Friday, December 30, 2016

Will Isa ever "die" so Felda and FGV may live?

Bangsar, Fri: I've written about FGV deserving its own chairman. In A case for another Felda chairman, which I posted on this blog in in July 2013, I said even Felda would do better with another person in the Chair other than Isa Samad. I still believe that should be the case. Isa should go in the larger interest of Felda and FGV.  
Again, nothing personal against the former Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar. I've  feel, that politicians, especially those who have exceeded their expiry dates, should not be rewarded with such important positions in GLCs and essential services. Tell me which retired, failed or/and overaged politician (with the exception, perhaps, of Johor Menteri Besar Ghani Othman, who is chairman of Sime Darby) has done really well as chairman of such institutions?  
Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not do too well as Chairman of Proton.

To be cont'd 
Updated 4 Jan
Go to Felda Chairman: Why Nazir Razak should consieder. 
Read also Ghani @ Sime Darby by Life of Annie

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

One fight Dr M is not going to win

Five reasons why BR1M is not a bribe: MACC 
Puchong, 28 Dec: Someone told me not too long ago that Dr Mahathir Mohamad would not pick a fight that he could not win. The political writer Joceline Tan used the same quotes in one of her articles at the onset of the still ongoing Mahathir-Najib fight. and I'm sure she had spoken to the same person. But telling 7 million Malaysians they are taking bribes for accepting the cash aid under the Government's BR1M scheme is not a fight that the disgruntled ex-Prime Minister is going to win. 
I think even the person who spoke to me and who must have spoken to Joceline would concede. 
Several Cabinet Ministers have come out to scold Dr M over his Christmas remarks (read Boxing Day). What's not expected was for Wan Azizah to join the chorus. And if that wasn't good enough (or bad enough, depending on whose side you are on), the national anti-graft commission's No 2 man has provided the reasons (I counted FIVE, read h e r e) why BR1M is not a form of corruption. 

Datuk Azam's explanation should put to rest this BR1M issue, once and for all. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Boxing Day

Puchong, 26 Dec: It's sad to see Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad turned into a national punching bag on Boxing Day. But he's only got himself to blame. He had told Malaysians in a Christmas message that accepting handouts under the aid initiated by  PM Najib Razak is a form of bribery and is, therefore, illegal. 
Some 7 million Malaysians in the lower-income categories qualify for the cash assistance under BR1M. They started enjoying the supplementary cash scheme after Najib became Prime Minister in 2009.

The Malaysiakini/Sinar Harian report  

Salleh Said Keruak, a constant pain in Mahathir's butt since the Old Man decided to bring down Najib Razak, speaks for those silent 7 million and perhaps for many other Malaysians as well. 
"Never before have we heard something more mind-boggling," he wrote in his latest posting, Are you serious, Mahathir?   

Other government leaders, including Johari Abdul Ghani, Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Khairy Jamaluddin, have come out swinging at Mahathir.  
"Absolute nonsense," said KJ, who tweeted that cash transfers are an accepted economic program around the world . 
"And yet people still believe (Mahathir's) claptrap". 
It is a fact. Singapore has practised cash transfers for years. Latest, the Saudis are planing to do so next year. Read h e r e.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Daim speaketh as Mao lends his voice to The Mole

Updated 21 Dec: As promised, The Mole responds to Daim's non-fiction with columnist Salahuddin Hisham's Daim's Concern with Trust Deficit. Salahuddin basically urged all of us, especially those in Government, to take the former Finance Minister's words in good faith. He also asked Daim to furnish his "list" for the proposed economy squad that would "save" Malaysia. Way to go. I am sure all Malaysians are interested to see the list of experts that "both rakyat and investors can trust".

