Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Malaysia Nuke Cleared

Green light from White House! Did we know that we needed Washington's consent? In any case, we've got their permission! The American ambassador to Malaysia said the US has no objection if Malaysia pursues a nuclear energy program for peaceful purposes. [read here]
Interestingly, Dr Mahathir, in an article headlined Muslim Nations must have Nukes last September, slammed the US over its policy on nuclear weapons.
Dr M said he believed in a world free of nuclear weapons.
"My own opinion is that we should get rid of them ... All nations should (give up) nuclear weapons, in particular the very belligerent United States."
[read Muslim Nations must have Nukes here]

Tiger show

"Journalist Forever," he roars. Meet Ibrahim Yahaya aka Tiger, probably the best Group Editor that the Berita Harian never had. [click here to DuniaTiger]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ah, Yong Soo Heong!

Bernama Editor-in-Chief Azman Ujang will be the GM of the national news agency from March 1.

Veteran journalist Yong Soo Heong will take over the hot seat of Editor-in-Chief.

Majulah Singapura Part 12

Open Skies will benefit Singapore more. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that and Idris Jala is not a rocket scientist. But he is smart. If the Government goes ahead and "free" the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route ahead of Asean's agreed time line of 2008, the one who gains is Singapore. Not Malaysia.

Malaysia will be the loser.

Why is it I am not surprised anymore? [Read the remarks by the Malaysia Airlines boss here].

Monday, February 26, 2007

Shahril Samad vs Nor Mohamed Yakcop Pt 3

Two paras.
That's all this morning's much-heralded encounter between the PAC chairman and our Junior Finance Minister, on the controversial subject of the ECM Libra-Avenue Capital merger, is worth to Bernama. Bah.
He said on the merger between ECM Libra and Avenue Capital, the Finance Minister had explained that there was nothing unusual about the deal since it had obtained clearance from the Securities Commission (SC).

"To say we are satisfied (with the explanation given) is not right since the PAC consists of representatives of various political parties. We all have a different degree of satisfaction. The government feels that since the SC had no objection and the majority of shareholders of the two companies wanted to merge, then the merger should take place without any interference," Shahrir added.
Read the rest of the story here.

Shahrir Samad vs Nor Mohamed Yakcop Pt 2

Unanswered questions. Why is the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by the "Indomitable Shahrir Samad", investigating the ECM Libra-Avenue Capital merger?
I was about to try and answer this and many more questions some people have asked me with regards to the merger when I chanced upon the latest posting by A Voice, which takes us back to the days when even Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, PM and Finance Minister, claimed ignorance to certain deals.
Click here for another lesson, this time on why corporate mergers can go astray, by a blogger who used to be a "market regulator" himself.

Dracula lied?


Accountancy 101 for "misleading" minister. An accountant-to-be has "rubbished" S. Samy Vellu's take [New Sunday Times, Feb 25] on why highway toll had to go up extortionately (doesn't 60 per cent extort?) earlier this year.
I am no wizard when it comes to figures but FreeLunch2020 makes it look so elementary.
"So, no Samee. The total interest costs for the entire period of the project is pretty much fixed if interest rates are fixed. And NO, the loan principal IS NOT PART OF THE COST.
Now the question becomes how come these companies are not generating enough cash, and why are their stoopid projections/budgets so OFF the mark?"

Click here for a lesson on accountancy. For your more basic instincts, Shanghai has a finger on the same minister here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Shahrir Samad vs Nor Mohamed Yakcop

A most controversial merger revisited. The last time the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) touched on the merger was in August last year. PAC chairman Shahrir Samad was then quoted as saying that the merger had raised troubling questions.

At 9.30am tomorrow at the Parliament House, Shahrir may square off with the second most powerful person in the country, Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who is the 2nd Finance Minister, to try and get down to the bottom of the issue.

The merger is deemed controversial because it involved former Singapore Straits Times operative Kalimullah Hassan who, as group editor in chief of the New Straits Times Press, has written about his friendship with the Prime Minister, who is also Finance Minister, as well as the 2nd Finance Minister. Many aspects of the deal have not been written by the media, including the basic question of who actually approved the deal.
Of course, Khairy Jamaluddin, the PM's son-in-law, was also working with ECM Libra. In fact, he was given a few million ringgit in loan by Kalimullah and at least another ECM Libra boss to purchase the company''s shares.
Ibnu Hakeem has the details of the meeting and the deal here.

Translated: "Malaysia PM heartbroken"

Susan Loone got a blogger Turk to help her translate my earlier posting Malaysia's Turkish Cobra: Lost in Translation. It turned out to be a heart-rendering piece.
"Malaysia PM is heartbroken, he may not visit Turkey".
Click here for the translation. Thank you Susan, for the help; Anon from Miri, for the alert.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What Telekom Malaysia's Awo needs to do

If blogger Reriki represents the sentiment of Telekom Malaysia Berhad employees, Abdul Wahid Omar aka Awo should be happy that his staff would at least go with the devil they know. That's not too a bad place to start for the man whose term as the telecommunications giant's CEO has been extended by another 3 years despite a shortfall of RM0.6 billion in the headline KPI for group revenue set for FY2005 [see here].

Reriki has outlined 4 challenges for his CEO. Click here to read on.

Malaysia's Turkish Cobra: Lost in Translation

Rocky's Bru: This one appeared on Feb 9 in a Turkish newspaper, I was told. I can't seem to be able to get hold of my translator so if anyone out there knows of one, please do tell me. Otherwise, we'll wait for my translator to return from the mountains.
Go here for the original link.

p.s. Perhaps Wisma Putra can help with the translation?

Malezya Başbakanı küstü Türkiye'ye gelmeyebilir




Her yıl yaz tatilini Bodrum'da geçiren Malezya Başbakanı Abdullah Ahmet Badawi'nin geçen yaz Türkiye'de ve Malezya'da hakkında çıkan haberlerden rahatsız olduğu öğrenildi

09.02.2007

Malezya Başbakanı'nı Bodrum'da ağırlayan Kobra Yatçılık'ın sahibi Samim Yıldırım Baki, Badawi'nin rahatsızlığını şöyle dile getirdi: "Başbakan her yıl olduğu gibi geçen yaz da tatilini misafirim olarak Bodrum'da geçirdi. Ancak gazetelerde, 8 milyon dolara yat siparişi verdiği, gulet tipi yatını görmek için Bodrum'a geldiği şeklinde haberler çıktı. Bununla da kalmadı, bir başka haberde, sabah erken saatte tekneyle denize açıldığı, Malezya'dan Bodrum'a balık tutmaya geldiği yazıldı. Üstelik bu haberler kaynak gösterilerek, Malezya basınında da yer bulunca, muhalefet iç politika malzemesi yaptı. Badawi'nin kırıldığını, tatilinin ikinci bölümünü Yunanistan'da geçirmesinden anlıyorum."

Baki, iki günlük özel bir gezi için Bodrum'a gelen Badawi'yi Cobra King adlı teknesinde misafir ettiğini ve bunun dışında yat siparişi sözkonusu olmadığını belirterek, "Kaldı ki, Bodrum'da 8 milyon dolarlık tekne yapımı sözkonusu olamaz" diye konuştu.

Malezya basınındaki, 'Başbakan 13 milyon dolarlık yat siparişi verdi' haberlerinin politik olarak Badawi'yi yıpratma amacı güttüğünü belirten Baki, "Biz Başbakan'a misafirperverliğimizi göstermeye çalışırken, kırdık. Bakalım bu yaz Bodrum'a gelecek mi?" dedi.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Me, anti-(Malaysian) government?

I am anti-corruption, anti-racism, anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-child abuse, anti-crime, anti-spying, anti-plagiarism.
I am not anti-government.
I am not pro-government, either. I am supportive of a good, efficient government. I am supportive of a government that is anti-corruption, anti-racism, anti-apartheid, anti-child abuse, anti-crime, anti-spying, and anti-plagiarism.

Thanks for getting that right, AFP [here]. Screenshots has an interesting perspective about it [here].

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Next hearing, April 2

Amended claims. Last Friday, the lawyers for the plaintiffs (NSTP and 4 others) submitted amendments to their original writ of summons that was served to me last month. Given the long weekend (Saturday, Sunday and followed by the two days off in lieu of the Chinese New Year), my lawyer Edmund Bon and I felt we needed more time to study the amended claims.
Today's hearing was to hear my application to strike out the plaintiffs' lawsuit.
As the claims have just been amended, we sought for an adjournment. The Judge granted it and set April 2 to hear my application to strike out their suit based on the amended claims.

