Thursday, January 28, 2021

Taman Rimba Kiara: Why Annuar Musa should be happy with the Court of Appeal's ruling

Original piece 27 Jan:
In June 2016, a petite news portal called The Mole reported a plan by a major developer to build, among other things, eight  blocks of luxury condominiums on Taman Rimba Kiara, a project so massive it would increase the neighborhood's population density by 10 times and all but annihilate one of the last remaining green lungs in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (a claim the developer and the collaborating authorities have vehemently denied). It was thought aloud at one time that the condos would render it necessary for a six-lane highway to be built right in the middle of TTDI but that plan was later shelved, mysteriously, just before the 2018 general elections ...

This blog picked up The Mole's story the following day:

Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 21 June: Watch out, developer of this proposed project in TTDI. The residents have put up with quite a few high rise properties that have clogged their space in recent years but they are not about to let their precious park go down without a stiff fight. Watch out, too, City Hall. How can you even consider such a development that will adversely affect Rimba Kiara?  And where's the local MP?
"Why can't we preserve some green lung for the next generation?" a resident demanded. 

Five years on, The Mole, petite as ever, happily published this good news earlier yesterday: TTDI residents hail court decision on Taman Rimba Kiara

What it means is that the Court of Appeal has declared null and void the controversial project that was to be undertaken jointly by Malton Bhd's subdiary Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, a foundation chaired by the Federal Territories Minister. 

FT Minister Annuar Musa: Relieved?

He won't - can't - say it but I have a feeling that, deep in his heart, the FT Minister Annuar Musa is quite relieved with how the whole issue has ended. It's not his baby;  he wasn't the Minister in charge back in 2016.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Blogger tells Palace to defend King against blogger

In "The King to Step Down?", blogger steadyaku47, a Malaysian residing in Melbourne, mocks the King over the proclamation of the Darurat. 


In these last few weeks one question and one question only, has been on the mind of all right-thinking Malaysians. What made the King decide that an Emergency is required? He did not have time to confer with his brother rulers before he made that decision. He did not have time to be properly briefed by the health authorities on the need for the Emergency. He did not go to the people to seek their consensus on what he was going to do. Did the king carefully consider his options and understood the consequences of his actions? Or was the King induced by generous offers of the material kind by TSMY to make him agree to the proclamation of the Emergency?

Life of Annie of Kuantan, capital of the King's home state, has come to His Majesty's defense (even though I know for a fact that personally Annie is against the Emergency). Annie's Defend the Agong, please calls on the Agong's media team to start defending the King against steadyaku47, while chiding the OZ-based blogger for being brave only because he's based abroad. 

2015 pic courtesy of Life of Annie:
"I always see Sultan Abdullah as especially caring for his rakyat"

SteadyAku47 did another posting here attacking the King yesterday, which Annie describes as "even worse than the first one"

And, while the King's handlers consider their options, the blogger added another one today entitled Cash is king, or do you have to be a King to get cashThe Malaysian in Melbourne signed off with "Daulat Tuanku? I think not! Enough said". But I have a strong feeling steadyaku47 hasn't had enough; far from it.

It will be a pity, indeed, if the King's media handlers don't handle these postings properly. We all remember how our last Agong was brought down by the proverbial pen. Of course, back then A. Kadir Jasin's pen was powerful because of what he was: the advisor to the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Steadyaku47, on the other hand, is just a blogger acting alone. Or is he?

Saturday, January 23, 2021

No the Darurat: 114 MPs write to the King

How will the King respond?

OPPOSITION Leader Anwar Ibrahim said 114-115 Members of Parliament have sent letters to the King appealing him to end the Emergency Order.  Read it HERE

What does that mean? 

It means 114-115 MPs are clearly against PM Muhyiddin Yasin. For wrongly advising the King on the state of the pandemic in the country,  resulting in the proclamation of the so-called political “Darurat”. 

We need to understand and remember that those letters are NOT against the King. 

