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Banning NST won't solve anything
Published:  Mar 24, 2009 2:01 AM
Updated: 3:14 AM

vox populi big thumbnail ‘Banning is the strategy of choice in this country. It is situations like this which leads me to think that Malaysia will never change until Malaysians change.'

On CM: Anwar asked me to approve Fairus' leave

Dennis Madden: ‘On another matter, Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy told reporters in Penang that the state exco has decided to bar the New Straits Times from covering its functions and press conferences beginning today.'

One step forward and three steps backwards. You wouldn't be Malaysian if you didn't want to ban everything you couldn't deal with.

Banning is the strategy of choice in this country. It is situations like this which leads me to think that Malaysia will never change until Malaysians change.

So, what if the NST published libelous reports on the Penang government? If so, sue them.

This scenario is the reality of life in government, some will agree with you, others won't. In some respects, the media are a extra safety valve to the concept of democracy.

Just learn to live with a bit of criticism and give readers the benefit of the doubt in as far as assessing what the NST has to say. Don't be so cowardly.

On Indian voters may boycott 'outsider' Manikumar

Kenny Gan: Indians should look at the bigger picture instead of withholding support for PKR because they do not agree with the party's choice of candidate.

The Kugan case still festers without anybody being charged for causing his needless and painful death. In Kulim, six Indians were shot under suspicious circumstances which smacks of police execution.

The Hindraf 5 still languish in jail and Uthayakumar is suffering from lack of medical treatment while the Hindraf chairman is unable to return from exile despite his medical condition.

These national issues are far more important than quibbling over the choice of candidate. PKR has recognised the Indians' contribution by fielding an Indian whom they feel can best serve the community. For Hindraf and others to demand to impose their own choice is pushing it too far.

If BN wins this seat, it will be an unmitigated disaster for Hindraf as well as for the Indian community as the BN regime will assume they can be jailed, abused and taken for granted without BN having to suffer any penalty at the polls.

Bukit Selambau will be the acid test for Samy Vellu who will receive a rejuvenated lease on political life if the MIC candidate wins.

We will see then Samy Vellu strutting around for a long time claiming to represent the Indians while serving himself.

It is to Hindraf's interest to make sure that BN does not win this by-election. Don't cut off the nose to spite the face as the saying goes.

Alternatively they can assist an MIC victory and then throw yourselves at the mercy of Samy Vellu.

Sang Kancil: The Pakatan Rakyat leadership has lost the people trust by fielding an unknown candidate who is not matured enough to handle the current political turmoil in Malaysia particularly at Bukit Selambau.

I just can't see the logic behind the rationale of naming someone who received the blessing of the incredible Arumugam who was forced to resign due to his moral standing.

Where is the PKR heading too? Where is the credibility that we were always shouting about all this while?

Please, get someone who could take the party to a greater heights. Selecting an unknown candidate might see PKR losing he seat to Ganesan of MIC whom I feel has got a better chance as he is more experienced.

On 'I did not try to extort Khairy'

Disgusted: Political writer Yahaya Ismail can call it what he wants but writing a slanderous book about Khairy and approaching him to buy the copyright to the book at a ridiculously high price is akin to extortion.

If he is serious about his literary work, why not just publish it instead of approaching the subject of his slander to buy it?

Khairy has done the right thing to make a police report against him.

On Mahathir should examine his own heritage

John S: Maybe he is left with no choice but to deny that he is an Indian. It's a known fact that his father is from Kerala, South India.

But by publicly admitting that he is of Indian origin, he wouldn't have become prime minister of Malaysia as the Malays would have voted him out.

Another good example is our Dr Mohd Khir Toyo. Politically, he has no choice as he is an Indonesian.

He has to work extra hard to safeguard the Malay interest to win the political battle.

On Should race-based parties go?

Ahmad Nazri: I would like to answer to Milton Yap 's comments on race-based parties. He says that only when every one is equal will race-based parties go away.

To make it simpler, what Yap's is trying to say is that bumiputera special rights should be abolished, thrown into the history dustbin and then everyone (or race) in this country will be equal.

The writer is ignorant of the history of this country and I am fed up that people like him keep on harping on bumiputera special rights.

I would like to ask him a question - since when did bumiputrea special rights become a threat to him, his family or to the other races in this country?

Do bumiputera special rights deny the other races the opportunity to be rich in this country? Fact is, both my parents as bumiputera really work hard as a small scale business people without the help of the so called bumiputera special rights.

Actually, those who oppose bumiputera special right are self-important, greedy and uncaring towards the plight of other communities or races.

In the US, being equal means one national language, one country, But freedom of speech and religion there does not meant an infringement on the rights of other communities.

Let's take a small steps towards a united Malaysia! That is what being sincere and caring towards other communities mean.

On Asset declaration: Our neighbours show the way

Ong: The final verdict is that Malaysian politicians and public officials are not in favour of public declaration of their assets because of two reasons:

1. Security - ‘making the information public may expose the officials to criminal elements'.

2. Privacy - ‘it is necessary to protect the privacy of public figures, especially their family members who are not involved in politics'.

Both reasons are legitimate. The suggestion that asset declarations instead be submitted to and be monitored by an independent body appears very sound and reasonable on the surface.

However, is there just one supposedly independent body in Malaysia that is perceived by the public to be actually independent? I personally cannot think of any.

The Selangor government's public asset declaration may be 'farcical' and 'laughable' but I am of the opinion that although inadequate, it is still better than BN's asset declarations to the PM and BN Menteri Besar.

Selangor exco members have made public their assets, both acquired and disposed off, since being appointed to their posts.

If any member of the public is aware of any asset acquired or disposed off by them but not indicated in their public declarations, such omissions can be reported to the appropriate authority.

In the case of private BN asset declarations to the PM and menteri besar, how many Malaysians believe that our PM, especially the incoming one, or any menteri besar will take appropriate action if such declarations indicate or expose improprieties?

On the other hand, members of the public may be aware of ministers, menteri besar, or exco members having million ringgit cars or a couple of multi-million ringgit bungalows or condos for their wives and mistresses, but who knows if such assets had been declared to their bosses.

On Malaysia and economic gloom

Kit Lee: It is good to see pillars of Industry and Commerce like Koon and Nazir Abdul Razak finally writing about the truth of the state of the economy due to the NEP, NDP (better late than never).

More people like them should come forward. We are now in the midst of a global economic meltdown that none have witnessed before.

Malaysia must stop shooting itself in the foot and work together to fight off this financial disaster looming ahead - a fight we cannot afford to loose.

The current political turmoil created by the wanton grab for power must stop and elected members in Parliament and the state assemblies must govern.

If we cannot get out of this financial turmoil, the politicians must realise that there will be nothing left for you even if you win this senseless political battle.

Get your priorities in the right perspective and put the welfare of the rakyat who elected you ahead of your self-interests and indulgence.

You should admit that the NEP or NDP has only achieved limited successes and worked to benefit only selected Malays and non-Malays who greased the system, creating a cost-plus economy.

It has not progressed as far as what our founding fathers had meant or hoped to achieve. A good example is found in the economies of states like Terengannu, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis.

Even Malacca, Perak and Kelantan deserve better. Learn from the past to improve for the future and act now.

On MCA faulted for Cabotage policy woes

Teoh Boon Pee: I am no expert in shipping policies but I find it strange that this report has put the blame on MCA. Sure, the transport minister's post has almost always been held by the MCA president over the past two decades.

The transport minister is responsible to everyone, regardless of race and geographical origins.

The cabotage policy was formulated to protect local shipping industry, which has over the years played a key role in the country's economic growth. Even if the policy has flaws now, it is grossly unfair to hold MCA responsible.

While it is the MCA's business to listen to the people, as far as I know, the party has never made a stance on the policy, which affects mostly the people from East Malaysia.

Blaming the MCA for the policy's shortfall is akin to blaming Umno (and not the BN government) for allowing more foreign workers to enter the country and compete with locals in the job market (as the Umno leader-helmed home ministry approves such permits).

I hope there will be more responsible reporting in the future instead of just quoting unnamed sources and blowing up the issue.

On Auto Scrapping Scheme described as 'dubious'

Peter Yew: Is the Auto Scrapping Scheme to boost sales of Proton and Perodua cars during bad times like now? Or is it to take out old cars off the roads as they are more polluting and less fuel efficient?

How is it going to help the owners of old cars if they are made to go into debt again? There is really no incentive to change to new cars if the old ones are doing fine and the owners are comfortable with them.

Perhaps only those who want new cars will be tempted to buy since they will get more than the residual value of their old cars which will be less than RM5,000.

However, the conditions set are unfair and ridiculous. It is like selling an old house fully repaired and repainted. In that case, why sell?

I think the government, if it is sincere to help the poor, should just give the RM5,000 to owners of cars over 10 years old in any condition as long as they are still registered with a valid road tax.

Let the recipients decide if they want to use the money to buy new cars (of any brand), buy a motorcycle, pay for family expenses or children's education, or start a small business.

The government has no right to dictate terms and conditions unless this aid is veiled under a motive of funding Proton or Perodua for which there should be of a separate stimulus package.

On Animal activists slam plans for Penang tiger park

Peter Ooi: I strongly support the activists' stand. What is the use of having a tiger park?

I believe animals should be allowed to roam freely in the wild and the jungle is their abode.

No amount of luxury showered on animals in captivity can replace their freedom. On top of that, do tourists really yearn to see tigers in particular?

Most of them are from developed countries where there are world-class zoos. They would have seen tigers long before they arrived in Penang.

Lim Guan Eng should not even start on this project which I believe is bound to fail.

On Man with 'kebal' power survives knife attack

King Ghazz: Hail King Taib! Gangsters hired by companies in oil palm plantation companies are nothing new.

Remember the bloody Batu Niah incident a few years back. Hail King Taib!

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