Wednesday, January 22, 2020

DAP a liability?


Damansara, 22 Jan 20: After Pakatan Harapan's 5 successive by-election defeats, suddenly the DAP is to blame. Or at least that's the impression you get after finishing this excellent (though, to some people, not quite typical) Johan Jaafar piece Why DAP is a liability to PH
"Johan wrote that? You sure? He sounds almost like most of us."
"Yeah, it's the Tan Sri. Genuine."
"Well, the DAP should have hired him instead of his son. He's got great suggestions on how DAP can NOT be a liability."
"Still can. Two heads better than one, they say."
In short, you like it or not, Malaysia's latest Tokoh Wartawan Negara, got it right this time: "DAP should do a lot of soul searching from now."

Personally, I'm not so sure about his singling out Gobind Deol Singh, the Communications and Multimedia Minister. The other chap - the former Penang Chief Minister who got his corruption charges dropped in 2018 - he named in his article, yes. but Gobind?

Gobind Singh Deo is trying hard to prove his worth, but sadly he is caught in his own ignorance. Believing that PH government is not controlling the media is naïve. Just look at what happened to the group taking over the licenses of the Utusan group of newspapers and the taking over of Media Prima Bhd by a party close to Parti Bersatu. Is he oblivious to that?
Gobind should spend more time working on abolishing many laws that are stifling press freedom and freedom of speech. It was part of the PH manifesto after all to abolish or repeal such laws. Even his good intention to set up a Media Council is being questioned. Why should it be initiated by the government and not the industry? Why the need for a Media Council now in the world of Internet and social media onslaught?

Johan was earlier quoted as describing Gobind's efforts to help set up the Media Council as "futile".

p.s. My thoughts on the Media Council, as one of the members of the protem commitee set up to oversee its establishment, in my next posting.

Friday, January 10, 2020

(That's) Why a politician can't lead the MACC


CBTL BSC, 10 Jan 2020: All manner of big, brave guns with this government, from A. Kadir Jasin to Haniff Kathri, have shelled Latheefa Koya, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, over her "shocking, sordid and very disturbing" public "hearing" of the Najib Razak tapes. Rais Yatim, a former Information Minister and now Bersatu's supreme council member, thinks the expose could be "prejudicial". "Of what purpose is this? We are not told," Rais says. Kadir, the comms advisor to the PM, believes the expose may cause MACC its credibility. Kathir, often described as the PM's lawyer, doesn't hold back, either.  Ms Koya, he says, has subverted the rule of law by revealing the contents of the nine recordings. 
None, however, has gone to the extent of calling for Ms Koya's resignation. Lawyer Jahaberdeen Yunoos just did:


But you know and I know, only one man can decide if Ms Koya stays or goes. The same man who put her there in the first place, despite a promise by the Pakatan Harapan government never to appoint politicians to government-linked agencies and companies if it was voted in.

Read also:
MACC's Watergate scandal by A Voice
An error of judgement? by Salleh Buang, NST


Monday, January 06, 2020

Don't threaten me lah, OK?



TTDI, 6 Jan: Just a short Thank You note to the Minister for Communications and Multimedia for coming out in support of journalists. It's a dying profession but our professionalism ain't dead. Like you said, YB, the duty of journalists is to report the facts so that the information reaches the people. We're not here to please all. 
I hope Gobind's colleagues remember that before they threaten journalists with not doing the job of their own comms people in highlighting the good things they have done as ministers, deputy ministers of MPs and Aduns. Hopefully, they will also remember the Minister's advice before they issue us with their next letter of demand, threatening us with legal action each time we tread on their toes. 

Read also
TV3 journalist lodges police report over murder threats - Jan 3
Do not threaten journalists, says Gobind - Jan 3

5G's "single entity": Who will own it, ultimately?


And is it another word for monopoly?
KL, 06 Jan 2020: Late in the evening, 31 Dec 2019, as most people were preparing to go out and celebrate the New Year, our guys at the MCMC were working overtime to rush out a press release on the Final report on the allocation of spectrum bands for Mobile Broadband Service in Malaysia. But not everybody appreciated the hard work. "Sneaky,' a journalist told me, "for MCMC to issue such a crucial statement on New Year's eve when everybody was in holiday and party mood." Well, some journalists are more suspicious and cynical than others ...

But a single sentence in the release does stick out like a sore thumb:

The 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands are being considered for allocation to a single entity comprising a consortium formed by multiple licensees, instead of individual licensees.

Is "single entity" another name for monopoly?  

The talk I'm hearing is that the proposal had come from monopoly service provider Telekom Malaysia and Altel, the outfit that belongs to tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary. 

The other industry players were (still are) dead against it. 

On Jan 3, after everyone had come back from the holidays, the Star reported Mixed views on 5G plan. That's a nice way of saying the industry players are NOT in agreement with the MCMC. In fact, last year these players had submitted an "industry proposal" to the MCMC chairman opposing the creation of a single entity. There was a consensus on the matter.

