IN THIS ISSUE
lands in Kelantan
sacks Opposition supporters
assault trial postponed
on the rise
claims RMAF is crap
soaps 'a bad influence'
FEATURE: The Knowledge Economy
wants 'brain gain'
media system mooted
the 'secrecy syndrome', says PM
makes quantum leap into IT
|Mahathir wants 'brain
|Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad this month
announced that Malaysia intended to attract over 5,000 skilled foreign
workers a year as part of Strategic Initiative One, a new knowledge economy
master plan. "We must reach out to the four corners of the world to
ensure a massive 'brain gain'" he added. "We must take them from
wherever they are from."
UMNO leaders unanimously welcomed the move. "Bringing
in these foreign workers will help UMNO's struggle to defeat foreigners
out to re-colonise us," said an UMNO leader who refused to be named.
A government official who refused to be named hoped that
the 'brain gain' would help address a crucial problem facing the government.
"This problem is particularly acute in our leadership. It is the 'brain
drain' - their brains are draining away."
The move was also welcomed by NGOs, such as the Malaysian
Sarong Party Girls' Association (SARONG). "Thank you Dr M! Those kwai-los
all so cute one lah!" chirped SARONG president Tammy Weh, as she was
sipping a martini in a slinky black dress somewhere in a bar in Bangsar
waiting for fat, balding Mat Salleh knowledge workers.
'Brain draining away'
In a related development, Malaysia set another world record-breaking
feat today when Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that
musicians were among the 138 categories of foreign workers who would not
be allowed to work in the country. The move effectively reduces the size
of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra to just five people. 100 of the
105 musicians in the Orchestra are foreigners.
"We now have the world's smallest Philharmonic Orchestra!
Malaysia boleh!" said a spokesperson for the orchestra who refused
to be named. He added that the orchestra is now looking at ways to address
the dramatic lack of musicians. "We' re training the five remaining
Malaysians on how to play twenty instruments at a time. Until then, though,
our repertoire may have to be restricted to nothing bigger than quartet
National media system mooted
Government crackdown on Harakah aimed
at ensuring knowledge is accessible to the people
|In line with the country's Strategic Initiative
One to promote information technology and the knowledge economy, Prime
Minister Mahahtir Mohamad called for the setting up of "a first rate
national media system where the Internet and IT innovations must be a large
and critical part of this national media system."
"This country must most seriously enhance the production
and supply of information, knowledge and wisdom and assure their accessibility
to all our people in every area of work," he added.
As a first step in this direction, the government has
restricted the publication of Opposition newspaper 'Harakah' from
twice weekly to twice monthly, and suspended the publishing licenses of
other alternative publications such as 'Detik'. Harakah was also
taken off the news stands as part of this move to ensure 'supply of information,
knowledge and wisdom and assure their accessibility to all our people'.
The government is also promoting the sharing of information
over the Internet by threatening to use the country's Communications and
Multimedia Act to punish people who, according to Deputy Multimedia Minister
Tan Chai Ho, "do not exercise self-discipline and publish unfounded
criticism.". The maximum penalty for 'unfounded criticism' is RM 50,000
and a year's jail sentence.