Some 50 bloggers and friends turned up at Wisma Denmark this afternoon to wish me well. We cut a birthday cake brought by Nuraina A. Samad and Marina Mahathir. Datuk Ron and Gen M bought tea and Maria served more than 20 plates of her special mi rebus brunch at Kafe-Four-teen in PJ to us bloggers. What A Lulu baked us cookies and some of us met Clark Gable, Walski, Rajahram, Mr Nobody, Tony Pua, June x2, Wielmaja, Lame Basket, and blogger-in-waiting and veteran journo Uncle Saad Hashim for for the first time.
The usual suspects were there. My thanks to all.

But before April 2 there's March 6, a date to walk with Jeff Ooi.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One month later


Bloggers United. I confess. When NSTP and the 4 others filed the defamation suit against me last month [here], I felt alone. When I was editor at the Mail and the Business Times, we got sued by corporations and individuals all the time but I was never worried. After all, I had the mighty NSTP behind me. But now the NSTP was suing me and I had no one behind me.
Nuraina A. Samad was there when they served me the papers. She had witnessed them take away her dad [and kept him in jail for over 5 years without trial, here], so some defamation suit, unprecedented or otherwise, wasn't about to impress her. That gave me strength.
A little later, A. Kadir Jasin called up. He heard that Jeff Ooi was being sued by the NSTP and thought I should get fellow bloggers to support the Screenshots blogger. I told him that Jeff was not alone.
The suit brought Jeff and I closer. And to think that we used to cross swords before: The Blogger vs The Editor. Together we sought advice from various parties, including Karpal Singh. Quite a few lawyers called up and dropped mails to offer to defend me, pro bono, and that I found heartening. Sonia from the CIJ called a press conference to denounce the legal action. The path led me to Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Haris Ibrahim and Edmund Bon. Elizabeth Wong had a hand in this.
There were over a thousand mails, text messages, calls and comments on the blog giving me support.
And then Sheih of Kickdefella, whom I met not too long ago under strange circumstances through Firewall, unilaterally created the Bloggers United: No Fear logo. Susan Loone started an Official Page for Bloggers United and someone else initiated Walk With Us.
When Bon and I walked up to court that morning on Jan 25, the bloggers were there. Ron was there. So were Pahit Manis, Zorro, Sang Kelembai, Kuda Ranggi, A Voice, Politikus. The KMU boys turned up, the Gen-M was there with banners, and bloggers from all over started to link up.
Marina Mahathir came into the picture and there were talks about setting up a legal fund to help Jeff and I. One day she mailed me from Sri Lanka and wanted to know why I had not put up the Bloggers' United logo. I got someone to help me tinker with the template and displayed the logo on my blog that very day. Last week, Malaysia Today did the same.

It's been only a month but we have come a long way. Hundreds of blogs are Bloggers United logo carriers. Thousands will do the same. In Mr Smith's words, a time will come when bloggers will move mountains. I believe that.

On Thursday the 22nd of February, at Wisma Denmark at 2.30pm, I go back to court to face NSTP and 4 Others. I don't feel alone anymore. I've got Bloggers United behind me.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Malaysia Today Blogs


Malaysia Today, the on-line news portal that boasts an average 1.6 million hits a day, has introduced a new feature called From Around The Blogs.
The new feature came just days after MT included the Bloggers United: No Fear logo that has been used by an increasing number of Malaysian bloggers, at home and abroad, to rally behind two bloggers who are being sued for defamation by the NSTP and individuals linked to the Umno-owned newspaper group.
"MT has already provided links to other blogs for some time ago," Raja Petra Kamarudin, who runs MT and recently published his controversial Khairy Chronicles series in book form, told The Bru.
"Now we want to carry items from other blogs on MT to share with our readers what other blogs are saying and direct some traffic to them".
One of the lawsuits, NSTP & 4 Others against Ahirudin Attan, will be heard at Wisma Denmark on Thursday, 22 Feb 2007, at 2.30 pm.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Robust economy and text book woes

Books and "Belon". It's easy to see why Ron is so riled.
On one hand, the Prime Minister brags about the robust economy - trade has reached a trillion ringgit, the KLCI is at its zenith, proposed investments last year were the highest ever, and the ringgit is strengthening against the dollar. His government, Pak Lah also said, will take advantage of this robust economy to pursue the nation's development agenda. [read here]
On the other hand, the Education Ministry hastily called off a plan for book loans for primary and secondary school students because it was too expensive. Its deputy minister Noh Omar said the ministry had to scrap the idea as it would cost the government an additional RM100 million a year.
What's RM100 million for a robust economy, man? The PM's little "belon", which is the Sarawak slang for an aeroplane, costs Khazanah Nasional (no, not the government) RM200 million.
It's belon first buku later, and that's why Ron's so riled. Get riled, here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

CNY


Happy New Year. May the year bring you good luck and good health.

Malaysia's Richest

The Rich Get Richer. Robert Kuok remains the richest Malaysian, according to Malaysian Business' 6th annual tycoon list. His personal wealth is estimated to be RM32. 4 billion, way ahead of second richest Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan, Malaysia's satellite launcher.

Things you might want to know about our Rich 40:
1. The top 10 are all 55 and above
2. Everyone is above 40 except one
3. The oldest rich Malaysian is Lim Goh Tong, the casino king. He is 89
4. The youngest (and the only one under 40) is Lee Yeow Seng of IOI Group. He is only 28 years old and is the 15th richest Malaysian. This is also his first time on the list
5. Dr Mahathir's son Mokhzani, 45, is the 23rd richest. He is also a new addition to this year's list
6. Sultan Selangor, who was on last year's list, is out
7. Negri Sembilan prince Tunku Yaacob Tunku Abdullah fills that royalty "quota". He is 29th richest
8. Six of the top 40 tycoons are with the YTL Group. Their combined worth reaches RM6 billion, about the total wealth of Lee Shin Cheng of IOI Group, who is the sixth richest
9. The richest Malaysian woman is Chong Chook Yew, 84, of Selangor Properties Bhd. She's worth RM562 million. Raja Eleena Raja Azlan Shah, 46 years old member of the Perak royalty and 30th richest, is worth RM469 million.
10. There are 28 Chinese Malaysians on the list

Friday, February 16, 2007

Lies after Lies, Pt 1

The RM200 million jet. In a special interview with the NST on 28 Jan 2007, the PM said bloggers and other people were using Web sites "to create stories" about him.
"I know there are people who are trying their best to ridicule me. They make a mountain out of a molehill. They just want to rubbish me. Lies after lies are being told." [read story here]
This was two days after blogs broke the story that government had ordered a RM200 million jet for the PM. Abdullah denied the purchase on 30 Jan, claiming that the government was aactually going to lease it from Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad, but without explaining that PMB is a wholly-owned subdiary of Khazanah Malaysia Bhd and without declaring that he is chairman of Khazanah. [Read here]

The point is, the RM200 million jet was NOT a lie.

The point, also, according to Malaysia Today, is there's a lot more about the jet's purchase-and-lease that Malaysians have not been told about. In his latest analysis, Raja Petra Kamarudin says Malaysia Today is not going to allow the matter to end here and treat it as all water under the bridge.
"The matter is very much still alive and we are going to resuscitate it further and show Abdullah Badawi for the phoney that he is. What Abdullah Badawi did not explain in that ‘clarification’ of his is that the government’s purchase of the executive jet will go through a series of ‘uncommon arrangements’, for want of a better term, unlike the other existing Government VIP jets."
Read RPK's Small lie, big lie.

Whoisthisfella?


The blog's called Walk the Walk, and Talk the Cock. Address is watch3r.blogspot.com
Fortunately, they don't teach this in schools. Z is still for Zorro.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Don't believe what you read .."

Blame the media, man. So Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, the Home Minister, has told Azmi Khalid not to believe everything he reads in the papers. TV3's "Bulletin Utama" news just a while ago quoted him as saying, "Jangan percaya dengan apa yang ditulis." [Don't believe what was written].

Radzi had been quoted by the media as having described as "rubbish" a MyKad lucky draw initiated when Azmi Khalid was Home Minister. The draw was meant to be a carrot for the people to get their new ID.

