- International Day of Peace
- Peace Be Unto You.
- Lagi Bukti UMNO Tolak Hudud
- Sharing a Malaysia Day birthday is Lee Kuan Yew at 87...
- Supporters of Tun Dr Mahathir would like to hang Nazri Aziz, by his testicles
- Raya One MAlaysia UMNO BERA
- IN THE REACHES OF A MALAYSIAN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS - CAN WE OVERCOME?
- Semua Website Kena Attack?
- Teoh inquest: 'Goodbye' message in mystery note
- Rahul is Indira’s real political heir, can Najib be Mahathir’s real heir?
- Nazri Aziz - PM's Chief Head Kicker
- KENYATAAN MEDIA NURUL IZZAH ANWAR – KTMB
- Will KTMB now be taking us for a PKFZ ride?
- Third petition filed against son's ascension
- Press Statement Nurul Izzah Anwar 7 September 2010 The Ramadhan
- Open Letter to Nazri and Awang Selamat: Who’s the Boss? By
- Open letter to Nazri and Awang Selamat: Who’s the boss?
- Bangkung Row celebrates Malaysia Day - Part V
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 11:57 AM PDT
International Day of Peace is observed today. Throughout the world, all wars and conflict should cease, at least to respect it. However, it is sad to note that the Israeli soldiers are still bombing Gaza Strip amid global calls for Tel Aviv to halt it.
In Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, nobody cares for the Day. The US soldiers are still at their offensive in both Iraq and Afghanistan while warring factions in some parts of Pakistan are still killing each other.
Israel doesnt belong to humanity, I suppose.
The International Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for non-violence. This year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (read his message) is calling on young people around the world to take a stand for peace under the theme, Youth for Peace and Development.
Youth, peace and development are closely interlinked: Peace enables development, which is critical in providing opportunities for young people, particularly those in countries emerging from conflict.
Healthy, educated youth are in turn crucial to sustainable development and peace. Peace, stability and security are essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, aimed at slashing poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child death by 2015.
Why cant we observe the day? To those at war, aren't we sick and tired of it?
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 11:16 AM PDT
Delirious?: Majesty (Here I Am)
Here I am humbled by your Majesty,
Covered by your grace so free,
Here I am, knowing I'm a sinful man,
Covered by the blood of the Lamb,
Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine,
Since you laid down your life,
The greatest sacrifice,
Your grace has found me just as I am,
Empty handed, but alive in your hands,
Forever I am changed by your love,
In the presence of your Majesty,
Here I am humbled by the love that you give,
Forgiven so that I can forgive,
Here I stand, knowing that I'm your desire,
Sanctified by glory and fire,
Now I've found the greatest love of all is mine,
Since you laid down your life,
The greatest sacrifice. And here is the rest of it.
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 11:01 AM PDT
NOTA EDITOR: Di dalam UMNO sebuk-sebuk menuduh PAS mengorbankan "prinsip", terdedah lagi bukti penolakan hukum hudud oleh UMNO. Mengikutpakar perlembagaan negara, Prof Aziz Bari, Perlembagaan Malaysia tidak perlu dipinda bagi membolehkan hukum hudud dilaksanakan. Cukup dengan meluluskan sebuah akta khas di peringkat Pusat.
Menjadi maklumat umum bagi meluluskan sebuah akta, cukup dengan majoriti sahaja di Parlimen dan tidak perlu 2/3 ahli Parlimen menyokong. Bererti cukup dengan ahli-ahli Parlimen beragama Islam mengundi.
Dengan kata lain cukup ahli-ahli PArlimen UMNO dan PAS mengundi untuk membolehkan hudud dilaksanakan.
Sekiranya UMNO membentangkan undang-undang ini di Parlimen sudah boleh memastikan hudud terlaksana di Malaysia sekurang-kurangnya di Kelantan dan Terengganu.
Namun, jelas dan terang, UMNO menolak hudud dan mereka TIDAK AKAN SEKALI-KALI menyokong usaha menlaksanakan hukum jinayah Islam.
Hudud : Tidak perlu pinda perlembagaan
Mon, Sep 20, 2010
aziz_bari1 KUALA LUMPUR: Untuk melaksanakan hukum hudud di negara ini tidak perlu membuat pindaan perlembagaan secara besar-besaran tetapi memadai dengan menggubal sebuah akta dan enakmen.
"Hudud hanya boleh dilaksanakan sekiranya kerajaan yang memerintah bersetuju untuk membentangkannya dan menyediakan prasarana yang diperlukan," kata pakar perlembagaan Prof. Dr Aziz Bari.
Beliau yang juga pensyarah di Universiti Islam Antarabangsa berkata, "oleh kerana hudud adalah dasar PAS dan bukan keutamaan Pakatan Rakyat maka apa yang perlu dilakukan ialah menyakinkan rakyat.
"Apabila rakyat faham dan mahu hudud dilaksanakan kerajaan tidak ada pilihan. Di sini saya setuju dengan kenyataan yang pernah disuarakan oleh bekas presiden PAS, almarhum Datuk Fadzil Noor dahulu. Umumnya rakyat perlu faham dan sokong," ujar beliau seperti dilapor Harakah.
Beliau juga turut menjelaskan tentang kenyataan yang disalah erti oleh media kononnya hudud tidak boleh dilaksanakan dengan pendekatan yang klasikal.
Katanya, beliau bercakap dengan media yang tidak boleh memahami hudud; sebenarnya beliau mengatakan bahawa pelaksanaan hudud dalam negara moden seperti Malaysia perlu dibuat dalam konteks perlembagaan dan undang-undang.
"Dan ini telah pun diikuti dalam pelaksanaan hukum Islam yang lain seperti perbankan Islam, undang-undang keluarga Islam dan seterusnya.
"Kita boleh belajar dari pengalaman masyarakat Islam silam tetapi akhirnya apa yang perlu ditangani sekarang inilah yang menentukan. Prinsipnya tetap dan sama tetapi pelaksanaan menuntut kebijaksanaan dan pengubahsuaian," tegas Aziz.
