Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reform-Minded? INVITE to book launch on Monday...

Reform-Minded? INVITE to book launch on Monday...


Reform-Minded? INVITE to book launch on Monday...

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 03:54 PM PDT

INVITATION: 8pm Monday, 27 Sept:
Book launch of The Road to Reform: Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor

Dear friends and colleagues,

Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (SIRD) cordially invites you to the launch of the book The Road To Reform: Pakatan Rakyat In Selangor in Petaling Jaya.

The Road to Reform is the first comprehensive introduction to the reform experience in Selangor following from the general election of March 2008 in which Pakatan Rakyat took over from the Barisan Nasional state government. Organised around four core aspects of change – politics, economics, society and culture – the authors focus on both the achievements and the enduring difficulties in delivering on Pakatan Rakyat's ambitions. This concise and accessible book should be compulsory reading for anyone concerned with the policies and politics of change and the state of Malaysia at a critically important crossroads.



The contributors confirmed to attend this book launch are: Abdul Aziz Bari, Wong Chin Huat, Andrew Khoo, Syed Husin Ali, Tony Pua, Gurmit Singh, Barjoyai Bardai, Fahda Nur, Colin Nicholas, Ong Kian Ming, Ahmad Farouk Musa, Sivin Kit & Mavis Puthucheary.



Date: Monday, 27 September 2010
Time: 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Venue: Hotel Singgahsana, Persiaran Barat, off Jalan Sultan, Petaling Jaya (next to Taman Jaya LRT Station)



Programme:
Welcome by Tricia Yeoh (Research Officer to Menteri Besar Selangor)

Speech by YAB Tan Sri Dato' Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (Menteri Besar Selangor)

Official Book Launch and Presentation

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Ismail Gareth Richards (SIRD)

· Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan (Chairperson of BERSIH & Ex-President of Malaysian Bar)

· Edmund Terence Gomez (Professor of Faculty of Economics & Administration, UM)

· Ibrahim Suffian (Director of Merdeka Center for Opinion Research)

· Jacqueline Ann Surin (Founder and Editor of The Nut Graph)



Book sale and signing

Please see the attached file for the flyer.

For queries please contact Chong Ton Sin 016 379 7231 or SK Chua 019 352 3864



Feel free to circulate this invitation to your friends and colleagues.

_________________________________________________________________________________
In Bahasa Melayu :


Majlis Pelancaran buku The Road to Reform: Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor : 8:00 malam Isnin, 27hb Sept



Salam sejahtera,

Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (SIRD) menjemput anda ke majlis pelancaran buku The Road To Reform: Pakatan Rakyat In Selangor di Petaling Jaya.


The Road to Reform merupakan buku pengenalan tentang pengalaman reform Selangor yang pertama lagi menyeluruh, berikutan Pilihanraya Mac 2008, dengan Pakatan Rakyat mengambil alih kerajaan negeri daripada Barisan Nasional. Dengan susunan sekitar empat aspek teras perubahan – politik, ekonomi, sosial dan budaya – Para penulis fokus pada kedua-dua pencapaian dan kesukaran ketika merealisasikan cita-cita Pakatan. Buku yang ringkas, padat lagi mudah diperolehi ini wajib dibaca bagi sesiapa yang prihatin terhadap dasar dan politik perubahan Malaysia pada persimpangan yang penting serta genting ini.

Antara penulis-penulis yang hadir pada majlis pelancaran buku ialah: Abdul Aziz Bari, Wong Chin Huat, Andrew Khoo, Syed Husin Ali, Tony Pua, Gurmit Singh, Barjoyai Bardai, Fahda Nur, Colin Nicholas, Ong Kian Ming, Ahmad Farouk Musa, Sivin Kit dan Mavis Puthucheary.

Tarikh: Isnin, 27 September 2010
Masa: 7.30mlm – 10.30mlm
Tempat: Hotel Singgahsana, Persiaran Barat, off Jalan Sultan, Petaling Jaya (Sebelah Stesen LRT Taman Jaya)


Program

- Kata-kata aluan oleh Tricia Yeoh (Pegawai Penyelidik Menteri Besar Selangor)
- Ucapan oleh YAB Tan Sri Dato' Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (Menteri Besar Selangor)
- Pelancaran Rasmi dan Penyampaian Cenderamata

Diskusi Panelis

Penyelaras: Ismail Gareth Richards (SIRD)

* Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan (Pengerusi BERSIH & Bekas Presiden Majlis Peguam Negara)
* Edmund Terence Gomez (Profesor Fakulti Ekonomi & Administrasi, UM)
* Ibrahim Suffian (Pengarah Merdeka Center for Opinion Research)
* Jacqueline Ann Surin (Pengasas dan Editor The Nut Graph)

Penjualan buku dan tandatangan (sila rujuk pada risalah lampiran)
Sebarang persoalan sila hubungi Chong Ton Sin 016-379 7231 @ SK Chua 019-352 3864

Tolong sebarkan jemputan ini kepada rakan sekerja anda.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GB Gerakbudaya/SIRD
11 Lorong 11/4E
46200 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia
T: +60 (0)3 7957 8343
F: +60 (0)3 7954 9202
W: www.gerakbudaya.com


Boleh Pula Wakil Rakyat Bukan Islam BN Masuk Masjid???

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 12:30 PM PDT


NOTA EDITOR: Dalam sebuk-sebuk Khusrin Munawi menjalankan agenda UMNO/BN memarahi wakil2 rakyat DAP menghadiri program2 masjid, tiba-tiba beliau diam membisu apabila Kamalanathan, MP BN KUala Selangor, mencemar duli dan menghadiri majlis di Masjid Sungai Tenggi Selatan (rujuk gambar. Ini jelas mendedahkan KEMUNAFIKAN Khusrin Munawi sebagai Pengerusi JAIS Dan SU MAIS. JAIS dan MAIS sekarang ini menjadi kuda tunggangan UMNO di Selangor.

Inilah perangai UMNO, agama pun mereka guna untuk kepentingan politik mereka. Boleh pulak Kamalanathan, wakil rakyat BN/MIC masuk masjid. Takda pula kita dengar Khusrin Rahmat melalak ke sana ke mari.


UMNO, Kura-Kura dan Perahu

Sepanjang bulan Rejab, Shaaban dan Ramadhan kita telah dihidang dengan bermacam-macam berita berhubung kononnya berlaku penyalahgunaan Masjid dan Surau apabila Selangor berada di bawah pentadbiran PR. Dengan bantuan pihak media yang telah bekerja keras di sepanjang bulan-bulan tersebut, rakyat Malaysia telah diberikan gambaran seolah-olah Islam tercemar dan terancam oleh kerana sikap 'tunduk kepada DAP' khususnya dan pengundi bukan Islam secara umumnya. Menurut mereka lagi, ini dilakukan demi memperolehi undi, khususnya oleh pemimpin-pemimpin PAS dan parti PAS itu sendiri. Iaitu demi kuasa, kata mereka lagi, kesucian Islam sanggup digadai sehingga orang bukan Islam dibenarkan masuk kerana Surau dan Masjid. Kehormatan ummat Islam tercemar kerana terpaksa menerima sumbangan wang dari orang bukan Islam dan sebagainya.

Saya tidak berhajat untuk mengulas berkenaan isu bukan Islam memasuki ruang solat di Masjid atau surau, bagaimanapun kepada yang berminat bolehlah mengikuti keputusan Majlis Fatwa Kebangsaan berkenaan Hukum Pelancong Bukan Islam Memasuki Masjid Dan Ruang Solat Utama Di Dalam Masjid.

Sehubungan dengan itu, bagi yang mengenali UMNO, segala bentuk dakwaan sedemikian rupa tidak akan mendatangkan apa-apa mudarat. Bagi yang mengenali peranan Pengarah JAIS dan MAIS sebagai kesinambungan wadah kepuraan UMNO dalam bersandiwara, ianya turut tidak memberikan sebarang kesan. Tetapi bagi yang masih 'kabur', saya sajikan beberapa keping gambar yang menjelaskan sifat UMNO yang berkura-kura berpura-pura, pembohong dan memutar-belit fakta tanpa syak lagi.

Gambar 1 & 2 :- Wakil rakyat (ADUN) UMNO memberi tazkirah di Masjid Lama Hulu Bernam dan Masjid FELDA Gedangsa. Adakah beliau mempunyai tauliah? Tidak pula ditimbulkan persoalan penderhakaan kepada DYMM Sultan Selangor oleh Pengarah JAIS.







Gambar 3 :- Ahli Parlimen Hulu Selangor bersama ADUN UMNO menyerahkan sumbangan cek di dalam Masjid Sg. Tengi Selatan. Semua tersenyum lebar dan tiada pula mendakwa di hina atau Masjid tercemar. Ahli Parlimen berkopiah yang telah mengeluarkan fatwa 'penghinaan' terhadap ummat Islam kerana terpaksa menerima sumbangan dari orang kafir, pun mendiamkan diri - mungkin kerana sibuk menikmati juadah raya. Saya juga difahamkan oleh seorang sahabat bahawa ada yang berkopiah kerana hendak bersikap tawaddu', tetapi ada yang berkopiah kerana hendak menyorok 'bald spot'. WaLlahu 'Alam.



Gambar 4 :- Pengerusi MAIS bersama Ahli Parlimen Hulu Selangor, yang digelar 'Ustadz Kamal' oleh beberapa perayu undi UMNO semasa PR kecil Hulu Selangor, hadir bersama dalam majlis gotong royong di perkarangan Masjid FELDA Soeharto. 'Ustadz' berkenaan memakai baju berlambang dacing walaupun di dalam kawasan Masjid. Pengerusi MAIS tidak pula memarahi beliau kerana membawa politik ke Masjid atau menanyakan samaada beliau telah bermandi hadas dengan niat dan cara yang betul.



