Monday, December 25, 2006

Merger or control ? Malaysian style

Three recent postings raised my curiosity regarding the state of honesty and integrity of UMNO as the leading component of BN, the ruling party of Malaysia.

The first was the proposed Utusan - Starits Times merger combining two newspaper under the media prima group who have already control the private TV stations of TV3, NTV7, TV8 and TV9. Although it can be seen as a smart business move, the implications are far reaching and may determine the future of Malaysia.

Apart from making tons of money with the announcement of the proposed merger, the entity controlling the two newspaper will also control the "mindsets" of Malaysians. It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. And now two pens can definitely control the country. As the merger will be in "public domain", it is possible that the final controlling shareholder may not be Media Prima but someone with foreign support. When this happen, Malaysians will be re-colonised, not physically perhaps but mentally. The possibility is there, it is frightening but reality check should be done NOW.

Read another view here

The second issue also comes from the same source mentioning the proposed sale of Malaysian based PPB Oil Palms Berhad to Singapore based Wilmar International Limited. Although the transaction may be a friendly and family-based, the transaction involves two separate entities from neighbouring countries. PPB owns has a huge land bank, both in Malaysia (72,500 Hectares) and Indonesia (290,000 hectares). The sale will effectively transfer the ownership to foreigners.

What is more important is the reason for the sale? Is it a move by the PPB owner t transfer his RM 15.5 Billion asset to other countries? Is this a reflection of the business circle towards Malaysia? Afterall, Genting group has just won their bid to build a Gaming resort in Singapore. There will be another huge fund transfer from Malaysia to cover the construction and operating cost of the new resort in Sentosa Island. Is this the reaction for the lack of business opportunities for real private owned companies, with no where to expand in Malaysia the companies need to venture in other countries ?

Someone up there needs to look into this seriously and work out new strategies in offering healthy competition to Malaysia's own private companies and not too busy carving out financial opportunities for themselves, cronies, weak GLC's as reflected in the proposed merger of the big three in palm oil industry i.e. Sime Darby, Golden Hope and Guthrie.

The proposed merger of the big three is seen as robbing Bumiputras from the economic pie envisaged by the late Tun Razak in the 70's. The potential winner from the proposed merger is a close relative of a high ranking Politician. The merger is seen more as buying into potential property development. The cost? RM 31 Billion.

So, is the poposed PPB sale is meant to offset the proposed Sime Darby-Golden Hope-Guthrie merger which is thought out to offset the proposed Utusan-Straits Times-Media Prima "big brother is watching" scheme ? Time will tell.

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are... Read More

Friday, December 22, 2006

40 or 70 - Does it matters to Terengganu State Government?

On 19th Dec '06, Terengganu State Government has announced a major re-shuffle in the Terengganu Civil Services (TCS) whereby the State Secretary was unceremoniously removed from his office by BN political machinery. The cover-up is the reshuffle affected 40 civil servants across the State.

Now, on what grounds does the State acts to remove the State Secretary who is only 50 years old and has another 5 years to serve before he retires. It has been rumored that the present Menteri Besar is not satisfied with the State Secretary for alledgedly budging into the timber allocation meant for political favours.

The re-shuffle is only the beginning and another 30 civil servants will be transferred soon. The transfer order for 40 is only a camourflage for things to come. And where is the schemer when this is all happening? Vacationing in Hawaii or undoubtedly will declare his innocence when he comes back to the State soon.

It all shows that not all is well in Terengganu, a state known as the "Kuwait of Malaysia". And it further proves that BN is not doing what it is preaching when the BN accused the formerly PAS-led government of being heartless when the then State Secretary (Datuk Jusoh) was asked to resign and make way for Datuk Senara Muda. Now, BN is becoming more heartless when forcing a younger Datuk Mahatar to resign for Datk Mokhtar Nong to take over.

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...

Extracted from Utusan Malaysia :

40 pegawai kanan kerajaan Terengganu terbabit rombakan

KUALA TERENGGANU 19 Dis. – Seramai 40 orang pegawai kanan termasuk Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri terbabit dalam rombakan besar-besaran pegawai kanan kerajaan negeri Terengganu berkuat kuasa 1 Januari ini.

Dalam rombakan itu, Pegawai Kewangan Negeri, Datuk Mokhtar Nong akan dilantik sebagai Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri (SUK) Terengganu yang baru menggantikan Datuk Muhatar Abdullah yang bersara awal.

Setakat ini Utusan Malaysia tidak pasti mengapa SUK itu bersara awal. Namun, difahamkan ia mungkin ada kaitan dengan hubungannya dengan pucuk pimpinan negeri.

Difahamkan juga, rombakan itu ada kaitan dengan proses pembangunan pesat negeri ini yang memerlukan pegawai-pegawai kerajaan negeri mampu menjalankan tugas dengan cekap.

Surat arahan pertukaran itu yang bertarikh hari ini ditandatangani oleh Timbalan Setiausaha Kerajaan (pentadbiran) Datuk Mat Razali Kassim.

Perkara tersebut terkandung dalam senarai arahan pertukaran Pegawai Tadbir Negeri Bil 1 yang dikeluarkan hari ini dan ditandatangani Mat Razali.

Mat Razali ketika dihubungi berkata, pertukaran tersebut dibuat ekoran persaraan awal Muhatar.

‘‘Pertukaran ini adalah perkara biasa dalam pentadbiran,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia ketika dihubungi di luar negara lewat malam ini.

Dalam surat arahan pertukaran tersebut, tempat Mokhtar diambil alih Timbalan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri (pembangunan), Datuk Mazlan Ngah.

Turut bertukar ialah Yang Dipertua Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Terengganu (MPKT), Datuk Adzlan Mohd. Dagang yang ditukarkan sebagai Timbalan Setiausaha Kerajaan (pembangunan) menggantikan Mazlan dan tempat beliau digantikan oleh Pegawai Daerah Kuala Terengganu, Husain Embong.

Pertukaran tersebut turut melibatkan empat Pegawai Daerah iaitu Pegawai Daerah Besut sebagai Pengarah Tricosta Negeri, Pegawai Daerah Kemaman, Mohd Alim Muda sebagai Pengarah Institut Integriti Negeri, Pegawai Daerah Kuala Terengganu, Husain Embong sebagai Yang Dipertua MPKT dan Pegawai Daerah Marang, Aziz Mamat sebagai Pegawai Daerah Kuala Terengganu.

Pertukaran lain ialah Timbalan Pengarah Yayasan Terengganu, Tuan Mamat Tuan Ngah bertukar sebagai Pegawai Tambahsentara Pejabat Setiausaha Kerajaan Terengganu, Ketua Penolong Pentadbir Tanah Kemaman, Omar Mat sebagai Timbalan Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Terengganu (Pendaftaran), Yang Dipertua Majlis Daerah Besut, Wan Mohd Wan Ibrahim sebagai Pegawai Daerah Besut.

Pengarah Sukan Negeri, Mohamad Nor Ibrahim pula ditukarkan sebagai Pegawai Daerah Kemaman, Setiausaha MPKT, A Rahman Che Ali sebagai Pegawai Daerah Marang dan Ketua Penolong Pegawai Daerah Kuala Terengganu, Wan Mustafa Wan Hassan menggantikan A Rahman.

Ketua Unit, Unit Analisis dan Pemantauan Pelaburan, Pejabat Perbendaharaan Negeri, Zainal Abidin Husin ditukar sebagai Yang Dipertua Majlis Daerah Dungun, Timbalan Pengarah Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran (Pentadbiran dan Kewangan), Mohd Elias Nik sebagai Ketua Penolong Pentadbir Tanah Hulu Terengganu dan Yang Dipertua Majlis Daerah Dungun ditukar sebagai Ketua Penolong Pentadbir Tanah, Hulu Terengganu.

Ketua Penolong Pegawai Kewangan Negeri Terengganu, Talaha Ali bertukar sebagai Ketua Unit Analisis dan Pemantauan Pelaburan, Pejabat Perbendaharaan Negeri Terengganu dan Ketua Penolong Pegawai Daerah Besut, Wan Harujan Sulaiman bertukar sebagai Yang Dipertua Majlis Daerah Besut.

Read More

Thursday, December 21, 2006

2006 seems to be the year of divorce for celebrities in Malaysia. Apart from the artists such as Awie of Wings, we even have TV presenters, and now the politicians are joining the crowd. One thing that they have in common is the accusation that all of them are having affairs, proven or just hearsay.

Being personalities who are often in the spotlight, the present Syariah court hearing of this particular lady catch my attention the most. Being the daughter of Selangor Assembly State speaker who happens to be the Chairperson of UMNO Assembly, a silhoutte picture of someone with her physique.

Now then, should there be a need to address the differences and wash the dirty linen in public? I wonder....

And then, do the normal commoner like this guy care? For a guy like him, his world revolves on how to survive daily. Not in the world of deceit and deception but in a simple life of "Kais pagi, makan pagi". He will not care on who is in the Syariah court seeking divorce with tales of abuse, toture etc...that's not his cup of coffee.

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...

(Extracted from NST 21st Dec '06)
KLANG: Irreconcilable differences, lack of financial support and physical and mental abuse.

These were the grounds Senator Datin Paduka Nor Hayati Onn gave at the hearing of her divorce application against her husband, Mohd Suffian Abdul Aziz, yesterday.

Nor Hayati (picture) told Lower Syariah court judge Mohamed Fouzi Mokhtar that in their marriage of 23 years, she had suffered enough.

"Our marriage began having problems 10 years ago, but I always told myself I would give him another chance to change for the better. I also thought about the welfare of our young children then.

"But the past few years have been horrible. We argued almost every day and everything I said was wrong."

Nor Hayati decided she had had enough. She said her children were now grown up and would be able to think for themselves.

When her lawyer Md Khardee Md Shaari asked to give examples of each ground, the plaintiff said Mohd Suffian was always jealous and interrogated her when she was carrying out her duties as a politician.

"My job requires me to mingle with people, but he (Mohd Suffian) would question me. He would also check on me at meetings just to see who I was sitting with.

"At times he would also make it difficult for me to attend a function.

"He would make me do all kinds of things like fry an egg for him before I could leave the house," she said.

Nor Hayati also said since marrying the defendant, he had not given her money for maintenance.

"He was pampered by my father, who gave him a car and shelter as I am the eldest daughter. He would also ask me money to play golf.

"And I was also the one who was paying our house rent and utility bills. Only after I pestered him many times, would he fork out money to help once in a while.

"I even had to settle his debts from Ah Long," she added.

She also claimed Mohd Suffian, who was an engineer, was earning an income but did not give her any money.

Nor Hayati also alleged she was abused by the defendant.

"In October 1997, he pushed me until I fractured my hand. In November 2001, he hit me until I bled. I was hospitalised at the Seri Kota Hospital for a week.

"There were also times during our fights that he would use a knife. Once he kicked a shoe which hit me," she said.

Nor Hayati also claimed that when she returned home late from events, Mohd Suffian would call to check on her.

"He would call me names like ‘whore’ or ‘slut’. He knew the nature of my job when we married and I don’t understand why he can’t accept my work as a Senator now."

She said she now lived with her parents in Shah Alam and the couple no longer lived under the same roof.

"He moved to a rented home in Section 7 in Shah Alam in March."

Later, when questioned by Mohd Suffian’s counsel Muhamad Burok, Nor Hayati admitted that she did not lodge any police report on the alleged assaults.

Nor Hayati, a businesswoman, filed for a divorce last September. Hearing continues on Jan 19. Read More

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Malaysian PM in Venezuela - NST

IT is not often that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, turns up at the airport to greet a visiting leader but he will do so for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whom he calls "my brother".

Venezuelan Foreign Ministry officials said normally Chavez would despatch his foreign minister to welcome leaders of other nations but this time around he will accompany Abdullah throughout the Prime Minister’s three-day official visit here.

Chavez is scheduled to welcome Abdullah at the Simon Bolivar International Airport this morning and had informed his foreign ministry officials that he wanted to attend all events lined up for the Malaysian Prime Minister.

Abdullah’s visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Venezuela-Malaysia diplomatic relations established on Dec 18, 1986, and reciprocates Chavez visit to Malaysia this August.

An aide to Abdullah said the prime minister was expected to push for stronger economic co-operation, especially in oil and gas and palm oil sectors, during his visit.

"The visit is to heighten economic collaboration, explore new sectors and open new frontiers after 20 years of bilateral relations with Venezuela," said the aide.

Despite 20 years of diplomatic relations there is still no significant investment between the two countries and Abdullah and Chavez are expected to discuss ways to address the situation.

Abdullah is scheduled to embark on a helicopter tour of the Orinoco Belt and visit projects under Venezuelan state-owned company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

Venezuela has 77.2 billion barrels of proven conventional oil reserves and PDVSA estimates that the Orinoco Belt, a territory which occupies the southern strip of the eastern Orinoco River Basin, has 236 billion barrels of heavy crude, which would make it the largest petroleum reserve in the world.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and 40 Malaysian businessmen will also attend a business luncheon where Abdullah will deliver a keynote address.

The only recorded Malaysian investment in Venezuela is a paltry RM30,000 venture dealing in medical products.

Venezuelan investment in Malaysia include a salsa discotheque at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur and a veterinary company in Bandar Sunway, Selangor.

A letter of intent will also be signed between Golden Hope Plantations Berhad and PDVSA for the formulation and development of agricultural and industrial projects for the production of palm oil in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s climate is suitable to grow oil palm but the hectarage for the crop is negligible.

Malaysia-Venezuela trade last year was US$39 million (RM140 million) while during the first nine months of this year Malaysia’s exports to the South American nation totalled US$33 million which included electrical and electronic products, rubber products, chemical products and machinery.

My comments ? I believe that the recognition that the present PM is enjoying is the harvest of the immediate past PM of Malysia. Comparing the two, it is quite obvious that AAB has not done much in the three (3) years that he sits in the chair except increasing the petrol price, awarding contracts to his son on negotiated basis, allowing his SIL to be the deputy UMNO youth and angering the Chinese community with his remarks.

Therefore, it is better for AAB to spend more time in Malaysia to hear the grouses of the masses. After all, he used to say that "Work with me not work form me". Or is that motto is diminishing in the horizon with the coming of his RM 30 million yatch?

There are many more things that can be done locally. There are damages to be repaired or is this the way AAB runs when Soros did not meet him? I mean I have no recollection that Soros met him when Soros was in town last week. Anybody can confirm that? Read More

What it is all about


This is the first time I am blogging so please be patient. For a start, the outline of the blog shall be mainly on my views towards daily events surrounding me. My views may differ from the rest of u but I hope that I can accept different views with an open heart. Read More