Friday, October 31, 2008

Zaid Ibrahim's speech at the LawAsia 2008 conference

The 'Ketuanan Melayu' model has failed, declared former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim in an incisive speech at the LawAsia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.

"It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country," said Zaid, who criticised the race-based policy despite being a member of the ruling Umno party which was set up to safeguard Malay interests.

The former minister called on the BN government to abandon its 'reworked' concept of the social contract and embrace a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities. "It is time for us all to practise a more transparent and egalitarian form of democracy and to recognise and respect the rights and dignity of all the citizens of this country."

"We are a deeply divided nation, adrift for our having abandoned democratic traditions and the rule of law in favour of a political ideology that serves no one save those who rule."

"It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness. When a certain Chinese lady was appointed head of a state development corporation, having served in that corporation for 33 years, there were protests from Malay groups because she is Chinese," he said referring to the controversy involving the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting head of the Selangor Development Cooperation (PKNS).

"While I applaud the prime minister for calling upon the Indian community to reject extremism, should not a similar call be made on the Malay community and (Malay daily) Utusan Malaysia?

"They (the Malays) are not under seige. The institutions of government are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly."

The full speech can be downloaded in pdf format here

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One Brave Malaysian

The NST today reported that Shahfrulnizam Abdul Malek was charged in Klang Sessions Court for robbing a Nigerian....yes a Nigerian of USD 2,000 at KLIA airport on October 22nd.

All I can say is that Shahfrulnizam is one brave and courageous man to pick on a Nigerian.



KLANG: A 31-year-old unemployed man was charged yesterday with robbing a Nigerian businessman last week.
Shahfrulnizam Abdul Malek claimed trial to committing the offence against Maxwell Nnamdi Nwanozie, 29, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 1.45pm on Oct 22.He allegedly robbed Maxwell of US$2,000 (RM7,104). Three others are still at large.Sessions court judge Aslam Zainuddin granted him RM12,000 bail in one surety and fixed Nov 28 for mention.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Govt to make U-turn on pledge of pegging petrol price to global market price?

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad yesterday began testing the ground sentiment on the plan to fix a minimum price for petrol, even if the global oil price continues to plummet. His idea is to fix the price at a minimum of RM 1.92 and maximum of RM 2.70.

This is despite their earlier pledge in August to strictly follow market price with 0.30 cents subsidy per litre.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Politics of PKNS

Six staff bodies of state agency Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) have objected to the appointment of a senior official as acting general manager on grounds that she is Chinese.

Malaysiakini reports that Low Siew Moi was set to retire as PKNS’ deputy corporate affairs and accounting manager this month.

However, Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim (right) recently appointed her as acting GM to replace outgoing general manager Harun Salim.Low, 57, a trained accountant, has served PKNS for 35 years with her last post being deputy GM for corporate development.In their joint memorandum dated Oct 25 to Khalid, the staff associations said:

“PKNS was established for Malays and to fulfill the Malay agenda. Because of this, the organisation needs to be led by a Malay.”

“However, leading PKNS would need certain leadership criteria, among them, rapport with all staff and associations and ability to communicate with different levels of personnel.”

The memorandum stated that, as PKNS conducts activities that are spiritual in nature, its leader must understand and practice Islamic values. “In other words, the one who will become the general manager will be the ‘imam’ for all the staff,” the signatories said.

Harris Ibrahim pops the question if Pakatan Rakyat is perpetuating raced based politics and governance.

Meanwhile PAS has volunteered to find a more "suitable" candidate .