Friday, February 24, 2017

Ampun Tuanku

KL, Friday 24 Feb: There was a time when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was so powerful even the most frightening monarchs in this country feared him and what he might be capable of (doing to them). 
Not anymore. 
The Johor Sultan's latest attack on "a politician from outside Johore ... who forgets easily .. and could be senile" (read Mahathir) is more scathing than the last. I don't blame Sultan Ibrahim for hating Mahathir for what he had done to the royals. Some would say that Mahathir got it coming. But I wonder if that is the most regal approach towards making things right. 
And I worry that, if encouraged, the attacks would get more blatant and might not always be just on Mahathir or "one or two ex-MBs of Johor". 

If our royals start attacking personalities who are not our political enemies or current national leaders and MBs in public, for the right or the wrong reasons, what then? Will we still clap our hands and say, "Ampun Tuanku"? 

Past MBs were arrogant, says Sultan - FMT
Siapa mereka yang dikatakan "dulu dia kata" dan MB angkuh? - A Voice
MB dulu angkuh, ikut telunjuk kerajaan pusat, Sultan kata - FMT

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An Open Letter from a Gen M: Tun, be fair to yourself ...

KL, Feb 22: After Tokoh Wartawan Negara Zainudin Maidin's overbearing tweet, the piece Tun, be fair to yourself by former NST motoring journalist Hezeri Samsuri, 44, who is almost half Zam's age, is sobering. It makes you think. 
Hezeri, who describes himself as "a product of Dr Mahathir's era", disagrees with almost everything that Dr M writes about the national car in his latest posting Proton. But he does not resort to calling the Old Man names. He gave him due respect. He does not even blame Mahathir for the current state of Proton, even though he thought Mahathir "should have been more proactive in helping Proton during its heydays, like how t government of Korea did when Hyundai'Kia wanted to go ito the US market".  
Hezeri is very clear about one thing: :We can do it. With this new venture for Proton soon, in my fervent view, I honestly believe we can continue to ensure Proton is our pride ...:." 
"The last thing Proton needs now is the company being pulled into another political game."

Read also:
A reassurance to Dr M that Proton will continue to be Malaysia's pride - The Mole
Proton belanja berbilion ringgit beli Lotus, tapi apa Malaysia dapat? - The Malaysian Digest

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why I didn't blog about Zam's tweets on the JB cycling tragedy

KL Feb 20: I bumped into a senior editor from Utusan Malaysia this afternoon and asked him what he thought about his former editor-in-chief's tweet on the 3am accident in Johor Baru that killed eight young ones. 
"We don't understand him anymore, Rocky. He's gone bonkers." 
The editor said he spoke for his colleagues in Utusan Malaysia. 
"It is disgraceful, really," he added.
Zam, who turned politician from journalist towards the end of Dr Mahathir Mohamad's rule, wrote under pressure in later tweets that he hadn't lost his marbles, that he was merely stating the facts, ands that government cybertroopres were desperate. He wasn't even blaming Najib Razak for the tragedy, he insisted. 
But that's not how everybody else read/interpreted Zam's tweets. And the senior editor I bumped into today wasn't the only Utusan Malaysia journalist who was offended by Zam's words and conduct.

A case in hand ...

Then a reporter from the news portal Malaysian Digest called me up for my comments. Damn. I was hoping I didn't have to comment on what Zam had written on his Twitter but  a fellow journalist is a asking me what I thought of Zam's tweets?
Well, to put it simply, and speaking as journalist, I was ashamed. 
This is the recipient of the 2006 Tokoh Wartawan Negara (Eminent Journalist) award that we are talking about, I told the Digest.

p.s.  In 2006, I remember forcing myself to refrain from writing on my blog about the manner the award had been given to Zam back then. Maybe I shouldn't have  .. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Anifah speaks out after Azmin's "quit" rumours

Puchong, Wed: The Sabah Umno-BN strongman Anifah Aman hasn't responded either to Azmin Ali's stupid tweet that he was resigning as Najib Razak's Foreign Minister or the ensuing speculation that he was quitting because he was mighty peeved with the way some "jokers'" in his own party are using a certain thorny international crisis to revive their political fortunes.

I don't think Anifah needs to. 

But Najib needs to make sure that this man stays by his side on this final straight. Jesters are a dime and a dozen as the general election draws closer; what the Prime Minister needs are people who take their work seriously and who put the people and the nation above their own politics and survival.

At the Brussels High-Level Conference on Mediation yesterday, the Foreign Minister underscores the need for all relevant parties to be "sincere and fully committed" in getting finding a solution to the Rohingya issue.


His Excellency Didier Reynders
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the Government of Belgium for convening this Conference on Mediation. Conversations such as the one we are having today are vital to our collective efforts towards maintaining a safe and secure global environment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2. When Malaysia was on the UN Security Council in 2015 and 2016, we had made mediation one of our priorities. Throughout the two years, we had consistently urged that mediation be used as a tool for resolving conflicts peacefully. In addition, we had supported and continue to support all on-going UN-led efforts as well as other international initiatives on mediation.

3. Malaysia had also encouraged the moderation approach, which emphasizes tolerance, non-violence, mutual understanding, as well as respect for diversity and inclusiveness. We firmly believe that moderation plays an essential role in a mediation process towards enhancing international peace and security.

4. We further believe that moderation is also important to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights. Its inclusive characteristic calls for the participation of all, including minorities, which would serve towards tackling humanitarian crises, such as the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the Rakhine State, without discrimination.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

5. At the regional level, Malaysia was the Third Party Facilitator for the Southern Philippines Peace Process, a role we assumed in 2001. This endeavour led to the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, on 27 March 2014. In addition, Malaysia is also the Facilitator to the Southern Thailand Peace Dialogue that has been on-going since 2013.

6. Malaysia’s offer to mediate the two peace processes arises from our firm belief in mediation as the primary way to resolve conflicts peacefully and a genuine desire to ensure that peace prevails in the Southeast Asian region. Peace and stability in these areas will contribute to the creation of an environment conducive for development, business and investment opportunities. This will further contribute to the peace, security and prosperity and, in turn, the well-being of the citizens of the countries concerned.

7. In mediating the two peace processes, Malaysia is guided by a few basic principles. It is Malaysia’s view that a good mediator has to be suitably experienced and be well trained in diplomacy and negotiation. He or she must be an impartial and honest broker. He or she must also understand that the role of a mediator is to facilitate the resolution of issues rather than to impose a resolution upon the parties in conflict.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

8. The role of the mediator is undeniably important to a mediation process. At the same time, Malaysia is of the view that the role of the parties in the mediation process is equally vital. We strongly believe that for a mediation process to realise its objective, all parties must be sincere and fully committed in wanting to achieve a peaceful and sustainable solution that is acceptable to the parties in conflict.

Thank you.


14 FEBRUARY 2017

Read also my previous related postings on this subject:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Views on the Malaysian economy: the kind of U-turn we'd like to see

Updates: Asian shares notch 19-month highs, dollar firm - The Mole, Feb 14

Original article
Puchong, 12 Feb: NAYSAYERS are not going to like this, but the news about the Malaysian economy is good, if not great. 

Seems that the economy is  not just turning the corner in great fashion but is expected to do  anything between well and very well in the coming years. Not that it has been doing that badly in the first place, as these detractors would like you to believe!

But don't take my word for it, read what the experts have to say ....

You can read a Malaysian news portal's version h e r e or opt for the Independent's These will be the 32 most powerful economies in 2030 but the suggestions are the same: Malaysia isn't going "south" or "bankrupt" and is not facing a crisis of confidence as some smart alecs have suggested; on the contrary, we are well on the way up. 

Interestingly, four Asean economies will be there in the Top 32 (but not Singapore). Some of you ought to stop looking down on our Indonesian neighbours for they are expected to rip ahead to 5th position by 2030 and is poised to become one of the big four economies by 2050!

Not convinced?

If The Edge's usually skeptical take on Najib Razak's economic handling is more up your alley, check out its latest analysis on Malaysia's economy performance. I'm not asking my dear Readers to start believing whatever the weekly owned by the controversial Tong Kooi Ong  publishes, just pointing out the fact that they could also be making a U-Tun on the economy here ...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Azeez, flotilla and Tabung Haji ...

Azeez, Donald and Marine by Another Brick in the Wall

Is Azeez returning to his dangerous missions again?

Puchong, 10 Feb: Reading Life of Annie's Food flotilla, Azeez and Anifah, my mind sailed to better days 7 years ago when another Malaysian-sponsored flotilla, the MV Rachel Corrie, headed for Gaza to deliver aid to the Palestinians and a stern message to the Israeli government. Those on board the MV Rachel Corrie, including six Malaysians, suffered more than sea sickness when they were taken in by their Israeli hosts, prompting Prime Minister Najib Razak to thrown diplomatic caution to the wind and slam Israel as "world gangster". The flotilla for Palestine was initiated and partly-sponsored by Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Perdana Leadership Foundation; hence, Mukhriz's deep involvement. If the Tun and Najib were still friends, I'm sure the flotilla for Rohingyas would bear the PLF's name but since these are not better days, Najib has had to recall Azeez Rahim to sail the choppy waters to Myanmar and Bangladesh to send aid and a stern message to Nobel winner and Asean gangster Aung Suu Kyi.

Azeez is an old hand at these humanitarian assignments. Before the Mahathir-Najib split, he'd won the love and admiration of the old man for helping out with the Government's (and his personal) Palestinian cause. I remember a casual media media with Mahathir  in those better days, a former editor of an English daily starting running down Azeez (who did not attend the meeting), accusing Azeez of making a name for himself via those humanitarian projects. 

Full of praise of Azeez ..
Mahathir did not hide his contempt for the ex-editor's comments. "At least Azeeeez is brave enough to do those things," he shot back.

These days, Azeez does not have Mahathir's affection, for obvious reasons.

But with or without the old man, it looks to me that with the food flotilla for the Rohingyas, Azeez is back doing the things he is best at.

Which makes me wonder if all that talk about Tabung Haji parting ways with Azeez is true. The market is already a few names being bandied about to take over as Tabung Haji chairman, one of them a prominent former boss of MATRADE ...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Watch Kit Siang's Trump-wannabe moment

Puchong, 8 Feb: First, my apologies for not providing subtitles for the above rant. To be honest, I had difficulty catching what Uncle Lim is trying to say.

But body language speaks clearly. Not just Kit Siang's but also Dr Mahathir's. Look at just how uneasy the Old Man is. Lots of squirming and red faces back there, too. What an ordeal it must have been!

Another chap who loves to throw his weight around when grilled by journalists is Donald Trump. That never worked out well for him, even though he is the most powerful man on Earth.

Here's another one: Trump shuts down CNN reporter

Now what did the TV3 reporter ask that so riled Kit Siang? Read Seademon's Kit Siang stands by his BMF RCI request and an earlier posting by SSK, RCI only needed on BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The frog turns into a prince, yet again

Now who kissed the frog into a prince?

TTDI, Feb 7: Few things politics are worth blogging about these days. Zaid Ibrahim's "weird decision" to join the DAP, a party all Umno members (even ex-members) see as racist and anti-Malay, is certainly one of them.
Not that I think the event is going to change either Zaid or the DAP. It merely reaffirms my belief that Malaysian politicians have actually proved, beyond reasonable doubts, that there are no permanent friends nor foes when it comes to their profession. Lim Kit Siang and Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the same press conference - one to receive Zaid as DAP member and the other to  congratulate him for the "weird decision" - you can't do better than that!
After kissing the frog into a prince, both Old Men could not help but poke fun at Zaid's very colourful past of hopping from one party to another: Kit Siang hoping that Zaid will be a team player and not a prima donna and Mahathir hoping that Zaid stays a little bit longer in DAP.
You can almost hear them giggling behind Zaid. I think I know how little they believe in the hopes that they have expressed!
But if Zaid lasts with the DAP until the next General Election, I would like to see him go back to Hulu Selangor and take on YB P. Kamalanathan, the BN new kid on the block who had sent him (Zaid was a PKR hotshot then) into political wilderness with his emphatic victory in the by-election of 2010.
There in Hulu Selangor, Zaid can bury the biggest ghost of his past for good.
And I rate his chances against Kamalanathan better now than 7 years ago. He's got both Mahathir and former DPM Muhyiddin Yassin on his side now, for a start. Back then, the two big men were with Umno and BN. But like Zaid, they have also "leapfrogged" out of the ruling coalition and now seek to bury their old party.

The case of the missing trees in Taman Tun Dr Ismail

  TTDI, 29 Nov: They are cutting the trees again in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, once one of the greenest housing estates in KL.  Well, it probably ...