Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No more BABI on this blog


I will not publish any more comment that refers to Anwar Ibrahim as BABI (which is short for Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim). The "PM-in-waiting" and his supporters may or may not mind the nick, but I feel the reference is not nice.

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where Cronies Hang Out

Cafe Chef and Brew. I probably won't ever be seen at this cafe at Plaza Damansara, thanks to a blogger's account that this is where the rent seeking crony types go el fresco while they wait faithfully for the owner of the the big black SUV bearing the no plate KJ10Q to arrive.
"I spent a while sipping dish water while watching numerous people carrying thick files go up and down the stairs and hanging around waiting to be summoned upstairs. I must say that KJ must be doing very well for a former Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha Sulit di Pejabat Perdana Menteri to this successful business person. Life must be amazing for this young man."
I won't repeat what else this blogger says about the SIL, the FIL and the state of the economy, etc. Read it yourself h e r e.

Justice for Altantuya and BUM2008

Let's Send Altantuya's murderers to hell, Raja Petra Kamaruddin's latest posting in No Holds Barred, his blog in Malaysia Today, is a disturbing read worthy of Le Carre. Like Din in the posting and Pete himself, I am a daddy. I have two daughters and I want whoever that killed Altantuya to go to the gallows, and to suffer like hell before they die. I say yes to RPK's "Justice for Altantuya" campaign.
But I'm disturbed by some of the "whispers" in RPK's posting. About the gruesome "dumpsite" (what one blogger described as the "police's killing field") where the C4-ed Altantuya was found. Before anyone accuses RPK of hallucination, do take note that he is also quoting from an affidavit related to the case, not just from the whispers he's heard.

I am also disturbed by the whisper that the Deputy Prime Minister was involved in the Altantuya's case (in ways other than the fact that Razak Baginda was a close aide of his). Three individuals, Razak included, have been charged in the murder case. Najib, the DPM, isn't one of them. So why do we still put him in the dock? Or why isn't he in the dock?

Want to talk about "Justice for Altantuya"? Come to Bum2008 where RPK has agreed to be a speaker. Nothing like hearing it from the man himself and discussing your own views with him.

You need to register for the event by 5 pm today.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ah, an Angry new blogger!

Journos and sastra kids.

Shamsul Yunus, journalist, is the angry new blogger (www.marahku.blogspot).
Excerpts from his first posting:

"To the politicians who claim to fight for my rights, I say, “That is not for you to claim, but for me to judge and right now I am keener to make pirates walk the plank to enjoy the hospitality of sharks than to listen to their endless whingeing”.
You colluded with towkays to give them advantage and oppress the people, you take bribes to close one eye and you dare turn to us and say; “We do all this for you!!”"

Read on .. My anger, it may be yours too.

Apanama, journalist blogging anonymously (
Journalists who blog anonymously are always dangerous. In his latest posting here, he urged former Lord President Salleh Abas asks for the appointment of another Tribunal to review his 1988 sacking.

And it seems the daughter and grand daughter of the great Usman Awang and the son of living literary legend A. Samad Said are also bloggers. Read h e r e.

Chelsea Jews not welcomed in Malaysia

Un-Islamic to support Chelsea? So, a coalition of 21 Muslim groups in Malaysia is protesting a visit by the Chelsea football club from London. Reason: the Chelsea manager and a player are Israelis. The top English club is playing Malaysia on July 29. Read here.

How do you expect Bob Dylan to ever want to play in Malaysia?

Btw, can anyone tell me if Stoke City is going to make it to the Premier league soon?

Blogger in Parliament!

Jeff4Parliament a reality today. Did someone laugh behind his back when Jeff said he was going to contest in the last General Election?

Well, no one's laughing now.

In any case, in his posting Time to Get Even (April 15), YB Jeff Ooi blogs:

"The defamation suit against me, the blogger, is over one year old and no new grounds had been made to face off the plaintiffs -- NSTP & Others -- in the open court.

With or without judiciary reforms in Malaysia, I have decided to take the offensive and take them on, one by one, big man or small man.

I have been asked to set aside another RM12,000.00 for the solicitor's part of the cost in defending myself, and I am determined to clear my name. Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, Hishamuddin Aun and Brendan Pereira, who sued me alongside the listed company, the NSTP, must be prepared to see me to the last drop. It's also time to say all that should be said in the court, with evidence."

The NSTP & 3 were granted an ex-parte injunction against Jeff last January, which effectively shuts him up. Sixteen months of having to shut up is a long time.

Today, Jeff Ooi will be able to break that silence. As a Member of Parliament, he is free to speak up in Parliament. So speak up, bro YB! Let them hear you!

