Nov 24, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Teaching of Science, Maths in English should continue

"We have to master the learning of these subjects in English first. Right now, all the research in science and technology is written in English." He said that learning the subjects in English would benefit the Malays and make them more competitive. He was speaking at a dialogue entitled "Malay Dilemma" organised by the Federation of National Writers Associations here.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – The teaching of science and mathematics in English should be continued to ensure Malaysian students, especially the Malays, are not left behind, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the change to teach the two subjects in English from Bahasa Malaysia was to ensure students could master them and at the same time become more proficient in English, the number one language in the world.

“It is not aimed at neglecting Bahasa Malaysia. Furthermore, most publications on science and mathematics are in English.

“Take for example the cellular phone. If foreigners manufacture them equipped with cameras and the short-messaging facility but the manual is in English, can we used our science which is in Bahasa Malaysia to make the same hand phone? By the time we are done with the translation we will be left far behind,” he said at the “Malay Dilemma” discourse organised by the National Writers Association (Gapena) here today.

He also cited the dark ages of the Arabs where they had to learn everything from the Greeks.

“Obviously they could not ask the Greeks to translate their knowledge into Arabic. The solution then was for them to learn Greek so that they could have access to the knowledge in their possession. By doing this, the Arabs became a progressive race,” he said, adding that the same applied in the current scenario in the country.

He also said being proficient in two languages was a great asset and cited himself as an example.

“I studied in a Malay school for two years before my father transferred me to an English school. Thereafter all my education was in English. Did I lose my ability to use Bahasa Malaysia?

“It will not signify the end of the Malay race if we are to learn in English as well,” he said. – Bernama

Nov 23, 2008

Tun Mahathir warns of the new Malay dilemma of money politics

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would make good his promise to name Umno election candidates involved in money politics if the party’s disciplinary board fails to take the necessary action against them. He said all complaints on money politics forwarded to him by members have been sent to the disciplinary board for further action.

KUALA LUMPUR: The new Malay dilemma will be who to vote for in the next general election, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

Given a choice between an Umno which he claims is corrupt and an Opposition party that may not guarantee Malay rights, Dr Mahathir said they would have three options in the 13th general election.

“You could vote for Umno but then that would mean you would be endorsing corruption,” he said in reference to the alleged rampant money politics in the ruling Malay party.

“The alternative is to vote for Pakatan Rakyat. But can we be sure they will protect Malay rights?”

Dr Mahathir said the third option would be to not vote at all but by doing so the possibility of Umno being returned to power was high.

He said that the March 8 election result was the direct result of those unhappy with the ruling coalition giving their vote to the Opposition.

“Party leaders are so taken into the culture of money politics because they had been given positions, titles or money that they support without question,” he said at a forum on the Malay Dilemma organised by the Federation of National Writers Association (Gapena).

“That is why there is this transition of power in March next year. They are finding the easy way out with no confrontation so they can save the face of this or that person.”

Dr Mahathir said the dilemma could not be solved unless Umno is clean.

Nov 20, 2008

Najib never met Altantuya - Razak Baginda

Speaking to the media for the first time since his acquittal from the Altantuya murder case, Abdul Razak said that neither Najib nor his wife, Rosmah, had met the Mongolian woman.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda said today that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had never met his Mongolian lover Altantuya Shaariibuu who was brutally murdered two years ago.

"I know that Najib and his wife had never met the deceased Altantuya," Abdul Razak told a packed press conference at a hotel here today and pleaded for the media and the public to stop spreading "lies about Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife."

He said that those who have slandered the Deputy Prime Minister and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor can "never produce authentic evidence because there is none."

Abdul Razak was recently acquitted of the charge of abetting in the murder of Altantuya in one of the country's most sensational murder trials.

While Abdul Razak was acquitted, two policemen are still facing trial for the murder.

Pressed today on how he knew Najib had never met Altantuya, Abdul Razak simply replied: "I know."

His relationship with Najib and the sensational nature of the murder in which Altantuya's body was blown to bits with C4 explosives have sparked allegations and numerous questions over possible political conspiracies.

Najib and Rosmah have been the subject of often wild allegations about their involvement.

This has resulted in a smear on the record of Najib, who was recently elected unopposed as Umno president and is expected to become the next Prime Minister in March.

Today his friend and adviser Abdul Razak attempted to help clear his name.

Hoping to "close one chapter of my life and open a new chapter", he expressed frustration that "many have jumped on the bandwagon of skullduggery. The innocents have become the victim while the liars are running supreme."

With several relatives including his father present, Abdul Razak reiterated that he was innocent and was in fact "caught in the system, the system puts you in and the system will get you out."

He said that there was no link between the deceased and the submarine deal which has been the subject of widespread speculation as the motive for the murder of Altantuya.

He said the "purported deal" was inked in June 2002 but he had only met the deceased in late 2004.

"Everyone is lazy and did not check the facts. I fail to see the connection. These are vicious lies," he said.

He was also visibly agitated at a suggestion that he was still not exonerated in the court of public opinion.

Remarking at how the media blows up "people power" with references to recent uprisings in Thailand, he retorted by asking: "Is that democracy? If you talk about 500 people in the streets as opposed to a population of 100 million? If I have money and I pay everyone RM10 and I get 100,000 people out in the streets to protest against the government, is that public opinion? Blimey, that is not public opinion that is manipulation."

"You talk about it as if it is a coherent consensus. I do not want to pander to so-called public opinion. Can a blogger reflect public opinion? Then I can run you down as well, mate," he sniped.

Lifting up a tape recorder, he said if the press chose to report him as holding a gun or whisky, he could not be responsible for that.

Abdul Razak also said that he has had no contact with Najib since his release.

"I have not met him, seen him, spoken to him, SMSed him, e-mailed him. Not at all," he exclaimed.

He clarified his relationship with Najib, saying that it has "evolved" since it began professionally in the ‘90s, and they have since become personal friends but he has never held an official position with Najib as a member of his staff and could not be classified as an "aide" as was often reported.

Abdul Razak, however, said he felt Najib would make a very good Prime Minister as he is a well-read person and attuned to global affairs but he was not interested in becoming a member of Najib's staff as he is "quite happy with my freedom at the moment."

He said his immediate concern now was to return to Britain as he was a doctorate student at Oxford and had submitted in September 2006 his dissertation which was placed on hold due to his arrest.

He bristled at a suggestion that he would not return.

"Why the hell should I run away, I am innocent. You will see me back in a few months after I get my doctorate unless I get a cushy job like the Prime Minister of the UK," he quipped.

He also refused to comment on several issues such as why he was implicated in the first place, his relationship with the two accused police officers and why he dropped prominent lawyer Datuk Shafee Abdullah when he was finally charged with abetting the two police officers, saying that a trial is still proceeding and legal ethics had to be adhered to.

He, however, denied that he had met Altantuya at a party as reported in the media and said that a photo of him, Najib and the deceased was doctored.

As for the recently leaked text message exchange between Najib and Shafee which led to claims of abuse of power, he said that by that time he was already in remand and he could not imagine how there could be a suggestion of interference.

"How can there be any intervention if I went through all that? God almighty, come on," he said.

He added that while he was sympathetic to the family of the deceased, he has never met them and if they chose to bring the matter to an international court, it was up to them.

Abdul Razak also expressed surprise that he has not become "a leper”.

"A lot of people came to wish me all the best and congratulate me. Of course, when I walk around I hear people whispering but that's obvious."

Nov 18, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Bitter race politics still prevails

"Malaysian politics have not been decoupled from racial sentiments and loyalties. And it is going to remain so for as long as the different races prefer to be separated and divided, prefer to strongly uphold their languages, cultures and their historical origins and links" - Tun Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 - Malaysia is witnessing an explosion of racial politics that is more bitter and blatant than ever before, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.

Writing in his blog, he claimed that "even the least observant cannot fail to notice how Malaysian politics now is more about racial inequities than about liberalism, human rights and openness."

"Malaysian politics have not been decoupled from racial sentiments and loyalties. And it is going to remain so for as long as the different races prefer to be separated and divided, prefer to strongly uphold their languages, cultures and their historical origins and links," he said while claiming that talk of reforms and liberalism was mere lip service.
While he conceded that there is now discussion on the Internal Security Act, the most bitter and angry debates were on Malay privileges, the social contract, the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister being Malays, UMNO bullying, Chinese being immigrants and about Malay dominance.

"Even the criticisms regarding the way judges are appointed or promoted have elements of race that is hardly disguised," he added.

He wrote this in yet another attack on his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi's leadership of Barisan Nasional.

He rationalised that the losses suffered in the March 8 general election by the governing coalition were not due to a rejection of racial politics but due to PM Abdullah's weak administration.

