The Kita Budak Ampang story (watch the You Tube) has a happy ending for Hans Isaac, after all, at least for now. After two years of walking and talkng the grounds of Ampang in the hope of convincing the PKR members there that he is their best candidate for branch chairman, the celebrity businessman made the cut yesteday by beating Altimet, another big name in the entertainment business, in a tight re-election (read PKR disqualifies Ampang chief Daing Muhammad, fresh polls June 29).Party insiders believe this hard-earned victory opens up a lot of possibilities for Hans: he could even be fielded as a PKR candidate at the next general elections.. If party big boss Anwar Ibrahim also believes that Hans has what it takes, that is. And if you ask me, it’s hard not to believe in Hans if you know what he’s had to go through to take on the bigwigs in Ampang and within his party. Especially how he’s set out, tirelessly and almost single-handedly, to help and motivate the Ampang constituents during the pandemic.It has only been two years since Hans set his sights to becone a politician in Anwar’s party and look at how far he’s come. Imagine what this 50-year old newbie can do in the years to come to help mend our broken politics - and dreams.
Thursday, June 30, 2022
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
The Hadiah Kajai is deemed as one of the highest awards that the long-suffering Malaysian journalist can expect to win locally. Last weekend at the Malam Wartawan Malaysia, however, there was no wiinner. According to the Malaysian Press Institute, which organised the MWM where dozens of “lesser” awards were given out, its esteemed panel of judges unanimously felt that nobody had met the criteria set for Kajai. In other words, no Malaysian journalist was good enough.
Not good enough for the MPI (or its panel of judges, MPI would insist), that is. Many of my colleages and I would beg to differ, We are of the opinion that the best article submitted to the MPI for the awards, no matter how weak or pathetic the standards of the competition was, ought to be awarded the Kajai. “The best of the worst”, if you like. Becaues telling all those editors, sub-editors, writers and reporters that none of them and none of their articles met the MPI’s standards is a great insult. Unkind.
MPI’s standards (oh, sorry, the judges’ standards) must be so damn high.
Congrats to all the winners of those lesser awards. May our journalism standards improve for next year’s Malam Wartawan Malaysia and the years to come so that we can have a Kajai winner every year.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
After all these years, some bloggers are still considered by the authorities as a nuisance. The blogger behind the popular site called Another Brick in the Wall must have been one big pain in the ass (either to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission or the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia. If you click on the site’s link (ABITW is still on my blogroll, for now) you won’t be able to open the blog because it has been blocked. Yes, blocked by the MCMC or the Ministry.
We were more amused then irritated by the move by the authorities to make the blog “disappear”. Because it is such an primitive way of dealing with the digital media. It makes the Ismail Sabri admin look stupid. They ought to be thrown back to the Stone Age.
To read stuff written by this so-called enemy of the state, simply click HERE. He now goes by the name Thick as a Wall.
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
When I tested positive for the coronavirus last Thursday, I even got a pat on the back. “Welcome to the club!” Such is life, we have come to embrace the once-feared Covid-19 and accepted it as part of life, a nuisance that refuses to go away. Two years after Malaysia’s initial lockdown, we know exactly how we are supposed to deal with it. Having been fully vaccinated (am due for my second booster anytime now), I suffered only mild symptoms during my quarantine and am lucky to recover without spreading the virus to loved ones. Lest we forget, the virus is still killing people out there. If there’s anything Covid-19 has taught me from March 2020 till now, it’s of 1. How pathetically little the governmennt knew about how to deal with the virus then (and how still little it knows about everything else now) 2. People don’t change: we are back to our pre-Covid bad habits.
Stay vigilant, stay safe and thank you for the well-wishes
Tuesday, June 07, 2022
OR STALL THE PROCESS FURTHER ….
KL, 7 June: A few names are being bandied about to replace Izzaddin Idris, who stepped down end last month - suddenly or otherwise, depending on who you talk to - as the president and group CEO of Axiata Group in the midst of a mind-boggling opposition against a government-initiated scheme to roll out 5G. Mind boggling because Axiata, which owns Celcom and Tune Talk, is effectively linked to the Malaysian government itself.
One of the contenders to replace the seasoned Izzadin, I was told, is Shazalli Ramli, a name all too familiar with the industry. Shazalli is credited for making Celcom a trendy regional telco powerhouse. He also made that famous comeback to the government-linked corporate world late in 2020 - expectedly or otherwise, again depending on who you’d want to believe - after the fall of the vindictive Pakatan Harapan government. Shazalli is currently chief of Boustead, which has just announced a seven-fold increase in first quarter profits the other day.
Mohd Idham Nawawi, the current CEO of Celcom, is also being considered for the post, if you believe the gossips. Idham cut his teeth in Axiata and would be seen as a natural replacement. He was made Celcom chief in 2018, before Izzaddin came into the picture.
Industry observers generally think either man will augur well for the Government’s plans to roll out 5G through its single wholesale network enabler DNB, an MOF company. The nation has lagged far behind its own original plans on 5G due to unexpected (or no) opposition to the government’s 5G plans by its own telco GLCs.
For the recored, Ralph Marshall, the man who helms DNB, had played a big role in the rollout of Maxis, the traditional rivals of Celcom. And Izzaddin’s departure last month, some said, had something to do with the opposition by the telcos against DNB. Wallahualam.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Bangsar, 17 May: Good to hear that the Kuala Lumpur CID will now investigate a skirmish involving a security guard and journalists from The Vibes. Whether or not there was a criminal element in the incident should be decided after a thorough investigation has been carried out. It is only fair to both parties. Read The Vibes journalist's assault reclassified, investigated under Penal Code: CID Chief.
