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
KL
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


Related:

Pejuang wants Mahathir as PM for the third time, "only till GE15", replacing Muhyiddin

"To save Malaysia", of course .. what did you think?

Puchong, 18 Oct: It's not from the comics section, I assure you. Malaysiakini reported it in English (Pejuang nominates Dr M for third stint as PM until GE15) and in Malay (Pejuang Cadang Dr M jadi PM sementara tunggu PRU15) under "News/Berita". The comments those articles solicited, though, OMG. Those Malaysiakini readers - Inggeris & Melayu - went ballistic at the idea. You can tell they were the same people who supported the Old Man at GE14. My advice to them: don't be too hard on yourselves, guys; we all make mistakes.

I agree with one of the commenters, though, the police should subject Mahathir's political secretary Abu Bakar Yahya, the person who made the proposal, to a urine test. So that everybody knows he didn't make the proposal under any kind of influence, if you know what I mean. 

And while the police are at it, they may want to call in Dr Mahathir for his statement in 2018 that there were 7 million foreigners in Malaysia

Why should he be called for making such a statement, you ask? Well, Anwar Ibrahim allegedly claimed that there were 6.7 million foreigners in the country and he was called in for questioning by PDRM the other day. Read Cops confirm 6 probes against Anwar, including sodomy


‘Precious’ Malaysians reason for migrant worker influx, Dr M says

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Muhyiddin Yasin is still the Prime Minister, but for how long?

Umno's threat last night to leave the ruling PN coalition, just hours after Anwar Ibrahim's press conference on his audience with the Agong in the morning, beg the question: Does Muhyiddin still have the numbers?

Puchong, 14 Oct 2020: When some people learned that Anwar, during his audience with the Yang DiPertuan Agong, did not furnish the King with the list of MPs backing him for PM-ship, they smacked their foreheads and cursed out loud in disbelief, just as they would when a striker misses a sitter. Well, that's the beauty of the Malay political intrigue, it's never a straight shot at the goal. Like a Bollywood movie, there must be song and dance. Lots of it.
And so, if you thought Anwar's political career had ended at the Istana yesterday, you're disappointed. The dude is still standing, his claim of over 120 MPs backing him is still in play. The King, I was told, has received letters of support for Anwar from the party leaders (except him, of course, and Shafie Afdal apparently needs more time to get over his crushing election defeat that has put paid to his own dream to become PM). 
And while Muhyiddin Yasin has said he was unfazed by Anwar's PM bid,  that was before  Umno said was considering withdrawing its support for Perikatan Nasional 
An Anwar loyalist, once upon a time

The timing of Umno's move is most uncanny, to say the least. Let's admit it, there is no way it was a coincidence. Now, if the party pulls out of PN, that loose ruling coalition of BN-Umno, PAS and Sarawak parties led by the Muhyiddin's Bersatu, the Prime Minister's position would become extremely vulnerable. Many accused Umno of taking advantage of Abah Din in his most vulnerable hour.  
A Reformasi hardcore saw it differently: "It means that Umno is still with us (Anwar)." 
 
Umno to convey its decision on PN to Muhyiddin today 
To be honest, I still don't know if that's for real or imagined. But what's real, an Umno veteran told me, is the party's anger towards Muhyiddin. "Sabah was the last straw. Muhyiddin has taken us for a ride too many times, Rocky. We had to make a decision," he said.
With Umno withdrawing its support for Muhyiddin, Anwar's numbers 'game', therefore, is far from over. The ball is now in the King's court. The YDPA will be meeting the heads of the other political parties to try and ascertain their support for Anwar. 
The King will eventually summon the Prime Minister for an audience. All Muhyiddin needs to do is to convince the King that he still has the numbers. No need for dance and song, just the list of MPs still supporting him as PM. But does he still have it now?

Monday, October 12, 2020

Why not blame Trump - or God - for the spike in our Covid-19 cases?




TTDI, 12 Oct: So, we are back to square one, dear Malaysians. Well, almost. Defence Minister Ismail Sabri said it had to be done in view of the recent spikes in Covid-19 cases. But why is it taking effect Wednesday and not immediately? Well, I'm guessing that it is to allow Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to have his audience with the Yang DiPertuan Agong. 

Elsewhere, Sabah will come under CMCO from tonight, midnight.

