Saturday, June 17, 2006


I am looking forward to getting an invite - as a blogger this time - to the Perdana Global Peace Panel Session this Wednesday. I hope Jeff Ooi and TV Smith have included me on the list. I hear there are only 20 seats reserved for this by-invitation-only event.

The invite is viewed by bloggers as a recognition of the roles they play as reporters. It will be a big bonus, of course, if Dr M could find some time to get to know the invited bloggers and discuss current issues. I hear this is being "worked out".

When he was the PM and Umno president, Dr M would call senior journalists and editors to have OTR (off-the-record) sessions with him regularly. Those sessions would enable both parties to understand issues - and one another - better.

Pak Lah was also generous with his time when he was the Foreign Minister. In Vienna 13 years ago, when back home DSAI was gunning for the late Tun Ghafar Baba for the No 2 post, I had a one-on-one OTR session with Pak Lah. There were other occasions.

Then, of course, there were not many people surrounding him. Only his faithful Press secretary.

I am thinking that if the bloggers are granted a session with Dr M this Wednesday, they could expect to get an audience with Pak Lah.



  1. Anonymous6:04 pm

    it is a different time now. things change. people change.
    do you remember covering Pak Lah then before he became PM?
    I still believe Pak Lah has not changed. He is still the same ole Pak Lah. One of the nicest people I have ever known. know-lah, the people guarding him. that is the only explanation. well...the less said the better.
    my mother(God Bless her soul) told me that if you have nothing nice to say about anyone or anything, then, don't say anything at all.
    So, I am shutting up.
    Now, Tun mahathir is something else. He remains consistent.
    So, bro, hope u get to meet the Tun and have that OTR session.
    I remember reading somewhere that people hate him -- for his guts.
    That's okay by me.

  2. Anonymous8:18 pm

    I agree with nstloyalist. PM is a nice man, very nice man. I had also covered his PCs and had private chats with him.
    Once we were abroad covering Tun Mahathir's official visit. After meeting leaders of that country, Tun asked Pak Lah to brief the Malaysian press.
    I was shocked when Rafidah, who was also at the PC, kept intefering with Pak Lah but for a good reason. She answered and explained more clearly. Rafidah literally "hijacked" the PC from Pak Lah, who was then Foreign Minister.
    He appeared not to mind. The moral of the story is Pak Lah did not mind being hijacked.
    The keyword here is "hijacked". But those were old times. He was FM and Rafidah was senior than him and she held a more important portfolio.
    Today Pak Lah is PM. It is dangerous if he continues to allow himself to be hijacked. I think Tun Mahathir is angry that his successor whom he appointed had allowed himself to be hijacked.

