Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Before his plagiarism was discovered, Brendan Pereira received an e-mail from a reader who must have puked after reading the plagiarist's piece. The Datin wrote:

Dear Mr Pereira
I refer to your column of 30 October 2006.
It's amazing how you and your colleagues in NST are launching a concerted campaign against Tun Mahathir under the guise of love for the country and deep nostalgia for things past. It's staggering how much voice is vested in journalists like you who, like many unthinking politicians, use their privileged positions to sway the unsettled emotions of the people.
When it is your duty and mandate to present information fairly and as objectively as you possibly can, newspaper people like you prefer to be prejudiced and biased. When you can bring about positive change in attitudes and morals among Malaysians, you are in fact exacerbating what we do not like about ourselves, namely our pettiness and backbiting and hitting below the belt. Instead of trying to abate rising political temperatures, you are adding fuel to fire! When you should present reasoned argumentation you are resorting to melodramatic interpretation!
Malaysians, young and old, must be allowed to think for themselves and assess their leaders without instigation and incitement. We know what we see and hear, do not doubt that! Do not patronise us by filling the newspapers we pay for with emotional hype!

Executive Editor Kamrul Idris responded to say that the NST was not going to publish her letter because she was emotional, judging by the number of exclamation marks she used in her mail. He suggested that she, instead, writes to the Times of London (which carries an NST-like editorial against Dr M today):

Dear Datin:
It would be helpful if you were a bit more specific about your substantive objections to Brendan's column, instead of appearing emotional yourself (which I detect from the number of exclamation marks in your e-mail). If we were to publish letters to the editor about how newspapers should be run or what columnists should write about, we would have to be prepared for 25 million different responses. I agree that we have to approach the Mahathir insurrection with cooler heads, so here is the Times' Oct 30 editorial about him:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-2427977,00.html. Perhaps you might care to drop them a note, too.


And P is for plagiarism. Take a minute to read this column by Mitch Albom, the author of the bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie:
"If Sept 11 was the day we never saw coming, Sept 10 was the day we will never see again".

Now, read this one here by the Singapore-trained NST group editor, Brendan Pereira. "If June 7 is the day we never saw coming, June 6 is the day we will never see again."

Some say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I call this plagiarism.

update 11.15am:
Screenshots stayed awake to come up with this critical appreciation of the original and pirated works to let us take a closer at how plagiarism is done.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Report card time. Abdullah Badawi completes three years as Malaysia's Prime Minister this Wednesday, 1 Nov 2006.

Dr M has given the PM an F9, I think. The AP's verdict is not too complimentary, either:

"Abdullah's progress report after three years in office is mixed, and it is likely that some of Mahathir's accusations may stick in public mind. Abdullah, who has cultivated a "Mr. Clean" public image, has not made sterling progress in rooting out corruption or satisfactorily answered Mahathir's allegations about promoting his son and son-in-law. The economy is in doldrums ... When Mahathir became prime minister in 1981, the country was a tropical backwater, reliant on rubber and tin mining. Today, with an annual per capita income of US$4,036, it is on the verge of being classified as a developed country, and has mostly maintained racial harmony since deadly race riots in 1969. But in the last three years, racial divisions in this multi-ethnic nation of 26 million Muslim Malays, Chinese and Indians have deepened ... He pretends he is a saint but Abdullah has been condoning corruption, has not been able to resolve racial and religious polarization, and the economy is not doing well."

Click here to read the entire report. And tell us how you think the PM has fared since he took over [and how he can improve his grades].

Friday, October 27, 2006


Kali and Brendan. Why did Dr Mahathir implicate the two in his latest statement?

A. Because they are former Singapore Straits Times operatives who wrote affidavits for the PAP government?
B. Because one is a Singapore Permanent Resident who is turning the (Malaysian) government's mouthpiece into a joke?
C. Because the other is a published liar and uses the Umno-owned media conglomerate to serve his and his real political masters' interests?
D. Because these are very bad people?

Whatever Dr M's reason, do know this: the word "venom" had never been in Abdullah Badawi's vocabulary. No journalist or politician I spoke to remember the man formerly known as Mr Nice to have used "venom", let alone "doses of venom", for his adversaries.

