Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Since Brendan Pereira, the former Straits Times journalist who is now Group Editor of the NST, won't publish his letter in response to the commentary he wrote earlier this week, Sufi Yusoff has turned to this blog and several other blogs to get the content of the letter across to Malaysians:-

Dear Sir, While the right to publish remains yours, it is my sincere hope that it would be published as soon as possible i.e. in tomorrow's edition.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at the given mobile number should you need any clarification.

Kind regards,

Sufi Yusoff


The Editor
The New Straits Times Sdn Bhd
Balai Berita,
31, Jalan Riong,
59100 Kuala Lumpur

June 26, 2006

Dear Sir,

Re: Turning to what works best in dire situations

I refer to the above article by Brendan Pereira (NST, Monday June 26, 2006, Pg 10).

Mr Pereira has again chosen to pass comments on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad based on an event in which the New Straits Times did not report on, although a reporter was assigned to it.

This seems to be a new approach by NST and Mr Pereira. The first, neither an NST reporter nor Mr Pereira were present at Dr Mahathir’s press conference at the Perdana Leadership Foundation on June 7, 2006, yet the NST chose to publish a front page report of the event on its June 8, 2006, publication carrying Mr Pereira’s byline.

In that report, Mr Pereira’s introduction was filled with commentaries and was quite descriptive in Dr Mahathir’s so-called outburst, dramatising the whole press conference.

It is truly a surprise as Mr Pereira was not present and even if he had interviewed other reporters who were present, he would have at least had the journalistic ethics to attribute those findings.

Likewise in today’s report, I would suggest Mr Pereira, who was not present at the event to justify remarks like; “He stuck to a formula that he has used with mixed results during his political career – tossing half-truths and known facts into a mix and allowing the combination to emit its own stench”.

The NST as a mainstream newspaper had not reported on the event. It had therefore denied its readers an opportunity to independently assess the situation. How is it then that the group editor sees it fit to disparage the former Prime Minister by attacking him in a column based on an event that the NST did not even publish?

I am not in the habit of telling how Mr Pereira should write his commentary, but I do believe that if readers are not first given a fair chance to assess a fairly reported piece of news, then passing comments may just make it seem as if Mr Pereira is tossing half-truths and allowing it to emit its stench.

Sufi Yusoff

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


1.45am news update

Aah, they will print A. Kadir Jasin's letter after all!

But, predictably, an Editor's note will be added at the end of A. Kadir Jasin's letter stating something to the effect that "We stand by HIS article ..."

No, I don't need little birds to tell me. I've been in the business so long that some things and some people have become so predictable.

By the way, I agree wholeheartedly with Mustang. Kalimullah should not have kept mum at the AGM and let AKJ tear Hishamuddin to pieces. The song Coward of the County is playing in my head.

If they print Sufi Yusoff's letter as well, they'll be outdoing themselves. But watch for the same one-liner at the end of the letter...

6.30pm news update

Question on everyone's mind is, will Hishamuddin be allowed to publish A. Kadir Jasin's letter?

He gave his word in front of the NSTP directors and shareholders, so I suppose he will have to. But we'll really have to wait and see. After all, Kalimullah said in his column on Sunday he would NOT be writing regularly ...

I am also waiting to see if another Letter To The Editor, sent yesterday by Sufi Yusoff on behalf of former Prime Minister Dr M, will see the light of day at all.

The letter referred to an article entitled "Turning to what works best in dire situations" published in the NST yesterday and carrying the byline Brendan Pereira, the ex-Straits Times journalist who is now NST's group editor.

The commentary by the ex-ST journalist accused Dr M of, among other things, "tossing half-truths and known facts into a mix and allowing the combination to emit its own stench".

Dr M had allegedly done these at a dialogue organised by Malaysia Today on Saturday where he continued to nag at his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The NST did not publish any story on the dialogue. It also did not send any reporter to cover the event, according to the dialogue organisers. Brendan Pereira most definitely was not at the dialogue.

At the AGM earlier today, A. Kadir Jasin gave Hishamuddin a refresher's on how to differentiate a news story from a commentary and an editorial.

The longest NST annual general meeting, which lasted more than 2 and a half hours, was also the hottest.

Former NSTP group editor-in-chief A. Kadir Jasin practically fried current GEIC Hishamuddin Aun in front of another former GEIC, Kalimullah Hassan, who had wisely switched to silent mode.

A fiery Kadir had demanded that Hishamuddin (who was sat on the front row of the auditorium and is not a board member) publish a Letter To The Editor he is going to send in response to Kalimullah's "personal attacks" against him in a two-page column today. (for perspective, see latest comments left by Bandit in response to my last posting "WHO'S NEXT?")

The first time Kadir asked him, Hisham was seen looking at Kalimullah, who sat not a metre away with the other directors facing the shareholders, for silent guidance.

The second time Kadir demanded an answer from him, Hisham turned around in his seat and said, "I will have to read the letter first".

Kadir reminded Hisham that he cannot "read the letter first". "It is my right of reply. Your newspaper has made accusations against me and since the Chairman does not wish that I raise this matter here at the AGM, then you must give me a right to reply to what your paper has written about me."

"So are you going to publish my letter or not?!"

All eyes on Hishamudin. He said, "On this issue, yes."

So, bros and siss, watch out for what Kadir Jasin has to say. I asked him after the AGM when he's going to write the letter. Maybe today, he said.

If the NST's circulation goes up tomorrow, you'll know why.

P.S. In journalism, you say sorry for erroneous reporting.
Some postings ago, I wrote about talk that Kalimullah might become chairman to replace the retiring Retired General. I was wrong. I am sorry. But I am not sorry. You know what I mean.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


No, I don't mean who's next to go after Kalimullah Hassan shed his last tears in his last column in the New Sunday Times today.

What I mean is: Who will be writing The Sunday Column after the NSTP's former group editor-in-chief and current deputy chairman & editorial adviser sang his last song in the weekly column? (Oh dear, Lazarus Rokk, he played your favourite karaoke number Coward of the Country this time!).

Will the next author of the Sunday Column be Hishamuddin Aun, the current GEIC?

By a simple process of elimination, it has to be Hishamuddin.

1/ It can't be Brendan because too much soup will spoil the cook.
2/ Not Zainul because NST's freezer or Siberia still has not taught him what toeing the line means.
3/ Certainly won't be Manja, the BH group editor, because he is a professional, and
4/Not Syed Nadzri because the last time Kalimullah said goodbye, the NST deputy GE took over the column and brought it to life, tackling real issues so effortlessly with his laid-back style, and then his ex-boss came back so soon after the first farewell to take the column away from Syed Nadzri and tried to kill us softly with his songs.

So, bros and siss, it has got to be Hishamuddin.

If so, what an opportunity for Hishamuddin to prove people wrong about his English and ability to deal with issues. Some visitors to this blog have even criticised his Malay!

Personally, I don't give a damn right now. I am just so thankful for a glorious Sunday. After so many Sundays of wet gloom and a sense of doom, we had blue skies and a gorgeous sun the entire day! Made you want to sing.

Nonetheless, thank you Kaliyuga for alerting me to the state of the Last Sunday Column. You are right, though; can't take his words at face value.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


"...Joceline, you're not KALI, BRENDAN or HISHAM. you are BETTER than all the 3 combined. please tell the truth!" - Old Dog

You can tell that visitor Old Dog was not quite happy after reading Joceline Tan's latest piece in The Star. I attach the offending piece at the end of Old Dog's wisdom:

Old Dog: bru, did you read joceline tan's star piece? poor girl, she's tormented. let her be. just want to say this. she is right. you get angry with pak lah. you meet him and he leads you up the garden path. he reads a few doa and your anger's gone. that the msg of her story. but this is not about anger. it is also not about love. it's about leadership and welfare of the people. pak lah is nice. but a nice man raising oil prices, electricity tariffs and assessment rates is not being nice to the people. nice pak lah who appointed nasty people to "aniaya" and victimize people cannot be very nice. what are we talking about here? Mr Prime Minister or Mr Nice? Mahathir can be very nasty. but he was a great PM. good if we have a nice PM. But nice PM that causes us hardship is not nice at all. So joceline, please don't get emotional! you're not kali, brendan or hisham. you are better than all the 3 combined. please tell the truth!

Columnists > Joceline Tan Sunday June 18, 2006
Funny, familiar, forgotten feelings
A troubled horizon looms ahead for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad even as the government prepares to answer in full his queries on issues that have made him such an angry man of late, writes JOCELINE TAN.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived in grand style, stepping out of a gleaming black Mercedes onto the red carpet at a hotel in Petaling Jaya.
He was the VIP guest at a Universiti Utara Malaysia dialogue and as the former Premier shook hands with the long line of undergraduates, he caught sight of reporters who had turned up for the event.
The press was hot on his heels again but he merely raised an eyebrow and continued his way down the red carpet, looking rather suave in his dark suit worn over an open-necked maroon shirt.
He smiled ever so charmingly all the way into the hall, with former First Lady Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali by his side.
And as he sat on stage with one leg elegantly crossed over the other, he seemed oblivious to the political storm he had whipped up the past week.
So much has happened that it is hard to believe that it has been little more than a week since Dr Mahathir blasted his way into the headlines with what many thought was a below the belt remark that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had not been his first choice of successor.
Said an Umno Youth politician: “It was as though Mount Merapi had erupted on this side of the strait.”
For many politicians, it has been one of those long weeks in politics.
“Actually, it has been a very troubling week. It's not been good for anyone,” said a political aide to a minister.
Things have toned down a little since the Prime Minister said that the government would answer all the queries raised by Dr Mahathir.
The administration is now busy preparing the explanation to four key questions: the cancellation of the second bridge in Johor, the issuance of APs (particularly to two individuals who do not sell cars), the sale of MV Agusta Motors and the non-renewal of the contract of Proton Holdings CEO Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff.
Abdullah revealed this to Umno MPs and senators at a closed-door meeting in Putrajaya earlier this week.
The answers will be thorough and detailed and certain documents may even be declassified. All this will take some time to prepare but when ready, they will be made public rather than directly to Dr Mahathir.
(On Friday, Proton set the ball rolling by responding direct to Dr Mahathir on the last two issues from the company's perspective.)
The Prime Minister's meeting with the Umno members of the two houses of Parliament went remarkably well.
Abdullah’s earthy, non-showy style has always worked well at this sort of smaller meetings.
Datuk Alwi Che Ahmad, the Ketereh MP from Kelantan, had gone in feeling rather combative, telling his colleagues with typical Kelantan-style gungho that he was going to ask the Prime Minister some difficult questions.
But he said Abdullah spoke with such sincerity that he was swayed.
“I felt he really spoke from his heart ... no sign of anger or frustration, there was so much patience, like a good Muslim. By the time he finished, my heart felt so soft. I believe he really wants the government to explain the issues,” said Alwi.
Abdullah did not stoke the fires nor did he use the occasion to lobby his MPs and senators for support.
In fact, he told them that he did not even know what his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was going to say until he read it in the papers although Najib had telephoned from India to tell him that he was making a statement.
“I did not ask him what he would say but told him, thank you very much,” he told his audience.
He also told them that as long as his deputy was with him, “it's going to be fine.”
