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No more Mr Nice Guy

DOWN a quiet lane in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, campaigners at trestle tables are doing a roaring trade in yellow T-shirts. The volunteers have already flogged more than 30,000 of the garments, which are becoming de rigueur for Malaysians planning to attend protests on August 29th-30th to demand the resignation of the country’s prime minister, Najib Razak (above). The protests are being organised by Bersih (meaning “clean” in Malay), a loose union of non-government groups calling for electoral reform. In 2012 police dispersed thousands of Bersih protesters with tear gas and water cannons and arrested about 500. This weekend’s rally in Kuala Lumpur, which authorities say is illegal, could yet go the same way. Maria Chin Abdullah of Bersih hopes that at least 200,000 Malaysians will protest in three cities. Malaysia’s political system, she says, “has really become quite rotten”.

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

For Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister beset by controversyover nearly £450 million paid into his personal bank account, the timing of a global anti-corruption conference in Kuala Lumpur next week could not be more awkward.

The embattled leader has now quietly cancelled his scheduled speech to 2,000 delegates on the opening day of the International Anti-Corruption Conference that his country is hosting.

The summit, which is organised by the Transparency International, the world’s leading anti-corruption organisation, is held every two years in different locations.

By chance, it will open in Kuala Lumpur as Mr Najib’s government is engulfed in allegations of corruption and financial impropriety surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a scandal-plagued state investment fund.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia is in crisis. The economy is faltering and the government is floundering, struggling to explain away unprecedented financial scandals. Critics ascribe these problems to a lack of transparency and good governance, but these are merely symptoms. The root cause of Malaysia’s current troubles is ketuanan Melayu: the ideology of Malay supremacy espoused by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the party that has dominated the country’s politics for more than six decades.

Malaysia has a vast system of institutionalized preferences for Malays, the majority of the population, which grants them economic and other privileges over ethnic Chinese, Indians and other minorities. Although in place for more than four decades, these policies have failed to significantly help poor Malays. At the same time, they have created a grand quid pro quo between other segments of the Malay population and the UMNO government: For fear of losing their advantages, beneficiaries of the preferences don’t hold UMNO to account when it falls short.

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DAP’s Teresa Kok says she does not understand why the current PAS is refusing to participate in the electoral reform watchdog’s gathering this time around. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 ― The old PAS would not have hesitated to join the Bersih 4 rally planned for this weekend, DAP lawmaker Teresa Kok said today.

The Seputeh MP added that she did not understand why the current PAS is refusing to participate in the electoral reform watchdog’s gathering this time around, as the Islamist party’s members have shown strong attendance at the previous three rallies.

“PAS shown strong presence in the last three Bersih rallies, when we join demonstrations, their members come from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, all over,” Kok told a news conference here, in response to a PAS leader citing the inappropriate date and their busy schedules as reasons for skipping the 34-hour camp-out in the national capital from August 29 to 30.

“Now if PAS declared they do not want to come, that is their choice. But this is not the PAS that I used to know,” she added.

PAS has decided not to deploy its volunteer corp known as Unit Amal for Bersih 4, saying on Monday that although it supports the rally’s objectives, its leadership found the chosen dates for the event inappropriate as it would be too close to Merdeka Day, which falls on August 31.

Although it would not be formally mobilising its members for the overnight rally this weekend, PAS said it would be sending some of its representatives to the rally.

“The date of Bersih 4 is just a day away from the Merdeka Day celebration on August 31, which is inappropriate,” the party’s secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan told a news conference two days ago.

He added that PAS members will also be preoccupied with preparations for other party-related events like Kongres Rakyat on September 12, Himpunan 60K (H60K) on October 17, and two other nationwide events, namely the “Siri Jelajah Munaqasyah Ucapan Dasar Presiden” and “Perhimpunan Istiqamah Hingga Kemenangan” that will be held every weekend from October 3.

DAP and PAS were members of the loose opposition alliance called Pakatan Rakyat, together with PKR, but had a falling out and formally separated earlier this year over the Islamist party’s insistence on rolling out Islamic criminal laws in Kelantan.

– See more at: -knew-wouldnt-have-hesitated-to-join-bersih-4-rally#sthash.V1ktBIrN.dp uf


KUALA LUMPUR: Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s proposal that a Malay-only version of Low Yat Plaza be opened in Kuala Lumpur is clearly a policy of racial segregation, said DAP’s Teresa Kok.

The Seputeh MP harshly condemned Ismail Sabri’s suggestion, saying that such a move showed him to be opposed to the prime minister’s concept of 1Malaysia.

“How could he have mooted such an idea which is clearly a policy of racial segregation? Where will the country be heading if such a policy is adopted?” she asked.

“Is he (then) going to set up Plaza 3 for Indians, Low Yat 4 for Ibans, Low Yat 5 for the KDMs (Kadazandusun Murut) and Low Yat 6 for the Orang Asli?”

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It is shocking and in fact unbelievable that Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has proposed that a Malays-only version of Low Yat Plaza be opened in Kuala Lumpur; nearly a month after a racial scuffle broke out at the popular computer and electronics mall.

He said that the proposed store, suggested to be located on the third floor of the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) Headquarters along Jalan Raja Laut, which he called Low Yat 2, would only allow Malay traders to set up shop.

How could he have mooted such an idea which is clearly a policy of racial segregation? Where will the country be heading if such a policy is adopted?

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I was invited to be the VIP to officiate the opening of the 40th anniversary Celebration Concert of Seremban Chung Hua High School Alumni Choir at MBPJ Auditorium on 9th August 2015.

Seremban Chung Hua High School is an independent school, and I completed my secondary education there.

In my speech, I expressed my appreciation to the conductor of the choir, Mr Chew Hock Ping (周扬平 ). He is the founder and the leader of the choir, he is the one who brought fame to Seremban Chung Hua High School and to the choir in Malaysia. Most of the ex-Chung Hua students are very proud of the choir and his contributions.

Recently he was awarded the “Longest performing choral conductor in Malaysia” by Malaysia Book of Records. Mr Chew deserves the award as he has been a choir conductor for 42 years.

The performance that night was very interesting. The programme included the performance of Jeju Chamber Chorale from Korea, as well as choir and guitar performance by the team from Tarrega Guitar House.

I enjoyed the performance of the night very much. I suggested to the alumni to do better publicity in the coming concert, so that more people can enjoy the excellent musical performance. Malaysia has talents!!


KUALA LUMPUR: DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang wonders why newly-minted Director of Strategic Communications, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, was out of the blue breathing panic and fear. “Is he afraid that the Najib government where he had swiftly ascended in power and influence may suddenly collapse like a house of cards?”

He was commenting on Abdul Rahman Dahlan, also Housing and Local Government Minister, virtually declaring on Tuesday that Sabah and Sarawak, as the backbone of Barisan Nasional (BN), must first be consulted before the Prime Minister can be changed.

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