Thursday, June 30, 2011

MCMC and its '1001' towers

I am impressed with MCMC announcement today that another 1,000 communication towers will be erected nationwide this year. At least its chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ramli is honest about it (here).

However, the only issue here is which and what type of companies will be awarded such a luxury project? Is it going to be the same 'group of few' and 'close MCMC allies' or to other NSP license holders whose duty is only to pay their high annual fee without being given a chance to build even a single tower?

Numerous complaints were made against the irregularities in which such projects were issued out to MCMC's small number of registered contractors.

I know a few Bumiputera contractors still owing the Commission a few hundred thousands ringgit in NSP license fee, which they got more than five years ago. However, as most projects were awarded to the same companies, the rest are being neglected and only made to pay the fee annually.

NSP license is not cheap. If it costs you RM100,000 a year, you may end up owing MCMC RM500,000 after 5 years although your company fails to get any of the contracts. Its a big sum, you know, especially for the few Bumiputera contractors.

However, I am most impressed that Khalid's speech was read by MCMC Chief Strategy Officer, Datuk Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi. What a guy he is! Isn't he the man being 'too close for comfort' with Rais Yatim's special officer DATUK Nazri Abdullah who is still under MACC investigation over the alleged 1Malaysia notebook scam?

Wow! Am I glad that Sharil is back at MCMC again! But who should I congratulate for having such a 'powerful' keyman? Info Minister Rais Yatim or sec-gen Datuk Seri Kamaruddin Siaraf... or Khalid himself?

By the way, it was a good announcement. Let us hope this 1,000 towers would not end up like the 1Malaysia notebook!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holy toledo! Nazri is a Dato'!

I am really flabbergasted. Why? This special officer of Info Minister Rais Yatim who is still under investigation over his alleged involvement in MCMC's 1Malaysia notebook scandal, is now a Dato'! What the 'four-letter-word'! (Sorry pals)

I think Nazri Abdullah gets a full blessing from the minister himself. Of course it needs the boss himself to recommend him the 'datukship'. While the MACC has gathered enough evidence to implicate him, this anti-corruption agency is also dragging its feet over some reasons I am not able to establish.

And on top of that, a Datuk S who is also being investigated over what is termed by the MACC as his 'involvement' in money laundering, is back at the MCMC. He and Nazri are believed to have clad together in the notebook scandal.

To Nasharuddin Amir, the investigating officer of the MACC, I personally would like a downright answer as to why no action has been taken thus far. As far as I was informed, there were tangible evidence to take this two people in.

I sometimes have doubt in our system. When politics and some 'bosses' are involved, major cases tend to get proper cover-up, right? Or perhaps the MACC is too busy attending to the corruption cases involving dozens of customs officers!

I hate to comment more on the Info Ministry (a former minister used to say that about 70 per cent of the ministry's staff have to be rehabilitated mentally and ethically to enable it be more efficient) but I hope the minister doesnt close an eye on matters like this.

If you got a bad apple, get rid of it before others gobble and swallow it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bersih and Ops Lalang 1987

I believe Malaysians still remember Ops Lalang that saw 106 politicians from both ruling and Opposition parties being kept at bay in October and November 1987. The Home Ministry and Bukit Aman were fast to keep the situation under control. Otherwise, the recur of 1969 communal riots would not be contained.

Although the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was against the use of ISA, the police felt it was necessary to carry out such pre-emptive measures. And it really proved effective. Bukit Aman even refused a permit for Umno to hold a 1 November rally of 500,000 members in support of the government policies.

I was in Kampung Baru with other members of the Media when the Malays - at the height of their incense - marched to protest efforts by some quarters to promote Chinese language, culture and education, and other issues such as a proposed development on the Chinese cemetery and the failure of the MCA's Deposit-Taking Cooperative.

Not only the DAP rode on the issue but MCA - led by its deputy president Lee Kim Sai - and some newspapers too were lashing out at the government and the Malays. In the end, apart from the 106 detained, the Home Ministry also revoked the printing permits for The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Watan.

Now, in attending to possible security threat poised by the July 9 Bersih rally, I think the Home Ministry should also act fast before it explodes. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and IGP Tan Sri Ismail Omar must discuss another pre-emptive action to tackle it. Should the rally takes place, its consequences could be more damaging than that of 1987.

We should be wary of our university students' involvement. In 1987, they were racially separated over the issue, and their racial sentiments could fly even higher this time.

No doubt that Pas is supporting Bersih this time around - in 1987 they were accusing the churches for mass conversions of the Malays - we cannot discount on any possibility, especially when Perkasa, which is led by Ibrahim Ali who was in 1987 formed the 'Group of 106' will be at a confrontative encounter.

Anybody who holds the Home Minister portfolio should not expect to be popular but instead to be remembered as being most effective and powerful. As a deputy minister then, Tan Sri Megat Junid Megat Ayub was known for his 'enforcing power' and he survived in politics.

Bersih is not only tearing apart the racial harmony we are just about to enjoy under the 1Malaysia concept but is also preying on domestic politics and this is already turning away potential foreign investors.

Although the police have already reprimanded some, they should take in the lead organisers of the planned rally. The Seditious Act is applicable here in order to remand them without having to resort to the ISA package.

The whole nation is now in jeopardy. While Bersih 2.0 destabilises the nation, our citizens (notably in the urban areas) are viewing it as yet another weakness of the government in guaranteeing them of a harmonious and peaceful living.

The Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture too should play its role here. Apart from using its electronic media to remind the people not to take part in any Bersih rally, it is only proper to fully-utilise its 'non-functional' Jabatan Penerangan again by launching a massive anti-Bersih campaign in the rural areas.

For Hisham, its time to act, bro. Put out the fire before it burns all of us!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A sad weekend...

I just came back from Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban after spending two days there, trying to console and comfort my sister Halimaton, whose two boys were injured - one of whom is in a critical condition - after the car they were travelling flipped a few times after being rammed from behind.

The incident took place around 11pm Friday near the Senawang R&R. They just left our mom's house to go back to their home in Rinching, Semenyih.

I was supposed to meet them but I left for KL at 6.30, missing them by about an hour when they arrived in our kampung. I had to attend an important meeting at 8.30, that was the reason why I couldnt wait.

Five of them were in the car, including her hubby who was driving, their two sons aged 12 and 19 and a 5-year old daughter. I received a call from my eldest sister at 11.20pm and immediately rushed to Seremban.

Her hubby, Razali suffered serious neck injury while Halimaton herself injured her left eye. Miraculously, their daughter Yasmin was not injured. However, their sons Zul, 19 broke his arm, a few fingers and a toe while Faiz, 6, suffered cuts and bruises all over his body, serious head injury and broke his long bone, his arm, shoulder bone and two ribs after being 'thrown' out of the vehicle.

The driver of the other car fled the scene after being chased by other drivers and people who stopped to help the victims.

I was told that the weather was clear and not many cars were on the KL-bound North-South Expressway at that particular time. Witnesses said the other car was driven at high speed and was playing 'chicken' with a few other cars.

I am sure such an accident could be avoided if we are more alert and be more considerate. I just couldnt hold back my emotion when a doctor told us at 4am Saturday, "please pray for his (Faiz) life..."

However, I am taking this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to passers by, the police, the ambulance driver and the doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel who had and are helping them.

I really hope they recover soon, especially Faiz.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The plight of our Press Secretaries

I was told that a Press Secretary to a Cabinet Minister has resigned last week. I suppose there were problems between him and the 'junior' minister. When asked about it via a text message, the only reply I got was, "dunno la bro, its hard to say".

Almost all press secretaries are chosen from among senior journalists in the mainstream media, except for one or two officials from Jabatan Penerangan or even from other private organisations. Journalists usually make good press-sec as compared with those from other sectors.

I know many of them ever since I started my carrier as a cadet reporter back in 1981. Most of them were good, a few made it big while one or two had to turn back to their former employers. A few had died, too.

To me, press secretaries are important people. In many countries, a press-sec holds the key to a President's or a Prime Minister's success in politics and also in introducing certain policies to the constituents. And in many countries too, a press-sec is above any political-secretary (some governments dont even employ political secretaries).

A press-sec does almost everything. Apart from ensuring that his boss gets sufficient media coverage, he also has to strategise his boss' political position. Without a good and proper publicity, his boss may deemed as a 'dead politician'.

Those who found entries to the Prime Minister office are considered the 'very lucky' ones. They are the envious of many other press-secretaries. As far as I can remember, only a few ministers had shown appreciation for their press-secs, travelling together with them in the same official cars and making full use of their professionalism.

One Prime Minister had never left his office without having his press-sec to sit next to him in the car to ensure that both would be able to discuss matters of any function they were about to attend. That's how a press-sec was deeply appreciated.

US President Barack Obama makes it compulsory for his press-sec Robert Gibbs to be with him most of the time and to join him in the same vehicle that takes him wherever he goes. Former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew also did the same for his press-sec Yeong Yoon Ying.

However, in the recent years, most ministers would hire a press-sec for the sake of having one. They would not have them in the same car or helicopter. This bosses also like to compare them with others and belittle them in public, treating them like strangers. Some even dont have that level of trust for their own press-secs.

Most ministers nowadays would attend a 'far-away function' which requires them to take a flight, i.e to Kota Bharu, only to be accompanied by their bodyguards and special assistants. His press-sec would be left to drive all the way up, and by the time he arrives, he would already be overcome by fatigue.

I must admit that there are few press-secretaries who fail to function well enough but the bosses didnt make any effort to replace them. However, we must also admit the fact that not all ministers have the brain to hold such portfolios. Some are appointed just to fill up the race quota.

Of course, any press-sec is appointed on a contractual basis but so are a political-sec and a senior private-sec (SUSK). A press-sec does more work than any pol-sec and SUSK but the gap in salary doesnt commensurate with such loads. I know a few journalists who once received a monthly salary of between RM6,000 and RM8,000 had to settle for an offer of RM5,000 or less as a press-sec. A press-sec to the PM or DPM should get higher pay.

There are ministers who place high expectations for his press-sec when they themselves are the dumber. Most of them dont have any knowledge in dealing with the Press but still refuse to take advise from their press-secs.

As for this friend of mine who just resigned (was he asked to?), your boss may have thought that you are somebody like Dana Perino or Tony Snow who used to serve former US Presidents, but he himself is not fit for the portfolio!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chun Wai should not be blamed

The readers' poll on 'Bersih 2.0' which was carried by The Star newspaper drew mixed reactions from politicians, the media and blog writers. Some said it was tantamount to The Star throwing its full support for the planned rally next month while others described it as an immodesty.

To accuse The Star editorial team as being ignoramous and not sensitive to the sentiments caused by Bersih 2.0 is also not proper as the newspaper is professionally-led. However, professionals do err once in a while.

But to accuse The Star of committing an enormity is a bit overboard. If we expect the government, especially the Home Ministry to take a relentless action against the publication, we should may as well recap what other papers have done in the past few months. I personally believe what Utusan Malaysia did about two months ago was of 'equal' to that of The Star.

The Bersih 2.0 poll puts The Star group editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai (picture) in a limbo. Making him the villain is not just. Calling him a sympathiser of Bersih 2.0 and an Opposition's supporter will be ultimately wrong and prejudice as he himself is a strong supporter of Barisan Nasional.

This is evident in his many writings about his dissent towards the Opposition. I believe The Star, too is still very much upholding the ruling party's interest although it may sometimes give 'a little space to news from the other side'. And there is nothing wrong with that as it also enhances its circulation among the anti-BN readers.

Now, I personally believe Chun Wai and The Star will take action against its online editor Joseph Raj who unilaterally pasted up the poll without his bosses' consent.

I was just informed that Joseph has accepted full responsibility for carrying out the decision without consulting his immediate supervisor. Whatever his motive was, The Star must conduct an internal inquiry and take necessary action on him.

I was also told that Joseph was at the Home Ministry this morning for a brief 'interview' with secretary-general Mahmood Adam. The Star has also lodged reports with the police and the MCMC against manipulators of the polls, and a few SB personnel have met Joseph too.

The Star is not a one-man-show operation. Chun Wai has his assistants and other subordinates whose job is to oversee the newspaper contents from A to Z. I know how the editorial team works as I was there once. Not all matters would be referred to the group editor-in-chief as most of it will only reach the levels of his assistants or other editors.

Even the government makes mistake sometimes. There were occasions when different Cabinet Ministers made contradicting statements about its certain policies. The Prime Minister will only attend to major issues while his subordinates (the ministers) will attend to matters affecting their portfolios. However, the PM will from time to time announce substantive and important matters of the ministries, should the needs arise.

Chun Wai is not a perfect scapegoat either. Of all the accusations that he is pro-Opposition and - to some extents a subversive agent - his stewardship has seen The Star being at the forefront in the nation's print media industry. Apart from disseminating well-and-balanced news, it also plays a constructive role in bringing the Malaysians together.

