Friday, August 31, 2007

The art of diplomatic Bushit

Abdullah a constructive force, says Bush, who was surprised when told that the Malaysian PM had re-married (when, in actual fact, he had congratulated Abdullah on the marriage to Jeanne and even sent Abdullah a couple of flowers!). Gosh, is this guy for real?

Excerpts from Malaysian PM very constructive force for region, says Bush:
The camaraderie between the two leaders could be seen when the president said: "When his wife (the late Datin Seri Endon Mahmood) died, I tried to call him early just to let him know I cared about him."

When told that Abdullah had remarried, Bush appeared surprised and said: "Has he? Good. I'll congratulate him. Thanks for giving me that heads-up. I'm going to congratulate him. That's neat.

When told by his aide that he did congratulate the prime minister, Bush laughed at his memory lapse and said: "Exactly. I'm going to congratulate him again. I'll double the congratulations."

He later admitted that he forgot and asked his aide whether he had called or written a note to the prime minister. He was told that he had written a note.

"That's right, yes. (I also) sent him a couple of flowers," Bush said.

The meaning of Merdeka

A birthday wish from a son abroad, and other stories ... Read also Eli's The Unfinished business of Merdeka, Big Dog's Perjuangan Belum Selesai, A Voice's Sepi Meraikan Merdeka to capture the various moods and colours of this year's Merdeka.
Please read also A. Kadir Jasin's reflective Merdeka Bumiku Malaysia.

Meaning of Merdeka (Independence) 50

Merdeka to the nation! Merdeka for my ambition!

Freedom of speech! Freedom of thought!

The benevolence of colonials, merdeka is not

Free! Unshackled! That’s the command of the Lord.

My universe is broad, the blessing of God.

I strive, but only He knows my fate and lot.

Oceans, mountains, and boundaries faze me not

The global waves a match for my surfing board.

My village abode is not my tether

The yonder wide world beckons me thither.

Firm on ground, the heavens above I praise

And pray my dream will find its rightful place.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

That is Allah’s command; His measured kindness.

It is not for kings and rulers to alter

Nor put boundaries to God’s desire.

Blessed with freedom and reason are God’s children

To lords and kings we are never beholden.

The feudal order had long been toppled

Let’s be clear, the sovereign is the people.

Ponder the fate of one Idi Amin

That of Shah Pahlavi was equally grim!

These realities our leaders must heed

“Power to the People!” is the new creed.

Praise the wandering son, our true hero

Heeding the call when the distant wind blows.

This “us” versus “them” makes little sense

True to yourself, that is the essence.

Blessed our forefathers for that lesson.

My roots have deepened in this foreign soil

Affected or not, so too my Western drawl.

The spicy taste of yore has lost its punch

Still, the old Malay can, … lah! In a crunch!

Far across the ocean the old abode beckons

My kith and kind, Oh! They readily come to mind!

As I ponder, the heart grows fonder

Reliving stories of days yonder.

The young has flown, the empty nest silent

Sadness yes, but memories remain vibrant.

Freedom! Merdeka! Such intoxicating beauty!

With fondness and passion, I readily embrace thee.

M. Bakri Mua

Morgan Hill, California

August 2007

click here for the original poem in B. Malaysia

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blogger summoned for "faking" it

update, 5pm on 30th August, 2007
Is this your blog?
Sheih spent about 90 minutes with Mazlan Othman, said to be the new head of the MCMC's enforcement division. Mazlan said the "interview" was part of the probe into Tien Chua's doctored pic but 19 out of the 20 questions that Sheih had to answer were on his blog and on himself. "It feels like they were probing my blog instead of the picture," Sheih told us over lunch. We did not eat because we did not have the appetite for food.
Sheih was "interviewed" at the Companies Commission's office in the Mall, opposite PWTC. Mazlan told Sheih that the MCMC had considered calling me in as well and that Tien Chua and Jeff Ooi had given their statements, too.
At the end of the interview, he was asked to sign and initial on 14 pages of answers he had given. He was not given a copy as that was the procedure, or so he was told.
The whole exercise came under Section 256 (2) of the Multimedia Act 1998, so he was told, too.

I told him (and Zorro and Tony Yew, who were there to walk with Sheih) that All-Blogs will need to put up a posting to inform bloggers of what they should/could and should not/could not do if Mazlan or anyone from the MCMC approaches them for an interview.

p.s. On Tien Chua's pic, Sheih was asked how he could tell if a picture was doctored.

Original posting:
Probe into Tien Chua's doctored pic begins.
Sheih, the original posterboy of Malaysian blogging, will be in Cyberjaya tomorrow morning at 11 to have his statement recorded, by the Multimedia Commission, on a picture of the DPM, Razak Baginda and a woman that was supposed to be Altantunya posted in the blogs.
The digitally doctored picture was "created" by Opposition politician Tien Chua on his blog in early July. Sheih took Tien Chua's picture, added a "FAKE" watermark on it, and highlighted it under his posting You give us a bad name.
Everyone knows it's a doctored picture. Sheih even watermarked it. So we are not sure what the Multimedia Commission will be trying to establish by summoning Sheih and recording his statement.

But some of us will be there with Sheih to find out.

Open letter to the Speaker of Parliament

Aug 29: Parliament Speaker rejects motion to debate the withdrawal of the 37 charges against Zakaria Deros. The Speaker said: "Action has been taken and I consider the issue settled." Excerpt from the Bernama news:
The Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) had taken Zakaria, 61, and six of his business partners to court by virtue of their position as directors of Harvest Court Industries Bhd and Titi Steel Sdn Bhd, which had contravened the Companies Act.
They were charged with, among others, failing to notify CCM of their change of address, failing to hold annual general meetings, failing to submit financial statements and failing to submit profit and loss accounts.
Under the Act, they could have been jailed a maximum of five years and fined up to RM30,000 on each charge if convicted.
When tabling the motion, Lim Kit Siang said the dropping of the charges could affect public and investor confidence.
"And the failure to give a satisfactory explanation (on the matter) only serves to strengthen public perception that unlike ordinary people, politicians get to enjoy special privileges and legal immunity," he said.
Original posting:
You're crappy, Sir!
Lawyer Malik Imtiaz is alarmed with the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's habit of rejecting motions by the Opposition to discuss matters of national interest.
".. the trend of rejections of Opposition motions by the Speaker is alarming. Bearing in mind that it is only the Opposition that appears to be interested in more than just propaganda and non-speak (how else can one characterize the performances of members of the Government) as is easily seen from the nature of the motions moved, the continued rejection by the Speaker is undermining the very institution he is charged with safeguarding."
An urgent motion by Lim Kit Siang to debate the Port Klang Free Trade debacle[read the story here] is the latest casualty of this bad habit.
Read the rest of Malik's open letter to Tan Sri Ngah Talib here. Compare that with Zorro's disparaging take on the Speaker here.

For the latest on PKFZ, read Ancient Mariner's Some Unanswered Questions.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

4get da bad English, this a really goat read...

Abdullah, Jeanne enjoy gardening at Sri Perdana, 20:37
update: click here for a goat poster
KUALA TERENGGANU, Aug 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysians should take a leaf from Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah who enjoy tending to their garden which is planted with vegetables and herbs at their official residence, Seri Perdana, in Putrajaya.
The prime minister said that, in fact, he had two Jamnapari goats in his hometown of Kepala Batas which were later stolen.
Abdullah mentioned this when opening the national-level Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen's Day 2007 at the Batu Buruk Public Park here today.
He said his late wife Datin Seri Endon Mahmood had a keen interest in batik, songket and handicrafts but Jeanne, whom he married recently, is into agriculture, vegetables and fruits.
"We have a garden at Seri Perdana where we grow our own herbs, to keep me healthy," said Abdullah who also grows plants like rock melons.
The prime minister said the stolen goats had since been replaced and the animals now had 10 kids.
Abdullah said as prime minister, he had to personify the "leadership by example" slogan in efforts to develop the country's agricultural sector.
Various agriculture-related events are being organised in conjunction with the Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen's Day which runs till Sept 2.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blogger's help sought in RM4.7 billion fiasco

Motion for debate in Parliament. Lim Kit Siang met Capt Yusof the Ancient Mariner blogger yesterday for inputs the DAP stalwart hopes to put to good use when he proposes today a motion to debate the Pork Klang Free Zone's RM4.7 billion debacle, and the so-called soft loan the government has unilaterally proposed to bail out the parties involved for the losses.
Capt Yusof has been at the forefront in reporting the PKFZ's scandal in his blog while the mainstream media obediently waited for the "green light" from the 4th Floor operatives before they could report on the matter.

All-Blogs logo

Tame, simple, effective? Thanks for the feedback, Roxanne and Mr Nobody. I put up a tentative All-Blogs logo on the side bar just to see how it'd look and both of you did not miss it. That, to me, is a good sign.
Yes, we've got the Blog House and now we need a logo. The pro-tem exco were happy with the font and the hibiscus' stigma but we are undecided about the colours and whether the logo should be "hanging loose" or "boxed".
Poster boy Mob1900, who created the Bangsa Malaysia poster, has given us 10 color combinations to choose from.Wanna help us choose? Or suggestions?