“I'm not going to pretend that I am not Pak Lah's man. I like his style. At meetings he listens and allows people to talk. So I'm not surprised he has decided to be open by allowing these questions to be answered,” said Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
But the question being asked now is whether the government revelations will satisfy Dr Mahathir.
“Tun is a clinical, methodological and thorough man. The answers must satisfy him even if they are directed at the rakyat and even if it will implicate his administration, so be it,” said the above political aide.
In fact, many wonder whether the revelations may also damage Dr Mahathir and those around him.
Every administration has its skeletons, and the Mahathir administration because of its 22-year duration probably has more than its share of scandalous bones.
Will people fall on their own swords? And will the revelations, as they say, open up a can of worms?
“I’m quite sure the answers will hurt a number of people because I heard that nothing will be held back,” said an Umno Senator.
Dr Mahathir has a lot to worry about if Putrajaya goes by the book.
The levers of power are now being pulled by the incumbent even if what Dr Mahathir is saying finds credence among people whether inside or outside Umno,
According to an analyst, people are pleased to see these issues being debated and argued. They see it as part of the process towards a more open way of doing things in the government.
“Dr Mahathir thinks he is protecting his legacy. But on closer scrutiny, many aspects of his legacy are double-edged and he may be the one most damaged. My gut feeling is that Dr Mahathir may come off far less statesmanlike. That’s the problem of throwing yourself back into the fray again,” said the analyst.
Others think the spillover may also affect those in the portfolios handling the issues concerned.
“I’m sure there are people having mental cold sweats,” said the analyst.
As it is, bits and pieces of the previous administration’s record on the judiciary have been played out in the mainstream media.
The retrial of Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja is yet another point of worry. The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial of Sukma over charges of sodomy with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Sukma, the adopted brother of Anwar, was recharged in the Sessions Court on Thursday.
He has grown older, his boyish sweetness, or what the Malays call “jambu”, has given way to more manly good looks and it is possible that he dreads the retrial as much as some Malaysians, even if it may clear his name.
The first trial cleaved national politics and shook up Umno. Will the new trial dredge up all those funny, familiar, forgotten feelings?
Some of Dr Mahathir's most damaging allegations against his former deputy are bound to be called into question again.
There is now a lull before yet another storm, but Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Samad insisted there is no crisis.
“These are interesting times but there is no crisis. The fear of a crisis developing is there because crises were a trademark of Dr Mahathir but this time, there has been no breakdown in authority or splits in the party,” said Shahrir, noted for his record of standing up to Dr Mahathir even at the height of the latter’s power.
Despite all the conspiracies flying about, what Dr Mahathir is doing is not about grabbing power or making a comeback.
But he is used to having his way and he is smoking like an active volcano over what he sees as a reversal of the policies of his time.
But problems loom in the horizon for the former Premier.
The trouble is that Dr Mahathir’s world was also for a long time the world of many who are still part of the present administration.
Can his world collapse without damaging some of them as well?

