- How to become a gang member?
- The State of the Nation
- Are we breeding bigotry at home?
- End of the road for LDP’s Liew?
- Leaders upset over purported student harassment by teachers
- Education Blueprint to encapsulate quality
- An open letter to my generation - A different kind of freedom to fight for
- Hindraf calls on Prime Minister Najib to get cracking on the Hindraf BN MOU
- Welcome to Malaysia Announcement for incoming flights (Satire)
- Umno adopts electoral college system
- Show ‘Tanda Putera’ or risk permits, director warns cinemas
- LDP in turmoil/ 27 exco members demand for SC meeting
- US seeks allied regime in Malaysia as millions funnelled to opposition
- Mukhriz offers MACC help in RM2m probe
- Facebook says no to Putrajaya’s request for details on 197 users
- Russia warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if Syria hit
- Errant LDP sec-gen Teo sacked
- BN leaders come to Waytha’s defence
- Asian stocks sink, oil prices climb on Syria fears
- RM190 Juta Untuk 1,200 CCTV Di Kuala Lumpur?
- Bidders refuse to bid; help owners save houses
- RM63.0 B Rapid Project Axed - A Petronas Fumble?
- The mystery of ‘jaguh kampung’ pride
- Nayagan and the Indian Gangsterism
- Jehan Miskin jawab isu loket berbentuk salib (3 Gambar)
- Miss Malaysia – Not for Muslims?
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 12:19 PM PDT
Bold move: Some gang members gesturing in this photo on Facebook.
Secret societies are open to all. You don't need an A or a good looking face to join. Just like other societies in schools, secret societies welcome new members, have organised cadres and are active in promoting their activities.
Tay Tian Yan, Sin Chew Daily
In Malaysia, almost everyone has the opportunity to join secret society without difficulty.
If you are a young man, you will have 50% more chance.
Secret societies are open to all. You don't need an A or a good looking face to join.
Just like other societies in schools, secret societies welcome new members, have organised cadres and are active in promoting their activities.
Hong Men, Wah Kee, 04, 36, and Satu Hati are fighting for new members with Scouts, St. John Ambulance, Chinese Society, and Tamil Society.
For some students, secret societies are more attractive than uniformed groups. It is so hard to be a uniformed group member as they would have to march under the hot sun; learn tying knots and first aid; memorise all the rules and go around to raise fund.
It is more relaxing to join secret societies. All you need is to make a vicious face and give orders.
As for fundraising, there is no need to beg. Just ask, "you want to give or not?" After deducting the part for the boss, you can even keep the rest.
Moreover, it is so cool to be a gang member. It can even meet the desire for power, peer fear, and admiration from the opposite sex.
There are also admiration from the society.
Hong Kong-based comic Oriental Heroes demonstrated secret societies as a world of justice. Slashing, burning, kidnapping are necessary means while blood and violence are heroic acts.
Ten-year-old children have already agreed with these behaviours and joining secret societies became their great ambition.
A Better Tomorrow, Young and Dangerous and Infernal Affairs have become classics in the Chinese movie industry. Misbehaviours are covered by brotherhood love while violence are shown more effective than the rule of law.
Fifteen-year-old teenagers are so excited after watching these movies and immediately, they join a secret society so that they can be heroes, too.
Schools attended by Indian young people, their living environment and cultural ecologies are having even higher exposure to secret societies compared to the Chinese.
Please think, how have we actually educated our children and what kind of environment has been provided to them?
Under such an environment, there is no need to teach them. From input to output, it would be as easy as a straight line for secret societies to get members.
Therefore, the headline of this article should instead be "How to avoid becoming gang member".
It is much more difficult to answer this question.
First of all, never ever send your children to secret society preparatory schools. Please do whatever possible to avoid schools with signs of existence of secret societies.
Secondly, search and destroy all gang-themed comics, movie DVDs and books. Please do not hesitate even to smash your 52-inch television if you have to.
Thirdly, track the whereabouts of your children and understand what they are thinking. Develop their ideas of right and wrong and instil the rule of law concept of civilisation to lead them towards a bright future, and help them get the courage and confidence to overcome setbacks and keep pursuing their goals.
Lastly, if all the above methods fail, you can arrange a trip to visit the Simpang Renggam Jail, so that they can see the fate of gangsters. It might bring a shocking and preventive effect.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 12:09 PM PDT
But the Penang government must also be even-handed. The film New Village must also be disallowed if it causes the same emotions.
The Penang government must do what it thinks is right. If it thinks and believes that screening of the film Tanda Putera would likely cause hatred and communal tension, then it must ban the screening. It's not up to the film director to pronounce whether cinemas in Penang are likely to lose their licenses. She is just a business person hoping to recover enough money to repay the loan she takes. Or to justify the grant given her by the right wing UMNO politicians.
If the national body of film FINAS endorses such a move, then FINAS itself is a racist nest.
The Penang government must never be a shilly-shallying government like Najib's. Many of us know the true nature of Najib. He believes in a twisted version of elegant silence. That's insulting Tun Musa Hitam.
To him saying nothing seems to infer some halo of statesmanship around him. So he thinks. Well, if its winter time and he is skating on a pool, his political bullshit is warm enough to liquefy the surface on which he stands. His mind says the film is not good, but his blackened heart wants to go along with the right wingers of UMNO. He plays both sides. Front and behind.
But the Penang government must also be even-handed. The film New Village must also be disallowed if it causes the same emotions.
If the government wants to test the maturity of its citizens, allow both Tanda Putera and New Village to be screened. If not, ban both. The films can either be bad or good. They can't be both. Either they will create racial tension or not. The government must decide promptly.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:52 AM PDT
The people in this story happen to be Chinese and Christian. Which serves as a reminder, at a time when we are rolling our eyes at the ignorance and intolerance of Muslim authorities, that no one has a monopoly on bigotry.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:48 AM PDT
(FMT) - What we are watching now in Sabah LDP, which incidentally is the oldest BN partner, is an ugly all-or-nothing, party-be-damned, fight that is multi-sided and lined up against the president.
