Tuesday, March 31, 2009

National Press Club, 2009-2011

Press Club for greater freedom. The National Press Club last night elected me as its President for the next two years. I won unopposed. The new deputy president is Joe Fernando of The Star, vice president Muharyani Othman from the national news agency, Bernama, and secretary Jugjet Singh of the New Straits Times.

Mokhtar Hussein of Bernama is now Adviser to the Club, one of the oldest journalists' bodies in the country.

In my brief address at the end of the proceedings, I told members that I plan to make press freedom one of NPC's priorities for the new term.

I was president of the club for two terms (2003-2007) and stepped down after the NSTP lawsuit against Jeff Ooi and I, mainly to help realize the setting of the National Alliance of Bloggers to protect bloggers and promote blogging. All-Blogs was born at the National Press Club's clubhouse, the same venue for last night's election, and still exists as an interim body.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bukit Gantang by-election: Anwar vs the Sultan

update 30/3/2009 2.50 pm
Thanks for the link Zed. There was a Daulat Tuanku banner, my mistake! Here it is, courtesy of Mkini.

Original posting:

pic by Knights Templar. For his report, go here. Nope, no Daulat Tuanku banners ...
29/3 Tri-election: Total of five objections received and rejected; 15 candidates for Bkt Selambau, 2 for Batang Ai and 3 for Bkt Gantang confirmed/STAR

Three by-elections - including Batang Ai in Sarawak and Bukit Selembau in Kedah - will take place on the same day (April 7). But only the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election in Perak really matters.


A Pakatan Rakyat victory at Bukit Gantang can and will be used as proof, beyond any doubt, that Sultan Azlan Shah should not have given back the state of Perak to Barisan Nasional.

That the HRH's decision was against the wishes of his people, who want PR and not BN to represent them.

Fielding Nizar in Bukit Gantang is a political statement. If he wins, the former Perak MB, hailed by some as the modern Hang Jebat for his "mohon derhaka" antic, would be seen as having won not just against the BN but, more importantly, against the Sultan.

It will prove that this Jebat Moden was right and that the Sultan had wronged him.

Defeat is unthinkable.

PR has won all by-elections since March 2008 and is the incumbent for constituency.

Also, BN victory in Bukit Gantang will be seen as the people's support not just for the Sultan but also for Najib Razak, who's expected to be sworn in as our 6th Prime Minister on April 3, just four days before the three by-elections.

p.s. But Najib has his own problems. After the gruelling party elections last week, the fear in Umno is that the new party president may not be able to unite the members quickly enough. If Umno goes to Bukit Gantang and the other two by-elections divided over last week's election resuls, Anwar's Pakatan Rakyat will have a walk in the park.

Blogger Sakmongkol has sounded the warning in his blog, h e r e:

"Our common enemies are out there in Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang. I don't see UMNO there as the enemy. I don't see Pemuda UMNO as the unwanted bastard child. Do you?"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Investigate new line-up, says Rais

Walk the talk, new Mr President. Rais Yatim has proposed that the party's disciplinary committee investigate the new members of the Umno Supreme Council, some of whom "have hardly touched ground with real politics, yet they're in". Read story here.

I mentioned at least one name here but do read Nor Hasilah's (blogger Asam Pedas) commentary Keputusan MT yang mengejutkan.

Will Najib order a probe?

There's also talk about police reports being lodged against new Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who was found guilty by the committee a few days before the Umno elections but let off with a warning. And there's the question about Ali Rustam, who was found guilty and barred from contesting the No 2 post but gets to keep his position as the Chief Minister of Melaka.

Will there be a thorough investigation after the assembly?

The Umno General Assembly ended today. For the record, I was nowhere near PWTC, the venue of the assembly. No passes were offered to bloggers and on-line portals for "security reason".

Ah, Rizal Tisin!

Bronze wheels on fire. This 24-year old almost quit cycling a few months ago. Early this morning in Poland he won the first ever medal for Malaysia in the World Championships.

Read about Mr Tisin's feat here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Najib-Muhyiddin: Now or never

One shot only. Najib Razak has one shot at stopping the rot in Umno. He has a dream No 2 in Muhyiddin Yasin and a generally accepted VP line-up in Zahid Hamidi, Hishammuddin Hussein, and Shafie Afdal, but no second chances.

And he has a lot of cleaning up to do.

With the likes of Noh Omar polling the second highest votes in the Supreme Council race and "bos Mat Rempit" Azeeeeez squeezed thru by the delegates at the expanse of reputedly incorruptible leaders like Shahrir Samad and Ghani Othman, Najib and Muhyiddin must realize that the current voting system is terribly flawed.

Next Umno elections in 2012: 1 member = 1 vote.


DATUK HAJI MOHAMAD HAJI AZIZ ....................... (unopposed)

DATUK SERI NAJIB TUN ABDUL RAZAK.................... (unopposed)

TAN SRI MUHYIDDIN YASSIN............................ (1575 votes)

DATUK SERI DR AHMAD ZAHID HAMIDI.................... (1592 votes)
DATUK SERI HISHAMMUDDIN TUN HUSSEIN................. (1515 votes)
DATUK SERI MOHD SHAFIE APDAL........................ (1445 votes)

