Monday, July 31, 2006


my take on Johor Super Corridor?
Welcome back, MEGA projects!

Watch out, Pak Lah. Just as they went after Dr M for the Twin towers, Putrajaya, KL International Airport, Sepang International Circuit, Multimedia Super Corridor, the Penang bridge, monorail/LRT, North-South Highway, etc. , the foreign news wires, the IMF, foreign analysts, and the sceptics in general are going to go after you for this mega Johor Super Corridor project of yours.

The papers didn't use the word MEGA, though. BIG, BIGGEST, HUGE, MASSIVE .. but not MEGA. Looks like "MEGA" is Dr M's copyright.

So how MEGA is this big JSC project?
Well, it's bigger than many of the mega projects were were used to under Dr M. We are talking here about, among other things:

RM15 billion immediately waiting to come pumping in from foreign investors
One million jobs in the next 20 years
10,000 hectares of prime land, twice the size of neighbouring Singapore
BIG push for Johor tourism

The PM has many good reasons to be proud of the project.
"Let me stress that this is my idea. It did not come from anyone else. It is my own vision and plan to create this super corridor in south Johor to make it the nation’s premier growth centre," he was quoted by NST as saying.


Tenaga Nasional Bhd's president and CEO, Che Khalib Mohd Noh, or CK, has been hearing some bad news from the utility giant's troubled Indonesian subsidary Tenaga Coal International Ltd.

They included a possible lawsuit by the Indonesian partner Robert Priantono Bonosusatya, unauthorized withdrawals amounting to millions of US dollars from the company's accounts, police reports and security threats facing employees, unauthorised coal sale to a third party, frequent advances to the company's directors, etc.

Tenaga's losses due to divestment in this sick baby could reach a quarter of a billion ringgit.

Another red blot on CK's KPI.


from Mustang , quoting Oscar Wilde, in an attempt to sooth our fears on a Monday morning.

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves, from all let this be heard. Some does it with a bitter look, some with a flattering word. The coward does it with a kiss the brave man with the sword." And the blogger with the blog.


Q: What do one million page hits tell you?

A: Ask the bros at KMU. A million is too mind-boggling for me, man!

[But before anyone hits out at the Weekend Mail, pls read between the lines (and numbers). I say the piece is actually a tribute to bloggers. Take the opener - Only 66 out of 100 respondents interviewed questioned the credibility of blogs as a source of information. Now, what does it mean? It means that 34 of those 100 have no doubts whatsoever about the credibility of Malaysian bloggers. It also means that All 100 respondents read the blogs! Hey, thanks bros!].

Btw, have a good break, Aisehman.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

JEWS BEHIND PANTAI (and other Malaysian companies)

Malaysian companies that support the Zionist regime, watch out! The Prime Minister's son-in-law will expose you!

Khairy Jamaluddin claimed last Friday the Umno Youth got an e-mail about an international coffee shop chain allegedly supporting Israel and sending funds to the Zionist regime.

He wants the rakyat to know. "I will suggest that we distribute a list of the companies which are clear Israeli supporters according to their profits so that we are aware of who are helping Israel," the Umno Youth deputy chief was quoted by Bernama.

With that information, the members of the public can decide whether to boycott these companies or remain as their clients. Umno Youth itself won't bother with a boycott campaign , its deput chief said; such campaigns have proved ineffective in the past.

Khairy's list may start with Pantai Hospital (see my posting on Majulah Singapura Part 3)

Pantai Hospital was bought by Singapore giant Parkway Holdings, which sold a major part of its shareholdings to American Richard Blum, a known Zionist financier. Blum's wife is a US Senator widely known to be a fierce Jewish lobby. That's a clear link between Pantai and the people who are bombing Lebanon and ravaging Palestine!

We don't know if Umno Youth thinks Singapore is a clear Israeli supporter.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


A senior editor from the mainstream media told me today that he feared "the time is just right for Ops Lalang".

"And this time they surely will include the internet/bloggers. And of course the obligatory slap on the wrist for NST. Notice how many times in the past few days the media has been mentioned in not so good light," he said.

He went on to list "a few things going on that will serve as good ingredients for Ops Lalang 2".

There were 7:

RRenegade editors making Putrajaya look bad
AArticle 11
DDr M's Roadshow
PPepper spray
PPublic dismay/disgust over lame Putrajaya leadership
CCans of worms coming out, eg suspect business deals
UUnbridled web news

Lame excuses for trying to act not lame, if you ask me. But sure makes you wish you were a blogger or a renegade editor, not both.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Zam has said the bad word. Operasi Lalang. And he said "one or two" in the mainstream media are pushing their luck.

His statement to Bernama, courtesy of Screenshots:
"The government has identified one or two mainstream newspapers which have been abusing the freedom (of the press) to the extent that other newspaper editors have the impression that these newspapers are given special privileges," he told a press conference at his ministry Friday.

Zainuddin said the government had never given any newspapers special privilege and freedom and was always fair to all newspapers.

"If there are newspapers which claim they get special privileges from any quarters and want to challenge the government on this, then they should be prepared to face the consequences," he added.

Question is, which one of two?

Let me take your hand and lead you to the country's "mainstream" media? Most will agree that they fall under four newspaper groups - the NSTP, the STAR, Nexnews, and the Utusan Group.
These are:
The New Straits Times Press - NST, Berita Harian, Harian Metro (semi-mainstream), Malay Mail (no more mainstream)
The STAR - The Star (shut down as a result of Ops Lalang in 1987)
The Sun - The Sun, The Edge
Utusan - Utusan Malaysia, Kosmo (like Metro, semi-serious)

Based on Zam's statement, we can rule out the national news agency and the electronic media:

My hunch it's the English-language papers and we can safely exclude the Edge. That leaves the NST,l the Star, and the Sun.

And in this case, the Malay proverb Pisang Tak Berbuah Dua Kali (Lightning does not strike twice) may apply.


For some reasons, that whole posting went somewhere my average computer skills couldn't help me retrieve.

Apologies to all.

As I was updating at 12.07pm, the man is OK. He's resting.

terimakasih bzz. owe u one. here, my MIA posting sent back to me by bzz.


11.36am ... Sufi Yusoff, who is with the xPM, clarifies: The good doc did not faint but had to be rushed out of the airport following the attack. Sufi said he suggested that the programme for the day be called off, but Dr M insists that things go as planned.

breaking news..
Dr M was hit by a teargas thrown by unknown assailants apparently bent on disrupting his address in Kelantan today.

The former PM was about to alight from his car when the attack took place minutes ago. He fainted and was sent back to his hotel.

The SMS from Mr A Chin said Dr M didn't seem to need any medical treatment so far.


[from the NST's online]

Correction. 28 Jul 2006

IN the article headlined "RM50m suit: Gag order on both parties’’, we reported that High Court judge Datuk Kang Hwee Gee had imposed a restraining order on Matthias Chang and Datuk Kalimullah Hassan from making any comments related to a defamation suit.

This is incorrect. Both parties agreed to a suggestion by the court to refrain from commenting on the case.

I am glad. This shows that NST is STILL capable of admitting its mistakes.

It's just that it hasn't done so with regards to the June 11 Sunday Column (which involves Kalimullah, too).

Newspapers make mistakes.
Ho Kay Tat, the editorial supremo of the Sun/Edge, told a media conference the other day that his newspapers make mistakes, too (not just the on-line media and the blogs). But to ensure that the newspapers' credibility is not hurt by the mistakes they make (as credibility, he had said earlier, is not build overnight), "I'll make sure we carry a correction or apologise if necessary the very next day".


Ella's Kini Standing In The Eyes of the World is downloadable on Gen M's new site.

On you can check out the former PM's timetable in Kelantan today: - a breakfast rally at the Pengkala Chepa airport, a tea dialogue at a hotel, and dinner at another hotel. By Dr M's standard, the programme's laid back. Makes you wonder what's for lunch and who he'll meet between tea and dinner.

..But Syed Hamid had Rice
This morning, as advised by our leaders, I read the mainstream papers:- The PM has politely asked Condoleezza Rice to convey to the US government that a ceasefire in Lebanon is desirable, in a meeting Syed Hamid described to journalists as "positive". Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, was not quoted anywhere so we do not know if it is as angry as Malaysia with the US position with regards to the Middle East crises. A report said during a packed press conference with Rice, journalists who wanted to press the US State Secretary about the latest on Lebanon were greatly dissapointed because "Syed Hamid chose to end the session after only three questions". What was the rush? Aah, Rice later played the piano as Syed Hamid and his Asean counterparts sat, lulled and charmed. Malaysia led Asean at the 39th Asean Ministerial Meeting, which is Syed Hamid's show, in signing a pact that would boost ties with the US.

