Tuesday 23 April 2013

Malaysia Needs to Get Off the Road to Mediocrity

This is from Bloomberg today.

In his bid for re-election, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has dispensed with all shame. Vote for me, he has essentially declared, or Malaysia will suffer “catastrophic ruin” and an “Arab Winter” of the kind that has undone economies from Egypt to Libya.

Both warnings are ludicrous -- signs of how worried Najib’s National Front coalition is of losing power for the first time since 1957. They speak to the desperation of a government that has come to serve itself, not Malaysia’s 29 million people. And they are emblematic of a leader whose talk of bold change hasn’t been matched by action.

Najib’s claim is this: Giving the opposition, led by former Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim, a chance to lead on May 5 would reverse all the gains Malaysia has made since the 2008 financial crisis. The economy would crater, stocks and the currency would plunge, and chaos would reign.

Change through the ballot box in a democracy should never be disruptive or chaotic, and rhetoric suggesting otherwise is disingenuous. Najib likes to say: “The time has come for Malaysians to make a decision.” Actually, the time has come for Malaysia’s government to grow up.

Najib’s scaremongering, some of which came out of an April 17 Bloomberg News interview, smacks of the re-election campaign run almost a decade ago by then U.S. President George W. Bush. Instead of this vote-for-me-or-you’re-in-danger appeal, Najib should scare up some headline-grabbing reforms that leave Malaysia better off in the future.
Developing Complacency

The country’s biggest problem is complacency. Malaysia Inc. can be a slow-moving, change-resistant animal in a very dynamic neighborhood. Nations as diverse as China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are evolving in ways that have enabled them to leapfrog peers in a few years. They are all competing for the same infrastructure dollars, factory projects, bond deals and stock issues. Singapore, meanwhile, has become the beneficiary of many of Malaysia’s best and brightest, who have emigrated in search of a more merit-based economy.

Malaysia is a resource-rich nation with huge potential. But it remains shackled to a four-decade-old affirmative-action program -- favoring ethnic Malays -- that turns off foreign investors and undermines national productivity. This so-called New Economic Policy was devised by Najib’s father, Abdul Razak Hussein, the country’s second prime minister.

Najib, 59, has indeed rolled back some of those preferences to encourage investment. He did away with a requirement that foreign companies investing in Malaysia and locally listed businesses set aside 30 percent of their equity for ethnic Malays and indigenous peoples known as “bumiputera.” It’s time to go much further and dismantle all race-based policies.
Little Difference

When, for example, can more ethnic Chinese expect to start winning the really big government contracts? Here, Najib’s real quarrel may be with his own government. Anwar is pro-markets and pro-investment, too. When you look at the core of what Najib is promising voters -- less corruption and higher living standards -- it’s not wildly different from the opposition’s message. The trouble is, Najib is navigating a 13-party coalition whose interests are as entrenched as any in the world. His partners are pushing back quite assertively, afraid of losing the Malay vote they could once take for granted.
Money Politics

The opposition has gained traction with its claims that Malay-run companies, from power producers to toll-road operators, unfairly benefit from their ties to the government. Najib’s pledges to clamp down on crony capitalism and to instill greater transparency have been undercut by measures such as the ban on street protests that passed on his watch. Now, many voters hope to wipe the slate clean.

When he’s not trying to frighten voters, Najib is touting Malaysia’s 6.4 percent growth as proof he is a radical-change agent. In fact, much of Southeast Asia also is booming, and the government is helping to artificially fuel growth with populist handouts. Even more than the $444 billion of private sector-led projects ranging from oil storage to a mass-transit railway that Najib has championed, the country needs reforms that will revitalize the system as a whole. The government should be encouraging more startup companies, widening the tax base and hacking away at subsidies that institutionalize complacency.

All too often, rapid gross-domestic-product growth is used as a smoke screen to hide underlying cracks in an economy’s long-run potential. In Malaysia’s case, the numbers mask a government too focused on staying in power to do its job. If anything should be scaring Malaysian voters, it’s that.

(William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Sunday 21 April 2013

A Decision For Shah Alam



 ...or him?

Blame The Serpent?

Zulkifly Noordin was from my school, KEVII School Taiping but he learnt nothing about being "colour blind". But it always amazes me why the Indians in Malaysia continue to prove that old adage (no need to elaborate lah) correct? Way Tha go Moorthy and well done MIC! Check out this photo:

What will Vell Paari now say?