Sunday, August 26, 2007

bangsa malaya to BANGSA MALAYSIA

pix by TV Smith, poster by Mob
Blog House, 25th Aug 2007 - More than 100 bloggers and ordinary Malaysians met at the Blog House at 66 Lorong Setiabistari 1 Bukit Damansara 50490 Kuala Lumpur tonight to form a movement to realise one Bangsa Malaysia.
Haris Ibrahim, who initiated the gathering, also announced the formation of Pelitar (short for Penyanyang Legasi dan Inspirasi Tunku Abdul Rahman), a body that will carry the Bangsa Malaysia aspiration to other parts of the country. Penang, Ipoh and Johor Bahru were named as the next venues for the Bangsa Malaysia awareness campaign. (A new blogsite on Pelitar will come up this afternoon). update: click here to go to the Pelitar blogsite.

Ahirudin Attan, the pro-tem president of the National Alliance of Bloggers or All-Blogs, formally opened the Blog House. All-Blogs was formed in April to promote blogging and protect bloggers.
Several politicians, including Zaid Ibrahim and Tony Puah, were present. Malik Imtiaz and "hippie" professor Azmi Shahrom were among the speakers at the Bangsa Malaysia forum.
All-Blogs vice-president YB Jeff Ooi, secretary Nuraina A. Samad, treasurer Tony Yew and exco members Li Tsin, Walski, Rajahram, Galadriel, Husna, Jun-E Tan, and Zorro were also present. Zorro aka Bernard Khoo was also one of the speakers at the forum. Jeff wrote a pantun and Walski played Wish You Were Here on the guitar. Azmi showed his Dylanesque side, playing two of his own compositions, and Black, who will launch his album this Thursday, gave us two big folksy protest numbers.
There were many others: Marina Mahathir, Nathaniel Tan, Shar101, Shanghai Stephen, What a Lulu, Rikey, A Voice, Pasquale, I am a Malaysian, Desiderata, the Stand-up Philosopher, Ancient Mariner, Sang Kelembai, SK Thew ...
Two young bloggers - Aishah, 11, and Aiman, 12 - were among the future hope of Malaysia who attended the event, which started at 5 pm and ended just shy of midnight. Aishah was also probably the first to put up a posting on the Blog House do, here.
Blogger Big Dog recited a beautiful poem by Usman Awang entitled Tanah Air (Menjelang Merdeka). The national laureatte was also featured during my session at the forum, where I got six Malaysians to read Untuk Malaya Merdeka, an unpublished love story from 1949 about a group of young Malayans who were chasing the Bangsa Malaya dream.

Save our (and your) monkeys, Pak Lah!

Pasquale's open letter (sort of) to the PM in conjunction with Merdeka.
"My Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi you better control your decision making apparatus and protect the environment as much as you want to protect your family, your son, your new wife, your pregnant daughter, and last but not least your son-in-law! And those monkeys in your cabinet!
I implore you to save our Malaysians from being exported to be in some restaurants' cooking pots, and in some labs for testing. Pak Lah if you allow it to happens you will be remembered as a PM who destroys the country through a series of bad luck!
Please save our monkeys! They are Malaysians too!
Selamat Hari Merdeka to all Malaysians, and Monkeys and Zainuddin Maidin are also included!"

[Pasquale says in Canada, the Beluga, the Moose, the Caribou, the Loon, the Beaver, the Muskrat, and the Badger are considered as Canadian citizens and are protected under the law. Click here for the entire posting].

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fight against Corruption

poster by mob
Breaking news, Star's sms alert 24/8: All 37 charges against Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Deros and 5 co-directors in 2 companies for violating Companies Act dropped today.

Meanwhile, theSun and Straits Times (Singapore) and the bloggers were dead wrong: there is no bail-out for the Klang Port Authority. There is what the government calls Soft Loan. Thanks, Johorean, for the alert.

Malaysian government to bail out port stuck with US$1 billion debt
Associated Press Writer
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia will give a soft loan to rescue the country's main port authority from a debt of US$1 billion (€750 million) in a free port project, the government said Thursday.
The loan to the Port Klang Authority - tantamount to a bailout - is likely to raise questions about Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's pledges to boost transparency and battle financial mismanagement in mega-projects.
The scandal centers around the Port Klang Free Zone, or PKFZ, a much-hyped shipping area that opened in western Malaysia last year. It's original cost of 1.845 billion ringgit (US$527 million; euro405 million) ballooned to 4.2 billion ringgit (US$1.2 billion; euro923 million) by the time the project was completed in four years.
However, the total amount committed to the project by its 30 investors is only 725 million ringgit (US$207 million; euro160 million).
"Because the cost of PKFC is so high, the government has agreed to give a soft loan to (Port Klang Authority). The details are being worked out," a statement by the Transport Ministry said. It did not elaborate.

