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

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: