Monday, January 31, 2011

A Post Borrowed 'Cos of Author's Name!

A Post Borrowed 'Cos of Author's Name!

A Post Borrowed 'Cos of Author's Name!

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 02:54 PM PST

With a name like Desi Anwar, this guy/gal must be having the best of two worlds. After reading the ARTickle, however, I sigh a byte 'cos he/she had "no child", what a waste. Please don't take it "personal" Desi (from another Desi:), I'm writHing LIGHTHEARTEDLY TODIE! I woke up specially early because I had bypassed dinnerand supper after downing a **fleerunch in Kuala Lumpur. NOTE ** this is spelt thus in Da Desi Code as the chinoserie in us often mix up our "r" and "l" when trying to talk in between mouthfuls.

In Fact, I said "ellor" once while speaking at a Press Training course eon years ago -- luckily the participants all had a SENse of humour 'cos the course was provided FLEE over one **weak (Another DDC! hear!:) with many fleemeals thrown in. Nah, the remainder if any was never thrown out. Students onrmally would tapau it for another raininy day -- like now for Johoreans and Serembanknights!

********************************************FROM THE

Not a Tiger Mother — Desi Anwar

January 31, 2011

JAN 31 — Reading "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," Yale law professor Amy Chua's account of raising her children, now I know why I'm not some high-flying lawyer or doctor: I didn't have a Tiger Mother constantly shouting in my ear, "Nothing is fun until you're good at it." This is supposedly the way Chua herself was raised by her Chinese parents — with strict discipline, tough parenting and only one aim: to be a high achiever, a winner in life, above all those poor losers with bad grades and few prospects. This so-called Chinese method of parenting supposedly ensures Grade A children who will one day earn big salaries and rule the world.

Poor me. I didn't have a mother who forced me to practice the piano for hours at a time until I could get a tune just right. She didn't even get me a piano for that matter, nor did it seem to occur to my mother how important it was for little girls to learn how to play the piano. As to supervising me as I did my homework and ensuring that I brought home nothing but A's, why, I can't remember even once when either of my parents actually bothered to go to my school to pick up my report card, let alone make sure that I spent my evenings bent over my books. Even now, I still wonder how I managed to get through elementary school without failing my exams or doing too badly in class, for I certainly can't remember doing any studying or finishing my homework.

Even now, when I see my cousin fret over the grades of her children and how hard it is to get them to focus on their schoolwork, and the effort and yelling she has to go through on a daily basis just to get them to wake up in time for school and make sure they do their homework and not play too much, I still don't get this parenting business. Does one really have to spend so much time and energy micro-managing one's children? For what purpose? So they will turn out exactly the way their parents want them to be?

But neither did my parents raise me in what Chua hints at being the Western style of parenting — more permissive with constant praise and rewards even if the child doesn't perform well and isn't likely to turn out to be number one. The Chinese style of parenting seems to be far superior to the Western style — just look at the high achievers that China is producing, reflected in its growth and children's maths grades.

In this country, I also see parents who dote excessively on their offspring. They spoil their kids with attention (or failing that, with an army of nannies) and heap material rewards on them at the first hint of whining and allow the little princes and princesses to dominate their surroundings with unruly behaviour. On the other hand, these spoiled brats are most likely on the path to success anyway, because their parents can afford to put them in the best schools, giving them a major head start on their peers.

All this makes me wonder if there is any specific cultural way of raising children, or whether parents raise children depending on how they themselves were raised and whatever personal chips they have on their shoulders or views they have on life and the meaning of success.

Granted, I don't have children of my own, but I can't remember my parents spending a lot of their precious time on disciplining me and running my life, or praising and lavishing me with words of motivation to bolster my self-esteem. Did they not care about how I turned out? That my life would be the poorer for not being able to play the violin or the piano? Were they not concerned about my future and the sort of life that I would lead? Or perhaps they just had no idea of how to raise children or knowledge of how to be a good parent — Tiger or otherwise.

But I do remember my elementary school years as being a time of endless fun and play, while my high school years were full of academic achievements. I can't remember why. They just were. Maybe because I didn't have a Tiger Mother throwing my report card on the ground and calling me garbage if I didn't come first in my class. Or a mother telling me how great I was when I brought home straight A's. Maybe because I wasn't pressured to be anything, and didn't have anybody breathing down my neck to make sure I did as I was told and became what they wanted me to become. Maybe because my parents didn't map out a life for me in terms of success and failure, but rather possibilities to be discovered and experienced; not through yells, instructions or praise, but seizing opportunities and making mistakes. Above all, I learned to be the master of my own life and choices.

My mother was not a Tiger Mother. If anything, she was an eagle pushing her young out of the nest — so that I could fly. —

* Desi Anwar is a senior anchor at Metro TV.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

DESIDERATA: These lines fromauthor Desi A strike a chord/cord? in Desi C's heART:-

The Chinese style of parenting seems to be far superior to the Western style — just look at the high achievers that China is producing, reflected in its growth and children's maths grades.

BUT I ADD: ...only valid the past THREE DECADES after Deng Xiao Ping broke down the bamboo curtain to rally open up China "cloistered" up during the Mao era and the "intellectuals" punished by Mao's wife -- another TIGER woman?

That my life would be the poorer for not being able to play the violin or the piano?

BUT I ADD: NO way I could pray the piano during schooldays-- how could Mom afford it when it's compulsory "porridge" meal every day plus noodles -- the cheapest one at 10sen per pack with NO WRAPPER! --when the chili sause was the only source of taste enhancement!

But at age 13 I think, we inherited a Kapok guitar -- did someone steal it? I dunno 'cos Mom could never afford it ether -- and me and some mateys had great fun, minus the D! like in FUNd, would imitate Hank Williams' Your Cheatin' Heart to death!:) I guess singing American Cowboys ballads plus reading tonnes/tomes of Enid Blyton over the wickedend, eating roti canai with one piece CUT INTO $ unequal quarters!, plus stealing rambutans for desserts, made up our careflee childhood.

Hence, this also struck a singing chord in both Desi's I guess2:

But I do remember my elementary school years as being a time of endless fun and play,

CHOW, which can mean

Seeya later!


Let's eat!

Wanna jom at Seremban Pasar? -- where they serve the bestA Mamak Mee cooked not by a mamak but by a chinoserie aunty like Desi. No,Desi is not a woman, the comparison is only on "chinakuei" in me. And yes, those were the days we called each other C-kuei, or M-kuei or K-kuei and nobody took offence. Now you mention the Pariah word, the C, K and M all react like Communists.

Tyger, tyger burning bright
NO knot at Desi'shome
But in the forest of the night
By Furong bye-ways Or Rantau shyways

Where all the guys are gay
and the gals are definitely AWEright
Die and night
Left or right!!:):)

The truth behind the US' Egyptian nightmare

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 02:11 PM PST

The US Administration had hoped Mubarak would continue to remain in power, which lead Hilary Clinton to foolishly say something she must now be regretting: "Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people."

Stable? Yeah, as stable as a pyramid made of jelly!

Now those US authorities are weaving and weaseling their way around the Egyptian imbroglio. As the Chinese would say, those Yanks have each foot on a different papyrus sampan.

They still hope for Mubarak to come up tops but realizing that is a fast fading dream they are now ready to dump him for, best case scenario, another strong man to ensure US-Egyptian business runs as normal, and worst case scenario, to ingratiate themselves into the good books of the revolutionary forces as a beacon of freedom and democracy which had 'supported' them, yes, the type of 'freedom and democracy' they had allowed their strong man Mubarak to demonstrate in the last 30+ years.

Why all these farce? Why not truly support local democratic forces? Silly question, because the Americans had and will never care about freedom or democracy for the people of the Middle-East – for examples , consider Iran under their local strong man the late Shah, Iraq under their buddy Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan under their bosom friends the Talibans, Saudi Arabia and Jordan under their clients the respective rulers, and today their nominated and propped up local dictators in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the other side of the coin, the Americans have demonized two true democratic forces there, Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which came to power genuinely through the ballot boxes. So much for the US hypocritical call for democracy.

The answer to the American hypocrisy can be summarized in one word, Israel.

They're worried about the fall of Mubarak only because of Israel's security.

For the last 30 odd years, since post Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Yanks have pumped at least 2 plus billion dollars per annum into Egypt (4 billions for Israel) to ensure the Egyptians remain in its pocket. That's to ensure Israel could enjoy its 'peace' with Egypt.

Egypt is the only Arab nation which has the potential to cause grief to Israel. In 1973 in the Yom Kippur War it came close to defeating Israel. It was reported that Golda Meir was already contemplating suicide.

Alas, the Egyptian army then, under an innovative commander, while having an impressive start, failed in its finishing – typically of the Malaysian 'style mahu, kalah ta'apa'.

There were many reasons analyzed for its poor finishing, but suffice to say, with a better trained Israeli army and massive infusion of American aid via its Operations Nickel Grass, using the formidable USAF Strategic Airlift Command, the USA poured weapons such as F4 fighter-bomber aircraft, tanks, advanced (then) weapons such as Maverick, Tow etc, into an embattled Israel. That turned the tide. Golda Meir personally awarded each pilot of the USAF Airlift Command an award.

Ops Nickel Grass

The prioritization of Israel's needs over its own (American) interests in Vietnam, as demonstrated in Ops Nickel Grass, nearly brought about the near-resignation of then United States chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) General George Brown.

Wikipedia said: Brown was reportedly livid that American weapons and munitions were being sent to a foreign country at the same time that the American command in Vietnam was protesting a lack of supplies in its theater of operations.

Maybe the US would not have suffered as many as 58,000 dead in Vietnam if those weapons had gone there instead?

That's the lamentable story of the USA vis-à-vis Israel, such as witnessed in its recent sacrifice of over 4,000 young American lives and several thousands wounded to fight an Iraqi war (Gulf War II), ostentatiously against Saddam's non-existent WMD, then the hypocrisy about 'regime change', for oil as a second dupliticious mask (to fool its own American people), but in reality, deep in the heart of its agenda (as manipulated by the American neocon Zionists), purely for Israel's regional interests.

It very nearly and foolishly did that again with Iran, until the American military advised against getting embroiled in Iran. But it's not off the hook yet on this one. The Israelis and their American supporters have a way of getting what they want from the US Administration, and they want Iran emasculated like Iraq, the two nations in the region (when Iraq was under Saddam) with the money, will, and hatred of Israel to cause Israel sleepless nights.

It's all about Israel. That's the millstone around each American Administration, perhaps forever. I had hoped President Obama would be different from previous US presidents but alas, he is in many respects worse than them.

Protect Israel. Mubarak Must be Kept as Egypt's President

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 12:43 PM PST

In spite of the massive turnout of Egyptians EVERYWHERE in Egypt to anti Mubarak and anti government demonstrations, America is still dragging their feet in their treatment of Mubarak and his regime.

Until today, America has refused to take the right stand, and that is, to order Mubarak to vacate his office. All we hear from the White House are empty threats and utter rhetorics. Nothing concrete. Nothing solid.

America loves Mubarak. In a country where even the Coptic Christians hate Israel, America has a loyal friend in their undying support for Israel. When Israel was committing mass genocide in Gaza, Egypt lent their hand to Israel.

Mubarak has no qualm in assisting Israel in the genocide. To him, the genocide of Gaza serves Mubarak's interest in many ways. Among others:

1.0 Destroy Hamas simply because Hamas is the first opposition party in the Arab world to have managed to unseat a government through a free and fair elections

2.0 Further strengthen Mubarak's commitment to the cause of Israel and America. That would mean America questioning less of Mubarak's policy and governance especially in matters related to how Mubarak spends the US1.2 billion yearly aid

3.0 Build the trust of Israel on Mubarak even more making America mind less of Mubarak's rampant human rights violation and complete disrespect for democracy.

So, with the prospect of losing a very dear friend of Israel in a country where 90% of the population hates Israel to the maximum, America has decided to drag their feet when they were supposed to condemn the Mubarak regime for killing at least 100 Egyptians in the last 7 days.

It's no surprise that America has been consistent in their support for dictatorial regimes all over the world just to serve their interest (in this particular case, the survival of Israel).

We saw in the 60's and 70's how the US installed and propped dictators across South America. Millions suffered from torchers, murder, extreme poverty and many more. Yet, the US didn't even bat an eye lid. So, how can it be any different now in Egypt.

My advise to Egyptians, continue your protest until you get what you need. Do not wait for America. They will never move a muscle to allow Egyptians get rid of Mubarak. In fact, right now they are praying to their Gods for Mubarak's continuity.

Long Live the people of Egypt

Tulang Besi
As Egypt's Crisis Grows, So Do the Anxieties in Israel
By Karl Vick / Jerusalem Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly ordered his government not to comment on events in Egypt, but the headlines in the Sunday morning papers got the main point across well enough: "A 30-Year Step Backward," "What Frightens Us," "All Alone."

The banners matched the stakes. Egypt under President Hosni Mubarak observed the 1979 peace treaty with the Jewish state, helped put pressure on Hamas from Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, nursed peace talks with the Palestinians, worked to thwart Iran and along the way provided Israel with 40% of its natural gas. (See TIME's photos of the turmoil in Egypt.)

Most important to a tiny, heavily militarized country preoccupied with risk reduction, analysts say, Mubarak's posture toward Israel served to restrain other Arab states — not to mention the 80 million Egyptians whose attitudes about Israel are among the most negative in the world, according to polls.

Whatever new government might emerge from the historic demonstrations across Egypt — populist, Islamist or national unity — "there can be no doubt that the new regime will seek to deal the peace with Israel a very public blow," Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, writes in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth. "The only people in Egypt who are committed to peace are the people in Mubarak's inner circle."

So that was why Israelis welcomed Mubarak's appointment of intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his first-ever Vice President. The mustachioed spymaster and former general was a regular visitor to Israel, where he consulted with Israeli defense and intelligence officials on the many issues the two countries held in common in what may have been a "cold peace," but one that has lasted three decades. (See how Hillary Clinton is dialing up the pressure on Mubarak.)

"Egypt and Israel had common strategic interests. To say they were allies is too much: they were not at war," says Shlomo Avineri, a political scientist at Hebrew University. "It is the premier Arab country, and no other country would go to war without Egypt. So there was a substructure of common strategic interest."

Avineri, who held a senior position in the Foreign Ministry of Yitzhak Rabin, describes two possibilities: military rule, with or without Mubarak as figurehead, or "chaos and disintegration" that ends with rule by Islamists and nationalists descended from Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt's second President. Israelis most dread the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most organized political opposition in Egypt, which like other Arab societies has grown more religious and conservative in recent decades.

"What will not come to pass is that Israel will have a democratic neighbor, because democracies don't appear overnight," Avineri tells TIME. "Look at Russia. You need a civil society. You need political tradition, pluralism, tolerance, existence of effective parties."

Israeli press reports described a weekend of frantic meetings in the upper echelons of government. The Israeli Defense Forces, which have concentrated most of their attention on the borders with Lebanon and Gaza, were described as preparing new deployments to the south, where Israel fought wars with Egypt four times. U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks last year included diplomats' complaints that the Egyptian military continued to regard Israel as its principal enemy and prepared for war in the Sinai Desert, which lies between them. (See how Israel is backing Mubarak.)

"I have no doubt that the whole defense establishment will now ask for bigger budgets and say, 'Well, we have to adjust ourselves to a situation where Egypt is not the cooperative partner we had until a week ago,'" says Oded Eran, director of the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank brimming with retired generals. "Egypt is sort of the beacon or marker for security tension, for dangers with the Arab world."

No one pretends to know the implications. After Egypt signed a peace treaty, Jordan followed, then the Palestine Liberation Organization. In time, the Arab League went from calling for war with Israel to formulating a 2002 plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with two states. (Comment on this story.)

But from the Israeli perspective, some of the dangers are immediate. Al-Jazeera aired an interview with an Islamic militant who in the chaos of the past few days had escaped a Cairo jail and made his way back to Gaza, where he pledged to resume attacks on Israel. He said thousands escaped with him.

"Yes, we are very, very worried about the situation," says an Israeli general. The officer spoke privately in observance of the government's order of radio silence, a harm-reduction measure Netanyahu reaffirmed in brief remarks to reporters before Sunday's regular Cabinet meeting. He had spoken with both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overnight. "At this time, we must show responsibility and restraint and maximum consideration," the Prime Minister said. "The peace between Israel and Egypt has lasted for more than three decades and our objective is to ensure that these relations will continue to exist."

— With reporting by Aaron J. Klein / Jerusalem

Read more:,8599,2045166,00.html#ixzz1CeC4Vbgl

Kesah Benar: Bagaimana Penyelamat Banjir Sengaja Tidak Mengambil Pengundi PAS/PR

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 11:09 AM PST

NOTA EDITOR: Kesah ini diberitakan oleh seorang ahli FB bernama Syabab PJ Selatan. Kalau hendak melihat kesah ini yang original, sila klik di sini.

Beliau bertugas di kg Paya Merah. Beliau dan rakan-rakan bertungkus lumus cuba membawa pengundi ke pusat mengundi. Apabila bot-bot bomba dan polis datang ke tempat mengambil pengundi beliau, bot tersebut berpatah balik. Terpaksalah syabab PJ Selatan meminta pertolongan sebuah lori asykar membawa pengundi ke tempat mengundi di dalam banjir.

Akhirnya, hanya satu lori sahaja yang dapat dibawa ke pusat mengundi. Pengundi lain semuanya tidak dapt mengundi.

Dengan hanya satu trak itu sahaja, PAS berjaya menang di UPU SM Kamaruddin dengan 300 undi lebih. Bayangkan kalau pengundi-pengundi lain dapat datang. Sudah tentu bilangan undi kepada PAS jauh lebih tinggi.

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan
: Saya berada di kg paya merah - jam 3ptg , hisyamudin keris datang dan tanya.."mana bot kita?" ketika itu saya didalam trak askar membantu mereka memindahkan pengundi yang tiba2 saluran bertukar ke sm kamarudin yg sebelum ini di sekolah cina( ditukar ke dewan semasa prk kali ni)

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan: kasihan melihat hanya seorang askar bertugas membantu pengundi dan seorang lagi askar drive lori , saya mengerahkan unit amal untuk sama-sama membaantu , hisyamudin akhirnya terpaksa naik trak untuk ke sm kamarudin, didalam trak penuh dengan pengundi cina

SSyabab Pas Pj Selatan: datang bot polis , mereka berpatah balik , datang bot bomba mereka berpatah balik...sapa pelik...kenapa?

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan: jika saya jahat , ketika hisyamudin hulurkan tangan nak naik trak saya boleh tarik dan lepaskan biar beliau jatuh dalam banjir...tapi sy bukan tarik tangan beliau atas dasar kemanusiaan

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan: tetapi apalah gunanya seorang menteri kdn berpura-pura naik trak bersama pengundi padahal beliau boleh arahkan bila2 masa bot2 untuk membantu memindahkan pengundi

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan
:untuk rekod...PAS menang majoriti 300 undi di sm kamarudin , disebabkan hanya sebuah trak askar , satu trip boleh memuatkan hanya 40 orang, dan ramai pengundi masih menunggu untuk mengundi walaupun jam sudah 4.45 petang, trak terakhir tiba jam 5.05 petang ketika SPR sudahpun umunkan tidak melanjutkan tempoh pengundian pada jam 4 ptg

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan: bagi mereka dalam fb..jika anda tidak ada pada masa kejadian , jangan cuba nak komen seperti anda berada disana..apa yang anda fikir x sama dengan apa yang kami rasa!

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan
: di pusat mengundi dewan sebaguna kg paya , kelihatan 2 orang wanita umno berada dikiri pintu masuk utama dan 2 orang petugas bn lelaki berada di pintu kanan...musykil bagaimana ini berlaku? - lihat bukti dalam akhbar sinar harian N2 31 januari 2010 , ini bukan akhbar harakah...tapi sinar harian!

Syabab Pas Pj Selatan
: bagaimana payung logo parti tidak boleh dimawa masuk ke pusat mengundi...tetapi ahli2 parti bn boleh masuk sampai ke pintu pusat mengundi..bukti jelas dalam akhbar sinar harian - mungkin editor x sedar atau mungkin Allah nak tunjuk betapa rakusnya be-end mencabul undang2 pilihanraya!

Win the Hearts of the People,You Win

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 08:08 AM PST

Lets not be Prophets of Doom but lets be Realistic. Who are we going to fool especially now with the technological advances right at our doorstep? The situation on the ground is evolving and moving every minute and the political soldiers are keeping pace with it.

The top leaders only need to know that everything is under control. Nothing can hide the truth and if the people sees too much infighting they will turn their backs. No one will be able to fool the People. People's Power knows no boundaries and they will change whoever is failing to live up to their expectations.

You Win the War by knowing the political landscape. Is there another way to Win.? You are the master analysist and with your strategists by your side there should be nothing you should fear.But it seems you are still so afraid. Do you know Why?


YBs let it be a Clear and Crystal  message,"The People put you there they have every RIGHT to take it all away from you.

They will SMOKE You out……

Agenda Melayu UMNO Cuma Menaikkan Undi Sebanyak 332

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 07:21 AM PST

Kenaikkan undi UMNO hanya 332 undi. Tidak sampai 1% dari keseluruhan undi yang dibuang. Maknanya setelah segala wang, fitnah, media, SPR yang tidak mahu memanjangkan waktu pengundian, bot penyelamat yang tertumpu hanya kawasan UMNO, qaaf yang berleluasa serta kempen anti Cina dan Anti DAP yang begitu meluas, UMNO cuma dapat menambah undi mereka 332 dari 2008.

UMNO yang memaparkan seolah-olah segala hak Melayu sudah hampir terhapus kerana Pakatan Rakyat memerintah hanya dapat menambah bilangan undi mereka tidak sampai 1%.

Bayangkan semenjak 2008, UMNO tidak habis-habis menyebar fitnah kononnya hak Melayu akan terhapus kerana DAP memerintah di beberapa negeri.

Segala kempen fitnah mereka dijalankan dengan begitu rakus. Namun, di Tenang, di kawasan paling kuat mereka, undi mereka bertambah hanya kurang dari 1%.

Ertinya, amat sedikit orang Melayu yang termakan propaganda mereka kecuali mereka yang memang sudah menjadi penyokong UMNO.

Kenaikan harga barang dan isu Felda tidak mampu menambah undi kepada UMNO. Tiada apa yng ada pada UMNO. UMNO sudah bangkrap kecuali hanya issu kononnya Melayu dalam ancaman.

Kalau pimpinan PR dapat memberi jaminan TIADA HAK MELAYU yang akan hilang kalau PR memerintah, saya yakin Melayu pun ramai akan undi PR terutama di bandar dan setengah bandar.

Tulang Besi

2 parties: our only hope

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 05:36 AM PST

With two strong parties controlling Parliament – comprising of a Cabinet and shadow Cabinet – we can be assured that no government misdeed or negligence will remain unrevealed and unattended. Being adequately informed, we can vote to change governments at every GE if necessary (like we often see in the UK, Australia and US) if that is what it takes for true progress for this nation.         


MALAYSIA will go bust by 2019 if it continues to accumulate debt at the current rate of 12% a year, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Idris Jala and CEO of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) (NST 27/5/2010).                                                    

In response to public incredulity over his statement, he explained, "we could go bankrupt if we continue with the same trends as in the past 10 years; based on an annual increase of 12%, our debt will reach 100% of GDP in 2019 (a staggering RM1.158 trillion) and we could potentially go bankrupt then" (Malay Mail 2/6/2010).                                                             

The government capitalised on this bombshell to underscore the need to remove subsidies and impose the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Poorer and poorer

Bank Negara reported that the Consumer Price Index [CPI] – denoting inflation – only rose 4% in the last forty years, which is a negligible amount. However, a price comparison shows otherwise – a plate of rice, meat and vegetables costs five times more today than what it was in 1970 – a rise of 500%.

You could buy a litre of UHT milk for RM3.50 in 2007. Today you would be hard-pressed to find a supermarket that sells it for less than RM4.50, with RM5.50 being the usual price at most sundry shops. A 300g pack of instant coffee was priced at RM16.90 in 2008. Today, this is almost the price of a 200g pack.

Our purchasing power has decreased – most of us are forced to buy the cheaper alternatives of items like rice, soap, detergent and toothpaste. A hundred ringgit can probably buy you two bags of groceries at best.

If subsidies are removed or GST imposed in June 2011, expect your hundred ringgit to perhaps get you a little more than a bagful.

Bad report card

The recently released United Nations World Investment Report 2010 brought to light the shape of the Malaysian economy: Foreign direct investment (FDI) has dropped 81% from 2008 to 2009, from US$ 7.32 billion in 2008 to US$ 1.38 billion in 2009.                            

Tony Pua, a Member of Parliament in the Democratic Action Party (DAP), wrote in his blog about what the statistics mean:                                                                                           

For the first time ever in history, Malaysia attracted less investment than the Philippines. Compared to the previous year 2008, Malaysia suffered by far the biggest decline of FDI in Southeast Asia.                                                                                               

Malaysia was the only country in Southeast Asia to have registered a net negative Foreign Direct Investment Flow.   

This is the first time we have attracted less than US$2 billion in FDI over the past 20 years.                                                                                                                                     

A Bank of America-Merrill Lynch survey has found Malaysia to be among the least attractive in the Asia-Pacific region for investors (Malaysian Insider).                                             

 The World Economic Forum reportedly showed that Malaysia had slipped two places in global competitiveness rankings to 26 in the past year, while Indonesia surged 10 places to 44th.                                                                                                                              

Malaysia's growth rate dropped to an average of 5.5% a year from 2000 to 2008, from an average of about 9 percent a year from 1991 to 1997.                                         

Transparency international's 2010 Corruption Perception Index for Malaysia indicated that corruption is slightly worse than it was last year, ranking at 56 out of 178 countries with a score of 4.4 out of 10 (Star26/10/2010).                                                                                

Despite the announcement by Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein that the crime index for the first four months of this year has been reduced by 15.3% and street crimes have dropped by 38.7% compared to the same period last year (NST 18/5/2010), 33,000 burglaries, 55,000 car thefts and 551 murders have been reported in the past year (Source: Transparency int'l and United Nations Survey on Crime Trends).

The number of fatal shootings by the police have risen 17-fold since 2001, said human rights and legal reform advocates Lawyers for Liberty.

 This conclusion was reached based on the testimony of a police officer from the federal police headquarters at a recent court case, who revealed there were 88 cases of fatal police shootings in 2009, while there were only five cases in 2001.                        

Yet again the 2009 Human Rights Report, released by the US Dept of State, revealed the perennial occurrences of oppression of opposition political parties and activists, detentions without trial, deaths in custody, religious conversion controversies and suppression of fundamental civil liberties.

These complaints have been met with the usual indignation of "foreign meddling in internal affairs" and the apparent "necessity" of placing human rights on the backseat in the name of 'stability'and'progress'.

Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said the judiciary has become so "executive-minded" that the judges have become "creatures of the government." (Malaysiakini 16/10/2010).

Racism has been on the increase since Prime Minister Najib's call for "1Malaysia".     As such, there has been an increasing loss of confidence in BN's race-based party system because of the irony it brings to the 1Malaysia concept.


It has been shown that opposition Pakatan Rakyat's [PR] less than 50% hold on Parliament is hazardous.

The current BN majority in Parliament and its grip on the Federal government is playing havoc with Pakatan state governments who have the mandate but not the power.         

BN/UMNO are constantly trying to sabotage or blame Pakatan for their past misdeeds, as evidenced by the Penang State government increasingly having to fight tooth-and-nail with UMNO saboteurs who take any and every opportunity to undermine Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, despite his success in registering over RM1bil in revenue for the state for the first time in 52 years (Source: Auditor General's Report 2010).

However all is also not well with the Opposition. The mainstream media has not hesitated to highlight any and every flaw of theirs and recently had a field day vilifying the admittedly shambolic PKR party elections. The public, once having great hopes in Pakatan Rakyat for the future governance of the country are now either having second thoughts or have at least grown weary of the political scenario and disillusioned about the future.

The numerous defections from formerly staunch Pakatan stalwarts who claim to have "lost faith" in the leadership have further dampened the hopes of the people.

Sources in the leadership say these defections are for the better, drawing similarities with the episode of Moses leading his people out of Egypt: they were not immediately led into the 'promised land' but were made to spend eight years in the wilderness, where the 'idol-worshippers' and other deadwood were naturally filtered out. Therefore it is far better the likes of these be culled from the party now than once Pakatan takes Putrajaya.


Verdict & Choices

According to the 2005 World Bank report, Malaysia has almost 1.5 million nationals living overseas. In 2009, 305,000 people left for greener pastures.

In a recent New York Times article, "Loss of Young Talent", many interviewees when asked about their concerns about returning to Malaysia, cited racial tensions and the country's affirmative action policy, the NEP.                                                                                          
Prime Minister Najib has repeatedly emphasised that affirmative action would be made "market-friendly, merit-based, transparent and needs-based" under the country's latest plan, the New Economic Model, but this proposal has been met with fiery opposition from Malay supremacists even within his government.

Foreign investors are wary of placing their money in Malaysia given the above and their mistrust of the judiciary, the increasing crime rate and the attitude of the police.                        

"As long as the government does not develop a system of governance that is just, corruption-free and instils confidence, the country will continue to lose the attention of foreign investors," said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim (Malaysiakini 18 Sept 2010).                           

CIMB CEO and brother of our PM, Nazir Razak asserted that affirmative action policies involving bumiputera equity quotas are causing investors to hold back (Malaysiakini 21 Sept 2010).                         

The verdict is clear: there is apparently no hope for Malaysia unless something is done, and fast. Our choices are also clear: we can 'abandon ship' and migrate to 'greener pastures' or stay and force a change through the ballot box despite the poor choice of alternatives to the present government. 

Reform proposals:

The immediate need for Malaysia to regain investor and public confidence is:

i) A new government comprising of non-race based parties;

ii) A revamp of the judiciary and police force – judges and police in upper echelons must be replaced;

 iii) A revamp of the education system with emphasis on revamping teacher training and remuneration, while instilling creative and analytical thinking amongst students;

iv) The removal of the NEP with a merit-based affirmative action system;

v) Greater civil liberties, inter alia freedom of the press, speech and choice;

vi) An emphasis on neo-liberal policies to attract global investment while entrenching an effective welfare and subsidy structure to aid the poor, especially small business owners, farmers etc who may be affected by these globalisation policies.

Solution: 2-party system

Both the ruling and opposition coalitions have to some extent vowed to implement the above reforms, but the only way to ensure these proposals come into fruition is for a greater, more transparent check-and-balance in Parliament.

In order to implement this effective check-and-balance, voters must vote in a manner that would firmly establish an effective Two-Party System. And the only way to do that is for every right-thinking voter, at least in the next General Election (GE), to vote Pakatan to form the next government. Not because that they are a flawless alternative, but because the current BN/UMNO political monopoly is taking us nowhere but down.

Simply denying the incumbent their two-third majority is not enough, as evidenced by the scenario "post-tsunami".

With two strong parties controlling Parliament – comprising of a Cabinet and shadow Cabinet – we can be assured that no government misdeed or negligence will remain unrevealed and unattended. Being adequately informed, we can vote to change governments at every GE if necessary (like we often see in the UK, Australia and US) if that is what it takes for true progress for this nation.                                                                                             

When politicians and their parties know that it is the people who hold their political future in their hand, they will only work harder for us in order to stay in power.

And that is why the avenue to that is a two-party system, just like other modern democracies.

Our hopes for a two-party system lie in how we vote in the upcoming GE. The PM has tacitly agreed, saying that this GE will be "judgment day for BN" – they know their monopoly on power is fast fading and are scrambling desperately to regain favour amongst the electorate. However, another win for the BN will extinguish our hope for a two-party system, perhaps forever.   

We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue – or lack thereof – is a judgment not only on them, but on us.      

Therefore, let us remind ourselves that we are not voting for the Opposition candidate or his party because we believe they are our saviours, but are planning to give them a thumping landslide victory on the principle of entrenching a working two-party system, which is the only way we can ensure a safe and equitable future for us all.


Israel Sedang Melobi Obama Untuk Memastikan Mubarak Terus Memerintah Mesir

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 05:24 AM PST

Tulang Besi baru sahaja mendengar satu temuramah antara seorang wartawan Yahudi dari New York Times bersama BBC. Beliau menyatakan Israel tidak boleh menerima yang lain dari Mubarak untuk memerintah Mesir. Ini kerana mereka tidak mahu parti Islam Mesir, Ikhwan Muslimin, menjadi kerajaan di Mesir.

Bagi Israel, adalah penting bagi mereka Mubarak terus memerintah Mesir. Dan wajiblah kuasa-kuasa besar dunia memastikan Mubarak terus memerintah Mesir.

Maka, Tulang Besi yakin pada waktu ini para pelobi Yahudi di Washington pasti sedang sebuk turun naik pejabat-pejabat Ahli2 Kongress Amerika serta Rumah Putih bagi memastikan sokongan kewangan diteruskan kepada Mubarak dan juga memastikan tentera Mesir terus mendapat bantuan kewangan dari Amerika.

Israel tahu, Mubarak masih boleh bertahan sebagai Presiden kerana tentera Mesir masih memberi sokongan kepada Mubarak. Berbeza di Tunisia, tentera Tunisia adalah penyebab Ben Ali lari ke Arab Saudi apabila mereka menarik sokongan kepada Mubarak.

Dari maklumat yang Tulang Besi dapat semasa di Mesir dahulu, Mubarak telah melakukan pembersihan jeneral-jeneral Mesir sejak beberapa tahun yang dahulu. Jeneral-jeneral yang ada sekarang sememangnya penyokong Mubarak yang totok.

Malahan, tindakan Mubarak melantik beberapa bekas Jenaral dalam kabinet baru beliau adalah kerana mahu memastikan sokongan tentera terus diberikan kepada beliau. Mubarak sedar, selagi beliau mendapat sokongan dari Israel, beliau akan mampu terus memerintah kerana tiada kuasa besar dunia yang berani menyuruh beliau turun takhta.

Walaubagaimanapun, setakat ini rakyat Mesir tidak mengendahkan kehadiran tentera di bandar Kaherah. Malahan ada di kalangan para tentera yang sama-sama berdemo bersama rakyat Mesir.

Ada kereta kebal dan kereta perisai yang ditulis perkataan menghina Mubarak di atasnya. Perkataan-perkataan seperti "Mubarak Undur" dan "Kerajaan Haram" terpampang ditulis di atas kereta perisai dan kereta kebal.

Bagi Tulang Besi, demonstrasi rakyat Mesir ini sudah menyeluruh. Di bandar-bandar kecil juga berlaku demonstrasi inikan pula di bandar besar. Satu masa nanti, rakyat Mesir akan menyerbu pejabat-pejabat kerajaan seterusnya menandakan kejatuhan kerajaan.

Di waktu itu, saya tidak yakin tentera Mesir ada selera untuk menembak para rakyat Malaysia yang berdemo itu.

Saya tidak nampak jalan bagaimana Israel boleh terus memastikan Mubarak terus memerintah Mesir namun kuasa-kuasa besar dunia pasti akan memastikan Mubarak terus memerintah kerana sokongan mereka kepada Israel.

Tulang Besi

Hadiah Tenang : Harga Minak RON97 Naik 10 Sen

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 05:14 AM PST

Menurut Malaysia Insider, harga minyak RON97 akan naik 10 sen malam ini...

Malaysian Insider

RON97 up 10 sen/L at midnight, sources say

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — The price of RON97 petrol will be increased by 10 sen to RM2.50 effective midnight, according to industry sources.

The price of the premium fuel was last raised on January 4, also by 10 sen.

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The government announced on July 16 last year that the price of RON97 will be subjected to a managed float to reflect the price of oil on the global market.

The latest increase will, however, not affect other fuels.

The base grade RON95 petrol remains at RM1.90 per litre, diesel at RM1.80 per litre, and LPG at RM1.90 per kg. The government currently subsidises 30 sen of the RON 95 fuel cost.

The Najib administration has opted to gradually slash subsidies as a way to reduce government deficit.

The government's Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) had said last year that savings from fuel subsidy cuts amounted to about RM3 billion last year. This number will rise to RM14 billion this year, RM21 billion in 2012, RM29.5 billion in 2013, and RM35 billion in 2014.

Opposition parties, NGOs protest Mubarak regime

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 01:17 AM PST

About 70 protestors from NGOs and opposition parties staged a peaceful protest in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur today demanding the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and an end to his regime. Full story here:
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CSM: Calling fRiends of BERSIH2.0...

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 04:28 AM PST

Friends of Bersih 2.0 Meeting

Dear friends,

Be involve for a clean and fair elections.


You are invited to join the Friends of Bersih 2.0 meeting.

Date : 1 February 2011
Time : 7.30 – 10.00 p.m.
Location : Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), No. 13, Lorong 4/48E, Seksyen 4, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

- To follow-up with volunteers and to involve them into Bersih 2.0's work.
- To recruit volunteers for Friends of Bersih 2.0

Clean & Fair Election!!!

Please contact Bersih 2.0 @ 603-77844977

Please RSVP here. Thank you

More info:


(Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor)
Address:13, Lorong 4/48E,
Seksyen 4,
46050 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: 03 - 7784 4977
Fax: 03 - 7784 4978

Hasidic Jew Elina Mongolina An exotic dance is suing her ex-husband Marriage bad for your sex life?

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 03:08 AM PST

An exotic dancer-turned-Hasidic Jew is suing her ex-husband for full custody of their only son, claiming his father is sabotaging the boy's religious upbringing.
Elina Margolina and Nelson Derbigny met in 1995, when she worked as a dancer at the Admiral Theater gentleman's club on Chicago's Northwest Side. Derbigny was a manager at the Admiral, and the two fell in love and got married. They changed careers (Derbigny's now a real estate agent) and had a son, but were divorced in 2007.
During the proceedings, they decided on shared custody of their child. But Margolina is now pressing for full custody, claiming that Derbigny violated their agreement by refusing to raise the boy in the Jewish tradition.
His father counters that he should have full custody, as Margolina's religious beliefs have become too extreme for their son's well-being.
Margolina's new husband is a Hasidic Jew, according to an NBC Chicago report on the custody battle, and she is now also devoutly Hasidic. Hasidism is a relatively orthodox branch of Judaism that demands strict adherence to such practices as kosher eating and wearing of traditional garments.
She says that her ex-husband has been violating those precepts while their son is with him. He's fed the child bacon, and hasn't ensured that he wears his yarmulke to school every day.
For Margolina, this is a violation of their custody agreement, in which the parents agreed that the boy would be raised Jewish. But for Derbigny, the restrictive nature of Hasidic Judaism goes farther than he'd bargained for, and is having a negative impact on the boy's upbringing.
"I am trying to teach him that he can be Jewish but it doesn't have to limit him in his
exposure to other outside pursuits," said Derbigny to ABC-7. "You know you can be Jewish and not have to wear it on your sleeve every day."
That somewhat tasteless image aside, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Derbigny may have purposefully ignored certain Jewish precepts, and accidentally overlooked others:

But after a recent evaluation of the boy and discussions with the warring parents, it was clear mom and dad had different expectations about what it meant to raise a Jewish child, [child psychiatrist Louis] Kraus said. Derbigny, a Roman Catholic who attends Mass on Christmas and Thanksgiving, did not believe he was required to keep a kosher household — especially since they hadn't done that or even observed the Jewish Sabbath when the family was together. But Kraus said in his talks with Derbigny, the father seemed to be making a point of serving the boy bacon and other non-kosher foods. Kraus said he was concerned the parents' stalemate was causing the boy anxiety and other behavioral problems.

Kraus recommends that the mother be given full custody.
What do you think?

Hollywood hunk, ex-lovers, a blue film scene and even what to buy in a grocery store—these are things that women think of while having sex.

Some women have now revealed what really scores with them between the sheets.

Single comedian Shazia Mirza, 34, said that some of her friends revealed that during sex they are mentally writing a to-do list, remembering clothes they have to wash, what they've got to buy at Tesco's or those shoes they love in Selfridges.

And some women even think of men they secretly fantasise of.

"A friend of mine, who really loves her husband, told me that during sex she can't help thinking about all the men she secretly really desires, like Jeremy Beadle and Jeremy Paxman," the Sun quoted her as saying.

"I've been married twice and had many lovers and to be honest, with past lovers I've been so bored in bed, I've taken to compiling mental grocery lists and calculating exactly how many shoes are in the wardrobe (82 pairs)," said author Kathy Lette, 51.

"Most wives are taken for granted. But how we'd like to be taken is by a muscular-thighed Adonis with pecs appeal.
No Apologies: The Truth About Life, Love & Sex [VHS]No Apologies: The Truth About Life, Love & Sex [VHS]
"Luckily sex with Johnny Depp is only the flick of a light switch away. Ah, Johnny – a man whose sex appeal is so deadly it should be registered at police headquarters as a lethal weapon.

"Doing the horizontal tango with George Clooney is also amazing – if only he'd been with me at the time!" she added.

Sarah Millican, 33, is in a relationship, and she said: "I never walk out of a film at the cinema. I'm the same with sex. I always think it might get better. To be honest, as long as I've got a bag of Maltesers, I'm not going anywhere."

At the start, couples just can't seem to get enough of each other. But after a few years into the marriage, is it the same story? Rachel Fernandes gets the experts to explain

Wondering what's ailing your once rocking sex life post marriage? It could be the marriage itself. Yes, according to a recent survey, the very fact that they are married can take a toll on a couple's sex life. In the survey, conducted on 3,000 married people, it was found that their sex lives did not remain the same after a few years into the marriage. Researchers found that though, initially,couples can expect to have sex more than four times a week, after three years of life as man and wife, most couples are lucky to have sex just once every seven days.

Up to one third of the married people interviewed admitted that they no longer fancied their partner as much as they did in the early days and a whopping 43 per cent even claimed that their loved one had let themselves go. It also emerged six out of ten couples believe marriage has completely ruined the excitement of having sex. Under half of all married people said their relationship with their partner is more that of friends than lovers.

The poll shows 59 per cent of couples believe their sex life has worsened since marriage because they no longer make an effort with each other any more and a third no longer fancy their partner as much as they did in the early days. Unfortunately, eight in ten couples admitted to being in a sexual rut – having sex at the same time, in the same place and in the same positions every time they sleep together. In fact, 79 per cent of people are happier getting a good night's sleep than making the effort to have spontaneous sex in the middle of the night. Two thirds of couples blamed their hectic lifestyle for their terrible sex life and 80 per cent claimed they were often too tired to bother about any 'action between the sheets' once the day was over. Seven in ten people also admitted that they might be inclined to make love more often if their partner made more of an effort romantically.

"Unfortunately, while you can be deeply in love with someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, it is also possible to want more from the relationship. A partner might be supportive, funny, intelligent, and kind, but if they don't inspire confidence in the bedroom, or don't meet expectations sexually, life can be frustrating," a spokesman of the study was quoted saying.
Usa Opoly Family Guy LifeUsa Opoly Family Guy Life
Dr Minnu R Bhonsle, psychotherapist and counsellor attributes the decline in couples sex lives to two basic factors – either emotional distancing or physical fatigue. "If it's a case of emotional distancing, it's mainly because of accumulated issues that have remained unresolved. Hence, the partner doesn't feel connected to the other and stops responding to the his/her overtures. As for physical fatigue it could be due to a variety of reasons – fatigue at work, tiredness trying to maintain a balance between work, home and kids. As a result, fatigue overrides their sex life."

"Most young people are seized with a wrong notion that sex life is different from marriage. In reality, sexual relationship is essential and a healthy part of a marriage. Sex needs commitment and connectivity and that is where most young people find themselves lacking the adequate energy or inclination," opines Dr Rajiv Anand, marriage counsellor. According to him, it is not the sexual act that loses novelty or attraction after marriage but the approach of the people involved.

So what's the solution? "If it's a case of physical fatigue, couples should engage in scheduled sex. They must plan weekend getaways or make arrangements to leave the child with a babysitter or relatives and plan a night out where they could probably get home early from work and then just concentrate on spending time with each other. If it's an issue of emotional distancing, communication is the only solution. Couples need to talk things out with each other in a non-toxic way," says Dr Minnu.

Dr Anjali Chhabria, psychiatrist and psychotherapist opines that it is more important to get down to the root cause of the issue than just search for quick fix solutions. "Sex is an important part of marriage and the lack of it could indicate issues in the marriage. A declining sex life is a symptom, it's just the tip of the iceberg. One needs to find answers to why there is no sex? Is it because there is no chemistry in the relationship or is there no relationship at all? Are the partners too tired or stressed out? Does one partner feel that she or he is no longer attractive to the other? Is one's spouse attracted to someone else? If it's just boredom, couples need to make sex a priority. If they are too tired to have sex at night, do it in the morning. If lack of privacy is the issue, couple need to make time for themselves. Most importantly, couples need to tell each other what they want. Your partner is not a magician to magically figure out your wants and needs," she explains.

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Undi BN Cuma Naik 332 undi. Majoriti Naik Kerana Pengundi PAS tidak Keluar Mengundi Atas Faktor Banjir

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 10:19 PM PST

NOTA EDITOR: Lihatlah keputusan di atas. Undi BN cuma naik 300 undi. Tapi majoriti PAS jatuh lebih 1200 undi. Mengikut laporan Harakahdaily di bawah, ramai pengundi PAS tidak dapat mengundi kerana pusat pengundian dilanda banjir.

Maka, tak hairanlah keputusan seperti ini tidaklah sangat menggembirakan UMNO dan BN. Kalau tiada hujan, majoriti BN sepatutnya tidak jauh dari 2008.

Kesimpulannya, tahap sokongan rakyat kepada BN sebenarnya tidak berubah sangat dari 2008.

Tulang Besi

Bantu Melayu, biarkan Cina dan India?
Zulkifli Sulong

LABIS, 31 Jan: Penyumbang utama kejayaan Barisan Nasional (BN) dalam pilihan raya kecil Tenang adalah kerana kejayaannya membawa keluar seramai mungkin para penyokong utamanya di Felda dan kampung Melayu walaupun kawasan mereka dilanda banjir.

Pada jam 11 pagi ketika para pelancong politik, petugas dan pengundi bersesak di jalan menuju ke kampung dan Felda Tenang kerana banjir, siren petugas kecemasan kerajaan bingit meminta laluan diberikan kepada mereka untuk membawa bot ke sana.

Antaranya bot polis, tentera, Pertahanan Awan dan juga Bomba dan Penyelamat bergegas di bawa ke sana.

Namun usaha ini tidak berlaku di kawasan pengundi Cina. Ini menyebabkan, kenaikan mendadak peratus mengundi di kawasan Felda dan kawasan tradisional Melayu berbanding kawasan Cina.

Hasilnya, BN berjaya menaikkan peratusan pengundi Melayu mereka kepada 83.3 peratus iaitu kenaikan 4 peratus berbanding pilihan raya umum 2008 lalu.

Ia berlaku apabila jumlah pengundi Melayu dinaikkan kepada 81 peratus iaitu kenaikan 2 peratus berbanding sebelum ini sedangkan jumlah pengundi Cina jatuh 18 peratus manakala India jatuh 23 peratus.

Kawasan undi Kampung Redong sahaja berjaya dinaikkan 11 peratus kepada 80 peratus berbanding sebelum ini hanya 69 peratus.

Felda Chemplak naik 6 peratus kepada 88 peratus manakala di Felda Tenang naik 6 peratus kepada 86 peratus.

Peratusan ini adalah berdasarkan analisa peratusan keluar mengundi yang dibuat oleh Tony Pua, anggota Parlimen Petaling Jaya Selatan.

Undi Cina dan India

Kerana sikap pilih kasih dan bias fokus alat kerajaan untuk kepentingan BN ini, peratusan pengundian di kawasan Cina jatuh teruk. Ia ditambah pula dengan suasana sambutan Tahun Baru Cina yang hampir tiba. Mereka bimbang untuk meredah banjir dan hujan kerana takut demam atau cedera menjelang sambutan itu.

Hasilnya, peratusan keluar mengundi Cina jatuh 18 peratus iaitu kepada 54 peratus sahaja. Namun begitu, peratus undi untuk PAS kekal iaitu 64 peratus.

Peratusan keluar mengundi untuk Labis hanya 50 peratus, Labis Tengah 72 peratus, Labis Timur 67 peratus manakala Tenang Station hanya 51 peratus.

Kawasan yang paling teruk terjejas akibat diskriminasi ini adalah pengundi India apabila hanya 39 peratus sahaja pengundi mereka turun iaitu turun sebanyak 23 peratus.

Pada jam 3 petang semalam, Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Mahfuz Omar meminta SPR menangguhkan pilihan raya ini kerana ramai yang tidak boleh kelauar akibat banjir ini.

"Saya minta SPR menangguhkan proses pengundian hari ini kerana hujan lebat dan banjir.

"Pengundi kini sudah terputus hubungan kerana jalan sudah ditutup dan ada dikalangan mereka takut meninggalkan rumah untuk keluar mengundi ekoran banjir di kawasan mereka," katanya.

Namun begitu, selepas pengumuman dibuat, seorang lagi naib presidennya yang juga pengarah pilihan raya ini, Salahuddin Ayub berkata mereka akan menerima keputusannya buat masa ini.

Bagaimanapun, beliau mengakui bahawa sokongan kepada PAS dan Pakatan Rakyat terjejas teruk oleh banjir yang melanda beberapa pusat pengundian di Tenang hari ini.

Kataya, banjir telah menjejaskan peluang parti itu kerana ia melanda banyak kawasan di bandar itu seperti Ladang Labis Utara, Bandar Labis Tengah, Bandar Labis Timor.

Kejayaan PAS

Namun begitu, dengan kekalahan ini PAS masih berbangga dengan beberapa perkara termasuk menyelesaikan persepsi yang cuba dibina oleh Umno selama ini kononnya PAS berkawan dengan DAP yang anti Islam.

Pilihanraya ini membuktikan, MCA sebenarnya yang anti Islam bahkan tidak cuba langsung mendekati dan memahami Islam.

"What is so great about knowing Muslim values?" (Apa baiknya untuk (saya) mengetahui tatasusila orang Islam?)" kata Presiden MCA, Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek.

Sebelum itu, beliau menghina calon PAS, Normala Sudirman yang enggan bersalam dengan bukan muhrimnya dan juga memakai sarung tangan untuk membolehkan beliau bersalama dengan mereka.

Ekoran itu pelbagai pihak telah mempertikaikan Soi Lek sehingga Mufti Perak sendiri meminta beliau memohon maaf kepada orang Islam kerana penghinaannya itu.

Naib Presiden PAS, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man pula menyeru seluruh jentera parti PAS untuk menghilangkan tanggapan bahawa kawasan Felda dan kampung tradisional merupakan kubu Barisan Nasional.

"Untuk menganggap Felda kubu BN saya kira agak ekstrem kerana PAS pernah menang di kawasan Felda bahkan pada tahun 1999, bilamana PAS menang di kawasan majoriti melayu, ianya termasuk kawasan Felda," kata Tuan Ibrahim yang diminta mengulas kegagalan PAS menembusi kawasan Felda di pilihanraya kecil Tenang.

Calon PAS, Normala Sudirman tewas kepada calon Barisan Nasional, Mohd Azahar Ibrahim dengan majoriti 3,707 undi. Normala memperolehi 2,992 undi manakalah Azahar memperolehi 6,699 undi dengan peratusan keluar mengundi hanya 66.7 peratus.

Jentera Pakatan Rakyat berjaya mengekang majoriti BN naik kepada melebihi 5000 undi sebagaimana yang disasarkan BN.

Helping the poor is smart economics :)

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 10:05 PM PST

In a recent World Economic Forum in Davos, world leaders suggested the obvious – that economic disparities are a global risk – especially in the next decade.

Making the poor richer is not just a moral obligation, but I see it as a logical solution to world wealth and goodness.

I wrote the following article in 1998 during the economic crisis. At the end of the article I suggested a remedy to economic growth through addressing disparities arguing not from a social-religious-moral angle the benefits of helping the poor, but from an economic one.

As you will quickly be aware of, my writings of a decade ago is rather bookish in nature. No wonder not many are inclined to read them :) I did start this essentially economic paper quoting Nat King Cole, a singer-entertainier instead of an economist. But i do not think it helped..haha!

So this one is for the serious readers; but if you persist, you will find what I wrote more than 10 years ago is still relevant today :)

Does the current economic crisis in East Asia poses a major challenge to the process of globalization?

" Around the world I search for you,
I travel on, until I found, a rendezvous"
Nat King Cole

The aim of this paper is to discuss the effects of the current economic crisis on globalization. To do that, we must first agree on two things. One, what globalization is, and two, the causes, impact and lessons learnt from the current crisis.

Firstly, what is globalization?

Globalization is a thirteen-letter word but to many, it is a four lettered one. In reality, globalization by itself is a neutral event. It is what we made out of it and how we choose to perceive it that put value to the concept.

Globalization is the growing integration of national economies by which as a result of the internationalization of commodity flow, migratory movement, pollution and information. Globalization adds to the reach and the power of the market. Today, not only business organization and ordinary people must kowtow to worldwide competition, but governments too. As a result of that, national economies are steadily more integrated as cross-border flows of trade, investment and financial capital increase. The ordinary consumer on the other hand are buying more foreign goods, multinational corporation stretching their operations ever widely around the globe and savers are investing more than ever in places far away from home.

Viewed positively, globalization makes market more efficient via better division of labor between countries. This allows low-wage countries to specialize in labor-intensive task while high-wage countries do otherwise. Globalization will also encourage and allow the economy of scale. Furthermore, with globalization, capital will move to wherever the return of investment is best. Thus, making sure capital is used more efficiently and productively.

On the other hand, critics of globalization especially those in advanced countries worry that increased competition in low-waged jobs from other countries will take away job opportunities and push down wages in their economy. In order to avoid this, countries will try to outdo each other by reducing wages, taxes, welfare benefits and environmental control to become more competitive. The burden to compete will also wear away the ability of governments to set their own economic policies. They also worry about the power of financial markets in causing economic havoc as in the European currency crisis of 1992 and 1993, Mexico in 1994-1995 and the topic at hand, the current East Asian crisis.

The Crisis of East Asia

The crisis in East Asia is still unfolding. Yet many have conceded that Asia's economic problems resulted from two major ingredients, exposure to the global capital market and the inadequate supervision, regulation and the laxity of domestic financial systems.

This is to say that globalization has shown again its double-edged ability to bring both risk and opportunities. It was East Asia's outward looking measures embracing globalization and global finance that helped them grow remarkably the past two decades. Yet, that very move has also caused them their current fate. Moreover, certain economies and East Asian leaders see the case for interfering with the flow of capital as a valid act to restore their economies. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is but one case.

However, before we deal with the issue of capital flow, let us examine the effect of the crisis to the process of globalization. Does the crisis pose any major challenges to the key issues of globalization? To examine the challenges we must first draw up the extent of globalization's impact on the key issues like nation-state, capital and trade; before, during and after the crisis. Let us start with the most essential issue, the nation-state.

Globalization, the nation-state and the East Asian crisis

How far has the East Asian crisis tipped the balance of power back to the nation-state? Before we even attempt to answer this we must look at the pre-crisis situation. Even before the crisis, the nation-state is not what it used to be. With the arrival of new forces created by technology especially during the 20th century, things both visible and invisible can be moved from one country to another whether the nation-state likes it or not. These forces take the main forms that to a certain extent diluted the nation-state's power.

In economics, it is easier today than before to move goods from one place to another thus killing any residue idea, of national self-sufficiency. Almost every country today buys from abroad a larger proportion of what they consume compared to 50 years ago. Furthermore, multinational companies operating freely across natural borders own a far bigger share of world capital.

Electronics technology has also aided the movement of money and as such the markets ability to transfer cash to anywhere in the world at the push of a button has changed the rules of policy making. When a government is perceived to have made a wrong move, the market can rise against it in a dash. Management guru, Peter Drucker summarized it this way "Control of money was at the very center of what can be called 'sovereignty'. But money has slipped the leash. It cannot be controlled and longer by national states, not even by acting together". (P.Drucker 1993). In fact, seconds after a head of state makes a statement, thousands of screens light up, and traders all over the world give their vote – whether good or bad. With no place to hide, the value of the currency will adjust to the role.

Secondly, in military matters, just over half a century ago, the only way for a country to successfully use force to impose its will on another was to defeat via infantry troops on the ground. Planes and missiles have changed that. The Gulf war was organized and won through command centers organizing war machines via computers like children playing a video game at video arcades. A missile can blow up a specific target like a factory a few thousand kilometers away with precision or if fitted with a nuclear warhead, obliterate an entire city. No country, perhaps not even America can shelter itself from such an attack.

The third challenge to the nation state is in the information revolution. The globalization of information equals the globalization of knowledge. Television, radio, the internet, telecommunications per se has made it possible for people from different country to learn about each other in a matter of seconds. About thirty years ago, an American can possibly con another American that Malaysians still live on trees, but today, with a click of a button his lie will be uncovered.

Between the three forces above, it may seem that the nation state has been stripped naked by globalization. Not really. The nation state still holds two important forces. Firstly, the nation-state is still the basic units of geopolitics and represents its nation in the game of foreign policy e.g. in the World Trade Organization. Secondly, " a nation-state is a place where people feel a natural connection with each other because they share a language, a religion, or something else strong enough to bind them together and make them feel different from others. "We" not "they". The nation-state is the politics of the first person plural. Its government can speak for its people because it is part of the "we". It emerges out of the nation." (The Economist Dec 95/Jan 96).

Now, how far has the crisis tipped the balance of power back to the nation-state? Has the crisis pose any major challenges to globalization where nation-state is concern?

Answer. Not much. Malaysia may have insulated herself with capital control with the view to deter hot money from coming in and out but is not adverse to foreign direct investment, or any other investment other than hot money. Other than that, other matters would likely not change.

As far as the point of a nation-state play acting politics of the first person plural, we have yet to hear of any transcendental move towards a larger that state identification like Pan-South East Asian – Nusantara, "Asian Values", or a "Chinasia". On the contrary, we hear less about 'Asian Values' today compared to before the crisis. Nor do we hear of a 'Pan-Islamica' movement emerging from South-east Asia challenging the Muslim dominated nation-state with perhaps the capitalist west as an external enemy or conspirator.

In short, the current economic crisis in East Asia does not pose any real challenge to the process of globalization in relation to the nation-state.

Globalization, Trade and Capital in the East Asian Crisis

Despite the hype about globalization the last decade, today's international economic integration is not unprecedented. Falling transport costs during the 19th century through the development of railways and steamships allows large cross borders flows of goods, capital and people. The First World War ended the earlier attempt at globalization. After the war the world moved into a fierce period of trade protectionism and restrictions on capital movement. America sharply raised its tariff and other countries retaliated thus worsening the Great Depression.

As such, international capital flow virtually dried up between the times of the two world wars as governments try to protect their economies from the impact of the slump through capital control. Capital control was maintained after the second world war (notice that even the wars have been globalized) and currencies were fixed through the Bretton Woods system.

Acknowledging that reducing trade barriers was vital to recovery, the General Agreement of Tariff and Trade (GATT) was organized. GATT organized a series of negotiations that gradually reduced import tariffs. The World Trade Organization replaced the GATT in 1995. Trade flourished.

With the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in the early 1970's, currencies were floated against one another at market rates and this signaled the rebirth of the capital market. Countries after countries freed capital control. Some earlier in the 1970's, America and Germany, Japan and Malaysia, some later. (France, Italy in 1990).

While in the 19th century globalization was powered by lower transport cost the two forces that drove the increased of goods and money since after WW2 is technology and trade liberalization. With cheaper communication and computing cost the natural barriers of time and space that set national market apart have been falling too.

The second driving force, trade liberalization was the results of the GATT negotiations and unilateral decisions. Almost all countries have lowered barriers to foreign trade. Moreover, prior to the current crisis most countries have welcomed international capital. Over the past decade, trade has increased twice as fast as output, foreign direct investment three times as fast and cross border trade in shares ten times as fast. (The Economist, October 1997)

The question is will the current crisis reverse this trend? Experience shows how quickly faith in market and openness can be reversed by big economic shocks like the experience after the Great Depression of 1930's. There are concerns amongst many that the move by Malaysia in September 1998 and Hong Kong government's decision to indulge in the stock market are trends that will reverse the openness to market forces. Furthermore when respected economist also starts singing to the tune of capital control (e.g. Paul Krugman's Saving Asia, September 1998) many are worried that capitalism is indeed in retreat.

I beg to disagree.

There are some major differences between the situation after the Great Depression and today. These differences will ensure and buffer any real retreat to capitalism. At most, some modification will take place.

1. Mental perception of leaders and nations around the world

Unlike before, majority of leaders and people today has agreed to the basic idea that there is truth in "comparative advantage". While it is true that voices for protectionism pressures will be louder during these days, it is similarly true that even Pat Buchanan and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is not adverse to the free market. One must only remember that it was during Mahathir's era that the Malaysian economy by far has embraced free market. It was his liberalization policies that opened up the markets in both FDI and portfolio flow. His psyche is for free markets although it is his major complaint today.

In short the policy significance of capital controls must be viewed from the angle of (1) Malaysia's long track record of liberalization under Mahathir. Malaysia has long had an open economy promoting free trade, currency convertibility, free capital flow, deregulation and competition based on free market. The imposition of exchange controls does not mean that the pursuit for liberal economic defers in other areas. (2) Furthermore, Malaysia simply cannot afford to cut herself away from the world. The external sector like exports equaling 70% of GDP is far too large to contemplate the move.

We must also remember Mahathir is no Khomeini. In all other aspect too like the Internet and communication he is very open. Even if other East Asian economies were to play copycat to Malaysia, similar outlook will persist.

What about protectionism pressure from the US? The worry about loosing jobs to low-waged countries due to cheaper imports is not new. Though politicians by and large are in love with freer trade because it means more exports, economist defers. To the economists, the real benefits of trade lie in importing. Economist knows that the only reason for exporting is to earn the wherewithal to import.

As James Mill explained in 1821,

" The benefit, which is derived from exchanging one
commodity for another, arises in all cases from the
commodity received, not the commodity given".

The key players in the US economic strategy like Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan are both economists right down to their bones. In fact fed officials already are showing signs of willingness to cut interest rates should the global economic turmoil looks likely to endanger America's economy.

2. Forum for discussion

Unlike the 1930's, today most economies are bound together in one way or another to other economies through the World Trade Organization and a host of regional blocks.

Furthermore, the WTO (before as GATT) since 1948 and eight rounds of global trade talks later, each time involving nine countries and each time bringing liberalization further that the last.

In addition WTO also has set up a mechanism to arbitrate trade disputes. Unlike during the days of GATT, findings of the WTO's dispute panels are not hostage to veto. Countries found in the wrong must change or offer compensation. Those that do neither, face sanctions. Moreover, the mechanism has proven to be more egalitarian.

For example, the WTO has even ruled against America in favour of Costa Rica. Thus, it is not a surprise that within three years of existence, 132 complaints were dealt in comparison to only 300 during the whole 47 years of GATT's. The WTO is so successful that as of May 1998, 30 countries including China and Russia are queuing up to be members.

Furthermore, most of the world economies are weave in numerous regional trade agreements too many to mention all here. To name the major few, NAFTA, APEC, EU, ASEAN, FTAA and Mercusor. This will be the subject of examination in the next section.

In short the East Asian crisis may slow down trade a little during this or even next year. However growth in trade is still expected to outpace growth in production. (Last year the volume of merchandised trade grew by 9.5% that is over three times faster than global output).

Globalization, Regional Trade Agreements and the East Asian crisis

Just as 'globalisation' regionalism is also a neutral event. True that economist have generally are not enthusiastic about it. They worry that preferential tariff will cause a process known as 'trade diversion' whereby trade will flow in an inefficient manner taking place.

However, we must note that even prior to the crisis a surpassingly increased number of countries traded with their neighbours. Regionalism makes more sense because of geography, rather than club membership. Geography is why they got together in the first place. As countries lower their tariff barriers, the relatively greater importance of transport cost makes proximity matter more.

Moreover, regionalism did not flourish due to a financial crisis. It is safe to say that regionalism breathe in added vigour in reaction to America's embracing of regional trade block in NAFTA as well as because the snail paced Uruguay round of talks.

In fact, scrapping trade barriers within a region can encourage trade and investment among countries within the club. The point is regionalism is not necessarily good or bad. As long as regional groups are open to the rest of the world, for example via the WTO it may just be good. It is more likely dependent on whether governments wish to liberalise trade or not. Regional agreements and regional ideals come second. We must not forget that almost each and every member of regional trade agreements is also a member of the WTO.

In short, I do not see the East Asian crisis spreading a new zeal for regionalism especially the 'diversion' kind. Thus, it does not pose any major challenges to globalisation. Any further regionalism would take place regardless of the crisis (for example the talk about the eventual combination of NAFTA and Mercosur)

Other issues of globalisation and the East Asian crisis

I also do not see that the East Asian crisis will pose any major challenges in the other major areas of globalisation namely communication, culture, migration of workers, etc. The trend that was familiar prior to the crisis will still hold true. While the current crisis may slow down certain areas of globalisation, (e.g. number of middle class Asians indulging with cyber space), and increase in others (child labour, prostitution, etc.) in reality these are just reflections of the world as it is today. The slow process of globalisation is going through the test of times.

Seen in the long run, the crisis may just look like a hiccup to the long and sure process of globalisation. However, there are also lessons learned from the crisis that can help towards making the world more global.

Where do we go from here?

1. Pay attention to Global and local aspects of the crisis

As stated earlier, the economic crisis was resulted from a combination of exposure to the global capital market as well as the inadequate supervision of domestic financial system. This, any new international architecture of financial system must pay attention to both the global and local dimension of the crisis. As such, we must not only focus on weaknesses within national economies which are also real and needs urgent re-dressal but also tackle the weaknesses within the capital market systems (forces behind short term, speculative capital, fund managers as well as money manipulators).

2. Globalisation needs globalise thinking

As the world globalises, inhabitant of mother earth must also have a mental shift towards globalise thinking. As goods and money stop recognising the state, it is important that humans too are able to think global. Global personal and corporate tax to a Global Tax Fund (GTF)
may sound crazy today but may be just the answer for overall world growth in the longer run. For example, if an individual and corporation in Malaysia pay 28% of income to the government, perhaps 2% should go to the GTF and the remaining 26% to the national government.

The GTF then redistribute their collection to all needy nations as well as subsidises developing countries in the industry in the area of comparative advantaged and environmental protection. In that way, we can minimise child labour and environmental decay and pollution. Children in affected countries will then be able to go to school and later be more productive citizens of the world. In the longer run more countries will go out of poverty and at the same time provide consumers for goods produced.

One must remember that the issue today in the current economic crisis is the extreme lack of markets for East Asian economy to export to. We are totally dependent on a few rich economies namely Japan, Europe and most importantly America to absorb the outstanding exports of East Asia. Imagine if we have China, Central Russia and Africa as potential markets, too.

Thus in the long run, making sure all other economies grow in tandem with the current advanced economy will only benefit everyone. In order to do so, the capitalist system must transform itself into a more equitable and efficient system via a global system to redistribute wealth. One such endeavour is via the GTF.

In summary,

The current economic crisis may have an affect to the process of globalisation but on a very limited scale. Seen in a longer time span of history, the current crisis may proof as just a mere hiccup to the longer process of globalisation.

Globalisation is here to stay.

Anas Zubedy
Kuala Lumpur
Sept 1988

References and Bibliography

1 Adlan, Dato' Noor May 1, 1998 APEC and Asia's Crisis
2 Beams, Nick April 1998 The Asian Meltdown - A Crisis of Global Capitalism
3 Cheong K.C. 1998 CSU/MBA Course Outlines and Notes
4 De Melo, Jaime & Panagariya, Arvind 1992 The New Regionalism In Trade Policy
5 European University, Barcelona 1998 Communications and Culture Transformation -
Cultural Diversity, Globalization and
Cultural Convergence
6 FitzGerald, Valpy June 1998 Global Capital Marlket Volatility
and the Developing Countries –
Lessons from the East Asian Crisis
7 Krugman, Paul 1997 Is Capitalism Too Productive?
8 Lietaier, Bernard January 1997 Global currency speculation and its implications
9 Muzaffar, Chandra August 1998 The Crisis : A Year Later
10 Rossetto, Louis 1996 Cyberspace vs. the State
11 Sachs, Jeffrey June 1997 the Limits of Convergence - Nature, nurture and growth
12 Soros, George September 1997 Wold Bank Speech, Hong Kong –

Towards A Global Open Society
13 Stiglitz, Joseph July 1998 Road to Recovery - The Future of Globalization
14 The Economist September 1997 Bergsten on Trade
15 The Economist August 1998 Emerging-market measles
16 The Economist August 1998 Finance and Economics - A question of preference
17 The Economist July 1998 Investigating investment
18 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - A World view
19 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - Bearing the weight of the market
20 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - Capital goes global
21 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - Delivering the goods
22 The Economist October 1997 Schools Brief - One World?
23 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - Trade winds
24 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - Workers of the world
25 The Economist 1998 Schools Brief - Worldbeater, Inc.
26 The Economist October 1994 The Global Economy
27 The Economist July 1997 The NAFTA Effect
28 The Economist December 1995 - January 1996 The Shape of the Workd - The nation-state
is dead. Long live the nation-state.
29 The Economist December 1996 World Trade - All free traders now?
30 The Economist December 1996 World Trade - All free traders now?
31 The Economist May 1998 World Trade - Fifty Years On
32 Wolf, Martin 1998 Flow and blows
33 Wriston, Walter B. October 1997 The CATO Journal Vol. 17 No. 3 –
Dumb Networks and Smart Capital

Tenang Dalam Banjir : Kemenangan UMNO Didahulukan?

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 07:21 PM PST

Sungguhpun kalah dalam PRK Tenang, namun PAS mungkin boleh yakin dengan undi yang diraihnya melalui Pakatan Rakyat - sokongan yang melangkaui batas kaum dan agama. Malah, ia semestinya menyuntik semangat kepada pemimpin yang mengambil pendekatan sederhana dalam PAS.

Merdeka Review

Tenang dalam banjir : Kemenangan UMNO didahulukan?

Meskipun Barisan Nasional akhirnya berjaya untuk mempertahankan kerusi DUN Tenang-nya, namun kemenangan ini pada hakikatnya memberi tamparan sengit kepada slogan "Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan", tebu yang ditanam di bibir Pengerusi BN merangkap Presiden UMNO Najib Razak.

Apa tidaknya, apabila Tenang dilanda banjir yang setinggi paras pinggang (sedalam dua atau tiga kaki), sehingga menghalang sesetengah pengundi untuk menunaikan tanggungjawab mereka, ia sebenarnya mencerminkan ketidakcekapan dan kepincangan kerajaan tempatan dalam perancangan pembangunan bandar. Belum lagi pertikaian yang semakin kuat didengar, sama ada pengundian perlu dihentikan atau ditangguhkan untuk memberi laluan sepenuhnya kepada kerja penyelamatan dan bantuan kepada mangsa banjir.

Ironinya, ketidakcekapan kerajaan inilah sebaliknya menyumbang kepada kemenangan BN. Pusat pengundian SMK Kamarul Ariffin di Bandar Labis Tengah misalnya, dikelilingi air bah - menghalang kira-kira 90 orang pengundinya untuk melaksanakan tanggungjawab masing-masing, meskipun hanya satu kilometer jaraknya dari pusat pengundian.

Salah seorang pengundi merungut kepada wartawan MerdekaReview, mereka sudah berada di situ pada jam 4 petang, menunggu agar truk tentera menghantar mereka ke pusat pengundian. Hasrat mereka tidak kesampaian. Mereka akhirnya gagal bergerak walaupun satu kilometer dalam masa satu jam - dan jarak 1 km inilah yang menggagalkan suara mereka untuk diambil kira dalam PRK ini.

Bagaimanapun, UMNO-BN menang dengan majoriti 3,707 undi, lebih kurang daripada matlamat 5,000 undi yang digariskan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Muhyiddin Yassin sebelum ini. Apa yang lebih menarik, sokongan pengundi Cina masih memihak kepada Pakatan Rakyat, meskipun diwakili PAS kali ini - pola yang cukup meresahkan BN, terutamanya MCA dan Presidennya Chua Soi Lek.

Chua Soi Lek: Musuh luar dan dalam

Maklumlah, 14 PRK sejak PRU ke-12 sebenarnya cukup penat buat pemimpin dan penyokong kedua-dua Barisan Nasional dan Pakatan Rakyat. Pada hakikatnya, tidak banyak ruang khayalan untuk PR menawan kubu BN di Tenang, memandangkan 4,118 undi daripada jumlah keseluruhan datang dari kawasan FELDA.

Apa yang menarik, PRK Tenang adalah PRK pertama di Johor, kubu BN di Semenanjung Malaysia. Lebih-lebih lagi, DUN Tenang berada di bawah kawasan parlimen Labis, kawasan asal Presiden MCA Chua Soi Lek. MCA telah dilanda krisis pergelutan kuasa untuk hampir setahun, dan hanya reda (pada permukaannya) selepas pemilihan semula pada 28 Mac 2010. Satu soal selidik yang dikendalikan Merdeka Center pada Mac 2010 mendapati "hanya 22% Cina anggap MCA relevan".

PRK Tenang menjadi kayu ukur untuk menilai prestasi Chua Soi Lek. Namun, untuk Chua Soi Lek, kemenangan BN di Tenang tidak membawa apa-apa makna yang positif untuk dirinya - seandainya undi Cina tidak melonjak. Malah, kesudahan yang mungkin paling sempurna dari perkiraan politik Chua Soi Lek adalah BN kalah, tetapi undi Cina meningkat. Ini kerana kesudahan sedemikian akan menonjolkan betapa pentingnya kedudukan MCA dalam UMNO, sementara membuktikan bahawa Presidennya berjaya mengembalikan sokongan Cina.

Ini menjelaskan mengapa Chua Soi Lek mengatur strategi untuk menyerang dengan isu sama ada calon PAS Normala Sudirman bersalaman dengan lelaki atau tidak. Strategi ini langsung tidak mengambil sensitiviti masyarakat Melayu-Muslim, yang sudah tentunya bakal memberi impak kepada UMNO.

Begitu juga sebaliknya, Timbalan Presiden UMNO Muhyiddin Yassin tidak mengambil kira perasaan MCA, terus menyelar Chua Soi Lek secara terbuka, malah mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa "Malaysia adalah Negara Islam yang menjadi teladan", pada ketika MCA menakut-nakutkan komuniti Cina dengan isu Negara Islam.

Sebagai politikus veteran, Chua Soi Lek (gambar kiri, tengah) semestinya menyedari bahawa selain musuh dari Pakatan Rakyat, antara parti komponen BN, beliau juga berdepan dengan musuh dalam MCA sendiri. Seandainya beliau gagal mempertahankan undi Cina di kawasan dirinya (sungguhpun kini disandang anaknya, Chua Tee Yong), maka keupayaan beliau akan dipertikaikan oleh pemimpin yang menggosok tangan dalam MCA. Dan ia mungkin pencetus konflik dalaman seterusnya dalam MCA.

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Keputusan hari ini jelas menunjukkan bahawa strategi Chua Soi Lek untuk menakutkan pengundi Cina dengan isu "Negara Islam" hilang mujarabnya. Sama ada MCA bakal tunduk kepada realiti ini, ataupun kekal menggunakan senjata terakhir ini, akan diketahui dalam PRK Merlimau yang bakal diadakan pada hujung Februari depan.

Kedudukan PAS di kawasan campuran

Untuk PAS pula, PRK Tenang sebenarnya lebih merupakan pertarungan untuk menguji kedudukannya di kawasan campuran. Rakan partinya dalam Pakatan Rakyat, DAP dilihat bersungguh-sungguh untuk menangkis serangan dari MCA terhadap PAS. Jikalau "Negara Islam" menjadi isu yang menghantui hubungan antara PAS dengan DAP pada masa dahulu, kini kedua-dua parti ini kelihatan lebih matang untuk berdepan dengan isu yang kontroversi ini.

Keputusan PRK Tenang menyaksikan PAS meraih sokongan yang melonjak di komuniti Cina, dan mungkin lebih tinggi seandainya pengundi tidak disekat banjir. Ketika dihubungi MerdekaReview, pengkaji politik, Wong Chin Huat menyimpulkan keputusan ini dengan "UMNO menewaskan PAS, dan PAS pula menewaskan MCA".

Wong Chin Huat mengingatkan bahawa, PAS masih mampu melonjakkan sokongan pengundi Cina terhadap dirinya dalam keadaan kadar pengundian menurun, malah di kawasan kubu Presiden MCA sendiri!

Ini bermakna, MCA akan tewas dengan lebih teruk jikalau calon DAP atau PKR menyarung jersi dalam PRK ini. Malah, jikalau keadaan yang sama berlaku di kawasan yang bukannya kubu MCA, kekalahannya akan lebih ketara, menurut Wong Chin Huat.

Bagaimanapun, keputusan sedemikian mengesahkan sekali lagi realiti bahawa PR menghadapi kesukaran di kawasan desa, khususnya kawasan FELDA dan ladang estet.

Sungguhpun kalah dalam PRK Tenang, namun PAS mungkin boleh yakin dengan undi yang diraihnya melalui Pakatan Rakyat - sokongan yang melangkaui batas kaum dan agama. Malah, ia semestinya menyuntik semangat kepada pemimpin yang mengambil pendekatan sederhana dalam PAS. Cuma, PAS perlu memikirkan sesuatu untuk menembusi kubu UMNO di kawasan pedalaman, yang mana pendekatan ini tidak semestinya perlu mengorbankan undi bukan Melayu-Muslim.

Baca selebihnya di

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 05:50 PM PST

Wishing all the people  out there

a Very Happy andProsperous

Chinese New Year of the Rabbit

From Special Position To ‘Ketuanan’ - By K. Pragalath.

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 05:51 PM PST

There is nothing racial about Article 160 of the Federal Constitution's definition of the word 'Malays,' according to Law Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi.

He said there was "no requirement for one to be from the Malay stock."

Shad, who is from Universiti Teknologi Mara's Law faculty, said the article merely states that one has to be Muslim, practice the Malay customs, speak Malay language, is born in Malaya and has at least one Malay parent.

However, this definition of "Malay" differs from that in the Malay Reservation Enactment.

"Indonesian Malays and Thai Malays who do not qualify under Article 160 of the Federal Constitution however qualify under the state enactment. Which is how so many plots of land are bought by Indonesians," he explained to a 100-strong crowd who attended the Bar Council's "Forum on Race Relations and Religion: Towards Equality and Non-discrimination" yesterday.

Touching on Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which provides for preferential treatment for Malays, Shad said there was no such word as "privilege or rights."

"The constitution doesn't give the word 'privilege' and doesn't use 'rights'. It uses 'kedudukan istimewa' (special position). But as things went on, 'special position' became 'special privilege'. What became 'privilege' became 'right'. And 'right' became 'ketuanan'," explained Shad, adding that "ketuanan" was interpreted as supremacy as in "Malay Supremacy".

Afirmative majority

Shad also noted that Malaysia was the only nation that provided "affirmative action" for the majority.

He said in most other nations it was the minority groups that received "affirmative action".

"There is no harm in the majority grouping having affirmative action so long as they are needy and action is done within a fixed time frame. For instance women are a group that should be given affirmative action," he said.

Earlier during his opening address, Shad noted that the Malaysian constitution was deeply flawed because "it is an example of social engineering that attempted to compromise" with the different races.

He said any attempts to dislodge Article 153 would tear the Malaysian society.

Responding to a question on the concept of "Bumiputera", Shad dismissed the term as "political mileage."

Addressing the question from a member of Amnesty International. Shad said: "It is something that includes those who should be excluded and excludes those who should be included… (it is all) for political mileage which explains why Malay parties have leaders with non-Malay features'. It is a term that does not exist in the constitution. And there is no political will to resolve the issues."

In conclusion, Shad suggested the formation of a commission to resolve the current outstanding issues.

Also presenting at the talk were Dimitriana Petrova of the Equal Rights Trust and Kuala Selangor MP, Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Courtesy of Free Malaysia Today

YB Tenang - jgn lupa tugas, tanggongjawab

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 05:03 PM PST

SALAM! Hujan lebat di Tenang sepanjang hari semalam gagal membawa Tok Ai (Azhar Ibrahim) bersama arus. Sebaliknya, lebihan undi membuktikan BN/Umno tetap kuat di Johor. Apa juga faktor yang menyebabkan kemenangan itu akan dianalisa dengan lebih terpeinci. Mungkin benar undi Cina bertambah di situ tetapi ini belum lagi boleh membuat BN selesa dalam PRU 13. Kita patut ucap syabas kepada mereka yang keluar mengundi. Walaupun huja turun tanpa henti, pengundi keluar melaksanakan tanggongjawab mereka. Ini membanggakan. Dalam pada itu, masih ramai lagi antara kita yang belum mendaftar sebagai pengundi. Ke mana fikiran mereka? Apapun, ada pesanan kepada YB yang baru ini. Jika YB gagal melaksanakan tugas dengan baik dan berkesan, arus yang akan datang nanti akan membawa YB bersamanya. Harus diingat, tidak ada tempoh bulan madu untuk YB. Apabila YB menang, maka YB sudah berjanji memberi khidmat terbaik. Jika YB mungkir, buruk padahnya. Moga2 YB berjaya melunaskan segala janji. Selamat berkhidmat.

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