Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dr M quits Proton

March 31, 2016 MEDIA RELEASE
Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad has resigned as Chairman of Proton Holdings, effective March 30, 2016.
A letter of resignation has been sent to Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM Berhad, Dato Seri Syed Faisal Albar yesterday.
Dr Mahathir has also relinquished his post as the Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Petronas, also effective Mar 30, 2016. His decision has been communicated to UTP Rector Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.
Apart from that, Dr Mahathir has also resigned as the advisors to the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and the Tioman Island Development Authority (TIDA). The Chief Secretary to the Government has been informed of these resignations.
Office of Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
31st March 2016

If lawmakers don't give a damn, why should we? (Is this statement seditious?)

Taman Tun, 31 March:
Read about the pregnant Australian woman who was sentenced to 10 months jail by a Singapore court for sedition last week? 

Here's the story:

Bangkok: An Australian woman who is eight weeks pregnant has been sentenced to 10 months' jail on charges of publishing seditious articles in Singapore, the stiffest sentence ever imposed for the offence in the city-state.
Ai Takagi, a 23-year-old Australian of Japanese descent from Brisbane, apologised to the people of Singapore for the harm she had caused for posting comments on her popular website The Real Singapore.
"I know that the harmony which Singapore enjoys today requires careful and continuous efforts on the part of everyone, citizens and visitors alike, to maintain," Takagi told a court on Wednesday, according to the Straits Times

That's the difference between Singapore and us. We have more or less the same laws but they are not hesitant about upholding them, even if the whole wide world calls them barbaric or draconian. They are not afraid to use them on anybody, politicians or bloggers, foreigners or locals., to "maintain the harmony", as Ai Takagi acknowledged belatedly. 

Over here, a politician can leak official secrets to all and sundry, lie through their teeth and show the middle finger to the supposedly feared BAFIA and nobody dares to take any action. Lawmakers don't give a damn and we expect the citizens to be law-abiding?


Media statement by 1Malaysia Development Berhad
Issued on 30 March 2016

Stop Interfering with the PAC
1MDB understands that YB Rafizi Ramli has lodged a police report against 1MDB senior management. 1MDB confirms that its senior management will fully cooperate with any investigation that may be deemed necessary by the police.
YB Rafizi claims that he has publicly revealed classified information subject to the Official Secrets Act (OSA). If what YB Rafizi has done is true, then this blatant breach of the law is shocking to say the least, and worse, coming from a Parliamentarian.
The matters YB Rafizi claims to "expose" are part of an ongoing investigation by the Public Accounts Committee, a lawful select committee of Parliament, with 5 opposition members. There is no need for rabble-rousing Rafizi to sensationalise what is already being investigated and even less need to blatantly break the law in doing so.
1MDB has consistently maintained that if any wrongdoing is found, then action must be taken according to the law. We accordingly reiterate 1MDB's commitment to fully cooperate with all lawful authorities in their investigations.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dedak and the ABC

Kuala Lumpur, 30 March:
Dedak is Malay/Indonesian for bran or pounded paddy husks. When I first read about dedak on our cyberspace, I had the impression that it was chicken feed. Or was it duck feed? But dedak, I discovered later, is eaten by not just chicken and ducks. Rabbits, lembu and fish consume dedak as well.

Pemakan dedak, however, is neither chicken nor duck, even though makan means eat. Pemakan dedak is a label used by Pro-Tun Mahathir cyber troopers and fan clubs against anyone seen as defending PM Najib Razak and his Administration. The aim, obviously, is to create the perception that those who defend Najib and the Malaysian Government have been dedak-ed (bribed) to do so. If it seems like a childish and desperate attempt to discredit those who dare to defend their PM, it's because it is childish and desperate. 

But then I read Dr Mahathir's latest blog posting Kit Siang dan Dr Mahathir and, mmm, even the Grand Old Man is resorting to the D word now. 

We don't eat anyone's dedak? Mmm...

Dedak crossed my mind, a big grin in its wake, after reading the Bloomberg news on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's latest expose on Najib.

Well, I think the ABC's latest program was meant to be an expose (based on fresh documents) intended to keep the RM2.6 billion controversy alive. Whether they realised it or not, however, the people at ABC have actually confirmed the Malaysian government's official line all along with regards to the source of the donation: that it did not come from 1MDB and that it was a donation from the Middle East.

The Bloomberg piece on the ABC report:

Question: So, why is the ABC confirming what Najib Razak and our Attorney-General have been saying regarding the RM2.6 billion?  
Answer: ABC makan dedak kot ... :-)

Read also:
It wasn't bullshit, Najib has been telling the truth all along - Rocky's Bru, Jan 27

Ku Li: I was duped by Mahathir many times ...

Puchong, 30 March: 
As expected, Ku Li's press conference yesterday churned out quite a bit of hot news for the extremely hot weather of ours but this one, I think, takes the cake ...

Read also:
No Ambitions of becoming next PM: Ku Li by Astro Awani
Ku Li: I'm no turncoat by FMT
I don't support Tun M's movement, says Ku Li by NST
Razaleigh defends his support for PM Najib by Straits Times Singapore

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The best PM Malaysia never had

#kulilagi #kesiankuli

29 March, Noon
As I write, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, most likely to respond to the tonnes of brickbats he's been getting from the anti-Najib, proTun crowd who have been told that the Kelantanese prince had done a number on the Deklarasi Gang, that he was supposed to be part of it, that he hoodwinked everyone and betrayed Dr Mahathir Mohamad by throwing his support behind Najib Razak, instead.

Well, that's hardcore politics for you. I hear blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin knows the story as to why Ku Li would never trust Mahathir ever again after the coup against Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 2006-09. I hope that story will be told soon.

In the mean time, Ku Li remains the most sought-after politician every time there's a major national leadership crisis. I say it speaks volumes abour the man ... notwithstanding what he might say at the press conference.

Now any hitman can seek asylum ... just dial M

Puchong, 29 March
The Australian media appear keen to keep the controversies surrounding Najib Razak alive, running a series of exclusives and special segments on the Malaysian Prime Minister beginning the weekend. This interview with Mahathir Mohamad by 60 Minutes, picked up by Malaysiakini yesterday, seems to be the kicker for this sudden renewed interest.

There will be more in the coming days and weeks ...

Dr Mahathir's crusade for Sirul, one of the two men convicted for Altantuya's murder after 153-day high-profile trial, still intrigues me to this day. I was there in April last year when Dr M spoke for the first time about Sirul (it was also the last time he spoke to some of us bloggers). Sirul/Altantuya was one of the reasons why he wanted Najib to step down (the other reasons included the RM42 billion of 1MDB money that had "vanished", BR1M, GST and the fact that Najib was too friendly with or fearful of Singapore and the US). Sirul's mother had come to see him, we were told. She broke down and begged Mahathir for his son's life. The Tun was deeply touched by this. A fellow blogger shrugged, "Any mother would do that". But not all mothers of sons condemned to the gallows for murder get to meet Dr Mahathir. 

Sirul is one lucky chap.

Dr M admits speaking to Sirul, offered to help secure asylum
28 Mar 2016 
Dr Mahathir Mohamad had offered to help former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar obtain asylum in Australia.
The former prime minister said this in an interview with 60 Minutes, an Australian current affairs programme that featured a segment on Malaysia titled 'Dirty Secrets' yesterday.
Mahathir was asked if he offered Sirul, who is currently detained in Sydney's Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, any inducement to "tell the truth" about murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.
"No inducements… I did try to speak to him over the phone.
"I did tell him that if I can help him get asylum in Australia, because of his fear if something happens to him if he comes back, I would try," he replied.
In January 2015, the Federal Court overturned the acquittal of Sirul and another former police commando, Azilah Hadri, over the 2006 murder.
The pair was sentenced to death, but Sirul had fled to Australia before the court decision.
Australian law dictates that a person facing the death penalty in his or her home country cannot be sent back.
In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini via telephone in February 2015, Sirul maintained that he had acted under orders and was being made a scapegoat.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has dismissed Sirul's claims as "utter rubbish".
Najib was implicated when his closest ally, political strategist Abdul Razak Baginda, was initially charged with abetting the murder but was acquitted without his defence being called.
Razak was involved in the multi-billion ringgit procurement of two Scorpene submarines when Najib was defence minister and deputy prime minister.
The police had cleared Najib of any involvement and the prime minister also swore on the Quran that he did not know Altantuya and that he was not involved in her murder.
Recently, several of videos of Sirul surfaced, in which he denied Najib's involvement in the case and that Altantuya was pregnant at the time of her death.
Sources familiar with the videos had claimed there would be another video in which Sirul would reveal the names of those who had asked him to implicate Najib, but this was never released.
In the 60 Minutes interview, Mahathir also argued that a dictator who is willing to serve the people is not bad.
"When you have a dictator who is dedicated to serving the people, I think it is not a bad thing to have power."
"But if you have a man who is not a dictator but abuses everything, and undermines all the authorities of government…" Mahathir said, before the interviewer intervened and asked if he were referring to Najib.
"Yeah…yeah,” ex-premier was heard as responding.
Mahathir also reiterated that he is not concerned about the prospect of being arrested or imprisoned.
"No risk, no gain," he said, adding that if he had to go to jail, he would although he would find conditions there "uncomfortable".
To another question on how Australians know Mahathir as an "autocrat” and former Australian prime minister Paul Keating describing him as “recalcitrant”, Mahathir merely replied: "I stand by my principles."

Friday, March 25, 2016

The straw that broke Dr Mahathir's back

26 March
Say what you like, he may be having the last laugh

The Petronas advisor's post has traditionally been a retirement post for former PMs, that's true. But one can't help but wonder if this isn't Najib Razak rubbing salt to Dr Mahathir's injury, especially following the Tun's claim in his lawsuit that his removal as the Petronas advisor is example of what makes him a victim of "Najib's abuses".

Original article:

Kuala Lumpur, 25 March; 
In the end it isn't 1MDB's "vanished" RM42 billion or Altantuya's murder or her murderer's "unfair" death sentence or the "wasteful" BR1M scheme or the "suspicious" RM2.6 billion donation in Najib Razak's account that drove former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to file a lawsuit against the Prime Minister, the subject of his ire for the last 18 months or so. It was his sacking as Petronas advisor that made him do something he never, ever did before. 
If it wasn't clear before, now everyone can see: it has become personal.

For the full story, subscribe to Malaysiakini h e r e. I've yet to renew my subscribption so I can't cut and paste the whole article here.

NOTE: Dear Readers, I won't ask you to register yourselves but please note that I don't accept comments by Anonymous anymore. For me to publish your comments, simply give yourselves pseudonyms like xnakdedak or nakdedak or, if you are brave and bold enough, use your real/true ID.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Blog/portal registration: Why some politicians stand to lose most

Puchong, 24 March
So, the blogging Minister Salleh Said Keruak wants people like me, who run blogs or/and political news portals, to register our blogsites and portals. So what's new? The government has been talking about it for a decade now and it hasn't come anywhere near doing it. Talk, more talk, and talk some more, only. I suspect that the politicians themselves are not excited about the idea. Why? Because some of them have so many cybertroopers on their payroll to do their dirty work (and that includes the infamous Red Bean Army of the DAP) and they are the ones who will end up the biggest losers if Salleh makes them all register! People like me have the least to lose. I've been blogging independently and openly since 2006. In 2011, I started with a little help from my friends, some of whom are today openly (and some anonymously) opposed to my own views on politics.  

In my comments to the Asian Correspondent I said the likes of Malaysiankini and A. Kadir Jasin have nothing to fear (or lose). in the unlikely event that the government makes registration compulsory. "They are already operating openly". But Jebat Must Die, Annie,  Lim Sian See and the Unspinners and those who blog anonymously and carefreely (ie they don't have to be fully accountable for what they write) may feel victimised by the move (read h e r e).

