Saturday, September 24, 2016

Matthias says he will have the laugh last, yet

Puchong, 24 Sept 2016: 
"We know what we are doing."  

"Don't worry. Laugh last laugh best. Salleh Kruak press statement is counting chicken before it is hatched. All thunder but no rain. We know what we are doing. Watch my video speech again "DOJ Bombshell". Soon he has to eat back all his words. Have faith in God." - Matthias Chang's whatsapp in response to Salleh Said Keruak's comments on the dismissal of a lawsuit against 1MDB filed by, among others, Chang himself.
Salleh, one of PM Najib Razak's more savvy allies, had labelled Chang's lawsuit as "a pure publicity stunt to manipulate public perceptions (and) part of Tun Mahathir’s plan to sabotage 1MDB and damage Malaysia’s economy to unseat the democratically-elected government".

The Communication and Multimedia Minister's press statement in full:
24 September 2016
1. The class action lawsuit filed in the United States against 1MDB and others by Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s political secretary Matthias Chang and Husam Musa generated global controversy. It was based purely on the allegations in the US Department of Justice civil complaint, and on false smears published by the Wall Street Journal.
2. This lawsuit by Tun Mahathir’s henchmen generated global news and controversy when it was filed on 11 August. But, strangely, the Wall Street Journal and other Western media haven’t reported that yesterday the lawsuit was dismissed.
3. The reality is that it was baseless from the start, a pure publicity stunt to manipulate public perceptions. Part of Tun Mahathir’s plan to sabotage 1MDB and damage Malaysia’s economy to unseat the democratically-elected government. And all this for selfish political reasons, just to benefit his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
4. It must be frustrating for Tun Mahathir that each of his attempts to subvert Malaysia’s democracy has failed. They will continue to fail. One of the hallmarks of a true leader is knowing when to quit quietly.
5. The Prime Minister’s real record has just been stated by UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova. She said that “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the government of Malaysia has taken a firm stance against violent extremism through inclusion and education, which UNESCO considers the most effective long-term prevention to forces threatening to divide societies”. She also praised Malaysia as “An example to countries of all income levels”; said the country is “Proof that respect for diversity is a source of enrichment”; and that we have taken the lead in encouraging “The teaching of religion to promote tolerance, respect and mutual understanding”.
6. The government won’t be distracted by Tun Mahathir’s increasingly desperate attempts. The Prime Minister will continue to serve the people and prioritise their security, safety and prosperity.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Blogger berates Permata haters: Leave those kids alone!

TTDI, Fri: In 2008, the blogger Annie was desperately seeking funds to set up a centre for special needs children in Kuantan. The parent of a special child, Annie approached an aide of Najib Razak, who promised to let Najib know about the request for funds ASAP. 
"He understood why I had to settle the matter before I leave Pahang. 
My friend came back to see me a week later. 
Najib had approved an allocation for the fund from a special budget in his capacity as deputy prime minister."
Annie, one of the few bloggers who have so far refrained from taking sides in the Najib-Mahathir quarrel, is making a stand when it comes to Permata, the brainchild of Rosmah Mansor, the PM's wife.
"... I think we need to be fair. 
Whacking Permata which is meant to assist children, including those with special needs, is not fair. 
I believe that those who are going after Najib, should not make Permata their target. It's being mean to do that, okay."
Permata, a special program for Malaysian children under 4 years old, was turned into a punching bag by the anti-Najib crowd after an award meant for Rosmah for her work at Permata was "deferred" following pressure from at least two international media organisations known for their crusade against the Malaysian Prime Minister.

Please read Life of Annie's Please don't whack Permata

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If you own a home, a land, a property in Australia, you may want to be very afraid ...

Malaysian-owned homes around this scenic bay in Perth could be seized, any time
File pic courtesy of Zakhir Mohmad

Puchong, 23 Sept 16: Long before Trump unveiled his racist self to America, Australia already had Hanson, and the right-wing MP told her fellow parliamentarians last week that “any foreign ownership (in Australia) is regrettable”. If you think that was just talk, read the following article: the Australian Government is taking back properties owned by foreigners and selling them off!. Now, we know a lot of Malaysians own properties in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne ... They may not be yours tomorrow, y'know!

Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the government has forced the sale of 16 properties bought without permission by foreigners

SYDNEY, Sept 19 — Australia has forced the sale of 16 properties bought without government permission by foreigners, Treasurer Scott Morrison said today, after ramping up enforcement of overseas investment rules that have until recently been rarely applied.
Foreign ownership of land has become a sensitive issue in Australia and a flashpoint between Australia and China as debate rages over the effect of overseas investment on real estate prices and on national interests.
Chinese nationals were involved in seven of the 16 deals which have been rolled back since May.
“Foreign investment in Australia occurs on Australia’s terms,” Morrison told reporters at a press conference in Sydney.
Foreigners must seek approval from the government’s Foreign Investment Review Board before purchasing property in Australia.
The government has forced the sale of 46 properties with a total value of A$93 million (US$70 million), mostly held by Chinese interests, since 2013.
Neville Sanders, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, a professional association of real estate agents, said the foreign investment purchases were rarely scrutinised until 2015.
The new sales came around the same time that Morrison blocked Chinese bidders from buying the country’s largest farmland holding, and Chinese and Hong Kong bidders were blocked from buying electricity distributor Ausgrid in August, sparking accusations that Australia had become protectionist.
“The government is trying to run a fine line between making Australia conducive as a place to invest in, but at the same time trying to placate the more extreme manifestations of populism,” Monash University political scientist Nick Economou said.
Far-right political leader Pauline Hanson last week said that “any foreign ownership is regrettable,” in a speech to parliament, and singled out Chinese investment and land ownership as unwanted.
Of the remaining 16 forcibly sold properties, British nationals owned four, Canadians two, and the remaining three belonged to Malaysian and Papua New Guinean interests, according to a list issued by the Australian government.
The properties sold for a combined A$14 million (approx. RM290 million), with the bulk of the proceeds going to the seven Chinese owners. The sellers were also fined for breaking the purchasing rules.
House prices in metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne are growing fast, with annual growth above 9 per cent in both cities.
“It’s really targeted at the Australian market to say they’re doing something to make property more affordable for locals,” said Ken Jacobs, the managing director of Christie’s International Real Estate in Sydney. — Reuters

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The smoking out of Vape: The work of cigarette lobby or something more evil?

Puchong, 22/9/16: The night we celebrated the Mole's 5th birthday, many of our guests adjourned outside the restaurant to enjoy their after-dinner smoke. How was it, I was wondering, that despite the government's aggressive anti-smoking campaigns, a lot of people still smoked? And there seemed to be a lot of new/young smokers, too? What happened to vape? 
I asked Ucin, "I thought you were vaping to quit smoking?"  
"Lecehlah (too much hassle), boss" he lamented (for the record, I'm not his boss,) "they have made it so difficult for people to vape. All sorts of rules. So hard to get supply. That royal decree, some more ....". 
Yes, they have, haven' they? The Malay Mail's cover story yesterday Multi-million ringgit vaping industry smoked out confirmed it: vaping in Malaysia has been smoked out! 
Was it the work of the powerful cigarette lobby, or was the Government behind it? 

No, not the cigarette lobby, someone close to the vape/cigarette industry told me. "You can blame it on confusion. Businessmen stopped investing in the vape business. They dare not invest because they are not certain of what the Government was going to do."
"And people have been scared away from vaping." Many (like Ucin) have gone back to smoking.
Which is a pity, really. It has been scientifically proven, over and over again, that vape is one of the most effective aids for people who want to quit smoking. Can't beat will power but not everyone has that much will power to stop smoking cold turkey. As an ex-smoker myself, I know how so extremely hard it is to quit. There was no vape when I was trying to kick the habit back in 2002. What worked for me was resorting to the occasional cigars to overcome the craving. But those Cubans are an expensive way to quit!

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E-Ciggies: Marvel or Menace by www.facesnphases