Monday, April 29, 2013

GE13: Economy… Part 5

Malaysia economy has been far more advanced than those like United States, Japan and Germany. In agriculture, we used luxury condo for cows rearing. In high technology, we beat Australia to be “proud” destination of choice for Lynas Corporation Ltd. In service sector, the government so committed to boost tourism (Cuti-cuti 1 Malaysia) by investing RM1.8million on six Facebook pages. As synergy effect to their effort, they get free of charge “Curi-curi Wang Malaysia” page as bonus.

To further “boost” our economy, the BN is actively distributing rice, ang pau and other gifts to anyone that went to their ceramah. Yes, anyone is entitled, a “proof” that BN did not practice race discrimination. To top it up, popular international artists like PSY, Alan Tam, Michelle Yeoh, to name a few, are invited to cheers up worried Malaysian. Nonetheless, many questions naturally pop up. Where money for BN campaign does comes from? Maybank Investment Bank Research’s reported that Prime Minister’s Department (PMO) spent RM36.1 million for advertisements in February, more than Unilever Malaysia. BN itself spent RM4.9 million.

Economy theory says that government spending is a direct component of gross domestic product. Thus, BN government not only spent on advertisements and ceramah goodies but enter into various contracts worth billions, even just prior to this 13th General Election. No wonder national debt shot sky high.

In a Rafizi Ramli’s ceramah, he woke up Malaysians with some stunning yet simple economic sense. First, most of the national debts are sourced domestically, namely from EPF, various Amanah Saham, Tabung Haji and local banks where Malaysians keep their hard earned money. If government bankrupt, our money that is at stake.

Therefore, please realize that BR1M or any vote buying project and goodies are most likely funded with debt, which is also our money. The higher the debt level, credit rating is lower; hence the cost of further borrowing is higher.

Did we know that we need to repay this astronomical high level of debts for generations? If the BN government decided to print money to repay the debts, our foreign exchange will depreciate drastically, thus bringing down our international purchasing power.

Inefficiency, cronyism and possible political sabotage in management of utilities sectors will results in price hike. Examples given by Rafizi include unfair contracts that bias to independent power producers (IPPs) against Tenaga Nasional Behad (TNB). The later is forced to buy electricity from IPPs at a high rate. Unfortunate increase in coal (an input) price causes TNB to suffer, thus likely to force increment in electricity rate if BN won this GE. High water leakage, extraordinary high salary and political sabotage cause unnecessary wastage too.

Viewing any of recent Auditor General’s Reports will scare you off on the level of “mismanagement” (a better name for corruption) in current government. Two higher profile (funny) cases include buying a submarine that cannot sink and a fighter jet with a missing engine.

There is a video clip circulating widely on Facebook about a comedy talk show that worth mentioning. Making fun of corruption in Malaysia, a showman called himself as “Mr. Subcontract of Everything” happily explained these. If he built a nice straight bridge, he gets profit. If he built a bad crooked bridge, he also gets profit. He will gets even more profit if the bridge project is cancelled.

With corruption at every level of bureaucracy to every level of society, how far or how fast can our economy progress? Malaya/Malaysia was the world biggest exporter of tin mine, rubber, palm oil and semi-conductor components. Malaysia was once the favorite destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) while still is among the world biggest exporter of oil and endowed with lots of natural forests for timbers. Without threat of natural disaster, one may wonder Malaysia’s economy is not yet developed.

Malaysia was ahead of the Asian Dragon economies such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore not only in term of economy but also in football competition. Now, we are behind them in almost everything. Yet, there is one thing that Malaysia beat those countries by miles – the highest illegal money outflow (money laundering) per capita!

However, voters may wonder how Pakatan Rakyat federal government can cope with such problem. It is even more puzzling on how they can reduce petrol price, reduce car tariff to reduce car price, give free education, give monetary assistance to the poor and give free water. The math is simple – reduce, if not eliminate corruption and inefficiency. Redirecting back money saved from corruption, cronyism, inefficiency and over-priced projects to good use, the people will be benefited economically.

In getting Malaysians’ trust for becoming the next federal and state government, the “3C” problems, namely “cost of living”, “corruption” and “crime” need to be addressed. For such a long tenure of current government, especially over the last 20 years, the rakyat have been worried and suffering. In contrast, over the past five years in Pakatan states, especially in Penang and Selangor, the people see hope.

Thus, there is very low risk to change. For giving more than 55 years to a faulty-beyond-repair economic model, we should be brave to try a new one. Malaysian economy and social need to be saved and the best medicine presented to us now is changing government in this 13th General Election.

Let’s change now to save Malaysia
Ubah sekarang, selamatkan Malaysia
Umohon, tomposizo no Malaysia (in Kadazan language)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

GE13: Muhibah (Multiethnic) ... Part 4

The direct translation for “multiethnic” is “berbilang kaum” but the word “muhibah” seem more relevant in conceptualizing Malaysians’ and Pakatan’s dream of “various ethnic groups living in harmony without racism”. All Malaysian cultures, languages and religions are protected and preserved as a unique Malaysian identity.

Unfortunately, the issue of racism will continue to haunt Malaysian as long as Barisan Nasional (BN) is in power. Indeed, they are the root, perpetual and symbol of racism.

This alliance was originally formed based on the partnership of three ethnic-based parties, namely UMNO, MCA and MIC. As urgent needs to gain independent, this is acceptable then. Sadly, despite over 55 years in partnership within the Alliance/BN coalition, these parties remain ethnic-based.

Actually, UMNO has a good opportunity to be a multiracial party. In the UMNO’s half-year General Meeting on March 1951, Onn Jaafar, the founder and first President of UMNO, proposed to open membership of UMNO to the non-Malay and renaming UMNO to “United MALAYA National Organization”. However, his proposal went unheeded resulting Onn Jaafar left the party on August 1951 but reminded the Malays that democratic rule should not protect the rights of only one group of its citizens.

In contemporary Malaysia, UMNO members have been voicing racist remarks. So does their newspaper, Utusan Malaysia. The BN government does nothing to racist extremist group of Perkasa. In a more recent surprise, UMNO/BN field Perkasa vice-chairperson Zulkifli Noordin for the Shah Alam parliamentary seat as well as make way for the chairperson Ibrahim Ali in Pasir Mas. MCA’s chairman openly supported this decision. Are these a BN’s endorsement to Perkasa and racism? Or, is it that Perkasa in the actual Boss of UMNO/BN?

As for MCA, striking fear of Islam into Chinese community seems to be their tradition. Perhaps, they thought racist politic is their life-jacket to survive or even prevent political transformation waves in Malaysia. In previous general elections, propaganda against PAS and Islam religion were plenty in Chinese newspapers. In this GE13, they even advertised in English medium newspaper and in colour! In those advertisements and their ceramah campaigns, Islam is portrayed as “scary”. Thus, who is insulting Islam? MCA is not only insulting Islam but Malaysians.

In MIC, it former President Samy Vellu seem to be more popular than the party, abide for the wrong publicity. Perhaps, the biggest wave the Indian community has made in Malaysian politic is through Hindu Rights Action Forces (Hindraf) during 12th General Election in March 2008. Its Hindraf rally on 25th November 2007 created the Makkal Sakhti (People Power) that trigger the political tsunami in GE12. Yet, Hindraf has split, half declaring support for BN while other half against. Hindraf is necessary and beneficially in short term but need to dismantle its ethnic-based structure and struggle if it is to be relevant in multiethnic future direction of Malaysian politics.

For Pakatan, their political struggle maturing fast. Decade ago, we could hardly see DAP and PAS grouped together. In GE12, flags of both parties were tied together, carried around town and kampung in group of Malay, Chinese and Indian supporters. This GE13, the maturity of Malaysian politics goes higher into another level. When DAP is facing risk of being denied to use its Rocket symbol, PAS and PKR offered theirs which DAP gladly accepted. This issue has become viral through social media. Thus, variety versions of the Green Ubah Birds are created, shared and being made profile pictures in Facebook as a gesture of support.

We determine our country future. Do we want to continue the colonial’s style to disunite our society according to races and ruled over us? Maybe we do prefer to enjoy nasi lemak on a same table with friends of different ethnics.

Racism or muhibah is now being put to vote.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GE13: Freedom ... Part 3

The changes that Malaysians hope to see are not too much. Our demands are merely basic conditions that any democratic country should be providing its citizen or rakyat. One of them is freedom, which is among the three core values of development. Article 10 of the Constitution of Malaysia granted the Rakyat their rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

Freedom from servitude associated with human freedom and ability to choose. Therefore, development should aim to expand the range of economics and social choices available to individuals and nations by freeing them from servitude and dependence not only in relation to other people and nation-states but also to the forces of ignorance and misery.

For more than 50 years independent in Malaysia, we “look like” having it, “sound like” having it but indeed we do not have true freedom from servitude. The current government claimed to give us everything, but in fact is controlling everything through various Acts, politics of fear and economic cronyism.

Three laws most commonly misused to curb Malaysians’ freedom are Internal Security Act (ISA), Universities and Universities Colleges Act (UUCA) and Printing Presses and Publications Act. The forth would go to Sedition Act.

ISA allowed detention without trial that should be used on cases where national security is under threat. Yet, this law is often misused to detain opposing voices that cause UMNO/BN’s political dominance under threat.

Despite being repealed, two other similar acts were enacted to replace the ISA, namely the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) and Peaceful Assembly Act. The former is a more of a direct replacement like “same wine in new bottle” style whiles the latter aimed to curb public protest following the successful of Bersih 2.0 rally.

UUCA barred students from politics, including expressing support to any political party. After being challenged in court by four Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia students, Court of Appeal ruled that this acts is unconstitutional and violated freedom of expression.

Besides that, there are still many rules and regulations to control not only students’ freedom of expression in higher learning institutions but also administrative and academic staffs. Do you think Malaysian education – institutions, teachers and lecturers – who need licence and permit to operate or teach dare to speak up?

Under the Printing Presses and Publications Act, all printing presses require a license, to be renewed every year, to operate. The Home Affairs Minister is given absolute discretion in the granting and revocation of licenses as well as restricts or ban outright publications. In addition, most of mass media are owned by the government or pro-establishment entities.

Do we still remember Mahathir’s Operasi Lalang and infamous sacking of Lord President of Federal Court, Salleh Abas? How about Lim Guan Eng being jailed under Sedition Act for defending the honor of a Malay girl? Do you vote for police brutality during peaceful rallies and death in police custody?

In Pakatan Rakyat’s election manifesto, they promise among others (i) abolish UUCA and ensure academic freedom, (ii) abolish legislation that is “anti-rakyat”, and (iii) reform judiciary, Attorney General’s Chambers, MACC and police force.

Do we want these changes to restore our true freedom? If you answer “YES”, please GO TO VOTE on this 5th May 2013. Exercise your rights. Feel brave and free to choose for change for a better Malaysia.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GE13: Change (Ubah) ... Part 2

What are we hoping for in this GE13? Hope for “change” or in Malay language, “Ubah”. What is “change (ubah)” means? There are many interesting concepts about “change”. In ancient Greek philosophy, Heraclitus claimed that change is the only constant in the world. In contrast, Parmenides believed change is impossible.

In science, Newton’s first law of motion (known as inertia) claims that “an object that is at rest will stay at rest (unchanged) unless an external force acts upon it. Meanwhile, an object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an external force acts upon it.

Applying Newton’s law into current Malaysian politics, UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN) has been stay at rest for over 50 years. They will continue to stay at rest forever unless an external force acts upon it. The longer it digs in to stay at rest – or stay at ease – the bigger force needed to move it.

Nonetheless, this “force” has finally gathered enough strength to form the Reformasi wave after Anwar Ibrahim was controversially sacked as Deputy Prime Minister. Subsequent waves of motion continued with Makkal Sakhti, Bersih and Stop-Lynas mass public rallies. All demand for change.

Besides fighting justice for Anwar, Reformasi wave demand for change of government led by Mahathir Mohammad. Makkal Sakhti hope for a positive change to Indian community, claimed to be a marginalized group under the BN ruling government.

Bersih demand free and fair election, which is a change from commonly believed dirty-and-corrupted elections practices by BN regime over these years. Stop-Lynas rally demand for government to change its decision from granting to stopping operating license to a potentially radioactive hazardous rare earth processing company.

After their moral defeat in the last 12th General Election (GE), BN has self-proclaimed to have changed through their transformation program. However, the “change” that the people demanded is not merely “transformation”. A paradigm shift is needed to combat deeply rooted corruption, cronyism, political of fear, racism, and suppression of freedom as well as manipulation of mass media. To enable this paradigm shift, a change of government is needed.

Therefore, BN propaganda asked for “stability” to protect their evil interest. Many developed countries include the United States do change their government many times with stability and progressive economy. What BN want is not stability but political dominance. In fact, Pakatan state government Selangor, Penang and Kedah offer stability after transition of power post 12th GE. Indeed, it is BN that cause instability in Perak.

Therefore, be brave to change (ubah). This 13th GE provides Malaysians the best golden opportunity to do so. Ini kali lah!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

GE13: Hope (Harapan) ... Part 1

There is a story about a teacher and a troublesome student. The student is so negative that he was very rude, paid no attention in class, anti-social and failed all his subjects. Nobody like him, include this teacher who is his counselor. She just started to teach him. 

One day, while reading over his background file, the teacher was so surprised. Few years back, this student is top student in school with excellent remarks by his previous teachers. Suddenly, since two years ago, he changed dramatically towards bad due to his family mishap. His parent both passed away at an accident and that was a great shock to him. These made the teacher felt so guilty and decided to help out this student.

Since that day, the teacher showed care and attention towards this “troublesome” student. Perhaps feel touched, the students began to see positive changes day by day. Finally, he got entry into a prestige university for medical course. Despite his achievement, he always feels gratitude to that teacher and treating her as his mother. Therefore, when he gets married, he asked the teacher to be his witness and take the place as his mother in the wedding dinner.

In his wedding day, he told the teacher, “Without you, I will not be like today. You give me hope. You have changed my life. Thank you.”

Tearfully, the teacher reply, “No. It is you that change my life and give me hope. You changed my view on people, education and many things. It is me that has to say thank you.

Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Pakatan Rakyat has shared a similar story. He was approached by some rakyat (citizens), thanking him and his Pakatan Rakyat for giving them hope. Anwar replied that it is he and his Pakatan members have to thank them for giving them hope to hang on in their struggle for change.

Perhaps, these two stories remind the rakyat, be it eligible voter or not, Pakatan is the people’s hope while the people is the hope for Pakatan. The people are denied of their choice and voices in Barisan Nasional’s (BN) hegemony in politic, economy and other aspect of life. No other party or individual they can hope for to topple BN except Anwar and his Pakatan coalition. Thus, Pakatan gives them hope for change.

On the other hand, Pakatan Rakyat needs the people’s support and votes. Without that, the Pakatan coalition would have been long wiped out by the strong-arm and dirty tactics of BN. It is the people that won them the moral victory in previous 12th General Election (GE). It is the people’s fantastic responses to their ceramah, generosity towards their donation drive and helping hands in their social media campaign that give them hope.

To sum it up in Malay language, “Pakatan harapan Rakyat” and at the same time, “Rakyat haparan Pakatan”.

[As rakyat, there is a responsibility to come out to vote. In addition, as an academician in a country where mass media are being controlled and misused by a corrupted regime, I believe we have an additional responsibility to educate our fellow rakyat to be an enlightened and knowledgeable voter. Thus, this will be the first of a series of the 13th General Election (GE13) article to all Malaysian as well as the people of this world]

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mad Dog (癫狗) video clip series (Part 1 to 4)

These four parts video clips are must-watch!!
Enlighten your knowledge in Malaysian politic, economy and social.

Part 1: 客家癫狗踢爆一个马来西亚——大马人必看!

Part 2: 踢爆阿Jib哥傻蟹预算案

Part 3: 插爆蔡CD"回教國"大謊言(大马华人必看)

Part 4: 癫狗终结篇——五月五,敢敢换政府!(大选前必看)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Please go to VOTE - 5th May 2013

Malaysia 13th General Election

It is time Malaysians go to election again.
Change or no change?
Lets the people decide in a clean and fair election.
Lets go to VOTE on 5th May 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013