But like the rest of us, they can always take off their masks and boldly write as themselves!  

"But if you want money for people with minds that hateAll I can tell you is brother you have to wait"

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Ringgit's time-ly comeback

The TIME magazine has placed Malaysia as second most corrupt nation after Brazil. Mmm. Before you get excited, please remember that this is the same TIME magazine whose unsolicited advise to Barack Obama with regards to our PM Najib Razak was totally disregarded last year by the US President. In fact, Obama went on to visit Malaysia not once but twice! The same fledgling magazine that informs its shirnking readership that nasi lemak - yes nasi lemak! - is one of the healthiest breakfast meals they could ever have! We Malaysians love our nasi lemak but we know better. [Hard to digest it's healthy].  

What the TIME is not likely to be excited about is despite all the bad press they and cousins WSJ and Sarawak Report have been giving us, there is plenty of good news. 

Our currency the dear Ringgit, for example, is making a quiet and strong comeback even as I write this! And the stock market's not doing too badly, either.

Read more

You can follow the Ringgit's progress h e r e.

And our economy is not doing too badly, all things considered. The China Railway's RM8billion hub right smack at the centre of the much maligned 1MDB is a major and - pardon the pun - timely boost.  Read also Uncertain economy no hindrance to affordable homes.

p.s After Lim Guan Eng's bungalow controversy and the Sports and Youth Ministry's RM100 million graft bust, the TIME magazine may revise Malaysia's position and place us ahead of Brazil! We can't wait for their next issue! :-)

Monday, March 21, 2016

A lot at stake than just Guan Eng's bungalow for Abu Kassim

KL, 22 March: 
This one won't go away just like that, Guan Eng
If half the allegations made against him over the RM2.8 million bungalow are true, Lim Guan Eng's days as Chief Minister of Penang are numbered. I think he knows it. 
Pool or no swimming pool, it's a mistake to think that you can fool the Rakyat. And I think deep inside he knows that, too. If Guan Eng thought the open house he held at his controversial bungalow for the selected media (for the record, I was not invited) would make him appear "open", like he had nothing to hide, well he thought wrong. Khir Toyo, the Selangor MB then, was convicted on what seemed to some to be a lesser sin. So Guan Eng will get no sympathies from the Rakyat on this matter. And certainly none from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). 
I am a believer that you're innocent until proven guilty, something I'm not sure Guan Eng abides by all the time. 
I also believe that the MACC is more interested in Guan Eng's bungalow than a lot of people give them credit for. Many forget that eversince Teoh Beng Hock's death, Abu Kassim and the MACC have kept out of the DAP's way. Accusing of murder when that was not what happeend [MACC admits negligence, pays RM600k to TBH family], the MACC almost lost its will to probe the DAP for any alleged wrong-doing or corrupt practices. The case that it was investigating at the time of TBH's death, for example, was it ever pursued?  
One got the impression that for the MACC, it was safer, after TBH, to go after alleged corruption involving the Federal government and the ruling BN coalition.
If there's evidence of corruption in the Penang bungalow case - and a lot of people are suggesting that there's more than enough of it (More damning evidence against LGE by Bujai] - Abu Kassim is gointg to go after Guan Eng like tonnes of bricks. 

A lot at stake for Abu Kassim and the MACC 
The MACC boss has lost some of the goodwill of his old die-hard supporters from the TBH days [read The bulls and bulls of Abu Kassim by A Voice], but I believe he will do his job, without fear or favour. I only hope the MACC will not go after Guan Eng with innuendos and incomplete investigations, and that they will be driven by a hunger for the truth and for redemption, not a need to get even ....

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tony Pua should stop twisting the facts re 1MDB and start helping his Boss defend his bungalow deal instead

Bangsar, 18 March 2016 
Everyone's wondering how Lim Guan Eng managed to land himself with probably this century's sweetest property deal in Penang (maybe even in Malaysia) but as far as YB Tony Pua is concerned, his boss can beg, steal or borrow all he likes, the Penang CM couldn't do any wrong. 
Five years of flogging the 1MDB, Tony Pua is no closer to bringing down PM Najib Razak with his efforts. And that must be buggering him bad. It is also making him act idiotic and disingenuous.  
Latest antic borders on the idiotic and disingeuous

Take his latest antic, where he alleged that the 1MDB had no fund manager for Caymans.
You can read it here:   "No fund manager for 1MDB's funds in Caymans raises red flag" - Malaysiakini, `17 March 2016

I say disingenuous because what Tony Pua asked in Parliament was very, very specific:
Pua had asked: "Is there an investment bank managing the funds in Cayman?" 

He did not ask, "Is there a fund manager managing the funds in Cayman?" The answer was NO, there is no investment bank managing the 1MDB funds in Cayman, simply because NOT ALL fund managers are investment banks.  

There is such a thing as a non-bank fund manager. 

Every investment company has fund managers. But these fund manageres, ladies and gentlemen, don't have to be investment bankers! But Pua, sadly, could not figure this out and accused 1MDB of not having fund managers in Cayman! This is just the latest trick of his that we've detected. 

Tony Pua should really take a break from 1MDB and help defend his Bossman against the likes of Rahman Dahlan! Guan Eng gets defensive about his "discount" bungalow purchase in Penang - Malaysian Digest

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why did the owners pull the plug on The Malaysian Insider?

15 March 2016 
What I find odd about the demise of The Malaysian Insider is that only last week the people who owned it were excitedly looking at bids by parties keen to take over the news portal. One bidder I know told me that Tong Kooi Ong and Co had found his bid "too low".  Ah, money is still king no matter which side of the political divide you are, isn't it? Just like the owners of The Rakyat Post, who are said to be asking for more money if relevant parties want the portal to be kept alive. But that's another story ... [read my earllier posting, What's the story, TRP?].
So from today, the Insider, never friendly towards Najib Razak ever since it was started by a group of people desperate to keep Pak Lah in power in 2008, is no more. The Najib-friendly (supposedly) Rakyat Post will follow suit, unless someone comes up with numbers that are not "too low". 
But I'm guessing that we haven't seen the last of TMI. Expect it to be revived in the not-too-distant future, perhaps still with Jahabar Sadiq as head or maybe another will emerge. If there's anything to learn, it is the fact that the kind of journalism that TMI offers may not be credible enough to be commercially sustainable, not even by an established publishing house that created the lucrative The Edge, but what it does is bring in crazy amounts of on-line traffic. Like someone keeps telling me, "If you really want online traffic, just go out there and whack the government or Najib at will and you'll get hordes of people reading you, following you, liking you". 
She's been there and done that, this person, and as the next general election draws nearer, she'll be proven right: there will be great (and instant) demand again for a portal that has the guts to go out there and "whack the government or Najib" ... which is what the Insider is - or was - and (if it comes back) will be again.
This blogger and Jahabar, 2014

Friday, March 11, 2016

Who can fill Dr M's shoes as Petronas Advisor?

KL, 11 March 2016:
Najib Razak, pink lips and supposedly soft and too nice a man (and nice men don't win wars, someone tells me all the time), has done something crude as oil: the PM has ended Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's tenure as Petronas Advisor! 

11th March 2016
The Cabinet today discussed the actions of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, particularly in launching the so-called "Citizen’s Declaration" with opposition leaders last week.
The declaration aims to topple the democratically-elected Government led by the Prime Minister, and is therefore against the law and the Federal Constitution.
The Cabinet decided that since Tun Mahathir is no longer supporting the current Government, he should no longer hold any position related to the Government.
Therefore, the Cabinet today agreed unanimously to terminate the appointment of Tun Mahathir as advisor to Petronas.
I am not shocked, really. Tun leading the motley crew pact last Friday clearly crossed the line. The PMO statement didn't name a successor. Ku Li, the first chairman and chief executive of the national oil corporation, comes to mind.

So what's the story, TRP?

Puchong, 11 March 2016
Back then they told me Omar Ong was the man behind The Rakyat Post. Well, I remember thinking, why not? He was close to the PM and while he might not have the deepest pockets, financing a portal shouldn't be too taxing. And TRP seemed to be doing so well: its editorial team consisting mainly of experienced ex-mainstream journalists and editors were proving that a news portal could still remain faithful to journalism ethics and build up traffic without having to be rabidly and morbidly anti-government (or pro-Opposition). But late last year there were talks that TRP was having some funding problems. RM1 million a month was proving too much, especially given the pathetic ad revenues. And then all of a sudden, they announced that The Rakyat Post was shutting down operations. Some 70 journalists and editors were thrown into the streets, not paid a single sen since the New Year, and on Feb 29 The Rakyat Post announced that it was ceasing operations.

Nah, I told myself, Omar Ong couldn't have been behind this. He's too close to the PM and he's got more sense than to do this kind of thing ...

Yesterday, Astro Awani ran this story:

Understandably, the 70-odd journalists who became jobless after the Feb 29 "shutdown" are feeling they have been conned. "The management has not responded to communication since the shutdown. They haven't paid us our Jan and Feb salaries." Many of the ex-TRP journalists are my friends and former colleagues. All have bills to pay, mouths to feed. They have filed complaints with the Labour Office, the Industrial Court and the EPF. 

To the people behind The Rakyat Post, I dont care if you close it down or come out with a new TRP, but do the right thing and pay up these ex staff of yours. Don't make it worse than it already is. To my fellow journos out there, think again before quitting your current job for that too-good-to-be-true salary offer by some media start-ups ...

p.s. I hear The Malaysian Insider has new paymasters?

NOTE: Remember, I don't accept comments by Anonymous anymore. Give yourselves names like xnakdedak or nakdedak, or better still bravely use your real/true ID, when leaving your views in my Comment Box, thank you. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Proton Dilemma

"The 64 million ringgit question is, will the Government still support Proton now?" asks a motoring journalist on Facebook after Dr Mahathir initiated and signed the Citizens Declaration that calls on PM Najib Razak to resign.

Lorong Maarof, 10 March 2016:
There are 12,000 Malaysians employed by Proton. Apart from being the Founder, Tun Dr Mahahtir Mohamad is also Chairman of Proton. No, not Executive Chairman, for the Tun doesn't need fancy titles to execute anything (or anybody). His every wish is Harith's command. I'm sure even Syed Faisal Albar, the spanking new big boss of DRB-Hicom, is not going to get in the way of the Old Man where Proton is concerned. No point in making the same mistake TS Khamil Jamil once did. 

Dr Mahathir and Harith

When Dr M took the chairmanship of Proton from Khamil back in May 2014, I told some people that I thought he shouldn't have. It could hold back the company. Even some people in Proton agree with me these days. Some, not all. Especially after the Citizens Declaration shocker last week involving Tun Mahathir and Lim Kit Siang, Azmin Ali, S. Ambiga, Mat Sabu, Zaman Khan, Ku Li, etc.

I am not the only one wondering how many of the 12,000 Proton employees have signed or will sign their Founder and Chairman's so-called Citizens' Declaration. And how many won't. 

Proton is now a private company, after it was taken over by Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary's DRB-Hicom group, but its very existence still depends on government assistance, as has been the case since its inception. In fact, it is widely believed that Proton - or, rather, Najib Razak's reluctance to pour in more money into it as demanded by Dr M - is one of the reasons why the Tun is bent on getting rid of the son of Tun Razak for good. Things have not been looking up for a while in Proton. As it is, there are quite a few in Proton who blme Dr Mahathir for the company's woes.

Read also: 

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Selam-kan Malaysia?

AsH is back ...

Selam (**) kan Malaysia

Welcome back, Ash!

p.s. I'll get you the snorkel!

The Ku Li Declaration

Note: I still get a lot of comments by Anonymous. Which I had to delete, as promised. Dear Readers, if you wish to comment, please leave a nickname, pen name, moniker at least. Your real ID/handle preferred, of course.

And an unforgiving Kak Wan speaks out: IIt's Dr M who needs us

"It does not change the views of Pakatan and the main agenda for us is to free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from prison. He is a political victim and he needs to be freed. It does not matter what (Mahathir) thinks about it. This has always been our agenda ...."

8 March 2016:

It does look like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad might have underestiated the response from his admirers and the people towards his chummy collaboration with old foe Lim Kit Siang and Gang. A young reporter from Mahathir's home state Kedah, whose entire family is was a die hard fan of the ex PM, immediately put up the #respectmyPM symbol onto his Facebook profile. But while the young man's opinion may not count much to many, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's stand that "I did not go, I do not support, and I didn't even know about (the pact)" is a mega setback. For talk by the Mahathir-Azmin-Muhyiddin-Ambiga-Kit Siang camp since Friday was that Ku Li, always the potential alternative PM since when Mahathir himself was the PM, was solidly with them. 

Ku Li isn't the only one disputing claims by the organisers of the so-called Citizens Declaration (Netizens are calling it the Mahathir Declaration) about the support they had. The other day Zaman Khan, a respected retired top cop, denied involvement in the pact. I deny as strongly as possible, to say I am on the side of those who signed the declaration and will march to oppose the government. I am not involved,” said Zaman Khan, here

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Sex and Saving Malaysia

With updates 
"We are not having sex. We are saving Malaysia." - A. Kadir Jasin on not-so-complimentary FB response towards Dr Mahathir's Save Malaysia alliance with the Opposition and Opposition-friendly civil society movement. 

Puchong, the morning after (1 something a.m.):

So it has come down to this. In his great desire to see Najib Razak fall, Tun Mahathir Mohamad finally brought himself down to the level of his political foes in a so-called civil society movement to bring down the Prime Minister. 
"I would regard this as the most bizarre day in all the years that I have been a journalist," a scribe who's not particularly fond of Mahathir or Najib told me.
"There is nothing left to shock me," he said.
I said I agreed with him. It was also sickening. The doughnut I had just gulped down was restless in my tummy. 
Later, a YB asked me if I was in town.
"I am not feeling too well, YB, especially after seeing what has become of the Tun," I told him.
"Sad," he texted back. "Never thought I'd see the day. Rest well, Sir. We'll mourn this shame of one whom we once revered ever so dearly."

Journalist Nuraina Samad, in her FB posting after the Save Malaysia special h e r e, chooses not to say too much. 
She didn't have to. 

Strange bedfellows, indeed.
It was all there for everyone to see.

I was following Awani's "live" coverage of the so-called Save Malaysia campaign with two former editors of the New Straits Times, a government-friendly daily once ruled by Kadir. None of us were proud to see Kadir there with the politicians, although we understand his loyalty to Dr Mahathir and Tun Daim Zainuddin.
It was strange to see our ex boss lined up as one of the signatories of this Citizens' Declaration to oust Najib Razak. I thought The Scribe looked uncomfortable, as if he'd rather be elsewhere.

He was seated next to Tian Chua during the signing, if I'm not mistaken. What was my ex boss thinking, I did wonder ...

"We are not having sex. We are saving Malaysia. Wallahualam". - Kadir, in response to Nuraina's posting h e r e
"Did anyone talk about sex? Hmmm ... strange." - Anwardi Jamil, the film producer son of a legendary film producer, replies immediately to Kadir 
"What's wrong with sex? Sex is good." - Hasnah Abd Rahman, PR practitioner and not-so-Opposition-friendly civil movement activist, and a former journalist with the NST when it was under Kadir.

p.s. I won't be signing the so-called Citizens' Declaration. Sex or no sex (if they were having sex yesterday, it would have been an orgy!), I don't wish to be part of this unholy unholiest marriage of convenience.  

Why Life of Annie won't sign it, either: Staying neutral and away from creepy people
This strange group of people by Zakiah Koya
Mahathir-led motley crew an't decide who should lead by The Mole

Friday, March 04, 2016

The trials of reading the Quran in Malaysia

Spanish, anyone?

Taman Tun, 4 March 2016:
Read this in the Mole today ...

PUTRAJAYA — March 3, 2016: The Quran Printing, Control and Licensing Board (LPPPQ) today declared that writing and reading the Quran in languages other than Arabic is prohibited.
A statement by its chairman Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria reasoned that this is because the text of the Quran in other languages not accompanied by the Arabic text cannot be considered as Quran.
He said such an act is punishable under the Printing of Quran Text Act (APTQ) and the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
Harussani, who is also the mufti of Perak, was commenting on the “Let’s Read The Quran” campaign to write and read the Quran in languages other than Arabic.
According to him, as the body responsible for the monitoring of the printing, publication and import of Quran texts under APTQ, the board views the campaign seriously.
He stressed that the board and the respective state Islamic authorities would take stern action to stop the movement and campaign.
Harussani said a Quran which has been translated into other languages for the benefit of those who do not understanding Arabic cannot be considered Quranic texts but are translations of the Quran or interpretations of the
“Translations of the Quran which are not accompanied by the original text in Arabic are prohibited as it is feared they could cause confusion,” he said. — Bernama

So what now, let's NOT read the Quran?
This is the kind of statements that shouldn't see print because 
1. it makes the person being quoted, in this case Harussani, sound shallow and moronic when I'm sure he's not 
2. it makes Islam look so rigid, uncompromising, archaic, prohibitive when it sure is not

Having said that, what are we doing to learn Arabic, the language of our RM2.6 billion donor? I know our primary schools TRY to teach some basic Arabic to our kids but you and I know that hasn't gone very far. I can read, I can recite but I won't understand most of it without translation. When we were riding through the Muslim civilisations in China, I met a young Iman who was astounded that most of us in the group could not speak or understand Arabic. "But you are a Muslim, and the Quran is in Arabic, so how can you not know the language?" he had asked me via an interpreter.

Well, there's a lot that we don't know. But one thing I know, if someone wants to read the Quran, you should encourage him/her to read. If there's a campaign like Let's read the Quran, the Board should send over an officer to facilitate.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ah, Azman Ujang

Reporter, Editor in chief, GM and now Chairman of Bernama

Puchong, 030216 
The post of Bernama chairman usually goes to someone very dear to the Prime Minister. I am not sure how close Azman Ujang is to Najib Razak but I've heard he can be quite honest in his views, and that means he can be a pain (especially to the people upstairs). Once, when Anwar Ibrahim was Deputy Prime Minister, Azman openly ticked him off for giving precedence to the foreign media and suggested that Anwar fix his own "press apparatus". If you're not used to it, you'd think it's crass. Reality is, sometimes that's the only way to make some people listen. +++ If he hasn't changed, Azman's appointment should benefit the national news agency, which is in dire need to become influential once again. If he's just going to play it safe and treat the chairmanship as a goodbye present, we'll really have to say goodbye to Bernama ...

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Malaysiakini "shocked"

Bangsar, 020316 
Actually, I am shocked that my friends at Malaysiakini find my comments about WSJ's latest attack on the PM shocking but, well, at least they are still reading and promoting blogs, including mine. So not enough reason for me to find fault with these guys. 
As for the Wall Street Journal's reporting these days, let me just say they don't make them like they used to. Rupert Murdoch lusted over WSJ for years because it was a great newspaper, But like many things Murdoch acquires to quench thirst for conquest, the WSJ hasn't been the same. Or maybe it's just the fact that newspapers are dying, one way or another, and WSJ desperately needs to stay alive. 

Malaysiakini, in defence of WSJ

p.s. Err, guys, it's Ahirudin Attan la. Single D, Double T.