Friday, June 23, 2006


So, why did the Malaysian Government allow the USS Ronald Reagan, the world's largest aircraft carrier, to dock at Port Klang early this month?

Professor Francis A. Boyle said this should not have been allowed. The NST had this paragraph quoting Boyle at the end of a short piece from yesterday's Global Perdana Peace Forum in Kuala Lumpur:

Later at a Press conference, Professor Boyle said the stopover by the world's largest aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, which docked at Westport, Klang, early this month should not have been allowed. "That ship was on its way to the Gulf to participate in outright aggression of war crimes either against Iraq or Iran or both."

The question was: So what is your view of the Malaysian government allowing the killer carrier to use Klang for the stopover?

(For the record, the STAR asked that question during the Press conference to Dr Mahathir. Boyle answered, instead when it became obvious that Dr M was reluctant to respond. An aide speculated that it may have been that Dr M did not want his response to be construed as another "scathing attack" on the Abdullah Administration. The Star, mysteriously, omitted Boyle's remarks or any reference to the killer carrier having even been in Klang).

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Bandit has left an open letter entitled for Dr Mahathir in response to my recent posting (Good Judge, Poor Judge). A teaser glimpse, especially for you Kaliyuga. Peace. Make Love Not War.

Dear Dr M,

"Oh, the slyness. As promised, Kali resigned as NSTP GEIC, only to surreptitiously and suddenly assume the deputy chairmanship. Nobody saw that coming. And a little later, a hastily conceived Editorial Adviser's title, thus extending his power to not just controlling the NSTP but also his influence over friendly rivals in the Malaysian media. Very soon, Kali may well become the NSTP chairman if Rocky's earlier speculation hatches into a disturbing reality. With that kind of comprehensive control in Kali's hands, I'm afraid that you are virtually on your own ..."


Quotes from the Perdana Global Peace Forum in Kuala Lumpur:(

Killer Vessel at Port Klang War preparations against Iran are already under way. USS Ronald Reagan, the largest and most advanced aicraft carrier in the world, recently docked in Westport, Klang, en-route to the Persian Gulf to join two other aircraft carrier groups - the largest US Battle Group deployed in recent times.

From mosques to morgues Today in Iraq there are daily queues of women and children in front of mosques and morgues to identify mutilated bodies; to recover the bodies of their husbands, brothers or sons who had most likely been killed. Often they would find decomposing corpses which were unrecognisable. Over 6,000 corpses were found in the past five months: 1,068 in January, 1,110 in February, 1,294 in March, 1,155 in April and 1,375 in May. Most of these corpses had gunshot wounds, while others had marks of burns, electrocution and holes made by electric drills, conclusive evidence of torture. Each time I come across such reports and pictures it tears my heart out. It may be that Iraqis are killing Iraqis but it is the invasion and war by the Americans and the British which unleashed their savagery. But let us remember that often it is the work of British and American soldiers.

For nothing Americans and Brits are also victims of war. At the last count 2,500 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Thousands more have been injured, many "seriously". The survivors will live with their physical and mental disabilities for life. What have their sacrifices been for? For nothing. So many lives wasted, so many disabled only to earn the hatred of millions. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan nor Iran will belong to America or Britain. Because of Bush and Blair, American and British life will always be in danger, insecure. The sacrifices are for nothing. The longer it lasts the more lives will be wasted for nothing. Bush and Blair will run no risk. They will be guarded by thousands of security personnel. It is the ordinary man who will pay the price of this folly. We sympathise with Cindy Sheehan and the American and British mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who will lose their loved ones for nothing.

War Criminal Bush, War Criminal Blair Bush and Blair and any leader, present or future, who wage wars must not and should not be addressed by any honorific. We should simply call them "War Criminal Bush", "War Criminal Blair" as casually as they would label the targets of their wars of aggression.

all quotes are taken, with permission, from the speech by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
at the Public Forum, Perdana Global Peace Forum Special Session
at Dewan Tun Ismail, PWTC, Kuala Lumpur
22 June 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Nearly 15 years ago, Malaysia launched a courageous diplomatic effort that woke the world up to the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and, ultimately, helped stop the war.

I was there, reporting on behalf of the Business Times, the day Wisma Putra told the former Yugoslavia's ambassador to pack his bags and leave Malaysia. At the Jakarta Non-Blok (Non-Aligned Movement) conference in 1992, which I covered with KP Waran from NST and Wong Chun Wai from The Star, Dr Mahathir told the US to stop playing God and then he got NAM to sack former Yugoslavia for good measure.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was then the Foreign Minister.

At the Perdana Global Peace Forum today Prof Francis A. Boyle recalled those years and paid tribute to Malaysia and Dr Mahathir for our role in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

And he asked us to do it again. "You helped the Bosnians. You can help the Iranians."

(Boyle serves as counsel for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Yugoslavia (Serbia and Mentenegro)) currently pending before the International Court of Justice.)

He spoke at the Perdana Global Peace Forum in Putrajaya today, which was attended by foreign dignitaries, Malaysian NGOs, peace activists, journalists, and a small group of invited bloggers (including the two whose blogs have been banned by the NSTP).

Another panelist Dennis Halliday, who was the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, said NAM must not underestimate its power within the UN. It can put pressure on the world body to act on America's threat to invade Iran.

