Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Najib, Zahid lost in translation

GE14: What Najib actually said

28 Sept 2016: In Berlin, contrary to what Reuters reported, Najib Razak did not say he would not call for an early general election. An aide of the PM said Najib was asked, after his meeting with the German Chancellor, if he would be calling for an early election in Malaysia in view of issues surrounding the 1MDB. Najib said the question of election is not due to any single factor.
"It must be predicated on the basis that we have good policies in Malaysia, We are delivering for the benefit of the people and we are the best government to lead Malaysia into the future.
"We have a strong record and we will continue to tell the Malaysian people that our government is still the best choice."
The Reuter's report (PM says Malaysia will cooperate with the US on 1MDB investigations, Channel News Asia) was picked up by The Star (No need for early polls, says Najib) and the Malay Mail Online (Najib: No polls before 2018), among others. 

In conclusion, therefore, Najib may still call for an early general election. If he asks me, I would suggest about this time in 2017 would be a good time to have an election...

A legal alien in New York

Much adoi about nothing over Zahid's English

Reuter's misreporting goes on to prove that the English language is NOT an easy language to use, comprehend let alone master! 

So I read some of the condescending views about Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi's English at the UN General Assembly and I had a good laugh! Some of these critics couldn't even construct a proper, short sentence in English. I imagine many of them speak the language with an American slang, which they picked up from TV. 

We should all work on our English but I wouldn't worry too much about it if I were Zahid. The DPM is one of the most eloquent speakers of the Bahasa Malaysia and his Arabic, I hear, is quite good. And when he speaks Javanese, wadduh wadduh ...! 

Some of the world's major leaders don't even speak the English language. To me, what's more important for Zahid, as a leader, is the content of his message and the wisdom of his words. And most of all, for him to walk his talk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Get your extradition order, our IGP tells India [how to do its job]

Is the IGP trying to protect this WANTED man?

27/9/16: For some time now the Indian government has been keen to bring in Ananda Krishnan for questioning over some business deals that may have gone rotten in the sub-continent. Last week, a warrant of arrest for Ananda. The fact that Ananda became one of Malaysia's richest men during Dr Mahathir Mohamad's era got a lot of people very interested to his arrest. 

Naturally, our reporters asked IGP Khalid Abu Bakar if PDRM was going to help their Indian counterparts. This was what Khalid had to say:

“India’s arrest warrant cannot be enforced in Malaysia. India needs to apply for extradition via mutual legal assistance through the [Attorney-General’s] Chambers.” - IGP: India must get extradition order for billionaire Ananda Krishnan, lieutenant, Malay Mail Online 26/9/16

If you're thinking that I'm thinking that Khalid may be protecting the billionaire, you are wrong. I am totally with the IGP on this one. 

Read the last para of the story:

Bloomberg noted that India has previously issued “unrealistic” court orders including in 2014 when its Supreme Court ordered Samsung Electronics Co Chairman Lee Kun-Hee to appear before judges in a still-pending dispute over a US$1.4 million (RM5.7 million) payment. 

However, Bloomberg should have noted that "unrealistic" court orders are not confined to just India. The authorities in so-called developed countries are guilty of such high-handed, bullying conduct against non-citizens, including Malaysians! 

Read the story H E R E
One case that has been brought to my attention involves a Malaysian businessman, who stands to lose every property that he'd invested in Down Under since 2001 after the Australian authorities - and media - accused him of tax evasion (a claim the businessman denies). 

The businessman has filed an unprecedented lawsuit against the Australian government in the Kuala Lumpur courts. The case is up for mention next this Thursday 29/9/16. 

Now that ought to be interesting, don't you think?!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Matthias says he will have the laugh last, yet

Puchong, 24 Sept 2016: 
"We know what we are doing."  

"Don't worry. Laugh last laugh best. Salleh Kruak press statement is counting chicken before it is hatched. All thunder but no rain. We know what we are doing. Watch my video speech again "DOJ Bombshell". Soon he has to eat back all his words. Have faith in God." - Matthias Chang's whatsapp in response to Salleh Said Keruak's comments on the dismissal of a lawsuit against 1MDB filed by, among others, Chang himself.
Salleh, one of PM Najib Razak's more savvy allies, had labelled Chang's lawsuit as "a pure publicity stunt to manipulate public perceptions (and) part of Tun Mahathir’s plan to sabotage 1MDB and damage Malaysia’s economy to unseat the democratically-elected government".

The Communication and Multimedia Minister's press statement in full:
24 September 2016
1. The class action lawsuit filed in the United States against 1MDB and others by Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s political secretary Matthias Chang and Husam Musa generated global controversy. It was based purely on the allegations in the US Department of Justice civil complaint, and on false smears published by the Wall Street Journal.
2. This lawsuit by Tun Mahathir’s henchmen generated global news and controversy when it was filed on 11 August. But, strangely, the Wall Street Journal and other Western media haven’t reported that yesterday the lawsuit was dismissed.
3. The reality is that it was baseless from the start, a pure publicity stunt to manipulate public perceptions. Part of Tun Mahathir’s plan to sabotage 1MDB and damage Malaysia’s economy to unseat the democratically-elected government. And all this for selfish political reasons, just to benefit his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
4. It must be frustrating for Tun Mahathir that each of his attempts to subvert Malaysia’s democracy has failed. They will continue to fail. One of the hallmarks of a true leader is knowing when to quit quietly.
5. The Prime Minister’s real record has just been stated by UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova. She said that “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the government of Malaysia has taken a firm stance against violent extremism through inclusion and education, which UNESCO considers the most effective long-term prevention to forces threatening to divide societies”. She also praised Malaysia as “An example to countries of all income levels”; said the country is “Proof that respect for diversity is a source of enrichment”; and that we have taken the lead in encouraging “The teaching of religion to promote tolerance, respect and mutual understanding”.
6. The government won’t be distracted by Tun Mahathir’s increasingly desperate attempts. The Prime Minister will continue to serve the people and prioritise their security, safety and prosperity.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Blogger berates Permata haters: Leave those kids alone!

TTDI, Fri: In 2008, the blogger Annie was desperately seeking funds to set up a centre for special needs children in Kuantan. The parent of a special child, Annie approached an aide of Najib Razak, who promised to let Najib know about the request for funds ASAP. 
"He understood why I had to settle the matter before I leave Pahang. 
My friend came back to see me a week later. 
Najib had approved an allocation for the fund from a special budget in his capacity as deputy prime minister."
Annie, one of the few bloggers who have so far refrained from taking sides in the Najib-Mahathir quarrel, is making a stand when it comes to Permata, the brainchild of Rosmah Mansor, the PM's wife.
"... I think we need to be fair. 
Whacking Permata which is meant to assist children, including those with special needs, is not fair. 
I believe that those who are going after Najib, should not make Permata their target. It's being mean to do that, okay."
Permata, a special program for Malaysian children under 4 years old, was turned into a punching bag by the anti-Najib crowd after an award meant for Rosmah for her work at Permata was "deferred" following pressure from at least two international media organisations known for their crusade against the Malaysian Prime Minister.

Please read Life of Annie's Please don't whack Permata

Read also:

If you own a home, a land, a property in Australia, you may want to be very afraid ...

Malaysian-owned homes around this scenic bay in Perth could be seized, any time
File pic courtesy of Zakhir Mohmad

Puchong, 23 Sept 16: Long before Trump unveiled his racist self to America, Australia already had Hanson, and the right-wing MP told her fellow parliamentarians last week that “any foreign ownership (in Australia) is regrettable”. If you think that was just talk, read the following article: the Australian Government is taking back properties owned by foreigners and selling them off!. Now, we know a lot of Malaysians own properties in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne ... They may not be yours tomorrow, y'know!

Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the government has forced the sale of 16 properties bought without permission by foreigners

SYDNEY, Sept 19 — Australia has forced the sale of 16 properties bought without government permission by foreigners, Treasurer Scott Morrison said today, after ramping up enforcement of overseas investment rules that have until recently been rarely applied.
Foreign ownership of land has become a sensitive issue in Australia and a flashpoint between Australia and China as debate rages over the effect of overseas investment on real estate prices and on national interests.
Chinese nationals were involved in seven of the 16 deals which have been rolled back since May.
“Foreign investment in Australia occurs on Australia’s terms,” Morrison told reporters at a press conference in Sydney.
Foreigners must seek approval from the government’s Foreign Investment Review Board before purchasing property in Australia.
The government has forced the sale of 46 properties with a total value of A$93 million (US$70 million), mostly held by Chinese interests, since 2013.
Neville Sanders, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, a professional association of real estate agents, said the foreign investment purchases were rarely scrutinised until 2015.
The new sales came around the same time that Morrison blocked Chinese bidders from buying the country’s largest farmland holding, and Chinese and Hong Kong bidders were blocked from buying electricity distributor Ausgrid in August, sparking accusations that Australia had become protectionist.
“The government is trying to run a fine line between making Australia conducive as a place to invest in, but at the same time trying to placate the more extreme manifestations of populism,” Monash University political scientist Nick Economou said.
Far-right political leader Pauline Hanson last week said that “any foreign ownership is regrettable,” in a speech to parliament, and singled out Chinese investment and land ownership as unwanted.
Of the remaining 16 forcibly sold properties, British nationals owned four, Canadians two, and the remaining three belonged to Malaysian and Papua New Guinean interests, according to a list issued by the Australian government.
The properties sold for a combined A$14 million (approx. RM290 million), with the bulk of the proceeds going to the seven Chinese owners. The sellers were also fined for breaking the purchasing rules.
House prices in metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne are growing fast, with annual growth above 9 per cent in both cities.
“It’s really targeted at the Australian market to say they’re doing something to make property more affordable for locals,” said Ken Jacobs, the managing director of Christie’s International Real Estate in Sydney. — Reuters

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The smoking out of Vape: The work of cigarette lobby or something more evil?

Puchong, 22/9/16: The night we celebrated the Mole's 5th birthday, many of our guests adjourned outside the restaurant to enjoy their after-dinner smoke. How was it, I was wondering, that despite the government's aggressive anti-smoking campaigns, a lot of people still smoked? And there seemed to be a lot of new/young smokers, too? What happened to vape? 
I asked Ucin, "I thought you were vaping to quit smoking?"  
"Lecehlah (too much hassle), boss" he lamented (for the record, I'm not his boss,) "they have made it so difficult for people to vape. All sorts of rules. So hard to get supply. That royal decree, some more ....". 
Yes, they have, haven' they? The Malay Mail's cover story yesterday Multi-million ringgit vaping industry smoked out confirmed it: vaping in Malaysia has been smoked out! 
Was it the work of the powerful cigarette lobby, or was the Government behind it? 

No, not the cigarette lobby, someone close to the vape/cigarette industry told me. "You can blame it on confusion. Businessmen stopped investing in the vape business. They dare not invest because they are not certain of what the Government was going to do."
"And people have been scared away from vaping." Many (like Ucin) have gone back to smoking.
Which is a pity, really. It has been scientifically proven, over and over again, that vape is one of the most effective aids for people who want to quit smoking. Can't beat will power but not everyone has that much will power to stop smoking cold turkey. As an ex-smoker myself, I know how so extremely hard it is to quit. There was no vape when I was trying to kick the habit back in 2002. What worked for me was resorting to the occasional cigars to overcome the craving. But those Cubans are an expensive way to quit!

Read also:
E-Ciggies: Marvel or Menace by www.facesnphases

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sidek Kamiso's over-overzealous arrest

Ex-journo walks as cops fail to seek remand over Haron Din's tweet - The MalayMail Online, 21/9/16  ... 

Original article

KL, Tues 20/9/16: The media described Sidek Kamiso as "former journalist" but the great Pak Samad told me that once a journalist, always a journalist. Even more true these days when we don't think twice about calling accountants, rapists, and human rights activists "citizen journalists". You wouldn't call someone a "former citizen journalist", would you? Not that I think Sidek should be given special treatment because he's an ex-journalist of The Star. If he had committed a serious crime, go after him like you'd go after Batang Kali. But Sidek's only "sin" were his tweets about the passing of Tok Guru Haron Din that some found disrespectful of the revered man. Hardly something that called for his arrest at his home at 4.30 in the morning, or bundling him away for questioning 300km away in Johor Baru! [Ex-journo arrested, accused of insulting Islam  -FMT 19/9/1] 
They took Pak Samad away from his home during the wee hours, too, and then incarcerated him for 5 years under the Internal Security Act. But that was 40 long years ago. Don't take us back to those dark ages, IGP.

Read also:
Arrest warrant for Sidek Kamiso unnecessary, FMT 19/9/16
Laywer rebut IGP on "no warrant needed" to arrest Sidek, Mkini 20/9/16

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Mole's story, so far

TTDI, 19/9/16: The Mole turned five years old last Friday. We had deliberately launched our little news portal on Malaysia Day in 2011 because it was an auspicious date. We did not know that Prime Minister Najib Razak was planning to abolish the Internal Security Act on that same day; that was, editorially, a big bonus for us. So last week we celebrated the Mole's 5th birthday, the Malaysia Day and the death of the country's most draconian law. There is life after the ISA, after all! 
There is more coming from the Mole, too. We remain modest in terms of traffic, readership, staffing etc., especially if you compare us with Malaysiakini or Free Malaysia Today, but that is partly out of choice. I've always believed that if you don't have the size, get a niche. We try hard not to end up like the Malaysian Insider, The Rakyat Post, The Nut Graph and other gems that fizzled out after just a while (in one case, at least, leaving scores of journalists jobless overnight!). 
In the last five years, people have come and gone. This month, our chief executive officer Endie Shazalie Akbar, who has just turned 40, will be leaving the Mole in order to pursue other keen interests (he was with me at the Mole since the start and before that was the COO of the Malay Mail in 2009-2011). 
Endie will be replaced by Zakhir Mohamad, a former CEO of a public-listed company and a blogger whose heart is close to the world of journalism and communication.
Datuk Nuraina Samad (ex-NST managing editor), Aziz Hassan (ex-Malay Mail boss) and Shahrom Sayuthi (ex-NST political editor) do make our editorial line-up appear quite formidable, if I may say so myself. We don't have 20-30 reporters but the ones we have have certainly made their own marks in the online journalism scene. 
For the next 5 years, we hope to remain faithful to what we set out to do 5 years ago, i.e. (to borrow a phrase from a critical fellow journalist) "to give an appearance of journalistic credence to the sometimes wild and inflated claims that float in the blogosphere..." (The Mail gets Malaysiakini - and Rocky, too by Uppercaise, 8/12/11).  
No promises, of course, but one thing for sure, they are as wild and inflated as ever! 
So here's to the next 5 years.

Monday, September 05, 2016

The mountain comes to Anwar ...

TTDI, 6 Sept
I thought I'd never seen the two of them photographed together, like this, ever again. I also thought I'd never seen Dr Mahathir Mohamad looking this small ....

"No other way to describe," said a fellow journalist, "except that it's the pits of Dr Mahathir's turnaround ... first, he was hoping to lobby the Rulers to meet him; second, blaming Megat Junid for the ISA arrests during this premiership; and latest,  to apologise to the Rulers for the amendment on royal assent. God knows what's next!"