Thursday, July 31, 2008

Anwar returns to Permatang Pauh

Updated 6.15 pm
PAS vice president Husam Musa says Anwar's victory will affect Abdullah Badawi's chances in Umno's election this December. Read his full statement here.

It's confirmed! Anwar Ibrahim will contest the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, which will be vacated by his wife. Azizah, who improved her winning margin to over 13,000 votes in March this year compared with only 590 votes in 2004, has submitted her resignation to the Parliament Speaker today.
Permatang Pauh is in Penang, the home state that Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi lost to the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition during the General Election. A victory in Permatang Pauh, which is 99.99 % certain, will put Anwar back in Parliament after exactly 10 years.

The Election Commission must call for a by-election in 60 days.

Read the Star's report here.
Graphics from Malaysiakini.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who is Pusrawi Hospital's Dr Osman, really?


Rocky's Bru: I am republishing verbatim the following posting, first published at The Star's online blog here. It's a response of sorts to RPK's scoop on the Pusrawi doctor's medical note/report. Expect a response to this response.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Osman Conspiracy?
Posted by: samcwpen

The plots thicken and there does not seem to be an organisation that is not a part of the magic tricks.

After my post, I could not help but look for more information as to who this good Doctor is. Lo and behold, I find that he is a registered medical practitioner who has been practising in Malaysia for the past 15 years, although he is only fully registered for the past three years.

Doctor's Registration, Malaysian Medical Council
(http://mmc.gov.my/v1/searchmmc/main_search.php?action=detail&id=8528)

The interesting facts found is that Dr Hamid is a Burmese Muslim who has worked for three years at the Regional Islamic Da'wah Council of South East Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) organisation from 1993 to 1995.

Doctor's Registration, Malaysian Medical Council
(http://mmc.gov.my/v1/searchmmc/main_search.php?action=detail&id=8528)

Regional Islamic Da'wah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP)
(http://riseap.org/)

Coincidently, Anwar was also one of the Supreme Council members in this organisation (RISEAP) at around this period of time.

Islam in Malaysian Foreign Policy
(http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TtUHtD0pHnkC&pg=PA199&lpg=PA199&dq=Anwar+Ibrahim+RISEAP&source=web&ots=cTziitL0Mg&sig=ziWAIAQJqgMS9p8X9hixkaADyK4&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result)

Anwar also attended the "2nd World Peace Forum" on the 17th June 2008 in Jakarta. The other attendees from Malaysia were Abdullah Muhammad Shafiq Ong, Regional Islamic Da'wah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP).

The Second World Peace Forum
(http://worldpeaceforum.net/index.php/participants/)

After Working for RISEAP, he went to work in Sarawak for four years before coming back to work in Kuala Lumpur. His current registration details are as follow:

THAN AUNG @ MOHAMED OSMAN HAMID
UNIVERSITY OF RANGOON-RANGOON MEDICAL COLLEGE

DATE OF
FULL REGISTRATION: 09-12-2005


Current Registered Practise (2008):

Hospital Pusrawi s/b
Lot 149, Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN KUALA LUMPUR

Can anyone clarify the relationship between Dr Mohamed Osman Hamid and Anwar Ibrahim, especially when they were both active at RISEAP in the early 1990's and late 1980's?

Can anyone also comment if Saiful has any connection with Dr Hamid, at RISEAP or at University Malaya, where he later worked for another 5 years between 2003 and 2007?

Clearly, Anwar is a man of many talents and many powerful friends, including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the US State Department, the World council of Mosques and RISEAP.

It makes one wonder how far does the conspiracy go and what his true intentions are, as he successfully continues to court and win over the public opinion of not only Malaysians, but the world at large, with his pretty but vulnerable and shy "bride" routines.

It just makes me sick, watching all this play-acting.

If there is one thing I hate the most, it is in being treated like a mushroom. Kept in the dark, and fed lots of bull-shit!!!

I rest my case.

Hidup Malaysiaku!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Silent Prayer at TWB

Tuesdays With Bapak has been missing for sometime. It makes a return today with a daughter's silent prayer for a beloved dad.
Read here.

Un-confuse the people then, Dep IGP

Deputy IGP Ismail Omar said the police may investigate "a website and a blog" over news articles on a medical report by a Myanmar doctor at Pusrawi Hospital. The articles, he said, undermine police investigations into the sodomy issue. The articles were also aimed at "confusing the people", he said.

I hope the Deputy IGP does not waste any more of his officers' time by opening up a another investigation every time there is "another effort to sabotage police investigations".

The best thing to do is for him to call for a press conference and let us the people know about the progress the police have made in their investigations. If the Deputy IGP thinks the people should not be confused, then keep the people informed.

I also think the police should order Saiful's head examined. If he had gone to Pusrawi claiming to have been buggered when in actual fact he had never been buggered, he must be plain daft or it's all in his mind.

Also, what kind of fixers do we have if the Government is indeed masterminding Saiful's sodomy accusation against Anwar Ibrahim. I mean, why engage a doctor that may not cooperate with you if you want to fix someone?

p.s. I was following Haris Ibrahim's Certified Virgin! and Zorro's Now we know who buggered Saiful ... for latest on the issue. Could not access Malaysia Today and my account with Malaysiakini has expired.

Please also read Stephen Doss' IS RPK SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL???

In Kota Tinggi, Syed Hamid trails

Good-bye, Syed Hamid? So far, in Kota Tinggi where Syed Hamid is the incumbent division head, three Umno branches have nominated to retain him.
Ten have nominated Daeng Malik, his opponent.
The Kota Tinggi division has 46 branches.
Yesterday, Daeng Malik applied for an injunction against Syed Hamid to bar him from further defaming him. It seems that Syed Hamid has been going around to tell members his opponent is a bankrupt. Daeng's contention is that a bankrupt cannot stand for party elections, anyway.
Syed Hamid's popularity is at its lowest. When he was Foreign Minister, we lost Pulau Batu Putih, the crooked bridge, and the Majidee camp. He also sued a journalist who had just completed a tour of duty in war-torn Iraq in 2003.
PM Badawi promoted Syed Hamid as Home Minister after the General Election in March.

Bank ups rate for hire purchase

3.9 per cent. EON Bank, in a circular, says it will charge 3.9 per cent for new car loans effective August 1, 2008, up from 2.7 per cent. This is the second increase in car loans interest rates in a month.

Expect other banks to do likewise. Also expect it to be harder to get your loan approved. In times of crises, our financial institutions have proven to be very shy in approving loans. Back in 1997, for example, Mahathir had to force the banks to stop acting like a pussy, and to start approving loans and, therefore, encouraging spending in order to revive the economy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The spirit of Hibiscus

The PM's wife says the Hibiscus deserves a revival as a symbol of Malaysian patriotism.

I agree with Jean. Most of us like the bunga raya, so much so that we have added the stigma of the hibiscus in the logo of the Alliance of Bloggers! (The stigma also represents the computer keyboard).

So, yes, as long as it does not involve a multi-million ringgit campaign and contracts to enable cronies to organize a national hibiscus awareness drive or something like that, do promote this flower!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dissolve PAS, Dissolve Umno ...

And Set up new Islamic-based party - Nik Aziz.
How about it, Mr Badawi? The Tok Guru has offered to dissolve PAS if unity is really what you want. Are you willing to dissolve Umno and form a new party based on Islam?

And the PAS adviser does not mean "Islam Hadhari".

Bernama.com
General July 26, 2008 19:09 PM
PAS Invites Umno To Set Up New Islam-based Party To Unite Malays


MACHANG, July 26 (Bernama) -- PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat Saturday proposed the dissolution of both PAS and Umno and the setting up of a new Islam-based political party to unite the Malays and enable Islam to be the protective umbrella for all the people, including non-Muslims.

He said Islam fulfilled the objectives of all endeavours, including political struggle, and should form the basis of political parties seeking to uphold the true political struggle.

"Umno should dissolve, PAS should also dissolve. Set up another party on condition that it is based on Islam," he told reporters after opening the 37th "Muktamar" (meeting) of Kelantan PAS "Dewan Ulama" (Assembly of Muslim Scholars), here.

Nik Abdul Aziz, who is the Kelantan menteri besar, said there was no reason for Umno to reject the Islamic policies proposed by PAS because Islam stood for all the communities, including the non-Malays, in the country.

"Islam is for all the communities, not just the Malays ... the Chinese, Indians and Orang Putih (westerners) ... they have to be united under the umbrella of Islam," he said.

Islam would thus be able to regain strength in the country while forging closer links among the communities, including non-Muslims, he said.

-- BERNAMA

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hornet's Nest, Singapore

"Do not test us".
"If you want to negotiate, lets negotiate. There is no need to encroach, no need to test the market or our waters." - Rais Yatim on Singapore Senior Minister of State Balaji Sadasivan's remarks about the republic wanting to claim territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone around Pedra Branca.
I like it when our leaders talk big. Singapore's Foreign Minister better stand up and listen. We may have lost Pulau Batu Putih to Singapore at the International Court of Justice, but we are not about to give away anything else.

I think what Rais means is that if Singapore continues with this kind of talk, it's war. And I don't mean we are going to war, ok?

Above is a hastily-sketched map by an expert on the EEZ/territorial water subject. I'll get it properly and graphically done one day. Click here for the larger, Facebook version.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kembara Mahkota 2008

pdated 26/7/08: Pole dancing in Labis (6 pics)

Kembara Mahkota, Day 2. I spent two years in Muar and one
in JB in pursuit of academic something. But I've never seen Johor as intimately as I've been seeing it the last two days of this
Kembara Mahkota, an annual state tour on wheels led by the Tengku Mahkota Johor.

It was raining heavily when we left the police academy in Bakri, Muar at 7.30 this morning. After the 200-odd km and countless of stops yesterday, the fingers of my left hand have lost their sensation. The clutch of the Harley is not my cup of tea (yet).

About 70 bikes and a convoy of four-wheelers left this morning. I forgot how cold it could be to ride in the rain without a raincoat.

I will be writing more about the experience for the Tell magazine. Snapped over 400 pics in the two days, most of them of poor quality. The one on the right with the roof of an old temple in the background, was taken in Labis, where I met young YB Chua Tee Yong. The lads in the picture are attempting to reach the top of the pole, which has been applied with margarine to make it more slippery for the competing teams.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

After Pulau Batu Putih, Singapore asks for more ...


Singapore's 212-mile claim. Notwithstanding what Rais Yatim or what our A-G might add, Singapore will definitely claim a 12-mile territorial sea and 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around Batu Putih, which became the republic's territory due to our a major screw-up on our part last May.

Which means we'll have to sit down with the Singaporeans and negotiate with them.
Which also means that we'll definitely be giving away a few more concessions to the Singaporeans before the end of the day.

This lecturer says it's unlawful for Singapore to want to make such a claim. That's the kind of ignorance that caused us to lose Batu Putih in the first place, if you ask me. We signed the International Convention of the Law at Sea, dear Professor, please take the trouble to read up what that means.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

RPK goes for broke with The Confession

An Evening with an Accomplice is, tragically, RPK's go-for-broke attempt to fix Najib Razak with something that will deny the DPM from becoming the PM. RPK's dream, it's not a secret, is to make Anwar Ibrahim PM. He's already facing one sedition and three defamation charges in his effort to realize this dream, including for a Statutory Declaration he made against Najib's wife. This time, he said, it's all or nothing:
"This time I am going for broke. This time I am prepared to go to jail for a long, long time just to make sure that Najib is not going to become Prime Minister of Malaysia in June 2010. Yes, I know I am headed for a fall, but I am going to bring Najib down with me. We shall both hit the dirt and become history, side-by-side. And how will that happen? Well, this time I video-recorded a ‘confession’ session. And the video recording is now in a safe place, ready to surface during my trial when they charge me for this newest ‘crime’, whatever that crime is going to be. The gist is as follows. When Saiful went to meet Najib, he brought a friend along. And this friend has confessed to the entire thing in a video recording, which I now have in my possession. So bring it on. Give me all you’ve got. Charge me and let us see what happens in court."
Read the "confession" or "interview" below. Is it strong enough evidence to convince the Court or anyone that "Najib met Saiful to discuss how to fix Anwar on a sodomy allegation"? Is it evidence in the first place? I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. But if you ask me, I'd say it's uphill all the way for RPK. He needs to pray that Anwar Ibrahim will become the next PM.

Of course it doesn't help that the Court has also rejected an application to get Najib to give evidence in the Altantuya's murder trial - Statutory Declarations are hearsay?

The Confession:
“What questions are you going to ask me?”

“No questions. We will not treat this as an interview. You just relax and relate what happened, like a story-telling session, and then I will video-record everything you say.”

“What exactly do you need me to say?”

“I suppose you can just relate how you first met Saiful, how he came to be employed by Parti Keadilan Rakyat, what he did in the office, and anything else you know about his allegation that Anwar sodomised him. The best thing is for you to relax and speak naturally, like you are telling a story, no questions and answers session which will make you stiff and not look natural.”

“Okay, if I make any mistake you will edit the tape?”

“No, we will not edit anything. That will tantamount to tampering with the evidence. Never mind if you make a mistake. Just repeat what you said or start over again. This video recording is not for broadcasting. This is for internal use only. We shall keep the recording in a safe place in case the police arrest you and force you to make a statement against your will. Then, if the police charge you for anything, we will be reveal this tape to prove that what you told the police under duress is different from what you said tonight. That is why you must speak naturally and not look stiff or like you are being forced to say whatever you are going to saying. This video recording is for your protection to ensure that they will not arrest you and force you to make any statement that is not true.”

“Okay.”

“Let me know when you are ready. Drink some water to clear your throat and finish your cigarette first. Then we will start. Be comfortable and don’t worry. No need to even look at the camera if that makes you uncomfortable. Speak to me. Look at me and talk. It is easier when you speak to a person than to the camera.”

Sessions starts and he relates his story. After 15 minutes he gestures for the camera to be switched off and I oblige.

“I am not sure whether I want this next part recorded on camera.”

“Never mind. We can record it anyway and then if you feel it is damaging it need never surface.”

“I would rather get my lawyer’s advice first before this second part is recorded because it implicates Najib in the sodomy allegation against Anwar.”

“Okay, we can leave the camera off and you can relate the second part off-camera. Then we decide later if it should be recorded or not.”

“This second part is about our meeting with Najib.”

“Oh, you also went to see Najib?”

“Actually, I did not know why we were going to see Najib. Saiful just said that he wanted to go and see Najib and he wanted me to follow him. So I followed him. I was present when Saiful discussed with Najib about the sodomy allegation against Anwar. I did not know he was going to see Najib about that.”

“You did not know he was going to see Najib about the sodomy allegation?”

“No, he did not tell me.”

“Was it staged?”

“Staged?”

“Yes, did Najib already know what Saiful was seeing him about or did Najib not know beforehand?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did Najib appear shocked or surprised or did he look like he already knew what they were going to talk about?”

“Najib looked very natural.”

“So Najib did not look shocked or surprised?”

“No.”

“So, from Najib’s reaction, he appeared like he already knew what they were going to discuss. Only you did not know. What about the other people in the room?”

“They also did not look surprised.”

“So it appeared like everyone in the room, except you, already knew what Saiful was going to talk to Najib about.”

“Maybe.”

“But why go to Najib to talk about this? Why not go to the police or the religious department?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did Najib offer any advice?”

“No.”

“Did Najib ask Saiful to make a police report?”

“No, he just listened.”

“Did Najib ask Saiful: ‘why come to me to complain? What has Anwar sodomising you got to do with the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia’?”

“No.”

“Do you think that maybe all this was a show just for your benefit? The fact that everyone appeared to already know what the discussion was all about, except you, appears like they wanted you, an ‘outsider’, to hear the discussion.”

“I am not sure.”

“Before the visit to Najib’s office, has Saiful ever told you or anyone else in the office that Anwar sodomised him?”

“No.”

“So the first time you heard of this was when Saiful brought you to meet Najib.”

“Yes.”

“Did Saiful discuss anything else with Najib like a scholarship or something like that?”

“No.”

“They just discussed the sodomy matter?”

“Yes.”

“Why not I video-record this part?”

“Let me discuss it with the lawyer first. If the lawyer says it is okay then we can record it tomorrow.”

“Okay, I will not force you. I don’t want you to tell anyone later that you were reluctant to let me video-record this part but I forced you to do so against your will. You speak to your lawyer first and then we can meet again tomorrow and record this part of your statement.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sarawak's Independence Day


45 years ago today, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time in Sarawak and the British handed over the leadership of the state to its people. Chief Minister Taib Mahmud was there then and he is there at the State Stadium in Petra Jaya tonight for the launch of the year-long celebration.
In local lingo, Taib's longevity is called "tahan wujud", a blogger tells me.

Happy Birthday, Sarawak.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A new party called Pasumno?


Umno and PAS, Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan Islam. A foreign editor described the Umno-PAS talk to me as "the big elephant that might suddenly stampede". Question is, just who will be crushed when these two rivals decide to hug and join forces.

Will this put paid to Anwar Ibrahim's dream to become Prime Minister? It will split PAS and it will split Umno, but how big will that split be? Will Hadi Awang be the next Deputy Prime Minister? Will Malaysia be an Islamic-Hadhari state? Will the talk bring unity among the Malays? And unity against what? Against those who are challenging their position as masters of their own nation?

What's becoming clearer at this point is the split within PAS. Abdullah Badawi, the Umno president, said he has met with Pas leaders three times. Not once but THRICE. However, Nik Aziz, the spiritual leader of PAS, did not attend those meetings. In fact, Nik Aziz said these meetings were not between PAS and Umno, but between individuals from the two parties.

What's Badawi's end-game here? Watch this big elephant closely now ...

I've read Kickdefella's PAS-Umno, Jangan Main Belakang and Husam Musa's Abdullah Memancing, hati hati.
Both sound wary about the talks.

Cabinet to discuss Merc purchase

Policy is to buy the Perdana for official cars. The Terengganu state government's decision to splash RM3.43 million on 14 units of Mercedes E-200 Kompressor for the state's exco members will be brought to the Cabinet for discussion, says the DPM here.

Let's see if Menteri Besar Ahmad Said can get the Agong to support him again this time. The Palace was instrumental in putting Ahmad Said there after the General Election.

This blog just won't fly

www.malaysiaairlinesblog.com
Malaysia Airlines has had a blog (click on the url above) soon after the General Election, apparently, but the blog hasn't really taken off. If they ask me, I'd tell them the reason the blog's not as popular as it should be is because someone at the national carrier has decided to disable the COMMENT section.
I e-mailed the webmaster this morning to say that MAS should allow the blog to be interactive. As it is, the blog looks more like an on-line in-house newsletter.

p.s. Rival Air Asia is said to be starting a blog, too, and I read somewhere that Tony Fernandes, the airline's CEO, is also going to be a blogger soon. Seeerious!

Higher petrol allowance for Star journos

New fuel prices drives up transport allowance. The Star has agreed to increase transport allowance by a whopping 14% for its journalists. The new monthly allowance for reporters who have cars is RM1,060, up from RM840. Closest rival NSTP, which pays RM650 a month in transport allowance, is expected to follow suit.

With the recent 41% petrol price increase (63% for diesel), companies are expected to increase staff transport allowances to remain competitive and retain employees. The higher wages will result in costlier products and services. Expect your dailies to cost a few sen more soon, especially with exorbitant newsprint costs and shrinking advertisement revenues.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shabery keeps his job

Cabinet's pat on minister's back. According to journo-blogger Tiger, Information Minister Shabery Cheek, who took on Anwar Ibrahim in a historic debate on the fuel price increase, was given the thumb's up by his boss during the last Cabinet meeting.

Shabery had said before the debate that he was prepared to be sacked from the Cabinet if he failed in the debate but Mr Badawi told Shabery he had done well.

Read Tiger's piece here.

Progress in Terengganu

With updates below.
Merc E-200 Kompressor for state excos. They used to get the Proton Perdana Executive V6 (see pic below) but now under the new Menteri Besar and the promise that the state will get to fondle the annual RM5 billion or so oil royalty direct from the Federal Government, the state excos from oil-rich Terengganu will be driven in a Mercedes each, instead.

The Terengganu state government is coughing up RM3.43 million for 14 units of the Kompressor. The same amount can get you 34 units of Perdana, with change (since Proton gives special rate for government purchases).

Last I saw him, this blogging MP who did the posting was still driving a Wira, his faithful junk.

Kak Ton has the full article taken from Utusan on-line. Excerpts:
“After having made a study, the state government finds that in the long run, it is better to use a new car to replace the Perdana V6 Executive which has been in use since more than four years ago.” - State Secretary Datuk Mokhtar Nong.

Updated midnight 20/7
Gearbox rosak! Perdana too costly to maintain, says MB.

Bernama.com
General July 20, 2008 18:45 PM
No Oil Royalty Used To Purchase 14 Mercedes E200 Official Cars, Says MB


KUALA TERENGGANU, July 20 (Bernama) -- No oil royalty was used to purchase 14 Mercedes E200 Kompressors at RM3.43 million as official cars for Terengganu executive councillors and senior state government officials, according to Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.

In defending the state government's decision to purchase the expensive cars to replace the Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars for the same official use, he said it was meant to save cost in the long run as the maintenance of the Proton Perdana cars was too high.

"We are not saying that the national car is not good, but the reality is that in less than two years of use, the cars had to be repaired due to faulty components like the gear box.

"For example, the car used by the Trade, Industry and Environment Committee chairman Toh Chin Yaw had been repaired twice costing RM50,000. But the Merdeces cars, although expensive to purchase, will incur us less maintenance cost in the long term," he explained.

Ahmad was asked by reporters about the reported purchase of the Mercedes cars, after attending a 'tahlil' function held in conjunction with the birthday of the Terengganu Sultan, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, at Istana Maziah here, Sunday.

The function was also attended by Terengganu Regency Advisory Council member Tengku Sri Laksamana Raja Tengku Sulaiman Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, state executive councillors and state assemblymen.

Ahmad said the purchase of the Mercedes E200 cars was financed by a sum allocated earlier by the state government and not by oil royalty.

"How could we use the oil royalty when we have not even received it from the federal government?" he said.

-- BERNAMA



Keris sex, anyone?

Journeying. What is this keris doing in an Amsterdam Sex Museum? Our guy KJ Lim, whose blog I discovered as soon as I had started blogging two years ago, isn't saying why but he's got more pictures here.

(Please do read his disclaimer. Mine is: The keris is politically proven to be a dangerous weapon, so be kinky with it at your own risk!).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dangerous aides

Ouch! First it was Anwar Ibrahim's aide, that Saiful guy who claimed to having been buggered by the PKR advisor.
Now PKR's YB Nik Nazmi's aide is alleged to have punched PKR's YB Loh Gwo-Burne.

Choosing the right aide has never been more crucial to a politician's well-being.

Young datuk, Old datuk

Ng Boon Bee, 70, one of our badminton greats, has been made a Datuk. Last week Nicole David, 25, Malaysia's squash queen, got hers.

Our first astronaut (or space tourist, according to some) Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, a Seremban lad, is also a Datuk now. Read here.

If you ask me, I say one is given the award too early and the other too late. The third is predictable, but all deserving.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Najib for President

Branch doesn't want to wait for two years. The largest Umno branch in the Pekan division in Pahang passed an emergency resolution today to nominate local boy Mohd Najib Abdul Razak as Umno President at the party elections in December.
Kampung Ubai's decision went dead against Umno President Abdullah Badawi's offer to hand over the job to Najib in June 2010.

Question is, will the other branches follow suit?

Read Utusan Malaysia's online report here.

Azhar Osman

Alfatihah. Azhar and I graduated from a "boot camp" organised by the NSTP at Seri Pena in Port Dickson in 1993. We didn't pass with flying colors but we graduated, nonetheless. And we had fun. He was with TV3 then.
We last spoke sometime after the March 8th general election. I asked him if the Prime Minister's Department would like to keep bloggers in the loop about stuff like press statements by the PM, etc. He laughed when I said we were now in a blogger-friendly country. He said he would be happy to assist.
I was told later the cancer just won't go away, that Azhar was constantly fighting it.

I was on the road back from Terengganu yesterday when I heard of his passing on the radio. He was 48.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Bala-clavas are back!

"Dad was on his way back home to have lunch .... but the cops blocked off the road and arrested him like a criminal. And the cops who arrested him were Special Squad cops with balaclavas!!!

"Is that necessary!!! "
- Nurul Izzah's blog, here.
And Wan Ahmad Farid says no untoward incident in Anwar's arrest? I have chosen to cite the report quoting the Deputy Home Minister not just because I'm still blogging from Terengganu (WAF's home state) but because of how nonchalant he sounds about the way DSAI was arrested.

Bernama.com
General July 16, 2008 20:55 PM
Anwar Not Roughened Up During Arrest, Says Wan Ahmad Farid


KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not roughened up when he was arrested by police Wednesday, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

He said when arrested, Anwar cooperated with the police and voluntarily got into the police car.

"I think no untoward incident happened and Anwar is now in police custody," he said when met by reporters at the parliament lobby.

On the objection to Anwar's arrest by PKR MPs who deemed it inhumane, he said the arrest was not in contravention of the law as a warrant had been issued for the purpose.

"The opposition has never agreed with any action by the police. The warrant had been issued and police were only doing what they should.

"Whatever it is, Anwar cooperated and there was no untoward incident."

Wan Ahmad Farid said Anwar should not have returned home after giving his statement to the Anti-Corruption Agency today, but should instead have gone straight to the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters (IPK KL) before 2pm.

"What is the difference, 20-30 minutes? But the warrant of arrest had been issued," he said on Anwar's arrest before 2pm, the time given by police for Anwar to appear at the IPK KL to assist in the investigations into the sodomy allegation against him.


Even the most pro-PDRM among the bloggers I spoke with on the phone today said the cops' modus operandi high-handed and totally unnecessary.

Will our cops ever learn?
Will they send the balaclavas if RPK fails to show up at the KL police headquarters at 10 tomorrow morning? [The Malaysia Today editor is expected to be charged in court over a Statutory Declaration he filed implicating the DPM's wife in the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu]. Read here.

Latest on Star On-line: Anwar taken to the Royal ward at HKL for tests an hour ago, read here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim vs Shabery Cheek


And the winner is ....
Tun Salleh Abas said WE are the winner. The people who are interested in the issues and in public discourse. "I think the program should go on," he told me after last night's DEBATE between Shabery, the Information Minister, and Anwar, the former DPM, MoF, and now advisor to PKR.

Shabery did quite well, I thought. He got floored a couple of times but he got back on his feet to carry on. No mean feat. He had the balls to engage Anwar at what Anwar does best. I don't think many BN politicians would relish the idea of standing against Anwar Ibrahim in a debate, especially on the subject of the Government's unpopular decision to increase petrol prices by 41 per cent and diesel by 63 per cent.

From the word go, Anwar attacked that decision as untenable and one that gave rise to inflation. He pooh-poohed forecast that the country's oil reserves are drying up. "Fifteen or twenty years ago, the government forecast that our reserves would dry up in 2005". The keyword, he said, is "... if no new reserves are found".
"And if our MPs don't even understand this ... susahlah (we're in trouble)."

Shabery played the blame game, but not excessively. Anwar was Minister of Finance. He was part of the policy-making BN machine. The Info Minister reminded Anwar that in 1997 he was subscribing to IMF prescriptions, such as pushing up interest rates sky high, which hurt a lot of business people and the layman.

Both speakers conducted themselves very well. They were not emotional and stuck to the topic. Congratulations. And to Agenda Daily for organizing it.

I agree with Tun Salleh, this program should go on. Let's hope Agenda Daily has more in store for US.

Don't overeact-Lah!

"Every time Anwar (Ibrahim) opens his mouth, the Government over-reacts. Don't do that. Every time the Government over reacts, we the Rakyat suffer." - a commenter (I think his name is Tom) on HOT (Hello on One) this morning with regards to yesterday's traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur.

Syed Hamid has said sorry for the jam, here.

p.s. I drove up from KL to Besut, Terengganu, where I'll be until the end of the week, yesterday morning. It took me over two hours to try and get out of the city to the highway to Kuantan. Once on the highway, it took slightly more than just four hours to reach Kuala Terengganu.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Umno member lodges police report

Serious breach at police HQ? Johari Ismail, who lodged a police report against the Prime Minister during the Umno General Assembly last year (here), will lodge a police report at Jalan Dang Wangi police station at 11 am today on what he described to me as "serious and widespread breach of IT security at Bukit Aman" by Singaporean and Israeli elements. Johari says he has "all the evidence" to support his claim.

Read RPK's piece Israel behind PDRM's information management and security system.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Can't slow down ...

As Mr Badawi starts his campaign to buy two more years as Umno President, the party's Muar division has passed a motion to abolish a quota system for the election of key posts in the party, including the Presidency. Read here.
Muar is expected to still nominate Najib for the No 1 post and Muhyiddin as the No 2, despite the President's announcement that he had agreed to pass the presidency to Najib in June 2010.
If Muar is going to set a trend for other divisions, Abdullah Badawi will really have to maintain the same pace, he can't slow down, and in fact he'll have to do more now ...

Bernama.com
General July 13, 2008 09:22 AM
Power Transition Plan Expected To Strengthen Umno Solidarity, Says Abdullah


PUTRAJAYA, July 12 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Saturday the plan for transition of power he announced Friday was expected to strengthen Umno solidarity and the government's position in focusing on efforts to implement the promises made in the last general election.

The prime minister also said that as such, he and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would be able to concentrate on national development efforts, and in fact work even harder at that.

"I will maintain the same pace. I will not slow down. In fact, I have to do more now," he told the national news agency, Bernama, and RTM Radio in a special interview at Sri Perdana, the prime minister's official residence, here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We Malaysians are "risky" visitors

Visit Britain Last? And so Malaysians might have to have visas when we travel to the UK, as early as next year! The BBC News report states "bogus passports, criminal acts and terrorism" as factors in the profiling of certain nationals as "risky".

Despite a long, shared history and thousands of Malaysian students in the UK, Malaysia has been lumped in the good company of Brazil, Namibia, South Africa, Venezuela, Bolivia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Swaziland, and Trinidad and Tobago as countries whose citizens will need visas to visit the UK "unless they 'sigificantly reduce' the risks they pose".

In the early 1980s, Malaysia launched the Buy British Last campaign and told them to bully themselves instead.


A note of thanks to Mik in the UK for the heads-up and to Artic Turban for the early perspective on the news left under my previous posting.

Yes, it was Chedet ...

Just for the record, Dr Mahathir did leave a comment on this blog - his first on any blog - under the posting Forgotten Saga.

Anonymous Dr Mahathir Mohamad said...

Rocky,

Thank you for reminding us all about Proton. I don’t know whether wishing it “Happy Birthday” would bring happiness to this “anak tiri” company. It is now but a shadow of its former self.

It’s a pity. This is a major industry which Malaysians mastered in just 15 years. They can design, test working models, build engines, set-up assembly lines and produce their very own cars meeting world standards.

They were protected, yes. But much of the support has ceased. But foreign cars were allowed in, underquoted and pay minimal tax. And the national car was literally driven off the street by APs.

Another Malaysian icon has been pushed off the pedestal by a Government whose icon is the “Eye of Malaysia”.

10:46 AM

Delete

Friday, July 11, 2008

Will Malaysia have a new PM in mid-2010?

On the same day the Opposition in Parliament tabled an unprecedented motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister, Badawi says he will step down in mid-2010 and pass the baton to Najib. Two years for smooth transition and carry out reforms as promised, according to NST on-line here.

Would you fall for it?

Umno vet Sanusi Junid is most skeptical and brutally frank. "Enough Dollah, it's time for you to sack yourself," he writes here.

When an ISA detainee's daughter dies ...

Pic of Aina at school (right).

Dear YB Syed Hamid Albar
Home Minister

Re: Aina Mardiah Shahrial, 17

You may not know Aina, she is the eldest daughter of Shahrial Sirin, an ISA detainee. On the afternoon of July 2, about 3 pm, she was admitted into Kajang Hospital. The girl was fighting for her life. The family immediately informed authorities at Kamunting, where her father had been detained for the last 7 years.

Somehow, Shahrial was only told of her daughter's illness at 10.30 am the next day, July 3. Aina's mother made a personal appeal to the authorities at Kamunting to let her daughter be with the dad for the last time. The doctors said Aina had only a few hours of life left, God-willing.

The authorities at Kamunting said they could not release Shahrial. They had to get your signature on the release papers. Yes, YB, your precious signature.

Aina's father was finally released at 5pm. It was the longest four-hour journey to Kuala Lumpur.

Shahrial got to her daughter's side at 9.45 pm. He was too late. Aina had passed away at 6.20pm without seeing her father.

Thank you, YB, and may Allah bless you and your family.

pic: A father's belated good-bye


Norlaila Othman, a wife of an ISA detainee herself (read here), told me that the Abolish ISA Movement will be writing to Syed Hamid so that the Minister knows about the father and daughter. And that besides love, sometimes all we need is a bit of common sense.

Read the Harakah.net's report here. And Tehsin's Detention without trial: The Ultimate Obsenity

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mahathir turns 83 today

With updates at the bottom.
Happy birthday, Doc. The first time I covered Dr M must have been 1986 when he launched the Malaysia-Thai deep-sea fishing project in Kuantan. I was a rookie with Business Times, having joined the paper the year before.

I've covered him - locally and overseas - many, many more times after that. Those assignments took me to the United Nations, Asean summits, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or Apec, the Non-Aligned Movement, Southern Africa International Dialogue, and various official and working visits to foreign countries.

The thing I remember most is how proud I felt to be a Malaysian whenever I covered him at regional and international events during the late Eighties and throughout the Nineties.

p/s Dr Mahathir's official birthday is December 20, 1925. His "real" birthday is today, July 10, two days before the birthday of his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah.
Having two birthdates were common in those days. My late dad told he was born on another day (not on 1.1.1928 as stated in his passport and ID) but nobody could remember exactly what day
that was.

Update, 8pm
Young Achievers Club celebrate Dr M's birthday at Kelantan Delight.






Big Dog interviews some young ones like Sarah Chen and Amanda Sabri over a birthday lunch on what they think of the Old Man.

Click here for his story and more pictures.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Forgotten Saga

Proton is 23 today. Once the pride of Malaysians, especially those in the lower income bracket, our national car has today become an embarrassment and, to some, an obstacle.

But in the 90s, Sagas were hitting foreign streets from Singapore to London, and there was even a time when left-hand drive Malaysian-made cars were being considered for the US.

My first Proton was a brand new Saga hatchback. I traded in my 7th-hand RX-7 for the brand new Proton. Sold it off for the more spacious and sporty Aeroback in 93. When NST, in a bid to tighten its belt, offered to sell its company cars to the senior executives driving them, I decided to buy the Perdana. The Aeroback and the Perdana are still serving us faithfully to this day.

Proton's charge on the world auto arena peaked when it bought MV Agusta, the Italian bike maker (after having acquired the Lotus earlier). It was planning to manufacture one of the cheapest cars in the world using bike engines.

And then Mr Badawi took over as Prime Minister ....

Anyway, Happy Birthday Proton. The company's pioneers are celebrating at Kelab Shah Alam at 8.30 tonight. There's a blog for the pioneers, here.

Photos from top to bottom:
Proton logo now
Proton UK in the 80s
Proton police cars in the UK
The Jumbuck in Australia
Proton logo then

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Good blogs, bad blogs

While I was on strike ... The PM hits out at
bloggers for the country's current political tragedy. The
Sun called me for my comments, and I said my piece (see
the article below or click here to read the online version).
I am a big critic of Mr Badawi. In my posting to announce
my 48-hour strike in protest against what was being
allowed to happen in the political sphere, I wrote: "I blame
one man for our woes. I blame the Prime Minister".
[Read? Malaysian Bloggers go on strike].

I still blame him for the current situation.

Abdullah hits out at slander and lies spread in cyberspace
PUTRAJAYA (July 7, 2008) : Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi yesterday labelled as treacherous, the deliberate
attempts to create perceptions of uneasiness and distrust among
the people, via the Internet and SMS.


"Conduct attribute
to the truth is not
appreciated. What
is appreciated is the
perception, and along
with it the lies. Perception
negates the truth. The
truth is no longer talked
about. The important
thing is the perception"




He said these attempts, undertaken through Internet blogs,
YouTube and SMS, had blemished the principles of the
Rukunegara
such as loyalty to King and country,
upholding the Constitution, the rule of law, good
behaviour and morality.

"All the slander and lies spread through the blogs and
YouTube
do not contribute to ease and confidence in
the people," Bernama quoted him as saying at the monthly
assembly of his department staff.

"There is no more regard for statements of truth in law. Little
attention is given to (one's) demeanour in life. The sovereignty
of the Rulers is turned into an issue."

A stern-looking Abdullah said not all of the people believed
in the negative perceptions created but it was portrayed
that more people had become trapped in that situation.

"Conduct attributed to the truth is not appreciated. What is
appreciated is the perception, and along with it the lies.
Perception negates the truth. The truth is no longer talked
about. The important thing is the perception," Bernama
quoted him as saying.

Abdullah said perceptions had influenced the attitudes and options
of some people in decision-making, including those related to
investment and business.

He said it must be rectified but, unfortunately, it had become a
subject which the people were most interested in, so much so that it
had become word of mouth and they resorted to exaggeration.

"The people must be appeased so as not to have any fear of a possible
shortage of food. They must be pacified so as not to have any worry
over their own safety and that of their families," he said.

He said the people had given the government a new mandate to
administer the country and they "must have confidence in our
efforts".

The government, he added, had adopted and would take measures
to reduce the financial burden of the people arising from the increase
in fuel prices which had caused them some restlessness.

Abdullah urged enforcement authorities to be firm in maintaining
peace and security.

"Let's stop doing what is undesirable. The people must exercise a
high sense of responsibility. Our priority must be to maintain
peace."

In an immediate reaction, National Bloggers Alliance pro tem
president and National Press Club adviser Ahirudin Attan, who blogs
as Rocky's Bru, urged Abdullah and other leaders to look at the
positive side of blogging.

"Labelling blogs as something negative is going back to the stone-age,
because we have been through this before," he said.


He said if blogs make slanderous or defamatory accusations, the
government or authority should address these allegations and take
action.

Ahirudin cited the example of Malaysia-Today blogger Raja Petra
Kamaruddin’s (RPK) recent statutory declaration on the Altantuya
murder, adding that the declaration had been online for about
two weeks now and the police had questioned RPK several times.

“If there is something to charge him with, go ahead and charge
him,” he said, adding that he was sued by The New Straits Times
for defamation early last year.

“The situation we are in now is also partly contributed by the
authorities. It is compounded by the inability of the authorities to
enforce the law,” he said.

Ahirudin said the government should not accuse bloggers of
attempting to create negative perceptions through their
postings, but should instead act on slanderous and defamatory
accusations.

“Just like there are good cops and bad cops, good politicians
and bad politicians, there are good blogs and bad blogs,”
said Ahirudin.

Ahiruddin, the former editor of the Malay Mail, said that
politicians were to blame as well “because they are the ones
who give out statements”.

A blog is just a medium for discussing issues affecting the people,
adding that the traditional media were also reporting the same
thing, said Ahirudin whose blog shut down for 48 hours over the
weekend in protest against the political mud-slinging over the
Altantuya Shaariibuu and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy cases.

He said there were more important things to focus on, adding that he
was fed-up with what was happening.

Datuk Marina Mahathir also shut down her blog, RantingsbyMM for
the same reasons.


Malaysian swims from Europe to Africa

3.38 hrs to cross the Gibraltar. A few hours ago, Malaysian born Lennard Lee swam across the Straits of Gibraltar in 3 hours and 38 minutes, the top ten fastest time according to www.acneg.com, the official site of the Gibraltar channel swimming.

Lee, 24, swam with two Oxford junior mates,
Harry Fisher and Nick Berry. Four years ago, Lee swam the English Channel in 9 hrs 45 mins.

Lee is scheduled to attend his degree ceremony this Saturday at University of Oxford to receive his Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery. He is starting his houseman at King's College Hospital, London on 1st August 2008.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

MPs, bloggers, celebrities at 100 Days' night


A night picnic. The Alliance of Bloggers' 100 Days (since the General Election) event last night was fun.
YBs Nurul Izzah, Jeff Ooi, Loh Gwo-Burne, Ronnie Liu helped make the evening happen. YB Wee Choo Keong came late due his "kawasan" commitments earlier, but he did keep his word.


YB Mukhriz Mahathir surely made a difference, being the only Barisan Nasional MP present. His response to the interrogation by Gobloking, a Malaysian blogger residing in Madagascar, impressed many.

Raja Petra Kamarudin came to the party straight after nearly three hours at the Sentul police station, where he was interviewed on the Statutory Declaration he made.

Engku Emran, the Suria FM boss, rode in on celebrity wife Erra Fazira's Harley; we are hoping that both will start blogging soon. Entertainment bloggers who turned up included Vernon and Sultan Muzaffar.Tony Yew and Yatie's skills at auction were a revelation; they collected some RM8k that night.

But what's very different from previous events the All-Blogs had done at the Blog House was the presence of corporate friends and sponsors. Air Asia chairman Aziz Bakar, LG's product marketing manager Kyung-San Park, and Robert Ho from DiGi were among those present. The event had the support of Scomi, Iskandar, TM, Celcom, TNB, Air Asia, LG, and several other companies and individuals that wished to remain anonymous.

All pics by Jinggo (click here to view all pics) except the one of Marina Mahathir, Nuraina A. Samad and Nurul Izzah by Cheah.

Thick prick in the wall

After all these years, some bloggers are still considered by the authorities as a nuisance. The blogger behind the popular site called Anoth...