SCwatch


THE STAR’S COCKEYED VIEW OF MALAYSIAN POLITICS
April 25, 2013, 11:36 am
Filed under: Malaysia politics, Racial Issues, Racial politics | Tags: , ,

It was with such horror that I saw those provocative adverts in The Star newspaper…….that only confirmed my fear that its owners (read: MCA) has brought the paper to the pantheons of irrelevance and ultimate obscurity.

Just like the UMNO owned New Straits Times.

Unable to rationally and logically present or argue its case to the electorate as to why MCA….and Barisan Nasional is still trustworthy and electable, it uses its media arm to indulge in cheap rhetoric and dangerous rumor and scare mongering!

Like UMNO, MCA has also attempted to introduce new faces to the seats they are contesting in……hoping that the electorate would give them a ‘second chance’.

But don’t they realize that the Chinese gave MCA their last chance in the 2004 General Elections…..when they supported Pak Lah with the expectation that MCA would see through the evolution of the UMNO led Government post-Mahathir?

And what exactly did MCA do?

Not only were they impotent in checking the excesses of the Pak Lah-led government (or was it Khairy-led?)……..it’s businessmen/tycoon members joined in with the alleged excesses!

Another chance for MCA?

Unlikely.

Is it no wonder that MCA owned newspapers like The Star now indulge in gutter media reporting?

Shame on you!



WHAT IS BEING SAID CANDIDLY …… IN THE ‘SMALL PRINT’

Malaysians are known to be one of the worst group of people …… when it comes to reading ….. or the lack of it.

Parents have the most difficult of task in encouraging their children to read as much as possible ……. this being one of the main means in building a good English vocabulary …… for communication purposes.

Alas, not many children are prepared to do so …… and this may explain the abysmal standard of English amongst Malaysian children when compared to say 25 to 30 years ago!

It stands to reason therefore that it is the older generation Malaysians who articulate it much better.

Unfortunately, their commentary on the plight of Malaysia’s serious short-comings are hardly HIGHLIGHTED in the mainstream press and if they do, they are generally confined to the small print.

This may be due to the attempt by the current administration to create a ‘feel good’ Malaysian environment ….. as a precursor to the calling of the next General Elections!

But to be fair to the press, some of the concerns are reported and printed in the media …… but targeted only to sections of the public eg economic news, property news etc …. ie they are not targeted and highlighted for the attention of the Rakyat at large.

Let’s look at one example starting with ex-Bank Negara Malaysia Deputy Governor, Lin See Yan, who was quoted as follows in last Saturday’s Star Biz Week whilst commenting about Malaysia’s economy:-

  • In this country we love form rather than context and in the process of assessment, we bastardised the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

  • We try to keep KPIs for the sake of the numbers. Even in education we look at how we are ranked, and we break it down and see how we can play with the numbers in order to meet (KPI) criteria so that we can be upgraded.

  • That is not the way, we must start from meritocracy. If you don’t do that, you can meet your all KPIs but you are still be back to square one.

  • As far as the Government is concerned, I am not worried about the Government per say.

  • I’m worried about the government agencies which are piling up debt. If you look at the development expenditure, it’s the agencies that are the big spenders. What sort of return on capital are we are getting?

  • We say the right things – liberalisation, bringing taxes down, taking away subsidies, but in reality we do the exact opposite.

And this is coming from someone who has seen it all ….. from the time he was Deputy Governor to Tun Ismail Ali in Bank Negara Malaysia to this present moment in time.

Doesn’t it make you shudder to think that our country’s bureaucrats have allowed the system to de-generate to what it is today?

They are now kidding themselves into believing that everything is still hunky-dory and that there is this light (artificial, I am sure) at the end of the tunnel.

Do you now know why we need a two party parliamentary system into order to keep the checks and balances working?

Click HERE for the full interview given by Lin See Yan and others to The Star.



SPECTACULARLY CONCEITED : GOVT’S RESPONSE TO WORLD BANK’S REPORT ON MALAYSIA’S BRAIN DRAIN

Ever since the publication of the picture in 1998 showing Michel Camdessus, the then Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, watching hawkishly over  Indonesian President Suharto effectively signing off its financial sovereignty, I have this somewhat ‘bias’ against such ‘western’ institutions.

Fast forward to today, I was therefore quite sceptical when I read the World Bank report that headlined Malaysia’s brain drain has swallowed up its growth.

It was only after reading the facts and figures behind the report that I began to see the rationale behind that head-line.

I don’t intend to really go through the details of the report as enough has been said, the most recent, from P. Gunasegaram of  The Star.

What I will talk about though is the sense of hopelessness for most budding degree holders …… when it comes to obtaining jobs that actually befit their qualifications and achievements.

The unfortunate bit about Malaysia is that meritocracy is a much abused word ……. in that it is interpreted, sometimes in a most despicable manner …… that the ‘qualifieds’ get thrown off by the way-side.

We all know about the Little Napoleons heading the Human Resource divisions of most organisations …… especially those of the governments, agencies and Government Linked Companies.

Even in the case of Public Listed Companies, they are pressured to adopt policies that are slanted …… in the name of some national policy …… resulting in deserving students only getting the crumbs!

Why should we therefore be surprised by the World Bank report highlighting the serious brain drain taking place in Malaysia.

It is only natural for PM Najib to deny that it has affected the Foreign Direct Investments in Malaysia.

But the fact that Malaysia has to set up Talent Corporation to try to ‘lure’ the ‘brains’ back to Malaysia only confirms the obvious.

What is Malaysia’s loss is Singapore’s gain …. the World Bank reporting that 57% of Malaysia’s degree holders end up in Singapore, of which 90% are Chinese!

Remember what Lee Kuan Yew said about Malaysia : “We (Singapore) are the standing indictment of all the things Malaysia can and should be doing differently!”

Until the silent majority comprising Malays, Chinese and Indians make their voices (i.e. voting) heard, Malaysia is bound to de-generate to a point where EVERYONE loses.

Furthermore, the current political fight is NOT between Malays and Chinese…. though UMNO is trying to portray it to be so.

The real fight appears really between the Malaysian Rakyat (represented in PKR/PAS/DAP) and the corrupt/elitist in UMNO, MCA, MIC & others in BN.

For summary of the World Bank report, click HERE. For The Star’s P. Gunasegaram’s commentary of the World Bank report, click HERE

 



RAJA PETRA : SUPPORT CAUSES, NOT POLITICAL PARTIES?

The spin has already started since Raja Petra launched the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement recently in London (click HERE).

It is therefore important that the parties involved in the MCLM make utterly clear as to its objectives and how it will fit in the parliamentary frame-work of the country.

An example of the spin is that whilst MCLM has announced that civil rights leader, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar will be a candidate at the coming General Elections, the MCA owned newspaper, The Star, seems to suggest otherwise.

It quoted Malik as saying that he would be an independent candidate ….. and any questions regarding his purported links to MCLM should be referred to its leader, Haris Ibrahim.

A foreign paper down south, on the other hand reported that the 30 or so candidates identified by MCLM would be offered to the Pakatan Rakyat as reliable and trustworthy candidates. Only if they are rejected would they contest as independents.

However, in the YouTube presentation on the MCLM website, Raja Petra went on about being too constricted if a member of parliament was beholden to the political party he was a member of. “Political parties and the politicians come and go, but the causes remain”, was their assertion. click HERE

This seems to imply that MCLM’s candidates would be contesting as independents.

If this was to happen, it would naturally cause a split in the votes for those who are anti-Barisan Nasional.

This will be sweet music to Najib and his ilk.

It looks as though the split within Parti Keadilan Rakyat is much deeper than originally thought!



THE STAR CONCEDES?: WITHDRAWS APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF SC

Looks as though damage control is taking place with the Star being instructed to withdraw its application for a judicial review against the SC for the latter’s alleged harassment against its journalist. click HERE

Whilst some of the other mercenary gutter blogs are continuing with their vendetta against the SC and its chairman, it is good that some sense is prevailing amongst the more level headed individuals …. including the SC!

Let’s move on.



‘SINGLE COMMISSION’ FOR SECURITIES & COMPANIES?

It’s good to know that P. Gunasegaram of the article ‘Persuasion, Not Compulsion’ infamy is back in circulation and has not been put out to pasture, as many had speculated.

His latest article, ‘Collaring white-collar criminals’ is a much safer subject for him to comment on as opposed to religious or racial topics. That is notwithstanding the fact that his latest view on white collar crime is not new and is somewhat behind times (Click HERE to his article).

He still maintains his view that the Securities Commission and the Companies Commission should merge because according to Guna, “The body that should lead looks like the SC which seems to have the staff and the resources to deal with the problems”. The merger was originally proposed by the then Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Pak Lah has since moved on in March 2009 although he had been a lame duck PM since the 8 March 2008 General Elections.

What I am trying to get at is that we are now in March 2010 and the  proposed merger of the Securities & Companies Commissions has not happened. Don’t think it will!

And by the way, Guna was lamenting (again) about the ‘slap on the wrists’ for perpetrators convicted for white collar crime …. which includes criminal breach of trust. Based on recent Securities Commission convictions, these jokers plunder hundreds of millions of Ringgit from companies and yet, they mostly get fined between RM300,000 to RM500,000 only, nothing more. We used to think that it was due to the lack of power to prosecute under the securities laws. But with so many amendments made to these laws in the last few years, this excuse is beginning to wear thin.

Even by using the bench-mark maximum penalty under securities laws of RM10 million fine and/or 10 year jail term, a convict fined only RM300,000 (after stealing at least RM100 million) can only indicate that the prosecution’s case was not very convincing to warrant the maximum penalty from the judge!

Now, consider the penalties meted out from recent (Police) Commercial Crimes Investigation Department  convictions, e.g. the ex-CEO of Nascom convicted of criminal breach of trust involving only RM1.61 million, was not only jailed 4 years but he was also to be given 3 strokes of the cane (click HERE)…. and it’s not like the ‘sympathetic caning’ of those 3 girls involved in illicit sex! Thinking that it may be a flash in the pan, on 5 March 2010 a former lawyer, Suhani Mat Daud, was reported to have been sentenced to a two year jail term for the mis-appropriation of only RM271,000 …. and the monies had been returned to the victim by Suhani (click HERE)! And both of these convictions are white collar crimes also!

Maybe Guna should instead consider giving credit to the Police’s Commercial Crimes Investigation Department, which is currently headed by  Dato’ Koh Hong Sun.

Furthermore, since the merger with the Securities Commission will most probably not occur, the Companies Commission should consider engaging and learning from the Commercial Crimes Investigation Dept of the Police in terms of effective investigation, prosecution and conviction of white collar crime!



THE STAR’S CRACKING!

Yes, I mean The Star as in the newspaper ….. that is owned by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) is cracking at its seams ….

First it had to apologise and grovel to the Home Ministry for the article by its editor, P.Gunasegaram entitled, ‘Persuasion, not Compulsion’.

Now it has decided not to publish Marina Mahathir’s ‘Musings’ column for fear of further reprimand by the Government. Gone are the days when The Star shorn brightly that rain or shine, people flocked to read the paper whose reporting was then deemed divine!!

In support of Marina, I reproduce her column below which can also be found at her blog:

By Marina Mahathir (Click HERE to her blog for same article)

When we want to compete with anyone in any field we seek those who are better than us. And we keep going until finally we are recognized as the best. For example, a tennis player starts at the unranked bottom and tries to play and win against better players until finally there is nobody to beat.

We do not however insist that everybody comes down to our level or to play badly in order for us to win.

This is what puzzles me about the syariah courts in our country. In 1988 a clause was inserted into our Constitution that has been interpreted as having erected a Berlin Wall between the syariah and the civil courts. Basically Article 121(1A) said “the courts referred to in Clause (1) shall have no jurisdiction in respect of any matter within the jurisdiction of the syariah courts.”  This has caused untold problems because real life sometimes dictates that some issues cross over both jurisdictions. But leave that aside for a moment.

Although the new clause did not say that the two separate courts were equal to one another, there are some people who are of the view that the syariah court is superior to the civil courts simply because syariah law is deemed of a higher order than civil laws. This is because apparently God made syariah laws while mere human beings made the civil laws. Never mind the fact that human beings have been changing syariah laws over the years, for instance, by loosening laws that protected women from losing all their property to their divorced husbands. Like other laws in this country, syariah laws have to be drafted, tabled and passed through our various lawmaking bodies whether at the State or Federal levels. This process leaves a lot of human fingerprints all over them.

Civil laws are drafted, tabled and passed through Parliament. The difference is that at the tabling stage , they have to be debated before they are passed. The quality of the debate may be sometimes wanting but debated they are. This process provides some sort of ‘quality control’ over the laws so that they are hopefully current, reflect realities and are just.

The same does not hold true of syariah laws. When they get tabled at State Excos, non-Muslims do not participate because there is the notion that they cannot partake in any such debate. That leaves only the Muslim Excos, few of whom are women. This means that if a bill affects women, the opinions of the female minority in the Exco can be ignored. Furthermore, most people are ignorant about their religion and tend to leave these matters to those they believe know best. Thus if the State Mufti or religious adviser says it’s a good law, they are unlikely to challenge him. Thus are religious laws passed unscrutinised.

Until, that is, something happens such as when someone gets convicted of a syariah crime and punishment is meted out. Who knew until recently that people could get caned for drinking, or for having a baby out of wedlock until the recent cases of Kartika and the three women?

Not only are these laws not debated when they are being made but they can’t be debated afterwards either, unlike civil laws. To do so, according to some people, is akin to arguing with God it seems. (There are however some who think that God welcomes such arguments just so that He can prove He is right).

If one believes that syariah laws are superior to civil laws, should they not be held to higher standards? Should they not be subjected to more rigorous debate than civil laws out of fear that they may be unjust? If syariah courts are deemed superior to civil courts, should not their processes be more transparent and efficient? How is it that there are innumerable women having to undergo tremendous suffering because syariah court orders to their divorced husbands to pay child maintenance cannot be enforced?

How is it also that we suddenly hear about women being caned without any information about the processes they went through? Did they have the benefit of legal representation and heard in an open court? If they did, who were their lawyers and what defense did they mount?

Surely the best court of law is one that strives for justice, which shows it is fair to all parties. In this case, on whose behalf was justice served?

I have no problems with syariah laws if their foundation is justice, equality and non-discrimination for all, even non-Muslims. But when their intent, processes and enforcement are unfair, they only give the impression that Islam is unjust and discriminatory. Surely to give such an image of Islam is a sin.