Monday, November 30, 2009

Bloggers Who Care

Blogosphere Social Responsibilty. We know what CSR is and how important it must be. Under Budget 2010 the government has proposed to set aside RM100 million to esure that GLCs don't neglect their CSR!

Bloggers won't have that kind of money in a million years but that doesn't stop a group of them from initiating BSR. Blogger Wenger Khairy says his first BSR project is to help Siti Amynur.


This isn't the first time bloggers have come forward to help the needy. Take the case of Miss Yvonne Foong, who has finally raised enough money for her treatment in the US [Blogger gets funds for surgery - The Malay Mail, Nov 30]. Her plight had been highlighted by bloggers [Save Yvonne's Sight by Nuraina A. Samad, for eg] long before the papers picked up her story.

I first joined The Malay Mail in 2001 when it was still The Paper That Cares. Along the way, this tagline was dropped for something else. Last Thursday, we returned that tagline to the paper and on Dec 14 we will launch The Malay Mail Care Fund. We hope we can do more, perhaps in collaboration with the likes of BSR and other such groups, for other Sitis and Yvonnes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Scotland Yard, Interpol, ICAC Boleh ...

30 Nov: Art responds to Bru: Justice is an Illusion


Original Article 27 Nov:
Why MACC tak boleh? There must be a good reason why Scotland Yard, Hong Kong's ICAC and Interpol still stick to the practice of questioning withnesses after hours, right? If indeed they still do and according The Malay Mail this afternoon, that is the case.

The paper also says the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is going to use this to appeal last week's controversial High Court ruling that the commission could only question witnesses during office hours.

Read the report by The Paper That Cares h e r e.

On 19/11, the Attorney-General said he would appeal the ruling. The Cabinet is also expected to discuss the ruling, which has already inspired DAP stalwart Karpal Singh to also demand that police stop "interrogating" witnesses after office hours. The Inspector-General of Police has said the High Court ruling did not affect the police but Karpal thinks it did [Karpal wants IGP to stop after-hours interrogation, The Star 20 Nov].

Well, I agree with blogger Syed Akbar Ali that in this case, the Court has acted really weird.

Excerpts [lclick here to read his entire posting]:
Now the Court has again ruled that the MACC cannot question or interrogate suspects outside of office hours. This is a stupid decision. So lets play with the permutations. Is it Government office hours or the suspects' office hours? A suspect could be a shift worker somewhere and work from midnite to 8 am. That is the time the MACC sleeps. To interrogate such a person during the MACC’s office hours (9am – 5pm?) may violate the suspect’s sleep time. What if the MACC decides to operate 24 hours like the 7-11 or mamak nasi kandar outlets? And they get their new ‘Dibuka 24 Jam’ office hours gazetted too? Or does the Court’s decision make it impossible for the MACC (and by extension the whole security apparatus of the country) to set its own time to do things?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Raya Haji

Salam Aidil Adha to all my Muslim brothers and sisters, whether they have performed the haj or going to. And to my fellow Malaysians enjoying the holiday, especially those on the road, take care and have a great holiday.

I haven't performed the Haj but it is my dream to make that journey one day.

Anti-journalist Selproa

'Govt propaganda machine' journalist gets PKR boot

SHAH ALAM: A journalist with a local Malay daily was chased out of a press conference called by officers of Selangor’s Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives at the state secretariat building.

Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Elected Representatives Officers Associa­tion (Selproa) secretary Ng Yap Hwa chased out Utusan Malaysia journalist Yazid Alias yesterday, claiming that the daily was a “federal government agent.”

Although Selproa president Abdul Razak Ismail later told Ng to allow Yazid in, the latter was heard saying: “We can’t allow government propaganda machines into the press conference.”

This then irked the other reporters attending the function, who said they would bring up the matter to the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ).

Yazid, who is attached to the Shah Alam bureau, described Ng’s action as “uncouth”, adding that it was uncalled for as his office had received an invite to the function via e-mail.

He said if Selproa was afraid of their secrets being leaked out, it should state in their e-mails which media was barred from the event. (Full report h e r e)


I read the above report with utter disgust. Selproa secretary Ng Yap Hwa, clearly an uneducated person, is the kind that will suppress all and any kind of dissent. God forbids this kind of people from taking over the country. If they had more power, journalists may be executed for not writing things that agree with Ng Yap Hwa and his ilk.

I am waiting for the NUJ and the CIJ to make known their views.

And I urge other journalists, pro-Pakatan or pro-Barisan or pro-neither, to condemn this bully's arrogant act. The NST managing editor has blogged her views h e r e: "Wow. Talk about low tolerance threshold...".

Monday, November 23, 2009

Negri Sembilan prince sues paper for RM50 million

Tunku Naquiyuddin sues The Malay Mail. As I am The Editor of The Malay Mail, I shall furnish only the facts of the case:

Naquiyuddin (pic above), the eldest son of the late Yamtuan Negri Sembilan, says the paper has defamed him in an article we ran early last month. In his letter of demand, Naquiyuddin wants the paper to publish and apology and pay him RM50 million in damages. We have just replied to his letter of demand to say, in a nutshell, that the said article wasn't about him.

You can read the article Long Wait over at Seri Menanti (Oct 5, 2009). The writer, Rusdi Mustapha (pic, with the current Yamtuan), is our regular columnist and a son of Seri Menanti himself. After "Long Wait .." Rusdi Mustapha wrote two more articles on the palace: Daulat Tuanku, What it means (Oct 12, 2009) and Installation of the 11th Yamtuan (Oct 26, 2009). Both Naquiyuddin and Rusdi attended the installation of Tuanku Mukhriz.

DSAI not having tea with Chin "Butcher of Malaya" Peng

No invite. According to Salehuddin Hashim, the PKR sec-gen, there was never an invite for him, Anwar or PKR to attend the 20th anniversary celebration of the Haadyai Peace Agreement. The organisers said invites were sent to several people, including Najib and Anwar, and confirmed that Anwar had agreed to attend.

I'll take Salehuddin's word for it and am happy that the MM has made the clarification on his behalf here.

Read my original posting Tea with Chin Peng here. This Butcher of Malaya has no business wanting to have tea with any of us.

Read this 2003 letter to remind ourselves of who Chin Peng really is:

My father’s murderer

ON the night of Dec 19, 1948, my father, the headmaster of the Chinese school in Simpang Dua, Sitiawan, Perak, was resting with his pregnant wife, also a Chinese school teacher, and his seven children at home after dinner. Some people came and called my father, so he wore his shirt and stepped out of the house into the dark. According to my mother, a conversation took place followed by the sound of two gunshots.

Read MORE ..



In PAS' Kelantan, a powerful son-in-law is removed from office

23/11 Kelantan MB Nik Aziz announces that his son-in-law Abdul Ariffahmi has been removed as CEO of Kelantan Mentri Besar Inc/STAR
The PAS spiritual leader shouldn't have put his own son-in-law in that cushy position, in the first place. Let this be a lesson for other political leaders and sons-in-law.

If the removal is an admision of guilt, will Nik Aziz then reinstate blogger Sheih Kickdefella? I believe Sheih's marching orders (In Kelantan, PAS sacks blogger Nov 10) were signed by Ariffahmi as CEO of the Kelantan Menteri Besar Inc.

Blogger Apanama has promised updates on his blog, here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Politicking, even as TBH's body was being exhumed


Updated to include at the end of this posting Dr Peter Vanezis' website and why (I think) we are in good hands.

Original Article:-
How much did the Govt pay Dr Peter Vanezis?
That's what Ean Yong Hian Wah, Selangor exco member and Teoh Beng Hock's employer when he died, demanded to know as they exhumed the body this morning for the second postmortem tomorrow.

Excerpts of what he told Malaysian Insider:

Teoh’s former employer, Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, said at the cemetery: “I hope the second autopsy will reveal the truth.”

Yong also stated his desire to know how much the government spent hiring the UK pathologist Dr Peter Vanezis — one of two foreign pathologists, along with Dr Pornthip, who will be observing the second autopsy.

"Dr Vanezis, who serves as a director at the Cameron Centre for Forensic Medical Sciences in London, has handled over 2,000 autopsy cases involving sudden death, of which 1,500 were found to be homicides.

“The fact that they hired a foreign expert shows they have no confidence in the local pathologists,” Yong added.

Yong should stop politicizing TBH's death already. I don't know how much Dr Pornthip or Dr Vanezis are being paid to observe tomorrow's second post-mortem, but I don't care. If they are going to get to the bottom of things and bring justice to everyone involved in TBH's death, it'd be worth every single sen. I hope Yong can agree with that. He should also think before he talks. I don't think hiring Dr Vanezis means "they" had no confidence in the local pathologists. I have been campaigning for another foreign expert to accompany Dr Pornthip simply because "they" won't trust a local. And, by the way Yong, Dr Pornthip is Thai and Selangor government are hiring her. Does that mean the Selangor government have no confidence in local pathologists?

Read the rest at Kit Siang's blog, here.

I'll paste Dr Vanezis' bio here when I find it.

Updates
Thanks to commenter
Alizul, you can go to Vanezis' website h e r e.
Some of the high-profiled cases he has been involved in:
  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Princess Diana

  • Gave opinions for the Presidential Truth Commission in Korea on deaths in custody

  • Investigate the medical evidence of the British Nurses in Saudi Arabia accused of the murder of one of their colleagues

  • Investigate the Railway killer and his accomplice

  • Gave evidence for the Truth and Reconcilliation Council of the Republic of South Africa.

  • Identified the last victim of the Kings Cross fire

  • Led investigation of the death of the Zviad Gamsakhurdia., former Georgian President, thought to have committed suicide.

  • Advisor to the Russian authorities on the identification of the Romanovs.

  • The Tyrolean Iceman

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tea with Chin Peng

An invite for Anwar's PKR. The picture is bad and we'll need to verify if an invitation has, indeed, be extended to PKR for the event. In the meantime, we can ask the question: Will Anwar Ibrahim accept the invitation to be guest-of-honour from Chin Peng, who killed thousands of Malaysian soldiers and civilians in atrocities sponsored by the Communists against a democratic and Merdeka Malaysia?

Can't wait ....

p.s. Journos following this up, please ask if there's an invite for Umno, too.

Art Haron vs The Lipas Man

Insider gets democratic over Dr M's remarks. Lawyer Art Haron's critic of Dr Mahathir's views on democracy has been answered by fellow columnist at The Malaysian Insider. Read Sinatra Z - An Answer, here. Art's piece was published in MI here but Zaidel aka Sinatra's response hasn't been published by the online news portal.

Sinatra's pro-M stance shines through like a crazy diamond. His concluding paras:
"There is such a thing as too much democracy, look at Pakistan, apart from cricket the national's favourite past time is politics and it is dominated by lawyers, look how screwed up it gets.

"On the other hand, China is being ruled by a group of Engineers and they are flying high.

"Dr M is a lousy philosopher yes I agree, and that's why people like him because Philosophers will only talk and do very little while technocrats (like Doctors) do more and talk less. Philosopher ini macam Anwar Ibrahim".
I don't think the Malaysian Insider would publish such a piece. Good try, though, Z. I do agree with you (and Dr M). We don't need to look so far, just across the Causeway. We are way more democratic than Singapore, and look at how many of us idolize the Republic for its progress and wealth. Given the choice, however, I'd stay put here, Z.

And what was it that Dr M say?

India too democratic, says former Malaysian PM
Herald Globe
Tuesday 17th November, 2009
(IANS)


Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has singled out India as an Asian country that has 'made the mistake of being too democratic' and compared it unfavourably with China's authoritarian regime.

Mahathir said: 'India, of course, will grow, but more slowly than China. It has the numbers but is not making use of them well.'

He identified China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and, 'to a lesser extent', India as the countries which would lead the Asian charge, New Straits Times said Tuesday.

Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia for over two decades, told a seminar on Asia and 21st century that people 'do not understand the limits of democracy'.

'Democracy can be a hindrance to progress because you spend so much time politicking that you don't have time to develop your country.

'In China, there's not much politics. So, they can spend more time developing their country.'

He blamed the West for making democracy and freedom the cornerstone of progress.

It is the West's focus on democracy, civil rights and individual liberties - attributes flaunted by Western governments - that Mahathir identified as being the reason behind 'its economic flaccidity'.

'The British believe a lot in so-called freedom. Their workers must be allowed to go on strike all the time. So, they have the problem of being a very unproductive population.

'They must be free of everything. When you do that, productivity will drop. When productivity drops, you cannot compete.'

Talking about Asia, Mahathir ruled out a role for 'strife-torn' West Asia.

'They are not going to make much progress, unfortunately. They are not going to contribute to the Asia of the 21st century. But it doesn't matter because Asia is such a big place,' Mahathir said.

East Asia's emerging economic dominance over the West is due to its productivity and strong work ethic, he said.

However, the former premier warned of the increasing trend among young Asians to ape Western culture.

'Today, there are places in Tokyo where you see young people with multi-coloured hair. They look like Red Indians. These are the young Japanese who have adopted Western values,' said the octogenarian who continues to draw crowds six years after he quit office.

'They want to be free and be able to change the place they work, hop from one place to another and take marijuana. This is what the Europeans do. This is progress for those young people.'

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sandy

5oo lorries from home. Why are 500 lorries laden with sand entering Singapore from Malaysia every day?
Selling sand to Singapore still?
We all must know, y'see, because if we sell enough sand to Singapore (land in Iskandar not counted) they said they will help us build a straight bridge that will replace the Causeway.

Ku Li's loyalty


Oily politics. Loyalty, royalty? Play of words or silly mistake, it got me thinking of how much the Kelantan prince has lost since his disastrous attempt to come back to mainstream Umno politics and become its president and Prime Minister of the country.

Accepting DSAI's offer could rekindle that dream snuffed out so cruelly. Pakatan Rakyat is looking for a leader and Zaid Ibrahim, the man piecing together DAP, PKR and PAS into an official coalition very much like BN, has proposed Nik Aziz, which means it is not easy to find a Malay good enough (and acceptable to DAP and PKR) to be Chairman of Pakatan.

Zaid can't possibly nominate himself though I wonder why he didn't name DSAI! Ku Li would be a perfect candidate to be Chairman of Pakatan Rakyat, better than Tok Guru, Zaid or even DSAI. Been that, done there.

I don't expect the man who came closest to burying Dr Mahathir's political career to be too excited with Anwar's suggestion to make him chairman of a loyalty or oil royalty caucus. Quite beneath him. But in the unlikely event that Ku Li accepts the offer, it would be a start to another slippery ride in this oily business of Malaysian politics.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SPNB under scrutiny

MoF sets up Task Force. Remember my posting late last month about how the national housing board, SPNB, was said to have run out of money [Trouble bru-ing at SPNB? Oct 27] and then, just a couple of day later, the board said it was going to pay the RM500 owing to those poor 34 contractors [SPNB will pay Oct 30, The Malay Mail]?

Well, there was supposed to be a press conference at the SPNB headquarters at 2pm yesterday. We were very keen to hear what the SPNB wanted to report to the Press but the press conference was called off.

I'm not sure if the press conference was postponed because of what the latest development. This is what I heard: the Ministry of Finance has set up a special task force to investigate the RM500 million scandal/fiasco/claims.

Members of the task force will be interested to find answers to the following questions:

1. Why did SPNB go on dishing out contracts even when the property market was down?
2. Why didn'tthe board renegotiate downwards contracts when prices of materials were down?
3. Were the 34 contractors given 34 project worth between RM10 mil and RM15 mil each through a dodgy tender plan?
4. Is there need to review the tender process?

The SPNB issue was highlighted after Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi, who used to head the SPNB, alleged corrupt practices at the national housing board here. This blog later discovered about the RM500 mil (SPNB said it's less than RM300 mil). It was great news when SPNB said it was going to pay up BUT that, I think, would be too easy. The Government MUST investigate. It needs to STOP the leakage. Heads must roll.

Otherwise, this will just happen again.

Good news x2

First, the good news: Razeek Hussain, 51, has been made CEO of MRCB, ending speculation that the post could go to ex-4th floor exec Ahmad Zaki Zahid.
Now, the other good news: Ex-MRCB boss Shahril Ridza Ridzuan (pic), 39, will be made Deputy CEO of the Employees Provident Fund [not Chief Investment Officer as reported here] in charge of Investments, effective Dec 1.

Shahrir was sent to MRCB (together with Abdul Rahman Ahmad) to help revive the corporation after the end-90s currency crisis. Rahman went on to turn around Media Prima (and recently to Equinas) while Shahril stayed to lead MRCB. When Dr Mahathir, then the PM, sent the two young men out into the harsh business environment, one of his advices to them was, "Don't do side deals".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Media Run 2009


Run, Media Run! The National Press Club, Kuala Lumpur is organising a 5km run for journalists and friends of journalists this Sunday, 22 Nov. Pertama, the association of women journalists, is giving us a helping hand.

Click here for details.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Twelve million

Dear Visitors,

Some things haven't changed. The thrill of your visits, for example.
In A Million thanks, a posting I did on the occasion of my first 1 million visitors back in March 2007, I was "huddled with Jeff Ooi of Screenshots at the solicitors' office discussing the NSTP's lawsuit against us". Jeff is an MP now and I am back with the Malay Mail, and we are fighting that lawsuit still. Edmund Bon my lawyer and I met the other day. He said the trials may start in January 2010 and we'll need to meet again real soon.
Que Sera Sera, The thrill isn't gone, baby.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the 12 million visits.

Wee Choo Keong vs Shafie Abdullah

KL's de facto Mayor? The MP for Wangsa Maju (pic) is calling Shafie, Abdullah, the political secretary to the Prime Minister [not to be confused with the eminent lawyer], the de facto Mayor of Kuala Lumpur. Nothing complimentary in that, in case you didn't get the drift, not for Shafie nor for the real Datuk Bandar. Wee has actually accused Shafie of interfering with City Hall's daily activities and this, he said, is not in the interest of the PM (bertentangan dengan kepentingan PM).

Gerak the NGO smells jackpot and has immediately demanded that Wee goes to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to formally lodge a complaint of corrupt practices against the PM's pol sec [read here].

YB Wee, however, is not expected to do that immediately. He told aides he will raise the issue again at the parliamentary committees this week.

In his last statement implicating Shafie, the KL Mayor, and the FT Minister, WCK spoke of a "4th floor syndrome" that he says exists in Najib's administration. That alone will make Wee's next move worth the wait. Throw in talk that Shafie could be Wee's opponent in Wangsa Maju come PRU13, and the prospect of a duel now becomes mouth-watering.

Well, YB Wee, ball's in your court!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pro-Umno bloggers fairer?

Investigative Blogging. The thing about pro-Umno bloggers like A Voice and Big Dog is they don't just go after PAS, PKR or DAP; eg [Nik Aziz Hipokrit, Nov 15] and [Is Khalid Ibrahim in another favor-for-cash with Lim Kin Hong? Nov 6] but half the time they blog against BN and Umno.

Their seemingly concerted effort re Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Minister in the PM's Department, has raised eyebrows.

NEXT CHANGE: Revelation on Nor Mohd Yakcop's folly on Pantai by Another Brick on the Wall, Nov 13
PM Najib should cut NMY's pay by Zakhir Mohd, Nov 12

Something's bru-ing, I tell you.

p.s. And the "original" SIL is back in the news, vs Azmin Ali re RM9 million shares the PKR man allegedly bought.

General November 14, 2009 21:50 PM
Khairy Wants Explanation From Azmin Over RM8 Million Shares Purchase


SEREMBAN, Nov 14 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said on Saturday Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Azmin Ali should explain an allegation over the purchase of RM8-million worth of shares raised by Malaysian Indian Youth Development Foundation chairman S.A. Vigneswaran.

"It is not wrong to buy shares, but an explanation is necessary as to how the purchase was financed. He must have an answer and an explanation, and we are waiting for the explanation," he said.

Khairy spoke to reporters after he had launched a consumer campaign to cultivate one's own vegetables to save cost, organised by the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca), at the Taman Tuanku Ja'afar community hall in Sungai Gadut near here.

He was asked to comment on the allegation by Vigneswaran on the purchase of shares worth RM8 million involving three individuals, including Azmin, in the early 1990s as reported in several newspapers on Saturday.

Khairy, who is the Member of Parliament for Rembau, said he hoped that Azmin would not remain silent as the matter was associated with his credibility.

"The Barisan Nasional (BN) government has been accused of many things. As such, it is not wrong if we ask for the same form of accountability to be applied by the opposition leaders," he said.

On Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim appointing PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the economic advisor to the state, Khairy said this showed the inability of the Selangor government to manage its own economy and having to appoint someone from outside.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Azmin denied that he bought the shares saying that the statement by Vigneswaran was planned to tarnish his name.

"It is baseless. I believe that the document claimed by Vigneswaran has been manipulated by certain quarters to link me and my wife.

"The statement is slanderous, done with bad intention and politically motivated to destroy my reputation as Gombak Member of Parliament and PKR vice president," he said in an email to Bernama.

Azmin said he had instructed his lawyer to take appropriate action against the statement.

-- BERNAMA


The Bernama report made no mention of how Khairy's own purchase of ECM-Libra shares turned scandalous just a couple of years back. I found what I was looking for - A Voice's posting Khairy. Khairy on the Contrary [July 30, 2007] when bloggers were called monkeys - and a verse from his twisted and thwarted nursery rhyme:
Khairy, Khairy, quite contrary,
How does your politics grow?
With Nori belle and ECM Libra debacle
And monkey callings all in a row.
Many have not forgotten the ECM-LIbra shares purchase and the merger with Avenue a little later. Nor Mohamed Yakcob was the Minister of Finance 2 then. A Voice and Big Dog have stacks in their blog's archives about Khairy's shares in ECM-Libra. I give you two links Khairy Must first give penerangan on ECM-Avenue merger, Part 1 and Part 2. Yang lain tu, Google sendirilah.

Ah, Nudin Awang, the RM65k man!

With updates at the end of this article:-

Nik Aziz and Nudin Awang share more than just initials. It seems that Nudin was the guy who offered to pay the PAS' spiritual leader's VIP package to Mecca. Nik Aziz said there was no conflict of interest. But my sources said Nudin Awang (aka Nordin Mardi because he was a driver with Mardi before he got his riches) has benefited from the Kelantan state government that Nik Aziz's PAS administers. He's more than just a billboard operator.

Nudin is a director of Great Eastern Mills Bhd (GEM), which is a joint venture between Penang-based SEAL Inc Bhd and Kompleks Perkayuan Kelantan Sdn Bhd (KPK), a subsidiary of the Kelantan State Economic Development Corp. (SEDC).

Despite its timber concessions GEM, somehow, managed to stay an unprofitable venture. There are whispers about hiving off profits to SEAL Inc, but it's something that needs to be proven. But profitable or not, it hasn't stopped the Kelantan government from awarding generous concessions to GEM.

According to my sources, it is Nudin's task as director to ensure that the concessions keep coming from the Kelantan PAS government to GEM. And he's been doing quite a good job. In 2005 alone the unprofitable venture was given a timber concession area of some 4048 ha (about 10,000 acres) by the state government. The Kelantan SEDC signed the timber concessions on 14/3/2004, according to records. The concession is said to be worth easily in excess of RM20 million, which should make GEM a profitable company but it's somehow not.

During this time, Nik Aziz or Tok Guru was Chairman of the Kelantan SEDC and KPK. Which is why, I reckon, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency is investigating the PAS leader, and also why NA had to cancel his plan [here]to accept NA's offer to sponsor his trip to Mecca on that VIP package.

p.s. Now, a lot has been written about Nik Aziz and the RM65,000 f.o.c VIP haj package, but Syed Akbar Ali's Pakatan Riot Again does well to put everything in perspective.

Updates: And amidst the brouhaha over Nik Aziz's sponsored trip to Mecca, on-leave Zaid Ibrahim has proposed that the Tok Guru be made the ultimate leader of Pakatan Rakyat ....

Anwar open to Zaid’s ideal Pakatan chief

By Clara Chooi of The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Nov 15 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has kept an open mind over Datuk Zaid Ibrahim’s suggestion for PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to lead Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia but reminded the former Umno leader that for now, it was just his personal expression.

The PKR de facto leader took pains to stress in a press conference yesterday that if and when the PR gets registered as a formal coalition, the pro tem committee which Zaid chairs, would have to be surrendered to the leadership council.

Only then would the due process of determining the coalition’s leaders ensue, he added.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bala P.I.'s latest claim

Final update (I hope), 9.30pm:- It's all part of a new PKR strategy to attack Najib. Blogger Apanama ni cekap. MP Kulim Zul Nordin cuma sebut sekali lalu saja dalam kenyataan akhbar beliau semasa nak serang YB Sivarasa pada 10 Nov yang lalu, tapi Apanama nampak dan percaya yang "strategi serang Najib" tu termasuklah video terbaru dari si Bala.

Press statement by YB Zul, h e r e, refer para 2:

"I wish to state that is YB Siva’s own interpretation of DSAI’s statement. It was clear from the meeting called by DSAI yesterday afternoon at his office attended by MPs from PKR that the main issue discussed was the new party’s strategy to launch an attack on the Prime Minister."

Zul and Sivarasa have since kissed and made up, but Apanama now has reason to believe that Bala is part of Anwar Ibrahim's arsenal against Najib.

Cekap.


Update 14/11, 1pm:
Why is pro-Najib blogger Pasquale overjoyed that Bala has reappeared with the latest anti-Najib video flick? H E R E.

Original article 13/11/09:
You trust this guy? A lot of people seemed excited about the re-appearance of P. Balasubramaniam (pic from the Star) in a 88-sec video clip shown in RPK's Malaysia Today. In the clip, Bala claimed to have been offered a RM5 million bribe by a person called Deepak. And Bala now wants us to trust him when he said that the first Statutory Declaration was true, not the second one.

You trust him? I don't. This was the guy whose own assistant was spending nights with Altantuya and her friends at their hotel instead of keeping them under surveillance. He didn't know if Altantuya "was susceptible to anal intercourse" but still included it in his first SD [see para 25.2 of first SD posted on Anwar Ibrahim's blog h e r e].

Please read "I did 1st July SD under duress" for the second SD.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Suing the mainstream media in Malaysia

Do a Samy, Anwar! Anwar Ibrahim's RM100 million defamation suit against NSTP was in the news [read here]. I should say "padan muka" or serve you right to the NSTP, as the newspaper company is pursuing a suit against blogger Jeff Ooi and I in Jan 2007, but I shan't because, as I've said before, I am dead against politicians suing newspapers (just as I don't think newspapers should be suing anyone). Two wrongs don't make a right.

I hope DSAI will drop the suit. He knows how the media operate - he was the Umno media conductor once when he was the Deputy Prime Minister! - and he knows that the NSTP will publish his response, retort, reply, whatever [Article made me look disloyal and dishonest, Anwar tells court]. Why not use that avenue, instead? Don't muzzle the press with multi-million ringgit suits, please! Give us some latitude.

In this connection, I would like to congratulate Samy Vellu for dropping a defamation suit involving a Tamil newspaper that had published 11 articles calling him, among other things, "liar, thief and criminal", h e r e.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ex-4th Floor to be awarded with top MRCB job?

Nor Mohamed Yakcop should get a pay cut? Read H E R E

Updated, 12/11/09: Just a day after quoting sources that Ahmad Zaki Zahid was to take over the MRCB helm, the Star has quoted sources (different sources, kot) that the ex-4th Floor operative will not be the one, not immediately at least. The job's going to the guy in the pic. Read the Star's double-take, h e r e.

Original article 11/11/09
Ahmad Zaki Zahid. During Pak Lah's rule, one of the most powerful groups of people were operating from the 4th floor of the PM's Department in Putrajaya. Most of them may be brilliant but they were inexperienced, young and brash. Legend had it that they could tell editors what to publish and what not do, decide who can see the PM, and determine the future of politicians. They were answerable to no one other than the PM, his SILhouette* and a certain kali barut of Singapore.

Most of the key members of the 4th Floor have gone under after Pak Lah's exit. We hardly hear of them. Recently I saw Zaki, who is a key member of KJ's Umno Youth, on Astro Awani commenting on Najib's Budget 2020 with Tony Pua. I thought he articulated his thoughts on the budget quite well but I'm sure that's not enough to make him a frontrunner for the top job at MRCB.

Someone brilliant, young but not so brash - and someone without a 4th Floor baggage - should be auditioned for the job. If the government is serious in scouting for really capable and talented Malaysians, it has to start looking outside of the box of current talents.

Read more about who Zaki is, the origin of 4th FLoor, and how much MRCB's worth h e r e.

* a term borrowed from a commenter

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In Kelantan, PAS sacks blogger

Sheih loses job in witch-hunt. Socio-political bloggers in Malaysia aren't easily shocked, but news about Nik Aziz terminating Sheih's contract with the Kelantan Chief Minister Inc [PBMK] has rattled many. I've been trying to call the Kickdefella blogger to know what's the story but for now I suppose I will have to read between the lines of his latest posting Penamatan Kontrak Serta Merta.

If I get his meaning right, Sheih may have been sacked for allegedly reporting corrupt practices in PBMK to 1. the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commisison and 2. an UMNO assemblyman. Sheih has denied having committed those sins and is expected to call for a press conference in Kota Baru tomorrow. [The MACC raided PBMK and questioned its CEO, who is Nik Aziz's own son-in-law, last week].

The movie director, who achieved blog-fame for using movie posters on his blog to take jabs at Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when he was PM (the name of his blog was inspired by Pak Lah), joined the PAS state goverment of Kelantan one year before the March 2008 by-election where he used the media, especially the new media, to help improve PAS' appeal to Malaysians outside Kelantan.

Liars, Blogs and Unspinners

Who's Lying Now? Once upon a time, only politicians like Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Syed Hamid Albar and Zainuddin Maidin would call bloggers liars. These days, bloggers are calling other bloggers liars. Unlike those politicians, though, Ibrahim Yahaya and Syed Imran aren't making sweeping statements h e r e [Bloggers should stop spreading lies, Bernama 9/11/09] and whether you agree with their views or not, it is a fact that there are liars on blogosphere and they include some prominent bloggers.

So were The Unspinners lying when they blogged about Ronnie Liu's "communist past" [Mystery: Siapakah Ronnie Liu? 4/11/09]. The Member of Parliament, who is also a blogger, denies any involvement with the CPM in his latest posting Unspinners are Cowards and here:-

General November 09, 2009 20:06 PM
Liu Denies Involvement With CPM


SHAH ALAM, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- State Local Government, Studies and Research Committee Chairman Ronnie Liu said he was never involved with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) as alleged by the blogsite unspinners.blogspot.com.

"The allegation has a certain motive. I was never involved with CPM," he said when met outside the state assembly here on Monday.

Liu said he never helped, give food or medicine to CPM adding they were lies to tarnish his image as Pandamaran state assemblyman and denied meeting former CPM secretary-general Chin Peng at the Malaysia-Thailand border.

He was mystified to be linked with the death of Teoh Beng Hock and allegation that he had ties with secret societies.

The blogsite said Pandamaran was a new area developed by the British administration in the 1950s to relocate the Chinese from Kuala Selangor and Kuala Langat to check the influence of communists in Selangor.

Asked whether he would make a police report, Liu said he would not as the blogsite did not have informtion like the name of the writer or operator.

"I think PAS or PKR will lodge a report as adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat have also been implicated," he said.

-- BERNAMA

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Docs of War at IJN?

The never-ending battle for the hearts institution. Blogger Sakmongkol has an interesting take in hislatest posting IJN: The Real Way Forward. Is it a doctors vs non-doctors internal warfare where the the prize is great wealth and not the interest of patients?

But notice that Sakmongkol's position is quite opposed that of blogger Big Dog in his posting The IJN Disembowelment Part II.

I shall talk to some people from both sides before I comment.

Flip-flop dah?

6/11 Govt scraps proposal for mandatory checks for vehicles older than 15yrs following complaints from the public: MITI/STAR

Peka or Pekak? I have a 17-year old car which is practically falling apart: one day it's the gear transmission, the next it's a faulty brake. It's an old car, what do you expect? If it was a human, my car would probably be in its 70s and not a very healthy one. So despite the unhappy prospect of having to send the car to Puspakom for yearly check-ups, I realized that it was something practical and potentially life-saving. Singapore has had that policy for years, tak de hal pun.

But, then, suddenly, the idea is scrapped! [Govt scraps end-of-life policy, The Star, Nov 7]

During Pak Lah's era, it was called flip-flop. Usually, this happened because no homework had been done, the policy-makers syok sendiri and didn't bother talking to people, or/and couldn't care less (or thought they wouldn't have to give a damn) about public reaction.

If public complaints are supreme, won't the government grant the wish of the rakyat for cheaper cars h e r e? OK?

Friday, November 06, 2009

MACC visits Kelantan Chief Minister Inc

Updated 4pm 6/11/09 - Just learned from Zakhir that Nik Aziz has been warded at IJN. He was admitted yesterday.

Original article
Officials from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission entered the Kelantan Chief Minister Incorporated (PBMK) building in Kota Bharu yesterday afternoon and were seen taking away several files from the office after about 3 hours inside.

PMBK has been making blog headlines after its chairman Tok Guru Nik Aziz, who is also the Kelantan Menteri Besar, appointed his own son-in-law Ariffahmi Abd Rahman (pic) as the chief executive officer.

Board's resignation en bloc a boost for "unity plan"

The mongers were working overtime on a rumor that the MCA Disciplinary Board had quit en bloc.
My own sources said the quit talk is absolutely true. And while most people would conclude that the resignation is a sign that things have gone from bad to worse, the Board has the most honorable thing in the interest of the party.

Because by resigning:
1. the board assumes responsibility for making a recommendation (to sack Chua Soi Lek) that was rejected first by the Central Committee and later by the EGM, and,
2. by assuming that responsibility, the board has paved the way for both Ong Tee Keat and his No 2 to realize their "unity plan".

But one can always interpret it differently ...

MCA Disciplinary Board Members Resign En Bloc


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 (Bernama) -- The five member MCA Disciplinary Board headed by party veteran Ng Cheng Kiat have resigned en bloc, according one of the board members, Dr Lai Kuan Fook.

He, Ng, and the other members, Datuk Jimmy Low Boon Hong, Datuk Ng Soon Por and Lau Chih Siang submitted their resignation letters to party secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng's office on Thursday afternoon, according to party sources.

Wong however, when contacted said he has not seen the resignation letters yet as he was not at the party headquarters Thursday.

"I have not been to the party headquarters today because I was at my office in the Parliament house the whole day. They may have sent the letters to the sec-gen's office, I'm not sure," he told Bernama when contacted.

It is learnt that the decision was reached during a board meeting last month but the resignation letters were only submitted today.

It is believed the board members had decided to resign en bloc after their recommendation to sack party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek was eventually overturned by party delegates during the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Oct 10.

In August, the disciplinary board had unanimously recommend that Dr Chua be sacked from the party following his sex video scandal.

The board's recommendation was initially endorsed collectively by the presidential council, but was later overturned by the powerful central committee (CC) which decided to impose a four-year suspension for Dr Chua instead.

During the EGM on Oct 10, the party delegates had again overturned the decision by reinstating Dr Chua's membership with immediate effect while rejecting the motion to reinstate him as party deputy president.

However, on Tuesday, Dr Chua received a letter from the Registrar of Society (ROS) which confirmed that he was still the party deputy president.

-- BERNAMA

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Revisiting press laws

Home Ministry to meet with industry on press control laws

By DHARMENDER SINGH


PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry is planning a brainstorming session over several days with print media practioners to re-look the provisions under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 so that it can be made to “adapt to current trends.”

The ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said he felt that that it was time to look again at the provisions in the Act after more than 20 years because the print media and its role had gone through a huge change in that time.

“We want to hear from the media practioners themselves on what they think of the existing controls under the Act and what other methods of control can be used to ensure that the newspapers exercise responsible reporting,” he told representatives from various print media organisations a special discussion here on Thursday.

Read the rest of the article H E R E.

Firstly, for the record, The Malay Mail was not represented at the special discussion mentioned in the report. The National Press Club, of which I am the President, was also not invited. I hope all the relevant players will be consulted when the Ministry holds that brainstorming.

That aside, I welcome the sec-gen's statement to revisit the Printing and Presses Act 1984. At a meeting with the Home Minister recently, the Star EIC Wong Chun Wai openly demanded that Hishammuddin Hussein cancels the need for newspapers to renew their licences annually, a requirement under the Act. Suprisingly, the Minister said he had no objection to the idea. In principle, that is.


Zorro's PDRM logo

With updates ..
Original article:
Is this zorro-unmasked?
Bernard Khoo was questioned for 1hr 45mins yesterday over a defaced PDRM logo pasted on the blog zorro-unmasked. He was cooperative, so I hope it's his first and last visit to Bukit Aman. Read the Malay Mail article here.

Links and Updates:
Not everyone loves zorro: Police must .. terrorist ... danger ... put away ...
This one here does.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dr Pornthip gets 2nd post-mortem

NST 04/11: Coroner's court allows Teoh Beng Hock's body to be exhumed for second post mortem. Thai forensic expert Dr Pornthip will observe
Learn from Hangthong. Let's hope there won't be a 3rd post-mortem, as in the Hangthong Thammawattana case which involved Dr Pornthip herself.

I still think there should be at least one other foreign expert to observe the 2nd post-mortem. Gobind Singh has said "NO" to the idea but I agree with Malaysian Medical Association president Dr David Quekreally: WHY NOT?

In the interest of justice and of all parties, Dr Pornthip should not be left to observe the 2nd post-mortem all by herself.

What took you so long, Bernard?

3pm date with Bukit Aman. Bernard aka Zorro Unmasked will be at the cyber crime unit of Bukit Aman to answer some questions with regards to his blog. I have not been in touch with Bernard for moons and he is not telling h e r e, so I can only speculate why the cops want to talk to him.
1. the inverted "Jalur Gemilang" or
2. the defaced PDRM logo
The flag is still there on his blog but the PDRM logo has been taken down. Don't ask me why.

But for one who lives by the sword, from RPK to Jed Yoong, this is kacang, something one has to experience. Don't expect tea, though, and expect to spend at least 4 hours there. A lot of boring questions but the cops are not our enemies and they just have to ask them. Procedures.

p.s. Bukit Aman dam bloggers ni macam kembar. I was a the Bukit Aman cyber unit two Fridays ago, hopefully for the last time, in relations to police reports lodged against my blogpost on Sultan Perak. I have spent a total of 14 hours in the Q & A room. And last week Sheih Kickdefella had a visit from Bukit Aman in Kota Bharu with regards to the inverted Jalur Gemilang. Also for the last time, he hopes.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A case for second foreign forensic expert .... Part 3

What Sin Chew didn't report. Who said citizen journalism is on a decline? Read the following excerpts from Dr Pornthip: More Questions by Alizul:

The Hangthong Thammawattana Case
Picture shows DR SUPOJ JAMSUWAN displaying documents relating to the third autopsy carried out on Hangthong Thammawattana, which concluded that he committed suicide. Click here for link.

In September 1999, Hangthong Thammawattana was found shot in his younger brother’s (Noppadol Thammawattana) bedroom clutching a gun in his hand. Hangthong Thammawattana was the administrator of his family’s vast fortunes.

The first autopsy conducted by the Thai police found that Hangthong committed suicide. The case was closed as a suicide.

Dr Pornthip did not agree to the police findings. Her team, which included Scottish pathologist Dr Adrian Linacre, then conducted a second autopsy and concluded that Hangthong was murdered. Dr Pornthip went public in announcing her findings. Noppadol was subsequently arrested in 2003 for allegedly conspiring to murder his elder brother Hangthong.

In his defence, Noppadol sought and obtained court permission for the third autopsy that took place on January 2006. The third autopsy was headed by Sawet Kanluan, a forensic pathologist based in Chicago, and was jointly carried out by a team of forensic physicians from five universities a month later. The findings of the third autopsy was consistent with the first, i.e. suicide. The team also included American criminalist Henry C. Lee, who likewise concluded that Hangthong's death was a suicide.

Interestingly, the experts who conducted the third autopsy are people who had taught Dr Pornthip (i.e. they were her teachers!). In his testimony in court, Dr Supoj Jamsuwan, deputy head of Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Forensic Medicine, said
"...respected experts from Chulalongkorn, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Mahidol universities had jointly conducted the third autopsy. 'Some of them are those who have taught Khunying Pornthip, Supoj said. Without mentioning anyone by name, he said someone viewed Thailand’s forensic science as lacking standards and had tried to set the standards herself.
Dr Supoj was, needless to say, referring to Dr Pornthip when he alluded to "someone...had tried to set the standards herself."

Consequently, Noppadol was acquitted of Hangthong's murder by the Thai Criminal Court. The court ruled that substantial evidences showed that Hangthong committed suicide.

Read all H E R E.
Quincy ME and Bones are mentioned here by Barking Magpie.

CSL returns and Liow's dilemma

The Registrar of Societies has ruled that Dr Chua Soi Lek is the Deputy President of MCA.

Which means Liow Tiong Lai, who was made deputy president at the party's Central Committee meeting late last month, will have to move back to his VP post. Unless he wishes to openly defy the "unity plan" that Dr Chua and party President Ong Tee Keat had agreed upon in front of their boss Najib Razak, maintains that he is the rightful No 2, and hence prolong the crisis.

If it's up to Liow, I think he will accept the unity plan and step back. He is young and patient. But his advisors and handlers may not let him to that. Too much at stake for them.

Blogger Jai says here he sees 3 possible outcomes: 1. the en bloc resignation of the CC to pave way for a new poll 2. an EGM to allow delegates to decide on fresh poll 3. stick with the Unity Plan that Ong's tabling.

Read the Star's article h e r e.

We are not maid murderers


But we keep making the wrong headlines in the world press.
The murder of 36-year old Mautik Hani, from Surabaya, has placed us once again in the bad light. All of us. Only some of us abuse our maids, torture them, and kill them. But as a nation, all of us don't deserve to have maids in our homes.

Read the AFP story headlined Malaysian man faces death penalty for Indonesian maid murder here.

BigMacc swoop on rotten politicians in Selangor


An Umno MP and his aide, an ex-MCA Adun, a DAP politician, and PKR Selangor MB 's former political aide. The MP is from around the Sabak Bernam area in Selangor, the ex-Adun is Yap something, the DAP guy was the one who claimed to have been roughed up by MACC officials, and the Menteri Besar, of course, is Khalid Ibrahim. The probe into Khalid's aide started as long ago as June 2008 [read here] so we can appreciate how long each case takes before the MACC could charge anyone in court.

When was the last time we had people from so many political parties being charged on the same day for more or less the same crime?

After Selangor, Penang next? Read the Star's article on Five politicians, including Barisan MP, to be charged with graft (why the emphasis on "Barisan MP"?).

Monday, November 02, 2009

A case for second foreign forensic expert ... Part 2


Yes Go. The headline sounds like a hope-killer but it is actually not. If you read the story h e r e you'll agree with Gobind that there are ways around this. And the Malay Mail is running another story tomorrow (Tuesday 3 Nov) quoting the Health Ministry's DG, who seems to be on the same page as Gobind on the fact that Dr Pornthip can supervise the post-mortem (which will have to be carried out by a "qualified" medical offier).

Gobind said he has made known his proposal that the two local pathologists who did the first post-mortem be present during the second post-mortem. I don't think he will oppose the proposal to have another foreign expert to jointly supervise the second post-mortem.

The Inquest into TBH's death will hear the application to exhume Teoh Beng Hock's body this Wednesday.

Read Unspinners' take on the proposed 2nd foreign forensic expert, here.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A case for a second foreign forensic expert to perform the 2nd post-mortem on TBH together with Dr Porntip



So that nobody will ask for a 3rd post-mortem. As I see it, the Coroner doesn't really have a choice but to allow for TBH's body to be exhumed and a 2nd post-mortem performed. The doubts caused by Dr Pornthip Rojanasunan's fantastic 80:20 theory can only be dealt with by allowing for that 2nd post-mortem. No two ways about it.

The question is, after the 2nd post-mortem how do you stop anyone else from making further fantastic claims and demanding a 3rd and a 4th and so on and so forth?

Commenter Eddy, responding to my posting Should Dr Pornthip be allowed to conduct 2nd post-mortem on TBH?, said yes but on condition that ...
"... the Government must appoint another pathologist to do the second autopsy together with Dr Porntip so that both will have their own independent report to submit to the Coroner in the inquest".
"Dr Porntip cannot do it alone as she is being paid good money by the Selangor Government and there are every chance that she would be biased to satisfy her paymaster, especially so after she stuck her neck out and say that it could be 80% homicide and 20 % suicide based on selected documents and photographs given to her and without even visiting the scene of the death."
There are many like Eddy who are suspicious of Dr Pornthip and you can't blame them. Eddy's suggestion, therefore, makes sense.

But since the first post-mortem was done by two of our own pathologists, I'd take a step further to suggest that the Government appoints a foreign pathologist /forensic expert to do the second autopsy with Dr Pornthip. This other foreign expert must have the credentials as good as, if not better than, Dr Pornthip's.

I am sure the Thai expert will have no objections.

And I am sure that the Selangor government, the counsels for the family of TBH, and truth-seekers in general will find that, in more ways than one, 2 are better than 1 here.

But first, this Wed 4 Nov, let's pray that Mr Coroner grants the family's application.

For a quick recap of the TBH's story so far, read The Teoh Beng Hock Saga 1

Sin Chew has an exclusive with Dr Pornthip, who talks about some of her cases and confirms that she and Gobind Deo Singh, the counsel for TBH's family, are in touch: Wanted: Pornthip's head!