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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

“Bastard” in the House

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 – It is often referred to as “this august house” but conduct in the Dewan Rakyat today plumbed new depths with obscene language that would make even a street walker protest.

More than eyebrows were raised when a government MP called an opposition member a “bastard”.

Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) used the expletive on M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) after the Ipoh Barat member said the Pasir Salak Indian community “hated” Tajuddin.

Immediately, a furious Tajuddin yelled out “Bastard!”, and repeated the insult.

“You bloody bastard, show me proof,” Tajuddin screamed.

As one, opposition MPs objected to the profane language, prompting the deputy speaker, Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, to tell Tajuddin to retract the offensive word.

However, Tajuddin replied that he would take it back only if Kulasegaran also retracted his allegation.

“He said I am hated (benci) by the Indians in Pasir Salak. How does he know this?” he said.

Kulasegaran replied that his statement was fair comment.

“I was the MP for Teluk Intan, which is the neighbouring constitutency to Pasir Salak. I have friends and relatives there (Pasir Salak). Surely, I am allowed to speak the truth,” he said.

The deputy speaker then said that Kulasegaran had provoked Tajuddin when he used the word “benci”

“That is strong. You should not have used it. I think you should withdraw that word and I will instruct him (Tajuddin) to withdraw the unparliamentary word he used,” Wan Junaidi said.

Kulasegaran: “ I have heard a lot of unparliamentary words. This is the first time I hear that hate is not an acceptable term. I will withdraw it and replace it with ‘don’t like him’(tak suka).”

Wan Junaidi then told Tajuddin to withdraw his offensive remark.

“I withdraw the word but he shamed me,” he said.

The “solution” was not entirely satisfactory to several members, including Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut), who asked for clarification.

“Two weeks ago, when Karpal Singh told the speaker to be serious … he was thrown out. But here, Pasir Salak used the word bastard twice and nothing was done. Why is there a double standard?” Lip Eng asked Wan Junaidi.

Wan Junaidi said the earlier decision was made by the chair (Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia).

“What he (Tajuddin) said has been retracted. The issue resolved,” he said.

Comments about Obama and Malaysia

All this comments are picked from Malaysia Today
by Liberace:
Barack Obama is a black man in a white country. Barack Obama is the son of a black man who was not even a Permanent Resident of the US. Barack Obama is an American, not an immigrant. Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the US.

Malaysia who calls her 4th generation Chinese citizens "immigrants" today looks really, really bad. We have university graduates who can't get a job but have all the time in the world to pick stupid, petty fights over road signs which are not exclusively in Malay. I knew we were behind but I never knew we were so far behind. We don't even know what shame is. Our leaders are racists and they think they are heroes of the Malay race. Today, they have brought shame to the Malay race. Today, America has shone the light on our ugliness and boy, are we UGLY!

by mountainking
is time for us to stop all these nonsense about malay supremacy, chinese chauvinist and all kinds of stereotype. is time for UMNO to shut up and stop fanning racial issues. if gerakan and mca are still with UMNO, it simply means they are supporting UMNO stands.

don't tell us anymore about bumi quota/equity, top ppl must be malays, private sector favors chinese and all these bullshit. we need to take care of malaysians and we have to have CHANGE. learn from obama and US.

by venna
UMNO is the ultimate racists of all times. As long as they are around we can't even dream of an Obama over here in Malaysia. Hats off for the Americans. I feel proud that as a nation they walk the talk and have proven that they are truly color blind. They have showed the world what elections is all about. They have showed the world how much of work goes into the campaigning and how much the parties and the candidates go through before they are elected for president. Unlike here where it is handed over by fancy ! We back here have a veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long way to go. Not in our lifetimes I suppose. But someday some change will have to happen inevitably.Hope that our children will be there to see the change and equal treatment given. Hope is the only hope here !

by Caramel
Liberace,

What fourth generation Malaysian.! My hubby is 6th and my children 7th.My father in law speaks English & Malay while my grandfather in law speaks only Malay. My cousin in law in Malacca still speaks almost complete Malay.They eat and speak like Malay except that they eat babi & practise Buddhism .One of their great great great grandparent was Malay and they are consider "pendatang" while Obama is now president of USA. Shame on Malaysia. Damn Shame. Where to hide my face!!!!!How to explain to the white man?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 6:39 PM Be a member & get the benefits! Register or login Bill against racial discrimination passed

The House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that terms ethnic and racial discrimination as serious crimes.

Deputy Speaker Muhaimin Iskandar, who presided over the House's plenary session to approve the draft law, said Indonesia no longer had any room for any form of racial or ethnic discrimination.

Chairman of the House's special committee deliberating the bill, Murdaya Poo, said the endorsement of the bill should put an end to the long-standing dichotomy between indigenous and non-indigenous people in the country.

"A man cannot choose to be born as part of a certain race or ethnic group, and therefore discrimination must cease to exist," said Murdaya, who is Indonesian-Chinese.

He said the House proposed the bill as part of its effort to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, which has been enacted since 1999.

Under the new law, leaders of public institutions found guilty of adopting discriminatory policies would face jail terms one-third more severe than those stipulated in the Criminal Code.

Citing an example, Murdaya said the governor or government of Aceh could not ban a gathering held by Javanese ethnics in the province. Read more...

Reject, Reject, Reject (Update): The Antics of Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia

Comments:

I have been reliably informed that the Supply Bill (Budget 2009) that was approved yesterday by Dewan Rakyat was the one presented by the former Minister of Finance, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on August 29, 2008. This was confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Finance No. 2, Dato Haji Ahmad Husni Hanadzllah in Dewan Rakyat.

The stimulus package totalling rm7 billion presented by his successor,Najib, yesterday is, therefore, not part of that Supply Bill but a fiscal amendment to it.

This in part explains why Najib was able with the help of Sabah’s Pandikar to avoid answering questions by the Leader of the Opposition, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and other Parliamentarians from Pakatan Rakyat. It may be recalled that MP Tian Chua was suspended for one day by the Speaker for trying to question Najib on his package and verbal report on the state of the Malaysian economy. Furthermore, the statistics presented by Najib were obviously a figment of his imagination. The state of economy is worst than what the government would have us believe.

As usual, the mainstream newspapers like the New Straits Times, The Star and the Utusan Malaysia, TV3, TVI and TV2 and also the so-called economic pundits have again misled the Malaysian public.

Readers of my blog who feel that PR Parliamentarians led by former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim have been unnecessarily difficult over this matter should think again. They should not be misled by the mainstream media which is always trying to demonise members ofthe Opposition.

