Friday, December 30, 2011
I am going to write about his fate but if its fated that he goes behind bars for the second time, he and his followers must recognise the fact that our judiciary system is not bias as alleged by the Opposition, their NGOs and foreign advocates.
Unfortunately, they will only trust the judiciary if Anwar gets his acquittal (I hope he is innocent) but otherwise, the government and the courts will be deemed as a rotten system that form a cahoot to politically murder him.
They will accuse the judiciary of corruption and that those appointed are just a bunch of 'yes man' to Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Barisan Nasional government.
They will also forget the fact that Khir Toyo, who was found guilty of graft last week is also an Umno leader, and so are other pro-BN VIPs penalised by the court for their crimes. And at this moment, two Datuks are being reprimanded for their alleged corruption case - one for the NFL and the other for IRDA.
Worse still, Anwar's supporters have vowed to stage street demonstrations nationwide should the court finds him guilty.
Maybe they have forgotten the fact that the proceedings or decision of any case relating to the laws of the country cannot be amended or denied by demonstrations.
Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Dr Rais Yatim said yesterday apart from considering their responsibility to the community, those who wished to demonstrate should be aware that their action would not influence or strike fear on the judiciary in making its decision.
"Demonstrations cannot change the flow or channels of the legal process of the country and if that is what they demand, it would destroy our nationhood," he said.
Rais is right. What the Opposition planned is really beyond comprehension. Will street demo and road tour justify Anwar's innocence? And what is the guarantee that they will introduce a 'better judiciary' should they are able to take over Putrajaya after the next general election?
If our judiciary is being mocked as providing shelters to government's wrongdoers and find fault in the Opposition - as a bad political strategy to hinder their advance - then what is the assurance that they will not be accused of practicing the same mode of legal system once they are in power?
They are the ones who said 'Khir deserves' the one year jail sentence. Some of the Opposition leaders also lauded the judiciary as being fair in passing the verdict. But why must the subscribe to double standard when it concerns Anwar?
No court will pass put judgement without tangible evidence, witnesses' account and other supporting documents. It is actually not an easy task for any judge to send the accused to jail. It all depends on the strength of prosecution and defense tools. There had been cases where murderers, drug dealers, rapists and others were acquitted because of loosed prosecuting presentation but the cases were then reopened.
However, if the judiciary is deemed as being bias, many 'real cases' involving government legislators and senior officers could have been covered. But they were found guilty.
If Anwar is not a politician, had Teoh Beng Hock was just an ordinary layman and not connected to the Opposition leader and Khir is a nobody, will the public care enough? Should the court sends someone to jail for the crime he never commit, will they fight for him? I don't think so.
This is all about politics, about the Opposition and about their pride to the eyes of international freedom propagators. And the planned street demonstration will not only undermine the judiciary but to throw the whole country into chaos.
What is the gain when we take to the street to avow out distrust toward the judiciary? And where is the just in our action if (God knows) all evidence and witnesses are pointing to Anwar's guilt?
Thursday, December 29, 2011
While PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz stood by his statement that Hasan Ali was in Kota Bharu to apologise to the party, the latter on the other hand refuted the claim.
The former Selangor PAS commissioner denied a HarakahDaily report that he went to Kota Baru solely to meet PAS top leaders and to apologise for his remarks against the party.
Hasan pointed out that he had already retracted his comments regarding the welfare state issue during a press conference at his residence on Dec 24 and had apologised to the party leaders at the same time.
In a statement Wednesday night, he said he was disappointed in Harakah which had been reminded many times not to twist facts which could raise confusion and disunity.
He clarified that he had been invited attend a gathering involving former PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa along with PAS deputy spiritual leader Dr Haron Din at Nik Aziz's home at JKR 10 Kota Bharu.Now, who spoke the truth here? Its unbecoming of Nik Aziz to lie if he did. And who are confused? Of course PAS members... and the media!
Also in Pakatan Rakyat, DAP members are still uncertain of who are the fools and wise, between Karpal Singh and P Ramasamy.
The party's chairman said he has left it to the party's disciplinary committee to take action in the recent war of words between him and Penang Deputy Chief Minister, and that he would abide by the gag order imposed by the three-man panel formed to resolve the issue.
However, the Bukit Gelugor MP let it slip that complaints had been lodged with the disciplinary committee, implying that many of them were against Ramasamy.
And it was just a few days ago when Karpal told Ramasamy to quit as Penang deputy CM, accusing him not fit for the position.
As for Ramasamy himself, he is trapped in his own words. After blaming Tamil Osai newspaper for inciting the row between him and Karpal, he went on by accusing of The Star for manipulating the interview with him, when the English daily keeps it verbatim.
So, what's next?
Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim has been on a silence mode, not making any statements about the crisis. However, it is well understood that he was more interested in the court's decision!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Proton bought control of Lotus in 1996 but has yet to make a profit from the Norfolk-based British sports car subsidiary, a situation likely to continue to at least 2014.
Now that Proton itself could be divested by its state-run parent, LGI is said to be on the grid for an early sale in 2012.Lotus has struggled to compete against Germany’s Porsche and Italy’s Ferrari in Europe, and has kept its top reputation in the automotive industry partly because of its long expertise in designing lightweight frames.
Its Lotus Elise model (picture), weighing 2,010lbs, is one of the lightest performance cars on the market. Lotus’s DNA shows few similarities with that of its Malaysian owner and for that reason alone analysts feel Proton should unload it.
Lotus makes sports cars which sell for as much as $163,000 in Malaysia, while Proton sells cheap hatchbacks at $15,000.
Now, what about Proton? The news that a local tycoon is already winning the bid for a major stake in the company, is already leading to serious contemplation and speculation.
Some say if the majority stakeholder is someone of 'never in the car business', the future of Proton looks uncertain...
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I just want to zoom in to one 'special group' of people - bloggers. Yes, there are pro-government and pro-Opposition bloggers but at the same time, there are also 'on the fence', 'non-align' and 'anomalous' bloggers.
My subject is the anomalous ones.
I know a few of them whom a few years ago did support Umno and Barisan Nasional. To my knowledge, they are Umno members but I don't know what is their status now.
They were among a group of media members and bloggers who went all out to ensure BN, especially Umno during the 2008 general election campaigns. In fact, they were with Umno in the previous national polls, providing undivided support for the party.
It was during this particular eras (under Tun Dr Mahathir and Tun Abdullah) that this group got 'rewarded' - some quite handsomely - by the party and the government. Quite a number became millionaires or live a comfortable life, at least.
I know at least six of such bloggers who were awarded with government contracts (and Umno jobs) for their contribution. I believe Umno recognised their big role then. Some asked for projects, some were offered while the rest just took some 'tokens' away.
To me, it's normal. After all, there is nothing 'free' these days!
However, since Datuk Seri Najib took over, some of this Umno and BN bloggers started to turn their back on the government. They began to despise their own party for not being able to give them what they asked.
