Thursday 24 June 2010

Australia Has the FIRST FEMALE Prime Minister

julia gillard

Kevin Rudd Steps Down as Prime Minister to make way for Julia Gillard.

Its unprecedented in Australian political history for the party to bring down a leader during his first time as Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd was the most popular Prime Minister of all times based on polls



Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is a Welsh-born Australian politician representing the Australian Labor Party (ALP), of which she has been the deputy leader since 4 December 2006. Since 3 December 2007 she has been the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, the first woman and the first foreign-born person to hold this position.

This makes her the highest-ranking woman in the history of Australia's federal parliament.

On 11 December 2007 she became the first woman in Australia's history to assume the prime ministerial role, when she acted as prime minister while Kevin Rudd attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.

She is also the Minister for Education, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and the Minister for Social Inclusion.

Gillard is due to contest the position of Leader of the Australian Labor Party at a special caucus meeting on 24 June 2010. If elected by the Labor caucus she will become the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and the country's first female prime minister.

Gillard has been an ALP member of the House of Representatives since the 1998 federal election. She represents the Division of Lalor in Victoria.

Gillard's partner is Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser. She does not have any children.

Comparing Malaysia to Singapore

Read here for more on Hawkeye


The Boston Consulting Group,(BCG) one of the leading global management consulting firm has just last week released its Annual Wealth Report and found Singapore to be amongst the top 20 countries with the most millionaires households.
Singapore is a tiny nation of 5.1 million population is ranked at no. 18 with the most numbers of millionaires and rank the highest in terms of density with 11.4 percent of the total households being a millionaire in USD (US Dollar).

That is about 3.3 million Malaysian Ringgit. And this is of liquid asset which does not include the value of property owned.

That means for every 10 Singaporeans you meet more than one will be a millionaire of USD.

Malaysia? In the late 70s to early 80s before Mahathir became PM, Malaysia has one of the highest per capita income in Asia and was way ahead of countries like South Korea and Taiwan.


The Singapore dollar exchange rate was at parity with the Malaysian dollar back than at 1 for 1. After Mahathir became PM we saw the other Asian countries race way ahead.The Hong Kong dollar back than was about 3 for one Ringgit.
  • Today the Singapore exchange rate is at about RM2.33 for one Singapore Dollar.

  • Singapore is today a fully developed country and an advanced nation of which Malaysia is only still aspiring to become.

  • Singapore enjoys a per capita income of more than USD 37,000 whereas Malaysia is at less than USD 7,000 which is way off the mark being a leader in the region some 30 years ago.

  • Singapore is the fourth leading financial centre of the world and the fourth richest nation in terms of GDP Purchasing Power Parity per capita.

  • Singapore is a fine example of a sound and efficient economic management and governance with one of the highest ratings by Transparency International for being clean and the least corrupt.
On the other hand Malaysia will show you how corruption can impoverished its people and after years of progressive corruption has now become terminal and rotted to the core.

  • Malaysia is now a sad story although blessed with rich and abundant natural resources, has 57.8% of its total household of 5.7 million earning a meager income of below 3000 Ringgit a month with an average household size of 4,5 person per household.

  • And more than two third of the Malaysian household earns less than RM4 thousand a month at 70.7%.
We could have been like Singapore and we would have been a prosperous nation only if than we had selected our leaders wisely and carefully but instead we had to pick the most wicked and corrupt that has plundered our resources and divided our spirits.

Friday 11 June 2010

Dr Maznah Mohamad on UMNO and the Average Malay

Read here for more in Straits Times (Singapore)


(Q: Can UMNO change?)
The only way it (UMNO) can change is if it LOSES .That's because NOTHING has changed in Umno, not even its rhetoric.

Has money politics changed? NO.
Histrionics? NO.
Keris-waving? NO.

Prime Minister Najib Razak isn't exactly all that strong because he hasn't gone through the baptism of elections and was endorsed by Umno when it was at its weakest.

The attraction in joining Umno today is still that it's a sure ticket to a plum appointment or business contract because there isn't anything idealistic in Umno today.

(Q: Who is the average Malaysian Malay today?)
He is male, Muslim and has an excess of rights and privileges without too much responsibility, for he benefits from what I call a vulgarised affirmative action policy formally known as the New Economic Policy (NEP).

- Dr. Maznah Mohamad
Visiting Fellow,Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore

Maznah Mohamad

Dr Maznah Mohamad (see BELOW her profile) spoke to The Straits Times recently about her country's (Malaysia) New Economic Model (NEM) and where UMNO stands today:

Who is the average Malaysian Malay today?

He is male, Muslim and has an excess of rights and privileges without too much responsibility, for he benefits from what I call a vulgarised affirmative action policy formally known as the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Why 'vulgarised'?

Simply because it has veered from its original aim and has metamorphosed into a scheme that equalises rewards rather than opportunities...
After a while, even a conscious policy like that is not necessary because it assumes its own dynamics - like people from the same ethnic group drawing their own (into workplaces), so you don't even need racial quotas...

But it is difficult to undo a policy that's so entrenched.

So life is good for the average Malaysian Malay?

Besides NEP rights, Malaysia's Islamic laws today are biased towards MALE rights, such as polygamy and the unilateral right to divorce.

Even Jakim, the Department of Islamic Development, has had to set up a RM15 million (S$6.4 million) fund to assist single mothers who have not received maintenance from their children's fathers. This is not good because the state picks up after these errant males... The average Malay male is treated with kid gloves.

Why so?

Well, there's really a lot of disjuncture in the system. The (average Malay) has all these rights and privileges, but for a Muslim man who's poor, that's where the problem starts:

Psychologically, he might think that he's powerful and head of the household but, realistically, he's not able to maintain it... That's why you find many among them just leaving the family.

You also have Muslim wives who earn a lot more than their husbands, yet are forced to be obedient and subservient. There is this whole entrenchment of a kind of politics and culture that does not actually assess (Malays) realistically.

So what is Umno's attraction to them these days?

The attraction in joining Umno today is still that it's a sure ticket to a plum appointment or business contract because there isn't anything idealistic in Umno today.

Sixty years ago, it was about wanting to help the Malays but that is not so today because Malay rights and privileges are already guaranteed in the Constitution... If Umno pays you RM300 a month to deliver letters to its branches, that's enough to pay, say, the loan on your motorcycle. So Umno is more like a job than a party at the end of the day.

Which begs the question: Who wouldn't want to join it?

Well, those who don't need to, don't have to, right? Also, those who join the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) have an idealism that has trumped even material benefits.

That puts Umno in quite a spot, surely?

Exactly. Umno's lifeblood has been helping the Malays get to a certain level. So if the Malays are backward and not able to catch up, Umno would then be forever relevant... But now, what other language can Umno use?

So why are its leaders saying the NEM must replace the NEP?

In a way, it's the right moment to do so because, on the one hand, Prime Minister Najib Razak isn't exactly all that strong because he hasn't gone through the baptism of elections and was endorsed by Umno when it was at its weakest. On the other hand, you have a growing Malay middle class that is clamouring for reform. This convergence of the weak and the strong makes Malaysia ripe for the NEM.

Having said that, it's a misnomer to call the NEM a model. It's really just a government wish list. Nevertheless, it's going to provide a platform for some very important talking points.

How fresh are these points?

There are three which have not been stated explicitly before:

The first links corruption to the faltering economy; before, corruption was there but it wasn't considered a moral evil... But now the NEM has made that connection, albeit with the fancy-sounding term 'rent-seeking in economic practices'.

The second is trying to get rid of affirmative action, using the code phrase 'affirmative action that is friendly to market policy' - which is an oxymoron, right?

The third - and this is very important - is how they're going to stimulate the economy by bringing back 'talented Malaysians' which, again, is a code phrase for non-Malays...

I don't know if that's possible under the present circumstances, but at least they've identified that as what they've to do. So let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

These three things are good because a good policy has something which people desire commonly. So the NEP was very successful because it was made out to be something that could prevent future ethnic conflicts and also eradicate poverty - and who could quarrel with that?

But hasn't the NEP rendered Malaysians uncompetitive?

Yes, but it never hurt the economy - until now - and so Umno became complacent and mixed up short-term necessities with long-term realities.

Can Umno change?

The only way it can change is if it LOSES...
That's because NOTHING has changed in Umno, not even its rhetoric.

Has money politics changed? No.
Histrionics? No.
Keris-waving? No.

Is this Umno's darkest period yet?

There are two ways of looking at it. If you view it in terms of election performance, Umno did very badly in 2008.

But if you're looking at Umno versus PAS, Umno is still ahead of PAS by a long shot. In Umno's worst years, 1969 and 2008, it won 35 per cent of the parliamentary seats.

PAS' best year was 1999, when it won just 14 per cent of the parliamentary seats. See the gap?

So who or what is Umno's biggest threat now?

Fence-sitters. The 2008 election was really about them; a lot of seats were won very narrowly and that was when the fence-sitters mattered.

Dr Maznah Mohamad - PROFILE (CLICK HERE)
Dr Maznah Mohamad joined Asian Research Institute (ARI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in 2006. Concurrently, she is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Southeast Asian Studies Programme, NUS.

Before joining ARI, she taught at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and also held a visiting chair appointment (ASEAN and International Studies) at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.

Dr Mohamad obtained her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Malaya and her M.A. in International Development Education at Stanford University. She also holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology (cum laude) from Macalester College.

Maznah's publications include, The Malay Handloom Weavers: A Study of the Rise and Decline of Traditional Manufacture (ISEAS, 1996); Risking Malaysia: Culture, Politics and Identity (co-edited, Penerbit UKM, 2001) and Feminism and the Women’s Movement in Malaysia (co-authored, Routledge, 2006). She has also published articles on Malaysian politics, Islam, democracy and human rights.

She holds a joint appointment with Dept of Malay Studies, NUS.

Razali Ibrahim - Menteri Otak Kecil

razali ibrahim
Minister, Youth and Sports

One dispirited Malaysian


Mariam Mokhtar

The Youth and Sports deputy minister,
Razali Ibrahim, said that Malaysians who belittled the country lacked a national spirit and prevented the country from becoming a developed nation.

How very patronising of him to have such a low opinion of us.

He is wrong or in denial.

Malaysians have a strong sense of national spirit and identity.

He compared us unfavourably with our neighbours, whom he considered more nationalistic, even with their anti-government protests.

He even claimed that kiasu was the “national spirit” of Singapore and the “secret to Singapore's success”. I was under the impression that Singapore's success was because of its strong leadership and long-term vision.

Razali firmly believes that Malaysia's key to being a developed nation is by being kiasu. If only it were that easy – to be successful by riding rough-shod over people.

The only kiasu I see are our political masters and institutions like the police, who completely disregard the wishes of the people they should serve.

A 'victim' of kiasu despairs at the intolerable arrogance and pushy behaviour. It is neither an appealing trait nor a good example to emulate. In my eyes, success only comes through hard work and perseverance. Not through being kiasu.

Excelling with minimum effort

Take for instance the Malays. The previous National Economic Policy allowed Malays to excel in their studies or work performance with the minimum of effort.

Work was never valued. Responsibility was always someone else's. Sensitive topics were taken personally. And no serious attempt to integrate into the modern world, one where the woman was an equal, was made.

With this diet of false support and false hope, Malays were rendered weak and became intolerant of others. They did not know their own weaknesses and strengths. They became hostile to others who did not share their views. With little stimulation, they became mentally challenged.

They demanded rather than earned respect. They expected rather than encouraged people to behave. They dictated rather than engaged in discussions which displayed mental astuteness.

By contrast, non-Malays had to perform with what little they had. Success, when it came to them, tasted even sweeter.

Both the Malay and non-Malay started off from an unequal platform. The non-Malays persevered for success, would demand life-changing decisions which would also affect their immediate families. We are familiar with tales of houses being mortgaged or parents holding several jobs to pay off education loans.

For the Malays, whatever they did was a walkover. They were content with coasting along.

The devil is in the details

So, if Razali is serious about Malaysia becoming a developed nation, he must appreciate that the devil is in the details.

NONEMost Malaysians are loyal, tolerant, hospitable, genteel and diplomatic. The genuine interaction of Malaysians can be acutely observed in overseas Malaysians, more so than in the false window-dressing found at the local '1Malaysia' rallies.

