Hornbill Unleashed

October 18, 2011

Malaysia set to hit national debt ceiling, warns Anwar

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Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

Anwar said the remaining allowable debt was insufficient to finance the government’s planned expenditure.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim accused the government today of failing to resuscitate the country’s “under-performing economy”, warning that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Budget 2012 was setting Malaysia “on course” to breach the national debt limit.

Citing Bank Negara Malaysia’s latest report issued on October 14, Anwar said the country’s national debt currently stood at RM437 billion (as of June 30, 2011), with domestic debt amounting to RM421 billion and foreign debt at RM16 billion.

“This translates to a 51 per cent local debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio as governed by Acts 637 and 275, which allows for approximately RM33 billion additional debt to be raised by the government (before the limit is reached). (more…)

October 17, 2011

Sudden switch to BM for science students

FMT Staff

Students who had been studying in the English stream from Standard One to Form Three now have to do their Science and Maths in BM when they move to Form Four next year.

Students who began their Standard One in 2003 under the English stream – where Science and Mathematics were taught in English – are now expected to learn Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia when they go to Form Four next year.The change in the “teaching process” has got parents in the urban Klang Valley are all frantic with anxiety. They are trying to get the Education Ministry to clear up the matter.

So far the bewildered parents have received no statements from their respective school heads but worried students have told their parents that “all Form Four subjects will be taught only in Bahasa Malaysia”. (more…)

Malaysia will go bankrupt if BN wins

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We'll go bankrupt if BN wins, not the other way round: Jui Meng tells DPMMelissa Lee

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has warned Malaysia will be bankrupt if the opposition wins the general election, but was immediately shot down by Pakatan Rakyat leaders, who pointed the 2019 bankruptcy came from with his own boss’s department.

“It is the silliest accusation. The cat is chasing its own tail,” PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle.

Indeed, it was in May 2010 that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala first shocked the nation with a warning that Malaysia may fold up if it fails to slash subsidies and reduce debt. (more…)

In NST, a reflection of Najib’s own dilemma

Leslie Lau

Malaysia’s most pro-government newspaper the New Straits Times (NST) is searching for something which has been in scarce supply in recent years — credibility.

But the latest bid to reverse declining readership in the newspaper, which is controlled by Umno-linked interests, is also an extension of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s own attempt to reinvent an administration that has floundered in the past year.

The prime minister’s media strategist, Abdul Jalil Hamid, was appointed this week to head the newspaper as part of moves by Umno to realign its media unit ahead of the next general election expected by early 2012.

At a meeting on Friday, Najib’s latest appointee to the top position in the NST met senior editors and said that the newspaper needs to become credible. (more…)

October 16, 2011

Soon Koh’s Chinese-first salvo portends few hopes for SUPP’s revival

Soon Koh's Chinese-first salvo portends few hopes for SUPP's revivalLee Ryujin

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) which suffered an embarrassing whitewash in the April state election is gearing up towards its Triennial Delegates’ Conference (TDC) scheduled for December this year.

Being a major component in the Barisan Nasional, and the only BN party representing the Chinese in Sarawak, SUPP is seen by many observers as a ‘has-been party’; with many incumbent heavyweights as well as hand-picked favourites felled by newbies from arch rival DAP in the 10th state polls.

It is now struggling to rejuvenate itself, its politics and ideology. The question is, can the same tired old faces poised to take over from George Chan be able to inject new life into a party that overly relies on the Chinese when the Chinese community has broken out of its time warp and is transforming rapidly by the day. (more…)

Budget 2012: Tale of a bloated bureaucracy and half-truths

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Joe Fernandez

It’s old wine in a new bottle and the operating expenditures, at nearly 80%, will gobble up the overwhelming bulk of the national budget

The Budget 2012 announced by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is no different from the one for this year. Development gets comparatively a measly RM50 billion while operating expenditures, at nearly 80%, will gobble up the overwhelming bulk of the national budget.

Yet few have commented so far on this “Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi” budget. Najib trumpeted that the budget was the collective effort of many brilliant minds, including PhDs, diligently at work within the government. (more…)

October 15, 2011

Is Najib hiding something? Audit report still missing after 4 days of Budget debate

Is Najib hiding something? Audit report still missing after 4 days of Budget debateMelissa Lee

Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians are fuming. Parliament is about to end second week, and yet, the Auditor-General’s report has not been presented to the House. They are also worried in case there were astounding discoveries in the report that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government was trying to hide.

“We’re planning to file a motion regarding this matter because today is the fourth day we’re debating the Budget 2012, but the report is still absent,” PAS MP for Pokok Sena Mahfuz Omar told a media conference at the Parliament lobby on Thursday.

He is also puzzled why the report can be absent when some states including Kelantan have already received their respective audit reports. He called on the Public Accounts Committee to be responsible and take action, rather than wait until they were pushed to do so. (more…)

October 13, 2011

Kuantan people will win, says anti-Lynas campaigner

Keruah Usit

The campaign against the radioactivity risk of the Lynas rare earth refinery in Gebeng, near Kuantan, will eventually be successful, according to Prof Tan Ka Kheng, a distinguished environmental activist.

“I have a feeling the Kuantan people will win.”

“The underlying force is the local people, the potential victims,” Tan (left) told Malaysiakini. “The government officers, some of them are quite opposed (to Lynas), so there is an instruction from the (Pahang) menteri besar that government officers shall not oppose (Lynas).

“The Malay farmers, the fishermen, they are the ones who are very active in Badar (Badan Bertindak Anti-Rare Earth Refinery). The local groups are very strong. They havewayang kulit shows almost every weekend, to keep the campaign going. (more…)

October 12, 2011

If you really want to know about GE-13, ask Rosmah

If you really want to know about GE-13, ask RosmahMaclean Patrick

The talk of the town has been that the coming 13th general election is in November owing to the fact that Prime Minister Najib Razak has a liking for the number 11. Thus, the number 11.11.2011 had been the favorite call for many election pundits and also 4D or numbers forecast practitioners, even though it was a Friday. And in the aftermath of the Budget 2012, the Chinese media has forcast November 12, a Saturday, but would Najib really dare call for an election in November?

For one, the response to his much hyped-up spending plan has been weak to say the least, refelcting the low trust the people have in him and his promises. Secondly, contrary to what most people think, even Najib himself is unsure of the date to call a general election and this means that more likely than not GE-13 will be delayed. (more…)

October 11, 2011

Najib now vulnerable: Budget 2012’s biggest gainer is Muhyiddin

Najib now vulnerable: Budget 2012's biggest gainer is MuhyiddinMaclean Patrick

If Prime Minister Najib Razak had hoped to ‘wow’ the country with his record-size Bugdet 2012, then he must have been disappointed with the response. Not only were the opposition and independent financial analysts scathing about his lack of long-term planning, the deafening silence from the public gallery could not have gone unnoticed by his peers in Umno.

Already, the camp supporting Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to take over is stronger and outnumber those who side his boss. To Umno watchers, the Budget 2012 presentation now confirms that Najib has run his full course. He and his advisers appear bereft of ideas, they seem to have exhausted their savvy.

What more can Najib offer? (more…)

October 9, 2011

‘Unhealthy to overspend’

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budget

Teoh El Sen

An economist is worried with the huge budget allocation and feels that the government should be prudent because of an expected economic slowdown .

An economist has expressed worry over the country’s spending in Budget 2012, describing the huge increase of 9.4% to total RM232billion budget, from RM212 billion last year, as “not so healthy”.

“This is the largest budget in the whole history of Malaysia, though of course we are expecting it to increase every year…but this is a huge increase and that’s not so healthy,” said Federation of Chinese Assocation Malaysia (Huazhong) deputy secretary-general Dr Chin Yew Sin.

“The government should be more prudent in the face of the expected economic slowdown next year and cut down on operating expenses,” said Chin. (more…)

Munificent budget: Spending beyond our means

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Terence Netto

A prominent Pakatan Rakyat leader who enjoys a relationship with Prime Minister Najib Razak that allows for amiable banter called on the PM on the first day of the recent Adilfitri celebrations.

Nattily dressed in his Bersih-yellow shirt, the Pakatan notable, after offering festive greetings, dispensed with preliminaries and went straight to the point.

“This year or next year?” he chortled.

“What good will it do for me to wait,” dead-panned the PM.

Yesterday’s 2012 Budget which the PM as finance minister unveiled is probably the most transparently electioneering budget ever tabled in Parliament. (more…)

October 8, 2011

Budget with wide-ranging perks ahead of polls

Bernama

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today unveiled the 2012 Budget, providing a gamut of incentives to further strengthen the domestic economy ahead of a general election.

This include a RM6 billion special stimulus package, perks to attract investments and boost the Islamic sukuk market, banking, finance and hospitality industries, as well as much-awaited support for small-and medium-scale enterprises.

Najib, who is also finance minister, also announced that Felda Global Ventures Holdings will be listed by mid-next year to raise funds for the land development agency to emerge as a global conglomerate as well as income tax exemptions to accelerate development of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD). (more…)

With eye on polls government pledges cash all around, no new taxes

Lee Wei Lian

Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised today cash handouts, more money for civil servants, schools and a fund for “high-impact development” projects as part of his Budget 2012 measures to put cash in the pockets of voters ahead of a general election expected soon.

The government will offer a one-off RM500 cash handout to households with a monthly income of less than RM3,000, a RM100 cash aid and RM200 book vouchers for students.

In a clear sign that elections are near, the government announced no new taxes but it will increase to 13 per cent the contribution from employers to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Civil servants got a direct financial boost from the Budget as some 600,000 government pensioners received an additional annual pension increment of two per cent and civil servants will see their pay packets rise between RM80 and RM320. (more…)

Najib, wake up!

Selena Tay

He must know that his credibility in the international arena is nothing to shout about and take serious steps to address the issue of electoral reforms.

The July 9 Bersih rally came about mainly due to the fact that the voter rolls were dirty and are still dirty. Hence, the name Bersih, which means “clean” in English.

Due to the pressure exerted by the rakyat who came in droves to participate in the rally, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) will be formed to see to electoral reforms. The keywords here are “to see to”. This does not mean that electoral reforms will necessarily be implemented. (more…)

Hurrah for multi-racial Sarawak

Sim Kwang Yang

NOWHERE in Malaysia can you find so many people of different ethnic origins living side by side in peace and mutual respect.

True enough, the various races are more segregated in the urban areas, but outside on the fringes of the urban communities, people of different ethnic origins tend to mix readily over the long period of living together.

Many years ago, I went to Long Bulan, a bustling Kenyah community who have lived there for generations.  I was surprised to find many Ibans living there, and marrying into the local Kenyah community and co-existing side by side in perfect mutual respect.  There, the Kenyah Chiefs told me, that the influx of timber workers from outside marrying into the local population had resulted in the Iban immigrants, integrating with the Kenyahs over a long period of time. (more…)

October 7, 2011

Salient points of Budget 2012

Malaysiakini

The following are salient points of Budget 2012 which was announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also finance minister, in Parliament this afternoon.
Total budget – RM232.8 billion, up 9.4%

Operating expenditure – RM181.6 billion, up 11.5%

Development expenditure – RM51.2 billion, up 4.1% (more…)

To Modernize, Can Malaysia Move Beyond Race?

Michael Schuman

Malaysia is that rare country with an unequivocal national narrative. It goes something like this: Malaysia’s 28 million people, comprising mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians, make up a moderate and modern emerging democracy. Unlike members of other multiethnic countries, they respect one another’s beliefs and values and share a commitment to achieving prosperity. The official religion is Islam, but other faiths are freely allowed and celebrated. This is one harmonious place.

Much of that narrative is true — but not all of it. Malaysia’s economic miracle has stalled, and while the nation is, indeed, somewhat pluralistic, it is no melting pot. Indeed, it is a society where people define themselves first and foremost by race.

The country’s political leadership has in some respects reinforced those ethnic identities. For the past 40 years, policymakers have doled out special privileges — in education and business — to one community: the majority Malays. The program is one of modern history’s greatest experiments in social engineering and possibly the world’s most extensive attempt at affirmative action. But the policies have also bred resentment among minorities, distorted the economy and undermined the concept of a single Malaysian identity. (more…)

October 5, 2011

Prosperity for All – Snapshots of Pakatan Rakyat’s Budget 2012-

Prosperity for All - Snapshots of Pakatan Rakyat's Budget 2012-Sherina Yusof

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim unveiled on Tuesday the Pakatan Rakyat’s Budget for 2012 entitled Prosperity for All. This shadow Budget is an extremely important document and affects the lives of all Malaysians because should Pakatan sweep to power, this will form the bedrock of the economic overhaul promised by the coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP.

It focuses on 5 key imperatives, namely to immediately assist the majority of Malaysians in times of increasing economic uncertainty; to ensure sustainable financing of government coffers with a focus on deficit reduction; to economically empower Malaysians in both the short and long term via technical and vocational trainings, as well as a reasonable living wage; to battle corrupt practices and wastages to ensure every cent spent is done efficiently; and to immediately implement political reforms, which are the prerequisite to smooth economic transformation to bring Malaysia forward (more…)

Pakatan guns for ‘copycat’ judge

FMT

According to Karpal Singh, the Court of Appeal judge allegedly plagiarised a judgment by a Singaporean counterpart in early 2000.

Sixty Pakatan Rakyat MPs are pushing for a motion to censure a Court of Appeal judge for alleged plagiarism.

Leading the pack, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh said that justice Abdul Malik Ishak had allegedly committed the offence while serving as a High Court judge in Johor in early 2000.

The judge was accused of plagiarising a judgment by then Singapore High Court judge GP Selvam and the irony of the matter was that Malik was hearing a case regarding copyright.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament, Karpal said: “We have filed the motion (to discuss the censuring) with the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat.”

“This motion (is in line with) Article 127 of the Federal Constitution which allows for discussion of the conduct of judges if 1/4 of parliamentarians support the motion,” he added. (more…)

October 4, 2011

Pakatan says can add RM15.5b to government revenue

Shannon Teoh

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today that it can increase government revenue by nine per cent to RM181 billion without introducing new taxes.

The federal opposition’s alternative budget stated that RM15.5 billion can be raised through auctions of approved permits (APs), higher oil prices and reintroducing import tax on 200 luxury items that was lifted by Barisan Nasional (BN) last year.

“These APs are currently issued at RM10,000 each by the government. The main recipients are influential cronies. It has been reported that these can subsequently be resold for RM40,000-RM50,000 each. If, in auction, the issue price is RM30,000 instead of RM10,000, an additional RM1.2 billion will be earned,” the alternative budget said.

(more…)

Pakatan’s ‘prosperity for all’ budget

Syed Jaymal Zahiid

 

The opposition unveiled its 2012 budget which emphasises on cleaning up the economy of corruption.

Pakatan Rakyat unveiled its shadow budget for 2012 today aimed at overhauling the country’s “flawed” macro and micro economic management to cut costs while adding value.

The budget, themed “Prosperity For All”, was announced by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim at Parliament here.

Much of the pact’s alternative fiscal management plans were similar to its past budget where the emphasis was on cleaning the economy of corruption, the “typical characteristics of the Barisan Nasional government”, which Anwar said cost the country dearly. (more…)

Budget should ease rakyat’s economic pain

Madhu Marimuthu

As this may be the last budget to be tabled before the general election, Najib may well announce a number of people-friendly measures on Friday, says MIC’s Madhu Marimuthu.

In the midst of speculating when the next general election is going to be held, most however would be keen in the next few days to listen to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s budget on Friday.

As in most years, the budget comes with incentives and regular hikes in excise duties for cigarettes and liquor.

This year’s budget carries a little more significance for most as many are calling it a populist budget, one designed to ease the pain of the man in the street who are feeling the pinch from the higher cost of living, and also to win votes ahead of the general election. (more…)

Shadow budget to rein in high cost of living

Hazlan Zakaria

Pakatan Rakyat has unveiled its alternative budget, focusing on cushioning the impact of the rising cost of living on the rakyat.

“The guiding principle in the planning of this budget is to uplift the needs of the people and put (these) above all else,” Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said.

He was delivering the policy broad-strokes at a press conference in Parliament house, ahead of announcing details of the ‘alternative budget’ at 5pm today.

Among the measures proposed to reduce the impact of the high cost of living and to increase income are:

  • A universal minimum wage of RM1,100; (more…)

September 17, 2011

Tireless torchbearer for Iban rights

Stephanie Sta Maria

In Sarawak where much is taken for granted, Ibi Uding is fighting for her people to one day enjoy clean water, electricity and land ownership.

Ibi anak Uding has taken to wearing white these days. She says it’s the only way to control her fiery temperament which is constantly stoked by the plight of her native Iban community.

To outsiders, Ibi is known as PKR Sarawak’s Wanita chief.

But among her own she is saluted as the Iban torchbearer in her relentless fight for their rights.

And that fight has been a formidable one. (more…)

September 16, 2011

Sabah and Sarawak: when will they become Malaysia’s real king makers?

amin iskandar article 291008 merdeka

Sim Kwang Yang

Today is Malaysia Day, commemorating the 48 anniversary of Sarawak and Sabah independence through forming Malaysia with Singapore and the Malayan Federation.I purposely did not comment on it, since there are far more people nowadays talking about the meaning of this date.  I have also stopped talking about the 20 point agreement signed in a joint memorandum 48 years ago.

We all know that Sarawak and Sabah have had a raw deal from 48 years of Malaysian independence.  The thing to think about is how to reverse this trend.

Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats and Sabah 25 parliamentary seats, which were all but swept by the BN in the 2008 general elections,  Except one in Sarawak that is Bandar Kuching parliamentary seats. The Sarawak and Sabah state governments are also firmly in the hands of the state BN. (more…)

A tribute to rice

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Sim Kwang Yang 

WE are Asians and our staple diet is rice. Rice is the very essence of life, the very sustenance of our existence.

Rice is also a favourite topic of conversation. Upon greeting our friends, the first thing we enquire is often “have you eaten rice yet?” And yet, we tend to take our rice for granted as we forget to pray for our sustenance before every meal. It remains a sobering fact in life that we must eat rice a few times a day.

In Malaysia, we seldom experience any shortage of supply of rice. The government has made sure there is plentiful supply of this daily necessity. We should not take our rice for granted though because we have no lack of experts warning us about food shortages in the world. In Africa and other parts of the world, there have been reports of the occasional famines and some human beings are actually dying from the lack of food. (more…)

August 29, 2011

It is time to stop buying into a lie.

Vernon Kedit 

May I be honest?

I am sad. I am sad because I am told by my government that I must celebrate the Independence Day of my country on the 31st of August. But what is so wrong about this that it makes me sad?

Let me tell you. If you don’t like dry and boring history lessons, you can leave my blog now. But if you have ten minutes to spare, read on.

The Federated States of Malaya which comprised all the nine Sultanates, Malacca and Penang were given their independence by Great Britain on the 31st of August, 1957. The photo below records the historic event. It is the iconic image of Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaiming independence for Malaya. Yes, MALAYA. Not Sarawak, not Sabah, but MALAYA. And this date became known as MERDEKA DAY. For the Federated States of MALAYA.  (more…)

July 27, 2011

For a good laugh.

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(more…)

July 26, 2011

Malaysian graduates struggle to get good jobs, says Straits Times

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Shannon Teoh

Although overall Malaysian unemployment has shrunk, the number of jobless university graduates continues to rise due to low pay and keen competition for vacancies, the Singapore  Straits Times reported today.According to government statistics, 71,000 people with diplomas or degrees remain on the job hunt, almost 20 per cent of total unemployed labour of 388,000.The Straits Times found the government’s JobsMalaysia portal’s listed vacancies to be mostly in manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors, showing that graduate-level jobs are few and far between.

Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan recently told Parliament 2,700 people have been placed in state agencies, and given training to be become entrepreneurs.

But the Straist Times wrote that “it appears that the predicament many graduates find themselves in could stem from their own expectations.” (more…)

June 18, 2011

The Malaysian mindset: No money, no talk

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J. D. Lovrenciear

Despite the many places of worship that we never stop building; despite the many seemingly ethical-sounding slogans we adopt perennially; despite the many social change campaigns that we profess to support; despite the religious events and festivals that we partake as well as parade to the world that we are a unique experience that is ‘Truly Asia’; despite all these, Malaysians appear to have become anchored in a credo that is hard to shake.

This permeating credo is that believe in money – a credo of ‘money talk first’. In fact, it is no surprise to hear from almost most Malaysians the common adage: No money, no talk. (more…)

June 16, 2011

Visit Malaysia: famous for the wrong reasons

Pak Bui

TourismMalaysiahas been boosted since we have been splashed across the headlines all over the world, again and again. Our government’s antics have been featured by the media the world over, for all the wrong reasons.

Perhaps the news regardingMalaysiahas been damaging – but then again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, or so they say.

Perhaps we can exploit our increasing notoriety. Let us use this publicity to offer travel packages called “The Shocking Truth Tour”, to punters from all over the world. (more…)

June 10, 2011

Are Malaysians ready to rescue their nation?

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Are Malaysians ready to rescue their nation?J. D. Lovrenciear

Are Malaysians ready to rescue their nation or do we really don’t care a damn? Before we can answer the question, we need to agree to a few fundamental realities.

First, is Malaysia corrupted to a tolerable level or has the country crossed the line too far? Has the nation’s resources eroded owing to misdeeds and mismanagement or are the elected powers doing a reasonably fine job?

Second, do we think we are getting a raw deal or are we truly happy with our daily sojourns in putting food on the table and meeting our financial obligations to stay reasonably comfortable in life? Or are we facing a nightmare over the prospect of losing our jobs owing to investor-fleeing, shutdown owing to threatening bankruptcy, or owing to worsening pay packets? (more…)

June 6, 2011

A serious blunder by Umno: Najib now faces a new PAS in GE-13

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A serious blunder by Umno: Najib now faces a new PAS in GE-13Selena Tay

The PAS party election may be over but the action has only just begun!

The results have caught arch rivals UMNO by surprise. PAS members have picked what many pundits have called a “battlefield line-up” for the coming 13th General Election.

Among the prominent new faces are Mat Sabu, Husam Musa and Mazlan Aliman.

The popular Mat Sabu was elected Deputy President, replacing Ustaz Nasharuddin Mat Isa (Bachok MP).

Another well-liked but soft-spoken man, Husam Musa was picked for the post of Vice-President. (more…)

Rough weather ahead for PAS?

Zainal Epi

The fundamentalists have lost out to the young professionals, thus setting the stage for further trouble in PAS.

PAS is heading for an internal crisis following the conclusion of the party election where the young intellectuals aligned to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim won all the posts they contested.

The result caught the ulama group or veteran fundamentalists by surprise as they had managed to ward off the onslaught of the young group dubbed the “Erdogans” in the 2009 party election. But this time around, their “shields” were no longer invincible. (more…)

Will PAS’s new dream team be Umno’s nightmare?

Sheridan Mahavera

The election of veteran activists, parliamentarians, state administrators and think tank experts into the top PAS leadership has appeared to put the party on a firm war footing.

This line-up of Mohamed Sabu as the PAS deputy president and vice-presidents Salahuddin Ayub, Datuk Husam Musa and Datuk Mahfuz Omar is expected to not only stand shoulder to shoulder with allies in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but it is said that they want to spearhead the coalition in its march to Putrajaya.

Their election perhaps speaks of the party’s changing membership and support base, and the rank-file’s desire to see the party move beyond an Islamist movement to a national-level ruling party. (more…)

June 5, 2011

Victory of the ‘Erdogans’ bodes well for Pakatan

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NONE

Bridget Welsh

There was a sense of excitement in the air in Gombak this morning as the results of the PAS party polls were announced. It is a truly historic day for PAS and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Stalwart Mohamed Sabu (right) defeated his two contenders for the deputy position (by 21 votes), three non-ulama leaders – Salahudin Ayub, Mahfuz Omar and Husam Musa – were elected vice-presidents, and non-ulama leaders secured two-thirds (12 out of 18) of the slots in the party’s central committee.

The progressive forces in PAS has secured a major victory, overturning the Terengganu dominance of the party. This is the first non-ulama leadership team – except for Abdul Hadi Awang of course – since the 1982 coup against nationalist PAS president Mohamad Asri Muda, where it was stated that there should never be non-ulama leaders occupying the top posts. (more…)

May 30, 2011

Kazim The Crazy Cleric That Preaches Hate

Mariam Mokhtar

If you are asked to watch the clip called “Ustaz Kazim Elias kutuk Cina India?” (Kazim the Cleric condemns the Chinese and Indians?) on YouTube, don’t bother.

It is a waste of 11 minutes and far from being inspirational or motivating, the clip was clearly an incitement to violence and every Malay/Muslim should be ashamed of Kazim. Come to think of it, the Malays who were listening to this mad mullah preach, should have walked out of the congregation.

Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak goes around the nation trying to sell us his 1Malaysia slogan. So if the Chinese and Indians are prepared to accept this unity concept, why has Najib not been able to reach out to Malays like Kazim the cleric? (more…)

May 29, 2011

The general election: A fulcrum for change

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pkr selangor government 090308

Sim Kwang Yang

People in the Malaysian ‘political class’ are now all excited over the impending general election, speculated to be held anytime after July 2011.

Malaysia now sits at the fulcrum of her history. This election can open up opportunities for major political change, which may alter the face of the nation forever.

At the moment, BN maintains its grip, as it still commands a simple majority in Parliament, while holding onto power in 9 of the 13 states.

But after the political tsunami of 2008, BN can no longer regard its political dominance as sacrosanct, for the world is a fast changing place.  (more…)

May 28, 2011

Truth buried in the printed pages

Jeswan Kaur

The mainstream newspapers are the voice of their political masters and this has seen the growth of the alternative media.

Not so long ago “don’t believe all that you read in the newspaper” was said in jest. Now, unfortunately there is a ring of truth to this statement.

Ask just about anyone what they think about the mainstream media and chances are you will get a look of disgust. The mainstream media is owned by political parties and their glossed-over news coverage has given rise to the alternative media.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) has a stake in all the country’s premier’ newspapers such as New Straits Times (NST), The Star, Utusan Malaysia, Tamil Nesan and Sin Chiew Jit Poh through its investment companies (more…)

May 27, 2011

PKR gears up for snap polls, machinery activated

Joseph Sipalan

While a July date for snap polls remains speculative PKR is not taking any chances as it began getting battle ready should the 13th general election actually take place in the next few weeks.

The opposition party held a two-day retreat in Port Dickson for its top leadership and political bureau members with special attention focused on its nationwide polls campaign.

Vice-president Tian Chua said the retreat – which ended yesterday – is the start of the party’s push to complete their polls preparations before July.

“The retreat centred on policy issues such as our (campaign) machinery, training of election volunteers, our website and mobilisation,” he said when contacted. (more…)

May 26, 2011

Video proof of ‘vote buying’ in Sarawak

Tashny Sukumaran

MEO-Net coordinator Ong BK believes he was given the marching order because of his probe on electoral misconduct in the Sarawak polls.

The Malaysian Election Observer’s Network (MEO-Net) claims to have uncovered evidence of vote buying and threats following the recent Sarawak election.

“A longhouse chief in the Tamin constituency admitted on video that he received three cheques totalling RM10,000 on April 13 from an assistant of a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate,” MEO-Net national coordinator Ong BK said today, adding that the video was on YouTube. (more…)

Congratulations, Jabu!

Philip Khoo

Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu admits the state does clear forests to plant oil palm as part of efforts to wipe out poverty. But hang on a sec, says Philip Khoo; what happened to RM19bn in logging royalties that the state should have received from a hundred million trees chopped down?

A Toastmasters International district governor presenting a souvenir to Jabu (second from right) – Photo credit: The Star

The official standard line in international forum is to flatly deny that Sarawak has cleared primary forests to plant oil palm.

Until 21 May 2011, that is. (more…)

‘GST will bury Najib and BN’

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz

Big businesses won’t be paying the general sales tax (GST) and we, end-consumers, will be ‘subsidising’ the big boys.

Implementing the General Sales Tax (GST) will be another nail in the coffin for the Barisan Nasional government. In almost all cases where the GST was introduced, it has raised a lot of discontent.

Governments have fallen because of the GST and Finance Ministers have resigned.

I hope, the government’s tax package is not an attempt to trick workers into thinking that they will be better off after the proposed tax cuts. (more…)

Pakatan must woo like-minded partners

Athi Shankar

‘Exclusive’ Pakatan Rakyat coalition must forge alliances with smaller parties in the country if it is to achieve its aim of ousting the Umno-led federal government.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders have never failed to consistently remind the masses, during their rallies, that the coalition is ready to capture its holy grail Putrajaya in the next general election.

Speakers from PKR and DAP, but strangely not from PAS, would constantly remind us that Opposition Leader and Permatang Pauh MP Anwar Ibrahim will be the next prime minister of the country. (more…)

Selangor – the killing field in GE-13?

Filed under: Alternatives,Election,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , ,

Selangor - the killing field in GE-13?Selena Tay 

It is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s intention to defend Putrajaya at all cost and it is also his intention to recapture Selangor using whatever means.

When he was in charge of Perak UMNO, the Pakatan Rakyat state government fell to the BN’s ‘greedy’ grasp. Now the PM has been personally in charge of Selangor UMNO for nearly two years. But nothing has happened since the controversial death of political officer Teoh Beng Hock.

Time waits for neither man or woman. This means that there is nothing BN won’t do to get back Selangor, whether by fair means or foul. And Najib himself – to his everlasting discredit – has indicated as much. (more…)

Still at a loss over Sarawak polls results

… Malaysiakini

At the tail end of last month’s Sarawak election campaign, Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim addressed a press conference with an almost jubilant demeanour.

Buoyed by what positive responses the opposition got around the Borneo state, Anwar claimed that Pakatan Rakyat could even deny BN two-thirds majority in the Sarawak legislature.

But as the results came out, pin-drop silence enveloped the PKR headquarters in Kuching, with morose party workers collating numbers which, until today, Anwar says remain dumbfounding. (more…)

The henchmen – Nazri Aziz and Ibrahim Ali

The henchmen - Nazri Aziz and Ibrahim AliMaclean Patrick,

Malaysian politics is colored by many things, be it scandals, ridiculous rhetoric or mind-bending policies. However, taking the cake must surely be two unique men or as their critics call them – publicity-crazy, odd-balls who can always be counted on to shoot their mouths off without any thought at all.

Despite a glaring difference in phsyique and looks, Nazri Aziz and Ibrahim Ali can certainly pass for brother-in-arms. One is taller and keeps himself trim. The other is short and rotund. But at the mouth area, the dimensions are strikingly similar.

At times, they even smash each other down, but most of the time they like to hammer away at the opposition. (more…)

May 25, 2011

Push for free speech

Onn Yeoh

Guidelines and amendments are not enough. The public should push for more freedom of speech and for the abolishment of any acts that hamper such freedom. They should do so through voicing their opinions in a civil manner and by being consistent in their opposition to outdated laws. 

WHEN I read the comments by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the de facto law minister, about why the government should not act against Utusan Malaysia or Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali for what they’ve said that has upset so many Malaysians, I couldn’t help but wonder if he has been reading my column. (more…)

May 24, 2011

Days are numbered for race-based parties

Hawkeye

For the first time voters are switching to multi-ethnic parties instead of supporting traditional raced-based ones, says PPP’s Kayveas.

 The young voters have had enough of race based politics and parties that represent only one race.

If one is to believe PPP president M Kayveas, the switch to multi-ethnic political parties have already begun.

Kayveas has come to this conclusion based on a study of registration of new voters done by PPP. (more…)

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