Thursday, August 31, 2006


Just 1 wish...that he who sells out this proud nation gets sacked, shamed and shunned.
And short, too!

Happy 49, Malaysia!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Unspun, the Jakarta-based blogger, was in KL recently when he was told by old friends about tales of corruption in this country that made him conclude that "..perhaps Indonesians should not complain so much about how bad corruption is in their country."

Have we really gotten worse in the corruption department since Abdullah Badawi became Prime Minister?

Read his posting here. And ask yourself the question.

Or you might want to read this Bernama article about a certain Malaysian warrior's battle cry against corruption in the Islamic world.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


No EPU approval, inconsistent MGO rule, foreign company allowed to break our laws, bad maths. Who's tune are we dancing to with regards to Pantai Irama?

The following issues need to be clarified. Azman Mokhtar of Khazanah had better start giving us straight answers. Otherwise, give back our money. [Yes, it's you money and mine he's using for Pantai Irama].

Legality of Parkway
Parkway violated our laws.
1/Failure to obtain FIC approval for the purchase of 31% in Pantai in September 2005
2/Failure to comply the provision of the Concession Agreements for Fomema and Medivest.

Strange. In yesterday's announcement, the Share Sale Agreement with Khazanah stated that FIC approval was a condition for Swiss Zone’s 49% interest in Pantai Irama, the vehicle created by Khazanah.
So, why wasn’t Swiss Zone acquisition of Pantai shares in September 2005 subjected to FIC approval?

Parkway already paid inflated price of RM312 million (at share price at RM2.45 per share) in September last year. The top management of Parkway and the seller had cooked up the price at RM2.50 per share then based on the assumption that the period of the 2 concessions would be extended.

So why did Khazanah pay RM2.65 per share now?

Bear in mind that over the last 12 month, Parkway has been milking the profit of Pantai and the 2 concessions, 12 months profits has already been sucked by them.

MGO. Why the inconsistency?
When Parkway deal completed in September 2005, there were queries on why mandatory GO was not imposed by our authorities but these queries were quickly brushed off.

Why is it Khazanah so keen to joint-venture to launch MGO at RM2.65 per share now? It is the same block of controlling shares so the authorities should have imposed the GO then.

The market price then (on 12 September 2005) was only RM1.63 and the highest price paid was RM2.45. If the GO had been imposed Parkway at RM2.45 per share on the remaining
shares not acquired by Parkway, the Singaporeans would have to cough up RM680 million!

EPU approval. No approval was obtained from the Economic Planning Unit for this deal.
Why the by-pass? Is the Abdullah Administration doing away with EPU?


Jalur Gemilang. Blog guru TV Smith and young Amir Hafizi, the creator of the Malay Male, helped me raise the Malaysian flag on this blog early this morning.


Monday, August 28, 2006


But why 4.9 per cent?
Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Malaysia's state investment arm, bought 4.9 percent of Pantai Holdings Bhd., the country's operator of private hospitals, a stock exchange filing showed.

Khazanah, through its fully-owned unit Pantai Irama Ventures Sdn., bought 25.3 million Pantai shares from the open market on Aug. 21, the filing said today. The stake is worth 63.5 million ringgit ($17.3 million) based on its last traded price of 2.51 ringgit on Aug. 25. The stock was halted today.

About 4.3 percent of Pantai shares change hands in off- market trades valued at 50.8 million ringgit on Aug. 21.

QUESTION: Why oh Why oh Why suspend the counter when you are buying a mere 4.9 per cent of the company? I may have left Business Times and business reporting for too long. But if anyone can tell me the logic of suspending the counter to buy an insignificant 4.9 per cent of Pantai, please take the floor.

Original posting
Bursa Malaysia has suspended Pantai Holdings. Last traded price RM2.51. Khazanah is likely to buy out the Singaporeans and make them RM300m-RM400m richer.

After that, who gets Pantai?

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Journalism is built on trust. A journalist who fabricates his report commits journalism's biggest sin. In the US, such a journalist is sacked, shamed and shunned.

Here in Malaysia, however, he continues to write about the goodness of his own existence. Today in the Sunday Times, he came out of hiding to write [I was told] about how this goodness of his is somehow related to our Merdeka.

I wonder if you read the column today. I was told that he still hasn't come clean about the sin he committed, the stories he fabricated for his June 11 column.

But even if he owns up and say a thousand apologies would you believe another word he writes, knowing that journalism is built on trust?

