Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Police Must Be Crazy

It is such a sad state of affairs. You would have read in Malaysiakini our top police officers making allegations and counter allegations against each other, against the Deputy Minister of Internal Security and the Anti-Corruption Agency.

You would also have read the news of police officers with automatic rifles charging at a 100 year old Hindu temple and its devotees to demolish the building. Many were injured as a result and one victim is apparently in a coma. Some 14 persons were arrested including a 15 year old boy.

Late last evening, 4 lawyers - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, V Ganabathy and Vethamoorthy went to Shah Alam police station to lodge a police report over the above incident.

Unbelievably, based on witness statements, they were denied entry into the police station at the gates. Shouting began and a small fracas soon followed with one of the lawyers pushed to the ground.

Finally, the lawyers were allowed in to lodge their report over the afternoon temple demolition incident. However shockingly, the Deputy OCPD then appeared and had the four lawyers handcuffed and arrested!

As 2 of the lawyers are DAP lawyers, I received a call from one of the concerned Malaysian present and I arrived at the scene at about 12 midnight.

There was already a group of Indian Malaysians gathered outdside and a candlelight vigil was soon started, where we asked for the lawyers to be released.

We tried to get the police officers to let the parents of the 15 year old boy see their child but the police refused permission.

Calls were made and soon a team of lawyers from the bar council arrived, led by Edmund Bon. However, they too were denied access.

The OCPD then led a small team of police officers to confront us (who were at the gates) insisting that our peaceful vigil was illegal and insisted that we disperse. He however refused to entertain requests for his name made by Weng San (who joined me later), as well as others - clearly against police protocols.

The Bar Council lawyers took the opportunity to insist that they be allowed to see their clients which the OCPD initially refused. However with seeming pressure from the crowd and fluent recitations of the penal code, the OCPD relented to let the Bar Council lawyers into the police station.

We waited for more than an hour only to find out that they were not allowed to meet the lawyers who were detained. Edmund and co then proceed to file a police report that they were not allowed to see their clients. The police then attempt to "chase" the lawyers out of the police station, only to have the lawyers lodge another police report on the police attempting to do so.

Given the Prime Minister's rude and poorly explained snub on the Bar Council, this only goes to show the scant regard our government has for the rule of law. All these happenings, temple demolitions, police brutality and sheer governmental arrogance just makes you think that an "evil" government is running this country. The government has lost all moral authority over the population and anybody with a decent and clear conscious cannot possibly know the above and yet vote for Barisan Nasional.

And where's the much need Independent Police Complaints and Monitoring Commission (IPCMC) to restore the credibility of the force which Pak Lah promised (so long ago)?

I left the scene not too long after receiving the above news, knowing that the lawyers in custody are in good hands. ;) Tony Pua reporting from Shah Alam Police Station Headquarters, 2.45am. ;)

Monday, October 29, 2007

PJ Fund Raising Dinner - Last Call

Hi guys,

It has been a pretty frantic couple of days and it'll probably continue till the Thursday DAP PJ Fund Raising Dinner. ;)

Just wanted to put a note out as a gentle reminder and a last call to those who are interested in attending the above dinner. It's just RM50 per person and it'll certainly go a long way towards assisting us towards are campaign to "reclaim" Petaling Jaya from Barisan Nasional ;)

The dinner should be an exciting affair with:
  • Ballroom performances by the current Malaysian champions, Michael Yong & Janet Gooi

  • A special performance by Alfred Ho, a popular blind singer who has recently joined DAP (he's very good, by the way)

  • Speeches by Sdr Lim Guan Eng and YB Fong Po Kuan (our very own cili-padi, replacing YB Teresa Kok who's away on duty in UK), plus the team servicing Petaling Jaya including yours truly ;).
Vegetarian food as well as halal options (food and cutlery provided by external Muslim caterers) are available upon request, whether as individual portions or by entire tables. There is also no pork served on the main menu.

