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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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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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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Satiating Kajang

March 28th, 2014 by admin Categories: Governance, Opinion No Responses
Satiating Kajang

by Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz. First published in the Malay Mail 28 March 2014

“There are lies, damned lies and statistics,” wrote Mark Twain, attributing this phrase (apparently erroneously) to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

It is remarkable to see how the numbers of the Kajang by-election are being manipulated by both sides in its aftermath. The Barisan camp point to the lower majority and claim a return of Chinese support, while Pakatan supporters say that as a proportion of those who voted, their party’s new candidate outperformed the previous one: and besides, the turnout was respectable given the demographic of the constituency’s registered voters, many of whom work and live elsewhere. It’s particularly important for PKR to make this argument, since the Kajang Move originated in that party: correct presentation of the numbers helps to justify the exercise.

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Crony capitalism or plain cronyism

March 26th, 2014 by admin Categories: Economy & Trade, Opinion No Responses
Crony capitalism or plain cronyism

by Tricia Yeoh. First published in The Sun 26 March 2014

THE hallmark of a free economy is that it allows for perfect competition in a level-playing market where all players have access to both information and the buyers making purchasing or contracting decisions equally.

But we know that there are fundamental flaws in this assumption, especially so in countries which have strong state influence. This makes industry players heavily dependent upon the patronage of government bureaucracy since officials are more likely to grant favours when those favours are what make the crucial difference between winning and losing a tender.

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Managing our fault lines

March 21st, 2014 by admin Categories: Opinion, Other No Responses
Managing our fault lines

by Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz. First published in The Malay Mail 21 March 2014

Though I’ve been a trustee of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation for just nearly a year, I’ve been privileged to have witnessed some of its significant milestones in that time. A few months ago a donation of over six million US dollars from JCF to create two Jeffrey Cheah Professorships at Harvard University was signed, and this week saw the launch of the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI) and its inaugural conference.

The launch was officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister in the presence of the Menteris Besar of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, and I was very glad that in his speech Tan Sri Muhyiddin praised the work of think tanks in contributing analysis and public policy proposals. I had not heard such strong government approval of the existence of independent think tanks before.

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