Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sabah Game

I know a lot of people are hoping that Lajim and Bumburing will be the real thing. I read on Twitter, the Malaysiakini boss Premesh publicly prayed it wouldn't be yet another "fake dawn". Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry to tell you that Sabah has not only produced greater politicians than the two, the state has also manufactured a lot more explosive political events. Lajim and Bumburing holding hands with Anwar Ibrahim is no great shake by Sabah's standard.

As this simple piece by The Choice says it, the Lajim-Bumburing twins, they are no game changers.

Read the whole article h e r e.

It's now Tun Razak Exchange

KL's coming of age. Don't you think it has a nice ring to it - Tun Razak Exchange? That's what the KL international financial district will be called from today. And it's good to know that TRX is not just about a collection of tall, intelligent buildings in an already very concrete city centre, and billions pumped in by rich investors. There's more spirit to it: Parks. Walks. And jobs. 500,000 good jobs with over 100 global companies that will call TRX home. At the launch, Najib Razak dubbed it "the future of our economic growth". At the end of the project, KL will be join the list of 20 most livable cities in the world. Can 1MDB deliver? Can KL do it? I don't see why not. Do you?

p.s. I bumped into former Mayor of KL, the man who made KL City Hall so profitable it should have been listed on the Bursa [RM2.56 billion in the bank when he left, according to The Edge] , and a supporter of the TRX idea. Ahmad Fuad Ismail is still "jobless" but he won't be for long, I guess. Business and political acumen like his is a rare commodity.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A no go logo

A logo paints a thousand words, too. In the case of the 55th Merdeka logo, words like "ghastly", "hedious", "amateurish", and "low class" [read Age of Extinction]. All over the social media, supporters from both sides of the political fence have given a double thumbs down to the proposed 55th Merdeka logo. One pro-Pakatan activist called it "the worst ever". 

A good sign, if you really want something positive out of it. It means Malaysians care and they want the best to be associated with their Independence Day celebrations. 

Some of the bloggers are going after Rais Yatim as if the Information Minister had created the unwanted logo himself, though. Did he? 

He did say that as in last year, there will be no official Hari Merdeka logo for this year, h e r e.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why don't they want us to watch this movie?

Watched the trailer? It's a film by Shuhaimi Baba, award-winning director, local movie industry's legend-in-the-making, credible, patriotic. After Tanda Putra, add brave and balls to her list of accolades.

Some say the movie's about events surrounding May 13, 1969, the bloody racial riots that have marked Malaysia's nationhood. Others say it is about the life and times of Tun Abdul Razak, the man who shaped Malaysia into a progressive developing nation, a great Prime Minister. Either way, I don't see why any one should want to stop it from being screened. 

People are talking about it on Facebook h e r e.  

I missed the preview for the media the other day. Some reviews and discussions:

Show Tanda Putra by Seademon
Why Delay The Release ..? by A Voice
If It's Good, It Sells, by Big Dog
Official trailer by Dimensi
Sinopsis Tanda Putra by Anizyn

Najib: When I'm 64 (%)

Merdeka Centre, which some say is closely aligned to Anwar Ibrahim's camp, has come out with latest survey findings on Malaysia's politics, ie the popular ratings of the Prime Minister and his army. Despite a decline in the respondents' satisfaction with Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition that Najib Razak leads, they are happy with the man, according to the Malaysian Insider in Populariti Najib Stabil, BN Turun 6 Peratus. But Anwar Ibrahim insists, through one of his many mouthpieces (The Malaysian Chronicle) that because Najib's 64 per cent ratings is far lower than Pak Lah's peak of 71 per cent, therefore, The End is Near. Hehe.

Some people take MC seriously. We are reminded by Jahabar Sadiq in the Malaysian Insider article of how Pak Lah had called for the General Election soon after his sensational 71 per cent popularity poll by the Merdeka Centre and, well, the rest is history ...

Back then, Harakah didn't buy it when MC gave Pak Lah the 71 per cent marks. Read Abdullah Badawi tidak popular, kajian Merdeka Centre lemah. They turned out to be so right. 

So, be aware of what they want you to believe.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ah, their mind games on Hudud

Karpal's Conviction: Over my dead body!

Blogger Bujai has a once-and-for-all solution to the DAP vs PAS heaven and hell war/jihad over hudud: Nik Aziz, Hadi, Husam and all should walk out of Pakatan Rakyat. Because they are not going to get past Karpal Singh with this hudud idea. Ever. And if you can't even get your own little pact to agree on hudud, how do you sell the dream to an entire nation?

If PAS decides to stay put in PR, then they should accept that they are not going anywhere with hudud. Don't mess up with our heads with statements like this.

So, I agree totally with Bujai: Either PAS drops it or leave PR!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Najib's sincerity is showing, what about the rest of you?

"They responded as robots would do, it's all so predictable. Whenever Najib makes a major announcement, Lim Kit Siang and several of his people would ask the government to show sincerity ... Well (with the proposed abolition of the Sedition Act), Najib has displayed his sincerity, indeed ..." - Chang Loong Yan
Nanyang Siangpau is not known for pro-Najib Razak reporting. None of the Chinese newspapers are. Reason? Simple: you sell more copies the harder you hit the government. This is true with most mainstream newspapers not just in Malaysia but everywhere else in the world.

But once in a while, you get a piece that goes against the grain, like this one (translated) Nanyang: Najib's sincerity coming through, what about the Lims and Karpal?

The writer is critical of the Opposition leaders who oppose for the sake of opposing even when what the PM is doing is obviously sincere and in the interest of the country. The writer is referring specifically to the National Harmony Act which Najib said will replace the Sedition Act. But Lim & Lim and Karpal aren't the only ones who are slow in admitting something good that comes out of our opponents' doing. Many of us find that to condemn is easier.

Ismail's witch-hunt

Updated: "It's routine," Ismail Sabri tells a blogger. The Mole has the story here.

Original posting:
Ismail: Unhappy with poor turnout
"This is vendetta ..." The Hari Koperasi Negara 2012's fiasco - if you can even call it that - is nearly two weeks old but the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister's fury rages on this holy month of Ramadhan. I was told that Ismail Sabri Yaacob is so enraged by the flop of the  13-15 July event at the National Stadium Bukit Jalil officiated by the Prime Minister that he has recommended the sacking of both the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia Executive Chairman and Deputy Executive Chairman.

"It's crazy. This is vendetta. This kind of injustice will not go down well with the civil servants," a senior cooperative individual told me.

At the Cabinet last week, Ismail was said to have apologized to PM Najib Razak on behalf of the "bungling civil servants" and promised to take action. I'm not sure if the PM would agree with his Minister's tactics if he knew, though.

24-hour transfer for four state directors. I've been told that: "Thus far, 5 Directors of the  have been transferred within 24 hours on 16 July 2012 and several more will be following suit as a result of the current investigation set up by the Controlling Officer (the Ministry's secretary-general). The The Cooperative Commission's State Directors affected in the 24-hour transfer orders are from Kedah, Pahang, Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan while one Director of a Division from the HQ has also been moved out. Altogether, 5 Directors have been transferred within 24 hours without the opportunity to make a presentation of their innocence. It is also believed that the Executive Chairman and the Deputy Executive Chairman were also recommended to be terminated of their appointment with immediate effect or reduction of salary (potong gaji) upon the finalisation of the current investigation by the Ministry's Special task Force."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hisham's League of Ordinary People against Crime

I've got quite a few mails and smses complaining about Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's intent on roping in expat Shamelin, the father of kidnapped Dutch boy Nayati, to help KDN to fight crime. I don't think the dude can do much but, hey, every help counts. If he's volunteering his service, who are we to question him or Hisham's good intent? The Minsiter has made it clear [read here] that it's not an exclusive invitation to Shamelin. “Anyone who feels they can contribute is welcomed.” 

So what are you waiting for, an invitation card?

AMBER Alert in progress
Deja Vu. In 2007, several ordinary people got together to set up Citizens for Nurin Alert [Nurin stands for Nationwide Urgent Response Information Network) after the abduction of Nurin Jazlin from near her home in 2007. One of them was Nurin's uncle. The uncle was not an expert in crime (he worked in a bank) but his insights were damn useful. We roped in other bloggers, parents, NGOs and our proposal was finally adopted by the Government in 2009 as Nur (Nationwide Urgent Response) Alert. None of the ordinary people who worked on the Nurin Alert was ever invited to sit on Nur Alert or work with the authorities concerned. But that's okay. What's not okay is this: Nur Alert isn't working as well as it should.

Two or three weeks ago, I was told by a journalist that several NGOs were reviewing the Nur Alert. One of their suggestions was to place the child abduction alert system under the Home Ministry. As fate would have it, I bumped into one of the NGO reps [who wishes not to be identified] at Bangsar Shopping Centre and she told me about the idea. Then last week, Jalan Sudin and I (we were both on the Nurin Alert effort) were invited to meet up with reps from these NGOs, along with several individuals who have started Facebook campaigns to fight crime, to talk about what we could do to help.

Deja vu. But back then we were on our own. This time around, there's a Minister who's willing to take the initiative to get the concerned ordinary people and fight this together. That's hope ...

Is Nurul Izzah working for Amcop now?

Serving the people. The other day, I went into the Malaysiakini CEO's twitter to give my unsolicited two sen's worth about why the disputing MPs of Pakatan Rakyat should just focus on serving the people instead of worrying about winning the (general) election. I am a believer that if an elected rep works hard for the Rakyat, he or she will most likely be re-elected ...

But it is so easy to get carried away once politics has consumed you ,,,

... which brings me to the title of this posting: Is Nurul Izzah working for Amcorp now?

After reading Big Dog's posting Someone should tell Nurul Izzah Ramadan is the month of repentance, I went onto Twitter and asked of the Lembah Pantai MP's real interest in the air traffic system deal. "Is Amcop using her or is she using Amcop?" 

From a layman's point of view, I don't see how or why the contest (or dispute?) between two corporations (Amcop vs AAT?) should concern YB Nurul, especially since "the Malaysian ATC system has shown no ‘air misses’ the past 17 years". Is she kicking a fuss because the son of her daddy's rival works and holds shares in AAT (the company that won the deal) or does she have an interest - direct or indirect - in Amcop? Either way, it is interesting to note that AAT's bid for the project is considerably lower than Amcop's!

As a journalist, it amuses me that while its report Winner of KLIA air traffic system bid not up to standards heavily quotes Nurul Izzah on Amcop and AAT, Premesh's Malaysiakini carries a Editor's note at the end of the article to say that "Malaysiakini has contacted AAT for comment on the latest allegation and is waiting for a response".

Who are the people behind Amcop? Shouldn't Malaysiakini be equally interested in Amcop's response, too?

I am.

p.s. Big Dog seems to think that there is a connection between a consultant of the deal from Aecom with Amcop, the Department of Civil Aviation. Read his posting again h e r e.

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Ramadan


In this holiest of months, may I ask my readers to be holier than usual and be kinder to one another, in deed and in comment. And for the politicians, and their machais, to check their facts before hurling accusations. Tis a good month to start serving the people if you haven't done so all this while as promised ...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Talam and why politicians are not cleverer than "monkey"

Shit you need to know
Talam for Dummies ... is blogger SatD's contribution towards clarity. At the end of the posting, you may agree with him that YB Chua Jr. has got Khalid Ibrahim by the balls even though in actual fact the young man is barking the wrong tree. You will definitely agree with SatD that Khalid Ibrahim should be answering some simple questions the Rakyat have the right to ask. The other politicians (and their machais) who have attempted to explain the Talam scandal (and failed) should read The Talam Debt Settlement for Dummies: Questions for Dummies because this posting is really for them.

p.s. "Monkey" is what blogger SatD sometimes addresses himself. Please jump over to the link above to leave comments.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What's the new SC boss waiting for?

Ranjit: Will he act?
The Talam issue/scandal (or whatever you might want to call it) has been going on for some time now. So why isn't the authorities, especially the Securities Commission, sitting on Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and his corporate buddies from Talam yet, especially in view of allegations that they have misled the SC with regards to some "questionable valuations" on their deal. (source: Stop The Lies). SC chairman Ranjit Ajit would recall that during his predecessor's reign, journalists were hauled up by the SC for much less! 

