Isnin, 30 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

PM Saves the World

Posted: 29 Sep 2013 10:46 AM PDT

The Malaysian Prime Minister on the weekend called for an end to international violence and conflict.  Speaking at the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) he addressed a captivated audience of foreign dignitaries.

"What we all need to start doing," he explained solemnly, "is to try being nice to one another for a change.  You know, just try overcoming our differences and getting along."

The PM's wise words spread through the room and across the troubled earth like a healing balm.  This message from a man on an unnecessary foreign junket, was the exact one the whole world needed to hear.

"Allahu Akbah! The Malaysian Prime Minister is correct.  Extremism isn't the answer!" said terrorists plotting in their caves and spontaneously disbanding.

"We must change our ways." said the Jews controlling the money supply via the US Federal Reserve, "we must give Palestine their own sovereign state immediately and stop running the world by proxy!"

"He is truly visionary" said the world's corrupt dictators and despots before stepping down, returning stolen assets to the people and calling fair elections.

"Malaysia has lead the way!" said Russia, China and the US, disarming their nuclear weapons and agreeing to a harmonious future.

"He is a bold man the Malaysian PM," a UN delegate told FMN,  "I heard he tweeted in front of the Facebook CEO, then updated his Facebook status with the Twitter CEO.  Now that takes cajones!  It's a shame we don't have more technology savvy, astute leaders like him!"

Read more at: 

Mind Your ‘Transformation’, Please!

Posted: 29 Sep 2013 10:27 AM PDT

"Transformational" is getting to be a hollow word. And the Cabinet ministers who brandish it at will don't seem to understand its meaning. Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi just showed he doesn't when he said the bringing back of detention without trial in the newly proposed Prevention of Crime (Amendment and Extension) Bill was "transformational". Was he using it simply to be in fashionable sync with the Government Transformation Programme?

Is something retrogressive transformational? Is a return to the provisions of the repealed draconian Emergency Ordinance (EO) and Internal Security Act (ISA) transformational? If it is so, then Malaysians are in for a big surprise. And a nasty one too.

Both acts were considered reprehensible to the public, and therefore the Government was forced to remove them. But that was before the 13th general election was called. Now that it's over, the Government apparently sees no more need in appeasing the public. Pre-election pledges have gone out the window.

A government that is transformational would not hark back to the dark days of Mahathir Mohamad's reign, when fear was the instrument used to keep people in line. It should instead be demolishing Mahathirism and restoring the damage done to our institutions. No wonder Mahathir is applauding the Bill and blaming the public for "not (being) that developed or educated to appreciate that the law is for their own good". But then, that's Mahathir. Always blaming other people. And always asserting that might is right.

The new Bill proposes detaining a suspect for an initial two years, after which period if a review finds that the suspect should be detained further, he will be held for a further two years. This could go on indefinitely in a series of two-year periods. In this sense, it is no different from the EO and the ISA.

The difference is that the detention order will now be decided by a three-member Crime Prevention Board headed by a judge. It will no longer be the decision of the home minister. The board's members will be appointed by the King – of course, at the recommendation of the prime minister.

The unjust part about it is that the suspect will not be allowed legal representation during the inquiry to decide whether he should be detained. And if the board decides to detain the suspect, he will not be provided the grounds for the detention.

Worse, the newly proposed Section 7C(a)(i) provides that one of the things the board shall consider when deciding on detention is that the suspect has previously committed two or more serious offences. It, however, would not matter if the suspect had been convicted of those offences or not. This gives immense power to the officers handling the inquiry, and subjects the suspect to their mercy.

If you consider that even criminals are human beings and should have rights, you would think twice about condemning them to such a bleak situation, especially when they are not even allowed to have a lawyer to represent them.

But Zahid assures us that despite all this, the Bill provides for a judicial review, i.e. if the suspect feels he has been wrongly detained, his lawyers "are given a chance to bring their case to court for a review".

This sounds good on paper, but in real-case situations, it would still disadvantage the suspect. First, the act of detention without trial takes away his right to being considered innocent till proven guilty. Second, if he were truly innocent and got hauled in by mistake, he would still have to spend time in detention while his case was being brought to the High Court. Nobody relishes such an ordeal.

Third, and perhaps most important, if the suspect is not provided the grounds for his detention, and the board is granted the option to decline providing any information to the court because it would be against the public interest to do so, how will the review be made?

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Making Corruption History – Cakap Kosong Je, ‘Jib!

Posted: 29 Sep 2013 10:21 AM PDT

In San Francisco recently, Prime Minister Najib confidently declared "to make corruption part of Malaysia's past, not its future." The man's delusion never ceases to amaze me. The reality is of course far different; corruption defines the Najib Administration. 

Nonetheless if Najib is serious, then he should heed Tengku Razaleigh's call for Najib to declare his assets. Otherwise it would be, to put it bluntly in the vernacular, "Cakap kosong je 'Jib!" (Empty talk only!)

Tengku Razaleigh's suggestion, if implemented, would do far more good than all of Najib's lofty declarations of "changing organizational as well as business cultures" or creating "a new governance and integrity minister" and "elevating the anti-corruption agency." Malaysians have heard all those ad nauseum, not only from Najib but also his predecessors. 

If after doing what Tengku Razaleigh had suggested Najib still aspires higher, he could begin by getting rid of those tainted individuals in his administration. Then if he is really committed to clean and effective governance, he should select only those with unquestioned integrity and solid accomplishments to be his new ministers and advisors.

As Najib is slow to grasp concepts, let me elaborate on those three simple suggestions.

Consider asset declaration. Najib does not need yet another highly-paid consultant advising him how to do it. There are plenty of effective models out there, including one recommended by the OECD. The simplest is the one used by American officials including the president, cabinet secretaries, and Supreme Court judges. It covers their spouses and all dependent children. 

Here is President Obama's, available publicly at: The simple eight-page report lists his assets and income, transactions during the year, gifts received (he had none), liabilities (his home mortgage), and contracts he is a party to (his old faculty appointment). 

Simple yet effective! As the declaration is filed annually, citizens could tract any sudden ballooning of assets, income, or extra-generous gifts that could prompt further enquiry, as well as monitor contracts and activities that could pose as potential conflict of interest. 

Obama and his senior officials go further; they release their full income tax returns annually. 

If Najib were to do likewise, rumors of his wife buying million-ringgit rings and getting extravagant gifts would not have arisen, indeed they were baseless. 

If Najib's ministers were also to declare their assets, then we would not have the silly specter of a cabinet minister feigning ignorance of her husband's quarter-billion ringgit government-funded business, as Shahrizat tried to do recently. The pathetic part was that she truly believed that the public would buy her swiftly-concocted story. 

Beyond publicly declaring his assets, if Najib aspires for a clean administration, then he should remove those tainted individuals in his administration. Since Najib is blind to reality, I will help him identify such proven shady characters.

Read more at: 

EC must call for GE13 re-election

Posted: 29 Sep 2013 10:05 AM PDT

Which is more important and critical in a democratic nation, a General Election or a political party election? From what we observed in this nation, political party like Umno and its component BN parties have been postponing their party elections due to an impending GE13 hovering between last quarter of 2011 to 2013. This indicates that General Election is more important and critical that over rides any matters in a political party. 

The overwhelming perception is that the laws of this nation can be manipulated, misrepresented and realigned to suit those in power. As they are only perceptions we will not take them as face value and assume that no one is above the law and those in power are acting accordingly and abide by the law.
"RoS acted on the complaints of several disgruntled members who claimed the December election was not properly conducted after the party announced that a tabulation glitch had resulted in the wrong candidate being elected to the CEC." reported by The Malaysian Insider
Accordingly, RoS must have investigated the matter and came to the conclusion that DAP must hold a re-election. Their conclusion is not transparent without providing what exactly DAP has done wrong to insist that they hold a re-election but just base on complaints from a handful of members and an unverified anonymous handbook. 

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Malay History, Inferiority, and a Theory of Jealousy?

Posted: 28 Sep 2013 11:46 PM PDT

Interesting proposition although I did giggle silently uncontrollably reading it.

Seriously i thought this is coming from a new paradigm of looking history form a school of thought that will certainly or at least challenge or replace Braudel's The Annals Schools, Structural Functionalists, Social-Darwinists, Marxists, and even post-structuralism of Foucault proposing power/knowledge matrix ...

Get serious Malaysian historian who made that claim. there is no point joking about interpretive modes in historicizing and making the next generation believe that the traditional rulers had no part at all in this "colonial-jealousy" theory.

Let us get serious about your perspective on the nature of colonialism and imperialism and the interplay between technological dominance, cultural change, control over resources, and human motivation in history. better still, read the classic texts on the philosophy of history and the relationship between colonization and class structure within the colonies.

What Malaysians need is not more and more watering down and trivialization of themes in the study of history but on understanding of the conditions within the kingdom, principality, country, etc. that made it ripe for colonization and on the entire deep-analytical inquiry of the innerworking of feudalism and the nature of the "kerajaan' (traditional statehood) and the different concepts of power (homogenous, heterogenous, carnivalesque, etc.) that made kingdoms rise and fall, and later the nature of globalization both in ancient and modern times that necessitate the advancement of merchatilism, colonization, imperialism, and lastly modern-day globalization. That's what we need as a way to look at history from alternative perspectives.

I don't know what is ailing the scholarly field of study of history in Malaysia these days ---  from the claims of a special Malay gene, Tanda Putera, forced and awkward construction of Bumiputraism and even Malayness, and now a paradigm of "Jealousy in History". This sounds like a romance of the three Malay Kingdoms, of Srivijaya-Kelana Jaya-Putrajaya; of a love triangle set in Taman Johor Jaya.

But seriously folks and historians, get serious. Respect the bodies in the field of knowledge by first mastering the basics and the classics and when you get to the frontier of these, by asking  more and more questions, so that you may try to break paradigms with intellectual rigour, grace, and dignity ---  as how others like Ibnu Khaldun. EH Carr, Marx, Braudel, or even Howard Zinn have done Do this rather than use Dr. Phil's talk show to construct a theory of jealousy in the march of history. Honesty in historicizing requires one to firs juggle as many viewpoints of an idea or a field as it by "standing on the shoulders of giants", and  not by some fear and favour coming from the paradigm of political paymasters.

I don't know. Never a dull moment in Malaysian academia and politics these days.

But how do we approach this argument on the "South Invasion" that led to the "inferiority of the Malays", as claimed? In other words, how do we "historicize Malaysia"? Below might be a plausibe narrative most often let abandoned in the Malaysian academia.

Malaysia's history is written by those who are paid by the feudal lords or the sultans and the bourgeoisie class who have become an appendage to the modern neo-feudalistic Malay state.

Malaysian history, a basis of the violently disseminated idea of Ketuanan Melayu, as an apology to the idea of economic dominance of the Malay-dominated National Front, favours the powerful and the wealthy as heroes of history.




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