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 10:11 AM PDT
Here's a story reprised when the Minister Mentor of our neighbouring country was 84.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Lee Kuan Yew at 87, the fire still burns
Kuan Yew celebrates his birthday on Sept 16
Singapore's Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore 's founding father, has always been very direct in his comments. This was the man who outsmarted the communists in Singapore (with the innocent help of Malaya then and the willing help of the British) and who later outwitted the British and outpaced Malaysia in all spheres.
Singapore practices corrupt-free meritocracy and Malaysia affirmative action. The former attracted all the best brains and the latter chased out all the brains. The Singapore cabinet consists of dedicated and intelligent technocrats whereas Malaysia has one of the most unwieldy cabinets. Not only that, brain wise it was below par not even good for the kampong.
With that kind of composition, one that is very brainy, naturally Singapore , with no natural resources could outstrip Malaysia in every aspect of development. Malaysia, on the other hand, was too much preoccupied with its Malayness and the illusory 'Ketuanan Melayu' and was also more interested in useless mega iconic development rather than real social and economic development.
Whenever Kuan Yew utters anything that deemed to be a slight on Malaysia, voices were raised admonishing him. Malaysia would never dare to face reality. That Singapore had shown that it could survive was a slap on those who believed that Singapore would fold up once it left Malaysia. Therefore it was natural that these doomsayers would try to rationalise their utterances to be in their favour to combat on whatever Kuan Yew commented. Its political jealousy.
Singapore achieved its development status without any fanfare. But here in Malaysia, a development that was deceptive was proclaimed as having achieved development status. It was trumpeted as an achievement that befits first world status. This was self delusion. Malaysians are led to believe into a make believe world, a dream world. The leaders who themselves tend to believe in their own fabricated world did not realise the people were not taken in by this kind of illusion.
Lee Kuan Yew believed in calling a spade a spade. I was there in Singapore when the People's Action Party won the elections in 1959. He was forthright in his briefing to party members as to what was expected of them and what Singapore would face in the future. Ideologically, I did not agree with him. We in the University of Malaya Socialist Club had a different interpretation of socialist reconstruction. But he was a pragmatist and wanted to bring development and welfare to the Singaporeans. Well! He succeeded.
Malaysia was so much embroiled in racial politics and due to the fear of losing political power, all actions taken by the main party in power was never targeted towards bringing wealth to all. Wealth was distributed to the chosen few only. They were the cronies and the backers of the party leadership to perpetuate their own selfish ends.
Seeing the efficiency and the progress achieved by Singapore caused the Malaysian leadership to suffer from an inferiority complex. That Malaysia should suffer from this complex was of its own making.
In a recent interview, Kuan Yew said that Malaysia could have done better if only it treated its minority Chinese and Indian population fairly. Instead they were completely marginalised and many of the best brains left the country in drove. He added that Singapore was a standing indictment to what Malaysia could have done differently. He just hit the nail right there on the head.
Malaysia recently celebrated its 50th year of independence with a bagful of uncertainties. The racial divide has become more acute. The number of Malay graduates unemployed is on the increase. And this aspect can be very explosive. But sad to see that no positive actions have been taken to address these social ills.
Various excuses were given by Malaysian leaders why Singapore had far outstripped Malaysia in all aspects of social and economic advancement. Singapore was small, they rationalised and therefore easy to manage. Singapore was not a state but merely an island.
There was one other aspect that Malaysia practises and that is to politicise all aspects of life. All government organs and machinery were 'UMNO-ised'. This was to ensure that the party will remain in power. Thus there was this misconception by the instruments of government as to what national interest is and what UMNO vested interest is.
UMNO vested interest only benefited a few and not the whole nation. But due to the UMNO-isation of the various instruments of government, the country under the present administration had equated UMNO vested interest as being that of national interest. Thus development became an avenue of making money and not for the benefit of the people. The fight against corruption took a back seat. Transparency was put on hold. And the instruments of government took it to be of national interest to cater to the vested interest of UMNO. Enforcement of various enactments and laws was selective. Thus a 'palace' in Kelang, APs cronies and close-one-eye umno MPs could exist without proper procedure. Corruption infested all govt departments, the worse is the police and lately even in the judiciary.
Singapore did not politicise its instruments of government. If ever politicisation took place, it is guided by national interest. To be efficient and to be the best in the region was of paramount importance. Thus all the elements like corruption, lackadaisical attitude towards work and other black elements, which would retard such an aim, were eliminated. Singapore naturally had placed the right priority in it's pursuit to achieve what is best for its people. This is the major difference between these two independent countries.
Malaysia in its various attempts to cover up its failures embarked on several diversions. It wanted its citizens to be proud that the country had the tallest twin-tower in the world, although the structure was designed and built by foreigners. Its now a white-elephant wasting away. It achieved in sending a man into space at an exorbitant price. For what purpose? These are what the Malays of old would say "menang sorak" (hollow victories).
It should be realised that administering a country can be likened to managing a corporate entity. If the management is efficient and dedicated and know what they are doing, the company will prosper. The reverse will be if the management is poor and bad. The company will go bust.
There are five countries around this region. There is Malaysia, and then Indonesia. To the east there is the Philippines and then there is that small enclave called the Sultanate of Brunei. All these four countries have abundance of natural resources but none can lay claim to have used all these resources to benefit the people. Poverty was rampant and independence had not brought in any significant benefits to the people.
But tiny Singapore without any resources at all managed to bring development to its citizens. It had one of the best public MRT transport systems and airlines in the world and it is a very clean city state. Their universities, health care, ports are among the best in the world.
It is impossible to compare what Singapore has achieved to what all these four countries had so far achieved. It was actually poor management and corruption, and nothing more. Everything is done for the vested interest of the few.
Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines and the Sultanate of Brunei need good management teams. They would not be able to do this on their own steam. I would advise that they call on Kuan Yew to show them what good governance is. Why look East to Japan when it is just next door across the causeway.