In Daim's own words, too

TTDI, Dec 20: It took Tun Daim Zainuddin a long time - 15 months, to be exact - to agree somewhat with the DAP's MP for Kluang YB Liew Chin Tong who, on Sept 2 last year, wrote off PM Najib Razak's Special Economic Committee [Najib's special economic committee is a waste of time!]! 
But compared with the DAP man, our former Finance Minister's criticism was more constructive.  Writing for The Edge, Daim said the PM should set up an economy management squad consisting of professionals with high technical skills, efficient and dare to speak the truth, and trusted by both rakyat and investors. Read  Economist Team Failed, says Daim.  He also ticked off projects like the Tugu, saying it was not what the rakyat need at this point of time. 
YB Johari Ghani, the Minister of Finance II, has responded to Daim in Hutang tak salah kalau boleh bayar but I'm interested to hear what the Special Economic Committee has to say to defend itself.  
The Mole's latest columnist Salahuddin Hisham (read his first piece Ringgit @ 5: Try again, Soros!) has expressed his intention to respond to Daim, too. Watch of for his article at tomorrow!

p.s. In the meantime,  shop as usual for Xmas because The ringgit will bounce back!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Another BSI banker jailed for laundering

TTDI, 16 Dec: Investigations into 1MDB finances by the Singapore authorities have sent two officers of Singapore-based Swiss bank BSI to jail after a Singapore court sentenced Yvonne Seah (pic, above) to two weeks in jail for her role in money laundering. Seah, 45, pleaded guilty to three charges of failure to disclose suspicious transactions allegedly involving Malaysian businessman Jho Taek Lo. She was also fined Sing 10k dollars. 
Seah worked with Yak Yew Chee, a senior vice-president at BSI Singapore, who was a private banker for Low and 1MDB.Yak was sentenced to 18-week jail term last month on similar charges. 
Investigations in Malaysia into 1MDB were first ordered by Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is chairman of the fund's advisory body.  
The Mole has more h e r e.
Read also:  Something's Rotten in Singapore

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The (sour) grapes of wrath

 "... Saya akan ambil ingatan bahawa Istana Negara adalah milik Najib dan Parti Barisan Nasional." ["I shall be mindful that the Palace is owned by Najib and the Barisan Nasional party."] - Dr Mahathir Mohamad, after the Palace informed him that he was not welcomed to the Special Rulers' Conference this Tuesday

Kuala Lumpur, 10 Dec: Even those disillusioned with Mahathir are divided over the unprecedented nose-thumbing by the Palace on the Old Man. The satire master Husin Lempoyang rubs it in with Kesian, dia teringin (Poor thing, he's hard up) contending that it is the host's right to invite someone or not.

"Peeping Tun", from Husin Lempoyang's latest satire

On the other hand, Bujai tries to be circumspect. In We will look stupid, the veteran journalist, who is now one of Zahid Hamidi's thinkers, is honest - too honest, perhaps - with his admission that "...I don't really know whose decision was it to stop the duo from attending the new Yang Dipertuan Agong's investiture next week". 

Most people don't have an idea, either, but pretended to know and proceeded to hold either Najib Razak or the Palace responsible for this development. 

Mahathir, grinning I'm sure from ear to ear at the opportunity that has presented itself to him, blames Najib, the ruling BN government, and the Palace. In Pembatalan, his latest blog entry, the former PM and BN chief gayly accused the Rulers of being subservient to Najib and his BN party.

Is Mahathir sad, you think? Don't count on it. What would he gain by attending the Investiture? Nothing. 

What can he gain now that they have prevented him from attending the Investiture? Everything! Well, at least that is what the Tun would aim for.

But, seriously, you think the Palace is controlled by Najib and his koncos? Of course not. Not even during Mahathir's era, when the Judiciary was (supposedly) under his control. The Council of Rulers is its own institution. To say that it is owned by Najib and the BN government is to be disrespectful of the Raja-Raja. Contemptuous, even.

Now, who could be that disrespectful and contemptuous of the Raja-Raja?

Go figure.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Something's rotten in Singapore

No 1MDB to blame this time 
KL, Dec 7: Is there something rotten in Singapore? Repeated financial scandals and deep-set financial deviances seem to suggest a major breakdown of compliance and serious oversight in a global financial centre. Previously, they had 1MDB to conveniently blame (for cases in that actually concerned internal processes flaws, including money laundering lapses, on the part of several international financial units based in Singapore).  
In the latest case involving Swiber, though, there's no Malaysian scapegoat to help hide the embarrassment!

