Thursday, May 31, 2012

Murdoch Press and Media Prima

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the Leveson Inquiry that it was unhealthy that certain parts of the media used newspapers as 'instruments of political power'.

"I'm just being open about that and open about the fact that, frankly, I decided as a political leader that I was going to manage that and not confront it..."Politicians will often interact with them closely. Disentangling what is inevitable from what is wrong is a profound challenge."

He went on: "My argument would be that the unhealthy nature of this relationship is not the product of an individual but of a culture. It is the draining of the poison of that culture that is the real challenge, a challenge deepened by the arrival of the social media and one not at all confined to the UK.

"I cannot believe we were the first and only Government which has wanted to put the best possible gloss on what you were doing," Blair, Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, told inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson.

"That is a completely different thing from saying you should go out and say things that are untrue or bully and harass journalists. I read a lot of things we are supposed to have done and I dispute them."

The Labour leader between 1994 and 2007, said the 1992 general election, which Labour lost, was 'etched' on his memory, criticising the genre of journalism 'where because this line between news and comment gets blurred, it stopped being journalism, it's an instrument of political power and propaganda'.

Blair has told a press ethics inquiry he made no apologies for courting Rupert Murdoch's newspapers.

In his evidence, Blair, who is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's children, was asked about his close relationship with the media baron, whose tabloid The Sun, Britain's top-selling newspaper, gave him its backing.

Blair said he had made a strategic decision not to take on the power of the press during his time in office, adding that he had taken care to court the press because, if media groups had turned against him, it would have been a "huge and sustained attack".

Blogger's note: It reminds me much of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's era when the media, notably the new media namely blogs and news portals were 'responsible' in shortening his tenure as a prime minister.

Their attacks on his 'Level 4' personnel were devastating enough to be countered by the government's 'official newspapers and TV stations' such as the Media Prima group, Utusan and Bernama. And the group of bloggers and news portal owners are still claiming the credit in making such a 'contribution'.

However, under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the presence of the media power is increasingly felt. In fact, it takes a different turn when media barons engaged as advisers to the government are not only getting special treatment but also awarded with certain projects.

A minister and three senior government officials whom I had coffee with in KL a few days ago agreed that Media Prima and its representative at the PM Office are 'deeply involved' in some decision-makings.

"How could one be given so many projects and even influences the inner circle as to whom should this and that project be awarded? They put politics above all and this is bad to their business should the government changes regime after the next general election..."

Well... I believe they realise that!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A-ahhh.... Not now!

A-ah! PM's announcement that he will be tabling Budget 2013 at the Parliament on Sept 28 doused off all speculations that the national polls would be held before Hari Raya Puasa. It also puts all contemplations at base.

But then, rumor mongering has no stopping. People from the top to the laymen are now quite certain that general election has to be by year end. Could it be November or October once the the Budget reaches Dewan Negara?

There are also suggestions for the polls to be called latest by February next year before the Cabinet terms expires. But this would be too late and could be seen as Najib's effort to frustrate the Opposition. It would also be perceived as a sign that BN is having problems and that it needs until the last minute to prepare it for elections.

A text message I received seconds after Najib's announcement today said, "Looks like PM is listening to the warlord (Tun Dr Mahathir)".

I don't know and I don't want to comment on that but the former Prime Minister had, in an interview with Bloomberg two days ago made a staggering remark that Najib's government was not ready for the general election now and for that, Najib should call for the polls sometimes after Ramadan (the fasting month).

Of course its not suitable to have it during Ramadan. It could be held during Hari Raya but again, nothing was pointing to that although there were rumors that the government would be giving out bonuses to the civil servants before Hari Raya.

And now that Sept 28 is Budget Day, all speculations and prophecies about the 'soon to be held election' have subsided.

I believe the Opposition is caught by surprise too. After all the campaigning since early this year, they have to take some extra months to hammer the government, finding new issues and refreshing their tactics.

But what's the point of calling for a general election if the Opposition fails to give assurances that there would not be any problems during election campaign? They are so fond of taking to the streets now, and this is a big worry for everybody.

With their Bersih still disputing the electoral system, do we need an election now as they have the tendency of boycotting the poll or taking to the streets again?

I think Najib is taking into account all these issues. Whether he takes Tun Dr Mahathir's words for it, he is the boss now and its his prerogative rights to call the shots at the advise of the personnel around him.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pakatan Rakyat - a constructive or destructive Opposition?

Yes, most Malaysians want a clean and fair election. But at the same time, most Malaysians want a peaceful country free of political violence and ugly street demonstrations that obstruct their routines.

Similarly, they are also looking forward to a constructive opposition to represent them at the Parliament, not a destructive one who objects everything the government does and introduces as if they opposition is all perfect and the government is not.

A good and constructive opposition is a what the people and a country needs. In many countries, their opposition works hand in hand with the government in correcting the imbalances in whatever policy introduced, sitting on a special joint-panel to discuss and regulate or amend new laws and making major decisions.

However, the last time Malaysia had an 'okay' opposition was during the 80s and early 90s. Some of them are still around. Lee Lam Thye, Tan Seng Giaw, Hadi Awang, Tengku Razaleigh (under Semangat 46), Pairin Kitingan and Sim Kwang Yang, no name a few.

Lim Kit Siang and Karpal themselves used to be very fair but they lost sight when DAP, PAS and PKR formed Pakatan Rakyat, and of course with strong backings from the Bar Council, Bersih, Hindraf and other radical groups.

There were times when BN and opposition MPs voted in unison to certain issues, including the move to limit the power of the palace under Tun Dr Mahathir's era. They were also joined in issues about national unity, development and political stability.

But gone is the era. The opposition is no longer constructive. They reject each and every government's move to improve the economy, develop the country and the people, and in planning for the future.

Gone are the days when the Opposition supported what was supposed to be good and rejected anything that was deemed not beneficial to the nation and the rakyat.

What happened?

They were not only motivated by what took place in Japan (when the LDP lost grip after more than 50 years in power) and in Europe (France, Italy, Serbia, Poland and others) but also with the growing support they get from abroad.

But it is not a right move to turn Dataran Merdeka into another Tahrir Square. It would mean bloodshed. They planned a coup by planning to remove the legitimate government by force before the next general election.

They have forgotten the simple fact that the government was elected by the people through election. Any means to unseat it by force will be seen as not respecting the peoples' decision and votes. In a democratic country, any party should wait for the next national poll and do its utmost to win before forming a government.

Malaysia is not Indonesia, Thailand or the Philippines. This is another fact which slides from the Opposition mind. As multiracial and moderate politics are the key to our development and national security, they should give their best shot to woo the electorates, and not by taking to the streets and creating chaos.

Malaysians are wise people these days. They have options, and they will opt for the best. They will opt for future security and reject anything that would harm or disrupt their life. Unless they are radical and extreme enough to put it to test!

Barisan Nasional is not everything perfect but the opposition (unless they win the next national poll) will gain more respect and appreciation should they embark on a new dynamic approach to their politics. Moderate is the keyword while constructive is the pillar.

However, it is saddening to note that they are fighting for the politics of a person, somebody who (by hook or by crook) wants to become a Prime Minister. So, where is Pakatan Rakyat leading to?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

4 issues affecting 4 million votes!

Issue No. 1

Too much attention on Felda. So much is offered to the settlers. Yes, we are proud of them, of their achievement and their contribution to the national gross income. However, are they the only ones the nation depends on for commodity? What is actually Felda's contribution in terms of volume and percentage to the national commodity output? What about the estimated 750,000 rubber and oil palm smallholders who, I believe, also play an important role in multiplying our commodity exports. Who speaks for them during their difficult time? Who supports them when they are faced with similar problems the Felda settlers had to face, especially when the commodity price took a big dip. Who will help them in their 'thick and thin'? Risda? Felcra? Agriculture Department? Who? Most of the small estate holders are still finding it difficult to make ends meet. For those who depend solely on tapping rubber, the monsoon always spell disaster. But who listens to their woes? Aren't they our voters?

Issue No. 2

Too much attention in wage adjustment for the civil servants. This includes the police and soldiers. However, we are forgetting about 3.5 million voters - namely 2.94 million Rela members and about 500,000 Askar Wataniah. They are not civil servants by technicality. They are only paid allowances which are much lower than that of any dispatch riders with the government offices or the private sector. Most of them also rely on this allowance to feed their family. We need them at all times to boost our security, helping the police and the army in keeping the house stable and trouble-free. However, they are made to buy their own boots and uniforms (which are not cheap, obviously) before getting reimbursed months later, provided that the claims are not lost. Aren't they our voters too?

Issue No. 3

About BR1M. Do we have a proper master or check list? Why are there still many single mothers, single fathers, 'warga emas' above 60 and those under the low-income bracket are not getting it? Why are there pensioners and those drawing more than RM3,000 per month got it? Who actually conducted the survey and who approved the list given? I believe there is favoritism in distributing the BR1M, don't you agree with me?

Issue No. 4

TV3 reality program 'Bersamamu' is a shame for a fast developing country like Malaysia. While we give strong thrust on our economic development, we don't really focus on problems on the ground. Let me ask this - what is the function of a JKKK (Jawatankuasa Keselamatan dan Kemajuan Kampung)? Don't tell me they are not able to detect or distinguish any household that does not have enough food to eat and clothes to wear? How big is a kampung, tell me! What have they been doing all this while to disregard such a local problem? Playing politics? The JKKK should keep abreast with developments in their respective kampungs, report it to the 'penghulu' or Adun or the Member of Parliament. Effectively, nobody should be allowed to live that kind of pathetic life if the JKKK, its State Assemblyman and the MP attend to it. Aren't you people with the JKKK, the Adun and MP feel ashamed when the poor in your area is highlighted on 'Bersamamu'? It reflects how poor your political management is... and there goes the vote for you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is everything all right with Umno now?

Very alarming!

The findings that disclosed 47 out of 191 Umno divisions were sabotaged during the last general election should send a strong message to the party's top leadership. Something was not right then, obviously.

However, is everything all right now for Umno to brace the 13th general election? I don't have the answer but I do have some observations to share.

Who were the saboteurs in 2008? The grassroot members or divisional office bearers themselves, especially those not nominated as election candidates?

The Malays are still thick in back-stabbing and back-bitting. Some people who lost their seat to a new candidate may turn into one of the party's greatest enemy within. For instance, a division head who had to pave the way for his deputy to contest would become the among the party's greatest enemies within.

He launched a campaign not to vote for his deputy and incited members to vote for the Opposition as a symbol of protest. An unperforming wakil rakyat, the division head felt his position was being threatened, thus such a bad disposition would ensure his deputy to lose and the division head seat to remain his.

Plenty of money was circulated. As a division head, he grabbed almost all projects and allocations for his division, making him from rag to rich during his one or two terms tenure as a Yang Berhormat. And with this money, members (voters) who supported him then were paid either to vote for the Opposition or not to vote at all.

I am not sure if that 47 divisions exposed by Umno vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is precise but I agree that those involved should be axed or expelled from the party. Umno needs a big clean up before the national poll as to avoid the recur of the 2008 disaster.

There are many reason as to why members cast their protest votes in 2008. Among which are their dissension toward the choice of candidate, their dissatisfaction over branch and division heads and their frustration over the top leadership's failure to address some of their woes.

There is no need for me to write a lengthy me posting as I have written many over the past few years, especially during the party's General Assembly last year.

However, I would like Zahid to publicly disclose which are the 47 divisions affected during 2008 poll. By looking at the names who lead the divisions, we could easily identify the culprit and take action.

We don't need these people around.

But again, is everything all right with Umno now?

Monday, May 21, 2012

More 'drop outs' join PAS

Its confirmed that former Bukit Aman CID chief Fauzi Shaari has joined PAS, being among the first big names who joined the Islamic party.

It was about a month ago when rumors and 'political indicators' named him together with Bukit Aman Crimes Investigation chief Ramli Yusoff and ex-Umno Cabinet minister Kadir Sheikh Fadzir on the probable 'major line-up' in the Islamic party.

However, Ramli and Kadir have yet to make any decision.

No surprise at all.

PAS has been busy recruiting political 'drop outs' and ex-senior government officials who turned their back on Umno and Barisan Nasional over unknown reasons or for failing to get to the top seat. And while continue to receive government pension until the day they die, the switch camp and support the Opposition.

They were once good government servants. Never had they criticised the ruling party and the Cabinet while still in service. Except for Ramli who won his legal battle in court, the others had to wait until they retire to join PAS or PKR or DAP.

No. Don't blame them. Its their personal rights to join any party the wish. However, the question that remains - why did they decide so only after they retired from the public service or after leaving the Cabinet? What 'light' have they seen at the end of the tunnel?

Ooo... there must be a good reason. They must complete their service in order to get the lifetime pension and other perks, is it so? Or grab whatever opportunity to make big bucks before bidding farewell to the service? A good reason, right?

Nevertheless, something crossed my mind. What is wrong with Umno and Barisan Nasional that prompted these people to crossover to the Opposition? Is it the system, the style of administration or something else?

Who should conduct a study and take up this matter seriously?

Any answer?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Of Marina Mahathir and Dennis Ignatius...

Yes, a free Press is essential to democracy. I agree. That's exactly what columnist and ex-diplomat Dennis Ignatius wrote in the Malaysian Insider.

He was attacking the Star for himself and for human rights (what?) activist Marina Mahathir for a very simple reason. One or two lines from their original article for their respective column in the newspaper were 'taken away' by the editor. That made them so angry.

For that, they accused the Star and other pro-government media of not practicing Press freedom. And for that also, they turned sour grapes!

