Rabu, 18 September 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News


The folly of the majority

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 12:37 PM PDT

https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/3746467854/da6164de94383ec7da8e66bde94613ca.jpeg 

Equity, the new buzzword, or equitable treatment therefore requires the non-Malays to "forego or give up" what they have to allow for equitable treatment to the Malays. So why pretend that we care about fairness or act concerned about making sure others will not be "unfairly treated"? Fairness is irrelevant. The idea of special preference itself is a negation of fairness. 

Zaid Ibrahim 

The UMNO President has once again announced a massive government initiative dedicated to helping only the Malays and the Bumiputera under the New Economic Model. This "disadvantaged group," comprising more than 70 % of the population, will be getting more of the usual special treatment from the Government in the form of contracts, grants unit trusts and loans worth more than RM30 billion. Why they are not able to help this group by having good and fair policies for all Malaysians was never explained.

Now preferential policies for the Malays are deemed as a right. It has become a huge political gimmick where the Malays are regularly told that if they want these special rights and privileges to continue, they have to vote for UMNO. In fact, some UMNO leaders scoff at the so-called "unfairness" of these policies and scold their colleagues for being apologetic about it.

What I find most distasteful and hard to stomach are the pretensions that go with the policy announcement. There is this condescending assurance that the rights of "others" will not be affected, and that since the economy will continue to grow, no one will lose. If that were true then the non-Malays will continue to have more than the Malays, and this is certainly untenable for the special people.

It took 40 years for Malay corporate wealth to move from 2% to 23%. Do not ask me why. But surely that means that to move from the present rate to, say, 50% will take another 50 years at least if not more. By then the non-Malays will represent only 20 -23 % of the population and so the question then for Utusan Malaysia will be, why allow the Chinese to have wealth on parity or greater than those from the majority race? Equity, the new buzzword, or equitable treatment therefore requires the non-Malays to "forego or give up" what they have to allow for equitable treatment to the Malays. So why pretend that we care about fairness or act concerned about making sure others will not be "unfairly treated"? Fairness is irrelevant. The idea of special preference itself is a negation of fairness.

It's ironic that these leaders shouted Hidup Melayu to celebrate this pernicious policy, because it is actually a death knell for the Malays. The original policy of 40 years ago has become something else: it's now a repository of all that is crude, unsophisticated and unthinking. What can be simpler than the idea of grabbing as much as you can whilst you have power? The deleterious and negative effects of this can be seen in the behaviour and values of these Umno Malays.

Today after many years of being "special", the Malays who are successful are never accepted for their ability; they must have received 'special treatment" from Umno. This is particularly true if they do not support Umno's policies. The dispensation of special treatment enables Umno to pick and choose the winners and after 40 years we can see clearly how some Malays are more equal than others. The greed emanating from this group of the 'NEW RICH" is shocking. The lower income groups remain untouched by new injection of financial and economic assistance; it's always the Malay Contractors; members of the Malay Chambers, and of course the elite who get the bulk of the special treatment.  When will the Malays realized the special treatment formula is nothing special except for some?

Short sightedness is another product of the special treatment. Malay businessmen are not encouraged to collaborate with the non Malays when such collaboration will open new supply chain and new opportunities. It's the same with education. The Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA proudly announced that the university is no place for non-Malays. He assumes that non-Malays want to go there in the first place. He also ignores the possible benefits that can come from having a more diverse student body—he is probably oblivious to the fact that we can learn valuable traits, attitudes and values from those who are different from us. It sadly does not occur to him that the presence of non-Malays might actually be useful for the Malays, the people he wants to champion.

Read more at: http://www.zaid.my/?p=948 

The ignorant and the compliant very well rewarded

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 12:15 PM PDT

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/dewan-kuliah-300x200.jpg 

We seem to be building university after university and producing thousands of graduates who are not only unemployable but also incapable of communicating effectively to be able to attract prospective employers from the private sector.

P Dev Anand Pillai, FMT 

As we debate and argue whether we are doing the right thing with the state of affairs of education system, the rest of the world passes by us. We still seem very obvious to this development and advancement because for us here, all it takes is to get some person from some other country, sub-contract the job out and sort out the problem.

We don't seem to be wanting to get ourselves educated correctly so that we will be able to take on the world. It is a fact that our universities are not being considered as world beaters in terms of producing research papers and intellects of quality and repute. A simple reason is that we don't value intellectuality, we value complaisance and blind allegiance even if we have to impart a theory like it was only Umno and its allies who fought for independence and not the rest of civil society and those in the opposite side of the political divide at that time.

Here in our system, the ignorant and the compliant are very well rewarded. The thinkers are deemed as trouble makers because they ask to many questions and challenge the authority that the professor wields in the lecture rooms not with disobedience but with intellectual discourse. Ultimately when we have the ignorant and the complaint take up positions of importance in our social hierarchy, we get a very submissive and ignorant society that believes solely in maxim that the government of the day knows what is best for them.

There is no challenge, no debate and no intellectual discourse. If so challenged, the uniformed unit of the ignorant and complaint will use brute force to subdue such a challenge from the group that thinks. All this is produced because we have a system that encourages this way of mind moulding. Even in the Umno party elections, certain positions cannot be challenged, those who break ranks and do so will ultimately meet a dead end in their political journey like so many capable characters whom we have seen all these decades.

So there doesn't seem to be an urgency to gain knowledge as long as there is a shadow play of sorts where there is a life support hook anchored through some awards of projects and positions in the civil service everything looks nice and rosy.

Our world rankings will only be bettered if we start to embrace meritocracy which simply means let merit compliment the day and show the way. But would we? That is something which is very taboo with the policy makers because they seem to feel that the rural Malays will perpetually be disadvantaged. What they seem to forget is that many of the senior leaders in Umno today are products of the English stream of schooling which the British had instilled when they were administrating the country.

These leaders have a very strong command of the language and many of them went to schools in the outskirts of the main cities. Therefore for the rural pupil to be disadvantaged perpetually is just an excuse which the policy makers use to ensure that their policies leave the rural and the semi-rural pupil at a disadvantage for the sake of the reality of politics, the balance of power and the continued dependence on the state.

After the British left, we benefited with a very good schooling and administrative system which they passed on in most of their colonies. But we failed to make good of the system and began to revamp every aspect of it till to its sad state today. What we seem to see now is a very sorry state of affairs in most secondary schools, hence what can we expect when these pupils go on to the universities?

We seem to be building university after university and producing thousands of graduates who are not only unemployable but also incapable of communicating effectively to be able to attract prospective employers from the private sector.

One still remembers how tough it was for one to gain entry into the Sixth Form 30 years ago compared to what we see today. We have done away with the grading system based on aggregates which was recognized worldwide and also was a very effective way of streaming students in accordance to their abilities and prowess.

