Posts Tagged ‘Najib Tun Razak’

ETP for you and me

October 25th, 2010
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So, today we saw PM Najib launching the Economic Transformation Programme (not related to Transformers) or ETP roadmap. ETP contains series of projects or plans that seek to transform our economy to achieve high-income nation within the next 10 years.

ETP’s expected investment is RM1.3 trillion (that’s 1 thousand billion or 1 million millions or 1 with 12 digits behind it, like this -> 1,300,000,000,000)  or US444 billion (number sounds like bad omen!) with government spending 8%, GLCs another 32% (did I hear anyone mention bailout?) and the balance 60% coming from private sector both local and foreign. But you may be told that government is contributing 8% and another 92% coming from private sector, depending on how a GLC is categorised.

The ETP has 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) and is expected to raise the country’s Gross National Income to RM1.7tril (triple it from present value of Rm666 billion) and generate 3.3 million jobs by 2020 (mostly middle income or high income salary bracket).  This would increase the GNI per capita from RM23,700 to at least RM48,000, in line with the World Bank’s high-income benchmark.

So, basically you expect to spend RM1.37 trillion and get a (immediate?) return of RM1.7 trillion (a profit of 19.4%) plus an increase in income of the rakyat (not sure if the rakyat here is local or imported ones like Pakistanis or Turkish people!).

The NKEAs are:

  • Oil, gas and energy;
  • Palm oil;
  • Financial services;
  • Tourism;
  • Business services;
  • Electrical and electronics;
  • Wholesale and retail;
  • Education;
  • Healthcare;
  • Communications content and infrastructure;
  • Agriculture; and
  • Greater Kuala Lumpur.

There’s some positive signs with some of the projects agreements/MOUs being inked. The Star reported nine agreements worth RM30 billion were signed. Among them:

  1. LFoundry from Germany to relocate and invest in five wafer fabrication plants in Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah over the next five years. Initial investment is valued at RM214 million while the total estimated investment is RM1.9 billion
  2. A 208-room hotel and 160-unit residence, to be managed by St Regis, an international six-star hospitality brand, will be built on a 2.2-acre site in KL Sentral. This RM1.2 billion investment will have a total development area of 1.4 million square feet.
  3. Mydin’s RM1bil investment to open 14 new outlets over next 3 years and assisting small sundry shops via the Tukar project,
  4. Premium Renewable Energy will build five bio-oil plants over the next five years. The first plant costing RM124 million will be located in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
  5. Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala and state-owned development company 1MDB will develop the RM26 billion KL International Financial District.
  6. Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd’s 25-year concession to WCT Bhd to build RM486mil integrated. Complex at KLIA2. The complex will comprise a transportation hub for taxis and buses, one block of retail mall and car parks.
  7. Renowned oilfield services player Schlumberger’s recently opened Eastern Hemisphere Global Financial Services Hub in Bandar Utama, is part of Greater KL/Klang Valley Initiative to attract 100 new multinational corporations to relocate their operations in Kuala Lumpur by 2020
  8. The Higher Education Ministry has selected Asia e-University as the gateway university for international education for distance and online learning. It is expected to generate RM100mil.
  9. Johor Premium Outlets will be located in Genting Indahpura, Johor, a mixed development township which will feature, among others; a hotel, international water theme park and retail outlets. This will attract more tourists to visit Johor, especially from Singapore. The construction and investment cost undertaken by Genting is RM150 million.

Seven of the projects are expected to start by year end, costing RM115 billion (some sources report RM118 billion).

131 of the projects are classified as EPP (Entry Point Projects) which is going to cost RM676 billion. Don’t ask me which entry point or if its related to human anatomy or any ongoing court cases. Just read and pretend to understand. Besides EPPs, there’s also BOs (nope not refering to any body part or condition!) which means Business Opportunities (60 of them).

Among the interesting EPPs:

  • Creating a world-class health metropolis based at Universiti Malaya (UM) to serve as a critical part of the Asean healthcare ecosystem  requiring an estimated investment of RM1.1 billion. It will comprise patient services, research and healthcare education located at a large campus, benchmarking global examples like Harvard University’s Longwood Medical Area and Stanford University’s Bio-X Centre. Private sector tenants will fund 90 per cent of the investment while 10 per cent will come from the Economic Planning Unit’s (EPU) facilitation fund. The health metropolis targets to generate an incremental gross national income (GNI) of RM986 million and 4,400 jobs by 2020. As part of the Asean healthcare ecosystem, the Greater KL Region is to focus on clinical services, pharmacology, education, research and health travel; the Northern Region (NCER) in Malaysia will focus on biomedical technology, education and research; the East Coast Region in Malaysia will focus on clinical services and education; the Southern Region in Malaysia and Singapore will focus on clinical services, education, research and health travel; and Thailand’s capital Bangkok will focus on clinical services and health travel.
  • Mandate private health insurance for foreign workers that will cost employers an additional RM3 every month per foreign worker. A one-off cost of RM5 million will be borne by the government to invest into system integration and to provide computer terminals in government hospitals to process insurance for foreign workers. This EPP is estimated to generate a GNI of RM171 million by 2020. The worker’s compensation regulation for foreign workers will be tabled for amendment by 2011, where the worker’s compensation insurance will cover occupational-related diseases and accidents that is to be paid by the employer, whereas medical insurance for non-occupational diseases and injuries will be paid by the foreign worker. The country’s current compensation payouts for foreign workers — which number at over three million people — are significantly lower than those given by Thailand and Singapore, which has caused a rise in foreign workers’ unpaid hospital bills and posed an increasing burden of healthcare costs on Malaysians. Foreign workers left RM64 million of unpaid healthcare bills in the past five years, of which 19 per cent were from public hospitals, according to the ETP document. The Ministry of Home Affairs will also consider enforcing compulsory insurance as part of the work permit applications for foreign workers, where regulatory amendments are set to be tabled by the end of next year.
  • Spend RM550 million for tourism marketing to achieve the targeted 36 million tourist arrivals by 2020.
  • Government will begin setting a minimum rate for four and five-star hotels from 2013 on the belief that high quality hotels and services were essential in attracting more tourists.
  • Government will also develop “Makan Bazaars” — food outlets that combine street hawkers and established food outlets, which will have seating capacities of 3,500 people. A total of 10 such “Makan Bazaars” will be built within the next 10 years at an expected cost of RM270 million. Wesria Food Sdn Bhd has been earmarked to manage the majority of the outlets.
  • “Premium Outlets”, which will offer heavily discounted luxury items, will also be built in Iskandar, Sepang and Penang to support the country’s aspiration of becoming a top shopping destination. These are estimated to cost RM355 million.
  • The government will also develop the Straits Riviera cruise playground to capture the global cruise market in this region. The project will consist of five purpose-built integrated cruise terminals in Penang, Sepang, Malacca, Tanjung Pelepas and Kota Kinabalu, which will be complemented by nine secondary ports. The Riviera is modelled after the French Riviera cruise and will take an estimated RM2.7 billion.
  • Dedicated entertainment zones will be established to stimulate revenue growth from RM600 million to RM1.8 billion by 2020. Greater Kuala Lumpur/ Klang Valley, Genting Highlands, Penang, Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu have been identified as potential locations. At least be 10 new nightclubs are expected to be operational in the entertainment zones by 2014.
  • A virtual mall will also be launched in 2012 at the cost of RM1.3 billion and is focused on helping local small and medium-sized retailers distribute their products online.
  • The online internet retail market in Malaysia is expected to be worth RM12 billion in 2020 and plans for a universal broadband access policy will be put in place to spur the industry’s growth. To ensure broadband for all, the government will gazette landed and rooftop sites for wireless infrastructure by 2011 and all amend the Uniform Building Laws to include broadband as an essential service by the end of 2010.
  • Abroad, 1 Malaysia Malls will be built to expand the market for home-grown retail brands, food and beverages and promote Malaysian expertise in mall management. The project will see the development of more than 20 such shopping malls at selected locations in Vietnam and China.
  • Liberalise the pension industry by setting up a new Private Pension Fund (PPF) and encouraging the growth of wealth management in the country. The government believes that a private pension industry is important because more than two million working adults were not yet covered under the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).  A joint-agency task force compromising the Ministry of Finance, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Securities Commission and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) has been established to review the current pension system and adopt a structure similar to the World Bank’s multi-pillar pension system framework. According to the ETP, the PPF will supplement the existing public pension schemes and also offered to non-EPF and the self-employed. Participation in the PPF will be voluntary. Tax incentives will be introduced within the next 12 months which will include tax exemption on private pension disbursements, additional tax relief for contributions to PPFs and tax deductibility for employer contribution to PPFs. The government also plans to review the current retirement age of 55. The ETP expects the private pension industry to grow to RM7.3 billion, with more than 2.7 million participants by 2020. In the beginning, the PPF will require investments and funding of RM48 million.
  • The government has also proposed that EPF dividends on amounts more than RM1 million be capped at 2.5 per cent to encourage the wealthy to withdraw the excess funds, which it expects will be partly channelled to wealth managers. It also expects the total assets under management (AuM) of the wealth management industry to grow from RM17 billion to RM350 billion by 2020.
  • Mass rapid transit (MRT) project will begin by the second quarter of next year. According to the ETP roadmap, phase one of the MRT system construction is targeted to begin operations in 2016. It will be about 156km long, covering a radius of 20km from the city centre and have a capacity of two million passengers per day.
  • Construction on the high-speed rail (HSR) linking Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore could start by early 2012. The Cabinet will also decide on whether to move ahead with a high-speed rail (HSR) system linking Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in the second quarter next year. The door-to-door journey from KL to Singapore will take about 2.4 hours as opposed to three hours by air, according to the Greater KL lab during the unveiling of the ETP last month.
  • Current estimates for the MRT and HSR systems places the cost as RM64 billion over the next decade, with a public-private investment ratio of 70:30, where public funds are expected to account for RM38 billion and RM12 billion for each system respectively.
  • Nuclear power plant with a total capacity of two gigawatts is planned for construction at an estimate of RM21.3 billion in investment up to 2020, with the first unit in operation by 2021. Once operational, the two one-gigawatt plants are estimated to generate a gross national income (GNI) of RM1.8 billion annually from the electricity generated. Nuclear energy would supply the cheapest source of energy and was also cleaner than coal and gas, according to the ETP document.  In August, Nuclear Agency Director-General Datuk Dr Daud Mohamad had said that Malaysia’s first nuclear power plant may be built on an uninhabited island, following an announcement by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin in May that the federal government had approved the construction of a nuclear power plant.
  • Construction of five hydroelectricity dams in Sarawak with a total capacity of five gigawatts will require an investment of RM20.2 billion, which is expected to be funded by the private sector through a government-linked company (GLC). This alternative energy project is predicted to generate a GNI potential of RM5.7 billion in the country’s largest state by 2020. Most of the GNI will come from energy-intensive industries operating within Sarawak, which will generate income to the state totalling RM4.5 billion and have a further GNI multiplier effect in the region. The remaining RM1.2 billion of GNI will come from providing power to Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan through land transmission.

For students, parents, and youths, can start focusing on careers that cover the above NKEAs and EPPs. Even though not all projects may be approved or carried out, still its a guide for you to plan a little.

Something just crossed my mind. The words billions, millions and trillion sounds so normal today. Whatever happened to thousand, hundred thousand, hundred? Nothing is cheap nowadays.


PM Najib’s speech clarifies definitions and helps to plan our future

October 24th, 2010
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I’m sure many of us have read (or have not!) PM Najib’s speech during the UMNO general assembly. While its directed at its members, being Malaysians, the speech also impacts us in terms of understanding how the biggest political party plans to operate in coming times.
The full speech (in BM) is available at Bernama website while I found English version at The Sun’s website.
First interesting point is the definition of Malay which the PM quotes literature (and one wonders why not scientific or empirical study results). According to him, a Malay include Jawa, Bugis, Minangkabau, Banjar, Acheh,  Kadazan, Melanau, and others (in other words, I say the whole of South East Asian archipelago).  In that case, we should change the constitution because the “Malay” Kadazan may not necessarily speak Malay Language as main language or mother tongue, but the constitution defines Malay as one who follows Malay customs and speaks Malay and is a Muslim, among others! Either our PM is wrong, or the constitution needs updating. WE can consider using just one term: either bumiputra or Malay since the Siamese, Indian Muslims etc. are considered “Malays”.
But what is most humorous is the extension of “Malay” to Arab, Pakistani, Mamak (Indian Muslim) and even converts (mualaf).  I have written earlier, the dangers of the “dilution” of the Malay stock. In the long run, anyone can claim to be a Malay if they convert or inter-marry.
Menyongsong kisah-kisah pencapaian itu, kita ingin bertanya, apakah jenis bangsa yang berjaya menunjangi perjuangan hebat ini? Apakah sistem nilai yang dipegang? Persoalannya di sini, bukanlah kita ingin termanggu dengan kejayaan-kejayaan lalu, namun, marilah kita menyingkap apakah kekuatan dan apakah faktor yang menjadi asas kepada keutuhan pertubuhan yang bermakna ini.
Dalam konteks ini, sesuai jika saya mengungkap beberapa baris puisi indah oleh Sasterawan Negara, Allahyarham Usman Awang serta bait-bait coretan gurindam daripada seorang tokoh persuratan, Tenas Effendy yang membicarakan tentang Melayu. Pertama sekali dari segi usul dan asalnya disebut:
Melayu itu, kaya falsafahnya Melayu itu, orang yang bijaksana Akal budi bersulamkan daya
Jawa itu Melayu, Bugis itu Melayu Banjar juga disebut Melayu, Minangkabau memang Melayu, Keturunan Acheh adalah Melayu,
Saudara dan Saudari,
Tidak lengkap lagi senarai ini sebenarnya:
Jakun dan Sakai asli Melayu,
Arab dan Pakistani, semua Melayu
Mamak dan Malbari serap ke Melayu Malah muallaf bertakrif Melayu
Mendakap realiti semasa Malaysia pula:
Kadazan, Bajau, India Muslim dan Siam, Melanau, Bidayuh dan berpuluh suku kaum, Kita bersama dalam serumpun,
Di sudut perpaduan dan agama dinyatakan bahawa:
Watak Melayu menolak permusuhan Setia dan sabar tiada sempadan
Maruah dan agama dihina jangan Hebat amuknya tak kenal lawan
Seterusnya dari perspektif kepimpinan dan amanah, Melayu dimadahkan:
Menjadi pemimpin sifatnya agung
Syarak dipakai adat dijunjung
Hidupnya mengabdi kepada rakyat
Taat setia membela umat
Akhirnya, disimpulkan Melayu itu:
Dijadikan induk kuat berdiri Umat sentosa bertuahlah negeri
Saudara dan Saudari sekalian,
Berdasarkan baris-baris yang saya lafazkan, begitu langsung memperlihatkan betapa, dalam sifat, psikologi, dan sikap atau perwatakan Melayu itu terpamer asas-asas yang membenih nilai kepimpinan murni. Jika digarap lagi, demikianlah orang Melayu, meletakkan martabat tinggi kemuliaan sikap pemimpin dan kepimpinan dalam masyarakat.
Terbukti, di sudut leluhurnya, bangsa Melayu itu, sejak sekian lama telah merentas ujian waktu. Keperibadian inilah juga yang menyebabkan Melayu diterima sebagai pemimpin dalam sebuah masyarakat majmuk. Sikap inilah juga menjadi bekal sebagai bangsa yang diamanah menggalas kepimpinan negara.
Lebih indah pula, ciri kepimpinan Melayu yang saya utarakan ini, telah dimurnikan dengan tibanya ajaran Islam yang menyeru, mendidik dan mendokong pendekatan wasatiyah. Wasatiyah, adalah suatu kaedah mengamalkan kehidupan individu mahupun masyarakat secara berimbang dan syumul dalam segenap bidang terutamanya dalam soal-soal yang menyangkut perpaduan dan kenegaraan.
Sesudah itu, dari masa hingga masa, ajaran Al-Quran serta sunnah disulam dan dijalin kemas dalam anyaman hidup seharian orang Melayu. Sejak itulah juga hingga kini, nilai orang Melayu, padat diwarnai dengan hala cara wasatiyah atau pertengahan.
Merujuk para ulama tafsir, disyarahkan bahawa, umat wasatiyah secara tuntasnya adalah umat yang adil lagi berdaya maju, bekerja keras untuk kesejahteraan hidup di dunia dan di akhirat.
Indeed, in today’s Star, PM Najib. DPM Muhyiddin, Minister Hishamuddin, Minister Shafie Apdal among others say:

LIGHT exchanges over the origins of Malay and whether Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, who is of Turkish descent, could be regarded as Malay, had the delegates in stitches yesterday.

Fellow vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal had the floor in stitches earlier when he said that party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak didn’t include the Turks when defining the Malays in the country during his presidential address.

Hishammuddin said that even Shafie, whom he called “the pirate of Semporna”, had eloquently presented his speech in Malay, complete with poetry. Shafie is of Bajau descent.

Hishammuddin took the joke further by labeling Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as Jawa Bagan Datuk, Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam as Bengali Malay, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambri Abdul Kadir as mamak Malay, Datuk Seri Musa Aman as Malay-Pakistan-Dusun. To this, a delegate retorted he is a three-in-one Malay.

Putra Umno chief Datuk Azeez Abd Rahim was not left out.

“I have checked (with the National Registration Department) and the JPN director-general told me that Azeez’s (ethnic) status is unknown,” Hishammuddin said.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also touched on a person’s roots.

“People ask me what am I. My late father was a Bugis and my late mother was a Javanese. I am a Malay,” he said.

Najib, in his winding-up speech, declared that the man of Turkish descent and the guy with “unknown status” are also Malays.

“We are all Malays. We must be united,” he said to loud applause from the floor.

On Thursday, Najib had given a long list of creeds and ethnic groups ranging from Bajau to Pakistanis, Arabs and Indian Muslims who were regarded as part of the Malay root.

The political parties can say  many things, but what are the implication to us, the “non-Malays”? The implication, for me, is that one is enticed to be a “Malay” due to the benefits. Since we are in an unequal country (as per PM Najib’s own words), the benefits favor one group, and thus, we can see cases of foreigners (and locals) intermarrying with local “Malays” to get the benefits. How does it feel when the 2nd generation Middle East or South Asia guy buys property for 7% discount whereas you have to pay full price? So where does that leaves the Chinese and Indians who are into the 3rd or 4th generation living in Malaysia? You can convert , OR if you find this situation is unacceptable, then you can make plans for migration (if you are getting old, plan for your children).

The second point is the acknowledgement that our country has been given independence and has progressed this far due to collective effort of all races. But for me, does this acknowledgement translate into action? Due to unbalanced environment, we feel having contributed much more, but the benefits going towards one side. And any achievement by the privileged groups is looked with a perception that it was achieved due to “affirmative help”.

Sebab itulah, saudara dan saudari, kita perlu sentiasa berwaspada, kita perlu terus mengingatkan diri masing-masing bahawa, kejayaan pertiwi tercinta sememangnya dimungkinkan oleh sumbangan, idea dan pengorbanan pelbagai kaum. Hakikatnya pun, ia bukanlah jasa, mahupun ikhtiar ekslusif satu kaum semata-mata, akan tetapi segalanya merupakan hasil mahsul, tuaian kudrat oleh semua kaum secara kolektif.
Third point is the issue of the “social contract”. The PM is correct in the idea that a contract should be honored and that trust is important. However, for me, a contract is not cast in stone, and as time goes by, a contract should be reviewed to ensure fairness. We can always improve our agreements, make it better. Our forefathers made such agreement at that point of time and if need to, we should reevaluate it. The danger of having such preset mindset that its cast in stone is the unequalness will continue forever.
Bertolak dari situlah, bagi bangsa Melayu khususnya, perasaan mereka amat terhiris kerana ikrar budiman yang telah dipateri di ambang merdeka kini diungkit kembali. Sedangkan, berpayung sumpah dan janji itulah kita sanggup membuat pengorbanan terbesar bagi mencapai sebuah kemerdekaan, yakni berkongsi pemilikan Tanah Melayu dengan kaum-kaum yang lain.
Serentak dengan itu, penerimaan kerakyatan yang berasaskan prinsip jus soli atau hak tempat kelahiran berbanding prinsip jus sanguinis yakni hak darah dengan sekelip mata telah mentransformasikan landskap sosiopolitik Tanah Melayu untuk selama-lamanya.
Dek kerana itu, kita tidak boleh lagi hidup terpenjara kisah nan lalu tanpa melihat ke hadapan. Pokoknya di sini, sepertimana prinsip keutuhan sebarang kontrak yang dibuat di bawah lembayung kedaulatan undang-undang, jika tidak dihormati, maka tiadalah kepastian, walaupun bagi perkara-perkara asas yang telah dipersetujui bersama.
Analoginya di sini, jika ia berlaku dalam bidang perniagaan, maka pihak yang berbuat demikian akan mendapati diri mereka, tidak lagi dipercayai oleh sesiapapun, apabila memungkiri janji.
Seterusnya lagi, jika ikrar setia yang telah diwaad, dilanggar sewenang-wenangnya apabila tidak sesuai dengan selera atau kepentingan tertentu, akan hancurlah kepercayaan dan rapuhlah rasa penghormatan di antara kita, kerana, masing-masing akan dihidapi penyakit kesangsian terhadap motif, kejujuran serta keikhlasan terhadap satu sama lain.
Hal yang membarah sebegini berbahaya, saya ulang, amat berbahaya kepada sebuah negara berbilang kaum, agama dan budaya seperti Malaysia kerana ia berpontensi menghancurkan segala apa yang dibina sejak lebih lima puluh tahun yang lalu.
Fourth point which is crucial for me, is the clarification that we are in a unequal state. This is important clarification because it helps us understand 1Malaysia and our status as lower category citizen (well, unequal means someone have to be higher and someone lower right?). Of course, this is for the sake of national unity, so if you are patriotic, then you must accept being a lower-grade citizen with less privileges. If not, you can ship out. For me, this is important, because it can help to plan our future. Are you agreeable to sacrificing some of your rights or are you willing to find another place to call home?
Satu hal yang pasti, timbal balas dipersembahkan bukan sahaja oleh bangsa Melayu, tetapi juga oleh kaum lain. Ia dimanifestasi melalui muafakat murni iaitu bagi memperoleh kerakyatan, orang bukan Melayu telah sanggup menerima prinsip hak keistimewaan sebagaimana termaktub di bawah peruntukan Perkara 153 Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Kemudian itulah, kewarganegaraan Malaysia pada dasarnya bukan lagi bersifat sama rata dan sama rasa tetapi telah disesuaikan dengan realiti yang ada demi matlamat dan kepentingan jangka panjang nasional.
Fifth point, the driving home of the point that its a no win situation if you are thinking of “readjusting” the constitution. Any changes to the relevant acts need multiple stages of approval, which would never be given:
Sememangnya, manusia tidak wujud dan hidup dalam sebuah utopia. Manusia tidak dapat lari dari realiti dan persekitaran. Malaysia adalah sebuah negara berasaskan keluhuran perlembagaan dan kedaulatan undang-undang sepertimana ideologi kebangsaan yang ternukil dalam panca prinsip Rukun Negara.
Seperti yang kita maklum, kedudukan orang Melayu serta Bumiputera dan kepentingan kaum-kaum lain dari segi politik telah termaktub jelas dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Ia terkunci kemas dalam artikel-artikel Bahagian 3 mengenai kewarganegaraan, Perkara 38 berkait Majlis Raja-Raja, Perkara 152 tentang Bahasa Kebangsaan dan Perkara 153 mencakupi antara lain Perezapan kuota perkhidmatan dan permit untuk orang Melayu.
Seterusnya, saudara dan saudari, kita mesti memahami dan mengetahui bahawa, pindaan terhadap artikel-artikel ini tidak boleh dilakukan tanpa persetujuan Majlis Raja-Raja mengikut Perkara 159 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.
Ia ditambah kukuh pula oleh Perkara 10 Fasal 4, yang memberi kuasa kepada Parlimen, bagi menggubal undang-undang, melarang perbuatan mempersoal apa-apa perkara, hak, taraf, kedudukan, keistimewaan, kedaulatan atau hak kedaulatan yang ditetapkan atau diperlindung oleh peruntukan Bahagian 3, Perkara 152, 153 dan Perkara 181.
Sehubungan hal ini, hendaklah kita mengetahui bahawa apa yang menjadi polemik hebat hari ini, sama ada tentang kerakyatan selepas merdeka atau hak istimewa orang Melayu sebenarnya, sudah menjadi perdebatan akademik. Ini kerana, dari segi perundangan, peruntukan-peruntukannya sudah pun tersurat dan sekaligus terpateri kemas.
Seandainya mempunyai majoriti dua pertiga dalam Parlimen pun, tidak akan mampu mengubah setitik apa jua, tanpa kebenaran Majlis yang dianggotai sembilan orang Raja-Raja Melayu. Dalam kata lain, sia-sia sahaja jerit pekik untuk menggunakan peruntukan tentang kerakyatan bagi mengancam kaum lain kerana peruntukan yang tertulis ini begitu konkrit sekalipun darurat diisytiharkan, ia tetap tidak boleh disinggung.
Di sebalik semuanya, suka tidak suka, ada sebab yang amat kuat mengapa perkara-perkara ini tidak dibenarkan untuk dipinda kecuali dengan perkenan Majlis Raja-Raja. Hikmahnya, adalah supaya peruntukan-peruntukan tersebut di letakkan luar daripada forum perbincangan. Jika dibuka juga kepada perbahasan, maka kita bimbang, kita khuatir, ia akan membangkitkan keresahan serta mengapi-apikan “primordial instinct” atau naluri asal wujud antara etnik.
These, for me, were the salient points that I’m sure will help us remind us on where we stand as different citizens in the country.  Of course, the constitution never said about how much quota should be given, how the reservation of seats/permits is calculated etc., how long this unequality should go on, and such. I suppose that is left to the intelligence and the foresight of the government of the day. All that is the implementation, and here is where there’s a glimmer of hope. If a government can promise and show how it can provide “balance” and “justice” and “equality” in an unequal-based constitution, then it will be good. If the government continues to hide behind excuses and issues veiled threats, well…
The full speech talked about challenges faced by the political party, the importance of working together and other stuff as well.
Note: do you know that national examination rules can be changed at political party gathering?

PM Najib dinner for Online Friends on Deepavali eve!

September 30th, 2010
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I was eagerly waiting for PM Najib’s next tea time for his “online friends” since I missed the one held last March. When a statement came out that a dinner is being organised, I told myself that I won’t miss it this time. Alas, it turned to a big time disappoinment as the dinner is being held on eve of Deepavali! Talk about being insensitive! Surely someone in his team should/could/would have advised that the Hindus have prayers, shopping, house cleaning, etc on the eve. Imagine if such dinner is held on eve of Chinese New Year or Hari Raya.

Maybe his team already surveyed and found out that not many of PM’s “online friends” are Hindus, so the majority wins. We just have to console ourselves with this assumption.

Anyway, still doesn’t seem to resonate with his 1Malaysia calling. Sounds like done in bad taste and puts all the good work earlier in the shade.  It just takes one small wrong move to undo all the earlier good work. Remember, its how you take care of the minority and the poor that shows your human values.

Hopefully some common sense kicks in and the event can be postponed to a more suitable date. After all, this is not some political party function where newspaper vendors are blamed for not delivering newspapers.

As for me,  still thinking how to attend without incurring the wrath of Then.

The excerpt article:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will host a special dinner for his online friends at Seri Perdana, Putrajaya on Nov 4.

He said the dinner function scheduled to start at 8pm, was organised following the success of the tea party he hosted in March for his online friends to get to know them and have a dialogue with them.

“Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of hosting a special event for my online friends, and I had stated that there would be more of such events to come.

“I am happy to announce the next event, which will take place on the evening of 4th November, details of which can be found here. Registration for an invitation is now open, and I encourage you to sign up and be a part of the event,” he said in his blog,, on Wednesday.

Najib said he thoroughly enjoyed the last event and hoped they would have the same open and sincere dialogue at the upcoming one.

“The beauty of this event is that it enables me to connect with Malaysians of all backgrounds, particularly because my guests are randomly selected from the registrants,” he said.

How to trust the mainstream media?

September 3rd, 2010
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Today PM Najib said something, which sadly, can be interpreted as humor/satire/joke.  Just compare the two articles below. The Star’s is about half the length of the other article. I think the alternative media had more “facts” in terms of quoting the PM compared to Star (OK, its just one example). I don’t agree that mainstream media presents fact and such are more trustworthy. Sometimes, one  can choose which facts to present, or present “facts” in certain ways so as to craft the perception of the reader.  I firmly believe we need mainstream media, alternative media, independent writers, the casual bloggers, forums etc to present a more holistic view. Putting trust in mainstream media is surely a grave mistake.

Nowadays, alternative media also carries Bernama news. And, government can choose to publish their advertorials, scholarship info, job vacancy info, tender info, statistics etc in alternative media, which will increase the “fact” quotient.

Not to forget, regardless of whichever media, we find cases of issuing apology for “misunderstanding” or “miscommunication” or for wrongful reporting. So, both groups can and do make mistakes.

BTW, for me mainstream media does not include the sorry excuse for a newspaper,  Utusan.

This is what mainstream media Star published (taken at 11.50pm):

The public should trust the mainstream media as it is fact-based, compared to the opinion-based alternative media, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said some of the articles published on the alternative media, such as websites and blogs, were “half truths and inaccurate”.

“The mainstream media has one strength which cannot be found in the alternative media, and that is the mainstream media can be considered fact-based.

“If we read the mainstream media, we intuitively regard it as an authoritative report, where its facts cannot be questioned,” he said at a breaking of fast ceremony at the New Straits Times Press headquarters here Thursday.

“There must be a discerning public who can see the strength of the mainstream media,” he added.

This is what alternative media Malaysian Insider published (taken at 11.50pm):

Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the public tonight to trust the mainstream media and not the alternative media which are based on half truths.

The Prime Minister said that mainstream media should be considered as an authoritative news source that can be trusted.

“In the development of the media today, the market is different from the market in previous years. Now we are faced with the alternative media which has been a direct competition to mainstream media like NST.

“However, the mainstream media has one strength which cannot be found in the alternative media and that is the mainstream media can be considered as fact based,” Najib (picture) said when attending breaking of fast with the media at The New Straits Times Press headquarters here.

He said that the mainstream media is different from alternative media because the former is fact based while the later is opinionated.

“If we read the mainstream media, intuitively we regard it as an authoritative report where its facts cannot be questioned.

“Its principles are based on facts and this is different from blogs and websites which can be developed for personal use and can literally become a one-man show,” he said.

He added that alternative media published reports based on opinions which are “half truths and not accurate”.

Recently a poll by the Merdeka Center showed that six out of 10 Malaysians don’t trust the mainstream media.

The June 27 to July 25 survey commissioned by a research organisation showed that 57 per cent of Malays polled said they did not trust reports in the mainstream media, while 33 per cent trusted the media and 10 per cent said they did not know.

As for the Chinese community, 58 per cent said they did not trust the mainstream media, 30 per cent trusted and 12 per cent did not know.

A total 590 Chinese and 413 Malays as well as five focus group discussions with Chinese voters in Peninsula Malaysia were involved in the survey.

The findings will provide sober reading for many mainstream media organisations. Recent circulation figures show that English and Malay-language newspapers like New Straits Times, The Star, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia have all suffered significant drop in circulation this year compared to 2009, with some as severe as 20 per cent.

Privately, newspaper executives note that partisan political coverage has hurt sales.

Comments from the focus group discussions also showed that many felt that there is limited media freedom in the country because of the practice of censorship.

Some participants in the focus groups also pointed out that Malay-language newspapers were the most biased.

Najib stressed that the public must be able to differentiate between mainstream and alternative media reporting.

“The public must be discerning and can differentiate between the strength of the mainstream media, which has a place in the era of ICT and access to website and blogs which are opinion based.

“I urge the mainstream media to continue to hold its principle as a paper based on factual based reporting with opinion which are constructive and educated,” he said.

1Malaysia logo use and meaning explained

August 10th, 2010
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I was surprised to read this report, so I checked the source at 1Malaysia blog itself.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says there is no restriction on using the “1 Malaysia” name as long as it is according to the guidelines provided.

“Firstly, those who wish to use the 1 Malaysia symbol (logo), must use the official logo design.

“This means the 1 Malaysia font must be applied and the text ‘Malaysia’ at the bottom is to be included.

“The number ‘1’ can be filled with the company logo and other similar styles. Those are permitted,” he said in reply to a question posted by Asman on his blog

Asman had asked the prime minister on the usage of the 1 Malaysia name and whether it was allowed to be used for an online game that his friend had developed.

Najib also asked that the application of “1 Malaysia” adhere to the aspirational values of the concept.

“For instance, a product or service must be of quality, and present positive features. Other than that, if it is for a company name, the name ‘1 Malaysia’ must be registered with the Registrar of Companies,” he said.

Najib hopes the use of “1Malaysia” reflects all the good characters that he had mentioned, including efficiency, excellence, meritocracy and more.

“So that ‘1Malaysia’ is not abused, but instead is validated in its appearance as well as in its spirit,” he said.  – Bernama

Remember, 1Malaysia is supposed to be based on constitution which is not meritocracy in nature due to the “privileges” and “special position” of certain section of the community which leads to “affirmative action” (discrimination in another view). But the statement above says the opposite. So, I’m not clear on what it means. Maybe selective meritocracy or partial meritocracy? Still remain confusing a bit.