Khamis, 29 Ogos 2013

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News


Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News


Muhyiddin bakal senasib Ghafar Baba?

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 10:51 AM PDT

http://www.themalaysiantimes.com.my/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/DPM.jpg

 

Soalnya, apakah masa depan Muhyiddin seterusnya?

Shahbudin Husin

Walaupun belum membuat pengumuman rasmi jawatan yang bakal ditandinginya, tetapi tidak ternampak pula kecenderungan untuk Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Muhyiddin Yassin bersedia mencabar Najib bagi jawatan Presiden Umno dalam pemilihan parti 19 Oktober depan.

Dengan tempoh pertandingan tidak sampai dua bulan dari sekarang, Muhyiddin nampaknya cukup selesa dengan kedudukannya sebagai Timbalan Presiden Umno dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Jika sebelum pilihan raya dulu, kedengaran juga ura-ura daripada para penyokongnya bahawa keputusan PRU 13 akan menentukan gerak langkah dan percaturan Muhyiddin yang seterusnya tetapi kini semua ungkapan itu sudah tidak kedengaran lagi.

Walaupun masih ada mengharapkan Muhyiddin akan mencabar Najib berikutan beberapa perkembangan menunjukkan Najib masih tidak berubah, ditambah dengan keputusan PRU 13 yang mengesahkan beliau lebih buruk daripada Pak Lah, di sebalik Muhyiddin masih menangguhkan untuk membuat pengumuman jawatan bakal ditandinginya, beliau sebenarnya cukup selesa dengan kedudukan dan jawatannya sekarang.

Sekarang bukan saja tidak kedengaran lagi suara penyokong Muhyiddin mengenai kemungkinan beliau mencabar Najib, malah pegawai dan jentera politik Muhyiddin juga tidak berbuat apa-apa gerak kerja yang menunjukkan keinginan meningkatkan karier politik bos mereka itu.

Selain Munyiddin tidak mempunyai cukup kekuatan dan rangkaian dalam Umno untuk menandingi Najib, sebab lain yang menyebabkan terencatnya hasrat Muhyiddin itu ialah kerana sikap dan pendirian bekas Perdana Menteri, Mahathir yang tidak betul-betul jelas memihak kepadanya.

Jika sebelum pilihan raya lalu, Mahathir ada mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa kedudukan Najib akan tergugat jika gagal memperolehi majoriti dua pertiga, sebaliknya selepas pilihan raya yang menyaksikan bukan saja Najib gagal memperolehi dua pertiga, bahkan lebih teruk daripada keputusan 2008 tetapi pendirian Mahathir nyata mengejutkan. 

Beliau bukan saja menyokong kepimpinan Najib diteruskan, malah menyifatkan tiada pengganti yang sesuai untuk mencabarnya. Ini bukan saja mengecewakan Muhyiddin dan penyokongnya tetapi seolah-olah meletakkan Muhyiddin tidaklah lebih baik daripada Najib di mata Mahathir.

Berbanding layanan buruk yang diterima Mahathir pada zaman Pak Lah, Najib nyata mengambil pendekatan berbeza. Beliau kekal memuja dan menjadikan Mahathir sebagai orang paling dihormatinya. Selain menjadikan anak Mahathir iaitu Mukhriz sebagai Menteri Besar Kedah, Najib juga tidak begitu memberi respon terhadap pandangan Mahathir yang berbeza dengan dasar yang diperkenalkannya.

Najib cuba menjaga hati Mahathir dengan sebaik mungkin dan mengelakkan daripada dilihat bergeser atau berbeza pendapat yang boleh dijadikan modal memperbesarkan itu perbezaan antara kedua mereka.

Sehingga ini ternampak bahawa Najib berjaya menjinakkan Mahathir daripada bermusuh atau dilihat bermusuh dengannya. Dalam masa sama, harapan Muhyiddin untuk menjadikan Mahathir sebagai rangsangan untuk beliau mencabar Najib seakan-akan sudah berakhir. 

READ MORE HERE 

Khairy Jamaluddin Suggests New Social Contract 'to Do A Hard Reboot' Of The Country

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 10:46 AM PDT

 http://m.themalaymailonline.com/uploads/articles/khairy-jamaluddin1-290713_400_309_70.jpg

(BERNAMA) -  He said when the social contract was made in the 1950s, there was understanding between the Malays, Chinese and Indians but it had changed over time.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 (Bernama) -- Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today suggested that a new social contract be drawn to allow Malaysians 'to do a hard reboot' of the country.

"Such a move will also allow Malaysians to reshape the basis of their union and better reflect the challenges of today's generation.

"I am not advocating constitutional amendments but for us to revisit and rewrite our social contract," he said when closing the Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE) - Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) Forum 2013, entitled 'Unity and Multiculturalism: Building A Future Together', at the Institute of Integrity, here, Thursday.

He said when the social contract was made in the 1950s, there was understanding between the Malays, Chinese and Indians but it had changed over time.

"I suggest that we revisit the social contract not to throw out what we have but to find new understanding as there are too many sensitive issues involving religion and race."

He said a consultative council involving all races should be formed to discuss efforts to renew the spirit of the social contract .

"I am not saying that we forget the past but we need new commitment. How we can enhance unity by making radical changes to the education system to foster integration.

"The term social contract was due to compromise of the Malays, Chinese and Indians regarding collective and individual rights, the special position and the agreement between the Malay rulers and the British to create a monarchy with a democratic system, federated and not theocratic."

Khairy said the consultative council should involve all pertinent stakeholders to form the basis of a new agreement.

"Political parties will be invited but they will not be the focus of the social contract, unlike pre-Merdeka.

"If the consultative council can fashion consensus on education, for example, that agreement will be put up to the people for ratification.

"The referendum in this would be for the majority in each ethnic community to be in favour of it; one that would prevent the tyranny of the majority and secure the interest of the minority."

Authorities to go after gang assets

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 09:37 AM PDT

http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/Images/TSOL/Photos-Gallery/Nation/2013/08/30/main_oo_3008_p2a.ashx?w=620&h=413&crop=1&

(The Star) -  The gazette which took effect on Wednesday was made under a provision of Section 5 of the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335) which gives the Home Minister the authority to declare a society unlawful.

PUTRAJAYA: The authorities are not just going after 49 organisations that the Home Ministry identified as secret societies. They will hit them where it hurts – by freezing and even seizing their assets.

The 49 groups have been gazetted as unlawful to enable the Insolvency Department to "wound up all their assets and properties and block all forms of transactions", according to the Home Ministry.

Its secretary-general Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Radzi said the triad groups had 40,313 members nationwide and their activities range from drug trafficking to murder, extortion, vehicle repossession and gang warfare.

He told a press conference here yesterday that the majority of members were Indians (28,926) followed by Chinese (8,214), Malays (1,923), Sarawakians (921) and Sabahans (329).

The gazette which took effect on Wednesday was made under a provision of Section 5 of the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335) which gives the Home Minister the authority to declare a society unlawful.

"It provides for the arrest and prosecution of people who use the names, symbols and premises of the gangs or identify themselves as members," said Abdul Rahim.

Among the most active triad societies named is Gang 04, an Indian-majority group whose 5,440 members in Kedah, Penang, Johor and Kuala Lumpur are known to be involved in drug pushing, extortion, car repossession and crimes involving firearms or dangerous objects.

Abdul Rahim said the others included Gang 08, believed to be formed in the 1970s in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, and Double 7, set up in November 2005, which now has 1,053 members in 28 locations throughout the peninsula.

Abdul Rahim said that some of the recent shootings could be related to the gangs.

He said the police would investigate if there were foreigners, students or politicians supporting triad activity.

He said that some of the gangs used legitimate businesses to make and launder money.

"Double 7, for example, ran food premises and entertainment outlets and sold merchandise bearing their triad symbol ... they all want to make quick money," added Abdul Rahim.

Bukit Aman gambling, vice and secret societies division chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Jalil Hassan spoke on the hold that secret societies had on some people.

"A long time ago in Sarawak, they (triads) even controlled the prices of eggs and sugar in Miri and Sibu and caused a disturbance to public order there," he told reporters.

He also said the symbols of the 49 triad organisations would be unveiled by the Inspector-General of Police later.

The fight for true freedom

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 09:31 AM PDT

 http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/kanak-kanak-bendera-300x201.jpg

 We may have kicked our captors out, but our shackles will never be broken until we, the rakyat, stand united to break them.

