Thursday, November 20, 2008

Disband the Dog Catching Units in Malaysia

I strongly urge the Federal Government of Malaysia together with the State Governments led by Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to once and for all disband the controversial dog-catching units.

It is highly unbecoming of these officers to abuse their power to catch dogs, with the latest controversy arising from Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam where the enforcers trespassed into a house and dragged the dog right underneath the gate out.

If we are to declare our country as a developed nation in 2020, I will surely be the first one to oppose this.

What is the use of being developed in terms of economy and an intelligent society when basic knowledge of law by the enforcers themselves are not applied?

What is the use of being a developed nation when we cannot even treat pets that our neighbours or our people keep with respect and manners?

Owners who keep their pets illegally should be given a fine and warnings. There surely can be a "carrot and stick" system where the pet owners - be it dogs or cats or any animal that needs to be registered - will adhere to the law.

I am very irritated that there are units in local Governments that specifically state "Dog Catching Unit".

What about cats, rabbits, ponies, iguanas and some rich folks even have tiger or lion cubs (Which is illegal, I am sure)?

If I hear about cats or rabbits dragged through their metal gate by enforcers, be assured that A Piece of My Mind will equally slam these enforcers.

We had Dato' Tang See Hang from Selayang launching the shameful competition of dog catching with monetary rewards. We had the enforcer in Taiping misfired a shot targetted at a stray and hit an innocent man.

Now, in Shah Alam?

There is no use of being a developed nation with an uncivilized third world mentality.

A PIECE OF MY MIND will break all principles this time and comment on the police report made by the owner of the dog dragged out through the gate.

A PIECE OF MY MIND strongly urge the police to push the file to Prosecutors for these enforcers to be charged under the law for :

1. illegally trespassing a private property
2. inhumane actions of dragging the dog through the gate
3. putting the dog to sleep under an illegal process

Once and for all, teach these people a lesson.

A PIECE OF MY MIND recommends to all Government leaders at the State level to reconsider the "Dog Catching Units".

We do not need any "Rabbit Catching Units", "Cat Catching Units", "Pony Catching Units", "Dog Catching Units" or any other such units that the Government can think of.

This is not a game of hunting and these units are a waste of public funds - funds that we all pay for income taxes, financial returns taxes, land taxes etc.

SPCA's new term caught my eyes. BE KIND TO ANIMALS. I had and still have pets at home - ducks, tortoises, dogs. Maybe these enforcers should adopt a pet and learn to have a kind heart.

Or you can try this.

If you have the time, read this website . I am very mad after reading this piece of article. I cannot help but agree with the comments by readers at this link. Perhaps the next time we see animal cruelty, we should take the picture of that person doing it and forward to SPCA and newspapers, be it senseless enforcers from the dog-catching unit of pet owners themselves.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz Mudah Lupa

Nasib baiklah Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (DNA) ni mengubah kenyataan asalnya. Di Parlimen, DNA memberi penjelasan bahawa hakim-hakim dalam krisis 1988 tidak dipecat tetapi dinasihatkan bersara.

Tak ada sesiapa pun yang bersuara mengenai isu ini kecuali Tun Dr Mahathir. Dr Mahathir memberi penjelasan sepenuhnya bahawa hakim-hakim itu dipecat dan masih menerima pencen.

Bacalah di blog Chedet - Snippets.

Baru sahaja saya baca laman Malaysiakini dan ternampak tajuk yang mengejutkan : Nazri to Dr M: Don't be 'celupar'

Petikan dari Malaysiakini :

"This is very serious, he should not be too ‘celupar’ and claim things without any basis because the candidates and the parties will suffer the consequences," he said when met by reporters in Parliament today.

Saya tak tahulah DNA sedar diri atau tidak. Semasa Dr M bertanding di Kubang Pasu untuk tempat perwakilan ke Perhimpunan Agung UMNO (PAU) 2006, Tun Dr Mahathir membuat kenyataan tentang "money politics".

Bersama-sama dengan kenyataan Tun Dr Mahathir dan sidang akhbar, Tun menunjukkan bukti slip "menu" untuk perwakilan di Kubang Pasu.

Pada masa itu, saya ada menulis segala-galanya yang berlaku di Kubang Pasu di sini. Rasanya, DNA ni nak tengok gambar sekali lagi isu Kubang Pasu 2006 tak?

Ini dia.

Kalau tak silap, isu Kubang Pasu dan "money politics" masih belum selesai. Saya nasihatkan Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz bukalah fail-fail itu dan siasatlah.

Saya percaya Tun akan memberi jawapan kepada tuduhan "celupar" DNA. Kalau tidak, bukti-bukti akan timbul di PAU pada bulan Mac 2009.

Kini, DNA berani kata Tun Dr Mahathir "celupar". Tak apalah, DNA. Tengoklah nanti.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Najib says ...

Being a frequent reader of the Malaysian news portals - TheStar, NST and UTUSAN - made me notice something these days.

Najib is in control now. Headlines, latest news, sections of newspapers and announcements are all made by Najib and about Najib.

Makes me wonder what role is Pak Lah playing now till March 2009. I remember something like he wants to continue his efforts of reform and improving the systems in Malaysia.

Hmmm ...

And we have YB Lim Kit Siang giving KJ a glimpse of his future when March 2009 comes. 'Dinosaur' Lim gives Khairy a countdown.

I am already imagining the stage and the "temperature" in March 2009 at PWTC for KJ and Pak Lah.

Najib: Projects to stimulate economy must take off soon
Source: TheStar

Najib: Cooperation key to coping with crisis
Source: NST

Najib: Stimulus projects start next year
Source: NST

TPM hormat keputusan Wanita UMNO kekal peralihan kuasa pada Jun 2009
Source: Utusan

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thanks Bro !

I have just received a note at my comments box from Kennysia. Thank you bro!

His re-edited blog article was done voluntarily, and not forced by SB, PDRM or any other agencies. Neither was MCMC involved in this.

For now, I hope Pak Lah's aides, personal assistants, Chief of Staff, and the many officers that he has will reconsider putting Pak Lah's name in every function from 8am - 11pm everyday.

This is not the first time he is caught with pictures which we can't tell the world how proud we are of our country and our Prime Minister.

When I was young during my days as a junior ambassador to Japan, I carried my Malaysian flag to Tokyo and Osaka.

I was proud of my country and Dr Mahathir. FYI, Tun is more popular and respected in Japan than the Japanese politicians, this I dare say.

Man. I was so proud.

I WAS. Restore my confidence now, please !

My Prime Minister?

In my recent article, The Marketing Failure of Pak Lah, I posted up 2 pictures I took from Kennysia's blog and directed my readers to his page for more pictures and his article about it.

I was informed by mom that Kennysia removed the pictures recently as a mark of respect. Surprisingly, I can still view it from overseas.

Can any of my Malaysian readers clarify this with me?

The original article by Kennysia was written HERE.

I am not sure if the MCMC or Kennysia removed it but I can still access the website and see a sleeping PM at a National Integrity Convention.

Thanks. Drop me a note at this blog article comments section, cbox, or email me.

I have just browsed directly at and realised that the rest of the entry about the sleeping PM was indeed removed. But the ORIGINAL pictures can still be accessed for now at the link I saved up.

In my opinion, yes it is true that the National Integrity Convention organizers worked hard to organize the event and make it a successful one.

I agree fully with Kennysia on that. Sadly, DID OUR PM RESPECT THE CONVENTION !? This is terrible for the image of our country.

I mean I have seen leaders sleeping in Parliament especially during presentations of Budgets. But come on. The Prime Minister of Malaysia at that small scale Convention?

Makes me think about other meetings that he attended such as the APEC, OIC, UN .... Nikkei too if I am not mistaken (the Japanese conference which Dr M attends annually also).

If Kennysia was forced by SB, PDRM or the organizers to remove that entry as a mark of respect, why didnt anyone question the respect from the PM?

The Prime Minister's job is not easy. But it is suicidal politically for him to appear like this. What happened to the ever intelligent Fourth Floor folks, the aides, personal assistants, senior advisors and the whole entourage of the PM of Malaysia?

How can we present him to the public when he is tired? As I said, it is best to present himself in fewer meetings but with full energy rather than attending functions from 8am - 11pm with a sleepy head.

Sigh. March 2009 is still some way...

The Marketing Failure of Pak Lah

I do not understand what the aides of Pak Lah and his officers are doing. Their job is to ensure we have a fully fit, charismatic and powerful Prime Minister of Malaysia .

In other words, they must "sell" and "market" our PM with a touch of elegance, class, and superiority.

Sadly, they have failed. If Pak Lah is tired, please let him get some rest. Do not put in so many appointments in the daily list. One after another, from North to South, from East to West.

Also, aren't there any medical doctors assigned to Pak Lah? These doctors should be blamed too for the fall of Pak Lah.

I always thought things like ginseng, vitamins and exercise can keep him healthy, fit and strong to be the PM of Malaysia.

Aren't these prescribed to our PM? As far as I know, Tun Dr M was never a sleeping PM. He is not even a sleepy ex PM right now as we speak.

This is ridiculous. The following pictures are new from Kennysia's blog. All credits to him for the pictures. Read and see more HERE.

There are more pictures these days from bloggers. BigDogDotCom has pictures from Perth and the beautiful homes. Check it out HERE.

If the homes were bought with money earned the "halal" way, then it is all right and I do not see the fuss over the homes in Perth. If it was otherwise, then perhaps that will justify the attention they are getting.

For now, it will only be wise on the part of Pak Lah's aides to cut down his appointments and allow Pak Lah room to rest and refresh.

It is better to have few quality meetings than many sleepy outings.

The Forgotten Promise

Leaders from DAP, PAS and PKR can continue to form a formidable team with a clear Pakatan Rakyat agenda. For now, many things remain unsolved.

The people of Permatang Pauh were told that voting for Anwar will mean that they are voting for a man who will be PM on the now gone September 16th 2008 PR Government.

The people across Malaysia were told by the Opposition leaders from PAS, PKR and DAP that Sept 16th will come.

What happened? Where is the transparency? Show me the list of MPs that will crossover. Why hide the list, my dear Pakatan Rakyat leaders?

Show us the failed crossover list that you have in your briefcases. As a voter and a Malaysian citizen who have always admired the strength and perseverance of the Opposition, I want a full explanation and transparency in your promises.

If you can’t even show your transparency in this issue and cannot even keep your promises of Sept 16th and the other dates that you gave, how then can I entrust my country to leaders like Anwar Ibrahim?

This story shall not fade off with just a “it is not a matter about dates now” comment by Anwar or any leaders. No, I will not let it rest. Neither shall Barisan Nasional.

This is what I have always said to DAP, PKR and PAS MPs and leaders.Do not throw all your eggs into one basket.

Do not throw your own credibility, integrity and support on the line by going with Anwar’s Sept 16th promise. Give the public a full explanation on this, Pakatan Rakyat.

Personally, I would love to see a strong two or three party system in Malaysia.

But if the Opposition continues to transform into what they have been criticizing all these years, then what is the use of putting them in Putrajaya?

Maybe Malaysiakini and Agendadaily can do interviews with “insiders” and leaders of PAS, DAP and PKR about the “crossovers”.

The interview contents will surely attract a lot of “disappointed” Malaysians. I remember seeing some of my friends writing out messages “I want a new Government” when I said “Sept 16th will not come true”.

There were some who told me to be patient and it will come soon.

The “soon” is now 50 over days and counting. I will not rule out the probability of the Opposition being the new Government in the next GE. But this instability created by PR have caused the country a lot.

Yet, we did not get any explanations or apology from the leaders. That surely eroded my feelings and support for the Opposition.

Nevertheless, I have to thank Anwar for something. He stopped trying to takeover the Government already.

There are no more crossover stories. That proved some Professors and analysts wrong that Anwar will keep trying throughout the term he has.

I could be wrong as I do not know what is happening behind the scenes. At least, it is not public and stability is still around.

Journalists are happier too I guess. There were already whispers of "hari lain... cerita sama".

1. Anwar and the MCA MPs
2. 5 Years of Instability
3. Let Us Start Counting

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Lawmakers in Malaysia

I hope PKR leaders can stand on their own and be themselves to serve the people.

MPs like YB Loh Gwo Burne should speak up more often instead like YB Azmin Ali.

Do you know that lawmakers in Japan speak Japanese, lawmakers in Thailand speak Thai? And the list goes on and on. They speak their national language of their respective countries.

In Malaysia, when the official language used in the Parliament is Bahasa Malaysia, how can an MP best serve the constituents of Malaysia?

At times I wonder what sort of Malaysia the Opposition wants. Do they want a Malaysian Malaysia or an English Malaysia?

I always have a preference for a united Malaysian community. But with that agenda, to emulate the Americans, the Thais and the Japanese, we need to respect the Constitution of Malaysia and uphold our national language, Bahasa Malaysia.

From Malaysiakini, an excerpt from the interview with YB Loh after the elections :

Have you started Bahasa Malaysia lessons yet?

I think I’m starting tomorrow. I can understand Malay, I’m just not very good at it. I can go the stall and buy stuff, order food in a mamak stall. I can actually converse and understand basic Malay. But if you’re asking me to give speeches, that’s totally different.

Right now it’s seriously touch and go so I need to get my Bahasa up to speed. Hopefully in a month’s time I can at least manage (the language).

My plan is to get somebody to teach me and another person to follow me around and talk to people with me. So hopefully that would push me along much faster. I think anybody can do basic Malay but doing the oratory stuff in Parliament or on stage is the problem.

We used to laugh at BN for choosing candidates with fake degrees, low qualifications and poor records of integrity.

Perhaps in future, PR should really consider their candidates well. That way, the people will be confident of who to vote for.

BN is already fielding strong candidates. Look at Ipoh Timur in the recent elections. There were voters on the ground who were surprised with the candidate, Dr Liew Mun Hon.

People were chatting about his qualifications but unfortunately, Dr Liew was up against YB Lim Kit Siang. The results of the Ipoh Timur election was already "known" before the people voted.

Nevertheless, the folks in Ipoh were "impressed" with such a highly qualified candidate from Barisan Nasional.

Note that I am not questioning YB Loh's qualifications because he has a law degree from London and a postgraduate recognition in law also from a University in China.

I am merely worried about the trend of support for politicians in Malaysia who are not capable of speaking the language used in Parliament of Malaysia.

Pakatan Rakyat should perhaps reconsider the seat of YB Loh, unless of course his "kelas malam" for BM is producing results.

Kula vs Tajuddin

I was reading Bakaq's blogs and his PenarekBeca blog caught my attention. It was interesting to read the excerpts from Malaysia's Parliament Hansard system.

Bakaq snipped it and made it easy for us to read HERE.

For those who want to read the full official copy of the sitting on 5/11/08, read it HERE.

Let me snip out some of it for you but before that, I want to make a few comments. Yes perhaps YB Dato' Tajuddin is wrong, but YB Kula should not in his capacity as a lawmaker of Ipoh Barat comment on Pasir Salak's welfare with sweeping statements.

To claim that voters or residents hated Dato' Tajuddin is not justifiable. Produce the evidences and table out the problems raised. It is not fair to Dato' Tajuddin by saying that the people there hates him or he won by luck.

The people who voted for the alternative candidate might have the confidence in that person in terms of policies and leadership.

The voters who voted against Tajuddin might not harbour any ill thoughts against him or hate him, but merely making a rational voting decision based on preferences, not on hatred.

Newspapers and blogs must carry the story in full to avoid any bias against Tajuddin or Kula.

As for Dato' Tajuddin, we are a contender country and we have an upper middle income economy that will propel us to be a developed nation soon, if not by 2020.

We want to show to the world what kind of Parliament we have. Do we want a Parliament like South Korea and Taiwan? Or do we want a democratic and professional House like the US, UK, Australia and Japan?

The words by Dato' Tajuddin are very unparliamentary, and unacceptable for a man of his status - a lawmaker of Malaysia.

M Kula has his equal share of unparliamentary words - hate - as warned by the Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat.

So, in future, please be more sensitive. Lawmakers are elected into the Parliament to govern the country and formulate policies to protect our country, our people and our future.

It is not a ground for personal benefits, not a ground for hooliganism, not a ground to enjoy or past time.

The Parliament is as holy and as sacred a place as places of worship. Respect the Parliament !

Tuan M. Kula Segaran [Ipoh Barat]: Orang di sana benci sama Yang Berhormat. Tahu tidak?

Dato’ Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: Hei!

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak, sudahlah.

Dato’ Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: No, ini kurang ajar ini.

Tuan M. Kula Segaran [Ipoh Barat]: Di mana...

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak.

Dato’ Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: Ini kurang ajar. This is bastard. He is bastard.

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak.

Beberapa Ahli: [Menyampuk] [Dewan riuh]

Tuan M. Kula Segaran [Ipoh Barat]: Tarik balik, tarik balik.

Dato’ Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: You tarik balik. [Disampuk] You tarik balik.

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak, sudahlah.

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Tidak, dengar dulu. Bila lepas Yang Berhormat menarik balik, saya akan minta dia tarik balik.

Tuan M. Kula Segaran [Ipoh Barat]: Bukan sedemikian. It is not one to one. Saya rasa apa yang saya kata..

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Dimulakan,Yang Berhormat.

Tuan M. Kula Segaran [Ipoh Barat]: No, yang mula betul, saya boleh tarik balik. No harm, tetapi apa yang saya kata adalah yang benar yang dikatakan oleh orang ramai di sana. Adakah itu satu kesalahan mereka? Kalau Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak menang dengan 100% undi dari Pasir Salak, saya hormatkan dia. Menunjukkan satu bantahan pun tak ada. He won by luck.

Part 4
Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Kadang-kadang Yang Berhormat, orang buta kalau kita sebut dia buta, kalau dia sendiri sebut dia buta tak salah Yang Berhormat. Kalau kita yang sebut buta, itu salah.

Part 5 Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Kalau Yang Berhormat kata tak sokong, tidak menyokong, tidak kerjasama itu kita boleh terima Yang Berhormat, tapi benci itu lain Yang Berhormat.

Tuan M. Kula Segaran [Ipoh Barat]: Benci? I’m surprise. Oh, tak suka, okey saya kata. Okey, boleh saya buat macam ini Tuan Pengerusi? Saya tarik balik yang benci, saya kata orang tak suka sama dia Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak. Okey?

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Yang Berhormat Pasir Salak, saya mahu tarik yang perkataan bastard dan perkataan-perkataan yang betul-betul unparliamentary itu tadi.

Dato' Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: Saya menghormati Tuan Pengerusi, saya tarik balik perkataan itu tapi saya mohon kefahaman Tuan Pengerusi. Saya dimalukan, dia yang memulakan memalukan saya. Ini cerita dia pergi ke Pasir Salak, ini semua cerita karut, bohong.