(The writer is a nephew of Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad. The article is published the way we received it by email from another source. It first appeared under the title Lee Kuan Yew at 84, the fire still burns on the Internet last year, but the message is still as powerful this year. And maybe that is why the story is being re-circulated now as the grand old man of Singapore chalks up another year. Btw, LKY was born on Sept 16, 1923. Many happy returns and good health to him! - Malaysia Chronicle)
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 09:32 AM PDT
Needed most: A strong Opposition M J Akbar
Since the BJP has not finished its debate on 1947, it will be some time before it reaches 2009. With the Left neutered, and the Middle chasing its tail around a cemetery, what options does a voter have in the meantime?
The Left, which could have been taken seriously had it taken itself seriously, reminds one of an anecdote which should be better-known. The ever-punctual Comrade Gorbachev, who huffed and puffed so hard that he brought the whole Soviet house down, was once late for a meeting with a French delegation. He explained to his guests that he had been delayed by a problem in agriculture. When did the problem begin, asked the solicitous French. ''In 1917,'' replied Gorbachev.
Any democracy is hobbled without an Opposition. Are we condemned to replicate Haryana at the national level — where a government wheezes, gasps and limps triumphantly to the finish line because there is no other horse in the race? Haryana is not a particularly reassuring template. In the turbulence between 1967 and 1972, its 'aya ram-gaya ram' defections strategy infected democracy so badly that it destroyed the credibility of non-Congress parties. It is remarkable that Bhajan Lal, who once defected to the Congress with all his MLAs and the office typewriter, should still be a player in state elections. Now that he has allied with Mayawati, he can legitimately claim to have seen everything, been everywhere. She must have been a child when he was chief minister. However, nostalgia does not buy votes. Votes go to those who sell a future, not those who re-brand the past.
Nature and politics have one thing in common: they both abhor a vacuum. In some states, the Congress is doing its best to create its own Opposition. It has firmly rejected another pathetic overture from Lalu Prasad Yadav. Yadav has so much egg on his face that he can breakfast continuously from now till the next assembly polls. In Maharashtra, the Congress has begun to taunt its ally Sharad Pawar as the genie who bottled the sugar and opened the cap on price rise. The Congress is relishing a stalemate in which its primary intention is to make its mate look stale. Pawar's reaction would make a sheep look sheepish.
It is useful to remember, however, that some sheep have been known to change their clothing at the opportune moment. The Congress has, cleverly, taken out some insurance by investing in the next generation: the daughters of Pawar and P A Sangma have a much better equation with Rahul Gandhi than the fathers have with Mrs Sonia Gandhi.
Although Congress numbers are less than half of what Rajiv Gandhi carried into the Lok Sabha in 1985, the comatose inertia of Opposition parties has convinced most Congress leaders that they can replicate Rajiv Gandhi's achievement in the general elections of 2014. Moreover, the Opposition leaders are two decades older, some having fought their last battles and others in their penultimate round, while their leader will be fresh and 44.
More important, the major Opposition parties seem trapped in either geographical or ideological limitations, with their cadre having become part-asset and part-liability. Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose political skills should not be underestimated in a crisis, and who put them on display in a feisty performance in the last Lok Sabha session, has been unable to grow outside Uttar Pradesh. The 'Yadav' alliance with Lalu slips continually on the quicksand of the latter's temperament. The BJP has reinforced its image of conflict by serial civil wars that are breathtaking for their irrelevance. The Left has slipped to a point where its candidate lost her deposit in a Kolkata seat because no one in Bengal understands what Buddhadev Bhattacharya represents anymore, apart from a fibreless diet of good intentions.
The situation is akin to 1985-86. But nature, averse to a vacuum, then threw up an individual to serve as a catalyst. A V P Singh can only emerge from the centre of the spectrum. A claimant from Right or Left has to re-position himself. Atal Bihari Vajpayee became acceptable because he stepped left of the BJP on social issues, and right of the Marxists on economic policy. That is where the sweet spot of Indian politics is located.
Individual dynamics require special circumstances, not to mention the heavy propulsion of hidden political boosters. Singh succeeded because he had terribly long arms; he held the CPM by one hand, and the BJP by the other, while he reinvented himself as an honest politician, sympathetic to minority concerns. It required too much heavy engineering and the end product was so unstable that it kept Delhi politics off-balance for a decade.
History does not repeat itself, but does it imitate itself? The answer will take a while.
Rahul Gandhi is the perfect post-ideological politician. Those who think he is preaching to the choir are missing the point: a significant chunk of the electorate is tired of grand creeds. Rahul Gandhi leaves behind a trail of feel-good bubbles on his travels. Contrast this with the hyperventilation of his cousin, who believes that B-grade histrionics pave the way to stardom.
But disdain for ideology can make you indifferent to ideologues. Pakistan is more than ''just a piece of land''. It is a powerful idea that broke Muslims from Hindus in 1947, Muslims from Muslims in 1971 and has now fomented a toxic civil war that could prove contagious. The hinge of its conflicts is the ideology of the state. Every Pakistani is convinced that the country should be ''Islamic'' but no one is completely sure what this means. At the moment, the argument is being conducted with air force raids, field artillery, roadside bombs, tanks, machine guns and suicide missions.
Obviously, Islamabad does not have the same interpretation as Hakimullah Mehsud, who told Sky News, ''We want an Islamic state. If we get that, then we will go to the borders and help fight the Indians.'' The map of the ''Islamic state'' includes the Kashmir valley. Both sides of the civil war, Army and Taliban, are in complete agreement on the map, and co-operate on the snatch-Kashmir project when they have time left from destroying each other. It is now academic that scholars like Maulana Azad pointed out that faith was never a touchstone for nationalism. The simple fact that the Arabs are spread across 22 nations is evidence that religion is insufficient as rationale for a state.
We Indians are curiously tempted towards a phallic view of geopolitics: size is strength. This is unsupported by our own historical experience. How big was Britain when it conquered those parts of the world worth conquering? A hundred thousand British civilians and soldiers ruled 300 million Indians. They did not have to be WWF wrestlers to do so.
