Thursday, October 31, 2013

Proof of private sector discrimination against Melayu candidates






Job ads from the Republic of Malaysia. That was the title of the email containing job ad samples above sent to me by a fellow journo-blogger after the recent editorial exchanges between Shamsul Akmar and a Michael Lim Mah Hui, the "Bumi-no-quality" analyst. Lim has denied having made those racist remarks attributed to him by the Malaysian Insider. Dr Awang Hitam, a columnist with NST (and lately with The Mole) says he'd take that denial in good faith but stresses that unfortunately, the notion that Bumiputeras are unsuitable material for the private sector IS pervasive ...
"... there is empirical evidence on discrimination in the private sector against Malay candidates. 

The study by University Malaya senior lecturer in development studies department Dr. Lee Hwok Aun and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia research fellow Dr. Muhammed Abdul Khalid finds that the private sector favours Chinese over Malay candidates, despite both having the same qualifications. 

They concluded that race, much more than résumé quality, affects prospects of getting an interview, with Chinese significantly more likely to be called for interviews than Malays. In other words, while qualification matter, race matters more. Interestingly, their study also finds that even crucial skills such as proficiency in Chinese dialects only marginally increase the chances of Malay applicants in securing a job interview. These inconvenient facts, must not only be acknowledged, but speedily dealt with."
Read Ethnicity and Quality by Dr Awang Hitam, courtesy of the Mole.






Ruling for Mkini shows a fiercely independent Malaysian judiciary

Updated: 31/10/2013 - In Britain, the (alleged) end of 300 years of Press Freedom as the Queen gives go-ahead to Press regulations royal charter. 
Read it all h e r e.

Let them print (and be damned!). Pro-government blogger Bujai, a veteran journalist himself, is loudly and openly opposed to independent pro-Opposition news portal Malaysiakini getting a printing licence. "We don't need such a newspaper in circulation as it spews more lies than truth," he asserts in his latest posting, NO to Mkini printing permit! He has asked Home Minister Zahid Hamidi to "find a legal way to reverse the court's decision". 
Well, I'm afraid there's very little that the government can do except appeal the decision.   
Because - and we are witnesWhat we are witnessing is how fiercely independent our judiciary is. If the judiciary was in the pockets of politicians (as pro-Opposition portals often allege), the Court of Appeal would not have, unanimously, upheld the High Court ruling against the Government.  
I rest my case. 
p.s. In any case, a printing license is not a license to kill. Governments will - and must - continue to try and regulate the media, print or online, because, well, even watchdogs need to be watched. Publishers aren't angels, y'know.  Read British newspapers vs tough new watchdog.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jho Low the "Master" Dr M's talking about?

Updated: 
31/10/2013: So, it was told to me last night by someone close to Jho Lo that the young man does not own and never did own the Malaysian Insider.
I said that's not what I heard, that I heard Jho Lo was pumping money into the Insiders. 
"No, not true. My company took some ads in Malaysian Insider. We spent RM150-200k for six months. People know I'm close to Jho Lo so I suppose that's how people got the idea (that Jho Lo pumped money into Insider)," this associate, who wished to be anonymous like many of us in blogosphere, said.
"The portal is owned by that Ini Kali Lah guy. And Jho never met Ini Kali Lah," he offered.
Wallahualam but if it's true, I said good for Jho Low if he'd never met the "Master".
Now, will this Ini Kali Lah guy speak up?   

Original piece
Deja vu. There's something terribly familiar with the way The Malaysian Insider's trying to demonize Dr Mahathir Mohamad lately. 
Jho Low
For many of us who were there, that was how it all started during Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's era: a puppet master masquerading as editor-cum-businessman and doubling up as Abdullah's media advisor launched a media campaign aimed at demonizing Dr M. That didn't work out well at all for Abdullah, the "Master", and his friends and business associates. More than just ego was lost; hundreds of millions of ringgit's worth of projects they had greedily earmarked for themselves, thinking that the gravy train would continue to chug along, went up in smoke in the aftermath of the March 2008 general election. 
Now this "Master" is back. Read The Mind of the Analyst by Dr Mahathir. 
This time, instead of prostituting the mainstream media, he's using The Malaysian Insider. He knows he can't bring down Dr M or Najib Razak, but he can get them to be at loggerheads. He did that in Finding the lunatic fringe in Malaysia and then again in For Najib, an open society and Mukhriz's loss invites Dr M's venom, say analysts. Even seasoned campaigners like Info Minister Shabery Cheek, was dragged into the master's ploy against Dr M.
It's not a secret that the man who owns The Malaysian Insider is Jho Low, the young taukeh best remembered for partying with Paris Hilton. But I know Jho Lo is just the money man. Jho Low isn't the "Master" meant by Dr Mahathir. The "Master" is someone else, a man with vendetta, whose company helped out with Lim Guan Eng's campaign in the 13th general election. 
Some people credited this "Master" for the Opposition's PRU13 battle cry "INI KALI LAH". But I think that was an exaggeration ...

Read
Jebat Must Die's The "Independent" Malaysian Insider is just a Toady 
Annie's Free Press My Ass 
Ex-Malaysian Insiders' Malaysian Insider issues fourth apology in over a week

A simple "yes" would have done it

Got this message in my mail after lunch: "Rocky, would you consider reproducing this piece in your Blog?  It is very telling and a blight on the supposed champion of Burmese freedom. Besides winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi now also wins the prize for bigotry."
I read the article and said  "yes" right away! Some things are clear as day ...
Here's the article:
How can Aung San Suu Kyi – a Nobel Peace Prize winner – fail to condemn anti-Muslim violence?
By David Blair World Last updated: October 24th, 2013
I never thought I would write this, but Aung San Suu Kyi sent a shiver down my spine when she appeared on the Today programme this morning. Her equivocal attitude towards the violence suffered by Burma’s Muslim minority was deeply disturbing.
I’m sorry to say that she employed the standard devices used by people who want to play down – and avoid condemning – something utterly reprehensible.
The first common tactic is to draw a parity between perpetrators and victims. Suu Kyi duly said: “This is what the world needs to understand: that the fear is not just on the side of the Muslims, but on the side of the Buddhists as well.”
She went on: “Yes, Muslims have been targeted, but also Buddhists have been subjected to violence. But there’s fear on both sides and this is what is leading to all these troubles and we would like the world to understand: that the reaction of the Buddhists is also based on fear.”
Hang on a moment. Muslims are only 4 per cent of Burma’s population. The Rohingya Muslims, who have borne the brunt of the violence, are a smaller minority still. The idea that we should place the fears of the 90 per cent Buddhist majority alongside those of a small and vulnerable minority – and one that has been “targeted” for violence – is pretty extraordinary.
Suu Kyi then goes further by saying: “You, I think, will accept that there’s a perception that Muslim power, global Muslim power, is very great and certainly that is the perception in many parts of the world and in our country too.”
Global Muslim power? How powerful can a 4 per cent minority be, particularly when the Rohingya are explicitly forbidden from becoming citizens of Burma and therefore have no political weight whatever? What is Suu Kyi trying to say? That Buddhists in Burma are so terrified by “global Muslim power” that we shouldn’t be surprised when they turn on Muslims at home?
Suu Kyi also employs the second common device, namely to change the subject to something irrelevant. When Mishal Husain asked her to accept that 140,000 Muslims have been displaced by violence, Suu Kyi replied: “I think there are many, many Buddhists who have also left the country for various reasons. This is a result of our sufferings under a dictatorial regime.”
This is also completely irrelevant. If many Buddhist Burmese fled during the era of military dictatorship, this has no bearing whatever on the plight of the 140,000 Muslims who live in refugee camps today.
Suu Kyi then used the third standard tactic: uttering words of condemnation so general as to be meaningless. Asked to condemn a notorious Buddhist hate-preacher who compares Muslims to “dogs”, she said only: “I condemn hate of any kind.”
And then Mishal Husain asked her bluntly: “Do you condemn the anti-Muslim violence?” Suu Kyi replied: “I condemn any movement that is based on hatred and extremism.”
How could a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize fail to answer that question with a simple “Yes”?
ENDS
About David Blair
David Blair became Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in November 2011. He previously worked for the paper as Diplomatic Editor, Africa Correspondent and Middle Correspondent.

