“The political situation in Malaysia continues to be one of the biggest, I would say, hurdles for foreign investors,” said Arthur Lau, co-head of emerging-market fixed income in Hong Kong at PineBridge Investments, which manages about $83 billion globally. “In terms of fundamentals everything points to be quite O.K., especially now with oil prices rebounding. The only one thing that really drags is the political noise.”

The ringgit has slumped 2.8 percent this quarter, turning to Asia’s worst performer from its best in the first quarter. The cost of insuring the nation’s sovereign debt against default has risen 10 basis points since March 31 to 163. Malaysia’s corporate dollar bonds returned 1.1 percent in the period, slipping to seventh place from third place in the first three months, based on Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak Win Buys Malaysia Premier Time as Economic Risks Mount

Shamim Adam
May 9, 2016

A state election win for Malaysia’s ruling coalition has given Prime Minister Najib Razak breathing space after months of political turmoil, while serving as a reminder he needs to focus on the economy to avoid becoming a liability to his party before the next national vote.

Barisan Nasional secured a bigger majority in Sarawak, the nation’s largest state located on Borneo island and across the South China Sea from peninsular Malaysia.

Najib visited the state frequently over the past two months, shifting last week’s cabinet meeting there as he campaigned alongside Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

Even as he carries back the message to his United Malays National Organisation — the lead party in BN — that he can still help win elections, the Sarawak polls show Najib can’t afford to let bread-and-butter issues slide with voters. Malaysians are contending with rising prices that are eating into disposable incomes and eroding consumer confidence, while a debt default by a government investment fund could pose a threat to state finances. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islam Is Diversity and Contradictions

M. Bakri Musa
10th May 2016

Review of Shahab Ahmed’s What Is Islam. The Importance of Being Islamic

First of Two Parts

While holidaying on an island in the Indonesian Riau Province I came upon a communal graveyard. I was surprised that while the graves had markers, there were no individual identifications, no names or even dates of death. On enquiring, the villagers told me that this was to discourage ancestor worship. In Islam we worship Allah, and only Him. Any deviation would be shirk, a blasphemy.

Yet only a few islands away on Pulau Penyengat, there is an elaborate mausoleum to honor the great poet Raja Ali Haji of Gurindam XII fame. On religious days and special occasions, villagers throng the site; at other times they come to pray for their children’s success at school.

The inhabitants on both islands are devout Muslims. While we could readily comprehend and accept variations in Islam (or any faith for that matter) in different geographic areas and with different cultures, the people on both islands are all Malays. What gives? Read the rest of this entry »

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