Thursday, November 29, 2007

Transforming the Human Spirit

The exhibition entitled “From A Culture of Violence to A Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit” is organised by Soka Gakkai International and co-sponsored by Soka Gakkai Malaysia and Physicians for Peace and Social Responsibility (PPSR), an affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

The exhibition pinpoints the broader meaning of violence and provides factual information on nuclear weapons. Through imagery and the words of leading world figures, the exhibit explores topics ranging from the public policies of international leaders to the grassroots campaigns of ordinary citizens.

In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be a Peace Forum to be held on 30th Nov 2007, details are as follows:

From A Culture of Violence to A Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit
Date : November 30, 2007 (Friday)
Time : 7.30 pm
Venue : Multimedia University (Melaka Campus), A2 Lecture Hall.
Medium : English
  • Y.B. Mr. Wong Nai Chee, Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka
  • Dr. Oh Ei Sun, East Malaysian Socio-Political Analyst
  • Mr. Tony Pua, Economics Advisor to DAP Secretary General
For more information, please contact:

Soka Gakkai Malaysia (Cawangan Melaka) at No. 23, Jalan Paya Ikan, Taman Datuk Palembang, 75150 Bukit Baru, Melaka. Tel: 06-231 3519 Fax: 06-231 3657 or via email at sgmmel (at) streamyx (dot) com

About Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

SGM is affiliated to Soka Gakkai International (SGI), an international association of constituent organisations in 190 countries and territories. SGI has sponsored a number of activities promoting peace and understanding among people from different cultures.

In addition, SGI have founded a number of international institutions to foster dialogue among scholars and activists on issues related to peace, culture and education. Institutions that are founded by SGI are Soka University, Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, The Boston Research Centre for the 21st Century, Institute of Oriental Philosophy, The Victor Hugo House of Literature, Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and The Min-On Concert Association.

About Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM)

Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) is a non-governmental organisation established with the objective of contributing towards the happiness, peace and prosperity of society through culture and education. SGM is involved in a wide range of activities which include participating in national and state events such as Citrawarna and National Day celebrations, holding of public lectures, seminars, music performances, exhibitions and charity culture festivals. SGM has the distinction of being the first recipient of the Anugerah Pendukung Seni (Arts Supporter Award) for non-governmental organisation category at the National Art Awards 2004, for its contribution to the promotion of culture. This year, around 2000 youth members of SGM participated in the 50th Merdeka Celebrations at Merdeka Stadium.

About Physicians for Peace and Social Responsibility (PPSR)

Inauguration of a new society by H.E. Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

The Society shall be a non-partisan, independent association of physicians who shall work towards peace, human dignity and security, equity in health and ecological sustainability, through socio-economic justice, rule of law, prevention of violence and war, peaceful resolution of conflict, and the eventual abolition of war. It shall achieve its aims peacefully through research, education, advocacy and public discourse.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crime Alert!

Updated: Earlier, I've posted here a case whereby a young lady was abducted in Shah Alam. Apparently, the case has been "resolved" with nobody harmed. I'm unfortunately not privy to the details - but I've decided to remove the posting accordingly, to avoid further unnecessary publicity for the victim.

Thank you everyone for your concern and vigilance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

B.A. (Hons) Thuggery Graduates

I wrote plenty about our universities offering Bachelors and Masters degrees in Thuggery.

Well, the above clip shows a successful product of our university education. Dato' Nozula Mat Diah, Barisan Nasional state assemblyman for Paloh, Kelantan demonstrated his skills in the Kelantan State Assembly. These UMNO chaps can't behave when they are in power, they behave worse when they are in the opposition.

Check out Harakah online for the full story.

Managing Inflation

I've been invited to speak at the above forum with regards to the teething issue of inflation, its impact and management on Malaysia's economy tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. This forum is organised by the Women's Wing of the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly together with Oriental Daily. The key language medium is Mandarin.

Details are as follows:
Topic:Rising Inflation, Shrinking Value of Money: What Should We Do?
Date:28th November 2008 (Wednesday)
Venue:KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
For more information, click here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hindraf Trio Discharged

I spent my morning with my boss in the Klang sessions court today giving my moral support to the defendants, the leaders of Hindraf who were charged by the government for sedition.

I witnessed first hand the incompetence of the government prosecutors, and the sheer contempt for our courts. Thankfully, in this instance, the learned judge, Zunaidah Mohd Idris, chose to accept simple logic, and discharged the trio - P Uthayakumar, P Waythamoorthy and V Ganapathy Rao.
  1. The Government had intended to charge the trio of making seditious statements at a forum recently at Batang Berjuntai. The speeches made were in Tamil. However, in the charge submitted, only a Malay translation was provided. In situations where language and interpretation is crucial to the fact as to the accused committed any criminality, omission of the source transcript makes the charges totally untenable.

  2. Yet, despite a specific instruction from the judge for the prosecution last week to amend the charge over last weekend to include the Tamil transcript in the charge documents. The Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) still had the cheek to turn up in court today without the necessary amendment and continued to argue against the judge's instruction. Some might argue that that's clearly a contempt of court orders.

  3. What's most laughable of course in the fact that the charge statement by the DPP specifically mentioned that the seditious words which were uttered by the accused are underlined and highlighted in the attached Tamil transcripts in Lampiran A (!) The DPP team didn't attach any Tamil transcripts and yet, made references to such transcripts in the charge documents filed with the court - if that's not incompetence, what is???!

Sigh, makes you wonder if the Government was even serious about charging them in the first place!

Anyway, once the trio were discharged, the crowd in the public gallery joined the crowd waiting nearby outside the courts and proceeded to march spontaneously to an open field next to a Hindu temple. It was Little India in Klang at noon. The crowd swelled quickly to thousands as they cheer short speeches made by various speakers.

Unsurprisingly, FRU water cannon trucks numbering at least 7 units had to move from the court house to the field. What was however, most disgraceful of the police force was the blatant attempt by the circling helicopter first, to recklessly lower itself within 20 feet of the field to intimidate and endangere the crowd. On at least 2 separate occasions, it swooped down at high speed, like an eagle catching its prey, without any concern for the crowd gathering below.

Is it then surprising that the Indian community who have been marginalised by the Barisan Nasional government for the past 50 years, to finally say, we've had enough? Will the Indian community, particularly the rural Indians, who have been rock solid in their support for Barisan Nasional in the past elections, switch their support for the opposition, particularly for DAP?

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Chinese Blog

Yes, I'm really asking for it. ;-)

I started blogging at Education in Malaysia in March 2005, and my personal blog here in November 2006. I'm now officially launching my 3rd blog, "家国思索" [jia guo si suo] which will be my personal blog with Chinese as the key language medium. The blog name "家国思索" translates roughly as "Thoughts on Motherland". Its also the title of my weekly Monday column in Oriental Daily, so thanks to the editors for the inspiration. ;-)

Why do I need a separate blog in Chinese, you might ask, particularly for those who may be unable to read the language.

Firstly, besides the language, the blog is actually a little different as it is mainly, at this point of time anyway, composed of press articles from the vernacular press and magazines where I've been covered. You will note that although the blog is "newly" launched, it has already got some 100 posts. That's because I've been covered fairly extensively in the Chinese media on various issues.

While the English mainstream media rarely covers opposition politicians, especially when we raise social and local issues, we do receive a fair bit more coverage (understatement) in the Chinese press. The difference, you can see is the extent to which the Government clamps down media freedom in the English print media, and worse, the Malay papers.

Hence, starting a Chinese blog, gives me an opportunity to keep track of all the press coverage in the Chinese newspapers, which will at the same time not overwhelm this blog with disproportionate amount of Chinese newspaper reports. Where possible I will translate some of these coverage in the Chinese media into English for the loyal readers of this blog. Similarly, I will be posting dated articles of my column in Oriental Daily onto this new blog.

Finally, I'd like to thank my two assistants, Erica and Joey, who helped put together the entire past year's collection of press coverage on the blog. It's still a work in progress as not all reports have been posted, but nevertheless, we are ready to go. While I will be posting my own blog writings myself in the future, they will assist me to put up press reports as and when they are available or published.

For readers who read Chinese, I hope you will enjoy the new site and probably get a better understanding of the work I do on a daily basis. At the same time, hopefully you can introduce the new blog to those who are more comfortable with the language.

Thank you once again for all your support! ;-)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Fight Club

Has our Parliament, our very august House become a "Fight Club"?

The issue which was being debated in Parliament was the huge increase in Quit Rent in the northern state of Kedah. In particular, for land demarcated as "Tanah Bandar" or urban areas, the Quit Rent increased by as much as 900%!

120,000 people have signed a petition protesting against this development in the state.

What further complicated the issue was the fact that the state government re-defined, illegally, the definition of "Tanah Bandar" to mean anything other than "tanah luar simpanan Melayu". Hence, even in villages which are not sited in Malay reserved land, it'll be classified at "Tanah Bandar" and be subjected to astronomical Quit Rent! (There's something biblical about all this...)

If the Kedah state government is successful in its attempt to extort quit rent from its population based on such unjust and discriminatory principles, you can be assured that the other Barisan Nasional-led state governments will certain follow suit to do the same, if not worse. This is a clear example of the "absolute" power given to BN that is detrimental to the rakyat's interest.

However, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Datuk S Sothinathan, who was unable to respond to the question raised by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader gave the typical reply that the opposition "should not politicise" the issue (!)

When pressed that it is clear that MIC obviously has no say in Government and hence his helplessness in helping the rakyat against the UMNO-led Kedah state government, a pandemonium ensued (as usual, sigh). In the midst of it, typical of MIC political culture, the honourable deputy minister challenge YB Fong Po Kuan to a fight "mari lawan!" outside parliament. What an absolute disgrace.

Today of course, the press published reports that the honourable deputy minister was only issuing a political election "lawan" challenge, but not a physical fist fight. You can make your own judgement.

You can view the full report on Sdr Lim Kit Siang's blog, or alternatively, watch the video yourself (it's 7 minutes long) on YouTube.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

PJ Fund Raising Dinner Pics

We had another successful fund-raising dinner for DAP in Petaling Jaya yesterday evening, the 2nd dinner in less than 3 weeks! Phew! ;-)

YB Lim Kit Siang, our Parliamentary Opposition Leader, who spoke at the dinner called on the voters in Petaling Jaya Utara (PJU) to deliver Barisan Nasional (BN) and Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA) not only a defeat, but an "overwhelming, thumping defeat" in the coming general elections. Only then will they be taught a lesson for their sheer lack of integrity, arrogance and incompetence. Let the voters of Petaling Jaya lead Malaysia forward - which was our theme for the two dinners. ;-)

Enjoy some of the photos here taken from our first dinner held on the 1st November. ;-)

The programme starts as the crowd gets seated

That's Syazana who did a splendid job as the host for the evening

Dr Cheah kicked off the evening with the opening speech

DAP's very own cilipadi in Parliament, YB Fong Po Kuan

That's me again making my spill on Malaysia's deteriorating economy

Dr Cheah & Weng San making the rounds

DAP Sec-Gen rallying for support at the dinner

Must have been one hell of a joke by Uncle Yap ;-)

Little Totto looks for papa ;-)

Dr Cheah meets Dr Oh (Thompson Twins comes to mind...)

Dr Cheah tells the guests that I'm suffering from a smiling disorder,
and is in desperate need for psychiatric treatment

Jeff talks to his lawyer...

Weng San's speech was followed by an engaging performance
by the Malaysian Latin Ballroom Dance champions

And the boss ends the evening by giving
his animated speech on Malaysian politics

Monday, November 19, 2007

Not Running Fast Enough

I've been wanting to blog about this for a while, but never got round to doing it ;-). For a couple of dinners and ceramahs, I've been presenting my Powerpoint slides to give an overview of the state of the Malaysian economy. After all, as the economic advisor to the party's secretary-general, so I had better know my stuff. ;-)

So I'm extremely thankful to Dr K J John who picked up from my speech and presentation at the DAP Petaling Jaya fund raising dinner on the 1st November and wrote about the general state of the Malaysian economy in his regular column in Malaysiakini two weeks back. Saved me a little trouble from doing the write up myself, heh heh.

One of the key points of the dinner to press home the point that our economy is clearly underperforming its potential. All the Barisan Nasional government mouthpieces will tell you is that the economy is "growing", but they don't tell you that we are going much slower than our competitors in the region.

Have a look at the GDP per capita (US$) comparison chart below:

Back in 1966, 10 years after achieving independence, we were regarded as a wealthy country. In fact, our GDP per capita was nearly 3 times that of South Korea's at US$350 versus US$130. Our football team was also probably much stronger as well ;).

