Monday, June 30, 2008

World news ... and why I published the pic of the fiancee

updated 1 pm
30/6 Anwar Ibrahim files a suit at KL High Court civil registry against former aide Saiful for allegedly lodging false and malicious report /STAR

Original posting
WHY? Saiful Bukhary has made a very serious allegation against Anwar Ibrahim. If he is telling the truth, then he's done a most courageous thing by going to the police. If he's telling a lie, then it's a most despicable deed.
Either way, Saiful has made himself a very public figure. Once investigation starts, his own character will come under scrutiny. If this goes to court, his whole life will be placed on public display. The people around him, especially those close to him, will become objects of scrutiny as well.
His fiancee, we must assume, knows him inside out. She is not under age and she is not a mere bystander. She will have a story to tell, too, and her story could shed light on this issue that has left us with more questions than answers.
In the pursuit for the truth, newspapers have to make many unpopular calls. Often, an editor has to decide whether to publish a certain picture or not. I am no longer in the newspaper, but the mind works the same way, without malice.

Read the reports in mypaper here (First, click on the front page and then magnify the pages; it's quite easy to use, really. Other than the front page, there is a piece in the World Page section). I quoted Wee Choo Keong, Vernon the Mr Manager, and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. Nik is significant to the story as he was about Saiful Bukhary's age when he worked as Anwar Ibrahim's aide.

Malaysia is definitely back on the world map where political news is concerned. Read also The Australian's Sodomy claim desperate: Anwar

Today's newspapers, especially the Chinese dailies, went to town with the picture of Saiful and an officer from Najib's office. Maybe they'll use these other pictures of the Accuser - with Azalina Othman Said, Mustapha Mohd, and Shahril Samad - in their editions tomorrow? Pics taken from sultanmuzaffar.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meanwhile ...

Who's The Cabal?
Shareholders of the Northern Utility Resources (NUR), probably the only IPP under receivership, will be calling for a press conference tomorrow. The PC is primarily aimed at exposing the efforts of a cabal within the Ministry of Finance that has been misleading the PM on NUR and several other issues, including disregarding a written directive by Abdullah Badawi on how the NUR dispute should be settled was back in 2004.

Coffee Boy, engaged and in blue



Saiful Bukhary (left, in blue), who lodged a police report against Anwar, has been to the DPM's office and is pictured here with a friend who works at the DPM's office. Read some very colorful comments in RPK's Malaysia Today here.

Mr Manager alerted me to this pic and another of Saiful and his tunang. They were engaged last month. Click here for Vernon the Mr Manager's take on the "coffee boy".

Channel 501, 9 tonight


Amir Mahmood Razak is my host in the talk show Temujanji (Appointment) which will be aired tonight at 9 pm on Astro Awani's Channel 501.
It was pre-recorded just before the days of RPK's statutory declaration and the report against Anwar Ibrahim.

If you believed in the Statutory Declaration ...

From Tivoli to Unit 1151, Kondo Desa Damansara
The following police report was made on 28 June 2008 at 5.45 PM by Mohd Saiful Bukhari bin Azlan, who turns 23 next week (i/c no 850706-01-5687):
"Saya Mohd Saiful Bukhari b Azlan ingin melaporkan bahawa saya telah diliwat oleh majikan saya. Perkara ini berlaku tanpa kerelaan saya. Kejadian terakhir berlaku 26/6/08 di Unit 1151, Kondominium Desa Damansara, Jln Setia Kasih, KL. Oleh itu, tujuan laporan ini dibuat untuk mendapat pembelaan dan keadilan keatas diri saya. Saya juga berasa bimbang dengan keselamatan diri dan keluarga saya jika perkara ini tersebar luas di khalayak ramai. Majikan saya Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim - Ketua Umum PKR."
Logically, people who pooh-poohed RPK's statutory declaration and saw it as a political ploy will pooh-pooh this police report and see unseen hands, too. And vice versa, right?

I never believed Anwar was a sodomite, just as I don't believe Rosmah was there at the scene of Altantuya's murder. My belief, however, makes no difference to the people who believe that Anwar is indeed a sodomite and to the people who have already made up their minds that Najib must be linked to the Mongolian's murder.

There are fanatics among us today and we live in difficult times.

My advice (to those who aren't yet fanatics) is still the same: let the police investigate the claim. If it goes beyond that, let the courts hear the case.

After all, don't we have a more credible judiciary now? A more credible police force? A more courageous civil society movement? A freer and more democratic Press under Prime Minister Badawi.

Badawi says his Government has nothing to do with the sodomy police report against DSAI. He says he was shocked. Click here to read his shock. And Anwar says the police report by his private assistant was total fabrication, here.

updates, 2pm
from Malaysiakini
Wan Azizah: Aide was volunteer staff

This morning party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that Saiful was a volunteer who joined to help the party during the general election period three months ago.
She added that little was known of him and that no background check was done on him as he was just a volunteer. He later become a special assistant to Anwar.
Saiful is a former student leader at the Universiti Tenaga Nasional.
Wan Azizah also added that Anwar "was taking it well" with the latest happening.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sodomy, Part Two

Anwar accused again
RM0.00 Polis telah menahan pembantu khas DSAI Saiful Bahari ptg ini dan memaksa beliau membuat pengakuan diliwat. Polis dijangka menahan DSAI hari ini. Sebarkan.
YB Nik Nazmi just confirmed to me that the above was sent by PKR's sms service. I also spoke to an Editor of a mainstream newspaper and he said, "Yes, we'll be carrying a story on a police report lodged against a politician for sodomy. But we won't be naming names."

Anwar has called for a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

I'll update, but do me a favour: stay calm and don't listen to rumours.

update 2am
Malaysia's Anwar to be investigated on sex charges: police

Agence France-Presse

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will be investigated over new allegations of sodomy, police said Saturday, the same charge that saw him jailed a decade ago.

Anwar's Keadilan party said that one of his aides, Saiful Bahari, had been arrested and "forced" to make a statement saying he was sodomized by the opposition leader.

"Yes, we have received a police report from an aide of Anwar Ibrahim that he was sodomized. But no, we will not arrest Anwar at the moment," said deputy police chief Ismail Omar.

"We will investigate this report first. We will look into it and carry out the necessary steps before issuing any warrant of arrest," he told AFP.

Keadilan officials said that Anwar and other top members of the party were holding crisis talks and feared that he could be arrested soon.

The charismatic leader of Malaysia's resurgent opposition was a respected deputy prime minister and finance minister until 1998 when he was sacked and later jailed on sodomy and corruption charges.

He spent six years in jail until the sex charge was overturned, but the corruption conviction kept him out of politics until recently.

In March he led an alliance of opposition parties to unprecedented gains, wresting a third of parliamentary seats and five states from the Barisan Nasional coalition which has ruled for half a century.

Since then he has claimed he has the support of enough government lawmakers to form a new government.

"C4 expert" sues RPK for defamation

Updated at 3.30 pm, 28.6.08
To read the lawyer's letter in full, click here.
Lt Col Norhayati Hassan also sues, here


Original posting:

Lieutenant Colonel Aziz Buyong
, described by Raja Petra Kamaruddin in his 18/6/08. Statutory Declaration as "a C4 expert", has filed a defamation suit against the Malaysia Today editor.

The Army officer is one of three individuals (other than the two cops who have been charged for Altantuya Sharibuu's murder) whom RPK swore were present when the Mongolian was blown up with C4 explosives.

In the SD, RPK said he had been "reliably informed" that Rosmah, the DPM's wife, and Aziz Buyong's own wife, an officer attached to Rosmah, were also at the murder scene.

In a three-page registered letter to RPK from legal firm Gab, Rao & Chuah, Lt Col Aziz demanded that RPK issues an "unreserved and unqualified" apology to be published in websites and all national papers and pay RM1 million in damages (which the Lt Col will donate to a charitable foundation), among other things.

The lawyers have given RPK seven days to reply, or else .....

Note: I was sued for defamation by NSTP, Kali and gang in January 2007. The case is still pending in the High Court.
My lawyers told me back then that the greatest weapon against a defamation suit is "the Truth". If I can prove in court that what I've written was the truth, I'd have nothing to worry about.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dr M calls for press conference

updated 5 pm
"Ian Chin is a disgrace to his profession" - Dr M

At Dr Mahathir's lunchtime press conference:
"Without evidence or justification, the learned Judge wrongly held that DSK made these decisions. We find that the learned Judge's findings were based on unjustified inferences, speculation, his own preconceived impressions and prejudice.

"We find the learned Judge's attack on the credibility of SSA (Syed Salem Bukhary, the younger brother of DSK - who represented his incapacitated brother) as unwarranted and does not stand up to examination having regard to the extremely prejudiced view he held about SSA's conduct as apparent in his judgment."

No, these were not Dr M's words. In fact, they are excerpts from a March 25, 2008 judgment made by the Federal Court against Ian Chin's High Court judgement in the Zara Sdn Bhd and Benita Sdn Bhd suits.

At the press conference, Dr M revealed that there was a police report against Ian Chin for breaches of Judges' Code of Ethics in hearing the Zara/Benita case "in which he has a personal interest".

Dr M added that Ian Chin presided on a case involving Dato Syed Kechik without revealing that "he believed Syed Kechik was responsible for detaining his father and brother 20 years before".

"Chin joined Party Berjaya and lost (in elections) twice. One of the objectives listed in Party Berjaya's manifesto was to expel Syed Kechik from Sabah. As a party member he must know Berjaya's hatred for Syed Kechik. This alone should have resulted in (Ian Chin) excusing himself from hearing the case," Dr M said.
Back ground of the case:
When Parti Berjaya won the Sabah state elections in April 1976, the Berjaya government cancelled the timber licence of Banita, belonging to Syed Kechik) on October 1, 1976 and published Gazette Notificication No 671 on compulsory acquisition of the entire Zara Land Project of 2.5 ha also belong to Syed Kechik.
On 7 Sept 1977 Banita filed a civil suit against the State government and on 28 Sept 1977 Zara filed for the adjudication of compensation claim in respect of compulsory acquisition of its land for "public purpose".
The Sabah government through the Sabah Foundation, Suiswan Sdn Bhd and Seranum Sdn Bhd filed counter claims against DSK, Zara and Banita. For about 20 years the Plaintiffs went to "sleep; no court action was taken.
Then on 26 October 1996 Justice Tee Ah Siang heard the case involving Originating Summons No 69 of 1977. The Judge ordered teh payment of RM40.9 million in capital compensation by the State Government to Zara with 6 per cent per annum interest from 20 Dec 1976 to the date of settlement)
On 6 January 1997, Ian Chin presided over the case. In his judgment (that was challenged by the Federal Court in March this year) Ian Chin wrote:
"Yes, DSK was from West Malaysia sent to Sabah supposedly to help Sabah politically. Unfortunately, he introduced to Sabah, especially to the then politicians of Sabah, a way to get rich, very rich at that, quickly by way which I have already concluded are wrong in law.
Dr M said he believes Ian Chin was trying to curry favour with the Government by demonising him, whom everyone knows is the bete noir of the present Government.
"And (Ian Chin) was quite right because Government Ministers and the PM rushed to accept his story as absolutely true. But other judges had refused to endorse his statement (about threats by the PM then)."
Tribunal?
During Q and A, Dr M said there is a "clear cut case" of misconduct where Ian Chin is concerned. I asked him if he was indeed calling for a Tribunal to be set up. Dr M said he was not calling for one but he was merely questioning why a Tribunal has not been set up to determine if there was misconduct.
"The public is entitled to question if the Government is upholding the law."
Original posting
The former PM is calling for a media conference at Level 86, Petronas at 12pm today to respond to issues. As usual, bloggers are welcomed.

Updates later, insyallah.

All-Blogs' "100 Days" do is now on July 5


Due to unavoidable factors, we have decided to hold the party on July 5th instead. We apologize for any inconvenience.



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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who's telling the truth?

update 26/6/08 1.30 am
KJ or RPK? Khairy Jamaluddin has told police that he never received or kept any military intel report from his father-in-law the Prime Minister as alleged by RPK, the Malaysia Today editor, in his June 18 Statutory Declaration.
KJ said he may sue. Read here.


Original posting
Badawi or RPK's mystery, "reliable" source?
The PM has denied (here, NST Online) accusations made by Raja Petra Kamarudin in his Statutory Declaration. In the SD, RPK said he had been "reliably informed" that the Deputy PM's wife, together with several other people who are not among those charged for the murder of Altantuya, was present when the Mongolian was blown up with C4 explosives somewhere in Shah Alam.

Abdullah Badawi said there was no such military intelligence report as mentioned in the SD. RPK swore in his Statutory Declaration that a file had been handed over to the PM. RPK also said the PM had then given the file to his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin for safekeeping.

KJ's silence is odd, someone from the foreign wire told me. "He's not known to shut up if you accuse him directly of something."

Of Car loans interest rates

The good news first. If you are still serving a loan for a Proton or a Perodua, congratulations! You may be paying less in installments soon as the Government brings the interest rates down by 0.5 per cent. Yep, that's the plan to help lessen the Rakyat's burden after the massive petrol price increase.

Now the bad news. If you own a foreign-made car or 4x4, too bad. The rates may go up by 1 per cent, man. If the thing runs on diesel, has an engine bigger than 2500 cc (like the Rexton in the picture) and is registered in the Peninsular, you're screwed!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Parliament reporters to boycott Lobby

updates
Pic borrowed without permission from New Malaysia.
Read Bernama's piece on the boycott here. It seems that press conferences by the PM and DPM yesterday were covered only by the official media (Bernama and RTM), the foreign wires, TV3, and, mmm, Berita Harian.
Original posting
New ruling treats Press like pests, say journos:


Reporters covering the on-going Dewan Rakyat session have decided to boycott the Parliament's lobby in protest of a new ruling that they say treats them like pests rather than press.

The lobby is where reporters station themselves, sometimes all day long, in order to catch MPs for comments and news. It's been a practice for decades.

Effective this week, the whole lobby has been cordoned off (imagine a police crime scene, yellow tapes, barricades). Reporters prohibited. Not allowed. No Entry. Main jauh-jauh.

The reporters may enter the lobby area only between 1 and 2.30 in the afternoon.

"If we want to catch an MP or Minister, we'd have to holler or jump up and down to catch his or her attention from outside the area. How demeaning is that?," a fed-up journo told me this morning.

Very insulting, indeed.

Nazri Aziz, the Minister in charge of Parliament, must withdraw immeditaely this latest stupid regulation of his.

And also the earlier, equally ridiculous one limiting each newspaper to only 5 reporters covering Parliament at any one time.

The media in this country need to be liberated, not suppressed further. (But if Nazri is so keen to police the Press, he should lobby the PM to be the Editorial Adviser or the Group Editor in Chief of the NSTP. Heard the incumbents are leaving soon).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Emergency motion to discuss a Statutory Declaration?

In connection with Raja Petra Kamarudin's Statutory Declaration here, Lim Kit Siang has called for an Emergency Motion in Parliament to discuss the allegations made.

"In his notice, Lim said the credibility and legitimacy of the Government would suffer a mortal blow if the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and those named in the allegations remained silent on the matter.
Copies of the notice were distributed to reporters in the Parliament Lobby.
Lim repeated the statutory declaration by Raja Petra who claimed that he was reliably informed that three people were present at the scene when Altantuya's body was blown up." - The Star

No, I don't think there should be an Emergency Motion to discuss accusations based on what somebody had "reliably informed" somebody else. Journalists used the "reliably informed" phrase all the time that it has become cliche.

Since the police have said they will investigate the accusations made by RPK in his SD against the DPM's wife, the PM and the PM's son-in-law, I say it is better to let the police complete their investigation.

Kit Siang said the "credibility and legitimacy of the Government could suffer a mortal blow ... ". Truth is, it is not just the credibility of the Government that is at stake. RPK's credibility and legitimacy is at stake, too. Your credibility, too, is at stake. Read "But until then, Najib is not a murderer ..." by Pasquale.

Khalid Ibrahim's honeymoon is over

23/6 A top aide to Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim, who is under ACA probe for allegedly "fixing" cleaning contracts, has been suspended for two months/STAR

That's not good news for the new Selangor government, of course, especially after Khalid said more than a week ago that his man had been cleared of any wrong-doing (read here).

I have been told there will be a demo in front of the MB's official residence in Shah Alam at 8.30 tonight and at Anwar Ibrahim's home at 9.30 am tomorrow morning.


pic of Yahya Sahri, the MB's special officer, by Malaysiakini

BSA Tahir is released from ISA

Monday June 23, 2008, courtesy of The Star

Sri Lankan ISA detainee freed

KUALA LUMPUR: Sri Lankan businessman Buhary Seyed Abu (B.S.A.) Tahir, who was arrested under the Internal Security Act for allegedly deceiving Malaysian company Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn Bhd (Scope) into manufacturing a component believed to be for nuclear weapons, has been released.

It is learnt that Tahir, who is a Malaysian permanent resident, was released with conditions on June 6.

Sources said Tahir, who is married to a local and has three children, is required to report to the police weekly and would be re-arrested if he flouts the conditions.

They said he is also not allowed to leave his house after 9.30pm without getting prior approval from the authorities.

The sources added that Tahir was released as he no longer posed a threat to national security.

Tahir was arrested on May 28, 2004.

On Oct 4, 2003, a ship owned by a German company was examined at the port of Taranto, Italy, and five Libya-bound containers believed to contain components related to the Libyan uranium enrichment programme were seized.

The components were packed in wooden boxes with the Scope logo. Italian authorities then contacted Malaysian police for assistance.

However, investigations cleared Scomi.

The then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Omar had said investigations revealed that Tahir had in 2001 offered a contract to Scomi for the completion of semi-finished products after assuring them it was a legitimate deal.

Scomi said in a statement it had shipped 14 semi-finished components to Dubai-based Gulf Technical Industries (GTI) LLC in four consignments from December 2002.

The end-use of these components, worth RM13mil, were never disclosed to Scope by GTI, it said.

Notes:
1) The PM's son owns shares in Scomi - see a 6/2/2004 article on BSA Tahir and the nuclear parts black market scandal here.
2) There are over 70 more detainees still under ISA. When will they be released?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

NO! to 100 pc pay hike for TNB bosses

If the PM had listened to Amok the Khazanah boss, the 100 per cent salary increment for Che Khaleb and his CFO at TNB would have been done deal.

As it is, Badawi listened to the right advisor in this case. I am sure the advisor told him that there's a right time for everything, and that this is the wrong time to double the two TNB bosses' salaries. What with the pending power tariff hike taking effect in July.

Go to www.agendadaily.com to read what else the PM had to say.

Excerpts in BM:
'Cadangan naik gaji 100 peratus CEO TNB dan semua CEO GLC ' bungkus'

"Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sahkan kerajaan tolak cadangan naikkan naikkan gaji CEO TNB 100 peratus.Malah katanya bukan kenaikan di TNB sahaja tetapi tolak cadangan nak naikkan gaji semua CEO syarikat kaitan kerajaan (GLC).Beliau nyatakan demikian semasa menjawab soalan wartawan pada sidang akhbar lepas majlis taklimat mengenai kenaikan harga minyak di Kementerian Penerangan tengahari ini ..."
My earlier postings:
Khazanah defends 100% pay hike for GLC bosses 17/6/2008
CEO & CFO of a GLC to get 100% wage increase? 12/6/2008

Malaysian bloggers to mark end of a short honeymoon

CELEBRATING 100 DAYS WITH OUR ELECTED YANG BERKHIDMATS.

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BLOGGERS....PLEASE CASCADE THIS DOWN TO YOUR READERS.

Wah, Gwee, so daring one! Now Sultan is not happy

Sultan Iskandar ticks off no-songkok DAP man. I thought we had left behind the songkok issue (read my The DAP is anti-Songkok now? (June 8) and Jalan Sudin's OK for Johor DAP Wakil Rakyat to Wear Songkok two days later).

Well, obviously we hadn't. YB Gwee Tong Hiang attended the opening of the State Legislative Assembly in JB on Friday without his Songkok!

The Johor Sultan is not pleased.
"Two days ago someone here tried to be daring by refusing to dress accordingly. If he wants (to differ), then get out of here now."
I sent an email to Gwee a while ago for his comments.
In the meantime, read Bernama's Sultan reprimands Bentayan State Assemblyman over Attire (21/6/2008) in which Menteri Besar Ghani Othman spells out the Dress Code for official events in Johor, h e r e.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anwar's Malay agenda (what you read in Singapore papers)

Poster Olek Skilgannon shares with us two commentaries that focus on Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan, 100 days after the March 8th general election:

"Pak Rocky,

Two interesting commentaries on political developments in Malaysia in the Singapore Straits Times today:

- "Anwar's teasers cloud credibility" by Cheong Suk-Wai

- "No running away from the Malay agenda" by Karim Raslan

Some excerpts from Ms Cheong's commentary:

".....Many among the Malay ground, especially in the heartland, are also doubtful of Mr Anwar. Where was he, some ask, when his wife, Keadilan president Wan Azizah Ismail, declared last Friday that Kelantan was the only opposition stronghold that would be made an Islamic state, if at all?

"And why was he silent when Mr Lim Kit Siang, leader of the Democratic Action Party, a PR component, questioned the Sultan of Perak over his appointment of a Malay (albeit one with a Chinese mother), instead of a Chinese, as the state's first opposition chief minister?

"Some Keadilan leaders have said that Mr Anwar's ketuanan rakyat (people's rule) is compatible with the pursuit of a Malay agenda. But his erstwhile right-hand man Mohammad Ezam Mohammad Nor told popular Malaysian political rag Siasah in April that he decided to return to Umno because ketuanan rakyat would bury ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) and threaten Malay interests.

"Ketuanan rakyat plays well among minorities and urban Malays but not in the Malay
heartland. Thus the constant (and perhaps necessary) trimming of sails, with Keadilan leaders suggesting that ketuanan rakyat is compatible with a Malay agenda after all. Such calibrations may give Mr Anwar and his party the reputation of being trimmers....."

And from Karim Raslan's commentary:

".....Keadilan is walking a tightrope. On the one hand, it advocates a shimmering multiracial future. On the other, it slips - discreetly - a Malay agenda into that all-encompassing feel-good vision.

"As the economy slows and competition for government resources mounts, it will be interesting to see how it manages this elegant equation.

"When I talked with Keadilan leader Saifuddin Nasution last month, he was frank: "There is no Malay-majority party that doesn't explicitly make a commitment to the Malay agenda. It would be suicidal not to do so.""

Friday, June 20, 2008

Court dismisses Election petition against WCK

Jalan Duta: Yang Ariff Zaharah Ibrahim dismissed this morning election petitions submitted for constituencies P116 (Wangsa Maju) and P113 (Titiwangsa). Also, preliminary objections submitted by Wee Choo Keong for Wangsa Maju and Dr Lo Lo for Titiwangsa were allowed with cost by the election judge.

Watch out for WCK's 14th Question of the Week here.

Also, read Bernama's "Federal Court to rule over Objections to Election Petitions" here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

TNB faces RM332 million suit


The NUR dispute - Still waiting for that light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister in 2003, the Northern Utility Resources dispute was already a tired issue that should have been resolved earlier. In September 2004, the PM wrote to TNB saying that the government agreed with the valuation done by an accounting firm.

The shareholders of NUR regarded the letter as a "directive" to TNB.

But TNB never signed the sale-and-purchase agreement.

Did someone at TNB or Khazanah defy the PM's "directive"?


The NUR-TNB dispute, already a decade old today, continues to add new players as the company is placed under receivership and the shareholders fight to stay in the game.

Now it has started to draw some adverse publicity offshore. Read the article (Tenaga faces RM332 million suit from 2 firms, 18/6/2008) by S. Jayasankaran of Singapore Business Times h e r e.

Personal greed, says Badawi

"I have not been able to satisfy his personal greed".
That's a very serious allegation. How much greed are we talking about here? The PM must elaborate sooner rather than later.
And Yong Teck Lee must respond to accusation. What did he ask for himself? The two SAPP MPs who said they will support a vote of no confidence against the PM next Monday must also speak out about this greed.

Bernama.com
General June 18, 2008 20:25 PM
PM Says Teck Lee Acted Out Of Personal Greed


PUTRAJAYA, June 18 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President Datuk Yong Teck Lee's latest action has been due to the fact that "I have not been able to satisfy his personal greed."

Abdullah did not elaborate. However, his aides told Bernama that the prime minister would elaborate at a later date.

Yong declared in Kota Kinabalu on Wednesday that his party had lost confidence in Abdullah.

Of late, the former Sabah chief minister has been critical of Abdullah's political decisions on Sabah as well as the move to increase fuel prices.

-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vote of no-confidence against Badawi

18/6 SAPP MPs to table vote of no confidence against PM Abdullah in Parliament on Monday/STAR

Notes from a reporter at the press conference:
Sapp not pulling out. But called for pak lah to step down. Made a stand lost confidence in pm. Come june 23 in parliament sapp will make the stand. Three statements issued. By Yong (Teck Lee), Chua, Eric M.

Who is Yong Teck Lee, anyway?
BIO-DATA
  • Name: YONG Teck Lee

  • Nationality: Malaysian

  • Born in 1958 and married with 4 children.

  • Professional Qualifications: LL.B (Hons) at LSE of London University; Barrister-at-Law (Lincoln's Inn), London.

  • Working Experiences: Lawyer, Politician, Sabah Chief Minister & various ministerial posts, Chairman of a number of State bodies, including the State Development Council, State Security Council , Sabah Business Council, the State Investment Committee, the State Centre of Investment Committee and the State Steering Committee for the Eradication of Poverty; Chairman of State Economic Action Council (SEAC), Chairman of the Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) 1990-1994; State Assemblyman for Likas from 1985 to 2002; Member of Parliament for Gaya (1999-2002).

  • Current Position held: President of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP)


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's up with Ernst & Young?

myCEOwatch has two postings on Ernst & Young today. Something is up.
In the first posting NUR shareholders to expose E&Y, Zafrul and Kali, the blogger writes that International financial service firm, Ernst & Young, might end up with dirt on its face if claims by Northern Utility Resources Sdn Bhd 's major stakeholders on the firm's actions are proven to be true.
The second posting is Ernst & Young's Habibah Abdul.

Click here for Bursa-KLSE Blogs and News. It's a business blogs directory in construction. Salleh Majid, the former President of the KLSE (now Bursa Malaysia) is also blogging. Am waiting for his next posting to do a link.

Khazanah defends 100% pay hike for GLC bosses

100 per cent pay for bosses OK, says Amok. I was more amused than anything when I read of how Azman Mokhtar (pic), or Amok to friends, the Khazanah boss, defended the proposed 100 per cent salary increase of the Ceo/President and the CFO of TNB, the ulility company. Read h e r e.

Bernama quoted him as saying that GLC's salary increment is performance-based, incentive-driven and self-funding. "We are not taking money away from anybody but we are creating more value," he said when asked to comment on several blogs' queries on why Tenaga Nasional Bhd's top officials were getting hefty salary increases in times of possible economic slowdown due to the fuel and food price hike.
The article forgot to mention that TNB will icrease its tariff rates by 30 per cent starting July.

If you had read my July 12 posting "CEO and CFO of GLC to get 100 per cent pay increase", you'd see that I wasn't begrudging the GLC bosses' pay increase. It's the timing of the pay hike; it sucks and it stinks.
Che Khaleb and his CFO may have done a good job but if they deserve a pay rise, so do their staff. In fact, the 28,000 ordinary and long-serving TNB staff deserve a pay increase more than their bosses, if you ask them. They created value for the company, too, didn't they?

p/s Ask Amok if he knows how much salary adjustment the TNB management has offered the staff under the new Collective Agreement? I heard it was less than 5 per cent.

Malaysia's new AP King

Natasha Hudson's hubby is new AP King?


You've probably heard of Shahrin Zahari as the husband of model-turned-actress Natasha Hudson. That image is about to change. Shahrin has just secured a government approval for some 1,200 open approved permits (AP) for hybrid cars which will make him one very hot player in the auto industry.

Word is the Government is going to provide a lot of tax breaks for Shahrin's hybrid car venture come budget time as part of the Prime Minister's new drive to inculcate frugal living as a solution to the fuel price woes.

Natasha's husband partners a 22-year Nik Iruwan Nik Izani, who aspires to be a Formula One driver, in this AP venture. Young Iruwan's dad is Nik Izani Nik Ibrahim, a senior VP in the Mofaz group. Shahrin's dad is the late Datuk Zahari Wahab, a deputy chief executive of the Ranhill Group.

Khairy Jamaluddin is in the picture above because he and Shahrin are buddies (Shahrin is also an exco of Umno Putera). KJ has been in the picture before where AP is concerned. His first cousin Datuk Haniff Aziz, a former official with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is one of Malaysia's three ‘Heavenly Kings’ of APs. Haniff of Westar and Autostar fame is worth about RM300 million due to the AP business.
See Business Times' article here for more details of the venture.

The news portal KL Pos has a bit more on Shahrin here. Excerpts:

"Shahrin ini juga merupakan AJK Putera Umno yang terkenal kerana sebahagian besar ahlinya mat rempit. Dapat Pingat Cemerlang Melaka yang membawa gelaran Dato' pada hari keputeraan Gebenor Melaka Tun Khalil Yaakob tahun lepas."

Monday, June 16, 2008

X Letter to the Malay Mail

Citizen X. You can assume that Citizen X, who wrote the letter to Malay Mail entitled "My 230 sen view", is someone who was there helping us out back in 1997 and who's as pissed off as you and I on the subject of the recent 41%-63% petrol/diesel price increase.
"Ever since fuel prices accelerated at an unfamiliar pace since 2005, we have been behaving like schoolboys on their first science project, testing hypothesis and making assumptions as if there's no real or permanent impact on our surroundings. From the manner the last two fuel increases have been announced, it is obvious that we have not done sufficient research on this critical subject.

"Making announcements at the last minute, promising no increase yet doing so subsequently, preaching changes in lifestyles to the rakyat is not on."
The writer went on asking about MTEN, the body that "went 'deep and wide' in addressing the financial crisis of 1997".

After years of reading the same letters sent in by the same writers in the other papers, Citizen X's epistle in Malay Mail is a refreshing change.

The rise of Business Blogs and Bandit's take on Slime Darby

Sime Darby Watch has been on my "Politics Anonymous" blogroll for months before the current mess that's dragging down our corporate golliath. But even before SDW, Malaysian business blogs have been making their presence felt. I am a follower of some of them for months and I would like to share them with you by developing a new category of blogroll on Business Blogs.
I'll start with 10, including SDW. Most of them are Anonymous, obviously due to the need to protect the corporations they work for during the day.
If you are put off by "business", don't make the mistake of thinking that these Biz Blogs are boring.

Telco Talk's latest posting, for example, is Celcom got raided by Jakim.

Malaysia-Finance Blogspot knows how to spice up a serious blog with Advice for Bloggers and lovely business models (left) and wonderful audio selection.

myCEOwatch, just over a month old, is curried with enough political ingredients to burn your screen. Check our the blog's take on Whose boy is T Zafrul, really? and From Sime to Slime.

And still at Sime Darby, read Bandit's thesis on Zubir's Devious Red Herring.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

RM1.4 billion handed over to Badawi, says Dr M

1.4 billion ringgit in cash, shares and property. How many Umno members knew how much was passed down by the incumbent party President to the successor? Nobody did because it was never tabled anywhere, not at the Supreme Council meeting nor at the General Assembly.

Well, now they all know.

How much of it is still there? Nobody knows. Ask your President.

Read CheDet's most explosive disclosure to date h e r e.
Excerpts:
UMNO can make a statement about the money I gave to Dato Abdullah when I stepped down. Better still Dato Abdullah can explain how much of the 1.4 billion Ringgit in cash, shares and property that my staff and one of his Ministers handed over to him is still with him.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bujai blogs!

"My Editor was an idiot!" Jailani Harun is probably the first blogger from Moncino, located on the opposite bank of the Lubok Cina river separating Khairy Jamaluddin's Rembau parliamentary constitution.
Bujai claims the distinction as the only Malaysian journalist to have interviewed Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Muammar Gaddafi, Ibrahim Babangida, Kim Dae-jung, Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev, of which only few were published as his editor-in-chief then was an idiot.

Bujai grew up in Berita Harian in the early 80s before joining Business Times in the mid 90s. They don't make journalists like him anymore, that's for sure.

Visit his blog Just Read at www.justread-whatever.blogspot.com

Feeble, Zubir!

Sime Darby's president/CEO says he was just following orders.
"My view was actually different," Ahmad Zubir Murshid told The Edge on the sacking of ex-Golden Hope people in the merged Sime over 120 million futures losses that took place before the merger.
How is his view different? We don't know. But the writer Kathy Fong tells us that Zubir is infuriated by accusations that he the sacking was a "purge" of Golden Hope officials in the company.
"This has infuriated Ahmad Zubir who says he was merely following a decision that was taken by the Board, which has been described by some as being tough and attuned to high governance standards. The Sime board comprises people such as Tun Musa Hitam and Andrew Sheng (former chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission), who are known for their highly ethical corporate standards."
Musa Hitam known for "high ethical corporate standards"? Since when? I mean, it's something else if you say that Musa Hitam is known for "high ethical political standards". And even then, you will be inviting controversy!

Also, I find it hard to believe that the president/CEO of the world's largest plantation merger has a "different view" but could not convince his Board to listen to his view?

Btw, Zubir is believed to have met Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Second Finance Minister, on Friday.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The danger of flip-flops



Bernama's sense of humor? Many must have thought the national news agency was commenting on the country's current leadership with this article!

Bernama.com
General June 13, 2008 16:04 PM
Flip-Flops 'Linked To Skin Cancer'


LONDON, June 13 (Bernama) -- They may be just perfect for hot weather and a fashion hit of the summer, but remember wearing sandals and flip-flops can put you at risk of developing skin cancer on your feet.

Researchers have earlier warned of some link between open-toed footwears and skin patches.

Now, medics have also joined the attack, by saying that sporting them can increase a person's chance of getting lesions as the skin becomes exposed to intense sunlight, a key cause of skin tumours, or melanomas, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Friday.

Cancer that affects the feet is actually known as "acral melanoma" and typically occurs on the sole of the foot, between the toes or under the toenails.

Research has revealed that only half of patients with foot melanomas survive.

Anthony Kontos, Head of the clinic at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, who regularly treats patients with flip-flop injuries, said people often mistook skin cancer on the feet for bruising.

"With the increasing popularity of open-toed sandals and flip-flops, feet often have a sudden blast of intense sunlight. Our feet are enclosed in shoes most of the year and then we pack our sandals for a holiday in hot temperatures. This means feet are particularly susceptible to sunburn.

"People are generally aware of checking other parts of their body for suspicious moles but they're unlikely to examine their feet," the Indian news agency quoted the podiatric surgeon as saying in a British daily.

But, Kontos added: "Hey ladies, if you still want to sport those comfortable footwears apply sunscreen to feet, including the soles -- that is the advice from doctors".

However a British Skin Foundation Spokesman said: "The fact is that all types of skin cancer are on the rise. Women especially are susceptible because any lotion applied to the bridge of the foot gets rubbed off by sandals."

-- BERNAMA

When?

13/6 PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he has reached agreement with DPM Najib Tun Razak on the right time for leadership change/STAR

The question on everyone's mind is, WHEN is that right time?

Read the Bernama report h e r e.

Lawyer calls for sacking of High Court judge

Friday the 13th press conference.
Press conference (bloggers welcomed) on Justice Ian Chin's allegations
10 am Friday the 13th of June
at 10th floor Plaza Permata

Jalan Kampar, Kuala Lumpur
Lawyer Matthias Chang, the former political secretary to Dr M, has asked for High Court judge Ian Chin be sacked, chided Bar Council president Ambiga, challenged the current Chief of Justice, and is "sick and fed up of judges who have no guts to speak up when in office and to live up to their oath of office".
The problem of the judiciary, he writes here, is to be found within the judiciary. "Don't blame third parties for your sordid state of affairs!"

For Matthias' website, click H E R E.
Updates here later on what he'd have to say at the press conference.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

CEO & CFO of a GLC to get 100 % wage increase?!

B l a t a n t. I hope what I heard is not true, that the CEO/President of this major Government-Linked Company, together with his Chief Financial Officer, are going to get a 100 per cent increase in their pay package!

If the CEO is getting a RM50,000 package now, he'll be getting RM100,000 a month. If the CFO is getting RM25,000 now, his package will swell to RM50,000!!!

If it's true that the Board of Directors of Tenaga Nasional Berhad has approved the increment (because that's what I have just heard, and they are just awaiting Pak Lah's approval as Finance Minister), all the Government's talk about saving cost and changing lifestyles because of the higher petrol/diesel prices will sound so very hollow.

And the July tariff rate increase already approved for this GLC will face the greatest opposition of all time.

Golden Hope-cleansing in Sime Darby?

And remember Brenden P? He's Sime crisis spokesman. I must thank Skilgannon again for the alert. Indeed, since when did Brenden Pereira, the ex-Singapore Straits Times op in KL, became the spokesman for Sime Darby?
Fox Communications? Ah, ok. Fox is Sime's PR outfit, Brenden and Wong Sulong head the mighty outfit. Fox employs, ah, let me see, whose wife used to write glowing accounts of Sime Darby before and after the merger for ... Ok, Ok. I get the picture.
Good luck, man.
Glad P. Gunasegaran, ex-The Edge, left. I supposed he could smell trouble brewing ...

In the meantime, people are talking about a witch-hunt in Sime Darby. Scary. Read the updates on Sime Darby's big MESS on Bloomberg here (where Brenden makes his cameo appearance) and Singapore BT here.

And, of course, the must-read Sime Darby Watch blog here on a solat hajat for the victimized at KLCC tonight.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No More Fuel Hike for 2008

11/6 Cabinet has decided that there will be no more petrol price increases this year: PM Abdullah/STAR

Mmm. The 10 per cent cut in their entertainment allowance must hurt bad!

p/s Do I take the PM's word for it?

Too big to handle kah, Zubir?

Big mess at the world's biggest plantation merger Co. The blog Sime Darby Watch broke the story on Monday about the sacking of former Golden Hope top executives in the merged entity (here). The blog has a follow-up post today, in which it disputed the accounts given by the Sime Darby management and dismissed it as Sime Darby's half-truth, highly defamatory press statement.
According to Sime Darby Watch, there was no domestic inquiry conducted and that the executives were told to resign or be sacked.

Sime Darby Watch is on my blogroll. Watch closely now.

p/s Who's Puteri Rafidah Megat Khas?

Berita Harian the shrinking paper


"Mahathir ugut hakim"
It's basic - you use inverted commas to show that your heading is a quote and not a factual statement. If you want to do away with the quotes, you may opt, in this case, for
Hakim: Mahathir ugut kami
If you do away with the quotes and you do what the BH did today, you will be accused of trying to hoodwink your readers. You do something like that too often, you lose readers.

And the Berita Harian has been losing quite a bit of readership over the last couple of years. Daily circulation is around 160,000 now compared with 200K-plus before. The management has conducted a survey to find out what's wrong.

The Solution? Go small! They have decided to shrink the paper to end their woes. People don't like holding broadsheet and that's why they are not buying the BH, the survey found. Go tabloid, the management was told.

But wasn't that their "solution" for the NST in 2004? Didn't do the paper any good.

If they ask me, I'd say: You don't need a smaller paper, boys; you need braver Editors.

The first tabloid Berita Harian should be out during the first week of July.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Khalid Ibrahim's honeymoon nearly over

update Thursday June 12, 2008

Khalid: Allegations of graft unfounded

SHAH ALAM: Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said yesterday that an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency has cleared one of his senior aides of involvement in graft.

“The allegations of graft were unfounded,” Khalid told reporters after chairing the weekly exco meeting.

However, the officer in question will be asked to attend a seminar or course on integrity and responsibility so that he would be more careful when carrying out his duties in future, he added.

read MORE ...

Original posting
A secret relationship and a police report.
Just read Hubungan Rahsia Khalid Ibrahim dan Lim Kim Hong (Khalid Ibrahim and Lim Kim Hong's Discreet Ties) by blogger A Voice. I am not surprised with Khalid's close ties with a tycoon like Kim Hong. Khalid, after all, was a leading corporate player, especially in the 80s and 90s, and is remembered till today for his roles at PNB and Guthrie.

But a police report lodged against an aide of the Menteri Besar, as reported by tabloid Sinar Harian last Friday (June 4), is quite a shocker. The police report was lodged by 4 members of PKR (Khalid's own party) from Kuala Selangor, Tanjong Karang and Shah Alam.

The 4 went to the cops to report the award of tenders and contracts to 4 companies in Petaling Jaya by the aide, without the knowledge of the Menteri Besar. That's crooked, man!

Read the rest of the expose h e r e.

Our Fearful judiciary

Marco Polo left this comment in the previous thread.
Rocky, here's ANOTHER scandal... it shows how fearful the judiciary was of a former prime minister who bullied and used threats against these judges (I believe a certain prime minister who is one of your favourite politicians?).

Do read the Judge's disclosure, published in Borneo Post:
High Court Judge Makes Explosive Judicial Disclosures

Thanks Marco Polo.
Sigh. What took the Judge so long? It was made 11 years after Dr Mahathir Mohamad (so fearful is this member of the judiciary of the former PM that he did not mention the name so I take the liberty to do so here) purportedly issued the veiled threat to him and his brother judges; 20 years after the sacking of Salleh Abas. And Nearly 5 years after Dr M resigned.

A really long time to live in fear, Yang Ariff.

Final days?

Berapa Kali lah leaving NST? The Tan Sri-(still)-in-waiting at the NSTP given the marching orders? By his friend the PM himself? I have my doubts and I think it's wishful thinking on the part of Apanama, but I am reminded of Lennon's Imagine:
"You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one .."
Read Apanama's NST free of Kali!!!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lunch at PWTC, anyone?

Bloggers included. Usually, you send an advisory to the media if you wish to have lunch with their members. But Umno Youth wants to transform and is willing to meet anyone from the media who'd help its transformation process.

Venue:
Luncheon "Sembang Media"
Bilik Johor/Kedah
Putra World Trade Centre
Kuala Lumpur

Date: Tuesday 10 June 2008

Time: at 11 am

RSVP: sakabangsa@yahoo.com

ACA to probe Majidee scandal

Anti-Corruption Agency called in to investigate "disappearance" of our last Southern bastion. A VIP with excellent ties with Singapore and who lives high up in the Johor political tree for more than a generation may be able to provide answers to what happened to the Majidee army camp.
I was told officers from the Agency will start questioning some people this week.

The VIP is likely not to be the only senior politician who will be called in IF the ACA finds a ground to launch a full-scale probe.

Majidee is not only a strategic point but also a place that holds great sentimental value to the Johor Palace. The land on which the Majidee camp stood was given to the Johor state government by the late grandfather of the current Johor Sultan, who had bought the land from an private estate. The military camp was built before the Second World War broke out. The Johor Military Force (the Sultan's own army) was disbanded by the British so that it could not be involved in the War. After the War, the British wanted a long-term lease from the State Government but were given a year-to-year lease. After Merdeka, the camp was occupied by the Ministry of Defence free-of-charge.

theSun's Nadeswaran and Terence Fernandez reported on the Majidee scandal late last month.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

To wear or not to wear the Songkok?

Is the DAP anti-Songkok now? According to The Star, someone people in the DAP's central executive committee want the party's assemblymen in Johor NOT to wear the Songkok at the opening of the state's legislative assembly on June 19. The Sultan of Johor is expected to be there.
If the news is true, it's strange for the DAP to want to do that. It's mischievous, even, especially given the Johor Sultan's passion for the songkok .

Sure, the songkok is a Malay headgear. It is also a Malaysian headgear. No?

Read The Star article, To wear or not to wear the Songkok, here.
Melayu Angkat has her posting, "DAP MENGADA-GADA, MENYAMPAHNYA, KALAU ANAK AKU DAH LAMA KENA SEBIJI...." here.
p/s Waiting for Kit to state DAP's stand on the songkok in his blog. He has blogged about songkok issues before, here.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bond and Bourne

OUR KIND OF PRINCESS
Wahti and Ena did a great job on the June issue of TELL. The best issue so far, if you ask me.
On my part, I write a piece on spies in our midst. Read here.
View the June highlights here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tan Sri for what?

Update, Saturday: Hard-T has the full list of recipients, here. I got it wrong, Kali didn't get a Tan Sri-ship. But that does not mean his name was not proposed for the award, understand?
I would like to take this opp to congratulate the Yang diPertuan Agong on the occasion.

Tan Sri-in-waiting Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, with 3 others, filed a defamation suit against me in January last year. If I were to comment on his getting a Tan Sri-ship tomorrow, people will say I am being personal.
I will, therefore, refrain from commenting. But I must say I have never before heard of so many people opposing someone getting a Tan Sri award from the Agong.

Check these blogs out:
Riong Kali be made a Tan Sri?
Tan Sri Kalimullah Hassan? So KJ, how?

p/s I am still undecided on whether to reproduce his classic pic ...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Next, they will ask Mahathir to leave Petronas"

For Umno members only. Sanusi Junid, the Mahathir loyalist, says he believes certain quarters in Umno will the former PM to resign as Petronas adviser now that he is no longer an Umno member.

"Nowhere does it say that you must be an Umno member (to hold positions in government-related entities). Idris Jala is not Umno, he's not Malay, he's not Muslim.

"But they are getting bolder and I believe they will tell the Tun he has to resign because he's no longer in Umno," Sanusi told journalists and bloggers in KL yesterday.

Sanusi, the former Kedah Menteri Besar, called the media conference to expose by certainj quarters in Umno, including a broad hint by Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin, that he resigns from the International Islamic University as its President.

"They will have to sack me. I won't volunteer to resign. I see my job as UIA president my pious duty. I have good rapport with the Constitutional Head and I don't believe His Highness (the Sultan of Pahang) would sack me, except on the advice of the UIA's Host Member, that is the Prime Minister of Malaysia," he told journalists and bloggers in KL yesterday.

Sanusi quit Umno on the same day Dr M walked out of the party as a sign of no-confidence against PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Last week, two ministers called for Mokhzani Mahathir to resign as Sepang International Circuit chairman after he, too, resigned from Umno.

Mukhriz: You are so hasty, Mr PM

Fuel hike should have been done in stages. Mukhriz Mahathir, already facing possible disciplinary action from Umno for his criticisms of the Prime Minister and party President, has expressed disappointment with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for not taking the people's interest into consideration in announcing the hefty increase in fuel prices.

He said the decision taken was "tidak bijak". Read here, and watch the Astro clip below.



Hacked!

The day after the 41 per cent fuel hike.


Anwar Ibrahim: It's way too much

Fuel hike is excessive burden to the people. In a press release issued this morning, the former Finance Minister and axed DPM repeated his election promise that petrol and diesel prices can be kept low.
He accused the Government of allowing Petronas' colossal hidden profits to be used for cronies and family members instead of the people.

Anwar was in the Government, so he should know. Read here.

Two night ago, on RTM, I asked the current Finance Minister 2 about the higher revenues the country earns from higher world oil prices. Malaysia earns US$250 million more each time oil price increases by US$1 per barrel.
Nor Mohamed Yakcob said the Government is of the opinion that "keuntungan PETRONAS sepatut di gunakan untuk masa depan negara dan juga anak-anak dan cucu-cucu kita" (Petronas' profits should be saved for Malaysia's future generations).
For the full transcript of interview, click here.