Friday, December 31, 2010

Malaysia struggles to stem 'brain drain' as talent departs

KUALA LUMPUR, Thursday 30 December 2010 (AFP) - When computer engineer Wan Jon Yew left Malaysia in 2005 for a job in Singapore, all he wanted was to work in the city state for a few years before going home. Now, he says, he will never return.
With a family, a home and a car, he now plans to settle in Singapore for good -- just one of the many Malaysians stampeding abroad every year in a worrying "brain drain" the government is trying to reverse.
"I wouldn't consider going back to Malaysia, I won't look back. If I were ever going to leave Singapore, I would migrate to Australia," said the 28-year-old, who now has permanent resident status.
"It's not about the money. I could have a better quality of life in Malaysia with my pay. I could have a semi-detached bungalow and have a maid there, but I would rather live in a government flat in Singapore."
Wan, who is ethnically Chinese, is one of some 700,000 Malaysians -- most of them highly educated -- who are currently working abroad in an exodus that Prime Minister Najib Razak's government is struggling to reverse.
The "brain drain" has a number of causes. Some have been lured by higher salaries, but others blame political and social gripes including preferential policies for Muslim Malays, who form the majority.
Many feel constrained by life in a country where the ruling coalition has been in power for half a century, and where progress on freedom of expression, the right to assembly, and tackling corruption has been slow.
A decades-old affirmative action policy which hands Malays and the indigenous groups privileges in housing, education and business, has been criticised as uncompetitive and improperly benefiting the elite.
As a consequence, many of those who have left are members of Malaysia's ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, who make up some 25 percent and 10 percent of the population respectively.
Najib in December launched a "Talent Corporation" with incentives to woo back these highly skilled workers, as well as foreign professionals, to live and work in his multi-ethnic country.
Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy with a population of 28 million, has ambitions to transform itself into a developed nation by 2020, but a lack of human capital is a barrier to reaching that goal.
World Bank data cited by the Malaysian press shows that while globally the number of migrants rose 2.4 times between 1960 and 2005, Malaysia's diaspora registered a staggering 155-fold increase over the 45-year period.
"I don't want my children to go through the unfair treatment," said Wan, who believes Singapore offers "fair competition".
"I'm not proud of being a Malaysian because I think the government doesn't treat me as a Malaysian.
"I would rather be a PR (permanent resident), a second-class citizen in a foreign country, than to be a citizen in my own country."
Wan said his wife, an IT analyst, renounced her citizenship in July this year, joining a queue of about 30 Malaysians lining up to do so on that day alone at the Malaysian embassy in Singapore.
Commentators are sceptical over whether the government's latest effort to reverse the "brain drain" will be successful, warning it will be tough to persuade those in self-exile.
"Money does have a significant role but the most important factor, I think, is opportunity. Malaysia is too politicised and opportunities are not evenly available to everyone," political analyst Wan Saiful Wan Jan told AFP.
In one example, he said academics are reluctant to work in local universities as they must sign a "loyalty pledge" barring them from, among other things, criticising government policies.
"In such an environment, obviously those with talents will find opportunity elsewhere," said the chief executive of think-tank the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
Wan Saiful, who himself returned to Malaysia last year after living in Britain for 17 years, said the newly launched Talent Corporation will be "another expensive failure" if it does not tackle these structural problems.
"When I apply for a job, buy a house, register my children for school etcetera, why does it matter what my race or religion is? This should stop," said the analyst, himself a Malay.
Ethnic Chinese and Indian professionals who have left the country commonly say they felt a sense of marginalisation in Malaysia.
"When I went back to Malaysia, it was a culture shock in terms of politically how they promote the rights of the Malays over everyone else," said Chee Yeoh, a stock analyst who migrated to Australia three years ago.
Yeoh was educated overseas from the age of 10 and returned in 1998 to take up a position with a bank, but felt like leaving again "almost immediately".
"I just didn't feel at home in Malaysia. I can't speak the Malay language -- essentially I felt like an outsider even more," said the 35-year-old analyst, who took a pay cut to move to Australia.
Najib has admitted the talent issues are "broad and complex", and will not set a target on how many Malaysians he hopes to lure back under the new programme.
The initiatives include a "resident pass" which will give foreign skilled workers, and Malaysians who have gave up their citizenship, the long-term right to live and work in the country.
But Fong Chan Onn, Malaysia's former human resources minister who was instrumental in previous "brain gain" efforts, said the government must tackle the issue holistically.
"The government needs to rectify this sense of marginalisation. We also have to improve the mechanism so it can be more effective to ask these talents to come back," he told AFP.
"We have a long way to go. It is better late than never."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Najib & Khairy, what say you on Wiki Leaks?

In September 2008, Kausikan, a senior foreign affairs official, told the US Deputy Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Sedney that the “situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous”, fuelled by “a distinct possibility of racial conflict” that could see ethnic Chinese “flee” Malaysia and “overwhelm” Singapore.

A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia,” said Kausikan, citing the need for Najib to prevail politically in order to avoid prosecution in connection with the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

“Najib has his neck on the line in connection with a high-profile murder case,” noted Kausikan.

A few months earlier, Peter Ho told another US official: “The political knives will be out for Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi’s) son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, whom nobody likes because he got where he is through family ties...”

Khairy is now the Umno Youth chief but has not been given an administrative post in Najib’s government despite being seen as one of the shrewder politicians in the country.
As for Najib Razak, he is an opportunist. Although he has not been critical of Singapore, he will not hesitate to go in that direction if it is expedient for him to do so. Najib’s political fortunes continue to be haunted by the murder scandal,” Ho had reportedly said.

Ho, 56, was head of Singapore’s civil service, until he retired on August 31 this year. He is now a senior advisor to the Centre for Strategic Futures that he had help set up to strengthen its public sector.

Kausikan was recently promoted one step to permanent secretary in the foreign affairs ministry on September 1.

Koh, 73, is special advisor to the Institute of Policy Studies. A law professor at the National University of Singapore, he is also the island republic’s ambassador-at-large and was part of the legal team representing Singapore in the Pedra Branca dispute case with Malaysia.

The leaked cables will give ammunition to hawks in the Malaysian government and Umno who believe that it is unproductive to have good relations with Singapore, whom they describe as calculative and condescending.

Friday, December 10, 2010

WikiLeaks a la Malaysia

By Tay Tian Yan

December 10, 2010
DEC 10 — Julian Assange was arrested, but the leaks go on...

Malaysia is hardly mentioned in the 250,000 confidential cables so far released.

Why only countries like the United States, Britain, China and North Korea alongside a couple of distinguished figures in the likes of Azerbaijan’s first lady and Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew can claim to have secrets?

Are you trying to hint that Malaysia is immaterial? Or Malaysia’s secrets are too hard to decipher? Or the country simply does not have any secret at all?


Since many countries have maintained diplomatic relations with us, and the diplomats from these countries need to submit regular reports to their parent countries, by logic there should be a multitude of confidential cables.
To avoid excessive embarrassment on the part of WikiLeaks over the lack of decoded confidential cables from Malaysia, I have drafted a cable purportedly sent from an embassy here back to the parent country just for your perusal.
Subject: The Malaysia you may not have heard of

From the investigations carried out in secret by the Embassy staff, we have discovered some secrets many people are not aware of in Malaysia.
Malaysia is actually one of the wealthiest nations on Earth, whose people enjoying living standards far exceeding those of many developed states.
In this resourceful country, daily necessities are inexpensive, and everyone can afford relatively lavish life.

For instance, a politician hailing from a humble family can afford a one-acre Balinese mansion having worked only a few years as mentri besar (equivalent to our Governor).

According to the politician in question, the two plots of land with a housing unit is worth only RM3.5 million, about US$1.1 million, a price deemed impossible elsewhere in the world.

Although he has some minor problems at this moment, and will have to explain some of his transactions to the court, he appears completely calm, maintaining that all has said is true.

He was a small-town dentist, a profession he claims has brought him RM60,000 a month (way higher than what our President makes) before he came to politics, and it was with this income that he built himself the posh mansion.

We can deduce from here that dentists are indeed in high demand in Malaysia, and the Embassy suggests that a few dental colleges be set up here to cater to the rising demand.

Sure enough we cannot assume that the income has been derived from his political career.
Malaysian politicians are known for their utter incorruption, which the authorities have said is of a level comparable to Hong Kong.

Moreover, residential units are extremely cheap in this country. A deputy minister has told the

Parliament housing prices rise only a meagre 3.5 per cent over the past 20 years, most definitely the lowest in the world.

The Embassy suggests that we urgently send a delegation to Malaysia to study its housing price policy.

Besides housing, Malaysia also boasts one of the highest car ownerships in the world. Having a few cars parked in the porch of a residential house is a common scene in this country.

The country is home to two national carmakers churning out vehicles almost identical to

Japanese cars in design at half the cost.

The Embassy therefore also concludes that a study tour of Malaysia’s automobile industry is both relevant and imperative.

The extravagance of Malaysia is best seen in its burgeoning tourist industry. Malaysians, in particular politicians, can be seen everywhere from London, Sydney to Shanghai, many are generous grabbers of landmark properties in these leading metropolises.

The Embassy therefore suggests that we build more luxurious mansions in our country, and group them under a specified Malaysian Housing Zone. —

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shahidan if you have nothing to do better do nothing!!!!!!!!

Another stupid politician who used his head to fart!!!!!!!

These are the politicians who bring Malaysia backward..... 

By Bernama (not Apa nama)

Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim today called for the blocking of the Facebook social networking website if its contents continue to pose a threat to national security.

He said a Facebook account holder was found to have taken advantage of the technology to insult Islam and leaders of Malaysia.

“If the website content poses a threat to national security and insults Islam, then it is unnecessary to have Facebook,” he told reporters after accompanying Perlis Facebook Association committee members to lodge a report at the Kangar police station on the insults hurled at Prime Minister Seri Najib Razak and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on a Facebook page.

The report was lodged by the association’s deputy president, Mohd Faizuddin Ismail, at about 5.30 pm.
Shahidan said a report would also be lodged at the State Islamic Religious Department as the holder of the Facebook account had also insulted Islam, and added that the insults hurled at Najib and Mahathir were discovered by a member of the association on November 29.

Shahidan, who is Tambun Tulang assemblyman, said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Malaysian Islamic Development Department and the National Fatwa Council should act against the holder of the Facebook account. — Bernama

Monday, December 6, 2010

Khir Toyo oh Khir Toyo !!!!!!!!!!!

 Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and was charged over alleged land fraud today

Zoro unmasked called it dog and ponny show....?????

I have same feelings with Nik Nazmi who tweet this.....

niknazmi RT @amuse_gueule: Rem the corruption case against minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam which came just before the 2004 ...

It is  just a political gimmick before election?

Let's wait and see!!!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rakyat Selangor, Jom pergi ramai ramai Ahad ini.....

In 1997, the Barisan Nasional state and federal governments began privatising the water industry in Selangor. Then Menteri Besar Muhammad Taib chose the treasurer from his Umno division, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail to be the main beneficiary of this privatisation exercise.

By 2010, the amounts of losses generated by leakage and corruption in the private water companies have now run into the hundreds of millions. Amongst the many questionable financial practices found in the private water companies are:

1. An audit report on Syabas showed more than 72% of contracts, worth RM 600 million in total, was awarded to companies chosen through direct negotiation not by open tender process. Also, RM 325 million was found to be ‘missing’ in discrepancies between Syabas’ public accounts and the records of contracts awarded from 2005 to 2007.

3. In June 2005, Syabas contravened the terms of their concession when they imported RM 375 million worth of pipes from an Indonesian company instead of sourcing them locally. The Indonesian company was owned by Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, the CEO of Syabas.

4. Tan Sri Rozali Ismail’s salary is RM 5.1 million a year or RM 425,000 a month.

5. The four water companies have a combined debt of RM 6.4 billion. The federal government has given Syabas a soft loan of RM 320 million. The total interest on this 20 year loan is RM 250 million, and Syabas will not be required to pay a single sen of this amount. Instead, this cost will be fully borne by Malaysian taxpayers.

In light of this appalling financial mismanagement, the Selangor state government has prevented Syabas from raising water tariffs by 37%, and is now endeavouring to reacquire all water concessions from the private water companies. Their goal is to eliminate the element ofprivatised profit and socialised losses, stop the corruption and leakage, andensure quality delivery of water at affordable rates. This move requires public and support and pressure to succeed.

Have you grabbed a copy of Selangor Times?

Selangor Times to hit the streets on Friday
Maria J. Dass
SHAH ALAM (Nov 23, 2010): Klang Valley residents will have another avenue to voice their concerns when new community newspaper Selangor Times hits the streets on Friday.
A total of 100,000 copies of the free weekly will be distributed every weekend at malls, LRT stations, 7-Eleven outlets and neighbourhood hubs.
The focus is on community concerns, information on policies, and issues that affect the people and neighbourhoods in the Klang Valley. These include traffic and security problems, environmental and wildlife issues, licensing and land matters among others.
Its editor Chan Kok Leong said: "There will be no politics in this paper, only local and community issues.

There is a saturation of national news in the local dailies, but people don’t get much information on the issues in their communities and this is our niche, and will set us apart from the dailies."

The former journalist of The Edge Financial Daily said: "Our aim is to be the voice of the people – even if they are critical."
Clogged drains, potholes, street lights and other problems that plague the community will be scrutinised and brought up to the relevant authorities for answers, said Chan.
In addition, the 24-page English language paper, with an eight-page Chinese language pull-out, will have opinion pieces, sections on culture, features and community activities like neighbourhood events, he said.
Chan said the paper is funded by a businessman and has a licence from the state government.
Asked about the perception that the paper would be reflective of the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government, he said: "We do not answer to Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim or any political party," he said.
The aim of the publication was to quote both sides of a story, be it from state or federal authorities, he added.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let's see any action taken against UMNO Gangster

When I see the video and the news below, I thought Malaysia is still a cowboy state.....

Are UMNO gangster especially Noh Omar getting special treatment from the police when  we have yet to see police taken any action so far?

Why why tell me why?

 Is Malaysia a civilised country?  Do you expect UMNO to change?

Tunggu lama lamalah..... 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

UMNO: We do not need votes from Chinese and Indian....

Remember what the UMNO Fuckers said .....Let's vote them out all these arrogant Fuckers!!!!!

How should the scandals be ended?

Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE

Many people are wondering: How could there be so many scandals revealed by the Auditor-General Report every year?
The problems does not lie in the shocking degree of the scandals, but why are these similar scandals repeating every year?
How could 16,013 of students allowed to draw RM2,378 in advance even though they did not apply loans from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN)?
How could 3,793 students disappear after drawing in advance loans totaling RM4.9 million, and caused the PTPTN unable to collect the debts?
How could the Higher Education Ministry able to collect only RM1.51 billion of the RM3.19 billion debts with a recovery rate of less than 50%?
How could so many government departments and agencies not yet learn how to manage money even though they have ruled for decades? How could so many of them overspend, causing the accumulated overrun amount for a year to reach as high as RM4 billion?
Even more difficult to understand, with such a huge amount of cost overruns, shoddy works can actually still be found everywhere.
  • Nutritious sardine sandwiches have been turned into buttered bread.
  • An ordinary chair costs RM80 originally has become a luxurious chair costs RM415.
  • Spanish mackerel, black pomfret and red snapper have been replaced with cheaper fishes while no investigation has been conducted and no refund is made.
Enough, enough, we have heard enough!
Never mind, never mind, we are numb!
Anyway, it has become an annual grand event like the Academic Awards as every year when the Auditor-General Report is released, the media will make a full coverage of the scandals.
Anyway, we will have to suffer a great shock and make criticism every year when the Auditor-General Report is released.
Anyway, the plot of the show is always similar, only the time and the leading characters will be different.
Anyway, the similar process will repeat itself every year and the atmosphere will resume deserted after the bustling noises.
What is the purpose of preparing the report if they only play up the issue to scare those who are involved in the scandals but do not take further action to prevent a repetition?
Very well, the government has actually taken actions. To prevent a recurrence of cost overruns, the Finance Ministry has made four recommendations while the Higher Education Ministry will take numerous improvement measures to enhance supervision and collection of debts. Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has also said that a total of 13 investigation papers (KS), 14 preliminary investigation papers (KPA) and five examination and consultation (KPP) papers have been initiated following the release of the 2009 Auditor-General’s report.
I hope we can soon see corrupt officials and contractors who are responsible for the shoddy works being sacked and charged.
Since the scandals have been revealed, those who are responsible must then be punished. The people will be satisfied only if the scandals end in such a way!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Steep drop in rankings a wake-up call for KL


October 08, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Malaysia’ capital city has dropped eight spots to 48 in a ranking of the world’s most global cities by international management consulting firm AT Kearney, suggesting the Najib administration has to try harder to make Kuala Lumpur a world class city.
New York, London, Tokyo and Paris topped the list of the 2010 Global Cities index which assessed 65 major cities based on the strength of their business, human capital, political, cultural and information assets.
The other Asia Pacific cities that made the top ten were Hong Kong - 5, Singapore - 8, Sydney – 9 and Seoul - 10.
Spurred by the increasing competition between cities which is contributing to a brain drain, government think tank Pemandu, is driving an initiative to make the Greater KL region a world class city.
Its stated goal is to propel KL to the top 20 in the world in both liveability and economic growth by 2020.
The AT Kearney global cities ranking shows however, the amount of catching up that Kuala Lumpur has to do and that other cities have the same idea and are not standing still.
In terms of liveability, KL ranks just 79th out of 130 cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2010 ranking of easiest places to live and was stagnant at 75th in the Mercer study of best places to live from 2006-2009.
The city also failed to make the list of the top 100 most innovative cities with strong cultural and human infrastructure and global links as assessed by Australian innovation consultancy firm 2thinknow.
Among initiatives planned for KL under the Economic Transformation Programme include a new MRT system to enhance public transportation, rehabilitation of the city’s polluted rivers, more green space, a high speed rail link to Singapore, improved pedestrian linkages and a more vibrant and seamless shopping belt. It is hoped that the better conditions will help attract top talent live in the city, whose population is expected to soar to 10 million in 2020 from 6 million currently.
The city’s attractiveness however is hampered by an absence of world class universities, relatively low salaries, lack of major cultural and outdoor attractions, lack of orderliness and poor maintenance, low levels of sophistication, creeping urban sprawl, crime, unhygienic conditions and traffic congestion.
The next few years will be critical for KL's ambitions to be a world class city as the AT Kearney report notes that the gap between the top cities and those who rank at the “tail” end is increasing.
KL’s 48th position puts it behind Bangkok – 36 and Taipei – 39 but slightly ahead of Manila – 51, Jakarta – 53 and Ho Chi Minh city – 61.
AT Kearney noted that global cities are the urban elite and are shaping the future with new deals and ideas.
“Global cities are where you go to do business, yes, but also to see the greatest art, hear the greatest orchestras, learn the latest styles, eat the best food and study in the finest universities,” said the report.
“They have global corporations. But they also have think tanks, jazz bars and broadband.  In a word, they have clout.”

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Congratulations Lee Chong Wei!!!!!!!!

Chong Wei gains revenge over Lin Dan

September 26, 2010

Lee celebrates after defeating Lin Dan at the Japan Super Series 2010 badminton championships in Tokyo September 26, 2010. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei defeated archrival Lin Dan of China in the final of the Japan Super Series 2010 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Japan today.
According to Chong Wei took an hour and 22 minutes before finally overcoming Lin Dan 22-20, 16-21, 21-17 to bag the championship and the US$200,000 (RM610,000) purse.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s top doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong lost to Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng of China 21-18, 14-21, 12-21 in the men’s doubles final.
Other Malaysians consisting of men’s singles Muhammad Hafiz Hashim and men’s doubles Mak Hee Chun/ Tan Wee Kiong had early exits from the championship. — Bernama

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mahathir, Melayu muda lupalah!!!!!!!!

If you ask me whether shrewed Mahathir can be trusted,  I  can only tell you that this old fellow has his personal agenda when doing something .....

In the latest case, he is trying to act like a Malay hero, going around warning Malay that Malay could lose power if Pakatan defeats BN........

My reason is very simple , if his heart and soul is sincerely with UMNO, why he went around  and condemned UMNO during Badawi time? Aren't we all know that, he could not see eye to eye with Badawi and would do what is necessary to bring his enemy down even putting UMNO at stake .......

2008 tsunami is a solid proof where UMNO lost most of its seat during the 2008 election ......?

If he really cares about UMNO and Malay in 2008. he can always resort to other methods instead of going around washing dirty linen in front of public?

ai yo yo....Melayu mudah lupalah!!!!!!!!!

Dr M warns Malays could lose power if Pakatan defeats BN

September 23, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — While declaring he was not a racist, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appeared to play the race card for Umno today by warning Malays that they would lose power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) came to power.
He also implied that a Chinese or an Indian could become prime minister if PR took federal power because there was no constitutional restriction on race for the position.
The former prime minister (picture) claimed the political marginalisation of the Malays had already become a reality in PR-controlled states even though those administrations were led by Malays.
The Malaysian Insider understands that Dr Mahathir has offered his expertise to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to deliver a big win for Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general elections which could be held as early as next year.
His remarks to Umno Online today suggests he will play a big role in Umno’s campaign to consolidate support among conservative Malays and win over fence-sitters uneasy with PR administrations.
The former Umno president, who still commands widespread influence among Umno members and larger Malay community, pointed to the former PR mentri besar in Perak Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as an example of how Malay politicians had been sidelined by PR.
“We see Nizar in Perak...even though he was Mentri Besar he followed the instructions of DAP until he fell. The Chinese claim this was BN’s move to bring down a Chinese government.
“So they called it a Chinese administration and is it not possible that we can have a prime minister like Nizar, Malay in name and a Muslim but not really independent and a tool of others,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said that while Nizar represented PAS which supposedly champions Islam, he was actually used to get Malay support.
He pointed out that there was no requirement for the prime minister  to be a Muslim or Malay. All that was needed, Dr Mahathir said, was that the person had the support of the majority in Parliament.
“There is no restriction in law. In our Constitution there is nothing to stop a Chinese or an Indian from becoming prime minister. What is needed is support from the majority. If the majority agree there is nothing we can do,” he said.
In a thinly-veiled reference to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir said that PKR did not champion the Malays but was set up to realise “one leader’s” ambitions of becoming the prime minister.
“Unfortunately Umno dropped this person and in anger his chance was gone, so he set up another party. His struggle is not for race, religion and country but to become prime minister.
Dr Mahathir added that the public should not be swayed by PR because he said the opposition coalition’s aim was only to bring about the downfall of BN.
The former PM claimed that his remarks were not racial in nature but were being made for the sake of restoring stability.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Muhyiddin Yassin you better give another excuselah....

I thought this word come from the mouth of  3 years old child ,but instead come from our DPM yo yo....

I cannot act against racist principals, says DPM

September 23, 2010
SERI KEMBANGAN, Sept 23 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claimed today he had no power to take action against the two school principals who allegedly uttered racial slurs, despite his position as the country’s Education Minister. He explained to reporters here today that this was because disciplinary matters involving high-ranking civil servants comes under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Department (PSD).
“The minister cannot make a decision (on this). So cases that involve certain matters, including these principals who have high (pay) grades... If I am not wrong, their grades are between 48 and 52, so this has to be decided on by a disciplinary board under the (purview of the) PSD’s director-general,” he told reporters after opening the 10th regional seminar on the Criminalisation of Bribery at the Palace of the Golden Horses hotel here this afternoon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am Malaysian first, Malay second, any problem with that?

Nazri’s open letter to Awang Selamat

September 20, 2010

Nazri has issued a put-up-or-shut-up challenge to Utusan Malaysia’s “Awang Selamat”. — file pic
BUCHAREST, Sept 20 — I have read the comments by Awang Selamat on me in his column. I want to make some clarifications lest readers be misled into thinking what he wrote is correct.
Firstly, I am never afraid to be criticised by the opposition. I would like Awang to come to Parliament and see and hear for himself the vitriol and attacks I received whilst defending the Government on issues related to the Prime Minister’s Office.
In my 33 years in politics, I was never spared by anybody who makes criticisms against me — including the recent comments by Awang. I don’t know about Awang himself, because I don’t even know who he is. I hope he can be a man like me and prove that he is not scared of criticism by coming out in the open and not hiding behind the pseudonym that he uses.
I am also not anti-Dr Mahathir (Mohamad). To me, so far he is the best prime minister I have served. However, as an ex-premier, there is so much left to be desired.
Awang should get out of his time warp and face the fact that I am now in the government as a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and not vice versa. So it is Tun Mahathir who is criticising the Government and not the other way round.
Of course anybody, regardless of who criticises the government, will receive relentless attack in defence of the Government by me just as I had done in the past when Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) were the prime ministers.
Having said that, I want Awang to know that I am always sure who my boss is. It’s not (Lim) Kit Siang nor (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) because they are not prime minister of Malaysia, the chairman of BN or president of Umno.
I am not too sure Awang knows who his boss is because he undermines the 1 Malaysia policy of the prime minister and promotes the narrow racism of (Datuk) Ibrahim Ali who is not even an Umno member. Awang should be asking himself the question he posed to me.
Being civil to the opposition is the right thing to do in a democracy, because just like me, they are also elected by the people. Of course, Awang is caught in the time warp of those days where government MPs do not only not engage them but hate and dislike them in all circumstances.
Awang will never understand this because he is not an elected MP, put in the House by the voice of the people. Anyway did Awang ever think of how five PKR MPs could cross and be independents, if not for the civility shown by me to them as parliamentary affairs minister?
The number of crossovers to the independent caucus has exceeded the single MP from Pasir Mas, this so-called Malay Hero worshipped by Awang.
Incidentally, Umno has never asked or needed for Ibrahim to help us but the association with him will only cause us to lose votes.
Tun Mahathir himself told us about his loss in Kota Setar Selatan seat — a 90 per cent Malay majority parliamentary constituency — in 1969 to Yusof Rawa, where it was reported that Tun said he didn’t need Chinese votes. There is a lesson to be learned from this.
Of course, Awang will never understand because not only has he never offered himself as a candidate for the General Elections but readers don’t even know who he is.
Politicians like me who has stood for four general elections and won clearly have to be very careful in what we say and not be reckless like Awang. We need to muster all the votes regardless of race and we do not stay in the comfort zone as Awang does.
He can write and say anything irresponsibly and recklessly, knowing that he will never be punished by the voters.
That is why, Awang, if you asked what my agenda is, I think even school children will know that it’s to win the next general election and that Datuk Seri Najib (Razak) remains as prime minister of Malaysia.
I do hope that Awang also has the same agenda, unless of course his boss is somebody else. Finally I would advise Awang to stick to what he does and knows best and not try to meddle in national politics, of which he has shallow knowledge and zero experience.
He should concentrate in increasing his paper’s dwindling readership. It speaks volumes of their poor standards and performance when Utusan has to refer to the news report of the new electronic alternative media when it should be the reverse.
That will be his KPI and the measurement of his success in the field that he claims he represent well.
Mine is, of course, to win the Padang Rengas seat for Barisan Nasional in the next General Election regardless whether I am a candidate or not. Until then we shall see.
And yes I am a Malaysian first and Malay next. Does any bigot have a problem with that?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Investors shun Malaysia for neighbours

Please tell me who want to invest in a country where there is still idiot politicians have proudly said that "meritocracy is racist and Malaysian Malaysia is racist"? 

Who say this ? Ask our ever arrogant Mahathir and Katak Ibrahim Ali.....
The more they open their mouth, the more investor will shun Malaysia....

By Yow Hong Chieh
September 16, 2010

Najib’s bid for private investment to drive Malaysia’s economy has been hampered by resistance to his planned reforms. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — Malaysia is now the “least favoured market” in Asia Pacific for investors after nearly doubling its underweight rating from last month, according to a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch report.
The country slipped two spots — from 10th place to dead last — in the investment bank’s latest Fund Managers Survey, even as the Najib administration prepares to unveil ambitious economic reforms meant to boost investor confidence.
The report appears to be the latest indictment of Malaysia’s inability to compete with rival regional markets. In the past decade, the once roaring Asian Tiger has seen its dominant position as an investment destination in Southeast Asia crumble even as neighbouring countries push to the fore.
A survey last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF) of 139 nations showed that Malaysia had slipped two places in global competitiveness rankings to 26th in the past year, while Indonesia surged 10 places to 44th.
The government is nonetheless optimistic that reforms under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s New Economic Model (NEM) — details of which will be revealed next month — will revitalise the economy and help Malaysia achieve developed nation status by 2020.
However, Najib’s economic transformation is hinged on the government’s ability to galvanise RM2.2 trillion in investments over the next 10 years — 92 per cent of which is to come from the private sector — and it remains to be seen if the prime minister can overcome investors’ muted response to his plans so far.
Najib also faces stiff opposition from Malay rights groups who feel such reforms threaten what they perceive to be Malay “special rights”, and seems unable to push them through without significant compromise.
Elsewhere in the region, China remained the favourite market by far despite an uncertain global outlook. A net 11 per cent of investors expect China’s economy to strengthen, up from -39 per cent in July, according to Merrill Lynch.
Indonesia, slightly underweight last month, jumped to second place on an overweight call, edging out Hong Kong in the process. New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and India remained neutral.
Emerging markets outperformed developed markets this year and remain the preferred destination for investors, although emerging market allocations have been trimmed due to growth uncertainty and risk aversion.
Brazil and Russia continue to be favourites, but appetite for Turkey has fallen in the past two months.
The consumer discretionary sector is still the most popular among emerging market investors, followed by industrials, telecoms and financials.
Defensive sectors like utilities, staples and healthcare remain least favoured but have reduced their underweight positions from last month.

Monday, September 13, 2010

True Malaysian Leader Part 2

True Malaysian Leader Part 1....

Days of Reflection for Man Who Defined Singapore

September 11, 2010
The New York Times: The Saturday Profile



Days of Reflection for Man Who Defined Singapore

by Seth Mydans (published: September 10, 2010)“SO, when is the last leaf falling?” asked Lee Kuan Yew, the man who made Singapore in his own stern and unsentimental image, nearing his 87th birthday and contemplating age, infirmity and loss.
“I can feel the gradual decline of energy and vitality,” said Mr. Lee, whose “Singapore model” of economic growth and tight social control made him one of the most influential political figures of Asia. “And I mean generally, every year, when you know you are not on the same level as last year. But that’s life.”
In a long, unusually reflective interview last week, he talked about the aches and pains of age and the solace of meditation, about his struggle to build a thriving nation on this resource-poor island, and his concern that the next generation might take his achievements for granted and let them slip away.
He was dressed informally in a windbreaker and running shoes in his big, bright office, still sharp of mind but visibly older and a little stooped, no longer in day-to-day control but, for as long as he lives, the dominant figure of the nation he created.
But in these final years, he said, his life has been darkened by the illness of his wife and companion of 61 years, bedridden and mute after a series of strokes.“I try to busy myself,” he said, “but from time to time in idle moments, my mind goes back to the happy days we were up and about together.” Agnostic and pragmatic in his approach to life, he spoke with something like envy of people who find strength and solace in religion. “How do I comfort myself?” he asked. “Well, I say, ‘Life is just like that.’ ”
“What is next, I do not know,” he said. “Nobody has ever come back.” The prime minister of Singapore from its founding in 1965 until he stepped aside in 1990, Mr. Lee built what he called “a first-world oasis in a third-world region” — praised for the efficiency and incorruptibility of his rule but accused by human rights groups of limiting political freedoms and intimidating opponents through libel suits.
His title now is minister mentor, a powerful presence within the current government led by his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The question that hovers over Singapore today is how long and in what form his model may endure once he is gone.
Always physically vigorous, Mr. Lee combats the decline of age with a regimen of swimming, cycling and massage and, perhaps more important, an hour-by-hour daily schedule of meetings, speeches and conferences both in Singapore and overseas. “I know if I rest, I’ll slide downhill fast,” he said. When, after an hour, talk shifted from introspection to geopolitics, the years seemed to slip away and he grew vigorous and forceful, his worldview still wide ranging, detailed and commanding.
And yet, he said, he sometimes takes an oblique look at these struggles against age and sees what he calls “the absurdity of it.”
“I’m reaching 87, trying to keep fit, presenting a vigorous figure, and it’s an effort, and is it worth the effort?” he said. “I laugh at myself trying to keep a bold front. It’s become my habit. I just carry on.”
HIS most difficult moments come at the end of each day, he said, as he sits by the bedside of his wife, Kwa Geok Choo, 89, who has been unable to move or speak for more than two years. She had been by his side, a confidante and counselor, since they were law students in London.
“She understands when I talk to her, which I do every night,” he said. “She keeps awake for me; I tell her about my day’s work, read her favorite poems.” He opened a big spreadsheet to show his reading list, books by Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling and Lewis Carroll as well as the sonnets of Shakespeare.
Lately, he said, he had been looking at Christian marriage vows and was drawn to the words: “To love, to hold and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse till death do us part.”
“I told her, ‘I would try and keep you company for as long as I can.’ That’s life. She understood.” But he also said: “I’m not sure who’s going first, whether she or me.”
At night, hearing the sounds of his wife’s discomfort in the next room, he said, he calms himself with 20 minutes of meditation, reciting a mantra he was taught by a Christian friend: “Ma-Ra-Na-Tha.”
The phrase, which is Aramaic, comes at the end of St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, and can be translated in several ways. Mr. Lee said that he was told it means “Come to me, O Lord Jesus,” and that although he is not a believer, he finds the sounds soothing.
“The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts,” he said. “A certain tranquillity settles over you. The day’s pressures and worries are pushed out. Then there’s less problem sleeping.”
He brushed aside the words of a prominent Singaporean writer and social critic, Catherine Lim, who described him as having “an authoritarian, no-nonsense manner that has little use for sentiment.”
“She’s a novelist!” he cried. “Therefore, she simplifies a person’s character,” making what he called a “graphic caricature of me.” “But is anybody that simple or simplistic?”
The stress of his wife’s illness is constant, he said, harder on him than stresses he faced for years in the political arena. But repeatedly, in looking back over his life, he returns to his moment of greatest anguish, the expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965, when he wept in public.
That trauma presented him with the challenge that has defined his life, the creation and development of a stable and prosperous nation, always on guard against conflict within its mixed population of Chinese, Malays and Indians.
“We don’t have the ingredients of a nation, the elementary factors,” he said three years ago in an interview with the International Herald Tribune, “a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny.”
Younger people worry him, with their demands for more political openness and a free exchange of ideas, secure in their well-being in modern Singapore. “They have come to believe that this is a natural state of affairs, and they can take liberties with it,” he said. “They think you can put it on auto-pilot. I know that is never so.”
The kind of open political combat they demand would inevitably open the door to race-based politics, he said, and “our society will be ripped apart.”
A political street fighter, by his own account, he has often taken on his opponents through ruinous libel suits.
He defended the suits as necessary to protect his good name, and he dismissed criticisms by Western reporters who “hop in and hop out” of Singapore as “absolute rubbish.”
In any case, it is not these reporters or the obituaries they may write that will offer the final verdict on his actions, he said, but future scholars who will study them in the context of their day.
“I’m not saying that everything I did was right,” he said, “but everything I did was for an honorable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”
And although the leaves are already falling from the tree, he said, the Lee Kuan Yew story may not be over yet.
He quoted a Chinese proverb: Do not judge a man until his coffin is closed.“Close the coffin, then decide,” he said. “Then you assess him. I may still do something foolish before the lid is closed on me.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Malaysia Growth at Risk as Dagger-Waving Repels Ethnic Chinese

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks in Kuala Lumpur. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Ethnic Malay workers walk to a factory
Ethnic Malay workers walk to the Western Digital factory in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Najib pledged to boost growth by unwinding a policy of ethnic bias began four decades ago by his father. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Veeramah, an ethnic Indian, at her flower stall
Veeramah, an ethnic Indian, works at her flower stall in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown. Ethnic Chinese and Indians make up about 32 percent of the nation's citizens. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Vikneswary, an ethnic Indian, at a clothing shop
Vikneswary, an ethnic Indian, displays clothing at the Ammas Fashion shop in Bricksfield, Kuala Lumpur. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Display of running shoes in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown
A shopper walks past a display of running shoes in Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown. Failure to win back Chinese voters could jeopardize Najib's Economic Transformation Program. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
A factory is demolished to make way for a new project
A factory is demolished to make way for Icon City, a residential, office, retail, and hotel project by Mah Sing Group, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Under the Economic Transformation Program, Najib wants to triple gross national income to 1.7 trillion ringgit in 2020 from 600 billion ringgit in 2009 and create 3.3 million jobs. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
New factories available for rent or sale
Eric Chong, real estate agent with City Two Property, hangs up banners at newly completed factories available for rent or sale, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Kuala Lumpur skyline
Foreign investment coming into Malaysia fell 81% last year to $1.4 billion, companied with an outflow of $8 billion, according to the United Nations 2010 World Investment Report. Photographer: Goh Seng Chong/Bloomberg
Prime Minister Najib Razak is trying to build a Malaysian economy as powerful as in the 1990s, when stock prices almost quintupled in the decade through 1996. Now his efforts to lure investors are stirring opposition from some members of the ethnic-Malay majority that put him in office.
Najib has pledged to boost growth by rolling back key policies of ethnic favoritism that his father began four decades ago. Leslie C., an ethnic Chinese, responded by moving to neighboring Singapore, which has grown 81-fold since 1971, when the Malaysian ethnic measures were introduced. Malaysia’s economy expanded at half that pace.
“I don’t think any politician will be different,” said Leslie, 36, who left Kuala Lumpur in June and didn’t want his full name reported. His family will follow, at a time when Singapore’s Malaysian-born Chinese resident population has jumped 31 percent in the past decade. “I want a better future for the kids, an opportunity for them to start on even ground, not as second-class citizens.”
Removing curbs on the Chinese and Indian minority, a group that includes nine of Malaysia’s 10 richest people, is key to Najib’s New Economic Model, designed to turn Malaysia into a developed nation. The changes are opposed by some politicians who helped Najib gain power, including ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad. At a rally in March, former deputy law minister Ibrahim Ali brandished a traditional “keris” dagger as the crowd chanted “Long live the Malays.”
Discontent in Najib’s United Malays National Organisation, which dominates the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, comes as Malaysia loses ground to its neighbors. Foreign investment in Malaysia fell 81 percent last year to $1.4 billion, according to the United Nations 2010 World Investment Report. Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand all fared better.
Right Things
“Najib appears to be saying all the right things, but the actions of many within UMNO are not necessarily in the spirit of what the prime minister is saying,” said Stephen Hagger, head of Malaysian equities for Credit Suisse Group AG in Kuala Lumpur. It will be up to politicians and the civil service to implement Najib’s plan, he said. “This is where our confidence falters.”
Malaysia’s growth fell to an average 4.7 percent a year in the past decade, from 7.2 percent in the 1990s, when then-Prime Minister Mahathir wooed foreign manufacturers and built highways, the world’s tallest twin towers and a new administrative capital.
In comparison, the economy of Singapore, which split from Malaysia in 1965, expanded 7.3 percent in the 1990s and 5.1 percent in the past decade. Singapore grew 18.8 percent last quarter from a year earlier, compared with Malaysia’s 8.9 percent pace.
Leaving Malaysia
More than 304,000 people left Malaysia between March 2008 and August 2009, including about 50,000 who went to study abroad, A. Kohilan Pillay, deputy foreign affairs minister, told parliament in November 2009. That compares with about 140,000 who left in 2007, he said, without giving an ethnic breakdown.
The government wants to persuade as many as possible of the 700,000 citizens living and educated abroad to return, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a June 15 interview in Kuala Lumpur.
Chinese and Indians make up 29 percent of Malaysia’s 28 million population. Eight of Malaysia’s 10 richest people are ethnic Chinese and one is Indian, according to Forbes Asia. Between them, they control or have interests in banks, satellite and mobile-phone operators, power and commodity producers, construction companies and property developers.
Sons of the Soil
Abdul Razak, Najib’s father, initiated the preferences in 1971 as the country’s second prime minister. He sought to raise the share of national wealth to at least 30 percent for the Bumiputeras, or “sons of the soil,” about 60 percent of the population. The plan gave Malays and some indigenous groups cheaper housing as well as priority for college places, government contracts and shares of publicly traded companies.
The measures followed post-election race riots between Malays and Chinese in 1969 that left hundreds dead.
“Malaysia has done very well in the past 30 years, and affirmative action was a strong contributor to political stability that allowed for such economic development,” said Masahide Hoshi, a director at Phalanx Capital Management HK Ltd. in Hong Kong, who helps manage $100 million. “However, these same policies could impede Malaysia in the long term. The government must make changes soon.”
Leslie, who works in the insurance industry, wasn’t eligible for housing discounts and some scholarships because of his ethnicity.
Behind Targets
Groups championing preferential treatment for Malays say they are protecting the constitution and want the policies to continue because targets haven’t been reached. Bumiputeras held about 22 percent of corporate equity in 2008, up from 2.4 percent in 1970, according to a government report.
“Malays have not gained for themselves the 30 percent target in corporate ownership,” Mahathir wrote on his blog on Aug. 9. “If a proper audit is made, their wealth is even less than 30 percent of total wealth of the people of Malaysia. Most of the wealth of the country belongs to the Chinese.”
In his first 100 days in office after taking over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in April 2009, Najib, 57, eased so-called affirmative action rules governing overseas investors, initial public offerings and property purchases. In June 2009, he told participants at an annual investment conference in Kuala Lumpur that the country is at a “critical juncture” and that failure or hesitation to act will have “long-term ramifications.”
Slowing Pace
In the nine years between the end of the 1997-1998 Asian crisis and the 2008 global financial turmoil, the benchmark stock index rose 147 percent, less than half the increase in the decade leading up to 1997.
Najib is trying to triple gross national income to 1.7 trillion ringgit ($546 billion) in 2020 from 600 billion ringgit in 2009 and create 3.3 million jobs. To do that, he says the country needs 2.2 trillion ringgit of funds, with 92 percent coming from private investment.
Central to the plan is his New Economic Model, announced in March, which aims to ensure that beneficiaries of affirmative- action policies are the bottom 40 percent of households by income across all ethnic groups. The government has yet to release details on how it will change the system.
Malay rights groups such as Pribumi Perkasa Negara won’t derail the prime minister’s agenda, Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed said in Singapore last month while on a trip to attract investment.
Government Decides
“As a government, we’ve got to consult with various parties,” he said. “But in the end, the government will decide what’s best for the country.”
Mark Mobius, who oversees about $34 billion as executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management Ltd.’s emerging-markets group and invests about $1 billion in Malaysia, says Najib is moving Malaysia in the right direction.
“Malaysia is really going through a transformation with the political changes that we’ve seen,” Mobius said in an Aug. 16 interview. “They are now beginning to accept a wider array of alternatives.”
Foreign direct investment into Malaysia slumped to $1.4 billion in 2009 from $7.3 billion the previous year, according to the UN’s World Investment Report. That’s less than the $4.9 billion Indonesia attracted and the $16.8 billion received by Singapore. Foreign investment rebounded this year, helping Malaysia lure the equivalent of $1.6 billion in the first quarter, Mustapa said on July 26.
Competitive Position
“The issues of corruption and transparency continue to weigh on investors’ minds,” said Joseph Tan, Singapore-based Asian chief economist at Credit Suisse Private Bank. “Beyond commodities, it is difficult to see Malaysia’s competitive advantage vis-a-vis other Asian countries.”
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has gained 13 percent in 2010, compared with a 27 percent increase in the Jakarta Composite Index and 25 percent for the Philippine Stock Exchange. Singapore’s Straits Times index rose 3.9 percent.
Najib’s successes include ending a requirement that listed companies set aside at least 30 percent of their stock for ethnic Malay and indigenous investors and trimming some fuel and food subsidies in July to save 750 million ringgit in government expenditure. Najib plans to narrow the budget deficit to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2015, from an estimated 5.3 percent this year.
Smaller Margin
In 2008, the Barisan Nasional coalition, of which UMNO is the biggest party, had its slimmest election victory in more than 50 years as the opposition criticized the government for ethnic bias and failing to tame poverty and corruption. Najib faces his first election as prime minister by 2013.
Perkasa has about 100,000 members, at least 60 percent of whom are UMNO members disillusioned with the party’s ability to protect Malay rights, Zubir Harun, vice president of the group that held the keris-wielding rally, said in a telephone interview in July. He said the dagger is a “ceremonial” symbol of Malay culture and displaying it wasn’t a message of violence.
“Any policy that erodes the rights of the Malays, we will fight,” said Zubir, 50, who said he’s an UMNO member.
Lim Guan Eng, secretary general of the opposition Democratic Action Party, said in a telephone interview that Perkasa was “a narrow, sectarian, racist group” harmful to national interests, and urged Najib to avoid what he described as pandering to them.
“It’s crunch time,” said Lim, also chief minister of the state of Penang, where companies such as Intel Corp. have factories. “Najib has been extremely political about it but it is time to get to the economic nuts and bolts. He has to be serious about meritocracy.”
Najib needs to speed up implementation, said Manu Bhaskaran, Singapore-based head of economic research at Centennial Group Holdings, which advises on emerging markets.
“If the follow-through is not there, then a lot of investors will say ‘That’s it, there are more interesting things to do than wait for Malaysia to get its act together,’” he said in an August telephone interview.