AS 1 Malaysia fund

WE can expect our equity market to rise a bit in the next few months. This is because the Government will have more money to push up Index linked stocks, with the launch of the Amanah Saham 1 Malaysia or AS 1 Malaysia.

This fund is going to have a size of 10 billion ringgits, more than the money injected into valuecap earlier.

But stock performance in the long run  depends on the actual balance sheets which will depend on how the economy is doing. I believe the worst is over but the world is not out of the woods yet.

In the meantime, there will be high volatility in the world markets, which will have effects on our own equity market.

Even in the launch of this funds, there is a quota set: 50% for bumi, 30%, 15 %and 5 % for the CHinese, Indians and other races respectively.

It is ironical that quotas are set for this fund. From the quota set , we can have a glimpse of what 1 Malaysia is really like.

I would have thought it would be right for the PM to do away with quota for this fund, since this is called AS 1 Malaysia.

 Why set a quota for this fund? I do not see the rationale for doing so, except for the fact in  the minds of these leaders who decide on this fund, Malaysia is a country with quotas and so quotas must be set, even if this is the 1 Malaysia fund.

This sort of mindset should have been done away with if the government is serious about 1 Malaysia.

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Another by election

Another by election? I can’t believe my eyes when I read the breaking news.

There will be another by election as PAS State Assemblyman in Permatang Pasir died this morning in IJN. This is one of the 3 state seats in Anwar’s Parliamentary constituency.

This will be the 8th by election after March 2008, in a period less than one and a half year. It will be interesting to see how the parties fare this time. I do not think there will be another walkover like  the neighbouring Penanti.

When experts have no expertise, …..

An experienced private lawyer was appointed to lead the govenrment team in the Inquest for the late Teoh Beng Hock.

Although this appointment is provided for in the Criminal Procedure COde, it is indeed rare for a private lawyer to lead a government team.

We do not know the actual reasons behind this appointment. It may be that the government wants to project that it has nothing to hide and thus it wants a neutral person to take cahrge.  Well, if that is the intention, it is certainly welcome.

But could it be that the AG chamber has no expertise that will allow the inquest court to find out the truth? If that is the case, then could it be that the mediocrity that i have written so often about have affected our legal services as well?

Imagine a scenerio that all  services of a country  deteriorate to the extent of mediocrity.

Visulaise a country where prosecution cannot build solid cases against criminals so all the criminals that police arrested will be set free; doctors in hospitals cannot diagnose correctly or adopt the correct procedure to treat patients so the mortality rate increases; teachers cannot teach properly; engineers cannot build structure safely resulting in collapses of roads and bridges,; pilots cannot fly planes properly resulting in crashes…. What will happen to that country? 

I dare not even think about it….

……………………….

This article in Malaysiakini seems to confirm my worst fear even though when I wrote the above, I had not read the article yet…. Read this article on our Health DG’s reaction about some of his doctors’ ‘expert’ management of H1N1 cases here . I will also paraphrase part of it here:

However, the girl, who appeared to be in her early 20s, said that when she called at the hospital last week, the doctors advised her to stay home although she had been down with the flu for over a week.

DG startled by revelations

She also claimed that without examining her, the doctors concluded that she only had fever.

“I have been having the flu and I am still sick. The doctors say it is nothing but it is worrying me,” said the girl.

To which Ismail exclaimed “Oh no, that’s terrible …that means you still have to go back to hospital and get the throat swab done.They cannot refuse to see you just because they have seen you before. Tell them you are not better and want to know for sure whether or not you have H1N1.”

He said the girl has every right to see the doctor again as she has already entered the second stage of the flu.

Punishing twice for the same offence

The person who was involved in the dvd scandal is going to appear before a disciplinary board of his party.

I have written about him when the dvd scandal broke and i have praised him , not for the act of cheating his wife (that act must be condemned) , but for admitting that he was the actor in the dvd. I also thought he did the honourable thing to resign as minister of Health( refer to my post : Chua did the honourable thing) .He was, i was told, one of the best Ministers of “Hell”, and one of the better ministers in the cabinet.

I also  thought he should  retire after that episode and that one with such a blemish should not seek public office again. But I was surprised when he went for the no 2 post, and won.

Being the no 2. of the no 2 party, i thought he would be given a government position, and I thought , alas, a person with such a blemish should not be in public office again, even though we must admire his courage for owning up his role in the dvd. He could have said that ” it looks like me, sounds like me, moves like me, but not me!” and that would have saved him like the “correct-correct-correct” character.

He was not given a government position of course, and i thought that was the correct decision.  That however, sown the seeds of a party fight, especially in a party known for factionalism and infighting.

