Nazri, please find jobs for these graduates

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | I have a serious proposition for Shamsuddin Bardan, executive director of the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

Shamsuddin should approach Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz to help find jobs for graduates who are not proficient in English.

Why Nazri? Because the minister was the one who called for a halt to the widespread advancement of English in the country.

In November last year, Nazri said that English was a threat to Bahasa Malaysia, and that “Malaysians have to protect the national language by stopping the widespread advancement of English in the country.”

He also pointed out that English is not a language that guarantees progress, and he blamed the private sector for the advancement of English in Malaysia.

Why do I wish to resurrect this issue again?

In my article rebuking Nazri for his absurd statement, I also asked the minister whether he was aware that graduates in Malaysia are finding it hard to gain employment because of their poor command of English.

The MEF statement pointed out exactly what I was talking about. Shamsuddin lamented that the lack of proficiency in the English language, and not just the mismatch of jobs, was among the main barriers facing graduates in search of employment.

He said although most graduates can understand the language, they are unable to communicate their views orally in a proper manner.

“Some even have a problem constructing proper sentences, and employers are unlikely to hire such people,” the MEF boss added. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

Is Warisan’s Shafie Apdal getting too arrogant?

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | Supporters of Pakatan Harapan and Sabah-based opposition parties have reasons to be worried.

That is, if Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Shafie Apdal’s recent statements are correct and that he has not been misquoted by the media.

Indeed, three of Shafie’s statements sounded rather unfriendly and to those in Harapan and the Sabah opposition parties. Many have advised the former rural and regional development minister not to be so arrogant and cocky.

Now, what did Shafie actually say?

Firstly, he told DAP to focus on its strongholds in the urban constituencies, instead of contesting for rural seats in the coming 14th general election.

Shafie said his party had made inroads into rural Sabah, populated by the Kadazandusun Murut communities, and the DAP should therefore stay out.

He further told DAP to take into account candidates from the other parties for the urban seats, in the event of seat negotiations, and added that Warisan too has Chinese candidates who are good for the urban areas.

Let me dissect that first statement from Shafie (photo). Who is Shafie to tell the DAP what to do? How old is his Warisan party compared to the DAP?

If I were a DAP leader, I wouldn’t take such arrogance from an opposition newbie as Shafie is. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

Now, everyone wants to be a YB

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | If you pause and think for a moment, you wouldn’t swallow Air Asia’s famous slogan, “Now, everyone can fly”, hook, line and sinker.

Considering the airline’s hidden charges, no refund policy, priority seating and baggage charges and exorbitant prices for food and drinks on board, you still have to dig out from your pocket quite a bit if you want to fly.

But let’s give it to Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandes; the airline boss is successful because his budget and “no frills” concept have made it generally affordable for many to fly and see places.

As we approach yet another election, we can borrow from Fernandes and Air Asia because it’s true that “Now, everyone wants to be a YB”.

The honest person who makes a serious entry into politics will admit that he or she harbours ambition of being a “somebody” one day. And that means seeking elected office.

In Malaysia, as the first step towards achieving that goal, you have to become a YB (meaning Yang Berhormat; Yang Berkhidmat).

If you lack the stamina to fight, you can cry.

Just review the scene at the Federal Territory (FT) Amanah meeting the other night. It was reported that some FT Amanah leaders were weeping (yes, in tears) because they were not given an FT seat to contest in GE14.

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu was there to pacify his members and offered them a shoulder to cry on.

What’s going on here?

While I think I can understand their outburst at being left out, I would also describe their emotional display as most childish, pathetic and unbecoming of aspiring politicians.

What does FT Amanah really want? Either Setiawangsa or Titiwangsa to contest. And what does this mean? It simply means fulfilling one ambitious leader’s desire to be a YB. Isn’t this the case?

This is a classic example of a “Now, everyone wants to be a YB” case. I apologise to FT Amanah for using them as an example on this subject. But it so happens that it is the most glaring case which was widely reported.

The same is true elsewhere. Johor Amanah was also grumbling about Pakatan Harapan’s seat distribution.

In Selangor PKR, expect some fireworks, possibly internal sabotage as well, as the two warring camps jostle for safe seats for their candidates.

Penang DAP is also said to be having some internal issues, arising mainly from Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption case.

In my home state of Sarawak, a senior PKR leader grumbled to me last week that Sarawak DAP recently admitted some of his party’s former Dayak members into the DAP.

Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

Ismail Mina, many will gladly leave for Sarawak

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | For a moment, I was taken aback by the fiery statement by Ismail Mina Ahmad, leader of Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah Defenders Movement, Ummah) telling those who don’t agree with the Federal Constitution to leave the country.

“So whoever doesn’t agree with the Federal Constitution, they can go find a country that suits them and go live there,” Ismail Mina said in his keynote address at the Ummah Uprising Convention in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 13.

However, it took me less than a minute later to brush off Ismail Mina’s outburst as one of those ‘normal’ occurrences, whereby some holier-than-thou and strangely abnormal characters would tell their fellow Malaysians to leave the country.

You see, some people could wake up on the wrong side of the bed and suddenly imagine that they dreamt of God asking them to be His holy messengers.

As they set out to pursue their imaginary divine roles, they made fools of themselves along the way, not realising it, of course.

How many times have we heard such mentally deranged remarks, challenging Malaysians to leave the country if they are not happy with this or that?

I’m used to it by now, as many too probably are. So I won’t bother about Ismail Mina’s outburst. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

Let ‘Captain Mahathir’ win in a safe FT seat

By Francis Paul Siah 

COMMENT | In my previous article, I ruled out the Langkawi and Putrajaya seats for Dr Mahathir Mohamad to contest in GE14 because they are considered ‘unsafe’.

His third and most probable choice of Kubang Pasu is a ‘touch and go’ case. As I’ve pointed out, a three-way contest with PAS in the picture creates an element of uncertainty for a Mahathir victory.

That being the case, where can the prime ministerial candidate of Pakatan Harapan go to?

In response to my article, a friend from Ipoh commented on Facebook: ‘If Mahathir cannot win the seat he contests in, what chance has Harapan have of winning Putrajaya?’

That is very true. So Mahathir, as the captain of Harapan, must win at all costs.

By the way, I’ve just read a Washington Post online report describing Mahathir’s comeback at 92 as a reflection of how badly and sharply Malaysia has fallen under Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The world is now watching Malaysia like never before and Malaysians must step up and play the game right.

Bersatu and Harapan leaders and strategists must start the ball rolling by getting it right – their top priority must be to ensure that Mahathir wins. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

Any guarantee Mahathir will win a seat?

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | The battle lines have been drawn and they are clear – it will be Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the BN side versus the grand old man of politics, who will be spearheading Pakatan Harapan.

The 14th general election could play out to be the tragic tale of an unpopular prime minister who refuses to step down and his 92-year-old mentor who is adamant that he goes.

If BN wins, Najib will remain the prime minister. If there is an upset, Dr Mahathir Mohamad will create history by being the only leader to become prime minister twice.

Not only that, he will be the oldest prime minister in Malaysian history at 92, and possibly in the world too.

According to the Guinness World Records, India’s Morarji Desai was the oldest person to be appointed the prime minister, at the age of 81.

Leading an opposition coalition, Desai prevailed in the 1977 elections, ending Indira Gandhi’s emergency rule. He served as prime minister until 1979, when the coalition broke apart.

Back to the present day. Never mind the voices of discontent within the opposition coalition. Mahathir himself has conceded, “It is difficult for some to accept me; not everybody will be happy with this decision.”

For a man who has seen and done it all, nothing in politics should surprise Mahathir. Indeed, no political decision can satisfy everybody.

But one thing is clear. For many Malaysians who are not affiliated to any political party and who yearn for a change of government, they must be satisfied and happy with the decisions made at the Harapan convention last weekend.

However, before you can become prime minister, you have to win a seat.

Hence, the all-important question – is there any guarantee that Mahathir will win a seat in GE14 to enable him to become PM again?

So far, three possible seats have been mentioned by Mahathir himself – Langkawi, Kubang Pasu and Putrajaya. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

‘Hidup Tun’ and ‘Reformasi’ ring out as Harapan leaders turn emotional


Cries of “Hidup Tun!” (Long live, Mahathir!) rang out in the hall of Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam where the Pakatan Harapan convention was held after Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad was formally named the coalitions’ prime ministerial candidate.

The crowd immediately jumped to their feet as soon as Harapan chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah made the annoucement.

The chants steadily grew louder as the crowd applauded him. Other Harapan leaders were also seen surrounding Mahathir as they joined in the applause.

Mahathir, clad in his red Bersatu uniform with a burgundy jacket and seated in the front row, initially remained seated but soon stood to face the crowd. He then took a bow at them.

His wife Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali turned teary and held a tissue up to her nose.

She was seen looking down in an apparent attempt to hide her emotional reaction. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)