Bangsa Malaysia at Blog House

Malaysians at Blog House. For 11-year old Aishah, being Malaysian is "... to have Chinese as best friends even though you are a Malay".
Click here to read her posting on Being Malaysian.
Young Aishah may join over 100 other bloggers at the Bangsa Malaysia Merdeka do tomorrow. We'll sing Negaraku to at 8.30 pm. We'll then unveil the All-Blogs logo, listen to Jeff Ooi's pantuns + some songs from Black's new album, and meet some Malaysian bloggers abroad via wedcasting.
Venue: Blog House, 66 Lorong Setiabestari 2, off Jalan Beringin, Damansara Heights.
There will be a Bangsa Merdeka forum at 5pm. Click here for details.

Who's hacking into our mails?

Not safe. The following mail was NOT sent from Ruhanie Ahmad @ Ron, the blogging former Member of Parliament. He is in the country and not in Africa, and is now unable to access his blog, mail, etc. "Someone's hacked into my mail," he told me last night.
It's the same thing that happened to another blogging Datuk [Rejal Arbee and his (false) mail] just last month.
So, who's messing with us? Are they trying to tell us that they can now hack into the system and mess with our blogs and mails?
We are going to lodge a report with the MCMC, for sure.

-----Original Message-----
From: "ruhanie ahmad" <>

Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 08:50:59
Subject: Please, I need your Help Urgently.

How are you doing today? I am in a hurry writing you this message, i don't have much time on the pc here, so i have to brief you my present situation which requires your urgent response. Actually, I had a trip to Nigeria for a program called "Empowering Youth to Fight Racism, HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Lack of Education, the program is taking place in three major countries in Africa which is Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria. but unfortunately for me all my money got stolen at the hotel where i lodged due to a robbery incident that happened in the hotel. I had been so restless since last night, i have been without any money i am even owing the hotel here as well, moreover the Hotel's telephone lines here got disconnected by the robbers and they are trying to get them fixed back.

I have access to only emails at the library because my mobile cant work here so i didn't bring it along, please i want you to help me with some money so that i can clear my bills and return back home. please can you send me $2000 so i can return back i would refund it back to you as soon as i get home, I am so confused right now and don't know what to do, you can have it sent through Money Gram but My passport is with the Embassy here so not sure if i can use my name to collect it now, But you can send it directly to a woman who works for Western Union, she helps people in the hotel i lodge to get money from their relatives and i would get it through her, I have already spoken to her, so will get it immediately it is sent but let me know if you can help me then i will make findings. please let me hear from you so i can collect her full name and address where you can send the money to today please, Its really urgent for me as i don't know what to do right now than to leave here soonest you send it to me and i will pay you back immediately i get home.

Thanks alot for your kindness. I will really appreciate your quick response.

Ruhanie Ahmad.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Here's your proof, CJ!

Of judges' inappropriate conduct. Blogger Ganesh Sahathevan has started to help out the Chief Justice of Malaysia. I got this e-mail from the blogger this morning:
Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Ahmad Fairuz has time and time again called for "proof" that judges have been involved in any form inappropriate conduct. This blog is devoted to providing the CJ with the evidence.
Commentators are asked to limit their posts to documents already in the public domain.
To start the ball rolling, I , Ganesh Sahathevan (see, not hiding) will begin today collating on this blog matters where inappropriate conduct seems bloody obvious-unless one chooses not to look. - Ganesh Sahathevan, Australia
The first post concerns the case of Indah Saujana V Ors and Mr Justice James. Foong. Jeff Ooi has a series of postings that look beneath the CJ smoke-screen.

Husam vs Abdullah at Kepala Batas?

'69-like general election. Husam Musa has got balls.
The Pas' vice president said he is considering taking on the Prime Minister in Kepala Batas in the coming general election. There or Putrajaya, where the PM works and sleeps.
I admire Husam's guts but I'd rather he not commit political suicide. I urge him to contest in a safe parliamentary seat. God knows we need brave and honest representatives of the people in Parliament, not in the losers' pool.

Read the gist of Husam's interview with Oriental Daily at Sheih's blog here. Husam also recently wrote an open letter to Abdullah Ahmad [check here] which, among other things, damned the PM for the Pantai Hospital deal in March last year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Monkey's Last Stand

A Monkey's Last Stand. Despite his patriotic stand, he will soon be stripped of his citizenship and banished to another country. Perhaps, our monkeys were already doomed when people in authority likened bloggers to them. The Cabinet has literally signed their death warrant by withdrawing protection for the so-called urban monkeys under the Wildlife Protection Act.
How can we stand tall as a nation, when we so casually shrugged-off our responsibility to protect the weak and defenseless?