As Shafie Afdal the PM-wannabe and Warisan chief said in a long-winded way in No plans to challenge Emergency declaration in court, appeal letter sent to King :

“Our letter is only an appeal, we are not pressuring. We agree with the Agong's decision, we are just giving our views on the legal issues pertaining to the laws ... But we feel there is no need for an Emergency at this time."

The letters to the King sent by the 114-115 MPs, which may or may not include the eight Warisan MPs, do not mean that Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition leader, has the majority support of Parliament, either. 

They only mean that PM Muhyiddin NO longer has that support of the majority in Parliament. When A Prime Minister no longer commands the support of the majority of MPs, he must offer to step down. The King will have no choice but to agree to his resignation even if he wishes that Muhyiddin could stay on. 

Because of the Darurat that he had wanted so much since October last year, Muhyiddin can’t now call for a general election. There’s only one other option left: leave it to the Agong’s discretion - the same budi-bicara that made Muhyiddin PM last March - to decide who should be the next PM. 

p.s. In the meantime, despite the Darurat, we broke another record for Covid-19 infections today. 4,275 new cases. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Will the PM throw in the towel tomorrow (please)?

The government may fall this week. No, it should fall this week. 

The Prime Minister is under siege from its ever-sulking partners Umno and with his support having dwindled to 110 MPs (and dropping), Muhyiddin Yasin can no longer claim he has the support of the majority. In which case, yes, he must get an audience with the King and declare so. Call for a general election or leave it to the King, but resign he must. Read Remember your oath to defend the Constitution? Time to seek audience with Agong, PKR MP tells Muhyddin after losing majority support..

But the people won't want to go back to the polls, that I am sure of. The voters had given their mandate in 2018 and that mandate doesn't officially expire until 2023. We've seen what happened after those Sabahan politicians forced their people to go out and vote for them again last September to settle their dispute. We have had to live with the second and third waves of the coronavirus infections primarily because of that decision. We don't want to go down that road again. 

So if Muhyiddin does the right - and demoractic - thing and resign, in the King we trust. We'll have to.

But like my friend YB Hwa Beng just said on his Twitter, the PM won't resign lah. They won't let him. Instead, tomorrow he will go on and make that special and urgent announcement on Covid-19 that we were told about last Friday as if what he says, when he chooses to say it, will make things better. Abang Din may or may not lock us down, but he will try to do his utmost so that he and them will stay in power. That's one thing they've done very, very well.

KUALA LUMPUR – Pressure continues to mount on Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the eve of his major announcement on a rumoured lockdown, with Umno leader Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed calling for an alternative prime minister to be identified immediately. 

Saying that the movement control order (MCO) expected to be announced tomorrow is to curb the "Umno virus" and not the novel coronavirus,  Nur Jazlan said Muhyiddin's resignation is inevitable. 

This follows Muhyiddin’s loss of a parliamentary majority, which the Pulai Umno division chief said necessitates his resignation. 

The son of the late Umno stalwart Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat, Nur Jazlan said, only if a new prime minister cannot be found must a fresh election be called, something that Umno has been pushing for as its relationship with Bersatu reaches its tipping point. 

His statement comes after Umno’s Machang MP Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakob withdrew his support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government yesterday, effectively causing Muhyiddin to be on the brink of losing his majority. 

“Isn’t it in the constitution, the very basis of our parliamentary democracy, that the prime minister must enjoy the support of the majority of MPs? As evident now, he doesn’t, so he has to resign. 

“The next step would be to look for an alternative (prime minister). If this can’t be achieved, because no one individual commands majority support, then we have to go for an election,” he told The Vibes today. 

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Hell hath no fury like Annuar Musa scorned

TTDI, Jan 7: After his removal from BN as its powerful secretary-general, Annuar Musa has been spewing all kinds of verbal toxins at his own party and, especially, at Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Which is kind of sad because the Ketereh MP has jsut exposed himself as just another political ingrate in the long list of ingrates. 