[please read related articles on fellow fabricators here and here and here]


GIVE ONE UP. Opposition MP Fong Po Kuan has told Parliament that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may have too many portfolios to handle. [TheSTAR yesterday, "Fong:PM should give up Internal Security portfolio"].

Abdullah, who is Prime Minister, is also Finance Minister, who is also Minister for Internal Security.

She wants Abdullah to relinquish one and suggests that he gives up the Internal Security portfolio [a "full-time" minister is what the ministry needs to fight rising crime, she argues).

Fong seems to think that the PM is also sitting on too many (24) Cabinet committees.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Oxbridge needs your advice:

Should Khairy Jamaluddin bow to the MCA Youth's demand that he say sorry for his allegedly racist remarks that hurt the Chinese the other day?

Or should the famous son-in-law be hard-headed and act like a Mat Rempit and tell the MCA Youth to go wheelie its own bike (or go fly kite)?

I hope KJ does not plan to seek counsel from his editorial-cum-financial adviser Kalimullah Hassan because he'll be very confused if he does.

I say that because Kalimullah has been inconsistent in the apology department: 1/ He apologised to NST readers for carrying a cartoon strip in the newspaper seen as belittling the issue of the offensive Prophet Mohamad carricatures (though some would argue about the sincerity of the apology) but 2/ he has refused till today to say sorry to Dr Mahathir and NST readers for passages of untruth in a June 11 column in the New Sunday Times.

An MCA Youth insider told me the movement does not think the boy will apologise but it wanted to put it on the record that the demand for an apology has been made. Politics is about scoring points when you can.


No, brats, K&M is not short for KaliMullah or Khairy&Maya.

K&M stands for Kereta & Motosikal, Berita Harian's 16-page Saturday special making its debut today on test-drives, the latest models and car ads.

K&M is BH's carbon-copy of the extremely succesful CBT (Cars, Bikes and Trucks) initiated for NST by Yamin Vong, a former Business Times journalist and a renowned 4x4 man, when Ahmad A. Talib was the group editor of the (broadsheet) NST.

This K&M pull-out is the brainchild of Hishamuddin Aun, the NSTP group editor-in-chief. Until early this week, however, even the BH group editor Manja Ismail was said to have not been officially informed of the K&M project.

As this is the age where some editors unabashedly involve themselves (or their wives) in business, the secrecy accorded this project has raised (and will raise) some very obvious questions, especially so when the contract to produce the K&M is beijng awarded to Wave Marketing Sdn Bhd, a virtually unknown firm in the publishing business owned by a pal of Hishamuddin and Kalimullah Hassan's.

A couple of years ago, Yamin's CBT inspired me to create MailMotor, the sexy auto section of the (old) Malay Mail.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


NO DELAY on the part of AirAsia deputy group CEO Kamarudin Meranun in passing the buck.

"Our A320 aircraft is very reliable and we're doing our part, but Malaysia Airports Bhd is no reacting fast enough to address the issues," he said (TheSTAR, today, "Don't give excuses, airlines told").

Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor, however, said flight delays were more prevalent among flights operated by AirAsia.

"We have checked with Malaysia Airports Bhd and it is not their problem. The airlines will have to look at their schedules and find the root cause of the problem," the minister said (TheSTAR, today, "Delays last up to five hours").

Flight delays aren't a new thing in the business. Back in the late 80s, frequent delays landed Malaysia Airlines' bosses in the soup and paved the way for corporate men like Tajudin Ramli to take over the running of airline management from civil servants like Tan Sri Aziz Abdul Rahman.

Then, MAS officials revealed that quite a few of those delays were caused by VVIP passengers, including ministers, who thought it was fashionable to be late. They also blamed the Press for being sensational.

So , passing the buck, Kamarudin Meranun, is nothing new in the business, either. When under siege, blame others!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Or so says Shaziman Abu Mansor, the deputy minister for Energy, Water and Communications.

Refer page 16 of theSTAR today, where Shaziman effectively defined two types of bloggers:
1/ Wild Wild Web blogger.
"Wild Wild Web are bloggers who hide and shoot but are afraid to come out in the open for confrontation," he said.

2/ Gentleman and Responsible blogger.
"If they are truly gentlemen and responsible (for what they blogged), they should show themselves."

I do not "hide and shoot" and I am not "afraid to come out in the open" (although I think 'discussion' is more apt than 'confrontation'). I show myself so I am a gentleman and a responsible blogger, right?

