Archive for January, 2014

31
Jan
14

Syed Husin: We are thru with ISA

The menace of regression is in the air and Dr Syed Husin Ali is not amused one bit.

As the author of a recent work entitled ‘Malay Rulers: Reform or Regression’, the second term Pakatan Rakyat senator from Selangor is decidedly uneasy about bringing back a law that was a part of the country’s retrogressive past.

The repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), a draconian holdover from the country’s colonial past that was retired from the statue books just over a year ago, is being talked into revival.

This talk makes the flesh of Syed Husin, 77, an ISA detainee for six years – from December 1974 to late 1980 – creep horribly.

“Right now, we could take no more regressive measure than to bring back that abomination,” opined the veteran politician and former Universiti Malaya professor.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who began his premiership in 1981 by releasing ISA detainees and dipped it in infamy by incarcerating his deputy under the Act in 1998, has spoken up for its return.

“He forgets just a few years back he said that the ISA arrests in 1987 when he was both the home minister and prime minister were not done of his own volition but on police insistence,” recalled Syed Husin.

“That meant he shirked his responsibility as the minister empowered under the law to determine whether the ISA arrests should be made, thus submitting to what was effectively a police state at that point in time,” recapped Syed Husin, alluding to what he feels is apt to result when people of authoritarian bent are given untrammeled powers that come with laws like the ISA.

Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has also talked up the need to add detention without trial, which was what the repealed ISA provided for, to the police arsenal in dealing with rising tensions in the country over issues such as the ‘Allah’ controversy.

“He forgets what a High Court judge said about his responsibility for the custodial death of A Kugan and now he wants more power for the police to deal with recalcitrant civil society types,” said Syed Husin.

A manufactured crisis

This member of the Senate rejected the argument that tensions are rising in the country because of the controversy over the Allah issue.

“This is a manufactured crisis to divert the attention of the people from the rising cost of living. The voices of the few protesting the use of this and that word are being played up to seem like things are getting out of control but the crowds that actually turn up for the protests are small,” said Syed Husin.

“People are more concerned with what is happening to their purchasing power,” he added.

“Given firm and rational statements from the powers-that-be and all that manufactured gas would go out of the bags,” quipped Syed Husin.

“But no, it’s not in their interests to stop this thing. They allow matters to build up so that their aim of diverting the people’s attention from more pressing issues is achieved,” he said.

…more
Jan 11, 2014 – Malaysiakini
Syed Husin: We are thru with ISA

30
Jan
14

Diverting Malaysians from issues which matter more

Rope-a-dope in Putrajaya

Battlefield Putrajaya may be the final straw which tears this nation apart.

COMMENT

How do you convince the Umno Baru and Barisan Nasional diehard supporters that their diet of mainstream media news is unhealthy?

Truth, à la mainstream media, is like the dry kernels of corn which are cooked over heat, until they puff-up. Dry corn is unpalatable, but when cooked and laced with honey and butter, gullible readers consume the pop-corn with relish.

Fed on a diet of Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, The Star and the New Straits Times, the supporters of Umno Baru and BN believe Malaysia’s economy is rosy. Malays and Muslims are being threatened.

The only bad people are opposition politicians who spread filth through the alternative media. To Umno Baru lovers, writers for the alternative media who try to give readers facts, are liars.

Have you ever been to a football match where the spectators shift their focus from the players on the field, to a fight in the stands? That is what the Allah debacle is all about – it is a politically staged, and funded, sideshow to divert Malaysians from the issues which matter more.

In Najib Tun Razak’s case, he and his government are trying to hide from the rakyat the falling educational standards, the mismanagement of the economy, the hike in prices which will lead to a rise in our cost of living, the illicit outflows totalling billions of ringgits, the squandering of the nation’s wealth, the rise in crime and criminal activities, broken promises of GE13, and most glaringly, Najib’s failure to contain the wastage of his government including his inability to curb his own profligacy.

The Mahathir and Umno Baru lovers should try and be objective and read as much as possible from knowledgeable sources about the failures, cock-ups and cover-ups of the Umno Baru led government over the past 56 years.

