Friday, October 20, 2017

Who, or what, does Apandi's task force serve?

Apandi

"In view of the seriousness of the allegation that can affect the integrity of the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General Chamber has formed a task force ... to closely monitor the investigations of the alleged offences under section 498 of the Penal Code and other related offences."
Section 498 refers to "enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman". - Task force set up to monitor probe against MACC chief, The Star 19/10/2017

Jalan Tun Razak, 20 Oct: AG Mohamed Apandi Ali's move to establish this task force came as a surprise, at least to me, but I applaud it all the same. 

This is not the first time someone has tried to scandalise the MACC. In 2011, blogger Din Merican accused the anti-graft chief then of having a good time at a massage parlour using taxpayers' money! No task force was set up and the accusation, as it turned out, was complete bollocks! (Read Why does Din Merican hate Abu Kassim so much?) Looking back, perhaps a task force should have been set up back then. It would have officially cleared the Abu Kassim of the allegation and punish the accuser accordingly for trying to bring shame and disrepute to the MACC. Such would have served a deterrent to anyone out to slander those who head important public institution like the MACC, the police, the AGC, the judiciary, etc. It would've also served as a reminder to those who head these institutions that they are subject to scrutiny just like everyone else.

Apandi's task force is proof that this Government takes the integrity of its institutions very seriously.

To me, it will give MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad the opportunity to defend his good name. And it means he does not have to do it all by himself. And if his accusers cannot prove beyond doubt their accusations against him, the full weight of the law must bear upon them.

Most importantly, the task force ensures that the integrity of the MACC - the institution's credibility, the nation's fight against graft and corruption, and our faith in the people who lead that fight - is not tarnished by the allegations. 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jamming for Jim


Jim Madasamy, 67, founding member of Blues Gang, is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, a type of neurological syndrome in which language capabilities progressively become impaired. There is no cure and there is no medication to treat it. What Jim needs is therapy, which might help him improve his ability to communicate and manage his condition. 
Ganesh, an old buddy from the good old National Press Club days, where Jim used to play once or twice with band members of Blues Gang and also Purple Haze, told me Jim's friends are coming together to raise funds for Jim with their music. 
They will be jamming 
on Sunday 19th Nov
6pm to 11 
They will need an audience.  
Get well soon, Jim.  See you this that Sunday.

Pls contact Zizi 0123285543 for more details

Monday, October 09, 2017

One hell of a Nobody vs drama queens of Malaysian politics



“For years you (Eric See-to) hid behind a pseudonym, ‘Lim Sian See’ to take potshots at (us) Pakatan leaders ..." -  YB Tony Pua in trying to justify why he had called his RM100,000 benefactor a "nobody"  (Stop trying to fool the people with debates, Pua tells BN man)

Bandar Kinrara, 9 Oct: If Eric See-to, the BN Strategic Communications deputy director, is, indeed, the anonymous Lim Sian See, as DAP's Pua claims,  I would like to congratulate See-to, thank him, even, and tell him to keep up the good work! You see, most of the times, Anons in cyberspace are a waste of time. LSS is an exception. Whether you agree with him or not, he does not fabricate, he presents facts and sticks to truths, and he argues well against his opponents. 

And he exposes them for what they really are. 

Like he's just exposed Pua's boss Lim Kit Siang over the weekend for his melodramatic Plans afoot to arrest, parade me in lock-up attire
Kit Siang Competing With Sad-Dick For Drama Queen Title
 

(LSS) – Uncle Lim Kit Siang trying to play the victim again saying he will soon be arrested by MACC for corruption over an alleged RM1 billion bribe. 
Unfortunately, Kit Siang does not seem to understand the law. If there is indeed money from Mahathir then there is no corruption and can only be classified as a political donation from Mahathir to Kit Siang. 
And since Pakatan does not want a law on political donations, there are no laws broken.
Mahathir and his family are rich and can easily afford the RM1 billion. 
It is only corruption if the money was found to be from public coffers or from public listed companies. 
MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said this in response to a statement by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang asking the agency to investigate claims over the RM 1 billion bribe he allegedly received from Tun Mahathir Mohamad. 
“Parliament has not passed any legislation that provides a guideline for political parties or politicians on political funding. 
“The MACC Act 2009 does not cover offences related to money politics. 
Therefore, Kit Siang should save his drama. Why do you need to compete with Syed Saddiq to be who is the bigger drama queen?



And this was right after See-to had told the world about his RM100,000 loan to Pua, to shame the DAP man for calling him "a nobody". Pua's response to the RM100k disclosure was just a little less dramatic than Kit Siang's but it did not win him the sympathy he was probably hoping for. On the contrary, one DAP sympathiser describes Pua's response "disgusting, disrespectful, disappointing" (Read un-Chinese Tony Pua by KTemoc Konsiders).

LSS didn't stop there. In the last 24 hours or so, he took a dig at Kit Siang and Pua's DAP with 3 other  postings (and could be working on a few more as you read this):






So if the anonymous LSS and See-to are the same person, I'm not surprised then why Tony Pua is so reluctant to engage him in a debate. Relentless and systematic, this LSS chap is probably the most dangerous social media writer out there today for the DAP.  And that would make See-to one hell of a nobody!


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Malaysiakini picture that paints a thousand words


6/10/2017
Ooops! The "Dr M collapses ..." piece was wrongly attributed to Malaysiakini in my original posting below. The Opposition-friendly news portal had merely processed the story and attributed it to the author of the piece, Umno Online. The headline was also Umno Online's. My apologies to both Malaysiakini and Umno Online.

Nonetheless, there's no mistaking the body language in the Malaysiakini photograph ...

Original article:

What does the body language tell you?


Dr Mahathir collapses at DAP's feet ...

Bangsar, 5 Oct: Both the article and the picture (above) are by Malaysiakini so this is  clearly not a piece by Umno or pro-Umno or Najib Razak's cyberwarriors out to demonize the Mahathir Mohamad. This is how the influential Opposition-friendly news portal sees it. In Malay, the headline cries Tersungkurnya Dr Mahathir di kaki DAP.
You don't even have to read the article; the headline says it all. For me, the photograph did it. There is a twinkle in Lim Kit Siang's eyes that I was not aware of before (and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the RM1 billion dedak he was supposed to have received from the Old Man, an RPK accusation which, personally, I find too fantastic and I'm not saying it because Kit Siang just had to respond to ex-DAP Tunku Aziz's taunt by threatening to sue his accusers when a simple denial would do just as well!).   
The settee looks too big for the good doctor. It could be the angle of the pic. Or maybe he has shrunk ...

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Were you looking for the word "moron", Kak Midah?


As long as this question is not answered, Syed Saddiq's statement is an oxymoron ...  - Hamidah Osman, former vice president of Mahathir's Pribumi party, in response to Syed Saddiq's claim he was offered/blackmailed RM5 million to leave Pribumi.

Puchong, 4 Oct: Hamidah is right on at least thing about Syed Saddiq, the 25 year old youth leader of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. If this Habibur Rahman allegedly representing PM Najib Razak was "blackmailing" him and his family since December last year and at the same time offering him RM5 milliom to leave Mahathir Mohamad's party (not inclusive of an undisclosed sum of funds to set up a foundation for great debaters like him), why didn't Saddiq go to the police and MACC earlier?
And why hasn't he done it already? 
Why wait if the safety of your family was really being threatened, as he claimed?
Isn't that moronic?




Anyway, it's good that Hamidah has lodged a report with MACC over Saddiq's allegation h e r e
Her full statement in response to Saddiq:

KENYATAAN DATO HAMIDAH OSMAN:

MENYEMBUNYI PENIPUAN DISEBALIK PROSEDUR

Saya merujuk kepada sidang akhbar Ketua Armada Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman pada hari Isnin 2  2hb Oktober 2017.
1.  Kenyataan beliau yang  asal nya dijangka untuk mengumumkan beliau  akan menerima tawaran belajar dan biasiswa dari Oxford University, UK akhirnya menjadi medan untuk beliau membuat serangan serangan dan tuduhan liar .
ada yg mempertikai kan surat tawaran dari Oxford yang Syed Saddiq siarkan di Facebook peribadinya  menunjukkan tarikh-tarikh yang mempunyai kronoloji yang agak anih dan pelik susunannya.
2.  Saya difahamkan daripada laporan akhbar The Star bahawa Syed Saddiq akan membuat laporan kepada SPRM jika perlu berhubung dakwaan dia telah disogok RM5 juta untuk menyambung pelajaran di luar negara . Selepas kenyataan akhbar tersebut sebenar nya pelbagai pihak telah menggesa Syed Saddiq untuk membuat laporan berhubungan sogokan tersebut kepada SPRM dan saya amat mengalu-alukan beliau membuat laporan.
Malah saya sendiri telah membuat laporan kepada pihak SPRM Cawangan Ipoh berkenaan majlis sidang akhbar nya. Jika beliau tidak melakukan laporan tersebut, maka Syed Saddiq dianggap telah melanggar undang2 SPRM dan hukumannya adalah agak berat.
Dalam kenyataan kepada akhbar The Star, Syed Saddiq berkata dia dan ahli keluarganya telah diperas ugut (dalam bahasa Inggeris, backmail), maka dengan itu, beliau akan membuat laporan polis berhubung hal ini terlebih dahulu sebelum membuat laporan SPRM.
3.  Sebaik laporan-laporan ini dibuat nanti, mengikut amalan biasa undang2 , beliau tidak akan dibenarkan untuk membuat kenyataan dan menjelaskan apa apa kenyataan berkenaan sidang akhbar yg telah dibuat nya. Pihak peguam yang menasihati kami berkata ia tidak sub-judice untuk memberi penjelasan. Namun begitu, Syed Saddiq dijangka bakal menggunakan  alasan itu untuk tidak menjawab dan menjelaskan kenyataan akhbar nya sebelum ini. .  Sebagai pejuabg ..dia perlu bertanggungjawab dengan tindak tanduknya dan usah bersembunyi disebalik prosedur untuk melontar tuduhan dan andaian yang boleh dianggap fitnah sebelum membuat laporan kepada pihak berkuasa.
Oleh itu.. Sebelum dia membuat laporan, dia perlu memberi penjelasan kepada semua pihak, termasuk orang ramai, terutamanya pihak-pihak yang nama mereka disebut.
4.  Syed Saddiq berkata dia sudah mula berunding dengan pihak-pihak tertentu yang konon nya mewakili UMNO semenjak bulan Disember dahulu lagi. Beliau memaklum kan ada ditawarkan pelbagai tawaran termasuk biasiswa dan lain-lain.
5.   Syed Saddiq turut berkata dia telah diperas ugut (blackmail), tetapi mengapa setelah begitu lama semenjak bulan Disember lepas, baru skrg dia mahu membuat laporan polis? Bukankah dia telah mendedahkan dirinya dan ahli keluarganya kepada risiko keselamatan yang terlalu lama?  Mengapa beliau sangat takut untuk membuat laporan polis tetapi sangat berani membuat sidang akhbar secara langsung di FB nya?
6.  Jika benar dakwaan Syed Saddiq berkenaan tempat sidang akhbar diadakan  dibiayai oleh pihak yang mahu dia membuat serangan tersebut dan menawarkan biasiswa untuk belajar ke Oxford University, mengapa beliau tidak mendedahkan  bil bayaran dan nama pembayar untuk diketahui orang ramai? Adakah dia sendiri mahu menyembunyikan identiti pihak tersebut dari diketahui oleh orang ramai? 
8.  Syed Saddiq ada menyebut nama seorang bernama Habibur Rahman yang dikatakan adalah Penasihat Perdana Menteri  dari Pejabat Perdana Menteri sebagai dalang. Sepanjang masa saya berada dalam UMNO, saya tidak pernah dengar dan jauh sekali berurusan dengan seorang bernama demikian. Saya hairan bagaimana Syed Saddiq boleh menyebut nama tersebut sedangkan dia sendiri nyatakan dia tidak pernah bertemu.
9.  Syed Saddiq turut mendedahkan ada penulis skrip yang menentukan apa yang perlu dikata untuk sidang akhbar. Skrip tersebut tidak dibawa ketika sidang akhbar untuk dijadikan bukti dan mengapa tidak dedahkan nama orangnya sekali . Selagi persoalan ini tidak dijawab, kenyataan Syed Saddiq boleh dianggap sebagai "oxymoron" atau bercanggah antara satu sama lain.
10. Akhir sekali, saya ingin bertanya Syed Saddiq adakah dia sangat bernilai hingga mahu disogok  sebanyak RM5 juta .

Sekian.

Dato Hamidah Osman
Mantan Naib Presiden PPBM

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Chauvinist party: Who's naive and stupid now?



KL, Oct 3: I read of Dr Mahathir Mohamad's confession, h e r e, with no surprise at all, having witnessed the bagful of U-turns he's been making since setting up Pribumi to challenge Umno and take down PM Najib Razak. I couldn't help feeling a tinge of regret, though. For in a posting last December, Google reminded me, I wrote so cocksurely that ...

... 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. -Does Mahathir really want a DAP-led government?

Damn! We were so naive and stupid.


Read also
see also the video clip:


Thursday, September 28, 2017

A MALI-cious Malaysian non-Malay, non-Muslim

Updates, 29 Sept:
"I was misunderstood," said man who had claimed on Facebook that: "Only in Malaysia Muslims are taught to hate and claim Islam is the only true religion and no other religions must be practised ...".  

"I was merely referring to the quality of foreign preachers, like Zakir Naik, who seem to be welcomed with open arms whereas moderate and sensible ones are detained and barred from entering," he said when contacted yesterday by the mole.my h e r e.


Original article:



Gardens KL, 28 Sept: The mistake was made by an Italian news portal, not The Star [read the original new story h e r e].  The Star had merely quoted that news portal and, upon realising its mistake, quickly carried a correction/clarification, like all decent newspapers do (see above and link h e r e]. Seasoned journalist Nuraina Samad got that in her posting this morning:


Thanks to the error in reporting, we realise that "vicious, moronic, malicious, inflammatory" individuals STILL live among us. Like Nuraina, I am not surprised by their ready vitriol. What hurts, though, is some of those who readily attacked Muslims in Malaysia because of this slapping incident in Rome wrote this "long-term opinion":





I don't know what long-term opinion means but I wish he had given it a longer consideration before commenting on a report. This dude later blamed it on the "error" committed by The Star and I'm not surprised. It is always someone else's fault, never their own stupidity.

I left these comments on his FB:

I am a Muslim in Malaysia and I have never been trained to hate other religions. Only in Malaysia non Muslims can accuse me of such and get away with it ..

I hope it sinks in. You see, even if the guy who had slapped the couple was a Malaysian, it would not be fair to put all Malaysias down. And if he was a Malaysian Muslim, he certainly was not representative of Muslims or Malaysian Muslims or Islam. At all. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

KJ merajuk lagi?

Is he turning away?

Puchong, 20 Sept: A friend told me YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the Sports and Youth Minister, isn't quite himself these days. After the euphoria of the SEA Games, the young man seems disenchanted. His last posting on his hugely popular Instagram account was on Merdeka Day, the day after the Games. It was a photograph of him, taken from behind, overseeing an almost deserted rink. And that's all she wrote says the caption.

But it's what KJ has on his Insta profile that has left my friend disgusted and a lot of people guessing.



I told this friend that, well, may he doesn't give a flying f for something that should not be of too much concern to people like my friend. 
"How can you say that? KJ is a Minister .. it's unbecoming."

This friend proceeded to send me some conversations on social media to suggest that Khairy was really unhappy about something. 




Mmm .. does make you wonder.

These texts are several days old, mind you, but a lot of people are curious, concern and, I suppose, give a flying f about KJ, that's all I'm saying. 



p.s. For context, an old posting of mine, KJ Merajuk?



Friday, September 01, 2017

Malaysia no hope?


KL, 010917: A survey in conjunction with our country's 60th Merdeka found that most Malaysians are, actually, mighty proud to be Malaysians. 98.3 per cent of the respondents said so, to be exact [Read Bernama's Overwhelming majority are proud to be Malaysians]. Eight out of 10 said they would never leave this country for another, come rain or shine. Through thick and thin. Like me. And probably you.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 2017 : A survey conducted among the people in the run-up to National Day 2017 found that an overwhelming majority are proud to be Malaysian. 
In the study, conducted by commercial and social intelligence outfit Kajidata, 98.3 per cent of the 1,041 registered voters surveyed throughout the country stated “I’m proud to be a Malaysian”, a three perent increase compared with last year’s findings.   
Kajidata advisor Prof Datuk Seri Syed Arabi Idid told Bernama the same survey, conducted from July 10 to 18, also found that a strong patriotic fervour among Malaysians, with 80.2 per cent celebrating the National Day on Aug 31 every year, a date they considered auspicious and very meaningful to them. 
Syed Arabi, a former rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia, said the survey also found that Malaysians were well aware that unity is among the important building blocks of the nation. The survey also found 85.9 per cent of the respondents saying the Rukun Negara can serve as the guiding principles in promoting and fostering unity.   
Almost 80 per cent of the respondents also stated that they would not migrate to another country regardless of the current situation in the country, another testament of their patriotism. In the study, conducted via a telephone poll, only 12.2 per cent had indicated their intention to migrate. 
Established in 2015, Kajidata (www.kajidata.com) has the mission of effectively acquiring and seeing beyond data and unearthing actionable insights. Respondents are selected based on random stratified sampling along ethnicity, gender, age, state and national demographics to reflect public opinion on current issues with greater accuracy. – Bernama

And quite certainly for James Chai, a Malaysiakini contributor who has just returned after four years as a Malaysian student abroad. 

Sadly, instead of being welcomed home, he found himself being treated like a fool for not ditching his country. He reported:
A day after I landed in Malaysia, I followed my mother to the wet market in Petaling Jaya. The local grover asked my mother if her "bodyguard" (myself) would be going back to London to work. My mother said no.   
The grocer admonished me for coming back. “Why don’t you stay abroad and find a job there? The salary’s five times higher than what you can get here. It’s also fairer and more transparent!” There is no place for you here, he said. 
He looked into my eyes with some sympathy before relentless anger compelled him to say: "Malaysia no hope."

Read James Chai's homecoming article Choosing to return to Malaysia, with hope.

And instead of giving the likes of James Chai hope and encouragement, he gets the total opposite from supposed Malaysiakini commenters.  Our children leave because they are second class citizens here,  the Malaysiakini editorial says. 

Lim Kit Siang did not tweet what James Chai wrote about hope. The DAP big boss tweeted this:




p.s. Of course, Kit Siang's children did not leave this country and are no second class citizens. But such is the hypocrisy of most privileged Malaysians.

Friday, August 25, 2017

What is it with the Johor Palace and KJ?


TTDI, 25 Aug 2017: The Istana Johor's disdain for Khairy Jamaluddin, our Sports and Youth Minister, is not new. When KJ was just the son-in-law of then PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he offended someone in Sultan Ibrahim's family. To this day, I am not sure what exactly happened. But back then I was somewhat close to Tunku Yem, who was the Crown Prince, so I was sometimes privy to some of things that affected Istana Pelangi and its occupants.  
I remember one day in September 2006 KJ was in Johor, in what capacity I am now not sure, and some members from the Pasir Pelangi palace were there at the same event. One of them reported to me about how arrogant KJ had been.  
I even blogged a short one on it:


Read the actual posting h e r e


That was 11 years ago, mind you. So much time to mend bridges. Or burn a few more. In the case of Sultan Yem's family and KJ, obviously the latter. I used to think it was just between the present TMJ (Tunku Ismail) and Khairy but, well, that seems no longer the case!


Sultan says Khairy's polo team "mediocre". Full report h e r e

The Sultan of Johor is a very popular man but I'm not sure if his advisors have told him that his comments on KJ and the polo team did not endear him with too many of us. Khairy may not be any good at polo, or anywhere as good as TMJ or Sultan Yem himself, or is manipulating sports for his political advancement, etc etc but let someone else say it. 
The Sultan should be above this kind of things, if you know what I mean. 

p.s. The medal tally at the time of this posting [and polo is likely to add to Malaysia's gold]:



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The day Syed Saddiq made a name for his opponent

Updated 3 Sept 2017:
With Assessment of debate between Shahril Hamdan and Syed Saddiq on Economic Agenda, Azmi Arshad has written what he says his longest post ever. Why? Because he did not want one of the debaters to get away with "lies, spin, diversions and rhetoric to deceive the audience with his political agenda".


Original posting


Playing second fiddle, a rear role for Syed Saddiq
KL, 22 Aug: Watching Asia's top debater Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (in t-shirt) in action for the first time at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit XI on Sunday, I was assured straight away that my country would be alright in the coming years. The 25-year old youth chief from Dr Mahathir Mohamad's party, made me realise that there are, actually, young Malaysians out there with the brains and the guts and the humility to lead Malaysia to greater heights. 
I'm talking, of course, about Syed Saddiq's opponent Shahril Hamdan during the debate on Sunday by The UK and Eire Council of Malaysian Students in Kuala Lumpur.  
Shahril Hamdan, a fresh revelation
I had expected young Saddiq to demolish the little-known Shahril, an Umno Youth exco member, with his legendary oratory skills. And the topic This House believes that Pakatan Harapan has a better economic agenda than Barisan Nasional was a great chance for him to shine. 
Instead, Sharil, 31, outclassed Saddiq with clarity of thoughts, simplicity of arguments, and even a bit of wit here and there. Syed Saddiq was not at all bad but the association with all those politicians (and all that hype) was showing: I thought he drowned himself and the listeners with too much political rhetorics and election promises from start to finish.
Shahril was focused and kept to the topic. Unlike the top debater, the 31-year old did not speak to impress his audience or his opponent; he was there to debate an economic issue. By Shahril's own admission, neither he nor his party were perfect. But for me, for now, that would do perfectly. 
p.s. Question now is, where will Shahril stand in GE14?

Watch the debate here 
and Q & A here

Friday, August 18, 2017

Why MACC may want to do away with the orange pyjamas altogether


Kuala Lumpur, 18 Aug: Of Isa Samad, I've written on this blog too many times, none of them with great fondness. But when photographs of this ex-Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar, ex-Felda-FGV Chairman, ex- Umno Vice President, and soon probably ex-SPAD acting Chairman splashed the front pages of the local dailies middle this week, clad in the unmistakable orange pyjamas of SPRM (the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), I hesitated in making a posting.  The pomp and the parade ... there's something not right about the whole thing. Lawyer N. Surendran, who is also a Member of Parliament, may have a moral point here. It is not just humiliating but premature to dress Isa in that bright orange uniform and paraded him in front of the media as if he had been charged and found guilty. When, in fact, you were just producing the suspect in court for a remand order to question him further on suspicion of corrupt practices.

Anyone in this orange would look like a crook 
This is not to say that the blazer Isa had on when he was arrested by the anti-graft officers was less of an eye-sore! A sober, dark suit or batik or a Baju Melayu complete with songkok would probably have done better for his PR.
Before the arrest
I fully agree with YB Rais Yatim, the seasoned politician from Jelebu, about the need for hemah or discretion on the part of the MACC in upholding the dignity of every person they deal with:


Rarely, I am also with Akhbar Satar, the Transparency Insternational-Malaysia  president. Let Justice Takes Its Course. But the first person who should listen to his advice is Akhbar himself.  One minute he says we must always bear in mind that Isa is innocent until proven guilty. The next minute, he proclaims that Isa's arrest is a signal for the government to End political appointments in GLCs. Akhbar, moronically or not, has already found Isa guilty!
Sometimes I think Akhbar is no different from some Opposition politicians who would go out of their way to discredit MACC whenever one of theirs is taken into custody for alleged corruption is expected. To them, the Commission is doing their job only if others, preferably their political rivals, are involved. It's the childishness in these politicians that we've come to expect and which is holding the MACC back. When it suits them, they hail themselves as "friends of MACC". 

No more friends after arrest of Phee Boon Poh

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Zahid tightens the noose


Puchong, 5 Aug 2017: Those quick to write off Zahid Hamidi after Mahathir Mohamad's onslaught did so at their own peril. As I see it, Zahid has not only turned the table on Mahathir but is slowly tightening the noose around the Old Man's neck. Mahathir's only salvation is IF Zahid were to suddenly lose the recording he claimed to have made of the meeting that he had with Mahathir.

Zahid: Yes, I met Mahathir, and I can prove what transpired

The deputy prime minister also says the meeting received Najib Razak's blessing.zahid-mahathir

JERLUN: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today admitted he had a meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad days after his appointment as the deputy prime minister in 2015, but denied the former prime minister’s claim that it was to seek support to topple Najib Razak. 
Speaking to Jerlun Umno division members today, Zahid said he kept a recording of the meeting, adding that it also had the blessing of the prime minister. 
“I want to state that it took place with the prime minister’s blessing, 10 days after I was appointed the deputy prime minister,” he said. 
“The recording is still with me. They forget easily, but I don’t.”  [Read more H E R E]

Readers will recall on July 31, in an angry response to Zahid calling him son of Iskandar Kutty, Mahathir made two claims: 1. Zahid had RM230 million in his bank account when he was Umno Youth chief some 20 years ago (when Mahathir was PM) and 2. Zahid had begged for his "sympathy" to replace Najib as PM, less than two weeks after Zahid was made Deputy Prime Minister.

Khairuddin Hassan, the Mahathir loyalist who had lodged a police report against Zahid for calling Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty, said Zahir was bluffing. The DPM won't respond to a lackey; he will wait for Mahathir himself to call his bluff.



Thursday, August 03, 2017

If Zahid Hamidi had RM230 million in his account ...


Call him s/o Iskandar Kutty at your own peril!
 "Perhaps Zahid has forgotten his asset declaration made to me as prime minister when he was appointed as Umno Youth chief. When I asked where he obtained the RM230 million in his bank account, his answer was unclear. If he can remember, he should explain where such large amount of money came from." - Zahid had RM230 million when he was Umno Youth Chief 
 
TTDI, 3 Aug 2017: Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi has yet to respond to his ex-boss' allegation that he had RM230 million in his bank account some 20 years ago.

Until then, I will assume that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was telling the truth (even though Mahathir admits there is no proof that Zahid had RM230 million in his account). 

But because Mahathir Mohamad took no action against Zahid following the so-called discovery, I will also assume that the RM230 million wasn't ill-gotten money. 

Or perhaps it was not so out-of-the-ordinary for Umno politicians to have that kind of money during Mahathir's era.

Which makes me wonder ... 

If a just-appointed Umno Youth chief had that kind of money in his bank account back then, just how much did the Umno president have in his? 


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

PNB1

Humble 

The name Abdul Wahid Omar first appeared on my radar when I was a journalist with the Business Times, shortly before he went to Telekom Malaysia as its chief executive. Before long, he had taken over  the helm of Maybank, the country's biggest commercial bank, and just as quickly, it would seem, he accepted the call of the Dewan Negara to be Senator and a Minister in PM Najib Razak's Cabinet. Some of us assumed power would eventually get to this man's head and that he would soon eat his own words about being a one-term Cabinet Minister.  But AWO was true to his words. And before we knew it, he's completed a sterling first year as Chairman of PNB, Malaysia's biggest and most important fund management company. 
 
AWO's first year message as PNB Chairman:

Assalamualaikum & Selamat Sejahtera,

1. Today 1 August 2017 marks my first complete year as Group Chairman of Permodalan Berhad (PNB). Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to YAB Prime Minister & the Government for entrusting me to lead PNB. I must say Dato' Abdul Rahman Ahmad (DARA) and I have been fortunate to have received the baton from Tun Ahmad Sarji and Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah a very solid national institution of integrity in PNB. We are grateful for the support from our people in PNB from day one which enabled us to 'get cracking' immediately.

2. The first year has been action-packed, productive and fulfilling with the following achievements, among others:-
i. Smooth leadership succession at Chairman, CEO and board levels. Recruited DARA as CEO on 1 October 2016. Effected board succession on 1 January 2017 and streamlined management structure at group level. 
ii. Announced PNB Strategic Plan 2017-2022 "STRIVE 15" on 26 November 2016 aimed at building PNB into a Distinctive World Class Investment House. Adopted a more open and engaging approach. Focus on immediate execution of the 15 initiatives under the Strategic Plan. 
iii. Announced four major value creating corporate exercises namely ;
- Sime Darby Demerger to create 3 'pure plays' of Plantations, Property and Multinational Distribution & Logistics. On track for listing by mid December 2017.
- UMW Holdings demerger and recapitalisation of UMW Oil & Gas. Demerger completed July 2017. Recapitalisation in progress.
- Acquisition of SILK Highway to enhance PNB's Prolintas toll road concession portfolio in preparation for IPO in 2019. Acquisition completed June 2017.
- Merger of SP Setia and I&P Group to create one of the largest and most profitable property development groups in Malaysia. Expected completion November 2017. 
iv. Intensified efforts towards greater Shariah compliance resulting in Jabatan Mufti Selangor issuing 'Harus' fatwa or permissible edict for ASNB products in April 2017 in line with the National Fatwa edict in 2008. Only Penang is pending review. 
v. Successfully migrated to a new IT system on 28 June 2017 to enable ''passbook-less'' transactions to be undertaken. Online transactions currently under beta / trial at www.myasnb.com.my will also be officially enabled from 1 September 2017.
3. Alhamdulillah, market reaction has been positive with total market capitalisation of the six PNB strategic companies increasing by RM40 billion YoY since 1 August 2016 or RM29 billion YTD in the first 7 months of 2017. This represents an increase of 28.2% YoY or 18.9% YTD, higher than the increase in KLCI of 6.5% and 7.2% respectively. 
Another positive development is that Maybank's market capitalisation has also breached the RM100 billion mark in June 2017, a major milestone in Malaysia's capital market history.

4. We are grateful to Allah SWT for His blessings. None of the progress made would have been possible without the solid support and assistance from our Board members, management and staff of PNB, ASNB and our group companies. Thank you. Special mention to the Board members and management of our strategic companies in particular Sime Darby, UMW Holdings, UMW O&G, SP Setia, I&P Group and Prolintas for driving and supporting the value creation initiatives announced thus far.

5. Whilst we have made good progress at PNB, we still have a lot to do towards achieving our aspiration. As we move down the list of our strategic companies for value enhancing activities, we will also start  engaging with our core companies (where we have at least 10% shareholding) with a view to improving their total shareholder returns (TSR). We also plan to work closely with other institutional investors for greater shareholder activism aimed at enhancing corporate governance and performance of public listed companies.

6. After one year at PNB and with the management team led by DARA fully in place, I plan to also allocate some time to support some of our strategic companies in their transformation or performance improvement. Four days ago on 28 July 2017, the Board of Sime Darby Berhad announced, among others, my appointment as the Chairman of Sime Darby Property Berhad (SDP). SDP will be a separately listed entity upon completion of the Sime Darby demerger exercise. With total land bank of 18,000 acres in prime location such as City of Elmina, Bandar Bukit Raja, Serenia City, Alya KL and Malaysian Vision Valley, SDP can be regarded as having the 'dream land bank' of many property developers. I pledge to take on this additional responsibility to the best of my ability for the benefit of SD Property, its shareholders, PNB and the 13 million unit holders.

7. I thank you for all your help, support and guidance and I look forward to your continued support to me, ARA and PNB group companies. Let us all be constructive and play our respective part for an inclusive, sustainable, equitable and prosperous Negaraku Malaysia.

Thank you and with best regards.


AWO

01.08.17 .

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mahathir's cronies vs Najib's cronies

So who are his business cronies?


KL, 24 July: Someone sent me Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's piece Tun Mahathir, Bapa Sebenar Pengangkutan Awam [I've retitled it Syed Saddiq: Why Mahathir had to give it to his cronies]. So I went through the article by the youth leader of Mahathir's new party. It was a piece written in defence of the former prime minister. Well, I suppose, after all the praises for Najib Razak over the much-awaited MRT project, Mahathir needed defending. But someone else could have done a better job. I cringed when Syed Saddiq admitted, unwittingly or no, that Mahathir did award major transport projects to this cronies. As if that was not bad enough, he went to explain why that  was necessary (perlu) and encouraged (harus) at the time ...



And there we were telling the Americans, the IMF and fellow Malaysians that all those allegations about Mahathir corruption, cronyism and nepotism (with apologies to Zahid Hamidi, who went to jail for making those allegations against Mahathir publicly) were lies ...  
"Alaa, cronyism under Najib is as bad if not worse," a staunch Mahathir supporter told me. 
Really? Then please give me the name of one Malaysian individual who deserves or qualifies to be called a crony of Najib Razak. There were countless when Mahathir was PM, as Syed Saddiq is telling you, even if we were to accept the words of the likes of Francis Yeoh and Samsuddin Abu Hassan that they were actually not cronies of Mahathir's, or the Government's but had made fortunes based on their own blood, sweat and tears blah blah blah ...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The MRT, if Pakatan came to power ...

“I want to tell Najib Razak. Without wastage, we under Pakatan Harapan with the former deputy prime minister and prime minister can execute the MRT project with a wider network and a lower cost.” - Nurul Izzah: Pakatan can build better MRT line for cheaper


KL, 18 July: Firstly, there are two former DPMs under Pakatan Harapan, not one. 

Secondly, the Lembah Pantai MP should acknowledge the job well done with regards to the MRT. Sure, she's free to say that she and the coalition of two former DPMs and one former PM can do all kinds of things better and cheaper if they come into power again (yes, again), but the fact is they are not in power anymore. The two former DPMs and the former PM of 22 years had their chances. They did give the rakyat Proton as a gift and the Petronas Twin Towers as a present and the colossal Putrajaya as a memento of their rule. Perhaps Nurul Izzah thinks she can build better cars and taller towers and more beautiful bridges if she comes into power. But talk is cheap. 

Thirdly, the people appreciate the fact that they now have the MRT. Whether or not they think it is Najib Razak's "gift" to them, let them tell you themselves. Whether they will vote BN again because of that, they will let us know at the next general election. The people deserve the government they elect, and right now they deserve the MRT delivered by this government that they had elected. Live and let live, YB.

Nurul Izzah can be productive without having to wait for Pakatan to come into power. She can, for example, make a wishlist of things the MRT operators can do to serve her constituents better. Or a list of dos and don'ts so that the people use the MRT properly and safely, good habits which will actually reduce wastage and save costs in the long run. 

Sekali sekala, give out positive vibes. Apa salahnya kan, YB?


Saturday, July 08, 2017

What's even more remarkable than Mahathir's "remarkable political U-turn" ...

Updated July 9:

Comical. That's how Minister senior Cabinet minister Salleh Said Keruak describes Mahathir's latest antic. Salleh said if Mahathir is saying that he had jailed Anwar Ibrahim unjustly for sodomy, then the former PM should apologise to his former heir apparent for doing what he did (which included influencing the court's decision at that time). 


Original article

Puchong, 8 July 2017: We were talking about U-turns just the other day, wondering what else Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, would trade next just to save his own soul. 

True enough, Malaysia's Prime Minister for 22 years until 2003 (and who has said he wouldn't mind being PM again if the Opposition wins the next general elections) has found a way to bend backwards even farther. This time he's said that Anwar Ibrahim (whose name, by the way, is today synonymous with sodomy because of Mahathir) "is a victim of political vendetta". 

The Guardian has described it as "a remarkable political U-turn ahead of a general election next year" [Father of modern Malaysia backs jailed former deputy in attempt to oust PM]. 


Mahathir convinced the British newspaper in a special interview in London that a new administration (with Mahathir himself as the temporary PM, which he didn't say) would "seek a royal pardon to allow (Anwar) to re-enter politics".

" In the case of Anwar we can make a case that he was unfairly treated. The decision of the court was obviously influenced by the government and I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the King to give a full pardon for Anwar,” Mahathir said. “In which case he would be able to participate in politics and become PM. I can have no objection to that.” 

PM Najib Razak has responded to Mahathir's remarkable U-turn. A clear sign that the Old Man's panicky, he said.


"... this U-turn is not about the coming general election ... Mahathir knows that the RCI findings could lead to criminal prosecution, so he cannot afford to have individuals highly relevant to the case such as Anwar testifying against him," Najib said.


Najib added that it was "ironic that Mahathir now needs Anwar, the man he sacked and jailed". 
He added that Dr Mahathir's endorsement of Anwar comes after 20 years of Mahathir "vilifying him and using every possible means at his disposal to eliminate Anwar from the political process, including arresting him under the now-repealed Internal Security Act, prosecuting and jailing him and a sustained campaign to attack his moral character".



p.s. The U-turn on Anwar is remarkable, indeed, but we saw it coming even if the editors at The Guardian didn't. What I find more remarkable than the Anwar U-turn is his U-turn on Lim Kit Siang. I know many, many people who  still cannot get over it. We spent countless hours those days listening to the Old Man talking trash about the DAP leader. For Mahathir to unabashedly swallow his own words and sidle up to Kit Siang, it finally dawned upon us that here was someone who would do anything and sell anyone by whatever means to meet an end.

At the rate he"s going, I'm betting that before the general election Mahathir will say sorry to the nation for what he did to the Judiciary and seek the forgiveness of the likes of sacked Tun Salleh Abas, the Chief of Justice who was sacked and humiliated, and Datuk Syed Idid, the High Court judge who was threatened with imprisonment. 

He would tell us that these fine Yang Ariffs were victims of some conspiracy that, of course, did not include him ....