The Star has given that column to Marina for 23 years now. The column is one of her best available platforms to shoot herself to fame, especially in the eyes of the Opposition - home and abroad - and those who support absolute freedom.

Hey! I do support human rights groups. I like freedom of the Press and human rights groups but I still cling to my faith, my religion. Tell me of any religion which allows or encourages same sex marriage or sex outside wed-lock? Which? Can't hear you!

If you can answer that, then I will rally support for such a freedom or human rights cause. I promise!

O-oh... this Dennis. He used to beg for a column in the Star. Not many people knew him then until the Star gave him that opportunity to portray himself as a prolific writer under the label 'freedom of the Press'.

I don't think he understands much about free Press because he resides in Canada and not Malaysia. He has forgotten that Malaysia is the only multiracial and multi-religious country in the world. We are a chronic case for its many sensitivities.

There is free Press in Malaysia but Malaysians, including most of the journalists are well aware that racial and religious issues could be turned into a time-bomb should then pen inciting articles about inter-racial hatred and inter-religious confrontation.

I am sure most Malaysians (except a small quarter who finds excitement in streets demo and stirring the peace and stability) would like to live in harmony, earning a good living and free from any kind of trouble.

I wonder whether these people give total freedom to their kids and next of kins - practicing free sex and proud to tell others about it. What about the rights of drug addicts? Why isn't there anybody take the lead to fight for their cause as free sex, LGBT and drug addicts come together. And instead of asking the 'government of their choice' to build more schools, it would be better to erect more hospitals to treat them!

And what's wrong for the editors to edit their writings? Are they so perfect that their article cannot be altered or edited?

We have the set of law to follow but any law can be amended. But not the teachings of a religion... and all religions.

Absolute freedom will be a disaster for a country like Malaysia, for Dennis' info. Similarly, the elements of human rights too should have a limitation. Unless you want a 'free for all' country, which is also part of the rights for some crazy people.

Any kind of freedom must have a certain degree of controls. Its not easy to build a nation and instil the spirit of mutual respect between people. It takes a lot of sacrifices and, or course, it was time-consuming but its easy to tear it apart.

Marina is Malay and a Muslim and I believe Dennis is a Christian, two religions that put manner and order above all. I appreciate their work and contribution in their respective discipline but let's be moderate about it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Something fishy about Lim's offer to Tunku Aziz...

First, Penang CM Lim Guan Eng offered Tunku Aziz a senior fellowship at an institute after DAP refused to renew his senatorship. It was a punishment for his dissent over Bersih 3.0 and for making 'unapproved' statements to the media.

Soon after that, Lim's political secretary, Zairil Khir Johari called and repeated the offer, along with a stipend of RM50,000.

Within hours later, Lim Kit Sing made a statement that whatever Tunku Aziz's decision was, the latter and the rest of the DAP leadership must 'part as gentlemen'.

So precious was Tunku Aziz to the DAP that they have to persuade him to stay and offer him a position and cash. What does the former party vice-chairman has in his hands that his departure stirred the party so much?

Although there were suggestion that his decision to quit will not deter the Malays in DAP - and while police reports are made against Guan Eng over his offer - DAP seems to be shaken by it.

Why? DAP is in the process of wooing more Malays as members. Tunku Aziz was the only Malay holding a senior post in the party in many years. Although he is considerably a new figure in the party and for holding the position for three years, he made some 'window dressing' that DAP is not a party for the Chinese only.

He managed to change the perception that DAP is a true democratic party despite not having a leadership election for so many years.

It was under his era that some Malays, including former Umno members, joined DAP while the support for the party among radical Malay students was rising.

However, Tunku Aziz is a moderate man. Throughout his tenure as DAP vice-chairman, never had he criticised the government bluntly. As a senator, he often gave positive comments and feedback about certain government policy.

Yes, he was with the Opposition but he is constructive one. This differed him from the rest of Pakatan Rakyat MPs who would attack each and every government's policy and development approach. While he took a constructive approach, his team mates preferred to be destructive.

DAP and its allies in Pakatan Rakyat are perhaps the only Opposition team in the world that find everything is wrong about the ruling government. Nothing that the government did had gotten their support or a word of appraisal. The government may not be at all perfect but aren't they suppose to lend assistance as to how some policies could be further improved?

What made them to think that if Pakatan forms the government by winning the next general election, they will be free of errors?

That prompted Tunku Aziz to come to such a decision. He has seen how Bersih was mobilised by the Opposition to stage a coup. They wanted to change the government before fresh polls can be held. They wanted to unseat a popular government, a government elected by the people via a general election.

