Thursday, June 29, 2017

Good news annoy some people

Read the rest of the Bloomberg report h e r e. The MalayMailOnLine prefers the headline Malaysia shrugs off scandal to become second quarter star. 

Kuala Lumpur, 29 June: Any which way you want to see it, things are looking up for our maligned currency.  But for it to surge now, at the heels of the much-publicised action by the US Department of Justice, which many suspect was designed to send the Malaysian economy and politics plunging into another round of crisis, is especially satisfying. To me, it is the clearest sign yet that the people who matter don't give two hoots about the DOJ's rhetorics. And if they don't, there is no reason why we should be spending so much of our time trying to discredit the DOJ and those annoying politicians who are using the DOJ to prop up their political agenda. Our time and resources are better spent on spreading the good news about ourselves. For example, on how petrol and diesel prices have dropped again for the fifth week in a row! A reader DM me this morning re the Ringgit: 
"How fortunes keep changing Bru. Unfortunately, this kinds positive news is not pushed enuf. And virally on social media by the comms guys in charge of Govt. Sigh."
Well, we all can do more, Dear Reader. 

But for now, may I ask all Malaysians to pray that the Ringgit and the economy continue to do well. 

Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TTDI residents: We don't need a highway through our homes. let alone a SIX-lane highway!

"It is an unnecessary project. It is not needed. It's not because the population needs it. It's because they are building something (so) they need to build this highway .." - Datuk Nuraina A. Samad, longtime resident of Taman Tun Dr Ismail

TTDI. June 21: Want to build a highway? Please, we need a super highway linking Puchong and Damansara. The existing Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong is a tolled, pitiful two-lane  (some stretches have been expanded to three and even four lanes) highway, it had not been able to accommodate the crazy volume of traffic from the very beginning. The only part of the LDP that has more than two lanes is the toll booth! Twenty lanes, if I'm not mistaken!!

Can we have the six-lane highway there?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DOJ-ed and Confused

KL, 20 June: If you, like me, find it difficult to keep up with the DOJ's issue because of the spin, counterspin and counter-counterspins, try checking the boxes below would help. At the very least, these will help prevent you from turning into yet another moron:

1. Is there genuine complaint or a frivolous complaint?
2.if the complainant is Khairuddin Abu Hasssan and his Tonto, then the political bias would be quite clear [Read Was the DOJ's announcement Mahathir's idea?]
3. If No 2 is correct, then follow the money trail to show that the DOJ documents are actually Mathias and Cronies writings and link it back to the c4 (or is it 5) conspiring Tan Sris [Read Who is the Fourth Tan Sri who "betrayed" the unholy anti-Najib Conspiracy?]
4. Look at the inclusion of Abu Dhabi fund into the DOJ case and ask the question, why? 
Is it because 1MDB is no longer in the nexus due to the recent deal with Abu Dhabi? That clearly states that 1MDB monies trail ends in Abu Dhabi accounts and management
5. Maybe DOJ has a case BUT against Abu Dhabi because it's the Abu Dhabi guys' monies that were used to fund Leonardo Di Caprio, the movies, the diamonds.
Again, is there a genuine complaint by Abu Dhabi authorities?
6. Has DOJ written to Malaysian Govt for info, help etc ? WHY NOT? 
Because it's a civil case . And they can't ask any help from any govt on such cases.
7. Has a criminal investigation been opened in 1MDB "related" cases in the US, and have they requested for info from KL? WHY NOT?
8. All 1MDB cases that have involved convictions to date is because of "CORRUPT BANKING PRACTICES". The 1MDB itself has not been charged in any of these cases. And that too in the most "transparent, clean and incorruptible" Singapore and Switzerland (Read Singapore convicts fifth person in 1MDB-related cases)

There you are! 
Still confused? 
Then let the law take its course. Let the DOJ investigate. I don't subscribe to the notion that the American courts or systems are greater than our own AG, PDRM, MACC, PAC etc (look, they have Trump as President, how great is that?) but what choice do we have, right?

And for as long as DUE PROCESS is followed and the investigations are untainted, I'm sure we would honour them.

At our end, there's nothing wrong in wanting to know who the complainants behind the DOJ's case are. I mean, why so shy? Of course we also want to know if Dr Mahathir Mohamad through Daim Zainuddin paid RM50 million for the DOJ to do what it's doing [Syed Saddiq knew the DOJ attack was coming].

p.s. If all these still don't help, you just need to remember one thing. In the DOJ's own words, too:

“A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favor of the U.S.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pujut saga continues

KL, 19 June: It isn't business as usual for Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Chun, either, as the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly is appealing a High Court decision last Saturday that reinstated the DAP man as an elected people's representative. Dr Ting had gone to court after the State Assembly on May 12 disqualified him for having held an Australian citizenship once upon a time. Read more h e r e
The Malaysia Government is clear about where it stands on dual-citizensbhip:

The nine lives of Isa Samad

Taman Tun, 19 June: PM Najib Razak has a weird sense of humour., sometimes His decision to appoint Isa Samad as acting Chairman of SPAD, the Commission that oversees the crucial and often volatile public transportation sector, actually made me laugh. Wakaka!

Sulaiman Mahbob's appointment as FGV Chairman, to replace Isa Samad, is not as funny. It could actually bring FGV to greater heights!

Interestingly, it has also been established that the FGV Board chaired by Isa (and attended by Sulaiman) had basis to initiate disciplinary action against its now-suspended CEO Zakaria Arshad. So, it is still not business as usual at FGV yet.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nothing like his dad (in conjunction with Happy Father's Day)

I was hoping it was another Jagdeep Singh Deo and not the son of the late Karpal. What a blemish to the memory of that great man! And on the eve of Father's Day, too! I wouldn't even blame the DAP for such despicable behaviour even though Jagdeep is one of them. 
A piece of wisdom for other Jagdeeps out there:

Happy Father's Day, dads. Raise the children well. And pray they don't have what Jagdeep was smoking.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Pujut shocker: So now anyone - even a foreigner - can be Malaysian ADUN?

Bangsar, 17 June: The blogger Life of Annie's nonchalance towards the latest DOJ's shocker Part 2 (pls read Couldn't care less) didn't shock me, really. I think it describes, more or less, what Malaysians in general feel about the antics involving the US Department of Justice and the enemies on both political sides of the political divide (pro-Najib, pro-Tun). Malaysians hope that the DOJ does not drag its sloppy feet any longer and proceed with the promised legal battle between the US Government and Jho Lo & Reza Aziz. So we can all get on wth our lives. Amiin.

As for now, the real shocker to Malaysians is the court ruling in favour of Pujut assemblyman, who allegedly is, in effect, an Australian.

So does the court ruling mean that anyone, even a Malaysian who holds the citizenship of another country, can stand for election in Malaysia and go on to become an Assemblyman or a Member of Parliament? 
Does it mean a Malaysian can have dual citizenship?

As I understand it, the answer to both questions is, still, NO. 
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Zahid Hamidi made this very clear that "a Malaysian will automatically lose his Malaysian citizenship if he is found to have dual citizenship". 
His deputy Nur Jazlan Rahmat further stressed that once a Malaysian has lost his Malaysian citizenship because he is found to hold a citizenship of another country, he cannot re-apply to become a Malaysian. [Tak boleh mohon semula kerakyatan - BH, 12 May 17]

So the law on this is quite clear.
Where the Sarawak state assembly Speaker might have erred, or so said the judge in the Pujut case, is that in disqualifying the Pujut assemblyman, the Speaker was exercising a power that was not his to begin with!
The BH story on the court ruling Dr Ting Tiong Choon Kekal Adun Pujut clearly quoted the Justice Dougas Cristo Primus Sikayun on who the powers belong to:

Yes, the authority over matters related to citizenship lies with the Federal Government. 