Certainly, Malaysians did not expect the PM to have thought of using venom to describe one of the fathers of Malaysia.

Incidentally, Brendan has been known to prefer this V word in his commentaries on Umno and Dr M's leadership, even since his days as correspondent of the Singapore government's mouthpiece. Just some samples to get you to Google on:

"When Abdullah does speak ... his words are not likely to be steeped in venom." [8 June 2006]
"No one was spared his venom." [11 Dec 2005]
"Some of the most venomous attacks .. on (KJ)." [11 July 2004]
"He sounds bitter and makes no attempt to disguise his venom." [15 Dec 2000]


Click here for Dr M's two-page statement, "Why did I criticize the Prime Minister?".

He wrote of a current PM who cannot at all be commented upon, criticized or advised ("He is almost a saint who is free from any human weaknesses and wrongs"), of a climate of fear enveloping the nation, and the fact that the questions and issues he raised have not been answered. "What is being questioned is my right to comment and criticize. Attempts are made to disparage me so badly that I am made out to be of unsound mind."

Of the living, the Tun mentioned only two persons by their names in his statement. The two are Kalimullah Hassan and Brendan Pereira, former Singapore Straits Times operatives who now have control of the NST, once the mouthpiece of the (Malaysian) government and Umno.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


No more Mr Nice Guy. According to this Bernama report that has just come in, the PM has lost his cool in the face of Dr Mahathir's criticisms and is now in "attack" mode. And while that's what the people wanted - for Abdullah to speak out and stop hiding behind his wall of silence - did they expect him to take things personally?

"The projects awarded to Dr Mahathir's children were far bigger than what Scomi received," he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house in Penang just now.

Abdullah said it's also not true that his son's company, Scomi Group, had no ship but won a contract from TNB to transport coal. Kamaluddin, he added, "has 180 ships owned by another company which was acquired by Scomi ..(Dr Mahathir's) children also received contracts, only it's not highlighted."


Is RM200 million really pittance, now? Ask Che Khalib Mohd Noh.

I was glad to know he isn't averse to doing a bit of PR interviews to calm nerves over a TNB Coal fiasco (following my reports in this blog), but his choice of words in this one with Bernama is so discomforting. As a stakeholder, I disagree with the TNB President/CEO saying that because TNB's coal investment in Indonesia is worth only RM200 million, it is therefore "not worth cracking and banging our heads against the wall"!

I'm not making this up. Go and read the Bernama interview with the TNB President and CEO here. For my previous postings on the issue, click here, here and here.


Blogger midnite lily has accused the New Straits Times of blogger abuse. She said the tabloid's on-line executives have not paid their bloggers a single sen since the launch of its MoNSTer Blog project.

People at Balai Berita told me that while the bloggers involved are unhappy, they can continue to be unhappy because they can't do anything about it because the bloggers themselves had agreed to be paid by way of revenue-sharing with NST and Jaring.

It's just that the ads have not been coming in to this MoNSTer (yet). But I'm confident it will come, eventually.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


First time. Two decades as a journalist and I had never gone to a Hari Raya open house hosted by Dr M when he was the PM. Today he's no longer PM, he's under siege, and I braved the rain to go to his residence at the Mines Resort City. A young NST journalist said she was surprised to see that Dr M lived in a "small and cute" house. Me, I was surprised to see so many off-duty journalists from the mainstream media, like her, at the do. A journalist with a foreign newspaper, who was not off-duty, made the same observation and was somehow concerned. "There wasn't a single off-duty journalist at Pak Lah's open house!" The Singapore operatives at NST aren't going to be pleased because so many of these journalists were from their stable. Two of Pak Lah's Cabinet ministers came. "Why shouldn't I be here? We don't owe our living to anyone." Brave words, indeed; expect them to be sidelined in the next Cabinet reshuffle. Many people asked if Zam was coming. There were party veterans, tycoons, celebrities, bloggers, diplomats. And, yes, ordinary people. Thousands of ordinary folk. When I got there around 12.30pm, some 3,000 people from all walks of life had come and gone (the open house was 11am to 4pm). Najib the DPM was in Pekan but I exchanged wishes with one of his brothers. His dear mom, the wife of the late PM no 2, was there, too. One seasoned politician went up to Dr M, who had been on his feet since 11am shaking hands with visitors, and expressed his delight that, despite no publicity, thousands were turning up to show their support for the former PM. "This augurs well for the future of this country," the seasoned politician declared in his impeccable English. Nobody expected an "elegant silence" from the Tun, who gleefully responded: "Oh, I believe it's the month of October!"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I'm not surprised that Kalimullah Hassan had to spend the eve of the Eid making sure his machais Brendan Pereira and Hishamuddin Aun work overtime and get the NST to kill any flickering hope of a patch-up between the PM and his ex-boss. [read here for the tabloid's front page editorial masquerading as a news report entitled "Shattered hopes"].

The former Singapore (Straits Times), who cooked up the June 11 article lies, has everything to lose if Abdullah and Dr M make up.

Anyone who reads the "extracts" of the Dr M press conference could see that all is not lost between Dr M and the PM, not as the NST editorialised. My word, Dr M would even consider a second term for Pak Lah if the PM could perform better!

The spin by NST will get from bad to worse. Kalimullah and his two stooges are getting more desperate. They are no longer spinning the news to promote the PM, or to manage perception of Umno members and the public, or to reassure foreign investors.

They spin to save themselves.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Real-lee Kiasu. Not too long ago, he described Johor Baru a city "notorious for shootings, muggings and carjackings". Today, Lee Kuan Yew said Singapore, given a role to play, can make a difference to South Johor!

"After all, we made a difference to Batam, Bintan and Karimun (in Indonesia). Surely we can make a difference to South Johor. But they must want it . It's a win-win situation." [here for Bernama's report]

LKY noted that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did indicate that Singapore will play a role in the South Johor Economic Region. Late last month, however, Umno Johor, angered by another Kiasu Lee's remarks, passed resolutions to restrict Singapore involvement in this massive, long-term project. [Click here for the Umno Johor story; for Abdullah's promise that Singapore will have a role in the SJER, click here].

In a related development, LKY made it clear that he was impressed with the way Abdullah reacted to the recent "compliant Chinese" issue. Kuala Lumpur's reaction suggested that "it was looking ahead to work with Singapore", he said.




... the Scomi Group! At his meeting with Dr M yesterday, the PM denied he favoured his son by giving him lucrative government projects.

Perhaps Abdullah really wasn't aware that starting this month, Scomi Marine Bhd would be transporting coal from Indonesia and Australia under a US$50 million contract awarded by TNB in April, just before the start of the PM's problems with Dr M.

Ironically, when tender was called, Scomi was NOT even one of the seven companies short-listed. [The 7 were Malaysian Bulk Carrier, Wawasan Bulk Services Sdn Bhd, Duta Marine Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Merchant Marine Bhd, PNSL Bhd, Habib Corporation Bhd, and Selayang Shipping Sdn Bhd.]

The PM also probably didn't know that you can actually win a contract without bidding for it! Here's how Scomi Marine, the associate company of Scomi Group, the giant corporation owned by his only son, did it:

12 July 2005 - Tender ads appear in the media. Closing date 12 August.
22 Aug 2005 - Technical committee recommends that 5 of the seven bidders be accepted for further evaluation. Wawasan's proposed price is the lowest. Habib is disqualified.
23 Aug 2005 - Opening the second envelope. Habib is back in the running.
7 Oct 2005 - TNB Fuel Board meets to discuss recommendations made by the Commercial Evaluation Committee to award the project to 4 companies. Habib and another company to be dropped unless they matched Wawasan's proposed price.
4 Jan 2006 - TNB Fuel Board decides to award the project to ALL six companies.
28 Feb 2006 - Letter from MoF [the PM is the Minister of Finance, by the way] approving the awarded party as recommended by the TNB Board
12 April - TNB Fuel issues Letter of Intent to ... Scomi Marine Berhad!
25 April 2006 - TNB Fuel receives "Form 13" dated 27 Sept 2005 on change of company name from Habib Corp Bhd to Scomi Marine Bhd.

The three-year contract took effect Oct 2006.

Additional reading on this subject:
Setting the record straight
PM's not sorry, Utusan is!
Sorry PM

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Dr M was said to have told some people close to him that the meeting was "useful" in as far as it gave him the opportunity to raise the issues directly with Abdullah. The PM did not respond to many of the issues raised, said Dr M.

What does that mean? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Updated 23/10 - Kamaluddin's Blog published the full transcript of Dr M's press conference after the meeting. The transcript is courtesy of The Star.


KJ and his Fourth Floor apparatus from Putrajaya have been busy planning BIG things for the economy, which will include inter-GLC mergers and acquisitions and putting the "right" people at key institutions like the EPF.

One of the plans is to make Kalimullah Hassan, the former Singapore Straits Times operative and now editorial adviser of the NSTP, the Chairman of the Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

If Dr M had his way at today's meeting with KJ's father-in-law, Kalimullah won't get anywhere near enough to smell the leather on Ahmad Sarji's power seat and the RM50 billion in funds that the PNB manages.

If not, everything else is possible, too. Expect them to quickly try, once again, to also have a new governor for Bank Negara.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah strikes back. In an article on 24 August 2006, the NST planted a line about the "fact" that Raja Kamarul Bahrin had taken another wife two weeks - yes, TWO WEEKS! - after his second child, with his then wife Jacquelin, was born.

Now, what would you think of a man who would do such a thing to his wife?

Exactly my sentiments. Those who were familiar with his celebrated custody battle for his two children in Australia and his subsequent daring rescue of the kids, after reading this article, were likely to change the way they look at Raja Bahrin. I mean, only a jerk would do such a thing, right?

But that line NST inserted in the article was a LIE. It is NOT a fact.

Raja Bahrin sent a letter of demand to get NST to print a front-page apology, to disclose the source of the lie, and to pay RM1 million. [I was told that in the letter of demand, Raja Bahrin said the money will be channeled to an institute to run training courses to produce good and ethical journalists].

NST sent two top officials, accompanied by a lawyer, to meet Raja Bahrin. On 20 Sept 2006, the tabloid published an apology.

But it was an apology-that's-not-an-apology. [Remember Lee Kuan Yew's "apology"?]

NST, under the former Singapore Straits Times operatives Kalimullah Hassan-Brendan Pereira regime, has gotten away with such an apology, as in the case of the Prophet Muhammad caricature's case. It has even gotten away, so far, by refusing to apologise for an outright lie in the case of the June 11 article by Kalimullah Hassan on the meeting between PM and Dr M in Tokyo.

Not this time.

Brendan Pereira, the NST group editor, has been named as the defendant in the defamation suit filed by Raja Bahrin about 2.30pm today at the High Court in Kuala Terengganu. Hishamuddin Aun, the GEIC for NSTP, has been named as co-defendant.

Raja Bahrin is seeking RM1 million in general damages as well as aggravated and exemplary damages to be determined by the court.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


STAR PUBLICATIONS, which produces the best-selling English-language daily The Star, is in the top five of Wall Street Journal Asia's survey of the most admired companies this year.

Maxis Communications leads the pack, followed by Public Bank, DiGi.Com, YTL, Star, Genting, Resorts World, IOI World, UMW Holdings and Southern Bank.

Over 3,000 executives and professionals in 12 Asian countries took part in the survey. They were asked to rate companies based on their reputation, long-term vision, innovation, quality, and financial soundness.


The PM, I was told, prefers to meet his ex-boss privately. Dr M, on the other hand, wants at least one person to witness this "peace talk".

You see, they differ on the smallest of details. Makes you wonder if the meeting will achieve anything. Or if there is going to be one at all.

But if it takes place, it's not going to be a quickie. Dr M had told an aide a short meeting won't do; he'll need at least two hours before he's through with Abdullah.

update 19 Oct
No Mediator, No Conditions.
The PM told reporters yesterday he was prepared to meet Dr M but will not agree to a witness or mediator.
Read this story.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah has been cleaning up after his predecessor. The result? An influx of big-spending foreign companies." Or so wrote ASSIF SHAMEEM in his article "Foreign capital inflows surge under Abdullah" in the New Sunday Times on 27 Aug 2006. (note: please click on comment below to read the article)

It was what some people liked us to believe.

But according to this report today by theedgedaily.com, Malaysia has slipped four notches to rank only sixth out of the 10 Southeast Asian countries in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) last year from second in 2004.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's World Investment Report 2006 showed that Malaysia’s FDI inflow shrunk by 14.21 per cent only US$3.97 billion (RM14.63 billion) last year from US$4.62 billion (RM17.02 billion) in 2004.

For the first time, our FDI fell behind even Indonesia.


Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah came closer than any man to unseating Dr M as Umno president and the PM. But that was nearly two decades ago and he has been out and in of Umno since the 1987 election and is generally considered a legend or, in other words, a spent force.

In the Bloomberg interview last night Dr M said Ku Li has still got it in him to succeed Abdullah as PM.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Dr M's much-anticipated interview is running tonight at 8pm and 11.30pm on the Bloomberg Channel.

Bernama has not placed any promo article on Dr M's interview (it did for Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's interview with CNN) but you can read it here on Bloomberg.

In his interview, Abdullah said he was not rolling back everything that Dr M had put in place. "... Vision 2020, (Dr M's) biggest achievement, that's my target too. That we share, I share the vision. I have developed what I call a national mission. The mission is very big in order to achieve that vision".

Tonight, when asked if he's optimistic of meeting Vision 2020's objective, Dr M will say, "...right now, I am not.''


The merger of ECM-Libra and Avenue Capital. The PAC probe continues...

Shahrir Samad says his Public Audit Committee has asked the PM, who is also Finance Minister, to send the 2nd Finance Minister, Nor Mohamed Yakcop, to avail himself for a PAC hearing on the controversial merger involving a small company co-founded by the minister's good friend, Kalimullah Hassan.

According to this report by Utusan Malaysia, the PAC wants to grill the "Top Cat" on two issues: how the government (the MoF) reached the decision to invest in Avenue Capital and how it ran its operations.

Read this posting made back in July for a backgrounder on the merger, the controversy and PAC investigation.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Pasquale remembers that it used to be Jalan Tun Dr Ismail, in memory of the country's charismatic second Deputy Prime Minister. Somehow, someone has dropped the "Dr" on the road sign and it's now become known as Jalan Tun Ismail!

Now that I have the avenue to vent out my anger and frustration I have one for you!
Did you know that Jalan Tun Dr Ismail behind the Mall near PWTC has now been changed to Jalan Tun Ismail for many years now! This is not right, now everyone will think that the road is named after Tun Mahathir's brother-in-law who was the governor of Bank Negara at one time. I know the road since I was in primary school at Princess Road School, Batu Road School and when I attended Maxwell School, the road is known as Jalan Tun Dr Ismail! Can someone put the "Dr" back on to the road SVP! This happened under Tun Mahathir regime and it must be corrected, just to be on the record!
Happy Deepavali! -Pasquale

Thanks, Pasquale. We'll follow up with City Hall tomorrow, if the papers haven't beaten us to it!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


A poster alerted me to this rather unusual readers' poll by The Evening Standard.


''And I have, and I still ...'' In an interview with CNN, I-am-still-the-Prime-Minister dismissed talk that he was committing ''political suicide'' by opting to remain silent in the face of criticisms by Dr M.

"No, no, no, I don't think it's a political suicide. He has been saying a lot of things, I've decided to keep quiet and to go on doing what I want to do. And the people want me to do what I want to do.

''And I have and I still command majority support today."
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Bernama has sent out the first take of the interview so do look out for the rest of the story.

p.s. This is not the first time the PM has dropped names, using ''the people'' as an excuse for doing things. I suppose he has the right to do so as he is, after all, the Prime Minister who has and still commands majority support today.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


AMLG thinks naming a chamber, on the 23rd floor of the Umno headquarters PWTC, after the late wife of the Prime Minister will only add to the resentment towards Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Check out what they are saying at Cuit Sikit!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Mirzan Mahathir. It must be good upbringing that teaches Mirzan, the ASLI president, to apologise for an obvious error without being asked to [for the controversial findings of an ASLI survey that riled many, including his own dad, Dr Mahathir].

Which is more than what you can say about Kalimullah Hassan and Khairy Jamaluddin, who refused to apologise for their mistakes even when those who were grievously hurt by those mistakes demanded for an apology.

In Kalimullah's case, his June 11 article was not even an error but a deliberate spin that soured ties between the PM and his predecessor. Yet, he has not apologised for the passages of untruth he wrote in that article. Instead, he misled readers again and again; including the time he wrote that he was going to stop writing for the Sunday Column in the New Sunday Times!

In KJ's case, the racial remarks he made could have led to ugly consequences. He was lucky that cool heads and common sense prevailed. If he had apologised, Lee Kuan Yew wouldn't have been able to use it against his father-in-law, the Prime Minister, which he did to great effect.

If Abdullah could forgive LKY, it'll be a sin if we won't forgive Mirzan for what the economists at ASLI did (or didn't do).

After all, didn't someone write in that Sunday column that Ramadhan is the season of forgiveness; seek and ye shall find? Now, let's see if he practises what he preaches!


The Star has the story here: it is OK for Muslims to wish others Happy Deepavali, as we've done every year in the spirit of Malaysia muhibbah.

[please click here to leave new comments or read earlier ones]


No bailout! The Tenaga Nasional Board's board of directors met last week and, unexpectedly, shot down its CEO/President's proposals to clean up a TNB Coal mess, which included a multi-million dollar pay-off for one Pak Robert, sources said.

This blog had reported on Sept 21 ["Tenaga Okays Bailout"] that the board, at its meeting on Sept 19, agreed to a US$100-million bailout package that would include buying Pak Robert's 1 per cent interest in the venture for a phenomenal US$34 million.
[see earlier postings: "TNB's Indonesian Tsunami" July 31 and "RM350 million, man" Aug 4]

A special board meeting was then convened on Oct 2, during which the directors U-turned some of the decisions reportedly made at the September meeting. At the end of this latest meeting, the sources said CK was told to initiate discussions with the various parties involved in the coal fiasco, including Singapore-based Noble Energy Inc and Pak Robert.

The mandate is: "Cut Losses, Buy More Time". CK will then report to the board for a final decision to be made.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Confirmed. An official of the Syariah Department at Takaful Malaysia has confirmed issuing an e-mail discouraging the Muslim staff of the public-listed company from wishing its customers "Happy Deepavali" as it was against the syariat. Attempts to get the CEO of Takaful to comment on the mail, however, were unsuccessful.

Walsk69 broke the story after receiving a copy of the mail on Friday and alerted this blogger. Neither of us mentioned the company's name then for fear that the e-mail had not come from Takaful.

[note: this is an update. pls leave comments, if any, under original posting No More Happy Deepavali?]

Sunday, October 08, 2006


WHAT THE PAK? What is it with the ex-convict the newspapers affectionately call Pak Rashid (real name Salleh Talib)? Is it because he's a "Pak", just like Pak Lah, the US$34 million Pak Robert, and Pak Non?

The NST got his picture on the front page again, kissing the hand of the Perak Raja Muda as the Menteri Besar faithfully stands in ceremony. Utusan Malaysia has the story, too, with a picture of him receiving some royal gift. It's Berita Harian's top story for the day, too.

The story is there staring at our faces: crime does not pay. But some of our editors seem to be telling us that 30 years behind bars, for armed robbery, can get you p(a)laces, several days' worth of front pages in the mainstream media, and a possibly lucrative shoe contract!


When elected leaders won't stick out their necks to protect the dignity of the people who elected them, there's only one way to defend your pride and your nation, and that is to take matters in your own hands. The Scribe suggests that we launch verbal missiles against LKY, since our PM and his ministers don't seem to have the ammo to deal with the Singapore MM.

Drop by Kadir Jasin's blog here for the Kiasu's address.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


An e-mail said to have originated from the office of the CEO of an Islamic insurance giant has advised Muslims against wishing their Hindu friends Happy Deepavali. It's un-Islamic, it seems. The same e-mail also advised Muslims who have ever uttered Happy Deepavali in the past to quickly repent.

Please check out WALSKI69, who's been disturbed since the mail was forwarded to him, to know more.

In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to wish all my Hindu friends and all Malaysians a Happy Deepavali!

Friday, October 06, 2006


NOOOOOOO! [NST's front page Sept 5 "Abdullah sees no reason to seek fresh mandate"]

"Why should I...You give me the reason why I should do so. Why should I seek a bigger mandate? The mandate that I have is a very safe mandate and I still have a lot of time to deliver what I promised to the people." - Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Would you like to give the PM the reason why he should do so?


Answer: When SCOMI makes 630 million ringgit locally!

The company controlled by the PM's son, which the PM said was forced to seek its fortune abroad because of the fact that it is controlled by the PM's son, has gotten the green light from (Malaysia's) Securities Commission to issue RM630 million ringgit worth of hadhari notes.

Scomi needs to refinance its borrowings, the news article. The Bernama's article HERE does not say if the Murabahah notes would be for local market consumption but, since only the SC and no foreign regulator is involved, that would be the logical assumption.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Love Airways. It's not a plane, it's Singapore's first Adult Magazine.
Not exactly Playboy, if Jackson Sawatan is to be believed, but our neighbour has shown it has the scrotal gumption to say yes to a bit of nude photography.
The monthly's first issue hits the newstands on Oct 22, just before the Eid that marks the end of Ramadhan, and will feature Miss Singapore Universe 2005 and Singapore Idol finalist Maia Lee, among others.


Growing Support. Mukhriz Mahathir said support for his father has been growing since the ex-PM was robbed of a place at next month's Umno general assembly by money politics allegedly sponsored by the party. Efforts to frustrate Dr M is not just failing but backfiring, Bernama reported him as saying when asked about five branch leaders from Kubang Pasu division who last Friday lodged a complaint with the Umno Disciplinary Board of bribes and other wrongdoings during the Sept 9 divisional election.

p.s. Not sure if the support meant also included blogger the Malay Male who made a rare left into political posting with his rather unusual 20 reasons why Dr M is the Real Malaysian Hero tribute to the man.

Btw, did you realise LKY made more than a dozen references to Dr Mahathir in his "sorry" letter + annex to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Missing editorials, analyses, commentaries. When it comes to Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore, editors of the mainstream media seem to be more Hishammuddin than Syed Hamid.

The little tidbits they served you today include:

1/ a letter to the editor of the Utusan Malaysia from Rejal Arbee, who was recently sacked as columnist in Berita Harian for his alleged anti-Singapore articles ["Kenapa Kuan Yew edarkan suratnya kepada media?"]
2/ a terse, but secondary and therefore brief, article by Zainul Ariffin, the ex-Business Times editor who in 2004 became the first of many long-serving editors to be marginalised under the Abdullah-backed KaliMullah regime of former Singapore Straits Times (and other foreign) operatives ["A matter of diplomacy-speak"]
3/ a hazy piece by Jackson Sawatan, the Bernama correspondent in Singapore ["The Gumption to say No"]

TheSun, known for some super-strong editorials in the past, ran a jelly-soft editorial on the issue ["Neighbours must always stay friendly"]. It should have stuck to Mahathir-bashing or find a first-year Journalism student from UiTM to write leaders for them.

Where did all the big-hitting ex-Singapore operatives and their machais go?

[Note: for the sake of continuity, please leave comments under original posting "Kiasu Politics 101 for Pak Lah"]


LKY ain't sorry, Syed Hamid agrees [here]. But there's nothing the Foreign Minister can do about it as "... we have done what could do". He also said this is because the PM has given a statement that represents the position of the government. Read what the PM say earlier here.

Note: For the purpose of continuity, please post comment, if any, under the original posting "Kiasu Politics 101 For Pak Lah".

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Writing to the gallery. Isn't it almost a pleasure to see LKY in action? (If I were a Singaporean operative, or an ex like Kalimullah or Brendan, I'd sure be proud of my Minister Mentor). Why, you thought he said sorry? Read his letter again (HERE).

FIRSTLY, he made the cursory apology for the remarks made.

THEN, he made references to the bridge, to Dr Mahathir's desire to built the scenic bridge, and praised Abdullah for cancelling it. (LKY must have wanted to address the bridge issue but did not have a channel to do so previously. Pak Lah's letter gave him that window of opportunity to gloat about Singapore's success in stopping Malaysia from building that bridge).

THIRDLY, he implicates Abdullah's beloved son-in-law for his anti-Chinese remarks recently. See Annex. (And here we sense that LKY knows this will weaken Abdullah's position, just in case our PM decides not to accept his apology. Not that it matters to him whether or not Malaysia forgives him).

And, FINALLY, he makes the letter public! He says since it's public knowledge that Abdullah has written to him, he had to go public with the letter. (Abdullah did not make his letter to LKY public, so why should LKY make his public?).

Beacause LKY wasn't writing a response to the Malaysian PM; he was writing to the gallery. And he's scored a lot of points there.


RTM2 recently conducted a street poll for its What Say You forum (in Mandarin) and discovered that 53 per cent of the respondents said they believe in the net media more than the mainstream media.

Only 36 per cent would swear by the present mainstream media's credibility!

I'm not sure the poll involved only Mandarin-speaking respondents but coming from a government-controlled media, it's an eye-opener.

The forum, entitled Mainstream vs. Online Media: The Question of Credibility and Responsibility, featured veteran and gentleman blogger Jeff Ooi. Read the Screenshots' take here.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Who wants to know? The SC, which is investigating a US hedge fund's involvement in 4 public listed companies here, wants to know more about Vintage Wine in the Newsroom posted on this blog on Sept 25.

They were in touch last week with this blogger. The SC wanted to know which articles I was referring to in the posting.

But I could not help asking if the SC was not interested in the US$34 million payout by utilities giant TNB to a certain Pak Robert. That kind of money can buy a ship-load of the best Chilean! But kudos to TNB for they, too, were proactive enough to get an official to contact this blogger regarding the Sept 21 posting.

My point: Not everyone dismisses bloggers. Umno would do well to take a cue from the SC and Tenaga Nasional on blog relations.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


"Tis the season of forgiveness and friendship, Lee. Seek and ye shall find." - Kalimullah Hassan, today's Sunday Times (Sunday Column: Growing Legion of the Unfooled).

He seems anxious to forgive Lee! But you have to have the stamina to reach para 26 (yes, 26!) of this piece by the former Singapore Straits Times journalist before you come to the first reference to LKY.

In contrast, guest writer Paddy Bowie, in her 26-para piece ("Sorry Minister Mentor, but you got it wrong"), took on "kiasu" Lee from start to finish.

Kalimullah seems more concerned with convincing the reader that what Pak Lah did, vis-a-vis what the previous admin used to do, was the write thing:

"Only, this time, Malaysia reacted in proper and civil fashion — seeking an explanation from Lee on what certainly was an ill-thought, inconsiderate and provocative statement. Had Malaysia reacted in any other way, it would have only lent credence to Lee’s assertions of a "bullying big brother". "

P.S. Didn't Kalimullah say he was going to stop writing The Sunday Column (soon after the "errors" in his June 11 piece was exposed)? This week's piece is the third in a row so it does look like we've been had, again!

And, by the way, he has not apologised
for the June 11 column. Well,
"tis the season of forgiveness, Kali. Seek and ye shall find".


Torture Bill. There had been no word since Abdullah Ahmad Badawi "forgot" to raise the issue of the two Malaysians at Guantanamo during his engaging meeting with President Bush.

And then on Thursday the US Congress pushed through a Bill that will let Bush keep the two Malaysians - and everyone else - detained at Guantanamo Bay for as long as he wishes and also resorts to the harshest means - including torture - to get them to confess to their crimes and terror links.

An analysis carried by Al-Jazeerah accuses the US of resorting to methods usually applied in "police states".

For the record, Abdullah had said after his 55-minute meeting with Bush on Sept 19 he hadn't managed to raise the issue of the two Malaysians with the President "given their intense discussion on efforts to achieve peace and understanding in this world".