And talk about Sabah, were we surprised that the Old Man has decided to put the blame on Muhyiddin Yasin's government for the rise in coronavirus cases in the state? Read Dr M slams govt for 'forcing' Sabah polls, spike in Covid-19 cases.

 Put the blame on someone (else). Why not? Easiest thing to do. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Is #muhyiddinOUT merely a hashtag campaign by the "pro-Anwar Ibrahim" group, or a sign that the people are genuinely fed-up?

Updated 21/10: n his latest commentary, The Vibes' columnist P. Gunasegaram reckons that if the PM and his government had taken the right measures, the recent spike in Covid-19 cases could well have been prevented. "While millions of us are diligently trying to follow all the MCO standards so that Covid-19 can be checked and rolled back, the favoured sons and daughters can do what they like. No double standards? Abah, you kid of course."

"Sorry "abah", it looks like by your own wilful neglect you have put your flock into very grave and serious danger."

Read Guna's 'Abah", rotan yourself first!


Original article:



Puchong,  7 Oct 20: I'm not into any of these trending stuff but, all the same, it bugs me that PM Muhyiddin Yasin is taking a beating on popular social media after his latest special public broadcast on Covid-19. Abang Din (oops, sorry, still can't call TSMY "Abah" because that's for my late father) had always scored for his handling of the C-19 in the past but not this time. 
The people are, obviously, fed up. The Covid19 cases have hit historic highs these past few days and the politicians are not taking any of the blame.  Instead, they are blaming everybody else except themselves. Who wanted the snap election in Sabah? The people or Shafie Afdal? The people are fed up not with Muhyiddin but with the blatant disregard shown by some of the Prime Minister's Cabinet ministers to the Government's own SOP for dealing with the coronavirus. 
Abang Din should have used his 'rotan' to beat the sense out of these politicians, not threaten to use it against the people.

Monday, October 05, 2020

If Vinod is a bankrupt (and he's doing so much good for so many people), then what we need is more bankrupts like him


"Some people just talk about doing good. Vinod Sekhar is living it." - Datuk Afdlin Shauqi

 

TTDI, 5 Oct: You may or may not have read this recent article about Vinod Sekhar, the man who inspired the setting up The Vibes, that portal to watch.

Exceprts:
Datuk Vinod Balachandra Sekhar is the Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Petra Group, a Malaysian company that focuses on rubber recycling, biotechnology and financial software. He is also the chairman of the Sekhar Foundation, based in Kuala Lumpur and the CEO of Green Rubber. He was named by Forbes magazine as Malaysia’s 28th richest man in 2009. 
That much is true. The photograph of Vinod that RPK used for the article is a bit dated but the son of one of Malaysia's great sons still loves his cigars, for perhaps that reminds him of those five days in Havana* he spent with the great Fidel Castro in a spring of a previous lifetime. Yes, I know a bit about Vinod and who he's close to other than Anwar Ibrahim just as the man can tell you a bit about me and who I'm close to (and that certainly won't be Anwar Ibrahim). I have to know the guy if I was going to agree to help him on something as important as setting up a fearless and fair news portal, right?

And here are some of the things what Vinod has been up to lately, things the anonymous writer of the article in RPK's Malaysia Today does not know or does not want you to know:


1. The Sekhar Initiative

The Sekhar Economic Initiative is a project to provide economic assistance to various SMEs, petty traders, farmers and the lower income groups that are involved in commercial activity to sustain their livelihoods. The assistance is given through investments (we cannot call it a loan) ranging from RM5,000 to RM50,000. The investments are interest free and can be returned in instalments over 2 to 5 years, with the first returns only expected 12 months after the initial investment was made.

The requirements to get this investment is merely providing a business plan to keep the business running and to keep all staff or workers employed.

The objective is to help the SMEs and petty traders from going under during this challenging time and to bolster the economy of the nation by keeping the SMEs (the backbone of our economy) alive and well.

The Ranau project, is the initial investment made in the farmers of Ranau to ensure that their businesses can survive and grow. It is a part of the greater initiative to provide investment to this target group.

2. Rescued stranded Malaysians in India during the MCO
You didn't read about it in the papers because he did not want the publicity Well, there was a a little publicity just a very little:
Kumpulan Petra bawa pulang 40 rakyat Malaysia terkandas dari India
PETALING JAYA (21 Mei 2020) - Selepas dua bulan terkandas di Kerala, India akibat penularan pandemik koronavirus (Covid-19), seramai 40 orang rakyat Malaysia akhirnya berjaya dibawa pulang ke tanah air dan selamat tiba di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) baru-baru ini.

3. Sent RM1.5 million worth of masks to Sabah at the height of Covid. Zero publicity

4. Collaboration with Pusaka and local entertainment gigs to help out Malaysian artistes

5. Working with RIMAU (an NGO that focuses on saving the Malayan tiger) the foundation has sponsored the setting up of the MENRAQ. The Menraq are squads of Orang Asli trackers that have undergone training with the Perak Park Forest Rangers to search for, identify and dispose of the thousands of snares placed in the Royal Belum Rainforest by illegal poachers. The poachers use these snares to trap all kinds of animals, the most prized of which is the tiger.

The funding provided by the Vinod Sekhar Foundation goes towards the Menraq's training, uniforms, equipment and their wages for carrying out patrols in the forest. Whenever a team of Menraq go into the forest for patrols, a percentage of their wages is also contributed to the villages they hail from. This provides the Orang Asli with an economic opportunity to earn wages as well as support their communities. It gives the Orang Asli a great sense of accomplishment, while working (for a fair wage) in the environment they are most comfortable in - the forest. The word "Menraq" is derived from the Orang Asli word for community. The project has been implemented with the Jahai tribe of Orang Asli from the village of Kampong Tanhain.

This project serves to save the tigers while also helping the livelihoods of the Orang Asli.

The Menraq project will be followed with a larger scale project to create the PETRA Rangers - auxiliary police officers that undergo forest ranger training. These rangers will patrol the forest together with the park rangers and members of Menraq to track down the poachers and arrest them. The auxiliary police personnel have the license to carry arms and have the power of arrest. The PETRA Rangers project is a work in progress as we are working with the Perak State Parks Dept. to get the project off the ground.

There is a much greater plan for Belum and the Orang Asli, but more about that later.

6. Donated money to the National Press Club of Malaysia's Journalist Welfare Fund at the start of the MCO to help needy journalists and those who were on duty during the semi-lockdown.


These are just some of the things Vinod has been up to in the last few months. You'd notice that there has been very little news about these things. The problem with the man, many of us agree and have told him, is that he insists on getting no publicity for the good he does. 

I sat down with Vinod for a couple of months to help and inspire a fair and committed news portal for the benefit of the public called The Vibes, which RPK's Special Report describes as "pro-Anwar". I must tell you more about The Vibes in a later posting. For now, my point is that if this man whom RPK (and his Anonymous friend) called bankrupt is really so, then we need more of such bankrupts rather than people who say things but do nothing for the general well-being of society. People with their own self-serving agenda.

So, you may ask, is Vinod a bankrupt in the first place?

I know for a fact he is not. And that RPK, for reasons best known to him (and the Anonymous who wrote the article), did not bother to check.


* A book on this is in the making, I was told

Friday, October 02, 2020

And that's why members of our Royalty should not be in business

 

Palace and the Menteri Besar Inc in business alliance?

 

TTDI, 2 Oct 20: And so we have to ask again the tired question: should our kings and queens and their princes and princesses be in business and compete with the ordinary rakyat and their ordinary companies for projects? 

But if they aren't in billion-ringgit businesses, how then are they to finance their lifestyles? Are we, the ordinary people, paying enough taxes to the Government to enable it to underwrite the expenses of the Royalty? Remember, we are not talking about one royal household or a single istana here. Nine of the states in Malaysian have monarchies and these sultans elect, quinquennially, a Yang DiPertuan Agong or the King. 

Because they are our sultans and sultanahs and permaisuris, we Malaysians - we who love our royalties to bit -, we want them to have all the worldly comforts befitting of stature as our masters (tuankus): colossal palaces, scores of luxury cars in their garages, yachts and planes and even trains, the best things that money can buy. 

But allowing kings and princes to aspre to be tycoons like Ting Pek Khiing, Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary or Anantha Krishnan, however, is simply wrong. In my opinion, that not only cheapens the sanctity of the Istana but exposes the members of our Royalties to pitfalls and risks associated with financial failures, including bankruptcy. Totally unnecessary. It may also open them up to bad press, not to mention bad company.

It's bad enough we have greedy politicians - and corrupt civil servants - forming unholy alliances with unscrupulous businesses. We need to protect the good name of the Istana and remind the Royalties that they really have no business to be in business.