Wednesday, March 12, 2014


 I thought some of my fellow Malaysians were bad enough, making tasteless jokes and pulling sick pranks amid the nation's shock and sorrow over the Flight MH370 plight. But our own media personality iamkumbre is right: nothing - nothing - beats these sick bunch of publicity sluts who happen to be from Down Under. 
Watch their eyes dance with glee, how "broken" their good hearts are h e r e.  

Quit the whoring, people. Please continue to pray for the people on board MH370, their loved ones, and all those involved in the search and rescue mission. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

1MDB vs YTL Power: Shush, Tony (and how it was won and lost, fair and square)

 Updated: The Energy Commission's latest clarification h e r e
Original article 
DAP's YB Tony Pua has been very quiet after YTL Powe, the company that he was openly backing to win the RM11 billion coal-fired  power project, actually lost the bid to 1MDB. I'm glad the relevant authorities aren't keeping mum: in the papers over the weekend the Energy Commission explains why the 1MDB's consortium with Mitsui had won it fair and square. 
This blog tracks the relationship between politicians and some of the big businesses in the country, but while we have always understood Pua's obligation to question 1MDB in his capacity as a Member of Parliament, we were quite confused by his open support for YTL Power against 1MDB. There was something not right about that. 
We don't expect Pua to respond to the Energy Commission's clarification but there's still one thing that makes us wonder: Is there a special relationship between the Member of Parliament and YTL Power? When a politician openly supports one corporation against another that happens to be its competitor in a billion-ringgit bid, we feel obliged to demand for a clarification.
The Star's report 8 March 2014:

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Prayers for MH370

Who exactly is Malaysia Airlines Capt Zaharie Shah of MH370?

Original article 8/3/14
What can we do in times like this but to pray to the Almighty for the safety of all 239 passengers on Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370 that was bound for Beijing but now missing? Our thoughts to the families and loved ones. Amin. 
Buletin Awani Khas live [Recommended] #MH370 Updates
 Utusan's live reporting 

Friday, March 07, 2014

Zahid to Tian Chua: Don't push it!

Zero Tolerance against threat of uprising. The thing about Zahid Hamidi is that he hardly hesitates and he doesn't mince words. That has landed the Home Minister and Umno Vice President in the soup on more than a few occasions. But when it really matters, as in when you have an elected Member of Parliament like Tian Chua openly calling for an "uprising" against the Government over a Court decision that did not favour his boss Anwar Ibrahim (the same Court that has ruled in Anwar's favour many times), you need the kind of sound byte that probably only someone like Zahid dares to make. 
At the very least, I feel safer to be out in the streets tonight ...

The Malaysian Digest has the story h e r e.  
Zahid was responding to these tweets by the PKR Member of Parliament:

 YB Tian Chua, who has a history of violence against the police, has changed his Twitter profile to reflect his loyalty and support to Anwar who was found guilty for sodomizing a former aide and sentenced to 5 years jail. Story h e r e.

Petronas biggest loser in Iran over Shia' remark?

Which moron said that? The fact of the matter is, Petronas has no business operations in Iran. Our national oil corporation exited Iran several years ago. And in view of the US sanctions that still hold against Iran, it is really fantastic to imagine that Esso or Conoco "are making their way into the country", as claimed by Syed Azman Ahmad Nawawi, the PAS International Bureau Head. 
"The biggest loser is Petronas whose oil exploration in Iran has been met with hurdles from the Iranian government, while at the same time, American firms such as Esso and Conoco are making their way into the country," added Syed Azman. (As anti-Shia campaign hits the pockets, BN Minister seeks PAS help to restore Iran ties - The Malaysian Insider, 3 March)
"Petronas mengalami kerugian paling banyak apabila usaha cari galinya di Iran menerima halangan daripada kerajaan Iran sedangkan pada waktu sama syarikat Amerika Syarikat (AS) termasuk Esso dan Conoco sudah mula masuk ke negara itu," kata Syed Azman. (Syiah: Iran bertindak balas, UMNO mengaku silap - Harakah, 3 Mac)

Change your source, Syed!

Politics the real motive, as usual. What's quite obvious is that Syed Azman is trying to pit Home Minister Zahid Hamidi against another Umno minister (who had purportedly sought PAS' help to improve Malaysia's ties with Iran). The funny thing is how easily some Umno and pro-BN bloggers could fall for Syed Azman's tale that Petronas was losing millions over the Shia' remark. How can Petronas be the biggest loser in Iran when the corporation does not operate in Iran at all? How stupid can you get?

They should go for the Umno Minister who ran to PAS for help; that is, if Syed Azman didn't get that wrong, too.

p.s. Petronas maintains a liaison office mainly to facilitate the closure of certain matters related to the previous arrangements it had with the Government

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

What Proton really needs ... [With updates]

Proton hits back at report: The people at Proton are fuming and you can understand why when you read their official response to the offending news article. In four words: The report's not true. I'm sure Jagdev will not take that lying down. His editors, I'm not so sure. Proton is a big advertiser in The Star, I understand, so the bosses will be very, very careful especially if the facts of the story about a major client might have been spiced up and the client is really, really unhappy ... You know how it is.

5 MARCH 2014

* Proton wishes to state that an article in one of the local English newspapers today that "Proton is seeking development funds of RM3 billion from MITI and Petronas is not true as Proton has never applied for any development funds from the organisations

* On the point that Proton has committed RM3.8 billion until 2017 is also not true

* Proton before the takeover by DRB-Hicom has applied for the R&D grant under the Pre-Packaged incentive scheme set by the Government through its agency MIDA

* When DRB-Hicom came in, we reviewed the application with MIDA on the amount and verified the R&D activities undertaken and completed

* To this extent, Proton has complied with all the guidelines set out by MIDA i.e. the definition of R&D eligibility of expenditure and procedure for disbursement of grant. MIDA team and the external auditors have visited Proton to ensure the Company undertakes the R&D activities as proposed and is in compliance with the technical and financial requirements

* The R&D grant under the Pre-Packaged incentive Scheme by MIDA is open to all organisaitons in Malaysian and NOT EXCLUSIVE for Proton only

* For the record, to date Proton has produced 1756 Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) from trademarks, patents and designs

Original Story 

Up to RM3bil needed to develop new models

Read more h e r e
Not an article the Proton people or their minders at DRB would have enjoyed reading this morning. In fact, there'd be a lot of red faces. It's an embarrassing piece of news made even more so with the clever graphic. Lately, The Star is very good at dishing out this kind of backhand slap to their political masters and sponsors, I give them that. But if it's true, it's important that Proton and their minders make us taxpayers understand WHY.  
It's a shame if they can't, or won't. There's so much going for Proton. Our national cars are about to make a comeback to the UK market and there was so much de facto CEO Luqman Ibrahim was going to do, including finally using the Petronas-built engine … until he called it quits - for the second time in a matter of months. The first time he called it quits, Proton adviser Dr Mahathir Mohamad practically pulled him by the ear to come back and finish the job. This time around, that doesn't seem to be happening … 
What Proton needs is not RM3 billion to develop new models. It needs a model leader. 

Monday, March 03, 2014

Field of joy, but not for the people

Was in pain after reading this news earlier today:

I hope the good, ordinary people of Ulu Klang Recreation Club files an appeal.  
How the learned judge found it perfectly okay for a local council to walk into a private club and reclaim the football field the club has maintained - not for a year or two but for generations - beats me! 
The UKRC has not only kept the field green and lively, it has staved off greedy developers who wanted to "develop" the piece of land for years. 
What's stopping the local government from developing a quarter or half of the field for condos? 
What's stopping MPAJ from walking into other clubs and seizing their field and golf courses? 
I hope the MPAJ sues the government and seek compensation for the millions of ringgit the club had spent taking care of a field that they had been made to think was theirs. 

So, what's wrong with BR1M?

The trouble with Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah is that, unlike his predecessor, he's a straight arrow - one of the last few good men still standing. Sometimes I wish he was a little crooked sometimes. In the case of the 17,000 ex-BR1M recipients who had declined the latest round of aid because they no longer "qualified", their honesty is heart-warming, especially in this day and age, but the Second Finance Minister should also quickly reflect the immediate concern, as expressed by blogger SatD on his FB: "Something is wrong with the recipients database, if not why would 17k say no?" 
If the database is correct - that 7 million Malaysians qualify for the financial assistance - then 7 million people will probably disagree with Dr Mahathir Mohamad if the Statesman was, indeed, advocating an end to BR1M in his latest posting, h e r e. I may be wrong but I don't think that's what Dr Mahathir is advocating. As I read it, the former PM is suggesting that: 
1. You don't give out BR1M ahead of an election
2. It's not sustainable - the Najib Administration should not adopt BR1M as a permanent policy to help the poor 
I totally subscribe to the first point. In fact, this popular political culture of approving millions to Chinese or Tamil schools, and promising the sky and the moon, just weeks or days ahead of a by-election should stop altogether. The government has an excellent track record (latest example: the second Penang bridge is built and completed even though Penang has been with the Opposition for the second term) so there's no need to bribe or be seen as bribing the voters.  
The second point requires closer examination. Every nation needs to throw a safety net to help its very poor and BR1M, for Malaysia, is that safety net. I like the idea that BR1M helps redirect subsidies from the wealthy directly into the hands of the poor. Plus that fact that the money will most likely be spent on the local economy, which will boost activities. 
But as the 17k ex-BR1M recipients show, there may be thousands of others - millions, even - who do not deserve the money but are getting it and are too lazy to say NO. We need to review that database, YB Husni, and confine the size of the safety net to the really poor instead of widening it. 
IMHO, we should continue BR1M but they must be confined to the very poor. struggling single moms, the average Joe who's keeping two or three jobs to care for his ageing parents, for example. For the rest of them, especially the urban folks, there are other more innovative, out-of-the-box means to help them deal with rising costs of living.