Need I remind the Speaker , Dewan Rakyat, the Sabah Pandikar, that his primary role is to facilitate debate according to the rules of the House and not to protect Ministers of the Government. We, members of the public, have a right to know what the government is, among other things, doing with our money. All monies can only expended on government activities, programmes and projects subject to formal sanction and oversight by parliament, which is the sole legislative body in our country.

As for Najib, he should be sent back to INTAN (Institut Tadbiran Nasional) to learn the basic rules of good governance and accepted practice. This is because what he tried to do in Dewan Rakyat yesterday (November 4) is “a clear indication of the sheer incompetence of our deputy prime minister.” (to quote Anwar Ibrahim).

I appeal to all Parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle, especially those of UMNO-BN coalition to seek formal clarification on the so-called stimulus package. They should know that it is irresponsible on their part if they fail to have this matter tabled and debated. It is incumbent on the Minister of Finance No. 1 to formally table his stimulus package for debate and formal adoption by Dewan Rakyat.

As both Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang reiterated, making fiscal amendments to the original budget presented by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was tantamount to a new budget and members of Dewan Rakyat must first be informed of the amendments before it is tabled for reading.—Din Merican

www.malaysiakini.com

Syed Jamal Zahiid | November 5, 2008
Deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today rejected an emergency motion filed by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim calling for the formation of a royal commission to probe into the government’s RM11.31 billion high-speed broadband project.
MCPX

In his motion, Anwar said Najib Abdul Razak, as finance minister, had approved the project in haste and at a high cost on Sept 16.

The matter was of public interest therefore requiring it to be addressed urgently, he added.

Although agreeing with Anwar that the issue was of public interest, the deputy speaker however rejected it on the grounds that it was not urgent enough.

anwar ibrahim parliament pc on budget and najib 131008 03Anwar (PKR-Permatang Pauh), who filed the motion yesterday, tried in vain to urge Wan Junaidi to reconsider his decision.

“The matter is urgent because the broadband project will be handed over to the national telecommunications company (Telekom) and this project will be monopolised by one company.

“The government has repeatedly in the past said that it wants to eradicate the practice of monopoly but what is happening (now) is a form of monopoly. I urge the speaker to take time to consider,” he said.

However, Wan Junaidi replied that once the speaker makes a ruling, the decision cannot be overturned.

“Just like decisions made in the past by other speakers, I cannot overturn my decision nor do I, as stipulated in the parliament standing orders, need to give any reason or justification for my decision,” he said.

Earlier motion rejected as well

On Monday, Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected another emergency motion filed by Anwar to form a royal commission to look into two other ‘mega projects’ as well - the RM4.26 billion purchase of Bank Internasional Indonesia shares by Maybank Bhd and the botched RM1.7 billion procurement of 12 helicopters from Eurocopter.

The motion was filed last Wednesday night and was intended to be tabled the next day but Pandikar had deferred the Dewan’s decision to Monday.

According to party sources, the motion was rejected through a written letter that was sent directly to the opposition leader’s office.

In this motion, Anwar had blamed Najib for approving the purchase of Bank International Indonesia through Maybank on September 30. He described this as a waste of the nation’s funds as the shares were over-priced.

As for the helicopter deal - struck when Najib was still defence minister - the Public Accounts Committee had cleared the government of any wrongdoing in the matter.

www.malaysiakini.com

Anwar’s ‘mega project’ motion rejected

November 5, 2008
Deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today rejected an emergency motion filed by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim calling for the formation of a royal commission to probe three government ‘mega projects’.
MCPX

anwar ibrahimThe deputy speaker rejected the motion on the grounds that it was not urgent.

Anwar (PKR-Permatang Pauh), who filed the motion on October 29, tried in vain to urge Wan Junaidi to reconsider his decision.

However, Wan Junaidi replied that once the speaker makes a ruling, the decision cannot be overturned.

Anwar had filed the emergency motion seeking a royal commission to probe the RM11.31 billion broadband project, the RM4.26 billion purchase of Bank Internasional Indonesia shares by Maybank Bhd and the suspended RM1.7 billion procurement of 12 helicopters from Eurocopter France.

Ku Li tewas akibat gagal sogok wang?

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah gagal mendapat cukup pencalonan untuk jawatan presiden Umno kerana enggan menyogok wang kepada para perwakilan, dakwa seorang pembantu bekas menteri kewangan itu.

Datuk Kamal Amir Kamal Hijaz mendakwa, wakil lebih 50 bahagian Umno yang hendak mengadakan mesyuarat perwakilan, datang menemuinya (Kamal) untuk meminta sogokan sebelum mesyuarat dijalankan.

"Ada yang datang meminta RM500 dan ada juga yang mahu bayaran sehingga RM1,500 seorang.

"(Tetapi) saya memberitahu mereka bahawa kami tidak ada wang. Tengku (Razaleigh) tidak mahu mengeluarkan wang untuk mendapatkan pencalonan.

ku li tengku razaleigh and umno agm 241106"Tengku hanya menawarkan diri supaya dinilai dan dipilih oleh para perwakilan dan bukannya memberi wang untuk mendapatkan pencalonan," katanya ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini.

Sehingga ini, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak memperolehi 141 pencalonan untuk jawatan presiden Umno daripada 142 bahagian yang telah mengadakan mesyuarat.

Manakala Razaleigh hanya mendapat satu pencalonan - di bahagiannya sendiri, Gua Musang yang mengadakan mesyuarat Sabtu lalu.

'Undi angkat tangan'

Berikutan itu, Najib yang kini timbalan presiden Umno menang tanpa bertanding jawatan presiden itu dalam perhimpunan yang akan diadakan pada 24 hingga 28 Mac tahun depan.

Sebanyak 50 bahagian Umno lagi akan mengadakan mesyuarat pada Sabtu dan Ahad ini, hari terakhir jadual mesyuarat perwakilan selama sebulan.

Kamal Amir berkata, 67 bahagian mencalonkan Tengku Razaleigh untuk jawatan presiden Umno.

Daripada jumlah tersebut, katanya, 66 daripada bahagian tersebut menjalankan pengundian secara terbuka melalui kaedah angkat tangan.

"Bahagian-bahagian tersebut termasuk di Kelantan. Hanya mesyuarat bahagian Muar (yang turut mencalon Ku Li) Ahad lalu, dijalankan secara undi sulit.

"Jika mesyuarat dibuat secara undi sulit, saya yakin keadaan pencalonan untuk Tengku (Razaleigh) boleh berubah," katanya.

Kamal Amir berkata, kebanyakan mesyuarat bahagian tidak membincangkan usul, sebaliknya perwakilan meninggalkan mesyuarat selepas selesai mengundi.

Ini, katanya, seolah-olah perwakilan hanya mahu mengundi dan tidak berminat untuk membahaskan usul seperti dalam mesyuarat perwakilan sebelumnya.

Budget protest: House suspended for 2 hours

Budget protest: House suspended for 2 hours

The Dewan Rakyat proceedings was suspended for two hours following protests from the opposition bench over the additional figures tabled by Finance Minister Najib Abdul Razak to Budget 2009.


wan junaidiDeputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar suspended proceedings until 2.30pm after the opposition refused to allow the Bill to reach the committee stage.

Several Pakatan Rakyat MPs led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim (PKR-Permatang Pauh) had earlier told Wan Junaidi that under Section 66 (15) of the Standing Orders, the House must be informed two days before the tabling of any amendments made to a Supply Bill.

The motion must also be distributed to all MPs, they added.

parliament opposition mps dispute najib budget 051108 01Speaking at a press conference later, the opposition leader and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) commended the decision by Wan Junaidi to adjourn the proceedings.

"It is a commendable and wise decision by the speaker to adjourn proceedings as there are many issues that require solving before it can be debated at the committee stage," said Anwar.

Yesterday, Pakatan MPs staged a walkout when Najib refused to allow the opposition to seek clarification over the RM7 billion stimulus package mentioned in his Budget 2009 ministerial winding up speech.

The MPs also saw red when Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia backed the minister on this matter.

The absence of Pakatan MPs saw the Budget 2009 Supply Bill passed by the Dewan Rakyat unopposed.Which bill was passed?

Commenting on this, Anwar asked: "But which bill was passed yesterday? Is it the budget presented by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi or the budget with additional figures read out by Najib?"

Both Anwar and Lim reiterated that making fiscal amendments to the original budget presented by Abdullah was tantamount to a new budget and members of the Dewan must first be informed of the amendments before it is tabled for reading.

"When we talk about the national budget, every sen must be discussed and get the approval of the Dewan before it can be passed," said Lim.

parliament stimulas package najib 041108 02Anwar described what happened yesterday as a 'dangerous sign' for the country as Najib, who will be taking over the premiership next March, had shown signs of being 'incompetent'.

"What he did, by clearly violating the rules of parliament, is a very dangerous sign for the country. This is a clear indication of the sheer incompetence of our deputy prime minister," he said.

Meanwhile, Kamarudin Jaffar (PAS-Tumpat) who was also present at the press conference described what Najib had done as a 'bad omen' for the country’s future.

"He has already acted as a prime minister when he is only the deputy prime minister," he said.

SMS ON TEMPLE DEMOLITION

Dear Readers,

National Express published an article with photos about a temple demolition in Masjid India.
It is very clear. Yesterday, Mr.Saravanan another mandore for UMNO led government is denying this. Are the photos false or Mr. Saravanan? Lets wait for details from Mr.Jayathas who was in the scene. Thank you.

FALSE SMS ON TEMPLE DEMOLITION

Yesterday, I was shocked and dismayed over a sms text, which was making its rounds in the Klang Valley alleging that Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur had demolished a temple at Jalan Masjid India. The sms was incorrect and I think was just to provoke the community into reacting. I held a press conference at the site of the said temple to clarify the issue. I did this in my capacity of the Federal Territories deputy minister. Below is a Bernama story on the matter.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravanan today urged Hindus not to fall for an SMS text in circulation, stating that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had demolished a Hindu temple located near Masjid India, here.
He said DBKL's enforcement unit had only demolished the old structure of the Arulmigu Sri Bathrakaliaman temple today, after allocating a piece of land to enable the temple authorities to carry out the relocation
Read More

No, neo-colonialism is never the answer

Today, the structures of colonial rule persist with colonial era-inspired laws such as Malaysia’s Internal Security Act still in place; and the ruling elite of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries are likewise distanced from their own people. Like the colonial masters of the past, they view their own fellow citizens with incredulity, and fail to understand how plural and complex their societies really are, observes Aliran member Farish Noor.

I recently had a conversation with an Indonesian political analyst in Singapore, where I am currently based. In the course of our discussion about the state of Indonesian politics, he let slip a statement that I felt terribly uncomfortable with. While lamenting the state of Indonesia’s convoluted politics, he opined thus: “I wonder if Indonesia ’s problems could be solved if we allowed a foreign government to run our country?”

Now, talk like this usually sends shivers up my spine. We will recall that up to the late 1990s, it even became fashionable to talk about the necessity for the re-colonisation of Africa. This sort of nonsense was all the rage in some American political magazines and journals, and of course this neo-colonial bile was dressed up in the discourse of altruism and universal humanism, as if the colonisation of any country was an altruistic act between fellow human concerned about the fate of others. Never mind the fact that the ones doing the colonising would be the same Western powers and the ones being colonised would be the same hapless denizens of the Third World.

It is true that Indonesia’s political situation at present is a mess to say the least. With the next elections almost half a year away, the political parties – and there are more than 35 of them, at the last count – are already campaigning in earnest. Vast amounts of money are being spent (or rather wasted) on publicity campaigns and electoral drives that are designed to puff up the already inflated egos of political aspirants than to do any real good to the people. On top of that the political discourse of parties like Hanura and Gerindra seem full of fluff and froth as the leaders have little to say on how they will actually set about changing things for the better.

But in the case of Indonesia, as it is with the other countries of Southeast Asia, the perennial problem is the same: aspiring elites want to speak for the people and represent them, but they don’t even know what the people want. The political disconnect between the elites of Jakarta and the masses across the archipelago is mirrored in the disconnect we see among the elites of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila and Bangkok. Why?

Answering this question may also lead us to the answer to the earlier comment about the need for Indonesia to be re-colonised for its own good.

The bottom line is that the governmental structures of Indonesia – as it is for Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and many other post-colonial societies remains rooted in the structures of colonial rule. Now colonial rule was unique in the sense that the colonial governments could govern with scant attention paid to the colonial subjects themselves, hence the ‘success’ of British colonial rule in Burma, Malaya and Singapore and Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia. The British, French, Dutch, Spanish and American colonisers who governed Southeast Asia were not answerable to their colonial societies, but rather the metropolitan capitals of London, Hague, Paris and Washington. Thus British Malaya, Burma and Singapore were governed at a long-distance, with orders from London being enacted and executed in Malaya. Likewise orders from the Hague were put to work in Indonesia. At no point was this metropole-colony relationship an equal or reciprocal one.

Today the structures of colonial rule persist with colonial era-inspired laws such as Malaysia’s Internal Security Act still in place; and the ruling elite of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries are likewise distanced from their own people. Like the colonial masters of the past, they view their own fellow citizens with incredulity, and fail to understand how plural and complex their societies really are. The ‘success’ of colonial rule – if you could call it that – was that it blanketed the real pluralism and differences in these colonised societies and made them look homogenous.

Today, Southeast Asia’s internal pluralism and difference are coming to the forefront in no uncertain terms. Indonesia ’s complex political landscape merely mirrors the complexity of Indonesia’s plural society, a fact that was thinly disguised during the three decades of Suharto’s centralised authoritarian rule. But we need to remember that the manifold forms and modes of socio-political activity we see in Indonesia today, that includes also the new ‘radical’ groups like the Majlis Mujahidin Indonesia, the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) and even mainstream Islamist parties like the PKS are the genuine expressions of Indonesian pluralism too. The MMI, HTI and PKS are not from Mars or Sweden: they are part and parcel of Indonesian society and the products of the same political processes that created the political elite in Jakarta who do not understand them.

We must therefore recognise two things: postcolonial societies have yet to jettison the colonial mindset of colonial governmentality; and we need to develop a new mode of representative politics that reflects the complexity of the societies we reside in. Indonesia’s new political elites may be jockeying for position and running for the biggest prize of all – the Presidential seat – next year. But they need to remember that to be President of Indonesia today means being President of one of the most complex, confounding, plural and internally-differentiated societies in the world. The sooner the political elites of Indonesia (and Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines) realise this and the sooner they behave like democratic representatives rather than colonial bureaucrats, the better it will be for everyone.

- Aliran

Ethnic outsiders vs bumiputera-ism

By Wong Chin Huat in The Nut Graph

THERE are two issues around the appointment of Low Siew Moi as general manager of the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS). The first, as raised by laywer-cum-blogger Haris Ibrahim, is whether this state agency should act like an ethnic institution that serves only Malays or bumiputera.

The second is, if indeed PKNS's main objectives are to uplift the status of bumiputera as some claim, does the appointment of a non-bumiputera general manager go against this? After all, only two of PKNS's four objectives are about "effective bumiputera equity participation and management in industry and commerce" and "creating a bumiputera commercial and industrial community".

The logic that justifies objection to the appointment of an ethnic outsider to an ethnic-specific programme is called "ethnic solidarity". In other words, people help their own kind and, vice versa, can only count on help from their own kind.

This view is not completely baseless. I recall, and still encounter from time to time, lines like: "Hey, since both of us are Chinese, give me some discount lah!"

That may sound natural since most of us give special treatment to our own family members. In this context, a person of the same ethnicity could be considered an extension of family.


(© Maa-illustrations/Dreamtime)

But if a Chinese shopkeeper gives a Chinese customer a discount, who covers the loss from such preferential treatment? Does the Chinese shopkeeper take a cut from his or her own profits? More likely, he or she would still maximise profits by charging more from non-Chinese customers.

Hence, such acts of ethnic solidarity have an external cost: ethnic outsiders will eventually pay the price.

Of course, ethnic solidarity is not exclusive to the Chinese Malaysian community. I sometimes find myself being served later than an ethnic Malay Malaysian or ethnic Indian Malaysian in a Malay or Indian store.

So, ethnic solidarity is everywhere. And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, or else you will lose out.

The agency problem

For a Malay or bumiputera who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in the non-Malay/-bumiputera-dominated private sector, it is only right for the Malay-/bumiputera-controlled state to reciprocate by favouring Malays/bumiputera.

However, the business world learnt long ago about the agency problem, which refers to the conflicts of interest between the interest-owners (principals) and the people entrusted to look after such interests (agents).

The classic example is the conflict between company shareholders (principals) and management (agents). While shareholders want to maximise profits, management may be more interested in maximising revenue (which boosts the company's reputation), or their own remuneration.

The current financial crisis is a prime example of the agency problem. This phenomenon is captured in the Malay proverb, "harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi".


Pope Alexander VI (died 1503), considered the most controversial
pope of the Renaissance period (Public domain)

The problem is so widespread that it covers not only the economy, but also politics. The public choice theory sees the state having its own interests (getting re-elected, etc.) that are different from those of the collective society.

Think about those corrupt popes who extracted money by promising sinners entry to heaven — the agency problem even exists between God and mortals.

So, can ethnic bonding be so strong as to be free from this problem? Look at how many bumiputera remain poor even after nearly four decades of the New Economic Policy and its succeeding policies, and you know the answer is a resounding "no".

The beauty of the mercenary

Now, let's assume how a rational "ethnocentrist" would think. Imagine a Malay supremacist who genuinely wants to see Malays catching up in commerce and industry. Assume this supremacist can think rationally, instead of resorting to keris-waving — what would be his or her solution?

The counter-intuitive solution is to engage with ethnic outsiders. An ethnic outsider cannot cause a problem of agency simply because he/she is not supposed to be trusted like an insider. The outsider can't get away with cheating or shirking duties simply with the "he/she is one of us" excuse.

The ethnic outsider would instead be subject to extra scrutiny. Since his or her position is not guaranteed in the long run, the only way to keep his/her job would be to best serve the interests of the principals.

In other words, because there is no presumed trust arising from ethnic solidarity, an ethnic outsider may make an ethnic-based project more successful.

Not convinced? From the great empires of Rome to the Tang Dynasty and the Arab, Moghul and Ottoman dynasties — they all benefited from the services of ethnic outsiders. The need to earn trust — rather than trust being given as a birthright — drives ethnic outsiders to go the extra mile in their professional duties. It would also work similarly with "ethnic insiders" without "pure bloodlines".


Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty
(618-907AD) (Public domain)

Just look at the "ultras" in Umno, and also some in PAS, from the 1940s until now. Ask yourself, how many of them did not have Indian, Arab, or even Chinese blood?

Who are the losers?

With the appointment of a non-bumiputera general manager at PKNS, the loser is not likely to be bumiputera at large. On top of her competence, Low would have every incentive to do a good job simply because of her "original sin" of not being a bumiputera.

So, why should the bumiputera staff in PKNS protest her appointment? Are they truly convinced that she won't do a good job in helping bumiputera?

My guess is exactly the opposite: they fear she might actually do her job well. She would then set a precedent and throw the logic of ethnic solidarity into bankruptcy. The implication is clear: you may have a pro-bumiputera policy, but the executor can be a person of any ethnicity who does the best job.

That's why the bumiputera bureaucrats, Umno politicians who claim to defend the Malays, and PAS politicians who sang us the "PAS for all" tune just seven months ago must oppose this.

Their interests are not the same as that of ordinary bumiputera. Theirs is a classical case of an "agency problem" indeed

'Zaid Ibrahim now an Umno target'

‘He is the target for an onslaught by the so-called defenders of race and religion. I sincerely hope that all the right-thinking Malaysians will stand solidly behind him.'


On Zaid: Ketuanan Melayu has failed

RRN:
I salute Zaid for his comments regarding the Ketuanan Melayu and the ‘social contract'.

It is heartening to know that there are people like Zaid who speak not only for his race but for all Malaysians. Keep it up Dato, we need many more people like you.

His explanation regarding the 'social contract' is truly enlightening to many of us. As mentioned by Zaid, many new ‘clauses' have been added to the original ‘contract' to satisfy the demands of a certain group.

Some people are demanding now that nobody should talk about 'social contract' and those who call for a review should put under ISA.

If changes can be made to the original constitution, why can't we ask for a review now? Is it because only one particular race is empowered to make changes to suit their wishes?

The introduction of the Ketuanan Melayu concept was the main reason for the erosion of goodwill and friendship among the various races of our beloved nation.

By exposing this blunder openly, Zaid has put himself as the target for the onslaught by the so- called defenders of race and religion.

I wouldn't surprise if they accuse him off being a traitor. I sincerely hope that all the right- thinking Malaysians will stand solidly behind him.

Blueonblue63: It is sad that each time someone like Zaid Ibrahim rightly criticises Umno's entrenched concept of racism which is Ketuanan Melayu, he is branded a ‘racist' by the Umno leaders themselves like Shahidan Kassim and Syed Hamid Albar.

In this case, we have the logic of the whistle-blower being stigmatised as the culprit in the eyes of Umno.

There must be sufficient numbers of Malays like Zaid, Haris Ibrahim, Azly Rahman and Raja Petra to openly come up and criticise Ketuanan Melayu for its explicit racism.

Their numbers must increase day by day such that eventually when their voice gets loud enough, the wider Malay community will be able to judge for themselves who the real ‘traitors' to their race are, ie, the Umno leaders and their spin doctors in Utusan Malaysia.

At a time when the whole world is phasing out racism, political dinosaurs like Umno and Dr Mahathir want to be even bigger racists than the former apartheid regime of South Africa by espousing Ketuanan Melayu .


On Unanswered questions over Altantuya

Millionth Citizen:
Malaysia a nation reeling in shock with the news that Abdul Razak Baginda has been released without his defence being called.

Also not being called is Raja Petra Kamarudin, now detained over his statutory declaration, while Balasundram's continued absence shows the sudden slacking of the police for not being able to trace him and his family.

The final verdict is and has been a forgone conclusion So it will be no surprise. However, that's only the first salvo as many more surprises are to come.

And many think the way the prosecution are doing their job calls into question a kind of 'pure wayang kulit' with the defence having a field day at each hearing.

God help us in Malaysia as only He can work on the conscience of the real culprits.


On Battle royale to be Wanita chief

Dan Tan:
I don't really understand how this Umno election thing works.

How come Shahrizat Abdul Jalil can have one leg on the Wanita Umno president's seat and another for the wing's deputy presidency?

She has said that she will be only contesting the Wanita Umno deputy presidency so how come the situation is now such that she is receiving nominations for the Wanita Umno presidency?

Did she indicate that she wanted this or her followers have chose her for both the positions, that is, if that is even possible?


On Food vendor wins biggest lottery payout

John Johnson: Syabas to Lim Guan Eng for suggesting fewer lottery draws. People will keep on buying as long as these outlets are open so we need the government to lend a helping hand to stop the rakyat from spending too much on this vice.

These lottery companies - like the government - are raking in billions but exploiting the people in these times is definitely uncalled for.

Of course, one can argue that the people themselves should practice restraint. Well then, let's be fair.

Let the government also let people to install their own satellite dishes as they are matured enough to choose their own rogrammes.

Let the people air their grievances on the talk shows without being censored or giving excuses like this talk show is undergoing a ‘re-branding' or a make-over (what a lot of hogwash).

And let the people take up their own sports (yoga), let the rakyat go to Israel if they want and let the five Pakatan Rakyat states rule without bullying or a boycott of funds.

And let Hindraf be a registered society or organisation.

Anwar’s ‘mega project’ motion rejected

November 5, 2008 Deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today rejected an emergency motion filed by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim calling for the formation of a royal commission to probe three government ‘mega projects’.
MCPX

anwar ibrahimThe deputy speaker rejected the motion on the grounds that it was not urgent.

Anwar (PKR-Permatang Pauh), who filed the motion on October 29, tried in vain to urge Wan Junaidi to reconsider his decision.

However, Wan Junaidi replied that once the speaker makes a ruling, the decision cannot be overturned.

Anwar had filed the emergency motion seeking a royal commission to probe the RM11.31 billion broadband project, the RM4.26 billion purchase of Bank Internasional Indonesia shares by Maybank Bhd and the suspended RM1.7 billion procurement of 12 helicopters from Eurocopter France.

Proceedings disrupted amid confusion over Najib's speech

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 - Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar suspended proceedings in the Dewan Rakyat at 12.15pm today as the opposition refused to debate the 2009 Budget at the committee stage.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang had initially questioned the legality of Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's new proposals yesterday.

"What was passed yesterday was the Aug 29 budget," the Ipoh Timur MP told the House, referring to Prime Minister and then Finance Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi's original budget.

"It does not not include yesterday's suggestions. So do we debate it or ignore it completely? Was it an illegal Supplementary Budget?" he continued.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also added that it was unclear which figures would be debated.

"Today, at committee stage, what are we debating? Is the old estimates still in use or not?" the Permatang Pauh MP said.

"I am only asking that the Finance Minister give us the revised figures so we can debate at committee stage. I am not objecting to anything, but how can MPs debate when we are not sure which figures?" he continued.

However, Wan Junaidi ruled that what had been passed by the Dewan Rakyat could not be retracted.

"The issue was passed yesterday. If the Dewan Rakyat has passed it, what other approval do we need? Principally it was passed. It is up to the ministry to release details," he said.

However, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (Pas-Kuala Selangor) pressed on the fact that a debate could not continue without the details.

As such, the deputy speaker decided to postpone proceedings, although at that point it was unclear even to MPs until when.

When asked by reporters later, Wan Junaidi confirmed that the House would resume proceedings at 2.30pm pending the details of Najib's proposals being furnished to the MPs.

Pakatan's hubris, Rakyat's loss

COMMENTARY

NOV 5 - As you have seen, it was a sheer display of arrogance, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday described his prime ministerial rival Datuk Seri Najib Razak's refusal to allow him to speak when winding up the Budget debate.

That actually holds true for the Parliamentary opposition leader and his cohorts for in a fit of hubris and pique, they abandoned their seats and their role to represent the people in questioning the Barisan Nasional's proposals to face the global economic slowdown.

Their excuse? They argued that Najib's set of statistics and estimates were different from those in Abdullah's budget speech and thus, it required time for debate before being passed for a second reading. Instead, Najib said no to being interrupted and they left the House.

The result? The Bill was passed nonetheless, without their participation.

Anwar eloquently argued his case for walking out, saying "We are asked to approve a new, revised budget - including a new deficit, a new growth scenario, new inflation figures, and government income and expenditures - in a matter of minutes to be approved.

"It is treating the Parliament process and budget debate as a mockery," said the Permatang Pauh MP, who had promised to topple the Barisan Nasional government by last September 16.

In retrospect, so was his walking out of the House.

He and the rest of the Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, who had denied the Barisan Nasional coalition its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority, could have put Najib to the test on all his economic presumptions, proposals, the aborted Eurocopter deal, the controversial EPF RM5 billion loan to state fund manager Valuecap Sdn Bhd and other pressing issues.

Instead, they walked out and left a laundry list of questions unasked and unanswered. And like many affected by the economic turmoil, we are all the poorer from it.

Veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang too argued his point against Najib, saying Pakatan Rakyat leaders had called for the Finance Minister before Parliament ended on October 13 to present a revised budget for debate and to be put to vote.

"He refused. He allowed the members of parliament from both sides of the House to debate a budget which he clearly was going to be abandon and he abandoned the original budget," Lim said.

The irony, is of course, Lim had abandoned the rakyat the moment he walked out of the House yesterday.

The DAP strongman, who has debated with almost every Prime Minister since being elected to parliament in 1969, did none of that yesterday.

Walking out was a better option that talking it out.

Najib called them "irresponsible" for the walkout.

"I have already promised them the space to ask questions after I finish delivering my winding-up speech but since they have decided to leave," he said, reiterating it was not a new budget except for additional amounts to stimulate the economy.

All said and done, Najib's winding-up speech gave some answers but left a few lingering questions. If only Pakatan Rakyat had also lingered to ask.

For they are not heroes for walking out, they are zeroes for not staying on.

Text of Obama's victory speech

Text of Obama's victory speechTuesday, November 4th, 2008, Chicago, Illinois: Text of President-elect Barack Obama's victory speech in Chicago on Tuesday, as released by his campaign:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

The first black President of the USA

Barrack Obama wins. The US wakes up tomorrow to a new - and its first black - President. But will it change anything for the rest of the world? Will he be able to turn around the US economy? Will he close down Guantanamo Bay? Will he stop America's holy War againstTerror?
I have my doubts.
But who cares, uh? They say anyone after Bush would/should make a better US President, at least to the rest of the miserable world.

Btw, Obama is mixed, actually: dad's a black from Kenya, mom a white from Kansas. So why is he the first BLACK president of the USA?

p.s. Dr M will appear on Aljazeera English channel @ 4.30pm today under the programme "The World Watches" to discuss the US election.

Barack Obama elected President - The Star
Obama wins historic US elections - BBC News

Obama sweeps to US presidency




McCain concedes defeat after Democrat wins key battleground states from Republicans.

Three Higher Education Ministers in 4 years

As Najib speaks Opposition MPs walk out

PKR, DAP and Pas walking out of the Dewan Rakyat even before Datuk Najib Razak had finished his speech. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 - All Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers staged a walkabout of the Dewan Rakyat approximately an hour into Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's speech when winding-up the debate on the 2009 Budget this evening.

Speaking to reporters outside the House while Najib continued with his speech on the federal government's economic stimulation package, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said they protested against Najib's "arrogant manner" in prohibiting them from speaking up during his speech.

Anwar added that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, had even asked Najib if he would give way for the Opposition leader to rebut his announcements and Najib had stated "no."

"If that is the case, what is the benefit for us to remain inside?" queried Anwar.

The top leaders from the PR coalition further accused Najib, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, of being "dishonest".

"He said the Budget has not been changed, which is untrue. The Budget has been changed," said DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang. "This is misleading the House."

Lim said it was an "unfortunate beginning" for Najib, who had just won the Umno presidency uncontested which is likely see him become the prime minister next March when Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi steps down.

"He is presenting a revised Budget while claiming it is not a revised Budget. He is dishonest," Lim emphasised.

Anwar criticised Najib for his "complete disrespect of procedures of the House." He explained that the opposition faction had been waiting for the past two weeks for Najib to appear with a revised Budget proposal.

The Permatang Pauh MP said the opposition were incensed that they were now given only minutes to discuss the new, amended Budget before approval.

Asked if the House could approve the Budget now without the opposition inside, Anwar replied: "They don't need two-thirds majority, they only need a simple majority."

PR-led states to unite on waste management

Nga Kor MingIPOH (Nov 4, 2008) : The five Pakatan Rakyat-led state governments in Perak, Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan are likely to take a united stand against the federal government’s move to implement the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 through three concessionaire companies nationwide by year-end.

They intend to sue the federal government if it goes ahead and implement the Act.

State education, local government, housing and public transport committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said today the federal government's move would impose an additional financial burden on the people because it would privatise most of the services now carried out by the local councils.

'I have discussed this matter with the state governments of Penang and Selangor and they have agreed to take a united stand," he said.

"I shall be contacting the two other state governments of Kedah and Kelantan and I believe they will also agree to take a united stand.

"The federal government has been hasty in pushing through the act without proper feedback from the public and without consulting the state governments as they should do under the Local Government Act, which states that the federal government cannot impose any local government act in any state without the consent of the respective state governments."

Nga said the privatisation of the council services to the three concessionaire companies would mean the assessment rates would go up "which will cause financial hardship to the public during this downturn in the economy".

"There is a price tag for every service undertaken by the concessionaire company like, for example, the removal of carcasses from public places such as those of cows, which will cost RM250 each, cats or dogs, which will cost RM100 each, and chickens, which will cost RM40 each."

At present, he said, the local councils removed such carcasses without charge.

"The concessionaire companies will bill the local councils for the cost of the services undertaken by them instead of billing the public directly to avoid public complaints. Nevertheless, the local councils will pass on the cost to the public by increasing the assessment rates," he said.

"At present, members of the public caught littering in public places are slapped with fines of up to RM250 by the councils, which can be reduced on appeal.

"However, when the new act comes into effect, the concessionaire company will have extensive power to impose fines, whereby the minimum is RM10,000 and the maximum RM100,000 or six months imprisonment, or both.

"Also, the state government and local government will be burdened by the act, whereby both must apply for licences from the housing minister or director-general before they can handle their duties."

Calling on the federal government to review the act, Nga said the scope of the concessionnaire company is "wide and far-reaching as it covers almost all the basic and core activities of the local councils".

"The local councils will only be left with the duties to do landscaping, approving plans and maintenance of roads," he said.

"All the core responsibilities, such as cleaning of drainage, handling landfill, and maintenance of public toilets, public parks and public markets will all be surrendered to this company and the local council will be rendered powerless to act on public complaints."

Nga spoke to reporters after Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin officiated at the first state motivation seminar for the 338 councillors in the 15 councils in Perak at the State Secretariat.

Opposition MPs stage walkout



Parlimen Malaysia merupakan salah satu tiang seri utama kepada institusi demokrasi di Malaysia. Dewan Rakyat dan Dewan Negara adalah pentas bagi wakil-wakil yang dipilih untuk menyuarakan hasrat hati serta menjaga kepentingan rakyat keseluruhannya. Di atas semangat inilah Parlimen bukan sekadar bongkah batu kosong, akan tetapi kukuh terbina sebagai sebuah institusi.

Oleh itu menjadi tanggungjawab ahli-ahli dua dewan perundangan tersebut untuk memastikan kepentingan rakyat dan negara menjadi pertimbangan utama, bukannya kepentingan politik kepartian.

Hari ini ahli-ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat mengambil keputusan untuk keluar dari Dewan yang mulia sewaktu Menteri Kewangan menggulung perbahasan belanjawan 2009. Tindakan ini terpaksa diambil kerana YB Menteri secara jelas bertindak di luar dari batasan semangat Parlimen Malaysia.

Selaku Menteri Kewangan dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak sudah tentu sedar ucapan penggulungan beliau akan memberi kesan kepada negara, justeru amat penting ucapan tersebut dibahaskan dengan teliti oleh Ahli-Ahli Dewan Rakyat.

Namun, keengganan YB Menteri Kewangan untuk membenarkan sebarang celahan, pertanyaan dan penjelasan sewaktu beliau menggulung perbahasan Belanjawan 2009 amat dikesali kerana beliau sanggup membelakangkan kepentingan umum. Satelah berulangkali menuntut jawapan, dan menunggu selama satu jam, Menteri Kewangan tetap berdegil dan enggan memberikan laluan.

Sejarah Parlimen Malaysia yang sudahpun menjangkau usia separuh abad, buat pertama kalinya, menyaksikan Menteri Kewangan enggan dan gagal melayani perbahasan belanjawan. Adalah malang sekiranya Dewan Rakyat yang menjadi tempat undang-undang dibentuk dan polisi nasional dibentangkan tidak lagi dihormati.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Karpal: Razak can be re-arrested if prosecution appeals

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 3 — Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda can be re-arrested and remanded pending the outcome should the prosecution appeal to the Court of Appeal against his acquittal, lawyer Karpal Singh said today.

Razak, the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre executive director, was charged with abetting two police commandos, Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, 32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Razak, 48, walked out a free man after Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin acquitted and discharged him without calling for his defence last Friday.

Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for Altantuya’s family, said the prosecution could make such an application under Section 56A of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 to prevent Razak from absconding.

He said the provision allowed the prosecution to apply to the Court of Appeal to issue a warrant of arrest against Razak and remand him pending the disposal of the appeal.

Alternatively, the section allowed the prosecution to apply to the court to free Razak on bail pending the disposal of the appeal, he said.

Azilah and Sirul Azhar, both from Special Action Squad (UTK), were ordered to enter their defence on the charge of murdering the 28-year-old mother of two in Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor, between 10pm on Oct 19, 2006 and 1am the following day.

They face the death sentence if convicted.

In ruling that the prosecution had failed to make out a prima facie case against Razak, the court accepted Razak’s affidavit containing exculpatory statements which it said negated and nullified the act of abetment as alleged against him.

Meanwhile, Altantuya’s father, Dr Shaariibuu Setev, has submitted a letter to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail urging him to appeal against Razak’s acquittal.

Karpal said he handed over the letter, on behalf of Shaariibuu, to Abdul Gani this afternoon.

He said he also faxed the letter to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on Friday. Under the law, the prosecution has 14 days to file the appeal to the Court of Appeal. The date ends on Nov 17.

In the letter, Karpal said that Shaariibuu and the second secretary of Mongolian embassy in Thailand, Siizkhuu Sainbileg, met him in the afternoon of the decision day, fervently requesting him to write a letter to Abdul Gani to file the appeal.

“We are of the view that a prima facie case had been made out against Abdul Razak Baginda and his defence ought to have been called. In view of the trial attracting national and international attention, we would be grateful if the notice of appeal could be filed as soon as possible,” he said in the letter.

- Bernama

Let me tell you, Rocky

In his post today entitled ‘How should a judge endear him/herself to the Bar?’ , Rocky associated with Azmi Anshar’s response to Robert Lazar’s “If Rocky really wants to know, the Tun never really endeared himself as a friend of the Bar pre-1988 ….” and reproduced in his post, the following excerpt from Azmi’s piece :

“But to “endear as a friend to the Bar”? How should Salleh endear himself to the Bar as a friend? Play golf with lawyers? Lunch or dinner together? Go for holidays together? Rule everything in favour of the lawyers of the Bar?”

Since you asked, let me tell you, Rocky.

The greater number of the 12,600++ lawyers at the Bar, most of whom are not tainted by any connections with UMNO or any BN politicians, wouldn’t know one end of a golf stick from the other.

Not that they wouldn’t like to take up the game. It’s just that they can’t afford it.

What most of them would not do, though, even if they could afford it, is to wine and dine with judges.

Holidays together?

Don’t insult all the lawyers and judges, Rocky! Not every judge is a Chin and every lawyer a Lingam whose slimy tentacles reach into every corrupted crevice in UMNO.

You know the sort I mean, Rocky.

Why, some lawyers can’t even afford a holiday with the family!

You think I fib?

Go on, ask the missus next time you see her.

Of course, some of these lawyers are the authors of their own circumstance, foolishly hanging on to ideals of a free and unshackled press, free speech and free expression and, for less than a peppercorn, defending the same in court. More on these lawyers in a forthcoming post.

Let me tell you how these lawyers would want a judge to endear himself / herself to the Bar.

Treat lawyers with the same courtesy that the judges themselves expect be shown to them, hear impartially and devoid of any bias, and decide according to the law, without fear or favour.

No more, no less.

Don’t get me wrong, Rocky.

I am not for one moment suggesting that everything is hunky dory with the Bar and the Bench.

Just as there are slimeballs amongst the journos, editors and bloggers in the media business and blogosphere, respectively, who would pawn their souls in exchange for position, power and the posh lifestyle, so too, sadly, in the Bar and on the Bench.

And we know who they are, don’t we, Rocky?-HarrisIbrahim

Catalyst For Change (Must Read)

nhb

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

There are two types of changes: evolution and revolution. Evolution is the slow change. It normally takes years or generations. Revolutions are immediate, sometimes overnight or abrupt.

They say Malaysia can never see a revolution. This, they say, is because Malaysians are not revolutionary or violent. Well, yes and no. Malaysians may not be violent, at least the majority of Malaysians, but they can be revolutionary when they want to.

Revolutions should not be equated with killings and blood on the streets. You can have a paradigm shift, which is a revolution if done overnight, or a change of mentality, which would be a mental revolution.

Malaysia saw its revolution on 8th March, 2008. It is a revolution and nothing short of that. You can’t really call it anything else.

Revolutions are good, if it can be un-bloody. Bloody revolutions normally never end because there will always be the tendency for revenge. But when there is no other avenue and if a bloody revolution is needed then a bloody revolution it would have to be like in Indonesia and the Philippines who fought against the Dutch and Spanish respectively.

Malaysian at first were quite prepared to allow for an evolutionary change. In fact, they waited 50 years. Then, on the 51st year, they decided that the situation is getting from bad to worse and they can’t expect any improvements so they decided to go for a revolutionary change. And that is why Barisan Nasional did so badly on 8th March 2008.

This triggered other events. The Barisan Nasional component members realized that they too need to change or else suffer death and we began to see dissent in the ranks of MCA, Gerakan, and so on. Umno too is going through change, at least a change of leadership.

But Umno needs more than just a change of leadership. It also needs a change of attitude. It can no longer threaten “another May 13” or ask the “immigrants” to “go back to their own country” whenever they raise “sensitive issues”. Umno must realize that the Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Dayaks, Kadazan, Portuguese, Thai, etc. have as much rights as the Malays. They too have a stake in Malaysia. Did not Tun Dr. Mahathir say that 90% of the income tax is paid by the Chinese?

The fear is that Umno’s leadership change is just that and nothing more; Umno is not going to change its attitude or policies. And why should it? After all, it is not 26 million Malaysians or 11 million voters who decide the Umno presidency. It is 191 division leaders. 191 Malay Umno leaders decide who becomes the President of Umno and ultimately the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

So 26 million Malaysians do not matter. 11 million voters do not matter either. Only 191 division leaders matter. And what matters to these 191 division leaders is what counts.

And what do these 191 Umno division leaders want? They want Umno to continue to uphold Malay rights and special privileges and to defend the New Economic Policy “with the last drop of their blood”. And this is what the Umno President cum Malaysian Prime Minister will have to do if he wants to keep his job. If not then he will be pressured into resigning like what happened to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Prime Minister normally forgets that he is a prime minister of all Malaysians. Most times he thinks that he is the prime minister of just the Umno members – not even the prime minister of all Malays. And this is not going to change when Najib takes over from Pak Lah.

It is not that Najib does not know. It is just that he has no choice. It is not 26 million Malaysians or 11 million voters who gave him his job. It is the 191 division leaders. The 191 division leaders who nominated him and gave Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah only a single nomination. So he has to cater to their needs and not the needs of non-Umno Malays or the 11 million voters or 26 million Malaysians.

And this is why we need a prime minister from Pakatan Rakyat. We need a Malaysian prime minister, not an Umno division prime minister. And until Pakatan Rakyat takes over and as long as the prime minister is a man nominated by 191 Umno division that would be how long the prime minister will be an Umno prime minister and not a Malaysian prime minister.

But is this going to happen? Will we see a Pakatan Rakyat prime minister? And when will that be?

Yes, I think it will happen. And it may not be too long away, probably even before Christmas. The 8th March 2008 revolution has not ended. It is still continuing. It continued into the Permatang Pauh by-election. It will continue into the Kulim by-election if they dare declare that seat vacant – which was why they dropped the case. And the revolution will only end once the Umno prime minister has been kicked out of office.

The incoming Umno leadership is a Mathathir leadership. Mahathir announced at Hotel Singgahsana in Petaling Jaya that the new prime minister will be guided by a Presidential Council. Who will head this newly set up Presidential Council? Can the people accept the fact that Mahathir will be back in power and will be ruling by proxy? This will be the issue debated these next couple of weeks and which will have a bearing on a Pakatan Rakyat prime minister taking over.

I know many are no longer holding their breath. Most Malaysians have given up hope for Pakatan Rakyat taking over the federal government. Well, it may be too early to give up hope. If by Christmas it has not happened then maybe it’s time to get worried. Until then keep hoping and plan for this year’s Christmas to be the best Christmas in 51 years since Merdeka.

Unruly scenes unfold in video clip (Must Watch)




Is this what in the heart of UMNO led government, for sure in the future there is no place for non-Muslims in the country. They are not doing this with East- timor delegates but it is just peace of low class mentality that they want to show other. This country will appear as Pakistan , Sudan and Somalia one day.

Media Statement 4th November 2008

The UMNO led Malaysian Government in its attempt to silent the voice of HINDRAF had made this people's Civil Rights Movement an illegal movement.

The aspiration of HINDRAF has always been to address the grievances of the ethnic Malaysian Indians who are continuously marginalized and discriminated in every aspect of socio-economic in Malaysia.

PAS and other political groups as well as non partisan groups have voiced their dissent against the government's stance in declaring HINDRAF illegal as they truly understand that in reality, the Malaysian Indians are subjected to socio-economic imbalance due to unfair and unjust policies thus creating a new underclass society in Malaysia.

The voice of the underclass Malaysian Indians being a minority have never been heard before until HINDRAF came along to address the genuine grievances of this mass to be treated equally and fairly.

The UMNO led government instead of engaging us to listen to the public's grievances rather chose to silence us by fear and intimidation by unjust operation of law. This only creates further animosity amongst the Malaysian Indians toward the ruling government.

We welcome PAS's intention to act as mediator and negotiate on behalf of HINDRAF to lift the ban on HINDRAF.

Along with PAS, we would like to invite matured and seasoned politicians like Tun Musa Hitam, Dato Seri On Ka Ting and Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan to participate together to act as mediator for HINDRAF in all fairness as we trust they are able understand the problems faced by the Malaysian Indians as a minority and maybe able to reach out to the UMNO led government in lifting the ban on HINDRAF.

If the government fails to engage HINDRAF through these mediators, it clearly shows that the UMNO led government is least interested in obstinate methods in further alienating the Malaysian Indian in every aspect of socio-economic development in Malaysia.

Thank you.

P. Waytha Moorthy

Chairman