A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Thursday, September 18, 2008

malaysiakini Should Give this FRIENDLY ADVICE to the POLICE CHIEF

We know it must be a tough job enforcing the law, especially when the political tension is so high according to this malaysiakini article Don't speculate on gov't takeover, warn police.

However, it is a hopeless task as I guess the bookies are already taking bets on the number of defectors, when the takeover will happen, whether the police will arrest Anwar to protect him under ISA and so on.

As the law enforcement agency, the police must be seen to be fair and firm to all parties. In fact they can even advise the PM that the situation should be decided soon by calling for that Emergency debate in Parliament. That is the proper venue where someone will be put in his proper place.

It is not fair to expect the police to chase speculation shadows when real tragedies/crime have not abated.
Speculation is merely part of the political instability that has been caused by the impasse between the two groups.

malaysiakini Reports that the PM BLINKED?

It looks as if the PM is afraid of meeting Anwar's challenge of the "NO CONFIDENCE" motion in Parlaiment as reported in this malaysiakini article PM rejects 'no confidence' session as he says -
"I don't see the need as the Parliament will sit after Ramadhan," Abdullah told reporters after chairing an Umno supreme council meeting at Putra World Trade Centre today.
The Parliament is set to resume its sittings on Oct 13.

Anwar wanted to meet the PM to discuss national issues like the political uncertainty and now this Parliament debate should be the crunch session whereby Anwar has to show that he has support of the majority of the MPs.

That is what Malaysia is urgently waiting for as it is now like a ship without a rudder. Why has the PM blinked?

malaysiakini and the SHOWDOWN at PARLIAMENT?

I believe that this is the solution that 90% of all Malaysians want to see as it will prove that after 51 years of independence, our politicians are prepared to relinquish power via a peaceful process.

This malaysiakini article Anwar seeks emergency House session is a fair request as the PM had declined a suggestion to meet with the Opposition leaders.

Malaysia no doubt can be considered a successful nation but we need new leadership that can help us progress faster. Just like a champion athlete cannot win all the races all the time, there is no written law that says Malaysia must have a BN government or none at all.

I am sure that a peaceful handover will ensure that we will finally emerge with a successful 2-party system and I am also very confident that if the (new) government does not perform to the high expectations, they may not be returned in the next General Elections.

The declaration of Emergency is not justified and will definitely jettison our international stature maybe just above Zimbabwee.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

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malaysiakini a Harbinger of GREAT NEWS Too

Lately most of the articles have been rather serious, especially with the political instabilty after the March elections.
But the news in malaysiakini that the USM picked as Apex university shows that is government is still able to make some good decisions without political overtones.

OK I don't know if there were any political factors but Penang is an opposition state and it is good that the Higher Education Ministry was able to make this decision. I think USM started off as a teacher's training college the MTC as some of my school-mates were trained there as teachers.

Perhaps being far away from the political center has enabled the USM to develop more as an academic centre compared to UM that has more political activities.

This should be a good lesson for UM and perhaps UiTM to improve. The former is taking up the challenge as UM not deterred, to strive for global status .

The NST article mentions that
"One of the initiatives taken in this direction was the setting up of a RM30 million fund to send local UM students on foreign exchange programmes, she added.

"Our aim is to send 1,000 students a year supported by the fund." "

I always thought that to upgrade a university one needs quality lecturers and good teaching methods to attract better students. I think the money would be better spent to send some good lecturers overseas to improve their skills and then bond them for say two years for each year of study and a defined career growth path.

Friday, September 5, 2008

malaysiakini indicates Not only BN but UMNO Appears to be BREAKING UP

Following the March elections and the Permatang Pauh by-elections, the BN coalition has been buffeted by winds akin to a major hurricane that wreaks havoc and great damage.

Perhaps the loss was too traumatic as only 4 years earlier, the BN was returned with the greatest majority and the opposition was almost wiped out.

This article in malaysiakini shows how fragile is the cement that is keeping UMNO together when Penang UMNO backs Ahmad, Snubs Pak Lah . A year ago such an incident would be unheard of.

I wonder if Ahmad Ismail has adopted such a hard line as he wants to antagonise the Chinese or just to increase the pressure on the PM to resign.
It is quite possible that the top leadership of UMNO has lost the confidence of UMNO members at the grass roots level.
There have been calls for AAB to quit from many quarters, even UMNO members. The party has various mechanisms in place to reduce contests for the top leadership and in a party crisis, members will break away more readily and voice their discontent.

Of course this is the worst time for the party as morale is weak and any wrong moves could result in a major UMNO schism. If democratic principles had been religiously followed and money politics eradicated, UMNO would not be in this predicament now.

malaysiakini Promotes CHANGE

If you have been following the USA Presidential Campaigns, you will notice that both the Republicans and Democrats are promoting change.
In Malaysia malaysiakini has been an important change agent since it was launched and you can see the difference in the people's response to it.

In the early days there were not many letters and very few wanted their names published. Today if you look at the feedback, there is a variety of issues discussed and people have become more open. There is hope for this nation as most of the views are well-articulated and with good reasoning.

That is how a nation advances, by making use of all its talents and not side-lining large portions of its population.
This freedom of expression has spread to the Perlis mufti according to this malaysiakini article Perlis mufti keeps 'em guessing over poem .

The funny thing about change is that some wise person said, "The more things change, the more they remain the same".

Thanks to You Tube for the famous protest song of the 60s "Time's they are a'Changing" by Peter, Paul and Mary". I attended a concert by them in the UK when I was a student in the late 60s.

I Think malaysiakini Should Start a "Life's Funny" Section

Most of the articles in malaysiakini are really serious.
Sodomy, Police Breaking into Houses, Corruption of Top Leaders etc.

You need a dose of humour to get through some of the articles.
This story got my attention - Trip not aimed at derailing Sept 16 defections.

The story describes how many BN MPs are being rounded up to get sent overseas as
"The budget had provided for huge allocations to develop the agricultural industry.

"This trip would provide a good experience to improve the agricultural sector," said Tiong."

According to the Star article, Barisan reps asked to hand in passports for study trip it seems that some of the MPs who have been selected appear to be out of the loop.

I wonder if this is how the BNBBC approaches new laws like the pending DNA Act. Now a study trip on that would be more justified as seen by the cavalier manner with which it was rushed through.

So maybe that section should be "Believe it or Not" and not "Life's Funny".

malaysiakini Suggests Najib Apologise but this Time it Should be UMNO's Turn

According to the malaysiakini article, Another dose of racism? Over to you Najib all government scholars have to undergo 5-day induction courses that reinforce the notion that non-Malays are all immigrants and therefore cannot have equal rights as citizens of Malaysia.

malaysiakini mentions these types of courses have been going on for many years and people were simply too scared to report or complain about the matter.
Nowadays we spend more than RM600m each year on the NS Scheme and the results are hardly significant to mention. Of course some children do enjoy their 3-months away from home.

It is not completely hopeless yet. Many of us who visit government offices will note some of the staff are still kind and courteous though some can also be haughty.
Before things turn horribly worse, the government should appoint a multi-racial panel of sorts to review the teaching material for such a course.

Otherwise the government may be accused of conducting brain-washing courses that will be more at home in North Korea. Maybe the UMNO guy who refuses to apologise is a product of this training?

malaysiakini asks Pray for CHEAP PETROL? I Suggest Better to PRAY for a GOOD Government....

I do not agree with this article from malaysiakini headed PM: Pray for lower fuel prices .

Not when Malaysia is still a net exporter of oil and our sweet crude fetches a premium compared to the lower grade that we import.

I urge all Malaysians to pray instead for good government that has to struggle to keep things in balance; from tackling rising inflation and the great divisive forces of racism that are driving our citizens apart.

A Government that upholds the rule of law and implements the findings of its own Royal Inquiries and ensures that massive losses in the Annual Auditor-General's Reports are acted upon.

Finally let us pray that any new government is not simply the same old government but with a different coating.

Let us ensure that all citizens enjoy the NEW DEAL. Think about it - with good governance we would not have to worry about oil prices as a responsible government will be able to manage the economic problems more effectively than hoping on the vagaries of the futures market.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Good Profile of a RECALCITRANT Leader from malaysiakini

Do you remember how our PM tried to smoothe things over with "I'll have a word with him. He did not mean what he said."

Apparently the PM was mistaken as even after the humbling apology by the DPM on behalf of UMNO and the government, the person who uttered those offending words is not apologetic as according to the malaysiakini article, Ahmad Ismail: I'll not apologise .

Now we all know that some leaders used to stoke racial sentiments whenever the time comes for the leadership elections but this person's stance is really unacceptable and shows the failure of our system where some people have been indoctrinated with too much self-importance.