Well, to be fair to the MCMC, it did say the bands" are being considered for allocation to a single entity...", which means there's still room for a change of heart. Or is there? Industry players have been peeved that despite the earlier said consensus, TM had been going around for months giving broad hints about who will lead the country's 5G rollout [read here and here]

The MCMC chairman is scheduled today to have one-on-one meetings with the CEOs of the industry players - Maxis, Celcom, U-Mobile, Digi, TM (webe) and YTL (Yes4G) - on the single entity and allocation of spectrum bands. It will be a long day.


read also
Is TM trying to acquire Altel from Puncak Semangat? - Malaysian Wireless, 22 Nov 2019
MCMC's final report on spectrum puts an end to uncertainties in telco sector - Borneo Post, 4 Jan 2020
MCMC chairman visits TM's 5G standalone network in Langkawi - Digital News Asia, 24 Dec 2019
The rise and rise of Syed Mokhtar Albukhary - KiniBiz, 2013

Saturday, January 04, 2020

And our next Minister of Education is ....


updated 06Jan: 


Maszlee asked to quit for going against Cabinet
That's what the news portal TMI claims, according h e r e to rival news portal Malaysiakini, which qualified that it was "unable to independently verify the authenticity of the article". 
Well, in this country we'll have to take it as true until someone officially denies it. Ball is in the PM's court.



Original article

Puchong, 04Jan2020: The most fascinating thing so far about Maszlee Malik is the fact that the very next day after he said he'd resigned, more than 300,000 people rushed to sign an online petition to bring him back as Education Minister. Fickle-minded Malaysians? Nah, I don't think so. More likely, these online signatures belong to Maszlee's haters and detractors, ie 1. Umno or/and 2. DAP who were out to mess with Maszlee's mind and make this Government looks worse than it already is. The 300k couldn't have been Maszlee's supporters because it is widely believed that he hasn't got more than a classroom of fans ever since his black shoes policy (a major school shoes maker claimed to have lost RM30 million instantly as a result of Maszlee's love for black shoes). In any case, any such petition amounts to nothing because the Prime Minister has accepted Maszlee's resignation. Of course, there's always a chance of a U-tun but, sincerely, I doubt it. 

As I see it, Dr Mahathir has plenty of choice for a Maszlee replacement, even if he limits that choice to his own party, Pribumi. 

I have a few names myself:


1. Akramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi, 46

The son of the late Sanusi Junid is, like his father, a clever chap but has been an unlikely underdog all his political career, and one who's never afraid to take on the bigwigs although he's not enjoyed a winning streak that many thought he deserved (he's contested against Khairy Jamaluddin, fought Syed Hamid Albar and stood against giants for the Jerai seat only to lose by the narrowest of margins in the last general election). Akram is now MARA Corporation chairman. He graduated from the prestigious Imperial College London and was a chemical engineer for about 16 years. 

Akram with the then MoE

The founding member of Bersatu is known to be loyal to the leader but also - more importantly - to his principles and will suffer no fools who might stand in the way. An example, perhaps, of this quality is found in this Nov 2019 article by the Malay Mail:  MoU with Lynas without your consent? You attended Board meet on decision, MARA Corp chairman tells Council


2. Danni Rais, 33

Danni the day he joined Bersatu

I'm not sure if this picture with this MOE (Minister of Everything) will do him any favours but Danni, really, is a young man with great ideas and the heart to push these ideas into tangible results. He had always been a bit of an "outsider" when he was in Umno, despite the fact that his dad Rais Yatim was a party strongman for decades. So Danni turned to NGO work, even back then, focusing on youth development and held a 9-to-5 job like the average Joe.

In an interview with rage.com.my in 2016, the Aberystwyth University graduate was asked on the country's education system. 

“You have to go deep into the system to see how children at a young age interact with their peers and the impact it has as they develop. We (must) realise the magnitude of the task ahead, it's not as simple as simply asking Malaysians to be united." - Danni Rais, Power to the people

Agree?


3. Tariq Ismail Mustafa, 41

Dashing cucu of "the best PM Malaysia never had"

The grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman did not have the full support of the Clan when he decided to join Dr Mahathir's party in 2016. But he went ahead and joined Bersatu because Umno, he said, was no longer progressing. A close personal pal (from political foe Umno) said Tariq has "so many ideas" he thought Bersatu could implement. You can get an idea or two about what makes him tick googling Aura Merdeka.  

Tariq would have been an MP today if he had contested in GE14. He was supposed to but was dropped at the last minute. Many thought Dr M would field him at Tg Piai when the seat fell vacant last year but once again, Tariq was overlooked. 

Maybe he shouldn't have said "Reformasi is dead".

"About PKR and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), they do not iget it. When we spoke to the people about it, we found that 'reformasi' is dead and spaced out, but when it came to Bersatu, it is viewed as another voice for Malay people within the coalition. There wasn't one anyways." - Tariq Ismail Mustafa (Former DPM's grandson to join Pribumi)

There are many other potential candidates, of course. A seasoned journalist told me last night he would very much like to see the Tun appoint someone from outside his own party as the new MOE (Minsiter of Education).  The vet had Shahredzan Johan in mind.

See, the PM's so spoilt for choice ...


Read also:
Sarawak CM wants next MOE to be strong on science, maths, English
Nurul Izzah top pick for MOE, says Insight poll