Thursday, June 30, 2016

Former DAP leader leads calls for Guan Eng to go on leave

"They used to say they were against abuse of power. I was impressed. That was when they had no power to abuse." -- Tunku Aziz

Puchong, July 1: Tunku Abdul Aziz, the man who founded the local chapter of Transparency International and who joined the DAP in Aug 2008 before quitting unceremoniously just four years later, is leading calls by Malaysians from all walks of life for Lim Guan Eng, who is facing two counts of corruption charges, to "practise what you preach" and "take a rest". 

"This is a challenge integrity that he has been throwing at his political opponents," Tunku Aziz, 82, said in a Facebook response to a posting by pro-Umno blogger, Seademon [Rashid Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang pertama?]. Reposting the article on his FB account, Seademon added a one-liner: "Lim Guan Eng should step down as Mike Tyson and Abu Hassan Omar did."

Tunku Aziz agrees with the blogger:

The Mole has more in Guan Eng pressured to go on leave pending outcome of trial

Why I shall wish Lim Guan Eng "All the best" ...

Updated with graphic and pics

Did he learn nothing from Khir Toyo's case?

TTDI, 30 June: When they charged Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo in 2010 over corruption charges related to the purchase of his RM3.5 million property, I hardly posted anything on this blog.

Khir: Served time
My reasoning was simple: I  believed this country of ours had a working justice system that must be alowed to proceed with as little hindrance as possible in order to let the truth prevail. The relevant authorities, after a lengthy investigation into allegations made by Khir's political foes, said there was sufficient evidence to charge the Umno leader. So they took him to court and charged him. Me, I did not take Khir as a corrupt politician. I had known Khir Toyo personally ever since we crossed swords (or, rather, my pen - I was editor of the Malay Mail then - against his sword) over the UKRC football field issue in 2003. But the court found him guilty as charged and sent him to jail.

I have also known Lim Guan Eng personally. Until he became the Chief Minister of Penang in 2008, and especially during my blogging-against-Pak Lah days, we were almost friends. He would text me each time my own case went to trial (NSTP and some individuals close to Pak Lah had sued me for defamation in 2007; the case dragged for nearly 5 years) to wish me luck. The text messages stopped following the DAP's unprecedented wins in the 2008 general elections. Later, Guan Eng the Penang Chief Minister would go on to become very intimate with one of the plaintiffs in my case. I took offence, of course, but I didn't take Lim Guan Eng as a corrupt politician. 

But what did I know, right? After months of probing the allegations made by Guan Eng's political foes, the same authorities that took Khir down have found enough evidence to charge the Penang CM this morning with two counts of corruption. 

Khir had the best lawyers to defend him. Guan Eng, similarly, will engage the best of the best to prove his innocence. I wish I could reciprocate, after all these years, and send him an "All the Best" text but I don't keep his number anymore. So I shall use this posting to wish Lim Guan Eng, Good luck!

Seeing how similar his and Khir's cases are, plenty of it may not even be enough.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The latest on the Tun's hate list!

Puchong, 26 June: In his latest posting Hak Istimewa (Special Rights, 24 June) that appeared on the day Umno finally sacked his son, former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad slams Khairul Azwan Harun for suggesting that all government funding for the former PM's Perdana Leadership Foundation be stopped.  
The young man who riled The Old Man 
Imagine that: Dr M did not aim his wrath at Najib Razak or Rosmah Mansor or Zahid Hamidi or Khairy Jamaluddin but at the 39-year old Umno deputy chief, by name!  ""(So) the country knows that when Khairul Azwan and his followers achieve power - through corruption - the country will see bribes and seizures by the government as a way to hold on to power." (Go ahead, seize PLF, Mkini)
The young man should be afraid, very afraid. But I was told that he has not lost any sleep yet.  Interesting ...

