Friday, April 30, 2010

R16 Southeast Asia & Hip Hop Concert - Get Your Tickets Now!


Attendance is by invitation only. So email asthytanst@yahoo.com to find out how you can get an invitation to the event.

Here's a reason why you should attend!

Its Dynamic, Explosive & Amazing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PM Najib & Reforms

Barisan may have won the recent Hulu Selangor by-election but the victory is not a real measurement of Najib's reform success. Precisely what has he done to strengthen democracy, public institutions' independence and the rule of law in the country?

He may have announced millions worth of projects for the people of Hulu Selangor but he cannot reverse decades of neglect of the constituency. Handing out some delayed payments to the Felda settlers cannot be translated to a caring and people's first government. Barisan needs to do more for the people. Not only in Hulu Selangor but also for the people in Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang, and other places.

Please do not wait till a by-election to do it.

There are too many things in the laundry list which are waiting to be addressed, I would like to remind the PM again. on the list:

1) There should be some finality for the New Economic Model. So far, we have only got some frameworks which lacked details and implementation mechanics. The government is still interfering too much in the economy and not allowing the private sector to dictate the pace. PM Najib is still unsure about the controversial quota system and affirmative action. Without details and supporting policies, the NEM is as good as any piece of paper.

2) The government needs to address serious economic bottlenecks in the country e.g. skills deficit, urban renewal, infrastructure and amenities development, jobs creation, new industrial development and others. It is a fact that investment is not coming in as willingly as before. Our local investors are foot loose. Many have ran away to neighbouring countries and more liberal and dynamic regional economies. Those who lost their job in the recent economic crisis are still not able to find good employment opportunities. Is the government focused on these issues??

3) PM Najib cannot continue to sit mum and try to defend organisations such as Perkasa and others around him continue to sing his praises as a moderate and liberal. Perkasa is able to capture national attention because national media controlled by the government are giving them enough coverage. Funny, the same media organisations are denying the rights of their producers to highlight significant community centric issues. The way this government continues to meddle with media freedom to feed their own political appetite is going to bring down this country with them.

4) The government needs to probe allegations of political interference by two producers, Joshua Wong (ex-NTV 7) and Chou Z Lam (RTM). One of the producers alleged the involvement of PM's wife Rosmah which is really unnecessary and unethical because she should not be meddling with the administration. If these allegations are unfounded, the government/Rosmah should take necessary actions against the producers. Meanwhile, it is better for the prime minister to keep his family and kins out of administration.

5) PM Najib still has to respond to the reform pledges made by the previous administration e.g. the implementation of IPCMC (the shooting case of a 15 years old youth makes this call even more critical), judicial reforms, the PKFZ financial scandal, French submarines scandal and a host of other issues, scandals and controversies.

I asked this many times, are Malaysians so gullible? Are we so easily bought by mere rhetoric and (taxpayers') money?

Political affiliation aside, we need this government to perform and to be held responsible. Power corrupts and perpetual power is worse.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lessons From Hulu Selangor

I was amused when several people including some leaders in Pakatan had predicted a comfortable win for Zaid Ibrahim despite an apparent lost of steam in the coalition since 2008.

I was asked by several reporters on my prediction. They were surprised that I did not hesitate to give BN a slight advantage in the by-election.

Here are several lessons from the Hulu Selangor by-election:

1) Choice of candidate: Zaid is the right candidate for urban seats where there is a higher appreciation to his principled stand on several issues including judicial reform, abolishing ISA, good governance and others. It is okay for Zaid to be a little bit more remote and distance when dealing or interacting with urban voters who would have respected his space. In a semi-rural seat such as Hulu Selangor, a more effective message would be development, jobs and their livelihood.

In this case, Selangor MB Khalid could have done more to assure the voters of the state government's commitment and plan to develop the area and build new economic activities. Pakatan's ruled states remain quite hazy about their socio-economic plans apart from making several populist policies e.g. free water and free money to old folks etc.

2) Defections do hurt: Defections amongst PKR leaders and members do give a wrong perception about the party. Voters who voted for Barisan may not have a choice to vote for a party they deemed falling apart. Who wants to be put at the mercy of the ruling government? A large number of Hulu Selangor voters especially the Felda settlers are dependent on the federal government for aid and assistance. PKR needs to use this setback to look at their candidate selection process, recruitment and promotion process. Ex-leaders such as Zahrain, Salehudin, Zulklifi and others have an axe to grind with the party. These leaders are often unprincipled and self centric. They can flip-flop on their political stand if their personal demands are not met.

3) A lack of leadership for the Indian community: Hindraf started Makkal Sakthi with a bang but soon after the 2008 general election fame and power got better of their leaders. When the dust settles and real face exposed, this movement was nothing but a collection of self-interested and arrogant leaders. Factions within the movement started to break up and lost their direction. They should have used the opportunity and momentum to help alleviate the community into mainstream development. Indian community is seriously in need of real leadership and not self-centric and egoistic leaders who cannot speak the language of reason and hope. Both PKR and DAP Indian origin leaders had failed to provide a strong leadership to the Indian community and voters in Hulu Selangor.

Too much attacks and rhetoric on Najib and Barisan do have a saturation point. The point was reached at the last general election. Pakatan cannot continue to bank on the weaknesses of their opponent to win elections.

PR leaders must learn to walk their talk and not just mock others who did so but on the wrong path. At leaders they have tried walking.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hulu Selangor By-Election & Malaysian Mentality

Many analysts and observers claimed that the Hulu Selangor by-election is a referendum on Najib's administration. It is also a test board on the performance of Pakatan Selangor under the leadership of Khalid Ibrahim.

Najib has gone on the offensive with his strings of PR efforts hoping to convince mostly non-Malay voters of his new vision - New Economy Model. Barisan leaders and the coalition friendly media agencies have played up Najib's vision and policies. The sad part is this country will not get better merely through visions and policy announcements but lacking in actual implementation.

Najib had announced numerous big sounding initiatives e.g. the Government Transformation Plan, New Economy Model, 1Malaysia and several others. He had formed a number of committees and work groups. His most controversial decision was to appoint APCO as his government's international PR consultants.

What is lacking is a report card. His administration is facing a tremendous challenge to provide full details of his reform pledges. Hence, the claims of Najib's gaining popularity over these announcements is weird and worrying.

Why so? First, are Malaysians so gullible? Malaysians should be focusing more on the results than announcements. However, slogans have proven to be very marketable in Malaysia.

On the flip side, Pakatan led state governments have been less than innovative and fresh with their governance approach. Pakatan Selangor under the leadership of Khalid Ibrahim is seen as lack of dynamism and new ideas. There is also a serious concern over the support he gets from his own party.

The outcome of Hulu Selangor by-election should provide some lessons for Pakatan. They, especially PKR, need to be more careful with their membership recruitment process, candidate selection mechanism and leadership promotion within the party. Pakatan states cannot merely depend on the misdeeds of Barisan to win elections.

Barisan's excesses are already well known but the opposition coalition must capture the people's confidence that they are able to hold the leadership mantle if given an opportunity to do. Good riddance to PKR because the defectors are mostly from leaders and members with dubious record and low credibility.

Pakatan needs to show how they can govern differently.

It may not be a bad thing if Pakatan losses this by-election. It should not stay complacent and just hope for Barisan's poor perception to win elections.

Pakatan must win over some Barisan's hard core supporters if it wants to form the next federal government.

Hulu Selangor is a also a test of Malaysian mentality. If voters in Hulu Selangor are not committed on reforms, then there is still a long way for this country to become a fully developed country. Race, social morality and developmental politics are key to the HS election.

Power corrupts and should not be perpetuated in any democracies. We need at least a change of government but can Pakatan delivers us more hope and trust?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kamalanathan Needs More Than PR Skills to Win

BN candidate for Hulu Selangor is a PR thorough breed. He embraces all and accepts all. He said this at a political rally, "P. Kamalanathan menjelaskan, beliau tetap menyokong pendirian Perkasa kerana percaya setiap individu mempunyai hak untuk bersuara."

Kamalanathan should be clearer with his stand. The support he has for freedom of speech is different from his support for Perkasa's stand. He can defend the right of Perkasa to speak up but he has no business to defend the right winged group's position on non-Malays.

Perkasa's wisdom is a mirror image of Ibrahim Ali's. I guess it will take forever to convince and educate Ibrahim that the weaknesses and failures of the Malays are not caused by the non-Malay. Ibrahim's inability to offer solutions to empower the Malays is a major failure of Perkasa.

Kamalanathan should know what is wrong with Ibrahim and Perkasa. It is possible to defend Perkasa's right to speak up and at the same time disagree with the group's stand.

The problem with a politician like Kamalanathan is he is probably a chameleon. He is everything to everybody but a nothing when comes to pure political principle.

I went around Hulu Selangor yesterday. It was pouring quite heavily. It is clearly not a MIC fight but a battle between UMNO and PKR.

Najib and Muhyiddin posters outnumbered the candidate's.

There is also a lack of enthusiasm from both sides.

Perhaps the voters are tired of rhetoric and empty promises. Malaysia, it is time to demand for better representation.

Reject Racism!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Korean Wave Contest Audition: 47 Groups and Participants Participated





It was a great surprise to the judges and organizer to find some many participants registered for the audition.

All of them did a great job at the audition. We were happy to have discovered some very talented youths who are interested in the Korean Wave (K-Pop) and Korean culture.

I had a great time being one of the judges and looking forward to help the 11 finalists to produce their performances at the finals on 15th May at the KL Live. The contest starts at 2pm. Entrance is free. So come over to enjoy some great performances by our talented youths.

See you there!

Next weekend, we will run another audition to select two top Malaysian b-boy crews to represent the country at the R16 Southeast Asia Final. Visit http://www.r16seasia.com/ to check out the details. Tickets to the R16 Southeast Final are free and will be given out by our partners e.g. LG Electronics, Korea Tourism Organization, 8TV, 988FM, GFW and others.
Grab your tickets fast to watch LIVE one of the best b-boy masters championships in Southeast Asia.

It is going to be HOT!

NEM & Hulu Selangor: Chinese Voters Easily Sweet Talked?

We have heard of such statement so often in the past. Today, LDP President VK Liew said that the New Economic Model (NEM), unveiled by the prime minister last month, will be a pull factor for the Chinese voters towards the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Hulu Selangor by-election.

Previously, most of Barisan leaders had praised UMNO President led policies but with very little success to show. Dr Mahathir's grand Vision 2020 had lost its steam with less than a decade to go. Malaysia is anything but close to becoming a fully developed nation and creating a fair, just and harmonious Bangsa Malaysia (Malaysian race).

Ironically, Mahathir had helped to launch the right-winged Malay organisation, Perkasa, and is now being used as a poster boy by the group. He had warned the government to pay heed to the group's demand. If Mahathir is siding with Perkasa, we should know by now how lame his Vision 2020 is. The group is only good at blaming others for the failure of the Malaysia community but has not been able to provide solutions and answers to how the affirmative action could fail the Malays. Why the income gap between the rich and poor Malay is growing larger?

To Mahathir, his flip flop on the affirmative action puts him on the same pedastal with Abdullah Badawi. Mahathir is a worse hypocrite than his appointed successor.

Mahathir describes those who advocate the removal of affirmative action policies that benefit Bumiputeras as selfish. It would be more selfish to weight down the community mindset to continue to be dependant on its political masters in UMNO. This is another form of slavery, a mental one.

Past policies announced by UMNO prime ministers had suffered the same fate. Most of these policies sounded good on paper but can never be implemented. Barisan leaders such as VK Liew should have enough reasons to doubt the sincerity of NEM. Najib has been doing more flip flops with the NEM compared to other PMs. At least Mahathir and Abdullah did not flip flop on theirs.

Najib is probably feeling very upbeat after his meeting with US President Barack Obama. This meeting is not going to translate into any popularity gains for him. In fact, he should learn from the lesson of Obama leadership. Obama is now facing a daunting task to walk his talk. His talks sounded like flowery garden.

Najib must walk his talk to increase the nation's per capita income, reform the affirmative action, combat corruption within his administration and end institutional racism in the country.

We need to know the outcome of PKFZ investigation, the VK Lingam scandal,the formation of IPCMC and the abolishment of ISA for a start.

Real reforms mean more than just flowery talk. VK Liew should be so gullible. He and other non-UMNO leaders in Barisan should learn to ask tough questions.

Otherwise, he thinks Chinese voters in Hulu Selangor are fools who can be easily sweet talked?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Money Politics: Mugilan Should Spill the Beans

MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan claimed that he had been offered cash and land rewards, in exchange for supporting Pakatan Rakyat in the coming by-election.

He told The Malaysian Insider later that the offer amounted to a whopping cash reward of RM2 million and land to the size of 20ha.

“I received a phone call from a politician, a person who holds a post, who told me that if I am interested, I could meet with him on the same night,” claimed Mugilan but declined to reveal the name of the caller.

I would like to urge Mugilan to name the person trying to bribe him if he is a serious political leader trying to bring positive change to this country.

Why would Mugilan help to protect the identity of the person trying to bribe him?

His reluctance to spill the beans may only lead to a perception that Mugilan is cooking up stories trying to project himself as a MIC loyalist after being accused of attempting to steal the seat from Palanivel.

Which is which? Can Mugilan speak up?

SAY NO TO MONEY POLITICS!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

APCO & RM76 million: Barisan Should Pay for Its Own Bad Behaviour

Barisan government had paid US$24.2 million (RM76.8 million) to APCO Worldwide, the international public relations consultancy, to help spruce up its international image.

Some of Barisan ministers, especially Nazri Aziz, had praised APCO for a job well done. They credited the agency for helping to arrange the meeting between US President Barack Obama and PM Najib Razak.

The question is should the government pay a ridiculous amount of money just to arrange for its leaders to meet up with the US President and top leaders from the super power?

At this point in time, it is money poorly spent. If Barisan is so concerned about its public image, it should just stop perpetuating its ethnoreligious politics. It should start to treat all races with respect.

It should leave religion to the people and not trying to politicize and nationalize it.

It should get rid of leaders who are insensitive and racist. Noh Omar should be given a stern warning for showing his disrespect to Malaysians, especially Chinese and Indian, by asking them to be grateful for their citizenship. This statement is so outdated. We may need to run a background check on Noh to find out where his ancestors came from. It is possible that he is a 'pendatang' (migrant) too.

Why must we help Barisan to pay RM76 million and more to correct its own bad image? Barisan to correct its own bad behaviour or risk being voted out in the next general elections.

For a start, this blog would like to urge Hulu Selangor voters to support Zaid Ibrahim for his track record in political reform and his stand against the use of ISA and other sedition laws.

Zaid's stand against racism and race supremacy should be lauded. He should be given a chance to take his stand and political principles to the parliament.

Straight Talk says: "Support Zaid Ibrahim for Hulu Selangor"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Penang: RM100 for Senior Citizens, How Much for Tourism Development & Jobs Creation?

The Penang government is acting generously by handing out RM100 to senior citizens above 60 years old in the state.

It was reported that millionaires, datuks, and even politicians are among the more than 80,000 recipients of the state’s annual RM100 appreciation reward given to senior citizens in the state.

If the state government is spending more than RM8 million of taxpayers money every year to fund the payoff, how much is it spending on tourism investment and promotion and jobs creation?

Perhaps, the state tourism exco and the chief minister office can provide us with a feedback on both state's spending on tourism development (especially heritage tourism) and jobs creation.

Friday, April 09, 2010

One Asia: Korea-Malaysia Business Forum

Panel 2: Islamic Finance



Dr Chang Dae-whan presenting his opening address

Section of VIP participants


Several key issues including regional cooperation, formation of an Asian community, Korea-Malaysia bilateral cooperation, green industries and Islamic finance were discussed and deliberated by panelists at the recently concluded Korea-Malaysia Business Forum.

The forum was hosted by Dr Chang Dae-whan, the Chairman of Maeil Business Media Group which is the largest business media network in South Korea. Dr Chang sits in numerous key committees in Korea including the prestigious Presidential Advisory Council and committees on FTAs and other areas. He was an Acting Prime Minister of South Korea in 2002.

One Asia is part of the World Knowledge Forum series which was founded by Dr Chang and is headed by him. WKF was held in several other major cities including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Hanoi and others.

Several major Korean companies e.g. Samsung are investing heavily in the next generation technology - renewable energy. Islamic finance is becoming a popular option for Korean companies.

Several Malaysian industry leaders and cabinet members such as Dr Peter Chin and Mukhriz Mahathir also spoke at the forum. Prime Minister Najib Razak and Dr Mahathir Mohamad addressed the audience via recorded messages.

The forum was attended by more than 300 business leaders, policy makers and civil servants from both countries. Later, Dr Chang represented the Maeil Business Media Group to sign several MOUs with several major regional news media groups including Star Publications (M) Berhad which was represented by its MD/CEO Datin Linda Ngiam.


The forum was managed and produced by GF World Solutions (GFW) in collaboration with the Maeil Business Newspaper & TV.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

R16 Southeast Asia Final Launched!



R16 Southeast Asia is finally launched! We are calling all Malaysian b-boys who want to pit their skills against the top 6 teams from Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore and Vietnam to register for the audition.

Two top Malaysian crews will enter the R16 Southeast Asia Final. 8 teams, 64 crew members but only 1 winner crew and a ticket to compete in the R16 B-Boy World Championship.

Have you got what it takes? Come for the challenge...!
Check out www.r16seasia.com for more updates.

Malays Can Compete!

I would like to congratulate Wan Saiful Wan Jan for his straight forward article on the NEM, Perkasa and Malay competitiveness.

He wrote:

Dalam kesempatan ini saya sebenarnya mahu mengulas mengenai tindakan pihak-pihak seperti Perkasa dan Datuk Ibrahim Ali yang seolah-olah sengaja mahu menggagalkan usaha Datuk Seri Najib Razak untuk mentransformasi negara.

Saya amat marah dengan mereka ini kerana mereka berselindung dengan nama Melayu untuk menghina dan memperkecil-kecilkan orang Melayu. Dengan bertopengkan nama Melayu, mereka bersuka ria menuduh orang Melayu tidak boleh bersaing dan tidak boleh maju jika tidak dihulurkan tongkat seumur hidup. Lemah sungguh Melayu di mata mereka!


The writer should not be surprised by the action of the opportunists in Perkasa, especially Ibrahim Ali.

Politicians like Ibrahim Ali need a weak and meek Malay community to help them stay relevant in politics. A weak and meek Malay community needs to look up to people like Ibrahim to protect their rights and interests. Hence, Ibrahim and his gang will do whatever they can to convince the Malays that they are weak, meek and ought to be protected.

People such as Ibrahim are the biggest hindrance to capacity building and civilisation of the Malay community. It is timely for the Malays to dump leaders like Ibrahim. In the globalised world, the measurement used to measure a Malay and a Chinese or an European is the same one. The world will respect those with the right ability, skills and contribution.

Malaysians regardless of race should put their own personal development as the top priority and not colour of skin.

I applaud Wan Saiful for saying NO to opportunists such as Ibrahim Ali. Of all the people, a Malay like Ibrahim does not need any protection or special privileges. Help and assistance should be given to the needy ones.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

NEM, NEP, Perkasa & Malay First, Malaysian Second: Time is Running Out for PM Najib

PM Najib is forced to go back to the Barisan old script when he was asked to react on his deputy statement that he was "Malay 1st, Malaysian 2nd".

Najib defended his deputy, "Being a Malay doesn't mean that you are against 1Malaysia or you don't think like a Malaysian." "Similarly, if you are a Malaysian Chinese, it doesn't mean that you don't think like a Malaysian or subscribe to the concept of 1Malaysia," he said.

Najib's knee-jerk reaction on Muhyiddin's statement unmasks his own understanding about nation building and the 1Malaysia concept.

The lack of national affinity and shared destiny is the main obstacle for 1Malaysia. It is sad to note that the 1Malaysia founder himself does not share the vision of nationhood and citizenship. If Najib does not trust his own nation building agenda, he should not have misused the name, Malaysia. 1Malaysia is not consistent with Ethnicity 1st, Nationality 2nd.

We cannot blame Muhyiddin for his lack of national identity because nation building was not featured in the Barisan rule over the last 5 decades. Barisan is an antithesis to 1Malaysia and nation building. The most important element in a nation building project is to outlaw racial discrimination. Barisan is the epitome of racism and racially based politics.

Najib cannot remain coy and silent on the demands, attacks and allegations made against the Chinese community, in particularly, by Perkasa.

Interestingly, a politician such as Ibrahim Ali needed racism to resurrect his career. Of course he is enjoying the media limelight at the moment. At the Aljazeera interview, he lambasted "If these people say that they are second-class citizens, don't talk s**t! Don't talk s**t! I repeat three times, don't talk s**t!"

"We, the Malays have forgiven them a lot, we have sacrificed a lot of our interests," he added.

I would like Ibrahim to clarify what interests?

It appears that Muhyiddin is now clamouring to ride on Perkasa's wave by declaring that he is "Malay 1st" and "Malaysian 2nd".

Regardless of the publicity stunt and damage control, Najib knows that his defence of Muhyiddin and his statement is going to tear his concept to pieces.

His administration is dragging its feet on the NEM details and mechanism. It makes us wonder if there is any meat at all in NEM.

Time is running out for him. Another talk but no walk is going to put him on the same pedestal as Abdullah Badawi.

Najib should state his stand on Perkasa and Ibrahim Ali's disrespect for non-Malay citizens. They (Najib, Muhyiddin and Ibrahim) should remember that their salaries and perks are paid by Malaysians of all races. Not by the Malays only.

SAY NO TO RACISM!