Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nazri's leaking filtering system...

What else is there to say? Is Nazri Aziz losing his touch or is he on hot plate?

This is definitely one of those rare occassions when Nazri Aziz apologises for misinformation - this time about the new parliament blunder. In part Nazri Aziz claimed that his officer sent the written answer without checking it with him.

Now, what is there to check. Did the Cabinet discuss about a new parliament building or not? If it was discussed, what is the conclusion? Did the cabinet agree to relocate the parliament building or not?

Nazri claimed that the officer did not adhere to Nazri's standard practise of clearing all answers to be issued out of his office. Is that true? If it is Nazri's standard practise, then I doubt the officer did not know about this "long-standing" standard practise. Unless, the officer has been given an overiding instruction to go ahead to submit the written answer. If that is the case, who overides Nazri? Could it be Najib? Muhyiddein? Any of the Mionisters in the PM's department? One thing for sure, Nazri cannot put the blame on the opposition as they are not the one providing the answers because they are the ones who are expecting the answers.

If this has happened during the pre-GE 12 era, Nazri will just bulldoze through with his answer and then wriggle himself free from the mistake. This time around with a stronger presence, the opposition is ready to pounce on wrong answers, be it intentional or unintentional.

Back to the "new" parliament building. Shaziman claimed that the cabinet never discuss new parliament building. But then again, if it was never discussed during weekly cabinet meetings, how does Nazri comes up with the magic RM 800M figure? Surely, there must be a basis for the figure quoted by Nazri. Or is Nazri getting senile and confuse between a RM 800M new parliament building with RM 800M new Istana Negara? If Nazri is getting senile, then why is Najib still retaining him in his 1MPM6's cabinet?

Regarding Shaziman, if there is no new parliament building then why is his Ministry requested to look into the proposal? Like the Malays say "If there is no wind then how does the trees shake?".

Both Shaziman and Nazri are cabinet ministers and both are well-versed in Bahasa Malaysia. How could they interpret it differently? Are they in the same cabinet meeting or are they attending different cabinet meeting ala one held by Najib and the other by Muhyiddein?

Nazri should reprimand his officer for the mistake but is it a genuine mistake or "purposely" leaked to warm the session? Maybe, it is time for Nazri to check his filtering system. Most probably his filtering system is ineffective, mirroring his own performance which is progressively sliding down the scale. Time to make an exit, Nazri....

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Of Isolate, isolated, isolation...and desertion

Some may lauded the Government's move to have Putrajaya, building new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta and progressively thinking of new parliament building in Putrajaya but this writer view the move as an attempt by the Executive to isolate the legislators from the rakyats

This is IT. Not the aborted 2009 concert due to MJ's sudden passing on but lazing under the coconut trees off Malaysian shores, snorkelling with the fishes amid the corals and turtle chasing (not the Leatherbacks but the Agar-agar species). Solace and time to discover inner peace, something that is terribly missing with our political leaders...

Whilst many have commented on Najib's "reversal" to Vincent Tan's sports betting license approval and PKR's "political weekend retreat" which relieve Khalid Ibrahim of leading Selangor's PKR, this writer choose to relook at how our past two PMs and the present PM's plans to isolate the rakyats from voicing their opinion on matters affecting our everyday lives.

It all begins with Putrajaya. When Mahathir opts to develope Putrajaya into an administrative enclave, it is only the beginning. Selangor has to sacrifice it's land in Putrajaya and in return receive enough capital to develope Shah Alam. Politically, one MB was "shown the door" for oppossing Mahathir in this grand design and replaced with anak Toyo.

Then Abdullah Badawi steps in as PM and his administration chose to construct a new Istana Negara up the hills near Damansara. His administration chose Maya Maju Sdn Bhd to carry out the project at an initial cost of RM 400M and reportedly ballooned to RM 800M and there are some who claimed that the final cost may touch RM 1.2B.

Now Najib "1MPM6" steps in and toyed with the idea of relocating Parlimen to Putrajaya where the building is budgeted to cost us RM 800M. The Minister of Works, Shaziman, came out to refute the claims of a new parliment and suggested that it is a mere "study"...

Individually, these three issues are independent and unrelated. However, time has proven that politicians speaks with double tongue, have thick skin and have ulterior motives in all that they do. Try thinking out of the box and look at the issues from another perspective ....
  1. Do we really need Putrajaya? Or is it a political ploy to "create" a new parliamentary seat and to ensure that the seat will be retained by the ruling party (in this case BN) as long as the civil servants outnumbers the rest?;
  2. What about the officers' rooms in Putrajaya complete with sofas and settees? Do the government "overdo" it? Is this done to "please" the government servants?
  3. Does it pays to build Putrajaya then? Does that make Mahathir happy knowing that the Myanmar Junta mirror their new capital, Naypyidaw, to Putrajaya? The World understands why the Myanmar millitary Junta build their capital 9 hours from Yangoon shrouded in mystery and protected by natural barrier ie hills. Putrajaya? What are we hiding from? Unless our own Malaysian Executive branch finds the rakyat a nuisance and building Putrajaya will isolate the rakyats from the Executive branch.;
  4. The "new" Istana Negara? What is Abdullah's rationale in the new Istana Negara? Yes, the present Istana Negara is old and heritage. Yes, it's main hall is small and barely able to accomodate the invited guests during official functions but does it really matters?;
  5. Is it not better for the Government to construct annex buildings and extensions to fulfill the requirements? After all, the Istana Negara compounds are large enough to accomodate the expansion. If need be, the Government can even choose to acquire land along Jalan Bellamy, including Abdullah's private house.;
  6. Siting the new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta is not the answer unless it is the Executive Branch's desire to place the occupants of Istana Negara under isolation from his royal subjects - the rakyat.;
  7. With poor public transportation network nearby, the new Istana Negara will effective cut off the rakyats' access to Istana Negara and thus keep the palace isolated.
  8. A new parliament house in Putrajaya? Shaziman may say it is under study and in proposal stage. But do we really need to have a new august house? What about USA and England? How old is their parliament and congress buildings? Are their buildings crumbling to bits and pieces? Does our own Malaysian parliament building rotting off into bits and pieces?;
  9. Do the Government know the term "restoration"? I bet the buildings can be why the need to spend another RM 800M to build another parliament building?;
  10. Placing the parliament building in Putrajaya is another "far-sighted" view of our ruling coalition to isolate the rakyat from the legislators. With proven poor public transportation in Putrajaya, the Government is effectively cutting the channels for the rakyats to voice their displeasure (and support) on any issues;
Some may lauded the Government's move to have Putrajaya, building new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta and progressively thinking of new parliament building in Putrajaya but this writer view the move as an attempt by the Executive to isolate the legislators from the rakyats and at the same time to discreetly keep the occupants of Istana Negara isolated from his royal subjects.