How does Razali expect the Chinese and Indians who make-up 40% of the population, the so-called pendatangs (immigrants), to feel patriotic?

If we are to become a developed nation, we will have to stamp out all corruption in the government and civil services.

Should we feign ignorance when things go disastrously wrong and no one is held accountable?

Should we ignore the cronyism, racism, religious intolerance, scandals, political conspiracies, kangaroo trials, a politicised police force, a tainted judiciary…?

Is Razali content with Malaysia's poor human rights record and that we have draconian laws to detain people without trial?

Malaysians are neither blind nor stupid. The country is bankrupt and we have been told to tighten our belts. Prices of many commodities are increasing. Rice, flour, oil and sugar are in short supply. Employers cannot find suitable workers. The unemployed cannot find suitable work.

Razali said that the '1Malaysia' concept to make the people and nation developed was under attack by some ungrateful Malaysians, saying “Will running down your own country make others respect us more?” He claimed that such an attitude would make other nations lose confidence in Malaysia.

Time for complacency over

Razali is wrong.

Malaysians have only lost faith in their leaders. For 53 years, the masses have subsidised those at the top and believed their false rhetoric. The time for complacency is over.

He referred to the strong nationalism of the South Koreans, Japanese and Singaporeans, saying “This is what we are lacking,” and claimed that “….people in developed countries rarely talked bad about their own countries but would defend them.”

Wrong again.

People in developed countries do talk bad about their own countries and especially their leaders.

Criticism leads to change, and the chance to progress. That these citizens can comment without censure is known as democracy. The countries he praised have despatched with all speed corrupt or incompetent officials and politicians, including prime ministers. Some did the honorable thing.

However, these countries have a good system of governance guided by their constitution. Their needs are addressed and their rights defended.

The same can't be said for Malaysia.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Datukships Not Worth a Dime Today

Read here and here for more

Malaysiakini reported:
The Johor palace has revoked two awards conferred upon MCA-turned-PKR man Chua Jui Meng, both carrying the honorific 'Datuk'.

Chua - who now sits on the PKR supreme council - said Johor Royal Council secretary Abdul Rahim Ramli had called him twice asking for him to return all his medals today.

Attempts to obtain an official response from the palace has been futile.

Chua (left) had been conferred the awards by the late Johor Sultan Mahmud Iskandar.

They were the 'Dato Paduka Makhota Johor' and the 'Seri Paduka Mahkota Johor".

Chua said Abdul Rahim refused to tell him the reason for the revocation stating that the palace was not obliged to reveal its reasons.

Chua was formerly an MCA vice-president. He left the party after an unsuccessful attempt at the president's post in the 2008 party election. He joined PKR in 2009.


Not good for the monarchy


Raja Petra Kamarudin


Chua Jui Meng’s two datukships (were) being withdrawn by the Johor Palace.

The other Chua however, Chua Soi Lek, the MCA President, did not suffer the same fate. He did not even suffer this fate when he first got caught on video in a compromising position and admitted that the man in the video is him instead of just saying, “It sounds like me, looks like me, but he’s too ugly to be me.”

I am yet to find out what Chua Jui Meng’s crime is to warrant his datukships getting withdrawn. It must have been a very serious crime though, and we shall soon find out I suppose.

In the past, datuks who were sent to jail for fraud, embezzlement, corruption, murder, and many more such serious crimes never had their datukships withdrawn.

Going by these ‘standards’, Chua Jui Meng’s crime must be more serious than fraud, embezzlement, corruption, murder, and whatnot. It can’t be just because he resigned from MCA and joined PKR unless that is considered more serious than fraud, embezzlement, corruption, murder, etc.

I hope and pray that what Chua Jui Meng committed is a most foul crime indeed -- more serious than fraud, embezzlement, corruption, murder, or whatever. If not, that will not bode well for the palace.

As it is, it is so difficult to defend the institution of the monarchy. It is a hard enough job to convince many Malaysians that Malaysia should retain the monarchy and not be turned into a republic after what happened in Perak and the role the palace was perceived to have played in the ouster of the Pakatan Rakyat state government.