Even an Umno outsider knows it was Zahid who brought Annuar back from the political cold to test his mettle against Tok Mat Hassan for the Umno deputy president post during the party's elections in 2018. As it turned out, Annuar was nowhere near Tok Mat's level but, still, Zahid gave him a post after his defeat, made him politically relevant again, and later even consented to his becoming a Cabinet minister in the present Muhyiddin administration.

Annuar Musa's journey from the cold to becoming the 'spokesman' for Muhyiddin's Bersatu (instead of his own party and president) was rather unexpected, at first. But in his own words. Annuar has always fancied himself "a Mahathir man" and said it proudly to all and sundry even after the former Umno president and Prime Minister had burnt the bridges. As FT Minister, I rank him higher than his predecessor Khalid Samad but that's not a benchmark anyone should be too proud of. 

I tweeted a couple of days ago that I was not surprised they had removed Annuar. One day about a month ago, the hugely popular Tok Mat had come into Zahid's room at PWTC, the party's headquarters, and blurted out, unfortunately in front of two senior journalists and a big blogger known to both men:

 "You should have sacked him already."

This was after Annuar had made yet another disparaging statement about Umno, as if he wasn't part of the party at all! But Zahid didn't sack him then. They continued to give Annuar enough rope for him to hang himself.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Reset Malaysia: Anything but Mahathir, Muhyiddin

Langkawi, Jan 5:  Even before the passing of Big Dog, there were already so few of us left from the pre-2008 blogging era (Malaysia’s 12th general election was held in May of that year), when blogs were hot and socio-political bloggers like Big Dog, Jeff Ooi, Sheikh Kickdefalla, and Elizabeth Wong were “liars” just because the Abdullah Administration didn’t understand what blogging was.

In 2021, this number will diminish further. But, like they say, the tough will get going. And two of the toughest (in my book at least) have started the year quite strongly.

In his latest posting Tiga juta menganggur: Tiga juta menganggur: Pemimpin politic tiada agenda memulih negara, hanya menjaga kepentingan mereka , Syed Akbar Ali, who was part of  an economic recovery council when Dr M was PM and the national anti-graft commission under the Najib Razak administration, lashes out at Anwar Ibrahim for not offering solutions to overcome problems facing the people. Some 3 million people are going to be jobless in 2021 and all the politicians care about are themselves, he says. Najib and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi are not spared.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yasin does not seem to be on OutSyed The Box’s radar but he’s definitely on blogger Salahuddin Hisham aka A Voice. In his FB posting Convince public by purging the “dinosaurs” and their ways, A Voice says the nation needs a ‘reset’ and end the reign of political dinosaurs and their ways (in reference to the likes of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Zeti Akhtar Aziz, apparently). 

“We need a brand new leadership, one that doesn’t involve Mahathir or Muhyiddin,” the blogger adds.   Azmin Ali’s people, don’t get too excited, though, please.

Read also

Do people still read blogs (Is blogging finally dead in 2021?)

Friday, January 01, 2021

Pimps and whores in our entertainment industry

Country’s top ‘creative’ triggers a New Year campaign to end decades of raw deal against his trade

Langkawi, Jan 1 2021: Award-winning movie producer Afdlin Shauki made no mention of YB Saifuddin Abdullah anywhere in his bruising maiden article for The Vibes entitled Low Pay and Zero Creative Freedom? That’s (Malaysian) Entertainment. But he might as well have.named the Minister of Communications and Multimedia. For the people Afdlin refers to as “creatives” come under Saifuddin’s watch. In other words, Saifuddin is directly responsible for “(we are) the whores in an industry where the pimps make all the money and treat us like crap”. 

The pimps here do not refer to Saifuddin, though. Rather, they are the television stations and investors so used to their pound of flesh. At least I think so. But politicians like Saifuddin are equally responsible because they hardly do anything to improve the system and stop the prostitution/slavery of the creatives. Afdlin wrote that these politicians would use the creatives for political and government events and then forsake them.

“... I believe things were set in motion to keep us needy and poor from the get-go. This is done by denying the creatives a fair share of the work they are doing at all levels. The people who benefit are the (television) stations and investors. The spoils of war are never shared. The rates TV stations pay have not changed much since the days of P. Ramlee.”

These are serious, harsh words from a man known for making audiences laugh but based on the peer support Afdlin is getting, I’d say Saifuddin (and the pimps) better do something quick.

Saniboey Mohd Ismail, journalist and content creator: I can feel Afdlin’s frustrations. To those broadcasters and tv stations, the ideas the creatives come up with don’t mean a thing. They (ideas) have zero value (to these stations) and when these ideas do get produced into content (which is valuable), the people who created those ideas get paid once and that’s it — they’re told to take a walk. This is what I call slavery. This is how the government or the people managing this country see art and threin lies our weakness as a society. When we (the creatives) ask for some sort of royalties or sharing of IP, the tv stations tell us that since they are funding the project, they will have full rights over the IPs. The fact  that the ideas that give birth to valuable content originated from the creatives does not seem to matter. Which is  absolutely unfair. But where to people like Afdlin go to complain, to be heard? This whole system has to change. Associations that govern the industry must stop acting like politicians. Their job is to stand up for the industry and help deal with these problems. This is not about (your) power, this is about (your) survival.

The government, on its part, should start engaging (the creatives) Commission studies on how the creatives can actually contribute towards building a better society. Ringgit and sen are equally as important as integrity and what the content creation industry needs now is respect, integrity and justice.

Jehan Miskin, actor and creative director: Afdlin has the courage to speak the cold hard truth about the entertainment industry. The seeds of the industry’s problems were sown decades ago when the government effectively allowed the TV stations to monopolise the industry.

RTM is state-run, TV3 monopolises free-to-air and Astro is the sole player in paid TV. This has led to a tremendous exploitation of the creative industry, with TV stations dictating terms, hardly paying a living wage, owning all IPs outright and many other violations that can only happen in a monopoly. 

This situation leads to the industry losing many skilled and talented film makers every year. After all, would you stay in an industry where you are and can hardly earn a living, especially if you are ambitious and crave success? 

I myself have found my company producing more commercials over the years, simply because it is healthier to compete in a free market, rather than one monopolised by the TV stations.

Would we not prefer to produce quality TV shows for audiences? Of course any film maker worth his salt would, but not if we can hardly pay our team a living wage, and create quality we would need to make a loss and after months of hard work, we end up with zero rights to this piece of work we created. 

This is truly a sad state of affaires, as the stories told by the industry are crucial to building up national identity as well as sharing our stories with the world. As long as there is no political will to improve this situation, the entertainment industry will continue to be exploitedvand lose its best talents, to the detriment of the country.

Hans Isaac, former Finas chairman/actor: We have shared many conversations and battles to make changes. Nothing has changed with the old 244 Finas Act to protect us. No Socso, no EPF, no copyright protection, salaries are the same budget, associations are all self benefitting and led by the same old guards. Trust me cos I personally gave it a shot as chairman of Finas (only 14 months) before being terminated due to the backdoor government. In nine actually working months we managed to deliver a report card of 26 improvements as Chairman. But the top 2 was to increase the RTM tv budget by 15-20 per cent across the board and to get the Selangor state to give lower cinema tax rebate from 25 per cent to 15 per cent in their 2021 Selangor Budget. Having said this our report card was not recognised by the new Finas line-up and in short they did not want to show that we made an impact. This is all due to politics. I’ve always said creative and politics don’t mix well. We do need the government support to push the legal and financial backing. Funds and guidelines can be given by the government but the structure and implentation must be designed as a commercial and viable identity for the long run. There are over 100 associations governing the industry. We need a restructuring. Many of these associations will have to be abolished.

Salleh Said Keruak, former Minister of Comms and Multimedia: The government needs to be open minded about the issues being raised. (When I was the minister) I did organise brainstorming with the creatives. More discussions should be held to tackle the various issues in step by step. Look at it positively

p.s. This blogger could not get Saifuddin to respond to his WhatsApp messages. A couple of top tv execs contacted have chosen to wait and see ...