This dvd actor has tremendous grassroots support. It is natural that the  no. 1 man  would feel threatened. So it came as no surprise that the NO.2 man is now being hauled up before the disciplinary board to answer charges regarding the scandal.

What surprises me is this:  How could a person be charged for the same offence twice? He has already faced the disciplinary board for the same offence last year, and  the board recommended no action be taken, since he had already resigned from all positions in the party and government at that time.

How come he is now being hauled up to face the disciplinary board again for the same offense? It is like a teacher who had punished a student for talking in the class 2 weeks ago suddenly punished him again for the same offence , even though he did not talk in class now. IT is like a thief having his right hand being chopped off for stealing now suddenly facing the prospect of his left hand being chopped off , for the same offence after a lapse of time. This sort of punishment, i thought, was not usual in most democratic countries.

BUt when it comes to power struggle here, it seems that anything can be done to consolidate one’s power. Welcome to Malaysia, the Land of the Possible !!

 

 

Another sad story

The loss of excellence in our country has not only affected the civil services , the universities and institutions, the average Malaysians, but it has also affected our animals.

Zoo Negara used to be one of my favourite places to visit in the 80s, when my chidlren were young. At that time, the roads were narrow and to travel from PJ to Ulu Klang was quite an outing, and a visit to the Zoo with my children would be a one day affairs. But normally all of us would enjoy the trip very much.

FOr the past few years, I have not been to our zoo. But whenever we have a chance to visit SIngapore, we normally would try to find time to visit the Singapore Zoo, and also the Night Safari. It was always a pleasure to see how professionally the zoo in Singapore was run, and how the animals there seem to enjoy themsleves.

I am not sure whether we started our Zoo first or Singapore started theirs first. Most probably these zoos were started around the same time.

But from what  friends told me, Zoo Negara was no longer like before. One of the former staff who is also my friends told me that the zoo is facing financial problems, since most of the maintenance funds depend on the public donations and adoption of animals by pirvate corporations.

So it was not really surprising that I read about the poor conditions of Zoo Negara in the NST yesterday.

According to the reports, the Singapore based Animal Concerns Research and Education Society) or Acres has discovered  ” that the enclosures of at least 10 types of animals at Zoo Negara failed to meet international standards”. Also the observation that “a female elephant was observed begging for food,” .

According to SAM (Sahabat ALam Malaysia), Zoo Negara should find out the cause of death of “18 out of 20 penguins sourced from Singapore, pygmy hippopotamus, cheetah from Africa and Bawean Deer from Indonesia.

Zoo Negara should, instead of trying to acquire more animals, concentrate on the existing animals and provide them with proper care and attention. It should try to consolidate and limit its inventory according to its resources.

Perhaps the government should give more allocation to help. A lot of people, especially those from below poverty line may argue that allocation should be given to poor human first. I agree totally.

If only corruption is brought to a manageble levels, there will be enough funds to cater for those people living below poverty lines, as well as give certain allocation to Zoo Negara for its maintenace. No zoo in the world can probably survive on gate collections alone.

This is another ‘tidak apa’ story typical of so many in Malaysia. The culture of mediocrity is now fast becoming the Culture of Rots.

I feel sad because this is a place that can provide an escape for the urban folks, a place for family outings and unwindings, as well as for education purposes . I would not even mention  research, because if the zoo cannot even keep its animals in good health, I doubt whether there will be any manpower or skill to do animal research, like what many great zoos in the world is doing.

 

 

The Illusionists

One of my Friends asked me how I could write 900 posts in less than 3 years, almost averaging a post a day.

I told him that in fact, if I do not have a full time job which can be extremely busy at times, and that if I do not need to look after the needs of my family, I could have written 10 posts a day. There are  in fact enough materials to write 100 posts a day…

There is just simply too much to write and expose in this wonderful land of fairy tales.

One of the fairy tales recently was told by the Sleeping Pilot who once was the most powerful man in this country.

He called for the abolition of ISA. He said that if he was given enough time he would have abolished this Act.

He forgot that he was the most powerful man just slightly more than 100 days ago. And he was in that position since 2003, for almost 6 years. In that 6 years he cannot even abolish the act?? He said he was more occupied with other things…What things can be more important than human rights?

One article which was very well written on this topic is this one appearing in Malaysian Insider by Art Harun:  A tale of the 2 TUNs.

But of course, being the sleepy pilot that he was, most of the time , he was either sleeping or dreaming. And maybe we should not blame him but to blame the  one who anointed this pilot to be his successor. He is none other than the Old Horse.

The old horse recently mentioned that the Chinese are the real masters of this country, because  even after 39 years of NEP, the Chinese still have 50 % and the Bumi only 20 %.( Actually, in my humble opinion, how many % this holds or that holds is not important, but rather everyone must have a decent chance of success in this country, and that the needy must be given help irrespective of their colour).

Perhaps i should quote Art Harun on this (from Malaysian Insider link above):

Let me tell you, dear Tun, that the 39 years of the NEP’s life consisted of a good 22 years of your rule, which amounts to 56.5 per cent of the whole time the NEP was implemented. Thank you for telling us that you have failed Tun, Sir.

I have one question. As far as I know, every corporate exercise involving the public listing of corporations and also involving privatised projects under your famed EPU, at least 30 per cent of the shares (wealth?) must go to the Bumis. If so, how come 20 per cent are now being held by the Bumis? Where have the 10 per cent gone to? They (the Bumis) disposed of them?

You see, you don’t teach people to drive well by giving them Ferraris and expect them to transform themselves into the Schumachers of the world. You have got to teach them how to drive, how to take corners, when to brake, when to change gear and appraise them on things like a smooth weight transfer, the danger of over-steering and under-steering, counter steer and the like. You give them Ferraris and what will they do? They will sell it!

That was what happened Tun. The Chinese get better and better because they were the ones who actually did all the work, the very work which under your policy was dished out to some well-known Bumis, who would make a quick buck by promptly sub-contracting this work to the Chinese. Why are you screaming now?

Speaking of categorisation, Malaysia is not only divided into Bumis and non-Bumis. There were also, under your rule, registered Bumis (registered with the MoF) and non-registered Bumis. Only registered Bumis will be able to share in this so called “corporate wealth” of yours.

To this, I also want to add that maybe the Chinese that the Old Horse referred to are the ones who often had titles of Tan Sris, Datuk in front of their names, and that most of them are the so and so on the Forbes list of richest men in Malaysia..Most of these were of course buddies of the Old Horse and since they were always around the Old Horse, the Old Horse thought all Chinese are as rich as these buddies of his….. Not realsing that  these buddies can be counted with our fingers  and toes perhaps.

Most of the other ‘masters’ slogged for a livings like their Malay counterparts. Some of these masters are 75 years old and yet still had to slog as taxi drivers; other ‘masters’ slogged as hawkers, dvd sellers, handphones sellers and so on… Other masters scored  straight As,  were from poor families and had good curricular activites yet could not even have the chance to further thier education, because as ‘masters’, they were denied aids to study.

The Old Horse has forgotten that this is Malaysia and Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians, whether brown, dark, or yellow…

Malaysians are the masters of their own country but somehow their right of being the masters in their own land have been usurped by those in the mould of the Old Horse, using laws such as the ISA which the sleeping pilot had said that he wanted it to be removed, but  unfortunately he had no time… I do not blame him for the  lack of time, because most of the time during his watch, he had been sleeping.

Disappointing half measure

Edited version:

Although I reluctantly welcome the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry as something better than nothing, I was disappointed that this Commission is not tasked to look into how Teoh Beng Hock died. It is to be set up to look into the methods and procedures of MACC.  It is another half measure, typical of UMNO ,  trying to please both sides but in the end all sides are not satisfied.

An Inquest will be set up to find out the cause of death of Teoh Beng Hock. It was to be headed by a magistrate. In effect, it would be a Coroner’s Court, to determine the facts of how, when and where he died.

A few things immediately spring to my mind.

Firstly, why do we need to have 2 different investigations into essentially one same thing? Why can’t the RCI be tasked to look into why Teoh died. Imagine witnesses will have to give the same evidence to 2 investigating teams (including the initial police questioning it will be three), and have to undergo questioning by probably the same legal teams but in 2 different settings.

Secondly, an inquest will be headed by a magistrate, who is a junior legal officer. Will he not be intimidated by the presence of big wigs like AG or Solicitor General who would be likely to be his bosses one day?

Thirdly,  being a junior officer, will he have sufficient experience to handle such an important case that almost everyone in Malaysia would want to know the actual facts?Will he be able to withstand the immense pressure arising from the attention of the whole nation?

Lastly and most importantly, a RCI will have a much wider scope and  term of references and will  most probably be headed by retired senior judges. It   would be able in the best position to  find  answers to the many nagging questions that are in most Malaysians’ minds.

If the government is really sincere and would want to leave no stones unturned, then why not let the RCI to take one more step further and look into the cause and circumstances of Teoh’s death as well?  It would be, in my mind,  more transparent and more likely to get to the bottom of the whole thing.

By taking the half measure as mentioned above, it would only be perceived that   the government is not really heeding the wishes of the majority of the people, but rather caving in to political pressures in trying to defend certain institution.

That perception would not auger well for the government and would create a crisis of confidence not only towards the ruling coalition, but the whole government machinery as well.

This post is also available in breaking view of Malaysian Insider here

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