Hans-Christof von Sponeck, the man responsinble for directing all UN operations in Iraq, managing the distribution of goods under the Oil for Food programme and verifying Iraqi compliance with that programme Msia spoke out at UN, was also a panelist. (He resigned in Feb 2000 in protest of the international policy toward Iraq, including sanctions).

He also spoke of Malaysia's role at the UN "during those days".

"Malaysia was not a permanent member of the Security Council but it had the courage to speak out against the Big Five. It never ceased to inspire us," he told the forum.

Dr Helen Caldicott, a scientist/physician from Down Under, painted a most horrifying scenario in the event that America decides to drop its depleted-uranium nuclear bombs on Iran's nuclear power facilities (Iran does not have nuclear weapons, it has nuclear energy plants, she said).

Within 48 hours, she said, 2.5 million people will die and 10.5 million more will be exposed to radiation. We in Malaysia will also get some of that radiation.

Dr Mahathir, who chaired the forum, which was attended by more than 300 people (the Perdana Leadership Foundation invited only 150, including 20 bloggers) had no nice words to say about the perpetrators of the invasion of Iraq and the impending invasion of Iran.

I will not repeat his comments on Bush or Blair, or the OIC, here but I can tell you one thing - his "scathing attacks" aimed at the Abdullah adminstration, which riled the PM's editors and ministers, sounded almost soothing in comparison.

Go and catch (the real) Vintage Mahathir and the other panelists at the Putra World Trade Centre tomorrow for the public forum on the Perdana Global Peace Forum. From 9am to 4pm. It'll be worth your time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

GOOD JUDGE, POOR JUDGE (or do the right thing)

I don't usually read Brendan Pereira's comment pieces. No, not because I do or don't like him but because he has become predictable (and his 1-2-3 and A-B-C styles don't appeal to me). He used to write some readable pieces when he was the Singapore Straits Times correspondent in Kuala Lumpur, though.

I got hold of yesterday's news and read his latest A-B-C because Bandit, this blog's frequent visitor, found it fit to discuss the piece of in the context of the "deconstruction of Dr M".

At W, I said "Wicked!".

Brendan wrote: W is for winners. He may have been stripped of his position and pension benefits but in the court of public opinion, Syed Ahmad Idid is a winner. Now he should use that goodwill and do the right thing - lodge a report with the ACA.

The former judge had given NST, in Brendan's words, "arguably the interview of the year, speaking candidly about being forced to resign 10 years ago after alleging corruption and abuse of power in the judiciary".

Did the incorruptible former judge think he was doing the right thing by breaking his silence (at a time when silence is eloquent, according to Brendan, and elegant, according to Musa Hitam)?

Brendan wrote: S is for silence. Abdullah won praise for his eloquent silence in the face of some below-the-belt criticism. But his Government cannot keep silent for too long. A one-way flow of disinformation will only serve to confuse. That is why the Cabinet decided that all questions raised by Dr Mahathir will be answered in full.

Didn't the former judge do the right thing by giving the interview, after his own eloquent and elegant decade-long silence?

It is Brendan and the newspaper that should do the right thing, which any good newspaper and editor would do: see it through, bro, to the end.

The former judge was seeking justice, not popularity, when he went to the NST with his story. Now the NST and its group editor are telling him to do the right thing and go to the ACA.

And that, too, after de facto Law Minister Nazri Aziz had said (June 13) that there will be no further action on the (former) judge's letter.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Have you thanked Astro for bringing us all 64 Fifa World Cup matches LIVE from Germany?

I thanked them at a Press Club do last week, the night we were feasted with Argentina's six-goal cleansing of the Serbs. And I meant it, too.

Of course, we all PAY for the matches through our monthly subscriptions. And of course Maxis/Astro will find more ways to make money from you and I out of the World Cup. As long as Astro does not increase the subsciption rate unreasonably, like the Government did with petrol prices and electricity tariffs, I should remain happy.

But I am thankful that I get to watch all the games LIVE. Heck, I (and the millions of Malaysians following the World Cup from here) probably know more sitting in front of my 29-inch (listening to Serbie, too) than Lazarus Rokk does being there.

When Dr Mahathir told Malaysians of his plans to launch a satellite in space (in 1991, I think, during a press conference in Langkawi), many of us thought it was such a lofty thing to be doing. I had my reservations, too.

But, hey, it's not too late to say thank you to him now.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I knew Syed Nadzri or Zainul Ariffin, in their widely-read columns in the NST, would not touch on the Dr Mahathir-Pak Lah saga. Syed wrote about the PAS muktamar in his column yesterday and Zainul gave us his shot on the issue of guns re the bullet-ridden National Service.

My guesses are: the two senior editors were told to lay off the subject OR they disqualified themselves from writing. Both are known to have extremely high regards for Dr Mahathir and the greatest of hopes for Pak Lah (and if their columns were to reflect this, they'd certainly upset the tone set in The Sunday Column's crying-daughter editorial, to borrow the phrase used by Free Thinker, a visitor to this blog).

Either way, I am glad they did not have to do anything they did not want to do which might tarnish their integrity and professionalism as journalists.

I'm sure many journalists at NST are glad, too,that they still have editors who do not doctor the facts and who do not butcher their reports to propagate certain issues and who do not tamper with their straight-news reporting to promote their own agenda.

Some of these journalists can't stomach the spin-doctoring any more. They want Hishamuddin Aun, the Group Editor-in-Chief, to put a stop to the practice.

"They are not just butchering our stories, they are butchering our names," one NST journalist told me.

p.s. Brendan Pereira's column was also missing last Monday. What's the story?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Bandit, a visitor to this blog, wrote this paragraph in a long-ish comment he left in response to my last posting (FOR ADULTS ONLY?).

..."In the meantime, let's not ignore the true mission of the NST 2004-2006 Edition: it is painstakingly trying to deconstruct all facets of Mahathirism. If possible, they are undertaking historic revisionism and erasing all the good that Dr M did but boosting all the bad he committed, if ever."

Try placing the paragraph in the perspective of Dr Mahathir Mohamad's outburst against his successor and our Prime Minister yesterday.

Monday, June 05, 2006


BB has blocked my blog.

At 6.30pm today, I received a text message from a bro at NST. He said the group's IT department had been told to firewall this blog. That means, you cannot access Rocky's Bru from any of the terminals in Balai Berita at Jalan Riong or from any of the NSTP's branch offices nationwide.

I am not the first blogger to be blocked by the NSTP group. In June 2004 Kalimullah Hassan, then the Group Editor-in-Chief of the NSTP, banned Screenshots, the blog by Jeff Ooi.

Today the GEIC of BB is Hishamuddin Aun. I'm not sure if Kalimullah's cigar-loving successor was the one who gave the orders to shut Rocky Bru's out (or, rather, deny BB people the right to have access to the blog).

But if the GEIC doesn't call the shots, who does?

Friday, June 02, 2006


Dismal share prices won't dominate NST's annual general meeting on June 27.

The group will announce the departure of veteran journalist P.C. Shivadas from the Board of the New Straits Times Press Bhd. Shiv has been a director for 8 years.

At the AGM, the group will get a new Chairman, too. Yes, the good General's term will not be renewed.

Shivadas' departure is not unexpected. For a while now, his frequent incursions into the editorial floor, spent talking and listening to editors' views and grouses, have not endeared him to some of the more influential members of the Board.

Will Kalimullah Hassan, the Deputy Chairman, take over the helm from the General at the AGM?

It is a chance to accomplish what was previously unthinkable. No Group Editor-in-Chief of the NSTP had gone on to become Editorial Advisor and Chairman of the Board.

It's also a chance to finally restore the "martabat and maruah" of the NSTP. Or, at the very least, bring back the shine to the share prices.