But perhaps Tunku Aziz knows too much about DAP's weaknesses that caused Guan Eng and friends to make such a counter offer for his senatorship...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tunku Aziz, a true Malaysian!

As expected, Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim finally quits DAP as its vice-chairman, barely three years after joining it.

In his short text message to Bernama, he did not give any reason for the decision but it is publicly known that the row over his dejection for Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 prompted him to leave the opposition.

Personally, I perceive it as a true gentleman's move. Besides, being the only Malay general in the Chinese-dominated circle, he probably realised how he has all the while been made as strap for the party's leadership.

He couldn't speak louder than Karpal, Kit Siang or Guan Eng. He got to spell out everything before the top leadership for any statement he wanted to make.

However, Bersih 3.0 was his wake up call. At 78, he believe in his country's stability, prosperity and peace as most important than extreme politics. He is old enough to detect the rotten agenda behind Bersih and its devastating impact on national security.

Even as a DAP leader then, the Senator was seldom heard. Despite being with the opposition, he valued national harmony and didn't believe in unseating a popular government by means of force. He loves the country just like others who objected to Bersih.

As for the DAP, it has to find a 'Malay replacement' for him to give the impression that it is a multi-racial party. But who would be the donkey this time?

Tunku Aziz's next move is still unknown. However, he is a wise man...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Where is Umno?

Umno is still celebrating its 66th birthday. I wanted to go to the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Friday nite but was engaged with another meeting with two European diplomats. After all, I am so used to speeches by Umno leaders, about things they will say and the kind of slogans to chant.

Umno is my party since 1981 and I hope it will stay relevant forever.

However, in order to stay relevant, Umno leaders must restrategise its approach and mechanism. We can be proud for having more than 3.4 million members supporting the party. But what have we drawn or learn from the 2008 poll 'disaster'?

I do not wish to write a long post. Enough to say that Umno (maybe) only exists for the leaders and those who benefit from working with its inner circle. The grassroot members are still there, talking about bread and butter on the promise of 'the moon and sun'.

How sincere are we in appreciating the grassroot members?

Just citing a simple case - an Umno member passed away in Kota Bharu Hospital last Thursday. Two hours later, representatives from KB PAS division came to pay their last respect to the deceased and contributed some money for his funeral.

The very next day, a rep from KITA also came to the family house to extend condolences and gave 'wang ehsan' to them.

However, nobody from Kota Bharu Umno division office came despite a promise by one of its senior official to send a rep and 'wang khairat' to the bereaved family. Up to this date, no Umno rep came.

I don't know what happened. Only God knows best. However, its not about money. Its the thought that counts. The deceased was very active in party's activities, and so are his family members.

But where was Umno when they needed it most?

Umno leaders are very busy with their work and schedule while its office bearers at the State and division levels are also tied up with their routine, especially in keeping their position and gaining the attention from the top.

I am not sure how do we treat 'petty and small' matter like this. Of course its not similar to that of tabling a new Bill at the Parliament or formulating a new development policy for the country. However, a small matter like this has a tendency to escalate into a big one.

This is one of several similar cases brought to my attention. Yes, people at the top may treat it as not important but just wait when it becomes the talk of the town or kampung. So, what kind of an impression do we expect from them?

I don't know if PM and Umno President Najib Tun Razak reads this. Many Umno leaders could laugh at it but I have so much worries for Umno, particularly in preparing its machinery for the next general election.

Will we still blame the grassroot members should the votes for Umno decline again? I think its fair, right?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bush guilty of war crimes!

The War Crimes Tribunal in Kuala Lumpur has convicted former US President George W. Bush and seven of his associates as war criminals for torture and inhumane treatment of war crime victims at US military facilities.

However, being a tribunal of conscience, the five-member panel chaired by tribunal president judge Lamin Mohd Yunus had no power to enforce or impose custodial sentence on the convicted eight.

"We find the witnesses, who were victims placed in detention illegally by the convicted persons and their government, are entitled to payment of reparations," said Lamin at a public hearing held in an open court at the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Crimi­na­lise War yesterday.

The tribunal's award of reparations would be submitted to the War Crimes Commission and recommended the victims to find a judiciary entity that could enforce the verdict.

It will also submit the finding and records of the proceedings to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations' Security Council.

Five former Iraqi detainees, who were tortured while being detained in various prisons, including Guantanamo Bay, were called to give their testimonies before the Tribunal during the trial which started on May 7.

Bush's associates were former US vice-president Dick Cheney; former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Bush’s former counsel Alberto Gonzales; Cheney’s then-general counsel David Addington; Rumsfeld’s then-general counsel William Haynes; then-assistant attorney-general Jay Bybee; and former deputy assistant attorney-general John Yoo.

The eight accused were charged with the crime of torture, that they had wilfully participated in the formulation of executive orders and directives to exclude the applicability of international conventions and laws, namely Convention against Torture 1984, Geneva Convention 1949, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter, in relation to the war launched by the US and others in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in March 2003.

Additionally, and/or on the basis and in furtherance thereof, the accused authorised, connived in, the commission of acts of torture and cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment against victims in violation of international law, treaties and aforesaid conventions.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Yes, Najib is most popular

One million friends on FB.

That's amazing. If you are not very popular, you won't be able to hit that figure in a year.

However, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak's FB friends have exceeded the one million mark yesterday. Congratulations.

I personally don't think other prime ministers or any other leaders in the region have achieved such a 'popularity level'.

And what does it show? In my opinion, people are supporting him not for his position as a leader but for his approach, policy and mediocrity. His moderate politic also contributes much in shaping up his image, not only as a leader but as a mentor to many.

In his latest entry in Facebook, Najib said: "I am deeply touched to know my Facebook friends have exceeded a million people. Thank you. I will continue to interact with my loyal online friends. Thank you for your support!".

The achievement by Najib is something to be proud of in light of his efforts to get closer to the people at the grassroots level by using technological advances in keeping with the times.

Recently, the prime minister announced that he would host high tea for his millionth Facebook friend and 500,000th Twitter follower.

Keep it up, Mr PM!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Singapore diplomats visit Pas Command Center... fuuuhhh!

I waited for two days to write this. And now that its confirmed, here I go...

What were some Singapore diplomats doing at Pas Command Center in Kedah yesterday? Its okay to have meetings with Mentri Besar Azizan at his office in Alor Star but to step into Pas Command Center is completely out of context.

What was their motive? They could always turn down the MB's invitation, knowing very well the political sentiment in Malaysia, and also in the Republic.

After all, such an action is against all diplomatic norms.

We welcome the visit by Minister of State (MOS) for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli for three days in Malaysia. His program includes meetings with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Richard Riot Jaem, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop and also a trip to Kedah and Perlis.

In Kedah, he had meetings with Azizan and Md Isa Sabu in Kangar. He was also scheduled to have and audience with the Raja of Perlis His Royal Highness Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin.

But the 'program' went beyond arrangements.

Singapore ruling party PAP has always been associated with Malaysia's opposition DAP. And now that DAP, Pas and PKR are together in the Pakatan Rakyat, I don't think its wise for any diplomats to rub shoulder with them. If they really support the Opposition, better not to make it public.

There were accusations that PAP has been providing political funds to the Opposition, and that the DAP-PAP connection is undeniably making some Umno leaders and members to believe that Singapore do have some 'hands on' in Malaysian politics.

We still cannot accept what former US ambassador to Malaysia John Mallot did in tarnishing the country's good image. It was a blatant act to interfere in a country's politics.

I believe the Singapore High Commission will deny this but we have too many witnesses to testify for this posting.

I do not expect any comment from our government, especially the Foreign Ministry but I do hope Singapore diplomats - and those from other countries - will observe the diplomatic code first before deciding on anything about the host nations.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Of good and lousy press-secs and lousy and good ministers...

A senior minister just 'removed' his loyal and hard-working press secretary, reclassifying him to another department. However, after clearing up his office, this poor guy has yet to receive any letter to enable him to assume his new position.

As a press sec for almost four years, I believe he has done his best. He safeguarded his boss interest to the extent that nobody, especially the media know what kind of a person he is - in public and in office.

He took care of the media wherever his boss goes, ensuring the coverage he gets is well-displayed both in print and electronic media.

The minister, an egoistic and highly proud of his portfolio and a perfectionist pretender, never took notice how much his press sec and other officials are among the best, few of whom are much better than those serving the prime minister and his deputy.

He is 'okay' as a minister but he is easily led. He loves those who flower him with good words, those who make chummy by feeding him with good lies and false reports.

And ever since a new media team - led by his former press sec who quit on him at his previous portfolio - came in few months ago, the boss was convinced that this is the right media people to serve him. And with a bossy lady officer (a Puteri Umno) aiming to become the next Puteri chief in the team, this new special officer is now holding the minister by his balls.

So influential he is that the minister listens and believe in everything he says. This officer rejoined him in a very desperate situation after his contract with another minister wad not renewed.

Ever since rejoining his former boss, he and the Puteri State chief are allowed to demonise the office, resulting in the minister to sideline those who have served him for a long time. Is is true that this officer also claims of holding the key to the ministry's contracts?

I guess its also part of the reasons why the boss has been chiding his press sec of late, including calling him 'al-Qaeda' in public!

Now, the second case, a lousy press secretary. This lady, formerly from an English newspaper, should go back to reporting.

Her boss is a good minister from East Malaysia, well-known for his strong English and having hands-on in any policy, unlike the minister in the first case I mentioned earlier.

However, his press sec ia totally lost and I guess she is not aware of the developments taking place at the ministry.

Why? I recently prepared her boss' text speech for a function. Its all about innovation and R & D. Lots of fact and figures which I took from the ministry's website, research institutes and other sources.

Upon submission, she questioned me and contested the details, and that's when I discovered what a stupid press sec she is.

It was only a month earlier when DPM Muhyiddin Yassin delivered a keynote address on the same topic - innovation - and most of the figures in the text speech I prepared came from that event.

How come she was not aware of it? Such basic and simple figures should be at her finger tips as it came from her ministry. She is totally lost!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

They shit where they eat!

Some people do shit where they eat!

They work for the government, 'makan gaji' with the government and took a swear by the General Order to be faithful to their employer and produce the best they can.

Just like the students who managed to continue their study on PTPTN loan and then took to the street asking for free education and demanding for the PTPTN to be abolished!

No denial that some government servants did join Anwar Ibrahim, Ambiga, Kit Siang and others during Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28. But I am not sure if action can be taken against them. Just leave it to the Public Service Dept?

Worse still is when those attached to the GLC and Umno-linked companies also joined the demonstration and later claimed being bashed up by the police!

Read about this two guys here...

I personally think they should find job elsewhere immediately.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Najib, govt remain intact, says The Economist

No matter how dirty Bersih is, PM Najib and his government remain intact. In fact, Anwar and his team got lots of explanation to do on post-April 28 rally which put the Opposition in a limbo, especially in the eyes of their foreign supporters.

Influential world-class publication The Economist assessed Bersih 3.0 as something the Opposition could have skipped or cancelled as it failed to signify their true demand for a just poll. The episode too pictures them as a rebel group trying to run down the government by force, by coup.

"Bersih 3.0 has done little to shake Datuk Seri Najib Razak's reformist image... and unlike last year, the political impact from this year's event was likely minimal.

"It is clear that Bersih won't be able to dominate the moral high ground - at least not on the score of one weekend's theatrics - as they did last year. The campaign for electoral reform goes on, but Mr Najib emerges from this year's fracas with his reformist credentials essentially intact, not much worse for the wear," said The Economist in an article dated May 1.

It also described this year's rally as more of a 'score-draw' and that although there were recurrences of police brutality, the violent actions of some Bersih protesters attacking and overturning a police car 'played into the government's hands'.

It says, this has allowed PM Najib to claim that the police were the 'victims' in the rally and even made Bersih co-chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan concede that some people would think that the rally had gone wrong because of the unruly behaviour of some protesters.

Ambiga had, during a press conference after the rally, said it was the police who 'drew first blood'. However, Bukit Aman video footage proved otherwise, especially when the protesters tore down barricades at the Dataran Merdeka.

The Economist also questioned Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's presence during the April 28 rally, saying that he had some explaining to do with regards to accusations that he had incited Bersih supporters to push aside police barriers.

"He was caught on video near one of the police barriers talking to one of his colleagues; critics allege that he was inciting supporters to push aside the barriers. Mr Anwar himself says this is nonsense," said the article.

It stated that since the embarrassment faced by Najib in his administration's handling of last year's Bersih rally, the government had repealed a slew of outdated and repressive laws to win back its reforming credentials.

"Bersih rallies have quickly established themselves as something of a ritual in Malaysia's political calendar...the only significant variant is the political impact. Last year it was huge - this year it will probably be very little."

In an interview with Radio Australia on Tuesday, Anwar denied that his hand gesture, as shown on the video footage, was a signal to protestors to breach the barricades, instead claiming that it meant 'negotiate with the police'.

Such an analysis by The Economist will probably spur others to reconsider their 'supportive' notes for Bersih. Knowing how much The Economist had criticised Malaysia, especially during the tenure of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the premier, its latest article is believed not as trying to play chummy with Najib but was merely based on true observation.

By logic, The Economist got nothing to lose if it sways toward the Opposition. However, I personally believe it upholds professionalism more than producing lies, like the Opposition media does!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Suaram the Big Liar!

Suaram. I refer to it as Suharam. From an organisation well-organised and well-balanced, it has of late being turned a stallion by the opposition, spreading lies and bad disposition about the country and the government.

Does not matter if you don't like Najib and a few others. I got my own reservation too but I do not simply undermine my own country notwithstanding how bad the politics are.

Suaram has joined the likes of Aliran, FMT, Mkini and even the Bar 
Council in bashing up the country's good name and reputation. Battering Najib and the BN Cabinet has become their main selling point.

Latest, Suaram's reports to Free Malaysia Today, Mkini and other mediums on the submarine deals.

Suaram, just like the Bar Council accusing the police of being the party that started the provocation during Bersih rally on April 28 - when investigation was still ongoing - has blatantly accused the govt of corruption in the Scorpene deal.

I am not sure who are the French prosecutors Aliran claimed of feeding them with the fabricated info. Since no name was mentioned, I think Suaram made up the story. And as general election is now a mind game between BN and Pakatan Rakyat, Suaram took the opportunity to discredit Najib over the old issue.

However, I personally would like to know who the Frenchmen are. If they do know about the whole deal, they wouldn't had lied. But if they really had lied, why? Could it be that they are the ones who didn't get any kickbacks from their own countrymen from that deal?

Don't they know that the submarines deal was €1.084 billion at that particular time? The year was 2002, ten years ago. To be precise, it was RM3.4 billion at that time. What was the exchange rate back then?

Suaram has all this while claimed of having this and that documents to substantiate its allegation but it displayed nothing thus far. What documents? Who gave it to you? Or did you compose or prepare it all by yourself.

As far as the deal is concerned, the govt has come up wit many explanations. Official documents were also produced at the opposition's request. wasn't that enough? Whose interest is Suaram trying to protectmand fight for now?

Just a loose question - who is financing Suaram now?

I think Suaram is not only dancing to the opposition's beat but also singing to 'songs from outside'. The manner and timing of its 'statement of protest' to FMT and Mkini can be put to question.

Suaram has got not enough financing. To move on as a credible opposition propaganda machinery, it has to proof something to its potential funders; and most of these fund providers are foreign-based.

So, Suaram has got to stand at par with Mkini, the Bar Council and other big voices of the opposition. Knowing how much foreign agents who are in support of Anwar Ibrahim like such lies as a selling point to the foreign media, Suaram manipulated the issue.

That is how it came up with the RM7.3 billion figure, and that Najib sought US1 billion for a meeting with DCNI, for Perimekar Sdn Bhd's stay in France. The money was NOT a kickback for anybody.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bersih plans a coup!

No! Bersih is not about fair and clean election. Its actually a 'war' to bring down a legitimate government by force.

If the Opposition leaders are level-headed enough, they wouln't have staged that ugly rally. They knew that such a tactic might cause or prompt the Prime Minister do delay the general election.

Its a simple logic - no point to dissolve the Parliament and call for a national poll if this filthy Bersih refutes it. And what is the assurance that the general election wll be trouble-free since their allegation of vote riggings and other accusation still linger on?

After a brief analysis, I arrived at a simple conclusion that the Opposition was not looking forward for a general election.

They actually plan to topple the government. They want to stage a coup.

There are already suggestion for Malaysians to change the government before the general election. Some of their blogs also shared similar idea - that Barisan Nasional government must be toppled first as the pre-requisite to hold a national poll.

Means that once BN govt is overcame via a coup, Pakatan Rakyat will takeover, and the decision whether or not to have a general election will be their call.

Its the dirtiest thing ever to happen to Malaysian politics if the plan goes through and if the majority supports them. For the time ever, a government in Malaysia would be formed without the support from the electorates.

Its all about power, about taking Putrajaya by force. Had any of the army generals or high-ranking officers of Bukit Aman agreed to join them, I believe the coup had taken place.

However, we are lucky to have a loyal army and police forces behind us. Otherwise, the country will join the list of nations like Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Haiti and others.

We are also grateful to majority of the civil servants - although many are with the Opposition but earning a living on BN payroll - for not participating in Bersih.

A coup in Malaysia will definitely involve foreign forces and foreign fundings. The Opposition leaders, in citing examples of 'uprising' in Algeris, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Syria and other Middle East countries, have forgotten the most important criteria of Malaysia - that we are not a one race nation.

They failed to recognise the needs of a multi-racial politics. They simply ignore politics of the moderates. Instead, they subscribe politics of extremism which can be destructive to inter-racial and inter-relious harmony.

The objective of Bersih is none other to gain world attention toward what they claimed as an autocratic BN government, forgetting that once they stage a coup, they will lead a dictator regime.

And Bersih also gives an adverse perspective of the country, that it is now out of control in many aspects, including security, dwindling of the economy and other crisis.

They don't need a national poll. All that they want is to topple a government which is elected by the rakyat via the ballot papers. That's should explain everything.