Friday, December 31, 2010

Now, their backs are on me!

I just want to wrap up my 2010 with a short and simple story - about a ministry, Rocky's Bru and me. How promises were made but not kept and how chummy they were when your service was most sought.

Nope, I am not raking the past. Neither do I take it personal but I believe Rocky shares my sentiment that some people at the top are just a nauseating lot!

About a year ago, a high ranking official of this ministry called Rocky and me to discussed something. The discussion centered along strategies, blogging, how bloggers could help the government and the nation... bla... bla... bla...everything positive. It lasted for 90 minutes and a packet of clove cigarettes.

We finally agreed on the agenda and left after the officer said: "Jai, dont worry..." I was not. Months later, nothing happened and when I told Rocky about it, he was shocked and said: "Waaaa... nak kena mamat ni!" However, I understood they were having some problems, so I just shoved it behind my head.

But at the height of Rocky-Rais 'crisis' a few months ago, they came back to me, trying to make me an arbitrator just because I posted 'Rocky and Rais: Shake hands!' on my blog. I knew they did their best to bring Rocky to the minister or at least to his secretary-general but failed.

They called me around the clock and met me on several occasion in PJ, Bangsar (Big Dog can testify this) and Angkasapuri. I didnt want to interfere, honestly but as 'friends' whom I knew for such a long time, I reluctantly tried. Why? Because I know what kind of a man Rocky is - he stands by his principles and hates broken promises.

They didnt give up when I told them that it would not work. They kept on calling again and again, even from overseas, irrespective of the hour. And finally when I told them to stop, they did just that.

Recently, I called few of them to verify something. Unfortunately, non of them answered my calls or replied my SMSes. Even a senior officer whom I met two weeks ago (in a jovial mood) refused my calls and text messages. My college buddy at the MCMC also 'got to attend a whole day meeting' everyday.

So, thats what this people are made of. Come 2011, I will opt for killing more snakes!


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blogger to sue Hamid Albar

We have heard some cases where politicians and businessmen took legal action against few bloggers. Rockybru against NSTP is still pending (and he might add another should Rais Yatim files his), RPK got a few while RBF was almost hooked.

However, this new case is rather different. Its a total turnaround. A blogger is considering legal actions against a former senior minister.

Its between Akramshah Sanusi against Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, a minister during Pak Lah's era, whom the blogger calls 'a failure and a non-performer' as a Foreign Minister and Home Minister then.

I believe he got every reasons to proceed.

Quote: "TS Syed Hamid Albar sebenarnya membuktikan beliau seorang Menteri yang lembap pada zaman Pak Lah, yakni sejurus terlepasnya dari pimpinan Tun Dr M. Beliau terlibat dalam kes terbatalnya Jambatan Bengkok, kes jual-beli pasir kepada Singapura, kes hilangnya Pulau Batu Putih, dan paling parah sekali, beliau menyalah-gunakan ISA dengan memenjarakan seorang wartawan, kononnya untuk 'menyelamatkan' wartawan tersebut! Malah boleh dikatakan tindak-tanduk dan celarunya TS Syed Hamid merupakan antara penyumbang terbesar kepada merudumnya prestasi BN di PRU12..."

Go on, bro...

The minister and a Weakylicks Datuk

It was around 10.30am Sunday morning, at a minister's residence in Ampang. A Datuk from Kuala Pilah arrived and was greeted by the minister who was clad in a T-shirt and a track bottom. He just finished sweating it out on the badminton court.

The Datuk entered and spent about half an hour with him. I guess the minister knew him from a senior officer serving with a Commission under his ministry, the Datuk's son.

About 11am, the Datuk was just about to leave when the Minister said aloud: "Dioghang tu semuo pembohong bosa. Jangan pecayolah!'

The Datuk then became another Assange of Wikileaks but knowing him well, he would be happy to lead anything like a Weakylicks.

So, the centre of their conversation - apart from this Weaklicks Datuk trying to re-establish an already loosened relationship - was about the accusations against the minister, his officials, his sec-gen, his ministry and this and that scandals.

A few bloggers were pinpointed. Rockybru, Big Dog, Unspinners and me are on the hit list. I believe the Weakylicks Datuk was very persistent in asking him such questions, which prompted the minister to be quite jumpy.

I wonder whether the Weakylicks Datuk got any project before he left in an abrupt manner!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two years after the massacre: A letter from Gaza

I personally would like to draw readers' attention toward this piece of letter, signed by 40 NGOs, students association, peace organisations, etc on the fate of Palestinians in Gaza, two years after the siege by Israeli soldiers.

We the Palestinians of the besieged Gaza Strip, on this day, two years on from Israel's genocidal attack on our families, our houses, our roads, our factories and our schools, are saying enough inaction, enough discussion, enough waiting – the time is now to hold Israel to account for its ongoing crimes against us.

On the 27th of December 2008, Israel began an indiscriminate bombardment of the Gaza Strip. The assault lasted 22 days, killing 1,417 Palestinians, 352 of them children, according to main-stream Human Rights Organizations.

For a staggering 528 hours, Israeli Occupation Forces let loose their US-supplied F15s, F16s, Merkava Tanks, internationally prohibited White Phosphorous, and bombed and invaded the small Palestinian coastal enclave that is home to 1.5 million, of whom 800,000 are children and over 80 percent UN registered refugees. Around 5,300 remain permanently wounded.

This devastation exceeded in savagery all previous massacres suffered in Gaza, such as the 21 children killed in Jabalia in March 2008 or the 19 civilians killed sheltering in their house in the Beit Hanoun Massacre of 2006. The carnage even exceeded the attacks in November 1956 in which Israeli troops indiscriminately rounded up and killed 275 Palestinians in the Southern town of Khan Younis and 111 more in Rafah.

Since the Gaza massacre of 2009, world citizens have undertaken the responsibility to pressure Israel to comply with international law, through a proven strategy of boycott, divestment and sanctions. As in the global BDS movement that was so effective in ending the apartheid South African regime, we urge people of conscience to join the BDS call made by over 170 Palestinian organizations in 2005.

As in South Africa the imbalance of power and representation in this struggle can be counterbalanced by a powerful international solidarity movement with BDS at the forefront, holding Israeli policy makers to account, something the international governing community has repeatedly failed to do.

Similarly, creative civilian efforts such as the Free Gaza boats that broke the siege five times, the Gaza Freedom March, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and the many land convoys must never stop their siege-breaking, highlighting the inhumanity of keeping 1.5 million Gazans in an open-air prison.

Two years have now passed since Israel’s gravest of genocidal acts that should have left people in no doubt of the brutal extent of Israel’s plans for the Palestinians. The murderous navy assault on international activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea magnified to the world the cheapness Israel has assigned to Palestinian life for so long. The world knows now, yet two years on nothing has changed for Palestinians.

The Goldstone Report came and went: despite its listing count after count of international law contraventions, Israeli “war crimes” and “possible crimes against humanity,” the European Union, the United Nations, the Red Cross, and all major Human Rights Organizations have called for an end to the illegal, medieval siege, it carries on unabated.

On 11th November 2010 UNRWA head John Ging said, “There's been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy…The easing, as it was described, has been nothing more than a political easing of the pressure on Israel and Egypt.”


Monday, December 27, 2010

Isa Samad is new Felda chairman

Former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad is the new Felda chairman, it was announced today. He replaces Tan Sri Dr Yusof Noor who has been at the helm since July 1, 2001.

It was only early in the day when Isa refused comment on his appointment. However, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office answered everything, that the Bagan Pinang state assemblyman will take charge beginning January 1, 2011 (here). Dr Yusof will be advisor to the minister in-charge of Felda.

I've known Isa for so many years, and those who knew him well will agree that Prime Minister has made the right selection.

Mohd Isa, 61, was the menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan for 22 years, from 1982 to 2004. He was also a minister of the federal territories and is a former vice-president of Umno.

He became the assemblyman of Bagan Pinang in the parliamentary constituency of Teluk Kemang, Negeri Sembilan, after winning a by-election on Oct 11 last year when he beat Zulkefly Mohamad Omar of PAS by a majority of 5,435 votes.

Among one of Umno prominent seniors, he was once slapped with a two-year suspension after found guilty of 'money politics' during the 2004 party election.

Anyway, tahniah Tan Sri, semugo berjayo... buek la kojo elok-elok!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gaza: Two years after the horror

This week marks the second anniversary of the horror inflicted on the people of the Gaza Strip. Nothing has changed! Gaza has returned to its pre-invasion state of siege, confronted with the usual international indifference.

Two years after the Israeli assault (beginning Dec 23 2008) that lasted 22 long days and dark nights, during which its brave people were left alone to face one of the strongest armies in the world, Gaza no longer makes the news. Its people die slowly, its children are malnourished, its water contaminated, and yet it is deprived even of a word of sympathy from the President the United States and the leaders of Europe.

The dehumanisation of the Palestinians of Gaza continues unabated. But now the urgent question is how to hold Israel accountable to international law and basic principles of human rights in order to forestall further escalation.

A good friend of mine whom I met in Sidon in 1994, Haidar Eid, now an associate professor in post-colonial and post-modern literature at Al-Aqsa University, wrote on Znet:

One way to begin holding Israel accountable is through direct witness and citizen solidarity. For example, on December 27, an Asian aid convoy comprising of politicians and activists from 18 countries will arrive in Gaza in an attempt to break Israel's four year siege and to remind the world of the cruel consequences of the siege and the massacre.

It is one of the remarkable undertakings by international Civil Society organisations that have decided to take action into their own hand after the miserable failure of the international community. Some of those activists experienced first hand what it means to show true solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza when nine Turkish activist were brutally murdered in broad-day light on Mavi Marmara.

While in Gaza, the convoy's activists will undoubtedly hear stories that will curdle the blood. During the massacre, one Israeli soldier commented, "That's what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn't have to be with a weapon, you don't have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him."

Israel could not have carried out its brutal assault, preceded and followed by a punishing siege, without a green light from leading world powers. When Israel attacked Gaza in February/March 2008, Matan Vilnai, then-deputy minister of defense (a misnomer for an aggressive, occupying power), threatened a "greater Shoah" (Holocaust). Some 102 Palestinians, including 21 children, were killed.

The reaction of the international community? Absolutely nothing substantive. On the contrary, the EU decided to reward the aggressor by upgrading its trade agreements with Israel. This upgrade in early December 2008 gave the go-ahead for the larger Gaza massacre of 2009 in which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed: the majority of them civilians. But now, in spite of Israeli war crimes, both the US and the EU continue to strengthen ties with Israel.

The resemblance of Israel's violent campaign of domination to that of the apartheid South African regime has recently been articulated by the anti-Apartheid freedom fighter and former South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils:

“[It] is not difficult for anyone acquainted with colonial history to understand the way in which deliberately cultivated race hate inculcates a justification for the most atrocious and inhumane actions against even defenseless civilians - women, children, the elderly amongst them.”

The South African apartheid regime came under repeated pressure as the United Nations Security Council passed one resolution after another condemning its inhumane treatment of blacks. This gave much-needed succor to the oppressed, while we Palestinians, today, are bereft of even this tiny comfort because the United States continues to use its veto to ensure that Israel escapes censure.