The map to the restaurant, Damansara Palace @ Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya is as follows:

You can purchase the tickets online below using credit cards via PayPal, or contact me @ tonypua(at)yahoo(dot)com for more details. Cheque payments should be made to "DAP Damansara Branch". We certainly look forward to your support and attendance! ;)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per pax)
@ RM50 (US$15)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per table of 10)
@ RM500 (US$150)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per VIP table of 10)
@ RM1,000 (US$300)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Remembering Operasi Lalang

DAP Public Forum

Remembering Ops Lalang (1987-2007)

No More Fear, Abolish ISA!
Date: 31 October 2007 (Wednesday)
Time: 7:30p.m--1045p.m.
Venue: KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Special Guest: Malek Hussin (Chairman, MAFREL and former ISA detainee)

  • Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Chairman, Gerakan Masuhkan ISA)
  • Nolaila Othman (Wife of a current ISA detainee)
  • Lim Kit Siang (Parliamentary Opposition Leader)
  • Karpal Singh (DAP National Chairman)
  • Tan Seng Giaw (DAP Deputy National Chairman)
  • Lim Guan Eng (DAP Secretary-General)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another Little Hiatus

Sorry guys, I've been neglecting the blog once again. Believe me, its not out of choice ;-) There's just so much to do preparing for the upcoming elections that all the remaining time left you'd just want to spend it with the wife and kid.

Just what exactly am I doing? ;-) I don't think a written explanation will do my work justice, but it'll go some way towards "explaining" my absence ;-).

For example, writing letters to voters (10% of say, 60,000 voters is still 6,000 letters!) which will involve, writing, editing, layout, printing, signing, folding, inserting into envelopes, picking addresses, printing mailing labels, sticking them on envelopes, sorting letters, arranging for pick up and delivery. (That's why plenty of volunteers needed!)

And for the upcoming Fund-raising dinner on the 1st Nov? That'll involve designing tickets, printing them, making tens (or more) of calls and SMS's to friends, associates, acquaintance, supporters etc. (I've just reached "Y" on the address book), meetings to sort out logistics, walking PJ to sell tickets to PJ residents and businessmen.

Then there's the community service bit where I handle cases and issues brought up by the public from investment scams, irresponsible developers, mom and pop contractors failing to secure payment, social welfare cases, abuse of power by city councils etc. Additionally, press conferences are called to highlight many of these cases. Oh, they'll never be highlighted in the Star or NST (because it's DAP), but you'd find them very regularly in the Chinese press.

Ah, and how about standing in (or moving around) morning markets going "Rocket! Rocket! Read all about it, for just two Ringgit". Hey, it works! Besides managing to sell quite well, quite a few people stopped to talk to me as well, with some having seen me in the papers or visited my blog ;) It certainly helps lift the spirits ;)

That of course, doesn't yet include all the obligatory party activities such as attending party functions, strategy meetings, meeting up with volunteers and supporters plus of course, carrying out my job as the Rocket editor.

So, I certainly am working my butts off and hopefully it'll make a difference. As a consequence, the blog will suffer a little, hopefully not too much. With some assistance from others, I do plan to update the blog with pictures and short write ups of more of my activities, then just commentaries. That way, readers will also probably get a better picture of what I do as an unemployed politician ;)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

To all our Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri. I hope you have all had a pleasant break and a happy trip back to the kampungs ;). I certainly did. ;)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

PJ Fund Raising Dinner (II)

Hi guys, just a quick update on the "Petaling Jaya to Lead Malaysia Forward" dinner on the 1st November ;) We do know that a dinner function with just speeches is going to be kinda dry, hence we were looking for ways to spice it up ;)

Well, we are pleased to confirm that Mr Michael Yong and Ms Janet Gooi, who will represent Malaysia for ballroom dancing (Latin) at the 2nd Asian Indoor Games in Macau in November 2007 and the 24th SEA Games in Korat, Thailand, this December 2007, will perform at our dinner for specially for you. ;)

Michael Yong, the current Malaysian Grade A Latin Champion with 7 national championship titles, started dancing at the age of 14 when he accompanied his mother to her dance classes. Internationally, the pair secured the champion placing in the Grade A Latin Open held in Ipoh (January 2007), followed by 2nd. runners up spot at the Latin Super Cup held in Singapore in March 2007.

So hurry, secure your tables today by sending me an email at tonypua(at) Individual seats are available at RM50, or a table of 10 at RM500 but the best of all, ringside VIP tables for the best views at RM1,000 per table. Cheques can be made out to "DAP Damansara Branch". Alternatively, feel free to purchase/book your tables via credit card, courtesy of PayPal payment gateway by clicking on the right items below.

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per pax)
@ RM50 (US$15)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per table of 10)
@ RM500 (US$150)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per VIP table of 10)
@ RM1,000 (US$300)

Maintaining a community and service centre as well as running an election campaign is a relatively expensive affair, especially when compared against the mighty machinery of Barisan Nasional. I will blog on how much it'll cost us soon enough. But in the mean time, your support is crucial towards helping the DAP win in Petaling Jaya (which comprises of 2 parliamentary seat, 5 state seats, not all of which are/will be contested by DAP). Let the voters in PJ take the lead in bring about the winds of change for the nation!

