Isnin, 18 November 2013

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Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News

Money’s Too Tight To Mention, But Not For Musa

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 09:32 PM PST

And so it begins. The very first has just been presented by the new Sabah Government after being re-elected in May 2013, and after hours of back and forth (cursing and paper tearing included), the new budget shows that the Sabah Government is committed to progress and is also as determined to increase the pace of development in the state.

Musa Aman says the bulk of the Sabah budget is earmarked for development. The RM4.622 billion of the Sabah budget for the financial year of 2013-2014 proposed by Chief Minister-cum-State Finance Minister Musa Aman in the state assembly Fridaysought to tell the Sabah growth story vis-a-vis Malaysia's and achieve the five-year dream in the first year itself. The release states "The new budget for 2013-14 would build new confidence among people and showcase state's potentialities before the world". "Ensuring Continuity of People's Well being", it was announced that new missions and schemes, referring to State Barisan National's Government is very committed to the development of not only in the urban but also rural areas in Sabah and at the same time ensuring nobody is sidelined in the budget.

A press statement continued by saying that "The State 2014 Budget is higher by nearly 80-fold than Sabah's first State Budget 50 years ago where the revenue estimate was only RM61.5 million while the expenditure estimate was RM61 million. In 1974, the estimated revenue rose to RM207 million and the estimated expenditure increased to RM239 million. Ten years later in 1984, the estimated revenue reached RM1.22 billion while State revenue rose to RM1.38 billion. 2014, has set the highest ever State revenue target which is RM4.58 billion, marking an increase of 20 per cent from 2013′s original estimate of RM3.83 billion."

Even as the Federal government earmarks just 35 per cent of the Federal Budget for development work, the Sabah government spends as much as 65 per cent of the state Budget on development work. Talking about Sabah's contributing a lion's share in the nation's development, Musa said, "Although the state government was elected for a five-year term, it resolves to fulfill the people's aspirations from the very first year itself."

While Musa's budget speech said the state economy has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five decades since independence, he added that "I am confident that people from all walks of live regardless of religion, race, gender, rich, poor, old or young, physically challenged, wherever they may be ( whether on land or sea); people's well-being and States prosperity are our main agendas for us to always strive for, which are certainly achievable." 

So there is the mission for which the government has allocated RM 1.58 billion "for improving infrastructure and public amenities". This is besides RM627.92 million allocate to upgrade water supply. Musa claims that to achieve zero hardcore poor target and reduce relative poor in Sabah, the government has allocated RM178.14 million to implement various programmes. The reduction of poverty from 19.7% in 2009 to 8.1% in 2012 proved that the governments efforts in this has borne fruits.


What did ASEAN nations tell Malaysia at the UN Periodic Review?

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 09:24 PM PST

Although ASEAN presents itself as a regional cooperative for purposes of security and prosperity, the reality is that ASEAN member nations compete with each other. We're all trying to attract investments and we're all trying to protect our own industries.

It is also an open secret that no ASEAN nations are paragons of human rights – we use the cover of "mutual respect for sovereignty" to severely limit criticism of each other.

The more self-righteous members like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines think the bad guys are Cambodia (Pol Pot!), Vietnam (Uncle Ho!), Laos (whoever!), Myanmar (the Generals!), Thailand (theyhurt Muslims!).

No ASEAN nation accepts the moniker 'police state.' We just say we put community rights above personal rights. So, what advice did our ASEAN neighbours give us?

Malaysia plus 9 other nations make up ASEAN. 8 of these nations provided a total of 16 'recommendations' to Malaysia:

Brunei (2), Cambodia (2), Indonesia (2), Myanmar (2), Philippines (3), Singapore (2), Thailand (2) and Vietnam (1). Only Lao PDR didn't pitch in.

I've put 'recommendations' in quotation marks because some of the statements sound more like 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back." Here's my analysis:

1. Children's rights (1). Myanmar suggests we share our good practices in 'easing child burden which disproportionately affects women.' Go figure.

2. Education (1). Brunei suggests we continue 'promoting the right to education.' Okay.

3. Foreign workers (2). Indonesia and Philippines, being purveyors of labour to Malaysia (and to other nations), want us to step up and expand the safety, welfare and working conditions of our guest workers. We are asked to look especially at domestic workers and undocumented migrants (perhaps this is a veiled reference to our practice of caning 'illegals'). We are asked to 'step up' and 'expand' our efforts in these areas. These recommendations are so vague that it is unclear what would constitute success.

4. Freedom of expression (1). Indonesia suggests we continue efforts to enhance the rights of citizens to assemble peaceably. What specifically do they think we should do?

5. Gender discrimination (3). Brunei suggests we continue our efforts in safeguarding the rights of women and children (yes, Brunei said that). Singapore suggests we continue promoting gender equality and empowering women. Vietnam suggests we share best practices in promoting gender equality through education and training. Huh?

6. General (1). Singapore suggests we continue our efforts to increase 'enjoyment of human rights' and living standards. Are you feeling helped?

7. Healthcare (1). Thailand suggests we step up efforts to provide universal access to affordable health care. I wonder why.

8. Income inequality & poverty (2). Cambodia and Myanmar suggest we continue and share what we are doing to alleviate the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Okay.

9. International agreements (2). Philippines and Thailand ask us to consider becoming parties to the core UN covenants on human rights and monitoring protocols. The ICRMW (refugees and migrant workers) is especially called out. I guess this means they're hoping we'll accept more refugees.

10. Trafficking in persons (2). Cambodia suggests we continue and share our efforts in this area. Philippines asks us to enhance implementing 2 UN conventions: CRC (children's rights) and CEDAW (discrimination against women).
I think you will agree with me that our neighbour's benign recommendations indicate they placidly wish us to just give lip service to human rights. This is either because they intend to do the same, or they intend to overtake us.

Our neighbours have closed their eyes to the vast disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples which is going on in East Malaysia – and documented by SUHAKAM, Malaysia's NHRI (National Human Rights Institution); they have closed their ears to the reports of mistreatment of Shiites, the Allah Judgment, etc.; they are determined to say nothing about our Home Minister's 'shoot first' policy.


An Islamic State of Mind

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 08:28 AM PST

I see UMNO mouthpieces and those aligned to it- especially the articles written by that Jezebel of a journalist from the Star( I hear some UMNO people who are English Language-challenged, get multiple orgasms when quoting her) are tripping over one another saying the ulamaks are good for PAS.
Why are UMNO and its mouthpieces interested in seeing that ulamaks win all the PAS leadership positions? Are we to believe that they are motivated with the purest of intentions? Of course not.  They are interested in furthering their own agenda and to stay in power. UMNO wants to add another Uncle Tom party under its wings just as it treats MIC and MCA and 12 other BN janitor boys.
Of course the ulamaks have always dominated PAS- after all PAS is a religion-based party whose core values are guarded jealously by the Islamic clerics. The only reason why UMNO and its allies want the ulamaks to win all is because they know how easy it is to run circles around these ulamaks. Should PAS ever teamed up with UMNO, all Najib will do is give PAS two cabinet posts and that's the end of PAS. It will be a repeat of what PAS went through when it joined BN a long time ago. The foremost ulamak, TG Nik Aziz will never sanction PAS sleeping with UMNO.
If PAS revere theTok Guru they will ensure that PAS never teams up with UMNO. What use is teaming up with UMNO? For what purpose? So that the right wingers in both parties can stay under one roof and become racists?  A Progressive PAS can replace UMNO and lead Malays. Why should it want to extend a life line to a sick UMNO?  
A sick party like UMNO can control the minds of Malays with sick policies and agenda. There must be something wrong in this arrangement. It can only do this because PAS limits its own potential. If PAS becomes a progressive party, UMNO is finished!
PAS has to play the game intelligently. As my friendWalla perceptively observed,  GE12 was Hindraf. GE13 was DAP. So that GE14 will be PAS.  Now take the earlier statement that in this country our Malays can be the most globally-attuned community member and graft it onto the role that PAS can play towards total success in GE14, and we have immediately a new transformation wave for this tired land.

PAS can also do the same to dignify all life again. People should not be corrupted about their needs. They can be helped by earnest and honest community work extended to all who suffer regardless of race or religion.     It's not about forming an Islamic state. It's all about forming and living an Islamic state of mind. And that has to be globally attuned in nature. After all, isn't He global?

Read more at: 

11 ways to be unremarkably average

Posted: 17 Nov 2013 08:21 AM PST


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