Food crisis could collapse the Government

The current food crisis that we are experiencing is not only a problem within our waters, but globally. In 36 countries, the food shortages have become a national crisis and some government, even net producers are pushing the panic button. United Nations has been urged to react on these global level crisis.

The upsurge and skyrocketing prices of rice, wheat, sugar, coffee, soyabean and maze, due to an enigma of increased costs of production, climate changes and increased of demand due to unplanned rapid population growth, seems to have affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people. It was reported by World Bank that prices of food have increased 57% within the year.

Our nation is not spared. Despite the focus of increasing food production, the food crisis and inflation combination is hurting the people and is very worrying. Within the year, Malaysians have seen the affect on the supply and glaring price of chicken, cooking oil, sugar and since two weeks ago, rice. Some even suggested this region, with some countries like Thailand and Vietnam as net food exporters, could address their neighbours’ common problem collectively.

PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi spoke about this to UMNO leaders, cautioning them of the Government’s downfall.

Bernama.com has the story:

May 11, 2008 17:50 PM

PM: Failure To Tackle Inflation, Food Crisis May Lead To Govt’s Downfall

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi cautioned that the government could fall if it fails to tackle the food crisis and inflation which are also being faced by many other countries now.

The Prime Minister said the government was aware of the situation and had made immediate allocations worth billions of ringgit to ensure that Malaysians were not burdened by these problems.

“We have to take swift action to give a positive impact to the people. You probably may not want to listen but I’m forced to tell you about it,” he said when delivering the Umno president’s message at the party’s 62nd anniversary celebration at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here Sunday.

He said the substantial allocation was actually not included in the government’s initial programme, forcing him to syphon off allocations from the other sectors to ensure that the people’s welfare was looked after and at the same time evade a food crisis and inflation.

Abdullah said if the crisis was poorly handled, it would have an adverse effect on the efforts of the party and the government to win the people’s support.

“The government has no choice but to set up the committee on inflation so that it will not collapse as a result of the food crisis which was caused by the weather,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the government was at the same time being burdened by the increase in the subsidy for fuel and gas from RM35 billion to RM45 billion annually.

“This is a reality and not an excuse. We take the responsibility to carry the burden purely for the people,” he added. — BERNAMA

However, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Dato’ Shahrir Samad said last week that problem was “Not serious enough for Government to take serious action”. Contradicting his own Minister, few days later PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah was quoted as saying “Government to import rice to ensure sufficient stockpile for the country”, as an immediate ‘stop-gap’ measure.

When asked to comment about the food crisis, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that the issue about tackling the situation at the moment is about managing the food production and supply, and not the price.

He then questioned the result on Government’s plan to go big and focus on food production and agro-based industries since four years ago. When ask to deliberate, he talked about cost benefit analysis and returns from venturing into this industry and opposed to go on industrialization, from the perspective of the people and how it can really generate the economy, growth and activities.

“When you utilize an acre of land for agriculture compared to industry, you get more jobs and productivity from industries”, when speaking to reporters after officiating the Alumni of Look East Policy in Shah Alam this morning. At the moment, it was reported that there exist more than 80,000 unemployed graduates in the country.

Since launching the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) last year, GLC conglomerates such Sime Darby has been put to task in developing this agro-based in industry, as part of Government planned long term solution.

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 23:32  Comments (3)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir: Everybody gets something in ‘Social Contract’

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said this morning that the ‘social contract’ was not actually a documented agreement, but a verbal agreement between Alliance Leaders, prior to achieving a voice of unity as a nation and gained independence.

“Something for the Malays, something to the others” when explaining that the Malays were willing to accept 1 million Chinese ethnic origin as citizens and given equal rights, during press conference at the 25th Look East Policy Alumni in Shah Alam.

When asked was ‘social contract’ actually meant ‘economic contract’, he disagreed and said “It encompassed everything; politics, economics, social”. Then he went on explaining that the ‘economic contract’ portion of the ‘social contract’ meant that the economic cake was expanded, and without taking from the non Malay segment, the expanded portion is shared by the Malays, for their development agenda. Another example he quoted that even though Bahasa Melayu was made the national and official language, other people are free to use their own mother-tongue, even in schools.

When asked to comment on UMNO Vice President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yasin’s statement on his readiness to contest as the ‘No.1 or 2’, “Encouraging statement. Others should also express their views openly”. When asked to clarify, Tun Dr. Mahathir said UMNO today had become a ‘party of fear’ where “Members are afraid to voice their opinion and rather keeping quiet, until the General Elections, then only we know!”.

As a message on UMNO’s 62nd celebrations, “Happy Birthday” and add “UMNO should stick closely to the principles of the formation of UMNO, which is democratic. But now, UMNO is democratic and efforts are made to stop members from having their EGM, to voice their feelings and ask for the quota system be dissolved’.

The issue of the quota system as the tool originally designed to curb money politics and now abused by Leadership to maintain the power-grip was also raised as parcel of UMNO’s democratization program that grassroot wanted to see.

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 13:26  Comments (6)  

Najib for No.1, Muhyiddin for No.2

UMNO Vice President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yasin is clearly ‘demarking his territory’, especially in the current times of weak Leadership that needed to be filled within UMNO. He announced that he is ready to be pitted in the top two post within the UMNO hierarchy.

Sunday May 11, 2008

Muhyiddin says he’s ready to move up, slams quota system

By PAUL GABRIEL

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has come out with the strongest indication yet that he would be contesting one of the top two positions in the December party polls.

He said he had received a lot of feedback from “grassroots, advisers and proposers” who told him that it was time to move up the party hierarchy. As vice-president, “a move up” would mean a challenge for the deputy presidency or presidency.

The International Trade and Industry Minister, who hit out at the party’s restrictive quota system which prevented members from contesting for posts without a specific number of nominations, said he would consider many things, including having to face “incumbents and the powers-that-be”, before making a decision.

”It is not an easy decision to make. But people say (to me): ‘You have been vice-president for three terms. Now you have to look at something else’.

“I think I will make the right decision, hopefully, when the time comes,’’ he told The Star in an interview at his ministry office (see above).

The 61-year-old Muhyiddin, who was first elected vice-president in 1993, described himself as an innovator and “someone who would not take things lying down.”

Referring to the party’s quota system, he said: “It is undemocratic. I would like Umno to go back to where it was before … allow whoever wants to contest to contest.

“One nomination, a proposer and seconder, like in the (general) election, that’s it. Why should the position of party president be so sacred, sacrosanct ? that nobody can challenge? “This is against the spirit of democracy,’’ he stressed.

Muhyiddin, who is also the party’s Constitution Committee chairman, said most members had rejected the quota system during a feedback exercise conducted by him previously.

“(This is) because the quota system actually promotes money politics,’’ he added.

Prime Minister and party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said last month that the 30% quota of support from divisions for the president’s post, 20% for deputy president and 10% for vice-presidents would stay despite calls for its abolition by some party members.

On Abdullah’s decision to defend his presidency in the Umno polls, Muhyiddin said it was his prerogative and right to do so.

“But there are people who want to contest against him, they, too, are exercising their democratic right.

“At the end of the day, it is the delegates who will decide. The leaders don’t decide, it’s always the delegates, and we have got a process of elections,” he added.

This was done at the eve of UMNO’s 62nd anniversary. The weak leadership allowed so much speculations of void needed to be filled as UMNO faces its lowest ebb in a long history as a Malay nationalist party, which had been illustrious until PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the helm.

In ‘filling the void’, UMNO traditions should be preserved as the party house 3.2 million members and any disruptions or in medical terms, ‘insult’ against the ‘system’ would have a magnifying affect that is far reaching. UMNO has seen that the party was seriously factionalised to the middle when there is a strong Leadership challenge, as per April 1987. This even lead to the disappointed party members challenging the results having to dissolve UMNO via legal means and processes.

Hence, UMNO should nominate leaders within party hierarchy to do these necessary changes that the grassroot (representing the rakyat) so much wanted and keep the tradition of ‘management succession’ intact, for stability and continuity’s sake.

The demand for changes in the party is very strong and grassroot talk about ‘Leadership shift’. It strongly suggest UMNO members aspire that another UMNO leader immediately take over the helm and stewardship of the party and get over with the business of ‘fixing the house’, in order to regain the confidence and thus, support which clearly diminished in the 12th General Elections.

Therefore, on the 62nd UMNO celebrations in championing the Malay nationalism cause, we at BigDogDotCom would like to propose at the 16-20 December UMNO General Assembly:

It seemed that The Star reporting is not true. After UMNO 62nd Celebrations at PWTC this morning, UMNO Vice President denied making a statement that he is ready to be nominated to the no. 1 and no. 2 place in the party.

Bernama.com has the report:

Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak as the President of UMNO

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yasin as the Deputy President if UMNO

*Update @ 1045pm

It seemed that The Star reporting is not true. After UMNO 62nd Celebrations at PWTC this morning, UMNO Vice President Tan Sri Muhyiddin denied making a statement that he is ready to be nominated to the no. 1 and no. 2 place in the party.

Bernama.com has the report:

May 11, 2008 20:44 PM

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Muhyiddin Denies He Will Contest Umno President Or Deputy President’s Post E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) — Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that he will be contesting the party president or deputy president’s post.

“No. I have not mentioned it (contesting the post),” he told reporters after a function to celebrate Umno’s 62nd anniversary at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here today.

Muhyiddin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, made the denial in response to a front-page report in ‘The Star’ which said that he might go for one of the top two posts in the December party elections if he receives grassroot support.

In the report, he was quoted as saying that he had received a lot of feedback from the grassroots, advisers and proposers who told him that it was time for him to move up the party hierarchy.

Muhyiddin who had tried to avoid the reporters waiting for him at the PWTC but was cornered, said he had not made any decision with regards to his position in the party.

“I did not say that I would be contesting any post (during the newspaper interview). In the current situation, everybody is focusing on the party.” Muhyiddin, who is Pagoh Umno division chief, said it was still a long way for him to decide whether to contest any post as the party elections would only start in July (at the branch level).

Asked whether he would contest a higher post if there were enough nominations, Muhyiddin said: “It’s not time yet (to decide), still a long way. Let the delegates decide.”

— BERNAMA

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 10:03  Comments (5)