These dinners are organised by DAP Damansara and DAP PJ Action Team.

Asia Society 21 Young Leaders' Summit 2007

Asia 21 Group picture. You'll find me right at the centre, kneeling on the front row ;)

Sorry guys, have been away for a conference in Singapore over the weekend, Friday to Sunday. I was invited to be one of the delegates representing Malaysia to the Asia Society 21's Young Leaders Summit 2007 and came back with of backlog work to do (and that's just one weekend away!)

The theme for this years' summit was "Moving Forward Together: Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the Asia Pacific". The Summit, part of the larget Asia 21 Young Leaders' Initiative, is the "pre-eminent gathering of Asia's most dynamic young leaders from every country in the Asia Pacific region and from every sector." The Summit brings together approximately 200 delegates representing a wide range of fields.

There are 4 delegates representing Malaysia besides myself, and they are Jacqueline Ann Surin (an award winning journalist with The Sun), Malik Imtiaz Sarwar (renown human rights lawyer), Lakshmi Lavanya Rama Iyer (UNDP National Project Co-ordinator on Climate Change from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), Suryani Senja Alias (SVP, Khazanah Nasional) and, Khairy Jamaluddin (needs no introduction ;)). The latter two are also Asia 21 Young Leaders Fellows in the committee.

I had a chance to exchange name cards with Prof Wang Gungwu who left the Malaysian shores many years ago to become one of the leading academics in the region, if not the world. He was the Vice-Chancellor of University of Hong Kong for 9 years til 1995 and currently, post-retirement, the chairman of various social research institutes in National University of Singapore such as the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and East Asian Institute. He is also an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University.

At the same time, I also met up with plenty of people all across the region, and really met some fantastic individuals. One spunky young lady, one Ms Dang from Hanoi, quit her job and used her savings of US$10,000 to set up a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to lobby the city government for better city planning and better sustainable growth management. She now has 5 staff working for her in a rented storeroom at the History Musuem and has further managed to raise US$100,000 to keep the operations going for some time to come. She said "everyone in the city thought she was crazy."

Now, it's certainly great to know that there're more crazy ones out there! ;)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

PJ Fund Raising Dinner

Yes, the DAP in Petaling Jaya is raising funds both of its regular operations as well as for the upcoming elections. To kick off our fund raising campaign, we will be hosting to dinners to celebrate Malaysia's 50th Merdeka Anniversary with the theme "Petaling Jaya To Lead Malaysia Forward".

Ticket for the 1st Dinner (English/Malay)

The first dinner will be held on the 1st November 2007 (Thursday) at Damansara Palace Restaurant, Kota Damansara. Halal food will be made available for Muslim guests. This dinner will have English as the primary language with the following speakers:
  • Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General
  • YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh
  • Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General
  • Lau Weng San, Political Secretary to DAP Secretary-General
  • Dr Cheah Wing Yin, Former President, KL-Selangor Private Medical Practitioners Association
* Other potential speakers to be confirmed.

In addition, a special Latin and Modern ballroom dance performance by the Malaysian dance champion and our representative at the Asian Games is being arranged, and will be confirmed soon for this dinner.

Ticket for the 2nd Dinner (Chinese)

The second dinner is to be held on the 20th November 2007 at the same venue, this time with Chinese as the primary language. The speakers for the second dinner will include (besides some of the above speakers):
  • YB Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
  • Sdr Ronnie Liu, DAP Central Executive Committee Member
  • Sdr Ean Yong Hian Wah, DAP Selangor State Chairman
The tickets are priced at RM50 each or RM500 per table of 10. VIP tickets are available at RM1,000 per table of 10.

For those interested in purchasing tickets for the above dinners using credit cards via PayPal, click on the relevant buttons below (a new PayPal window will appear). Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact me @ tonypua(at) to use other forms of payments.

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per pax)
@ RM50 (US$15)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per table of 10)
@ RM500 (US$150)

1st Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per VIP table of 10)
@ RM1,000 (US$300)

Maintaining a community and service centre as well as running an election campaign is a relatively expensive affair, especially when compared against the mighty machinery of Barisan Nasional. I will blog on how much it'll cost us soon enough. But in the mean time, your support is crucial towards helping the DAP win in Petaling Jaya (which comprises of 2 parliamentary seat, 5 state seats, not all of which are/will be contested by DAP). Let the voters in PJ take the lead in bring about the winds of change for the nation!