Whilst most of you will disagree with me on this, this writer hopes that a few will look at it from "outside the box". Or maybe the sun and the shade on a deserted island (really?) is too much for this caller... Whatever, this writer is looking for another "out of the box" trip to the islands in the near future... and do take some time to think of the possibility of His-shame-u-deen and Kha-eery Jam-all-ur-dime being "time-sharing members" of a certain Vampire (translate that into Bahasa Malaysia) who had appeared on big screen across the nation a couple of years back.

Excuse me because being "I-so-late" is not a good recipe for healthy relationship between the rakyats and the executive branch (unless that's what the Executives are planning)...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Of Taib's Truth and Awang's "nothing to be proud of"...

Most of the times the least said, the better.

As a non-Nicole Kidman's fan, her role as Silvia Broome in the film "The Interpreter" is just fantastic. The movies's tagline "The truth needs no translation" is absolutely correct.

Just read Malaysiakini's "Police accussed of defending Taib Family's interests" and one can associate the movie tagline through and through.

At the end of the day, The FBI agent in the movie was quoted
"It's hard to remember that Edmond Zuwanie was once a good man. That's not unusual for these guys. They all begin as liberators and 20 minutes later they're as corrupt as the tyrants they've overthrown." - FBI agent in "The Interpreter"
Well, Taib Mahmud is no Edmond Zuwanie but he was once a good man. What he is now is a pale comparison of what he set out to be...maybe he is at the pedestal too long that he forgot his roots and his fighting cause.

Awang Adek Hussin, the man who dreamt of becoming Kelantan's MB in GE12 is caught wrong footed again. This time, his statement that
“The government has studied the matter and decided that the site is not a heritage site and will not be turned into one.To our opinion, it is not something to be proud of... there may be other things that we can be proud of, compared to a jail, although it (Pudu Jail) is old." - Awang Adek Hussin, Deputy Finance Minister

What does this particular Deputy Minister of Finance know about heritage? If he could not even get the scores right on the sports betting license which is under the purview of the Finance Ministry, then what do you expect him to know and appreciate the value of heritage sites and buildings?

Awang Adek might be partially correct to state that "it (Pudu prison) is not something to be proud of..." but does Awang Adek know that USA preserved Alcatraz and it is not even 100 years old! And what about the Clink prison in UK? They converted it into a museum so that people can visit the place and "visit" the past...

Awang Adek should learn that demolishing Pudu prison and erasing its memories does not mean that crime has been eradicated from Malaysia. If it is not something to be proud of...then why not Awang Adek spearhead a movement to demolish all prisons in Malaysia? And this Awang Adek is the deputy Minister of Finance!

One in Sarawak where "the truth needs no translation" and one in Peninsular Malaysia where our own Deputy Minister of Finance do not appreciate heritage sites and buildings. However, both Sarawak's CM and Awang Adek has one thing in common - money and $$$$. They won't care about the people nor would they give a hoot on the historical values of heritage site/building.

Maybe, they are better off living in Pulau Bidong if money is soooo important to them. Between them, they can purchase the whole island and do what they want there. They can even get Jho Low to advise them on economic matters as it is said that Jho Low is also an adviser to Terengganu state and Pulau Bidong is in Terengganu, is it not?

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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Of Malaysian Book of Records : Hari Ilmu Selangor (26th June 2010)

Malaysian's own sole Royal Professor Ungku Aziz consider internet and television as "enemy" to books because they erode the habit of reading amongst society as what Malaysia is currently facing.

Some loves associating reading with teaching and academicians although it is not necessarily true. Did you ever come across a lass reading the latest economics magazine somewhere near Maybank headquarters? If you do, then you will be surprised to know that she is not a teacher or an academician. She is a banker, by profession.

My point? Everybody reads and everybody should make reading as a habit especially when the Sun, Oriental Daily news and even Malay Mail are "free"newspapers that one can pick up from the many stands around the Klang valley.

Now there is a chance for all bookworms(and magazine worms) to join in and participate in a Malaysian Book of Records event. Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor (PPAS) will be hosting "Hari Ilmu dan Gerakan Membaca Perdana Negeri Selangor 2010" on 26th June 2010 whereby the organiser is expecting 10,000 participants to converge to Taman Tasik PKNS Shah Alam from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm and read books of their choice (please bring your own books).

HRH Sultan Selangor is said to grace the event when HRH will take a bout tour across the lake to see his royal subjects reading books at the lake's peripheral areas.

Economists always believe that "There is nothing as free lunch". This time around the organisers are said (well, don't take my word for it, yet) that breakfast and lunch will be provided for the participants. F.O.C.

Now that the date, time and venue is made known, why not make it a point to circle the date 26th June 2010 and encouraged as many as possible to join the event.

This person will love to see the songkok tinggis, PERKASA, UMNO, MCA, MIC, PKR, PAS, DAP, HINDRAF, Gerakan, PPP, SABM, EPIC, Perkida and the rest to converge to Taman Tasik Shah Alam armed with their books to read (no book throwing, please!)

For those who have extra books for donation, you may do so during the event as collections bins will be provided at specific areas.

In short, can we expect your attendance on 26th June 2010 at Taman Tasik Shah Alam from 8:00 am to 2: 00 pm with a book of your choice? Please bring your own umbrella and mat for comfort....and don't forget your picnic basket, just in case...

Me? I am off to catch some sunshine in Pulau Redang and catch up with some reading of my own before 26th June 2010. Me and my books...will that make me a teacher? Heh heh heh... for me to know, for you to find out.... (that means no posting in the next 10 days or so....)

Take care...

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

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Of PAS 56th Muktamar : Bloggers discouraged... really?

Mohd Yasin Yusof, Penolong Setiausaha (Muktamar PAS kali ke 56), should learn a thing or two about public relations. Some say, kalau tak tahu - tanya pada yang arif. Jangan berlagak bodoh sombong. Ingat perpatah lama "Kerana lumpur se-ekor, semuanya terpalit". Apakah ini yang dikatakan "Cerdik tak boleh diikut, bodoh tak boleh diajar?"

Update : This person feels that this issue should be handled tactfully by PAS secretariat. Maybe PAS is too big-headed now and has become "Tanggang" who forgets his roots. Whatever, this is the email submitted to PAS secretariat this afternoon. Honestly, I don't expect them to reply because those handling the secretariat do not know to differentiate which is "heads" and which is "tail"...


Saya mendapat berita bahwa pihak sekretariat muktamar tidak mengeluarkan pas untuk bloggers atas alasan mereka tidak mewakili mana-mana agensi. Betulkah demikian?

Apakah ketika pilihanraya umum dan kecil, pihak PAS ada meminta bloggers mendaftar dibawah mana-mana agensi? Apakah PAS dengan ini menyatakan bahwa bloggers adalah "nyamuk-nyamuk" yang tidak perlu diberi ruang dalam muktamar PAS 56?

Kenyataan ketua penerangan PAS, Idris Ahmad, untuk mengeluarkan pas pemerhati kepada bloggers sebagai "Cadangan tersebut sebagai respons pada rungutan beberapa blogger pro PAS dan Pakatan Rakyat yang kononnya tidak dilayan oleh ad-hoc muktamar ketika memohon pas media sejak kelmarin." nampaknya cuba menepis isu ini dengan menyalahkan bloggers.

Saya berharap pihak penerangan PAS membalas mesej ini kerana kegagalan membuat demikian akan dianggap sebagai "mengiyakan" pandangan bahwa PAS sememangnya mensisihkan bloggers.

Sekian. Wassalam.
Pemanggil malam

Not all things are rosy. Only a day before, an email reply informed this person that bloggers are not welcome in the coming 56th PAS Muktamar scheduled to be held in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

Another Blogger, Al Banjari posted Perisik Rakyat's grouses on the way PAS secretariat is handling the bloggers. Dalam bahasa mudah - Bloggers not welcomed to cover PAs muktamar!

First, it is PAS prerogative to allow or to disallow any person(s) to their muktamar. Rumah dia, dia boleh buat apa yang dia suka. It's that what PAS is thinking?

Then Al Banjari posted another article at 0944 quoting Idris Ahmad, PAS information chief that bloggers may attend the muktamar as observers. To this person, this is a damage control exercise. Simple as that!!

Jelas sekali sesetengah pihak dalam PAS mensifatkan bloggers sebagai "melukut ditepi gantang". Bukan itu saja, perangai pihak PAS ini terhadap bloggers bak "Habis manis, sepah dibuang".

Malangnya, PAS masih mempunyai pihak saperti ini untuk menjayakan muktamar peringkat kebangsaan. Tindakan segelintir petugas ini akan mempalitkan PAS sebagai sebuah organisasi yang teratur yang sudah memintas UMNO dalam pelbagai hal. Segelintir pemimpin saperti ini harus diberi "tazkirah" untuk membezakan yang mana lawan yang mana kawan.

Sudah tiba masanya untuk PAS membezakan yang mana intan yang mana kaca. Tindakan sekretariat PAS untuk memberi laluan kepada sesetangah arus perdana yang terang-terang menentang usaha PAS harus dipertikaikan dengan cara terbuka.

Apakah PAS sudah lupa akan deretan bloggers yang memberi bantuan terhadap jentera parti ketika pilihanraya, samada pilihanraya umum atau pilihanraya kecil? Apakah PAS kini terlalu besar kepala sehingga lupa daratan? Sebagai satu parti yang berpandukan Islam sebagai ad-deen, para pemimpin parti agaknya lupa bahwa bantuan Yang Esa datang dari pelbagai sudut dan rupa!

This person believe that Al Banjari will attend the muktamar in his capacity as PAS member. The same cannot be said of Perisik Rakyat who has openly mention that he will skip the muktamar and will not provide any coverage on the event.

PAS may have forgotten that there are countless unsung heroes who plodded through the nights and spent their own resources to support PAS since its formative years. PAS needs to understand that these unsung heroes are the ones who supported the party's struggle, without asking for any rewards or recognition.

PAS should ask themselves - how do they want to play the game. Do PAS wishes to continue denying the aspirations of some bloggers to attend their muktamar? The ball is now at PAS feet. Let's see how they play the ball...

Mohd Yasin Yusof, Penolong Setiausaha (Muktamar PAS kali ke 56), should learn a thing or two about public relations. Some say, kalau tak tahu - tanya pada yang arif. Jangan berlagak bodoh sombong. Ingat perpatah lama "Kerana lumpur se-ekor, semuanya terpalit". Apakah ini yang dikatakan "Cerdik tak boleh diikut, bodoh tak boleh diajar?"

This person will be travelling to Kota Bharu this week end and would love to see how PAS secretariat will bar him from following the muktamar! Even then, if this person decided to attend the muktamar. Maybe, it is better to spend the weekend in Rantau Panjang and beyond...

It's not too late yet if PAS wishes to review their "Bloggers discouraged" attitude...

That's Gloria Estefan's rendition of Carole King's "It's too late" the way...for those who loved the song, here's the lyrics...

Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
There's something wrong here, there can be no denying
One of us is changing
Or maybe we just stopped trying

And it's too late, baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died
And I can't hide and I just can't fake it

It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy and I feel like a fool

And it's too late, baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died
And I can't hide and I just can't fake it

There'll be good times again for me and you
But we just can't stay together, don't you feel it, too
Still I'm glad for what we had and how I once loved you

But it's too late, baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can't hide
And I just can't fake it
The weekend is just nice for a teh tarik session in "New Castle". Any takers?

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

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Of Najib's dreams : KL-Singapore high speed rail link...

First, we surrender our lands in the island, then we invite MRT to have a terminal in JB. It will not be far-fetched if later Malaysia "invite" our neighbour to jointly develop KL-Singapore fast rail link. In the process, we "give away" our land to others....
  1. Where do I begin? This is not 1970's Ryan ONeil's and Ali MacGraw's "Love story". Previously, it takes a lot of diplomatic effort to stem all the disgusts and frustrations, compliments from Malaysia's top political leaders. If this posting is less "diplomatic", please excuse us for being a "little bit" blunt....

    To start let's just say that with all the political machineries available, 1MPM6 is goofing. Frankly, it might not be him but his "bunk-mate" pushing him to look goofy. Why?

  2. Malaysia Insider's bye-line "Putrajaya mulls multi-billion rail deals" dated 8th June 2010 starts the ball rolling again. Muay Thai fighter Sakmongkol looks at it from a different perspective when he terms it as "The Cuckoo's nest".

    Sak is questioning the wisdom of political's SPVs'. SPVs' is not MPVs', folks. I take SPV to stands for "Special Purpose Vehicle", sort of specially created companies... This writer looks at MI's bye-line differently. How?

  3. In earlier posting titled "Of KTMB's Tg Pagar land : Going, going... gone?", certain issues has been raised with regards to KTMB's Tg Pagar land and the logic of relocating KTMB's terminal to Woodlands (Singapore) by 2011 and then further relocate it to Johor Bharu (Malaysia) by 2018.
  4. Think about those valuable land along the railway tracks and reserve that Malaysia "gave up" to jointly develop Tg Pagar with Singapore's Temasek.
  5. Think about Singapore MRT entering Johor Bharu in 2018. Now, 1MPM6 goes 1 step further....
  6. BN-led Malaysian government is thinking on a multi-billion ringgit project to connect Malaysia to Singapore by way of high speed rail links.
  7. Is that possible? On 24th May 2010, Najib aka 1MPM6 announced the deal for Singapore MRT to enter Johor Bharu by 2018 and now, on 8th June 2010 1MPM6's administration is mulling on the idea to connect Malaysia to Singapore via rail. Is Najib taking Malaysians for another ride?
  8. Just think - how is it possible for Malaysian rail to enter Singapore when we do not have anymore terminal in the island by 2018? Instead, there is an MRT terminal in Johor Bharu by 2018. Najib's administration is better off if they were to say that 1MPM6 is mulling on a KL-JB fast train deal.
  9. Now, let's go deeper into the issue. If Singapore MRT has a terminal in JB and if 1MPM6 is still adamant on a fast KL-JB rail, will it not be possible for 1MPM6 be hoodwinked, co-erced, blackmailed into agreeing to another ridiculous proposal of sharing the KL-Singapore fast train project with Temasek?

    And if that happens, do you see the sequence? First, we lost Tg Pagar and Woodlands, then we might be losing an unprecedented land banks along the KL-Singapore route which (heaven's forbid) will be owned by another country!

  10. Let's see how Major KJ is handling this. Some of you might ask - why KJ? Here are some hints....

    KJ is now an honorary Major in Territorial army. He should know by now the structure of Territorial army. Aaah...for Kampong folks - territorial army tu askar wataniah lah :)

    Is it not true that there are special divisions of territorial army who work closely with the regular army in certain strategic areas? Major KJ should know which are considered "strategic areas". If not, then he is not qualified to be a "Major".... From there on, Major KJ should be sensitive on these issues and should be taking up the matter with 1MPM6. Or are we exercising "wholesale" offer of Malaysia and our land banks?

  11. Let's add some figures in. How long is the stretch from KL to JB? It's almost 330 Km. What is the railway reserve? Let's assume it to be 40 m. The potential land bank for KL-JB fast train will be 1,320 hectares (3,300 acres). The price? It may come to RM 3 Billion.

    Imagine a land bank stretching from JB to Kuala Lumpur with land banks in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor! Who will not salivate?

  12. Some may poof-poof this as a non-issue. Maybe not now but 20 years down the line, our children will curse us for not being sensitive to their needs.
  13. First, we surrender our lands in the island, then we invite MRT to have a terminal in JB. It will not be far-fetched if later Malaysia "invite" our neighbour to jointly develop KL-Singapore fast rail link. In the process, we "give away" our land to others....

    There is no way for Singapore to allow Malaysia to use its rail links to enter Singapore land again. Instead, Singapore will be controlling the rail link deal when the pre-condition of the trains shall suit MRT requirements. So, who is actually the bigger loser in the KL-Singapore rail link project? No need to scratch heads, the answer is already crystal clear - Malaysia is the bigger loser if we were to take up the project!

  14. As this writer said earlier, there are different perspective to an issue. Sak look at it from his political viewpoint, and I choose to look at it from our "heritage" viewpoint.

    Sak may be right, I might be wrong or Sak may be wrong and I might be right. It's certainly nice if both of us are wrong but what if? Both of us are right?

    How do we answer to our future generation? Do we pass all the blame to 1MPM6? Or should we do better ie get him out of office (along with his cronies and groupies)?

  15. The answer is certainly within you. The choice is yours. You have 1 vote as I have my 1 vote. Use it wisely, it's not for me but for our future generation....

    By the way, are you a registered voter?

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...
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Monday, June 07, 2010

Of Malaysia's first lady position and NYT's flip flop explanation...

I guess by the time this posting hits the waves, the Malaysian parliament would have endorsed a strong worded statement condemning the Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla. Najib can't afford to lose face on this issue, not when PR managed to gather thousands of marchers to US embassy in protest of the said Israel attack.

Let the rest comment on the Israel-Gaza issue. For this writer, life is getting much better now with NYT (New York Times) admitting mistakes on the "First Lady of Malaysia" issue.

