Thursday, April 30, 2009

malaysiakini on MALAYSIA'S PROBLEMS in a NUTSHELL...

Maybe a casual observer may get the impression that Malaysia is being run by a bunch of nuts but the following comments in this malaysiakini article Perak crisis: 'Is the constitution still valid?' show that there is still some hope for Malaysia.

Ordinary folks have commented on the continuing political drama in Perak and it seems that the BN-appointed MB is giving all of us on whom not to support in the next general elections.

Then another citizen takes the trouble to debunk the PM's grand gesture to remove the 30% rule in some sectors.

Yes, folks Malaysians have slowly awakened to the demands of safeguarding our liberty through active engagement.
As for Zambry, he will make a good specimen in the Perak museum for political dinosaurs.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The Cabinet has made some noises about the conversion of minors when marriages break up but thus far nothing definitive has been established.
In a secular nation like Malaysia where religious tolerance is vital for a multi-racial nation, it is important that we do not allow those whose marriages have failed to create unnecessary problems that impact on society at large.

This story in malaysiakini Dad in the dark as sons converted to Islam is yet another case where a spouse converts their common off-spring to another religion when he or she breaks up the marriage.

Unfortunately Islam has been getting unnecessary bad publicity as mostly the cases involve a person becoming a Muslim and then changing the religion of the children even before the courts have decided how the case should be settled.
I think the Cabinet should take more urgent steps to work this matter through as this malpractice is affecting the very fabric of society.

We cannot allow estranged spouses to mess up the lives of their children with impunity. I suggest the laws be amended so that children are allowed to change religion only with the consent of both parents given freely in the court. Otherwise such conversions should be deemed null and void.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

malaysiakini and LOUSY Service from BN MONOPOLY....

Telekom Malaysia is one monopoly that has benefitted from its position in the telecoms industry.
But according to this letter in malaysiakini, we get provided a service that is more comparable to the poorer countries as Internet speeds: We're No 81! explains.
I happened to visit a shop dealing with Internet services and the guy asked me to check my internet connection speed.
We subscribe to the broadband streamyx package at RM66 per month.
So I went to and according to them, my average download is 0.92Mb/s while the average upload is 0.25Mb/s.
So I am not sure if upgrading to the promotion package of 1.0Mb/s is worth the charge of RM110 per month.
According to the letter, TM is being paid RM11bil to upgrade its services but I'm not sure if that means that connectivity speed will increase for ordinary folks.
It's time to develop an alternative provider so that consumers can check the performance of such companies.
In fact the Minister in charge of IT should impose fines when Net speeds do not match the minimum specs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

malaysiakini and the EC PERFORMANCE

According to this malaysiakini article the EC has declared the Penanti poll on May 31.
As this is a week-end, it will definitely allow more outstation voters the chance to vote.
For some strange reason/s, the other by-elections were mostly held during the working week like on a Wednesday and this really created problems for working adults.
Hopefully this is a new practice adopted by the EC so that more Malaysians will take the effort to decide who should represent them in the state assembly or Parliament.
There was some doubts about the delay in announcing by the EC but they have done their work according to the laws on by elections.
However, the 10-day period was decided many years ago and information and communications have improved so much now that we should consider changing the law to reduce the period to say 5 working days?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

malaysiakini SUGGESTS the Possible Source of Malaysia's ABYSMAL Culture...

of maintenance, that it.
We have heard so many national leaders complaining of our "third world" maintenance culture and perhaps this letter in malaysiakini explains part of the problem.
It appears that we have a Third World maintenance culture at UM .

Now if our students at UM are exposed to, and immersed in a poor maintenance environment, should we be surprised that when they hold important posts in the future, they will also accept such poor standards?
Of course, one other reason for the poor maintenance standards is that many such contracts are awarded without proper tenders and even less supervision; with shoddy jobs being approved for payment - maybe most of the payment is made even before the job commences.
Just a highlight. In Johor Bahru, some roads have been resurfaced so many times that the road level is almost the same as the road curb. In fact, the job was not a proper resurfacing but just a slap on and roll of a bitumin course by an unqualified contractor.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Small but IMPORTANT Steps TAKEN by the GOVERNMENT...

Perhaps this reflects the dire straits that the economy is in but reporting in malaysiakini, the 30% bumi equity lifted for 27 service sectors is a welcomed move that some doubters will say is "too little, too late."
To me it is an important first step but it should not be the last.

To prove its sincerity about rolling back that parasitic program, the NEP, the following items would prove the 1Malaysia concept more welcomed by all citizens.

1.APs to be phased out within 2 years and replaced with a tender system for 3-year concessions.
2.Bumi discounts only granted to first-time house buyers of units costing less than RM100k.
3.Scholarships granted to only 5% of all top students irrespective of race. All others given student loans with low interest rates. Poor families given one scholarship per family if qualified.

These 3 items will definitely show the government is really serious about regaining the confidence of taxpayers who have been largely sidelined.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The PERAK Crisis Still SMOULDERS.....

This is what happens when the script is not followed as the political crisis continues.
There are 2 articles in malaysikini that may not be highlighted in the MSM. One is 'Gov't won't help the royals' that reports the feelings of the common folk on the action of the Perak ruler.
As a constitutional ruler, the role of the sultan is clearly defined as being "above politics".

The other article 'Between the sultan and me'the "deposed" MB of Perak Nizar has filed an affidavit that details the meeting between him and the sultan.
It seems to me that this is some indication that the sultan may be brought to court as a last resort.

Monday, April 20, 2009

malaysiakini and 1984 REVISITED....

Do you remember the famous novel "1984"?
It is a novel of mind control and the methods by which the state controls the thinking of the populace.
Well the year is 2009 and it seems the spirit of 1984 still lives as described in this malaysiakini article Razak Baginda is taboo, TV stations told.
I wonder who is the person/s who ordered this example of Easyspeak and Doublethink?

By imposing such a ban do they expect that people can erase the case of the pregnant Mongolian woman who was blown to bits in Malaysia? Will the explosive C4 be also a taboo subject? How about deleted immigration records?

Saturday, April 18, 2009


The DPM put both feet in his mouth when firstly he said that the Chinese were "unappreciative" and then followed it up with claiming that the Chinese press misquoted him.
Now we have the PM declaring in a malaysiakini article that Najib: Not the time for another by-election so I just wonder how he wants the vacancy filled.
If we look at the graphics (courtesy of the Star), you will observe that the figures for the Elections Commission(EC) and the Police(PDRM) vary quite a bit.
For the EC,the cost for each by-election varies from RM400k to RM600k and that can be explained on logistics and the size variation between a state and parliamentary seat.
For PDRM, the variation is more interesting:
The costs range from RM2.5m to RM11.5m for parliamentary seats and RM5m to RM7m for the state seats.
My wild theory is that the BN leaders did not work so hard in Permatang Pauh as they did not expect to win against Anwar Ibrahim.
KT was perceived to be a vital mission as it was the second by election after March 2008.
The question is why did the PDRM have to spend so much on by elections? If they have no budget they should tell the BN they cannot provide so much security for ministers etc to campaign.
Or are you telling us the BN pays the cost of such campaign security and not the taxpayers?
It seems to me that the PM's call to have fewer by elections as it is too costly is another case of foot in mouth disease.
You can read what malaysiakini readers have to say in Too many by-elections - 'Najib is right'

Friday, April 17, 2009

Now Which JOURNALIST Should WE BLAME....?

malaysiakini has this article which reports that Najib said: Not the time for another by-election after it was announced that there would be another by-election for Penanti.
As a democracy, that is the only process to elect an assemblyman and I wonder why Najib is complaining seeing he was the main architect of the Perak turmoil.
I suggest the BN could do the following to show that it has the rak'yat's interests at heart.

