Sunday, July 02, 2006


As Mackzul turns his back on blogsphere, Sufi Yusoff turns to bloggers in the hope that they will publish Dr M's response to a Syed Hamid Albar's statement in Parliament about the sand and airspace issue with Singapore.

In a nutshell, the former PM is telling the Foreign Minister to walk his talk and not to hide untruths.

Dr M's statement also sets some things straight. The sale of sand to Singapore, for example, had been the practice even before his time. "... it was Dr Mahathir who stopped such practices ..", the letter says.

I haven't checked with Sufi Yusoff if he had even bothered sending Dr M's statement to NST after its group editor Brendan Pereira failed (or refused) to publish an earlier letter he sent on bahalf of Dr M in response to a half-truths commentary the former Singapore Straits Times reporter had written Monday.

Here it is, Dr M's response to Syed Hamid (sans spin or editing):


Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar in a written reply to Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday said Malaysia did not offer the sale of sand or the use of its airspace by Singapore as claimed by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Foreign Minister was quoted to have said that the claims were baseless and devoid of any truth, going by what was reported in the mainstream media.

If it is not true that Malaysia had proposed to sell sand to Singapore and provide airspace for warplanes to practice then the Foreign Minister must show documented proof, including minutes of meetings and draft agreements where these proposals were made. This can be done by declassifying minutes of meetings between the Malaysian and Singaporean negotiating teams to prove beyond reasonable doubt the Minister's assertion. The Official Secrets Act should not be used to hide untruths.

In the absence of such document, it must be assumed that the proposal (to sell sand and give airspace for Singapore warplanes) was made by Malaysia which was pursuing the building of a straight bridge in place of a crooked or scenic bridge that the previous administration had decided upon and of which construction had already started before it was halted in February of 2004.

To Dr Mahathir's understanding, the proposal (to sell sand and use of Malaysian airspace by the Republic of Singapore Air Force) came from Malaysia and there is nothing in writing to suggest that the request had actually originated from Singapore.

On claims by the Foreign Minister that sand had been sold to Singapore even during Dr Mahathir's administration, it must be noted that the quantity then was small as compared to that now being offered to Singapore amounting to one billion cubic metres over a period of 20 years.

This would effectively increase the size of Singapore (currently about 697.2 square km) to one and a half times its present size. Since the sand is Malaysian sand, then Malaysia is effectively selling a part of the country to Singapore.

It must be noted that while sand was sold to Singapore during Dr Mahathir's time in office, the practice had been going on even before Dr Mahathir became Prime Minister.

And it must be pointed out that it was Dr Mahathir who stopped such practices, which were then carried out by private entities, after such practices proved detrimental to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Malaysia.

This was because extensive reclamation work by Singapore was affecting the waterways in the Straits of Tebrau.

On the issue of granting access of Malaysia's airspace to the RSAF, it is true that the RSAF was allowed such access in the past. However, this was abused and permission was revoked when the RSAF started flying beyond the Johor airspace and conducting Search and Rescue missions without informing or requesting permission from the Malaysian authorities.

Again it was Dr Mahathir who made this decision to withdraw permission granted to the RSAF.

To allow the RSAF access again as quid-pro-quo arrangement in pursuit of a straight bridge is absolutely unacceptable especially when there is not even any reciprocity on the part of the republic to grant Royal Malaysian Air Force jets access over Singapore airspace.

Allowing the sale of sand to Singapore and the use of airspace by the republic's air force was wrong. Dr Mahathir made sure that it was stopped during his tenure as Prime Minister because it was not right.

If it was not right before, it cannot be right now. Why is the present administration proposing to compromise by using the excuse that it had been allowed before?

Sufi Yusoff
for YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
July 1, 2006


  1. Anonymous12:01 pm

    Good Morning Malaysia. Tun M v Pak Lah. Where and when does it all ends ? Are the rakyat better off in the last three years that Pak Lah has been in power ? Is the economy being steered in the right direction? Are we having a quality life or have things been sliding? Is Pak Lah on top of every thing ? The bridge, sand and air flights are one of the so many issues raised by Tun. The main issue is perhaps quality of leadership shown thus far by Pak Lah in steering Malaysia. External forces are influencing his leadership Tun has alleged. The 4th Floor at JPM is more powerful than the 5t Floor Tun has said. These are the bigger issues. A referendum perhaps on Pak Lah`s leadership?

  2. Anonymous1:51 pm

    Bro Bru,
    The people running the NSTP editorial dept is also dictating terms over the other Enhlish tabloids. While the other tabloids may claim independence, they know that they better not antagonise Datuk Kalimullah who is known to have used strong_arm tactics on editors from the other tabloids. Jocelene Tan is proof of this.

    That being the case, Sufi knows that the NST led by the Singapore Straits Times-trained Brendan will not use his statement re Syed Hamid Albar. (By the way, Syed Hamid's nephew is also the CEO of the NSTP! Heheh! Must be sheer coincidence huh!). For Datuk Hishamudin Aun, he has to wait for Kali's instruction before deciding to use. The other tabloids take the cue from looking at. NSTP.

    As for Syed Hamid, this is a guy with little or no principles whatsoever. Syed Hamid's behavious on the golf course, his friends used to say, is less than gentlemanly. Syed Hamid has also betrayed Syed Albar, the Lion of Umno, who, together with Tun Razak, helped created the NSTP with on ground support of Pak Samad, the icon of Malaysian journalism. Syed Hamid need only to pass the message to the NST bigwigs and all of Sufi's letter will not see daylight.

    It's a joke really! Suddenly, Syed Hamid who was also Foreign Minister in Tun Mahathir's cabinet, remember the sand story. These past few weeks, the minister had amnesia!

    Syabas Sufi! U did the right thing. We should thank you for the clarification.

  3. Anonymous5:59 pm

    Imagine. Tun M was PM for 22 years. He gave so much. Some of the present Cabinet ministers were in his Cabinet as well. Some worked with him the day he became PM. Some when he was DPM.
    Today, some of them talk about him with such vitriol. They condemn him. Oh. They probabl;y dont mean it. Just to look good. That they are behind Pak Lah. How sad. These are not brave men. They are pussies.
    What does it say of Malaysian ministers --- fair-weathered colleagues and subordinates.
    FORMER prime ministers are fair game. You can whack them with impunity.

  4. Anonymous6:04 pm

    Apakah ini bermaksud bahwa Menteri Luar kita sudah bercakap bohong?
    Atau, bekas Perdana Menteri Malaysia bercabang lidah?
    Walau apa pun, keadaan politik negara kita amat menakutkan di mana seorang pemimpin seperti Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad telah di cincang cincang dengan sekejam-kejam nya oleh "rakan-rakan" seperjuangan beliau.
    Adakah negara menghadapi krisis politik. Atau adakah ini mainan politik segelintir pihak yang mementingkan kuasa.

  5. Rocky Hi!

    There is this damn good quote by Datuk Seri Yuen Yuet Leng in the New Sunday Times, whoever he is, he said, my sentiment exactly: "If my country's interest is hurt, I am also hurt. I have Malay, Chinese and Indian in me. Every race has reason to be proud nof its roots."

    I did not read further what he meant by that but that is good enough for me to have goose pimples all over. I agree with this Datuk Seri, and turncoats, those working for the interest of other countries against ours ought to be punished. In China, death penalty is even severe, where if you tattooed some curse on your lovers or girlfriends body you can also be sentenced to death. Imagine a person or persons of discernible backgrounds that can damage our system and nothing is done to curb this! In this case those who allow these turncoats running haywire (to bermahararalela)within our system and those who allow it should equally be punished! Now! Today! God damn it!

    So all Malaysia loving Malays, Chinese and Indians let us rise and get rid of all turncoats shaved them pour tar on theior bodies and stick chicken feathers and then we hang them! I have no problem with this!


  6. Bandit!

    Your comments are one of my reading pleasures these days. I enjoy the one I'm about to publish here in its original form but in order to protect myself from possible legal suits from certain parties, could I suggest that you:

    1/ replace 'when' with 'if' in para 4, just before ".. their raison d'ĂȘtre is to:"

    2/ omit your last two paragraphs, which support the 'when' in para 4

    I went over yr piece with those changes made. It's nothing like the original but I must says it's unmistakably Bandit.

    Hope you understand. In Singapore not too long ago, they dragged a blogger to court, possible to prove that they can. Anything initiated in the republic these days can become a precedent for us here in Malaysia.


  7. Anonymous11:39 pm

    Go ahead and make the changes.
    You're right about the 'when' to replace 'if'.

    As for the last two paras, here's a rewrite to cut the offending parts:

    That is why I am reaffirming these assertions in the same way Sufi Yusoff have to work overtime, to re-calibrate the pressing issues into its proper alignment and not lose the focus on the Abdullah cabal’s primary mission – misuse/abuse the NST as a weapon to protect the cabal’s conspiracy to sell the nation while on all fours.
    As for viciously demeaning the character of Dr Mahathir or any of his backers, it is still a cardinal deflection tactic.

    However, if you still feel the rewritten two paras are still liable, please edit or omit the contentious parts. Even the best writers in the world need an editor.

  8. Bandit's a sport. Here's his piece with the when-if change and minus two paras at the end. Bandit has included a substitute para for those two, which readers and other visitors can kindly cut-and-paste.
    Thanks bro.

    Bandit has left a new comment on your post "SAND-SATIONAL!":

    The Kali–Brendan right-of-reply buffoonery
    THE FUNDAMENTAL precept of journalism is news sense but telling this truism to Kalimullah Hassan and Brendan Pereira is analogous to telling the insecure MM, SM and PM that authentic Opposition politics can add benign colour to Singapore’s soulless complexion.
    The Kali-Brendan tag team are no ignoramuses and neither are they unintelligent. They both realise the sovereignty of news sense but there are paramount reasons why they have neutered the New Straits Times and steadfastly ignore conventions, and opt for “unnatural selection” of news, views and replies.
    That’s also why Kali-Brendan ignored – for the second time – Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s a right-of-reply rebuttal, through his aide Sufi Yusoff, of Syed Hamid Albar’s after-the-fact Dewan Rakyat statement on the airspace-and-sand-for-sale to Singapore saga.
    It makes no news sense for Kali-Brendan to ignore the right-of-reply if they purport to be journalism advocates but it makes perfect sense if their raison d'ĂȘtre is to:
    ► assist Singapore’s Mossad-like overtures in Malaysia’s corporate, political and security concerns (This is the primary concern of Dr Mahathir’s remonstrations);
    ► shield the cabal stringing the Prime Minister and the collaborators who made the assists to Singapore;
    ► over-zealously protect Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s frailties by “shrouding” him with the halo effect; and,
    ► demonise Dr Mahathir and other independent scribes persistently challenging the cabal’s dubious deconstruction of a well-established legacy.
    How else to explain their continued attempts to demonise Dr Mahathir like a leper from biblical times, except that their scorning of journalistic maxims have spectacularly backfired.
    Too bad for Kali-Brendan and too good for Dr Mahathir, the unnatural tactics have turbo-charged the ex-Umno president, for better or for worse, to become the most saleable newsmaker of the year, bolstering his already burgeoning statesmanship and rabidly consuming all of Abdullah’s press.
    Let me surmise: editors can be tolerated for biasness, inaccuracy, idiosyncrasy, sensationalism, delinquency even, but the moment they have no proportion of news sense, they might as well sell lift their hind leg and piss by the lamp post.
    I understand the need for self-preservation. All newspapers, the New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal included, does not preclude this instinct. What the Kali-Brendan-led NST does preclude is common sense and fair play: they dressed up their journalistic insecurities with the presence of malice.
    Any good editor would have jumped into publishing the good doctor’s jihad.
    On the flipside, journalism, public relations and corporate governance schools can take note: the Kali-Brendan quagmire is an excellently malevolent case study in public relations, spin and journalism gone flooey.
    How did it descend to this conspiratorial buffoonery?
    As a reporter, bureau chief and chief reporter in The Star, as a Specialist Writer in the New Straits Times and correspondents for the Singapore Straits Times and Reuters, Kali, on hindsight, had used journalism as a front to launder his political/corporate ambitions while Brendan allowed himself to be mobilised as Kali’s chief character assassin.
    It’s safe to presume that their neutering of the New Straits Times from practising proper journalism and denying derided newsmakers the right-of-reply is to complement the aforementioned motley mission of recreant intentions, which many conscientious Malaysians have detected with alarm but only Dr Mahathir and A. Kadir Jasin had consistently excoriated.

  9. Anonymous10:07 am

    I guess Malaysia does sell sand to Singapore. Small volumes..ehm? Is the sand sold silica type of sand which is used to make glass etc. or is it Granite type of sand which is used for land reclaimanation? The Ministers needs to make differentation on this as silica type of sand is sold for industrial use and he can be misleading. and that volume will be small.

  10. To bandit chiefly,
    and to rockybru and kadir kasin in passing:

    With your well articulated and grounded views on NST players, don't you agree it has always been an organ of UMNO, and whoever is the GEIC, will TOE THE Party line, chioefly in accordance with the President (UNFORTUNATELY, IMHO~~ same person is Nation's CEO-cum Prime Minister). So in thisw context, is what Kalimullah Hassan ex-GEIC still incfluential as NSTP deputy chair and able to override who Hishamuddin Aun, I have not seen a blardy single poiece by him! SO is he really GEIC or Kali is in absentia?) fortified by a liutenant in Brendan Pereita, NOT acting out the same scrpit as acted out before by the likes of Kadir Jasin and the most famous/or infemes in blosg lingo, Dollah Kok Lanas case, mouthing every day the rired reference to past&gone PM Tun Abdul Razak like the latter was some "God" (I say this because he offered to "prostarte" himself beforer Pak Lah in his mission to canvass for the late PM's son, Najib -- to be promioted to his current DPM's post.)
    And remember, DKL was sacked from NSTP's GEIC post NOT at an NSTP board meet, but at an UMNO SSupreme Council meeting at PWTC, while the tokkotlanas guy was in mid-flight -- how ironic! Nodbody wants him for his sycophantic rants.

    I'm backgrounding this as UI feel it's a necessary backdrop to undersatnd the curent EXCHANGES between Tun Mahathir's camp1 and Pak Lah's camp2. The camp3's extras are the Opposition players plus Bloggers who weigh in whenever they can, including ex-journos like RockyBru and me (I am honest about it:)

    So however Bandit would like to paint the players, let's make it "balanced" as Journalism ethics requires us as self-claimed Fifth Estate aspiring players.

    We are no angels too, but let's try not be exact replicas of the 4th Estate players when we look into Da Mirror, asking:"Who is the fairest of them all?"

    I hope fellow Bloggers plus their Commenters bear this short 3sen's worth of sharing in mind? No, also can-lah because NegaraKU is trying to grow up as a developed nation-cum-parliamentary democracy. I'm enjoying the 'rtes here, thanks to RickyBru, thou I have not received any cuppa nyet!