MIC leader warns of ‘Zulkifli’ backlash

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional’s decision to name the controversial Perkasa vice-president Zulkifli Noordin as its candidate for the Shah Alam parliament seat has drawn both disbelief and discontent.

Observers noted that it could be a case of shooting oneself in the foot with regard to Indian votes.

The tremors are also being felt in MIC, with one leader warning of an electoral backlash if Zulkifli is allowed to run under the BN banner.

Expressing disappointment over the decision, S Vell Paari urged MIC president G Palanivel to put the message across to BN chairman Najib Tun Razak.

The MIC strategy director conveyed this via a text message to Palanivel, which was also sent to members of the party’s central working committee.

The text message, which was forwarded to FMT by one of the CWC members, read: “Zulkifli being a BN candidate in Shah Alam is an insult to the Hindus in Malaysia.”

“We have 15,000 Indian voters in Shah Alam, 31,000 in Kota Raja, 21,000 in Kapar and 17,000 in Subang. Declaring Zulkifli as the BN candidate has angered the community.

“We could lose nearly 50% to 70% of Indian votes which could result in losses for MIC candidates especially in Selangor. But with Indian votes being the deciding vote, it could result in BN failing to capture Selangor,” said Vell Paari.

The MIC leader also warned the president that the resentment over Zulkifli’s candidacy is spreading to other states as well.

“Dato Seri [Palanivel], we cannot keep silent and let everyone walk away with an apology after insulting our religion and community…

“I was advised that as a CWC member I have to adhere to party decorum on any issues and I am doing just that. I hope Dato Seri can get a favorable action from PM,” he added.

Contacted later, Vell Paari confirmed that he had sent the text message to Palanivel this afternoon.

Asked what he meant by “favourable action from PM,” he replied that Zulkifli must be struck off the candidates list.

“This is a man whose words go against the spirit of 1Malaysia and BN, so how can he represent BN in the elections?” he said.

Zulkifli landed in the spotlight after a video of him belittling the Hindu religion went viral on You Tube, for which he later apologised.

The former PKR leader is the incumbent MP for the Kulim Bandar Bahru seat in Kedah, which he won in the 2008 general election.

Remember Hulu Selangor? Remember Kamalanathan and his kiss?

By the way, Dato' Devamany s/o. S. Krishnasamy was also from KEVII School Taiping and the member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Cameron Highlands constituency in Pahang. Now his President has drop-kicked him to Sungai Siput to face incumbent, Dr "The Saint" Jayakumar and Palanivel himself has taken the Camerons seat which is considered "safe". Looks like a career change is in the works for Tiger Devamany. Canibalism ala MIC.  

Thursday 18 April 2013

Manifesting The Manifestos.

This is a "must watch". More so because of Rafizi than Anwar. Who needs one-sided mainstream media when we have You Tube. Spread this around; there is only one side to vote for. We deserve the government we get so GE13 is all about deciding what we deserve.

Saturday 13 April 2013

From Porn Star To Eunuch. What Barisan Nasional?

Chua Soi Lek


Component parties in BN apart from UMNO now officially irrelevant.

Chua Soi Lek not contesting in GE13, will lead campaign

NST 13 April 2013: KUALA LUMPUR: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today confirmed that he will not contest in the May 5 general election, but will lead his party's election campaign.

This is the first time in MCA's history that a full time party president is not contesting in the general election.

Dr Chua, in a statement issued here today, said the decision not to contest was in line with the renewal process of the party to reinvent and reinvigorate itself to ensure it remained relevant in the new century.

It was also a move to groom new leaders, he said and added that: "For all these fight and articulation that I have been talking, it would be very self-serving if I were to declare myself as a candidate.

"I want to prove a point that I am fighting for a cause, that MCA remains relevant and continues to lead the party without standing for elected public office," he said.

The former Labis Member of Parliament said his wish is "to continue that role in the general election where I can campaign full-time for Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates, particularly for MCA".

Dr Chua said after devoting full time in turning MCA around, it was now more focused, united and the members were fuelled with better optimism and fighting spirit to face the general election.

Touching on the upcoming election, he said MCA would also be fielding nearly 50 percent new faces, and was confident that the formidable team could put up a good challenge in the general election.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters after chairing a special Central Committee meeting at Wisma MCA here, Dr Chua reiterated that his decision would allow the rejuvenation process of the party to take place.

He said unlike certain leaders in the opposition parties who had been preaching about "change" but they themselves had been holding on to power for many decades.
"For example (Kelantan Mentri Besar) Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz (Nik Mat) is already 82 years old, and (DAP veteran) Lim Kit Siang, 72, have always said to give a chance to young people.

"But for five decades the leadership of the country had changed. We have had five prime ministers, and I am the sixth MCA president," he said.

On him not contesting, Dr Chua said he had informed his intention to BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as early as last year. -- BERNAMA

Win or lose, MCA seat at BN table may never be the same again
APRIL 13, 2013

MCa’s inability to beat back DAP’s assault on its stronghold puts BN’s power-sharing formula in question. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) push into Johor has sent the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition scrambling to defend its proclaimed bastion, but also threatens to put MCA’s already weakened place in Malaysian politics to the test.

Built on a recipe for communal power-sharing dating back to Independence, the inability of the Chinese party to secure electoral backing while under siege from rival DAP at its Johor doorstep may permanently unravel BN’s so-called formula, according to political analyst Ooi Kee Beng.

“The coming elections will pose a fundamental challenge to the BN model of coalition politics with Malay-based Umno and Chinese-based MCA as key partners,” Ooi wrote in Singapore’s The Straits Times.

Ooi noted that while many MCA ministers and leaders hail from the state, its president’s refusal to pick up the Gelang Patah gauntlet thrown down by the DAP — declaring instead a possibility of “lending” the seat to Umno — laid bare the former’s lack of confidence in its own safe house.

“For one thing, MCA’s position as the party representing the Chinese vote bank is under full frontal attack from the DAP.”

But the bigger fear of an MCA drubbing and the resultant lack of Chinese representation in BN, Ooi wrote, would be the forced departure from the coalition’s age-old formula of communal power-sharing.

“If the MCA loses most of its parliamentary seats in the coming elections ... then BN will be without proper Chinese representation.

“Malaysia has to be ruled by a coalition representing all major ethnic groups, and the coalition that fails to project that image cannot be stable. For Umno and its allies, a new formula will have to be found even if they get the majority of seats,” Ooi wrote.

Already, the showdown has taken on an ominous overtone, with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad warning that a win for Lim Kit Siang ― DAP’s declared runner in Gelang Patah ― would result in racial confrontations.

“Kit Siang is going to bring about conflict and antagonism between the races, to wage the Chinese to dislike and hate the Malays,” Dr Mahathir wrote in his chedet.cc blog.

“An unhealthy racial confrontation would replace Sino-Malay cooperation which has made Malaysia stable and prosperous,” Dr Mahathir added.

“That co-operation will end when Kit Siang wins Gelang Patah.”

The Malaysian Insider previously reported Umno plans on fielding its candidates either in all or most of the DAP seats as its strategists believe the Malay vote is more dependable than Chinese support .

It is undersood the BN war room believes Umno candidates can beat back the DAP attack in Johor and other Malay-majority states rather than MCA hopefuls.

“Umno candidates have a better chance of keeping BN seats than the MCA, so we’re looking into pushing more Malay candidates,” a ruling coalition source told The Malaysian Insider.

MCA has since confirmed it will be “lending” the Kuantan seat to Umno.

Some 13.3 million Malaysians are eligible to vote, with about three million being first-time voters, in what is touted to be the closest general election in Malaysian history.


Time to see what change will bring...

Sunday 7 April 2013

Hallowed Be Thy Name...

In God's name... and god as they say helps those who help themselves. In this case while they pray, they also need to subtly campaign. I wonder whose god will win this elections for whom.

Churches roll out campaign for GE13
13th general election Religion in the news Opinion 2013-04-05 10:40

Churches throughout the country have rolled out its campaign for the forthcoming general elections known as "Prayer United." This initiative was mooted two years ago partly in response to various challenges facing the church particularly Islamisation and the erosion of religious liberty.

One in ten persons in the country is a Christian, thus making the church a significant block of votes. Thus it is no surprise that the rallying call is for the church to be "fully awakened, engaged and empowered during this critical season and to understand the urgency and importance of this elections…," according to Prayer United.

The church is generally conservative and pro-establishment. However, as older church leaders begin to retire, they have been replaced by younger and more articulate pastors and lay leaders. Coupled with their unhappiness over curtailment of religious freedom, the church has been searching for the middle ground with many encouraging congregational members to go into the political arena.

Although the GE13 prayer campaign comes under the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), the umbrella Christian body in Malaysia that comprises the mainline Council of Churches of Malaysia, National Evangelical Christian Fellowship and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Malaysia, the initiative is by a movement of nine prayer networks and pastors’ fellowship throughout the country.

Churches also see holding the general elections in 2013, the fiftieth year of the formation of Malaysia, as spiritually significant.

As pointed by Prayer United, "This election season is one of the most critical of our nation’s history as it will be held during the Jubilee Year. This is no coincidence."

Bumiputera Christians make up about two thirds of the some two million Christians in the country mainly in Sabah and Sarawak. It is there that they have been reeling from the impact if Islamisation particularly covert conversion of their young. Another sore point is that they are still not allowed to use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God even though the High Court has ruled otherwise. That judgement is still under appeal by the Attorney General for four years now.

Given this unhappiness, the Pastors’ Fellowship of Kota Kinabalu initiated a call to prayer in 2011 to prepare for the jubilee year of the church. That soon snowballed into a country-wide movement spearheaded by the NECF to usher in the jubilee in 2012 with a forty-day fast and pray known as the Hope of Jubilee in anticipation that the general elections would be held then.

According to NECF, "Having faced one contentions issue after another regarding the Christian faith over the last 12 months, we await a refreshing touch from God to lift us up beyond our human concerns. Equality and religious liberty are the missing factors that cause many citizens to examine the constitution to seek fairness against injustice and an oppressive system."

Meanwhile, Christian Federation of Malaysia issued an advisory on 18 July 2012 to Christians for the GE13 entitled "Vote wisely, vote for a better Malaysia."

It said, "CFM encourages all Christians to be conscious of their political rights--to vote, and to use the power of the vote to elect a government that will ensure justice with equity and the well-being of our nation."

It took care to point out that CFM is not politically motivated nor is it endorsing any one political party.

With many constituencies won by a wafer thin majority in the last general elections, the Christian vote may just swing the final tally one way of another, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

Saturday 6 April 2013

Another One For The Future Of Malaysia

Kashtury Patto...


Our Father Which Art In Heaven...

The Christian flock just got led to the PR side. This was in the Malaysian Insider:

Churches urge Christians to vote wisely in GE13

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Churches have joined in thedrive to educate voters, urging Christians to come out and vote with wisdom in Election 2013, which is expected to be Malaysia’s most intense polls.

In a video uploaded on YouTube yesterday, Christians were reminded of their moral duty to vote.

“We vote because we have a moral obligation to participate in the life of the nation,” said a narration in the video jointly produced by the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) — an umbrella body of Protestant churches — and the Catholic Research Centre.

In the video, Christian voters are asked to vote for a corruption-free country where all Malaysians are treated as equals and there is religious freedom, among other things.

But voters are warned against relying on a single source of information in deciding on their candidates.

“Be well informed about the issues that are most important and urgent for our nation, our rights, integrity and sustainable development.

“Before you go to vote, reflect on all the facts, reflect on the history and the track record of parties, coalitions, candidates. Reflect on your values as a ChristianMalaysian,” the video said.

In the run-up to the elections, churches have allowed training on votereducation and election agents to be conducted on their premises.

Christians have also been encouraged to pray for the elections.

The incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN) administration has been trying to engage with Christians, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently inviting church leaders for a tea meeting.

Last year, travel restrictions placed on Christians for pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Israel were lifted.

But it is unclear who Christians — who make up less than 10 per cent of the country’s population — will vote for, with an unresolved court dispute over the right to use the word “Allah” in the Catholic Church’s weekly publication The Herald likely to weigh on their minds.

Thursday 4 April 2013


I was refering to today, 4th April as the anniversary of my rebirth while talking to JJ and a friend. Indeed it is and dates back to 4th April 1981 having survived a horrendous car crash. 32 years ago! What I did not mention was that it was also the exact day, 4 years later (4th April, 1985), I first met Jeannie.

Funny, I saw this video posted on Facebook today too.