Friday, July 13, 2018

LRT3 savings: Proof that Guan Eng is not from this planet

My heading should actually read "Yet another proof that Guan Eng is not from this planet".

After raising Malaysia's national debt to RM1.1 trillion from RM700 billion just days after being made the Finance Minister, which was the first sign  that he was not from here, Guan Eng has now "saved" billions and billions of ringgit for the taxpayers by slashing the cost of the LRT3 from RM31.6 billion to RM16.6 billion.
That's 47% savings, he screamed.
I wonder if someone has told him that he was just crapping on Malaysians again.
It would have been a savings IF the the LRT3 project's specs had remained unchanged (or have somehow improved). But in this case, the project's specs have been downscaled, and by a great deal, too!

The facts:

+ Instead of 44 sets of trains with 6 cars each, the project will now be getting only 22 sets of trains with 3 cars each;
+ Lim will also shelve five stations to "save" costs and this means taxpayers around Lien Hoe, Temasya, Sirim, Bukit Raja and Bandar Botani will have to travel farther to the nearest LRT stations;
+ We taxpayers will also not get the 2-kilometre tunnel together with an underground station at Persiaran Hishamuddin, Shah Alam;
+ And, Einstein, because there will be fewer trains, the size of the depot will also be smaller lah; and
+ Istead of 2020, the new date of completion will be 2024.

So, still think those are "savings" for taxpayers? Uneducated taxpayers (and those from Lim's planet) may rejoice. But the truth is, this is not about savings at all. This is about scaling down the LRT3 project. A project meant to overcome transport woes of ordinary, hardworking and hard-pressed Malaysians has jsut been downgraded!

Read here.

p.s. Now, perhaps this also explains why Guan Eng needed Bahasa Mandarin to communicate better.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Freezing Umno's bank accounts and deregistration: What it really means

On June 21, Zahid Hamidi revealed how during a closed-door meeting on June 7 Mahathir Mohamad had asked him to dissolve Umno and get all the party's MPs to cross over join his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The disclosure came after Mahathir's claim that the acting Umno chief had met him to seek his advice on how to run Umno after the May 9 polls defeat. Zahid had meant his explanation to be kept closed door but when the video was leaked, he made not attempt to deny it. Especially after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had chided him for "crawling" to the PM. Khairuddin Hassan, the man who arranged the four-eyed meeting, was furious: "Zahid is a liar. Every word he said (of the meeting with Mahathir) was a lie," Khairuddin fired back at Zahid.

But with Mahathir's move to (ask the MACC or the 1MDB Task Force to) freeze the bank accounts of Umno HQ and Selangor ahead of tomorrow's Umno elections, where Zahid and Razaleigh are clashing for president, the story Zahid had told the Umno members in Selangor in the video has suddenly become a whole lot more credible now.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

BR1M is now BSH

Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia was one of the main excuses Mahathir Mohamad had given when he started gunning for Najib Razak in 2015. He called it a form of corruption. Since then BR1M had been lynched and its recipients were shamed and told that there were receiving "dedak" from the Najib Administration. Najib was accused of bribing his way to get the people's support and of draining the nation's coffers in the process. In the run-up to the PRU14, even Mokhzani, the usually low-profiled son of Mahathir, and one of the wealthiest persons in Malaysia, got tangled up when he made perhaps one of the most seething insults on BR1M and its 7-odd million recipients. Read Getting BR1M nothing to shout about, says Mokhzani; Vell Paari slams Mokhzani for "disrespecting" BR1M recipients.

Perhaps realising how well BR1M was doing to help out Malaysians in the lower-income groups, and how threatening to abolish it might lose him and Pakatan Harapan support in the May 9 general election, Mahathir softened his stand on Najib's brainchild. Najib: Dr M thick-skinned for U-turn on BR1M

Today the scandal-ridden Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng confirmed that the Government is keeping BR1M but will be calling it BSH, or Bantuan Sara Hidup. The first BSH payout will cost the Government RM1.6 billion and benefit 4.1 million people. 

Alhamdulillah! And Thank You, Najib Razak.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A good Opposition leader, like Kit Siang?

If Zahid Hamidi listens to Lim Kit Siang’s unsolicited advice on “How to be a good Opposition Leader”, I’m afraid it might take BN 50 years instead of five to take back Putrajaya. BN does not have such luxury. Kit Siang was lucky, he had all the time in the world. The DAP stalwart was Opposition leader for a record three times, spanning 30 years. Including a 24-year uninterrupted stretch from 1975 to 1999, which must have been some kind of a world record or something.  
Despite this long tenure, the Opposition made very little headway under Kit Siang. In fact, it became weak and it suffered many humiliations, especially during Mahathir Mohamad’s era (Prime Minister, 1981-2003). If Kit Siang had been a good Opposition leader, the voters would have kept him. Instead, at the 1999 polls, they showed him the door. Lim led the Opposition for the last time from 2004 to 2008 and had better luck in the 12th general election, but only because he and the Opposition had help from Dr Mahathir, who was going after Pak Lah, the Prime Minister then. 
If Kit Siang had been a good Opposition leader, we the people wouldn’t be paying through our noses for our highways today. And Mahathir would not get to create the IPPs for his cronies. And Penangites would still be taking the ferry to go to the mainland. Just to mention a few.  
No, Zahid will be better off creating his own brand as Opposition Leader. I hope he does not oppose just for the sake of opposing, which was what Kit Siang was all about. The Leader of the Opposition must provide check and balances, call a spade a spade, tamper the new Government’s over-eagerness with the realities on the ground. Put the people first, as Tony Fernandes would say, and everything would fall into place. 

#Leader of the OppositionPolitical partyTerm of officePrime MinisterRefs
Took officeLeft office
1Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgBurhanuddin al-Helmy
MP for Besut
PMIP19591964Tunku Abdul Rahman
2Tan Chee Khoon.jpgTan Chee Khoon
MP for Batu
-Position vacant19691971
Abdul Razak Hussein
3Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgMohamed Asri Muda
MP for Pasir Puteh
4Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Bandar Malacca
DAP30 January 197331 July 1974[2]
5Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgJames Wong
MP for Miri-Lubis
6Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgEdmund Langgu Saga
(b. 1936)
MP for Saratok
SNAP4 November 19744 November 1975[3]
(4)Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Kota Melaka (1975-1978)
MP for Petaling (1978–1982)
MP for Kota Melaka (1982-1986)
MP for Tanjong (1986–1999)
DAP4 November 197512 June 1978[4]
Hussein Onn
31 July 197829 March 1982[5]
Mahathir Mohamad
10 July 198219 July 1986[6]
8 October 19864 October 1990[7]
10 December 19906 April 1995[8]
15 June 199510 November 1999[9]
7Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgFadzil Noor
MP for Pendang
PAS20 December 199923 June 2002[10]
8Abdul Hadi Awang
(b. 1947)
MP for Marang
PAS9 September 20024 March 2004[11]
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
(4)Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Ipoh Timor
DAP19 May 200413 February 2008[12]
9Wan Azizah.jpgWan Azizah Wan Ismail
(b. 1952)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PKR30 April 200828 August 2008[13][14]
10Anwar Ibrahim.jpgAnwar Ibrahim
(b. 1947)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PKR28 August 20083 April 2013[15]
Najib Razak
26 June 201316 March 2015[16][17]
(9)Wan Azizah.jpgWan Azizah Wan Ismail
(b. 1952)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PH(PKR)18 May 201510 May 2018[18]
11Najib Razak 2008-08-21.jpgNajib Razak
(b. 1953)
MP for Pekan & Former Prime Minister of Malaysia
BN(UMNO)10 May 201812 May 2018Mahathir Mohamad[19]
12Deputy Prime Minister Hamidi - 2017 (36294565072) (cropped).jpgAhmad Zahid Hamidi
(b. 1953)
MP for Bagan Datuk & Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
BN(UMNO)12 May 2018Incumbent

Monday, May 21, 2018

Malaysians, bow your heads

Move aside Khairuddin Hassan, Matthias Chang and Tony Pua ...  The hero is Justo, says Clare Rewcastle-Browne. 

Clare, the Sarawak Report editor, is in town. Her travel ban to Malaysia has been lifted by the new Government, which is clearly indebted to her. And especially to ex-convict Justo, who had an audience with the new Prime Minister. Three weeks ago, Clare was ordered by a court in the UK to pay Ustaz Hadi Awang of PAS RM155,000 for defamation. Today she's a goddess.
A new Malaysia, indeed.  
Tun Taib Mahmud, you may be good friends with Tun Mahathir, but you're next!