Monday, November 30, 2015

Sultan and the Vape and why some things are best left to the relevant authorities

Banned in Johor by royal decree? No, not this Vape!
Ok, so I was having a bit of fun on Twitter yesterday after reading the news that HRH the Sultan of Johor had willed that vape to be banned in the state by 1 Jan 2016. So forgive me, or in the Melayu lingo of utter respect for the raja, ampun tuanku ... 

But seriously, this is not the kind of things I wish the Istana would try to do. It is one thing for the Sultan to nicely advise the Rakyat not to vape because it's a health hazard or it's not cool or it's a waste of money and vaping leaves a bad influence on the kids. Just like or worse than smoking. Or bingeing. Or doing weed and drugs and beating up your wives and leaving them for dead. The Sultan's advice to the "subjects" will go a long, long way ...

But to actually issue a my-wish-is-your-order decree? Mmm.

Gigars are sexier, no?
Let's be clear about one thing: I don't vape so I don't really care if it's halal or haram in Johor or elsewhere.

But I disagree with this decree thing. What if the Sultan wakes up tomorrow morning and decides to issue another decree - SMOKING is banned (oh, I don't smoke, either) - and then another one the following morning? I am sure Tuanku Yem won't do that but someone else might. I am from Melaka, the former kingdom without  a raja, but we have a Governor: what if the Governor wakes up tomorrow and decides he, too, wants to do decrees?

We are not Brunei or Saudi Arabia. This is Malaysia. Notwithstanding the Health Minister's response to the Johor Sultan's decree h e r e (Dr S Subramaniam is a Johorean, if you must know), the MoH is the correct authority to ban vape and the Ministry's position on vape is it would wait for scientific studies (Astro Awani, 28 Nov) on the pros and cos of vaping before making any official decision to ban vaping. 

We should wait for a proper study to be done and then let the MoH issue its executive decree. If you disagree - and a lot of people will disagree, either way - you take it out on the Minister or the Ministry or, as is the practice these days, blame Najib Razak!

That way, you spare the Palace from yet another unncessary exposure to ridicule and scorn.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

From problem to profit: The day the "notorious" 1MDB moves markets

The BBC report

The anti-Arul movers and shakers will be shaking their hands in anger reading this BBC article but I hope they can calm down and accept the facts as just that - facts. The fact is, the sale of Edra power assets was a major coup. Even the timing of the deal - done while the presidents and prime ministers of the US, China, India, etc were here in KL - was great, coincidental or not. The 1MDB's rationalisation plan looks to be on course, with some sources saying that Arul Kanda, the 1MDB chief, may just end up making a cool couple of billion US dollars in profit at the end of the day (plus TRX!). I don't wish to be too confident on behalf of the 1MDB but, well, things are, really, looking up.

Jo: Ok, maybe with a bit of help ...
Johari: 1MDB can resolve debt issue without Government help 
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25: 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is confident of resolving its debt and cash flow issue more quickly without help from the Government, the Dewan Rakyat was told Wednesday.
The 1MDB issue is not a cause for the fall of the ringgit, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
"On the contrary, several external factors, such as the fall in crude oil prices and a global economy dependent on exports, are exerting pressure on the ringgit," he said when replying to an oral question from Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS-Rantau Panjang).
Johari said all strategic planning under the 1MDB rationalisation plan were being implemented quickly towards reducing the debt-incurred interest of the company.
"1MDB has planned and is implementing the rationalisation measures, including asset sale and equity partnership. We are confident of resolving the amount of debt incurred without government financial assistance," he said.
1MDB said recently the rationalisation plan involves, among others, debt-for-assets exchange with International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), sale of equity in Edra Energy and Bandar Malaysia, sale of land in TRX (Tun Razak Exchange) and disposal of non-core assets. - Bernama

Barring media coverage: Umno can learn from Guan Eng

Behave, and assembly may be open, Ku Nan tells media

My view is that Ku Nan's flip flop on the issue  is the main problem here, not whether Umno would resttrict media access to next week's Umno general assembly or keep it a free-for-all. 