So if I were Dr Ting Tiong Choon, I put off the celebrations ...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Crying Wolf (on The Wall Street)

PJ, 16 June: It's been a year since the US Department of Justice made that explosive lawsuit announcement involving 1MDB. Since then, the Americans have elected a new President, Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed his desire to be Prime Minister of Malaysia once again, and the DOJ's lawsuit hasn't moved an inch. The department's latest "action" has similar elements and juicy bits that featured in its "action" of last July's. So why aren't Malaysians not debating it like they did last July? I belong to several dozens of WhatsApp groups but only one is discussing the DOJ's action and by "discussing" I mean one individual has been providing all the links to DOJ news that might be spun against PM Najib Razak. Does that mean we are immune to news involving alleged corruption and stealing of billions from our coffers?
Or are Malaysians generally not buying what the DOJ's claiming, especially since nothing has come out of their last action?

This time around, what's different is the response by the Malaysian authorities. The Attorney-General Chamber was lightning quick with his response Nothing new, no evidence, Apandi dismisses DOJ's latest suit. The Prime Minister's Office has also slammed  DOJ's unproven allegations and suggested that there may be ulterior motives involved.

Even Jho Lo is challenging the DOJ to prove its claims in the court of law!

Tweet attributed to Jho Low slams latest DoJ action

 | June 16, 2017 
WSJ reporter, in sharing a tweet said to be from Jho Low, says it is the first statement in over 2 years by the Malaysian financier who, US authorities allege, is the central figure in the scandal involving 1MDB.
PETALING JAYA: Penang-born tycoon Low Taek Jho has reportedly responded to the US Justice Department’s (DoJ) move to seize another US$540 million in assets purportedly stolen from 1MDB and used to fund extravagant spending.

In a tweet attributed to Low and shared by Wall Street Journal reporter Bradley Hope, the tycoon, popularly known as Jho Low, reportedly slammed the DoJ, saying it had not proven that any improprieties had occurred.
“The US Department of Justice’s latest move continues its inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.
“This week’s activity from the DoJ is a further example of global overreach in pursuit of a deeply flawed case.
“We look forward to the court being presented with the actual facts which demonstrate that the DoJ’s case is completely without foundation,” the tweet read.
Hope, who shared the tweet today, said it was Low’s first statement in over two years.
“Jho Low’s first statement in more than two years, following DoJ’s new suits against his assets incl. $250m yacht #1MDB #Malaysia,” he said on his Twitter account.
Low has, in the past, denied any wrongdoing.
The DoJ’s latest move follows court cases launched last year in which Washington sought to confiscate more than US$1 billion allegedly embezzled by businessmen with political connections in Malaysia, bringing the total amount US officials say was stolen to US$4.5 billion.
The items cited in the new suit as subject to seizure include a Park Avenue condominium, diamond jewellery, shares of fitness club operator Fly Wheel Sports Inc, a painting by Pablo Picasso titled “Nature Morte au Crane de Taureau” and rights to the 2014 film “Dumb and Dumber To”.
The government also wants to seize a luxury yacht, the Equanimity.
Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali dismissed the suit, saying the DoJ had yet to provide any evidence of misappropriated funds from 1MDB.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), meanwhile, suggested that the allegations were aimed at smearing certain individuals and had arisen from input by political opponents.
In a press statement today, the prime minister’s press secretary Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad said: “We are also concerned by the unnecessary and gratuitous naming of certain matters and individuals that are only relevant to domestic political manipulation and interference. This suggests a motivation that goes beyond the objective of seizing assets.”

The 1MDB issued a statement that basically says it is not a party to the DOJ's latest civil suit. Read 1MDB; No contact made by the US DOJ. The irony is this: it was the DOJ that made out 1MDB as the victim of the crime that has formed the basic of its lawsuit in July last year and the latest one.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

From trains to toilets ... Malaysia has no maintenance culture?

“Sometimes it may be one technician who made a mistake on the ground, or we didn't do our checks properly. When the system breaks down, the government gets the blame,”  he told his audience this afternoon, who laughed in response to his observation. - Strive for zero defects, else I'll be blamed, PM tells Prasarana

KL, 14 June: Last Thursday, at a the PM spoke about the need for Prasarana event, the PM stressed the need for an excellent maintenance culture. He may have said it in a light-hearted manner [Strive for zero defects, else I'll be blamed, PM tells Prasarana] but no one doubted that he was dead serious. The billions his administration is investing to get Malaysians the region's public transport will be less appreciated by Malaysians if those entrusted to maintain the infrastructure sleep on the job.

It's not just the trains. An tourist flying out this morning was horrified by what he saw at the KLIA. To whom it may concern, it isn't a laughing matter.

p.s. The tourist sent some other pictures which I thought are rather too gory for my dear readers

Monday, June 12, 2017

Nazri's poor tact

Don't hurt our feelings, Sabah's Anifah Aman tells his friend Nazri - Astro Awani
Read Anifah's full text h e r e
Nazri shouldn't have been so him - The Mole

Original story

Follow Mark Nyambang h e r e

Puchong, 12 June: Nazri Aziz's tourism tax may well be good for the industry. Especially for Sarawak and Sabah, as claimed. So all the Tourism Minister needed to do was to convince the industry and the people that it is so. 
But Nazri, as we all know, can be so incapable of the easiest of tasks. His belligerent response to the Sarawak Tourism Minister's request to defer the July 1 implementation of the tax is the latest example of this serious handicap. 
And it's going to haunt him, the Tourism Board, and last but not least, his boss the Prime Minister. 
Because the Sarawakians, sweet and friendly as they are, can be belligerent if you disrespect them. In fact, anyone would.

Follow Alex Stmrock Wong h e r e

And Sarawakians are not just taking Nazri to task on the social media. Their Chief Minister has issued a formal statement, too: 

KUCHING: The state government has decided to withdraw Sarawak’s sole representative in the Malaysia Tourism Board with immediate effect. 
"The state government deems that the participation of its representative in Tourism Malaysia is not necessary, as (it duplicates) the role and functions of the Sarawak Tourism Board," the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement today.
The abrupt move comes amidst a nasty spat between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the state minister in charge of Tourism, over the new tourism tax.
Nazri recently explained that collections from the new tax will be distributed to all states, including Sarawak.
Nazri also labelled Karim “inexperienced” and a “young minister” for raising concerns over the tax, and reminded the latter that there are "bigger gangsters" than he.
His remarks triggered the wrath of netizens as well as Sarawak Barisan Nasional leaders, who described his statements as "harsh", "uncalled for" and “immature.” 

So out of the window the Federal government's RM654.62 million tax shall go, I reckon. Unless Nazri says sorry, I don't see how Sarawak would go along with the proposed measure. And then we can all imagine how the Sabahans will react. 

In the end, Najib Razak will have to step in, once again. Like he had to with FGV, in order to try and undo Isa Samad and Zakaria Arshad's mess. Like he is doing with Prasarana re the GLC's inability ti maintain and operate our public transit systems. 

But that's another story for another day.

Friday, June 09, 2017

The Muslim Dilemma

KL, 9 June: Two weeks into Ramadan, I thought I'd share this untitled rambling of an Anonymous that has been making its rounds on social media.  I don't subscribe to Anon's defeatist and damning conclusion but his/her observations are thought-provoking and good reminders of where Muslims in Malaysia are. Or, rather, are not.

Afghanistan= Destroyed
Iraq= Destroyed
Pakistan= Destroyed
Somalia= Destroyed
Syria= Destroyed
Yemen= Destroyed
Egypt= on the verge of destruction
Iran= Ready to be destroyed
Qatar= Ready to be Destroyed 
Number of Muslims killed in the last 20 years= More than 2 million
Number of Muslim Refugees= 59.9 millions
Number of illiterates in the Muslim world= 43 percent of about 2 billion
Number of people living below the poverty line=60 percent
With their destruction, millions of dream destroyed, millions of lives were shattered, and millions lost the will to live. 
And the debates among Muslim scholars and communities 
The right of triple talaq of Muslim men
Should moon be actually sighted or can we trust Allah's system of the lunar cycle?
Can a woman lead the prayer?
Can non-Muslims be allowed to visit mosques?Can a copy of the Quran be given to non Muslims
Can a menstruating woman visit the masjid and sit inside the masjid
How many hair a Muslim woman can show when wearing the hijab?
How many dates one should eat during iftar, the sunnah way
Can eight rakas of taraweeh be preferred over 20 rakas.
Did the aya announcing the finalization of deen refer to the appointment of Ali, RTA at Yum Ghadeer. 
How to declare Shias Kafir
How to declare Sunnis kafir
How to declare anyone who does not agree with my interpretation of Islam as a deviant? 
How to put down those who disagree with me? 
What is the status of those who who do not know how to recite the Quran with proper tajwed? 
How many items were served on the iftar party
How big the iftar parties are in the Muslim world.
Do you really think that it is a nation worthy of the divine message?
Do you really think that Muslims can be a positive factor in any part of the world.
If we think that way we are delusional.  

Thursday, June 08, 2017

All the good news in a day

Two Dins don't think Idris Jala is the right guy. [Stories at the end of Original article)

The perfect front page

Original article:
Bangsar, June 8: To a newsman, a good day at the office is one that ends with the best stories making the front page of tomorrow's paper. Today's Utusan Malaysia has that kind of front page: the FGV saga, a new Chairman at Media Prima, PKR's Sivarasa mohon ampun from Sultan Selangor,  a former IGP exposing yet another lie hurled at 1MDB, and another major corruption bust by the MACC. Notice the absence of political rhetorics on the front page of Utusan today ..

Incidentally, someone asked me last night if Idris Jala was the best person to help manage the leadership crisis in FGV.  Look at Idris' track record when he was sent to troubled Malaysia Airlines and his work at Pemandu offering the Government cures for all kinds of the nation's ailments.  Look also at the rebound of FGV shares prices, which reflects the market confidence in Idris. 
My view is that PM Najib Razak could not have sent in a better trouble shooter. Which does make me wonder, at the same time, what had made him put Isa at Felda and FGV in the first place!  
The Sarawakian's first task, if he asks me, is to tell both Isa Samad and Zakaria Arshad to shut up. Both men have said too much. Idris should also warn Isa not to threaten the Press, or anyone else, with lawsuits. This is not a family feud or a Negri Sembilan clan war. To make things easier for himself and fairer to all parties involved, Idris may want to ask Isa to go on leave pending his investigation/report. 
Can't ask him to resign, because in Isa's own, emphatic, words (which were exactly Zakaria's words): "I did no wrong". 

Read also:

1. Muhyiddin: Mengapa Idris Jala, bujanya firma akautan bebas?
2. Khairuddin: Adakah Idris Jala pakar menyiasat?

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Business as usual at FGV? (Why Isa should also be suspended ...)

Courtesy Malaysiakini:

June 7: MACC and Zakaria meet today on corruption in FGV, according to Reuters h e r e. The story doesn't say but I was told that the suspended CEO may have called the anti-graft team in. Good news, as far as shareholders are concerned.

And Isa threatening to sue Berita Harian journalist for doing his job? Now now now ... 

Both Isa and Zakaria should resign, Malaysiakini quotes Umno man. 

Original piece

Full story h e r e

TTDI, 6 June: When Zakaria Arshad took over as Felda Global Venture's third CEO on April's Fool Day last year, I wondered how he would be getting along with Isa Samad, who was then Chairman of both the public listed FGV and the Federal Land Development Authority. Both his predecessors didn't have many happy stories to tell about their working relationship with Isa, that much I knew. 

In January this year, Shahrir Samad replaced Isa as chairman of Felda, leaving Isa with FGV. I thought then that PM Najib Razak was finally going to let go of Isa and make way for younger talents. But at a board meeting last May 31, it was Zakaria who was told to go by Isa during a Board meeting.

The CEO refused, said Isa had no ground to stand on. 

For defying Isa's demand that he quit, Zakaria has been suspended from today "pending a probe of certain deals under Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of FGV".

In a statment to Bursa Malaysia, FGV said "It would continue its business as usual".

It should be anything but "business as usual" at the FGV. 

p.s. Anyway,  here's an old posting of mine on FGV. I sincerely think Isa should also be relieved to allow the authorities to find out what has really been going on. Someone call in the Malaysian Anti-Graft Commission (MACC), too, please ...

Full story H E R E

Monday, June 05, 2017

Najib's Trojan Horse?

TTDI, 5 June: Someone still insists till today, over two years after Mahathir declared "war" on PM Najib Razak, that the two are secretly working together/conspiring/in cahoot to hand the Opposition their most painful defeat in the next general election. 
Wishful thinking on the part of those who refuse to believe that Mahathir would turn against yet another successor.

But seeing how fractured Pakatan Harapan has become ever since Dr Mahathir formed his own party Pribumi to help the Opposition, you've got to wonder sometimes if he is, in fact, not helping Najib!


Sowing discord within the Opposition 
KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today criticised Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the latter’s “offer” to be Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for prime minister.
According to Malaysiakini, the PKR de facto leader said it did not matter that the former prime minister suggested himself for the position.
“It is not for him (to decide), it is for Harapan (to decide),” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.
“People don’t volunteer (to be prime minister), there has to be a consensus.”
Dr Mahathir last week claimed he did not aspire to return to the post he had held for over two decades, but said he would not discount the possibility if “friends” in the opposition pact saw fit to ask.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman’s remark also comes after his open rejection of Anwar for the position.
Dr Mahathir refused to display placards endorsing Anwar as the “seventh prime minister” during PKR’s annual assembly last month, and later confirmed that he did not support his former deputy for the post.
The incident has triggered further discord within the informal pact comprising DAP, PKR, Amanah and PPBM.
Anwar is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for sodomy, and the plan to make him prime minister — dubbed the “Kajang Move 2.0” — involves installing his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as a placeholder prime minister.
It would also require Anwar to somehow obtain a royal pardon, which would then remove his disqualification to contest the by-election that he must win in order to be able to hold the post. - Sources MalayMailOnline and Malaysia Today

Seriously, however, Anwar is fighting an uphill battle against the man who outwitted, sacked and jailed him in 1998. Mahathir has got severall key leaders from PKR, Amanah and DAP - especially DAP - eating from his hands already.  I don't think he would have "offered" himself to be PM if he had not secured some form of support from them. 

Read also:

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Rocky's Bru is 11

And an invitation to the IPD ...
Puchong, June 1: The very day this blog turned 11 yesterday, I got a call in the morning from the Royal Malaysian Police. There has been a police report lodged against this blog so the police are obliged to start an investigation, the Inspector tells me. I understand a hundred percent, Inspector. 
Since starting Rocky's Bru on 31 May 2006, I've gotten my share of summons to police stations in and around Kuala Lumpur. The police and the MCMC have also paid me a visit at home and my office to check out my apparatus. A Minister was among those who have lodged police reports against what I wrote. And there was also that lawsuit that dragged for five years, the first in the world between a newspaper company against a blogger, or something like that. 
But I do hope my meeting with the Inspector next week would be a cordial one and would not lead to lawsuits. 
Anyway ...

... during those 11 years, this blog drew 23 million pageviews, some 3 million of these coming in during the last 12 months, during which I did about 100 postings, which I must say is not very productive of me. 
On the other hand, you, my Dear Readers, have been far more industrious: this blog has published over 137, 000 of readers' comments since 31 May 2006, whether or not I like them. Lately, those who oppose my views outnumber the supporters, but to agree to disagree is something that's always a given.

I expect the coming months to keep me far busier (and more productive), especially with the 14th general election on the horizon. As always, I so look forward to your continuous support/opposition and readership. 
Blessed Ramadhan, my Dear Readers.