Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Of COURSE the economy is politically linked
















Stimulus packages worth RM473b

KUALA LUMPUR: Another RM200 billion may be allocated to Budget 2010, raising the figure to RM473 billion for the two-year period.
This is on top of the RM206 billion allocated under Budget 2009, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as well as the two stimulus packages of RM7 billion and RM60 billion unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Najib, who has been endorsed as the new Umno president, said the four packages totalling RM473 billion would boost the economy."But the situation still depends on the global economy," he said when winding up the debate on the motion on the economy at the Umno general assembly yesterday.Najib is also the finance minister.
The debate began on Friday with various issues raised, including the economic crisis, government-linked companies and transparency in expenditure under the two stimulus packages.Najib disclosed that a website to keep tabs on spending of the stimulus packages would be launched within the next two weeks.He said RM1.5 billion would be spent up to the end of next month and RM2.5 billion by end of May. "They involve about 32,000 projects, which would involve class F contractors, who are also loyal supporters of Umno." With regard to the GLCs, he refuted claims that a certain individual was director of 60 companies. "I have checked. This is not possible because under the present regulation, an individual can only be a director of 10 public-listed companies and 15 private limited companies."Let me know if there is such a case. I won't allow it," he said to loud applause from the delegates.Najib said the government would continue with programmes to protect the people in the present economic slowdown. This year, the government had allocated RM27.9 billion in subsidies for petrol, diesel, cooking gas, wheat, bread, sugar, flour, rice, textbooks, scholarships, education, health, welfare and tolls.Najib also outlined three concepts to lay a stronger economic foundation for the country. These are high value, innovation-based economy, and productivity and creativity."Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has always stressed the importance of adding value, but I feel that adding value should be matched with a high value economy."Najib said entrepreneurs could explore opportunities in the lucrative bird's nest, seaweed and ornamental fish enterprises.Idle land, especially in the east coast of the peninsula, could be turned into bird's nest breeding ground while the seaweed could be exported to Japan and other countries. On the innovation-based economy, Najib said this was another feature of an advanced economy. Efforts must be made to ensure the people capitalise on an innovation-based economy.In line with Umno's pledge to improve the economic standing of the Malays, he said more Malay companies would be listed on Bursa Malaysia when the economy recovers. -- Bernama
addthis_pub = 'nstonline';

Rakyat Hero.. Voice of Hero
Basically, if Najib can be so blatant about this political-economic favoritism, anyone who expects transparency and fair deals under him is DREAMING..
http://theangryinvestor.blogspot.com/
It is imminent that we are getting a new Prime Minister, which will certainly alter the rules of game for many in the business and political realm. It remains to be seen and only time-tested results will tell IF and only IF the new Premier and his administration will move to which and what direction in the years to come. Yes, we heard him said CHANGE for survival, but there are too much of interpretations and discretionary power in the hands of our ministers and politicians. CHANGES for the survival of those aligned to "me" or for the sake of the well being of the citizens of this beautiful country?Investing in a company basing on its key people with the right connections is not my cup of tea, although it may be very appealing to many. People come and go, relationship based on political links are too valuable yet vulnerable to the winds of change that will not stop, it may be 3-5 years or like Dali said, another decade before we see real up to notch TRANSPARENCY & DEMOCRATIC practice as values in our culture and way of life.Until then, countless resources - natural-resource, talents, land, etc will be wasted in the name of DEVELOPMENT and EQUALITY ...http://marvelous-basics.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-prime-minister-potential-impact-to.html :)

Najib intro
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dato' Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak (born July 23, 1953, in Kuala Lipis, Pahang) is a Malaysian politician, who has been the country's Deputy Prime Minister since January 7, 2004. Najib is a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and is currently the President of the party. He is slated to succeed Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia
[edit] Personal life
Najib is the eldest of Abdul Razak's six sons (the other four being Nizam, Nazim, Nazir, Nazri Aziz and Johari),his younger brother, Nazir Abdul Razak, runs the country's second-largest lender, Bumiputera-Commerce Holdings Bhd.[2] the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, and a nephew of Hussein Onn, the third Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib is regarded as a political blue blood. He was first married to Tengku Puteri Zainah Tengku Eskandar; but is currently married to Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. He has three sons - (Nizar, Nazifuddin and Norashman), and two daughters (Puteri Norlisa and Nooryana Najwa).
Najib received his primary and secondary education at St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He also attended renowned Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Malvern College, Worcestershire, England and subsequently attended the University of Nottingham, where he received a bachelor's degree in industrial economics in 1974.
Aged just 23, he became the youngest MP in Malaysian history, winning uncontested the Pekan constituency in the east coast state of Pahang after it fell vacant following the sudden death of his father.
A year later he became the youngest deputy minister and returned to state politics to become chief minister of Pahang, his home state, by the age of 29.
He later returned as MP and was appointed a full minister in 1987
Najib holds the title of Orang Kaya Inderapura Shahbandar of Pahang Darul Makmur.
Political career

[edit] UMNO
As a candidate for UMNO, Najib was first elected to the Dewan Rakyat in 1976, representing the parliamentary constituency of Pekan in an uncontested election after the death of his father. At the age of 23, Najib was also the youngest member of parliament to be elected.
Within the ranks of UMNO, Najib was first appointed as the head of UMNO Youth's Pekan branch and as a member of UMNO Youth's Executive Council (Exco) in 1976. Beginning 1981, he was selected as a member of UMNO's Supreme Council, before winning the post of vice president of UMNO Youth in 1982, succeeding Mokhtar Hashim following his decision to vacant the post.
In 1987, Najib was announced as the Acting Leader of Movement of UMNO Youth by Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar was asked to contest for the post of Vice President of UMNO. Following the complete reorganisation and founding of the "New" UMNO by Mahathir Mohamad in the aftermath of the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis, Najib was appointed president of UMNO Youth in 1988.
By 1993, Najib was elected as one of six vice presidents of UMNO in response to Anwar's decision to contest as the deputy president of UMNO. Najib continued to defend his post in party elections held in 1993, 1996 and 2000.
On March 26 2009, Najib won the Umno presidency unopposed. Umno permanent chairman Tan Sri Onn Ismail made the declaration at the outset of the Umno General Assembly at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)

[edit] Cabinet member

[edit] Early career in Cabinet
Throughout his political career, Najib held a variety of ministerial portfolios (the first at the age of 32), culminating in the post of Minister of Defense before being chosen as the Deputy Prime Minister by Abdullah Badawi. Najib was first assigned into the Cabinet of Malaysia at the age of 25 when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post in 1978, becoming the youngest deputy minister in the country.
Najib would go on to assume myriad posts in the Cabinet, including the Deputy Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (and its split successor, the Minister of Youth and Sports), the Minister of Education, the Minister of Defense, and the Minister of Finance beginning September 17, 2008.
[edit] Minister of Defense

[edit] The National Service

Najib in his capacity as the Defence Minister of Malaysia
The Malaysian National Service, the creative brainchild of Najib Razak, has been beset by problems since its inception.[3] As of May 2008, there have unfortunately been 16 deaths in the Malaysian National Service.[4] Earlier in 2007, when queried by the press on these deaths, Najib was quoted as saying that the 14 children have died at their homes during NS holidays except for 2 who died from drowning, in an attempt to placate worried Malaysian parents.[5] When recently pressured by more calls to suspend the program due to the deaths, Najib responded that it was not feasible to stop the program since the benefits of the program outweighs the disadvantages.[6] It was reported that 9 out of 89 camps in Malaysia will be closed in 2009 after these camps were found to have failed hygiene standards and the camp infrastructure was not properly maintained. [7]