Let us see how the police and UMNO handle this member.

malaysiakini Reports on MISSING LINK for the WANTON WASTAGE

So far the Horror Story on how many billions of ringgit have been lost in the Auditor-General's Annual Report is about RM1.5billion and rising.

You can read the AG's Report on their web-site but there is no English translation except in the correction of press articles - they are quite precise.

malaysiakini has this article headed Special unit to do spot-checks on gov't depts.

While the actions of the AG's office can prevent minor mistakes and negligence from developing into massive losses, it seems to me that having more reports will not do much to stem leakages unless there is a more positive control and strict actions taken against those responsible for the losses.

For example, the malaysiakini article reports

"When asked about the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) probe on the irregularities in financial management as highlighted in the Auditor-General's Report 2007, Ambrin said that "all information is available on the AG's website" and it was up to the ACA to investigate.

"The website is open to the public and to the media. So there is no reason for the ACA not to access the website," said Ambrin."

This is a major flaw that must be addressed if Malaysia is not to keep losing billions each year on account of negligence and corruption.
Surely it is possible for the AG's office to submit its official report to the PM's office with a copy to the ACA with some defined criteria to investigate wrong-doings like for example:

1.Project exceeds budget by 15%
2.Project completion delayed by 3 months
3.Variation orders more than 20% of project
4.Project exceeds budget by more than RM5m
5.Ministry overall budget exceeded by RM50m or 15% whichever is more.

Already the government's spending is growing out of control and we really need to control the monies more diligently. Since we are paying for 2 Finance Ministers, maybe one of them should do allocations and the other take control of prudence and corrective actions?
Remember the oil revenue will soon be gone and then we may not be able to pay even one Finance Minister.


I am of course referring to the proposed DNA Act that has proved defective in Australia as according to a lawyer, DNA evidence can go terribly wrong: lawyer .

Already Malaysia has many repressive laws like the ISA, Sedition Act and we have the corruption in major law enforcement arms like the Police and Judiciary where major reforms like the IPCMC have not been adopted.

How can we introduce the DNA Act without first implementing the IPCMC? It appears that the DNA Act as things stand in Malaysia is going to be the APEX LAW of Malaysia as it gives the Police unparalleled powers to "fix" problems.

It is similar to the killing of criminals without proper due process but in a more scientific manner - the Courts do the killing as the DNA evidence cannot be refuted or challenged. Remember we have laws that provide the mandatory death sentence?

According to the malaysiakini article, police are

"reviewing 7,000 cases that had used DNA evidence after it was found that DNA evidence used to convict a murder suspect, Russell John Gesah, was contaminated.
Gesah was earlier convicted of a 1984 murder of a mother and her young daughter.

It does not matter whether PR or BN is in power. Such a law is really bad and I urge you to sign petitions and show your disagreement by writing to your MP at the very least.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Surprised that malaysiakini Promotes TDM's Blog

"Dr M seeks support to give PM the boot" is the rallying call of the malaysiakini article.

Many people are not happy with the BN leadership and it seems that Anwar's PR coalition appears to be taking a more legitimate manner to take over the government though some are not happy at the concept of cross-overs. Now cross-overs are not illegal and I suppose we should thank TDM for that convenience.

The restrictions or qualifying numbers of nominations for top UMNO posts were also contrived during his stewardship and now he says "UMNO leaders are useless"?

I don't see how the "country will be destroyed" if the opposition takes over. Maybe the business interests of some cronies. And also those who have been stealing big time from the nation might have to skip the free pass as in Monopoly - you don't collect your $200 but may end up in jail.

As for UMNO, even if AAB is forced to step down, the party is going nowhere except into the history books unless it takes the next 5 years in opposition and reinvents itself into a nationalistic but non-racist party. I hope they can achieve that for it will enable Malaysia to become a 2-party system.

malaysiakini Riddle - What Happens when You Combine MASSIVE WEALTH and PROFLIGATE SPENDING?

Seriously the Auditor-General's Annual Report should be renamed "Malaysia Annual Report of Horror Spending" as that would cause more ordinary folks to read where the major leaks are in our financial expenditure.

We have two Finance Ministers but apparently no one controls how the money of our wealthy nation is being used - they simply make major allocations and then find ways to squeeze the monies from the ordinary folks.

Just look at this article from malaysiakini - Navy overspent RM114 mil on jetty HQ and see how easy it is to squander funds without any problems.

The malaysiakini article also mentions that the "crooked bridge project" costing "RM1.27 billion Custom, Immigration and Quarantine building at Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru did not undergo an open tender process."
Now we also know that the project started even though Singapore did not agree. No that should be corrected - the project started despite Singapore's objection.

But the Works Minister at the time is no longer in Parliament so don't hold your breath for any justification. BTW the project is still incomplete and was supposed to end by 2007.


I believe Malaysia is on the brink of a political upheaval as the last General Elections showed that many Malays have decided that the BN government has lost much of its credibilty.

Instead of reading and understanding the writing on the wall, the BN parties have not taken the voters' message to heart and most decided to present a makeover by electing new leaders.

Of course ANWAR has played a major role in becoming the catalyst and leader for change. He is a good communicator and perhaps his stint overseas provided him the chance to hone his skills.

This article in malaysiakini indicates that Meeting Agong? Not yet, says Anwar plans to take over the government are quite advanced.

Another article in malaysiakini titled "Sept 16: What will 'cornered animal' BN do?" paints a bleak scenario of the country becoming like another Zimbabwee.
That can happen if extremists are allowed to stage incidents like riots but this time it could be worse as Malays could be fighting Malays.

To their credit the police have been able to keep such incidents from erupting especially in the recent PP elections.

Our PM started office with well publicised intentions and perhaps he promised too much but delivered too little. His announced handing over power in 2010 combined with the growing momentum of Anwar's movement has resulted in what is commonly called a "lame duck" government.

The BN will find it difficult to win the next round if a snap elections is called and declaring a national emergency will damage Malaysia's future for many years.

I am in no position to know the details of any discussions between PR and BN leaders and so this merely the view of an armchair writer.
I agree with many Malaysians that AAB is basically a good man but he has been misinformed and made too many poor decisions to lead the nation. I believe he will not want to see the nation damaged by strife caused by irresponsible elements.

He could reach out to Anwar and suggest by-elections for those seats where the MPs want to cross-over together with getting most uniformed units to cast their ballots at normal ballot stations instead of the postal votes that would be restricted to only those on active duty.

Or he could realise that the BN will be mauled as the parties have not changed and the voters will vote PR. So instead of inviting a political thrashing, he could disband the BN, resign and ask the Agong to select the next Prime Minister.

That way he could really get the BN parties to rethink their future in the opposition. I am sure that with proper policies and strategies with good leadership, the BN will be able to become part of the two-party system that can propel Malaysia forward.

"SORRY" is the WRONG Word.....

Remember the corny line from the movie "Love Story" that goes like this: "Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry"?

The movie was a hit with romantics and and somehow UMNO apologising to the Chinese seems a little strange.
The Chinese are upset as a division leader asked the Chinese to bugger off as they were "immigrants" as described in this malaysiakini article Ahmad-bashing continues. After all, how many of us can claim to be "Orang Asli"?Even the ex-MB of Selangor has not more than 3 generations who were born here.

I believe under the Sedition laws, the police have enough reports to investigate the remark for the matter can incite racial ill feelings and create civil unrest.

Even though the remarks were made during the PP by-elections, it was at a public gathering and should not be treated as an internal matter.

No doubt UMNO leaders are slowly coming to a little more maturity, it appears that the initial reaction from the top leaders was most disappointing,to be polite. UMNO members are not above the law and the police would gain more respect from the public if they act according to the law and not look first as to who is the law-breaker.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The BN Parties' Theme Song?

With so much political wrangling and racist tensions going on, perhaps learning this song may ease some of the pain. Apart from taking extra strong Panadol!

The article from malaysiakini tells more of the developments under
PKR leader poaching whole parties, not just MPs

That surely sounds like something major is brewing.

Thanks to YouTube (Connie Francis sings "Who's Sorry Now.")


That chart from malaysiakini should be a marketer's dream but unfortunately it is one of government expenditure and becomes the taxpayers' nightmare.

This article in malaysiakini needs to be corrected - Gov't has grown 'fat and unwieldy'.
Seriously, the bureaucracy has grown in numbers by leaps and bounds.Just look at the number of Cabinet posts that generate even more positions in government.

I think there are two major causes for the huge government expenditure:

1.Instead of a reduction in the civil servants, employment is being extended and more unemployable graduates are being absorbed.
2.Much monies have been spent in IT systems and while many areas have increased productivity, the number of workers has not been trimmed.

Now we know that there is always corruption in the system and thus businessmen have to pay more - you pay more taxes to support the system and then then there will be more obstacles to prevent you from doing business. Many things need "consultants" and facilitators.

ANWAR Should Take Over the Government on Higher Ground

Although we do have laws that allow elected MPs to cross-over, taking over the government in this manner is subject to abuse as money politics is now practised by some parties.

He won a fantastic campaign in Permatang Pauh and the results show that more Malaysians welcome a change of government.

malaysiakini has the article Sept 16: What will 'cornered animal' BN do? and the possibilities do not look good for the nation.
The writer mentions emergency rule, ops lallang and even assassination as the desperate measures that can occur.

I am sure most of the moderate Malaysians prefer to see political problems settled fast as the uncertainty is definitely affecting business and investments.

Anwar must ensure that he wins the government on a higher ground and he can do this through the following:

1.Ask all those wanting to cross-over to resign their seats and recontest under the PR coalition.
2.The Government allows free and fair elections and postal votes are only allowed for those on active duty in remote areas. Otherwise arrange for these voters to cast their votes at normal stations. The numbers can be easily verified based on records.

Just as Anwar asked PP voters to grant him a larger victory which they did, now it is the time of those wavering MPs to let the voters decide.
I know we have those laws that allow for defections but I suggest those laws are the basic cause of the beginning of political corruption.

All peace-loving Malaysians should pray that those who strive to lead us will be granted wisdom and not be blinded by the seduction of power.

RACISM in Malaysia - the Sun Never SETS?

malaysiakini has this article Racism still haunts nation at 51st Merdeka
In many nations like Australia there are laws against racism and a racist remark will lead to law suits and that is one way to reduce racist incidents.

In Malaysia we have a culture of supporting race-based political parties that have ruled the nation for 51 years and it seems that instead of improving race relations, these parties are actually contributing to the deterioration in race relations.

What compounds the matter is that the law enforcers, the police appear to have forgotten their role and duty of upholding laws and just adopt their own sense of justice. Once the police become biased, they really lose their effectiveness and no one will trust them.

For example, some people were allowed to demonstrate against the USA when Rice visited Malaysia but HINDRAF demos were met with considerable force.

The malaysiakini article mentions that "the big businesses and vested interests that have backed the Barisan’s stay in power who will push for the status quo to remain".

Big business does not like political instability as decisions cannot be made for further investment etc. Of course vested interests do not want change as they will lose much and some of them will have to go to jail.
But for most Malaysians who know that reducing corruption will mean that some of the 25% to 30% leakages can be curbed, they are waiting for the BN sun to set so that Malaysia can be born again. Do take the orange poll on the left if you have not done so.

Photo: Sunset in Inside Passage, Alaska. From ms VEENDAM

Monday, September 1, 2008


malaysiakini has this report "Special Branch probes defection rumours: S'wak MP".

In Malaysia the laws allow MPs to cross-over and this law was passed many years ago by the BN government to "facilitate" a change-over of the Sabah state legislature.
Now this law has come back to haunt the BN as Anwar Ibrahim strives to get MPs to defect to the opposition and thereby takeover the government.

Since there is no law against a cross-over, the police should not be involved with politicians unless some of those MPs are being investigated for other crimes. Otherwise investors will surely get the notion that we are a police state.

No doubt the political situation is not very stable but we are a democracy and the government needs to get its house in order and get on with the job.

They should call for a snap elections if the cross-over is imminent and take their chances with the good citizens of Malaysia. Is that not what democracy is all about?

Photo: Thanks to AP


Of course everyone enjoys a public holiday but I don't support the idea of the Pakatan states being given an extra holiday to celebrate the annual Malaysia Day on Sept 16 like their East Malaysian counterparts. according to the malaysiakini article.

I suggest that Anwar organises some fund-raising activities among the 5 states on a Saturday when civil servants don't work to gauge whether the people want to improve solidarity with the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

The funds raised can be used to improve the lot of the poor in the two states and I am sure that will be much appreciated by the folks over there.
Has anyone calculated the economic costs of an extra shutdown of all those factories?
Maybe they can substitute one of the state holidays for Malaysia Day instead? Now that would be a different kettle of fish.