 Elza Irdalynna, FMT

There seems to be a recurring theme in my articles here on Free Malaysia Today. Whether they discuss art or socio-politics, inevitably I tend to argue how stifled we are as Malaysians, bound by censors and a biased, paranoid government.

Year after year, we cry out "Merdeka!" every Aug 31. We pride ourselves of the fact that we freed ourselves of our western colonisers without going to war to gain our independence.

But in all honesty, how free are we, truly?

The nationalists in the days of yore are probably the only ones who have claim for the pride of our independence, for they fought the brave fight for liberty. They wanted to reclaim our lands as our own, with our own people to govern it, and prosper from it; to instil our own ideologies and beliefs, our practices and traditions.

However, ever since then, freedom and independence had taken on a very different meaning. Although we are now self governing, we are far from independent.

With an economy that is often unstable, a rising cost of living and a government that wastes the country's income on projects that do not favour the people, we are always living in fear of bankruptcy like the countries in the EU.

Most of our hard labourers are foreign workers. From an economical standpoint, we are in actual fact, dependent.

Furthermore, with every passing year, there has been a steady increase in numbers of Malaysians emigrating elsewhere.

As government scholarships are being slashed with each annual budget, the current trend of the brain drain will leave Malaysia no choice but to reach outside assistance, as we would be lacking in our supply of qualified graduates.

We are already seeing companies outsourcing their work to countries with cheaper labour. If nothing is done to remedy the economy, it will only be a matter of time before unemployment rates reach a record high.

We are not free in other aspects as well. As a Malaysian, one would be a fool to believe that we are governed by a democracy.

Even our freedom to vote had dirty hands messing with it. When the ballots were finally cast, so many of us were naïve to think it would be a transparent and clean poll. No matter the numbers, the results were already decided for us.

READ MORE HERE 

Strive for unity, not personal glory: Razif

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 09:16 AM PDT

http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/Images/TSOL/Photos-Upload/Sports%20n%20Recreation/2013/08/29/thomas%20cup.ashx?w=620&h=413&crop=1&

A 1992 file photo of Datuk Punch Gunalan holding the Thomas Cup aloft. Next to him are Razif Sidek and Foo Kok Keong. That was the last time Malaysia won the Thomas Cup 

 "It doesn't matter what our backgrounds or race are. We should cultivate team spirit and look out for one another. Sports has proven time after time that it can unite people."

Rajes Paul, The Star  

KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Razif Sidek has wonderful memories of the national shuttlers walking as one team during the Merdeka Day parade – 21 years ago at Dataran Merdeka.

Clad in national attire, captain Razif and the 1992 Thomas Cup-winning team marched with heads held high – waving the Jalur Gemilang to Malaysians who had turned up in hordes to celebrate Malaysia's independence and the millions who were glued to their television sets, witnessing the grand celebration.

"There was a sea of colour and people of different races and colours coming together. It was a very proud moment for the badminton team as we marched on," reminisced Razif.

"The badminton team had won the Thomas Cup that year. In the same year, I had also won the bronze medal (with my brother Jalani in the men's doubles) at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

"Many things are vague now but what I vividly remember was the unity among the national shuttlers and how we were able to bring the nation together as one – despite the different races and colours. I just felt so proud to be a Malaysian. I still am."

Razif hopes the spirit of unity will live on in the national badminton team.

He can't help but feel that the chase for honours has become more of an individual pursuit rather than a team effort in recent years.

Malaysia have yet to win the Thomas Cup since the feat of Razif-Jalani and their team-mates – Rashid Sidek, Foo Kok Keong, Kwon Yoke Meng, Rahman Sidek, Wong Ewee Mun, Cheah Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang.

They also had excellent guidance from BAM's heirarchy then – president Tan Sri Elyas Omar, team manager the late Datuk Punch Gunalan and coaches Yang Yang, Han Jian and Chen Chengjie.

In contrast, today, Malaysia do not even have a solid team for next year's Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi, India. In fact, for the last two years, many players – even the ones with potential – have left the national team because of a combination of reasons.

Many coaches have come and gone, without having time to establish anything concrete for Malaysian badminton.

And there have also been issues with the selection process.

"There should not be any place for politics in sport. The players and coaches should help one another to enhance their performance. We should do more to instil national pride and unity among the shuttlers," said Razif.

"I think it's time that we give emphasis to team events. We have to have a strong base to build a good team.

"Please do not get me wrong. I'm not saying that we are not united right now but I believe we can do more to strengthen our unity.

"I feel that many – players and coaches – are chasing personal glory. There is no harm in that but it should not be at the expense of team unity.

"It doesn't matter what our backgrounds or race are. We should cultivate team spirit and look out for one another. Sports has proven time after time that it can unite people.

"I do hope that as we celebrate our 56th Merdeka, we will be able to put our perspectives right," added Razif, who coaches a handful of independent shuttlers – like Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Mohd Hafiz Hashim.

It will surely be a point for new BAM president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff to ponder.

Tengku Mahaleel is doing some ground work to look into what could be done to strengthen the coaching and training programme and create a wider base of talents so that Malaysian badminton will constantly be on the world map.

He is expected to reveal his plans during the council meeting on Sept 7.

Cops seize artwork by J. Anu that allegedly insults Islam

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 01:55 AM PDT

(The Star) - Police confiscated an artwork by artist Anurendra Jegadeva from the M50 Selamat Hari Malaysia exhibition, which allegedly insults Islam.

The show's co-curator Nani Kahar confirmed that the artwork, entitled "I is for Idiot", had been taken by the police on Thursday afternoon.

"They are going to first determine if the work is indeed insulting to Islam," she said when contacted.

Nani said the artist, popularly known as J. Anu, had not been arrested, and that the curators had taken down the rest of his artwork exhibited at Publika Kuala Lumpur for safekeeping.

She declined to comment further due to ongoing police investigations.

A police report was lodged on Wednesday against the piece due to the Arabic words in it, which mean "In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful".

The M50 Selamat Hari Malaysia is a nationwide art festival  that kicked off on Monday and will go on until Sept 17 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Hari Malaysia.

It is organised by Balai Seni Visual Negara (BSVN) under the Tourism and Culture Ministry with the participation of 40 art galleries nationwide and aims to create awareness about Hari Malaysia.

According to the M50 Selamat Hari Malaysia Facebook page, the artists were invited to explore the notions of "being" and "becoming" Malaysian in the context of globalisation, local vernaculars and modern migration.

"Through these artworks, it is hoped that the audience can reflect on the declarations 'I am Malaysian', 'saya anak Malaysia', 'saya bangsa Malaysia' and truly celebrate the 'Malaysian Spirit' today, 50 years after the nation formed," it said.

 

A fight for pussies

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 01:19 AM PDT

What was it you said you want? Ah, yes, you want change. What change? Malaysia Today is in its tenth year and on 13th August 2014 we shall be celebrating our tenth anniversary. Yet after almost ten years you are all still a bunch of pussies that do not dare openly post comments. You are still frightened to reveal your identity.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Some have asked me as to why the comments in Malaysia Today have been quite low of late. The answer is actually very simple. It is because I have closed the comments section to all those who do not want to register to comment. If you want to comment then you need to first register. And if you refuse to register then don't comment.

Simple! Right?

Some have said that if I refuse to allow those who refuse to register to post comments then I am losing a lot of comments.

Losing? What do you mean by 'losing'? You only lose things you value or treasure. You cannot lose rubbish. In fact, if someone steals your rubbish you will be very pleased. It saves you the trouble of getting rid of it. So how can you use a phrase like 'losing comments'? It pleases me to 'lose' these comments.

Do you think I value or treasure comments from people who comment without revealing who they are? Anonymous comments are not worth shit. You can shove these anonymous comments up where the sun does not shine for all I care. You may think that your anonymous comments are so great. Well, think again. Maybe you should raise your standards a wee bit. They are too low for my liking.

Oh, and do I sound very arrogant? I hope so because I am arrogant. And if you think I am not arrogant then you know zilch. Do you think I would do what I have been doing for the last 35 years without having an arrogant streak in my body? Of course I am arrogant. Arrogance is my middle name. Arrogance is what makes me what I am and makes me do what I do.

I am arrogant enough to write hundreds of articles every year for the last almost 20 years in my own name. My articles carry the name 'Raja Petra Kamarudin'. If I were a pussy like you who post comments under false names then I would not put 'Raja Petra Kamarudin' to every article that I write. So my arrogance makes me write sensitive and controversial articles and I put my name to them.

