Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Is this the new Terence Fernandez!?

I must say, it's quite depressing to see a journalist as seasoned as Terence Fernandez go down this path, even momentarily. There are more than enough big-headed bloggers and social media writers in this sumpah-serapah writing category as it is. 
In any case, Annie isn't the only who finds that Terence's article "wanted to make me puke" [Megalomanic editor who made me pity Rosmah, 3/3/2015]. An editor of a major news organisation earlier sent me a copy of the article and complained of indigestion. He said the exact same thing Annie did: "I'm not Rosmah's biggest fan .. blah blah .. but this whole article is a cheap shot and low blow at the same time.Very unbecoming of a mainstream editor."
Now, I wonder if Terence intended a "reverse psychology" effect with this article, that he actually was trying to garner some sympathy for the First Lady? If not, I hope he bounces back from this soon. 
His "megalomaniac" piece, preceded by some excerpts from Annie's:

The title of the article is,

Rise of a ‘megalomaniac’ First Lady

but truthfully, it made me conclude that the writer is the one who is a megalomaniac.

I think he is so full of himself that he believes he is God the All Mighty and can thrash another human being that way.

Here, is the whole article and you can judge for yourself,

Terence Fernandez
Published: 25 February 2015

She is regarded by many as among both the most loved and the most vilified woman of her time.

Her taste for luxury came from a childhood that was far from what she became accustomed to when she married the man who would one day be the nation’s leader.
She eyed him when he was a greenhorn politician, still trying to earn his place in the eyes of his elders.
But she had the gift of foresight and knew that he would be great one day. So she warded off all other suitors – and there were a few – and set her eyes on him.
Her gamble paid off when she stood beside him years later as he was sworn in as the chief executive.
When she became the First Lady, she could afford to style herself in the latest fashions. She even set trends herself. Some worked; some did not, according to fashion experts.
But what critics and admirers did agree on was that she would come across as a woman of irony.
While preaching to womenfolk of the need for austerity, the benefits of budgeting and tightening one’s belt in a time of economic difficulties, she would be decked to the nines.
It was not uncommon to see her leaving an event for single mothers and heading straight to a boutique or home for a house call. As it is with such powerful personalities, you can summon the boutique to come to you.
After a speech on the need for equal opportunities and controlling one’s urges to overspend, she would be trying on the latest couture gown from Dior (one of her favourites), jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels among others or even custom-made Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.
While styling herself as “The First Lady of Charity” by heading an influential welfare association, she had to ward of accusations that such outfits were a front to channel funds into Swiss accounts in hers and her husband’s name.
Even government programmes which were dressed up as people-oriented projects to uplift poverty or increase the nation’s wealth were alleged to be projects to secure the First Couple’s retirement.
There had been increasing distrust and dislike of her by the rest of the Cabinet as she positioned herself as the stand-in for her husband – the country’s leader – when he is indisposed.
She had never hidden the fact that she would be very comfortable to fill that role permanently. She was already enjoying all the wealth and power that comes with being the First Lady. The potential of unfettered wealth and power was tantalising to say the least.
Due to her inherent power and control of several key personalities in the police and military, there were half-hearted attempts to oust her as well as her husband.
It did not augur well for the detractors and political enemies that they too had skeletons in their closet from ill-gotten wealth to mistresses.
It is said that even when her husband’s own popularity among the masses and his own circle was waning she made sure they continue to support him – through impassioned pleas, threats and financial gratifications.
While she had claimed to represent the working class, she was quick to defend the government’s cut in wages and spending and introducing new taxes.
Soon the people, especially the working class built resentment against the first couple who now seemed detached from reality with their jet-setting lifestyle and her particular taste for the finer things in life.
Her critics began likening her to Marie Antoinette – the executed former Queen of France and her now infamous “let them eat cake” remark.
“Megalomaniac” was just one description of her by a political analyst.
Still, her influence had already spread far and wide – including the corridors of power, where she is first to have access and in some cases give her approval of her husband’s schedule.
Her love for song and stage is legendary and began from her time as a little girl where she would dream of the big cities where, in her own words are "marvellous places, where nothing was given but wealth”.
Many official functions would see her in attendance and grabbing the limelight from her spouse who would often be left standing behind her.
However, being upstaged by his wife was the least of the nation’s chief executive’s problems.
With a tanking economy and a more hard-line approach to quell dissent and criticism, he was also losing support among the middle class, where arbitrary arrests and imprisonments were becoming the norm.
But this and several coups attempts did not stop Juan Peron from becoming president of Argentina three times in over 20 years.
And yet, he is still remembered today by most of the world simply as the husband of Eva Peron. – February 25, 2015.

Monday, March 02, 2015

When the Sarawak Report champions the cause against 1MDB, or anything else for that matters ...

Updated, March 2, midnight:
Ah, what a coincidence! Hours after I published the original posting below, one of the corporations implicated by the Sarawak Report in its half-baked article lodged a police report in London for defamation. Here's hoping that 1MDB will have the courage to do the same to protect its integrity and pride.


March 2, 2015 (Rakyat Post) – PetroSaudi Investments Limited has lodged a police report in connection with allegations made by a website on the firm’s relationship with Malaysia’s strategic development company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The report was lodged with the city of London Police Action Fraud Unit at the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre at 3.45pm UK time (March 1).
Sources close to the company told The Rakyat Post that the police report was filed in relation to a series of articles by the Sarawak Report website, including one entitled “Heist of the Century — How Jho Low Used PetroSaudi As ‘A Front’ To Siphon Billions Out Of 1MDB!”.

Original Article, March 2, before 9 am
Eating out of her hand, are we?
A scene from Fifty Shades of Grey

Half truths and "full e-mail". Clare Rewcastle Brown's anti-Taib Mahmud portal, the Sarawak Report, made its mark NOT because it was purportedly championing the cause against corruption and the Sarawak ex-Chief Minister but because of the hell-with-your-ethics way it was going about doing it. It relied a lot on half truths and dubious spins. That was the reason for its notoriety, and why most of us professional scribes didn't waste our time on its so-called exposes.

Now, however, the news portal seems to have found a new lease of life - and legion of fans - by dropping Taib Mahmud and focusing, instead, on the purported corruption of the Prime Minister Najib Razak, his wife and 1MDB. 

Suddenly those who didn't give a damn about Sarawak Report are quoting from it, eating out from Ms Brown's hands.

Fortunately, a few still keep their sobriety. Read Life of Annie's 1MDB on the right track and Haresh Deol's All about 1MDB in one day.  And Lim Sian See, the prolific Facebooker, has the FULL E-MAIL saying that,

 "Sarawak Report just took parts of it and spin ..."


But I agree with Annie, there seems to be a bit more effort on the part of 1MDB to engage its critics since the arrival of new boss Arul Kanda. At the very least, the interested ordinary man and woman on the street are getting answers to their basic questions, too. 
"They should do more though as the attack against them are not going to cease any time soon."

Me, I've found it hard to blog about the matter simply because the people at 1MDB have not been too forthcoming in engaging the bloggers. Or perhaps they don't trust us, in which case I can't blame them and I couldn't care less. But now that the Sarawak Report is the champion of this cause ...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The "scariest man in Malaysia" joins anti-graft Commission

IN: Citizen Nades

Have guts will travel. The appointment of journalist R. Nadeswaran to one of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) main panels may be a cause for some to object, but I see it as the continuation of a fine - and brave - tradition by Tan Sri Abu Kassim, the MACC chief, to include the strongest critics to provide it with ideas and feedback on how to get the bad guys and improve the MACC operations and procedures. You can read why Citizen Nades is feared by so many in the authority h e r e.

OUT: Syed Akbar Ali
Syed Akbar Ali, whose blog Outside the Box has become probably the Top 3 baddest critics of the Prime Minister Najib Razak,  bows out from the MACC yesterday after two full terms as a Commissioner.

p.s. The MACC, formerly knowan as the Anti-Corruption Agency, (ACA), is the goverment agency that investigates and prosecutes corruption in public and provate sectors. The PM appoints the Commissioners for the following three panels (two other panels are appointed by the King):

Ahli Panel Penilaian Operasi

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Hamid Bugo, Mantan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak (baru)
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan, Pengerusi New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (baru)
Datuk Zamani Abdul Ghani – Pengerusi Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (baru)
Datuk Azizah Arshad, Mantan Timbalan Ketua Audit Negara (baru)
Dato’ Wan Abdul Wahab Abdullah, Mantan Ketua Pengarah Biro Pengaduan Awam
Profesor Dr. Normah Omar, Pengarah Institut Penyelidikan Perakaunan (UiTM)  (baru)
Dr. Sundramoorthy M. Pathmanathan, Profesor Madya Fakulti Kriminologi, Universiti Sains Malaysia (baru)
Lim Chee Wee, Mantan Presiden Majlis Peguam Malaysia (baru)

Ahli Panel Perundingan dan Pencegahan Rasuah

Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar, Pengerusi Media Prima Bhd
Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, Presiden Universiti Limkokwing
Datuk Dr. Marimuthu Nadason, Presiden Gabungan Persatuan Pengguna-Pengguna Malaysia
Dato’ Hussamuddin Haji Yaacub, Pengerusi dan Pengarah Urusan  Kumpulan Media Karangkraf (baru) 
Dato’ Profesor Dr. Engr. Chin Yew Sin, Timbalan Setiausaha Agong Kehormat Gabungan Pertubuhan Cina Malaysia (Huazong)
Dato' Zuraidah Atan, Peguam bela & Peguam cara 
Dato’ Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Mantan Ketua Pengarah JAKIM (baru)
Dato’ Khalid Ibrahim, Mantan Ketua Pengarah Biro Pengaduan Awam (baru)
Dato’ Sharifah Mohd Ismail, Presiden Institutei of Marketing Malaysia (baru)
Dato’ Dr. Anwar Fazal, Mantan Pengarah Kolej Right Livelihood, Universiti Sains Malaysia (baru) 
Profesor Dr. Syed Noh Syed Ahmad, Pensyarah Fakulti Perakaunan, UiTM (baru) 
Profesor Madya Dr Ismail Sualman, Pensyarah Komunikasi dan Pengajian Media, UiTM (baru)
Walter Sandosam, Mantan Presiden Institut Audit Dalaman Malaysia (baru)
R. Nadeswaran, Pengarang, The Sun Daily (baru)

Ahli Jawatankuasa Aduan

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot, Mantan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak
Datuk Muhammad Hatta Abd. Aziz, Mantan Setiausaha Persekutuan Sabah (baru) 
Dato' Ahmad Said, Mantan Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Perkhidmatan Awam (baru)
Hajah Rohani Abdul Kadir, Mantan Pengarah Pengurusan Sumber Manusia & Perkhidmatan Am (baru)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

End of the road for Kidex, really?

"The people have spoken", says anti-Kidex movement
What a pity. If it's true that Azmin Ali, the Selangor Menteri Besar, has chuck the highway project out of the state's window, I'd feel sorry. Because from the little I knew of the project, I thought the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway was a good project meant to benefit millions of city motorists, save the economy millions of ringgit and improve productivity by leaps and bounds in the years to come. Typical of a project ahead of its time, people will protest in the belief that they don't need it. Examples abound: the North-South Expressway, the Penang bridge(s), Lim Guan Eng's proposed Penang tunnel, Lynas, MRT, and many more. 
The main lesson we can learn is this: having a project that's good for the people is not good enough; we must be able to convince the people that the project is good for them. 
Need to look more convincing
The Malay Mail's reports today seems to suggest that the affected residents are far from convinced. Read h e r e.
The Say No To Kidex pressure group is preparing a big party to celebrate their victory during Chinese New Year, I hear. Azmin is a hero who listens to "the voice of reason" and "for taking a clear stand with the people". The anti-Kidex movement had quite big support, including from former Cabinet minister Zaid Ibrahim and several mainstream newspapers and news portals.
Still, you can't help wondering about that big "?" mark at the end of the newspaper's front page headline ... 
Read also: After Azmin's NO. it's back to the Cabinet's for Kidex  
Razak Chik's What? No Kidex? Nimby!