Thursday, December 31, 2020

Why 2020 was not such a bad year after all


IT WAS THE WORST YEAR, ever, for many. We started 2020 with this dreadful pandemic and we carried it forward into 2021. Over 100k confirmed Covid-19 cases as the year came to close and no sign of the disease ebbing (on the contrary, it seemed to be worsening for us when the rest of the world were actually making progress). We couldn’t visit our loved ones when they fell sick, we could not even visit their graves when they died. Covid and 2020 took away loved ones, shut borders, killed  businesses, obliterated dreams. 

The Pakatan Harapan government, which promised sweeping changes upon defeating the BN in 2018, turned out to be just a big hype - no, a big lie - no, a big joke; it couldn’t even  make good its own election manifesto. The so-called backdoor government, founded in Sheraton just a while before the first MCO was enforced in March 2020, kicked out the PH government but is so weak it inspired pity instead of earning our respect. 

Thank God, 2020 was not just about the bad and the ugly. There were good ones, too. We found our own superheroes on the front lines and stories abound of Malaysians extending a helping hand to fellow Malaysians. In fact, if you ask me, 2020, the year that we failed to join the ranks of the developed nations, the year that brought so much dismay for so many, was really not that bad!

You may disagree with me, of course, but here are 10 reasons why I dare say 2020 was not such a bad year after all.

1. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad lost his job - Some people cried when Dr M stepped down in the midst of the Sheraton Move but a lot of others rejoiced. Personally, I saw it as a blessing undisguised. The Old Man had lost control of his Government. 

2. We got rid of possibly the worst Finance Minister we ever had - Lim Guan Eng may know how to get the best deal when buying properties but he couldn’t manage the economy. He had one chance to prove that a non-Malay finance minister could take care of Bumiputera interests and help build their capacity, but instead he riled many of them, denied them, and quickly lost whatever trust they had in the new government. One chap told me because of Guan Eng, it will be a long while before the Malays would regain their trust in a non-Malay holding that all-important portfolio.

3. Donald Trump did not get a second term as US President - We will miss Trump in 2021, mark my words.

4. Black lives matter  - The killing of George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis in May 2020 sparked the biggest civil protests in the US that made Malaysians look closely at our own racial issues. We now realise while our own race relations was far from perfect we where nowhere near as bad as many a developed nation in the world.

5. The Bicycle ‘revolution’  - Malaysians all over the country took up to bicycling, which was a good thing. But like all good things, it is threatening to end with bad press and strereotyping of cyclists. There’s still hope that this will be addressed in 2021 and we can make cycling a national passion.

6. Proton revival - The success of the X70, the first model after China’s Geely took over the management of the national car company, continued with the X50 in the latter months of 2020, in spite of spikes in Covid-19 cases. The queue for this latest Proton model is still growing.

7. Malaysia’s better side of humanity - I shall name names when the time comes: some Malaysians have done so much for fellow Malaysians in need during this trying year that they put the welfare department to shame. We shall acknowledge these individuals when the time comes, whether they like it or not

8. New norms (work-from-home is actually doable) - The year taught us to explore more, challenge the way we’ve been doing things.

9. Family time - The SOP compelled us to spend more time with the family. There were reports of highest rates for suicide, domestic violence, depression, etc. But most of us got to spend a lot of time at home. A strong home is the foundation of a solid community is the basic for a united nation.

10. 2020 saw the biggest number of journalists laid off as newspapers closed down and media companies downsized but we also saw the establishment of new portals. One of them is The Vibes, launched a few days after Malaysia Day on September 16, which has employed and re-hired some 50 journalists. 

P.S Also, I got to drink with Rick and Rahul on the last afternoon of the year ...while writing this piece. :] Happy New Year, dear Readers. 2021 better be a better one!

Friday, December 04, 2020

Politicians are back in power at Mara Corp

Badlishah told to go on leave after ordering audit on Mara Corp

Bangsar, Dec 4: Something is brewing in Mara Corporation, according to twentytwo13’s latest scoop Three months into office, Mara Corp’s group CEO ‘suspended’that suggests a possible change in leadership. I would have added the word “again” somewhere in that intro. This isn’t the first time Mara Corp, the of Mara, is in the news for the wrong reasons. It won’t be the last, either. It’s what some Melayus up there are good for, if you ask me.

In a nutshell, not long after Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin became Prime Minister, a new CEO was brought in to clean up and consolidate the four-year old Mara Corp. The new man, of course, wanted due diligence to be carried out. He is, after all, a banker. He brought in some good Malays to help him, including former CEOs of public listed companies. When word got out that Earnst & Young would be picked as the auditors, a special Board Meeting of Mara Corp was convened. At the meeting, a prepared statement was read out, accusing the group CEO of abuse of power, blah blah blah. Mr Group CEO denied the silly allegations, of course. He was scheduled to present his plans for 2021 at the scheduled Board Meeting on Nov 30 but the Board wanted him to go on ‘garden leave’ instead pending an investigation into the allegations. 

A politician and a former Member of Parliament is now said to be the executive director of Mara Corp, appointed by the Cabinet Minister in charge of Mara, YB Abdul Latiff Ahmad.

End of story?

Saturday, November 28, 2020

By remaining seated, Anwar Ibrahim stood up as the Opposition leader on Thursday

Latest: The Opposition leader talks to The Vibes 

“A week earlier, I issued a statement. If our concessions are not met, we will opt to reject Budget 2021 in total. What happened (on Thursday) was that the finance minister made major concessions.” - Anwar: Government conceded to Opposition demands, 29 Nov 2020

Original article 

Bangsar, 28 Nov: I haven't agreed with Anwar Ibrahim in ages. But I’m inclined to agree with the Opposition Leader’s decision last Thursday to not shoot down the Budget 2021.
Anwar had instructed Opposition MPs to not bloc vote against the Budget and all but 13 did  as told. The 13 - a dozen of Mahathir-Mat Sabu's men and a lone PKR MP who claimed he did not get the memo - stood up to demand a bloc vote. But 15 were needed and because the Opposition was two MPs short, the Budget was passed ‘at policy level’.
Over tea yesterday, the pro-Umno blogger Big Dog asked me how I would interpret Anwar's action. I said, more or less:

Firstly, it shows that Anwar has the confidence of the majority of the Opposition MPs. Even the DAP, which was so enamoured of Mahathir after Lim Guan Eng was made Finance Minister (short lived, alas), had stood (or, rather, sat) solidly behind Anwar. Not Mahathir.

Secondly, Anwar decided to let Tunku Zafrul's Budget live on after the Finance Minister had granted last-minute concessions that fulfilled not just Pakatan Harapan's demands but also those of Umno's. One MP told me there were so many concessions it was as if Zafrul had tabled a totally different Budget from the original one. What does this show? It means there is actually still hope that this government can be schooled to give more to people who need, like extend the moratorium till March. Because the Budget survived Thursday, MPs will now discuss it at committee level from this week until the crucial 3rd reading on Dec 15.
Thirdly, it shows that Anwar is loyal to the King. Unlike the 13.

Finally, and Anwar may not admit it, I think he aimed to rile Tun Mahathir. And the Old Man was absolutely peeved, said the Opposition leader's ‘maneuvering’ was a sell-out and akin to legitimizing Muhyiddin's 'backdoor' government. He was also terribly annoyed because Anwar's move had exposed him for the very negligible support that he commanded.  Amanah president Mat Sabu’s statement earlier today -   Stand firm behind Anwar, PH, says Mat Sabu - means Mahathir may have zilch. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

With boycott by Ku LI, the PM, his Cabinet and the Budget 2021are all doomed, are they not?

Ku Li: Reckless, hypocrite or hero?

Kuala Lumpur, 23 Nov:  Ku Li can rant all day about "political corruption" for all we care. At the end of the day, the MP for Gua Musang, like most politicians out there, probably has a vested interest for wanting to ditch this week's crucial debate on the Supply Bill. He probably just wants PM Muhyiddin Yasin out of sight. 

The thing going for Ku Li, the man who's been wanting to be PM himself for the longest of time, is this: so many other MPs share that same vested interest. 

But as a voter, I totally disagree with Ku Li's decision to boycott Parliament during the debate of the Budget 2021. As MP, it is his duty to attend, if not to take active part, in the debates of the Dewan Rakyat. To boycott the Parliament just because the Speaker disagreed with him on how a vote of no confidence should be carried out is reckless. To claim he's doing so to fight "political corruption" is hypocritical. 

And who is Ku Li to call the government appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong, as provided for under the Constitution, a "backdoor government"?

Ku Li must retract his letter to the Speaker (which, by the way, was sent on Saturday, an off day, I believe, and was all over the media on Sunday, still an off day, therefore not giving the Speaker any chance to respond, that is if Ku Li had wanted one, in the first place). 

The MP must carry out his moral duty as an MP, which is to be in Parliament. He is paid good taxpayers' money and accorded great perks to do at least that.

Don't vote for the Budget 2021 if you think that will be the right thing to do. There will be more than a hundred other MPs who will do that, so what's the big deal? Ku Li's vote is just one of them but crucial nonetheless. So debate and vote. Boycotting is cowardly.

If the Budget doesn't get the number of votes from MPs it requires this Thursday 26 Nov, PM Muhyiddin will have to go. We will either face a general election or we will leave it to the wisdom of His Majesty's once again to appoint a Prime Minister whom he thinks commands the majority of support from the MPs. 

If the King decides against a general election and uses the provisions under Article 43 and appoints someone else but not you as PM, please don't you go around calling it a "backdoor government" again, Ku Li. Show respect for the royal institution that you yourself come from.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The unfinished business between BC Sekhar, Mahathir Mohamad and Daim Zainuddin


The called him Mr Natural Rubber

BSC, Nov 18: In Legacies for Generations, a tribute to his father BC Sekhar, the good capitalist Datuk Vinod B Sekhar tells us of how former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin had forced the man who modernised Malaysia's rubber industry to leave the country in search for a living abroad.

They forced the man that created and implemented SMR (Standard Malaysian Rubber) and had saved the Malaysian economy – giving it the backbone and footing that would allow the Mahathir administration to make her The Tiger economy – to leave the country and accept a position in London, just so he could make a living and take care of his family. 
It broke his heart, as he loved his country so much.

Vinod, the chairman of the Petra Group, wrote the article in memory of his late dad, who would have turned 91 yesterday.

I hope Mahathir and Daim, in their old age, have a sense of remorse and regret for how they treated the great sons and daughters of Malaysia. Because my father was not alone. His was a generation of great nation builders. Country first. We sadly don’t really have many of those anymore.

I am sure Tun M, 95, if he's not in his I don't remember mode, will tell us that he had his 'reasons' for doing what he allegedly did to BC Sekhar. Just as he had his reasons for putting out to pasture judges Tun Salleh Abas, 91, and Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid, 82, among others. But I'm not sure people would believe him. In fact, I'm quite sure a lot of people have stopped believing whatever he says these days.

But I don't really care about that. I'd say, forget about Mahathir or Daim. I'd rather focus on the point Vinod is making in his article about our nation builders. It is true, we don't really have many of those anymore. We need to do something about that.

Former Health Minister tweets about BC Sekhar

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Budget that unites, but not as planned

United! United! Hell, yes. But instead of getting everyone - the MPs, detractors, and the hopeful people - to rally behind him, which was the plan, Prime Minister Muhyiddin's Budget 2021 have united them against his Government, instead.

Dr M: 'I will support budget only if it's realistic'; Anwar: Budget 'unrealistic'

Kuala Lumpur, 9 Nov:  The theme of the Budget 2021 is STAND UNITED, WE SHALL PREVAIL Teguh Kita, Menang Bersama. Won't blame you if it sounds to you like an election manifesto because it does sound to me like a good general election manifesto. 

Here are the first two pages of the Budget :

But what could have been a walk in the park for Muhyiddin and Co is now a painful swim in mud and sludge. Where did the Budget go wrong? Was it the RM85 million for JASA? Was it the unjustifiable, nearly RM4 billion more for the Prime Minister's Department? The record amount of debts the Government will accrue just to keep paying their high salaries and service their debts?

It may be all of that and the fact that the people are not stupid anymore, which means it's not possible to even fool some people some of the time. Some people are pleased with it but everyone has something in the Budget to bitch about, from healthcare spending 'cuts' to unreal tax revenue forecast for next year and the absence of a real, long term plan to help the increasing number of poorer and jobless Malaysians.

Stop thinking like a banker, Zafrul told

But, most of all, I think the Budget is a victim of a Government losing the trust of the people, especially since its botched attempt to impose the Emergency on all of us. And, believe it or not, there are still Ministers in Muhyiddin's Cabinet who are still threatening us with it, even after the King has said NO to it.  This alone has convinced me that even if Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz, the Finance Minister, had tabled last Friday a different Budget, the best Malaysian Budget ever, he would still find us standing united against him, the Budget, Muhyiddin's government. 

I won't be surprised if Zafrul's first Budget will also be his last. I will be surprised if this Budget is passed.


A Budget negating the need for an Emergency - The Mole

Msian govt prepared to return to King, ask for state of Emergency if necessary - Today

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Malaysia's underpaid, under appreciated, and under quarantine cops and still nothing in store for them in the Budget

Budget 2021's Winners and Losers

Cops to continue singing the blues

Puchong, 7 Nov: Tengku Zafrul's maiden Budget bears many "gifts" for poorer Malaysians hit hardest by the pandemic and the economic woes caused by it but, and it's a big BUT, the Minister of Finance may have overlooked our overworked, underpaid cops. Sure, there's that RM17 billion to beef up national security but that money won't reach the regular police officer, who will therefore have very little to look forward to next year. And if you sit down and think of the money for nothing that some folks will be getting (for eg Jasa get RM81 mil revival), that's downright depressing for these cops.

Sadder, nobody seems to really care. Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did refer to the shocking fact that 10 thousand of ours cops were under quarantine (that's about 10 per cent of our police force) but the only reason he mentioned it, seems to me, was to convince people of this Government's evil intention to push for a state of Emergency.

"I've been made to understand that the government is still trying to declare and Emergency for this beloved country. Going by their arguments, this nation is supposed to be in crisis, with 10,000 police personnel hit by Covid-19, one million foreigners having flocked the country and if Emergency is not declared by Monday, 2 November, the stock market would come crashing down". (as loosely translated from Chedet's posting Darurat)

The cyber NGO that call themselves Marah* is one of the few who have expressed disappointment (I hope the police top brass and the minister in charge are disappointed, too, even if they don't or can't express it openly). Marah founder Dave Avran said while he's happy with the Budget, generally, "what we feel is lacking is upgrading the housing, salaries and equipment of the rank and file of the defence and PDRM officers who are crucial touch point with the public". 

If I were the Minister of Finance, I'd take a little of the money I've allocated to Jasa, for which I'm getting so much unnecessary flak, and spend it on the cops and their families. And a huge chuck off the Prime Minister's Department. I mean, come on, why does the PM's Department need nearly RM4 billion more (from RM7.9 bil to RM11.7 bil)?

* MARAH is Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and SnatcH Theft, a self-funding cyber NGO, which gets worse than nothing under the Budget 

Read also, for free:

P. Gunasegaram's Giveaway Budget but dangers lie ahead

Friday, November 06, 2020

Syed Saddiq's wishlist, random Budget thots, and the precious option that Lim Guan Eng had destroyed

BSC, 6 Nov: I decided, when he broke away from Dr M's safety harness to form his own party, that Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was not the fool his detractors had made him out to be. His latest words on the move to allow only 80 MPs into Parliament from today - MPs not paid to sit in front of TVB, says Syed Saddiq of Dewan limit - has just reinforced my renewed view of this young man.

MUDA's wishlist for the Budget 2021, which will be tabled this afternoon, makes perfect sense, too. I hope, for this government's sake, that Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul is going to be extra generous with most if not all those items.

Now, all that's left is for Syed Saddiq to keep his head on his shoulders and stay away from drama.

p.s. Re Budget 2021. Quotes from some of my own not-so-muda sources:

"There are very limited options available for the Government. They have used all the options available since the Covid pandemic started in March. For now revenues are declining and debts increasing. The only answer is to continue borrowing to keep the economy moving. To try and find any other means of increasing the government's coffer is tough. GST was a good system but Lim Guan Eng had destroyed that." 

"I don't expect to be disappointed by the Budget simply because there is no room for Zafrul to disappoint. If he does - like not extending the moratorium, not giving loads to the B40 and rewarding the front liners, and these are just the basics - this government will go sooner than later (AND this is one government that wants to stay in power badly!). Question is, how does he plan to fire up the economy given the limitations. Zafrul said in one interview he planned to defy Econs 101. Interesting to me because Zafrul is not known to be defiant."

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

The story of Bukit Kiara: From green lung to federal park to green lung to ...

Bukit Kiara: Popular hiking and cycling haven

Headlines can make your head spin, really.

In December last year, the then FT Minister Khalid Samad announced that

Today Hannah Yeoh, the MP for Segambut, announced that

I know, kan? 

It was back in '94 when residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, many of whom have passed on, petitioned the government to gazette Bukit Kiara as a "green lung". Yeoh was just a 15-year old school girl then and Khalid wasn't even an MP when the people took on the Mahathir administration (read Bukit Kiara fiasco: 40-year betrayal of trust). But, really, I don't mind if both Yeoh and Khalid get some credit for the Bukit Kiara victory, as long as it spurs them on to help the people with their next battle: Save Rimba Kiara.

Of course, FT Minister Annuar Musa can save us the trouble and help us  win this war. Gazette it as federal park or gazette the federal park into a green lung for all we care, just keep Rimba Kiara far, far away from those greedy developers and their corrupt collaborators in government.

p.s. Moral of the story? Don't just read the headlines. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

The continuing quest to shove the Emergency down our throats


KUALA LUMPUR – Lawyer Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar today said he is seeking legal action against his detractors after it was reported last Friday that he was “suing” the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. [Read the full story in The Vibes, for free]

Bangsar, 3 Nov: Good thing this guy wanted to explain himself. That he's not suing the Yang DiPertuan Agong. That, on the contrary, he is on the King's side where the Emergency controversy is concerned. 

Well, well. The fact that Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar had to clarify his action is proof that his intention wasn't clear, right? In fact, it's still not clear to some. A hot shot lawyer I spoke to after Syed Iskandar's article was published in The Vibes earlier today thought of it as hogwash, "Who is he trying to fool? His action amounts to an attack on the Agong!".

In any case, it's good to know that this lawyer Syed wasn't acting on the behest of any politician or political party. Hard to believe, yes, but I say we should give him the benefit of the doubt. 

On the other hand, very little doubt who this Cabinet minister is speaking for or against:

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3, 2020: The government prefers the option of invoking a proclamation of emergency rather than trying to introduce a law or amend the constitution in order to hold off elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

De facto law minister Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan stated this today in a written reply to Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (BN-Padang Terap).

He stated that creating a legislation to postpone an election during the pandemic is against the constitution.

“The creation of a Bill to postpone an election during Covid-19 pandemic is against and inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, while to amend the Federal Constitution, the support of two-thirds  MPs (members of parliament) is required.

“The government may propose to postpone an election if this pandemic is deemed to be declared an emergency as provided under Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

The government had previously raised the emergency proclamation but it was rejected by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong on Oct 25.

The government’s move has led many quarters to accuse it of resorting to an emergency declaration to avoid Budget 2021, which is scheduled to be tabled on Friday, being defeated in parliament.

Is willing-to-die Shafie Afdal willing to do the right thing in Batu Sapi?

Sabahkini says former CM owes it to the people of Sabah to pull Warisan out of by-election

It's in the red zone area

KL, 3 Nov: In the hope of containing the contagion in Sabah after September's state elections, several political parties have agreed not to contest the Batu Sapi  by-election (Dec 6). Former Umno president Najib Razak even went on to suggest that the seat, which was left vacant after the death of Datuk VK Liew, be returned to the incumbent party, ie Warisan. 

Sabahkini, arguably the state's most vocal news portal, begs to differ. Its editorial  yesterday said if any party should pull out of Batu Sapi by-election, it should be Warisan.

The portal blames willing-to-die Shafie Afdal, the Warisan chief, for Sabahan's current predicament. It said Shafie should now be willing to let go of Batu Sapi without contesting it. Batu Sapi is best given to the ruling coalition, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah,, which will be in a better position to manage the Covid-19 and the welfare of the people in the constituent, according to the editorial.

On July 29,  instead of resigning as Chief Minister after obviously losing the majority support of the state's assemblymen, Shafie opted to dissolve the assembly and forced a snap election on the whole of Sabah. On Sept 26, amid fears of a major spike in Covid-19 cases as a result of the intense campaigning, Sabahans voted out Shafie's Warisan from the government. Since then, Sabah has averaged 500-600 new coronavirus cases, making it the worst hit in the whole of Malaysia.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Most hated politicians in Malaysia: Where's the Dynamic Duo?

KL, Nov 2: The joke is that it should stand for KL School of Anwar Ibrahim. :) but to be fair to those chaps at KLSAI, any survey on the country's least popular persons (not just politicians) would probably churn more or less the same result. Maybe Azmin Ali won't always be ahead of Muhyiddin Yasin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 

I don't have any issue with what KLSAI stands for (eh sai, which means can, buay sai, cannot, or pang sai, to shit) but I wonder why the dynamic duo from DAP did not make the list. Not even for honourable mention.

Many still hold Lim Guan Eng and Tony Pua responsible for the massive and quick decline - and the eventual fall - of Mahathir's PH government earlier this year. You may or may not agree, but I've been told that if the two are no longer in DAP, even the staunchly anti-DAP Hishammuddin Hussein would be prepared to reconsider his stand about not ever working with that party.

Read also:

Azmin tops list of least popular politicians, says find - The Vibes

Tony Pua is hating Najib but not exactly loving Anwar Ibrahim? - The Mole

How to unite - Ditch Azmin? - Sarawak Report

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The uproar over the killing of millions of French people (which never happened and will never happen, not in the hands of Muslims, anyway)

So, does our Government have an official stand yet on Mahathir's "killing of French people" decree?

The offending paras from Respect Others by Mahathir Mohamad


Puchong, 30 Nov: Dr Mahathir Mohamad may or may not have been taken out of context but that's not my concern right now. 

What I'm concerned about, and what every citizen of this country ought to be concerned about, is the silence that our self-proclaimed prihatin [concerned, caring] government has adopted while the world went crazy with anger over the former Prime Minister's social media postings.
PM Muhyiddin Yasin hasn't said a word. Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has kept mum. 
We've all read the angry response towards the allegedly taken-out-of-context Muslims have the right to be angry and to kill millions of French posting by the Old Man. I don't know about you all but I'm just concerned that those angry feedback may hurt the well-being of fellow Malaysians living in France. 

From New York Post to Aljazeera, the world's major dailies have railed against Dr Mahathir for his blog posting. In The Sydney Morning Herald,  former Australian ambassador to France Brendan Berne called Dr Mahathir  "A bigot without principles". 

"Believe me, he (Mahathir) loves buying goods from LVMH in Paris. He's a pious hypocrite," Berne said of the Malaysian's support for a boycott of French goods to "punish" France.

Seriously, if the Prime Minister and his Foreign Minister won't, Wisma Putra should issue a statement immdiately to tell the world where we officially stand.  Unless we want former PM Najib Razak's response to Mahathir here to be it. 
Or borrow from Canadian PM Trudeau's Free speech has limits, kot?


Sunday, October 25, 2020

King: Not the time for Emergency, nor a time for politicking

Raja Kita Selamat Bertahta. Ampun Tuanku. 

Ke Bawah Duli-Duli Tuanku, condemn us not ...

 Ke Bawah Duli-Duli Tuanku,

Should your Royal Highnesses visit an Emergency upon us,
Pray deliver too a Razak as Hand of the King,
And insist the Tunku and his rivals be gone.

In place of angry old men,
Give us leaders of all ages,
Without grudges and only goodwill,
To learn from the past so not to repeat them.

We the people will walk weary the days ahead,
Shoulders raised and eyes forward,
So long as there is a glimmer of light,
Somewhere beyond the immediate darkness.

Condemn us not to an eternity of power without mercy,
And privilege without accounting,
This land is no more mine to toil,
For my children’s future, fragile yet precious, are in your hands.

Lead us we will follow,
Forsake us and we will walk alone.

Ampun Tuanku.

By Omar Ong
25 Oct 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Good try, Prime Minister. Good bye, Prime Minister

Tun M, DSAI turn unlikely allies against "undemocratic", "dictatorial" Muhyiddin over state of emergency plan

Puchong, 24 October: Never thought Mahathir and Anwar would agree on anything ever again after their 22-month tale of betrayal upon betrayal that resulted in Muhyiddin sneaking behind both their backs to become Prime Minister in March. But today in history - the former PM and former future PM held hands once again against the future former PM. 

Anwar set the ball rolling just hours after word had gone out that a Cabinet meeting chaired by Muhyiddin was toying with the idea of imposing a state of emergency on the pretext of fighting the Covid-19. The Prime Minister hadn't even managed to see the Yang DiPertuan Agong to brief the King on the Cabinet's decision when Anwar fired his salvo, calling Muhyiddin's anticipated move "a slippery slope into dictatorship"

Then this morning, we woke up to Dr M's tirade, No justification for emergency, or for more powers, nor giving PM more powers.  

In between and since, there have been calls for Muhyiddin to resign and let the Agong decide and for Cabinet ministers who disagree with Muhyiddin's scheme to quit. There's also a plea to the Agong to be a King and do the right thing for, surely, the last thing we need now is an Emergency.
More will stand up to let Abang Din know they are not amused by his latest antic. By the end of it all, emergency or not, it will tough for the PM to salvage his reputation, and job. For now, though, I bless the day that Tun M and Anwar kiss and make up. (Which, for sure, will never happen, emergency or not).

Muhyiddin's Covid "cure" a slippery slope into dictatorship

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin against declaring an emergency out of selfish reasons, saying such a call should be made only when there is a threat to national security.

“Today, we have a government that lacks legitimacy and knows it would fail to demonstrate majority support in Parliament, and is using the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to justify its abuse of power,” said the PKR president in a statement.

“But when the government is itself the source of that threat, then a state of emergency is nothing more than a descent into dictatorship and authoritarianism.”

By resorting to the use of emergency powers, he said, the Perikatan Nasional administration is showing its incompetence in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

“While the rest of Asia is looking for ways to manage the virus and reopen their economies safely, Malaysia is heading in the opposite direction.

“I am deeply concerned about reports that the government is seeking to implement emergency measures to curb the parliamentary process.”

He said there has yet to be a solid strategy in place, and on the back of growing criticism, the government seems to think that curbing democracy is the best way forward.

“In fact, to overcome Covid-19, what we need is transparency, accountability and firm action by the various ministries.”

Instead of demonstrating strong leadership, said Anwar, PN is resorting to undemocratic means to stay in power. 


Covid-19 has been used to justify Parliament being delayed, shortened and avoid of any debates.

Now it is to justify declaring a state of emergency.  

But the power and authority in today's government have been adequate to deal with the pandemic.

We don't find the kind of objection by the people as seen in the US and Europe. Our people have very largely obeyed the restrictions such as the MCO.

What can emergency do to stop the pandemic more than what we can do now. Nothing.

But an emergency would give extra power to the prime minister. What he has done so far has not mitigated the political, economic and social problems affecting the country.

He has a huge cabinet which has contributed nothing to the well-being of the people and the country.

Most of the things done is about the political situation. This government is not the government elected by the people. It has come to power by undemocratic means. And now it is only concerned about staying in power.

Faced with the possibility of being overthrown, the prime minister wants the powers under a state of emergency. The only benefit would accrue to the prime minister, as Parliament would be paralysed. He would claim that it is the wish of the palace.

Already, the mere rumour of an emergency has resulted in the stock market taking a deep dive.

If emergency is declared then the market will collapse completely. The investors have no faith in the prime minister being able to manage the economy.

He messed up the Covid-19 situation by trying to grab the government of Sabah. The present spike is entirely due to the Sabah elections.

So, the government has been changed. What good has it brought to Sabah.

Countries with more severe Covid-19 problems have not declared emergency for the whole country but only for the affected areas.

That was specific for dealing with the local problem. But none have suspended laws and Parliament as it would if emergency is declared in Malaysia.

There are no riots or violence in Malaysia, no breakdown of laws and order to justify an emergency.

But there is a need for some changes to be made to the government which seized power through undemocratic means.

 Read also: An Emergency" Really, it's that bad?! by Aziz Hassan 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Covid-19 news: If the source is not from Ismail Sabri or Noor Hisham, it's FAKE news


Malaysia's 2 Guns in the fight against Covid-19. 

When in doubt, leave them others out!

[updated: But news from the police receiving an instruction from the Attorney-General to take No Further Action against Cabinet minister Khairuddin Aman Razali for alleged breach of SOP is certainly NOT fake,, I can guarantee. Read Minister gets off scot-free after alleged quarantine breach]

Kuala Lumpur, 21 Oct: I didn't say it, Ismail Sabri Yaakob did and it was widely reported by the mainstream media and the newsportals today and I say it's about time he did. 

"If the source is not from me or the Health director-general, it is fake news." - The Star

"I would like to inform the people that apart from myself, the other spokesman for the government is the Health director-general (Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah). I will speak on non-health issues while the health director-general will update the public on the daily new cases and other health-related issues." -  NST

It's a good thing that the Senior Minister cleared the air because the members of the public, already angry enough with politicians, are getting very confused (Deciphering Miti's convoluted, confusing statement for example) and very stressed by some of the statements they have been getting from various official sources. And very stressed people may not vote you in the next time. And we hear someone's planning to call for a snap general election real soon.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The biggest losers if Umno leaves the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition

 A lot of people stand to lose

Puchong, 18 Oct: Muhyiddin Yassin will probably be the biggest loser. If Umno leaves the PN coalition, his government will fall and he will lose his majority in Parliament, which means he will be forced to quit and someone else who has the majority support of MPs will replace him as Prime Minister. Which explains talk of a hurried, even panicky, Cabinet reshuffle tomorrow.

Abah, Atok: Both may end up losing

A possible bigger loser than Abah is Atok and Tun Mahathir Mohamad, the Old Man they fondly - and unfondly - called Atok or grand dad - probably knows it. The good doctor has been going around to say that it's Risky for Umno to side with Anwar. when, in actual fact, it's very dangerous for Mahathir himself as it could bring Anwar Ibrahim to power. His little party, Pejuang, has endorsed him to be interim PM, till GE15, to save the country

Even Ku Li has been brought back from the wilderness (after losing badly in last year's election for Umno president) to back up Mahathir, or that's what the Old Man's camp want us to believe. Ku Li has nothing to lose, really (Impressive resume - but Ku Li as PM, really?)

Umno stands to lose, too, of course, because leaving PN means it won't be in government anymore. If Anwar Ibrahim becomes PM, then those in Umno who have signed the Statutory Declaration supporting him may be part of a new government. But Anwar will not be PM if Mahathir and Ku Li can help it. Or if it turns out that Anwar doesn't have the numbers he claims to have.

Some in Umno will lose considerably more than others. These are Umno leaders who have been given important or cushy positions by Muhyiddin when he came into power in March. The ministers, deputy ministers, and those Muhyiddin has appointed as GLC chiefs. Every word they utter, in private or to the media - whether they support the party unconditionally or if they are with the party only if there's no  Anwar or DAP - is being closely watched. 

So some of the biggest losers in Umno if Umno pulls out are:

1. The nine Umno MINISTERS who are in Muhyiddin's Cabinet. 

Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Minister/Security

Annuar Musa, Federal Territories

Dr Adham Baba, Health

Hishammuddin Hussein, Foreign

Noraini Ahmad, Higher Education

Khairy Jamaluddin, Science, Tech & Innovation

Dr Shamsul Anuar Basarah, Energy & Natural Resources

Halimah Sadique, National Unity

Reezal Merican, Youth & Sports

2.  Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat Dato’ Sri Azalina Othman Said

3. The 8 Deputy Ministers 

Mastura Tan Sri Mohd Yazid (PM’s Department)
Mohd Shahar Abdullah ( Finance)
Ismail Mohd Said (Home Affairs)
Dr Masrizal Muhammad (Environment and Water)
Ahmad Hamzah (Agriculture and Food Industries)
Dr Ismail Haji Mutalib (Housing and Local Govt)
Abdul Rahman Mohamad (Rural Development)
Zahidi Zainul Abidin (Communication and Multimedia)

4. The Political Secretaries to the 9 Ministers

1. Syed Mohd Fazmi Sayid Mohammad (Defence/Senior Minister) 2. Abd Halim Abd Jalil (Foreign) 3. Budiman Mohd Zuhdi (FT) 4. Azizan Md. Zain (Energy & Natural Resources) 5. Maizatul Akmam Alawi @ Ad. Badawi (Higher Education) 6. Ahmad Darus (Youth & Sports) 7. Megat Firdouz Megat Junid (Science, Technology & Innovation) 8. Haliza Abdullah (National Unity) 9.  Shamsul Najmi Shamsuddin (Health)

5. Umno MPs appointed as GLC Chairman

1. Jalaludin Alias (Jelebu) UDA Holdings Bhd 2. Hasbullah Osman (Gerik) Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd 3. Ramli Mohd Nor (Cameron Highlands) Amanah Raya Bhd 4. Mahdzir Khalid (Padang Terap) Tenaga Nasional Bhd 5. Tajuddin Abd Rahman (Pasir Salak) Prasarana Bhd 

Prasarana chairman

6. Mohd Salim Mohd Sharif (Jempol) Risda 7. Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (Machang) MPOB 8. Ahmad Nazlan Idris (Jerantut) Malaysia Rubber Board 9. Mohamad Alamin (Kimanis) MyIPO 10. Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (Besut) Felda