The Bersih poll was a mistake by one or two personnel but it should not be turned into a passport to batter the whole organisation. Some doctors do make silly errors on the operation table, engineers' miscalculation caused some bridges and buildings to collapse while some government projects had failed due to over-zealous implementation.

It is wrong to question The Star fidelity and it is also not right to create a detest against the newspaper. All newspapers have committed similar errors in the past - mostly caused by unilateral decisions by one or two oblivious personnel.

Most of us would prefer to see some heads roll but in this case, its better to leave the matter to the company's jurisdiction. Of course, the government has a say but any course of action to be taken must not stir the good spirit of Barisan Nasional.

We - the pro-BN bloggers, writers, journalists and others - have a bigger agenda in securing the ruling party's victory in the next national poll. Let us not lose our sanity by firing at each other. By the way, did we blame Aziz Ishak of Utusan?

This is not a piece to cover Wong Chun Wai but something for us to understand. Malaysia is complex society!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Why let Singapore spit on us?

This is a picture of Singapore's latest unmanned aerial aircraft, which enjoys a free-and-easy intrusion of Malaysia's airspace, especially in Johor. And this is confirmed by a Mindef senior official.

In other countries, notably the US and Europe, such intrusion would be dealt with accordingly; either the plane will be shot down or a protest note will be sent to its country of origin.

However, we let Singapore spit on our head by allowing their military aircraft to penetrate deep inside our airspace. What kind of actions have we taken? Try let one of our aircraft to stray a few kilometers inside their territory, and I bet it will be shot down of driven out.

I used to write about this in a local English daily some years ago, and Mindef and our Foreign Ministers did send a note of protest to the Republic but it didnt really stop them from carrying out espionage mission on us.

At the Dewan Rakyat today, Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there have been 2,508 violations of Malaysian air space by Singapore military jets since 2008. What Malaysia did was lodging diplomatic protests against the violations.

But they keep on coming.

Ahmad Zahid said that every suspicious movement of a Singapore military aircraft was monitored with the equipment of the Malaysian armed forces and Civil Aviation Department. "This year alone, up to May, 19 aircraft movements (violations) were detected on an average of four a month," he said in a written answer to a question from Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau).

He said there were 985 violations of Malaysian air space by Singapore jets in 2008, 1,286 in 2009, and 218 in 2010.

Please remember that their soldiers are being trained by the Israelis. Our previous regime, apart from selling sands to the Republic (if I am not mistaken), had also allowed them to use our airspace for their military trainings.

So, are we going through diplomatic channel again? One or two could be a coincidence but a few thousands are deliberate attempt to undermine our security!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Please link Star-LRT to Putrajaya, Najib!

I took a few South Korean friends to Putrajaya recently. Like most foreign visitors, they were much impressed with the well-planned and modern city.

However, at Parcel D which houses the Home Ministry, the MACC and the Human Resource Ministry, among others, I was caught in a tight situation. After seeing the steps which go down to the basement of the entrance, they asked: "Where do the steps lead to?"

My simple answer was: "The LRT station."

"But where is the station?," one of them asked.

"They have to build the rail first."

"But why aren't they building it?"

These are questions that I was not supposed to attend to. Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should. However, since he is no longer with the government, its Datuk Seri Najib's responsibility to answer it now, should anybody asks him.

And I told my Korean friends that Najib was busy planning for his 'legacy' project, the MRT from Sungai Buloh to Kajang which will cost about RM3.6 bilion. As to whether he 'likes to continue' with the Seri Petaling-Putrajaya Star-LRT project, the foreigners felt that it was necessary for Putrajaya to have such a link.

Of course, I agree. Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has started the project during his tenure and a few stations are already in place for Putrajaya. TDM hope Pak Lah would proceed with it but the man he chose to replace him had, in fact booted out many of his plans.

I was made to understand that Najib himself will launch the MRT (from Mass Rapid Transit, it is now known as My Rapid Transit) next month at the Kuala Lumpur Concention Center. The government has yet to appoint any contractor but I personally believe the Prime Minister should reconsider connecting Putrajaya with the Star-LRT.

Yes, we have a bus service plying the Administrative City but it is not as frequent as hoped. And what will happen to the existing LRT stations there? To serve as bunkers?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

ARSEtro sucks!

Issues on Astro - being a blood sucker for a poor and recycled-content satellite TV provider - was brought up at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. And for the first time ever (since the amendment to the Constitution in 1990s to limit the Rulers immunity), MPs from BN and the Opposition shared equal views.

Being one of the world's most expensive providers for such a service, Astro is getting complacent. With some much revenue against lagging in service quality, the government was urged to review the monopoly license issued to the company.

Not to blame Ananda Krishnan (as he doesnt really runs the show), the company seems to be well-protected for that monopoly, untouchable to the extent that nobody, especially the customers - had ever taken it to court.

Unlike customers in other countries, Malaysians are very 'forgiving' in accepting the serious interruptions on Astro channels.

And despite the issue being raised at the Parliment, Astro has already issued out new rates for its various service 'packages' without even trying to improve on the existence.

So, who to blame? Rais Yatim's ministry or the MCMC? The Information Communicating a supplementary question from Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) (here). He said the new package price effective July 11 is not final but many believed it will be imposed on customers' next bill.

I think the government should consider issuing another license to another provider. Without competition, Astro can toy around with its customers, 'cheating' them out of better services being offered in other countries (and without interruptions, too).

In Cambodia, the flat rate for its satellite TV service is not more than RM20 per month compared to Astro's 'different-price-for-package' offer. Even its after sale service is very poor. Its agents will charge you RM75 for just 'a visit' to rectify your problem. Upon a second visit to repair whatever defaults, they will charge you triple.

So, this Astro is really a leech!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blaming Rais again...

Looks like Rais Yatim is so vulnerable to attacks by blogger (including those of the pro-BN) and anti-government media, so much so everything that he or his ministry does will not get a good spin. In fact, all is wrong to them.

I am not sure what is the motive behind this 'knive sharpening' on the minister. If it has something to do with cronyism and nepotism of politics, then Rais shouldnt have been the prime target.

I wonder why didnt any 'pro-BN' or 'pro-Umno' blogger lash out at a senior minister for letting his son-in-law to monopolise the bio-matrix card project with the Home Ministry - which is valued at RM1 billion - or the RM70 million allocation to refurbish Seri Perdana, and other matters of 'political irregularities'?

When Rais launched the Hari Seniman on May 29, the anti-govt media and blogger were fast to attack him, accusing the minister of spending RM100 million in a single day. These writers, apart from not doing their homework to establish the details of the expenditure, were happy enough to ride on sentiments.

They couldnt care less whether their allegations were founded or not. What's important to them is to jump onto the 'anti-Rais' or 'anti-wheover' bandwagon. Just because their mentor blogger write nasty, they will just write nastier.

I have nothing against Rais. And I believe he doesnt know me that well as I have been avoiding 'invitations' to luncheons and dinners. But he is an Umno veteran. Najib needs him, and so is the Cabinet. We dont have the likes of Ghafar Baba anymore to play arbitrator to domestic issues.

I was shown the proof that the tag for Hari Seniman is only RM97,665 and not RM100 million as alleged by this website. One may ask what prompted the writer to sum up the exaggerated figure when the event was not so grand at all.

And then, the dissent showed by PBS deputy president Yee Moh Chai against Rais, whom he accused of 'breaking his promise' to find solutions to the low-penetration Internet broadband rate in Sabah.

I am not surprise by such statements, especially when it came from a BN component party leader in Sabah (here). PBS used to leave Barisan Nasional over the '20 issues' during the 1980s and then made a comeback. Its leaders were known to be 'bigger frogs' in jumping from one party to another.

And so, their words too contain no merit.

I have been in Sabah a couple of times with a telco provider. The problem with Sabah, apart from logistic, is the attitude of some of its politicians and local leaders. They government cannot just be seen as introducing something new to the State without being imposed some 'tolls'.

Yes, a year has passed since the ministry pledged to achieve a minimum 30 per cent penetration of broadband by the year 2010 but the government was not getting enough cooperation from local leaders to facilitate the efforts.

I wonder whether Yee is aware of the bureaucratic problems in the State. As Rais is not a Sabahan either, his ministry officials, including from the MCMC found it difficult to work there without being hassled. As the nation gets into more sophistication, such problems get more complex, it seems.

And Yee himself is so fond of avowing 'Sabah is for Sabahans', a maxim used by his party a long time ago to champion the '20 issues'. This mentality still remains domain among most Sabahans.

It is easy to criticise but when your yourself is given the mandate to carry out projects for the people, you will see it for yourself. As politics of individuals and race still thrive in the country, such problems may take a longer time to subside, even beyond the year 2020.

Lips service is so common among politicians. I believe that Yee himself is also good at it, and so are other leaders, be it in the government or Opposition. But to blatantly accuse someone of wrongdoing without realising the actual situation, is uncalled for. And for others to hitchhike on the issue, too is very unprofessional.

Rais doesnt give me anything, neither had I asked anything from him. He is still a BN minister. If he fumbles, it will also spell disaster for the BN in the next general election. Its the Opposition job to find faults in the government but if our pro-BN writers too are taking the cue from them, something is probably not right there...

also read Dunia Tiger and Jebat Berkokok...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who will investigate Gani Patail?

Did AG Abdul Gani Patail really bury all evidence to cover up corruption scandals among ministers and senior government officials involving a hefty RM12 billion between 1994 and 1996? If so, why did he do that and who were the VIPs then?

Looks like Gani has to explain, especially when the allegations came from former senior cop like Mat Zain Ibrahim who used to be Kuala Lumpur criminal investigation chief. And of course, when conglomerates like Mas and Perwaja were brought up, it triggers an alarm. Why? Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was PM at that time.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak yesterday, Mat Zain said Abdul Gani, then a senior public prosecutor heading the prosecution division in 1994, was involved in covering up the roles of “ministers and chief ministers” in scandals such as the RM8 billion and RM4 billion losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Perwaja Steel respectively.

“Between 1994 and 1996, Gani Patail was busy playing his role in closing cases or burying information that linked ministers or chief ministers who could be proven to have abused power or were corrupt. This includes the Perwaja case and also the one related to Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.”

He was referring to MAS’s claim that Tajuddin was responsible for RM8 billion in losses during his tenure as executive chairman of the national carrier from 1994 to 2001.

Tajuddin aka TRI, used a similar modus operandi of “signing long-term and lopsided contracts” similarly used by Perwaja Steel as well as Tenaga Nasional Berhad in its power deals with independent power producers (IPP) that is said to cost taxpayers RM20 billion a year.

“There are similarities in the MO used by all three companies. A common factor may be found and we cannot ignore the possibility that the persons involved in all the agreements are the same,” said Mat Zain, who headed the 1998 police probe into former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s black-eye case.

He added that the 1994-6 period seemed rife with scandals, including holidays taken by former Chief Justice Tan Sri Eusuff Chin and former Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah with lawyer Datuk VK Lingam, who was implicated in fixing judicial appointments.

read more here...

So, will there be investigations on this? What would be Najib's course of action to answer the allegations or will he just ignore it?

Let's wait and see...but on second thought, who does Mat Zain support now... Najib or Anwar?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mazidul hunts ghosts now...

No wonder I dont see him hosting the popular '999' segment anymore. TV3 'bold and bald' personality Mazidul Akmal Sidik is out of 999, the program that shot him to fame.

He is now (if I am not mistaken) on ghost-hunting job.

I know its the prerogative rights of his employer to mobilise him. He is a versatile journalist anyway. But the 'reasons' for his reclassification of duty - from info I gathered - were quite unbecoming.

Some quarters believe he was framed by the 'higher authority' in the police force over a recent 'money-distorting' allegation. However, I dont believe Mazidul will shit where he eats.

Mazidul was a 'brand' for 999 to the extent that wherever he goes and sits for a cup of coffee, those involved in illegal activities would shiver. Pirated CD dealers, for instance, will leave immediately upon spotting him nearby. Computer-gaming outlets will have to close for a while until he leaves as they suspected him of bringing the police.

That's how influential Mazidul is. Even after he is out of 999, his public appearance spells trouble for those who break the law.

However, rumors that some police personnel have found it difficult to 'earn the extras' with Mazidul around, are quite serious although 'sidekicks' are becoming too common nowadays. I have some senior friends in Bukit Aman and the Home Ministry who confirmed that the law sometimes keep its distance from pimps, ah longs and gaming dens for some protections given by the authority.

Not only the police, some personnel of the enforcement units from the local councils, religious departments and related authorities too are on the take. However, the MACC finds it always difficult to investigate such cases due to lack of evidence and public's cooperation.

As an example, how many and for how long have the gaming outlets in Wisma Central in Ampang come under 'certain protection' as no action was ever taken against them. Or the authority just doesnt know about it.

