Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
It appears that BN may be in for a rough ride dogged by component parties unwilling to give their utmost to help in the campaign.
LDP,MCA,Gerakan, the three Chinese based party only made dim appearances.UMNO seemed the only party working hard to ensure victory.PBS, not here, nor there.
Yong Teck Lee seemed to have big war chest rumoured to be bankrolled by some Foo Chow towkays from Sarawak.
PKR is a non starter. Some, predicted bad omen for Ansari after taking a dip in the sea.
Yong Teck Lee showed his arrogance by belittling Ansari saying he is not fit to debate with him, he wants nothing less than Anwar Ibrahim.
Sabah rights a SAPP afterthought in Batu Sapi Yong was also instrumental in Umno seizing control of Sabah in 1994 from PBS after the latter had successfully fought the state election for an unprecedented fourth term. This was despite Yong deserting the party on the eve of the state election and getting the registration of SAPP approved within 24 hours. Yong formed SAPP and aligned himself with Umno in the state election after Pairin rejected his demand that he (Yong) be given the exclusive right to name all the Chinese PBS candidates.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010
"The parties involved must provide an explanation as to how far this is true," said Asri (pic) in a blog posting.
The recently-released report by the Auditor-General criticised MAIWP for its plan last year to scrap seventy air conditioning units acquired in 2007 and 2008 despite not being listed in the evaluation board's report.
It further noted that office equipments worth RM135,265 were simply abandoned at its old premise in Wisma Baitulmal when moving its headquarters to the Perkim building in February 2008.
The report also said 21 units of computers and cameras worth RM45,789 and three motorcycles belonging to the department had been 'lost'. Petrol claims for its fleet of vehicles were also suspicious, it added.
Saying he had always been suspicious about the state of financial management involving Islamic institutions in the country, Asri said he felt compelled to highlight the issue although it could rile up many quarters.
"Who's that ghost cheating and robbing us of our zakat revenue so that those deserving do not get it? Whose hands could it be? Is it the gnome in the jungle or the men in turban?” asked Asri in some of his harshest comments yet against the authorities.
Saying zakat collection had grown in tandem with rising poverty, Asri called for a revamp of the zakat institution, and urged a proper forum to discuss transparency and proper management of zakat fund.
He questioned whether those entrusted to manage the funds were honest and serious in their job, or were simply siphoning off zakat money on the argument that they were part of the asnaf (those among the eight groups of people deserving help through zakat).
Asri said the exposure by the Auditor-General was only the tip of the icerberg, adding that the state of financial management in other states remained concealed.
Asri said the situation only further eroded Muslims' confidence in the integrity of Islamic institutions, which he warned would make them think twice before entrusting these bodies to manage their religious affairs.
“It's all inter-linked: the interests of politics, the palace, individuals and many others. A total reform can be a solution to turn things around," he stressed, and said only a clean, honest and transparent government could ensure such a transformation.
Zakat is calculated annually and is one of the five pillars of Islam, mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an alongside such obligations as prayer and fasting. An adult Muslim who fulfils several criteria, among which is owning a certain amount of unused wealth within a span of one year, must set aside 2.5% of such wealth as zakat to help the less fortunate groups in the society.Malaysia Chronicle
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
American justice has many faces.
We don't do body count if they are not American.
The hypocrisy of it all.Blood on the hands of those who leaked the secret documents endangering American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan says the US Chief of Army.
It is alright for American to kill hundreds of thousand of Iraqis, Afghans or anyone that crossed their path but don't you dare kill American.
Only American lives mattered, the Iraqis and Afghan civilians can go to hell as far as Barrack Obama and his administration are concerned.
Barrack Obama is the man with sugar-coated tongue that sweet talked the American people into electing him as president and promised the world global peace but did nothing of that sort, instead, did the very opposite, starts a new war in Pakistan and bring more collateral damage to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Hasn't he got blood on his hands?
What about the blood of thousands of innocent civilians killed by the US army.The torture and massacre of Iraqis and Afghans with the blessing of the US administration and participated by the US military which came to light only after the exposures by WikiLeaks.
Who has more blood on his hands?
Obama or the whistle blower?
Guantanamo and Abu Gharib are nothing compared to what the almost 400,000 leaked documents will soon reveal of American atrocities in the war zones.
Now, the US hypocrites are asking for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's head on the chopping board, to capture him and send him off to Guantanamo.
Well done! Wikileaks.We need more people like you to expose the atrocities and hypocrisy of the United State government.
At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.
The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 'civilians'; 23,984 'enemy' (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 'host nation' (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 'friendly' (coalition forces). The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60%) of these are civilian deaths.That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six year period. For comparison, the 'Afghan War Diaries', previously released by WikiLeaks, covering the same period, detail the deaths of some 20,000 people. Iraq during the same period, was five times as lethal with equivallent population size."Put lives at risk" -BULLSHIT
You are the biggest killer
Stop the war and get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and let the people decide their own destiny.
Browse the diaries and make complex searches.
Browse the diaries, rate and comment the reports.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Why would a naval base be adorned with chandeliers,fancy wall paper and other items of luxury? Read the (AG) Auditor-General's report here. Would the Chief of Navy be upstanding and explain why he needs such pomposity.
Indeed, a very sad state of affair, money that's supposed to stimulate the economy being spent indiscriminately without due care and attention.
Even more deplorable and beyond comprehension is the AG's report here. Paying for goods that have not been delivered and accepting goods of inferior quality. It would not be too far-fetched to think that there may be element of corruptions.It should trigger the MACC to investigate.
This deplorable state of affairs will stymie Najib's chance of recovering lost ground.It's about time the PM use the carrot and stick approach to rehabilitate these good for nothing civil servants, and not the least, some of his ministers.
We need to spend to stimulate the economy is true but prudence should be the core element.Our debt to GDP ration, at the moment, is still manageable but drastic measures should be taken to bring it down.This kind of wastage if left unchecked is going to bankrupt the nation.
The AG reported current debt to GDP ratio of 50 percent of mostly domestic borrowing is a sign that our borrowing is increasing.Malaysia has reduced it foreign debt quite substantially which means we are not at the mercy of foreign currency exchange.However, the increase in total debt is not good sign.
The higher the debt ratio is, the more likely we are going to default because we have borrowed too much relative to the ability for us as a whole to repay.More reflective is the percentage devoted to debt repayment, 5 to 10% of GDP is the acceptable ratio, anything more means the country is heading for trouble.So far so good, we are still in the green zone.
It may come as a shock to you that the US and UK has almost 100% debt to GDP ratio yet still got AAA ratings.These two countries have unassailable institutions, political stability and low sovereign risk.
Unnecessary spending invites inflation which is the percursor to recession.Civil servants do no care how they spend because it is not their money, it is other people's money.
Another, very sinful wastage is the government giving of free computers to villagers.Do the villagers really need such computers to make them more knowledgeable or they would rather exchange it for cash and some people in government would be making tons of ill gotten gains from the excercise?
We, the taxpayers are the suckers.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Politicians, if I may say, make monkey of themselves when it comes to facing reality, unable to think clearly,sensibly and logically and...... all for selfish reason.
By their own undoing, the Batu Sapi by-election is a case of selfishness and greed which has spelled disaster for both the opposition candidates.
The chances of SAPP's Yong winning has now disappeared into the thick cumulus cloud all for the irrational greed of one man.... Anwar Ibrahim.
PKR knew of its poor chance of winning yet deprived Yong of a good fight against the BN.
Anwar has taken a 'dog in the manger' attitude and worse still fielded the most unlikely candidate.He is sending a message to Yong " if we can't have it, you can't have it too".
Ansari Abdullah will be vanquished not because of his own fault but the stupidity of PKR not giving way to Yong, who has far greater chance of taking on the BN. The voters will show their unhappiness in the ballot boxes.
PKR, will never be a force to be reckoned with in Sabah and I find it hard to believe that the leaders are still living in a state of denial. There is no credible leader in Sabah PKR that can garner massive support for the party.
Anwar may be big name in the Peninsula but in Sabah he has still a long way to go.Sabahans still remember the coup of 1994.
Yong is not my favoured candidate, as far as I am concerned he is no different from other shameless politicians, but the fact is, Anwar Ibrahim has ruined his chance of giving the BN a run for its money.
A ploy of last minute withdrawal by PKR to give Yong a chance will be too late and will not work.
There was a dog lying in a manger who did not eat the grain but who nevertheless prevented the horse from being able to eat anything either. (from an old Greek fable)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Yong Teck Lee's candidacy for the Batu Sapi by-election defy description.It's a big surprise for everyone that he would stake his political career on a whim.
Yong is no different from other politicians that the people might want to throw out.He has been in PBS and stayed while the going was good.In 1994 at the behest of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim he with other PBS leaders deserted the party and formed their own parties to topple the duly elected PBS government.
Soon after, his party joined the BN where he was given position and later made the chief minister on Mahathir's rotation system.He is no different from other shameful politicians that betrayed the people's trust whenever it suits them.
This is the same man who wooed the illegals voters when he was in the BN and did absolutely nothing when he was the CM but wailed and hailed about the presence of illegal immigrants the moment he is out of the BN.
For the same reason what he did to Joseph Pairin he did again with Pak Lah when he couldn't get what he wanted.Sabahans are fools if they think he cares for them.
His stratergy is to start a spat with Pak Lah making Pak Lah looked bad in the eyes of Sabahans and him a hero, leave BN, and contest the 13th General Elections under his own flag and win a few seats.He would than keep his option open, to join whoever the victor is, BN or PR.
Sabahans, are simple folks, they keep believing in the same old politicians and keep recycling them when new and younger faces should be given the chance to change the politics of this country irrespective which party he or she represents.
In the fore front with Yong are other political has-beens, ex-Berjaya Deputy CM Mohd Noor Mansoor of the famous I borrowed my mother's RM5 million for political funds when he sold the Berjaya building and the X-Man, ex-USNO,ex-PBS,ex-UMNO Nahalan Damsal.
Batu Sapi has significant number of immigrants voters and Yong would close his eyes once again and canvass for votes from the very same people he wanted to kick out of the state.Are these the kind of politicians worthy of the people's trust? The hypocrisy of 'do as I say, not as what I do' and yet Sabahans are fooled to vote for them.
One of the most controversial deals during his tenure as chief minister was the exchange of blue chip MISC shares with junk NBT and Sugarbun shares of his closed friend, a lawyer turned businessman Joseph Ambrose Lee.
Today, MISC shares are still in blue chip category and paying dividends while NBT and Sugarbuns shares are worthless, a fate worse than a toilet paper.His excuse that the collapse was due to the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 is constructively untrue.MISC shares have recovered and are still trading on the KLSE while NBT and Sugarbun shares have been relegated to the rubbish bins.Both companies have been de-listed from the KLSE.
Yong denied he has anything to do with it and the collapse of the Saham Amanah Sabah which happened during his tenure.
It is common knowledge that he is a buddy of Ambrose Lee which used the relationship to transact business with the government, from exchange of shares to the award of FMU (Forest Management Unit).
Most of Ambrose Lee's businesses failed.Today, his assets are under receiving order (RO) but he is still a very rich man and free to travel overseas, courtesy of banks and financial institutions who care not about their fiduciary duties.After few years of RO the banks should know whether they can recover those assets or not and should adjudicate the process whereby a public examination of the debtor could be carried out to determine that there were no fraudulent transactions.
The share swaps incurred the state government agency to lose huge sums which shortfalls were supposedly guaranteed by Ambrose's company.Being insolvent the company was unable to make good the guarantee.Ambrose offered the state government another losing concern of his to take care of the shortfall.
Borneo Marble was offered with highly inflated price which was said to have been accepted by the idiot savants at Warisan but eventually rejected by Chief Minister Musa Aman who has better business sense than his boys at Warisan.
Sometimes, in making decision, dishonesty precedes logic. I have done and seen umpteen valuation of properties during my business days and most, more often than not, were overstated in value and valuers cannot be taken to court for their opinion.It's up to the interested parties to attache their own value.
Here, to confuse the audience, Mr Lee feigned not to know the reason of Musa's refusal. The state has the right to refuse not withstanding whatever the valuation is.
The Chinese voters in Sandakan may want to show they are kingmakers but I hope they vote sensibly.
It's time to kick out all these political donkeys and put new faces that can serve the people better.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Yong Teck Lee just announced his candidacy for Batu Sapi. Yong is going for broke and will put up a good fight against the BN if it is a straight fight.