If Ku Nan can't decide, let someone else decide one way or another.  And explain why. If if it is because Malaysiakini is an Opposition mouthpiece, or the Insider has an axe to grind with the party, or because Malaysian Chronicle is crap, just be brave to say so. Then stick to your decision. If there's anything Malaysians especially netizens don't like, it's your inability to be decisive and stick to your guns.

Learn from Lim Guan Eng, if you must. The DAP boss didn't even flich when he barred Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times from covering the Penang State government's official functions soon after becoming Chief Minister in 2008. Why did he say he had to bar these two? Because they are Umno mouthpieces, according to him. It was absurd but dd Guan Eng care? 

Guan Eng went on to sue and threaten to sue newspapers and journalists he deemed hostile towards him. The latest court case was just last week: LGE & Gang vs Terence Fernandez and Others (FTM, Nov 17). For context, read MACC begins probe on Merc purchase (Malaysia Today, Jan 3, 2014). 

p.s. Interestingly, Umno minister Rahman Dahlan is said to be taking Malaysiakini to court over the portal's deliberate campaign to tarnish his image, allegedly of course. Read Straw that broke the camel's back: Pro-portal Umno minister sues Malaysiakini.

Do you think there will be an outcry as a result of Rahman's action? Was there any when Guan Eng sued all those journalists? Me, I'd ask Rahman if he really thinks he has the will and the stamina to see through his threat of suing Kini to serve as a lesson to other portals and online media to be truthful and professional. They won't make it easy for you ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NFCorp: No CBT, No Misappropriation of Loans, No Nothing ...

Rafizi Ramli hasn't been having a good spell lately. This one is going to spoil more than his day, for sure ...

News Release


NFCorp chairman completely acquitted and discharged of all criminal charges by sessions court

·      No misappropriation of loan, no Criminal Breach of Trust
·      RM250 million a commercial loan, not a grant from public funds
·      Loan installments paid on time
·      Property purchase made by NFCorp subsidiary company as an investment for NFCorp according to terms and conditions of the loan agreement, and not purchased by Datuk Salleh in his name or for personal or family gain
·      Court of Appeal recommended for Datuk Salleh to seek redress with AG

KUALA LUMPUR --- The sessions court presided by judge Puan Nursharidah Awang today completely acquitted and discharged National Feedlot Corporation chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail of all criminal charges in view of the decision of the Attorney-General who has decided to drop the charges against Datuk Dr Salleh after considering the facts, evidence and merits of the case, and the recommendation of the Court of Appeal of 28 August 2015 which was brought by way of a representation letter to the AG.

The representation letter included evidence to show that there was no misappropriation of the loan nor CBT. It was also revealed that the RM250 million was a commercial loan, not a grant from public funds, and repayments were paid on time. Properties were purchased by an NFCorp subsidiary company as an investment for NFCorp according to the terms and conditions of the loan agreement, and not purchased by Datuk Salleh in his name or for personal or family gain.

DPP Tuan Syed Faisal Syed Amir appeared for the prosecution while Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Al Firdaus Shahrul Naing, Syed Ismat Syed Muhamad and Farhah Mustafa appeared for Datuk Dr Salleh.

Tenaga Nasional did not get to "bail out" 1MDB! Sob!

On Facebook yesterday, I was asked to comment on the award of Edra to China General Nuclear Corporation, a global giant, for USD2.3 billion.

I wrote this morning:

"I'd have preferred that Edra had gone Tenaga's way as I'd written h e r e last week. 
But a blessing undisguised, really: 
1. CGN is paying some RM2 billion more (than what YB Rafizi Ramli said 1MDB should be getting for Edra, here), money much needed by 1MDB for its rationalisation program. 
2. Nobody can accuse Tenaga of bailing out 1MDB now. Sob! If Tenaga had won, PM Najib Razak would have been slammed for ordering a bailout, whether the national utility had offered to buy at RM8 b or RM18 b 
3. Tenaga does not need to increase its borrowings to buy Edra after all.  It means it can focus on existing operations and investments. (Tenaga is also managing a few assets abroad). 
4. Edra is about power "generation". Tenaga still controls "transmission" and "distribution", the two more critical components of the business. Even without Edra,,Tenaga still controls half of the domestic power generation. Whoever generate power does not get to determine tariffs, unless it's a monopoly. 
5. Lastly, CGN is a large foreign investor. Foreign investors before CGN came in not just with money, they created jobs and competition, transferred technology and generated important spin offs."