Today, there is a growing grassroots struggle inside Palestine, much as there was inside apartheid South Africa. An intensified international solidarity movement with a common agenda can make the struggle for Palestine resonate in every country in the world. Our goal now, as civil society organisations, is to lift the siege against Gaza.

Haidar added:
To accomplish this, many activists, Palestinian and international, have launched a boycott campaign modeled on the global South African anti-apartheid campaign. This campaign is a democratic movement based on the struggle for human rights and the implementation of international law. Our struggle is not religious, ethnic, nor racial, but rather universalist; it is a struggle that guarantees the humanisation of our people in the face of a dreadful Israeli war machine.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, a staunch supporter of Palestinian rights, has said, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

While the Israeli armed forces were bombing my neighborhood, the UN, EU, Arab League and the international community remained silent in the face of atrocities. Hundreds of corpses of children and women failed to convince them to intervene.

Gaza 2009, like the Sharpeville 1960 massacre, cannot be ignored. It demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Nelson Mandela pointed the way to this shared humanity when years ago he stated, “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

Now is the time to boycott the Apartheid Israeli state, to divest from its economy and to impose sanctions against it. This is the only way to ensure the creation of a secular, democratic state for all its inhabitants in historic Palestine regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Are we helping PR to win Tenang seat?

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to Malaysians and Christians all over the world. In Malaysia, the joy is equally shared by all races of different religions. That's what this nation is all about.

And I would also like to 'equally share' my opinion with some fellow-bloggers who expressed their concern for the Jan 30, 2011 Tenang state by-election, about what they felt (Janganlah terlampau tenang di PRK Tenang ya) and (Tenang menanti gelora). I believe the Tenang issue is also highlighted by other blogs.

Sometimes when we cast our worries, we tend to forget something. As a result of our excitement to blog for the government, for Barisan Nasional and for Umno, we actually are providing ammo for the Opposition.

While this 'pro-Umno bloggers' are going all out to help the party wins, they also help the Opposition by writing stories about scandals after scandals as part of a 'concerted plot' to bring down one or two Cabinet members and other senior party leaders.

Of course its good to get rid of these bad apples but the timing isnt just right. In our excitement shooting at this people, we forget that we are giving the Opposition a free ride and a killing stone to be thrown at the leadership.

While we self-proclaimed that we are 'pro-Umno' and 'pro-BN' bloggers, the way some of us write does not reflect so when they keep on attacking everbody in the Cabinet to the extent that none of them is fit for his/her position!

I think Prime Minister Najib knows who the bad apples are. And I believe they will be dropped for the next national poll. Dont you think Najib is wise enough? Or...

Ho Ho Ho...!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thick-skin Malaysians!

Singapore's senior diplomat Bilahari Kausikan is in Kuala Lumpur for an official meeting. We received him like hero, easily forgetting what he and his colleagues at the Republic's Foreign Ministry had said about Malaysia, that this country and its leaders are bad.

Our officials sat down with him at the same table, making him felt much 'at home'. We provided him with a six-star lodging and treatment. The whole country lost its dignity to this one guy who buried his head in the sand and exposing his ass - the best way to face the truth.

Our reporters attending the meeting cornered him about what he said about Malaysia as exposed by Wikileaks. But he refused comment, neither admitting nor denying it. The only thing he said was 'there is not point to talk about it...' Fine!

Malaysians are nice people, actually. No matter what Singapore and its leaders did and said meant nothing. And I personally think its good to be thick-skin. Our leaders are... and our diplomats are too!

But read what blogger Art Harun wrote to Singapore's Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew. I respect his personal view about the whole affair, about his opinion for the stinging remarks about Malaysia made by Singapore diplomats.

At least Art Harun is sincere, hiding nothing under his 'supposed to be thick-skin'. Our diplomats are cool people, it seem. Our leaders, too will do nothing should Singapore jet fighter 'accidently' drops a bomb in Johor or firing at our fishermen.

He said:

If what was reportedly said by you and your colleagues about my country and our leaders was in fact said by you and your colleagues, than I just have one word to say to you and your colleagues. Buzz off! (Well, they are two words actually, but I don’t give a hoot!)

I am not bothered by what you and your colleagues think about my country or my leaders simply because I have always known that you and your government have always suffered from chronic and almost incorrigible Napoleon Complex (to borrow a phrase from Mariah Carey’s song about someone who has a small appendage).

I wonder what happens to some of our 'patriotic' and 'nationalistic' organisations like Perkasa, Umno Youth and others for staying away from this issue...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SC scandals - Govt sleeping at the switch!

We dont need Wikileaks here. The 'insiders' at the Securities Commission are doing it, and I personally think they are pro enough at getting all evidence that points to 'more and more' irregularities taking place. Awkwardly, chairwoman Zarinah Anwar seems to know all about it.

And the government, the Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Bank Negara and other governing bodies are keeping mum, as if nothing happened. Even the Opposition never raised the issue, probably due to no knowledge of it or how such issues can be manipulated.

The Audit Oversight Board (AOB) involving the SC, Finance Ministry and accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) contains what is termed as 'a major fraud' due to the manner it was carried out.

Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah signed and approved the SC Audit Oversight Board (Fees) Regulations 2010 on April 13, 2010 after Zarinah signed it on April 8. The regulations were to come into force on April 15, 2010.

Despite the fact that it cannot be enforced without Ahmad Husni's approval and signature, the AOB went ahead and registed PwC on April 1st, which clearly contravenes the date of AOB enforcement.

"Not only is there evidence of the biggest regulatory scandal this country has seen this year, there is also a major accounting fraud perpetrated by PwC with regards to IM in Malaysia, which needs someone to explain," according to Zarinahtakesapaycut. (I believe a group of SC personnel are behind this site).

PwC does the audits for more than 100 public-listed companies in Bursa Malaysia, and the question is, are the taxpayers, shareholders and the Malaysian public in general are expected to accept that everything was fine despite all evidence to the contrary?

"Is this not as important as APCO, if not more important to investors confidence, transparency and economic robustness of the country? Will this not have an impact on hundreds of billions of the rakyat's money placed in the public listed companies by the EPF?," it said.

While demanding and answer from the government, it also suggested the Opposition should look into this as well as it involves the dignity of the country's corporate governance.

Well, I also agree that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib should read the website and take necessary actions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How Najib can rebutt 'incompetent' claim...

I found this set of 'proposal' for Prime Minister Najib rather amusing. Its by a Singaporean who thinks the premier should use it to rebutt the accusation that 'Malaysians leaders and politicians were incompetent'.

I think Najib should read it.

Since Wikileaks revealed how Singaporean diplomats badmouthed Malaysia, there have been a polemic among the Singaporeans as to whether their government should apologise to Malaysia (here) or whether the few diplomats should, instead.

And since then, Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew has been 'missing in action', especially after Wikileaks exposed his disgust at Asean for making Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia as members.

Some exerpts from the 'proposal' to Najib:

“we are definitely competent, otherwise you will see my govt having a MM to mentor us, hold my hands”

“we do not practise nepotism, otherwise you will see my daughter-in-law or family relations appointed to manage state funds”

“we are not clueless about how much we have in our reserves, otherwise you will hear us proclaim it takes 50 man-years to count the money”

...more from Temasek Review

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stop him from coming to Malaysia!

This is Mr Bilahari Kausikan, the most senior diplomat at Singapore Foreign Ministry, the guy who badmouthed Malaysia as 'a dangerous country', thanks to Wikileaks.

Come Wednesday Dec 22, he will lead the Republic's delegation to Kuala Lumpur to finalise details of KTM land swap which was agreed by Prime Ministers of both countries recently.

This guy deserves no respect from us, Malaysians. After what he had said and told the Americans, he is more like an enemy to me and many Malaysians (you agree, right?). So, why must we let him in?

Just because the Republic harbors the Israeli Embassy and is so much closer to the Americans than they are to its Asean neighbors, its diplomats like KausiCUNT had breached the diplomatic code of conduct by belittling the Republic's business partners and friends.

Malaysia 'dangerous' decline, according to them, is fuelled by incompetent politicians, Thailand is dogged by corruption and a ''very erratic'' crown prince, Japan is a ''big fat loser'' and India is ''stupid'' (here).

And still, they call themselves diplomats, forgetting that what they had uttered are likely to spark intense political controversy in the region.

Awkwardly, our 'thick skin' negotiators will be expecting him on Wednesday for the talks, looking forward to sitting down with him at the same table, pretending that nothing happened! You like that?

The cables, leaked by WikiLeaks, detail the content of separate meetings between senior US officials and Singapore's foreign affairs chiefs Peter Ho, Bilahari Kausikan and Tommy Koh. The trio, who at the time of the 2008 and 2009 cables occupied some of the most senior positions in Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry, all give US officials damning assessments of Malaysia.

According to one cable detailing a meeting in September 2008, Kausikan told US Deputy Secretary of Defence for East Asia David Sedney that ''the situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous'', fuelled by a ''distinct possibility of racial conflict'' that could see ethnic Chinese ''flee'' Malaysia and ''overwhelm'' Singapore.

I believe most of us are angered by such statements. So, what should we do?

Friday, December 17, 2010

More Filipinos at Citibank Malaysia

How come? I thought any foreign banks operating in Malaysia should give more space to qualified locals. Of course no locals could sit at the top (although few foreign banks in the country are lead by Malaysians) but employing more non-Malaysians is quite unbecoming.

Or not many Malaysians qualified for the jobs? And dont tell me Bank Negara or the Finance Ministry cannot dig out the provisions which regulate the status of local entity in foreign banks' operating here!

If a financial institution like Citibank employs more Filipinos than Malaysians, then something was not right.

Of course, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) knew the situation better. If not, they would not have picketed in front of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday in avowing their dissatisfaction over the issue (here).

Means that if we open our door to any foreign banks, including from Bangladesh, Nepal, Russia or Argentina, they are free to employ more non-Malaysians!

Take a look into this issue please, Mr Finance Minister!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Call off talks with Singapore, ban Kausikan!

"Simple analogy – imagine sitting with someone that you know who has been bad-mouthing you to others. How would you feel?" - by Mergawati Zulfakar of The Star newspaper under the headline Singapore's Disdain Exposed.

I agree.

She was referring to the Malaysia-Singapore meeting on Dec 22 where the Republic's most senior officer at the Foreign Ministry Bilahari Kausikan will lead a delegation to discuss KTM Berhad’s land swap deal.

Malaysian officials will be sitting down with the very man who claimed, among others, that Malaysia was “confused and dangerous, fueled by the distinct possibility of racial conflict”, as exposed by Wikileaks.

Now, where is our dignity? We have been 'bowing out' to Singapore on many occasions. The KTM land deal, the water concession (the cheapest in the world), our Woodlands naval base and most but not least the manner they won Pulau Batu Putih.

We have been very tolerance each time their jet fighters invade our air space and closed our eyes to their reclaimation of land across Johore which is environmentally-hazardous to our marine lifes and affecting the income of our fishermen.

What else? We help them becoming rich all this while and let them re-export of products with their 'Produce of Singapore' labelling.

There were never sincere as far as our two-way relations are concerned. They are selfish and only took us for a ride. To them, Malaysia is a low-class nation and will forever never be at par with them.'

Sickening! And we still want to say 'hello brothers' to them? Do we need to pretend our displeasure when both sides meet up next week? I think its better to call off or postpone the meeting indefinitely until someone apologizes.

After all, they have been treating us like cheapskates!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some MPs are just dumb!

I agree with DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin that our Members of Parliament (MPs) should learn how to enter into a constructive and quality debates. Their integrity as representatives of the rakyat must come with good and positive ideas as well (here).

They should also show decorum when debating besides showing greater responsibility in representing the people to ensure the nation's top legislature continued to remain relevant and effective.

"After over half a century, what is clear is that we can transform the parliamentary institution in our country to be on par with those of advanced nations like Britain. I believe MPs from both sides of the divide share this vision and mission," he said at the Parliament House, Monday.

During my early days as a 'Parliament' reporter, I remember the likes of Shahidan Kassim, Zubir Embong, Ismail Said, Anuar Musa, Anwar Ibrahim, Hu Sepang, Kit Siang, Karpal, Ibrahim Ali, Bujang Ulis, Hadi Awang and Lee Lam Thye as among the most 'vocal' MPs representing their respective parties. The Dewan Rakyat always erupted with hot debates between the two sides. While making the atmosphere lively, they were really good in the sense that the media never missed a single line they said.

To me, they were natural and gifted politicians in the sense that they knew how and when to launch 'attacks'.

MPs after Tun Dr Mahathir's era can be described as of 'middle and low' quality, except for a few veterans and upcoming politicians who really know what to talk.

I still go to the Parliament, on and off. Watching our MPs at debate sometimes make me missing the old Dewan Rakyat days when Zahir Ismail was Speaker. Some MPs of the present era go to the Parliament on to listen. Once a while they will join the bandwagon of banging the table before them when 'hot issue' was brought up.

If you are there, you will also notice a few of them just come for an hour of so (as not to lose their allowances). Whatever happens inside is none of their business and they never took part in any debate, unless their vote requires them to raise their hands.

Of course we need them to be at par with MPs in other countries, as DPM said. However, it is a fact that some of them need to attend special classes to become and behave like one. If you see them only for one term, you know what was wrong with them...

And the question which remains - who chose them to become MPs?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Akan terus relevankah BN?

Presiden Umno dan Pengerusi Barisan Nasional, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak berkata di Pekan semalam bahawa tidak mungkin parti pembangkang dapat mengambil alih fungsi Perikatan dan BN yang selama ini kukuh menerajui negara serta membela nasib rakyat.

Sebagai penyokong kerajaan, saya setuju tetapi dari sudut seorang pemerhati, saya bimbang jika kenyataan seperti ini boleh memakan diri sendiri.

Sejarah dunia sudah melihat banyak perubahan sosiopolitik di negara yang selama ini dikuasai satu parti untuk sekian lama. Parti Liberal Demokrat (LDP) Jepun akhirinya tewas kepada pembangkang tahun lalu selepas memerintah negara Matahari Terbit itu kira-kira 54 tahun.

Di Amerika Syarikat, Republican dan Democrat silih berganti menerajui Rumah Putih. Di Korea Selatan, Filipina, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand dan banyak negara lagi, pembangkang yang suatu ketika dahulu sukar menembusi tembok parti pemerintah, akhir berjaya memenangi pilihanraya atau pungutan suara bagi membentuk kerajaan.

Di Poland, parti Soladirity pimpinan Lech Walesa yang pernah diharamkan dan dikecam hebat kerajaan, akhirnya berjaya juga membentuk kerajaan pada awal 90an. Sudah lupakah kita apa yang berlaku di Britain, Brazil, Canada dan Indonesia?

Sudah tentulah kita tidak sanggup Malaysia menjadi seperti Thailand di mana lima perdana menteri bertukar tangan dalam tempoh tiga tahun. Di Singapura pun, di mana PAP menguasainya hampir 100 peratus kerajaan, sudah wujud tentangan terhadap parti pemerintah itu.

Kim Dae-jung, tokoh pembangkang Korea Selatan yang pernah hidup dalam buangan pada 80an, berjaya menjadi Presiden negara itu pada 1998 walaupun untuk tiga tahun. Biarpun parti pemerintah ketika itu cuba menghalang kebangkitannya, suara rakyat ternyata lebih kuat menyokongnya.

Tidak ada yang tidak kena dengan parti pemerintah kebanyakan negara yang disebut di atas, kecuali keinginan pengundi untuk mencuba sesuatu yang baru, dengan harapan negara mereka disuakan dengan pembaharuan politik yang lebih menguntungkan.

Kita tidak harus melupakan 'kekalahan' BN di banyak kawasan Parlimen dan negeri pada pilihanraya umum ke-12 yang lalu. Ia bukan saja berpunca daripada rasa meluat pengundi semua kaum terhadap parti masing-masing tetapi melonjaknya gabungan pembangkang menerusi janji pembaharuan mereka.

Najib mungkin lupa bahawa BN sekarang menghadapi masalah dalam sendiri. Komponen utamanya seperti Umno, MCA, MIC dan Gerakan masih bergelut dengan konflik dalam parti yang memungkinkan rapuhnya keutuhan parti serta menggugat kestabilan parti pemerintah itu.

Perdana Menteri sendiri tidak harus menolak wujudnya pelbagai kelemahan dalam Umno yang diterajuinya, betapa kemelut peringkat negeri dan bahagian masih membentuk banyak jurang di antara penyokong peringkat akar umbi dan ketua masing-masing.

BN boleh berbangga dengan rekod pencapaiannya memerintah Malaysia sejak merdeka tetapi kita juga tidak patut menolak meningkatnya sokongan terhadap parti pembangkang. Dalam pemimpin BN amat berminat memberi komen mengenai kelemahan dan masalah pembangkang, mereka nampaknya alpa dengan masalah parti sendiri.

Walaupun kita ingin melihat BN terus menerajui kerajaan, kita jangan terlalu yakin bahawa cara serta pendekatan kita hari ini dapat menjamin kita akan terus meraih undi yang banyak pada pilihanraya umum akan datang. Kita adakalanya terlupa bahawa dalam kita bercakap mengenai usaha membela rakyat, ia lebih berbentuk 'gimik politik' semata-mata.

Buatlah sebanyak mana projek besar untuk negara. Perkenalkanlah dasar baru yang mampu menarik minat rakyat tetapi jika projek dan dasar berkenaan hanya menguntungkan segelintir kaum sedangkan sebahagian besar rakyat tidak mendapat 'zatnya', ia tidak boleh dianggap sebagai pencapaian.

Jika kita masih melaungkan slogan dan retorik membela rakyat, kita perlu memastikan bahawa kita sendiri tidak terbabit dengan nepotisme dan kronisme. Tidak ada gunanya kita menyuakan benda yang sama kepada rakyat sedangkan kita sendiri lihat tidak bersih, tidak cekap dan tidak amanah dalam memikul amanah yang pengundi berikan.

Ingatlah! Malaysia tidak mungkin menjadi negara milik satu parti sehingga akhir nanti jika pemimpin yang ada gagal memberi jaminan bahawa kesinambungan itu akan terus memanfaatkan mereka.

Dan sedarlah bahawa sebagai kerajaan, kita memang memiliki segala kuasa dan keupayaan untuk merangka rancangan pembangunan negara. Jika pembangkang mengambil alih Putrajaya pun, mereka akan memiliki kuasa dan kelebihan yang sama kerana semua kementerian, terutamanya Kementerian Kewangan, ada dalam tangan mereka.

Rakyat memang maklum bahawa pembangkang tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa kerana tidak ada kuasa. BN juga tidak akan dapat berbuat apa-apa jika menjadi pembangkang. Lupakah kita kepada Kelantan, Kedah, Pulau Pinang dan Selangor? Jika kita menuduh pembangkang di Johor, Melaka dan negeri lain tidak mampu berbuat apa-apa untuk rakyat, mampukah BN di negeri yang dikuasai pembangkang?

Kerana itulah kita perlu berhati-hati dalam setiap gerak laku. Tidak perlu kita mendabik dada bahawa BN tidak ada tolok bandingnya di negara ini.

Politik adalah seperti bola sepak. Ketika rakyat Malaysia asyik berkiblatkan bola sepak Britain yang dianggap terbaik di dunia, mereka lupa bahawa taraf dan mutu negara lain seperti Korea, Jepun, China, Arab Saudi, Iran, Qatar dan negara lain sedang meningkat dan mampu menyaingi England. Hanya bola sepak Malaysia makin merudum...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Makkal Sakthi wants a DPM post

If Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister, he must create more than one DPM posts - one for the Chinese, one for the Indians and perhaps another one for the indigenous of Sabah or Sarawak.

Since he already avowed his intention to appoint a Chinese as his deputy (and that makes Kit Siang, Guan Eng and others in the DAP happy enough), the Opposition Leader is facing mounting pressure from the Indians who also demand similar position (should Anwar makes it to Putrajaya in the next general poll).

Yesterday, Makkal Sakthi which comprises ex-MIC members and other breakaway Indian groups opposing to Samy Vellu and the government, has demanded that a candidate of the 'Indian-origin' must be appointed as deputy prime minister (here).

Why? They claimed it was the Indian votes that saw Pakatan Rakyat won so many seats during the 12th general election.

A Vethamurthy of Makkal Sakthi said in Ipoh:

"The PKR should not forget that it managed to capture many seats in the last general election due to the support of the Indian community... and the appointment of an ethnic Indian as deputy prime minister would further boost Malaysia's image internationally."

Image booster? You must be joking, Vetha!

I personally think if Anwar is PM, he will have at least six or seven deputies and three or four ministries of each porfolio, the largest Cabinet ever for Malaysia!

Aiyoyo... karrawaleh!

Friday, December 10, 2010

With airtime, you can afford a helicopter!

Believe it or not!

This 'Anuar' who got filthy rich by winning a few hundred hours of television airtime from a TV station was contemplating to buy a helicopter worth at least RM5 million!

After successfully making his resorts/chalets dream in Linggi a reality, his buddy whom I met earlier today said he is also planning for a budget hotel somewhere in Sepang (competing or complementing the Gold Coast, perhaps).

Now, that is the real power of airtime. This 'broadcasting gold' which nobody gave much attention before (as so many people were after the car approved permits or APs) offers the recipients quick and big bucks.

What's the helicopter for? To fly the senior officer who awarded him with that gold mine?

This Anuar got his office in Jalan Genting Klang. His company, 'M V' Sdn Bhd was once a small contractor with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL). However, for his good rapport with the senior official and the 'gifts' he invested in, he was awarded with few hundred hours of airtime over the last three years (that is since the officer took office).

I was told that the MACC visited the senior officer on two occasions recently, spending a few hours with him and digging into some files. Of course it is his prerogative rights to give it to whoever he likes but the bottom line is, he is not a fair person and denying those who really need the airtime from getting it.

From more than 600 applicants for the airtime, only selected few were given, including Anuar who is not directly involved in local movie/film production.

You want his address, phone number and other details, MACC? Call me!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't apologise, Zahid!