The AP has a nice piece on Activists, bloggers and "rabble-rousers" in Parliament.

p.s. The poster The First Blogger to Become MP? appeared on the front page of Singapore's mypaper, the 27 Feb 2008 edition. It was based on a Q & A I had with Jeff in Penang the day earlier where he had launched his book to raise funds for his election campaign.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No keris-wielding in December

Umno Youth leader apologises. Someone asked me at Pak Samad's birthday do last night what I thought would happen at the Umno General Assembly in December. We were waiting for after-dinner coffee and for the arrival of the the PM. Badawi, who had said he wanted to come and see Pak Samad, did not turn up. He did call Pak Samad to apologize and to wish him well.

I didn't answer the question but I was thinking that after this a p o l o g y, one thing that will surely not take place at the Umno general assembly in December is "keris-wielding". Nor at any Umno meeting in future.

The apology, to me, is most pathetic. For years the modern Malay have wielded the keris at weddings, traditional ceremonies, and cultural shows and never had to apologize. Because we know how to do it properly. There is nothing wrong with the keris-wielding picture; it's how Hishammuddin did it that was probably so wrong. He should be made to produce a manual on "How not to cause others great discomfort with the harmless act of unsheathing, and wielding, the keris".

Sebab nila setitik, abih susu sebelanga (One bad apple spoils the whole bunch).

By the way, I do believe there were more than just one bad apple in this keris story.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Escape from Jalan Riong

The story of the Malay Mail: Life after NSTP. After the disastrous experiment with the Malay Mail in the 2006, which ended with the suspension of the Weekend Mail, the NSTP decided that it was time to let someone else run the paper. Entered Ibrahim Mohamed Nor, the boss of publishing company Blue Inc., a former NSTP employee (and later director) who believes that the tabloid can still rock.

On 5 May 2008, Ibrahim will re-launch the paper. I won't call it a "new" Malay Mail. I'll call it the "Independent" Malay Mail. Because this time the editors at the Mail won't have to take orders from the NST or from the board of directors of the NSTP.

One pro-Kali/Brendan website says Malay Mail under Ibrahim will be a "political sheet" (the pun, I'm sure, is intended). I heard Ibrahim aspires to turn the Mail back into the paper that cares and, now that it's free from the NST stigma, into a politically more independent paper. I wish him luck.

Tony Francis, the de facto chief editor, is roping in some big names as columnists for the paper. Names like Fauzi Omar, Nuraina A. Samad, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Rashid Yusof ....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Makkal Osai's back!

Will Journalists Walk for Press Freedom?
There's only ONE way to ensure that what happened to Tamil Osai (Makkal Osai's publication permit renewed) does not happen again: Repeal the Printing Presses and Publications Act (read here).
And it won't happen if the journalists themselves don't want it to happen.

A letter on Karpal Singh

Karpal, the Voice of Conscience or the Contemptible One?
The DAP Chairman has always been audible but in the last couple of weeks he has made himself more so. He has asked Dr Mahathir to apologize to Salleh Abas, told a Judge to apologize to a junior lawyer from his legal firm, and said he wasn't going to apologize for criticizing the Prince of Kelantan.
Today, Bernama has a story on Karpal telling the PM to order Syed Hamid to revoke Agong's orders on Hindraf 5.
Karpal said that despite the detention orders by the King, Syed Hamid could at any time under the law revoke the orders on the five leaders of Hindraf. - Bernama (read full story here).

Karpal knows what he's talking about, of course. Detention orders under ISA are made by the Minister, not the Yang diPertuan Agong, so the Minister can revoke it. Just as Dr Mahathir said during BBC's HardTalk of how he revoked (in his capacity as Home Minister) 20 orders on ISA detainees immediately after he became Prime Minister.

"But whether circumstances merit revocation is for the Minister to decide. Even the Courts cannot decide on the merits. It is the Home Minister's sole prerogative," an expert told me.

A secondary issue, according to a lawyer I spoke to, is whether the PM can or should instruct the Home Minister to revoke the orders.

In any case, Karpal's newfound high profile is raising many ghosts from the past; one of them, according to a feature-length letter I received a few days ago, is Karpal's own.

"Karpal as a politician should be contemptible not only to Dr Mahathir but to the rest of the Malaysian society who have some degree of moral belief and sense of fair play.
Karpal has managed to hide his racist and opportunistic political approach by riding on his so-called courage of being vocal and not mincing his words in criticizing the BN Government.
A good example is his expose of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sexual transgressions sometime during the first quarter of 1998 at a DAP convention held in Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

At that time, Ummi Hafilda and Azizan Abu Bakar, the two main witnesses in the Anwar's sodomy trial, had given there sworn affidavits of Anwar's sexual misdemeanour.

Karpal had stood before the DAP audience and said to the effect that he had proof of the Deputy Prime Minister's sexual misdeeds and challenged the Prime Minister (Dr Mahathir) to take action against his deputy (Anwar)...."
Read the entire letter h e r e.