  3. Anonymous9:04 pm

    The media samurai who shields his lord
    WHENEVER he speaks without a prepared text, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tends to saunter, traipse and trip (oh, all right, ramble).
    When he is under a bit of pressure from questions peppered by an enthusiastic but hostile Press during a media conference, he has the habit of breaking into curt little malapropisms (Thankfully not in the same league of Dubya’s asinine howlers). Clearly, Abdullah is a lightweight as opposed to Dr M’s super heavyweight ranking when it comes to engaging the Press.
    With Dr M, the rules of engagement are “anything goes” (Dr M even tolerated the rude and aggressive questioning by CNN’s Zain Verjee some years back) but with Abdullah, the rules are…I don’t know what the rules are since I don’t know if he has done anything of the sort.
    Anywhere Dr M goes in the world, a highlight of his tour that everyone looks forward to would be the Q&A session with just about anyone – diplomats, politicians, businessmen, journalists, traders – and Dr M would regal them with his thought-provoking insights. The Japanese embrace Dr M as almost one of their own.
    With Abdullah, a Q&A would be, not to out a fine point to it, an embarrassment. And I state this with profound regret.
    If off-the-record sessions with Abdullah was a regular habit in the days when he was a Cabinet Minister (I had one with him back in the 1980s, then he was thoughtful and sentimental), the same session now will be as good as letting Dr Mahathir Mohamad become a columnist for the New Straits Times. That would be the day!
    I state this with revulsion but I will state it: Abdullah has little intellectual capacity to respond, man-to-man, to Dr M in this ongoing battle. This is not a new revelation; other political pundits have depicted them more strongly.
    But it does not help that Abdullah allows himself to be multiple-coatedly insulated from all the vexing trouble and problems beleaguering the political and business communities.
    For a man politically savvy enough to claw his way to the Premiership, Abdullah’s grasp of complex Government management, business acumen, 21st century technical knowledge and futurism is at the level of a village imam, with due respect to all imams.
    Abdullah is simply uninterested in technological wonders and innovations, unlike his predecessor who buries himself in all the technical details.
    So with all the insulation, protection and shielding provided to him whether he wants it or not, Abdullah is, pitifully, the Malaysian version of the foolish monarch in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. What’s more pitiful is that I did not make this up and neither is this an original theme.
    So, independent media operators (bloggers like you bro included) can forget about having an OTR session with Abdullah. The only one media operator who can have all the OTR sessions with Abdullah is Kalimullah Hassan and he doesn’t really need an official appointment.
    As Chief Media Sycophant, Kali will shield Abdullah like a dogged samurai in the service of his lord. That’s understandable because the two go back a long way to the time when Abdullah was struggling in the political wilderness stemming from the fallout of his involvement in Umno Team B’s failed 1987 powerplay to overthrow Dr M and Team A.
    I don’t know what Kali saw in Abdullah in those years but he somehow put his faith in the politician like a drooling limpet.
    And it paid big time because Abdullah, ever grateful even to opportunists who stood by him in hard times, reciprocated Kali’s fealty by gifting him the volcanic media seat in the country. And also the handle to many key Government and Umno projects and policies.
    Giving Kali the NST hot seat is like giving an Abrams tank to an anti-US Iraqi militia – he will fire it destructively and use it as a shield to insulate Abdullah from public exposure of the Prime Minister’s flat competence.
    For someone with the “enforcement” power, Kali plays the “What? Me?” innocence at why Dr M fingers him as the media samurai with the tentacles to influence his friendly rivals to prolong the Dr M’s demonisation.
    But then, Kali is happiest when he can dish out the dirt and the criticisms but is execrable at taking them: he cracks under severe attack and instead of civilised countering, he simply lashes back, vulgarly if he needs be.
    Now can you understand the depths of how low Kali can descend to in his counter-attacks, living up to his malevolent edicts “I’ll fix you” or “I’ll sack you.”
    Just ask those journalists who worked with or under Kali since his days in The Star and they’ll tell you that those two sets of three-letter words are his mantra then as it is now as the Malaysian media Rottweiler...oops, samurai.
    To be continued

  4. Anonymous9:47 pm

    Datuk Kalimullah...can you tell us what is our GEIC try to write about. After reading the first 3 pharas, i am lost.

    Kaca Mata: Dua wira lontarkan pengajaran
    Oleh Hishamuddin Aun

    Malik, sharifah Mazlina jadi simbol kecekalan hadapi tekanan

    APABILA diajak berbicara mengenai ekspedisi terbarunya ke Kutub Utara yang dijadualkan tahun depan, mata Datin Paduka Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir seakan-akan bercahaya. Ratusan kali topik yang sama akan diulanginya tanpa jemu.

    Tidak pun berbeza, Datuk Abdul Malik Mydin bagaikan ‘dirasuk’ dalam memburu misi terbarunya untuk menakluki Selat Bering – jalur laut sempit yang memisahkan daratan Russia dan Alaska – yang direncanakan pada 2008.

    Mereka adalah antara segelintir yang sanggup menggadai nyawa pada ketika keghairahan masing-masing mudah untuk disalahertikan atau barangkali sudah begitu resamnya kerana pujian lazimnya akan menjadi kesudahan kepada deretan cacian.


    - What kind of heading is that? Dia ingat ini bola ke nak lontar2.
    - Mata Sharifah Azlina bercahaya?. Kalau reporter yang describe macam tu...boleh tahan lagi lah..tapi kalau orang no 1, pelek sangat lah...macam tulis cerpen lah.
    - Ratusan kali topik yang sama akan diulanginya tanpa jemu.
    Ini bahasa apa? Tak faham le.
    - Datuk Malik pula "dirasuk".
    Rasuk apa benda? Teruk betul bos kita ni ye. Dah lah isu negara tak disentuh, cerita remeh yang dibawanya.


  5. Anonymous10:00 pm


    just remember -- nice men dont win wars.

  6. Anonymous8:38 am

    bandit, I take my hat, songkok, ketayap, tengkolok and all other headgears off for you. What eloquence. Kali and brendan must be drooling if they read this blog. I suspect they don't but someone might accidentally mention it to them.

    But I beg to disagree with you. Kali a samurai? Pleeeeeaze. Don't insult those great Japanese warriors of the old. If he is, he's not even capable of guarding Lord Abdullah's koy ponds.

    Tell Kali, if he wants to take on Dr Mahathir, keep his (Kali's) daughter out of it. Don't smear her innocence and her honour with the garbage he's hurling at the old man.

    Drooling limpet yes! Rottweiler no!

    And I'm hurt. I take exception at your portrayal of village imams.
    My dad is a part time village imam. He's a great imam and a fine father. With tanah sekangkang kera, he raised and educated 8 of us. The Putrajaya imam has two kids only.

    But bandit, we must be grateful. In a perverted way, God gave us Kali. Can you imagine what this blog will be without Kali. So I say, long live Kali! Long live bloogers!

  7. Bandit writes..."
    Just ask those journalists who worked with or under Kali since his days in The Star and they’ll tell you that those two sets of three-letter words are his mantra then as it is now as the Malaysian media Rottweiler...oops, samurai.
    To be continued ..."


    Hi Bandit,

    This is just as interesting as Malaysia-Today RPK's "The Khairy Chronicles."

    Keep writing man!!!

  8. Anonymous9:14 am

    we should all be worried about what is happening to/in the country.
    tun mahathir, in his premiership had made mistakes.some forgivable.some not. so what do we do about that. punish him?
    this is a hell of a country. we whack the guy for all the sins he committed. forgetting that he had done some good. remember, there are as many who will say he had done great things for the country.
    sure,we can list all the wrongs that he did. we can also list down all the good that he did to the country.
    but is this about all the bad that he did, and damn him...?
    what a great country we have.
    and thanks to the prime minister's men! they should be worried. they are setting a trend --- ex-prime ministers are fair game.
    so kuncu-kuncu of future prime ministers...start sharpening your knives. start files on certain people. and you thought you only watch this kind of thing in movies??
    i see a dominant pattern in all this. all the anger/contempt the way the pak lah/proxy administration of the country, GLCs, media is beng run.
    the way tun mahathir has been portrayed by the media, in particular the NST.
    but how much of the information is based on facts?

  9. Anonymous9:36 am

    mr bandit,

    kalimulah befriended pak lah when pak lah was down and really out.
    pak lah had no friends, so to speak. and no politicians wanted to befriend kalimulah. they knew him for what he was.
    if you think kalimulah had some foresight, that he saw prime minister material in pak lah. well, mister, you're mistaken. in fact, he really did not think much of pak lah. but, with no other people to talk to, well,pak lah would have to do. kalimulah is no fool. but he sure aint no clairvoyant. but pak lah, the nice guy that he is (as they say, he is "lurus", straight as an arrow) remembers kali as the one who was with him in his darkest days.
    now, if you know kali, as many many people do (by now), he is a good servant to his masters. dont blame pak lah for trusting him. it only speaks of the kind of person pak lah is. it also tells you the kind of person kalimulah is.
    many can reflect now and see how kalimulah had started spinning the day pak lah was for certain would be prime minister.
    yeah, yeah.. many would remember his "deep reluctance' in having to take up the NST post. truth is, he was lobbying hard for it.
    he is no longer GEIC, but he made sure he had his man take over. no need to talk about his successor. actually, there is nothing much to say except that he must have been a good sports reporter.
    so you see, mr bandit, today is kalimulah's day. i mean datuk haji kalimulah's day. well, there is one thing good that had come out of kalimulah's association with pak lah....he made a haji out of kali.

  10. Got this from Malaysia Today:

    Raja Petra Kamarudin said...
    Malaysia Today is organising a dialogue with Tun Dr Mahathir on Saturday, 24 June 2006, at 9.00am. Venue is Kelab Century Paradise in Taman Melawati. Attendance by invitation only and very limited seating. To confirm attendence,please contact: 03-2694-4102