Edra's power assets

Thursday, November 19, 2015

So why is the mighty Ku Nan so quiet over Datuk Keramat's "Twin Tower" controversy?

Ku Nan: Can put a stop to the Datuk Keramat issue?

In Datuk Keramat vs Datuk Bandar KL: Why DJ is taking a huge risk by defending the residentsI wrote of how City Hall's insistence on building luxury homes on a site meant for the Malay poor could cost BN/Umno precious votes in the next general election. What happened to Lembah Pantai in 2008 and again in 2013 could happen to Titiwangsa. 
I was hoping that some big wigs in Umno would jump onto the bandwagon and help Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, the MP for Titiwangsa, in his fight against the Datuk Bandar of KL and the invisible hands that are controlling the strings from behind the Mayor's office. 
I was hoping, especially, for Umno sec gen Tengku Adnan Mansor, who is also the Federal Territories Minister, to throw his weight on this one. 
His silence is so deafening. I must say.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

So will you resign, Kit Siang?

PKR blames PAS for failed attempt to defeat Budget 2016 and Najib Razak, 19 Nov 2015
BN "bribed" MPs to support Budget, according to a DAP man. Read the Mole's story Najib's position stronger after Budget 2016.

Original piece:
What happens now that BN MPs have trounced Kit Siang's campaign to reject Budget 2016? In the end, the only Barisan Nasional MP from Sabah and Sarawak who answered Lim Kit Siang's prayers was Umno Vice President Shafie Afdal

Shafie: Stayed away from yesterday 128-74 voting

Even then, the axed Cabinet minister did not vote against PM Najib Razak's proposed Budget 2016;  he just did not vote at all (Shafie, Palanivel not present during Budget 2016 voting, The Star, 17 Nov).

Kit Siang had last week urged MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to join him and Opposition MPs, mostly from Malaya, to vote against the Budget. If this had happened, Najib Razak would have no choice but to resign as Prime Minister, the DAP man said.  Read his Nov 10 posting Najib will have to resign as Prime Minister if the 47 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament (22 from Sabah and 25 from Sarawak) vote down the 2016 Budget in Parliament on Monday on 16th November 2015.

This special focus on Sabah and Sarawak MPs coincides with DAP's latest campaign "Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana 2.6 Billion". Kit Siang is serving a six-month suspension from Parliament for bad behaviour.

Yesterday's outcome on the Budget 2016 voting in Parliament was totally expected BUT still a big,  tight slap on the DAP stalwart. It means that if Kit Siang or Tun Mahathir or Muhyiddin or anyone else wants to bring Najib Razak down, they count on the Sabahans and the Sarawakians at their own peril.

Read also 
Will you resign, Kit Siang asks Najib - Malaysia Today, Nov 14

Monday, November 16, 2015

Who's going to ask Nazir to quit the bank?

"Who goes to Insta to bitch? Instagram is for pretty pics. Cipet betul Nazir nih."Jasmeen, on FB, yesterday

Original post:

Perhaps Badlisyah Abdul Ghani should ask Nazir to do the needful ...

Last July, CIMB Group chairman Nazir Razak was quick - some people felt, too quick - to apologise  via Instagram on behalf of the bank and posted this photo of grinning CIMB bosses to shame Badlisyah, who was at the time one of his own CEOs, for committing a social media gaffe. "We will conduct an internal inquiry," Nazir declared. As a mater of honour, Badlisyah decided to quit rather than appear before the inquiry.

Over the weekend, Nazir had a gaffe to all his own [Nazir Razak removes Instagram post on inaccurate heading, The Star 15/1]. I don't expect Nazir to sack himself from CIMB or get the bank to start a domestic inquiry to probe his own booboo, but I was expecting, at least, a small apology in the name of professional courtesy from him to Arul Kanda, the 1MDB boss, for his posting. 

Nazir can blame the Malaysian Insider for misreporting Arul and misleading him (the portal had to carry two corrections to the same heading because the first correction turned out to be misleading also!) but who is supposed to be the industry expert here: the Malaysian Insider reporter or Nazir Razak?

The average Malaysian pun not as gullible anymore when it comes to some portals ...

The TMI headline that got Nazir trending on social media for the wrong reason! 


How different, indeed?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Oh, no, surely NOT Najib Razak!

"This is the stuff of sophisticated economic management." - The Australian, quoting former ambassador John Dauth, in a review of Malaysia's economic performance amid regional and global challenges, in particular Najib Razak's "courageous" moves to scrap petrol/diesel subsidies and introduce the GST. 

p.s. I hope the former Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia is prepared for the abuses that are surely coming his way for this glowing write-up, even if it's true ... 

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's reforms drive growth

Najib Razak
Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak. Source: AP
As critical as the bilateral relationship between the US and China is, last month’s signing of the trans-Pacific Partnership provides a timely reminder that there is more to Asia than China. When Malcolm Turnbull goes to Kuala Lumpur for the East Asia Summit he will find a dynamic member of ASEAN that has recovered strongly after financial contagion spread across the region in 1997 and 1998. As the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde has observed, thanks to its sound economic policies the Association of Southeast Asian Nations came through the crisis “strong and resilient”. Quite an achievement for relatively small, exposed economies.
Malaysia, the ASEAN chair and its third-largest economy, is arguably the best case in point. Prime Minister Najib Razak is the object of much domestic (and some international) criticism but, particularly in the TPP context, it is surely worth recalling his remarkable economic record. Since 2010, Malaysia has grown by an average 5.3 per cent a year. While growth this year is estimated to slow from 6 per cent last year to 4.7 per cent, it is still comfortably outpacing its northern neighbour Thailand, which is expected to grow by just 2.5 per cent this year. Growth has generated jobs.
Since Najib became Prime Minister, 1.8 million jobs have been created. As a result, Malaysia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3 per cent — one of the lowest in the region and half or less than that of Indonesia (6 per cent) and the Philippines (6.8 per cent).
Economic growth averaging more than 6 per cent a year since 1970 not only means that Malaysia’s gross domestic product is now some 15 times larger than 45 years ago. It has transformed the economy in which agriculture dominated, accounting for 31.8 per cent of GDP in 1970, to a manufacturing and services-based economy accounting for 76.5 per cent of GDP, with agriculture contributing only 9.2 per cent.
Growth has also seen a transformation of living standards, average household income increasing more than 20-fold. Malaysia did well in the decades after 1970 in harvesting the low-hanging fruit of economic development.
As a result, Malaysia is on the cusp of crossing the $US15,000 per capita GDP threshold into the tier of advanced-income countries — a goal Najib made the centrepiece of Malaysia’s 2016-2020 economic program.
That this is a realistic ambition is because Najib, who has also been Finance Minister since 2008, has the experience and has shown the required leadership. He acted pre-emptively to strengthen the public finances, essential as a buffer against global trends. According to the IMF’s most recent Article IV consultation, “fiscal consolidation is well timed, appropriately paced, and remains on track”. Last year, Najib took the courageous step of using the window created by falling oil prices to eliminate expensive and poorly targeted petrol and diesel subsidies, at the same time introducing a broad-based 6 per cent goods and sales tax — the lowest in the region — to strengthen the country’s tax base and reduce its reliance on volatile oil and gas revenues. The fiscal deficit, which has almost halved since Najib became Prime Minister, is on course to be eliminated by 2020. This is the stuff of sophisticated economic management.
Progress on fiscal consolidation is especially impressive given the importance of maintaining social cohesion in such an ethnically diverse community of Malays, Chinese, Indians and others in an economy drawing in large numbers of seasonal migrants. As the IMF noted, strengthening Malaysia’s social safety is an integral part of Najib’s fiscal strategy. Bold measures will always generate controversy. The real point is that good economic management needs them. And Najib has done it.
This bold reform builds on substantial past progress. In 2012, Najib introduced a minimum income guarantee that helped lift 2.9 million people out of poverty. Since 2009, the income of the bottom 40 per cent of households has increased 50 per cent faster than the average. Cutting taxes has also formed part of Najib’s drive to accelerate the income growth of the bottom 40 per cent. Overall, the poverty rate declined from 49.3 per cent in 1970 to 0.6 per cent last year, meaning Malaysia has effectively eliminated hardcore poverty.
Women’s empowerment is also raising household income and Malaysia is the ASEAN leader in closing the gender gap. A higher proportion of management positions in Malaysia is held by women than in Hong Kong and Singapore. Last year, Najib set Malaysia the goal of having women in 30 per cent of decision-making positions.
In its consultation, the IMF listed the principal risk to Malaysian’s continued growth as being more challenging external conditions and exposure to international capital flows. However, it said this risk is mitigated by Malaysia’s flexible exchange rate, credible monetary policy and its fiscal consolidation. According to a Bloomberg markets survey in March, Malaysia tied with Chile in fifth place for the most promising emerging market nation and ranked as the No 1 ASEAN member.
The Malaysian model combining social inclusivity and pro-market economic policies has delivered one of the most impressive growth records in southeast Asia, one of the most dynamic regions in the world. This is a country at a historic juncture in development terms, making the right decisions as it climbs the development pole. You don’t do that without the tried and tested leadership of someone like Najib.
John Dauth is a former high commissioner to Malaysia and a former Australian high commissioner to Britain. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Datuk Keramat vs Datuk Bandar KL: Why DJ is taking a huge risk by defending the residents

UDA's  proposal

LATEST: Why did City Hall turn down UDA's proposal to build sub-RM200k homes at the contentious Kg Datuk Keramat site? A Titiwangsa resident blogging as Pusak Gagah does not have the answer but provides proof that UDA did make that offer to DBKL in writing ... and was rejected!!  Read the scoop, H E R E.


A tiff between residents and local authorities usually don't end well for the residents. Especially if the residents are low-end citizens - taxi drivers, labourers, petty traders, unemployed grads - and the authorities concerned happen to be backed by well-connected businessmen or developers. 
I've seen it happened many times when I was with the newspapers, especially when I was heading the Malay Mail in 2001-2006.  
In one case we were covering, even Bangsar's most affluent stood no chance against this gang of cronies who had found a new hobby, i.e. running restaurants and decided they wanted to open up a row of cafes and diners in Bangsar. The RA protested strongly and at first the residents had access to the media and the support of their wakil rakyat but in the end they were up against powerful people with access not just to the PMO but to the PM himself! So the residents got thumped and the cronies went on to build their little diners and cafes right at the residents' doorsteps! 
But that wasn't the end of the story, you see. The angry Bangsar folks took up their fight to the ballot boxes during the next general election. We in the know have always believed that the incident involving this small group of self-serving cronies was a major contributing factor to Shahrizat Jalil's shock defeat in Lembah Pantai to first-timer Nurul Izzah in the 2008 polls.  
The row of crony restaurants in Bangsar has since closed down but Lembah Pantai remains with PKR until today. 
The case involving Kampung Datuk Keramat residents protesting the proposed development of two high-rise luxury apartments in their midst reminds me of the crony restaurant story. 
Keramat's residents are lower-income folks up against the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur and the mighty City Hall. And a newly-set up housing development company with purportedly no previous experience in building homes, which led people to smell something fishy about the whole thing. 
By right, it would have been a classic David vs Goliath case.  
Except that the residents have, as their champion and defender, Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, the MP of Titiwangsa and Deputy Minister of Finance. 
I gotta salute this YB DJ for his courage and tenacity. I really thought Umno had stopped making wakil rakyats like him anymore. But here he is fighting for the ordinary people against the system of which he is, like it or not, part of.  
Some people may say that it's DJ's job anyway as MP. What they must understand is that despite his position as wakil rakyat and deputy minister, the risks involved are huge. This is not a stroll in the park. This isn't a cheap publicity stunt. DJ can't afford to fail the residents, or what happened to Lembah Pantai may happen to Titiwangsa.

Read also;
DBKL, please explain this, Pusak Gagah, 10 Nov

Related stories:
CAP: Guan Eng must explain alleged land reclamation works, FMT 11 Nov
Assemblyman calls for land reclamation freeze, FMT 7 Nov

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How I spent my Deepavali

Flat ... In bed, mostly, and watching old DVDs (Two Guns, The Family, Prisoners, Contagion, Limitless the tv series, to name a few). I'm still down with the bug but Alhamdulillah am getting better. Is it age ... I seem to take longer to get over even the common cold? I had to regretfully turn down invites for open houses from my Hindu friends. Missed the muruku and the muhibbah gatherings. If I'd missed greeting you Happy Deepavali on my Whatsapp, here's wishing that the love and light shine on you always.

... and Flattered. I also spent some time staring and smiling at this so-called "war chart":

Seven Samurais and the warriors?

Don't get me wrong. I don't think I'm vain, by nature, but I can't help feeling flattered ...

Seven Samurai

Obviously, the chart is an attempt to identify (or expose) the people who are supposed to be driving PM Najib Razak's online, social media, internet initiatives, propaganda, publicity, warfare, response, counterattack, or call it whatever you like, which have successfully thwarted one of the biggest, horrendous, and systematic attacks on a Malaysian prime minister ever with a view of bringing him down.

Najib was supposed to have thrown in the towel, quit in disgrace, walked away with his tail between his legs months ago. Yet he's still there, some say stronger than ever, partly because of these people on the chart. 

I have to put it on record though, that that's not how I work. And I'm glad I have friends who still understand how and why I am still doing what I'm doing  [Stupid war chart and a nice melancholic lunch, Life of Annie, 10 Nov]. 

Her posting really made by Deepavali.

p.s. Inspired by the so-called war chart, Rocky Bru will be digging up his DVD library for Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven today.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

For once, I agree with Rafizi Ramli

LATEST 26/11/15:

Conflicting jurisdiciton in Edra ownership decision, A Voice, 9 Nov  
.. So why did Treasury Secretary (KSP), Tan Sri Dr Irwan Serigar Abdullah write the letter to Energy Commisssion? Does he not know the jurisdiction of EC? Or someone directed him to write to EC on the expectation that the Board of EC will oblige?  
Economists debate over Edra Energy acquisition, The Mole 9 Nov
... Why should we give our energy sector to foreign companies? I suggest it to be given to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). We must have total control of the energy generation.” - Dr Zulkifli Senteri, Binary University 

Original Posting:

I don't usually agree with YB Rafizi Ramli on anything. In fact, I usually disagree with him on everything. But his latest statement on why the Government should not, must not and cannot allow foreigners to buy 100 per cent of 1MDB's Edra Energy, I have to agree. I wish it was someone else saying it but it was Rafizi who said it, so be it.

Important thing is, as Rafizi says, no foreign company must be allowed to have all of the power assets of 1MDB.

For once, he's talking
"... I will not hesitate to start a nationwide campaign to defend the country's energy sector from being opened up to foreign companies, for this will have a major impact on the future of the rakyat and country. 
"I advise Najib to clearly state that he will not scrap the cap on foreign equity ownership in the energy sector in order to help 1MDB to cover its debt hole." - Rafizi Ramli, Foreign control over power assets to save 1MDB? Nov 6

Clap, clap. Push comes to shove, I will give my moral support for Rafizi to start the campaign to defend Edra Energy from being taken 100 per cent by the foreigners. Heck, if the campaign is about ensuring that ALL of Edra must remain in the hands of Malaysians, I will even walk with Rafizi!

But Rafizi needs to get real. His numbers with regards to Edra Energy are way, way off. That's the thing about this young PKR politician: he's so in a hurry that he ditches good old intel and research. Rafizi may have his heart in the right place but sometimes I think he main tembak buta saja

The RM8 billion "ceiling" he was talking about, for example, is so ridiculous. I'm sure Rafizi has heard that the foreign bidders for Edra Energy were offering to buy at more than double his RM8 b ceiling, without blinking an eye-lid. You see, the bidders know what they are paying for. For the foreigners, the ringgit's weakness makes it extra cheap for them. Plus they know very well that the IPPs are going to give them back instant returns to the tune of RM1 billion a year, according to some estimates, from the operations of the half a dozen or so foreign IPPs in the Edra stable.

I don't know who's trying to waive the cap on foreign ownership of the country's national power assets but it sure ain't Najib Razak, as Rafizi's insinuating. 

The Prime Minister is the man responsible for (or guilty of) taking back the IPPs in this country from the Anandas, Yeohs and Bukharys so that they can be regularized under one local entity, so why would he now want all that to go into the hands of foreigners?

I should think that Najib and Rafizi are, actually, on the same page on this one!

As these guys are:

Big Dog:

A Voice:  

Friday, November 06, 2015

Next Change: Rafizi Ramli vs Ibrahim Ali?

As for Rafizi Ramli, the enthusiastic substitute in the fake and half-hearted 1MDB debate dare, Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali has made an "offer" he shouldn't resist.

According to the news portal FMT, Ibrahim Ali, who sits on the UiTM board, is fuming over Rafizi Ramli's claim about the cost to build a proposed hospital in UiTM Puncak Alam which has inflated to RM8.2 billion from the original RM599 million (or so Rafizi claimed). The PKR man was said to have accused Ibrahim of failure to oppose the project despite, presumably, having been made aware of the alleged cost escalation.

Ibrahim rubbished Rafizi's "facts". “Saya tidak tahu bagaimana Rafizi boleh dapat angka dan maklumat berkenaan pembinaan Hospital UiTM itu kerana angka yang diberikan itu tidak benar."

The Perkasa man said he wasn't going to sue Rafizi but offered to "sekolahkan" Opposition leader. The word sekolahkan literally translates to mean "to educate someone"; in Malay, it can be a very condescending term, used with the intention to insult someone for being uncouth, uncultured, uneducated, and so on and so forth ...

Hospital UiTM: Ibrahim Ali sedia sekolahkan Rafizi, FMT 5 Nov

Youth calls them jokers and cowards for "fake" and "half-hearted" debate challenge against Arul

This shall be my final posting on Tony Pua's 1MDB deba(te)cle.
No point flogging a dead horse, as they say.

Taken from the FB of 23-year old Syed Saddiq, a "Malaysian macai":-
"You started off by insulting The CEO of 1MDB for being a coward. 
"You then sent your knight in shining armour to challenge this purported "coward". This knight is known as Tony Pua. 
"This knight of yours was already informed of the possible consequences of his action, from the conflict of interest to possible suspension, yet he decided to march on. 
"After finding out that this "joker" was once a champion debater, you started to lose hope with your knight in shining armour. 
"Now you're finding a way out from what could possibly be a humiliating defeat. 
"You claim that your knight's position on the PAC is more important, 
"Yet this stance was only taken after you found out that the "joker" was audacious enough to accept your veiled challenge. Why wasn't this brought up when the challenge was first made? 
"It's either your knight is the actual coward, or his fortress (DAP) is filled by opportunists who only know how to execute a fake half-hearted challenge. 
"Deep down, for this particular case, We all know who's the actual "joker/coward". 
Yesterday, DAP officialy announced that PJ Utara MP Tony Pua will not be participating in the 1MDB debate. 
"The party is not going to allow PAC to be deprived of a member, more so one of our representatives. So, whether he likes it or not, we have no choice, we are compelled not to allow Pua to participate in the debate because we do not want to lose the PAC post or, worse, see the entire (1MDB) investigation crippled," DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang had said in a press statement. 
Another joker has since been nominated to replace Tony Pua in the debate but Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has pointed out today that Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) only offered to broadcast the live debate between Tony Pua and Arul Kanda.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Game Over: We have won!

UpdatedWon the battle but not yet the war, by Life of Annie 5 Nov 2015

Original posting:
KL, 5 Nov: REMARKS were made over lunch, tea and dinner yesterday about how quiet "the other side" of the Najib-Mahathir divide has been. Of late, even the Tun's attacks on the Prime Minister have been rather subdued. The lieutenants seemed to be taking longer breaks in between postings and potshots; perhaps they have tired themselves out with their heavily recycled accusations and run-of-the-mill questions. We all are. Tired, I mean. Tony Pua, who started the 1MDB issue back in 2011, must have been tired of waiting, too, and that's why he decided to challenge Arul Kanda to the debate. If you want something done so badly, you'd bloody well better do it youself! But I, as usual, cautioned my friends against underestimating our friends. A storm is always preceded by calm.

In any case, that's not what the heading of this posting is about. The following article, taken from latest proclamation Game Over: Malaysia Has Won is about a far more substantive  battle we've been waging, not the sublime stupidity of half-baked and unoriginal political posturing by some of our friends who still think Najib Razak deserve to go down the same way Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did.

What we have won (or, rather, are winning), according to the aritlce, is the war against the speculators and profit takers who wanted to bring Malaysia to its knees, much like what George Soros wanted to achieve during the 97-98 currency crisis (or so we were then told). 

We haven't won yet against "the other side". 

But gotta like the almost-cocky confidence of this article:

Game Over. Malaysia Has Won.

Kuala Lumpur : The tide is turning for Malaysia, having taken everything thrown in the chin for a good ten months .
For the first ten months of 2015, Malaysia has been literally under siege , with a three point attack, on the currency, bond and equity market at the same time.
The idea was to break Malaysia, and it almost did.
A recent Nielsen Online Consumer Confidence Survey, showed nearly ninety per cent of those interviewed in the survey said that in their opinion Malaysia was in recession.
Public officials such as central bank governor Tan Sri Zety Akhtar Aziz, stood their ground that, fundamentals will overcome perception .
True enough, Merrill Lynch’s latest fund manager survey, show only ten per cent of them are underweight on Malaysia, as opposed to 25 per cent in September.
Looks like in this game, the barbarians at the gate, blinked first.
Deutsche Bank in a report this week said that it has moved its opinion on Malaysia, from negative towards neutral.
Deutsche clients were told there could be a year end Bursa Malaysia rally.
On Monday MyBursa reported that November looks like the month when the high beta stocks will stand up and be counted.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Pua to Pandikar: Phew, Thanks mate!

"If you dare to challenge others, then you should be brave enough to accept a challenge." - Zahid Hamidi, DPM, on asking Pua to be brave and debate Arul, The Star, 2 Nov

No thanks to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker's untimely intervention, Tony Pua has finally got out of the hole he'd dug for himself. But make no mistake, there's mud and crap on the DAP man's face, alright. All the silly bravado h e r e will not wash away the fact that Pua was clearly rattled the minute the straight-talking 1MDB boss Arul Kanda had flashed that trademark smile of his and accepted Pua's stupid challenge to a public debate. Arul even agreed to drop an earlier condition (that Pua quits his position in Public Accounts Committee, citing"conflict of interests", as the PAC is still investigating 1MDB) as added incentive for Pua to follow through on his own dare.  
Why and how Pandikar Amin, the Speaker, came in when he did is something to boggle the mind but only the relieved Pua - and perhaps some of his red-faced fans - would have seen it as face-saving and, therefore, divine.   
p.s. The next time Pua challenges anyone to a debate, I'll say two things: Pandikar and pund*klah
By the way, this is not the first time Pandikar wanted to quit. Read h e r e and h e r e

Monday, November 02, 2015

PAC on becoming Judge Dredd

About time, if you ask me. The Public Accounts Committee's job is to follow up on the reports of the Audtor General so by nature it is supposed to be a pain to some people, especially in the government.   
The Committee's main goal, however, is to offer solutions via Parliament, not create more problems. 
Our PAC has been anything but that of late an when it comes to the 1MDB. 
The Committee seems to become trouble makers instead of trouble shooters in pursuit of personal glory and gain or driven by prejudice and hate, judging by the conduct of one or more members. 
The fact that the PAC can't sack its own members has probably emboldened them. 
I'm not sure what Hassan Ariffin about the circus that PAC committee memebr Tony Pua has started re his debate dare with 1MDB's Arul Kanda but the PAC chairman will have a tough time convincing people that the PAC isn't actually acting as a judge, jury and executioner if it condones Pua's personal persecution against Arul and 1MDB.