1.Don't contest the elections.
2.Put in a second team so they gain some experience. That is what Ferguson does when his team plays unimportant matches.
3.Order your ministers not to campaign but to concentrate on getting the economy right.
4.Don't spend public resources on campaigning.

Seriously if he is already weary after just a few weeks in office will he reach the finish line for the next elections?

malaysiakini and the 1MALAYSIA CONCEPT?

We are all too familiar with the usual hype when a new PM takes office - great fanfare and nice slogans.
Not too long ago, we heard the "Work with me, not for me" catch phrase and then the PM went to sleep before he discovered his time was up.
Now we have the "1Malaysia" concept that no one is really sure what it is about.
But the recent results in the Federal Court on the Perak case seems to indicate that the Executive and the Judiciary have now combined forces to control the legislative as reported in this malaysiakini article Zambry vs Sivakumar: Court revokes suspension .
We know that the Judiciary became poisoned when judges were removed at the whim of the Executive and unfortunately Malaysians were too cowed to defend that institution compared to the Pakistanis who restored their Chief Judge within 2 years of sacking. Of course we paid some compensation for the pain of the sacked judges but the poison has weakened the judicial system.
The Lingam tape scandal too has not been resolved satisfactorily and that showed the unsavoury links between ministers and judges and all we hear is a deafening silence.
Now we feel that the Judiciary has still not regained its pristine reputation of old.
Maybe we need to get back to the Privy Council system for a fair and honest opinion from a third party?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

malaysiakini and JUSTICE Not SEEN to Be Done?

This is a RM64 million question.
Who exactly has been tried in the Altantuya murder case?
From the very beginning, many questions were left unanswered as to why and how the case was handled from the changing of the prosecution officers and the behaviour of the investigation personnel.
If proper justice is to be served, justice must be seen to be done but this malaysiakini article asks a very pertinent question, "Exactly who has been in the dock for murder all these months?"
Altantuya's killers - 'Show us their faces' suggests that since no one has seen the faces of the men found convicted of the murder, how does the public know that the two masked men are in fact the persons accused of the crime?
In fact the persecution has failed in this very basic requirement of showing the public that justice is being served from day one of the trial. Now months later, there is always a doubt about their true identity.
Now if those men are swapped by say an undocumented migrant, no one except the authorities will know any better.
After all, people do get killed in police custody - now it could be a more sophisticated procedure. The judge could sentence the wrong people to hang.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

malaysiakini and the "UNGRATEFUL" Chinese

There is some excellent feedback from malaysiakini readers for the new Education Minister who was upset that the Chinese newspapers reported his comments allegedly "out of context".
'Ungrateful' Chinese are now wiser indicates that voters are now more savvy and expect political leaders to serve and not be served as in the past.
After seeing Malaysia descend many international performance ratings like transparency and human rights, voters now realise they must do more so that we do not become another Zimbabwe.
As the new Education Minister, MY is clearly out of touch with education matters. Does he not realise that many younger Malaysians are very fluent in BM and some non-Malays speak better BM than their Malay friends?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

malaysiakini and the CONTINUING RACIST Attitudes of POLITICIANS

It should not matter a hoot if we have honourable men and women in the Cabinet provided the government displays a fair sense of justice and equality for all citizens.
As a Eurasian minority under the disparaging "others" race category in forms, to which I sometimes enter "human", I really do not care about the composition of the Cabinet in its racial balance etc.
To me even if the members are all Chinese or Indian, if they are capable and can deliver the goods most of the time, it should be all right.
So this article in malaysiakini suggests that some people are not happy with the Cabinet lineup. Indian groups want more cabinet posts for MIC as if having more members can achieve better results.
If the top leaders are not fair nor just it really will not matter much.
This racist stance implies that only the MIC is capable of looking after the interests of Indians.
The bitter truth is that many BN components including UMNO have are not in touch with what voters now require - granting handouts is now perceived to be nothing more than "money politics".
UMNO should get rid of its "gratitude complex" expecting voters to just give them votes come by-elections. Voters demand a consistent and continuous performance using good policies and not "instant noodles".
I think UMNO will be well-advised to drop the term "Ketuanan Melayu" from its vocabulary if it really wants to have a chance in the next elections.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Five Exciting Days in INDONESIA

My wife and I spent five exciting days in central Java during the recent elections.
We were there from Wednesday to Sunday, visiting Yogyakarta and Jepara.
Some friends were also there but they decided to return to Malaysia on the eve of the Indonesian elections as they were worried about possible disturbances.
The elections campaign was quite unlike in Malaysia and I suggest that the Indonesia has made giant strides towards democracy.
If they travel on the same path I daresay in about 10 years they will become a more progressive nation than Malaysia.
We actually observed the voting process from about 50 meters and we could the atmosphere was calm and peaceful. In fact we hardly saw election posters and other paraphanelia - maybe that HK supplier who got cheated by the BN has gone out of business?

Just some brief notes on how Indonesia is one up on Malaysia:
1.They use indelible ink.
2.Overseas voters in major cities do get to cast their ballot.
3.MSM is not so biased as in Malaysia.

On Easter Sunday, there was a TV broadcast on a Christain preacher who was giving a long sermon in a large hall. The only glimpse we get of churches on Malaysian TV is perhaps 30 seconds about a news item.
We managed to visit Borubodur world heritage site. The only complaint is that we paid the foreign tourist rate that is 10 times more than the locals!
My last visit to Indonesia was about 6 years ago and I must say I enjoyed this trip much more.

Photo: that's me trying to do a "Samson" in Prambanan temple

Sunday, April 12, 2009

malaysiakini and the LOSING of BY-ELECTIONS

Since the March 2008 political tsunami, the BN coalition has lost all three parliamentary by-elections and the voters in PP, KT and BG have all given the BN ample warning that they will no longer tolerate a government that does not put the people first.
The new PM has the catchy slogan of "People First" but that did not convince the voters of BG and the power grab in Perak that was engineered by Najib certainly showed it to be just a slick campaign.
According to this malaysiakini article, Ku Li: By-elections defeat a disgrace after the deposed MB of Perak was elected to Parliament with a bigger majority.
Will BN leaders ever learn? I am convinced no one can change UMNO and its culture unless they have a major breakdown like losing in the next general elections.
Once they are booted out of government, all the corrupt warlords will disappear and UMNO may get the opportunity to reform with a new breed of leaders that will truly put "People First".

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

malaysiakini REPORTS Fantastic RESULTS for By-elections

I think this is the best results for Malaysians who want to see the 2-party system evolve.
The Perak result was a referendum of how the people wanted a say in how the Perak crisis is resolved, that is by having state elections.
The results are carried in this malaysiakini article Pakatan keeps 2 'bukits', BN wins Btg Ai.
This is a great victory for People Power and is ample warning to the BN to get its house in order before the next state elections in 2 years.
Congrats to the winners and for the losers, tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I refer to UMNO's desperate move during the latest 3 by-elections when they even got Mahathir to canvass for the BN.
The response of malaysiakini readers has been swift as seen in this article 'Have we now forgiven Mahathir?'.
Mahathir's rule can be considered the best and the worst for Malaysia.
Impressive edifices were built like the Petronas twin towers and a good network of roads were established especially in West Malaysia.
However, he ruled in an iron fist bull-dozing anything and everything that stood in his way.

Among the casualties:
1.He brought the royalty under control - a plus
2.He created a highway authority that is a heavy financial burden - not a PLUS
3.He destroyed the credibility of the Judiciary.
4.He allowed the PDRM to become more corrupt.
5.He made democracy in political parties a joke.

The only reason for UMNO to bring him back for such an official role is that the leadership lacks good ideas on how to untangle the mess he created.
It is akin to some people justifying the high retention bonus paid to some AIG executives as they claim "they know where the bodies are buried."

I must confess I used to admire TDM in the early years when he showed great drive and was able to get things done. The operative phrase is "used to".

Monday, April 6, 2009

malaysiakini and BEING FREE but WITHOUT FREEDOM

That seems to be the situation with the grand declaration of Najib about freeing the 13 detainees from the ISA, that draconian piece of legislation that deprives Malaysians of basic human rights and puts everyone under the threat of arbitrary arrest, torture and detention without trial.
Of course the families of the released can be grateful that they have their loved ones back as decribed in this malaysiakini article Hindraf duo and 11 others set free .
But the condition imposed for being released is not acceptable as it shows that a different type of abuse is being perpetuated by the Home Ministry.
According to the Malaysian Insider, Ganabatirao free to walk, not to talk.
To me this condition negates completely any goodwill that Najib wanted for his quick action. Even worse, it indicates that some detainees were subjected to harsh and cruel torture during their ISA detention.
It shows that the government has really abused the ISA laws for political reasons and not to protect public security.
We need to put this government on trial for the misrule of law.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

malaysiakini on the NEW PM'S Interesting START

It is good that Najib has decided to free 13 ISA detainees but as the new PM he should know this is not going to go down well with some of his political opponents as described in this malaysiakini article Don't release and then arrest again, Najib told.
The move to review the ISA is also noteworthy as I am sure tardy work by the PDRM to secure arrerts on charegable offences has been covered up with the heavy use of the ISA.
As the top leader whatever you do will be questioned from all angles but the basic question is,
"Do you really believe that your decision is based on the truth and doing the right thing and not based on political expediency?"
He could have been bolder with the ISA release by saying that all ISA detainees would be released and the police will charge some of the really serious cases with:

1.public disorder
2.refusing to follow police instructions etc
3.possession of firearms etc.

Any case that still requires the use of the ISA will be subject to a more stringent requirements that will be proposed at the next sitting of the Dewan Negara. That should include charging the person in court and a proper legal defence.
We had recent cases when people were arrested under ISA for frivolous reasons.

Friday, April 3, 2009

malaysiakini and the NEW PRIME MINISTER for MALAYSIA?

I guess many Malaysians are relieved that Najib has become the PM for that fulfills the RAHMAN prophesy and exactly little else.
According to this malaysiakini report,81 MPs ask king to put off Najib's appointment which probably explained the indecent haste to get him to the palace.
I believe the MSM reported that he had planned to accompany AAB when the latter was supposed to see the Agong to resign his post.
The reason for the question mark in the topic is that the new PM must act for the benefit of all Malaysians in all states and not just those under BN control.
It was quite telling to watch the Kelantan MB requesting better state-federal relations as after all we are "a persekutuan".
You can read the NST article here.

The new PM has a very daunting task as he must be able to face challenges on many fronts in order to survive.

I suggest he could do the following to get a good start on his OneMalaysia concept.

1.Since the economy is in dire straits, he could call an economic summit of all the states and work out how best to help the different state economies. I would even go as far as allocating perhaps 25% of the RM60bil stimulus package to the state governments so they too can coordinate local economic programs.

2.The public has a serious perception problem with the Police and Corruption in high places. I would order the AG to speed up the Lingam case and relook at the inquiry's findings. Also the Selcat hearing has been throwing up a lot of dirty laundry. It looks like a few people from different departments need to go to the cleaners. KUGAN is another case that must be handled now.

3.Downsize the Cabinet. Maximum should be 15 full ministers. Each minister can have 2or 3 deputy ministers as that is a good testing ground.

4.Let the Perak voters decide on the government they want and don't accept any cross-overs for state and federal seats.

Of course be aware that your own party members are waiting to see you falter. Know that some, no maybe many near you are just hoping you will trip and fall. That is when you will feel the political dagger in the back.

The ultimate test is that in 3 years, the Malaysian voters will decide if you pass the test of being Prime Minister of all Malaysians.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Students of the democratic process must be wondering about how exactly do Malaysians select their Prime Ministers.
In some really democratic nations, when the Prime Minister resigns in office and his party does not command a decisive majority in Parliament, the head of state like the President allows the PM to continue for a few weeks as a caretaker PM while the person most likely to succeed him is allowed to hammer out deals with the other political parties in order to take over the nation's lead role.
A recent case of this happened in Israel. Of course many Malaysian readers have become prejudiced by the propoganda spewed by Malaysia's MSM but that is a good example of democracy in practice.
In Malaysia it seems that picking the new PM falls in the hands of just 3 persons - the outgoing PM, the incoming PM and the Agong. It seems the MPs who are the elected reps of the people have no say in the process.
Even more unpalatable is the idea that a failed PM, who was ousted by his own party is given the authority to select his successor, the person who did the utmost to unseat the incumbent. Isn't it a weird scenario?
It can be considered a form of political inbreeding and should be discouraged as Malaysians are being deprived of their rights.
Once the Prime Minister decides to resign, he should do just that and nothing more like trying to pass the baton to his successor. After all, that function does not even exist as the PM's job is not transferable like in your grandfather's company.
So this article in malaysiakini shows a contempt for the electoral rights of all Malaysians when it is declared that the Agong to swear in Najib on Friday.
I think AAB has belittled the office of PM by inviting Najib to accompany him as it reduces the dignity of that office as if it is something he can just pass on. After all Najib took over the UMNO's leadership even without a leadership contest.
By right Najib and the entire Cabinet should also resign with the PM as done by Shahrir as we really do not know at this stage who officially commands the majority in the house.
After all, Malaysia allows cross-overs and also step-overs as part of the political process.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

malaysiakini and FANTASTIC LEADS for the MACC

There was a recent call by the PDRM for the public to assist them in reducing crime rates.
That is a difficult task as the police have somehow been tainted too often with deaths in police custody and nothing seems to happen as in the case of that unfortunate young adult KUGAN.
The other body to combat corruption, the MACC claims that it will investigate all leads and action will be taken if there is good evidence.
So I wonder why thus far no one has moved an inch to get things moving in the case where according to malaysiakini 'State agency funded Khir's Paris Disney tour'.
In fact this case that also implicated Balkis and the Registrar of Societies smacks of cheating and criminal negligence.
It should give the MACC a good case to establish their credentials in the eyes of ordinary Malaysians.
Otherwise, the taxpayers may believe that someone is taking the Mickey out of them.

malaysiakini and a SERIOUS APRIL FOOL's Joke

According to malaysiakini Opposition banned from raising Altantuya as her ghost is causing some people nightmares.

This action of the PDRM is really the low in human intelligence.
Someone from the Social Studies Dept of UM should go and do some IQ tests on the people in charge of this department.
Treating grown-up voters like small children will surely backfire on their plans.
For example, a skilled orator like Anwar and the others will entertain the crowd with:

Speaker: "Today we have been told by the Polis that we cannot mention a certain lady's name...Do you know whom I'm referring to?"


Speaker: "No, No. Cannot say the full name lah or the Polis will be unhappy. Let's see....when I count one, say the first half of the name-OK?"
OK --- One!

Crowd: "ALTAN!"

Speaker: Two!

Crowd: TUYA!
We cannot say what happened to her in Malaysia...Do you know what happened?"

Crowd: C4!

I can tell you why we are not allowed to say her name....Her immigration records of entering Malaysia were all deleted....That is in Malaysia's X-files.
Maybe Syed Hamid can explain?"

Crowd: BOTAK!

This type of police directive reminds me of the Dark Ages when people were burnt at the stake for believing that the sun is the centre of the solar system or that the world is round. But then again, people do get killed in police lock-ups nowadays.