Friday, July 31, 2009

PAS state rep for Permatang Pasir Mohd Hamdan dies

Another by-election battle between UMNO and PAS looms in Penang.

The eighth by-election since March 2008 general election would have to be called in to fill the Permatang Pasir state seat vacancy in Penang.

Mohd Hamdan

PAS state assemblyman for Permatang Pasir Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman died of heart ailment at the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur.

The question arises : Will UMNO face another tough political battle?

The Permatang Pasir state seat is in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency which is held by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The sole PAS assemblyman in the Penang state, Mohd Hamdan, 63, the was the former state PAS commissioner for 14 years was the Permatang Pasir assemblyman for three terms from 1999.

Mohd Hamdan, a Kedahan retained the Permatang Pasir seat in the 2008 general election by garnering 11,004 votes to defeat the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, Ahmad Sahar Shuib, who only garnered 5,571 votes.

The margin of victory was 5,433 votes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Najib announces KPIs, and lead Ministers

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today announced the key performance indicators (KPIs) and the lead ministers for the six national key results areas (KRAs).

The KPIs will help streamline all procedures and pool all resources in an organization. All efforts will be focused on achieving the targets in a reasonable period of time.

Najib said the government was committed to implementing a transformation through an achievement-based management by using the NKRA method and KPI evaluation.

All these are being done to ensure that in the final analysis it is the people who will derive the benefits.

He named Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as the lead minister for widening access to quality and affordable education, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for crime prevention, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Aziz for fighting corruption.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Jalil for raising the living standard of the low-income people, Rural and Regional Development Minister Shafie Apdal for upgrading infrastructure in the rural and interior regions and Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat for improving public transportation in a moderate period of time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Subramaniam's defection is not a loss to MIC

Former vice-president Subramaniam's defection was not a boost for the Pakatan Rakyat as he has little influence left in the Barisan Nasional as well as MIC.

S Subramaniam

The ultimate cause for him to jump is because he is irrelevant in BN. By joining PKR with the hope he might get a position.

Undeniably, MIC especially BN is not affected by former vice-president Subramaniam's departure from the party as he had not contributed much in the struggle to champion the cause of the Indian community.

Subramaniam had opposed Samy Vellu on many occasions, causing him to be dropped from the vice-president’S post in 1994 in favour of his successor who bears a similar name, Dr S. Subramaniam.

MIC president S Samy Vellu said, “We don't see it as a loss. In fact, what he has done is a 'good thing',"

S Subramaniam announced he had joined PKR and that 10 MIC branches with 1,700 members in the Klang Valley would follow suit in the near future. Samy Vellu denied the claim and said that only 300 members were involved.

"He is just bragging. MIC is capable of attracting even more new members especially among the young," he said, adding that it was not impossible for those who had joined PKR to leave for other parties in the future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cabinet approves royal commission

The setting up of a Royal Commission to investigate the death of the former political secretary to a Selangor State Executive Councillor Teoh Beng Hock is by far the best way to resolve the root cause of the issue that arises.

The decision not only prevent the issue from being manipulated by certain groups to sensationalize the issue but also assure that the investigation can carry out in a transparent and professional manner.

Ironically, the outcome of investigation by the Commission will carry more weight compared to other investigations especially when fraud is said to be suspected.

It is clear that immediate action by the cabinet to set up a royal commission to look into the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's investigative procedures and to determine if there were any human right violations when Teoh Beng Hock was being interrogated is the only way to totally gives government more credibility.

Prime Minister Najib Abul Razak - who chaired the meeting - also revealed that an inquest will be held to determine Teoh's cause of death.

The cabinet also instructed the Home Ministry and the police to wrap up its investigations into the matter as soon as possible.

The findings of the investigation will be made public whereas Najib said he will personally inform the family about it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chua Jui Meng joined Parti KeAdilan Rakyat

Former MCA vice-president Chua Jui Meng quits MCA and joining the opposition PKR.

Chua Jui Meng

Chua was accompanied by former MCA senator David Yeoh Eng Hock and former Lumut parliamentarian Yap Yit Thong.

The question arises: Can Chua's defection help to regain momentum for the opposition which has been floundering due to internal bickering and a resurgent Barisan Nasional under new Prime Minister Najib Abdul?

Former MCA vice-president Datuk Chua Jui Meng, 64, had contested for the MCA president's post twice and lost to two Ongs - Ong Ka Ting in 2005 and Ong Tee Keat in 2008.

Chua was not picked to defend his Bakri parliamentary seat in the last general elections.

Chua explained that he decided to join PKR because the country's two-coalition political system was being undermined by Umno.

He added that the death of Teoh Beng Hock, the political aide of Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was the “tipping point” in his decision to defect to the opposition.

Najib promised, police probe will be thorough to find the truth

All quarters should not speculate or make statements about the death of Teoh Beng Hock as it could confuse the public. Let the police do their job.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said police would investigate the death of Teoh Beng Hock thoroughly and professionally so that all quarters would be able to know what actually happened.

Najib also called on all quarters not to make statements or speculations which could confuse the public.

“The government hopes that the people will remain calm and patient. Let’s leave it to the authorities to investigate,” he said.

Teoh, 30, the political aide to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead on the fifth floor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on Thursday after giving his statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

His body was found nine floors below the commission’s office on the 14th floor of the building at 1.30pm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pas retains Manik Urai seat

PAS has retained the Manek Urai state seat by a wafer-thin margin of 65, or 0.61 per cent of votes cast.

The close win clearly showed Najib's good leadership despite the constituency being a PAS stronghold in a PAS-controlled state which PAS would have won a greater majority.

It also indicated Nik Aziz's influence was diminishing and the internal crisis of PAS.

Its candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah defeated Barisan Nasional's Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat with a majority vote of 65, in a by-election today.

Mohd Fauzi, 50, polled 5,348 votes while Tuan Aziz, 39, obtained 5,283 votes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Amanah Saham 1Malaysia

The gap between the rich and the poor in Malaysia is greatly reduced. The economy has in effect being restructured by New Economy Policy. The result is that the wealth is evenly distributed. Consequently, the development of a financial chasm separating the rich from the poor is shortening.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak said, in an effort to ensure an even distribution of wealth, especially for the hardcore poor in the urban areas, the government has allocated RM100 million for the Skim Amanah Saham Wawasan.

In 2010, he said a total of 10,000 hard core poor households, would be given 10,000 units under the E-Kasih list. Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak who made the announcement said, the government has agreed to Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) establishing a new unit trust fund, Amanah Saham 1Malaysia, with a size of 10 billion units.

He said, the new fund would be launched soon and is open to all Malaysians above 18. The fund, he explained, is expected to provide an investment opportunity to investors to enjoy reasonable returns over the long term.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Najib: Govt committed to improve English

The decision to teach mathematics and science in Bahasa Malaysia and mother tongue languages will not detract the government from its efforts to make Malaysians more proficient in English.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it was still the Government’s aim to see Malaysians proficient in the language and even master it so that it could compete in the ever challenging times and globalised era.

“The aim remains the same; there is no change. Only the method in reaching objective is now different.

“The government is aware how important it is for Malaysians to be proficient in English for their own advantage and for the future of the country.

“In fact, increasing the time allocated to teaching English, introducing English literature and language laboratories, among others will be a better method in boosting proficiency than teaching mathematics and science in the language,” he said.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Math and Science in Bahasa or mother tongues

The Cabinet has decided that all national primary and secondary schools will teach Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Melayu and Vernacular schools, meanwhile, will teach the subjects in either Chinese or Tamil respectively beginning 2012.

The Government made this decision after studying in detail the result of studies and close monitoring of the PPSMI by the Education Ministry and independent bodies since the policy was implemented in 2003.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin said, the policy will be implemented in stages for Year One, Year Four, Form One and Form Four in 2012. The changes do not involve Form Six and Matriculation students.

All examinations for Science and Mathematics will remain bilingual until 2014, so as to not jeopardize the performance of students under the current policy - Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English or its official abbreviation PPSMI (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris).

A Contemporary English Literature Programme For Children to inculcate the reading habit and introduce elements of literature will be introduced. English labs will be set up in schools to help students learn the language more effectively, incorporating information technology through the use of appropriate software.

To expose students to scientific terms, elements of science and technology will be absorbed into the teaching of English.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kg Buah Pala land is a state matter

Land matters and the local government are directly under the purview of state governments, this is the Rule of Law in Malaysia which should not be questionable.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said, the Federal Government cannot interfere in the Kampung Buah Pala issue because land matters are under the purview of the respective state governments.
“Land is a state matter. If we are to intervene, it will create a major precedent for other similar cases.

“In fact, there are many other cases, and we will be asked to intervene in these other cases as well,” he said when asked to comment on the request by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that the Federal Government step in to resolve the Kampung Buah Pala issue.

Lim had asked the Federal Government to consider paying back the cost of paying for Kg Buah Pala.

He added the state government could not afford to pay for the prime land as the sum was much higher compared to the original selling price of RM3.2mil by the previous state administration.

Straight fight between BN and PAS in Manek Urai

The Manek Urai by-election on July 14 will be a straight fight between BN and PAS.

The straight fight between PAS candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, 50, a fishmonger, and Barisan Nasional candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, 39, a manager at the South Kelantan Development Authority (Kesedar) after a nomination process that passed without incident.

In the 2008 general election, Ismail, a five-term assemblyman, defeated Barisan candidate Zulkifli Omar with a 1,352 majority votes.

PAS had lost here in 2004 when the much-liked Ismail did not defend his seat but reclaimed it in 2008 by a huge majority when he beat BN's Mohamed Zulkifli Omar in the 12,000-voter constituency.

The constituency has 12,293 voters. The by-election has been called because of the death of state assemblyperson Ismail Yaakob of PAS on May 22.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pakatan government close to collapse

Pakatan government is indeed a fragile coalition, it’s now close to collapse and it could fall at any time.

The Kedah DAP had announced its decision to withdraw from the PAS-led government over the demolition of the sole pig abattoir in the state.

The PKR Member of Parliament for Kulim Bandar Baru in Kedah, Zulkifli Noordin said, it was meaningless for DAP to remain in Pakatan if it could not tolerate its two partners in the alliance. The party had to exercise mutual understanding to remain in the opposition pact or strike out on its own.

In George Town, state PKR chairman Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim accused Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of failing to practice the principles of justice and compassion in the running dispute over the sacking of PKR Seberang Prai municipal councillor Johari Kassim.

These incidents clearly presented evidence of the role of internal conflict of Pakatan. They lack common policies and common stand on issues that may arise anytime. From time to time, sensitive issues may arise which require some disciplinary intervention that Pakatan has yet to develop.

Undeniably, the ideological isolationism of DAP, PAS, and PKR but driven the narrow alley of a political coalition in order to share power, is by far the main factor to cause the collapse of the fragile coalition government.