They became sour grapes.
I don't want to name them but readers and most bloggers do notice the change of 'aptitude' in them, and I guess the party leadership also realised this.
They have and still attack Umno and the government, criticising the party in a piffle way, belittling all government's policies to the extent that nothing is right about it anymore. Just like some ex-BN leaders who have crossover to Pakatan Rakyat and still enjoy the government's pension, their do not only batter the government but also launch an onslaught on their own race and country.
Their standpoint changes overnight just because the government turned down their request for something. Their footing got loosened when a favor was turned down by the party of the government officials.
They posted overbearing stories about the leaders and Umno, stabbing them from every corner, and referred to the Opposition leaders as the ones who will safeguard their interest should PR wins the next general election.
To me, they are the heinous lots! As some of them are still Umno members, I think it's wise that they leave the party and join the Opposition. They consider themselves of having the prowess to influence voters in the next national poll, hence will be able to help PR through.
I don't want to write more as I believe they are matured enough to weigh their position...
Monday, December 26, 2011
I don't know why the Press and blogs gave them too much space. You think they simply want to put their respective parties -DAP and PAS - at rickety and let others, especially those in Barisan Nasional to gain some advantages?
These people are mature politicians, matured enough to weigh the adverse impact of their action on their party. Why must their strip naked and let others bugger them?
After all, general election is just around the corner. While PM Najib is waiting for some 'signs' as to when is the right time to dissolve the Parliament, there is no logic for the Opposition to open up their party to the onslaught of others.
If there is a real rift among them, the Opposition is only courting trouble as any unresolved internal issue will be very costly for their dream of wresting Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional. While the party members are hoping for the best in the next outing, they can't afford to take such internal crisis to their campaign.
So, it is a melodrama by the Opposition, and some BN leaders are already buying the tickets to watch it. They are already making so many statements and comments about the 'bickering' among the Opposition leaders. To be precise, they are falling into this simple political trap.
Those at rift are political hooligans. They want cheap publicity for their political platform. As their popularity goes down among their own supporters, they need a vehicle to recharge.
And the best choice is to moot an idea among themselves, write the script, direct it and tailor themselves to what was planned. Not so difficult as they are already good natural actors. All they needed was just a perfect rehearsal.
Now, when the drama gets popular, it leaves BN politicians and analysts to no choice but to watch and pass remarks about it, just like many who spoke about anti-Namewee but also went to the cinema to watch his 'Nasi Lemak 2.0'.
That is how some BN politicans, inlcuding ministers made stupid gain by coming out with various comments about the crisis in DAP and PAS. However, instead of getting lauded for inviting Rama and Hasan Ali to join Umno should they choose to leave their respective parties, they are getting chided and criticised.
All this leads to a common public perception - that BN is so hard up to have this few people from the Opposition to join them, forgetting the fact that more BN senior politicians had left the ruling party to join Pakatan Rakyat or going against the BN.
Please leave Karpal, Ramasamy, Hasan and Mustafa alone. Let them batter each other because it has nothing to do with BN, especially Umno. We would be happy if they finally shake hands and reconcile. If this happens, who will 'malu'?
There is no need for us to invite them into Barisan Nasional. The ruling party is well-recognised and needs no ads and marketing. We should stay focus and attend to our own problems before we can build confidence for the next national poll.
Do not be sucked into the Opposition's affairs. Let them be. If the crisis is for real, BN will indirectly gain some boost out of it. However, when we start to 'interfere' in their internal-but-publicised affairs, we already turned ourselves as political cheapskates.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Held at the Babylon Hotel, the guests of honor were deputy premier Ezzat Ibrahim and Saddam Hussein's right hand man Tareq Aziz, a Catholic. It was grand. Whether they are Muslims, Christians or others, they were joined in one harmonic party.
To Malaysians, Christmas is our festival too. We are most fortunate to have so many festivals - for all religions. Be proud of it.
To my Christian friends - home and abroad - I sincerely wish you Merry X'mas and a Happy New Year.
However, my deepest sympathy goes to the family of Uncle Peter, 81, who passed away on the eve of Christmas. They live just two doors from my house. It must be a 'no Christmas' for them. May God have mercy on him and bless his soul...
Friday, December 23, 2011
Of course, the pro-Pakatan Rakyat newspapers, most of the Chinese media and bloggers are already publishing their news and editorials about him.
However, they would not say anything about the just in our judiciary and the impartiality of the MACC in dealing with the case. What they would write and say is to condemn Khir, Umno and Barisan Nasional. Also, the possibility that they will link it with Najib's 'corrupt government'.
No way will they attribute the verdict to the judiciary, that it is a system to be trusted and reckoned with. And there is also no reason for them to credit the MACC officials for expediting their duty without favor.
I have read some headlines such as 'Padan muka Khir!' (Khir deserves it!) and 'Umno leader guilty of graft' in the Opposition blogs and news portal. I have no complaint against that. It's their rights.
However, let us wait for another two more weeks. Come January 9, 2012, Anwar Ibrahim's case will hear the sentence. If he is not guilty, it's fine.
But what if the Opposition Leader is found guilty? And what kind of 'reprisals' can we expect from the Opposition, their media and bloggers?
Surely, they will blame the judiciary by accusing it of bias and unjust. Najib's government will once again come under their attacks. Like it or not, there would be riots in the country to protest the guilty verdict on Anwar.
And that's what the Opposition is all about - that they are everything right. While failing to recognise the justice in Khir's case, they will not take it if Anwar goes back to jail for the second time.
Just like accusing the Election Commission (EC) of being pro-government, they also failed to notice how the EC 'unjust practice' had given Pakatan the five States in the last general election. Until they fill up all the portfolio in the Federal Cabinet, they will go on making such claims!
That's how their brain works!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I wonder whether those who hurled such allegations are aware of the present situation in the Opposition. With Anwar facing the possibility of going back behind bars for the second time and some DAP leaders are still at loggerheads over the latest incident in Penang and Perak, PAS is actually dangling on a very thin line.
And if there is a party to take advantage on such a condition, will be DAP itself. Umno will never meddle with problems plaguing the Opposition, let alone being associated with any of PAS', PKR or DAP leaders in their own tug-of-war game.
Umno vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Thursday it was not appropriate for PAS to accuse Umno of making use of two of its leaders, following their open criticisms of the PAS leadership.
He said Umno had never interfered in the internal business of PAS and this was proven when PAS ex-deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa himself said several quarters in the party were overreacting to his statement prior to this.
"Other than Nasharuddin's statement, the criticism of Selangor State Executive Councillor for Islamic Affairs, Datuk Dr Hasan Ali that PAS should return to its original struggle based on Islamic principles, showed the weakness of the party," he said.
Zahid was commenting on Nasharuddin and Hasan's latest statements when met by reporters after attending the Royal Military College's annual parade and prize Presentation Ceremony in Sungai Besi.