Read also:
Swiber directors out on bail as CAD probes alleged breach of disclosure laws, Dec 6
Finma: BSI in serious breach of money laundering regulations, May 24
Regulators accuse Swiss bank BSI over 1MDB scandal, May 25
Malaysian John Soh Chee Wen arrested in Singapore over securities fraud, Nov 24
Singapore issues fines, seeks to ban former Goldman Sachs banker in 1MDB case, Dec 2

Bonus track:
This is what is wrong in Singapore. Now, are you willing to see it? 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Ah, DA spanks for The Mole

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 6: Long before I started this blog, Dave Avran was already making a name for himself and poking fun at very important people at Spanking DA Monkey. He was doing it openly, without fear or favour, at a time when most people blogged using pseudonyms and commented in other people's blogs as Anons (many still do!). When social media invaded our lives, Dave founded M.A.R.A.H, an independent online crime-watch movement comprising concerned citizens, and devoted his time towards making our neighbourhood safer. Starting today, he joined The Mole officially as a Columnist. 

His column will appear every Tuesday.

I don't think Dave is vying for the most popular columnist title judging from this piece...

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Malaysia, Myanmar in war of words

KL, Dec 3: If you ask me, I say send back all the Myanmar citizens who are working here in Malaysia. - Rockybru

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs views with concern the humanitarian crisis in Rohingya, the spillover effect of which will affect the safety, security and standing of Malaysia, as Myanmar's ASEAN neighbour. It is in this context that Malaysia has allowed the Solidarity March to take place. As a neighbour and a responsible member of the international community, it is Malaysia's obligation to ensure that its ASEAN colleague takes proactive steps to prevent the matter from further deteriorating. Malaysia is well aware of the principles upon which ASEAN was built, being a founding member of the regional organisation. 
In 2008, all ten member states of ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Charter, which binds the members to the international principles of the protection and promotion of human rights. Furthermore, all member states of ASEAN agreed to respond effectively, in accordance with the principle of comprehensive security, to threats, which the Rohingya issue poses to Malaysia's own security. The high number of Rohingya people in Malaysia (approximately 56,000) under the UNHCR banner, coupled with the hundreds of thousands in other neighbouring countries, makes this matter no longer an internal matter but an international matter. The fact that only one particular ethnicity is being driven out is by definition ethnic cleansing. 
This practice must stop, and must be stopped immediately in order to bring back security and stability to the Southeast Asian region. Malaysia need not remind U Zaw Htay of the 2015 boat people crisis which eventually became a regional issue with Myanmar's neighbours taking the brunt of the burden. It is with this in mind that Malaysia has repeatedly offered its assistance to the Myanmar government in finding a solution for a just and durable immediate solution to the persecution of the Rohingya in Northern Rakhine. 
This in keeping with Malaysia's position that this is not a religious issue but an immediate humanitarian concern. 
3 December 2016

Friday, December 02, 2016

Does Mahathir really want a DAP-led government?

The question is, who'll strike the other first ...

"In the next general election the voters are  going to be presented with two choices: either an Umno led Barisan Nasional or a DAP-led Pakatan Harapan. This is the reality facing the voters..."

I've read The two choices offered to voters and I agree with Salleh Said Keruak. A liberal Malay friend calls this "Umno's typical scare tactic", though.

Strategy Umno dlm PRU14 adalah, kalau Umno kalah, Msia akan diperintah oleh DAP. Strategy utk menakutkan orang Melayu utk tidak memilih pembangkang.
Jelas dari apa yg diucapkan oleh Najib dan juga kuncu2 Umno dalam whatsapp group pada hari ini.
Ini jelas menunjukkan Ummo tiada kekuatan utk menang tapi mengharapkan kelemahan pembangkang dan kebimbangan orang Melayu. Strategy yg diguna dalam PRU12 & 13 ini masih nak digunakan utk PRU14.
Harap orang Melayu kita sedar dan buat keputusan yg bijak demi masa depan anak cucu kita semua.

I am neither an UMNO member nor a DAP sympathiser. There are many Malays like me and we look at the facts. And the fact remains that despite all its proclamations, the DAP is not what it claims to be. Someone observed in his Twitter today that the DAP is no longer the chauvinistic party that it used to be. Lim Kit Siang's party has shifted somewhat towards the middle/centre. For example, it's no longer hostile towards what the Bumiputera concept stands for). The observer is either naive or stupid.  Or not a Malay!

The DAP has survived till today because it remains faithful to its political ideals. Malaysian Malaysia. This is the party whose raison d'ĂȘtre is to oppose Bumiputera privileges, including those afforded to these sons of the soil under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. Refresh your history, h e r e. Can a leopard change its spots? 

Will the Lims allow a Malay or an Indian to rule DAP? 

Mahathir is very well aware of the answers. If he had a choice, you think he'd make compromises with the Lims? Mahathir was the one who sent the older Lim and his son to prison when he was PM because they were a threat. The fact that he is DAP-friendly now is because he has absolutely no choice. His new party Pribumi will not survive without Pakatan Harapan and to be in this Opposition coalition, Mahathir needs the Lims to say yes to Pribumi. 

But I don't think even Mahathir, despite his many amazing U-turns of late, would dare to turn around and tell the Malays that it's ok for the DAP to rule them. The Old Man may be desperate but he's not naive and certainly not stupid.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Who is the real Maria Chin?

A: "People know jamal is an umno man, ambiga a lawyer but what (sic) is maria chin? i don't know anything about her except that she heads Bersih.."
B: "I think her family is rich. She studied urban planning and economics in the UK in the 70s where she met her husband who was a leftist student activist. Probably something like Marina Mahathir..."
C: "Actually, I remember reading about her and her husband .. her education background etc but don't remember the rich part."
C: "The late husband."
B: "Must be rich to afford such education". - A brief WhatsApp conversation involving three journalists

Puchong, 23 Nov: Before her detention under SOSMA, most Malaysians only knew Maria Chin as the head of Bersih 2.0 and little else. Many didn't even know she's a Muslim and that she was married to a Malaysian student activist-turned PLO freedom fighter-turned-Ops Lalang ISA detainee. But that is about to change. The "Free Maria" campaign has certainly made a lot of people want to know her better. Those who disagree with what she's doing have also been busy telling Malaysians who the "real" Maria Chin is ....

Check out this info sheet on the Bersih chief, for example:

Maria Chin Abdullah (Mary Chin Cheen Lian) 
Maria Chin berkenalan dengan Yunus Lebai Ali di London pada tahun 1979 dan berkahwin. 
Yunus Lebai Ali dan Hishamuddin Rais adalah aktivis berfahaman sosialis Universiti Malaya pada tahun 1970-an yang sama-sama melarikan diri ke luar negara kerana takut ditangkap polis. 
Maria Chin dan Yunus pulang ke Malaysia sekitar akhir tahun 1980-an dan terlibat  dengan NGO dinamakan NIEI (National Institute for Electoral Integrity). NIEI dan MAFREL (Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections) ditaja oleh Asia Foundation merupakan jaringan NAMFREL (The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections) dan ANFREL (Asian Network for Free and Fair Elections). 
Bekas pegawai CIA, Philip Agee mendedahkan NAMFREL dan ANFREL adalah 'tool CIA' bertopeng di sebalik slogan 'kuasa rakyat'. 
Modus Operandi CIA kini telah diambil alih oleh badan baharu yang dinamakan NED (National Endowment For Democracy). 
Maria Chin juga terlibat dalam NGO-NGO hak asasi manusia dan feminisme yang pro LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Biseksual dan Transgender). Antaranya; WDC (Women Development Collective), EMPOWER (Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor) dan SIS (Sister In Islam)...antara aktivis SIS adalah MARINA MAHATHIR... 
Ternyata beliau bukan orang biasa tapi merupakan seorang yang punyai Latar Belakang yg perlu di teliti lebih lanjut..

For another view of Maria, try 10 things about: Maria Chin Abdullah, social activist - MalayMailOnline

Bersih 6 and Bersih 7
Now, the Bersih crowd would like you to forget that Jamal "Red Shirt" Yunos was also detained for his role in last Saturday's street rallies. But that's a fact. The police did not just detain Maria Chin, they also threw Jamal into jail. The biggest difference,  I suppose, is that there was no vigil for Jamal, no "Free Jamal" campaign. Therefore, Jamal did not have the pleasure of having Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife joining in a nationwide chorus to get him released from detention. Such is Jamal's predicament.