DATUK MUSTAPA MOHAMED .............................. (2259 votes)
DATUK NOH OMAR ..................................... (2084 votes)
DATUK SERI PANGLIMA MUSA AMAN ...................... (2084 votes)
DATUK AZIAN OSMAN .................................. (2060 votes)
DATUK ZAINAL ABIDIN OSMAN .......................... (2054 votes)
DATUK SERI MOHD ZIN MOHAMED ........................ (1854 votes)
DATUK SERI ISMAIL SABRI YAAKOB ..................... (1838 votes)
DATUK SERI PANGLIMA LAJIM UKIN ..................... (1804 votes)
DATUK SHAZIMAN ABU MANSOR .......................... (1705 votes)
DR MOHD PUAD ZARKASHI .............................. (1700 votes)
DATUK TAJUDDIN ABDUL RAHMAN ........................ (1685 votes)
DATUK HAJI IDRIS HJ HARON .......................... (1658 votes)
DATUK DR HAJI ABD LATIFF AHMAD ..................... (1624 votes)
DATUK SERI DR JAMALUDIN JARJIS ..................... (1622 votes)
DATUK SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH ........................... (1619 votes)
DATUK DR NORRAESAH MOHAMAD ......................... (1611 votes)
DATUK SERI MAHDZIR KHALID........................... (1584 votes)
DATUK AHMAD HUSNI MOHD HANADZLAH ................... (1529 votes)
DATUK HAMZAH ZAINUDIN .............................. (1518 votes)
DATUK BUNG MOKTAR RADIN ............................ (1517 votes)
DATUK DR AWANG ADEK HUSSIN ......................... (1481 votes)
DATUK SERI ZULHASNAN RAFIQUE ....................... (1431 votes)
DATUK AHMAD SHABERY CHEEK .......................... (1377 votes)
DATUK SERI IDRIS JUSOH ............................. (1275 votes)
DATUK ABDUL AZEEZ ABDUL RAHIM ...................... (1265 votes)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

KJ's win spells end of UMNO?

Or light at the end of the Umno tunnel? Two newspapers called for my views earlier today on Khairy Jamaluddin's victory. First to call was Harakah. The journo asked me if KJ's win was a petanda buruk (bad omen) for Umno. Sure, I had a nightmare last night [read about my meeting with KJ at a Muslim cemetary in the comment box here] but the outcome of the Youth chief contest is an opportunity for Umno.

Firstly, it is a chance for KJ himself to prove everyone wrong. That he is not averse to change. That he ain't as bad as they (and I) claimed.

Secondly, it is an opportunity for Najib Razak, Umno's new President, to help Pemuda to close ranks (remember, KJ garnered only about 35 per cent of the delegates who voted last night; the remaining went to losers Khir Toyo and Mukhriz Mahathir). To rapatkan saf, Najib could appoint KJ and Mukhriz to his Cabinet and Khir to the Supreme Council. Conditional, of course, on their being cleared of all corruption charges.

Thirdly, it is also a signal for the party to move fast and adopt a review of the voting system. The 1 member = 1 vote system will make Umno the most democratic party in the country, help abolish money politics, and even encourage Malays who have shunned Umno all this while to join the party.

The Oriental Daily reporter told me that the MCA debated the 1 member = 1 vote system and found that it would be costly and time-consuming. I said whatever the cost, it would not be greater than the cost of losing the next General Election because of the party's failure to fight money politics and corruption in the party.

In short, I see a silver lining ahead for Umno. And yes, if you allow each Umno member one vote to elect the party's leaders in 2012, I would consider signing up as an Umno member.

But if they elect in Muhammad Muhammad Taib as the Deputy President tonight, I will have to take back my words.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And the winners are ...

Shahrizat Jalil is new Wanita chief. She garnered 507 votes for a convincing victory against Rafidah Aziz, who managed just 280.

So far so good.

10:15 NST is carrying the results coverage "live" here.

10 minutes later: Mukhriz won by 12 votes. Unofficial.
10:52 -- Someone said it's KJ by 25 votes?!

[Rocky's notes: This is one of the reasons why I am so supportive of the teaching of Maths in English. Susah sangat nak kira!]

11.15: 25/3 Umno Youth polls: Results not out yet, but Khairy Jamaluddin seen entering hall where he was hugged and congratulated by his supporters/STAR

11.29pm: Khairy Jamaluddin is Umno Youth leader, Ladies and Gentlemen.

[My final notes: Razali Ibrahim will be his deputy. He beat Reezal, KJ's running mate. Shows that KJ won because his detractors in Pemuda Umno were split between Khir Toyo and Mukhriz Mahathir.]

Good night Malaysia, don't have nightmares.

English, please!

One and One and One is Three. Najib Razak is taking a huge risk backing the teaching of Maths and Science in English and not Malay. He could have opted for the populist approach but instead he's placed himself right opposite the likes of former DPM Anwar Ibrahim, Malay laureatte A. Samad Said and PAS boss Hadi Awang who are dead against the use of English for the two subjects.

I support the teaching of Maths and Science in English because it's crucial if we don't wish our kids to be laggards among the future citizens of the world. So yes, let's put an end to the ridiculous politicizing of the issue. Read Op-Ed's take here, and let's Come Together and stick out our heads for the cause, too.

Najib's last address to Youth, Wanita and Puteri

Change for the better. The opening address for the Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings' proceedings is traditionally made by the Deputy President of the party. If all goes to plan later this week, that task will go to Muhyiddin Yasin next year. As for Najib, last night's address was his last as the Deputy President. He will take over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Umno president at the end of this week and is due to be sworn in as the country's 6th Prime Minister on April 3, 2009.

The address covers a good spectrum of issues: the socio-economic concerns, national unity, history of the nation, and even the need to win the cyber war. A recurring theme in the speech is the need for change and for Umno to have leaders who are not averse to change. Consistent with this theme, Najib proposes that Umno reviews the sytem of electing its leaders to be more democratic, corruption-proof, and involve not just the 2,600 delegates from the party's 191 divisions nationwide.

Some passages of the address sound a little like
Mahathir's, too. Example:

55. Melayu dan UMNO tidak dapat dipisahkan. Bagai aur dengan
tebing, bagai irama dengan lagu, apabila orang Melayu dan UMNO bergerak sederap dan seiring, sejarah telah membuktikan bahawa maruah dan martabat bangsa telah berjaya diangkasakan. Namun apabila orang Melayu mula menjadi seperti enau dalam belukar ingin melepaskan pucuk masing-masing sehingga ada yang sanggup membelakangkan kepentingan bangsa, maka anasir-anasir tertentu telah mula menyelinap dan menangguk di air yang keruh. Kini orang Melayu tampak seolah-olah hilang punca dan kekuatan. Akibatnya, telah mula ada pihak-pihak yang mempersoalkan apa yang sudah dipersetujui dan termaktub dalam perlembagaan. Ada pula yang berani menuduh kita mengamalkan dasar aparteid. Sedangkan ini jauh menyimpang dari kebenaran.

Get Najib's full speech h e r e.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In defence of Harakah, Suara Keadilan

1. I defended Utusan Malaysia against the suits by politicians, here.

2. I condemned political parties that barred New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia from covering the official functions of their parties and the states they now govern.

3. And I read in disbelief last night about the three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan. I didn't think we still do that in this day and age (click here)

I expect those who defended the politicians in (1) and the political parties in (2) to also support the Government in suspending the newspapers.

A most crucial assembly

Reject Corrupt Leaders. The UMNO delegates start their assembly this evening. It is the first assembly since the General Election.

Tomorrow the party's Pemuda new chief:
[Mukhriz, Khir or Khairy?].

Its Wanita wing will choose its new leader, too.
[Shahrizat or Rafidah?].

Wang atau Bangsa?

Old ways, or Change for the Better?

On Thursday, they will elect the party's deputy president, vice presidents, and members of the Majlis Tertinggi.

Umno's survival, relevance, integrity depend on the leaders the members choose. The delegates know who the corrupt ones are. It's entirely up to them now.

Read a former Political Editor's analysis: Umno's burden of change ..

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dr M: Malays at risk of being dispossessed

"The Malays cannot even defend themselves; if they meet and talk (to defend themselves), they are called racists." - Dr Mahathir

"Melayu Kini Cemas". In his 100-para address at the gathering of Malay NGOs under the Perkasa umbrella this morning, Dr Mahathir Mohamad warned the Malays that they are on the verge of losing their political power. They are being called immigrants in their own country by others who have forgotten the Malays' hospitality. The Malays face external attacks as well as from within by their own so-called liberal brothers who have become shamed apologists to those who accuse the Malays of practising Apartheid against other races.

And faced with these attacks, the Malays are not even allowed to defend themselves. If they do, they are called racists, Dr Mahathir said.

The position of the Malays in their own country are under greater threat today than it was under the British, he said.

12. Keadaan hari ini lebih merbahaya daripada keadaan semasa British merancang untuk menakluk negeri-negeri Melayu dengan perancangan Malayan Union. Pada masa itu kita boleh cakap berkenaan Melayu dan tidak ada sesiapa yang akan tuduh kita sebagai racist. British pun tidak panggil kita racist. Mereka akui memang pun hak orang Melayu menuntut negeri-negeri Melayu sebagai hak orang Melayu. Semua perjanjian berkenaan dengan negeri-negeri di semenanjung mesti dibuat dengan Raja-Raja Melayu. Tidak ada siapa dari kaum laim yang berhak membuat apa-apa perjanjian.

13. Sekarang orang Melayu tidak pun boleh berkata negeri ini negeri Melayu, tidak boleh sebut negeri ini dikenali sebagai Tanah Melayu. Negeri Jepun boleh dikatakan negeri orang Jepun, negeri Korea – negeri orang Korea, negeri China – negeri orang Cina, negeri India – negeri orang India. Tetapi negeri Melayu – bukan negeri orang Melayu. Dahulu mungkin. Tetapi tidak sekarang. Sekarang Malaysia, hak orang Malaysia dan bukan hak orang Melayu. Kesanggupan dan kerelaan orang Melayu berkongsi milik negara ini tidak sedikit pun dihargai. Pemberian satu juta kerakyatan oleh Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra kepada kaum lain tidak dihargai bahkan tidak diingati, dilupakan dengan begitu sahaja.

14. Orang Melayu dikatakan kaum pendatang di negaranya sendiri. Dan kaum pendatang lain tidak boleh dipanggil kaum pendatang. Jika sesiapa berbuat demikian, mereka mesti minta maaf. Tidak perlu sesiapa minta maaf jika berkata Melayu kaum pendatang.

Read all 100 paragraphs at Big Dog's, here.

Notes: Perkasa is not an Umno wing. It is an NGO set up to try and bring all Malay groupings in this country under a single umbrella nothwithstanding pollitical ideologies.

She runs for Gaza

Run, Nona, Run. You've probably heard of the Malaysian couple who brought this young lady up well. Mama is blogger Kak Teh and dad is Awang Goneng, author of Growing up in Terengganu.

I met Nur Hannah 16 years ago in the Wans' English home. The skinny, giggly girl must be 23 now or somewhere in that time zone.

And she's putting on her marathon shoes to raise some funds for the children of Gaza. To help her, click h e r e.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PKR deputy Chief Minister quits

WHERE is the police report/SD against Fairus?
Read h e r e to find why there isn't any.

He quit to further studies ...! And Fairus already has two Masters degree, here. To read the entire Bernama piece, click here.

General March 21, 2009 17:33 PM
Fairus To Pursue Studies, Says Zahrain

PENANG, March 21 (Bernama) -- Penang Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said today he understood that Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin was relinquishing the post to further studies.

"I heard from colleagues that he (Mohammad Fairus) wants to further his studies, but I don't know if it is locally or abroad," he told reporters after the announcement on Mohammad Fairus' resignation by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng here today.

Lim announced that Mohammad Fairus had tendered his resignation as a deputy chief minister and state executive councillor effective April 8, but would remain with PKR as Penanti assemblyman.

Original posting:

21/3 Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he has accepted resignation of his deputy CM1 Fairus effective April 8; declined to disclose reasons/STAR

One after another. There's been a lot of talk about the quarry kickbacks. There were a lot of denials. We'll know soon how little separate the politicians from this side and that side.

Now, which did you say was the dark side again, pls?

From Perth to Ottawa

Super rich Malaysians own some prized assets in Perth, Australia. Ananda Krishnan has an award-winning property, Rahim Ghouse (a former Anwar Ibrahim loyalist) Rahim Ghouse lives on a ranch, and the Badawi clan and friends' have palaces and dungeons there.

Malaysians' good taste has now caught the imagination of property-watchers in North America. A Malaysian lady part-own this beautiful home in Ottawa, Canada here!

Agenda Melayu weekend

Saya telah dijemput menjadi salah seorang ahli panel di Seminar Agenda Melayu KeLima pada Sabtu 21 Mac 2009. Untuk jadual penuh seminar, sila klik di sini.

Hari Ahad, 22 Mac, perhimpunan PERKASA pula. Bekar Perdana Menteri kita bakal kesana juga.

Update: 33 Resolusi. Untuk baca Resolusi yang diterima oleh Seminar Agenda Melayu Ke5, sila klik sini.

What killed Natasha Richards?

Natasha, 45, appeared alright after a skiing accident. The next day she was dead [reaction to Natasha's death, here]. Our blogging Doctor 2008 says the actress would still be alive today if she had gone with the ambulance that came for her after her skiing accident.

Get Dr Ridzuan Bakar's tips here on what you must do the next time someone suffers a head injury.

pic of Natasha and hubby Liam Nielsen, who starred in Taken, one of my all-time favorite kick-ass movies.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Resolution on Dr M, Daim at next week's assembly

Mahathirism & Daimension. Delegates from Kelantan to the UMNO General Assembly next week may table a resolution for the party to appoint Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as UMNO Adviser and Tun Daim Zainuddin as the National Economic Advisor to help us weather the global economic meltdown.

Read this article written for NST h e r e.

[If you don't remember reading it in the paper, please don't panic. Because the editors decided NOT to publish it! I was told it didn't even reach the desk of the Group Editor...]

There's also talk raging in blogosphere that Tan Sri Sanusi Junid may be back as National Security Adviser after the assembly! But then there have been a lot of commenters saying that this blogger will definitely be made editorial supremo at the NSTP! How sweet ...

Limbang fiasco

Did someone say that finally, Limbang issue had been resolved? Read the clarification here. One of the earlier happy (and now embarassing) stories, here.

Zaid Ibrahim, just another accuser

One too many, man. Some of my commenters wanted me to comment on Zaid Ibrahim's vicious attack on Najib Razak. In jest, I told some callers that perhaps Zaid had one too many. But that was before I had read his speech entitled If truth be told, he can't be PM here.

Now that I have read it, I must say that I don't find his outburst particularly newsy or interesting. Anwar Ibrahim, Raja Petra Kamaruddin and their followers have made more accusations about the Deputy Prime Minister. I was quite relieved to discover that Zaid, at least, did not go overboard as to swear that Rosmah Mansor or/and Najib were there that night to supervise the killing of Altantuya Shaaribuu. But if he did, I would not have been taken aback. With these people, the burden of proof is wth the accused and not the accuser!

I did find one thing curious, though: the fact that Zaid is still oozing with confidence that Umno leaders ruling this country [see para 39: "There are still well qualified members of parliament from Umno who can be appointed PM to bring us back from the brink"].

Read this: Zaid Ibrahim, a very small man, suffers from an acute case of a personality by-pass!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Malaysia model by Najib Razak

Fell for an old newsroom trick, and for a moment I thought the Deputy Prime Minister was writing for Brenden Pereira's*Malaysian Insider.

It's actually a piece that first appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Click here to read the entire article.

* Brenden is ex-NST group editor, one of 4 who, with the NSTP, filed a suit against me in Jan 2007. Next date in court is in May.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Jawa is clean

NST 17/03: Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam barred from contesting deputy presidency by disciplinary board.

NST 17/03: Umno disciplinary board finds Khairy jamaluddin guilty [of breaking campaign rules] but let off with warning, Khir Toyo cleared of charges.
So it's now a straight fight for the Umno No 2 post: Muhyiddin vs Mike Tyson
For the Youth Chief, still a three-cornered affair.

Ali Rustam's supporters have a damn good reason to be pissed off. Someone said, "That's Umno democracy for you."

Monday, March 16, 2009


16/3 Puchong MP Gobind suspended from Parliament for one year from Monday for alleging that DPM Najib was involved in a murder case/STAR
MP Jeff Ooi says it's god-send, that it would embolden the people to oust the people in Parliament who meted out the punishment today. I agree with a comment by A Kadir Jasin that one year is harsh even as we agree that Gobind was extremely harsh in calling the DPM a murderer in Parliament. I agree with you, too, bro TJK, Gobind shot himself in the foot and reduced Pakatan numbers in Parliament.

As a Puchong resident, I'd say it's god-send, too ... if it means that I'll see Gobind more often in the constituency after this!

Umno's show cause

Is there a letter for Ali Rustam? Everyone's talking about Ali Rustam getting a show-cause letter from the Umno disciplinary committee. I spoke to someone close to Ali last Friday who told me that there was no such letter. Khairy Jamaluddin is another one who's supposed to get a love letter from the committee, too, but an aide I checked with said over the weekend that there was no such thing, at least not yet. Mike Tyson and Khir Toyo were supposed to get show-cause letters. I haven't had the time to check with their people.

One thing shouldn't escape you: If the disciplinary committee goes after Ali and Mike Tyson, one candidate for the Deputy President's post, i.e. Muhyiddin Yasin, will stand to benefit. Similarly, if you go after KJ and Khir Toyo, that leaves Umno with only one candidate for the Umno Youth chief that will be contested next week.

In any case, I am a firm believer that you are innocent until proven guilty. And I'll believe that the disciplinary committee is walking its talk only when I've seen those letters.

p.s. And I was told that the MACC has shut the case against Azalina.

Must read sources:
16 Operators calon Timbalan Presiden ditahan SPRM
Masks of Altantuya do be distributed ...
Minggu yang penuh debaran
Calon jawatan tinggi Umno kena tindakan?

Perak Speaker has 20 bodyguards!

Since the Perak state assembly incident, the Police are not taking chances. Security for all Malay Rulers has been tightened. In addition to their personal bodyguards, the number of UTK officers for each istana has been increased. A Tengku Mahkota, for example, gets at least 2 more UTK tailing him whenever he's out and about. These days you don't know when some people might throw themselves in front of a Ruler's car or pelt his window with stones and middle fingers.

The Prime Minister has 6 or 7 bodyguards around him at any one time in addition to the UTK boys.

The Perak Speaker, by his own admission, has 20!

I read it at AKJ's The Scribe, here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Singh is Immune?

"Answer me, you murderer!" They are tabling a motion in Parliament this Monday to suspend Gobind Singh for a year for accusing Najib Razak of murder.

Lim Kit Siang has condemned the move here but I'm not sure Gobind will get a lot of sympathy from the people if gets the suspension. We have condemned MPs for making stupid remarks in the Dewan before; we called for their blood and we likened them to monkeys, dogs and pigs.

Gobind reportedly told reporters that as MP he enjoys parliamentary immunity. I wonder if such immunity is without restrictions. Can an MP call another MP Babi, a sodomite, a lesbian, a gay, etc and get away with it? Maybe he can.

A prominent lawyer, however, thinks that the one-year suspension that Gobind may face from this Monday may be the least of his troubles. Read Imunity ahli Parlimen ada sekatan.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A non-Malay Prime Minister, did you say?

Mukhriz on why it can happen, but won't (just yet). The Nut Graph interview with Mukhriz Mahathir, who is hoping to be elected as Umno Youth leader later this month, contains some hidden gems, such as this one:

"But how is that going to happen when we have problems with different school systems going their own separate ways, in different languages, different cultures, and then expect them to integrate when they get into university? By then it's far too late already.

"You can't expect people to unite once they've passed their impressionable years in primary and secondary schools, and then complain about, "Oh, when is the time when non-Malays can become the prime minister?" I think that's too much to ask if you still want to defend the vernacular schools."

Go read the entire interview Malay Dominance and Rights here. It's the second of a 3-parter. Compare Mukhriz's take with what Lee Hsien Loong said in Singapura belum bersedia .. here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

8 bloggers may be charged for insulting Sultan Perak

The Malaysiankini story says 6 bloggers to be charged tomorrow. The Star's sms alert says two more could be charged on Sunday. All for allegedly posting comments deemed to be insulting to the Sultan of Perak.

This is news to me as I thought the cybercops were investigating only Jed Yoong [here] and this blog h e r e [Bukit Aman took my statement again on Tuesday, 10 March, here]. I was on the phone with Jed just now. She was taken aback by the news but otherwise alright.
Click here to read the rest of the story.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Putting words in the Ruler's mouth

The "Correction" we almost missed. Journalists and editors commit mistakes daily and their newspapers and tv carry corrections and apologies daily. As long as there's no malice intended, it's alright. When you rush for daily deadlines 24/7, you are bound to err.

There are mistakes which we consider "unforgiveable" because they involve carelessness and even recklessness. And when the issue is as sensitive as "Ketuanan Melayu", you can't blae readers if they think some editors or journalists may have their own hidden agenda to promote by making such mistakes.

The "Correction" is small, buried at the bottom of Page 2 on a long-weekend's Sunday edition of the paper, but it's there. What I would like to know is who was responsible for the boo-boo ... or was it deliberate?

The "mistake" on March 6. Read full article, and the original full speech delivered by the Raja Perlis, here.

And somebody please tell this blogger that he got inspired over a mistake, so sue NST!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RM60 billion package

How much for the small man? During a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister on the same day he announced the 0.1 per cent GDP growth for the last quarter, he told us that the biggest personal challenge for him ensure that the smaller-income guy and his family get through the global economic meltdown smoothly.

He was talking about the average wage earner who takes home RM2000 or less, each month who's not able to earn more from overtime work because his employer can't afford it, who does not have other means of income to supplement his household of five. Najib said we are looking at a U-shape downturn, which means the economy may stay down for a longer period than if it was the usual V-shape slowdown.

The talk then was that the MoF would announce a RM10 billion stimulus package and everybody spoke of how small it was. Now, the RM60 billion package that Najib announced at Parliament this afternoon looks more like it (the Bernama story here, Najib's full speech here).

But you can't please everybody: someone asked me on the phone as I climbed down from Bukit Aman just after 5pm (for a follow-up "interview") if the Government really had RM60 billion to spend! I want to see how it's going to benefit the smaller-income guy and his family.

By the way, did you hear talk that Daim Zainuddin was coming back in some advisory capacity to the Government? Daim and I didn't go along very well when I was the Business Times editor and he was Economic Advisor to the Government, but other than Dr Mahathir thye say there's probably no other who'd spur greater confidence in the Malaysian economy than the (so-called) "Shorty".

Monday, March 09, 2009

You want to march for reforms?

Health reforms for Msians. So very often, we read and hear stories of a Malaysian begging for the financial help of his fellow Malaysians, usually through the dailies and recently via blogosphere, to undergo a life-and-death surgery or treatment. Why is that?

We spend billions to build the infrastructure and sell ourselves as a health tourism destination [and this Administration even tried to sell off our hospitals to foreigners] but we can't help our own people take care of their health? Why?

A Government that cares for the well-being of its people must look after their health.

Read Obama's healthcare lessons to the world on what the Government needs to do to set up a Malaysian Healthcare Financing Plan.

pic taken from Doctor 2008's blog

9-yr old on English for Math and Sci

This is his world. A 9-year old blogger in Kangar, Perlis tells us that learning English in Math and Science is not easy. I am linking his posting "a good thing" here with the hope that it will help us decide if we want to stick to English for the teaching of Math and Science, or go back to pre-2003 and bring back Bahasa Malaysia.

Thank you commenter al Balingi for posting the memorandum against English for S&M. Read it here.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

"Why I can't support Ali and Mike Tyson"

"I cannot support them, not for personal reasons but for real, practical reasons. The deputy Prime Minister will succeed the Prime Minister. We can’t discount the fact that anything can happen and if anything happens to the PM, the deputy PM will take over. For Ali (Rustam) and Mat Taib to take over, it is not possible and is unconstitutional because they are not even MPs." - Nazri Aziz, de facto Law Minister
"Muhyiddin's my man". Not constitutional to vote in Ali or Mat Taib for the deputy president's post? Nazri is not going to be very popular with either camp for saying this, but then when has the de facto Law Minister ever cared to be popular in the first place?

Read "When money speaks louder than words" Nazri's frank Q & A with Shahanaz of The Star.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Not anti-English, not pro-Bahasa .. Just politics again!

General March 07, 2009 18:15 PM
Expediate Decision On PPSMI Issue, Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA, Mar 7 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hopes that a decision on the issue of teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) is made immediately to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. -- BERNAMA

More updates at the end of original posting.

Original posting:
Pix by NST

Tear gas, Smashed Screens and Kote Naga. I was told that the people who took part in today's street protest against the use of English as the medium for teaching Maths and Science in schools included Bangsa Malaysia who neither speak nor respect the national language.

It didn't surprise me. This issue has become yet another political tool for some people. It's got nothing to do with the love of Bahasa Malaysia for I know some of them have none, despite the Government having changed the name Bahasa Melayu to Bahasa Malaysia. And it's not about concern for the school kids' welfare either (in fact, the Ministry has said that the kids do better in English!).

I was asked if I'd join today's street march against Maths and Science in English. I, in turn, asked my two kids aged 14 and 13. Both pleaded with me NOT to support the switch back to Bahasa Malaysia: The boy: "Ala, tak nak la. Pening. Why do they want to do that?"

The children are the ones who are going to be badly affected if the Government gives in to the illogical demand of the protesters and do another flip-flop here. Therefore, it's great to know that for their kids' sake some parents -- Malay parents who love and respect Bahasa Malaysia -- have started their own blogs h e r e and h e r e to convince us why Maths and Science should continue to be taught in English.

Another parent's take: I am all for the use of English for Maths and Science
and for 18+, read Kote Naga or Why I support learning Math and Sceince in English.

More Updates:
Stuck with the English language with nowhere to go by Mansur Putih

Zakhir's Anti-PPSMI merugikan Bangsa Melayu

JMD - A cover-up for ineptitude?

Haven't we done enough damage to our kids? - Wong Chun Wai ..
he participation of top PAS leaders such as its president Hadi Awang and other MPs have raised many eye-brows. Didn't the pro-Pakatan Rakyat supporters say they are now liberal and reasonable politicians?"

Op-Ed: Democracy vs Demo Crazy!

Bibliobibuli agrees with Hisham the Minister, Why raise the issue 6 years after the policy was formulated? here and points us to A Voice's take, Political hypocrics in the opposition against PPSMI

Friday, March 06, 2009

Your Voice of the Year 2008 goes to ...

... Malaysian Bloggers! Readers of the Malay Mail, the country's oldest English-language daily, see fit to give the award to practitioners of the new media! The award was presented to Dr M @ chedet. Read Voices that Count and here.

And RTM has decided to appoint this blogger as its new Director-General!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Ah, Arnaud Dubus!

With updates

Original posting: As far as investigative reporting goes, Arnaud Dubus' The Altantuya Sharibuu's Case: How and Why she was Killed published by French daily Liberation is , I must say, quite uninspiring.

Compare Mr Dubus' effort with the Statutory Declarations made by blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin h e r e and private eye P. Subramaniam h e r e.

Admit it. We got far more sordid details from our heroes' statutory declarations.

In RPK's statutory declaration made in June last year, for example, we were told that Rosmah Mansor, the Deputy Prime Minister's wife, was there in person to witness (or supervise?) the blowing up of Altantuya!

In P. Balasubramaniam's statutory declaration in July last year, we were expected to believe that Altantuya was "susceptible to anal intercourse"!

Read the English translation of Mr Dubus' report in Malaysiakini [here] and Malaysia Today [here] or the BM's version in Anwar Ibrahim's blog here.

Perhaps the book will be more explosive?

Shamsul Yunus - Anwar flexing his Freemason muscle
Pasquale - When an expose is not really an expose
Apanama -Anwar ... Duburs!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Chin Peng dan Pokok Rakyat di Perak

[With updates]
Loyar Burok, a blog run by lawyers, says here that the Ipoh High Court decision to bar Tommy Thomas and others from acting for Speaker Sivakumar is WRONG!

I don't know what's right or wrong but I agree with Jebat Must Die that things in Perak are getting more and more absurd.

And then JMD draws a parallel between the meeting of Aduns under a tree in Perak and Chin Peng's continued Communist struggle against the Malaysian government and people. Read here.

Updates: Read also Zainul Arifin's Still Looking for Silver Lining in today's NST.


"The concept of loyalty must surely be rooted in more than just being loyal, but also respect

The constant challenge to the role and decisions of the royal houses is obviously a sign of disrespect, regardless of what the law says.

DAP and many assemblymen from Pakatan Rakyat would have realised that they were voted in partly, or largely, by Malay voters. Some of them voted PR because they subscribed to its ideology, or sympathised with its politics, or in some cases, to punish the incumbent Barisan Nasional.

There is a possibility this constant haranguing of the royals may not endear them to the Malays later

To read Zainul's entire article, click here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kejutan buat Umno!

update, 3/3/2009
The duo, however, denied that the injunction was being planned to stop Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from handing over power to Najib Tun Razak. Read here.

Original posting:

Esok 3 mac 2009 jam 1.00 t.hari ada kejutan buat umno di one world hotel one utama pj. Sila datang dan luangkan masa. Sebarkan tq

Court injunction to delay Umno assembly (and Pak Lah's departure)? The sms came yesterday afternoon on my way to Penang. I asked a couple of Umno bloggers about the kejutan. A Voice says a group linked to Ku Li, who caused the big Umno split two decades ago, could announce seeking a court injunction to defer the Umno general assembly scheduled for the last week of this month. Find out the intrigues here.

Hebat puak-puak ni.

Fatimah's Kampung by Iain Buchanan

Iain Buchanan ... "has crafted one of the most stunning local publications you will ever come across". - Amir Muhammad

I am in Penang to attend a soft launch of the book Fatimah's Kampung [When: Tuesday March 3 at 9am; Where: Balai Persiban Agung, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang].
The author Mr Iain Buchanan and I first met nearly 30 years ago in Singapore (he later married my Sec 3/4 teacher, Anak Si Hamid). There were still a few kampungs in Singapore back then, perhaps as few as there are kampungs in KL and Penang today.

Fatimah's Kampung, Reviewed:

by Amir Muhammad
Remembrance of Things Past, 4 Feb 2009
"Although this is a work of fiction, it’s very much an act of remembrance. Kampung Hidayah represents all that we have forgotten about old villages, including the respect for nature implicit in their structures and rituals.

"Iain Buchanan did not grow up in such a place, and you might say he’s a romantic. But romantics are better than cynics, and in reconstructing the collective memories of his wife and her extended family, he has crafted one of the most stunning local publications you will ever come across. The colour illustrations, many of them spanning across two pages, are full of wonders. You can see every leaf, hear every cicada, and even smell the “pleasingly mysterious” bunga tahi ayam: “not sweet, not fragrant, but musty, spicy, with a little bit of pepper, earth and smoke.”

Sharon Bakar:
When Fatimah Lost her Kampung, Jan 25, 2009
"Labelling books can sometimes do them a disservice, and whilst the book will undoubtedly appeal to older children (many of whom may have lived the story!), it will strike a chord with every Malaysian who cares about the environment and heritage, regardless of age, and will probably travel very well beyond these shores as the issues it raises are universal ones.

"I'm not ashamed to say that the story moved me to tears - especially the part where Fatimah finally does come face to face with her tiger."

Daphne Lee's review of Fatimah's Kampung, here. Pic of Iain courtesy of The Star.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Kemaluan Besar, Ketua Hakim Negara

".. Ketua Hakim sudah menjadi satu kemaluan besar kepada negara ..".
Well, I think what Karpal Singh meant to say was that the Chief of Justice has become an embarassment or is a disgrace (menconteng arang atau membawa malu/aib) to the nation. If Karpal was being deliberately vulgar towards the CJ, that's unbecoming of a senior lawyer. If he said it because he can't tell between malu besar and kemaluan besar, well, that's, er, unbecoming also. Watch the video here.

In any case, the real point is this: the YB lodged a police report against the Chief of Justice on Nov 13 last year but no action has been taken.

p.s. In the US, lawyers are paying the price for vulgarity against judges in blogosphere. Read here.

Khalid says he's the better man

Is he, really? During his first meeting with bloggers yesterday, Khalid Ibrahim looked a little worn. It has been a trying 12 months since Pakatan Rakyat trounced Barisan Nasional during the 12th General Elections in March 2008 to take over the governing of the country's richest State. It's a first year scarred by scandals, unfortunately - assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong's semi-nude pictures and his own run-in with the empowered Anti-Corrution Commission are two of the latest ones.

Some of the bloggers who attended yesterday's meeting were pro-Pakatan individuals and, by their own admission, remnants or by-products of the Reformasi movement of a decade ago. They gave some good pointers for Khalid, and I was left wondering why the MB has not recruited them to sit on his think-tank. There were no Umno/BN bloggers but the MB's office invited several lawyers, personal bloggers, and three bloggers who used to serve the mainstream media: A. Kadir Jasin, Nuraina A. Samad, and I. Yunus Said, formerly a Berita Harian boss before he went over the TV3, was present but he represented TV Antara, a pro-Pakatan (but NOT Selangor state-owned as earlier reported, my apologies) tv company.

Of course, bloggers aren't bloggers if they aren't critical. Nat Tan complained about the lack of achievements and vision ("What is this state government doing that is different from the last goverment?), Haris Ibrahim likened Khalid's government to a "headless chicken", and Patrick Teoh wondered why there were still pot holes on his road and said the lady at the local council counter was still not smiling. Fahmi Fadzil suggested that the State Government use statistics [quarterly economic growths, forecasts, etc] to inspire the rakyat's confidence.
[Rocky's notes 1/3/08, 11.30pm: Nat wrote in his blog http://jelas.info that he had been (mis)quoted in my blog. Please do go here to read some of the things that Nat actually said during the meeting].

A Kadir Jasin asked about the latest in the "car and cows" scandal. Read h e r e.

I asked Khalid how he'd summarize his first year at the helm. I was hoping he'd focus on the economy. Last Friday, the MoF Najib Tun Razak announced 2008's final quarter's growth of 0.1 per cent, the lowest since 2001. The global eocnomy is buckling. Khalid, however, was still very much in the "politics" mode. He did speak of higher FDI into Selangor in 2008 and a program to deal with retrenched workers but very little besides those (and I did tell him, too, that if his government wishes to take any credit, it should do so only for FDI brought in 18 months since it took over Selangor because that is normally how long it takes a foreign investor to decide on any new investment).

Still, Khalid said: "Looking back, I can say I am better than the previous MB".

I remember in 2003, as Editor of the Malay Mail, I once sat at the same table in the dining hall of of the Selangor MB's Official Residence. Khir Toyo was the MB and we (the newspaper) and the Selangor State government were at loggerheads over the Ulu Kelang Recreation Club: the Malay Mail was defending the field against a hostile takeover by some developers who claimed to have the MB's support. In the end, Khir Toyo did the right thing and as a result the UKRC field is still there today. Buit he still went on to lose the State last year.

If it's left to me, there would be a lot of red ink in Khalid Ibrahim's report card for his first year in office. And in the comment box, I'd write: Room for improvement. But certainly I won't write him off yet because it is too early to do that.

By the same token, I am not ready to agree with him that he is better than his predecessor at this point. Khalid needs to get down to some serious work, especially with the economic storm that's coming to hit all of us, to be the better man.

And before that, he will have to worry about passing the car and the cows test first.

p.s. The dialogue lasted about two hours but there were many of us. I was given the assurance, however, that your questions and views here and in the previous thread here will be conveyed to the Menteri Besar for his action/consideration.
That goes for your Soalan untuk Khalid, too, Shamsul.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Khalid Ibrahim meets Bloggers, 1 year later

Question for your MB? In conjunction with the first anniversary of his reign, Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim will meet with several bloggers at his official residence in Shah Alam this afternoon. I'm fortunate to be included for this meeting, the first since Pakatan Rakyat defeated Barisan Nasional in Selangor during the 12th General Election on March 8, 2008.

If you have a question you'd like to ask the MB, shoot. I'll try my best to let him know your views, etc. Thank you.

"Nyah Karpal" di Rembau

update, 1.3.2008 11.20am:

UMNO Youth Courage or Ketidaksopanan?
Lawyer-blogger Jahamy, who runs Rapera, which is the latest addition to my blogroll, thinks there is need for more sophisticated methods to score political points.
Others (pls see at the end of this posting) don't agree.

Original Posting:

Anti-Karpal in Khairy's county.

Every time I balik kampung in Lubok Cina at the Melaka-N.Sembilan border about 90-min drive at legal speed on the North-South Highway from KL, I exit at Pedas-Linggi and must pass through Khairy Jamaluddin's constituency of Rembau.

You see more lembu, kambing and other binatang ternakan than you see people along the narrow and winding Fed roads of Rembau. Yesterday, I saw more angry posters and banners than people.

Even though you don't see many of them, you can tell that of late the people in Rembau do not like Karpal Singh.

They don't like him for two reasons:

1. Because he is kurang ajar and biadap to Sultan of Perak, and
2. Because he called Pemuda Umno "celaka"

Said one Khairy Jamaluddin's supporter: "Tak guno cilako Karpal tu .. Den doa biar dio mampuih!"

How much the Nyah Karpal tactic will help the son-in-law at the elections for the Umno Youth leader later this month remains to be seen, but it's clear that Karpal has succeeded in touching the hearts and minds of the Malays in the kampung and not just at Dewan Rakyat.

[Click here for more pictures]
Updates on Sunday morning:
1. Umno blogger Big Dog says Umno Youth was exercising their right, and Karpal Singh is the Real Culprit!
2. Aziz Hassan, in Here's the New Malay for you, laments the rise of Karpal apologists among the liberal Malays
3. Shamsul Yunus feels that a softly worded sarcastic remark would have done the job better in Kenapa serang Karpal yang dah nak karam?