The external threat to the Indian state from the arc of theocratic nationalism is now compounded by an internal threat arising from the anger of the impoverished, who have turned to violence as the last resort since the benefits of economic growth have been creamed off by an acquisitive class. ''Rising India'' promised a theoretical trickle to the teeming base of a bent cone, the famous ''trickle-down theory''. But very little seeped down, for an acquisitive culture is defined by excess. After 17 years of economic reform, the percentage below the poverty line has jumped from 28% to an astonishing 38%. Add the marginals and the homeless, who live outside the fluctuating zone of census statistics, and more than half of India sleeps hungry and hopeless.
The Congress, BJP and CPM have reached a seamless consensus on the need for sustained war against Naxalites, because they have no solution for poverty except for palliatives as a tactic and violence as a strategy. They have the nervous support of some 300 million better-fed Indians. This is why, as even the October election in Maharashtra and Haryana showed, anger against the establishment is either opting to remain outside electoral politics, or searching for the fractious fringe and radical formations.
When the fragmentation of the Congress began in the 60s, it created huge fissures in the ruling space that Congress had occupied since Independence, and provoked the instability of ridiculous coalitions at the apex of power. We are seeing a reverse phenomenon now: the fragmentation of Opposition space, since no Opposition party seems capable of creating a coherent narrative for the poor. This has caused instability at the base, whether in the shape of the massive Naxal challenge or regional agent provocateurs like Raj Thackeray.
The well-armed and unemotional state will probably win the battles against Naxalites, but at the cost of weakening the nation. Weakness is an opportunity for the ideological foe as well as the opportunist. Could China extend the pincer around and within India by extending help to Naxalites? The Chinese, thankfully, have deified Mao and abandoned Maoism, much in the way we have elevated Gandhi to camouflage our disdain for Gandhism. China will be motivated by opportunism rather than ideology but, as any footballer can tell you, a good opportunist scores goals. Moreover, it is much safer to export rubber dolls than it is to export revolution. There will, however, be no reluctance on China's part to destabilize a debilitating India, should we begin to totter under the burden of expanding inequity.
The strength of nations has more nuances than the single dimension of geography. If the new aspirants to high office do not understand this, they will serve neither their personal nor their national interests.
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 09:21 AM PDT
Tuan/Puan lihat dan nilai sendiri:
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 09:13 AM PDT
While in high places serious questions are being asked about whether Singapore is deciding Malaysian policies in the midst of Lee Kuan Yew's renewed dribbling on Malaysia, at ground level the distress is over continuously rising prices.
The compound is a serious erosion of Najib's credibility, him being deliberately reduced to a compare with his predecessor, former Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah), who was seen, among other things, to have been a Singapore dependent.
Taking over from Pak Lah without causing scarcely a ripple in the transition of power, Najib is unclear about his foreign policy, leaving him without an underscore to emphasize a difference of policy or of approach and hence, making him appear vulnerable to the recent protests in Indonesia staged by Bendera.
Some people here say his contestant, Anwar Ibrahim, may have a hand in the protests that were staged in Jakarta and somewhere in Sumatra, a speculation that could simply be meant to show Anwar as the larger regional and international personality between the two.
Najib must acknowledge he is under strong pressure. A lot of people are ready to quit on the Barisan Nasional (BN) and bring in a new regime.
He ought also to accept it as a fact that it is not merely the New Economic Policy that had been bastardized but the BN, and especially Umno, have been monsterized as well, making the coalition no longer feasible as an efficient conveyance of any development policy without "cost abundance" due to unrelenting corruption.
Umno has become overwhelmingly materialistic, led now at the divisional level by a posse of the super-privileged elite of millionaires, many of whom contractors and businessmen with the least interest in political ideology or of social policy. They simply buy power and pay for lucrative contracts.
Since corruption plus arrogance is a compound known to cause the disintegration of societies and bring empires (and nations) to a dead end, what we face is clearly an existential crisis – a final existential halt, or the breakdown and breakup of Umno, BN and Malaysia.
There must be a quick move to reinvent Umno and the BN. It is not possible to believe the coalition can deliver without a thorough structural and ideological change.
Corruption and indiscipline in the BN are, indeed, the root causes of the monumental administrative and developmental dysfunctions that have been causing the widespread despair.
Unless Umno, the backbone of the BN, which is patron-ridden and corrupt at the core, is quickly intercepted by a Golkar-like compact of workers-professionals NGOs (without the participation of the armed-forces), it does look likely that Najib Tun Razak will fail to gain the confidence and credibility he badly needs to make his One Malaysia and New Economic Model (NEM) into a winning number in the 13th general elections.
There is no other way that can be seen or theorized as a means to overcome the Malaysian ethnic-bondage that is back on a Hate-Malays campaign, a simple and sure way of undermining One Malaysia.
This Hate Malays syndrome is a fixed behavior in the Malaysian plurality. It has been there from even before the British Intervention of 1874, the Intervention being Chinese-secured following Chinese secret societies feuds with Malay warlords and rajas taking sides.
Racial conflicts exploded in 1942-46. In Malay perception it then blew into a long-drawn contest for power and resources in the form of the Communist Insurrection from 1948 to 1960 and then again in 1968-80.
The 1969 racial riots which followed a glorious "Sweep Out The Malays" victory parade after the elections in May 1969 had actually a trailer in 1967 in Penang.
Four Malays were killed by Chinese hoods when Chinese processions suddenly became wild and violent on the island.
The Malays retaliated causing sporadic riots lasting for months, the writer and three of his colleagues almost caught in one of these at the end of the year on the border of Penang and Kedah.
There was a trailer to the 1969 riots in 1967. In the Kampung Medan Incident we have a trailer for a catharsis that's on its way if nothing is done to quickly stop the Hate Malays campaign which is now bearing fruits in heated Malay reactions.
In short, we have an existential crisis on our hands and in a region that's being drawn deeper and deeper into a war culture.
With the Senkaku (Diaoyu) spat adding on to the Korean hot-plate, the existential well-being of this nation will need to be first secured in a clarity of purpose, policy, instruments and vehicle before we can remove the specter of the failed state from our minds and the eventual breakdown and breakup of Malaysia, 53 years old and clearly already debilitating.
A Malaysian disintegration will not be like Thailand. It will be more likely a Pakistan with the ethnic replacing the sectarian bases of contests and conflicts, the strings pulled by numerous saboteurs from military intelligence outfits as it is in the ill-fated Muslim state now looking like a nightgown in shreds, which is Pakistan serially raped.
Well, is there really Malaysian unity? Is there Malay unity for that matter? ----- a. ghani ismail, 20 Sept. 2010
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 08:17 AM PDT
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Posted: 20 Sep 2010 06:51 AM PDT
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 07:19 AM PDT
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 07:02 AM PDT
After his passionate defence of displaced tribals in Orissa, analysts have started talking about Rahul Gandhi's left turn. Whoa! Rahul is more pragmatic opportunist than left-wing ideologue.
Remember Indira Gandhi's left turn in 1969? Supposedly for Garibi Hatao, she nationalized banks, abolished privy purses and raised income tax to 97.75%. Leftist ideologues cheered deliriously.
But a few years later, she declared an Emergency and jailed all opponents, leftist or rightist. Her great left turn was not ideological, but a ploy to maximize personal power.
Her left turn was an economic failure: poverty did not fall at all. But it was a massive political success. She crushed the old Congress leadership (called the Syndicate).The main opposition party in 1967 was the Swatantra Party, a coalition of princes and big business. Abolition of privy purses bankrupted the princes, and high income tax rates bankrupted the business class. The Syndicate and Swatantra Party crumbled before her. Only when she put Swatantra, Syndicate and CPM leaders in jail together did it become clear that 'garibi hatao' was a cloak for 'opposition hatao'.
Warning: don't be misled by Rahul's supposed left turn. He too is engaged in very practical politics to oust opponents. He has targeted non-Congress states in his campaign against displacement.
Recently, he went to Orissa as champion of the tribals whose land was being usurped by industrialist Anil Aggarwal for his aluminium factory. Yet, his real target was not Aggarwal but BJD chief minister Naveen Patnaik. After being thrashed by Patnaik three elections in a row, Rahul badly needs a new issue to regain lost ground.
He now plans a visit to Kerala, to support tribals protesting against their land being given to a windmill farm of Suzlon. Guess what: Kerala too is an opposition state, ruled by the CPM-led Left Front.
Corruption and callous treatment of tribals has been widely alleged in the coal and iron ore blocks in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Rahul can afford to bash all three chief ministers, because they belong to the BJP. Winning tribal support here is simply another way of winning back lost ground, including ground lost unwittingly by killing innocents in the campaign against Maoists. You did not hear of Rahul campaigning for tribals when his own party was a coalition partner in Jharkhand.
Illegal iron ore mining is the bane of Karnataka. The Reddy brothers, accused of being the main illegal miners, are now ministers in the BJP cabinet. Naturally, Congress has blasted them. Yet the Reddy brothers respond that the state Lokayukta says companies owned by Congress leaders – M Y Ghorpade, V S Lad and sons, Allum Veerabhadrappa, H G Ramulu, S M Jain and Abdul Wahab — have encroached on hundreds of acres. Congress has not castigated these gentlemen.
Indeed, quite recently, the Reddy brothers were into illegal mining by encroaching on forests in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. They were backed by former Congress chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy, and so bureaucrats dared not act against their encroachment. Only when Rajasekhara Reddy died, and his son Jagan failed in the struggle to succeed him, was it possible to take any action.
Goa is a major producer and exporter of iron ore. The Centre for Science and Environment has written passionately about the anger of local people against environmental damage by the mining companies. But this is a Congress-ruled state, so the mining giants are not in bad odour. Indeed, the biggest mine-owner in Goa is none other than Anil Aggarwal, the very gentlemen castigated by Rahul in Orissa.
By coincidence, almost all the states with embittered tribal populations are ruled by opposition parties. Even other states with agitations against land acquisition — West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh — are opposition-ruled. The fact is that Congress rules very few states on its own, and is often a junior partner where it is part of a ruling coalition. So, Rahul can afford to go on the offensive on land acquisition and tribal displacement.
This is not entirely cynical politics. Land displacement has become a mass issue. Politicians have responded, and i am delighted that the once-powerless tribals are getting some justice. More power to Congress on this. Still, remember that these tribals received far less justice in the old days of Congress hegemony.
We should welcome the change. But let us not attribute this to a sudden ideological left turn on Rahul's part. Like his grandmother, but without her high-handedness, he is resorting to the old strategy of using ideology when it suits his family's quest for power.
SINGAPORE, Sept 20 — Malaysia and Singapore have finally agreed on the land swap deal for Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) in a breakthrough meeting today although the quantum of development charges for the original railway land will be decided later.
Nobel Laureate in Economics Amartya Sen in his book 'Development as Freedom' states that freedom is the most effective way of sustaining economic life. He also puts a premium on education as key to eradicating poverty and raising income levels.
The private sector performs well under conditions of minimal government rules and regulations. Overzealous implementation of the NEP created administrative obstacles and led to corruption. Dr. Mahathir is silent about his crony politics.
I have always felt that luck favored Mahathir. After the Plaza Accord in 1985 when the yen was revalued, Japanese companies sought low cost locations. Wages in Malaysia were low then and Mahathir's Look East Policy favored the Japanese. In fact, Mahathir went out of his way to court FDIs from Japan and South Korea. Professor Dr. Ariff is spot on.
Times have changed. We are now in the 21st century.Mahathir is dreaming of the past. Our labour cost is high and most of Malaysian companies have to rely on relatively cheap labour from ASEAN countries like Bangladesh,Cambodia Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam. This cannot continue because these economies are also growing.
Policies must change to enhance national productivity, and that is the idea behind the New Economic Model–to get us to move from middle-income to high-income economy. Innovation and technology have to drive it since our production cannot be competitive if we remain dependent on labour intensive industries and old production methods. Here human capital development is priority.
Najib's NEM has yet to show us how human capital, innovation and services would be addressed to sustain our future economic development. Affirmative Action policies must be pro-Malaysians, not just the Malays. Mahathirism (crony capitalism) should be abandoned for good if we are to move forward.
As for Mahathir, he should learn to keep his mouth shut since his ideas about the economy are driven by politics, personal interest, and outmoded theories of economic development.
Malaysia's Rapid GDP Growth: External Factors not NEP,
says Professor Datuk Dr Mohamed Ariff
The country's premier economic think tank's ex-chief questioned Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's assertion that the country grew rapidly due to the New Economic Policy (NEP), and instead said Malaysia should thank external factors.
Professor Datuk Dr Mohamed Ariff, distinguished fellow at the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research and its former executive director, also suggested that Malaysia could have grown even faster if the NEP restrictions were absent.
"Mahathir's argument that the country had developed more rapidly under NEP is questionable," Ariff told The Malaysian Insider."Yes, Malaysia under Mahathir's leadership did post impressive growth rates, but that cannot be attributed to NEP. A counter argument would be that the economy grew rapidly — not because of, but in spite of NEP.The high growth rates Malaysia registered during Dr M's premiership was largely due to very favourable external circumstances, driven mainly by strong external demand for exports."
He also warned that the external factors are much less favourable now and NEP type policies could not help the nation. "NEP constraints will impair the country's competitiveness in an increasingly competitive environment," said Ariff.
Mahathir said on Thursday that the country has developed more rapidly under the NEP and the country's performance outpaced other developed nations.
The former prime minister had also said that the controversial NEP, which was introduced in 1971 and
gave economic and other privileges to the Malays, was to help them catch up to other communities and prevent racial riots.
Ariff said that affirmative action was relevant but Bumiputeras were shortchanged by the NEP as it benefitted the elite rather than the poor masses.
"The NEP version of affirmative action could not trickle down as the lion's share of the benefits were arrested at the top by politically well connected people," said Ariff. "No one would deny that all Bumiputeras have got something out of it one way or another, but what they got was crumbs falling out of the table."
Malaysia, once counted as among Asia's most prosperous countries in the 1960's and even through parts of the 1970' fell behind in the following decades.
Despite relatively high growth rates it is not kept pace with its Asian counterparts such as Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan which are now regarded as developed high income countries.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said, however, that affirmative action will be made more transparent and market friendly as part of his new economic reforms to boost the country's competitiveness.
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 06:52 AM PDT
Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister in Prime Minister's Department, is, to say the least, a most controversial character.
I used to call him the PM's chief head kicker (during AAB's reign). Nazri was like a Transformer unleashed when he attacked Dr Mahathir. He has done it again to protect Najib and the PM's 1Malaysia.
Even Sakmongkol (Dr Mahathir's supporter) grudgingly conceded his admiration for Nazri's head kicking style, though he (Sakmongkol) couldn't resist sneaking in a shot at Najib at the same time .
Nazri is disliked for many pronouncements e.g. calling Dr Pornthip a liar.
Today, coincidentally after I published Hats & responsibilities, which discusses Dr Mahathir's lamentable final reversion to his Malay Dilemma's days and attitudes, and through that, his continuous undermining of Najib's various attempts to win back the support of the nons, Nazri wrote an open letter to Awang Selamat, shooting down one of Utusan's foremost bigoted demagogues. I admire what he wrote.
Nazri said in his parting shot at Awang Selamat: "And yes I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?"
I wonder whether Nazri had also intended a non too subtle message for DPM Muhyiddin, the one who's 'a Malay first and then only a Malaysian'.
Muhyiddin has also been perceived as dodgy in his support of the PM's policy, and more aligned with Dr Mahathir, the patron saint of Perkasa.
As I said, Nazri is not known as the PM's head kicker for nothing.
Now, many of you may not remember there's also a decent side to Nazri Aziz. For a start, he is against capital punishment when most in his party including Sakmongkol support the death sentence.
Really, I can never fathom the mentality of educated people who supports state murder ... yup, because that's what capital punishment is, murder sanctified by man-made laws. This is where Asians (e.g. China, Singapore, Malaysia, and even Buddhist Thailand) and some states in the USA are zillions of civilised miles behind (western) Europe, Australia and Kiwi-land.
Then at a time when Eli Wong of PKR was running through a rough patch because of an unconscionable, unethical and unscrupulous bastard, Nazri had actually stood up to console and support Eli while the weaselling spineless PKR leadership was still vacillating. Even MCA's Chew Mei Fun spoke up for Eli.
Nazri had then said: I sympathise with the executive councillor, this thing should have not happened as she is the people's representative and she had been performing her duties.
Therefore, to foil what she has done for the community in this manner is not good. But I hope her spirits (remain strong) and she will not bother about what has happened.
For more of the story, read my post UMNO's Nazri supports Elizabeth Wong, PKR's Khalid Ibrahim equivocates.
I had then lambasted Khalid Ibrahim, writing: For f* sake, just look at what Nazri Abdul Aziz of UMNO had said, in stark contrast to your beating around the bush and preparing the grounds for Eli's dismissal (or forced resignation).
May I remind you again that Nazri is UMNO, you are PKR and Eli is PKR!
Gawd, gasp, omigosh (Eli's lovely expressions), what a f*up party PKR is!
To echo Sakmongkol's words, Looks like "... Najib needs more people like him [Nazri] in the Cabinet after all. If Najib is wimpish he needs others to provide him with the sinews to his bones."
We may not like Nazri for some of his statements, but I have to salute him for standing up to bigoted demagogues like Jabba the Hutt and Awang Selamat.
