Monday, February 8, 2016


Azalina Othman Said
(The Star) – PKR’s Rafizi Ramli’s criticism of the Attorney-General’s Chambers over a proposal to impose stiffer penalties for leaking official secrets shows that he is desperate for support, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (pic).
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said this was because the Pandan MP is already mired in a court case involving the leaking of confidential information under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia).
She said Rafizi has no immunity or privileges in the context of law, adding that his criticism against the Attorney-General only opened a can of worms.
“This shows that he is scared and desperate so much so that he wants to launch his own campaign against on social media,” she said in a statement, Monday.
Azalina also accused Rafizi of deliberately describing the move as oppressive to media freedom, just to win support of media practitioners.
“As a lawmaker, he could just debate this matter if it’s brought to Parliament,” she said.
On Saturday, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali said he was considering the move as there were increasing cases of official secrets being leaked.
He said the Chambers was looking into amending the Official Secrets Act 1972 to punish those who leak official secrets, including civil servants, the public and media practitioners who refused to disclose their sources.
He said the punishment includes the possibility of life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan.
Supporting this, Azalina said Rafizi should be punished severely for his tendencies to obtain confidential information and leak it to the public.
“Rafizi has always been seen as seeking political publicity by leaking official secrets to mislead the public.
“He even told Parliament that he had received leaked information on Government assets purchases.
“It is only appropriate for him to be investigated for this and action be taken against him,” she said.
Rafizi had reportedly described Apandi’s proposal as an attempt to cover up any future exposes’ on wrongdoing or corruption.
In August 2012, the PKR vice-president was charged with revealing four Public Bank customer profile documents to unauthorised individuals under Bafia.

Mukhriz’s daughter pays tribute to the ‘great man’ in her life

Meera Alyanna Mukhriz says she's sad to see the "good guys lose" but is sure Allah has a plan for them all.
Meera Alyanna
PETALING JAYA: Taking a philosophical view of the recent turmoil in Kedah that saw her father Mukhriz Mahathir resign as menteri besar, Meera Alyanna took to Facebook to pay tribute to the “great man” in her life.
Describing her father as a man of “integrity, perseverance and strong will”, Meera said she was sure Allah had a plan for them all.
“It’s upsetting to see the good guys lose but as someone once said to me, Allah SWT has a plan for us all,” she said of the political crisis that has since been resolved with Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah appointed as the new menteri besar.
“I know that you are a great man,” she said of her father, adding that although she did not know much about politics, she knew being menteri besar had been a “great opportunity and experience” for him and one which he “honoured greatly.”
“You were dedicated and you poured your heart and soul into your job,” she said, remarking how this invariably meant she only had a few hours a week to spend with him.
Writing about her father’s deep love for the state of Kedah, she related how Mukhriz would always encourage her to “check out local Kedahan artists and new locally made clothes.”
Meera also commented on her father’s love for football and how he was always excited about each match the state team played.
“So I would like to take this opportunity to say, you did the best you could’ve and I’m so very proud to be raised by you (and mummy)!
“And to Kedah, even though I didn’t get to say my official goodbyes, thank you so much for welcoming us and thank you for being so wonderful!”


Azrul Mohd Khalib
Azrul Mohd Khalib, Malay Mail Online
Two weeks ago, educationist Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim of the Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) came under furious criticism and mockery for her comments related to the decrease in the number of government scholarships as announced under the revised 2016 Budget. 
She urged parents not to rely on or expect public funds to pay for their children’s tertiary education, that they had to begin investing in their child’s future by saving their own money, that the government doesn’t really owe them anything when it comes to providing higher education financial support. 
Noor Azimah also emphasised that such financial assistance must cease to be seen as an opportunity by those who are better off to delegate responsibility of paying for their kids’ education to the government and the public purse. That scholarships cannot be seen as a right but a privilege.
Hard truths and blunt common sense. She is right in all these points. 
It is long overdue that we ensure that whatever higher education public financial support that is available actually goes towards those most deserving and in need, and not to those who are privileged through ethnicity and wealth. 
This recent development from the revised 2016 Budget, however frustrating and disheartening for many, should be taken as an opportunity to improve the effectiveness and coverage of these programmes. 
Let’s face it. Many of us, especially those who are Malay, have indoctrinated our kids with the notion that all they have to do is study hard, score that bucketful of As in the major exams and a government scholarship will somehow materialise like leprechaun gold at the end of the rainbow. It has created an expectation and a sense of entitlement.
But the reality is that the government doesn’t need to reward you for doing your best and excelling in your examinations. Why should it? 
What the government needs to do is keep its eye on the ball in addressing the socio-economic gap between those of the 2.7 million households who constitute the bottom 40 per cent of Malaysian society.
Financial assistance for tertiary education delivered through targeted bursaries and scholarships has a multiplier effect that impacts not only the upward social mobility of the individual students but also families and entire communities. It is a worthwhile investment, if it is done properly based on merit and in a sustainable manner.
As it is, the playing field to get these scholarships and bursaries is horribly uneven. 
Consider the fact that the grades of a student in rural Kodiang, Kedah are in direct competition with those of a student from a well-off family in a good school in Sri Hartamas or Bukit Jelutong. 
A system that places too much emphasis on straight As rather than evaluating potential and socio-economic background will inevitably be skewed towards the latter student as her or his family would be able to afford the additional classes and tutorials allowing them to achieve those necessary As. The Kodiang student sitting for the same exam would have a much tougher time with fewer resources. The system as it is today also benefits those whose families are well-connected giving them a shot at those same scholarships.
Giving a bursary or a scholarship to a student from a wealthy family takes away one less possibility for those from lower income families. The latter would gain the most from an opportunity of a tertiary education which wouldn’t be possible without the assistance. My father, the son of a farmer who planted padi and tapped rubber, was one such beneficiary and wouldn’t have been able to go to university without a study grant. 
The sad reality is that many students from low-income and rural backgrounds are being left behind and often are unable to even apply for a government scholarship, much less actually get one. This should not happen. 
A bursary by definition is a monetary award made by an institution to individuals or groups of people who are deserving but cannot afford to pay full tuition fees.
Yet every year almost without fail, we hear of deserving students from humble and disadvantaged backgrounds who have, despite odds and difficult circumstances, excelled in their studies and done well in extra curricula activities yet somehow unable to get government financial assistance. Their families are sometimes forced to take out difficult loans and mortgages to realise the dream of at least, one child being able to go to university. For some, unfortunately their dream ends there. If you want to talk about depriving students of opportunities for an education, let’s talk about that.
Another reason why this is happening is racial preference.
Few of my non-Malay friends grew up with the expectation that they would have a real opportunity to get a government scholarship. They just focused on applying for study grants and loans from private foundations and institutions.
Let’s admit that despite being funded by Malaysian taxpayers of all kinds of ethnicities, religions and creed, a racial quota or bias continues to be in operation which favours the Malay majority, seemingly irrespective of their individual socioe-conomic backgrounds. That’s how students from wealthy families living in places such as Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Damansara Heights, Mont Kiara and Bukit Jelutong are able to somehow get their local or overseas education funded by the Malaysian taxpayer. This must cease.
It is also an unfortunate reality that admissions to many of our public universities is also, despite all efforts, continuously overshadowed by race and ethnicity. 
A restriction of government bursaries and scholarships to local public universities such as what was announced in the revised budget could cause marginalisation of students if university admissions are influenced along racial lines.
What needs to be taken into consideration instead are academic merit, socio-economic background and most importantly, the potential of the student. Grading in exams is based on past performance, but admissions into university should be based on potential, on how a student may thrive with this sort of opportunity.  
Indefinite continuation of racial quotas or preferences with no end in sight understandably and rightfully causes resentment, are actually no longer needed and must be confined to the dustbin of history if we are to be a progressive and developed society. 
The modality of the higher education financial aid provided using public funds must also be revised and evaluated for its effectiveness to ensure that it is sustainable and is able to continue to provide assistance to those most deserving in the long run. After all, money is not an infinite resource.
For those who are advocating free public university education, let me say right now that there is no such thing. Higher education is costly to run and maintain. To study an undergraduate degree in Malaysia, costs an average of around RM17,000 a year in tuition fees. It costs less to do so in a public university. Nevertheless, somebody will need to foot the bill for that education, even if the student does not. And that person is the taxpayer.  
Some of the countries which have introduced free or very low tuition fees have some of the highest income tax burdens compared to that of Malaysia. Consider Germany, which recently declared all universities to now be tuition free. Their income tax is 49.3 per cent of earnings. Finland is 43.9 per cent. Sweden is 42.5 per cent. Denmark is 38.1 per cent. Until Malaysians are willing to pay that much in income tax, free university education is an unrealistic proposition. 
Let’s face it. We can’t give every student who qualifies for admission into university, a full ride scholarship covering not only tuition and university fees, but also books, accommodation, supplies, and living expenses. We just can’t afford it and honestly speaking, I don’t think we should as it would continue the culture of entitlement and dependency which has bedevilled a large segment of our society for too long.  
But what we can do is to support awarding scholarships and bursaries to those most deserving. And obviously, it cannot be for everyone. After all, it is a privilege not a right.
By all means, let’s work towards providing high quality public university education that is tuition free or have low fees like what is available in some of the European countries. But let’s be realistic about it.  Let’s also get rid of the perception that admission into these universities are tainted by racial preference, and instead emphasise on what it really should be: academic merit and potential.

Bogus awards – Perak leaves it to cops to probe

The Perak government has left it fully to police to investigate the conferment of bogus 'state' awards and medals by unauthorised parties.
Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir is confident that the authority could investigate and solve the issue.
"We let police investigate the matter," he told reporters after visiting the family of Lin Hon Sing in Jelapang in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration today.
Zambry repeated his call for individuals who had received bogus awards with
the titles of 'Datuk' and 'Datuk Seri' from unauthorised parties to not use the titles.
Last Monday, Perak acting police chief, Hasnan Hassan in a statement said police were tracking down individuals who received awards or medals from parties not authorised by the state government to assist in the investigation.
Hasnan also urged the persons duped by the conferment of the bogus awards to lodge a police report. - Bernama

‘MCMC warning’ satire hits home when mistaken as real

A satirical poster lampooning internet censorship may have been inadvertently mistaken for the real deal, prompting the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to deny it issued the advisory.
When contacted MCMC strategic communications director Sheikh Raffie Abd Rahman said it did not warn against spreading “shameful images of the country’s leaders”.
“This one is not from MCMC. Someone is trying to be sarcastic. MCMC will not issue such advisories,” said Sheikh Raffie to Malaysiakini.
An image of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in clown face in the background of the fake advisory should have been a red flag.
Indeed, Sheikh Raffie said MCMC does not issue advisories in such a manner.
"We wouldn't issue such instructions. We will continue to take the cases as they come in and continue to work with the police," he said.
The man behind the clown faces
The advisory started to make rounds after it was first uploaded online by activist artist Fahmi Redza on his Facebook and Twitter accounts today.
Fahmi was recently told he is under police watch for uploading an earlier image of Najib in clown face, as part of an anti-Sedition Act campaign.
This prompted other graphic artists to upload their versions of Najib in clown face, in solidarity with Fahmi.

AccTwitter @kuasasiswa, acc anda dibwh pengawasan PDRM.Gunakan dgn berhemah&berlandaskan undang2.@KBAB51 @PDRMsia
The fake advisory today featured the same clown-faced Najib, with the MCMC logo, and urged the public to stop spreading shameful images images of the country’s leaders.
“The public is warned to stop spreading edited pictures of the country’s leaders in the form of clowns like the picture above on social media including through the WhatsApp phone application.
“It is an offence to share or spread such contents as it is against the laws especially Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. If convicted, offenders will be fined a maximum fine of RM50,000 and/or a year’s imprisonment,” read the advisory.
Umno man falls for it
The fake advisory also found it on the Facebook page of Umno man Syed Rosli Jamalullail, who warned his Facebook followers to be careful or risk landing in jail.
This prompted consternation among his followers, some of whom were upset with MCMC for just issuing warnings without action or recirculating the clown face caricature along with the “advisory”.
Ironically, Syed Rosli was part of the pro-BN group Gerakan Merah’s entourage, when the group’s leader Mohd Ali Baharom lodged a police report over same caricature for allegedly inspiring hatred against Najib.
A check on MCMC’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, however, did not find the advisory in question.
When contacted, Fahmi confirmed that he designed the satirical poster.
“I designed it as a piece of political satire and parody to highlight the absurdity behind the warning issued by the government against spreading the clown pictures, which goes against Internet freedom,” he said.
MCMC's Sheikh Raffie said that although the advisory was fake, it was still an offence to spread such images.
“Still, they shouldn't be doing this. Issuing false advisories is also an offence,” he said, citing Section 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act. -Mkini

IGP tells those unhappy with Dr M to lodge reports

Police will only probe former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad 's blog postings if there are police reports lodged against it.
"In some cases we can investigate without a report but in this case we need reports.
"Whoever is not happy (with Mahathir's blog posts) can lodge a report. We will investigate to see if the the law has been broken," Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said today.
Umno information chief Annuar Musa had recently said that Mahathir's blog post on Feb 3 was seditious.
Annuar, however, did not specify which parts of the post titled 'AG to AG' was seditious.
In the post, Mahathir expressed doubt that Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali would cooperate with his Swiss counterpart on the European country's probe into 1MDB.
Mahathir's latest blog posting on Feb 5, meanwhile, repeated his calls for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to quit and that his scandals had shamed the country.
Mahathir also slammed Apandi for allegedly protecting Najib.
Apandi had two weeks ago cleared the prime minister of any wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International cases.
Khalid was speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur after attending a joint seminar between the police and Pertubuhan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah Malaysis (Aswaja).
The seminar was held to train Aswaja members to enable them to educate the public on the dangers of Islamic State ideologies. -Mkini

The Arrogance of Power.

Reprise : First posted on Monday, 7 September 2009, at 2:01 pm in Lim Kit Siang's blog.

The Arrogance of Power

By Hussein Hamid

When you are in power for over fifty years, every now and then there is that temptation to bend the rules and sometimes even the truth to suit the political needs of the moment. You can be forgiven if this inclination does come up once in a blue moon – though the colour of the moon can be said to be blue every month if you are powerful enough to want it to be so. So here lies the problem. When this inclination becomes the norm where does that put good governance?

Almost daily now we are subject to the painful and most uncomfortable sensation of having our leaders take us for fools. They boldly stand in front of us through the medium of their Television Stations, their Media or even at times in person and proceed to tell us what they want us to know – not what we should know. Is there nobody amongst them that can tell them that what they are doing is like peeing into the wind?

Have the educated, intelligent and rational generation of Malays all left UMNO leaving our nation without some of its best people in government even when we need them most? Najib is in a world of his own. He lacks the ability to make sense of what is happening around the country. Surviving day to day is hard enough for him. UMNO has sworn blood oaths that they will defend themselves from PAS, from DAP from Keadilan from everybody – no matter what. In desperation they have ventured into territory where they violate all democratic conventions almost on a daily basis. When we question the legality of their actions their answer is that ‘might is right’.

When the court initially finds in favor of the opposition as in Perak – they appeal its decision confident that the Judiciary is ultimately theirs to instruct and manage. When a death in custody happens the usual suspects are paraded. A commission, an inquiry, no stones unturned….and then slowly but surely nothing will come of it. They play the Judiciary as if it was their own – and why not when the Chief Justice is indeed their own. Whenever a situation arise that will give problems to them they no longer even have the decency to pay lip service to placate the Rakyat – now days it is deny, deny deny.

Deny there was ever any intention to humilate the Hindus in the cow-head incident. Deny that there was any reason to not renew the IGP again and again. Deny that there was anything wrong in the caning sentence of Kartika but nevertheless no less a person then the Prime Minister himself has asked her to appeal for a reduction in her sentence.

Arrest 16 people for carrying yellow candles and red and white roses who were seeking freedom of religion in this country and yet deny that Muslims stepping on the sacred head of a cow is doing anything to incite another race. They invoke the name of ALLAH at their whims and fancies and see no sin in promoting the very sins that Islam frowns upon. For surely corruption and greed is also corruption and greed whether in Mecca or Malaysia? That all this has become the norm for UMNO frightens me. This is the arrogance of power that I am talking about. Perhaps the most outrageous example of this arrogance is their inability to understand that there are another points of view to be considered other then their own. To them any deviations from their point of view is a conspiracy to undermine their ability to hold on to power – no matter what. I try to do this. By my writing if I can turn one person against UMNO – just one – then we are one person ahead towards our ‘brand new beginning’. Do as I do. Go talk to one person and bring him or her into our fold – then one by one we will slowly but surely build up our strength and strike down UMNO and Barisan. 

Go do it now!


#2 by Loh on Monday, 7 September 2009 - 3:39 pm 
The arrogance of power is shown by TDM telling Malays that NEP has achieved its objectives, but he still wanted NEP continued though it has gone on 19 years beyond the termination date, of a original twenty-year programme.

Just before TDM stepped down in 2003 he said that he failed to change Malays’ mindset not to rely on crutches, and now he criticises Malays for ditching the crutches calling for an end to NEP. If TDM meant what he said before he stepped down, he should encourage those Malays who think that enough is enough. Obviously he pretended to honour the promise made by Tun Razak and blamed the Malays for being crutch-dependent. Certainly, being not classified as Malay before 1957 constitution was in force, he was not able to feel the desire of the late Tun Ismail regarding preserving the pride of the Malays. Malays wanted their efforts recognised for the achievement they attained. That is not possible if NEP or even Article 153 remains. Zaid Ibrahim was blamed for being ungrateful to NEP when he was honest with his thought.

The Malays are as smart as any other races in the world. Under real meritocracy for university admission, like the pre-NEP days, the successful Malays such as Zaid Ibrahim have no problems getting into universities. The poorer students are safe-candidates for study-loans which the government has no problem in setting up a revolving fund to finance them. The perverted meritocracy implemented through NEP only ushered into institutions for tertiary education those not suitable for entry in the first place, and having got into the institutions beyond their mental capacity, they ended up as unemployable graduates, through obviously scaled-down passing marks. In the process the institutions that conferred degrees to the substandard-graduates have soiled their reputation. The degrees awarded as an indicator fail to guarantee that the holders have attained the required standards. This causes other graduates, Malays included, to have their scrolls become a doubtful paper. Consequently, Malays graduates passing out from local universities are not readily accepted based on the papers they possess. Should the majority among the Malays suffer the crisis of confidence so that the minority of those who had not the aptitude for tertiary education occupied the places when those who are able to make use of them are denied opportunities for themselves, and for the nation to upgrade their human resources?

A Chinese who was adopted by Malay and accepted as Malay enjoyed the special favour which included government sponsored education abroad wrote to chedet.com saying that his four children who have completed tertiary education have remained abroad because Malaysia has become a low income equivalent of Myanmar. Other Malays, true or NEW have the same story to tell, no doubt. NEP is the main reasons why we have become a low income country. The emigration of two million Malaysians over the last four decades deprives the country of the critical mass of human resources that could make this a high income country. That resources have been squandered because the cabinets members and their families wanted to ensure continued hold to power but were lazy to work on the policies which would return them to power without having to resort to division of the population by race, and ruled through favouritism. Since that divide-and-rule formula seems to be infallible for those in power continue to remain in office while the nation slipping to the level of Myanmar or Zimbabwe, they have cultivated a sense of arrogance. Malaysia has to be recognised as the most capable government in the commonwealth which have turned neutral government agencies into UMNO branches. Party members and supporters of UMNO are the backbone of the government agencies. Government leaders are above the law, even though the royalties have to answer for their private actions in special court. We cannot blame them for being arrogance, they have made it.

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