Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"What happened to Wong Tack's fire?"

Can't blame people for taking potshots at Wong Tack and calling him "drama king" and a "bogus champion of the green" (read What happened to Wong Tack's fire?) following the government's positive review of the Lynas Corporation rare earth project over the weekend. After all, Wong Tack did win the last general election (after losing by the thinnest of margins back in 2013) as a result of his fiery attacks on Lynas. He actually threatened to burn down the Lynas plant in Kuantan. 

But, quite simply, what killed Wong Tack's fire are the facts and the evidence about the rare earth project that came out during the official review.

As they're so fond of saying so often: the truth always prevail.

Lynas unscathed by first Malaysian review hearing - The Australian Financial Review

Friday, November 09, 2018

Listen to Daim, Eng

Daim Zainuddin doesn't lose his cool but you can see from the headlines today that he's gotten really fed up with the current crop of leaders in the Malaysia Baharu-Pakatan Harapan government that he's part of.   
I will hazard a guess that the former two-times Minister of Finance and powerful chairman of the Prime Minister's special committee of Elders is growing peeved with current MoF Lim Guan Eng. 
From his untrue trillion ringit (sic) national debt to his kelakar tak masuk akal excuse for making low-income PPTPN-laden students pay back they study loans, contrary to earlier PH promises, Eng has been quite obsessed with the blame game. Anything he can't account for or explain or understand, he blames (former PM) Najib Razak or the previous (BN) government. 
Six months after PH had won the general election, little has been achieved, Even the Federal government's Budget 2019 failed to lift the gloom and feeling of doom.    Latest bad news: Moody's move to change Petronas outlook to negative. That decision was made in direct response to Eng's Budget, I must stress, not for weak governance or any fault of the national oil corporation. 
'In a statement today, the global ratio agency's senior vice-president Vikas Halan said the decision to change the outlook to negative reflects its view that the financial profile of Petronas may deteriorate if the government continues to ask the national oil company to keep dividend payments high, especially should prices decline. 
This follows the announcement by the government that Petronas will pay dividends of RM26 billion in 2018 and RM54 billion (inclusive of a one-off special dividend of RM30 billion) in 2019. "Such a situation would no longer support a ratings level for the company that is current two notches above that of the sovereign. In such as scenario, Petronas' ratings could be constrained to no more than a notch above that of the sovereign," Halan said.
As announced in Budget 2019 on Nov 2, Petronas will pay RM30 billion as a one-off special dividend to the government in 2019, in addition to the regular annual dividend, which in 2019 will total RM24 billion. The company will also pay RM26 billion in dividends in 2018, versus annual dividend payments of RM16 billion in 2016 and 2017.'
The new crop should listen to Daim. The rakyat is sick of the blame game. Eng, especially, better buck up instantly. Or he'll end up as the shortest-serving Minister of Finance ... 

Thursday, November 08, 2018

And the new CEO of Bernama is ....

By convention, Zack should be the next CEO of Bernama
The search for a CEO for Bernama, the national news agency, continues. Quite unexpectedly, if you ask me. As of late October, Wan Hamid Hamid's name was the only one being considered by the Bernama board of directors. There were "one or two" other candidates, but only one CV placed in front of the directors. So, the appointment of Wan Hamidi looked pretty academic.

Wan Hamidi has the right to be upset but I agree with Annie the blogger: Wan Hamidi should be upset with Gobind Singh Deo, the Communications and Multimedia Minister, who had proposed him for the Bernama top job. Or with whoever it was that made that call NOT to have him helm Bernama.!

The only person(s) who could have said no to Gobind's candidate would be his boss in the Cabinet (the Prime Minister) or in the DAP (Mr Lim). Read Annie's posting DAP should have defended Wan Hamidi.

Would it be too much to expect Gobind to tell us where the intervention had come from?

p.s. By convention, the Bernama chief editor upon retiring would go on to become the General Manager of the agency. If that convention is followed, then current chief editor Zakaria Abdul Wahab, who once served as the Prime Minister's press secretary the first round Dr Mahathir was PM, would be the new CEO of Bernama. Mokhtar Hussein, his number 2, should move up as the new chief editor of the national news agency.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Utusan's Cuit cuts the crap, speaks out

updated, Thurs 8/11, Insaflah Zaini dari sentiasa menyalahkan Utusan
and related stories at the end of this posting.

Original article
"Utusan harus berani, bukan sahaja mengkritik pemimpin terdahulu, yang menjadi tuan punyanya, malah kerajaan sekarang yang harapannya masih tidak berapa jelas." - Zaini Hassan in his latest column Insaflah Utusan, jika mahu terus hidup ...  © Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd 

Following Aziz Ishak's departure from Utusan in July, Zaini Hassan was one of the names bandied about as the new group editor-in-chief* of the Umno-owned newspaper. But it wasn't meant  to be. The UiTM journalism graduate and author of the hard-hitting Cuit Sikit column will be leaving Utusan, voluntarily but with a heavy heart, at the end of this month. His column in the Utusan today is a brutally honest take on what he thought had gone wrong (editorially) with the newspaper. 

The outgoing assistant editor-in-chief is still hopeful of an Utusan revival but only if it goes back to its original aims and principles:
Utusan harus berubah daripada terus menjadi mata telinga parti kepada suara bangsa dan rakyat jelata. Perjuangkan suara rakyat marhain di luar sana. Masih ramai lagi yang hidup merempat, makan nasi dengan garam. Ingatkan cogankata akhbar ini: Penyebar Fikiran Rakyat. Bukannya penyebar fikiran sang politiks rakus dan partai siasah ...

Zaini's stinging attacks on Utusan's immediate past editors won't make him the most popular person around. The uncomplimentary reference to Umno politicians, too, although we may see more of that from Utusan. Just the other day, Umno members - especially those still loyal to former PM Najib Razak - were rudely jolted by the editorial by "Awang Selamat" that accuses the ex-Umno president of lying about the RM2.6 billion donation. All this while, Utusan had stood by Najib not just on the purported Arab donation and 1MDB but on everything else (just as previous Utusan editors had stood by previous prime ministers and Umno presidents) ...

The Aziz gambit - Big Dog
Senior editor says Utusan must "repent" if it wants to survive - FMT
Strange days: Utusan newspaper asks Najib to apologise for 1MDB lies, DAP leader agrees - Coconuts KL

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Golf, anyone?

For context, read Cricket, anyone?

As if the intent to get rid of the Kinrara Oval wasn't bad enough, developers concerned are said to have set their eyes to also take back the public golf course in the vicinity to build low-density apartments (not to be mistaken for low-cost apartments).
"A check with the Subang Jaya Municipal Council website shows that it intends to convert the five-acre land which was a green lung area into a commercial site.
It turns out that Kinrara Oval is not the only green lung earmarked for development in Bandar Kinrara, the other being the Kinrara Golf Club, which is almost six times bigger than the cricket ground."Cricket association not giving up on Kinrara Oval despite lease expiry, The Mole

Some people tell me the developers made their move when the "old government" was still in power. Others say the developers leapt into action at the dawn of Malaysia Baharu. I don't care which is which, just as I care little about golf as a pastime. But what I know is that if the developers succeed, there will be hardly any green lung left in Bandar Kinrara except for a few playgrounds and the occasional football field. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

What did Adel really say?

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said his visiting Saudi Arabia counterpart Adel Ahmed al-Jubeir had said that the RM2.6 billion "donation" to former Prime Minister Najib Razak had nothing to do with the Saudi government. [Saifuddin: Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with RM2.6 billion].
I'm sure Adel said something to the effect, as Saifuddin claimed Adel had said. But how Malaysians wish they had heard it from the horse's mouth. 
Like this one:

IMHO as someone who used to park myself at Wisma Putra for "stories" in the good old days, what Saiduddin should have done was hold a joint press conference with Adel after their closed-door meeting so that the Saudi FM could speak for himself and for his own government.  That's what Wisma Putra used to do. 
Our reporters would then have the opportunity to ask Adel if he had been high on something when he spoke of "a genuine donation from the Royal family" with "no strings attached" to then PM Najib Razak with regards to, presumably, the same RM2.6 billion in the above 2016 video. 
And in this one, too:  

Friday, October 26, 2018

Zahid Hamidi's misspent Youth

So Umno Youth thinks the best thing for the party president now, who's facing 45 charges of corruption, abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and, of course, money laundering, is to take leave and rest until the court reaches a verdict.
If he's found guilty, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi can then resign or face the sack (he would be going to jail, anyway). If found not guilty, he may come back and resume his duties as Umno president! 
So when they come after Tok Mat Hassan, the Umno deputy president, and charge him for corruption, abuse of power, CBT, money laundering or maybe illegal funds transfer, the former Negri Sembilan MB too should go on leave and rest. 
And when they go after Annuar Musa, the former Mara chairman and now Umno secretary-general should also go on leave and rest. 
What if they charge every one of them who sits on the Umno supreme council? After all, they have put Azeez Rahim in the MACC orange (for corruption, abuse of power, etc etc) despite the fact that he was once the Prime Minister's blue eyed boy. They were also said to have visited Tok Pa before the Jeli MP decided to go on permanent leave from the party! 
So if they decide to charge former Youth and Sports Minister KJ with the so-called stolen RM100 million, does he take leave and rest? (KJ does not hold any position in Umno after losing to Zahid for the presidency in June but he's one of the main Umno leaders and sits in the Opposition's "Shadow Cabinet). 
And if they charge Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (pic) for some or all of the above, he must immediately go on leave, rest and wait until the court decides if he's gullty or not?  
Court cases in Malaysia involving politicians take ages to settle. If all the leaders in Umno must go on leave and get some rest when charged in court by this Government that's clearly hostile towards it and its leaders, I'm afraid there won't be anyone left to lead the party. 
Might as well leave like Tok Pa. Better still, go rest in peace.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Umno IS selling off its shares in Utusan and Media Prima (and why that's not a bad thing at all)

It's more or less decided: Umno will sell off its 49 per cent ownership of Utusan Malaysia.   
Its executive chairman Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir was said to have met Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. After the meeting, Zahid was overheard to have told associates that "we have no choice, the party doesn't have money to keep Utusan". 
The Utusan group's monthly overheads come to around RM5 million. Circulation is falling and ads, the main source of revenue for traditional media companies, are just not coming in fast enough. To add to injury, political foes have systematically made the PN17 company a target for lawsuits, further weakening the newspaper and its owner.  
Umno also owns about 18 per cent in Media Prima, a media giant that gathers New Straits Times, BH, Metro, popular television stations including TV3 and NTV7, several radio channels, and digital platforms within its huge stable. 
With the decision to sell off Utusan, Umno is most likely to dispose off its shares in Media Prima as well.
Zahid will get some flak for the decision to let go of these companies and their publications and broadcast stations. Umno has been linked to them - and vice-versa - for decades. Sentimental reasons aside, many are of the opinion that it's a bad call to sell Utusan and Media Prima. Umno needs a strong media more than ever now. Especially now as the party comes under relentless siege from a hostile Pakistan Harapan government that defeated it in the last general election and is clearly bent on burying it before the next GE. 
They are not wrong. But as a product of a so-called government-owned newspaper company (Business Times was a subsidiary of NST, which now comes under Media Prima) for over 20 years myself, I've never been a fan of political parties owning shares in the mass media. 
For journalism or the people to benefit at all from this, though, Umno's exit from Utusan and Media Prima must mark the start of an end to the ownership of mass media by any and all political parties AND their proxies. And puppets. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sending the Rohingyas back (to the killing fields where they belong)

I was listening again to the stinger levelled at Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, made by his predecessor Anifah Aman, when this news report on Rohingya came on: Rohingyas to be repatriated beginning next year
To be honest, I could still hardly believe what I'm reading. Because it would seem, based on what was reported, that we are suddenly in such a hurry to wash our hands off the Rohingyas.  Are there really so many of them for Malaysia to cope, as Mat Sabu the Defence Minister alluded to the other day? Or is this what our new foreign policies  going to look like?
Ultimately, the Muslim Rohingyas should be allowed to go home. But the immediate priority is for us in Asean and as fellow Muslims to ensure the return of the Rohingyas' basic rights, including their right to safety in their own homes. 
NOT to return them to their murderous pursuers so they can finish off what they had started. 
Now I'm wondering if Anifah was being "harsh" at all ...

Read also

Monday, October 22, 2018

Cricket, anyone?

Cricket? Not my cup of tea. But where I live, the cricket stadium - the Kinrara Oval - has become one of the major landmarks for the area. Not too many housing estates can boast of having a playing field, let alone a cricket stadium.  In fact, there are only two such stadiums in the Klang Valley and the Kinrara Oval, "Home of Malaysian Cricket", is world class.  
But, sadly, it might not be there for long. Right after the 14th general election, a housing developer had filed in court a demand to wrest the land back from the Malaysian Cricket Association. Cricket fans are up in arms, of course. The local authorities have washed their hands (It's out of our hands, MPSJ says of Kinrara Oval closure) so the cricket body is asking the new Minister in charge of sports and the Prime Minister himself to step in. 
I hear the Malaysian Cricket Association has been trying to see PNB chairman Zeti Akhtar Aziz as well. PNB, a government-linked company, owns the developers who're trying to take back the Oval so if Zeti says so, these people can keep their stadium and field. I hope she says so.
Like I said, cricket is not my thing. But playing fields, open spaces and green lungs are and they have become so scarce. If the developers want back the land so that they can manage the Oval themselves, I will support them. If the developers plan to turn the Oval into an integrated sports complex (with public swimming pools, running tracks, gym, etc), I will be all for them. Heck, if they want to revert the area into a park (which was what it used to be before the cricket stadium was built), go right ahead. 
But if the developers want that piece of land for more luxury condos and shopping malls, which is what many people suspect they're planning to do, then they may go to hell. 

Read also:
Kinrara Oval closure - Who's to blame? by Haresh Deol

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Shadows

Zahid's Shadow Cabinet

So maybe they may need to replace Azeez Rahim quickly in view of  his current predicament but that aside the Opposition's "shadow Cabinet", unveiled yesterday, is a breath of fresh air: a welcomed political scent to the current stench. I am quite impressedf especially with the fact that both Ku Li and KJ, who lost to Zahid Hamidi in the contest for Umno presidency (and the right to become the Opposition Leader) on June 30, are in.  Zahid is a man of his words, indeed. And I have no doubts whatsoever about KJ's ability, in his capacity as shadow Finance Minister, to outrun, outtalk and outsmart Lim Guan Eng. Let's hope, though, that the Opposition provides their shadow ministers, deputies and staffers the resources they would require to be effective. The BN's shadow Cabinet will be effective only if it can champion the wishes of the people, especially those who are in dire need. It's not just about politics or trying to embarrass the Ministers appointed by the Pakatan Harapan government (which won't be that difficult, in some of the cases), it's a responsibility that doesn't come along with the usual pomp or perks. 
Wish list:
Kamalanathan, Dira, Shahril
How I wish there were several more young ones in the shadow Cabinet. Shahril Hamdan for the Youth and Sports portfolio would have been apt. P. Kamalanathan for Human Resources, given his background. Dira for Foreign. Maybe if they decide to repale Azeez, they can include them. In the meantime, wondering why Jo Ghani, Salleh Said Keruak and Rahman Dahlan have been left out. And surely one or two professionals would surely have added value to the whole exercise, no? 
Still, for a long-awaited start from this Opposition, not bad a move at all.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Dr M, Pak Lah and Petronas: The thing that really matters ...

Three men and a country

Friday 24/8/2018: That Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who succeeded Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister in 2003 and Petronas advisor in 2016 [Mahathir sacked ...], would again fall victim to their bitter political adversary was expected, even if totally unfair. And if some people think it's all about sweet revenge, they can't be faulted: the Old Man made sure that the non-renewal notice to Pak Lah with regards to his position at the national oil corporation was served on the coldest platter.

“He is going to be retired because we don’t need an adviser anyway.
“I was adviser for a long time, but of course when I was adviser, I knew a little about the business and so I gave advice.
“But advisors sometimes don’t give advice, so I think we would be wasting money if we just paid as a way to give some money to people,” the prime minister told TMR,

Vintage Mahathir. He wasn't going to allow Pak Lah to step down gracefully when his term ends.

But revenge and rivalry aside, the PM made this important point to the newspaper: there was no need for an advisory role at the national oil firm as the company had been performing well:

Dr Mahathir noted:
“Petronas is actually rated by investors as a very well-run company. That is because the people there are ... well, we don’t see any signs of stealing money and all that.

“They do pay better salaries but overall, their performance is recognised by the market as a company that is well-run. That is why it is the only company in Malaysia which is on the Fortune 500 list.
“We cannot really blame Petronas. Surely, its president and group CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin is there. Who appoints him is not relevant if he performs.”

I think that is what matters. To know that the national oil corporation has been performing well, no matter who the PM or the advisor was. Certain individuals in this new Pakatan Harapan government have been harping on all kinds of crap - a lot of it mere accusations - about the past in an effort to make the previous government look bad. It's time to give credit where it's due as the Old Man is doing.

And move on, make things even better for all of us, as you've said you could.

Read also
Petronas first quarter profit up 26%
FY18 volume expected to grown for Petronas Dagangan

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Washing dirty laundry

Najib faces 3 charges under the Anti Money Laundering Act 

KL 8/8/18: Surprised no one that instead of being charged with stealing billions from 1MDB, which was the issue his political foes had used successfully to bring him down at the May 9 polls, former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged with something else altogether this morning. But Najib should still count his blessings. Two decades earlier, he could have been charged with sodomy.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Of Dr Mahathir's totally corrupt Cabinet

Abdullah notched the biggest GE victory ever (in 2004) partly
because Malaysians believed he would clean up after Mahathir

27/7 2018: Having sacked thousands of so-called political appointees in the public sector, including heads of government-linked companies, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he "inherited a government lousy with corruption and with few trustworthy officials". He announced to the world: "Most of the top echelons in the government are corrupt". Those fellas at the CNN may find this a brutally frank and, perhaps, refreshing, admission from the leader of a Third World country. But we have heard this before. Quite often, too, especially towards the end of Dr M's original tenure as PM (1981-2003).

Once, when asked why he chose to retain some blatantly corrupt politicians as his Ministers, Mahathir quipped: "If I were to take action against them for corruption, I won't have a Cabinet left!"

We never failed to laugh at his witty response. It is funny, isn't it?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Praying for the blues, this Sunday

Message from the organisers:
"It hasn't been a good year for Blues fans as two co-founders of the Blues Gang suffered misfortunes. Jim passed on and we believe his soul is resting in peace in Heaven. Shaik Karim, is out with dialysis treatment.These two great musicians formed the rhythm of Blues Gang. Karim is also gifted with true blues vocals. We are sure that these two will be like a fish in a pond if asked to perform with any Blues Band in the world. "July 29 2018 is a Fund- Raising Night for Karim. Zzz Blues is urging all Blues fans to congregate at Rock Bottom from 5.30pm till late to help raise funds for Karim’s treatment."He has entertained many of us so let’s chip in for a good cause. See you on July 29 at Rock Bottom Bangsar. Thank you."

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Did you, Zeti?

The above is not a fake posting from a fake account. Saiful Bahari Baharom is a real person, a graduate of Cornell, and quite a well-known figure in Malaysia's financial and political spheres. He was the one who told us about Mahathir's £65 million bank account in April, an accusation that the 93-year old Prime Minister has not commented on, as far as I know. If the 56 billion pound expose was sterling, we should find SSB's July 23 posting on how Zeti had allegedly lobbied for a project when she was the Bank Negara governor even more sensational.

Because Zeti is a member of Mahathir's Council of Eminent Persons, alongside the likes of Daim Zainuddin and Robert Kuok. Although the CEP has come under growing criticism and suspicion (read stories below) it remains influential. She is also the new Chairman of PNB, which had some RM279 billion in funds just before the May 9 general election which catapulted Zeti back into the national scene after a rather hurried and and unceremonious departure toward the tail end of Najib Razak's premiership.

Now, if Saiful Bahari Baharom is telling the truth about Zeti's lobbying and threats relating to a project for a company belonging to her family, she should not be where she is today, lording over our Malaysia Baharu. Okay, maybe she can still be on the CEP but certainly for the PNB we must demand a Chairman whiter than the white Abdul Wahid Omar.

Zeti must respond to the allegation to clear her name and, more importantly, to safeguard PNB's integrity. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should move in, otherwise.

Read also, on Zeti's CEP:
Where was Wisma Putra during Daim's Beijing meets? 
Govt not bound by CEP's decisions
CEP should be disbanded: KJ

Monday, July 23, 2018

A veteran kleptocrat, a dear friend of the Prime Minister's

People like me remember that Sarawak Report, which attained gospel status (at least in the eyes of Opposition leaders and lackeys) after Malaysia's May 9 general election, was started only to go after Taib Mahmud, the former Sarawak chief minister and now its Governor. After the fall of Najib Razak, an emboldened Clare Rewcastle Brown, the high priestess behind this gospel portal, promised to renew her crusade against Taib. On May 21, in Change will come to Sarawak soon, the British citizen said "more stories (on Sarawak/Taib) would unfold". Regardless of the fact that Taib was Dr Mahathir Mohamad's close buddy.

True enough, last Friday the Sarawak Report published Taib's secret interest in Sarawak's Petros Venture: EXCLUSIVE!

In a nutshell, the article suggests a shady, even unholy, link between Petros, the Sarawak state oil company that is somehow embroiled in a post-GE tussle with national petroleum corporation Petronas, and a company called Southsea Energy controlled by Taib and one of his sons.

It also suggests that the current campaign in Sarawak to protect the interest of Sarawak (starting with its oil revenues) is "no more than a sham policy". 
"There is nothing surprising to Sarawak watchers about what appears therefore to be emerging as a no more than a sham policy to ‘return Sarawak’s oil revenues’, when the priority appears to be to yet again provide the Taib family and its cronies a lucrative grip over the vaunted Petros project.
"For the entire past half century Taib has identified Sarawak’s interest as being what enriches him personally.
"It is not even surprising that the obedient former AG Gani Patail chose to ‘clear’ Taib back in 2013 when presented with an MACC report, much in the same way that his successor ‘cleared’ Najib."

Clare did take a swipe at Dr Mahathir (old habits die hard) and his administration:
"What is surprising is that the present government appears willing to tolerate this drift in events, as the supposedly failing Governor makes yet another grab at the riches of his state – old habits die hard."

The Sarawak Report's exclusive was clearly timed with Sarawak Day, which was yesterday, but it did little to tamper with the celebrations. There's an air of liberation and power about Sarawak these days. But there's also this rather disturbing article, though: No need for Sarawak to quit Malaysia (to pursue all its rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963). The article quotes Chief Minister Abang Johari throughout but the accompanying photograph and caption are all about Taib Mahmud. The man Clare described as Malaysia's veteran kleptocrat is clearly very much in control.

Friday, July 13, 2018

LRT3 savings: Proof that Guan Eng is not from this planet

My heading should actually read "Yet another proof that Guan Eng is not from this planet".

After raising Malaysia's national debt to RM1.1 trillion from RM700 billion just days after being made the Finance Minister, which was the first sign  that he was not from here, Guan Eng has now "saved" billions and billions of ringgit for the taxpayers by slashing the cost of the LRT3 from RM31.6 billion to RM16.6 billion.
That's 47% savings, he screamed.
I wonder if someone has told him that he was just crapping on Malaysians again.
It would have been a savings IF the the LRT3 project's specs had remained unchanged (or have somehow improved). But in this case, the project's specs have been downscaled, and by a great deal, too!

The facts:

+ Instead of 44 sets of trains with 6 cars each, the project will now be getting only 22 sets of trains with 3 cars each;
+ Lim will also shelve five stations to "save" costs and this means taxpayers around Lien Hoe, Temasya, Sirim, Bukit Raja and Bandar Botani will have to travel farther to the nearest LRT stations;
+ We taxpayers will also not get the 2-kilometre tunnel together with an underground station at Persiaran Hishamuddin, Shah Alam;
+ And, Einstein, because there will be fewer trains, the size of the depot will also be smaller lah; and
+ Istead of 2020, the new date of completion will be 2024.

So, still think those are "savings" for taxpayers? Uneducated taxpayers (and those from Lim's planet) may rejoice. But the truth is, this is not about savings at all. This is about scaling down the LRT3 project. A project meant to overcome transport woes of ordinary, hardworking and hard-pressed Malaysians has jsut been downgraded!

Read here.

p.s. Now, perhaps this also explains why Guan Eng needed Bahasa Mandarin to communicate better.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Freezing Umno's bank accounts and deregistration: What it really means

On June 21, Zahid Hamidi revealed how during a closed-door meeting on June 7 Mahathir Mohamad had asked him to dissolve Umno and get all the party's MPs to cross over join his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The disclosure came after Mahathir's claim that the acting Umno chief had met him to seek his advice on how to run Umno after the May 9 polls defeat. Zahid had meant his explanation to be kept closed door but when the video was leaked, he made not attempt to deny it. Especially after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had chided him for "crawling" to the PM. Khairuddin Hassan, the man who arranged the four-eyed meeting, was furious: "Zahid is a liar. Every word he said (of the meeting with Mahathir) was a lie," Khairuddin fired back at Zahid.

But with Mahathir's move to (ask the MACC or the 1MDB Task Force to) freeze the bank accounts of Umno HQ and Selangor ahead of tomorrow's Umno elections, where Zahid and Razaleigh are clashing for president, the story Zahid had told the Umno members in Selangor in the video has suddenly become a whole lot more credible now.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

BR1M is now BSH

Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia was one of the main excuses Mahathir Mohamad had given when he started gunning for Najib Razak in 2015. He called it a form of corruption. Since then BR1M had been lynched and its recipients were shamed and told that there were receiving "dedak" from the Najib Administration. Najib was accused of bribing his way to get the people's support and of draining the nation's coffers in the process. In the run-up to the PRU14, even Mokhzani, the usually low-profiled son of Mahathir, and one of the wealthiest persons in Malaysia, got tangled up when he made perhaps one of the most seething insults on BR1M and its 7-odd million recipients. Read Getting BR1M nothing to shout about, says Mokhzani; Vell Paari slams Mokhzani for "disrespecting" BR1M recipients.

Perhaps realising how well BR1M was doing to help out Malaysians in the lower-income groups, and how threatening to abolish it might lose him and Pakatan Harapan support in the May 9 general election, Mahathir softened his stand on Najib's brainchild. Najib: Dr M thick-skinned for U-turn on BR1M

Today the scandal-ridden Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng confirmed that the Government is keeping BR1M but will be calling it BSH, or Bantuan Sara Hidup. The first BSH payout will cost the Government RM1.6 billion and benefit 4.1 million people. 

Alhamdulillah! And Thank You, Najib Razak.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A good Opposition leader, like Kit Siang?

If Zahid Hamidi listens to Lim Kit Siang’s unsolicited advice on “How to be a good Opposition Leader”, I’m afraid it might take BN 50 years instead of five to take back Putrajaya. BN does not have such luxury. Kit Siang was lucky, he had all the time in the world. The DAP stalwart was Opposition leader for a record three times, spanning 30 years. Including a 24-year uninterrupted stretch from 1975 to 1999, which must have been some kind of a world record or something.  
Despite this long tenure, the Opposition made very little headway under Kit Siang. In fact, it became weak and it suffered many humiliations, especially during Mahathir Mohamad’s era (Prime Minister, 1981-2003). If Kit Siang had been a good Opposition leader, the voters would have kept him. Instead, at the 1999 polls, they showed him the door. Lim led the Opposition for the last time from 2004 to 2008 and had better luck in the 12th general election, but only because he and the Opposition had help from Dr Mahathir, who was going after Pak Lah, the Prime Minister then. 
If Kit Siang had been a good Opposition leader, we the people wouldn’t be paying through our noses for our highways today. And Mahathir would not get to create the IPPs for his cronies. And Penangites would still be taking the ferry to go to the mainland. Just to mention a few.  
No, Zahid will be better off creating his own brand as Opposition Leader. I hope he does not oppose just for the sake of opposing, which was what Kit Siang was all about. The Leader of the Opposition must provide check and balances, call a spade a spade, tamper the new Government’s over-eagerness with the realities on the ground. Put the people first, as Tony Fernandes would say, and everything would fall into place. 

#Leader of the OppositionPolitical partyTerm of officePrime MinisterRefs
Took officeLeft office
1Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgBurhanuddin al-Helmy
MP for Besut
PMIP19591964Tunku Abdul Rahman
2Tan Chee Khoon.jpgTan Chee Khoon
MP for Batu
-Position vacant19691971
Abdul Razak Hussein
3Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgMohamed Asri Muda
MP for Pasir Puteh
4Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Bandar Malacca
DAP30 January 197331 July 1974[2]
5Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgJames Wong
MP for Miri-Lubis
6Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgEdmund Langgu Saga
(b. 1936)
MP for Saratok
SNAP4 November 19744 November 1975[3]
(4)Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Kota Melaka (1975-1978)
MP for Petaling (1978–1982)
MP for Kota Melaka (1982-1986)
MP for Tanjong (1986–1999)
DAP4 November 197512 June 1978[4]
Hussein Onn
31 July 197829 March 1982[5]
Mahathir Mohamad
10 July 198219 July 1986[6]
8 October 19864 October 1990[7]
10 December 19906 April 1995[8]
15 June 199510 November 1999[9]
7Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpgFadzil Noor
MP for Pendang
PAS20 December 199923 June 2002[10]
8Abdul Hadi Awang
(b. 1947)
MP for Marang
PAS9 September 20024 March 2004[11]
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
(4)Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpgLim Kit Siang
(b. 1941)
MP for Ipoh Timor
DAP19 May 200413 February 2008[12]
9Wan Azizah.jpgWan Azizah Wan Ismail
(b. 1952)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PKR30 April 200828 August 2008[13][14]
10Anwar Ibrahim.jpgAnwar Ibrahim
(b. 1947)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PKR28 August 20083 April 2013[15]
Najib Razak
26 June 201316 March 2015[16][17]
(9)Wan Azizah.jpgWan Azizah Wan Ismail
(b. 1952)
MP for Permatang Pauh
PH(PKR)18 May 201510 May 2018[18]
11Najib Razak 2008-08-21.jpgNajib Razak
(b. 1953)
MP for Pekan & Former Prime Minister of Malaysia
BN(UMNO)10 May 201812 May 2018Mahathir Mohamad[19]
12Deputy Prime Minister Hamidi - 2017 (36294565072) (cropped).jpgAhmad Zahid Hamidi
(b. 1953)
MP for Bagan Datuk & Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
BN(UMNO)12 May 2018Incumbent