Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The day Syed Saddiq made a name for his opponent

Playing second fiddle, a rear role for Syed Saddiq
KL, 22 Aug: Watching Asia's top debater Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (in t-shirt) in action for the first time at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit XI on Sunday, I was assured straight away that my country would be alright in the coming years. The 25-year old youth chief from Dr Mahathir Mohamad's party, made me realise that there are, actually, young Malaysians out there with the brains and the guts and the humility to lead Malaysia to greater heights. 
I'm talking, of course, about Syed Saddiq's opponent Shahril Hamdan during the debate on Sunday by The UK and Eire Council of Malaysian Students in Kuala Lumpur.  
Shahril Hamdan, a fresh revelation
I had expected young Saddiq to demolish the little-known Shahril, an Umno Youth exco member, with his legendary oratory skills. And the topic This House believes that Pakatan Harapan has a better economic agenda than Barisan Nasional was a great chance for him to shine. 
Instead, Sharil, 31, outclassed Saddiq with clarity of thoughts, simplicity of arguments, and even a bit of wit here and there. Syed Saddiq was not at all bad but the association with all those politicians (and all that hype) was showing: I thought he drowned himself and the listeners with too much political rhetorics and election promises from start to finish.
Shahril was focused and kept to the topic. Unlike the top debater, the 31-year old did not speak to impress his audience or his opponent; he was there to debate an economic issue. By Shahril's own admission, neither he nor his party were perfect. But for me, for now, that would do perfectly. 
p.s. Question now is, where will Shahril stand in GE14?

Watch the debate here 
and Q & A here

Friday, August 18, 2017

Why MACC may want to do away with the orange pyjamas altogether

Kuala Lumpur, 18 Aug: Of Isa Samad, I've written on this blog too many times, none of them with great fondness. But when photographs of this ex-Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar, ex-Felda-FGV Chairman, ex- Umno Vice President, and soon probably ex-SPAD acting Chairman splashed the front pages of the local dailies middle this week, clad in the unmistakable orange pyjamas of SPRM (the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), I hesitated in making a posting.  The pomp and the parade ... there's something not right about the whole thing. Lawyer N. Surendran, who is also a Member of Parliament, may have a moral point here. It is not just humiliating but premature to dress Isa in that bright orange uniform and paraded him in front of the media as if he had been charged and found guilty. When, in fact, you were just producing the suspect in court for a remand order to question him further on suspicion of corrupt practices.

Anyone in this orange would look like a crook 
This is not to say that the blazer Isa had on when he was arrested by the anti-graft officers was less of an eye-sore! A sober, dark suit or batik or a Baju Melayu complete with songkok would probably have done better for his PR.
Before the arrest
I fully agree with YB Rais Yatim, the seasoned politician from Jelebu, about the need for hemah or discretion on the part of the MACC in upholding the dignity of every person they deal with:

Rarely, I am also with Akhbar Satar, the Transparency Insternational-Malaysia  president. Let Justice Takes Its Course. But the first person who should listen to his advice is Akhbar himself.  One minute he says we must always bear in mind that Isa is innocent until proven guilty. The next minute, he proclaims that Isa's arrest is a signal for the government to End political appointments in GLCs. Akhbar, moronically or not, has already found Isa guilty!
Sometimes I think Akhbar is no different from some Opposition politicians who would go out of their way to discredit MACC whenever one of theirs is taken into custody for alleged corruption is expected. To them, the Commission is doing their job only if others, preferably their political rivals, are involved. It's the childishness in these politicians that we've come to expect and which is holding the MACC back. When it suits them, they hail themselves as "friends of MACC". 

No more friends after arrest of Phee Boon Poh

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Zahid tightens the noose

Puchong, 5 Aug 2017: Those quick to write off Zahid Hamidi after Mahathir Mohamad's onslaught did so at their own peril. As I see it, Zahid has not only turned the table on Mahathir but is slowly tightening the noose around the Old Man's neck. Mahathir's only salvation is IF Zahid were to suddenly lose the recording he claimed to have made of the meeting that he had with Mahathir.

Zahid: Yes, I met Mahathir, and I can prove what transpired

The deputy prime minister also says the meeting received Najib Razak's blessing.zahid-mahathir

JERLUN: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today admitted he had a meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad days after his appointment as the deputy prime minister in 2015, but denied the former prime minister’s claim that it was to seek support to topple Najib Razak. 
Speaking to Jerlun Umno division members today, Zahid said he kept a recording of the meeting, adding that it also had the blessing of the prime minister. 
“I want to state that it took place with the prime minister’s blessing, 10 days after I was appointed the deputy prime minister,” he said. 
“The recording is still with me. They forget easily, but I don’t.”  [Read more H E R E]

Readers will recall on July 31, in an angry response to Zahid calling him son of Iskandar Kutty, Mahathir made two claims: 1. Zahid had RM230 million in his bank account when he was Umno Youth chief some 20 years ago (when Mahathir was PM) and 2. Zahid had begged for his "sympathy" to replace Najib as PM, less than two weeks after Zahid was made Deputy Prime Minister.

Khairuddin Hassan, the Mahathir loyalist who had lodged a police report against Zahid for calling Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty, said Zahir was bluffing. The DPM won't respond to a lackey; he will wait for Mahathir himself to call his bluff.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

If Zahid Hamidi had RM230 million in his account ...

Call him s/o Iskandar Kutty at your own peril!
 "Perhaps Zahid has forgotten his asset declaration made to me as prime minister when he was appointed as Umno Youth chief. When I asked where he obtained the RM230 million in his bank account, his answer was unclear. If he can remember, he should explain where such large amount of money came from." - Zahid had RM230 million when he was Umno Youth Chief 
TTDI, 3 Aug 2017: Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi has yet to respond to his ex-boss' allegation that he had RM230 million in his bank account some 20 years ago.

Until then, I will assume that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was telling the truth (even though Mahathir admits there is no proof that Zahid had RM230 million in his account). 

But because Mahathir Mohamad took no action against Zahid following the so-called discovery, I will also assume that the RM230 million wasn't ill-gotten money. 

Or perhaps it was not so out-of-the-ordinary for Umno politicians to have that kind of money during Mahathir's era.

Which makes me wonder ... 

If a just-appointed Umno Youth chief had that kind of money in his bank account back then, just how much did the Umno president have in his?