Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Front page Ramadan hate-line: The Star suspends editors

Updated 010617
About Stupid Editors and FRIM's Canopy Walk - Life of Annie

"Moderate" Chun Wai returns to restore order  
Puchong, 31 May: Most of us didn't think any action would be taken to address the latest in the series of headlines and articles spanning years by Malaysia's largest-circulation English daily deemed insensitive and provocative by its Muslim readers. Well, we were wrong. There's a  show-cause letter and a probe under the Sedition Act but the sternest action has been taken not by the Home Ministry or the Police but by the management of the The Star itself! 

The suspension means the newspaper is accepting blame for the insensitive, provocative Ramadan front page. It is admitting that the apology issued after the mess was inadequate, insincere. It also means the management of The Star will conduct a DI to establish what happened, and why. 
Hopefully this whole episode can serve as a reminder to editors and journalists - including those on the social media - that some values in our unique multi-ethnic, multi-religious relationship cannot, should not be taken for granted.  
Some will disagree but as far as I am concerned, this is a cue for the KDN and the Police to back off and let the newspaper do its own soul searching. Wong Chun Wai is an old hand. He's been through similar controversies (Donuts and Coffee at the Home Office). I'd give him some room to fix things.  
But everyone will be on the lookout for the next hateline, Wong ...

Read also:

The Sinister Daily - Seademon

Monday, May 29, 2017

Syed speaks out on "selling out" allegation

"... inviting Geely Holding to take up a 49.9 per cent stake in Proton does not equate to us selling out." - DRB-Hicom group managing director Syed Faisal Akhbar

Kuala Lumpur, 29 May: Everyone but Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants to believe that there would now be hope for the long-suffering Malaysian national car after Proton finally signed the crucial deal with China's Geely. I was beginning to wonder, though, if Proton itself was going to speak out for Proton against its former Chairman and advisor.  
Then someone referred me to the interview in the NST Online with DRB-Hicom boss Syed Faisal Albar. Couldn't have been more timely.

You can read Syed's full interview with the NST Online h e r e.
Proton SUV, post-Geely?

You may also want to read Jalil Backer's Please Be Fair to Syed Mokhtar via The SnapShot's Sebab ego, Mahathir media bungkuskan Syed Mokhtar  
In a nutshell, Jalil Backer reminds Dr Mahathir that the decision to sell Proton's 49% to Geely is entirely Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary's, the major shareholder of DRB=Hicom, which owns Proton...

Ideally, we should hear from Syed Mokhtar himself about the deal with Geely and his plans for Proton but he's been known to be extremely media-shy, even before the days when they started calling him Dr Mahathir's "blue-eyed boy". Plus, I think we can consider that DRB boss Syed Faisal Akhbar was speaking also for his boss Syed Mokhtar during the interview with the NST Online.  
I could almost hear him - Syed Mokhtar himself, I mean - saying it ..
"One day in the not too distant future, Proton will be a brand that
 Malaysians will once again be proud to call one of their own."

Read also:
Proton bukan projek nasional lagi - A. Kadir Jasin
Model terbaru Proton dan Mahathir buat U-turn sekali lagi, Dr MiM
Chinese are never to lose - Annie
Premonition vs Proton - Big Dog
Crocodile tears: Mahathir and Proton - Lim Sian See
Menangis Madey tutup RM385 bilion ringgit duit rakyat dirompak - SnapShot

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Proton Geely's first model, already?

TTDI, 26 May 2017: The government has been talking about getting the bleeding Proton a foreign partner for years. That it has finally happened (It's official: Geely acquires 49 per cent stake in Proton - NST) is both a great relief and an exciting prospect. 
At one time, Geely (like several others before it, including VW - see Related Article below) had turned away from the proposed partnership with the Malaysian carmaker (because Proton could not make up its mind, reportedly) but that the China giant actually came back to the negotiating table proved that Proton, under the current owners, still has appeal. 
Dr Mahathir Mohamad laments the sale of his "brainchild" to foreigners but that child had bled us dry many times over. The only other option is to close it down. But that would be costly, and some people may accuse Najib Razak of trying to murder the child of Dr M's brain. Like a keen observer tells me: "Sell to China wrong. Retrench staff wrong. Give subsidy wrong. Close shop wrong. Semua pun salah. How lah?" 
There is no guarantee that Proton flourish under the new partnership. Proton is no Volvo. But as a Malaysian whose first "real" car was a Proton, I'd take the chances. 
p.s. I'm just wondering now if the pictures sent to me here are of a new model under that new partnership. If it is, I think I'd hold buying that Japanese pick-up ....

Related article:
Geely, Proton and the shaming of Mahathir - The Independent, Feb 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mahathir's inevitable parting of ways with everybody else

Yesterday's news

Bangsar, 23 May 2017: What do you see in this picture? Me, I can't explain the sadness that I feel every time I look at this picture that appeared on the front page of the New Straits Times yesterday. And - I can't help it - I've gone back to it scores of times. 
Is Dr Mahathir Mohamad trying to take a photograph with his mobile phone in order to take away the awkwardness or the moment? Or is he hiding his face? If he is doing the selfie, the former PM and longest-serving Umno president would have seen how increasingly desperate his position looked. Lim Kit Siang on his right and Azmin Ali on his left are both holding placards supporting the jailed Anwar Ibrahim as the country's next Prime Minister.  Many were given the impression that the two were Mahathir's pals since the day he quit Umno to form his own party in the hope of helping them - the Opposition - bring down PM Najib Razak. If anything, they are closer to fixing Mahathir. Look closer now, and you'll see the two men slowly turning their backs on the Old Man! 
And that's what they will continue to do from now until the general election. Dr M knows that, surely. This is Anwar's game, it's not one that Mahathir can hope to win. Anwar may well not be the next PM  as lawyer Art Haron has brilliantly argued (Anwar for PM? PKR should think again). But it won't be Muhyiddin Yassin and the son Mukhriz will not rise, either. 
Nobody wants to say it yet, but the end is near for Mahathir dream of hijacking the Opposition's 14th GE agenda and making it his own. That's what I see in this picture. That's what it tells me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Loaf Story

The curtain falls on a popular meeting place in Village 

Bangsar 190517: It was just the other day that I was at the Loaf in Bangsar to meet an ex Business Times journalist who was meeting two seasoned editors, one from Bernama and the other from NST. We were joined by an ex RTM host who was in between meetings at the Bangsar Village. Did I imagine that to be the last time I'd be a customer of Dr Mahathir Mohamad's hot bakery?  
I am probably one of the saddest to see the Loaf gulung tikar (how sad is that?). With Tun Dr M at the helm, I thought the simple Loaf story deserved a much happier ending ...

Mahahtir's bakery The Loaf in Bangsar closes shop - The Malaysian Digest 18 May

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rimba Kiara: Ku Nan needs to watch this clip

Individual failure drag down party in battle of perception - The Mole, 190517
DBKL removes online park survey, says nothing to do with TTDI issue - The Star, 170517
 “Now that the poll has been taken down, it makes me question the reason it was put up in the first place,” says TTDI Residents Association chairman Abdul Hafiz Bakar

Original article
TTDI: Every now and then, some developers will try to muscle their way into whatever remaining jungles we have in the city, even those that were meant to be preserved. The greens of Kiara just at the edge of affluent Taman Tun Dr Ismail are a favourite target. Time and again, the residents there would be called to do battle with the developers. Sometimes they succeed in defending Mother Nature, sometimes they lose some of the trees but always, fortunately, they could count on some powerful allies within the government. 
"We are not encroaching," he says
In the latest skirmish between the residents and the powerful developers, however, Tengku Adnan Mansor, the Federal Territories Minister, is being seen as "the enemy", rightly or wrongly (as in here: Rimba condo to go as planned - May 8) 
The Mole, which is based in TTDI,  has been following the issue closely. In this video clip Rimba Kiara: Longhouse settlers' dilemma, we give voice to residents who are concerned with what's happening to their environment.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Working with the Devil

Updates: Wan Azizah may have dimmed the Opposition's chances of winning the 14th GE with Aljazeera interview - Malaysiakini
  Wan Azizah's disastrous Aljazeera interview - RPK's Malaysia Today
"I will not apologise to Anwar," says Mahathir - Big Dog

Original posting 
KL, 13 May: Not a word I'd use to describe former Dr Mahahtir Mohamad but Aljazeera's Mehdi Hasan seems to have no qualms calling Malaysia's longest-serving Prime Minister "the devil himself" more than once during his interview with Wan Azizah, the PKR boss. The British-born UpFront host seems to think nothing of calling the Opposition names. My verdict? Her aides should work harder to prepare Wan Azizah better for the next one. And Mehdi should try and get an interview with the Devil himself in case of calling him names behind his back .... 

Thursday, May 04, 2017

You mean the RM42b did not go missing, after all?

Finally, as reported by the Edge Singapore in its latest 1MDB Watch report A Settlement of a Compromise? , it all boils down to this:
"The settlement, negotiated on behalf of Malaysia by 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy (below 4.) and Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin (below 5.) of the Prime Minister’s Office, may have eased the tension between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. By 2020, there could be another settlement reached by 1MDB and IPIC for the disputed US$3.5 billion. 
"Even so, should there not be accountability for the wrongdoings that led to the scandal in the first place? To use an analogy — if some executives use company funds illegally but later return the money, does that mean they did not commit a crime?"

I am sure we can all agree that that's a fair question (by the Edge) and must be dealt with. But why did you make all those accusations against the PM and about the so-called missing RM42 billion?

Will the Edge admit now that no monies were ever missing in the first place?

News that Iskandar Waterfront and CREC not taking up the 60% in the proposed Bandar Malaysia has gotten the detractors rubbing their hands with glee. But to the faithfuls, there's always the silver lining. "As things are, with the economy looking up and the ringgit doing well, the government can charge higher for the 60%," said one.

Read also:
Open for business - Big Dog, 3 May

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

My Sabah, Our Sabah

May 3: The Star has the story Anifah: "My Sabah" group formed to discuss Sabah's state rights but nothing like reading, verbatim, what Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has written on why the group was formed and how he can sit and is sitting with the likes of Jeffrey Kitingan and Yong Teck Lee and the Opposition that matters in Sabah (and vice versa) for the larger interest of the state and the nation. 

Seeing his train of thoughts, it is easy understand why Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, the man calling the shots in PKR, was wishing Anifah would quit BN and join him. 

And why more and more Malaysians will agree that it's time we consider having a Deputy Prime Minister II from outside Semenanjung ...

COMMENT: I wish for once to correct the misconception regarding ‘MySabah’ – a chatroom on social media – and that of DDJK (Jeffrey Kitingan) and YTL (Yong Teck Lee). 
This is the truth. 
As Foreign Minister, I travel a lot with the prime minister. I spend quite a lot of time with him when overseas. We have discussed Malaysian foreign policies in general, and specific issues at hand, and on how we navigate ourselves in the fast changing world. How we cannot afford to be static and on how a small country like Malaysia could be a global power. 
The prime minister, contrary to what some think, is in fact very well respected by foreign leaders, be it Kings, Emirs, Presidents and Prime Ministers amongst others. 
Secondly he is very sharp, and more importantly he listens. I feel very comfortable working with him. Sometimes I do raise domestic issues with him and he listens. 
To cut the story short I asked myself, I have done so much for the country (by my reckoning), why not take this opportunity to raise issues of great importance to Sabahans? Are we getting a fair deal? Were the promises, assurances, agreements been implemented and fulfilled in the formation of Malaysia? 
Then I remembered DDJK, who for many years, at every opportunity, raised issues like the 20 points and the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) etc. No one in the seat of authority took him seriously. So I started thinking how to persuade some of us Sabahans to leave politics aside in this instance for a common good. 
I thought that my BN colleagues would not want to rock the boat, so to speak, and it was best I work with people who have issues to raise and “nothing to lose”. If anyone were to lose then it would be me. But I convinced myself that these opportunities of mine will never come knocking again. 
Panellists – from left – Zainnal Ajmain, Ansari Abdullah, Yong Teck Lee, Anifah, Jeffrey Kitingan, Dr. Ramzah Dambuk and Edmund Bon. – Photo credit sayangsabah
So I assembled a good number of people and this is where Ansari (Abdullah) whom I have known and worked with very closely over many years in football, and who’s a lawyer of some standing. Few people may know that I was the president of Sabah students (during our United Kingdom days) and YTL and AmDe (Sidek) were in my committee, and we fought for our rights even then. 
So I invited these people and specifically told them that I was not interested in their politics and they can leave their politics at home, but come and work with me as a Sabahan. I have access to the Prime Minister and here is a leader who is sympathetic with our grievances, so why not have a go. 
How do I do it? A forum consisting of great minds, including prominent constitutional lawyers and other prominent individuals was though to be the best option. It was attended by more than 7,000 people. DDJK, YTL, Ansari spoke eloquently thus with other learned invitees, and the need to follow through, and therefore the formation of MySabah for the like-minded minds! 
Where is politics in this??? I did invite some of the leaders in the current opposition but they never responded. I told DDJK to prepare a memorandum and to be submitted to the PM as a ‘united Sabahans’ devoid of any politicalor self-promotion. 
What wrong had these people done in trying to salvage what belongs to us! 
In the process a lot of committed Sabahans contributed their minds including DJL (James Ligunjang), TSGP, Roland C, TS Simon (Sipaun) and Dr Chong (Eng Leong) on RCI. There are many others that I am indebted to. QCs (Queen Councels) were consulted. 
We have gone far and all those aspiring ‘wanna-bes’ please make yourself useful for our future generations instead of wasting your time hitting at other people. To such people I ask what have you done for your State when your were in the position to do something. 
I am thankful to DDJK and all that have the conscience to come together as Sabahans to rightly claim what we are entitled to. 
Sabahans this is our best time and best opportunity to come together for s common cause. I can assure you that the PM will not send you to the Kamunting University (a district where previously Internal Security Act or ISA detainees were sent). 
God bless Malaysia. God bless Sabah. A strong and stable Malaysia is good for us all.
  • Anifah Aman is Foreign Minister, Malaysia and Member of Parliament Kimanis

Read also: 
If not politically acceptable, just appoint Anifah DPM ll - A Voice, 4 April 2017
Anifah speaks out after Azmin's "quit" rumours - Rocky's Bru, 14 Feb 2017
Anifah Aman for DPM? - Rocky's Bru, 17 May, 2009

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Norza is president, long live Malaysian badminton

2 May 2017: In the end, the so-called gentlemen's agreement won the day at the Badminton Association of Malaysia. You can tell that deals and sacrifices were made. The man whom many had thought should be president ends up as Advisor, the man who wanted to be president despite already wearing too many hats is the new President, and the former president who purportedly made out the gentlemen's agreement on his way out due to illness is now Honorary President! All's well that ends well? Time will tell. 
Norza Zakaria, the new president of BAM, has at least shown that he is listening to his critics: "I've been told that I'e been wearing too many hats. As the new BAM president, I'll be more focused on badminton now," he said. That, I must say, is a good start. Norza has reportedly relinquished his posts as National Sports Institute chairman and KL Badminton Association president immediately after his election as BAM president. Just the Olympic Council of Malaysia deputy presidency to let go for Norza to be really more focused now. 
I wish him and the new BAM line-up all the best. The following are the individuals who won the elections last week. They are responsible for making sure that now that they have put themselves there, the game and nothing else but game wins big.