However, shortly within 24 years, South Korea's economy caught up and match ours at US$1900 per capita in 1990. And just like an inevitable script, both South Korea's economy as well as its football team trashed us by 2004. South Korea's GDP per capita at US$16,000 is now more than triple that of an average Malaysian at US$5,000. Of course, while our football team is now ranked 140+ in the world, South Korea qualified for the World Cup semi-finals in 2004.

The same story can be repeated with other countries like Taiwan or Singapore (needless to say). Will the story be repeated in the next decade with our other competitors like Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia?

Looking purely at Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) data, this certainly looks like a real possibility. You will remember just about 2 months ago, the local mainstream media trumpeted the fact that Malaysia achieved a 10 year record of US$6 billion in FDI. It is a relief that the decline in FDI has stalled at least for 2006, however, FDI data cannot be read without putting it in the global context. Globally, FDI has increased tremendously over the past 4-5 years, while Malaysia has benefited little from it.

Let's take a look at the table below which compares the FDI received by Malaysia and Thailand over the past decade.

It is clear that in the mid-1990s, Malaysia consistently out-attracted our northern neighbours in terms of FDI. However, over the past 6 years, Thailand has beaten us for 5 years, with increasing margins! And it doesn't look as if we will be able to overhaul Thailand's achievement any time soon as well... Indonesia beat us last year for FDI for the first time in history. We managed to scrape past them marginally this year. But it is sad that we have now been relegated to a lower division to compete with countries which in the past, were substantially behind Malaysia in terms of development.

To quote Dr John:
I dare not look at the FDI figures for Vietnam but seriously suspect that if they have not overtaken us they will do so in the not so distant future; simply because their labour and land costs are much lower. We should not even think about Indonesia; for, as their political stability improves, their investments in oil palm and manufacturing might help them overtake us.
The only reason why we have managed to stay respectably afloat in the past decade, and particularly in the past few years, has been the fact that Malaysia has been blessed with oil and gas. The revenues from oil and gas has allowed us to mask the failures and weaknesses in the other sectors of our economy. I've written extensively about it here.

The question then is, will things fall apart once our oil lottery money runs out - which it will, not too far in the near future?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The following article on "Oil & Gas Lottery" was published in my weekly column in Oriental Daily on October, 22nd. I wrote on the same issue on this blog in my earlier post here. ;-)

马来西亚是一个得天独厚,拥有丰富天然资源的国家。我们特别要感激国家拥有大量的石油与天然气,以致国油(Petronas)能够成为国内唯一挤身《财富杂志》500 强的公司。截至2007 年3 月的财政年度,鉴于国际原油价格在过去4 年内,从每桶低过25 美元飙升至超过70 美元,让国油取得763 亿令吉的税前盈利。

最重要的是,国油去年透过税务、石油税、分红及出口税,为国库带来了537 亿令吉的收入。国油及其它设在马来西亚的石油与天然气公司,预计在2007 年为政府带来46.8%的收入。相较于2004 年约25%,以及2006 年约30%,国油不断增加为国家所带来的收入。这些统计显示当前的马来西亚非常依赖石油与天然气工业。

马来西亚拥有丰富的石油与天然气资源,就好比中彩券般幸运。这个资源总有一天会耗尽而不再复返。根据《石油与天然气期刊》,马来西亚截至2007 年1 月的石油诸藏量,从1999 年巅峰时期的46 亿桶下跌至30 亿桶。这个储备量大概只能让我们再支撑大约20 年。

除此之外,若以石油产品消费每年增长4%保守估计,马来西亚预计将在2010 年成为石油净入口国。我国当前的贸易顺差,乃因为跟石油及天然气相关的产品,占我国出口量超过11%所导致。这种过度依赖石油与天然气有限资源的可怕趋势,必然导致国家经济承受巨大的风险。

马来西亚不能跌入经济学家称之为“资源灾祸”的陷阱,即资源匮乏的国家发展比一些资源得天独厚的国家来得好。这令人想起香港、新加坡和瑞士对比拥有丰富油田但发展不健全的中东国家。这样的现象称之为“荷兰症状”。60 年代,荷兰在其北部海域发现油田和天然气,然而上述资源耗尽后,却被失业率和生产力

真正让马来西亚最担忧的是,生产领域过度依赖天然资源,造成“寻租经济”的现象 ,导致政府内外的掌权政党集中精力于取得较大份额经济蛋糕,而不是创造一个更大的蛋糕。

因此,为了确保一旦石油与天然气税收减少后,我们还可提高本身的生产能力,政府一定要以最有效率的方式,大量利用我们的彩票奖金投资在人文资本。诺贝尔经济学奖得主约瑟夫斯蒂格利茨曾说过:“丰富的天然资源,应该算是一种福气,而不是一种诅咒。我们都知道该什么做,可是缺乏的是政治意志来达成 。”

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Was There! (II)

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah...
(Thank goodness I didn't bring my computer notebook with me!)

Ah, finally found someone who took pictures of me there ;-)

Happy faces after successfully handing over
the BERSIH memorandum to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung.

The bosses having an animated chat before submitting the petition to the King.

Now come to think of it, why is it that the two times when we had a major "march", it started pouring? I certainly remembered getting totally drenched the last time we joined the Bar Council's March for Justice. ;-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Beruk Calling Beruk

So much to blog about... how-lah. Where got enough time??

Khairy Jamaluddin had during the UMNO General Assembly called for the organisers of the BERSIH rally to be arrested. He likened the demonstrators to 'beruks'.
“Don’t be like monkeys (beruk) on streets. If you want to fight, fight in the real ring like a man."
You can check out his speech here on YouTube.

Well, I'm guilty of demonstrating at the BERSIH rally, and hence by Khairy's definition, I'm now officially a 'beruk'. ;-)

But interestingly enough, Khairy who has led plenty of street protests as well in Malaysia, a fellow 'beruk' as well? Check out this clip from none other than the Oracle of Truth with Khairy himself leading the show with a group of protesters who tried to force their way into the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. ;-)

And not forgetting, even when not "demonstrating", he certainly carried traits of being one at Ijok ;-).

PJ Fund Raising Dinner II

Yup, the time has come for another gentle reminder for our second DAP PJ Fund Raising Dinner to be held next week. After a successful first dinner held earlier this month in English, this time, the dinner will be held primarily in Chinese.

The speakers at the dinner include:
  • YB Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader
  • YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh
  • Ronnie Liu, DAP Central Executive Committee Member
  • Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General
  • Lau Weng San, Political Secretary to DAP Secretary-General
  • Dr Cheah Wing Yin, Former President, Private Medical Practitioners Association of KL-Selangor
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! ;)

20th Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per pax)
@ RM50 (US$15)

20th Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per table of 10)
@ RM500 (US$150)

20th Nov 2007 PJ Dinner (per VIP table of 10)
@ RM1,000 (US$300)

I Am "De-Sensitised"

(OK, don't make rude jokes about the above title!)

In the past, my blood boils when I hear the nonsense spewed by the honourable Minister in the Prime Minister's department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz. Now, I'm de-sensitised, and just regard him as a senior court jester, and a pretty sad one at that. His task is impossible for he has to create humour out of dire circumstances. The latest of his histronics is downright hilarious, in a sorry kind of way.

As reported in Malaysiakini, he had to hide behind parliamentary immunity to call Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a "pondan". Note of course, the irony. ;-)

Now, just in case you doubt Malaysiakini credibility for you are being told by our honourable Ministers that Malaysiakini is nonsense, have a look at the 6 minute parliamentary clip above yourself. So, who is nonsense?

Monday, November 12, 2007


The following article on "B.A.(Hons) Thuggery" published in Oriental Daily on 14th October was based on a few posts I wrote on my Education blog - B.A.(Hons) Thuggery, MA Thuggery (UPM) and the latest, B.A.(Hons) Thuggery (II).

No thanks to the annual occasions where the UPM establishment protects the bullies and blames the victims, the latest being first-year UPM student Yee Yang Yang who had to consider legal action to get back his laptop and other items which was unreasonably seized by the campus security. Clearly, UPM offers academic programmes which allows its degree holders to join the thugs at UMNO Youth. ;-)














Sunday, November 11, 2007

I Was There!

Photo courtesy of Minaq Jinggo

The sight of tens of thousands of people conggregated in front of the Istana Negara is awesome. And it's probably not going to be repeated for a long long time. I'm certainly glad that I made it there and the party leaders were able to submit the free and fair elections appeal to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung.

It is unfortunate that some of our fellow Malaysians never made it to the rally for they were unreasonably and violent assaulted by the police. The silver lining was the fact that the Brickfields OCPD in-charge at the Palace took the necessary restraint, despite being under tremendous pressure to "clear" the area, which resulted in a peaceful gathering.

If only I remember to bring my camera, for there were some great moments to be captured. But there's plenty of pictures to share all round on the web, so that's not too bad ;)

The BERSIH march and rally was really a success but I would hesitate to repeat the feat too soon. Firstly, the King must be given sufficient time to act and respond. Secondly, I can assure you that the UMNO kingpins must be seething at this point of time and will certainly take all necessary actions to prevent another such meet. We can do more good work for the country out of jail, than in it. Furthermore, we should demonstrate that unlike UMNO and Barisan Nasional, we do not call for blood to be shed to prove our manhood. And thirdly, disrupting traffic and businesses in the city centre once may be tolerable and supported by all, but do that too frequently, these same supporters will turn against you - defeating the ultimate objectives of the rally. We want to win friends, not lose them.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Make That Change

Guys, many of you will by now be aware of the massive rally cum gathering at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur later this afternoon. This BERSIH's People Gathering as well as the submission of a petition to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung is to demand the use of indelible ink, a cleanup of the electoral roll, the abolition of domestic postal voting as well as fair access to the media. BERSIH’s campaign for electoral reform is endorsed by 66 NGOs and 5 political parties.

The details are as follows:
Venue: Dataran Merdeka
Date: 10 November 2007
Time: 3pm
More information is available here.
As you may know, the police have started roadblocks all around the city yesterday evening to prevent and deter members of the public from entering the city. To ensure that you'll have a smooth trip into the city, do not wear yellow till you are well within the city parameters or you'll most certainly be stopped. And arrive early to ensure that you will get to your destination on time for disruption to both public and private transports can be expected as the authorities will take all necessary actions to "stop" or diminish the turnout for the event.

Participants are certainly encouraged to take public transport. Additional transport guidelines are available on the Bersih website. Be safe and enjoy the outing. See you there! ;)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Subsidies: RM35b or RM10b?

UMNO leaders typically attempts to talk a little more sense prior to an election, and this years' UMNO General Assembly, which is likely to be the last one prior to the next general election is no different.

UMNO Youth Deputy Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin, rightly criticised the current subsidy structure where the rich benefits more from the Government's subsidy scheme than the poor.

What was however interesting was when Khairy claimed that:
In all, the government had to foot RM35 billion, or 25 percent of government income, lamented Khairy during the debate on economy and education at the Umno assembly today.
Now, this RM35 billion figure is absolutely new to me. For the last I checked, specifically at the Goverment's 2007 and 2008 budget, the subsidy levels are no where near the purported figure given by the Member of Parliament and possible Minister in the making.

Based on the Budget figures provided by the prime minister's office, the subsidies allocated by the Government amounts to only RM12.2 billion and RM10.2 billion for 2007 and 2008 respectively, as shown in the table below.

Federal Government Operating Expenditure by Object 2006-2008

The question, I have then is, who is telling the truth? If the Government's budget is providing the accurate figure, then why is Khairy sensationalising the Government's budget by more than thrice the original amount? Was it to make it look like the Government's burden is higher than it actually is at "25% of total revenue", as opposed to only 7%? It is to illicit the rakyat's sympathy for the government which has wasted billions of the rakyat's tax payers monies in all manners possible?

Or on the other hand, more worryingly, did the Government published budget figure totally inaccurate and hides the fact that the Government (mis)allocates an incredible amount of funds to subsidise parties of unknown origins?

I've always had my suspicions and skepticisms over the manner by which the Government produces their budget numbers (e.g., the discrepancy of RM8 billion (!) expenditure between the Prime Minister's budget speech versus the published Economic Report), but if the above discrepancy is indeed "true", then it's absolutely shocking!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

KJ "Protection"

Khairy Jamaluddin says he wants to use "protection" to change things, as reported by The Star.
PETALING JAYA: Khairy Jamaluddin says that being the Prime Minister’s son-in-law has provided him “protection” which he wants to use to change things for the better. The Umno Youth deputy chief said he was able to “push the envelope now” partly because of that relationship with the prime minister.

“There’s a certain extent (to which) these people in Umno will not go after me. So it gives me ‘protection’ to change things. If I don’t use this ‘protection’ to change things for the better, then I’m just wasting time and marking my time to go up the ladder of politics. That’s not what I am about.

“I want to use this time that I have while I have this ‘protection’ to change things, to change Umno for the better.”
Interesting. And making UMNO a more 'racialised' party, less tolerant of the other Malaysian races as well as promoting the Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy agenda - "changing UMNO for the better"?

Chasing Dreams

Here's the article I wrote for Oriental Daily on 7th October entitled "Chasing Dreams". It was basically written to encourage more Malaysian students to seek an education at some of the top universities overseas, and the fact that I believed that my own choices have made a huge difference to me personally. I also compared the success enjoyed by Singaporeans in gaining entry into the world's top schools as compared to Malaysians.

I certainly look forward to the day where our own education system places emphasis on encouraging our Malaysian students to achieve excellence as well as the schools providing the necessary guidance to help them do so.










Monday, November 05, 2007

De-sensitising Non-Malays

We all know that our UMNO Youth Chief, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein will be raising the keris once again at the on-going UMNO General Assembly. In order to manage expectations and practicing good "public relations", he has made known his intent to repeat the keris waving feat much earlier, in order to diminish the "shock" element.

In fact, last week, The Star prominently featured the article headlined "Keris tradition to continue" (italics mine).
Umno Youth will continue to use the keris as its symbol at the coming party general assembly and believes that with time the non-Malays will become de-sensitised to it.

[Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein] believed there was “nothing sensitive with carrying on” the tradition started by the movement two years ago. “I feel it is important we continue to do it so that the issue becomes de-sensitised over time.
Ah, I see. That is clearly in line with most of UMNO's other strategies such as telling a lie often enough, and it becomes perceived as the truth.

Or how about the fact that Barisan Nasional continuing to treat non-Malays as 2nd class citizens, and they may just get used to it? Or the continued policy of discrimination and marginalisation of non-Malays, and similarly, we'll get "de-sensitised" over time.

The issue therefore is nothing to do with the need to "de-sensitising" non-Malays. It has everything to do with the contempt the UMNO leaders have for their fellow Malaysians. In fact, the issue is less to do with the fact that the keris was raised and more to do with the intent by which it was raised. For the past few UMNO General Assembly meetings, raising the keris coupled of war-like speeches have been intended to stir racial hatred and racist sentiments against the country's minorities.

Hence what Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is infact doing, as the Minister of Education, is not de-sensitising the non-Malays, but instead setting an example and raising a whole new generation contemptuous, war-like and racially parochial ethnic group. And this is diametrically opposed to the much vaulted National Education Blueprint 2006 launched earlier this year which sought to "integrate" Malaysians.

Bar Council March

That's Ting Fong doing the "wave" ;-)

Yes, yes, the "March for Justice" was like eons ago... but I finally found the time to download the pictures from the camera and sort through them ;) Plus, its probably a good reminder that while the march was more than a month ago, there has still been no tangible result from the "independent" panel "investigations" or by anybody else.

I like this pic, unfortunately, it's a video capture...
('cos the camera-man didn't know how to use the camera! ;-))

Yes, we were all tourists that day visiting the mighty Istana Keadilan.
Ng Lip Eng, Liew Chin-Tong, Lau Weng San, YB Teresa Kok, me & Ting Fong

More touristy shots for those arriving early for the March.
I won't name the others in the picture ;-)

The crowd gathers for the biggest gathering of lawyers ever.
Note the irony of the "50th Years of Independence" banner in the background.

Ah, the Hammer of Justice, courtesy of Jenice Lee

Dark clouds hang over the Corridors of Power

Ah, Kay Peng, Li Tsin and Weng San taking shelter from the impending downpour

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Waving the Constitution (II)

Ah... I know, I know, I need to post more ;)

For a start, it has been about a month since I've last posted my weekly articles to Oriental Daily. So, I'll start there while I get my thoughts sorted to put up more posts, many of which are much delayed ;)

The following article was a combination of what I wrote on the Government's total disregard of the Federal Constitution as demonstrated by the Minister in Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz's proclamation that he's the Chief Justice "boss", as well as an earlier post where I remarked on the MCA Youth Chief's placid atttempt to wave the Federal Constitution. We have still not witness any attempts to do so both at the Parliament or the Cabinet by MCA.