We had to obtain 6-24 units in aggregate to obtain a 1st Grade, 25-33 units to obtain a 2nd Grade at the SPM level and anything lesser then 33 was a 3rd Grade. One would not be able to go to the Sixth form if one could not obtain a Grade 1 or a strong Grade 2. That was the level of streaming which kept the standards in check and the university placings in tandem.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/09/19/the-ignorant-and-the-compliant-very-well-rewarded/ 

Tribunal Rakyat PRU13 hanyalah satu publisiti - Gani Patail

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 12:11 PM PDT

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/abdul-gani-patail3-dec16_360_240_100.jpg 

(Astro Awani) - Peguam Negara Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail berkata Tribunal Rakyat berhubung Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) anjuran Gabungan Pilihan Raya Bersih dan Adil (Bersih 2.0) hanyalah satu bentuk publisiti.
Jelas beliau, tribunal seumpama itu tidak perlukan sebarang asas perundangan, tidak seperti sebuah Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja (RCI).

"Tak ada asas perundangan... ia cuma satu bentuk publisiti. Tribunal (diadakan) cuma untuk (dapatkan) maklumbalas. Kalau RCI lain, kita ada akta untuk itu ," katanya ketika dihubungiAstro Awani.

Mengulas tentang tribunal tersebut yang turut terdiri daripada panelis luar negara, Gani berkata itu sesuatu tidak bagus.

"Itu tidak bagus… kenapa mereka perlu campurtangan urusan kita?" soal beliau.

Sementara itu Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) memberitahu bahawan badan itu akan menunggu jawapan rasmi bertulis daripada Jabatan Peguam Negara untuk mengetahui samada SPR patut hadir ke tribunal itu ataupun tidak.

Bercakap kepadaAstro Awani, Pengerusi SPR Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof berkata buat masa ini mereka tidak pasti tentang kedudukan tribunal itu dari segi perundangan.

"Kita perlu tunggu alasan yang digunakan tribunal itu dari segi perundangan. Atas asas apa mereka adakan tribunal ini?" kata Abdul Aziz.

Ditanya samada SPR akan menyertai tribunal tersebut jika dibolehkan, beliau sekali lagi berkata akan menunggu pandangan dari pihak perundangan.
 

 

Dr M slammed over Umno remarks

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 09:04 AM PDT

(Daily Express) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's prediction that Umno will soon die has raised the ire of Umno members, with many rejecting his remarks made in the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia.

They said the country's longest-serving Prime Minister, who retired in 2003, should be aware the Malay party is undergoing transformation and renewal.

Umno Supreme Council member Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi was more harsh in his reaction, pointing out that the malaise afflicting Umno had been present since Dr Mahathir's tenure as president from 1981 to 2003.

"Umno has been in existence for a long time and it is afflicted by a few sicknesses which have been around since he helmed the party.

He did not cure it while he was there," Dr Mohd Puad said.

Among the "sicknesses" that were stated in article were disunity, not placing importance on the party's struggles, and money politics.

Dr Mohd Puad said it is "unacceptable" and "not right" to say the party will die as the present leadership is working hard to cure the party of its sickness.

"As long as Umno does not run from its struggles and upholds its principles of moderation, inclusiveness and justice for all races, it will survive," he said.

In his commentary published in Utusan Malaysia Monday, Dr Mahathir described the party as "ailing" and said it "will soon die".

He admonished the party for its poor leadership and lack of young blood, saying that "once robust party leaders were now aged and out of touch with the times".

He said they should realise the importance of not staying on past their time.

Eventually people get bored of these outdated leaders who refuse to accept reality.

"Umno is suffering from old age and will soon meet its demise.

This is human nature. Sooner or later, humans will meet their death," he wrote, insisting he was acting for the benefit of the party.

Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who also sits on the supreme council, said the presence of young leaders such as Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Khairy Jamaluddin is proof that it has plenty of young blood.

"Young leaders are usually in the Youth and Puteri wings and when they reach the age of 40, they can be part of the supreme council to pave their way to take over the party's leadership.

"Dr Mahathir might be mistaken. I respect him and he is my idol.

He might have overlooked the renewal process that is currently going on in the party," he said.

Another supreme council member, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, felt Dr Mahathir's harsh comments were aimed at urging the party to be more open and dynamic. He said while Dr Mahathir is very experienced, he should be aware that Umno is undergoing a transformation.

"I respect his views. To me, Umno's willingness to change is evident from the new electoral system where the fate of its leaders is in the hands of some 250,000 members at the party's elections next month," he said.

 

Bumiputera economic policy will make Malays lazy, says Zaid

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 08:56 AM PDT

Eileen Ng, TMI

Race-based policies like the Bumiputera economic agenda is an "addiction" to the dominant Malay population, which makes them lazy, says former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim (pic).

The maverick politician told The Malaysian Insider that policies to improve the lives of people should not be targeted at just one race but must be based on needs rather than ethnicity.

"I think it is a superficial policy and the idea of helping one particular group is no longer necessary. I don't see the need for special treatment for Malays only.

"Instead, you should start on the premise that everyone should be treated equally and fairly and help those in need, and not just the Malays," he said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Last Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Council which has a five-pronged thrust to strengthen Bumiputeras in the fields of capital, corporate sector equity ownership, non-financial assets, entrepreneurship and commerce, and service delivery and ecosystem.

The new plan includes a slew of economic programmes as well as cash aid which Putrajaya said was aimed at helping Bumiputeras financially.

Analysts see this as Najib's attempt to shore up support ahead of the Umno party polls next month, while respected law expert Dr Azmi Sharom said it was a violation of the Federal Constitution which promises equality.

In describing the agenda as "discriminatory" and "unfair", Zaid, a former Umno minister, dismissed the notion that Bumiputeras cannot compete effectively without it, noting that the affirmative action policy is an "addiction" which makes the dominant Malay population lazy.

"It's a choice to do something less, no need to strive so much because it is easier not to. However, we don't need special treatment, but reasonable help based on needs. If you want to help them, help them the right way," he said.

READ MORE HERE

 

Questions over Mukhriz’s credentials for Umno VP

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 08:53 AM PDT

(MM) - Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's candidacy for an Umno vice-president's post has come under scrutiny, with some questioning whether he is qualified since he is not a supreme council member.

Mukhriz has suddenly become the "centre of attention", and is seen either as a threat to the "comfortability" of the incumbents or as a candidate who is able to unseat one of the three.

Incumbents — Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal — have welcomed the challenge, but at the same time, Ahmad Zahid said aspirants should seek party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's advice first.

The Kedah menteri besar's candidacy may have the backing of the grassroots who want to see Umno sail into a new era — particularly as he is former party president Tun Dr Mahathir's son — but there are also some who do not want him to displace the incumbents.

Curiosity has also knocked the minds of Opposition parties, particularly Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), with party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail taking the trouble to ask if Mukhriz is qualified to contest.

"I have no ulterior motive in asking about Mukhriz's eligibility as I just want to know what criteria are stipulated in Umno's new ruling on candidacy," Saifuddin said.

Mukhriz's political secretary Datuk Azimi Daim, in an attempt to clear the doubts, took pains to find out and came out with a clear definition of the new ruling.

"He is qualified to contest in accordance with the new ruling, which requires an aspirant to hold a position of an office bearer in a division or the exco in one of the wings," he said.

"Mukhriz is an Umno Youth exco member which already qualifies him to contest." 

 

In Khairy and Mukhriz, Umno and Malaysia’s divergent paths?

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 08:40 AM PDT

"Under Khairy, Pemuda's (Youth) image and orientation had shifted to progressive, centrist and problem solving. Although the Malay agenda will continue and preserved, a more unionised narrative, meaning more inclusive policies, is needed for the larger embodiment of the country," said a source close to the 37-year-old minister.

Syed Jamal Zahiid, MM

Both are scions of former prime ministers; both are rising stars in the country's most dominant party, Umno; both are striking out on opposing paths; one could someday chart Malaysia's future.

While the eyes of the nation remain largely fixed on whether there will be challenge at the head of Umno, the contests on the sidelines provide a tantalising glimpse into the two seemingly disparate visions vying for ascendancy in the Malay nationalist party.

On one side is Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir ― Kedah mentri besar and the son of the party's founder and Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He is seen to represent the conservative face of Umno that his father continues to champion even in retirement.

On the opposite is Khairy Jamaluddin ― Umno Youth chief, youth and sports minister, and son-in-law of Dr Mahathir's successor-turned-nemesis, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. His banner is that of progressiveness and centrism that the appeals to the youth, both in and outside of Umno.

While the two are not facing off this time around — both ran in the contest to head Umno Youth in 2009 that Khairy won — analysts believe the duo are the best symbols of the two ideologies vying for control over Umno.

"They represent the aspiration of an emerging generation of young Umno leaders but the two also represent the different interest groups with different political interests," Universiti Malaya's political scientists Professor Datuk Mohamad Abu Bakar said in a brief phone interview with The Malay Mail Online.

The father's son

Already 48, late bloomer Mukhriz is tipped to go for one the party's vice president spots and observers believe he may win on the support of the party's old guard said to remain loyal to his father, Dr Mahathir.

Three days ago, Dr Mahathir also made an impassioned plea for the party's stalwarts to make way for new blood, presumably to save Umno from an otherwise inevitable demise. But observers believe the call to be a sly nod towards Mukhriz's rumoured entry into the VP race.

The prominence of his father throughout his young political career has led to the continued perception that Mukhriz is a surrogate for Dr Mahathir and his right-wing influence.

"Mukhriz has yet to show his ability as he is not as articulate and vociferous as Khairy and he is also someone who is seen living in the shadow of his father. His rise is associated with his father.

"Until and unless he can show that he is a man of his own, unless he can do that, the public will always look at him negatively," Mohamad Abu said.

The analyst added that Mukhriz's rise up the ranks of Umno would mean a continuation of the conservatism espoused by his father and associated forces.

Appetite for change?

Although often viewed as a conservative party, one political analyst said that there is a growing belief within Umno that it was in need of renewal despite the outward blaming of non-Malays for the waning performance of  the Barisan Nasional coalition headed by the party.

"That is what the polls is about, they want to see Umno rejuvenated, changed; and I can see that Umno is ready to start a change," Professor Jayum Jawan of Universiti Putra Malaysia told The Malay Mail Online.

Coincidentally, one such voice for change is Khairy.

To prove his intent, the Umno Youth chief announced two weeks ago that four of the wing's members will contest for positions in the party's supreme council in a move aimed not only at increasing his influence in Umno's decision making process, but also to push the progressive agenda.

"Under Khairy, Pemuda's (Youth) image and orientation had shifted to progressive, centrist and problem solving. Although the Malay agenda will continue and preserved, a more unionised narrative, meaning more inclusive policies, is needed for the larger embodiment of the country," said a source close to the 37-year-old minister.

Paved with good intentions

Ultimately, however, the question of which of these two rising leaders and their professed visions could come to lead Umno may be of little consequence.

In recent years, an increasingly strident right wing has come to dominate discourse within the party and drowned out both moderates and liberals inside.

This was apparent in recent developments involving Umno president and prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

A self-styled modernist, Najib has faced relentless pressure in his various attempts to introduce reforms since taking office in April 2009.

Among others, he has repealed the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance, lifted the country from three states of Emergency, and sought to offer Malaysians greater liberties.

But all that has earned him is criticism from conservatives insistent on the status quo.

Now, it appears that reforms are on hold.

Last week, he went to bat for Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia, urging government-linked firms and agencies to help support the Malay-language newspaper that has been the voice of the party's right and far-right elements.

Days later, Najib went on to entrench the country's decades-old pro-Bumiputera affirmative action, wrapping it in the guise of the New Economic Model that he had introduced in 2010 with the express aim of dismantling race-based policies in favour of meritocracy.

This suggests that, Khairy or Mukhriz, the outcome will be the same if neither man can rein in Umno's shrill right.

Elections for the Umno Youth, Puteri and Wanita wings are set to take place on October 12, while the contests for the party's Supreme Council positions will be decided a week later.

This will be the first time some 146,000 delegates will vote to elect the party's top leaders, after Umno amended its constitution to open up voting to more members. 

 

The 3rd Man in UMNO Vice Presidency

Posted: 18 Sep 2013 08:22 AM PDT

KTemoc Konsiders

More than a year before the 2013 May general & states elections I posted a piece predicting Mukhriz Mahathir as the Next MB of Kedah, a useful political step for him to acquire necessary experience in political leadership towards fulfilling his Dad's hopes for him, as a future PM of Malaysia.

I had then written:

... we know UMNO is currently not doing well at federal level so perhaps a managed hiatus in federal politics for Mukhriz may not be ill conceived. [...]

... now no worries because AAB is out and Daddy is again back in vogue as the party darling, so it's virtually guaranteed Mukhriz will be supported by 101% of any UMNO state constituency in Kedah. He will also, like Dad when he was PM, receive garlands as big as the Garden of Eden wakakaka.

Currently, given SAMM's outrage and consequentially promised campaign against the current PAS MB, Azizan Abu Bakar, for his treacherous non-party line support of UUCA, and Chinese Kedahans' dislike for same MB, there is a possibility that PAS may be voted out to an extent it loses majority rule in Kedah – for more, read Another Hasan Ali.

So if UMNO (forget about MCA and Gerakan, but don't leave out MIC wakakaka) wins back Kedah, Mukhriz Mahathir could well be the next MB of Kedah.

And indeed he is as I forecast.

But MB or not, an UMNO man cannot remain outside the highest echelon of the UMNO party hierarchy (namely president, deputy president and the 3 vice president positions) and still expects to become PM, assuming of course UMNO remains the ruling party or at least, the largest party in the ruling coalition BN.

Thus Mukhriz must become, as a start, a party vice president, from which he can then ascend to become deputy president (and thus deputy PM) before assuming the top party post and by default, the prime minister position.

Currently there are 3 VP positions in UMNO, occupied by Shafie Apdal, Hishamuddin Hussein and the recently-most-belligerent and most ethnically "patriotic" pseudo-pahlawan, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

READ MORE HERE

 

Fickle fingers of fate

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:20 PM PDT

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ftc04jJVor0/UjhyF6ZaGSI/AAAAAAAAWOM/zU6ToOJbI_c/s1600/d6e2a3d55d0c2a9b32fefde0b59ccc79.jpg 

While his old man is around, Mukhriz should take that opportunity to use his influence. At 49, there is not much time left.

Another Brick in the Wall 

This was the picture of the three contestants for Ketua Pemuda UMNO post during the debate on the night of February 17th, 2009. 

By virtue of the 66 Divisional nominations received, Dato Mukhriz Mahathir was seen as the favourite over then Deputy Pemuda UMNO Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin (47 nominations) and Dato Seri Dr Khir Toyo (43 nominations).

However, casting was made and after what Tun described recently as a long 7 hours to count 700 votes, Khairy came out the winner at 304 votes with Khir Toyo at 254 votes and Mukhriz at 232 votes.

By the fickle fingers of fate, Khairy remained on as Member of Parliament for Rembau and was not appointed into any position except later as Chairman of PUNB. Khir Toyo became a victim of the heated contest.

Only Mukhriz secured a position after the contest as Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry.

Son-in-law

Despite much lobbying and even using Pemuda UMNO exco members to lobby, Khairy had to win his second term as MP before getting the much wanted position of Minister of Youth and Sports in 2013. It was a position he viewed as the strategic in building his path to Premiership, but this time, no more the 40 year age target.

Few days ago, "Chief", the title this 37 year old Ketua Pemuda is being addressed by fellow Pemuda UMNO, was reported by The Star to have expressed his vision and plans for his second term as Pemuda UMNO Chief.

Khairy viewed it as inappropriate time to expressed right wing sentiment and he would like to "change the DNA of UMNO Youth from being mostly right wing and Malay-centric to a more centrist wing."


That is the approach Khairy wanted for Pemuda UMNO movement to take on issues raised and solution seek. To change the DNA, it is a not so subtle but sophisticated way of saying to throw away the Malay character of UMNO Youth.  

Ever since assuming the Ministerial post, Khairy has position himself to be regularly covered by mainstream media to express himself, including his personal views. He continued his liberal stance criticism of Perkasa, when the Ketua Wira Perkasa accused PM for betraying the Malays and called for his resignation.   

Categorising UMNO as right wing and himself as centrist is flawed. In term of the struggle to protect Malay interest and acceptance and cooperation of the other races, UMNO had always been centrist.

By comparison, PKMM had a rather more right wing worldview despite the inconsistencies in many areas.

PAS's past is more right wing in their Islamic view and opposition to UMNO's cooperation with non-Malays and non-Muslims. Like opposition PKMM, PAS had always been consistently inconsistent in their persistance to maintain views diametrically opposite to UMNO.

That attitude seemed to have no bound with Anwarinas faction holding control on the party as PAS transgress issues of faith to embrace the chauvanistic Chinese centric and evangelistic DAP as coalition partner. 

To centralise the already central positioning of UMNO, Khairy has mistakenly acknowledged his left leaning liberal stance.

Despite opposition by members of Pemuda exco, Khairy insisted in appointing a DAP supporter, promoters of DAP "evangelist" politicians, and former reporter to Malaysiakini and The Star, Regina Lee as Press Secretary.

Khairy confirmed also an open secret for a neo-liberal agenda.

Almost all of those within Khairy's political circle and corporate boys placed in GLCs during the time of Tun Abdullah's administration share a common politico-economic theory favoring borderless free trade, privatisation, minimal government intervention in business, reduced or no public expenditure on social services, etc.

It means last Saturday's announcement on Polisi Memperkasakan Ekonomi Bumiputera (PMEB) is frown upin by neo-liberalists. Khazanah is dragging it's feet by requesting for it to be stated in their KPI.

One will expect Khairy's fellow neo-liberal and International Malaysian Forum member from his Oxford days, Dato' Omar Ong is expected to abuse his close relation with the Prime Minister, influence in PEMANDU and Petronas to sabotage it's implimentation.

While neo-liberalism stemmed from a liberal political movement that begin in the 1960s for the concern for social justice, they are diametrically oppose to any form of government intervention like New Economic Policy, Malay Agenda or PMEB are opposed.

Under Khairy as "Chief", Pemuda UMNO has been silenced to react to criticism and insults levelled at the Malays and Islam. He was criticised as being responsible for the turning Pemuda party political machinery into a lull.

Khairy's generosity to buy influence and shower his supporters with contracts, business and financing opportunities at the time of his father in law only made the movement fat and lazy. Money is demanded before any plan or assignment laid out and seldom it is not carried out effectively.

The same malaise has spread to the Puteri wing.

This has inspired Akramsyah Mammar Ubaidullah Sanusi, son of Tan Sri Sanusi Junid to take up the role of David in this battle against the Goliath Khairy.

Decades ago during their student days in London, he succeeded to halt Khairy, Omar Ong and the rest of the IMF team from taking control UKEC.

This time it will not be easy for Akram to win over a full Minister, two term MP and incumbent. Khairy has endeared himself as Minister for his tough stance against Sports Association's bureaucrasy and politics.

Our money is for Khairy to win but the support for Akram will be indicative of UMNO's future role as torchbearer of the Malay movement.

Peasant's Son

When Khir Toyo ran for Ketua Pemuda in 2009, it is believed not to be the position he aspired for. As the Menteri Besar that was blamed for the loss of Selangor to Pakatan Rakyat, UMNO would not give him a chance to win one of the three Vice President positions.

From day one when Khairy had his ambition to be Ketua Pemuda UMNO after the free passage in 2004, his gun was set on Khir Toyo as possible competitor.

From that year onward, the Menteri Besar-ship of Khir Toyo was under constant attack. The media, particularly TV3's Karam Singh Walia, was constantly harping on environmental issue in Selangor. Khairy hired a helicopter to photographed the house under renovation.


The pictures came out in an anti-Khairy blog which was widely believed to be operated by Khairy's cyberteam. Though competing, Khir's team are friendly with Mukhriz's team.

Khir had expressed interest to run for Ketua Pemuda. He was aligned to Najib and supposedly replace Dato Hishamuddin as he pursue for Vice Presidency. However, Mukhriz announced earlier and immediately after a forum at the Singgahsana Hotel.

Khir's boys believed that a Khir would have made it in a Khir versus Khairy race but Mukhriz versus Khairy would give the seat to Khairy. Thus for the intense attack by Khairy's friendly media against Khir Toyo.

While many UMNO leaders in Selangor blamed Khir for Selangor's lost, they forgot that media bombardment on Khir for many years was impossible to defuse come campaign time. the real reason. Khairy's overzealous attack towards Khir was responsible for Selangor's BN downfall.

The picture on Khir's new home did not end with Khir's lost. Subsequently, the picture got the attention of DAP's Sekinchan assemblymen, Ng Sue Lin and he made a drama out of the house.

It also attracted the attention of MACC. Khir Toyo was charged not for corruption but a sort of "conflict of interest offense." The house seller had a business with the state government thus Khir cannot have any transaction with him.

Though he had not done any favour and no state contract was awarded to seller, the fact that Khir had once viewed the house was considered as an interest to buy the property.

Khir was charged under a section of the penal code that guide the conduct of civil servant. It can be considered as a minor law to because effectively, Khir cannot do business or enter into any transaction with three quarter of the state population.

Co-incidently, this came about at a time Najib was supposed to sweep a new corrupt free broom. Khir's boys felt Khir was being fixed because a Minister close to Najib had gave assurance that his case is minor and it will not be a major problem.

There was no act of corruption but technically, Khir's path ahead is difficult. He seem destined for a 1-year imprisonment. He lost at the High Court and Court of Appeal. The appeal at the Federal Court level is still on-going.

Although still lending his hand here and there, his political career is furthest in his mind now. If losing his position as MB to become Opposition Leader and losing the Ketua Pemuda contest was a setback, luck has not turnaround for this capable but stained young leader from a humble background.

Khir was the fifth son of a Javanese immigrant family. His father was a padi farmer at Sungai Burong Tanjung Karang Selangor. Even while in University, Khir would return over the weekend to lend a hand in the sawah.

Upon graduation, he was worked in government clinics as dentist before opening a practise in Kajang.

Khir was active in UMNO and rose to become an exco member in the Pemuda UMNO led by Dato Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and subsequently replaced by Hishamuddin upon Zahid's resignation.

It is believed his name was suggested by then UMNO Youth Treasurer, Dato Mokhzani Mahathir to replace Dato Abu Hassan Omar, who had to resign as Menteri Besar, in 2000. The ANSARA boys had some minor roles in getting the unknown Khir cleared for the hottest seat in Malaysian politics but it best left untold.

Upon prosecution, Khir return his Selangor Datokship and vacate the position of Opposition Leader. He had also vacated the position of UMNO Divisional Head of Sg Besar. In the last election, a young leader, Budiman ran for his Sg Panjang Burong state assembly seat.

In our opinion, Khir is a brave, street-smart, and innovative leader. He has done his time for his past mistake and perceived arrogance. The fingers of fate could not stop his continued misfortune and it will be a big loss.

We seldom asked: If he had been from the bangsawan class and not son of a Jawa, would his fate had turned around for the better? It is not full vindication but the Minister close to Najib that failed Khir is in trouble with the ground.  

Read more at: http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.com/2013/09/fickle-fingers-of-fate.html 

Muslimah World is Islam's retort to Miss World beauty pageant

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:17 PM PDT

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Alternative role models for Muslim women ... Contestants of the Muslimah World contest in Jakarta, Indonesia 

(The Daily Telegraph) - THE finale of a beauty pageant exclusively for Muslim women will take place in the Indonesian capital, in a riposte to the Miss World contest in Bali that has drawn fierce opposition from Islamic radicals.

Twenty contestants will show off the latest Islamic fashion trends in the Muslimah World pageant and will also take part in other activities, such as reciting the Koran, aimed at demonstrating their piety.

"We're just trying to show the world that Islam is beautiful,'' said Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola, a 21-year-old contestant from Nigeria, one of six countries represented at the pageant.

"We are free and the hijab (Muslim headscarf) is our pride.''

The contestants - who can only enter the competition if they wear a headscarf - have undergone three days of "spiritual training'' in the run-up to the final in Jakarta, waking up before dawn to pray together and sharpen their Koranic reading skills.

Organisers say they want to show Muslim women there is an alternative to the idea of beauty put forward by the British-run Miss World pageant, and also want to show that opposition to the pageant can be expressed nonviolently.

Organiser Eka Shanti, who founded the pageant three years ago after losing her job as TV news anchor for refusing to remove her headscarf, bills the contest as "Islam's answer to Miss World''.

Read more at: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/muslimah-world-is-islam8217s-retort-to-miss-world-beauty-pageant/story-fni0df3j-1226722349281 

 

Court allows Umno lawyer Shafee to lead government’s Sodomy II appeal

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 05:14 PM PDT

(MM) - The Court of Appeal unanimously ruled today to allow Datuk Seri Mohd Shafee Abdullah to lead Putrajaya's appeal against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal of a second sodomy charge.



The three-man panel of judges led by Datuk Ramly Ali said they found no issues with the prominent Umno lawyer's appointment by the Attorney-General, adding there were mo substantial grounds to prove that Shafee is unfit to assume the duties of a deputy public prosecutor (DPP).



The panel, which also included Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Datuk Rohana Yusof, said provisions under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) governing appointments of private lawyers must be read together and not individually.

 

 

Coal plant idea being revived

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:43 PM PDT

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(Daily Express) - The Federal Government plans to revive the controversial coal-fired power plant that was scrapped in 2011 as part of a long-term plan to solve the State's power woes.

The proposed RM1.3 billion 300MW project which was cancelled on Feb. 26, 2011 after being heavily opposed by a local environmental group is now being discussed at ministerial-level, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Monday.

He named Tawau as the plant's new location but later stated the project would be within the East Coast as "there are still various issues to be concluded and details of the plan are not yet available."

Mahdzir said this after chairing the first meeting of a task force that was set up to ensure the roadmap to the implementation of better electricity supply in Sabah is achieved.

He added Sabahans would be enjoying better supply by now if the coal-fired plant project had followed through five years ago, laying the blame on the leader of an environmental group who has since left Sabah.

"Because of this NGO leader, Sabah is still facing a power supply problem," he said, adding that the Ministry is now prepared for another round of opposition over the said plan.

Without naming the group's leader, Mahdzir said the leader left Sabah to the peninsula to head a peninsula-based environmental group and subsequently became a politician, in a veiled reference to Wong Tack who headed Sepa and thereafter Himpunan Hijau. Soon after the plan was scrapped, another lady activist also decided to claim credit on the Internet for the Government's decision.

Mahdzir said the country is now facing the possibility of higher electricity tariff and there is a need to find another venue to solve the issue from now and beyond 2020. He said the task force was set up to ensure the implementation of all the long, medium and short-term plans, including monitoring the implementation of electrical supply projects, advice on power-generating capacity and affordability and others.

Short-term plans include power generation from the 300MW Kimanis Power Project and the SPR Energy Power Projects which are expected to come on stream by end of this year and by 2014 respectively.