And look around us in Ampang, Cheras, Kajang, Puchong and elsewhere in the Klang Valley - the number of gaming outlet is mushrooming. Of course, there had been some actions when the authority stormed some of it, took away the computers (the old ones) and imposed fines on the owners but a day later - in some cases a few hours later - they are back in business.

Despite the authorities encouraging the public to cooperate, they also found troublemakers like Mazidul causing them a lot of damage and 'losses'. So, people like him should be axed!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pos Laju is a nuisance!

update June 7 - I asked my friend who sent me the parcel to counter check. It was lying at the Kota Bharu Post Office this morning, so I asked him to put it on a Budaya Ekspress bus to KL so that I will get it on Wednesday morning. Wake up, Pos Laju!

The biggest postal company in Malaysia. It has been corporatised, and the idea of corporatisation or privatisation is to improve its service on the back of better revenue and widespread operations.

However, Pos Laju - a courier service of Pos Malaysia - is not up to expectation, not just yet. Many complaints fell on deaf ears. Time and time again when customers bank their hope for fast delivery of their letters, document and packages, Pos Laju is not 'laju' in that sense.

I remember a Lat cartoon depicting Pos Laju logo with a tortoise instead of a bird some years ago. And I now I agree with him.

Such a big company, thousands of workers and a fleet of modern vehicles but its management is of third class quality. They couldnt be bothered if customers fail to have their packages delivered on time.

I am furious with their standard of service. It happened not once but several times. Latest was a package sent by a friend to me from Kota Bharu on Wednesday, and I have yet to receive it. A call to Pos Laju office got a rotten answer - Kelantan was on public holiday, and plus weekends in Kuala Lumpur, it is expected to arrive by Monday.

So, I lost a few thousand ringgit for not being able to deliver the document I promised someone today.

I wonder if Pos Laju runs its own flights, will the pilot jump or turn off the engine mid-air when the time enters a public holiday zone?

And of course, the Malays are running Pos Laju. Aware of how the Malay mentality is when it comes to business and customers, I regret it when the company fell into the wrong hands. We should have let the Chinese or the 'Mat Salleh' operates it...

So, is it wrong to hire other courier companies for a good job done?

To Pos Laju management, you people reall are the 'PKM'! Please translate that PKM into your own meaning...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Does KJ really got the money?

I am not so sure whether KJ really got the wealth as alleged by his many political enemies and rivals. To me, a politician MUST have money to move. Even political parties like Umno needs a lot of money.

However when it comes to KJ, I must admit that I never tried to find out from him or his aides as how much does he got. Besides, a few of his staffs sometimes do relate how difficult was it for him to raise their monthly allowances and wages. He doesnt employ too many even.

There are, of course, theories about his wealth being kept in Singapore and elsewhere but nobody could proof it. Just like allegations against a few Cabinet members who keep their money abroad, and still no evidence.

However, I personally believe in the political trend: that politicians and political parties do get financial support from those who are close as supporters or political funders. Umno too, and in fact other political parties, including the Opposition receive funding from time to time from various sectors.

In fact, the same contributors to Barisan Nasional's purse also help finance the Opposition. So, as a politician, KJ needs that money to operate, especially when it comes to attending to the needs of the constituents. To qualify into politics also need money.

I read KJ's answers to Yahoo's Question Time (read here) yesterday and I found reasons to believe that he doesnt have that much. During his in-law's tenure as PM, he was battered from every corner for his 'role' in the administration, which still runs on 'no proof'. His close relation with Kalimullah also put him into a very difficult situation as many believe the latter used him as his passport to government contracts, but KJ got almost nothing out of it.

It was an interesting 'interview' with Yahoo Malaysia when he gave impromptu answers to most of the questions, including his elevation to Umno Youth top post, his 'shares' in Air Asia, relations with Umno leaders and also with Nurul Izzah, the MP-daughter of Anwar Ibrahim.

He seldom gives interviews but his lengthy explanation to Yahoo Malaysia should clear him of some adverse accusations. I dont know how readers and the public would react to his statements but I saw a different KJ this time around, someone who matures fast.

I dont like asking people about their money but I hope those who have been making such allegations should come up with proof and not based on hearsay. Many people want to 'kill' him but quite a number see him as a promising up and coming Malay leader.

I have nothing against him and I dont think he likes me at all but I must admit how I helped him won the last party election... for 'free'.

Sorry bro... he he he!