Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Human Rights Party. Former ISA detainee, lawyer P. Uthayakumar, may have secured the approval to set up his own political party, which will be known as Parti Hak Asasi Manusia (PAHAM). I was told the launch is scheduled for around the third week of next month.
Uthaya, the former Hindraf leader, will be PAHAM's pro-tem Secretary.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Merit-based Scholarship. The Prime Minister's proposal to introduce a "merit-based" scholarship system where "only the best, irrespective of race" will be granted JPA scholarships from next year may not be constitutional, or so says a pro-Najib blogger.
In his posting Is the Merit-based Scholarship Constitutional?, Zakhir Mohamad, a life member of Umno, said Najib Razak can't implement the proposal unilaterally.
This is because, provision for scholarships has been enshrined in the Federal Constitution solely for the Bumiputras only, he wrote. "When scholarships are being dished out based on merit, that means Malay privileges as provided in the Federal Constitution inadvertently has been withdrawn."
The blogger also said Najib will need to refer the proposal to the Malay Rulers and should have gone to the party for feedback. Read more, h e r e.
Read Bernama's report on the proposed scholarship, here.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
"Tetapi reaksi terbaru Sin Chew ini tidak boleh Awang diamkan. Apakah mereka sahaja berhak untuk mengkritik akhbar Melayu dan apabila kita menyanggah pandangan berhubung isu-isu tertentu, Utusan dianggap rasis. Sedangkan jika dibuat kajian bebas, pasti jawapannya ialah akhbar Cinalah yang rasis." - Utusan Malaysia
"If Chinese publishers are so useless, perhaps we should enlist the help of Malay publishing groups!" - Sin Chew
Who's more racist, now? The editorial exchanges between Utusan Malaysia, the Umno-owned and leading Malay daily, and Sin Chew, which belongs to the largest Chinese media group in Malaysia, may be viewed by some in the context of media freedom.
Some may view it as part of a general breakdown in the raison d'etre of Malaysian journalism, as editors serve masters other than the people.
In any case, it's not a pretty sight. And all's not well with race relations in Malaysia.
Extracts, translated from Kenapa Sin Chew melatah? by Awang Selamat in today's Mingguan Utusan, the Sunday edition of Utusan Malasia:"The writer [a university professor] merely revealed that several main Chinese-language dailies did not provide for a balanced view when debating the issues. It is strange that both articles [by the professor], which are laden with factual findings, have triggered an emotional backlash from the Chinese dailies. Both articles [by the professor] mentioned no newspaper by name but the most emotional response had come from Sin Chew. Agaknya siapa yang makan cili merasa lebih pedas. Kenapa cepat melatah?"
Awang Selamat rants on, saying that for a while now the Chinese papers (this time naming Sin Chew in particular) have been publishing negative articles about the Malay papers, including Utusan, but the Malay papers did not react. There was no need to, writes Awang, because the media were not created media wars."But Awang can't remain silent with regards to Sin Chew's latest reaction. [Sin Chew] thinks it is their sole right to critictize the Malay newspapers and when Utusan reacts to their criticism we are are regarded racists. Whereas, if an independent study is made, it will certainly find that it is the Chinese newspapers that are racists".
"All of a sudden Utusan Malaysia begins to get concerned about Chinese newspapers. The media group made a special effort to probe the contents of Chinese papers published between 8 and 13 June, and discovered that these newspapers did not accept the mainstream thoughts of the country, still living in their own world and failing to see the prevailing environment!
"To these patriots, Chinese newspapers are good for nothing where nation-building is concerned, unlike Utusan Malaysia which has since the colonial days been fighting for independence, changing the destiny of the Malays, and consolidating the leadership of the same."
To visit Awang Selamat, click here. His latest article on Sin Chew, however, is not on-line yet.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Alfatihah. Michael Jackson has died at the age of 50. Reports from the wires say he had a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home.
