“I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.” - Charlie Chaplin
Whenever the Klan holds its annual congregation, it will revive the hitherto dormant coulrophobia in me. And when I confided in a colleague hoping that she will lend a sympathetic ear, she asked, much to my dismay, if it meant that I despised cauliflowers.
The condition has nothing to do with cauliflowers, I retorted. Or any other vegetable for that matter. Coulrophobia refers to the fear of clowns. (more…)
Residents of Kampung Skiat Lama in Sarawak will be in for a stench-filled holiday season as a new landfill identified for them a year ago will not come in time for a joyful and fragrant Christmas.
The landfill currently in use is close to 30 years old (older than the useful lifespan of 20 to 25 years) and is overflowing with foul solid waste which brings extra sting to one’s nostrils when the rainy season prevails at this time of year.
The grand fiasco is made even worse when rats, mosquitos, flies come in droves, bringing the prospect of health risks such as malaria, dengue fever, leptospirosis and other assorted bad news notwithstanding methane gas which floats to the residences too. (more…)
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should consider appointing his wife as Minister of Special Affairs as she seems to be adept at carrying out the duties of several ministers, said former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic).
Kadir, in commenting on the recent Umno general assembly, said from the various reports on the event, the most popular topic was Najib’s public praise of his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, for her “good deeds” to the country. (more…)
Is Anwar courting Umno to save his own neck?
Is Pakatan Rakyat shrivelling away to the point that they may lose the momentum before the next general election?
With the recent moves made by their affiliate PAS in opening possibilities to Umno to form a united Malay stand in the country with Islam as the foundation and binding factor, Pakatan may well be losing their Malay support. (more…)
Malaysians certainly hope Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not draft his presidential speech himself.
It is common knowledge that most of the speeches of politicians, especially the prime minister, are drafted by aides who love to spin to make their boss look good or intelligent.
Of course, the more skilful you spin, the more impressive your boss will look in public, and hope for a pay rise. (more…)
Nelson Mandela will be remembered as the person who, more than any other, brought an end to apartheid, the heartless policy of “separate development” in which white, black and South Asian South Africans were obliged to live apart.
It is part of his towering achievement that the very notion of racial segregation is anathema to democrats throughout the civilised world. He will be mourned as a freedom fighter and the
father of his nation, whose wisdom, patience and courage tormented his oppressors and finally drove them to accept that racial discrimination should have no place in a system of government. (more…)
A popular Canadian satirical magazine has set its sights on Canada’s ‘richest woman’, Jamilah Taib.
Frank Magazine is known for its scathing, if light-hearted, tone and it does not spare the Chief Minister’s daughter and her Canadian husband Sean Murray.
In particular, it examines the evidence that their wealth is based on Taib’s plundering of the Sarawak rainforest and other natural resources.
The article is below. (more…)
Writers, like me, seek to inform their readers of the abuse of power, corruption, criminal acts and injustices which are perpetrated by the leaders.
Umno Baru is nothing more than a bully and a coward. When we were at school, we were told that there was only one way to deal with bullies. You confront them. Most Umno Baru politicians are shameless cowards who function best when in a pack. They think they can do no wrong.
For years, NGOs and opposition politicians allege that they faced violent acts by thugs, presumably acting on behalf of Umno Baru. For reasons of their own, most of the victims kept quiet. Perhaps, they did not want Umno Baru to gloat. This meant that the tyranny of Umno Baru continued unabated. (more…)
Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah has been labelled ‘arrogant and cocky’ by EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof for a petition drive calling for all commission officials to step down.
The war of words between the Election Commission (EC) and electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 continued, with both picking apart each other’s arguments.
EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof yesterday labelled the new leader of Bersih, Maria Chin Abdullah, as “arrogant and cocky”, for launching a petition drive seeking the removal of all commission officials. (more…)
Citing examples, MOF said prices of watches will increase because it is currently tax exempt but the prices of soft drink, clothing, electronic products and cars will be revised from the current 10% sales tax to 6% GST.
Although the price of goods is expected to increase by 1.8% as a result of the GST (goods and services tax) coming into force in April, 2015, the hike however is likely to come down in the long term.Citing experience of countries like Singapore, Canada and New Zealand, Ministry of Finance GST advisor Kamariah Hussain said the price of goods would normally come down in the second and third year of the GST’s implementation. (more…)
Cassandra Chung makes some observations about urban Malaysians and a prevailing problem among them.
Just last night, I attended a dinner and my table mostly consisted of those over 50 years of age. Like every typical dinner conversation, our conversation led to politics. My parents’ friends started talking about how those in the rural areas determine the ruling government. In some way, that is true. If a single coalition were to win all the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak alone, 25% of the majority needed to form a government would already be fulfilled (57 parliamentary seats all together). I usually follow politics very closely, whether or not it is election season, but that night I chose to remain silent, partly because I had a lot on my mind. However, that didn’t mean I wasn’t listening. (more…)
Sarawak’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s remark that certain quarters have of late caused confusion on the status of Islam in Malaysia, especially where Sarawak and Sabah are concerned, was directed at Umno and its fanatic wings, says Sarawak PKR.
“I hope the federal government, which is dominated by Umno, will take Taib’s call for the rejection of all forms of religious extremism seriously,” state PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said.
“Umno and its fanatic wings should take the chief minister’s words as a valuable guidance and reminder,” See said. (more…)
Kua Kia Soong
The unprovoked attack and bewildering prejudice exhibited by the director of the film ‘Tanda Putera’ against my 2007 book, ‘May 13: Declassified documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969′, are symptomatic of a deeper malaise evident among the Umno-nurtured propagandists in Malaysia who appear diligently uninterested in distinguishing fact from fiction.
The refusal to allow even the ashes of the former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya Chin Peng to return to his homeland, basing this on the official version of the Emergency, likewise point to a bizarre interpretation of history and its consequences for Malaysian collective conscience. (more…)
I woke up this morning to the news that Nelson Mandela, or Madiba Mandela as known in his native culture, had just passed on. Strangely, I did not feel sad but an immense sense of celebration, safe in the knowledge that the wonderful man has fought a very good fight on earth and is now reunited with his maker. It is no doubt a job well done.
It would not be too exaggerating to state that, in a continent that is constantly struck by corruption, poverty and autocracies exemplified by the likes of Robert Mugabe and Omar al Bashir, Mandela has shone like a beacon of hope and done the Africans proud. (more…)
As hard as I’ve tried over the years, I‘ve found it impossible to definitively describe the system of government, or more accurately misgovernment, that the BN regime has insidiously, illegally and indeed criminally imposed on Malaysia. But whatever it is, it sure as hell is nothing like genuine democracy.
In fact it is so far from true government of the people, for the people, by the people that I wonder why BN bothers to keep pretending it’s anything remotely resembling the real thing.
Yet it does keep pretending, and persistently so. So much so, in fact, that the prime architect of this faux-democratic if not outright fascist state of affairs is himself still at pains after decades of deception to try and preserve the democratic illusion. (more…)
Sin Chew Daily
Malaysia has moved up a notch to 53rd out of 177 countries this year in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
It is a little progress but its does not mean a significant improvement in anti-corruption efforts. To be a bit stricter, Malaysia is just on the passing edge by scoring 50 out of 100.
Fifty points is a middle line, meaning we have done half right, but the other half has been done wrong, or has not yet been done. (more…)
Ng Kee Seng
It is that time of the year end when global or international ratings or assessments start making its rounds in the media.
No matter how one spins a story, the statistics and figures don’t lie. Just call a spade a spade, nothing else.
For Malaysia, it is the same annual “shame” with the release of the Programme for International Assessment (Pisa) results. (more…)
The much-extended term of the Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Tun Salahuddin Barieng, expires in December and given that he is already in his nineties, the talk in Kuching is that the head of state will finally retire for good (he served a single four-year term in the late 1970s before being recalled by Taib). In recent years, Salahuddin had been given less than the customary four-year term extensions and the commonly-held view as to why this is so is that he is a useful seat-warmer until Taib himself is ready to retire from politics and move into the Astana, a feat last performed by Taib’s own predecessor as chief minister, Tun Rahman Ya’kub who replaced Salahuddin when the latter’s first term ended in 1981.
A source says Taib is now ready to hand over the reins of state power to one of his key ministers, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. If this proves to be correct, it will be a major disappointment for another ministerial contender, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg who, as one of two deputy presidents in the ruling Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), outranks Tengah in seniority. (more…)
PAS Youth Sarawak today claimed there are discrepancies between their findings and that of the 2012 Auditor General Report on the status of at least 16 school projects in the state.
PAS Youth Sarawak deputy chief Zharudin Narudin cited SK Telagus Jerok in Simunjan as example, saying they found it to be only 62.6% completed whereas the Auditor-General’s report states it was 100% completed and the school has been handed by the contractor to the ministry of education.
Demanding an explanation from the ministry on the alleged discrepancy, Zharudin said another school they inspected, SK Beladin in Betong division, was only 40% completed according to their assessment while the report stated it was 96.6% completed by the end of last year. (more…)
I am putting on hold Part II of my column on Fatwa production and writing about neo-Malaya’s tale of cultural barbarism in the case of the demolition of one of the main temples of Lembah Bujang.
As if the story of the harassment on fellow columnist Mariam Mokhtar by the Malaysian chief of police had not annoyed me enough of the nature of ridiculousness this beloved nation of ours continue to be plagued with, we have uncovered this archaeological scandal.
My support for Mariam and her writings that will always illuminate and never aggravate nor meant to instigate. I have high regard for her clear sense and understanding of freedom of expression lacking even in Malaysian academia these days. (more…)
I fully agree on the statement made by the Home Minister that Malaysians who badmouth their own country are sabotaging foreign direct investment (FDI) and deserve to be branded as “traitors”.
The loss in terms of foreign income or future revenue and its spin-offs will definitely be more. These are the standard justifications given when mega projects are being promoted especially when it is a cornerstone project in Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
In a Platts report on 19 August, 2013, it was reported that Taiwan’s Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co (KKPTC) has scrapped plans to set up an integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Pengerang, Johor due to poor project economics. (more…)
The Federal Court has fixed Feb 24 next year to hear the Catholic Church’s leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision on the Allah issue.
This was confirmed this evening by one of the lawyers for the Catholic Church, Annou Xavier (left).
The case management on the matter was held today, after the church applied for an earlier date to hear its application for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment delivered on Oct 14. (more…)
‘Why would a company awarded a contract worth RM142 million be compensated RM88 million when the government has stopped the contract, ask opposition MPs.
Opposition MPs today flayed the federal government for paying an exorbitant RM88 million compensation to a company involved in the failed RazakSAT I satellite program, despite the contract being only worth RM142.8 million.
Pan Northern Air Services (PNAS) was awarded a 10 year contract to conduct remote sensing, a type of imaging technology, for an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. (more…)
The prime minister has come under fire for blaming the opposition for allegedly losing RM40 billion in investments in a Rapid petroleum refinery project in Pengerang, Johor.
Several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs said the accusation by Datuk Seri Najib Razak during his policy speech at the Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur today, was “baseless” and “absurd”.
Najib claimed that PR’s campaign to stop the project cost Malaysia RM40 billion in lost investments, accusing the opposition coalition of putting politics above the country’s welfare. (more…)
Sin Chew Daily
The theme “The Politics of Moderation Accommodates and Balances Competing Principles That Leads to Peace and Stability” of the two-day Umno International Forum held in conjunction with the party’s general assembly carries a significant meaning.
It is because after the general election in May, Umno has showed a tendency towards rightist ideology. The pace of transformation plans stressing on diversity has been slowed down while the policy to strengthen Bumiputera’s economy was emphasised. (more…)
Pelita Mukah Sebakong Sago Plantation, the brainchild of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, has incurred a loss of RM58.74 million since 2005, revealed the Auditor-General Report 2012.
According to the report, which covered a period between March and May 2013, the management of the plantation is unsatisfactory, and this contributed to the continued losses for the company for the past three years.
It cited other reasons such as poor maintenance of the plantation resulting in the sizes of the sago trees not being compatible with the age and buying machinery and other chemicals which are not according to the needs and financial procedures. (more…)
A British MP has described the recent Allah issue in Malaysia and calls for Islamic Affairs officers to be armed as a ‘dangerous’ path
Just weeks before Christmas, the alleged persecution of Christians in Malaysia, was again raised in the UK parliament as part of a debate on Christians around the world, with an MP urging its government to look at the right to practice ones’ religion as a human rights issue.
Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, Tom Greatrex, noted recent worrying signs of such persecution especially in view of Malaysia being “an important” and “strategic” Commonwealth partner for the UK. (more…)
What’s so difficult in giving us greater participation in decision making positions in government? asks Temerloh Wanita delegate Juhanis Abdul Aziz.
Wanita delegates want at least 30% participation in decision making positions and for more roles to be given, either in government or GLCs.
Temerloh Umno delegate, Juhanis Abdul Aziz, told party president Najib Tun Razak not to be ‘Mr Arrogant’ and deny Wanita leaders greater roles in the government. (more…)
Alarmed by the poor ranking for Malaysia in an international students’ test, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar urged a new bi-partisan approach to reform the country’s education system.
A bi-partisan parliamentary select committee should be tasked to look into improving Malaysia’s education system, Nurul Izzah said in a statement today.
At the same time, the Lembah Pantai MP added, a National Education Council comprising politicians, academicians and other stakeholders should also be formed to study this issue.
Many Malaysians love you. The comments from your readers say it all – and you have many fans and admirers because you write for the people.
One with the pseudonym ‘My Opinion’ wrote: ‘Mariam Mokhtar … I fell in love with your intelligence’.
And who should doubt you are the intelligent reader’s ‘poster girl’.
What is in your mind and heart wins us over when you express your thoughts and feelings in plain, simple and well-crafted English and in a tempered and polite manner if at times justifiably directed at those who deserve rebuke. (more…)
The Special Branch, or better known as the SB, is an intelligence unit of the Royal Malaysia Police. The SB is tasked with acquiring and developing intelligence on internal and external threats to our nation’s security and public order.
Apart from dealing with security intelligence, the SB’s other tasks are to gather reports related to political security on behalf of the Barisan Nasional government, like activities run by politicians, political parties and some selected NGOs; establishing profiles on political leaders from branch, division, state and national levels; monitoring leaders of NGOs and activists; monitoring political situation as well as gathering information on the people’s sentiment towards major issues, public policies and the current government. (more…)
Based on World Bank data, Malaysia’s average annual increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2004 and 2011 was 4.88 percent. According to National Energy Balance 2011, average annual increase in primary energy demand is 4.1 percent and the average annual electricity demand increase between 2004 and 2011 was 4.88 percent.
This evidently shows that Malaysia’s GDP growth is heavily dependent on energy and that it is not a very sustainable and healthy growth.
The government has been neglecting energy efficiency for decades. In the 10th Malaysia Plan, the government pledged to increase its commitment to energy efficiency and stronger governance of the electricity industry to increase productivity as well as efficiency. (more…)
The issue of money politics in Umno has been seen as a long-standing issue, admitted by its former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several of the party’s former top-ranking members.
Even though he had rarely been seen admitting money politics in the open, current party president Najib Abdul Razak is understood to want money politics to be reduced, better yet be eradicated completely.
Several delegates told Malaysiakini that Najib touched on the chapter of money politics in the president’s briefing to delegates last night.
He is understood to have said that the practice of money politics discourages professionals from joining the party. (more…)
Corruption is the core for the rot in the country in every aspect. The BN government via its agencies have knowingly tolerated many illegals here and sheltered their businesses too.
If there is one country in this part of the world an illegal would love to be in, it is Malaysia. The government of Malaysia has unsurpassed flexibility in accepting them without much fuss.
The influx of illegal migrants largely dates back to the hey days of Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he initiated his pet projects, namely the development of the KLIA, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Twin Towers. (more…)
A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.The 77-day Penan blockade of the Murum hydroelectric dam has been lifted, following an extra RM8,000 offered to each family.
The end of the blockade was announced yesterday by one of the state’s Native Customary Rights (NCR) land lawyers, Abun Sui Anyit.
Anyit, who is also offering legal assistance to the protesting Penans, said they had been “strong-armed by the state government into accepting a token compensation package”. (more…)
According to their lawyer, the Penans were forced into accepting a RM23,000 compensation per family, RM8,000 more than the previous offer.
MURUM: The Penans here have been forced to concede defeat and abandon their blockades after 77 days as impoundment of the contentious Murum Dam continued.
According to villagers, flooding will soon drown their longhouses, logging roads and bridges, completely destroying their lives and livelihood. (more…)
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has resigned as adviser to national oil company Petronas Berhad, effective on December 1.
It is a major step that many observers say marks the end of an era of ‘Mahathirism’ or the brand of authoritarian and corrupt governance propped up by racism-tinged politics that he has been accused of promulgating.
However, given Mahathir’s dominating personality, few really expect him to truly retire and sit at home even though he has hinted that Father Time may be starting to catch up with him.
Putrajaya had no chance to overturn Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s cheating conviction as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) gave evidence that he was not cheated, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail revealed today.
The Attorney General said that, furthermore, Dr Ling’s acquittal at the High Court was made based on the finding of facts.
“It was going to be difficult to set aside the conviction if we had appealed because the main witness felt he was not cheated. Dr Ling was freed based on the finding of facts and not the law,” Abdul Gani told reporters at his office breaking his silence on why he did not appeal the case. (more…)
This week, all eyes and ears will be on the Umno General Assembly. I have no doubt that many far-reaching proposals, especially those dealing with how to bring about more economic prosperity and security for the Bumiputera, will be tabled and discussed.
Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Razak will probably give a firm undertaking that Malays and other Bumiputera will be “taken care of” by the party, and that the “great Malay race” will emerge from the shadows of the past despite the unending attempts of various enemies to deprive them of their rightful place in the country. Expect a soul stirring speech from the Prime Minister.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Gani (front) tries to convey the message that it is business at usual at the AGC. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail met journalists yesterday to discuss two issues – a rape case involving a teenage bride, and the decision by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) not to appeal former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s acquittal in the cheating case.
But the top government lawyer did not address the pink elephant in the room – the allegations of corruption against him by retired police investigator Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim. (more…)
Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) was a French politician who served under King Louis XIV. He was the protagonist who made France the dominant economic power in Europe in the 17th century.
Colbert once said that “the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing”. This saying has been the main premise of Colbert ‘s successful tax reforms in France.
Adam Smith, another great economic philosopher and proponent of capitalism, outlined four requirements of a sound tax system, which Smith termed as the Canon of Taxation in his famous book, “The Wealth of Nations”. The four requirements are: (more…)
“We did not ask you white men to come here. The Great Spirit gave us this country as a home. You had yours. We did not interfere with you. The Great Spirit gave us plenty of land to live on, and buffalo, deer, antelope and other game. But you have come here, you are taking my land from me, you are killing off our game, so it is hard for us to live. Now, you tell us to work for a living, but the Great Spirit did not make us to work, but to live by hunting. You white men can work if you want to. We do not interfere with you, and again you say why do you not become civilized? We do not want your civilization! We would live as our fathers did, and their fathers before them.” – Crazy Horse of the Sioux tribe (more…)
- Time for Pakatan to pack it in on Anwar?
Why the opposition doesn’t deserve to take over the federal government
The last general election is almost six months behind us, in which the narratives of Malaysian politics have been defined. The Pakatan Rakyat may have won the popular vote, leading some to believe that the opposition coalition is owed a moral mandate. However under a “first past the post” electoral system, the game is about winning seats, not aggregate votes. (more…)