"That was a major mistake. He should have made the offer. He could have relied on the sympathy factor if he had played his cards right," said a political observer.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:43 AM PDT
(The Star) - According to a group of parents, more students are expected to be moved out from the school unless the Government takes a firm stand against the alleged harassment of these children.
Allegations of student harassment by teachers at SK Seri Pristana of Sungai Buloh, Selangor, must be thoroughly investigated, said Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan.
"We spoke to more than six students in a classroom with other students present, including those who were photographed eating in the room," he added.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:43 AM PDT
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:35 AM PDT
We lament the state of our country's education system, but we leave the teaching of our next generation of citizens to "other people" - people who in our minds have less going on for them than us.
Abel Cheah, TMI
I am scribbling the draft of what you are now reading on a piece of scrap paper at the back of a dark, stuffy classroom, where I teach my Form 1 students. It's their second English Diagnostic test this year, the reason for the unusual calm that has befallen what would otherwise be a raucous group of pubescent boys and girls.
A kid comes up to me with his test paper in his hand - "Sir, ini betul kah?" His sentence re-arrangement attempt reads like this: "after she saw, a running cat mouse". I don't help him because it's his assessment, but I try to remind him of the countless Subject-Verb Agreement lessons we've had over the past year.
This is but one example of the reality of the English proficiency outside our urban-middle-class- comfort-bubbles. Many of my secondary school students read at kindergarten level, and many are around eight years behind academically.
In 5 years, these Form 1 students will leave their school, but they won't have the grades to qualify for university admissions or even government funded scholarships - unless some intervention is done.
In 10 years, these students will add to the ever increasing number of unemployed persons in our country, giving birth to children who have a 60% likelihood of continuing on the same life trajectory and cycle of poverty.
Meanwhile, over in the cities, we, the urban and educated, are becoming increasingly paranoid with the ever rising instances of snatch thefts, assault, murder and rape. The blame game seems to shift between the police force, the government and the fashion choices of the woman on the street. But these crimes are simply symptoms of a deeper problem: the education level in our country.
It was Victor Hugo who said, "He who opens a school door, closes a prison". Bodies of research point to the relationship between education and crime; in the US it was found that correctional populations (criminals) report a lower educational attainment, with an estimated 40% of state prison inmates having not completed high school or its equivalent, while only 18% of the general population failed to attain high school graduation.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:30 AM PDT
It is ironical that on the one hand, we have this situation with regards to crime being addressed in a hurried manner with these shootings and arrests and which does not assure sustainability anyway. On the other, we have a plan that promises to be a sure and sustainable remedy and which will have long term positive effects effectively delayed.
N.Ganesan, Hindraf National Adviser
The recent high pitched campaign by the police to address the rising crime rate in the country has helped to highlight the extent to which Indian youth are caught up in the whirlpool of crime. The fact that there is such a large involvement of the Indian young is a fairly recent phenomenon. This has not always been the case. This trend was set some 30 odd years ago in tandem with the massive forced displacement of Indian plantation workers out of their traditional abodes in the estates. This crime problem of the Indian young is only one of many ailing the Indian community and is also only symptomatic of the more serious socio-economic problem.
It was against this background that Hindraf put out its five year Blueprint to address the situation of the displaced estate workers in a targeted and focused manner with permanent and comprehensive solutions in mind. The Blueprint contained all the elements to address the socio-economic issues of the displaced estate workers which would have had a direct effect on this rising crime problem. The plan clearly addressed the many economic, social, physical and psychological factors that contributed to the marginalization of the Indian displaced estate workers – the path that leads to crime.
BN bought the Blueprint on the 18th of April 2013 in an MOU Agreement in an official ceremony and made a public promise to implement the Blueprint on returning to power. They returned to power on the 5th of May.
The most significant thing that that has been accomplished deriving from the MOU in the period since is the appointment of Waytha Moorthy as a Deputy Minister.
The unit headed by Waytha Moorthy in the Prime Minister's department has yet to be given a name. The charter of this unit has yet to be publicly confirmed. The infrastructure proposal for the unit has not been bought. The Expert Steering Committee which is supposed to come out with the specific plan for addressing the income opportunities, housing and skills training for the Displaced Estate workers has yet to be even identified. The Budget proposed for 2013 has still not been deliberated upon, not to even mention the planning for the 2014 budget.
The process seems to be painfully slow. It is ironical that on the one hand, we have this situation with regards to crime being addressed in a hurried manner with these shootings and arrests and which does not assure sustainability anyway. On the other, we have a plan that promises to be a sure and sustainable remedy and which will have long term positive effects effectively delayed.
The Prime Minister I am sure is behind the plan of the Home Minister to get aggressive in addressing the crime situation through the police. What he should be equally doing is to be behind Waytha Moorthy and get aggressive on rolling out the Blueprint. He should speed matters up and get the implementation of the Blueprint going. He should name Waytha's unit, he should publicly confirm its charter, he should immediately get the Expert Steering Committee going, he should approve the necessary infrastructure and budgets to implement the plan.
The current lacklustre and half-hearted approach is not going to win the hearts and minds of the affected Indian estate workers whose expectations are sky high because of the public promises during the recently concluded GE. They want "Janji mesti di tepati and Nambikei" to mean something tangible.
We hope the Prime Minster will get things moving without further delay. The Blueprint and its implementation through the unit is the last hope the Indian community places on the government. If Prime Minster Najib fails to keep his promises, he is looking at an imminent resignation of Waytha Moorthy from government and we believe this will permanently shift the Indian voter completely away from BN on a long term basis.
It is now in the Prime Minister's hand which way all this will go. For our part we only want to see correction of a serious historical wrong.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 11:21 AM PDT
7) If you are here on a business visa, kindly note the local sensitivities on the giving of gratuities. It is an offence for a gratuity to be demanded but conversely, it is regarded as a heavenly blessing and kosher if given out of your own volition.
6) Malaysia is a paradise for shopping. Our very own Petaling Street is a must visit for those intent on getting a bagful of the 'genuine imitations' freely on sale. As most of the foreigners in Petaling Sreet are actually the vendors, you will find yourself quite at home.
5) Your baggage may be opened by our efficient ground staff to check on any prohibited goods being brought in. This is in case our sniffer dogs get wet in the rain and consequently, defile your luggage when sniffing around. We do not want to have them (the dogs) put down on account of this.
4) Upon checking into your hotel rooms, you will see a guidebook from our very own Prof Ridhuan Tee in which he very kindly shares his expertise and advice on how to consume your meals in the en suite toilet - as he has reportedly done whilst travelling around the country giving his motivational lectures. He shares some great ideas on how to wash your face using the bidets too.
3) Malaysia is well known for its gastronomic delights. As such, if you find yourself in an eatery where seats are full, you may use the shower rooms or toilets to enjoy our culinary delights. We do that in our primary schools too.
2) All foreigners will be required to have their fingerprints taken upon arrival at the immigration desk. If the scanning devices are inoperable for any reason, we will take your thumbprints with ink. To help save the environment, tissue paper is not provided to wipe off the ink. However, since our inks are edible and halal you can safely suck your thumb to clear all remnants.
1) If you are bringing in dangerous drugs or firearms, you may be prosecuted and if convicted face the penalty of death by hanging. However, please bear in mind that if that were indeed the case, there is also a possibility that you may die of heart failure, asthma, pneumonia or self inflicted injuries pending your execution whilst enjoying our hospitality in detention. In that case, you need not fear hanging.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we will be landing shortly. For those of you coming to Malaysia for the first time, kindly be advised that:
For Christians visiting Malaysia, please note that you may refer to your God as Allah in your worship if you are landing in Sabah or Sarawak but may not do so if you are landing in W Malaysia. In the event of an emergency and you are landing in the sea, you may use any name that works.
Ice Cream Seller
I was flying into Malaysia recently and tried to make out what the flight attendant was trying to announce in Inggeris (or Manglish).Perhaps it should be more appropriate to go along these lines:
8) For Christians visiting Malaysia, please note that you may refer to your God as Allah in your worship if you are landing in Sabah or Sarawak but may not do so if you are landing in W Malaysia. In the event of an emergency and you are landing in the sea, you may use any name that works.
9) If you are a visiting Shia Muslim, please do not engage in any religious discourse as there is a high possibility for exacerbating the level of confusion that already exists.
10) Last but not least, we apologise if you are unable to understand this announcement due to content or pronunciation as we are likewise unable to comprehend the script.
Thank you for flying with us and we wish you a pleasant holiday in Malaysia and for Malaysians, KALAU TAK SUKA, BALIK SAJA.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 10:42 AM PDT
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 09:48 AM PDT
(MMO) - The National Film Development Corporation's (FINAS) Compulsory Screening Scheme was introduced in 2005 to help local filmmakers gain a larger audience. Under the scheme, cinemas must show designated films in their largest screening hall for no fewer than 14 days.
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 ― Cinemas risk losing their licences if they comply with Penang's request not to screen "Tanda Putera" as the film is covered by the government's mandatory screening scheme, said its director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba.
Shuhaimi was responding to the call by the Penang government yesterday to cinemas in the state to refrain from playing the movie, scheduled to hit silver screens today after nearly a year's delay.
"As far as we are concerned the screening should go on as scheduled by FINAS Wajib Tayang (Compulsory Screening) Committee.
"If the cinema operators do not screen the film as scheduled, their licences can be revoked by FINAS," Shuhaimi told The Malay Mail Online via text last night.
The National Film Development Corporation's (FINAS) Compulsory Screening Scheme was introduced in 2005 to help local filmmakers gain a larger audience. Under the scheme, cinemas must show designated films in their largest screening hall for no fewer than 14 days.
They may demote the screening to a smaller hall if audiences fail to reach 30 per cent of capacity for four consecutive days. They may also discontinue screening at their discretion if less than 15 per cent of the hall is filled for three days in a row.
The scheme is open to any film made by a local company or a joint-venture production in Malaysia.
Shuhaimi also confirmed that the movie's distributor received an emailed copy of the directive from the Penang city council to the cinema operators, dated yesterday, requesting them to not screen "Tanda Putera" today.
"If indeed, this instruction came from the chief minister, we find this latest development irrational and incomprehensible as he has not even seen the movie, and this misuse of authority is an embarrassment.
"We are just filmmakers and not his political opponent. Instead of victimising us, he should pick on someone his own size," she said.
Posted: 28 Aug 2013 12:24 AM PDT
(Borneo Insider) - The squabble within the Liberal Democratic Party has reached its second stage with 27 out of 34 Supreme Council members signing a written requisition for a Supreme Council meeting to be held.
They want the council meeting to be held this September 6 at its Headquarters in Kepayan so as to resolve the on-going leadership tussle in the party.
LDP deputy Secretary-general Ho Jia Lit announced this on Wednesday in the presence of the 27 which included its deputy president Datuk Chin Su Phin, sacked Secretary-general Datuk Teo Chee Kang and vice presidents, Datuk Pang Nyuk Ming and Datuk Lim Ming Hoo.
Also present was its suspended Wanita chief Nancy Lim and Youth chief, Chin Su Yin as well as publicity chief Albert Kok.
Ho explained that such a requisition is in accordance to the Party Constitution's Paragraph 40 (A) which reads:
"The Supreme Council shall meet at least once in every three months or, when directed by the President, or on the written requisition of at least one-third of the members of the Supreme Council.
"And, the presence of half the number of members of Supreme Council shall form a quorum for meeting of the Supreme Council. (Paragraph 40 (B)).
When asked whether there's any possibility that the Party President could ignore such a requisition, its Teo replied that this would not be possible citing that Paragraph 40 (A) of the Constitution made it clear.
"No one can depart from the provision in the Party Constitution, so long as at least one-third of the Supreme Council members requested by way of written requisition for a Supreme Council meeting to be convened, then there's no choice," he said.
Teo also clarified that the controversial resolution for a 'no contest for the top two posts' was not unanimous.
