Friday, November 30, 2018

MRT: Were we foolish to have wanted, built it?

Too big, too early, too lavish. I won't know what's lavish - read MRT too big, too early, says PM - where the MRT design, trains, etc are concerned. Some people have said the same about some of Dr M's projects in the past, for example the bridges of Putrajaya and the mosques when I could only see beauty and class then what others were calling lavish. Subjective, perhaps? Or selective?
But I - like Dr M, I assume - don't use the MRT to commute. I have heard, though, of how packed and congested "like tin sardin" the MRT trains can be during peak hours. So perhaps the system's not big enough, contrary to Dr M's assertion?
Certainly it can't be "too soon". If we build the MRT in 2050, imagine how much it would cost. Singapore, for example, had theirs running in 1987. When the idea of building the MRT system cropped up, some of the politicians were dead against it. One even called the the idea "foolish". Try telling a Singaporean to imagine life without the MRT today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

So what's the practical thing to do, Khalid?

Latest: Adib's injuries due to accident, claims Hindu kuil committee - Berita Harian

Original article:
Not practical to scrap Rimba Kiara project, says FT Minister

'We can discuss to scale down the project ...' - Khalid Samad, FT Minister 

Should Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents stage riots, too, to get back their Rimba? After rioting and beating up an on-duty Malay-Muslim fireman half dead (Muhammad Adib transferred from ICU to IJN), the Hindus in USJ now get to keep their temple. 
Or at least that's the promise made to them by P. Waytha Moorthy
Until a permanent solution over the kuil crisis can be found, the Minister of Unity told a press conference after repeatedly saying he had met earlier with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday. 
Did Dr M agree to that? 
I don't know but as I see it, Waytha has got to keep his word. He is the former leader of the militant Malaysian Hindu group Hindraf. And a promise made over a holy temple is not the same as promises made in a Pakatan Harapan manifesto that, we all now know after voting them in, need not be fulfilled ... 
Waytha made the promise despite a court order, the involvement of a public listed company and foreign investors, and even as Adib was fighting for his life .. 
Of course, I won't recommend that the TTDI residents stage riots to save Rimba Kiara from being turned into a concrete jungle. The more practical thing to do is to continue engaging Khalid Samad the FT Minister and pray that he would man up. And get your MP, Hannah Yeoh, to play a more active role in defending the park against the developers. She's been awfully quiet.

Read also
Riot at temple criminal, not racial says PM
USJ temple land belongs to ... 
Developers hired thugs, says Home Minister 
Prayers for Muhammad Adib (updated) by Annie

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Khalid Samad's political will vs some housing developers

Sorry to say but FT Minister Khalid Samad's latest statement on the Kiara Park controversy does sound wimpish [Documents to developer Taman Rimba Kiara binding]. Remember, Khalid belongs to a government that has cancelled the ECRL, deferred the fast train project to Singapore, downscaled the MRT, took the entire ex-BoD of FGV, sacked thousands of so-called political appointees, and the list goes on, since wining the May 9 general election. Like it or not, those were very bold moves against deals that were also, to borrow Khalid's words, "formal, legal and binding". The ECRL and speed train projects involved foreign governments, some more! 
The proposed Rimba Kiara Park project, in comparison, is a puny domestic feud. I'm not saying that it won't give the minister headaches but he's making it sound as if it's something insurmountable. Which it is not.
Political will, YB, political will. 

Read the whole FMT article h e r e
Related articles:
Tun Daim meet Rimba Kiara residents, The Edge

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"What happened to Wong Tack's fire?" [Updated with latest allegations of bribery]

Updated 151118:
Utterly desperate Wang Tack accuses authorities who certified Lynas as safe over the weekend of accepting funds from the company.
The Mole has the story and video clip h e r e.

Original article:

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.