The fact that the duo have been throwing their sticks at PAS leadership did not only signify the party's internal problem but also reflects how DAP - against the 'hudud' all this while - has managed to play a tactical politic to weaken the Islamic party, hoping to supersede it as an option for the Malays in the next general election.
But PAS is too blind to realise such an antagonism from DAP. Seeing how inept 'hudud' is for the next 'PR-led' government (should they win the general poll), DAP seized the opportunity by battering PAS from behind.
If you attend some of DAP 'ceramah' nationwide, opposition towards 'hudud' is always among their topic.
So, who actually trapped Nasharuddin, Hassan and others in PAS. As far as 'hudud' is concerned, Umno has never come up with invidious statements about it, except that the party (Umno) has been very successful in developing and nurturing a fundamental Islamic society in the country.
And suggestions that Nasha and Hassan should join Umno were not made by Umno leaders but by others. Umno subscribes to an open door policy - if someone wishes to join it as a member, all he needs to do is fill up the form and submit it.
By the way, someone in DAP also accused Umno of 'buying' the duo.
This is absolutely rubbish! If Umno really wants to apply such a tactic, it will cost the party millions of ringgit. But it has never done so, unlike other parties who make this and that offers!
I am not sure what is the level of immunity 'accorded' to Zarinah Anwar and team. Also, one of SC largest clients PriceWaterhoouseCoopers (PWC) which is said to be undermining the Malaysian law and toying around with the High Court.
I have written about it a few times in the past, taking cues from this almost-unknown blog. I hope more people will read it not because it is (I personally believe) written by people from the inside but for tangible proofs given to support the claims.
It's also not linked to the Opposition as what written is based purely on what is taking place in the SC itself.
Among its latest postings, the blog questions the irregularities pertaining to a decision by the SC's Audit Oversight Board (AOB) members - appointed on April 1st 2101 - to register PwC and one Cho Choo Meng of the same firm under the AOB on the sama date. This, according to the blog, is against Section 31s (1) SC.
Seven members of the board are Nik Mohd Hasyudeen Yusoff, Executive Chairman of the Audit Oversight Board, who prior to joining the AOB was also vice-president of the Asean Federation of Accountants and member of CPA Australia’s Public Practice Advisory Committee, former president of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and had served on the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board.
Others are Datuk Ali Abdul Kadir, Chairman of the Financial Reporting Foundation; Dato' Azmi Ariffin, Chief Executive Officer of the Companies Commission Malaysia; Goh Ching Yin, Executive Director of the Securities Commission Malaysia; Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia; Cheong Kee Fong, Advocate and Solicitor of Cheong Kee Fong & Co; and Chok Kwee Bee, Managing Director of Teak Capital Sdn Bhd.
"Who signed the Letter of Registration for the firm of PwC and Mr Cho Choo Meng on the 1st of April? Was it the newly appointed board members... or was it Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Chairman of the SC,... or Manohar Benjamin Johnson, Director of the AOB?
"Who received the fees necessary for the registration of PwC and Mr Cho Choo Meng... and how did this staff member receive the monies on the 1st of April when the legislation to collect the fees was not in place until much later on the 15th of April 2010?"
It also questions the mechanism used to receive and process such applications when the SC chairman herself only signed the amendment on the 8th of April, and the 2nd Minister of Finance on the 13th of April 2010.
"I put it to you that there is no noble lie in this case, that there are questions you must answer as guardians of corporate governance in this country, that you must feel in you the same distaste for abuse of power and conflict of interest, that you will do what is right, that you will be true to your calling as one of the guardians for the institutions of this great country," it says.
Monday, December 19, 2011
I am not a realist but when history is concerned, I hate those who changed and refused to recognise it. Just like the white Americans who erased the fact that it was the blacks who actually built and established the White House.
Of course history brings out the dead from their graves. History can be inspiring, some of it makes us elated. But most history displays sad episodes of our ancestors, those who fought for Independence, World War II and sacrificed all they had for us to live in a better condition today. History also provides us with guides and clues as how we can improve human relations and build a nation.
But why do we need to change history when 10 was 10 and black was black back then? Yes, our government is doing its best to safeguard the interest of all, including the minorities but still, why must we change history if it means to please everybody? Why can't we leave it as it is?
Can we change history facts by saying it was the Japanese who actually invented the atomic bomb for the Americans to use it against them or make the world believe that it was Magellan who discovered Malay Peninsular? Maybe in our effort to please our neighbors, it's wise to change the fact that it was Malaysia who started attacking Indonesia during the Confrontation.
Why must we keep on bashing up each other over history matters?
And is there a need to bring up the matter 54 years after we gained Independence? Don't we have any better things to do rather than inciting anger and multi-racial hatred?
In the first place, who gave the names such as Tanjung Keling and Masjid Kapitan Keling? Who added 'Cina buta' to the Malay proverbs? Why wasn't there any opposition at that time. Why only now, more than 100 years after such names are already established and gazetted?
I think if we want to please everybody, we should also include Samy Vellu to the list of Independence fighters along with Tunku Abdul Rahman, or Lim Kit Siang as the co-founder of Majlis Amanah Rakyat so that every data in our history points to 1Malaysia!
So, is there a need to bicker over this petty issue? Unless you want our presence and future generation to live under a thicker prejudice, then you can go on playing up with such a political game.
Ohh... do you know that the late film star-cum-chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MG Ramachandran or MGR was the founder of MIC and the Muslim convert Cat Steven initiated Perkasa!
Saturday, December 17, 2011
They should instead be grateful to the government for allowing the setting up of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on election reform which is placed under an equal number of members from both the government and the Opposition.
The PSC has taken into account views from various parties, including Suaram, Suhakam and the NGOs in order to justify it's report to the Parliament and make fresh proposal as to how a national poll should be best conducted.
And yesterday, the EC has called on political parties to assist in scrutinising the electoral roll to clear doubts on the voters' list for the coming 13th general election.
EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said it was regrettable that certain groups, especially the opposition parties, have often alleged that the electoral roll contains phantom voters.
"Allegations linking the electoral roll with phantom voters are stale issues, as we have taken many measures to ensure the electoral roll is clean," he told Bernama, adding that the Opposition, who frequently raise the issue of phantom voters, should come out with proof and not make wild allegations.
"Who are the phantom voters? Why not expose them, as EC would like to catch them and bring them to court as well," he said.
He said the issue of phantom voters should not have arisen, as contesting parties have representatives at each polling station and 'this clearly shows our election system implemented is fair and clean'.
"Do not drag the EC into politics, as we are not related to anyone. In fact, EC work towards providing the cleanest possible data, including withdrawing from the electoral roll the names of those who have passed away," he said.
So, people like Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, former Bar Council boss Ambiga and other Opposition leaders who all this while condemn the EC, should have faith in the system. Unless if they can produce evidence of such wrongdoings, they should come forward and not simply make wild accusation.
