Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jeff 4 Parliament

We were on the way back to Kuala Lumpur from Bintan last week. Jeff Ooi had just told me his plans to announce leaving Gerakan for DAP, which he did this morning under the glare of the BBC and local tv cameras and almost the entire Press corp, minus two or three mainstream media.

"I am thinking of starting another blog on politics," he said.

Jeff was asked about this new blog at the press conference attended by Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Nathaniel Tan, Harris Ibrahim, activists, party supporters, well-wishers, and half the protem exco of the National Alliance of Bloggers (Jeff is the vice president of All-Blogs). He said he created the new blog so as to assure his readers that he would not leverage on the popular Screenshots for his new political career. Screenshots draws over 300,000 unique visitors monthly.

Visit Jeff 4 Malaysia. Find out why he has opted for active politics, why the DAP, and why he left Gerakan.

At the do in PJ, Kit Siang called on bloggers to emulate Jeff and to take a stand for a fair and just Malaysia. He came over to me at the end of the function and asked me, point blank. "So when's your turn, Rocky?"

I have already taken my stand: I will walk with Jeff.

pic courtesy of TV Smith

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mega, mega, mega

North corridor. And we thought Iskandar was mega.

Read the highlights for the North Corridor Economic Region launched by the PM today. Among other things, the government and private finance initiatives will pump in some RM10 billion a year in the next 18 years, or RM177 billion from between 2007 and 2025! If Iskandar will create 1 million jobs in the next 20 years, NCER will better that with 1.5 million!

Jeff Ooi's tea party

The blogger enters politics? By this time tomorrow, we'll know if the DAP has indeed pulled off a coup at the expense of Gerakan.

I will walk with Jeff Ooi whichever road he takes for I believe that any road he takes will lead to a more matured Malaysia, insyallah.

And if a RM9 million ringgit*, jobless, obnoxious monkey of a son-in-law can be elevated to such a high seat in Malaysian politics, don't you dare tell me a blogger has no business stepping into the ring.

Jeff Ooi's tea party details (All Bloggers invited):
DATE: July 31, 2007
TIME: 10:30am
PLACE: Food Foundry, Jalan 17/13 Petaling Jaya (Selatan)

* Not updated. It could be RM90 million or RM900 million by now. We may never know (unless we have someone like Jeff in Parliament).
Read When push comes to shove by Tony Yew.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

First Class CEO, in Economy

SQ 116. Returning from Singapore, on board Singapore Airlines, I bumped into the CEO of a company that I have criticized quite a few times in this blog because of its political affiliation. I was flying Economy, courtesy of MediaConnect, which had just staged a very successful regional Technology forum and IT Media/Blogs awards in the Indonesian island of Bintan, which is an hour's ferry ride from Singapore.
This CEO was flying Economy.
I don't know of any CEO in his class who fly Economy Class. They all fly Business Class, at least, even if their companies are in the red. At the NSTP, where I used to be, editors like me flew Business Class.
So I had to ask him: "What are you doing flying Economy?"
The answer: "I always fly Economy, bro."
"Oh, really?"

I haven't changed my mind about his company (yet) but I am now very curious about this CEO. I'll be watching him closely.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Why is Malaysia so unique?

Bintan (Indonesia), Friday:

Blogger crackdown in Malaysia. No, I haven't fled the country.The day they brought in RPK for questioning, I was at the KLIA on my way to Bintan en route Singapore for a regional IT conference and media awards. I have been
invited as one of the judges for tonight's media and blogs awards. Needless to say, the delegates - from Australia, the UK, the US, Asean, and China/Hongkong - have been hounding me with questions about what's going on back home.

David Chavez Dizon, a journalist with ABS-CBN, asked me over dinner at Kelong last night: "What makes your country so unique that the government thinks it can come after bloggers?"
I was struggling with the question, when he shot again. "If I blog something bad about your country, is your Government going to come after me in Manila?"

Geoff Long, one of the finalists in the technology blog category, said he found the government's treatment against RPK, and earlier Nathaniel Tan and the suits against Jeff Ooi and I by a pro-government media group, daunting.

Even the executive chef at the resort we're staying, a Malaysian who reads blogs to keep tabs or the goings-on back home, is disturbed by the threats to detain bloggers without trial.