The Nut Graph, in its byeline "New York Times admits mistakes" dated 7th June 2010, reportedly mentioned that NYT retracted its earlier statement that an ad placed in the paper was placed by Malaysian government. Can you believe that? NYT, one of the leading papers in USA and certainly in New York make the mistakes! If it happens to Berita Harian or Utusan, that it's quite forgiving es[pecially if it matters UMNO and UMNO-linked personalities. NYT? It's downright baffling...

Consider other statements by NYT regarding the same issue :-
  1. In NYT internal system, the ad was reserved as Government of Malaysia but in fact the ad was not placed by Government of Malaysia. The ad was signed by "Family and friends in the USA and Malaysia";
  2. NYT can tell that the ad was not paid by Government of Malaysia but it is not NYT's practise to release the names of who placed the ad;
  3. It took NYT 18 days to realise that they make a mistake and the mistake is made by one Diane McNulty who is the Executive Director (Community Affairs and Media Relations). The person who corrected the mistake is one Abbe Serphos who is Director (Public Relations);
  4. Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) President regrettted that BCIU's well intended gesture became something of a political issue;
Is something cooking here? Why the protracted reply? It is simply fishy here.... Whilst the Government has taken a "silent elegance" approach to the issue, The Nut Graph should be commended for their continuity in tracking the issue.

NYT and BCIU's response needs further explanation such as :-
  1. How can NYT being one of the foremost papers in USA make a simple "internal system" blunder? Is it a genuine mistake or is this another of those corporate exercise to "make up" the real story? Why is NYT holding back the information? And why does it take them 18 days to correct an "internal system" mistake? Is NYT fiddling on how much they face to "lose" if the "actual story" surfaces?

    NYT would do us a good community service if they could identify the person(s) who placed the ad. Who are they? It is almost sure that the person(s) are not just an average Joe or those from the streets. Malaysian average Joes can't afford to splash over RM 600,000 to place an ad in NYT! And nobody in his right frame of mind would placed that particular ad proclaiming Rosmah as the "First Lady of Malaysia"!

    Who is"Family and Friends in the USA and Malaysia"? If these person(s) are titled with Tun, Tan Sri, Datuk or whatever, then it is the Government's onus to take actions to advise DYMM Agung or the state rulers to revoke the title from these person(s) for "mis-informing" US public on who is the real "First lady of Malaysia"! And who else if not Najib to take the lead as these person(s) who uses "Family and Friends in the USA and Malaysia" had created an issue, be it on "purpose" or by "accidental" mistake.

  2. NYT should be firm in their stand. Is the ad ordered and placed by Malaysian Government but paid for by third parties? Is JJ, our roving ambassador involved? Is Wisma Putra involved? Is Sarawak government involved?

    Was the ad ordered by Malaysian government, designed by Malaysian advertising agency and paid by "Family and Friends in the USA and Malaysia"? Who is the advertising agency? Are they Malaysians? If they are, is the ad done on purpose or a "genuine" mistake has occurred?

    Why is JJ quiet on this? Why is Malaysian Foreign Ministry quiet on this? Why is the PM's department quiet on this? Were they praying for the issue to be blown over and surpassed by other immediate issues like Gaza-bound aid, Perkasa, independent consensus, GAS and the rest?

  3. How is it possible for a much junior staff of NYT corrected her superior? Why didn't Diane corrected the mistake herself? Is this NYT's PR exercise to minimise damage? Something for everybody?
  4. BCIU painted it as a political issue. What BCIU failed to understand or conveniently refused to understand is - Rosmah is NOT the "First lady of Malaysia"! There is nothing political about it.

    As it is, the general consensus amongst Malaysians is - Raja Permaisur Agung IS the "First lady of Malaysia"! If BCIU failed to understand this, then it is questionable on how BCIU chose Rosmah as their recipient for "humanitarian and charity work" award when BCIU could not correctly identify who is the real "First lady of Malaysia"!

    Worse still - if BCIU chose Rosmah as its inaugural recipient of its award based on write-ups provided by Rosmah's "groupies". It will be disgraceful if BCIU did not do it's homework thoroughly and read the recipient's accomplishment based on the recipient's own write-up. Is this not a case of "masuk bakul, angkat sendiri"? Or is BCIU adapting - the anything goes strategy to award Rosmah?

For the time being, let's wait for the next installment of NYT explanation and "memanti buah tak luruh" from our Malaysian government on the said issue...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...
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Of UMNO's possible humiliation, gambling edict and...Daim?

Suffice to say that attempts to connect to the http address fails and thus it could not be ascertained whether Prof Mohamed Zain is indeed a fraternity member of University of Qatar. On that, you guys have to sort out yourselves...sometimes some tales are too good to be true....

This time I am not commenting on anything....just some references will do....

A blogger, Aspan Alias writes about "Kita akan diaibkan..." whilst FMT covers Selangor Mufti's edict on Muslims who approved gambling were committing a crime against religion and their peers. Please bear in mind that the position of a state Mufti is under the purview of HRH Sultan. That said, The Selangor Mufti's edict should not be politically linked to PR.

How is UMNO going to respond to Aspan Alias's observation and Selangor Mufti's edict? Will Sahibul Samahah Mohd Tamyes shown the door like what happened to Allahyarham Ishak Baharom? As humans, they planned but the Creator has better plans....

Since we are at it, what about this e-mail supposedly about a book on UMNO by one "Prof Mohamed Zain from University of Qatar"? In part, it is written...

University of Qatar

Books have been written about Tun Daim Zainuddin, but not many people know who the real Daim is. He is famous for being taciturn. Everyone knows that Daim is the silent type; so silent, in fact, that the victims of his scheming and conniving have fallen like ten pins without ever knowing what hit them. He has, on the quiet, made a career of shooting poison darts, laying booby traps. and knifing friend or foe in the back. His hand is never seen, but his mark is everywhere. Truth to tell, he has been at the root of many national crises, but his name has never been smudged, thanks to the wealth he wields and his bond of friendship with Dr. Mahathir.

Most members of Umno's new generation are aware that Daim is an acquisitive millionaire and a macho man with a taste of young women, but they concede him these weaknesses because they see in him a clean and competent Economic Adviser to the Government. But the generation of Harun Idris, Musa Hitam and Manan Othman to name just a few of the old hands - they are the ones to ask in order to discover who the real Daim is. It was Datuk Harun who plucked Daim up from the depths of failure in the salt business. Daim's wife, Mahani and Harun's wife, Salmah were good friends and an influential pair in the early 1970s. It was wife power that moved Harun to give Daim 160 acres of prime Kampung Pandan land. And thus Syarikat Maluri was born.

There is no use speculating over how much Daim paid Harun. After all, the two were fast friends. For the gory details, just ask Low Kiok Bow or Thamby Chik. They can relate how Daim cheated a land broker and greased Selangor state executive councillor and Mahathir's brother-in-law, Ahmad Razali for that piece of land.

Of course, Daim still had to pay for the land. In those days, it was not easy to borrow from a bank. Hence, he was forced to corrupt Bank Bumiputra. Lorraine Osman and Rais Saniman know how much he spent. Manan Othman can no doubt confirm the figure, he was so close to Daim that they tried to share a girl friend, with Manan often borrowing the bedroom at Daim's office in Taman Maluri.

Daim's elevation as Senator and, subsequently, Minister of Finance, was part of Mahathir's strategic plan. Mahathir's choice should surprise no one, after all the two were intimate friends from the same kampung in Seberang Perak, Alor Setar. Upon becoming Prime Minister on 16 July, 1981, the first thing on Mahathir's mind was how to sideline his archenemy, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Daim told everyone he had no interest in politics, but all the while he was confident of getting the Finance Minister's job after a stint with the Senate. A few months after joining the Senate, Daim became Chairman of Fleet, which owned the New Straits Times. In 1984, he finally got his dream job and became the third most important man in the Federal Cabinet, after the Prime Minister and his deputy.

Musa Hitam, the Deputy Prime Minister, was at first oblivious of the closet ties between Mahathir and Daim. Innocently, he expressed to Mahathir his disquiet over Daim's wheeling and dealing, particularly his award of projects and contracts to his own associates and cronies. It must have baffled him when his complaints fell on deaf ears although he was Deputy Prime Minister, he has no say when it came to economic matters, particularly privatisation and the assignment (to supporters) of economic projects. How disappointed Musa must have been to find that Daim could not care less about his effort to help his supporters secure some projects or contracts. Daim succeeded in making millionaires of such cronies of Wan Azmi, Halim Saad, Tajuddin Ramli,
Samsuddin Hassan, Razali Rahman and Tan Sri Basir, but Musa in the end was cast off as a poor ex-DPM. Musa once complained to Mahathir that Daim had stolen a number of supporters' project proposals, but again Mahathir ignored him. These were the first acts in the eventual breakup of the Mahathir-Musa partnership. As the interests of Mahathir and Razaleigh bloated, Musa got squeezed out.

Many Umno members assume that Razaleigh is Musa's number one enemy. In fact, the reason for the 1986 split in Umno must fall on Daim. It was he who drove Musa to the edge until he had no choice but to resign. Again, Daim's man of few words demeanour to his advantage. Few knew of his behind-the-scenes role in that Umno rupture not many more know it today. One really should not wonder why Musa called a truce Razaleigh and the two decided to collaborate in the 1987 fight, the one that eventually caused Umno to be outlawed. At that time, Daim was almost invincible, what support coming from such strongmen as Sanusi Junid and Anwar Ibrahim. The comradeship of the three was rock solid, and the Musa-Razaleigh camp could do nothing except to make a joke of it by giving them the nicknames AIDS.

The formation of the new Umno, Daim and Mahathir had first to get rid of the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas. Again, Daim was the chief plotter in the sacking of the pious and respected Tun Salleh, and his replacement with Tun Hamid Omar, a playboy and chronic gambler, but Mahathir's and Daim's schoolmate. The appointment of Tun Hamid Omar triggered the collapse of the integrity and the independence of the judiciary.

Finance Minister, Daim persuaded Mahathir to give the Economic Planning Unit and Treasury full power in implementing the privatisation policy. Hence, it was no longer necessary to call for tenders for government projects. Instead, the projects were awarded directly to favoured companies. And so began the era of wealth accumulation by him and his cohorts. The United Engineers Company, bought for RM2, changed into a multi-million- ringgit corporation. As Finance Minister, Daim practically ordered banks to lend to companies that he himself owned. And no Daim crony every complained of difficulty in securing bank credit. Indeed, bankers lived in fear of Daim. Having appointed Wan Azmi and Basir to head Malayan Banking and Bank Bumiputra, he would give any project to any of his cronies because funding was not an issue.
If those physical projects were not enough, Daim also took every opportunity to take wealth from the share market as well. Every time the Treasury approved a company for listing on the stock exchange, Daim cronies received their lion's shares. That was how Southern Bank, Resort World, Sports Toto, Berjaya, Tanjong and scores of other blue chip firms landed with Daim and Company. Once, when share values were high, Daim boasted among friends that his visible wealth alone totalled RM65 billion. To shut the mouth of Barisan Nasional leaders, Daim gave lucrative projects to Samy Vellu and Ling Liong Sik so that their children could be big-shots in batches.

Daim managed to fool Umno members into believing that Mahathir would not let him go although he had asked to be relieved of his Cabinet post on a number of occasions. With Musa and Razaleigh out of the picture, Daim could grab as much wealth as he wanted without even Mahathir stopping him. Besides, he was Umno's treasurer and he could make it look as if the companies he controlled were those in which the party had a stake.