PKR, will nominate its candidate but is likely to withdraw the last minute to give Yong better chance of winning.
BN may still have the edge, depending on the candidate they choose.
More to come.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Small minds are much distressed by little things. Great minds see them all but are not upset by them. Francois de La Rochefoucauld
(French author & moralist)
By Rahmah Ghazali
FMT ALERT KUALA LUMPUR: PAS' protest against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor took place in several states, except Kuala Lumpur, where it was called off at the eleventh hour.
This morning, a statement by Federal Territory PAS Youth information chief Fadhil Osman had given the impression that the nationwide protest was scrapped.
However, the protest took place after Friday prayers in Seremban, Malacca and Terengganu. The protest here was supposed to be held outside the Kampung Baru mosque.
Fadhil had said that PAS would use "another approach" to express its dissatisfaction against the premier's wife.
According to him, a meeting would be arranged with the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and a memorandum would be submitted to the King soon.
The self-proclaimed First Lady of Malaysia had come under fire for promoting the recently held Islamic Fashion Festival (IFF), which Muslim groups said was an insult to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
The event also drew flak from social-networking site Facebook users, where the photo of one of the models wearing a revealing outfit which depicted a reverse image of the Prophet's name in Arabic across the chest was widely circulated.
PAS chides Rosmah over Islamic fashion fest
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Every time a blogger wrote something that made someone in authority unhappy the police or other enforcement agency are called upon to investigate.
Investigation would come with harassment and confiscation of the blogger's computer and in some cases charges brought against the blogger concerned.
The recent case of Datuk Ahiruddin Atan or popularly known as Rocky Bru, who fell foul of Minister of Information,Communication and Culture Datuk Seri Rais Yatim where the minister lodged reports to the MCMC and the Police over an article that insinuated nepotism in his Ministry in the giving away of contracts reeks of nothing less than abuse of power to intimidate bloggers.
There are other channels to deal with such matters as far as defamation or libel is concerned.Our constitutional rights should not be trampled upon merely because a minister has the power to do so.
Such action of the minister makes Malaysia look like a police state where one can't speak out against wrongdoings in government.The minister made no distinction between the law and the use of political power where our state of freedom came under siege because he is allowed to use arbitrary power to cow his victim.Such use of absolutist power by ministers should not be allowed unless it is of national security.
There are proper procedures to deal with cases of libel.
The minister should have first warned Rocky Bru by giving him notice to retract his article and apologise failing which he would institute legal action against him.If Rocky refused and the minister is certain he has done no wrong he can than proceed with legal action.
Ministers should not be afraid, unless they have guilty conscience, to go to court to clear their names.They should take a leaf from the book of former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh.
Rocky being a seasoned journalist and blogger would know what in store for him if the story he published is not true.The danger of using third party source is always there.Responsibility is on the blogger to check his facts before exposing himself to the dangers of stories of libelous intent.
The Prime Minister should take note of this and that he would lose more of the pro-government bloggers to the other side as what had happened to former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi when he took the blogosphere lightly, dismissing them as nuisance and bunch of crackpots.
It is true there are bloggers who write nonsense and could not care less about facts,fictions and factoids, simply writing to attract attention and traffic to their blogs.Such bloggers should be ignored and they would eventually self destruct. There are also many bloggers who write responsibly and contribute good ideas for the government to consider.
With the high penetration of Internet in this country do not underestimate the power and influence of the blogging fraternity.............as the proverbial 'pen mightier than the sword'...... they can sway opinion.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
What's in store for the Batu Sapi by-election?
In all likelihood, it would be a three-cornered fight as SAPP and Pakatan Rakyat would want to prove their political prowess to gauge their popularity for the next general elections. Both are unlikely to give way to each other.
This dichotomy would continue until the 13th General Elections which is expected to be called before the term expired.
It would give the BN the edge if a right candidate is chosen.
SAPP's Yong Teck Lee suspension has ended and he is now eligible to stand in an election.Yong is unlikely to stand in this by-election but would field a candidate from his party. Karamunting central liaision committee member Poon Kee Yang sits top of the list.