I am due to make a presentation in an hour's time about journalism and the IT industry back home, and a bit about the blogging scene. I guess you know what these delegates (who include senior execs of technology companies and vendors) would be wanting to know about. The news about RPK's grilling hasn't just affected us, it has spooked them as well. We read this morning in the (Singapore) Straits Times about RPK's allegation on Umno using cyber-troopers to undermine blogs and Norza's pathetic defence.

What do I tell them?

I guess I'll start my presentation with: "Ladies and Gentlemen, Malaysia is a unique country, indeed".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A petition to sign

Investigate Malaysia Today's allegations. RPK has made some serious allegations [read here] against Muhammad Muhammad Taib, the former Selangor MB, who had lodged a police report against the website owner for allegedly insulting the King.

Sign this petition if you believe that these are serious allegations that Umno and the BN should investigate.

Latest from Malaysia Today:
Raja Petra Kamarudin has been summoned to the Dang Wangi Police Station, Jalan Staduim, at 11.00am today (25 July 2007) for his statement to be recorded with regards to the police report made by the Umno Information Chief. It is believed a second police report has also been made with regards to the article Raja Petra wrote called ‘See you in hell Muhamad son of Muhamad’.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why do they fear this man?

poster by Mob
Lion of a Prince. At the Dewan Rakyat today, Nazri Aziz said he will use the Internal Security Act, the Sedition Act, and Section 121B of the Penal Code against bloggers who write on sensitive issues. [Govt warns of tough actions against bloggers who disparage, Bernama, 24 July].

The Minister in the PM's Department did not name Raja Petra Kamaruddin but was obviously referring to the Malaysia Today owner when he called a blogger childish for attacking former Selangor MB Mike Tyson over the has-been's police report against the website. [Muhamad the son of Muhamad, see you in Hell!].

Mike Tyson also raised the matter of the police report against RPK at the Dewan Negara.

Tonight, at the Malaysian Press Institute's award night, the DPM also warned website operators and journalists to take full responsibility for their websites [Website operators, journalists not above the law, Bernama].

Najib should tell Mike Tyson to withdraw the police report against RPK and tell Nazri to shut up. These kucing kuraps (Bakri Musa's words, not mine) - not this lion of a prince, RPK (again, the surgeon's words) - are giving all of us a bad name. [here].

Monday, July 23, 2007

Open Letter to Umno Youth

"Don't take us for granted". MCA Youth has sent out a strongly-worded advice to the Umno Youth so as to NOT take things for granted. It is particularly upset with Hishamuddin's demand that the MCA shuts up over the alleged fact that Malaysia is an Islamic - not secular - state.
I am reproducing their open letter to Umno Youth dated yesterday.

Surat terbuka kepada Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO

Kami, ahli-ahli muda MCA, menyokong penuh pendirian dan usaha murni MCA menyumbang kepada pembangunan negara dan rakyat Malaysia.
Kami membidas tindakan Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO yang memberi “Amaran kepada MCA” melalui akhbar Berita Harian (tajuk utama, Sabtu 21 Julai 2007) yang meneruskan politik polemik mengintepretasikan semula perlembagaan persekutuan Malaysia. Ini berlaku walaupun pada hari Khamis 19 Julai, 2007, Kementerian Dalam Negeri telah mengarahkan media arus perdana supaya jangan menyiarkan sebarang berita mengenai Malaysia sebagai sebuah negara Islam. Perbuatan Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO langsung tidak menghormati larangan yang telah dikeluarkan oleh KDN yang mewakili kerajaan negara.
Kenyataan Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO terhadap pemimpin MCA yang merupakan rakan kongsi utama BN, tidak membawa manfaat kepada sesiapa kerana ia tidak membawa kebaikan kepada mana-mana pihak.
Kami memberi nasihat ikhlas kepada Ketua Pemuda UMNO supaya mengingati semangat BN yang telah menjadi teras kerjasama dan muafakat selama 49 tahun Malaysia merdeka. Perbuatan mengeluarkan amaran terhadap sesebuah rakankongsi seperjuangan BN juga memperlekehkan semangat toleransi, hormat-menghormati dan bermuafakat.
Kami menyarankan pihak yang berkenaan seupaya melihat Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia secara menyeluruh, bukannya mengambil sesuatu fasal atau fakta secara terasing kerana ini tindakan pihak yang jahil mengenai latar belakang, semangat dan kesefahaman yang telah dipersetujui di antara semua rakyat Malaysia yang menjadi teras membawa kepada pembentukan negara Malaysia yang merdeka.

Leadership Development Bureau
MCA Bangsar/22 July 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ah, Kerp!

Blogging from the wheelchair. Kerp, or Danny, has been my commenter/poster for as long as I've been blogging. We met around Christmas last year. When the NSTP and its editors (and the CEO) sued Jeff Ooi and I in January, Kerp's words of encouragement for us touched me deeply.
He wrote, simply: "I'll wheel with you!"
Well, Kerp has started his own blog, www.letswheel.blogspot.com. Where there's a wheel, there's a way. Go visit him and learn something new about life.
p.s. Thanks, Zorro, for letting us know.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Edward de Bono award for Najib

Educating Malaysians. The DPM will receive the Association of Business Executive-Edward de Bono Gold Medal for his achievements in Malaysia's education award on August 27. De Bono himself will present Najib with the award. Bernama has the details here.
If Najib becomes the PM, I hope he'll educate the people at the Internal Security Ministry who issued the directive to the mainstream media to black out news on the issue of Malaysia being an Islamic state, not a secular one.
When Najib said Malaysia is an Islamic state, I am sure he wanted a healthy debate to follow. Looks like some people don't want that to happen.

Not before end-Sept, says EC

We are not ready yet, EC chief says. Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman has explained here why the general election won't happen next month. In fact, the EC chairman says, the EC won't be up to hold a general election until end-September. Basically, it needs time to train the 200,000 election workers from throughout the country.
The GE must be held by 20 March 2009.
Did you know?
RM220 million is the amount of money the EC will spend to organize the next GE
RM100 million is the additional amount it will need to buy new equipment, including transparent ballot boxes
RM40 million is the additional amount if the government decides to use biometric (finger print) identification system.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Re-branding for Iskandar, already?

Foxy moves. Shahrir Samad, it seems, is expected to propose to the government that the Iskandar Development Region be renamed Iskandar. The blogger Cuit-Sikit says Fox Communications, the pr outfit created by two ex-editors close to the PM, could be given a lucrative contract for the re-branding.
If that is so, other pr agencies can eat their hearts out. Like they have been doing over quite a few projects ranging from the Monsoon Cup to Synergy Drive.

I heard also that Fox has landed a job to re-brand and revamp our National Service programme. We'll be getting quite a bit of Australian and Singapore inputs here.

Update 6pm
According to Johorean blogger Ruhanie Ahmad, a Malay professional body has submitted a memorandum to King and Prime Minister demanding the resolution of 20 issues before the Government presses ahead with Iskandar. Read the posting here.

Amnesty raps Malaysia over blogger arrest

Police state. Amnesty International Malaysia has issued a statement on the arrest and treatment of Nathaniel Tan by the police. It is concerned, especially, with the cops' "Arrest first, Investigate Later" attitude in this case. AI has urged the Malaysian Government to a Royal Commission's recommendation on this point.
"We believe that the police clearly abused the due process of investigation by arbitrarily arresting a person without due reason. The attitude of “arrest first and investigate later” which was highlighted by the Royal Police Commission affects a person’s freedom and rights without a just cause. Furthermore the maximum period remand application made by the police is a strong indicator that the police failed to conduct thorough investigations before the arrest."
You won't find the press statement in any of the mainstream newspapers that represent the press in this country. Go to BlackinKorea's blog for it [Arrest and detention of blogger undermined fundamental rights].

The abuse of the due process by the police is one of the issues that bloggers are going to discuss tonight at this forum on police state in the webworld.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Endon drops out of race

Astro drops Endon, presses on with controversial, posthumous award. The late wife of the Prime Minister led in the sms contest, garnering more than 18 per cent of the total votes (here). But members of the selection panel have left her out in the cold when they shortlisted their last 10 candidates for this controversial.

1. Razak Hussein 2. Hussein Onn 3. Onn Jaafar 4. P. Ramlee 5. P.P. Narayanan 6. Sudirman Arshad 7.Zaaba 8.Tan Cheng Lock 9.Raja Mohar Badiozaman 10. Mokhtar Dahari

Read the Bernama's piece here. p.s. The Anak Gemilang Malaysia is, in English, Malaysia's Distinguished Son title. I suppose that's why the ladies didn't make the cut.

No to Police State in Blogosphere

Nathaniel Tan, who was released yesterday after 4 days inside under OSA, will speak of his ordeal at this forum tomorrow.

