Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Doraemon for Visit Malaysia Year 2020?

Lat is actually amused - not upset - because
The Malay Mail hasn't actually spoken to him for this story

Puchong, 24 April: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's love affair with the Japanese culture is quite legendary; so much so that he made Japan his first stop after suddenly becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia again. He visited the Land of the Rising Sun three times in 2018: in June, August and then again in November. He brought back some samurai bonds for his troubles but I didn't hear him raving about Doraemon. There may be a Nobita in the Cabinet but I don't think it was the Old Man's idea to use the popular Japanese anime to help promote Visit Malaysia Year 2020.  
This is not the first time the VMY 2020 has courted controversy, though. I'm sure you remember this logo:

Perhaps if one adds Nobita's face somewhere in here ...

Read also:
Nazri: We stand by logo despite flak - The Star, Jan 2018
Ministry seeks to redesign VMY 2020 logo - NST, July 2018
Upin and Ipin mock picking Doraemon to promote Malaysia - The Malay Mail, 24 April
Kenapa Doraemon pilihan Balai Seni Negara untuk Tahun Melawat Malaysia? - Mkini 23 April

Monday, April 15, 2019

Ending monopolies: Another empty promise?

KL, 150419: Amid all that brave talk of ending monopolies, which is an integral part of Pakatan Harapan's election-winning manifesto, the same Pakatan Harapan's Government has announced, late last week while everyone was busy facing the Rantau by-election that:

Isn't MAHB a monopoly?

MAHB holds an exclusive concession to manage 39 airports and short take-off and landing ports (STOLports) nationwide. Only one commercial airport (Senai, Johor) is not within its concession. It is what you called a natural monopoly. (Read Tread carefully when ending monopolies - The Edge).

Azmi said the government's agreement to grant MAHB the half-a-century extension is a sign of confidence in the MAHB but you'd expect him to say that because he is MAHB (read MAHB gets 50-year extension to manage airpots nationwide).

The layman - including you and I - may see it as another election promise that will not be fulfilled.

Now, I'm not sure how the news that the Cabinet had agreed to extend the MAHB's monopoly will go down with Daim Zainuddin.  Because he has just made a statement to the media that Pakatan Harapan will deliver on its promises in six months.

Last I heard, Daim was for the breaking up of monopolies ...

Read also:
MAHB: Ending the monopoly by Mat Rodi, April 10 2019
More Aviation monopolies need to be broken - Malaysiakini , April 11 2019

Monday breakfast political thots: Beacon and Eggs

Puchong, 150419: Some would even say that in this man affectionately called Tok Mat by political friends and foes alike we're looking at a beacon of the nation's very future. Not just BN's. 

You may disagree, of course, and choose your half-boiled and scrambled eggs running this country today (not all in today's Cabinet are clowns but read here for one of many reasons why we're in the state we are today). 

Here's what Tok Mat himself had to say after his victory in Rantau, a sample of the Negri simplicity and class: 
“I am grateful that I won this seat. I can now be an effective check and balance role in Negeri Sembilan.” - BN wins convincingly in Rantau

The Malay Mail article quotes a political analyst saying that "In Malaysian politics and power relations among competing multi-ethnic parties and interests, being moderate is a vital principle" and "Tok Mat is a genuine moderate". 

That, however, did not win him the Chinese support in Rantau. (Read full article h e r e).

Maybe the Chinese voters like more than beacon and eggs for breakfast ..

Read also:

"Being racist, being arrogant, being stupid gangster, being bulu-bulu (?), being too much of a hypocrite and dancing too much":  What went wrong with Pakatan at Rantau ... among others

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Rome Statute and the coup d'etat in Khalid Samad's head

Bangsar, 10 April: I didn't plan to blog again on Khalid Samad after my last posting h e r e but this Minister's coup d'etat statement re the Government's big U-turn on the Rome Statute is so damn frightening that it would be a sin as a Malaysian not to tell him off.  

This is fear mongering at its worst. 

The coup d'etat statement (read full story here) is an insult to us peace-loving Malays and a baseless and dangerous accusation against the "fundamentally Malay-based institutions" which are the police and the military. You are saying that they were about to commit treason.

Dangerous, very dangerous, Khalid.

Clearly, the Minister didn't have the full facts (which is why he should have just shut his gap). And we would be none the wiser, too, if Umno sec-gen Anuar Musa had not shared the facts of the matter with us in this ceramah at Rantau, Negri Sembilan.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

"TH took appropriate measures" after Zeti's letter, according to Bank Negara in 2016

Bangsar, 9 April: Federal Territory Minister Khalid Samad's bungling  of Kiara Park  has convinced many that older brother Shahrir, the original FT Minister and former Felda chairman, is the smarter sibling by far. If I had any doubts about that in the first place, Shahrir's posting on Facebook in defence of Tabung Haji (and, specifically, the previous management of TH) yesterday might have restored my faith:

For context, the new management of Tabung Haji, the pilgrimage fund, has just announced a hibah of 1.25 per cent, a mighty drop from the heavenly dividends depositors enjoyed under the previous management/old government. The PH government blames it on "poor management and governance in the past" (TH dividends see sharp drop for 2018 - FMT). A Bank Negara letter to TH in Dec 2015 was used to back this claim: the letter is supposed to show that TH had been in trouble even back then but he previous management/government weren't listening.

But did the previous management of TH respond/listen to the central bank's letter? Apparently, according to Shahrir, it did. This was evident in the Bank Negara's press statement in Jan 2016, a month of so after it had sent the advisory to the management of TH.

Here was what the Bank Negara had to say:

In relation to Lembaga Tabung Haji, the institution has proactively taken appropriate measures to further strengthen its risk management practices, both on its own initiative and in response to earlier engagements with the Bank. These will reinforce a sustainable and healthy financial position of the institution going forward. 

Read the Bank Negara's full press statement Surveillance of non
-bank financial institutions dated 26 Jan 2016. Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz's oft-(mis)quoted letter to TH was dated 23 Dec 2015.

Which also means that Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, the PKR sec-gen, wasn't telling quite the truth when he said that "nasihat BNM tidak didengari oleh pemerintahan dahulu" (the BNM's advice was not heeded to by the previous government). Read Bank Negara pernah tegur Tabung Haji cara bayar hibah - Utusan, 6 April).

Back to Khalid Samad, he hasn't commented on TH for quite a while. His last tweet Google recalled for me was Dec last year:


Thursday, April 04, 2019

Ex-Utusan vs Utusan Part 2


TTDI, 4 April: Until August last year, Baharon Mahusin was still tipped to take over the top editorial post of Utusan Malaysia. He was at the time the editor of Kosmo, a steady brand in Utusan's fledgling stable of publications, and was considered "the future" of the the Utusan group.
Another chap in the running for the post was UiTM alumni president Zaini Hassan, the combative Cuit Sikit columnist. If Baharom was viewed as politically moderate and technologically savvy, Zaini was the direct opposite - technologically moderate and politicly savvy -  or so a blogger told me at the time.


But a few post-general election changes in the ownership and management of Utusan later, both seasoned journalists found themselves on the way out. 
Zaini wasted no time in helping found (read also Ex-Utusan vs Utusan) with several other former Utusan journalists in December.  
Yesterday, Kumpulan Karangkraf Media appointed Baharum as its Group Editor-in-Chief cum Chief Content Executive. Karangkraf chairman Hussamuddin Yaacub said Baharum will be the one to transform Sinar Harian,  set its next direction and enhance its branding so as to  "compete with the other mainstream newspapers". 
Quite a move by a media conglomerate that has seen happy growth while most others slide by being a constant throb in the government's side ... 

Note: I first blogged about Sinar Harian in July 2006 h e r e.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Returning to the National Press Club

Jalan Tangsi, April 1: The first time I relinquished the NPC presidency, in 2007, was mainly due to an ongoing court case against me the blogger and the fact that I was no more attached to a formal news outlet after parting ways with the NST, my employer for 21 years, a year earlier. Other than a fortnightly column with a Singapore newspaper, I was not writing for any of the local papers and was considered a full-time blogger then. Blogging was new and constantly under siege and we had just set up the National Alliance of Bloggers (with uber bloggers Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Jeff Ooi, A. Kadir Jasin, Kickdefella, A Voice, 3540 Jalan Sudin, Eli Wong, Susan Loone, Patrick Teoh and many more). I wanted to focus on the All Blogs. I was its first (and only) president.

The second time I let go of the NPC presidency, in 2013, I had just left The Malay Mail (my second - and much shorter - tour of duty as editor at the tabloid; the first was from 2001 to 2006) and I wanted to concentrate on the newly-formed Blog House (the organisation to replace the All Blogs, which had faded after two of its office bearers won the general election of 2008). I was the All Blogs advisor.

Last Wednesday, I had just returned from an international Press event in Spain when the guys called up to ask me to attend the National Press Club's 27th Annual General Meeting at its clubhouse in Jalan Tangsi, Kuala Lumpur. Bernama deputy editor-in-chief Datuk Mokhtar Hussain, who succeeded me in 2013, had already informed me the week before that he wasn't seeking re-election as president of the NPC. 

For reasons (some of which) captured in the following interview with, and due to the exciting and ever-changing political and media landscapes, I decided to offer to come back and serve the NPC to the best of my ability.

Wish me and the new team luck.

To read the twentytwo13 article, click h e r e.
Read also: The National Press Club has a new president by Bernama