Monday, May 21, 2018

Malaysians, bow your heads

Move aside Khairuddin Hassan, Matthias Chang and Tony Pua ...  The hero is Justo, says Clare Rewcastle-Browne. 

Clare, the Sarawak Report editor, is in town. Her travel ban to Malaysia has been lifted by the new Government, which is clearly indebted to her. And especially to ex-convict Justo, who had an audience with the new Prime Minister. Three weeks ago, Clare was ordered by a court in the UK to pay Ustaz Hadi Awang of PAS RM155,000 for defamation. Today she's a goddess.
A new Malaysia, indeed.  
Tun Taib Mahmud, you may be good friends with Tun Mahathir, but you're next!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Tunami: 7 days later

"It wasn't a Malay or Chinese tsunami, it was the Tunami ... if BN ever want to know what hit them." - A former NST sports editor

It's already a week after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election but, as pointed out by the blogger Big Dog while the cops were raiding ex-PM Najib Razak's family home in Kuala Lumpur yesterday until the wee hours of Ramadan (hence, Nurul Izzah's tweet), Malaysia was practically still under a one-man Government. After that posting, Dr Mahathir Mohamad made himself Education Minister and gave his deputy a portfolio but it won't be until next Monday, at the earliest, that we'd have a Cabinet. 

The move to zero-rate the GST, effective June 1, has appeased many. People aren't celebrating just as yet, though. Because they don't know if the new SST will actually reduce their cost of living, a major theme in the general election. Plus, it may take longer than 100 days to instal a new tax regime, said former Bank Negara government Zeti, who is one of the members of the Council of Elders helping out Mahathir's government. But it is a good start, nonetheless.

In the meantime, Mahathir said he was Not aware raid on Najib's house done at night. Deja vu?

Selamat berbuka puasa to all my Muslim readers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anwar Ibrahim, pardoned and freed

Someone in the group asked last night, "Is there anything that Mahathir fears? What, apart from the Almighty? I don't know. Right now I guess IF there's anything or anyone that Mahathir Mohamad might fear, it'd be a free Anwar Ibrahim. I repeat: IF...  
KUALA LUMPUR: Jailed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday (May 16) left the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital a free man after receiving a royal pardon from the Malaysian king.
The Pardons Board met at 11am to discuss Anwar's release and application for a pardon.
Smiling and looking spry in a tailored black suit, Anwar emerged from a Kuala Lumpur hospital where he had undergone surgery for a shoulder problem, giving a thumbs-up to a crowd of journalists before leaving in a car without comment.
Anwar and his wife, the nominated deputy prime minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, were earlier on Wednesday morning invited for an audience with the king, Sultan Muhammad V, at 12.30pm at the royal palace.
According to Anwar's lawyer, the king granted the PKR leader a full pardon, expunging all past convictions.
The 70-year-old began serving a five-year sentence in February 2015 after the Malaysian high court upheld his conviction and sentence on a charge of having sodomised a former personal aide.
Anwar was jailed in Sungai Buloh Prison, and was scheduled to be freed on Jun 8. He has spent the last few months in hospital recovering from a shoulder operation.
The royal pardon reverses Anwar's conviction and makes him eligible to actively participate in politics. His daughter Nurul Izzah told Channel NewsAsia on the eve of his release that the pardon "completely validate(s) his innocence".
Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said he will hand over the reins to Anwar once the latter is elected as a Member of Parliament in a by-election or elected as a senator.
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir told a Wall Street Journal conference that he will be prime minister for "one or two years".
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Dr Wan Azizah also said the appointment of her husband as Malaysia's new prime minister will not be made in haste.
The reversal of Anwar's conviction and his role as PM-in-waiting caps a roller coaster political career for the former deputy prime minister. In 1998, he was sacked by then-Prime Minister Dr Mahathir.
A year later, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison - and then another nine years for corruption and sodomy.
In 2004, he was freed after the sodomy conviction was overturned. He became the de facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance and in the 2008 general election, led it to victory in the states of Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan and Perak.
In 2015, he was sent back to jail on the sodomy charge - a move he said was a bid by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak to end his political career.
He eventually teamed up with his former foe, Dr Mahathir, and watched his former boss sworn in as the country's seventh prime minister from his hospital bed.
- Channel News Asia

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Who, actually, won the election?