EPF withdrawal scare explained

"EPF wihdrawal stays at 55 even if the retirement age is extended to 60 years old." - Nik Effendi Nik Jaafar, EPF PR boss

The NST report today

Good for the New Straits Times for being quick correct the news that appeared in the Star quoting Donald Lim, the deputy MoF, that EPF contributors would have to wait till they are 60 to withdraw their EPF money (read full story here).  The news should have been big on Page 1 instead of buried in Page 11 but still, I am sure it is a big relief to many, including my good friend Outsyed the Box and his reader Mr Lee [EPF Withdrawal and Chinese Votes.]. And me.

Lessons? Politicians ought to check their facts before they open their mouth. Because not all journalists do. Last month Human Resources Minister S. Subramaniam had already made a statement that there would be NO change in the EPF withdrawal age despite the government's decision to raise the retirement age to 60. Donald,please  read the story here (published in the Star some more!).

The NST story:

EPF withdrawal remains at 55

THE Employees Provident Fund said the age for full withdrawal from the fund will remain at 55 although retirement age for private sector employees will be raised to 60 years, following the passing of the Minimum Retirement Age Bill 2012 last month.
EPF public relations manager Nik Effendi Nik Jaafar said after taking into consideration feedback from members, the government will not make any amendment at this point in time.
"EPF wihdrawal stays at 55 even if the retirement age is extended to 60 years old," Nik Effendi told the New Straits Times here yesterday.
Nik Effendi was commenting on a report in an English daily which quoted Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai as saying the age for full withdrawal from the EPF by contributors will be raised to 60 years and partial withdrawal to 55.
"It is a consequential move. Once we raise the minimum retirement age, we have to raise the age of EPF withdrawal as well," Lim was quoted as saying.
Currently, contributors can make partial EPF withdrawal at 50 and full withdrawal of their savings upon retirement at 55.
However, Lim was reported as saying EPF was looking at providing a transition period for contributors who have already planned to withdraw their contributions within the next few years.
"We have not finalised the transition period, but it will be between three and five years," he said adding that during this period, contributors who reached the age of 55 could still make full withdrawals.
MTUC secretary-general Abdul Halim Mansor was quoted as saying the union was in the dark about the reported amendment to the Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 to raise the withdrawal age.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scorpene's Friday the Thirteenth

Updated, Fri 13:

Debunking Scorpene Scandal Part VI: Truth on Terasasi
 "... is the "commission" paid to Terasasi by Thales for  €35 million in contravention with the OECD Convention on Bribes? ... The fee percentage works out to less than 3%, below the cap in the OECD Convention. Dig up on your own time to verify..."

Original posting
Did some1 say USD1 billion? Tomorrow, in the final installment of his detailed narration on the Scorpene deal, which I once said will be Suaram's death knell, the blogger Another Brick in the Wall will let us know exactly how much was paid by the French in terms of commission for the deal. The late Altantuya had no role in it whatsoever and the anti-Najib faction will be utterly disappointed. They deserve to be for their obscene gullibility.

Don't miss the conclusion to the story tomorrow, Friday the 13th, h e r e.

The Debunking Scorpene Scandal Series over the last two weeks:

Part V (July 12): Distorting Leaked Documents 
Part IV (July 11): Dramatizing the Courts
Part III (July 5): Questioning Defense Spending
Part II (June 30): Perimekar, a bona fide operation
Part I (June 28): Sensationalizing Altantuya

p.s. I understand that others are waiting to tell their side of the stories, too. We have not heard from the French. And Razak Baginda has not spoken out since his acquittal. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, meanwhile, has done some serious probing ...

It's Felda PLC, no politics please

The train has left without Mazlan Aliman, the politically-ambitious son of a Felda settler and he is now even more desperate. Most of the 112,000 settlers did not support Mazlan and have reason to be happy with their decision to go with the Felda IPO, which turned out to be a success. Just read the article by the WSJ, which is not known to be supportive of the Malaysian IPO. Yes, even the Wall Street Journal had to admit that Felda's looking good.

Mazlan Aliman and his political sponsors will continue to spew their blatant lies right up to PRU13. Mazlan Aliman will no doubt be fielded by Pakatan Rakyat in one of the Felda constituencies and he will undoubtedly lose. The Felda settlers aren't stupid. They need not read the Wall Street Journal to know Felda shares are doing well, the prospects are good, and a lot of it has got to do with - as the WSJ article underscores - government support. Why would they throw all that away for the sake of some politicians?

Personally, I hope the PM does not have to defend Felda from Malik Aliman ever again. That task should be left to the reps elected by the people in the Felda constituencies. So far, they have not done much at all.  Now that Felda is a public listed company, these MPs and Aduns should be more involved. They should be the ones to put politicians like Mazlan Aliman in their place. Leave the management of Sabri Ahmad, the group's president, to focus on taking the Felda train places [read Felda Global venturing into Africa next year.]

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Doc!

Mahathirism? Only in Kit Siang's head, says the man
On the eve his 87th birthday, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote in his blog [The fears of Kit Siang] that Mahathirism is dead and gone, that the concept lives only in the mid of Lim Kit Siang. 
"I wonder why Kit Siang is so afraid of me, what he calls Mahathirism. 
"I don't know what is Mahathirism but obviously it conjures in the mind of Kit Siang something fearful. 
"So, he has declared his intention to fight Mahathirism." 
"I don't care whether he destroys Mahathirism or not. It is an exercise in futility as Mahathirism is a figment of his imagination. 
"He should not be afraid of this toothless tiger, figuratively speaking,"
We know why Kit Siang was very afraid of Dr Mahathir. He had good reasons to be. But now Dr M is no longer PM. In fact, next year will be a full decade since he stepped down. 

Happy Birthday Dr M. 

Khazanah big Gun under probe [Updated & Clarified]

Update & Clarification: A source very close to Khazanah has told me that talk of a probe into the Pantai-Parkway deal was hogwash. Neither Khazanah nor its senior Indian exec is under MACC investigation. I have also checked with a source close to MACC, who said there's no record of such a probe.
My statement that "Khazanah Nasional should be vindicated with the listing of IHH Healthcare Bhd, the world's third largest IPO this year", remains true.
In view of this clarification, I'm obliged to close the comment section and not publish the comments that readers have sent.

Original posting:
Khazanah Nasional should be vindicated with the listing of IHH Healthcare Bhd, in what is the world's third largest IPO this year (after Facebook and Felda). The nucleus of the whole deal was the Pantai-Parkway deal, brokered during the Badawi administration. Faithful readers of this blog would remember the series of postings I did on that deal. But this isn't about "I told you so". I am just wondering if this is good brinkmanship on the part of Khazanah, or is something rotten going to emerge soon? Because talk is a senior Indian official at Khazanah Nasional has been interviewed twice by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commisison (MACC). Talk also is that he might know how a substantial amount of money from the Pantai-Parkway deal had gone and if the sum had gone to a mysterious third party linked to the infamour 4th Floor then.

The probe is not likely to affect the IPO, though. If anything, it should increase investors' confidence in the exercise!

Monday, July 09, 2012

No Summon, No Cry (Against Defenders of Traffic Criminals)

Traffic rules are easier than ABC even a child understands

I don't know about you but I try hard to avoid getting a saman. I don't see the point of paying RM150 for parking in a N0 PARKING zone just because I can. In order to avoid getting the saman, I don't beat the red light, I don't double park, I try not to break the speed limit, and I make sure I have a valid driving license and road tax. The result: I haven't been getting a ticket for I don't know how long.

Now if you are a Rempit and don't respect the traffic light, you double park as if your bapak's road and treat the highway like an F1 circuit, and then you get caught and are issued traffic summons and may face harsher penalties, I am sorry you will not get any sympathy from me.

Rempit Hero. Unfortunately, we do have politicians who are coming to support these Rempits. Politicians like Bill Leong (left). He is telling you that there's an evil conspiracy to saman all of us, and that half the money collected will go to some private concern linked to a political party
 What he should be telling us is simple: Don't break the law and you won't get any traffic summon.

Meet Bill Leong in Break no law, get no ticket.
Essential reading: Defenders of Traffic Criminals vs Our Fight against Crime

Friday, July 06, 2012


"We are strictly a non-political non-religious color blind citizen’s initiative who care enough to lobby for the safety of all Malaysians in general and females in particular. We are campaigning for safer car parks, safer streets, and the right to be safe in and outside our own homes."
Hats off to blogger Dave Avran [Spanking the Monkey/his Facebook] for initiating MARAH: Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch. Marah is Malay for "anger". Dave's MARAH has drawn a huge following with over 500 people having signed the petition. And it's only one week since it was set up and Dave hasn't even got any kind of promo on tv or radio or the newspapers, so that's quite fantastic, I'd say.

