Thursday, May 28, 2009

No entry for Chin Peng

NO to Chin Peng! He cant come back to Malaysia.

So many bad and sad memories about his Parti Komunis Malaya. The mass murders, tortures, etc by his people will only incite anger among those affected families, including the armed forces who fought and brought them down.

Fellow blogger Kuda Kepang wrote a long and an exciting piece about PKM, Chin Peng and how the present Malaysian generation has forgotten how the Independence was gained through the thick blood of our ancestors.

Let Chin Peng stay in Thailand until he goes back to his Creator.

Having him back will make some people treat him a hero, especially those who like to see the country being torn apart.

For one reason, Chin Peng has found his name in the history... as a murderer!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wait for the Interpol, RPK!

Bukit Aman might seek Interpol's assistance to track down Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK). The editor of Malaysia Today, believed to be hiding in Australia, has been evading warrant of arrests since the last 4 months. (read here...)

Be a man, RPK. Stand for what you have said... and come out of your hideout!

Defaming Datuk Seri Najib, wife Rosmah Mansor and two others in connection of Altantuya murder case, RPK was so popular at one time for his statutory declaration, claiming to have tangible evident to charge them in court.

Now, who is who the court actually wants!

RPK, to some, has turn coward and a liar. However, he is still a friend to many, especially those who are against the government.

Another person who claimed to have such evident is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of Pakatan Rakyat.

Will DSAI produce his 'stuffs' to the court or will the court summon him for being 'slanderous'?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Malaysia is not Sri Lanka!

Datuk Seri Najib, in reminding the Malaysian Indians to join hands with the Malays, Chinese and other races as a formidable team, said the government has never been 'cruel' to anybody.

The government, he said was perturbed by accusations hurled by Hindraf leaders who were freed from Kamunting recently. They even called Malaysia as a 'Melayu-Muslim' country, and that it was not safe for other races.

"Let the rakyat become the judge to what they have said," Najib said Sunday. Why the rakyat? Well, because the rakyat, especially the Malays will determine how sincere their Indian brothers are.

I have many Indian friends. I believe many Malays and Chinese have good Indian friends, being neighbours, partners in schools, work place, etc. My Indian friends never gave me any problems and I never created any for them.

However, this small faction of Hindraf is changing the good perception for the Indians. Infortunately, MIC leader Samy Velly has hailed the Hindraf leaders as heroes.

What heroes? Similar to Vellupillai Prabhakaran of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who was killed during an army offensive last week?

Look! This is Malaysia. If you harbour any plan to turn this wonderful country into another Sri Lanka, may as well you find another place to stay and launch your offensive. The news about some Malaysian Indians getting trained by the LTTE in recent years were already alarming.

Najib also warned them not to exploit the 1Malaysia concept by making ridiculous demands (including asking the government to give Bumiputera status to all Malaysians born after August 31, 1957).

LTTE was not a heroic organisation. They were the rebels of Sri Lanka, just like the Contra of Nicaragua (but got the support of the Americans to bring down the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega). They were also suspected of killing Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.

The Malaysian Indians are my good fellows. My kampung, Ramuan China Besar is just a 5-minute walk to Kuala Sungai Baru Estate where about 2,000 Indians have settled since before Merdeka, 1 minute by car/bike to Rockybru's house and 4 minutes ride to Dtk Tiger's place.

Ever since I was a kid, we mingled well, lived a harmonious life, helped each other and oftenly shared Hari Raya and Deepavali. I remember enjoying free movies (most were Tamil and Hindi) on Fridays at the SRJK (T) 'padang' where the Malays and Indians sat next to each other. That's how I got to know MGR (then became Tamil Nadu's chief minister in the 1980s) and Nagesh the clown.

My ex-mate at Masjid Tanah English School, Ramu is now a 'sami' at the kuil and each time I go back, I never failed paying him a visit.

I dont know about other kampungs or estates but I am sure each and every Malay, Chinese and Indian in this country has had such experience when it comes to friendship.

Why cant we stay that way?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LTTE comes to an end

Vellupillai Prabhakaran, 54, the leader of Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is confirmed dead yesterday in Jaffna, north of Sri Lanka (more here...). His body has been identified by his own followers.

The 3-week military offensive to put a halt to his 25-year campaign for an autonomous Tamil state in the island nation, notched a grand success. Few days earlier, his son met the same fate during a military attack on Batticaloa near Jaffna Peninsular.

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa who ordered the war against LTTE made an announcement of the government's achievement, saying the nation will be reconcialled soon, an effort to bring about absolute peace to the country.

I remember having a 5-minute chat with Prabhakaran in Madras (now Chennai) in 1988 while I was on a 16-hour transit from Baghdad to Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur. An Indian journalist whom I made friend with in Baghdad managed to sneaked me into his private hideout, located about 30 km east of the city.

At 33 then, he and his 20 bodyguards were in their casual dress but I could see Browing, Colt or Baretta at their waists. He didnt say much but repeatedly avowed his determination to free the 'oppressed Tamil people of Sri Lanka'.

I didnt write any story about it, knowing it was against the government policy. However, I did tell my editor about it, only to get 'Hang Nak Mati Ka?' answer.

Several years ago, there were news about some Malaysians being trained at LTTE camps in northern Sri Lanka. Also, about the presence of a few LTTE members in Malaysia. True or not, I hope to see this country free from such conflicts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No BN for Penanti

I have said late last month that Penanti by-election was not worth a contest. It was a political gimmick. I even suggested for the by-election not to be held at all, and that the government should set up a special committee to look after the well-being of the 'no wakil rakyat' constituencies.

We had one too many already. Spending unnecessarily on 'unsecured' results is one thing. Stepping into PR political game is the other. Afterall, a win in Penanti will not give BN an edge to overturn the DAP state government in Penang.

Let PR candidate takes on the Independent, no matter how many this time around. I dont think PR can breeze through easily as one or two Independents could pose a threat to them. If this is the sort of free election they've been looking for, they might take a beating on May 31.

BN was quick enough to determine the cahood behind all this. PR's hocus-pocus will lead them to nowhere. The people of Penanti were blased with how PR manipulated them. On polling day, they will sock the Opposition.

Penanti may come under Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency but it doesnt mean Anwar Ibrahim can suck them into his agenda.

Lets see...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BNM is inhuman, says a reader

I got this comment from a reader for my May 9 posting on 'Bank Negara and its discrepancy'. Here is what Anak Malaya says:

Bro,
Bank Negara's main concern is to keep the banking system and the bank operators in good shape. Why? To give the best impression to foreign investors that Malaysia is among the best place to put their money.

They dont care about how many people the bank simply made bankrupt by adding several charges to the principle loan (i.e adding interest and legal charges to accumulate it to the RM30,000 bankruptcy requirement), how many good working papers and collaterol were rejected by the local banks, how many customers were made to pay unnecessary extras for the loan they took, and how many dirty money the banks made out of the poors?

Yes, Bank Negara officials are like GODs as you mentioned. They couldnt care less about how many people in the middle and low income brackets suffered by the uncontrolled individual self-imposed rulings by the commercial banks. BNM got no human factor, right from the very top official to its lowest-paid staffs.

I wonder whether our Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is aware of it or simply refused to take note of the discrepancy because of these Gods, or BNM was given a total autonomy to decide whose money and account it should freeze without investigation. This is another ISA for the banking sector.

I know a lot of friends and companies being clamped by the heartless officials of Bank Negara, just because they could not meet with their demand on 'how much can they offer' to release the money.

I am sad that amid Najib's political thrust to make the people requirements and needs as the top priority, Bank Negara's hardcore supervisory is dampening it. What is 'rakyat didahulukan' if none of their predicament is being heard or at least getting attention from the right authority? Even our court of law, upon its hearing on certain cases, would reduce a suppose-to-be death penalty to 20-year imprisonment or from 10 years jail to 2 years jail.

Why is BNM so strict in flexing it muscle on the hopefuls, I dont know. Laws are not meant to be broken but even a convict is given a second chance to redeem himself and start a new life to become a good and contributing citizen.

Those at Bank Negara are not the faultless lot. However, they always enjoy what they described as 'a success' should they are able to freeze someone's account, just because there was a report about it. No, they seldom investigate before becoming judges of their own court to impose such verdicts.

They will pin you down just on suspision of money laundering or collecting deposit illegally. I dont think they read what you write, bro. Even if they did, they dont feel anything as they are 'untouchables'. No laws can take them up or challenge their supremacy in making such decisions.

This is how the government of Barisan Nasional will lose control of its supporters. When you said thousands of SMIs, single mothers and the poors were affected by such rulings, I dont think BNM officials had given it the slightest thought to reconsider the case. I am also sure that those at the Ministry of Finance were (not) awakened by such plights.

Its a bizzare lynch! Your line about the officer who said 'kalau dulu awak naik basikal, saya nak pastikan awak naik basikal semula' was very inhuman, rude, churlish and overbearing. If I were the Finance Minister, I would show him/her the exit.

What is the loses that we have to incur if we relax the existing prosudures and rulings at the time when many of our rakyat are suffering from the adverse impacts of the economic uncertainty? In fact, the whole country would be grateful to the government should they are given the lifeline? Let them recuperate under the supervision of Bank Negara.

The idea to let them resume operation without releasing their money was another act of no-probity, meant to incommode the 200,000 people (in the case of Bulohmas) and maybe a few million more (in other cases). What's the point of shaking hands with them while their pants are down?

Please be more human in dealing with this cases. As none of the customers lodged any complaints of police report about how the business was being conducted, we should let them go on as long as they dont squeeze the people out of their capacity to survive. We lose nothing but will gain a lot of respect and appreciation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

No 'rivalry' among the 3 bros

No brothers rivalry at Naza Group of Companies. I was told by one of its most senior official yesterday.

However, he did not refute a minor 'tug of war' between the majority and minority shareholders.

I am glad that they read my blog and took note of it. At least, the group of 23 companies and subsidiaries was fast to acknowledge the importance of good socio-politic and business blogs and the significant of the Press.

The late Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin was a darling to the Press and bloggers. Unfortunately after his death on May 3 2008, non of his 3 sons and senior executives took the effort to resume such relationship.

"Lets meet up one of these days. As Nasa and Faleeq are going to perform their umrah next week, it will be proper to hold a small gathering between them and you, Rocky, Dtk Ahmad Talib and a few more, at your recommendation," said the person.

I have known him for many years, since I joined NSTP in 1981. Frankly, I was a bit surprised when he called.

Naza Group is undoubtedly one of the most successfull Bumiputera companies to date. The general concern that I mentioned in my previous posting was of the so-called 'rivalry' among the 3 brothers, Faizal, Nasa and Faleeq over who should be the Group CEO.

Let's wait for the said 'meeting' with them. We just want to know more... Thanks to Dtk RA of Naza.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The junta's dirty trick on Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi is facing a 5-year jail term just because an American intruder sneaked into her lakeside home. She has never met him before.

Is the American part of the junta political plan to hold Suu Kyi, 63, much longer since her 13-year house arrest will end on May 27? (read here...)

I saw the Nobel Peace laureate giving a speech in Rangoon (now Yangon) in 1989. Her National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a landslide election in 1990, only to be denied by the junta and she was arrested.

Apart from the United Nations, Asean should look into this matter and take a firm stand in dealing with the Yangon government. The people of Myanmar are in need of Suu Kyi, whom they regard as the only hope to bring about democracy to the country.

Being an Asean member, Myanmar has been the most 'sickening' member the Association has been dealing with.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The end of Hard-T...

I have known Hard-T for more than 20 years now. As a blogger, he is sharp and sometimes quite relentless. As a friend, he is always kind and generous. However, he is never an antagonist to the government, neither is he a manipulator of racial sentiments.

He took centre stage since his daring exposure of Eli Wong (was he?) and his 'blog war' with fellow blogger A Voice. In one of his postings, Rockybru was very protective of revealing the identity of Hard-T when he objected to how Sakmongkol undressed Voice.

Now that Hard-T is closing down, I hope the person behind it will go on writing. As a Malaysian, you deserve the right to speak the downright as long as you stay on the right track. Afterall, good writings are hard to come these days.

Its sad to lose a blog like Hard-T which entices readers in its own invigorative manner. I believe the writer will keep on writing in other forms.

So long, bro!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Power tussle at Naza Group?

I have yet to confirm this. However, rumours about the tussle between three brothers at Naza Group of Companies are fast getting across the business track. The staffs, too were alarmed at such goings.

Since their father and Naza founder Tan Sri Nasimuddin passed away in California on May 3rd last year, Naza Group has been managed by the 3 sons - Faizal, Nasa and Faleeq with their 'few' uncles assisting at the subsidiaries. One of them is Datuk Zul.


By Nasimuddin's will, the company CEO should be given to his 2nd son Nasarudin, lauded as most enterprising among all siblings. In fact, he has shown a lot of courage and notched incredible success in helping his father at steering Naza into what it is today.

I was once told that Nasa has a good reputation in business deals, and that was why Nasimuddin had a lot of confidence in him then.

Now that their father is gone, many unhealthy things took place within the group. Most of their showrooms are almost empty with only a few cars left for sale. Some said shipment was on its way and that many stocks were still at the port.

Latest, Faizal (the only son already married) issued a self-prepared internal memo (where was his secretary?) to all departments, declaring that he is the legitimate chief executive officer. All staffs read it, no comment but exchanged winks.

The very next day, youngest son Faleeq issued another memo, saying that his eldest brother's memorandum was 'null and void' as it was not officially agreed by the board members. Again, Naza staffs just shook their heads.

So, who is the big boss now? Nasa did not act to the 2 'circulars' but the employees, especially department heads and managers were rather confused as to whom should they report to. Faizal or Nasa or Faleeq?

I hope the brothers can compromise. Puan Sri should intervene to keep her late hubby's business in safe hands. Naza has been the pride of the nation (many thanks to Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, whom during her tenure as Ministry of International Trade and Industry has awarded the company with thousands of APs) and has been recognised as a national car industry.

Its a big company for the 3 brothers to attend to. They need each other. Bickering over who should be No.1 or No.2 could run down the company.

They also need their uncles in many ways. So, its now a good news that Datuk Zul's service would be terminated...

We have great concern for Naza, actually...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Win some, lose some...

So, Nizar is back as Perak MB. Congratulations!

At least the Kuala Lumpur High Court was at its most creditable manner in passing the verdict. Those who said that our judges and courts may take side, were wrong!

I remember Tun Dr Mahathir said when BN 'stormed' into power in Perak - that the actions were just too hasty.

I guess Nizar will have to consider seeking the Sultan's approval for a fresh state election soon. Or, does he got other plans?

What's Datuk Seri Najib and Zambry are going to do next?

We win some, we lose some...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bank Negara and its discrepancy!

I would like to tell you a story about Bank Negara Malaysia and its discrepancy. Serious... and I really hope Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his senior officers, the governor and her team read this and take whatever available actions to address it.

There was a Bumi company called Buloh Emas. I have seen some of its retail marts in Selangor, Kelantan and other states, about 15 of them, employing about 300 staffs.

What the company did was to buy consumer items from 600 small and medium-sized Bumi producers, from salted fish to banana crips and from rice to sugar, milk and flour. Business was good. They also bought this products from about 2,000 small suppliers, many of whom are single mothers and those of the low income group.

What the company did was encouraging. It sold this products at a much cheaper price, many of which were much lower than that offered by big supermarkets and hypermats in Malaysia. More than 200,000 'orang susah dan miskin' were buying from them.

However, the business were dealt with a blow last October. Bank Negara freeze their account. Why. Just because some people (I better call them competitors) lodged a report to the central bank, accusing Buloh Emas of illegally collecting deposits from its costumers.

And since then, the operation had slowed down. Few weeks ago, they had to cease operation as they could not afford to buy anything from the 600 SMIs. How to pay? It left them to no choice but to retrench more than half of its workers whom they owed at least 2 months in wages.

Yes, the company did collect 'membership' fee from the 600 SMIs, I think it was about RM15 one-off to enable them to join its ring of operation. If you multiply 15 by 500, it wont go that much but the ways the company ran the business were fascinating as they chalked goon turnover and pre-tax profit.

Their competitors were envious, of course. Why? Because Buloh Emas even took over some of their competitors ailing businesses. For record, the competitors are non-Bumi.

Now... if BNM calls it illegal, why did the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs issued a letter in August 2008, approving the business and said they did not require a special licence to operate, including for that RM15 membership (was it more, I dont know). The ministry was of the opinion that the company was doing just like any other big marts and companies which entice memberships for a small fee.

The representatives and lawyer of Buloh Emas went to BNM on many occassions only to be shot down by the officers. A lady who is one of the investigating officers in fact told the owner: "Kalau dulu you naik basikal, saya mahu tengok awak naik basikal semula!"

Such a skunk! However, it didnt end up there.

Based on her report, a senior officer who got the power and full authority to study the case and lift the freeze, did not do so. He only gave a big NO based on the unmarried lady officer. (I better not mention any names here). However, he gave the assurance that the company may continue to operate as long as it didnt engage any new members.

The matter was also brought to the AG office. An officer said the AG chamber only acted based on BNM reports and recommendation. Fine!

My point of contention here is, of you allow the company to continue its operation, how the hell are they going to pay the 600 SMIs when their money was put to freeze? How are they going to pay the employees and how are they gonna answer the plight of the single mothers and the poors?

Why did BNM take so long to investigate the accusation. Its entering its seventh month now. Previously, BNM was quick enough in concluding its investigation papers on a lot of similar cases.

If the company was really involved in collecting deposits illegally, why didnt you seal their offices like what the authority did in the past? Why in the first place you allowed them to resume operation without lifting the freeze on their funds? What logic was that?

I dont care much about the company but my heart is with the 600 SMIs, the 2,000 single mothers and the poors and about 200,000 customers who all this while had enjoyed cheap daily goods at the marts. Going by the current economic crisis, these people need all the cheap things to survive.

I was told that BNM officers were like GOD. Nobody can touch or question them. Whatever they say, rules and nobody can reverse that. Really?

What about a senior officer who approached Buloh Emas team that the case can be resolved with a condition. You know what laaaa!!! Its the usual thing, of course. So, means that there was NO CASE at all against Buloh Emas as the freeze on its funds can be lifted over a good deal.

What Buloh Emas needed actually was for BNM to release at lease some of its funds to enable it to resume business. If you allow them to continue, of course they need money to operate. Afterall, didnt your officer say that the matter can be 'kautim'?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Useless secretaries and 'pegawai khas'!

I asked a few friends make several calls to various ministries on the pretext of wanting to have a few minutes audience with the bosses, that the matter was something serious and of the national interest.

Here is the conclusion - if you are not from the Press, not any dato' or tan sri, not someone from their Umno division, not a well-known businessman or not someone whom they recognise, FORGET IT! We are NOBODY to them! So, admit it.

I tried it many times. I didnt use my real name as most of them know me. I claimed of being an entrepreneur who needed help, that my product - which is the first of its kind in the world - needed support in some grants or whatever assistance available.

They made a football out of me. From one pegawai khas (special officer) to the other, from one secretary to another before getting the final answer that the minister would be busy in next few months.

I have all the ministers' mobile numbers but I didnt want to call them personally. I like it in a formality manner.

Most special officers and secretaries refused to answer phone calls. Even if they do, they will tell you that the bosses are not around, in a meeting or outstation. They will start asking you a lot of questions or ask you to write in. In most cases, your 'write-in' will end up in dustbins.

I remember a minister who used to have about 20 'pegawai khas' to the extent that nobody could come close to his office as he or she would be worn-out after going through all this officers.

Over the years as a journalist, (plse agree with me on this) I have noticed a usual trend in our administration - some bosses were good but their image were painted black by this special officers or the people around them.

Datuk Seri Najib has given top priority to the rakyat - rakyat diutamakan. However, if our leaders are kept at distant by their officers, I dont think it will work.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Of Tun, Tan Sri and Datuk...

I was with someone whom I described as 'orang lama' in the Federal Government. He was once attached to the Palace and was involved in arranging Federal accolades to many honoured recipients.

However, he was quite intrigued at how the Federal's 'darjah kebesaran' are being awarded since the last 5 years.

"If we study the Federal Constitution, the recipient of Tun must not exceed 10, Tan Sri 25 while Datuk should not surpass 315.

"At the moment, we have 13 Tuns if I'm not mistaken, about 50 Tan Sri and more than 400 Federal Datuks."

To make someone a new Tun, he must wait for any vacancy. In other words, he gotta wait until a Tun dies.

"I dont know what are the criterias being used now," he said.

I got no comment. However, I understand that such accolades were given at the advise of the Majlis Raja-Raja Melayu and the Prime Minister.

Yeap... there are thousands of Datuks in Malaysia at the moment, most of whom got it from the State Governments. What about Datuk Sulu or some other Datuks?