RTM has another angle. In an interview for a special program Azmi, now the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, said the lucky draw had been postponed long before Radzi took over as Home Minister. He said he had forgotten to inform Radzi of the postponement. Others in the Home Ministry also forgot to do so, according to Bernama here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"New" Weekend Mail


A year after and the return of the Mail.
Today last year I ended my 20-year stint at the NSTP*.
I was the executive editor of the Malay/Sunday Mail when I resigned. A month after I left, several key editors and journalists with the Mail, including the Sunday Mail editor Aishah Ali, also left under the group's VSS. Soon after our departure, The Sunday Mail was discontinued as part of an ambitious and expensive plan to transform the Mail into a punky, funky rag for young people.
In its place the ill-fated Weekend Mail came into being. Its publication was suspended by the Government following the infamous "smut" edition. In view of this, and after some harsh comments from the Deputy Prime Minister and a Cabinet minister, Syed Faisal Albar*, the NSTP chief executive officer and the de facto chief editor of the Malay Mail/Weekend Mail, had to terminate the contracts of "Mojo" M. Zul and a British expatriate.

This blog dedicated quite a bit of space to this sad turn of events. Today, I was recalling some of those events when someone called to tell me that the Weekend Mail is back.
I've heard for a while that the people there are going to turn the Malay Mail back into an afternoon daily, with hard-hitting news and just a dash of the "college" thing they had originally wanted to do. It seems that the Internal Security Minister has lifted the suspension of the Weekend Mail. The ad people have started to send out fliers to i9nvite companies to advertise in the "new" Weekend Mail. Generous discounts, too.

I extend my best wishes to the guys and gals at the Mail who have been trying to make it work. It will be an uphill battle and they know it.
My advice to Syed: Learn from the painful lesson. Let the pros run the show.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Malaysia's most powerful PM

RM46.6 billion. That's how much Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as Prime Minister of this trillion-ringgit trading nation, has empowered himself to approve for spending under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. That's more than double Dr M's budget as PM under the previous 5-year plan [RM20.8 billion].
In the context of "political economy", according to A. Kadir Jasin, it means Abdullah is "the most powerful Prime Minister" this country has ever had.
Read the analysis by The Scribe here and please heed to his plea to stay cool when commenting on this previously camouflaged fact.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

SuperDet's Fine

Dr Mahathir will spend the night at IJN and won't be allowed visitors. But "no worries, he's OK", says daughter MarinaM, who says she is NOT interested in running for Lembah Pantai (or anywhere else) against Shahrizat Jalil (or anyone else) in the next general election.

She, what a bleach!

I caught the blasphemous bleached blonde's ambition late, at Typhoon Sue's Tattlerama. What a bleach!

I, Peaceful Blogger

In his previous posting here, AKJ proposed that bloggers initiate a Bloggers For Peace movement. I know Sheih is already working on a logo to kick off this big effort.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Stalking the blogs

Government using pseudonyms to post comments in blogs? In Singapore, the government admitted recently that it has been sending cyber-operatives dressed in pseudonyms to infiltrate popular socio-political blogs to counter arguments or comments deemed anti-PAP. [read it here].
Malaysian bloggers I speak to say they believe our own government has been sending its own operatives to stalk selected socio-political blogs.
What Singapore does, this administration will emulate. No?

Bloggers on a roll. In a related development, recycled news here about two socio-political bloggers contesting in the next general elections.
Jeff Ooi and Tony Pua are both on my blogroll.
Another on that roll, Nuraina Samad, takes a look at bloggers helping politicians in the US winning elections. Her posting got another blogger on the same roll, MarinaM, to comment:
"I think the issue here is, just as reporters should not be bought, neither should bloggers. Their credibility is important. I doubt if people will really believe bloggers who they know are in the pay of any politician.
Politicians should simply treat bloggers as an intelligent and influential audience and try and persuade them to endorse them, just as (in the US) they do with the major papers. It does matter a lot if the New York Times and the Washington Post endorses you. That is done based on issues and what the candidate's stand is on those issues. So the same should be done with the influential bloggers."


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ngorok

It's Javanese for "sleep", I learnt today. Tempo, the influential Jakarta-based weekly magazine, used the word in an article on Malaysia for its current issue, Kala Blogger Menggelitik Pak Lah.
Di Malaysia muncul aliansi para blogger yang memperolok dan mengecam Abdullah Badawi. Namun, Badawi tetap berlalu.
Kliklah blog Blackinkorea.blogspot.com. Sebuah poster nyinyir berjudul Sleepers tertanggal 15 Januari 2007 akan segera menohok. Menampilkan empat wajah Abdullah Badawi tengah terkantuk-kantuk, memperlihatkan perdana menteri itu “ngorok” di pertemuan kabinet, pertemuan dengan partainya, saat konferensi internasional, dan pertemuan penting lainnya.
Pada bagian atas poster itu tertera ucapan Dr Martin Luther King Jr, I have a dream. Sedangkan di bawahnya ucapan Abdullah Badawi, I have thousand dreams. Selanjutnya ada celetukan kalimat: Badawi, seorang perdana menteri yang meninggalkan negerinya ketika negara terkena bencana.
Read the rest of it here.

Back on the road again


JB, Saturday 10 Feb 2007. It's been nearly three months since Dr M's last roadshow. Lots happened since: the US$8-million Cobra Sultan, his stay at IJN, the RM200-million "leased" plane, the plantation merger, the media merger, the lawsuits against bloggers, the second Monsoon Cup, the floods, the Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

Based on how he did at this week's Peace Conference, I say Dr M is back in his element.
Which means someone is going to lose sleep.

Go here to listen to the Language of Resistance.
[Poster courtesy of kickdefella]

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Malaysia should suspend FTA talks with the US

In the name of Peace, abort FTA talks with America. For three days, we hear of the atrocities from a war that the Bush, with the help of Blair, had created. For the first time, we hear of the torture "the man in the hood" had to endure. We are forced to relive the nuclear war that ravaged Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the Vietnam War that killed up to 5.7 million people, mostly civilians; the My Lai massacre by American soldiers, where about 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down on 16 March 1968; economic sanctions against Iraq that have killed half a million children [which Madeline Albright infamously responded, "we think the price is worth it"]; American abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo; and Israel's destruction of Palestine and Lebanon.

In the meantime, however, the Malaysian government has been busy pandering to the American government's fetish and to ensure that negotiations for our FTA proceed as smoothly as possible, without any hitch. [read "... off to a good start", courtesy of TheStar, here]

I say the FTA can wait. Must wait. We should tell the US to pull out of Iraq, to stop killing, and to end all its atrocities, or else ... [Remember Lantos?] ... or else, WE will abort talks on the FTA with the US.

Additional reading: Here on child killers and Bush the Liar; here to see Baghdad Burning; here for Make Peace Not War; and here Ali Shalal's tortured screenshots.
Recommended reading on the US-Malaysia FTA, go to www.usftamalaysia.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007

Khazanah clarifies

No PR consultants hired for South Johor project, says Khazanah.
I am publishing the e-mail sent to me by Khazanah Nasional Berhad's head of communications and external relations Ahmad Shahizam Shariff. The clarification is with regards to my posting Mother of All PRs on Feb 1.
Dear Rocky,
Just to follow through on our conversation yesterday, I would like to highlight that your blog comments last week which asserted that Khazanah has hired several individuals as PR consultants for our South Johor project.
As mentioned in our discussion yesterday, this statement is inaccurate and factually wrong.As with any projects this scale, you would appreciate that we would need to embark on a robust marketing and branding exercise to attract FDI and partners, and ensure the project’s overall success.
However, this is very much at an exploratory stage and no decisions or even bidding/tender has started.
Therefore, I hope you can appreciate that the commentary in your blog on this matter is wrong and misleading and we would appreciate it if you could help rectify this asap.
Please feel free to contact me directly to verify any sources of information you may have about Khazanah in the future. I will do my best to provide you with the necessary information or clarification where appropriate.
I must thank Khazanah Nasional Bhd for following this blog and for the offer to help verify my info in the future. I believe this will go a long way towards helping blogs become more responsible and resourceful.

As a responsible blogger, I must apologise for asserting that the two the two former top editors were "given the job by Khazanah", now that Khazanah has said it is inaccurate and factually wrong. Under the said posting, which carries the sub-head "Former editors to become BIG-money PR men for Khazanah projects?", I wrote:
"A former Singapore Straits Times operative is said to have been made the PR (Public Relations) consultant for the US$15 billion South Johor Economic Region. The man, who is in his early 40s and is believed to hold a Singapore PR (Permanent Resident), was given the lucrative job by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, my sources told me. The ex-Singapore ST operative set up the PR company after leaving an English daily loyal to the Prime Minister recently. His partner in the company is said to be a former editor of The Star."
Earlier today, I published a follow-up to that posting here.

Mother of all PRs, Part 2

Fox Media. The Mother of all PRs has a name and it's called Fox Media, according to industry sources. A certain shaik (from Penang, not from the Middle East) will be named as chairman of the new company, which will feature two former top editors known to have close links with the Prime Minister and his son-in-law. Since this blog broke the story the other day, PR practitioners have expressed concern about the invasion of powerful cronies to their industry.

In a related development, Khazanah Nasional Berhad told me it will formally deny a suggestion by this blog that it had hired new PR consultants to spruce up the image of the US$15 billion South Johor Economic Region internationally.

Incidentally, Walk With Us has a story here.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

War and Nobel Peace Prize

Malaysia supports tribunal to try Bush and Blair?
the Malaysian government, it seems, has thrown its support behind the initiatives taken by Dr Mahathir to criminalize war. The former PM told a press conference yesterday that a ministry has donated "a considerable sum of money" for the conference that begins tomorrow and "I believe that the Prime Minister's Department too has contributed".
How much did this ministry and the PM's office donate to the conference? I heard it wasn't much. I hope my journalist friends out there can follow up with the relevant authorities when they have the chance to.

The 3-day conference will see the formation of a tribunal to try war crimes brought to its attention, such as those committed by America and Britain against the Iraqis.

p.s. Dr M averted my question on news that he had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. "I don't know...I don't know. I think the most important thing is the attempt we are trying to make which is to criminalize war," he said.
I then asked him if that meant he would accept the nomination. In his usual sarcasm and wit, he replied:" I don't know if I have to accept or not but can we have some other more interesting questions?"

M is for Nobel

Most demonized ex-PM nominated for Nobel Prize for Peace. This year’s list includes American Al Gore, Finnish peace broker Martti Ahtisaari and Chinese dissident Rebiya Kadeer.
The nomination papers described Dr M as the Third World’s “most illustrious contemporary” and its “most courageous advocate.
June Wong from The Star has an exclusive, here.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bloggers welcomed here!

Koreksi! The press conference will take place at Helang Room, Legends hotel, and NOT at PWTC. Thanks Shar101.

Peace Conference. I plan to be at Putra World Trade Centre tomorrow, Sunday 4 Feb at 1230pm, for a press conference by Dr M on the conference, which will be held from 5 Feb to 7 Feb.
I hear Screenshots, 3540 Jalan Sudin, and Kickdefella will be there, too.
Bloggers are NOT feared there so if you have the time, let's meet there.

Go here for conference details; here for the War Tribunal that Dr M will set up to try Bush and Blair.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Mother of all PRs

Former editors to become BIG-money PR men for Khazanah projects?
A former Singapore Straits Times operative is said to have been made the PR (Public Relations) consultant for the US$15 billion South Johor Economic Region. The man, who is in his early 40s and is believed to hold a Singapore PR (Permanent Resident), was given the lucrative job by Khazanah Nasional Bhd, my sources told me.
The ex-Singapore ST operative set up the PR company after leaving an English daily loyal to the Prime Minister recently. His partner in the company is said to be a former editor of The Star.
Khazanah Nasional, incidentally, was in the news this week after the PM denied news on the blogs that the Government had bought a whopping US$60 million corporate jet for his use. Abdullah Badawi had said that the Government was only leasing it from a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional. The PM is chairman of Khazanah Nasional. [Dr Mahathir commented on the plane purchase here]
The chairman of Khazanah is known to be quite fond of the former Singapore ST operative. This liking may or may not have to do with Mr Singapore PR getting the SJER job but my sources said the man's familiarity with Singapore [and vice versa] makes him an ideal candidate for the job, especially given the fact that the SJER is meant to draw Singapore investors in a big way.
A source told me the PR job for the US$9 billion merged plantation entity has been reserved for them, too, but I can't immediately confirm that. Synergy Drive, the company that's putting together the merger, uses the services of leading PR firm Alpha, I was told.