Saturday, June 30, 2007

Liar Liar

On Wednesday, I sat in a press conference with my party boss, Lim Guan Eng as well as YB Tan Kok Wai protesting the instructions given to the various TV stations for banning all footage of opposition leaders.

The next day, NTV7 denied the claims, as reported in Malaysiakini here.
"I can tell you, there is no such directive," a top network source told malaysiakini when contacted.

"Also, our prime time news period is also too short (30 minutes) and it’s impossible to air everything," explained the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Then again, all media reporters have their guidelines on what to write and what not to write, so it’s the same for our news desk. In the final analysis, it depends on what the politicians are saying," he added.
Well, the journos at Malaysiakini must be applauded for doing their job. They came up with concrete proof today that instructions were issued by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) under the Ministry of Energy, Water & Communications.

Click image for a larger view
“The government has noted that several private TV and radio stations have been airing speeches by opposition party leaders,” wrote MCMC chairman Dr Halim Shafie in the June 7 letter.

“Your station is requested not to broadcast such speeches in future.”

The one-page letter added that the directive should be implemented immediately.
Hence, very simply, all these denials about discrimination are just lies, as we had known all along. Except now, its in black and white.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Yup! We're Responsible!

When I saw the above picture in the Star (and later the real thing on site) two days ago, I had a great laugh. The Star captioned it "General Elections Coming...", but I thought it was an open admission that they are the parties responsible for the unreasonably high toll rates Malaysians have to pay to pass the toll booths, which in this case is located at the SPRINT Highway. ;)

It'd be a real joke when BN actually decides to put up their election banners around the highways and toll booths - "Satu Lagi Projek Barisan Nasional". ;)

Oh, and in case you are wondering, the posters were put up by Masterskill College of Nursing & Health, apparently to celebrate the nation's 50th birthday. But for those living in the Klang Valley, particularly in the Damansara area, you'd find that this college has a tendency to "curry favour" the nation's leaders with banners with their faces across the town.

How these banners reflect the quality of the college is of course, anybody's guess ;)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nazri "Bodoh! Bodoh! Bodoh!" Aziz

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. The following is a video clip of Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, our Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, in-charge of Parliamentary Affairs in action.

Sadly, this is the standard of replies coming from our Ministers to pertinent questions raised by your elected parliamentarians. Check out also the full report by Malaysiakini here.

And thanks to YouTube, at least those with decent Internet access around the country can now see our Ministers in action, in their full glory. ;)

Pesta Rakyat Merdeka, Penang

For the first time in many years, a coalition of 25 NGOs in Penang has come together to organise a Pesta Rakyat Merdeka to celebrate 50 years of Merdeka and 44 years of Malaysia. Civil society groups are joining hands with their fellow Malaysians who have worked collectively for the socio-economic betterment of the country. These NGOs comprise people who have been actively involved in issues such as public transport, anti-Iraq war, anti-rape, anti-ISA, and anti-PORR.

The event will be held on 24 June 2007 at Dewan Sri Pinang from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.

The Pesta is aimed at asserting that the 50-44 celebrations should not only be about our political leaders and the government, but more importantly also about the ordinary people’s contribution and struggle for human rights, socio-economic justice, and sustainable development. Equally important, this event will provide democratic and physical space for ordinary citizens and civil society groups to reflect on our accomplishments and shortcomings as a nation over the last five decades.

There will be a forum “Milestones of Penang”, an exhibition, dance and musical performances, independent film screenings, a poem reading and brief soap box presentations by NGO representatives outlining the work they are involved in.

The forum will feature discussions on the early politics and local elections, ethnic relations and politics, industrialisation and workers’ rights, and heritage and environment with a special focus on Penang.

Half a dozen short movies will be screened, including award-winning productions by independent film-makers.