…more
Rope-a-dope in Putrajaya
Mariam Mokhtar
January 10, 2014 – FMT

29
Jan
14

To Putrajaya via Shah Alam

To Putrajaya via Shah Alam – the maturing of Anwar Ibrahim

Opinion
by Wong Chin Huat

Lee Myung-Bak was mayor of Seoul (2002-2006) before becoming President of South Korea (2008-2013).

Mahmood Ahmadinejad was mayor of Tehran (2003-2005) before becoming President of Iran (2005-2013).

George Bush Jr was governor of Texas (1995-2000) before becoming President of US (2001-2009).

Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas (1983-1992, 1993-2001) before becoming President of US (1993-2001).

Mah Ying-Jeou was mayor of Taipei (1998-2006) before becoming President of Taiwan (2008- ).

Chen Shui Bian was mayor of Taipei (1994-1998) before becoming President of Taiwan (2000-2008).

Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris (1977-1995) before becoming President of France (1995-2007).

Joko Widodo, the currrent Governor of Jakarta (2012-) and the former Mayor of Surakarta (2005-2012) is now a popular hopeful for President of Indonesia in the 2014 election.

THESE are not coincidences. In presidential system, chief executives of subnational government command more resources and opportunities to showcase their ability to govern than senior national lawmakers.

The logic is the same for Malaysia, even though we are a nominally a parliamentary system. Given our dysfunctional Parliament, the Parliamentary Opposition Leader carries less weight than perhaps a powerful BN backbencher in the eyes of the Speaker and Ministers. As a matter of fact, the much desired two-party system cannot possibly happen if there is no healthy room for the opposition to perform. Had the Pakatan Rakyat won a landslide in 2013, the Barisan Nasional or any new opposition parties would not be able to compete competently even if they want to. To begin with, the Parliament meets so shortly that a Parliamentarian had only 2 hours 32 minutes on average to speak and be heard in 2012.

Given the concentration of power in not just the executive, but in the Prime Minister’s hand, the two-party system can only happen when different parties capture different tiers of government. Despite our centralised federalism, state governments still have considerable power and resources to compete with the federal ruling coalition.

Through policy and institutional reforms, from longer maternal leave, water subsidy, releasing lands to the needy, no-plastic bag policy, smoke-free policy, SELCAT and other legislative committees, freedom of information enactments, to baby steps in reviving local elections, opposition state governments in Kelantan, Selangor, Penang and Perak have shown Malaysians how governance can be different. As a matter of fact, the most important change of the 2008 Political Tsunami was not the denial of the BN’s two-thirds majority, but the opposition running an unprecedented five states.

If Anwar wishes to return the wind to the sails of Pakatan Rakyat since a disappointing nine months since GE13, Selangor is a good point to restart the coalition’s vision. The opposition is in dire need of showing more wonders as the electorate are not satisfied with just a continuity of what they had since 2008. They want more and better. Anwar is therefore being realistic by putting himself in Shah Alam before eying Putrajaya.

…more
To Putrajaya via Shah Alam – the maturing of Anwar Ibrahim
Jan 29, 2014 – fz.com

29
Jan
14

The National Education Blueprint, an epic fail

The National Education Blueprint, an epic fail – S. Ramakrishnan

It is no longer a point of contention: Our education system is indeed failing and failing the economy.

Even a member of the cabinet, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapha Mohamed, has called for a total overhaul of the education system if Malaysia were to reach the goal of being developed by 2020.

The 2012 international student assessment (Pisa) results point to the stagnant bottom position held by Malaysian students in mathematics, science and reading. The Pisa results rank Malaysia at 52 out of 65 countries.

Even the launch of the Malaysian education blueprint does not seem to make any impact to allay the fears that the education standards are slipping and slipping badly. All the Economic Transformation Programme and Government Transformation Programme initiated by Pemandu since 2009 have not brought about any significant achievements.

Bottom of the class

Malaysia came out 55th out of 74 countries in terms of reading literacy, 57th in Mathematics and “only marginally better” in 52nd position for Science literacy.

How can we achieve vision 2020 developed status when we are languishing at the bottom of the world’s classrooms in our education standards?

The irony is that the Education Ministry is always considered the stepping stone for all our prime ministers. A country in search of growth must invest in education. And the double irony is that ministry receives the highest allocation in every budget.

Despite the generous spending on education, Malaysian students are getting a poorer and poorer quality of education, says the World Bank report. The Ministry of education is more focused on schooling the students then educating them. I wonder whether the ministry ever thought what education is.

Emperor with no clothes

Malaysia urgently needs to revise the ways it formulates and implements education system. So much is written in the media about the shortcoming in the Malaysian education system. Much like the emperor with no clothes, the Education Ministry appears oblivious of the situation and goes about as though all is well in the system.

Education policymakers do not seem to pay attention to the numerous works, writings and positive contributions by people outside the ministry. Indeed it’s such a pity that many people who can identify and articulate well about the problem are outside the system.

And people who don’t seem to understand the problem, or uneducated about the problem, are in the system and holding high positions. In this stalemate and mismatch, the ministry ignores the services of people who can turn around this dire situation. The ministry is all for indoctrination to make the whole education system dogmatic inculcate a non-questioning attitude among students and regurgitate what has been given in notes and lectures.


…more
The National Education Blueprint, an epic fail – S. Ramakrishnan
January 09, 2014 – TMI

28
Jan
14

Umno lights the fire, Najib plays the fiddle

OUTSPOKEN: Will the Prime Minister come to the First Lady’s defence when she jets off on her husband’s new toy, a luxurious Airbus ACJ320? Bet on it!

Will the Prime Minister defend his 10-Point Solution with the Christian community? Don’t bet on it!

So, my fellow Malaysians, lend me your ears. Because the Prime Minister of 1Malaysia will not lend you his.

Stop trying to comprehend why the Prime Minister has been silent on the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and the threats by radical Muslim groups and Umno itself to protest in front of churches.

Remember that Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned? That’s why. Let me explain.

The best defence is often a good offence whether it be in games and sports or on the battlefield.

In other words, success often rests on destroying the enemy’s ability to attack.

Niccolo Machiavelli propagated this theory in The Prince, a manual for statecraft.

Sun Tzu expounded it in his ancient Chinese military treatise, The Art of War.

Some martial arts too emphasise attack over defence. Wing Chun, a style of Kung Fu, uses the maxim that the hand which strikes also blocks.

The Father of Chinese Revolution, Mao Tse-Tung, said it best via his doctrine that “the only real defence is active defence”.

Five hundred years after The Prince, Machiavelli’s work is considered as the most influential and notorious political tract of all time.

It has been seized on by tyrants as a manifesto to guide their despotic rule.

The infamous Italian became linked to Satan – Old Nick, as he became known.

It is said that he gave the Devil his best lines. The Catholic Church banned The Prince: Machiavelli was the personification of evil.

So, as the “Allah” matter ushers in and roils Visit Malaysia Year, it is clear that Umno is basing its script on Machiavelli’s manual about how to exercise and maintain power.

Umno has mixed an evil potion of the art of war with the science of politics. As British author Freny Olbrich wrote, “Attack is the best form of defence, and when politicians lose their principles they play a dirty game.”

How else can you explain why the Prime Minister chose to justify his so-called cost-cutting measures in the heat of the Jais raid and the Perak mufti’s incendiary speech.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak even invoked the Almighty on his Facebook page, but his reference was not directly related to the “Allah” issue.

“Thank God,” he wrote, “that I have received a good response from the people” (to the measures to reduce government spending).

Doesn’t that tell you something?

Borrowing a leaf from Machiavelli, Najib played the fiddle as Jais inflamed Malaysia’s 9% Christian population.

…more
Umno lights the fire, Najib plays the fiddle
10 Jan 2014 – theantdaily.com

27
Jan
14

Are PM’s consultants conspiring to escalate his downfall?

BLOG: A face to launch a million hardships
Are Prime Minister Najib Razak’s consultants conspiring to escalate his downfall?

Are Prime Minister Najib Razak’s consultants conspiring to escalate his downfall? The latest idea of having his picture appear on limited edition ang-pow (red packets) for Chinese New Year (CNY) to be distributed through his Chinese Facebook page is making him look increasingly like an egomaniac hankering for cult status. Did he dream it up himself or did they?

Unfortunately for him, the very community he is reaching out to have already come to hate him all the more. Its members are more likely to stamp on the face on the ang-pow than put money in it to give to their family members during the festive period. So, instead of improving Najib’s public relations image, this ang-pow move will only make it worse.

Apparently, Najib’s consultants have not learned from the beating Najib took when his picture appeared on 100Plus cans in June 2012. On that occasion, netizens lambasted him and the company that produces the isotonic drink, some calling for a boycott of the product.

Among the printable comments are “100Plus sales figure definitely will drop.”, “Boycott 100Plus!”, “Najib, why must your face be on 100Plus? A lot of people hate you. Haha!”, “Dalam tin ada cacing.” (There are worms in the can.)

It caused the company enough concern for it to respond with a statement clarifying that the picture on the can was a sticker printed for Najib when he visited the company’s booth at an event in Putrajaya. In other words, it wasn’t promoting Najib.

Netizens, however, were not placated. “Sorry, boycott already on because of that sticker,” said one. “I love 100 plus so much … but I will boycott 100Plus now,” said another. “I’ve loved 100Plus lifelong. Until that sticker was there. Some things you can’t un-see,” said yet another.

Najib’s consultants have also not learned from last year’s public relations exercise conducted during CNY. Then, Najib also appeared in a video dressed in Chinese costume and beating a Chinese big drum, followed by his wishing Chinese viewers “Gong Xi Fa Cai”. Instead of drawing applause for that effort, however, he was pelted with brickbats. Some were as derisive as “Stupidest video ever” or “Aiyer … geli!” (Makes one’s hair stand on end!) Numerous commentors called him “an absolute clown”.

Ang-pows bearing his face were also given out then, much to the horror of Chinese traditionalists who believe that having a human face on an ang-pow can presage bad luck. It also prompted feedback on social media ridiculing this unprecedented act. One of the worst (printable) comments I can remember went like this: “If you want to give your family bad luck, give them the ang-pow with Najib’s face!”

…more
BLOG: A face to launch a million hardships
By Kee Thuan Chye
10 Jan 2014 – news.malaysia.msn.com
Are Prime Minister Najib Razak’s consultants conspiring to escalate his downfall?

26
Jan
14

‘Raja Ropiaah gets free money under void deal’

Wanita Umno leader Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah has effectively received RM13 million in “free money” through a now “null and void” contract to build the defence education centre (Puspahanas), including a land deal with the government.

PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said today that the obligations of the contract given to her company, Awan Megah Sdn Bhd, to build Puspahanas have long lapsed, thus making the contract void.

He also said that the company has failed to provide a new land bond for the project, as required under the agreement.

“Essentially, she has obtained free money from the project while it is still going on, so there’s money there too. And not to forget, she still holds 223 acres of land in Bukit Raja,” he told a press conference at PKR headquarters.

Boustead Holdings had paid the RM13 million to Awan Megah to purchase the land from Raja Roopiah for the project.

“The land was not hers in the first place. So with Boustead buying the land, legally the money is now hers,” Rafizi claimed.

A shareholder in Boustead, he said he has checked the agreement between the company and Awan Megah.

“The construction of Pusapahanas is being continued with a null and void contract because Awan Megah has not prepared a new land bond,” he said.

“The land sale and purchase agreement between Boustead, Astacanggih, and Awan Megah has lapsed because the conditions were not fulfilled within three months.”

…more
Jan 8, 2014 – Malaysiakini
‘Raja Ropiaah gets free money under void deal’




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How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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