Showing posts from April, 2009

Financial liberalisation or economic imperialism?

The Star: Government goes easy on financial sector PUTRAJAYA: The Government will issue up to nine new banking and insurance licences until 2011 and allow foreigners to own up to 70% equity in the country’s Islamic banks, investment banks and insurance companies. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the liberalisation package, comprising six thrusts, was aimed at enhancing Malaysia’s linkages with international economies. I read this news with mixed feelings and many questions. I am not an expert in this field so my comments will only be based on my limited understanding of the subject. Although I tend to be an optimist, but reading the announcement by Prime Minister cum Finance Minister Najib Tun Razak, I can't help but ask; is it financial liberalisation or an economic imperialism in the offing? Yes, we are facing the worst economic recession in history. Yes, we need more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). But I have strong doubt about allowing foreigners to own ma

KL International Book Fair 2009, PWTC

From Raden Saleh, Tun Perak, Abdul Samad Amjah to Mawdudi and Hamid Enayat Visiting the KL book fair has become part of my annual routine for the past 5 years or so. I've lost count how many books lying on my shelves that I haven't read or waiting to be read and yet, today I bought another five books. Well, I guess that is fairly normal for a bookworm, isn't it? Out of the five books, I am particularly interested in "Raden Saleh: Anak Belanda, Mooi Indie & Nasionalisme" ( Komunitas Bambu , 2009) by Harsja W. Bachtiar, Peter B.R. Carey and Ongkokham. It's in Bahasa Indonesia by the way. Many thanks to Gerak Budaya and SIRD for bringing in excellent Indonesian books to our shores. Browsing through the pages of Raden Saleh Syarif Bustaman, a 19th century Javanese aristocrat, scientist and one of the greatest Indonesian painter; I had a lot of questions running through my mind. I began to wonder whether there exist such a distinct intellectual within th

Penanti - Yet another by-election!

theSun: Fairus resigns as Penanti assemblyman; Another by-election imminent Opalyn Mok GEORGE TOWN (April 16, 2009) : Former Penang deputy chief minister Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin yesterday resigned as Penanti state assemblyman, confirming weeks of speculation that a by-election for the Penanti state seat was likely. In a press statement, Mohammad Fairus, 33, said he took this step to resign as a state representative to protect the interest of his party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). Bernama: PKR Wants To Find Deputy CM In Penanti KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 (Bernama) -- Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said the Penanti state by-election in Penang is just an avenue for the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to find a candidate for the post of Penang Deputy Chief Minister I. I think it's no longer a secret that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is filled with bunch of underqualified and low quality wakil rakyats. That a by-election is needed just for the sake of getting

Proton Exora!

Proton unveils its first MPV KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd unveiled its first multipurpose vehicle (MPV), the Exora, to the public in a gala event here Wednesday night. Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the 1.6-litre Exora has already received orders of 2,500 units, even before its public unveiling. The seven-seater -- Proton’s most important model for the year -- also marks the company’s entry into the MPV market, which is growing domestically and regionally. The Exora is a result of an investment of RM450mil and 18 months of intense in-house research and development, the company said. It is powered by a 1.6-litre CamPro CPS engine with 125bhp and torque of 150Nm, and is available in a four-speed automatic version, in trim levels of Mid-Line and Hi-Line. The Mid-Line Exora costs RM69,998 and the Hi-Line variant, RM75,998 for the metallic colours. Click here and here for a full review of Proton Exora by Anthony Lim and Paul Tan. Image source: star-

The Edge: Tri-election post-mortem

Today, I found out that one of my blog traffic came from The Edge . Curiously enough, I clicked on the link, and saw a commentary of the so-called post mortem of the recent tri-election, containing blog posts from around the local blogosphere. So, thanks to The Edge journalist, Lam Jian Wyn for quoting and mentioning this humble blog in your article; ' Tri-election post-mortem '. Written by Lam Jian Wyn Wednesday, 08 April 2009 15:30 The tri-election fever is gone, sort of. In the wake of the results – 2 to Pakatan, 1 to Barisan – are a slew of blogposts. While some bloggers were wasted from the election frenzy, the blogosphere’s pundits wasted no time in dissecting the results. BN’s defeat in the peninsula was clearly met by some with disbelief. A Voice was disappointed with the component parties of BN. “Much to my chagrin, the Chinese vote did not sway for BN. Did MCA or Gerakan failed to deliver for BN? Does it indicate MCA and Gerakan as being no more relevant to th

Mahathir's advise to son

NST - Saturday, 11 April 2009 "Just because you're in the cabinet doesn't mean I'm going to keep quite, you know...?" Tun Dr. M to son, Mukhriz. Read between the lines. Hehe. Picture above is the latest cartoon by Lat in today's NST. Lat has never failed to disappoint me with his political cartoons long since I was in primary school. If there is one reason why I still read the NST, it must be because of Lat's cartoons, besides Johan Jaafar and Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Zaini Said's weekly column. Other than that, NST has nothing much great to offer.

Utusan - political headline of the day

Utusan Malaysia: BN 1, PAS 1, PKR 1 According to the news headline above, it seems that BN didn't lose after all! :P Let's be fair to Utusan. Being a pro-establishment paper, definitely some kind of a political spin were to be expected, but who would've thought such a thing? I must commend those people in Utusan for putting up such a creative headline. No, seriously I mean it. Hehe.

The beginning of a new democratic revolution?

And so the results were out. Pakatan Rakyat won 2-1 (4-1, if you count in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu). To me, the win in Batang Ai has no significance to UMNO, simply because UMNO, as the backbone of Barisan Nasional does not exist in Sarawak. The real battle that UMNO lost was Bukit Gantang. The results of Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau have also reaffirmed that the political landscape in peninsular Malaysia remains much the same since March 8 last year. And perhaps, to some extent it is a strong signal to Najib's premiership or the approval of Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Menteri Besar of Perak; whichever way one prefers to see it. One thing is for certain, the impact of the great political Tsunami of March 8 is still around. Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau remain a strong testament of the rejection of UMNO and Barisan Nasional as a whole. A quick analyze on the tri-election results of the infamous two Bukits and one Batang would show a deep se

Tri-Election and the Blogosphere

If the popularity trend in blogs has any bearing on the tri-election results in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai, then I believe Pakatan Rakyat stands to win all three convincingly. But unfortunately, I doubt that is the case here, particularly in Batang Ai where the Internet penetration there is perhaps only around 1% or less. At the very least, the results below could provide some indication where the blogging community is heading. In the new free media of the Internet, should Barisan Nasional and its component party leaders/members fail to recognize the growing and powerful impact of blogs, then it is likely to spell doom for the party. Setting up a blog is one thing, but more importantly is to have a good quality blog content. No point in having a blog if it's not frequently updated or merely posting news reports as blog posts. Anyway, if the three by-elections in Perak, Kedah and Sarawak were to be judged by "popularity in blogs", this is the results.

Malaysian Broadband Ahoy!

Argh, what a bloody slow Internet connection! I wouldn't be surprise if TM Streamyx is having issues again, but Izzi broadband is currently slow too. I wonder what is going on. Luckily my other alternative mobile Internet access - DiGi Unlimited Data Access - is doing fine. Maybe this is a sign that I should try to cut down my time spent on the Net. :-)

Malaysia in Transition

As someone who belongs to the "Generation M" group - youths who grew up and spent their lives knowing only one Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad - this is what I wrote in this blog roughly six years ago; Sebak rasanya apabila sekali lagi menonton klip video pengumuman mengejut tentang persaraan semua jawatan dalam kerajaan dan parti, termasuklah jawatan Perdana Menteri oleh Dr. Mahathir ketika Perhimpunan Agung UMNO, Jun tahun lalu melalui sebuah rancangan 30 minit di Channel 9 . Dalam sedar tak sedar, masanya telah tiba. Masih semacam samar-samar lagi, masih semacam sukar hendak menerima kenyataan, atau mungkin memakan sedikit masa lagi untuk menerima kenyataan bahawa Dr. Mahathir bukan lagi Perdana Menteri Malaysia. Apa pun syabas kerana peralihan kuasa di negara kita berlangsung dengan penuh lancar, tiada kekecohan timbul. Back then, a website, was specially created to dedicate our respect and love to the Father of Modern Malaysia. I wonder whether

UMNO and a few good men

My favorite magazine, Off the Edge, featured an interview with Muar MP and newly elected UMNO Youth deputy, Razali Ibrahim in their latest issue. I agree with the heading on the mag. Dato' Razali, is indeed one of the few good men in Pemuda, or UMNO in general. I also believe he is one of the future leaders to watch. I hope that Najib will include him in his new cabinet. It doesn't matter if previosly no Naib Ketua Pemuda was appointed to cabinet. What is more important is getting clean and capable leaders. Najib should break away from old traditions if he's really interested in reforms. Old leaders of the Syed Hamid Albar generation should be left out. It's just sad to know that Shahrir Samad has resigned. I believe in the eyes of the public, Shahrir is no doubt one of the best minister in Pak Lah's cabinet. UMNO, at this point of time, is in dire need of clean, intelligent, capable, moderate and incorruptible leaders. Corrupt leaders like Khir Toyo, though