Meanwhile, according to a foreign on-line news, Beirut's destruction is almost complete. At least 600 civilians are dead.

Sometime yesterday, Iran's FM Manouchehr Mottaki arrived for an "unscheduled' meeting with Syed Hamid. We are not told if they have met or if they will meet. What we know is Iran had called for an emergengy meeting of the OIC for a ceasefire in Lebanon. Malaysia is OIC chairman. The reports don't say if the Iranian FM attended Rice's piano recital.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


FINAL update for the night ... Malaysiakini spoke to bloggers and internet media editors about the "complaint" made to Fu Ak Kiow by some idiots in the mainstream media.

Noon updates ..
Screenshots, the early-rising blogger, confirms the piece on the Blogging, Printing and Presses Act. Read it here.

And, no, Kalimullah Hassan DID NOT APOLOGISE for the untruth he wrote in his June 11 article.

Original post ..
The government is studying the possibility of placing online media, including those damn bloggers, under the Printing and Presses Act?

If you have the Star's SMS alert, you would have gotten a newsflash on a statement made to this effect by a deputy minister at the two-day Media Conference at IOI Mariott, Putrajaya, that ended yesterday.

I'll wait for my copy of The Star for this piece of bad news.

And, of course, for a copy of the NST for the apology. Today's D-Day for Kalimullah Hassan to say sorry to Dr M and to you and I for the passages of untruth he wrote in his June 11 article that offended Malaysians and Malaysian journalism, and which contributed to the rift between the PM and the former PM.

By the way, it was Pak Lah who set the crooked article straight.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The injunction orders are out but not before Matthias Chang had filed his 55-point affidavit in response to Kalimullah Hassan's RM50 million suit.

If Shahrir Samad, the chairman of PAC, is really going to probe into ECM-Libra's controversial merger with Avenue Capital, the rakyat-owned GLC, he won't ignorePoint No 54 of the affidavit.

It's a container of worms.



CIVIL SUIT NO S1-23-68 2006


Datuk Kalimullah Bin Masheerul Hassan … Plaintiff


Matthias Chang Wen Chieh … Defendant


I, MATTHIAS CHANG WEN CHIEH (I/C No: 500222-10-5571) a Malaysian citizen ..

54. In response to paragraph 15 of the Plaintiff’s Affidavit I verily state that the Plaintiff as Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of ECM Libra Berhad has committed financial irregularities in the management of the said company. In the sale of ECM Libra Bhd’s operating subsidiaries to the government controlled company Avenue Capital Resources Berhad, the Plaintiff aided and abetted corrupt practices committed in the course of the said transaction. The particulars are given in paragraph 54 of the Defence and Counterclaim and I repeat the same here:-

Background Facts – Financial Year Ending 31. 3. 2004

1) The Plaintiff was appointed to the Board of ECM Libra Bhd on 2. 4. 2004.

2) The company was previously known as South Peninsular Industries Berhad and on 31. 3. 2004, the name was changed to ECM Libra Bhd.

3) For the financial year ending 31. 3. 2004, its Annual Report stated that the said ECM Libra Bhd group’s revenue deteriorated to RM39.8 million from RM57.7 million the previous year. It recorded a loss before taxation of RM9.8 million against a profit before taxation of RM9.4 million in the previous year. The Group’s loss attributable to shareholders in the reporting year stood at RM10,602,959 compared with a profit of RM8,625,100 in the previous financial year.

4) ECM Libra Bhd on 30. 4. 2004 completed the purchase of the following companies, namely ECM Libra Partners Sdn Bhd, ECM Libra Capital Sdn Bhd, ECM Libra Holdings Ltd (collectively referred to as the “ECM Purchase”) and ECM Libra Securities Sdn Bhd, which was formerly known as BBMB Securities Sdn Bhd (referred to as the “BBMB Purchase”). Hence the change of name and the appointment of the current directors of the said company.

5) The consideration for the “ECM Purchase” was RM330,000,000 and was satisfied by the issuance of 270,000,000 new ordinary shares of RM1.00 each at an issue price of RM1.00 each and an issue of RM60,000,000, five (5) year redeemable convertible unsecured loan stocks at 100% of the nominal value with a coupon rate of 3% per annum.

6) The “BBMB Purchase” was satisfied by cash consideration of RM172,811,479 via a private placement of 100,000,000 new ordinary shares of RM1 each at an issue price of RM2.10 per ordinary share of RM1.00 each.

7) The value of the Goodwill attributed to the companies [i.e. “ECM Purchase” and “BBMB Purchase”] acquired by ECM Libra Bhd was RM360,699,492 million as reported in the Annual Report.

8) Therefore the total consideration for the purchase is RM502,811,479 (being the total of RM330,000,000 and RM172,811,479 and RM60,000,000 RCULS).

9) The nature of the acquired companies are as follows:

i) ECM Libra Partners Sdn Bhd (formerly known as “Libra Partners Sdn Bhd) – nature of business: Licensed Money Lender. The Plaintiff is a director and substantial shareholder;

ii) ECM Libra Capital Sdn Bhd (formerly known as “ECM Capital Sdn Bhd) – nature of business: Management, Advisory & Investment Consulting Services. The Plaintiff is a director and substantial shareholder;

iii) ECM Libra Securities Sdn Bhd (formerly known as “BBMB Securities Sdn Bhd) – nature of business: Stockbroking;

iv) ECM Libra Holdings Ltd (formerly known as “ECM Holdings Ltd”) nature of business: Investment holding & Advisory Services.

10) The authorised share capital of the company was increased from RM50,000,000 ordinary shares of RM1.00 each to RM1,000,000,000 comprising 1,000,000,000 ordinary shares of RM1.00 each by the creation of an additional 950,000,000 ordinary shares of RM1.00 each.

11) During the said financial year, the said company increased its issued and fully paid up ordinary capital from RM42,000,000 to RM433,000,000 by way of the issuance of shares in relation to the “BBMB Purchase” and “ECM Purchase”, Private Placement as stated above and bonus issues.

12) During the said financial year, the company disposed off nearly all existing business of the company and after 1. 4. 2004 the core business of the company as reported in the Chairman’s statement was to be “an integrated boutique investment banking group focusing on advisory services and securities brokering.”

13) In the said Annual Report, revenue from “financial services” as a segment contributing to the group’s income was declared to be only RM2,875,062.00.

14) Loss attributed to the financial services segment was RM3,274,511.00.

15) The Plaintiff has a substantial interest in the said company. He is registered as having 60,000,000 ordinary shares and 18,000,000 redeemable convertible unsecured loan stock (RCULS) representing 13.86% and 30% respectively of his interest in the said company.

16) Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was appointed the Prime Minister on the 31. 10. 2003.

17) The Plaintiff was appointed a director and the Group Editor-in-Chief of the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd on 1. 1. 2004 by the Prime Minister.

Background Facts – Financial Year Ending 31. 3. 2005

18) In the Annual Report of the company for the financial year ending 31. 3. 2005, it was reported that revenue increased by 84.1% to RM73.2 million from RM39.8 million in the preceding year.

19) The company acquired ECM Libra Capital Markets Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Libra Capital Markets Sdn Bhd), a fund management company.

20) Revenue from the financial services segment accounted for 43% and earnings per share improved to 9.32 sen from a loss of 15.6 sen in the preceding year.

21) Group profits for the year was RM40,399,310 as compared to a loss of RM10,602,959 in the preceding year. The Plaintiff, as Chairman stated “the ECM Libra Group posted its maiden profits, achieving a robust turnaround.”

22) On 27. 12. 2005, Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of the prime minister acquired 13 million ECM Libra Bhd shares equivalent to a 3% stake in the said company valued at RM9 million, based on the purchase price of 71 sen a share. The shares were acquired from the Plaintiff, Lim Kian Onn and Chua Ming Huat who are respectively the Chairman, the CEO and COO of the company.

Background Facts – Year 2006

23) On 19. 1. 2006, the Bernama news agency announced that the government controlled Avenue Capital Resources Bhd and Avenue International Capital Bhd (hereinafter referred to as “Avenue”) signed a conditional share sale agreement with ECM Libra Bhd (for which the Plaintiff is the Chairman and Co-CEO) to fully acquire all the latter’s operating subsidiaries by issuing 442,000,000 fully paid up new ordinary shares of RM1.00 each in Avenue International Capital Bhd, with a proforma market valuation of RM293 million.

24) ECM Libra Bhd’s operating subsidiaries are:

a) ECM Libra Securities Sdn Bhd and its subsidiaries;

b) ECM Libra Partners Sdn Bhd;

c) ECM Libra Capital Sdn Bhd;

d) ECM Libra Capital Markets Sdn Bhd

e) ECM Libra Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries.

However, the agreed total net tangible assets of the ECM Libra companies were stated to be RM210 million as at the unconditional date of the Share Sale Agreement.

25) Bernama reported that the ECM Libra Bhd /Avenue share sale agreement paved the way for a proposed merger which will enable the merged entity to meet the requirements under new guidelines issued by Bank Negara of having a minimum unimpaired share capital of RM500 million.

26) Prior to the said merger, Malaysia’s Minister of Finance Inc and another government linked company controlled approximately 29.5% stake in the Avenue.

27) Following the merger, the founding partners of ECM Libra Bhd would own and control a combined 20% stake in the merged entity, for which the Plaintiff would own a 6% interest.

28) The share capital of the merged entity would be boosted to approximately RM840 million allowing it to become a full investment bank able to take deposits. Shareholders of ECM Libra Bhd, if they wanted to apply for an investment banking license on its own merit would need inter-alia to inject additional funds as mandated by Bank Negara’s investment banking guidelines which require investment banks to increase their share capital to RM500 million within three years.

29) The Plaintiff in a press statement, as reported by Bernama on the 19. 1. 2006 admitted that, and on being asked what would happened if ECM Libra Bhd was not able to have the merger approved by the authorities said:

“We would have been seriously disadvantaged against the other new investment banks which had the required capital funds and could carry out the full range of investment banking services. At the end of three years, when we would be required to ensure that our capital funds was at least RM500 million, it would have necessitated huge cash injection from our shareholders. By pursuing the merger route, we will emerge a much bigger and stronger entity and not require cash injection from shareholders.”

30) Additionally, if there was no merger, ECM Libra Bhd’s shareholders will have to inject a minimum of RM100 million to satisfy the financial requirements for “discount house” license, over and above the RM500 million unimpaired share capital requirement.

31) Approvals and or license from the Minister of Finance would need to be obtained. The Minister of Finance did grant such approvals, notwithstanding the conflict of interest as Khairy Jamaluddin, is a director and shareholder of ECM Libra and is also the son-in-law of the Prime Minister who is also the Minister for Finance. The Plaintiff as Chairman of ECM Libra Bhd, knew of the aforesaid circumstances and has therefore aided and abetted in the corrupt scheme. The Plaintiff has also benefited substantially from the said scheme.

32) Other relevant approval agencies are directly and or indirectly beholden to the Ministry of Finance.

33) The merger has created so much controversy that on the 13. 4. 2006, the matter was tabled before Parliament, but the Government has to date failed to give any or any adequate explanation for this glaring act of impropriety.

34) On 28.6. 2006, the merged entity, ECM Libra Avenue Bhd (713570-K) was listed in the main board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (Stock Number 2143) with a paid up share capital of RM830,901,953 comprising of 830,901,953 ordinary shares of RM1.00 each.

35) Taking into account paragraph 5 to 8, and paragraph 23 and 24 above, the sale of the ECM Libra operating subsidiaries and the then “BBMB Securities Sdn Bhd” in 31.3.2004 to South Peninsular Industries Bhd (which was renamed to ECM Libra Bhd after the said acquisition) was valued at RM502,811,479, yet within two years, the same operating subsidiaries were in turn sold pursuant to the aforesaid merger with Avenue Capital Resources Bhd for RM442,000,000 with a total net tangible asset value at RM210,000,000.

36) Therefore, the value of the earlier sale and purchase in 2004 of the said companies was grossly over-valued by attributing to “goodwill” an incredible RM360,000,000, which cannot be justified in any circumstances. Being a public listed company that corporate exercise amounts to a fraud on the public.

37) The Plaintiff, as Chairman in his Annual Report as at 31.3.2005 reported that the said company had obtained its maiden profits of RM40.3 million as compared to a loss of RM10.6 million in the previous year. Yet in the said merger exercise, the very same companies, and an additional company (ECM Libra Capital Markets Sdn Bhd) were sold for lesser value as compared to the original purchase price in 2004 which the company paid for.

Therefore I verily state that my comments are justified and or in the alternative, my comments in the circumstances are fair comments on an issue of public interest.


Zam, the Info Minister, who was a journalist and editor of great standing before his leap into politics, has burnt the Causeway as far as his ties with the editorial gods of NSTP is concerned.

There should be updates on his assault on segelintir wartawan media tertentu yang menjadi alat kepada anasir luar after the weekly Cabinet meeting today.

Whichever way the wind blows, we now know that this bit about ET controlling the puny minds of some media big boys is a question not just the bloggers are asking. Screenshots was merely repeating the question earlier on.

Monday, July 24, 2006


7.30pm update
Sorry seems to be the hardest ... The letter has been faxed to Kalimullah, with a copy to the Group Editor-in-chief Hishamuddin Aun. Sufi won't discuss the content of the letter but we are all adults so we can guess.

Kalimullah has until Thursday to respond.

In the original posting, I mentioned the former GEIC of the NSTP and reporter for the Straits Times as the executive chairman of ECM-Libra. Screenshots, incidentally, has this intriguing takeover piece based on an Utusan Malaysia report.

Apart from Kalimullah, the other person in PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's core group involved with ECM-Libra is Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law who, by the way, also writes a column in the NST.

Original posting:)
Before the end of the day ...
Sufi Yusof will be asking Kalimullah Hassan to apologise for passages of untruth he wrote on in a June 11 article about a Dr M-Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's meeting in Tokyo.

"And who, really, is demonising whom?" was the title of the offending article, written by Kalimullah, the Executive Chairman of ECM-Libra, Editorial Adviser and Deputy Chairman of the NSTP, and an aide to the Prime Minister, among other things.

Ironically, it was Abdullah who set the record straight about the meeting with Dr M.

Sufi's letter won't be your typical Letter to the Editor. It will be addressed to Kalimullah himself.

Watch this space for updates.


There are never enough reporters who could hit hard and right with their questions. Shahanaaz Habib, our first journalist to enter Baghdad during the 03 invasion, could tame a lion in under 10 questions.

And so her interview with Syed Hamid Albar in the Sunday Star was always going to be entertaining, if a little lop-sided.

I enjoyed their final exchange, in particular:

Have we gone soft on Singapore?

Syed Hamid: People have confused policy with project. We have never said we don't want the bridge.But we do not want the conditions imposed on us. We are protecting our interests. It's a political decision.

These are projects, but our policy has not changed.

Now, if you are not confused by the answer, can you tell me what in the bridge's name the Foreign Minister was trying to say? Did he hear the question at all?

There were 9 questions in all and Syed Hamid repeated that there was "no shift" in Malaysia's foreign policy or that the policy "has not changed" at least 7 times.

Sounds like someone has adopted a "very defensive" policy.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Malaysian Business, which has produced some of the country's best business journalists, including The Star's Steven Tan, The Edge's P. Gunasegaram and NST's Hardev Kaur, is no longer available for First and Business-class passengers on Malaysia Airlines.

Its publisher, the wholly-owned Bumiputera concern Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd, has also recently lost a lucrative contract to publish Going Places, the national carrier's in-flight magazine.

Berita Pub is owned by A. Kadir Jasin, the former NSTP Editor-in-chief and author of the influential Other Thots column as well as several books, who is regarded as a thorn on the Abdullah Administration's side and a constant critic of the so-called government-linked companies or GLCs like Malaysia Airlines.

Going Places is now in the hands of Blue Inc.


Lee Hsieng Yang, the second son of Lee Kuan Yew and little brother of the current Singapore Prime Minister, is resigning from Singapore Telecommunications.

The Singtel's CEO and President took the region by storm during his 12-year reign. There were times, of course, when the company's appetite to eat up other telcos created suspicions.

The only red ink on Hsieng Yang's report book, perhaps, was his failure to buy into Time Engineering, a move which could have by now given Singapore a firm foothold in the Malaysian telecommunications industry.

That was the year Dr M asserted, seemingly in jest, that people were worried about Singtel perhaps because they "sing and tell".


2pm update ... "What's to fear? Let me speak up." "Nak takut apa? Bagilah peluang saya cakap."

In London, Dr M said he was barred from addressing Malaysian students there. But this morning the crowd urged him on. "Hidup Mahathir!" "Depa dah penin, Tun!" "Hidup Malaysia" "Cakap Tun, cakap! We will listen to you!"

RPK of Malaysia Today brought along 1,500 copies of the Mencari Kebenaran DVD of the former PM's famous dialogue at the Kelab Century Paradise on June 24.

"We gave out all of them this morning," he said.

"I didn.t get a copy," someone said. "Ada lagi bro?"

"Sorry mate .. but there you are!" RPK said. Of course, some papers will not report the correct numbers, he added.

In view of the size of the crowd, the airport authorities could not let them into the Bunga Mawar terminal. Dr M had to meet the people at the car park outside the entrance. He addressed them out of the sunroof of a battered Mitsubishi Pajero without even a bullhorn.

But he took the bull by the horns, alright.

"Just answer my questions, no need to publish a booklet. Declassify those letters that say Malaysia offered sand to Singapore. Why declassify my letters. My letters don't say anything and they have been declassified by Singapore a long time ago.

"Apa nak takot. Jawab sajalah ..."

Original post...
When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi came home from his vacation in Australia the other day, some 5,000 people were there to show their support for the Prime Minister, or so claimed some newspapers (and some newspapers can't even get its own circulation numbers right).

Of course, Dr M can't expect as many people to be at the welcome-home reception, if there is one (Gen-M says there is one).

More than a hundred would be news; he ain't the PM anymore, y'know.

Friday, July 21, 2006


The messengers of Abdullah the PM have barred grassroot members from asking questions in all future sessions to inform Umno cadres about the PM-xPM's spat, according to Cuit-Sikit!

The messengers don't want a repeat of the Nikko Hotel incident where they were crucified and burnt alive (but not boo-ed, AMLG maitains).

No questions = No dissent?


Ask no questions and you'll be told no lies?

Thursday, July 20, 2006


When Sufi Yusoff returns from London tomorrow, where his boss the former Prime Minister has been handling a schedule too busy to call a holiday, he will start composing a Letter to the Editor of the New Straits Times.

It will be a simple letter asking the newspaper to apologise for a serious factual error (or fabrication or misrepresentation of the truth, as some might have seen it) contained in an article written by the NSTP's editorial adviser and deputy chairman Kalimullah Hassan.

The article was Kalimullah's eager heroic attempt to defend the PM, Abdullah Badawi, against the sharp criticisms against the government levelled by Dr Mahathir just days earlier.

In one of the many passsages running down the former PM, Kalimullah wrote in his column about how Dr M had asked for a meeting with Abdullah when both of them were in Tokyo recently and how Abdullah had agreed.

Yesterday, Abdullah told reporters that he was the one who had asked for the meeting with Dr M, not the other way round. MageP's Lab broke the myth when he spotted the story buried in today's news reports and Screenshots put things in perspective.

For the record, Sufi did write a letter to the NST to point out that Kalimullah had got it wrong. To its credit, the newspaper published the letter but neither Kalimullah nor the Editor of the paper offered an apology to Dr M (or , for that matter, to Abdullah) .

The offending article was never retracted.

(That letter was the last by Sufi to be published by the NST; his subsequent letters to the editor pointing out other errors and misrepresentation of facts in the newspaper's reports on the Dr M-Abdullah spat did not see print).

Experienced and responsible editors readily admit an error and have no qualms about apologising if the mistake is grave. An apology may save a newspaper from being sued.

But, mostly, editors say sorry and admit mistakes to uphold their own and their newspapers' integrity and credibility, lest they are accused of spreading lies.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Remember the forgetable statement issued by the government on the scenic bridge ? Yes, the one that gave NST the "scoop" of the year and which Bandit, the acclaimed poster on this blog, agreed was written exactly as Brendan Pereira, the NST's group editor, would have written it?

Pls read it again.


Now read this piece posted by a Jewish propaganda site.


Same tutor?


In Arabic, aziz means "powerful". But in Malaysia's political landscape, Nik Aziz is only the second most powerful man.

He trails, by miles and miles, the most powerful man in the country, Khairy Jamaluddin, also known as The Son-in-Law.

But the Tok Guru can still brag about being slightly ahead of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Prime Minister and The Father-in-Law, or Fail.

Check out KMU's poll on The Most Powerful Men. Cast your vote. Be honest. If you want a one-two finish for The Sin and The Fail, nobody's stopping you.


Abdullah men's attemtps to explain to the grassroots about the spat between the PM and Dr M are getting more challenging, and that's putting it mildly.

At the latest meeting, according to Cuit Sikit!, the Umno Wilayah Persekutuan members turned the tables on five of Abdullah's holiest messengers with questions that they were hard pressed to answer.

Eg: "What is so great about Brendan Pereira and Kalimullah that they are free to split Umno?"

The members asked about the Government's flip-flop on the scenic bridge (one asked of the Attorney-General's actual position on the matter), but they also wanted answers to burning questions about ECM Libra-Avenue Capital's merger and the role played by Abdullah's son-in-law, who is a key shareholder; the Approved Permits issue; and why their quality of life is deteriorating.

At the receiving end were Khalid Nordin, Mustapha Mohamad dan Shahrir Samad and two Umno council members Azim Zabidi and Norza Zakaria.

Earlier this month, Syed Hamid and Zahid Hamidi were said to have been red-faced but in sessions far less hostile than yesterday's.

An observer called this blogger to express his fears that if the trend continues, some irked leaders among the grassroots may be throwing tables at the messengers.


Kisai Rahmat, the former Proton no 2 when Tengku Mahaleel reigned, has resigned.

Close friends say Kisai, who was the executive director of the national car's engineering and manufacturing division, quit amid a witch-hunt within the company over the thousands of unsold Proton cars.

Proton CEO recently admitted that its three assembly lines had about 40 per cent spare capacity.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Harian Metro, the only newspaper in the fledgling NSTP group that is performing, will have a serious contender for the East Coast tabloid crown when Kumpulan Karangkraf launches Sinar Harian on July 31.

At 50 sen a copy, this new daily, which is being touted as the first Malay regional paper in the country, could take the sinar, or shine, off the competition, including Harian Metro, which leads other dailies in the Malay-dominated states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

Harian Metro (cover price RM1) is also the best selling Malay daily in the country with average daily sales of 241,860 copies between July and Dec last year. It saw phenomenal growth under the editorship of Zian Johari, who left under the NSTP's voluntary separation scheme in March.

Karangkraf is as serious as they come. It is listed in the Malaysia Book of Records for having the most number of magazine titles. For Sinar Harian, which will have 48 pages and a staff of about 80, the group has set up a printing plant near Pengkalan Chepa, its East Coast headquarters.

Monday, July 17, 2006


103, 369... Ad agencies had a peek at some sorry numbers from Balai Berita the other day.

Except for Harian Metro, the other newspapers in the stable have been doing badly, according to latest figures approved by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (the latest audit is for June-Dec 2005, approved on 15 June 2006 for the ad agencies).

Berita Harian lost its lead to Utusan Malaysia.

Malay Mail went back to pre-2002 levels (this was before the re-launch of the tabloid in May this year).

And NST?*

The flagship newspaper did 138,896 copies.

Bad enough but worse if you consider that this was made possible by selling papers at half price to primary schools, hotels, and Malaysia Airlines (50 per cent** is the maximum discount allowed by the ABC for a sale to be included in its audit).

Minus the half-priced copies, the NST was doing just 103,369 copies.

The STAR sold 309,029 copies during the same period. And minus the half-priced*** copies, it did 280,891 copies.

* The NST's annual average for 2005 should be about 139,000 copies. Shareholders at the recent NSTP AGM will remember the CEO saying that the NST's circulation since going "Compact" was "around 145,000 copies".

** 1 in every 4 copies of NST is sold at half the cover price of RM1.20.

*** 1 in every 10 copies The STAR is sold at half the cover price, which is also RM1.20.









138,896 ( sales: 103,369 reduced rates: 35,527 @50%)





154,439 (sales: 121,663 reduced rates: 32,776 @50%)





35,696 (sales: 34,611 reduced rates: 1085 @50%)





48,094 (sales: 46,093 reduced rates: 2001 @50%)





205,555 (sales: 184,998 reduced rates: 20,557 @50%)





341,759 (sales: 329,217 reduced rates: 12,542 @50%)





241,860 (sales: 241,081 reduced rates: 779 @50%)





253,418 (sales: 252,913 reduced rates: 505 @50%)





309,029 (sales: 280,981 reduced rates: 28,048 @50%)





318,957 (sales; 300,594 reduced rates: 18,363 @50%)





212,255 (sales: 207,006 reduced rates: 5,249 @50%)





487,977 (sales; 485,950 reduced rates: 2,027 @50%)

Notes: BH has lost its leadership in July 05 to Dec 05. UM regained the position.
Harian Metro is the best Bahasa paper. As for English dailies, NST declined from 139,517 to 138,896 with 35K from schools & sponsorship. MM slipped back to its original sales in 02/03 at 35K.

Source: ABC latest update to agencies dated 15/6/06