The above is the intro to TV Smith's four-page photo essay on this state-sponsored cruelty against animals.

Don't be emotional, politicians

Cool politician, anyone? Rais Yatim has burnt his bridges and crossed them, and recently created quite an uproar when he unilaterally decided to withdraw from the race for the Commonwealth secretary-general post which some of his more ambitious Cabinet colleagues seemed very keen for him to have.
Last night, Rais tells politicians not to be too emotional over the Negarakuku issue. He said politicians could only act as the executive power (if they had the power) and not follow their emotions.
Ooh, that should hurt many as there have been many who were openly emotional about Namewee's rap on the national anthem. I am wondering which bridges Rais has burnt now.

p.s. And I am rather curious as to why the Bernama report here places "if they had the power" in brackets.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What has Oxford done?

The Prince and The Toad. Bakri Musa, the Malaysian-born surgeon-blogger residing in the US, has just mailed me a piece, which he co-authored with Din Marican, that compares two Malaysian Oxford grads, Raja Nazrin of Perak and the Prime Minister's son-in-law.
I have decided to republish here the first 3 paras of the article What has Oxford done?. For the rest, wait for it at Bakri Musa's blog here.

What Has Oxford Done?

M. Bakri Musa and Din Merican

Both are graduates of Oxford, but what a difference between the two! What separates them is that elusive quality: class. One has it; the other does not. When you have class, Oxford will bring out the best in you. When you do not, not even esteemed Oxford can do much for you.

One is a crown prince, a sultan-to-be whose recent wedding warmed the hearts of Malaysians for its elegant simplicity and regal restraint. His eloquent speeches inspire the young and old alike; they enthusiastically embrace his enlightened vision of Malaysia. He appeals to their idealism and decency, and they in turn respond in kind. His understated passion and cool rationality resonate with the citizens. He elevates the tone of our civil discourse. In short, Raja Nazrin is “Yang Teramat Mulia” (“The Most Esteemed”) personified.

The other is a neophyte political operative, with grand pretensions of being the next Prime Minister. For now however, he is till struggling just to have the title (but not the qualities) of a “Yang Berhormat” (“The Honorable”) that goes with being a Member of Parliament. His obscenely ostentatious wedding a few years back dragged on for days, with multiple ceremonies. Its extravagance easily outmatched the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, minus of course the royal elegance. Today he is again indulging in excesses; this time hurling insults at Malaysians and assaulting their sense of decency.

(udpate: Ok, Ok! I might as well publish the whole article. - Rocky's Bru)

In his speeches to his followers in UMNO Youth, he instigates and brings out their dark side. To him, the Mat Rempits, those midnight marauders of unemployable youths who terrorize our streets, represent the best of our community. He champions them. Like them, his trade in stock is taunting and provoking, with undisguised racist undertone. Lately he resorts to simian references; no surprise as he is surrounded daily by the opportunist monkeys in the jungle that is UMNO. This fraud of a leader coarsens our public debates, dragging them to his barnyard level.

We humbly apologize to Raja Nazrin for this jarring juxtaposition of images. We are comforted by the fact that a Prince Charming beside a toad will never lose his regal bearing. A toad beside a prince however, will make its warts all the more revolting to behold, and its croaking unbearably grating.

While the constant croaking of a toad may be harsh on the ears, the repeated racist rhetoric of a leader, genuine or fake, can have devastating consequences. We would have thought that this would be obvious; we need not remind ourselves of the ghastly tragedy of May 1969.

This wet-behind-the-ears pseudo-leader is oblivious of these dangers. Born years after those horrific days in 1969, he did not live through the calamity that nearly ripped our nation apart. It would be unlikely for him to have learned that part of our history at Oxford. It is also painfully obvious that no senior leaders in his party have taken him aside to apprise this uncouth young man of that blemish in our history. This glaring omission speaks volumes of the caliber of UMNO’s current leadership.

Elusive Quality of Class

While “class” is an elusive quality and thus difficult to define, nonetheless we know it when we see it, to borrow the phrase of an American jurist. We would definitely know it when it is not there, hence the dismissive, “No class!”

Equally revealing is what a particular culture considers to be a class act or whom that society views as “classy.” Rest assured that a “class act” by a mafia don is anything but in a civilized society.

Nelson Mandela has class; his nemesis the buffoon P. W. Botha did not. Many attribute “class” to breeding. If by that they mean genetic endowment, we demur, as that would imply that the attribute is not teachable. It also implies the acceptance of a certain degree of fatalism: either one is lucky to be born with the attribute, or one is not.

