Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dr Mansor won but with 46.15% historic low turnout

Dr. Mansor Othman won Penanti by-election with 5,558 majority, a whopping 6,052 out of the total of 7,100 votes and all three independents lost their deposits.

Only 7,100 people cast their votes in what is a historic low turnout - only 46.15 %. In the March 2008 general election, 82.13 % of the registered voters cast their ballots. There were a total of 15,384 registered voters in the constituency.

Nai Khan Ari, an independent who received just 494 votes while Aminah Abdullah took 392 votes. The final turn out today was 7,100 voters.

The reduced interest in voting is most likely due to BN supporters not coming out to vote in the by-election as BN is not contesting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Malaysia's first quarter GDP shrinks 6.2% but will improve in the third quarter

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said, Malaysia is expected to see a significant improvement in the third quarter this year and a higher degree of positive growth in the fourth quarter that would continue into next year.

Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz

The economic conditions are expected to improve in the second half of this year supported by fiscal stimulus measures and enhancing access to financing," said Dr Zeti.

Malaysia's first quarter gross domestic product this year contracted by 6.2 % from a growth of 0.1% in the fourth quarter last year but the prognosis for improved economic conditions look brighter in the second half of the year.

Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz attributed the contraction to the significant deterioration in external demand following the deepening recession in advanced economies.

"Export demand continues to be weak and the environment is still challenging. Despite early signs of improvement, Q2 will be similar to Q1," she said.

The economy was expected to continue to contract in the second quarter, she said.

"However, economic conditions are expected to improve in the second half of this year supported by fiscal stimulus measures and enhancing access to financing," said Dr Zeti.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Husni: 2009 GDP growth to dip below -1%

The country’s economy is expected to contract below -1.0 % this year amid the current economic climate, Second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said.

“I cannot tell you (the growth figure) but it will definitely be below -1.0 %,” he said when asked to comment on the projection by economists that the gross domestic product (GDP) will contract between -4.5 % and -5.0 % this year. Bank Negara Malaysia’s GDP forecast for the year is between -1.0 % and %.

Bank Negara will make an announcement on the first quarter GDP tomorrow.

“Wait for Bank Negara’s announcement tomorrow. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will make another announcement the next day on the new forecast growth for 2009 and we will then know the position of the country’s economy,” he said.

Husni, however said that the economy would recover in the third quarter of this year, as the impact of the recent RM67 billion economic stimulus package begins to take effect.

As for 2010, he said the government believes growth would be positive. Asked as to whether there would be more liberalization measures in the near future, Husni said that the government is currently working on the development of new economic model for the country.

“The economic model is in the planning stage,” he said, adding that the government would study which areas should be further liberalized. He said that the key thrust of the new model is the quality of investment and the people.

“Eventually, we will be opening up because we are part of the global system but the process of the liberalization takes time,” he added.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dr Mansor taking 3 independents in Penanti

Parti KeAdilan Rakyat's (PKR) Dr Mansor Othman is taking on three independents in the Penanti by-election this May 31 after one was disqualified.

The Bukit Selambau by-election created history as having the most number of candidates, totaling 15 altogether. The other 13 contested as independent candidates. In Penanti, it’s a four corner fight.

The interesting questions arise: How do you make a small fortune out of politics? How to make money in politics or otherwise? Is the lack of understanding of politics that causes a numbers of the independents to contest?

Mansor, 59, Aminah Abdullah, 56, Mohd Saberi Othman, 49, Nai Khan Ari, 41, and Kamarul Ramizu Idris, 42, filed their nomination papers at the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara.

The Barisan Nasional has opted out of the by-election in Penanti, within PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Permatang Pauh political fortress, calling it an abuse of the electoral process.

Returning officer Roslan Yahaya declared all eligible except for Saberi after the objection period ended at 11am. There were six objections against him. Roslan did not disclose the reason why Saberi was disqualified.

Mansor had contested the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat against Datuk Mohd Zain Omar of BN in 1999, the Seberang Jaya state seat against Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah of BN in 2004 and the Pulau Betong state seat against Mohd Farid Saad of BN in 2008.

Aminah, a former state PKR Wanita chief, and Nai, a factory manager, this is her first electoral debut while businessman Kamarul Ramizu had contested as an independent candidate in the recent Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election in Perak.

Friday, May 22, 2009

High Court wrongly ruled, Nizar is not the legitimate MB

The present BN government of Perak is legitimate and can continue to exist, continue to administer Perak.

The Court of Appeal found that the High Court had wrongly ruled on May 11 that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was the rightful Menteri Besar of Perak, and set aside the decision.

The Court of Appeal ruling in Putrajaya declaring Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the rightful Menteri Besar of Perak. The decision proved that the Barisan Nasional had acted within the law in the matter.

The court decision also showed that the Sultan of Perak had also acted in accordance with the provisions of the Perak state constitution.

The court ruling also emphasized that the authority to dissolve the state legislative assembly rested with the Sultan of Perak and that it was left to the ruler to make a decision.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Teratai state assemblyperson Jenice Lee arrested again

Teratai state assemblyperson Jenice Lee and other 15 people were arrested by the police outside her service centre at about 8.45pm for holding an illegal assembly.

This is the second time that Lee was arrested. She was detained by the police at another candlelight vigil on Tuesday. They were arrested after a short police warning for them to disperse.

Ironically, in order for the opposition assemblyperson to be popular, he or she needs to get publicity and public attention. Undeniably, one of the best effective ways to get cheap publicity is to hold illegal assembly to get arrested and jailed by the police.

The question arises: What is the role of the opposition assemblyperson? Certainly, it is the duty of the opposition politicians to serve the people and not otherwise to harass and torment the government of the day.

By far, it is necessary in the study of opposition assemblyperson to know who they are.

Maybank net profit slipped 34 % lower to RM503.3 million

Malaysia’s largest lender, Maybank, said its third-quarter net profit fell more than a third, and warned that business conditions will remain challenging for the rest of the year.


The question arises: Is the net profit slipped is due to the negative impact of the slowdown of U.S. economy or otherwise?

State-controlled Maybank, which made a string of overseas acquisitions, last year, said January-March net profit slipped to RM503.3 million from RM758.6 million a year earlier.

“The highly competitive banking landscape, together with an environment of lower interest rates and more challenging business and employment prospects, could lead to pressure on margins and rising non-performing loans,” said Maybank, which has a market capitalization of about RM38 billion.

Before the results were announced, analysts had expected Maybank to post a net profit of RM2.4 billion for the full year against the RM3.2 billion it made last year.

Ahead of the results, Maybank’s shares fell 1.9 per cent, while the broader market index, KLSE, lost 0.7 per cent. The stock has gained 13.5 per cent this year, but trails the broader index’s 18.1 per cent rise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

BN avoided wasting public funds by not contesting Penanti

BN made the wise decision by not to contest in the Penanti by-election on May 31.

Ironically, it is justified that BN took the decision not to play political games with the opposition. BN no need to dance to opposition’s tune and adept in political gimmick by contesting in the Penanti by-election.

Undeniably, taking part in the by-election is wasting public funds, thus BN seems made the wise decision.

The Barisan Nasional supreme council announced today that the party will not contest the Penanti state assembly seat in Penang, with Datuk Seri Najib Razak insisting it was a political ploy by Pakatan Rakyat.

Najib said the Penanti seat did not become vacant as necessitated by law but instead due to PKR wanting to resolve its internal problems. The vacancy is a political game by the opposition.

"BN's focus is on serving the people and reviving the nation's economy. Thus, we decided not to field a candidate," he said.

Penanti seat fell vacant following the resignation of the former Penang Deputy Chief Minister (I), PKR's Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin. PKR has already named Mansor Othman as its candidate.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Opposition may not win the snap polls

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that Pakatan Rakyat will sweep Perak if fresh elections are called.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad

He said, it was a ‘forgone conclusion' that Pakatan Rakyat would win if an election is held. "I think the opposition... well not the opposition... I think that Pakatan is going to win. So why have an election? We already had an election," Mahathir said.

“So why should we have fresh elections ?“ he asked, saying that it was costly and that he did not agreed will calls by other BN leaders for fresh state elections.

Ironically, politics is an art of impossible and BN is a very strong political coalition, thus the chances of the opposition of winning fresh elections seem very slim.

Politically, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad’s perception is controversial and may not be a correct perception.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Opposition don't get overexcited

Opposition should not get overexcited on the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision to recognize Pakatan Rakyat leader Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the legitimate Menteri Besar of the state as BN will file an appeal as soon as possible to win the final victory.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak called on the people of Perak to remain calm and not get overexcited with the court's decision.

"We will solve the problem. I can see the sultan anytime but it does not matter, it is the purview of the sultan. I don't have immediate plans to see the sultan."

BN could still have the upper hand with regards to the state assembly, especially with its numerical strength. With its '28 + 3' assemblypersons as opposed to Pakatan's 28, BN should have no problem in pushing any motion through.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

V. Sivakumar was replaced by Datuk R. Ganesan

Finally, BN's Datuk R. Ganesan takes over as legitimate Perak Speaker.

It seems that it is a good job done by BN to overcome the political crisis in Perak.

Perak State Speaker V. Sivakumar was dragged out from his pedestal. He was outmaneuvered and replaced by Datuk R. Ganesan.

It was reported that the Tronoh assemblyman had sat on the speaker’s chair six hours from morning until nearly 3pm when he was physically lifted off the chair and dragged out of the chamber by official.

He had earlier twice rejected Barisan Nasional Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir’s motion to remove him, pointing out the assembly had not started as the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, had not given the royal address.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wong Chin Huat arrested under Sedition Act

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat has been arrested at his home in Taman Sri Sentosa in Kuala Lumpur for sedition and taken to Commercial Crimes Department headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Wong Chin Huat

According to his lawyer Edmund Bon, the activist was arrested at 8pm after a police report was lodged today.

Ironically, it is believed that the authority is doing everything in order to overcome the destabilizing factors and maintain the political stability in the country as the country needs political stability to exploit the opportunity.

On the other hand, it is not clear whether Wong's arrest is linked to a press conference he called earlier today.

It was reported that Wong urged the public to wear black on May 7, to protest the Perak state government takeover by BN which has been claimed as undemocratic and unconstitutional.

The Bersih’s campaign slogan "1BlackMalaysia: Democracy first, elections now". Wong said that the 1BlackMalaysia campaign is a peaceful, yet powerful message of "civil disobedience".

"Let us be united in one black color and let’s show the world that the 1Malaysia under Najib is 1BlackMalaysia living in darkness."

He urged the public to “paint every state, territory, town and village black” with clothes, headbands, hats, turbans, veils, armbands, ribbons and stickers.

Friday, May 1, 2009

MIC's Ganesan to replace V Sivakumar

The Perak constitution provides for the appointment of a non state assemblyperson as speaker and MIC's Ganesan to be appointed as the new legitimate speaker.

V Sivakumar to be replaced

The motion shall be proposed to replace the country's first Indian speaker with another Indian politician, former MIC Sungkai state assemblyperson R Ganesan.

Ironically, BN would not nominated the widely speculated deputy speaker and Jelapang state assemblyperson Hee Yit Fong, who opted out of DAP and became an independent be promoted to speaker.

BN has nominated former Sungkai assemblyman Datuk R. Ganesan from the MIC as the new Perak State Assembly Speaker.

The motion dated April 29 was proposed by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and seconded by state executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman.

Zambry is expected to move a motion, to be seconded by Hamidah, for Sivakumar's removal on the first day of the next state assembly sitting on May 7.