Several groups will be performing musical and cultural performances: these include a dance performance by the Temple of Fine Arts, nasyid and silat presentations arranged by JIM, an item from Persatuan Seni dan Kebudayaan Pulau Pinang and Persatuan Kebudayaan Rakyat Pulau Pinang, songs by the Marshall family band, and a jazz session with Johan, James and Russell.

Admission is free. For more information, please visit here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Youth Can Make a Difference"

“Youth Can Make a Difference!” is looking for young people to help promote youth participation in the political process. Become a “Youth Can Make a Difference” Outreach Team member today! This programme is organised by Youth for Change (Y4C).

As an Outreach Team member you become part of an effort that helps empower young people to participate in the political process. The first challenge is getting the young people to register as voters.

You will help inform and empower your friends to let their voices be heard on the issues at stake in their communities, states and nation.

You will also have first hand knowledge of upcoming “Youth Can Make a Difference” events and issue campaigns!

  • Register voters at events, colleges, universities and educate young people.
  • Participate in specially designed programs for “Youth Can Make a Difference”
  • Meet fellow Outreach Team members and partners with issue and grassroots organizations.
  • Engage young people online and on the ground to join the Outreach Team.
This campaign is a resource for any person who wants to get involved with politics and make a difference. You will have lots of opportunities to amplify your political opinions.

Email YOUR name, email address and mobile number to Y4C secretariat at y4c2006(at) NOW! For further information, please contact Chua Yee Ling at 012-7355 025 or 03-7783 1164.

Together let’s get the new voters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Senyum Kambing

Ya, seperti yang ditunjukkan, Utusan Malaysia masih lagi memberi kepentingan kepada "Tony Pua" yang sekali lagi muncul di muka hadapan suratkhabar tersebut pada hari Isnin minggu lalu. ;)

Kali ini, pendapat saya bahawa kerajaan perlu memperkuatkan pihak kakitangan awam, diperlekehkan sebab ada "lima pemuda berkelulusan sarjana dan doktor falsafah (PhD) sanggup menjadi rekrut konstabel polis di Maktab Teknik PDRM Bakri".

Utusan melaporkan bahawa Komandan Maktab Teknik PDRM Bakri, Datuk Zakaria Yusof berkata, "mereka sanggup berbuat demikian selepas permohonan untuk mendapat tempat dalam pengambilan jawatan inspektor baru-baru ini, gagal."
“Kelima-lima mereka benar-benar berminat menganggotai pasukan polis dan mereka bersedia menerima jawatan konstabel dalam pasukan,” katanya kepada Bernama selepas merasmikan Forum Perdana Hal Ehwal Islam, di padang kawad maktab itu malam tadi.

Zakaria berkata, kehadiran kelima-lima mereka yang merupakan antara 500 rekrut konstabel di pusat itu membuktikan profesion kepolisan kini semakin mendapat tempat di kalangan pemuda termasuk mereka yang berkelulusan tinggi.
Ribuan terima kasih kepada Sdr Chow Kon Yeow kerana sanggup membela nasib si Tony Pua yang telah dihentam bertubi-tubi kedekatan ini.

Umm... senyum kambing ;)

Monday, June 11, 2007


Courtesy of The Star. More pictures at the Star Photo Gallery

Beautiful view, ain't it?

Unfortunately, it isn't a river we are looking at, but instead Jalan Sultan Ismail. The question then is, what happened to Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) which cost us some RM1.9 billion?

Or is it not so SMART now?

Forum: Agenda Ekonomi Baru (AEB)

For readers who are interested in economic policies for this country, there's a perfect forum coming up for you, organised by the Institut Kajian Dasar this coming Friday.
Topic: New Economic Agenda: Hope & Challenges
Date & Time: 8:30pm 15 June 2007 (Friday)
Venue: Armada Hotel, Petaling Jaya (Asia Jaya LRT Station)
  • Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad (Director, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia Research Centre)
  • Prof Rajah Rasiah (Professor of Technology and Innovation Policy, Faculty of Economics and Administration, Universiti Malaya)
  • Tony Pua (Economic Advisor to Secretary General, Democratic Action Party)

Ekonomi Malaysia terkongkong oleh Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) yang didakwa bertujuan menstruktur semula masyarakat dan membasmi kemiskinan, tetapi sebenarnya dirampas oleh para Umnoputra, kroni-kroni dan kerabat untuk menjutawankan sendiri. Untuk menghalang gejala ini daripada terus merebak, parti-parti alternatif dan masyarakat madani mencadangkan satu dasar baru yang dinamakan Agenda Ekonomi Baru untuk gantikan DEB.

Ramai sekali golongan cerdik pandai yang tidak dihargai di Malaysia terpaksa berhijrah ke luar negeri setiap tahun. Dengan kurangnya penyelidikan dan lembabnya sistem pendidikan, ekonomi Malaysia payah sekali nak berkembang maju.

Setiap tahun, negara jiran kita Singapura yang se-autokratik Malaysia berupaya menarik pelaburan asing langsung (FDI) lebih daripada segantang, sedangkan Malaysia di bawah rejim kukubesi Umno cuma dapat sechupak, malah Indonesia pun telah memperoleh lebih banyak pelaburan asing daripada Malaysia sejak kebelakangan ini. Ramai akan menuduh dasar Umno untuk memaksa para pelabur memperuntukkan 30% ekuiti kepada golongan Bumiputra salah satu halangan yang terbesar. Jadi macam manakah harus kita tanganinya?

Apakah harapan kita terhadap AEB? Apakah cabaran yang bakal kita hadapi? Saudara dan saudari yang kita kasihi sekalian, hadirilah forum terbuka kita beramai-ramai! Jamuan ringan disediakan.

Untok penerangan lanjut sila hubungi:

Sdr. Amiruddin Sari, Programme Coordinator, IKD - amir.ikd(at)

See you there! ;)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Malaysia, After Lina Joy: More Pics

The Panelist for the Forum (left to right):
Leonard Teoh, Ambiga Sreenevasan, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng,
Azmi Sharom, Yusri Mohamad, Tony Pua (Chair), YB Lim Kit Siang

Full House: Standing room only at the back, after the
hotel staff squeezed in additional chairs

The audience lined up eagerly in 2 rows behind the 2 available microphones to voice their views. This certainly provided a level of interaction between parties on both sides of the fence, meeting the humble objectives of the forum.

More reports in my earlier post here.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Malaysia, After Lina Joy: Epilogue

For the forum "Malaysia, After Lina Joy: A Dialogue", when we booked the hall at Armada Hotel which catered to some 400 persons, we were more than a little concerned that the hall would not be fully occupied. Normally, our forums are considered very well attended with a crowd of 150 persons. In fact, we attempted to procure another hall at another hotel nearby which would have been smaller, and cost much less. ;)

However, as it turns out, the worry was needless, as the DAP Petaling Jaya volunteers worked relentlessly over the week to publicise the event. An estimated more than 600 persons turned up for the event making the hall standing room only, plus another sizeable crowd, listening via the hotel speakers outside the hall. Towards the end of the forum, one of the audience even told us, the organisers, to secure a bigger hall the next time round. ;)

I thought the forum was a success, not from the perspective that we "found" a solution to all our problems relating to Lina Joy, but that it was a historic meeting of members from both sides of the divide to come together to hear each other out. For that I'm specifically grateful to the President of Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, Yusri Mohamad, who was gracious enough to participate as a panelist.

When many of us, of both views, often do not even understand or emphathize with the views of the other, as they have never been properly explained, then you can never have meaningful dialogue. Unlike the often interrupted Article 11 forums, we are thankful to the police for granting us the permit to hold the dialogue, for one of the very first time, we were able to hear first hand, the other side of the story. It served as a 'starter', and we hope there'll be more dialogues and discussions in time to come.

The dialogue is well reported in Malaysiakini, with Yusri's views, entitled "Respect Islam First, Then Dialogue":
Speaking at a dialogue regarding apostasy, he told some 600 people who packed a hotel in Petaling Jaya last night that there must be respect for the religion, its specialists and authorities.

“It’s a danger if we try to build circumstances around something very fluid and subject to debate. Islam is not all-consensus,” said Yusri.

“Who gets to determine which part of Islam is already settled and definite and which part is still open to debate? There must be a respect for authority, specialisation and expertise in Islam.

“Of course you can advise on Islam but please respect the sensitivities,” he stressed.
And that of the others here, "A Secular Constitution Protects All Religions":

Dr Azmi Sharom:
Another issue as to jurisdiction in the Syariah Court of the civil courts is clearly listed in Schedule 9. What is not in the list are constitutional freedoms. Constitutional freedom is clearly in the hands of civil courts. And for civil courts to say no, this is a syariah matter it is in effect saying that ‘we’re not going to live up to our responsibility to deal with this matter’.
Ambiga Sreenevasan:
The constitution is the supreme law of the federation. It doesn’t undermine any religion. The Bar Council sees this from a very legalistic point of view. It’s not to say we’re pro-this or anti-that, we’re looking at the constitutional approach taken by the courts all these years.
The Bar Council president has also let it be known that she is happy to participate in forums or dialogues organised by ABIM or other Muslim organisations, both to listen to other views, as well as to present hers. It's a good start, and I certainly hope that it can continue. And certainly, where we disagree, we can at least agree to disagree amicably.

Finally, we are grateful that the audience who came were generous with their donations, who help the Party cover the cost and expenses for the evening. And for those who attended, I hope you went back with a better understanding of the issues at hand.

Bukit Mertajam Dinner

Well, a very very late announcement (slipped my mind ;)) but I'd be speaking at the DAP Bukit Mertajam Dinner tonight. Of course, that means that I'm already in Penang by now. Got a bit of spare time now, so hopefully can put up a couple of posts in my much neglected blogs ;)
DAP Bukit Mertajam Dinner

Date & Time: 9 June 2007 (7.30pm)
Venue: Chang Hua Kor, Moral Uplifting Society Hall
Jalan Tanah Liat, Bukit Mertajam

Speakers include:

Sdr Lim Guan Eng
Sdr Chow Kon Yeow
Sdr Nga Kor Ming
Sdri Violet Yong
Sdri Chong Eng
For more information contact (012) 4873101 (Michael Tan)

For those who are already going to be there, see you there! ;)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Malaysia, After Lina Joy: A Dialogue

“To say that she is not under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court – because she no longer professes Islam – is not appropriate... In other words, one cannot embrace or leave a religion according to one’s whims and fancies.”
  • Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim
“Illegal and unreasonable... to expect the appellant (Lina) to apply for a certificate of apostasy – when to do so would likely expose her to a range of offences under the Islamic law – is, in my view, unreasonable.”
  • Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Richard Malanjum
“I am disappointed that the Federal Court is not able to vindicate a simple but important fundamental right that exists in all persons; namely, the right to believe in the religion of one's choice... The Federal Court has not only denied me that right but to all Malaysians who value fundamental freedoms.”
  • Lina Joy

Details of the Forum are as follows:
Date: 7 June 2007 (Thursday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Armada Hotel, Petaling Jaya
Panel of Distinguished Speakers:
  • Ambiga Sreenevasan, Malaysia Bar Council President
  • Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR Secretary-General
  • Yusri Mohammad, President of Angkatan Belia Islam (ABIM)
  • Dr Azmi Sharom, Associate Professor, Universiti Malaya
  • Leonard Teoh, Legal Advisor to Malaysia's Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (MCCBCHS)
  • Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
  • Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General
Chairperson: Tony Pua


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

If You Really Love Her, Let Her Go...

Proton will only perish with persistent interference and economically-detrimental nationalistic demands by the Malaysian Government

For the financial year ending Mar 31 2007, Proton Holdings Bhd's revenue dropped 37% to RM4.9bil from RM7.8bil the previous year. In addition it posted a whopping net loss of RM591.4mil against a profit of RM46.7mil previously.

That's not all the bad news. Proton has seen its market share slide to 32% from 40% in 2005. Its market share was as high as 60% at the start of the decade. Car sales dropped by 46.1% from 214,373 in 2002 to 115,538 units in 2006.

Its cash has dwindled from RM3 billion at year-end 2004 to an estimated RM500 million at present.

According to industry officials, there is an estimated RM12 billion worth of unsold used cars in the country and Proton dealers may be the most affected. Seven out of ten are losing money and they are all looking to the government for help.

Financial Analysts were unanimous when they summarised that core operations “will remain weak”. In other words, Proton is in dire straits and is in desperate need of a knight in shining armour.

Unfortunately for Proton, its best chance of recovery, that is through a strategic investment from an established foreign partner is hampered by persistent and inconsistent political interference from the Malaysian Government.

It must have been shocking for the global financial and investment community to hear the Prime Minister decree that he has “made the decision that since Volkswagen is not interested in the proposal that Proton wants in terms of the equity participation but they want cooperation in some other form, Proton can begin to talk to others.”

Proton Holdings Bhd is probably the only publicly listed car manufacturing company in the world in which the prime minister himself, who doesn't hold any management position in the company, who does not sit on its board of directors, and who has no previous working experience in the automotive sector, gives executive instructions.

On whether there was a need to revamp the top management of Proton, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi claimed that: “They have to do whatever is necessary.” He even added that “they have to turn around. They cannot be going on making losses.”

However on the very next day, Abdullah's very own deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Razak contradicted him when the latter said that “any potential partner had to realise that Proton would never be allowed to fall under foreign control.”

A collaboration "must be in line with our thinking and our position, otherwise there cannot be an agreement. What this means is that we will not simply hand over Proton, we have our stand that a prospective strategic partner must accept," Najib was quoted saying.

Based on the state of affairs at our pioneering national car company, we are in no position to negotiate terms with strong, established foreign partners who have shown an interest in Proton. Persistent seemingly-nationalistic concerns is not only a turn off to potential suitors, it will weaken our negotiating position over time as Proton will only bleeds further. Hence, such 'nationalistic' concerns will backfire on the country's pride and economy.

As it stands, nearly six months of negotiations with French car giant PSA Peugeot-Citroen for an alliance collapsed in March while talks with Mitsubishi of Japan have also been unsuccessful. In addition, it has so far missed two self-imposed deadlines to find a partner for Proton. Previous rounds of talks with Volkswagen broke down a few times after Proton rejected what it said were "inappropriate" plans by the German carmaker to exert control over Malaysian firm.

When the managing director of Proton, 45-year old Dato' Syed Zainal Abidin Tahir was quoted as saying a year ago that: “I’m a Malaysian first and a businessman second. I’m not a civil servant, but part of my job is a social and national obligation I have to adhere to”, he demonstrated his equally misguided sense of nationalism.

Both our national leaders as well as the managing director of Proton needs to understand that long term national interests is best served via a cost-efficient, competitive and technologically innovative organisation. When the company prospers, not only will the thousands of employees in the company enjoy its benefits, the multiplier and knock on effects on the rest of the industry as well as to the country will be immense and immeasurable.

To achieve such excellence, if the cost is the control of Proton, then so be it, for it will serve our long term national interest. After all, these foreign financially strong and established automotive companies are not going to be foolish enough to inject funds and technology into a failing company if it doesn't get to change its management or reap its just rewards.

Hence for Malaysia, owning a smaller stake in a “cost-efficient, competitive and technologically innovative” company is certainly preferable, whether from a nationalistic or economic perspective, to owning the entire stake in an inefficient, cash strapped, loss-making and technologically backward company.

Therefore, for Proton to prosper again, it is absolutely critical for the Government to stop meddling with the future of the company by making short-sighted and detrimental demands. It is missing the woods for the trees.

The government should also take a holistic view by focusing on Proton's cost-efficiency and competitiveness, instead of taking ineffective and ultimately wasteful stop-gap short term measures.

For example, a proposal was made whereby cars which are 15 years and older may be scrapped for a RM5,000 voucher funded in part or in full by the Government to be used as a down payment for a new or used national car. Or when Proton requested for an additional RM16 million on top of RM10 million it has already received to 'subsidise' Proton dealerships. Or when Deputy minister of international trade and industry Datuk Hj Ahmad Husni told the Parliament that the government was prepared to dish
out a further RM50 million to 'help' Proton improve its competitiveness earlier this year.

These are the very reasons why a spoon-fed Proton has not been competitive globally or even locally after 23 years. The Government should stop its interference immediately and let Proton find the best strategic partner for itself. The exercise should be judged not by short term national interest, hampered not by self-defeating pride but decided purely through commercial and competitive factors.

For as they say, “if you really love her, set her free...”

Friday, June 01, 2007

Kesultanan Melaka

After another hectic week, I'm now spending a weekend break (planned months ago) with the missus and the kid in Sandakan, Sabah. Yes, it's an escape! Hence, I really shouldn't even be blogging ;).

But I thought the following letter from Dr Gunawan Mahmood of Johor Bahru, published in Utusan Malaysia 2 days ago deserves an exception. The letter is obviously with regards to the controversy which I inadvertently started, by calling for the Government to streamline the civil service.

Read the letter, of which a large segment is quoted below. Read it twice and you might just start to think that it's a pretty good satirical political statement. ;) Enjoy.
SAYA sependapat dengan Khairy Jamaluddin bahawa Tony Pua, Penasihat Ekonomi kepada Setiausaha Agung DAP bersifat menghina dan angkuh khususnya terhadap pegawai kerajaan yang telah berkorban tenaga dan jiwa raga terhadap keselamatan dan kemajuan negara ini.


Orang-orang Melayu sudah bekerja dengan kerajaan sejak Kesultanan Melaka lagi. Merekalah pentadbirpentadbir di bawah DYMM sultansultan dan raja-raja Melayu.

Dari bendahara, temenggong, menteri, laksamana, tentera, Jabatan Laut, Jabatan Istana, semuanya dipegang oleh pegawai-pegawai Melayu. Ini kerana memang negeri ini negeri-negeri Melayu.


Pegawai-pegawai kerajaan Melayu melambangkan ketuanan Melayu dalam politik. Oleh kerana itulah Tony cuba memperkecil-kecilkan pegawai kerajaan Melayu. Sebagai negeri yang asalnya Melayu, ketuanan Melayu jangan diabaikan. Politik Melayu yang mendominasi pemerintahan negara mestilah didukung oleh pegawai-pegawai Melayu.

Keadaan ini akan mewujudkan kestabilan politik. Sistem ini wajar dikekalkan. Tidak timbul sama sekali jawatan pegawai kerajaan diberi bagi menyara siswazah menganggur. Ketahuilah, bahawa siswazah Melayu juga mempunyai keterampilan dan kemahiran yang tinggi dan layak bekerja di merata dunia.


Sejarah pegawai-pegawai Melayu cukup panjang. DAP jangan buta sejarah. Maka kita pegawai-pegawai Melayu hendaklah jangan dengan apa cara menyokong DAP yang memperkecilkan dan menghina pegawaipegawai Melayu.


Usah biarkan cacing naik ke mata, Khairy dan para pemimpin pemuda mestilah mempertahankan golongan pegawai kerajaan Melayu kerana mereka adalah pelaksana dasar kerajaan yang diputuskan oleh para pemimpin. Sekali anda bersuara, kami berasa bangga dan terbela.

Johor Bahru.
So, what do you think? ;)