Gambar 5 :- Jika tidak nampak lambang Dacing dalam gambar 4, jelas sekali dalam gambar 5 ini. Lebih hebat, 'Ustadz Kamal' bersama pengerusi MAIS menyerahkan khat tulisan kalimah Allah kepada salah seorang peserta. Ke mana perginya Ahli Parlimen berkopiah dan mereka-mereka yang lantang bersuara tempohari kononnya ummat Islam telah dihina?



Inilah yang dikatakan sebagai budaya pembohongan dan kepura-puraan mainan UMNO BN. Jika isu berhubung agama Islam pun mereka sanggup putar-belit demi menjaga kepentingan mereka, apatah lagi persoalan pengurusan kekayaan Negara. Ada yang memberitahu saya bahawa Khir Toyo sudah tidak beminat menjadi MB Selangor lagi. Hah! Sememangnyalah begitu! Setelah melihat pendekatan MB dan kerajaan negeri sekarang, pasti beliau menyedari jawatan MB tidak selumayan ketika UMNO bermaharajalela dahulu. Tugas dan kerja pula bertambah berat, pulangan pula hanya tinggal sedikit, tiada lagi 'imbuhan' sampingan dan yang dapat dikaut dari sisi kiri dan kanan.

WaLlahu 'Alam
KHALID SAMAD


Malaysia Watcher.Com!!.....A New Refreshing Kid In Town! Yea!

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 12:34 PM PDT

We are now being watched and be careful. While surfing in Canada recently (last week) I stumbled upon this news portal calling itself Malaysia Watcher, and it i all about Malaysia and you name it they write it. Click here to see the page. Could not ascertain for sure where it is from and who operate the portal but it sounds great reading about Malaysia in a somewhat an un-skewered manner.
The frontnpage is showing the picture above and nicely done and the caption says: " The Prime Minister and Religious co-existence in Malaysia". Thought I will let you pseudo-level headed and pseudo-liberal Malaysians know about this new news online portal and how others perceived us as a nation. I am sure this is not a Malaysian originated-portal, no way, or let alone written by Malaysians, if it is I would very much like to work for them! Cheers! Below is what is written on its front page!


"When one thinks of Malaysia and religious pluralism, the mind of the Western media consumer turns swiftly to controversies over the use of "Allah," desecrated cow heads, and Anwar Ibrahim's anti-Semitism. These things exist: but they are, in a real sense, no more the defining characteristics of Malaysia's religious diversity than the fracas over the "Ground Zero mosque" is the ground truth on America's. The fundamental reality of Malaysia is that it's a multi-faith, majority-Muslim society that largely works, in ways that most of the rest of the Muslim world could learn from. Without denying the real challenges faced by Malaysia as it grapples with the enduring issues of identity that have been with it since before independence, it is nonetheless fair to say that the country is a more just society than most of those in the Islamic world — and in Southeast Asia.

It's in this light that we must view the Prime Minister's recent endorsement of the work of the Inter-faith Relations Working Committee:

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants Malaysia to remain a peaceful nation where the spirit of unity is strong and steadfast among the races.

The Prime Minister said the setting up of the Inter-faith Relations Working Committee – aimed at promoting understanding and harmony – was in line with the 1Malaysia concept to enhance further unity among Malaysians.

Committee co-ordinator Datuk Ilani Isahak said this was what the Prime Minister relayed to members of the Inter-faith Relations Working Committee during a meeting at his office on Tuesday.

It's significant that the Inter-faith Relations Working Committee falls under the supervision of the Ministry of National Unity and Social Development — and not the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The Prime Minister quite deliberately situated the Committee there: it sends a message that Malaysia's religious diversity is a source of strength and cohesion, and it buttresses the 1Malaysia campaign that was launched under his aegis for the purpose of deepening Malaysians' self-identification with their country.

There will be more on this topic to come. The Prime Minister appears to understand quite well that the direction of religious coexistence in Malaysia is in large part set by acts such as this — the demonstration of official favor — and he won't be passive in the face of that reality."



We are not hard up for Indon maids!

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 10:29 AM PDT

We should respect Indonesia's decision to ban prospective maids from going to Malaysia. Kuwait and Jordan are also on the list. Whether the decision has anything to do with the soured diplomatic relations between us and them, we should not be alarmed.

We got options, good ones. We have the Filipinos, Indians, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and others who are also hard working. The Filipinos and Sri Lankans have what most Indon maids dont - loyal and obedient (here).

So, there is no need to be so hard up for the Indonesians. Better if we stop employing them as they also contribute to social problems in the country.

The Indonesian government was so uptight with some abuse cases involving their nationals in Malaysia. We got about 280,000 Indon maids working here... and how many of them were abused? 50,000? 100,000 maybe?

They are human and they serve human. Some human are good while the rest are evil. Some maids are evil too. Did the Indonesian government know how many of their maids working in Malaysia fled with their boyfriends and friends, most of whom are Indonesians as well? They couldnt care less if they run away without their pasports as the Malaysian government would give amnesty mostly every year for those who want to return home.

Does the Indonesian authority know how many of these maids are involved in vice activity as well? Furthermore, are they aware that there are cases involving Indonesian maids abusing babies, children and people in their care? And how many of them were caught stealing from the house they serve?

There are also cases where some maids who left their hubbies and children in Indonesia, cheated their countrymen (and some stupid Malaysian males too) into marriage on the pretext that they are divorcees. Disgusting, isnt it?

Going by ratio, the abuse cases are so small compared with the 'unpleasant' cases they indulged in. The Malaysian authority is always quick in taking action against employers who abuse their maid. There are thousands good employers who treat them as family members, provide them with good lodging, food and others.

In fact, Jakarta should also show appreciation to some good employers who arranged their maid to get the PR status (those who have served them long enough). Some of them are no longer treated as maids but as business partners. And why didnt Jakarta say something soothing about such a golden treatment?

A few cannot speak for many. There could be one or two bad employers in 1,000. If Jakarta is fond of politicising this few cases, they should also know how to appreciate the good ones. When Bendera staged demonstrations at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta and pelted the building with dongs, did we call them evil? Nope!

So, suit yourself if you dont want your maids to work in Malaysia. You may also call home those who are already here. We will not complaint. Its your call, anyway! Sometimes it doesnt pay to be nice and helpful, right?

To the Indon minister, are you aware that most of your maids who have completed their service here refused to go back to Indonesia or to be sent home? You better ask them why!

I think it is time for our government to review the whole policy of employing Indonesian maids. They are not our only source. Rather than employing them, we better set up a special college to train our dropouts in housekeeping. At least, they deserve better wages!


Please lend a hand

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 07:56 AM PDT


Today I'd like to tell you about a courageous young lady. Chetz is the founder of CEKAP (Citizens Empowering K9 And People). In her own words "I love dogs and I'm always learning to give my dogs a happier, healthier and longer life."

Read about Chetz' plans for her canine charges and how you can help here.

Go. Help out a brave young lady doing a great deed. Thank you.


Sekarang Semuanya Treeleeyon, Treeleeyon! Takpe lah dengar aje...

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 08:30 AM PDT

Not so long ago Bodohwi announced his RM1.30 trillion Economic Corridors. As recent as 10th May 2010 he insisted his Corridors are still on track.

Today, Najib's Jala unveiled a new RM1.40 trillion Economic Transformation Plan and tells Malaysians to keep the faith. He is the same guy who said Malaysia will be phok kai by 2019 if we do nothing about current subsidies.

I do not think many are quite so impressed but we must keep the faith don't we? After all, we are also told UNCTAD's figures of plunging FDI for Malaysia are wrong. By the way is FDI considered private sector funding?

Read the following Malaysia Insider and Malaysiakini reports and you decide lah:

******************************************************************

Idris Jala asks Malaysians to keep the faith
By Lee Wei Lian September 21, 2010


Idris wants the people to believe in the country.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Keeping up public confidence in a country wracked by divisive racial and political debates appeared to be the main concern of Pemandu chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala who today implored Malaysians to maintain their faith in the country.

He said it was important to have "positive energy" and believe in the country in order to give confidence to investors.

"If there is no hope for the future, there is no power in the present," said Idris.


The former Malaysia Airlines CEO acknowledged the fractious racially-tinged debates that appeared to dominate national discourse but called on Malaysians to move on.

"When we compete with many nations, if we get vortexed into discussions (on affirmative action) that are not constructive, we can't get to implement the entry-point projects," he said, referring to the perennial debates over whether there should be a level playing field for all races.

The issue of confidence comes as private investment is reported to be on the decline over the past four years even as the Economic Transformation Programme calls for the private sector to drive the economy.

Observers note that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been pushing for economic reforms but resistance from conservative groups has appeared to prevent the radical restructuring needed to turn the nation into a high-income developed economy.

When pressed by the media on whether ethnic quotas will be lifted, the Pemandu CEO acknowledged that the "specific privileges" given to Bumiputeras under the constitution will continue but said any assistance would be based on merit.

"Affirmative action will continue but redefined to be much more transparent and fair," he said. "It will focus on need and merit. We all agree — whether Malays, Chinese or Indians — that the poor need to be helped."

He added that not all Bumiputeras required assistance and those who didn't should compete on a level playing field.

"Those Bumiputeras who do not need to be helped, we would like them to compete on an even playing field with non-Bumiputeras," he said. "That is how you become strong."

Idris noted that in the labs conducted by Pemandu, there were no racial issues that came into play during discussions on how to transform the economy.

"Under the New Economic Model, all of us need to share in prosperity that goes on for a long time," he said. "It is clear we need to start growing the economy."

Idris said national unity was essential for the nation's advancement and that the country needs to be mindful of global competition.

"No football team can be champions without being united," he pointed out. "We are competing in a global race where there are a lot of good competitors."

He also made an impassioned plea for Malaysians to avoid "destructive talk and wasteful academic and philosophical debates" on racial issues.

"The private sector is prepared to put in money but they want the government to put in support," he said.


******************************************************************

Bold RM1.4 trillion plan to transform economy
Royce Cheah Sep 21, 10 12:21pm

Malaysia on Tuesday unveiled ambitious plans to boost its economy by mobilising hundreds of billions of dollars of private investment, although questions remained over whether the money would materialise.

