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How Malaysia's companies funneled money into the country's biggest political party


The House that Mahathir Built

How Malaysia's companies funneled money into the country's biggest political party

In the 1980s and 1990s, Halim Saad and Tajudin Ramli were two of Malaysia's brightest stars, picked by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to lead the country's ethnic Malays onto the national stage as exemplars of a new Bumiputera business culture that would catch up with the ethnic Chinese who had dominated commerce as long as Malaysia had been in existence.

When Mahathir took office, insiders say, his plan was to create a cadre of 100 super-rich bumis who in turn would help rural Malays into prosperity under a konsep payung, or umbrella concept routed through the United Malays National Organization, much the way he envisioned driving the country into industrialization through massive projects. But greed intervened. Once the privileged got rich, there was little incentive to share it with the kampongs, the Malay rural villages. Many of the companies eventually collapsed and are being supported by government institutions such as Kazanah Nasional, the country's sovereign investment fund, or the Employee Provident Fund.

Although the Umno connection was widely assumed during Mahathir's 22 year reign as prime minister, today a flock of explosive court documents filed in different Kuala Lumpur courts appear to be breaking open conclusively the open secret that Tajudin and Halim and others were essentially front men for the United Malays National Organization, the country's biggest ethnic political party and part of a class of rentier businessmen who became known as Umnoputras, a play on the word Bumiputera, or native Malaysians, predominantly ethnic Malays.

Nor were they alone. Others included Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, one of Malaysia's richest men, as well as Yahaya Ahmad, who headed Mahathir's national car project and who tragically was killed with his wife in a helicopter crash, and Samsuddin Abu Hassan, introduced by Mahathir to the government of Nelson Mandela but who had to flee South Africa after being accused of misappropriating millions and evading South African debts totaling about R50 million (US$7.233 million at current exchange rates). Samsuddin left behind his glamorous wife, Melleney Venessa Samsudin, along with a failed Durban bank, and returned to Malaysia.

Samsudin ultimately ended up on the board of directors of Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd., another Umno-linked company that has played a significant role in major national projects including the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KL's Light Rail Transit System, the CyberJaya Flagship Zone and numerous other projects.

At least 23 of Malaysia's biggest companies (see list below) appear to have been vehicles for Umno to siphon off vast amounts of money in government contracts as Mahathir's plans went awry. The companies and the people who run them are so hard-wired into Umno, the government and its investment arms that de-linking them would probably destroy the party. That in effect makes a mockery of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's widely publicized speech in July in which he promised to root corruption out of his party.

Much of the ownership appears to have been channeled through a mysterious company that emerged in 1993 to stage an RM800 million management buyout of a major chunk of Malaysia's media including the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and TV3. Realmild already owned a controlling interest in Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, which got the contract to develop the massive Kuala Lumpur Sentral transport hub. It also acquired ownership of the Labuan and Sabah Shipyards, which supply the Malaysian Navy, as well as Redicare and Medivest, which were awarded lucrative contracts to supply medical supplies to government hospitals.

In September, Syed Anwar Jamalullail, the brother to the Sultan of Perlis, and others testified in a tangled court battle in a Kuala Lumpur High Court that Daim Zainuddin, the prime minister's close associate, often told Malay businessmen to act as nominees in the management of Malaysia's top companies. The long-running suit was launched five years ago in2005 by Khalid Ahmad, a former Realmild director, who alleged he had been cheated out of a RM10 million payment for five percent of Realmild's shares by Abdul Rahman, thought to be the beneficial owner.

According to the testimony, Abdul Rahman paid out the RM10 million but later reneged after he learned from Mahathir that the shares actually belonged to UMNO. The trustees for Realmild in fact were Mahathir himself as well as former Berita Harian Group Editor Ahmad Nazri Abdullah, New Straits Times Group Editor Abdul Kadir Jasin and Mohd Noor Mutalib. Another witness, Ahmad Nazri, said in a deposition that he held the majority share of 80 percent in Realmild, although 70 percent of the shares were actually in trust for Mahathir.

The companies others ran included Faber Group Bhd, a member of the UEM Group, now involved in integrated facilities management and property solutions sectors; KUB Malaysia Bhd. A holding company dealing in information, communications & technology, property, engineering & construction and food related industries.

The companies have been involved a wide variety of activities including media, property development, construction, toll roads, hospital equipment, logistics and distribution, cellular telephony and other businesses. What they had in common was that most of them benefited from government contracts doled out by the Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition that has controlled Malaysia since its inception as a country. The other thing they had in common was that at some point most of them were mismanaged into financial trouble of one kind or another and had to be bailed out or bought out by the government.

Realmild unloaded Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd onto the Employee Provident Fund in late 2005 as part settlement for an outstanding Rm500 million loan. Putera Capital Bhd, is threatened with bankruptcy. It formerly owned the Putra World Trade Center, Umno's headquarters, which rents out office space to businesses. UEM Builders Bhd, an offshoot of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), along with UEM World Bhd, was dumped onto Kazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the government and the government's strategic investment vehicle.

Kazanah Nasional now also owns PLUS, which held the tollway contract for the national north-south highway, as well as Pharmaniaga, a former UEM subsidiary dealing in hospital supply and other services. Court documents show that MAS, then the state-owned flag carrier, was taken over and privatized by Tajudin Ramli only to lose an estimated RM8 billion (US$2.77 billion at current exchange rate), with a major part of that being funneled into a Frankfurt, Germany cargo logistics company whose directors were closely connected to Tajudin.

According to the website Malaysia Today, Tajudin's lawyers revealed that Tajudin had only been a front man for Umno and that Umno "not only has to protect him from prosecution but that they also had to ensure that the government bought back the shares at the same price that they were sold to him although the shares were only worth a portion of the real value."

Other depositions made available in recent weeks have listed a long series of documents detailing misdoings in UEM/Renong, once headed by Halim Saad, which has long been accused of looting the government treasury through vastly overpriced construction contracts. Halim told the press in September that he had left the UEM/Renong board in 2001, saying authorities wanted Kazanah to take it over "to prevent a systemic risk to the banking system in Malaysia and to enable a sustained restructuring of the group."

UEM itself is still at it. The government-linked company was given the contract to build a second bridge from the mainland to the northern city of Penang at a price estimated in 2007 at Rm2.7 billion. It has since climbed to RM4.3 billion without figuring in a variety of ancillary costs including compensation for fishermen and project development costs of RM285 million, with the total now nearing RM5 billion.

Other documents show how completely the country's press was in the thrall of UMNO.
Media Prima Bhd, a listed company, apparently took over the ownership from Realmild of TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9 as well as 90 percent of the equity in The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd, which publishes three national newspapers; the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. It also owns three radio networks, Fly FM, Hot FM and One FM. Other cross media interests of Media Prima include content creation; event and talent management.

It also owns outdoor advertising companies Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd, UPD Sdn Bhd, Right Channel Sdn Bhd, Kurnia Outdoor Sdn Bhd and Jupiter Outdoor Network Sdn Bhd. It is online through a digital communications and broadcasting subsidiary, Alt Media, with the Lifestyle Portal gua.com.my and the newly launched TonTon, a cutting-edge video portal with HD-ready quality viewing experience that offers the individualism of customized content and interactivity of social networking.

The companies:
Faber Group Bhd
KUB Malaysia Bhd
Malaysian Resources Corp. Bhd
Media Prima Bhd
New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Putera Capital Bhd
UEM Builders Bhd
UEM World Bhd
Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (partly owned by Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, another Mahathir crony and one of Malaysia's 10 richest men according to the Forbes List
Renong Bhd
Realmild Sdn Bhd
Mahkota Technologies (Also a partnership with Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary
Malaysian Airlines
Malaysian Helicopter Service
Temasek Padu Sdh Bhd
Sabah Shipyard
Labuan Shipyard

Umnos Fixation On The 30 Percent

by Kee Thuan Chye


COMMENT Every time an Umno general assembly rolls into town, the mainstream newspapers will be filled to overflowing with coverage of the event. Pages and pages will be devoted to the speeches and debates as well as photographs of the gathering.

But if you were to dig up your old newspapers of at least the past two or three decades to refer to the reports on the Umno general assemblies, youd find that the basic issues and the exhortations of the party leaders are virtually the same.

At each assembly, the things that are said appear to be variations on the same themes the Malays need to work harder and improve themselves; they need to be on guard against external threats; their rights will never be taken away from them; Umno will forever protect the Malays; at the same time, the Malays must understand that they live in a multi-racial society so Umno will also see to the interests of the other races

There is always a heavy emphasis on the issue of race, and of the Malays in relation to the other races in Malaysia. Somehow, even though it is the dominant party in government, Umno cant seem to get past that and focus instead on national issues that affect the entire population or discuss intelligently the issues of the day from a broader perspective.

Its president would utter some platitude about Umno having to show leadership and be sensitive to the other races, and then stridently champion the Malay Agenda. As the president has also always been the countrys prime minister, youd have to look at the assembly as theatre, the president as an actor, to suppress any suspicion of schizophrenia.

Imagine this happening in Singapore, with the ruling party there championing Chinese supremacy. Or the ruling party in A! ustralia championing the whites. Not so easy, is it?

The Hokkiens might say of the 2010 Umno General Assembly proceedings that it was all kong lai, kong khee, kong siang mi knia. (transliterated: Talk come, talk go, talk same things.) This is something Umnos permanent chairman, Badruddin Amiruldin, can probably relate to; after all, when he told MCA president Chua Soi Lek, Please dont disturb the 30 percent which belongs to the Malays, he did so in Hokkien.

More than that, his remark aptly summed up the theme and tenor of the assembly the partys fixation on the 30 percent. It didnt matter to all present that Badruddin should instead have said that the 30 percent belongs to the bumiputeras. The significant difference was significantly overlooked, but hey! when theyre all imbued by the same party spirit, who cares about the details?

Institutionalising cronyism

Going by the quality of this years debates and the proposals of some delegates, Umno has not changed a bit. If a party member had been transported from the 1980s into the 2010 assembly, he would have felt quite at home.

Umno vice-president Mohd Shafie Apdal said some sensible things about the need to be inclusive and not be jealous of the success of others. So did Khairy Jamaluddin when he expressed the need to appreciate the feelings of the other races for whom Malaysia is also their home and their country.

We often hear grouses about the civil service being dominated by Malays, he said. Are we to believe that there are only a few non-Malays who are qualified to hold senior civil service positions?

Many at the assembly, however, took the non-inclusive stance and in so doing provided some entertainment, albeit unwittingly.

Former Sabah chief minister Salleh Said Keruak said there should not be open tenders for government projects. Instead, contracts should be given to Umno leaders followers. And this must be ensured by the setting-up of a system. Talk about institutionalising cronyism!

Johor del! egate Ay ub Jamil wanted affirmative action included in all the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) initiatives announced by the government. If that were done, how would the private sector be attracted to invest in them? What about foreign investors? Wouldnt they prefer countries that dont impose such a condition?

Malacca delegate Hasnor Sidang Hussein actually blamed the non-Malays for the failure of the Malays to achieve the 30 percent by not providing the Malays help in this regard. But was that ever part of the deal? Since its not, why dont we write a new social contract and put that clause in?

Reezal Merican Naina Merican from Penang called for BN component parties to show Umno fairness and justice. Now, that was sumptuous. Fairness and justice from these powerless partners who cant say anything that Umno doesnt like without being told to shut up?

How have they been unfair and unjust to Umno? Oh, is it about Chua Soi Lek questioning the 30 percent? Its always about the 30 percent, isnt it? Thats not just what the Umno General Assembly revolved around; it seems the whole world does, too. Questioning the 30 percent is unfair and unjust.

Negeri Sembilan representative Jalaluddin Alias blamed Umnos partners in BN for the coalitions poor showing in the 2008 general election. To him, Umno was above blame because it managed to win 68 percent of its seats. It was evidently immaterial to him that in 2008, Umno lost 30 of the parliamentary seats it had held before that. Those losses must have been the fault of the component parties as well.

For the next general election, he urged the Umno leadership to take away the seats lost by its coalition partners in 2008 and give them instead to Umno candidates. This, he said, would ensure a BN victory. Hallelujah! Yes, indeed!

Yet even as he showed no quarter for the component parties, he acknowledged that if MCA doesnt support us, we cannot win. So, lets get this right take away their seats and still ask for their support? What d! o you ca ll someone who comes from Klinggong and who exhibits a twisted logic?

Strong graphic language

Numerous other delegates defended the governments recently announced projects. They seemed to speak through more than one orifice.

Among these was Umno Youth deputy chief Razali Ibrahim who said mega-projects like the proposed 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower would help Malaysia become a high-income nation because they would attract funding from the private sector and thereby help the government save money, which it could then use to solve the peoples problems.

Brilliant! And would he be the one who will guarantee the participation of the private sector? And also see that the money saved is channelled towards the needy?

Lets save the best for last. This year, Umno president Najib Razak came out strongly to defend the rights of the Malays. He assured them that their rights were enshrined in the federal constitution, and these could not be easily taken away from them because any amendment to the related article would have to get the consent of the rulers. He said the chapter on the rights issue was now closed and there should be no more questioning of it.

To be sure, there is absolutely no mention of rights in the federal constitution. So it was another significant difference that was significantly overlooked, but when the actor is in the mood for a theatre performance, who cares about the details?

All this is really old hat. The surprising element is that what Najib said about defending Malay rights totally contradicts his 1Malaysia concept and the inclusiveness it advocates. But its theatre, and hes performing to a Malay audience. Why not, eh? Why is there a need to be consistent, anyway? Especially when you are the leader of the most powerful party in the country?

And while youre at it, why not use strong graphic language to rally party members to maintain control of the government after the next general election, no matter what: Even if our bodies are cru! shed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya.?

Did somebody say this was a statement advocating violence? Rubbish! In fact, it was so unimportant it was omitted in mainstream media reports. Malaysiakini was, however, not discerning enough and decided to run it, so the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had to investigate the news website. Probably to find out if Malaysiakini was qualified to make sound editorial judgements.

But the Straits Times of Singapore reported it, too. So how? Now it looks like Najibs unimportant statement will be read in other countries, too, because the Straits Times is an influential paper. Will potential foreign investors be confused about which the real Najib is the one who is global-minded and assures them of a level investment field or the one who talks about crushed bodies and lost lives?

What about local investors? Will they now be inspired to strongly support the ETP? Will they be filled with confidence that no matter what, the government will not change, the political situation will be stable, and investments will be safe?

Well, it looks like the 2010 Umno General Assembly has been another reaffirmation of business as usual, and that alls well with the Umno empire. The racial policies will remain, regardless of the ETP and the New Economic Model (NEM). Its all back to status quo. And Putrajaya is guaranteed.

No wonder former president Mahathir Mohamad said, It feels like the Umno of old. Coming from someone who brought the country to where it is, thats really ominous.
See What Barisan Nasional Gotta Say?

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

About this talk
At her Harvard commencement speech, "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling offers some powerful, heartening advice to dreamers and overachievers, including one hard-won lesson that she deems "worth more than any qualification I ever earned."

About JK Rowling
JK Rowling penned the bestselling Harry Potter page-turners -- a spellbinding, seven-installment fantasy of wizards, warlocks and decidedly British texture that brought her from rags to riches. Full bio and more links

A reply to Tun Mahathir's atrocious blog post

Dr M - self-admitted racist
Valerie Mohan

I really don't understand how someone as intelligent as you can come up with statements that are so blatantly ignorant. I'm 25 years old, my grandparents came from Kerala and I only speak English and Malay. I've never been to India, don't speak the language and all I can say is tanah tumpahnya darahku.

How dare you talk about fair distribution when you and your cronies have amassed vast fortunes at the expense of others? I don't see you going out among the less fortunate Malays and equitably distributing your wealth! If I follow from what you wrote you didn't deserve a place at medical school which means you took the place of someone who better deserved it. Which is what is happening all over this country in every arena.

Its not racial issues that the people are most concerned about its a lack of competency that is perpetuated because of racial policies.

Malaysians would not care if the vast majority of the government were Malay if they were able to discharge their duties competently. If there were 10 doctors and only one was Malay I would go to him if he was best at his job. But we have idiots running this country (the government, the police, the MACC, the judiciary) to the ground and they happen to be a Malay majority so of course people are pissed.

Do you think Malaysians would be angry if the country was well run and everyone's rights were upheld just because it was run by a Malay majority. Take a serious look at the majority of politicians and the rest of the people running the country (non malays included) - they are morons! The government is in shambles, the police are seen as the enemy and the judiciary is a joke - you really think intelligent Malaysians are angry at the Malays in general?

We are angry at those in power because we cannot trust you to do what's in Malaysia's best interest, we don't feel safe in our own country, we have no freedom of expression because you need to keep us quiet in order to stay in power and we don't believe that when there is a crime commited you are actually to get to the bottom of it unless it serves your own interests.

This racially charged hate mongering has to stop, it's stupid and unnecessary.

The real issue is our country is badly run and yet the government insists on discriminitory policies that seems to ensure its continuity. Did you ever stop to think that the person who's place you took in medical school could have been the one to lead Malaysia the way it deserves? Maybe that merits discussion?

(Valerie Mohan was responding Mahathir posting entitled HUMAN DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR, MELBOURNE. Click here to read Dr M's controversial posting in full Dr M tells Malays: To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness)

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

About this talk
At his Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks -- including death itself.

About Steve Jobs
The once-and-again CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs has spearheaded a few of the most iconic products in technology, entertainment and design. Full bio and more links

MyConstitution: Democracy and Elections

The MyConstitution Campaign was launched by The Malaysian Bar Council to educate Malaysians about the supreme law of the land, the Federal Constitution, and what it provides to every citizen in terms of our rights.

In this final installment of the series, Shamala Balasundram, Member of the Consti Law Committee, explains the whole concept of democracy and elections, as per our Constitution.

How should the scandals be ended?

Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE

Many people are wondering: How could there be so many scandals revealed by the Auditor-General Report every year?

The problems does not lie in the shocking degree of the scandals, but why are these similar scandals repeating every year?

How could 16,013 of students allowed to draw RM2,378 in advance even though they did not apply loans from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN)?

How could 3,793 students disappear after drawing in advance loans totaling RM4.9 million, and caused the PTPTN unable to collect the debts?

How could the Higher Education Ministry able to collect only RM1.51 billion of the RM3.19 billion debts with a recovery rate of less than 50%?

How could so many government departments and agencies not yet learn how to manage money even though they have ruled for decades? How could so many of them overspend, causing the accumulated overrun amount for a year to reach as high as RM4 billion?

Even more difficult to understand, with such a huge amount of cost overruns, shoddy works can actually still be found everywhere.

* Nutritious sardine sandwiches have been turned into buttered bread.
* An ordinary chair costs RM80 originally has become a luxurious chair costs RM415.
* Spanish mackerel, black pomfret and red snapper have been replaced with cheaper fishes while no investigation has been conducted and no refund is made.

Enough, enough, we have heard enough!

Never mind, never mind, we are numb!

Anyway, it has become an annual grand event like the Academic Awards as every year when the Auditor-General Report is released, the media will make a full coverage of the scandals.

Anyway, we will have to suffer a great shock and make criticism every year when the Auditor-General Report is released.

Anyway, the plot of the show is always similar, only the time and the leading characters will be different.

Anyway, the similar process will repeat itself every year and the atmosphere will resume deserted after the bustling noises.

What is the purpose of preparing the report if they only play up the issue to scare those who are involved in the scandals but do not take further action to prevent a repetition?

Very well, the government has actually taken actions. To prevent a recurrence of cost overruns, the Finance Ministry has made four recommendations while the Higher Education Ministry will take numerous improvement measures to enhance supervision and collection of debts. Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has also said that a total of 13 investigation papers (KS), 14 preliminary investigation papers (KPA) and five examination and consultation (KPP) papers have been initiated following the release of the 2009 Auditor-General’s report.

I hope we can soon see corrupt officials and contractors who are responsible for the shoddy works being sacked and charged.

Since the scandals have been revealed, those who are responsible must then be punished. The people will be satisfied only if the scandals end in such a way!

Sin Chew Daily

Exhibition of rare Najibs from all over the world

  • ■身上橫紋排列有序,看似尖峯,但摸上手不扎人的。


Republican rep advises Clinton to avoid Anwar ... but she won't

Malaysia Chronicle

With dual days to go prior to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's attainment upon Monday, a Umno-controlled media is starting to crank up in earnest all demeanour of dissuasion opposite her assembly Pakatan Rakyat leaders Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang as well as Hadi Awang.

And even though Minister in a PM's Department Nazri Aziz competence publicly say he has no objection to her assembly them, that's positively not how Najib or Umno really feels.

Any U.S. acknowledgment of a existence of a Pakatan would be a extensive blow to a Malaysian ruling coalition. Its summary should be taken very seriously by Najib as well as his Umno-BN.

Welcomed as well as cheered

At a same, it should be welcomed as well as cheered by all Malaysians, generally since Najib's new notice which he will urge Putrajaya during all costs - even if bodies have been crushed as well as lives have been lost.

Although, there is no central appointment in Clinton's monthly calendar to rigourously encounter a Pakatan trio, high-level sources discuss it Malaysia Chronicle which they have been likely to be invited to a amicable function or a assembly which will additionally be attended by civil multitude groups.

The Obama administration has pronounced it is keen to show await for democracy as well as civil multitude in a unfamiliar policy.

Malaysia Chronicle appends subsequent a NST article quoting Chuck DeVore, who has been formerly accused by Anwar's supporters of being close to APCO, Najib's controversial PR consultant.
KUALA LUMPUR! - Unit ed States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been advised not to encounter opposition personality Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during her revisit here subsequent week.

California State Assembly member Chuck DeVore pronounced Clinton should not encounter a opposition personality as Malaysia was not Myanmar as well as Anwar was not Aung San Suu Kyi.
In his commentary, "Secretary of State Clinton Should Steer Clear of Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim", posted upon a Big Peace news portal upon Tuesday, DeVore said: "There's no denying which Anwar Ibrahim knows how to try by artful means to get Western press as well as politicians.
"He has fashioned himself as a sympathetic form in a West by leveraging a sodomy charges leveled opposite him while claiming to be dual things he isn't ... a supervision reformer as well as a moderate Muslim."
According to a member of a Republican Party, DeVore claimed which Anwar's passion for supervision reform was suspect from a start.
He claimed which when Anwar was in New York recently, shadowing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's visit, Anwar had met leaders from a International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Anwar was a co-founder of IIIT.
DeVore claimed IIIT was a Muslim Brotherhood front which had been related to militant financing.
He additionally pronounced Anwar was "simply a single in a long line of Islamist leaders" who knew how to say a single thing to a Western audience while observant as well as behaving differently when they consider no a single from a West was profitable attention. - NST

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Amy Tan on creativity

About this talk
Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process, looking for hints of how hers evolved.

About Amy Tan
Amy Tan is the author of such beloved books as The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses. Full bio and more links

There he goes again ... Najib calls for movement of moderates

Malaysia Chronicle

The dust has not even settled upon his barbarous "crushed bodies" "lives lost" as well as "ethnic cleansing" debate during a Umno public last week, though Prime Minister Najib Razak is during it again!

No, this time he has his 'moderates' suit upon as well as he is in Hanoi, not in front of Umno delegates in Putra World Trade Centre.

So he is job for await for an beginning to emanate a "Global Movement of a Moderates" in sequence to emanate universe assent as well as not :

Even if our bodies are crushed as well as our lives lost, brothers as well as sisters, whatever happens, you contingency defend Putrajaya."

What I am observant is not surprising. In a 20th century, you have seen cases of punishment without hearing in a United States, a pyre tragedy in Europe, a massacre of Palestinians in a Middle East as well as a racial clarification in Bosnia as well as Rwanda. Imagine, what is a outcome, if each generation of Malaysians subject a amicable stipulate which were concluded upon by their forefather."

For Najib, it looks similar to only in Malaysia is there a probability of "ethnic cleansing" such as in Rwanda as well as Bosnia. In alternative tools of a world, his instruct is to "collectively residence a hurdles acted by extremists."

Malaysia Chronicle is only too tired to write about a Malaysian Prime Minister this Saturday as well as will attach below a Bernama inform for readers to read as well as to decider for themselves.

Really, someone should begin a Facebook page ...

Malaysia Seeks Views, Support For Global Movement Of Moderates - Najib

HANOI- Malaysia has sought a views as well as await of a East Asian Summit (EAS) members for an beginning to emanate a "Global Movement of a Moderates" in sequence to grasp global peace, pronounced Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The budding apportion pronou! nced he had informed a EAS partners which Malaysia was right away laying a grounds for a development, graduation as well as operationalisation of a idea.

"Malaysia had reiterated which in sequence to grasp global peace, it was vicious which you collectively residence a hurdles acted by extremists.

"Moderates contingency seize a moral tall belligerent as well as besiege a extremists as well as terrorists," he told Malaysian reporters upon a third as well as final day of a 17th Asean Summit as well as Related Summits, here, Saturday.

Najib pronounced during today's EAS, a Asean leaders additionally concluded to a inclusion of dual major powers - Russia as well as a United States - in a EAS.

He pronounced a Asean leaders decided to rigourously entice a leaders of both countries to participate in a 6th EAS in Indonesia subsequent year as well as a leaders additionally reiterated their clever await for Asean centrality in a EAS.

The 5th EAS was chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung as well as was attended by heads of state/government of Asean part of countries, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia as well as New Zealand.

It was additionally attended by US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, as well as Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, as special guests.

Najib pronounced a Asean leaders additionally welcomed a await of EAS participants to a Master Plan upon Asean Connectivity as well as speedy a latter to actively participate in a doing of a master plan.

He pronounced there was still room for larger informal appetite confidence partnership as well as this included efforts to raise public-private partnership in a growth of alternative appetite sources such as immature energy.

He additionally stressed a need to shape metal closer team-work in a field of scholarship as well as technology, together with a sharing as well as transfer of applicable technologies in between a EAS participating countries.

"In this context, Mala! ysia is speedy as well as understanding of a beginning by Japan to establish a East Middle East Science as well as Innovation Area," he said.

The budding apportion pronounced he additionally emphasised a need to shape metal closer team-work in between tip nick universities in a segment through a networking resource similar to a Asean Universities Network to improve a altogether entrance to as well as quality of tertiary education, as well as to promote people-to-people contact.

During a 8th Asean-Indian Summit, Najib stressed which Asean could fool around a symbiotic purpose as a overpass in between India as well as a East in a latter's "Look East" policy.

He pronounced with Asean as well as India sharing many usual goals, a possibilities of brand new as well as innovative team-work in between Asean as well as India were tremendous.

"Malaysia as a country coordinator for a Asean-India FTA (Free Trade Agreement), called for Asean as well as India to exercise flexibility in negotiations upon services as well as investment.

"In this regard, Asean will need to be stretchable in considering a inclusion of a Movement of Natural Persons text. On a alternative hand, India needs to be equally stretchable upon a inclusion of an annex upon Financial Services," he said.

Najib additionally pronounced which Malaysia commended a long as well as on-going family in between Asean as well as a United Nations (UN), stressing which team-work in between Asean as well as UN specialised agencies should be combined underneath a umbrella of a Summit.

"Malaysia additionally stressed a significance of nutrition in early childhood as a clever substructure in architectural ornament young children," he said.

Najib pronounced a Asean leaders additionally urged a UN to assist a segment in accomplishing a Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as well as in coping with global challenges, especially those associated to appetite security, climate shift as well as epidemics. - BERNAMA

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from SeniorsAloud

I cringe whenever I hear our ministers and politicians talk about making our country the centre of educational excellence. Our varsities have consistently fared poorly in the World Universities Ranking (WUR). University Malaya, our premier institute of higher learning, has dropped to 207th in the 2010 WUR, UPM to 319th, UTM 320th and UKM 309th.

Yet with those kind of rankings, our Deputy Minister of Higher Education assures us that our public universities can produce a Nobel Prize winner. He certainly has big dreams. Much has to be done before that can happen.

The entire education system is in dire need of a massive overhaul. For a start policy-makers in the Ministry of Education should watch this video and learn from it. So should all of us, if we are truly concerned about our children and grandchildren's education.

What Sir Ken Robinson says here makes a lot of sense. I highly recommended the video for viewing.


Mat Salleh in Malaysia: Ep 9 - Halloween

It's Halloween and our Mat Salleh in Malaysia gets down to the eerie details about ghosts in Malaysia.

Ze Frank's web playroom - Ze Frank (2010)

On the web, a new "Friend" may be just a click away, but true connection is harder to find and express. Ze Frank presents a medley of zany Internet toys that require deep participation -- and reward it with something more nourishing. You're invited, if you promise you'll share.

A friendly match


Translated by DOMINIC LOH

The by-election in Galas is an unusual one. Can you label it as just another by-election?

Ku Li said it was going to be a friendly match, and if BN won the match, it would be excellent. But even if it lost the match, it wouldn't be too bad either. Anyway, Ku Li has not said he would defend Galas with all his prestige, or... blood.

And since it is going to be a friendly match, friendship should come before the contest itself. Period.

Even if the game is lost, we should at least take the defeat in stride.

The important thing is that Ku Li said Galas was going to be a gentlemen's fight and no one should engage in any dirty trick.

He did not enter the nomination centre on the nomination day, which should have been a most opportune time for show of spirit and force.

But, was BN going to show that off with Ku Li nowhere in sight?

Even his Pakatan friends such as Nik Aziz were looking for him, probably to have some kind of friendly chat of old acquaintances.

It was like a party, and everyone was expecting the most anticipated VVIP. Without him the party would lose half its shine.

On such an occasion, he had no foes but friends.

On day two of campaigning, he was seen sipping Chinese tea with some Ah Pek at a coffee shop, totally relaxed and unaggressive. Did we call that election campaigning?

Such a campaigning style will only put the professional campaigners at a complete loss.

No smearing of rival candidate, no destroying of rival banners and flags, no exchange of words, no extremist discourse, no mammoth mobilisation of manpower... Oh dear, they will go nuts very soon!

It has been said that Ku Li has barred the Perkasa people from coming to Galas for fear that they would contaminate the pristine by-election.

Ku Li seems to be telling them: "This is my place. Please play by my rules. Don't create havoc!"

His way is obviously not the way of Umno, which has just convened the general assembly and whose commander-in-chief has just sworn to grab both Galas and Batu Sapi on the other side of the South China Sea.

Ku Li was chosen as the campaign director mainly for its local influences as well as tying him to Umno's side so that he would not secretly collaborate with PAS.

Ku Li's unbecoming calmness may have already sent many hysterical.

The veteran fighter has seen battles ten time more powerful and momentous than the one in Galas. While he hopes the battle could be won, so that his political life in Umno can be further prolonged, he will never want to sacrifice his friendship with PAS at the expense of a by-election.

He understands better than anyone else that his political stage is more than just Umno, but includes also the vast space that is overlapped by the two major political camps in the country.

His supporters have come out with the manifesto "Ambo nok parti Kuli" (We want Ku Li's party), not the outright Umno or BN banner.

The by-election is momentary. Whether the game is won or lost, Ku Li's political career still needs to go on beyond the election. In a similar manner, inter-party competition is also momentary, and what comes more important than that is the country's democratic process.

Such gently fought friendly match might, who knows, constitute a positive model for future political competition in Malaysia.

Sin Chew Daily

The main problem is bureaucratic inertia


Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE

The planning and management problems in the public sector are a kind of inertia problems, instead of a capability problem of the public servants.

In fact, public servants are capable. For examples, after opinions are gathered through a round table meeting, the Education Minister has retained the Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination and abolished the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination. The Education Ministry also agrees with the view of educational groups that under the new Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (KSSR), the Bahasa Malaysia lesson in Chinese primary schools will be increased to 300 minutes while the English Language lesson will be increased to 150 minutes. The two decisions are indeed reasonable.

The wild spending and over spending, crimes involving border officials and the fall in the Corruption Perception Index revealed in the Auditor-General Report are management negligence. They have also reflected that more and more people no longer comply with monitoring and reviewing procedures.

How serious are the problems? For an instance, when the government built the light rail system in the 1990s, the connection problem had not been taken into consideration and therefore, we had Star and Putra LRT, as well as the KL Monorail. The money has been spent but the traffic congestion remains chaotic.

When the previous Selangor state government decided to spend RM43.84mil to build the Shah Alam Royal Theatre, it did not consider whether there was a need to so do. As a result, the building has turned out to be a white elephant.

A total of RM2.47 million was spent to buy 17 official vehicles in Malacca but the maintenance fees had reached as high as RM5.12 million. They did not first form a panel to assess the quality of the vehicles and review the maintenance contract before making the purchase. It is indeed a major omission.

The government has responded quickly to the Auditor-General Report and the suggestions of the Transparency International, including giving instructions to government officials not to over spend and making the Corruption Perception Index a Key Performance Indicator (KPI). It shows that the government really takes criticism seriously and is willing to take actions to correct its mistakes. However, if it fails to make it 100% strict in administrative procedures, there is no guarantee that the mistake would not be repeated in the future.

I think that the government should adopt the International Standardization Organization’s (ISO) management approach to standardize procedures with international standards and guidelines. For example, procurement must follow a set of standard procedures with layers of approval and review. Each expenditure must go through the Deming Cycle PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action).

Although paper work will be increased and bureaucracy might also be worsened if the ISO practices are adopted, the operational procedures must still be standardised. It is because with the number of civil servants as huge as 1.29 million people, the mode of operation tends to based on sensibilities rather than rules. Also, the unclear approval process allows those who are suppose to be responsible for a mistake to easily pass the buck and resulted in many irregularities and illegal acts.

Humans are inertial. Forcing all civil servants to follow procedures can strengthen discipline and their sense of responsibility. For example, the discipline and law-abiding characteristics of the Germans are formed through daily training and cultural influence.

The government must straighten discipline and strengthen management if it wishes to successfully transform the government and economy.

Sin Chew Daily

Free laptops won't fix sad state of education

Anyone in a preparation attention as well as specialising in e-learning would know which spending millions to yield every first school kid with a cover mechanism in a state identical to Terengganu is a most idiotic, ridiculous idea.

From what we gather it is evident which a state wants to reinstate a use of textbooks with a notebooks. This equates to a textbooks would be in a form of soft copies. Has anybody ever told these morons which celebration of a mass from a mechanism screen especially a little notebooks, is really overpowering as well as troublesome?

This will additionally affect a eyesight of a child. Even if a battery life of a mechanism is longer, we cant imagine a category full cover computers receiving up precious space upon a table tip of a bad child. Every child would be spending half a time in category making certain a mechanism is safe.

We wish to go high tech as well as yield notebooks though a classrooms have been so low tech! They have been cramped with 40 to 45 young kids in each classroom as well as a clergyman struggles to rearrange a category for group activities.

E-learning is a fantastic thought though even tertiary institutes have been struggling to yield Wifi hotspots as well as say uninterrupted internet facilities. We have multi-million dollar e-learning platforms in a universities though hardly 10 percent of a academic staff use this as it takes a really long time to prepare a e-learning materials as well as even some-more time to familiarise with a gadgets' portals.

Many internal academics have been operative towards promoting e-learning, online learning, Computer Assisted Language Learning etc. though a greatest complaint is transferring a responsibility of handling a guidance routine to a students.

Our students, be it in primary, delegate or tertiary institution have been really teacher-dependent as well as contingency be spoon fed. Before aping a West as well as upon conditio! n which computers to a students, we should do all possible to wean them away from a clergyman as well as be eccentric as well as interdependent. What is a point of giving an expensive fishing rod to a person, if he had not been taught how to fish?

Why import unfamiliar denunciation specialists?

While articulate about this outrageous attempt to yield bad first school young kids with notebooks, we additionally am confused by a a honourable apportion of education's announcement which we will import 300-over English denunciation specialist to inspect a English Language Teachers (ELT).

Whatever for??? You don't need a unfamiliar specialist to tell we a truth. We have been yelling till a mouths froth about a deplorable ELT incident in a schools. We usually get a lowest of a lot applying to turn teachers. Poor students have bad teachers. The English denunciation training incident in a schools is critical. Many teachers have been incompetent to write a single paragraph in English without making countless spelling as well as grammatical mistakes.

Many of a teachers graduating from internal Institutes of Education will not be able to converse coherently in English beyond 5 sentences. If a apportion is in doubt about this, please do this. Have all a newly-minted TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) teachers from all a internal universities write an letter (simultaneously otherwise they would employ someone to write for them) in English upon a really simple subject as well as get some neutral people from a British Council or identical (local) institutes to inspect them.

You will realize a true magnitude of a problem.

Since they have been teachers, they have been going to talk in English for a rest of their lives. Ask them to come forward to give a two-minute unpretentious speech in English. You will see a kind of teachers we have been producing. You do not need a services of unfamiliar experts to tell we what is function in your backyard.

Stop wasting any s! ome-more income upon implausible ideas as well as spend it upon identifying competent students as well as give them a much-needed impulse to turn good teachers. Be frank in your efforts as well as we will see results.

My two cents worth.

Talent Corp: A potential for duplication and abuse?

The issue about (attracting) bent seems to top headlines object now. While on a topic, we am utterly concerned which a PM's idea for bent sourcing via an overseas shell will finish up in a disaster due to bad implementation by a due bent corporation.

Firstly, we hold this bent house should be placed underneath Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Negara (PBSM) who have been set up creatively to raise skills sets of employees. This will avoid doubling up of efforts as good as price as good as PBSM has their own income stream, permitting a supervision to not need to give this bent house any supports during all for operations.

Secondly, please start seeking during a bent wasting divided during home; there have been most of us who have been highly qualified as good as immensely gifted though ignored by internal companies together with supervision companies as good as agencies, as you have been not connected or have been children of someone famous.

Sometimes it is utterly disheartening to read as good as hear only how most inferior or unqualified crew have been being announced in appointments to assorted corporations. We have stayed in Malaysia loyally serving a country through thick as good as thin, as good as a nation should demeanour during people identical to us first, not from outside from those who chose to stay away.

Thirdly, have sure those entrance behind have been really needed. Don't entice as good as move behind unnecessary numbers who have been afterwards only engrossed to a civil use (I conclude this to include GLCs as good as government-owned companies) as good as grow it even further.

Some of a numbers as good as categories of appointees during these companies as good as agencies have been highly bloated. We do not need to work during which staffing level as good as we goal a bent house doesn't only move behind numbers nilly willy only to meet a KPIs though due courtesy for (actual) needs.

Four! thly, do not move behind only about anyone, generally those who didn't hack it elsewhere who might use this opportunity to hide behind as a little sort of highly-trained personnel. There has been most cases of accountants/auditors who fail to have it as partners in a UK though straight divided have been made partners in internal firms as soon as they come back, though due courtesy to circumstances, as good as this creates a lot of ill-feeling between internal lines.

Fifthly, please ensure a bent house staffing is gaunt as good as operates efficiently as good as not use outsourced consultants as good as so on, during all. Malaysian can do this well, you do not need consultants to do simple jobs.

Finally, we hold there have been supervision agencies or companies which have been creating as good as running identical programmes: have sure all these opposite efforts have been harnessed together. we regularly hold which taxpayer supports should be outlayed efficiently, which means there is jut a single physique or agency in a entire supervision doing a really unique thing, not few of them doing a same thing.

The Sino-Indo equation in the Malaysian future


Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE

China and India are ancient civilisations, and from AD1 to AD1820, they were the world's two largest economies.

However, Western countries have dominated the world over the past few hundred years while China and India suffered a long-term decline. China was humiliated by the invasion launched by the Eight-Nation Alliance while India had become a British colony. The peoples of China and India had experienced the plight of being weak nations.

When we talked about the economic powers of merely 30 years ago, not many people would think about China and India. At that time, China was half dead after being ruined by the chaotic Cultural Revolution while India was then a synonym for the words meaning poor, dirty, chaotic and backward.

But the situation has change. Today, despite the serious gap between rich and poor, Chinese dragons and Indian elephants have become the most representative symbols of rapid economic growth.

The world has changed and Asia has risen. China and India are now back to the world stage and listed as among the four major world powers, alongside the United States and the European Union. It is an undeniable fact that world has undergone a great power shift towards the East.

The economies of China and India have been rapidly growing over the past 30 years. The two ancient civilisations used to have many similar experiences but they have chosen two totally different paths to achieve modernisation.

China has a one-party dictatorship governmental system. Although it lacks a democratic system, it has chosen a path that prioritises economy instead of democracy.

As for India, it pursues the democratic electoral system, and is known as the world's largest democratic country. It is a typical model of a country that prioritises democracy, instead of economy.

The two giant ancient Asian civilisations pursuing two different systems have actually got rid of decline together and with different approaches, they are not now riding high on the road of prosperity. It is a competition between two different systems, as well as a kind of demonstration for the Third World. It is certainly something good for the promotion of world and stability.

Some people are worried that the simultaneous rise of two powers might trigger new conflicts. It is indeed an experience of human history, but it is not a necessity. After the World War II, Europe countries have basically maintained zero war and the long-term peace had guaranteed their prosperity and progress. If the Europeans are able to do it, why can’t Asians?

For Malaysia, the rise of China and India is a great opportunity. Renowned Japanese strategist Kenichi Ohmae pointed out that if Malaysia can take advantage of its strategic location in the region, integrate its multi-racial society, and fully use its advantage of having large Chinese and Indian populations to strengthen relations with the software-based high-technology industries of India on one hand and build a closer tie with the knowledge-intensive industries of China on the other hand, no one will dare to ignore its economic development power by then.

Yes, the opportunity may be fleeting and it all depends on us to grasp it!

Sin Chew Daily

World braces for next big battle in the currency war

The Nation

Bangkok, Friday 29 October 2010

The financial markets are now focusing on the 2 & 3 November 2010 meeting of the US Federal Reserve over how it will manage its monetary policy. Already, the markets have anticipated another round of quantitative easy, or money printing on a large scale, to purchase US Treasuries and hold down interest rates.

The printing of money will have far-reaching global implications, representing an indirect manipulation of the exchange rate as criticised by Germany at the recent G-20 meeting. The way we are going is clear: the US will continue to flood the global financial system with liquidity and the dollar will have ample room to devalue further.

The Group of 20 had little to say on exchange rate coordination. The currency war is continuing to rage unabated. Most countries would like to keep their currencies weak to prop up their exports. However the G-20 did agree to "move towards more market determined exchange rate systems that reflect underlying economic fundamentals and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies". This means that the G-20 is trying to defuse the tensions caused by competitive devaluations.

The broader goal is to achieve greater stability in global growth and reduce global imbalances.

There is no reason to believe that the US will not continue to hold the dollar down. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to persuade other members to agree on specific targets for current account surplus. Strong exchange rate policy is one factor that could reduce surpluses, but there are other factors, including investment and consumption. China, Germany, Thailand and most other Asian countries enjoy current account surpluses, whereas the US and Turkey, for instance, report current account deficits. In the end, Geithner's call fell on deaf ears.

Against this backdrop, the Fed will go ahead with phase two of its quantitative easing.

In phase one, the Fed purchased about US$1.5 trillion in US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. This measure provided relief to the financial markets, but has failed to cure the fundamental ills of the US economy, which are underpinned by a lack of demand in the aftermath of the burst financial bubbles.

Instead of restructuring assets and managing the downturn so that the economy is allowed to get regain its equilibrium, the Fed has sought to pump up the economy again with almost "free" money and liquidity. Since the banks are holding toxic assets, the Fed hopes that the fresh liquidity will help arrest the falling prices. The Fed can't tackle the toxic assets with liquidity. It has to tackle the insolvency with restructuring.

The second round of money printing is likely to start before the end of the year. This time, it will amount to somewhere between US$1 trillion and US$3 trillion. The financial markets will continue to focus on the implications of second-phase quantitative easing (QE2) for the US dollar and inflation. A weak dollar will bring about higher inflation and therefore steepen the Treasury curve.

The G-20 countries have come to accept the reality of the impending QE2 and are now contemplating how they can adjust to the new conditions it will bring.

Closer to home, the Bank of Thailand decided to keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 1.75% last week. For the time being, it is ignoring the indications of inflation in favour of focusing more on the capital inflow. A lower rate, or at least an unchanged rate, will deter capital inflow. But given the massive inflow, the central bank must be realising that it is fighting a losing battle. Further capital control measures are on the cards.

At the same time, the economy appears on track for a period of robust growth, probably exceeding the central bank's projections of 7%.

Asia News Network

Police accused of abducting eyewitness to their own brutality

Selva box - Hisham won't do anything, what about brand brand brand new IGP Ismail OmarMalaysia Chronicle

Lawyers behaving for the mother of K Selvachandran, an eyewitness to the military beating which resulted in the death of the suspect have been dire the be scared symbol since after 4 days, the military have been still refusing to divulge where he has been taken to.

This looks as well as sounds similar to an abduction. We direct which the military stop this bootleg control as well as release K Selvachandran immediately, Lawyers for Liberty spokesperson Latheefa Koya told Malaysia Chronicle.

The 30-year aged Selva was the pass declare in the inquest of R Gunasegaran, who died while in military custody. In the preference which annoyed public outrage, the Coroner returned an open verdict upon Monday although Selva as well as three others had seen the military military officer kick Guna unconscious.

Revenge as well as woe fears

Selvas family members reason which it is out of punish which military went looking for him which same night for having blown the whistle upon them.

Latheefa - abductionSo upset were the military with Selva which they kick him in front of his young kids as well as attempted to force his mother S Saraswathy to lick him prior to dragging him off to their van. At which time, it was learnt which the Chief Inspector Suresh had taken Selva to the military headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

But the military have refused to endorse or give any report to Saraswathy. Police sources contend the Investigating Officer is one Chief Inspector Sazali though till press time, Saraswathys lawyers have not been means to get in touch with him.

We have not been means to get any report of ! his loca le during all. Given the mood of the military as well as their rough treatment of him, the family has each right to fear which he will be tortured by the military right away which they have dragged him behind into remand," N Surendran, lawyer for Selvas wife, told Malaysia Chronicle.

Hisham doesn't want to be involved, what about IGP?

The five military crew who abducted Selva upon Monday night had told his mother they would catch him for 60 days.

SurendranBut according to tellurian rights NGO, Suaram, the military cannot reason any one for some-more than 24 hours without the remand order unless the detention is under the Internal Security Act, Emergency Ordinance or Dangerous Drugs Act.

Meanwhile, despite the police's rarely questionable conduct, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has refused to get involved.

I am informed with the box though afterwards people will contend we am interfering in military action. Use the media centre for the details. The military have been the ones doing the investigation, so ask them, pronounced Hishammuddin, when asked for his reply upon Wednesday.

With even the apportion closing the doorway upon the Selvachandran family, there is small chance though for Malaysians to convene as well as criticism during the police's shocking behavior, pronounced Suaram.

Together with Lawyers for Liberty, the NGO will submit the memorandum of criticism to the Inspector-General of Police during 10 am during the military headquarters in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur.

It has urged Malaysians to uncover up to express solidarity for Selva as well as his family.

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Why Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan leaders dare not follow Nazri

Lim Kit Siang

Najib had himself told Umno which Umno contingency reform or it will be reformed which he would govern a New Economic Model or he will be executed!

Najib has found which he biggest enemies of his four critical signature pillars to effect a inhabitant mutation come from inside of either 1Malaysia People First Performance Now concept, Government Transformation Programme, New Economic Model as well as to use a Tenth Malaysia Plan as well as a annual budgets to operationalise a GTP as well as ETP.

I commend a Minister in a Prime Ministers Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for his bravery as well as self-assurance in dogmatic which he is Malaysian initial as well as Malay next, nonetheless some-more than six months after I had thrown a challenge in Parliament to all Ministers either they have a 1Malaysia DNA as well as have been prepared to acknowledgement which they have been Malaysians initial as well as their competition second, which is a declared objective of Najibs 1Malaysia concept.

I share his disappointment when he pronounced in a recent talk which he was undetermined as well as regretted why his Cabinet colleagues did not verbalise out as he did, even a Ministers from MCA.

Let me allude to Nazri pronounced in his talk with a Red Tomato publication:

They have been people who have been only like me in a cabinet, though they have been afraid. Even a MCA ministers, none of them has steady what Ive pronounced which they have been initial Malaysians then Chinese none of them. To me, it is not right to contend which if we had pronounced so, then wed fall in to a trap of Kit Siang.

What trap? The Indian Ministers didnt come out to contend that, alternative Malay Ministers did not, Kadazan as well as Iban Ministers also didnt contend so. I am a Malay, nonetheless Im taking a risk to come out to say. W! hy other s cant? Let me discuss it you, they all determine with me.

Let all a Ministers, either Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, Sabah as well as Sarawak BN member parties insist as well as acknowledgement during a winding-up of a bill discuss what is it they have been fearful of as well as why they brave not acknowledgement which they have been Malaysians initial as well as competition second as propounded by a 1Malaysia concept?

(Lim Kit Siang is a MP for Ipoh Timur as well as a DAP adviser)

Among the Wretched of the Earth

by shuzheng

State terror in Bangsa Malaysia

Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it. – Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961

To countermand the terror (clip) which the state repeatedly inflicts on its people – invariably the sufferers are poor and at the bottom of the social heap – Haris Ibrahim’s Bangsa Malaysia offers an overarching solution that is highly political in nature.

Bangsa’s philosophy lends itself to multiple interpretations because the idea is itself tenuous, some formulation stitched in, yes, but overwhelmingly it’s about compliance to a code of human conduct. Haris calls this code ‘human rights’ (although it’s civil rights). Whether this is appropriate to Malaysia’s circumstances won’t be argued now.

So, to accept its governing principles, then extrapolate it, Bangsa has two planks. The first is ethics, the other is politics:

  • Ethics: all are equal, therefore, all should be treated equally, in whatever respect and without discrimination.
  • Politics: from ethics, politics flow. Because the system is rotten to the core, the rules of equal treatment, hence civility and law, can only be restored if the system’s political masters are changed.

Now to R Gunasegaran.

His murder was no ordinary homicide wherein one man kills another, after which the state steps in. In Guna’s case, he was killed under state sponsorship, represented in the police (and this isn’t for the first time, or the hundredth). The terror actually goes beyond. After his death, the hospital authorities (the doctors, the morgue) and then the judiciary (the coroner) work not to deliver the law, or justice, but they obfuscate as if with the intent to circumvent it. Guna in life and in death had been denied his rights.

The Bangsa idea, made applicable to Guna, demands to restore those (civil) rights. Haris is clever enough to know that, at this juncture, restoration comes only after the fact of the death. This is useless to Guna. Should justice come later all it could do is to serve a lesson in pushing back state incursion against individual lives, which is terror.

Haris also knows there is a limit to resisting state power. Chief among the reasons, Guna’s death (as with many others) had arisen from deep, entrenched causes, principally from a corrupted and discriminatory political system (Umno being the viper head).

The second leg of Bangsa Malaysia – politics – enters into the resistance calculation. It’s to ‘change’ the way the system operates, at the core of which has the lattice framework of racist institutions. To change the system is to replace the head. If Umno was replaced by a non-discriminating regime, then there won’t be another Gunasegaran in the future, or only minimal.

[That line of argument (paragraph above) is, as a brief critique, shaky. (a) The system functions the way it is not for no reason and its racist institutions, like the system itself, were constructed over time with the connivance of one of its chief architects, named democracy. (b) Umno is falsely equated with the system rather than as an institutional by-product. Changing the head, as opposed to replacing the system that is founded on the constitution, does not ensure that there won't be another Umno in another, whatever form. (PAS? PKR?)]

At its base, Bangsa’s driving principle is equality, hence non-discrimination. Guna’s murder, as have other cases preceding it, tests the Bangsa idea (a) against itself for robustness and consistency, and (b) against the terror of state power. Like the Ten Commandments, Bangsa’s set of human rights code is fundamentally an import, a Judeo-Christian covenant with which an individual demands from the state, as a Christian demands from his god, thou shall promise me this and not do that.

As it is with the police, Umno is not the state or even a part thereof. It’s an instrument of the state which, in turn, finds concrete, formal and written expression in the constitution and other documents leading to it. Umno’s pledge of allegiance is to the constitution not any Bangsa god, although some elements, like equality, are common to both. Similarly, the police shrugs off Bangsa’s challenge, affecting not just Guna but also numerous precedent cases.

The impunity with which the police attacks, then imprisons, a witness (Selvach) who had pointed to it as Guna’s murderer is to take the shrug farther, to up the stakes and to raise, in common parlance, the middle finger at the Bangsa people. The police can afford to do all this in the comfort of the knowledge that it belongs to a power greater than even the Bangsa god. This power is the giver of the human rights, the state.

What the state gives it can also take away. Failing to see this truism, the ‘universal’ human rights project made itself dependent on, and needy of, the state. The fallacy persists to this day….

Dependent on the state, powerless against its instruments, Bangsa Malaysia shows its face at the only place where it will be tolerated: the public. Even there it is reduced to appealing on moral sentiments, rather than to call on the law which is currently being used to work against Guna’s interest. Thus, as the Bangsa argument goes, Guna’s case is one more reason to overthrow the damn government, Umno specifically.

There is a problem to this however: Bangsa again misses (or is it avoiding?) its actual target – the state.

To farther illustrate Bangsa’s contradiction, or anomaly, is to simply to ask the question: why did Guna die? This way of phrasing is deliberate, and not the short cut to the precise question, ‘why did the police kill Guna’ which is bound to elicit rationale explanations: the police was just doing their job (a favourite of DAP’s Tunku Aziz), it got out of hand, and so on and on.

Any answer to the earlier question is going to more complex, more difficult because it will have to come from, not the mind, but the heart. It’s a kind of question that demands a strongly intuitive, gut-feeling answer and, like why did Teoh Beng Hock die, which the Bangsa people won’t face up to.

The Bangsa idea cannot bring itself to say Guna was killed because he was Indian first. Just as it is likely Teoh died because he was Chinese first. To concede on either one of the two cases is to disavow its own principle: there are no ethnic classes, all are Malaysians.

To say Guna was murdered Indian first is to suggest the police were more willing to pulverize him than he if were, say, Malay (or, to use a social distinction, a Tan Sri’s son). This reality bears the same psychological trademark of bullying somebody weaker because it’s easier, the risks to the police greatly lower, and the repercussions, if any, minimal. Among Malaysians few people are weaker than an Indian poor. And, therefore, more likely than any other group to be violated. Haris refuses to, or can’t, see this point.

That also means Guna’s pain – and concomitantly the police motivation – is three things stacked up, one on top of the other: being poor, being at the bottom of pile, and being Indian; the last is invariably the exemplar of the first two. Plainly, the police knew who to pick on. Guna did not die because he was Poor First, or else there would be more dead Malays than Indians.

Over the decades Umno make legitimate, legal even, racially bigoted economic and social policies on an unprecedented scale so that, on the sidelines, all else have become props to the main framework, the state itself. Racism has become a condition of state, which Umno (and Perkasa) says is necessary. To deride Chinese and Indians at Biro Tata Negara or to beat dead an Indian in a police station is simply to pay obeisance, therefore, to satisfy the condition of the state’s raison d’etre. In the clip Guna’s sister speak Tamil, a situation identical to a Chinese woman at a police station who could speak no Malay. That alone forfeits her rights even as a Malaysian. So, go back to China, the policeman told her.

To the problem faced by the Chinese woman and countless others, Guna included, Bangsa Malaysia offers no way out, not even comfort. They might say that if the police had treated Guna with some decency, observe the law and observe innocence-first principle, then he won’t be dead. But all that is operating procedure, according to law. And the law, contrary to what lawyers like Haris might say, is never neutral. The oppressed, the weak, tend to suffer the most under its feet. In Guna’s case, procedural, legal justification is now used to keep him not only dead but also silent: want to complain? Want justice? Go back to India.

Upholding the law has only the spine of the page upon which the words are written.

After that, there is also the individual motivation to consider: the lance corporal who saw Guna as Indian first. And, what about the police inspector who saw the woman as Chinese first? Against these odds, violations against humanity have a clear racial face that Haris won’t look at (but he’s very good in his methods to fight state terror). Equally, Lim Kit Siang fails in his thinking to understand that identity is not merely in the beholder but also in how other people see another person.

Bangsa can do nothing for Guna alive when it is unable, or refuses, to trace the ultimate, root causes in discriminatory conduct and so apply an all-in-one remedy that conflates nationality (Malaysian First), individual identity (bangsa) to human (civil) rights. Like Kit Siang, it errs in the belief that the dilemmas and problems of nationality arose from ethnicity when it is the other way around. It’s the political demand for a single national identity (especially since March 2008) that is driving ethnic relations up the wall and which, the old folks complain, was never before a problem. National identity, that is, being Malaysian or being Bangsa, is demanding to squeeze out the ethnicity like it’s the pimple on a face.

Contrary to all the chest-beating at Bangsa, the Chinese cultural identity is the countervailing idea to the above. It’s ethnically blind, the exact same position Haris seeks.

The Chinese extremist who is clear into who he is has no problem knowing or deciding where duty lies and loyalty is owed. This is in the nature of Chinese culture; unlike Islam and Christianity, it has no mechanism for an individual to recognise group divisions segregated as ‘believers’ and ‘kaffirs’. It’s a rationale enterprise pivoted not on some state or god giving away commandments like human rights, but on some objective, whether noble or vice, which has be thought through individually and worked out on the basis of what’s good for all. (See this for an essay on Chinese chauvinism and extremism – Mahathir’s words.)

The Chinese chauvinist worldview and conduct are therefore relational, with a fervent regard for the Other, a regard greater than all the Bangsa role models stacked up bottom to top. The Bangsa models see others purely from the white man, Christian lenses; so, to them, the Chinese (this term excludes the Hannah Yeohs and she should be happy to learn this) has no Commandments and don’t care for it.

The Bangsa throng, to repeat a frequent claim, is a bunch of Anglophiles who, claiming to be a liberal class, is more illiberal than any other in the world, save the Islamists. Chinese chauvinism has for 50 years practiced tolerance to a fault, permitting even Umno racism to diffuse and take root, so it’s only in the last few years that the Bangsa Anglophiles and the DAP evangelists have woken up to the reality of the oppressive system.

In the same vein, the Malays have a greater problem individually working out their morality. His religion is already decided for him even before birth; his likes, fears and entitlements are fixed beforehand. When such a life is a closed book, not opened, discrimination is already a condition of the person’s existence. Who else, other than the state, has such powers of influence? And imagine if this condition is lodged in a person of great authority, with power of life and death over another? Like the police.

Again, Haris, as a Malay (so he claims), fails or refuses to see that.

Bangsa recognizes discrimination exists at large, but its equality solution refuses to recognize the nature or the origin of the discrimination. State terror is not blanket, but discriminatory and racially pinpointed because that, too, is the reason of the state. In consequence, Bangsa struggles against state terror backside up. In another way of saying the same thing, Bangsa is a non-ethnic, race-blind remedy to a national problem, fundamentally and in its roots, racial in origin. It’s like prescribing Panadol against a fever that is dengue.

Haris Ibrahim need not throw away his politics if its other leg, ethical philosophy, is flawed and misplaced. But his Bangsa solution is far too Eurocentric for a half-century problem that Europe has never, yet, to experience in full blast.

Haris could still keep his human rights if that’s so dear to him, but let’s call it human rights with Malaysian characteristics (this, in the light of Najib Razak’s Umno speech, merits a separate post).

After all the shouting and shoving, Bangsa might, hopefully, return some consolation to Guna’s sister. But, for the next Indian (or Chinese) to be equal to the Malay policeman is another thing. For that to happen Haris will have to change his politics from ‘beyond race’ to one based on race because that’s the constitutional foundation upon which the entire system was built and to which Guna and countless others, Indians and Chinese, are sacrificed on a daily basis.

In the long haul, political power must be returned to the Indians (so too the Chinese and, especially, the Orang Asli) – this is their ‘human right’. Only in this way can the status of the Indian, the “wretched of the earth” as Frantz Fanon would put it, can be flipped back right side up. Only then will that lance corporal think again each time he wants to lift his hand against another Indian. One of those Indians today is Selvach.

You see, Haris, actual, true justice is only possible among equals, by which Nietzsche means power. Equality is not some cuddly idea of human brotherhood you borrowed from some dead white male named John Locke. Kongzi (孔子) anticipated Martin Luther King Jr. by 2,000 years when he reportedly said (in lunyu 论语): yes, all are equal at birth but in time they grow apart.

The task, consequently, isn’t to return to the natural, equality state of birth, both unrealistic and impossible, but to saw off the rough edges that inequalities bring to life.

Deng Xiaoping (paraphrase from a Chinese proverb): We’ll cross the river by feeling the stones beneath. We’ll not get ourselves drowned, but we’ll cross it.