Michael, who became a Muslim last year, made his name as the youngest member of the Jackson 5. His sixth solo effort, Thriller, released in 1982, is the best-selling album of all time.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
25% more. Amid harsh economic conditions, profits for the year ended March 31, 2009, are down but Petronas, the national oil corporation, continues to pay excellent dividends to the Government. RM30 billion.
Hassan Marican and his team contribute more to the government's coffers than anyone else.
Details in Bernama report here.
Updates: Big Dog says Petronas is the best of example of Malay corporate success, here.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Finally, the story's confirmed by the media. According to the ST piece h e r e, Prime Minister Najib is said to be still keen to have Omar Ong in Petronas. I am not sure that's really the case.
Read my June 12 posting Petronas says NO to Omar Ong.
updates: NUJ blasts MACC for high-handed treatment of journo
Malay Mail journo queried, laptop and mobile seized. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) leapt into action yesterday following the Malay Mail's front page report on the long-standing Kapar land scandal. But instead of acting on the complaints and several police reports against the alleged perpetrators, our Anti-Corruption boss went for the messengers.
The Malay Mail reporter was detained for six hours till 2am for questioning. His mobile phone and laptop were confiscated.
The MACC appears peeved over the Malay Mail report, quoting Kapar Member of Parliament M. Manikavasagam, that files containing reports on the Kampung Perepat Green Revolution land grab issue had gone missing. The Commission's director of investigations Shukri Abdull has demanded the MP and the Mail's reporter apologize.
But even if the MP and the newspaper had gotten it wrong, their "crime" hardly deserves such harsh and high-handed reaction.
I say: Act against the "real" crime here, Shukri.
General June 22, 2009 22:44 PM
MACC Shows Missing Files, Wants Apology
PUTRAJAYA, June 22 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has refuted Kapar Member of Parliament (MP) S. Manikavasagam's allegation that files containing reports on the Kampung Perepat Green Revolution land grab issue were missing.
Manikavasagam's allegation made headlines in a local English daily, Malay Mail, today.
MACC director of investigations Datuk Shukri Abdull has demanded that both the MP and the daily's reporter apologise to the commission.
"If the MP had really said, as reported in the newspaper, then he should apologise because it is indeed, a slanderous statement and purposely made to tarnish MACC's good image.
"The report also includes a statement allegedly made by me, although I had not spoken to the reporter," he said, while displaying the purportedly missing files at a press conference here.
Shukri also showed reporters a copy of the police report which the MACC lodged in Shah Alam this evening.
Manikavasagam was quoted in the daily as saying that last Friday, he had gone to the Selangor MACC office where an officer informed him that three reports lodged by Kampung Perepat pioneers, as well as the one he personally filed last year, could not be traced.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Not RM12 b, says Minister. In 07, when the story broke, the PKFZ was referred to as the "RM4.6 billion fiasco". The RM12 billion figure was the estimated cost of the project given by PWC in its contentious report to the government. Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat said here the actual cost "has not been finalised".
Is it bigger than RM12 billion, then? OTK will make his much-awaited ministerial statement on PKFZ in Parliament in a few minutes. Suspense.
p.s. It's certainly ain't RM12 b or RM4.6 b for Faizal Abdullah, the Group Deputy CEO of Wijaya Baru Global Bhd, the company involved in developing PKFZ. In an interview with the NST (published on Saturday and Sunday), the pissed-off Faizal said it's not even RM1.2 billion (the original cost of the project) as far as the company is concerned.
"We have been paid only RM300 million for our troubles," he told me at during a meeting last week.
Faizal and co are considering sueing the government and PWC for those "troubles", too.
Watch this space for updates.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Ashraf Abdullah, who runs the blog Jejak Pujangga, has been appointed Group Editor of TV3. This is a new post created under new Media Prima news head honcho Ahmad Talib. MP's three other channels - 7, 8 and 9 - will share a GE in Manja Ismail, who is currently Berita Harian GE. A veteran is expected to come back to BH to take over from Manja. Ashraf, 42, left NST in 2004 soon after the group came under Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan. He was a News Editor of the paper, which was still a broadsheet then.
Another blogger may come back to NST as a senior editor, she was overheard telling Dr Mahahtir at a book launch this afternoon.
A bridge that makes no Sands. My first front page as The Editor of The Malay Mail is on why the proposed Malaysia-Singapore third link is NOT going to happen. If Singapore really wanted to have the bridge, Lee Kuan Yew would not have brought up the issue of sand.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Anonymous Bloggers, your days are numbered. A Voice, Pasquale, Parpukari, Walski ... you shall be exposed.
The High Court in London has ruled that bloggers have no right to privacy under British law since blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity.
Read this British court ruling Bloggers have no right to privacy
The Johor Sultan [which means, the people of Johor] opposes your third bridge proposal. Read the NST here.Najib's going to have a headache over this one. Pak Lah did and never recovered from it.
JOHOR BARU, THURS:
The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar has expressed his opposition to the proposed third bridge linking Johor and Singapore.
Sultan Iskandar's message was delivered by his son, Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail who read his speech at the opening of the State Assembly in Kota Iskandar, Nusajaya today.
"I am instructed by His Royal Highness to convey a message that he did not agree with the proposal for a third bridge," said Tunku Ibrahim after he finished reading the prepared speech.
Tunku Ibrahim, however, did not eleborate further on the Sultan's stand on the matter.
The proposed third bridge, linking Pengerang in Kota Tinggi and Changi, in Singapore is among the key bilateral issues discussed between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong during Najib's official visit to the republic last month.
It is aimed at complementing future development in the less-developed Pengerang and Desaru areas.
Back to the crooked, scenic bridge, anyone?
Flashback, the PM's statement on Third Bridge:-
June 11, 2009 12:18 PM
Singapore Keen On Third Bridge - Najib
PUTRAJAYA, June 11 (Bernama) -- Singapore is quite keen on the construction of a third bridge linking the republic to Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.
"The concept of the third bridge on the eastern side of Johor is something which we will pursue, and Singapore is quite keen on having the third bridge.
"When we have a third bridge, we can develop the whole of the eastern side (of Johor) up to Mersing and onwards to Desaru.
"Singapore did say that it (the area) has the potential to be another Nusa Jaya like in Bali (Indonesia)," he said in his opening address at the 2010 Budget consultation meeting at the Finance Ministry, here.
Speaking at a news conference later, Najib said Singapore's interest in the bridge was conveyed by its Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, who met him several days ago.
"He showed interest to work with Malaysia to build the third bridge. The bridge can develop Johor and districts like Mersing, Desaru and so forth in Kuantan in Pahang.
"I have directed the relevant parties to provide a feasibility study and consultant for the project. It is related to the development of the Iskandar corridor," he said.
However, the date to start the project had yet to be decided. "We cannot say when the project will be implemented because we have to look at the finding of the feasibility study and the costs. Malaysia and Singapore will pay for the cost of the third bridge," he added.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
1. Karpal considers keris issue closed (Malay Mail, June 17)
2. Azmi Anshar: Karpal's poser an Urban Legend (NST, June 17)
For Internet's more gullible: A "photoshopped" pic of the PM in Malaysia Today recently, complete with a caption that does not say the picture is computer-generated. Inset (which is mine, with Tony Yew's help) is the original picture, of Hishammuddin Hussein at a recent Umno General Assembly.
Karpal's Question: Did Najib, in 1987, wave a keris and challenged the Chinese community?
The more gullible among Malaysia's Netizens believed that Najib did. That the PM, who was acting Umno Youth leader then, had uttered the words "soak the keris in (Malaysian) Chinese blood" or something to that effect.
No proof has ever been produced by anyone that Najib had waved the keris and said those words but yesterday YB Karpal Singh, whose son Gobind is serving a one-year ban from Parliament for calling Najib "murderer" in the Dewan,
Excerpts from Najib illuminates 1Malaysia, denies keris challenge [NST, June 16]:-In his question, Karpal alleged that Najib, during a rally in the run-up to the 1987 Operasi Lallang, had waved a keris in challenge to the Chinese community.
“If it was true, are you prepared to ask for forgiveness from the Chinese community?” Karpal demanded.
The allegation did nothing to dampen Najib’s mood.
“The incident did not take place. I have never said that. The one who should apologise is the YB concerned, not me,” he said.
p.s. A fellow blogger, who was convinced that Najib had waved the keris and said those words in 1987 (even though he wasn't there), recently told me that I should prove that Najib DID NOT do it. I told him that if I would if I had the resources that the NST or Malay Mail had.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
1Spirit 1Nation. The logo and tagline for Indonesia's Pesta Blogger 2009 is very interesting, indeed. It's an attempt to brand the growing annual event and Indonesian bloggers as a unifying tool for theIndonesian people. The logo is not without its detractors, as blogger Ong in Jakarta points out here, but nowhere near the 1Malaysia concept that the Prime Minister is trying to push through.
Najib is beginning to get a pep talk from some bloggers about One Nation. Check out malaysiafriday at wordpress, for eg. In his Challenges of building the Malaysian brand, the blogger discusses the challenges facing 1Malaysia, including the need to get the private sector to take part.
Another blogger, Ninitalk, suggests that we learn from the experience of America's race relations. She says efforts to unite diverse communities with diverse needs remain a crucial part of the American dream as they are with the Malaysian one.
"America does this wisely and systematically through a common language, a common education system, a common constitution and law. Lately common national pursuits like the fight against terrorism and the pledge to uphold democracy at home and abroad have united the American people and given them a relevant impetus and a modern identity as a nation. "
Read the rest of Ninitalk's E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One)!, here.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
13/6 Former Minister in PM's Dept Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat, says party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim/STAR
No more Mr Maverick. In Umno, Zaid Ibrahim was perceived as a "maverick politician". He was regarded generally to be independent in thought and in action compared with his colleagues in the party. Shahrir Samad is another maverick in Umno. Musa Hitam was a young maverick politician. And Dr Mahathir Mohamad, of course.
Some mavericks stay in Umno while others left for Semangat 46 or for the ordinary life away from politics.
Zaid has decided -- finally -- to join Anwar Ibrahim's PKR. In his new party, the former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (when Pak Lah was the PM) won't be a maverick anymore. He will be part of the herd, and he would be right up there in the top echeleon of the Opposition party to the ruling coalition, BN.
If anything were to happen to DSAI, Zaid Ibrahim would be the most experienced and respected Malay politician to take over as leader. Yes, Anwar now has a potential worthy successor. Like Anwar, Zaid was sacked from Umno, is smart and eloquent, and extremely popular with the Pakatan Rakyat supporters. He has also accumulated quite a bit of fortune when he was an Umno member, although not all of his wealth is owing to the party or his position in the party back then.
After this, Zaid only needs to win an election if he wants to legitimize the claim to be a worthy successor.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
By OutSyed The Box:The Pakatan Government in Selangor can approve single unit bungalow
developments in just one day (Shah Alam, Kajang etc). They have fully utilized the One Stop Centre approach set up by the old BN Government in Selangor.
In terrible contrast the DBKL takes more than six months to approve a
single unit bungalow project.
Read more ... here.
RNC proposes "international bloggers do". Raja Nong Chik, the Federal Territories Minister, has a vision of making KL a world class city that cares. "No point in having a world class city but the people are not happy. We can't fashion ourselves after Vancouver or Melbourne (because) there's just too great a disparity among KL folk. We have to address the disparity (first)," he told a group of bloggers over dinner tonight.
The Minister's aware of the need to overhaul the KL City Hall to make it more efficient. He got an earful from Syed Akbar Ali, the OutSyed The Box blogger, who spoke of the "little Napoleons" in DBKL and the tricks they are up to. [flashback Syed's open letter to RNC, here].
The minister said he is well aware of the complaints against DBKL. Before becoming the FT Minister in charge of DBKL, he recalled, "I climbed up the DBKL building at least 200 times to convey the needs of the people of Lembah Pantai (constituency).". He believes, however, that he can turn the 12,000 City Hall employees into assets.
We all wished good luck to him on that.
Towards the end of dinner, which was at Restaurant Halia, Sime Darby Convention Centre, KL, RNC offered to work together with Malaysian bloggers to organise an international or regional-level bloggers gathering.
Desiderata, three times chairman of the Bloggers Universe Malaysia forum, was all ears upon the offer being made.
RNC said he sees the value of getting bloggers from around the region, or even the world, to visit Malaysia and spread the word about the country's attractions, especially KL and Putrajaya and even the other FT, Labuan, via their blogs.
The other bloggers at the dinner were P. Kamalanathan of My (Malaysian) Views, A Voice, Eric Woon of I Am A Malaysian, De Minimis, Nuraina A. Samad, and Donplaypuks@.
It turned out that one of the bloggers at the table was a VI schoolmate. Let us now with thankfulness is Donplaypuks@' other blog, "about the halcyon days in victoria station in 1966-1972". Blogger and Minister spent some time catching up with the good old days.
Picture shows RNC with the 40-year old year book.
Changes at Media Prima, NSTP. Veteran journo Ahmad A. Talib, who was squeezed out of NSTP in 2005, returned to the group as Media Prima's Executive Director. He will be in charge of the four TV stations under Media Prima, its website, and newspapers under the New Straits Times Group. Ahmad, 57, runs the blog Pahit Manis. He was Group Editor of NST when Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan was appointed by Pak Lah as his media head-honcho in 2004.
Zainul Ariffin (pic) came back from the cold to head the three newspapers under the NSTP, namely New Straits Times/Business Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. Zainul, 47, was Business Times editor before he was sent to "Siberia" when Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan ... (same as above).
Read the announcement to the Bursa here.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
First day back at the Mail, first visitors. I had a meeting with the reporters and editors in the afternoon. Gave them their first two assignments:
1. Buy a pair of jeans
I'm allowing jeans in the office. The idea is for them to be relaxed. Feel free and liberated. But I also reminded the reporters that there are places, such as the Parliament and the courts, where jeans aren't allowed. Yes, we are going to promote free press but like jeans and everything else in life, there are limits to what we can do.
2. Start a blog
Only a handful of the reporters have blogs, I learnt during the meeting. So with great pleasure it was that I gave all the Malay Mail reporters, sub-editors, and editors one week to start their blogs. They can blog about anything at all - politics, football, cosmetics, pets, their work, their editors, etc.
Why blogs? I want them to feel the freedom of writing blogs. And the responsibility of moderating comments, testing the limits, and engaging others in useful discourse.
And as the oldest newspaper in Malaysia goes on-line - which is what I plan to do with the 113-year old paper - the journalists working with the paper need to know what makes blogs and bloggers tick, and what the New Media is all about.
The Mail has about a hundred staff.
After the meeting, I received my first visitors at the Malay Mail. These two young ladies are from India and in the country to do a film project on Internet censorship and blogging. They will also interview Nathaniel Tan and YB Elizabeth Wong for the project.
CORRECTION: In the posting by A Voice that I linked in the original posting below, the blogger wrote:"My source in TNB claimed Izzaddin is brother-in-law to Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, the CEO of Khazanah and member of the Board of Director of UEM."It has been brought to my attention that Azman Mokhtar and Izaddin are NOT in-laws. I have made this known to blogger A Voice for his action.
New CEO, new scandal? I have, unfortunately, blogged about this new UEM CEO, here. He was the Tenaga Nasional CFO involved in a 100 per cent pay demand together with his CEO then.
But this posting Is the delisting of UEM Group to cover up a major loss? h e r e is not entirely about him.
Another major scandal waiting to be uncovered. The blogger A Voice is at this very moment working on a Part 2.
Monday, June 08, 2009
With updates, 1pm June 9:
RPK's My apology to Rusdi.
"When they threaten your family ....". There's a very sickening trend in Malaysian blogosphere, where some socio-political bloggers are exposing bloggers who are Anons or who use nicknames, especially if they are not politically like-minded.
In the most recent attempt at exposing their enemies, some pro-Anwar bloggers, led by the self-exiled Raja Petra Kamaruddin himself, have published in their blogs the picture of a Najib aide whom they believe to be the provocative pro-Najib blogger, Pasquale.
RPK's Malaysia Today even published a photograph (see screenshot) of Rusdi Mustapha (the Najib aide) with his wife and only daughter, thus inviting hate comments against all three even in Rusdi's blog, Seri Menanti.
Both Rusdi and Pasquale are on my blogroll: Rusdi's under Special Interest category and Pasquale under the Politics Anonymous category.
Rusdi may or may not be Pasquale. But if Rusdi was, do you have to drag his family in? Blogger Sakmongkol, who attempted to expose a couple of pro-Umno bloggers the other day, said Rusdi is Pasquale and Pasquale is Rusdi. But the two ladies in the photograph are not Pasquale. They are Rusdi's wife and daughter and they are not related to Pasquale at all.
I thought we were all grown-ups who should understand where to draw the line, to separate the personal and the politics, and what should be kept private and made public. Obvioulsy, some of us are still two-year olds.
Now please read Rusdi Mustapha's "When they threaten your family, it's time to shut the blog" here. Rusdi told me he will keep it there for a few days, after which Seri Menanti will be accessible only to his friends and family members.
p.s. Let me put on record here that when RPK's son was in the news, neither Pasquale not Rusdi Mustapha put up a post on the matter. I didn't to, either. That's his personal/family affair, man.
Read also Big Dog's take here.
"Bloggers yang tak bertanggung-jawab", di sini.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Get this Road Bully! The coward in his 30s who assaulted a 72-year old pensioner in Damansara Damai is probably holed up at home, beating up his wife, children or perhaps his own parents.
If you know the driver/owner of the green Avanza (see pic) bearing the above registration number, please make a report to the nearest police station.
Do not try to engage him, especially if you are old and weak, a woman, or a helpless child.
Read the Star's story here on what the bully did to someone old enough to be his dad.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
"Survey shows only 45% of Malaysians happy with Najib"
That's the heading used by the Malaysian Insider.
"Survey shows only 16% of Malaysians unhappy with Najib"
That's the headline the Malaysian Insider could have used.
The one that they used is not wrong. The latest Merdeka Centre survey did find that 45% of the 1,067 respondents were happy with Najib's performance as Prime Minister so far.
But notice the use of the word "only". Why is that word there?
I think most of us will agree if you say, "Only 1 out of 100".
But not 45.
45 out of 100 is quite a substantial amount.
The RM1 million blogger, meanwhile, interprets the survey's 45% as something else together. According to her, it means that "we do know how many want Najib to leave (leave the country/leave the job as PM?)". Don't laugh!
Poll findings cut both ways. Double-edged. You can report that 45% are happy with Najib or 16% unhappy with Najib, and both are correct.
But if you say "only 45%", you risk being accused of trying to spin.
I mean, you'd be accused of trying to spin if you say "only 16%" are unhappy with Najib.
And yet, that is a fact:
The findings of the survey indeed show that ONLY 16% of Malaysians are unhappy with Najib.
And now we do know that many want Najib to stay!p.s. Another interesting fact is that 4 (not "only 4") out of 1o respondents refused to answer the question in Merdeka Centre's latest survey. A group of bloggers and journalists met with Sir Robert Worcester in Kuala Lumpur last week and one of the things the "UK King of Polling" stressed was the need to have professionals to deal with respondents.
Alfatihah. A. Kadir Jasin, who runs the blog The Scribe, lost his dad just before midnight yesterday due to old age.
AKJ, who helmed the NSTP for more than a decade, has been in his hometown Alor Setar for the past week to spend time with his dad. At the end of his latest posting around noon yesterday (Tuesday), Kadir left a footnote about his dying father:Footnote: I thank sincerely the many debaters who offered their prayers and best wishes for my father’s speedy recovery. But he’s an old man. He’s 85 and there’ so much modern medicine can do for him. But thank you nevertheless for your kind thoughts and prayers.
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