Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Possible bloodshed in Keramat...

I've been told about it. The Malays in Taman Keramat are furious, a few were apprehended by the police for protesting while some were intimidated by 'agents of a developer' for trying to stop their luxury project.

The Malays have been acting on their own; the Umno leaders and their representatives didn't say much. Forget about the Malays outside Umno.

However, the government - notably Selangor mentri besar Azmin Ali - must interfere to prevent any untoward incident from taking place in Taman Keramat. This is not about Umno or PKR or PAS or DAP but the residents' woes.
Residents of a Malay-majority community in Taman Keramat warned today of possible “bloodshed” if Selangor proceeds with plans to construct luxury condominiums instead of affordable homes in the neighbourhood.
According to reports, the Datum Jelatek luxury condominium project sits on the former site of four blocks of Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) flats owned mostly by Malays. The flats were demolished in late 2010.
“If there is bloodshed in Taman Keramat it is not my fault. Things have heated up.The development is a threat to the residents there. We do not want to allow development that infringes on the rights of Malays especially in a 100 per cent Malay area,” Datum Jelatek action committee chairman Salleh Samad told reporters when met at the entrance of the state secretariat building here.
Salleh, who was accompanied by 12 other residents submitted a protest memorandum to Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali’s press secretary Radzi Razak.
Salleh pointed out to Azmin that protests against the project began as far back as when the latter’s predecessor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was still running the Selangor administration.
“We want affordable housing, we are not against development. After this, there will be no more memorandums, we are tired,” Salleh added.

“The affordable housing can be bought by the current generation of the original settlers who had founded the village after the May 13 incident with the help of then-Selangor MB Datuk Haron Idris,” he said.

Salleh had previously said the planned luxury studio apartment, measuring 538 square feet each, was priced at RM700,000 and was not affordable to the Taman Keramat Malay community.

He has also alleged that the residents, who were asked to move out, were paid only a small compensation. Based on land value, the residents should have received at least RM1 million each. However, most received only about RM150,000.

As the developer, PKNS has the say as compensation was paid. However, Azmin must take into consideration the sentiment of the Malays too!

New law to combat terrorism

Yes, we need a new set of law to stamp out terrorists, and nobody should question the government for taking such measures.

We have seen how extremism and terrorism brought down a few governments and caused chaos, instability and deaths of the innocents. What is termed as 'jihadists' is now on the prowl; and prejudice rises on Islam.

Malaysia can't afford to fall prey to such activities. The fact that some Malaysians are killed for joining the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and Turkey is not a 'small matter' as those who received trainings there will pose danger to national security upon their return.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has suggested the creation of a new law to combat terrorism, in addition to strengthening existing legislation.
Speaking to the parliament while tabling a white paper on Wednesday (Nov 26), Mr Najib said the government is concerned with Malaysians returning home after fighting alongside militants in conflict zones. He said there are currently 39 citizens who have joined extremist groups overseas.
Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said the proposed law will be tabled at the next parliamentary session.
The proposed legislation will include provisions for the rehabilitation of militants, added Zahid. He said some Malaysians who have returned home after joining the Islamic State militant group expressed regret, and said they had been deceived.
Mr Najib added that the use of social media to recruit Malaysian militants is concerning, and that it was time for the government to act and stem the influence of the Islamic State group. But he stressed that legislation alone will not curb terrorism, and called on Malaysians to reject extremism and that parents should guide their children.
Malaysia’s Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein supported the move, saying that the proposed law is “urgent”. When asked if the proposed legislation would be similar to the country’s Internal Security Act, Mr Hishammuddin said it is different, as the law will target militants.

Hishammuddin added that the new terror developments do not have any link to the aviation disasters of MH370 and MH17.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim also voiced support for tough action against the threat posed by militants, and called for holistic action.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

That's what I call a speech!

                                  The best speech at Umno General Assembly in 20 years.

                                  Congrats Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin!

                                  Read it in full here...

Umno and the non-Malays

The question now is not about Umno and the Malays. Its more on how 'benevolent' Umno is to Malaysians as a whole, in winning back the lost votes among its own members and support from its allies in Barisan Nasional.

It will depend on how the party's general assembly which starts today at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) manouvre issues about Malay unity and achievement without resorting to debates that will hurt sensitivities of others.

This will be the most crucial GA for the party in a bid to falsetto efforts in retaining power in the next general election amid calls by certain quarters in and outside Umno for a revamp in its approach to woo popular support for BN.

However, months before they convene in stylish outfit and 'parade of luxury cars and accessories', party president Najib Tun Razak was pressured to carry out some 'amendments' which include abolishing all vernacular schools.

The prime minister, however, has to tailor to his 1Malaysia concept by reiterating that the vernacular education is here to stay.
KOTA KINABALU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Sunday reassured that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government will ensure Chinese schools, which are part of vernacular schools, will remain part of the education system in the country.
He said the Government has no problem to let Chinese education to continue as an education option for the people.
"What is wrong in emphasising on the learning of 'Bahasa Kebangsaan' and to speak the language well and proficiently, and not speaking 'bahasa pasar'.
" I want to tell you that in fact the Chinese government gave me an officer who is proficient in Bahasa…a Chinese from its foreign affair office who had studied Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Kebangsaan to a level to be proficient.
"And if the emphasis on Bahasa Kebangsaan in Chinese schools and the Malays also learn Mandarin language… then what is wrong with it?" he asked.
Vice-president Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, in reminding speakers at the GA to avoid 'taking the issue to their nerve' has said the relevance of maintaining the Chinese school system will be one of the hotly-debated topics during the Umno annual general assembly this month.
Party vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday said at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here that the issue was among key topics to be debated, arising from 755 proposals sent by the 191 Umno divisions in the country.
“The issues that are expected to dominate this year’s general assembly include the debate on Chinese schools versus single-stream schools, the Sedition Act, cost of living and quality of life.”
Umno ally in BN, MCA (apart from opposition DAP) are opposed to parties challenging or questioning the position of Chinese education in the country, especially calls for vernacular schools to be abolished, says is president, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said Chinese educational institutions had produced many quality and highly skilled professionals who contributed to the country's development. "Calls for national-type Chinese schools (SJKC) to be abolished will not help Barisan Nasional gain public support."
Liow's deputy Dr Wee Ka Siong who is also Minister in the Prime Minister Department claimed that although he cannot predict or dictate what will be discussed in the upcoming Umno general assembly, he is hoping that the delegates can stop harping on the issue of vernacular schools.
Responding to a reporter's question on the vernacular schools issue that may be raised by Umno delegates during the party meeting at the end of the month, Wee said that although every political party has the right to freely express or raise any issues during their general assembly, it was also important for them to see that the issue discussed is something good for the country. Wee was speaking at a press conference at the party headquarters after he co-chaired a dialogue session between MCA and Chinese new village leaders. It was previously reported that Umno Petaling Jaya Utara division deputy chief Mohamad Azli Mohamaed Saad will be seeking for a debate during the party general assembly on whether vernacular schools should be abolished.
What Mohamad Azli and others said contains some logic - that a single-stream education will augur well in bringing the rakyat together.

We have seen those coming from vernacular schools have difficulty in Bahasa Kebangsaan (Bahasa Melayu). Some non-Malays Members of Parliament (MPs) are of no exception. Just look and listen to how they speak at the Dewan Rakyat!

We find it hard to accept that 57 years after Merdeka, there are Malaysians who are not able to converse in the national language. Its the point of debate among champions of 'Satu Sekolah' concept, which prompted the non-Malays to label Umno as 'bullying' them.

However, in bringing the people closer, the Malays too should learn other languages, notably Mandarin and Tamil. Some 'sekolah kebangsaan' are already introducing it and the results are fantastic.

Unless some Chinese and Tamil education syllabus are allowed entry into 'sekolah kebangsaan', I believe the system will work. However, I don't think Chinese educationists and politicians (and the Indians too) are willing to let go of their respective stream.

So, what's the point of debating it at the Umno General Assembly?
Putrajaya must abolish all vernacular schools as they are impeding national unity, and instead replace them with single-stream schools, a coalition of Malay rights groups said today.
They said in their National Unity Memorandum today that Putrajaya could silence any "radical" education groups that opposed such a move, like Dong Zong, through the threat of de-registration.
"This firmness is needed because the multiple streams of schools that have existed all this while are not conducive to efforts to promote and strengthen national unity in Malaysia," read the memorandum, which was drafted by a committee chaired by Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali.
"If the proposal to abolish SKJC and SKJT is opposed by organisations like Dong Zong, the Malaysian government must review these organisations, and issue a show-cause letter asking why their registration should not be revoked.
"In other words, it is time the Malaysian government acts firmly against any radical education group that opposes efforts to promote national unity, including Dong Zong and its ilk."
Radical or not, Dong Zong and Perkasa are chauvinist of their own, and nothing is wrong with that since every single race will do the best to protect its own interest.

However, there must be an interim solution to 'education system for unity' in the country. There must be check and balance, tolerance and proper planning'. We need to integrate the nation, yes but at what cost?

I am waiting for the first debate on the issue...

Monday, November 24, 2014


At least there is someone in Umno who dares to remind each and every leader that party positions do not belong to certain families, and that equal opportunity should be given to others.

Some years ago during a coffee table talk, I had to agree to a suggestion by an Umno veteran that 'a prime minister's son need not necessarily become a prime minister' unless he has the right package and quality.

If we go by the 'trend' now, only those from Johor, Pahang, Penang and Kedah stand better chance to become the next and next and next Umno president and prime minister.

What about 'quality leaders' from other states? 
PUTRAJAYA— Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today urged his contemporaries to make way for the young to take rise, as he echoed party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call for the party to embrace youths as an “investment” for the future.
He said this is now the time of those from Generations X and Y to take on the mantle of leadership in the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin, especially since amendments have been made to the party constitution allowing direct membership to Umno without having to sign on to any party division or branch.
“The era has passed. The opportunity should be given to the young. We are not warlords who consider party posts to be our possessions or should be handed down to our bloodline,” he said at a news conference after officiating at the Film Censorship Board’s 60th anniversary Carnival.
Ooopsss... I'm not saying the prime minister's sons - Hishammuddin Hussein and Mukhriz Mahathir - dont have the right package but they must proof something 'extraordinary' to reach the pinnacle of politics.

I have seen how a few division chiefs 'planted' their spouse as the division Wanita head, their son as Ketua Pemuda and daughter for Ketua Puteri.

What do you call that, if its not a political dynasty!

And up there, it's still a practice...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

When a President flies on economy class...

Never heard of a world leader - presidents and prime ministers alike - took to the sky on economy class when they should observe protocols and 'allowed' to leverage on such positions.

They usually fly on first or executive class or on private jets, and when they try to set the 'precedent' by doing the otherwise, it draws praise and criticism at the same time.

However, Indonesia's new president Joko Widodo couldn't care less about that! He caused a stir this weekend by opting to fly economy class to watch his son's high school graduation in Singapore.

Skipping the usual heavy security protocol for heads of state, Widodo and his wife Iriana queued for check-in at Jakarta airport like ordinary passengers before taking their economy seats.

Widodo is known for his common touch, and his family have maintained a modest lifestyle since he became leader of Southeast Asia's biggest economy last month.

The presence of the president, known by his nickname Jokowi, caused a buzz at Jakarta's airport as passengers shouted and clamoured to shake his hand, with some taking selfies on their phones. Some, though, thought it was a publicity stunt.
"Why should he go through the metal detector, join the queue, etc? Sir, stop polishing your image, just act natural," Rangga Aditya commented on news portal
Harry Azet tweeted: "Living a fake life is difficult: Jokowi went to Singapore flying economy but slept in an expensive hotel."
Widodo stayed in a five-star hotel on Orchard Road, Singapore's shopping mecca, an Indonesian embassy spokesman in Singapore told AFP.
But his choice to fly economy also won widespread praise, with many urging other government officials to follow suit.
"Jokowi sets a good example by flying economy. Hopefully other officials can follow in his footsteps," tweeted Anita Tobing.
Widodo said he did not use the presidential private jet or the VIP terminal because he was travelling for personal reasons.
"I am going for family matters, a private agenda, not a state visit -- so why should I use the facility?" Widodo told reporters.
The president and his wife were in Singapore to see their youngest son, 19-year-old Kaesang Pangarep, graduate from the Anglo-Chinese International School on Friday evening. The couple have two other children.

Widodo had breakfast with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong before flying back to Jakarta on Saturday morning.

I personally like his style.

While our own leaders choose to retain their executive image - including in attending to private matters - Widodo is different! However, he must not go down too low!

Friday, November 21, 2014

AisAsia X flying low

Long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X Bhd will defer delivery of new Airbus jetliners for at least two years, AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said,as the airline tries to recover from nine months of sustained losses.

Fernandes said part of their turnaround plan for the airline was to slow down capacity building after four years of rapid expansion, but stressed that the Airbus deal is still on track.

“We are just deferring the plane deliveries. Just like with AirAsia, we are waiting for the Airbus neo,” he told a news conference, referring to Airbus’s new line of aircrafts that was earlier ordered by AirAsia X’s sister airline, AirAsia.
AirAsia had in mid-2011 placed a firm order of 200 units of the Airbus A320neo, which incorporates new engines and large wingtip devices called sharklets that claim to offer 15 per cent fuel savings and additional range of 500 nautical miles or 950 kilometres, according to the Airbus website.
AirAsia X had in December 2013 placed what was reportedly the world’s largest single order in a single purchase agreement of 25 Airbus A330-300 widebody jetliners worth US$6 billion (RM19.2 billion).

The Financial Times reported last July, however, that AirAsia X had cut a US$14 billion (RM47.2 billion) deal with Airbus to buy 50 units of the revamped A330, dubbed the A330neo which incorporates similar technology as the A320 narrowbody variant.
Yesterday, AirAsia X posted pre-tax losses of RM224.45 million in its third quarter ended September 30, 2014, from RM18.94 million in the same period last year.
This was despite a higher revenue of RM698.76 million in the quarter compared to RM601.49 million over the same period last year, it said in a filing on Bursa Malaysia, the Malay name for the Malaysian bourse.
Apart from the deferment of new plane deliveries, Fernandes said today that they are working on consolidating several departments between AirAsia and AirAsia X where they do not see the need for additional headcount, and also hinted at the possibility of rationalising some routes in Australia and other areas which posted losses.

He denied earlier reports claiming that there will be a management shake-up, stressing that the existing management team under chief executive officer Azran Osman Rani’s stewardship will remain, albeit with Fernandes and AirAsia Deputy Group chief executive director Datuk Kamarudin Meranun lending an “added hand”.

Despite the poor Q3 performance, Fernandes noted that they are already seeing AirAsia X’s flight yield “improving quite quickly”, and was confident the airline will bounce back to profitability possibly as early as Q4 of this year largely due to the dip in global oil prices, which settled at US$74.58 per barrel yesterday.

He admitted that the entire aviation industry suffered from the twin disasters involving Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17 this year, but stressed that AirAsia X’s future lies squarely on its own shoulders.