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REFORMASI ACTION NOW !! Daily email newsletter
Thursday, 15th October, 1998 Issue # 1
Published by BERTEKNOLOGI KEADILAN
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS REPORTS FOR TODAY:
Anwar moved to prison
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian authorities removed the dissident leader Mr
Anwar Ibrahim from detention under the harsh Internal Security Act (ISA)
yesterday and shifted him to a regular jail near Kuala Lumpur.
Anwar's daughter meets Habibie
A meeting three days ago between the 18-year-old daughter of the jailed
former Malaysian deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and Indonesia's
President B.J. Habibie, and her plans to visit the Philippines, are
expected to exacerbate diplomatic tensions.
Malaysian PM slams foreign critics
Mahathir Mohamad has hit back those criticising the treatment of his
former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim.
(Our commentary on this news item appears below - Comm #1)
MAHATHIR: MALAYSIA ECON. TO SHRINK 4.8% IN '98, GROW 1% IN '99
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-Oct. 15-FWN--PRIME MINISTER Mahathir Mohamad said
today that the Malaysian economy is expected to contract by 4.8% in 1998
and grow by 1.0% in 1999.
(Our commentary on this news item appears below - Comm #2)
APEC LEADERS SET TO MEET IN MALAYSIA IN NOVEMBER
Malaysia will use the meeting of world leaders during next month's Asia
Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) here as a platform....
(Our commentary on this news item appears below - Comm #3)
Malaysia announces 2.9 billion dollar bond issue to recapitalize banks
Malaysia on Thursday announced a bond issue of 11 billion ringgit (2.9
billion dollars) to recapitalize ailing domestic banks
(Our commentary on this news item appears below - Comm #4)
Malaysia's treatment of Anwar dogs APEC summit
The United States is leading new condemnation of Malaysia over the
ouster and detention of deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim which threatens to
overshadow a looming...
(Our commentary on this news item appears below - Comm #5)
Mahathir says Malaysia still needs internal security law
(Our commentary on this news item appears below - Comm #6)
BERTEKNOLOGI KEADILAN NEWS COMMENTARIES:
(Please read the relevant news article mentioned above to properly
understand the context of the commentaries.)
* Mahathir says foreign critics should WAIT for the COURTS to decide
Anwar's fate? Is this the same Mahathir who *DIDN'T WAIT* until Police
had completed their investigations of allegations before ordering
* Hands up all those people who believe that the judiciary is
independent of Mahathir's government in Malaysia - that there are no
politically expedient & "Mahathir friendly" appointments to the
judicary... Counting..... errrr.... Where are your hands???
* Writing off concerns by the USA as being "hypocracy" does not change
the truth of the concerns the US have been expressing. While agreeing
that "minorities" in the US may still face some entrenched
discrimination by society, the US and every State therein have *very
tough* anti-discrimination laws, all actively enforced with tribunals
investigating all complaints. Let's look at Mahathir's government record
of laws for discimination against minorities... laws applying to
different races, laws applying to different religions, laws against
sexual preferences between consenting adults... Mahathir's record toward
minorities is far from clean. In fact, it has long been and remains
* To predict an economic turnaround of 5.8% in a single year is
"heroic", to say the least. Not impossible - nothing is - but definitely
* Particularly with the advent of socialist style currency controls
recently introduced, foreign investment into Malaysian industry by
corporations has slowed to a crawl. The prohibition (supposedly
"temporary", however long that is...) on repatriation of capital means
that very little capital will come in just in case they cannot get it
back out again. Bye-bye MSC.... and all the harder an uphill road to
return to strong economic growth.
* Bear in mind, too, that a 1% growth rate (if achieved) is grossly
insufficient to prevent the rapid escalation of unemployment. Malaysia
requires a growth rate of close to 3.5% a year just to hold the
unemployment rate steady.
If Mahathir is serious about promoting tourism into Malaysia, why
doesn't he address the #1 issue - AIR FARES !! Air travel to and from
Malaysia is about 30% more expensive than for similar trips from Hong
Kong, Philippines, & Singapore. Why ??? Simple. Malaysia has tough
restrictions on which airlines are licensed to land in Malaysia - much
more restrictive than Malaysia's neighbours. This reduces competition,
and thus market forces are not being allowed to bring prices of air
fares down to levels competitive with neighbouring countries.
Mahathir's hypocracy of cutting Malaysia off from the rest of the world
economically... except when he wants their money !! Note his comment
that the foreign borrowings: "will offer a rate consistent with the
prevailing market rate." The effect of the artifical pegging of the
ringgit at above prevailing market rates and capital controls on top,
was that Malaysia's credit rating by the major world ratings agencies
fell. A lower credit rating means that the "prevailing market rate" for
Malaysian government paper on the international market is higher than it
would have been without such controls. The taxpayers of Malaysia are now
footing the bill for his politically expedient, yet economically
irrational, "reverse all things Anwar" new economic policies.
Oh... and... let's not forget the REASON for these borrowings... to bail
out the politically corrupt Renang Corporation - the main corruption
issue Mahathir didn't want Anwar blowing wide open, and thus the
In relation to US criticism of the handling and mistreatment of Anwar:
"But Mahathir had asked the United States to mind its own business."
* Basic human rights are very much the business of EVERY person in the
world, no matter who or where they are.
* And, yes... this is the same Mahathir who is borrowing billions from a
consortium which includes US banks, and expects US Technology
corporations to line up with their cheque books to invest in the MSC...
Excuses, excuses... Recent demonstrations have caused a 25% drop in
tourists coming to Malaysia ??? UTTER RUBBISH !!! The reasons for the
* Post Commonwealth Games. Every Commonwealth & Olympic Games in history
has been followed by a tourism slump in the host city. Quite simply,
tourists bring forward their travel plans to attend the Games. After the
Games, there is always a very predictable lull.
* The artificial pegging of the currency at around 10% higher than the
then prevailing market rate has quite simply made tourism more expensive
* Therefore, to use the demonstrations in support of justice & human
rights foir Anwar and the Reformasi cause as an EXCUSE to keep the
Internal Security Act is nothing BUT self-justification on Mahathir's
part, devoid of the facts.
(Disclaimer: Berteknologi Keadian is not affiliated with any political
party. Quoting of press releases from political figures is provided for
information purposes, and must not be taken as necessarily being an
endorsement by Berteknologi Keadilan.)
From: Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader
Let Anwar Out On Bail:
All-Party/NGOs Roundtable Conference on political reforms
Bank Bumi/Renong bailouts - Against NERP rules
Thank you for reading our first issue.
Tomorrow's issue will look at the Renang Corruption matter in greater
detail, and provide some basic tips on internet security. Of course, we
will also bring you news & informed commentary on issues relating to
Reformasi, as described at our website: http://come.to/berteknologi
Until then.... Please support the Reformasi cause. Please make a list of
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