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Yang Berhormat, jangan gunakan perkataan itu lagi Yang Berhormat. Sudahlah, kalau Yang Berhormat tak tahu macam mana bercakap dalam Dewan, minta tolonglah. Gunakan perkataan nada yang elok, perkataan yang elok. Tadi kita dengar ada orang bercakap. Kadang-kadang perkataan Yang Berhormat, macam mana kita menyampainya itu membeza kita ini dengan orang yang tidak bertamadun ataupun tidak berbudaya.

Dato' Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: Standing order.

Tuan Pengerusi [Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar]: Okey, apa itu?

Dato' Haji Tajuddin Abdul Rahman [Pasir Salak]: 36. Seseorang ahli tidak boleh mengeluarkan sangkaan jahat ke atas sesiapa ahli lain.

Tan Sri Ramon and Anwar

Recently in an interview with Malaysiakini, Tan Sri Ramon, the head of Transparency International, said that Anwar can be a good PM.

It made the headlines in the online news portal although Tan Sri Ramon said Najib is a good PM material too.

However, some words from Tan Sri Ramon seem to throw questions into the pool.

- start -

FROM MALAYSIAKINI, Asked on the ‘difficult’ question whether he believes Anwar is guilty of his misadventures of the sexual kind, the veteran Ramon calmly replied, “I don’t know what to believe anymore”. “I understand from friends that such practices have happened in public schools not only here but all around the world.

“Recently I find it difficult to accept it, I mean he is not a young boy or young man and he is mature. I am not sure really how much of it is real or how much of it is rhetoric,” he said.

Ramon said “we can depend on the court to make judgement” but was quick to add that he does not have enough confidence in the judicial system.

- end -

Whatever it is, Anwar is innocent until proven guilty. We give him the benefit of the doubt. Anwar was not innocent in the previous court case that involved Sukma.

According to the judgement in Anwar's appeal which saw him released, the three judges read:

To summarise our judgment, even though reading the appeal record, we find evidence to confirm that the appellants were involved in homosexual activities and we are more inclined to believe that the alleged incident at Tivoli Villa did happen, sometime, this court, as a court of law, may only convict the appellants if the prosecution has successfully proved the alleged offences as stated in the charges, beyond reasonable doubt, on admissible evidence and in accordance with established principles of law. We may be convinced in our minds of the guilt or innocence of the appellants but our decision must only be based on the evidence adduced and nothing else.

Read the full judgement HERE.

We might not have the confidence in the Court of law in Malaysia. But did we not have confidence when Anwar was released after his appeal?

Did the Courts miraculously became fair and just on that day? I wonder.

And I remember reading from Malaysia-Today that KJ was there to give Anwar his passport and access to Munich for treatment.

Let us pour everything out, shall we?

The New PM of Malaysia

In the midst of my busy days, I managed to squeeze in some time to read several articles, some old and mostly current.

I can’t stop the eagerness in me and the curiosity to see the new Prime Minister of Malaysia who I think possess the qualities like the man I respect most in my life, Tun Dr Mahathir, and can possibly emulate Tun’s success.

No, I am not talking about Najib Tun Razak. Tan Sri Ramon can go ahead and think that Anwar and Najib are both good quality Prime Ministers. I don’t.

He stood up when all other leaders were just “yes-men”. Till now, he is still “clean” and there are no allegations or scandals clouding around his head just yet.

We can perhaps safely be assured that there won’t be any noose hanging around his neck, waiting to snap his neck anytime.

This man I am talking about has the communication skills like Dr M and commands a strong support in Malaysia.

Let me divert you to an article written by Straits Times HERE on Oct 11, 2008.

I skipped reading articles like this in the past month because I was 100% sure he will get the nominations and the support for the post of Deputy President.

In fact, if the Pak Lah – Najib transition weren’t in place, this man would have the support with Tengku Razaleigh to takeover the new leadership. Favorably, he could have been the PM of Malaysia, instead of Najib.

Nevertheless, I am curious and excited to await the new PM of Malaysia. Again, no I am not at all talking about Najib but a new leader who can possibly mirror the successes of Tun Dr M.

Some of the excerpts from the article :

Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who courted controversy by calling for Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's early retirement, yesterday formally announced that he was in the running for the deputy presidency.

'I am confident that I can play an important role alongside the future president in the effort to bring back racial unity,' he said.

He rated his chances as very good and, in an unexpectedly cheeky fashion, replied when asked what made him different from the other three candidates in the running: 'Because I am Muhyiddin Yassin.'

The only person I have ever known to be able to give “classic” responses is Dr M. Finally, there might be another one.

I am not at all sure that he will be a great leader because dirty slingshots have not been thrown into his path by any camp, yet.

For now, it will be worth watching him and imagining a Malaysian future with him.

It will be a long journey to wait, but I will.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The 3% EPF Cut

Let us create some intuitive economic sense. Before
  1. the oil price hike
  2. the reduction in petrol subsidy
  3. the increase in food prices
  4. the increase in transportation costs
  5. and finally the increase in a basket of consumer goods

Assume that our spending power, on average, is 1 unit of each good.

Income disparities between individuals are not taken into consideration because each income group has their own basket of consumer goods.

This means that higher income groups will perhaps buy free range poultry, eat in quality restaurants, purchase higher priced clothes and drive bigger cars that consume more petrol.

On the other hand, the middle income groups will perhaps buy caged poultry, eat in normal food courts, purchase reasonably priced garments and drive a lower cc car.

The basket of goods measured is the same and given their respective incomes, we take their spending power as 1 unit of each good in the basket.

Over the time period of an increase in the listed sequence of 5 events above, our spending power per unit of goods in the basket has fallen to, say 0.5 units of each good.

That is, assuming we maintain all wages, taxation, and EPF contributions. Realistically, that is not true. In fact we have a case where

  1. income per month can possibly increase with bonuses, contractual wage increase, and non labor income
  2. taxes have fallen in Malaysia in a “caring budget” by Pak Lah

With these “safety nets” handed out to the people, our purchasing power of the basket of good can possibly increase to say, 0.7.

And now, we have Najib handing out candies to the work force - EPF contributions can be slashed to 8% from (optional) in a “stimulus package” by Najib.

This can probably make us well off with a purchasing power of greater than 0.7 per unit of the goods in the basket.

That is the side of the consumers. Let us move to the producers.

Producers that sell above costs are said to be earning supernormal profits. I will term it as extraordinary profits.

A plate of rice that sold for RM 5 after a petrol price hike should only be sold now at say, RM 4 since the lower revised petrol price. But food prices stayed the same!

If the people are still pressured by their lower spending power, we will spend every dollar wisely.

Consumers and producers will sort themselves out in equilibrium. Similar goods producers will have to differentiate their products, innovate and create as well as subscribing to price wars to win consumers’ dollars.

With the option to reduce EPF contributions to 8%, the people will surely have more dollars to keep themselves at the spending power before the oil price hike or just slightly worse off.

This will surely keep the demands of consumers still “carefree” and maintained at their “habitual” level.

Demands by consumers, unchanged and reasonably unaffected by prices now, will allow producers to continue earning “abnormal profits”.

The prices of goods will be sustained to be brought forward to the future period.

Do not forget also that year after year, food prices – especially the Chinese traders – will rise to see the Sun but never slashed to see the Earth.

Annual inflation will also be factored into their pricing strategies.

We can expect the prices in future to be higher than what it is now because producers will not compete to provide efficiently and at socially optimal levels to consumers – i.e. disequilibrium.

Upon retirement, we will have 3% lesser EPF savings. But 3% is not the real value forgone because we have to take into account the percentage of dividends given out annually by EPF discounted at the inflation rate. We must also not forget we can earn dividends on dividends.

This move will not be beneficial for us in the future. Unless of course, we take the 3% away to invest in stocks, insurances, currency holdings or any financial assets that will ensure returns greater than EPF dividend rates.

Otherwise, the 3% cut might not do us any good in the long run. At least, that is what I think on the surface, without going in depth to consider the intertemporal budget constraints and utility maximizations of each unique individual.

Personally, for now with a shallow thought, I disagree with the option to take up the 3% EPF contribution cut.

Thankfully, though, Najib proposed that this scheme is to be enforced for two years only (i.e. temporary policy) beginning from Jan 1 next year. So, the effects on EPF savings might not be great.

Perhaps the Government is right that if all contributors take the cut, it will boost private spending by RM 4.8 billion a year and money circulation in the economy will help maintain our markets.

But again, I am looking at the “reluctance” of the traders to reduce their prices even after the petrol price hike.

A spending power pressure on consumers will certainly be a winner for us because traders of food or raw materials have no choice but to slash their prices to near competitive equilibrium prices to win market share.

This is just me in my own world doing some surface thinking.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bloomberg Asia with Tun M

By Chan Tien Hin and Haslinda Amin
Source : Mahathir Sees No End to Financial Crisis, Impact on Asian Trade

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Mahathir Mohamad, the leader who steered Malaysia through the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, said the current global turmoil is far from ending and will soon spread to the region's export-dependent economies.

"The worst is not over yet. We do not even understand what is happening,'' Mahathir, who stepped down as prime minister in 2003, said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur.

"Asian countries are going to feel the pinch of a world where the market has collapsed.''

Global leaders are starting to acknowledge the worst still lies ahead for their economies as stocks and commodities plunge, forcing a growing number of countries to shore up their battered banking systems.

Mahathir bailed out Malaysian banks in 1998 and pegged the ringgit, ignoring advice from the International Monetary Fund, which later endorsed his capital controls.

Mahathir, 82, reiterated his belief that governments worldwide should consider a new international monetary system that doesn't depend on any single currency.

"You may have to use a number of currencies for trading purposes, or you may have to use a special trading currency, probably based on gold,'' Mahathir said.

"Gold has intrinsic value. Money has no value, just pieces of paper and government assurances.''

The IMF this month forecast global growth would drop to 3 percent next year, the dividing line between recession and expansion. World leaders plan a financial summit in Washington next month to discuss efforts to fix the crisis.

"A lot of people say rescue plans will work,'' Mahathir said. "It's a question of confidence. You don't have confidence in money that is suddenly made to appear by magic.''

Asian Crisis
Mahathir in 1998 defied the IMF's call to raise interest rates to stem a currency slide and instead provoked worldwide condemnation by pegging the nation's currency to the dollar and imposing controls on foreign money flowing out of Malaysia, insulating it from the external fallout.

The capital controls gave Mahathir room to cut interest rates, overhaul banks and boost spending to help pull the country out of its recession.

To free up banks to lend, he set up a state-run agency to buy bad loans and infused them with fresh capital. The U.S. and several European countries this month announced plans to buy stakes in banks.

"I can't help feeling I'm vindicated,'' said Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years.

- end -

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reformasi Dasar Ekonomi

Reformasi dasar ekonomi di Malaysia sememangnya perlu dipercepatkan untuk membantu kaum Bumiputera dan rakyat Malaysia dalam usaha mencapai "ekuiti Bumiputera" dan "perpaduan dan integrasi rakyat Malaysia".

Memandangkan DEB dan DPN telah gagal mencapai matlamatnya, walaupun berjaya membangunkan Malaysia, satu polisi baru perlu dibentangkan di Parlimen dan diwartakan sebagai dasar kerajaan yang baru.

Memanglah benar, kemiskinan rakyat Malaysia tidak tertakluk kepada kaum Bumiputera sahaja.

Ramai di kalangan orang India, Cina, Iban, Kadazan dan sebagainya yang masih hidup papa.

Para pemimpin sentiasa mengaitkan hak istimewa kaum Bumiputera yang tertera jelas dalam Perlembagaan Malaysia dengan agihan ekonomi kepada orang Melayu.

Sekiranya Kerajaan Malaysia ingin membantu mengurangkan jurang sosioekonomi antara kaum di Malaysia, para pemimpin patut membentangkan polisi yang membantu rakyat Malaysia yang berpendapatan rendah. Langkah ini setimpal dengan hujah Kerajaan Malaysia iaitu ekuiti orang Bumiputera masih rendah.

Kaum Bumiputera sendiri mempunyai jurang pendapatan yang besar. Jelaslah ada yang kaya dan ramai Bumiputera yang miskin. Pendapatan pertengahan kebanyakannya kaum bukan Bumiputera.

Polisi sebegini berupaya mengurangkan jurang antara kaum bumiputera dan bukan bumiputera.

Ini akan membuka peluang kepada pembangunan nasional di mana kaum Melayu dapat memainkan peranan yang lebih besar dalam ekonomi Malaysia, berbanding kini.

DEB dan DPN dilihat seperti membantu sebilangan golongan Melayu sahaja. Ramai orang Melayu masih tidak mendapat "pai ekonomi" yang menjadi hujah Kerajaan.

Memanglah benar DEB dan DPN telah mewujudkan golongan taikun Bumiputera seperti Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar dan sebagainya.

Namun, golongan taikun ini, dengan pengecualian Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar, yang "diwajibkan" untuk membantu orang Bumiputera dari segi sosioekonomi telah gagal melaksanakan tugasan mereka itu.

Perpaduan negara tidak akan tercapai sekiranya jurang ekonomi antara kaum ataupun individu sangat ketara.

Bersama-sama polisi baru, perlulah wujud juga polisi pendidikan yang berunsurkan masyarakat Malaysia yang intelektual, perpaduan dan integrasi nasional.

Walaupun pendidikan tidak dapat membawa integrasi dan mencapai perpaduan Bangsa Malaysia yang berbilang kaum sepenuhnya, namun pendidikan dapat merapatkan jurang perbezaan pendapat, kaum dan taraf ekonomi mana-mana individu atau kaum.

Oleh itu, Kerajaan Malaysia patut menilai semula kegagalan Dasar Ekonomi Baru dan Dasar Pembangunan Nasional untuk membantu mengurangkan jurang sosioekonomi antara kaum.

Melalui polisi baru yang akan membantu rakyat Malaysia yang berpendapatan rendah, di mana penerima terbesar langkah positif ini ialah orang Melayu, Malaysia tentu akan maju dan segala agenda DEB atau DPN akan tercapai.

Malah, perpaduan rakyat Malaysia dan integrasi nasional yang dahulunya menjadi impian akan mula menjadi kenyataan.

Interesting Websites

I was spending some time to read several websites and came across a few interesting articles. Some of these were presented with sound arguments and passion while some are just hearsays.

  1. Article 153 and the "Social Contract"
  2. Haris Ibrahim's letter to Bernard Dompok, Ong Tee Keat and Koh Tsu Koon
  3. SIAPA ROSMAH MANSUR? (No evidence provided here. Proceed to read with caution)
  4. What is Mahathirism?
  5. Ketuanan Melayu bermula dari diri sendiri


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ekuiti Bumiputera

Polisi Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) diperkenalkan oleh Tun Razak pada tahun 1971. DEB diwujudkan untuk mengurangkan jurang antara kaum dari segi keseimbangan ekonomi.

Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn dan Tun Dr M meneruskan DEB ini sehinggalah tahun 1991. Pada tahun 1991, Dasar Pembangunan Nasional (DPN) menggantikan DEB.

Sesiapa yang berminat untuk membaca polisi kerajaan, sila rujuk :

1. DEB 1971 - 1991

Tak perlulah saya mengajar Sejarah kemerdekaan Malaysia, isu perpaduan dan jurang hak ekonomi antara kaum di kalangan majoriti dan minoriti.

Satu-satunya isu yang tidak dipertikaikan ialah ekuiti kaum Cina melebihi kaum Melayu. Namun yang disoal kini ialah methodology Kerajaan dalam perkiraan ekuiti.

Ingatkah Dr Lim Teck Ghee dari ASLI-CPPS?

Baca juga pendapat seorang penulis di Malaysiakini - Who owns Corporate Malaysia?.

Saya berharap Kerajaan Malaysia memaparkan kenyataan berita dalam akhbar nasional mengenai methodology yang digunakan.

Langkah ini sudah tentu akan memberi penjelasan kepada rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum kerana strategi DPN adalah untuk mencapai matlamat asal DEB, iaitu 30% ekuiti.

Di sini, saya tidak mempersoalkan hak Bumiputera dari segi polisi kerajaan tetapi saya mempertimbangkan juga kebajikan Bumiputera.

Kerajaan Malaysia wajib menjawab kepada golongan Bumiputera. Adakah pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO gagal menjaga kebajikan dan meningkatkan hak ekonomi Bumiputera Tanah Melayu, Sabah dan Sarawak?

Sekiranya kami mengambil kira keputusan pilihan raya ke-12 pada Mac 2008, memanglah jelas kaum bukan Bumiputera mengundi pembangkang - DAP, PKR malah PAS juga.

UMNO dan Barisan Nasional tidak patut lupa juga undi-undi Bumiputera yang memihak kepada pemimpin PAS dan PKR. UMNO hilang 27.5% kerusi di pilihan raya 2008 berbanding 2004. Jumlah undi juga telah berkurangan.

Memanglah MCA juga kalah teruk, kehilangan sebanyak 51.6% kerusi dari 31 kerusi ke 15 kini.

Setelah sekian lama MCA dan MIC menjadi tumpuan media dan rakyat, kini tibalah giliran UMNO menjelang pemilihan parti pada bulan Mac 2009 nanti.

UMNO perlulah memberi penjelasan kepada Bumiputera tentang kegagalan DEB dan DPN. Ramai di kalangan Bumiputera yang berpendapat bahawa DEB dan DPN memihak kepada ahli UMNO dan kroni sahaja.

Pemberian tender, kontrak, lesen teksi dan sebagainya tidak menggambarkan penyusunan semula masyarakat untuk memperbaiki ketidakseimbangan sosial dan ekonomi antara kaum.

Janganlah menimbulkan isu ekuiti Bumiputera dan bukan Bumiputera. UMNO dan Barisan Nasional patut memberi fokus kepada isu ekuiti INTRA BUMIPUTERA. Pengagihan "pai ekonomi" tidak wujud antara kaum Bumiputera.

Itulah yang menyebabkan Barisan Nasional kehilangan sokongan golongan Bumiputera.

Saya berharap pada Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2009 (PAU 2009) nanti, tak adalah pemimpin yang cuba menimbulkan sentimen-sentimen perkauman. UMNO patutlah membicarakan isu-isu Bumiputera - termasuk kegagalan DEB dan DPN.

Adakah UMNO mementingkan setiap Bumiputera di Malaysia, ataupun ahli UMNO sahaja? Itulah yang orang Bumiputera ingin tahu.

PAS kini telah membangun. Dulu, pemimpin-pemimpin PAS hanya memperjuangkan isu agama. Pemimpin-pemimpin PAS kini memperjuangkan pembangunan Malaysia dan ekonomi kaum-kaum Malaysia.

Parti PKR juga kini mempunyai daya tarikan yang tinggi bagi golongan profesional - peguam, doktor, jurutera, pakar Ekonomi dan sebagainya.

Komponen BN perlu rajin membawa masuk keahlian golongan profesional juga yang nampaknya memihak kepada PAS, DAP dan kini PKR.

Sekiranya UMNO dan Barisan Nasional masih tidak sedar diri, maka BN akan kalah pada pilihan raya edisi ke 13 nanti.