Venue: KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Date: 19th July 2007 (Thursday)
Time: 7.30 pm
Admission is Free

The other speakers are:
  • Jeff Ooi, Protem Vice-President, All Blogs Malaysia
  • Harris Ibrahim, Lawyer & Founder of The People's Parliament
  • Nurul Izzah Anwar, Special Assistant to PKR Advisor
  • Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP
  • Tony Pua, Economic Advisor to DAP Secretary-General
Chairperson: Soon Li Tsin, Journalist & Blogger

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

They let Nat out!

A minute ago, bloggers Zorro and A Voice sms-ed me to say that Nathaniel Tan has just been released by the police after for days of detention under the Official Secrets Act. They were at Bukit Perdana, together with some well-wishers, since after lunch to wait for Nat's release.

Who let the Dog out?

Mukhriz's youth ambition. The doctors at the Damansara Hospital let blogger Big Dog out. He was out of action the whole of this month as a result of a major surgery.
He is resting at home and while busy resting he's barking something about Mukhriz Mahathir's future in Umno Youth here after winning last Saturday's Ansara election [Mukhriz not going for Umno youth top post, yet].
Welcome back, Big Dog!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mas vs AirAsia

Which one sucks for you? Now, perhaps Astro might want to consider asking people to send in sms and vote for the worse.
While they consider that, 3 things you can do on line after lunch:
1. Read how hundreds were stranded at KLIA due to Mas flight delays and over-bookings [Fury after being kicked off flights, NST].
2. Read how unhappy this frequent flier is [How AirAsia sucks, Unspun]
3. Read about someone saying that Idris Jala was the best CEO money can buy? [Mas flight delays: Idris Jala lied, A Voice]

How to insult some great dead Malaysians

50 dead great leaders, poets, artistes, and wife. The idea of 50 Anak Gemilang Malaysia is ok (not great). But the decision to turn into into an AFundi-like event is NOT ok; in fact, it's the greatest posthumous insult on the 50 Malaysians, some of whom are really great, by the way.
It's 50 sen a vote, just sms who among the late Malaysians should be declared d'Anak Gemilang Malaysia in conjunction with 50 years of Merdeka.
At the last count, Arwah Endon, the PM's late beloved wife, is leading the pack.

Please, stop making a fortune from our greats who have departed.
Stop the mengampu culture.
And stop insulting the memories of P. Ramlee, Usman Awang, Razak, Narayanan and Chee Khoon.
[Read 50 Anak Gemilang Malaysia].

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What you need to know about OSA

And why it should go. The OSA is unconstitutional.It violates international human rights. In its current form, it allows for a government to administer this country covertly and in defiance of the accountability and transparency that is crucial to democratic process. It runs counter to the promises of transparency and accountability of the current administration under Abdullah Badawi.

These are not just Malik Imtiaz's views. Read why the top human rights' lawyer is concerned with the arrest and detention of Nathaniel Tan and learn a bit more about OSA [Concern for Nathaniel Tan, Disquiet].

The first time I heard of OSA was when the government arrested Sabry Sharif in the Eighties for an article he wrote in the NST. The journalist was alleged to have in his possession sensitive documents related to a government contract to buy submarines. The NST fought tooth and nail against the OSA then. In Nat's case, it has not written a word.

Bloggers, stand your ground!

Nab Nat, rattle the Net. Johari Baharum's statement on the same day Nathaniel Tan was arrested should scare the shit out of you, even if you are NOT a so-called socio-political blogger [Police asked to investigate websites spreading lies, Bernama 14 July]. He has ordered the CID to trace writers on the Internet who have spread lies and "bring the culprits to book".
We are ALL for bloggers writing the truth. But what if they insist that the truth is a lie?
The manner in which Nat was taken away was clearly meant to warn you, the so-called socio-political blogger, that you could be next.

Like this Cikgu says, they like the ikan bilis better.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Acara Mesra Rakyat - The new Jom Heboh!

Ayer Molek, Melaka. A group of Malaysians are gathering at Periachi Aman Temple in Tambak Raya, Ayer Molek, Melaka from 8am tomorrow to re-establish and re-affirm their unity, regardless of race and religion. Bloggers will be among these peace-loving people. This first Acara Mesra Rakyat, as the organisers call it, coincides with a campaign to save the temple from a proposed demolition.

The organisers said there will be more Acara Mesra Rakyats (imagine TV3's popular Jom Heboh!) to unite and re-unite Malaysians. And they would like very much to involve the mosques and churches as well.

Check out Haris Ibrahim's blog for more details.

Free Nat Now!

It's a relief to know that Nat is in the safe hands of the police. Isn't it?
Meanwhile, in China a blogger was arrested this week but for providing stock tips without authorization [Financial Times, July 13 - Chinese Blogger held over stock tips]. Exactly a month ago, a blogger was "kidnapped by the police" in Egypt. He was released a week later.
Global Voices Online has the story on Nat's arrest. No news on Bernama yet.

poster from mob's crib

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blogger arrested in Malaysia

Nathaniel Tan. Three men who claimed to be from Bukit Aman were said to have taken blogger Nat Tan of http://jelas.info to the police headquarters to "talk about the Internet".
I will bring you updates whenever I can but http://bangkit.net or http://polytikus.com may be quicker.

update 7.45pm
Spoke to Eli Wong, who is at Bukit Aman. She said the police told her and a group of Nat's friends and relatives that they had no knowledge of Nat's "arrest". She is filing a police report at this very moment.

update 1.45 am, July 14
It's confirmed - Nat has been detained by the cops to faciliate investigation into something related to the Official Secrets Act [here].
Penarik beca thought it was the IGP, not Nat, that was nabbed by the cops!
They said the cops seized his laptop and desktop.

Who said Malaysia was a police state?

Dr M and wife would like to thank you

A thank you note. This note was e-mailed to me by Sufi, Dr M's faithful aide.
Saya dan isteri saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada pengendali dan semua pembaca laman web ini yang telah menyampaikan ucap selamat dan yang telah mendoakan keselamatan dan kesejahteraan kami sempena ulangtahun kami berdua.
Ingatan semua terhadap diri kami berdua amatlah kami hargai.

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad & Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali


Julai 13, 2007

Bring down Mukhriz!

KJ's men challenge Mahathir's son. Ansara (short for Anak Sains Mara) is the alumni for MRSM students. But this is no ordinary alumni. Mukhriz Mahathir, whom many view as a credible threat to Khairy Jamaluddin, who was put as Umno Youth's No 2 by virtue of being the PM's son-in-law, is president of Ansara.
If Mukhriz loses the Ansara presidency, he will lose a "power base" and his position in Umno Youth will be considerably weakened.
That is why Khairy has arranged for Mukhriz to be challenged, for the first time in 12 years, at the alumni's elections this weekend, or so according to this fight preview [Khairy dan kuncu2 dalangi pemilihan Ansara?] that appeared in Malaysia Today.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Malaysian in America hits back at Abdullah

Asinine remarks, Mr Prime Minister! A Malaysian who has settled down in the US, who calls herself MIA (short for Malaysian In America) whenever she comments on this blog, has described Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's remarks [No Citizenship for Malaysians who have given up Citizenry, Bernama July 10] as "backward thinking" and "asinine".
I have Malaysian friends who work and live overseas. Some have given up their citizenry but they still refer to themselves as Malaysians because Malaysia is their country of origin. I've been to some of their homes. Not mansions, no yachts. They have to work hard for a living.
On the other hand, there are Malaysians who are here in Malaysia only in name but their hearts are elsewhere. They buy mansions overseas and park their money in Swiss banks and are more loyal to the countries that give them their PR. They should be asked to surrender their citizenry and become Australians and Singaporeans.

Anyway, I am reproducing here MIA's comments, which she just left under my posting on The Malays are Leaving for all of us to ponder:
I was speechless for a minute after reading the Bernama story. It is difficult to fathom such backward thinking from a leader of a country.
In the first place, shouldn't a more reasonable response be to understand why your citizens are leaving the country and to try to address those issues and remedy the situation? It seems rather asinine to say that since you've given up your citizenship, therefore you can never become a Malaysian citizen again. Much like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
People leave for many reasons and I don't see how penalizing them for doing so benefits anyone. It seems to me that in this case, it puts Malaysia at a disadvantage. Wouldn't it want to lure back the expertise that has gone elsewhere?
The other point I wanted to make is that I'm sure that those figures do not provide a true picture. There is no way of capturing the real statistics. Notice how he said that those stats are of Malaysians "who have surrendered their citizenship"?
How do you collect stats on those people who become citizens of other countries and do not surrender their Malaysian citizenship for various reasons?
I became a citizen of another country many years ago and I have never officially surrendered my Malaysian citizenship for the simple reason that it just never occurred to me that I had to do this. For me when I became a citizen of my adopted country I took an oath to give up any alliance to any other country and that was good enough for me. How many people are out there like me?
You always have to look at stats with a wary eye. And let's look at them without emotion and rhetoric to cloud the real issue(s).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The pot ain't black

A-G orders file on Jo to be closed. The Attorney-General said a while ago that he has ordered the Anti-Corruption Agency to close its investigation into Jo, the Deputy Internal Security Minister, for alleged corruption.
Wait for the English version of Siasatan Rasuah Johari Baharum dititup, kata Peguam Negara (Bernama, 6.51pm).
update 10pm: ACA probe against Johari Baharum, AG says

The A-G spoke the very day after Jo said the Ministry has filed a report with the ACA against Musa Hassan, the Inspector-General of Police, for alleged corruption [Bernama, July 10: Ministry lodges report on allegations of corruption against IGP].

Blogger SKThew says it is a case of a RM5 million pot calling a RM2.1 million kettle black. Read his posting here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Malays are leaving

Tired of Malaysia? Between 1996 and April this year, 106,000 Malaysians gave up their citizenship: 79,199 Malays, 25,107 Chinese, 1,347 Indians and 350 other races. Marriage was the most common reason for giving up citizenship.
It has been the popular assumption that the non-Malays are the ones leaving Malaysia for greener pastures and the Malays have no reason to leave because comfort zone is here.
Are more Malays leaving the country (and not because of marriage)? Someone should conduct a survey. The other day, a Malay corporate figure told me that he was considering migrating. He said he was sick and tired with what's been happening in this country.
Another very high-profiled, jet-set corporate man (not a Malay) is also thinking of going. He told me he can't tolerate the racism anymore.

Read the story here.

Happy Birthday

Dr M is 82 today. His "official" date of birth is Dec 20, 1925 but Mahathir Mohamad was actually born on July 10 that year.
Yesterday, July 9, was the 22nd anniversary of the first Proton that was rolled out. I doubt it will see 23.

Happy Birthday, Tun.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Datuk Seri who?

And to his friend, he said: Ask, and you shall be given. The value of Datuk Seri-ship is about to change. Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, according to my sources in Penang, is on the list for the Darjah Gemilang Pangkuan Negeri (DGPN), which carries the title Datuk Seri.
This will be his third datukship: in 2001 he was given the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri by the Penang State governor. His second came from the state of Kelantan.
He does not deserve it but that's my view. Someone in Putrajaya thinks Kalimullah has done enough for Penang and its people to get the title next week in conjunction with the official birthday of State Governor Tun Rahman Abbas.

Oops (at 11.39am, 9 June) .. Actually, Kalimullah got a title from the state of Perak recently. My apologies. So the Penang title will be his fourth!

Nice try, Bernas

Price of rice to stay. Bernas announced the price hike of between 5 sen and 20 sen per kg of rice last week, citing the increase in fuel prices as a reason. But just now, in Penang, the DPM said the Government has no intention to increase the price of rice as it will burden the people. That's the same as Najib Abd Razak telling Bernas and the Minister in charge to not even think of it [No Government intention to raise rice prices, Bernama.
Where was Najib when they increased the price of petrol and diesel, again and again?

A blogger's list for the Perak Mufti

Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner ... Ashraf, who runs the MindaCergas blog, has put up a special posting headlined Helping the Perak Mufti as a follow-up to the Siti Nur Idayu case. The blogger has listed names of some VIPs (or, rather, VIMs for Very Imporant Malays/Muslims) the Perak Religious Department should go after in the name of consistency.
The list includes celebs, a rock climber, and corporate Malay-Muslims who sit on boards of haram corporations.
p.s. Jojo is the nick for Syed Yusof Nasir, a friend of the Selangor Sultan. He's there on Ashraf's list but I think they'll leave him alone.

Govt mulls KTMB takeover

Is Scomi still keen? Chan Kong Choy, the Transport Minister, said last night the Government is studying a takeover of KTMB. nDefinitely worth tracking this one. [Govt mulls proposal to takeover KTMB - Chan, Bernama.]

People may put down the railway company but they know it has a HUGE landbank. At the last count, it had some 31,000 acres throughout the country. That's excluding the most coveted property in Singapore: 536 acres of land right in the middle of the island republic. Which is about twice the size of the site of Penang's proposed new city centre!
Not too long ago, Kamaluddin, Abdullah Badawi's son, was said to be eyeing KTMB for his company Scomi. The talk died down after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spoke of it at a press conference at the height of his spat with the Prime Minister.
Is he still eyeing it?

Screenshots has a posting on Money Trains, which features Scomi prominently.

Hisham's K&M, a year down the road

CBT takes over. In Aug last year, I did a posting headlined Hisham's Cars and Bikes, which became one of the 48 postings (later increased to 50) cited by NSTP & 4 Others in their defamation suit which they filed against me in January. Hishamuddin Aun, the NSTP's group editor-in-chief, is one of the four.
In order not to prejudice the on-going case, I shall not discuss the details of the posting. But I've been told that the weekly K&M, the focus of that somehow offending posting, will not accompany today's Berita Minggu.
Vong Yamin of NST's Cars, Bikes and Trucks has been asked to fix the K&M and come out with an overhauled product in good time.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Why you shouldn't go sleeveless in an entertainment outlet

with updates//8 jul 07 - see end of posting
For Muslim women only. For exposing her arms while singing for a living, Siti Nor Idayu has been ordered to appear before the Syariah Court. She will be charged with"exposing her body" during a performance and "encouraging immoral activities". [Singer held over dressing, thestar online, 6 July]

Did Siti Nor Idayu (pic) expose her body and encourage immoral activities? I wasn't there so I won't know. But I am tired of this Apartheid. Some Muslims in this country derive pleasure from shaming other Muslims and you'd note that these happen only to the lower caste Muslims. They are never going to order the Muslim directors in Malaysia Airlines to appear before the Syariah court for allowing liquor to be flown and consumed on board, for example. Or are they?

There are a thousand other better ways if religious department still want to help promote a good image for Islam. Without shaming the Muslims, including those who are just having a good time and not hurting anyone.

update: Shanghai Stephen has asked Raja Nazrin Shah to step in and tell his state's religious department to chill. Read here.

update 8/7/07: Malaysia: Bloggers protest religious policing (source: Global Voices Online)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

070707 Concert

Green Every Day Concert.
Date: 7th July 2007, this Saturday
Time: 4 pm to midnight
Venue: Stadium Bukit Jalil
Admission: Free

More than 55 artistes, incuding the "Papa Rock" Ramli Sarip, will do their stuff in 8 hours of songs and entertainment for Mother Nature. Suria FM, the organiser aims to inspire music listeners to do something kind for the environment by making this Green concern an annual do. In some places, men have inflicted irreparable damage on their surroundings. So it's heartening to know that younger people like Engku Emran think that the situation is not hopeless. Emran, the Suria FM boss, came to a bloggers' weekly mi rebus do last Tuesday to preach about the Concert.

Go to the concert. It beats doing nothing.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Too well done, the pics!

And Pasquale's not a Najib's apologist. Are these [click here] the pics of Najib and Razak/Altantuya? Pathetic. Well done, Pasquale [who is not a Najib's apologist but his supporter].
And Shar101, who has a word of advice for Tian Chua for publishing the picture. Read Shar's Well Done, Tien Chua and, from the eastern front, Sheih's You Give Us a Bad Name.

Anwar vs Mahathir, July 4

Court throws out Anwar's suit. Kuala Lumpur, July 4: The KL High Court this morning struck off Anwar Ibrahim's RM100 million defamation suit against Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister.

Judicial Commissioner Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said Anwar’s suit was “obviously unsustainable” and that Mahathir’s remark was a “fair comment made in the public interest”. Anwar’s lawyer Sankara Nair said his client was upset over the ruling and that an appeal would be filed as soon as possible. [see Malaysiakini's report here].

DSAI's special assistant, Nik Azmi Nik Ahmad told me his boss will issue a statement to bloggers and the media soon, so watch this space for updates.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

MCMC violates policy

update: Not at all. Keng Yaik said he did not instruct the issuing of the letter, according to the Bernama report here.
Original posting
Letter should not have been sent.
On 7 June 2007, Dr Halim Shafie, chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, shot a letter to private TV and radio stations telling them to stop broadcasting speeches by leaders of Opposition parties. Now Dr Lim Keng Yaik, the Minister in charge of the MCMC, tells us that "Whatever the reason, MCMC should not have issued the letter as it is not in line with our policy."

According to The Star here, Keng Yaik said he did not know of the MCMC letter initially as he was overseas, hence the late response. He said he only found about it after reading it in the newspapers and learning of the motion to debate on it in Parliament.

Whatever the Minister's reason, I am concern with the MCMC's screw-up. This is, after all, the body that is supposed to be the Regulator that oversees and advises the government on matters pertaining to on-line activities, including blogs.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Putrajaya 2 in Penang

Patrick Lim's Batu Kawan. A new administrative capital?

That's the talk in the market. In Penang, at least. Patrick's Equine Capital has a huge landbank in Batu Kawan in the Prime Minister's home state, and is believed to have finally received the green light to turn it into a mega property development like nothing Penang has witnessed.

Lim, who is also known as Patrick Badawi for his perceived closeness to the PM, rose to prominence for being the Chosen One to develop Pulau Duyong in Terengganu and organize the Monsoon Cup, a pet event of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Equine and friends will benefit immensely from another mega project on Penang island, including the multi-billion ringgit 2nd Penang bridge. Equine also owns a quarter of the 239-acre Penang Turf Club, which has been earmarked to be Penang's new city centre. A Penang Towers Complex will be built. The redevelopment of the Penang Turf Club is estimated to generate a value of RM25 billion over 10 years, double that of the KLCC's!

The Batu Kawan project will be as grand as the Iskandar Development Region in Johor and is expected to offer foreigners the same NEP-free incentives. There'll also be a bullet train service that zips through it, I believe.

Question is, do we need another Administrative capital?

I am sure the financial journalists who are going to Penang for a briefing tomorrow on the country's latest mega-mega project will ask the tough questions but one thing's for sure, mega projects are well and alive.

2.4 million!

Baffling stats: Indonesians in Malaysia. There are 2.4 million Indonesian nationals living and working in Malaysia today. Some 1.2 million came here legally. The rest are here by other means.

Source: Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Minister Erman Suparno, quoted in Bernama's Don't be a thorn in the flesh, Zam tells Indonesian media

The Malay Jew

The hidden hand. According to Malaysia Today, which broke the Abdullah-Jeanne love story last year, the 3 mega suits - Anwar vs Mahathir, Altantuya vs The Malaysian Government, and Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan vs Matthias Chang - are intertwined in a web of conspiracy and deceit that also extended to several mega-bucks corporate "miracles" that we've seen in the last few years since Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became PM.

An extract from The Malay Jew in the Corridors of Power:
We all know about ECM Libra, Avenue Capital, Ethos Consulting, and Scomi, the flagships and ‘cash cows’ of the ‘First Family’ (and I use inverted commas for ‘First Family’ because there is no such thing in Malaysia, though the mainstream media insists on using this term). And we imagine these flagships as under the control of Kalimullah, Khairy and Kamaluddin (the ‘Three Ks’ mentioned in the previous episode of The Corridors of Power), as are Air Asia and those other ‘high fliers’ taking the Malaysian corporate scene by storm. But there is actually a hidden hand behind all these corporate moves which reads like a conspiracy theory the likes of the Kennedy assassination, the bombing of the New York Twin Towers, and the Knights Templar.
But before we talk about this ‘hidden hand’, let us first trace the events that led to this Kalimullah versus Matthias civil suit ....

[click here for more]

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Johor's son Hisham responds to LKY but ...

... but no cigar. Don't be fooled by the fierce headline, Hishammuddin hits out at LKY for statement on IDR. The Umno Youth leader was merely saying that he supports the IDR.
"To accuse that we (Johor Umno leaders) do not welcome (Singapore's investment in IDR), I feel is purely his personal perception and his perception is influenced by history".
[If you find it hard to understand where Hisham was going with the quotes, click here for the whole report by Bernama].

At least the Deputy Prime Minister had the good sense to call up Ghani and asked him what he thought of LKY's statement. Najib said the MB had assured him that Johor Umno is all for IDR.
"As such, it isn't true if anyone says that there is no support from the Johor Umno. In planning for the development of the IDR, we certainly take into consideration the interest of all parties. And Singapore investors can be accepted and we welcome them as investors in the development planning framework for the IDR which had already been drawn up."
[Click here for the Bernama report]
However, neither of them responded to the remarks by the "Little Emperor" about Pas trying to topple the PM and Umno leaders, especially the ones in Johor, are doing the same. See my Saturday's posting here.