Yong would not stand as the support for the opposition in this area is still unclear and if he stood as candidate and lost than his party would suffer the consequence in the next general elections.Batu Sapi has 60 % bumiputera voters.
As usual, PKR is troubled by infighting among who should be selected as candidate.The contenders are, its Batu Sapi division chief Hasnar Ibrahim,Tuaran PKR division chief Ansari Abdullah and Sabah PKR chief Thamrin Jaini.
Hasnar Ibrahim is most likely to rock the boat if not selected and PKR leaderships are in a quandary as to him or Thamrin Jaini. Hasnar is a local and has affinity with the bumiputra community.He is an ex ISA detainee and has track record of dirty underhand tactics.The leadership may decide on Thamrin which will send Hasnar and his followers to rebel against the party.
The BN may field the spouse of the late Edmund Chong to attract sympathy votes.
The fight really would be between BN and SAPP.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
While I yearn for a better Malaysia where the gap between the rich and poor would narrow down to a civilised level I just could not comprehend the logic of a 100-storey tower that could help us jump start an economic miracle to becoming a high income nation.
We need to grow an average 8-10 percent annually for the next 10 years to ever come near that dream.
Which economic formula is the Prime Minister using? Adam Smith's "invisible hand", John Keynes principal of government intervention or Milton Friedman's free market economy and government non-intervention,, or all pleated into one.
All three are acceptable economic principles that have been used over the century in varying degree.
However, the global financial crisis in 2007 has brought the resurgence of Keynesian economics.
Though, government intervention advocated mostly legislative in nature, fiscal and monetary measures are needed to mitigate adverse effect of economic recessions.In severe cases where the private sector had become incapacitated such scenario occasioned the use of government funds to save the economy.The Western economies are still reeling from the effect of the private sector's bad financial governance.
The 2007 global financial crisis that led the US and other Western economies to bail out failed financial institutions by taking up equity and management of these companies was one such occasion.It helped to decelerate economic meltdown and brought speedy recovery to the economy.
The building of mega structures for prestige rather than economic considerations will not excite the economy as much as if the money is spent on increasing industrial outputs.
Putrajaya is the ultimate white elephant and we don't need anymore of such monument to strain our financial resources.Too often, we have mega-failure projects like the PKFZ and Bakun Dam which punch big holes in government finances and disgrace to the nation.
Ours is a nation that survived on our trading capabilities and have to reckon with countries like Thailand,Vietnam,Indonesia and big player China in the world markets.These are sectors that needed to be boosted. China would eventually become a big economic threat to smaller nations in this region.
Letting the private sector to take the lead is well and good as long as the government stop crony capitalism which has been the practice all these times.It leads to inefficiency and cost ineffectiveness to the system.
Letting those who knows the business best do the job is the only way to bring competitiveness to the industry.In the past almost all government projects,special licences,approved permits had to go through UMNO linked middlemen who sat on their arses and do only Ali Baba business to collect huge windfall from the project.
The government should wake up to reality and be bold enough to correct mistakes of the past.
Malaysia has probably one of the worse practices of trade monopoly in a free market economy. These are given to either GLCs or cronies.The breaking up of these monopolies should be given priority to liberalise the market so prices can find its own level.
Bigger chunk of our annual budget goes to recurring expenditure, literally, to take care of the grossly over-staffed and inefficient civil service.We have over 1 million civil servants to take care of 26 million Malaysians while the UK had only around 500,000 against a population of 61 million.
It's a reflection of bad policy of the government of creating jobs just to give employment to the majority bumiputras. When the oil wells run dry this country will be bankrupted by none other than the civil service.It's about time the government starts trimming the civil service down to less shameful level.
In Budget 2011, Sabah and Sarawak would probably be the biggest losers getting only a meagre RM10 billion in projects or just 8 percent of total value of projects mentioned in the budget.Despite Sabah and Sarawak contributions to the total government revenue the two states stayed neglected and may lose its premium as fixed deposit states.
Why is it that most development should be in Kuala Lumpur, which is already a burgeoning city with highly developed infrastructures and a dysfunctional traffic system that clog the city roads and streets despite billion of ringgits spent? More mega buildings and construction of the mass transit would be a major nightmare for the city dwellers.
More money should be channelled to Sabah and Sarawak for infrastructure development.The two states with land masses over three times more than that of Peninsula Malaysia still remained backward because of neglect and inequitable distribution of development expenditure.
Obviously, the government is only interested in monumental and cosmetic economic reforms which is not going to help up the value chain and make Malaysia high income nation in the near future.
I don't see it as an exciting budget but more likely acts in furtherance of existing crony capitalism.
Najib needs to do more.He took over a weak administration and party members who are used to the spoils system.
Friday, October 15, 2010
How Malaysia's right-wing Islamist party became the country's best hope for political reform.
BY DUSTIN ROASA |
On Dec. 31 of last year, a Catholic newspaper with a circulation of less than 15,000 found itself at the heart of a major controversy in Malaysia. In 2007, the government had ordered the Kuala Lumpur-based Herald to stop using "Allah" to refer to a non-Islamic God, as the paper -- located in a majority-Muslim country -- had been doing for years. The paper sued, and when the case finally made its way to the High Court, a judge sided with the Herald and overturned the ban.
Protests followed immediately, with masked men on motorbikes firebombing several churches and demonstrators taking to the streets. Tension between the country's Muslim Malay majority and its Chinese and Indian minorities was already at a low boil, thanks to Malaysia's ruling coalition and its dominant political party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). Through policies such as pro-Malay affirmative action, the government had attempted to exploit the country's ethnic divisions in order to deflect attention from its economic mismanagement and corruption.
But as Muslim anger with the Allah case boiled over, an unlikely ally came to the paper's defense: Malaysia's opposition Islamist party, the Pan-Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS). PAS President Abdul Hadi bin Awang (above) publicly supported the paper's right to use the word. "PAS would like to state that, based on Islamic principles, the use of the word Allah by the people of Abrahamic faiths such as Christianity and Judaism is acceptable," he said.
It was an odd turn for Malaysia's competing political parties: The ostensibly secular UMNO was stoking Muslim outrage, while PAS, which was founded half a century ago with the stated goal of transforming Malaysia into an Islamic state guided by the Quran, was calling for interfaith understanding. Yet it fit an emerging pattern. In the last five years, PAS has been moderating its onetime deeply conservative stance in order to reach out to non-Muslim Indian and Chinese voters, who account for nearly a third of the population.
The tactics have paid off. PAS has attracted more than 20,000 non-Muslim members, astonishing for a country where political parties are strictly divided along ethnic and religious lines. The support helped the party, along with its partners in the opposition People's Pact coalition, win an historic one-third of parliamentary seats in the 2008 national election, denying the UMNO a two-thirds majority for the first time since Malaysia's independence in 1957. Many Malaysian political observers are predicting that the opposition will finally wrest power from the UMNO-led ruling coalition in the next election, due by 2013.
But that victory is contingent on PAS's ability to perform a delicate balancing act. The party must convince its Muslim base that it is not abandoning its religious principles while quelling fears among non-Muslims that it is a radical party bent on scrapping Malaysia's secular constitution.
"I've always looked at the Islamic basis of the party as inclusive in nature," Khalid Samad, a PAS reformer and member of parliament, told me recently. "The party is for the benefit of all, not just Muslims." I had traveled to Kuala Lumpur's predominantly Indian neighborhood of Brickfields to have lunch at a local hotel restaurant with Khalid and Hu Pang Chau, the Chinese head of the non-Muslim wing of PAS. The two men are a driving force behind PAS's recent transformation, the second major shift in the party's history.
Originally a branch of UMNO, PAS broke away as an independent party in 1955 as a challenge UMNO's secularism. It was the first Islamist party in Southeast Asia -- and one of the first in the world -- to come to power through elections, winning more than a dozen parliamentary seats and control of two state governments in Malaysia's first election after independence. But while PAS officially supported the establishment of an Islamic state, in its early years it did so only vaguely, preferring instead to emphasize Malay identity over religion.
Then came the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which convinced Muslims around the world -- including Khalid, who at the time was studying in Britain alongside Muslim peers from the Middle East and India -- that Islam could be a political force. Following the Iranian example, PAS replaced its professional leaders with ulama, or religious scholars. By the early 1980s, the party was openly calling for an Islamic Malaysia.
The agenda sat poorly with UMNO's Mohamad bin Mahathir, who won election as prime minister in 1981 and proceeded to rule for 22 years. Mahathir was openly contemptuous of PAS and often had its members -- including Khalid -- arrested under Malaysia's Internal Security Act. At the same time, he worked to co-opt the Muslim vote, in part by enlisting popular Islamic activists to help the party. The tactics had the effect of pushing PAS further to the right in an effort to distinguish itself from the ruling party. By the early 2000s the party was once again aggressively touting its Islamist credentials.
By the 2004 parliamentary election, however, PAS's piety had become a political liability. Mahathir had stepped down as prime minister, but PAS was ill-placed to fill the vacuum he left behind; Malaysia's moderate Muslims and non-Muslims had come to embrace the progressive, development-focused Islam touted by Mahathir's replacement, Abdullah Badawi. The party took a drubbing at the polls that year, winning only seven seats.
After some soul searching, the PAS leadership attributed the poor showing to its overtly Islamist stance and failure to attract young and non-Muslim voters. "Most non-Muslims, especially those in the Chinese community, would tell you that PAS are fundamentalists and extremists," Hu told me over lunch, as we looked out over a tangle of high-rise construction sites in Brickfields. "If you support PAS, everyone will have to convert to Islam and give up speaking their mother tongue." PAS's political niche sat awkwardly with the multiculturalism of modern Malaysia: "If you are interested in governing a nation that only has mosques and doesn't have temples or pig farms or alcohol, then you are restricting yourself to governing Mecca or Medina," Khalid said, to booming laughs from Hu.Continue reading.
I am all for minimum wage and have , in the past, written on the urgent need for the government to implement it.
For many years Malaysians workers have been exploited by employers including GLCs who racked in million of profit but gave two hoots about the welfare of workers.It was also the cause of low productivity in the country.You get what you pay.
With the government recent announcement, naturally, the unionists should be happy and the bosses unhappy.
Well, read these statements made by some union leaders on the government proposal to introduce minimum wage. Some, just too smart for their own good.The cryptologists. Reading between the lines.Making foolish statements all for the sake of publicity.
Are they really union leaders or opposition politicians?
I believe the Prime Minister is sincere but, as usual, monkeyed unionist backed by no thank you oppositions were quick to make political capital out of it. They speculate in all kinds of assumptions and premonitions to seek cheap publicity.
“I hope that this is not a political agenda for their own end. The credit should not go to BN but the workers and especially the MTUC who has been struggling for minimum wage. Don’t politicise this issue, it is their responsibility,” said Sivanandan.
Come on! Mr Sivanandan, who should take the credit, YOU? MTUC?
You all are just a bunch of useless big talkers.If you can't get the government to agree with your proposal for donkey's years what that makes you?
All government has political agenda to keep themselves in office, if they don't, than they must be stupid.
Unlike the unions, all talk but no action.
Who is seeking publicity here the idiotic unionists or the government?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The recent crash of an express bus on the North-South Expressway that took 12 lives was one too many,innumerably, making us looking worse than a third world country.
It defeats the whole idea of having modern infrastructures when you have people deeply entrenched in third-world mentality.
It's happening too often.Malaysia's highway fatalities is a great shame.It reflects a highly indiscipline society and apathetic government.It's a crying shame but who cares?
A clamp down on this deadly menace is much overdue.Drugs,overworked drivers and poor maintenance of vehicles just to maximise profits are the main culprits.
Drug addictions is a serious problem in this country which seems not to get the attention it should from the government.The fight against illicit drugs, if anything to go by, is dismal at most.There is no political will to declare total war on drug and zero tolerance to lessen it damaging effect on society
Our political leaders and honourable ministers just put a blind eye to the widespread use of drug particularly among bumiputera youths.Most drug addicts and loafers in this country are bumiputras.
Drugs, not just rampant among long-haul bus drivers and truck rivers they also prevails among the taxi drivers of Kuala Lumpur.Try engaging some of them with a conversation and you would soon find out they kind of hallucinate.
Accident do happen, but if it happened too often than it is no more mere accidents, it's apathy and gross negligence by the relevant authorities.
Inaction, this is where the government takes the blame.It is the same sad story as the ugly taxi drivers of KL where the government for umpteen years did not care two hoots the bad image they gave the country.
I was in Singapore last week and what a civilised city it was and taxi drivers just as civilised, polite,helpful, knew the city addresses well and spoke excellent English, some better than some of our ministers.
I would not have nice words for the taxi drivers of KL, nor would I have nice words for the bus drivers, bus operators, the relevant government agencies and most of all the minister in charge.The minister should take the utmost blame, he is elected to do a job and he ain't doing it well.This disgraceful mishap could have been avoided if stringent rules and monitoring had been put in place.
Majority of Malaysian motorists are unschooled in behaviour and would break, without any shame whatsoever, every possible rules under the highway codes, from speeding, jumping queue to overtaking on road shoulders.
The strange thing is, in Malaysia, law abiding motorists in the right queue are more than willing to give way to these unschooled bastards.This strange behaviour of allowing road criminals to get away with breaking the laws is one of the reasons for traffic crawl in major cities in this country.Doing disfavour to law and order and allowing lawbreakers to get through is Malaysian motorists version of road courtesy. In the West, you would be considered stupid and would meet the ire of other motorists.
What the government should do is to overhaul and tighten the rules for public transport operators by:
1.Requiring all drivers to take drug and medical test every 3 months.
2.All public carriers to be checked for road worthiness every 3 months.
3.Persons with known criminal convictions ,drug users and alcoholics should not be employed.
4.Stipulate maximum working hours for drivers.
5.All long distance buses must have spare driver.
6.Speed limiter to be installed on all public buses.
7.Operators with frequent crashes and summonses to be suspended from 3 to 6 months.Habitual offenders to lose their licences permanently.
These are simple rules that could be made compulsory, implemented and properly enforced.
Last year I took a bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Ming City and was absolutely impressed with the conduct of the bus driver.The six-hour journey was pleasantly uneventful, there was no speeding or dangerous overtaking which are common on Malaysian highways.There was never a tense moment even though the road conditions were not as good as what we have.
Two weeks ago in Phnom Penh while having a drink at the FCC I got into a conversation with an Aussie who came from Perth and we were on the subject of the choatic driving conditions in Cambodia whence we progressed to where I came from. Proudly Malaysian! I say.It was a bit of an embarrassment when Mr Aussie told me that most of the fatal crashes in Western Australia involved Malaysians.
Some years back, I read an accident involving two Kancils and if pigs could fly, there were altogether 14 passengers in the two cars.How the hell can you squeeze seven people into a Kancil.
What is it with Malaysians, they have a death wish the moment they go behind the wheels?
Monday, October 11, 2010
These are the long term residents, either working in the many foreign NGOs, doing their own business, or for some, just up to no good.
Why Cambodia needs so many NGOs is still a mystery.There are more than 2000 associations and NGOs operating in the country which have become a pain in Prime Minister Hun Sen's government's neck who said he has yet to see any positive signs coming out of the NGOs and that they are out of control...they insult the government in every way they possibly could just to ensure their financial survival.
Cambodia attracts all kinds of vagabonds just like the days of 'FILTH' of the eighties that found Hong Kong a basking paradise and an island of opportunity for those who can't make it in the great city of London.
'FILTH', as some of you might already know is an acronym that stands for "Failed in London Try Hong Kong" which become a derivative for the 'Old Filth', a novel by Jane Gardam.I will not elaborate on the story but the book is an interesting read of the stiffed upper lip and is easily available.
Cambodia gets different kind of 'filth'.Haven for the filthy foreign pedophiles.
Remember British popster Gary Glitter who had a string of charges of child pornography and child sexual abuse.He lived in Cambodia until 2002 when he was permanently deported to Vietnam due to suspected child sexual abuse.They couldn't lay a finger on him because he used money to silent his victims from selling him out.He was finally caught in Vietnam for child sexual abuse but the authority couldn't pin him on rape charges for lack of evidence.Rape carry the death penalty in Vietnam.Guess! what money can do in poverty stricken countries.
After serving a short jail sentence Glitter was deported to Britain, his home country.
Using undercover agents who managed to get close to Johnson, who spoke freely and without any sense of guilt of molesting young girls.His hours of conversation were taped and video recorded by hidden camera.He was also caught on camera selling child pornography to the undercover agent.