Why Mahathir is saddened by Maria's detention

But the brief detention has given him ideas: Jamal released, plans "Bersih 7" campaign aimed at Selangor Government . And such is OUR predicament!

READ ALSO: Childish outcry against Maria's SOSMA detention - A Voice

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The day Dr Mahathir hijacked Bersih

No caption required ... Pic by Jahabar Sadiq

Puchong, 20 Nov: Someone asked me why Lim Kit Siang and I were not there at yesterday's Opposition rally Bersih 5. I was stumped: the DAP strongman wasn't at the Yellow gathering? I realised I didn't remember seeing his pictures from the rally, either! I checked with an Opposition friend immediately. "Dei, of course Uncle Lim was there. See today's front page of Utusan lah". I took his word for it and comforted myself: Ah, okok, so I panicked for no reason. I conveyed the good news to Someone. "Oh, my bad," I thought I heard her say, "I saw Mahathir and Mahathir and Mahathir only at the rally". 
Stumped again! Because that's really it, isn't it? When you come to think of the whole thing, and with the benefit of hindsight, yesterday's Bersih 5 was really about Mahathir! It was his show! Imagine if the Tun hadn't flown in with his private jet to join the 40,000-strong Yellow men, women and children, the rally would have been old news. I'm sure Kit Siang would be happier as he would not have to play second fiddle to the Old Man, but it would have been a non-event... 

Tun M addresses the Yellow people

Dr M waves to the Yellow people, who wave back, of course

Dr M wants 1 million people to attend Bersih 5

No Kit Siang in the picture, but future PM and DPM at hand

Why do you think PKR Shamsul Iskandar isn't wearing the Bersih shirt?

Yellow shirt, Red carpet

Can't wait for Bersih 6? I know, right ...

Read also:

Lessons learnt - rally can be peaceful, but unnecessary, the Mole
An online reporter covering the Bersih rally for the first time finds out that the people who join the rally - those she spoke to, at least - do it because they are unhappy with their lot

Kesan Mahathir - Rakyat menjauhi Bersih, Salleh Said Keruak
The BN Minister believes Bersih 5's poor turnout was due to the presence of Dr Mahathir!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

When Down Under, beware some Kangaroos

Updates 19/11
CIMB to sell properties worth RM1.3 b in Australia, FMT 17 Nov 2016. I don't believe in coincidences, if you know what I mean. Perhaps Wisma Putra should issue an ADVISORY to Malaysians seeking to invest in properties Down Under, in view of these developments ...

Original article
Seeking justice in Malaysia. Wikipedia insists that kangaroo courts did not have its origins in Australia, where kangaroos come from. If that's baffling to me I can't imagine what Sarawak-born Malaysian businessman Hii Yii Ann might be thinking. Hii, 56, is fighting a decision by the Australian courts about his tax residency status that could rob him of AUD50 million!

Hii, a Malaysian passport holder who has never applied to be an Australian resident, says he's submitted to the Australian authorities documented proof that he is a Malaysian taxpayer and has never lived anywhere near long enough in Australia to be deemed the country's "tax resident". Yet, the Australian court deemed that he had denounced his Malaysian tax residency status and, therefore, owed whatever he had earned to the Australian Tax Office.

In response, Hii has filed an unprecedented lawsuit in the Malaysian court against the Australian government. The case management took place at Jalan Duta yesterday. Free Malaysia Today and the Malaysian Digest have the story; the Star carries an analysis.


The Malaysian Digest

The Star 

And prominent Facebook crime-fighter Dave Avran writes, If you own land or property in Australia, you need to read this. 

Related good reading:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Aw, Rafizi!

Rafizi out of GE14 unless OSA conviction cleared - Malay Mail Online

KL, Mon: YB Rafizi Ramli is an example of a young, reckless politician. A legend in his own mind who rose too fast for his own good. When you look back at his meteoric rise, you will sooner or later wonder how he got to be where he is so fast. What were his contributions to society, or to his peers, or to his neighboruhood before he was elected to represent the people in Parliament? And how did he manage to get himself in trouble again and again with the law, the same law that lawmakers like him are supposed to uphold? Ignorance? Foolhardiness? Stupidity? 
Rafizi did say he would not be surprised if the Court found him guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act. Well, the truth is many of us are not surprised., either. 
And mind you, the courts that found Rafizi guilty today aren't the same as the ones during the Mahathir era, and the judges today are viewed by many of us as rather anti-Establishment or even pro-Opposition (allegedly, of course; in other words, they are quite fair lah). 
So Rafizi can't complain ... 
In fact, that's a good reason to smile. We shouldn't be surprised if he wins his appeal, if you know what I mean ...

Read also: 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Muhyiddin (and Mahathir), publicly reformed

Puchong, Nov 12: I try not to post too often about Abang Din. 
But this one is heartbreaking. 
Or laughable. 
Depending on how you choose to see Malaysian politics (and politicians).

Today: Muhyiddin, Malaysia's likely next Prime Minister
 if the Opposition wins the 15th GE

Muhyiddin a couple of years ago, when he was DPM

Yes, Malaysian politicians are fond of posters and placards. Other than that, they love to play the Anwar (Ibrahim) issue. Nearly 20 years ago Dr Mahathir Mohamad, then the PM, sacked Anwar and sent him to jail with sensational allegations of power abuse and sodomy. Today he's backing the "Reformasi" movement openly, even if the love is not reciprocal. 

This photograph of the sneering Tun with a very special badge tells a thousand words of hypocrisy at its best. Or worst. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"We'll do a Trump on Najib!"

KL, Thurs: Malaysians probably followed the Trump vs Clinton race more intimately than any other US presidential elections and more than any presidential or general election in other countries, except the Malaysian GE! Not just because the US is a close trading partner or a big investor, but because we have kids, friends, relatives over there and we used to spend some years "the States" ourselves. It's where Hollywood is, land of the free and home of the brave, birthplace of Apple and Macs, CIA, FBI, WMD, DOJ, blah blah blah. The reaction towards Trump's victory ranged from WTF! to I-told-you-so, even my 13-year old had a one-line to add: "Some of my friends are scared shit, Trump's President". I asked her: "What are they scared shit of? She said: "They are just scared shit". 

Me, I think it's OK to be wary of the unknown. What scares me are people who think that Trump's victory is a sign from God for Malaysians to act against the evil and the corrupt!

Take Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's strongman Matthias Chang's response to Trump's thumping win yesterday:

"What a sweeping victory. Trump won the Presidency, the Senate and House of Representatives.  No quarters given and no quarters asked. He was betrayed by party scumbags corrupted by the Obama/Clinton Crime Syndicate. They sabotaged his campaign. Top party leaders did not turned up at the party convention when he won the nomination. Then these criminal scumbags declared they will vote for criminal Killary in the election. He spent his own money. The bulk of his campaign funding. Yet, inspite his flaws and never ran for any public office he trash all his opponents because he at least dare say in the most blunt terms the truth about his country - bankrupt and dying and inspire his people to defeat the scumbags and save America, turn their backs on the criminal war agenda by the Neocons anf to work for peace in Syria and the Middle East with Russia. God indeed work in mysterious ways. I was not right.  God was right and all I did was to pray and have absolute faith in HIM to answer my prayers and millions the world over for global peace.  Not pawns to Soros zionist money and schemes to control the nations that he had targeted under the guise of philantrophy. Allah be praised. God willing Malaysia will be saved from the same scourge of corruption. But we must be vigilant. Trump did not bow to Soros money.  We do not need Soros or any Zionist money to defeat the Najib regime.  All we need is Allah's blessing. Pray."

I hope you are not laughing. Matthias has a faithful, cult-like following online as well as on You Tube. You underestimate him, like you underestimate Trump, at your own peril! 

But I guess Dr M's longtime special advisor was not aware that Najib is, supposedly, Trump's golfing buddy and "favourite Prime Minister" ...

Najib's other detractors will be trying hard not to go down Matthias' way. They have their own ideas. South China Morning Post boldly asks in its post-US election analysis:

If they'd asked me, I would suppose that Trump will deal with the probe as Najib's other "golfing buddy", Obama, deals with the 1MDB probe. Right?

Anyway, I speculate that by this weekend Malaysians will go back to their other worldly concerns. Trump, like Obama back then and Justin Trudeau last year, will pass us by. As Najib says, Trump's victory will not affect our ties with America i.e. our kids, friends and relatives there should be fine and we can still travel to the US for holidays and business as we've always done, the Apple phones will continue to be very expensive even if the Dollar tanked, and it will still not be the land for the Red Indians' braves.

But if Trump's America turns ugly, uglier than it already is, then there's always China. It's not a pretty alternative, but we've always wanted to Look East, anyway.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

How Mahathir tried and failed to get China's RM144 billion

"The opposition is jealous and worried about Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s China visit, which has turned out to be a roaring success." - Mahathir's weapon of distraction, Salleh Said Keruak

Really Nazri, Mahathir jealous of Najib's China success? 

Sunday, 6 Nov: I don't often agree with Nazri Aziz but the point he underscored in Jealousy prompted Dr M's comments (Malaysian Digest, 3 Nov) made me look back at Mahathir Mohamad's own politics re China when he was PM. 

A lot of people forget that Dr M tried very hard to be in China's good books. Through his ambitious but ill-fated East Asia Economic Group (EAEG) proposal, he tried to get China to lead Asia, together with Japan and South Korea, against America and Europe. EAEG was renamed a Caucus after consultations with spooked and reluctant Asean partners (and Japan and South Korea) but it remained a proposal until the end, much to Mahathir's chagrin. 
Imagine if he had succeeded! It would have been Mahathir announcing last week's historic RM144 billion Chinese investment into Malaysia, not Najib!

In any case, China (not the US or Japan) has been Malaysia's largest trading partner since 2009, the year Najib became PM. Quite naturally, the biggest trading partner would start bringing in huge direct investment into Malaysia, just as the US and Japan had done before, and become this country's leading investor. 

But that's something not only Mahathir finds difficult to accept, whether out of jealousy or his own past failure to put China in his pocket. 

An expert writing in The Diplomat Is China now Malaysia's largest investor? (Jan 2016) authoritatively concluded that he couldn't see China investing heavily in Malaysia:

"That said, even if official data eventually does show China as being Malaysia’s largest foreign investor, that could just be a 2015 aberration instead of a sustained trend, given the uniqueness of these year-end investments. As The Post notes, it will be difficult for Beijing to sustain the top position since Malaysia’s plan to become a high-income nation by 2020 prioritizes high-value industries, with such investments typically coming from traditional sources like Europe, Japan, Singapore, and the United States."

A lot of people having to eat their own words. I think that's why they hate Najib.

By Helen Ang, DAP got nothing to say about Beijing's embrace of Najib Razak?
Annie, Shouldn't reject an offer of friendship
The Brick, China trip ... marks the dissolution of Mahathirism
Kadir Jasin, Show us genuine China money

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Ah, Kadir Jasin ...

"Demokrasi tidak diamal dalam pemerintahan sekarang dan rakyat hidup dalam ketakutan ... [Democracy is not practised in the government and the people live in fear...]' - Dr M, here, after the "undemocratic" government approved the registration of his Bumi-only party

Puchong, 3 Nov: So, my ex-boss A. Kadir Jasin is officially a former journalist. Sad but, I suppose, inevitable. Kadir ended a sterling career that lasted nearly half a century, starting as a Bernama reporter in 1969, peaking with the management buyout of NSTP and TV3 in 2003 and ending as a socio-media journalist, to join Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Pribumi Bersatu party that the former PM set up to end Najib Razak's tenure as Prime Minister and Barisan Nasiona/Umno's reign as Malaysia's longest ruling party. 
Zainuddin Maidin is the other Tokoh Wartawan Negara besides Kadir who left journalism to become a full-time politician for Dr Mahathir after a long and rewarding stint with journalism. The former Utusan Malaysia chief editor was made Deputy Information Minister in 2002, the year before Mahathir stepped down as PM, and in 2006 was appointed the Information Minister by Pak Lah. His political career was cut shot by his defeat in the 2008 general election. 
I wish Kadir all the best and hope he'll fare better than the new party will ...

The Pribumi Bersatu aka Parti Bunga (Flower Party, see logo) line-up.
Kadir is standing 7th from right, breathing down Mukhriz's neck

Friday, October 28, 2016

Abang Din the Opposition Leader

Exactly today last year, I wrote the posting Should Muhyiddin Quit Umno? On hindsight, maybe I should have asked if Muhyiddin Yassin shouldn't quit politics altogether, while he still could. Because after listening to his maiden speech as an Opposition leader in Parliament yesterday, I'm convinced that Abang Din is going to make even less impact in his new role than he ever did when he was, say, Minister of Education (the last portfolio he held as a Minister in Najib Razak's Cabinet).

When he was Umno, Muhyiddin was the quintessential gentleman, always composed and in control (even when he wasn't). But yesterday, as Opposition, he looked ill at ease. He was trying to be more Mahathir than Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself. In his haste to get even with PM Najib Razak, Muhyiddin has shown that he's capable of ungentlemanly conduct. And willing to bring anyone down with him if that is what it takes, as Gani Patail, the former Attorney General, found out ... 

"Kalau dia (Gani) bohong, bohonglah saya ..." [If he'd lied to me then I'm lying to you...] - Muhyiddin, insinuating in Parliament that former Attorney General Gani Patail had shared with him (when he was the Deputy PM) proof that implicated his ex-Boss, Najib Razak, in the 1MDB "scandal". 

The blogger Big Dog isn't the only one in shock and awe with the "new" Muhyiddin, Abang Din the Opposition. Read his latest posting Didn't Muhyiddin understand the oath he took for Secrecy? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hurting them big cooking oil smugglers, at last!

Updated: Partners in Crime by Big Dog
Because civil servants turned a blind eye by A Voice

No increase in price for 1kg cooking oil!

In "What's Cooking, Doc?", seasoned crime-watcher Dave Avran wrote:
Currently 85,000 metric tonnes of controlled cooking oil is subsidized by the government whereas domestic national consumption is only 40,000 metric tonnes, the excess 45,000 metric tonnes are illegally smuggled out of the country. This means the excess subsidized cooking oil costs the government a whopping RM540 million annually which is not benefitting local consumers at all.
Because Avran is a seasoned crime-watcher [see MARAH, the closed FB group he started to fight crime only], I couldn't help wondering if the "Big Boys" in the cooking oil industry, who stand to lose the most from the Government's move to take away the subsidy for 5kg cooking oil, had any information on the "illegal smuggling". It's a huge crime (worth more than half a billion ringgit a year) ... surely some of these big players would be aware of the massive leakage! 

If I were a bit more suspicious, I'd be wondering if any of them had anything to do with the crime! But I'm not like that lah ...

p.s. As for the cooking oil price increase, I read that the price of 1kg packet of minyak masak remains unchanged because the move will only affect the 5kg or more packets, which are used by commercial outlets. That's good news. Not that it changes anything as my home hardly uses up 1kg of cooking oil every month, anyway. Some traders and food outlets will use it as an excuse to pass the additional cost to the consumers but then again they will use any excuse to do that. After the smugglers, these traders are the kind of unscrupulous people the relevant authorities should really go after and expose form today ...

Read also:

Who does WHO think it is?

Does WHO think it can override the sovereignty of member countries? 

Puchong, 26 Oct: NOT all is well at the World Health Organisation, it would seem. 
The public health arm of the United Nations has seen incidents of reported fraud rose by 20 per cent last year. Allegations of rampant corruption, blatant cronyism and sheer extravagance are causing real concern. 
Sensationally, the world body has also "blacklisted" the Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organisation, from key meetings.
Some cynics are quick to blame internal rivalry for WHO's predicaments but that would be missing the point. A country like Malaysia, which is a member of WHO, stands to lose. One has just to look back at what happened to FIFA recently to be convinced that if nothing is done the same fate awaits WHO. 
In the case of the world football governing body, half of its 24 Executive Committee members were charged with serious improprieties stemming from bribes, illegal ticket sales, match-fixing, and World Cup hosting.