Daim's avarice damaged not only his own image as finance minister, but also Mahathir's and Malaysia 's reputation with the international community. It is said that he used to demand exorbitant fees for himself in negotiating contracts involving foreign suppliers. The chairmen of Japan 's two biggest banks - the Bank of Tokyo and Sanwa Bank - once complained to Mahathir that his Finance Minister demanded commissions that were too high when negotiating yen loans. Margaret Thatcher, too, has complained about Daim's role as a commissioned agent. He had - or still has - accounts in Zurich , London , Hong Kong, Tokyo , Singapore , Caymen Island , Channel Island and Virgin Island . Indeed, instead of keeping his billions in Malaysia , he has stashed them overseas.
With his immense wealth and far-reaching influence, Daim eventually became a burden that Mahathir could no longer bear. In every deal he made, there was something in it for himself. It was not beneath him even to conspire with Lee Kuan Yew to snatch KTM land in Singapore . The Malaysian Cabinet had no knowledge of this. But this issue of Malaysia being cheated by Lee Kuan Yew and Daim is far from over.

Mahathir eventually realised that he had to end Daim's lordship over the Finance Ministry. And so he told him to quit.

Mahathir worried that if Daim continued as Finance Minister, complaints would come not only from Vincent Tan, Ananda Krishnan, Arumugam and other members of the Malaysian business elite, but also from foreign leaders. Signs of a Daim-related scandal were ominous and it could break anytime in Japan or Britain , therefore, Daim had to go.

Daim's resignation was planned such that it would not appear as if he had been sacked. Indeed, it does not make sense why a powerful Finance Minister, rich and in control of so many public companies, would suddenly quit simply because he had lost interest in the job. The truth is that he was ordered to resign. Observers will recall that Mahathir's first comment on the so-called reaction was, 'He has asked several times for permission to resign, and I have finally allowed it. I hope Daim would not leave the country after resigning'. That statement was pregnant with meaning. Mahathir knew Daim was sulking. So did Anwar and Sanusi. Mahathir retained Daim as Umno Treasurer for a good reason, he wanted to ensure the safety of Umno money, a lot of which was under Daim's control.

But Daim who holds so many of Mahathir's secrets, is only a sly one. After resigning, he ran off to live in his San Francisco residence. He told the Malaysian public he wanted to study at Harvard, but in fact he wanted to leave Malaysia . Mahathir, who was familiar with Daim's antics, pleaded with him to come back, saying he need him to advise on economic matters. Daim returned and announced that Mahathir had named him Economic Adviser to the Government. Rafidah asked Mahathir to confirm this, but all she got was silence. Daim was never formally appointed as Economic Adviser, a post which Tun Raj a Mohar once held. The appointment is the prerogative of the Public Services Department. Daim gave himself the job. To keep Daim happy, Mahathir allowed him to open an office at the Economic Planning Unit, and this strengthened the public perception that he was still in control as far as economic affairs were concerned.

When he was to told to resign as Finance Minister, Daim asked Mahathir to appoint Anwar Ibrahim to the job. Obviously, he thought this would help to ensure that his skeletons would remain closeted. He warned Mahathir of the peril that Rafidah would be to both of them: the secrets they shared would be uncovered. Daim also persuaded Mahathir to appoint Mustapha Mohammad as Anwar's deputy because these two could be depended on to fill up the holes he had left gaping. Anwar is nobody's fool, but he sacrificed his idealism to protect his towkay.

As far as we know, no Finance Minster in this world has retired a billionaire, except Daim. In the book Daim yang Diam: Sebuah Biographi (Daim the Silent: A Biography), Daim explains his retirement: 'I am happy in retirement. It was too heavy a responsibility. In truth, I love the business world. Business is in my blood. I love to make money. I know how to do it. I can do it just by sitting in this chair. On a lucky day, I can make millions.'

Friend of Soros

According to an internal bank analysis, collaborated by the corporate community, and from Daim crony Amin Shah, Daim's wealth, in ringgit and foreign currencies kept overseas currently amounts to RM20 billion. With so much money at his disposal, Daim can manipulate the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. He showed his hand in 1991, just to prove how much influence he wielded. After selling off his stocks, he made a statement to the effect that the market would crash. And crash it did. As we can all recall, even Mahathir could not help but make a wry remark when Daim boasted that he invested in KLSE only for pocket money. But to his good friend, Daim said he could turn in profit on RM90 million a day when the market was up. When the market plummeted in October 1991 Daim bought back his share on the cheap. When the market turned bullish again 1995 and 1996, Daim made billions of ringgit from it. This, then, is what the work of an economic adviser amounts to.

So it turns out that Soros is not the only big time market manipulator and currency dealer. Daim met Soros twice in London when the ringgit was being hotly traded. Anyway, when the ringgit fell below RM4 to the US dollar, Mahathir asked Daim for help and, according to a source in Singapore, he lost RM1 billion trying to prop up the Malaysian currency. To lose that much in currency trading, imagine how much money he had at his disposal.

The falls in currency and share values put Mahathir in a feverish panic. He knew his policies and his own belligerent attitude were partly to blame. Seeing Mahathir in such a frenzied state, Daim recommended that he declare a state of emergency to enable him to restore the economy and at the same time, bury the corpses that were beginning to stink. We hail the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Solicitor-General for opposing the move.. If Daim's plan had been followed, Mahathir would turn dictator and the Malaysian economy would be utterly ruined. Having failed to declare an emergency, Mahathir set up the National Economic Action Council, headed by Daim, with the Economic Planning Unit as its Secretariat. The original plan was to give the NEAC complete autonomy, but the Cabinet ministers opposed this for fear that they would lose any vestige of power they had left. Eventually, the council became merely an advisory body, with the Cabinet having final say on its recommendations.

The establishment of the council was a wedge between Anwar and Daim. Thus, two old friends who had together stood behind Mahathir against Musa were now turned against each other. All of the council's recommendations were rejected by the Cabinet and Bank Negara. Daim openly assailed Bank Negara for dismissing his proposals, such as those relating to interest rates and credit control. We salute the Bank Negara Governor for maintaining a prudent monetary policy in the face of Daim's bullying and insults. Unlike Daim and his cohorts, Bank Negara's officials are not self-serving. Daim's appointment to the NEAC was a major national mistake.

Going by press reports of its deliberations so far, the NEAC's sole preoccupation is with saving mega corporations from bankruptcy. No doubt, these are Daim-related companies. Daim has yet to show any concern over the rise in the price of chillies, or the leaps in fish prices or how the price of rice has boiled over. Neither has he talked about small businesses in their death throes. Class F contractors going bankrupt or kampung road projects being abandoned. In his dictionary, there are no entries for the small man's worries, nothing about low-cost houses, water cuts or study funds for the children of poor Malays. In fact, it contains only billion size figures. While the Malaysian economy is close to ruin, Daim remains a billionaire, living a life of glamour, jet setting with his new wife Naimah and the attractive Josephine , an Indian lass who helps him run one of his firms, the International Malaysian Bank.

We have merely given a sketch of who the real Daim is. A thorough account will soon be available in book form. We recommend the book to Umno members, especially those with big ambitions, because they will learn much from its fantastic but true tales of economic and political intrigues. We denounce the likes of Vincent Tan and Tan Phek Khiing for land-grabbing, but perhaps we should ask the Menteri Besar of Johor and the Menteri Besar of Kedah how much land Daim has taken. Ask Sanusi how much Daim paid to the Kedah government for 12,000 acres in Sungai Petani and how much profit he made from them. For 12,000 acres, Osman Arof had to be sacrificed. The true story of the Daim-Sanusi conspiracy in Kedah will be exposed in the book.

Umno is at a crossroads and has to decide wisely where it is going. One road heads to glory, where stability and democratic practice will abide. The other leads to division, autocracy and ultimately, utter destruction. The call for reform, which used to be made only in whispers at small, secretive gatherings, is becoming louder. Umno members, showing that they can no longer contain their restiveness and frustration, have begun to openly debate the need for change, even at party conventions. Can there be a clearer indication that they have reached their tether's end, that they can no longer stomach the leadership's undemocratic attitude and the prevalence - whether in the party or the government - of favouritism, cronyism, nepotism, graft and other misdeeds? Malay nationalism is dead and materialism and egoism are running amok.

We cannot depend on the Umno Supreme Council to initiate reform because few of the members have the guts to speak up. In fact, the council has lately been transformed into a monologue theatre. But of course even a monologue can flop without good supporting players - fools, clowns, jesters, attendants and the oh-so- important flatterers. As far as these bit players are concerned, Umno's ideals and principles are not as important as their jobs. This keep-your-mouth- shut syndrome serves only to embolden the party leadership in its conceit, arrogance and haughtiness. A president has become a dictator. Woe are the Malays and Umno. What is to become of them? That is a question only Umno members can answer.

Professor Mohamed Zain
Professor of Technology & Strategic Management
College of Business & Economics
University of Qatar

Suffice to say that attempts to connect to fails and thus it could not be ascertained whether Prof Mohamed Zain is indeed a fraternity member of University of Qatar. On that, you guys have to sort out yourselves...sometimes some tales are too good to be true....

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...
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Thursday, June 03, 2010

When you are down... find a sing along song!

Sing along...

A week has passed by and I am still trying to recover from Idris Jala's lab on subsidy cuts as well as the possibility of Malaysia going bankcrupt by 2019.

Fortunately, this morning blogger Al-Banjari lifts me up with his video hit... a reality that reminds us why we have to do what we have to do to protect Malaysians, regardless of religious beliefs and colours...

Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...
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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lighten up...and prayers for the activists in Gaza-bound ships...

Latest : He misses the boat again! Maybe he has better chance to try out with LA Dodgers than trying out for 1MPM6 Najib's cabinet....

Surely this is not bashing time errrr clobbering time ala The Fantastic Four. Rogue state Israel has once again demonstrated that they are beyond reproach and they can do whatever they like even in International waters and ther's nothing the world can do about it. Heck, even the fearless world Marshall Obama dare not lift a finger to reprimand Israel, not when Obama knows that it was the Israel lobbyist who put him in the Oval office....

Say what you want, but it is a gallant Malaysian effort to cast politics aside when Barisan and Pakatan parties rose in unison to condemn the blatant Israel attacks on the Gaza-aid flotilla. However, it is KJ of UMNO who is one up above Shamsul of PR and Nasaruddin of PAS when KJ managed to put up a decent show of protest in front of the United Nations building in Damansara. Even Perkasa managed to show up their protest in front of US embassy regarding the issue. Where are PR's Syamsul and PAS Nasaruddin? Where is DAP's youth? I bet Syamsul is either busy filing police reports or he might be too engrossed with Anwar's sodomy II case... (Note : PR held their protest in front of US embassy, attended by MPs')

Thus, it is no surprise if Najib decided to elevate KJ into his cabinet. I mean, who can stomach the way Ismail Sabri responded to "rumours" of a possible sugar hike last night in TV3 news? Who can live with Idris Jala's 2019 Malaysia risk bancruptcy statement? No need to think about Rais or Mohd Nor Yaakob or Anisah or Nazri or Zahid Hamidi or Shafie Afdal and the rest. If Najib really wants to win the hearts of Malaysia, the best thing he could do is to sack all the ministers and dissolve the parliament. You and I know that he will not do that, not when his bed-mate is still hungry for more "First lady of Malaysia" advertisements....

On the lighter side, what would you think if KJ is appointed as Deputy Minister or Sports Minister? Don't you notice the uncanny resemblance between KJ and the Tampa Bay pitcher? You know...the one that goes..."It looks like him, it smells like him but....."

If that's KJ pitching, who's batting? Any guess??

Let's take some time off and pray for the safety of those activists in their effort to send humanitarian aid to Gaza, Palestine.... May the One God be with them....

For Muslims, you can head to the nearest masjid starting tonight and join in Solat Hajat which will be held after Maghrib prayers. This is in line with JAKIM's proposal that we offer our prayers for the well being of the activists, regardless of their religous beliefs or race....

Another blogger, Zorro is suggesting either a candlelight vigil or a thanksgiving vigil (depending on the situation) this coming Sunday night. Time? 8 pm. Location? In front of MBPJ office. Trust the authorities will be kind enough to let the vigil takes place...

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