No need to apologise, bro Zahid. Whether some quarters of the community were hurt by your statement about the 'less sense of patriotism' among the non-Malays for not joining the armed forces, you should stand by what you said as that is what most Malaysians are!

I did mention in my earlier postings here and here that 'the Chinese will only be interested to join the army and defend a country where they form the majority...' And that is a pure fact! Had Singapore still a part of Malaysia, they will leave the armed forces to the Malays but now that Singapore is theirs, they are more than willing to defend the Republic!

Sound harsh, isnt it?

However, look at some countries where the Chinese are the second largest majority. The United States, Canada and Australia for instance, do you see many of them in the armed forces?

The people who asked you to apologise at the Dewan Rakyat (here) are looking for some political mileage. As Pak Lah's era has opened a wide door for the non-Malays to question the status of the Malay monarchy and the rights/privilege of the Malays and Bumiputras, they are looking down at the Malay politics.

Even those from MCA and MIC are getting so vociferous in questioning such issues. The Malays had long accepted the fact that the duty to defend the country is theirs while other Malaysians could sleep well and digging money and gold for their own prosperity.

No, bro... this is not about racism. This is fact. So, their minor participation in the armed forces has nothing to do with patriotism. Not joining the army too has nothing to do with it. If they are patriotic enough, they would accept the fact that the Malays are still far behind them and as such they must not question the rights for them to advance.

(read jebat berkokok and listen to what Zahid says on U-Tube)

Where did the Indonesian Chinese go when racial riots erupted in 1999 and 2000?

So, no need to rekindle the past. There were many Chinese and Indians, together with their friends from Iban, Dayak, Murut, Khadazan and other tribes who fought against the colonials and communist. Those were the days.

And why did the British bring the Chinese and Indians to Malaya during the early days? To defend the land?

So, let's live with the fact that the Malays are keeping the motherland safe and sound for others to become rich! Nothing is wrong with that!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

'I am the legitimate Sultan' - Tengku Ismail Petra

“I am the Sultan and Sovereign Ruler for Kelantan Darul Naim. This is my right according to the constitution and agreements that were reached between the British government under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948 and under the Independence of Malaya Agreement 1957 and under the Federal Constitution.”

This is the proclamation from Sultan Ismail Petra dated November 27 saying that he is still the rightful ruler (of Kelantan) according to the Federal Constitution. It was distributed by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The press conference came after Sultan Muhammad V stripped him of two state awards last week. The Kelantan prince is a granduncle to the new ruler.

Saying that Tengku Ismail is still the legitimate sultan, the proclamation of the new sultan was against the law.

“I feel that there will be chaos as the king can be disposed of easily by the regent, which has king-like powers, so he disposes of the king even though the king is his father,” he claimed. “This is an unprecedented situation. If the king can be disposed of, what about the people?”

Kelantan, he added is having two sultans and it is the duty of the Federal Government and the Rulers Council to correct it before it 'explodes'.

"I am worried about what will happen when the Kelantan Sultan becomes the next Yang diPertuan Agong in about six years, after the Sultans of Terengganu and Kedah, if the dispute has not been resolved by then.

“I feel Umno should act to resolve the Kelantan palace conflict,” he said. “I also feel the state and federal governments should also act as the King’s position is safeguarded under the constitution.”

Tengku Razaleigh said that there were only three ways under the state constitution that a regent could succeed the king which is that the king dies, abdicates the throne or is absent from the state for more than 12 months without reasons acceptable to the Council of Succession.

read more from Malaysian Insider... and Parpukari...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sultan strips Ku Li's titles!

Latest: "Saya tidak kisah gelaran ini ditarik balik. Saya pun tak pakai kecuali ke istana. Ke Parlimen pun saya tak pakai. Ramai orang dah lupa saya diberi anugerah ini 30 tahun lalu. Jadi, tak apalah dia ambil balik...

"Perlantikan sultan baru dibuat bercanggah dengan undang-undang yang ada. Dalam peruntukan yang ada, seorang raja baru boleh dilantik jika raja yang ada mangkat, melepaskan jawatan atau meninggalkan negerinya tanpa sebab lebih 12 bulan...

"Ini episod tidak baik dalam sejarah negara apabila seorang sultan dilucutkan jawatannya tanpa sebab munasabah... apa lagi dibuat oleh anak terhadap bapa... Perlantikan ini juga boleh menyebabkan huru-hara (bukan saja) di negeri (Kelantan) malah di seluruh negara..."
said Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today (read Ku Li calls for serious attention to Palace crisis).

Earlier posting:
As expected, the new Sultan of Kelantan has stripped Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah of his DK (Darjah Kerabat) title which was bestowed by Almarhum Tengku Yahya Petra.

Fresh from performing his Haj in Mecca, Sultan Muhammad V is flexing more muscles than expected, and the rakyat of Kelantan are beginning to question all his moves. Looks like nobody can say 'no' or objecting any of his decisions.

His parents are being treated like a 'Quran buruk'. He didnt visit them during Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Haji and neither did he seek blessing before going to Mecca. Its all about power - a total corporate and legalistic entity, meaning whatever he says is a rule.

Withdrawing the Darjah Kerabat yang Amat Dihormati (DK) (Al-Yunusi) title and Ahli Yang Pertama (Seri Paduka) Bagi Darjah Kebesaran Mahkota Kelantan Yang Amat Mulia (SPMK) Al-Muhammadi I) from Tengku Razaleigh (here) was a move to cut Ku Li's relation with the Palace as the latter was involved in the power tussle between the Sultan and his younger brother Tengku Fakhry.

Fakhry was also stripped of his Tengku Temenggong tittle last two months.

Also stripped of his title is Dr Yaacob Hussain Merican, 72. His Ahli Yang Kedua (Dato' Paduka) bagi darjah Kebesaran Jiwa Mahkota Yang Amat Mulia (DJMK) (Al-Ismaili I) was withdrawn effective Dec 2. His appointment as a Justice of Peace (JP) is also withdrawn.

What's next? Will the Kelantan state constitution be further amended to give the Palace and the Sultan more power? I dont blame the Sultan for being such a character. I would rather blame the advisers around him as they are the ones who are really 'power craze!'

I would suggest for a new Act be introduced - any Kelantanese who is against the Sultan or making any adverse statement about him should be beheaded! Kelantan is going back to feudal!

"Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah!"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SC boss under 'inside' attacks

I came across this 'a kind of a blog' accusing SC boss Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar of committing another big mistake in accepting the registration of PriceWaterhouseCoopers under the AOB on April 1 this year when the amendment to the Securities Commission Act 1993 for the Audit Oversight Board only comes to force on April 15.

The owner(s) of also claimed that Zarinah signed the amendment on April 8 while the Second Finance Minister only approved it on April 13, meaning that the registration was not at all valid.

"How on earth can you register a auditor and collect the fees on the 1st of April when the lay only allows it on the 15 of April? It is a fraud and illegal and we in the SC know it, and we know a lot more and we will share it.

We are here to ask that Tan Sri Zarinah accepts a pay cut of RM100 every month for letting this big wrong decision take place under her watch We hope Datuk Seri Najib will see that the SC remains an institution that is strong and not open to attack by anyone..."

So, the URL belongs to 'inside people', it seems. I wonder what else will come out as the SC has been under tremendous bloggers attacks over the pass few months.

Friday, December 3, 2010

MACC investigates airtime scandal

I was told that a team of eight MACC officers 'visited' the office of a high-ranking officer at a broadcasting complex last week. Details are unknown but they spent a few hours with him during that two days 'Q & A' session.

The core of investigation was about my posting on Airtime Scandal last month which drew mixed reaction from readers. Minister in-charge Datuk Seri Utama Rais Yatim, in responding to the posting promised a full investigation into it.

I called the MACC but was told to wait for the outcome. "We are still investigating. It will take sometimes... but we got some leads here," on official said.

Another upsetting news I got was, about 600 companies have registered with the TV station for airtime approval but it was only given to a 'selected few'. I dont understand it as we are encouraging local contents to be aired on all TV stations.

A few people, including a former MP also promised me evidence relating to a person named 'Anuar' awarded with most airtime although he is not directly involved in any kind of television production programs.

How many people are actually involved in the issuance of television airtime? I really dont know but it could be three or four by government standard.

And this officer is expected to reach his retirement age less than a year from now. If you are a policeman, some people are already watching you prior to your retirement...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bridging the income gap...

I would like to second NUBE's (National Union of Bank Employees) sec-gen J Solomon for his statement that the government, Malaysia's big corporations and the private sector should look seriously into the income gap in the country, which is a deterrent to achieving the objectives of 1Malaysia.

Indeed, he said the narrowing of income gap (here) is an imperative towards the sustainability of economic development which has to tie in to social development of the people of any country.

Widening income inequality can be a major obstacle to the unity and solidarity that '1Malaysia' envisions. Since Merdeka in 1957, the top 20 per cent of income earners in Malaysia have benefited much more from economic growth than the bottom 40 per cent.

It is significant that the report of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) on the New Economic Model (NEM) admits that, 'The bottom 40 per cent of households have experienced the slowest growth of average income, earning less than RM 1,500 per month in 2008.'

The wage trend in Malaysia recorded only an annual 2.6 per cent growth during the past 10 years, compared to the escalating cost of living during the same period. It explains why almost 34 per cent of about 1.3 million workers earn less than RM700 a month, below the poverty line of RM720 per month – a point emphasised by the Minister of Human Resources, Dr S Subramaniam, recently, as written by Dr Chandra Muzaffar (here).

Many economists and sociologists today feel that the term 'minimum wage' itself, which is the product of an earlier era, should be replaced with the term ' living income' and linked to the dignity of the human being.

A living income, according to him is a minimum level of income by which all human beings can provide for themselves and their dependents the five basic material human needs – food, housing, clothing, health care and education. These needs are vital for protecting human dignity.

The United Nations (UN)’s recent report on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, urged governments to increase their social spending and invest more in their own societies to ensure a more equitable development of their economies.

There are economic benefits by doing so: By lifting more of their own people out of poverty and improving the income status of their citizens, the larger the consumer class and developed markets that countries could create for the future.

And the humane side of the argument is summed up well by UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Kamal Malhotra, who says: “Economic development is not solely about numbers, trade, finance and wealth creation, but it is also about the welfare of the people.”

Economists say a country’s prosperity should benefit its people on the overall, not just the selected few, otherwise development will not bring much meaning.

In the case of Malaysia, its quest to become an advanced and high-income economy by the year 2020 has to be accompanied by efforts to enhance the social mobility of its people. As it stands, the gap between the rich and poor in the country remains wide, even though the overall poverty rates have been reduced significantly over the years.

It is estimated that around 4 per cent of all Malaysians, and more than 7 per cent of rural Malaysians, are currently still living below the poverty line. The bottom 40 per cent of households, on average, earn less than RM1,500 per month.

“Having 40 per cent of the country’s households in the low-income category is definitely a stumbling block to becoming a high-income, industrialised nation,” says Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of ASLI Centre of Public Policy Studies and former Treasury deputy secretary-general (here).

In encapsulating the principles of the NEM, Datuk Seri Idris Jala used to say: “Let us all be rich (earning high income), everyone together (inclusiveness), not just for one day or two, but for generations to come (sustainability).”

But, can we?