These dinners are organised by DAP Damansara and DAP PJ Action Team.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oil & Gas Windfall: Malaysia's Boon or Bane? (II)

I wrote in Part 1 of this article published in Aliran Monthly, on how economies blessed with ample amounts of natural resources tend to under-perform their potentials, particularly those afflicted by the Dutch disease. Malaysia might in fact be suffering from what is academically termed as the political Dutch disease. Our apparently healthy macroeconomic numbers such as growth rates above 5% masks the fact that the fundamentals of the economy are shifting negatively. How do we overcome this?

We fear that with Malaysia becoming a net oil importer very soon, and with oil reserves lasting only for the next 2 decades, these leakages left unchecked will soon have a major impact on the country's economy. This impact will be aggravated by the fact that the other productive sectors of the economy reliant on human capital such as the high-tech manufacturing, information and biotechnology remains stagnant and insufficiently developed to replace the economic contribution from our oil and gas sector due to complacency or neglect.

Faced with such a possibility, it is imperative that Malaysia re-think its strategy on enhancing human capital. The two ministries of education must be applauded for their efforts to fine-tune our educational institutions to achieve the human capital goals such as the setting up of “cluster schools” as centres of excellence. The Minister of Education, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has also recently announced that some 27% of the education related infrastructure projects under the 9th Malaysia Plan have either been completed or are under implementation.

However, our efforts on physical infrastructure must be matched equally, if not more, with soft infrastructure such as the quality of teachers, the rigour in our course syllabus as well as the examination standards. No cost must be spared for example, in bringing the best teachers and lecturers from around the world to teach in our local schools and universities populated with our cream of the crop.

Misguided nationalistic philosophy must be cast aside in favour of a pragmatic policy in areas such as attracting the world's top academics to head our institutions of higher learning. Within our educational institutions, performing teachers and academics must be granted their due reward, financial and otherwise, as further incentives for themselves and others to continue to excel. It is of great irony that even Malaysian academics who were never in contention for top positions in Malaysian universities are head-hunted as vice-chancellors or faculty deans at the world's top universities.

In our quest to develop and retain our human capital, no stone must be left unturned and no sacred cows must be left untouched. Then and only then, will Malaysia be able to diminish its reliance on natural resources and depend instead on her people's creativity, resourcefulness, intelligence and productivity to drive the country's continued development. While oil wells may one day run dry, our population will only continue to grow and renew itself.

Therefore it is critical that the Government sets aside or even legislate that a substantive portion of our windfall from oil and gas is kept under lock and key, with the sole purpose for investment in human capital, over and beyond our typical expenditure on education and training. This way, the funds will be prevented from being expensed to a unproductive and wasteful rent-driven economy. To quote Economics Nobel Prize winner, Joseph Stiglitz, “abundant natural resources can and should be a blessing, not a curse. We know what must be done. What is missing is the political will to make it so.”

Monday, October 01, 2007

Budget 2008: Knowledge Economy

Knowledge economy is a big subject. My Oriental Daily column is limited to 700 characters. Hence I tackled the subject in my article last week from the type of investment the country appears to be attracting.

For the past 10 years, the Government has proclaimed that Malaysia needs to be come a knowledge economy. However, besides the "statement of intent" made in the Budget 2008, no particular policy raised appears to leads towards a knowledge economy, particularly from the foreign investment perspective.

As a developing country, we are dependent on technological investments from developed countries to catalyse and expedite our progression towards a knowledge economy. In the 1980s, it was investments from Intel, Motorola, Dell, Western Digital, Sharp and their likes that propelled us to become a manufacturing force to be reckoned with. However, in recent years, we have not seen much of such investments coming into Malaysia.

Instead we are getting investments from the oil-rich countries. These investments are certainly welcome. However, at some point in time, after the "boom" created via investments in the property and construction sector reaches the next phase, where will the factories and businesses that will "occupy" these properties come from? Without attracting the knowledge-based investments which will bring not just a construction boom, but also employment, skills and technological know-how, as well as the creation of entirely new secondary supporting industries, how can we "move on" to become a knowledge-based economy and set ourselves apart from the likes of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and China?

These were some of the questions I raised my article "知识经济开空头支票" or "Empty Promises on the Knowledge Economy" last week.





马来西亚曾吸引全球著名的科技巨贾,包括英特尔(Intel) 、摩托罗拉(Motorola)、戴尔(Dell)到我国研发及生产最新的科技。这类外来投资不只