15 May: What P. Gunasegaram writes, Dr Mahathir Mohamad usually reads. Or, at least that's what I've gather. The seasoned journalist once wrote about Proton, at a time when the national car was not supposed to be criticised. Dr M, or his office, wasn't too happy and that changed the course of Mr Gunasegaran's career. Fast forward two and a half decades or so, Guna writes about Dr M himself, at time when the PM is not supposed to be criticised:

Mahathir did not win this election by himself. In fact, if others need reminding – surely Mahathir doesn’t and is fully aware of that – his own party Bersatu won only 13 seats out of the 52 it contested – the largest number of seats in the peninsula contested by any party in the Harapan coalition. At 25%, that’s the worst win rate of all the parties in the coalition ... 

But who, actually, are "we"? Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, and the others in Pakatan Harapan (or earlier Pakatan Rakyat, Barisan Alternatif, etc) had done everything to win previous general elections and failed. This time they had Dr Mahathir and they won. Without Dr Mahathir, they would have failed again. The best result the Opposition had was in 2008 and even that was with a little help from the Old Man, who was waging war against his successor. So, Mahathir can easily turn around and tell Gunasegaran, "I won the election" and that would be that. If he wants to, he might even still alter the course of Guna's career again. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Tony Fernandes' damning videos

14 May: I've never seen a more dejected Tony Fernandes. A mountain reduced to rubbles. But that's the way things have turned out to be, unfortunately. In a new dawn that promises greater liberties, freedom, tolerance, etc., Tony has gotten only abuses. His sin? A pre-election video of him h e r e publicly praising the previous government and prime minister. So ferocious were the attacks that Tony felt compelled to apologise. This second video, however, is as damning as the first. He's now being vilified by the "other side" for being flimsy, a flip-flop, turncoat. People shouldn't judge Tony Fernandes based on either video. The man has done way bigger things for Malaysia. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Probably the most hardworking but non-contesting man during the PRU14

It may or may not be business as usual for Malaysia tomorrow [PRU14 results to to be known before 10 tonight] but as millions of Malaysians were queuing up to cast their vote early this morning, Arul Kanda was still busy "campaigning" for 1MDB. This took the form of a face-to-face 9am interview with Haslinda Amin of Bloomberg. 
The 1MDB president and exec director has been on the road almost non-stop during the weeks leading up to the general election to take advantage of the election fever and "de-politicize" the 1MDB issue. 

Read also:

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Namawee says the L word to the Old Ma [Namewee votes]

Malaysian rapper Namewee is one of the most controversial superstar we have today. Partly because of his anti-estblishment numbers. And his incessant questioning of our authorities. But deep inside he's a patriot. According to him, that is. Earlier this week, Namewee released a PRU14-related music video that takes to task, and makes fun of, both his Prime Minister and the ex-PM of 22 years who wants to be PM again.

Namewee raps in Chinese but we are Malaysians and we all know our basic Chinese. We know what "Lanpa" means. I'm sure Dr Mahahtir Mohamad knows, too, because Namewee is singing this part for the Tun.

Because Namewee is not buying the "Save Malaysia" tagline and Namewee so against cronyism ...

And who ways the young ones have forgotten? Namewee on the discrimination against Chinese schools and education in Malaysia in general when Mahathir was Prime Minister:

See the FULL video before they take it down!!!

Burn, Namewee, burn!! :-)

Monday, May 07, 2018

Tony Fernandes votes

Tony Fernandes made a lot of enemies getting from down there to up there. But he's made a whole lot of more friends and a legion of fans the worlds over because of the way he is. He does not mince words. Says it as it is.


"... I used to say to the government and to the Prime Minister: Put people first and the decision becomes easier. 
And Air Asia has gone from 2 planes to 230 planes, from 200,000 passengers to 89 million passengers and I believe the Prime Minister put people first and allowed Air Asia to grow, despite opposition from all over the place. 
I'm an easy person to make an enemy when you try to fight, but I think the government and the Prime Minister put not Tony Fernandes first, not Air Asia first, not other GLCs but put the country first and put what would benefit Malaysians the most. 
And that has enabled us to create the international brand that we created today. 
So, you know, don't listen to all to all the (bad) press, there are a lot of fake news fake news, a lot of fake news about me most of the times as well. Don't go to the polls based with information that may not be accurate (or) based on hearsay. Go to the polls with facts, and Air Asia is a fact ..."

Read also:
Tony and Nazir take a road trip - The Star 7/518
Amy Search votes

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Amy Search votes

Glad to see more and more Malaysians coming out to make a stand. Undi itu rahsia but your expectations, wishes, aspirations and desires as a citizen of this country shouldn't be. But try and be polite, diplomatic, peaceful about it, like Amy Search, my all-time favourite Malaysian rocker, in this clip.

Avoid slander, no need to run others down, don't be a dick.

"... we are picking the best out of the best," says Amy. "To produce a best album, you much choose the best rhythm, sound and lyrics ... "

Amy Search belanja satu lagu for my Dear Readers:

Friday, May 04, 2018

Daim with Mahathir for now but keeping his options ever open

Daim Zainuddin has oratory skills not made for huge public rallies. But let him loose in a smaller forum, or a teh tarik session or a one-on-one interview and you'll feel that mind's razor sharpness.  And a keen sense of humour, too. In his super-lengthy interview with Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau, picked up here by my old paper The Malay Mail and quoted by the political blogger Annie today, Daim is extra careful with his choice of words. He may be tailing Mahathir Mohamad around on his Pakatan Harapan public rallies, but that's what you call loyalty. Dr Mahathir needs Daim's presence so Daim, no questions asked, avails himself. 

You don't say no to the PM, remember? Never mind if he's just PM-designate!

But when asked who will emerge victorious in the country's 14th general election that takes place this Wednesday, Daim said he was at a loss. "I don't think anyone can know who will win. I can only say this is the most important election since Independence," he said. 

I think that is Daim keeping his options open. 

And that's why he's always ahead of the rest. 

In this case, though, Daim may have lost a bit of his touch here and there. The blogger Annie felt that Daim totally misread the situation in Sabah and Johor.

"Come on la, it can't be 50:50 over there (in Sabah) .... after all the good stuff done of late for the state by BN and so many key ministers appointed from Sabah.
Sabah is the main love of BN now .... or maybe a close second to Sarawak.
And another thing about the Daim's prediction, I don't think it's 50:50 in Johor either.
Okay, there is going to be a tough fight but the way I see it the chances are more like 65:35 in BN's favour." - Daim's perdition prediction by Life of Annie

Me, as predicting the PRU14 goes, I think one thing I am sure of is that win or lose, Pakatan Harapan will descend into a bloody battlefield. Win or lose, leaders of DAP, PKR, Amanah and Pribumi will go for each other's throats in a political carnage that will be protracted and damaging. If Pakatan loses the GE, that damage would be limited to Pakatan and the four member parties and, perhaps, the states that they won in the election. But if Pakatan were somehow able to create an upset in the GE and defeat BN, the power struggle among themselves may put the whole nation at risk. 

Someone may even decide that this guy shouldn't get out just yet ...

Pic by Mkay

The Joke of PRU14

It's not just a Joke of the Year, to us it's a Joke of the PRU, which happens only once in 5 years.
And the clear winner is ...

Read the FMT's full story HERE

WE don't know what hair cream he's been using, but Lim Guan Eng's promise of "more press freedom under Pakatan" is just so faking fake. Where the Press is concerned, the Penang caretaker chief minister is one of the most hostile Malaysian politicians that are.

Since becoming Chief Minister in 2008, the man affectionately known as "Tokong" has actually barred the mainstream media from attending state functions, threatened numerous legal action against not just newspapers but against journalists themselves, and gotten personal with writers and editors who'd dare criticise him.

For some context, please read:

Thursday, May 03, 2018

An angry former crony on why "We must save Malaysia from Mahathir"

I was introduced to Tajudin Ramli around the time he bought Malaysia Airlines. A. Kadir Jasin, the NSTP group editor and a fellow Kedahan like Tajudin and a close friend of the then Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, also another Kedahan like Mahathir Mohamad, organised a media trip to the airline's facility. Tajudin was soft-spoken and polite. No airs. At an early Langkawi International Maritime and Aviation (Lima) show, we were taken to his yacht. I remember fellow editors being a little disappointed because there wasn't a can of beer on board, let alone bottles of malt and champagne usually associated with luxury yachts - and Langkawi. 
There was a prayer mat in every cabin, instead. "Ah, alim rupanya," I remember thinking. 
I recall Dr Mahathir Mohamad having to defend the privatisation of MAS at one Umno General Assembly, praising Tajudin as the Umno president convinced the party members that privatisation was the way to go. A lot of people inside and outside Umno were jealous and unkind to Tajudin. They didn't think "giving' the national airline to one crony was such a good idea. They must have thought Tajudin had it too good. Well now we know better.


A Voice broke the story h e r e. Daim had put the proverbial gun to Tajudin's head. "You don't say NO to the Prime Minister".  There are other snippets in the clips and audio: there's one about bailing out offsprings who would go on to live happily ever after and one on why Mahathir is so dead on killing Umno before kicking the bucket himself. Exciting staff.
Wonder if Halim Saad, another "blue-eyes" from that era, would go public with his stories about Mahathir and Daim. He has been quite angry for a while, too.

Best music video for GE14?

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Why Mahathir's new friends are NOT with him on his sabotage claim

Read also: Mahathir's assassination hoax exposed

Original article
TMX, the media socialist, asks the burning question: So why aren't they defending their Prime Minister-designate on this one?

The short (and polite) answer is: Because they probably don't believe his claim. And, therefore, they are not prepared to stick their necks out. (TMX's commenters are neither short nor sweet. Find out what they are saying about the sabotage claim, h e r e).

A corporate man called me to say the Tun's "cuckoo".  One airline executive called the Tun's stunt "disgusting". "How can you undermine the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia like that. He's out to sabotage all of us!" Read CAAM: Mahathir's jet couldn't take off because of a minor and routine technical fault 

It's beyond disgusting for some. "This claim of sabotage create misgivings among outsiders," said an expert in Claim can affect aviation industry. 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia is the body that ensures safety of civil aviation in this country conforms with global protocols. Its operations are dictated by the standards and rules of international aviation set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It does not care how many times you have flown in a private jet or how many of your friends own an aircraft or why they won't lend theirs to you. It exists to make sure that the 100,000 daily flights in aviation global network operate safely and reliably in every region in the world, including ours.

Malaysia became a member of ICAO in 1958.

p.s. TMX feels CAAM and VistaJet should report Mahathir under the Anti-Fake News Act of Afna. "It's a crime under Afna, not just morally wrong," he told me, referring to the statement made by Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (pic), the CAAM chairman. If no formal complaint is lodged. any Tom, Dick and Harry may think it's ok to cry wolf ...

Monday, April 30, 2018

Dealing with the Old Man's latest mischief

If Kit Siang believes Mahathir's assassination tale, he's not telling

The closest Dr Mahathir Mohamad got to being assasinated was in 2006, when "one person, or more than one person" sprayed pepper at the former PM. This happened at the height of his conflict with hand-picked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Dr Mahathir implied that the attack was a "deliberate attempt to silence him". A close friend of Dr Mahathir's, Nik Sapeia Nik Yusuff, was charged at a lower court for the pepper spray attack. The court convicted Nik Sapeia in 2010 but two years later the High Court reversed that decision. In 2015, the Appeals Court upheld the businessman's acquittal. And that was that. 

But we all know that the attack won Mahathir immeasurable amount of sympathy and support to eventually defeat Pak Lah.

Earlier this month Dr Mahathir started talking about ending up killed like Aquino. I'm not sure how it started but remember wondering if Pakatan Harapan wouldn't actually benefit more from his assassination (in other words, I didn't take his assassination talk seriously). But then a day before Nomination Day, Mahathir claimed that his private jet could have been sabotaged and that he could have been killed. "I think this was planned by someone," he said. (Crying possible sabotage, Dr M says private jet could have crashed).

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia investigated the claim. The company that provides Dr M with his private jets also issued a statement (Private jet charter company says Dr M's plane was not sabotaged).

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia's statement dated 28 April:
1. The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has conducted an investigation following Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s allegation of sabotage against his private aircraft. Sabotage against an aircraft is an extremely serious allegation, which CAAM is duty bound to investigate thoroughly.
2. The said aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger CL60 registered under Malta tail number 9H-VFD and operated by Vista Jet Limited, was reported as unable to depart from Subang to Langkawi on 27th April 2018.
3. Thereafter, following the allegation of sabotage, on 28th April CAAM conducted a thorough investigation, including a verification of the aircraft documentation, physical inspection of the aircraft, and interviews with the pilots and maintenance personnel of Tun Mahathir’s private aircraft.

4. The aircraft’s documentation found that there is no recent reported defect except for air leakage from the left hand nose wheel, which was logged on 27th April 2018.

5. CAAM was also informed by the maintenance personnel that they found the left hand nose wheel tyre pressure to be low. They then serviced the tyre, and on monitoring the tyre pressure, found the tyre pressure to be dropping at 2psi per minute.
6. CAAM noted from the VistaJet technical/journey log, page number 55778, that an entry was made by Vista Jet on 27th April 2018 stating that there was air leakage from the left hand nose tyre. However, the replacement of the tyre was unable to be carried out due to the non-availability of spares.
7. CAAM also performed an inspection of the left nose wheel tyre, which matched and verified the reports of the aircraft’s maintenance personnel.
8. Following our through investigation, CAAM has found that there was no indication whatsoever of any sabotage. The aircraft was unable to fly only due to a minor and routine technical fault, namely air leakage from the left hand nose wheel.
9. Allegations of sabotage against an aircraft are extremely serious, and could impact the reputation of Malaysian aviation and the country as a whole, especially in this sensitive general election period. It is morally wrong to make such wild and false allegations for the sake of political gain.  
Of course, Dr Mahathir has rejected the CAAM's findings (although he was silent on VistaJet's statement). "They said it was not sabotage... but how do they know. They did not do any research,” he said. Read h e r e.

There are still people out there who would believe whatever Mahathir says. But these are not quite the good, old pepper spray days of 2006, though. More and more people have grown skeptical. The Malaysian Digest, for example, has taken a dig at Dr Mahathir's "acting" h e r e. The same news portal had earlier predicted that the Old Man would be up to mischief in Desperate to win, Dr M may stage an attempted assassination.

I'm not sure if you noticed how quiet  Mahathir's new friends in Pakatan Harapan have been. Where's the uproar and the racket from Kit Siang, Wan Azizah, and Mat Sabu when their Prime Minister-designate was so close to being assassinated? I don't know about you but their silence makes me wonder ...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Nomination Day rantings

Not everyone agrees with Abdul Wahid Omar's views about the government that has led Malaysia for the last 61 years. But for those who have the pleasure of knowing the PNB chief,  it's hard not to admire the man. True, that Malay saying: tak kenal make tak cinta. The same can be said about this nation: 
"Unless you live in this country, I think you will be largely unable to grasp the many complexities that come with managing a relatively small diversified nation of people that has always punched above its weight, and further nuanced by differing economic and social pressures". [AWO: The Malaysia I know and want to show the world - Business Insider

I sent the above article to various WhatsApp groups yesterday evening just to gauge people's response to AWO';s article Most people gave it a thumbs-up. They love the rags-to-reaches (as against rags-to-riches) true story. Even those who clearly aren't supportive of BN ("the government", as per in AWO's article) were polite: "Well, that's his views" ... "Thank you for sharing". One ex mainstream media editor, however, felt it called for a with a blog rejoinder:   
"There is nothing wrong with any of the statistical facts dished out by Wahid Omar. They are all, absolutely correct. Unfortunately though, Wahid Omar fails to mention a single word about the Malaysia the world knows. One clouded by pink diamonds, a leadership that refuse to issue a warrant of ARREST against Jho Low, that says no crime was committed at 1MDB". [Wahid Omar. Cheerleader - nuclearmanbursa]

We all know the answers to the rhetorics contained in the second part of the nuclearbursaman's rantings above. But we take for granted the statistical facts dished out by Wahid Omar. 

- 49.3% of Malaysian households were living in poverty in 1970, when AWO was just about to start schooling. 
- Today it's less than 1%
- Malaysia is in the global Top 30 in terms of GDP measured by purchasing power parity, according to the World Bank
- Since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, our economic growth has been on an upward trajectory, averaging grown of 5.4% since 2010
- In 2018, it's foreast to grow at 5.5-6%

These stats should be looking even better in the five years to come. The political party that wins the 14th general election on 9518 know that they will be poised to take some of the credit (all, if they are less honest) for the country's success when - not if - it joins the ranks of the world's developed countries. 

It's certainly not about saving Malaysia. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

The toxic lies about Lynas, one general election later

TWO wide-eyed journalists, Zaidi and Eyo, are mid-way their "Jelajah PRU14". Covering their first general election, the young men from The Mole left Kuala Lumpur over a week ago and have explored Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah and navigated their MyVi through the East-West highway that cuts through the Banjaran Titiwangsa to Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. We agreed that they should be in Pekan tomorrow to cover the nominations involving PM Najib Razak before proceeding south to Johor and from there Melaka, Negri Sembilan and back in KL for polling day 9/5. I've done a similar road trip during the 2008 general election and then again in 2013, and thought there was no better way to "watch" and "feel" the battles for the right to govern this blessed nation. 
The boys have been meeting leaders from the various political parties contesting in Malaysia's 14th general election since Merdeka. More importantly, they get to talk the people about the elections, the makciks and pakciks (and "meks", as the young ladies in Kelantan are fondly known as) whose votes are going to determine which party gets the mandate to govern till 2023.  You can follow their journey at @themoleinsta or their personal pages here and here. You can also find their daily accounts at The Mole
Their article on Lynas is an eye-opener not just for the two young reporters, who had heard so much about the project years before actually seeing it for themselves, but for a lot of people who were involved and affected, directly and indirectly, by the massive movement to stop the so-called Lynas project. I am glad the boys took the trouble and initiative to trace the movement and talk to the people who live in an around the project, once dubbed an environmental disaster waiting to happen. 
As it turns out, Lynas was just a dubious strategy by devious politicians to win the last general election. Almost worked, too. Zaidi and Eyo discovered that the only thing mutated by the Lynas project was the truth. Read their  story Lynas, seven years later ... so far, everything is ok 

Down memory lane, circa 2013:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Kak Piiidah: From Iron Lady to Scrap Metal Lady

At her height, Rafidah Aziz was feared by many. Her staff would not dare look her in the eye and those civil servants, no matter how senior, had better known their stuff if they wish to avoid public shaming. I've witnessed her mercilessly put down the country's high-flying trade commissioners for purportedly not doing enough in their host countries. She would clash with Madeleine Albright and anyone else who'd come in her way (including, briefly, ex-boss Mahathir Mohamad). So she was not known as Malaysia's Iron Lady for nothing. Rafidah revelled in that role.

But that was 20 year ago. Today, she still itches for a fight. Just earlier this month, she told a seasoned Cabinet minister to "jump into the lake". And during a recent diving expedition in a neighbouring country, she apparently tracked down a yacht wanted by US authorities and after that she became the No 1 critic of the 1MDB. But in cyberspace, where there are countless warriors, she is just another warrior. And the fear factor is no longer there.

A fellow Facebooker, tired of Rafidah's rantings, declared on April 25 that .. "She may have been the iron lady some time ago but ... she is more like the scrap metal lady to me".

Not good. Not good at all. But courtesy of the 1MDB boss Arul Kanda, himself, Rafidah has a chance to prove she's no scrap metal. All she needs to do is accept his invitation.
“It is unfortunate that Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz is making statements without understanding the legal intricacies of the matter.
“Having said that, with the utmost respect, I would humbly request that she attend one of the open sessions we are holding around the country on 1MDB matters.

“She is welcome to raise questions during the Q&A sessions and InshaAllah, we can all benefit from an open and mature exchange of views.” - Arul Kanda on Rafidah in Arul schools Rafidah on Equanimity episode
Personally, I hope Rafidah would surprise the likes of Norm Mansor and the rest of us by turning up at1MDB's next road tour session. At the very least, she may inspire the Opposition leaders after Arul Kanda slams Opposition for no show at his 1MDB talk in Subang

Read Also:
Mana Hannah Yeoh dan gerombolan?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Banking on the clear winner for GE14

These days when people ask me who'll win the May 9th general election, I'd tell then about the prediction made recently by Hong Leong Investment Bank. Why? Because banks usually don't predict who will win or lose an election. A bank has crystal balls for a lot of things - financial, the economy, stock market, the ringgit, consumer spending trends, etc - but not the balls for telling you if your favourite political faces certain defeat in the election.  
Hong Leong Investment Bank says it itself, its forte is not in predicting the outcome of political elections.  
But that didn't stop it from making one for the GE14: HLIB predicts a BN victory. 
So I reckon Hong Leong must be pretty certain about things to make the prediction. It's not even a government-linked company. Which makes me wonder if any of GLC banks (or any of the GLCs, for that matter) might come out with its own bold prediction for the GE. 
CIMB comes close, h e r e.

Read also:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Pakatan's boogeyman ... and, possibly, Pakatan's own undoing

There are actually some smart people in Pakatan Harapan. They are those who will admit to you that whoever came out with that "abolish GST in 100 days" promise in the Pakatan manifesto are big idiots, much bigger than the idiots on the other side and a lot worse than the unscrupulous idiots who have been jacking up prices even before there was GST. 
This clip made by The Edge [the people behind it are not the biggest fans of the BN Government] who tell us why we all should stop looking at GST as some kind of a boogeyman.

The bazooka-proof man

"... DAP has recently rolled out a big bazooka, in terms of Lim Kit Siang, the supremo ... to start attacking Arul Kanda ... it shows the Opposition is genuinely worried..." - Arul Kanda, 1MDB roadshow prompted DAP to roll out big bazooka
For someone who is not contesting the general election, Arul Kanda sure is making headlines. And for the right reasons, too (as long as you don't ask Lim Kit Siang).

No, Arul isn't describing how big the Bazooka is

Here are some of news generated by the 1MDB man these last few days:

Life after 1MDB by Malaysian Digest

The Malaysiakini interview:

The aftermath of the Malaysiakini interview:

PAC member Tony Pua takes up this ad right after Arul's
interview with Malaysiakini ... 
...  so that Big Boss can perhaps go after Najib Razak without having to worry about Arul
Unfortunately for Lim Kit Siang, last weekend's 1MDB roadshow in Muar, Johor wasn't the last. I was told that the 1MDB roadshow will take Arul Kanda all over the country including Johor Bahru, where it is said Kit Siang is going to take on the invincible Shahrir Samad.

Read also
Kit Siang wants Arul Kanda as MP to answer 1MDB queries in Parliament
Arul to Kit Siang:  I am a professional, not a politician
Is Arul Kanda's definition of being professional one of going all over the country and even overseas to tell fake news about the 1MDB scandal? - Kit Siang

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cock-up over a yacht

Basically, the judge in this case, Justice Ratmoho has ruled the Equanimity seizure in Indonesian waters last Feb "invalid" and "without legal basis". What this means is that the Indonesian authorities and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which made the high-profiled seizure of the yacht in a joint ops, screwed up big time. We don't know who screwed up who but that's for the Indonesian police and the FBI to sort out.  
Our immediate concern is, what else could those people have screwed up in this investigation? 
The DOJ had wanted people to believe the yacht was among "assets" bought using some US$4.5 billion allegedly siphoned off from Malaysia's 1MDB funds. This despite the 1MDB itself having repeatedly said that it had not lost any money. The other day in Muar, Johor, during a 1MDB briefing by Arul Kanda, YB Razali Ibrahim mentioned  the yacht. "They claimed they had found this yacht that belonged to us (1MDB, Malaysia, the Malaysian people, blah blah blah). How could they possibly find something of ours that we didn't lose in the first place?" 
Mr Ratmoho probably shares such a sentiment when making the ruling against the FBI and the local police on the seizure. He said there was no court ruling that the owner of the yacht had committed a crime. "If there is no crime, there should not be any confiscation," he said. 
Rafidah Aziz, currently the biggest critic of all things in the country, was one of those people who made such a fuss when the FBI and the Indonesians seized the yacht. Read her If I could find the Equanimity, why couldn't Malaysian authorities?  
Well,  Kak Piiidah, your answer is h e r e

Read also
After Supermax, will Rafidah stay on at AAX? 

Goodbye, Jim

RIP: Late last year, Jim's friends and fans organised Jam for Jim, a charity mini concert to help raise funds for legendary Blues Gang bassist Jim Mandasamy, who was suffering from a type of neurological syndrome in which language capabilities progressively become impaired. The show made us happy. More importantly, Jim was a little happier, knowing that his friends and fans cared. 
Yesterday, Ganesh broke the sad news to me about Jim's passing. 

Blues Gang bassist Jim dies at 68, The Star

After Supermax, will Rafidah stay on at AAX?

"The former international trade and industry minister said she was a strong proponent of integrity and honesty ..." - Rafidah quits Supermax board over MD's apology

If the above is so, Rafidah Aziz should have resigned as Supermax chairman earlier.  Like in December 2017, when Stanley Thai was convicted for insider trading and sentenced to 5 years' jail. I would imagine that a "strong proponent of integrity and honesty" would have freaked out over something like that. Rafidah stayed on, didn't utter a word. As "a strong proponent of integrity and honesty", someone said to me, maybe Rafidah should not even have accepted the job in the first place. Stanley Thai was charged for insider trading in 2014 [Tycoon claims trial to insider trading charge]; Rafidah came on board at Supermax the following year, in 2015.

Pidah and Stanley, Supermax AGM in 2016
In 2015, Stanley Thai was still a leading anti-BN, anti-Najib Razak corporate leader. But against his own chairman Rafidah's increasingly harsh criticisms of Prime Minister Najib, Stanley Thai has now gone public to admit that he had been "influenced by the Opposition's propaganda in the previous general election".    
“As a member of the business community I like to see political stability. Businesses operating in Malaysia will continue to prosper with the sound economic policies of the ruling government that is led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. Foreign investors will continue to have full confidence to participate and drive the economic growth and continue to expand their investments in Malaysia.” - Stanley Thai in Supermax boss says sorry to Najib for support to Opposition in GE13

If Rafidah's decision to quit Supermax is indeed because of Stanley Thai's support for Najib, the business community will no doubt be watching her move at AirAsiaX closely. Tony Fernandes  and gang brought her in as chairman of AAX in 2011 because of her vast experience as a minister and negotiator, not because of her anti-Najib antics.

Read also:
Tony Fernandes credits Air Asia's success to Najib, March 2018
Your 10 questions with Rafidah Aziz, April 2011

Friday, April 13, 2018

Could this be the first one for Malaysia's Anti-Fake News Act 2018?

Ah, so SBB won't get the honour of being the first. Not as long as Mahathir keeps mum over Saiful's £65 million accusation. The novelty of being the first to be investigated under the Fake News Act will go to a news related to TMJ's shopping spree in Johor. Read Hoax over TMJ's cash giveaway 1st case probed under fake news law. Kinda anti-climax, if you ask me. And the Crown Prince should take some of the blame for the fracas.

Original piece:

Saiful Bahari Baharom (pic) is a brave man to come out with the £65 m-in-Dr M's bank account story as soon as the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 became law. It better be berani kerana benar. Because if he does not have some kind of proof to show that Dr Mahathir Mohamad did have £65 million or RM375 million in his personal bank account when he was Prime Minister, he can get into quite a lot of trouble. And all those editors of media and news portals that reported on Saiful's exposè, too (for e.g. Why a close family friend to Dr M is openly declaring support for Najib).  Our Anti-Fake News Act was formulated to be equally tough on those abetting in the spread of a fake news. [Here's what you need to know about Malaysia's Anti-Fake News Act 2018].
All Dr Mahathir needs to do is to come forward and deny the £65 million story and accuse Saiful of falsehood and start proceedings to bring down the media and portals that published the accusation. Imagine the irony - the biggest opponents of the Anti-Fake News Act using the new law to seek justice against lies and half-truths! How poetic! 
Providing, of course, that the £65 million story is a lie in the first place.