As for the sacking of Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin (and former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, to a much lesser extent), what struck me most is the fact that PM Najib Razak waited almot a year before kicking him out of the party. 
Najib had dropped Muhyiddin from his Cabinet and appointed Zahid Hamidi as Deputy Prime Minister on 28 July 2015. Eleven months ago! He could have sent Abang Din packing - out of government and out of party - there and then. But he did not.  
The campaign to oust the boss 
Some people saw this as a weakness, that Najib "blinked". Others call it taking one's own sweet time. "Like the cat playing with the mouse before eating it..."
I think so, too. Najib made sure he resolved (well, almost resolved) the 1MDB issue. For Tun's Save Malaysia campaign to falter. That he had won Sarawak and the two recent by-elections. He might even have waited for Brexit to conclude! It was all calculated. And so precise was the math that when it finally happened, the sacking did not shock. That it was "expected". Accepted, even. Not by Pagoh, of course. Not yet. Read Pagoh Umno vows to stand by leader

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Now they are coming for Rimba Kiara ...

Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 21 June: Watch out, developer of this proposed project in TTDI. The residents have put up with quite a few high rise properties that have clogged their space in recent years but they are not about to let their precious park go down without a stiff fight. Watch out, too, City Hall. How can you even consider such a development that will adversely affect Rimba Kiara?  And where's the local MP?
"Why can't we preserve some green lung for the next generation?" a resident demanded. 
The Mole breaks the story h e r e.

LSS vows to quit writing forever and ever if Syed Akbar Ali ...

Puchong, 21 June: A battle is brewing between top pro-Tun and pro-PM cyber critics. Tun Mahathir's top blogger Syed Akbar Ali has been challenged by Lim Sian See, one of Najib's most abled online defenders, to a duel for truth and honour.
Basically, LSS is accusing Syed Akbar of lying again in his latest posting on the Aabar vs 1MDB arbitration. Syed Akbar purported claimed that the MoF will be declared bankrupt on July 11 as a result of the dispute. LSS says "... it is clear that the PakaTun penipus continue to take advantage of their followers ignorance with propaganda lies such as this ... in time for Raya hoping the people will gossip about this in the kampung while eating lemang".

LSS goes on to challenge not just Syed Akbar but also a pro-Mahathir Facebooker Mohd Hanizam Yunus:
"I challenge Hanizam, OutSyed and the rest of the PakaTun this:

If MOF is not declared Bankrupt by 11 July 2016 or even 11 Aug 2016, you must all make a public apology for your fitnah during Ramadan and quit writing forever.
In return, if MOF is indeed declared bankrupt on those two days, I will reveal my public ID, make a public apology and kow-tow to both of you and quit writing forever."

Exciting lah. But I doubt you'll have a deal (or duel), LSS.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Haven't the voters in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar heard about 1MDB/RM2.6 billion?!

Of course they knew of 1MDB and the donation. And of Arul Kanda, too. The voters heard almost nothing else from the Opposition leaders in the last few weeks. But they were fed with so much dedak (sweets, candies, bribes) that they had no choice but to vote the BN candidates. Heh. That's what those sore losers keep saying, anyway. 
Me, I think Najib Razak's emphatic victories in Sarawak and now Kuala Kangsar and Sg Besar are simply because the people could see that the BN has gotten more organised despite the economic and political pressures. The people always want a strong government and sure-footed leaders. The Opposition, sad to say, is in a disarray (again). Only this time we are looking at the beginning of a severe disintegration. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's de facto leadership in the Pakatan Harapan is partly the reason for things falling apart, you like it or not. And know what? 
Things will get messier as the other de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, takes on Dr M from behind bars to once again try and save the Opposition from total annihilation in the next General Elections ... which may happen sooner than all of you expect. 
I like how the Mole's young journo, Zaidi Azmi, sums things up: "What BN did was that, it went back to its roots and did things the old fashion way, things that the multiracial coalition was good at."  (See article pasted below). For a more brutal take of the two elections and recent political events,  I'd recommend Seademon's On a Suicide Watch.  - Rocky's Bru

