Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Isa Samad and Zahid Hamidi

I wanna comment on two things - Isa Samad and Zahid Hamidi.

First, Isa Samad. After all speculations about who should be the best BN candidate for Bagan Pinang state by-election on Oct 10, Isa stood tall. Tahniah Tan Sri.

I know this man very well. We were 'close' when he was Negri Sembilan's Mentri Besar. He was 'booted' and slapped with a 3-year suspension after the Umno Disciplinary Committee found him guilty of money politics in 2004.
So what!

He is a survivor of politics. Many would refute the choice of Umno but you should know and acknowledge his contributions and good works for the rakyat, especially in NS.

Even during the 3-year suspension, he would be the first BN figure to reach the voters in every by-election and general election. The punishment made him a better person, not because he wanted to amend the past but he himself never plead guilty.

Again, the criteria applied by the Committe (the same old faces who found Ali Rustam and KJ guilty in March general assembly) can again be put under question.

Isa is known for his generousity. In Umno, being generous is called graft. In the States, any candidate is allowed to declare his campaign expenditure as to avoid such accusations befall him later on.

Good for Bagan Pinang voters, actually. Isa is still very much popular there. I personally believe BN will win this by-election but with a reduced majority. Why? Its connected to Zahid Hamidi, our Defense Minister.

Many quarters are accusing Zahid of 'sacking' the 'Panglima Angkatan Tentera' (PAT) to pave the way for Jeneral Azizan, and that Bagan Pinang postal voters (who play a pivotal role in deciding who should win Bagan Pinang), all of whom are members of the armed forces were pissed off with such a decision, would swing away to the Opposition.

Nonsense, as far as the record shows, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has already signed the 'watikah' for Jeneral Azizan to become the next Chief of Staff. He signed it sometimes last year when Datuk Seri Najib was still at Defense.

So, if the Opposition of some bloggers try to make an issue out of it, they better fly....!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Getting back to work...

Still in Hari Raya mood. With or without enough RM to celebrate, I am happy to get so many Raya SMS on my mobile.

Thank you to a few YBs, namely Tok Pa, Idris Harun, Khaled Nordin, Azmin Ali, Ali Rustam, Ahmad Said and others. Not forgetting politicians like Anwar's wife Azizah, Fatmi Salleh and Ron and also friends such as Tok Jef, Zul Salleh of Bernama, Tok Mat of Media Prima, Zainul of NST and others. They include bloggers and some names I have forgotten (maaf ler!).

Hari Raya knows no barriers, not even political ideology could divide us. That makes us ONE.

Come Wednesday, we'll go back to work. Of course, the main thing to look forward is to revive our pocket (mine too, especially).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SALAM AIDILFITRI

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, maaf zahir & batin.

Those who anticipated for the big day to fall on Monday Sept 21 were caught offguard, especially the last minute shoppers. I didnt shop anything. Do we really need to buy a pair of Baju Melayu every year? Think about it.

On this 'day of victory', I would like to beg forgiveness from my parents, my siblings, family and friends.

My special apology to A Voice whom I still owe RM500 (hehehehe...., kita kira kemudian la, bro), best wishes to my cousin-bro Rockybru (whose parents passed away some years ago), my special appreciation for Sdr Kadir Jasin of The Scribe (who used to help me a lot when I was stranded in the 'desert') and my 'Salam Aidilfitri' to the rest of friends and bloggers.

Here in Malaysia, we enjoy every festival together. No other countries play host to numerous wonderful events like ours.

In 1984, I had the first experience celebrating Hari Raya away from this country. I was in Iraq. No be precise, Basrah.

On the eve of Syawal, I took a train ride from Baghdad to this southern port, only to discover on arrival in the morning (after an 8-hour journey) that I was among 5 people alive on the 14-carrier train. The rest were corpses of dead soldiers. Iraq and Iraq were at war then.

I wrote that for Berita Harian in June the same year.

Folks, enjoy your holidays, drive carefully and always observe good gesture among us.

SALAM.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Bermegah-megah' and 'menunjuk-nunjuk'

Its 29th Ramadan. I have been staying away from posting anything on this blog for 10 days to concentrate on a few things, including my puasa and attending to my new position and responsibility as an international editor.

So many things took place ever since. Soi Lek and Tee Keat, Tun Mahathir and Samy Vellu, Anwar's sodomy case, etc.

Now that (I believe) Lailatul Qadr has passed by, how many of us really strive for it? I am not an ulama but I remember my 16-day squatting at Sudanese ulama house, Hassan al-Turabi in 1996 when he told me that many Muslims just fast for the sake of fasting.

During the fasting month, we read in newspapers and watch it on television how leaders, politicians and businessmen alike came into the limelight for their 'kindness' in giving out donations and Hari Raya goodies to the poors, orphanage and the less fortunate.

They were the proud ones. The publicity they got was actually their main intention, i would say. For politicians, it will be a good mileage for them. For businessmen, it helps boost their image.

In Islam, you got the 'pahala' if you are sincere in anything good you do. For instance, giving a beggar RM1.

However, your 'pahala' is gone if you tell others about what you did, how proud you are for that RM1 you gave away and boasting about it.

Our newspapers and TV stations are quite pack with such items. Ramadan is the month to promote the good deeds of the Prime Minister, his Cabinet members, politicians, businessmen and members of the royal family who wish to get some publicity and attention for their 'kindness'.

In Saudi Arabia, the King bars such a publicity. So are in Yemen, Qatar, Iran, Sudan and some Islamic countries.

If your are sincere, do it in the spirit of Muslim brotherhood and Ramadan. Its also not a good to show pictures and footages of the people we help in newspapers and on TV. Revealing them is also undressing their dignity.

JANGANLAH BERMEGAH-MEGAH DAN MENUNJUK-NUNJUK...TAK ELOK!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Taro Aso's last e-mail

Greetings. Perhaps this is the last e-mail from me and my Cabinet.

In the recent general election of members of the House of Representatives, we failed to meet the expectations of the people with a regrettable result. I accept with sincerity the people's dissatisfaction with the government and ruling parties and criticism toward them.

We must seriously reflect upon matters such as whether we responded effectively to the people's dissatisfaction over the various social issues, including the disparity issue and the sense of helplessness in the society, and whether we sent out a message on policies fully and unfailingly.

I have boldly advanced policies, placing the foremost priority on reviving the economy. Japan was facing a historic global recession and experiencing a downturn of its economy when I assumed the office of Prime Minister on September 24 last year.

At that time, I had given priority to policy over politics, or economic and unemployment countermeasures over a general election, in order to safeguard the daily lives of the Japanese people. Abnormal circumstances require extraordinary countermeasures; we have passed four budgets in six months.

This could not have been realized were bureaucrats to take the rein. The result was a 3.7% annualized real economic growth rate for April to June this year, the highest rate among the developed nations. The economic countermeasures have thus started to bring about their results.

Yet, we have only reached half-way. If we were to think of the people's daily lives, I am convinced that I have made the right decision to prioritize policy over politics.

I am also confident that I have advanced the correct policies on the North Korean issue, the fight against terrorism, and measures to counter piracy, with an aim to safeguard the nation and the people.

However, my inadequacy led to this result. I offer a frank apology and take sincere heed of the people's voice, determined to make a fresh start. Safeguard what must be safeguarded. Reform to safeguard what must be safeguarded.

Change what must be changed. This is the essence of conservative politics.

I would like to express my gratitude to all the readers of this e-mail for having taken the time to read it. The various opinions for criticism and encouragement have all spurred me on and given me the courage to drive forward policies.

Thank you so very much. I pledge that I will continue to make my utmost efforts and achieve politics that meets public expectations.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A time-bomb in Selangor

Reading about Malaysia in London. Some good and some unpleasant news.

The centre of attention, despite another by-election in the next 60 days, is of course the Hindu temple in Seksyen 23 Shah Alam, Selangor.

Its a time bomb if the State Government fails to resolve the issue. The Federal, too should step in to avoid any untoward incidents should Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and team fail to bring about an amicable solution to it.

We just celebrated our 52nd Hari Merdeka and we cant afford another communal tension aggravating from such a 'simple' matter. We should get wise by each day. Any silly error may lead to major impact.

I was also reading Taro Aso's last e-mail a few days before his LDP lost its 54-year grip on the Diet. Not surprising... and of course it may happen to Barisan Nasional as well should our leaders dont take up some matters seriously to their heads.

Japan is an example of a big country where its people are riding on a more sophisticated mindset. As a nation gets older and more modern, the people's demand get more unique and in some cases, unprecedented.

Malaysia should augur well under the management of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. However, after a series of defeats in 8 by-elections (we won only one and skipped one), we should be able to distinguish the changing of Malaysians' political norms and characters.

Something need to be done here, obviously.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DIRGAHAYU MALAYSIA!

SELAMAT HARI MERDEKA YANG KE-52...


I was abit late in my posting as I was wondering at few things, among which are:

* after 52 years of Independence, there are still many people in this country are living in poverty,

* as standard of living rises, the minimum wages for public and private sectors are still low compared with other developing countries,

* out of 100 cars passing Dataran Merdeka on the eve of Merdeka, only 2 or 3 flew the Jalur Gemilang,

* on the eve of Merdeka, only a few government buildings and vehicles have the National Flag attached,

* no companies gave away free Jalur Gemilang or made 'special offer' for it this year,

* during Pak Lah era, and now Najib's - nobody seemed to care about 'Kempen Kibarkan Jalur Gemilang', unlike Tun Mahathir's glittering era.

I have the Jalur Gemilang on my car 3 days before Datuk Seri Najib launched the campaign in Putrajaya on August 11 but I didnt notice any response from the senior civil servants to take up the calls. The first vehicle which I saw flying the flag was a 'lori sampah' belonging to Alam Flora.

I dont know why. Ramadan and the economic downturn should be the reasons. Was is a symbol of protest by the masses? Over what?