Saturday, July 31, 2010

When US economy slows sharply...

WASHINGTON - A new government report Friday showed that US economic growth slowed sharply in the spring, providing more evidence that the fragile recovery is losing momentum and is unlikely to generate many jobs anytime soon.

The nation's economy grew at a modest 2.4% annual rate in the April-to-June period, the Commerce Department said in its first estimate of gross domestic product for the second quarter.

That compares with a GDP growth of 3.7% in the first quarter – a figure adjusted up from 2.7% reported earlier. But Commerce officials revised down the growth in the fourth quarter of last year, to 5% from 5.6%, as it did for prior quarters, painting an overall picture of a deeper recession than previous data suggest.

The latest slowdown in real GDP -- the total value of goods and services produced inside U.S. borders after adjusting for inflation -- was widely expected by analysts. The data confirmed a recent softening of consumer spending, and a much weaker trade balance in the second quarter offset continued strong gains in business spending for equipment and software.

Many analysts have forecast even slower GDP growth for the second half of this year, taking into account the increasingly smaller support that the economy is getting from government stimulus and a restocking of companies' inventories that had been slashed during the recession.

Some government programs have expired, such as the first-time homebuyers' tax credit, which has set back the housing market. And anemic job growth and the debt crisis in Europe have roiled financial markets, adding to consumers' jitters about spending and businesses' cautiousness about hiring and investments.

Continue reading...

NOTE: The Malaysian economy depends much on the sentiments of the US economy. While Europe is beginning to feel the heat on them, Asians like Japan, Korea and China too are taking necessary steps to minimise the impact. As the government of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has introduced several measures, including economic packages to tackle such an onslaught, the key question here is whether such methods are sufficient in ensuring a dynamic GDP, reduced inflation and an 'under-control' recession.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hamas bans women's underwear from shop windows

I was reading JerusalemPost on-line when I came across this headline, Hamas bans women's underwear from shop windows...

It reads, 'The Hamas Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip has banned shops from displaying women’s underwear in their windows, saying it offends public morality'.

The prohibition is intended to “restore public morals in Palestinian society,” according to an e-mailed statement sent Thursday by Hamas police spokesman to the newspaper. “The police will also launch investigations into the conduct of the store owners to avoid any suspicious behavior with female customers,” the statement said.

I personally think it was a wise move, especially in a country where Islamic Law is fully observed. I dont know about Malaysia - some may object to it while many would agree.

However, let us hope PAS would not get an idea to politicise this issue and ask the government to follow suit. How about women's rights campaigners?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ananda continues to surprise

Billionaire Ananda Krishnan plans a buyout of satellite operator Measat Global Bhd and power-cum-gaming firm Tanjong PLC. It would be Malaysia's largest corporate deal this year, should he succeeds.

The 'almost a RM7 billion' takeover should put him in total control of both companies. Ananda also scored the biggest corporate deal ever when he took over Maxis at RM16 billion in 2007, restructred and have it listed on Bursa Malaysia (read here).

Earlier this year, he took pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks PLC private, buying out the 27.1 per cent minority shareholders for about RM2.5 billion.

I have always admired his taste for such big deals. A non-controversial figure who is a close aide to former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Ananda remains a 'publicity shy', unlike some tiny millionaires who keep on chasing the media for support.

My only hope for Ananda is - please improve Astro contents and services. In many countries, their satellite TV programmes are not interrupted during bad weather. Astro got to keep up to the world's latest entertainment, too and not by offering subscribers the same old movies and documentaries on a recycle basis every month... boring, sir! Otherwise, I would set up another satellite-TV provider company to compete with Astro... Ooppsss!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blix confirms no WMDs in Iraq

Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix used to warn the US and Britain that it would be a wrong and illegal move to attack Iraq in 2003 as the Middle East country did not possess any weapons of mass desctruction (WMDs).

He also issued out warnings to both Western military powers that any attack on Iraq would put Washington and London under a bad world perception. He spoke in London yesterday.

"The interesting thing, was Iraq a danger in 2003? They were not a danger. They were practically prostrate .... What they got instead was a long period of anarchy. And one conclusion I would try to draw is that anarchy can be worse than tyranny," he said.

The United States and Britain argued that Saddam had chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and needed to be disarmed. After the invasion no banned weapons were found. Years of sectarian bloodshed ensued.

Blix's comments added weight to negative appraisals given by other senior figures at the inquiry which has raised tough questions about the decision by then US President George W. Bush and then British Prime Minister Tony Blair to invade.

Blix, who has long been an outspoken opponent of the decision to invade, told the inquiry that Washington was "high" on military power, and the US military timetable was "out of sync" with the diplomatic timetable, which would have given his team more time to carry out inspections.

Blix headed a UN team searching for banned arms, known as weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. He said his group's failure to find any WMDs should have caused Washington and London to question their intelligence.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Remove NMY, unseat Zarinah...

Its time to see Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak taking action, I mean serious action on some matters which many regard as of national interest. The people, especially wants the government to act promptly without having such issues to erupt at the Parliament. However, foreign media is already contemplating.

Issue 1 - Should Nor Mohamed Yakcop is suspected to have collaborated in awarding government contracts worth billion of ringgit to Kalimullah, then an investigation should be called. If found guilty, the minister should be removed.

Issue 2 - Should SC chairperson Zarinah Anwar is involved in some irregularities and wrongdoings, she should be investigated, too. As the subject is now hot to the extent that some are already pointing fingers at her husband and also Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the government is left to no choice but to investigate. If she is guilty, unseat her.

Issue 3 - Let the MACC conduct its impartial investigation on a company, Perimeker, where Rosmah Mansor is allegedly stood as one of its director. Perimeker is said to have received a commission of 140 million euros (RM500 million) for the purchase of two French submarines.

Issue 4 - The ambush by police special force (UTK) on the Sultan of Kelantan on May 4, 2010 in Kota Bharu. Its video footage is now on U-Tube. The government cannot just play numb. If any senior police officers, including the IGP and Kelantan police chief are involved, they should bear the consequences.

Issue 5 - The RPK and Bala PI. Get the British Government to extradite them in order to face charges or investigation in Malaysia. The more we prolong it, the general impression the public will have is, yes... there were some truths in their statutory declarations pertaining to the murder case of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

All these are delicate matters. Like it or not, we must investigate and get to the bottom of it. If we keep on delaying it, then we are level with Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

When Ibrahim Ali plays the Malay hero...

Dissolve Umno and Pas, form a new 'Malay and Muslim' unity party. That's what suggested by Ibrahim Ali, Member of Parliament (Independent) for Pasir Mas and the president of Perkasa. A good proposal (read here), in fact but its actually easily said than done.

Perkasa now boasts an organisation to fight and protect the rights and the interest of the Malays, so they claim. Umno boasts of being the largest Malay (all Malays are Muslims) party in the country while Pas represents another group of 'Muslim fundamentalist'.

While Ibrahim's suggestion has yet to draw any response from both leaders of Umno and Pas, many would cast doubt over it, especially when Ibrahim himself used to be with both parties. Pas gave him the green light to contest the Pasir Mas parliamentary seat in 2008 at times when his relations with Nik Aziz and the rest of Pas leadership was so intact. Not an overboard statement to say that he contested on Pas ticket.

However of late, he subsequently falls out with Pas, notably after founding Perkasa which receives tangible support from the Malay and Umno leaders and members, including former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who once chided him as 'frog' for his bad political habit of party hopping - from Umno to Semangat 46, back to Umno and then Pas before declaring his 'independent' within a short span.

Umno expelled him when he contested as an Independent for Pasir Mas in 2004 (he lost). "I didnt leave Umno... it was Umno that sacked me..." was his words then.

Now, in suggesting the 'merger' of Umno and Pas, Ibrahim (maybe) has forgotten the role of Perkasa should that idea materialises. What would Perkasa be then, its function and role? Would it be another political party or just maintaining its status quo as a powerful Malay NGO?

The non-Malays, who already made a big fuss about Perkasa (calling it a racist and anti 1Malaysia organisation) would not feel very easy should Perkasa joins the 'new party'. As a hero by then for making such a brilliant idea, he would definitely join it if Perkasa is not turned into another political party.

And again, the non-Malays would feel very uncomfortable to see a 'Malay chauvinist' sitting together with Najib Razak, Muhyiddin Yassin, Nik Aziz and Hadi Awang. DAP will be the most stung by it as the Pakatan Rakyat has lost a component party.

(Ever since the formation of Perkasa, the Chinese and Indians too have formed theirs. Even Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin said all races can form anything similar to Perkasa. The Malays dont like it actually and start to call them racist, too. Is this healthy for national integration?)

Ops... another thing. Why didnt Ibrahim suggest for Parti Keadilan Rakyat to also consider the Umno-Pas 'new party'? PKR members are mostly Malays, too. He can always tell PKR non-Malay members to either opt for MCA, MIC, DAP, PPP or others. Why didnt he think of that?

If you are too concern about Malay unity, dont leave anybody behind, right? Not fair. Anwar Ibrahim is a Malay too. Maybe we can suggest to the judiciary to call off Anwar's court case (we can kautim anything in Malaysia, right?) and let him join the new party for the sake of Malay Unity!

Anyway, I kinda like his idea. He is a true Malay, isn't he? Can we call him a Malay hero?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I have been very supportive of the police. I have also been very defensive of whatever actions they took, including the ones that caused public uproar. However, I personally dont support this one they carried out on May 4, 2010.

They stormed and ambushed the motorcades of the Sultan of Kelantan in a way that it implied the 'raja Melayu' as a bandit or terrorist and that those with him were high on the police wanted list. Whether they received instruction from the Palace or not, such an action should have been avoided. It insulted and humiliated the Sultan.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was shown the video when he paid a visit on the Sultan on June 16. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein too was given a copy of the CD but not a word was uttered about it.

Whatever happens inside the Istana Mahkota or whether there is a power tussle among brothers, the police could have turned down the request. But as they are already deeply involved in this embarassing event, someone has got to answer. It could be the IGP or the Kelantan police chief himself. Dont expect anything from Hisham.

Oslo BACKings for Anwar

Malaysia is one of the world's most insidious authoritarian governments for its ISA, for having leaders like Najib and mentor Dr Mahathir, for its disabling grip on the justice system and the media... and most important for its conspiracy to put Anwar Ibrahim back to jail and fail his politics.

Wow! These are the words of the Oslo-based Human Rights Foundation's president Thor Halvorssen (pic), a young (and good-looking) actor and film producer who founded it in 1995. He is also the founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Read his article Malaysia's Bridge Is Falling Down which condemned the Malaysian government of being too autocratic while its bad human rights record has been blanketed by its good economic growth and progressive development.

The Internal Security Act, he said has created a climate of fear among Malaysians as the government is very fond of applying it on the opposition, student leaders, lawyers and others who criticize Najib and his Cabinet.

I think Halvorssen got this picture over a conversation with Anwar during a dinner in Kuala Lumpur recently. Not a surprise and nothing shocking at all but Anwar is having more backings from the human rights organisations and I dont think his sliding rapport with the American-Jew people will affect him much.

This guy is becoming one of Anwar's good buddies over the past few years, it seems. I suggest that he produce a movie on Anwar in the Norwegian language! By his look, Halvorssen can play Saiful...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Anwar's sodomy case: Leave Karpal out laaa!

Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial drags again, this time it was postponed to August 2. Judge Datuk Zabidin Mohd Diah was left to choice but to allow the adjournment because one of Anwar's lawyers, Karpal Singh was on medical leave.

And we can expect more adjournments after this. Why? For Anwar to gather more political support locally and internationally. As for Saiful, he too got to wait whether he can 'really' win this case, which caused him no embarrassment at all... not just yet.

Whatever it is, why must the Court has to wait to Karpal to recover in order to proceed with the case? Anwar got other lawyers with him and they are, I believe, as good as the DAP strongman, whom Anwar managed to 'tame' since they became good friends in Pakatan Rakyat. It is the same guy Anwar blasted and hated most when he was still with the government.

Yes, Karpal is a good lawyer but his age is catching up. Let's 'enlighten' him a bit by allowing the others to defend Anwar. Perhaps Anwar is becoming too dependent on Karpal as he sees some 'chances' to win the legal battle with Saiful.

The case has been prolonged for too long already. The Court must be firm next time not to allow any more postponements and adjournments (read here). There is nothing special about this case anymore, except that to distinguish who is actually the liar.

Who got buggered doesnt matter anymore. What matters most now is to safe the Court's time as there are other important cases waiting to be settled.

Who knows, maybe we would listen to the submarine scandal and its 700 million euros sidekick given to a company which is connected to a minister's wife after this. That is more interesting, doesnt it?

So, with or without Karpal, let just sum it up! If you are really clean and 'berani' enough, leave Karpal out of the case!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sultan will recover, says his personal doctor

Sultan Ismail Petra of Kelantan is fast recovering at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore after undergoing series of treatment since he arrived last Thursday, according to Kolonel Dr Amir Ramli (pic), his personal medical officer.

In his response to my earlier posting, he said the Sultan was in his jovial mood and was happy with the treatment and people around him.

Before his departure, there were rumors that a group of officers from Istana Kelantan was planning to install a new sultan for the state, and that there was also another group discussing it at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Come on! The Sultan is still very much alive and kicking!

Read Dr Amir's statement:

Assalamualaikum semua.

Alhamdulillah Tuanku sudah selamat menjalani semua ujian-ujian terhadap baginda yang telah dirancangkan oleh saya dan team perubatan dari Istana Mahkota. Ujian ini termasuklahh ujian darah, x-ray, ECG, Echocardiogram, Rebenium Stress Heart Scan dan Angiogram. Alhamdulillah semuanya baik dan terkawal. Kesihatan Tuanku telah menunjukkan perkembangan yang TERAMAT baik jika di bandingkan dengan semasa baginda jatuh gering dahulu.

Dari tempat saya menulis ini, saya dapat mendengar suara gelak tawa Tuanku bersama-sama tim (team) perubatan yang sedang melakukan fisioterapi. Pada malam ini akan ada sesi terapi pertuturan. Maka akan lagi meriahlah kamar Tuanku ini.

Semua doktor di Singapura amat terkejut dengan keupayaan Tuanku bertitah dan berkomunikasi dengan baik.Kekuatan fizikal Baginda juga semakin baik. Syukur Alhamdullilah kesihatan Tuanku semakin baik yang mungkin tidak pernah saya personelly lihat kepada pesakit-pesakit lain.

Ada yang kata kes Tuanku bertambah baik ini mungkin berlaku dalam 1 nisbah sejuta. Yang mungkin tidak dapat di fahami melalui perubatan moden. Tapi sebagai seorang Islam, kita perlu faham bahawa Allah yang menurunkan penyakit dan dia juga yang menurunkan ubatnya.

Marilah kita berdoa semoga Allah memberikan kekuatan kepada Tuanku untuk menjalani kehidupan Baginda seharian.

Salam dari Singapura.

Kol Dr Amir Ramli

July 18, 2010 7:07 PM

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Anwar Ibrahim and the Bush Neocons

The Asia Sentinel carries a 'valid and true' story about Anwar's controversial Foundation For the Future, with some awkward questions for him. Headlined Anwar Ibrahim and the Bush Neocons, it highlighted a 42-page report by a Washington-based whistle-blower organisation, which caused a major embarrassment for the Opposition leader.

It alleged that the Foundation, which Anwar headed for a time in the middle of the last decade, was actually established and funded by the US Department of State at the behest of Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, and the Bush administration's neoconservatives.

So, Member of Parliament for Rembau, Khairy Jamaluddin must have done his research well enough before establishing the story at the Dewan Rakyat. However, his sources were not revealed.

The Government Accountability Project report, titled The Foundation for the Future: What FOIA Documents Reveal, and released July 8, is based on hundreds of documents delivered to the organization under the US Freedom of Information Act.

It says the Foundation for the Future was established and operated in a "highly irregular manner" by Bush administration officials and employees including Shaha Riza, the girlfriend of Paul Wolfowitz, who was forced to leave the World Bank after it became known that he had promoted Riza to triple the World Bank's salary guidelines. Read its full reports here.

The report characterizes the Foundation for the Future as part of a vast and tragic misconception among the Bush administration neoconservatives, particularly Wolfowitz, that a slight push – the elimination of Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein from power – would result in a dramatic change in the Middle East.

That of course has resulted in the deaths of more than 4,000 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and a realignment in the Middle East that nobody in the west wanted – the growing power of Iran in the region and particularly in Iran's influence over the Iraqi government itself.

Yes, Anwar got to explain!

Continue reading...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Siapa di sebalik kemelut Istana Mahkota Kelantan - Bab 6

DYMM Sultan Kelantan berlepas ke Singapura kira-kira jam 11 pagi semalam untuk mendapatkan rawatan susulan di sana. Walaupun beransur pulih, pakar Hospital Mount Elizabeth yang merawat baginda sebelum ni perlu meneliti perkembangannya.

Menemani baginda ialah Raja Perempuan, Tengku Anis, Tengku Temenggong, doktor peribadi dan beberapa pengawal peribadi.

Pemergian Tuanku ke republik itu meninggalkan beberapa tanda tanya. Pertama, mengapakah tidak ada pihak cuba menghalang pemergian baginda seperti yang berlaku pada 4 Mei lalu. Dalam kejadian itu, kira-kira 20 anggota polis dari Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) menyerbu kenderaan yang baginda naiki serta kereta pengiring, 'menahan serta menculik' baginda sebelum dihantar ke Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) Kubang Kerian.

Kedua, persoalan mengenai siapakah yang memohon agar polis bertindak secara 'mafia' dengan mengacukan senjata separa-automatik ke arah kenderaan terbabit, masih belum terjawab. Pendapat umum ialah, jika pun permintaan itu datangnya dari 'dalam Istana', pihak polis perlu menolaknya dengan baik kerana ia bakal memalukan pasukan polis sendiri.

Apa tidaknya, tindakan sedemikian bukan saja dianggap sebagai menghina seorang Raja Melayu, malah mendorong kepada kemungkinan ia boleh berlaku ke atas sesiapa saja. Lagipun, Sultan Kelantan sedang uzur pada masa itu dan tidak bersenjata. Perlukah kita berbuat demikian terhadap seseorang yang tidak mampu mempertahankan dirinya? Mengikut laporan Dr Amir Ramli yang merawat baginda, Sultan terkejut dan trauma selepas insiden berkenaan.

Persoalan berkaitan ialah, permohonan serbuan ala-Mafia itu memerlukan kelulusan pegawai tinggi polis. Adakah Ketua Polis Kelantan atau Ketua Polis Negara dimaklumkan mengenai permintaan itu dan jika mereka yang meluluskannya, mengapa?

Jika betul wujudnya masalah dalaman di istana (sehingga mendorong kepada Kerajaan Persekutuan enggan campur tangan), penggunaan UTK masih dianggap tidak wajar dan tidak masuk akal. Adakah Sultan Kelantan dan pengiringnya dikategorikan sebagai pengganas untuk diperlakukan sedemikian rupa?

Oleh kerana polis sudah pun dipergunakan dan campur tangan secara langsung, maka kerajaan pimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, melalui Kementerian Dalam Negeri dan Peguam Negara, harus menyiasat isu ini kerana ia boleh memalukan kerajaan dan mengaibkan pasukan polis. Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) ialah milik Kerajaan Persekutuan dan bukannya milik mana-mana istana diraja.

Jika ada pegawai kanan polis mengeluarkan arahan supaya serbuan itu dibuat, dia perlu disiasat dan dikenakan tindakan. Pantang anak Melayu durhaka pada raja yang adil!

Persoalan selanjutnya ialah, mengapa Sultan dibenarkan ke Singapura kali ini tanpa bantahan mana-mana pihak yang sebelum ini 'cuba membunuh' baginda dengan menyekatnya ke sana? Adakah kerana baginda sudah beransur pulih dan sudah tahu apa yang sebenarnya berlaku di Istana Mahkota sewaktu baginda gering selama ini?

Di segi hukum akal dan logik, kita tidak berhak sama sekali menghalang seseorang daripada mendapatkan rawatan kesihatan di mana pun yang diingini, terutama bagi seorang sultan yang kos rawatannya dibiayai sendiri oleh keluarga baginda, terutamanya Tengku Temenggong. Dakwaan segelintir pihak yang selama ini mendakwa sudah membayar semua kos rawatan baginda, ternyata dusta semata-mata.

Satu lagi persoalan ialah, mengapa ahli Majlis Perajaan Kelantan tidak cuba campur tangan di atas pemergian baginda kali ini, dan apakah motif di sebalik sikap membisu seribu bahasa mereka? Selama ini, mereka yang langsung tidak menjenguk baginda ketika dirawat di Singapura sebelum ini, adalah yang paling banyak cakap. Kali ini?

Sultan Kelantan ialah salah seorang raja Melayu berdaulat. Jika beginilah layanan yang diberikan terhadap baginda, apa akan jadi berikut kepada Raja Melayu lain pada masa akan datang? Jika Melayu sendiri sanggup berbuat demikian kepada raja mereka, jangan marah jika bangsa lain memandang rendah kepada Institusi Raja Melayu!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who actually lied here...Anwar, Muhyiddin or Rais?

Now... which is which. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday accused Anwar Ibrahim of paying the CNN for his interview in the 'Connect The World' programme, while the CNN today denied such an accusation, saying it was fabricated (read here).

In a related issue, former US ambassador to Malaysia Mr John Malott wrote in Malaysiakini that Rais Yatim and whoever accused the Opposition Leader of becoming a CIA agent should apologise not only to him but also to the US and Malaysian premier Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, arguing that Washington was never involved in any espionage mission in this country.

And of course those with the accusation were asked to come up with proof and tangible evidence, whether Anwar is really a CIA agent (here) and whether he really paid a sum of money to CNN just to have him interviewed on the programme.

A CNN spokesperson said today it was disturbing that no effort was made to contact the network and "independently verify these groundless allegations before they were subsequently reported as fact". Over the past few days, a number of people had commented about Anwar's appearance on the CNN programme.

They had based their comments on an article by Joshua Trevino in The Ledger, a US online publication, which was also quoted by one or two local newspapers in Malaysia. Trevino had only alluded to the fact that those who had been hired by Anwar to run his public relations campaign in the United States had solid media contacts.

Malott wrote, " amazes me that today people in Malaysia still continue to disseminate the nonsense that Anwar is a CIA agent for their own political gain. I dealt with this issue 10 years ago in an article I wrote for Malaysiakini ('Anwar was never an American spy', Sept 2, 2000) in which I said categorically that Anwar is not and never has been an American agent.

"If I was lying 10 years ago, then why couldn't Mahathir - after 22 years in control of the Special Branch - prove me wrong? And why hasn't anyone been able to prove it in the seven years since Mahathir left power? Why can't they prove it today, instead of relying on the ramblings of mountain top bloggers in New York? Why hasn't Anwar ever been arrested on espionage charges?"

And then, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir who said Anwar was not loyal to the country for associating himself with Jews and the CIA, has also been accused of 'not being loyal to Malaysia for engaging Salomon Smith Barney and Goldman Sach during the economic downturn in 1997, as reported by Malaysiakini titled Mahathir a creation of the US?.

"Mahathir reconciled with George Soros, a Jew he once despised, when Soros visited Malaysia a few years ago and openly declared (for reasons which are still a mystery) that Soros was not responsible for Malaysia's financial crisis.

Jack Abramaoff, a Jew, arranged a meeting between Mahathir and former US president George W Bush after Mahathir's government paid US$1.2m to the Heritage Foundation that was managed by Abramaoff.

These are just some of the instances of Mahathir-Jewish partnerships. So who is the good friend of the Jews? Mahathir or Anwar?"

like to ask the readers and Malaysians - Do you like all this?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Suara Keadilan defies suspension

Parti Keadilan's newspaper 'Suara Keadilan' has defied government suspension, imposed about a week ago. Its latest issue hits the news stalls as usual, without any delay.

The Home Ministry, in monitoring the paper, did not take any action. One of its senior officials, when contacted by phone today said the ministry is yet to consider other optional measures to curb the paper from circulation.

The Mnistry recently suspended the publication license of Suara Keadilan, the weekly newspaper of the Opposition party, after it ran an article that claimed the state-run land development agency was in grave financial peril (read here).

However, the party distributed 100,000 copies of the paper to newsstands over the weekend by exploiting an apparent loophole in the law, said editor Dzulkarnain Taib.

Two other newspapers belong to the Opposition also failed to obtain the printing permit recently.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nations must rise against Israel - Dr M

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Sunday that civil society must exert pressure on governments to shun hypocrisy and rise against Israel.

The Perdana Global Peace Organisation chairman also said the world should not allow an apartheid state to continue its oppression of the Palestinians.

In his address at the Breaking The Siege: In the Spirit of Rachel Corrie and Mavi Marmara international conference, Mahathir said: "We must call upon all governments not to be hypocritical and stand up to this rogue state called Israel."

He also termed Israel an “apartheid state” which must not be allowed to continue such oppressive policies (read here).

He said the December 2008 invasion of Gaza not only resulted in the deaths of Palestinian civilians but also an outpouring of aid which did not reduce the suffering of the people. "The invasion saw more than 1,400 civilians, men, women and children killed, and more than 20,000 homes, schools and hospitals were destroyed.

Dr Mahathir also said that PGPO will study the law of the sea to find the legal implication on Israel's action to board the lead ship of the humanitarian aid flotilla, Mavi Marmara and once they knew the legal implication, the organisation would take action on Israel (here).

"What Israel has done is actually piracy and now Israel is detaining the ship...that is wrong. Once we know the legal implication, what are the provisions of the law of the sea, then we can take some action," he told reporters after the closing of the international conference by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In a related development, Dr Mahathir said the US compelled the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran in order to weaken the country and lay the ground for a military attack (here).

"The world is made to believe once again the lie that Israel's existence is being threatened by a nuclear armed Iran," he said, adding that these sanctions were adopted despite the fact that Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had repeatedly stated that there is no evidence of Iran pursuing military nuclear program.

also read Libyan vessel aims to defy Israeli Blockade on Gaza...

Happy Birthday, Siti Hasmah... and thank you for not being another PM!

Yesterday was TDM's 85th birthday. Today (July 11) is his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who turns 84. Those who are close to her, had worked with her and knew her would confess one thing - that she was never a publicity-craze when she was Malaysia's 'First Lady' despite holding several positions in various organisations.

In fact, where on earth can you find a First Lady being so commanding, so publicity-craze and giving a public perception that she is also running a government together with her husband?

Hasmah is not that kind of a First Lady. When Dr Mahathir was prime minister, she only accompanied him upon request and permission from her husband. Never did she try to object whenever Dr M had to leave her behind for some meetings or oversea trips. Never did she complaint if her activity was not attended by members of the Press.

I have been to many countries. I have not seen any First Lady wanting to be as popular as her hubby or even more popular than him, regardless of nations. Even US First Lady seldom gets coverage in newspapers or 'airtime' on television.

However, this First Lady whom I (and many of you) know is extraordinary. Whenever her husband appears on TV... say, for 30 seconds on any News programme, she will have hers too, if not 30 seconds, 10 would suffice. Almost all newspapers will carry her story and picture, too. I wouldnt know if some editors have to allocate the space for her everyday or having to chuck off other items as to make room for her. If they do, they are just a bunch of crass to me.

Siti Hasmah had always maintained her mediocrity. She never tried to supersede the function of a premier, neither did she make any attempt that may cast doubt among the rakyat towards Dr M's leadership. Most of all, she never took advantage of her position as the wife of a Prime Minister.

In a few countries where women are presidents and prime ministers, their 'First Gentlemen' too rarely came into picture. In most cases, the people never saw them being alongside their wifes at any official function.

I guess times have changed to allow a First Lady to 'join-hands' ruling a country with her husband. I dont know as to whether the people like her ways and style. Foremost, I am not quite sure if this First Lady realises that she may shorten her husband's tenure as a prime minister, for giving the impression that she got so many hands in the administration.

Whatever it is, I think she is the only First Lady who got a special TV interview about her husband political path, her plans as the First Lady and everything about what she wanted her husband to be... a month before he became a prime minister! But I would not blame her. I blame the TV station, instead... for pushing her to go overboard!

To Dr Siti Hasmah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY... we love you.

Friday, July 9, 2010


My heartiest congratulations to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who turns 85 on July 10, 2010. Syukur Alhamdulillah for the good health bestowed upon him by Allah, and may he stay that way.

I first shook hands with him in 1984 during a function at Angkasapuri. I still keep the photo. The last was during Hari Raya Aidilfitri at his residence three years ago.

For all the good things he had done for Malaysia during his tenure as Prime Minister, I would like to say Thank You. For the 'not so good' ones, I take it as an err by human (he is not an angel) but I personally believe he never meant to put Malaysians under hardship.

He has tried his best for the country, Umno and Barisan Nasional. The developing countries, especially of the South, still very much remember 'Mahathir' when we tell them that we are from Malaysia.

The legacy of this true statesman will live forever. To those who dont quite like him, better think who has been Malaysia's best prime minister ever...


also read Mahathir turns 85: achievements and gallery

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Malaysia to face double-dip recession...

Malaysia may face double-dip recession, most probably during the second half of this year. Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who just returned from England said should it happens, the impact on the domestic economy would be severe (read here).

As there were already such signs hitting most parts of Europe, Malaysia would also be 'infected', he said, commenting on predictions made by economists and analysts that a double-dip recession may occur in the second-half of this year and whether Malaysia would suffer the same fate.

While saying the government had in place several economic plans and adopted progressive measures like the New Economic Plan, Dr Mahathir said it would, however, be difficult to predict the future as whatever occured overseas would have repercussions on Malaysia.

However in Hong Kong, the IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said the global economy is unlikely to slip back into recession over the next few years, although such a scenario is not impossible (

Any country, he said needed to return to a sustainable level of fiscal spending. The IMF revised upward its 2010 world GDP forecast but said there were significant risks to the global recovery stemming from Europe's debt problems. The IMF lowered its 2011 GDP growth forecasts for Britain, Canada, the euro zone, emerging economies and Japan.

In the United States, debate is brewing about whether the bond curve can be a trusty gauge in a post-bubble, deleveraging environment that many key industrialized economies face (

The yield curve, or the spread between yields on short-term and long-term US. treasuries, has contracted through the recent market turmoil, beginning in April — a sign, pundits argue, that the economy is beginning to price in a weaker economy. But recent research from the US Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, based on the yield curve, puts the chances of the US economy falling back into recession at only 12.4 per cent.

However, this report
here should be well read and understood. It says high debt and slowed growth - the nasty cold bug plaguing developed markets - spread to emerging economies in the second quarter, and significantly decreased output as a result, according to HSBC.

The bank’s Emerging Markets Index report, released Wednesday, shows that manufacturing growth in emerging markets (like Malaysia) contracted sharply in the second quarter from the record pace set in the first. "Although output remains above the long-term average, it is below the average seen before the financial crisis,” the report says.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

M'sia needs gambling taxes - Barry Wain

Malaysia needs gambling tax badly. Otherwise, its economy will find it difficult to sustain. This is what Barry Wain (pic), the author of 'Malaysian Maverick - Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times wrote in the Asian Sentinel.

Throwing his full support for Vincent Tan and his Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd while at the same time lambasting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak for not allowing Tan to run the World Cup betting syndicate, Wain said the PM himself realised how important taxes derived from gambling licenses has helped the government.

"While Najib has pleased many Malaysians by refusing to allow businessman Vincent Tan to expand his gambling empire, the prime minister's image has suffered because of his secretive attempt to revive sports betting..." he said in a bias article titled 'Malaysia's Najib and the Crony Culture'.

Tan, he said was given a gambling license by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir in 1987. When Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was prime minister, he vetoed it.

"By seeming to allow the license to go to Ascot Sports in a non-transparent fashion, Najib drew attention to what looked like his broken promises to be more open. He also appeared to be condoning gambling, which is forbidden in Islam and opposed by many Malays...

"... in reality Najib needed increased gambling tax to help reduce Malaysia's officially projected budget deficit from 7 percent to 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2015. One industry group estimated illegal sports betting turnover at RM20 billion to RM30 billion, and calculated potential government revenue at RM1 billion to RM3 billion."

The writer - known as one of many foreign journalists who support Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, also implied that gambling (although prohibited by Islam) should be open to non-Muslims.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Siapa di sebalik kemelut Istana Mahkota Kelantan - Bab 5

Take a close look at the two photos below. Give it a wild guess, where do you think it took place? Without captions, many would suggest this a la ninja and a la Mafia ambush has taken place somewhere in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran or Sicily.

Malaysian security forces, to our knowledge, had never resorted to this tactic. But why not? When the instruction came from the higher athourity, its compulsory for the mission to be accomplished.

The photos are just segments of a video taken on May 4, 2010. It was shocking and insulting.

At about 7.20pm, the entourage of Sultan Kelantan was ambushed by about 25 police (UTK) personnel while he was on his way to the Pengkalan Chepa Airport where a private plane was waiting to fly him back to Singapore.

They hijacked, 'kidnapped' and forced him to Hospital Universiti Sains (HUSM) Kubang Kerian. Under whose directive was it has yet to be ascertained. However, the theory of a conspiracy for him to die soon can never be discounted.

So, this is how they treated a Sultan...

I will U-Tube the video very, very soon

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The football of politics

update: I wrote this posting immediately after midnite July 4 while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak made similar statement in the afternoon (here). Whatever it is, my worries for Umno is more than that of his. Why? He only cited the problems in Umno Kelantan, not knowing that Terengganu and few other states is worse than expected. Anyway, he is the party President. Whether he gets the right info or not, he should be aware that Umno needs a total 'clean up'.

earlier posting

Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu is one of the best local retreats I have been. So tranquil, so fascinating. Never had I imagined how this man-made lake has turned out to be Trengganu's most popular hideaway. You may easily get enchanted.

However, yesterday added to my joy. Watching how Holland buried Brazil to advance to the semi-finals of the World Cup football in South Africa, made me realize that the best does not always rule. I am also glad that my prediction about England and Argentina was correct. How did England, Brazil and Argentina fail to make it to the last four, is now up to their respective team manager and coach to answer.

In politics, it applies. Being among the top leaders/politicians does not guarantee you of anything. You may be a Prime Minister, a Deputy Prime Minister, a senior minister etc but should you resort to wrong sets of policy and strategy, you may find the exit soon.

A leader might be happy to introduce something new for the rakyat. While making the minority happy, he fails to take into account the interest of the majority. Just because the minority controls the economy and other sectors, he thinks it is important that their quest for anything and their demand be fulfilled. The majority, most of whom depend so much on government subsidy and discretion, are now being sidelined. While the minority is allowed to build big supermarkets in the city, the majority is only given license to operate a 'keropok lekor' stall nearby.

Being the best too does not necessarily make us popular. Our approach may be obsolete. While England, Brazil and Argentina are so comfortable being among the best in world football, they failed to acknowledge the fact that other countries are fast catching up to their standard, and in some cases emerged to be better than them in terms of tactic and approach. While the best are getting saturated, the others are leaping forward to take over their standings.

Remember what did FIFA say about Holland before the start of the Finals? -- that Holland is among the no hoppers!

Here in Malaysia, our FAM keeps on trying to find the right tuning for the soccer team. So much was spent, so many foreign coaches were engaged and thousands of players were tested but the standard is still declining.

I think its nothing wrong to look out for the best. However, if we keep on looking for the best, we may end up having nothing.

Our politic is the same. While we keep on believing that our policy is the best, it finally backfires. In trying to provide the best for the rakyat, we actually offer them product of the lowest class. Why? We dont have enough knowledge about their actual need. While encouraging the retailers to multiply their business, we build a special complex for them... and they are so much happy. A year later, we allowed a wholesale supermarket to open next to the complex, forgetting that this retailers have been buying from the wholesaler all this while.

And finally, the retailer complex has to be closed down. Its tenants, too have to 'gulung tikar'. Our best assistance to them was actually the best, silly error to kill them. Anyone knows anything about Wisma Yakin? Its no longer 'meyakinkan'. Most if the small retailers and petty traders had left.

Umno, too is trying to stay relevant. While its President, deputy president and other office bearers are so convinced that the next general elections would see the party wresting more seats from the Opposition, they failed to distinguish the problems at grassroots.

The grief of grassroots member is not for them to listen. They have their own division and branch chiefs. Unfortunately, most of them those chiefs are rotten politicians. Not only that they feed the leaders with wrong info, they also turned up as 'division dictators'. Again, such an approach is not relevant anymore. Umno may end up just like Brazil - claiming to be the best for the Malays but is actually meant for the rich Malays.

So, football and politics are more or less the same. If you ignore the might of your opponent, you may fall down to your knees. If Umno thinks Parti Keadilan and PAS fail to attract more Malays, they are wrong. If Umno leaders feel comfortable with the feedback they got from down and bottom, they may end up reeling during the next PRU.

England players have gone home, and so are the Brazilians and Argentinians. It will take them years to recover from the agony of defeat. Brazilian coach has declared that he would resign. That is only soccer. Will any of our leaders willing to resign should his/her policy backfires and upset the rakyat?

One thing for sure - we are not Japan!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Siapa di sebalik kemelut Istana Mahkota Kelantan - Bab 4

To all Malaysians, especially the rakyat of Kelantan, this is the latest picture of Sultan Kelantan. It was taken on Wednesday, June 16 around 1.20pm during a visit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak. I was invited by the Palace to join but unfortunately I had to attend to family matters. However, Razali Yahya and Rudysham Abdul Raof of Transisi newspaper were there as special guests... and to witness.

So, to those who had much expected the Sultan to be in bad shape, take a closer look. Najib did has a 20 minutes chat with him. Tok Pa was also there. Other members of the Press had to wait outside the Palace but there were after Najib.

The other photo is the one and only Dr Amir Ramli, the army medical officer who got Yang di-Pertuan Agong's credential to be Sultan Kelantan's private doctor when Tuanku was 'hijacked, kidnapped and forced' to seek treatment at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) Kubang Krian on May 4. Dr Amir, too witnessed the incident.

One of the Sultan's army bodyguards was there to videotape the ninja-style ambush by about 20 UTK personnel immediately after Maghrib prayer when Tengku Ismail Petra's motorcade just left Istana Mahkota to Pengkalan Chepa Airport, where a plane was waiting to fly him back to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Under whose directive was it for the UTK to raid him, is yet to be ascertained but I got the copy of the video CD which I intend to U-Tube it in the next few days. So many questions went unanswered but the leads are already there.

In Transisi 2nd edition last week, Dr Amir spoke about the incident and how he was shocked with the medical reports and feedback he received from certain quarters. So much exaggeration and to many lies!

I assume there was a conspiracy to let the Sultan's illness prolong... and some people close to him had wanted him to die fast. But who led the conspiracy?

I was also told that Pemangku Raja was upset with Najib on that particular day. I wonder why...