Fifteen years of puckering up

April 18th, 2014 by admin Categories: Opinion, Other No Responses
Fifteen years of puckering up

by Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz. First published in the Malay Mail 18 April 2014

Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s elections and its present-de-facto-and-maybe-future-de-jure leader’s Jelajah Reformasi 2.0 roadshows touring the country have overlapped commemorations of the party’s fifteenth anniversary on 4 April. This is counting from the formation of Parti Keadilan Nasional in 1999 rather than its merger with Parti Rakyat Malaysia in 2003, which must disappoint those who would rather commemorate the latter’s establishment as Partai Ra’ayat on 11 November 1955.

PKR has beaten the electoral records of three parties established by former UMNO leaders: Dato’ Onn Ja’afar’s Independence of Malaya Party and Parti Negara, and Semangat 46, the final party of two former Prime Ministers. However, PAS too was also founded by former UMNO members in 1951, and as a matter of historical interest one can argue that due to UMNO’s de-registration and the formation of UMNO Baru in 1988, the oldest political party represented in the Malaysian Parliament today is MIC, founded in August 1946.

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When less is more

April 17th, 2014 by admin Categories: Governance, Opinion No Responses
When less is more

by Tricia Yeoh. First published in The Sun 17 April 2014

CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that to have a peaceful and harmonious society, government should restrict dissent and hateful speech. This is certainly the case in many parts of the world, where laws and policies are created for such a purpose. But has this necessarily worked?

Academic Dr Timothy Shah from the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, and who leads the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, believes not.

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Exemptions will undermine trade pact

April 16th, 2014 by admin Categories: Economy & Trade, Opinion No Responses
Exemptions will undermine trade pact

by Wan Saiful Wan Jan. First published in Straits Times (print edition/subscribers-only) 16 April 2014

BACK in February, international trade officials from some of the most important economies in the world gathered in Singapore to hammer out the final details of a new free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Singapore is a key negotiating party, along with Malaysia, the United States, Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and other nations.

The TPP agreement could be a boon to the entire region. Scaling back tariffs and opening up vital trade channels would attract foreign investment and stimulate the local export economy, which already has an important role in driving national growth for participant countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

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Behaving like a master

April 15th, 2014 by admin Categories: Governance, Opinion No Responses
Behaving like a master

 by Wan Saiful Wan Jan. First published in The Star 15 April 2014

SOON after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from Government in 1998, his supporters created two organisations. One was Gerakan Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia (Malaysian People’s Justice Movement – Gerak) and the other was Pergerakan Keadilan Sosial (Social Justice Movement – Adil). These then led to the birth of Parti Keadilan Nasional, which was launched on April 4, 1999.

The new party eventually merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia (Malaysian People’s Party – PRM), giving birth on Aug 3, 2003, to what we know today as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party – PKR). Nevertheless, if we count from the actual birth of the Reformasi movement, this month is PKR’s 15th birthday.

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Are you living your ‘right’ life?

April 14th, 2014 by admin Categories: Opinion, Other No Responses
Are you living your ‘right’ life?

by Keeran Sivarajah. First published in The Edge 14 April 2014

Every spring, Professor Nancy Koehn teaches a class on leadership at the Harvard Business School. Entitled “Power and Glory in Turbulent Times”, the class takes a closer look at a set of leaders spanning a range of backgrounds, eras, and industries, from Henry V to Mark Zuckerberg. Some of these leaders are well known worldwide, others are relatively obscure. But all of them have gone down in history for a remarkable set of achievements.

The class compels its students to ask several profound questions about leadership. What is the substance of the leaders they are examining? What were the turning points in their lives? What drove them and fuelled their passion? Through colourful case studies documenting the stories of their professional and personal journeys – and at times through heated discussion and debate – the class peers into the lives of these men and women, searching for answers to these deep questions.

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Pay-for-performance model for doctors

April 14th, 2014 by admin Categories: Healthcare, Opinion No Responses
Pay-for-performance model for doctors

by Dr. Helmy Haja Mydin. First published in The News Straits Times 14 April 2014

HOW should doctors be rewarded? The traditional fee-for-service model, where doctors are rewarded/paid on volume of activity, is coming under increasing fire.

There is an argument that remuneration should be given on the basis of patients’ outcomes, that is, doctors be rewarded for a job well done. However, the criteria for defining “a job well done” are less than obvious, especially when the complexity of modern medicine is taken into account.

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Strengthen civil society in Asean

April 11th, 2014 by admin Categories: Opinion, Other No Responses
Strengthen civil society in Asean

by Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz. First published in the Malay Mail 11 April 2014

The Prime Minister’s comments supporting economic liberalisation in ASEAN at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ National Colloquium on Malaysia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN 2015 have been well-reported, but here’s a summary of my subsequent session:
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The opportunity of a consumption tax

April 6th, 2014 by admin Categories: Economy & Trade, Opinion No Responses
The opportunity of a consumption tax

by Carmelo Ferlito. First published in The Malaysian Insider 6 April 2014

The recent debate about Budget 2014 drew attention to the proposal to introduce a goods and services tax (GST). As a free market thinker, I am probably supposed to give a negative response to this move. Instead, I will try to highlight the opportunities that such a tax could create.

First, I have to clarify that I am not in favour of increasing taxation in the country; quite the contrary. However, I am in favour of a tax reform that propagates a shift from an income tax toward a consumption tax that is reasonable. Such reform could in fact drive more sustainable economic growth.

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Tanahair Aotearoa

April 5th, 2014 by admin Categories: Opinion, Other No Responses
Tanahair Aotearoa

by Tunku ‘ABidin Muhriz. First published in The Malay Mail 4 April 2014

My recent trip to New Zealand was preceded by a Gala Night organised by the High Commission entitled Lima Mata Ikan – Rima Mata Ika: “Five Fish Eyes” in Malay and Māori respectively. It was effective cultural diplomacy augmented by a trade and investment angle: present was a delegation of 40 businesspeople who had just visited Kuching, headed by the Minister for Māori Affairs.

I met the Minister again later that week at the Second International Māori-Malay-Polynesian Conference in Waitangi (Māori “wai” is Malay “air” and “tangi” is “nangis” i.e. “crying water”) in the Bay of Islands north of Auckland. Here in 1834 an international trade flag of the United Tribes was adopted, followed in 1835 by a Declaration of Independence that was recognised by Britain, France and the USA. In 1840 a treaty was signed between Māori chiefs and representatives of the British Crown that confirmed a new nation: very different to the Australian narrative.

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Defisit dan permasalahannya

April 5th, 2014 by admin Categories: Economy & Trade, Opinion No Responses
Defisit dan permasalahannya

oleh Amin Ahmad. Diterbitkan di dalam The Malaysian Insider 4 April 2014

Saya masih ingat, semasa menjadi ahli panel jemputan perbincangan Belanjawan 2013 di sebuah saluran televisyen swasta, antara penekanan yang dinyatakan ialah kepentingan untuk menangani defisit fiskal.

Dalam ucapan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak di Sidang Kemuncak Ekonomi Negara Mac lalu, beliau mengaku defisit dan hutang mampu membahayakan negara, tetapi ia tidak semestinya buruk.

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