If the term “breeding” refers to upbringing, then we are in agreement. This does not mean that those in the upper crust of society would automatically have “class.” We have many uncouth presidents and leaders. Then there was the lowly born Mahatma Gandhi whose class act of non-violence shamed the crusty British establishment.

We would have thought that being the son of a career diplomat would ensure good upbringing. After all the profession of diplomacy itself is the epitome of class, as encapsulated in the expression, “being diplomatic.” We also would have expected some of the father’s classiness to rub off on the son. That it did not forces us to look for other explanations.

The Malay expression Kurang Ajar (or Kurang ‘Jar, K ‘J) is the idiomatic translation of the phrase “No class.” Literally it means, “Not adequately taught,” as by the parents and other elders in the village. Stated another way: uncouth.

In Malay culture however, that phrase means much more: it is the most damning insult. In the words of Usman Awang in his poem Kurang Ajar, it is sebuah perkataan yang paling ditakuti untok bangsa kita yang pemalu) (the most feared phrase by our race.)

That aside, the literal translation is quite meaningful as it points out possible ways of remedying the deficiency. Thus, “Teach your children well!” as the song advises, is one useful way. There is no advantage in being born to a diplomat’s family if your parents have not provided you the necessary tutelage. Or, as is increasingly becoming common among Malaysians, they delegate this important parental responsibility to maids.

Malaysia imports thousands of these maids annually. As only the affluent could afford these “servants,” as they are referred to in Malaysian homes, we are now seeing a generation of the elite that has grown up kurang ajar. Many are jockeying for leadership of the nation. We shudder to think of the social and political implications.

Toxic Combination of Greed and Kurang Ajar

As obnoxious as this kurang ‘jar (K ‘J) young pseudo-leader is, the situation is worse. He is also aggressively ambitious, barely concealing his greed for money and lust for power. He fancies himself an “investment banker,” but his primary indulgence is stripping off valuable assets from government-linked companies. ECM Libra’s (the company he is associated with) well documented plundering of GLCs is a ready example. He also grandly aspires to be Prime Minister by age 40! It is this combination of greed and kurang ajar that is highly toxic.

This K ‘J pseudo-leader’s political career in UMNO is consumed with endless Machiavellian maneuverings in the blind pursuit of his ambition. None of his tricks are original of course; they are primarily the familiar “sucking up to your superiors,” or variations thereof, including the most extreme form: marrying the boss’s daughter.

If perchance the particular leader this K ‘J character is backing suddenly stumbles, he shrewdly shifts his target. His tactics and underlying strategies however, remain the same. After all, innovative imagination is not his forte!

Thus now that Anwar Ibrahim is out of power, this K ‘J character readily heaps scorn upon him. Earlier when he thought that Anwar might dramatically resurrect himself upon his release from prison, this K ‘J was the first to greet Anwar at his home on the pretext of expediting his passport application. Had Anwar remained the Deputy Prime Minister, this K ‘J would probably go after Anwar’s daughter instead!

Meanwhile supplicating supporters of this K ‘J are busy groveling to him; like leader, like followers. One particularly sycophantic subordinate went so far and without any trace of modesty referred to this K ‘J character as UMNO’s Beckham! This sycophant missed the salient fact that Beckham’s talent excites the crowd; K ‘J’s is to incite them.

Along the same vein, a tabloid columnist gushes in quoting an “anonymous” UMNO insider who likens this K ‘J to a young Mahathir. Laughable! Her groveling piece reveals more about herself than her subject: a drooling lapdog ready to lick her master at the snap of the finger.

We are heartened that some are beginning to see through the fraud of this K ’J. Zahar Hashim, head of Petaling Jaya Selatan UMNO, likened this K ‘J to the devil haunting UMNO Youth. Zahar is a retired army officer; meaning he has guts to go with his self-discipline. It would be tough to borak (hoodwink) your way through this former soldier.

The most effective way to teach these K ‘J types a lesson is to land them a tight slap on their face. Many we presume would like to do just that, especially Zahar. While we cannot do so literally, we are metaphorically slapping his face with our piece.

We have unequivocally declared here that Raja Nazrin is a class act, while this other K ‘J character is just that: kurang ‘jar. In so clearly drawing the line, we are also explicitly stating our values of what we consider worthy of praise and emulation versus what we should condemn and discourage.

(Din Merican is a senior research fellow with the Cambodian Institute of Cooperation and Peace. He was recently named an adjunct professor of global business strategy and a board member of the newly formed University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Din Merican had worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bank Negara Malaysia and Sime Darby.) He can be reached at:

M. Bakri Musa (

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ah, Aza!

Azalina to brief Umno on bloggers. The Sports Minister and I were quite close not too long ago. After I left NSTP we became less close, which was OK. And then I became a blogger. Even then we continued to stay in touch. For a while, at least. And then she was said to have been appointed chief of the Umno cybertroopers, whose mission is to give bloggers a bad name.

Today, at the PWTC, Aza is going to brief Umno members about blogs. I hope she'd tell them the truth about bloggers and the good that they can bring. I don't expect her to tell them that bloggers are this country's last hope in correcting the many wrong-doings, which was what Dr M, the man without whom Aza would be nothing, advocates. Aza is smart. She knows that Dr M is probably right. Heck, a few years ago, she would have put her life a stake to defend what Dr M said.

Khairy Jamaluddin will also have his own slot today but I don't expect anything good to come from him. In fact, blogger A Voice thinks he should not even be talking about blogs. KJ should explain to Umno members about how he bought millions' worth of shares in ECM-Libra and how the little investment bank not long after that merged with a giant (please read Khairy must first give "Penerangan" on ECM Libra-Avenue Merger Part l and Part ll.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bangsa Malaysia Merdeka do

At 8.30 pm on August 25th, at the Blog House, bloggers will get together to sing the Negaraku and celebrate the coming of August 31. Earlier in the day, there will be a brief forum on Bangsa Malaysia to initiate a movement that aims to unite us, Malaysians, as a people, regardless of race and religion.

Join us. There will be no charge.

Event : Bangsa Malaysia Merdeka Get-together
Date : 25th August, 2007
Time : 8.30pm
Venue : Blog House ( home of Malaysian All Blogs ) No.66, Lorong Setiabistari, Damansara Heights, KL.

For more info, visit the blogs of Haris Ibrahim and Tony Yew.

Govt rejects Negaraku-ku student's apology

A rap for a rap. The government had no trouble accepting the apology that wasn't an apology from Lee Kuan Yew last year. Not only that, the goverment even offered the Iskandar Development Region to Singapore as a way of saying, "No hard feelings".
But Wee Meng Chong ain't the Minister Mentor of Singapore. The 24-year old student in a Taiwanese U, who created a storm in our teacups with his radical rap using the national anthem, will not be forgiven or rewarded.
Wee Meng apologised for his clip but, according to the Star's sms news forwarded to me just now:
"(The) govt will not accept student Wee Meng Chee's apology for his Negaraku rap video clip on You Tube, the law will take its course, says Nazri Aziz."
Zam the Information Minister must be kicking himself in the back for saying Malaysians must accept Wee's apology.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Amir's in, Amir's out

The Malay Male bows out. Amir Hafizi has deleted his blog again. A lot of people, including me, will suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Meanwhile, Amir Muhammad, I heard, will be writing for theSun. Hail Kay Tat and gang!

Did VW offer to buy Proton's stake for RM1?

And someone made a lot of money out of the MV Agusta deal. Dr M could be pulling our leg when he said this morning that VW had offered to buy 51 per cent stake for RM1. But what's not a joke is that the people who bought MV Agusta from Proton for 1 euro (about RM4) made a bundle recently by selling Husqvarna, which was part of MV Agusta, for 93 million euro, to BMW.

The former PM had condemned the Proton administration for selling MV Agusta but the move was defended then by PM Abdullah Ahmad. Proton had bought MV Agusta for RM500 million when Tengku Mahaleel Ariff was the chief executive officer. Dr Mahathir said Gevi, the company that supposedly bought MV for RM4, was also a mystery as it was not listed on the Italian stock market.
"When they sold MV for RM4, I referred it to the Securities Commission. The SC said it was OK as Proton had assets of RM10 billion! But I don't know how much the assets are worth now. Can't be that much or VW wouldn't have offered to buy 51 per cent of Proton for only RM1. But I can't confirm this, of course."
At this point, Tengku Mahaleel stood up and informed the former PM that BMW had paid Husqvarna 93 million euros, which amounts to RM446 million after conversion, and not RM300 million.
Dr M: "My goodness!"
--- pause ---
Dr M: "Apa kira? What's another few million ringgit of losses? If we are going to lose money, why not lose a bit more?"

"There is something rotten in the state of Malaysia"

Dr M slams Pak Lah for corruption, incompetence. Dr Mahathir renewed his attack on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad's administration and his mainstream media today, telling bloggers, web-site owners and on-line writers in Putrajaya during a 3-hour meeting that, paraphrasing Shakespeare, "There is something rotten in the state of Malaysia."
"If you read the mainstream media, everything smells like roses ... but there's a definite stench from the rot in the current administration, in politics, social as well as economic matters.
"Take the crime rate, for example. There are people who will not leave the safety of their homes. And according to former chief of police Tun Haniff Omar in his column in the Star, the police force is divided into two: - one led by the IGP and the other by a police director and a deputy minister."
On the economy, Dr M said the media have painted an extremely optimistic picture of Malaysia, with the announcement of mega projects and economic corridors.
"But on the ground, nothing is happening."
Dr M was especially cynical about the administration's progress in fighting corruption. He questioned the award of contracts to companies that nobody had heard of, including the Italian firm called Gevi that supposedly bought MV Agusta for 1 euro, of how the Securities Commission said it was OK to sell the Proton subsidiary and lose RM500 million "because Proton has RM10 billion worth of assets", and how those accused of corruption have been cleared by the Attorney-General because they had denied giving bribes.

He said even where it was clear that corruption had taken place, the government denied it.
"It happened in Ijok and in Batu Talam (by-elections). What will happen at the next general election? Tonnes of money will be used to buy votes.
"What will happen to this country? It is one thing if the Opposition resorts to corruption; but if the Government and the ruling party resort to corruption to win the elections ...."
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia's status in terms of corruption has also worsened. "When we tell the people it's OK to accept bribes, we are on the road towards self-destruction. This is what frightens me."
He said he is not confident that the Malay voters, especially, will be able to resist accepting bribes in exchange for their votes. A Malay voter's vote is worth only RM200.
"(At the next GE) billions will be used. I am told that the process of accumulating the money to bribe voters has begun.
"Of course they will deny this and the A-G will say I have no case because they have denied any wrong-doing."
The meeting with bloggers was organised by an NGO called Prima, which is short for Majlis Prihatin Malaysia.

Dr M on Port Klang's RM4.6 billion debacle ...

Update 5.15 pm:
Sorry mates, didn't get to shoot the question. No press conference either. Heard that Chan Kong Choy was going to talk about the PKFZ at the lunch press conference, so I'll wait for that one.
In the meantime, there is something rotten in the state of Malaysia, Tun Dr M said. Turn to next post, please.

Original post
... and other issues affecting us. Dr Mahathir is scheduled to meet bloggers, web-site owners and on-line writers at the Perdana Leadership Foundation at 10 this morning. If I'm lucky enough to find a standing room in the lecture hall, I will ask him about the fiasco at Port Klang, which was his pet subject when he was Prime Minister.
People are also curious to know if he had changed his views about his successor.

Watch this space for the breaking news!

Nor Mohamed on the question of bail-out

For nation we'll bail out. Even Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the 2nd Finance Minister, won't comment on the Port Klang Free Zone. The man blamed for the country's biggest forex losses was quoted in the Business Times:
"We don't see the Government going out and bailing out failed entrepreneurs. That's not our policy ... has never been our policy. But sometimes we put money in to create confidence for the overall economy, and we will do that."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blogger lodges police report over death threat

"Bloggers will be put to sleep". Blogger Ruhanie Ahmad, a former Member of Parliament, lodged a report at the Kajang police headquarters late yesterday afternoon over an SMS that he said contained threats on his life.
Ron went to the police station by himself, unlike Mike Tyson who had to be accompanied by supporters and journalists when he lodged a report against RPK late last month.
"I'm not seeking publicity. I am lodging the police report because I don't think I should take the SMS threat lightly. I think the police can help ... the phone number is there, I have given them everything."
I was there to walk with him. If he had let me, I would have brought along a platoon of bloggers to show Mike Tyson that we have bodies, too, not just brains.

Read Ron's posting here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bailing out Disaster Zone

The Sun's front page headline today

Disaster Zone. TheSun has a front page story headlined Disaster Zone. Citizen Nades and Terence Fernandez obtained documents and let you feel the filth and smell the stink of this crony-project. Azim Zabidi's name is also mentioned. He is chairman of Kuala Dimensi and is also Umno's treasurer. This is the same guy mentioned in Joceline Tan's article as one of the most eager to kow-tow to Khairy Jamaluddin's wish to take over the Umno Youth's throne.

Bail out! Bail out! Leslie Lopez, writing for Straits Times (Singapore), also has a field day on the crisis facing Malaysia's "most established port authority". According to Leslie, Kuala Dimensi has long links to several senior officials of Datuk Seri Abdullah's ruling Umno party and was originally awarded the development project at a cost of RM1.08 billion, which has ballooned to RM4.6 billion.
The report said Abdullah Ahmad's Cabinet has decided to bail out the company. This rescue will include a RM510 million payment this year to Malaysian banks, and the remainder in separate instalments between next year and 2010.
Read his piece here.

The shit has hit the fan.