Also, an additional 14MW capacity from 5-9MW from the Sepanggar Bay Power Corporation, 20MW from Batu Sapi since March and 64MW from the Kubota Power plant.

All of which, he said, will cover Sandakan, Tawau and Kota Kinabalu in the short-term range from 2013 to 2015.

Medium-term, he said, involved 180MW from the Upper Padas Hydro Electric project which would begin end of next year, a 30MW Renewable Energy (geothermal) plant in Tawau and the Southern link transmission from Sipitang and to Kalumpang, which will link loops in the middle of the State crossing underneath the Crocker Range.

The project would be from 2013 to 2019, while the long-term plan would go beyond 2020, said Mahdzir, adding that it depends on the demand of local industries, which are expanding.

The taskforce comprises the Energy Commission, Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd, Rural Electric Supply Projects under the Rural Development and Regional Ministry and various related State agencies.

When contacted, State Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said he was not aware of the plan. He said the State Government has made a commitment to safeguard the environment in view of the strategic importance of the tourism industry to the economy of the State.

READ MORE HERE 

Mahathir's denials not surprising: Bumburing

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:38 PM PDT

http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/Images/TSOL/Photos-Gallery/Nation/2013/07/02/Datuk%20Seri%20Wilfred%20Bumburing.ashx 

(Daily Express) -  Denials by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his alled involvement in granting ICs to illegals at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants in Sabah recently were to be expected.

"I am not at all surprised by the statement given by Mahathir and I believe the people of Sabah are not surprised at all, albeit disappointed," said Sabah Reform Movement chief, Datuk Wilfred Bumburing.

"I had expected all this while the kind of lies and denials by Mahathir on the illegal immigrant issue in Sabah," he said, Tuesday.

Bumburing who is also Tamparuli Assemblyman said all the evidence given by most of those called to testify earlier except for a few people like former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh and the Deputy Director of Immigration, all pointed to the invisible hand of Mahathir.

"He had either lied or is suffering from dementia or is senile.

I believe no Sabahan in their right frame of mind would believe whatever testimonies given by Mahathir," he said.

Bumburing said during Mahathir's long tenure at the helm of the government he had been denying that the government was giving out ICs to the illegal immigrant while at sametime justifying that these ICs were given only to those who were qualified.

"He had used his tight grip on the government to do whatever he liked.

He had also lied when he said that there is no immigration policy.

"While his government clearly encouraged or ignored the influx of foreigners in Sabah he had announced the infamous policy of "shoo or shoot" the Vietnamese boat people who fled their country in the late seventies and early eighties.

"This indeed is a double-standard immigration policy said Bumburing.

"The people of Sabah had agreed to join in the formation of Malaysia on the promise of security, justice, equality and prosperity of the local people.

Clearly to this date, this promise had not been fulfilled.

"The government had abandoned Sabah and left it to fend for itself in all fields competing daily with the influx of immigrants, which had suited their political agenda.

"The government also practised discriminatory policy, even among the bumiputeras, in all sectors by way of the undeclared silent policy of "Malay first".

"Ask any ordinary Kadazandusun, for example, and they feel that they have been treated as third class bumiputeras. The revenue from the oil from Sabah was used by Mahathir to build infrastructures in Semenanjung Malaysia and to finance his many mega projects leaving Sabah the poorest state in the country.

"I came to know about a recent unpublished report that Sabah is sliding down in the poverty ladder," he claimed.

He recalled when Mahathir was invited to officiate a function jointly-organised by the Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dayak Chamber of Commerce in Kuala Lumpur some years back.

In response to a point raised by the leaders of these two chambers as to why the Kadazandusun and Dayak did not equitably benefit from the new economic policy that the government had introduced, he simply said " terlimpas pandang" or oversight.

This proved that the two communities were not important in his government policy.

"His promise on special programmes to help the two communities is an empty promise until his retirement into "emeritus prime minister" status," he said.

Bumburing said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's message to the people of Sabah on the occasion of the "50th National Day" that the government would not neglect Sabah and Sarawak proved that for 50 years the two states had not been at par with Malaya in terms development.

"His (Najib) statement also alludes to the notion that for 50 years Sabah indeed has been indirectly neglected by the Federal Government.

"If the government is serious and sincere in pulling Sabah and Sarawak out of their under-developed status and place them on the same level with the rest of the states in the country then the government must offer the people a very clear policy on the three main problems, especially in Sabah, namely the illegal immigrant issues, backward development and poverty.

READ MORE HERE 

Komas activist in court over Sri Lankan film

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:31 PM PDT

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Lena-Hendry.jpg 

(FMT) - Human rights NGO Pusat Komas today slammed Putrajaya for "the utmost form of harassment," for charging its activist for screening the controversial documentary "No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" on July 3.

Its director Tan Jo Hann today said its programme director Lena Hendry – one of the three arrested during the screening of the film – was asked to be in the KL Magistrate's Court tomorrow (Sept 19) to face charges.

"This is the Malaysian authorities' utmost form of harassment and direct violation of freedom of speech, assembly and association, which is guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution," Tan said in a statement.

"It is sad that Malaysia being part of the Human Rights Council should, in fact, be defenders instead of persecutors of human rights activists," he added.

Tan urged the Home Ministry (KDN) and Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) to "come to their senses and immediately drop the charges and cease all investigations into the screening of the film."

"There is definitely no cause to prolong this intimidation and harassment with strong arm tactics of the law and abusing government agencies against human rights defenders," he said.

He claimed that, "No Fire Zone" was a credible and highly regarded documentary, which highlighted the atrocities committed by the government and military against its citizens.

"It did seem that the Sri Lankan government told the Malaysian authorities to stop the screening on July 3. Also, Sri Lanka embassy representatives went to the venue to try stop the screening," he said.

"Ironically, the Malaysia authorities seemed to be sending the message that they are "closing one eye" and sometimes both eyes to films that actually incite racism and discrimination," he said, adding that "the government often endorsed and even funded these productions, which were also allowed to be screened in public cinemas nationwide."

Home Ministry, police and Immigration Department personnel raided the venue on July 3, leading to the arrest of Lena, Komas executive director Arul Prakash and director Anna Har.

The trio were released on bail and slated to appear at the Magistrates' court on Aug 6. However, Arul received a call from KDN officer Akilah Bakri on Aug 5 informing them that charges had not been filed against them thus, were not required to appear at the court the next day.

Read more at : http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/09/18/komas-activist-in-court-over-sri-lankan-film/ 

My cat is a communist

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:23 PM PDT

"The problem with ideologies is that too often we serve them instead of humanity. Another problem is how in this country we so easily paint the ones we fear or do not understand as evil personified—as can be evidenced by our persecution of non-government sanctioned schools of Islam and our continued crusade against black metal."

Erna Mahyuni, The Malay Mail 

I live in fear of being arrested every day because, you see, my cat is a communist.

She believes that equality can be achieved by empowering the downtrodden by redistributing wealth. Which, of course, is a controversial aspect of communism.

My cat considers herself downtrodden as she is deprived of any type of food outside of kibble while I, the bourgeois class, dine on her favourite substance — chicken — every day.

Obviously this is unjust! An uprising is obviously the moral thing to do.

Thus she has resorted to guerilla tactics and has taken to hiding behind doors or stalking me in the kitchen when I am cooking.

My other cat is less radical and would prefer the status quo. He has taken to smacking her around the head in defence of liberty and the right to keep getting fed kibble by the benevolent government a.k.a. me.

It is indeed very trying to live in such a household with the prevailing state of differing ideologies.

If it were up to my second cat, my communist kitty would be barred from the house unless she gave up her chicken-stealing ways and accept that chicken is not something she has any right to demand.

While I believe cooked chicken is bad for my Red Army kitty, I respect her desires though there is no way in heck I would fulfill them.

Human food is for humans, kitty.

While the situation in my house is amusing, the outside realities where we need to contend with differences in political beliefs and ideologies is far trickier than salmonella-free poultry.

I find it much less amusing that our government has placed our police on red alert to prevent the remains (in whatever form they are in) of Chin Peng from crossing the border.

What's to stop anyone from just tossing his ashes over the border? Are our security personnel going to sweep them up and toss them back into Thailand?

The problem with ideologies is that too often we serve them instead of humanity. Another problem is how in this country we so easily paint the ones we fear or do not understand as evil personified—as can be evidenced by our persecution of non-government sanctioned schools of Islam and our continued crusade against black metal.

I will not begrudge my cat from desiring chicken or from entering my house. My home is hers as it is my other more pro-establishment cat's.

But humans, alas, are not cats and our country's problems cannot be solved with a "No! Bad kitty!"

If only it were so easy.

 

The folly of the majority

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:11 PM PDT

I am all for helping the Malays but we must help them properly. By all means, give them scholarships, business loans and other incentives, but why can't such assistance be part of a holistic economic policy that doesn't identify beneficiaries according to their race?  

Zaid Ibrahim 

The Umno President has once again announced a massive government initiative dedicated to helping only the Malays and the Bumiputera under the New Economic Model. This "disadvantaged group," comprising more than 70% of the population, will be getting more of the usual special treatment from the Government in the form of contracts, grants, unit trusts and loans worth more than RM30 billion. Why they are not able to help this group by having good and fair policies for all Malaysians was never explained.

Now preferential policies for the Malays are deemed as a right. It has become a huge political gimmick where the Malays are regularly told that if they want these special rights and privileges to continue, they have to vote for Umno. In fact, some Umno leaders scoff at the so-called "unfairness" of these policies and scold their colleagues for being apologetic about it.

What I find most distasteful and hard to stomach are the pretensions that go with the policy announcement. There is this condescending assurance that the rights of "others" will not be affected, and that since the economy will continue to grow, no one will lose. If that were true then the non-Malays will continue to have more than the Malays, and this is certainly untenable for the special people.

It took 40 years for Malay corporate wealth to move from 2% to 23%. Do not ask me why. But surely that means that to move from the present rate to, say, 50% will take another 50 years at least if not more. By then the non-Malays will represent only 20-23 % of the population and so the question then for Utusan Malaysia will be, why allow the Chinese to have wealth on parity or greater than those from the majority race? Equity, the new buzzword, or equitable treatment therefore requires the non-Malays to "forego or give up" what they have to allow for equitable treatment to the Malays. So why pretend that we care about fairness or act concerned about making sure others will not be "unfairly treated"? Fairness is irrelevant. The idea of special preference itself is a negation of fairness.

It's ironic that these leaders shouted Hidup Melayu to celebrate this pernicious policy, because it is actually a death knell for the Malays. The original policy of 40 years ago has become something else: it's now a repository of all that is crude, unsophisticated and unthinking. What can be simpler than the idea of grabbing as much as you can whilst you have power? The deleterious and negative effects of this can be seen in the behaviour and values of these Umno Malays.

Today, after many years of being "special", the Malays who are successful are never accepted for their ability; they must have received "special treatment" from Umno. This is particularly true if they do not support Umno's policies. The dispensation of special treatment  enables Umno to pick and choose the winners and after 40 years we can see clearly how some Malays are more equal than others. The greed emanating from this group  of the "NEW RICH" is shocking. The lower income groups remain untouched by new injection of financial and economic assistance; its always the  Malay Contractors; members of the Malay Chambers, and of course the elite who get the bulk of the special treatment. When will the Malays realized the special treatment formula is nothing special except for some?

Short sightedness is another product of the special treatment.  Malay businessmen are not encouraged to collaborate with the non Malays when such collaboration will open new supply chain  and new opportunities. It's the same with education.

The Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA proudly announced that the university is no place for non-Malays. He assumes that non-Malays want to go there in the first place. He also ignores the possible benefits that can come from having a more diverse student body — he is probably oblivious to the fact that we can learn valuable traits, attitudes and values from those who are different from us. It sadly does not occur to him that the presence of non-Malays might actually be useful for the Malays, the people he wants to champion. 

READ MORE HERE 

 

Ties that bind: Sarawak and Adelaide

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 02:03 PM PDT

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Taib-Mahmud-and-his-pals-at-Adelaide.jpg 

"The rally on Thursday will go a long way in raising awareness amongst students as to just who their University is honoring," said Yasmin.

"However, the SRC's position on the University's relationship with Taib is clear. We do not feel at all comfortable with Taib using his relationship with the University of Adelaide to establish credibility on the international stage, and we will continue our campaign until that stops." 

Dahlia Martin, New Mandala 

Adelaide has had strong Malaysian ties from its early days – it was, after all, founded by William Light, an illegitimate son of Penang's founder Francis Light. Some speculate that William's mother was Siamese or Malay.

One South Australian Premier, Don Dunstan, had a Malaysian wife, and oversaw the establishment of Adelaide and Georgetown as sister cities.

Malaysian-born politician Senator Penny Wong calls Adelaide home.

But there is one connection between Malaysia and the South Australian capital that has increasingly attracted criticism.

The Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Adelaide has organized a rally for this Thursday at the institution's Taib Mahmud Court – a courtyard named after the man who has been Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak since 1981.

The SRC is hoping to persuade the University to put more distance between itself and Taib, an alumnus of the University and a recipient of an honorary doctorate from there. He is understood to have donated over half a million dollars to the University.

The SRC, on a Facebook page it has established to promote the campaign, refers to this money as "blood money."

Taib has been accused by activists of overseeing the destruction of Sarawak's remaining rainforests. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called this destruction "probably the biggest environmental crimes of our times."