Lim Guan Eng said recently that the result of any general election is often decided by the 'phantom voters', an allegation which he himself failed to uphold.
The general logic remains - if the EC is mode incline towards the government, Pakatan Rakyat would not have won 5 (minus 1) states in the 2008 general election.
And if you don't have faith in our election system, I guess it will be much better for Najib not to call for a general election at all...
Friday, December 16, 2011
It's really beyond comprehension. The call for such an apology reflects LKS cheap politics. Perhaps he has forgotten something more significant when it comes to public apology.
Lim Kit Siang himself should come up with the apology instead. He should apologise to Najib for slandering and badmouthing him and Rosmah Mansor, linking them with the murder case of Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Lim Kit Siang and DAP must apologise to Malaysians for inciting the bloody May 13 riots in 1969, thus inking a black episode to the Malaysian peaceful history.
Lim Kit Siang should apologise to Malaysians for Pakatan Rakyat's support in Bersih 2.0 which adversely affected the inflow of foreign direct capital (FDI) to the country, interrupting traffic and sent shivers among the traders in KL.
Lim Kit Siang must apologise to Malaysians and the government for waging a 'war' against the country and its people by strewing the seeds of racial hatred, and blaming it on the governments of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir, Tun Abdullah and now Datuk Seri Najib for neglecting the non-Malays.
Lim Kit Siang should apologise to the Malays in Penang for his son's fiasco which led to the Malays, Chinese and Indians who are not DAP supporters being ticked off from the list of government assistance.
Lim Kit Siang must apologise to the Malay Rulers for supporting the plan by his friends in Pakatan Rakyat to strip the Raja-Raja Melayu of their status.
Lim Kit Siang must also apologise to the Malay Rulers for using the King to interfere in Bersih 2.0 rally.
Lim Kit Siang should apologise to Malaysians for letti ng Pakatan Rakyat launched an agenda to turn the country into a Republic, slandering the police force, change the national flag and for collaborating with foreign agents.
Lim Kit Siang should make a public apology for letting Pakatan Rakyat strewed fibs worldwide with the intention to mangle the economy and spark unrest, hence would allow foreign intervention into the country.
What else if we want to talk about apologies?
Oh yes... Lim Kit Siang should also apologise to Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Aziz for all the scorns and tatters he once made before they hug each other in Pakatan Rakyat.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
It's latest bid to end Karpal Singh-P Ramasamy 'godfather-warlord' squabble produced result when the DAP today declared an end to the crisis, without punishing either party. It stemmed from Makkal Oosai's apology for what was termed as 'inaccurately reporting a statement that sparked the row'.
In a press release this morning signed by the three-member committee formed to resolve the row, the party said both parties have now decided to move past the controversy to concentrate on preparations for the coming election. The committee comprises of DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, life adviser Dr Chen Man Hin and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
The committee was formed on Tuesday by the party’s top leadership to look into the ongoing squabble between Karpal, the DAP’s national chairman, and Ramasamy, who is Penang deputy chief minister.
But the panel pointed out that yesterday, Makkal Oosai chief editor M. Rajan had issued a correction on the paper’s November 28 report, admitting its mistake that the statement on the DAP’s candidates for the coming polls 'had not come from Ramasamy'.
However, Rajan failed to clarify whose statement was it instead. And as usual, the paper paid tribute to both men’s leadership qualities.
According to an excerpt of the apology, the paper had said both Karpal and Ramasamy are important leaders, with the former having contributed many sacrifices in his career and the latter having created history to be the first member of the Indian community to hold the post of deputy chief minister.
Well, it's not about how the paper helped solve the rift between Karpal and Ramasamy. It's all about it's editorial policy, which changes by day. When it looks like the editorial supports the government, it will change the very next day.
No professionalism at all!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The Datuk Keramat former assemblyman announced today he was resigning from all posts in the PKR and return to Gerakan, where he once served for 15 years, from 1984 to 1999.
Lim said he was attracted by PKR's reform agenda but after three years in the party, he had lost confidence in it as it failed to fulfill its promises. That's exactly what Zahrain said on the day he left PKR.
"Conflicts among members continue to take place in the party. Thus, with a heavy heart, I am resigning from all party posts," he told reporters in Georgetown. He also quits as Penang municipal councillor, a post to which he was appointed by PKR.
He said he was resigning as councillor as the municipal council had no more autonomy, with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng intervening in its many decision.
"The council had never experienced such intervention before, and this by a CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) government," he said.
In his resignation letter, he cited the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) mega project as a clear abuse of power by the Pakatan Rakyat state administration helmed by the Chief Minister.
Lim was among the two councillors to openly object the project when debating the council Budget 2012 in October.
Lim was a former national Gerakan Youth chief and vice-president in the 1990s. However, he quit the party shortly after the 1999 polls when he successfully defended the Datuk Keramat state seat in Penang.
About three weeks after his resignation, the two-term assemblyman joined MCA where he stayed for eight years before joining PKR in June 2008.
Well Lim, let's get back to where you belonged...
Monday, December 12, 2011
While she has been busy telling the people of PR's 'negara kebajikan' or welfare state concept, hitting hard at Barisan Nasional for this and that, she is actually worse than any other civilised and well-educated persons.
Blogger Stopthelies stripped her naked today with a posting that may not only make Serdang DAP Member of Parliament Teo Nie Ching (pic) look like a ungrateful child but will peel the skin off the Opposition party.
Not only her but the whole party failed to help Teo's mother who suffers from a heart problem.
"The Chinese media has reported this issue widely but you can be sure that the pro-opposition Malaysiakini will black this out because they do not want you to read about it.
"... Teo Nie Ching has found herself in a spot because her mom, who had a heart problem, sought the help of the Negri Sembilan MCA chief Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Thiam.
"It is strange that a DAP MP cannot even resolve the problem of her mother and she is supposed to be an elected representative.
"The Negri MCA went out of their way to help her mom but this selfish DAP politician did not even have the decency to thank Dr Yeow," according to the blog.
I can't find the right word to describe such a child and her negligence towards he mom.
I think if Pakatan Rakyat wins the next general election, their 'negara kebajikan' will see more people like this being groom-up.
Just before noon, His Majesty, accompanied by various groups, including a Cabinet Minister and a senior civil service officer, will board a special aircraft flying his entourage and Tuanku Nur Zahirah to Kuala Terengganu.
And tomorrow, the Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah will fly out of Alor Setar in a special aircraft to KLIA to be sworn in as the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta.
This will be the second time that Tuanku Abdul Halim will ascend the throne as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the first time as the fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong between Sept 21, 1970 and Sept 20, 1975.
(Read an interesting article by Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Perpetuity of the Institution of National Sovereignty on the constitutional monarch).
Tuanku Mizan has recorded a string of sterling achievements during his tenure as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He was the first Muslim head of state to step foot on Antarctica last month after His Majesty made a five-day working visit to the research station at Scott Base located in the southernmost continent on Nov 20 to 24.
The visit was held in conjunction with Malaysia's accession to the Antarctic Treaty, 1959 on Oct 31 this year, which among others, enables Malaysian scientists to be directly engaged in all research undertaken on the continent.
Malaysia's assent to the Antarctic Treaty also made it the first Southeast Asian country and first Islamic nation to accede to the treaty.
Tuanku Mizan who was among the youngest Malay rulers to ascend the throne as the Sultan of Terengganu, aged 36, in 1988, was the second youngest Yang di-Pertuan Agong after Tuanku Syed Putra Syed Hassan Jamalullail when he was chosen as the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Dec 13, 2006 at age 44.
To His Majesty, thank you for being with us...
Sunday, December 11, 2011
In the latest spate of domestic bickering in the DAP, Karpal told the party's annual convention in Penang that the party could not afford to have a 'mafia', a reference to the label 'godfather' Ramasamy gave him earlier.
"Who built the DAP? The veteran leaders had built the party and no one should forget the sacrifices of these leaders. The present leaders would not be what they are now without the sacrifice made by the veterans," he said, turning the convention as a platform to criticise Ramasamy.
"Godfather portrays the image of a mafia group, while the DAP has never tolerated the mafia," he said, adding that Ramasamy joined the party to 'do things his own way'.
"Nobody can become warlords in the DAP, including Ramasamy by trying to nominate his election candidates," he said.
After that heated session, Ramsamy told reporters that he was prepared to leave the party for good if it comes to that as the allegations against him were baseless and a conspiracy to tarnish his reputation. "I can go back to my hometown Sitiawan," he said.
The crisis in DAP gains quick response from some bloggers.
Stopthelies says Lim Guan Eng, who now spots a new hairdo took Ramasamy along, according to news reports.
"He should have taken Tony Pua, the pseudo economic and defence expert. He should be visiting LIMA so he can get his facts correct.
"Back to Penang. Temperature is still soaring with Karpal’s faction headed by two Penang assemblymen RSN Rayner and A.Tanasekharan demanding Ramasamy’s head. They want him to apologise and the war has extended with Ramasamy’s aide,M.Satee tweeting away against the two."
Blogger Tun Faisal says Ramasamy was battered for being 'an Indian' in DAP, and this shows how racist the party is.
"Hari ini kita dibuktikan betapa DAP adalah sebuah parti yang rasis dan double standard ,P Ramasamy akan dihadapkan ke jawatankuasa displin dan akan dihukum ini berbeza apabila Lim Guan Eng, Ng Wei Aik, Jeff Ooi, Nga Khor Meng, Ronnie Liew, Tony Pua dan hampir kesemua evengelis Kristian di dalam DAP terlepas daripada tindakan dan diberi layanan istimewa..."
I guess the internal problem will not end just there. If Rama leaves the party or being subjected to the disciplinary committee, his supporters within the Indian community will also leave as Rama is portrayed as a champion for the Indians.
In the last general election, almost 35 per cent votes for DAP came from the Indians, and should Ramasamy leaves the party, the Opposition will be adversely affected in the next national poll, which is expected to be early next year.
However, this 'warlord', 'godfather' and 'mafia' things are getting so common nowadays, especially among the Pakatan Rakyat pact. The only issue is to identify and then deny it.
Some ministries and agencies will have to find ways to finish the allocation for that fiscal year or having the new budget for the next financial year deducted. Having failed to spend also brings the impression of incompetency.
"In the past, unspent budget allocations for the various Ministries and Departments would be used up at the end of every year for what was called 'Christmas shopping". They were determined to use up all the funds allocated to them for the year; how else might they ask for increased funding, or to resist cuts, for the next year?
"Public servants try not to return funds because doing so implies that they are inefficient or too generously funded in the first place, so they will do just anything to show that all their allocations have been spent.
"Often, it was said, they bought useless things, inappropriate equipment of gadgets that quickly became obsolete after hardly any use...", according to TDM, who 'put a stop' to such a bad habit after taking office in 1981.
However, I just wonder if such a practice is still on subscribe.
After some trips throughout the country over the past two months, I noted some agencies were busy sending their personnel to various meetings and 'courses'. And the venues chosen are normally 'far from home' and at posh hotels and resorts.
Few senior officials at different agencies also told me that their bosses have issued order to buy things that are irrelevant with their scope of work.
I am of the opinion that the Auditor General office should be more efficient in its job. Auditing should start sometimes in October every year and not January. When Ishak Tadin was auditor general, the reports came as early as April and not by year-end as in practice today.
Yes, no government is perfect but we should be able to control such an expenditure. No point of telling the public that an agency bought a RM1.70/kg sugar at RM170/kg when it was done 15 months ago.
Christmas is around the corner and New Year 2012 is just about 20 days away. General election will be held possibly early next year and all this will scrutinized by the voters.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
The former prime minister, who is still highly influential in Umno, told a press conference Friday that the Wanita Umno chief should leave before being “chased out” by her party.
“If we feel it is necessary to quit for the sake of party, we quit. When I wanted to quit, I didn’t ask anyone. I hope others do the same. Don’t wait for people to chase you off.
“Yes, ukur baju di badan sendiri (measure yourself up),” he said when asked if the senator should resign.
The former Lembah Pantai MP had gained the support of both the Youth and her Wanita wings of Umno last week after denying any wrongdoing in the controversy over the national cattle-farming project.
Looks like there is no 'cooling down' over the issue. If Dr M himself has spoken up, I believe a few others will follow suit. However, let us listen to Shahrizat...
Friday, December 9, 2011
FTSE Group (FTSE) and Bursa Malaysia Bhd said the changes following the semi-annual review of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Index Series on Thursday.Earlier post:
So, which is which now?
The Star and Bernama earlier reports said Tony Fernandes did hint about leaving AirAsia although no time line is set.
And just a few minutes ago, The Star produced yet another TF's denial and rebuttal - that he did not say anything about quitting as the head of the budget airline.
He tweeted on Thursday evening on the micro-blogging site to dismiss an earlier news report that he was going soon.
“All I said is next 10 years we must prepare for new leadership and my time is coming up soon. First a CEO for Malaysia and I focus on group functions as group CEO. Good leadership is to prepare for succession. Not going anytime soon though.”
Bernama had earlier reported that Fernandes hinted that he might leave soon at the airline's 10th anniversary celebrations.The report also quoted him as saying that he has yet to identify his successor but hinted that it would be an internal change.
Confusion all over! Hope TF will come out with a 'real' statement this time around, not like when he denied making any statement about asking for a bigger KLIA2 the other day.
Unless, he intends to become a politician!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
I believe his whole butt flesh will be 'minced' just after 50 strokes and his bones will be exposed after 200. Another 300 lashes? It's as good as condemning him to death!
The 45-year-old man was detained in the holy city of Medina last month while making the Muslim pilgrimage of hajj. Family members told Australian media that Saudi officials accused him of insulting the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, a violation of Saudi Arabia's strict blasphemy laws.
In Malaysia, 'blasphemy' is becoming so common. Insulting the King and the Malay Rulers, and making racist remarks are part of the 'freedom of speech' and 'human rights' labels some quarters sought.
And how many lashes should we give to such people, especially those who insulted the King and in invoking racism and religious sentiment? 5? 10? 250? It's not easy to regulate such a law, isnt't it? And I believe many people will oppose to it.
For Mansor Almaribe, there will be no reason for him to live if he won't be able to sit down for the rest of his life for losing his butt. Better if we shoot him in the head!
Oohhh.... By the way, do you still remember this local case?
Oooppsss.... no further comment...
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
To start with, AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes has invited MAHB's Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad to AirAsia's 10th anniversary celebration tomorrow, which I personally believe will also be attended by Datuk Seri Najib, Azman Mokhtar (the man in the net?) and major players of the aviation industry.
Good one. After all the bickering and tug-of-war games, its time for both parties to sit down and settle the dispute. A business truce should augur well in seeing the budget airline and the only airport manager/builder brush aside any unwanted elements that may cause hiccup to their business.
Tony spoke to The Star two hours after the AirAsia press conference where 10 of its executives demanded for a service level agreement (SLA) from MAHB before the carrier moved to KLIA2 in April 2013. And later on, MAHB issued a statement to challenge the press conference.
“We wish to continue working closely with all our partners to address any issues that may arise and will do so through a proper working forum as we believe this is the best and most objective way to do so.
"MAHB believes that any disagreements in public are neither good for the image nor in the best interest of the country,'' Tony said.
Ironically, when the AirAsia press conference was going on, Fernandes tweeted to say that one of the letters posted on MAHB website was fake, but quickly changed it to say that what he meant was the argument was 'fake'', not the letter.I hope Bashir will reciprocate positively. I will also attend AirAsia's anniversary tomorrow, hoping to see no punches thrown at anybody...
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
“We are the victims here... we are at the mercy of MAHB, which is the only party building airports here,” said the carrier’s commercial director Jasmine Lee.
Some people are very downright with their statements; some are not. While we can understand why businesses apply a blanket on certain aspects of the operation, we still find it difficult to digest especially when it involves a government-linked entity. Let alone a pro-govt tycoon.
After all the publicity about MAS and AirAsia, with Tony Fernandes lambasting MAHB for 'giving his air carrier unreasonable problems', here come the most intriguing part - rebuttal and denial.
I think it has been more than a months since reports quoted him as saying that AisAsia wanted a bigger KLIA2.
In a Bernama report today, the low-cost carrier refuted claims by the airport operator that AirAsia was the main reason for the cost of the new low-cost terminal, or KLIA2, to increase substantially. (Also read Rocky's Bru).
The statement, issued yesterday also said it did not ask for a bigger KLIA2. But why did the company take 'plenty of time' to come up with this rebuttal?
The budget carrier also provided copies of two official letters sent by AirAsia to MAHB and vice versa to prove that it should not be blamed for the price tag of KLIA2 to almost double.
AirAsia, MAHB's biggest customer, said its chairman, Datuk Abdul Aziz Abu Bakar, had in a letter on November 2009 to MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid, cautioned that the location of KLIA2 at KLIA West was not suitable and would cause construction costs to soar.
"The site will definitely be more expensive than the planned budget of RM2 billion," AirAsia said, adding it had also estimated for MAHB that the construction cost will increase to RM3.6-RM3.9 billion.
In a separate letter dated Aug 9 this year, Bashir had written to AirAsia X chairman, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, claiming that the proposed KLIA2 would be sufficient to handle 30 million passengers per annum.
"This figure has never been officially changed by AirAsia or MAHB since Aug 9, 2011," AirAsia said, in refuting claims made by MAHB in an article entitled "Why KLIA2 has to be bigger" posted on its website.
Looks like the issue is taking a turn for the worse. So, which is which now? I believe the govt needs to step in to quell it (is Azman Moktar around?)
However, let's listen to what Tony has to say in a press conference at the AirAsia HQ in Sepang today.
However, he has apologised to the Perak Mentri Besar. Even that, he said the Press and bloggers have taken out his speech out of context, and that it has been politicised for the next general election.
Now that the whole world has watched and listened to what he exactly said, perhaps an apology is not enough.
He also called Zambry 'haram jadah' (read Stopthelies). In general context, it means 'bastard' or 'child who is born out of wedlock (anak haram). And had not for his supporters from PAS and PKR, he would have called Zambry a 'yau peng chai'!
He has yet to apologise. Will he or will he not?
I have heard and seen verbal war between BN and the Opposition MPs during the 1980s. 'Haram jadah' was used in the Dewan Rakyat and Speaker Zahir Ismail had to apply the power vested in him to put things under control. Those involved then retracted their words and apologised to the floor.
It happened during the era of 'hardcore' MPs like Hu Sepang, Shahidan Kassim, Tamrin Ghafar, Bujang Ulis, Osman Abdul, Chen Man Hin and others. Some senior MPs today were also part of that circus.
However, it gets more rampant these days and people like Nga is not only getting labeled as racist but is becoming a liability to this own party, the DAP. I wonder if the party's disciplinary committee will take action against him.
Karpal Singh has rapped Nga for that but other leaders in DAP remained silent. However, I don't think any action will be taken against him. They need people like Nga as a political stabilizer!
And who is the DAP leader who calls Malaysian Indians stupid?
But one thing for sure, people like Nga sure has a bad breath!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
(History: when Hang Tuah threw his Taming Sari into the Duyong River about 5 centuries ago, he said: "Untung sabut timbul; untung batu tenggelam.")
Umno will still have strong support from its members, no doubt about it. Being 'a comfortable party to be with', most Malays will not be in vertigo to place their bet, neither will they become irresolute toward Barisan Nasional.
The Umno general assembly concluded yesterday with a bang - president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it has met all the objectives set before it convened. All delegates were invigorated by every single speech delivered, although some were circumlocutions. Allusions were applied when it come to battering the Opposition, and as usual the floor jumped in excitement.
But from the eyes of an Umno layman, people like me, the GA is a routine. All political parties worldwide have their own general assembly. In late 1983, I attended the Baath Party congress at the el-Rashid Hotel, Baghdad. Saddam Hussein chaired it. In 1996, I was at the Khartoum Assembly Hall when President Omar el-Bashir opened it.
Knowing what kind of a person Saddam is, speakers who took to the floor did not laud or compliment him too much. They did not even lash out at the Opposition but centered their discussion and deliberation on how to improve the party's image in the eyes of the Iraqis. And so were the Sudanese delegates.
Sudanese ulama Hassan al-Turabi whom I met during a trip to Madani (I stayed at his house for a week... invited to Sudan as a member of an international watchdog agency to observe the first free presidential election in the country) used to tell me:
"We elected the leaders. As leaders, they need no eulogy because they should know their responsibility. The people who made them leaders deserve it more, especially when they made the right choice."
But we are not Iraq or Sudan. They don't have the Chinese or Indians like us although they have dozens of political parties. In Malaysia, Umno must not only becomes a 'darling' to the eyes of the Malays but also to the Chinese, Indians, Sikhs and others.
I found it sickening when 6 delegates whom I had tea with at a coffee house yesterday, said Umno will remain the pillar of BN even if the MCA, Gerakan or MIC fail to win enough seats in the next general election. I don't know what math or theory that support such a divination. Deep inside, I said there goes the spirit of Perikatan!
At few by-elections where Umno contested, there were words and finger-pointing that MCA didn't do much to help the campaigns. In fact, it came from a few members of the Umno Supreme Council who came down at a time when MCA party workers and leaders were meeting with the Chinese voters. As usual, members who happen to be around them will collaborate that notion!
Umno should sit down more often with MCA, MIC, Gerakan and other BN components, not only at the leaders level but at the grass root. Denying each other's importance and contribution will only lead to Umno and MCA becoming another 'Malay' and 'Chinese' party - in other words, let MCA do all the jobs to win the Chinese while Umno for the Malays.
Najib's winding-up speech was among the best I've listened to - simple yet stimulating. The delegates were very receptive to calls to work harder and stay united in preparing for the next national poll, and that division heads should not have the impression that his deputy was trying to topple him.
But what about the ordinary members? Are we really listening to them? Are we actually paying attention to their complaints about the incompetency of a division's leadership, corruption, factionalism and so on? Are we dead sure that the candidates we chose to become their Members of Parliament or State Assemblymen are the ones they prefer and support?
If politics is all about qualification and scrolls, a political party should well become an organisation that employs them. A doctor, lawyer or engineer cannot make a good politician or become a 'wakil rakyat' if he gets no grass root support. Similarly, a 'parachute' candidate will only undermine the voters of that constituency. As the saying goes, 'kecil jangan disangka anak, besar jangan disangka bapak!'
Nevertheless, the general assembly was indeed another wake up call to the Malays and Malaysians as a whole. Umno must be steered to stay relevant in bringing Malaysians together under BN administration.
However, how many wake up calls must we make until the Malays in Umno can really open up their mind about the significant of other BN component parties to their political survival? How many times more that they need to wake up every morning without askance and prejudice toward the non-Malays or non-Bumiputeras?
There were still delegates who made incongruous and cynical speech at the general assembly about the Chinese. It's time to stop all that. And it's time for Umno to win the heart of the Chinese while MCA wins more Malay support. I am not saying we should make do without the 'social contract' but the future of the Malays lies more in their own hands now.
And please note that the more we hit out at the Opposition, the more seats they grabbed, Sarawak state election being a good example.
We should stay more focused at the most-bottom level, the grass root members. They are the ones who will decide and chart the future of the country. Whether they are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazan or others, Umno should be much more closer to them than to the elected leaders.
I beg to differ from other pro-BN and pro-Umno bloggers who lauded and gave full marks to everything that took place at the Umno GA. I am worried if we make incorrigible mistakes. Some Umno leaders and members will not support my jottings and view, and I am not sure whether or not I got the message across.
But I am glad to have written it here. At least I can tell my 4-year old daughter, Sofea (picture) who sings 'Lagu Umno' aloud almost every day and is able to distinguish Najib, Dr Mahathir, Muhyiddin, Hisham, Shahrizat, Mukhriz, KJ and others on TV - the reason for not taking her to the PWTC during Umno GA (I broke my promise to her, and she cried each time I left home for the venue) was to avoid her getting tired!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Imagine our country being taken over by a new regime we are not familiar with. At least, we have been comfortable with Barisan Nasional. Tell me, who are inviting foreign intervention into our system?
“We fear that Obama will feel that, because he is black with an inferiority complex, this will make him behave worse than the whites. This will be a tragedy. We tell him to be proud of himself as a black and feel that all Africa is behind him.”
Moammar Gaddafi said these words in 2008. I don’t know if they were translated from the Arabic or if he said it in English, which was not his first language.
In any case, Gaddafi had no reason that Obama would quite literally be the death of him, but his words were prescient. Africa is at Obama’s mercy, whether it is because of an inferiority complex isn’t clear. I don’t know that Obama is all that complicated. He is just ambitious and does what the system requires of him.
Friday, December 2, 2011
I am grateful to the inventors of technology. IT provides a superb highway to get our message across. As to whether the message is well received and perceived by those at the top, does not matter as I believe some of them will read it. As former PM Tun Dr Mahathir said, blogs and the new media are the best resort for anyone to say something about anything, including what one feels about his party and the government.
Journalists who are Umno members didn't get much chance to speak at any general assembly. Only a handful of them hold party position at branch of division levels. As pro-Umno and pro-BN journalists, they rather stay focus on their job, which is supporting the legitimate government. The only occasion a journo was allowed to speak at the general assembly was Ahmad A Talib from the NSTP Group about 12 years ago (did he recite a poem?). That was during Tun Dr Mahathir's era.
Most journalists who are close with Umno and BN leadership are the pool of people who knows a lot of things, some of which are considered private and confidential. They will write some and keep some to themselves. In order to protect the party's interest, most of the secrets became the 'untold stories'. Only when they retire or when the politicians are no longer hold any position in the government or Umno, some parts of it would leak.
Even that, I've seldom heard prime ministers or any Cabinet members - in any intro to their speeches - said something like ".... Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Dato'-Dato'... and members of the Press..." whereas it is a common practice in many countries. In fact, most foreign dignitaries who came to Malaysia often acknowledged them by saying, "... and the distinguished members of the media/Press...".
And frankly, such a phrase does not come easy from Umno leaders. It's their duty to report. However, it would be soothing to hear it once in a while.
Actually, journalists do not need such an eulogy. But about 4 million members of the party who have been loyal through all the spics and specks of Umno, deserve just the right appreciation and recognition. It's not a reward in cash and kind that they ask. It will be just suffice if the leadership listen to their woes and resolve it.
Over the years, those who delivered speeches at the general assemblies are a group of sycophants who would try their very best to become the best speaker in narrating eulogies for the president, deputy president and the party top leadership. They will spend almost half of their speeches attributing to how good, charismatic and efficient the leaders are, and as such we must continue giving them our undivided support. Very invigorating!
Umno is a big house. While the leaders enjoy the privileges of sitting on the couch, watching TV and sipping at their coffee while deliberating strategies, those who mix them coffee and frying 'pisang goreng' should be appreciated as well. We must always keep our kitchen spick and span. Only then can we have a wonderful home.
It is very unfortunate that millions of Umno members are not able to attend any general assembly. Those who made it are usually fully-sponsored by division heads or others. The rich will come and stay a week in hotels or rented places around KL. And there are also members who had never been to Kuala Lumpur.
I remember during one of our Merdeka Day celebrations in the 1990s, Umno brought about 30 party veterans to KL, putting them up at a 4-star hotel. Aged between 70 and 85, none of them ever had the opportunity to visit the capital city. It was easy to locate which rooms they were in - slippers, shoes and sandals outside the doors!
And I was there, very much moved with what I saw and heard. A few members of the media just couldn't hold back their tears in disbelief that the unsung heroes did not manage to taste a tiny slice of the fruits of Independence and development. I believe some of them are gone now, leaving their personal and discreet legacy behind, unknown to us - the Malaysians!
Of course we must support our leaders. However, we must also know how to appreciate the support and those who give us the support. The Malays are known for being courteous and loyal to their leaders. They have faith in good leadership. And they are very tolerance too to the extent that a good leader deserves something (or should be rewarded with) for their retirement.
That is why we wouldn't mind the ministers, deputy ministers or other 'good and performing' leaders got something in return for their excellent service so that they enjoy a good life once they retire. The Malays too wouldn't mind having a plate of rice with salted fish as long as the good leaders enjoy chicken kurma and beef curry. This is examples how extreme the Malays could be in upholding a good leadership.
As time passes by, rhetoric of the general assembly gets thicker as if it has become an inveterate among speakers. The Opposition will normally become a good topic to blast, and sometimes the element of Malay-chauvinism cannot be avoided. And again, I saw and heard yesterday how a delegate from Kelantan, Alwi Che Mat aroused the floor by avowing, "Orang Cina hendak jambatan emas, kita beri tapi orang Cina hendak darah, tak bolehlah!"
After 64 years Umno was founded and 54 years of Independence, the Malays backwardness has nothing more to do with the Chinese, Indians or others. While the Umno-led government keeps on formulating new approach to uplift the well being of Malays and Bumiputeras, it is the Malays who should emulate the Chinese in building up their business empires and wealth.
But the Malays are also known for their orthodox manner in doing business and moving their politics. Back-stabbing, bad disposition, factionalism, unwilling to compete, irresolute, willy-nilly attitude and dawdling with opportunity, are among their habitual norms that hinder and slow down their pace.
Not without saying, greedy. Since opportunity is made abundant under the NEP - which saw them being prioritized for government contracts - many Malay entrepreneurs got into competition among each other. And when Tun Dr Mahathir introduced privatization and Malaysia Incorporated, more of these new and upcoming businessmen did not fail to opportune from it, thus creating a group of millionaires.
However, our hope of seeing them help and inculcate others to become millionaires just like them, went ashtray. Had each and every one of the 10 Malay millionaires helped turn another 10 Malay entrepreneurs into millionaires, I think we would have about 20 Malay billionaires and at least 10,000 millionaires today!
But they were overcame by greed. In addition, politics began to play its lead in securing more contracts. While existing businessmen got richer, the up and coming ones didn't have much chance to get nearer to the gold mine.
And this was when Umno grass root members started to perceive the party as belonged to the 'rich and famous', especially when those with the cash and deemed close to the Malay millionaires, were made division heads and to other posts. Soon, the showcase and competition for luxury took shape when this grass root leaders built new houses (or villas), drove the Benz, BMW and other expensive makes, to the astonishment of us, the poor ordinary members.
Just take a look at them during each Umno general assembly and any by-election. During the Merlimau state seat by-election early this year, you could easily spot two 'Hummers' at the BN Command Center beside the new mosque. Mercedez Benz, BMW, Volvo, Lexus, Estima and Alphard are all around. Even a Porsche is so common nowadays!
So, what does the party general assembly means to us, the grass root members? Almost nothing, except for the calls to strengthen the party, stand united behind the leaders and continue voting for BN in the next general election. While most of the members get old in providing undivided support to the leaders and the party they adore and love, upholding the Malay supremacy in politics and keeping up with 'ketuanan Melayu', this getting-old and hard-working members can only watch and listen to glamorous stories of how their young leaders got rich and richer.
Umno is a perfect party for the Malays but the leadership must revise its approach in dealing with the grass root members. Is there any tangible explanation to their assumption and perception that those who go all out to grab any party portfolios are actually going after the money and luxury in-store for them, and not really after the responsibility? It's difficult because the facts stand very loud and clear.
The grass root members do not need a luxury car or a new better house. They want to feel being close to the top leaders. As such, they need their respective division or branch heads to channel their woes to the top leaders. They want to be heard. Solving their problems is not everything about keeping close rapport with them. What's most important is the ears lent.
However, most division heads are of the general opinion that they should become Members of Parliament while a branch chief must be made to stand in the general election for the State seat. If his deputy or secretary is chosen as an election candidate, the whole party organisation in that division can be expected to be in a woe betide situation. Factionalism will be imminent, and so is internal bickering.
When things like this happen, nobody would listen to the members or transmit their message to the State Umno chief, namely the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister. There were also cases where the State Umno Liaison chief was fed only with 'good news' from all divisions because any problem is deemed as pointing to the division head's weakness.
Another issue that the top leadership never took any notice is the existent of 'mini empires' at some Umno divisions. We lambast the Opposition for practicing such politics but we turn out to be the kettle who calls the pot black. If I am the division head, my wife will be the Wanita head, my son will lead the Pemuda wing while my daughter leads the Puteri. Such a mini political empire makes Umno grass root members so blase.
In this globalisation era, almost everything is not a secret anymore. Information can be obtained and retrieved at a touch of a button. As the country moves forward, the society's demand gets more sophisticated.
However, Umno still needs that good human touch to stay relevant. While we are so proud of being praised by the world for our achievement, and in drowning ourselves in words of compliments about Umno and Barisan Nasional, how actually do we fare in the eyes of our ordinary members?
Just as the many trophies we won at various international competition for innovation, design and researches, how many of such findings were put to good use, meaning in helping our people improve their life? And how many road show have we organised to explain how the ETP and other transformation plans can benefit them? What is the significant of Iskandar Malaysia, NCER and ECER to the Malays when the bulk of business and business lots are affordable only to the non-Malays and foreigners? How and who should do all the explanation?
I will still vote for the ruling party in the next general election but I am not sure about others. The 12th general election was quite a disaster for Umno and BN. The top leadership may take my three postings lightly but petty matters have tendency to 'snowball' into a delicate issue.
I have written what I feel, what the grass root members feel about Umno. Criticism does not mean any ill feeling towards the leadership. If we are not open to criticism, good idea and positive thinking, even God will not help us.
Whatever it is, I am glad that my 4-year old daughter can sing 'Lagu Umno' well enough. When I took her on vice-president Hishammuddin's visit to Besut division a few months ago, she became a centre of attraction for singing it aloud.
Please remember - the road to ruin is always kept under good repairs!