The investigation into the case, I hope, will focus on the security company that hires the guard involved in the "assault/harassment" of the journalist. if you'd seen the clip on the incident, the said security guard was behaving extremely emotional. That is not how you expect a security guard to behave under tense circumstances. Begs the question if he was properly trained by the security company that hired him.
Security guards, like the police, are armed. While in PDRM we trust, the same can't be said private security firms who might cut corners for profits.
Read also Wong Chun Wai's Fashion Police Foibles
Thursday, May 12, 2022
KL, 12 May: By now, it's fair to assume that nobody knows exactly when - or if ever - our proposed 5G network will be completed. It could take two or 22 years. If the government is not careful, it will not take off ever! Read Telcos stall on deal with DNB.
I'm not being dramatic. Consider the facts: we made Langkawi the testbed for out 5G rollout at the end of 2019, before Covid-19 took over our lives. Since then, very little progress has been made. The government set up Digital Nasional Bhd to oversee the roll-out. Good. But opposition from a handful of telco companies, who wanted control of DNB or an alternative to DNB, stalls everything. To appease the telcos, the government bent backwards and even offered them a combined 70 per cent ownership of DNB, which effectively give them the control they had asked for.
But as of today, they are still not pleased. Only TM and Yes have subscribed to DNB's single wholesale network but the two won't be enough.
Did the government allow those telcos to hold the entire nation to ransom? It does look that way, although the telcos would have you believe that they are justified for still being unhappy. Well, I can tell the telcos and PM Ismail Sabri this, too: We - the people - are pissed off. We have put up with so much rubbish for too long and these people continue to take us for granted. We want cheap and efficient 5G, and we want it now!
The government has nobody to blame but itself if this whole saga continues and we, the nation, gets left behind as a result. Ismail Sabri should take inspiration from history. Imagine if governments of yesteryear gave in to opposition to all those developmental projects it had planned, from the North-South Expressway and a new international airport in Sepang to building an administrative capital in Putrajaya and the bridge for Penang. Malaysia would still be backward now if that had been the case.
Other countries are already talking about 6G and even 7G but we're getting all excited about the prospects of Tesla investing in Malaysia!
Sunday, May 01, 2022
Thursday, March 17, 2022
Bangsar, Thu 17 March: Re Onn Hafiz Ghazi, the new Menteri Besar of Johor, I wish people would stop talking about how young he is. Because 43 is NOT young. Najib Razak was 23 in 1976 when he was made deputy minister and became the Menteri Besar of Pahang at 29. Shahrir Samad, who made such a big fuss about the manner Onn Hafiz was brought in to replace incumbent MB Hasni Mohammad, was just 30 in 1980 when he was made Deputy Finance Minister and was a good decade younger than Onn Hafiz today when he became FT Minister in 1983. Onn Hafiz, born 2 March 1979, had just turned 43 and that, brothers and sisters, is not young. Sure, he’s a baby compared with 96-year old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad but why is the Tun still around and threatening to be still relevant come the next general election? Anwar Ibrahim is 74 and that’s old but when he became the Deputy PM in 1993 he was only 46. More perspectives: Sanna Marin, the PM of Finland, is 37; Jacinda Adern, the Kiwi PM, is 41; and Justin Trudeau was Onn Hafiz’s age in 2015 when he became PM of Canada.
So the new MB of Johor is not young, OK? If you ask me, I’d say he’s about the right age to lead the State. But is he the right person to lead Johor? Time will tell. If he is going to kow-tow to every whim and fancy of the palace, then he isn’t the right dude to lead but he would probably last longer than Hasni Mohamad, who was MB for just a little over two years (Feb 2020 to March 2022).
Umno president Zahid Hamidi said he will address the issue of the appointmet of Onn Hafiz as Johor MB at the party’s general assembly tomorrow. That will be a great exercise in futility. In other words, the explanation may be relevant if you are a party member with interest (and the majority of Umno memberi are without interest or benefit, for that matter). Tomorrow, I bet you my last ringgit, Zahid will tell the assembly to support the Johor Sultan and the Ruler’s choice of an MB. Not just because Zahid and Sultan Yem are good, old friends but because Zahid knows better than to try and usurp the authority of the Istana in this matter.
Read Know Your Place and learn what Zahid and the Umno leaders already know.
What I’d like to know is what Hasni Mohammad, the former MB, did not do for the palace or for the State that warrranted him to be replaced despite his party’s huge victory at the Johor state elections. If that was really the reason for his short stint, as some would want you to believe.
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Feb 17: The Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim played it well, welcoming the move to change Sarawak's chief minister as "an overdue recognition of equal standing with peninsula". You don't hear it from anyone else they are either too afraid to comment on anything that has to do with MA63, or too dense to. And that is how Anwar Ibrahim, the 3-time ISA detainee, proves to be still relevant in local politics today.
But before the politicians in Malaysia's Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak get carried away, do read the Opposition leader's support in its entirety.
Anwar says he's hoping that the amendment to the title will also mark the beginning of the return of the rights and interests of the people of Borneo under MA63 to them.“Beyond this title change we must respect and honour the agreement and promises that are part of MA63. Otherwise we continue to make only cosmetic changes, which for the people of Sarawak and Sabah is unacceptable.”
Yes, the change in name from CM to Premier or Assistant Minister to Deputy Minister will be mere cosmetics if it's not followed up with changes that will require the leaders in Sarawak and Sabah to start doing some soul-searching, followed by great sacrifices.
As far as politics is concerned, the players from those two states don't need their so-called cousins from West Malaysia to teach them. They have had their fair share of baggage, corrupt leaders, chief ministers who didn't need fancier titles to steal from the people and the states' rich resources. They still do. Sarawakians need more than those fancy titles the politicians are seeking to change their lot and that of their children's.
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