Indigenous people whose livelihoods depend on the local environment have especially suffered under Taib's rule. In 2009, a Cabinet Task Force revealed that women and girls from the Penan tribe had been raped by loggers. It noted the particularly marginalized position of the Penan tribe, and recommended a number of reforms – including increased self-determination for the Penan people – be implemented.

Four years later, none of the rapists have been brought to justice, and little has changed in the way of the lot of the Penan people.

Meanwhile, Taib and his family have continued to amass a fortune overseas – with Adelaide being the so-called "hub" of Taib's foreign property portfolio (Taib's family owns the Adelaide Hilton through Sitehost Pty Ltd).

The SRC first passed a resolution calling for the renaming of Taib Mahmud Court in 2011. The next two years saw some behind-the-scenes negotiation on this front, but in 2013, the SRC decided it was time for a new approach, to help demonstrate to the University how unhappy students would be at learning of the University's links with Taib.

"The SRC felt it had to increase awareness of this issue amongst students first," said SRC Ethnocultural Officer Yasmin Martin.

"Taib Mahmud Court is a popular rendezvous point, but most people don't know who Taib Mahmud is – and more importantly, what he's done."

A Facebook page was swiftly created, with the assistance of student Lizzie Taylor. Lizzie had a few months earlier travelled to Tasmania, and seen firsthand the destruction that Ta Ann – a company headed by a first cousin of Taib's which has logged much of the rainforest in Sarawak – was doing there.

Yasmin authored a letter to Vice Chancellor Professor Warren Bebbington asking that Taib's honorary doctorate be revoked and that the courtyard named for Taib be renamed.

Read more at : http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2013/09/18/ties-that-bind-sarawak-and-adelaide/

Giving While Living

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:15 AM PDT

http://archives.thestar.com.my/archives/2011/2/6/nation/n_03lokeyew.jpg 

Where is today's Loke Yew? 

Our new age billionaire boys do not have the human touch in their branding. They believe in the American version of branding with expensive billboards, advertisements, F1 tracks, print on football jerseys and long list of mindless brand building strategies. 

Natesan Visnu 

The 'giving while living' philosophy was pioneered by Chuck Fenney through Atlantic Philanthropies (AP). The organization went on to invest in area of ageing, children & youth, population health and reconciliation & human rights. Fenney was inspired by Andrew Carnegie's essay on 'the gospel of wealth'. Andrew believes that the wealthy should redistribute their surplus wealth in an appropriate manner that would benefit the society in general.

Carnegie explained that by donating to charity, it does not guarantee that the charity organization would redistribute the funds wisely. He views that by donating to charitable organization, it does not improve the condition of the poor. He firmly believes that the nature of the charity should create new opportunities to the beneficiaries.

Carnegie put his philosophy into practice by providing grants for public libraries. He believes the libraries are tools for people to better themselves. To ensure that his 'gift' will not go into waste, he urged for the municipalities to establish a taxation system to support the operating cost. He created a foundation to continue the efforts after his death. It is truly a simple yet effective system to enhance the poor.

Carnegie also established Carnegie Corporation of New YorkCarnegie Endowment for International PeaceCarnegie Institution for ScienceCarnegie Trust for the Universities of ScotlandCarnegie Hero FundCarnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. All the organization involved in philanthropic activities for betterment of mankind in various field of education, human rights, arts, etc.

Fenney with his philosophy of 'education equals opportunity' and 'giving while living' has distributed grants worth 2 billion for medical and educational facilities. AP invested 1 billion in Northern Ireland funding for research facilities inUniversity of Limerick and Dublin City University. AP also funded 4 million for Hue Central Hospital in Vietnam.

Why do billionaires like Fenney and Carnegie care so much for advancement of human civilization? Warren Buffet stated 'We're hoping that America, which is the most generous society on Earth, becomes even more generous over time.'  The American billionaires club has taken the initiatives for the future of human civilization by developing programs to empower the poor. Gates and Buffet visited India to talk about The Giving Pledge to the Indians.

If the wealthiest person in the world has taken so much effort to combat poverty, why are there poor people? Why do the African children never get enough food? Why do Indian children live in the slum? Why are children and women killed mercilessly in wars? The ultimate answer is the politics of the country. The failure of the political system and greed leadership are the key components of failure of a nation. Africa, India, Syria and the list of troublesome countries should blame the political system and leadership for their downfall as a nation and society.

Echoing on the political system and leadership theory, the Scandinavian countries have proved their success as nations and their people continue to live harmoniously. Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are in the top 20 list for happiest country in the world. Scandinavians have definitely developed the system to ensure the people of the country are cared accordingly. One of the key components for a happy country is the efficiency of social support for the people.

Blessed with natural resources, a multi-cultural society, emerging economy and colorful people; we are not happy as a nation. The social support system has not played a significant role in empowering the society. Apart from BR1M program, the Malaysian government has not provided 'tools' to empower the people of Malaysia. Echoing on Carnegie's philosophy, the government should develop programs to empower the people, not give charity. On that note, the BR1M program is charity, not a tool to empower people.

One of the 'tools' that is clearly required is an efficient education system. The recent launch of the education blueprint has sparked much debate among the public. Comparing the Malaysian education blueprint and Finnish education system, our blueprint has many loopholes that need to be fixed. On that note, studying the Finnish education system and adapting the early year's education programs will definitely benefit our education blueprint.

For Malaysian billionaires, 'giving while living' should inspire the billionaire boys club to use their surplus wealth to enhance our community. We have billionaires with football clubs, F1 team and spending millions for branding and marketing. We do not have billionaires that spend millions for libraries, universities, research facilities, etc.

I remember a talk by Yasmin Ahmad on branding and she said it's the human touch that makes the brand. But our new age billionaire boys do not have the human touch in their branding. They believe in the American version of branding with expensive billboards, advertisements, F1 tracks, print on football jerseys and long list of mindless brand building strategies.

In the past we had Loke Yew donating his wealth to build various schools in Kuala Lumpur. He founded the Victoria Institution (VI) with Thamboosamy Pillai and donated a huge sum for Methodist Boys School (MBS). Loke Yew made a $500,000 loan interest free to Hong Kong University in 1915.

The 'China pendatang' donated his wealth for education and our current leadership failed to recognize the Chinese contribution dated from 1900s. The top politicians and businessmen are mostly from VI and MBS. The Victorian spirit initiated by Loke Yew is no longer there in modern Malaysia. We have 'educated' leaders and businessmen but not 'learned'. Loke Yew would have been a very disappointed man if he was alive today.    

'Education equals opportunity', echoing the thoughts, the Malaysian government should develop a comprehensive education system that would benefit the rural folks in Sabah and Sarawak. The recent article by Baru Pian has highlighted the issues with education in rural areas. The education blueprint should aim to empower the rural kids.

The billionaires and millionaires kids go to the best schools. The poor kids go to the average schools. The disparity in education would cripple the future of this country. The politicians, policy makers and entrepreneurs have the wealth and power in their hand to make a difference. Make that difference and empower the poor kids. 

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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