Friday, November 30, 2012

Pumping money into vocational education is not enough


Every year, eyes are peeled and ears are pricked for the Budget speech by the Prime Minister. The speech, unfortunately, is more theatre than substance. It highlights populist measures and dangles enticing carrots in the name of caring for the rakyat. But, are these glorified goodies really weeding out the root of the problems, or merely slashing at the stems? What cure does Malaysia’s economy really need? Does Pakatan Rakyat’s Alternative Budget offer better solutions, or are their proposals just as questionable? REFSA reveals the real deal behind the razzle-dazzle in our all new infographic series Budget 2013: Behind the Theatrics.

Download the PDF version
Sources:
[1] Are blue-collar jobs only for losers? Available athttp://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/08/22/are-blue-collar-jobs-only-for-losers/ Retrieved 24 Oct 2012.
[2] 77% of our workforce have only SPM-level education, or lower. Available athttp://refsa.org/relevant-number/77-of-our-workforce-have-only-spm-level-education-or-lower/Retrieved 24 Oct 2012.
[3] Malaysian Economic Monitor April 2012. Available athttp://www.epu.gov.my/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=043cf207-6a2e-4ff5-8666-d90a32cde4f9&groupId=34492 Retrieved 24 Oct 2012.
[4] Teh Chi-Chang, UMNO-nomics: The Dark Side of the Budget (Research for Social Advancement (REFSA), 2012), Pg 42.
[5] M’sia overly dependent on foreign workers.  Available athttp://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2011/12/09/msia-overly-dependent-on-foreign-workers/ Retrieved 24 Oct 2012.
[6] The certified national apprenticeship scheme is mentioned in Pg 25 of Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2013 (full document – http://dapmalaysia.org/repository/Belanjawan_2013_Pakatan_Rakyat.pdf ), but more in-depth explanation of the scheme can be found in Pg 36 of Pakatan Rakyat’s Shadow Budget 2012 (full document – http://www.pakatanrakyat.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Pakatan-Rakyat-Shadow-Budget-2012_Final-Version-Oct-5-10.12am-1.pdf )
[Stock images and vectors credited with thanks to sxc.hu, Creative Commons, clker.com, all-silhouettes.com and freevectorsdaily.com]
~ REFSA

Are the agriculture subsidies solving or feeding the food crisis?


Every year, eyes are peeled and ears are pricked for the Budget speech by the Prime Minister. The speech, unfortunately, is more theatre than substance. It highlights populist measures and dangles enticing carrots in the name of caring for the rakyat. But, are these glorified goodies really weeding out the root of the problems, or merely slashing at the stems? What cure does Malaysia’s economy really need? Does Pakatan Rakyat’s Alternative Budget offer better solutions, or are their proposals just as questionable? REFSA reveals the real deal behind the razzle-dazzle in our all new infographic series Budget 2013: Behind the Theatrics.

 Download the PDF version
Sources:
[1] Full Federal Budget 2013 speech available here: http://www.bnm.gov.my/files/2012/bs13.pdf
[2] FOMCA’s Response to Budget 2013. Available athttp://www.konsumerkini.net.my/v1/images/stories/images2012/fomca’s_position_on%202013_budget.pdfRetrieved 22 Oct 2012.
[3] “IV. Conclusion” section in The Impact of Fertilizer Subsidy on Malaysia Paddy/Rice Industry Using a System Dynamics Approach. Available at http://www.ijssh.org/papers/98-CH224.pdf Retrieved 22 Oct 2012.
[4] Full document of Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat 2013 available here:http://dapmalaysia.org/repository/Belanjawan_2013_Pakatan_Rakyat.pdf
[5] RM92m spent on imported food every day. Available athttp://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/02/14/rm92m-spent-on-imported-food-every-day/ Retrieved 22 Oct 2012.
[6] Govt urged to think hard about food security. Available athttp://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/10/02/govt-urged-to-think-hard-about-food-security/ Retrieved 22 Oct 2012.
~ REFSA

‘Najib has a lot to answer’


Alyaa Azhar and K Pragalath

November 30, 2012
PKR and NGOs want the prime minister to clear the air following allegations linking him to the murder of Mongolian interpreter, Altantuya Shaariibuu.
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak must come out and clarify the recent statement by carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan linking him to the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu, PKR leaders and NGOs said.
At a press conference yesterday, Deepak promised to reveal more details surrounding the murder of Altantuya.
He said he was involved in arranging for a second statutory declaration (SD) for private investigator P Balasubramaniam.
The second SD reversed the earlier SD which had directly linked Najib to the murder of the Mongolian national.
Deepak said: “I got involved in the second SD to protect the interest of Najib. There is no other logical reason, is there?”
PKR vice-president and Subang MP R Sivarasa said that Deepak’s statement clearly showed that the first SD was the truth.
“… Deepak’s decision for arranging the second SD was obviously to reduce the impact of Bala’s revelations.
“If this is true, then the prime minister has a lot of questions to answer with regard to the real murderers of Altantuya,” he said.
He added that the whole country knew that the two policemen who killed her had acted on instruction.
“So who were the ones who ordered the murder? The policemen acted as the gun, but who really pulled the trigger?
“The prime minister, his closest aides and his wife [Rosmah Mansor] should have been called as witnesses during the murder trial, which would have helped the court in determining the truth,” said Sivarasa.
Reopening murder trial
On whether Deepak’s revelation would benefit Pakatan in the coming general election, he said, “This revelation certainly shows whether the prime minister and his party can continue to lead the country. The people are also be aware of the continued cover-ups.”
On what PKR intends to do with the latest revelation, Sivarasa said, “It depends on the press reports; if the reports continue to reveal more things, we will decide then.”
He added that the latest revelation definitely strengthens the call for a re-opening of the murder trial for truth to be established.
However, Batu MP Tian Chua said, “I don’t need Deepak to tell me whether the prime minister is involved or not.”
“I already know the fact of the matter and what I do know is that the prime minister has a lot to explain,” he added.
He said that regardless of whether a person is a supporter of Barisan Nasional or Pakatan, everyone wants an explanation.
He also said that the people know that Najib cannot just sweep everything under the carpet.
Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah said that “we should all wait for the full revelation”.
Meanwhile, Suaram chairman K Arumugam said that Najib should clarify the allegation.
“Najib should either admit or deny. He must clarify the matter or he should lodge a police report against Deepak,” he said.
Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah urged Deepak to raise his allegation in the court.
“Whatever Deepak alleged should be said in court if he wants justice. Then Najib can appear in court to clear the air,” she said.
~ Free Malaysia Today

Of BDSM and Umno


Mariam Mokhtar

November 30, 2012
Like the erotic novel 'Fifty Shades of Grey', Umno and the rakyat are locked in a violent, relationship; Umno is the dominant partner, and the rakyat the submissive.
COMMENT
The erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” by EL James has much in common with Umno and Malaysian politics.
When Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak opened the 2012 Umno General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre, he started off with an inspection of the guard of honour formed by 50 Wanita members, 50 Umno Youth members and 50 Puteri Umno members.
Fifty Shades of Grey is reported to be the fastest selling paperback in history. The novel, which is about sexual desire, fantasy and BDSM (bondage, domination, sado-masochists) has received mixed reviews.
Many people describe the book as soft porn, because of its explicit sexual content, but it is also known as “mummy porn” because of the wide female readership; others claim that the book is written badly, with no plot.
Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of a naïve student, 22-year old, Anastasia Steele and her sexual liaison with an older man, the 27-year old billionaire Christian Grey. Grey has sado-masochistic tendencies and demands that Steele should be completely under his control, if she agrees to have a relationship with him. He tells her that she will be happy when she is dominated.
Steele represents the rakyat – young, impressionable and naïve. Grey is a man with dark secrets, just like Umno. Like Grey, Umno has lots of money and has a large ego. Umno and the rakyat are locked in a violent, relationship; Umno is the dominant partner, and the rakyat the submissive. Steele or the rakyat could have walked away from the abusive arrangement, but they didn’t.
The rakyat’s obsession with Umno has continued for 55 years and like the innocent Steele, did not realise the flaws in the relationship. If the rakyat was aware, they did nothing. Steele was captivated and soon after meeting Grey, lost her virginity to him, a bit like the rakyat being seduced and deflowered by Umno.
Once Grey had decided to focus his attention on Steele, he showered her with gifts and he promised to show his “Red Room of Pain”, where his sex toys and bondage equipment are kept. Steele is fascinated and curious, but she is unaware of Grey’s dark side. She is told that she cannot have sex with him until she signs a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) barring her from telling anyone about what she is about to be shown.
Grey tells her that he is a Dominant and tells her that if she agrees to “be” his Submissive, she has to obey the rules and surrender herself completely, to him or face punishment.
There are strict rules on what she can or cannot do, right down to what she can eat. Grey demands absolute and total control over Steele’s life, not just in the bedroom.
Umno expects the same
Isn’t this what the rakyat also faces? Umno expects people in the nation to agree to its rules and surrender to its will. Those who do not conform, are punished. Many individuals, Opposition MPs, NGOs have suffered because they refused to yield to Umno’s Sub/Dom relationship. It is alleged that the scandals attached to corrupt politicians are detailed in a former minister’s “little red book”.
The rakyat is like the young virgin, who has no knowledge of sex, but is captivated by the sexual advances she receives. She is inexperienced and ripe for men like Grey. When Umno introduced policies like the NEP, the Umno cronies who benefitted, craved more.
In the book Fifty Shades of Grey, we are told that when Grey was 15-years old, his mother’s friend seduced him and made him her submissive for many years. Umno has learnt how to control the masses. It learnt how to do this from Malaya’s former colonial masters and today, assumes the role of the dom, or colonial master.
If you compare Grey to Umno, there is not much difference between the two. He is a control freak, he is power hungry, he humiliates people, he is jealous, he buys people off and when he cannot get his way, he issues threats.
Fifty Shades of Grey is about mental and sexual abuse, as well as misogyny. It is almost the story of Umno and the Malaysian people – the way it subjects the minorities to discrimination and denies women their rights.
Steele is swept off her feet by a man with money. She is left with no self-respect. Both Steele and Grey are individuals who seek attention.
Similarly, today’s rakyat demands that its leaders accede to its request for democratic reform; Umno wants to continue its absolute control of the people, and is not ashamed of using taxpayers’ money to do it. Both are equally starved of recognition and respect.
In a country ripe for change and faced with daily exposés of corruption and injustice, how many people will openly admit that they vote for Umno? Just like the book, very few people openly declare that they are reading the book and many people read it behind the safety of locked doors. Those who read it on Kindle exhibit the tell-tale flush from the thrill of explicit sex scenes.
At the end of the book, Steele confessed that she loved Grey, despite enduring his physical abuse. He did however admit her that he could not make her happy and so Steele runs away because Grey denies her the only thing she craves – his love.
The rakyat have endured hardship and injustice, and they just want their leaders to listen. Unlike Grey, Umno has made outrageous claims that it can make the people happy and that it does listen to
the needs of the people.
Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist
~ Free Malaysia Today

Politik Ketakutan lawan Politik Harapan

SEBARAN MEDIA                                                       

NOVEMBER 28, 2012

Kenyataan DS Shahrizat Jalil yang, serupa apa disebut Tun Dr Mahathir,
berusaha untuk  menakut-nakutkan rakyat menunjukan sifat sebenar lagi
hakiki sebuah rejim yang semakin hari semakin nazak. Sebagai seorang
pemimpin, beliau seharusnya menunjukkan teladan yang baik dengan
membincangkan masa depan yang cerah buat semua dan bukannya
mengeluarkan kata-kata ancaman bahawa akan berlaku sengketa perkauman
13 Mei demi menyelamatkan UMNO.

Nada DS Shahrizat yang begitu cemas memikirkan apa yang berlaku jika
Pakatan Rakyat memenangi tampuk pimpinan negara pada PRU13 nanti turut
membuktikan betapa beliau tidak memahami dan tidak mengenali suara
hati para pengundi, terumanya rakyat Malaysia yang sudah celik politik
dan punyai keinginan kuat untuk berubah.

Pakatan Rakyat tekad pada perubahan dan agenda reformasi melalui
proses demokrasi, dan akan berusaha untuk memperkukuh dan memperkasa
sistem demokrasi pilihan raya di Malaysia. Oleh itu, saya tidak segan
mengulangi kata-kata Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan: "Kami mahu perubahan
melalui peti undi, jika perubahan tiba."

PAU UMNO 2012 menunjukkan bahawa rakyat perlu memilih antara Politik
Ketakutan yang dijulang UMNO dan Politik Harapan yang diperjuang
Pakatan Rakyat, demi Malaysia yang lebih baik. Dan satu-satunya cara
untuk membuktikan UMNO tidak takut mahupun panik dalam hari-hari
menjelang PRU13 ini adalah dengan Presiden UMNO berdebat dengan Dato'
Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Nurul Izzah Anwar
Ahli Parlimen Lembah Pantai merangkap Naib Presiden KEADILAN

=====

Politics of Fear vs Politics of Hope

DS Shahrizat Jalil's echoing of Tun Dr Mahathir's scaremongering
reveals the real and true nature of a decaying regime. Instead of
showing leadership and focusing on the future, we are reminded that
the possible spectre of communal violence of 13 May will be
're-staged' to save a moribund UMNO.

Shahrizat's panic-stricken message in the event of a Pakatan Rakyat
13GE win demonstrates her outright disconnect with voters, especially
those Malaysians' with the political wisdom and desire for change.

Pakatan Rakyat is committed to change and the reform agenda through
the democratic process, and will strive to protect and strengthen
Malaysia's electoral democracy. As such, I wish to repeat Dato' Ambiga
Sreenevasan's call: "We want to bring change through the ballot box,
if there is to be change at all."

The UMNO 2012 AGM proves the following point: The rakyat must choose
between UMNO's Politics of Fear and Pakatan Rakyat's Politics of Hope
for a better Malaysia. And the only way to disprove that fear and
panic has truly descended on UMNO, is for the UMNO President to
immediately debate with Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim.


Nurul Izzah Anwar
MP for Lembah Pantai and Vice President of KEADILAN
Dihantarkan kepada anda melalui / Delivered to you by:

BIRO KOMUNIKASI
PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT
A-1-09, Merchant Square
No. 1, Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1
47410 Petaling Jaya