44th most prosperous country in the world (and a crusade against some Malaysians' pay)

Beautiful, bountiful Malaysia. Did you know that Malaysia is listed as one of Lonely Planet's Top Ten countries to visit in 2014? That's a fact. They listed Brazil as the top country to visit in 2014 as they will be hosting the World Cup in June and July. In second place is Antartica, followed by Scotland, Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia and Negaraku.  
Now, another fact is we are no bimbo nation. Not only is Malaysia beautiful, this latest survey by a London-based think tank says we are also one of the richest in the world! 
 
Crusade against high pay
Read the whole article h e r e. 
Too much good news to digest? 
Well, don't worry, there's plenty of not-so-good news as usual. Try joining Ong Kian Ming's twitter for his latest crusade against how much some Malaysians are paid by the Government. Critical pro-government blogger Syed Akbar Ali also has the posting with the long heading Pemandu Director RM49,000, Assistant Director RM31,600, Senior Manager RM21,000, CEO Inovasi RM69,000, SPAD RM58,500, CEO Talentcorp RM35,000.
Generally, I agree: these people should not be getting more than the Ketua Setiausaha Negara or the Cabinet Ministers. But I don't think we should expect our top CEOs to take home RM20-30k a month lah. Therefore, I suggest we increase, with immediate effect, the gaji dan elaun of the Chief Secretary-General to the Government. A notch below Singapore's level would be fair. This should be followed by the pay and allowances of top civil servants, including judges, generals, top cops, teachers, government doctors, etc. We are the 44th richest country in the world, thanks also to these civil servants - their salaries should reflect that. No?
Read also YB Ong Kian Ming "nakal" by a Pemandu blogger who advises the PhD holder to Google more. He also quotes Dr Mahathir's famous line when told that Anwar Ibrahim has been appointed Selangor Economic Advisor with a salary of RM1: 
"Of course, you pay him RM1, you'll get RM1 worth."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Have you paid a bribe today?

Bribing us: Less than 5% in Malaysia
On twitter this morning, Lim Guan Eng was still ranting about a survey that said Malaysia was the most corrupt nation in the region. Well, there are surveys and there are surveys. The Penang CM won't be quoting from findings of the World Bank's survey below, for example. Nor would he like the latest Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2013. Worldwide, one in four businessmen admitted to having paid bribes to get business, says the survey. The good news is in Malaysia (as in Australia, Japan, South Korea and Norway), only 5% or less of the respondents said they had actually bribed our people in order to get business. I think that kinda gel with the World Bank's report, don't you? 
Now here's the press release on the World Bank survey that The Dear Leader (who) went berserk again won't want you to know anything about:
PRESS RELEASE

WORLD BANK EASE OF DOING BUSINESS REPORT 2014

1.

 Malaysia has achieved a significant surge to 6thposition among 189 economies in the latest World Bank Doing Business 2014. Malaysia has achieved this well-ahead of its target to be among the top 10 by 2015. At 6th position, Malaysia has been placed in the same league as Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, United States and Denmark. This ranking also places Malaysia ahead of economies such as the Republic of Korea, Norway, United Kingdom, Australia and Finland. Soon after Prime Minister Najib Razak assumed office, Malaysia was in 23rd place. The rise to 6th place is testament to his stewardship and a result of the economic and government transformation programmes.

2.

Malaysia has achieved 1st position in Getting Credit and 4th in Protecting Investors six years in a row. In the area of Trading Across Borders, Malaysia made a breakthrough to 5th position. Other significant improvements made were in the areas of ‘starting a business’, ‘dealing with construction permits’, ‘enforcing contracts’, ‘resolving insolvency’, and ‘getting electricity’.

3.

The World Bank further acknowledges that Malaysia is among the economies that improved the most across three or more doing business areas. Malaysiahas made starting business less costly by reducing the company registration fees while in ‘dealing with construction permits’, the establishment of one-stop centres has facilitated construction processes.

4.

Malaysia welcomes the World Bank findings. They are testament to the efforts made by both the public and private sectors to help Malaysia become a high income nationThe Task Force to Facilitate Business(PEMUDAH) has proven to be a platform where the public and private sectors collaborate to create a sense of urgency in improving Government service delivery, enhancing Malaysia’s competitiveness and ensuring business is facilitated efficiently.

5.

Since its inception in 2007, Malaysia’s performance in the World Bank Doing Business has improved from 25th position to 6th position. This year is the country’s largest leap in its competitiveness ranking, reinforcingMalaysia’s position as a preferred destination for trade and investments among local and foreign investors. Notwithstanding this significant improvement, the Government is aware that there is no room for complacency.

6.

As we move forward, we are seeking to do more,cogniscent of the competition that Malaysia faces both regionally and globally. Our central challenge will lie not only in addressing operational inefficiencies in service delivery but also in reviewing regulations to further reduce the burden of doing business in Malaysia.

Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed
Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
29 October 2013


Monday, October 28, 2013

Some countries some of you might like to migrate to

North Korea, where GST is unlikely to ever kick off
A world without GST. I count 38 countries and islands in this whole wide world which have not adopted the GST. The Chinese believe that's a lucky number, right? So if you really think Malaysia is beyond saving after April 2015, when the 6% GST kicks in, it's reasonable to expect you'd consider migrating to one of these destinations. If so, you have 17 months to get your  papers in order (don't forget to settle your taxes first). Good news is, the US of A is on the list but if you are, like Suaram, unhappy with President Barrack Obama for finding Malaysia to be so exemplary, you have Libya or North Korea to choose from. And China.
p.s. Met a war photographer from Eritrea when we attended this advanced journalism course in Cardiff in the summer of 93. His people had just come out of a civil war with Ethiopia (which now has GST, btw). This guy was having a tough time getting used to money. Back home, he told us, they were paid in kind -- food, clothes, living quarters, tobacco, etc. Things have not improved much since the. Some 2,000-3000 Eritreans flee their own country every month. Read UN rebukes Eritrea's "shoot to kill" policy.

COUNTRIES WITHOUT GST 
Asean
1.  Brunei
2.  Myanmar 
Europe
3.  Andorra
4.  San Marino
5.  Vatican City 
Africa
6.  Comoros
7.  Cote d'Ivoire
8.  Djibouti
9.  Eritrea
10. Liberia
11. Libya
12. San Tome & Principle
13. Swaziland  
Asia
14. Bahrain
15. Bhutan
16. China
17. Iraq
18. North Korea
19. Kuwait
20. Maldives
21. Oman
22. Qatar
23. Saudi Arabia
24. Syria
25. UAE
26. Yemen 
North America
27. Bahamas
28. Cuba
29. Saint Lucia
30. USA 
Caribbean
31. Suriname 
Oceania
32. Kiribati
33. Marshall Islands
34. Micronesia
35. Solomon Islands
36. Palau
37. Tuvalu 
38. Malaysia (until April 1, 2015) 
Sources: Google

See also Countries with GST 

Don't ban Ke$ha, Ban Suaram!



Blow our speakers, KJ. That's who the blogger OutSyed the Box has in mind when he asks, with regards to the banning of Ke$ha from holding a concert in Malaysia, "Where are the Melayu liberal?" Read Let's just ban all Western artistes from Malaysia. 
"This is addressed to the Melayu liberal. Where are all the Melayu liberal? The liberals said the conservatives have been defeated in the recent UMNO elections. OK - so where are the Melayu liberals? Another American pop singer has been banned from Malaysia - just one day before her concert. What do the liberals say?"
I'd like to see YB Khairy take up this cause. I won't guarantee OutSyed the Box will be an overnight fan of his, but ... who knows?
YB Nazri Aziz, the Tourism Minister, can also say something. In view of Malaysia Visit Year 2014 and Year of Festivals 2015, the government might want to get the moral police to sober up a bit. Otherwise, who wants to come here? Especially with the likes of people at Suaram telling the world how corrupt, violent and and full of religious extremists this country called Malaysia is. Read the NGO's letter to Barrack Obama in Suaram is a national threat.  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

20 million UVs

Dear Unique Visitors,  
A lot of people were surprised when they discovered that this blog was run by one person, not a team of writers. It still is. 
Visits and views by month
From mid-2006, when Rocky's Bru was born, I have posted some 3,050 articles and 128,000 comments (not counting the over 54,000 spams). There are another 50 posts that the Courts wanted "hidden" to facilitate a defamation case against me in 2007. The Courts didn't tell me to delete them so, yes, they are still there in the system. 
I have continued to run this blog because it's what I am, or have become. And because you, dear Unique Visitors, have continued to stop by to read, drop a comment or two, and kept this blog alive and kicking. Some of you have also made it a habit of dropping me a line whenever I decided to take a longer-than-usual break from blogging.
To all of you out there, thank you. I don't know about you, but I think I'm still up for one or two more ... Salut!

Bumi-no-quality analyst says "I was out of the country ..."

Why he took his time to clarify his Bumiputera-no-quality statement, according to Lim Mah Hui: 

"I was out of the country when the article appeared in early October and it was only brought to my attention on October 17 after my return. I immediately contacted the journalist to correct the misunderstanding ..."


The article was published by The Malaysian Insider On Oct 2 (see screenshots below). Lim's quotes offended a lot of Malays and Bumiputeras - from the PKR Wanita Chief who accused Lim of stereotyping to former PM Dr Mahathir - and Lim's best, belated response is his office in Kuala Lumpur only informed him of the bad, bad press back home only when he came back!? 
 "Weird," writes seasoned writer Shamsul Akmar.
Weird or not, I'd expected more from Lim and his think-tank. This I'm-out-of-the-fucking-country excuse is so lame, No different from the traffic-jam excuse that people give when they are late for an appointment. You call that quailty, ah, Mr Lim?

Screenshots of the original article:


Friday, October 25, 2013

Conquering the GST fear

Budget 2014 ushers in GST - by The Mole
Najib
Salute to the Prime Minister for boldy pushing ahead with the GST - effective 1 April 2015 and lowest in Asean at 6% ( see table) and one of the lowest in the world (Canada and Taiwan 5%) - despite threats of massive protests by the Opposition. 
Most impressive is the "offset package" (reduced personal and corporate income tax, exemption for some 300,000 low-income tax payers, list of goods and services exempted) that will accompany the implementation of the GST. I think it was very well thought of. 
But it was his simple explanation of why Malaysia must implement the GST, why this is the best time to do so and why 160 countries (that have implemented GST, including nearly all the developed economies) can't be wrong, that, to me, totally destroyed the Opposition's fear mongering about the GST. 
Now, who was it that said GST was regressive? Mana sekolah pergi?
Malaysia's GST lowest in Asean. Source: MoF 
Other countries with GST:








The tough-gets-going Budget




Click on video and read:
Expect to see a tougher side of Najib Razak, PM and Minister of Finance, when he tables the 2014 Budget this afternoon. Which won't be a bad thing, if you ask me. 
For example, I hear that he's going to stress on what insiders are calling "disciplined spending". Prompted by the revelations made year after year by the Auditor-General, on how some departments have blundered, Najib wants to go after authorities guilty of wasting public funds. "He's going to make a very clear commitment on that this afternoon," I heard one insider say. 
It will also be about toughening up the domestic economy without burdening the poor. One of Najib's main concerns is the seemingly never-ending economic and financial crisis around the world - from the US subprime crisis to the Euro debt crisis - and how the local economy continues to get banged up each time that happens. The 2014 Budget's strategy is to help toughen up the local economy to better absorb the impact of the next crisis. "It's not a question of IF, it's WHEN the next crisis will happen," the insider said. 
Toughening up means further subsidy rationalization. Rest assured that the 2014 Budget will still contain a lot of subsidies for the rakyat. Malaysians are a heavily-subsidized lot who are slowly coming to terms with the fact that subsidies can't go on forever but that can't be done overnight. Hence the GST, which will enable Malaysians to start paying for what they consume. The insider won't give anything away on GST. I get the impression - and I hope I'm wrong - that the GST might even be taken off the 2014 Budget! 
Anwar Ibrahim & Co are lining up protests against the GST not really because the GST is "regressive" but because, like Lynas, it is a politically-viable subject matter. I mean, how can it be t hat when only Malaysia, Myanmar and Brunei have not implemented GST in Asean while some 160 and nearly ALL the developed countries have also adopted it, right? 
It's them testing Najib Razak's will to see just how tough he is ...  

BFM 89.9 probed for "Allah" interview

Sharil Tarmizi, the MCMC boss, has been declining the media's request for comments on BFM's interview with Reza Aslan. For a while I thought he was going to close one eye on the fact that the radio station had blatantly flouted agreed SOP for broadcast stations in this country. Looks like I owe him an apology for having such thoughts ...


Based on Ezra Zaid's twitter, clearly Sharil and the MCMC have not been idle. Ezra was one of the dudes who interviewed the award-winning, Jesus-follower Reza Aslan on the Allah issue. 
The BFM is being  probed for this flouting this ...

Go, MCMC! Without fear or favor.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A VIP threesome with a man named Amar



The screenshots you are staring at in disbelief are excerpts from an affidavit allegedly filed in court recently by an ex-wife of a VIP (well, kind of). Their wedding was a massive affair, their marriage a quick one. I don't know if the affidavit's for real but we'll soon find out, since it's in public domain. Malaysians have had lots of this kind of reading material - the sodomy trials affidavits, the Altantuya's murder case, Bala's back-and-forth Statutory Declaration, RPK's Statutory Declaration, etc. This latest affidavit ranks right up there with the best (or, rather, worst) of them all. 

Budget 2014: What Malaysians really want

GST. We want to see the government boldly announce the implementation of the GST in the Budget 2014 to be tabled by PM/MoF Najib Razak tomorrow. No flip-flopping.
We are one of the few remaining countries in the world that have not introduced GST. The system has benefitted ecoonomies and consumers in some 160 countries, including most of the developed economies like France, the UK, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland. In this region, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia have GST. Myanmar has not implemented it, perhaps because of the long-running junta rule, and Brunei will not because it has opted for Hudud instead. We have no excuses. 
Unless, of course, the Government tells us it is afraid of this ...



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BFM: Bad for Muslims 89.9

Updated: 
Master of Fiction. "Reza Aslan has continuously presented himself as a professor of religion. This is done in an attempt to sell his few books, which lack academic and credible references. In one of his recent interviews, Aslan claims, “I am a scholar of religions with four degrees including one in the New Testament . . . I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions . . . I am a professor of religions, including the New Testament – that’s what I do for a living, actually . . . To be clear, I want to emphasize one more time, I am a historian, I am a Ph.D. in the history of religions.” Aslan also recently said on Twitter, “I have a BA, MA and PhD in the history of Western Religions so yes, again, I am an ACTUAL expert in Judaism.”In actuality, Reza Aslan is not a “professor of religion,” and what he claims he does “for a living” is an outrageous inaccuracy. Reza Aslan is an associate professor in the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Riverside.  He teaches there based on his Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction from Iowa."- The Lies and Misrepresentations of Reza Aslan, Frontpage Mag, 5 Aug 2013
Original Posting:


On Allah ruling, Reza and BFM tell Malaysian Muslims: "We laugh at you .."
Business FM 89.9 used to be one of my favorite radio stations because it used to be so good at being critical of the Government. Then one fine day it started to become a little too partisan for my liking. WIth the interview with Reza Aslan h e r e, the line is drawn for me. I mean, you can be as anti-government or anti-BN as you like but when you put a foreigner on air - even an award-winning one - so that be can laugh at our faith and thrash this country's judiciary system, you are not worth a dime. 
In doing so, I'm told that BFM has flouted the cardinal rule of public broadcast in this country. Under the terms and scope of operations, the radio station agreed that it would not insult or ridicule any race or religion in this country. 
I suppose by now the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission would have analyzed the content of the Bible For Muslims interview. Let's see if MCMC boss Sharil Tarmizi has any idea of what he should do under such circumstances. Let's see if Information Minister Shabery Cheek has the political balls to act. Let's see if Attorney-General Gani Patail is consistent in his lack of tolerance towards any quarters who think they can insult this country's official religion and get away with it.
As for the award-wininng Reza Aslan, not everyone is as impressed as the giggling dudes from BFM. Try reading Lies and Misrepresentations of Reza Aslan, for e.g. 
Reza Aslan's best seller No God But God came to me last year highly recommended but right from the Prologue, when he finds himself between an offended Muslim and a missionary couple on a train in Morocco, he comes across to me as not only ignorant but presumptuous, and therefore too eager to poke his nose where he shouldn't. There's a reason why I haven't been able to finish the book, I suppose. In the BFM interview, Reza Aslan somehow manages to come across as even more ignorant and presumptuous (or, in Melayu, bodoh sombong) about the Allah issue.
I'd recommend Anas Zubedy's Can we use Allah in the Bible any time. Honest, not pretentious, educational.

Please also read:
1. We Laugh at You by Zakhir Mohamad
2. The Swinging pendulum of Isa alMasih and Yesus Kristus by SatD

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Did this Professor blame the NEP for "soaring" crime?

Malay gangsters only in movies; NEP "cronies" in real life 
In Policies favouring the Malays have something to do with "soaring" crime? (3540 Jalan Sudin, Oct 18), blogger Nuraina Samad draws us to The New York Times's audacity of suggesting that the NEP was partly to blame for Malaysia's crime rate.   
I agree with her: "What a load of bull!"
Exceprts from the NYT:
"Critics of the government’s approach say that amid what they call an obfuscation of crime statistics and the sudden crackdown, any real discussion of the roots of Malaysia’s crime problem is being lost. 
They blame not only a police force that they view as corrupt and ineffectual, but also income inequality and the alienation of ethnic Indians who represent 7 percent of the country’s population, yet, according to the police, make up two-thirds of gang members. 
Some suggest the government needs to modify the country’s seemingly inviolable preferential policies for Malays, who receive scholarships, cheaper housing and government contracts as part of a policy dating from the 1970s. 
Ahmad Ghazali Abu Hassan, a professor at the National Defense University of Malaysia, says the system of preferences for Malays “should be modified to address inequality within our society, without identifying race.” 
Particularly in need of help, he said, were ethnic Indians. “I still believe that poverty is the root cause of this,” he said." - 
Read full article  Wave of high-profile crimes has put Malaysians on the defensive

Someone ought to interview the Universiti Pertahanan Nasional professor, though. I don't see him blaming the NEP at all. On the contrary, Prof Ahmad Ghazali may actually be suggesting that because the NEP has been successful in reducing poverty, the policy should be expanded to include non-Bumiputera poor, especially the Indians, in order to help Malaysia bring down crime .. 

Yellow card to Khalid Ibrahim over UKRC field

Event: A Protest against Selangor Menteri Besar and Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya for "snatching away" a field that belongs to the Ulu Kelang Recreational Club (UKRC)
Date & Time: Wed 23 Oct 2013 at 6.30 pm
Venue: At the stolen UKRC field
Save the UKRC field, once again

"Dinner will be served after the protest," UKRC president Andrew Gopal told me. But dinner will be the last thing on the minds of the residents, club members and UKRC supporters who will be staging the protest tomorrow. They'll be wondering if the UKRC will ever be safe ...

A decade ago these good people fought the Selangor state government when it was under the BN to save the field. The people prevailed, the greedy developers were kept at bay, and the UKRC field was declared an "open space" by Khir Toyo, who was the MB then. In 2008, Pakatan Rakyat seized Selangor from the BN and a new state government under MB Khalid Ibrahim, which promised to be friendlier to the people, came in. Last July, Pakatan was returned to power in Selangor for a second term and Khalid was sworn in as MB again. 

Then this month, the MPAJ declared that the UKRC had no right over the UKRC field and, with the backing of the MB and the might of the state government, "snatched" the field away from the Club. Deja vu ...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why they blame Najib (and why he must call for the next UMNO election in exactly 3 years, regardless of when PRU14 will be)

The Mole's headline yesterday

Original posting:

"... Najib's decision to democratize the UMNO party elections is something that those champions of democracy in the opposition should have set an example by doing long ago. Unfortunately, it looks like this is Najib's most substantial reform thus far, which doesn't say a great deal, but credit should be given where credit is due." - Nile Bowie in Life of Annie, When a pro-Pakatan news portal tries to be neutral, Sept 25, 2013

Some people say Nile Bowie is more Russian than American but the fact is he's an American columnist with with the Russian Today who's made Kuala Lumpur his home, which I think makes him one of a kind. I've met him a few times before and after the 13th General Election and you can tell that he basically subscribes to Najib Razak's so-called transformation plans even if he's not wholly impressed by them. NB must have been following closely the just-concluded Umno election, which he has put on record as "Najib's most substantial reform thus far"; it'd be interesting to know what he thinks of the outcome.

One thing for sure, NB wouldn't blame Najib Razak for the outcome of the election. And neither should we. There are a lot of blog and FB posts out there blaming the PM and Umno president for the "flawed" or "wrong" outcome of the election. I don't see the logic. We were all rooting for our own favorites (eg 521) but just because it didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, we must blame the man at the top?  

The new Umno election system -  designed to be more transparent, more immune to money politics, and more democratic - should be used as a benchmark for all political parties in Malaysia. Instead of blaming Najib, we should pressure political parties - especially those holier-than-thou that have been guilty of appointing instead of electing de facto leaders - to walk the talk before talking about national reforms!

All things considered, I think Najib Razak pulled it off quite well. Credit should be given where credit is due. There's room for improvement, of course. I'd like to make a couple of suggestions but read what Najib and Muhyddin had to say about Mukhriz:







My suggestions to improve the new Umno election system:

1. The party president must call for fresh election in exactly three year's time, NOT earlier and certainly NOT 4-5 years (or depending on when the General Elections will be) which has been the practice before this. This is most crucial because if Najib's transformation within Umno is to work, he has to ensure that the momentum of last weekend's election is not hampered by delaying the next one. A party election this time in 2016 will also ensure that Umno will go into PRU14, which must happen by 2018, with the best and latest line-up.

2. Aspiring candidates must (be allowed to) make known their intention much earlier. Mukhriz announced his decision "rather late", Akramshah Sanusi even later, and we only knew that Maznah Mazlan was taking on Shahrizat Jalil 10 minutes before nominations closed. The process should begin earlier, say 3-6 months before election. 

Feel free to add if you have any constructive suggestions ...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

For (some) news portals, sorry is not the hardest word

Updated:
Veteran journalist Zainuddin Maidin has lashed out at the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission for not taking action against the Malaysian Insider. He said in his latest blog that even though Mukhriz has accepted the Insider's apology, that's not an excuse for MCMC to NOT act. ".. clear malicious conspiracy against Mukhriz using the (cyberspace)," Zam writes. The Commission, he says, seems to be playing it safe (politically) or trying to be popular. Read Penyokong2 Mukhriz mesti buktikan kelemahan MCMC.

Original posting
More advertising than apology, actually ...
With updates

Why did the Malaysian Insider publish that dubious report about Mukhriz Mahathir, knowing very well that it was so dubious it couldn't be true and that, because it's so clearly so defamatory, it would have to issue an apology or face a lawsuit?
In Kenapa Mukhriz boleh jadi mangsa fitnah?, influential blogger Helen Ang says it is because Mukhriz has become a major threat to many people, inside and outside UMNO, including Khairy Jamaluddin. Pro-UMNO blogger Big Dog, describing the Insider as a pro-Opposition, "Riong Kali's" portal, says the malicious attack on Mukhriz to "smear his good name and clean image" was expected "since Mukhriz's popularity among the UMNO grassroots increases by the day, across the board". Read Here comes the dirty trick (the blogger attaches the Insider's offending article Mukhriz's raises the stake with .."windfall" for party branches - Sources). 
Me, I think it reflects on the professionalism and ethics of today's online journalism. 
I think the Malaysian Insider editor concerned did it because he/she reckoned the portal would get away with it, like they'd gotten away many times before. I mean, look at the apology - how blasé! How sincere is the apology when you removed the "offending articles" but not the disparaging comments by readers (who were responding to the erroneous original article), and when you still proudly displays the article under your "Most Read" section?

Updates

Told you they'd get away ... Apology accepted, Mukhriz won't sue