"Foreign observers and many in this country were jubilant because they claimed that it marked the demise of racial politics and racial parties in Malaysia.

"If it is because the Malaysian electorate had rejected racial politics, why did they vote for such parties as PAS, a very Malay Muslim party, and DAP, a Chinese dominated party?

"Even PKR is made up of Chinese dissatisfied with the MCA's representation of the Chinese in BN, self-serving Malays who could not find a place in the other Malay parties and violently racist Hindraf

Indians," he said referring to the recently outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force and adding that PKR were "anti-Malay" racists.

Dr Mahathir, who was Prime Minister for 22 years, instead said that the opposition's success in the general elections was due to "the defection by BN party members which resulted in the opposition parties, regardless of the quality of their candidate, getting the large number of votes to win so many more seats than they or anybody else expected."

Nov 14, 2008

Every second with Pak Lah spells doom for Umno

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed today blamed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi for the corruption which he says is rife in Umno. He said the new Umno leadership would have to work hard to repair what he described as the damages inflicted on the country by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration.

(Malaysiakini) Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued to attack his handpicked successor although Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had agreed to hand over the reins next March.

"Three months is not a long time," he conceded, but on the same note added: "(Taking into account) the present Umno and national politics, a lot of rehabilitation efforts will be affected by this baseless postponement (of power transition)."

"This is because the damage inflicted by Abdullah on Umno is so severe that every second rehabilitation is delayed could have a negative impact on the party and Barisan Nasional," he noted in his latest blog posting.

According to Mahathir, Umno and BN component parties have been reduced to tatters in the five years under Abdullah.

He also pointed out that as long as Abdullah remained at the helm, it would affect premier-in-waiting Najib Abdul Razak's efforts to "rehabilitate all that needs to be rehabilitated".

"Maybe there are those who would defend Abdullah by claiming that the damage had been there for a long time and it was inherited by him.

"If this true, then why was Umno and BN given a 2/3 majority in every general election since 1974?" asked the former premier who stepped down in 2003 after leading the nation for 22 years.

He also underscored the fact that the ruling coalition had never failed to control the states of Kedah, Perak and Selangor as well as Penang since Gerakan joined BN.

Nov 13, 2008

Nazri to Tun Mahathir : Don't be 'celupar'

Umno supreme council member Nazri Abdul Aziz has done it again. This time he has asked Tun Mahathir not to be "big mouthed" aka 'celupar'.

(Malaysiakini) Umno supreme council member Nazri Abdul Aziz had a go at former Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad for insinuating that a candidate for deputy president was into money politics - saying that the octogenarian was too ‘celupar’ (big-mouthed).

Yesterday Dr Mahathir suggested that money politics has found its way to the party’s number two contest, to be decided in March party polls.

"I think there is a lot of hanky-panky going on. When you know that someone has a bad history is still getting support, I think that bad history has relevance to his support," he said without naming who the jibe was intended for.

It is widely seen as an attack on Rural and Regional Development Minister Muhammad Muhd Taib.

Nazri - a minister in the prime minister’s department - said the former premier should not be too ‘celupar’.

"This is very serious, he should not be too ‘celupar’ and claim things without any basis because the candidates and the parties will suffer the consequences," he said when met by reporters in Parliament today.

Muhammad is vying for the seat against favourite International Trade and Industry Minister Muhyiddin Yassin - who is Dr Mahathir’s choice - and Malacca chief minister Mohd Ali Rustam.

Nov 12, 2008

Tun Mahathir - Non-Malay PM is possible but not multiracial party

It does not matter if the Prime Minister is Malay or non-Malay, as long as he enjoys the trust of all Malaysians. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there was no specification in the country that a Prime Minister must be a Malay.

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 12 - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today it is possible for anyone including the non-Malays to be the Prime Minister, but he warned against harping on the issue of having a non-Malay PM because that would itself be racist.

"When you talk about a non-Malay PM, you are being racist, because you shouldn't ask the question whether a Malay or non-Malay can be PM. Here everyone can become Prime Minister, but he must be a leader of the majority party," said Mahathir after delivering a keynote address entitled Bangsa Malaysia at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here.

He claimed that the situation in Malaysia was different from that of Singapore.

"It's very clear when (Singapore Prime Minister, Lee) Hsien Loong said non-Chinese cannot be the PM, they are very open, of course we say one thing, we do another thing," said Mahathir.

However he said Malaysia is not ready to have a truly multiracial political party.

"It doesn't work, every multiracial party is dominated by one race, like Gerakan and DAP. Even PAP in Singapore is not multiracial," said Mahathir.

He added even the opposition parties have failed to prove they are multiracial despite their repeated claims that racial politics has ended.

He said that the failure during his administration to unite vernacular and national schools under one roof is evidence that the people are not ready to be united.

On the imminent economic crisis Mahathir said the problem can only be solved with international cooperation.

"I can assure this is very difficult to handle. I have no confidence in Obama, what about Najib. This is too big for Obama and Najib. We need to change the system, to change the system, we need international cooperation," said Mahathir.

He said that the present system is open to all kinds of abuses.

"You have to have a system that is more solid, based on something that is more tangible. All currencies of the world were pegged to gold. But when the US decided to go off the gold, that is when things go out of control, because you can print any amount of money without any backing," said Mahathir.

Tun Mahathir - ‘Hanky-panky’ in Umno deputy president race

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today suggested the Internal Security Act (ISA) should be used against corrupt Umno members. He also backed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the best candidate in the race for the Umno deputy presidency while suggesting that the other two challengers are involved in money politics.

PUTRAJAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has raised questions over the credibility of candidates contesting the number two post in Umno, asking how a candidate with a “very bad history” qualified to contest at the last minute.

“There is a lot of hanky-panky. When you know someone with a very bad history is still getting support there is a strong possibility that money politics is involved because, somehow, someone has come from very far behind to catch up.

“At first, in the initial weeks, some people succeeded in garnering enough nominations while others remained at the bottom.

“Then, suddenly, nominations for these people shot up. Why?” he asked reporters after delivering a keynote address on “Bangsa Malaysia” at the Perdana Leadership Foundation yesterday.

There are currently three contenders in the deputy president’s race – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is leading the pack with 91 nominations while Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has 47 and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib has 46.

Muhyiddin was the first to qualify to contest the post and Dr Mahathir said he believed Muhyiddin was the best person for the job.

On money politics, Dr Mahathir said the only way to clamp down on the scourge in Umno was to investigate all the names listed in the 900 complaints received and then have them removed from the party.

“They should be thrown in jail. That is a good way to use the Internal Security Act and not against someone writing some nonsense.

“Umno must be cleaned up. If not, they will lose in the next general election,” he said.

Nov 4, 2008

Najib is unopposed as Umno president

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s unopposed win in the Umno presidential elections proves that the transition plan has been accepted, party vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said. He said it also indicated strong unity within Umno.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 – Datuk Seri Najib Razak won the contest for the Umno presidency unopposed today when he obtained the 134th nomination from the Batu Kawan division in Penang.

He has so far obtained an unassailable 136 nominations to Tengku Razaleigh's sole nomination from his Gua Musang division. A candidate needs 58 nominations from among the 191 divisions to contest the party presidency.

Najib will be officially declared as the party president during the Umno general assembly scheduled for March 24-28 next year.

His victory also paves the way for him to take over the premiership when Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi steps down.

After the supreme council meeting on Friday, Abdullah had said that he would need a few days after the assembly to sort things out before resigning as Prime Minister.

In 2004, Tengku Razaleigh made an attempt to challenge Abdullah for the party's top post but failed to qualify as he only obtained one nomination, also from the Gua Musang division.

In the deputy presidency contest, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is still the favourite, with 76 nominations, ahead of Datuk Seri Ali Rustam, who with 31 so far needs eight more to qualify.

Another contender, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, has 28 after he received the bulk of the nominations from Selangor Umno divisions today. Puchong, Kota Raja, Kapar and Pandan nominated Muhammad for the number two post. The Cameron Highland division in Pahang also nominated Muhammad.

For the vice president posts, Tan Sri Isa Samad, who obtained the highest votes during party polls in 2004, needs one more nomination to join five other candidates who have qualified to contest.

Other candidates who have qualified are Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein with 105 nominations, Datuk Zahid Hamidi, 78, Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, 60, Datuk Shafie Apdal, 55 and Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, 24.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Khir Toyo is now ahead of Khairy Jamaluddin in the contest for Umno Youth chief. The former Selangor Menteri Besar has so far obtained 56 nominations while Khairy has 51.

Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir still leads with 71 nominations.

The Umno divisional meetings will conclude next week, and the Kepala Batas division, headed by Abdullah, will meet on Nov 9.