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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

MALAYSIA IN WORLD CUP


MY favourite teams are going out one by one. I put somewhere, I support South Korea, England and Brazil. Well, only the last one still in contest. Tonight, though, I will be rooting for Japan. I just want to forget about the FIFA "backward-ness" about not using IT to at least see if a ball had crossed the goal line or not. Then, I saw this article in The Nut Graph. Looks good. A good read. I agree with it? That's another story. For now, it somehow de-stressed me from the World Cup stresses hahaha

FIFA, RESERVE PLACE FOR MALAYSIA

I’M upset that the Malaysian football team is not playing in the Fifa World Cup in South Africa. In fact, Malaysia has never made it to the Fifa World Cup. Ever.

Doesn’t the rest of the world realise that they cannot expect the Malaysian team to compete on an even playing field? Don’t they realise that they need to give a helping hand to Malaysians, particularly our Malays, who cannot be expected to compete with the rest of the world without some assistance?

Why, in Malaysia our wonderful government has set up various programs to assist economically challenged Malay [Malaysians]. These “affirmative action” programmes used to have a time limit on them, but now these programmes [seem] permanent as the government cannot foresee a time when Malay [Malaysians] would ever be able to compete on equal footing with other ethnic groups in Malaysia, let alone the rest of the world.

Similarly, I would argue that Fifa should give special exemption to the Malaysian team to play in the World Cup, but not because we deserve to play there on merit like the rest of the world. Rather, it should reserve a place in the World Cup solely for us, just as the Malaysian government reserves places in university, schools, the civil service, the armed and police forces exclusively for Malay [Malaysians].

Only then can Malaysians, particularly our politically dominant Malays, take their rightful place in the pantheon of world soccer.

I don’t think it should end there. If Malaysia is to play in the World Cup, then our team must be given special privileges. For instance, how about widening our opponent’s goalposts just to make it easier for us to score? Also, how about allowing the Malaysian team to play with 15 players, while the opposing team is limited to only nine players?

If we don’t have sufficient players, Fifa should allow us to use naturalised Indonesians, southern Filipinos and southern Thais for the Malaysian football team. This would assist in bringing about a more equal outcome. Allocating 30% of the opposing team’s goals to the Malaysian team would be a nice gesture, too, in order to be consistent with the New Economic Policy (NEP). Actually, why not go for broke and make it 67%, as Datuk Ibrahim Ali suggests?

And for the life of me, I don’t understand why the likes of Ibrahim, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Perkasa, Gertak, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Umno are not fighting for our God-given right to play in the Fifa World Cup. They go on and on about fighting for Malay rights here in Malaysia. Why are they wasting their time?

Why don’t they fight for Malay rights on the international stage, starting with the Fifa World Cup? Only then can Malaysia compete on the world stage. Only then would they truly be fighting for “bangsa, agama dan negara”, and in that order, too.

Ta’ Melayu Hilang Di-Dunia
23 June 2010

Friday, 25 June 2010

SARAWAK POLLS

IT HAS often been said, that Sabah and Sarawak are Barisan Nasional "fixed deposit" to win elections. Problem is, as I mentioned before, FDs are usually associated with low interest rates. In other words, the reward given for services rendered is not commensurate. That is just one "thorny issue". The others are .... ok lah ok lah.... lets not talk about it here. The thing is, will FD Sarawak be able to attract investors come election day?


SARAWAK IN ELECTION MOOD

KUCHING - Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said Thursday the Sarawak Barisan Nasional is gearing for the state election, which must be held by July next year, but stopped short of hinting how soon it will be held.
Taib, who is also Sarawak BN chairman, said all the leaders of the four Sarawak BN component parties were instructed to get ready during the two-day annual state BN retreat at the Mulu National Park in Miri, which ended yesterday.
"It (state polls) can be held soon or it can be later, it does not matter very much but we are preparing ourselves to face it," he told reporters after opening the Napolean Hill Convention 2010 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
The retreat is a forum for the state BN elected representatives and political secretaries to identify issues and problems which need to be solved before the election.
Asked if he had any favourite numbers, which would be reflected in the timing of the state assembly's dissolution to pave the way for the polls, Taib said such an approach was not important as the BN's priority was to focus on the people's interest instead of just winning elections.
"What is more important for us (state BN) is to keep the politics related to the question of improving the lot of the people and not just winning debates or trying to capture power," he said, adding that certain quarters had captured power but did not know how to use it for the people's benefit.
During the 2006 state election, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) won 34 of the 71 state seats, followed by Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) with 11, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) nine and the Sarawak Progresive Democratic Party (SPDP) eight.
On a related issue, Taib said the question of whether the Sarawak National Party (Snap) could be accepted back in the government, following the Court of Appeal's decision to set aside its de-registration, needed to be discussed with the other state BN partners.
"A lot of water has gone under the bridge (since Snap opted out of the BN alliance) and other parties have gone in and proven themselves in the elections to be quite viable," he said, referring to SPDP, the offshoot of Snap and PRS, which was formed after Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) was deregistered due to its leadership crisis.
"You don't just kick them out and replace them with other people," he added. - Bernama

Thursday, 17 June 2010

KJ ON PATRIOTISM

LOVE him or hate him. Or perhaps just ignore him. Well, in a relatively short time, the name Khairy Jamaludin, the Rembau MP, almost became if not already a household name. Yes, he is the son-in-law of the former Prime Minister Pak Lah. Then in 2008, he won in his first try for an MP seat. My take on him? It does not really matter. But am one who gives credit where it is due. And this posting is exactly that. He is seen here (left) in action. Credit too to The Nut Graph. Me? Had wanted to study in Sungai Besi.... (that's another story to be told only among drinking buddies :-)

TAKING ON THE ARMY

More than the personal challenge that the army presents me, it is the fraternity borne of a rigorous, regimented environment and the sense of national service that excites all of us in the reserves. I now look forward to the next phase, whether the officers’ training or the airborne paratrooper course that I have applied to.

Still, I understand why Malaysia has no compulsory military service. Any attempt to build a public consensus to introduce it today would be near impossible. Besides, as attracted as I am to the virtues of military training, I still believe that the decision to enlist or volunteer is an extremely personal one.

Joining the reserves is clearly not for everyone. And I don’t mean that as a reflection on someone’s physical ability, mental resilience or patriotism. Those virtues, especially the last, can be manifested in many different and equally meaningful ways.

In the increasingly cynical world of postmodern Malaysian politics, honour is a diminishing virtue on both sides of the divide. In the army, honour – in particular, the soul-stirring honour of serving your nation – permeates in abundance. For me, that’s the only reason I need to keep reporting back as 6210405. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Thursday, 10 June 2010

10MP

I WAS in Parliament when the Prime Minister read the gist of the 10MP. It sounds impressive. It takes into account what the country had gone through, looks into the future based on the present setting and experience. Then a little bird whispered to me: Whats the use of a comprehensive plan if it remains a plan? .... Well, that's part of what politicians like me can help monitor and ensure. Performance now.... (which is easier, much easier said, than done :-)

NAJIB TABLES 10MP
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday outlined five key strategic thrusts under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) to enable Malaysia become a high-income and developed nation by 2020.

The prime minister said that to move in that direction, Malaysia had to draw up a new approach which emphasised quality human capital, innovation and creativity, and the government had to operate as a competitive corporation.

When tabling the 10MP in the Dewan Rakyat, Najib said Malaysia could no longer depend on a low-cost structure to remain competitive internationally because globalisation, liberalisation and the emergence of countries, such as China, India, Brazil, Russia, the Middle East and countries in the region, had intensified the competition for trade and investment.

Elaborating on the thrusts, he said the first was to design government philosophy and approach to transform Malaysia using the methodology of the National Key Results Area (NKRA) and the Key Performance Index (KPI).

The second thrust was to create a conducive environment for unleashing economic growth, while the third was to move towards inclusive socio-economic development, he added.

He said the fourth thrust was to develop and retain a first-world talent base and the fifth was to build an environment that enhances quality of life.

The 10MP, which carries the theme "Towards Economic Prosperity and Social Justice", allocates RM230 billion for development expenditure during the five-year period from 2011 to 2015.

In his speech tabling the plan, which took about one hour 40 minutes, Najib said that to transform the nation towards achieving Vision 2020 of becoming a developed nation, the plan was based on 10 ideas which had been translated into 10 main premises.

He said these were internally driven, externally aware; leveraging on the country's diversity internationally; transforming to a high-income nation through specialisation; unleashing productivity-led growth and innovation; nurturing, attracting and retaining top talent; ensuring equality of opportunities and safeguarding the vulnerable.

Concentrated growth, inclusive development; supporting effective and smart partnerships; valuing the country's environmental endowments; and government as a competitive corporation.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the 10MP had been formulated with various new approaches towards enabling Malaysia to become a high-income and high-productivity economy, in line with the New Economic Model (NEM).

He said that during the 10MP period, the gross national income per capita was targeted to increase to RM38,850 or US$12,140 in 2015.

"This requires achieving real GDP growth of six per cent per annum. Growth will be led by the services and manufacturing sectors, in addition to revitalising the agriculture sector towards higher value added as well as the adoption of ICT, biotechnology and other relevant technologies," he said.

Najib said that under the 10MP, the government would focus on efforts to develop non-physical infrastructure, including human capital development such as skills development and strong innovation capabilities.

Meanwhile, he added, the 10MP allocation for non-physical infrastructure would be increased to 40 per cent, compared with 21.8 per cent under the ninth plan.

"Focus will be given to skills development programmes, R&D activities and venture capital funding geared towards promoting a higher level of innovation in the country," he said.

Najib said the approach was also in line with efforts to encourage the private sector to invest in physical infrastructure and provide services such as skills training.

"To support this objective, the government will shift its focus to the private sector for procurement of services. This means that the private sector will compete to offer skills training services at competitive costs," he said.

The prime minister said the 10MP would also focus on raising the income and quality of life of the bottom 40 per cent household income group, where bumiputeras form the largest number - 73 per cent of the 2.4 million households in the group.

He said that in order to enhance competitiveness and market efficiency, as well as ensure more optimal utilisation of resources, it was necessary to reduce price controls and subsidies in stages to eliminate market distortions and abuses.

"However, any subsidy reduction will only be undertaken after taking into consideration the feedback from the people.

"I wish to give the assurance that the lower income group and those who are most vulnerable will continue to be given assistance to mitigate the impact of any subsidy reduction on their cost of living," he said.

Najib also said that in line with the "Greater Kuala Lumpur" NKEA (National Key Economic Area), the government would further enhance the public transportation network in Kuala Lumpur with the implementation of the high-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.

He said this was an iconic project in the capital city which would be highly beneficial to commuters and have large spillovers to the economy.

"When completed, the system is expected to cover a radius of 20km from the city centre with a total length of about 150km, and when fully operational, will serve up to two million passenger trips per day from the 480,000 trips on current urban rail systems," he said.

The prime minister said focus would continue to be given to the bumiputera development agenda in line with the concept of growth with distribution under the plan.

He also said that beginning with the 10MP, the implementation of programmes and projects on a rolling plan basis would be introduced.

With this approach, he said, allocation for programmes and projects would be provided on a two-year basis beginning 2011-2012.

He said this allowed commitment to be made based on the financial position of the government and provided flexibility to respond to new priorities and changes in the global and domestic economic environment.

"The detailed list of the programmes and projects for the first rolling plan will be ready by the end of August 2010. To carry out the 10MP development programmes, the government will make available an allocation of RM230 billion for development expenditure.

"This will comprise 55 per cent for the economic sector, 30 per cent for the social sector, 10 per cent for the security sector and five per cent for general administration," he said.

Referring to the World Cup soccer tournament, which begins tomorrow, the prime minister said the people could use the analogy of a successful football team to relate to the successful realisation of Malaysia's aspiration to become a developed nation and high-income economy.

"For a football team to succeed, all players in the team, irrespective of their position, need to work together and play as a team.

"If they don't, they are unlikely to win; worse, they may lose badly. Each player, whether it is the goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or striker, is equally important.

"However great the footballers are as individual players, victory can only be achieved as a team. Each individual team member is a valuable asset and everyone's potential must be optimised to achieve success," he said. -- BERNAMA

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

SUBSIDY TWIST

WHY different figures? A friend asked me. I smile and said, there must be an explanation to it. Today, I bumped onto Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon in Parliament, as he made his way to meet the press. And this is what he said. Both, in a way, are right. Again, I smile....(by the way, my boss share the same office with him in Parliament, thus the reason why I see Tsu Koon (and his very friendly officers) everyday when there is a sitting......)

TSU KOON DEFENDS IDRIS

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Pemandu chairman Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon defended today Pemandu’s subsidy statistics despite being openly contradicted by the finance ministry.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that the Treasury disputed the findings made by Datuk Idris Jala and informed the BN Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) that the country’s total subsidy bill was only RM18.6 billion.

The Pemandu CEO had predicted Malaysia could be bankrupt by 2019 if it did not begin to cut subsidies for petrol, electricity, food and other staples, which he said cost the country RM74 billion last year.

Koh explained that the discrepancies between the subsidy figures by Treasury and Pemandu was due to the differences in the definition and classification of the expenditures.

“The Treasury’s figures refer only to direct subsidies, involving only the Treasury, while those of Pemandu’s include all indirect subsidies and from all public sources,” he told reporters during a press conference in Parliament.

He added that Pemandu’s report was more comprehensive than the findings by the Treasury.

“However, on making a very quick check, we discovered, for example, that [the] Treasury’s figures did not include [a] petroleum subsidy of RM12 billion by Petronas as the Treasury considered it was not borne directly by the government.

“Hence, the Treasury is looking strictly from their angle and their own budgeting concern. But the Pemandu lab looked at the overall picture. So, both are right in their own contexts,” he said.

According to Pemandu figures, the country’s total subsidy bill was RM74 billion, or equivalent to RM12,900 per household.

Pemandu said the government subsidises RM23.5 billion for fuel, RM4.6 billion for infrastructure, RM3.1 billion for food and RM41.8 billion for social welfare (health, education and higher education).

But the finance ministry said yesterday the country’s total subsidy was RM18.6 billion or equivalent to RM3,246 per household.

It said that RM7.1 billion was spent for fuel, RM800 million for infrastructure, RM2.9 billion for food and RM7.8 billion for social welfare. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

NEW CABINET



THE Prime Minister cannot do everything. He needs help from as many people as possible. The closest to him would usually be his Cabinet members. Yesterday, he made a minor change to his line-up. My boss, Dompok remains status quo. I for one hope we could all give them our blessings.... CABINET RESHUFFLE KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Datuk Wira Chor Chee Heung was appointed the new Housing and Local Government Minister while Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha replaced Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat as Transport Minister in a minor Cabinet reshuffle today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the appointments today, which are seen as a reflection of the recent MCA elections which saw Ong lose the presidency to former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

Dr Chua was not appointed to the Cabinet while Ong (picture) has been dropped, marking the possible end of the road for his political career.

However, Dr Chua’s son, Labis MP Chua Tee Yong, was among a number of new deputy ministers appointed by Najib.

Tee Yong was appointed Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister, just a week after his father appointed him to manage the MCA's assets worth some RM2 billion.

In an immediate reaction, Kong expressed gratitude to the prime minister and MCA for allowing him the opportunity to continue serving the people as a full minister.

Kong said he would do his best in his new post, adding that his new appointment as Transport Minister was part of a learning process for him

"I hope also that the former ministers (Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy) will offer me their guidance and advice and impart their knowledge to help me run this ministry successfully," he said.

Kong suffered a major blow during the MCA polls when he lost to Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in the race for party deputy presidency but was later appointed as the party's secretary-general by Dr Chua.

Kong also pledged he would proceed with efforts to probe the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal, a promise made by his predecessor.

Chor, who is currently the Deputy Finance Minister, thanked Najib for the confidence. The five-term Alor Star MP said he had heard rumours of a promotion from the press.

"I am thankful that my party has confidence in my capabilities. I will not disappoint the Prime Minister and the rakyat," Chor told The Malaysian Insider.

MCA vice-presidents Senator Datuk Donald Lim and Senator Gan Ping Sieu were also appointed deputy ministers. They both won in the recent MCA elections together with Chor.

Lim will now be Deputy Finance Minister while Gan is the new Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, replacing Pekan Nenas MP Datuk Wee Jeck Seng who has been dropped from the post.

Among the other minor appointments, PPP vice-president Senator Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz was made Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister.

MIC deputy president Senator Datuk G. Palanivel is the new Deputy Plantations Industry and Commodities Minister, while Serian MP Datuk Richard Riot is the new Deputy Foreign Minister.

The prime minister also re-assigned several deputy ministers, moving Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim from the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Ministry to the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministr while Jelaing Ak Mersat has been sent from the Home Ministry to the Transport Ministry.

Others moved included Datuk Lee Chee Leong from the Foreign Ministry to be the Deputy Home Minister, Senator Heng Seai Kie from Information, Communication and Culture Ministry to be the new deputy minister in the Women's, Family and Community Development Ministry.