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

The case of the missing trees in Taman Tun Dr Ismail

  TTDI, 29 Nov: They are cutting the trees again in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, once one of the greenest housing estates in KL.  Well, it probably ...