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.