Do you know what else my arrogance makes me do? My arrogance makes me swim against the current. While one side plays safe and supports Barisan Nasional and the other side also plays safe and supports Pakatan Rakyat, I oppose both and propagate the middle ground.

Would you dare do that? Of course you would not! You are pussies. So you will support either Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat. You will never dare oppose both. That is for arrogant people like me to do. Pussies like you would never dare do something that will make you unpopular.

Are arrogant people like me worried about popularity? No. Only pussies like you worry about popularity. Arrogant people like me will tell you to take your popularity and shove it up where the sun does not shine.

The world needs arrogant people. We cannot have a world that is clearly divided between Jews and Christians or Catholics and non-Catholics or Muslims and Jews or Buddhists and Hindus or whatever. That would make the world a most boring place. We need a world where arrogant people like me can tell Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., that ALL religions are bullshit and you can take your religion and shove it up where the sun does not shine.

Would pussies like you dare do that? Of course not! Only arrogant people like me would dare do something like that. So we need arrogant people like me or else the religionists will bully us and persecute us just because we refuse to believe the bullshit that they believe.

So don't knock arrogance. Arrogance does have its usefulness. Without arrogant people like me politicians and religionists will bully us and push us around. Only arrogant people like me will stand up to them and tell them to take their opinions and beliefs and shove it up where the sun does not shine.

Another pussy Blogger would worry about blocking comments lest the popularity of their Blog declines. I not only block your comments but I also tell you to stop coming to Malaysia Today if you are not happy with that.

Do you think I worry about whether you come to Malaysia Today? Do you think I worry about whether you read Malaysia Today? Let me put it this way. If you do not come to Malaysia Today it is not my loss. I lose nothing. It is your loss because then you will remain ignorant like the ignorant person you already are till the day you die. So stay away from Malaysia Today and stay stupid. I lose nothing by you remaining stupid.

I know what you are now going to say. You are going to say that I think I am so clever. Think I am clever? I don't think I am clever. I know I am clever. I know I am clever because I know you are a bunch of pussies who do not even dare post comments in your own names.

What was it you said you want? Ah, yes, you want change. What change? Malaysia Today is in its tenth year and on 13th August 2014 we shall be celebrating our tenth anniversary. Yet after almost ten years you are all still a bunch of pussies that do not dare openly post comments. You are still frightened to reveal your identity.

So what change are you talking about? You do not dare change. You were pussies 15 years ago when we first launched the Reformasi Movement in 1998 and you are still pussies today. So what fucking change are you talking about? You must first change yourself before you talk about changing the country or changing the government.

 

'Tanda Putera' A Must-watch Movie For All

Posted: 29 Aug 2013 12:07 AM PDT

(Bernama) -- 'Tanda Putera', a film directed by Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, is a must-watch movie for all Malaysians, according to Umno Youth executive council member Lokman Noor Adam.

As such, he also called on the people, especially the young generation, to watch the historical biographical film about Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his then deputy Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman set around the time after the 1969 racial riots.

He said he personally had watched the movie twice and admitted that it really touched him emotionally.

"I cried half the time watching the movie.

"Besides showcasing the struggles of our previous leaders in restoring peace after the May 13 riot, the movie revolves around Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Dr Ismail who hide their illnesses to ensure political stability," he said in a statement here Thursday.

Bernama check at the TGV cinemas in the city today found that most of the audience agreed that the movie was remarkable as it promoted the message of struggles.

Freelance photographer, Ng Koh Ying said the multi-racial people of Malaysia must watch the movie as they would understand the struggles and decisions made by the two former important leaders in the country.

"Although the Penang government decided to ban the screening of the movie in the state, we don't have to follow their path and being unsupportive to the local film industry, especially when the movie was based on the country's history," said the Sarawak-born woman after watching the movie here today.

Raja Mohd Nazri Raja Md Esa, 27, also described the movie as a historical material that would help the young generation in understanding the meaning of struggles.

"The two statesmen had strived to carry out various plans to ensure stability and the future of the country. As the new generation, we should not gamble with what we have now," he said.

Meanwhile, Seniman president Rozaidi Jamil, or better known as Zed Zaidi, said the move taken by the Penang government to ban the screening of the film in the state was seen as an attempt to hide a piece of the country's history from the people, especially the younger generation.

"The state government has no power to stop the cinemas from screening certain films, it is actually up to Finas, LPF (Film Censorship Board) and the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

"It is a very good movie and it is a story that needs to be told to the current generation. Don't judge a book by its cover. Just watch it first," he told Bernama when met at the Malaysian National News Agency's Aidilfitri Open House here today.

In GEORGE TOWN, political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said asking cinemas not to screen the movie had also caused the openness and freedom bandied about by the Penang government and the opposition to be questioned by many.

"The move will be misinterpreted by the people. They should allow the movie to be watched by the people first before making any claims," he told Bernama when contacted.

Sivamurugan said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng himself should watch the movie first before claiming that it had sensitive and defamatory elements against DAP and that it could pose threats to national unity and harmony.

Penang Malays Association (Pemenang) president Datuk Seri Mohd Yussof Latiff, on the other hand, said the movie should be able to teach the audience about what happened in the country 44 years ago.

"The film is approved by Filem Negara. The tragedy of 1969 is real...we should look at it the positive way and learn from it for the sake of our next generations.

"Let it be a reminder for us not to do things that can affect national unity," he said.

Student Anis Nadia Ismail, 21, also expressed dissatisfaction over the state government's decision to ban the screening of the movie in Penang.

"It's a shame that the movie cannot be screened here when the spirit of patriotism among the young generation is declining.

"With this kind of film being produced, at least it can enhance public awareness, especially among the young generation, about the importance of maintaining racial harmony and unity," she said.

In KUALA TERENGGANU, the Malaysian Malay Education Body (Gagasan) secretary-general Syed Anuar Syed Mohamad had cynically congratulated the Penang chief minister for making such a request to the cinemas in the state.

Syed Anuar also challenged the other two opposition-led state governments, Selangor and Kelantan, to take the same action.

"This is the true colour of the opposition leaders who not only have no love for the country, but will try their level best to confuse the people to the extent of creating tension in the country.

"We are confident that if they continue doing this, Malaysia will not enjoy peace in the future and may suffer a lot more than Egypt and Syria," he told Bernama when contacted here today.

 

Nurul Izzah and English

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 10:21 PM PDT

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/nurul-izzah-mahathir.jpg 

If the new age leaders don't have the vision, the political careers they are pursuing in the name of the 'rakyat' serves no meaning. If the project requires billions in creating an excellent education system, I believe the tax payers will support this mammoth effort. 

Natesan Visnu 

Nurul Izzah Anwar made a statement criticizing Dr. Mahathir that he wasted RM 8 billion through the Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) program. Nurul further added that a study conducted by UNESCO stated that technical subjects should be taught in students' mother tongue. However, the writer strongly disagrees with Nurul's view on the subject.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 250,000 different words not including technical and scientific terms. On a similar note, our Kamus Dewan Fourth Edition has over 49,000 words/entries. The Malay language has many loaned words from Sanskrit, Persian, Tamil, Telugu, Greek, Latin, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese dialects.

The recent development of the Malay language relies heavily on Arabic words for religious terms and English for technical and scientific terms. However, some of our Malay words have been loaned to English and other languages i.e. orangutan, babirusa, gong, tuak, durian, rambutan and launch (lancha-boat). In comparison, The Institute of Language and Literature's (Dewan Bahasa Pustaka's) progress in developing the Malay language is not on par with the English words development by Oxford University Press.

Dewan Bahasa Pustaka does not have the resources or capability to develop the Malay language to be recognized as a lingua franca (working language). On that note, our education system needs to prioritize increasing English Users and English Speakers. The difference between speakers and users are, the speaker can read, write and form sentences in English while the user would only be able to read in English.  

In China, it is estimated about 300 million of the population are English users. In comparison to Malaysia, we do not have the data or statistics to analyze the quantum of speakers and users. Judging on the quality of graduates joining the work force, education system and the average Malaysian on the street, we are rest assured our speakers and users' rate is declining day by day with the fiasco in our education system and the government's language development programs.

The writer is not certain with UNESCO's report that technical subjects must be taught in the student's mother tongue. However, based on Noam Chomsky's theory of universal grammar (UG), the ability to learn grammar is hard wired to the brain. Chomsky argued that the human brain contains certain rules for organizing language and a common structural basis. Relating to the Malay and English language, the Malay language has borrowed heavily from English and shares the common structural basis in the context of words and the alphabet. On that note, implementing to teach science and mathematics in English at primary school level is achievable.

The aristocrats, politicians and top entrepreneurs are blessed with good education that allowed them to prosper. For example, Ananda Krishnan, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Francis Yeoh went to Victorian Institution (VI). VI is a premier English medium school back in the days. The strong foundation in the English language has certainly influenced their lives. We need 100s of Victoria Institutions, St. John's, Methodist Boys Schools and the like for the development of our schooling system. The common theme among the cluster schools is the importance of the English language. The cluster schools must be translated to all schools across Malaysia and importance for the English language must be prioritized.

Nurul Izzah, Khairy Jamaluddin, and the influential leaders' sons and daughters have a strong foundation in the English language. The common trait for their educational background is their schooling days spent in schools that emphasize the English language. The ability to learn the language has helped them in their political or business career. The new breed of leaders should use their educational background to develop the fundamental schooling system that incorporates English language as one of the medium of instruction.

People like Khairy, Nurul, Razizi and the like should come forward and develop a comprehensive blueprint for the Malaysian education system. The leaders have shown their ability to lead, but the failure to nurture young minds will have no meaning for their leadership. Nurturing starts from now when drastic measures are taken to revamp the education system.  

The writer challenges the new breed of leaders to create an education system that will benefit the poor Iban, Kadazan, Penan, Orang Asli, Murut, etc. In ten years, we must be able to walk into any rural school in Malaysia and the Iban or Orang Asli children must be able to converse in English. If the new age leaders don't have the vision, the political careers they are pursuing in the name of the 'rakyat' serves no meaning. If the project requires billions in creating an excellent education system, I believe the tax payers will support this mammoth effort.

The 'rakyat' dreams someday that Ibanese and Kelantanese would converse fluently in English with confidence. Someday a ten year old Kadazan boy would read an English story book and a paddy farmer's son in Kedah would write a letter in English to Nurul Izzah and thank her for being a visionary leader. The effort to liberate the poor Malaysian children starts by empowering them with the English language. This indeed is a challenge for the leaders that aspires to lead Malaysia into the knowledge era.

The only difference between us and Singapore is the command of the English language. Lee Kuan Yew understood the importance of English. The English language was absorbed into the development of the country and his vision has produced results. The strong foundation in the English language has attracted American/ European traders, merchants, investors, etc to set up their operations in Singapore. The advantage of having good English has allowed the universities and research institutes to develop their knowledge base in a wide range of fields. We started at the same time, but today Singapore is a developed country but we are still developing. We could learn from our neighbor the power and influence of the English language in developing a country.

The graduates from local universities cannot compete with foreign graduates. The language barrier is limiting them from pursuing a desirable career. Many business organizations in Malaysia emphasize having command of the English language as part of the recruitment criteria. The local graduates are intelligent but because of the language, they can't compete with the foreign graduates. We can't blame them because they have no opportunity to master the language from school to university because of the education system.

For Nurul, you are blessed with good English and you could enjoy any Radiohead's album. You could understand Thom Yorke's lyrics easily because of the language. Imagine someone that doesn't have the privilege to learn the language; they will never be able to listen to Radiohead and understand the lyrics of Fake Plastic Tree. Liberate the poor Malaysian and you have a chance to do so. 

Not Yet the Real Merdeka

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 10:16 PM PDT

http://www.malaysiandigest.com/images/images/Kee_Thuan_Chye.jpg

Flying the flag is only for show, and if we are truly patriotic, we don't even need to do that. As for celebration, what is there to celebrate this year? 

Kee Thuan Chye
As we prepare to commemorate Merdeka Day this Saturday – notice that I do not say "celebrate" – it would be timely to acknowledge that the real "Merdeka" has not happened yet.
 
I say this because we are still not free. We are still under the thrall of the masters who took over from the colonial ones in 1957. They are no different in their intent to oppress us. In fact, over the last few decades especially, they have proven to be even more oppressive. And if the British imperialists divided us in order to better rule over us, the current masters have outdone them in this respect by employing the mechanism of religion on top of that of race.
 
The current masters also continue to use the instruments of power inherited from the British to control us, such as the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Official Secrets Act, and the Internal Security Act (ISA) which was replaced by the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act and the Public Assembly Act.
 
In terms of freedom, we have hardly progressed. When I look back on my growing-up years in the 1960s, I find little difference between then and now. People viewed as Communists (even if they were not) or political threats were taken in under the ISA. Youngsters barely out of school were arrested, and some were robbed of their youth for as many as a dozen years.
 
Even former government ministers were not spared. Aziz Ishak was a minister in Tunku Abdul Rahman's Cabinet until he resigned in 1963 because of irreconcilable differences with the Tunku. Two years later, he was detained under the ISA for allegedly collaborating with Indonesians to set up a government-in-exile. He denied this and wrote a book about his detention called Special Guest. The book was banned. The media was indeed controlled.
 
Dissent, especially if it came from a superior intelligence, was also not tolerated. Lee Kuan Yew was found to be too outspoken. So Singapore got expelled from Malaysia in 1965.
 
As the rock band The Who sang: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
 
The new penjajah (coloniser) still holds sway over us. These days, we tend to refer to it as the Umno-BN (Barisan Nasional) government. The emphasis is on "Umno" because it is the biggest party in the ruling coalition and, clearly, the one that calls all the shots.
 

It now wants us to fly the Malaysian flag to show our patriotism and celebrate the 56th anniversary of our independence. But flying the flag is only for show, and if we are truly patriotic, we don't even need to do that. As for celebration, what is there to celebrate this year?

Read more at: http://my.news.yahoo.com/blogs/bull-bashing/not-yet-real-merdeka-062452935.html 

In the Chinese Press: Chinese schools will die out in 14 years - Dong Zong

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 08:00 PM PDT

Chan Wei See, fz.com

Dong Zong sent out a stern warning that Chinese primary schools and Chinese Independent Schools would be eliminated in 14 years if the Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is implemented, Sin Chew Daily reported.

"I can assure you that Chinese primary schools and Independent schools will become history after 14 years should the preliminary report of the Education Blueprint 2013-2025 be passed in the Parliament," Dong Zong (The United Chinese School Committees' Association) deputy chairman Chow Siew Hon said in a press conference yesterday.

To stress his point, he compared the situation to the Sept 11 disaster. "We all know that the Sept 11 disaster was a tragedy for the United States. Should we not continue to give attention to the issue, I am afraid that a great tragedy similar to the Sept 11 disaster will befall Chinese education."

Hence, Chow pleaded with the 2,000 Chinese groups nationwide as well as citizens of all races who cherish mother tongue education to support Dong Zong's protest against the Education Blueprint.

In a statement released yesterday, Dong Zong admonished the Chinese community that the price of compromising or giving in is the transformation of Chinese schools as the ultimate goal or fundamental nature of the blueprint is to implement the policy of assimilation.

Meanwhile, Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Teachers Association) urged the government to make public the revised version of the Education Blueprint to allow the public to have an insight into it, adding that the government should give an assurance that the revised version meets the interests of all races.

Govt urged to take action against MCC

Both Dong Zong and Jiao Zong lashed out at the Malay Consultative Council (MCC) which passed several resolutions in its Premier National Education Congress, urging the government to implement a single education system, making Bahasa Melayu the main medium of instruction in schools and disapproving of the setting up of new Chinese Independent schools, Sin Chew Daily reported.

Jiao Zong was unhappy with MCC's remarks, and urged the government to take stern action against those who made extremist and racist statements to ensure that national development stays on a sound footing.

"Those statements are not only misleading but also attempting to the stir up racial sentiments. It has undermined the harmonious environment of a peaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups that has been fostered since Merdeka."

Meanwhile Chow from Dong Zong said in responding to a reporter's question, "Indeed I'm not familiar with the group (MCC). I think they have forgotten the contributions that the Chinese have made to the country from the beginning. We should be treated fairly."

He pointed out that national unity will be undermined should the government allow citizens to make such racist remarks.

Undercurrent against Lim Guan Eng in Johor

As DAP is preparing for a re-election, an undercurrent of resentment has been brewing in Johor against its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Oriental Daily News reported.

It is seen as a backlash against the DAP Central Executive Committee's (CEC) decision to put "parachute candidates" in Johor in the general election instead of accepting the proposed candidates of the grassroots members.

The daily was told that the dissatisfaction against Lim Guan Eng may erupt in DAP CEC election scheduled for next month.

It quoted a grassroots leader as saying, voices of resentment have been heard in Kulai and Muar and that central delegates from southern and northern Johor are preparing to cast an "emotional vote" in the election to bring down the number of votes for Guan Eng.

Meanwhile it was heard that Kulai division liaison committee chairman Ng Pack Seong and ten other central delegates from the division will boycott the election in protest of the DAP CEC's decision to appoint parachute candidates in the Kulai parliamentary seat and one of its state seats.

Ng confirmed to the daily that he would not vote in the poll as scheduled on Sept 29 and that he would not do rent a bus to bring delegates to the assembly. He also would not prepare for the central delegates to vote in the election as before.

The daily named six DAP parachute candidates in Johor. They were Lim Kit Siang (Gelang Patah), Liew Chin Tong (Kluang), Teo Nie Ching (Kulai), Mahdzir Ibrahim (Tanjung Piai), Ramakrishnan Suppiah (Labis) and Wong Shu Qi (Senai).


 

The fight that is oft forgotten

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 06:05 PM PDT

Today, we ban books and movies. Tomorrow, we will ban speech and opinion. Finally, we will ban thought. And that would be when Malaysia becomes what England was 500 years ago. In England, 500 years ago, they killed you for thinking the wrong thing. Hmm…come to think of it, they still do this in some parts of the world.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Najib puts Waythamoorthy in his place

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today rebuked P. Waythamoorthy, telling him that he had to toe the official line as he is a member of the administration.

"As a member of the government, you must toe the line, you must have one voice," he said at a press conference in his office in Putrajaya.

The PM's rebuke follows the criticism the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department received from three members of the Cabinet - Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, and Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin - for questioning the police's shooting of five gang members in Penang last week.

READ MORE HERE

************************************************

Guan Eng: We merely 'advised' cinemas not to screen Tanda Putera

Less than 24 hours after issuing a letter to cinemas in Penang not to screen the Malay movie Tanda Putera, the state government has issued another letter saying they were merely "advised" against screening the controversial movie, not to ban it.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the local authorities had inadvertently sent the earlier letter as a directive when the state executive council had decided that it would issue an advisory to cinemas planning to screen the movie.

"We will not stop any cinemas in Penang from screening the movie and the people are free to watch it.

"The earlier letter was issued upon the advice of the legal adviser of the Penang Municipal Council. The Seberang Prai Municipal Council followed suit and issued a similar letter to cinemas on the mainland," he told a press conference at his office here on Thursday.

READ MORE HERE

************************************************ 

Audience: Tanda Putera not offensive to DAP

Cinema fans who viewed Tanda Putera at GSC Mid Valley today did not feel that the movie was insensitive to Lim Kit Siang or the DAP.

"The May 13 riots is a fact. I don't see it as an issue.

"The movie is more of a sad story in which leaders sacrificed for the greater good of the country," said 33-year-old government servant Zaidi Sidek.

"DAP made noise for nothing," said Zaidi who took leave from work to catch the first show of the movie.

The first show of Tanda Putera only attracted a dozen people. Of the dozen, majority were made up of journalists.

This is due to the publicity over the negative portrayal of the Chinese community and certain DAP leaders in the movie.

In the movie, there is a scene of a DAP member urinating on the flag and this was followed by the scene of the character of former Selangor Menteri Besar Harun iIdris complaining to the prime minister about the incident.

READ MORE HERE

************************************************

P. Waythamoorthy is not the first government leader or even the first Indian leader to be 'put in his place'. At least Moorthy was not sacked (at least not yet) or suspended for six months like some of those before him. Others before him have suffered a worse fate than just a 'teguran'.

Malaysia follows the British Westminster system of government. This means if you do not agree with your party's stand or with the policies of the government you are serving (and you feel your principles just do not allow you to keep quiet and tolerate what you view as a transgression) then you resign.

This is what Zaid Ibrahim did and for that we must commend him on his principles -- even though you may be of the opinion that Zaid should support Anwar Ibrahim in his bid to become Malaysia's Prime Minister and not oppose the chosen one or God's gift to Malaysia.

This is one of the differences between the British political system and the American system. In America, the CEO needs to be chosen based on direct elections. Hence he may win the American presidency but that does not mean his party will control the majority in government. In Malaysia, based on the British system, the CEO will be the person whose party controls the majority in government -- meaning majority seats and not majority votes (as Malaysians have now realised).

Toeing the party line is very much a British thing. In America, the CEO needs to campaign amongst his party leaders and lobby for their support. In America, it is not strange to see the President not getting the support of his own party whilst the other side supports him instead. Hence certain bills may get defeated because the President's own party voted against it or certain bills may get passed because the other side voted in support of it.

Is the British system better than the American system, or vice versa? I don't think we should look at it on those terms. Both systems are about politics and in politics there can never be such a thing as a better system. Politics, whatever system you may apply, is about power and power corrupts while absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no doubt about that. Hence there must be a certain amount of corruption to attain or retain power. It can never be achieved otherwise.

And in politics you also need to compromise part of your principles. No one survives in the political arena unless he or she is prepared to compromise on these principles. Hence you need to be slightly hypocritical to get ahead in politics. You cannot always say what you mean or mean what you say and you must always play to the gallery and say what people like to hear rather than what they should hear.

Another thing about politics is that you must be a master of double standards. Politics must be played on the basis of do what I say and not do what I do. And you will support certain things that serve your agenda and oppose certain things that are detrimental to your agenda -- even if that stand violates certain principles such as freedom of information, freedom of thought, freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, and so on.

For example, Umno will support the ban on Schindler's List while DAP will think this would be undemocratic and DAP will support the ban on Tanda Putera while Umno will think this would be undemocratic. Should both these movies be banned or is it undemocratic to ban them? The answer will depend on your political agenda and what best serves this agenda. This has nothing to do with democracy.

What about movies that show Arabs as the baddies and American CIA agents as the goodies (or Red Indians as the baddies and white cowboys as the goodies)? In the interest of 'justice' all these movies should be banned as well. But they are not, are they? In fact, we clap and cheer when John Wayne says, "The only good Injun is a dead Injun", as he shoots them all dead.

Where do we define the boundary on freedom of expression and indecency? We cannot. This is because one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Hence what is decent to one may be indecent to another. So, to DAP, Tanda Putera is indecent while, to Umno, Schindler's List is indecent.

The only thing would be to allow both and let the viewer decide between good and bad. Then man need no longer play God and decide what you can and cannot do. And once we apply this rule then this rule should apply to everything. But are we ready for that?

I doubt Malaysians are ready for the time when someone can stand up and say, "I am gay and proud of it", or "I used to be a Muslim but I am now an atheist." Hence, until then, we shall still have politicians telling us what is good for us and propagating certain things that are not in the least about our interest but about the interest of their own political agenda. And because of that Malaysians will remain ignorant and backward for some time to come.

Today, we ban books and movies. Tomorrow, we will ban speech and opinion. Finally, we will ban thought. And that would be when Malaysia becomes what England was 500 years ago. In England, 500 years ago, they killed you for thinking the wrong thing. Hmm…come to think of it, they still do this in some parts of the world.

 

Flag-raising is not loyalty

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 04:44 PM PDT

Zaid Ibrahim

At a talk with students from the United Kindgom and Ireland last week, I said that to compel Malaysians by law to raise the national flag for 30 days as a sign of loyalty to the country was a "loony idea", and that it was a case of a politician trying to score political publicity. Let me now elaborate.

This is the kind of idea that could only have come from a Minister who believes there are many Malaysians who are not "loyal" to the country. Although he did not name them, I am sure he was alluding to the Chinese and the Indians. In some years I put up the national flag on the premises of my small publishing company, and in other years not at all. It's got nothing to do with loyalty but is simply my way to celebrate this pivotal moment in the nation's history. I resent anyone, including the Minister, who suggests disloyalty on my part if I do not raise the flag.

How does the Minister know that I or the Chinese are not loyal? Has his Ministry carried out a scientific study that proves that people of Chinese descent are not loyal? What does loyalty mean to him anyway? There are many Chinese Malaysians who view the Barisan Nasional Government with disgust, but that does not mean they are not loyal citizens. There will always be a handful of crackpots who will say or do something provocative to our national symbols on YouTube, but that's not enough evidence to show that the entire Chinese community shares these views. There is an endless supply of craziness on YouTube and the Government should not waste time studying it.

During the Vietnam War there were many American students who burned the American flag and spit on their Presidents, but that did not mean they were disloyal citizens. The great Muhammad Ali himself refused conscription to serve the nation because, according to him, "I ain't got no problems with them Vietcong".  By refusing to join the war effort, he was not being disloyal but was opposing a wrong and cruel policy of the US Government.

Anyway, let's for the moment agree with the Minister about there being Malaysians who are not loyal. How does the compulsory 30 days of flag-raising change that? Such an act is tantamount to nothing more than a superficial show of loyalty—surely the Minister wants loyalty that is real and substantive. The Minister will also have another practical problem on his hands. If this exercise of flag-raising is to mark 31 August, how will Sabahans and Sarawakians—who gained their independence on 16 September—feel? Why should the independence of Malaya be more important than the independence of Sabah and Sarawak? The Minister might even lose Sabah votes in the forthcoming UMNO General Assembly if he's not careful.

If we take the feelings of our East Malaysian compatriots into account, as we should, do we then have another 30 days of compulsory flag-raising to mark 16 September?  I think we would have to. As a loyal subject of the King I would also then insist that loyalty to the King is inseparable from loyalty to the country, so I will demand another 30 days of flag-raising in June. All in all, we will be raising flags for three months in a year, not to mention for other equally important national events.

Showing your loyalty by flag-raising will certainly cost money and we haven't even touched on the difficulty of enforcing such a practice. What do we do with people like me who will probably not raise the flag because I don't like the inference that I am not loyal? I don't like to be forced to do things to prove my loyalty to this country. I am a loyal subject of King and country and the Minister just has to take my word for it.

The Government must stop this pernicious idea that the Chinese are not loyal citizens. They are, and there is no doubt in my mind that they are proud to be Malaysians.  We need to be more positive about nation-building.  Why doesn't the BN Government be more charitable and kind to the Chinese and stop this silly but dangerous politics of racial baiting. This country would not be what it is today if not for the sacrifices and efforts of the non-Malays. Their loyalty has been proven beyond a doubt. Only the blind will not see.

 

"I think the world has had enough war."

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 04:12 PM PDT

(Reuters) - Since US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel left for Southeast Asia last week, he has been wrestling with a dilemma at the heart of Washington's policy on Syria and Hagel's own guiding philosophy – when and how to go to war.

"I think the world has had enough war," Hagel told a forum in Kuala Lumpur.

He was responding to a question about the threat of conflict with China but broadened his answer to talk about war, generally.

 

"I think one of the things that we have learned over the years, regardless of the region of the world, is that wars can't resolve differences," he said on Sunday.

But Hagel hinted in Indonesia the next day that a limited intervention in Syria might be necessary, saying nations sometimes must go to war – including for humanitarian reasons.

He had told reporters toward the start of his trip that the United States couldn't wait indefinitely to respond to any confirmed use of chemical weapons.

"If, in fact, this was a deliberate use and attack by the Syrian government on its own people using chemical weapons, there may be another attack coming," he said.

The Southeast Asia tour was meant to highlight President Barack Obama's bid to place greater US attention to the Asia-Pacific region after more than a decade of frustrating war in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hagel left on the tour last Thursday, just as more details were emerging of the extent of an apparent chemical weapons attack in which Syrian rebel groups say many hundreds of people were killed.

Before his modified Boeing 747 left US airspace, Hagel, during a flight to a Hawaii, was dialed in to a White House meeting on Syria to give an update on military options as the Pentagon repositioned ships that might be called upon to act.

On every day of the tour, as global events gather pace, the former Republican senator has seemed to become more and more likely to oversee the first major US military intervention since Libya and his first as defense secretary.

Hagel, now 66, volunteered for the Vietnam War and fought alongside his own brother as an infantryman. He suffered shrapnel wounds and burns from mine blasts, earning two Purple Hearts – the decoration for troops wounded in battle.

When Obama announced Hagel's nomination for the job of defense secretary in January, he said Hagel was the kind of person American troops deserved, someone who could share their perspective. He quoted Hagel as saying: "My frame of reference... is geared towards the guy at the bottom who's doing the fighting and the dying."

Hagel earned Obama's respect during his Senate days in part for breaking ranks with fellow Republicans to oppose the Iraq war, where the US military learned the hard way that its influence over sectarian tensions was limited at best.

"I think one of the reasons the president and he intellectually meshed so well... is that they share a view that the American military has unique capabilities to affect events throughout the world – but those capabilities should be used with great caution," said one senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

If there was, before Obama, a truism that Democrats were reluctant to use US military power and Republicans were eager to do so, Hagel "falls squarely in the middle."

"His first and second and third instinct is never to rush to military force," the official said.

Hagel's periodic warnings on Syria to Congress have frustrated former Republican allies of his, particularly Senator John McCain, the leading voice in Washington for deep US military involvement in Syria's civil war.

At one hearing in April, Hagel cautioned senators including McCain that "you better be damn sure, as sure as you can be" before committing to action in Syria.

"Because once you're into it, there isn't any backing out, whether it's a no-fly zone, safe zone... whatever it is," Hagel told senators.

"Once you're in, you can't unwind it. You can't just say, 'Well, it's not going as well as I thought it would go so we're gonna get out.'"

Even as the United States hardened its posture in the past week over Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons, a "red line" that Obama set for greater US involvement, Hagel has remained focused on the long-term implications of any US military action there.

"What is the long-term objective here? What are our long-term interests? What are we trying to accomplish in the way of influence, in the way of outcomes?" he told reporters as he flew to Malaysia at the start of the tour, speaking about deliberations under way.

With US international credibility on the line, Obama appears poised to act – possibly opting for limited measures such as cruise missile strikes to punish President Bashar al-Assad and seek to deter further chemical attacks.

But Obama is expected to stop well short of anything remotely resembling Iraq.

Obama, even as he said he had not yet made a decision on military action, argued on Wednesday that a "tailored, limited" strike, not a protracted engagement like Iraq, could be enough to send a strong message that the use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated.

"If we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, 'Stop doing this,' this can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term," he told "PBS Newshour" in a televised interview.

Still, whether any US action can be limited to a short and sharp punitive strike, or whether it would drag the United States into a broader regional conflict, remains to be seen.

The White House has stressed that any action in Syria would not be geared toward regime change.

That could, at least in part, be because the United States doesn't think moderate rebel groups are ready to fill the void that would be left if Assad were to fall – a point suggested in a recent letter to Congress by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dempsey – the top military advisor to Hagel and Obama – has been one of the most outspoken voices of caution on Syria, stressing the complexities of the conflict during a trip to the Middle East earlier this month, prior to the apparent chemical weapons attack.

Dempsey wrote in a letter to a lawmaker following that trip: "The use of US military force can change the military balance, but it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict."

Asked whether he shared Dempsey's views on Syria, Hagel said on August 23: "Any time force is required or used, there are risks, there are consequences. And I think General Dempsey's analysis of this has been very accurate and very correct and very appropriate."

"There's no disagreement between General Dempsey and me on his analysis," Hagel said.

Still, what appears to have been the large-scale use of chemical weapons has fundamentally changed US calculations on military intervention. It has certainly had an emotional impact.

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on Monday of seeing images of entire families dead in their beds – without a drop of blood. Hagel, too, has been moved by the carnage.

"Another part of Chuck Hagel that is important here is that he really is horrified by scenes that we are seeing on the ground in Syria," the US official said.

A second senior Obama administration official summed it up this way: Hagel, while recognizing the limits of military power, also understood that military action can sometimes be required "to deliver justice." That's particularly true when rules and norms of international law were violated, the official said.

Hagel told the BBC during a visit to Brunei that he had prepositioned assets and that the US military was "ready to go" immediately, if ordered by Obama.

Just a day earlier, Hagel was asked how he could square his feelings that "the world has had enough war" with the looming possibility of US military action in Syria.

Hagel's response spoke volumes.

"I didn't say, would never say, have never said, that no nation should ever go to war," Hagel said in Jakarta on Monday, declining to discuss the case of Syria explicitly.

"I wish the world was such that nations didn't go to war."

 

Alternatives to First-Past-The-Post system

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 03:43 PM PDT

If the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system is problematic, what options do we have? To borrow Datuk Seri Najib Razak's latest slogan, there are "endless possibilities" in the choice of electoral system. Just because we have been eating Mackerel yesterday and the day before yesterday, it doesn't mean we have to eat Mackerel today and tomorrow.

Wong Chin Huat, fz.com

If the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system is problematic, what options do we have?

Based on the works of political scientists Douglas Rae (1967) and Andreas Blais (1998), an electoral system has six elements:

(a) number of votes

(b) types of votes, whether it is nominal, ordinal or numerical

(c) object of votes, ie, individuals or teams

(d) constituency nature, ie, one or many constituencies

(e) constituency magnitude, ie, number of seats; and

(f) formula, whether it is plurality, majoritarian, or proportional.

Under this framework, FPTP, or officially known as Single-Member-Plurality, is an electoral system where a voter is given one ballot, a nominal ballot to choose between individual candidates, in a single-member constituency, and a candidate needs only a plurality to win.

For legislative elections, FPTP will have many constituencies.

FPTP is the simplest one of all but as we have seen, hardly the best one. By varying these elements differently, we can then have different electoral systems.

I will introduce two of them which may be featured in future debates.

The first is Australia's Preferential Voting system advocated passionately by Prof Clive Kessler, a renowned Malaysianist from Australia in his chapter in the book "Elections and Democracy in Malaysia" (edited by Dr Mavis Puthucheary and Prof Norani Othman) as well as some Australia returnees.

The second is Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system in Germany and New Zealand, which the Election Commission has expressed interest to study and emulate.

The Australian option – Preferential Voting

Also used in presidential elections in India and Ireland and parliamentary elections in Papua New Guinea and Fiji, the Australian system is similar to our FPTP in three ways: first, it has many legislative districts; second, each district elects only a single member; and third, the voters are to choose amongst individual candidates.

The system differs from FPTP in the ballot structure and the electoral formula.

Firstly, the Australian ballot is ordinal, where candidates are ranked. When it comes to the number of candidates to be ranked, there are two variants.

Under the Alternative Vote (AV) variant, applicable for the state elections in New South Wales and Queensland, the voters can choose only as many candidates as they like. 

Under the Compulsory Preferential Voting variant, applicable for Australia's federal and other state elections, the voters have to rank all candidates.

Secondly, to win one must obtain a majority, not just plurality – in other words, the winner must have more supporters than opponents.

If a candidate wins more than half of the first-preference votes, he or she will be declared the winner, much like our FPTP. However, if no candidate does so, the weakest candidate will be removed and his/her votes will be redistributed to the remaining candidates based on the second preference of these votes. 

This process will continue until a candidate which commands a majority support is produced. You bet, the counting will take some time.

READ MORE HERE

 

MIHT13 - 5th MBPJ Inline Hockey Tournament Malaysia 2013

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 03:33 PM PDT

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PFxy8eYIqXA/Ueizcq6kLlI/AAAAAAAABYE/lzKep_w6gjQ/s1600/MIHT13-All-in-1-Poster.jpg 

Be there to support team Underdogs! 

Date: 30 & 31 August 2013 (Fri & Sat)
Time: 9am - 8pm
Venue: Arena PJ, Jalan Selangor, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Admission: FREE

Activities:

Inline Hockey (Asia Open Division)
Bringing new teams from around Asia such as Taiwan Hurricanes and Indonesia Rhinos.
Returning Champion of 2012 Team HK Xpats. Local favorites Malaysian Team Underdogs 4th placing in 2012, Team Internationals Singapore 3rd placing 2012 and many more.

1st Malaysia National Freestyle Skating Championship 2013
1st time at MIHT.
11 Categories of the finest craziest legs of Freestyle, Slalom & Sliders.
- Speed Slalom Junior Men
- Speed Slalom Junior Women
- Speed Slalom Sr Men
- Speed Slalom Sr Women
- Classic Slalom Men
- Classic Slalom Women
- Slide Men
- Slide Women
- Battle Men
- Battle Women
- Pair Slalom

Registration Fees: RM50 per entry
Sign up: Email: ccsiang@msn.com / mihtmalaysia@gmail.com


1st Junior Rollerball Tournament 2013
Under 12
Under 16
8 players per Team

Registration Fees: RM50 per team
Sign up: Email: mihtmalaysia@gmail.com


Bloggers Bazaar
Thinking of setting up a stall / booth / promoting your brand / selling your stuff / etc, book your space asap.
Email: ianskatu@gmail.com / mihtmalaysia@gmail.com

Quill BMW Experiential Day
Come test drive the new BMW 316i and many more.
Get a chance to experience the Joy of BMW today with Quill Automobiles.
Official Car for MIHT13 since MIHT09.


So block your dates this Merdeka and experience the trills on wheels smack in the heart of Petaling Jaya. An experience for the whole family. 

Skating 4 Life! 


For more information visit:
MIHT Malaysia www.miht-miht.blogspot.com
Facebook: Facebook MIHT Inline Hockey www.facebook.com/groups/mihtmalaysia

Email: mihtmalaysia@gmail.com 

 

Tanda Putera: Untruths and Polarisation

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 01:52 PM PDT

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/m_suhaimi1_540_360_100.jpg 

This film maker does not bother with such basic SOP of research. She is more interested in the "creative licence" (sic) to orchestrate the scene of the Chinese youth urinating on the flagpole outside the Selangor mentri besar's residence.

Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser

I do not intend to pay to watch Tanda Putera since the government has already used part of our money to sponsor this film which seems intent on spreading untruths and enhancing polarisation instead of promoting truth and reconciliation. My response to the film is based on published reviews of the film on the online press.

Who orchestrated the May 13 pogrom?

From the reviews of the film, the Chinese are depicted as the aggressors, insensitive to the extent of urinating on a flag pole outside the residence of the then state menteri besar Harun Idris, hurting the feelings of Malays and thus triggering the May 13 race riots. The communists are also portrayed as having a hand in the troubles.

I am surprised that in spite of my having produced references in my 2007 title, the director insists on putting the blame on the communists:

"…as late as 29 May (the Tunku) was still voicing his conviction that communists had been behind the trouble… But on the same day, Tun Dr Ismail was admitting that he had been wrong to ascribe the riots to the communists, and during the New Zealand Defence Minister's visit on 30 and 31 May, the Tunku admitted that the earlier accusations had been incorrect. Three days later, Tan Sri Ghazali followed suit…" (Kua Kia Soong, "May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969", 2007:51)

This can be easily corroborated by checking up on all the official wires on the dates I have quoted, a standard practice of any respectable scholar. This film maker does not bother with such basic SOP of research. She is more interested in the "creative licence" (sic) to orchestrate the scene of the Chinese youth urinating on the flagpole outside the Selangor mentri besar's residence.

After the 13th general election, the government seems intent on polarizing our society further by communalizing issues. It's payback time, as some observers have also pointed out. Tanda Putera seems to be set in this trend.

A government that is concerned about national rejuvenation would not shrink from setting up a Truth & Reconciliation Commission to lay bare the truth once and for all without fear of retribution. The new deputy ministers from the NGOs, Paul Low and Waythamoorthy should call for transparency by declassifying all documents on the May 13 incident. Let us also honour the victims by uncovering the names of all those who died or suffered injuries during that dark episode in our history.

For a start, truth seeking Malaysians should boycott the film. We also call upon FINAS to justify to all taxpayers why their money should be used to spread untruths which are costly to national reconciliation. 

Patriotism by example, not coercion

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 01:33 PM PDT

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Malaysian-300x202.jpg

Patriotism at the end of the day is not all about loving your country. It is also about how you jealously safeguard the nation from 'all things bad' and when it comes to the latter, Najib shows no interest in doing so.

Jeswan Kaur, FMT

The country is under great crisis. A foreign woman gets blown to bits and the law finds no one accountable for her death. Then there is the revelation that cops are moonlighting as snatch thieves!

If these morose developments are not depressing enough, there is also the fear that communal tensions are a ticking time bomb, no thanks to the Court of Appeal verdict that had ruled against the Catholic Church last Thursday, the excuse being that the government's appeal to block non-Muslims from using "Allah", the Middle-Eastern word for god, was "not academic".

The Catholic Church had sued the government for violating its constitutional rights after the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the publication permit of the Herald, a Catholic weekly, in 2008 for using the Arabic word "Allah" to describe God.

The 2009 High Court judgment in favour of the Catholic Church sparked one of the worst religious attacks in the country, where a church was firebombed and other places of worship desecrated.

The legal tussle is however far from over. Post-Aug 22, the Church vs Putrajaya battle continues next month, prolonging the over four-year-long legal tug-of-war between Muslims and Christians over one word – Allah.

While the church is understandably disappointed with the Court of Appeal's verdict, Malay-Muslim supremacy group Perkasa is only too happy the decision was not otherwise. In fact, over 200 protesters from Muslim groups, including Perkasa, rallied outside the courthouse, confident that the court would rule against the Church.

That was not all. On Aug 28, cinema goers must have to be careful not to step on the wrong side of the law should they not respect the national anthem 'Negaraku' that is to be played in cinema halls before each movie screening.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek had announced recently the national anthem and two patriotic short clips will be played in cinemas prior to the movies. Should moviegoers refuse to stand up and sing the 'Negaraku', they are asking for trouble as far as Ahmad Shabery is concerned.

Forced patriotism via crappy ideas

The smart alec 'patriotism in the theatre' is the Barisan Nasional government's Merdeka Week campaign that kicked off on Aug 25 and continues until Sept 3 - the aim being to instill patriotism and reviving the 60s Merdeka spirit.

Besides the regular dont's imposed by cinema halls, the latest addition includes "fines not exceeding RM100 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month" under the National Anthem Act 1968 should patrons to the movies disrespect the 'Negaraku'.

That is not all. In addition, anyone showing disrespect can be arrested without warrant as stipulated by Section 9 "unless such person gives his name and address and satisfies" the arresting officer that he will "duly answer any summons or other proceedings" against – in this case – a defiant moviegoer.

The government's desperate attempts to rekindle the spirit of 'love thy nation' among the rakyat is a sure flop, going by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's refusal to take to task religious bigots and fanatical politicians who harbour the desire of alienating the Malays from the other races.

Najib's prejudicial stand as far as race and religion issues in the country go tells volumes of his own 'patriotism' towards the rakyat.

READ MORE HERE

 

No go for Tanda Putera at Golden Screen Cinemas in Penang

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 01:30 PM PDT

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRxbdbQo6F7dUbZu0X66Td3zsr911gDFB3FakeGjbE-jL_FEIg2mg

(The Star) - Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) will not be screening the controversial Tanda Putera movie in its two cineplexes on the island and mainland here following a request from the Penang Government.

Queensbay Mall GSC manager Sam Kok Kee said he received a directive from his headquarters yesterday not to screen the movie.

The cineplex in Queensbay Mall has advertised that the movie will be screen six times today, same as GSC cineplex in Sunway Carnival.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government did not impose a ban on the screening of the movie in the state.

"We only issued an advisory. No action will be taken against cinema operators who continue to screen the movie despite our advice," he said in a statement on Thursday.

The movie is to be screened nationwide from today.

 

Too many 'divine revelations' for media bosses now, says ex-editor Kadir Jasin

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 01:22 PM PDT

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQYiUtYJcftYJXbiNRcWU1ERrwCvv93eh57wqULuTK2Y4sfv3F9

(fz.com) - "My media friends tell me nowadays that they are being burdened by "wahyus" (divine revelations) from those without power or office who tell them to interfere in national issues. In my time, I only dealt with the top," said Kadir, referring to Mahathir.

Former New Straits Times Press (NSTP) group editor-in-chief said that his way of protesting against the powers that be, while he was heading the influential media group, was by keeping silent.

Although he was seen to be writing in favour of the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his column "Other Thots", he said that he showed his disagreement with the former's views by not writing about certain issues at all and Mahathir knew that.

Acknowledging that one cannot rebel against one's paymasters, Kadir said that although he was not close to any of the top leaders in the country then, his relationship with Mahathir was "somewhat different" and yet he dared to disagree with the premier.

He said that journalists should find other ways of saying what they want by being reasonable, measured and not too abusive.

He also said that politicians during his time as the top NSTP editor were more tolerant.

"My media friends tell me nowadays that they are being burdened by "wahyus" (divine revelations) from those without power or office who tell them to interfere in national issues. In my time, I only dealt with the top," said Kadir, referring to Mahathir.

Kadir, who received the National Journalist Laureate (Tokoh Wartawan Negara) in 2011, was speaking in an exclusive interview in the Face to Face programme of fz.com on the state of the media and on his tenure in NSTP.

Stating that his Umno membership was something of a "birthright" due to his father's active participation in Umno, he said that he believed he rose to the top media position as he "was noticed as a reporter" and he "knew many people of Umno" while working in the press.

When asked to comment on the reason why the mainstream media, especially newspapers, were not very popular with the masses now, Kadir said it is "not fair to only blame political masters and owners of media houses".

"Journalists have to blame themselves for the state the media is in now," said Kadir. At the same time, he said that "You cannot rebel because you are being paid...you have to toe the line".

READ MORE HERE

 

Controversial resort surau demolished

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 01:10 PM PDT

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/SEDILI-RESORT-300x200.jpg

The Sedili Resort management which allowed a non-Muslim group to meditate in its surau expect to complete the demolition exercise today.

(Bernama) - The surau at a resort in Sedili Besar, which was used by non-Muslims in a religious ceremony on August 10, was demolished by the resort management yesterday.

According to one of the resort's workers, Mohd Kanang Abdullah, 29, he was directed by the resort owner to carry out the demolition.

"The demolition work started at 9am this morning using a bulldozer and  will be continued tomorrow, he said when met at the location.

Checks by Bernama found that only 20 per cent of the structure was left standing, that was the front portion of the surau.

Prior to this, the Kota Tinggi District Council (MDKT) had ordered the the resort's management to demolish the surau.

A notice issued on Aug 20 carried the instructions that the surau should be demolished within 21 days from the date of receipt of the notice, failing which, the owner would be taken to court or had to bear the cost of demolishing the surau if the demolition was carried out by MDKT after that date.

Meanwhile the Johor police have completed the investigation papers on the owner of resort. Johor police chief Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the papers had been submitted to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action.

"We are now waiting for further instruction," he said when asked on the latest development in the case.

The police had submitted the papers to the DPP last Aug 14, but they were returned as certain aspect, including statements that were recorded, were incomplete.

Following the incident, the 45-year-old owner of the resort, a Singaporean with Malaysian permanent resident (PR) status, was remanded for four days to facilitate police investigation.

He has since been charged and is awaiting trial.

Umno adopts electoral college system

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 10:42 AM PDT

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQi0PhCFB3y6EvjB3C6JWtl4LDCLpt8xcQZJ0aec5ebjsD89UTA

(The Star) -  Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the system was chosen for the party elections, which for the first time will see about 150,000 members voting for supreme council members, as it was deemed the most practical due to the large number of voters involved.

Although about 150,000 members will be voting in the upcoming Umno elections, the actual votes that will matter are those from the party's 191 divisions.

This is because Umno will adopt the electoral college system, where each division carries only one vote for each post.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the system was chosen for the party elections, which for the first time will see about 150,000 members voting for supreme council members, as it was deemed the most practical due to the large number of voters involved.

"We have explained to party members how the system works. Although each division represents one vote, the grassroots will still be the deciders because it is they who will first vote to determine candidates their division will support," he told The Star.

In the past, the Umno 191 divisions would send about 2,500 delegates to the general assembly to vote for the party leadership but this time around, voting will take place during the respective division meetings on Oct 19, ahead of the party's annual general assembly slated for Dec 2 to 7.

Tengku Adnan said a candidate must obtain the most number of votes from delegates in a division in order to secure that division's single vote.

The same system, he added, would also be used to elect office bearers for the Youth, Wanita and Puteri movements on Oct 12.

Tengku Adnan said that results for the party elections would be announced on the same day at the Umno headquarters. He added that ballot counting would start in the evening, with the results to be announced several hours later.

"We have explained to party members how the system works. Although each division represents one vote, the grassroots will still be the deciders because it is they who will first vote to determine candidates their division will support," he told The Star.

In the past, the Umno 191 divisions would send about 2,500 delegates to the general assembly to vote for the party leadership but this time around, voting will take place during the respective division meetings on Oct 19, ahead of the party's annual general assembly slated for Dec 2 to 7.

Tengku Adnan said a candidate must obtain the most number of votes from delegates in a division in order to secure that division's single vote.

The same system, he added, would also be used to elect office bearers for the Youth, Wanita and Puteri movements on Oct 12.

Tengku Adnan said that results for the party elections would be announced on the same day at the Umno headquarters. He added that ballot counting would start in the evening, with the results to be announced several hours later. 

READ MORE HERE 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan

 

Malaysia Today Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved