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. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Private Adam's family speaks out after TMJ's warning on forked tongue individual

It was Salahuddin Ayub, who is leading Pakatan Harapan's election machinery in Johor, who said last December that the Johor royalty's dislike of Mahathir Mohamad wasn't going to be an issue for the 14th general election. He said the Opposition's focus in Johor would be housing, education and the outflow of workers to Singapore and "whatever tension exists between Mahathir and the Sultan, let it stay between them." 

On 7 April, TMJ, Johor's crown prince, wrote a long piece on FB warning Johoreans ahead of the general election "of a forked tongue individual". DAP Johor chief Liew Chin Tong wasn't the least worried also. "... based on to the responses we read (to the crown prince's post), perhaps the support for the palace cannot be transferred to Johor BN," Liew said h e r e. DAP's 

Zaid Ibrahim felt that TMJ's support for BN would actually benefit Pakatan.

Today, unexpectedly, the family of Private Adam came out to apologise to Johor Royalty, hence vindicating the TMJ. The Johorean Big Dog the blogger calls it the unravelling of 30 years fake news left uncorrected
"An urban legend about Sultan Johor Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail, pertaining to being the cause of Private Adam Jaafar went amok thirty years ago was unravelled.
Private Adam’s family stepped forward to tell their side of the story believed to be inspired by Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim’s posting in the Southern Tigers Facebook, warning against “The man with forked tongue”.
I wonder if  Salahuddin, Liew Chin Tong or Zaid still believe that the Johore palace's feelings and views about Mahathir would not hurt Pakatan's harapan to take over the Johor state at the May 9 general election. I somehow doubt it.

"How I rigged the Elections ... "

The Admin for Dr Mahathir Mohamad's blog should let the Old Man know that PM Najib Razak has already declared Wednesday, 9th May 2018 a public holiday to make it easier for the rakyat to exercise their right to vote. The news on the public holiday came out yesterday, a day after the Election Commission announced nomination and polling dates for the14th general election. 

Mahathir wrote in his latest posting:
Admin should have known about the public holiday and made the correction immediately. Unless Admin themselves hadn't or didn't read what Mahathir wrote in his latest posting. 

In the same posting, Mahathir is clearly saying it's ok for you to accept bribes offered by Najib but give your vote to Pakatan Harapan. And you wonder why we haven't been winning the war against corruption.
In future, accepting bribes may even be halal!

Do read the posting Cara Najib Tipu. Which could be retitled How I Rigged the Elections When I was PM...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Rabu, 9hb Mei

Polling day for the seven general elections I'd covered as a journalist wasn't alway a Saturday, I've been told. GEs in 1995 and 1999, the ECs set polling days on Monday.

Courtesy of Lim Sian See:

Original article 
Nomination Day: April 28, 2018
Polling Day: May 9, 2018

I ain't complaining but I don't recall a general election being held on a Rabu (Wednesday). In all seven general elections that I've covered as a journalist, polling day was always a Saturday. 

So Rabu suddenly reads, according to the Pakatan Hopers:
Rakyat Akan Buang Umno
For the Barisan Nasional troopers, Rabu is:
Rakyat Akan Bersama Umno
Either way, the 14th GE is still about Umno, like it or not. The price you have to pay for being the longest-surviving political party in the world.

And as long as the long-suffering Opposition doesn't win it, Malaysia's general elections will continue to be considered - by the Opposition and some international media behind it -  unfair and rigged. Shocking but true.

Flawed Malaysian electoral system? Look West please

April 10, 2018 

KUALA LUMPUR: IF there is one thing that some Malaysians will have to put up with – while probably rolling their eyes – after the coming elections, is the seemingly inevitable scathing post-election discussions by foreign media and their own pro-opposition alternative media.

More so if the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) wins yet another one.
The thrashing over the integrity of Malaysia’s elections usually involves incessant mentioning of gerrymandering, abuse of institutional tools and fictitious phantom voters who, despite being widely reported, were somehow never caught.
In the 2013 contest the hammering went up up a few notches after BN won while receiving less total or popular votes – which was the first since Malaya had its first general elections in 1955 – against the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat.

Capitalising on such a loss, The Economist, New York Times, Washington Post, Times of London, The New Yorker, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC had through couched nuances stressed on Malaysia’s supposedly compromised electoral system.
Aljazeera had a 25-minute special report called “Malaysia’s election scandals” where it invited PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar to talk about claims of electoral rigging.
Nurul Izzah’s claims of faulty indelible ink, the deployment of Bangladeshi pantom voters, which was also echoed by her father PKR de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, have until today never been proven in court ..

Read the full article by Zaidi Azmi:  Flawed Malaysian electoral system? Look West, please. 
Read also: 
Democracy redelienated, re-redelienated and reviewed by Anak Si Hamid
Will the next election be won on misinformation by Dave Avran
They want to lead, but they lack ideology and credibility by Aziz Hassan
GE 14 will be the dirtiest elections ever and this is why by Seademon

Monday, April 09, 2018

Rafidah telling "outright lies", says Hisham

Rafidah Aziz has the opportunity now to prove to the millions of Malaysian Facebook users that she is no liar, let alone an outright liar or blatant liar. Let's hope she doesn't wait another 10 years to do it. 
FMT hS the story h e r e. For context, read  Rafidah Aziz vs Rafidah Aziz

Rafidah Aziz vs Rafidah Aziz

Najib Razak at the new TUDM base in Sendayan last month

I am not privy to whatever might have happened between Rafidah Aziz and Najib Razak but something bad or even ugly must have happened for Rafidah to be stabbing the Prime Minister again and again and with increased regularity. In her latest attack [Rafidah ups the ante, goes after Najib on military land] she meant to gut him like a fish. She obviously waited for Najib to call for the general election before taking the knives out.

But why she waited more than 10 years to tell us this particular tale takes away a lot from that tale itself and makes the intent fishy, if you know what I mean. You have to ask, why now and not a year ago or when it allegedly took place? Is she really demanding accountability on Najib's part or is she being a politician and doing this for her politics and the general election? Or for the simple pleasure of getting back at the PM?

If, indeed, Rafidah had felt wrong about Najib's proposal to the Cabinet back then, she sure didn't do much except from asking a couple of questions. Her own narrative: 

"I WAS uneasy and questioned you in CABINET:--
a) HOW was this unknown company selected?
b) I also asked why LEMBAGA TABUNG ANGKATAN TENTERA (LTAT) was not chosen instead , for this privatisation? LTAT can then form Consortiums, with Commercial Development Companies ,with excellent track records.
Your response to me , and echoed by the PM then, was…
‘We will bring in LTAT later…’

No one else asked any question. The Paper was approved."

The paper was approved. 
By the Cabinet chaired by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the PM then, in the usual spirit of collective responsibility.
Rafidah was a senior member of that Cabinet. 

So, with all due respect, why regale us with this tale now? 

Tales about Cabinet and Cabinet ministers are a dime and a dozen. I recall one of the closed-door meetings a group of us mainstream media editors had with Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was PM. He was lamenting on corruption in general and his Cabinet Ministers. Can't remember who asked him then but Mahathir was asked: What's stopping him from  taking action against these Ministers who were allegedly, apparently or obviously corrupt?

Mahathir said if he were to take action against his ministers for corruption, "there won't be any Cabinet left".

Rafidah was part of Mahathir's Cabinet at the time.

But, of course, the Old Man was only joking ...

Rafidah went after Mahathir, too ...
then they kissed and made up. She cried, he said he didn't

Read :
Rafidah: Mahathir was mistaken (The Sun, July 2005)
Rafidah: Dr Mahatir is disloyal (The Star, May 2008)

Friday, April 06, 2018


Speculation rife that PM will announce dissolution  ...

Parliament may be dissolved today. And if the leaders of Mahathir' Mohamad's Pribumi party were more honest with themselves and their supporters, they would take the opportunity to thank the Registrar of Societies for the provisional dissolution order on the party instead of blaming it. It's never too late to show some gratitude.

Because. admit it, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, set up only in June 2016, was drowning in its own vomit, the result of problems of its own making. As of February, the Registrar had to investigate 249 complaints against the Pribumi leadership by Pribumi's own members.  And just before the ROS came to its decision, Rafizi Ramli had dropped his bombshell: Mahathir and Mahathir's Pribumi party won't give Pakatan Harapan the so-called "Malay tsunami" they had been hoping for in the GE14, he said in No Mahathir Factor after all ...
"If you ask me if there is going to be a game-changing tsunami because of PPBM and Mahathir, I say no, that is not going to happen. I have told this every day to Mahathir, Muhyiddin Yassin and their party leaders and they accept it ..."  
So, if they can accept what Rafizi has told them about their dismal failure to deliver what was expected of them, they shouldn't try and shift the blame on ikan kembong or anyone and anything  else. Least of all the ROS. 

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Vegas de Vegas (the alleged political assassination of an Umno divisional chief)

In defence of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and other authorities that conducted the raid, A Voice quotes on former high-ranking MACC official in What happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas
"Tangkap orang pembangkang, MACC dikata macam-macam. Tangkap orang BN, pun kena juga. We have no friends and it is OK."

Original article 

"Jangan kerana suatu isu yang kecik segala jasa dan sumbangan saya selama 14 tahun, consistently ...." - Datuk Rizalman Mokhtar, Umno's divisional chief for Bandar Tun Razak on the controversy surrounding his Vegas arrest/positive drug test

In Umno, a divisional chief is a big deal. There are only 191 divisional chiefs nationawide. PM Najib Razak is the chief of Pekan division. DPM Zahid Hamidi is divisional chief of Bagan Datoh.  So just because you may not have heard of Rizalman  Mokhtar before his Vegas arrest does not make him a small fry. 
In his own words, "saya ada 82 cawangan, saya ada 19,700 ahli, and as for now semua ada di belakang saya .. dan semalam saya mendapat 100 peratus sokongan daripada Jawatankuasa Umno Bahagian dan juga ketua-ketua cawangan".  
Not small at all.  
But neither is his current predicament. His testing positive in a drug test following his arrest at a ktv joint like Vegas is not an "isu kecik" (small issue). Rizalman has to understand that. He must also accept that even if he gets to clear his name, prove that his Nescafe had been laced, and that it was indeed a political sabotage and character assassination, the damage is done. And the press conference didn't really help his cause, if you ask me.
Drugs abuse. I tweeted this earlier this week: 

Penang, Kelantan and Kedah are losing the war badly. We shouldn't politicise the issue but it so happens that Penang and Kelantan are ruled by DAP and PAS, respectively. And Kedah, well, I shouldn't say anything ..  
Kedah in the news, in today's NST:

Tuesday, April 03, 2018


The fun's about to begin ..

165 Parliamentary seats. That's how many BN will win in GE14, or so  this chap close to the ruling coalition's election think-tank wanted me to know. If so, it means these people are confident of not just getting the two-thirds but are sure PM Najib Razak will lead the coalition in crossing the 148-seat mark comfortably, almost nonchalantly even. Honestly, I get uncomfortable when people get that over-confident. In GE12 2008, some of the think-tankers were so confident BN would repeat the emphatic 2004 victory that they prayed that PAS would retain Kelantan, at least, "so that BN doesn't get too cocky". In GE13 2013, new and younger think-tankers told me with utmost certainty that Lembah Pantai would fall to BN. So, very confident one. But on both occasions they were right where it mattered most to BN: the coalition led by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi won the GE12 even though it lost the two-thirds majority in Parliament and the coalition again won the GE13, led by Najib, with 134 seats, 14 shy of the two-thirds majority. 

So, what I think of 165 seats? Sorry, I don't think that's going to happen. But, having said that, I did mean to ask this chap close to the think-tankers if the 165 included seats that PAS would win in the coming PRU (the Islamic party won 21 parliamentary seats in GE13). After all, if you go by yesterday's proceedings on the Anti-Fake News Bill in the Dewan Rakyat, the BN and PAS MPs voted as if they were a coalition.

 A sign of things to come after GE14?

Monday, April 02, 2018

Bukan salah ikan mengembung

GE14 and the politics of ikan kembung

Something fishy about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest blog posting, The Comfort of Some:
"1. The country is facing a serious crisis. Democracy has been replaced with kleptocracy. Laws intended to protect the people are now used to threaten and oppress people. The GST now burdens the people. And the price of ikan kembung is now RM20 per kilo.
2. Yes the people are suffering. Almost all of them. But there are some who feel nothing. So what is so bad about the RM20 ikan kembung. Its only a few Ringgit more. A few Ringgit is nothing. Just a drop in the ocean. Rising cost is normal. You just have to put up with it. "
The person with the opened Apple sitting across the table was startled by my question. "Is the mackerel a staple for us Malaysians?"
"I don't eat ikan kembung. I don't like the taste but I know how it looks like. Why?"
"Tun M said it's RM20 a kilo now and it is causing almost all the people to suffer."
"Tell him to tell that to Kit Siang lah."

Ah, ok, so this person is still mad with 4th Malaysian Prime Minister for sleeping with the DAP to bring down Malaysia's current and 6th Prime Minister Najib Razak so that he can become the 7th Malaysian Prime Minister. Well, actually, almost all the people are still mad. But that aside, I'm not a big fan of ikan kembung, either. And Mahathir himself, as some of us may know, doesn't eat fish. Hasn't touched fish since he was a kid. He does take the occasional sushi and sashimi ... 

But back to the ikan kembung logic, HishamH in his latest posting  touched on the same issue. more or less. It must be noted that the author of the blog Economics Malaysia was not responding to Dr M's posting. He couldn't have because he posted his article hours before chedet did. 

But the conclusion of HishamH's More on Seafood Prices is compelling, nonetheless:

"Nobody can deny inflation in good prices, and seafood is a major contributor to that. The biggest reason behind seafood price inflation is a supply-demand mismatch - the world as a whole is eating more than the seas can provide, with obvious long term consequences unless this is managed. But China is a major factor behind that mismatch.
[HishamH goes on to provide a link to an article to illustrate his point. The Bloomberg article is entitled China's Real Offshore Disaster]
Lesson 1: Unless we do something to manage fisheries on a sustainable basis, the situation will only get worse. 
Lesson 2: Politicians can say what they like, but no amount of fiddling with cases or the local economy will make a difference. This is a global problem and needs a global solution."

What the fish, kan?

3 years on, still nobody has migrated because of GST

April 1, 2015, after putting off the idea time and again for over two decades, Malaysia finally decided to join the long list of countries that have implemented the goods and services tax. 160 out of 180 nations of the world had already done it before us (as the then DPM Muhyiddin Yassin said in the clip above) and yet the detractors aka jokers (which are today led by same ex DPM) claimed the new tax would be disastrous, the people would be impoverished, and the country would be bankrupt in no time for sure. 
There was a lot of talk among these jokers about them and other bright Malaysians migrating because of GST. 
But three years on, nobody you and I know have fled the country, have they? Certainly none of those jokers have!
The fact is, life's too good here. In many cases, even better after the GST. Those against the goods and services tax are probably people who had had it so good due to the "ketirisan" of the old tax regime.
In the last three years, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Seychelles and several more countries have implemented GST. Just a handful in this world left which have not. So even if these jokers were to really migrate after the general election because Pakatan Harapan has lost the general election*,  there would be very few countries to migrate to. 
North Korea is likely to be one of them. 
* Pakatan Harapan has promised to abolish the GST if they win the GE14, a move that has bewildered many of its own sympathisers because of the sheer stupidity of the promise. No wonder some of the PH leaders themselves are shaking their heads. Read Mahathir again admits PH won't be able to fulfil pledges]