Friday, October 1, 2010

Taib the lone political dinosaur after Samy’s exit

Taib the lone political dinosaur after Samy’s exit

Taib the lone political dinosaur after Samy’s exit

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 07:00 AM PDT

By Joe Fernandez

COMMENT Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud is on the verge of claiming the dubious distinction of being the lone dinosaur in Malaysian politics. This follows the decision by MIC president S Samy Vellu to throw in the towel come January, that is, several months before his previously announced exit in August/September next year.

It appears that Samy Vellu is hedging his bets. He will step down in January as pledged this time if it looks like the general election is going to be held anytime soon. He would not want to go through another humiliation at the ballot box.

However, if the general election will only be held in another two years' time as one school of thought holds, Samy Vellu may well drag out his exit until August/September as initially planned or even later. He has previously broken all promises to quit. The fact that he didn't put a quit date for January is telling. That shows that he's still thinking whether to quit or wangle his way out again. Anything can happen between now and January. Even a week, they say, is a long time in politics.

In any case, whether Samy Vellu stays or goes is no longer of any consequence. Both MIC and Samy Vellu are history. Samy Vellu may well go in January. It really doesn't matter one bit. Too little, too late.

With Samy Vellu out of the way, the spotlight will fall on Taib as the public marvels at his utter shamelessness in wanting to still cling on to office after three decades of squatting on the people. Already, Taib's long stay in power has denied two generations the right to rule themselves.

Taib clinging on to power is no longer about the people but all about himself, his family, relatives and cronies. He will have a busy time at least until at least 2015, a year before the state election, to re-figure his business and political empire for him to rule from behind the scenes. By that time, he will be 79 years old. The next state election is due by the middle of next year.

Taib knows that he would fare even worse at the next state election vis-à-vis 2006 but in his words, he's confident of returning to power yet again based purely on the 56 Bumiputera state seats. He seems to have written off the 15 Chinese state seats in a worst-case scenario. He's reconciled to heading a purely Bumiputera government. This will be a dubious first in Malaysia.

Counting on Sarawak Malays

Taib's confidence, despite widespread allegations of rampant corruption, stems from the belief that the Melanau, both Muslim and Christian, will not desert a fellow Melanau. He can count on the support of the Sarawak Malays who have long been persuaded that not to stick with Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) is to risk losing the chief minister's post and Muslim political control of Sarawak.

The overwhelmingly rural illiteracy-plagued Iban community, the largest in Sarawak, has yet to demonstrate any degree of political maturity so far. They can be expected to go along with the pemerintah (government or party in power). The naïve Ibans think that going against the "government" would be like going against their own "father and mother", and hence unthinkable. The opposition parties are seen as traitors, trouble-makers, anti-national elements, big talkers, and as Taib has depicted them in recent days, big fat "liars for whom the government can do no right".

Taib benefits hugely, in political terms, from the prevailing slave mind-set in Iban country. This is where the core of Taib's political support resides. Taib, being a Melanau, also appeals to them as a fellow Dayak. It's difficult to persuade them on his corruption, especially when he pawns them off with a fistful of ringgit, cheap moonshine and wild boar at every election.

The Sarawak Malays have been known to rebel before as in 1987. Dubbed the "Ming Court Affair", after the hotel along Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur, the majority of Sarawak state assemblymen gathered to vote Taib out. Unfortunately, they got Abdul Rahman Ya'kub – Taib's predecessor and maternal uncle – to lead them and he tipped off his nephew who quickly dissolved the state assembly for snap polls.

The Ibans and Sarawak Malays, besides the Melanau and Chinese, came to Taib's rescue and the plotters were either left in the political cold for many years or eliminated one by one "for their treachery".

Poetic justice

Taib can no longer take the Bidayuh and Orang Ulu for granted. This is where he's going to lose seats besides the Chinese areas. Some Malay areas may go as well if Taib doesn't win them by razor-thin margins.

All in all, Taib can count himself extremely lucky if he can still manage a two-thirds majority in the state assembly but no one is betting on this as yet.

The opposition alliance, Pakatan Rakyat, has already made an unprecedented promise to the electorate, that is, to return all land stolen by "the politicians, the state government and big companies from Peninsular Malaysia" to the people.

The second promise is to trace and return the ill-gotten gains of the politicians "to the public treasury". This would be a massive undertaking involving forensic accounting, Interpol, foreign governments and the United Nations. The role of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission can be discounted.

The third promise is to return political autonomy to Sarawak as pledged under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

It would be interesting to see how Taib manages to cope with the opposition onslaught.

So far, he has had a relatively easy time until 2006, winning by default in the absence of an organised opposition. The last outing was just for starters. Henceforth, it's going to get increasingly tougher for Taib. Eventually, like Samy Vellu, he will not go out in a good way but in disgrace. That would be poetic justice!

The PKR Fracas

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 01:39 PM PDT

"Good government will always help the people to discard hypocrisy and cunning. It will deter those with a pretense of wisdom from acting arrogantly and in such a way the country will be well administered." - tao te ching -

The fracas at the PKR election is an indication of a party that is deficient of an effective management and leadership. PKR has shown a crude and ungentlemanly approach to politics in the run up to their leadership election.

It is a responsibility of the party management or the leadership to instill virtue and benevolence to all leaders and to the grassroots. This is the foundation for the construction of a positive party culture.

Azmin's approach of trying to manufacture mass support from other leaders of MPs and assemblymen is an ungentlemanly conduct, is seen to be manipulative and insensitive to the feelings of another fellow candidate. He is seen here trying to ride roughshod over a fellow comrade of the same party by scheming and plotting.

Azmin thinks he is being strategic or tactical and this is exactly a distorted perception and a misconception of good strategies, you are contesting against a fellow comrade and this is not a contest of enemies, it is a contest amongst fellow members of the same party where one is expected to show some tolerance and respect.

If anyone has a desire to become a leader, that person must show that he is sensitive to the feelings of every single party member. The leader must understand the party struggle and regard every member as his beloved family member.

Zaid must succumb to the party struggle and ideals and respect the hierarchy of the leadership structure, personal ambition and ideology must first take a back seat and to be blended in with the party after having a thorough comprehension of the greater view.

Zaid was seen to be retaliating to the action of Azmin's lineup of power support from other leaders and than the whole fracas started with many others joining the fray with pronouncement of support against each other. Zaid, actually fell ploy to the illusion created that Azmin had the support of Anwar and other senior leaders than started lashing out in retaliation.

Above all this squabble PKR is still viewed as the party moving towards a greater democracy; it is the only political party that had empowered every single member with a full democratic voting right. Unlike the country under the UMNO led government with its gerrymandering ways that has derogated the value of the voters and corrupted the very electoral system of the nation.

Malaysians today have been cheated of their votes and not all votes have the same value and are not equal to one vote count, our electoral system has been so badly manipulated that it is no longer one man one vote. (Read Malaysian Voters worth 5 cents HERE).

PKR is undergoing some positive transformation and there will be challenges along the way but it is for certain that the true will and sincerity of the majority shall overcome and progress will be made for a better political system and culture.

There might be personal differences amongst contending leaders, who doesn't, we all have differences even with brothers and sisters, but at the end of it, the greater cause of the party, people and nation will prevail.

Politicians too need to have continuous education in order to inculcate the wisdom of virtue and benevolence that be the root of wisdom and good governance. For those who wish to understand more of strategies, please read the Quintessence of Strategy HERE.

"He who finds himself teachers, will rule the greatest area;
He who says no one is his equal, will fall.
He who is willing to ask, becomes greater;
He who relies entirely on himself, will be humbled and made small."
~Lao Tze~


Posted: 01 Oct 2010 10:47 AM PDT

Yesterday was International Day of Older Persons. The theme this year was 'getting and staying active in later life'.

I scanned ALL the local papers for some mention of this special day. I was so sure Singapore would have a list of activities lined up to celebrate the occasion, given that it's light years ahead of Malaysia in its active-ageing campaign. But my search drew nothing. Not a word in the media or a whisper about it anywhere.

But elsewhere in the UK for instance, there were 1000s of activities lined up to mark this day, most of them organized by local community groups. Older people could take their pick from a wide range of events, viz:

•theatre performances
•tea dances
•fitness and healthy eating classes
•intergenerational events
•information fairs
•fun days
•talent shows
•forums on ageing

We have Children's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, but no Grandparent's Day. Are older people considered persona non grata, remembered mostly on festive days like Chinese New Year or Hari Raya?

Rather sad, don't you think?

Message for International Day of Older Persons (2010)

"On this International Day, I call on governments to do more to address the needs of older persons. The key interventions are well-known: granting universal access to social services; increasing the number and worth of pension plans; and creating laws and policies that prevent age and gender discrimination in the workplace."

~Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon~

Mustaffa joins battle for PKR No 2

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 09:05 AM PDT

PKR vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub has officially announced his decision to go for the deputy president's post, joining a contest that has already seen bruising brawls between heavyweights Azmin Ali and Zaid Ibrahim. Mustaffa announced this today at the Sultan Sulaiman club in Kuala Lumpur, while being flanked by an entourage of 50 people, who are mostly supporters from his home state of Perak. The PKR veteran said that his bid for the post was a continuation of his struggle since the birth of the reformasi movement in 1998. Full story here:
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Dasar Ekonomi Baru Lebih Menguntungkan Bukan Melayu -DPMM

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 09:08 AM PDT

NOTA EDITOR: Atas sebab inilah agaknya Dr Mahathir begitu bersemangat sekali mempertahankan Dasar Ekonomi Melayu. Hakikatnya, nikmat dari DEB sebenarnya sebahagian besar pergi kepada bangsa bukan Melayu.

Kalau tidak, takkanlah tokoh2 perniagaan di bawah menjadi penyokong kepada NGO Mahathir, Yayasan Perdana:

i. Tan Sri Dato' Francis Yeoh Sock Ping - YTL Corporation

ii. Tan Sri Dato' Lee Kim Yew - Country Heights

iii. Dato' Seri Lee Oi Hian - Mengikut FORBES, beliau berjumlah RM225

iv. Dato' Sri Kua Sian Kooi - Kurnia Insurans (rujuk Forbes)

v.Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng - YB Senator

vi. VInsetan - Judi Bola dan Berjaya Corp.

Bukan Melayu peralat Melayu dalam perniagaan – DPMM

Fri, Oct 1, 2010

Dalam Negeri

datuk syed amin aljeffri Oleh Muda Mohd Noor

KUALA LUMPUR: Seorang pemimpin organisasi perniagaan Melayu hari ini mendakwa banyak syarikat bukan Melayu memperalatkan kelemahan orang Melayu dalam bidang itu.

Presiden Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia (DPMM) Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Syed Amin Aljeffri berkata, sebaliknya orang-orang Melayu itu tidak pula memperalatkan peniaga kaum lain.

Bagaimanapun, tokoh perniagaan veteran itu tidak menyalahkan kaum bukan Melayu yang bertindak sedemikian.

"Saya tidak boleh menyalahkan mereka (memperalatkan perniaga Melayu). Mereka memperalatkan kita kerana kelemahan peniaga Melayu sendiri.

"Kita (peniaga Melayu) mengambil jalan mudah kerana kita masih pada tahap perintis dalam bidang ekonomi," katanya ketika ditemui di pejabatnya hari ini.

Menurutnya, antara kelemahan utama ialah ketiadaan pengetahuan mencukupi dalam perniagaan.

Syed Amin berkata, penguasaan orang Melayu dalam industri kecil dan sederhana (IKS) hanya 20 peratus dari kira-kira sejuta orang.

Katanya, sepatutnya penguasaan peniaga Melayu dalam IKS mencapai tahap 35 peratus.

Sehubungan itu, beliau meminta peniaga Melayu mempelbagaikan bidang perniagaan bukan hanya tertumpu kepada sektor pembinaan sahaja, yang bergantung kepada tender kerajaan.

Blasphemy against Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala and His Messenger ~ The Punishment prescribed in the Holy Quran

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 08:39 AM PDT

From the Sacred and Blessed Holy Al Quran Al Karim: Surah Al Maidah Chapter 5 Verse 33

Sahih International
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
Muhsin Khan
The recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off on the opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter.

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.
May Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.

O fellow Muslims and those of you who are true People of the Book.

We are all living in the End Times, The Age of Trials and Tribulations. We live in a tumultuous world where from daybreak till sunset and through the night till the dawn of the next day, mankind indulge in all kinds of wasteful actions and needless strife against each other or victimize those whom they get to harm, hurt and vilify as they please without a concern for the consequences of their crimes not only against humanity but also upon their own ignorant selfs.

Those of you who have been following the news here, here and here regarding this case and the most vicious form of a blasphemer in the person called Benjamin Stephen ~ the apostate known before as Badrul Hisham according to sources online who say that this culprit is a religious school dropout from Perak.

He is said to have been bullied during his schooldays and maybe might have rebelled against his tormentors by doing what he has done since apostatizing from Islam and now notoriously being hunted down for his filthy unmentionable degrading blasphemy that none before him here in Malaysia had dared to be so uncouth against the Greatest Messenger of Allah the Almighty!!!

Well, he is lucky to be living in a country that has not resorted to truly implementing and upholding the true tenets of the Islamic Sharia for if Malaysia is ruled as per exactly what Allahu Ta'ala commands as per the Ayat # 33 Surah Al Mai'da Chapter 5 in the Blessed Al Quran'ul Karim, then the apostate in question will just have to answer for his vicious blasphemy with his life!

That's what Allah the Almighty COMMANDS here for the crime of blasphemy that this Benjamin Stephen ~ Badrul Hisham has committed knowingly and with willful malicious intent!

Those of you who have seen the videos might have cringed in disgust or despair to witness the utter viciousness of this man's hatred against Rasul Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam and the way he goes about running down the Mercy of Allah for all Creation as he pleased either out of his vendetta against those who might have bullied him in his religious school days or just born from his screwed up own mindset that is so crude, so filthy, so damn dirty that frankly speaking, not a sane, rational God fearing / loving soul from either the Muslims or People of the Book will stand silent taking all these in without resorting to bash the living daylights out of this foulmouthed cretin!!!

There are those from amongst the blogging fraternity aligned to PAS, the said to be 'Islamic' Party of Malaysia who ask in their blog as to why this case is being raised today when the videos are said to have been recorded in 2005 and had been on YouTube all these while?

My answer to that would be that I, Zainol Abideen ~ Mahaguru58 only happened to come across it on September 25th, 2010 at about 12.30pm when I was browsing the You tube and saw it for the first time and reacted as I did where I immediately lambasted the PDRM and the MCMC for not having done anything about such hateful open attack against not only the Blessed Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu Alaihi Wassallam, our Islamic faith, our sacred Hajarul Aswad located there in the Holy Kaabah in Masjidil Haram, Makkah Al Mukarramah, the Malay Muslim ummah, the blessed Malaikats and practically everything that is so sacred and holy for those of us who worship none but Allahu Ta'ala!!!

I'd like to ask those questioning the developments regarding this blasphemy case, as to what the hell did they do all these years about it?

Yes! Answer me!

What did these noisemakers do about the blasphemy oozing You Tube videos and the @#$%^&*! Benjamin Stephen despite claiming to have seen it all way back in 2005???

C'mon!!! The silence is deafening here!!!

What did all those bloggers who claim to have seen it do about the most vicious sort of blasphemy to have hit our shores since as they say to have been on You Tube  since 5 years back?

That's right.

Not a bloody thing.

So, my advice to these noisemakers who wanna jump onto the hyped up media bandwagon is to just keep on doing what they do best all these 5 years since they saw those blaspheming videos and did......nothing.

If you don't have it in you to take action against all these enemies of Islam, then please remain silent and let those of us who do really give a damn about teaching these blasphemers a lesson that they will never forget, space to do our thing.

Thank you.

Now go spew slander and untruths as you have always done, all these while and call yourself ....bloggers.


TR - berguna masa terdesak, dilupakan setelah selesa.

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 06:31 AM PDT

Saya mendapat ratusan SMS dari ramai kenakan yang berpolitik dan 'a-politic' yang bertanyakan kepada saya kenapa UMNO mengambil sikap yang luar dari lazimnya dengan melantik Tengku Razaleigh sebagai Pengarah Pilihanraya kecil (PRK) Dewan Undangan Negeri, Galas dalam Bahagian dan Parlimen Gua Musang.

Saya faham kenapa mereka bertanyakan isu itu kepada saya kerana saya adalah berimejkan sebagai seorang penyokong 'totok' TR dalam perjuangan siasah. Tetapi mereka bertanyakan kepada salah orang keranan saya bukanlah orang yang pandai dan berkemampuan untuk menjawab kerana ini merupakan satu isu yang sangat payah untuk diulit dan baca dengan tepat walau bagaimana teliti pun bacaan yang datang dari saya.

Saya tidak berani untuk membuat pandangan yang 'conclusive' kerana kita orang bawahan yang tidak mungkin tahu apa-apa yang sedang berlaku dalam politik atasan. Cuma saya mungkin boleh memberikan pandangan mengikut kemampuan seorang ahli biasa. Pandangan ahli biasa tidak semestinya betul tetapi kita juga mengaku persepsi ramai itu mempunyai impak yang besar kepada imej parti UMNO yang memerintah ini.

Isu yang dimainkan oleh banyak pihak sekarang ini ialah UMNO yang desperado terpaksa memanggil untuk meminta pertolongan seorang pemimpin yang ditakuti oleh banyak pihak khususnya kepada mereka yang terlibat secara 'direct' dengan rasuah. Sebagai seorang yang bertanggungjawab, atau bagaimana pun permainan kotor dilakukan terhadap beliau TR berkemungkinan menerima tanggungjawab yang sangat besar ertinya kepada UMNO itu walaupun UMNO telah melakukan banyak perkara yang memilukan hati pemimpin Melayu ini.

Beliau sangat terasa hati melihat asas ekonomi negara yang beliau bina semasa diberikan tanggunjawab itu dahulu diperkosa oleh pihak yang tidak mempunyai perasaan terhadap dasar kukuh yang dibina dahulu.

Tetapi ramai yang telah menyediakan 'template-template' kenyataan pemimpin-pemimpin UMNOjika parti berjayq didalam PRK ini.

Salah satu 'templatenya' ialah, 'UMNO sudah kembali diterima rakyat dan akan kembali berkuasa diKelantan'.

Diantara 'template' yang lain ialah, (a) 'UMNO sudah diterima kembali oleh rakyat dan kemenangan ini merupakan tanda-tanda pemulihan UMNO dari pandangan rakyat'.

(b) 'Ini merupakan tanda awal yang PAS akan kecundang dan akan tewas dalam pilihanraya umum nanti'

(c) Kemenangan ini menunjukkan bahawa penerimaan rakyat terhadap slogan 1Malaysia.

Ada pula yang telah menelah apa yang akan dinyatakan oleh pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO jika kita gagal untuk mendapatkan kembali DUN Galas itu. Diantaranya ialah:

(a) Kita gagal keranan permainan kotor PAS dan yang bersekongkol dengannya.
(b) Ini adalah kegalan TR kerana pengaruh beliau tidak sekuat dahulu.
(c) Kalah kerana TR tidak melaksanakan tanggungjawab sepenuhnya denga parti dan mempunyai permainan politik dengan PAS dan parti-parti yang bersekongkol dengannya.

Banyak lagi kata-kata yang akan memindahkan segala kesalahan kepada Tengku Razaleigh jika kekalahan berpihak kepada UMNO.

Walaubagaimana pun seperti yang saya sebut dalam posting yang lepas, elok pilihanraya ini dilakukan secara memilih satu diantara dua pihak, jangan pertandingan diantara dua pihak yang bermusuhan.

Lagi pun pemilihan ini adalah pemilihan diantara dua pihak yang sebangsa, seAgama dan budaya. Jika kejayaan berada dipihak UMNO maka kita mesti mengakui yang kemenangan itu bukan kemengan mutlak UMNO sebagai sebuah parti. Ianya hanyalah kemenangan dengan menumpang pengaruh eorang individu yang selama ini dipandang sepi oleh UMNO.

Sejarah akan berulang; TR hanya dipergunakan semasa UMNO dalam keadaan tenat dan akan dilupakan kembali jika UMNO kembali kuat dan pulih dari sakit dan penyakit yang tenat.

UMNO juga yang meminta dari kebaikkan TR untuk membubarkan S46 dahulu. Rupa-rupanya UMNO sudah mengetahui yang UMNO akan berpecah tidak lama kemudian dengan pergaduhan diantara Anwar dan PM yang tidak jemu-jemu dengan keserornokkan berkuasa.

Apabila UMNO kuat selepas itu TR dibiarkan lagi dan tidak ada pun dari pihak UMNO untuk memberikan ucapan terima kasih, jauh sekali untuk memberikan beliau penghormatan yang sepatutnya didapati oleh beliau.

Kali in sekali lagi TR diminta berkhidmat kepada parti yang sudah hampir terkulai dan akan mati. Kesetiaan TR sekali lagi diuji dan beliau khabarnya akan menerima dan memikul tanggungjawab ini kerana pimpinan kita tidak berkeyakinan untuk berjaya tanpa sokongan pemimpin veteran ini.

Kepada TR saya hanya berdoa agar beliau berjaya membawa kemenangan untuk UMNO dan saya juga ingin memberikan peringatan supaya beliau bersedia untuk dilupakan oleh pemimpin UMNO sekali lagi. Lagi pun beliau sudah pun lali dengan layanan dari pemimpin-pemimpi yang masih merah dalam perjuangan ini.

SPDP “Solidarity Night Back On..??’

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 05:23 AM PDT

audie61′s SPDP privilege source is back to his usual naughty self again. He was all full of enthusiasm and delight with events folding into place the last couple of days. Did I not tell you that all will be well very soon in the SPDP ranks? Bro, the picture will not lie and now you must tell the unbelievers and troublemakers that the "SOLIDARITY NIGHT IS BACK ON TRACK."

A check with one of the SPDP YB and he told us,"This is maturity and any disagreement will be settled in the bests interests of BN.We subscribe to the principles of looking in the interests of the whole BN Family and all matters will be settled for the better good of BN."

Many might just have different views on the "PICTURE OF TOGETHERNESS" but our Privilege source added on with this,"ITS UP TO THEM


Kim Quek fights for his rights -- and Malaysians' freedom of speech

Posted: 01 Oct 2010 01:47 AM PDT

Press statement by Kim Quek

on banning of his book "The March to Putrajaya"

1st October 2010

I refer to the banning of my book "The March to Putrajaya" and the various reason given by the Home Ministry's Secretary General Mahmood Adam as reported by Bernama and relayed by various web portals and blogsites on Sept 30.

The ban was effected by invoking Subsection 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, and as such, Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein was supposed to have exercised his personal judgment upon satisfying himself of the pertinent facts before signing the order. And hence, in respect of the various grounds advanced by the Secretary General, I will address my response to Minister Hishamuddin, as he is the elected representative who should account to the people for this act including the various reasons given to justify it.

What hatred against the Constitution?

You said my book has "incited hatred against the Constitution". This is a sick joke. Throughout my book, one consistent theme is my appeal to everyone to be faithful and to defend the Constitution. Even on the much politicized Article 153, which has been deliberately and dishonestly misinterpreted to carry out all sorts of racist agenda and therefore has attracted much misgiving, I have only words of praise for it. I quote from my article titled "The Constitution and Malay Rights" in page 27l of my book:

"The center of controversy is Article 153 of the Constitution which provides for what is popularly known as Malay 'privileges'. Due to misrepresentation by Umno in the past, many have come to identify Article 153 – and even the entire Constitution – as racially discriminatory. This is not so. In spite of numerous constitutional amendments, the egalitarian spirit of our Constitution in respect of racial equality remains largely intact. Public misunderstanding is attributed to Umno hijacking Article 153 to practice unbridled racial discrimination for self-enrichment in the past few decades".

On the subject of the Constitution, I have only advocated adherence – not defiance, and if at all I made criticism, these are always directed at the people who betrayed it, like the masterminds who engineered the unconstitutional power grab in Perak, the judges, prosecutors and police who trampled on the Constitution in order to protect and preserve the unconstitutional state government.

I would therefore request Hishamuddin to name one example – one single example would do – where I show disaffection to our Constitution, not to mention "inciting hatred". If he can't, he should apologise to me and withdraw his statement.

Baseless accusation?

You also said my book contains "baseless accusations and speculations against national leaders and incite hatred and anger among the people".

Yes, I have criticized leaders who are corrupt and who have abused power, but these are based on facts that are well known and not having been satisfactorily rebutted. If I have told lies and defamed people, why hasn't any one sued me or denied to me the veracity of my articles, which after all have been well publicised in many popular web portals and blogsites and party organs, and hence such information has been in public domain for a long time. I have not received a single complaint from any one claiming to be injured.

Again, I invite Hishamuddin to cite instances where I have indulged in "baseless accusation and speculations against national leaders". I will be only too happy to give my clarification to any example he might bring up.

When the corrupt acts of leaders are exposed, how do you expect the people will react? Of course they will be angry. But who should take responsibility for having caused the people's anger? The one who betrays the people's trust by stealing public funds or the one who inform the people of such public frauds? The blame rests squarely with the corrupt, not with the whistle-blower.

Not by the wildest stretch of imagination can you accuse me of "inciting hatred"!

My message of reforms

If there is one dominating theme that persists throughout my book, it is the message of reforms. The country must undertake serious reforms and it must be done now, lest we will have to pay a price that no one would like to bear.

I consider myself a patriot for pointing all the ills of our current political status quo, and in fact Umno should thank me for doing that, for isn't it true that all its top leaders of Umno have been singing the tune of reforms since the 2008 general election? Why not take the hard medicine from me – medicine that will do you good?
and read. EXCEPT for UMNO ilks who want the Rakyat to remain ig ognorance so that their masters can continue to plunder, rape and even murder:(:(:( ~~ YL, Desi


I welcome any criticism and open dialogue over any part of my book, as it is through honest discourse that we will bring benefit to the nation.

As for the Ministry's ban over my book, I reserve my right to take the necessary legal recourse to protect my constitutional rights.

Kim Quek.

Kenapa menteri takut kepada mahasiswa?

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 03:59 PM PDT

Dari Ahmad Syazwan Muhammad Hasan, via e-mail

Kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Dato' Seri Khaled Nordin yang memberi amaran agar mahasiswa tidak terlibat dalam Pilihanraya Kecil (PRK) DUN Galas adalah suatu kenyataan yang aneh dan tidak selari sengan peredaran zaman.

Menteri sepatutnya tidak perlu untuk mengeluarkan kenyataan sebegitu, yang seolah-olah terlalu paranoid jika mahasiswa terlibat dalam PRK DUN Galas yang bakal berlangsung.

Bebarapa dekad mutakhir ini, mahasiswa di Malaysia diperlakukan seperti penjenayah yang dikuarantin di dalam kampus dan tidak dibenarkan untuk menghirup udara segar demokrasi dalam negara, sebagaimana anak muda yang seusia luar kampus.

AUKU menjadi hantu kepada mahasiswa dan dijadikan bahan ugutan oleh pihak kerajaan untuk menakutkan mahasiswa sejak kebelakangan ini. Namun, adakah mahasiswa seluruhnya memahami AUKU secara mendalam?

Penulis sekadar berkongsi idea dan pengalaman dalam berbincang soal AUKU dengan pelbagai pihak. Dalam AUKU, perkara yang menjadi subjek perbincangan ialah seksyen 15 (a) yang tidak membenarkan mahasiswa menyatakan sokongan, simpati ataupun bangkangan terhadap mana-mana parti politik dan terlibat aktif dalam politik kepartian.

Akta ini cukup jelas menyekat mahasiswa untuk terlibat dengan parti politik dalam negara, bukannya sistem politik Negara.

Saya rasa di sini timbul keraguan di antara pelaksana undang-undang yang mentafsirkan seksyen tersebut mengikut selera masing-masing. Akta ini juga yang menjadi point utama dalam perbicaraan saman pemula empat orang mahasiswa UKM di mahkamah baru-baru ini.

Akta tersebut tidak menyatakan bahawa mahasiswa TIDAK BOLEH TERLIBAT DALAM PILIHANRAYA samada umum ataupun kecil. Mahasiswa hanya dilarang untuk berkempen dan menyatakan sokongan kepada parti yang bertanding, itu sedia maklum.

Namun, persoalan saya, jika ada beberapa orang calon bebas yang bertanding dalam PRK nanti, maka adakah mahasiswa boleh terlibat dalam pilihanraya tersebut sedangkan calon bebas ini bertanding atas kapasiti individu, bukannya parti?

Maka tidak ada tindakan yang boleh dikenakan ke atas mahasiswa yang turun berkempen untuk calon bebas tersebut kerana mereka tidak boleh dikaitkan dengan parti politik yang sah.

Di sinilah lompang dan tidak relevannya AUKU yang hanya memandang parti politik itu subjek, sedangkan objek pilihanraya masih luas dalam sistem demokrasi yang diamalkan.

Maka saya boleh nyatakan bahawa mahasiswa boleh sama sekali terlibat dalam pilihanraya dan berkempen jika ada calon bebas yang bertanding dalam PRK nanti.

Selain itu, jika hanya calon dari parti politik sahaja yang terlibat, maka tidak salah juga bagi mahasiswa untuk ke sana sekadar mengikuti dengan lebih dekat amalan pilihanraya di Malaysia.

Kesimpulannya, mahasiswa mempunyai hak dan kebebasan untuk bersuara sebagaimana yang dijamin oleh artikel 10 perlembagaan Negara yang kita junjung bersama.

Menakutkan mahasiswa dengan AUKU adalah suatu pendekatan yang lapuk lagi bacul dan pihak kerajaan perlu berfikir secara liberal dan rasianal dalam mengambil sesuatu pendekatan.

Liberalisasi dan transformasi ekonomi sahaja tidak cukup untuk memungkinkan Malaysia bakal muncul sebagai negara maju tanpa diselarikan dengan kebebasan sosial khususnya kebebasan akademik dan hak bersuara rakyat termasuklah mahasiswa.

Saya harap menteri tak perlu takut jika mahasiswa turun ke medan demokrasi kerana kita sepatutnya menyahut kebebasan bersuara sebagaimana yang dibenarkan oleh civil society dan hak yang dijamin dalam perlembagaan.

Penulis adalah yang dipertua Persatuan Mahasiswa Islam Universiti Malaya.

Sila baca:

Mahasiswa diingat tidak terlibat PRK Galas

Najib should clean up Islamophobia in Malaysia first

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 03:59 PM PDT

From P Waytha Moorthy, via e-mail

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should look into his own backyard on how the minority Malaysian Indians and the non-Malays suffer from Islamophobia through BTN, Jakim, Rela, Perkasa, the judiciary and every other organ of the government institution.

Coercing syariah law onto non-Muslims, forceful conversions, statelessness, body snatching, direct insults similar to the cow-head incident that prevail through state sponsored institutions in Malaysia are classic examples of Islamophobia that effects the tenet of human rights in this country.

Najib needs to address these first before preaching to the US on handling Islamophobia.

Najib, your Islamophabia preaching is a "red herring" argument whereby in doing so, you intend to mislead and distract the discussion away from the issues under debate and instead to focus the attention on publicity stunts.

The Islamophobia is perpetrated to the highest extend in Malaysia through your administration's practice. How will you be able to assist Obama when you can't even clean your own backyard.  

The writer is the Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairman.

PM needs to kill the devils of racism

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 03:58 PM PDT

From Lawrence S, via e-mail

BTN is formed under the era of an Indian-Muslim PM who is the "father of racism" and turned Malaysia from a harmonious country into a polarized nation.

He, together with his brainchild the BTN, created and rooted the current social economic status of our nation that may take century to turn it around if the existing PM, the founder of 1Malaysia, is not going to take drastic action to eliminate those Napoleons in the BTN (not just one Hamim alone).

As for the rakyat at large, they will be sitting there watching the wayang kulit instead of rolling up their shirts and trousers and work hard and smart to materialize the new concept.

Well, looking at the current scenario and more and more devils come to light, we really need a top leader with stainless steel will, nerve of alloy, stern heart and mind to curtail off and marginalize these devils to create a harmonious era for rakyat at large to work for the betterment of the people and nation.


BTN imbroglio: 'Cabinet fails Najib'

Let's strive to end racism

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 03:57 PM PDT

From TohBeng, via e-mail

Dear Mr Uthayakumar. It is not that Pakatan does not want to put Indians in higher post. It could be because there are other more qualified people to fill the portfolio.

I'm sure the situation in Pakatan states are much better than those in Barisan controlled states. We should strive to end racism.

True. Currently the Indians are the poorest among all the three major races. The government should think of helping through education. I believe it should not take the form like a mini NEP for the Indians.

At the same time, your Human Rights Party should also strive not to be a racist party


Umno at odds with race-tolerant world, says HRP

MBPJ's crony legal firm: Complainants are ignorant

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 03:56 PM PDT

From N Surendran, via e-mail

I refer to the recent controversy on whether MBPJ had hired a "crony legal firm",where Subang MP R Sivarasa and PKR information chief Latheefa Koya (an MBPJ councillor) have their legal practices.

Those who have raised this issue are plainly ignorant as to how professionals such as lawyers are  selected  and appointed by those requiring their services. Prudent clients select potential lawyers based on recommendations, by their prominence in a certain field, by their seniority and experience or by their general reputation.

Lawyers are barred by etiquette rules from soliciting for work. Therefore, contrary to what some misinformed persons have suggested, open tenders cannot be placed by MBPJ to seek legal representation.

Any lawyer who responds to such a tender will in effect be soliciting for work. In fact, I have never heard of anyone putting out open tenders for the services of lawyers.

Again, MBPJ cannot select a lawyer based on how cheap his fee might be compared to a list of other lawyers. One does not appoint professionals on such a basis.

To take an example from the medical field, if you need to have your gall bladder taken out, do you shop around for the cheapest surgeon in town? Such an approach may be a sure ticket to an early grave.

Those who have raised this issue will doubtless seek out the best professionals to attend to their personal affairs, but expect MBPJ to hire just any lawyer off the street at the cheapest rate available in furtherance of some  misguided notion of transparency and good governance.

Retaining a competent lawyer who can get the job done is thus a vastly different undertaking from hiring a contractor to collect garbage. These were judicial review cases, in which field Sivarasa has something of a reputation. He is also known personally or by reputation to most of the MBPJ councillors. It was thus a perfectly sensible thing for MBPJ to have retained Sivarasa's legal firm to act as legal counsel for them.

The writer is a practising lawyer.


MBPJ hires 'crony' firm: Mayor, PKR cry 'No'

Nurul enters the ring, vies for veep post

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 11:30 PM PDT

THU, 23 SEP 2010 17:04

By G Vinod

VIDEO INSIDE KUALA LUMPUR: PKR's Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar today announced her decision to contest for the vice-presidency post in the upcoming party election.

The eldest daughter of party supremo Anwar Ibrahim, who has received eight nominations to date, said she was both honoured and humbled by the trust the members had placed in her.

"I have decided to take the responsibilty and respect the party members' wishes," she told reporters at her service centre in Bangsar here.

"I am grateful because your nominations or 'suara ahli' (members' voice) shall become my own 'suara hati' (my voice) as I humbly embrace the opportunity and responsibility to serve," she said.

Contrary to the speculation that she was aligned to deputy presidential hopeful Zaid Ibrahim, Nurul said she would not endorse any candidate.

"I feel that the members are not only free to nominate but that I must also respect and accept their endorsements for their respective candidates accordingly," she said.

On whether being the daughter of Anwar and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would give her an edge, she dismissed it, arguing that it could turn out to be a double-edged sword instead.

"It can also be a deterrent factor as some members may not like the idea of me being the vice president," she said, adding that she was her own person.

Real defining change

Nurul, who was 18 when her father was sacked as deputy premier, said she had the privilege of witnessing and participating in the reformasi movement and see it evolve into PKR today.

"I believe that our party's election this year will be a real defining change as we will be able to forge a true people's movement that shares a common destiny – for a better Malaysia," she said.

Nurul said members should elect the party leadership based on the candidate's vision, ideas and commitment to the party's values and ideals, rather than exclusively on personality.

"We must appreciate and acknowledge leaders at all levels for their contribution, sacrifices and efforts in transforming a reformasi movement to a party that along with our partners in Pakatan Rakyat shall lead the nation soon.

"We must believe that every leader is guided by their moral compass to do what is best, even more so under demanding circumstances and difficult choices, for a common good," she said.

"We must affirm that each member shares similar aspirations and has the best intentions for our common struggle. We have much in common and our differences should strengthen, not weaken us," she added.

Nurul said she hoped that once the election is over, the party would once again stand united to chart its future course with the newly minted leadership.

Don't be short-sighted

The 30-year-old MP also stressed on the importance of having a free and fair election, saying it is a test of PKR's integrity and credibility as a founding partner in Pakatan to conduct itself in a transparent, responsible and accountable manner.

"We will be measured by our party members, our Pakatan partners and the Malaysian people on how we uphold democratic principles in our party elections. So, let us rise to the occasion and not betray the hopes and expectations with the promise of a better Malaysia for all Malaysians," she said.

As for those vying for positions, Nurul said these aspiring leaders should not be short-sighted, selfish and Machiavellian in their campaigning.

"Let us be ethical in our actions when seeking the legitimate and moral leadership mandate from our members," she said, proposing that all candidates publicly sign a "Keadilan Free and Fair Campaign Election Declaration" next week.

"I believe that with this party lies the future of this country. This is indeed our moment of truth," she added.

Nurul’s unanswered challenge to Mahathir and Ibrahim

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 11:21 PM PDT

WED, 29 SEP 2010 06:00

By Kim Quek

COMMENT Amidst the recent heightening of racial rhetoric, mainly originating from Umno, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad created a minor sensation when he warned that Malays will lose their power and a Chinese or an Indian may become prime minister, if the opposition Pakatan Rakyat were to come to power.

This statement was immediately rebutted by Nurul Izzah, Lembah Pantai MP, and eldest daughter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

In a hard-hitting statement on Sept 24, Nurul accused Mahathir of playing the race card to incite racial animosities and to perpetuate the "politics of fear". The cornerstone of this age-old, race-centric strategy of Umno was Article 153 of the Federal Constitution, which Nurul said Umno has used as a "political instrument of deceit and despair".

Through mass indoctrination that "degrades, confuses and paralyses the community", Umno has caused the Malays to be "enslaved intellectually and emotionally".  Nurul said the purpose of all this is to maintain political hegemony so that the few ruling elite can continue to enrich themselves "through corruption, abuse of power and undermining the constitution relentlessly".

To counter such politics, Nurul offered the "politics of hope and liberation" which would transform the Malay mind from one of misguided fears to one that would "create a confident and liberated community".  She "humbly offers" to debate with Mahathir to "clarify if his 'fear' for the Malays is really about loss of power or in reality loss of wealth for the chosen few".

Not unexpectedly, Mahathir has maintained his "elegant silence" to her offer.

Malaysia or Malaysaja?

Nurul also suggested an "honest, constructive dialogue" with Ibrahim Ali, head of the Malay right-wing Pekasa, which is under the patronage of Mahathir. Nurul's offer was contained in her article dated Aug 31, titled "The ultimate Malaysian debate: Malaysia or Malaysaja?" (Malaysia or Malays Only?) which was written to counter Perkasa's seemingly endless championing of "Malay rights" which had escalated racial tension and raised political temperature by many notches.

Ibrahim and Mahathir seem hell-bent on stopping Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from implementing his New Economic Model, which is supposed to liberalise the economy and free it from the clutches of the economically stifling, much corrupted and skewed New Economic Policy that heavily plays on "Malay rights".

Nurul's article is in fact an important document that probes deep into the current Malay dilemma faced by so many Malays, and by extension, the entire country.

In her article, she explores, analyses, as well as answers some of these crucial questions:

  • What exactly are "Malay rights"?  What is the constitutional basis of these rights? What exactly is stated in the famous Article 153 upon which the clamour for all kinds of racial privileges seems to have been built?  What sort of racial preferences are included and what are excluded in Article 153?
  • What is the nature of Malay discontent? What are they unhappy about?
  • What are the true causes of failure to uplift the Malay standard of living despite heavy dosage of the New Economic Policy?
  • What are the real solutions to overcome these predicaments?
  • What are the serious consequences to the country if racial bigotry were to triumph over rational solution and "ketuanan Melayu" (Malay supremacy) advocates win the next general election?

Nurul proposes, in her article, to have an "honest, constructive engagement or dialogue" with Perkasa to reach a better understanding of key issues and to jointly look for real solutions.

Nurul's article is outstanding in that it had accurately dissected Article 153, distinguished facts from myths, analysed ambiguous notions, pin-pointed real causes and solutions, and above all, earnestly and sincerely sought to work out common ground for the benefit of all.

Wanton police acts defamed the nation

But alas, what did she get in return for such gallant effort? Instead of being heaped with accolades and positively reciprocated, she was summoned to a police station where she was subjected to investigation for alleged breach of the Sedition Act based upon a police report lodged by Perkasa accusing Nurul of "questioning" the Federal Constitution in her article!

What a big joke! The one who should be hauled up for questioning should be the complainant, Perkasa representative Zaira Jaafar, for having made an unfounded accusation. Zaira should have been punished or at least warned of the serious consequences of making a false police report and falsely defaming others.

Of late, there has been an alarming increase in the number of cases where police wantonly abused their power to harass opposition members by subjecting them to investigation on frivolous grounds, confiscating their books illegally, and even arresting them arbitrarily.

A most recent case is that of cartoonist Zunar, who was arrested and shuffled around from one police station to another for not less than six times, while all the time the police were unable to make up their mind what law to use to charge him.

By displaying such disgusting political partisanship and lawlessness, the police have defiled the image of the country and further lowered our grade (which has already reached rock bottom) as an investment destination. And needless to say, such fragrant trampling of people's fundamental rights has caused their political masters, the Barisan Nasional, to lose more electoral support than they could ever imagine.

Now, coming to Mahathir and Ibrahim. The hue and cry they have raised over the alleged peril to the Malay race cannot withstand the test of rational scrutiny. They know the truth but are only pretending not to know it. And their refusal to engage in any constructive dialogue with Nurul goes to show they are not prepared to have their masks taken down

How feng shui has changed

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 11:29 PM PDT

As a music lover, I was attracted to a piece of news featured in the Star today. There was also a picture of school girls playing digital pianoes .

Star online also carried the news and had a youtube video about it too. You can view the news and the video  here.

Part of the news read like this:

The Deputy Prime Minister said research had shown that children exposed to music perform better than those who are not.

Muhyiddin, who is also Educa tion Minister, added that countries with good academic performance, such as Hungary, the Netherlands, the United States and Japan, gave emphasis to music education.

He said this at a presentation of digital pianos by South Korea's Booyoung Housing Co Ltd to Malaysian schools at Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah here yesterday.

Booyoung donated 3,000 digital pianos, 50 of which would be given to the Korean community in Malaysia.

Indeed it is true that music helps in mental development and students with music background often do better and think better.

We Malaysians should be thankful to S Korea for being so kind as to donate so many digital pianoes to our schools.

I am happy and at the same time feel a bit sour inside me.

Happy because if we have to pay for so many digital pianoes, the price would be astronomical, remembering how much a school paid for its computer as pointed out in the Auditor General's report last year. If my memory has not failed me, a lap top was bought for  about RM40000 + . So if we have to pay for these pianoes, I am sure we would have to pay hundreds  of millions (if not in the region of billions) for them, going by the experience as highlighted year in and year out in the AG's report.

SO, as a tax payer, i feel relieved and happy that we have at least saved so much.

At the same time, I feel sour inside..It was because in the next paragraph, the news report mentioned this:

The company has made similar donations to schools in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

I feel sour-ish because Malaysia is now placed in the same league as Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I can understand Thailand, but to be in the same league as Laos and Cambodia? In the eyes of international businesses, we have now been classified in this grouping.

I remember we were so much ahead of South Korea in the 60s, and were equal to SKorea in the early 80s. ALso I remember how Malaysia used to donate stuff to countries in Africa in the 70s and 80s, helping the less developed countries of that continent.

Now, we are deemed to be in the same league as Cambodia, Laos, and so on.

How feng shui has changed!


Posted: 30 Sep 2010 11:31 PM PDT

It's Friday. And I have found good reasons to celebrate the weekend and celebrate our wonderful country and its amazing children. Watch, listen and see how 1Malaysia is alive and well. No thanks to the Y.B.'s

Thank you, Khairuddin and the Lowe's team for sharing.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

What the NEM (ETP) needs

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 01:13 PM PDT

By Nurul Izzah Anwar

COMMENT I wish to outline my big picture impression of how to make the NEM (ETP) a success for all Malaysians as part of my continuing constructive engagement initiative.

It was said by some observers that the opposition only critiques without offering any alternative solutions to the ETP in particular.

However, all if not most of the ideas presented here have already been suggested, and I only wish to repeat them for the purpose of outlining the necessary steps to make NEM a reality.

I hope that this 'big picture' commentary with suggested actions will be considered seriously and explained by the government in the upcoming 2011 Budget announcement in Parliament.

The critique

Returning to my articles on the ETP, the response received from the public in support or otherwise of the position I presented is most welcomed in the spirit of free speech in a democracy. This debate is a healthy development, albeit mostly through the alternative media.

The main points to my ETP articles and the various responses can be summed up as follows:

The ETP is a huge economic development or transformation plan that has its merits.

However, the numbers and various acronyms must not be a deterrent from discussing economics especially on its impact on all stakeholders.
The possible inconsistencies and accuracy of GDP growth projections was revealed when the PM last year, at an internationally attended multimedia super corridor event, claimed he was misquoted on his announcement of the 9% annual growth target for the next 10 years of being actually 6%.  Even a prominent local research house alluded to an 8% growth rate.

Some have said that if real GDP growth is 6% annually, it will only take us to the target of US$17,000 nominal GNI per head if Malaysia's population grows at a 1 per cent compound rate a year for the next ten years. However, from 2000-2010, population grew by an estimated 1.86% (Dept of Statistics). If population grows at this faster rate instead of 1% over the next decade, then real GDP growth would also have be faster by this difference.

Also, the GDP growth projections didn't include if any, the plans related to requiring a quality workforce by increasing government spending and investments in education and research and development capacity building.

It appears that most of the EPPs and BOs were proposed by specific companies such as the RM43 billion MRT project proposed by Gamuda-MMC. The question is, will the proposed project be awarded to the proposer or open for competitive international bidding? If this is not clarified, than the EPPs and BOs would only be a self-serving exercise for certain businesses.

To illustrate this point, would Pemandu be interested in my RM500 billion atmospheric dome proposal covering Kuala Lumpur against climate change or as a friend suggested a scaled down RM50 billion eco-project utilizing gigantic fans to blow existing pollution to our neighbouring countries?

As the proposer, all I need is an official award letter and a parliament act to set a price on the atmosphere along with a government guarantee letter to help me raise the needed DDI and FDI funds. My RM500 billion dome would increase GNI substantially and become a center of excellence as we would be the first in the world to do it. Isn't this truly innovative?  So let all Malaysians submit their innovative proposals to Pemandu for consideration, which can be named RPP (Rakyat Proposed Projects).

Furthermore, if most companies perceive that they do not have a fair chance to compete relative to favoured companies and with a lack of transparency, then this will have an adverse impact on investor confidence. For example, can we have more details on the 1Malaysia Development Fund to know if this exercise to acquire public assets is in the public interest?

The proven track record of not achieving the previous Malaysian Plans is also troubling. For example, 8th Malaysian Plan target of 7.5% growth only achieved an average 4.5% growth while the 9th Malaysian Plan target of 6% growth as of date is at an average 4.2%. This brings our past 10 year historical average growth to less than 5%.

The need to expand participation for national consultation should not be limited to various 'laboratories' involving big business, professionals and civil service inputs. The ordinary rakyat especially the rural and urban poor, youth, workers and civil society were not sufficiently engaged on the ground. Some may be intimidated let alone can afford to attend these public participation events or 'Open Days' in conference halls.

The widening income inequality and limited higher education opportunities, which is a contributing factor to widening the gap must be addressed adequately.  Economic policies may have reduced the absolute poverty rate but they have also worsened the distribution of income. Thus, the bottom 40% of all households accounts for 15% or less of household income while the top 20% of households account for 50% or more. Sabah, Sarawak and East Coast states bear a disproportionate number of hardcore poor, poor and low-income households.

The most fundamental determinant of any competitive economic plan, which is innovation, requires freedom. How are we free to be creative when our national cartoonist is arrested for humouring us?

Rushing to conclude a matter of national importance just to meet the 2020 year milestone and changing big plans introduced previously such as economic corridors, that are later repackaged by new Prime Ministers only adds to the inconsistent policy making culture (some say flip-flopping) that undermines confidence in the plan's success.

The plan appears to works backwards from developed country status to high-income status in 2020. This is the source of the problem, silly as it sounds. The impact of this is not only to make the targets "costly, confusing and convoluted" but also conjectural.

Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently alluded to the possible failure to achieve Vision 2020's objectives, which is the premise for the NEM timeline.

Overall, there is much room for improvement in making the ETP viable, realistic and sustainable. And to do that, I now shall outline some suggestions in the form of a formula.

Formula for NEM (ETP) success

I am providing a '4E' formula to keep in line with the many acronyms introduced by the government recently. To be fair I find acronyms useful as mental markers to organize the numerous concepts needed to frame a big idea such as the NEM.

The '4E' formula to make NEM a success is; Education + Empowerment + Efficiencies = Economic Growth (NEM).

The main thrust of the 4E formula is to 'Build Capacity' for productivity, innovation and sustainability through a one-time massive government investment similar in effort to the US Space Project, in education, research and development, political reforms and effective policies.

And on balance with the need for huge investments, we also need to reduce waste through efficiencies and transparency so that every ringgit invested in 'Capacity Building' provides the highest returns for the benefit of all Malaysians.

First E: Education

The NEM already stated the need for at least 3.3 million quality workforce. This includes for more than half to be first degree and diploma holders.

To produce quality workforce requires quality education.

Before I proceed, I would like to note that the recent announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Education Minister that vocational education will be revamped is commendable.

The suggested actions to be taken are:

Depoliticize Education

The Deputy Prime Minister's recent statement of his inability to take action on the case of the two principals for racist remarks due to administrative procedures may have an unintended consequence of reaffirming the separation between politicians and the civil service.

It is hoped that this 'depolitisation principle' includes all government ministries and to a certain extent also to the judiciary and other institutions. I hope it is not selectively applied for political expediency only.

Removing the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) will add towards improving the innovation culture and quality standards of tertiary education to meet NEM objectives profoundly.

Pre-school, Primary And Secondary School Enhancements: Offer Pre-school education to all Malaysian children. The current education NKRA achievement where 54,569 children have benefited from 1,358 pre-school classes is a step in the right direction.

However, it should be accelerated to cover all children numbering at least 1.5 million for three pre-school age group cohorts.

Enhance teaching capacity: Hire more teachers and assistant teachers by 50%, upgrade teacher qualification and professionalism, increase salaries by 50%.

Enhance school curriculum: Move towards a critical and creative thinking approach including for examination questions.

Increase school hours: Adding 45 minutes daily can increase academic achievement significantly.

Single session schooling: Build more new schools and additional classrooms in existing schools. Also continue to fully equip them with ICT infrastructure.

Tertiary Education Quality, Accessibility and Affordability

In summary the following should be considered for tertiary education excellence: greater autonomy, massive Phd Programs for academic staff, increase research and development capacity, increase salaries, hire foreign academic staff talent, itroduce ranking system, convert PTPTN loans to scholarships and provide more scholarships and subsidies

All these actions would require political will and increased public financing to succeed.

The political will to depoliticise and democratize education along with repealing the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) will signal the government's sincerity and commitment to make the NEM a true success for all rather than just for a few Malaysians.

From a public finance perspective, even if the above measures add another 4.5% to the government's 4.5% average education spending for a total 9% of GDP annually for the next 10 years, this will indicate to the people and the international community of our determination to meet the NEM objectives.

As a possible source of funds, I had proposed earlier that 30% of Petronas annual profit be a mandated contribution to a National Education Fund. This also would include implementing an NEP Bumiputera Equity Redistribution Plan (Quota – in a –Quota) where 25% of current Bumiputera equity ownership of both publicly listed or privately held companies be sold at par-value (which is the official equity ownership calculation criteria) to the same National Education Fund entity.

Second E: Empowerment

One of the most if not the most important key success factor for NEM's success is innovation. And innovation needs freedom. Freedom can only come from empowering society.

To empower society, I had suggested that we need to add a fifth pillar to the national transformation agenda which is already based on four pillars of 1Malaysia, GTP (Government Transformation Plan), ETP (Economic Transformation Plan) and 10th Malaysia Plan, to be called the PRP (Political Reformation Plan).

PRP includes repealing all anti-democratic laws, respecting separation of powers, reforming national elections and restoring local government elections, returning the judiciary's and other state institution's independence, fighting corruption, ensuring a free media and by abiding to the true meaning of our constitution.

By doing so, I am sure that the international community specifically the foreign investors will find it attractive to return and contribute more than the 25% FDI needed to finance the ETP.

Third E: Efficiencies

There are three efficiencies that must be considered to make NEM successful. They are Government Service Efficiency, Market Efficiency and Social Security Efficiency.

Government Service Efficiency

The current Government Transformation Plan (GTP) already addresses this matter to a certain extent.

However, I hope that the initial trend of depoliticising the civil service inadvertently introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister in regards to the two principal racist remark affair shall be a permanent feature to transform the government as planned.

I would also suggest that more talented Malaysians be recruited into the civil service by making it more attractive with market-rate salary and benefits. I believe quality should be the main consideration as we already have quantity with a huge civil service.

We also need a significant and empowered technocracy (i.e. professionals with specialized skills just as in Singapore, Taiwan and Korea.) There is no point in developing our human capital development to a very high level in these areas if they are not then placed in senior decision-making management and administration positions. It is possible to make bureaucrats out of technocrats but not the other way around. They must be empowered, evaluated and promoted based on achievements and track record.

Another important factor that will improve government efficiency and accountability is to return the Local Government Elections immediately. This third tier of government will provide a faster response by the government in delivering services for the real needs of the ratepayers.

Market Efficiency

Information or rather the quality of information is necessary for market efficiency. This would include timely, accurate and consistent information on policy, events and plans.

One of the ways that information is reliable is to allow for a free media.

Therefore, as a step forward, I hope the government will allow more permits for daily newspapers to be approved including my own permit for Utusan Rakyat.

Structural distortions by favorable policy and selective benefits to certain sectors, economic leakages, corruption, opaque procurement practices and inconsistency policy statements will never make NEM a success for all stakeholders.

Social Security Efficiency

The households who live below the poverty line must be assured of equitable assistance from the government. This includes targeted subsidies for essential goods and services such as health and education.

As a first step it is necessary to review the Poverty Line Income (PLI) which should be RM1,886 rather than the government's PLI average of RM800 per household . This would ensure existing policies and programmes are realigned accordingly to provide an effective safety net for the people.

Another step is to implement a living wage of at least RM1,500 per month.

And to ensure affordable living expenses, the government must enforce anti-monopoly laws across all sectors combined with fighting corruption and white collar crime that add cost to prices for consumers.

Fourth E: Economic Growth

I fail to see how Education, Empowerment and Efficiencies with the suggested actions are not crucial contributing factors for Economic Growth.

The absence of policies, funding and political will to implement these factors will only add to the current skepticism in the NEM initiative.

I hope that our economist and policy makers will add to this discussion with more details. I also hope that a more constructive debate on these factors will take place with all stakeholders especially in the next Parliament sitting.

Furthermore, I would even dare to suggest that implementing the '4E' formula will definitely benefit the current government's standing and make the opposition more competitive for votes.

This is a price I believe the people and even the opposition should be willing to pay for a better Malaysia. The cost of doing the right thing is nothing compared to the cost of a failed NEM plan leading to a failed nation.

Nurul Izzah Anwar is PKR's MP for Lembah Pantai.

Also read:

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Posted: 30 Sep 2010 09:41 PM PDT

Anwar Ibrahim has only one dream, the dream to call Sri Perdana his home. There different reasons for wanting to become Prime Minister;

  1. some people have a vision and they want to implement that vision, 
  2. others just like the idea of being PM but have very little clue about what is required of a leader and 
  3. yet others want to be PM because they have plans for themselves and those they don't like.

I am not quite sure Anwar falls in which category but if I were a betting man I would certainly put my money on number 2.

When he was in Umno and had power, Anwar did not shine, his policies while at the Education ministry was so damaging that it is still being undone to this day

While Finance Minister he wanted to put in place IMF-sponsored policies that would have crippled the country.

And of course stories of Anwar being a self -serving politician is something that even his stalwarts are uncomfortable about.

The video below, of Anwar on BBC's Hardtalk with Zeinab Badawi is the perfect illustration of how he tries to weasel away from the appalling defects in his politics. Here Zeinab asked him about nepotism and Anwar struggled to put a coherent sentence together...

The recent bouts of violence, acrimony and allegations of vote rigging during PKR's party election that has even tainted his daughter, Nurul Izzah is said to be proof of Anwar's far reaching nepotism.

Most of the disputes took place where Anwar's choice were losing or had lost to their challenger.

The massive losses suffered by Anwar's dream team is an indication that PKR members are sick and tired of the hanky panky and abuse by Anwar's ex-Umno/BN cohorts within the party.

Members want to rid the party of these disgruntled ex-Umno/BN who want nothing more than to rape the party for their own benefits but their efforts are stifled by the political machinations of Anwar/Azmin/Azizah.

Even Wan Azizah has found Anwar's unnaturally tenacious predilection for his former private secretary, Azmin Ali rather unsavoury and together with Nurul Izzah they have been quietly throwing support behind grassroot candidates.

Apart from the political damage being done by putting the wrong leader to take charge of the second party in Malaysia's fledgling two party system, we are also under attack from those who do not seem to understand that having a two party system does not mean they can start challenging the constitution, namely Article 153 that has enshrined the rights of the Malays and the protections accorded to everyone else.

The latest example of such dangerous play with the race cards took place when a chinese reporter disguised herself and entered a BTN event and came out with red mist and accused the speaker of racism when he asked Malays to unite.

working for Opposition sympathising, 4th-floor boys-linked newsportal, Malaysian Insider, Boo su lyn put on a tudung and entered a BTN talk

If unity is a crime then I suggest that we arrest every chinese in Malaysia and send the police/army and other security agencies to every chinese society and organisation and sow discord.

Malay unity is the backbone of national unity and harmony, without Malay unity, no one can expect to enjoy the peace and calm that we so take for granted today.

Promoting Malay unity is one of the imperatives of national security, poke fun at it all you want and accuse me of being a racist for calling for Malay unity if you want but mark my words, without Malay unity there is no Malaysia.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

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