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 05:53 AM PDT
PENJUALAN LAPAN HEKTAR TANAH KTMB JALAN BANGSAR, KUALA LUMPUR
Adakah rakyat Malaysia ditipu lagi menerusi jualan hartanah terbaru milik Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB)?
Tapak seluas 8ha dan bernilai RM400 juta ini terletak di belakang bekas ibupejabat Unilever di Jalan Bangsar dan dijual kepada Pelaburan Hartanah Bumiputera Berhad yang kini dikenali sebagai Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad (PHB), untuk jumlah yang jauh lebih rendah daripada harga semasa iaitu sebanyak RM50 juta.
Pelaburan Hartanah Berhad adalah anak syarikat Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera, sebuah yayasan ditubuhkan pada tahun 2006 dengan modal RM2 bilion, untuk meningkatkan pemilikan hartanah bumiputra.
Tanah ini, yang dianggarkan bernilai RM500 per kaki persegi, berkemungkinan digunakan sebagai sumber pendapatan tetap untuk KTMB, selari dengan niat awal tanah tersebut yang sepatutnya digunakan untuk kegunaan perkhidmatan kereta api.
KTMB juga sepatutnya boleh membangunkan tanah tersebut secara usahasama ataupun menerima pulangan menerusi sewaan tanah yang dapat memberikan pendapatan berterusan bagi KTMB. Cara sebegini adalah cara bagaimana perkhidmatan MRT di Hong Kong dan Singapura serta London Underground mempertahankan perkhidmatan kereta api mereka untuk kepentingan awam.
Mekanisma pulangan sebegini bukan sahaja dapat menyelamatkan prestasi kewangan KTMB yang kini dalam kerugian, tetapi juga berpeluang membantu rakyat menerusi penurunan harga tiket dan penyediakan perkhidmatan yang lebih cekap untuk rakyat.
Namun, kerajaan memutuskan supaya tanah KTMB di Jalan Bangsar ini dipindah milik kepada Yayasan Amanah Hartanah Bumiputera. Justeru, dapatkah kita andaikan bahawa selepas dibangunkan semula, unit-unit pembangunan akan dijual kepada bumiputera dengan harga diskaun?
Memandangkan tanah KTMB diperolehi oleh PHB dengan diskaun sebanyak 80%, bagaimanakah ianya dapat dinikmati oleh golongan bumiputera? Adakah akan terdapat kawalan bagi memastikan pemilikan bumiputera semasa penjualan unit-unit pembangunan nanti?
Ataupun rakyat terpaksa menelan kekecewaan apabila sekali lagi terpaksa menerima penggunaan tanah kerajaan untuk memperkaya golongan terpilih?
Kita tidak mahu dasar hartanah bumiputera disalahgunakan seperti dalam kes PKFZ, seperti senario berikut:
1) Orang tertentu yang berkepentingan akan menggunakan syarikat persendirian (seperti dalam PKFZ) atau agensi kerajaan atau badan berkanun untuk mewajarkan pembelian tanah kerajaan pada kadar diskaun yang sangat tinggi. Perbezaan ini dikenali sebagai jurang nilai.
2) Semasa fasa pembangunan hartanah, mereka yang berkepentingan akan mendapat faedah sama ada daripada projek usahasama yang berat sebelah, atau melalui kontrak-kontrak yang dianugerahkan kepada kawan-kawan dan keluarga. Ia pastinya dianugerahkan melalui rundingan terus, atau proses tender yang kabur, dengan kos yang melampau, dan akhirnya sub-kontraktor diberi bayaran sangat rendah, supaya untung kontraktor utama dapat dimaksimumkan.
3) Kos pembangunan yang tinggi melampau itu kemudiannya bolehlah digunakan syarikat yang terlibat untuk mendapat pinjaman kerajaan seperti kes jaminan kerajaan untuk bon-bon persendirian dalam kes PKFZ.
4) Syarikat-syarikat kroni ini kemudiannya akan menjual pula unit-unit yang sudah siap untuk golongan bumiputera pada harga diskaun. Walaupun dengan diskaun, harga-harganya masih dikira tinggi untuk rakyat biasa.
5) Pemilik-pemilik bumiputera ini kemudiannya akan dibenarkan untuk menjual hartanah ini pada harga pasaran sebenar (mungkin juga boleh dipaksakan penjualan kepada agensi kerajaan untuk dijadikan pejabat) dengan untung yang sangat besar setelah dicampur dengan jurang nilai.
6) Untungnya akan mengalir ke tangan-tangan persendirian dan bukannya institusi bumiputera. Ini seperti merompak Ahmad untuk membayar Ali (baba).
7) Jika projek ini berakhir tanpa nilai komersial dan tidak mendatangkan keuntungan, sudah tentu kerajaan akan sedia untuk menyelamatkannya dan menggunakan hujah membela bumiputera, untuk menegakkan benang basah.
Bentuk manipulasi keuntungan ini juga dikenali sebagai ketirisan ekonomi.
Sama seperti transaksi tanah KTMB di Tanjung Pagar, Singapura, urusan terbaru ini menimbulkan banyak tanda tanya.
Is seperti satu bentuk subsidi tidak langsung yang hanya menguntungkan segelintir rakyat sahaja sedangkan pada masa yang sama, subsidi untuk majoriti sudah ditarik.
Saya harap saya salah dalam hal ini.
Saya akan memantau perkembangan projek ini dengan lebih dekat, kerana rakyat mengharapkan kepada kerajaan yang telus dan bertanggungjawab.
Oleh itu dalam sesi parlimen akan datang saya akan mencadangkan penubuhan kaukus antara parti untuk pelaksanaan dasar-dasar bumiputera dengan matlamat mengeluarkan laporan tahunan kepada awam tentang hasil dan penerima faedah dasar-dasar ini.
Saya harap, rakyat akan menyertai saya dalam menuntut kerajaan bersikap lebih telus dan bertanggungjawab.
Nurul Izzah Anwar
Ahli Parlimen, Lembah Pantai
20 September 2010
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 05:46 AM PDT
The Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) fiasco had taught the public much of how projects could inflate into a fullblown controversy following cost overruns and other irregularities – all at the expense of taxpayers and to the benefit of politicians and their cronies.
Select few to benefit
Nurul Izzah, however, said the KTMB land sale also raises the spectre of another PKFZ-like controversy recurring in light of information now publicly available of how the latter was manipulated for the pecuniary gain of a select and politically connected few.
Upon the project's completion, would the completed units be sold at deep discounts to selected bumiputeras, while the majority of the rakyat are prevented from availing of such opportunities due the prohibitively high prices?
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 04:32 AM PDT
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:42 AM PDT
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 02:57 AM PDT
Press Statement Nurul Izzah Anwar
7 September 2010
The Ramadhan Bazaar Dilemma – A call for Local Government Elections.
It has come to my knowledge that DBKL had unfairly allocated 93 lots to a selected group of traders affiliated to the dominant political party. Each and every year, DBKL has promised the people that there would be transparency in the allocation of slots. Yet, petty traders are still being sidelined for the benefit of big businesses. It's well known about the political patronage culture where the middlemen, who were awarded these slots for several hundred ringgit, would then resell them for up to even RM20000. Such exploitation has to stop. The spirit of Ramadhan is to empathize with the unfortunate. The strong has to protect the weak. It is the time of sacrifice and perseverance. The greatest jihad is the fight the tension within oneself, where one will eventually remain victorious – a victory over our essential essence as we celebrate aidil fitri.
Sadly some of those in position of power have forgotten the true meaning of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan provides an opportunity for small and petty traders to make a decent living. In fact, almost 60% of their annual income comes from festive events such as this. These traders are the backbone of our nation. They provide the basic necessities to the people at affordable prices. Rather than getting rewarded accordingly, the small traders are being marginalized and penalized by denying them their rightful allocation while a big textile business owner is getting Bazaar slots at the original low rent for resale. The higher rental that the petty trader has to pay becomes an indirect tax whose cost is passed on to the consumers in terms of higher prices.
In an attempt to verify complaints from the traders, I have requested from DBKL the list of the 460 stalls and 30 associations given slots by DBKL for the Ramadhan bazaar. (Attachment 1) I hope that DBKL will not use the excuse of not releasing the details as it is protected under the Official Secret Act. Could anyone imagine that DBKL would classify this list under the OSA? Does assessing this list of license holders pose a threat to national security? The lack of transparency and accountability in government services is undermining the people's trust. Therefore, it is an urgent need to have elected representatives in the city council. Hence I reaffirm the call for Local Government Elections.
Nurul Izzah Anwar Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 01:49 AM PDT
Open Letter to Nazri and Awang Selamat: Who's the Boss? By Nurul Izzah Anwar
20 September 2010
'…I want Awang to know that I am always sure who my boss is. It's not (Lim) Kit Siang nor (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) because they are not prime minister of Malaysia, the chairman of BN or president of Umno.' -Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz in his open letter to Awang Selamat.
Dato' Seri Nazri's open letter to Awang Selamat mentioned many things that caught my attention, which include: his courage in facing criticism by the opposition, his call for Utusan Malaysia to meet its KPI of increased readership and refraining from subverting the 1Malaysia concept by promoting Ibrahim Ali's narrow racism, his claim of his 'parliamentary civility' that led to five opposition MP's crossover and finally, his closing remark of being a Malaysian first and Malay next.
BUT the most significant was his definition of 'Who's the Boss?', which in his case is the Prime Minister.
I believe that the Real Boss of our nation is the rakyat and the Federal Constitution.
If all members of the Malaysian cabinet under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak subscribed to this same belief, then Malaysians in general will benefit from clearer (and firmer) policies, a more sustainable environment for better ethnic relations, and a country where the rights of the many are held high above the interests of the few. First and foremost to living this belief is the commitment to free media, which I urge the administration of Datuk Seri Najib to hold as sacred.
So UTUSAN MALAYSIA has to decide if Datuk Seri Najib, Datuk Ibrahim Ali or even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is their boss.
So where UTUSAN MALAYSIA is allowed to choose who their bosses are, the government can only choose to satisfy their only boss, which is the rakyat.
Therefore, I call upon Dato' Seri Nazri and Awang Selamat to support the call for a Free Media, as a show of loyalty to the real boss of the nation.
Nurul Izzah Anwar
Posted: 19 Sep 2010 05:47 PM PDT
From Nurul Izzah Anwar, via e-mail
'...I want Awang to know that I am always sure who my boss is. It's not (Lim) Kit Siang nor (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) because they are not prime minister of Malaysia, the chairman of BN or president of Umno.' - Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz in his open letter to Awang Selamat.
Nazri's open letter to Awang Selamat mentioned many things that caught my attention, which include: his courage in facing criticism by the opposition, his call for Utusan Malaysia to meet its KPI of increased readership and refraining from subverting the 1Malaysia concept by promoting Ibrahim Ali's narrow racism, his claim of his 'parliamentary civility' that led to five opposition MP's crossover and finally, his closing remark of being a Malaysian first and Malay next.
BUT the most significant was his definition of 'Who's the boss?', which in his case is the Prime Minister.
I believe that the real boss of our nation is the rakyat and the Federal Constitution.
If all members of the Malaysian cabinet under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak subscribed to this same belief, then Malaysians in general will benefit from clearer (and firmer) policies, a more sustainable environment for better ethnic relations, and a country where the rights of the many are held high above the interests of the few.
First and foremost to living this belief is the commitment to free media, which I urge the administration of Najib to hold as sacred.
So Utusan Malaysia has to decide if Najib, Ibrahim Ali or even Dr Mahathir Mohamad is their boss.
So where Utusan Malaysia is allowed to choose who their bosses are, the government can only choose to satisfy their only boss, which is the rakyat.
Therefore, I call upon Nazri and Awang Selamat to support the call for a free media, as a show of loyalty to the real boss of the nation.
The writer is PKR's MP for Lembah Pantai
Posted: 20 Sep 2010 12:48 AM PDT
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