Monday, April 30, 2007

Hello on 2

Talk blog. I'll be on RTM2 this morning for its breakfast show, Hello on Two, which starts at 8 am. This is Zam's tv station, in case you didn't know. They want me to talk about blogs. Since I dream blog, walk blog, and write blog, talk blog should be no sweat. But, really, breakfast shouldn't be too early.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wayang over, Kali returns to ECM

Minus KJ but plus Tony Fernandes! Yesterday's StarBiz had a front-page blurb on the news that Kalimullah Hassan, the editorial adviser who filed a lawsuit with NSTP and three others against me in January, will be back in the driving seat of this boutique investment bank that once gave Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law a "leg-up". Kalimullah sold off his shares together with Khairy Jamaluddin, better known as KJ, last year in the face of massive pressure from Dr Mahathir Mohamad [read here].

But while KJ remains out of the picture for obvious reason, Tony Fernandes or TF is reportedly going to be a new partner in ECM. Bigdogdotcom says this explains a lot of things for him:
"So, the picture becomes clearer and how Khairy's relationship with Fernandez (sic) crystallized further, for the rest of us. This suspicion ahd lingered in many minds, ever since Khairy Jamaluddin announced that he would be taking up 3% ECM Libra share sometime late 2005. The rest, there onwards, as they always say, is history.
Now history is back in the making and unfolding, all over again. Saturday 28 April 2007 (whilst the rest of the people in the Klang Valley were focused on the Ijok nail biting by-election. Star Biz ( has the story of this new development."
TF, the man credited for creating the phenomenal AirAsia, has built up quite a business portfolio in the last few years, including budget hotel, also in partnership with Kalimullah. He made the news last week following a controversial Cabinet decision to help AirAsia's subsidiary Fax "give back" the rural services to Malaysia Airlines after less than a year [backgrounder here].
Kalimullah is still Editorial Adviser of the NSTP, a position that gives him control over how news - including business news - in the country's major newspapers is presented.

Scroll down bigdog's posting here to read the Biz Star's piece.

No more Freelunch

Goodbye girl. Jed Yoong said she was going to stop blogging, at least as Jed Yoong, after the Ijok by-election in order to avoid any conflict of interests between her blog and her new job as Editor of the Rocket, the DAP party's newsletter.
Just before midnight, she put an end to her amazing Freelunch2020 blog:
As promised. After Ijok. THE END.
Jumpa lagi, di mana-mana.
It's been an amazing journey.
Good luck , Jed.
Afternoon udpate: A Voice has a posted a tribute to FL.
And a CORRECTION: Jed is no longer editor of Rocket.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Parthiban beats Khalid

Unofficial: Word from the ground in Ijok was that the BN candidate, Cikgu K. Parthiban, has won the by-election, beating the more illustrious Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the PKR candidate, by quite a margin. Bigdog sniffed the victory early. For latest updates, go to KMU and Malaysiakini.

Parthiban 5884 votes Khalid 4034 votes
1850-vote majority is 201 more than in 2004
83.08 per cent turnout for polling, the highest in Malaysia's by-election history

source: Malaysiakini's BN win with bigger majority

Friday, April 27, 2007

Khalid to sue Najib (and others)

"Dirtiest by-election in living memory". Ijok goes to the polls tomorrow and this is how Khalid Ibrahim, who is contesting on PKR ticket, has described the by-election.
"I have instructed my lawyers to file a lawsuit against Najib Razak and all others who have been making false and unfounded statements. It is my intention to be transparent and straightforward in all my dealings."

Elizabeth Wong has the full story here. Blogger A Voice (of Another Brick in the Wall) has more questions for Khalid Ibrahim. This blogger, in his latest posting Khalid forgotten how much he bought Guthrie?, has told Khalid to check his facts if he plans to sue Najib.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rotten government

Ijok: Dr Mahathir Mohamad is on the front page of Malaysiakini today, with this story headlined "Send signal to the "rotten" government".
Few will doubt that the remarks are aimed squarely at his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who appears in Ijok for the first time today since the by-election campaigns started for what is dubbed as the last by-election before the general election. Polling day's Saturday.
Dr Mahathir said Ijok is the right time for voters to tell the PM that NOT all is well.
“Unless you send a signal to the government that, ‘Look, if you don’t behave yourself, you may not get my vote at the next election,’ then the government will say, ‘You see? The people are voting for us. We are doing well."
“If you vote because you get a lot of money or because you get a lot of projects, you may get a rotten government which uses money in order to buy your vote."
“If they win, it’s because of Pak Lah, if they lose, it’s because of Khir Toyo."

Dr M's remarks have raised BN as well as Opposition eyebrows. I sms-ed blogger Elizabeth Wong, an Ijok PR since nomination day, if she could ask Khalid Ibrahim, the PKR candidate, what he thought of the former PM's statement:
"Tan Sri is a little surprised. But this means many quarters are coming together to protest this very corrupt government. From the MTUC to Dr Lim Tek Ghee now the former prime minister .."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cabinet relieves AirAsia of rural burden

Back to you MAS, thank you. The Cabinet has agreed to let Tony Fernandes concentrate on his AirAsia Long Haul and, therefore, hand over the necessarily less lucrative domestic rural services to Firefly, the Malaysia Airlines' new subsidiary.
Chan Kong Choy, who plans to produce "two national champions", told the Press this a while ago [watch out for Bernama updates later]. I hear some 260 staff will be affected by the decision but I'm not sure if the minister mentioned this.
The Cabinet's hasty decisiveness on the matter will surely surprise many. Read my last posting here: it was only April 12 when I posted about Tony having told Chan of the "logical thing to do". AirAsia's FAX took over the rural services from Malaysia Airlines under the air route rationalisation exercise just last year.

Ijok visited: Kedai Kopi King Kuan

Tea with Cikgu K. Parthiban. Bernard Khoo and I made it to Ijok after Jeff Ooi's hearing in the morning and the routine Tuesday's mi rebus at Maria's in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. Big Dog drove us there, with Nuraina A. Samad and a blogger believed to be A Voice as the other passengers. Jed Yoong, the Freelunch2020 blogger, was supposed to be part of the party but she had to go ahead of us due to work.
We got lucky in Ijok. Parthiban, the Barisan Nasional candidate was being interviewed by a group of journalists and we were promised "a few minutes" with the 39-year old education officer once the interview was over. I was not expecting much. Unless the subject is made of really good stuff, "a few minutes" is not going to give the journalist - or blogger - too much to write about.

Parthiban, we discovered, is made of some quite good stuff. In fact, as one of the bloggers said after our tea, the Opposition will surely win the Ijok by-election if Parthiban was their candidate! I agree. And that's not just because he thought I looked like Ramli Sarip or because he could even sing and remember the lines from the rocker's hit "Bukan Kerana Nama".

Q: Your opponent is Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, a big man. What do you think of him? Do you think you can beat him?
A. I've heard of Tan Sri. Yes, a corporate man. But I do not think of him and I do not think of whether I can beat him. I am thinking of what the people here want and what I can do for them. And I know what these are. This shop, I have been here since I was a young man. I grew up in this town. The people here know me. And I know them.

Q. More than half of the population of Ijok are Malays. Khalid is a Malay. You are an Indian. How do you plan to get the votes from the Malays?
A. I grew up with Malays friends ... and Umno (which is a Malay-based party) is theketua (leader). I have also been involved in a multi-racial youth movement in the area as its vice president.

Q. People say Ijok is a proxy war between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak?
A. Tak betul (Wrong). This by-election is about local issues. And I understand what the issues are. And I am young and energetic and I can serve the people here better.

Parthiban has been taking care of four younger sisters since their parents died. Two of them are in medical school, one is studying to be an accountant, and the last one in college. Read more about Parthiban here.

After the tea with the BN candidate, we were joined by several diplomats from an embassy in Kuala Lumpur who happened to be at the coffee shop. I wandered to the back of the shop and met Mr How, a middle-aged man who owns the place. I asked him about Parthiban. "Oh, Cikgu kah?" (You mean, the Teacher?). You call him Cikgu? "Yeah, kita panggil dia Cikgu. Kita kenal dia dari kecil. Dah 20 tahun dia minum di kedai ini." And what does he call you, Mr How? "Dia panggil saya taukeh."

Is All-Blogs for ALL bloggers?

Your say, please. Earlier this month, in the face of lawsuits and a hostile reception from some quarters in the government, we set up the The All-Blogs, or The National Alliance of Bloggers, with two objectives: to protect bloggers and to promote blogging.
But who are we protecting and who are we promoting?
That depends on who our members are, right?
Walkski has been entrusted with the task of determining the membership of All-Blogs at the alliance's first exco meeting. He has put up this poll here to help with his task. Tell him what you think!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Consolidation is next!

Next court date, 19 June 2007: The Consolidation.
As expected, blogger Jeff Ooi this morning successfully withdrew an application to strike out the original claims in a defamation suit filed against him by NSTP & 3 Others, with no order as to costs. This is a similar outcome to my own case that was heard on April 2. The date for the hearing of the new striking-out application will be fixed later.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007
will see:
1) the mention of the inter-parte injunction
2) the hearing proper of Jeff Ooi's application to consolidate our case and for it to be heard in KL High Court before Justice Hishamuddin Yunus.

Meanwhile, the ex-parte injunction that resulted in Jeff Ooi having to take down 15 allegedly defamatory postings from Screenshots still stands.

Two "national champions", Minister?

MAS and AirAsia. Chan Kong Choy spoke yesterday of Malaysia creating "two national champions" after witnessing the signing of a deal in which AirAsia's Long Haul may buy up to 15 Airbus 330-300s for US$2.6 billion for its budget long-haul flights from September this year. The Transport Minister said the government will ensure equal route distribution between AirAsia and state-owned Malaysia Airlines to create two successful "national champions." [read here]
I usually ignore the rhetorics of politicians, but this minister must think we are all fools all the time. In many countries, producing one "national champion" in the aviation sector remains a dream. In Malaysia, at the rate we are going with AirAsia and MAS, I can see only ONE winner. I may wrong, but let's see.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jeff vs Them: It's at Duta, not Denmark!

Walk With Us. All-Blogs vice president Jeff Ooi goes back to court to face NSTP & 3 others tomorrow morning. Please don't go to Denmark House because the Screenshots blogger will appear at the Courts Complex in Jalan Duta. Time: 9 am.
Jeff is being sued for defamation by the New Straits Times Press, its editorial adviser Kalimullah Hassan, group editor-in-chief Hishamuddin Aun and former NST group editor (now a PR consultant) Brenden Pereira. He was served his papers in January, about the same time the NST & 3 others + Syed Faisal Albar, the company's chief executive officer, served me mine through Shearn Delamore.
Tomorrow, Jeff's lawyers will apply to withdraw his application to strike out the plaintiffs' suit. As in my April 2 case against NST & 4 others, this move is deemed necessary because the NSTP & 3 Others have amended their original claims.
See you at Duta. Walk with Jeff!

