Friday, January 22, 2010
First it was the cows and cars! Now the cakes! I guess they are just against anything that starts with the letter “C” But they are okay with Lingamgate, Balinese Mansion, 600K, submarines, jet engines as long as it doesn’t spelled with a C! That’s the Malaysian Anti-C Commission.
New Straits Times ) - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has directed its officers to gather more evidence into an allegation of abuse of power by the Kelantan Menteri Besar Incorporated (PMBK) over a purchase of six cakes valued about RM3,900.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Shukri Abdull said the commission had opened an investigation paper into the case recently but needed more information about the purchase.
“We have referred the IP back to the state MACC so that they can gather more information,” he said yesterday.
He was commenting on the allegation on Sunday by Kelantan opposition leader Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad, who had called on the MACC to investigate PMBK for purchase of the cakes during the last Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Alwi had claimed that among those who received the cakes, weighing about 10kg each, were Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and PMBK chief executive officer Abdul Ariffahmi Abdul Rahman.
Shukri said MACC was not only carrying out probe into the allegation but also several other “issues” surrounding PMBK.
MACC started its investigation on Ariffahmi last November after certain quarters disputed his appointment as the CEO.
Subsequently, Nik Aziz directed his son-in-law to quit after a delegation of Pas leaders advised the menteri besar against appointing family members into state-owned organisations on Nov 23.
[Source : Daniel YKL Blog]
DAP has proposed a "Middle Malaysia" as a new path for the country in the midst of current confusion and chaos.
This proposal by the new generation leaders of DAP reflects the aspirations of young leaders towards the nation and their desire to mould a common vision for all Malaysians.
In the lapse of 50 years, many organisms on this planet have gone extinct. The Cold War was ended. And the Soviet Union was disintegrated.
It is most unbecoming for Malaysia's political discourse to stay where it used to be.
That said, the political model that has been in use here for half a century, keeps being cooked up by political parties to this day.
Only that they put the old wine in a new bottle, and have the packaging changed.
Like an old professor in the university, still employing the same old way teaching the same old thing over the decades, with his students either falling asleep or walking out in discontent.
If the professor chooses to stay, the students have got to slip out of the class.
Politics is not a dead thing. Neither can it afford to be lifeless. It is an organic thing that will need to be injected with new kind of mentality when a certain stage is reached.
The old and antiquated ways have to give way to the new.
In the final decade of the 20th century, the Thatcherism that had led Great Britain to economic recovery began to look pale and listless.
The Tory administration headed by Margaret Thatcher created economic miracles with its business-friendly privatisation policies. However, the same practice also brought the undesirable effects of high inflation, unemployment, widening income gap as well as deteriorating living quality.
The British voters were grossly unhappy with the Thatcher administration, thinking it was a coldblooded, selfish government that cared only for the interests of a handful of people.
At the same time, Thatcherism's twin in America, the once flourishing Reagan administration, was tailing to an end.
Even as the United States won the first war on Iraq, the domestic economy was in tatters and social conflicts deepened. The American public became sick of the Republican administration under George Bush.
That was when Cambridge political sociology professor Anthony Giddens came out with his book The Third Way.
His discourse, while on the one hand opposing the connivance of Thatcherism and Reaganomics towards liberal capitalism, also lashed out at the Labour Party's left inclination and overemphasis on welfare policies, resulting in a severe dearth of social vitality.
He proposed a Third Way that upheld the pragmatism and competitiveness of rightwing capitalism, coupled with the socialist ideals and sentimentalism.
His philosophy could never be expressed in a few paragraphs here. In short, seeing the changing times and social transformation, Giddens proposed his new political view.
Giddens' discourse won the recognition of young Labour Party leaders such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and has been widely adopted and implemented by these two leaders.
New generation leaders across the Atlantic in the likes of Bill Clinton, have also been influenced by him.
Following that, Blair and Clinton, the supreme leaders of Britain and America, adopted the Third Way in their governance and injected into their respective countries a new lease of life and renewed prosperity.
The new political discourse, be if from BN or Pakatan, will flourish so long as it meets the changes within the society as well as expectations from the public.
(By TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)
It is so unfortunate that despite the overwhelming changes taking place in the world today, parties like UMNO, MCA, MIC and PPP, are still caught in in time warp of the 50s and 60s, and instead of adapting to the new world order of globalisation, they, especially UMNO, prefer to keep it's community under the "tempurung" for as long as they can, so to stay in power. End result - cognitive resonance.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
“Jews have always been a problem. They have to be confined to ghettos and periodically massacred.”
Those are the exact words of the notoriously sly former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad which were quoted and carried by news media when he launched the maiden assembly of the General Conference for the Support of Al-Quds (GCSQ) in the capital on Jan 20.
Coming from a supposedly great leader and a champion of the Third World, every single ounce of the speech is irresponsible, inciting and racist, to say the least.
It also goes to reflect the nature of Mahathir’s thinking and his deep-rooted hatred of anything Jewish.
However, it has never deterred him or his administration back then to use Jewish elements as long as it benefits him politically and economically.
Allegedly, the Malaysian government employed the services of disgraced US lobbyist Jack Abramoff to secure an audience with the then US President George W Bush.
He blamed the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis squarely on currency speculators led by one George Soros, a Jew (which he then retracted after a meeting with Soros years later). Mahathir’s administration employed financial giants Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup, also with clear Jewish links, to assist the country in climbing out of the crisis.
The superficial antagonism of Mahathir towards Jews is a clear paradox to his irrefutable association with them.
In fact, back in the 80’s his rumoured involvement in the Freemason movement put him on the backfoot, to the extent that he had to deny it in his speech during an Umno general assembly in that period.
Mahathir can wear the facade of an anti-Semitic while behaving in the exact manner at almost the same time.
His Jew-bashing speech at the GCSQ event did not end there and Mahathir also spewed venom on the Western imperialists, taking aim at the United States.
The absurdity of his speech reached nonsensical heights when he drummed up a conspiracy theory ala Michael Moore that the Sept 11 attack on World Trade Centre in New York was staged by the US in order to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, i.e. the Muslim world.
Only Mahathir is capable of throwing everything including the kitchen sink towards his victim while nonchalantly absolving himself of all blame.
After being awed by Hollywood’s technological prowess visualised by the brilliantly executed James Cameron sci-fi movie “Avatar”, Mahathir came to an almost seemingly outrageous conclusion that the “self-inflicted” Sept 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York was staged by the US themselves.
While some fringe wannabe commentators (myself included) are unable to fathom the logic and reasoning of Mahathir’s rants, many of his die-hard fans will believe every shred of nonsense that comes out of his mouth.
It goes to show a basic fundamental problem with Malaysians (especially hardcore Umno-ites and Malay nationalists) that this veteran leader is the only hero that they can look up to.
Much revered for his material and economic contributions to the country, these same people seem to easily forgive and forget that Mahathir himself has allowed billions of ringgit (RM100 billion according to Barry Wain’s recent book) to be leaked from the nation’s coffers to satisfy his enormous megalomaniac appetite.
Billions were squandered and lost due to comatose projects like Perwaja and the LRT system, which bear Mahathir’s insignia.
Nepotism, cronyism and abuse of power have been the order of the day.
Mahathir feeds on the dogmatic and Malay-nationalist patriotic junkies with his often racist statements on Malay rights and supremacy of the Malay race.
He started out as an Ultra-Malay, according to the first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. Mahathir then ruled the country for 20-odd years, displaying his liberal side but never lost any of his anti-imperialist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
By wearing the “Keffiyah” symbolising his solidarity with the Palestinians’ struggle, Mahathir has shown his ultimate chameleon side.
For an over-hyped statesman and one that has his own World Peace Conference, implicating leaders from the West with crimes against humanity, ideas of persecuting any race or community is definitely not just and peaceful.
While he criticises and insinuates against everyone that crosses his path, Mahathir comes across as someone who is out of time and definitely out of tune much like how Lee Kuan Yew is for Singapore.
His economic policies have shown failure and the spill over effects are felt up until today, with the country now lagging to even compete with minnows back in the 1970’s like Indonesia, Thailand and even Vietnam.
He built a coterie of cronies that sucked the wealth and resources of the country to the point that it was unbearable for the economy.
His leadership was an absolute nightmare, none more so than the devilish treatment of his once anointed successor, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was stripped, beaten and jailed in 1998.
He has created a political monster in Umno that gobbles up everything in its path and rules the country according to their whims and fancies.
While the tallest and biggest super-structures were built, education, healthcare and welfare of the commoners deteriorated.
This dinosaur of a leader does not deserve the accolades that Malaysians shower him with.
As he is being shunned by the rest of the world except for Venezuela, Zimbabwe as well as Iran, and is being left behind by globalisation and rapid technological advances, Malaysians especially Umno-ites and Malay nationalists need to free themselves from the man called Mahathir, to move on into the real world.
Mahathir, the Jews are not the problem, you are!
[Source : The Malaysian Insider]
"Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of greater problems of the world. The holocaust failed as a final solution," he said. OMG, what is this man saying? Is he regretting that Hitler failed in his evil pursuit to finish off the entire Jewish people? So, if the final solution by Hitler did not work, is Mahathir planning to launch his own "Ultimate Solution" on the Jews then? Now comes the biggie. If they can make Avatar, then they can make "9/11" to create the impression that Muslim terrorists carried out the acts and he went on to cast aspersions on the Americans that they are nothing but a bunch of cold blooded murderers. Like he said, "Killing innocent people to provide an excuse for war is not new to the US." I believe that the Americans have a chat with this fellow before he starts to create "WWIII". By all account, the genocide of 6m Jews must be a myth created by the Americans.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Datuk Dr Agoes Salim is an an economist and first secretary-general of the National Unity Ministry. He is also former chairman of Bank Pertanian. He was on the public service secretariat of the National Operations Council following the riots and helped draw up both the Rukun Negara and the NEP.
I THINK we are farther apart now than we were in 1969.
But you have to remember that I grew up going to an English school, to a university where there were people of all races. At that time, although we did think in terms of race, it wasn’t in the way people do now. We felt that we were Malayans. We socialised much better than we do now.
Bahasa Malaysia can be a unifying factor. But it can be a factor separating people, too.
As Sukarno would say, “The important thing is the jiwa.”
You don’t have to have a common language, if you have the same jiwa (heart, spirit, passion, devotion). This is what we don’t have right now....
In 1956, the historical society of Universiti Malaya went to India.
There were lots of Indians in the group, but they didn’t think of themselves as Indians, they thought of themselves as Malayans.
That’s the jiwa.
But later on, because of certain reactions, suddenly people stayed away from this jiwa — they don’t feel as though they are fully Malaysian. They are made to feel that way.
When I was in the service, there were lots of non-Malays in the civil service, holding good positions.. But do you see them now? If you go to the universities, where are the non-Malay professors?
After 1969, suddenly there was this drive to make sure that all university vice-chancellors and faculty deans were Malay. So, in the end, we chased away all the best brains among the non-Malays.
When schools say you must start school with a doa (Muslim prayer recitation), you push away all the non-Muslims. When I was at school, we never had any prayers. Whatever we learnt in religious class was a separate thing.
I think it’s more important that we bring people together, rather than pushing religion so hard that it alienates other people. This is what’s happening. I can’t blame the Chinese and Indians; why should they go to a sekolah kebangsaan (national school), when they have to do all these things?
All the things are breaking down. Our school system is not as it used to be. We are producing supposedly so many students with so many As, but what do they know? Are we happy about it? The leaders seem to be happy about it.
We came up with the Rukun Negara because, after 1969, there was the feeling that the nation was breaking down. People had forgotten what it was all about. So, we thought we could bring people back together — unite them. That’s what the first part of the Rukun Negara is about: the objectives of the nation.
Unfortunately, we did practically nothing to promote an understanding of the Rukun Negara. And when schools make mistakes, nobody corrects them. That should have been the role of the Department of Information.
In the beginning, Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie did try to apply the test of whether something was in consonance with the Rukun Negara or not. But then, the government just forgot about this.
We are supposed to be a united nation, not only in terms of state, but also in terms of people: that they would all consider themselves as Malaysians, and that this was their country and their nation. We wanted all these people to share the wealth of the nation.
One of the things we thought contributed to ’69 was the economic disparities, joblessness.
The New Economic Policy was a policy for all Malaysians; not just for the Malays. But we wanted to restructure the economy so that the Malays would come out of the rural agriculture sector into the commercial sector.
We wanted Malay participation at all levels of economic activity. We wanted to uplift the Malays without reducing the position of the others.. — “eradicating poverty regardless of less”.
And this was supposed to be in a situation of growth. Not just sharing the existing cake, but the cake must grow, so that these people also have the opportunity to grow.
At the same time, we also hoped that the Malays would grow a little faster. So, they set this target of 30 per cent equity in 20 years. I was not much in favour of that because I didn’t think it was achievable. I felt that participation was more important than wealth.
We never thought that we would produce multi-billionaires. That was never the intention of the NEP. If some people can come up as everyone comes up, it’s okay. But it wasn’t supposed to be about some people getting contracts.
We did say that we should have Malay millionaires just as we should have Chinese and Indian millionaires, but not so much so that you don’t have to do anything.
You must differentiate between dominance and domination. As Tun Dr Ismail said, “We want to be dominant, but we don’t want to dominate.”
Dominant in the sense that we wanted the Malays to be everywhere; but not to dominate all the others.
But we seem to be dominating; and I don’t think that’s healthy for the nation. It’s not about taking your share and not caring about the rest.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It has always been said that when you require any service from our public utility companies be rest assured you will be made to wait. If that alone is not bad enough, you will encounter staff who are rude, lack enthusiasm in their jobs and treat your request like you owe them the world and not the other way round.
Monday, January 18, 2010
High Court judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan’s controversial ‘Allah’ ruling that rocked the nation over who had rights to the term cited that the Home Minister and government’s actions had been illegal, unconstitutional, irrational and had failed to satisfy that it was a threat to national security.
She also wrote about the apparent conflict in the matter between the Federal Constitution and the various state enactments apart from claims by Muslim groups that the matter cannot be taken to a civil court.
The judge released the written grounds of her Dec 31 judgment late on Friday while the increasingly acrimonious public debate over who has the right to use the word “Allah” continues to rage on.
The Malaysian Insider obtained a copy of her 57-page judgment where the judge lays out the reasons and the laws behind her oral pronouncement.
In laying out her judgment, Justice Lau ruled that the Home Minister and the Government of Malaysia, who were named as 1st and 2nd Respondents respectively, has the discretion under Section 12 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act to issue or revoke a permit to the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Reverend Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (the Applicant) to publish the Church’s newspaper, Herald — The Catholic Weekly.
But, she stressed, the respondents had made decisions that were illegal, unconstitutional and irrational when they barred the Catholic newspaper from publishing the word “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia section.
The case was brought by the Roman Catholic Church, represented by the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Reverend Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam on February 16 last year when he filed for a judicial review against the Home Minister for barring it from using the word “Allah” as part of conditions for getting a publishing permit.
Pakiam is officially the Herald’s publisher.
The Home Ministry has successfully applied for a stay of execution in the ruling pending an appeal.
Below are excerpts highlighting the main disputes.
On why the Home Minister’s ban is illegal
For more read here.