When I met Dave at Rusdi Mustapha's book launch (Malaysian Graffiti) in Bangsar yesterday, he was angry. Not at the police (like some people) but at the criminals, the crooks. Dave told me he wants to help the police and he hopes that MARAH will be of some use to inspire society to help the cops fight crime.

Does he think crime rate is down? Yes, but Dave says all of us must do more to make sure goes further down ...

If you want to support this initiative, click H E R E. M A R A H

Thursday, July 05, 2012

KLIA2: Tony lambasts Najib over Tony's claim

In Low Class Operator, blogger Big Dog mauls Tony Fernandes for his bitching about KLIA2 in What's with the new terminal? (or "terminal illness", as he refers to it on his Twitter). Big Dog does not have to work with or for Malaysia Airports to know that KLIA2 is state-of-the-art and value for money. He compares the cost of building KLIA2 (250,000sq metres, RM5 billion) with Heathrow's Terminal 5 (350,000 sq metres, £4.2 billion). 
KLIA2 - Tony's Fiasco or Malaysia's state-of-the-art?
YB Tony Pua is already taking the cue from Tony Fernandes and has demanded that PM Najib Razak investigate the claim made by his namesake of the RM5 billion "fiasco". An word tired from abuse, fiasco, but I don't think both Tonys care as long as it serves their purpose.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Selangor Darul Talam

SHAH TALAM, July 4: As one who will vote in Selangor in PRU13, I was quite interested to read about Selangor's Super RM1 billion deal fiasco and Super Crony, to see if there was any solid details in the accusations, or if it's just political hogwash. You have to admit that the relationship between the Selangor state government and Talam Corporation has been rather mysterious. Talam is the property company that former GLC boss Khalid Ibrahim "rescued" almost as soon as he was made Menteri Besar of the state after PRU12 in 2008. The knee-jerk quick response from the state government to threaten MCA with a super lawsuit for bringing the RM1 billion deal up, however, has made the matter more intriguing. Now everyone is interested to know more.

I have some experience with Talam. Bought their house in Lestari Puchong a few years ago. There were some defects and so we naturally brought the matter to them. Offered pittance so we brought it up to a tribunal, which awarded us a fair sum which was substantially more than Talam had offered us. Haven't been paid a single sen till this day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

MAS' turning point and a case for a new Malaysian low-cost airline

Updated, 4 July: Perhaps Aireen Omar had not hit Malaysia Airports hard enough, so her boss Tony Fernandes has to take matters into his own hands on his blog today.
Tony: I am proud to be Malaysian and want this country to excel. But an undependable airport operator does no one any favours, not least when our neighbours are taking aggressive steps to tap into the rapid growth of low-cost carriers.
Read Tony's What's with the new terminal?

Original posting
Aireen's pic by BT
AirAsia CEO Aireen Omar's teasing words about the possibility of the low-cost carrier NOT moving to KLIA2 next March [Air Asia has LCCT back-up plan - Business Times, July 2] should not be taken lightly. In fact, the authorities should start thinking really hard about that actually happening, especially so after Tony Fernandes' unexpected move out of Malaysia to make Jakarta his regional hub which, according to Business Times, means lesser role for its KL headquarters

What's our Plan B if Aireen and Tony actually decide to turn their backs on KLIA2? Part of the new airport was conceived with AirAsia in mind, after all. Who will fill the vacuum? Can that void be occupied?

The answer is obvious: air traffic will grow with or without Air Asia, with or without Tony Fernandes. If Aireen decides to move to KK or Kuching, welll and good; if she thinks only "virtual hub Changi" is good enough for her, well, good luck. Malaysia and Malaysians have done so much to help Air Asia grow and be where it is today, a Malaysian-born carrier that went from being bullied to being the bully (or so some say) and on their part AirAsia and Tony Fernandes have enabled many Malaysians to fly by making flying more affordable. 

But let's be realistic: you need to fill up KLIA2. In fact, whether or not AirAsia moves to KLIA2, the country should be looking at giving birth to another low-cost carrier to cater to demand. Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, the former Malaysia Airlines boss, made the suggestion not too long ago, before Tony Fernandes announced the move to Jakarta. Read the forum MAS should venture into low cost airlines like SIA (Tiger) and Qantas (Jetstar). 

Actually, it doesn't have to be MAS. Anyone can start a low cost airline.

Syed Mokhtar, for example, can do that easily. He already has an airport in Senai ...

(Should be continued ...)
Cont'd 12.15pm
The A380 at KLIA from Toulouse

It doesn't have to be Syed Mokhtar, of course. You can stretch a man just so far and wide and that man has enough on his plate, if you ask me. And Malaysia is not short of talents, they just need to be given their windows of opportunity to build on their dreams. Just like Tony Fernandes was given his by Dr Mahathir, but that's an old story...

There is no need to fully liberalize the aviation sector yet, just open up enough for a few more players to take advantage of the rising worldwide demand for low-cost travel. Like it or not, the Government needs to do what it has failed to do for the last decade: protect MAS against unfair competition. It is our national airline. It's worth saving.

I see the A380, which made its maiden flight to London on July 1, as a huge turning point for MAS. So I think Tony isn't the only one who was relieved Najib Razak put a stop to the share swap between MAS and AA [read here]; MAS boss Ahmad Jauhari should be delighted, too, though you won't catch him saying it in public. AJ, who came into MAS AFTER the share swap had been decided by Air Asia and Khazanah Nasional, now has the chance to prove his mettle, without Tony and Air Asia but with the tools, government support and the A380s (MAS is to take delivery of its second plane this month, I was told by Big Dog who flew on the ferry flight  from Toulouse with 90 others last week; read New MH hits the market ...). All he needs now is the confidence of all his staff. With that confidence -  and given a level playing field - MAS can compete with the best of them out there.

Monday, July 02, 2012

A heads-up for the still-new NSTP head honcho

More updates, 3/7/12 noon:
In defence of Jalil Hamid, by Big Cat
In defence of Jalil Hamid by Jalil Hamid

Updated 1.15pm xxx This just came in: In Support of the Dismissal of Tan Sri Abu Bakar by ABITW

Original Posting: 
I should not be bad-blogging New Straits Times Press, my former employer, but I am concerned that the pro-Establishment bloggers are starting to feel the old itch with regards to the pro-Establishment newspaper group NSTP, especially its Group Managing Editor Jalil Hamid. Treat this as just a friendly nudge for an old journo friend. These guys may be pro-BN but they have proven time and time again to have it in them to be very critical of BN leaders and their machais when they become harmful or useless to the party and leadership.

My advice: Engage.


The days when newspaper editors know best are long over.

Perhaps these bloggers have a point.
Ketua Pengarang NST/BH patut letak jawatan!
KUALA LUMPUR: Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan NST/BH, Dato Jalil Abdul Hamid telah sabotaj persediaan pilihanraya Perdana Menteri merangkap Pengerusi BN dan Presiden UMNO, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak dan sepatutnya dipecat di atas pengkhianatan ini.
Sabotaj ini dilakukan dengan melaporkan kenyataan bekas Ketua Pengarah Perkhidmatan Awam (KPPA) Dato Abu Bakar Abdullah seolah beliau dianiaya dipecat dari jawatan dan membantu menimbulkan salahfaham dan keresahan dikalangan kakitangan awam. 
More at The Unspinners H E R E

New KSN (m), New PSD Chief (F)
Well if you all recall, the PSD had almost on its own accord engineered the passing and implemention of a new remuneration scheme which was insanely biased towards high ranking Civil Servants. While high ranking Civil Servants were to get thousands of Ringgits in salary increments,  the lowest ranks.were given ridiculously stupid salary increases as low as  RM10.00. This not only caused a great hue and cry but also terribly embarrassed the Gomen and the PM. To the extent that the PM had to flip flop the issue, cancel the silly salary increment   and re-announce another salary scheme which was better received by the Civil Servants, especially the huge majority of lower ranks in the Civil Service.
More at OutSyed The Box h e r e