The plans ranged from a new mass transit system to relieve congestion in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to building a huge oil storage facility next to neighbouring Singapore to form a regional oil products trading hub.

A government thinktank said it had identified investments worth RM1.376 trillion (US$444 billion) over 10 years, of which 60 percent would come from the private sector, 32 percent from government-linked companies and 8 percent from government.

The investment aims to double per capita income and push Malaysia into the ranks of "developed" nations by 2020, rebalancing Asia's third most export-driven economy towards domestic demand and the service sector.

These numbers 'pie in the sky'

"The plan does not provide a clear sense of where the money is coming from. A lot of these numbers are pie in the sky," said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia specialist at Singapore Management University.

Malaysia is competing for investment with other fast-growing countries in Southeast Asia and neighbouring Indonesia recently unveiled plans to boost infrastructure too.

In the past 10 years, private companies invested just RM535 billion (US$172.4 billion), according to official data and Malaysia's private investment rate of around 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) is among the lowest in Asia and a third the level it was before the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

The government, which in 2009 ran its biggest budget deficit in 20 years as a percentage of GDP, contributes around half the investment in Malaysia and the minister in charge of presenting the investment plans said the new targets were credible.

"I don't think the government would publish a document that thick if there is no political will. It's a risky strategy to expose yourself so publicly when you have no plan to do it," Idris Jala told a public presentation on the plans.

The plan relies heavily on domestic capital as foreign direct investment in this country which in the early 1990s accounted for almost 40 percent of the Southeast Asian total accounted for just 3.8 percent in 2009, according to United Nations data.

Malaysian companies like leading bank CIMB and telco Axiata have started building a regional presence in large, fast growing countries, such as Indonesia.

Economists warned without a new policy framework to encourage investment the Malaysian plans would be hard to realise.

"It will be difficult to achieve the private investment growth target set by the government if there are no additional tax incentives given to the focus sectors," said Gundy Cahyadi, regional economist at investment bank OCBC.

New jobs would be 'middle-class'

The plans aim to create another 3.3 million jobs by 2020, many in the high-value service sectors such as Islamic finance. Idris said 46 percent of the new jobs would be "middle-class".

Despite churning out tens of thousands of graduates, Malaysia's education system has failed to deliver and is becoming increasingly polarised by arguments over language between the majority Malay population and minorities such as the large ethnic Chinese population.

The government thinktank that designed today's investment plan said that in 2003 Malaysia had just 21,000 finance and accounting professionals qualified to be employed by multi-national companies compared with 341,000 in India and 127,000 in the Philippines.

"How can you create middle-class jobs when you do not have an education system that works," said Singapore Management University's Welsh.

There is also policy risk in Malaysia. Recent plans for a radical overhaul of the country's costly subsidy regime proposed by the same thinktank that outlined the investment plans were shot down by government politicians who feared unpopularity
.


Next Post

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 06:44 AM PDT


This was the e-mail I received yesterday from British Member of Parliament Nick Clegg who is the Leader of the Liberal Democrats as well as Deputy Prime Minister of Britain. Below that is his speech delivered at the party conference yesterday. If only the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia could think and talk like this. (This article is about 10 pages long but worth reading).


related article


Nurul Izzah Anwar "…I want Awang to know that I am always sure who my boss is

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Petra,

Imagine you're asking a friend or neighbour to vote Liberal Democrat in the 2015 General Election.

Imagine how it will feel to say that in Government, the Liberal Democrats scrapped ID cards. To say we cut crime while stopping Labour's mass incarceration of children. That finally we have a fair tax system where the rich pay their share – and the lowest earners pay no income tax at all. You'll say we brought troops home from Afghanistan after they'd finished the difficult job we sent them to do.

You'll be able to tell people they have a new right to sack MPs who do wrong, and that the party funding scandals of the past are history. And if we campaign hard enough in the referendum on Fairer Votes you'll be able to say the clapped out First Past the Post system is gone for good.

That is the goal, the prize, that I have set out in my speech to our Party Conference today.

In 2015 Britain will be a different country. For five years you and I will give it a different kind of government and a new politics. Five years of transforming the state and reversing generations of centralisation.

Five years of delivering fairer taxes, a fair start for every child, a rebalanced green economy, a cleaner politics – as we promised to do in our Liberal Democrat election manifesto.

The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are and always will be separate parties, with distinct histories and different futures. But for this Parliament we work together to fix the problems we face and put the country on a better path.

This is the right Government for right now.

Our first job is a difficult one – balancing the budget.

Let me be clear with you about this – we are not dismantling the state. Even when all the cuts have happened, the Government will still be spending the same proportion of national income as it did in 2006. We will not repeat the mistakes of previous recessions.

But to delay solving the deficit would mean the Government would soon be paying £70 billion a year on interest payments alone. We cannot ask our children to pay our credit card bills.

We have to do it so that Britain in 2015 can be a different country.

Strong, fair, free. A country we can be proud to hand on to our children.

Thank you for all your support and all your hard work. Together we will change Britain for good.

All best wishes,

Nick Clegg MP

Leader of the Liberal Democrats & Deputy Prime Minister

****************************************

Nick Clegg's speech to Autumn Conference

Mon, 20 Sep 2010

"Britain in 2010 is anxious, unsure about the future, but Britain in 2015 will be a different country. Strong, fair, free and full of hope again. A country we can be proud to hand on to our children. That is the goal we must keep firmly fixed in our minds. That is the prize."

Speaking at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference today, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

Check against delivery

Two and a half years ago, I stood in this very hall to make my first speech as Leader of our party. I said that the chance for change was within our reach, and we had to seize it. That chance came. Perhaps not quite in the way many of us could have expected.

But the chance came and you – we – responded with real courage and conviction.

Cynics expected us to back away. Instead, we confounded those who said that coalition Government was impossible. We created a Government which will govern and govern well for the next five years.

Of course there are those who will condemn us. We are challenging years of political convention and tradition and our opponents will yell and scream about it. But I am so, so proud of the quiet courage and determination which you have shown through this momentous period in British political history.

Hold our nerve and we will have changed British politics for good. Hold our nerve and we will have changed Britain for good.

Just think what we've done already. We've ended the injustice of the richest paying less tax on investments than the poorest do on their wages. We've guaranteed older people a decent increase in their pension. In November, we will publish a Freedom Bill to roll back a generation of illiberal and intrusive legislation. By Christmas, Identity Card laws will be consigned to the history books. From New Year's Day, the banks will pay a new levy that will help fill the black hole they helped create. On 1 April, 900,000 low earners will stop paying income tax altogether. In May, the people of Britain will get to choose their own voting system. And this time next year, there will be a pupil premium so the children who need the most help, get the most help.

We've always been the face of change. We are now the agents of change. And every single person in this room is part of that change. Actually there's one contribution you all made to the success of the coalition negotiations that you probably aren't aware of. Our formidable negotiating team got all the training they needed battling out policy right here on the conference floor.

Some things are different in government. Some are the same. I still think the war in Iraq was illegal. The difference is lawyers now get anxious when I mention it. I still believe in our commitments to the developing world. The difference is I get to make those commitments at a UN summit and make them happen. I still campaign for political reform. The difference is I'm now legislating for it as well. The only real problem is I'm still trying to explain to my children that going from leader to Deputy PM isn't a demotion.

We will take risks in government. But we will never lose our soul. We haven't changed our liberal values. Our status is different but our ambition is the same.

Remember the four big promises we made in the election campaign? For the first time in my lifetime, Liberal Democrats are able to deliver on those promises.

We promised no tax on the first £10,000 you earn. We've already raised the personal allowance by £1000. And in the coming years we will go further to put money back in the pockets of millions of low earners.

We promised more investment in the children who need the most help at school. It will happen at the start of the next school year.

We promised a rebalanced, green economy, a new kind of growth. Already we're taking action on the banks. We've set up a regional growth fund. There will be a green investment bank to channel money into renewable energy. These are the first steps to rewire our economy. New jobs, new investment, new hope.

And we promised clean politics. We're giving people the chance to change our voting system, cleaning up party funding and finally, a century after it should have happened, we are going to establish an elected House of Lords.

Those pledges we made, together, in the election of 2010, will be promises kept in the election of 2015. The Coalition Programme, which commits the government to making all these changes, is not the Liberal Democrat manifesto. But it is not the Conservative manifesto either. It is our shared agenda. And I stand by it. I believe in it. I believe it will change Britain for good.

Now, some say we shouldn't have gone into government at a time when spending had to be cut. We should have let the Conservatives take the blame. Waited on the sidelines, ready to reap the political rewards. Maybe that's what people expected from a party that has been in opposition for 65 years. People have got used to us being outsiders, against every government that's come along. Maybe we got used to it ourselves. But the door to the change we want was opened, for the first time in generations.

Imagine if we had turned away. How could we ever again have asked the voters to take us seriously? Labour left the country's coffers empty. So the years ahead will not be easy. But you do not get to choose the moment when the opportunity to shape your country comes your way. All you get to choose is what you do when it does. We chose a partnership government.

The truth is I never expected the Conservatives to embrace negotiation and compromise. But they did and it does them credit. David Cameron showed he could think beyond his party and help build a new kind of politics. The election result didn't give a single party the mandate to govern. It gave all parties the mandate to govern differently. We answered that call. And one of the most remarkable surprises of this Coalition Government is that our parties are not, despite so many cynical predictions, simply settling for the lowest common denominator between us.

Instead, we have become more than the sum of our parts. For those of us who believe in plural politics, that's not a surprise. In life, two heads are usually better than one. And in politics, too, when the country faces grave challenges – the deficit, the threat of climate change, a war in Afghanistan, millions of children trapped in disadvantage – two parties acting together can be braver, fairer and bolder than one party acting alone.

The new politics – plural politics, partnership politics, coalition politics – is the politics our nation needs today. The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are and always will be separate parties, with distinct histories and different futures. But for this Parliament we work together: To fix the problems we face and put the country on a better path. This is the right Government for right now.

Our first job, however, is a difficult one. Balancing the budget. I did not come into politics to make spending cuts. But it is the only choice if we want to steer Britain out of the economic mess Labour made. The only choice if we want to bring back hope and optimism to our nation. We are gripped by a crisis, and it's the worst kind: it's invisible.

You can't see the debts mounting up.

Walk the high street, go to work, talk to your friends, you won't see the signs of our debts or our deficit. The numbers sound alarming, but in the end they're just numbers. It doesn't feel like we can't afford things.

So how did this debt crisis happen? Put simply, over the course of the recession, 6% of our economy disappeared. The shock was so profound that even now the economy is growing, we are poorer today than we thought we would be. All the old predictions about our future economy – predictions on which spending plans had been based – have turned out to be wrong. We can't keep spending money as if nothing had changed.

The problems are there. They are real. And we have to solve them. It's the same as a family with earnings of £26,000 a year who are spending £32,000 a year. Even though they're already £40,000 in debt. Imagine if that was you. You'd be crippled by the interest payments. You'd set yourself a budget. And you'd try to spend less. That is what this government is doing.

This isn't new for Liberal Democrats. Speak to councillors who've led councils across the country; they know what it's like to pick up the pieces after Labour spent a community dry. Newcastle, Sheffield, Lambeth, Southwark, and right here in Liverpool. Our Council leaders know the poorest are the ones that suffer when the finances get out of control and money has to be spent on debts. They know there is nothing fair about denying you have a problem and leaving it for the next generation to clear it up. Would you ask your children to pay your credit card bill?

I've heard some people say that the cuts we are making are somehow taking Britain back to the 1980s, or the 1930s. Dismantling the state. It isn't true. Even when all the cuts have happened, we will still be spending 41% of our national income – the same amount we were spending in 2006.

The Spending Review is about balance and responsibility not slash and burn. Of course, I wish there was a pain-free alternative. Who wouldn't? But whatever Labour say now, there isn't one. Not even in Alistair Darling's old plans – they too would have meant massive cuts. Delay won't solve the problems – in fact, it would make them worse.

We could have decided to go more slowly but it would have worsened not eased the pain. Because every day you ignore a deficit, it gets harder to fix. The debts mount up and you have to pay interest on them. Already we are spending £44bn a year on interest alone. Under Labour's plans, that would have risen to nearly £70bn. A criminal waste of money that shouldn't be lining the pockets of bond traders. It should be paying for police, care workers, hospitals and schools.

That's why this government's aim is that by the time of the next election, our debt problems will be solved; our debts falling as a proportion of national income. We will have wiped the slate clean for a new generation.

In making these changes we will learn from the mistakes of previous recessions.

We will not repeat the mistakes of the 1980s in which whole communities were hollowed out. I know from my constituents in Sheffield how worried people are that cuts will hurt the North in the way the industrial changes of the 1980s did. So let me say to everybody in those communities, in Scotland and in Wales, many of whose lives were torn apart. Yes, it will be difficult, but it will not be like the 80s. We will not let that happen. We will make these cuts as fairly as possible.

Finding money for the pupil premium to help children get the best start in life. Reforming welfare to help people get back to work.

We will not let capital spending – investment in new buildings, infrastructure and repairs – be swept away as it has in the past. We have a billion pound Regional Growth Fund targeted specifically at creating growth in those areas of the country that have been dependent on public sector jobs. We've offered a National Insurance tax break to employers who set up new companies outside London and the wider South East. And we are determined to wean the economy off Labour's lop sided obsession with financial services in the City of London. Rebalancing our economy – so opportunity is never again concentrated only in the south east corner of our island. So no matter what your background or where you live, you have the opportunities you crave.

The destination is the right one but getting there is going to be hard. To those thousands of people who work in the public sector, who do such an outstanding job in our schools, hospitals, police forces and local councils, I say this:

I know these are very unsettling times for you. I will not disguise the fact that we need to take difficult decisions today to ensure there are good, affordable public services tomorrow. We have protected the funding for the NHS, the biggest public service of all.

We will provide more, not less, money for the children in our schools who need the most help. But I know you will be thinking: why should you have to make any sacrifices to deal with a recession you didn't cause?

Why are the bankers who helped create the mess not taking more of the blame? Why should you have to accept a pay freeze, or changes to your pension, when the richest still get away with paying little or no tax at all? I agree.

That's why we imposed a levy on the banks in our first budget. It's why we're working hard with our friends in Europe and beyond on the idea of a financial activities tax on profits, pay and bonuses. It's why we're going to be forcing the banks to own up about the ludicrous pay and bonuses they give out. It's why our Banking Commission is looking at whether to split the banks up completely to keep our economy safe. And it's why we're working flat out to get the banks lending again to small businesses, the lifeblood of our economy.

We have done more in five months than Labour ever did to sort out the greed and the recklessness of the banks. Our approach is simple: they helped bring down our economy. It must never happen again.

People who avoid and evade paying their taxes will no longer get away with it either. We all read the headlines about benefit fraud. We all agree it's wrong when people help themselves to benefits they shouldn't get. But when the richest people in the country dodge their tax bills that is just as bad. Both come down to stealing money from your neighbours.

We will be tough on welfare cheats. But unlike Labour, we'll be tough on tax cheats too. We will crack down on the super rich who hide away money overseas. We will take on organised crime gangs set up to avoid tax. And we will prosecute five times as many tax cases as Labour ever did.

So the message is loud and clear: Just as the public sector must be made affordable, the banks must be held to account. And tax avoiders and evaders must have nowhere to hide.

I want to make something crystal clear about the coming Spending Review. It is not an ideological attack on the size of the state. There is one reason and one reason only for these cuts: As Liam Byrne said in that infamous letter: there isn't any money left.

It's not smaller government I believe in. It's a different kind of government: a liberating government. This government will transform the state. Reversing generations of centralisation. Putting power into people's hands. Because the job of government is not to run people's lives. It is to help people to run their own.

I want Britain to have the best schools and hospitals in the world. But that doesn't mean we should be controlling them all from Whitehall. Governments that have the arrogance to imagine that 100 ministers and 1,000 civil servants can fix the country all by themselves. Governments like that fail.

So we will restore power to people, families, communities, neighbourhoods and councils. Turning the tide of centralisation and for the first time giving power away. Councils, like all parts of government, are going to have to make do with less money in the years ahead. But they will have more freedom than ever before.

Labour rattled on about decentralisation, but they held the purse strings tight. We are different; we are liberal. Because we will put local government back in charge of the money it raises and spends. That's why in our first budget we unlocked more than a billion pounds of ring-fenced grants. That's why we will end central capping of Council Tax. That's why we will allow councils to keep some of the extra business rates and council tax they raise when they enable new developments to go ahead.

And I can announce today that we will be giving local authorities the freedom to borrow against those extra business rates to help pay for additional new developments. This may not make the pulses race, even at a Liberal Democrat conference. But I assure you it is the first step to breathing life back into our greatest cities.

Our leaders in Sheffield say it could allow the redevelopment of derelict mines in the Don Valley; our leaders in Newcastle believe this could help them create a new science park; in Leeds they argue the Aire Valley could be transformed. But whether in Newcastle, in Sheffield, in Leeds or indeed in every city in the UK. What matters most is that finally, they will be in the driving seat, instead of waiting for a handout from Whitehall. Local people, local power, local change.

The same approach – financial freedom – is governing our relationship with Scotland and Wales, too. That's why we are taking forward the Calman Commission to give Scotland real freedom and responsibility over its own money. And why, if the referendum for more devolution in Wales is successful, we will take forward a similar process for the Senedd. Giving the nations of the UK the freedom they deserve.

Putting power in local hands is one of the many things Labour never really understood. The Labour leadership candidates are trying to rewrite history. But we remember. Civil liberties destroyed on an industrial scale. A widening gap between rich and poor. Failure to act on the environment. Locking up more children than anywhere else in western Europe. Kowtowing to the banks. A foreign policy forged in George Bush's White House. The invasion of Iraq.

And then, on top of all that they brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Writing cheques, even in the final days of their government that they knew would bounce. This country could not have borne five more years of Labour.

Has anyone else lost track of the books Labour people keep publishing? Never in the field of political memoirs, has so much been written by so few about so little. They went from nationalisation to serialisation. From The Third Way to a third off at the book shop.

And the next generation is still fighting the same backstabbing battles instead of talking about the future for Britain. We held a public consultation about the Spending Review.

We had 100,000 ideas from members of the public about how to cut waste and do things more effectively. And not a single idea from the Labour Party.

I want to say something to whoever is elected as the next Labour leader. You cannot duck difficult choices forever. All you have done in the last four months is carp and complain. But a decent opposition has to provide a decent alternative. Your party let people down in government. Until you face up to your responsibility for the state we're in you'll let people down in opposition too.

Labour did some good things, of course they did. But just think what they could have done. With enormous majorities, 13 years and money to spare. The best opportunity for real fairness there has been in my lifetime. But imprisoned by timidity they squandered a golden age.

We must now take up the challenge that Labour ducked. We must do more, even though they left us with less. When faced with the daunting task of reducing our deficit, the temptation might have been to go slow elsewhere. One difficult task at a time – that would have been the cautious response. But it wasn't our response.

Because I believe at times of great difficulty, great things can still be done. At times of great difficulty, great things must be done. Some say we've bitten off more than we can chew. I say there's no time to wait. We could wait to solve the welfare crisis, but every day people struggle to get back into work. We could wait to give our children a better start at school, but they only get the chance to grow up once. We could wait to reform our prisons, but every day offenders leave prison and go straight back to crime. We could wait to cut the deficit, but every day, we spend £120m servicing our debts, and that's £120m we can't spend on our children.

We have four years and seven months before the next election. 1690 days. We're not going to waste a single second. There is no time for the old go-slow, timid governments of the past. We're keeping our eyes on the horizon, not on the headlines. Building, brick by brick, day by day, the changes Britain needs.

Of course the ambition of these reforms will provoke controversy. I know some people, for instance, are worried about our plans for expanding Academies, as we heard this morning.

It wouldn't be Liberal Democrat conference if we didn't have a motion that provoked strong passions on both sides. The great thing is that all Liberal Democrats share a passion for education. When it comes to lasting fairness education is everything.

So I want to be really clear about what the government is proposing. It's not Labour's academies programme: a few schools singled out for preferential treatment – a cuckoo in the nest that eats up attention and resources. We're opening up the option of Academy freedom to all schools. Because if one head teacher is free to run their classes in the way they know is best, why shouldn't all head teachers be free?

My vision is that every school, in time, will be equal, every school equally free. But there's one freedom new schools shouldn't have. Freedom to select. The whole concept of our reforms falls apart if you use it to expand selection – because instead of children and parents choosing schools, you get schools choosing children. So we have made it absolutely clear: we will allow people to set up new schools but we will not allow them to pick and choose the brightest. No to more selection.

Welfare reform will be controversial too. Benefit reform is difficult in times of plenty, but essential when money is tight. Labour's welfare system simply isn't fair. It pays people to live without hope of a better life instead of paying to help them build a better life. A liberal welfare system is different. It's built around work. I believe in work. Work is essential to a person's sense of self worth, their identity.

We will only build the fair, mobile society we want. If we make it easy for everyone to get out to work and get on in life. And that's what this government will do.

So the immediate future will not be easy, but the long term prize is great. I want you to imagine what you will say to people when you knock on their door at the next General Election.

Imagine how it will feel to say that in Government, Liberal Democrats have restored civil liberties, scrapped ID cards, and got innocent people's DNA off the police database.

Imagine how it will feel to say that our Government has taken action to cut reoffending, and cut crime, while stopping Labour's mass incarceration of children.

We will have withdrawn our combat troops from Afghanistan, our brave servicemen and women having completed the difficult job we asked them to do.

You will be able to explain that finally, we have a fair tax system where the rich pay their share, and the lowest earners pay no income tax at all.

Our banking levy will have raised £10bn, reckless bonuses for short term gain will have ended, and banks will be lending responsibly again.

Imagine how it will feel to visit home after home that our Green Deal has made warm and affordable to heat.

You'll be able to tell people they have a new right to sack MPs who do wrong, and that the party funding scandals of the past are history.

You'll be campaigning alongside Liberal Democrat candidates for the House of Lords.

And if the British people say yes to the Alternative Vote in the referendum next May – forcing MPs to work harder for your vote – then you will also be able to say that the clapped out politics of First Past the Post is gone for good.

To those who are angry now about the difficult decisions needed to balance the budget you'll be able to show that those decisions have set us on a better course with new growth and jobs that last.

And, finally, you'll be able to say that all this has been delivered by a totally new way of doing politics. Never again will anyone be able to frighten the voters by claiming that coalition Government doesn't work. Liberal, plural politics will feel natural; the sane response to a complex and fast-changing world. Just imagine how different our country will be.

Britain in 2010 is anxious, unsure about the future, but Britain in 2015 will be a different country. Strong, fair, free and full of hope again. A country we can be proud to hand on to our children. That is the goal we must keep firmly fixed in our minds. That is the prize.

The years ahead will not be easy but they will make the difference our country needs. Stick with us while we rebuild the economy. Stick with us while we restore our civil liberties, protect our environment, nurture our children and repair our broken politics. Stick with us and together we will change Britain for good.



Menteri Besar NS - Giliran Kuala Pilah ?

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 01:17 PM PDT

Posting saya sebelum ini, yang mengisahkan bekalan air yang terputus setiap hari lebaran dikampong mendapat reaksi yang sangat besar dari pembaca khususnya bagi mereka yang tinggal atau berasal dari mukim dan kariah yang sama dengan saya.

Sebenarnya saya terpaksa menulisnya secara terbuka kerana kesiankan orang kampong saya dan kampong-kampong sekitarnya telah merasakan kepayahan dan keresahan sejak beberapa tahun yang lalu kerana kelalaian pihak yang berwajib untuk menyempurnakan tanggungjawab mereka.

Pemimpin-pemimpin politik tempatan khususnya W/Rakyat yang merupakan 'Law Makers' diDewan Undangan Negeri sepatutnya memberikan fokus terhadap isu kemudahan asas untuk rakyat hidup dalam keadaan selesa dan tidak menghadapi masalah air yang merupakan asas seseorang itu untuk hidup.

Mereka sebagai W/Rakyat sepatutnya membuat pemantauan terhadap isu sensitif ini dan mempastikan tugas yang sepatutnya dilakukan oleh pelaksana (pegawai kerajaan) ini disempurnakan sebagaimana yang telah didasarkan oleh pihak penggubal dasar diNegeri Sembilan.

Itulah sebabnya semasa saya berada dalam barisan pimpinan UMNO diKuala Pilah dahulu saya selalu memberikan pandangan kepada pemimpin-pemimpin ditempat saya supaya mencari pemimpin yang bersedia untuk memberikan tumpuan khusus untuk orang ramai dari memberikan tumpuan kepada bermain politik siapa yang menang dan siapa yang kalah.

Oleh kerana terlalu ramai yang hendak menjadi pemimpin maka berlakulah budaya mengampu dan diampu dikalangan pimpinan dikawasan ini. Setengah yang tidak ada kepimpinan mengampu kepimpinan peringkat negeri dan mulalah pemainan politik wang yang tidak dapat dikawal sehingga kehari ini.

Menjadi perwakilan cawangan keperwakilan bahagian dalam tahun pemilihan mampu mengumpul wang sogokkan dari pihak yang tidak ada kepimpinan yang ingin menjadi pemimpin yang tidak 'legitimate'. Sekarang ini menjadi perwakilan cawangan keperwakilan bahagian boleh menambah pendapatan dengan lumayan.

Akhirnya yang timbul itu hanyalah sampah sarap dan yang baik itu tenggelam dan hanyut debawa arus rasuah yang sangat ganas kemuara. Yang akhirnya sengsara adalah rakyat marhin dikampong-kampong seperti apa yang dihadapi oleh kampong-kampong yang saya tulis dalam posting yang lepas.

Ismail Lasim adalah Ketua Bahagian Kuala Pilah yang menjadi Ketua kerana budaya mengampu dan permainan politik wang yang keterlaluan. Ismail merupakan seorang yang hanya bergayut kepada pemimpin perhubungan. Siapa yang menjadi pemimpin perhubungan itulah ketua dan akan taat kepadanya asalkan sahaja beliau diberikan perlindungan politik peribadi beliau.

Apabila Ketua Perhubungan itu bertukar maka bertukarlah ketaat setiaannya kepada yang baru. Beliau disenangi oleh Mohammad dan itu yang penting bagi beliau. Kesejahteraan rakyat tidak dipedulikan kerana yang penting baginya ialah kemakmuran politik beliau secara peribadi.

Tetapi apa yang diharapkan oleh Mohammad tidak mampu dipertahankan oleh Ismail. Apabila Mohammad dibelasah oleh pimpinan bahagian-bahagian yang lain diNS Ismail Lasim membisu kerana beliau memang terkenal dengan permainan politik 'play-safe'. Ismail tidak berani menegaskan pendirian apabila sampai keperingkat ini.

Rupa-rupanya Ismail mempunyai agenda sendiri; iaitu untuk menjadi Menteri Besar bagi menggantikan mentornya Mohammad Hasan. Ismail menggunakan bekas pemimpin Bahagian Kuala Pilah untuk mendapatkan 'connection' bagi menjayakan cita-citanya untuk menjadi Menteri Besar yang merupakan matlamatnya yang 'ultimate'.

Selepas ini kita akan dapat saksikan siapa yang main dan siapa yang kena mainkan. Ismail merupakan pilihan bagi pemimpin yang tidak sebulu dengan Mohammad Hasan. Sesiapa sahaja boleh menafikannya tetapi hakikat tetap hakikat.

Bagi Ismail beliau merasakan beliau telah dapat mengawal kepimpinan diKuala Pilah kerana beliau telah berjaya mengenengahkan pemimpin-pemimpin yang lesu yang akan hanya mengangguk dan mengiyakan segala kehendaknya. Diantara pemimpinan tempelan Ismail termasuklah Razi (ADUN Juasseh) Adnan Abu Hasan (Pilah) serta Abdul Samad (S Menanti).

Dalam pada Ismail berusaha untuk mendapatkan jawatan MB itu saya diberitahu yang Samad Ibrahim (S Menanti) pulak yang sedang bercita-cita untuk menjadi Ketua Bahagian dalam pemilihan tahun hadapan dan beliau pula mengambil giliran untuk duduk rapat dicelah ketiak Mohammad Hasan.

Ismail Lasim nampaknya menggunakan TS Abu Zahar Ujang untuk mendapatkan 'connection' dengan DS Najib dan juga mendapat dokongan Rais Yatim untuk tujuan untuk menjadi Menteri Besar. Saya dihujani dengan kedatangan kawan-kawan dari tempat saya memberi tahu cerita-cerita yang sangat 'interesting'' ini.

Ismail selain dari minatnya sendiri untuk menjadi MB ini, beliau nampaknya menjadi 'conduit' kepada pemimpin NS yang ada dipusat untuk melakukan tekanan terhadap Mohammad Hasan dan Ismail bersedia untuk dipergunakan oleh kumpulan ini. Yang penting beliau mesti menjadi MB.

Seandainya Mohammad Hasan berjaya mengekalkan tempat beliau maka Ismail akan tinggal kesaorangan kerana Rais dan yang lain akan menukar kesetiaannya kepada Mohammad secara 'instantaneous'.

Kalau kita melakukan kajian terperinci, maka munasabahkah pemimpin-pemimpin ini duduk berbaik-baik untuk berkhidmat kepada rakyat untuk mempastikan keperluan rakyat disediakan?

Mohammad dalam pada itu telah 'membeli' beberapa orang diKuala Pilah, Jempol, Jelebu dan Bahagian-bahagian yang lain untuk memecahkan kekuatan musush-musuh yang ada dalam selimut beliau.

Beliau telah berjaya melemahkan 'base' Rais diJelebu dengan konspirasi beliau dengan Yunus Rahmat sehinggakan Rais hanya menang dengan 11 undi dalam pemilihan bahagian Jelebu apabila beliau ditentang oleh anak muridnya sendiri Yunus Rahmat.

Kali ini Samad Ibrahim akan menjadi 'conduit' beliau diKuala Pilah dan seorang yang benama Salim diJempol untuk melemahkan Lilah Yasin. Masing-masing memperalatkan dan diperalatkan dalam permainan poitik yang sangat getir diNS.

Siapa yang menjadi 'sikitol' dan siapa yang di'kitolkan' sudah mula jelas dilihat dan ini merupakan permainan yang sangat merbahaya bagi kepentingan UMNO dinegeri yang beradat ini.

Dalam pada itu PR sedang menembusi banyak kubu UMNO kerana UMNO bergolak terlalu jelas. Jika pihak PR mampu untuk menunjukkan siapa yang akan menjadi MB yang 'viable' maka kemungkinan barisan 'alternative' itu akan berjaya menubuhkan kerajaan diNS adalah cerah.

Permainan 'cah keting' diKuala Pilah dan NS amat merbahaya ditambah pula dengan ketidak mampuan W/Rakyat pada hari ini berkhidmat kepada rakyat dan berani menentukan pendirian tegas dalam isu kepimpinan ini akan membawa kecelakaan kepada UMNO dan BN.

Pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO giat membunuh politik mereka sesama meraka ibarat sel-sel kanser yang membunuh diantara satu dengan yang lain yang menyebabkan kanser yang 'malignant' yang akhirnya mematikan tubuh UMNO itu sendiri.

Saya amat dibenci oleh ramai pemimpin yang bermain politk secara ini semasa saya bergiat dahulu. Sekarang saya telah berjaya membuktikan apa yang saya katakan itu sudah menjadi kenyataan.

Baru sekarang mereka sedar (jika telah sedar) bahawa politik menggunakan wang itu tidak akan kekal kekuatannya.

Selepas ini kita mungkin dapat melihat apa yang berlaku dikawasan-kawasan lain diNS. Yang kita lihat sekarang ini hanya 10 peratus dari apa yang sebenarnya berlaku.

Persoalannya sekarang, mampukah Ismail mengambil alih jawtan yang dipegang oleh Mohammad Hasan, sedangkan beliau sendiri sudah mengalami sokongan yang begitu merosot diKuala Pilah? Mampu kah Ismail melakukan 'kona baring' dan meninggalkan Mohammad?

Sama-sama kita lihat. It's going to be an interesting political affair in NS. Bet you. Kalau saya boleh bertanya kepada Mohammad; ingat ke tidak saya pernah memberitahu beliau yang Ismail bukan orang yang mempunyi ' allegiance' terhadap sesiapa kecuali pada dirinya sendiri?

Tidak payahlah jawab; jawab kepada diri saudara sendiri. Itu sudah mencukupi.


Datuk Roast Lamb

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 02:53 PM PDT

The Malaysian Insider - Anti-Zaid blog up to down him.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's detractors have set up a blog aimed at attacking the former Umno man as an "outsider" bent on destroying PKR. The blog called "Save PKR – do not allow outsiders destroy the party" at antizaid.wordpress.com saw its first entry on Saturday just as the hotly contested race kicked off with divisions nominating.

This blog was born out of the intention to save PKR from being destroyed by a person sponsored by greedy and voracious businessmen. [...]

One entry posted yesterday appeared to harp on how Zaid still trailed behind vice-president Azmin Ali, another lead contender in the deputy presidency race, in his tally of nominations from the divisions. It claimed that the nominations tally showed that members still loved the party.

I cannot help laughing when I read the statement "a blog aimed at attacking the former Umno man as an 'outsider' bent on destroying PKR".

Who do you think these detractors are or were? Wakakaka.

Not that I want to take sides but at least Zaid came into PKR after he had resigned from his position as a minister – how many in PKR can say that?

Then I became attracted to the accusation "…sponsored by greedy and voracious businessmen."

Have you eaten roast lamb?

Now if you think kaytee has done a non sequitur, I raise the 'roast lamb' bit because it may explain who one of this 'greedy and voracious businessmen' (not my words but those of PKR) could be.

Once upon a time a Datuk sponsored two roast lambs at a bloggers' event. It was around that time I came to know my dear Penang friends Susan Loone and Lucia Lai, and also Howsy, Chris Chew, Jamal, and an interesting lady called Jed Yoong ;-)

Wow, sure takes me back quite a fair bit.

That generous bloke became known as Datuk Roast Lamb wakakaka.

I was then new to the bloggers' world and politics, and was informed that Datuk Roast Lamb was (perhaps still is) a strong supporter of He-who-walks-on-water (though today his heels are a wee wet wakakaka).

One night I heard on the grapevine that the Knight of the Roast Lamb, yes our Le Chevalier de L'agneau de Rôti wakakaka, was attempting to arrange a reconciliation reunion between two people who once were seen as father and son but who subsequently became bitter enemies.

Apparently the Datuk is now not seen as the confidante of He-who-walks-on-water, as he has assumed the role of a 'greedy and voracious businessman'.

I hate to say this because you guys will blame me for attacking He-who-walks-on-water again. That bloke (He-who-walks-on-water) should have done something to stop this nonsense of a PKR blog set up to attack a PKR leader, but then he has been notoriously known to overly favour his blue eyed boy. Don't believe me? Just ask Nallakarupan who was instructed not to contest a VP position in PKR so as to enable blue-eyed boy to waltz in.

That's why PKR is so f* up by this group of former UMNO blokes.

And confidentially speaking, I suspect that may be why DAP and PAS are playing footsies with each other beneath the Pakatan table, much to sweetie Helen Ang's consternation wakakaka because they cannot depend on PKR to play the bridging role if Anwar Ibrahim were to be removed from the political landscape.


Is Malaysia a Nation of Peace?

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 04:29 AM PDT


Today is the United Nation International Day of Peace observed each year on 21 September and the theme for this year of 2010 is "What are You doing for Peace?"

The UN Secreatary General, Ban Ki-moon says: "Peace doesn't just happen – it must be nurtured, maintained and defended.

I work for peace in many different ways:


I mediate between antagonists, urging them to resolve their differences peacefully; I promote tolerance and harmonious relations among countries and peoples; I campaign to stem the tide of deadly disease; and I press for the elimination of extreme poverty, and for a natural environment that can sustain not only this generation, but those to come."

Is Malaysia a nation of Peace?

Peace is having the respect for Human Rights, the respect for basic freedom as stated in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

The introduction to the declaration of human rights states as follows:

The recognition of inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

Phil Robertson, the Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch has stated that other members of the UN General Assembly recognize that Malaysia has many serious problems on human rights. This is especially true for some of its Southeast Asia neighbours whose nationals migrate to work in Malaysia, and who have regularly had their rights violated there.

A number of European and North American governments have expressed great concern about Malaysia's continued use of arbitrary, preventive detention through the ISA, the Emergency Ordinance Act 1969, Dangerous Drugs Act 1985 and the Restricted Residency Act 1933.

Many of those countries have also expressed great disappointment that Malaysia has ignored many of the recommendations they made at the session of the Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia's record at the UN Human Rights Council in 2009.

Phil Robertson report HERE.


A GOoD Read on Globalisation...

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 04:06 AM PDT

Desi likes to read the works of Malaysians resident abroad, for somehow they are not caught up so much with the local politics which can easily colour one's objectivity because of one's partisanship. One such writer is a surgeon based in the US, and today's read is important because of the topic -- GLOBALISATION.

Many leaders here don't even know that we have entered a new millennium ten years ago for they continue to play politics of the 1970s to the 1990s -- prominent are the PERKASA and its many clones, Hindraf and its many offspring, ah,leading the pack of the originals is UMNO ...entrenched in Ketuanan Melayu concept, tongkat economics while the world outside has moved on for three to four decades by leaps and bounds, and they continue to KONSTAN GEAR... God save us from these socalled national leaders, they may have good intentions, as they keep reminding the Rakyat that their policies are for the good of the nation! --- BUT REMEMBER, the path to hell is paved with many good intentions. God save us from such good intenders! Desi always believes that the polititics of the future will largely hinge on the country's economic status, and unless Malaysian leaders wake up from their stupour, neighbours like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietname are going to outstrip us pretty soon in economic stature. Don't even talk about India and China, and there are still oud mouths like Ibrahim Ali playing the Jaguh Kampong dance and they don't realise the whole wide world is laughing at us. Their sandiwara and outOFtime steps are magnified and circulated superfast a hundred times by one of Globalisation's tools, The Internet, so much so even the authorities are baffled as some misguided Minister maketh pronouncements that other media like Facebook are western evils hat should be filtered before they endanger young Malaysians, and people like NameWee should be sut up for their own good. God save us indeed! Amen, YL, Desi

Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #32
September 15th, 2010

By Dr Bakri Musa

Chapter 5: Understanding Globalization

There is no doubt that globalization is an idea whose time has come….[But] the fact that [it] has come…does not mean we should sit by and watch as the predators destroy us.

—Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia

The one dominant force shaping the world today is globalization. That is, the increasing integration of markets, economies, infrastructures, and other institutions into one world standard. As a consequence, there is increasingly free movement of goods, capital, services, and ideas across borders.

Globalization, observes the World Bank, is not just an economic phenomenon. While the accounting of benefits and costs of globalization depends very much on one's perspective, there is no question that it is a relentless and inevitable tidal wave. And like any tidal wave, one is more likely to survive and even thrive, if prepared. A non-swimmer will be swept away and drowned, but a skillful surfer will exhilaratingly ride the crest.

The choice then is simply whether you should prepare yourself to be a skillful surfer if not at least a passable swimmer, or let yourself be swept by the tidal flow. Stopping the flood is not one of your options.

While many clamor to join this global mainstream, just as many resist. Globalization is enthusiastically embraced by those steeped in the ways of the new economy and modern technology. Its detractors include such "America first" advocates as Pat Buchanan, as well as the Mahathir's of the Third World. Such bewildering alliances and confluences reflect the complexity of this phenomenon.

One of the reasons for these diverse coalitions is that globalization is perceived differently by the various constituents both in the West and in the developing world. To American factory workers, it means the loss of their jobs to such places as China and Mexico; to their executives, an opportunity to reduce costs of production. Third World leaders view globalization as surrendering their nation's sovereignty to multinational corporations; those citizens meanwhile look forward to the job opportunities afforded by these foreign companies. Such conflicting perceptions are understandable as there is no consensus what globalization actually means. That notwithstanding, there is at least a general agreement on what globalization is not.

What Globalization Is Not

Globalization does not mean a single all-powerful world government along the line of a vastly expanded United Nations issuing edicts from New York to remote corners of the world. This is a particular paranoia of American right wing groups who are forever on the look out for black UN helicopters ready to take over their country. Similarly, globalization is not another form of regional cooperation in the fashion of a strengthened Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Nor is it a political and economic entity along the lines of the European Union or a common market like Nafta (North American Free Trade Agreement).

Globalization will not mean the decline or end of the nation-state, as some exuberant advocates proclaim and some nationalistic leaders like Mahathir fear. As Peter Drucker, the management guru and respected futurist noted, it will be a greatly changed nation-state that will survive globalization. In particular, totalitarian states that have a tight stranglehold on their citizens will have difficulty maintaining their grip. With the free flow of ideas and information across borders, the state's propaganda machinery would be effectively neutralized. [Author's updated note: We are certainly seeing this in Malaysia where the government-controlled mainstream media are losing their credibility and the accompanying rise of independent blogs.]

Globalization will definitely result in major changes in the power relations between and within nations. This can be disorientating to those comfortable with or dependent on the status quo.

Globalization does not mean a decrease in international regulations and rules. This would disappoint those advocates for a minimalist government, On the contrary, in many cases there will be increased rules with respect to human and labor rights, pollution and environmental laws, and international crimes, as the various national agencies will get increasingly coordinated with those across their borders. Thus polluters in Indonesia for example, will face the wrath of not only their countrymen but also neighboring countries. Environmental groups like Greenpeace are now forging global alliances that transcend national and political boundaries.

Lastly, to those who fear that the universe would be turned into a dull monotonous cultural landscape filled with the Madonnas, Michael Jacksons, and other icons and artifacts of the McWorld, globalization will not mean cultural homogenization. The fear of globalization being just another form of Western hegemony or neocolonialism is simply delusional. On the contrary, globalization provides a much-needed leveling of the playing field and gives small fringe cultural groups hitherto isolated in their remote villages or ashram an avenue to expand its influence worldwide.

It is significant that through globalization, the 13th Century Persian poet Jallaludin Al-Rumi is now the most widely read in America. Similarly Sufism, which once was relegated to the margins of Islam and presented to the world only at exotic cultural festivals, is now fast becoming chic in the West. The public library in my small California town now carries at least a dozen books on the subject. And they are always being signed out! The Internet enables Sufism to reach a much wider audience globally.

As more nations adopt and benefit from globalization, the present cultural, economic, and other dominations of the West would gradually be eroded. For example, once China becomes prosperous, it too will contribute its share of talent onto the world stage to challenge the supremacy now enjoyed by Americans. Further, once China has the market power comparable to America, manufacturers and marketers will cater to the Chinese tastes and market. And then by sheer momentum, that taste or trend will become universal. The reason America now enjoys supremacy (at least in popular consumer taste) is purely the consequence of it being the largest and most lucrative market. Producers and manufacturers everywhere cater to it. Thus by sheer mass dynamics, the American taste and style become universal.


No more Indonesian maid please

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 03:37 AM PDT

The Malaysian Insider - Indonesia bans maids from leaving for Malaysia:

Indonesia's Labour and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar today announced that prospective maids from the country would be banned from leaving for Malaysia until the Indonesian government could assure them of their safety He said the move was being taken in response to the case where an Indonesian maid was allegedly abused by her employer in Penang on September 13.

I fully support the Indonesian Minister's announcement. In fact I suggest that Malaysia completely stop recruiting maids from Indonesia or for that matter, anywhere.

Firstly, many Malaysians cannot handle the responsibilities of being employers of maids. Many are real bastards and bitches. Those found guilty of abusing maids should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Secondly, I don't want to see the country overrun by foreign workers, like hedonistic Kuwait and many Gulf nations have been. There is a security problem.

If young couples with children both want to work, then they should leave their kids at care centres manned by Malaysians.


Sosilawati case: Lawyer suspects disbarred last year

Posted: 21 Sep 2010 02:53 AM PDT

The Bar Council today revealed that the two lawyer suspects involved in the quadruple Sosilawati Lawiya murder have been disbarred since November last year. Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan (right) said the pair, who are brothers, lost their right to practice over a botched land deal and dishonesty, though he noted that it was unlikely their disbarring was related to the current case. Full story here: www.malaysiakini.com
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Anwar as de facto leader: 2010 is different from 2007

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 05:21 PM PDT

From Jonson Chong, via e-mail

I am writing because I am disappointed with the current PKR Communications Director Nik Nazmi, who also happens to be the state assemblyman for Seri Setia, over his comments against Zaid Ibrahim using Twitter.

I am disappointed that my replacement has not conducted himself in a professional manner. As he is publicly recognised as the Communications Director of PKR, he should be impartial insofar as party elections are concerned.

If he had been serving under the previous secretary-general, Salehuddin Hashim, he would have been briefed on Day One that no appointed official of the party shall participate in internal politics. Alas, he has not had the privilege of working with Saleh.

Anyway, I am not writing about Nik Nazmi. I am writing about his own lack of understanding of what happened in the 2007 PKR National Congress, and how Anwar Ibrahim became the de facto leader of the party.

I remember I attended the congress as a delegate from the Petaling Jaya Selatan division. Indeed, I recall being very sad that Anwar decided not to contest for the president's position because of legal advice from some so-called advisors.

And I also remember standing up and insisting that he defy the unjust laws and the selective prosecution of Umno-BN, especially because the people are waiting for him to lead them. More than that, I seconded an impromptu motion that if he withdraws as a presidential candidate, then the National Congress shall appoint him as the de facto leader of PKR.

The impromptu motion became a resolution of the PKR National Congress, the highest body of the party. And the motion got unanimous support because Anwar had a good reason for not contesting. He knew that he would win and that would have put the party in jeopardy with the Registrar of Societies because he was still banned from holding any positions in a political party then.

Now, in 2010, as opposition leader of Malaysia, things are very different for Anwar Ibrahim. Not only is he free to participate in politics but the whole country is looking to him to lead PKR and Pakatan Rakyat to Putrajaya.

What excuse has he got for not wanting to take any formal leadership of PKR. If the party is serious about practising democracy, shouldn't the paramount leader of the party be democratically elected?

And if we insist on the rule of law, then shouldn't Anwar Ibrahim be subject to the party's constitution, which does not provide for any de facto leader position.

Well, the point is that PKR members want to be able to democratically elect their party leaders. Not just the president but they want to be able to nominate and vote for any credible leader for any of the position.

What is the point of this exercise, of amending the party constitution and giving each member a vote, and then deny them the right to vote for their paramount leader?

I'm sorry, I just don't see how PKR can have a de facto party leader for life. And isn't Anwar Ibrahim a bit presumptious to think that the members will automatically agree to appointing him the de facto leader again?

Anyway, as a final comment, I suggest Sdr Nik Nazmi learn a little bit of respect for colleagues, especially those who are party leaders, even if they are contesting against their allies or preferred candidate in the party election.

More than that, when one is appointed by the president, one serves the party, not the de facto leader or anyone else.

Jonson Chong is the former PKR communications director.


Ex-IGP should expose the wrongdoings of the cousins

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:45 PM PDT

From Rezeki Murni, via e-mail

I personally believe the public at large will surely forgive the former IGP for his past wrongdoings if he would just expose the vicious wrongdoings of both the cousins.

Both the cousins and many others perhaps had been held at ransom by the ex-IGP and common sense tells any average person in the street that he is holding onto very damaging information against both the cousins.

Otherwise, there is no reason to renew his employment contract when he was way past his retirement and had been obviously failing in his duties to the nation and its citizens.

He should not stop at the cousins. He should also open up all past cans of worms that were the work of Dr M, Abdullah Badawi and all others who have done a lot of harm to the nation and its people.


Cancel them out at the ballot box, that's what counts

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:43 PM PDT

From Edison Wee, via e-mail

I refer to the letter, 'When toilet walls 'speak' eloquently'. The level and intensity of corruption is Malaysia is all time high, but writing on toilet walls comes to nothing.

People should use that clean sheet of printed paper to say 'NO' to the person and party they do not want.

Stop writing on the walls, concentrate and mark the right box in the next election. This is what counts.

Read:

When toilet walls 'speak' eloquently


The Ibans are not stupid people

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:42 PM PDT

From 3000client2, via e-mail

Let me quote from your FMT report titled 'Don't you dare abandon the BN, Ibans warned'.

"'To me the state BN government is just like a university. It is just like Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard... the older they are the more prestigious and famous they become."

That's the problem with the people nowadays, and now it is comes from our 'Wakil Raykat'. They like to compare us with the object or things.

Let me share with you a story.

One of my friends working onboard a foreign vessel and was a junior officer. Being a junior, he was having difficulties with a foreign language and complained about this.

He said, we are here like 'Itik and Ayam', talking with others without knowing if messages had been understood whenever there was a briefing to the crew.

So he e-mails to me about the problem and his difficulties. And he even thought of packing up his bags and going home.

I politely informed him that we are not ducks and chickens. We are human beings and god's greatest creation.

Even in a million years, 'Itik and Ayam' will never learn to understand each other because they are animals.

On the other hand, we are human beings, and when smart people learn a language,  success will come in due time.

He took my advise and sure enough, after several months speaks a foreign language fluently with pride and dignity.

The moral story of is: "Do not compare us human beings to object or things because we are different and are smart people."

Only those low in self esteem may dare to say the Iban: "Don't you dare abandon the BN" or in other words Iban people are stupid!

Read:

Don't you dare abandon the BN, Ibans warned



Sosilawati’s case: Don’t be so quick to praise the police

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:41 PM PDT

From N Surendran, via e-mail

Lawyers for Liberty is troubled that many politicians and others have been too quick to praise the police for solving the gruesome murder of Sosilawati Lawiya and three other associates.

What this incident has shown is that far from being an effective, competent and professional police force that Malaysia deserves, the police only acted decisively when the case involved the disappearance of a prominent and wealthy 'Datuk' while ignoring or dragging its feet over numerous other disappearance/murder and commercial crime cases.

It has further been reported that up to 20 people could have been murdered by the same perpetrators.

How can these suspected perpetrators including two infamous disbarred lawyers have been allowed to commit these crimes for so long with so much impunity without any police action?

Questions have rightly been raised by the press that perhaps, the police may have been 'bought'.

Is the police lacking resources or has it simply been too busy investigating and harassing opposition politicians and dissidents over frivolous issues to take real crimes seriously?

Are we therefore surprised that public confidence of the police remains extremely low and the view that the police is corrupt and acts as the protector of the rich and powerful remains firmly intact?

Lawyers for Liberty welcomes the new IGP's promise that the police will be taking immediate action on all missing persons reports and that those caught slacking will be severely reprimanded unlike the Selangor CPO's defensive posturing when questioned on these issues.

It is unbecoming of the CPO to brush off these legitimate questions when possible police negligence or corruption has led to the perpetration of more crimes and we demand that an inquiry be held on these failures.

One recalls the case of Norizan Salleh who was needlessly shot five times by the police. When concerns were raised by the victim and others, the police and the Home Minister  dismissed the complaint and affirmed that the police had acted correctly.

Or had her case been taken seriously, 15-year-old Aminulrasyid would not have died in a hail of bullets under similar circumstances.

This cynical attitude of the police, acting as they please without regard for the law and standard operating procedures, could not have thrived had senior police officers and the Home Minister not been quick to constantly protect the police at all cost and dismissing complaints when there is evidence of trigger-happy shooting, brutality and fabrication of evidence.

Similarly in the current case, Sosilawati and her associates would not have been killed had the police investigated all the prior missing persons reports and the commercial crime cases connected to the suspects.

We call on the Home Minister to take immediate steps to redress the failing professionalism and competence of the police force and among the most imperative is the setting up of the Independent  Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) as recommended by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in 2004.

They must take every genuine criminal case seriously and not only act when prominent and wealthy Datuks are affected.

The writer, a human rights lawyer, represents Lawyers for Liberty.


Zaid, don't give up the fight

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:37 PM PDT

From Dillon Tan, via e-mail

Syabas! Zaid, don't worry about what others in the party are talking about you. The majority of party members know what you stand for and will support you when the big day comes.

Those taking swipe at you are those who think that they are more senior than you in the party and the post should be rightfully theirs to fill.

They are still shackled to the old way of doing things. Members of PR are citizens who want change and they want the right man there when we march into Putajaya after GE13.

Stay above them. Don't come down to their level. We know you are PM material. Stay on course.


A Malaysia Day reflection

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 01:00 PM PDT

By Hilary Chiew

COMMENT Malaysia Day last Thursday saw considerable outpouring of sentiments of 'oneness' on the pages of newspapers and online portals and even on the streets.

Some were the predictable reiteration and re-examination of the 20- and 18-point agreements that applied to Sabah and Sarawak when the two states in Borneo together with the Federation of Malaya and Singapore formed Malaysia in 1963.

There were also the propagandists 'feel-good' stories of West Malaysians singing praises of the 'development' they saw happening in the two states across the South China Sea.

These stories are to be taken with a generous helping of salt. Actually, they are more like rubbing salt to the wounds. The discontent of East Malaysians is centred on being left behind in the grand scheme of national development but some of those positive stories are arguing along the line that they should be grateful for whatever they have got so far.

One army veteran shared his observation of the improvement in the road and the Kuching General Hospital's cardiac unit. For the road, he was comparing it with the gravel ones in the 1960s when he was first posted there and later became a civilian and now residing in Kuching.

Maybe he has never travel to the interior on bumpy and dangerous timber roads and not visited the health service centres that are understaffed and poorly equipped. Many are manned by junior medical attendants where the needs for quality medical attention are most needed.

Not only that all these essential social services are rare, economic development projects promoted by the state governments (which in turn are endorsed by the federal government) are threatening the self-subsistence lifestyle of the rural populations.

Maybe like many urbanites on both sides of the sea, he chose to turn a deaf ear and be blind to this backwardness. After all, ignorance is bliss.

Poor roads have been lifelong complain of at least two generations of Sabahans and Sarawakians. For the slightly better off folks, they are unhappy that they can't travel in a huge part of their states with a sedan car like most West Malaysians instead of a four-wheel-drive. And these 4WDs last lesser than in the peninsula, no thanks to the potholed-ridden unsealed surfaces.

Their frustrations are further compounded by their realization that they are endowed with rich resources that had been exploited all these 47 years which enriched the national coffer yet they remained the poorest states in the federation.

In his speech to mark the first Malaysia Day celebration in Kota Kinabalu, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak promised a greater push towards ending the social and economic disparities between peninsula and the Borneo states, tacitly admitting the neglect.

The government is fully aware of the disparity and the state of inequality that are leading to further marginalisation of Sabahans and Sarawakians. In its more recent Malaysian Plans, notably the 8th and 9th plans, the problem was acknowledged with promises of rectification. But plans after plans, there are hardly any evaluation of the failures in implementation and the situation remains.

Throwing money irresponsibly

All these talks about road construction reminded me of the recent announcement of development allocation by Najib when he visited Sarawak on the heels of yet another report on sexual violations against Penan womenfolks.

But instead of addressing the issue head-on (I wonder if members of the press did and dare ask him to comment on the problem), the helicopter visit turned into a project-pledging trip.

(The trip was preceded by Women's Affair Minister Shahrizat whirlwind visit to Batu Bungan, supposedly to get a first hand knowledge of the recurring rape issues.)

Hence, it was largely seen by many political observers as a pre-state election exercise to bolster the battered image of the state that was reeling from one expose after another of Taib's overseas wealth accumulation which by the way, until this day, Najib's administration has never commented.

Anyway, he pledged RM101mil to upgrade the infamous Beluru-Lapok road; a 42km largely gravel road connecting the major thoroughfare into the interior of timber-rich Baram with the coastal cities of Miri and Bintulu.

The locals have interesting names for the road – Jumping Road, Bone-breaking Road, Jalan Lobang etc. There are also stories which are the stuff of urban legend – the roughness of the road is also said to be birth-inducing; babies had been delivered prematurely in vehicles.

Locals will tell you that the handful of sealed stretches of the road were election goodies. Past pledges from the federal government to seal the entire road had mysteriously evaporated elections after elections.

As with most government allocations that are awarded to private contractors without going through open tendering, the final products are predictably substandard.

Another pledge - the RM6million allocation for a mini hydro-electric project in Long Banga, upper Baram is also questionable.

The flopped rural electrification project in the Sarawak Kelabit Highland comes to mind. In 1997, the Ministry of Rural Development awarded a RM17million contract for a hybrid micro-hydro electrification for the Bario Asal longhouse community in Bario.

In the absence of project transparency, the contractor purportedly installed a 100kW turbine which was way beyond the capacity of the Merario River. After a big launch fanfare, the electricity supply lasted a mere 15 minutes, claimed some locals.

In any case, it eventually incurred a cost of RM900 per month diesel cost for three-hour indoor lighting. This was due to wrong judgment of the hydro capacity to turn the ill-fitted big turbine. The system has since been abandoned and was partly destroyed by flash floods in 2003.

Subsequently, an indigenous peoples' organization from Sabah – Pacos Trust (Partners in Community Organisations) provided technical assistance to the community to revive the project with less than RM500,000. The 40kW mini-hydro project is now providing 24-hour electricity for the 47 households of Bario Asal in January 2009.

Thus far, Pacos has successfully implemented community-based mini-hydro in Long Lawen, Belaga and tow other remote villages in Sabah – Kg Terian in Penampang and Kg Bantul in Pensiangan.

Hardly the solution

Micro-hydro projects that involved communities from the beginning are a proven solution to rural electrification; a sound alternative to mega dams, coal-fired power plants and even nuclear power plants that are not only costly, environmentally destructive but involved transmission across hundreds or thousands of kilometers resulting in energy losses, rendering them highly inefficient.

So, throwing huge sum of taxpayers money nilly-willy can hardly be the solution.

Furthermore, it risks being perceived as yet another way to enrich the politically-connected companies that stand to wrest the contracts.

And when it comes to mega projects like the Bakun dam, displaced communities became dispossesed in the grand scheme of development. It certainly doesn't bode well for nation-building if these Sarawakians are deprived of electricity when they had already sacrificed so much only to have the energy earmarked for energy-wasteful peninsula. At least that was the initial plan which has since been shelved.

When people are dispossessed, can you blame them for their discontent?

Malaysia Day celebration will be meaningful only when we stopped serving the East Malaysians the crumbs from our dining tables and embrace all Malaysians as one regardless of race and religion.


Hilary Chiew is a socio-environmental researcher and freelance writer based in Kuala Lumpur.

 


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