Gobind Singh's blog

"Thank you, Puchong". Karpal Singh's son Gobind has put up his first posting since winning the Parliamentary seat in Puchong at the General Election on March 8. He said he'll update regularly.

I first met Gobind last December at a bus station in front of the Bukit Aman police station. He had earlier accompanied blogger Jeff Ooi, as the blogger's lawyer, to meet some CCID officers over a police report against Jeff for something he said on Aljazeera.

Ah, did we think that both Gobind and Jeff would, three months later, ride a Rocket to Parliament?

Click H E R E to go to Gobind's blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What sexual harassment?

Report withdrawn. I heard that a report on alleged sexual harassment, lodged a few days ago by a female employee of a hotel in KL against a VIP, has been withdrawn.

The MSM will confirm the news for us in a while, I suppose.

I'll update if I can, but y'see I don't really like doing sexual harassment cases. Saw more than enough in my years in the papers - allegations of sexual harassment that happened in the news room and police cases filed against people - usually VIPs - outside the newsroom.

For this particular case, a couple of blogger buddies were giving me sort of a running commentary on what was happening. Which was how I heard that the lady who lodged the report had been assigned this top-notch criminal lawyer.

Front page stuff for the tabloids, yes, but not the kind a journalist would want to boast about over beers at the club.
Speaking of which ....

Rustam A. Sani, 1944-2008

Patriot and Intellectual.
"In Rustam we had a true patriot, one whose love for the country is pure. It is so because it came from the head as well as the heart. It is patriotism unadulterated by the pursuit of material wealth, public adulation, or political power." - M. Bakri Musa

From half a world away in California, M. Bakri Musa sends us a posting here on how he remembers Rustam Sani (pic), who died this morning.
Rustam ran the Vox Populi and Suaraku. His last posting was on April 21.

RUSTAM's last books “Failed Nation? Concerns of Malaysian Nationalist” and “Social Roots of the Malay Left” will be launched this Saturday by Anwar Ibrahim.

Date: 26 April 2008 (Saturday)

Time: 3.00pm – 5.00pm

Venue: Seminar Hall, Perpustakaan Raja Tun Uda

Persiaran Bandaraya

40572, Shah Alam, Selangor

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mini revamp in Badawi's propaganda outfit

Ex-journalist to bring back happy hours to the 4th Floor?
That's what this posting, Level Four Boys: Damaging bane for PM Flip-Flop Pak Lah? says. What's more interesting than speculation that Ainon Mohd may join the outfit to inject much-needed experience is this undated picture.
When I saw the picture, I thought Syed Faisal Albar, the NSTP chief executive officer, had been lassoed in to join the 4th Floor! Some bloggers really don't quite know what picture to use with which story. Tsk tsk.

If you'd like to know more of the 4th Floor and more pictures of who's who there, read on H E R E.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dr M on BBC's Hardtalk

"Dr Mahathir: I am no anti-Western" - Bernama
If you are an NST reader, you won't find the story in today's newspaper (Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008). The Editors decided it was not that newsworthy. The story's NOT available on-line, either.

Original posting:-
"... there were journalists who were arrested for talking about the Holocaust then. Where was the freedom of the Press then?" - Mahathir Mohamad on democracy and claims that he is anti-Semitic, on BBC's Hardtalk today.

"... a man very unpopular trying to do something right. He is making use of the system in the worst ways!" - Mahathir Mohamad on PM Badawi's promise to reform the judiciary.

"What are the track record of these countries? They are the sort of people who hold up people without trial, like in Guantanamo Bay." - Mahathir Mohamad on complains by the West that Anwar did not get fair trial.
Blogger Big Dog rushed his posting h e r e to beat all the news agencies.

Terengganu wants Federal to hand over RM1 billion "wang ehsan"

"Our money". Menteri Besar Ahmad Said, unwanted by the Badawi Administration but there because the Sultan of Terengganu wants him there, has asked Putrajaya to let the State Government manage the oil royalty, which amounts to some RM1 billion a year.

I wonder if he realised what a revelation he was making. Read the Bernama story h e r e. No need to read between the lines:
"... They use our money. When a ministry implements a project, it does so based on its own interests without taking into account the feelings and needs of the people of Terengganu.
"This raises problems for the state government. I am being frank here. Personally, I have been unhappy with some projects because of their high cost and lack of priority for the people. It is other people, not us, who make the decisions when we are the masters (in the state)," he said.
So, will we know who spent the billions of ringgit of "wang ehsan" for the last 4 years? And what were the projects that did not benefit the people of Terengganu? Does this sound like a job for the (proposed) fully-independent ACA (read the story h e r e)?

Blog War in Umno: Khir Toyo vs Mat Taib

You are not seeing things:- Muhammad Muhammad Taib aka Mike Tyson of Malaysian politics (wonder who's big ears he's been nibbling on) has started his own blog h e r e.
And in his latest posting he took a swipe at former Menteri Besar Dr Khir Toyo for telling the PM to step down now rather than later. Mike Tyson, a new Minister in Badawi's Cabinet, stressed in his posting that Dr Khir's call was made in his personal capacity. Umno Selangor, he added, decided at a meeting last night to support Badawi. Dr Khir did not attend the meeting.

Between the two, Dr Khir started blogging a couple of weeks earlier than Mat Taib and is by far the more cyber-prolific. When he was MB, Dr Khir was never at odds with bloggers, at least not that I know of; Mike Tyson, on the other hand, is infamous for lodging a police report against our blogging bro, Raja Petra Kamaruddin of Malaysia Today.

Did Judges Boycott last Thursday's dinner?

"We were NOT invited," say Judges.
It hit me while the PM was reading out his speech on renewing trust in the judiciary last Thursday: Where were the Judges?

Only two of the "Big Four" were there, both at the main table - the CJ and the President of the Courts of Appeal.

500 or more guests in the hall - including KJ and 4th Floor boy Zaki - and none of our judges were there.

How come?

I learnt over the weekend that the judges were NOT invited to the dinner hosted by the Bar Council and paid for by the Government.

The Judges are furious. They were only told about the proposed Commission the week before the dinner, towards the end of the Conference of Judges in KL.

"Zaid Ibrahim, the de facto Law Minister, attended our Conference. You'd think he would have the courtesy of telling us Judges about the JAC and the dinner," one Judge told me.

Another Judge wondered about "hidden agenda".

"We were told it'd be an 11-member Commission based on a 4:5:2 composition: the big four judges, five from the Bar Council, and two others.

"Five from the Bar? And they didn't think Judges should be consulted on the proposed reforms of the Judiciary or the formation of the Comission? What's happening here?"

Zaid will have some explaining to do. If not, the PM could well be on the way to creating a new crisis in the judiciary instead of renewing the trust in the system.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

29 without Questions

updates, Sunday 20/4
I wish the Editors at the Star had linked its Page 1 story Your Questions? to the blog that broke that story, which is E-Woon's I am a Malaysian ( When I take stories and pictures from newspapers, I attribute it to them. It was one of the first things they teach you in the newsroom.
Apart from that, it is good to see that DAP's old hand Lim Kit Siang wasted no time in taking to task the five DAP Members of Parliament who did not submit any question for the first session of the new Parliament which starts next week. Read his posting: 5 DAP MPs did not submit a single question to Paliament - apologies.

original posting
Ask no lies, get no questions. The Dewan Rakyat session, which starts end of this month, is an opportunity for Members of Parliament freshly elected in last month's general election to ask the Government questions. They can ask anything; they enjoy parliamentary immunity to do so.

But as blogger E-Woon discovered, we have MPs who won't even do the basic required of them. I'd excuse the recently-dropped Ministers (Rafidah Aziz, for example, has been providing answers to questions asked for years and years, so she may have forgotten how to ask them questions) but click H E R E to find out who the 29 are anyway.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tun Salleh Abas' "moral victory"

update: Ex-g payment not an apology, says Najib.
"I have waited for this 20 years". I spent about three hours with Salleh Abas yesterday, from 11 till nearly 3pm, at his double-storey link house in Setiawangsa. One of his daughters came back from the cobbler with his black shoes for last night's dinner. Salleh was having problems with his Nokia again.

"They wanted me to sit at the main table. Do you think I should?"

Nuraina A. Samad, who will be co-authoring Salleh's autobiography* with me, said, "Yes, Ayah, I think you should say yes." I told him that perhaps he should not agree to sit at the main table. But the Tun has heard that I've been perceived as a "Mahathirist" and perhaps - just perhaps - that was good enough for him to listen to Nuraina. I am glad he didn't agree with me.

From where I sat for dinner at the JW Mariott last night, with Pas' deputy president Nasharudin and former BN storngman Samy Vellu, I could just see Salleh's shoes, newly repaired earlier in the day.

Such a simple man, such a giant.

I'd nominate him for chairman of the Judicial Appointment Commission. I am sure he would want the Commission to have the final say on the appointment of judges instead of just a body to recommend the appointment to the PM, whom Pak Lah says will have the final authority on who will be appointed as Judges.

* We are about 10 per cent into the book, I think. This week, we managed to do about 15 hours of interviews with the Tun.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Judicial reforms

Leslie Lopez of Spore's Straits Times has the story.
• Judicial Commission to appoint judges
• Greater independence for the judiciary
• Financial compensation to sacked judges
• Expression of regret by PM Abdullah

FIGHTING back stiff opposition from his own Cabinet and administration, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is set to unveil major reforms to the country's much-maligned judiciary ... [read the whole article HERE]

While NST busy itself with promoting what Kali says: Get On with the Job, Leslie reaffirms my belief that the real news about our country always appear first in foreign newspapers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Running mates

Najib-Muhyiddin for Umno No 1 and 2?

If this is so and Badawi still wants to defend his post come December, who will his No 2 be?

Thanks, Kawan, for the pic. More pictures, HERE.

How will justice be delivered tomorrow night?

Dinner with Salleh Abas and the PM. Nearly 20 years after his sacking on 8/8/88, former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas will be feted tomorrow night at a special dinner hosted by the Bar Council (updated: and sponsored by the Government, see here). Guess who will be there? The Prime Minister will be there, and he will speak on:
Delivering Justice, Renewing Trust
The Cabinet has said no to de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim's suggestion that the government apologize to Saleh for his sacking 20 years ago, so the question is:

What could Badawi offer to Saleh tomorrow night that he could have offered the last 4 years but didn't?

Ambiga, the Bar Council president, is hopeful that something good will happen at the dinner. Many of us share that hope. I hope the PM does the right thing.

Check out Nuraina A. Samad's latest posting Special Guests for Dinner ... for details about the dinner and who else are going to be there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A minister's RM1.4 million entertainment expenses

The Sun may have one big scoop tomorrow about a Minister's whopping RM1.4 million entertainment claims. Initially, I thought it would be in pound sterling and not ringgit as the Minister used to have some complex interest, now dead and buried, in Britain.

Whatever you do, make sure of your copy of the Sun tomorrow!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ah, Dr Chua the Blogger!

Thanks, TV Smith, for the alert. Never mind if there's no You Tube link, Dr Chua Soi Lek's blog is bound to draw a lot of interest.

Just read his latest posting, Media Freedom:
"The time has come for political party to re-look at its share holdings in the mainstream media and this includes MCA-controlled The Star newspaper and also the share holding in Nanyang press ... so that the media is able to regain its freedom."
Won't you agree?

Umno, too, holds too much interest in the traditional media. NST, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia are some of the newspapers controlled by Umno. As such, there are Umno politicians and their press attaches who tend to pull ranks with the Editors. And when you have Editors who are not so brave and who think they have too much to lose, newspapers turn into party newsletters.

p.s. Dr Chua blogs at Yep, I'm wondering about that figure 9, too, but in any case, welcome to the blog world, Doc! Read also TV Smith's Post-Apocalypse Bloggers.

B.U.M 2008

First of May. Have you registered yet? Visit and spread the word. Speakers include a controversial former judge, a rocker-intellect, the world's first blogger-MP, a blogger-activist, a Citizen journalist, journo-bloggers, blogger-bloggers.

The same sponsors who gave us lamb last year are giving us more lamb this year. Who says RM50 can't get you much these days?

Great cyberposter by, who else?

Port Dickson

Duty-free, crony-free. Multi-million beachfront development for Port Dickson, with duty-free shopping complexes, hotels, this and that. Wow.
Meanwhile, pantai Port Dickson as we know it will continue to be dirty and the sand is turning into mud. Miles and miles of beachfront need proper sewerage and drainage, better shower facilities, clean toilets, and Mat Rempit-free beachfront lanes.
And get those killer jet skis out of my swimming trunks!

The Negri Sembilan MB needs to get his priority rights. Those multi-million ringgit should be spent to promote tourism, NOT to make the cronies happy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

4 million thanks

There's nothing like hitting another million.

The thrill isn't gone. I hope it's been as good for you.

Thank you x 4 million.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tips for new Bloggers

Want to know who else has started blogging? Click here. If you're a politician (or working for one), got tips on what NOT to say about bloggers, too!

MSM still spinning them stories

Some things haven't changed.
The MSM journalists who covered the historic JB meeting between the state's 26 divisional chiefs and the Prime Minister know the real story, of course. But what they wrote and what was published by their editors could be two very different things.
My posting In other words, resign please was effectively denied the next day by MSM's assertion that nobody asked Abdullah to step down during the closed-door meeting.

Today, you get the international press reporting on the PM's handing over power to his deputy.

You believe the CNN?

Dr M, at a press conference this afternoon, noted that Abdullah continues to be fed lies by the people around him. I imagine the Tun meant the PM's media advisers. Read Bigdog's posting on the press conference here.

By the way, did you know who the PM's people sent to JB before the meeting on Friday to try and get the divisional chiefs to NOT go ahead with their demands for the 3S (smooth, structured and speedy) succession plan by Pak Lah?
There were two: Alwi Ketereh and Aziz Sheikh Fadzir

The MSM journalists knew of this , too.

Save Ampang Hills: An uphill task?

"Housing developers in Malaysia are like drug pushers. They don't care how many people die as long as they make money." - anon resident of Ulu Ampang
I am sure many agree with the statement above although the truth is some housing developers are worse than drug pushers. In the case of the Ulu Ampang residents who met today to defend the Ampang Hills, they are faced with an uphill battle as the local council and the developer are said to be bent on going ahead with a hillslope housing project.

"Green" Bloggers
This will prove to be a stiff test for the new Selangor Government. State Exco Elizabeth Wong, who blogs, met up with the residents and told them that the new government will look into the matter properly.

How properly, blogger Rusdi Mustapha did not ask. But he wrote: "It takes only a handful of corrupt people to destroy nice surrounding." View his pictures and read his posting Trail of destruction, yet developers and local government refuse to spare Ampang Hills.
Another blogger, Tony Yew, is impressed with the presence of two Members of Parliament at the gathering. One MP vows that she would "stand at the top of the hill" to stop the project from harming the hills. I am impressed too. Read his posting here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In other words, resign please

Johor Umno tells Badawi of need for an exit plan that consists of the 3S element: Structured, Smooth and Speedy. Johor Umno did the previously unthinkable by asking the party's President, PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to come up with a plan to hand over the reign.
During a closed-door meeting with AAB this afternoon, three Umno divisional heads spoke up to convey the message.
The three are:
1. Dr Fuad Zarkashi
2. Nur Jazlan Muhamed

3. Hasni Mohamed

The PM arrived in JB this morning, a day after a newsreport said 20 out of the 26 Umno divisions in Johor, an Umno stronghold state, wanted him to go on leave and hand over the business of governing the country to someone else.
Badawi has come under increasing pressure to resign after the poor March 8 general election performance by the Barisan Nasional. The coalition he led lost the 2/3 majority in Parliament and 5 states, both unprecedented.
AAB still insists that he has not failed and wants to continue as PM.

Johor Menteri Besar Ghani Othman kicked off the meeting with the PM by making a representation on behalf of the divisional heads. His emphasis was on the need for a clear succession plan by the PM.

According to Bigdogdotcom, a rabid pro-Umno blogger, this afternoon's meeting at the Seri Pacific Hotel, which ended about 5.30pm, made it clear that the consensus reached by Umno Johor is to demand for an exit (for Badawi) which is structured, smooth and, most importantly, speedy.

Earlier, according to Bernama, Badawi admitted that he was one of the factors for the BN's poor performance in last month's general election. However, he used that as the reason for needing to stay on as PM and "rehabilitate BN and Umno". Read here.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak is scheduled to meet the Umno leaders tonight.

More Sufiah pictures!

And for those who liked Sufiah Yusof's pics in the News of the World, click HERE for more of her.

Sufiah's Malaysian mom has started an official family blog, it seems.

Mahathirism the Blog

"Tun Dr M must not apologize". A commenter sent me a half-liner to alert me of this new blog called Mahathirism, set up by people who claim to be the former PM's supporters.
The first posting is has to do with Tun Saleh Abas. I am meeting the former Lord President this morning to resume work on his upcoming auto/biography.

For Spore, civil disobedience is necessary ...

Teaching Singaporeans how to (and why they should) conduct peaceful demonstrations. On the day Jeff Ooi, Haris Ibrahim, Nat Tan, Steven Gan and I spoke at the iPS, "Singapore's #1 Political Website" featured an interview with my lawyer Edmund Bon (NSTP & 4 vs Rocky).
Bon was in Singapore to help conduct a workshop on human rights and the use of non-violent action to effect political change.
"But if the Government does not listen then the next level may be invoked. Malaysians were unhappy that all the promises the Government made were not being fulfilled. And doors were being shut. Our institutions were being demolished systematically though not physically. There was therefore no choice but to demonstrate."
Meanwhile, our Roundtable session at the NUS was off-the-record. Our host from the iPS agreed, however, to let us blog on what we said in our respective presentations.
I was the third speaker, after Steven and Haris. Given my background as a journalist, I gave my views on how journalists who turned to blogging (A. Kadir Jasin, Ahmad A. Talib, Ruhanie Ahmad, Nuraina A. Samad, Marina Mahathir, and Maria A. Samad, to name a few) changed the cyberscape and helped make blogosphere even more potent.
These include journalists who are blogging anonymously, including Hard-T, Pasquale and Sime Darby Watch.
Of course, I did not reveal to the iPS forum the identity of these Anon journo-bloggers. That's for me to know and for them to find out.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No new Datuk in Johor

I'm in JB having a royally great lunch. Good to be back home after Singapore. Better still when my host told me that the Sultan of Johor did not give out new Datukships in conjunction with the Tuanku's birthday the other day (originally, i wrote ... won't be giving out new Datukships in conjunction with the Tuanku's birthday tomorrow. apologies for the error).

Wow. I think if it's up to the Sultan of Johor, half of our Datuks will not be Datuks. .

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Malaysian Election: Lessons for Singapore

A Roundtable in Singapore with Jeff Ooi, Haris Ibrahim & I. The Institute of Policy Studies has invited the three of us to the Republic tomorrow for a roundtable on "The Role of ICT in the Malaysian Election: Lessons for Singapore".
There will be civil servants, regulators and policy makers in the audience, according to the organisers.
It will be a get-together opportunity for the three of us. In January 2007, Jeff and I met Haris for the first time at Malik Imtiaz Sarwar's office in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the possibility of them defending us against the New Straits Times Press and its 3 top dogs and a former Group Editor.

A lot has happened since then.

p/s All Blog's tv crew will be in Singapore to try and film the proceedings. Nathaniel Tan (the blogger who was remanded for nearly a week last year over some doctored pics of the DPM, Razak Baginda and Altantuya) and Steven Gan from Malaysiakini will also be in Singapore, but for another forum on Thursday evening.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The sports critic Azalina could not stand

Ah, Rizal. Meet sports reporting's bad boy, Rizal Hashim. The "loose cannon". The Malay Mail reporter that Azalina Othman Said could not stand when she was Sports Minister and trying to make Brickendonbury a reality.
"A pain in the arse," she had told an aide one day.
Rizal was bad, indeed. But then he came from a long list of "bad boys of journalism", many of whom made their name in sports reporting. Fauzi Omar and Lazarus Rokk came to mind immediately. And tough girls, too (remember Cheryl Dorrall?).

Rizal is already aiming his cannon at the thought of a cheaper alternative for Brickendonbury, HERE.

Umno saboteurs

Witch-hunt. It's been a month since BN's worst general election. And Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who has refused to take responsibility as Umno President, BN Chairman or the Prime Minister, seems to have identified the people responsible for his party's predicament.
And he is now, according to the Editors of the MSM ...
But, really, who sabotaged the BN?

If you ask me, I say look at the people around the PM.

The PM is still relying on the same advisers to guide him. The same advisers who told him that the BN would win Kelantan and Penang, and win BIG. Same son-in-law. Same half-past-6 4th Floor boyz. Same spin doctors at NST, Utusan, Bernama.
The only difference is that he's got a new Information Minister. But given extended denial mode he's in, Zam's absence doesn't seem to be helping at all.

If you ask me again, I say those guys around him are responsible. If anyone did sabotage the party and undermine the PM, these people did with their arrogance and incompetence.

Umno has an idea of the saboteurs!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

All Blogs, the 1st year

April 5 2007-April 5 2008. Tonight last year, we founded the National Alliance of Bloggers, or All-Blogs. [click here for that night's posting]

In that one year, the pro-tem committee together with a group of bloggers who live in civil society have created landmarks and broken down barriers. To name just a few things we did, we launched Haris Ibrahim's Bangsa Malaysia initiative, got together various faiths for an all-religious prayers, gave the people the Barisan Rakyat and the so-called Opposition the possibility of a single front and one election manifesto.

We strengthened ties and we shared ideas and dreams.

I am talking to Sheih Kickdefella, the creator of Bloggers United, the precursor to All Blogs, about a tie-up that would give the mainstream media's online newspapers and tv stations a run for their money. Tony Yew set up Blog TV and Nuraina A. Samad led a group of bloggers to set up a citizens' initiative for N.U.R.I.N Alert.

On the night of March 8th, bloggers gathered at the Blog House, the All Blogs' headquarters in Bukit Damansara, and celebrated a victory. All Blogs protem Vice President Jeff Ooi became a Member of Parliament and council member Elizabeth Wong a State Assemblyperson.

1 year old. A baby, yes, but what a baby!

This week, after the Lessons for Singapore talk that Jeff, Haris and I are attending as speakers in the republic, I'll call for the Exco meeting that Zorro has been harassing me to convene. Desi's Bloggers United Malaysia 08 is coming soon and we'll need to plan for the 2nd year of All Blogs. Time to start a membership drive. Someone said there are 500,000 Malaysian blogs out there.

Thank you, blogosphere bros and sis. It's been an honour.

p.s. Anon from Miri and Mat Salo gathered a small group of bloggers for a get-together in KL this afternoon. I had to miss that one. But story and pictures HERE.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Whipping the non-Muslim sinners

Zahid Hamidi, you up for this? The controversial proposal to prosecute non-Muslims for khalwat is a test for the new Cabinet, says lawyer Malik Imtiaz, who describes the attempt as "wholly repugnant", in his latest posting A test for the Reform Cabinet here.

They are also proposing that the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Amendment) 1984 be amended to impose stiffer penalties of RM1,000 fine, or five years’ jail or 12 strokes of the rotan for Syariah Lower Courts and RM20,000 fine, or 10 years’ jail or 24 strokes of rotan for Syariah High Courts.
Current limits are a maximum of three years’ jail, or RM5,000 fine, or up to six lashes or any combination of these, and different states provide different penalties for these offences.

I think stiffer this and stiffer that and shaming people make some people feel real powerful and holy. I hope Zahid, the Gold Wing rider and new Minister in charge of religious affairs, is different.

Umno Youth Top Post: Enter Mukhriz

Mukhriz vs Khairy? Hishammuddin Hussein's decision to quit as the Umno Youth No 1 in December got me thinking: is he hoping to pass on the keris, I mean the baton, to his No 2, Khairy Jamaluddin the Son-in-Law?

After all, Hisham was the one who was supposed to have told Pak Lah not to stop his wish to have the SIL as his deputy.

Or will KJ have to slog it out with Mukhriz Mahathir, the man who wrote the letter asking his FIL to step down after BN's general election fiasco and the Pemuda exco who garnered the highest votes in the last election?

Remember, no Undi Pos to help anyone in December!

Read Mukhriz umum sedia dicalonkan sebagai Ketua Pemuda Umno.

The 500,001st Malaysian blog

Ah, Aziz Hassan! This former editor of the Malay Mail (when the tabloid was the tabloid) is the latest big name in the local journo world to turn to blogging. Click HERE.

In his latest posting Will PKR fulfill all promises?, he reminds the new Selangor government of ONE manifesto promise, which is to "Ensure universal access to high quality educationby making schooling from kindergarten to university COMPLETELY free to all Malaysians".
Aziz aka Conot is known to be a pain in the ass; so Khalid Ibrahim, my advice to you is to tread carefully around the guy!

Aziz's "mana-mana" is not exactly the 500,001st blog; it competes with this blogging Chief Minister.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ah, Ku Li!

original post 3/4/8
"Today we have a President of UMNO, a Chairman of Barisan Nasional, and a Prime Minister. What we lack is leadership." - Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, in a speech tonight.

update 4/4/8, 10 am
43 divisions in the bag?
In today's mypaper, I wrote about the Gua Musang Umno divisional meeting that starts at 10 this morning. I did not have time to add the quotes above, though (Ku Li was speaking at a Sekolah Menengah Jeram Tekoh in Gua Musang last night.

I have also just been told that Ku Li has the expressed support from 43 divisions as of last night.

That Shaziman ...

This Shaziman ... Shaziman Abu Mansor was one of the first to start calling bloggers names. Shameful, especially since he was then the Deputy Minister in charge of blogs.
However, in his interview as the new Minister of Energy, Water and Communications, Shaziman does not call bloggers no names ("Enter the load-balancer", NST). He even said he did not want to register bloggers!

This is the same Shaziman who threatened me with the Sedition Act for my story on a fainting PM. Can't recall? Read Jeff's That Shaziman ...

Azalina punishes five states

"But (phew!) no total boycott."

Thursday April 3, 2008

Azalina: Tourism MoUs with Opposition-ruled states to be terminated

“Maybe we have to look at other venues or options. But there is no total boycott in tourism. We have to play it by ear and see what these state governments do,” she added.
Azalina said industry players she met recently, including hoteliers and travel agencies, had expressed concern over tourism in Opposition-held states, given the players’ huge investments, especially in Penang and Kedah.
“They hope there will not be any negative policies in these states that will affect tourism,” she added.
On PKR, DAP and PAS’ decision to form Pakatan Rakyat, Azalina said it would not last long given their different policies, unlike Barisan which had the same manifesto for all.
“Politics is a marriage of convenience. Politicians can say anything they want to gain the people’s support.
“Maybe Pakatan Rakyat will work for a month or a year but it will break up in the end as they are too different,” she added. - Cick HERE for the full story.

So, if foreign tourists stop going to these FIVE states, who will suffer? Penang, for examplel, is key to Malaysia's health tourism (300,000 health tourists visited Malaysia in 2006 and spent over RM200 million). The state accounts for 10 per cent of tourist arrivals under goals set in VMY 2007.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Letters NST wants you to read

Sue the Bloggers! There are two letters - Unfair blogging by a Ahmad Zazli Hamid from Ampang and Spreading Rumours by a Bulbir Singh, Seremban.
Well, these letters are not editorial pieces by the New Straits Times itself and a newspaper does not have to agree with the opinions made in a Letter to the Editor sent by its reader.
However, in view that the NSTP is suing me (and YB Jeff Ooi), and that we have a gentlemen's agreement not to publish anything that might sub-judice the case, the publication of these letters, without any other material that may try to balance the letter writers' views, did raise my eyebrow.

The next round of the NSTP & 4 Others vs Ahirudin Attan is coming up soon.

Read Nuraina's views here. And MarGeeMar, a commenter, left some interesting observation about one of the letters, MerGeeMar on Bulbir's Letter, under my previous posting.