Time is right for fresh GLC reforms, say analysts

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: A second wave of reforms is needed for government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs), according to a report in The Edge.

This is to help enhance governance standards and to put in place adequate institutional measures to prevent the mismanagement of public resources.

The report quoted Lee Heng Guie, executive director of the Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC), as saying, “The time has come for a second round of transformations, specifically aimed at improving the governance of GLCs. The management of public funds in carrying out nation-building objectives require greater public scrutiny.

“There is also a need to redefine the role of GLCs in the economy, with a view of ensuring that the limited public financial resources are efficiently managed and invested while not crowding out the private sector. The inefficient ones should be restructured or disposed of.”

In May 2004, the government launched a 10-year initiative called the GLC Transformation Programme, which, among others, revamped sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and set higher standards for the management of GLCs. Read more

We must make reform popular — Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Source: The Star Online

BY WAN SAIFUL WAN JAN

It’s all about changing the climate of opinion to fit your vision because politicians and political parties win or lose based on how popular their ideas are.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan - The Star Online file pic

Wan Saiful Wan Jan – The Star Online file pic

JOSEPH Schumpeter, in his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, defines democracy as “that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote”.

This definition implies that in a democracy there must be competition for votes. This says a lot about the nature of democracy. To win, you must make what you are selling popular. Not necessarily right. But popular.

To see the story of democracy in our country, we need to look back. Since before independence, our society has been divided along communal lines. This was reflected when our political parties were formed. Almost all were communal.

The first president of Umno, Datuk Onn Jaafar, tried to change this. He wanted Umno to open its membership to non-Malays. He embodied the spirit of 1Malaysia before the term was coined.

But he failed and he eventually left Umno. He formed the Independence of Malaya Party and later Parti Negara to pursue his vision for inclusive politics. But, again, he failed.

Onn’s vision was ahead of its time. The public wanted something else, not the good vision that he offered. That is the reality of demo­cracy. Good visions can and do lose the democratic battle if you are un­­able to change the climate of opi­nion to support your vision. Read more

STATEMENT: Dire Need for Institutional Reforms to Uphold the Rule of Law and for Effective Checks and Balances

STATEMENT DATED 18 APRIL 2016

DIRE NEED FOR INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS
TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW AND FOR
EFFECTIVE CHECKS AND BALANCES

1. HAKAM is gravely concerned with the seemingly increasing disregard for the fundamentals of democracy by the Federal Government and key institutions of the nation.

2. That the situation is critical is evident given the increasingly strident and combative tone that the Government and institutions have adopted in dealing with, and rejecting, widespread criticism over the manner in which matters of national importance and public interest have been dealt with. Without intending to define or limit the nature of these matters, HAKAM views with concern the manner in which the following matters have, or have not, been addressed:

2.1 Race relations and increasingly contentious and divisive ethno-religious issues. The direct impact on the social and economic environment can no longer be ignored. It is no coincidence that an increasing number of Malaysians are looking for more fulfilling lives elsewhere;

2.2 The administration of justice. It is no longer possible to brush aside the obvious signs of a significant loss of public confidence in institutions involved in this vital aspect of the democratic framework of this nation. Internationally recognised indexes conclusively show that Malaysia is no longer perceived as a country that upholds the Rule of Law. The efficacy of these public institutions is made possible only by the fact that stakeholders continue to have confidence in them;

2.3 Free and fair elections. This needs no explanation; and

2.4 Corruption and illicit capital out-flow. This has hurt and continues to hurt all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and background.

3. The dismissiveness of the Government and its reliance on a legal framework that it has harnessed to suppress legitimate dissent on matters that affect all Malaysians, regardless of their backgrounds and political leanings, clearly point to the interest of the nation having been made subservient to political interests. Read more

STATEMENT: Dire Need for Institutional Reforms to Uphold the Rule of Law and for Effective Checks and Balances

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 18 APRIL 2016

DIRE NEED FOR INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS
TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW AND FOR
EFFECTIVE CHECKS AND BALANCES

 

1. HAKAM is gravely concerned with the seemingly increasing disregard for the fundamentals of democracy by the Federal Government and key institutions of the nation.

2. That the situation is critical is evident given the increasingly strident and combative tone that the Government and institutions have adopted in dealing with, and rejecting, widespread criticism over the manner in which matters of national importance and public interest have been dealt with. Without intending to define or limit the nature of these matters, HAKAM views with concern the manner in which the following matters have, or have not, been addressed:

2.1 Race relations and increasingly contentious and divisive ethno-religious issues. The direct impact on the social and economic environment can no longer be ignored. It is no coincidence that an increasing number of Malaysians are looking for more fulfilling lives elsewhere;

2.2 The administration of justice. It is no longer possible to brush aside the obvious signs of a significant loss of public confidence in institutions involved in this vital aspect of the democratic framework of this nation. Internationally recognised indexes conclusively show that Malaysia is no longer perceived as a country that upholds the Rule of Law. The efficacy of these public institutions is made possible only by the fact that stakeholders continue to have confidence in them;

2.3 Free and fair elections. This needs no explanation; and

2.4 Corruption and illicit capital out-flow. This has hurt and continues to hurt all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and background.

3. The dismissiveness of the Government and its reliance on a legal framework that it has harnessed to suppress legitimate dissent on matters that affect all Malaysians, regardless of their backgrounds and political leanings, clearly point to the interest of the nation having been made subservient to political interests. Read more

At UN general assembly, Malaysia says yes to protection for human rights fighters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

United Nations General Assembly – pic taken from FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Malaysia voted in favour of a United Nations resolution to protect human rights activists worldwide at the general assembly yesterday, even as civil society leaders back home kick up a storm over a raft of reforms on politics, socio-economics and elections.

Malaysia was one of the 117 countries that gave its nod, amid a global crackdown on civil societies in several countries.

“117 Member States voted yes on the resolution, entitled ‘Recognising the role of human rights defenders and the need for their protection’ calls for accountability for attacks on human rights defenders (including attacks on their family members) and urges states to release defenders who have been arbitrarily detained for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders said in a statement, commending the UN for getting the resolution passed.

The group added that the resolution would be an “important tool” to offer protection to human rights activists that have been “unjustly targeted” for their work. Read more

Anugerah kebebasan media kepada Zunar bukti Malaysia perlu perubahan

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Kartunis Amerika Syarikat, pemenang anugerah Pulitzer Matt Wuerker (kiri) bersama Zunar di luar Kedutaan Malaysia di Washington DC. – Gambar ihsan Kean Wong, 25 November, 2015.

Bagi kartunis Zunar yang sering mengembara antara London, Cambridge, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Washington DC dan New York, beliau percaya reputasinya sebagai aktivis pencetus kemarahan, sering melakar tanah air kita dalam hitam dan putih, percikan warna hanya untuk menyerlahkan perbezaannya dengan kerajaan pemerintah Barisan Nasional.

Di sebalik penampilan reputasinya yang menakutkan hingga menyebabkan beliau mendapat 9 pertuduhan kerana menghasut dan kemungkinan 43 tahun dalam penjara, Zulkifli Anwar Haque ialah seorang yang santun dan lucu, bertentangan dengan cara menteri Malaysia.

Sama seperti kartun satiranya yang sering menggambarkan kepincangan negara, simetri penjahat merampas hak rakyat, minggu lalu memaparkan keseimbangan senario sama apabila Presiden Amerika Syarikat (AS) Barack Obama teruja hadir ke Kuala Lumpur sementara Zunar mendesak perubahan Malaysia dengan segera di hadapan Kaukus Hak Asasi Manusia Senat AS di Washington DC dan Misi US ke Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu di New York. Read more

Closing the education gap

Source: NST Online

The authorities have to find a way to close the education gap between indigenous young Malaysians and their non-indigenous counterparts so they can become part of the solution to the challenges of the 21st Century. And it begins with the education of indigenous children.

The tragic incident of the missing Orang Asli children from SK Pos Tohoi in Gua Musang, Kelantan, highlighted the need to address the weaknesses of indigenous education. Many Orang Asli children remain illiterate as they have no access to schools near their homes, as the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia notes. Read more