Category Archives: Articles from or about Malaysia

Can Malaysians be bought?

This is in reference to an excellent analysis by Bridget Welsh on Malaysia’s recent general election. Family and friends back in Malaysia told me about the many government handouts leading up to the election. It was such a blatant attempt at buying votes disguised as socialism and I felt embarrassed by it. As a matter of principle, I would not have accepted any of the handouts for what it represented. However, I understand that that money represents a relief to many people in their daily struggle to survive. Principles do not feed man.

In a way, at least the money was going to the people instead of into corrupt politician’s pockets. This is Malaysian realism; we try to look for a silver lining in every dire situation. We ‘trick’ ourselves into believing that a situation could be worst and the fact that it isn’t is cause for celebration. This is what has kept corrupt politicians in power, because we ‘excuse’ their behavior by believing that there is no such thing as an honest politician.

But you know what, many Malaysians like me are no longer willing to accept substandard governance. We want honest, competent and responsible governance and it needs to start now.

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Malaysia: Malapportioned Districts and Over-Representation of Rural Communities

This is designed to keep the ruling party in power and it worked in this election despite the majority of Malaysian voting against. http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/bd/bdy/bdy_my

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Analysis of Malaysia’a GE13

Opposition retains Selangor, Penang, and Kelantan. 

Ruling party wins by simple majority.

PM Najib blames Chinese tsunami, mass exodus vote for opposition for losses in urban areas. At the same time, he urges reconciliation. He plays the race card to save himself from revolt from his party. Analysts believe his remarks signal a change in policies that will make the ruling party more racist towards non Malays.

Analysis reveal that urban Malays also swung to opposition. Many Malaysians have come out in full support against the PM’s racist remarks.

Can Malaysia survive another 5 years of racial divide, rape and plunder of our resources?  God help us all.

http://www.thenutgraph.com/wins-and-defeats-in-ge13/

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Watch “Malaysian politician accused of land-grab” on YouTube

Malaysian plundering Malaysia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92Tc2xenv4o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Malaysia becoming a welfare state

Bloomberg News,

Malaysians like cab driver Ramakrishnan Ramachandran are getting used to handouts from the government as the next election looms. The budget deficit is set to show the strain regardless of who wins the vote.

From smartphone rebates to household electricity subsidies and higher wages for civil servants, Prime Minister Najib Razak has gone on a spending binge to woo voters ahead of polls that must be held by late June. In 2012, he announced a 35 million ringgit ($11 million) voucher program to help taxi drivers pay for new tires, and yesterday said 1,000 of them will get a grant to offset the cost of a new car from Proton Holdings Bhd.

“The government simply throws the money,” Ramachandran, 54, said as he waited for passengers outside a Kuala Lumpur shopping mall, adding that the 520 ringgit he received for the wheels won’t deter him from voting for the opposition for the first time. “Whatever the government gives, I take.”

The opposition, attempting to break the ruling coalition’s hold of more than five decades on power, is also prepared to be generous as it promises free university education, lower fuel prices and the elimination of toll fees. Any fiscal deterioration from persistent largesse could raise the risk of capital outflows should the U.S. shift to tightening monetary policy, triggering a reversal in the flood of cash into emerging markets in recent years.

‘Not Pretty’

“No one will be overly alarmed by whether Malaysia can pay for its spending now but its fiscal trajectory is not a pretty thing,” said Vishnu Varathan, a Singapore-based Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. economist who has covered Malaysia for seven years. “Should investors start pulling money out of emerging markets, Malaysia is not at the top of the hit list but the sustainability of the fiscal situation is a concern for longer- term investors.”

Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy has reported 15 years of budget deficits, and elevated spending has prompted credit rating companies to highlight risks to government finances even as growth accelerates. Last week, the central bank said the economy may expand as much as 6 percent this year, compared with an earlier forecast of up to 5.5 percent.

“There’s a danger that after the election, if it’s a close outcome the government may not have the will to carry out tough reforms” and curb spending, said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Bank of America Corp. in Singapore. “Overall, the risk is for the fiscal deficit to deteriorate.”

Support for the prime minister is the lowest since 2011, with his approval rating falling to 61 percent in February from 63 percent in December, according to a survey from the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

Close Result

The prospect of an even closer election result than the 2008 vote, when the ruling National Front coalition won by its narrowest margin in more than five decades, has helped make the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index the worst performing Southeast Asian benchmark this year. The ringgit has weakened 1.2 percent against the U.S. dollar in 2013, while an index of Malaysian local-currency debt compiled by HSBC Holdings Plc has returned 0.9 percent this year, outperforming six other Asian markets.

In Asia today, Singapore may say inflation quickened in February from a year earlier, while Taiwan industrial output is forecast to have slumped in the same period, Bloomberg surveys showed. Consumer confidence in Italy probably declined last month, while the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and its Dallas counterpart will release economic indicators.

Cyprus agreed to the outlines of an international bailout in overnight talks, paving the way for emergency loans and eliminating the threat of default.

Balanced Budget

Najib has pledged to balance the budget by 2020 from more than 4 percent of gross domestic product last year, saying rising revenue has enabled the country to fund socio-economic programs. Still, government spending in 2012 exceeded original budget projections by about 2 percent of GDP, particularly in wages, pensions, fuel subsidies, and transfers, the International Monetary Fund said last month.

“We are having a race to the bottom, we are having a race on who can be more populist than the other,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs in Kuala Lumpur. “Whatever the scenario, the likelihood is Malaysia will be heading towards a welfare state and the impact on the economy will be long term.”

Najib, 59, must dissolve Parliament by April 28 and hold the poll within 60 days. The prime minister’s planned 251.6 billion ringgit budget for 2013 includes cash handouts for low- income families and higher pensions for civil servants. He has temporarily shelved a plan to cut subsidies on the widely used RON 95 grade of gasoline since 2010 and hasn’t given a date to start a goods and services tax.

Cash Transfers

This month, Najib said cash transfers to poor households will take place annually.

The opposition People’s Alliance coalition, led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, has pledged to increase the threshold for tax payers charged the highest rate to 400,000 ringgit from 250,000 ringgit, and spend 13 billion ringgit to build “affordable homes.” On top of free education in public universities, students who aren’t “well-off” would be given an allowance for food, lodging, books and transportation.

The budget deficit is forecast by the government to shrink to 4 percent of GDP this year from 6.6 percent in 2009. The country “has been successful in moving towards near-budget neutral by 2020,” the government said in a report this month.

Rising Liabilities

The IMF said last month contingent liabilities for the government are growing from the rise of its statutory guarantees, which in part reflect borrowing by special-purpose vehicles set up to finance large public infrastructure projects. The guarantees have increased to 15 percent of GDP, from less than 10 percent in 2008, it said.

Standard & Poor’s said in September that it may lower Malaysia’s ratings if the government can’t deliver on measures such as the implementation of a goods and services tax or changes to its subsidy program to reduce the deficit.

That will hinge on how many voters there are like Syed Abdul Kadir. The Kuala Lumpur taxi driver receives cash handouts to supplement his income and said government scholarships allowed his daughter to become a doctor and his son an engineer.

“I tell my kids every morning to thank God they were born in this country,” said Syed, 49. “The government has given us many good things.”

Eleventh-hour handouts aren’t enough for Ramachandran.

“It’s not in a proper way, it’s like rasuah,” he said, using the Malay word for bribery. “I want to change the government and see what happens for the next five years.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net; Chong Pooi Koon in Kuala Lumpur at pchong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

Find out more about Bloomberg for Android: http://m.bloomberg.com/android

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Q & A on Malaysia’s political scene

This is soooooooooo hilarious.  I’m embarrassed to say that I dont know the right answer to most of these questions…. do you?
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Taken from Malaysia Today, during the time when Anwar was charged with sodomy II, the no-confidence motion, which didnt happen and the July 15 debate between Anwar and Shabery Cheek on fuel subsidies.
By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily
Malaysians have a series of questions in their minds recently. They are about human science, legal knowledge and some human behaviours.

How long is the valid period for DNA?
A. One day
B. One year
C. 10 years
D. forever

Why they need new DNA?
A. The old DNA has exceeded the valid period
B. The old DNA is lost
C. They do not know how to use the old DNA
D. The old DNA belongs to somebody else

What is the role of a sworn statement?
A. Those who believe will believe and those who do not believe can just forget about it
B. It depends on whether the police believe it
C. It has no role
D. It depends on whether it is the first or the second sworn statement

The consequences of making a sworn statement
A. Will be charged
B. Will be protected
C. Will disappear
D. Will have to go for a long vacation

The highest risk industry in Malaysia’s
A. Politician
B. Detective
C. Blogger
D. Photojournalist

Why Anwar was arrested before the deadline?
A. Anwar intended to run away
B. The police was rushing for lunch
C. The police was rushing to treat Anwar curry rice
D. Massive traffic jams

What is the major cause of traffic jams?
A. To encourage the public to take LRT
B. To encourage consumption as Petronas’s profit surged
C. To prove that imported cars are as slow as local-made cars during traffic jams
D. To prove that the police did take action

What were the people trapped in traffic jams thinking?
A. Dare not to drive next time
B. Understand the police’s hard work
C. Join demonstrations
D. Hope that the general elections will be held soon

The feelings when watching the debate between Anwar and Shabery
A. Understand the reasons of increasing fuel prices
B. Finally understand why fuel oil prices should not be increased
C. Watch your mouth when you speak
D. Watch out for your saliva when you speak

The feelings after watching the debate between Anwar and Shabery
A. Very brave
B. Very pathetic
C. Goodbye, minister
D. Why didn’t the government recruit Mahathir?

Who should answer when children ask what is “sodomy”?
A. Parents
B. The Police Force
C. The Attorney-General
D. The Minister of Education

If a child asks what is “sodomy”, it shows that
A. He can be a policeman
B. He can be a prosecutor
C. He can join politics
D. He is destined to be a Malaysian

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Trusting other races

I got this survey results from Malaysia Today, awhile back.  Its quite insightful, although I cant relate to it because I dont trust based on race or looks.  The funny thing that I observed from the results of this survey is that chinese are not very trusting people and viewed as not trust worthy by the other races…. even by their own. 
  
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During the second Malaysian Student Leaders Summit, the Merdeka Centre released a poll report, revealing that the three major races in Malaysia – Chinese, Malays and Indians did not trust in each other:
·         Only 39% of Chinese trusted in Malays, and 38% of Malays trusted in Chinese.
·         Only 29% of Chinese trusted in Indians, and 35% of Indians trusted in Chinese.
·         57% of Indians trusted in Malays, and 55% Malays trusted in Indians.
·         39% of Chinese and 46% of Indians considered themselves as second-class citizens.
·         83% of Malays trusted in Malays, 75% of Indians trusted in Indians and only 57% of Chinese trusted in Chinese.
·         78% of Chinese believed that local politicians should be blamed for segregating the people by playing racial politics. In other words, politicians who play around with racial issues should bear the greatest responsibility. Meanwhile, the survey’s conclusion stated that the mistrust remained prevalent is likely because of Malaysians’ views of each other’s religion, ethnicity and culture were confused.
The survey was done two years ago. The outcome was alarming, but not surprising. I believe that the results would be very likely the same if a similar survey is carried out today.

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