Friday, February 28, 2014

Blame your friends at YTL not Umno, Tony

".. 1MDB’s proposed site for the power plant — next to its existing 1,400MW coal-fired power plant in Jimah — means the new plant would be closer to an injection point where the power generated can be channeled into the national grid. In comparison YTL Power had proposed a site in Tanjung, Johor, is reportedly three times farther from an injection point compared to 1MDB’s site, which means a greater distance of transmission in turn leading to higher transmitted energy losses." - 1MDB wins RM11bil Track 3B Power Plant ProjectKinibiz 28 Feb 2013

Where YTL Power went wrong. YB Tony Pua won't be happy with the news. The DAP leader was openly campaigning for YTL to win the project instead of 1MDB simply based on the fact that YTL Power's bid was lower (read my 19.2 posting Tony Pua a YES man?). I don't expect him to take this bad news lying down.

But as the article explains, there are other factors to be taken into account when awarding such a massive project. Even in the best case scenario, according to previous media reports, YTL Power's bid price would end up higher than 1MDB's bid price. Kinibiz also pointed out that YTL Power was also the only bidder whose proposed location was not within the country's major load centres. Industry players have estimated between 2 and 5 per cent transmission losses.

Moral of the story? Politicians should stop making a fool of themselves. They should stick to things they know and which will help them serve the people better. Those corporate boys can more than look after themselves.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

OTW Mekah

On Two Wheels. Lately, I haven't been blogging as regularly as I wanted to. Two reasons: 
1. It's been frustratingly difficult to access my own blog. 
2. My proposed motorcycle trip from KL to Ka'bah is demanding more and more of my time and focus as the ETD [March 14] draws closer. 
Who has been attacking our blogs? Tok Scribe is the latest of our top bloggers who have been facing queer problems with their blogs in the last few weeks. Readers are also facing problems trying to get into Helen Ang, Apanama, and OutSyed The Box's blogs, among others. Are we "under attack"? The MCMC told one of us, "there's no such thing, that it could be a) issues related to reception/line or b) problems with Blogspot, the enabler that is used by the bloggers affected". In other words, the MCMC had nothing to do with the strange phenomenon. Wallahualam.  
The Triumph Explorer
The Road to Mecca. Most bikers dream of doing that long-distance journey at least once: of spending days, weeks or even months on the road and in their saddles munching miles and chasing the horizon. Since I first rode a motorcycle legally in 1977, I've ridden in Singapore and Malaysia and I have done test rides in Italy, Spain and Germany but never gotten to do that adventure-touring stuff. By the time I hit the half-century mark, though, I started to think less and less of it.  
Yet, here I am suddenly making preparations for this trip that will take me on my Triumph through Thailand, Laos, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Chechnya, Georgia, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Nine bikes and a 4-men motley crew, 18,000 km take or minus a few clicks, 65 days ...  
Yesterday we had our final briefing, did some off-road crash course, and rode together for a little over 100 miles. By the end of the day - one afternoon, actually - and I was exhausted! This week the visas are being readied, there'll be vaccines to take, the laptop to repair, the holy Umrah course to attend. It's kinda cool for a biker to quote the saying: "It's not the destination but the journey". In my case, however, it is the destination that draws me into this sojourn; the journey itself should be an awesome bonus.  
More on the Wasatiyyah-Holy Land Expedition on this blog later ...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tony Pua a YES man?

Biting the hand that feeds it? The prolific anonymous Life of Annie is convinced that editors at the The Edge are also taking sides in trying to help YTL win the RM11 billion project against 1MDB. Read Manoeuvring for big money on the political front. Some commentors seem taken aback at the suggestion that DAP could be susceptible to the unholy alliance with corporations but not veteran journo the Scribe. "The PR parties, the DAP in particular, have become very close to corporate tycoons since they took over Penang and Selangor," he writes (see my comment box).
Pro-YTL or anti-1MDB?
Original piece 
YB Tony Pua's unabashed support for YTL Corp's bid for a multi-billion ringgit power project hasn't gone unnoticed. Why has the two-term DAP Member of Parliament decided to do his bidding for the Independent Power Producer (IPP) that he and his party had been so vehemently against before the general election?  
The financial blog Benchmark, in it's latest posting People's Hero or Corporate Champion?, questions Pua's real motivation for speaking up for YTL 
 "Maybe we need to refresh Mr Pua's memory a little ... YTL was the first among the blood-sucking first generation IPPs to sign the punishing, lop-sided PPAs with TNB in 1995 that guaranteed its power plants returns of 20% for a period of 21-year." 
Benchmark says Pua's contention that YTL deserved to win the project because its bid was lower than 1MDB doesn't hold water. 
"Let me spell it out for Mr Pua: YTL brings in nominally lower bid for (the project) but with additional cost in hundreds millions ringgits to be borne by Tenaga and the Government, for a plant that will have inferior machinery ... at the expense of the Rakyat."  
Benchmark seems to be in the know. So, why are we REALLY championing YTL, YB Pua? 
p.s. Before anyone accuses me of being anti-YTL, this posting is done on a YES-powered Samsung Chromebook. YTL is the company that owns YES, supposedly the country's first 4-G broadband provider. My home runs on Maxis, though.

The Malaysiakini report quoting Tony Pua: Awarding coal powered plant to 1MDB a burden, says Tony Pua 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Alfatehah times two

Woke up this morning to learn about the death of our ITM Mass Comm classmate Rosyatimah Tukimin. To cancer. We were there young and free at Level 13 in ITM, Shah Alam from 1982 to 1985. There were about 40 of us and she's the first to go. A thought like that really wakes you up. Alfatehah. 
Only yesterday my ex-Jalan Riong colleage Karim Sulaiman died. A long illness. He'd defied the odds since my pieces on him on this blog seven years ago (Karim Sulaiman, 16/12/06; Hope for Karim Sulaiman, 19/12/06) but death - be not proud - is always inevitable. Alfatehah. 
Salam takziah to the families and loved ones of both my departed friends. 
p.s. Life in general, in the meantime, is good; and, for some, great. I hear this morning Rolls Royce has sold SEVEN of its Phantoms and Ghosts to Malaysians so far this year. Well, we live only once.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Living in Aedes country: Is your home in a dengue hot spot?

Epidemic proportions: 22 deaths in Jan alone

In Selangor alone, there are 107 so-called dengue hotspots. Puchong where I live has more than its share: BK3 is one of them and that's like just next door. I think it pays to know if you are living in a hotspot so you can take the necessary precautions. 
Check your dengue exposure h e r e (click on the "Senarai Lokaliti"). 
Whatever it is Health Minister S. Subramaniam is going to do to fight Aedes and dengue, apart from telling us that 2014 is most probably going to be worse than the worst year as far as dengue deaths are concerned (2010: 134 deaths) and blaming the public, I hope he does it fast and with the people's interest in mind. 
Channel News Asia's Dengue Deaths Soar in Malaysia

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hello, Mumbai!

Made in Malaysia, by Scomi

I don't understand why those people say Syed Akbar Ali is purveyor of all news dark and dreary. Check out his latest posting Scomi Monorail Done Malaysia Proud in Mumbai. It's probably the best news involving a Malaysian name outside the country for a long time and if not for OutSyed The Box, most of us would have missed the good news.  
For more on Scomi's quiet achievement, go to their Facebook account h e r e

The real reason Waytha's resigning

Updated:, quoting PMO sources, reports h e r e that Waytha Moorthy is no more. He was said to have handed in his resignation letter after 5, addressed to the PM but it was not stated if he had given the letter to Najib personally. We also don't know if Waytha had thanked the Prime Minister for the squandered opportunity.

Original Posting

Money, Money, Money?  Hindraf says its chairman P. Waytha Moorthy is resigning  after 8 months as Deputy Minister because he's convinced that PM Najib Razak isn't going to keep his end of a bargain they made just before PRU13 last May.  
That's what Hindraf said, h e r  e
Someone said Waytha would have to resign because he hasn't been performing at all. "The bugger's report card is all red." But I've checked with Pemandu and they said they don't monitor the peformance of Deputy Ministers. "(We) only have KPI for Ministers with portfolio." That doesn't mean he's been performing, though.
Yesterday someone close to the powers-that-be told me money is the real reason why Waythamoorthy is threatening to quit. "He wanted a Budget, an allocation. The MoF, for example, gets a budget to implement programs and events, money they can dish out, so Waytha thinks he should have his own purse, too, y'know. But Najib says no."  
Is that right? 
The lawyer hasn't uttered a word about the his resignation, to be fair to him. The longer he keeps silent and let Hindraf speaks on his behalf, the more people will speculate. Already, the blogger Helen Ang thinks Waytha has timed his resignation with the Kajang by-election. Maybe, maybe not, but it looks like the same old, tired political game to many.
The lesson for the learning is the Prime Minister's. A lot of people want something out of nothing. You have to tell them to fly kite, Sir. If Waytha doesn't hand in that resignation letter today, you should promptly and unceremoniously sack him! 
After that you can then start looking at several other Ministers and Deputy Ministers who, like Waytha, shouldn't be there in the first place ... 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Taib Mahmud, too?

Whoa! Ok, you've probably heard it too. There's talk of a big PBB meeting this weekend, B I G because this meeting's where Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, is supposed to announce his plans to step down. Or so say the pundits.
Well, before you jump out of the building or raise your hopes, take a deep breath and calm down. The Pehin Seri will quit one day but he won't do it until his succession plans are a-OK. One thing for sure, Taib doesn't wish to do the same mistake his ex-boss Tun Dr Mahathir did when he stepped down as Prime Minister of Malaysia in Oct 2003. 
Taib engages bloggers
The journo-blogger Apanama, who is believed by some circles to be right-hand close to the "grand old man" (see pic above, he's the one on Taib's right), cautions anyone who thinks/believes that he knows what the Sarawak Chief Minister would do. 
"Who in the right frame of mind would think or/and believe that Taib would let you dictate his next move or course of action?" he writes h e r e.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The photo that spoils it for the conspirators

Basking in the sun
Najib's Running Mate? The Sun's Page 2 pic yesterday of the PM and Mukhriz Mahathir in Langkawi is such a spoiler for those who are trying so hard to pit Najib Razak and his ex-boss Mahathir Mohamad. The conspiracy theory is that Dr M wants the Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yasin, to help him bring down Najib so that his son Mukhriz can move up to the No 2 spot while Muhyddin warms up the No 1 position ...  

The actual selfie taken by Mukhriz of him and the PM (courtesy of Mukhriz)

Bollocks. I've said it and I will say it again: if Dr M had wanted one of his sons to succeed him as PM, he would have done a Lee Kuan Yew (guess who is the Prime Minister of Singapore today, eh?). What did Mahathir do, instead? When he was PM and Umno President, he barred his sons from contesting any of the top posts within the party.  
In any case, the picture in the Sun and the selfie sent to me by a close aide of Mukhriz remind me of an old article I wrote for a Lee Kuan Yew newspaper days before the 12th General Election in 2008. You remember this?

March 4, 2008: Najib was not yet PM

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Muhyiddin to call it a day?

With some amendments

The DPM does seem rather distant and lethargic lately ...
Any conspiracy to drive a wedge between the PM and his ex boss [The people who want a Najib-Mahathir clash, Jan 30} won't be fun without throwing in the Muhyiddin factor (or spectre, some would prefer calling it). In this context, talk about the DPM quitting has begun in earnest. According to the Buletin Rakyat (Feb 1 edition), there's a certain discontent within Abang Din's camp, hence the No 2's eloquent silence in the face of relentless attacks against the No 1 by people unhappy with the PM and/or the consultants. 
I was shaking my head reading the article Desas-desus Muhyiddin letak jawatan kencang? but Muhyiddin's consultants and advisers mustn't continue shaking their legs after reading this, I hope. TIme to get cracking before this talk gets viral, especially in the face of the Kajang by-election. They would be wise to take note there's been greater frequency in terms of pot shots being take at their boss lately, and you can't blame those usual suspects entirely for doing it. 
For eg, this one about the worst dressed Umno politician posted by a former aide of Ghani Othman, the man who replaced Muhyiddin as Johor MB. Things like this tend to take a life of its own ...

This piece drew over 60 comments as of this morning, not all against the DPM