How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Share investment: Cool, calm and collected

The original expression and meaning, "Cool, calm and collected" was used as a joke in stockbroking firms. In the old days, before CDS, share certificates need to be collected after purchase. Initially, speculators bought for a quick gain within T+3 days. If a mistake in having bought and share price came down instead, buyer is said to remain cool and calm. But by the last day, he might decide to pay for the purchase instead of the loss plus incidental charges, and collect the share certificate.

I am reminded of this when I read the headline in The Sun posted on February 17, 2016:

Tabung Haji: Shares in FGV a long term investment

"Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has defended its decision to maintain its shares in Felda Global Ventures Berhad (FGV) despite its falling price over the years, calling it a long term investment.
"TH would like to explain that our investment in FGV's shares is a strategic long-term investment in one of our core investment sectors," it said in a statement today.
Explaining that the falling share price was due to the drastic decline in the market price of crude oil, the pilgrimage fund assured its depositors that their savings are safe with the company.
"The fall in crude oil price has caused commodity-based companies (like FGV) to be directly affected, with a negative impact on plantation counters. The drop in price is beyond our control as it is determined by the power of the existing market.
"However, we assure all our depositors not to be worried as their savings in TH is not missing as claimed by certain quarters, their savings are guaranteed," it added.
National Oversight and Whistleblowers (NOW) director Rafizi Ramli, on Tuesday, revealed that TH has lost RM933 million through its shares in FGV despite being aware of its falling prices.
He explained that TH had invested RM1.38 billion when purchasing 7.78% of FGV's shares on June 28, 2012 at RM4.54 per share, and that its current value has dropped to RM1.60 per share.
Rafizi said despite netting a sale profit of RM7.6 million, the current share value held by the pilgrimage fund only stood at RM454 million, making its accumulated losses at over RM933 million."
FGV and Felda are again in the news because of their recent separate attempts to buy 37% of Eagle High Plantations in Indonesia, at a much higher price than recent market average. After FGV gave up, it was eagerly offered by Felda, such was the keen interest which inevitably resulted in suspicions, especially when the seller is reportedly close to PM Najib. 
That EPF has sold off its remaining shares in FGV, even if after its failed bid for EHP, shows the lack of confidence in FGV's turnaround and long term viability.

Will other public bodies join EPF in dumping FGV?

"The Employees Providence Fund (EPF) divestment of its entire stake in Felda Global Ventures (FGV) has raised questions over the viability investments by other public bodies.
Two major FGV shareholders are the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) and Lembaga Tabung Haji. These institutional investors mostly invested in FGV during the initial public offering stage."
Rest of article (for subscribers of Malaysiakini): https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/367225?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Basically, EPF had realised and cut its losses in FGV, while the other funds holding on, have book losses to date. Seems like the funds were told to support FGV in its IPO, and were left to carry the baby, putting on a brave front and describing it as long term investments. Cool, calm and collected indeed. To me, it is better described as enforced long-term investment!
Link

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wan Saiful Wan Jan: Do we need unity?

Excerpt:

"To me the biggest hurdle to national unity is the structure of our political system. Our politics is dominated by ethnic-based political parties. Being ethnic-based, their survival is dependent on us, the voters, continuing to be divided along ethnic lines.
If voters are no longer thinking as different ethnic groups, then the ethnic-based parties will find it difficult to survive. If a Malay feels that it is ok to have a non-Malay Prime Minister, if a Chinese feels it is ok to have an ustaz as their representative, if a Hindu feels it is ok to have an atheist as their spokesperson, then it would be meaningless to remain as a Malay, Chinese or Indian party.
The same applies to the Melanaus, Bidayuhs, Dayaks, Kadazans, Seranis and so on too. Ethnic-based parties need society to remain divided along ethnic lines because otherwise they will not be able to survive.
This is why when any ethnic-based party feels weakened, they will work hard to cleave society. This is divide and rule 101. The more successful you are at dividing society, the more likely you are to rule over them.
But even though the hurdle preventing national unity is not too difficult to identify, there are two bigger questions that should be, but are rarely, asked. The questions are do we really need unity and what is unity for?
Most frequently when people in Malaysia talk about unity we talk about the different ethnic groups mixing with each other. The underlying assumption is that mixing is necessary to foster a “good” society.
I never quite understand this. Why do we really need to mix? Why can’t we just live our lives the way we want, mixing with only those whom we want, and meeting only those whom we want?"

"If all we want is peace, then isn’t it a possibility that unity is irrelevant? If peace can be achieved by people living parallel lives, remaining in groups they are comfortable with, peacefully within the group and peacefully in relation to others, should we still divide them in the quest for the illusive unity?"
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YB Dr Ong Kian Ming: Did the Education Ministry artificially boost Malaysia’s school scores?

With our past record of manipulation of things, it isn't surprising, if true.

Excerpt:

"When the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2015 results were released on Dec 6, officials from the Education Ministry were quoted in a news report as taking pride that Malaysia’s Pisa’s scores for Mathematics, Reading and Science had improved from 421, 398 and 420 respectively in 2012 to 446, 431 and 443 respectively in 2015.
No doubt, mnisters, deputy ministers and politicians from the BN will use the latest Pisa scores as ‘proof’ that Malaysia is on the ‘right track’ when it comes to the standard of education in the country.
What they would have conveniently left out is the fact that Malaysia does not feature anywhere in the 2015 Pisa rankings for Mathematics, Reading and Science.
The official reason stated, on Page 340 of the Pisa report for Malaysia’s non-inclusion is:
"In Malaysia, the Pisa assessment was conducted in accordance with the operational standards and guidelines of the OECD. However, the weighted response rate among the initially sample Malaysian schools (51 percent) falls well short of the standard Pisa response rate of 85 percent. Therefore, the results may not be comparable to those of other countries or to results for Malaysia from previous years."
Why was it that only 51 percent of the schools initially chosen for the Pisa test participated in the test in 2015? Was it because the Education Ministry wanted to over-represent students from better performing schools and leave out students from low performing schools?
This 51 percent participation rate raises many suspicions, since Malaysia’s participation rate was 99.3 percent and 100 percent in Pisa 2009(Page 103, 151 out of 152 schools participated) and Pisa 2012 respectively (Page 181).
It is hard to imagine any school principal not allowing his or her school to participate in the Pisa 2015 test if the Education Ministry had already chosen that school to be in the original sample.
One suspects that the Education Ministry over-sampled the high performing schools in the Pisa 2015 sample and excluded some of the lower performing schools from the sample."
Link

When they have it all, there's no need to prove anything.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Ultimate Insult to Tun Dr Mahathir


My simple comment in Facebook received 75 likes within 3 hours!:

The mention of 'no chair' must be most insulting for withdrawal of invitation. How low can they be? It reflects badly on the authority who did this.

https://www.facebook.com/MalaysiaKini/posts/10154014857140906?comment_id=10154014894245906&notif_t=like&notif_id=1481102777483370
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Saturday, December 03, 2016

YB Lim Kit Siang: Challenge to Najib to list out DAP’s Three Big Lies after I have exposed Najib’s three “Big Lies” in his UMNO presidential speech yesterday

Excerpt:

"Are we seeing a repetition of the “Big Lie” theory in modern-day Malaysia, with the UMNO leadership warning about the “Big Lie” theory but with the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak becoming the biggest exponent of the “Big Lie” propaganda?
Najib impudently told three colossal “Big Lies” in his UMNO Presidential Speech yesterday, viz:
1. That the 14th General Elections will be a contest between UMNO and DAP;
2. That the DAP is anti-Malay or anti-Islam.
3. The “nightmares” Malay will suffer if UMNO loses power in the next general elections.
These three “Big Lies” fit the Hitler/Goebbels definition that “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Lets take a look at Najib’s three “Big Lies” and the rebuttals:
1. 14th General Election not a battle UMNO vs DAP. It will be a battle between the Barisan Nasional led by UMNO and the Pakatan Harapan coaliltion of DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah together with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to save Malaysia from a kleptocracy by defending the founding Constitutional principles of a democratic, just and united plural Malaysia.
2. DAP is not anti-Malay or anti-Islam. DAP is not a Chinese party as right from the beginning of our formation 50 years ago, we were committed to the principles and vision of a Malaysian party, led by Malaysians and serving the interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
This was why in the very first general election contested by DAP in 1969, two Malay State Assemblymen were elected, and down the decades, there had been Malay Members of Parliament and State Assembly representatives under the DAP banner.
This was also why in the first general election contested by the DAP in 1969, and now after the 2013 General Elections, the DAP has more Indian Members of Parliament than MIC.
But this does not make DAP a political party only for the Indians as DAP remains unequivocably as a party for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
3. Malays will not have “nightmares” if UMNO loses power in 14GE, as Najib tried to create scare and panic among the Malays that they will lose political power to the Chinese.
Whatever happens in the 14GE, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in the country as there is no way they will lose their political power.
The demographic reality is the surest guarantee that the Malays will not lose political power whatever happens to Najib or to UMNO in the next general elections.
In 1970 Malaysia’s population comprised 44.32% Malays, 34.34% Chinese, 8.99% Indians, 11.89% non-Malay Bumiputeras, 0.67% others.
In 2010, the percentage of Malays in the Malaysian population increased to 55.07%, Chinese reduced to 24.34%, Indians dropped to 7.35%, non-Malay Bumiputeras maintained at 11.94% and 1.3% others.
During the 13th general election, 52.63% of the voters were Malays, 29.68% Chinese, 7.31% Indians, 8.96% non-Malay Bumiputeras and 1.43% others.
Out of the 165 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 114 are Malay majority seats representing some 70%, 22 Chinese majority seats (13%) and 29 mixed seats. There is not a single Indian majority seat.
With the triple factors establishing overwhelming Malay predominance in the Malaysian political scene – the demographic make-up of the general population, the electorate and the parliamentary constituencies – can Najib and UMNO propagandists explain how the Malays will lose political power, whatever the scenario in the 14GE?
How Malays who dominate in 70% of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia will lose political power to the Chinese, who are in the majority in only 13% of the parliamentary seats?"
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