No cost.
In my April 2 case, the Court allowed my application to strike out the suit against me by NSTP & 4 others with no order as to costs in view of the substantial amendments made by the plaintiffs to their suit (which was done after I had filed the striking out application). The plaintiffs had asked that costs be paid by me forthwith, which my counsel objected to. After hearing arguments for about an hour, the court agreed with my counsel and allowed me to withdraw the application with no order as to costs. It was my position as informed to the court that day that the plaintiffs should instead be paying me the costs as I had to file the striking out application before they sought their amendments. However, on advice by my counsel to conduct the litigation fairly, I did not proceed to seek costs and asked that no order be made in this respect.
On that day, I also reserved my right to seek further and better (FNB) particulars with regard to the amended suit or to strike it out.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I'm a Thinking Blogger

Thinking Blogger Award.
There is no money in this award. You get it because someone thinks your blog makes people think. In my case, Nuraina A. Samad thinks my blog makes her think. What I've got to do for getting this award is to tag 5 blogs that are supposed to make me think. It's a clever con job but thanks for the award, anyway, Ena.

Every blog I open makes me think but lately these five have been making me think again or think harder.
1. Jed Yoong
This young lady runs Freelunch2020. She is about to go back to blogging anonymously because she has decided that there is a conflict in interest between FL2020 and her new job as editor of the Rocket, the official newsletter of DAP, an Opposition party. Her blog has made me think hard about freedom of the blog.
2. Bigdogdotcom
Big Dog blogs anonymously and passionately. A pro-Umno fella who was the first to come out to try and protect Jed Yoong's right to blog without fear or favour, even though the lady works for the DAP. Will he stop blogging anonymously to prove his point about blog freedom?
3. Tony Yew
An ex-Anonymous blogger, Alliedmartster launched his blog called Must Stop This for only one reason - to fight for justice for Audra, his dear wife, who was sacked by Malaysia Airlines for being pregnant the third time. He has changed his blog's name to Can you see it? and expanded its coverage to include issues that affect life in general. It's David vs Goliath and Romeo & Juliet in one blog.
4. Susan Loone
This former journalist is a consultant for an NGO based in Bangkok. She started the Bloggers United "official page" following the lawsuit against Jeff Ooi and I by the NSTP and 4 others. She seems to see a link between the DPM and the murdered Attlantuya, based on her postings on the subject, and recently created a controversy by proposing that All-Blogs must go to Ijok.
5. Jun-E Tan (formerly June Tan)
This student of blogs and bloggers has been in the thick of the blog movement even before the lawsuit and was present at the meeting to form the All-Blogs (she was even nominated for the post of Treasurer but declined). She is not afraid to speak her mind as she recently did when she responded swiftly and surely to Susan' with her own All-Blogs must NOT go to Ijok.

Now, for the commercials:
This award was started here.
Each of the five recipients above, after taking a bow, will proceed to award five others whose blog he/she thinks deserve this award.
Now, my dear recipients, should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the award
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking!

Big Dog Gores Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim and Al Gore's racist assault against Malaysia. I was looking for the context of this article Gore's Racist Assault Against Malaysia by Michael Billington that blogger bigdogdotcom has just posted.
It describes of Anwar's too-close-for-comfort ties with the Americans.
Is it Big Dog's way of reminding the Ijok people of who Anwar Ibrahim is? The former deputy prime minister is aggressively campaigning for his staunch support Khalid Ibrahim, who was one of his biggest cronies in Corporate Malaysia when he was way up there, in the Ijok by-election. Anwar has also been accusing the current DPM of kickbacks with regards to the purchase of defence equipment for the country from the Russians. Is Ijok seeing a America vs Russia proxy war? No, that's silly.

Family Friends
But it sounded silly to me when Anwar was trying to prove how close he was to the IMF a decade ago. Shortly before his arrest in September 1998, Anwar had twice summoned editors of the local media to his office at the Finance Ministry, then in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur. I was the editor of Business Times.
During those meetings, Anwar emphasized two things:
1/ that we can trust IMF because "Camdesus is a family friend" (Camdesus was the IMF managing director, the guy who stood triumphantly behind Suharto after Indonesia "surrendered" to the IMF during the 1997 financial crisis).
2/ that Dr Mahathir, his boss, was getting senile and least irrational, and everything the PM was doing was detrimental to the economy and the ringgit.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dr M: I apologised to the people

Kelab Darul Ehsan, Sat: The former Prime Minister today denied news reports in the mainstream media that he had apologised to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over the RM60 million scandal.
"My ap0logy was to the people for getting my facts wrong. It was not the PM's house and it was not his son's house. But don't ask me who Patrick Lim is. I don't know who the guy is. Please ask that someone else who knows who Patrick Lim is."**
On April 18, Bernama mis-reported that Dr M apolosies to PM over allegation of mansion ownership in Australia. The Star today carried Sufi's letter clarifying that Dr M only apologised for factual errors in speech.

** Dr Mahathir was asked, after delivering his speech at a session organised by an Umno branch in Ampang, if he had apologised to Abdullah over the scandal. Btw, Patrick Lim is a businessman linked closely to Abdullah. Dr M has mentioned his name many times before, sometimes referring to him as Patrick Badawi.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ah, Freelunch2020!

Is DAP forcing Jed Yoong the blogger to stop blogging?
Why can't Freelunch2020 be editor of DAP's Rocket and still be a blogger?
Why do politicians fear bloggers?

Read blogger Susan Loone's latest posting here.
What do you mean you cannot write any independent post now that you are a paid machai of the DAP? Does this mean, you have no right to raise your own opinion, especially one that is critical of the DAP or opposition or issues that DAP champions? Your blog is your personal opinion, your deepest thoughts, and if you can’t do with this as you please (you are responsible all the time), then is DAP any different from Barisan Nasional, who owns newspapers and propagates its lies through their paid journalists?
Blogger Bigdog, who does not believe in DAP but counts Jed as a pal, was also perturbed [here].

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Zaid Ibrahim vs Nazri Aziz

The Big Debate. On 24 April 2007, the Bar Council will host a debate between Zaid Ibrahim and i Mohamed Nazri on the motion: There is a Need, in Malaysia, to Establish an Independent Judicial Commission in Relation to the Promotion and Appointment of Judges.
It is open to the public but seats are limited. For enquiries please contact Lojini 03-20313003 X 101 or email]. To know why they are arguing this motion, go here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dr M "apologises" to Pak Lah and Kali

.. or "How to get prime-time tv coverage when you are out of favour - Lessons from a Pro".
Dr Mahathir "apologised" twice earlier today during the day-long discourse on "Media's Role in National Development" at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya.
His first "apology" came during the Q and A session after delivering his keynote address. He was asked about the famous incident when he referred to a top editor appointed by the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as "a hindu god and muslim priest".
"Oh, I must apologise. I heard his daughter in Australia cried [here]... when I called him a hindu god and muslim priest."
At a press conference later, the former PM was asked by a media blogger if he realised that he was wrong in saying, during a speech in Kulai recently, that Abdullah had a RM60 million mansion in Perth, Australia. Raja Petra Kamarudin, who runs the Malaysia Today, a major supporter of Dr M and a huge critic of the PM, told the press conference that Khairy Jamaluddin, Abdullah's son-in-law, said the mansion belonged to Kamaluddin, who is Abdullah's son. RPK added that Malaysia Today's "independent investigation" showed that both Dr M and Khairy were wrong as the house belonged to a lady partner of tycoon Patrick "Badawi" Lim, who is known to be very close to the PM's family and a beneficiary of some lucrative projects since Abdullah became PM.
Responding to RPK's "carrot", Dr M said:
"Oh, I am sorry I stated something wrong. I stood to be corrected. It is not the PM's house. It is not his son's. It is someone else's".
The apology earned Dr M and the Perdana discourse extended coverage during prime-time news on a government television channel. Just when we all thought that he has been blacked out and blackballed!

Experienced journalists will tell rookies that they will need to learn when not to take a response or a comment at face value. This is a classic case of a journalist not being able to tell when his ex-PM was being cynical.
Or was it the work of some Spin Doctors?
Perhaps the standard of editing (not journalism) in this country has really dropped so low since the "hindu god and muslim priest" taken over?

Ah, Bentong Eagle! And Ijok on the eve of Nomination Day ...

Haris Ibrahim's People Parliament. Do you think your MP has been doing fuck-all? Want to know who you should vote for at the next general election? Do you think you have it in you to run for elections?
This civil society man is not asking you to start a revolution or march the streets. He is asking you to do your bit and get to know your MP. If you know your MP has been sleeping on the job, sack him at the next general election.
Haris has listed down 10 constituencies for this initiative. First stop is PJ Utara.
Click here to make a change.

Parthiban who?
In the meantime, Ijok gets set for Nomination Day tomorrow. It's Khalid Ibrahim vs K. Parthiban.
If you take Haris' approach and take a close look at the individuals, the Ijok by-election on April 28 would be a lop-sided a contest. Khalid, 61, is a Tan Sri, renowned corporate man, was the man who led corporate Goliaths such as PNB and Guthrie. Parthiban is 38, just a former Education officer, an Indian in a Malay-majority constituency.
It promises to be interesting. In the meantime, the blogs continue to cross swords.
The PKR-sponsored blog here says it has detected fraud and vows to expose the BN's "dirty tactics". You can expect the little army of Ijok BN's blogs to respond accordingly later today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Both sides now at Ijok

Graphics courtesy of Malaysiakini

Blogging for BN, Blogging for Opposition. We saw it in Batu Talam and we saw a bit more of it in the Machap by-election. The role of blogs in the two by-elections may not have been crucial but it was obvious. For Ijok (nomination this Thursday and polling April 28), bloggers on both sides of the political fence are making themselves visible early. One can't help but wonder how it will be come the general election. Will blogs help decide the outcome?

Too soon to say. In the meantime, in Opposition's flawed Opus, his lengthy analysis of the Opposition's defeats in Talam and Machap ahead of the Ijok by-election, Bigdogdotcom said the reach and readership of the (blogs) is still low. But even if it is not so, Bigdogdotcom does not think the current Opposition line-up is good enough.
"The fact still remains. There are no credible alternatives to BN. Many talk about some of the BN personalities being corrupted and (of) abuse of power, but the Oppositions are not any better, even though they have never had any power yet at national level (with the exception of PAS, in Kelant, in 1990 till present, and PBS, in Sabah, 1990-1999)!"
Elizabeth Wong, in her posting (Ijok) And So It Begins, takes an early swipe at the BN over a RM5 million mosque built for the Ijok folks. According to, she writes, this was a project meant to begin some 10 years ago, way back in 1996.
"Dude … that’s so ‘8MP’. Though it would be interesting to read the Selangor finance accounts regarding this, it is still better late than never! Rhinoplasty does take time to heal, no?"
Among the on-line media, Agenda Daily appears to be rooting for the BN. In its newsreport Ijok - Jangan ada yang merajuk, it seems to say that Parti Keadilan Rakyat's "headache" over who to field at Ijok gives the BN a head-start. On the other hand, Malaysiakini has reported a rift in Barisan Nasional's MIC following speculation that a rank outsider may be fielded as the party's candidate (A teacher to lead MIC's charge in Ijok?). Analisis Malaysia, which is just one of the political blogsites born of late, has dubbed Ijok as PKR's nightmare in this analysis, Pilihanraya Ijok: Mimpi ngeri untuk PKR.

More bloggers have entered the Ijok fray. There will be very few fence-sitters among them but whatever these bloggers post, the internet lets the reader inspect both sides of the coin. Something the mainstream media can continue not to do at its own risk.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lost and Found

update, after midnight:
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- Muhammad Nazrin Shamsul Ghazali or Yin, 5, the boy who was reported missing since March 31, was today found safe in Sentul, here, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan. Read Bernama's Yin Reunited with family.

original posting:-
5-year old boy found after 14 days
. Got an SMS from Yushaimi, the editor of the Malay Mail, that the lost boy has been found. The Malay Mail, of which I used to be the editor, had launched an unprecedented campaign to find Yin after the boy went missing from a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.
But I am not the first to blog this. Nuraina A. Samad beat me to it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

No to biggest. No to longest.

Most expensive kebab is the longest last straw on the biggest camel's back. A group of students from the Multimedia University has urged the varsity and its Student Representative Council to put a stop at their obsession with creating national records for the biggest this and the longest that. These students told blogger SK Thew that they saw no merits in spending RM24,000 to create Malaysia's "longest kebab" and that the money could have been used to:

1. can save a cancer patient’s life.
2. can pay MMU tuition fees for 2 years.
3. can fund a master student to complete 50% of his/her research.
4. can feed a starving child for 6 and a half years to live in Malaysia.
5. is the daily living cost of 6857 people in under-developed region of the world.
6. can prolong the life of 8000 people in famine-stricken countries in Africa for another day!

I say there's hope yet for our varsity students. Read the whole story here.

Sopo Sentral of Malaysia

Bookmark this! Welcome to Sopo blog directory.
Got it from Bigdogdotcom!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wee vs Mbf, 14 years after

Long wait for justice. After 14 years and 2 months, the Court of Appeal today set aside an ex-parte injunction that the now-defunct Mbf had taken against lawyer-politician Wee Choo Keong. In setting aside the injunction, the court ruled that the order against Wee was "most oppressive".

Wee was restrained by the injunction from "printing, circulating, distributing or publishing in any manner whatsoever any allegation of impropriety or irregularity or illegality of whatsoever nature against the First Plaintiff or the Second Plaintiff or any of their respective (197) subsidiaries or affiliates more particularly identified in the annexure hereto or any of their officers ..."

The Mbf, which is now under Ambank Bhd, was ordered to pay costs. Damages will follow, with effect from 9 March 1993. Wee told me of how relieved he was that justice has prevailed.
"They had applied - and obtained - the injunction within a day but I had to wait for 14 years and 2 months to get justice. I finally got it; it's better late than never."
Wee believes that if the "gag order" had not been forced on him, there would still be an Mbf today, "minus a certain personality."
The Court of Appeal's panel of judges who heard Wee's appeal comprised Yang Ariff Tengku Baharuddin, Yang Ariff Datuk Hamid Embong and Yang Ariff Datuk Heliliah.

All-Blogs first Exco meeting tonight

Big Moment. The pro-tem exco of the week-old National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs) will meet for the first time tonight. Bigdogdotcom, who will play a big role in the Alliance, sees it as A landmark moment in Malaysian blogging. There will also be a little farewell do.

Passing the buck back or re-rationalisation?

Tony's dramatic move. The rural folks have hardly gotten to know FAX, Tony Fernandes' baby that took over the rural air services operations from Malaysia Airlines under the national air route rationalisation exercise last year, and Tony says Malaysia Airlines can - should - have the rural routes back.
Malaysia Airlines launched Firefly two weeks ago to complement its overall operations.
Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy has been told of "the logical thing to do.”

“We were thrilled with the launch of Firefly and it is now time that the country has a national turbo-prop airline that operates all the Fokker and Twin Otter aircraft.
“I was just waiting for the right time to make the proposal,” Tony Fernandes said.

I wonder how many people in Malaysia Airlines and the industry will be thrilled by this "dramatic move". If Tony gets what he wants - and Tony usually gets what he wants - Malaysia Airlines will get back all the rural routes whether it likes it or not (and the national carrier's Business Turnaround Plan is probably screwed!).
But Tony's FAX gets to focus on the more lucrative long-haul AirAsia X operations. Cool?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pak Idrus on Tun Dr Ismail

Read the book, kids. Veteran blogger Pak Idrus, who used to work with the man, describes the book on Tun Dr Ismail by Singaporean Dr Ooi Kee Beng as a "godsend document of the contribution (of) a great son of Malaysia".
"... every page that I turn bring back memories that are so real. "
I'm a slow reader compared with Pak Idrus and have just read about the conquests of the young Ismail in Australia during the Second World War. Pak Idrus will be one of some 20 bloggers who will discuss the book with the author at a forum in KL on April 20.
[see the book review by Pak Idrus]

Shabby (not Syabas) Malaysia!

F9 for Malaysia's F-One. In 1999, the first year Malaysia staged the Formula One races, the Sepang International Circuit won the award for organising the best F-1 event that year. We've gone from syabas (well done) to shabby. Last week the F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone expressed concern with what he saw at Sepang.

“Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted saying the Sepang circuit was getting "shabby" from lack of care just hours before yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
"It has become, if you don't mind, like an old house that needs a bit of redecorating," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying in an interview.
"It's starting to get a little shabby and looks a bit tired."His remarks come with wealthy neighbouring Singapore making noises about trying to host a Formula One race, something that has already drawn a sharp rebuke from Malaysia's ministry for sport.

Blogger A. Kadir Jasin asked in his latest posting: .
"What happened. Or is this the start of a psych campaign to bring down the image of Sepang so that the F1 race can shift to Singapore?
The island republic, which has been declared Malaysia's special blue-eyed neighbour and its tight "golf buddy", has already made its bid to host an F1 even from next year."
Columnist Zainul Arifin On Wednesday also writes on the need to be on our toes to keep the F1 event in Malaysia. I think he is trying to say Dr M was right about the merits of the F1, still seen by many as one of the former prime minister's "mega projects". Zainul is also trying to say, I think, that even though those guys in Singapore may be 10 years behind Dr M in terms of foresight, they can steal the show from right under our noses if we don't wake up from our sleep.
Fauziah Ismail, a journo who loves aeroplanes and F1, blogged on Singapore's kiasuness earlier.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

People power in a developed state

Public hearing. Why should anyone resist the setting up of a medical centre in his backyard? I don't know but the residents in Teluk Gadong are telling their local authorities, the Klang Municipal Council, that they don't want this multi-million ringgit centre in their neighbourhood. And Selangor Menteri Besar said he will leave it to the residents. The council will conduct a public hearing to decide on the matter.
"It depends on the outcome of the public hearing. If the people say the project can go on, we will proceed.
"If they disagree, then we will find another suitable site to facilitate the investors," Dr Khir Toyo said when asked about the potential loss in terms of foreign investment if the project was cancelled.
[read here for the full story]

A few years ago, when the residents in Bangsar-Telawi protested the construction of a massive seafood centre in from of their porches, an MP and Minister sided with them and promised to take up their issue. The Malay Mail, as usual, gallantly championed the residents' case. But our campaign was short-lived. The owner of the seafood centre had friends very high up in the government and in a government-owned media, and The Paper That Cares that I was editing then was forced to drop the issue.
If only there was a "public hearing" for the Bangsar-Telawi residents then.

The other day someone asked me if I'd like to have dinner at the seafood centre. I had to decline. It still feel I should have fought harder for the residents. I should have told the operative who told us to drop the issue to fly kite.

Sackdefella or Keepdefella?

Poll on Sheih. Someone suggested a poll to settle a question if Sheih Kickdefella, who is an Umno member, should be sacked for working with the Pas-led Kelantan government.
The Malay Male has responded to that suggestion and started the poll. Please go here to sack or not to sack Sheih. For the record, Umno last year sacked Zaharin Mohd Yasin, a veteran party member, for his blog.

PM says no plan for blogger registration

Going round in circles. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says existing laws are sufficient to take action against bloggers who "cross the limits". He says there is no plan to force bloggers to register. Am glad that good sense has prevailed but I say the government should stop going round and round in circles where blogging in this country is concerned.
Otherwise, we'll get deputy ministers and ministers shooting themselves in the foot, like here and here.
Who will believe when Zam defends (his) ministry's role as source of correct information?

[read the Bernama piece No Plan to compel bloggers to register, says Abdullah]

Monday, April 09, 2007

The people of Ampang are not happy!

Ah, Rusdi Mustapha. The seasoned journalist has decided to join the blogging community to contribute towards nation building, let off the occasional steam and promote Sri Menanti as a tourist destination. Speaks volumes for his boss.

An Umno blogger in a Pas country

Sheih Kickdefella. While the BN-led government continues to rain blows on the blogging community in its attempt to cow the bloggers and force them on their knees, the PAS government in Kelantan has wooed Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, the owner of the politically-potent Kickdefella blog, to work for the state government as a Corp Comm Officer.
Sheih, who is a protem exco member of the newly-formed All-Blogs, is the latest blogger to be recruited by the Opposition parties. Tony Pua, an Oxford grad who was running a successful IT firm and two blogs, joined the DAP recently and is expected to run during the next general election, which may be called later this year. In Sheih's case, however, there are no plans to make him a candidate in the general election.
Two reasons why not:
1/ He is NOT a PAS member
2/ He is a card-carrying Umno member [he was a two-term Youth leader for Umno Sri Hartamas and now sits on its exco]

Any which way, someone is recognizing the potential of bloggers in Malaysia. I look forward to the election campaign posters that Pas will be churning out at the next GE. I also look forward to Umno's reaction to this news. I know of Umno bloggers who are bloggers but can't come out in the open and declare themselves as bloggers due to what the government think of blogs.

[also read Susan Loone and Jeff Ooi's on this coup].

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ron on Zam

Ex-journo vs Ex-journo. Ruhanie Ahmad and Zainuddin Maidin have one thing in common - they were journalists before they became politicians. Ron was a Member of Parliament between between 1990 and 2004 while Zam was made a Senator by Dr M before he rose to become the Information Minister. In other matters, the two differ. And on the question of blogging, they are at loggerheads.
Today in his blog, Ron takes Zam to task over the minister's overzealousness in wanting to censure bloggers. Calling the government's proposal to force so-called "politically-motivated" bloggers to register as a short-sighted move, Ron urges Zam to understand the blog and cyber democracy, and their potential impact on Malaysia, before attacking bloggers.
According to Ron, the setting up of the National Alliance of Bloggers (All-Blogs) last Thursday proves that bloggers in Malaysia are not what politicians like Zam make them out to be:
Firstly, socio-political and economic bloggers in Malaysia belong to various political ideologies but they are united in their aspiration to shape and develop a cyber democracy for Malaysia;
Secondly, the bloggers who attended the meeting to set up All-Blogs recognise that while they pursue that cyber democracy, it is also their desire to contribute towards achieving national unity and they do not wish to jeopardize the nation's stability or compromise on national security; and
Thirdly, that Malaysian bloggers are citizens who love this country and who cherish Malaysia's Independence and who will continue to defend the country's sovereignty.

Journo-blogger Nuraina A. Samad thinks Zam is attacking bloggers because he has been instructed to attack bloggers.
"My take on this? I don't think the people who have been instructed to attack bloggers are that stupid ... This is going back to basics - basic propaganda."
In the meantime, the All-Blogs is international news, from the Americas to Australia. Go here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Chick-bashing prince Part 2

Police report withdrawn? A comment was left anonymously in this blog around noon today claiming that the police report lodged against the Tengku Mahkota of Johor for allegedly assaulting a 21-year old woman last month had just been withdrawn. Anon also claimed that the TM was framed by another prince from the state.

The cops had better say something or they might undermine the PM's all-out war against crime. Last week Lim Kit Siang handed copies of the postings done by four blogs on this incident to the deputy Internal Securities minister and the Parliament's deputy speaker.

I reproduce the comment which was left here under my original posting on the incident:
"repot yg dibuat keatas tmj dah pun ditarik balik sbb difahamkan semasa repot dibuat sibapak ni tengah bekecelaru dengan desakan2 drpd anak raja yg lagi satu tu dan jugak kuncu2nya yg mendesak supaya repot tu dibuat utk memalukan dan mengaibkan tmj. tak abis2 anak raja lagi satu tu buat hal. difahamkan juga tindakan utk mengaibkan tmj ni menjadi jadi sejak anak tmj dilantik sebagai raja muda johor. kirakan anak raja yg lagi satu tu benganglah dengan tindakan sultan yg membuat perlantikan rmj tu."

Thesis on All Blogs

June Tan will include the National Alliance of Bloggers as part of the conclusion for her thesis on blogs in Malaysia. She needs inputs so if you have the time and the views, click here.

Look Singapore Policy

poster courtesy of Mob's Crib

Zam's new mecca. Last week Zainudin Maidin, who used to have little regards for the media in Singapore [read here for one example] and then discovered that Lee Kuan Yew was "smarter" than Dr Mahathir, travelled to Singapore to forge closer ties with the media in the republic and make himself Singapore's disciple on how to deal with blogs. Our "Eminent Journalist" was full of praise of the media and the way Lee Kuan Yew's government deal with the blogs.
Zainuddin discussed the blog issue and how the island republic was approaching the matter in a meeting this morning with his counterpart, Information, Communications and the Arts Minister Dr Lee Boon Yang.
The Malaysian minister said Singapore had formulated a mechanism for the registration of blogs which consistently churned out articles on politics.
He pointed out that Singapore had a class licensing framework to supervise new media forms such as blogs, subjecting them to certain code of ethics under the supervision of the Media Development Authority.
A class licence involves the gazetting of the terms and conditions of a particular industry, and anyone who provides the services within the scope of the class licence will be deemed to have read and agreed to the terms and conditions, and would be considered licensed.
Zainuddin felt that the method implemented by Singapore was practical and it could possibly be modified for use in Malaysia.
"We'll see whether or not this version can be done in Malaysia. I don't know yet but I feel that the method is a practical one," he said.
[Read the full report here]

In an earlier report, Dr Lee said Singapore has set up an advisory council to study the impact of new media. He did not mention code of ethics or the class licensing framework. Neither did he say the Singapore approach is practical.
On the issue of new media, including the proliferation of blogs, Zainuddin said the issue was also touched on during the discussion.
"We do not want to control blogs. We just hope for the bloggers to be responsible, and to be held responsible for what they blog...I share this view and I think the Singapore approach is practical," he said.

Asked to comment, Dr Lee said that Singapore had an advisory council to study the impact of new media, among other things, including the rising popularity and influence of blogs and try to anticipate its impact particularly on the younger generation over the long term.
"We recognise that the blogs are there; that many young people are very enthusiastic about blogging and are becoming very active players in this so-called Web 2.0 where instead of using the Internet to draw information, users are now generating content to be shared with others.
"So this is quite a significant development. As of now, our regulatory approach to the Internet has been a light touch. Our position in terms of new media is that the law of the land applies in the real world as much as in cyberspace," Dr Lee said.

[the full Bernama report here]

Friday, April 06, 2007

In search of a missing boy

The Malay Mail may still be The Paper That Cares.
The tabloid will be distributing 10,000 copies of Yin's pictures with tomorrow's Weekend Mail, which is distributed in the Klang Valley. Deputy Editor Yushaimi Maulud said in an SMS sent to this blogger the paper will also publish the boy's picture daily to help efforts to locate the missing 5-year old.
Yin has been missing since last Saturday.
Read the Malay Mail's report here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

National Alliance of Bloggers set up

update April 7. I missed out Elizabeth Wong from the council members' list. My apologies.

Original posting

Pro-tem committee:

President - Ahirudin Attan, Vice President - Jeff Ooi, Secretary - Nuraina A. Samad, Treasurer - Tony Yew, Council Members: Patrick Teoh, Bernard Khoo, Syed Azidi Syed Abdul Aziz, Syed Jamal al-Idrus, Rajahram Ramalingam, Annuratha K, Emy Husni, and Soon Li Tsin

Some 50 bloggers turned up for this. Those who spoke included Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Ruhanie Ahmad, Zaharin Yassin, Jeff Ooi, Syed Azidi aka Kickdefella, Susan Loone, Annuratha, Eric Woon, and Patrick Teoh. The pro-tem committee will meet soon to draw up the Constitution, identify sources of funding, and submit the necessary papers for the Registrar of Societies. The initial address for the Alliance is the office of Malaysiakini, the on-line news portal. Tea was subsidized by a Datuk blogger.

Click here for m-Star's report.

The Making of The All Blogs

The Alliance of Bloggers. When certain quarters in government become hostile towards bloggers, I believe they mean to aim their hostility at a small group of bloggers or on-line writers whose views and takes of current affairs they fear. Take the latest remarks here made by Shahziman Abu Mansor in parliament yesterday. It is not stupidity; it is fear. Ok, ok. Shahziman has just shown us how goblog he is but it I believe he said it out of fear.
In any case, if the politicians do not want to take the effort to learn about blogging and to understand bloggers, I believe the bloggers will have to take that initiative. At 5.30 pm in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon, the small group of bloggers who have been demonised again and again by the likes of Shahziman are meeting to look at what they need to do.
This multi-racial group of responsible and patriotic Malaysians will discuss, among other things, the setting up of a National Alliance of Bloggers.

The Alliance will not exist just in cyberspace or blogosphere. It will have a physical premise, office bearers, and subscription-paying members, just like any other registered societies. Its main objectives will be to:
1/ protect bloggers
2/ promote blogging

Personally, I would like to promote blogging among our journalists. If all journalists who work in the mainstream media also blog, people will stop crying for Press freedom. We should also promote blogging in schools and varsities. There are blogs that promote travel and bloggers who inspire others with their personal experiences; we should promote these, too.
And then we have people like Shahziman who think they can bully bloggers because bloggers are small individuals and make easy pickings. The Alliance will protect bloggers against people like him. I don't think the Alliance will be in favour of lawsuits and I don't believe that hostility must always be with hostility. We'll engage him and try to make him understand.

More on the proposed Alliance after the meeting today. In the meantime, skip to Kickdefella for Bloggers Unite! And as this is a battle of right against might, we'll need your sympathy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NSTP & 3 others ask for more time

Jeff Ooi's consolidation . The plaintiffs this morning asked for - and were granted - more time to study Screenshot blogger Jeff Ooi's application to consolidate his case with mine (NSTP & 4 others are suing me for defamation and in the opinion of his and my learned counsels there are many common grounds involving the two cases that warrant a consolidation).
Click here on why the two cases should be consolidated.

According to counsel Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, the learned Judge will next hear Jeff's application to strike out the plaintiff's original claims (the claims were recently amended) on April 24, 2007.

Last Monday, the court let me withdraw my application - with no order to costs - to strike out the claims made against me by NSTP & 4 Others . This was based on the fact that the plaintiffs had amended their original claims against me.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dr M: Let's go to court/Walk With Us

Jeff Ooi vs Them. Screenshots goes back to Denmark House tomorrow at 9 am for the third time to face the NSTP and 3 others who are suing him for postings they claim to be defamatory. The same media giant and 4 others are suing me, also for defamation.
My case was heard f0r the third time in the Judge's chamber last Monday. After the hearing, I spoke to the AFP journalist, who subsequently wrote this piece, "Blogger may call Mahathir as witness", which Malaysiakini reproduced today.
Yes, I did tell her that I would consider calling both Dr M and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to court, if and when the time comes, to help with my defence. A lot of my postings concern the PM and his successor.

Dr M: Let's go to court. I was invited to the launch of Syed Akbar Ali's book "Malaysia and the Club of Doom" at KLCC this afternoon. Dr M launched the book. At the end of the function, we bantered:
Bru: How are you, Tun?
Dr M: I'm fine. Hah, why did you withdraw (your application to strike out the plaintiffs' case)? Takutkah (Scared)?
Bru: Tak ... (No). Don't you know I'm going to summon you to court to be my witness?
Dr M: Let's go, now!

Rocky vs NSTP & 4 others, 2 April 2007

Wisma Denmark, Mon. - My counsel Edmund Bon today withdrew my application to strike out the suit against me by NSTP & 4 others with no order as to costs in view of the substantial amendments made by the plaintiffs to their suit (after I had filed the striking out application). The plaintiffs asked that costs be paid by me forthwith, which my counsel objected to. After hearing arguments for about an hour, the court agreed with my counsel and allowed me to withdraw the application with no order as to costs. I reserved my right to seek further and better (FNB) particulars with regard to the amended suit or to strike it out. Pending exploration of those options, the court has fixed 28 June 2007 to hear the plaintiffs' application for an injunction against me.

It was my position as informed to the court today that the plaintiffs should instead be paying me the costs as I needed to file the striking out application before they sought their amendments. However, on advice by my counsel to conduct the litigation fairly, I did not proceed to seek costs and asked that no order be made in this respect.

[Check out Jalan Sudin and Screenshots]

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hadhari and Terrorism

update 1.23am, Tuesday 3 April: According to Screenshots here, this Singapore-based Hadhari-cum-terror "expert" has joined TM as a senior vice president, effective yesterday.

Original post:
Terror or Hadhari expert?
I tried to forget this piece that I read yesterday but it is impossible to shake off. Perhaps it is the rare analysis on terrorism and Islam that it provides. Or the desperation I sense in the attempt to help prop up Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hadhari concept. In any case, I decided that I have to share this with my readers and fellow bloggers - an example of how, in the minds of some people, Islam Hadhari must replace Islam because in these minds Islam is too closely associated with terrorism.
The "expert" here is a consultant with Microsoft's Legal and Corporate Affairs.

On the other hand, did anyone notice that our new Agong, in his first Maulidur Rasul address on Saturday, which was attended by the PM, made no mention at all of Islam Hadhari? Or did I miss it?

Read the Bernama story on Hadhari and Terror here; and here for the agency's take on the Agong's speech.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The NPC President and I

Mokhtar Hussain. My brother Mokh, 46, a seasoned journalist from the national news agency, Bernama, is President of the National Press Club. Some 50 delegates from all major newspapers attended the AGM on Friday and made me stay back as the club's Adviser. I am more than happy to help Mokh and his new exco go further than I, with his help and my exco, have pushed the club for the last four years as its President. [Jalan Sudin posted yesterday, Shanghai Fish's take is here, and the Bernama piece is here].

I am now putting together a plan to form a national alliance of bloggers. It is a grouping that aims to promote blogging and protect bloggers in Malaysia. More on the proposed alliance after my court case against NSTP and 4 others tomorrow. It's at Denmark House, 9 am.

Chick-bashing prince is from Johor?

The police report. The story that the m-Star broke Kerabat diraja disiasat kes pukol kekasih on March 24 is the kind of story you would expect the (mainstream) tabloids to go to town with but it hasn' t been the case. Fathi Aris, the editor of m-Star, posted it on his blog and Susan Loone did a two-parter - The prince, the lady and the policeman and The prince, the lady and the policeman (2) - but that was about it.

Last week a copy of the police report lodged by Mohd Yasin Bin Mohd Yusof, 52, the father of the young lady allegedly beaten up by a member of the royal family, came into my possession. Copies of the same report, I was told, were also given to the tabloids, so we can expect them to follow with the cops and update us on the police investigation. In the meantime, here's what the girl's father allegedly had to tell the Johor Bahru police on March 16 . The police report was typed out in upper case: