Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ah, meet Proton's new Big Boss!

Updated: A 3-para goodbye, Syed Zainal quits Proton

Original piece:
The Latest Mr Ibrahim
Mr Ibrahim. Not as illustrious as Anwar Ibrahim or Khalid Ibrahim but that is just a minor misfortune for Mr Ibrahim, the man who sits on Proton's throne. What is important is that with Syed Zainal out of the way (his last day on Thursday) and Dany Bahar mysteriously suspended, Lukman Ibrahim is effectively the guy who will be calling the shots at Proton AND Lotus. Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil (do they have to spell out all his titles every time - see the press release below - ?) won't have the time as he's got DRB-Hicom to run. Lukman has Dato's Sri Haji Mohd Khamil's vote but everybody tells me he will need more than that to make things work at the national car ...

In the mean time, big shit is going to hit the fan! 
Some £200m worth of shit (see my February posting on the Six Million Ringgit Man). Questions, questions, questions:- Who appointed Dany Bahar? Who managed him all this time? Why was no finance man from Proton placed in Lotus? Why was there no procurement man from Proton placed in Lotus? Why was there no engineering audit on the project? Didn't Syed Zainal vet Dany boy? If he did not, why? What happened to the Proton audit committee? Nomination committee? Internal audit? 

At least Dany Bahar and the new Proton owners agree on one thing, though:- Dany Bahar said Proton should not sell Lotus and, in this latest press release, Proton says it has no intention of selling Lotus.

Confirms Dany Bahar’s suspension

Subang Jaya, 28 May 2012 - Following a number of media queries, PROTON Holdings Berhad (PROTON) today confirmed that, following an operational review, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, Dany Bahar has been temporarily suspended from his role to facilitate an investigation into a complaint about his conduct made by Lotus’ penultimate parent company, DRB-HICOM Berhad.

In Mr Bahar’s absence, Dato’ Lukman Ibrahim, Mr Mohd Khalid Yusof and Mr Aslam Farikullah (representatives of Lotus’ parent companies) have been authorised by Group Lotus plc’s board to handle and conduct the day-to-day management and affairs of the Lotus Group. They will be assisted by Mr Rusman Zaihan. They have been authorised to take up these duties during the suspension period.

PROTON today also reiterated that its holding company DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM) is not selling Lotus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PROTON, despite the recent media reports on speculation and rumours coming from unreliable sources on the purported intent to sell.

According to Executive Chairman of PROTON Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil, “We acknowledge that Lotus can provide value to PROTON. Lotus is an iconic brand with global presence and positioning, coupled with unsurpassed engineering expertise and a talented workforce.”

Earlier this month, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil visited Lotus facilities at Hethel in Norfolk, UK. In conjunction with the visit, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil also had constructive meetings with South Norfolk MP Mr Richard Bacon and British Business Secretary, Mr Vince Cable. Commenting on the meetings, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil said, “They were both very supportive of our views and developments with regard to the future plans for Lotus. And subsequent to the meetings, the British Government has agreed to consider reactivating the £10 million Regional Growth Fund pledge to support Lotus’s vehicle development plans in Norfolk.”

According to Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil, “Both PROTON and DRB-HICOM will continue to review the existing business plans and financial position of Lotus in taking Lotus forward in the immediate- to medium-term. DRB-HICOM has sent in a team comprising local and international consultants to Lotus from March 2012 to conduct an operations and legal audit on Lotus group of companies.”

The need for this review is especially pertinent in light of the existing financial obligation of Lotus in the form of a £270 million syndicated loan taken at the end of 2010, for which PROTON has given its corporate guarantee.

Monday, May 28, 2012

WSJ, Mr Anwar will not plead guilty because the court is his political stage

Updated: It's not just the WSJ; even local Chinese-language daily The China Press is beginning to lose faith in Anwar Ibrahim, or so it seems in the political commentary by Tan Wei Min:- 
"The Rakyat won't mind a politician making any kind of statement he likes for that is the way of a politician, but the Rakyat can't stand politicians who lie. If Anwar Ibrahim makes it his habit to lie and does it once too often, the people will not be fooled ever again. A politician who can talk but can't be trusted will, in the end, be abandoned by the voters."
Read the entire commentary h e r e.

Original Article:

Chandra says Anwar is no Ghandi
If Mr. Anwar wants to practice civil disobedience, he can't pretend to be innocent at the same time. - WSJ, Review & Outlook Asia, Malaysian People's Court - Anwar's Civil Disobedience and the Next Elections

The WSJ should know Anwar Ibrahim better by now. If Anwar pleads guilty and pays the fine as the WSJ suggests, he doesn't get maximum mileage. The Malaysian courts have become Anwar's most effective political stage. 

The Sodomy 2 is a perfect example. He and his lawyers stretched the case for an eternity, subjecting the judges, the prosecutors and the government to his politics and to ridicule. Delay after delay after delay. 

And now, Anwar's latest grand design: his cynical and deliberate violation of the Peaceful Assembly Act, from the moment he signaled the Dataran Merdeka breach to the moment when he knew he would face charges to the calculated hiring of the ex-solicitor-general who prosecuted him.

In Anwar's grand design, the government unwittingly plays his game. The motive is purely political, which also feeds into Anwar's slick demagoguery and realisation that his Siri Jelajah tours across the nation gets peanuts in crowd response (See Outsyed the Box report on Anwar's appeal in Pengerang) but a Federal court case will entail these reaction: huge adoring crowds to satisfy Anwar's narcissism, preening to media hogging, especially special interviews with foreign media, a rush in support from NGOs pitching democratic ideals and buying more face time with foreign backers and governments who would be wondering if Anwar was any more effective.

Anwar's strategy is simple: break the law in any way plausible yet maintain an air of so-called dignity, that he is being politically persecuted so that he can exploit the courts as the perfect political platform to push his single-minded obsession to become Prime Minister.

Anwar will tell you he does not have faith in the judiciary but at the same time he is usually the first to resort to legal action. The Sodomy 2 trial is a perfect example: he used lawyer Karpal Singh and all imaginable avenues provides by the system he said he didn't trust to prolong the case to the maximum of his advantage. It has become typical of him to put everyone else but himself on trial. 

The WSJ editorial suggests that the editors found, perhaps by way of the video evidence and perhaps from reports on te ground, that Anwar is guilty as hell for inciting the particular incident during Bersih 3 for which he is being charged. We all saw the video clips. So why is Anwae pretending to be a victim of a "politically motivated" charge? I think the WSJ should stop pretending not to see why. 

Even before the charge was read, Anwar had already thought of a way to maximise the mileage, by appointing the man who once prosecuted him to join his defence team! Now, that is the genius of Anwar Ibrahim that the writer of the WSj editorial had grossly underestimated. That is the way of Anwar Ibrahim. That is what our judiciary has been reduced to - a platform for an individual's non-stop political campaigning. The WSJ may not see it, but Malaysians are not as blind.

Read also Chandra Muzaffar's take on WSJ's article, Why It's No Civil Disobedience.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Unauthorized upgrades rob MAS of RM200 mil

A Syndicate Within. Malaysia Airlines has uncovered a ring involving some senior executive who have been enriching themselves by upgrading thousands of Economic Class passengers to Business Class every year, denying the financially-strapped national carrier of much-needed revenue.

Last year alone this syndicate let go over 50,000 upgrades without getting prior approval from those authorized to do so. I am not sure how they made money from "selling" these upgrades or if they were in cahoots with travel and tour agents, but by end last year the malpractice had cost the national carrier more than RM200 million in lost income! 

These unauthorized upgrades are not the same as the so-called "discretionary" upgrades like the one MAS Deputy CEO Rashdan aka Danny's maid supposedly enjoyed on a flight from MH122 from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur on Jan 1 2012, an accusation Danny has denied vehemently but which the whistle-blowing Member of Parliament, YB Wee Choo Keong plans to bring up again in Parliament next month [read his Questions for June Parliament].

After the share swap deal with Air Asia was rescinded, all eyes have been trained on Malaysia Airlines' new CEO Ahmad Jauhari whose task is to turn check the carrier's decade-long decline. There have been interesting developments. A couple of days ago, for example, it was reported that the management was negotiating with MAS Catering to review a one-sided 25-year contract with a company that belongs to the brother of the airline's advisor, (former PM) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

If AJ can get the caterers to agree to his terms, the airline might be able to make savings of as much as 15 per cent of the existing total F&B bills.AJ has said that his turnaround plans hinge greatly on making the best out of available resources and stopping the leakages.

I say, Happy Fishing! I hope AJ  goes for the big fish and not just the little ones ....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why Fauzi Shaari and Yusof ZA could be doing PDRM and the AG a great favour

How Anwar plays it: Anwar Ibrahim, of course - and you can't blame him, really, did not waste the chance to play the opposite sides (Yusof vs former boss AG Gani Patail), as the excerpts from this report quoted by Din Merican shows:

Anwar welcomed Yusof’s participation in the defence team, disclosing that he had checked whether he was available and then contacted him.
NONE“As you can see, (Yusof played) a role in the preliminary stage with Karpal, and is not here to make up the numbers.
“Yusof’s participation shows that he does not condone this … politically-motivated charge.
“There are many who are in the AG’s Chambers who hold the same view and are waiting for the right time to be with me.”
His willingness to join the defence team “is a clear perception that not all in the government condone” such action.
Anwar added that some have been of the view that Yusof should have been appointed the AG.

Original posting

Playing both sides now. Those born to hate the PDRM and the Attorney-General Chamber, or for that matter the Establishment and its institutions, tend to align them with Umno. Examples abound. My old friend Commander (Rtd) S. Thaya, who used to serve a pro-government NGO before becoming a columnist with a pro-Anwar portal, is so bold as to label our Royal Police as "The armed division of UMNO" (May 2, 12), a sentiment echoed by Suara Keadilan on May 9 in A Shitty Affair! PDRM: The Empire Strickes Back - The Armed Division of Umno.

When it suits them, they will label not just the police and the AG but also the judiciary, the media, the forensics and everybody else that did not agree with them (and that they did not agree with) as conspirators against the truth, justice, Anwar Ibrahim, etc. Example, this piece here by some lawyers who were so sure that Anwar would be convicted for sodomy. How wrong they turned out to be -  Anwar Ibrahim was acquitted! 

And you can't blame people if they suspect, rightly or wrongly, that the acquittal may have something to do with former Solicitor-General ll Yusof Zainal Abidin, who was the lead prosecutor against Anwar in the Sodomy 2 case and who earlier today re-emerged from early retirement as the defender of Anwar, who has been charged for his involvement in the Bersih 3.0 riots. 

Yusof - Anwar Ibrahim's secret weapon?. 
 (Asked about his involvement in Anwar's case ...) Yusof said: "He called me last night, I was willing and able."

He also said that "he was not joining any political party" and that he was an "advocate and solicitor and a free agent".

He said that he took optional retirement in February and had his own law firm and was the only employee in the firm.

Karpal, when asked how he felt about having Yusof onboard said: "This is his first case as a defence counsel. Let's see how he goes, we are there to guide him and anyway he is a very experienced prosecutor".

Karpal also said that when he heard on Monday night that Yusof would be joining the team, he was taken aback.

"Quite incongruous, difficult to reconcile, nevertheless he has opted to be on our side."

Read more: Anwar, 2 others charged over April 28 rally - Latest - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/anwar-2-others-charged-over-april-28-rally-1.86479#ixzz1vagMhFkT

Difficult to reconcile, indeed.

Well, still think the PDRM is an extension of UMNO?

Meet Fauzi Shaari, the former Federal CID director who has just joined PAS, admitted that he was a closet fan of the so-called Islamic party since his teens. Read Former CID Director Fauzi joins PAS. He is even advocating the hudud laws for all in Malaysia but "we are living in a multiracial country. We need to make the people understand about Islam and hudud before implementing it".

Was Fauzi Shaari the only PAS supporter happily drawing good salaries and perks from the PDRM/government, never mind if the PAS ulamas would surely rule it as duit haramNot likely, right?

That's why I say Yusof and Fauzi could be doing not just UMNO but also the AGC and the PDRM a favour. They are living proofs that these institutions are not aligned to a single political party or ideology.  Only people like Commander Thaya and Malaysiakini and their political masters want us to believe that that is the case, because it would be to their advantage if people are gullible enough to believe so.

Anas Zubedy's scoop on Tunku Aziz vs Lim Guan Eng

A DAP Parody. Would you believe that Tunku Aziz (pic), the quintessential Malay gentleman, the former Towering Malay according to the DAP, had yelled at Lim Guan Eng during one of the the party's central committee meetings? I found it hard to believe. The Tunku supposedly lost his temper and screamed, "Lu ingat ini DAP bapa lu punya ka?". Wow!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Malaysia's press freedom, indie journos, start a joke

Government "advisers" in a newsroom. I have a soft spot for the Centre for Independent Journalism. When Jeff Ooi and I were sued by a newspaper giant back in Jan 2007 (mine later became the first case of a newspaper dragging a blogger to court), it was the CIJ that initiated a campaign against the newspaper company. I can't say the same about a lot of my colleagues n the MSM back then, they were employees and they were friends of the people who were suing me, the same journos who recently got together in Kuala Lumpur to form a group to press for greater freedom for "independent" journalists. Hurrah! A new-found courage to fight injustices against journos, including against the police for beating up journos during the Bersih 3.0. Better late than never Still, I couldn't help wondering, where were they when their own newspaper and editorial bosses were beating bloggers up?

But I digress. What I wanted to do is draw your attention to a CIJ report on Press Freedom, as reported by the "financially indepedent (sic) state newspaper Selangor Times": 

.... Meanwhile, CIJ also credited the Selangor and Penang governments led by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for demonstrating a greater understanding of civil liberties, especially by introducing freedom of information laws.
However, the media watchdog noted that Selangor had two advisers, who vet its content before it goes to print, in financially independent state newspaper Selangor Times, .
“Whether Selangor Times will be able to maintain its independence will be a good indication of how a potential PR Federal government would behave if it came to power,” said CIJ in its report.
 (Editor’s note: The Selangor government does not interfere in the operations or editorial content of the Selangor Times.)

Read full story here.

The CIJ should have told it as it is. Since the last General Election in 2008, Lim Guan Eng has declared war against the MSM in Penang, especially NST and Utusan Malaysia. In Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim has set aside millions on a state-controlled media network. Anwar Ibrahim, Teresa Kok, Azmin Ali and many other Pakatan leaders have filed multi-million ringgit suits against journalists and their organisations in this country. Freedom of Information? What freedom of information?

The CIJ should not beat around the bush. These people promised us greater freedom and their state governments should now walk their talk. 

Still, I'd like to commend the CIJ. If not for their good work, we would not have known that the Selangor state government stations two "advisers" on the Selangor Times editorial floor to "vet its content before it goes to print".

And the Editor says the Selangor state government does not interfere in its operations or editorial content. He should listen to the Bee Gee's I Started A Joke.

 Long live Robin Gibb. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Malays in DAP after Tunku Aziz

DAP's Malay twin towers: Aspan and Sak flank Kit Siang
... and the RM50k-a-month year offer. Before embarking on the 4-day, 1000km Kembara Mahkota Johor 2012 last Sunday, I did a positng on Tunku Aziz Ibrahim. He was still a DAP member then, although an unhappy one. When I re-entered the Malaysian political blogosphere this morning, Tunku Aziz has quit the party. The man they called "the Towering Malay" when he joined the DAP 4 years ago was effectively forced to quit for daring to voice his "personal views" on Bersih 3.0, a desperate Pakatan Rakyat's political lifeline.

Twin Towers. There aren't many notable Malays in the DAP to start with. You have, perhaps, Aspan Alias and Dato's Sabri aka Sakmongkol who joined the party quite recently, and there is Khir Johari's son, Zairil. 

The collapse of the so-called Towering Malay is, of course, an opportunity for Aspan and Sakmongkol to get an early promotion in the DAP. But neither is of Tunku Aziz's class; in fact, both are seen no more than just two more disgruntled ex-UMNO men. Most DAP members don't trust either of them and in light of the damage Tunku Aziz has done to their party, I reckon they'd truth the two Malays even less now.

At the heart of the matter is DAP's own lost credibility. As Tay Tian Yan the deputy editor-in-chief of Sin Chew puts it bluntly, the departure of Tunku Aziz signifies the banishment of DAP's ideals.

Tunku joined DAP all because of an aspiration, thinking his move could propel the nation's democracy and progress ... When this party begins to lose its ideals to favouritism and utilitarianism, its culture begins to recede.

Tay blames the "populism and fanatism that are beginning to take shape within (the DAP".
These people are eager to drift with popular sentiments, and lose the rational thinking and democratic traits the party enshrines.  
As if that is not enough, DAP has found itself infiltrated by a bunch of mundane folks lacking in both democratic qualities and political ideologies. 
Tay could be referring to Zairil, or to Lim Guan Eng himself ...
As these people ascend the leadership ladder, they begin to create issues and foes while engaging themselves in all sorts of seditious and provocative tricks, causing the moderate thinking to feel disgruntled and disenchanted.
Under the spell of populism and fanaticism, the party surrenders its capacity to think and debate logically, rendering it less tolerant to criticisms.

Read Tay's article in the Sin Chew, Democratic Ideals Banished, h e r e.

The sensational RM50,000 offer by the party to Tunku Aziz has worsened matters. For years, the DAP has been at the forefront in accusing parties linked to the Barisan Nasional of practising money politics. The RM50k offer made to Tunku Aziz is money politcs, Dr Chandra Muzaffar, who was a deputy president of PKR, says.
"I think the matter should be brought to MACC. This is an attempt to buy a person to stay in the party."
Go read The MOLE's RM50,000 is money politics. 

Zairil Khir Johari has since "regretted" the consequences of the offer here.

IMHO, there is no future for the Malays in DAP. The DAP is not a place for Malays who think that their views can be accepted. And the DAP will not have a future if tries to be what it can't be. It is a Chinese-based party and should not pretend that it is not.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chinese Press: Tunku Aziz and DAP's Paradise Lost

John Milton's Paradise Lost is an epic poem based on stories from the Bible, written by one of the greatest English poets. It's about the battle between Satan and God's Angels, between good and bad, Adam and Eve, the desire for Freedom and the lost of innocence, among other things. It is interesting to see how my old friend Tay Ting Hean of Sin Chew is lost for words in his analysis of the Tunku Aziz's fall from grace in the DAP, so much so he had to depend on Milton to help him with the breakdown of the problems.

Tiga tahun lalu, Tengku Abdul Aziz masuk parti DAP dengan sambutan ramai orang yang begitu meriah. Inilah kali pertama DAP sejak ia ditubuhkan mencipta sejarah kerana dapat mempengaruhi orang Melayu yang berkedudukan begitu tinggi dan berpengaruh manjadi ahli dalam parti. 
Jawatan Kerusi timbalan presiden diserahkan kepada beliau, supaya dapat mengunakan pengaruh Tengku Abdul Aziz menaikkan kewibawaan DAP, dimana DAP anggap DAP telah bertukar wajah baru, menjadi sebuah parti yang benar-benar terbuka untuk semua kaum, selepas itu tidak lagi takut dituduh sebagai parti Cina chauviis..

I'm not sure how many of use is familiar with Milton's work or the interpretations of Paradise Lost. I'm still wondering: Is Tunku Aziz the Satan in Tay's own Paradise Lost or does that refer to Lim Guan Eng? Who lost, the DAP or Bersih or Tunku Aziz?

What's certain is, something good was lost that day on April 28.

Read in my Little Chinese Bru the translation of Sin Chew Tay's Paradise Lost.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Malaysiakini says sorry to ex-SC chairman and hubby

Kini says sorry to her
Withdraw, Retract, and Apology, x2. It is rare to catch Malaysiakini saying sorry for what it has published but to get a double apology on the same day over the same story from the hard-hitting independent pro-Opposition news site is almost never! But that's exactly what former Securities Commission chairman Zarinah Anwar and husband Azizan Abdul Rahman got today ... Click Apology to Zarinah and Azizan. 

Why the apology does not spell out Zarinah's name in full leaves one wondering, Usually, news organisations pay attention to such details after they have screwed up big time. In any case, it is good to note that news portals are behaving more like mainstream media these days in that they can be convinced to apologize for their /honest mistakes or/and their malice. It's good for the profession.

Now that the Malaysiakini has said sorry for using the Asia Sentinel article, Asia Sentinel should also apologize to Zarinah and Azizan. It's only right.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blogger gets "accident" threat over Bersih postings

Spanking the Monkey blogger Dave Avran lodged a police report in Puchong this morning after getting a "friendly call" from a man who asked him to stop blogging about Bersih's Ambiga or risk an "accident". I've known Avran as a blogger since before I started blogging (in 2006) and can tell you that this guy does not make up stories. So when he told me about the call, I urged him to lodge a police report and ask our friendly Bandar Kinrara cops to check up on him once in a while ...

The call wasn't the only think that got him uneasy. Read Is the Spanker Famous or Infamous?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Time to bring real aviation experts onto MAS board

Bashir, served MAS in the good years
Other than Md Nor Yusof, the chairman himself, the new board of Malaysia Airlines after the share swap and the hurried departure of Tony Fernandes and Din Meranun is now without a single soul that can claim to have even some aviation background in their past endeavors. 

YB Wee Choo Keong, who isn't letting up on his campaign to get all Air Asia "imports" out of MAS management, has proposed that the new Board bring on board some people with aviation knowledge and network. 

He's proposed two names: Tan Sri Aziz Rahman, a former MD of Malaysia Airlines, and Tan Sri Bashir, the Malaysia Airports boss who served MAS during the national carrier's good years.

Aziz .. Has advised foreign airlines
I hear Khazanah is talking about getting an international aviation name on board MAS. Good idea. But only if it doesn't turn its back on the local talents.

Councillors who don't know BM and a certain "powerful MP"

The letter DAP won't publish. The "emperors" in DAP don't tolerate dissent, full stop. Look at what happened to YB Wee Choo Keong. And Lee Lam Thye. As it is, the ex-Transparency International man Tunku Aziz, described not so long ago by the DAP leadership as a Towering Malay when he decided to join the party, belongs to the gutters and is an "embarrassment to the party" for daring to spell out his personal views on Bersih 3.0. 

The emperors are, therefore, not going to be too happy today. The Star has the story of a another "suicidal" DAP chap. His name is Dr Cheah Wing Yin and he is the state assemblyman of Damansara Utama. He has written a letter to Lim Kit Siang and son, Karpal and Dr Chen Man Hin telling them that the four years of Pakatan Rakyat rule in Selangor has been "a comedy of error". Read DAP rep flays Pakatan.

Dr Cheah is unhappy with a few things, including the appointment of a fresh grad as a councilor in the state, DAP councilors who could not write or read Bahasa Melayu, the national language, and a certain "powerful MP" who had "the final say" on the appointment of the councilors. 

The article did not say who the "powerful MP" is but the newspaper made an attempt to contact Selangor DAP chairman YB Teresa Kok, who is the Seputeh MP. As a former editor, I can tell you usually that means that the newspaper knows, or at least suspects, that she is the "powerful MP" meant by Dr Cheah in his stinging letter. 

And usually, when this happens, the emperors will issue a gag order to shut everyone up.

The Felda Settler's Wife

Pix by Hussein, The Mole

According to Big Dog, the traffic jam to Jengka 8 yesterday where the PM was to meet one of the largest gatherings of Felda settlers the country has seen, was 6km-long, at least. It was like Hari Raya. And, indeed, there was a festival-like air over the Felda settlement, people who were there reported. An estimated 40,000 pairs of ears listened to Najib Razak, whose father the late Tun Razak, Malaysia's 2nd Prime Minister, was largely credited for a scheme that today has benefited over 112,000 families and the nation's economy.

To some, RM15,000 may be a small sum. But according to Big Dog, who was there to cover the event for The Mole (read his report here), there were tears and shouts of joy all around him at the Felda settlement. When the PM announced that RM5,000 of the windfall was meant for the wife of the settler, he saw some of the Felda ladies broke down. If you know Big Dog, you will be able to imagine him standing near one of the ladies and, as soon as she looks up to him, he would ask: "Why are you crying?"

It's the recognition the PM is giving to the settler's wife. All this while, it was all about the settler, the settler and the settler. Finally, someone's paying tribute to the sacrifices and hardship of the wives of the settlers.

But only one wife gets the RM5,000. If the settler has two wives or more, pandai2lah dia.

As for the IPO itself, the NST says there is BIG investor interest. 

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Economist on Najib's image after Bersih

More evidence is crawling out of cyberspace about what really sparked the violence at the end of Bersih 3 on April 28. In the clip above, Azmin Ali's words and intentions were as clear as day.

Even The Economist had to concede that Najib Razak's reputation as a reformist has remained intact despite Bersih 3.0:

Mr Anwar had some explaining of his own to do. He was caught on video near one of the police barricades talking to one of his colleagues; critics allege that he was inciting supporters to push aside the barriers. Mr Anwar himself says this is nonsense. 
Either way, it is clear that Bersih won’t be able to dominate the moral high ground—at least not on the score of one weekend’s theatrics—as they did last year. The campaign for electoral reform goes on, but Mr Najib emerges from this year’s fracas with his reformist credentials essentially intact, not much worse for the wear. - READ MORE
Read also Sin Chew vs The Economist, views on Bersih

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Xenophon, we know what you did on April 28

Mr X showing a finger
OZ lawmaker was breaking the law of THIS land! And who happened to invite this Australian lawmaker to Malaysia during the Bersih 3 riots? Correct anwswer, Anwar Ibrahim. Why was he invited here? Did he have a hand in starting the mayhem on April 28? Did he beat up any of our police officers? As a lawmaker, surely he knew that as a non-citizen, he had no right to take part Bersih 3 or any assembly in Malaysia.

I hope the authorities don't place Xeno above our laws. Since he's going to sue NST already, well, see him in court!

Thanks again to SatD for his timely legal input and extraordinary research. We need an AG like him. Go to his blog HERE to leave your comments..

p.s. We also now know that this close pal of our Opposition leader is a great anti-oil palm campaigner (go to this article from Oil Palm Truth Foundation, thanks to some serious research work by Pasquale in Nicholas Xenophony of Australia campaigns to label Malaysian palm oil as unsafe ... and he is a good friend of Brother Anwar Bin Ibrahim?!!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Where were the batons during Bersih 3?

This image of a cop defending himself - and public peace - with his baton has stayed on my mind since Labour Day, when the picture was taken during an Occupy Wall Street demo in New York. Read here. I was wondering why our "riot" police during Bersih 3 did not look this impressive. 

Someone pointed out that our cops did not have their batons. The IGP had instructed batons to be taken away form every policeman covering Bersih 3, it seems. Betul ke? No can do, IGP. Next time you want to send in your boys to meet a mob, equip them with the basics at least.

No wonder the cops used their legs and fists, just like the Bersih thugs.

Tunku Aziz to Bersih organisers: "You are no angels"

Tunku Aziz had warned all of them. The DAP newcomer said Bersih 3 would lead to mob violence. They wouldn't listen. They gave him hell. They told him to stay at home and play with his grand kids. DAP big boss' son Lim Guan Eng found it apt to openly reprimand the old man, told everyone that the statement by the Melayu had "embarrassed" the party.

Then the mob did get violent. Like all mass street protests anywhere in the world, things got out of hand.

Now Tunku Aziz tells Bersih organisers: you guys are no angels so don't blame others for the violence that erupted during Bersih 3. Orang Melayu kata: Itulah, tak dengar cakap orang tua-tua. Listen to your elders. Respect them.

Read The MOLE's interview with a defiant Tunku Aziz, post Bersih 3.0

Another old man - THE old man - has just written about Bersih 3. He said if elections in our country were not clean and fair, how is it that the ruling party has never been able to wrest Kelantan from PAS? Why did it lose Sabah? Penang in 1969 and again in 2008? How could it lose FIVE STATES and the two-thirds majority just in the last general elections?
13. So why the demonstrations and the demands for the elections to be clean and fair? Well should the opposition lose in the States or at the Federal levels, then one can safely assume that the opposition will claim that the Government had not conducted the elections fairly, that the Government cheated. 
14. There would then be more demonstrations, perhaps bigger and more violent ...
Read Dr M's Bersih 3. Sometimes we must listen to our elders.

Stupid Stupefied. Still on Bersih 3, you've got to watch and listen to this exchange between one of the Bersih 3.0 leaders ( who is now on the police WANTED list) and an expat journalist.

Footage courtesy for Dr Novandri.

Serve the yellow* bitch right. And so much for Bersih respecting us journalists! Good for the dude. I hear he is an expat who's been a photographer for one of the foreign wire agencies. Not really sure what went on earlier but the Malaysian woman spewing expletives and racist remarks was totally stupefied by his response in crisp Bahasa Melayu. I suspect she can't hold a conversation in BM.

* reference to t-shirt colour, not skin

Friday, May 04, 2012

Xenophony gets an apology

Lessons from NST's Correction, Clarfication and Apology to Nick Xenophon. Remember The West Australian's reckless report about our PM last November? The above was how The West Australian admits it erred. Short, impersonal and not even an apology (and, yet, apology accepted).

Early this week, the New Straits Times published a report quoting an MP, which contained a piece of information about Nick Xenophon that turned out to be wrong. So NST did the needful: it quickly published a correction. Plus a retraction. And an apology! It even deleted the said article from its online site. In short, the whole works!

The NST's correction, retraction, and apology:

And who the hell is this Nick Xenophon, again? He isn't even a Minister, just a Member of Parliament of Australia. The reason he was in the news was because he was made the leader of this group of international election inspectors invited to Malaysia by Anwar Ibrahim. Despite being what The Malaysian Insider described as "a known close associate of Anwar Ibrahim", Xenophon insisted we Malaysians believe in his independence!

How did the "mistake" come about?
One detects no malice in the NST report: A Malaysian MP cited Xenophon's speech that appeared anti-Islam. It turned out that some Internet rascal had doctored that speech and distributed it. The NST reported what the MP said. It may have checked and double-checked but obviously it did not triple-check the authenticity of the statement purportedly made by Xenophon.

The point is, the NST DID NOT replace the word "scientology" with "Islam", it was merely quoting a statement made by a lawmaker. The Malaysian Insider's report (below) is, therefore, both erroneous and, perhaps, even malicious.

A mistake the NST made is easy to commit these days. The admission that one has made a mistake, like the one the NST made - overboard and grovelling at times - takes sincerity and guts.

I almost fell for it (the doctored Xenophon speech). See the comments section of my 26 April posting on Nick Xenophon H E R E.

This particular comment came in from an Anonymous at 11.25pm that day:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bro Rocky,
More about Mr Nicholas Xenophon and his previous remark on Islam. Hope that you can publish it.
Yang ikhlas,
Concerned Ummah 
Excerpt from Andrew Bolt's column Herald Sun Australia (22/2/2011)... 
There is a baying for the blood of Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi for saying this:
“Islam itself is the problem - it’s not Muslims,” he told radio station MTR.
“Muslims are individuals that practise their faith in their own way, but Islam is a totalitarian, political and religious ideology.
“It tells people everything about how they need to conduct themselves, who they’re allowed to marry and how they’re allowed to treat other people.” 
Julia Gillad demands the resignation of Bernardi:
Ms Gillard used Question Time on Monday to call for the heads of Coalition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and outspoken South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi....
Ms Gillard says the politics of the past week have raised the “spectre of One Nation”.
“It is the job of national leadership… to explain to people there is ultimately nothing to be afraid of,...There is another path, and that is seeking to channel that fear and that resentment into political gain… that spectre of that ugly politics. That grubby path is before us again and the principal task of this Parliament this week is to banish that spectre again.”
But here’s the odd thing. I have not seen a single word of criticism from Gillard, Labor, the Greens, the ABC or the Fairfax media for this even nastier attacks from Independent MP Nick Xenephon - attacks in which just one detail has been altered: 
Xenophon adjournment speech, 17 Nov 2009
What we are seeing is a worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality. On the body of evidence this is not happening by accident; it is happening by design. Islam is not a religious organisation. It is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs. What you believe does not mean you are not accountable for how you behave. 
Xenophon questions whether Islam deserves support:
I ask my fellow senators: do these things sound like religious activities to you? Does this sound like an organisation that should be receiving support from the Australian taxpayer in the form of tax exemptions because they claim to be a religion? In the past Islam has claimed that those who question their organisation are attacking the group’s religious freedom. It is twisted logic, to say the least. Religious freedom did not mean the Catholic or Anglican Churches were not held accountable for crimes and abuses committed by their priests, nuns and officials—albeit belatedly. Ultimately, this is not about religious freedom. In Australia there are no limits on what you can believe. But there are limits on how you can behave. It is called the law, and no-one is above it.
So the difference is...? 
11:25 PM

About eight hours 20 hours later, however, another Anonymous left this comment under the same posting to warn others that .. :
Anonymous said...
Nick Xenophon isn't "anti-islam", he is "anti-scientology". Would somebody go back and read the actual speeches?
8:28 PM

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Bar Council's Interim Report on Bersih 3.0

Even the Bar Council, whose boss used to be Ambiga, had to state the obvious about what REALLY happened at Bersih. 

KUALA LUMPUR: A 30-page Malaysian Bar Council interim report about Bersih 3.0 admits that demonstrators had consistently provoked the police.

The council, in a section titled '(ii) Unruly behaviour of the participants', noted that the demonstrators had booed, jeered and insulted with derogatory words but the policemen did not retaliate until after the barricades at Dataran Merdeka were breached.

Read the rest at The Mole, here.

On a much happier note, Nayati Moodliar, 12, has been returned safely to the family. He was rescued from his kidnappers by a police task force  .. NST has the story here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Great Rescue

Updated: Air Asia's Din Meranun on the unwinding of the share swap deal ("to remove any distraction to ongoing efforts") and  on his continued belief in collaboration ("(It) has brought MAS and Air Asia closer together")

Original article:
Inevitably, today Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia unwind their share swap deal made last August. The swap's cancelled. Deal rescinded. 
"A rose, by any name, smells just as sweet," a lawmaker who has been against the share swap from Day One told me. 
Indeed, the majority of MAS employees are said to be partying or holding kenduri doa selamat. They see the announcement as a big Workers' Day gift to them from the government.
Tony Fernandez will be out of MAS Board. So will Kamaruddin Meranun, his partner in Air Asia. Danny, who was made MAS COO after the swap, may most probably go as well. 
But the comprehensive collaborative framework (CCF) that binds the two airlines remains intact. 
Will it work?
Ahmad Jo, the man brought in to turn MAS around following the swap, has a great opportunity to show what he has in terms of transformation plans for the national carrier.
But like YB Wee Choo Keong said in his tweet yesterday, "AJ must be his own man".
What the YB means, I think, is that AJ must lead and cannot be taking the cue from others, especially not Tony, Kamaruddin, Danny, or Khazanah's Azman Mokhtar.
He must put the interest of MAS and the flag before everything else. Above Air Asia's. Above Air Asia X's.
Easier said than done.

Big Dog, one of the biggest critics of the share swap, gives an early thumbs' up to the new deal in Synergizing Comprehensive Collaboration Framework. Syed Akbar Ali won't rest until the Government sacks "the Khazanah idiot" in Robbery at MAS.

More myChinese Perspectives on Bersih 3.0 as a blessing in disguise

China Press, front page, 2 May 2012
Today, even The China Press, which used to be blindly pro-Bersih, has second thoughts. On its front page this morning, the newspaper blows up the stills above (taken from a widely-distributed video footage of the moments when Anwar Ibrahim apparently gave the signal to Azmin to get a PKR thug to start the provocation that forced the police to fight back) and supposes what other Malaysians already know: that Anwar-Azmin started it all.

Also today, in their analyses, several  bloggers who had supported the original Bersih in 2007 are convinced that Bersih 3.0 was used by the usual suspects in Malaysia to effect a "regime change" by means of violent uprising the likes that the world has witnessed in the Middle East. Helen Ang, a Malaysian who is proud to be ethnically Chinese, writes: Bersih 3.0 Aiming at Regime Change.

Miss Ang, in her posting, came to the defence of The Star columnist Joceline Tan, who's been shelled by DAP Chinese for her article A Big Crowd _ And Big Problems.  

If you're wondering why I've been focusing on the Chinese "angle" to Bersih, it is because of the view that Bersih 3.0 got a lot more support from Malaysian Chinese compared with the 2.0 last year and the original one in 2007. Quoting Prof James Chin of Monash University Sunway Campus: 
“Check the international reporting that day — the key words were rioting, mob, violence. The core message of Bersih was lost."
I don't think any Malaysian Chinese liked what he saw that day. 

p.s. Talk about international reporting, check out the Montreal-based anti-war Global Research's report "The US-sponsored protest movement in Malaysia" picked up by The Mole earlier today.

Updated: And from Nuraina Samad's blog, a look at Occupy Wall Street which inspired some of our people to do the OccupyDataran. Note the similarities ..

“How can anyone take them seriously? They look like homeless people,” quipped Financial District bartender Kimberly Leo.
“I saw one woman complaining about not having a job, but she had a shirt with the word “nympho” on it,” Leo, 26, said. “These people need a change of wardrobe and a shower.”
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/ows_bums_6HKLpTatoPDLCMZ7F5IXjI#ixzz1thfJHZZ5