Well, so are these guys:

AKJ aka The Scribe
MalaysiaToday's Raja Petra
SKTHEW of MageP's Lab
Kamaluddin's Blog
Ron the Gerbang Ruhanie
James Wong of Freedom in Solidarity
Fathi Aris Omar of Patah Balek
TV Smith
Syed Imran of Kuda Ranggi
Khalid Jaafar and, of course,
Screenshots' Jeff Ooi

Thanks, deputy minister.
Now, if you could do all of us gentlemen and responsible bloggers a favour and tell your Contents Forum's honorary secretary about us, starting with Jeff Ooi.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Jaafar Abdul Manap aka A.M. Jaafar was not a journalist. But as the PR head honcho of Malaysia Airlines in the Eighties (before public relations became corporate comm), and later as president of Institute of PR Malaysia, Jeff helped shape many a young journalist's career. Malaysian journalism owes him a debt of gratitude it can never repay.

This morning, at 64, he returned to rahmatullah.

Monday, August 21, 2006


The Prime Minister's son-in-law has made the [the wrong kind of] front page headlines of the major Chinese-language newspapers, it seems.

Blogger SKTHEW has a posting on this.


MIGHT vs MITE. Nexnews, which publishes major titles such as the Edge and the Sun, and which aspires to be a big regional name, this afternoon takes on Jeff Ooi, a blogger, over a shooting that never took place.

It's a test also of what the Complaints Bureau of the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum is made of.

The "hearing" is at 3pm today at Phileo Damansara, a stone's throw away from the office of Nexnews editorial supremo Ho Kay Tat, a former reporter of the Singapore Business Times.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


SCOMI, the company linked to the Prime Minister's son Kamaluddin Abdullah, gets only 15 per cent of its RM200 million earnings locally.

CEO Shah Hakim Zain said 85 per cent came from projects abroad.

In his Aug 7 interview on TV3, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stiffly denied that his son had abused his position as the PM's son to get deals for Scomi. "If people ask why go overseas, he (Kamaluddin) will say father (Abdullah) is the prime minister, it's difficult to earn a living locally. His contracts, his business, 80 per cent are from overseas. That is his livelihood," the PM had said.

OK, so the PM said 80 and Shah Hakim said it's 85; it's a variation of just 5 percentage points. But in the name of good corporate governance and accuracy, I thought the Scomi CEO and Mingguan Malaysia did well to set the record straight.

Read the Scomi CEO interview.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


IT'S NOT A JOKE ANYMORE. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister no 5, is Bapa K-ekonomi. [And the K is not for Khairy Jamaluddin (the Malay calls his father-in-law "father") or Kamaluddin the son.]

Malaysia's four prime ministers before AAB were bestowed titles that best describe their greatest contributions to this proud nation. The Tunku is Bapa Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence), Tun Razak Bapa Pembangunan (Development), Tun Hussein Bapa Perpaduan (Unity), and Tun Dr Mahathir Bapa Kemodenan (Modernisation).

Bernama posted the story last night around dinner.

Abdullah Named As "Father Of Knowledge Economy"
KULIM, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was today given the title of "Bapa Ekonomi Ilmu" (Father of Knowledge Economy).
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis said the title was deserved because of the Prime Minister's strong commitment to develop the k-economy as the means to upgrade the socio-economic status of the people.
He said this at the launch of MSC Malaysia Cybercity @ Kulim High Technology Park here by Abdullah.
Jamaluddin said the Prime Minister was concerned that the implementation of the information and communications technology national agenda should benefit all Malaysians.
"He does not want the policy to create another form of poverty -- the digital information knowledge poverty -- and widen the digital divide between the rich and poor and between urban and rural residents," he said.


For the first time in a long time, the PM has paid Dr M a tribute. He calls the former PM a national hero last night.

It has to be a massive U-turn in the Abdullah Administration's approach in handling the lop-sided spat with the former prime minister. Two Mondays ago, the PM appeared on TV3 and showed to us viewers that he was capable of not being nice in the face of criticisms, even if the one who has been criticising him was Dr M. A few days ago, he showed he could play rough, too, as he made references to the Iblis or the demon when he spoke of people who had been hurling those harsh criticisms at him.

Abdullah Pays Tribute To Past Statesmen For Success Of Malaysia

KUALA TERENGGANU, Aug 18 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has become a developed, prosperous and dynamic country because of the ideas, good leadership and determined efforts of past statesmen including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The Prime Minister said the success and development achieved began from the leadership of the first premier, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, and followed by the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and the late Tun Hussein Onn and was continued by Dr Mahathir.
"These leaders are national heroes and we are indebted to them for what they have done," he said in his speech to launch the national level Merdeka Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang Campaign at Dataran Shah Bandar here Friday night.

It must be noted, however, that Abdullah did not utter these words himself. The text of speech was read by Rais Yatim, who is chairman of the 49th Merdeka celebration national committee.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Peace, ruined Lebanon.. Last night, at the end of the 3rd day of the ceasefire, I was sent this reminder by a Malaysian Yang Tak Mudah Lupa: "Whatever happened to the list Khairy Jamaluddin promised to give us of companies in Malaysia supporting Zionism?"

Anyone out there has a clue?

It's been nearly 3 weeks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


After reading the interview in the Sun and the analysis by Screenshots, especially with regards to the paragraph show below ...


... someone asked me if the scandalous ECM-Libra shares issue involving the Prime Minister's son-in-law and one of the PM's advisers Kalimullah Hassan (and his partner David Chua) does not come under Section 10 of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Section 10
Any person who by himself, or by or in conjunction with any other person-
(a) corruptly solicits or receives or agrees to
receive for himself or for any other person;
(b) corruptly gives, promises or offers to any
person whether for the benefit of that person
or of another person,
any gratification as an inducement to or a reward for,
or otherwise on account of-
(aa) any person doing or forbearing to do anything
in respect of any matter or transaction,
actual or proposed or likely to take place; or
(bb) any officer of a public body doing or
forbearing to do anything in respect of any
matter or transaction, actual or proposed or
likely to take place, in which the public body
is concerned, shall be guilty of an offence.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Revi Veloo, a former reporter for the Singapore Straits Times, has been given the task of retraining, reconditioning and remoulding the bureau chiefs of the New Straits Times.

The Singaporean's job starts with a two-day course later this week. Bureau chiefs are generally experienced journalists with good political connections and leadership qualities.

The Singaporean comes highly recommended by another ex-ST operative, Brendan Pereira, who is now the Group Editor of the New Straits Times.

This is the first time a Singapore Straits Times' former reporter has been brought to directly train senior journalists from the Umno-owned NST. Brendan was brought in by former group editor-in-chief of NSTP and now its Editorial Adviser, Kalimullah Hassan, who was also a Singapore Straits Times reporter.

Both Kalimullah and Brendan are part of the so-called "inner circle" of the Abdullah Administration. Kalimullah was a staunch critic of Dr M even before the ex-PM's current spat with the PM.

Revi and Brendan have known each other for years. They are immortalised digitally on this website (CLICK HERE) on the same page headlined The Unusual Character & Extra Value of Singapore Journalism.

On that page, fugitive Singapore opposition leader inserted a line of caution: Beware if you have to talk to journalists from Singapore!!!

Beware if you have to talk to journalists from Singapore!!!

The following is a list of Singapore journalists who swarmed liked� (whatever your imagination fancies) to file numerous Affidavits in support of 13 defamation suits filed by Singapore People's Action Party (PAP) against an opposition politician in Singapore ;-

Straits Times

11. Brendan Pereira's 1st Affidavit filed on 2nd May 1997.

12. Chang Ai-Lien's 1st Affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

13. Eliza Teoh's 1st Affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

14. Eliza Teoh's 2nd Affidavit filed on 30th April 1997.

15. Jason Leow's 1st Affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

16. Jason Leow's 2nd Affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

17. Leong Ching Ching's 1st Affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

18. Leong Ching Ching's 2nd Affidavit filed on 30th April 1997.

19. Ng Sock Hiang, Serene Marie, Low Sock Eng Jeannie and Simon Tan Thoo Seng's Joint Affidavit filed on 30th April 1997.

20. Pang Gek Choo's 1st Affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

21. Ravi Veloo's 1st affidavit filed on 29th April 1997.

22. Surinder Singh's 1st Affidavit sworn on 30th April 1997.

Revi Veloo and Brendan Pereira had allegedly filed affidavits in support of 13 defamation suits filed by Lee Kuan Yew's ruling PAP against an Opposition politician in the republic back in 1997.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


The PM finally admits it...
SINGAPORE owns Pantai Holdings and that, he says, has become a PROBLEM!
Bernama filed the story at 7.03pm. Read it and then, bear with me, I'll tell you why I smell a RAT..