[edit] Eurocopter Deal
Malaysia Today posted an article entitled "Eurocopter" featuring a letter purportedly from a corrupted businessman Datuk Zahar Hashim, the chairman of Mentari Services Sdn Bhd, the local representatives for a Russian helicopter who lost his bid through international tender with a series of allegations. The letter alleges irregularities in the recent award to Eurocopter for the supply of 12 new aircraft to replace the ageing Sikorsky S-61A-4 "Nuri" fleet of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The letter claims the award was given to Eurocopter even though it was the most expensive of all the companies which submitted tenders. It was claimed that Eurocopter's bid was more than RM1.4 billion over that of the lowest bidder and that there was no proper evaluation done by the Defense Ministry. A purported Letter of Intent was signed by a mid-ranking officer in the ministry (which was later exposed as unfounded) just two days before Najib switched portfolios and moved from the Defense Ministry to the Finance Ministry.[8][9] Datuk Zahar has since faced a tribunal of judges and was expelled form his party UMNO. He has since joined the Pan Islamic Party (PAS). He is now under investigation for misappropriation and abuse of party funds when he was in UMNO. Among the allegations was that he registered the party building wih party funds under his personal name.
On 24 October, 2008 the opposition Pakatan Rakyat Youth wings lodged a report at the Anti-Corruption Agency against Najib Razak for alleged involvement in the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter helicopter deal. They submitted alleged evidence which showed that Malaysia was reported to have signed a letter of intent to acquire 12 Eurocopter EC 727 Cougar helicopters for a sum of RM2.3 billion while Brazil paid US$1.2 billion for 50 units of the same model which was found to be of a much lower specifications.[10][11][12]

[edit] Scorpene Submarines and Sukhoi Fighters deal
The Malaysian opposition has also accused Najib of involvement in the alleged payment of large commissions to close associates for the purchases of two Scorpene submarines and 18 Sukhoi fighter jets. Sekretariat Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) recently lodged a police report with allegations tying Najib Razak for corruption and the ongoing trial of Razak Baginda of the murder of Altantuya, who were one of the alleged beneficiaries of the large commissions. [13]

[edit] Patrol Boats
In late 2007, Malaysia's Auditor General tabled a report in Parliament alleging that a contract to build naval vessels given to PSC-Naval Dockyard, a subsidiary of Penang Shipbuilding & Construction Sdn Bhd, owned by an UMNO crony, Amin Shah Omar Shah was in serious trouble. PSC-Naval Dockyard was contracted to deliver six patrol boats for the Malaysian Navy in 2004 and complete the delivery by last April 2008. Those were supposed to be the first of 27 offshore vessels ultimately to cost RM24 billion plus the right to maintain and repair all of the country's naval craft. But only two of the barely operational patrol boats had been delivered by middle of 2006. There were 298 recorded complaints about the two boats, which were also found to have 100 and 383 uncompleted items aboard them respectively. [14] The original RM5.35 billion contract ballooned to RM6.75 billion by January 2007. The auditor also reported that the ministry had paid out RM4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only RM2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of RM1.39 billion, or 48 percent. In addition, Malaysia's cabinet waived late penalties of RM214 million. Between December 1999, according to the Auditor General, 14 progressive payments amounting to RM943 million despite the fact that the auditor general could find no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments. The auditor general attributed the failure to serious financial mismanagement and technical incompetence stemming from the fact that PSC had never built anything but trawlers or police boats before being given the contract by Najib and the Ministry of Defense. [15]

[edit] Issues of succession
In many of the controversies about him, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi identified Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Razak on 6 April 2008 as his probable successor in line with the ruling party's tradition of political succession.[16] . Even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir predicted that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will never allow his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take over as Prime Minister. He said that although Abdullah promises that Najib would succeed him by 2010, allegations would be hurled against the deputy prime minister before then to show up his inability to take over.[17]
Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) report was lodged by veteran Umno member Mazlan Harun, whose father was imprisoned for 10 years for corruption by Najib's maternal uncle Prime Minister Tun Hussein, in August against Najib Razak and Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi for alleged abuse of power. Mazlan had said the report was based on a letter written by then Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno division head Kapt (R) Datuk Zahar Hashim who wasn't chosen as candidate for the last general elections which accused the two of "political corruption of the highest order." Ironically, both Mazlan and Zahar has been convicted before for corruption and wealth obtained by unexplained means. In the letter addressed to the Umno secretary-general, Zahar said the two top leaders had been campaigning to defend their positions despite asking others not to do the same, adding their actions had violated guidelines issued by party headquarters.[18] On 8 October, 2008 Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced he would step down at last in March 2009 paving the way for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to succeed him. However he said the onus was on Najib to win party elections set for March before he could take over.[19][20] Najib went on to win without contest hence continues UMNO's leadership tradition succession without competition.
The former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim has urged the King not appoint Najib as prime minister, and instead appoint someone else from Umno. He pointed out Najib has been linked on the internet and by political rivals to the brutal murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. Zaid also cited the RM400 million in commissions reportedly paid by the Defence Ministry while Najib was minister for the procurement of submarines, and pointed out that Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib's friend, was an agent in the deal. [21] This was after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister also said that Najib not shine as a deputy prime minister and stated that Najib carried a lot of baggage into the Prime Minister's job.[22]
UMNO statesman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah stated that as the PM-in waiting Najib should take the witness stand to clear his name or take legal action against the growing number of foreign publications linking him with the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu and the purchase of submarines.[23]

[edit] Other posts
In addition to positions held in the federal government, Najib served as the Menteri Besar (Chief Executive) of Pahang between 1982 and 1986, becoming the youngest Menteri Besar in the state to enter office when he was sworn in at the age of 29.
Najib was also appointed chairman of the Livestock Development Institute (Lembaga Kemajuan Penternakan, Majuternak). On January 29, 2008 , Najib began taking over as Perak Umno liaison committee chairman and state Barisan Nasional chairman, replacing former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali who has resigned from the posts [24]

[edit] Allegations and Controversies

[edit] 1987 Kampung Baru rally
In the midst of UMNO's internal crisis in 1987, a rally by UMNO Youth led by Najib was held in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Anti-Chinese sentiments were expressed openly during the rally with placard carrying slogans like "May 13 has begun". In a widely documented speech Najib vowed to bathe the keris with Chinese blood.[25] The keris is a traditional Malay weapon that is often used as a symbol for Malay nationalism. This precipitated existing ethnic tensions leading to fears of a repeat of inter-ethnic violence and eventually resulted in a security operation known as Operasi Lalang, where administrative detentions were made on hundreds of individuals [26].
UMNO was also declared illegal in early 1988, allowing then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to consolidate his power with the establishment of a new party that assumed the name of the previously banned UMNO. The newly formed party excluded those who had previously challenged Mahathir's authority within the party.[27]

[edit] Declaration regarding Malaysia as an Islamic state
In keeping in line with popular strategy of politicizing racial and religious issues[28], Najib declared on August 2007 that Malaysia has "never been secular because being secular by Western definition means separation of the Islamic principles of in the way we govern the country."[29] Najib's comments subsequently sparked a heated public debate which in turn, roped in other organisations–also split over opinions–to make differing statements on Malaysia's position as an Islamic or Secular state.[30]The Opposition member PAS of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition supported this by demanding an immediate implementation of Hudud laws and separating males with females and muslims from non Muslims at public places.

[edit] Murder of Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa
Main article: Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa
Najib's officer, Abdul Razak Baginda, who was involved in a high-profile murder case of a Mongolian woman, was subsequently acquitted without calling for defence due to comprehensive lack of a prima facae case, as pronounced by the High Court, which indicated dark forces at work within UMNO in undermining Najib's reputation,[31] Altantuya Shaaribuu.

[edit] Raja Petra's Statutory Declaration
In a statutory declaration in his sedition trial in June 2008, Raja Petra accused Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (Najib's wife) of being one of three individuals who was present at the crime scene when Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered on Oct 19, 2006,[32] adding Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Acting Colonel Aziz Buyong and his wife, Norhayati, Rosmah's purported aide-de-camp, were present at the scene of the murder; Raja further wrote Aziz Buyong whose expertise was giving army housing loans was the individual who placed C4 plastic explosive on Altantuya's body and blew it up.[33]
Shaariibuu Setev, the father of murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, has asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation into an allegation by Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin. He said the police should look seriously into the allegation by Raja Petra as it might provide them with fresh evidence.[34] In retaliation, the two people named in Raja Petra Kamarudin’s statutory declaration on June 18, Lt-Col Aziz Buyong and his wife Lt-Col Norhayati Hassan, as having been present at the murder scene of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu are suing the Malaysia Today editor for defamation. Aziz is seeking an apology from Raja Petra to be published in certain websites and newspapers, the removal of the statutory declaration from his blog and damages of RM1 million.[35]

[edit] Alleged Interference in the Investigation and Trial
Raja Petra's website Malaysia Today carried a report detailing allegations on an exchange of text messages between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the Altantunya. The SMSes, which went on from 8 November to 2 December 2006, raise some questions over the handling of the murder case and suggests that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning and might have interfered in the trial proceedings.[36] Raja Petra’s counsel, J. Chandra, later insinuated that the article titled ‘Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell’ on April 25 under Raja Petra’s byline was posted without his consent or knowledge. [37] [38]

[edit] The Raja Petra's Sedition Trial
In the cross-examination of Superintendent Gan Tack Guan, Raja Petra's defence lawyer shot question after question over Gan’s failure, as the police officer who lodged the report against Raja Petra, to record Najib’s statement despite being named in Raja Petra’s allegedly seditious article published in his website on April 25 last year [39]

[edit] Balasubramaniam's Statutory Declaration
Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal, a private investigator hired by Abdul Razak, testified in a statutory declaration that Abdul Razak had told him that Najib had had annal sexual relationships with Altantuya and her father, introduced her to Abdul Razak in Singapore at a time Najib was on official duty elsewhere, and made arrangements to protect Abdul Razak from the murder trial. All mention of Najib's involvement had been removed from Balasubramaniam's testimony after he was intimidated by police and not brought up in the murder trial [40]. Following the police interrogation, Balasubramaniam made a retraction of the statutory declaration that he made on July 1 and replaced it with one that erased all traces of allegations with references to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder. His lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu said he was not able to get in touch with Bala despite repeated phone calls.[41] The Malaysian police said on Sunday 6 July that they have asked Interpol to help find the private investigator who has been reported missing since making explosive claims linking the deputy premier to a murder. Bala's nephew has filed a missing person's report, saying the investigator and his family had disappeared. [42] It was discovered on July 10 that Balasubramaniam's house in Taman Pelangi here has been broken into but police have yet to ascertain whether anything was stolen. Balasubramaniam is said to have taken refuge in a neighbouring country with his wife and children.[43]

[edit] French Newspaper Liberation
French newspaper Liberation claimed that Najib Razak had indeed met with Altantuya, who was the mistress of Abdul Razak Baginda, his close aide and associate, in Paris in 2005. It mentioned that a photograph was allegedly taken showing the three in a Paris nightclub.[44] The Liberation also suggested that Abdul Razak had been Najib’s intermediary for arms purchases. In October 2006, the newspaper claims that Altantuya was informed that the commission paid by Armaris, a Spanish company involved in Malaysia’s acquisition of three submarines for one billion euros (RM4.7 billion), had been deposited in a bank account in Malaysia. The commission of 114 million euros was allegedly paid into the account of Perimekar, a company Razak controlled. Altantuya then allegedly flew to Kuala Lumpur to demand her share of the commission, which was to have been US$500,000. [45]

[edit] Murder trial
On July 22, 2008, in light of the new declarations lawyer Karpal Singh filed a notice of motion to call Najib and three others to testify in the trial for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. Karpal who holds a watching brief for Altantuya's family, also sought to recall private detective P. Balasubramaniam who was the first prosecution witness in the trial. Karpal also wanted all proceedings with regard to the trial to be postponed pending the disposal of his application. [46] On 23 July 2008 the High Court rejected a petition by lawyer Karpal Singh to obtain testimony from Najib, dealing a blow to the opposition's efforts to link Najib to the 2006 killing of translator Altantuya Shaariibuu. In rejecting the application, High Court judge Mohd Zaki said Karpal, who is holding a watching brief for victim Altantuya's family, has no locus standi or is in no position to make the application. He mentioned only the parties involved, namely the prosecution and the defense, have the right to do so.[47][48]
Even behind bars under ISA detention, Raja Petra's website Malaysia Today carried a report detailing allegations on an exchange of text messages between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the Altantunya. The SMSes, which went on from 8 November to 2 December, 2006 raises some questions over the handling of the murder case which reads like a John Le Carre thriller and suggests that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning, an irony within the Malaysian context that begs to question how do the likes of Raja Petra ( now released!) and the civil societies get their powers from, unless some invisible hand assisting from the corridors within the government itself v.[36] A police report was made against Najib by “Sekretariat Anak Muda Malaysia” (SAMM) in relation to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case, calling for the police to reopen the investigation papers on the murder of the Mongolian and investigate their allegation that Najib misused his power and postion in the case.[49][50]
On 31 October 2008, High Court Justice Zaki Yasin acquitted Razak of abetting in the murder of Altantuya. Dr Shaariibuu Setev, Altantuya's fathers had instructed lawyer Karpal Singh, who held a watching brief during the trial to apply for a review.[51] On 24 December, Karpal Singh filed an application at the High Court here on Wednesday to quash the Attorney General’s decision not to appeal Abdul Razak Baginda’s acquittal. He said the application for leave was necessary since the 14 day period to file for an appeal by the Attorney General against the Oct 31 acquittal had expired on 14 November. [52] Najib Razak who will become prime minister after the Umno party polls in March, will want to put to rest any links to the murder trial as he seeks to rebuild and strengthen his Barisan Nasional coalition.[53]

[edit] Alleged Destruction of Evidence
After the murder of Altantuya, Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi the honorary consul of Mongolia in Malaysia contacted Shaaribuu Setev, her father. When Datuk Said asked Shaaribuu for all documents, especially pictures, notebooks, films, computer files that could help with the murder investigation, Shaaribuu did not hesitate. He gave Alhabshi everything he had found in his daughter appartment in Ulan Bator. Alhabshi kept the documents for himself, not giving them to the court in Malaysia. “We thought he was working for us, but actually he is working for the malaysian side”, says Shaaribuu with bitterness. Altantuya’s father then asked the Mongolian foreign ministry to dismiss Datuk Said from his position as an honorary consul. The ministry then summoned the diplomat in Ulan Bator to ask him to explain his behaviour. To justify his attitude, Datuk Said has said to Shaaribuu “Given my high position within Umno, it is not possible for me to oppose Najib Razak”. [54]

[edit] Religiosity issues
On 22 August 2008, Najib publicly swore according to Islam at Masjid Jamek Guar Perahu that he never knew murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, nor had anything to do with her. The deputy prime minister said: "Even though this is not an official oath on the Quran: Wallahi, Wabillahi, Watallahi, I never knew nor had anything to do with the Mongolian woman Altantuya." [55] Raja Petra, who has never exercised his democratic rights again vowed to deny Najib a chance to be Prime Minister, put up the sworn statement on this Malaysia Today website by Thagarajoo Thangavelu who claimed to be a driver for businessman Datuk Kenneth Eswaran and formerly for politician Datuk K.S. Nallakaruppan in a posting titled "Najib: Muslim by birth, Hindu by practice". In the statutory declaration dated Aug 22 and made in Kuala Lumpur, Thagarajoo claimed Eswaran was a close friend of Najib and had brought a Hindu priest from Kerala named Mr. Ji to perform rituals regularly at the deputy prime minister's private residence in Jalan Duta and also at the official residence in Putrajaya. He also claimed that the priest had performed similar rituals before the 2007 Ijok by-election to ensure Barisan Nasional's victory and also to prevent Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from marrying Jeanne Abdullah.[56][57]

[edit] Conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim
On 30 June 2008, Najib denied any personal involvement in the alleged political conspiracy against former deputy premier Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, including a police report alleging Anwar committed sodomy against his former aide. He said the picture of his aide Khairil Anas Yusof with the alleged sodomy victim Saiful Bukhari Azlan at his office had been taken three months ago when the latter, in his capacity as a student leader, came to his office to seek a scholarship.[58] However, on 1 July 2008, Najib mentioned that he met Saiful at his residence a few days before the Saiful made the police report on Anwar. Najib also said that Saiful sought to meet Najid to reveal that he had been sodomised by Anwar.[59] Raja Petra contended that a friend had accompanied Saiful to a meeting with Najib before charges against Anwar were made public, implying that the new charges against Anwar had been trumped up.[60]
It was alleged by Federal Territory Mosque PKR member imam Ramlang Porigi that Najib's special officer Assoc Prof Khairil Annas Jusoh asked him to witness the oath-taking at the mosque on 15 August 2008 by Saiful that Anwar sodomised him.Prof Khairil Anns is suing him for defamation. Ramlang was the witness at the Federal Territory Mosque in Jalan Duta on August 15 when Mohd Saiful Bukhari took an oath to demonstrate he was telling the truth when he accused Anwar of having sodomised him.[61] Ramlang Porigi said that Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s Quranic oath or “sumpah muhabalah” was technically wrong. “I was only there as a witness, to listen in,” he elaborated, noting that Saiful made two errors while reciting the oath. The first was when he mispronounced the word for God and Ramlang had to correct him; and the second when he confused the date of the alleged sodomy incident and corrected himself. It was supposed to have happened on June 26, but Saiful slipped and said Aug 26 instead. Ramlang described that Saiful looked far from regretful or fearful, for someone who had just uttered dreadful words that essentially asked God to rain down his just vengeance on him and his descendants if he lied. Ramlang reiterated that he had only been given the role of witness to play that day because he had been ordered to do so by his superiors. He mentioned that as a simple government servant, he had to follow orders.[62]

[edit] Election Campaigning
During the Kuala Terengganu by-election on January 17, 2009 Najib who was in charge of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition's election campaign tried to spend its way to victory. It was stated that he handed out a ridiculous RM10.5 billion to voters. That works out at nearly RM131,250 for each voter in the seaside electorate, which included the establishment of a billion ringgit trust to manage the state's oil revenue and the well-timed handover of millions in petroleum royalties. Barisan Nasional eventually lost the election. [63]

[edit] Allegations of Bribing Elected Officials to crossover to Barisan Nasional
Ipoh Barat PKR division head Fauzi Muda, in his statutory declaration made before Commissioner of Oaths Yong Yoke Thye, claimed that he had received an offer of RM50 million from the BN to bring in at least two Perak State Assemblymen, to join Umno or become an Independent. Fauzi who has been convicted twice for perjury and false representation before also claimed that he was recently offered RM50 million for himself, RM 50 million to Anwar Ibrahim and another RM5 million each to the two Perak State Executive Councillors, PKR Assemblyman for Changkat Jering, Mohd Osman Jailu, and the PKR Assemblyman for Behrang, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, to defect. In this statutory declaration he claimed that BN purportedly promised that the corruption charges on the two Assemblymen, where they were charged with accepting bribes to obtain an approval for a housing project worth RM180 million at Sri Iskandar, Perak Tengah, would be dropped if they defected. [64] The statutory declaration pointed to Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, who has been working for Najib Razak as the person who tried to bribe the elected officials. [65] [66] The statutory declaration also revealed that Fauzi had a face-to-face meeting with Najib on 11 March 2008, during which Najib made him the offer of RM50 million to entice Perak state assemblypersons to leave the Pakatan Rakyat state government. The Malaysian police has begun investigations after UMNO lodged a poliece report and if initial findings reveal that Fauzi has been lying and he will be picked up soon for criminal defamation. [67][68]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Najib_Tun_Razak










Monday, 30 March 2009

market data

Malaysia
Economic Releases
Date Time
Event
Survey
Prior
Tuesday
03/31/2009
Unemployment Rate
4Q
- -
3.10%
03/31/2009
Current Account Balance
4Q
- -
38714M
03/31/2009 18:00
M3 Money Supply (YoY)
FEB
- -
9.00%
Friday
04/03/2009 12:01
Exports YoY%
FEB
-25.00%
-27.80%
04/03/2009 12:01
Imports YoY%
FEB
-28.00%
-32.00%
04/03/2009 12:01
Trade Balance
FEB
8.00B
8.83B

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Lessons from a Theocratic State


This year is the 30th Anniversary of the Iranian revolution.I have written an article on “How Iran became a Theocratic State”. The whole paper is quite long, about 7 pages of single spacing , and so I would not post it here. I would however write a summary and my conclusions in this post.There is a saying that ‘history is a mirror”. From history we can learn a lot of lessons. In particular, how Iran became a theocratic state can be a valubale lesson to all of us in Malaysia.Iran has more than 70 million population , 89% of them Muslims, mainly Shiite Muslims. It has a history dating back to as long as 5 thousands years ago. In 632 AD, when the Muslim army defeated the Persian Army (Iran was formerly known as Persia) at the Battle of Al Qadisiyah, it had slowly revolved into a Muslim State. There were many dynasties over the years, and at the turn of the 10th centruy , it was ruled by the Qajar Dynasty.In 1905, after a series of defeats by the Imperial Russian Army and the British Army, coupled with a very corrupt rule by the Qajar Shah, there was a massive revolt and protest by the people. The Qajar Shah had to give up his power of rule to save his throne and establish a Parliament and Iran became a Constitutional Monarchy…In 1921, an army general Reza Shah ( the father of the last Shah of Iran) staged a coup detat and seized the power of the government, and became the Commander in Chief. He became the power behind the throne. In 1925, he overthrew the Qajar Shah, and became the Shah of a new Dynasty, Pahlavi Dynasty.. (** Note Mao’s famous saying: power comes from the barrels of the guns). Iran , however, remain a Constutional Monarchy.In 1941, Reza Shah had to abdicate after British and USSR invaded Iran as Iran was siding the Nazis. Reza’s son, Mohammad Reza , became the Shah ..(The last Shah of Iran)..In 1951, a new Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq was elected as head of government. He immediately nationalised the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a British company mainly, and incurred the wrath of both the USA and Britain. Meanwhile, the Last Shah and the PM clasehed over appointment of a minister of War. The PM turned to the people and there was a massive show of support from the people.In the end, the last Shah had to back down. But in cohort with the CIA, they planned a coup and overthrew the government of Mossadeq….After overthrowing the elected govenrment, The Shah suspended Parliament and Iran became a autocratic state with the Shah ruled with the help of his ministers…Under the rule of the Last Shah, there were repressive laws and detention of dissidents without trials. There were wide spread corruptions, and the oil money and policies benefited only about a thousand families, and Iran was effectively a oligarchy..There were suppression of the clerics, and Ayatollay Khomeni was exiled in 1964 after being put under house arrest in 1963.The Shah also implemented certain rules that were not popular with the muslims population, such as allowing women the right to votes; a husband had to obtain permission fromt he wife before taking the second wife; and legal matter involving families were transfered to the juridiction of the civil court and not the religious court.Because of the oil money and mismanagement of the economy, Iran had a run away Inflation, and people simply had to money to buy things… There were massive demonstraions in Teheran and elsewhere, to which the Shah used not only tear gas, but live bullets. Army and police were ordered to shoot into the crowd.Those around my age would recall the massive demonstrations of a few million people in Teheran and elsewhere in Iran late 1978 and January 1979. They made newspaper headlines for many days in a row, as far as I can recall..In December 1998, 3 millions were in the streets , and refused to move. The soldiers had by then refused to obey the shooting order, and many became part of the demonstrating crowd.In the end, the SHah went on National radio to apologise and promise a new rule. But it was too late. He had no choice but leave Iran on the 6th of January 1979. Khomeini returned in February and establish a theocratic government , in which the president is subjected to the highest religious council called the Council of the Guardians, which became the most powerful council overseeing the President and the council of ministers. The Grand Ayatollah became the most powerful man and his word is the final law…In conclusion, the reasons why the Shah was overthrown as I have analysed it would be posted below.. This can serve as a lesson to all of us in Malaysia that no matter how powerful you are and how much control you have of government apparatus, ultimately an unpopular government will be overthrown. These are my conclusions:
Unpopular autocratic rule. Since the coup de’tat supported by covert operation of CIA in 1953, the Shah had ruled as an absolute monarchy in a land that was a Constitutional Monarchy for many decades before. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; the Shah’s rule led to abuses and corruption.
Suppression and Brutality. There was a total suppression of any dissent and dissidents were arrested without trials; many were killed at the hands of the secret intelligence service SAVAK. Demonstrations were brutally put down with army and police personnel asked to shoot into crowds. The populace came to regard the Shah as a tyrant and any resistance to this tyrannical rule was deemed to be better than the autocratic rule.
Poor economic management. Despite the fact that Iran was having an oil boom, few in the populace benefited from the boom. In fact, inflation was in double digits and people simply could not cope with their meager pay. On top of that, unemployment was increasing and a hungry person was always willing to go against the establishment. The Shah’s regime was in fact viewed as an oligarchy, with the economic advances benefited only a selected few, around a thousand families.Huge amount of money was spent on arms at a time when people were suffering from high inflation and unemployment. The widening gap between the few rich and the poor populace fueled more discontent. Shortages of food and necessities were commonly experienced by the masses, whereas the rich led a lifestyle of extravagance
The rise of the clerics. Because of the unpopular rule and the introduction of policies that were seemed contrary to the teachings of Islam, the mostly Muslim populace (89% of Iranians were Muslims) turned increasing to the clerics for direction and guidance. Those who died at the hands of the Shah were viewed as martyrs. The Shah’s suppression and attempt at modernization of the social fabric of Iran created the opposite effects of fuelling the conservative Islamic revival.
Foreign intervention. Iran before 1953 was a constitutional monarchy. It was overthrown through the cooperation of the Shah and the CIA via Operation Ajax, following the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company by the then Prime Minister. The toppling of a democratically elected government effectively stifled the rule of laws and Iran became a classic case of ‘rule by man’ with the resultant abuses. The presence of foreign workers and more than 50,000 Americans in Iranian soil added to the anger and hatred towards the Shah.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Malaysian Ringgit Gains as Stimulus May Spur Growth; Bonds Fall

March 10 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit rose to the strongest this month on optimism a second public spending program to be announced in parliament today will help prevent the economy from slipping into a recession. Bonds declined.
The currency declined 2.3 percent over the past three months even after Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak implemented a $1.9 billion package announced in November. The new spending may be as much as 35 billion ringgit ($9.4 billion), Agence France-Presse reported March 8, citing a government official it didn’t identify.
“The stimulus will help the economy and the key is not so much the amount but the implementation,” said Zulkifli Hamzah, head of research at MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “It may take time to remove the gloom in the economy and the ringgit.”
The ringgit gained 0.4 percent to 3.7015 per dollar as of 12:42 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, from 3.7175 on March 6, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Financial markets were closed yesterday for a public holiday.
Government reports over the past month showed the nation’s exports shrank for a fourth month in January and industrial production slumped in December by the most in more than 6 1/2 years. Bank Negara Malaysia has slashed its overnight policy rate to a record low of 2 percent from 3.5 percent in three meetings since November. The Southeast Asian economy may shrink this year amid a slump in global demand, it said on Feb. 24.
Bonds Tumble
Bonds tumbled, pushing benchmark five-year yields to the highest in four months, on speculation the government will sell more debt to fund its extra spending.
The yield on the 5.094 percent note due in April 2014 jumped 15 basis points to 3.75 percent in Kuala Lumpur, according to Bursa Malaysia. The price dropped 0.707, or 7.07 ringgit per 1,000 ringgit face amount, to 106.22. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
“The bond and rates markets are bearing the brunt of market speculation about the size of the stimulus, some of which are on the extreme side,” said Suresh Kumar Ramanathan, a strategist at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “This increased the worry about the government’s ability to finance the stimulus package.”
The finance ministry will sell an additional 4.5 billion ringgit of the 2014 notes in an auction on March 12, the single biggest offering since it sold 5 billion ringgit of three-year notes in June 2004.
The sale will take this year’s tally to 20 billion ringgit, the busiest start to a year since at least 1999, according to data published by the central bank. The government sold a record 60 billion ringgit of bonds in 2008.
To contact the reporter on this story: David Yong in Singapore at dyong@bloomberg.net.

非回教徒不准用Allah字眼‧檳沙砂直將頒佈禁令, Remaining states to gazette ruling for non-Muslim publications

KUALA LUMPUR: The four states which have yet to gazette a ruling prohibiting non-Muslim publications from using the word “Allah” will soon follow suit once the Conference of Rulers issues them a guideline on the matter.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Penang, the Federal Territory, Sabah and Sarawak would soon gazette the ruling as part of their state enactments on Islamic matters.
“These four states are without rulers. Hence, Islam is under the King’s jurisdiction. It (gazetting of the ruling) will be done very soon.
“They will follow the guidelines to be determined by the Conference of Rulers,” he told reporters after the national-level Maulidur Rasul celebration at Dataran Merdeka here yesterday.
It was reported that action could be taken against non-Muslim publications, including the Catholic weekly The Herald in 10 states if they were found to be using four words related to Islam, which included “Allah.”
Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Kelantan, Tereng-ganu, Kedah, Perlis and Selangor have made the ruling part of their state enactments on Islamic matters.
A fatwa had been issued to prohibit non-Muslim publications from using the words “Allah,” “Kaabah,” “Solat” and “Baitullah” in reading materials.
The Catholic church has applied for a judicial review over the use of the word “Allah,” seeking to quash the decision of the Internal Security Minister (now Home Minister) in a letter on Feb 12, which imposed conditions on the publishing permit of The Herald.
大馬
即時新聞 2009-03-09 16:26
(吉隆坡)掌管宗教事務的首相署部長拿督斯里阿末扎希表示,政府將在近日內對4個沒有奉行蘇丹制度的州屬,頒佈非回教徒禁用“Allah”(阿拉)字眼的禁令。
他今日(週一,3月9日)出席回教先知誕慶典後在新聞發佈會上指出,除了檳城、沙巴、砂拉越和聯邦直轄區(吉隆坡及納閩)外,全國10個州屬已立法禁止非回教徒使用“Allah”字眼。
他說,國內4個沒有奉行蘇丹制度的州屬屬國家元首管轄權限,政府將在短期內依據馬來統治者理事會的指南程序,頒佈全國禁止非回教徒使用“Allah”字眼的決定。
阿末扎希較早前在國會下議院表示,禁用“Allah”字眼無需通過舉證解決,因此不應交由議會或法庭做出判決。
他當時說,由於國家憲法3(2)條文闡明蘇丹是回教首長,因此“Allah”使用權的問題應交由馬來統治者決定。星洲互動‧2009.03.09

make sure they complete the proj in time,

RM202m for Sabah, S'wak hardcore poor
Kuala Lumpur: The Federal Government has allocated RM202 million on projects to build 5,050 houses and longhouses for hardcore poor families in Sabah and Sarawak.
Rural and Regional Development Minister, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, said of the allocation, RM102 million would be used for 2,550 houses in Sarawak while the remainder RM100 million for 2,500 houses in Sabah under the housing aid programme (PBR).
"The projects will include 145 longhouses worth RM6.38 million at Seduku Baru and Batang Lupar and eight longhouses worth RM6.4 million at Limbang, Miri, Bintulu, Kapit, Mukah, Sarikei, Betong and Sri Aman, destroyed in a fire recently," he said in a statement here, Saturday.
Muhammad said the Government would spend RM49.6 million on four new housing areas in Sabah, comprising 1,240 houses, to restructure Kg Mengkabong in Tuaran, Kg Kiandut and Ladang PPRT Tongod and Kalabakan.
Another RM50.4 million would be spent on individual projects, part of the 17,000 houses costing RM500 million to be built for hardcore poor families nationwide under the aid programme.
"Each house will cost RM40,000 as agreed by the Cabinet meeting on Oct 1. We will discuss with the Sarawak Public Works and Housing Departments on the standard plan for longhouses. It can be modified to suit community needs."
Muhammad said to ensure more efficient implementation, the Ministry would ask state governments, including those ruled by the opposition, to allocate sites for hardcore poor housing projects.
Families with a household income of RM720 monthly are categorised as hardcore poor. - Bernama

为大马经济感到担忧


早在几个月前,全球很多国家为了振兴国内衰退的经济,无不推出数额庞大的振兴配套,以期为萎靡不振的经济注入活力。可大马不懂是不是学坐禅学到了最高境界,可以在全球经济衰退的浪潮中,完全不当一回事。除了去年很早宣布的50亿马币之外,之后就没有后续动作了!

就算这几个星期即将公布的“迷你预算案”,用作振兴国家经济的款项,预计也只有100亿至200亿之间,却过半会是行政开销,对经济实际的帮助不会很大。经济一不好,人民吃饭都有问题。人民吃不饱,穿不暖,理所当然会向政府跄声。政局一不稳,政治领袖都忙着拆政敌的暗招,你认为他们还会为国家的经济着想,为国家的未来发展着想吗?

大马其实是一个很棒的国家,这个国家拥有丰饶的天然资源、广阔的土地、优美的热带风景,还有那多元种族的风俗习惯,一个富强的国家。我们的国家可以是我以上所说的,只要我们的政府在执政方面,秉持着“公平、公正与公开”于所有的大马公民。不然,我只可以说,大马只会是适合居住的国家,不是值得投资的国家。

就因为这个原因,我目前绝大部分的钱,都投资在香港、中国及新加坡的股票市场。这些国家经济,有的是活力、效率!


Political leaders of the Christian faith in Sabah have been urged to support the current signature campaign

Political leaders urged to back signature campaign

9th March, 2009

KOTA KINABALU: Political leaders of the Christian faith in Sabah have been urged to support the current signature campaign appealing to the government to lift the ban on the usage of the word “Allah” in Christian publications.

Ronnie Klassen, an initiator of the campaign at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here yesterday noted that while there were Christian ministers from Sabah in both the federal and state cabinets, they appeared silent on the issue.

He also regretted that many civil servants of the Christian faith declined to sign the petition for fear of “repercussions”, even though they supported the campaign in spirit.

“As Christians, we must examine our faith and defend it when it is being oppressed in an unnecessary manner. Otherwise, we should not claim or identify ourselves as Christians,” he asserted.

Nonetheless, he was glad to note the overwhelming response towards the campaign from the Christian community in Sabah.

The total number of signatures collected thus far has exceeded 5,000 since it was officially launched on 3 March.

During the first session at the Sacred Heart Cathedral alone, a total of 1,800 signatures were collected.

“Response from the Christian community has been overwhelming and beyond expectation. Never did I imagine that the Christian community is determined to endorse this appeal. We are so moved by the support,” said Klassen adding that he and his committee were further encouraged by the comments from the petitioners.

He maintained that the ban on the usage of the word “Allah” in the Christian community was unconstitutional and absurd, citing that it had been used by people from other faiths for many centuries.

“I have uncles and aunties who are Muslims and we don’t have any problem or confusion over the use of the word ‘Allah’. While we each have our individual faiths, we still live in harmony,” he noted.

According to him, the campaign will last until March 29, after which the collected signatures will be attached to a memorandum and handed over to the Prime Minister.

Those who wish can also sign the petition online at www.PetitionOnline.com/sabahan/petition.html.

Monday, 9 March 2009

金融危机与贸易保护主义

● 仝月婷

  当前国际金融体系正经历着一场前所未见的危机,并已经严重影响到全球的实体经济。无论是发达国家还是发展中国家,都难独善其身。面临如此困境,各国政府以及政治人物都或多或少地显示出转向贸易保护的倾向。虽然这或许是可以预料的,但仍然值得我们对此保持足够的警惕。

  大多数经济学家和决策者都认为,自由贸易能够促进资源的合理以及有效的配置,从而对经济的总体增长与长期发展做出积极的贡献。然而在经济开放的过程中,并非所有的人都能均等受益。

  事实上,由于贸易的增加会伴随着经济与产业结构的调整,也就不可避免地会冲击到那些不具国际竞争力的产业,并引发严重的结构性失业问题,从而使一部分人收入大幅下降。

  因此,如果政府没有采取有效措施解决失业与收入差距拉大的问题,就必然要面对某些产业对经济开放的强烈反对。

  其实,各国国内对贸易开放的怀疑长期存在。而当经济运作出现困难,失业成为最重要的焦点问题,政府就更难以对这样的反对声音视而不见。况且,对政治人物而言,把本国的经济问题加罪予他国,也是赢得支持、降低政治成本的一项有效办法。

  而尤其值得我们关注的是,与过去相比,今天的贸易保护,无论从形式上还是内容上,都产生了很多变化。而且,贸易保护可能会通过不同层次的政策手段和措施来实现。

保护主义严重影响贸易

  传统的贸易保护主义,大多体现在通过大幅提高进口关税以及对进口的数量性控制,来保护本国企业不受或少受进口产品的竞争压力。然而,这一类的保护措施不仅其有效性值得怀疑,而且可能带来相当大的代价,特别是在今天全球经济一体化的新形势下。

  比如说,对任何一个经济体来说,尤其是相对小的经济体,其本国的生产与消费都对贸易有相当程度的依赖。全球经济的一体化同时也就意味着一国经济的相对专业化,只靠本国的企业,无法满足其消费者对产品及其多样性的需求。因此,即使可以通过提高关税以及限制数量达到减少进口的目的,此类措施对本国企业的帮助作用是有限的。

  同样的,只靠本国市场,也无法消化一个国家中企业的全部产出。因此,如果这类措施招致其贸易伙伴的报复性贸易保护措施,该国企业的出口则不免遭受严重打击。其结果不免是两败俱伤。

  出于上述原因,这些年来贸易保护的形式及措施都发生了很多变化,80年代日本汽车业对美的“主动出口限制”就是一个例子。在奥巴马政府新一轮救市方案中的所谓“购买美国货”的条文也是一个例子。

  在这一条文中,凡是用救市计划资金进行的政府采购,都要优先购买本国产品。虽然没有明确地提出限制进口,但其对贸易的影响依然不可忽视。

  另外,不同国家也陆续出台或考虑出台一些针对本国某些特定产业的救市计划,如美国对其银行业、汽车业的拯救计划,以及法国与意大利考虑对其汽车业实施帮助措施等等。

  其中,最受关注的仍是美国救市计划中所谓“购买美国货”的条文,并已经引发了包括经济学者、政府以及市场的广泛忧虑。这一条文之所以引起关注,可能有三个方面的因素。

  首先是它的指标意义。美国作为第二次世界大战结束以来,全球自由贸易与经济一体化的主推手,其对市场开放的态度,无疑将对其它国家产生重大的影响。

  第二是其对世界贸易组织及其所代表的国际多边贸易体系的冲击。美国作为世界第一经济大国,假如救市方案中相关的条文违背了其对国际贸易组织或《北美自由贸易协定》的承诺,将严重打击各国对世界贸易组织的信心。

  第三是其对贸易本身可能产生的实质影响。

削弱竞争,但不能振兴产业

除此之外,一些国家也在逐步出台一些传统的贸易保护措施。比如,俄罗斯最近提高了对一些产品征收的进口关税,并对本国产品提供补贴;土耳其增加了对糖的进口关税;美国和欧盟也对产自中国的一些产品新增加进口关税。而印度则通过限制措施,减少从中国进口钢材和纺织品。

  种种迹象表明,在全球金融危机和经济减缓的冲击下,贸易保护主义阴魂难散,并可能死灰复燃。然而,我们希望以往的经历与教训,能够提醒各国的政府与政治人物,贸易保护主义不是解决经济困难的良药,甚至会加深经济危机的深度并延缓经济恢复的速度。

  很多学者都认为,美国30年代实施的高关税政策和由其所引发的贸易保护主义浪潮,是把当时的经济危机引向大萧条的因素之一。因此,类似的通过高关税保护本国产业政策,目前出现的可能性并不大。然而,其他间接的或更隐蔽的贸易保护措施的出现,却是我们要特别关注的。

  虽然贸易保护常常被用来作为增加就业和振兴本国产业的措施,但研究表明,不仅其实际作用有限,并且往往代价很大。

  美国国会预算办公室(Congressional Budget Office) 1986年所作的一项研究,特别针对美国对四个行业,包括纺织与服装、钢材、鞋类、以及汽车业,分析贸易保护对振兴其行业发展的效果。他们的结论是,虽然贸易保护能在一定时期内通过减少进口竞争,来维持国内产业的就业和工资水平,但并不能达到振兴产业的目的。

亚洲经济有必要加快转型

  另外,最近一份对奥巴马救市计划的研究(见Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, Peterson Institute for International Studies) 更进一步指出,其中有关“购买美国货”的条文,不仅让美国违背其对推动自由贸易的承诺,进而破坏美国的国际形象,更无法有效地增加美国就业。

  假如此举招致美国主要贸易伙伴的报复性措施,则将对美国甚至全球经济带来更加严重的后果。

  值得庆幸的是,这次金融危机爆发以来,虽然偶尔出现贸易保护主义的杂音,大多数的政府仍然坚持其对自由贸易和经济一体化的支持。无论是近期在柏林举行的二十国集团峰会,还是刚刚在泰国结束的亚细安会议,都明确表明了反对贸易保护主义的立场。

  亚洲地区的国家和经济体,包括地处东亚的日本、韩国、中国大陆、台湾以及香港,还是东南亚的新加坡、泰国、马来西亚等等,其经济对贸易都有很高程度的依赖,也因此一向重视推动区域内和地区间的贸易发展。

近年以来,虽然区域内的贸易已经取得了长足的发展,但在相当的程度上仍然依赖来自发达国家,包括美国和欧洲市场的外部需求。因此,区内的政府也势将对可能出现贸易保护主义时刻保持高度的警惕性。

  然而,更重要的是,作为在世界经济中占有举足轻重地位的亚洲地区,应该努力把当前全球经济面临的巨大挑战转化为机遇。除了进一步推动并且深化区域内的经济一体化,更要同时加速区内经济发展模式的转型,尽快地从以生产与出口带动转向以消费来带动增长。

  在这样的基础上,亚洲才可能成为反对贸易保护、推动经济全球化的有效力量。

作者是新加坡国立大学东亚研究所研究员,文章仅代表个人观点

Thursday, 5 March 2009

一枪未死再补第二枪!







作者/本刊黄书琪 Mar 05, 2009 11:19:23 am
【本刊黄书琪撰述】蒙古女子阿尔丹杜雅命案有重大揭露!一名驻泰国的法国籍记者多次往返吉隆坡及蒙古首都乌兰班托后,在法国《自由报》揭露这宗命案的行凶过程;案发时阿尔丹杜雅以自己怀孕求饶,而且由于挨了一枪还有动静,行凶者再补上第二枪!
部落客苏珊伦(Susan Loone)今天凌晨三时在其部落格转载法国《自由报》(La Liberation)记者阿赫诺德(Arnaud Dubus)的新闻英文版,在短短数小时之内,已有超过50名读者回应。

今天的法国《自由报》用了第30及31两大版,刊登阿赫诺德所撰写的新闻。根据这篇报道,早在2006年11月19日就已录好的口供书至今尚未解密,因为该份口供书赤裸裸的叙述了阿尔丹杜雅(Altantuya Shaaribuu)这位亚洲上流社会的女子惨遭杀害的过程。



这起谋杀案的第二被告,即副首相纳吉的保镖警员西鲁阿兹哈奥玛(Sirul Azhar Omar)回答警方盘问时,清楚描述了谋杀案现场状况,口供书中记载“当那个华裔女人看见我拿着枪,她就开始求我放过她,并且说她已经有了身孕。但是阿兹拉哈德里(Azilah Hadri,本案第一被告,西鲁的上司)抓着她的手,并且把她丢到地上,我立即就朝她左脸开了一枪。然后,阿兹拉剥掉她的衣服,并且把所有衣物放进一个黑色塑胶袋。阿兹拉注意到她的手还有动静,于是又命令我再开一枪,我照办了。”

根据西鲁的口供,在阿尔丹杜雅遭到杀害之后,他们就开始展开毁尸工作。“然后,我们就把她的尸体扛到树林。阿兹拉把炸药绑在她的双腿、腹部、头部,然后,我们就把她炸了。”

在香港结识阿尔丹
阿都拉萨中介军火

阿尔丹杜雅(右图)的命运转折点得从2004开始说起,精通英、俄、中、法四语阿尔丹杜雅在香港遇上了阿都拉萨巴金德(Abdul Razak Baginda),这起命案中已经获判表罪不成立,当庭释放的第三被告。他除了是一名国防专家,也是马来西亚策略研究中心执行董事,国阵政府的智囊团。

两人的恋情迅速升温,阿尔丹杜雅也是阿都拉萨的得力助手,协助他做英、俄翻译。

2005年3月,阿尔丹杜雅与阿都拉萨乘坐后者的红色法拉利跑车,畅游欧洲大陆,途经法国、德国、义大利、葡萄牙,住的是顶级酒店、吃的是山珍海味。当然,这不是一趟纯粹的吃喝玩乐之旅,马来西亚与法国潜艇建造局(Direction des Constructions Navales Services,DCNS)已在2002年签署了一份潜艇买卖合约,但是还未确认一些重要细节。

一名国防事务专家向阿赫诺德透露:“我们都知道阿都拉萨(左图右)是副首相纳吉做军火买卖的中间人,尤其是那种高阶的军火买卖。”

2005年3月底,阿都拉萨与阿尔丹杜雅身在巴黎,与纳吉会面,三人在一家法国私人俱乐部内合照,阿尔丹杜雅的女性密友艾米说:“杜雅(阿尔丹杜雅朋友对她的昵称)曾经给我看过那张照片,她说其中一个是她的男朋友,阿都拉萨巴金德,另外一个是‘大老板’纳吉拉萨。因为名字的缘故,我就问她,他们两个是否是兄弟,她告诉我不是,而且纳吉是‘首相’。”

虽然如此,但别忘了纳吉曾手按可兰经发誓,他从未见过阿尔丹杜雅。另外,根据现藏匿在印度的私家侦探巴拉(Bala Subramaniam)口供所说,阿尔丹杜雅在2004年杪经由阿都拉萨介绍,当过纳吉的露水情人。

桃色背后的军火利益

这场看起来不过就是政治人物拈花惹草、处处留情桃色八卦,却在2006年10月开始走调。阿尔丹杜雅接到通知指说,法国造舰公司(Armaris)付给马来西亚Perimekar公司的佣金,已经进入吉隆坡的的银行帐户,这是一家由阿都拉萨持有大部分股权的国防顾问公司。

之后的故事,就如过去两年来媒体披露的细节一样,要求分得50万美元佣金的阿尔丹杜雅索偿不果,与阿都拉萨分道扬镳。阿赫诺德在文章中也写到,纳吉那位“妒忌心重的悍妇太太”罗斯玛(Rosmah Mansor,左图),拒绝付出一毛钱给阿尔丹杜雅。

10月18日,阿都拉萨不堪阿尔丹杜雅天天到他家门前报到,联络上政治部副总监慕沙沙菲里(Musa Safri),也是纳吉阵营内的犬牙。

10月19日,接近晚上九时,两名政治部警员阿兹拉和西鲁来到阿都拉萨家门前,,带走正在比手划脚破口大骂的阿尔丹杜雅。这两名警员接到的指令是:“让那个华裔女人消声。”

接下来的事情众所周知,阿尔丹杜雅遭绑、载到十几公里外,由西鲁开数枪射杀,然后使用C4炸药毁尸。她的入境记录完全被消除,让人无法追踪她的去处,以为她从未来过马来西亚。

然而,正如阿赫诺德所说,世上没有完美的罪案,阿尔丹杜雅当天雇用的计程车司机没有拿到车资,又亲眼看到她遭绑走;司机记下车牌号码向警方报案,经过一连串追踪,才揭发这起事关重大的谋杀案。

纸包不住火,纳吉(右图)此时已经无法压下此案,但他还是不断尝试,就在阿都拉萨被捕的几个小时前,他传了一封简讯给阿都拉萨,“我今早11时将和总警长见面,问题会解决的,冷静。”

接着阿都拉萨、阿兹拉、西鲁三人都被捕。不过去年11月,阿都拉萨却获宣判表面罪名不成立,当庭释放。阿兹拉、西鲁就没那么好运,被判表罪成立,下一次的开庭日期将是今年4月9日。

遗孤嚷着要妈妈

整起事件至此,没有任何一人曾向女儿惨死的沙里布(Shaaribuu Setev)或其家人致歉。亲自飞往蒙古首都乌兰巴托访问沙里布的阿赫诺德在文中形容,这名已届耳顺之年的老人家,看起来酸涩苦楚,满腹哀伤,但也藏着坚定不移的信念,定要替女儿讨回公道。

沙里布接受访问时控诉,吉隆坡高等法庭宣判阿都拉萨无罪释放,根本就清楚的表示了马来西亚司法程序不公不义,“马来西亚政府甚至没有回复蒙古外交部的信函!”

当然,别说回信了,当沙里布去年4月28日以人民公正党主席、国会在野党领袖旺阿兹莎(Wan Azizah)的嘉宾身份进入国会大厦(右图),希望见纳吉一面,但纳吉竟然从国会大厦后没开溜,以避开这令他难堪的场面。

另一方面,在蒙古乌兰巴托,阿尔丹杜雅的12岁长子孟恭沙盖(Mungunshagai)因母亲骤世而显得有点心理受创;五岁的次子先天性智障,还未搞懂情况。这两名孩子的外祖父沙里布受访时说:“他每天只能躺卧在椅子上,然后要求见妈妈;每天下午,我就会拿糖果给他,跟他说,这是妈妈要我拿给他的。”

忍受丧女之痛的沙里布,必须担负起扶养两名孙儿的责任,但与阿尔丹杜雅风流快活两年的阿都拉萨巴金德,在宣判无罪释放后,早和家人迁往英国定居,对于这名前女友的惨死下场,他从未露出一丝悔意。

Group launches signature drive on Allah issue



Published on: Thursday, March 05, 2009
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Kota Kinabalu: A group of concerned citizens have initiated a signature campaign in support of a memorandum urging the Government to review the ban on the use of the word Allah in Christian publications.
Led by senior politician Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, the group said the memorandum could be signed by all concerned citizens regardless of their religion.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference at his residence Sokid Villa here, Wednesday, Jeffrey said the campaign will run until the end of this month.
"Copies of the memorandum will be distributed to selected community leaders including from every church in all the districts throughout Sabah," he said. He said those who wish to support the campaign can also log on to www.PetitionOnline.com sabahan/petition.html.
The memorandum, would be handed over to the Prime Minister personally either in Parliament or in Putrajaya next month. According to Jeffrey who is also the organising chairman of the campaign, they have received numerous complaints from several quarters on the issue.
He said people are wondering why the Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had a change of heart and are confused with when Minister said that there were "mistakes".
Last week Syed Hamid said the February 16 Government gazette lifting a ban on Christian publications to use the word Allah was rescinded.
He told reporters here that there were "mistakes" in the drafting of the Feb 16 gazette which states that Christian publications could use the word Allah provided the words "For Christians" are clearly printed on the front cover.
"The Government's stand on the ban has not changed. There is also a judicial review challenging the ban," Syed Hamid said adding that the Government had no intention of pre-empting any decision of the courts on the judicial review brought about by the Catholic Herald.

Race Against Time - Batang Ai N29




Race against time: It’s a common knowledge that the BN Camp dominates and utilizes whatever available machinery and resources during the campaign… Sighed!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

TOK GURU NIK AZIZ: CHRISTIANS CAN USE ALLAH


Bernama reports:KOTA BAHARU, March 1 (Bernama) — Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is against the use of the “bumiputera” term when applying for government assistance.He said the term not only smacked of racism, but also deprived other races, who share similar rights and possess similar identity cards, of the facility.“In an election, other races are allowed to cast one vote, so are the bumiputera,” he said in response to a remark last week by the Opposition chief in the Johore state assembly, Dr Boo Cheng Hau (DAP-Skudai) who likened the bumiputera policy in the country with that of the apartheid in South Africa.Nik Abdul Aziz said the government should form a body to manage aid for the poor in the country and not cater only for a single group known as the bumiputera.“I don’t like the (use of the) word bumiputera. What I like is (use of the word) poor, for all races,” he added.He said the poor, regardless of their race, should be given assistance.Meanwhile The Sun quotes Tok Guru YAB Nik Aziz Nik Mat as saying that non Muslims can use Allah. He was refering to this when asked to comment on the BN/Umno regime's prohibition of Allah in Christian publications and worship. It is very clear that Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar who is not an Ulama like Tok Guru, is using the Herald issue for his own as well Umno's political mileage and survival. This clearly shows that the Evil BN/Umno regime has deviated from the true teachings of Islam.

Monday, 2 March 2009

http://khookaypeng.blogspot.com/2009/03/malaysias-economic-dilemma-responses.html

Monday, March 02, 2009

Malaysia's Economic Dilemma & Responses
Andrew Sheng said; "Malaysia must move away from the old export and foreign direct investment model of growth. Malaysia must be open to talent and ideas if it wants to become more innovative society. Malaysia must view the crisis as an opportunity for reform. Otherwise, China, India and other economies will emerge leaner and stronger and Malaysia will fall even further behind."Many analysts like myself have said this many times before that the country cannot continue to depend on FDI to grow the economy. Our economy is highly dependent on FDI as a factor of growth. Since the Asian financial crisis, the country is facing a net outflow of investment.Local businesses have taken their investment out of the country to new destinations such as China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and elsewhere. Many of the local companies find it difficult to do business in the country because they were crowded out by GLCs and large local corporations.Many of these big companies have established smaller subsidiaries to compete with the local SMEs. The patronage system has made it very difficult for businesses without the right connection to get contracts. Hence, a number of them who want to obtain government contracts have to incur higher business cost build up connections or 'know-who'.This is the prime reason to argue for an end in the patronage system disguised as the NEP. Using this policy, many contracts were given out to cronies without truly considering the economic value of projects. As a result, the government spends without getting the right kind of economic benefits. In a short meeting yesterday, Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim informed us that the value of abandoned privatised development projects in the state is RM5 billion. The state government is expected to rescue these projects. This is only the tip of an iceberg. I reckon that more than RM30 billion is wasted on redundant and low economic value projects yearly.Hence, we are waiting for the details of 2nd stimulus soon to be announced by the government. If the stimulus is not targeted at supporting local demand and jobs, the country can expect a long and protracted downturn and close to a million Malaysians will lose their jobs.Sheng's pointed out Malaysia can only become more successful if we are open to talents and innovative ideas. Before this can happen, the country needs to drop or end racial politics. Racial politics is the biggest consideration on labour intake. How can we explain the large intake of Indonesian Muslim workers if it is not due to ethno-religious politics?In the end, Malaysia becomes a xenophobic country. As a Malaysian, I am sad to note that I am a victim of racism too. For those who are familiar with this blog would probably see many racist comments targeted at this writer. We should recognise talents and ideas and not merely the colour of skin or creed. Malaysians, racial politics must end if we are going to prosper.Sheng echoed what many analysts had warned Malaysia; our addiction to cheap imported labour has kept wages low. The result: companies have no incentives to improve productivity and Malaysia’s best talent goes abroad in search of better wages. Brain drain is not a new phenomenon in the country. We import low-skilled labour but export highly skilled labour. Our highly skilled labour often leave the country for good. Even China is going all out wooing their best to come back.He also suggested that the government go out in a big way and attract talented Malaysians or foreigners who have been retrenched from their jobs in the US, UK and other developed economies. In this way, Malaysia can bolster the pool of engineers, doctors, managers and tap into the rise of the Middle East, China and India, he noted.I agree with Sheng's observation. Many developed economies e.g. US, UK. Singapore, HK and others are competing for human resources instead of just FDI. Talents will attract FDI and not the other way round.This government must show that it is capable to manage the 21st century economy. The politicians can only do so if they were to drop their 60's mindset. Otherwise, we should boot them out.
Posted by Khoo Kay Peng at 11:41 AM