"In fact, at the moment, we do not have the confirmed minutes. (All we have is a draft minutes in Chinese.) Normally, the minutes will be confirmed and endorsed by the subsequent Supreme Council meeting but this has yet to be done," he explained.
He further observed that at the last meeting, when the Supreme Council members were asked to give a show of hands, there were at least four members who did not put up their hands.
Admitting that he was among those who agreed to the said resolution, Teo nonetheless said things had changed subsequently.
"Politics is very dynamic in view of the change of circumstances, the overwhelming voices of the grassroots for a leadership change and because of that we respect such wishes. In fact, that resolution has been superseded by events," he said.
Asked whether they consulted the party's founding president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat before attempting to change the party leadership, Teo answered that there were consultations within the party leaderships, but not with Chong.
"I will leave my future in the party to all members and grassroot of LDP. And I believed despite of the challenges and crisis that we are facing currently, I firmly believe democracy will prevail," Teo concluded.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 09:19 PM PDT
It has been reported that the US government is behind the current developments in the Middle East, in particular in Egypt. It has also been reported that the US may soon launch an attack on Syria. What has been largely ignored and which the Malaysian government is now investigating is the report regarding the US being behind the Malaysian opposition in an effort to 'export' the Arab Spring to Malaysia through Bersih, PKR and Anwar Ibrahim. Below is the earlier report regarding the matter in the run-up to the recent general election.
Nile Bowie (first published 12 April 2013)
As Malaysia gears up for its most critical general election ever, a prominent opposition figure has come forward with allegations American foundations organized protest rallies and channelled funds to opposition political parties.
In early May 2013, Malaysia will face its most competitive political battle since its independence in the form of an election that pits Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has governed the country since 1957, against the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition that has received extensive training and backing from US government-funded foundations.
Washington has often seen Malaysia's leaders as stubborn, and as the unpopularity of the ruling coalition increases, organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have significantly greased the wheels to improve the US-friendly opposition's chances of coming to power through multi-faceted media campaigns and support for anti-government street demonstrations.
On one side, Malaysia's former PM Dr. Mahathir Mohamad often caught the ire of Washington for his unceasing criticism of Israel and US foreign policy, while the incumbent PM Najib Razak has toned down the rhetoric and has pursued a business friendly approach with the West, while deepening economic ties with China.
On the other side, de-facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who formerly served as Deputy PM under Mahathir's government, leans closely to the United States.
The National Endowment for Democracy or NED, is a Washington-based foundation that supports democratic initiatives and US-friendly opposition groups abroad, provides over $1 million to various projects in Malaysia each year. The NED has regularly come under fire because of the overtly political nature of its programs, and because senior US political figures have leading roles in the foundation.
In addition to funding electoral watchdogs, human rights monitors and news websites that slant toward the opposition, the International Republican Institute has received millions for its Malaysian programs, which assist "political parties and their associated think tanks in being effective representatives of their constituencies." IRI is chaired by conservative Senator John McCain, known for his extremely aggressive position in favor of Israel and US conflicts overseas, while other leading figures have held senior foreign policy positions in the Reagan and Bush administrations. "IRI works in countries important to U.S. interests, where we can make a difference… IRI focuses on three tasks: helping political parties broaden their appeal, ensuring that they rule justly once elected and aiding civil society in guaranteeing good governance… IRI can help catalyze the efforts of democratic activists in a country -- so long as they want change more than we want it for them," writes IRI's president, Lorne Craner, who previously held a position in the US State Department.
The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs also receives a huge budget for their Malaysian projects. Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, a famous cheerleader for American exceptionalism and NATO militarism, chairs NDI. In addition, both former US Senator Thomas Daschle and former AIPAC director Kenneth Wollack have high positions in NDI. Malaysia's opposition coalition won historic gains in the 2008 elections and took control of key states such as Penang and Selangor. According to the NED's website, IRI received $802,122 in 2010 to work with"state leaders in Penang and Selangor to provide them with public opinion research, training and other resources to enable them to be more effective representatives of their constituents". IRI claims that it "does not provide direct funding to political parties" in Malaysia, but their lack of transparency, significant budget and emphasis on helping broaden the appeal of political parties in opposition-held states suggests at the very minimum that funding is taking place indirectly.
According to the NDI's official website, it conducts "state-level parliamentary workshops in Selangor and Penang" because "opposition parties have had limited experience in government, many of the parliamentarians elected in 2008 lacked a fundamental understanding of parliamentary processes and of representing constituent concerns." Starting from 2007, Malaysians have shown support for Bersih, an electoral watchdog group known as the 'Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections.' Bersih has organized rallies calling for electoral reform, which many criticized as being as thinly veiled anti-government protests due to the participation of key opposition figures. Bersih coalition leader Ambiga Sreenevasan, recipient of the US State Department's Award for International Women of Courage, has under pressure conceded that Bersih accepted funds from US government-linked foundations such as NDI, and the Open Society Institute, headed by billionaire financier George Soros. Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim, a Malaysian senator and former opposition figure, has recently issued statements detailing American involvement in funding and organizing the Bersih rallies.
Aziz said that Americans from US-based foundations were calling the shots and outlining the functions and operations of Bersih. "In the meeting, I was offered to head the watchdog because they said I have the credentials, integrity and credibility for the post. They told me that the movement was to ensure free and fair elections in the country," said Tunku Aziz, disclosing that he was offered some $4,000 monthly plus other perks and allowances for his position. Aziz also accused Malaysia's opposition leader of using Bersih to channel support to his political campaign, "Anwar makes good use of his international networking to get these funds. I don't know whether Bersih leaders knew it or not. But Bersih is Anwar's vehicle to receive international funds under the guise of democracy and free and fair elections. Bersih is not a non-partisan independent organisation. It's Anwar's baby." Aziz resisted overseas funding because he claims it compromises national integrity and dignity. "Local organisations should justify their existence to Malaysians, not to foreigners. Local organisations should not owe their existence and allegiance to foreigners," he stressed.
Upon closer examination of the language used by these foundations, when they claim to be working toward "broadening the appeal of political parties," a critical question comes to mind – when does so-called 'democracy-promotion' become political interference? The work of the NED has ostensibly blurred the line between the two, while masking their overt backing for actors they support in the benign language of electoral transparency, freedom and the promotion of human rights. Malaysia's ruling coalition is far from perfect – it is unwilling to address issues of high-level corruption, elite opulence remains a huge problem, and racial minorities feel animosity over ethnic-based affirmative action policies that favor the Muslim majority. The opposition coalition, which has vowed to eliminate authoritarianism and elite graft, has released a manifesto that some have lauded, while others have been more skeptical of. NED does not conduct a single democracy initiative in neighboring US-ally Singapore, despite having a less democratic environment than that of Malaysia – so what could be motivating Washington to spend so much attention on supporting Malaysia's opposition coalition?
Let's not ignore the elephant in the room – the real purpose of America's resurgence of interest in the ASEAN bloc is to fortify the region as a counterweight against Beijing. PM Najib Razak has attached primary importance to Malaysia's relationship with China, as he looked to Beijing to revive Malaysia's export-oriented economy after the 2008 global financial crisis. Sino-Malaysian exchange in areas such as finance, infrastructure development, science and technology, and education have never been higher. China has been Malaysia's largest trade partner, with trade figures reaching $90 billion in 2011 while Malaysia is China's largest trading partner among ASEAN nations. Washington's backing for Malaysia's US-friendly opposition must be seen in the context of its moves to bolster its military muscle and dominance over the Asia-Pacific region in line with its 'Pivot to Asia' policy. Malaysia has sovereign rights over the Straits of Malacca, China's most critical supply routes that transport oil and other materials vital to its continued economic development. Aside from its strategic location, Malaysia has a booming economy that averages around 7 percent annual growth, it is the world's third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after Qatar and Indonesia, and the country has holds over 4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.Malaysia is a key player in Southeast Asia, and Washington is doing what it can to tip the scale in favor of the opposition after its success in the 2008 elections. In 2013, the opposition coalition is relying on votes from those dissatisfied with the status quo and a large demographic of young voters who want to challenge the ruling coalition's infallibility at the polls. Under the watch of the ruling coalition, Malaysia was transformed from an exporter of rubber and tin into a key industrial player with a strong domestic automobile industry. The ruling coalition has overseen stable economic growth, while promising 3.3 million new jobs in the high-income sector and attracting multi-million dollar investments. As critical elections loom in the country and critics ask whether the untested opposition is able to guarantee continued growth, voters deliberating between the ruling coalition and the opposition will also indirectly be choosing between China and the US. The results of the upcoming election are expected to be the closest ever, and the potential for political turbulence is at an all-time high. The millions that have been funnelled to Malaysia's opposition is proof that Washington has a regional agenda of its own.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 08:34 PM PDT
GLC GRAFT: MB says Kedah govt will accept outcome of investigation
(NST) - MENTERI Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has offered his full cooperation to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in its probe into alleged misappropriation of RM2 million involving a government-linked company during the Pas-led administration.
Mukhriz said he was shocked by the alleged incident and offered the state government's assistance in facilitating the probe whenever needed by the MACC.
He stressed that the state government would accept the outcome of the probe, including the possibility of the GLC officials facing criminal prosecution.
"I am shocked over the news report and we at the state government are offering our fullest cooperation in the MACC probe.
"The state government will not tolerate any corrupt practice or abuse of power. I have also made this stand clear to our executive councillors, assemblymen and civil servants," Mukhriz said while winding up the debate of motion of thanks on the opening address by the Sultan of Kedah Council of Regency chairman Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah.
He was responding to a Berita Harian front-page report yesterday that MACC was probing into an alleged criminal breach of trust (CBT) case involving the embezzlement of RM2 million from one of the GLCs in the state.
The investigation suggested that the money was siphoned from the GLC's account and used for political purposes during the 13th General Election in May.
Three officials from the GLC, including its chief executive officer and managing director, aged between 45 and 50, are being investigated.
MACC special operations department director Datuk Mohd Jamidan Abdullah was quoted as saying that the probe centred on corruption, CBT and money-laundering.
According to the report, the company director had withdrawn RM500,000 from the GLC account and transferred the money into his personal account, believed to be meant for his personal use and political party campaign.
Meanwhile, the second day of the state legislative assembly sitting saw opposition assemblymen being forced to concede that there were serious financial discrepancies and mismanagement in Kolej Universiti Insaniah (Kuin) during the previous administration.
State Education, Transportation and Public Works Committee chairman Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain (BN-Merbok) dropped a bombshell on the opposition bench when he divulged details of management flaws in Insaniah Holdings Sdn Bhd, which had cost Kuin millions of ringgit.
Insaniah Holdings was established by the Pas-led state government to generate income for Kuin but ended up draining millions of ringgit because of poor financial management, cronyism and nepotism.
The revelations prompted Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi (Pas-Pengkalan Kundor) to concede that Kuin and Insaniah Holdings top management, appointed by the Pas administration, had caused massive damage to the previous state government.
The former state executive councillor said he was stunned by the findings and called on the state government to initiate a White Paper to investigate the discrepancies and mismanagement in the state-owned institutions.
"There is so much speculation over the alleged discrepancies in Kuin.
"I am proposing that the state government consider calling for a White Paper to investigate the allegations as we (the opposition) are also eager to know the truth."
The state legislative assembly later passed a bill to amend the State Syariah Criminal Enactment to curb the spread of Shia teachings in Kedah.
The bill was passed with 21 votes from the floor.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 05:21 PM PDT
Elizabeth Zachariah, TMI
Facebook had rejected, on 7 occasions, requests from Putrajaya for information on 197 users.
Data revealed in the first ever Global Government Requests Report by the social networking site showed the Malaysian government did not receive any information from them.
"We scrutinise each request for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and require a detailed description of the legal and factual basis for each request.
"We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests," said Facebook's General Counsel Colin Stretch.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) could not be reached for comment.
The report showed that 74 countries had requested information about more than 37,954 accounts on Facebook and that the vast majority of these requests relate to criminal cases, such as robberies or kidnappings and national security.
The statement said these government requests include basic subscriber information, such as name, the date when they joined Facebook, IP address logs and actual account content.
At least half the requests came from The United States (20,000 to 21,000 accounts).
Neighbouring Singapore had requested information on 117 Facebook users and received 70% of the information it requested.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 05:16 PM PDT
(AFP) - Russia today warned a military intervention in Syria could have "catastrophic consequences" for the region and called on the international community to show "prudence" over the crisis.
"Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa," a foreign ministry spokesman said.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 05:10 PM PDT
LDP president VK Liew says Teo Chee Kang had breached the party's constitution regarding his duties as a secretary-general.
(FMT) - Sabah's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has sacked its secretary-general Teo Chee Kang who recently declared that he will take on party president VK Liew in the October polls despite supporting a 'no-contest' resolution by its supreme council in June.
Liew said the sacking took immediate effect. He said Teo was terminated because he had breached the party's constitution.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 05:05 PM PDT
But, they say the deputy minister must check his facts before making any future statements.
Lisa. J. Ariffin, FMT
There is no need for deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy to quit his government post over his remarks on the police killing of suspected criminals in Penang last week.
Several non-Umno BN leaders believed there was "no reason" for Waythamoorthy to resign despite calls to do so by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaffar.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 04:55 PM PDT
(AFP) - Asian markets fell sharply Wednesday, while oil prices rose and emerging-market currencies sank, as the West stepped up preparations for a possible military strike on Syria over a chemical attack.
The losses extended falls on Tuesday and followed drops on Wall Street and in Europe as investors ran for cover, while emerging-market stocks and currencies came under renewed pressure.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 02:32 PM PDT
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 02:25 PM PDT
The bidders at the High Court Auction House
(fz.com) - The bidders not only showed solidarity in not bidding for any of the Taman Suria Permai, Taiping houses that came up on the block but even tried to discourage Megat and couple Lee Chek Chuan and Ng Siew Imm from repurchasing their homes.
Four houseowners who were supposed to have their homes auctioned yesterday had a last-minute reprieve by none other than the bidders to their houses.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 02:18 PM PDT
The question is what is the problem with Petronas' project planning that they had to delay (already) and now want to cancel a RM63.0 Billion project? This is not good planning.
OutSyed the Box
There is some not very good news from Petronas. I hope this is not a precursor to a more worrying trend. I know you will say that this is Syed Akbar being pessimistic again (Club of Doom). But it is all really happening.
First there was a delay in the RM63.0 Billion project in Pengerang.
That was old news. Now the latest news says Petronas is going to kill the RM63.0 Billion Rapid Project altogether.
This is going to cause disaster for many in Pengerang as well as slow down the bumiputra and non bumiputra economy throughout the country.
The question is what is the problem with Petronas' project planning that they had to delay (already) and now want to cancel a RM63.0 Billion project? This is not good planning.
This is not a 200 unit condo project in Old Klang Road that may not change the colour of the sunset if it is postponed or cancelled.
The Rapid Project is an RM63.0 Billion project that can create tens of thousands of jobs, create billion Ringgit spinoff industries and redefine the petrochemical industry in South East Asia. It puts Pengerang on an equal or even better footing than Singapore as the refining and petro-chemical hub.
Is there any element of "meddling" to cancel this project in favour of Singapore? There is plenty kiasu across the causeway over projects like these. And will anyone get paid compensation for the cancellation?
Shamsul (left) and chairman Sidek Hassan
Among the more inexplicable things that Petronas has done recently under his watch is make undetectable changes to their logo.
While the change in the logo does not make any difference to the seagulls who aim at them, it has certainly cost Petronas tons of money to rebadge all their facilities, ship tankers and other assets. And the CEO now says 'costs are creeping up'.
Actually there appears to be more to the CEO's one liner. Lets relook what he said :
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 02:08 PM PDT
Erna Mahyuni, MM
On the world stage, you have to actually be good. It helps to have a famous backer, no doubt, but making it in Malaysia is a poor indicator of how well you will do overseas. Yet we persist in giving ourselves a pat on the back and crowing about how well we're doing in comparison with, say, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
We are a nation of Little Napoleons. What else can we call it when we have our own Malaysian equivalent of the Guinness Book of Records to reward ourselves for creating new culinary records?
Like over-indulgent parents who treat their children's random scrawls as though they were Louvre-worthy masterpieces, we like to congratulate ourselves for the silliest things. The biggest roti canai, for instance. Really, Malaysia?
This ever-enduring love affair with mediocrity is puzzling. While our own Chinese arthouse directors go overseas and win awards at film festivals, we prefer instead to celebrate the likes of James Wan who may be Malaysian-born but is technically Australian.
Merdeka is just around the corner, but I wonder when we will ever be "merdeka" from our hilariously low standards.
Our government's approach to improving everything — from the economy to the Malay dilemma — is to throw money at it.
Sadly, the money does not seem to go where it is supposed to, with much of it ending up in the pockets of our overfed politicians and their cronies.
The reason our more successful Malaysians thrive overseas is because our country is really no place to gauge your true marketability or competitiveness.
On the world stage, you have to actually be good. It helps to have a famous backer, no doubt, but making it in Malaysia is a poor indicator of how well you will do overseas.
Yet we persist in giving ourselves a pat on the back and crowing about how well we're doing in comparison with, say, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
"At least we're not Myanmar!" a friend once said to me when I bemoaned the state of our nation.
The brainwashing clearly was strong in that one.
Yes, I know that it is depressing to compare ourselves with even the likes of Singapore.
Honestly, how can that tiny island nation still beat us in the things that matter most: education, economy and "most likely to be remembered as a nation by a clueless American"?
The thing here is not to be depressed about not measuring up. We have to learn to face up to our shortcomings instead of denying they exist, unlike a certain education minister who insists our education system is world-class.
Third world, maybe, Mr Minister.
Yes, the bar is high. Yes, we are still far from approaching it much less getting over it. The solution is not to drop it so low we can crawl over it — we have to set our sights higher and learn to say: "We're not there yet, but we're working on it."
So, let's take off our rose-tinted glasses (I'm looking at you, PEMANDU) and start seeing things as they are: not great, with an ocean's expanse of room for improvement.
Raise that bar and let's all learn to jump. And maybe, just maybe, we'll learn to fly.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/opinion/erna-mahyuni/article/the-mystery-of-jaguh-kampung-pride#sthash.6fVY3OPb.dpuf
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 01:16 PM PDT
Just like politics, gangsterism is a career option that does not require education or qualification. The poverty dilemma promotes the concept of gangsterism for survival. When you have nothing, you've got nothing to lose. That's the reflection of the downtrodden Indians in Malaysia.
The movie 'Nayagan' is an Indian crime film starring Kamalhassan and directed by Maniratnam. Nayagan was included in the 100 All time-best film list by the Time Magazine and top 20 greatest Indian film. The film was sent by India for the 60th Academy Awards under the Best Foreign Film Category. The movie also marked the rise of Mani Ratnnam as a film maker and it was Kamalhassan who suggested to producer Muktha V. Srinivasan to consider Maniratnam to direct the movie. The rest as they say is history and the film reached iconic status in Indian cinema.
The story was loosely based on the life of Varadarajan Mudaliar (Vardhabhai) who was a powerful mob boss from 60's to 80's. He started off his career as a porter at VT Station, Mumbai. He started off his criminal life by bootlegging and ventured into contract killing, smuggling and drugs. The famous dialogue from the movie 'Nayakan'; "Are you good or bad?"(Neenga Nallavara Illa Kettavara) and Velu's reply, "I don't know"(Theriyallieppa).
The story of Vardhabhai has influenced Tamil society in general. The tale from rags to riches of a poor Tamil boy to one of the most powerful men in India has certainly impacted Tamil society in general. In life we have been inspired by many tales of rags to riches and most notably are Genghis Khan and Chandragupta Maurya.
Genghis Khan was a homeless boy with his mother who went on to conquer the world and Chandragupta Maurya with a humble beginning went on to create the Mauryan empire. The similarity among these men were their ambition and their rise despite all the social barriers. Poverty forces one to do whatever it takes to release oneself from its clutch.
Chandragupta Maurya and Genhis Khan killed in the name of expansion for their empire and Vardhabhai killed in order to stay the most powerful mob boss. Chandragupta and Genghis were hailed as historical heroes and Vardhabhai went down in history as a criminal lord. Many local Mumbai regarded Vardhabhai as their lord because of his social contribution to the poor Tamil slums in Mumbai. Vardhabhai contributed significantly to the downtrodden slum community of the slums and the writer would hail him as a 'philanthropist'.
The 71% of Malaysian gangsters who are Indian is the resemblance of Vardhabhai. Deprived of education and economic opportunity, the Indian gangsters were forced into criminal life. The story of Vardhabhai has influenced the Indian community directly or indirectly but the impact of such an iconic movie will definitely be remembered by society. If you were to ask any Indian on the street about the movie 'Nayagan', they will hail the movie as one of the best Tamil movies ever made.
An iconic movie at that large scale will have a profound impact on the community. The movie could be inspirational for many poverty strickened youth to change their life destiny. I would rather die receiving a bullet instead of hunger would be the appropriate line in this context for reflecting the Indian gangsters' thought process.
The current press statement by the leaders has certainly sparked national interest to curb gangsterism. The leaders and police force have made statements to combat gangsterism. One of the methods used by the police force is encounter. Encounter is an expression or term for killing the suspected gangsters in gun battle. The method has been used to eradicate the suspected gangsters. The practice of encounter is famous in India and a similar method has been applied in Malaysia based on recent news. On that note, the encounter method will only provide temporary relief of the gangsters, but sooner or later 100 Vardhabhais will rise again. Poverty is a serious social disease and encounter is not a permanent resolution for gangsterism.
The Indian political leaders of this country should be made responsible for the rise of gangsterism. Just like politics, gangsterism is a career option that does not require education or qualification. The poverty dilemma promotes the concept of gangsterism for survival. When you have nothing, you've got nothing to lose. That's the reflection of the downtrodden Indians in Malaysia. The political system of the country has failed them and the Indians are left with very little options but to pursue the crime life. It's not by choice but by 'force' of the poor Indian leadership.
The past and present leadership should view gangsterism as a national threat. The resolution or action plan should be a long term solution. It's a shame for the nation with so many political parties representing the Indians, the Indian leaders have failed to address the issue. On that note, past leaders should be made responsible for the failure of the community and the present leaders have not shown any progress in addressing the issue apart from the Hindraf blueprint promising to curb gangsterism among Indian youths. P. Waythammorthy has raised the matter but only to be criticized by the Home Minister and Defense Minister. On that note, the writer views the lack of credibility and unity displayed by the two most senior leaders in addressing the issue for a comprehensive resolution.
Do we have a solution? The way of the Malaysian political system is just like 'hangat-hangat tahi ayam'. In a few months, after killing hundreds of gangsters, the police will issue a press statement that Malaysia is safe from criminal threat. The gangsters will resume their business as usual until the next cycle. The Indians will continue to be poor and new Vardhabhais will emerge to replace the old Vardhabhais. Just like the economic cycle of rise and decline, gangsterism will rise again sooner or later. It's just a matter of time.
The Indians in this country are living in exile. The social and political dynamics of the nation will not improve the community living standard. The rich Indians will continue to strive and educate their children to have the best education money can buy. The rich Indians will continue to consume Blue Labels. The poor Indian will continue to become poor and ensures his children drop out from school as early as possible to start working. The poor Indian will continue to drink cheap liquor and toddy. There will be only a handful of Ananda Krishnas, Tony Fernandeses and the like. The Muthusamys, Karuppusamys, and the like will continue to exist, not live.
Vardhabhai's story is the continuation of the Indian legacy in this country. The country will be blessed with more Vardhabhais in future instead of Tony Fernandeses or Ananthakrishnas. There is nothing that will be done to resolve the Indian issues. The educated class will continue to become keyboard warriors slamming the government on the Internet with little effect. The Indian leaders will implement programs that burn millions of ringgits but will not have any impact on the community.
The Indians in this country remind us of the Jews of times long past where the community was forced to live in exile and poverty. It took them hundreds of years to return to Israel and reclaim their land and rights. The Indians were brought here to benefit the British. The British deserted us and took the wealth generated with them.
The Chinese community had good leaders to lead them and prosper as a society. The Malays had good leaders to shape them to become one of the most prospering communities in the world. The Indians had lousy leaders that drove us to socio-economic plights. We have no one to blame but our past and present leaders. The trust we had in them has been exploited by the political leaders for their own benefit.
To continue our existence, the little things that we can do are as follows:
- Assist your cousins, nephews, relatives, etc with education. Spend the extra money for their education. The chances for public university is relatively low and the option to send them to private sectors is still possible. Spend that money on them.
- Assist them during schooling by paying their tuition fees. The Tamil school system is a failure. Send them to a good tuition center that will provide them with decent education to survive in future. At least they will have a decent command of English and Bahasa Malaysia.
- Encourage your relatives to send them to national schools so that they can have Malay and Chinese friends that would be helpful to them in future.
Only education can liberate the Indian community. If all the educated Indians in Malaysia would help one or two of their cousins, relatives, neighbours, etc. the chances for them to continue their education is relatively high. That would increase the quantity of educated Indians and this will indirectly uplift the community. The cycle would continue and the community could be liberated from poverty through education. Maybe we could name it 'Educate Family Members' program that is initiated by us without any political interference.
We live in an age of uncertainty. The community will continue to exist without much progress in years to come. The only hope we have is to work hard and look after our family members. Always remember, the Indian leaders will never do anything for you.
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 01:11 PM PDT
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 09:50 AM PDT
When the organiser of Miss World Malaysia Anna Lim said that "As Malaysia is a multi-racial country, we have to show respect to the Muslim community", I wonder: Do we respect Islam or Muslims? In other words, do we respect an abstract concept or living breathing human beings? And what are we doing in the name of prosecuting those who "insult Islam"?
Syahirah, Muslimah Media Watch
Beauty pageants have gotten a bad rap over the years for objectifying women by putting them on parade and privileging their looks over their personality or brains. Some pageants have actively tried to change this idea, by including a talent segment, and making charity work an increasingly bigger part of the winners' duties. One such pageant for Muslim women was the 2011 Indonesian Muslimah Beauty competition, which emphasised women who "don hijab, have Internet and technology capabilities, Qur'an-reciting proficiencies, and accomplishments in sports, academics, and culture."
Miss World is one of the classic beauty pageants, and in an apparent effort to reduce the emphasis on women's external beauty, has dropped the swimsuit component from its competition. In the 2013 Miss World competition, to be held in the Muslim majority country of Indonesia (although not without protests from their ulama), participants would wear sports attire with long pants or beachwear made from a sarong (a traditional textile from the region) during the beachwear segment.
However, earlier this year in July 2013, four Malaysian Muslim finalists were dropped from the finals of Miss World Malaysia. They had competed unnoticed, until the spotlight was shone on them as finalists. Federal Territories Mufti Wan Zahidi Wan Teh had raised the issue of a 1996 fatwa which states that "participating, organising or contributing to any sort of beauty contest is haram and a sin." The reason given for disqualifying them was that as Muslims, they should not "disrespect" or "insult" Islam by joining a beauty pageant.
"Insulting Islam" has been used yet again as a reason for people to "control public conduct of Muslims in terms of dress and indecency," according to a local NGO, Sisters in Islam. It has increasingly become a tool of public control, as anyone deemed to be "belittling Islam" can be investigated, then fined or jailed.
Earlier in 1997, two contestants of the Miss Malaysia Petite contest were fined, while three other contestants from the same beauty pageant were brought to trial for violating the same fatwa. They were arrested during the pageant, handcuffed and locked up.
In a similar vein, the four dropped finalists in 2013 were being investigated for criticising the fatwa, which was considered as "disrespecting or insulting Islam," according to an official of the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI). Under Malaysian laws, anyone found guilty of disrespecting or insulting Islam can be punished with up to two years imprisonment or a fine of 3,000 ringgit (USD900) or both. It was under this pressure that three of the four finalists decided to issue apologies.
The official pageant organiser Anna Lim acknowledged that she knew about the 1996 fatwa against Muslim participation in beauty pageants, but believed it was on the basis of revealing their bodies. Considering that the pageant had changed its rules on clothing to eliminate swimwear, and that the finals would be held in Muslim-majority Indonesia, she believed that these four women had a chance.
One of the young women, Sara Amelia Muhamad Bernard (20) called the fatwa "outdated". Wafa Johanna de Korte (19) added that she found it disappointing that after 17 years, the perspective that Muslim women should not join pageants "is still out there." The division that these two women have made, pitting tradition against modernity, has not helped the situation because it prevents critics from questioning the very assumptions that underpin these two dynamic concepts.
Despite the attempts at making beauty pageants less about beauty and more about personality, some articles reporting on the incident still focused on the visual beauty of these four women anyway. Following the popular maxim that "mixed kids are always so beautiful," the young women's "mixed parentage" was detailed (German-Iban-British-Malay, Arab-Malay, Dutch-Malay, English-Malay); elsewhere, they were simply called "beauties" (here, here and here) and repeatedly described as "very beautiful."
But I find it interesting that despite their mixed parentage, the "Muslimness" and the "Malayness" of these four women took precedence. Even in Malaysia, where most Muslims are ethnically Malays, and where these two terms are often used interchangeably, these young women were not purely Malay in any case. Even though one's ethnic group or "race" is no longer stated on Malaysian identity cards, the Malay part of their parentage was given precedence in order to justify norms of proper Malay behavior.
Furthermore, being Muslim is described as their primary identity. Their protest at being banned meant that they had to convince others that they were indeed Muslim enough, and that being Muslim and a beauty pageant participant were not mutually exclusive.
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