KEPALA BATAS, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government was studying the necessary action to be taken pertaining to the disposal of a 31 per cent stake in Pantai Holdings Bhd to Singapore-based Parkway Holdings Ltd.
He said the matter was being looked into by the Treasury after realising that it had become a problem as it was related to the concession for the supply of hospital requirements.
"The share sale has become a problem, as it involves several matters related to the concession given to Pantai Holdings, that is a contract to supply hospital requirements," he told reporters ... here Sunday.
He said the government had always hoped that the equity would remain with Malaysians but unfortunately it had gone into the hands of foreigners.
"The concession has changed hands, and it has gone to other people and (we) hope it would remain with the Malaysian side, and held by Malaysian citizens," he said.
Asked the type of action which may be considered by the government, Abdullah who is also Finance Minister declined to elaborate.

and the smelly RAT?
The Finance Minister or the Finance Minister II, I believe, has known of the problem for quite sometime, way before the PM decared on tv last Monday that "there is no Malaysian company that is controlled by foreign companies".

Read yesterday's StarBiz cover story again: it said the Government had been approached by at least TWO local consortiums proposing to recover the concessions from the Singaporeans. These consortiums could not have been proposing to the newspaper, surely to the Government, and surely way before last Monday's tv interview.

Many weeks ago The Scribe blogged about a Khazanah bailout at Pantai, that it was going to pay a lot more for the shares that Parkway bought from Pantai (which was RM2.10 per share or thereabout). The StarBiz story was also peppered with hints made by the Singaporean owner of Pantai about "the right price".

If Khazanah comes into the picture, that means taxpayers will be asked again to pay for the government's blunders that led to Medivest and Fomema falling into foreign hands. The Finance Ministry, the Bursa and the Securities Commission will have questions to answer.

One BIG question is: Who will Khazanah sell Fomema and Medivest to?

The people will be watching, PM, and they'll be watching closely. Don't let the boys screw this one up, too.


Anita Gabrial and Tee Lin Say of BizStar have just confirmed that Pantai Holdings is now, sadly, in Singapore hands.

So, the Prime Minister got it wrong when he declared last week on tv that "there is no Malaysian company that is controlled by a foreign company". The Star, a leading mainstream medium, has proven him wrong.

Here, extracts from their cover story, "Poser for Pantai", yesterday:

"In Parkway Holdings' financial statement on its first quarter ended March 2006, it notes that the group had acquired about 30% equity interest in Pantai Holdings.
It added, however, that "notwithstanding that the equity interest is less than 51% the directors consider Pantai as a subsidiary on the basis that inter alia, the group has board control of Pantai", adding that it has accordingly accounted for Pantai as a subsidiary with effect from sept 30,2005.
In other words, as pointed out by an accountant, although Parkway may not have control in terms of percentage (which is anything over 50%), it does have control in subtance as it clearly has board control of Pantai Holdings; it now has four members (out of seven) representing the interest of its new major shareholder.
In addition, she says that it is important to look at the rest of the shareholding.
"If someone has a big block of shares in a company but it does not amount to over 50%, and the rest of the shareholdersare are small and are not likely to not consolidate to assert control, then it is called defacto control.

Cuit Sikit has an earlier post on Parkway Holdings establishing a big foothold in Pak Lah's South Johor Corridor.


Minus the keris ... Enter Pendekar Nazri Aziz, who says he will be at the forefront as one of the PM's many, many warriors willing to die in this epic battle against the bigger and stronger enemy forces who want to topple Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and destroy Umno.

“If he continues his actions to destroy Umno, to bring down the president, I will be at the forefront as a warrior to defend the party,” he said when opening the Umno Padang Rengas Youth, Wanita and Puteri delegates meetings. (NST today, "Mahathir Wants to Topple PM - says Minister").

Vintage Nazri! And I don't mean Vintage 1974.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Did Dr M push them to do it? ... Khairy Jamaluddin has controversially sold all the shares he had in ECM-Libra, just days after PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appeared on tv to formally condone the son-in-law's (equally controversial) RM9 million purchase of those shares late last year.

Khairy's two "friends" - ECM-Libra executive chairman Kalimullah Hassan and co-founder David Chua - who lent him the money to buy those shares have also, unexpectedly, sold their shares in ECM-Libra.

Bernama had the story at 7+pm (story not there anymore) and Screenshots has the perspective here and there.

I don't have answers, ex-BT reporter. Just more questions for the PM. Did he know? If he did, was it his idea?

Aisehman is confused, too, and has got questions of his own.

Friday, August 11, 2006


This day two months ago, June 11, Kalimullah Hassan wrote in The Sunday Column a piece demonising Dr M. In it, he told readers (me included) the blatant lie about the circumstances leading to a meeting in Tokyo between the PM and Dr Mahathir.

  The Prime Minister ... was told that Dr Mahathir wanted to come and see
him. Abdullah, in the midst of breakfast with aides and officials,
immediately put on his tie and told the ambassador that he would go and
see his ex-boss rather than let Dr Mahathir come down and see him.
Yet, less than two weeks later, Dr Mahathir invited the foreign Press
to his office and lambasted Abdullah and his administration.
He accused the current administration and Abdullah of many things -
stabbing him in the back, ingratitude, and perhaps, the most provocative
suggestion was that while he (Dr Mahathir) had no power to remove
Abdullah, he said "it is for his own party (Umno) to remove him".

Kalimullah hasn't apologised for the piece. The newspaper's group editor-in-chief, Hishamuddin Aun, hasn't apologised, either.

They don't just owe Dr M an apology. They owe me the reader an apology, too.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


CORRUPTION in Abdullah's government? Can Dr M prove it?

The PM has said he will act if you send him the hard evidence. But blogger skthew is still a little skeptical.

Now that Dr M has made the accusation, and made it publicly, he has no choice but to produce the hard evidence. Or face the padah (consequences).

Did Tun say corrupt minister or ministers?


Proton 88 drive Thais crazy .. The new management of Proton, still witching and bitching about past excesses, may have launched a succesful bid to outdo all its predecessors combined!

For the Satria Neo promo, Syed Zainal Abidin and company wanted a grand 5-day, 2,000km media drive to Thailand's steamy tourist destinations of Hatyai and Phuket.

16 motoring journalists were chosen. But in the end, 72 others went along (24 cars, others were flown in and flown out). Total: 88.

The Chinese believe fart-fart is super-lucky but my sources were bewitched by the size of the non-media delegation on the media drive. One said, while making a farting sound, that the trip seemed more like a familiarisation trip of Hatyai and Phuket for the members of the new Proton team instead of for the media.

In the meantime, employees back at the plant have been told that there will be no more overtime allowances for them, a cost-cutting measure to make Proton leaner and fitter.

Morale is low. Tersungkur.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


The butchered and the butcher in the newsroom ... Brenda Lim is one pissed off journalist. They gave her a byline for this story datelined Tronoh ("Dr M goes for MBs of Perak, Perlis", NST, Aug 8) but she told friends that the passages in bold were not her work.

"Dr Mahathir, whose three sons and other family members controlled or owned substantial shares in a number of listed companies during his tenure as prime minister, questioned who had lent Khairy the RM9 million to buy a minor interest in financial services company ECM Libra Berhad late last year."

The butcher here is Brendan Pereira, the faithful Singapore-trained disciple of Singapore-trained Kalimullah Hassan, both out to malign Dr M and make sure that the former PM and the PM do not patch up.

Dr M mentioned Brenda's name twice yesterday for the article that carried her byline but he was obviously quite aware of Brendan's butchery:

"The PM did not mention my children (during the TV interview) but Brendan Pereira did ... he thought he should add a little bit more to make things more interesting," Dr M told reporters yesterday.

Brenda Lim is no greenhorn, having been a journalist for the past decade. But this is the first time anyone has blatantly altered her newsreport to suit a political agenda. She is hurt and she is distressed.

Brendan is NST group editor courtesy of Kalimullah Hassan, the group's editorial adviser, who wrote the June 11 column in The Sunday Times which blatantly lied about circumstances surrounding a meeting between the PM and Dr M in Tokyo. Kalimullah has refused to apologise to Dr M.


Blogger AMLG of the Cuit Sikit fame has carried a (so far) 3-parter on the PM's face-to-face on TV3.

In the latest instalment, he is pained by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's claim that Selangor's ''fruit valley'' was a project initiated after he had ticked off the Menteri Besar for his overzealous focus on housing projects.

AMLG said the project was started in 2002, when the former PM was the PM.


Elegant to Elegant again ... James Wong ain't the footballer from the 70s but he kicks ass.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


August 9 .. It's Singapore's National Day.

And the takeover of Pantai Hospital is complete. On Aug 4, the Goverment of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) bought over 25 million shares in our biggest healthcare company (in terms of market cap). That's more than 5 per cent.

Parkway Holdings, a Singapore company, already has more than 31 per cent.

And the PM, in his 40-minute sitcom last night, pooh-poohed talk of neo-colonialism. "Apa salahnya ..," Abdullah said. "The important thing is we don't lose control of our companies. There is no Malaysian company which is controlled by a foreign company."

The chairman of GIC is none other than Lee Kuan Yew.

Monday, August 07, 2006

8.30 TONIGHT, TV 3

The PM goes on air, TV3, 8.30pm tonight, to tell us why MV Agusta was sold at 1 euro and why Proton is doing so badly lately.

I can't wait.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


SIL (son-in-law) says, on the sale of MV Agusta by Proton Holdings for one euro:

"Even KTM Bhd at one time was offered to prospective buyers at RM1. The same when DRB Hicom sold off Air Asia which making losses. So selling off companies at nominal market value is a normal thing." (the Star, 5 Aug "Khairy: Check your facts first").

It's this kind of arguments that scare me. SIL really should check his facts first.

Fact: The government has never sold any Malaysian company for 1 euro or 1 sing dollar because we've never sold out to foreign corporate interests, whether they are Italians or Singaporeans.

Fact: Dr M offered Tony Fernandes the loss-making DRB-Hicom airline in 2001 after studying what Tune Air Sdn Bhd had planned in terms of making Air Asia a raging success. The government under Dr M did not offer to sell the airline to Singapore for S$1 or to the Italians for 1 euro.
[If MV Agusta had been sold to Hong Leong for RM1, it would have been another story. And by God, Hong Leong was very keen!]
[If FAX loses money and Tony sells it to Temasik or Singapore Airlines for 1 Sing dollar tomorrow, will that be considered NORMAL to SIL and to the Abdullah Administration?).

Fact: KTM was offered for RM1 to locals, not foreigners. The government believed that the private sector could turn around the government's loss-making outfit. This was in 1989. There were no takers because too many strings were attached to the offer [unlike the sale of MV Agusta]. Three years later the Dr M administration corporatised the losing entity. KTM Bhd has never looked back since.

Fact: Both Air Asia and KTM Bhd have been successful, and they benefit us Malaysians, the economy, the nation. MV Agusta may turn around in 5 years and make profits while we'll still pay through our noses for the 1 euro fiasco and some Italians laugh all the way to the bank [unless there were Malaysians involved in the 1 euro transaction. Were there?].

By the way, I thought the PM said SIL is not his adviser. Is that still a Fact? If Khairy isn't the adviser, WHY WAS HE TRYING TO EXPLAIN SOMETHING THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD EXPLAIN?

I hope the PM is not going to use the same arguments when he appears on national television to explain the sale of MV Agusta for 1 euro this Monday. If he does, God help us.


Shalom... Israeli ambassador to Singapore wants a word with Malaysia and Indonesia about the "culture of hatred" against his country in these two nations. He ain't too happy with the OIC meeting in Putrajaya that condemned Israel's attack of Lebanon. The PM chaired that meeting by virtue of Malaysia's position as chairman of OIC.

Has any ambassador from Israel called us names before and ticked us off directly? I can't remember. I thought they used a machai in a neighbouring country for these things.



Pro-Zionist or Anti-OIC? From this press statement issued by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Singapore may be either, or both.

Whichever way, Khairy Jamaluddin ought to add Singapore to his so-called Schindler's list.

Lifted from AsiaOne:

Singapore Government Press Release

Aug 4 , 2006

In response to media queries on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comment that "the main solution [to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict] is for the elimination of the Zionist regime", the MFA Spokesman said:

"We are utterly appalled by the statement. The situation in Lebanon is very grave. The urgent immediate need is to secure humanitarian relief for the civilian casualties. Such irresponsible and provocative statements are obviously intended only to further inflame the conflict and not address either the immediate humanitarian needs or the longer term goal of a durable solution that will address the security concerns of all parties."

Friday, August 04, 2006


In this blog's July 31 posting "TNB's Indonesian Tsunami", it was reported that Tenaga Nasional's losses due to divestment could reach RM250 million. Yesterday, Business Times cited a figure of RM226.64 million. (I was told the wire agency Bloomberg also had the same story and put our utility giant's potential losses in the same quarter-of-a-billion-RM region).

CK, the president/ceo, can tell you that all 3 - blog, mainstream newspaper and wire agency - were all a bit behind.

The potential losses due to divestment as of this week are, actually, very close to RM300 million at TNB level. At group level it is close to RM350 million!

Tenaga insiders are putting the blame squarely on CK. They said everything was fine until CK came into the picture, change the rules of the game, and treaded on some big Indonesian toes, including its own Indonesian partner Pak Robert, who could be USD34 million richer once the divestment takes place.

CK had an uneasy meeting with Robert's rep in KL yesterday.

What to watch out for: TNB doing a Proton - Blame thy Predecessors!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Last Sunday, the PM announced the Johor South Corridor, his RM15 billion vision.

Yesterday, he said the Cabinet agreed to 1/ award UEM the 2nd Penang bridge project, 2/ invite selected companies to bid for the Penang monorail project, and 3/ study the YTL-proposed KL-Singapore bullet train project.

Combined price tag of the three mega projects: another cool RM15 billion, give or take a couple of billion RM.

And it's only Thursday!

p.s. Scomi is also keen on the Penang monorail project, according to Bernama.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


An editorial with balls:

Control the hot air over
media control

.... And while we are at it, we should also
control if not outright ban all politicians
from giving speeches since most often
than not they are the ones who stir up
racial and reliogious emotions, as we
often see happen even in parliament.


Bloggers beware... In the same week, we had Fu saying one thing one day and then another thing the next day, Zam reaffirming what his deputy had already denied, and Keng Yaik dismissing these two and their talk of government's control of the internet.

But when the PM is the one issuing the warning, then we must conclude that something is really wrong. Something is fundamentally wrong with all of us.

The Scribe,
meanwhile, he cries for this beloved country.

... "I have seen countless young upstarts came like hunder and disappeared like tumbleweed in the desert wind.
I have seen the roads leading away from the ballot boxes littered with broken promises.
I have seen so many things that make me cry.
I have seen as many things that make me laugh.
I have and will always cry for this beloved country of ours."

And in the meantime, a mainstream newspaper still refuses to own up to the untruths in its June 11 article, despite the Prime Minister's obvious cue for it and the writer to set the record straight.


My apologies to bros Hamidi, Jahabar, Leslie and Yushaimi.

Kamrul Idris is the new Executive Editor of News, replacing Saiful AzharAbdullah.

Kamrul is currently Executive Editor for Life & Times. His news background is limited, partly because of his inability to handle the pressure of a newsroom. But as an editorial writer, given his powerful command of the language, he excels under the Kalimullah regime.

The two portfolios make him the most powerful Executive Editor in the NSTP.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Those aren't my words. They belong to M. Bakri Musa and Unspun, two of my favourite Malaysian bloggers who have made abroad their homes (the other one is Kak Teh's). Yes, they do sound peefed, don't they?

The government's control of the internet will cover them as well, right?


August 1.

In a few hours Saiful Azhar Abdullah, ejected against his will from the NST purportedly for being too close to Dr M's camp, will report for duty to the big boss of The Malay Mail/Weekend Mail, Syed Faisal Albar (who is also the NSTP chief executive officer).

Saiful, who was Executive Editor (News) of NST for the briefest of periods, will report as one of two deputy editors of MM/WM (the other being the younger Yushaimi Yahaya). Where daily operations are concerned, both come directly under the even-younger M. Zul.

Yushaimi and Saiful have both worked with me at the Mail and either one of them, I believe, could easily bring back the tabloid's glory days, given time and a shot at it.

The question now is: Who will group editor-in-chief Hishamuddin Aun (read Kalimullah Hassan and Brendan Pereira) appoint to fill the powerful position of executive editor in charge of news in this Umno-owned NST?

NST's reporters I spoke to think suspect 4 candidates:
1/ Hamidi Hamid, the fomer Australian High Commissioner press attache who was brought in by Kalimullah recently, as specialist writer, to focus on Umno politics
2/ Jahabar Saddiq, Reuters TV
3/ Leslie Lau, Straits Times Singapore
4/ Yushaimi

Yushaimi is the obvious underdog, being the only guy without any experience working with a foreign organisation and who is still, fortunately, very passionate about the Mail.


And I really thought it was your VISION, this Johor Super Corridor.

But Twofaces told us this isn't so, told us to go check here. We checked and, yep, according to Wikipidea ...:

Thank you, Twofaces, for correcting us. And Pasquale, Trust, Kaliyuga & Herman!