Kuala Lumpur, 19 June: The special thing about by-elections in rural constituencies is that, everyone practically knows everyone. 
That means poo flinging, no matter how politely the thrower may hurls it, will never be welcomed. 
With that being the case, being nice and to be perceived as such was crucial, especially in a close-knit constituency such as Sungai Besar. 
Such a factor, when coupled with the BN’s winnable candidate who is famous among the locals is definitely the reason why Budiman Mohd Zohdi won the by-election. 
In fact, Budiman won by a whooping majority of 9, 191 which was a stark contrast to the previous razor-thin majority of 399 that BN had won in the last general election. 
BN had apparently opted for the same electoral blueprint used by Sarawak BN; which was basically focused at solving local issues, staying away from hate politics and being nice to the locals. 
Even Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin said that he did not expect that such a template to work exceptionally well at the by-election because the Sarawak election was supposed to be a different ballgame. 
“But it did. Even the Chinese came back to us…there is definitely a trend to this and BN will study it thoroughly,” he said at a press conference after the announcement of Budiman’s victory. 
However, to simply say that the Peninsular BN had copied Sarawak BN was, perhaps, a tad inaccurate. 
But the science behind BN’s landslide victory was not exactly in need of a rocket scientist to explain. 
What BN did was that, it went back to its roots and did things the old fashion way, things that the multiracial coalition was good at. 
And what BN has always been really good at, was taking care the well-being of the kampung folks. 
So the overwhelming victory in Sungai Besar, Kuala Kangsar and Sarawak should serve as a stern reminder to BN that if it keeps on doing what it does best, good things will happen, one way or another. 
With that being said, it does not mean that the opposition was entirely no good at all.
During the start of the campaigning period in Sungai Besar, Pas and Amanah did not immediately resort to hate mongering. 
But somewhere along the way…tasteless racist billboards were erected by DAP who even openly admitted that it was them who put it up. 
The act was so frowned upon to the point that even Amanah claimed that it has nothing to do with the insidious billboards. 
Meanwhile, Pas who had been playing it cool since the start of the campaigning period, eventually lost its patience with Amanah antics. 
And towards the end of the period, the two parties had been trading barbs with one another. 
Pas members joked that Amanah had ripped off a Tamil-based television station’s logo and that the orange shirt they don resembled the shrouds worn by Budhist. 
Amanah retaliated by saying that at least its members does not wear “nightgowns”, which was a snide reference to the Arabic robe commonly worn by the Islamist party’s members and leaders. 
As the seemingly ceaseless feud between the two continued, BN on the other hand, spent its last few campaigning days wooing the Chinese voters, particularly those in Sekinchan. 
And what had probably won BN a significant number of their votes was no doubt, the well-coordinated rescue of the two local Chinese fishermen who were recently arrested at sea by the Indonesian authorities. 
Apparently, the Chinese community knew when to call a spade a spade and that good deeds beget good deeds in return. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

From Brexit to Sungai Besar, Malaysia

We don't have to go all that far from Malaysia to hear those kinds of accusations of "ignorant", "racist" and so forth spouting from the mouths and keyboards of largely urban based Malaysian liberals and "progressives", with such denunciations having been hurled at the Sarawak voters in the recent Sarawak state elections.

[If BN wins today, as expected] ... just watch the torrent of denunciations of these semi-urban voters as "ignorant", "racist", "stupid" and so forth from the largely urban-based keyboard warriors, "alternative" media and the commentators to articles on these "alternative" media ....

What has Brexit got to do with the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections? More than our so-called liberals and progressives think they know,  writes Charles F. Moreira. 

KL, 18 June: 
Less than a week from now, United Kingdom people will vote in a referendum on 23 June 2016, on whether the United Kingdom will leave or remain in the European Union.

For those who are unaware, Great Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales, whilst the United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So whilst people are in the habit of using the names "Britain" and "United Kingdom" interchangeably, they actually are different entities, just as "Malaya" and "Malaysia" are names of different entities, whereby Malaya (now known as Peninsular Malaysia) is a subset of Malaysia.

This comes 43 years after the UK was accepted into the EU (then known as the European Common Market) in 1973, and 41 years after two-thirds of UK citizens voted in a referendum, in favour of renegotiated terms of membership of the EU.

