Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Malaysia's Racial Policies Jeopardize Trade Deal, EU Envoy Says

Once more, the EU envoy to Malaysia is setting his sights on Malaysia's racial economic policies. In his latest salvo, Thierry Rommel, who earlier this year provoked a harsh response from UMNO members with a similar statement, says in a Bloomberg interview that:

"The philosophy [behind the race-based policies] is basically one of discrimination and protectionism with selective and discretionary market opening".


"It has already hampered free-trade talks with the U.S. and with Australia, and it will certainly complicate free-trade talks'' with the European Union"

Couldn't have said it better.

Everybody else on earth agrees except UMNO and its slavish followers. Having been weaned on a constant diet of rent-seeking and patronage, one can understand why party members are reluctant to let go of a rice bowl that has grown and bloated in size over the years.

Expect over the next few days some more posturing and feral responses from the party faithful who are already in siege mentality from the recent 40,000 strong Bersih march.

The next elections are going to be very interesting indeed.

Monday, November 05, 2007

AFP: Malaysia's forgotten poor failed by policy to boost poor Malays

This AFP report couldn't have summarised more succinctly what I just blogged about.

Is the dominant party failing the people it is supposed to champion while enriching its own members?? When these kind of statistics are mentioned, it is hard to think otherwise:

"One out of every five people in Terengganu lives below the poverty line, and many say they are disappointed at how little the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which has ruled Malaysia for 50 years has done for them."

Is the recently announced East Coast Economic Region just hype to get votes in the next General Election?

Silly Season is back: the UMNO General Assembly

Once again hordes of UMNO faithful from throughout the country will descend upon the PWTC and throng its halls with belligerent verbage.

Though not gifted with prophecy, it has become depressingly predictable what will be covered at this annual get-together of the nation's most dominant political party.

Here's my take of what will and will NOT be achieved at this year's UMNO General Assembly.

What the UMNO general assembly WILL achieve

  • Their youth leaders will wave threatening weapons at imagined enemies
  • Create unproductive traffic jams within a 10km radius of the PWTC
  • Expound more racist drivel on why the Never Ending Policy (NEP) should remain firmly in place
  • Blame Jews/other races/American and then other foreigners for the woes UMNO voters are facing
  • Perpetuate the myth that the Bumiputra Commerical and Industrial Community (BCIC) is still non-existent and demand that more be done in the name of race to promote this community
  • Promote self-serving business policies thinly disguised as affirmative action for UMNO supporters
  • Continue telling the malays they are an indolent race and won’t go far if they don't elect UMNO back to another term in office.
  • Constantly harp on the fact that its members shouldn’t practice money politics but still let it happen.

What the UMNO general assembly WON’T achieve

  • Provide mature and insightful nation-building solutions to achieve equitable income distribution
  • Address the widening intra-racial gap between urban and rural malays
  • Accept the fact that Malaysia is a multi-racial nation
  • Create genuine sustainable programs that will help the community progress and not just benefit those on top of the pecking order.

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