Results from public opinion polls today suggest that that there is a good likelihood that UK citizens could well vote to leave the EU and there are plenty of opinions arguing for or against, and many media commentators, economists and politicians predicting better or worse consequences for the UK economically, should the referendum result in a vote to leave.

However, whilst the views of these largely intellectual and urban-based commentators are widely publicised in the mainstream media, the voices of those amongst the UK working class, mostly in the more impoverished parts of the UK such as the north of England, the East End of London, to some extent part of the Midlands, northern Wales and Scotland are rarely heard.

I was a student in Salford, a part of Greater Manchester back in the 1970s. Salford is said to be at the heart of the industrial revolution and was reputed to be Europe's biggest slum and I saw evidence of poverty and run down houses in the working class areas of Salford, where in some cases there were no indoor toilets, where children ate out of garbage and so on. 

Now writing in The Guardian, Lisa Mckenzie who comes from a working class background reveals why the UK working class favours that Britain (well actually the United Kingdom) will vote to leave the EU in the referendum, in what is commonly referred to a "Brexit" or "Britain Exit).

In her article which follows after this commentary, Mckenzie reveals that whilst UK workers are concerned over issues such as immigration, as the mainstream media portrays them, however their bigger concerns are over their economic security and well being.

She quotes a group of east-London women as saying, “I’m sick of being called a racist because I worry about my own mum and my own child,” and “I don’t begrudge anyone a roof who needs it but we can’t manage either.”

We don't have to go all that far from Malaysia to hear those kinds of accusations of "ignorant", "racist" and so forth spouting from the mouths and keyboards of largely urban based Malaysian liberals and "progressives", with such denunciations having been hurled at the Sarawak voters, more of whom voted for Sarawak-based coalition partners in the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition in the recent Sarawak state elctions.  Besides economic concerns which no doubt was a factor in this result, Sarawakians (and Sabahans) are very protective of their respective states' territory integrity and don't quite welcome intrusion from Peninsular Malaysia, so they voted for their native Sarawak parties which are members of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition - a formal coalition of 13 parties, rather than candidates of opposition parties from Peninsular Malaysia.

It may surprise non-Malaysians to know that whilst Sarawakians and Sabahans can freely live and work in Peninsular Malaysia without having to obtain a work permit, a Peninsular Malaysian needs a work permit to work in Sabah or Sarawak and that it is easier for a Peninsular Malaysian to obtain permanent residence in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, than it is for us to obtain permanent residence in Sarawak or Sabah.

The byelections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar will be held today (18 June) to elect replacements for the two members of parliament killed in a helicopter crash in Sarawak during the run up to the Sarawak state elections.

It is predicted that the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), could likely hold these two seats, either with the same slim majorities or as some predict, an increased majority. Well, if that happens, just watch the torrent of denunciations of these semi-urban voters as "ignorant", "racist", "stupid" and so forth from the largely urban-based keyboard warriors, "alternative" media and the commentators to articles on these "alternative" media - a relatively privileged, urban elite who care little about the economic concerns of lower income people and who rarely offer alternative solutions for such people, which runs counter to their mostly neo-liberal leanings towards Darwinist-style "survival of the fittest" and "the rest be damned".

For such people, any kind of financial assistance and programmes to help alleviate poverty are anathema to their neo-liberal dogma of meritocracy, so how on earth can they expect to win votes from such constituents.

Instead, they tout alleged misdeeds of key government figures with regards issues such as 1MDB, RM2.6 billion donation, Altantuya, etc, etc, etc. and they hope to win based upon these issues!

Well, their stupidity is beyond belief. 

Such neo-liberal policies have held sway in Europe, North America and elsewhere in the world, especially since the time of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, since when the rich got richer and the poor got poorer but in their neo-liberal minds, they either believed that such people could so easily upgrade their skills and "move up the value chain" to better paying jobs, but they did not see or want to see that there are fewer opportunities up the value chain and that instead, there would be more graduate unemployment or under-employment in lower paying service jobs which degree holders have to accept just to survive.

It was a long time coming, but the proverbial worm has now turned, and it is not pretty, when in their frustration such people in Europe have swung to the far-right, such as in the recent Austrian presidential elections where the centre-left Green Party candidate barely won over the far-right candidate by a wafer thin margin of 0.6% and in the United States, there is the high likelihood that radical right populist Donald Trump could be elected the next President of the United States in November.

It is reported that many working class Austrians who used to vote for the social democrats now voted for the populist far-right candidate in the presidential elections. This of course could be a protest vote, which may not be repeated in a general elections but still, sends a message of great dissatisfaction with the status quo on the part of the Austrian workers. 

In this two-part Real News Network video documentary, Walter Baier, an economist, a communist and now Coordinator for Network to Transform Europe explains the rise of the far-right as resulting more from socio-economic concerns and sense of betrayal by the traditional mainstream conservative, social democratic and liberal parties especially amongst the working class and middle class, rather than over concerns over the massive influx of refugees and fear of Islam. Baier goes on to describe how the conservatives, social democrats and liberals have implemented neo-liberal policies and have implemented policies of austerity.

Baier who was a Chairman of the Communist Party of Austria describes how weak the far-left is today, so people have no recourse to turn to on the far-left which could serve as a counterweight to the far-right. 

He also explains the rise of the far right as resulting of popular concerns over the growing supra-national dominance of the European Union over the social and economic policies imposed upon the member nation states of the European Union.  

To understand the difference between their respective policies and policies and ideologies, social democrats (often called "socialists") believe in the gradual transformation of capitalist society and economy through laws in favour of the working class and their trade unions but in practice, they have mainly fought for better conditions for workers within the capitalist system. However, after the wave of neo-liberal capitalist policies which have swept the world, especially since Thatcher and Reagan, the social democrats have ended up implementing neo-liberal policies and have imposed austerity policies upon the people, perhaps with a "more human face".

Communists believe in the replacement for the capitalist system which is based upon private ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, in which production is for private profit, with a socialist political and economic system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are socially owned and in which production is for social need. And when the economic basis is different, the economic laws which arise from it will be different too, so where an economy based on production for private profit experiences periodic crises of overproduction, hence the capitalist economy goes through a roller coaster of booms and recessions, with workers being hired and retrenched as a consequence. On the other hand a planned economy based upon production for social need, will operate according to different economic laws from those laws arising from a capitalist economy.

Many misunderstand economic laws to be immutable like the laws of physics, chemistry and mathematics, when like with social and political science, economics is an inexact science, in which its laws or more particularly the behaviour of an economy arises from its underlying principles upon which an economy is based, and very much depends upon the forces of supply, demand, sentiment, finance, industry, productive capacity and so forth within the foundation of a particular economy and its inter-relation with the forces of supply, demand, sentiment, finance, industry, trade and so forth within the rest of the world.

The far-right (often referred to as fascists), are actually closer to the social democrats in that they policies of maintaining a capitalist economy, but a highly regulated one which includes a certain degree of state ownership of key industries and which serves the higher interests of the nation state, and to win and maintain the support of the small businesses, professionals and the workers for the nation state, the far-right provides them with certain social benefits and programmes in areas of housing, healthcare, education, old-age pensions and so forth. Whilst far-right regimes usually deny the independence of trade unions and instead replace them with unions which the government or ruling far-right party controls. In place of confrontation between workers and capitalists, a far-right regime enforces class collaboration in the higher interests of the nation state.

In fact, Singapore under the Peoples Action Party has adopted many of these far-right policies of class collaboration and socio-economic provision based upon a foundation of a capitalist economy. Instead of labour disputes, Singapore has strong labour laws and unions there generally rely on recourse to the labour court and arbitration to settle industrial disputes.

Therefore it is not surprising that unlike before World War II, when the far-left was very powerful with strong links to organised labour especially in Europe and also in North America and elsewhere, today with few exceptions, the far-left especially in Europe, the Americas and other parts of the world is mostly highly fragmented, with many squabbling factions , which despite their resolutions, statements and participation in mass demonstrations and public rallies, however have little or no influence or organisation within the core of the working class, hence the working class swing to the far-right.

This is partly due to much of today's far-left parties and groups having begun within the student movement or some other segments of society besides the organised working class, so they have difficulty gaining traction within working class and leading it to fight for its own interests.

Thus, such far-left parties and organisations resort to winning support and members from ethnic minorities in anti-racist and anti-fascist struggles, from women in their fight for equality, from religious minorities in defence of their rights,  from lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) in their fight for equal rights and against discrimination, through anti-imperialist and anti-war struggles and so forth.

Whilst participating in these struggles and sometimes playing a leading role in them is fine, however they are peripheral to the economic concerns and struggles of the core of the working class to defend its interests, and without the influence within and the support of the core, such far-left parties and groups have not grown significantly beyond their niche of influence and support.

So when the far-left cannot do much to lead the people to resist neo-liberal austerity measures being imposed upon them by their conservative, liberal or social democratic government and along comes the far right with promises to protect their jobs, public healthcare, public education, public housing, to protect their national, ethnic, religious and cultural identity and to solve problems within the economy, it is no surprise that especially during hard economic times like now, people in difficult economic straits will very likely turn to the far-right for recourse.

Whether they deliver on their promises if they win is left to be seen but until then, such people will believe them and no amount of denunciation of the far-right as being racist, fascist, Islamophobic, anti-Semetic, homophobic, Islamophobic, reminders of the Holocaust, etc. will be likely to change such people's minds, especially when they looking for a government which will relieve them their suffering due to hard economic conditions.

The bottom line in all this is the state of the each country's economy and the global capitalist economy as well.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Farewell, DKL

Abdullah Ahmad 4 July 1937-12 June 2016

Bangsar, 13 June: If the Wiki articles on the life and times of Abdullah Ahmad aka Dollah Kok Lanas didn't do justice to the man, it's probably because those people who wrote them didn't quite know how to define him. DKL took on many vocations during his rich and colourful life, often several things at one time. He was journalist, politician, ISA detainee, diplomat, political commentator, gossip columnist, corporate leader, editor, and author, among other things. He was also a Communist and a KGB agent, or so his political enemies said when they incarcerated him during the Seventies, as soon as his boss PM Tun Abdul Razak died. More than two decades later, in the new millennium, his sacking as New Straits Times Press group editor-in-chief by no less than the newly-minted Prime Minister himself would prove how influential he still was. Or, rather, how threatened the people around the new PM were of that perceived influence! (Wiki said DKL was sacked because of an article critical of Saudi Arabia; in actual fact, that was an excuse used by the PM's men to get rid of a major obstacle to their own rise, which turned out to be short-lived and ended even more tragically, as things turned out. Karma is a bitch, indeed!).
We became friends one chilly day 1992, when I was based in London as the NST Correspondent. DKL was trying to meet up with a visiting senior Malaysian Cabinet Minister who was trying, at the same time, to avoid meeting him. As last resort, he had asked me if I could please inform to her that he had been waiting for hours outside the conference room to meet her. She reluctantly agreed to meet the man. We stayed in touch after that. Five years after that encounter, I was the editor of Business Times, the only financial daily in the country then. I offered DKL a weekly column in the newspaper. DKL had been writing occasionally for BT under my predecessor Hardev Kaur. When I told him about starting a weekly column, DKL put his hand on my arm and sniggered. "And you think Kadir will allow me to have a column?" [BT was a sister paper of the great New Straits Times and A. Kadir Jasin was the GEIC of the whole of NSTP].
"I'm the Editor of the newspaper, not him. He's just my boss," I sniggered back. Oh, lots of bravado back then but I was young and the young couldn't die back then. 
Over teh tarik a few days later, AKJ told me he had heard that I was planning to engage DKL as a columnist. I said yes. He merely nodded. It was neither approval nor disapproval. And so DKL got his weekly column. There would be several more columns of his over the next five years or so in the various newspaper under the NSTP stable. He wrote some of the most readable columns ever published by the NST and BT.
Dollah Kok Lanas was always "stimulating company", in Nuraina Samad's Instagram words (and she knew him longer than I did: her dad A. Samad Ismail was detained under the ISA by the same people who put DKL away). We drifted apart a little after his exit in 2003 and my own departure in 2006 but whenever we did bump into each other, he was always alive in the let's-fix-someone-or-something way. The flicker in his eyes.
As Chief Editor, DKL believed in giving the Editors the freedom to "publish and be damned". As long as there's "no malice", that is. And as long as we, the Editors, understand that if anything goes awry as a result, "it would be your neck". DKL was also a very effective shield against meddling politicians, just as AKJ had been. If any politician was unhappy with my newspaper, I didn't have to deal with them. They would have to deal with DKL. Except for that one time when DKL was away in London and I was summoned to meet Dr Mahathir Mohamad over a series of front page articles in the Malay Mail that irked him. But that is another story altogether. 
Rest in peace, DKL. Thank you for your good advice. Alfateha.

Read also:

Thank you, sir ...

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Singapore's MAS tells WSJ: No such thing!

Updated, 9 June:

Swiss not Sin

Well, I'm sure some of us can't tell the difference between Singapore and Switzerland, too. :-) In view of this awkward moment, the WSJ would now wish the source that helped it with the earlier, erroneous article on 1MDB be referred as "a person actually-not-too-familiar with the matter". 
Not everyone is amused, though. 
A note from a reader:

Now they say the source earlier was wrong 
If so the whole trail that depicted in their report and Sarawak Report is on a premise that a "Person familiar with the matter" got it right .
Pulitzer price winners or nominees cross check and verify their stories before carrying it . How low is WSJ going down ? So much so they are equivalent to SR now ! 
Why are they making such basic errors
Singapore and Switzerland are two huge difference
What more lies lie ahead to be uncovered and exposed ?
Maybe another Pulitzer price story in the making ? Who will write it - Washington Post?

"Lies yet again", Sariffuddin slams WSJ

Read also: A Wall of Lies, says Najib's press sec of WSJ's latest report

Original piece

KL, 8 June 2016: It is indeed rare for the Monetary Authority of Singapore to respond to anything. But it did in the case of a report by the WSJ on 1MDB. Why? I posted this article on Facebook here and, my oh my, those WSJ apologists (or 1MDB detractors, or both) came right at me!
But I'm just the messenger.
The point of the article remains that the WSJ's report was erroneous. An the error must have been severe enough or the MAS wouldn't have come out to issue that rare one-paragraph statement it did today. 

Read the whole article H E R E

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Republic of Johor

Frail youth jailed one year for insulting Johor royals on FB 

5/6/16 With updates at the end of this original posting ...

NST June 1 article h e r e
Puchong, 4 June 2016: I find the Crown Prince of Johor's purported statement on Facebook about getting the PM to axe Johor from Malaysia extremely funny and, at the same time, very disturbing. But in chatrooms and kopitiams, it has gotten a lot of people talking incessantly about cessation secession.
Well, it is not really up to Prime Minister Najib Razak to kick Johor out of this beloved country, even if the PM agrees with those jealous critics of Bangsa Johor (who they, again?). 
Neither is it up the Yang diPertuan Agong, a position the TMJ would one day assume, God willing. 
The ones to decide will be the people. The Johoreans. And I have not met a single Johorean who wants his state to be axed from his country Malaysia, even after the TMJ's posting. Maybe I need to linger near the palaces to find one!
But I did hear this seasoned lady journalist, a staunch Johorean, who said if Jobhor and Malaysia were to part ways - "and it's not going to happen" - she would ONLY ever agree if her beloved Johor is made into a Republic. 
So if Johor were to be axed from Malaysia or axe Malaysia, it may not get to become another Brunei like some people may hope. More likely, it will be like neighbouring Singapore which, incidentally, was a jajahan Johor before somebody decided to sell it to Sir Stamford Raffles not too long ago ...
Source (purported_: TMJ Supporters

Updates 5/6/16, 11pm:
While many of my brave commenters on this blog choose to remain Anonymous, for whatever reason, the commenters on my FB account are mostly real people using their real names. Check out their views on Republic of Johor that I posted on my Facebook account.

One commenter, a YB from Johor, wrote:

 One or two or three other Johorians also boldly spoke up: